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.:: daily thoughts views opinions outlooks postures feelings rants loves glissades
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.:: Tuesday, December 30th ::.

~ 06:31 PM ~

"...our affairs..."

Photos that I have taken over the last few days have been posted here. Ellis has a Band Aid wrap on at the bottom of the set because he was excited at the vet. It could been because I was unable to go since I am not feeling 100%. He is fine and I am feeling better as well.

The dryer is fixed. It took the guys 30 mins. I am glad I did not try to do it myself. There was a tech and an assistant. From overhearing their conversation, it was involved. It turns out a typical lifespan for a dryer belt is 12-15 years. Our belt lasted 5 years.

~ 01:43 PM ~


I looked at our dryer which stopped working on Sunday. I believe it is a belt issue. I removed the back and cleaned the machine while I looking around. However, the belt is below the drum according to an online chart and I don't want to go that far to find it might not be the issue. I called a repairman and someone is on the way. I would address the basement light we have as well but I am feeling less than 100% today. I would like to be feeling better for tomorrow and our upcoming trip. Tomorrow, we having dinner with Krista and Ismael.

We saw "Slumdog Millionaire" on Christmas Day and it was great. In the evening, we went to Britt's house to exchange gifts. My beef strogahoff was well received.

After looking at the dryer, I cleaned the house.

Ellis is going for a vet check up. Despite a lack of walks in the last week, he is in good health. Neale is taking him. She is at First Watch currently.

creepy beach
A former student gets a new house

.:: Monday, December 22nd ::.

~ 01:25 PM ~

"...Where do you go to my lovely?..."

Today could have been a day to open a bottle of bourbon and watch Sam Peckinpah movies but I have not fully sank into vacation mode yet. I actually have to run some errands. I finished cleaning the basement and using the shedding brush on Ellis. The wet/dry vac is getting a workout. However, we are limited to inside work as it is a brisk 17F degrees out. The only nice thing is that it is sunny.

After game yesterday, I picked up Black Thorn pizza since it is a pub and they do not deliver. The trip was eventful. I was on Hwy 44 heading towards the city and there is no shoulder to pull off on since they widened the highway. I was in the exit lane and surrounded by cars. The semi in front of me stirred up a cardboard box about the size a gas stove would come in. I could not dodge the box and I knew it was not heavy so I struck the box at about 55 mph. It stuck to my grill and I drove for about 1/4 mile with a box hood ornament. At the exit it slide off and my vehicle was not damaged. At the pub, when I opened the door, the patrons turned to check out who was coming in and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly music would have played well at that moment. Cigarillo anyone? On the way home, I noticed a car about a mile ahead with its flashers on but going the speed limit. I passed it and in doing so, I noticed the driver had something pinned beneath his vehicle that was glowing. He managed to catch up to me and follow me. The images of his car catching on fire rushed into my head and I tried to lose him. It did not work and he followed me to about three blocks from my home. No car fires have been reported in the area. The pizza was worth the drive.

I watched the "Darjeeling Limited" this morning. I really like Wes Anderson's films. However, I know Neale would not have much patience for his latest.

I am making another attempt at beef stroganoff tonight. Neale has requested a baked mostacolli for Wednesday. Tomorrow, she is going out and meeting friends from Alton that she has been chatting with on FaceBook.

Juiced Hybrid

.:: Sunday, December 21st ::.

~ 05:27 PM ~

"...Heaven has a stripper factory and a beer volcano..."

We ate at First Watch before the Rams game. The tickets are in Section 131 so we are in the southwest corner of the end zone. The Rams were doing great until the last 9 minutes. After the first San Fran touchdown, we considered the game over but Shaun Hill and the Niners had other ideas. By the time we got to our car in garage, the Rams were down by one. There was an annoying 12 year old Niner fan in front of us who was never taught sportsmanship and his father seemed incapable of anything that did not include a buffet. A 12 year old with an IPhone? Ok? Neale said he was texting his mother during the game. He wanted to go to Hooters after the game and the real nightmare was that eventually he will grow up to become an adult sexist jerk with advanced materialist concerns. Want worse? He will find a steady supply of women with emotionally distant fathers of their own fulfill his need for companionship. Hey, Chris "You don't have kids! What gives up the right to judge?". Well, I am not helping make another generation of jerks either. I just have to work with them sometimes. Happy Holidays.

Black Thorn did not until 5 so I am waiting to pick up our order, which takes an hour and half despite calling at 5. It is great pizza and not a chain so it is worth the wait.

After the game, we went to Neale's bead shop, Lady Bug for a few items. She finished two pieces after we returned home from the game.

Since it is the coldest day we can both remember in Saint Louis in a few years (16F degree high with 16 mph winds...COLD!), we decided not walk. Ellis is restless since his day had not been eventful nor tiring.

team sleep
for chi

.:: Saturday, December 20th ::.

~ 11:43 PM ~

"...she was shot in the head..."

Margot Kidder looked great in Amityville.

Neale's Christmas party for the board went well. They ended the night at the Cat's Meow in South City. I was at a coworker's house in Godfrey, which was a roomy 7,400 sq. feet. 13 members of the liberal arts faculty ate and talked for 2 hours. Afterwards, I came home to play ball with Ellis in the backyard.

In an attempt to better our Christmas cookies, I made French Butter cookies, or Sables, last night. Neale approves. From America's Test Kitchen, I hardboiled the egg, used the solid egg yolk, and reduced the flour to 1 1/2 cups.

Today, we walked on Grant's Trail, went to Kaldi's for lunch, and returned home. I installed a cargo net on my Prius, which required drilling two 19/64" holes. I noticed that since I place items in the back that a net would help catch anything in case it shifted. Neale took a nap and I finished my grading for the semester. Later, we went to a friend's of Debbie Christmas party in Ballwin.

In the morning, we are going to the Ram's game and I am hoping for pizza from Black Thorn.


.:: Thursday, December 18th ::.

~ 10:27 AM ~

"...where is the rest of me?..."

I don't think I have mentioned this before but I have an office mascot. There has been a lady bug living in my office this semester. Ladybug blew into my office through my open window and has been existing in my office for several weeks. Since it is 34F degrees today, I think ladybug is here until spring. What do ladybugs eat? Do I have aphids?

I have my last class of the semester today. My grading situation is very good.

We are going to the Rams game on Sunday.

The cold weather is affecting my mpg. Today, the roads were much better.

mint cookies
white teeth

.:: Wednesday, December 17th ::.

~ 06:52 AM ~

"...chicken bone in nose..."

For Christmas Day dinner, I have been asked to make beef stroganoff. I have been researching recipes and there are some decisions to be made. I tend to be more traditional and stay in the original "spirit of dish". First, the cut of beef has ranged from chuck to top sirloin or tenderloin. This is really a matter of how much you want to spend and how much time you to invest in making sure the beef is tender. Second, sour cream or yogurt? Some recipes have used creme fraiche in place of sour cream. Third, this is most surprising to me, some recipes do not pay attention to the fond in the pan after the beef is browned. If this does not call for a cup of beef or veal stock, red wine or cognac to taste, and reducing by half to grab that fond goodness then I really do not know what the cook is doing making this dish. I making test dishes of beef stroganoff before the final recipe is decided. Neale is my eager focus group taster.

beer myths

.:: Monday, December 15th ::.

~ 08:16 PM ~

"...Tax the rich, feed the poor...Till there are no rich no more..."

Since it was a windy 19F degrees at 4:30PM when we walked, we gave Ellis the night off from the family walk. I have developed a layering system that battles the cold and Neale wore my wool coat. There was not too much ice and our path through the neighborhood was empty. Neale had a 'work at home' day so she was here to meet the guys from Dawson & Dodd, who cleaned our furniture. It is a Lennox and about 20 years old. We would replace it but we are moving next year so it is not on the 'do list'. I would have ducts cleaned as well but that did not become an issue during our time here.

Neale wanted a frittata for dinner so I made her a sausage cheese dish. Oddly, she felt I used too much sausage.

beware of dog

.:: Sunday, December 14th ::.

~ 04:44 PM ~

"...Ghetto Love..."

We walked on the new 64. It looked great. Pics HERE

After the walk, Neale did Christmas shopping and spent my Macy's gift card, which was a gift from LC for 5 years of service. I went to Whole Foods to procure ingredients for our leek cauliflower soup. Neale found new shirts for me using the Macy's gift card.

I am brewing my "into the fade" witbier.

The Groves
dog + snow = fun
JC Penny: doghouse

.:: Saturday, December 13th ::.

~ 10:25 PM ~

"...The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
Flannery O'Connor..."

We went to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch. We had a coupon for "buy one, get for free", which did not include the $2.50 for iced tea (of course). Neale had trouble with the fellow customers and I dealt with her disdain for humanity during the meal. We went to Sears after lunch so I could purchase filters for our Craftsman wet/dry vac, which Neale's grandfather Bill left us. While at Sears, Neale was impressed by the prices of pool, shuffleboard, and skee ball tables, as we would like a home that has a basement to contain such amusements. In a passing moment, I viewed the Dyson products at Sears on the way to the hardware department. We found a replacement for my cracked Black & Decker tool box. I purchased a 4 drawer Craftsman black metal toolbox. I loaded it while making grilled cheese for dinner.

We came home to walk and Neale decided to set aside her errands for Sunday. I went through our Goodwill pile to sort the clothes in order to move donations from our home. I dropped off the clothes at the Manchester Goodwill, which was a popular spot. Then, I went to the wine & cheese shop. I found that my service decreased as I was wearing my walking gear and Mets cap. I was able to procure 1/4 .lb of Keen's cheddar and 1/4 pound of smoked Gouda. Since it was simple wheat bread (leftover from Thanksgiving), it was a very good but not a great sandwich.

I received a package from Toyota stating that my first oil change was at 3705 miles. I will compile. I washed and vacuumed the Prius today.

Neale is at her brother's house babysitting. I was watching "It's a Wonderful Life".

Tomorrow, we are walking on the highway.

unhappy meals
trois pistoles
pasta alla vodka
mind games

.:: Friday, December 12th ::.

~ 06:25 PM ~


I went to pay my car taxes and the process was painless. Being the DMV, I am never sure how the experience will go. I only had to wait 5 minutes in the title transfer line and since I renew my plates online, I should not have to go back until my license expires. Of course, coming home, I was caught in the 270 "sun down slowdown". I stopped at La Salsa, which had the habanero salsa especially hot today. I was almost in tears and I loved every moment. Then, I went to Manchester Trader Joe's for flax oil and a new shop called Treats Unleashed opened next door. It is a another local dog food/treat bakery and has been open for less than a month. Ellis is enjoying a new treat. It is called a Himalayan Dog Chew.

Neale is at a coworker's Christmas party.

Alton Confidential
archaeology's top 10 finds
Bettie Page RIP

.:: Thursday, December 11th ::.

~ 10:03 AM ~

"...As evidenced by what?..."

Cold day here and I switched over to the wool coat, which I seldom use in Saint Louis/Metro East. In Cleveland, it was pulled out in October, especially when I worked downtown. Ellis and I will walk this afternoon as he has missed two days due to weather and Neale had errands to run last night. She is shopping with Debbie tonight for the holidays. I am in a good place in terms of grading as next Thursday is the last day of the semester. I will probably work at home over the weekend, which is rare this semester since I on campus 5 days a week.

This weekend we are walking on the highway. Despite the occasional lane or exit closing, the dreaded Hwy 64/40 construction has not affected me. The phase that is east of I-170 starts next week. It is towards the city and has more potential problems.

My fruitcake is coming along. We will make a small batch of Christmas cookies for ourselves as well. If I can, I will make thin mints too. Neale lost interest in the making of thin mints but welcomes the presence of homemade thin mints. Their presence in our home is fleeting.

Is your dog jealous?
in space how do know?

.:: Tuesday, December 9th ::.

~ 07:18 PM ~

"...last supper..."

We almost had snow today. A cold front in blanketing the area. It was just a cold steady rain. Despite the nasty weather, I am averaging 52.5 mpg in my Prius. Some members of the community block their intake vents to modify the temperature in the vehicle's engine. A Prius may have only one gear but there are stages to the engine operation. The temperature manipulation, as I understand now, encourages the engine to move to the electric stage. However, I do not feel comfortable doing anything to the vents and I am still reading information generated by fellow drivers. I have been adjusting to driving a Prius and the periods of "dead banding" (no gas or electric) feel good though.

I made Neale a coconut curry chicken for dinner. With adjustments to the recipe, we have modified it to her taste.

I finally spent the gift card to a local guitar shop that Neale purchased for me over a year ago. It was originally for lessons but I could not commit to lessons so I used the gift card for merchandise. I am set on strings for quite some time. I replaced the strings on my acoustic.

love and family
Apothecaries' Weight
The World Is Our ______

.:: Sunday, December 7th ::.

~ 07:44 PM ~

"...Happy Birthday Tom Waits..."

It is Pearl Harbor Day. Despite visiting Hawaii twice, we have not spent that much time on Oahu. I would live in a hut on Molokai but Neale does not approve of that arrangement. When we eventually retire and leave the cold Midwest US behind us, we will have a spot on Oahu.

Neale went to her indie art show and found items she liked, including a canvas purse. I had to grade exams so I spent the afternoon working through my Intro sections exams. On Saturday, I had a reaction that was about the end of the semester. It is this time of the year when you question "what have you done?" and "who have you reached?". It can be a weight on one's shoulders.

After I was done grading and Neale returned from First Watch for a lunch take out order, we went to Blackburn Park to throw the ball for Ellis. Then, we did two laps around the park. Since it was chilly, we stopped by the Webster Starbucks for mochas. She was hungry was for a red curry chicken so we went to Global Market in Kirkwood, which is a social hub in the Indian aisle for local Indian-Americans. She got the recipe of red curry chicken from Krystal. The dish turned out well. It features sauteed 1/2 cup of yellow onion, two teaspoons of sugar/splenda, a teaspoon of red curry paste, 3/4 cup of coconut milk, and 3 tablespoons of fresh sweet basil. I cooked the chicken separately and it was one hearty breast or about 12 ounces in strips. It was served over brown rice.

Thee RV
driving Prius
boat illusion

.:: Saturday, December 6th ::.

~ 05:23 PM ~

"...Jack Torrance: You WERE the caretaker here, Mr. Grady.
Delbert Grady: No sir, YOU are the caretaker. You've always been the caretaker.
I ought to know: I've always been here..."

When I awoke, I was cold so I pulled out a sweatshirt. When Neale awoke she realized the heat was not working. I noticed it was working when I was working out last night as I was using the Soloflex so I sit next to it in our home gym (i.e. Chris' Soloflex crammed in a corner of the unfinished side of the basement). We called Dawson and Dodd, which had a team busy at another location. We have a relationship with them so we prefer to use their service. About an hour later, Dodd himself rang our bell and he was here to help. Neale and him have a professional (yes, labor relations) relationship. The Lennox furnace is twenty years old and needs a cleaning. The pilot light was dirty and needed to be cleaned. It is working but they are coming back to clean the equipment.

Neale did the Cans Film Festival and saw "Quantum of Solace" as she missed some dialogue during the during viewing. She found it much better than her original impression. When I saw it, I was viewing as a "second film" in a trilogy than the second Bond film with Daniel Craig. So, I felt is fit in the storyline very well.

I worked on the basement light for an hour last night and found nothing wrong except that it still in not working. Working on it...

Florida is playing for number 1...Tebow is a still a dork and Urban's daughter(??) is available.

We went with Racanelli's for dinner.

Keep Your Meat

.:: Wednesday, December 3rd ::.

~ 12:47 PM ~

" good to me, I'll be good to you..."


.:: Tuesday, December 2nd ::.

~ 06:24 PM ~


Last night, I went to use the clippers on Ellis as he needed a trim. The trimmers were not working so I took a look at the blades and they needed an adjustment. They were probably knocked off the shelf and a small fix was required. I had them operational and I needed to vacuum the hair. I plugged the vacuum into the light socket (remember August's electrical issue?) and the light flickered when I turned on the vacuum. I quickly realized my mistake and turned off the vacuum in 2-3 seconds. In short, the light socket is dead. I need to open it up and see what I can fix. It should be a simple wire replacement. The breaker is fine and nothing but the light is affected. However, it is the basement light I use the most and cannot work without it. Note to self: only plug vacuums into wall sockets. Also, why does vacuum have two "u's"?

We went for a walk in the sunshine and Neale had to visit the dentist. Clean teeth and no bad news. She is trying White Strips though.

grilled cheese

.:: Monday, December 1st ::.

~ 07:28 PM ~

" lose good day sir!..."

I made "Thanksgiving in a Cup Turkey Soup" for Neale. However, I held out the potatoes and added leeks.

Neale had her car in for service and she needed 2 new tires after the oil change.

My knuckles get chapped and I find Neale's shea butter lotion too messy. I found a tin of Zum Rub at Whole Foods and it is great stuff. The lemon grass scent is very nice too.

Cans Film Festival
Big Ass Indie Art & Craft Show

~ 11:47 AM ~

" mows your lawn and it picks up the kids at school..."

We have snow. The Prius handled fine on the highway. On my way to work, there was one car in the area between north and southbound lanes of Interstate 170. I do have to hand it to the driver as he or she managed to make it off the highway and up the incline to plant their car on the grassy knoll. Last week, on Interstate 255, in order to avoid traffic a driver attempted to turn their PT Cruiser into an off road vehicle. As you would expect, the driver failed to complete the maneuver to their satisfaction and a Illinois State trooper arrived to write some tickets.

got the time?
that is a story

.:: Sunday, November 30th ::.

~ 12:19 PM ~


I added more photos to Ellis' page. I shots were taken by my father at Corgi Fun Day this year.

Yesterday, we drove to Turkey Run State Park, which is about a 3 and 1/2 hour trip. We did trails 1, 4, & 10. The weather was perfect for a hike and the park was empty so there were moments where I was happily startled by the lack of noise. No squirrels were moving in the leaves, the birds were gone, and there was no wind. For dinner, we ate at Mogger's, which is where we had our first date and for us, the nicest place in Terre Haute to eat. They have expanded the restaurant and the menu has changed. They pasta is off the menu but they added a veg burger.

After our hike yesterday at Turkey Run, Ellis seems to be taking it easy. Usually he asks to play ball at least once after breakfast. He is snoozing outside of his crate currently.

Neale is promising to decorate the tree today.

25 things you did not know about "A Christmas Story"

~ 12:40 AM ~


Many updates on the site as Turkey Run photos, Thanksgiving photos and Ellis' page have been added.

YT add 1
YT add 2
just another day
blog is what?

.:: Friday, November 28th ::.

~ 02:59 PM ~

"...dead heart..."

Thanksgiving went great. The food was perfect and the gathering of people made the night even better. Photos will be posted soon.

My parents left this morning after breakfast at First Watch. I am working on the holiday lights. The tree I had up this morning and Neale will decorate it. For the outside lights I have the benefit of the ladder this year. On Wednesday, I repaired the chimney as a few cracks needed to be filled and the hardware cloth screen was placed over the opening. I had to tighten the chimney cap as it has blown off three times since we have lived here.

Where the Devil Don't Stay
magic man

.:: Tuesday, November 25th ::.

~ 11:06 AM ~

"...solo impala..."

I am picking up the turkey today and I have my trusty cooler in the car. Alton Brown has one on wheels but I have not upgraded nor do I tailgate that often. The menu for Thanksgiving, so far, is:

  • Lubeley's Rolls
  • classic green bean casserole
  • sausage stuffing
  • corn & wild rice
  • mashed potatoes
  • deep fried turkey, fresh, brined, & 14 pounds
  • Tofukey
  • cheesecake
  • toffee apple pie
  • pumpkin
  • Also, I am cleaning the fridge to prepare for leftovers.

    Without Sanctuary

    .:: Monday, November 24th ::.

    ~ 06:11 PM ~

    " time one day..."

    Ellis and I went for a walk as Neale had to work late. It is a rather nice 47 degrees this evening. After work, which was an inspiring day, I went to Costco for peanut oil. I also found bread from the sausage stuffing and apples for the pie. Tomorrow, I pick up our bird for Thursday and I will brine it on Wednesday. I am dividing up tasks so I don't overwhelm myself on Thursday.

    Neale wants mac n' cheese for dinner. If you think that comes from a box in our home, you don't know me.

    the puppy has hatched
    ozark airlines

    .:: Sunday, November 23rd ::.

    ~ 09:39 PM ~

    "...where amazing happens..."

    We had a great weekend with my parents. On Saturday, we visited Kimmswick, MO and they were having a holiday weekend event. The Blue Owl was worth the wait and seemed to be the only place to eat in town given the crowd. In the evening, we saw "Quantum of Solace" at Ronnie's, which seemed to be overrun by teenage girls seeing "Twilight".

    Today, we had breakfast at First Watch and bought my birthday/Christmas gift, which was a 24 foot Werner ladder. You know you are an adult when you get excited about a ladder to clean your gutters. Thank you very much for the ladder! I have gutters to clean, weather station batteries to replace, and a chimney that needs some attention.

    In the afternoon, we went to our annual Corgi Fun Day. Ellis' brother, Ripley was not in attendance. We spoke with our breeder, Diane, and she will email us photos. We are planning to meet Ellis' dad, Angus and his mum if possible next year. But, he did meet a pair of distant relatives to play with, which attracted attention from onlookers. I always find that Ellis' play fighting with other corgis reminds me of Brazilian Capoeira. Ellis collapsed into a lump around 7:30 and was asking for bed soon afterwards.

    I have been planning the upcoming week as we are having Thanksgiving at our home. I need to gather supplies for cooking and keep myself from being overwhelmed. Neale is making a green bean dish for the day. I am urging her to keep it homemade.

    I added the first mod to my Prius. A rear bumper guard will help keep my bumper in good shape. I am interested in a shade, trim to prevent door dings, a cargo net, and new floor mats. Since Neale likes to place her purse on the space between the seats in the front, I ordered a non-skid tray to fill the space.

    Green + Wired
    pie chart of true
    heaven and hell

    .:: Thursday, November 20th ::.

    ~ 09:53 PM ~

    " old is the Internet?..."

    I fueled my Prius for the first time. I averaged 47.5 mpg and had over 400 miles since I rolled off the lot. I fueled before the warning light for low fuel lit up as I was leaving for my 8AM class. The car has a break in period (joints loosen, tires wear) so my mileage will improve. Also, I am learning how to manage the pedal to encourage the electric motor to engage. I find the cruise control very handy and useful as it manages the engine efficiently. On Tuesday, I had XM installed in the car so my Sirius subscription will lapse. When I see a good deal, I will buy an XM Inno for use while walking and using in the yard. Since Neale has Sirius and I have XM, we have the best of both as MLB was still only available on XM. The installers at V.I.P. were very nice and had the radio in about an hour. My first addition to my Prius is a back bumper protector. I have seen all-weather floor mats that are excellent.

    Another Soloflex weight strap has been worn out. Happy.

    On Monday, we had our chimney cleaned and it was much cleaner than I expected. It is time for the first fire of the year.

    Our Artisan cheese order arrived and they do a great job. It is fast, well shipped, and they provide good documentation. The 4 year Gouda was delicious and they added a 1/4 pound wedge of Roquefort as a free sample.

    We went for a walk and it was a brisk 34 windy degrees. Then, I made Neale a batch of chesse soup.

    dollar bill

    .:: Sunday, November 16th ::.

    ~ 04:04 PM ~

    "...playing scared..."

    Neale has a Facebook page. If you are a member, make sure to add her. I am not and this presence online is sufficient for me.

    The leaves need to be raked and I am avoiding it like sour milk. I am hoping they blow away really. This strategy will not work in the backyard though.

    clean air

    .:: Saturday, November 15th ::.

    ~ 10:11 PM ~

    "...cutting on the bias..."

    The parts department at Fusz was closed when I arrived in the afternoon. I walked by a woman that wanted to buy a Prius and was talking to a salesman at the time. I thought about stopping and saying I just bought one but I did not want to interrupt the salesman's rap that ended with "waiting list". They did have one on the lot though. Ellis sniffed the new car but the phrase "car ride" made him nervous so even a Dogswell Mellow Mutt could not draw him in. He was not a willing passenger. We did go for a walk and he sniffed the volleyball court at the rec throughly. He also climbed the ice rink snow hill behind the rec center. The snow hill is the waste from the hockey ring.

    After a trip to Fusz, I went to Whole Foods. I also passed our butcher who had a sign out for turkey orders. I decided we will order through them this year and serve a fresh bird this year. I watched Alton's brine episode yesterday in order to refresh the recipe for me.

    Neale said this was the second best pizza she has had. The Cleveland food show was enjoyed and she bought something for me. She spent tonight at Joe and Dolores' home watching "Casino Royale".

    I have a new lunch box. I bought our original pair of insulated lunch boxes while we lived in the valley in Akron.

    Since I had not seen it but Sean from LC talked about it, I ordered I am Legend. I was entertained. After I watched "Walk Hard" and was disappointed.

    This was breakfast and I found a biscuit recipe I was very happy with this time. The recipe was: 6 cups self rising flour, 3/4 cup of butter, and 16 oz of buttermilk. The batch was cooked at 500 degrees for 14 minutes. Make sure to do the three knuckle press down.

    I made a batch of chili in the slow cooker for this week's lunches.

    tin man

    .:: Friday, November 14th ::.

    ~ 09:33 PM ~

    "...licensed for public dancing..."

    The first day with my Prius (package 3) was great. One of the first adjustments is you do not "use" a key. You carry the key on you, which means for me it is in my pocket. So, I walk up to the car and it open the drivers door since it senses the key. Next, you press the brake and press the power button to start the car. Likewise, you stop, press park, and power off to leave the car, which had me double checking the vehicle. The car starts (no noise, just the lights on the dash/front window light up) and then the electric/gas engine starts. The center display is the "heart" of the car. From the center display, you have touch control over many features of the car. The center display also shows the following for me: climate, radio, & info. When I reverse, the center display becomes a backup camera display. The engine is quiet and noticing the travel/gas mileage screen is rewarding. I traveled about 100 miles so far and I am averaging around 45 miles per gallon. I have always thought the controls on the steering wheel were a great feature. Now, I can actually use them everyday. Plus, the car has acceleration, it is spacious inside, and there is plenty of storage for us. I am happy with this purchase and I look forward to driving the car for years. Pics soon....

    Neale made it safely to Cleveland.

    I wanted to do a cheese plate for us so I ordered cheese through Artisan. For Sunday, I am stopping at Whole Foods tomorrow.

    If the rain stops, Ellis and I will work in the yard tomorrow. He has not had a walk since Tuesday due to weather and buying the Prius.

    Since Sirius/XM performed their change in channels this week, I only have one complaint. What happened to Backspin?

    After talking about "The Wizard of Oz" in class today (urban legends/capitalism), it is on TNT and I cannot turn it off.

    other pics
    red velvet
    queen & knight

    .:: Wednesday, November 12th ::.

    ~ 12:46 PM ~

    "...really had to move..."

    I do not know if this blog entry is true or not but it made me laugh.

    It is the last full day with my Lancer. I put half a tank of gas in it this morning and I cleaned out my belongings yesterday.

    Neale is traveling to Cleveland this weekend. Ellis and I may just take the Prius for a long drive.


    .:: Tuesday, November 11th ::.

    ~ 07:26 PM ~

    "...glory be..."

    Ellis had a treat tonight. While shopping for soup ingredients, I bought him a tube of Fresh Pet Fresh Select slice n' serve.

    We had Penn Station for lunch. I made a vegetable soup for dinner. Neale requested Crescent rolls as well.

    Veteran's: Thank you for your service.

    top albums of the 90s
    not dead
    yes we can

    .:: Monday, November 10th ::.

    ~ 09:42 PM ~

    "...fakey latin man accent..."

    AVG was notifying me of an update error. I did a search online and found an answer that fixed my problem.

    With my birthday cash, I upgraded my guitar gear. I changed my delay to a MXR Carbon Copy, which is worth every penny. Previously, I had been using digital delays. I had to replace my compressor pedal as well since it failed on me and I have not been able to repair it. However, I have one more fix to try and the MXR Super Comp is a nice change. After plugging the compressor back into my signal chain, I realized why it is so important and what I have been missing in my tone for the last few months. I also convinced that the wah mods I did were worthwhile but I am lacking some bass in the sweep.

    I added a pic of Ellis to his page with him wearing his reflective safety vest.

    My Prius is in town. We are picking it up Thursday as our salesman is not working on Veteran's Day.

    glory be

    .:: Sunday, November 9th ::.

    ~ 07:56 PM ~

    " alone..."

    Lentils? Yes, I made a hearty cream lentil soup in our slow cooker for my lunches this week. I have a rare Tuesday holiday this week as it is Veteran's Day.

    Neale went to a baby store but it was closed. She is visiting Dolores next weekend and wanted to have a gift for Alex. She also went to find more shoes and I will not bother to mention how many pairs of shoes she already owns. She arrived home around 3 and I was ready to clean the shower. Then we went a walk in downtown Webster since there was a Christmas Open House event. We walked from our Starbuck's to the Starbuck's near Webster University, which we believe is about a mile and a half. In all, our usual 3 miles. Ellis saw a horse pulling a carriage, which puzzled him. Besides seeing horses at Grant's Farm, he met a horse in Forrest Park last year. Also, two dogs being walked by their owner barked at him aggressively. He took it all in stride.

    I was hungry for ravioli so we went to Straub's for supplies. They were finishing the open house events, which meant many tables for free wine, beer, & cheese. We agreed on a Gorgonzola cheese sauce for the pasta. Since there was no rav available we went with tri-color tortellini and it turned out great. I doubled the recipe, added sage to the roux, a dab of tomato paste, used a Mondavi fume blanc to thin the sauce, and finished it with a grind of Italian seasoning. Yes, it was good.

    run pig run

    .:: Saturday, November 8th ::.

    ~ 09:59 PM ~

    "...he said what?..."

    We both slept late and had a lazy Saturday. Neale decided to watch movies and I needed to run some errands (Dierberg's, OfficeMax, Office Depot, Ace, Wine & Cheese Shop, & Cartridge World). I wanted to make wine & cheese soup for dinner so I needed a certain cheese. Also, our bed needed repair (stop smirking) wood screws and the flapper chain in the first floor bathroom needed to be replaced.

    I gave a dinner roll recipe a try as Thanksgiving is coming. I am certain our oven runs hotter than most so I will roll back the heat for the next batch of rolls.

    I watched the Ohio State game. Go Bucks!

    hurdy gurdy

    .:: Friday, November 7th ::.

    ~ 12:23 PM ~

    "...joan crawford..."

    We went to Amigo's Cantina for dinner last night. Quick service, good food/drink, and it has an excellent atmosphere. Neale's gift was the second Hitchcock DVD collection. We both enjoy his films.

    I am meeting Neale at Fast Eddie's this afternoon. Yes, the owner's son in the Alton (Food Network) video was a classmate of Neale's.

    It is time to make fruitcake.

    leave home

    .:: Thursday, November 6th ::.

    ~ 08:16 PM ~

    "...An inspiration is what you are to me, inspiration, look...see..."

    Election night treats.

    Ellis videos have been posted.

    ~ 08:51 AM ~

    "...just a bend in the road..."

    Besides being my birthday, it is National Men Make Dinner day or as we call it in our home, everyday. On election night, I made blue corn tacos, red velvet cupcakes with white frosting, and a special election night drink. I called the drink the Obama and it is equal parts vodka, blue curacao, triple sec with a splash of pineapple juice. Neale enjoyed the menu. I have pictures, which I tried to upload yesterday. However, there was server issue at Tripod and the new pics of Ellis, election night, and my nurse costume are waiting for another attempt.

    Thanks to everyone for the cards and gifts. I appreciate the thought.

    dog on a trampoline
    picture gallery
    class conflict

    .:: Tuesday, November 4th ::.

    ~ 09:41 AM ~

    "...hold on, hold on..."

    Neale's election joy

    ~ 08:36 AM ~


    Beer Wiki

    .:: Monday, November 3rd ::.
    ~ 07:52 PM ~

    " proposal..."

    Neale is nervous about the election. She has also spent every evening since June watching CNN and MSNBC. Overall, we are confident in our choice and hope Obama wins. Tomorrow, I am making a election dinner of blue corn tacos, red velvet cupcakes, and a round of Sapphire martinis. Neale may vote early and I am voting in the afternoon. I will bring a radio in case the line is long.

    Neale's legs were sore from our door knocking yesterday so she took the night off. Ellis and I walked. While we were at the parking lot near the football field, a yellow lab ran over to meet us. The owner running after the dog yelled "he won't hurt you" and I could tell the dog was just happy to see another dog. Ellis took it in stride and would have played with the dog if the owner was not embarrassed.

    I bought Steve ( Halloween party & comm/eng faculty colleague) a bottle of Michter's for the party. I did not want to arrive empty handed and I bought his family a sensible fire extinguisher last year. Yes, Neale and maybe you find it odd that someone would buy someone else a fire extinguisher but how is your fire extinguisher doing? Have you checked it lately? I saw him today at work and he enjoyed the bourbon. I wanted a bottle of Stranahan but it was sold out at Randall's.

    "True Blood" had another great episode last night.

    It is my birthday week and my parents, Steve & Joan, and my grandmother sent cards. Thanks. I appreciate the recognition.

    It is the last week with the Lancer. The first and best new car I owned. It has never failed me and never disappointed me. At 116,000 miles it has another 100,000 in it I bet and the next owner should be happy as well. The Prius is coming.

    joy the baker
    Cinematic Titanic @ STL

    .:: Sunday, November 2nd ::.
    ~ 07:04 PM ~

    "...come back when you are something else..."

    On Saturday, we saw Cinematic Titanic at the Family Arena. It was fun for me to see the guys from MST3K and Neale was laughing as well. She was not a fan of the original episodes as she was trying to watch movie and track the riffs. However, she liked the live version of "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" from season three. Afterwards, we went to Dave & Busters to play pool and that addictive coin game you find at carnivals.

    This afternoon we went door to door in Glendale for the Obama campaign. We were assigned 118 homes in three separate locations in the Glendale area. The first person (second home) we visited was a McCain supporter. The remaining houses we were assigned were "not at home" (I rarely answer the door as well) or the person who answered was an Obama supporter. Some houses we were assigned did have Obama signs and some did not. The materials we were given told us something about the house before we had to knock on the door, such as their age & responses to Obama campaign visits. The most common question we were asked "was how it going?", which was a question people were asking about their neighbors views. Except for the few houses with McCain yard signs, most people were leaning or supporting Obama and nervous about Tuesday. I decided to visit one house not on our list to help lower the number of door hang tags I had to carry and met a pro-life voter. She stated a "fact" about the Obama view on abortion and I was unfamiliar with it, especially since it did not match the logic of Obama's health care plans. I told her I understood her view and urged her to vote. Neale stated she was pro-choice and the woman stated she supported birth control, which seemed in opposition to her pro-life stance and the current view of the Republican administration. I checked out her "fact" when I returned home and she was misrepresenting a vote Obama had in the Illinois Senate. We returned our materials to the Obama campaign office in Webster.

    We had dinner at Llywelyn's Pub. They were playing the entire Blind Faith album, which was refreshing. Neale really likes their cheese curd appetizer.

    blog chef

    .:: Saturday, November 1st ::.
    ~ 12:12 PM ~

    "...hammer down..."

    Neale is going into the office to work on a case. I made sure she had a sensible meal before she left for downtown. I highly recommend using a blender to make scrambled eggs. The air whipped into the eggs makes a difference in your final product. Plus, removing the eggs from the heat before they are really done and using a spatula to fold & push. Carry over heat will finish the eggs, which keeps them fluffy not chewy. She also wanted bacon and Ellis got a small taste as well.

    Last night, I went to a coworkers party. Since he posts pictures online, I will link to them eventually. My medical/nurse scrubs will not carry a prize but I had a good time.

    Tomorrow, we are helping out with the Obama campaign.

    Previous journal has been archived. Please visit the links to the right for previous entries.

    Palin As President
    RIP Terkel

    Photo from our 2008 visit to Washington, D.C. More on our photos page.

    T O P


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