Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The "L" Word

Growing up I was taught the L-word was Layers.  To stay comfortable you needed layers.  I had layers of blankets on my bed, would wear multiple socks, layers under my jeans, and most importantly the torso.  Well, covering my head was probably most important for warmth, but the ability to add and remove layers kept me comfortable all day long.  Not uncommon to go to the woods for the day with a t-shirt, a long sleeved t-shirt, and and over shirt or sweater all under a light-weight jacket.  My favorite layer was the sweater.
I have always had a number of sweaters.  Before the "Ugly sweater party" was popular, I had a closet full of them!  Even now I have a countless collection of sweater, but my favorites are what I call the magic or elfin sweater.  The light weight merino wool (wool is the only way to go) sweater, a tad small so it doesn't have extra fabric that can get in the way.  If it has some caulk or tar on it or get a small hole in a non-vital location, then it become a classic Wedel-Way sweater, adding to the magic.  Magic in that it is itch free, warm, cool, and has the protection factor of chainmaile from Arda.  I don't think it is bullet proof, but it maybe blade and nail proof, and possibly even chainsaw resistant (like Wedel-way jeans)!  And they makes me feel good, the right combination of warm and cool, sexy even.  I have brown, charcoal, even a dark purple one and a couple black ones, the cashmere with a couple holes is my lucky sweater. ;)
So under a waterproof shell, a wool sweater is the prefect layer in the cold half of the year, joining my Exofficio's as the most import part of my wardrobe.

Random acts of kindness

Random acts of kindness make me tear up.  Hell, formulaic acts of commercial kindness do as well.  And 'tis the season for both!  The other day American Pickers was on in the background at work.  I had never seen the show before as I stay away from reality shows unless food is involved.  Well, the guys find some carnival sign and buy it for $200.  But when they take it to NY and get it appraised they are told it is worth $10,000 if restored!!  They were offered $5000 on the spot, but turned it down, opting to restore instead.  The show goes off on other adventures for a while, then come back for the last scene with the seller with the sign, and gloat that they restored it and got ten grand for it.  Then they thank him and give him half the sale price, $5,000!!!  I had to go stand in the cooler and compose myself for a minute... I get a little sniffly now recounting.

At home I am spared most of the wrenching commercials with the miracle of DVR, but rarely does a day go by that some selfless act in a book or touching story on the radio that gives me hope that this can be a better world.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

As both of you who read this already know, I am going to be a father.  And last week we learned that she is a girl, which came as not surprise to me.  I have known that it was going to be a girl since before conception, since we started trying.  In my world of doubt and uncertainty and non-absolutes, this was something I KNEW.  I cant really explain it, be even more certain than any belief in a god, I believed I was to father a little girl.
With this knowledge, I have been searching for my daughters name for years.  The steady stream of media input I take in, TV, movies, books and audio, all have provided potential names. NPR corrispondants names are a wealth of potentials, especially the names like Lourdes Garcia-Navarro or Ofeibea Quist-Arcton. But when I was listing to Assimov's Foundation Trilogy, I found the name, Jezebel.  OMG, you are thinking, how can he do that!!  Or, good name, but...  If it weren't for Betty Davis making her into a hussy in the 1930's, I think it would fly.  Here is a strong-willed, independent woman who knows how to get what she wants.  Yeah, my kind of girl!
My wife, of course, is totally against this name.  "She will be beat up in school, or worse!" she claims.  I hate to think we still live in times where bullying is allowed, kids are made fun of for their shape, size, color or names.  I know growing up the closest I ever came to getting in a fight in all the years of school was one day on the bus defending my sister who was the focus of some white-trash red-necks peppering her with racial slurs, and i suppose not much has changed, at least for the better, in the 30 years since then.  And maybe she will get some unwanted evilness flung her way, but will gain strength though it.  Like Johnny Cash's A Boy Named Sue.
So I will lose this battle, She will be named Rowan or something out-of-the-top-1000-names list, but will always be Jezebel to me.  She will grow up to change the world, making it a better place.  Her influence will be as legendary as the name... at least in my world.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

so what to blog about?
How the Brew guild annoys me?
How work in "the dungeon" sucks?
How I cant make a massage chair work?
How car shopping with wife who has completely different ideas is impossible?
How Brewing Beer should be fun?
How My body is falling apart?
How impending fatherhood effects me?
NoBloPoMo?... nobody tell me anything!
isn't that just so cute!  
who cares about the rest of it!

Friday, November 5, 2010


I like Halloween, among the top 10 days of the year.  ( like a lot of things…)  It’s that day to dress up or dress down or just be a little goofy… and not be out of line with everyone else.  It is the day that I can wear my kilt to work, and not worry about getting sent home.  Sure I get the “what do you have on under your kilt” question, and being in the harassment free work place (No Fun Zone), I reply with a “yes” or simply smile.  Other work friendly costume I have worn, a toga as I was Socrates, a custom home-made Cowardly Lion, and this year a frontier bartender, of course I was tending bar, so not much of a stretch.
I also like the benefits of Halloween, candy, especially the small size.  It is the only time spending more money for cute little candy bars is not frivolous.  Since I have decision making problems, I can have two and satisfy myself doubly!  And Smartee’s and Skittles’ and Tootsie Rolls and…
Past my trick-r-treating days, I can also get a great measure of joy handing out candy.  In years past there has been a party surrounding this, the first one when I lived in Prairie Park, across the street from a grade school.  As with many of my parties, adult beverages where served and we took turns handing out the candy everyone brought over.  When we ran out of candy, we broke into the freezer and started to hand out frozen burritos, until reason prevailed and we turned off the porch light.  There were quite a few kids, but nothing compared to our current location.  Old West Lawrence, maybe due to it’s proximity to downtown and that candy handout, or maybe the reputation of the neighborhood, we get A LOT of kids!!  For several years we had parties, we needed extra people bringing goodies to supply candy to all the goblins and princesses, and then last year I took a tally, 170 something, if I remember right.  Broken down by time, there was a quick start about 6:30, then a lull followed by a rising tide that crested around 7:30, and slowly receded until 8, when all that was left roaming the streets where bands of teen agers. 
This year, we were prepared.  With the house in various stages of (dis)repair, we didn’t have a party, so my wife bought 10 bags of candy, including 2 super sized bags.  Wading home from Angler’s though the sea of people sucking up the candy handouts down town, I knew we had it coming.  The doorbell rang with the first pair of kids just before 6:30.  I grabbed the caldron of candy and my beer and headed for the porch.  4 super heros  into it, we got a note pad and pen to keep track, and soon after that I went in and filled a pitcher of homebrewed IPA for the parents.  It was fast and furious and when we ran out of candy bars at 7:30, our tally was in the 170’s again, and we were down to the tootsie family multi pack.  I wanted to make it last, so 2-3 treats got handed out instead of handfuls, and it worked, at 7:58, we hit the magic 200 trick-r-treater mark.  And as I ran glass the last of the 3 pitchers of beer I poured next door, 2 more came up, final tally 202!!  Whew!
Now a short little complaint.  I don’t think kids know what Halloween is, or even what they are supposed to do.  Half the kids mumbled “Trick or Treat”, and only one offered to show us his trick.  And while some parents stayed on the sidewalk, many walked all the way up to the porch escorting the little zombies.  I suppose it was crowded and busy enough there was not time for tricks, but at least say the line.  My first Halloween memory, I was a football player, and for my trick I would pose with the football like I was OJ running past a defender, the posture that I later recognized as that of the Heisman trophy.  I was cute.  And my little sister was a cheerleader, even cuter (but cant find that picture…)

Here is one with the two of us.  I don’t think this is Halloween, but it could have been, or maybe someone’s wedding, Upton is pretty rural. 

Cute, cute, cute!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Like Everything

Unlike my friend that blogged I Hate Everything, I have the problem that I Like Everything. This is especially an issue when it comes to food and entertainment. Anyone who has eaten out with me knows of my legendary indecisiveness. How many times has the Jeopardy theme been hummed for me? I just can’t decide, I like it all… Marriage has simplified some of this, if I hesitate for even a second when ordering, my wife will say, “you’re getting the special.” At home, “what sounds good for dinner” is almost a trick question. “Anything” isn’t the right answer, but neither is “Tacos!” usually. Beverage selection can be difficult, too, so many choices, all of them good. Beer, wine, cocktail… with multiple choices each and that is just when I get home from work!

I also like movies. I like action, drama, thriller, romantic, comedy movies. I like indie film and blockbusters. While I disagree that Titanic was the best movie of whatever year that was, I did like it. Witty movies, stupid movies, I am just pretty easy to entertain. When it comes to reading, I just want to be entertained, and edutainment is good too. I like I like I like. Just look at my Goodreads ratings, nothing less than a 3.

And I like TV. Deprived as a child, I grew up with one fuzzy channel on a small B&W TV until we moved to Lawrence. And when the picture tube went out, my sis and I would listen to Saturday morning cartoon, but that was too pathetic and soon that went away and for the next 10 years I grew up in the TV-less household. I remember renting a TV for the Olympics, and getting the TV from the school in a couple summers, but nothing was cooler than the friend with cable! Once we got TV and cable, I bought the nicest VCR my $1000 at the Army Exchange would buy and recorded… and watched and recorded some more. Now the major factor in my TV viewing is time. I have to pick and choose what I want to watch, sometime a really hard decision needs to be made. External factors, DVR space and time conflicts seem to be the most important decision making tools.

One of the best filters I have is price. If I can decide how much I want to spend, that can narrow down my choices. When I picked out a car, I factored price, performance, utility, economy and style into the mix, but that wasn’t defined enough, I like so many. So I weighted the top three factors, then threw out price, since I knew how much I wanted to spend, and got Utility and Economy, which lead me to one car, well, 2, the Matrix and Vibe. The duchieness of the Toyota dealer pushed me into my happy Vibe. Similar decision tree for food and beverage happens too, but I have minutes not days to resolve. I think I am getting better, tho.

Multiple Tasking

I like multitasking. It seems wasteful to only do one thing at a time. Surf the internet while watching TV, shaving in the shower, walking and chewing gum all fine task doublers. My favorite is when it involves work. For years I have listened to audio books while making maps, each just enough distraction from the other to help me concentrate on both. I find it difficult to listen to an audiobook without multitasking, my mind wonders and I realize I have no idea what just happened. This happens while working sometimes, when I come upon a challenge that requires little more brain power than I have dedicated to work, and have to steal thought cycles from the listening part.

Recently I have been multi-processor multitasking. With 2 computers on my desk and a network that allows me to take control of several others, I can really get some work done. Yesterday I could be found with a mouse in each hand, setting up processes on both machines at the same time. After kicking those off, I remotely connected to a third machine and started up another batch. I had 3 computers, a total 6 CPU/core’s doing my bidding!! (Of course they where windows 32 bit machines, so really only one of the cpu’s on each machine was working for me, the other against me…) I was connecting to another machine, a quad-core beast when others needed one of my (like that, mine, all mine) machines for some little process…psh. Oh well, they crank away, making maps, while I blog, multi tasking again. Ooo, and soon I will pick up with my audiobook. Stephen King, here I come!


For the first time in our current old house, we found a mouse. I think maybe the brown recluse colony, no, civilization, in the basement had been keeping them out, but now with that in better control, the rodents can compete. We heard a scraping noise and isolated it to the cold air return where this little mouse was trying to scramble up the pipe. We watch in amusement at it would get to a certain vertical angle then slide down again. So I grabbed a towel, lowered it down the pipe and replaced the grate, the thought being that it would get itself out and the kids would find it.

The “kids” being the fur-kids, 2 cats and the dog, Annie. Annie and the older cat, EO (Ebony-Obsidian, guess what color she is) are proven mousers, having racked up multiple tag team take-downs at the previous old house we lived in. Ixxie, aka “Kitten”, however was untested. Since showing up at our house 2 years ago, the skinny, skittish, broken-tailed little thing has grown to be the next vowel in our clan. She has a playful streak longer than what EO will put up with, so she can be found making friends with sticks. Not “so to speak”, but really sticks, and weather stripping, and earrings, even coins. I watched her one morning, pick a penny up in her mouth off the slate bathroom floor, carry it out the door where she dropped it and proceeded to play hockey on the hardwood. That helped to explain the change that was found on the floor everywhere, even in the cold air return.

And it was that cold air return where we found the mouse, and Ixxie was in the next room, making us wonder if she had been playing with her new friend before knocking it into the grate. So fast forward 45 minutes, we are watching TV and suddenly Annie is guarding this little grey thing… oh my, with a tail… on the floor, with Ixxie a couple feet away looking on, blankly as she does at what I suspected she had played with all the way into the living room. The mouse was moving slightly and breathing fast, so Annie gave it a quick little nibble, pick it up and repositioned herself further from the cat, mouse between her front paws. Implored by my wife to get rid of it, I pick up the tiny little thing in a paper towel and after showing it to EO, who had just wondered in the room, tossed it out side.

With winter approaching, the little creatures looking for someplace warm might be better served to find accomidation elsewhere, this old barn is hostile!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I stayed home to get some work done this fine Saturday, but my remote connection to work was down so the fall back was house work. after getting the old bed broken down and out of the way, I resumed cleaning the spare bedroom where it will be going, eventually. I made some headway and then moved the foot board and box springs (split-queen) into that room. I don't want to get too carried away, as there are some repairs needed in the wall and ceiling. First week in the house, we hear a loud noise, and when we looked, a section of ceiling had collapsed. Hum, right over the water damaged section of flooring. Nice disclosure. When we investigated further, the upstairs shower/tub sliding doors didn't drain in the correct direction, with the water in the trough leaking OUT of the tub, down to the, and saturating the ceiling until collapse. I guess the previous owner didn't shower... Then we lost hot water in the upstairs and then a leak started to show up in the basement, so we cut a floor to ceiling gash in the wall to fix... plumber called and replaced all upstairs pipes, requiring more ceiling demo...
So, i check again, still having network issues, so I mow. I realize there are a few acorns on the sidewalk and they are kind of like marbles, making the already tricky brick treacherous, and with delivery men showing up, i decided this would be a good time to join the safety police. I grab my new blower, and get the nuts and leaves off the stairs and short walk to the house. I now have several inches of acorns collecting in the low spot of the brick, so i get the vac attachments for the blower. OMG! that didn't work very well, the aerodynamics of the acorns pretty slippery. So I upgrade to the Billy Goat, electric yard vac! That will work, right!, big powerful thing... not really. It sucked up leaves and sticks, but really struggled to make headway against the pile of acorns, and not any better on the scattered ones. Back to the blower, and I blow them into a large pile and go old school, push broom and dust bin. Then the small scoop shovel, then the snow shovel! I fill the first trash can and drag up the next and fill it, too. There were some leaves and sticks, but mostly nuts. A couple hundred pounds, 6 bushels I estimate. Much more to come, I am sure, not to mention the piles in the grass. What a productive tree this year, I cant wait for the leave to fall...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's Just a Flesh Wound...

Not that it explains any of my oddness, but I was once shot in the head. It was a friendly fire incident, the worst of all reasons to get shot. It was Easter of 1982, I think, and the emergency room was quiet compared to many of the other times I visited there. They saved the projectile that they dug out of my skull for me in one of those urine sample jars, which is now labeled and lost among the boxes and drawers of memories. I was so lucky…

My friend Adam lived in KC with his dad during the week and came out to his mom’s on weekends. We would pal around, hiking, hunting, camping, stalking, mini-biking and all that other fun stuff on the quarter section of wooded hillside between our houses. We build hay forts and tree stands and hydro-engineering projects in the ditch just for the fun of it. Anything we could figure out to do with firecrackers, we did. He brought some bottle rockets from home and we would take turns shooting at each other as we zipped by on the mini-bike. Being the young engineer I was, I made a launcher with a flag pole, capped at one end, a hole cut to light the fuse, and a tennis ball can as a flash suppressor, which gave the game some surprisingly close calls. But it was all harmless.

You might be thinking 1982, what were you doing with a firearm? But I was living “in the country”, a couple miles outside of town where boys and guns went together like, well, boys and guns! And our arsenal was comprised of pellet and BB guns, hardly lethal, at least to boys. Now pigeons and grasshoppers might fall prey to the mighty guns every now and then, a squirrel once and a lot of cans, but nothing much bigger than a shoe. This particular spring, we had gone down to the pond to shoot (at) frogs. I had left the nice .22 caliber pellet gun at the house, preferring the cheaper ammo of BB guns. The drawback of BB’s are their accuracy, saving the lives of countless critters. When we ran out of BB’s, we tried hunting them down with pocket knives, and when that fun wore off, we started to trudge back home, me in the lead. Adam had a CO2 powered BB pistol, with a 50 or so shot reservoir for BB’s, and you could shake and hear the rattle of your remaining shots. Well, since we had long exhausted our ammo, firearm discipline had lapsed, and for no reason that anyone can explain, Adam took aim at me from 30 feet or so and pulled the trigger. Hey, it was empty, right? Well that puff of compressed air pushed the real last BB out of the chamber on a trajectory towards me. Continuing in the series of unlikely events, the .177 caliber slug, travelling at hundreds of feet per second, founds it make, me, striking me in the back of the head, several inches behind my ear! I thought I had been stung by a wasp, and flinched, bringing my hand up to my head as I turned around. The shocked look on Adam’s face (and the gun pointed at me) quickly informed me to what had happened. Not content with giving me a welt or just a small flesh wound, the BB pierced my skin and imbedded itself between my scalp and skull a good inch from the entry point. I told Adam not to worry, I would tell the parents that it was a ricochet, so he wouldn’t get in (too much) trouble, and turned and ran the rest of the way back to my house, where I told my mom I was shot. Shocked, she cleaned up the blood, scalp wounds are bleeders, to find a tiny hole and a bump, and after tying for several minutes to move the BB back to the hole, decided this might be best left to the professionals, and loaded me up in the car and we headed to the Emergency Room. There, after a requisite wait, a local was injected and a small X was cut to remove the BB. And continuing the cover up, I had to get a tetanus shot (since it had bounced off the ground). After returning home, I found Adam waiting on the back porch with his mom, and a large basket of Easter apology candy.

Well, it sits in a plastic jar labeled “The BB that got me, Easter ‘82” and is packed away somewhere next to the chunks of cartilage from my first knee surgery, a reminder of how lucky I was.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Few of my Favorite Things

I don’t believe in absolutes. I will rarely be heard to say “best”, “worst”, or “favorite,” instead opting for modifiers like “quite possibly the best” or “my current favorite”. Favorite restaurant, don’t have one. Best beer, I wouldn’t even try to answer that, and my favorite beer changes faster than the weather. Seasonal changes don’t even begin to explain all the fluctuations, there are just so many variables. Once I was heard to say “that was the Greatest movie I remember,” a declaration that received quizzical looks until I clarified, “Great meaning big, not good…” that movie was T2.

Now I finally have something in my life that is “my favorite”!! My underwear! I might even call it “the best”, but definitely “favorite.” Exofficio boxer briefs. I was drawn to them years ago when I found them in the REI store in Albuquerque, a performance fiber with the right amount of support and comfort. And the tag line is awesome, “17 countries… 6 weeks… One pair of underwear.” That has been revised lately to add the line “(Ok, maybe two.)” The quick magic fabric can be hand washed and will dry over night. My wife doesn’t agree, but I think it is more magical than that, a good nights airing out and they are good to go! Barring accident, 1 or 2 pair will last the whole road trip, weeks vacation, or business trip, even without hand washing. Simply awesome!

And they are the most comfortable undies ever, too. Cut just right to allow room and support, chafing and problem of the past. And the waist band has a velvety touch that never binds. The magic fabric controls heat and moisture so the boys are always comfortable. Maybe too comfortable, as sometimes I notice a little shrinkage after a long hard day brewing. I guess like the magical, elfin stuff that it is, the shrinkage is a protective measure, that extra level of safety in a dangerous world.

I’m not sure how many have joined me in this bliss. My brew-partner is one. We wear matching “brew-panites” on brew days, Ocean blue of course. We each just grew our wardrobe when they went on sale and own at least one of each color! I hope that doesn’t mean we will have to coordinate that too, we already have to decide brown or green shirts.

They are a bit pricey, up to $25/pair for the boxer briefs, but well worth it. The first couple pairs I bought have been in regular use for almost 5 years, and except not being able to read the tag they are in perfect condition. They come in other styles, I did just buy a regular boxer, probably for use as PJs, a sport brief and regular brief, and 5 colors to choose from, manly colors like Black, Charcoal, Deep Palm, Ocean, and White. The women’s lineup is even more extensive, offering a Capri pant, bras, tanks, camis and panties from a full cut brief to a thong. I haven’t found a following of women for these yet, but I am looking forward to hearing about it (so slick and tactily pleasing…).

So whenever I am asked what my favorite ____ is, I think about my underwear, and I hope you will too. You wont regret it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


So I had a dream the other night where I was married to 3 women! I don’t know if married is right, I didn’t get the impression I was Mormon, but harem wasn’t the feel either… anyway, 3 women all in the same house, each with separate skill set they brought to the household. One was kind of sporty tom-boy, one a homemaker type, and the other a career woman. One to maintain the outside, one to keep everything in order on the inside and one to make bank! It was a good dream!! And there was a signup sheet on the fridge indicating who preferred my company each night. Career woman had first dibs on weekends, as her work schedule kept her out of town a lot and even when in town, was exhausted. Each got my affection and attention more or less equally and nobody complained. Date night might see some or all of us going out on the town but rarely comingling in the bedrooms. Like I said, a good dream.

Then I woke up and starting thinking about this, and I am pretty sure there is not a chance in the world it would work. While the thought of being shared among 3 women may seem appealing, the demands would likely be overwhelming, especially if they competed for my time. Multiple “honey-do” lists would surely develop, and there would be no way I would get a bathroom or garage space. And most of the date on the calender were empty, does that mean I sleep on the couch? I suppose arrangement could be made for all the unique want and needs, TV, food, temperature… more space for sure. Maybe start up something like the “My Ol’ Ladies and me” commune. That doesn’t have the right ring. Oh well, maybe I will return to the dream and get to work out all the details.

Dam the NPR for getting into my dreams... or was it the preview of United States of Tara?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Incidental porn

No surprise, I like porn. My current favorite is... well, I won’t go into that right now. But my second favorite is what I like to call incidental porn. Maybe accidental might be another adjective. It might not really be porn…

Porn: Noun; creative activity (writing or pictures or films etc.) of no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire. (

OK, it IS by definition. Let’s see about the other word.

Incidental \In`ci*den"tal\, a. Happening, as an occasional event, without regularity; coming without design; casual; accidental; hence, not of prime concern; subordinate; collateral…

Good, got that right, too. So put them together and we get “a happening or event without regularity or design of no value other than to stimulate sexual desire”. Yep, that’s it, though “…sexual desire” might be a strong phrase, it could just be left at “…to stimulate”.

So what am I referring to? Well, not the emails from Victoria’s Secret (too regular) or from friends (with design). More accidental, like scrolling down and coming across a bra and/or panty sale. Or in the real world when a gust of wind reveals a little more skin than planned. A wardrobe malfunction uncovers a colorful bra strap, a decorative décolletage or racy panties. You say, “OK, we know you are observant and a perve, so what?”

The next variant is more mental. Have you ever come across something titillating, it says in your head and you mull it over, research it maybe? A really hot car never before seen on the road advanced plans for the next generation of solar heat/pv panels, plug-in hybrids, geothermal… something that sparks something when you don’t expect it? Maybe some food or beer that exceeded expectations by so much you start dreaming about what you can do with it, when you can have it again… The smile from a stranger, a thank you from a pretty girl and sleeping, eating, playing, being pushed in a stroller babies (by mom who’s swollen breasts that defy laws and cant be contained anymore J) all can create another happy, make me smile, incidental porn moment.

Bad Dreams

Growing up I had 2 reoccurring nightmares. They would invariably wake me up before I found out where it was going, maybe a good thing, as the first was of falling. It was completely white with large floating boulders that I was falling past. Some were course, like lava rock and black and others where as smooth as ball bearings, maybe even shiny. There seemed to be a pattern, like the rocks would start small and rough and get larger and smoother, or something like that. Nothing threatening about this dream except the unsettling feeling of falling.

The other dream had me running though the woods. As background, growing up in Upton, WY, a very small town, I have memories of walking to and from the babysitters, though miles of dense forest. I moved away when I was 5 so I am sure that that wasn't the case, and when I look at a map, it was a large triangular city block between home and the sitters. I probably only walked it once, hand in hand with my little sister, though the tall pine trees, but is seems like more. Anyway, the sitters had TV!! A big color console, if I remember that right, and I got to eat my Kraft mac&cheese on a TV tray in the living room (while little sister had to eat in the highchair/booster seat in the kitchen, haha!). That was so cool!
Back to the dream, running though those same woods and wondering why I am running away from the 6-million dollar man?! The bionic sound pierced the quite of the woods spurring me on. Why was I running from the good guy? Then he turned into Bigfoot! WTF?! Where did this come from? That is when I was startled awake. Years later I was told there was an episode where Steve Austin does battle with Sasquatch. Whew, it wasn't drug induces.

Another nightmare I had that overlapped these, but didn't walk me up as much as keep me awake. I feared "The Bomb" and dying a virgin. I would lie in bed think up elaborate plans to get myself deflowered if I ever learned the missiles where coming. Not very practical plans, especially being isolated in the country, I just hoped it happened when I was still at school. Then I moved to Korea. I suspected that despite being in a city of millions of people and going to school with some real sluts, that if it came to the nuclear option, I wouldn't have time, mere minutes, to fulfill my dream. Luckily the fall of the Berlin Wall came just in time. The thawing up the Cold War may of may not have had any effect on my virginity, but both passed into the footnotes of history, thankfully! After that, I could sleep without worry.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Employee Spot light

The other day I got an email wanting me to fill out this form for the company newsletter or something. First pass through I was annoyed by the distraction, I had real work to do, then then I warmed up to it and had a little fun. This is what I submitted...

Employee Spotlight: 100 word description, Quote about working for the company, 5-7 personality questions

R. Clint Wedel, GISP, Geospatial Project Manager, is trained in all aspects of geospatial extraction. He spent 12 years with the Wilson & Company, and after a two year leave working in the GIS field, he returned to oversee geospatial extraction and GIS efforts at Wilson & Company’s Lawrence, Kansas office.

He became an [Geospatial Project(s) Manager] to... more effectively convey my professional knowledge, skills and attitude to others (and work in Lawrence... oh well)

He is currently working towards (professional goal) or would like to grow in to a roll of... Utility infielder, relief pitcher, pinch hitter, slot receiver, deep threat, return man, 12th man, 6th man... use my many skills to do whatever it take to get the job done as efficiently as possible.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and geography from the University of Kansas.

Outside the office, He spends time… works on my 120 year old house, brews beer and roots for the Jayhawks.

What is your favorite part about working at Wilson & Company? (i.e. the office environment, the projects, the people, etc. This will be represented as a quote on the website)I enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, the varied jobs/tasks, and the respect of my co-workers.

(Choose 5-7 to briefly answer)

· Where did you grow up? Conceived in the Philippines, born in Chicago, lived in Upton WY from 1-5, moved to Lawrence where I have lived since, except for my junior year in Seoul, South Korea and that crazy mistake in WYCO… not sure if I have grown up, just grown old.

· · Favorite book? Authors, F. Paul Wilson, John Sandford, Harlan Coben, and Carl Hiaasen. Guilty pleasure, Clive Cussler.

· · Favorite sports team? Jayhawks, of course.

· Last meal would be? 69 course meal serving all my “favorites” shared with all my friends that takes 6 days, and on the 7th day…

· If you weren’t an [Mapper/GISer], you would be a… engineer, first major was Aero, but discovered for the first time in my academics that I had to work, which took me a couple years to figure out… still sometime wish I had become one.

· Goal you’re working towards right now? Retire before I die. J Financial independence. Open a brewery.

· Favorite restaurant? I’m not good with “favorites” as that is kind of an absolute and my tastes change almost as fast as I change my underwear (ExOfficio boxer briefs, are my favorite, the best underwear ever!!). Favorite kind of food is Mexican, and the last Mexican meal(s) that really impressed me where the Diablo Fish Tacos at Tortas Jalisco and the 3 combo tacos at Esquina.

· Favorite quote? My current favs… SOWISA “Strap On Whenever It Seems Appropriate” (S.King), “I brew the beer I drink” and "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." –Benjamin Franklin

· Favorite project you worked on? ---BLANK---

· Music you’re currently listening to? The love ballads of Meatloaf made me cry so I have given up on music to concentrate on Audiobooks. Recently enjoyed “The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific” and the 2 sequels, “Getting Stoned with Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu” and Lost on Planet China: The Strange and True Story of One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation, or How He Became Comfortable Eating Live Squid I am currently working my way through the Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn.

· Favorite website? LOL, a bit open ended… of those I enjoy beyond email, weather, and shopping sites, Http://,, tho more because I have to than because I want to, I have responsibilities…and my HOME page…


they also wanted a picture, so I dug though the archives and found a couple and sent them in... here are a couple they wont be using.

I suppose they will just use my ID card photo. :(

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Memory of Running

"The best book you will never read" said Stephen King, (now in print) and I agree. Very good story, and well read! But I have my own memories. You wouldn't know it to look at me now, but I used to really enjoy running. Now I cant run across the street with out paying the price, but as a kid I ran hundreds of miles. My grade school started a fitness program when I was in 5th grade. Mandatory participation had us run/walking to the curve and back, about half a mile. This is where I started, with the girls, of course. I was quite popular with ladies, I was told that they all had crushes on me... I could play 4 square or Curious George with the best of them. (Or maybe I was the only non-redneck going to the small country school.) I would play tackle-the-man-with-the-football before school with the boys (until I got knocked out), then would cross the gender line and play tether-ball. I did the minimum run, while some of the jock types would go on 5 mile runs, so I could get the most out of my recess. Oh, yes, this was taken out of our recess time! Fun, fun fun!!
At some point I guess I got bored, and started running more. I rarely went on the big runs with the jocks, just down the road, follow the levee, and back, and again. There was a down and back on the gravel that was mile lap, I wasn't fast, but would run back and forth all hour plus of the recess. I could get in up to 5 miles a day, 3 to 5 times a week. We would post our mileage and the teachers would add up and post our weekly/ monthly/ year to date totals. My name started low on the wall, but slowly climbed up the list as I spent more time on the road. I dont think I was ever the top runner, even the second year, but I do remember the long hours of me time.
I ran a little cross country, but like I said, I wasn't fast, and while I finished, I didn't compete for any ribbons and it wasn't all that fun, maybe because I wasn't ever along. I the routes were more scenic than miles of the same gravel road, but I just didn't get into it.
Now days I see runners and smile. Not just at the girls in their sports bras, but at my memories and wishing I could get back on the road.

Monday, September 20, 2010

There was Blood

I am not the biggest risk taker, but have crazy stunts on my resume. Mostly unintentional. First time I got called Evil Knievel I was 3 or 4. We lived in Upton, WY, a small town a long way from no where. I had gotten my first trike, and it was a little too big for me, I couldn't reach the pedals. But I could sit on it and get around, coast or push with my feet. I learned that I couldn't go very far in the grass, so I was staying on the sidewalk, which slowly started to slope down hill. I accelerated, feet held up, tightly gripping the handlebar, right down the cement stairs, across the sidewalk and into the ditch! My parents came running, drawn by my bawling, I suppose, to find me crawling up those same stairs, pools of blood collecting on each step. I think the trike survived, and I lived to ride another day.
Not the first time I bled from my head in Upton. The Trombone incident... the vicious coffee table...
But the best scar I have from my years in Upton is on my foot. Riding in the baby seat on the back of my mom's bike... this is back in the day before they were made of a single molded piece of plastic... with padded cardboard leg panels... one of which had been stolen from the bike rack at the high school where my dad taught. Anyway, we headed down the long hill towards downtown, and despite being told to be careful, I clamp my legs together to hold on, unfortunately the action put the back of my foot into the razor sharp spokes which pealed off the back of my shoe and cleaved my left heal off! Ouch!! Another 90 minute race to the hospital. (I wonder how we paid for all my trips there?) Ask to see the scar, it is probably what kept me from being a professional athlete or ...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I dont need pants

So, I like my kilt. It is fun to get fresh air on boys. It isnt nearly as pleasant as skinny dipping in tropical waters, ohhh, that feels awesome! But there is a downside, chaffing. Walk around for 8 hours at a warm tailgate and the testicle/thigh interface can get a little worked. A touch of baby powder helps, but then I have to worry about an unsightly white sweat streak running down my leg. Yeah, I have experience with that, 100 degree birthday party and a sarong... how embarrassing! My fancy Exofficio would work wonders, but that would be wrong. According to a survey of kilted Scotsmen, 69% go commando... my favorite number!! So I am in good company, but there is room for negotiation, I guess, if it gets too bad.
Then there is the cold. Shrinkage helps with the chaffing, as does dryness. I was asked how I stay warm, to which I answer, "I put on socks." That got me a look and the comment, "how does that stay on?" I meant on my feet, and pulling the kilt hose up my legs, to stay warm! ( I guess the flip-flops were confusing)

So if you see a guy in a kilt, turn the frown upside-down and enjoy the moment with the wearer, he is!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I like ginger! I like red-heads, too, but this isn't about them. Ginger root. One of my favorite parts to a good sushi dinner is the pickled ginger. I try to steal the uneaten ginger off others plates. I like it at the beginning of the meal, in between pieces as a little palate cleanser, and of course, for desert. I love a spicy garlic ginger sauce, i had it once fairly recently, and was caught off guard by how much ginger there was. and the left overs had half the building coming over to see what crazy thing i was eating today. Oh, yeah, Thai House. (Pad Ped Beef : Tender beef stir-fried with a grounded red curry paste, Thai ginger, bamboo slices, peppers, onion and basil leaves) yum!

But lately is has been a beverage kick. It started with a trip to the islands (Key West) when I (re)discovered the Dark 'n Stormy. A lovely concoction of Gosling's Black Seal Rum, Ginger Beer and a lime wedge. This bar had a 1/2 price special when ever it was raining. Anyway, Gosling's also makes a Ginger Beer, and by beer, I don't mean alcoholic, just a bit more (flavor, bite, sugar...) than your typical Ginger Ale. It was pretty good, but left me wanting more. So I have been chasing down the more-better ginger beverage ever since.

Beer, as you may know, I am a homebrewer, so I tried to make my own ginger Beer. First attempt, not nearly enough ginger added late into the boil of a Hefeweizen. Nice beer with hints of ginger, but not what I was going for. Next attempt, I pulled out all the stops and added GINGER. Fresh sliced ginger root added 2 ounces every 15 minutes throughout the boil of a pretty Red Ale (a ginger-ginger beer). This is when I learned that the longer you boil ginger the less spicy it is... so another let down. Not to be deterred, I sliced up half a pealed ginger root and added it straight into the keg, ha, I say, take that! And several days later this beer elicited a smile from this curmudgeon. It continued to gingify for about a month, then stabilized as a tasty Ginger Beer. Not good enough for a Dark 'n Stormy, but pretty good.

A keg of homemade ginger ale was brought to Pints for Pets, and it was good! I think he said that 5 pounds of ginger was diced up and stewed in sugar water to extract the ginger. the leftover ginger was dried and became ginger candy. But, alas, that keg went home, and all I got was a 2-liter bottle to keep. And I covet the stuff... I will have some more again tonight...

But I struggle to find a commercial beverage to meet my desires. I researched "best ginger beer" on the internet, learning which had sugar, corn syrup, honey and other ingredients, the went looking for them. I tried all I could find, including the different versions of Reed's the Merc had, tried an off brand from Target, even picked up a promising six-pack from TJ Maxx, any ginger that I saw. A bar that didn't have ginger ale tried to make some with bitters and cola and soda, or something, not really even close. Then the day my life changed, I saw a brightly colored 2-liter bottle of Goya brand ginger beer, and it was good! But where to find it?! The Mexican grocer in OP did not have it (but did have Malto Goya, another quest). I thought I was going to have to order some online, but the season was fading. Dark 'n Stormy's are best when it is warm, nice refreshing cold drink, but not hot, a bit too sweet, so as the summer turns to fall, my beverage palate is turning. But then I walk into Checkers and look at the latin section, really for the Malto, but find a case of Goya Jamaican Style Ginger Beer in 12 oz bottles! Unsure if this was really what I thought it was, I just bought 2 bottles and hurried home to sample. So I have to come up with a new name for what I drank, Dark 'n Stormy is registered by Gosling's and since I was out of that brand I have been substituting Kraken, as similar colored spiced rum that is quite a nice little rum. I like the theme of the giant sea monster and tropical storms, but I will save that effort for another day. Any ideas? So, I pour my measured jigger of rum over ice the popped the top of the Goya. I like to take a sip before mixing, just to see what I have, a little drink followed by half a minute coughing fit! WOW! My smile was getting in the way of my cough, so I poured my drink and ambled into the living room. My throat was tingling from the ginger so I took a careful sip of my drink and bliss. yes, that is perfect, followed by more coughs. As I drank my second one, there was a little sizzle on my lips, maybe from the smile, maybe from the ginger.
Last night I picked up a bottle of Gosling's, and made another drink with my second precious bottle, just to make sure. This time no coughing, just a wonderful drink! One I can highly recommend to any ginger lover's out there. Now I have to hurry over to Checkers and get more, before they take it away from me!
Hurray for Ginger!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No might be the most destructive word in human language. Every time I hear that word, a little piece of me dies. Death and decay from the inside, maybe that is one of the problems in this world. The destructive power of the word keeps us down, prevents us from fulfilling our potential and propagates fear.

Whether said out of anger, malice or love, the thought that you can't, hurts. And when you believe it, the most dangerous thing starts to happen and you can start to tell it to yourself. Not good enough. Sad. Worse than that may be the words/thoughts/actions, the violation, that require a powerful response. Then the damage is before the word, but the destruction is tied to it.

I had more on the topic organized in my head, but i cant think of it...

Human spirit is based on yes, the thought that you can, do, achieve, better, more, happy.

OK, now i can get back to happy thought!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stolen Summer Prose

I enjoyed this so much I had to share. Flip flops, sundresses and tan lines also make me smile... poor innocent mojito.

Sundresses, Sandals, Tan Lines: A Guy's View of Summer

Writer Scott Frampton explains how your tan lines (and summer dresses) drive guys completely and totally crazy.

August is the hottest month, and I'm not talking about average ambient temperature. I'm talking about you and what you do to men in the feverish weeks leading up to Labor Day. Our resolve weakened by months of heat, otherwise productive members of society are reduced to paroxysms of want by a backless dress, or bare legs dotted by drops of condensation from a tall, cold beer.

You may be aware of this effect, but I doubt you appreciate the extent: It deserves its own seasonal affective disorder. And the worst cases can be traced to the sundress. Wear one now, and it says something about you: In a month when sartorial ambition is reduced to a set of subtropical survival skills — tube tops, with their pendulous plunges, short shorts that ride up like a junior-high wedgie — you put on a dress and shoes more complicated than a rubber thong wedged between your toes. This outfit reveals not only your body, but also how comfortable you are with it, and from there, it's a perilously short trip to envisioning what you'd do with it.

Especially if tan lines are involved; I've been known to lose my grip at the early-evening sight of them, innocent mojitos plunging to their patio deaths. That contrasting stripe, climbing over your shoulder from parts unknown — unknown to me, certainly — is a tease in the best sense, giving the slightest suggestion of how you'd be in your altogether. In these stifling days of late summer, how you make the most of things is a clue to who you are and what you'd be like lingering over a glass of chilled rosé — if I didn't have to get home to my family for dinner.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Look

You know when you look at someone and feel something like electricity flow between you? And you look away, feeling caught in some sort of time warp...
In junior high I always had a crush on the smart athletic girls. I practiced with these girls on the volleyball team and they were in my algebra and biology classes, and gym. I was (and continue to be) a dork when it comes to how to appropriately act around attractive women. There was one, Beth, that had a dirty, sexy, smart, athletic alure that could only mean trouble. Sure there was Susan and Stephanie, but Beth had something extra. Once in Biology class, she caught me looking out the window over her shoulder (staring at her) and she did the classy thing and winked at me. Emboldened by this I winked back... with both eyes! I dont think she laughed out loud, but the embarrassment felt like the whole room was laughing at me.
Well, in gym class we had a section of physical fitness where we could walk/run around the school, run stairs in the auditorium, bicycle out 15th street or other less taxing challenges. I took to riding bikes with the girls. Yes, the same group of athletes I shared other time with, so they had no fear of me. We would head out east of CJHS on 15th for 15-20 minutes, then turn around and sprint back to school to have time to shower and get to our next classes. One day we got caught in a rain storm and got back to the gym soaked to the bone. I lived in the country and rode the bus to school (and my dad was a fellow teacher), so I got to store my bike in the "lock-up" in the girls locker room. Normally it worked that I went in with the first group of girls that unlocked the door, put my bike away and walked out. No problem. Well, dripping wet, someone took pity on me and offered to get me a towel, which I accepted, not wanting to drip water all the way down the hall between the girls and boys locker rooms. When I turned to grab the towel, there was Beth, who had let me in the locker room calling "boy coming in", at the other end in her bra and panties, and we shared that brief look again. This time she flinched, gave out a squeal, tried to cover herself with her arms, and hopped out of my line of sight all in the time it took me to register what was going on. I turned on my heels and walked out and quickly an quietly as I could.
Now it was years before I got to see another girl in her underwear, but I did spend hours practicing winking, not wanting to get caught off guard again.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rusty Trombone

My first musical instrument was a trombone. I was maybe 4 and I wanted to grow up and be in the marching band. (Early indication of what a dork i would grow up to be...) I would practice marching around the house and yard playing my trombone, swinging around like I saw the big kids do. I even got to march with the high school kids at half time once. I don't know if this trombone was rusty or not, but the slide didn't slide easily. It was either under-oiled or I was too small and weak to stretch my arm out. Anyway, that dream came to an end one day I was marching around and let the nose drop into the grass, jamming the mouthpiece into my lips! Ouch! I was driven to the hospital (over an hour away and across the state line) to get several stitches leaving 2 lumps in my not quite as talented lips that can still be seen today. And just as big a traumatic loss, I missed out on having the oh so rare soda when the carbonation burned my stitches. That is when I learned how to pout. I put down that dangerous trombone and decided I wanted to be involved in safer activities, like football! OJ Simpson became my new hero! I could run in slo-mo, spinning around defenders/living room furniture and diving into the end-zone/couch. Of all the things that I have hurt myself doing, football wasn't one of them. Later I took up the saxaphone, which I played until high school, when all band geeks had to be in marching band. My tramatic experience with marching band (and the increase in dorkdom I would be subjected to) made me quite band once and for all. Even though, I still grin when I think of 76 trombones leading the big parade.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Taco Threekend

I had heard mixed reviews for this new taco stand. Opened by the Burger Stand people, why isnt it The Taco Stand? I guess they want up-scale, and that is one of the complaints, "$3 tacos!" Well, I had the 3 tacos com, choosing
  1. Steak

  2. with chimichurri sauce, spicy peppers, onions and potatoes

  1. Peruvian Potato

  2. roasted purple potatoes, roasted garlic purée, poblano-corn salsa

    1. Chicken

    2. salsa verdé, queso fresco, tomatillo relish and toasted almonds

Each very good on their own , making a quite a nice meal. Chips and Salsa while we waited was appreciated, since it was EOF night and way past dinner time. The plate came with my 3 tacos in bed of red cabbage, pretty and functional, holding the tacos together. The Potato came highly recommended, and did not disappoint. Kind of like tasty and colorful garlicky smashed (rough mashed) potatoes with a nice garnish served in soft corn tortilla's. Steak taco was good, but came in last place on this plate. I have been known to pour salsa/taco/hot sauce on all of my mexican foods, but these tacos didn't need it. A little dab of the tasty salsa on the steak was about all the adulteration my dinner required. The Chicken was my fave! Salsa verde and tomatillo relish, if you have been following you know how I feel about green, were just delightful! Fresh and tangy with shredded chicken and tortillas that didn't disintegrate when picked up, yummy! Only downside to the meal was the Dos Equis lager that they had to build for me like a Guinness. Not quite cold enough and foamy, but a nice compliment to the tacos. My friend had a Dark n' Stormy, an illegal one, since it Goslings Rum has registered the name, and there wasn't Goslings Rum in the drink. Despite that, it was very good, lending the credit to the Goya brand Ginger Beer I saw poured into it. I will have to go back sometime just for that, and have a taco just because!

Saturday Border Bandito. Border Bandito has been around forever. There is a list of restaurants in Lawrence that have failed in the 35 years or so they have been open. The 3 pages read like a trip down memory lane, some good, some bad memories. Though all the changes in Lawrence, this place has stayed the same. Same blurry TV. Same self-serve soda fountain with Pepsi products. Same Taco Bar, menu, decor, and the owner still assembling the burritos himself. Ahhh. I used to go here regularly for cheap Texas Burritos Sunday special. We had a group that would desend on the place and devour our burritos and countless sodas and leave nearly cleaned plates in our wake. Good cheap dinner. They are no longer open on Sunday's, so I guess there is change, and the prices have gone up, but the Burritos match those of my memories. The Texas Burrito is a huge flour tortilla wrapped around beef, beans, cheese, sour cream (I get the combo) and covered in a red sauce resulting in a foot of smothered burrito goodness! Grab a free basket of fresh tortilla chips and a bottle of the hot sauce and head for a table or booth and prepare to dig in. Half a bottle of the yummy hot sauce goes on the burrito. They have a mild sauce I have never had, and a green sauce that I think is just ground jalapeños, plenty hot but not quite the flavor I am going for here. The chips make nice scoops and pushers to get the burrito on the fork and in the mouth, this is not a pick-up-and-eat burrito! Fifteen minutes later I am resisting the temptation to like the last of the sauce off my plate, knowing that I better get up and start moving before I get stuck in the booth. MMM,mmm, MMM. The Taco Bar is also pretty good, with seasoned ground beef and chicken fillings for hard shells, soft shells, buns or taco salad shells and an extensive salad bar for your fixin's then queso dip and chili con carne to top if off. Available side dishes of little fried burritos, tater tots and sopapilla anchor the feast, and on weekend you can get enchiladas, too. Retro Mexican food (before everything was covered in cheese) that is coming back in style.

Sunday Tortas Jalisco. This is now my favorite Mexican in town! I liked my meal (Carnivorous Combo) so much, I made it the destination of my B-day dinner when I had another profoundly tasty meal (Fish Tacos Diablo). Quick descriptions, the Combo has thin sliced beef and pork steaks, seasoned and grilled, served with rice, beans, avocado salad, jalapeño and warmed tortillas. The Fish tacos were cubed Mahi-mahi marinated in diablo sauce then grilled and served in soft corn tortilla filled with pico de gallo and beans and rice. I like foods that allow me to get my hands messy and both of these are multiple napkin meals. I sliced the meats and put a couple pieces on part of a tortilla with a little beans, slices of jalapeño and avocado and some of their spicy salsa.. yummy! The jalapeño has been slightly cook somehow, to soften the outside skin while leaving the inside hot and fresh, a magical thing. At the B-day dinner at least 5 people pleased they ordered this after my endorsement. The Fish tacos were what I want when I think of fish tacos. 1- corn tortillas, 2- grilled fish (not fried), 3- spicy (without having to add anything) and the pico was delicious, a little saucy with chunk of stuff including pineapple which perfectly complimented the heat of the diablo sauce.
Not one to normally get desert at a taqueria, both that where brought out where excellent. Little triangle unstuffed sopapias and some lady finger/cheese caky things were shared with the table and elicited raves.
OK, so that is the end of my 9 days of tacos. I missed a day, but the first friday's dinner was unexpected bonus. Learned from this was that while quick and cheap, fast food tacos are just that, fast food, and you get what you pay for.
Viva Tacos!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


So I popped into one of my favorite retail establishments this morning as I drove from my old office to my slave camp. It has been a long time. It has been remodeled and I had to get assistance. Of course dressed for work in slacks and a polo (and flip flops) the staff was very helpful and willing to point me in the right direction. I took indirect route, absorbing all the colors and tactile sensations along the way. This might be the happiest place in OP! Soft and silky, smooth and cottony, slick and velvety, what a sensory overload! Intricate curves, patterns and designs inspire the imagination. It has long been thought I should get a job here, I could spend hours folding and sorting, directing and recommending. People would come from far and wide to tap into my expertise. I am a little out of practice, but I think I could get back in the groove pretty quickly, returning to the legendary form of yesteryear. I would walk around the store with a tape measure draped around my shoulders, in position to sort things out. I wonder if management would want me to wear mittens... :( ... I would say "No, you cant do that. Would you put a jacket on the Venus de Milo? Does David need pants? No, you cant cover my artistry."
Back to reality as the clerk asks if I found what I was looking for. I did, and so much more as I walked out of Victoria's Secret smiling even more on the inside than outside. This is my disney land!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sushi x2

I ruined my run of tacos on Thursday when I had noodle leftovers again for lunch and sushi for dinner. I figured sushi was worthy of an imperfect taco game. We went to Kobe instead of the standard Yokohama because of the Sidewalk Sale. Downtown would be chaos and crowded and I had heard a good review of Kobe's sushi, so we tried someplace new. Well, it wasn't Yokohama, or even Wa. Not that it wasn't good, but for me so much of the dining experience, especially ethnic or fancier meals, is ambiance. Yokohama can be a little loud, especially when a table of kids start in with the sake bombs, but the dark and neon atmosphere is cozy and the din of liveliness is comfortable. Wa is a little more stately, not quite to pretentious, but more adult. By comparison, Kobe might as well be on the other side of the river. (Nothing against the other side of the river...) At 7pm in July, the sun makes the place glow from all the windows, illuminating things better left in the dark and kind of making it hard to read the menu. Looking around the room there were a couple Springer episodes. There was the 40-something mother, daughter and 5 grandkids, one of little girls shrieked when ever the Japanese grill flared up, or the pregnant teen dining with her mother and a pimple faced boy, relationship undefined. I amused myself by making up their stories...
Overall the food was decent, but the miso soup was a let down, the chunks of tofu were little flavor voids. The little dinner salad was silly, compounded by the efforts of eating dressing coated lettuce with chopsticks. My seaweed salad was yummy, as was the 9 pieces of sashimi. Spicy Tuna handroll was fun to eat, a big cone of seaweed stuffed with tuna, but nothing special. I was really looking forward to the roll I got, but was disappointed to see it swimming in secret sauce. I had pictured it to have a thin line of sauce, but it could have been applied with a ladle. scraping off as much as I could, I enjoyed the rest of the roll.
The beverage selection was disappointing, too. Besides BMC, Fat Tire and a couple Japanese beers there was a box of sake and assorted liquors and mixed drinks. The Asahi was a nice dry compliment to the meal, but if i were to return with the wife, there would have to be a taste sauv blanc option.
Not wanting this to be the sushi experience of memory, I jumped at a chance just 2 days later to go to Yokohama. The 4 of us devoured a large boat, several extra rolls, a bottle of pearl sake, a couple beers apiece, and all the fresh environs the place had to offer. Ahhh, sushi sated...