Monday, February 25, 2013

Dealing with CHANGE

Ever notice how just as you are adjusting to a change, it changes again?

Picture flying a kite.  It is at a beautiful height, tail blowing in the breeze it shifts gently from left to right...WHAM!  The wind stops and the kite starts to fall. 

You take up slack and start saying "C'mon, c'mon!  Don't, no, don't..." as if the kite will listen.  It doesn't, but your adjustments are just enough to keep it afloat.  You feed more line, and start to relax, but all the while you are wondering "Is it going to happen again?"
Same thing in life.  Just when we think we've made adjustments, something changes.  With a lot of things I am a creature of habit.  I like all my stuff to be in the same place everyday, for example.  We  all enjoy a little excitement,  but take comfort in other things that stay the same...I have a feeling the wind is about to drop in my life...
Anyway, enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Breakfast to fill you up!

On the weekends I like to eat a breakfast to  fill me up and keep me going.  This  is one that sticks with you for a little bit...

Cut up some potatoes, mix in a large bowl with minced garlic, chopped onion, chopped artichoke halves, oregano, basil and olive oil.   Put everything in an oven safe dish and bake for 20 min on 425°.

Cut up some bacon and cook up with some chopped onion.  Whisk up some eggs and half & half seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic.  Add eggs to the bacon/onions and scramble in pan until done.

Add eggs to the potatoes and mix in dish, add some mexican blend cheese and stir up again.  Cover dish and bake for an additional 25 min.

Plate, sit down and enjoy.  This should keep you, at least until second breakfast!
Anyway, enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away...

Friday, February 22, 2013

How To Get Rich, Scheme

Ever wonder how people get to where they are financially?  
The answer is pretty simple.  Ever notice how well to do people get preferential treatment?  They  get better deals, the better picks, best get the picture.  It is always the "Do you know who I am?" mentality.
I have noticed for many years that the people with the money are the ones that everyone bends over backwards for.  I have always given the same level of service to EVERYONE I deal with.
So, like I said, the answer is simple.  No need for get rich schemes, internet/eBay wonders.  Just be well off, and you'll become rich!  I'm gonna start tomorrow!
Anyway, enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

You Get What You Pay For

Ever notice how somethings you gotta pay up, to get the real goods?  If you've read my Blogs, you'd know that I tend to keep my stuff a long time. 
Gotta say I'm a little disappointed, but we'll get to that shortly.

I got this Makita 1/2" drill as a gift in 1991 and is is still my got to drill when I need some power.  I have 3 cordless drills, but this is the monster.

I got this Makita Hypoid saw in 1992, again as a gift.  The brushes have never even been changed!!!

I bought this this Makita table saw, probably about 7 1/2 to 8 years ago, I have put it through a lot and it still looks new!

This SnapOn 1/2" ratchet came in a set that I got (yup, as a gift), in 1989.  The only thing I've had to replace was a 3/8" 3" extension.

Now for the disappointment.  I bought this Denmark 8 QT, stainless Multi Cooker, ± a month ago.  The bottom is already warped.  It has mostly been used for pasta...


I made some chili tonight using it and was not happy with the rocky rollie action!

It was inexpensive, but I did not expect this.  Oh, well you get what you pay for.  Chili came out good anyway.

 And yes there is a lot in it.  Hamburger, white onion, red onion, artichoke halves, bell pepper, celery, corn, chipotle, salt, pepper, Sriracha, cinnamon, chili powder, garlic, honey, a little oregano and basil.  Cleared my sinuses!
Anyway, enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Being A Tourist In Forks, Wa And La Push, Wa

Ever notice how some things just don't seem to go your way?  We had planned to go to Forks and La Push early Saturday morning.  I wanted to leave around 0800.  We left after 0930. We were trying to load a movie on my daughters iPod and we had all sorts of trouble with iTunes.
We finally get on the road loaded up with a camera for each of us, to chronicle this adventure.  Wouldn't you know it rain and 15-30mph winds.

We got lucky just before getting to Forks, there was a little sun break, so we snapped a couple pics.

 We stopped at Ruby Beach for a bathroom break.  My daughter wasn't feeling to good and stayed in the car, while my wife and I walked down to the beach.


Once in the open the whipping winds made it difficult to justify being down here!  It was a warm 45°, drizzly and and gusting...a little different than what this Hawaiian is used to!


Because we still a had a ways to go, we didn't get to explore as much as we could have.

The walk down was nice and leisurely (but cold), but we made double time back up to the car, arrived winded, but refreshed.

We stopped and ate lunch at a little park in Forks.  Of course we had to go be tourists and take some pics. 

Both the train and the tank were pretty cool to look at.  A little odd to just find them at some little park,though.

It was then on to La Push.  We were greeted with a rare appearance of the sun!  The wind was still with us, though.

My wife throwing up the "V-Dub" sign for good measure. 

Is that a Tsunami warning sign in the background?  I saw a funny shirt in one of the stores.  It said "Tsunami evacuation steps 1. Grab beer, 2. run like hell".

So much driftwood, so little time...

Again the wind was wicked, and the rain was moving back in, it was getting time to be heading out.
 We did grab a Geocache on the way out, just as the rain was starting again.  It was "Between a Rock and a Soft Spot" (GC3RA4H).

On the drive back we stopped at the same lookout to grab shot of this cool scene.  It was a tiny break in the clouds letting light down on this little island, while the rest of the sky was very gloomy.

 All in all, everything turned good, we had a great time.  We just had to keep our heads up after the lousy start.
Anyway, enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away!


Friday, February 15, 2013


Ever notice how some firsts stand out in your mind?  Clean minds, people.  At least for the Blog, you can let your mind wander later.

The first time I was ever TRULY speechless, was when my wife bought me this all Koa guitar for fathers day, for example...

Here are a whole bunch of firsts.  From L-R, the first real guitar I bought, my first (and only) "collector"  guitar, my first real guitar and the previously mentioned item...

Other examples that might bring back memories, first car,  first time driving alone, first job, first time winning an award, first place of your own or first child.

Here is another set of firsts...

The wooden handle knife was the first gift bought purely on my fathers own, as a gift for me.  16th birthday, as I recollect.  A friend of mine dropped it and busted the tip off, but 26 years later it is still in great shape.  Throughout high school this was my hiking knife.
The green handled knife was this years Valentines gift to me from my son.  That is not what makes it so special to me.  The note that went along with it is.
I make walking sticks as a hobby, and have not done one in a while.  His note said that he hoped this would inspire me to start up again.
These 2 items, barring something crazy, will be in my possession until the day I die...They are, and will remain firsts.
Anyway, enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Christmas in February

Ever notice how getting new stuff, sometimes feels like Christmas?
I mentioned  before that we went to Seattle looking for some new cooking items.  We got some, but not all.  Tonight my wife came home with some more of the items.

One of them being a Wusthof 8" Chef knife.  This knife has some heft, but handles very nicely.  It has been a long time since we bought a new knife.  This is the size I was looking for.

 The first knife we purchased was the 9" Slicer, Twin Zwilling (J.A. Henckles), 2nd from bottom.  We bought this 20 years ago and it is still in great shape.
The second was the 6" Zwilling Twin (J.A. Henckles) 4 Star Chef, the third was the bread knife (Zwilling Twin 4 Star), the fourth was the 7 1/2" Santoku (Zwilling Twin 5 Star).
I had always said I'd like to try a Wusthof, or any other brand for that matter, but never had.  J.A. Henckles had always been good to me.  I had thought about Miyabi, MAC, Korin and Global, but just wasn't sure.
Although I only cut a few things, I love the Wusthof so far!  Not one of my knives are newer than 15 years old, but this knife feels fantastic!  The balance is a little handle heavy, but I like it.  Again, it is a stout knife, but feels good in my hand.

 The other purchase was a Calphalon Unison 12" Non-Stick "Slide", pan.  I  was trying to avoid anymore non- sticks (we have the 8" & 10" All Clad that work beautifully).  The finishes just don't last.

We used it tonight to make sausage, peppers and onions.  Not much of a challenge, but cooking went well as did cleanup.  Heat settings were higher than the All Clad, though.

Anyway, enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Customer Service

Ever notice how customer service has gone in the toilet?  Is it because we are so plugged into our computers?  Has the digital age made us forget how to deal with each other?  Buy it online, return it online, review it online...
I have been a huge proponent of customer service to the nth degree.  I have been involved in customer service from multiple facets.  
I have had the distinct opportunity to have worked with customers in their homes.  Not  as a salesperson, but the contractor doing the physical work.  People have a love for their home and it was very important for me to make them comfortable with what was going to happen.  Sometimes this did not agree with what they had been told prior.  I walked them through it and helped them to understand why it was going to be a certain way.  This was usually a comfort to them.
 I spent about 5 years in the service department of an HVAC company, as a CSR/dispatcher.  Let me tell you when people don't have heat or cooling, they are very irritable. 
I have  always done the best I can to please the customer.  I don't feel, for the most part, this rings true in everyone.
I just had a very pleasant experience with a store that I blogged about here.  The store was Sur la Table, in Seattle.  The service in question was the purchase of a Sauté pan.  I should have noticed the box looked open before I left the store, but didn't.  The pan and lid had a couple of light scratches.  It is stainless and has a 30 year warranty.  We  use stainless utensils in the pan, and has left several light scratches inside already (normal for a stainless pan).  So this wasn't a big deal. 
We e-mailed the store, and told them what happened.  They said to bring it back and they would give us new one and take 10% off the price (their response was very prompt, as well).  We explained that we live almost an hour and a half away, and the inconvenience was not worth it.  They told us they would credit the card we used to make the purchase.  This is all site unseen, mind you.
This was not the first purchase made at this store, nor will it be the last.  Hooray for customer service!
Anyway, enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Quality Time

Ever notice how we want  to spend quality time with our loved ones, and we go out of our way to plan it?  It doesn't always go the way we plan, though.
Quality time is what we make it.  With my wife's  goofy schedule, we are very limited on getting a decent chunk of time together.  Sometimes it's a kiss good morning, or a kiss goodnight.
Last night we made time by cooking dinner together.

First order of business was pour a relaxing beverage of choice.  Mine was a Full Sail Weizen Bock, which I enjoyed very much.

For my wife it was a glass of Sutter Home Moscato.

 We hung out and talked while we got everything prepped.  Tag teaming a meal is really nice because everything goes quicker.  Spaghetti does not require a lot of prep, but still...

Next all the ingredients get put into their pots and pans and we have time to sit down and watch some TV and relax.

When it was all ready the family sat down to eat and talk a bit.


Then we all sat down and watched a movie together.  Mind you, my daughter is 15 and my son is 19.

I guess the point is, you can make any time, quality time.
Anyway, enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dinner and a Blog, Beer Braised Chicken

Ever notice how we ask "Hey, how are you doin?"  But don't really care what the answer is?
Think about it, what would you say if some one answered:
  "Pretty crappy, I'm dying." 
What would your answer be? 
"Okay, cool."
"Hahaha, funny one"
"Oh, too bad."
"Right, right, see ya later"
Or, "Oh no, what's going on?  Is there anything I can do to make your day better?  Please let me know, I am here for you."
Do we really care about the people we pass by everyday?  There are people I pass at work, look them in the eye and say "Mornin!"  They look away like they don't even see me and walk on by!
Let's face it, we don't really give a crap about each other...
I just want everyone to know, I care about you!!!


Tonight I made Beer Braised Chicken.  I know you might be thinking what a waste to put this in it, but it is a good tasting flavorful beer, no bitter after taste.

Here are most of the ingredients, the only thing I measured was the Beer just so I could get a baseline.  I did season the pan first, before browning the chicken.  Vegetable oil & sesame oil, salt & garlic salt, pepper, furikake, and smoked paprika.

Remove the chicken, saute a whole onion, sliced root to stem.  Add minced garlic, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, a can of chicken broth, Sriracha hot sauce, Aloha Shoyu (soy sauce) and one cup Widmer Brothers Milk Stout Beer.   Simmer covered for 45 minutes and then uncovered for 45 minutes.

I would recommend a little more beer, maybe a cup and a half.  I put this over rice and sat down to enjoy!  It turned out really good, I might splash a little less vinegar next time, though.
Anyway, enough rambling for today, tomorrow is just a short sleep away...