Thursday, March 26, 2015

Here's to a good's night sleep

Frustration is not normal for me.  Depression is a demon I have vanquished.  Both have been battering me around lately.  But that's normal when one is unemployed.

I know how to look for work, to write a resume, interview.  I am honest, well spoken, and have a strong work ethic.  So why can't I find work?

Unemployment Insurance doesn't cover nearly enough, and I live below my means....normally.

But I keep applying.  What irks me is when I take the time to apply for your job, shouldn't you be obliged to at least let me know I don't rate an interview, or keep me appraised of what comes next.

Well that happened today.  And I am thankful.  A job I applied for, interviewed for, and had a background check occur for has finally reached out with a conditional job offer.  I have my next steps, and will follow through.  I also have a phone number where I can call for assistance if necessary.

That is a load off.  Frustration gone, and Depression banished.

Tonight I will do something that has come with difficulty recently.  I will sleep. Deeply.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Addled, purposefully

Writing blog time,

Trying to get back into the habit of writing.  Yes writing is a habit.  I was once a journalism student, before the news became nothing but opinion as everyone makes up things to scoop the other.  Sorry, this is my call it as I see it page.  No pulling punches here.

Well, I started a new blog b-sideswhilebaking.  It's following a book on cakes, my wife challenged me to make all of them a-la the book and movie Julie and Julia.

But tonight whilst blogging away on that page.  I was sipping a particularly nice port wine.  Now I love port wine.  But to the uninitiated, Ports come in two particular varieties.  Tawny and Ruby.  The difference is simple, but leads to complexities I'll leave to experts.

Ruby is the wine + Brandy, and then bottled, meaning, that as the wine ages, it becomes more complex, and any tannins smooth out.  Think of it as a really good, really expensive red wine (but fortified).

Tawny on the other hand, is aged in casks for a period of time, imbuing them with flavor and mellowing them out. Like white wines, they get no better because they are older.

Now I am a huge fan of Tawney Ports.  I was introduced to them by a gem of a port from Seven Hills, a Jesuit Monastery in Australia; Seven Hills Fine Old Tawny.  The kids nowadays would say OMG which is what went through my mind when I drank it.  Unfortunately, they made a determination aways back to not export it.  So I can't get it now....well possibly, I would have to research it further.  But more to the point, I couldn't get it when I was out of Port.  So I purchased somewhere a bottle of Tuke Holdsworth Oporto Reserve.

Now this is a Ruby.  I haven't like any ruby I've tasted prior (well with one exception a Ruby Port I am holding until it's 25 years old, or my daughter marries; whichever comes first.) This is an exceptionally fine port wine, and if I can't get Seven Hills anymore, this will suffice.

Back to the blogging.  I don't know if I am anymore eloquent when inebriated, but I do know that writing being a habit, gets easier and better when you do it more often.  So I will endeavor to write.

Thankfully that's whats on my mind, not politics or religion....

Night all.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl 48...24 hours later

So after the party, How could there not be a party.  The Seahawks won the Super Bowl last naturally as a huge fan, I've been checking on the coverage.  Should I be surprised that the Analysts, only analyze what they want for their point?

The talk is consistent across the board  that Denver had the best offense in the NFL Man I am sick of hearing this.

Simple research reveals that the Denver Broncos are a Good offense not Great.  They put up video game numbers against some of the worst defenses in the NFL.

research shows that over the 2013 season, the top 5 defenses are:
1. Seattle Seahawks
2. Carolina Panthers
3. San Francisco 49'ers
4. New Orleans Saints
5. Cincinnati Bengals

So who did the Broncos put up those 600+ points against?
Baltimore Ravens #11
NY Giants #15
Oakland Raiders # 29 (played twice)
Philadelphia Eagles #16
Dallas Cowboys #24
Jacksonville Jaguars #26
Indianapolis Colts #14
Washington Redskins #31
San Diego Chargers #9 (Played twice)
Kansas City Chiefs # 7 (played twice)
Tennessee Titans #17
Houston Texans #25

So take a good offense and put it against the #1 Defense and should we have questioned the rout that occurred?

Just a thought....

Saturday, January 18, 2014

It's got to be the day....

It's got to be the day.

While not bad, for here meaning Wind Gusts and sideways rain. Nor is it good, meaning Sun high in the sky with a few wispy clouds floating by.  No, it's just meh as my daughter says.

I got up early, and while I felt blah, I made it to the gym, and pushed to get through it.  Came home, had some coffee, ate, and sill felt blah.

It's got to be the day....I mean, I don't want to get sick.  Hoping it's not some nasty little virus making me feel this way.  I try to live naturally, not taking much in the way of supplements, medicine or even vitamins.  I know what to eat, and as I grow much of what I eat, know it to be healthy and whole.  No, it's got to be the day.

Or could it be something?  I mean, I've only been going to this gym for about a month now, I like the way I feel usually, the endorphins are a pleasant surprise after all these years.  I know I'm doing something for me.  Not for my family, friends, job, government etc.  It starts and stops with me.  But I'm not the only one there.  Could I have caught something from a set of weights, the rowing machine, the treadmill, the cycles??? I wash up well, and make sure I wipe everything down...doesn't everyone???

Okay, now I'm thinking vitamins....yes vitamins.  Vitamin C, Echinacea and some other things I found in old home remedies....

Slow down, slow down.  Okay.  It's easy to spin out of control.  Let paranoia slip in, and go off crazy like and do things for no other reason than "it seemed like a good idea at the time"

I know i'm getting Vitamin C.  I get many of the home remedies in other ways, I mean the only thing I don't get is the Echinacea.  So let's go with H2O good old water.  Lots of it.

Water flushes us out. Fills us up.  Satiates us, carries out the bad (and sometimes the good) but in the end, we need it to survive.  I remember growing up with the mantra "drink 8 glasses of water a day". Really.  I'm a big guy.  Not Sumo Big, not NBA big, not NFL big, but average joe big.  So 8 glasses of water for me, and 8 glasses of water for my not so big Aunt, who is almost half my height, and is half my weight.  Tell me again how this all works out evenly.  I think not.  I read something somewhere that made a whole lot more sense, it goes like this:

Take your body weight for the sake of argument 245lbs, divide that in half  so 122.5, and that is the number of ounces to drink per day.  So 8 ounces is a cup, most glasses are 10 - 12 ounces so even saying 12 ounce glasses is almost 9 1/2 glasses of H2O.  So for each individual it's different.

I'm on my way to my 122.5 ounces, and we'll see if that helps.  Keep up with healthy eating, drink water, rest....and if none of that works, well, then it's got to be the day.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

So, this morning I went outside to load up some things into the truck, and spent 10 or so minutes scraping the ice off the windows.  And I realized, that I had forgotten to put on gloves.  As my hands started to get colder and colder, not numb, just really really cold, I trudged inside for a warm cup of coffee, and to find my gloves.  I was struck by an idea, that I just had to write out.

Outside here in the Great Pacific NW, it was 30 - 32 degrees this morning, Chilly, Cold, Icy...for here.   And then I realized  that the San Francisco 49er's were going to be playing the Green Bay Packers, in Wisconsin where it will be according to all reports -5 degrees or so, with a wind chill making it feel like -32 degrees!  That is a 60 degree difference from where I was this morning!

Now here when we have a 60 degree difference, it would by 90 degrees outside and I would be trading the long johns and gloves for shorts and Hawaiian shirt, with a cool drink in my hand somewhere by a fan!

So 60 degrees the other way! WOW, Everyday living would be a chore in that type of weather, Get bundled up, get out, get the job done, get back in, unlayer, warm up and try not to repeat too much.
I can't imagine being pounded by 250+ lb athletes in hard plastic and carbon fiber helmets smashing into me in that type of weather.  Heck just scraping the windows forced me indoors for gloves...and some of these players will play in short sleves no less.

Guess this just means that:
1. I'm way to sane to do this type of thing
2. I am simply not tough enough to play in the NFL

My guess, it's a combination of the two.  Either way, it's compelling TV, and here's hoping nobody has to get treated for Frostbite at halftime.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Years Resolutions....

So it's January 2nd, and after my recovery day yesterday...side note, why when I was younger, recovering from a night of debauchery only took a few hours, now I'm out of sorts for  a whole day.  Back to my musings....The web is all a twitter with rumblings of Resolutions, ways to better ourselves.  Really, why do we wait for this day if we really wanted to better ourselves, wouldn't we do it when we think about it, rather than waiting for 1/1??? Though, it does set up nicely to know that you bailed on the resolution 3 weeks into it exactly to the day.

And speaking of time, how long does it take to change a habit?  Some say 21 days, other's say 6 -8 wks, while others say up to a year?  What, that's a hell of a jump!  Can I sing up somewhere for the 21 days?  Now I'm no expert, but really, if it were only 21 days, we wouldn't bail on our gym memberships after just 3 weeks.  So it obviously isn't 21 days.  So, then 6 - 8 weeks, that sound a bit more like it, most things I've done for 6 - 8 weeks, I continue to do to this day.  But I know not everything can be changed in 6 - 8 weeks.  In that amount of time, some things just don't seem as hard as before (ie...that gym membership or quitting smoking) those things really require longer time periods to really solidify.  So that up to a year sounds about right.

And really shouldn't we spend as much time changing things we don't like about ourselves as we can, especially if we really want to change? I mean, nobody believes there is a magic pill that will change our bad habits, right.

So I was once one who routinely made resolutions on January 1, then bailed on them between January 12th and 25th.  Until I made 1 Resolution January 1, 2004 that I would not make another Resolution...which I can say I have faithfully kept!  Now that doesn't mean I don't change up bad habits.  I don't Resolve to do anything (Resolve is where we get Resolution from) I just get tired of something, and work to change it.
I decided I didn't want to drink Soda anymore, and stopped, I decided to drink coffee black, and quit using sugar and creamer, I got tired of buying clothes at specialty stores as I was to big to buy them off the rack, so I stopped eating for 3 and started walking and exercising.  None of which were started  on a pre-conceived day like January 1.

I think it's healthy to take stock of our lives at times, and change the things that no longer work for us (So you don't think you do that...well you don't really carry a My Little Pony lunchbox anymore do you?)  Changes don't have to be momentous, they can just be small. Take my change in Coffee; I used to use 2 teaspoons of sugar and a heaping splash of creamer in my coffee cup.  I started small, using only 1 teaspoon of sugar and the splash of creamer, then came 1 teaspoon of sugar and no creamer, then 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and finally straight black. Each phase lasted between 2 - 3 weeks.  And now I drink my coffee black.  Yes it took time, but I was able to cut a bunch of sugar and fat from my diet effectively and with durability in mind.  I don't miss it.  I won't go back.

So take some time to review your life, are you where you want to be? Do you have the job of your Dreams, is everything in your home just the way you want it?   If you answered no to any of these questions, take time to figure out what you can do to change, and start small and above all don't wait for some magical date like January 1, start right away, because procrastination only digs you a deeper rut to live in.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Rainy day doings

So, with it being all blustery, and raining....fairly normal November weather here in the Pacific NW...and having a Weekday off, we cleaned a bit, as is our norm, then the domestic god thing kicked in, and I had to bake cookies, as what goes better on a rainy blustery day than Earl Grey Tea, and cookies?  Nope, I don't know either.

So, discussions ensued, and while the whole house didn't devolve into pandemonium, actually, nobody really noticed or cared to speak up.  It was decided that I would make some type of cookie.

After looking around the pantry, I pulled out Peanut Butter chips, Cashews, and all the mixings for a chocolate chip cookie dough.  Ah heck, here is the recipie I used, it makes about 36 cookies:

2 1/2 C AP Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 sticks Butter (at room temp)
1/2 C Brown Sugar (packed)
1/2 C sugar granulated
1 TBSP Nutmeg (ground)
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 C chopped Cashews
1 C Peanut Butter Chips

Mix Butter, sugar, Nutmeg until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs, and vanilla extract.  Mix to combine well.  Add in the Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt in small amounts slowly adding the next amount once the previous is fully incorporated.  Add in the Cashews and Peanut Butter Chips, stir to combine.

Bake in 375F oven on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silicon pad for 10 - 12 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown & delicious GBD.  Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack immediately, and cool for 15 minutes.

Cookies were enjoyed by all, even those who were non-commital at the start...but that's the thing about cookies; They are small unassuming packets of joy, made with love that brighten the dreariest of days.

Sometimes I think Happiness is a full Cookie Jar.
If you are reading this, take a moment to live a little. Put down the electronic tablet, Cook or bake something for you and your family.  Sit down and talk.  You may be amazed  at how the day turns out.