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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Food. Finally.

Howe long has it been since food was an option? Weeks? I think the treatment was worse than the problem this time. 

However, Food Lion jumped to the rescue. Think sales and red tags. This means we need to put some half-price olive oil in the iron skillet.

This pan requires boneless pork ribs. I cannot imagine how that boneless pig gets around, but I'm glad it did. This is some tasty stuff, especially with that red tag. Thank you, Mr. Pig.

Guess who had mushrooms on sale? Yeah, I washed them before they went in the pan.

The green peppers are from last week. They never met their fate in the omelet I planned, and now they need final absolution.

Onions too. The sister to this onion had already sprouted. Sadness. This one met a far better fate.

Yes, I know they tell us that salt and pepper are better added at the table, but those are the peeps who don't understand how to make things better. It takes less salt when cooked in than it does when added at the table, and that is my professional scientifical opinion. Oh, yes, I like a little black pepper now and again.

Put on the lid, and let it all spend a couple of quality hours in the oven at 375F. While that was going on, we made some mashed potatoes with the red skins included and a large drop biscuit. 

There was only a little bit left, and that'll be gone by the end of the day or, perhaps, tomorrow's breakfast.

I'm close to being healed, and that means it's probably time for the next go-round.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

And so we lose another

The news is here.

One more teen dead by suicide after more bullying than his young shoulders could bear. Most of us know all too well what this is like. Some of us would be with him now, but for other slight circumstances. More will join him as long as we have elected officials, clerics, teachers, parents and all the others who refuse to open their eyes to a realty outside the narrow confines of Biblical nonsense and hatred.

A review of Romney's tax returns only makes this clearer. Hate group donations galore. Thirty seconds of Santorum, and we have a clear picture of the thinly veiled hatred that they all espouse. Some even have gay family, yet they refuse to act with the very compassion dictated by those red letters in that book they all claim to cherish.

Those who use this book for moral guidance would do well to think more on the instruction to "Feed my sheep," and a lot less on the strictures of a 5,000 year-old health code that is no longer in enforced.

Pardon me, please, while I go rant further in private.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My last pack of Anne's noodles

Meet Anne's Old Fashioned Flat Dumplings, better known as the pastry I use in chicken stew. I cannot count the number of boxes of these I have bought, including the two I picked up yesterday. It's a very good product, and generally better than anything I'd roll out on my own.

Today, I noticed something different.

I do not know how long this has been going on, as I don't spend a great deal of time reading the marketing hyperbole on most packaging. However, I opened the freezer this morning to see if anything had shifted after last night's rearrangement, and this Bible verse with a freakin' prayer line was front and center. 

As you might expect, I maintain a strict separation of church and kitchen in this house, and I'll be using the Anne's competition from now on.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Five Words Musing: January

And the new project is underway. The January post is right here.

When I saw the words Shannon posted, I knew in about 3 microseconds what I was going to write, and the following Saturday morning, the haiku came tumbling out. There were a few corrections and edits that followed, but not many.

I held the haiku from view until this morning when I posted it. Later at work, I saw the picture Diana had drawn, and it was chilling to see. That, followed by Shannon's reasoning for her word choices left me assured that, for as much as it sometimes seems, at least to me, we do not live in a vacuum.

And of course, today would be the day I have a day long meeting with the folk who are picking up behind our bud who died back on the 2nd. Rest well, old friend. We'll catch you on the flip side.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I should have listened

Back in late December, I pondered my usual long weekend augmented by the MLK holiday. Martin and I nearly share a birthday.

Where to go? What to do? Palm Springs? Fort Lauderdale? Augusta? Probably not Wilmington again. I settled on Myrtle Beach so I could revisit Huntington Beach State Park, Brookgreen Garden, and, maybe, Ripley's Aquarium.

However, I had a bad feeling about the trip, and I decided to stay home. That feeling is always right, no matter what the ex has, and has had, to say about it. She liked her empirical evidence. No matter as now I  muddle along without the council of women.

So here comes the second of January with it's early morning news that my friend has died in the early morning. CNS lymphoma. Fortunately, I had already planned to work from home for two days. That gave me time to build the facade.

That event pushed me over the edge, and I booked four nights at the Myrtle Beach Hampton. It would be an easy drive with plenty of time to process a lot of deep thinking. There was even a balcony.

I shuffled work, and pushed several activities ahead so the impact of my long weekend would be minimal at work. I scheduled fasting blood work for the morning I would leave. I scheduled the dentist for the day before.

I did not schedule the overnight ballooning of the small and innocuous bump on my tummy into a huge festering mass resembling Krakatoa that would require slicing wide open, extreme manipulation, and stuffing with about a half-mile of wicking material. Oh, and the follow-up visit two days later.

And yes, I was within the 48-hour window that precluded cancellation of my hotel reservation. Fortunately, the person on the phone in Myrtle Beach was sympathetic, and she let me off the hook. She also blessed me, and at this point, I'm willing to accept her offer of divine intervention.

So, here I am in Raleigh with a covered hole in my tum with a wick sticking out. I believe we can write off my Abercrombie and Fitch modelling career. I'll have to be a little more creative in my processing of a friend's death. I'll also need to make a note to listen to that voice a little more.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Ages ago, Danger and I used to spend out Sunday mornings wandering around looking for breakfast, looking at trucks, and whatever else that struck a wild boy's fancy at the time. During those wanderings, we picked up aluminum cans. We would turn them in at a self-operated shredder, which would spit out a penny for each can. I let him keep the money. 

At some point, he started calling out "Penny!" when he saw a can somewhere. This confused the maternal unit for a while, but he explained it to her.

During these outings, I usually stopped by the computer labs that I managed for a small liberal arts college of the Church. Imagine that! Me? Working for a college of the Church. Methodist, to be exact. And they paid me too.

Outside the lab was a couple of barrels, each with a plastic bag liner. Students deposited cans in the barrels as they entered the labs. Can't have people spilling Coke all over the computers, you know. 

One morning, Josh was noodling about in the hall, and he discovered the barrels and what was in them. He called me at the top of his lungs, sort of like if a bear were about to eat him. Pennies! So yes, we loaded those two large barrel bags full of cans into the back of my Ranger pickup, and hauled them off to the shredder. He received almost a dollar that morning, and every Sunday thereafter that we went by my work. He used the spoils of his labor to buy bubblegum, which mostly never made it back home in the wrapper.

Looking back, I feel a pang of guilt. I'm very certain that the housekeeping staff used those cans to augment the hourly wages the school paid. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A year of gratitude

In addition to the Five Words project, which is, apparently, the cutest blog on the block now, and no, I have no idea what that's about, I'm also starting a second project, a developmental opportunity, if you will. It's called My Year of Thank You Notes.

After Christmas when the news turned it's attention to New Year's resolutions, one of the book and writers presented caught my attention. Although I quickly turned to other matters, the 30-second spot left me thinking. This fellow had spent a year expressing gratitude, and what he said about it sounded just plain interesting. You can get a little more information, like his name and book title, at Prolog. There's also a short screen of Quick Discoveries if you're interested in the gotchas that have gotten me here in the first week.

Starting tomorrow, I'll post the background of one card each day. The lag of a week is to, I hope, make sure the cards arrive before the explanation is posted. There's something good about receiving a handwritten letter, and I want that surprise in the mail to be the person's first look.

Join me, if you will, to see where this journey leads us over the next 12 months. It ought to be interesting.

Friday, January 6, 2012

We're doing it again

The moon project is over, and it's headed out for publication. I expect to retire to the south of France toward March. Maybe not.

But we can't leave well enough alone. We can't just sit on the couch being content to watch the TV world pass by. Nope. We need another project. People! These are the things that keep us sane, the things that ward us from the 9-to-5.

So what's it that we're doing?

Here ya go: Five Words Musing.

Musing wasn't a part of the original title, but when I went to claim the web site name, I learned that someone else did Five Words some eight years ago. Whodathunkit? Well, he did do it differently than we will, but where's the surprise in that?

Our dearest Shannon will post five words on the 5th of each month. From that day until the 20th, Diana will paint, I will write, probably haiku, and Shannon will write about why she chose those words. On the 20th, we each post our mess.

Warning: We all work for a living. Two of us execute what the third sells. We might be a few days off now and again. I hope you'll find the strength to forgive us when that happens.