Sep 28, 2012


Last year, I wrote the Double Down post about the early days of being a single dad:

"I understand what it’s like to work a full day, then come home and mow the lawn with your toddler strapped to the stroller, wailing from the porch.  With the smell of gasoline on your hands, you scoop her up, calm her down and kiss her red cheeks.  Then you scurry inside to bake dinner and bathe her."

Now look at her, 10 years later.


Sep 25, 2012

Graziano Booty

Time to spread some loot, up for grabs are 5 bags of Graziano Brothers Italian seasoning, hand-mixed at a local 100-year-old family grocer.  This stuff's delicious, with a slightly spicy pepper-flake kick.  I use it in my lasagnas and other yummy Sicilian bakes.

Leave a comment below to enter, I'll draw five random names next Monday, October 1 at 7:00 pm.  One entry per person, I'll ship for free to the lower 48, anonymous entries will be ignored.

Good luck!


Sep 22, 2012

Cooking Ninja

It's been awhile since we've talked food, so thought I'd step back a bit and share my cooking weapons of choice before poaching another hot dish.  Prepping the fixin's with the right implements speeds up the process and improves texture and flavor.  I'll share what works for me, although no expert so school me in the comments where I'm wet.

An Indian Adventure and a Subservient Chicken

I wrote this one for work, prepping for an impending trek to Pune, India.

Boss fired a feeler to see if I’d squawk at traveling to India to train and mentor.  I gave a little grin and said sure, but inside, pumped a fist thinking adventure of a lifetime.

Working beside our Pune posse will be a 180° flip:  night becomes day (10.5 hour time shift), dollars to rupees, meat and potatoes morph into tikka masala and kaali daal.

Sep 19, 2012

Trail Rat

Daughter dined with her mom last night, so I burned tacos on the trail with a GoPro in-tow.  Route's a 16 mile ring starting from the house, halfsies tarmac and singletrack.  Less of a workout than running, but storming quiet woods on the Raleigh makes me smile.  The front oil shock earns its keep, and my apologies for the crotch cam' partway through.

Eurythmics dropping the bass, a nut was lost in the making of this film (the camera's, not mine):


Sep 17, 2012

Festivals, Cubed

Festivals are fun, we ate our way through three this weekend:  Rose Garden, Fall and Latino.  The D40 does the heavy lifting on this one, I'm out.

The Rose Garden

Sep 13, 2012

A Few Things

It'll be a few days before I have time to crank out another post, so I put up a couple Florida photos on Facebook to hold back the wolves.  Head on over if you need some beach.

Sep 10, 2012

Self Publish, Yes or No?

I'm thinking about trying to publish a couple eStories through Amazon, Barnes or Apple.  Before going too far down the road, I'd like to check in with readers to see if the plan makes sense.

Start small, maybe do a short 3-parter on my faith walk.  I grew up Lutheran, joined the Baptist church when married, and finally came home to the Catholic Church in the last few years.  Roughly 15 pages per story, with a photo or two mixed in.

Sep 9, 2012

Dirty Blinds

A couple kitchen reboot postmortems remain, like hanging blinds and some other crud.  I asked readers for help on window coverings, you steered me towards natural bamboo shades.  Slapped them puppies up tonight:

Sep 4, 2012

Steampunk and a Wallet in the Throne

We did Old Threshers this weekend, an antique tractor and steam fest I've hit yearly since birth.

Dad infected me with the steam bug as a boy, dragging me with him to shows to learn about old iron.  He grew up farming on Allis-Chalmers tractors, so spent most of his time at Threshers talking to Allis owners.  However, I was drawn to steam power, hooked on stack music as 100-year-old engines barked and belched fire under load.  Steam engines seemed to come alive, hissing and rocking and blowing coal as they worked.

Sep 1, 2012

The Magic Kingdom

This was my third trip to the castle.

The first was with my family growing up.  The three of us kids fought like honey badgers in the back of the station wagon for 1,200 miles from Iowa to Florida.  Dad was a factory worker, mom stayed home with us, so cash wasn't exactly raining down.  We did Disney, but camped in a tent at night and ate baloney sandwiches for lunch out of a cooler in the parking lot.

Vacation was the one time of the year we could eat sugary cereal for breakfast and drink pop at lunch.  We didn't do Coke or Sprite.  Too expensive, so mom bought the store-brand generic colas, drinks named Diet Dr. Thunder and Hee Haw.  If we didn't feel poor before, we did after sipping caffeinated beverages named after hillbillies.