Sunday, December 6, 2009

Are you ready for some Christmas?

Okay, this worked for me. I am officially ready for the Christmas season!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So, So Busy

I can't believe how busy I am right now. I'm taking a break for a moment to post this, but then I'm right back to work. I am currently working on marketing, data gathering, tracking, reporting and web development.

Can you say too much at one time? I need to take a few minutes, sort out my priorities, and get myself back on track.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My Stand Up Desk

This is the new desk. Ric put it on hinges, so the whole thing collapses out of the way when not in use. I love it.

An Email From a Friend

I got this email this morning from my friend and fellow Marine, Shayne.
Good Morning Friends and Family.

I hope that the day is great for all of you. I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving and MERRY CHRISTMAS.

I just wanted to say hi and bring up an issue that is bothering me. I hope that most of you dont take this the wrong way. I dont often have this problem but when I do it really bothers me.

I love getting the beautiful and poignant emails about God and Jesus. I dont like the veiled threat at the end of them about not loving God or Jesus if I dont forward the message. Sometimes they make my day. Sometimes they make me think. Sometimes they make me sad. I really do appreciate them. I just wont forward them. I really encourage everyone to check out . For those of you in the oil patch, the man that funds The Foundation for a Better Life is an oil man. Although he is a christian man he wanted to reach people without slamming them with religion. I think they did a great job. It has changed my life in many ways, especially my relationship with my wife and kids.

Now for the rough part. What I dont like is right after getting that great email that makes me feel better, is then getting race jokes from the same people. Most of you that know me well, know where I lie politically. For those of you that dont I am a pretty staunch Realistic Libertarian. I dont like most Democrats or Republicans and I sure dont like our current President. It does not mean I wish to see or hear jokes about his or anyone elses race. I just dont find it funny anymore. As a matter of fact it just makes us all look bad.

Most of us, probably all of us, maybe not all, have friends or family of different races. I will not say that I am a person who has made it a big point in my life to find friends of other races. I will say that through my life I have made many friends of many races, creeds, religions, orientations and colors. I would like to be able to honor that friendship instead of dishonoring it. I really hope that you all understand that.

Thanks you for the uplifting emails. Those that know me know that I appreciate those words of wisdom. (I will seldom forward them and if I do its because I love the message.) Thank you for staying in touch. I know none of us want to write so we send these types of e-mails to let each other know we are in each others thoughts. I promise I will always try to send ones that are uplifting and funny.

Have a great day and MERRY CHRISTMAS.


We disagree on some things, agree on others. But it is things like this that make me respect him.

The email wasn't a message to me, but I will take a lesson from it, too. Thank you, Shayne, for reminding me that demonstrating character and integrity convey far more than bumper stickers and t-shirt slogans.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Failure to Launch, and who are those guys?

We watched Failure to Launch and really enjoyed it. It's a better-than-average romantic comedy with a likable cast.

And the movie has its share of hotties. Matthew McConaughey, Bradley Cooper, and Justin Bartha are all easy on the eyes.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and who was that guy?

Ric and I have been enjoying Law & Order: Criminal Intent, watching seasons one through four via NetFlix and XBox Live. We are now on season five and watching an episode called Vacancy. And lo and behold, who is this actor named Desmond Harrington? He's been in Dragnet, Rescue Me and Dexter.

In this episode, he's playing a serial killer who is seriously disturbed. Still, how shallow am I that I'm focused more on the fact that the guy is a total cutie?

Star Wars Facebook

I stumbled across this today and I'm still laughing. So wrong. Thanks to Brian Murphy and


Ricky Nelson? Seriously?

Ever read something that really catches you by surprise? I did. Today, in fact.
Eric Hilliard “Ricky” Nelson, later known as Rick Nelson (May 8, 1940 –December 31, 1985), was an American singer, musician, and Golden Globe-nominated actor. With more than 50 Hot 100 hits, Nelson was second only to Elvis Presley as the most popular rock and roll artist of the 1950s and 1960s.

I knew Ricky Nelson was successful, but I didn't know he was that popular in the 50's and 60's.

And you thought YOUR family was tough at Thanksgiving...

Courtesy of Back to San Diego
Happy Thanksgiving: OCD-Style
I'm not one to gossip, but I received this letter from a friend. She got it from her coworker, whose sister wrote it! (Seriously.)

Apparently, it takes a village to build a Thanksgiving feast...and as we know, every village needs a village leader (or village idiot, as the case may be).

I changed none of the wording except for the names (so they can't sue me when they read this).

Happy Thanksgiving!


From: Marney

As you all know a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner does not make itself. I need to ask each of you to help by bringing something to complete the meal. I truly appreciate your offers to assist with the meal preparation.

Now, while I do have quite a sense of humor and joke around all the time, I COULD NOT BE MORE SERIOUS when I am providing you with your Thanksgiving instructions and orders. I am very particular, so please perform your task EXACTLY as I have requested and read your portion very carefully. If I ask you to bring your offering in a container that has a lid, bring your offering in a container WITH A LID, NOT ALUMINUM FOIL! If I ask you to bring a serving spoon for your dish, BRING A SERVING SPOON, NOT A SOUP SPOON! And please do not forget anything.

All food that is to be cooked should already be prepared, bring it hot and ready to serve, warm or room temp. These are your ONLY THREE options. Anything meant to be served cold should, of course, already be cold.

HJB—Dinner wine

The Mike Byron Family
1. Turnips in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. Please do not fill the casserole all the way up to the top, it gets too messy. I know this may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but most of us hate turnips so don't feel like you a have to feed an army.
2. Two half gallons of ice cream, one must be VANILLA, I don't care what the other one is. No store brands please. I did see an ad this morning for Hagan Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream, yum!! (no pressure here, though).
3. Toppings for the ice cream.
4. A case of bottled water, NOT gallons, any brand is ok.

The Bob Byron Family
1. Green beans or asparagus (not both) in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. If you are making the green beans, please prepare FOUR pounds, if you are making asparagus please prepare FIVE pounds. It is up to you how you wish to prepare them, no soupy sauces, no cheese (you know how Mike is), a light sprinkling of toasted nuts, or pancetta, or some EVOO would be a nice way to jazz them up.
2. A case of beer of your choice (I have Coors Light and Corona) or a bottle of clos du bois chardonnay (you will have to let me know which you will bring prior to 11/22).

The Lisa Byron Chesterford Family
1. Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level. You can bring an hors d’ouvres. A few helpful hints/suggestions. Keep it very light, and non-filling, NO COCKTAIL SAUCE, no beans of any kind. I think your best bet would be a platter of fresh veggies and dip. Not a huge platter mind you (i.e., not the plastic platter from the supermarket).

The Michelle Bobble Family
1. Stuffing in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please make the stuffing sans meat.
2. 2.5-3 qts. of mashed squash in a casserole with a lid and serving spoon
3. Proscuitto pin wheel - please stick to the recipe, no need to bring a plate.
4. A pie knife

The June Davis Family
1. 15 LBS of mashed potatoes in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please do not use the over-size blue serving dish you used last year. Because you are making such a large batch you can do one of two things: put half the mash in a regulation size casserole with lid and put the other half in a plastic container and we can just replenish with that or use two regulation size casserole dishes with lids. Only one serving spoon is needed.
2. A bottle of clos du bois chardonnay

The Amy Misto Family (why do I even bother she will never read this)
1. A pumpkin pie in a pie dish (please use my silver palate recipe) no knife needed.
2. An apple pie in a pie dish, you can use your own recipe, no knife needed.

Looking forward to the 28th!!


This totally cracks me up. Can you imagine the tension at that house when someone brought the wrong thing?!

Thanksgiving. Thankful.

For all the great planning that has gone into our holidays, sometimes the best days are the ones that just happen. Years ago, it was a simple Christmas dinner with our friends, Brooks and Elizabeth. And now I have another to add to that list.

Ric and I opted to not have a formal dinner this year. Instead, we decided on a casual, "bring something to toss on grill" sort of meal. And it could not have been better. We still managed to have the Thanksgiving basics - turkey, pumpkin pie, yams, etc - but it wasn't the big dinner to-do that we have had in the past

This year, friends were the centerpiece. And it was a great reminder of the reason to give thanks. Ric and I have a wonderful life, our basic needs of food and shelter are always met, and we are surrounded by the love of dear friends. Those are the reasons I am grateful year after year.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hard at work

Because the backyard doesn't take care of itself.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chaos Theory

Yeah, so it wasn't a great movie. But it wasn't bad. And of course, anything with Ryan Reynolds and Stuart Townsend is at least going to be easy on the eyes.

Here's the guys in the movie...

and here they are just looking pretty.


Writing? No. Relaxing? Yes.

I know, I know. I'm supposed to be writing my book, not playing around on my blog. So what? I've had a long busy week and right now, I don't want to think. I don't want to plan. I don't want to do anything except relax and enjoy the lazy afternoon.

First up? A movie in the home theater. I'm going to watch Chaos Theory. I don't know anything about it but I'm hoping it's worth the time.

Kellan Lutz - New Moon, indeed.

Damn. Not sure how I missed this picture, but I'm making up for it by posting it all by itself.

New Moon, Part Deux.

While the rest of the country debates the artistic merits of New Moon, I am focusing instead on what really is important about the film. Yes, it's all about the pretty boys and handsome hunks.

Of course, there's Robert Pattinson, shown here with an odd set of splotches on the photograph.

And there's Taylor Lautner, the jail bait turned super hottie.

But wait, there's more. There is the adorable Cam Gigandet.

And there's Kellan Lutz.

And of course, the Wolf Pack. For reasons I still don't understand, these guys spend most of the movie running around wearing only short pants.

And there you have it. Ignore everything else about the movie, just watch the hot guys, and you'll get through the two hours just fine. Oh, and to my straight guy friends, I say avoid this film at all costs. There's nothing here for you.

Stupid bacon.

I decided to cook breakfast this morning. Well, not really. I just wanted to cook bacon in the microwave. According to this, you should be able to cook crunchy, crispy bacon using the microwave, a plate and paper towels.

They lied. All I got was squishy, half-cooked bacon. So I quit. I walked out of the kitchen, leaving the whole thing to Ric to fix. When last I looked, he was prepping the fry pan. All is about to be right again in the world.

Friday, November 20, 2009

123 Days, 21 Hours, 22 Minutes

Some of you may know, some may not, but I made a big change in my life one hundred twenty-three days, twenty-one hours, twenty-two minutes ago. I decided I had wasted enough time doing something that just left me feeling unhappy and miserable. And quitting wasn’t easy. I tried to quit before, you know, but never really had much luck. I would be okay for a while, and then old habits would have me right back where I was.

It’s tough to make such a big change in my life. And it isn’t something that I can do without telling my friends. I mean, everyone is going to notice eventually, right? So, here it is, the big announcement. Prepare to be shocked.

More than four months ago I decided enough was enough, I needed to get my act together, and I had to leave behind my self-destructive behavior. Yep, it’s true… I quit biting my nails. How cool is that? As you can imagine, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. No longer do I have to worry that someone is staring at my fingernails and wondering if I was attacked by rabid badger. My nails look great, my hands look better, and I feel a sense of accomplishment for successfully modifying my behavior. Guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Oh, and I quit drinking alcohol last July 19th, too. Guess it was a big day for me all the way around.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bad pun, coming up.

Funniest new word for H1N1 virus? Hamthrax.

New Moon, Blue Moon

Saw New Moon. Free. Thursday night. Before the midnight first showing. Thank you, Best Buy Silver Rewards.

The sound was terrible. Like a small plane was buzzing the theater... the entire movie. Walked away with a free pass to see another movie. Thank you, AMC Mission Valley.

The movie? Meh. Two long hours of celibate angst, shirtless tan hunks, and a so-pale-he's-see-through Edward and a slow shot of his pelvic bones. Hot? In a broody cut myself to feel something sort of way. But he and Bella haven't been happy in four hours of movies. Why are they together?

Slow moving story with cut-out characters and run-of-the-mill actors. Skip this at the theater and rent it when you're already in a mood.

Test email to blog

So, did it work?

Unrelenting Venting

I worry.

I worry that if I'm silent, my friends will be concerned at my change in behavior.

I worry that if I act like everything is fine, my friends will see through me.

I worry that if I talk about what is bothering me, my friends will feel responsible for helping me.

I worry that if I don't talk about what is bothering me, I'll miss out on good advice and much needed perspective.

I worry that if don't deal with the little things, they will seem to grow to big things and overwhelm me.

I worry that venting like this in an electronic fashion obligates my friends to respond.

I worry that such obligations quickly breed resentment and disapproval.

I worry that all this worrying is bad for me.

There and Back Again

I'm testing out the WordPress/Facebook link, which is supposed to allow me to post something here at Facebook and have it appear on my blog.

Let's see if it works.

That Kind of Guy.

Yep, I'm ready to link this blog to my Facebook account. I realize that doing so means every post will show up there, but so be it. I mean, what's the point of a blogging if I don't encourage people to read what I write?

So, welcome to That Kind of Guy.

New Right-Wing Craze Prays that Obama's "Days Be Few"

Pray For Obama Merchandise

The newest far-right craze is an anti-Obama slogan that is making its way onto t-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs, and even teddy bears: “Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8,” which reads, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.” The meme is also taking off on Twitter, with conservatives calling it “hilarious.” Commentators have noted that it’s unclear whether the intent is to hope for an end to Obama’s time in office — or an end to his life. But a look at the lines in the rest of the psalm hint at the latter:

Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.

Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labor.
Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favor his fatherless children.
Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.
Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.
Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

Diana Butler Bass at Beliefnet explains that Psalm 109 is one of the “imprecatory” prayers, “a lament in the form of petition to destroy one’s enemies.” While perhaps intended to be a joke, she notes that the psalm actually “entreats God to destroy the president”:

It is the personal prayer of an individual, someone who has been dealt an injustice by another–and usually more powerful–person. The words of Psalm 109 are those of deep agony, the longings of a victim for retribution and justice. This psalm is considered one of the most difficult of all the psalms–full of violent images of vengeance and death.

Quite a few of the “Pray for Obama” items are being sold at, although many of them have been taken off of the site (here’s a cached version of some of them). Cafe Press representative Margene H. told ThinkProgress that while the site took down some of the “Pray for Obama” items today, it is now in the process of reinstating them:

We initially pulled the Psalm 109:8 content from our products today because broader media dialog indicated that these designs potentially suggested violence towards the president. Based on current public discourse and further review of the actual content, we have determined that it is fair political commentary and we are in the process of reinstating this merchandise. As with all of our content, these designs will continue to be reviewed and if at any time their meaning is construed as advocating violence we will revisit our decision.

On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow spoke with “Patience With God” author Frank Schaeffer, who said that while the psalm was “frightening” in a secular context, it’s even “more threatening” in a biblical context.

(This courtesy of Think Progress.)


And people wonder why others criticize the Right Wing and so-called Christians. It's truly shameful.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Focus, John. Focus.

Work is only getting busier. Life is getting more stressful. And the days are getting darker, earlier. And these three things are joining forces to make me crazy. And they're THISCLOSE to succeeding.

So, I need a strategy to get myself back on track. And I think I have it. It's all about focus and small steps, little victories, that keep me going.

Stay tuned. I think I might be on to something here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What is a Veteran?

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a vet just by looking.

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".

Father Denis Edward O'Brien/USMC

Monday, October 19, 2009

Looking Ahead

November is NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. I have thirty days to write a 50,000 word novel. And I'm going to do it.

I have ten days to work out the characters and story line, but all the writing must be done in November.

Wish me luck!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Yet Another Reason I Love My Friends... and Facebook

John Hulsey likes this President. Really, I do. And a Nobel Prize in the future fits with my perception of him and his passion. But now? Already? Um... no, I'm not seeing it.

Silvia Aldama, Colby Tiner, Scott David Weitzenhoffer and 2 others like this.

Jeremy Ward John...ummm....your intellectual honesty is showing again.

John Hulsey Ironic that the Peace Prize will fuel the war between the Far Left ("he deserves it! he has done more than anyone ever!") and the Far Right ("he's the worst Prez ever! Communist!).

Tomarra Wagoner i obviously must go read the news today...i`m behind!

Jeremy Ward Another good point John.

John Hulsey That's two, JW. I'm fresh out for the day. :p

Chuck Little I order to win, he would have had to be nominated in something like late January-February time frame.....Did I miss something? I'm with you John, I just don't see it at this point in his Presidency.

John Hulsey And am I the only enjoying the contrast - Obama wins a Nobel Peace Prize the same day the US bombs the moon?

John Hulsey Yeah, I read that about the nomination time frame. The voting is more recent, though. Still, too soon for this.

Jeremy Ward Nominations were due Feb. 1 but the voting was a lot more recent.

Cj Redden-Liotta I think that people forget that the Prize is not only to recognize past achievement, but to enable future success.

Window Dressing It's obvious that the prize no longer has to do with accomplishment.

John Hulsey CJ, I understand that, but I think the Presidency itself empowers far more potential than this award. Moreso, by honoring "could be" recipients, I think it diminishes the value of the award.

Anthony Muhlenkamp I'd like to offer him my congratulations. That and 20 bucks will get him a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Andrea Cummins Unless he's completely full of crap -- sounds lke Obama is just as surprised and feels as unworthy as the rest of... "'I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures that have been honored by this prize,' Obama said."

John Hulsey I think that was sincere, Andrea. He has to be as surprised as the rest of us.

Jeremy Ward This is by far the best discussion on this topic I have seen thus far, including all discussions on the various news outlets. Strangely encouraging, though I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

John Hulsey Thanks, JW. My left, right and center friends are all rational, sensible types. Makes the chat worthwhile.

Tomarra Wagoner ok imonna say i think it`s finearoonie that he got it. The criteria: 1) the person who has done the most or best to promote fraternity among nations 2) who has abolished or reduced standing armies 3) has help peace congresses.

Yep, i`m cool with him getting an award for that cause he`s done all that.

Besides this award almost always gets debated if it went to the right person. Gandhi & Mother Therese caused a big ol stir too! ;)

John Hulsey T, I think you and I just disagree with the "done" and "doing."

Jeremy Ward And again, thank you John for making a good point. You're now over your limit, by the way. ;-)

John Hulsey No worries, JW. I'm borrowing tomorrow's. And Sunday's. Look for a weekend of silliness.

Tomarra Wagoner "held peace congresses" sorry :)

it`s just people getting twisted bout who an award goes to is a lil wierd to me...dontcha think it sorta carries the smell of a Kanye impropriety?

Tomarra Wagoner plus all awards if this ilk are subjective to the voters mindset...there`s really no way to quantify "the best" winner as people will always vote their feelings as to who is "best". And we all know that each of us is jampacked with completly opposite feelings on a myriad of topics

Jeremy Ward I don't remember seeing anyone take the microphone away from Obama during his acceptance speech this morning...

Todd Rudat Henry Louis Gates Jr. & Sgt. Crowley...beers at the White House! Come on...He brought BEER back into the Peace Process. We all know that historically successful diplomacy has involved Henry Clay bringing along some of Kentucky's "product" to the negotiations at Ghent to end the war of 1812. Got favorable terms in that deal despite the Brits basically giving us a beat down.

Andrea Cummins My biggest concern is the people that seem to be pissed at Obama for receiving the award -- aim any emotion at the committee that voted, not the man who received it!

John Hulsey Am I the only one who imagines Bill Clinton thinking, "hey, if Kanye can do it..."?

John Hulsey Make no mistake, T. I am glad he won and I think it shines a good light on the President and this nation. I just think it would have been seen as more of a legitimate award if it came further into his term when there would be more tangible results to point to.

Jeremy Ward @Andrea- Agree 100%
@John - That's hilarious. I picture old Bill sitting there in front of his TV with his head in his hands this morning...

Debbi Sturch I don't know, John...somehow I took this more as a huge attaboy for the U.S. than as a prize for something Obama has done. I think he got the prize because he is the face of our changed foreign policy. Do I think it might have been better to do this next year? Yeah... But I also think the rest of the world wants to keep us on track:)

John Hulsey Rudy, you make a good point. Enough of the stuffy peace conferences. Bring back the tavern talks. :)

Tomarra Wagoner lol! Now i wanta beer before noon...oh great, thanks guys! If i turn into even more of an alky it`ll be on your heads ;)

Todd Rudat Say to your enemy..."Let's DO shots, not fire them!"

Debbi Sturch (and please keep in mind that I am a shallow person with no intellectual thoughts!) And I LOVE the contrast between this and bombing the moon! WTF!!

John Hulsey Debbi, I swear, I am still giggling at that. "Sure, Bush invaded two countries, but it took Obama to start a war across the galaxy!"

Tomarra Wagoner Andrea...its nothing new under tha sun. This prize really is almost always hotly contested. Although you might have a point there in that normally it`s not the awardee`s own country that gets this up in arms over it!

Andrea Cummins T -- forget this -- let's go grab that beer!!!

Tomarra Wagoner M`k!!! Brian`s over here by me makes a mean bloody mary to chase beer & late-breakfast down...& i havent eaten yet! Seriously...wanna??

John Hulsey Andrea, you and T should also get a Nobel Pizza Prize to go with those beers.

Andrea Cummins I'd have to get out of my pjs, and need to stay sober enough to pick up a friend at the airport at 5pm, but I'm definitely game! Sure beats the yogurt I've got sitting in front of me!

Tomarra Wagoner we hafta make it, or just eat tha heck out of it hmm?

John Hulsey And Andrea and Tomarra go off to enjoy a peaceful breakfast. Ahem, Prize Committee? Do you see what I did here? Where's my $1.4 million?

Andrea Cummins I don't cook -- so definitely just eat...

Tomarra Wagoner John you can have the $1.47 i got in my back pocket & i`ll fashion you the most nifty-est statuette i can from tinfoil. "You love me! You really really love me!" *gasp & tear, SallyFields-style*

I LOVE You so much Mr. Hulsey! :)

John Hulsey Keep the money, but you better believe I am gonna want that statuette. And back at ya, lady.

John Hulsey Something I was not aware of:
Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, which recognize completed scientific or literary accomplishment, the Nobel Peace Prize may be awarded to persons or organizations that are in the process of resolving a conflict or creating peace."

In the process? Yeah, I can see that, I suppose.

Russ Bowen @Debbi "I think he got the prize because he is the face of our changed foreign policy."
I agree. But I also think it's a stretch for him to receive the prize now.

Sonya Aldama Debbi S-I don't know you, but RIGHT ON sister!! You make the most sense to me! Thank you! I was in Europe in '06 and it was harsh.

Tomarra Wagoner Debbi & Sonya: i think you guys have nailed it. i dont think its really registered by a lot of americans just how much venom was felt about us by people internationally! There truly was a worldwide collective sigh of relief when we voted him into if we finally came to our senses, yah know?

John Hulsey Oh, great. Thanks a lot, Chica. It's not like Debbi isn't already in love with her own opinions. This will send her through the clouds. *laughing*

Ric Sanchez Well all I know is I got kidnapped and taken to Brian's for bloody Marys, beers and brunch! I had a great time. Thank your Nopel Peace Prize comittee!

John Hulsey So, what do Andrea, Ric and Tommie have in common with the moon? They all got bombed today! Ha, ha!

Sonya Aldama I LOVE U Ricky!! Ur the BESTEST! I had a BM for breakfast and it was fabulous! I'm on TEAM Debbi :)

Sonya Aldama Thanks Tomarra! FOR SURE baby!

Tomarra Wagoner lol...not bombed...just feelin full & foine-NAH! Life is gooo-oood :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Music of Adam-12

I've been watching Season One of Adam-12, and I notice that the same music is playing every time they go to a loud party or come up on a house or or bar full of people. It's a groovy instrumental better suited for an acid trip.

I wonder if I can find the music.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ugh. Wasn't it just Friday? Now it's Monday, already.

It's after midnight, which means it's now Monday morning. I have spent the entire weekend working on projects from the office. This cannot be a good thing.

I'm exhausted and burnt out. I need sleep - now - and I need several hours of it.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Raúl Esparza, or Keeping Good "Company"

How I have never heard of this amazing performer?

I caught the production of Company and I now have a mad crush on Raúl Esparza. I'm not sure how else to describe it, other than saying that he is truly captivating on stage. Listen for yourself and tell me he isn't fantastic.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kiss The Bride.... and who were those guys?

I watched Kiss The Bride. I loved it. How did I never hear about this movie before?

Philipp Karner? Oh, goodness. Very hot.

And James O'Shea? Also hot. Very hot.

And of course, the two of them together? Very, very hot.

Something to think about...

Sent to me by Cathy, and I am reposting it here because I want to remember this.

  1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step. 

  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

  4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

  6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

  7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

  8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

  9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.

  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

  11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

  12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

  13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 

  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it. 

  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind. 

  17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful. 

  18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. 

  19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

  22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

  23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

  24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

  25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words “In five years, will this matter?' 

  27. Forgive everyone everything. 

  28. What other people think of you is none of your business. 

  29. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

  30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

  31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

  32. Believe in miracles.

  33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

  34. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

  35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

  36. Your children get only one childhood.

  37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

  38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

  39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

  40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

  41. The best is yet to come.

  42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

  43. Yield.

  44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What do you stand for?

I was listening to this song tonight and one line in particular got me thinking: "Didn't you love the things that they stood for?"

So, what do you stand for? And who inspires you to do more, be more, care and love and give more?

Today's Tunes

This is what I'm rockin' out today. I'm feeling on edge, a little more raw and tense than usual. When I'm like this,  I need my music to keep up with me.

Chiles en Nogada

Lucky me, I was invited by Tommie to a fanastic dinner party this past Saturday. Feeling tired and worn out from a day of garage cleaning, I was tempted to back out. But Tommie was kind enough to come over and help me, so I would have been a heel to cancel at the last minute. So I went.

Oh, man. How brilliant for me that I did. I had a fantastic time. And the food was as great as the company. Without a doubt, my favorite dish was the Chiles en Nogada. Had I been unobserved, I might very well have devoured the entire platter. I understand the meal itself is quite labor intensive and usually made only for special days, but I am sharing it anyway.

And yes, Ric will be making this as soon as he gets home. Anyone else want to join us for dinner?

The recipe:
Chiles in Walnut Sauce (aka Chiles en Nogada)

adapted from Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel


The chiles:

6-10 large fresh poblanos


The garnish:

the seeds of 1 pomegranate


The sauce:

4 oz queso fresco, crumbled

4 oz walnuts

¾ cup heavy cream

¾ cup milk


The filling:

2-3 T canola oil (or lard if you're feeling sassy)

1 onion, chopped

4 oz almonds, finely chopped

1 lb ground sirloin

2 t cumin

1 T sugar

2 oz raisins

1/2 lb tomatoes, chopped

1 oz candied orange peel (should be candied citron, but I evidently cannot find that in Austin in October), finely chopped

1/2 peach, peeled, cored, and chopped

1/2 apple, peeled, seeded, and chopped





Add the walnuts, cheese, cream, and milk to a blender, and puree till completely combined. Ta-da, your sauce is finished. (Note: most recipes I've found call for removing the skins from the walnuts, but I didn't bother with that step and didn't detect any real bitterness in the sauce.)



I don't get to use my normal method for roasting the chiles here since they need to remain whole so they can be stuffed. In this case, oil the chiles and roast under a broiler, turning frequently to fully blister the outside. Allow the chiles to sit in a sealed plastic bag for 15-20 minutes to let the skins loosen. After the time has elapsed, carefully peel the chiles, then split them open and remove (the majority of) their seeds.



Saute the onions in oil till soft and translucent. Add the almonds and continue to saute until the nuts begin to color slightly. Add the ground sirloin, cumin, and sugar and let the meat brown. After the meat has cooked completely, stir in the peach, apple, raisins, tomatoes, and candied orange peel or citron. Continue to cook till the fruits have softened and given off their juices and those juices have largely cooked away. Season with salt to taste.



Allow the filling to cool slightly. Once cooled, carefully stuff the chile cavity with the filling, arranging the stuffed peppers on a serving tray as you go. Once all the chiles have been stuffed and arranged, drizzle the walnut sauce over the top of them. Sprinkle your hard-won pomegranate seeds all over the top of that for a beautiful presentation.

I watched Like Water for Chocolate in its original spoken Mexican with English subtitles and found it quite enjoyable. The book of the same title, on which the movie is based, is also available as an English translation. In the English version of the book at least, the ingredient list for this dish didn't quite seem to match up with the recipe (I'd be interested to know if the Spanish version of the book does a better job), but in the end it's meant to be a story, not a cookbook, so I guess it's forgivable. At any rate, if you happen to have the book in front of you, you'll notice that I took a few liberties with the recipe.

Even with the modern conveniences of pre-shelled nuts and a high-powered blender, this dish is still a bit on the labor-intensive side. In the end though, after all that work it turned out really well. The flavors were really fantastic. Poblanos vary in their heat – some are very mild, almost like bell peppers. Others are fairly spicy (maybe they were grown near jalapenos and were subject to cross-pollination). Ours turned out to be on the spicy end of the spectrum, which actually worked pretty well here. The sweet meat filling and its mildly piquant roasted chile casing were nice counterpoints to the rich creamy sauce and the tart and crunchy pomegranate seeds. It is the perfect metaphor for a richly flavored, many textured feast of a movie (well, maybe if it ended up burning in the end).

Thanks to the Hungry Engineer for the recipe.