Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Why do all liquor stores give you these incredibly thin bags.

I don't know of any other retailer that has paper bags as thin. I've bought booze all over the country and it's the same thing. Put the freakin' heavy ass bottles (preferably three of them with the flimsiest of cardboard between them) in this micro thin paper bag that you have totally have to carry with extreme care and then have no idea of how you're going to put it in the car without everything rolling all over the place.

You go to the grocery and they're double bagging your bunch of parsley and bag of potato chips. You go to the department store and they give you the big ass paper bag for your gloves.
What's with the liquor industry?

(FYI - I have noticed this phenomena all over the country)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Winter Travel Luck Holding...So Far

I'm dashing up to Chicago for my monthly trip. There was this big ass storm going through the West to the Midwest. I had a connection going through Denver. There was snow but not any big delay. In Chicago the snow came during the night but most of it went south of the city so it again doesn't appear to be a big deal.

Of course, I'm seeing my daughter, son-in-law and family while I'm in town. It's almost daughter, Motherrocker's birthday so we went to this very cool Polish meat place and got a bunch of smoked meats and sausages, German wines and cooked dinner for them (Choucroute garnie - fancy, schmancy wine braised sauerkraut).

Daughter is turning 34!!! I figure that makes me just about??? Dust!

Newest Addition now almost 4 Months
Bubba Lord Drool

Older but still Classic Version
Lady Fuss Button

Showing all the signs of the 21st Century - I can do it all Woman
(Right after night with Lord Drool - notice the sort of glazed, sleep deprived look)

Monday, February 15, 2010

You Know You're Loved...

...when you're wife makes you a homemade chocolate tart with from scratch chocolate pudding and whipped cream for Valentines Day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Visit to the Respectful Snow

Gaius Derf has completely subverted me. I've gone in just two short weeks from hater of winter and detester of ice and snow to passionate snow pack hiker! Go figure. We had another of our famous "respectful" snow early in the week, so I was figuring that it would be pretty interesting hiking.

Derf was under the weather so I was on my own. In the event I decided to go to one of my favorite trails, the South Crest Trail. It is on the east side of the mountain - the east side always getting much more snow than the western/city side. It was a great. 38 degrees when I left the trail head with a totally clear sky. I only passed three people the whole time I hiked.

I'm still getting into shape and it definitely takes more effort going through the snow so the hike I took was about a third shorter than I would normally do on this trail. As it turned out from another hiker's report, it was pretty much fresh snow from where I stopped so I wouldn't have gone there anyway.

The start of the hike
The snow depth is minimal with lots of clear spots

As I got a through the first climb the snow depth started to increase
Then you get to a series of switchbacks that are the meat of the climb.
The snow is starting to get a lot deeper.

The trail was pretty well trod until you got to this point.
A lot fewer footsteps marking the way.

And the snow got deeper

I decided to do a little measuring.
Here are my hiking polls in the path.

And here is one right next to the where I took the previous picture.
I measured it when I got home - 21 inches deep.

Almost to our destination

This is the trail marker for the intersection with the Upper Faulty Loop Trail.
On the upper right of the picture is a little white bump.
That is actually a large pile of rocks that marks the trail intersection.

A shot on the way down looking northeast toward Santa Fe.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter Sunset

Super top secret sleuth, Agent W sent these great shots of the winter sunset colors off of the winter covered Sandia Mountains.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Good Grief - Where are the other 30 Guests

Maybe there is some deep genetic coding that is involved. But it seems that I am totally incapable of preparing food for a group without making twice as much quantity than is really needed. Case in point.

I decided to invite three couples from a business networking group I run to dinner. I rarely do this type of thing. Most of the time, we entertain just for a small number of people that we know well. I wanted to do tapas which is Spanish. It's basically really, really great bar food and there are literally hundreds of variations from every food type and preparation you can imagine.

Somehow I roped Wife into being a full co-collaborator into this project. With both of us working on the menu decisions, shopping, cooking, etc. It was much easier plus our mutual strengths really compliment each other.

Long story short we had so much food. In a tapas dinner we like to bring out one dish after another. By the time we were into our fourth and fifth rounds our guest (who I am keeping anonymous as they are business folk) were looking at us in utter terror - especially when they began to realize that we were only half way in!

The menus was:

  • 3 types of olives
  • 2 kinds of cheese
  • Cured Spanish ham
  • Chorizo dry cured sausage
  • Barcelona style rice saland
  • Marinated fish fillets
  • Shrimp tartlettes
  • Shrimp pancakes
  • Deep fried cheese cubes with shallot, parsley sauce
  • Chicken & cured ham croquettas (tiny deep fried balls)
  • Chicken wings in garlic sauce
  • Pork riblets in Spanish paprika sauce
  • Garlic shrimp
  • And for desert - a rolled cake with fresh rhubarb filling

Lots of wine naturally

To their credit, they really chowed down but I was still able to send three quart ziplock bags with Wife on to the Chicago children today and I will not have to cook until she gets back on Thursday.

For an idea of the quantity of food, the second picture was taken once everyone had pretty much stopped eating.

An attempt at learning is taking place. We have in fact made notes about limits to the number of dishes and the quantity in each dish and put it into our tapas cookbook.