There are more than just bananas in there...

Month: February 2009

Science and Magic in the Modern Kitchen


It’s poetry in motion…

My wife was giving me a hard time last week, apparently I have been slacking in the cooking department lately, so I decided to treat her to my take on a recipe she made last week, with mixed results. Since it was Mardi Gras, I decided to revisit a recipe for Cabbage Jambalaya that Mary R. gave us while we were in Thibodaux at the first of the year. My take on the Jambalaya was great, although I did get it a little too spicy, I have learned, though, that making the exact same dish, only better, is probably not the best way to keep peace in Monkey Manor. Which got me to thinking about cooking, following recipes and deciding when to blaze your own trail.

We live in an age where simple cooking is becoming a bit of a lost art. I have friends and family for whom making dinner means grabbing a box out of the freezer or a can out of the cabinet and applying heat to it’s contents. There is nothing wrong with this, I am all for our brave, modern world filled with such conveniences, but it’s kinda like watching the movie instead of reading the book, it is sort of the same only not as good. Grandma is on the other end of that spectrum, she almost always starts with a bunch of raw ingredients and uses her experience rather than a recipe to craft her meals. I settle somewhere in the middle, and here is why…

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Make a Self-Contained Camping Clothesline

In use on the Fiery Gizzard trail

This is a silly little diversion, but I enjoyed thinking it out and it is a simple, quick build on the cheap, that delivers a product that may or may not be handy. Plus, unlike some of my other projects on here, this one requires no special tools or knowledge, so anyone can build one of these in the comfort of their own home. It has been a while since I sat down and made something, if you don’t count these posts, and have had my eyes open for a project of some sort to clutter up the workdesk. When I spotted the commercial version of this for sale at an outdoor shop last weekend, I thought it was a thoroughly useless item. I mean who needs string with some hooks in a 35mm film container, especially for $9.99. I honestly did not even look at it closely, but while driving home I kept thinking about it and decided to see if I could make a better one on my own.

Like Sam Gamgee, I am a strong believer in carrying a bit of rope, and I try to make it a habit, but even when I do not carry rope, I always try to carry some stout cord. It weighs less than rope and can be used in all sorts of ways. I have used cord to strap extra gear on the outside of my pack, to tie down a banging metal cup that I used to carry, to reinforce or repair a broken binding or as a makeshift leash for The Grimm Barguest.  I have also spent countless trailside moments untangling cord that has become unravelled and magically wrapped itself around every item in my pack before finishing with a Gordian flourish. So the more I thought about a self contained cord storage system, complete with built in hooks, the more appealing it became. So I gathered up some materials and basic tools and went to work building, breaking, redesigning and nearly perfecting my self-contained camping clothesline.

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Can't Help Falling in Love With You


The first time I noticed her my heart started racing.  I was going over the plans for the production design for a show with the director when suddenly my heart started running a million miles a minute.  I looked around and could not figure out what was happening, I asked him if my color was OK, that I felt funny and my heart was racing and he replied, that it was probably just the pretty young stage manager who had walked up while we were working.  My heart rate slowed to normal and I laughed it off.  A few minutes later this young lady who I had never noticed before approached us again and my heart skipped a beat and started racing again, at that point I decided that maybe I ought to take a closer look…

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Calculated Randomness and the Quest for Understanding


Over the last few weeks, I have noticed a flurry of “25 Random Things About Me” posts circulating around the social networking sites. I think it is an awesome way for people to connect and get to know one another better, but I take issue with the use of the word “random”. I mean, you get to choose the things you share, and looking at what people choose to share, it is obvious that they are making a calculated effort to show you facets of their personality or life that will portray them in a particular light. Not quite random, but beautiful, nonetheless. So why do we choose to share these things?

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