Saturday, February 28, 2009
Today's agenda is at present relatively low key. The plan is to foray to the office to catch up on some things before heading off to a meeting with my graduate advisor at 4pm. While I'm not exactly super excited about sallying forth to the office today, it's somewhat of a necessity as two entire days of sitting on an interview panel have put me behind on a number of things due forthwith that were already behind schedule, or very nearly so. Moreover, going in on weekends isn't bad as there are no distractions from staff and phones and emails marked urgent; so much can be accomplished in a short period of time than occurrs during the typical weekday. And, If I'm feeling thusly inspired, I'll continue the office reorganization began last fall. The project was about halfway complete before distractions (ok...a loss of interest) set in. It will be a rewarding thing to bring the project to a happy conclusion. The only thing I'm waiting on now is for stores to open so I can pick up a few things (office supplies, a plant or two, and possibly a floor lamp) before heading in.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I've never really paid much attention to horoscopes but today's stopped me dead in my tracks. It could not be more perfect in terms of a few issues around the office. Perhaps there's something to these things after all.....
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
1 link of smoked sausage, diced
1/2 onion diced
1 clove of garlic minced
1 can of chicken broth (or just make your own if you tend to be Martha Stewarty)
1/2 can of diced tomatoes
1 diced red bell pepper
2 Thai chilis
Thyme (to taste)
Majoram (to taste)
Salt y pepper (to taste)
Parsley (diced, to taste)
Several pieces of fried chicken diced
Pasta (style of your choice. I used Ziti since it's what was on hand)
1. Dice the sausage and fry until brown. Remove from oil.
2. Make a brown roux with oil (equal parts flour and oil). Set aside
3. In a different pan saute onions and garlic in a little vegetable oil until tender. Add the sausage and Thai chilis.
4. Add tomatoes, corn, lima beans, and chicken broth.
5. Add the roux, parsley, thyme, and majoram.
6.Simmer until vegetables are nearly tender then add the red bell pepper.
7. Boil pasta in seperate pot. Drain.
8. When much of the water has been absorbed and vegetables are tender, add the kale. Cover and steam a few minutes until tender. Do not overcook the kale.
9. Once kale is tender, add a bit of corn starch as a thickener. Mix well.
10. In a mixing bowl, combine pasta, diced fried chicken, and veggie mixture. Mix well and serve.
After a delightful rainy morning and early afternoon, the sun is now beginning to come out.
*shakes fist at the heavens*
This is altogether disappointing as I was in the mood for one of those dark and dreary days wonderful for curling up with a book and very little else.
But anyway...I've just now put on a pot of coffee to get me through the remainder of the afternoon. Two cups now and another one right before I begin cooking. After that, I'll switch over to a glass of wine which is one of the key ingredients for the cooking process. Not necessarily to add to the food (though sometimes that is the case); in very modest amounts wine seems to aid in culinary creativity particularly if you are proceeding without a recipe as is usually my case.
Tonight's culinary creation (as least as it stands now) will be some sort of chicken and vegetable pasta. Knowing me, the menu will change five or six times between now and when cooking starts about five-thirtyish. Most likely the dish will be southwestern in nature as I have on hand the necessary ingredients to carry it off in that direction (tomatoes, corn, jalepeno peppers, cilantro, onions, and garlic). But again: it's still early yet. By the time I turn off the stove, I might end up making adobo.
I am wondering if I might be coming down with the cold that has been circulating around the office for the last couple of weeks. I'm feeling only about 70% of my usual self. I'm lethargic and sneezing and congestion are a bit bothersome today. The biggest indicator suggesting the onset of a cold? When a sneeze is immediately followed by a chill. For me at least this always indicates a cold is in the works. The lack of energy today is the most bothersome element. I didn't feel up to sallying forth to the gym this morning and even the trip down to the laundry facility in the basement was rather the ordeal. Ah well. At any rate, I'm uppping the intake of vitamin C just in case.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I rather don't comprehend the degree of raw fury that was on display last night. This could be due to some personality defect on my part. Arguments are very rare for me and if they do occur, they're more along the lines of a thoughtful discourse, even if it's something about which I feel strongly. I don't get agitated about things, I don't raise my voice, and I certainly don't carry on in an uncivilized manner as the the neighbors last night. This trait has from time to time earned me the appelation of cold, indifferent bastard, which is terribly unfair. Perhaps I'm just a bit more analytical than most when it comes to matters of contention. Whatever the issue is that inflames the passions generally is of very little consequence in the bigger scheme of things and if such matters are of greater importance, they are worthy of thoughtful and civil discussion. Nothing will be solved by screaming and yelling and throwing objects.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I'm not sure where nor how to begin heaping plaudits on the Blackberry. It's very nearly perfect is so many ways. It's features, the ability to switch between active applications, and so on could scarcely be improved upon. Yesterday I really put the device through it's paces and was well pleased with the experiment. All at the same time I was utilizing one of the Instant Messaging features while texting, utilizing the Internet, AND listening to music, all without any difficulties and no real disagreeable impact upon battery life. As most of my friends know, I'm a fairly rabid texter and am enjoying the full keyboard; it's large enough to navigate with ease.
Thus far I've encountered no real downsides to the Blackberry, save for perhaps availability of instructions. The guidebook with which the phone came is limited, so one has to rely on the help features in the device itself. Installing a memory card and subsequently loading music was a bit of an ordeal (of course I'm not the most technologically savvy person on the planet), but with a little trial and error, all is well.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
The recipe (which is very forgiving even if you don't have all the ingredients or wish to make modifications) is as follows:
- One chicken breast
- An onion diced and halved
- Four cloves of garlic
- Cilantro to taste
- Two diced jalepeno peppers (one green, one red)
- 12oz bag of corn
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- Mexican style cheese
- Lime juice
In stock pot, combine the chicken breast with half the diced onion, half the diced garlic, and cilantro and simmer for an hour and a half.
Remove the chicken breast and drain the broth. Dice/shred the chicken.
In a heavy saucepan saute the remaining onion and garlic until tender and add the diced chicken and saute a few minutes.
Add chicken broth and water (if needed) to make a suffficient quanity of soup. Add the diced jalepenos and corn and simmer for 30 to 45 minutues.
Once the appropriate flavor has been achieved, add cilantro and lime juice (to taste) reduce heat and simmer a few moments. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and add tortillas and queso.
With the expiration of my cell phone contract imminent and having nothing better to do yesterday, I sallied forth to look at new phones and associated plans. This was, in effect, the culmination of a few weeks of periodic research into various phones. I've had a Motorola Razr, of which I'd grown fond, over the last two years. Not a moments worth of trouble, not even after accidentally dropping it on a stone street in Sagada, where it bounced along in the shadow of the hanging coffins for what seemed slighlty longer than an eternity. At that point, I was nearly ready to curl up in one of those coffins, and would have done so, but the phone emerged with nothing more than a few very minor scuffs. Such was my fondness of the Razr, I considered sticking with it for two more years. But as with so many things, life gets in the way. More numerous and complex responsibilities required something a bit more comprehensive than the Razr in terms of data access and scheduling and so on. Choices had been narrowed down to either the Palm Centro or the Blackberry Curve and I was leaning towards procuring the former as I had experimented with one recently purchased by a coworker and found it to my liking. All thoughts of the Palm, however, were banished after but a few moments of experimenting with the Blackberry. At that point, there was really no choice and I returned home with the Blackberry in my clutches.
As it turned out, the decision as to which phone was the easy part. Learning its multitue of features and how to navigate around the menus ate up much of the evening and even a part of today. Emotions varied between elation and frustration, which astonishingly sometimes occurred at the same time. But at this point of the trial phase, I'm still very much pleased with the purchase, though in a weird sort of way I have a few reservations as to just how deeply connected I'm going to be. SMS, email, all versions of instant messaging, the Internet, and so on. There is something almost fundamentally wrong about this level of connectivity to the world.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
For the first time in weeks, I broke out the fountain pens with which to write today, mainly due to a shortage of the usual micro-fine point pens typically used for such endeavors, thanks to heavy handed people at work. Hand a pen to them to sign something and it's handed back all broken. I've lost three like this recently and one would think I'd have learned my lesson. I now have to order some more and keep on hand for staff signatures a box of crayons. But as to the fountain pens, they are such a novel and delightful writing tool. While I can't write with them as small and precise I normally do, they nonetheless provide a nice change of pace. The way the ink just glides across the page with the lightest of efforts and the ability to flair letters make the endeavor so very worthwhile. Needless to say these don't get lent out to staff for any reason whatsoever, though presumably they are much more difficult to break.
It has been exactly two years this week since I was last out there and that trip remains my favorites of all time, in terms of domestic excursions. I've made three trips to Arizona since 2005 and with each visit I become more enamored with the region. There is something about that part of the country to which I am deeply drawn. Were the opportunity ever to present itself, I would relocate there with but momentary debate. If anything, I've already had that debate; it's now just a matter of putting the process in motion. Of course the economy at present isn't exactly conducive for relocation, which is just as well since I still have that pesky masters thesis write-up to finish. But in the meantime, I'm keeping an eye on air fare and giving some thought as to a possibly travel ininerary for late February or March.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
As to the snow, I am very doubtful that we'll receive much, if any at all. It is such a rare thing here, even on occasions when it's all but guaranteed. Such occurred on Inauguration Day. We had a 100% chance of snow, with accumulations ranging from 3-5 inches. With all schools and colleges closed in anticipation of the Great and Terrible Event, grocery stores emptied of everything but discounted Christmas trees out front, and families huddled at home, mothers clutching children and fathers bravely posted at windows nearby, braced for the Savage Fury of mother nature, the day came and went with no more than one or two early morning flakes. By the early afternoon, it was evident to all that the Great Calamity would not come to pass and with relief neighbors rush out into the streets to hug neighbors, tears of joy streaming down their cheeks and glistening in the sun emerging from behind the dark, but impotent clouds.
So as for the coming "snow?" Not bloody likely.