Friday, April 28, 2006

Simple as ABC

The ABC meme. Are we having fun yet?

Accent: Depends on where I am. In Arizona I do a mean Arizonian. In the UK I do a mean Londoner. In Texas I do a mean Texan. So, I guess, it’s “mean.”

Booze: Gin and Tonic. What else?

Chore I Hate: Laundry, but the alternative isn’t great, either.

Dog or Cat: Cat. It’s the licking thing.

Essential Electronics: Macintosh Powerbook.

Favorite Cologne: Eau de Summer Camp.

Gold or Silver: Gold!

Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona.

Insomnia: Not after B.

Job Title: Job?

Kids: Three.

Living arrangements: Married with children.

Most admirable traits: Sense of humor. (You’re mileage may vary.)

Not going to cop to: Not going to cop to.

Overnight hospital stays: Enough.

Phobias: Spiders, but I’m working on it. Spiders are nice. Spidersare nice! Spidersarenice, spidersarenice! Ewwwwww.

Quote: If we don’t change direction we’ll end up exactly where we’re going.

Religion: Big fan of Christmas.

Siblings: One sister.

Time I wake up: 5:15 am soon to change to 8:00 am! Yea, me!

Unusual talent or skill: Being unusual.

Vegetable I love: Brussels sprouts! With chestnuts.

Worst habit: Procrastination.

X-rays: Teeth, lungs, kidneys.

Yummy foods I make: Texas chili.

Zodiac sign: Capricorn.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Around the World in 80 Hours

I haven’t been blogging much because I’ve been traveling.

A lot.

Here’s the report.

First, I did some domestic traveling visiting the places I’ve lived. I went to Scottdsdale to visit the family home, then up to Flagstaff where I went to college. Then, I cruised down Highway 40 past Meteor Crater, through New Mexico, past the Arch in St. Louis and up to West Lafayette, Indiana, the home of Purdue University.

Then I headed south to Louisiana where I was born and raised as a child. I found my childhood home and the elementary school where I spent my first six years, and its first six years, too. The school was new when I entered the first grade and I and a few friends were the first class to attend all six grades. The first graduating class, as it were. I wonder where those guys are now?

I headed south through Mexico City on my way to the Panama Canal. I had no idea that the canal was in pieces, linking a bunch of lakes. I followed some ships through the Canal before heading to Peru.

In Peru I visited Machu Pichu, the Inca capital high in the Andes. Man, is it remote! Heading south I followed the coast of South America right to the tip at the Straits of Magellan. I confess great admiration to that sea captain who braved those stormy straits over 500 years ago.

From South America I headed west through the South Pacific to China where I followed the Great Wall from Beijing through Mongolia. From western China I followed part of the Silk Road to Nepal and across Mount Everest to Katmandu. Once in Nepal I sang the Bob Seger song at the top of my voice and hoisted a prayer flag for future adventurers.

Descending Nepal I went through India, picked up the Silk Road again and traipsed through Iran, Iraq and into Turkey. I was getting a little tired by this point so decided to skip to the highlights. I flew to Athens and took in the Parthenon, zipped down to Cairo for the pyramids and up to Rome for the Coliseum. I decided to skip most of Europe but couldn’t pass up Paris where I scaled the Eiffel Tower then crossed the Channel to London where I spent the night in Trafalgar Square.

After touring London I headed straight for New York and traveled around the east coast taking in Philadelphia, Niagra Falls and parts of Canada.

Finally, on a whim, I scooted over to Seattle and took the Inner Passage up to Alaska, and down to San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego before flying home via the Grand Canyon.

Whew! I’m exhausted.

And, I whole-heartedly recommend Goggle Earth to anyone who has an itch to travel but doesn’t want to be bothered by all the airlines, boats, cars, luggage and hassle.

I’m done traveling for the year. I hope the rest of the family understands!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Z Tejas in Austin, Texas, may have created the perfect enchilada:

Santa Fe Chicken Enchiladas– Layered with smoked chicken, corn tortillas, Jack cheese and New Mexico chili sauce, with Tejas rice and black beans.

Cooked to perfection.

I had a dream, and in the dream there was a word, and the word was


Sunday, April 16, 2006


Her heart beats against mine.

I am enraptured by her heat.

I am intoxicated by the smell of her hair; the flow of it across my brow is mesmerizing.

Smooth sweaty hot.

The pulse quickens.

Her breath upon my ear is hurried.

I am one with her word:


Monday, April 10, 2006

Dutch Treat

I had the privilege of judging a Dutch Oven Cook-Off this weekend and I have to tell you that if you’ve never cooked with a Dutch Oven you’re missing quite a treat.

Dutch Oven cooking is an adventure. First, you have to understand that anything you can cook in a regular oven can be cooked in a Dutch Oven. The only challenge is how.

This weekend I tasted the following:

Pork ribs
Beef stew
Chicken stew
Texas chili
Lemon cake
Peach cobbler
Apple cobbler
And baked bread

All cooked in a Dutch Oven.

For those of you not familiar with this cast iron marvel let me say that the Dutch Oven can serve as both stew pot and oven. You an apply heat both above and below.

The Dutch Oven is a cast iron pot on legs with a lipped top. The legs allow the oven to be placed on a bed of coals and the lipped top allows coals to be placed on top. In general, a Dutch Oven will maintain an internal temperature of 350 degrees F (Mark 4) with coals placed above and below.

Why would anyone cook in a Dutch Oven? Well, for a start you do this outdoors. If you’re not an outdoors person then there’s no point! Cook indoors and enjoy! But, if you’re the outdoors type and enjoy camping then the Dutch Oven is the cook’s tool of choice for any recipe.

So, which recipes won the competition?

Standing Pork Ribs with Mango Sauce
Fresh Bread with melted butter
Apple cobbler with cinnamon crunch topping


Beef stew with dumplings
Cucumber and tomato salad
Lemon cake with raspberry glaze

I’ve already signed up for next year as Head Judge. Can you blame me?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Le Bump

Have you ever wondered why speed bumps in parking lots are painted yellow? I researched the subject and discovered that speed bump paint is specially formulated to chemically neutralize any desire by drivers to race through parking lots.

Yes, it’s true. The paint is designed to emit hydro-moronic vapors which temporarily paralyzes a driver’s higher order functions turning him or her, in an instant and for a moment, into a moron.

The symptoms include a heightened fear of speed typified by slowing down to 0.001 miles per decade, a sudden fear of heights as one climbs the steep flank of the speed bump and uncontrolled anxiety that one’s front end alignment will suddenly shift 90-degrees.

Apparently, the effects are magnified by orders of magnitude and long lasting if one drives a Volvo.

So, last week there I was in a Major Hurry. Somehow time got away from me and the day was ripening fast; almost too ripe, even for a professional procrastinator like me. As I sped towards Kroger’s to pick up a couple of bags of ice I got passed by a pick-up truck, obviously in a hurry, too, as I was boogying along at a ticketable speed.

Instinctively, I pulled in behind the truck. “Plow the road, baby!” I yelled, “I got your back!” And we flew down the highway, swerved into the turn lane and bounced into the parking lot.

The ensuing collision that would have happened next was prevented only by my mongoose-like reflexes. Unexpectedly, the driver of the truck was overcome by hydro-moronic vapors, braked hard and nearly stopped in front of a tiny, itty bitty, little speed bump that I normally take at flank speed.

Ever. So. Slowly. The driver crept. Over. The. Bump.

(There was a total eclipse of the sun.)

All the time I had gained in our mad dash to the parking lot was lost, and then some, in our glacial creep through the parking lot.

What was wrong with that guy? Why did he stop? I couldn’t believe it. In a truck no less! Talk about adding insult to injury.

Then I noticed a bumper sticker that read:

I brake for poodles.

That explained it! I should have known he’d stop for speed bumps.

He was driving a Ford F One-Fifi.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006



To Chefs everwhere:

Do not put jalapenos in Corned Beef and Cabbage soup.


Thank you for your attention.