Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Food Processing

I take perverse pleasure at making use as much of the food that I purchase as I can. I think I was beat on the head with all kinds of old world values about not wasting when I was growing up. So I am always happy when you have something like turkey which provides so much in the way of sustenance beyond the meal that is is served.

Unfortunately we didn't have Thanksgiving here and turkey is not our Christmas tradition. So I decided to just buy a bird so I could process it. Of course we did roast it and have a meal but there was pretty much the whole bird left.

First thing is to get all the meat off of the bones

Then I started making a stock. Onions and carrots of course but I also added the liquid from mashed potatoes I'd made and the pan juices from the roasted turkey.

I also put in the neck and the pack of giblets (out of the pack) in as well

I cut my turkey into smaller bits - mostly dark meat

And larger slices - white meat

The small bits were cut further because they will be packaged as ingredients to go into soup.

Here are nice individual packages of sliced meat for sandwiches and bits (3 oz each) for our soups.

The stock after it had cooled has a very lovely gelatinous character from all the bones and skin.

I put the stock into 14 oz units.

And individually wrapped them for easy conversion into our soups.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Camera Sherpa Christmas

With all of our family gathering having been done with our trip to France and Italy and Thanksgiving in Tampa, Wife and I were by ourselves for the holidays. So Wife wanted to bring the camera gear up into the mountains and take advantage of the opportunity of the recent snow.

So with her Camera Sherpa in tow, we spent almost 4 hours on Christmas morning in almost complete isolation up in the mountains with Wife taking shots to her hearts content.

My attempt at one of Wife's 'art' shots

Our tradition for decades has been to make pizza on Christmas. While this looks a bit uneven and rustic, it was one of our best efforts in quite some time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Good Morning

I'm always kvelling (Yiddish term - look it up) about our great New Mexico sunsets. But this morning we were graced with an awe inspiring sunrise.

Monday, December 20, 2010


After 13 years and 147 thousand miles my Dodge Durango is showing its age. This year we've put a lot of money into it and it is showing signs of needing more.

I'm not much of a car person but with the help of my business partner Formula 1 Frank, I found a vehicle I really liked. The only problem was getting approval for the purchase.

Here at the dIWHQ (de-I World Headquarters) you don't just buy something like a car. You have to go through an approval process.

So first I submitted a request to purchase to the fixed asset approval department (Wife). Fixed assets gave their approval.

Then you had to submit a certificate of need to the finance department (Wife). They indicated that there would need to be a budget review.

The budget department (Wife) ran the numbers and indicated that funds could be allocated for the purchase.

I now submitted a formal request to the budget committee (Wife).

With that approval, all I needed was the sign off from the CEO (Wife) which I got today.

Hallelujah, now all I need to do is buy the car.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

First Winter Snow Hike

On Thursday when I called home from Austin, Wife told me that we were having stormy winter weather. When I flew in Friday morning it was clear that the mountains had gotten snow. I was pretty psyched - The first snow hiking of the year.

I wrote last year about my transformation from winter hiking hater to winter hiking lover. And I've also written about our wonderful respectful snow here in Albuquerque which unlike Terri's snow in Minnesota knows that its place is in the mountains for recreation and water supply, not in the city mucking up our roads.

So I conned Wild Bill into accompanying me. What I didn't know was that they had gotten almost a foot in the lower elevations and that we were among the first to be breaking trail. It was much harder going than I had anticipated but a lot of fun and beautiful nonetheless.

It took us twice as long to go the distance we normally do.

Also a couple of scenes from my trip with AinA to Seattle and the Bay area.

Our Korean meal with partner Frank - Once again my need to feed a minimum of 30 people affected my ordering.

Motherrocker handling taping of the video logs we will be putting in my new business marketing efforts. She had AinA sing some opera to test the video.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

End Almost in Sight

After last week's grueling three city, six day trip, I'm on to the last trip of the year. Actually two trips. It's 7:30 PM and I'm on my way to Dallas, TX so I can get to Austin for a meeting in the morning. I don't normally fly this late but I had some of my business partners over for a thank you lunch this afternoon.

This was a four course French meal including my first ever cheese souffle (which turned out great I might add - thanks to Wife for the valuable collaboration). We also had a charcutrie course (cured meat), a slow cooked pork roast with soubise (onions cooked down with rice plus cheese and cream), a salad, a raspberry tart made by Wife. Three wines were served. A prosecco (not sure of the spelling - its a bubbly wine from Italy), a dry riesling from Oregon, and 2000 Bordeaux. Just your normal 1.5 days worth of cooking lunch.

Anyway that's why I'm leaving so late as I had to leave enough time for me to clean up after everyone was gone. I come home tomorrow afternoon. But then have to go back again on Wed for another meeting on Thu coming back on Fri morning.

Then THREE WEEKS solid of no travel. Can't wait.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Phase 2 Over - On to Phase 3

AinA are sitting together at the Loris Diner concession in the United terminal of San Francisco International. She's heading home. :( I've really enjoyed working with her. Being a relative is no guarantee that you can work together. I know that more than anyone.

Now it's off to LA. I get to stay in the same place for 2 nights in a row. Woo Hoo.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Scooting Down the West Coast

After a brief trip to the small oil producing town of Artesia NM earlier in the week (got to fly on a private corporate plane - soooo much better and easier than commercial). I headed up to Seattle to meet with a client. Joining me is AinA who is doing some training with me and LA Frank my partner. We are now going to the San Francisco Bay area for meetings on Sat and Sun where we are going to be producing a social media campaign for my business. Then on Monday it is on to LA for a few days more of work.

We ate some really good Korean in Seattle and had some excellent Washington wine and beer. I have a picture of the Korean but forgot my cord to download the picture off of my phone.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Holiday Pictures

We are greeted upon our arrival by the Land Puma - terrorist of the neighborhood

Mr. 2.3 is a lover of Tommy the Train. Few are allowed to play with him. He allowed me to set up his train. I was then imperiously told to "leave".

2.1 has now gotten a computer. I think she's found!!!

No! Even 2.2 has found the site!

Niece blogger SRM and husband joined us

Turkey 2.0 - we actually made two of them.

Venerable Pu at work. She was so proud that she didn't melt down once during the preparations.

The day after Mr. 2B was immediately out getting a Christmas tree
Here 2B and Venerable Pu get it set up.

The entire family to work on the decorating

A de-I creation. 2B was unhappy with the way his dressing turned out (too dry) so I fried slices of it in butter and used it as the bread for a turkey sandwich.

Wife doing Grandma cuddling duty. Not hardship duty at all :)

2.1 and I have developed a love of playing very physical games in the pool. Here she shows off some of the damage done to poor old de-I.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks

Gratitude - giving thanks for what we have.

Not what we might have had.

Not what we have lost.

Not what others might have.

Looking at what we have and understanding what we've been given that is outside of any merit on our own part.

When you have that, you have contentment and you feed the world and your ability to go out in the world and achieve your true goals.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Traditions Revised

I dedicate this post to my friend John the Grain. John is a peer, a business compatriot, and a fellow New Englander now ensconced in New Mexico. When I told him we were on our way to Tampa for Thanksgiving he accused me of betrayal of the traditional Puritan New England traditions which called for a holiday with cold weather, dangerous driving, discomfort, etc. So John I would like to suggest these new traditions.

  • Taking early morning walks on the beach
  • Playing with the grandkids in the heated pool
  • Cooking the turkey on the grill in your shorts.

Enjoy John.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Quick GPS Check

Last week was Monterey, CA and Dallas, TX. In airport to Tampa to see the #2 family for the holiday. Next tow weeks will be Artesia NM (flying private corporate plane), Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Hope to have time to write in Tampa.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Next Stop

Monterey California for two days then on to Dallas.

In the meantime it has gotten cold here. Had to wear my winter jacket when I took my walk this morning. We've had freezes the last few nights so the final end of tomatoes is here. (STOP LAUGHING TERRI! It's cold enough for us!)

After this trip, I'm half way through the this spell of travel. And I finished one of the big jobs I had to do. One more to polish off.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ex-Hooker Finds Happiness on the Internet

Yes, I am an ex-hooker. Not mind you the high style ones in Beverly Hills or Las Vegas' high roller pits nor the ones strolling the worse parts of town but....WAIT, WAIT WAIT!!!! NOT THAT TYPE OF HOOKER.

Oh. I mean a rugby hooker. The hooker on a rugby team is the equivalent of the center in American football. I played rugby for 6+ years after I got out of college and loved it. Alas, once I got out of school there was little if any opportunity for an American boy to indulge in watching his sport.

I eventually got involved in soccer coaching, coached girls soccer for 20 years, and really transferred my love to it.

Comes the World Cup this year and I was traveling or working for lots of the games. I discovered ESPN3, their streaming internet service. I'm hardly an early adopter but I'm no Luddite either. So I was trolling the other sports when to my shock and amazement they're showing rugby!

So now I'm following the French Top 14 league. Totally a sort of international geeky kind of way.


Friday, November 5, 2010


A lot of the editorials and commentaries that I have been reading over the last few weeks have dealt with the influence of the tea party. How there success in getting elected is going to effect the political agenda. There are two basic theories.

  1. They are going to have a big influence and force the agenda to move toward cutting taxes and spending. Or
  2. They are going to be co-opted by the traditional Republican establishment which will favor tax cuts and corporate welfare for the industries and interest groups that are their traditional supporters and which (by the way) are policies that have never reduced spending or the deficit.
The Democrats did not sweep in in 2008 because of a wave of liberal populist fever. They won because the centrist arm of the party activated the vote and took the middle ground from the Republicans. Once they won however, all the cards were with the party leadership in Congress. Party leadership is all about seniority not the forces that caused the electoral success. So the liberal, Pelosi-Reid wing came into power because of their seniority and proclaimed the vote a referendum on their uber-liberal agenda.

The result? Two years later the middle/centrist voters move en mass to the Republicans. Who are the senior Republicans in Congress who will get the leadership posts and set the agenda? Not tea party candidates. They're traditional Republicans.

My bets are on option #2

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Flash Backs

Not from my sordid drugged youth mind you. On Monday, I had a colonoscopy. No big deal really. Just standard preventative maintenance. I go in early in the morning and they're prepping me and putting the IV in. All of a sudden I have this flood of memories and emotions of the kidney donation experience of a couple of years ago. Not just the operation part but the whole years of the experience. The nurse who was wheeling me in gives me this look and asks if I'm OK and I try to explain but there really isn't enough time. Very weird. I'm still having the feelings.

In the meantime, I'm in Chicago for work. Lakeview and lovely girlfriend LL took me out to dinner at one of their favorite neighborhood Italian places. Joe even let me pick out the wine. Sweet.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Big On The Road Month

Things got a little out of hand for the next 6 weeks. I'm currently in Connecticut visiting O-I, the Dad. Including this trip, I've got 21 days of travel out of the next 35 consecutive days. That includes trips to Chicago, LA, Monterey California, Dallas, and Tampa (for fun - Thanksgiving with the Pulisha clan). See you if you happen to be in an airport or airplane :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weekend Doing NM Tourist Stuff

With my sister and her husband in town, we ended up doing all the tourist things that we almost never do ourselves. On Saturday we drove through the Jemez Mountains.

This was the scene of a forest fire just a few years ago. Already, there is new growth filling in.
We really lucked out that we caught the leaves changing just about at their peak.

Next we went to the Valle Grande Caldera

This is the remains of a gigantic volcano that blew up over a million years ago

It started to rain and we ended up in the town of Jemez Springs looking for art work. When we came out we were greeted by this great rainbow.

On Sunday Wife and Sis went on a hot air balloon ride. But the Bro-in-law and I went hiking. In the afternoon we took the tram up the to the Sandia Mountain crest. I've hardly ever taken the tram up. I've mostly hiked up the mountain and taking the tram down. It's a different experience going up which I captured photographically

Leaving the lower terminus

Going past the first tower

Starting to slide by the upper slopes

Past the second tower

At this point we are over a thousand feet over the ground and you can see the other tram going down.

There has already been snow at the top of the mountain. It was 58 degrees when we left the terminus and it was 27 when we arrived at the top.

Upper terminal in sight.

My Brother-in-law was actually terrified during the whole ride up.

Looking East from the top.

And West.