Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bangladesh on the Rio Grande

Sure it's glamorous being the owner of a Tower.  I mean others have make do with their MacMansions but really, if you want to have that feeling of being a feudal lord only a Tower will do. 

The problem is the upkeep.  We at the de-I estate however have found what so many of the landed nobility in the old world have known for centuries.  These things just need a lot of upkeep.  So sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and do what you have to do to keep up with the Vanderbilts. 

In our case we've found that there is a pretty profitable use of the tower facilities as a sweat shop for garment manufacturing.

Here one of our happy workers shows off the latest in 'pioneer dress' design destined for some happy granddaughter type shopper in California

Doesn't look exploited at all, does she.

Monday, October 14, 2013

We Eat Therefore We Are

Thus was the famous saying of Descartes describing his philosophical underpinning of existence. 

OK that's not exactly what Descartes said (his actual phrase was I think therefore I am).

But it is what he would have said if he grew up in the de-I lineage!

With #3 having visited with two main goals, shop and...EAT!  She had a whole agenda of food items she and hubby wanted including many variations of New Mexican (breakfast burritos more than once, eating out, variations eaten at home), Vietnamese which is very expensive in Amsterdam and downright inexpensive here, fine dining, lamb for 3A - cooked three different ways over the weekend.

Here is a pictorial history of the week.


Making pizza is something Wife and I have really gotten down pat and all the family loves

#3 loves baking to and getting 3.1 involved is a sin qua non 
In fact 3.1 loved her little piece of dough so much she carried it around for the rest of the evening until she went to bed.

Rolling out the dough and reading the paddle

A finished pizza

Prepping Lamb

This is a lamb shoulder that was marinated overnight in wine and flavorings just prior to being cooked for 7 hours in a very low (225 degree) oven.  We had the finished product one night with the sauce reduced with a wine reduction, French style.  Then we took the leftovers and cooked them with New Mexican chile paste for tortilla filling another night.

Introducing 3.1 to the Glory of Vietnamese Soup

"Hmmmm.  Not my usual sandwich

Oooo I think I like the noodles

And (yum!). I definitely love the soup :)


Brodjes is the Dutch word for sandwiches which 3.1 loves especially if it is a cheese brodjes

Making the New Mexican Meal

Chile Paste

If you read the ingredients of a prepared Chili Powder on the bottle, you will find it has chiles, oregano, cumin, and garlic.  I make my own.

I pound garlic into a paste with salt. Then I add the pure dried chile powder, oregano and cumin.

Then that is pounded into a paste


Avocados, chile paste and lime juice blended until smooth

A nice bit of chopped cilantro is pulsed in at the last

Roasted Tomato Salsa

This is actually taken from a Rick Bayless recipe

Tomatoes, onions and garlic are put under a broiler until they start to just blacken.

The roasted garlic is pounded with salt and roasted green New Mexico chile (from our garden) to a paste.

All is put in the blender and pulsed with chopped cilantro at the last.

Voila - Fresh Salsa

Secrets to Granka's (female) Success

Wife has the touch when it comes to grandchildren.  Here we document her secret techniques for those of you who may be looking for hints on how to deal with the younger set.

Be the adult who lets grandchild watch TV...especially the children's shows that turn adult's brains to mush

Tickle liberally

Repeat above as necessary until total devotion is achieved

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Little  2 year old 3.1 being of an American mother, an English father but going to a  Dutch speaking daycare and just really getting into her language skills, has developed a unique set of words that combine the two languages.  The parents have been working very hard to get her to say Grandpa and Grandma but what she has come up with her own word Granka which is evidently a unisex word since she uses it for both of us.  We asked # 3 if this was a Dutch term but no it is evidently her own creation from an English root with a sort of Dutch suffix. 

#3 was pretty insistent when planning for this trip that she wanted sunshine and warmth after a number of winter trips here that caught us in our infrequent really cold spells.  We have obliged.

3A Exalting in New Mexico Blue Skies and Sunshine

3.1 find Granka (female version) very funny
(They aren't eating al fresco like this in Amsterdam these days!)

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's All 3's

As in daughter #3 and family.  They arrived here on Saturday from Amsterdam after having first stopped in Denver to see one of her good friends.  It was kind of nice to have them have a couple of days to adjust from jet lag before they got here.

Here we are just an hour our so after getting them from the airport.
Already doing what the de-I clan does best - eating and drinking.
I had scored the very last corn of the season a couple of days earlier.

We took 3.1 out to the garden to check out Berry Lane and pick some of the last peppers and tomatoes.  
Good pictures of Wife blocking out any view of grandchild :(

This is Balloon Fiesta week.  Since the Amsterdamers were still body clock adjusting it was no problem for them to get up at the crack of dawn which is what you have to do to see the mass ascension.  This is a big deal here in Albuquerque.  We get around a million visitors over the week from all over the country and the world.  They have a great park and ride system.  You can get your tickets on line.  You drive to the park and ride and they have a slew of buses waiting so you can pretty much just walk on.  You arrive right at the gate.  And since the leaving is more spread out, it is equally easy to grab a bus back.

Arriving a Balloon Fiesta Park
It was around freezing but those folks from Amsterdam no cold weather and Wife has been through the drill before.

"Grandpa, why the heck are we up so early and out in the cold?"

"Oh thanks Mom, this is a much better view"

"I don't know why you are complaining about the cold, I'm just fine."

"Look Munchkin, it's the paparazzi again!"

Had to get a shot of 3A in front of the Union Jack balloon.

Just a small, small slice of what it's like on the take off grounds of the Fiesta

"You know Grandpa  you were right, this is cool :)"

Friday, October 4, 2013

Transition Update - Not Dead Yet

So as I explained last time with my brilliant exposition of my grasp of first year, first month algebra, the transitioning process is not one of giving up all work but one of re-balancing the elements of ones life in a new fashion...less of work but more of the work you really love...more time to do things slower and a more leisurely paced manner to recognize reduction in energy...more time for travel...and so on.

With this breakthrough, I did a thorough analysis of my work and business and got real clarity of what I wanted to be doing and not be doing.  As always the law of unintended consequences was invoked and I discovered that my entire marketing, selling, and service delivery system was based upon how I was working before and wasn't going to operate the way I want to work going forward.  This has led to a rather busy period reinventing how I do things.  A bit stressful in the short run but necessary to get the transition I want.

Enter unintended consequence number two.  As I have been trying to tell people, business colleagues, what I'm doing, I keep getting these quizzical responses.  "So you're retiring?"  "When are you retiring?"  "So I heard you're stopping?"  This isn't what I want.  I struggled with this for a little while until I realized it is the manifestation of a behavior pattern I've seen many times in my career.  People mostly think and perceive in very limited preconceived thought patterns.  Transition is an unknown concept to most people.  So when in doubt they plug me into a concept they understand - retirement, stopping working.  Unfortunately when people do that they are basically discounting you and thinking, "he's out of the game."  Not what I want.

So I've had to rethink how to explain what I'm doing.  Now I just explain in terms that to focus on my exit/succession business, I've had to restructure my service delivery system.  Sort business mumbo jumbo but effective.  And I've gone from dressing more relaxed to dressing up with full coat and tie, kind of a symbol of "I'm serious about business."

We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

de-I Sandia Outfitters Expansion

Nothing exudes the essence of American business more than expansion...growth...Manifest Destiny...conquering the frontier...how much more American can one get.  The myth of the intrepid entrepreneur who builds his fortune out of nothing...rags to riches.

Who would have thought those short years ago when de-I Sandia Outfitters (You have nothing to lose but yourself...to a bear...a cliff...a cougar) would have found such an untapped market of disgruntled spouses, significant others, unhappy business partners, and the just plain totally naive who would pay good money to send others and themselves on a real outdoor adventure where the person being sent had a real chance of not returning?  An yet we thrive though there are those occasional issues with folks like the local police, FBI, and the like.  But heck every business has risk factors and you just have to manage them.  (I do wonder on just how many identity changes and plastic surgeries one can really handle though).

Anyway, we were sitting down recently going through the pockets of a recent client when we said, "I bet there is a market for this kind of stuff outside of New Mexico!"  So it came that I did an exploratory hiking trip to Colorado.  A very nice attorney that I had made the acquaintance of in Denver in the course of business found out that I liked to hike and offered to show me some local trails.  So a week ago, I arranged a business trip so I drove up and could see if there was opportunities for Sandia Outfitters.

Here we are at the trail head just west of Denver

Very nicely laid out signs for the trails
Not a bad thing if you want to build a sense of false security in clients

My attorney friend benefactor.
As she is involved with the law, I thought it best not to tell her about my 'side business'

The trails where extremely well manicured

I have to admit that I really enjoyed this hike.
Very different scenery

A selection of scenic shots
We were very lucky to get our hike in just before a bunch of rain hit.
It literally started to rain just as we got in the car to drive back.

Good brochure material