Sunday, December 24, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Flaming Dod

Carolyn here.
So I love my job. I enjoy working and I think I am at a place that is a good fit. My boss was willing to move my hours around to conform with Stewart's, which is good since we still share a car (possible only because we work the same hours and are only a mile apart.) I even enjoy the drama that is an inevitable part of working. Sure there are a good amount of uneventful days, I'll call these productive days. Then there are days that just beg to be posted about. Like the time I was told that I look like the Shaquille O'Neal of Ewoks or the day I was told that I have the tongue of an adder. Still trying to figure that one out. There are the horribly dramatic days like when one of my coworkers died of a heart attack three doors away from work on his way in.
And the days like yesterday when a few of us watched out the front window as police men and fire men blocked off the road facing our front door. When we stuck our heads out the door to see what was going on, they yelled at us to "get right back inside now." Wow. I haven't been yelled at like that since I hit my little sister in the mouth with a grapefruit spoon. Her gums are fine. So half an hour later, when the same sheriff burst through the door and ordered us to vacate the premises immediately, we started to get worried. We all got outside and proceeded to stand around in the street, waiting to find out what was going on. We finally found out that there was possible radiation seeping into the area. I started to get worried about my unborn children (for the aforementioned nursery) so we all called it a day and left.
Then there are workdays like the beautiful day in April of last year when I was returning from a business trip in Manhattan with four coworkers. I had drunk a liter of water with lunch and didn't think to use the bathroom before we left. The company van was one of those old Dodges. The radio worked ok and one of the guys had just got the clock set on our way down to the city two days earlier. This van was known for breaking down but I had not as yet had the pleasure of being broken down on the side of the road in the middle of winter. On the front end where it usually says DODGE, the G and the E were missing so I called it the DOD. After several miles I begged my boss to stop at the next rest stop and he relented, much to my joy and comfort. As I walk into the rest stop I noticed a Cinnabon kiosk and think to myself, "Self, maybe on the way out." But no, we all head back out to the DOD only to notice smoke coming from it's front end. I run back inside and quickly ask the two teenage boys working the hotdog stand where's the pay phone because our van is on fire in the parking lot. Their looks told me that this was not an every day occurrence for them. By the time I get back outside to await the fire department, the guys have gotten all of our personal belongings and the office equipment out of the DOD. Well, almost all of it. Then we wait and watch. Along with everyone else in the parking lot. I will always remember watching the headlights simply pop out of the front of the DOD. That was kind of anticlimactic. It was around this point that a man came up to us with a little fire extinguisher from his trunk and sprays the van, accomplishing nothing. Then he yells at everyone to get back, that with all of his years of experience fighting fires he knew that she was gonna blow. So I duck back behind the two tech guys from my office and think of how brave they are. Or that I just got behind them before they could get behind me. I was so relieved when the fire department showed up and put the fire out without it blowing up, but in retrospect, that would have been way cooler of a blog story.
This all happened during the few weeks when Stewart and I had only one cellphone and no home phone and he was gone from work for the day. I had the cellphone. I had to call friends from downtown Albany to drive out to my house and tell him not to pick me up at the before agreed upon time. They delivered the message that I would be home late, that the van caught on fire but that I was fine and I would just get a ride home with one of those brave tech guys. So while we waited for another ride to take us further along our journey, I finally got that Cinnabon I'd been craving earlier. I ate it in the rainy drizzle while trying to keep the equipment safe.
And that is why Stewart and I each have our own cellphones and why they are camera phones. And why I try not to go on business trips anymore.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Politics, Home Repair and Jock Itch, Part 3

For the record any mention of a nursery in my last posting was purely accidental and not indicative of any change in our reproductive status. Well at least not that I'm aware of but I'm a man so I'm oblivious to most of my surroundings. That said we really are not yet prepared to enter the world of parenting as we are still conducting research for our upcoming book tentatively titled, "Our Kids Won’t Be Like That: A childless couple’s guide to parenthood".

Here's an excerpt from the introduction:
Experts may disagree on the causes of childlessness among couples. For some, the experts blame infertility with either the man or woman in the relationship (And yet we can go to any tractor pull and see teenage girls with four kids at their hip, life isn't fair). Others couples have the common marital problem of no sex; any married men reading this know what I'm talking about (I mean honestly how many headaches can you have? It's probably from washing your hair all the time). Others face the obvious biological difficulty of being same gender couples.

While all of these factors may play a role in why we as a group haven’t "multiplied and replenished the earth" there are two underlying reasons that biologists, sociologists, and doctors have missed.

The first and most important reason for not having children is quite simply this; we’re all saving for a boat! That’s right every last one of us is a selfish narcissist who would rather buy things for ourselves than spend money on someone who will spend most of their lives hating us and complaining to their friends about how messed up their childhood was.

The second reason and probably more pertinent to our study here is the simple fact that we’ve seen what you’ve done to your kids and we don’t want our kids to play with them.

As I've mentioned to some of you, this book will be followed up after we have children with a book tentatively titled "Why The Hell Didn't Anybody Tell Us Our Kids Would Be This Way". Now back to our continuing series.

Jock Itch!

It sucks and I'm glad I don't suffer from it anymore than any other men. Oh and as an aside to the female gender, we're going to scratch. That's right it's what guys do, we scratch. If you don't like it, don't be with us at sporting events or any other time when we're wearing jeans. Also there is no other way to watch football than with your pants undone the remote in one hand and your thumb tucked into your belt buckle, you wouldn't understand this, you're a woman. Now that's all I've got to say about that. How about another video?

This is from one of my favorite all time movies, Lisbon Story. Sadly Lisbon Story isn't very easy to find these days, in fact I couldn't find a dvd version of it for region 1. The plot of the movie itself isn't that going to rivet you to the seat. The main storyline is about a director who comes to Lisbon to find a friend who went missing on a movie project he was doing in the city. It's a good film but not a great one. The true stars of the movie are Lisbon itself and the music of Madredeus, which plays an integral role in the discovery of the city. This song is Ainda by the aforementioned Portuguese fado band. Enjoy!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Politics, Home Repair and Jock Itch, Part 2

So we've discussed politics. Now for part two of our triumverate of unpleasant things,
I can see you're as terrified as I am.

To fully understand the horror of home ownership I need to take you back two years ago last month. My wife and I recently had acquired good jobs which provided us a comfortable enough living, or so we thought, to purchase a house. And so we undertook the process of house shopping. House shopping is unlike any other shopping. Unlike clothes or cars you can neither try on or test drive a house. With house shopping you have to know what you're looking to avoid, e.g. carpenter ants, windows made before the rise of steam power, and of course ghosts you've gotta avoid ghosts.

Unfortunately first time home owners don't always know these things. In fact it's easier to determine if your house is haunted than if you have the other two aforementioned problems (In answer to your unspoken question, yes your house is haunted everybody's is). You can't always tell if the carpenter ants are just hiding in the house, or if the windows weren't just painted by the former owner's kids to make them look newer.

Now let's get back to us. So after being outbid on three houses, Wife and I were getting desperate. Then we saw this house. We both liked the hard wood floors and the vaulted ceilings were pretty cool. Since we were getting frustrated with the process and we didn't want to kill off another real estate agent (Seriously our first agent got in a head on crash with a tractor trailer on her way home from showing us a house. She survived but was in pretty rough shape for awhile.), we put a bid on the house as it was the best we'd seen in awhile. While surprise, surprise we got it.

Can you imagine how excited we were? Well unfortunately, the love affair was short. We found that the former owners were nice enough to take in all the carpenter ants in a five county radius and put them up in the front door. Someone of course had decided to cover up these residents by placing a nice board over the infected area. We only found out they were there when they turned over a petition to me asking me to turn up the thermostat. I took care of them in turn by removing the infected wood and laying enough ant poison to kill a small village.

That experience taught us a valuable lesson that everyone should bare in mind, home ownership is an unending expense. On top of the constant repairs, upgrades, and things that break you have to deal with taxes and fees. Then there are the ever important familial debates with the house, like which room will be the nursery and which will house my collection of baseball cards, where to put the piano vs. where to put the plasma screen tv (c'mon Santa be a pal I really want one) or the most important of all what color should each room be painted.

So we finally arrive at the real story about me falling through the ceiling. Now I know Wife indicated that this was some kind of foolishness on my part. In fact some have gone so far as to suggest if I dropped fifty pounds it might have supported me (I'm not that fat people, though you'll still never see my "fat pirate" photo from this summer). The real reason I jumped through the ceiling (doing a nice triple flip on the way down through) was to force us to paint the bedroom. That's right! That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I certainly didn't just put all of my weight on the dry wall instead of on the crossbeams, that would be foolish. No I wanted to paint the bedroom. Now because of my bravery in forcing this issue I got my way. So there. Now for some photos:
Sexy me painting my recently fallen through ceiling.

The color we finally decided on. We used some mild texturing but you can't really tell from this angle.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and actually try to link this to a video from YouTube. Song of the day Jean-Jacques Goldman: Sache Que Je. One of the better songs I heard when I was a missionary over in France. Here's the link, I'll go back and link some of the other songs I've mentioned when I have the time:

Oh and since I haven't done it in awhile here's a recipe for you one of my favorites:
Gine's Bread
8 Cups Flour
3 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Cup Butter (melted-lukewarm)
2/3 Cup Milk
1 Cup Water
2 Tsp Yeast
2 Egg Yolks

Preheat oven to 375. Mix your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. I prefer to add a little cinnamon as well to give it a bit more flavor. In a separate bowl activate the yeast in the warm water. Add the milk to the liquids bowl and add a pinch of sugar. Let sugar activate five minutes. Melt or soften the butter. Wait for it to cool long enough so it doesn't curdle the milk. Add it to the rest of the liquids. Making a well in the dry ingredients add the liquids. Mix a little flour into the liquids to make a "sponge", let stand for ten minutes. Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients and knead thoroughly. Add flour as needed during the kneading process. Divide dough in two equal parts. Let rest for twenty minutes. Roll out each part into 1 to 1 1/2 foot long snakes, the dough should be about an inch in diameter. Braid the two snakes together using water to fuse the four ends of the braid. Tuck the ends under the bread. Let rise for 1 hour or until fully proofed. Glaze with beaten egg yolks. Cook at 375 for about an hour (may take longer depending on how thick you make the bread). Serve hot with honey butter or nutella.

Bon Appetit.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Politics, Home Repair and Jock Itch, Part 1

Politics, home repair, and jock itch all share a lot in common. None of the three ever seem to end. None of the three are things that you want to talk about really. None of the three are things you really can get involved in without getting dirty.

Why is that? Why should politics be so dirty? Well in case you didn't pay attention to the last election I'll tell you the reasons. Politicians think people are idiots. No it's true. In lieu of telling us "Um we screwed up by starting a war in Iraq under false pretenses" they tell us things like this:
I wish you would have given me this written question ahead of time, so I could plan for it. (Laughter.) John, I'm sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could have done it better this way, or that way. You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't yet.
--George w. Bush

Washington, DC
after being asked to name the biggest mistake he had made

No seriously he said that! The reality is this my friends, we are ruled by a bunch of pretentious idiots who feel that they have a right to rule and not a responsibility to rule right. Because of this our country is the national equivalent of Arby's, good curly fries but not much else to offer. If only our politicians listened and looked out for us, we could be the national equivalent of a restaurant like Sabatino's in Baltimore.

Sidenote: If you're ever in Baltimore you must go to Sabatino's and get their bookmaker salad it is to die for!!!!!

You might think from all this that I'm pessimistic about the future. Truth be told I'm not. I believe that we have the chance for a new beginning. This past election put into the halls of congress many moderates who have a chance to shape America for the better. Making us a nation that doesn't just settle for curly fries and roast beef special sauce, but a nation that knows that there's nothing better than a properly done filet mignon. So let freedom ring and let's eat.

Sorry for the food analogies, I shouldn't write these when I have the munchies.

Song of the day: In keeping with the pro-American theme I'm going to recommend you look up American Dreaming by Dead Can Dance. Most of their stuff is a little too new-agey but this one song is one of my all-time favorites.

P.S. Check out some of our new blog links. Also I will complete the story of home repair and jock itch with my next posts.

P.P.S. Now aren't these just cute. Looks like our cat Lilly (full legal name Lillian Lilith Turner-Forbes, I tried to convince her not to hyphenate) is afraid it's going to rain inside.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

So I'm incredibly vain (this is husband why the way, I want in no way to insinuate that wife is vain, she is the most wonderful and compassionate person I know). I know you're shocked by this news but it's true. I take pride in being the smartest one at parties (who else knows that one of the underrated turning points of the American Revolution was the not so legendary Battle of Valcour Island ), I love the fact that I am the only guy at church who wears cuff links on a regular basis, and I love the fact that I have beautiful straight teeth.

Well I must now confess I'm living a lie. While I might still be the smartest guy at parties and I do look sleek in my mostly blue white collared french cuff dress shirt, my teeth are neither straight nor beautiful.

You see I had this problem as a child my baby teeth didn't want to fall out. In fact they wanted to stay in so much that I had to have many of them removed. Yet my many layered teeth also caused my parents to spend thousands of dollars in orthodontia. Here's a picture of me before the orthodontia:
Terrifying isn't it (sorry for the extreme closeup)? This is me afterward:

Okay maybe that's some actor, the point is that I had beautiful teeth. Until one tragic night where some dear friends of ours decided to teach me to ice skate. All was going well until until a little girl skated out in front of an oncoming Zamboni. No one else was near her so I skated out awkwardly to stop her from her instant doom. Leaping from off the ice I sailed ten feet pushing the child to safety. I fortunately also slid out of the way of the behemoth of the ice, but was scarred by my teeth meeting the ice. My front two teeth broke in half, but it was a small price to pay (actually the price was not that small) to save a child. Or at least that's the version of the story I'll be telling my children for the rest of my life.

In any case I had my new dentist recently put crowns on my teeth to repair them. They looked beautiful. Or at least did until another dentist gave me candy as part of the vast dental conspiracy which is Halloween. I managed to chip one of my crowns on a Butterfinger. The repair job my dentist did was chipped again (four days later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) on a piece of pizza. In other words my vanity is now being dealt a big dose of humility in the form of bad looking teeth. Here's the most recent photo:
So much for my vanity!

Song of the day: La Tribu de Dana by the French Celtic rap artists Manau. All I have to say about them is this, it's about time someone included bagpipes in a rap album!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Why we live here

This is why we love this place!!!!!

I don't have much to say since I blathered on and on yesterday. I just wanted to give you a couple of pictures to show you why we live in upstate NY. I took these while our friend Steve was visiting us from Utah. I was hoping to have more but the Park Ranger at Thatcher Park chased us out with a pitchfork when we tried to stay after hours. Anyway enough of me talking look at the pretty pictures.

This is the shot from near the top of the escarpment in Thatcher looking out on the Hudson River Valley. Nice huh?

And this is looking from one side of the escarpment to the other. They call this area the Indian Ladder trail because the local Mohawk tribes had a set of ladders they would use to get up to the top of the escarpment. Or so the legend goes.

This just looked cooler when we were up there. It was supposed to be a shot looking down the cliff but instead it looks like just some leaves.

The song of the day: Patty Griffin's "Mother of God" There's something about a woman with a good voice singing with a piano that I just can't resist.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Degrees of Separation

Well everyone sorry for the delay in putting out a new blog. The Bathrooms still a disaster, you can still see where I "fell through" the ceiling in the bedroom, and I've got a cold. Now that doesn't explain why we haven't posted anything in four weeks but since you all only check this blog once a month anyways it doesn't really matter to you. Of course I thought you'd like to see the before and after pictures. Wish I'd gotten one of Nate and I cutting the tub in half.

During the previously mentioned missionary reunion someone mentioned that one of our fellow missionaries was now married to Jeopardy star Ken Jennings. Later in talking with another friend, who happens to be a huge Jeopardy fan I passed this tidbit of information along creating a great impression.

This made me think of one of my favorite movies of all time, the Mel Brooks science fiction epic, Spaceballs. Okay perhaps it's not high theatre (notice how I spelled that the fancy British way with the -re? Impressed aren't you?), but it's still one of my favorite movies. And from that movie comes one of my favourite lines (still with the I'm on a roll):
Dark Helmet: Before you die there is something you should know about us, Lone Star.
Lone Starr: What?
Dark Helmet: I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate.

Now why is this quote pertinent? Well it's not really but in connection with the title of this post (for goodness sakes just scroll back to the top of the window to see what the title is, don't make me come out of this computer to tell you), I got thinking of my relation with people.

Did you know that I'm one degree of separation from NFL hall of famer Steve Young? It's true. I lived down the street from his sister and I knew a former youth leader from his church growing up. WOW! And that makes me two degrees of separation from Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and all sorts of NFL sacks. It's like I'm right there in the locker room isn't it?

Or perhaps you didn't know that I have high placed government ties. I'm one degree of separation from Mitt Romney, the governer of know that state with the high taxes. In fact I'm connected to him through two different friends. I bet you didn't know that I'm also one degree of separation from the current and future governor of New York.

More pertinent for the CIA and FBI officers reading this blog. There's one degree of separation between me and Kings of Morrocco and Jordan. And most damning of all there's only one degree of separation between me and Jacques Chirac the President of France. Vive la revolution...oh sorry my Marxist tendencies got the better of me.

I think I also only have a degree or two of separation from Clint Eastwood, the guys in Maroon 5, and the Pope (the last one, I'm not a big fan of the current one (oh and yes that is a complete lie)).

In any case you might ask how I'm benefitting from all of these superb contacts? Well let me go back to the rest of that Spaceball's quote:
Dark Helmet: Before you die there is something you should know about us, Lone Star.
Lone Starr: What?
Dark Helmet: I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate.
Lone Starr: What's that make us?
Dark Helmet: Absolutely nothing!

That's right I sort bottlecaps for a living!

Still I'd feel bad for using my connections, it's not like I really want to take over the world.......or do I?

And now for our song recommendation of the day: "It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career" by Belle & Sebastian.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Scrapbooking--->Pure Madness

Something our dear friend said in her last blog made me realize two things about myself.
1. I have no sense of nostalgia. Nada, Rien, Nyet, Zero, Zilch, Nil!
2. Scrapbooking is pure madness. It's absolutely nutso.
Now most of you will recognize that number 2 is not a true observation about myself so much as a general perspective on the world. It is especially a true observation of the difference between men and women, to wit, women are crazy and men practical.

Now this supposition might meet with some outrage from the female part of our readership. Which considering our readership is one person at the current time could be a problem but I digress. However let me give you an example from my own personal experience to elucidate my argument.

Several months ago I decided I was dissatisfied with my photo collection. Said collection represented many years of memories. My experience as a young man in upstate New York, my two years in France, and my time since meeting Carolyn. Defining my life in these three paradigms allowed me to approach organizing pictures in a sequential manner. I therefore undertook the process of cataloguing my life. I bought a large photo album that would hold all of my photos from the first two periods and went through sequentially labelling the photos, including the individuals present and the date of the event as best as I could recall. This exercise proved invaluable at jogging my memory and within a few short weeks I was able to collect and place in a single album 95% of the photos from that time of my life.

My wife at that same time began the process of "scrapbooking". Now according to my understanding scrapbooking. Women put a couple photos on some colored paper, throw on some glitter, and then write in big bold letters expressions like "Bonding" or "Jazzersizing". Now beyond the fact I have no idea what those two words mean I see another problem with this whole experience.

Namely it takes about 10 hours for them to do one page!

In the space of time it took me to organize and label my entire life up to age 22, my dear wife did one "scrapbook" page!

Like I said pure madness!

Song of the day: Pourquoi Cette Pluie? by Idir. He's an Algerian musician that records primarily in France. I got the chance to meet him last time I was in Paris and was greatly impressed by the thoughtfulness of his music and the depth of his beliefs regarding the state of his country. Here's a link to a bad YouTube video of this song. I wish it was better but it was the best I could find:

And I swear one of these days I will address how I fell through the ceiling and why. It's an exciting story.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Growing Pains

Carolyn here. And no, I am not talking about the fact that I need a larger size of pants because of my insatiable love for all things cookie. No, I'm talking about the pains that come from getting old and hopefully more responsible and having to learn all about a bunch of stuff that my parents had to deal with when I was a kid and had no idea about. I thought that grown ups got married, had kids and bought a house and then their worries were over until about the time their oldest daughter got to about 15 or 16 (mom, dad?) But I'm gradually learning that that is not the case. Grown ups have a lot to worry about and I'm not even a mom yet. Just the stresses associated with not being a mom are more than I thought any adult had. And then there's things like home ownership. Most of the time it is wonderful and I wouldn't trade it for the nicest apartment. I might, however trade the home that is owned. I say that as we just brought home our new bathroom today (tub, vanity, and toilet. The tiles we already had) and after Stewart fell through the ceiling into our bedroom while he was in the attic having a look at the ceiling fan. He had just announced that everything looked fine as far as the fan was concerned, except he did notice that there was a problem with the floor, which is also the ceiling in our bedroom, namely the hole he had just put through it with himself. Stuff like that is not a big deal, and Stewart did a fantabulous job of repairing the hole. I'm so proud. And a little jealous that I didn't get to help. Fix the hole, not make the hole. Not good for my self esteem to be falling through floors and all (note my love for cookies). Anyway, back to growing up. We also bought life insurance this week. Kind of morbid, but in a good way. "How long do you plan on living," says the insurance agent. "To 60? To 70? Certainly not 80 with your diet." So we have life insurance. So for all you kids out there reading this blog, your parents probably wouldn't want you reading anything posted by the Forbes. But now I have to go because I have a paper to write. Whole different set of stresses there. But I think I'll have a cookie first.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Home Sweet Home

So here we are everyone this is the big group photo from the gazillions of peoples I mentioned staying at my house in my last post...there might have been a few fewer than a gazillion:

Ahh sweet relief! There's nothing like having a house full of company and then the quiet of having the house empty again! I have no idea what I'm going to do when we have children...of course as the Wife and I always say
"Our Children Will Be Perfect, So We Don't Need To Worry"
For example our children will never make noise during church--well except when we want them to so that we can leave during a boring talk. Another example, our children will always appreciate everything that we give them and never say "I want this" or "Give me that". I feel bad for those parents among you who don't have kids as great as ours...if any parents out there need advise on how to make your kids as perfect as our future children will be please feel free to email us. We have a mountain of ideas that we haven't been able to try out yet.

Now on to the main reason of this post. I wanted to say to everyone that came that I had a blast at our little reunion. There's nothing better than a bunch of old friends coming together to reminisce eat burgers and stinky cheese...

Which leads us to the point in the blog where I must publicly thank the first Frenchman/woman who allowed a wheel of cheese to start growing things and decided that, "well what harm can a little mold do?" Without that great and brave individual, the world would be a much less stinky place and we could not have gorged ourselves at the fount of creation in consuming the greatest cheese the world has ever known: Raclette! If you have not tried it yet I highly recommend it. It is the greatest thing known to man.

And now for some pictures...

This is our first photo (if I can get this stupid idiot friendly program to work) of dueling cameras:

This is between Eric and I. I think I won.

Next is a wonderful shot of everyone just standing around:

Last is another candid shot:

And now for our song of the day: "I'll Rise" by Ben Harper. Ben Harper is one of those artists that I wasn't sure what to think of at first. The more I listen though the more I appreciate him.

Finally we have a new feature: Recipe of the Month.
This is something the wife wanted me to add so she'll be picking out recipes that we've found/created/stolen that we want to share with friends and family. Today's recipe is:
Chicken and Spinach Soup
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 lbs diced chicken breasts (more if you're carnivores)
1/2 medium diced white onion
2 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cup skim milk
1 can low-fat reduced sodium cream of chicken soup
10-ounces frozen spinach
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup shredded cheese (fat free if possible)
A dollop of sour cream
Corn chips (santitas or tostitos)

Oil a large saucepan and cook the diced chicken under a medium high heat with the garlic. Once chicken is no longer pink (about 7 minutes give or take), add the onion. Cook until the onion turns translucent.

Stir in the broth milk, soup, spinach, and seasoning. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Reduce heat for about 10 minutes until flavors have blended nicely. Serve warm with cheese, sour cream, and tostidos.

Well that's it folks hope you enjoyed are little post. We'll talk to you in a week or two when I decide if I can show you photos of me "wakeboarding". Did I mention I'm a very fat man? Just curious.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Idea Guy

Okay here's the problem. I'm not really much of a planner. I hate to admit it but it's true. That said I am what one could consider an idea man. I enjoy bouncing off the wall ideas around. The Good Lord only knows how many brilliant multi-million dollar companies I've created when just talking to friends about my wacky ideas. The sad part is that I lack the follow through and commitment to really make anything of those ideas. In fact pretty much the only things I've been able to really follow through with in life are my commitments to my cats and to my wife (not necessarily in that order).

However as the idea guy every now and then you find yourself in a situation where people call your bluff. Where you make some outlandish proposal to a friend and they say those dreaded words "That's a great idea, let's do it". How do you respond to that? Well if you're me you just look at them with an expression of abject horror on your face wondering what you've just unleashed on the earth. Even more frightening is the fact that usually it's the idea guy who bares the brunt of things when someone calls your bluff.

Such is the situation I face this weekend. Several months ago a good friend of mine from my time as a missionary in France (What I haven't told you about that yet? Oh that'll be another blog another day.) called me up. He was making the big move from Oklahoma to NYC and wanted some advise. Now I've never lived in NYC but as a New Yorker I'm loathe to admit my ignorance. And so I say "Sure that'll be awesome to have you so close. You guys want to come up one of these weekends? Maybe we can get some more of our old missionary buddies together for a sort of mini-reunion."

Now when these words left my house I thought of two other people at most, and if I could keep my mouth shut that's all there would have been, but no I just can't let people feel left out! So now I have friends flying in from England and driving down from Canada to spend a weekend doing heaven knows what in my dinky little split level ranch house. I think at last count we were up to about 10 gazillion people making the trek and planning on sleeping in one of our four bedrooms. It'll be tight but we'll make it work I'm sure.

So that's it for today. I figured I'd give you warning when my post for next week is a profanity laced tirade about how I hate having guests because it keeps me from peeing with the bathroom door open. Until then....our featured song of the day is: "Smile" by the Jayhawks. This is a classic anthem by one of the greatest country rock bands of all time. I highly recommend checking out their album of the same name.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Our First Post

Now let's see if I can figure out how to make this damn thing work. I've tried several times, who knows why, to start a blog. I'm hoping that my limited skills with the computer will be enough to help me make this idiot proof thing work.

Where to begin? Where to begin? Well I guess I'll start with the most recent events. We just got back from our exciting vacation. Yes, you've guessed it, we hiked Mount Everest...or at least I think I dreamt about doing that...okay I'm not even that exciting. However I think might have seen a picture of a mountain on the Discovery channel while staying in the hotel at America's premier tourist destination. Disneyland you guess? Las Vegas? Myrtle Beach? No. No. No. (although we did watch a bunch of CSIs which take place in Vegas) No I'm talking about the most thriving city in all of America. That's right, Syracuse, New York.

Oh you're all disapointed aren't you? Well fine be that way!

The Wife had a work conference so I joined her out there to mooch off her hotel room and free food. It was very relaxing although I figured something out about myself...I have a hard time letting go of work now. I actually had to fight off the temptation to call work every day we were out there. It was quite frustrating. What happened to the old me that could sluff off work whenever he wanted? Now he's replaced by this homeowning geek who long ago sold out to the Man. I hate the Man! He's ruined all my fun.

And another thing, I got sick on the Friday we were there. Getting sick on vacation is almost as bad as doing office work while on one. Here I'm trying to relax and do some outlet shopping with my wife and instead of being doubled over in pain because of the cost of clothes, I'm doubled over in pain trying not to blow chunks!

It reminds me of my worst Christmas ever. I flew home Christmas eve on Delta from Salt Lake City to Albany. This is back in the old days where friends and family could accompany you to the gate. Well my buddy accompanied me to the gate and we were waiting in line to buy some breakfast food from Burger King when he looked out the window of the airport and said "Is that your plane?" I looked out the window and sure enough at my gate our Delta 747 had smoke pouring out of one of its engines. I was quite upset by the sight but figured oh well I'm sure we'll be okay...after a two hour delay! So they get us a new plane and fly us out to NYC where we have about thirty minutes to catch our puddle jumper up to Albany.

Racing across JFK I caught my connecting plane and landed in Albany an hour later. Sure enough because of the short transfer time my luggage didn't make it onto the plane, but since I lived an hour north of Albany they said they'd drop it off for me the next day, being Christmas mind you, for free. Well that's nice of them I'd say.

Well it would have been nice except for the fact that the chicken they fed me on the flight gave me food poisoning and I was puking the entire next day!

The moral of the story is: "If you see smoke billowing from the engine of your plane just rip up your ticket and fly the next day, because it's a sign from God that you're about to have a bad day."

And now for our favorite feature (favorite because it's our first feature), the song recommendation of the day: She's Dead by Jim's Big Ego. The wife hates it but I think it's hillarious.