Friday, January 25, 2008

One Week Post Op

This morning G went in for his first follow-up after his knee surgery last Friday. We were both very curious to see what it looked like as he is not allowed to take the bandage off. Well... we both were pretty grossed out and are all right with the fact that once they looked at it, cleaned it up and put a new bandage on it, we won't be seeing it again for another week.

We call it "Frankenknee" and asked the Doc how come he didn't install bolts on either side of it. Nurse said that since it was still draining they would leave the tube in until next week. My question is "who wouldn't drain if they had a hose stuck in 'em????"


Monday, January 21, 2008

Archeological Find of the Century!

An archeological team, digging in Washington DC,
has uncovered 10,000 year old bones and fossil remains
Of what is believed to be the first politician.

Thanks my bruddah Tom :D :D

Geology Joe Pimps his Ride

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cambodian-style Beef salad

with G being restricted to the couch, i figured i would spoil him a little and actually cook (poor guy!)... it seems like ever since the kids left i rarely cook any more so today it was almost exciting to dig out my books and look for something new (and zone-ish!) to prepare. Since i hate the grocery store, i planned dinners for a week, assembled my grocery list and drove off to the super-duper HEB to get my ingredients... 2 hours later, i was beat just from the damn shopping!

Dinner tonight was interesting. I had prepared ceviche when i worked in restaurants years and years ago... but ceviche is made with seafood... tonight's salad was made much the same way only with beef sliced very thin. Honestly, i did not think i would like beef prepared this way, however... it turned out pretty good.

Recipe to follow.

For the MEAT part:
1lb beef round sliced into PAPER-thin slices
1/4 cup of fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 stalks tender lemon grass bruised

2 shallots unpeeled
3 cloves garlic unpeeled
3 tablespoons palm sugar
2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon powdered galangal (i had to use ginger instead)
1/4 cup peanuts roasted unsalted chopped
the stems from 8 sprigs of cilantro

For the SALAD:
1 red bell pepper julienned
1 carrot julienned
4 oz bean sprouts
1 shallot julienned
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves - small
1/2 cup Thai basil leaves chopped

The leaves of cilantro from the stems you used for the dressing paste
1/4 cup peanuts, roasted, unsalted, chopped

Marinate the sliced beef in lime juice and lemon grass for 35 minutes. Prepare the dressing and the salad while it marinates.

For the dressing, roast the 2 shallots and 3 garlic cloves in the broiler... peel them, discarding the husks and then use a mortar and pestle to make a paste out of the cilantro stems, roasted garlic and shallots, galangal (ginger). Once you have a paste, move it to a bowl and blend with the lime juice, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Set this aside.

Toss all the salad ingredients into a large bowl.

After the meat has finished marinating, with your hands (preferably freshly washed) squeeze out all the excess juices and toss the meat into the salad. Pour your dressing over the top and toss together well! Dish up a plate
Garnish with cilantro leaves and chopped peanuts...Serve ASAP


For Joe... wish i had taken a pic when it was freshly prepared!
cambodian-style beef salad

boo boos, good drugs, and monkeys

Fresh out of surgery after having the bursa removed from his left knee... Gordy is living proof that yes, like tires, people can have blow outs too.
Gordy fresh out of surgery
Now G begins a race of a different sort, this one to see if he can heal well enough to run that triathlon he has set his sights on in the spring.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

someone has been busy!

Thank you Herb :) Aake stopped by and translated the text of Maria's Words on one of the first pages of her album!

Aake's translation:

Speak act not before you reflect on your words and considered where every step you intend to take leads.

Then dishonor will flee far away, and in your house disgrace will be a stranger, remorse blame not haunt you, neither affliction taxing your cheek.

Listen therefore to the voice of consideration, her voice is the voice of wisdom and her words will lead you to confidence and truth.

Thank you Aake! After almost 100 years of silence, you have given Maria her voice back :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

tape nose

Think this video effectively answers the question "Does moving Mikie out of her cubicle make her more productive?"

129 Franklin Ave., Brooklyn in 1930

Got this pic in the mail today of the place where my great-grandfather lived in as late as 1898... granted, the pic was taken 32 years after he last lived there, but it gives you an idea of the building. I would be willing to bet that the fire escapes did not exist when he lived there. My boss looked at the pick and said, "It looks like every other brownstone in Brooklyn."

Well, maybe so, He hee... but THIS one is special :)

Unfortunately, it seems the negative with the photo of the boarding house at 1410 St. Marks Ave was destroyed/damaged - so no pic of that place :(

Just placed orders for pictures of the four different addresses given by each of my great-grandparents on their marriage certificates. I hope they are not damaged also.

Painting, praying, and other misc. stuff

Over the weekend G and i hooked up with Tom, Ching, and Chrystal to have Dim Sum at a place in Bellaire called "Fung's Kitchen". We had a great time, tried a lot of new things... even snails (one was enough for me!)

After we were finished eating we went to the Chinese Buddhist temple, "Teo Chew Temple" which was of course fascinating - a visual and olfactory feast!

Here's a link to a YouTube Video of the Lion Dance being performed last year for the Chinese New Year celebration at the temple.

There were many statues of the gods in altars, i don't know them so Ching and Tom tried to explain a little to me. When you first walk into the temple you pick up a handful of incense sticks and light them with the flames from large oil candles. Then you walk around praying while the smoke from the incense carries your prayers to the gods and you place a burning stick in a pot in front of each statue.

One of the gods, you could ask a question... first, you picked up two crescent-shaped pieces of wood and tossed them to the floor, if the god had an answer for you, one would land facing up and the other down. If he had your answer, you then picked up a tubular container full of long flat sticks, shaking it until one of the sticks presented itself to you by sticking out further than the rest. The sticks had unique numbers printed on them. I drew "94" and took my stick to someone behind a counter at the front of the temple and she asked which god i had inquired with (apparently there are at least two gods in the temple you can ask questions)... i pointed to the god and showed her my stick, she handed me a little paper with about 10 translations of my answer, none of which i could understand.

Then i was directed to another nice lady who worked in the temple. She asked me to tell her my question, then she looked at my paper and told me "Now is not a good time for you, but 2008 (Chinese New Year is next month) will be very good, and you should definitely pursue what you are asking about, it will bring you happiness and success in 2008.

I had asked the god if i would be successful with my painting.

Yesterday, pulled out a brush and starting fooling around with a painting i had started quite some time ago. It felt good being outside on my little porch, catching periodic whiffs of turpentine as i sketched and brushed.

In all was a very good weekend.

In other news today, Jamie is starting back at UT... Yay Jamie!

Something completely unrelated, While i was googling for pics of the Teo Chew Temple... discovered the amazing photography of Trey Ratcliff - spectacular images from around the world.

Friday, January 11, 2008

More Really Great Grand Parents...

Today i received a copy of the marriage certificate for my grandmother's (Dorothy Brewster/Belin) parents from the Municipal Archives of the City of New York.

George Wellington Brewster (Police Officer - age 25) married Mary Augusta Lowe (age 23) on November 28, 1905 in Manhattan.

George lived at 531 Chauncey St in Brooklyn, and Mary lived at 211 Ave C.

George's parent's names were William C. Brewster and Elizabeth McClusky
Mary's parent's names were Fredrik A. Lowe and Louisa Lindohfer

The wedding was witnessed by John Gilbarte and (mary's mother) Louisa Lowe...

Louisa appears to be spelled "Louise" in her signature.

One Man Electric Blues Band on YouTube

Some time last year i was attempting to peddle my art down in Galveston for "Art in the Park" and like all the other artists who participate in this festival it is customary to go hang out in the local bars after an exhausting round of sitting on your butt all day in your booth hoping someone will connect enough with your work to want to take it home with them.

After one of those days we ended up on The Strand in a place called the Gravity Bar. This is where i learned about a very talented man, "Marc Twyman." Talk about being ambidextrous, this man is amazing to watch... and actually puts out some great blues at the same time.

You HAVE got to check out his new vid on YouTube and see for yourself!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Martijn de Boer

From time to time i am fortunate to learn about a new artist who has his/her work online and post about it in my blog. For me the discovery is much like finding a hidden treasure stashed within seemingly endless cyberspace.

The most recent artist i have had the pleasure of meeting in SL is a very talented fellow from the Netherlands. Not only does he have some great figurative works online for viewing, but he also keeps a webcam going so when he is working you may get a glimpse of his process... fascinating!

Now your watching me watching him work :D :D

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Really great grandparents!

Today i received the copy of Gustave and Maria's (my great-grandparent's) marriage certificate from the Municipal Archives of New York.

So, now i know for certain my great-grandmother's maiden name was "Swahn."

Maria's parents (my great-great grandparent's... Jamie and Chelsea's great-great-great grandparent's!) names were "Carl Gustav Swahn" and "Emma Lind."

Gustave's parents (my great-great grandparent's... Jamie and Chelsea's great-great-great grandparent's!) names were "Emile Belin" and "Johanna Johanson."

OH! Gustave and Maria were wed November 3, 1898... their Brooklyn addresses at the time they were married were:
Gustaf "the cabinet master" (age 32): 663 DeKalb Av., and...
Maria (age 26): 211 Skillman St.

The Morning After Jerkiness

It has been that slow creep from silent defense shields in place to tiny snippets of less awkward conversation sometimes accompanied by an o...