Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Quick Post from Chicago

I'm in Chicago for my monthly business trip. It is rare that there is a chance for the majority of my far flung clan and the majority of my blogger community get together physically at one time. Tonight, Lakeview Coffee, Alexis in Amsterdam, Motherrocker with husband John the Armenian, father-in-law Al the Armenian and with his wife S all met for dinner at what has become one of our favorite places, Scylla.

Sometimes it is difficult when you bring people from different of your circles together. But I new that Lakeview would love A and S and everyone else knows each other. What a great night. I had had an unpleasant business call just before the meal so I downed a sizable Johnny Walker Black at the bar with Lakeview before everyone got there and succeeded in mellowing out. There was so much good food with seven of us but I think everyone agreed the risotto and shrimp fideos (small pasta) were on the top of the list. I love Scylla because you can be expansive (we had a Mersault for our wine) and still feel like you've gotten a bargin. Even A and S who come from the San Francisco Bay area were impressed with price/quality value.

Getting together with great people, great food and drink is just about the best gift that has been offered to humanity and is always to be least as far as I'm concerned.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Things to Look Forward to

A client of mine did me a big favor a few weeks ago by getting a number of his business owner friends to attend a workshop I held. I told him as a reward I would treat him to one of the better bottles of wine I have in my cellar.

We decided to do this over a lunch. We went to a small French place here that will let you bring a bottle for a corkage fee. It was a 1999 Nuits Saint Georges, a very nice Burgundy. I bought a case of this. We had the wine with Boeuf Bourguignon, the classic beef stew from Burgundy.

I am very happy to report that at 8 years old this wine is still very fruity with a lot of aging potential left. I'm also happy to report that I have around 8 more bottles. So for those that come down to visit de-I on occasion for big events, you might want to put this one on your tasting notes.

By the way, yes it was only the two of us and yes we finished off the whole bottle. I really think this is the only way to do business.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Long, Languid Weekend - Two

Houston we have lift off - or I should say sit down. Yes I can honestly say this has been a very relaxing weekend. I'm not saying that I haven't done work because I have. On Sunday I cleaned off my desk. One can now see at least 30% of the landmass of my desks original surface. And no pile exceeds one inch. That's pretty frickin' amazing in de-I land. Today I caught up on a lot of little things like getting billing out and doing my cash flow projection for the coming month, etc., etc. Nothing overly taxing. We have a bunch of artichokes ripe in the garden so I'm going to make a chicken artichoke pasta for dinner. Last night I marinated some very thin pork loin slices in soy, sherry, hot chile oil, garlic, ginger and brown sugar. Then I cooked them on a very hot cast iron skillet for just a minute or so a side. They came out great.

Tech breakthrough one

Took pictures using PDA, transfered them to computer and then to blog. No comments on quality. Two from the garden and one of Mrs. de-I taking a well deserved rest. I'm not sure what happened to picture two. I can't quite figure out yet how to move the pictures around.

Tech breakthrough two

I am now I-Pod enabled. It only took 5 months and the intervention of good ole Wife to make it happen. She got it started by actually downloading music from my CD collection last week. Seeing that it was really easy enough for de-I to do I managed to load all the rest this weekend. Then played said I-Pod using my new Phillips Noise Reducing Headphones (thank you Lakeview for the idea). I am now fully ready for noise reduced flying comfort.

Tech breakthrough three

I backed up everything in the computer.

Damn Squirrels

Wife's garden has been rampaged by ravenous pack of squirrels. They come at night and eat at all the newly planted veggies. I'm sure since this is gang country they would rather be tagging the garden wall but I don't think they can get their little paws around the spray paint cans. So they console themselves with devouring the garden. Wife started by putting little cages she made around each plant but that proved to me way too much work. Then she looked into trapping them and having me carry them up into the mountains when I hiked to let them go...right. I'm going to go schlepping up the mountain with my cage of squirrels driving every dog I meet mad along the way. Then she got this spray Deer Be Gone which is based on capsicum (the hot stuff in chiles). If that doesn't work I recommend the following.

Have Gone Will Travel

In the late 50's and early 60's this was a highly rated and unusual Western genre series about a hired gun name Paladin. He was a very dark hero, always dressed in black. Each show started him in a swank San Francisco getting the request to go out to the boonies and right some wrong. He was very cool. His business card had the chess knight as its symbol and the motto, "Have Gun Will Travel". I'm thinking we send a help line to Lakeview Coffee. I can see him sitting in the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago. His business card will have a softball bat on it and the motto, "Have T-Rex will travel". For those who do not frequent Mr. LC'S blog "Hanging with Joe", he is a champion ratter, saving Chicago from the rodent plague. And he doesn't fool around with any flute either. I say bring'em down. He Joe there's plenty of good golfing here when you're not tracking down squirrels!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Long, Languid Weekend - One

One of my goals to myself this year is to return some balance into my life. So I'm taking advantage of the three day weekend to get some relaxation into the mix. This is not the easiest thing for me to do since I've gotten myself into a habit of being ober-committed to my business.

They imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And I've found that Pulisha's new format with various headings for subject matter is quite engaging. So I've decided to borrow her format. (Actually I believe in literary circles they actually call this form of flattery plagiarism.)

Global Warming?
I went hiking on the South Crest Trail today, a trail I've written about before. We're having an incredibly wet spring. The newspaper said it was weird. For you folks in areas that are not deserts, this means we've had almost 3 inches of rain in April and May to date. This compares to the less than 1 inch which would be normal. It did make for a really nice hike as it was cool when I started and the trail was a bit softer.

Kids on the Trail
On the majority of the hike I didn't see too many people which is the way I like it. As I get an early start I don't usually run into too many people until I'm well on my way down. Today their were an inordinate number of people with their kids. There was one family with three in tow. The one in front, a young girl around 7 looked anything but happy. Then their was a boy about 5 or 6 that had successfully caught a baby horned toad lizard. He was doing a very good job of being gentle and letting it go. Finally I ran into a Mom with her 6 to 7 month old in this really cool backpack carrier. And she was well up the trail after one of the major climbs. This girl was in great shape. And the little one looked it (he/she?) was having a ball.

Cicadas ? Bah Bicyclists!
Chicago may be having its 17 year cicada infestation but every weekend we get our cyclist infestation (and I say this fully knowing that I am at risk of retaliation from my cycling daughters). They are all over the place and at certain intersections it seems they're coming from multiple directions. Needless to say when I'm driving, tired after hiking, keeping track of all these multi-colored bikers (they all look like they're riding in the Tour de Drugs, I mean France) taxes my fatigued brain.

Indian Cooking Breakthrough
I've had problems over the years getting the dishes I make with Indian inspiration to taste different. They don't taste bad. They just all taste the same and their has always been a certain something missing. I discovered one missing element a little while ago, fenugreek seed. I found another today when I toasted the spices (using whole seeds for the most part) I was using prior to cooking with them. The results were a dramatic improvement! Chalk one up for the Pewter Chef.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Granite on the Left, Granite on the Right, Granite on the Firing LIne

Wife and I went out today for a serious look at granite options for our new kitchen counter tops. Contrary to StylingWRM granite is hardly just "rock". The variations of color and pattern can take the style challenged (insert de-I) and make one remember one's not so good days using various chemicals of one's youth.
We spent about an hour and half looking, taking pictures for future reference and getting samples. Unfortunately the samples frequently bare little resemblance to the totality of the slabs so when you bring them home and look at them it's hard to remember what you really saw. Then we saw an actual counter top in the showroom that was from a style we thought we really liked and I was not pleased with it at all. This brings up doubts as to trusting one's judgment looking at the slabs.
We also went looking at new sinks and faucets. This was much more rewarding. The space for our sink is very small so our options are limited. But we found a very innovative design that appears to optimize the use of the space and give us the room for large pots and pans that we want.
Finally we looked at bar stools. There's a great place in town that offers a wide variety of styles and customization of almost all of them in terms of finishes and fabrics.
We probably won't get real seriously into purchasing until Pulisha has her baby since Wife is going to providing outsourced parenting assistance for the notorious C and J of Pu's Corner fame.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Katchina Hills Annual Broccoli Fest

Every year around this time all the farmers of Katchina Hills gather for the celebratory harvesting of the first broccoli of the season. OK well that might be a bit of an exaggeration.
  1. Because I don't think there are any 'farmers' in Katchina Hills (our sub-division).
  2. And because those that have gardens probably don't grow broccoli
  3. But Mrs. de-I did this year for the first time which doesn't exactly qualify for "every year"
So when Mrs. announced that she was going to harvest our first broccoli (1 of 3), I said, "Hold on wait I need to be present for the historic event." As she finished cutting through the stalk, I exclaimed profoundly, "Wow it looks just like a real broccoli from a store!"

I am also happy to announce that we steamed it and it was very sweet and tasty.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Little of This and A Little of That

It's nice to have a week (actually 9 days) straight at home. I came home to find that Wife had been baking up a storm. A new version of white bread (not as good as the recipe she used before) and a whole wheat bread with oatmeal and honey, which is actually just a very good whole wheat bread. I have to credit to daughter MotherRocker for Wife's baking renaissance (she did lots of bread baking when the kids were young. MR is a fabulous baker and posts about her efforts frequently. So I think that has gotten Wife's creative juices flowing. So in our house we have a designated MR as the patron saint of bread baking and have set up an appropriate little alter where we leave offerings that would be pleasant in the eyes of the saint (smoky bacon, crisp bits of chicken or duck skin, lovely french fries - we know our saint).
The weather hasn't been quite nice enough to really take advantage of the patio. It's been windy most nights.
We're gearing up for granite purchasing. I've taken Friday afternoon off so we can go look at slabs. One of gay friends was over looking at some of the samples and quicky pronounced them, "boring, dead on arrival". Another MRism, "when it comes to home decoration you have to trust your gay friends." This certainly proved true for our living room. So we'll take a deep breath and head out to the granite show room.
I know middle daughter Pulisha can't wait for her pregnancy to be over but it has been a source of incredibly mirthful writing.

Monday, May 21, 2007

It Will Be Done When It's Done

The work in the garden continues non-stop. Mrs. de-I hasn't been giving me too complete a vision of exactly what the end point is supposed to be. In justice to her, since I haven't been here all that much the last few weeks, it's not that easy for her to be communicating her vision of the garden. I'm thinking that even accounting for new computers, camera lens, trip to San Francisco this is coming out to a lot less than if we hired someone to do it.

Now a number of you have asked if I could get pictures of the garden and post them. Well this may be a more complicated issue that you would think. Most of you are not old enough to remember the book and movie, The Agony and the Ecstasy. It was a fictional biography of Michelangelo. In the movie there is a major sub-plot where Pope Julian (Rex Harrison) is having Michelangelo (Charlton Heston) doing the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and it's taking a long, long time. The pope keeps popping up and asking, "When will it be done?" and Michelangelo says, "It will be finished when it is finished" or something close to that.

Well dear readers, I have my own Sistine Chapel taking place and Mrs. de-Iangelo as told me the pictures will come when they come.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Is This Rude and How Would You Respond

I'm in the Red Carpet Club in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (which you might think is actually a crash pad for me from the number of times I post from here) on my way back from O-I's to home. I have just had to move with all my stuff because right behind me...and I mean like his seat was backing up to mine...a guy was (actually still is) playing this computer game with his speakers on at if not full volume, very loud. And of course it is going over the same sound special effects over and over and over.

So I'm pissed at how incredibly rude this guy is but don't really want to lash out and just go across the room. Of course I can still hear him. AinA this is like the loud gum chewer. MR it is like the drink schlurper. I'd really like to take my laptop and whack it over his head but then I'd have to go though the whole computer replacement thing again.

So what would you do? How should I have responded?

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Moment in the Life of Wonder Dog

O-I is very good at not over feeding Uzef and making sure he gets lots of exercise. As a result Wonder Dog is in very good shape for a dog of his years. Many of us (including his master) have observed that the question of who is master to whom is a bit muddled in the case of the O-I/Wonder Dog relation.
Normally O-I gives Wonder Dog all kinds of little treats in lieu of over feeding him. This could be a small piece of his bacon at breakfast or a tidbit from lunch out, etc. However, Wonder Dog had been having gastro-intestinal distress which means he’s on a very bland diet. As a result O-I has cut out all the extraneous food and Wonder Dog is far from happy about it.
When we were at Casa Mia, we were served by a waiter who knows O-I well and who likes Wonder Dog. He is accustomed to Wonder Dog being served tidbits. During the meal, Wonder Dog is being told by O-I that he is ill and he can’t have anything. Wonder Dog is not buying this and is moping (for Wonder Dog this consists of his crocodile imitation –lying with his head totally flat on the ground with his eyes looking up as if he were submerged looking for prey).
O-I is very good at not over feeding Uzef and making sure he gets lots of exercise. As a result Wonder Dog is in very good shape for a dog of his years. Many of us (including his master) have observed that the question of who is master to whom is a bit muddled in the case of the O-I/Wonder Dog relation.
Normally O-I gives Wonder Dog all kinds of little treats in lieu of over feeding him. This could be a small piece of his bacon at breakfast or a tidbit from lunch out, etc. However, Wonder Dog had been having gastro-intestinal distress which means he’s on a very bland diet. As a result O-I has cut out all the extraneous food and Wonder Dog is far from happy about it.
When we were at Casa Mia, we were served by a waiter who knows O-I well and who likes Wonder Dog. He is accustomed to Wonder Dog being served tidbits. During the meal, Wonder Dog is being told by O-I that he is ill and he can’t have anything. Wonder Dog is not buying this and is moping (for Wonder Dog this consists of his crocodile imitation –lying with his head totally flat on the ground with his eyes looking up as if he were submerged looking for prey).
  • Waiter to Wonder Dog – “How are you doing? Are you having a good meal”
  • Wonder Dog gives waiter an appreciative look.
  • Wonder Dog turns head 90 degrees toward O-I
  • Wonder Dog glares (and I mean glares!)
One can only be glad that Wonder Dog’s thought bubbles weren’t working.

What Makes a Great Food Experience

I’m in Connecticut enjoying a three day stint with the patriarch of Clan Podolny, my father, the original Intimidator (or O-I for purposes of this blog). Developing a relationship between us was not an easy or natural thing but with lots of effort now, later in our lives, we have a really good relationship. And with his being 83 and me pushing 60 it is not one that I take for granted. Unfortunately with his being in CT and me being in NM, it is not that easy to get together. But I do try to make it here at least once a quarter.
Since this is my blog, I get to set the rules and I say that being a true foodie is not just a matter of the pursuit of the food itself. It is a the pursuit of total experiences and a total experience consists of three elements – the food, the ambiance, and the people. A good meal with people you dislike or have not simpatico for is not enjoyable. Food that is ok with people you really enjoy and care for in a great setting can be a fabulous experience.
O-I and his good friend L, and I went out this afternoon to a place in Hartford by the name of Casa Mia in the Little Italy section of town (sorry they don’t have a website). This is a place they have gone to for years but I’ve never had the chance to visit. We got to the restaurant fairly late, after 12:30 and things were pretty quiet. Most of the places we go to that O-I visits on a regular basis know him and accommodate he and his seeing eye dog, Uzef (aka Wonder Dog, Super Dog, Smartest Dog in the World). I’m not much of a dog person (understatement) but Uzef is an impressively smart and expressive individual. Here there is a room that is like a sunroom in the front of the restaurant. It was empty except for us. On a rainy cold dark day it was nice having all this light. It was nice just having the place to ourselves. There was nothing else on the agenda.
Lunch was a relaxed and long affair. They have lovely bread and a very nice olive oil to accompany it (no sickeningly sweet, industrial faux balsamic vinegar was added) and they brought a thick slice of an aged provolone cheese on a wooden cutting board for us to munch on. O-I and L had a classic lunch for them, a good minestrone soup and linguine with clams (an excellent rendition with just olive oil, clam juice, garlic and lots of black pepper). I went for a lunch menu with a first course of a lightly breaded and pan fried ravioli filled with a fresh mozzarella with a touch of tomato sauce on each (think fried mozzarella sticks taken up 10 notches) and some salmon on a lemon risotto with some grilled squash (yes I know that salmon is not from the Mediterranean and is therefore, not authentic Italian but simple grilled fish is so I say it is authentic in spirit). We had a couple of drinks, talked ate, downed our double espressos afterward. We were there for almost two hours. We could have been in Italy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A note on watching children age

I read two posts today, one from motherrocker, the other from pulisha that gave me pause to contemplate the miracle of one's children growing up. Reading them was like flashbacks to all the years of being a spouse and parent. The great circle of life goes round and round. Actually having your children join you on the great equalizing plane of life with their head's screwed on right is one of the nicer rewards of raising them

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Has My Middle East Plane Reservations Arrived Yet?

I'm on the second leg of a three city tour of the East Coast two of which are work and one is pleasure. I started in Columbia, SC where I was visiting a client that I hadn't seen for over a year and half. They are a family that had some serious issues between them that had become completely log jammed. I decided to go there strictly out of professional pride - can't stand not achieving a clients goals. Since I had nothing to lose, I figured I would be as blunt as possible. The worse that would happen was they would throw me out and I would have tried my best. As it turns out, we managed to get a major breakthrough and it looks like we may actually get a resolution. And they paid me the last part of my fee from a year and half ago! As Lakeview would say, "sweet."

Then it is on to Atlanta (where I sit as of this moment) where I was doing much the same between three owners of a business that I have worked with for years but who have had these personality issues between them that have never been resolved. I'm happy to say there has been a clearing of the air which, along with a reevaluation of their business, has left everyone with a feeling that there is a positive outcome for everyone. Chalk another negotiating success up to de-I

On Thursday I head out to CT to spend a couple of days with the Dad - the original, never to be duplicated Intimidator and wonder dog Uzef. I'm looking to a relaxing few days helping him out and enjoying a scotch or two.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Good Food Is Where You Find It - A Quick Foodie Post

I'm in Columbia South Carolina tonight and of course one has to eat. My hotel isn't a whole lot of help but they give me a guide of the downtown area and there are lots of suggestions with websites to assist the search. Unfortunately for me just about all of downtown Columbia is closed on Monday. But I do find one, the Motor Supply Company Bistro that is open.
It turned out to be a lovely meal. I had a first course of house made pate and rillettes. There won't be many of you other than AinA who know what rillettes is but it is one of many French forms of cured pork and fat. Let's just say that you almost never see this in the US. And here I find it in Columbia, SC! It was a little bland but there was a very nice, non-sweet whole grain mustard along with it that was a great accompaniment .
For a main course I had a piece of grilled salmon on a bed of locally milled yellow grits with just a tad of crust on the outside and some nice crispy young green beans. The sauce was just clarified butter. Again it was a bit bland but the addition of salt turned this into an exquisite interplay of flavors. Each ingredient stood out and the butter provided a smooth connection between all. I had a glass of Spanish Garancha (Grenache) which was non-nondescript then a glass of Michaud Pinot Noir from the Monterey area that was much better. I finished off with a cup of decaf coffee that was nice and hot and stayed hot as I lingered over it.

Weekend Interlude

I was home for Saturday before heading out on Sunday to the East Coast for a South Carolina, Atlanta, Connecticut swing and was trying to cram everything in I needed to do. This included getting in a short hike, one of my short steep ones for conditioning, doing a bunch of work, and getting ready to go including backing up the new MAC since I haven't done that yet.
Mrs. de-I continues to work like a fiend in the garden. I have to get photo taking capability because my words are not doing justice to how good it is getting. The first broccoli heads are appearing. The herb garden with the new rock looks great. She's planted all kinds of squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and even an eggplant! She has also been doing a major soil enhancement program which has been biblical in proportions. We'll see if this all leads to better produce and flowers.
I made Mrs. de-I one of her favorite meals Sat night since I was going to miss Mothers Day - Steak over the fire, baked potato, corn on the cob, good wine (Chateau Talbout, Saint Julian, 2000 from my cellar, AinA - coming along fine and looks like it has a number of years left as I have 4 more bottles). Couldn't have been nicer, we ate out on the patio enjoying the garden and the bird sounds. I had a scotch before hand and the taste gave me an A la Recherche du Temps Perdu moment (look up Marcel Proust, madeleines, and involuntary memory)(yes de_I is capable of the occasional literary reference) where memories of times with my parents flooded back.
Hope all the Mothers in my family and among my friends have a lovely day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Second Worse Rental Car Ever - But Glad to be Alive

I'm a bad blogger. Had a very busy trip to LA and San Diego. I gave a talk to the SMMA (Small Motor Manufacturers Association) on Thursday that went very well.
There is some bizarre way that Hertz decides what car I'm going to get. At least half the time I get something different than what I order (which is pretty basic and small). I've had weird SUV's sports cars, big sedans. This time we went in the other direction. I was given a Chevrolet Aveo. This is about as minimal as a car can get. No automatic locks so you had to lock each door individually including the trunk. Tiny - like a frame with aluminum foil around it. And to top it off it was Banana Yellow. No problem finding this baby. You can bet how proud I felt when I turned this over to the valet parking at the posh restaurant the investment banker had me at for lunch on Wednesday. I was just thankful that I got there before him and my car was delivered after he left.
To be fair, I had worse one once because it wasn't that uncomfortable (I've had bigger cars that are) and it had as much power as any of these rentals have. (I think they all have motors powered by a team of gerbils inside).
And I survived in it.
I was driving on the 405 from Santa Moncia toward San Diego when this lady comes over three lanes of traffic and cuts me off. We're not talking feet here, we're talking collision and at 75 miles per hour in a box of tin foil. To be honest I have no idea how I avoided this because it was all reaction and no time to think. I swerved slightly to the left (thank God no one was in the lane), braked briefly (thinking "stupid you're going to lose control"), and swerved back into my lane to some how avoid the accident.
So Banana Chevy Aveo - you may not look like much but I respect you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Still More Babysitting Offers from de-I

Hard as it is to admit, de-I does actually have some feelings. And after setting the terms of the de-I Babysitting Program, I had to admit that there are some bleached sheep members of my family that might feel that the program was purposely set up to discriminate against them.
The committee of de-Intimidator Enterprises in charge of child support programs after reviewing its offerings top to bottom will now propose:


The lucky winner of this contest will gain all the babysitting options available to those qualifying for the coupon without the restrictions. Merely answer the following questions.

  1. Name the four teams the Buffalo Bills lost to in consecutive Super Bowls.
  2. Leaving the house at midnight surreptitiously as a teenager, one should ask the cab to honk their horn to notify you they are there. True or False
  3. Name four college level courses that will allow one to enter into the Air Force.
  4. Winter in Los Angeles, winter in Misawa, Japan, winter in Buffalo, NY, which is preferable?
Please submit your answers (three originals written in Gothic calligraphy) no later than midnight June 1

Monday, May 7, 2007

Baby Sitting Clarified

One may have read the comment from Pulisha, honorable very pregnant daughter number two of de-Intimidator that she had never understood that babysitting services were among the privileges available as a daughter in this family. (One might also remember that she made similar comments about not knowing about d-I being a patsy for taking daughters and husbands out to dinner too.) So to ensure that there is no confusion, I'm posting the official d-I coupon for babysitting services.


de-Intimdator Enterprises is a leading provider of remote, on-site babysitting services to d-I clan members. This coupon entitles the bearer to obtain babysitting from de-Intimidator Enterprises subject to the following conditions.

  • Such services are only to be provided on a Friday night when d-I is in the city of the appropriate child
  • Total age of all grandchildren under d-I care cannot exceed 9 years
  • No grandchild put under d-I care may exhibit any personality traits which drove d-I nuts when parent of said grandchild was a child
  • All grandchildren put under d-I care must have lived in the continental USA for no less than three consecutive years
  • Support of any and all sports teams located in New York State north of Westchester by any member of a babysitting seeking household may be cause for invalidating this coupon

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Two Quick Foodie Items

While in Chicago, I had my usual set of good eating experiences. Here are a couple of highlights.
Lakeview and I went to Scylla again. It was a Thursday night and was definitely busier which is good because we'd like to see this place succeed. I had a dish that was really unusual and good; a calamari stuffed with sausage. It was two calamari tubes stuffed with a wild boar sausage meat that was very strongly flavored but not greasy. The tubes were grilled and put over white polenta. There was a dab of some vinaigrette on the side and on each corner of the plate was a tiny baby octopus grilled. I think a lot would have found the calamari too tough but I liked the chewy texture interplayed against the savory sausage and the soft mild polenta. This chef has a way with cephlopods.
For breakfast on Saturday, Motherrocker took me to a Swedish place called Tre Kronor where I had corned beef hash and eggs. Normally corned beef hash is a very insipid dish with the beef being ground into a mash. In this case the meat had been cut into a very fine dice and was quite recognizably meat. The potatoes in the hash were very good too.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Godzilla vs. Mothra - de-Intimidator vs the Dukes

You've seen or heard about the show where adults are pitted against 5th graders? de-Intimidator's version is nearly 60 year old vs just over 2 year old - grandpa vs. granddaughter - mano a petite femano. Only it won't be an intelligence contest (that would go hands down to the Dukes, daughter of Motherrocker and John the Armenian)it will be an endurance contest.
de-Intimidator had decided to be the good father and father-in-law and offered to provide a date night to MR and JtheA. So I've provided both babysitting services and funds. Some might not remember the ability of the two to three year old to do repetitive games, let me assure you it is impressive.
We started in the afternoon. I had arrived around lunch time so J could go to an appointment in the afternoon. The pre-nap event was laps around the house looking for the blue rope. This consisted of going around a loop in the house (family room to living room down the hall back to the family room) for 30 minutes straight. I kid you not. 30 solid minutes without a break or a hold-up. Then it was time for Dukes' nap which we was very good about going down for.
But that was just the warm up for the main event. Kids headed out for their date at a little after 6 PM and it was going to be 2 to 2.5 hours of activities. This consisted of just over an hour of rough housing with a stuffed puppy and a key (it would take pages to describe this game), followed by another 20 minutes of laps, followed by a 15 minute break with the Leapfrog, and another 15 minutes of stuffed puppy and key.
It was looking pretty grim for de-Intimidator. My back was killing me not to mention the mind numbing nature of the games. But just when it looked like victory was in sight for the Dukes, the old man's stamina won out. At quarter to 8, 15 minutes before bed time, the thumb went to the mouth and the Dukes went into cuddle mode. Then, with no prompting from de-Intimidator, the Dukes says, "time for nite, nite" (play theme from Rocky). Up we went, three stories and into bed.
I left flushed with success and collapsed on the couch downstairs

Thursday, May 3, 2007

More on the new

On my monthly leg in Chicago. The new MAC is working ok. There are things I like and thing I'm not overly happy with. Having to work like a maniac (not me but trusty computer pro Craig L'Herb) meant that there were some things that we didn't get done and very little in the way of training. One thing I really like is the screen which is substantially more visible than my prior old Dell. I'm getting use to the keyboard which at first I didn't like but like more a I'm using. A lot of the Icons are funky but actually seem to make things more easily found. I'm using imail and icalendar functions which I don't like at all. I will probably ask Craig to move me back to the MAC version of Outlook.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

On New Computer!

I'm on the new machine. We've got most functions working but still have kinks. More later

Quick Update

Getting ready to dash out for the day.
Bought the new computer yesterday, a MAC. I was browbeat into this purchase by Craig l'herb my computer support friend. Since Monsieur l'herb does all my work for merely an occasional good meal and good wine, I felt obliged to not impose my fears on him.
Mrs. de-I's garden is just going great guns. She's been out for days sifting out all the bad ole wood bark mulch leaving wonderfully aerated soil. Worms are happy. Robins are happy. Plants are happy. De-I is happy.
Our friends from the Minnesota Mafia across the street stopped by yesterday in the early evening to help move a rock in the garden that was too heavy for Mrs. de-I. I even got roped into helping. Horrible. The weather is perfect now and we sat for awhile on the patio sipping a lovely rose I brought back from Salinas