Saturday, July 23, 2016

So This Happened...

I signed up for Snapchat yesterday.  This is the result:



Peach Sorbet And Potato Chips

I went to Central Market the other day and bought a bunch of honking big peaches and plums.  That wasn't the intention of my trip - I actually went because they have several great, flavored, whole-bean, decaf coffee beans you can buy by the pound and because I've found they carry Utz brand dark russet potato chips.  I love "burnt" (they're not really over-cooked; the natural sugars in the russet potato caramelize giving them a dark color and unique taste) potato chips, and way back when it was a treat finding them mixed in with the other "normal" chips in a bag - they added variety and flavor.  It's a shame now that the homogenization of the major chip manufacturers' potatoes and processes results in such a dull,  boring product; they've strived to deliver the exact same chip every time for consistency, but unfortunately that's exactly what they got - no variety, each chip the exact same as the last, maybe one is doubled over, hooray, consume mass quantities, etc.  With Utz dark russets, that delicious "burnt" flavor is the star, but not all the chips are exactly the same due to differing levels of naturally occurring sugars.  I highly recommend trying these if you find them in your local store.  If not, you can order them directly from Utz here.  Note, I'm not paid to endorse anything on my site - this is more own opinion and endorsement solely because I really, really, like them!
Photo from prestofreshgrocery.com

But I digress.  Back to peaches.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What's Cooking?

For dinner tonight I tried something new:  lemon chicken, roasted asparagus, and white corn on the cob.  I wanted something easy, flavorful and light, and this fit the bill.  Todd hates asparagus but he asked for seconds and ending up eating half of it.

This was a great dinner on a hot summer day.  Recipes after the jump.

The goal
The result; sauce was on the side.  Not much on presentation, but it tasted great.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Caught In The Storm

Yesterday morning I met Mom at 7am to play tennis, but just as I arrived at the courts it started to rain.  It only rained for about 5-10 minutes, but it was enough to make the courts unusable.  So instead we walked the mile-long path that went around the park and called it a day.

When I got home, it was overcast, but didn't look bad.  I checked the weather and it showed a 30% chance of rain was still 3 hours away, so I put on my headphones and went walking.  I walked out about 2.5 miles before turning back to go home, and when I turned around I saw this:

Oh snap
Where did this come from?
Just then the wind picked up and the temperature dropped noticeably.  I stopped to take this video of the edge of the storm - the bump in the middle is when my hat blew off:




Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Matter Of Perspective, Or "The Things That Tequila Goes Around"

I'm reminded today that everything is a matter of perspective:  Being able to take a step back and see the bigger picture, to imagine ourselves in someone else's shoes - this is what separates us from the animals.  Specifically, birds.

Take for instance a tasty lunch.  You might enjoy, like I did today, this delicious deep-dish pizza from Classic Chicago Gourmet Pizza in Irving, TX.  Called "The Great Chicago Fire", it comes with spicy sausage, sport peppers, garlic, cilantro and mozzarella cheese.  It was eye-wateringly, nose-runningly good, and it has a ton of cilantro (which I love).  Pair it with a house salad and a Coke and voila:  tasty lunch.
Added bonus:  it had a nice crisp crust and wasn't oily/greasy.
On the other hand, if you're a bird your idea of a tasty lunch might be something more like this:
Um, pardon me garçon, but...
A mealworm cake (yum!) we spied while shopping for bird feeders at Home Depot.  It's main ingredient, as you might have figured out by now, is mealworms, but it's also packed with the goodness of sunflower chips and gelatin.  So there's that.

It just goes to show that one bird's meat is another man's poison, so to speak.  And while we may not see eye to eye, the important thing to remember is we've all got to eat.

To each his own, live and live, etc. etc.
"Not for human consumption".  Thanks for the heads-up, but I don't think you have to worry about that - my first thought was not "Yum, the things that tequila goes around."

Morning On The Canal

There are two great places to walk in my area:  a 10.5 mile greenbelt area with parks and a system of paved trails, or along the canals used for local flood control.

A large portion of the greenbelt area near me is still closed due to flooding, so this morning I walked along the canals.  Below are some photos, and a playlist of the music I listened to to is posted on my other blog, Shuffle My Feet, at www.shufflemyfeet.com.  Check it out and have a great Sunday y'all!






Tuesday, July 5, 2016

No Parking: Lot Flooded Again

Heavy wind and rains last night brought more high water to the DFW metroplex:

Check out more photos and a video on my other blog:  Shuffle My Feet




Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day America

On this July 4th, let us not forget that we are one nation, one people, united for the good and common welfare of its citizens and bestowing upon them certain inalienable rights:  life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  These rights belong to all Americans - All.


Photos are from my 2014 NY/DC trip.
"Liberty Enlightening The World"
The preamble of the Declaration of Independence, inscribed at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Greatest Story Ever Told

Hands down (or hands on) is 1988's Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.  Starring Cassandra Peterson as the titular (you're welcome), one-and-only Elvira, the movie never fails to make me laugh no matter how many times I watch it.
"You know what your problem is?  Chastity Pariah"
"*gasp* I thought that cleared up"
Available here
Image from www.impawards.com

When her great aunt Morgana passes away, she leaves her sweet ex-tv-show-host niece Elvira her small-town gothic mansion, her poodle Algonquin, and a whole heap of trouble.  Elvira has a great headlining act she wants to open in Las Vegas, but she desperately needs $50,000 to bankroll it.  If only she could sell that house!  Unfortunately, things aren't as simple as they seem in sleepy little Falwell, MA.

Just watch the trailer:



This is definitely a fun-for-fun's-sake movie, and Cassandra Peterson constantly delivers the one-liners and double entendres, having perfected her character for years as the queen of late night B-movie horror flicks.

I can't recommend it enough.  Christ, it's a good movie!

Friday, July 1, 2016

A New Blog!

Hello friends and family!  I've got a new side-project blog called Shuffle My Feet at www.shufflemyfeet.com.  It's really just an excuse to motivate to exercise more, but it's got links to some great music - check it out!

Shuffle My Feet


Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Delicious Snack!

While there is nothing better than Vending Nut Company's dried cantaloupe (or nuts, or mixes, or fruits, or candies), it's not always convenient to drive into Fort Worth (you can order online though) - plus it's difficult to get out of there without a whole paper grocery bag full of their great nuts, mixes, fruits and candies!

Thankfully for those in-between times, Target has pulled through with their "Simply balanced" dried cantaloupe.  Tender (the texture is like a softer crystallized ginger) and sweet, I grab a bag every time I'm in the store.

So by all means please go to Vending Nut Company or order online, but if not, Target's got you covered!

So good!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wine And Steak

I've been trying to get us to eat a little healthier, so it had been a few months since the last time we had Friday steak night.  After a week of eating sandwiches for dinner I decided we deserved a break, and it was so good:  broiled steaks, fresh shucked corn-on-the-cob, baked potatoes with sour cream, and those little grocery-store-bakery-shortbread-thumbprint-cookies piled high with icing...

Sorry, had to mop up the drool for a minute.  Dinner was accompanied by a very delicious Pinot Noir from Sterling Vineyards.  I'm not a wine connoisseur by any means - I just like a good Pinot Noir and know that this wine was smooth and full-bodied, not too acidic, with fruit overtones but not too sweet or dry, and it packed a punch.  I just bought 2 more bottles today - highly recommended.

Sterling Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir - very drinkable
A fillet for Todd (his favorite), and strip for me (my favorite); seasoned and ready to go.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

What I'm Listening To

I saw the movie The Lobster this week, and it was really good.  Absurd, tragic, comic and thought-provoking all at the same time.  I highly recommend it.

One of the preview trailers before the film featured the song "Run Boy Run" by Woodkid.  I had never heard it before and made a note to look it up when I got home.  I've since learned it's been out since 2013 and used in a lot of different movies/trailers/videogames/etc.  Check it out.

"Run Boy Run" by Woodkid

I'm a little behind on this one too.  On the Tony awards broadcast on June 12th, Sara Bareilles and Jessie Mueller performed a duet of Sara's song "She Used to Be Mine" from her musical Waitress, in which Jessie stars.  I don't know much about the show, but was so struck by the song and by the performances that I bought both versions.  Sara's version of the song is amazing, but Jessie's version, playing a role, gives it an emotional weight that's heartbreaking.  Please give them both a listen.

"She Used to Be Mine" by Sara Bareilles
"She Used to Be Mine" by Jessie Mueller from the musical Waitress

What I'm Listening To

I saw the movie The Lobster this week, and it was really good.  Absurd, tragic, comic and thought-provoking all at the same time.  I highly recommend it.

One of the preview trailers before the film featured the song "Run Boy Run" by Woodkid.  I had never heard it before and made a note to look it up when I got home.  I've since learned it's been out since 2013 and used in a lot of different movies/trailers/videogames/etc.  Check it out.

"Run Boy Run" by Woodkid

I'm a little behind on this one too.  On the Tony awards broadcast on June 12th, Sara Bareilles and Jessie Mueller performed a duet of Sara's song "She Used to Be Mine" from her musical Waitress, in which Jessie stars.  I don't know much about the show, but was so struck by the song and by the performances that I bought both versions.  Sara's version of the song is amazing, but Jessie's version, playing a role, gives it an emotional weight that's heartbreaking.  Please give them both a listen.

"She Used to Be Mine" by Sara Bareilles
"She Used to Be Mine" by Jessie Mueller from the musical Waitress


I Like Meat...

...but I also sometimes choose vegetarian options when dining out or at home.  A good veggie burger often hits the spot (as long as it's not a black-bean patty - yuck!), but too often the veggie burgers available in restaurants are just frozen discs retrieved from the nether regions of the freezer when the odd vegetarian happens in wanting an option.  They usually have little to no flavor.  After I've eaten one I usually feel like "Consumption complete; food hole is full" instead of "Yummy!".

Looks like all that may be about to change with Impossible Foods's Impossible Burger.  I came across this this article the other day on NPR's food/health program "The Salt", and all I can say is my mouth was watering just from reading the article!  According to the article, Impossible Foods is focusing on "select restaurants" right now (they didn't say which restaurants), but hopefully these will be successful and available  in my area sometime in the not-too-distant future to try.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/06/21/482322571/silicon-valley-s-bloody-plant-burger-smells-tastes-and-sizzles-like-meat

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hidden In Plain Sight

Went to the in-law's house this weekend for Father's Day.  Todd's mom had a wreath on the front door.

While sitting at the dinner table talking to his dad I saw through the door the shadow of a bird as it flew in, picked at the leaves and landed.  I approached to get a closer look and the bird flew off, but peering through the glass door I could see what had the bird's interest:

This has got to be the cutest thing:  a real bird nest with eggs nestled into the wreath on the front door.
Looks like it may be a house finch nest.  We think these eggs should hatch in about 10-12 days
Detail

Sunday, June 19, 2016

CoCO And NiCO - Princess Cat Popstars, Part 2

I stumbled across this weird 1 minute cartoon on NHK back in April, and uploaded a video to YouTube.  I don't know why, but that's been one of the more popular videos on my channel.

Here are 2 more episodes that showed up on Friday:




NRA's Position On Guns And Alcohol:


Thursday, June 16, 2016

So, Apparently This Is A Thing Now...

...a disgusting, disgusting thing - I feel like I need to rinse my mouth out just from looking at the sign.
Spotted at the concession stand of our local IMAX theater - no, I didn't try them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Road Trip

My niece recently moved back to Texas after studying at the University of Hawaii.  When she moved to Hawaii she hired a transport company to drive her car to the coast and ship it, but they no longer do the cross-country transport piece.  So last week she, her grandmother (my mom), and I flew to LA to pick up her car at the port and drive it home.  Who knew I'd be back in the desert a month after my last trip?

We flew into LAX at 7am on Monday to paramedics waiting on the tarmac at the gate (we had a little excitement during the last hour of the flight when a passenger a few rows up had repeated medical emergencies, losing consciousness a couple of times - she ended up ok, but it's scary to wake up from a drowse to see a flight attendant running past you down the aisle then running back up a minute later with an oxygen tank as an announcement is made over the intercom asking if anyone on board is a doctor or nurse).

After we were cleared to depart the plane, we caught our shuttle to the port at Long Beach, picked up the car from the shipper's lot, stopped for a tank and tire fill-up then a car wash to wash off the ocean salt.  After that we made a pit stop at the Walmart across from the car wash for water and snacks, then were on our way.  Our route followed a large portion of historic Route 66.

The route
Photos after the jump.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What I'm Listening To

Her - "Five Minutes"
This song was featured in one of the new Apple commercials - it's amazing!

Her - "Five Minutes"
Photo from the band's Facebook page

Changing Gears...

Moving on to another topic, the other day a car pulled up next to me at a stoplight; a car I could not take my eyes off of - the BMW i8.  That is one beautiful piece of machinery.  If only...

Starting price $140,700.  Sigh.

BMW i8
Photo from autoblog.com


Monday, June 13, 2016

Thoughts And Prayers Are Not Enough

In the wake of Sunday morning's massacre, it's unconscionable that the conservative and religious right are offering "thoughts and prayers" for the victims and their families, after their history (particularly in recent years) of denying and decrying that ALL Americans have equal worth and value.

It's unfathomable that they would not expect their continued villainization of gays, lesbians and transgendered as less than - as something to be feared, as something dangerous, as a group to deny or take away civil rights afforded to ALL Americans - that they would think that their fervent rhetoric and efforts would not lead to an outcome such as Sunday's mass murder.  When you constantly advocate that a group of people is not worth equal rights and the protections afforded by those rights, then extreme people will follow that to an extreme conclusion.

Instead of denying and taking away rights, our politicians and elected officials need focus on running the country and protecting the rights and freedoms of ALL Americans.  Our great nation is comprised of Christians, Atheists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Agnostics, Wiccans, blacks, whites, Asians, hispanics, straights, gays, transgendered, left-handed, right-handed, blondes, brunettes, redheads, immigrants, native americans and on and on.

The Atheist doesn't have all the same beliefs as the Christian; the Asian man may have different experiences and beliefs than the black man, and on and on.  Our government at every level must govern for ALL.

Our separation of church and state means it is no longer acceptable for the conservative right (mostly) to attempt to deny or take away rights or protections based on their personal evangelical beliefs.  Lest they forget, we do not live under one national religion - the very first line of the 1st Amendment states:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...  Like it or not, many different faiths and non-faiths make up this country.  Therefore we are governed by laws - not the Bible, or the Talmud, or the Quran, or what one particular religion believes is a sin.

Of course gays and lesbians are angry; to think we would be anything but is again unconscionable.  You cannot vehemently attempt to deny or take away equal civil rights and protections for decades, constantly demeaning and stirring up negativity and hate towards a group of people for decades, then expect that thoughts and prayers will comfort or make a difference when it finally bubbles over into tragedy.

Actions speak louder than words.  Take action to protect the rights and dignities of ALL Americans equally - then hopefully we can work together toward a time when there won't be a need for thoughts and prayers in the future.  Or if there is a need, then at least the sentiment will at that time be both sincere, appropriate, and appreciated.

#thoughtsandprayers