Jun 27, 2009

June 26th, 2009

(This photo has nothing to do with the subject, but I love this picture. Dad is wearing a Rastaman hat that my daughter made me, and a pancho, that one of my 6th graders brought me from Mexico a few years ago. Dad was cold sitting outside in 50 degree weather.)

Woke up with dog pawing me to go outside. This wasn't like the time he woke me because he had to use the bathroom and was about to explode. He had an alterior motive. I happened to leave the back yard window open and he heard the dogs next door barking. He just knew how to manipulate me to get his wishes. Intelligent dogs are hard to trust and are often full of shit....

The llama communicates too. In the evenings I give her a scoop of llama feed then sit nearby and read while she eats. I have the radio going on while she's eating. When she is finished she stands about 8 feet away and stares at me with her big eyes and begins to moan. Once her moans get louder than the radio I look over and say "hey Sue"; she then starts smacking her lips in an overexaggerated manner. Usually I'll ignore her for 10 or 20 minutes, or tell her to wait, so she doesn't cram too much food down at once, but when I get up and grab the scoop she gets very happy and follows me to the house like a puppy. I make her stop at 2 scoops, since each scoop is 1 quart, and who wants a fat obnoxious llama?

Went to the gym, with my underwater mp3 gear, and swam 1000 yards! Thats 20 times back and fourth in a 50 yard pool. Farther than I've swam in 30 years!!! My old goal was only 500 yards, which I managed to swim for the past year, and it was boring as hell. But with music... 1000 yards is no problem. I'll increase this distance in a week or two. Due to time constraints, I'll have to keep it below 2000 yards, but it is great excercise, and fun now that I got music playing.

Imagine: You are swimming laps in a pool rockin to "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC or "Black dog" by Led Zeppelin??? This was so fun...

When I returned home I grabbed 5 days of emergency laundery and asked my son for some of his dirty laundry. He provided a pair of pants and a shirt. Damn, we haven't done any laundry in 20 days, and he hands me one pair of pants and a shirt. WTF?

With nice looking clean clothes on, I walked over to the restaurant where Logan works. The owner recognized me from the previous day, when I told him I was Logans father he became estastic, bragging about what a cool kids Logan was, and telling what a good job he was doing.
This restaurant is a very nice place, with great food and atmosphere. This was they're second friday to be open and the place was packed, with people waiting in line to eat. They didn't even advertise or have a grand opening.

Jun 24, 2009

June 24th, 2009


Another great day. (but lets revisit last night)

The chicken/red pepper/ corn on the cob party on the porch lasted till 4 in the morning. Three people joined the party which centered around very old and cool music: Logan, Freddy and me. I wouldn't have invited anyone else even if they all could have attended.

This city is so still and peaceful at those late hours; it's tough to imagine that 100,000 people live up in this valley.

I stay up late at night like this quite a bit. It's the quiet time when I can think. It's the time where I can dream of ideas and contemplate/catagorize my many thoughts. I can go though all my favorite subjects mentally w/o even having to open a book. Dream and philosophize about life in the past, present, and future. Allowing myself to stay up late at night is the most luxurious privilege I can think of. This is what I require..., next to oxygen, food, water, beer, and money (and totally in that order). Staying up late is number six on the "requirements for life.

So I woke up around 1:00 PM. Caught up on my computer things I do, took care of the animals, had a cuppa tea. Then drove the huge 900cc beast up to the GYM. The huge bike weighs about 700 pounds and has the power, fury, and sound of a B29 bomber. I love this bike, every time I ride her, it is like a special event or something. I generally prefer the smaller, more nimble enduro dirt bikes for Jaunts like this. But the CB 900 is a snarling beast that is a joy to ride, however more ominous.

Got to the gym and had to lay in the sun like an alligator again for 20 minutes until those damned swimming lessons were over. I really don't mind laying out in the company of beautiful Morman women, while listening to my MP3 player and baking in the sun with my Oakley sunglasses on. I'd rather bask here than in San Tropez. Once the kids got out, I swam the 15 laps (.42 miles) in about 25 minutes, before laying back on the lounge chairs and tanning my backside for a little while. I then took a steam bath and jacuzzi back in the locker room before treating myself to a banana/pineapple/coconut smoothy with "weight loss formula and a vitamen shot.

I felt so much better on the trip home than the trip there. On the way home I stopped off at Best Buy and found a dry land MP3 player for 50 bucks (nothing fancy) but obtained an MP3 case with built in speakers and a small amplifier, so I can play my sound any were I want, with out having to use earphones. I hope the MP3 radio works good, since I prefer the serendipity of the radio, compared to pre-recorded music.

Got home, totally beat from the workout (and the antics of the night before), and took a 2 hour recharge nap. Reawoke around 9 and went out to dinner at the place that Logan works. The Beehive grill just opened two weeks ago, and is like a Chili's, but with a better menu, better beer, and much more class. I wore a button down shirt for this event, since I wanted to look nice for my son. The second I got there I saw two of my students who seemed to be damned glad to see me! The girl kept bragging about how Logan was the best dishwasher in the place!

Since I was alone, I went to the lovely bar area, and ordered a beer and some German sausage/sauerkraut dish, which was top notch! Logan and another student stopped by to welcome me, seems that everyone there was proud of the great place they worked at. I have to admit: This restaurant is the best I've been too in many years. From the looks of the other patrons, I believe that this place will be a hit for many years to come.

I mainly sat at the bar, read the latest Smithsonian Magazine, and slowly ate my food, while listening to the happyness all around. I will go there at least once a week.

Came home and spent the usual hour and a half, sitting with the LLama (Sue) while she eats, she seems to like the company, and hung around Freddy the wonderdog at the same time. They were worried because I was about two hours late.

Freddy is proud of his communication skills. Last night, while the grill was on auto pilot I laid down on the couch for a few minutes to watch a tv show and started drifting off to sleep. Freddy, not wanting to miss his share of the food, started whining in a particular way from his carpet in the kitchen. He was so persistant that I woke up, and he indicated that I needed to get back to the grill. When I listened to him he started dancing around like he always does, when he succeeds in communicating something of great importance to me. He way so happy! Had he not intervened, I probably would have slept all night, and both of us would have missed dinner completely. Freddy is a brilliant dog, I will probably be a collie owner forever after owning Freddy.

Logan got home around Midnight and is patiently waiting to use this computer, so I guess I must get off for now.

June 23rd, 2009

Tuesday: I sold my Volvo! Now I can pay income taxes and shit. I can afford to fix up some of my remaining vehicles as well. Talked to Mom and Dad for a while, got some bad news about one of my uncles.

Rode the bike a few miles today; swimming was out of the question.

Logan worked hard again, came home in a great mood as usual. In the mornings he tends to be quiet and somber.

Slow bar-b-qued 6 chick legs with a cut in half red bell pepper (on sale for 50 cents each so I bought more than a few of them), and two water soaked corn on the cob with husks (I had to throw those wet bastards in the middle of the fire). Still doing that now.

Muscles still too sore to swim, but it is a "good sore" and not a bad one. Tomorrow I'll be back and swimming hopefully: My abdominal muscles seem to be very sore, so I will have to check them first. Don't ever want to piss them off!

Nite all, today was a fine day afterall.


Jun 22, 2009

June 22nd 2009

Much better day than Sunday. My oldest daughter did call in the morning. I went to school on Monday and seven of my students showed up to make jewelry! I have to come in for aquarium maintanence any way so I hang around for a couple hours and let students use the facility, after all the place really belongs to them. Funny how some of them were asking how my summer was going, I told them that we've really only been out for 2 weeks, and that summer is going well.

I also recieved my SMP3 player!!! So I spent most of my school time making a play list and downloading it. As soon as I got home I ate an orange for energy and headed to the pool. After laying in the sun like an alligator for 30 minutes, I finally got a lane and swam for twice as long as I normally do. Wound up swimming 15 laps instead of 10 which is .42 of a mile! I'll be working out 1/2 mile soon instead of the privious 500 yards which was slightly over a 1/4 mile.
I lost 8 pounds since last monday, and should be shedding more since I'm on a low carb version of the Mediterranean diet. It was so fun to swim with music rocking through your head, I never got bored or tired, but my ligaments told me I was risking pulling one or more of them.

Tonight my friend "Hamin" is stopping by to purchase the Volvo. I hope he doesn't try to negotiate too much on the price, because I need the money for my future truck fund, and my income tax debt.

I just made a well-deserved Martini, and am planning on finishing it, and doing some last minute touches on the Volvo, like charging the AC system...

June 21st 2009


No calls, no cards, nothing....

Jun 21, 2009

June 20th 2009

Went to gym, swam another 500 yards, laid out in the sun. Life is great! Came home and cooked Steak and fried potatoes with bacon. I could only eat the Steak, the potatoes have too many carbs. Logan enjoyed this meal......as did Freddy.

Shot a few games of pool with my good friend "Larry". Larry is an old man who fought in the Vietnam war, he is the only one of noble character that I have met in this pool hall. We broke up a small gang fight last weekend, by telling the two factions that: "We represent the Pinata's!" there will be no fighting on our turf"! Then we pulled the two combatants apart, and steered them to their respective cars. Funny how humor can diffuse a potentially bad situation.
I should have stayed out of it, but then the two groups of youngsters would have probably gone to jail. The "Pinatas" saved their asses!

Larry is a great human being, has lived a long life punctuated with wives, kids, alchoholism, and is one of the most honest decent humans I've met in a long time. I noticed that his pool playing ability increases with the amount of beer that he drinks. He won't drink hard liquor. We never play for real money, but prefer playing for yachts or corporations, wives, or whatever we happen to think up. We got tired of the pool hall tonight, and drank a few more beers on my front porch before Larry went back home. Very few people impress me, since most seem quite selfish. Larry is a poor old man who fought for our country, has worked manual labor for the past 35 years, never has an unkind thought towards anyone, and has achieved what I can only call Sainthood.

Since we both equally dislike this particular pool hall's owner, we are going to ride bicycles every Friday to the nicer pool establishment a mile up the road. I just got to convince the old man to wear a helment.


Jun 20, 2009

June 19th 2009

Didn't do much today, I was still sore as heck from my workout Wednesday. I haven't been to the gym in a couple months but got back into swimming last week. Wednesday, I worked out on the weight machines before swimming 500 yards (usually I do one or the other). Thursday I felt "good" sore. Friday, I felt, "you over did it" sore. Should be okay, I don't think any ligaments are pulled. I'll go back Saturday and keep it "Swim only".

I generally only swim 500 yards as fast as I can during a swim session. This only takes about 15 minutes, I would swim longer, but I get bored (try pacing up and down a football field for 15 minutes). So I decided to buy an underwater MP3 player. Hell, I needed a birthday present anyway. From what I hear, swimmers that use these tend to stay in the pool much much longer. When it comes in I'll give the "SwmP3" a full review.

I drove my latest classic bike around town, an 82' CB900 Custom, this bike is in excellent condition and gets stares werever it goes. I ran into a guy at the gas station who had a 72' Kawasake 750 Triple, which is a very rare machine. The Triple was a very fast bike, with 3 cylinders, low weight, two stroke, most of these no longer exist. The bikes frame was too weak for the engine, and the braking wasn't very good. Most Kawasaki Triples wound up wrapped around trees, it seems. The one I saw on Friday looked brand new. I got talking with the man "Olaf" and he told me how he took every part off the bike and either replaced or rebuilt each part. He claims bikes like that, in that condition sell for $10,000, which I believe.

He stopped by the house to see my old KZ 650 and was quite impressed by the condition. He even gave me tips on the carb work that I planned on doing to get her running as it should. Turns out that two of the man's daughters took my jewelry class last year and we would up talking for 30 minutes.

I spent the rest of the evening reading and hanging out with Freddy and the Llama (Sue).

Jun 18, 2009

June 18th 2009

It's been a month since I blogged my brothers and sisters. I must confess the daily guilt that this involves since I know that at least 5 souls were keeping up with this.

The school year ended, and as many know, the last month requires all one's mental faculties. I Screwed up and told my dad to book his trip to my house on Friday, June 4th, but, Friday, June 5th was my last day of school and also the day that I made the limo arrangements. So when I got the call on the 4th with dad asking how he could make the 80 miles from the airport, to my house, I had to tell him to get a cab. The cab driver agreed to make the trip for 120 dollars, but dad got charged 180 and he wasn't too happy. In fact: He refused to pay. I interceded and refused to get sucked in to this, since all the cabbie had to to was show the meter to the police, and we would have no case. Getting tossed in jail for theft of services is no way to start a vacation.

Dad just left a few days ago, after enduring 10 days of my hospitality. We had a good time for the most part. Of course it rained most every day, and the tempuratures on the front porch, where we spent much time, was in the mid 40's to mid 60's. Dad brought light shorts and T-shirts for the trip, saving his one pair of long pants for the plane flight. This was a bit of a problem so I had to constantly throw blankets, panchos, hats, my coats, in order to keep him from getting pneumonia or something. We hung out for 10 days mainly talking, going to local restaurants, discussing chess, and we drove the truck into the cold mountains a couple times.

Since he left on Monday, I have been cleaning the place a bit, working in my classroom, riding my new motorcycle (more on that later), and trying to make plans for the rest of the summer.
The llama (Sue), is becoming quite tame, she actually eats from my bare hand now. She has my back yard looking like a putting green, since no hay is available I've been giving her a quart or more of llama feed daily.

Logans job requires him to work very long hours, which he enjoys, since they fired the other dishwashers, and he gets much praise and glory from his managers! They raised his pay much higher than minimum raise in appreciation for his good attitude and tough work ethic. I am quite proud.

Tonight, I made a new dish: "Salmon Florentine" which isn't much precident for. I combined various ideas from simular recipees and came up with one that was nice.

"Salmon Florentine"

One pound of Salmon fillet cut in two pieces
Four cups raw spinach
1/2 cup of cream
1/2 cup of mild cheese (ricotta, parmesan, feta, whatever you got handy will work)
small onion
2 garlic cloves
splash of white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil or more if you like it
Spices (I used lemon pepper, italian herb mix, habanero tobasco sauce, black pepper and salt
Just spice it how you like it, remember to taste a lot in order to monitor the flavor levels.)
1/3 lb dry macoroni shells
One small fresh tomato (sundried tomatoes would work well)

Wash and dry the salmon with paper towels then soak the fillets in an oven pan coated in olive oil. Cover the fish front and back with the lemon pepper, black pepper, italian herbs( rub this in well, or the wine will wash it away). Drench fish in wine, then spoon excess oil on top.

Let marinate for as long as you can stand it! The longer the better.

Place some fresh tomato slices under the fish.

Cut up spinach and onions into little pieces then boil in salted water till tender. Drain then mix in some cheese, butter, and cream. Add black pepper. Saute all this until reduced. Spoon the mixture on the top of the fish then dump the rest of the liquid on.

Immediately clean the feckin' sauce pan or you will have to throw it away (scorched cheese syndrome).

Put oven pan into the oven for 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

Cook your shells. I used 1/3 lb and it was enough. Be sure to add a bit of butter after draining.

When fish is out of the oven put tomato/fish/spinach fillet on top of a bed of pasta shells. Spoon the excess juice from the pan onto the fish and pasta.

This was great!

Night all, I'll try to write way more often. As usual; no commitments, since I can't keep schedules too well.