Wednesday, December 30, 2009
What do you think the new decade will bring? Sure, flying cars and peace on earth are probably long shots, but what might we really see? Given the rate at which human knowledge is doubling, what is possible?
Here are my bold predictions ... at least some of them. Hopefully without too much sarcasm ...
#1. A "cure" for glaucoma. I think that the work on the human genome and the discovery of defective genes that lead to some types of glaucoma, a drug therapy will be made available that will effectively cure this disease. I'm looking forward to it!
#2. From a planetary perspective, we will have a near miss by an asteroid or comet. Statistics being what they are and all, maybe the government will get serious about funding some basic research and early warning mechanism. We've learned about the importance of early warning systems for tsunamis in the oceans, right? While they're at it, I'm holding out hope that the government will take steps to fund more basic scientific research and also defend our wildlife, soil, air and water.
#3. Someone will actually get serious about the size and rate of growth of our federal debt. Seriously, if the United States were a person, what would your reaction be? Yep, pay the man $5 and let him squeegee the windshield.
#4. Rush Limbaugh will make his last radio broadcast and retire. Nope, it won't happen because the gulf between conservative and liberal mindsets has closed. It will happen because common decency and respect for others will finally become important enough social forces to get people to just turn the channels on radios to something less hateful. By the same token, Janeane Garofalo will stop (politically anyway) foaming at the mouth, hire a new agent and once again earn an honest living as an actress.
#5. I will complete my collection of Le Creuset cookware, master the souffle, and successfully (FINALLY) poach an egg in red wine.
#6. On December 21st, 2012, I will watch the sun set over the ancient city of Teotihuacan, Mexico, and won't be disappointed at all that the world didn't end. Sure, it would be very cool indeed to witness an alien first contact or something extraordinary like that but what are the odds? Well, I'll have a bag of popcorn and be ready for the light show just in case :-)
#7. Finally some football talk. Our beloved Oklahoma Sooners will win another National Championship. I want to hold out hope that one day our much beloved Denver Broncos won't stink anymore and will be good enough to win playoff games, but ... You know, that brings us back to the probabilities of having flying cars, a cure for the common cold, and world peace.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Yes, I've talked about OKC's best taco stand, Los Tacos, before. They're still the greatest! Today, my son and I had lunch at Los Tacos. Their combination burrito and chicken tacos RULE. What's better? Their taco sauce of course. Yummy for my tummy ... and then a nice long nap. Life is just that good.
Monday, December 28, 2009
The moon is trying very hard now to do something very rare - be full twice in the same month. This second full moon will happen on December 31st so we will have a Blue Moon on New Year's Eve! Sky watchers calculate that the next time this will happen is way off in 2028. What will the world, your world anyway, be like on New Year's Eve 2028?
I finished moving yesterday. While unpacking a box of books, I found an old bookmark given to me by someone very dear. It is a curved pointer made of brass with a red tassel and inscribed with one of George Sand's most memorable quotes: "There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved." Naturally, it was hiding inside a Jayne Ann Krentz novel. One of the reasons I like reading her novels is that she writes the best, most interesting prologues of just about anyone in the business. If you get the chance to read one of her novels, go ahead and give it a try. Read the prologue. You'll be glad you did.
Speaking of prologues, I have had the hardest time writing one for this novel I've been working on since September. I completed the first draft of this beast in three weeks writing out 387 pages in longhand in two different composition books. The second draft just about killed me. In order to be true to the story, I had to do some re-plotting. Wouldn't you know that one of secondary characters had stolen the story about the time I started the second of the 99 cent composition books. That character is a dying matriarch. She sustains and unifies her family, and tries to prepare them for the difficult times that will come once she's gone.
The larger story is a Southern Gothic flavored romance. Now that the third draft is finished, Flannery O'Connor's mischievous flock (faith, grace and redemption) perch on the branches of my story and sing till the sun goes down. Not too loudly, of course, just enough to get someone to go out and refill the metaphorical suet cake feeder out back.
This story needs one more pass through the draft to be right with the world. What it needs most of all is a prologue that hits the mark. Have you ever had something you've worked on that just doesn't feel right to you and you just have to keep working at getting it right?
That is this story. Another quote from George Sand seems to say something scary about "authorship"; that is, "The trade of authorship is a violent, and indestructible obsession." Does anyone else get this feeling about their creative work?
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Hopefully next year won't be so exciting. If you've followed this blog, you're up to date on most everything - until the last week! Whadda week ...
As much as it sounds like a lyric from Billy Joel's "Piano Man", my
dance instructor, Jacqui, joined the Navy and probably will be in it for life.
This year there were several new and innovative Christmas light displays. This one was around the Chesapeake corporate campus. Of course my camera couldn't do justice to it. It was really great ...
Then came the snow and more snow and then ... even more snow. Driving through the blizzard to get home was an experience. It took 3 hours and 2 minutes to make the 22 miles drive ...
The next day, there was loads of snow around the house ...
I've found some comfort in an old bit of genuine wisdom. "Cast your bread upon the waters and you shall find it" (Ecclesiastes 11-1).
This is going to be my approach toward this next year. I'm not sure what the new year will bring, but I know one thing for certain. I can think of ten things right off the top that are gone and don't look to be ever coming back.
Don't ask. Casting bread upon the water sounds whole lot more postiive than living a lyric from that old Jimmy Buffet song "Margaritaville". So THAT'S what I gonna do!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Am moving this weekend. Will be finished by Christmas. This year has been an interesting time. Ironic that wish that on someone is a Chinese curse. Life goes on.
Was thinking about what the happiest states were. Found THIS article on the net. Where do you live?
Here are the 50 U.S. states (and the District of Columbia) in order of their well-being:
8. South Carolina
12. North Carolina
15. South Dakota
20. Oklahoma ... Me!
24. New Mexico
25. North Dakota
27. New Hampshire
34. West Virginia
37. District of Columbia
42. Rhode Island
49. New Jersey
51. New York
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
That's the story, Morning Glory. That old hard drive is going into a ziplock bag and then it will spend the next day in the freezer. Will try to recover files and data from it if it can be brought back to life. If not, well ... time for a new drive anyway.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
So, I donated. Got my red T-shirt (Go Sooners!), some pretzels and some paperwork. Afterwards had dinner at the Chinese place next door.
Donate blood if you can. Help save a Life!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
n. 1. Concurrence of starry position or influence; hence, similarity of condition, fortune, etc., as prefigured by astrological calculation.
“Synastry” refers to the astrological study of relationships, a kind of bringing together the stars for two people. It's a bit of folk fortune telling in nearly every culture to try to make sure that couple is right and the time is right. For those who know me or are longer term readers of this blog, you know that I did no such thing as this before - or maybe things wouldn't have turned out the way they did.
A long time ago, a helluva long time ago really, I ordered a Relationship Reading from a very respected astrologer for Miss Sunshine and I. So much has happened since I ordered this reading, that I actually thought that it would never arrive. I'd quit thinking about it even. It FINALLY arrived in the mail. I listened to it today. It was a really hard day for me.
What do you think the Relationship Reading said?
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The Evil Corporation has given me a new office and a new (temporary) position - Acting Boss. The old Boss of one of the Evil Corporations' Fiefdoms retired rather unexpectedly. Our fearless UberBoss asked me to sit in as Acting Boss until arrangements could be made to set up a panel for interviews to replace the old Boss. The Fiefdom is a good one, but needs some serious attention to get things back to where they need to be. So, that means plenty of work ... and NO PLAY ... and maybe after the interviews are complete ... a BIG promotion.
Now how can I tell that certain, special SOMEONE that I really, really need to put in the time to get this thing rolling? Does "I love you" help? How about chocolates? Flowers? Corn whiskey in a wooden jug? Should I just keep my head down, nose to the grindstone and get it all done in long, empty silence? What would Nixon do? Why does the hallway to my new office seem like the "Long Dark of Moria?"
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Oklahoma City's best dim sum is served here.
The dim sum staple - garlic chicken feet ...
Crab balls made by a novice chef. Tasty, but deflated ...
What's a dim sum without some shumai?
And the best dish of all - the shrimp stuffed jalapeno peppers ...
Careful there boys and girls, these devils are wickedly HOT!!!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It's a pecan-stuffed brownie with peanut butter and ice cream topping, a little whipped cream, a drizzle of flavor, and a cherry. Enjoy!
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica - where do they go? Wonder no more!!
It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life.
The penguin is very committed to its family and will mate for life, as well as maintaining a form of compassionate contact with its offspring throughout its life.
If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into and buried.
The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and
"Freeeeze a jolly good fellow."
Then they kick him in the ice hole.
You know, I've loved the phrase "ice hole" ever since I first heard in the old Michael Keaton comedy "Johnny Dangerously". "Ice hole" ... it's even funnier when preceded by the old Swedish word ... "farging".
Sunday, October 18, 2009
First is Walt on rhythm guitar.
Justin on lead guitar and occaisionally vocals.
Me drumming by necessity, guitarist by choice. Yes, we are looking for a REAL drummer.
Marissa who sings and looks great all of the time, even if it's posing with the drum kit. She is my hero because she likes to sing "yelly" songs AND she screams very well. There was some speculation about how she learned to scream so well, but everyone was afraid to just come out and ask.
and Katie who took a turn at vocals.
Life is good.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Up close, it's a thing of beauty.
It's a relative of the hybiscus and the part that you eat are the pointy looking seed pods that are picked while the pod is green and supple.
Wash 'em, slice 'em, slather them with cornmeal breading, fry 'em and then eat 'em. Does life get any better?
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Then after dinner time, I was ready to make Crepes Suzette, or as Julia Child calls them in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, "Crepes with Orange Butter, Flambees".
First things first, gathering all the fixins ...
Then it's time to make the crepes. The trick is to make sure the batter covers the entire working surface of the pan, then relax and let the heating elements do their work, and finally the "flip". I saw Julia do this on the television, but more recently I saw Alton Brown do it on Today on a segment called "How To Make A Perfect Crepe". His technique is flawless, but just about anyone can get the hang of it in just a few tries.
The next step is to make the orange butter or syrup. You need, butter, oranges, sugar and some patience.
Then take the crepes for a spin in the orange butter, give them a dose of Cointreau and a little Courvoisier cognac for good measure, and set them on FIRE!!!
When the flame dies down, have a fork handy coz it's time to dine!
Monday, October 05, 2009
while the big kids went to the Wyldewood Cellars winery ...
They have some very good wines. Their specialty is elderberry and it is really tasty. Joe recommended the Prairie Sunshine. It is really, really good.
Then it was back to the house to eat that brisket, watch our beloved Sooners lose another game ... and have some ice cold Avalanche Ale from Breckenridge Brewery.
Avalanche Ale is a a friendly amber ale that is always tasty and isn't overpowering. For a real treat, visit the brewery in Breckenridge, Colorado, and have some food and an Avalanche. It's just good! If you visit Breckenridge in winter, be sure to bring your skis. The mountain is fun. Way back in the 70's, I learned to ski on that hill, and have always had fun there.
Early the next morning, I loaded the scooter for the trip home. Yes, there really is a case of wine in that tailbag ...
Yep, it was rainy and cold, but I have lots of winter gear to keep me toasty rolling through the Kansas prairie ...
Finally, back home safe and sound ...