Monday, December 22, 2008

Papa == Good Food

Tif & Kian are back from Korea, with tons of stories. One of them being that when Tif or Brian tell Kian, "Say Hello!" in Korean he waves at them. Yeah... my 18 month old grandson knows Korean. :)

Anyway - the point of this post. Tif said that they ate out quite a bit while they were there; and a number of times in some pretty good places. They were in an Italian place eating pasta and Kian took a bite, then looked around and said "Papa?". Brian said, "What did he say?", and Tif said "He's looking for my dad." Apparently this wasn't the only time that happened.

Yup... that's my grandkid. "Hey... this is pretty good food... Papa must have made it." Or maybe it was "Hey this is good, I bet Papa would like it." Whatever it was, when he eats good food he thinks of me. AWESOME :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wasabi and Dynamite

A great afternoon/evening in Denver yesterday.

Jesse Black invited me to the Denver Dynamite Soccer teams home opener. Game was at 7:15.

Seeing as I'd be heading to Denver, I called TommyT to see if him and Jennifer wanted to do sushi. Its almost always a yes.

We went to a new place that Tom had found with some guys from work. I don't know the name of it... but it was awesome. The thing that made it so great was good sushi and two new things I had never tried:
  1. Seared pepper encrusted Tuna, and
  2. Fresh Wasabi!

The tuna was awesome. Its just a very different taste. The pepper and tuna combination is almost sweet, but of course a bit hot at the same time. Just an excellent "different" taste.
The fresh wasabi was also a new taste. Almost like a picked pepper or something, in look and texture; but had the kick of wasabi. I'd pop a piece of sushi, chew it for a minute, and then throw a few wasabi morsels into my mouth and chew them up. Crisp/crunch and then the wasabi kick. Excellent! Something I am going to have to ask for every time I get sushi from now on!

After that it was up to the Dynamite home opener. It was so fun because I saw so many people I hadn't seen for so long - and all of the "kids" with their new babies. And then the game itself was great. First time I've ever gone to a soccer game! The first half was pretty much even (I think it was 3 to 3 at half) and then the Dynamite came out the 2nd half and dominated; with the score ending 11 to 6. They had some nice runs of 3 scores, and Jesse had 2 goals - which was very sweet. Everyone around me were either his friends or family, and the crowd would go wild when he scored - so it was very cool. And while most of it looked like targets of opportunity to me (but I don't know much about soccer); there were also some very finely executed plays with some great passes, feigns, and then score. Very cool.

And on the way home I stopped and got a Triple Venti Spiced Pumpkin Latte.

So all in all, a great afternoon/evening!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Chicken and Dumplings

It was a cold day, Melissa posted on Facebook that she was making pumpkin bread - and I decided on comfort food for dinner. This uses premixed ingredients - which makes if fast but still homemade.

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, cut in 1" pieces
  • 1/2 Orange Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Leek, sliced thin
  • 2 Stalks celery, diced
  • 2 14oz cans of chicken broth
  • 1 "small size" can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • Bisquick

I made this in a French cook pan, but it could also be made in a skillet.

Put broth in pan and turn on high, add vegetables and chicken and bring to a boil, then turn down on low and simmer. I let this cook for 30 minutes or more until we were almost ready to eat. Meanwhile make a serving of biscuits according to the Bisquick recipe.

When almost ready to eat, remove the chicken and veggies and set aside. Bring broth to a boil and spoon drop biscuits into the broth, cooking for 6 minutes on medium, covered. The broth will thicken because some of the dumplings will dissolve into the broth.

Remove dumplings and scrape the bottom of the pan if it got thick enough to start sticking. Stir in soup and add chicken/veggie mixture. Cover and immer for a few minutes until the soup is bubbling.


Pictures are on this Facebook Album.

Tostada with Pumpkin Seed Honey

Based on recipe by Mission Foods

  • Corn Tortillas Oil for frying
  • 2/3 cup toasted Pumpkin Seeds (pepitas)
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Orange Juice

Fry the tortillas in oil until golden brown, drain excess oil on a paper towel.

Separately, melt the brown sugar in the orange juice in a pan and add the pumpkin seeds. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

Let cool for 15 - 30 minutes... if you have the time. This will let it thicken a bit. Its best if its a bit like honey or syrup.

Lastly, drizzle the tostada with the mixture.

I made these for a potluck so cut the tortillas in 1/4s like chips; with one whole one in the center. I let them sit out for 30 minutes on wire racks before plating them so that they syrup would soak in a bit - but it wasn't soggy at all.

Pictures can be found on this Facebook Album.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Stuffed Italian Vegetables

Jaime watched Dinner Impossible with Michael Symon and thought the Stuffed Baby Eggplant looked really good, so sent emailed me the link with "Dad - I think you'd really like this. You should make this for dinner on Thursday while we watch the season premier of Grey's. :)"

I read it and agreed! Then decided to do something "based" on that. :)

So the initial thought was eggplant, but then decided to extend it to multiple veggies - the taste would be good and it would be colorful: purple eggplant, green zucchini, yellow squash and red bell pepper. I figured I would just use mild Italian sausage, but then thinking about the Turkey Sausage Meatball recipe, I decided to mix in ricotta and parmesan. Then bake it in sauce, with mozzarella on top. The original recipe called for making a sauce for 8 hours. I had some left over spaghetti sauce I had made a few days before - and it was enough of a base to just add in some diced tomatoes and let that slow cook for the day until I got home to put it all together. Cooking the sauce "all day" when it has diced veggies in it; lets them all pretty much "melt" into the sauce and gives it a nice deep rich flavor.

So like all my recipes, here is the basic idea - experiment and adjust based on your tastes!

1 jar spaghetti sauce to start as a base,
or you can use some good tomato sauce. Probably about 3 cups
or a couple cups of sauce and some diced tomatoes
1/2 onion minced
1/2 green pepper minced
2 Tbl olive oil - gotta add that flavor
3 to 5 cloves garlic minced - depends on how much you want to "kick it up" :)

Add in some Italian seasoning - a few tbl of basil and maybe one of oregano

Let it cook all day on low in a crock pot

Cut 1 eggplant, 1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash in half length-wise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, being careful not to go too deep and puncture the outside of the veggie. Sprinkle kosher salt on the exposed flesh and let sit for about an hour (I did this for about 15 minutes because we were hungry). The idea is that the salt will pull the moisture out and so you won't end up with so much liquid when you cook it. You can put these upside down on a rack over your sink so that they "drain" as the moisture is pulled. Pat them dry when done.

Cut one bell pepper in 1/2 length-wise and remove the seeds.

1 lb mild (or hot if you prefer) Italian sausage
1/2 cup of ricotta
1/4 cup parmasen
mix together

Cover the bottom of a 9x13x2 baking dish with sauce; stuff each veggie with the filling, and place in the dish. Given there were 8 halves, it was a pretty tight fit. So you made need another dish, depending on how many veggies you use and how big they are. Cover the veggies with shredded mozzarella and bake at 350 for an hour; or until the cheese is all melted and the filling looks done.

Plate and drizzle some of the sauce over the top!

I initially cooked it for 45 minutes - but it didn't look quite done enough. And at one hour the sauce had gotten quite a bit more thin - because more liquid cooked out of the veggies. So an hour seemed about right.

It was really good - but there is always room for improvement. :) - Next time I'll probably add a 1/2 cup of bread crumbs in to the filling as well; as I think it would have made a little bit better consistency.

Or another thing we might try, rather than the Italian mild sausage; is to use the Turkey Sausage Meatball recipe rather than the filling I posted above. It has a great taste and is probably more healthy.

Pics of this can be seen this Facebook Photo Album of mine. The first 3 pictures are for this dish.

Monday, September 08, 2008

105 Update & ABC Rally Tally

I'm in Billings at Marv's house! Wet ride in. The west was driving down a back road to met Marv and I went through a deep spot of water on the road and filled my boots. :( Oh well - they'll dry.

Getting less and less ABCs in a day, as I end up with less and less new stuff to get! Picked up ND, SD, and MT. Yeah, I forgot I was dipping into SD for about 20 miles or so. Stopped in Lemmon SD and called Marv - turns out Dave Newman (who I knew in Big Timber and is Marv's ex-brother-in-law) lives here. In too much of a hurry to get through the wet and cold to call him or anything - but interesting none the less. :). I'm now at 66! So everything else is "gravy" :). Change in plans, not going into Yellowstone and ID. Would make the drive down to Casper too long I think - and I don't want to push it. So I'm going to Big Timber, then back to Columbus and down across the Beartooth Highway to Cody, or Thermopolis or however far south I make it before calling it a day. That will give me a long day home on Tuesday - but that won't be bad as its pretty much country I've been through a ton of times and I'll be focused on getting home.

ABCs still possible:

  1. WY
  2. Colorado Springs
  3. Douglas County
  4. Yoder
So that puts me at 70! 4 over.

Funny thing on Yoder. I only need a 'Y' and I'll have all 26 letters for cities. Pretty cool! I only need the 'Y' and I was looking in ND, SD, Montana - and couldn't find anything except one city and it was quite a bit out of the way and didn't even look like it might be real. Drag. So I check Colorado and Yoder pops up... I'm like "Duh!" and then I figure maybe it doesn't really have a spot to snap a pic or something, but I checked last year's ABCs that I sent in, and sure enough I had gotten Yoder. So cool - just need to head out there some time after I get back and snap a pic.

Well enough for now - if I get in early tonight I made do some more pic updates, etc. - but then again the plan is to be home all day Wed before heading back out for a few days - so I might just do updates from home.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

105 Trip: (Fri 05-Sep) Day 13 - Bemidji MN - 3707 miles

Not that many miles today - but they were cold and somewhat wet miles.

Left Thunder Bay later in the morning. Must have been 9:15 or so. I got up a little late - I think it was 7:00 or so! Then did some work, checked email, facebook, etc. Finally grabbed a few hard boiled eggs and a cup of coffee and headed out. It was cold, but for the most part sunny - just a few puffy blue clouds. So the hope was I'd beat the storm out of Canada and get to Bemidji before it rained.

Made it to the border, its not that far, and took a quick shot of the Canada sign and then some more shots of "Welcome to the US" while waiting in line. The line was moving pretty slow - but just sat there taking pics and enjoying the warm.

[Side note - if you are on facebook you've already seen all these pictures that are linked - but for those that aren't on facebook I'm including the links.]

Entered Minnesota, the North Shore of Superior and No Helmet Law!

As I was heading south I could see clouds building to the west "inland." I kept hoping they'd disappear the further south I got... but they didn't.

Got to Silver Bay and stopped for Gas at a little store. Waited to pay and ask the cashier about best routes, while she finished up a phone conversation.
No. I don't know if A won or not. The B squad lost though. I'm not sure about the A squad. I think they lost but we left before the game was over. 38 Special was playing in front of the casino. They were awesome! Awesome! They should play winterfest!

All in a MN accent of course. I love listening to "local" chatter. :)

Anyway - I asked her the best way to get to Bemidji (after asking her how to pronouce it... its Ba-mid-gee) and she told me that my map didn't have a new road they just built. "11,15,16 They are all the same thing!". Well its really Forest 11, County 15 and another County 16. "It will cut 45 minutes off your trip vs going to Duluth."

Well the sun south was calling - but I decided to make the shorter trip, turn away from the lake and head inland. The forest road was awesome: brand new, wide, and nobody but me on it. Curvy but not twisting - keeping the speed up the entire time so making good progress. Then I hit a detour, then the "Detour End" sign - and I'm on the little back road. Still paved - and still Hwy 16 - but not that great of a road and out in the middle of nowhere. At first I just had on the dew rag, then I added the beanie, then finally put a bandanna over my face. Yeah, it was getting colder all the time! And then it starts to rain and my goggles are fogging up and I can't see - so I push them up and I'm glancing over the top of them. I have NO idea where I am - other than I'm heading west - hopefully towards Hibbing. I finally see a sign "Welcome to Hibbing"... but there is nothing here. I'm on a country road with a few houses here and there. Great.

So this old guy is pulling his trash can in and I stop and ask him:

M: How do I get to the town?
OG: What town?
M: Hibbing
OG: Oh - just turn around and turn left and its right there!
M: Is there a gas station?
OG: No - for that you should go straight, then turn for a mile then go two miles and you'll hit 167 and Walmart is right there!

So I try and wipe the goggles off and head on my way - and all of a sudden there is this big Walmart and I pull in and gas up... and put on the full face.

This other older guy says "Kind of cold day for a ride!" and we talk and he asks where I'm coming from. "Silver Bay" - "Oh... you must have drove right by my place on 37." I tell him I was trying for 37, but ended up on the 16 detour and he's just grinning and nodding the whole time - like 'yeah, everyone does that.' He then tells me how to get to Grand Rapids and then Bemidji and I head out.

But its not raining *that hard* so I don't put the suit on - just the helmet.

Well I end up not making it to the "little patch of blue" and the rain is getting more steady, so I pull into this little Used car lot / gas station with the Open sign flashing but a sign on the door saying "Went to tow a car. Back later." But they have the pumps under a roof (like most stations) and I pull under there and start getting the rain suit out and situating everything.

Now I'm wearing 2 pairs of pants, chaps and rain pants; plus 3 shirts, leather jacket and rain jacket. I'm not cold. :)

Rain isn't coming down too hard and I'm pretty used to driving in it, so I just head on my way.

Finally make it into Bemidji and its no longer raining - although it looks like it could at any point. I end up driving around and getting a few more pics - one of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox! and then going for dinner.

Ate at the Peppercorn. Had salad, the Peppercorn NY Steak (best peppercorn sauce I ever had), a Honey Weiss beer (good), and bread pudding for dessert. Yeah... probably the last dessert I should get. It was great, but I'm not supposed to be eating that much sugar and I was pretty stuffed after. It just looked really good. Thumbs up on the restaurant... if you are ever in Bemidji!

Got to bed at a decent hour.

And now its 7:00 AM - I've updated facebook with pics and this blog - so time to get around and hit the road!

Today its off to Bismarck ND! I'm going to stop in Hazleton on the way. Well its not "on the way" but its not far out of my way. We lived there for several years. The town was 400 when we were there, and as of the 2000 census it was down to 207 with a wikipedia note of "To combat population loss, city leaders of Hazelton have offered free land and start up money for people to move there."

They also have a note in the discussion that says, "It is requested that a photograph or photographs be included in this article to improve its quality, if possible."

So hey... I'll be uploading some pics to wikipedia later tonight! :)

Well.. really should get around - looking out the window it is cloudy but not raining. Forecast calls for rain - but later in the day all the way to Bismark. Its another short day - only 325 miles or so - about 6 hours. So plenty of time to hit Hazleton and still get into a hotel early. And its supposed to be sunny which would be very nice!


Day 12 - The guy on the Yamaha

So I'm coming out of the mountains and onto the Great Lake and there is this pull off. I pull over to get some pics. There is a Yamaha touring bike of some sort sitting there running, and a car. I park and walk over and to the edge to take some shots. There is this older (yeah - older than me) guy with a helmet on and a yellow snow/rain type jacket. Not a slicker but a jacket. Looked pretty warm. Anyway, turns out he is from VA and was out at CO last year. Been to Sturgis, etc. The other guy is a local and we chat for a little bit out the trip to Thunder Bay and how pretty it is here "best kept secret. The Caribbean of the north."

I head out and tell the Yamaha guy, "Safe Ride" or something like that and he says, "Ride Easy".

A little while later I stop for another pic, and he drives by. Then I stop for gas in Wawa - and he's gassing up too. As I go to pay I say, "See ya later down the road." He grins and heads out. Later I pass him and wave. Then I pull into Marathon, drive around, and then get gas - and he pulls in. "Not sure where I'm at or where I'm going" and he laughs.

So I keep running into him all day.

Then I get to Thunder Bay, have dinner, and as I'm leaving to come back to the hotel and waiting for traffic to clear, he drives by without his coat on. Must have stopped here as well.

That was the last I saw of him; just thought it was interesting how we kept passing each other and stopping at the same gas places. I guess not that surprising seeing as there aren't that many stations, etc - but it was still kind of cool. :)

Friday, September 05, 2008

105 Trip: (Thur 04-Sep) Day 12 - Thunder Bay, ON - 3362 miles

Sunrise, as seen in this picture, was awesome. Was cold - around 54. Then hit a detour and through a small town and the bank said it was 48!

Going across the bridge was cool and I stopped and took a few pics of the island, then continued north. Got to Sault Ste Marie w/o incident and hit the border crossing.
  • First guy asked me where I was going, what I was doing, and what I did for a living. Wrote some stuff down, handed me a yellow piece of paper and said "Pull forward, park and take that inside and show them your papers."
  • Second guy - cop looking: "Where are you heading?" - "OK... take your papers inside" - didn't seem to friendly.
  • Third guy - young guy at the far end; waves to me, and took my papers. Asked me the same questions, how long was I going to be there, etc. Gave me everything back and said "OK - have a nice visit."
  • Second guy - waiting by the bike still. "Did he keep the yellow paper?" - "Yes" - "OK. Be on your way." Yikes!

Then I had to pull over to get a Canada picture... figuring he'd be right after me, but it was all good. Took some shots going over the bridge - cool - right over the locks - and then headed north.

The rest of the day was spent trying to make small towns. The third guy said I could make it to the "Canadian Carver" trading post and gas up there - that I didn't have to make it all the way to Wawa. So I stopped there and bought some stuff for Kian and Jaimer. Then on to Wawa. Ate lunch there at the 17th place (its in the pics I uploaded to facebook). Service wasn't that great, but the food was hearty and good. Excellent since I was cold. Then heading north again.

ON is BEAUTIFUL. I loved it. Kind of a mix between Montana/Colorado mountains, but with tons of mountain lakes and rivers... and a great lake! I'd be riding along in the mountains, and come around a corner and drop down to the lake. Crashing waves along the rocking coast line; then back up into the mountains, by a mountain lake, then back down to the coast again. Excellent bike riding - not too twisty, didn't drop speed too much, but windy and great roads (at least most of the way).

Finally made it into Thunder Bay - cold and a little damp, and there was a bike in front of me. Followed it here and there (when I was in the same lane) and then he got ready to turn and it was my turn too. I saw the Best Western so headed towards it - and the Harley dealer was across the street! So I pulled in, and there was the guy I had been following.

We chatted for a bit "Where ya from? Where you going." With a few "eh?"s thrown in there. :) It was a good talk. Then asked him where I might find a good local place to eat. He said, "Well right behind that building is Naxos. Its Greek, not local, but the food is really good.

So I went back to the Hotel; got settled in, and then tried it. It was EXCELLENT. Had,
  • A pink spread for an appetizer. I had it before in DC - I think it was the same stuff. Made with carp eggs if I remember right. Yeah, its great.
  • Avgolemond - a lemon rice soup
  • Mousaka - I've had it once before in DC, and this was better. The tomato sauce / meat mixture was very meaty and had a rich taste. The eggplant was great. And the Béchamel was awesome. While the dish is tall enough that you might be tempted to eat some of the eggplant/tomato w/o the Béchamel... don't! Part of the overall taste is the rich tomato (almost like a spaghetti sauce) mixture along with the baked Béchamel that is on top. Eat them together and its a great taste!
  • The Mythos Greek beer!
  • Baklava - dense phillo with lots of honey, cinnamon and nuts, and finally
  • A Baileys Coffee! Just the thing to take the chill off and finish off the meal

Did I mention it was awesome! Perfect end to the day!

Mileage total and quick update

Too tired to add detailed entries, maybe in the morning. But:
  • Thunder Bay: 3362
  • Bemidji: 3707.

Am in Bemidji. Got rained on quite a bit, but doing just fine. Was a cold day, but was bundled up. Turns out this is the head of the Mississippi and also the home of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. I'm pscyhed! :) I have pictures that I'll post later!

ABC Rally - tally

Woo hoo - picked up USA, Canada (again - just to be sure), MN, and an 'A' and 'B' county. I'm now at 63! So I only need 3 more and I will still get:

  1. ND
  2. MT
  3. ID
  4. WY
  5. Colorado Springs
  6. Douglas County
So that puts me at 69! 3 over. So I'm looking very good plus might pick up a few more.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

105 Trip - heading into Canada

Sunrise at 7:00 here, so I'll be heading out around that time. Its 9.5 hours by car to Thunder Bay. 10 hours would put me in there at 5PM - and it will mostly likely take me 11 or 12, since I'll be stopping more often for gas; seeing some sights, etc. Temp is 59 degrees right now; so I'm glad I packed my warm coat and some other warm gear... "just in case." I'll have 3 shirts on this morning! Wish I had my thermal pants. I know, no where near the 20 degrees I ride in during the winter - but hey, I'm not on the road for hours then either!

Looks like Gustav is going to head North but hopefully miss me. I think if I make it to Thunder Bay before it hits I should be ok. Its supposed to rain here, but not till this evening - and by then I'll be at least a few hundred miles north. Hopefully on Friday when I had more west I'll miss it.

I'd LOVE it if it was sunny today, driving along parts of Superior. Just makes it prettier and warmer. But we'll see. Either way its all good.

Staying at Best Western again tonight and will have WiFi so will update tonight after I get in and get settled.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

ABC Rally - tally

55 points! I'm trying to get 66 - so I need 11 more. I should be able to get:
  1. USA
  2. Canada
  3. MN
  4. ND
  5. MT
  6. ID
  7. WY
  8. Colorado Springs
  9. Thunder Bay
  10. Douglas County

So I only need 1 more - and I have quite a few counties left that I can get. So if I get a few more than the ones listed above; I'll have a few spares just in case they don't take them all - so I should be in good shape. :)

105 Trip: (Wed 03-Sep) Day 11 - St Ignace, MI - 2843 miles

Today I left Pat and Ward's and went up to St Ignace, getting ready to head into Canada tomorrow. I went 403 miles... but its only 161 miles away! :)

Col got Eddie's Ultra and took me from Pat and Ward's up to Gaylord. I called about 4 different Harley dealers, all over the area; asking for service. The answer was pretty much the same when I talked to them on Tuesday. "I'd love to help you out, but there were 6 bikes waiting this morning and there is no way I can get you in tomorrow." I called Gaylord (Zip's HD) and they said "Chuck is busy, can you call back?" - Sure. So I called back later, "Can I talk to Chuck?" - "This is Chuck!" I asked if I could schedule service tomorrow (Wed) and he said that he was fully booked so wouldn't schedule anything else... but if I showed up around 11:00 he'd "try and work me in."

So we showed up at 11:00 - and he dropped everything, got me written up, and got me in. "Should be about and hour or an hour and a half." And he got it done. Excellent. Its a brotherhood :)

As a side note... I thought me going 4K to 5K miles on this trip was pretty unusual. I've now met at least two other groups who have gone that far. Met 2 bikes in Ludington MI. "We went out to Los Angles and then up to Portland and back to Indiana last month... then didn't do anything for 2 weeks so had to come up to MI to put a 1K miles or so on the bike because we hadn't ridden much in 2 weeks." - Then heard some people talking in MI who had just got back from going out to Seattle and then into Yellowstone. And at Zips there was a guy from FL who was up for the summer and was heading back in a few weeks. He was scheduling his 85000 mile service. :) You just gotta love it!

Anyway - I planned on staying in Sault Ste Marie - but someone booked a room in St Ignace (45 miles short :( ) - So I got to the hotel at 2:15 and checked in. They had a great room for me - I asked for one close to the parking lot - the bike is right outside my door. :) - I then went up to Sault Ste Marie and went to customs to make sure that I could get in and out with a birth certificate and drivers license. And they said yes that would work. I then went to Paradise, Whitefish Point and down to Newberry; then back. The trip took longer than I thought and I didn't get back to St Ignace until 8:15! And the trip was pretty cold. There is a cold front going through and it was only 60! But it was just beautiful. Ed Jacobs told me about the route and he was right. It was an awesome bike ride. He also told me to try Timber Charlie's in Newberry. I was running late and didn't - but I did get a picture. :)

Got back to town late, hungry since I hadn't eaten since breakfast, and I stopped at the Hillside Cafe - which had a sign out front about home cooked food and "fresh whitefish." I wanted whitefish - hadn't had any since we were up here a few years ago. They handed me a menu and I said "Do you have the whitefish?" - "Yup, it was caught this morning!" - "I'll have it!" :) - Had that and salad bar... and coffee ('cuz I was still freezing) and it was all very good. Yum!

So - that was the day. I'm all caught up :) - Have to go upload a few pics and then hit the hay; since I plan on leaving very early. Its 8 hours to Thunder Bay by car... and I'll probably take longer. So I'm planning on leaving by 6:30 or so; so I can hopefully get in before 5:00.

105 Trip: (Tue 02-Sep) Day 10 - Milwaukee WI - 2430 miles

Well I was updating every day... but got behind, hanging out at Pat & Ward's for two days. Just too much down time to even want to get on the computer much :) - although I did do some work.


Left Milwaukee heading to Pat & Wards. Original plan was to take the ferry, but that just didn't work out. It was faster to go via land, because the ferry didn't leave till 1:15 PM. Terry, Ted and Kristi wondered if I'd be able to make it on my own, since I usually ride sweep. "Where are we going?" someone would ask, "I don't know... I'm following Terry", I'd reply. "How are you going to do, riding on your own?" Kristi asked. "I'll manage." So we left the motel, the turned left and I turned right... right behind 3 other bikes and ended up following them all the way to the interstate - probably 20 to 30 miles. :) Then on the interstate there were tons of bikes heading home from the 105. So I was pretty much in the company of bikes all the way to Michigan City or so.

Michigan City, IN. I stopped at the Harley dealer to get an ABC shot... but they didn't have any name/logo outside; so I couldn't get a picture. And this was to be my Indiana picture. So I asked them about it and the owner said they had a logo inside... and propped open the doors and told me to pull right in front and see if I could get the shot. So I pulled up on the sidewalk as close as I could get and a young girl who was the cashier came out and snapped a few shots... and they turned out. Cool. :)

Rest of the trip was pretty uneventful except the very end. Col and Eddie met me about 30 miles out and we all rode in together! Arrived and Ward was filming the whole thing. I forgot how he was with the video camera. :) Pat, Ward, Col and Eddie (and all their kids and one granddaughter) were there and we hung out and had dinner. It was great seeing them all and seeing Chloie (sp?). She is so cute! About a month older than Kian I think - and running all over the place. I miss the grand kid!

The rest of the time was spent just hanging out, doing a bit of working, eating great food and just being lazy. Did a couple of loads of clothes and got ready for the rest of my trip.

Oh - and Ward, Pat and I went on a drive around the country side and he showed me where they used to come when there were first "going up north." That was cool.

And then Denise and Ed came over on Tuesday night to visit. And Christin. (And yes, it might be with a 'K'. I'm terrible at knowing names of people I don't actually write to). But I should know soon because I think she is going to look me up on Facebook.

Did find out that Ed had two of his fingers mangled and mostly severed off in a machine accident a few months back! They re-attached them and he is just now starting to get some feeling.

Guess that is most of the family news. It was an awesome visit and a great chance to just relax and hang before heading into Canada.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

105 Trip: (Sat 30-Aug) Day 7 - Milwaukee WI - 2012 miles

Although things were officially over on Sunday, Saturday was the last big day and we planned on heading out early Sunday morning. Terry, Ted and Kristi were all heading back to St Louis (Ted & Christi to go back to work on Tue and Terry to visit family for a few days); and I was heading to MI.

We got up "late" (met at 9:00 for breakfast) and planned on hitting a few more dealers. We went by the Buell factory so I could get an ABC shot for that; and then off to a few dealers to get dealer pins. I actually already had a few from Tuscon and Santa Fe - just didn't realize that was what they were. So I figured I'd start collecting them as well. Cheaper than t-shirts for sure.

So it was a pretty laid back day; just doing some slow easy riding and checking things out. Once again the dealerships were massive. One we would have had to park probably 3/4 of a mile away and decided the walking just wasn't necessary.

Heading into two for Summerfest, we passed a small greek place and stopped there for a late lunch. The place looked like it was a family place and probably been around for quite some time. There were a lot of what looked like family pictures on the wall behind the cash register and we asked our waitress (probably 16 or 17) if she was up there. "Yes... these are me", pointing to a few little kids pictures, "... pretty embarrassing. But not as bad as these," pointing to 3 people in short shorts with a boat and a coastline in the background, "of my folks when they were in Greece!" Again - a nice, local, small family run place where the food was good. Score.

We headed into Summerfest and it looked like it might be a nightmare. TONS of people - and we heard from one couple that they waited in line for hours to see ZZ-Top and then couldn't even get close enough to see them and could just barely hear them. So we wondered around and finally found the place where Daughtry was going to play, and there were open seats in the pavilion! So Terry and I snagged enough room for 4 and then I went and hung out waiting for Ted and Kristi. So we pretty much just hung out there all afternoon (I think we got there about 3:30) with folks making a water or beer run every once in a while. We say "Puddle of Mudd" - and they were ok. Pretty much Heavy Metal - with one song I recognized. I've never heard "God bless you guys!" and "You guys are all in my prayers - be safe out there" type phrases, intermixed with the F word so many times. But hey... God listens to everyone and I'll take any prayers I can get. :) Anyway - wasn't too bad and most of the crowd was really into it.

Later I was getting hungry and decided I should go do a food run. Folks had been buying and I figured it was my turn. Plus I hadn't done one of the "wait in line for an hour" things yet. So I headed toward a place that was selling pizza... and there was 1 person in front of me! Got two pizzas and a deep-fried veggie fix: mushrooms, cauliflower and *eggplant*. The eggplant was awesome! So took that back and we call chowed down on it.

The people in front of us snuck a *dog* into the event. It was tiny. It was a toy something. Small enough to fit in a small purse. It was sitting there in the hot sunny, loud music and was seeming pretty miserable, sleeping half the time. I just don't quite get it.

Daughtry was a bit late - but everything was running a bit late, and was pretty good. Did about 45 minutes. Pretty much all of his big stuff that I listen too all the time. And his showmanship and the band were all good. So it was cool. The went off stage, came back and did "Going Home" for an encore and then he went off and the band went into a really good instrumental; but the crowd was starting to leave and so we jetted out of there trying to miss all the people/traffic that would be leaving. Especially since we had parked under an underpass in a dirt/grass area with tons of bikes and it looked like it could be a nightmare trying to get them all out of there. But we made it out of there and back to the room w/o any hassle - so another good day in Milwaukee and a pretty good end to the entire "105" experience!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

105 Trip: (Fri 29-Aug) Day 6 - Milwaukee WI - 1898 miles

Today was a "get a few ABC pics and dealer pins" day. Didn't hit many (any?) venues, mostly just toured around the greater Milwaukee (and Racine, Kenosha) area going to dealers and stopping by Capitol Street (HD powertrain plant) and Juneau Ave (HD Headquarters!)

Seeing the Harley facilities was cool. I have pics on the previous linked page.

Going to the dealer sites was... CRAZY. Think the 4 Corners Rally... at a dealership! Yeah... parking... oh 1/2 a mile from the place. One was in the middle of a bunch of other businesses (offices I think) and all their lawns, parking, shipment ramps, everything - were covered with motorcycles. There were definitely more vendors than at 4 Corners, and probably close to as many as Red River. And this was at EVERY DEALERSHIP we went to. Which I think was 4 of them. Plus all the venues (Millers Park, Summerfest, Museum, HOG Island - plus maybe another). It was pretty incredible. Plenty hot, tired, exhausting, sore feet... But something to definitely be a part of.

Somebody on the road asked me later, "You went to the 105? How was it?" - I explained like above, "Would you do it again?" Yeah... maybe if they do it in 5 years again - but definitely not every year.

I've never been to Sturgis - which is a whole different scene - but other than something really large like that - its hard to describe what its like to be a HOG and be in a city that size, where there are bikes EVERYWHERE - even 30 miles away! And where the whole town (even little mom and pop places) are pretty much saying "Welcome Riders! Stop on by!" Pretty cool stuff.

Downside for Christi is that most the dealers were out of dealer pins. I don't think anyone had a clue how many people would show up... You know an event is big when the US Post Office shows up as a vendor! "Ship your stuff home from here!" - so you didn't even have to carry anything on your bike!

We did stop at one store in...Ocowocon (or something like that - anyway - a big hard to pronounce name that started with a 'O' - that turns out to be the store I bought by backrest from on eBay! :)

We didn't even go "downtown" - but just hit vendors, then ate at a place on the way home and turned in early... Well OK - it was still 9 or 10 - but earlier.

And Tom was with us as of Thur - so that was cool.

105 Trip - Day 5 - Milwaukee WI - 1763 miles

Left Annawan in the rain :( - Rained for the first few hours until just about when we hit the WI border. "Welcome home!" it seemed to say. :)

Dropped stuff at the hotel and then headed for the museum. Going south into town the traffic started backing up... there were TONS of bikes. Bikes in all 3, 4, 5 lanes of the highway. Bikes pulled over on the shoulders - and as we passed Miller Park, bikes in all the parking lots; bikes backed up - 4 abreast for what looked like a good 1/2 mile or more. TONS of bikes. All said and done - I'd estimate 100K bikes in the area.

Anyway - got through that and down to the museum. Checked it out. Pretty cool. Terry and I didn't have tickets, but Ted and Christi did and Ted (Mr Extravert) was able to score some tickets from one of the staff people. We made it in.

After we went to Miller Park. Found the bleachers were the main bands were going to play and camped out. It was ridiculous! Early in the day we wanted in line for 45 minutes for a bottle of water! Later in the day folks were waiting 2 hours to get a sub sandwhich. The vendor ran out twice (going to get some more from the store - will be 45 minutes... "OK, we'll wait!") Crazy. Terry waited for water. Ted waited for sandwiches.

We all saw "The Billy Bob Thorton Band" - Think Slingblade meets blues / southern rock. Yeah... well it was something to see. Then Sugarload. Country... hey, turns out I do like *some* country music. She had a cute way with the crowd. It was good. Then Kid Rock... think emnimn meets southern rock. Yeah - not a fan. Stayed for 2 songs then cut out before the rest of the crowd.

I overheard "They build the area to hold 30K people, but I heard there were 60K to 70K here." Given the place was packed and 1/2 the people were waiting in line for beer/water/food - I'd agree. Given it was right next to the interstate - there were quite a few bikes that just parked on the highway and the people were sitting on the concrete dividers just watching... till the cops showed up and chased them off. But plenty of people stayed on the grass embankment.

Got home around 10ish... spent some time on the computer and then crashed. Up the next morning at 6:30!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

105 Trip Pics

I'm uploading my pictures to facebook. If you are on facebook and a friend, you already know that. If you aren't and are interested - you can follow this link and see them anyway!

105 Trip - Day 4 - Annawan, IL - 1512 miles

Only did 300 miles today, but took pretty much all day. Did some river road (Mississippi and Illinois rivers) and scenic rides. Very peaceful and cool. Again - heartland of America stuff. Totally enjoying it.

Ate lunch at Fast Eddies. It was as cool as the hype. Just one of those things you have to experience. If you are ever in the area, check it out! Food was great and the beer is claimed to be the coldest in the area - and it seemed to be. Had a Landshark beer! I'm trying new beers on this trip. :)

Tomorrow up early and try to make it to Milwaukee in time for Ted and Christi to drop luggage and get to the museum by noon. So I guess that's it for now!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

105 Trip - Day 3 - Saint Louis - 1218 miles

Went to Xenia IL today to get the X. First stopped at the Arch and got some pics of it and some Mississippi river boats. Pretty cool. IL was pretty much corn and soy bean fields, for miles and miles, as far as the eye could see... But some rolling and lots of trees. I actually liked it.

I like going through small town America. Plenty of towns with population under 100. Pretty much all of them with "We support our Troops" banners, Knights of Columbus Halls, and flags. And the "grocery store, liquor store, gas station, snake bar, etc." combo. I don't know... for me, gives me a sense of community just going through there and seeing it. Hard working farmers, proud of who they are and in what they do. Good stuff.

Terry grew up in the region and we stopped at his High School and then coming back dropped in and said Hi to his mom for a few minutes. Cool stuff. :)

Stopped at a gas station that also had a restaurant, for a late lunch. The girl working took our order, cooked it (did a good job) and served it. And did a good job waiting on us the whole time. A fresh change from people at McDonalds who can't even get your order right - and that is all they do.

Anyway... that's the report for today. It was good. Tomorrow we head to Alton, IL (to stop at Fast Eddie's) and then up to our stop in northern IL before heading to Milwaukee on Thur.

105 Trip - Day 2 - Saint Louis - 981 miles

Day 2 - weather was great. Missouri going across Hwy 50 was really pretty. Rolling, windy, green. Stopped and got 9 or so ABC pictures. Took some photos of the route... best I could while driving at 65MPH. :) Got in to the dealer party at Gateway Harley, met up with Ted and Christi and hung out for quite a while - then to their house. They have their Toy Hauler all set up for us and it is great. Just hanging out, sipping a beer chatting.

Still a bit tired this morning - but not sore. Plan to go into IL today to 'X'enia - pick up about 4 more ABCs then back to their house where Christi is making some ribs. YUM!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

105 Trip - Day 1

Left home at about 6:15, running a little late but got to Pueblo about 7:10 and we headed out. It was a good first day. I got tired in the afternoon and pretty sleepy, but once it cooled off I was fine. Got 11 ABC pictures today!

Stopped in Kinsley, KS for lunch. Asked a fireman doing the "boot for MDA" thing where was a good place to eat. He directed us to a Mexican place that was pretty good. Food wasn't very spicy, but alright and the quality was pretty good.

Had one car passing a lane of traffic, heading at us, and we had to slow down (and so did the lead car) to let him in w/o hitting us. :( - Other than that (and it wasn't close or anything), no mishaps or potential ones.

Radio is acting up. Didn't come on twice. Will have to have someone look at it later.

Dinner, after dark, in Emporia, KS, was at the S & S cafe. Little tiny, "Good Food - Open 24 hours" place. VERY LOCAL. Old time mid-west type salad bar... radishes, green onions, cucumbers and onions in vinegar! Young waitress - a little attitude. Chicken fried steak was homemade. Meat was good. Gravy was good. Hashbrowns "done crispy please" were PERFECT. This was definately my kind of Road Food place. Just what I wanted in all aspects - even the locals smoking (not too much smoke) wasn't bad. It all screamed road food diner, and the quality and taste was exactly what I was looking for.

Time to hit the hay soon. We made it over 1/2 way to Ted & Christi's on day one, so should get in early enough tomorrow to go to the dealer party. Plus did 11 ABCs today and only plan on 9 tomorrow... But some are standard letters so if I don't get them all, no big deal.

Oh - and one more thing. There is nothing like going down the road at 65 MPH, cool breeze rushing past you, worship music on the iPOD, across the plains of CO and KS, looking at the farms, green, streams, trees, etc. - to bring God's creation into focus and clarity.

Day 1 was a great start to the trip!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Harely 105 / HOG 25

Many of you know this, but perhaps not everyone...

In about 1 week I'm heading to the Harley 105 / HOG 25 celebration in Milwaukee. Originally Tina was going to go to; but she hasn't been feeling well lately and decided it would be too long of a trip. Because she was going to go; I planned the trip to be 3 weeks. Take a few days to get to St Louis where we'd meet up with some friends; spend a day there; then all of us head up to Milwaukee. Stopping about "a hundred miles out" somewhere on Wed (to avoid the high event hotel fees) then stay there Thur, Fri, Sat. Tina's Aunt Pat and Uncle Ward live in MI which is "so close", so we'd leave on Sun morning, take the ferry across a Great Lake, and then hang with them for a few days; then start the long ride back. Given Tina gets tired of riding after a few days, the plan was to do light riding for a couple of days; then spend a couple of days somewhere. Maybe stay in St Cloud, MN for a few days and just check the area out. Then go on to SD and check out Mount Rushmore, Sturgis, etc. Then finally head home. So all in all a 3 week trip. Lots of riding, but lots of breaks as well. So late last year I OKed that much time off at once with my boss and then have been double checking throughout the year.

So... I've got the time, and we discussed it and Tina still thinks I should go - so I'm going for it. However, now I'm going alone so the plans changed.
  • I'm still taking the full 3 weeks, since I have it off anyway
  • Terry, who is another Sheriff Architect, just bought a Harley this year, and has family in St Louis, is going with me.
  • We are still meeting up with Ted and Christi in St Louis and hanging out there for a day or two. They are awesome and have a Toy-Hauler with double beds all set up and said the fridge would be stocked with beer and snacks and just show up when ever. Awesome. Also for the whole HOG "ABC Rally" thing I always do - there is a town with that starts with 'X' 2 hours away, so we are going to all go ride over there on Tue just for the fun of it, then head north as planned on Wed.
  • Stop at Fast Eddie's; which I've mentioned before in this blog, on the way up.
  • Then its the big event for 3 days. Lots of bands, lots of fun, lots of motorcycles... what could be cooler? :)
  • Head to Aunt Pat's and Uncle Ward's as planned.
  • While there get my bike serviced somewhere
  • And from then on the plan is kind of up in the air. I've got about 12 days till I have to be back, and it would take maybe 4 to ride it! Even less if I pushed it. So I'm just heading down the road. I've got two different thoughts right now:
    • The plan was to come home through SD and I've got friends in WA, and haven't been "home" to MT forever - so maybe head up through MT to ID and then into Spokane.
    • Tif and Brian are going to be in MI about the same day I was planning on leaving Pat and Wards; but they will be down south in Detroit and maybe heading up to Sarnia for the day. So... I could meet them wherever along Lake Huron, then do some Canada traveling for a few days! Go into Sarnia and then up around the "outside" of Lake Huron and end up at Ste St Marie... And then maybe still head to MT.

So... I'm not sure at all the plan after Aunt Pat's... but that is kind of the plan. To hit the road and see where it takes me. I could also go up through Thunder Bay! Don't know. Basically there are a few goals:
  • Not to be too planned
  • Hit plenty of states, territories, counties, cities for the ABC Rally
  • Cover lots of miles
  • Go wherever it looks good
  • Get home right before I have to go back to work.

If I hook up with Tif and Brian then that will add a bit more planning, but that is fine. So... lots of decisions to make in the next few days!

As noted on another post, I have set up Twitter. One of the main reasons I did that is that I can update my status via my cell phone, so while I'm on the road I can text msg where I'm at and anyone watching my facebook status or following me on Twitter will know what is going on. Pretty cool.

Plus I'll be taking plenty of ABC pictures, and hopefully other pictures as well, and I plan on uploading all of those to the computer and to facebook albums every night. That's all the plan... reality will probably be different, but hopefully close. :)

God is a supporter, not a controller

[Originally put this on Facebook, but decided to start entering all my notes on Blogger and let them get pushed to Facebook; so I have them in both places.]

Many people say that God is in control. Personally, I don't believe that God is in control. I don't think He can be, given we have free will. Free will isn't just a personal thing, its something that is true in all of those around us. And we interact with way too many people for God to be in control of our lives, given all those interactions.

I do believe however that He is there constantly watching and holding out His hand. And that He provides the comfort, joy (in the biblical sense) and support to help us get through whatever life throws at us. As well as the Holy Spirit guides us as much as we will listen; helping us to avoid some of those pitfalls.

So - although He isn't in control, He is there to help get us through life in the best way possible; if we'll just listen to His voice.

So many interfaces - but all connected

So I'm on Facebook now, which allows you to blog, but only your Friends on Facebook can see it; which is fine. I view it, at this point anyway, as a way to write short notes. But that is not its primary purpose. Anyway - I found that I can have Facebook automatically pull these entries; so that is kind of cool. Enter journal stuff here, recipes, etc. Stuff I want to easily go back and look at later. And then Facebook will automatically pull it to my Notes section. That way I don't have to figure out where I want to store this stuff. Just put it here and it will copy to Facebook. Excellent.

And then today I set up Twitter - which will update my Facebook status. So again, Facebook can pull from something else. Cool. So now I can use Twitter for what its good at, and folks can get updated that way; but I can also set Facebook to copy it; so that I don't have to update status in two places.

Cool stuff... :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Just finished making a double batch of Turkey Sausage Meatballs - which turns out to be 44 meatballs. Yum :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

You can always count on a biker

Shopping in the store with my biker gear on, and there was a couple ('H'usband and 'W'ife) about 5 feet away.

W: Can you grab (something I didn't hear)?
H: With my back I can't reach up and grab that off the back of that shelf.
I turn and see the woman standing on her toes and trying to reach something off the back of the top shelf.
M: wondering over What do you need?
W: Oh... That jar of mild peppers. Thank you sir.
M: I grin No problem
H: You can always count on a biker!
M: Yup

Do you think you can find it?

I said all I need
Is the air I breathe
And a place to rest
My head

Do you think you can find it?
Do you think you can find it?
Do you think you can find it?
Better than you had it.
--- All I Need OneRepublic

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Walking across streets at the U of M

He slowed to turn right on Observatory, but had to wait for pedestrians to cross the slusy street. He was on campus now, and U of M students were renowned for their lackadaisical attitude toward cars. They lazily strolled through crosswalks, even on busy streets, immortal in their youth and confident that cars would slow for them. --- Infected, Scott Sigler

Yeah, well he pretty much got that right. It wasn't so much that you "lazily strolled through crosswalks". You didn't even pay attention to cross walks... some times it was quicker coming out of the diag and having to cross a street to just cut across, or coming in the back entrance of the main campus engineering lab - you just walked across the street wherever you needed to. And it wasn't so much that you were "immortal in your youth" as it was the fact that... Hey, this was *your* campus and *your* streets - and you tolerated the cars - I mean, hey, if they needed to come on campus fine, but it was your street and you could walk across it where you liked. It wasn't uncommon at all for students to step out in the street, not in a crosswalk, right in front of a car, just glance at the car, and walk across the street. Its more like the rolls were reversed. Rather than the road being for cars and the crosswalks being where pedestrians could cross when the cars let them; it was like the entire campus was for pedestrians and the roads were places where cars could go when the pedestrians let them.

I remember many things about Ann Arbor and the U of M. Reading this book (which was a good story, even if rather R for language) brought back a number of them; given it mentioned street names; etc. The above quote made me chuckle when I read it though - not because it reminded me of that aspect of the U of M; because that aspect is something I have never forgotten and pretty much remember whenever I walk across any street - funny how things stick with you; but because he captured it pretty well. "Lackadaisical" was a great way to express it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Still Here

Been going through some things... So haven't felt like posting, but I'm not sure if they delete blogs if you don't post once in a while.

Mostly been working, driving the Harley, and going down to Tif's. I did do a trip to Tucson by myself. One day down (13.5 hours, 840 miles), 2 days there, and one day back. Trip wasn't bad in a day. Also Tina and I went down last month. Kian is getting so big. Almost starting to walk.

We all go down for his birthday next month - not on the bike, since three of us are going. That will be fun. 1 years old!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We'll see how this goes

So last weekend I rode up to Denver and it was an awesome day. I looked at the 10 day forecast and all looked pretty good - all the way down to Tucson, so I decided to make a run to Tif's house this weekend. Take Friday off and see if I could make it down in one day. Something I've been wanting to try for a long time so I figured I'd go for it. Tina and I are going down first week of June, but we'd take 2 days to get there. I figured I'd try it by myself this weekend. Just to see if I could do it in a day. Weather was looking good, all except Friday which had some chance of rain, but wasn't looking too bad. This morning I checked and:
Snow showers in the morning. Highs in the mid 40s and lows in the mid 30s.
Hmm... not looking all that great - but I'll check other towns along the route. If I can just get out of town and south before anything hits I'll be fine. But we'll see...

Monday, April 21, 2008


Downloaded some new music last night and reset some of my playlists. Listening now as I work: White Rabbit, My Glorious, Sunday Bloody Sunday. Quite the mix. :)

Jaime is always listening to mid-60's to mid-70's songs lately and saying, "You know, when you really listen to those words, you think 'Wow, they must have been on drugs!'" - Yeah... I'll have to have her listen to White Rabbit. :)

Spring begins

Rode with Terry up to Freedom Harley in Denver - then back through Pine, Deckers and into town. I have my spring sunburn where I didn't quite get enough sunscreen... oh well, it will tan up. Well tan for me anyway. :)

It was a beautiful day. Actually took my liner out of my jacket, wore summer gloves, etc.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Boycot tAbsolute Vodka

From the Boycott Absolute Vodka website:
Sentiments that the Southwest United States rightfully belong to Mexico are so prevalent in Mexico and among illegal aliens that the Absolut Vodka company ran this ad on a billboard and in a Mexican magazine called Quien

The ad's message to the Mexican audience is "In an Absolut (ie Perfect) world, 1/3 of the US is returned to Mexican control.

American Idol - Song Writer

My cousin is a finalist in the American Idol Songwriter competition for this season. If you could do there and rate Only Love a 10 - that would be cool. :)


Friday, March 21, 2008

UCCS Dean's List

Looking at the Spring 2008 Dean's List (3.75-3.99 GPA) under 'W' you'll see:

Yes... that is the Jaime Marie Wagner! My kid... on the Dean's list.

You rock smart kid!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Turkey Sausage Meatballs

Modified version of Rachel Ray's Roast Chicken Sausage Meatballs. Had this at Tif's and it was awesome, so Jaime and I made it last night. Quick, easy, and tastes great.

We didn't do the Mac & Cheese, just the Meatballs. We didn't use fennel, because Jaime doesn't like it. And we made probably 28 or small meatballs. I actually put olive oil on the bottom of a glass 13x9 pan, then some in a bowl and rolled the meatballs in them. I cooked them a little longer too. After about 20 minutes I drained the olive oil and grease into a cup, then spooned a bit back over each meatball and put them under the broiler for 4 minutes, to give them some good color.

Here is the list of ingredients, just in case the above link goes away. The mac & cheese with it is really good, as we had that at Tif's house.

1.25# Ground Turkey
Salt & Pepper
3 Rosemary Springs, stripped and finely chopped
3 Garlic cloves grated
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 C Ricotta Cheese
1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Egg
1/2 C Bread Crumbs

Mix ingredients. If too wet add some more bread crumbs (the above worked just great for me).

Coat w/ Olive Oil, lightl grease pan, bake at 450 for 17 minutes (I did 20 and then broiled for 4)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It Harkens

Trapped in the darkness
Cold, Claustrophobic
The fire dies
No hope for Spring
Winter never ends

Clouds break
Sun sparkles off ice encrusted snow
Harkening back to warmer days

Crisp mountain air
Crystals twinkling deep in rushing streams
Wild strawberries sweet to the taste
Wildflowers sweet to the senses
Marmots, mischievous eyes poking through long blades of grass
The Son beats down and warms the soul

Trapped in the darkness
Sparkling snow harkens
Promises that Spring will return
Its sweetness, warmth and mischief

Monday, February 25, 2008

Army of Two

Watching TV tonight I saw a trailer for Army of Two. Went to You Tube and found an Army of Two Teaser. There are quite a few others as well. Game comes out in a few weeks. Looks like I know what I'll be spending some time doing in mid March. :)

Shout Out

21:55 and not much going on. Writing bug reports, reviewing code, general cleanup of tasks I couldn't get to during the day.

Poured myself a Diet Mt Dew and added a couple shots of Green Soju... haven't drank any of that for a while. Reminds me of the Chavezes... Been a long time since I talked to Spanky and Jacque... Hope you guys are doing well.

It entices you

What is it about the darkness that so entices you?
He stands in the light and gently calls your name,
Yet all you hear are the whispers behind the doors.
You go closer,
Seeking, looking, you can't find them.
They run in front of you, whispering, calling.
You follow them through the twists and turns,
Until the darkness engulfs you.
They suck you in and become a roaring in your head.
You become drunk with the sounds,
Turning, twisting, losing all sense of time,
All sense of reason.
You no longer hear His voice.
You wake to find yourself battered and bruised
You wonder how you got this way?
Then you hear His voice and are calmed.

Then it all begins again.
He stands in the light and gently calls your name.
You hear the whispers in the dark,
Knowing better you seek after them,
They entice you.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Green Chile

Had some pork chops left and decided to make some Pork Green Chile. Having eaten plenty of it, but having never made it, I decided to go simple. Yeah... I guess I could have actually looked up a recipe, but I decided to just give it a shot. Turned out pretty good. :)

1 medium onion, diced
6 tomatillos, diced
1 red Fresno pepper, split, de-seeded and sliced thin
1 Anaheim pepper, split, de-seeded and sliced thin
1 large can chopped green chiles (approx 27 oz size)
3 cooked pork chops, cubed
2 tbs olive oil

Add oil to 4 quart sauce pan, add onions and tomatillos and sautee till onions are translucent. Add peppers and sautee for a few minutes. Add green chiles and pork, stir and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

Could have used fresh roasted Hatch green chiles if I had any. Also could have used any form of pork - and as much as desired.

I did not salt or add any seasoning! Could have added some cumin, etc.; but it turned out well.

We had some frozen chicken enchiladas , so microwaved them, smothered them with the green chile and cheese, then severed with black beans, sour cream and diced avocado. Yum!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Kian 6 month pics

We were down at Tif's for Kian's 6 month birthday. First eating of a banana. Yeah... not everyone may enjoy food smeared all over a baby's face... but I think its very cute. :)

You can check out all the pics.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Researcher says Sears downloads spyware

From a ComputerWorld article:
Sears and Kmart customers who sign up for a new marketing program may be giving up more private information than they'd bargained for, a prominent anti-spyware researcher claims.


"The software is not something you'd want on your computer or the computer of anyone you care about," Edelman said in an interview. "It tracks every site you go to, every search you make, every product you buy, and every product you look at but don't buy. It's just spooky."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Boeing 787 - good news / bad news

The good news is that there will be internet access from any seat in the plane, the bad news from

FAA: Boeing's New 787 May Be Vulnerable to Hacker Attack
Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner passenger jet may have a serious security vulnerability in its onboard computer networks that could allow passengers to access the plane's control systems, according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

But they are talking about making it more secure before the planes roll out.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Sarah Connor Chronicles

And while I'm being geeky... I'm really stoked about the Sarah Connor Chronicles series that will air on 14-Jan-2008. First I'm a Terminator fan anyway (ever since my Philosophy of Space and Time TA suggested I watch it while I was at the UofM, as it was consistent with current theories of Time Travel), and more importantly... Summer Glau (yes, River from Firefly) will be playing a River like role - which will be really cool. Hopefully it is good and gets good ratings!

Oh... and other things I've seen her in are the 4400 and The Unit. Both shows I follow - although I didn't like her characters there as much, as they weren't as tough as River and Cameron and were kind of more regular people... well not the 4400 since she was one of the 4400 - but still, she wasn't so River-esque. :)

Some Firefly is better than No Firefly

So I'm in the mall today, going to Radio Shack to get a Y-connector, and on the way back I noticed the comic book store has novels as well. So I stop and ask the guy if there are any Firefly books, or are they just comics? He tells me that there is one comic, but he is out. However, there is a new Serenity comic book coming out in March! I tell him cool and start to leave.

G: Do you want to pre-order it?
M: Nah, I'll just get one when the come in.

He proceeds to explain that last time they had Firefly comics they sold out just on pre-orders and not everyone got them... so I might want to pre-order. Given it didn't cost anything to do it... I signed up.

So... now I've actually pre-ordered a SciFi comic book - 3 months in advance... Yeah... guess that makes me a Geek. I just had to laugh - and call Tif - 'cuz I knew she would appreciate it. I turned her on to Firefly and now she is hooked as well.