Tuesday, January 22, 2008

And today ...

It's only maternal fathers that are left in our families.

Bacon .... again.

During the great "get this s&!t out of the house" movement this weekend, I paused and could hardly believe my ears.

I was listening to The Splendid Table on KUOW.

Sure enough, the second time it was mentioned, I did hear it correctly. Not only was Lynne talking about bacon. She was talking about truffles ... chocolate truffles. TOGETHER.

I give you the recipe that will be tried in the near future:

Makes 18 to 20 truffles

These addictive truffles were inspired by some served at the prestigious Magnolia Grill in Durham, North Carolina, a restaurant known nationwide for its innovative desserts. Whereas the chef there uses dry-roasted peanuts, I much prefer the large, toothsome, regular goobers I order routinely from Aunt Ruby's in Enfield, North Carolina (1-800-843-0105), and for even smoother and richer texture, I do add butter to the chocolate. If ever the affinity between bacon and peanut butter and/or chocolate were questioned, these truffles serve as undeniable proof. Stored in an airtight container, the truffles keep in the refrigerator up to about a week and are best served slightly chilled.

  • 6 slices lean streaky bacon
  • 4 ounces salted peanut (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • Six 1-ounce squares semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup cocoa

1. In a large skillet, fry the bacon over moderate heat till crisp, drain on paper towels, and let cool completely.

2. In a blender or food processor, combine the bacon, peanuts, and sugar and grind to a fine texture. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the peanut butter, and stir till well blended and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and chill about 1 hour.

3. Roll the mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter, place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill about 30 minutes longer.

4. Meanwhile, combine the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan and stir over very low heat till melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool till warm. Sift the cocoa into a bowl.

5. Coat the balls completely in the melted chocolate, dredge thoroughly in the cocoa, and store in the refrigerator till ready to serve.

Monday, January 21, 2008

They came with a chopper

So our little 'hood was invaded by a chopper today. It went slowing up and down the blocks ... block by block, slowly.

The first concern, due to the prevailing presence of news choppers ... could be bad news ... then there' s proximity of the military bases ... as well as the perpetual police protection ... it could be anything ... Google or Microsoft maps ...

Could also be a neighbor just flying by.

Either way, I found the company they are registered to ... and they contract for all those things.

Ah, wonderful to be secure and paranoid today ... just great.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bears repeating

On the homefront, having kids means entertaining them.

Once again, SeeqPod has come through.

Try it. Search for your favorite tunes.

The kids have been dancing with and without me to: Dare to be Stupid; Sing, Sing, Sing; Yoda; Fish Heads ... you name it ... TMBG has a great presence, too.

Go ahead ... try it out ... before it is gone.

Friday, January 18, 2008

First number

Last night we went down to see our favorite local artist, who is still very local: Deborah Page.

She was performing as part of the third Thursday art celebration that Tacoma hosts every month on, get this, the third Thursday.

We'd seen Deborah perform at First Night, and fell in love with her sound, beats and voice.

Eldest one was not very excited until she saw a picture of Deborah on a business card.

Because the venue had these all over the place, Eldest picked a couple up, and after the show got an autograph.

Of course, middle one was set on doing the same, and so was the little one.

Well, middle one, on a venture down the stairs of Sanford and Son (a wonderful antique dealer in Tacoma) began to examine his card.

He said:

"Daddy! I found her phone number on this card! Tonight, I'm going to call her."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

April 2000 redux

Well, for those of you in the know ... those of you who aren't, this isn't about the kids, they are doing well.

Everything went smoothly yesterday. The total surgery time was well longer than the 8 hours they estimated, but he is in recovery and stable.

I'm taking the kids up today to visit, don't know if I'll have the opportunity to seen my brother, but at least I can see my dad, step mom, and others.

Monday, January 14, 2008

"A dark, meaty snow"

A BBC reporter on the campaign trail in Iowa writes:

I left Ireland promising myself that I would demonstrate self-control in this country which refuses to practise portion control.

I do not want to become the latest in a long line of European settlers who arrive looking like Laurel and leave looking like Hardy.

But of course my first meal was a cheeseburger the size of a dartboard.

When I ordered bacon on it, eight slices arrived. I was learning my first lesson about US cuisine.

Bacon is no longer really a meat; it has become a garnish served alongside or on top of other foods, as though it was a kind of porcine salad vegetable.

Occasionally it even comes ground up and sprinkled over your dinner like a kind of dark, meaty snow.
Yes, sir it certainly is a delightful garnish.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

For those who missed it ...

My son, 5, just stood upon his chair and announced, "Three and one still equal four."

Thank you.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The call

I interrupt phone calls for very few reasons. I don' t like call waiting, and only in the last two years have I actually had possession of devices that permit such a thing.

If I'm on a call that isn't particularly interesting or I have to get going and I get a call from, say, high elected officials in the state, or their respective offices, I bag the call I'm all and go for that one coming in. Don't be offended if it has happened to you, these are typically urgent calls.

Even those calls have the ultimate call-waiting trump card.

The elementary school.

I had to pull the plug on one today for the dreaded elementary school call.

These can be anything from "thanks for thus and that", "your daughter is in the sick room", "snow day", anything whatsoever.

But I wasn't greeted with an adult voice on this one, and that is weird.

It was the eldest.

Through her sad, oh so sad phone whispering voice (note to self: tell her to speak up on the phone), I was able to discern that she was sad. That's about it.

I then used 'gentle dad' voice to ask her when lunch happens, and told her that I could come back to school and give her a hug.

That was acceptable to her, and she got off the phone.

I walked back up to school and gave her the hug moments before lunch.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Not to Count Chickens or Anything

It's ALL speculation.




But PE (potential employer) indicated that if everything goes through, there a possibility of maybe there being a certain device that I use for my possible job that might occur should it all fall into place.

Vague enough?

Monday, January 7, 2008


There was a series of Christmas week vandalism in our little neighborhood.

You know, car dented and spray painted upon, garbage dumped near people's garages ... cases of beer stolen from front porches.

I walked past a young man and his dad patching up some tail lights the other day.

My comments were about the string of vandalism plaguing a few blocks.

"You should probably report it." I said.

"What good would that do?"

"Well, it lets them know it happened."

I was disappointed at the "what good would that do?" comment.

It's not like it'll DO anything. The bad guy probably won't get caught and won't be forced to pay th $100 to fix the taillights. It DOES help in seeing vandalism trends in the neighborhood ... something that your police department pays attention to when assigning community liaison officers ... beat officers ... and other resources.

But it's beyond that, the tone was very much ... hopeless. Very hopeless. Like there was no ownership in the place where this occurred. He had a key to the house, so either he lived there, or his parents did. I'd assume that's enough ownership. Maybe it isn't.

We live in communities. The communities are ours, at the block, neighborhood and city level ... county, state, regional and national. We are all a part of it. It is OURS, it's not 'theirs'. We each own a bit of all of it.

So what good does it do?

You're empowered to make change, the first step is thinking you can, and you will.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I *heart* a corporation

I'm big on buy local. State, community, regional ... whatever the case. National is in a few instances is okay. Take Costco. Treats employees decently, the CEO caps his salary at a percentage of the highest-paid manager (which keeps him at about 300-400K per year).

So I buy some organic milk at the local Costco. One of the 3 1/2 gallons gets stuck to the bottom of the box when I'm at home, and leaks all over the place. I call, they say to come back with the receipt and the box, they'll refund the money.

On my way back to do the return (about 2 weeks later), I prep myself with 'the story.' You know, running the facts through my mind and out my mouth so it's easier when the task is performed. I do this often. Yes, I'm the guy talking to himself at the stop light, practicing gestures and flow. Very often the kids will say, "Daddy, who are you talking to?", I tell them I am practicing.

Story ready along with the boxes requested (a second 1/2 gallon went bad, so I assume there was a packaging error) and the receipt, I wait in line. When I get to our turn. He scans the my card, scans the receipt, scans the milk ... hands me my money.

No story. Just me saying, "here", him saying, "card?". Then me saying "thank you".



Oh, from time to time I question my heritage. Maybe or maybe not Norwegian (some divorces and stuff a generation or two ago plus adoptions ...) but today lunch determined that I probably am. What did I have? Pickled herring on crackers with some cheese.

I think that cinches it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Nice weather for music search

On one of the regular intertubes filters I view, there was a link to SeeqPod Music.

Not only can you search, but you can build a playlist right on the main page.

It'll probably be killed by those fools at RIAA (those that think they can kill creativity and take on 1 billion + users of international networking ... they should read up on Napoleon). But, please enjoy it while it lasts.

Oh, and it links to videos. Here's a family favorite: