Monday, April 30, 2007

Film of marines' daring mission

Sometimes with everyhing going on in Iraq we forget there is still a war raging in Afghanistan.
Footage has been released of a daring rescue mission in which four Royal Marines tried to save a comrade in southern Afghanistan.

Click on the link under the picture that says: "The rescue attempt".

Sunday, April 29, 2007

We say "Hi!"


Wow - finally got to "meet" you. Grandma patted your mom's tummy and started laughing. Your mom is *so cute*. "I'm hugh!" - We both started laughing. Not so much - she is going to get much bigger.

After dinner we were all on the couch. Grandma was pushing on your head, at which point your dad said, "Hey - be careful". Yeah... its not like you have much room to get out of the way. Grandma and your mom asked if I wanted to feel your head. Sure! So they grab my hand, stick in on her tummy and push it. "Can you feel it?" "No."

They look at each other, "Yeah, I guess its a girl thing." OK... push here. Do you feel that? I feel *something*. That's the head! HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT. Well you can just tell!

Ok... girl magic I guess.

But I keep my hand there and you kick me a few times. Very cool. :) I stick my mouth on your mom's tummy and say "Hi PeaBaby - This is PapaJames!" And your mom laughs and says my mustach tickles.

So - we've now officially said Hi! In the next day or two I'll get your mom on the bike and then you'll go for your "first" Harley ride! I know... I'll go *very slow* and be careful - but at least it will be a ride and you'll feel/hear it. :)

Love ya,

2007 HOG AZ State Rally Run - Day 2: Storms

Got off to a great start. Left about 8:40 - so got an early start, and the weather was supposed to be warm - with 30% chance of rain. Not great - but hopefully we'd miss it. We left Los Lunas and decided to take 314 south and then hit 116 at Belen. Again, sticking to the backroads and off the interstate.

Hit Belen and snapped a quick 'B' photo. Nice and sunny, things are going well.

Stopped at McDonald's for a quick breakfast. Missed the turn onto 116 - which means we were on the I-25 on ramp - only would have been about 15 more miles of backroad, so we just headed south.

Kept heading south and it started to look stormy as we got close to Truth or Consequences. I was figuring we'd stop in Hatch for lunch, so we pulled over at the Fort Craig Rest Area to take a short break. We did much better on this trip than the last one, stopping more frequently. Really helped:

You can see the clouds building over the Magdalena Mountains to the northwest. Looked like that towards the southwest as well.

East over the San Andres Mountains things looked good - but that wasn't the way we were going...

North of Arrey we took the 187 south. This would put us back onto a backroad and also take us through some small towns - maybe snapping some more ABC picks. Would have zipped right through Derry, but Tina saw the post office and called it out to me. Right off the road, easy pic:

Hit a couple more small towns. Very agricultural. You'd never know it much from the interstate. But traveling the backroads you see all the chili farms - and nut farms as well. Pecans, Walnuts, etc. Went through Garfield and could have used a 'G' - but it was starting to look stormy so just kept going.

Hit Hatch and turned left into the town for a quick photo:

Yeah - storm clouds are rising - and perhaps directly in our path. So we skip lunch. :( - They ship a lot of Hatch chilies up to Colorado Springs and Whole Foods roasts them. So I wanted to eat there. But at least got a photo of the "famous" Hatch Chili town! But better safe that sorry, better push on.

So - no more photos for a while. Took 26 west out of Hatch towards Deming. Out across the flats with mountains all around, storm clouds over all of them. And that is when the rain hit. Small splatters at first - and never got where it was just dumping - but it was coming down pretty good. Tina asked if we should pull over and suit up (get on rain gear and helmets) - I shouted "NO" - and sped up. Stuck with a few trucks in front of us when another Harley roared by... OK - if he can pass, so can I. Now the rain is starting to rooster tail off of the cars, but the road is still dry enough. Yeah, water on it, but its not slick yet - so I want to just keep going. Maybe we can outrun it or get out of it. Head is getting pretty soaked now, and I have to sit up straight to see over the windshield (otherwise I'm looking through my rain spotted glasses AND the rain spotted windshield - not good). Almost catch up to the Harley when they pull over to suit up - and we just blast by them. Its starting to get cold and wet - but I'm still hoping to get out of this mess.

Sun doesn't break out - but after about 10 miles, we are out of it. Not too bad. A little wet, but things could be worse - and hey - the water washed the dead bugs off the windshield. :) And then doing 75 helped dry my bandana out!

Pull into Deming and grab lunch at "Blake's Lotaburger". Regional chain - wasn't too bad. We can still see the storm brewing and the bushes are starting to whip around in the wind - time to go.

Tina asks if I want my helmet... No way. I'm sure I can outrun whatever we head into. Tina decides to put hers on. So we head west on 10. Never having been on this part of the Highway - and probably wouldn't remember if I had - I'm not sure exactly what way we are going - other than west. So there are some clear spots and some stormy looking spots. One of the "fun" things of the road and being on a bike. You are all excited because its blue ahead - when the road turns and you head straight towards the storm. Oh well - its an adventure.

So we hit the highway and crank it up to 75. Music is blaring over the loud pipes and I just look at the storm and laugh at it... then start praying. A little rain I don't mind - but having to pull over and find a place to get out it - not fun.

So we make it about 5 miles and it starts raining again - but this time even less than before and we are out of it in a few miles. Phew - hopefully it keeps up like this.

Highway 10 - which we kind of forgot, is one big stretch of wind. There are "Gusty Winds possible" signs, which turn to "Dangerous Cross Winds ahead" signs, which as you get towards the AZ border change to "No visibility possible. Dust storms possible. DO NOT STOP ON ROAD if you can't see. Pull over." And they mean it. The bike is getting whipped pretty good. I see another bike approach a semi (two lane high way) and he leans towards the side of the road and then cuts back towards the semi right before he gets to it. Kind of leaning into the wind. I try it a few times and it seems to work. Most of the time it isn't an issue given we are on a 4 lane divided highway - but given road work - once in a while it comes in handy.

Lots of canyons and hilly areas where the winds whip down through the gullies. Heading up through some hills and around a corner, I look off to the side and then look back and my mind registers black dots appearing out of nowhere in front of my windshield - and all of a sudden the bike is peppered with something. Sounds like a car in front of me just through gravel all over the windshield - but I'm not that close to a car. I flinch and then notice that my fairly clean windshield is now *covered* in bug remains. 15 big clear juicy splots just appeared out of nowhere.

OK... so rain storm, wind storm, and not a bug storm! What next!?

We get to the border and snap a shot entering AZ

and turn to take a shot of the NM sign behind us:

Tina then climbs off the bike and says "Get this helmet off me!". It hasn't rained since she put it on, and it is scratching, hot and noisy. So I unbuckle it and "save her" from it. Back into the duffel bag it goes.

We plunge on through San Simon and Bowie, but decide to take the business loop through Wilcox. I've been gassing up fairly often. I usually get about 45 MPH - but lower on the highway because I'm at higher RPMs. 65 is a good crusing speed, 75 (or faster) eats up the gas. And we were on empty a bit earlier in the day - so I don't want to miss the chance to get gas. I can't remember how far apart the towns are here.

We pass a Dairy Queen in Wilcox, and although we are both on diets, Tina says we have to stop. So we do. Still looks like it could storm, but not too bad. As we are climbing back on the bike I hear my phone beep. Its Tif, "Dad - I'm not sure where you guys are at, but there is supposed to be a major dust storm between the border and Tucson in Cochise County - right where you guys are going. It should be over by 3:00 your time - so if you can hole up somewhere, you might want to. Be safe and call us to let us know how you are doing!".

Great - dust storm in front of us, rain storms chasing us - well lets head out and see what it looks like. Heading out of town and get close to the interstate - we stop for gas - and look towards where we think we are going - and its all brown. (Looking at a map now, this would be over the Wilcox Dry Lake Bombing Range). There is a truck gassing up and the driver asks where we are heading. "Tucson". "Just came from there. Hit a little rain, but that's about it. But I just heard the highway is closed because of a semi accident." We thank him for the information and his service (Hes served 3 tours in Iraq) and he heads out. We decide to call Tif and let her know whats up, and that we are going to hang out for a while.

I keep seeing the traffic heading west, and its not backing up, so maybe the road isn't closed. Plus we can see that the traffic is heading at about a 45 away from where we though we might be heading. So we decide to chance it - keeping an eye on the dust storm and the rain storm.

We head out and its still pretty windy, but we only hit one little patch of rain. Not enough to even get us wet - and the dust storm appears to stay to our south. Tina notices some "dust tornados" - or "dust devils" that are pretty good size. An ambulance zips by us - so maybe the road will be closed, and then we see the lights up ahead. Traffic moves over to the right lane - and I keep my eyes on the road, noticing a number of emergency vehicles and a paramedic wiping a guy's forehead who is sitting up (a good sign) and continue on. Tina yells, "Did you see the semi?" - All I saw was pieces of it strewn through the median, "NO". "It went across both of our lanes, through the median, across the other lanes and out into the other side. It was covered in dust." Well the driver looked ok and I'm glad we didn't hit any of that.

I'm keeping my eyes on pull off signs. Rest areas or towns. Keeping track of how far to the next one in case we have to get out of the weather.

But then there is "the sign" - "2 miles to Houghton Road exit" - Woo hoo! We are almost there. 15 minutes later we pull into Tif's driveway - Brian hears the bike, and the garage door goes up. We've made it. :)

It was a weird day. A bit nerve racking at times. A few times I though we might have to hole up somewhere - and if it had gotten bad enough we would have. But you always hear (and we have experienced) about folks who went through the rain for 10 miles, or 20 miles. Sometimes you can just outrun it or just miss it. Much of the road we covered had been rained on, but was dry when we got there. So its worth pushing through - otherwise you'd never go anyway.

I wore 3 different sets of gloves during the day. Tina wore many different layers of clothes. Hot, cold, cool, hot again, cold again. But it was all good and all an adventure. But we were glad to get to Tifs. Although I-40 seemed a lot nicer weather - and maybe we'll look at taking that back - even though I-10 is faster.

And then Tif pulled up (she was at the store) in her snazzy purple car and got out with her "hugh" pregnant stomach (which is the size of a volleyball - not a basketball) and Tina petted PeaBaby and started laughing - and it was all good.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mi Chante, Los Lunas, NM

Had dinner at Mi Chante in Los Lunas.

We were driving down the main road, Route 6 - the "Historic Route 66", towards town and away from the interstate - just looking for some fast food place, when I noticed a "Best homemade food in town." Says you... but maybe. So we swung around and parked out back.

Nice little Mexican restaurant. A converted house. Cool - blue corn, green chili chicken flat enchiladas. Yum. Trying to stay away from rice - so got the "Calabacitas". Tina said, "No rice please" and the waiter said, "Do you want the calabacitas or pappas instead?" Never heard of either of those before. I'd already spotted them on the menu so figured I'd try one of them. After all, if I've never heard of it, I have to give it a shot. Kind of like an infant that way I guess... "Hmm... never seen this thing before. Guess I'll throw it in my mouth to see what it is." :) - Turns out it calabacitas is zucchini and corn with cheese melted on it. Yum.

First bite of the green chili... oh - this is Chavez/TeresaMiller type green chili - not gringo green chili. Tina's comment, "Well duh - you're in New Mexico." A bit of a fire... but *very* good flavor. Not too hot - just a surprise. :) - Had to get a side of sour creme to cool it down a bit. Yeah... wimp. But it was good and not too hot, I'd order it again.

So - if you are ever in Los Lunas and looking for some good Mexican food - try it out. Its on Route 6, right side of the road heading into town from the interstate. A block or two before the 314 intersection.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Apparently I *am* a good conversationalist

So... anyone that knows me knows I'm an intravert. Not big on striking up conversation with total strangers... But doing just that is one of the things that comes with owning a Harley.

I make a quick stop at the bathroom after gasing up - yes... I'm in the bathroom. Guy walks in - sounding pretty much like Cheech:

G: Hey man... is that your bike out there?
M: Yes
G: Righteous bike man
M: Thanks
G: Yeah... really righteous
M: Ah - thanks.
G: I just love bikes - even my old broke one
M: Me too
G: Yeah - I have a bike - but the handlebars got all rusty and broke off and now the wheels are almost touching the frame... But I'm going to get me a new bike soon. 'Cuz I just love bikes.
M: Yeah - they are great. turn to leave - trying to escape and get back to the ride
G: Umm... great conversation
M: Ah - yeah

2007 HOG AZ State Rally Run - Day 1 Recap

Left home about 8:40:

It was a beautiful day. We stopped in Pueblo at VI for breakfast. Made quite a few stops during the day. Clouds a few times - but no rain. Just kept getting nice and clearing up. And getting warm.

Stopped along the Santa Fe Trail:

Where it was getting plenty hot and hey... there's cactus here!

Stopped for a late lunch in Las Vegas - yeah, Tina hasn't quite warmed up yet:

We got to Albuquerque by about 5:00 and it was still good weather, so we pushed on to Los Lunas. This is almost *exactly* 1/2 way. 412 from home and 415 to Tif's! This is in Valencia County. A 'V' County! Great for my ABC Rally! We ate dinner, unloaded the bike and Tina crashed. I jumped on the bike and went looking for county buildings (after looking them up on google! Got a good pic of the County Court House with the seal - but wasn't sure how it would turn out:

So also snapped one of the Treasurer - 'cuz I was sure that would turn out.

All in all a great day. Get some good sleep (hopefully) and another good full day tomorrow and we should be at Tif's around dinner time. And see our little pregnant girl! Woo hoo. :)

2007 HOG AZ State Rally Run - Day 1

Morning of Day 1 - trip to see Tif and HOG AZ State Rally. "Are you trailering the bike?" - NO. What's the point of that?

Forecast yesterday for today - morning rain showers. :(

Woke up at 5:00 to do some work, get a few things ready... Forecast - Mostly sunny - looked outside. Dry roads, no rain. YES!

So, paying a few last minute bills, packing a few last minute things, talking to Jaimer and waiting for Tina to get up. We can't leave too early, have to wait for the sun to come up and warm things up. But its looking like a great and early start - which will make today's trip awesome.

More from the road...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Where's my heart?

Had lunch with an awesome friend the other day. Discussed numerous things, and one of the things he asked me was, "Where's your heart?". The context and meaning was, "So - how do you stand with God? What's going on with that part of your life? How come you aren't back in church?" This was not meant as a guilt thing, it was just a question. A general desire to know.

That is the cool thing about good friends and part of what I feel it means for "iron to sharpen iron". Keeps you on track. Makes you reflect. All good stuff.

So - in case anyone cares - or just because this is what I do sometimes - journal stuff, here is basically what I said.

God and I are good. Christians and I are good. The church "Jesus' bride" are good. Me and the church as an organization - kind of whatever.

I don't miss church at all. I kind of did at Easter. After all - for so many years Easter was pretty consuming. Doing much practice to put some kind of program together. And not just "a program" - but truely meaningful, you can feel God's presence, impact the people, kind of stuff. So not doing any of that was - just kind of weird.

But on a Sunday to Sunday basis - nope, don't miss it at all.

What I really miss is *worship*. And we all have our quirks and what we like and all that stuff. And for me, what "works" - what makes me feel God's presence, is passionate, go with the flow, follow the Holy Spirit, slamming worship. The kind where Teresa's sax or Bobby's guitar just goes off and Greg's bass follows it, and I've heard it before it even started, and you can feel it in the pit of your stomach and you know its coming, and you just can't stand still - so if you are playing percussion you jump, and if you are drumming you start rocking and playing across the symbols - and then you feel it and it all goes quite all of a sudden and everything comes down - and then it swells again - and you just feel His presense and here His voice - and stuff happens... and then its been 30 minutes or an hour and you didn't even know time passed.

Yeah... I really miss that. And so much of me doesn't believe I can find that in "church" - and perhaps part of me is afraid to even look.

But my heart is ok... and I don't "mind" visiting a church... and "worship" is ok... and I'm really busy at work doing really cool stuff.

But I do miss it.

T minus 2 days

Leave in 2 days... that's the morning after tomorrow. And yes, all that white stuff hiding the lawn is indeed snow... I'm sure by the morning after next it will all be gone, the sun will be shinning and it will be nice and warm...

But just in case not, we might move the departure time from 7:30 till 9:00 or so, when the sun warms up.

And when we get to Tuscon it is supposed to be 92. One day its 40, two days later its 90. Yeah... dress in layers.

Tough Chick

So I'm sitting at my desk, finishing my lunch, when I get the following email from Tina - who the night before said, "My finger is all swelled up and I can't bend it. I think something is wrong", to which I replied after looking at it, "Yeah, I think you should go to the doctor and have them look at it."

Me again,

I know you are busy, but I wanted to tell you that my finger is turning purple and I can't bend it anymore. Jen said I should go to the doctor and have them lance it because it was infected inside. So I had Candie get me a sterile tool that is pointed (for scraping teeth) and I dug the corner and lifted it up. A bunch of puss came out and I squeezed it for awhile. Then I soaked it in peroxide. It bubbled for a while. I will drain it again in a while and soak it again so maybe it will be ok. Sounds gross doesn't it? I didn't want to go the doctor and have them do it!

Why go to the doctor when you can just perform surgery on yourself?

Monday, April 23, 2007


Jaime looking at my blog and talking to Tina

Lets look at the Label counts:
  • Hog: 29
  • Politics: 22
  • PeaBaby: 15
  • Vacation: 9
  • Geek: 8
  • News: 5
  • RedLightConversations: 3

  • Jaimer: *ONE*

I guess we see where *I* rate.

OK... now there are *TWO* - she's moving up the list. ;)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Getting close


Your mom posted another entry. She is *so cute*. Well to you she'll probably seem all grown up and adult like, but to me she is still my cute little girl. And if you read her blog... yeah, she doesn't have the "I'm an adult and have this all figured out" attitude... but then many first time parents don't.

I read Mighty Girl's post on her labor yesterday. Excellent post. Perhaps a bit graphic in spots, but really took me back to when your mom and aunt where born. Yeah... its the most magical of times. Hopefully when we get the news that you are arriving we can make it down to AZ in time. I'd love to be there to say "Hi!" when you arrive.

Speaking of seeing you... Only 11 more days till we leave to come down there! We got packed (while we are there and summer clothes) this weekend and grandma will be shipping them on Wed. We are hoping to take a nice leisurly trip down - maybe taking 3 days... But given the weather is good, I think its more likely going to be a "Get up at the crack of dawn and see how far we can make it in one day - arriving mid-afteroon of the second day" kind of trip. Yeah - we are pretty excited to see you and your mom - and you dad too. :)

The bike is all piped and ready to go. Your grandma and I have been talking about getting you on a bike when you are only a few days old. A few issues with that, like getting the bike down there or renting one and convincing your mom that its totally safe to have you on a motorcycle with a little skull cap and your Harley booties. :)

Well that was just exciting... I was just writting this when your grandma asked me to move your aunt's car, which was blocking her from leaving and going to work. So I went out (in my bathrobe - yes its 37 degrees outsdie) and got in the car and started it up. It takes a sec 'cuz I'm not used to driving it and looked down to see how to release the parking brake - when I noticed your grandma about to run into me. Yes - it was time for her to leave and the fact that I was sitting a couple of feet behind her was not apparently going to stop her from leaving. So I jammed it into reverse and stomped on the gas - shooting back a few feet - only to notice someone coming down the street. So I hit the brakes and looked back towards your grandma's car. Lukily I had put a few more feet between us, and now the other car was passed the driveway so I backed out into the street. By then grandma had notice me, stopped, and then continued to back out. That got my heart pumping and my already too high blood pressure sky-rocketing. I'm sure you're gradma will say "Hey - I saw you there, I was just *slowly* backing up." But yeah - it didn't feel like that at the time.

I'm sure you'll have many such stories to tell your folks as you grow up. Grandparent stories are so fun. :) So I'm just giving you some background info early. :)

Love you kid - see you in less than 2 weeks! Yeah, you won't be able to see us, but we'll read to you and I'll be the one poking your mom's stomach when you are both trying to sleep - so I can play with you. :)

Papa James.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Turned out to be a great day

Dropped the bike off at the shop on Thursday to get it "piped", a L-to-R (Live to Ride, Ride to Live) air cover added and a new back tire. Yes - time for a new back tire, we are 70 miles short of 9K miles already - and its almost 2 months of nice weather before we've had it a year! Anyway - I digress. So - dropped the bike off on Thursday because Friday was going to be the "mighty spring blizzard" and so we probably wouldn't be able to pick the bike up till Monday.

Friday the streets never even turned white.

Saturday - the sun is shinning - it is beautiful out. "Wonder if the bike is done?", Tina asks. "They'll call" I reply... My cell phone chirps with the "you've got voice mail sound". I listen

Jose: "You're bike is ready. I think you are really going to be pleased. It sounds great and the dyno-tune turned out really well. Great investement"


Jaime takes me to get the bike. Jose pulls it around... YEAH - It sounds like a Harley now. Went with Rush slash-up medium baffle pipes. Sam was right - they sound awesome. Not *too* loud, but like a Harley. And the pipes look great. I see a stock Blcak Perl Ultra in the lot - and it doesn't even look "right". Yeah, Capt'n Jack is definately becoming our own bike.

I head for the Elephant Bar - to meet Bec and Tina for lunch. I get about 1.5 miles and hear a bike behind me, so I pull over to the right of my lane as I pull up to a red light. This guy on a black chopper pulls up behind me.

G: Man I *love it* when the weather lets us out.
M: Yeah, beautiful day
G: Are those pipes brand new?
M: Yeah *brand new*. I *just* got them. And got it dyno-tuned.
G: Really - have you noticed much difference?
M: No... I mean I *just* picked it up. Like a mile from here.
G: Oh... just now at the shop. I thought so - I could still see the shinny on the inside of your pipes.

We talk a little more about his bike, dyno-tuning, etc. Then the light turns green and off we go.

Had lunch, then had to go home the long way - just to ride the "new" bike some. It sounds very cool. Can't really tell if it feels that much difference power wise. Its quick - but is always been kind of quick. Time will tell when we take some hills loaded down.

Then got home and kept pestering Tina to go for a ride. She loves the sound when I showed it to her, but hadn't riden it yet. We finally decide to do some trip shopping (she needed to pick up a few more things) on the bike and then go for dinner.

It was a great day, out on the bike, listening to it rumble (but no loud back-fire pops which I didn't want - the shop did a great job), enjoying the warm sun. Especially given we were expecting it to blizzard.

Maybe today if its awesome out we'll go for a ride somewhere. Yeah...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Slinging code

Yesterday was a very busy, but good day at work.

We are working on a new system using a different domain (different type of Sheriff system - using data and customer's that we haven't worked with that much before). So that in itself is interesting. Always cool to see what we can do with the system, how we can attack a domain, help a customer, etc.

We've been standing this system up pretty fast and two of our customer's were going to be here this week. We showed them an initial prototype of the system a while back, and Monday we showed two of them what we had since then. We planned on having aother demo for their VP today (Wed). During the demo the customer said, "It would be really cool if you could by Wed." and then went out to say some more stuff. After a minute or two I said, "Did you say that would be cool by Wed??" He laughed and said yes - it would probably show some very cool stuff if we could get that in. So I said I'd give it a shot. My boss said to try it but don't worry about it if I could get it done.

The "It would be cool if" combined with "Don't worry if you can't get it done"... yeah, pretty much threw down the gauntlet. :)

Another person on the team started pulling data we needed, another one worked on some GUI changes, and I started writting rules and slinging backend code. Had to change code for numerous parts of the system - plus write tests for all of it since we are test driven. I skipped some afternoon meetings and had some initial components coded by the time I went home. Got up at 3:30 AM and started coding more.

Got a few more components coded and was feeling pretty good. Worked out, made Moroccan Chicken, got ready for work and headed in for a 9:00 meeting. During the meeting said we'd probably have code ready today (Tue) so we could look at it before the demo.

By early afternoon most of it was in place - but I was starting to feel a little anxious. Just like in school. You know you can get the project done, but you've been slinging code and not thinking about it too much. I was really shoe-horning it in, but it looked like it was all going to come together. Started the system a few times, sending data and each time some small thing didn't work quite right. Now it was after 3:00 and folks wanted to see it before they left for the day... Always nice to see what you are going to demo the previous day. No surprises!

So - I'm sending data - checking things, fixing things. Just small stupid stuff.

And then our acceptance tester, who was just following along on irc and had an idea of what was going on, said "Hey, is this supposed to work like this?" He's great. Caught a bug w/o having a big discussion. Just added some tests and was running them as I was updating CVS and caught something. I took a look - yup, got an issue, discussed it and got a fix in and he re-tested. Looks good.

Then about 4:00 - cool - looks like data is going through. The GUI guy (working remote) said on irc - "We've got data!" and I brought the GUI up and there it was. :) :)

Spent the next few hours on irc talking to one of the customers (who really liked what he saw) and then going over it with management who was probably going to demo it.

All in all - a fairly intense 24 hours of coding. Not an all nighter like I used to pull, but still - some fairly focused, a little stressed, gotta get it done, programming. It rakwed :)

Wouldn't want to do it every day, but once in a while that kind of effort is really fun. Reminded me of school... I started craving Jolt cola and Domino's pizza. ;)

Demo is right after lunch. Should be very good!

Moroccan Chicken

This past weekend I went grocery shopping without much of a plan as to what I was going to make. Usually I plan out meals, make a list, and then go pick stuff up. But this time I figured I'd just see what the store had to offer and go from there. As I've been doing a lot of slow-cooker stuff lately, your typical slow cooker veggies (onions, celery, green peppers) are always a good bet. However, when I got to the store they had some big artichokes on sale! This got me thinking. Maybe I could do something with them? Then I remembered going to a Morrocan place for dinner and having "Chicken with Artichokes". Sure... I could come up with something. And it would be different - yeah, I get bored with the same old thing all the time. So I gave it a whirl and it turned out pretty good!

This dish is going to be layered in the slow cooker as described below:
  • 1 Large Onion - cut in 1/8ths, vertically, and then pull the outer layer of skin and cut off the top, but leave the bottom in tact so that it stays togeter.
  • 6 chicken breasts. I used boneless/skinless - but you could easily use the other kind.
  • 2 tsp 5 spice powder
  • 1 Head of garlic - peel the cloves (about 15)
  • 1/4 C Honey
  • 1/4 C Pistachio nuts
  • 2 Artichokes - cut in 1/2, Rinsed, Salted
  • 1 15.5 oz can Garbonzo Beans
  • 2 14 oz can's chicken stock
  • Water
I wasn't sure if the artichokes would "steam" if I just placed them on top and didn't have liquid to cover them - so I packed on this in as well as I could and then added the chicken stock. Then I added more water (about another 14 oz) until the water was close to the top of the slow cooker. Turns out smaller artichokes might have worked better - but it all turned out.

I thought it was really good. The onions really picked up the flavor of the garlic and honey. The chicken was a bit dry (as boneless/skinless in a slow cooker turns out to be with a liquid sauce) - but I let the liquid sit a few minutes after pulling everything off and then skimmed some off the top and used that as a sauce to dip my chicken in.

Jaime thought it was really good too. Tina said, "Well I don't hate it...". She isn't a big fan of "different" - but said she doesn't mind if I cook that way once in a while. :)

I served it with couscous. It had a great taste and artichokes are always fun to eat. I'll definately make it again, the next time I'm in the mood for something "different".

Thursday, April 05, 2007

How did google know that?

So yeah... I could stand to lose some weight. Tina and my Dr have been telling me for a while. But when I check gmail and google has placed

Causes of Fat Stomach

in the trailer at the top... you know its getting serious. ;)

Monday, April 02, 2007

I still got it

This happens quite often, but this was a little better. :)

Stopped by Tina's office to xfer some data with a jump drive. They were having issues getting a softcopy of a doc from one computer to another, so I said I'd stop by and xfer it with my jump drive, assuming both computers have USB ports (which they did). So - just a quick stop, xfer a file, and get to work. So I did that. Stopped by in my leathers, went in, walked in - nodded to Candy, walked behind the desk, pulled the jump drive from around my neck, did the xfer, said See ya and headed out. After I left one of the patients said:

P: That was *Tina's* husband?
C: Yeah
P: Tina looks so... proper.... And he was dressed in all leathers and stuff...

P: He's hot!

LOL - Yeah... almost 50 year old grandpa man. I still got it at times. :)

The ego boost, or laugh, or smile or whatever - was certainly worth the 2 minutes it took me to xfer the data. :)

In Training

Less than a month until we head to see Tif and the HOG AZ State Rally. Approx 850 miles in two days. So far about the most we've ridden since last fall is 90 miles or so.

Yesterday we went to Southside Johnny's for lunch, and then road east. Made it out to Wetmore, Yoder, Rush and the Lincoln County line. We were thinking about continuing east to 71 - but didn't look it up ahead of time and weren't sure if it headed north. (It does). So - a big loop would be to head out to 71, up to Limon, and then back west. In any case, we turned around, back to Calahan Hwy, north to Judge Orr and then back into town, stopping at Frankies on the way. It was a good practice run, putting in 105 miles and making a few stops.

We are now thinking about going to Taos for a weekend, sometime before we head to AZ. Last year we had made quite a few runs before going to see Tif. We're just worried that making short runs around town or close by (due to the winter weather) and then doing 850 miles in two days, may not be wise. So we'll try to get in some longer runs before then.

Would like to get the pipes done this week (if they come in) then do a trip to try out the dyno-tune, then when we get back get new tires on right before the trip. May just do the tires at the same time and get it all done at once.

Anyway - training is going pretty good. :)