Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This is a chestnut

See those things up there? Those are chestnuts.

Twice in the span of one week, at 2 different stores (2 different chains in fact) I had run-ins with teenaged cashiers who had to ask me what the things in the plastic bag were.


I know they're usually available only at this time of year, so it's not something they see everyday, but c'mon... You work in a grocery store... your job is to know the food, take five minutes and look around... read the signs, if you can. I know it's "like so hard" to remember "like" everything, and "eww that stuff is like so gross."

Same thing happened two weeks ago with fennel. My stuff was being rung through and the girl at the next cash asked the customer what the thing in the plastic bag was. He said anise (technically you can call it that), then she asked my cashier who shrugged her shoulders... I told my cashier it was fennel, who then told the other cashier it was FUNNEL. No dear... a funnel is for something else... Not only do you not know what fennel is, but apparently you don't know what a funnel is used for.

It happens all the time... sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, or any herb... if it doesn't come in a box with a UPC on it, a teenaged cashier is completely stymied.

Somebody give these kids some damn produce, before I'm forced to smack one of them in the head. Forget it... they deserve a smack in the head just for being sullen.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

And... I'm back.

I just haven't been feeling the urge to write or post anything on here lately. Nothing much to say and I certainly have not done anything creative with a pencil for quite a while.

But the urge is back... at least for today.

Our story opens as I travel north along Bronte Road to my home, my wife and my dinner. But wait! What's this? What's lying in the middle of the intersection of Bronte and the QEW on-ramp? Why it looks like a giant cylinder... can barely make it out. Wait.. getting clearer... yes I believe it is a sod flattener. A giant weighted metal roller used to flatten freshly laid sod. Quite a dangerous object to be laying in the middle of the intersection.

The scene it set.

The police station is conveniently located about 150 metres from that intersection. I decide to zip in and let them know about it so it can be removed before it gets too dark and hard to see. Let's pick up our little play from here.

ESS (that's me) approaches the desk where a policeman sits puzzling over a crossword puzzle. ESS waits for acknowledgement. And waits.

The policeman (let's call him Constable Grouchy) slowly looks up at ESS and drawls "Can I help you?" in a slightly annoyed tone.

ESS: Hi, yeah I just noticed a sod roller lying in the intersection of Bronte and the QEW.


ESS: Well it is sort of in the middle of the intersection.

CONSTABLE GROUCHY: NO! The southbound ramp?

ESS: Uhhh?


ESS: Yeah yeah north of the QEW.

CONSTABLE GROUCHY: Hold on! Thats OPP jurisdiction.

Constable Grouchy picks up the phone and suddenly his Grouchy persona melts. "Hello upstairs... We have a report of a steamroller in the middle of the interesection of Bronte and the QEW north of the bridge. Oh you have? oh ok great thanks." He hangs up the phone and with that Constable Sunshine disappears and old Grouchy returns.

CONSTABLE GROUCHY: The OPP already know about it and are taking care of it.

ESS: Oh ok thanks.

And..... scene.

WTF? Why was this guy acting like I did something wrong. And don't make me look like a jackass by saying there's a steamroller in the middle of an interesection. A steamroller and hand pushed sod roller are two very different things. I've been able to tell the difference since I was six.

I wasn't looking for medal or Commisioner Gordon to come down and say "Job well done Batman, you've saved our collective asses again!". But maybe a "Thanks" would have been nice or perhaps making an effort to not treat me like some kind of stupid little pest.

And this was only a minor incident... Is it any wonder why people don't want to talk to the police when they witness a crime? Don't bite the friggin' hand that feeds you.

I know quite often the police have a thankless job and they've been burned more than once by people not being truthful, but too bad... that's your job and you have to treat every member of the public as an individual and not as a collective of feeble minded morons.

Harrumph! Now I'm grouchy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Be back later.

Friday, October 06, 2006

It's been a while

My posts of late have been somewhat shall we say... non existent. All apologies. It's just that I haven't had much to say, or felt like saying anything at all. Just couldn't muster the effort. But I may be coming out of it.

Part of that has to do with the 4 hours of Japanese Taiko and Samba drumming I did the other day. Extremely therapeutic. There is nothing like taking your frustrations out by repeatedly hitting something with a stick, and being encouraged to hit that something as hard as you can.

The whole drumming experience was part of a work related getaway day, and there was a general concensus that hitting drums was good, and that there should be more hitting of drums more often.

As well as being therapeutic, it was incredibly physical, especially the Japanese Taiko drumming. It's been two days and my biceps still hurt the good hurt. If you have the chance to do this in your area, I highly recommend it. It doesn't take alot to pick up the basics. We took our classes at the Royal Conservatory of Music here in Toronto, but I'm sure if you're in any big metropolis there are similar resources available.

Well, time for me to go, I hear the drums calling. But I'll be back soon.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Shit rolls down hill... and sometimes from the sky.

As I dragged my sorry ass to my car in the parking lot last night, I was assualted.

But the attacker wasn't human in nature. No... this attack came from the air. Yes that's right... I looked up in the sky to see not a plane, not Superman, but an ordinary bird.

SPLAT! Hot fresh birdshit on my collar. Cue canned studio laughter.

Apparently I can't win the lottery, or count on the healthcare system, or hope that the police might trouble themselves to respond to numerous calls about drunken teenagers smashing beer bottles, pissing and puking on my house... but I do have enough "luck" to be in the path of a seagull with the runs.

I've heard it said that being shit on by a bird is good luck. Well then Lady Luck, lay it on me. I could use some right about now.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sex on Planet X

I can't explain it, but I'm on a real Bullwinkle kick. Maybe it's nostalgia. Maybe I finally understand it. I don't know. The fact is, I just can't get enough.

While watching an episode the other day I started looking in the backgrounds because... because, well I don't know. Anyhoo, I happened to notice a book with an interesting title on a bookshelf in one scene.

Now bear in mind, this is 1959 and a children's program. This little hidden gag wouldn't be out of place on the Simpsons or the Family Guy, but it defintiely wasn't the norm in '59.

See for yourself.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Odd, odder, and odder still.

Truly truly odd.

As I was walking back to the office, I was thinking about bringing in some of the photographs I've taken, and framing them in large frames. I thought about the one I shot of the kid leading a group of people in a Christmas carol at the Santa Claus parade a few years ago. And I thought about the shot the I posted in the entry below... and as I looked up from the sidewalk, the subject is standing right there in front of me. He had the hat on... he had the bag slung over his right shoulder and resting on his left hip, and on the middle finger of his right had was a big ass gold ring.

Now I realize that I am only a few blocks from where I shot that image last summer, but I had never seen this man before... or since. That is until now. And odder still is that my last post on here was of this guy.

A happy distraction... and I really needed one today. Maybe I'll post more photos.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Window Shopping in Chinatown

Which way do you think this guy is leaning... blonde? Or blonder?

A luke warm solution...

The new cartridge arrived yesterday for my leaky shower. I installed it (yes I remembered to turn the water off) in about 10 minutes... No drips... no drops... and all the luke warm water anyone could want.

I just don't have it in me to take it apart and adjust the setting so that we can have hot showers. That's a weekend job no doubt.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I wet my pants... Or... How not to fix a leaky tap.

I'm not the handiest man of the house that ever lived, but I figured I could hold my own against any ordinary Joe when it came to minor household repairs. Apparently... not so.

It was pointed out to me a week or two ago that the shower head in our bathroom was leaking. This past weekend I finally got around to taking a look at it. I started with the obvious and pulled off the whole shower head. Water was trickling out in a slow but constant stream. That meant the problem was not with the shower head.

I moved on to the shower knob, a great big faceted piece of finely crafted clear lucite. I had seen these taps removed before. you have to pry the facing off. No problem... had it off in a second.

"This'll be a cinch" I thought to myself.

Next came a couple of plastic and brass gears that regulate how far you can turn the knob. Got those off and the tiny little o-ring as well. I had a little trouble with the brass collar but eventually figured it out too. No obstacle was too big for me to overcome.

The next piece was in there pretty good, but I was confident I could pry it loose as well. I got my screwdriver in and started wedging the piece off. Just as I started to pull it out with my hand I got hit in the face (and chest and legs and crotch) with a firehose-like blast of water.

The moment it hit me I realized I had forgotten one minor detail. I hadn't shut the water off in the house.

Luckily it's an enclosed shower stall, so I shut the door before anything disasterous could happen. I ran down to the basement looking for the shut off. I was reasonably sure I was looking right at it, but I noticed it had a ground wire connected to it. Indecision hit me. I'd already made one mistake, but I wasn't ready to gamble on grabbing hold of some thing that may or may not be electrical in nature while soaking wet. After a little back and forth in my mind, I gambled and grabbed the handle and gave it a not so mighty twist. The water was shut off. Half an hour too late... but off nonetheless.

After finding what I thought was the problem and a quick trip to Home Depot, I fixed the tap. It no longer drips... instead it trickles a steady stream of water.

Drip drip drip... splash!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hmmmm... maybe a little too primitive

I wanted to see how far I could go with abstracting things down to simpler forms... And who better to do that with, than the modern stone-age caveman we all know and love... Fred Flintstone.

It's just not working for me though. He looks like a child drew him. I do like the tie though, that's really working for me. The rest.. well let's just never speak of it again. Although... you never know I may just have another go at it.

We'll see.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Dark Knight Returns

This is my take on Batman from Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" as done in my faux paper cut style. The image I used for reference had Robin in it, but as you can see I have not drawn her yet. Yes I said "her". If you want to know more about the Dark Knight Returns and why Robin is a girl, take a look at this.

Addendum: And because I can't leave well enough alone... I did version where he is lit from behind by the setting sun.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Bear naked... except for the hat and tie.

Am I big fan of Yogi Bear? No.
Am I bored? A little.

I'm getting the drawing bug again. I thought I'd continue on with the faux paper cut studies I did of Superman, Batman and the Flash, which you can find here and here.

I took it a little farther and allowed myself to use curved lines, but only on the background. Once I had the basic illo done, I took the whole thing into Photoshop and really saturated the colours to give the piece a soft backlit look.

The goal is to try and get primitive with the shapes and still capture the essence of the subject. I don't think I got primitive enough, but it's kind of hard when your image is something that has already been ecomomized in design.

Maybe I can get more primitive with Fred and Barney. Pun intended.


I had about 3 minutes on my hands while I waited for my computer to create a monster sized PDF today, so I picked up my newly sharpened pencil and sketched this (I added the colour in Photoshop while I waited for my next train). I bet if I practised I could get really good.

But alas I hate practising. I can't stand doing anything more than once. As a matter fact I have trouble even doing things just once.

Well, my train is a-comin' so I really should...

Friday, July 28, 2006

This used to be an art blog...

So here's some art. Mostly doodles I did while on the phone, because it's not enough for me to just focus on one thing. If I did that I wouldn't forget things or make mistakes and how interesting would things be then?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Nothing remains

Well the pillow and cardboard sign lingered for a day or two without it's owner, and now it's gone too. Not only was her intellectual property intercepted... so was her pillow.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

And in the end...

...All that remained was a pillow and cardboard sign in a plastic bag, on which was written "LET ME KNOW THE TRUE DON’T INTERCEPT MY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY".

I passed by the CBC this morning and she was gone. All except her calling card.

Monday, July 24, 2006


So reads the sign encased in a clear plastic bag and backed by an old pillow. For the past few days I have passed an older Asian woman sitting on the sidewalk in front of the CBC building. I pass her on the way to work. I pass on the way from work. It took me a few days to actually read the whole sign. She has a fresh 2 litre bottle of Sprite (but somehow I think it is water) everyday, and reads the transit papers, while she bides her time.

I don’t know what it all means, but I’m pretty sure she’s upset about something. One day on my way to the train she was screaming hysterically at the second floor of the building. But I really don’t think she’s unbalanced. I just have this feeling she’s standing up for something. It’s a concerted and dedicated effort – she’s there every day and night every day.

The morning of the evening that she was shouting at the building, I had seen a casually dressed blonde woman kneeling down and listening intently to what the Asian woman was saying, as if it was any ordinary conversation anyone would ever have. I looked at the blonde woman and wished I had the courage to do that. To just ask this woman what was going on and listen. But it’s a hard thing to do. The last thing you want is to have this women go ballistic on you in the middle of the street.

So I had a plan. I thought I’d slowly make contact with her. I stopped walking through the CBC building lest she think I was part of the machine stealing her intellectual property. Then I walked by one day and tried to make eye contact. I gave her the head nod, but she looked right through me. Or just didn’t see me. Hope nobody saw me get stiffed.

I’ll have to try again. Maybe eventually I can coax a smile out of her, and after a few days I’ll have the courage to speak to her and find out her story. It’s not that I’m nosy, I just admire her dedication and maybe I can help.

Most likely not.

I’ll let you know how it went, that is unless I chicken out.

UPDATE: I walked by the CBC building on my way to the train... all her stuff was there, but she wasn't. I guess the 2L of Sprite (or water) meant a trip to the washroom sooner or later.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Best Flank Steak Sandwich Ever

I've been promising this one to Chris for quite a while, and to thank him for graciously being my first Q and A guest, I now present, The Best Flank Steak Sandwich Ever! Or at least what I can remember of the recipe.

What you need.

1 Flank Steak
3/4 cup of Coke™
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves of minced garlic
Good pinch of red chili flakes

How to make it.

First... take everything but the flank steak and mix it together in a large freezer bag. Why a large freezer bag? I'm just trying to save you on the clean up.

Next... Take the flank steak and put it in the bag with the marinade. Try to get most of the air out of the bag, then seal it up and give it a little shake so that the meat is covered with the marinade. Toss that in the fridge for an hour or two. You can let it marinate overnight, the longer it marinates the more tender it gets...But who has that kind of time and foresight.

Once the meat is done marinating, fire up the barbecue, and let it preheat to about 350-400. If you have two burners turn one off after preheating and place the steak on the side with the burner off. If you only have a single burner you may want to turn it down to a medium heat.

Before closing the lid.. baste the top of the steak with the marinade. Discard the rest of the marinade... you don't want to put it on the cooked side, otherwise you're asking for trouble. Let it cook for roughly 8 to 10 minutes on one side. Flip it and cook the other side until the meat springs back when you push on it – another 8 minutes I guess. These times are all sort of relative to your particular barbecue. If in doubt, use a meat thermometer and aim for the rare to medium temperature.

Once the meat is done, put it on a plate and cover with foil to keep the heat in. Let it sit for 5 to 7 minutes. it will continue to cook and the meat will retain it's juice despite all the juice you see when you pull the foil off. Plenty of juice to go around.

Now, here's where you really need to pay attention. Flank steak is tough... that is, unless you know how to cut it. If you look at the meat it has a grain running the length it. What you want to do is cut across that grain on an angle. See the example below.


I like eating this on a nice whole wheat or multigrain bun. Just pile slices of this on the bun and top it with whatever you like. I would suggest some tomato, boston lettuce, maybe a slice of avocado, and a spicy mayo made with light Hellman's and Frank's Red Hot Sauce mixed together.

What so great about it?

Kids, best of all it's economical. An average sized flank steak is in the range of 12 to 14 dollars. I know... it sounds like a lot of money, but you can probably get 4-5 sandwiches and then some out of it. Flank steak used to be cheaper because it was a tough piece of meat, but once people figured out how to make it tender the price started to rise. All in all it's still a pretty good deal.

It's also a lean cut of meat with very little fat on it and eating it in thin slices piled up on a sandwich gives you the illusion of eating more than you think you are.

What about a side dish?

I would pair this up with perhaps some baked sweet potato fries, or a sweet potato salad dressed with vinaigrettete rather than a creamy dressing. Or hey... how about a nice fresh salad. Beverage wise I am looking at nice crisp reisling, or maybe honey brown ale... Hmmm maybe an iced tea.

And that's it! Stuff yourself silly... silly.

Mini Ravioli – The Interview

Welcome to a new and exciting rotating feature on my blog. Every so often I'll feature a Q and A with a guest about what ever strikes my fancy. Ooooh... Fancy.

Today's interview subject is my good buddy Chris and his oxymoronic 850 gram can of Chef BoyArDee Mini Ravioli. When he pulled this thing out, we found it hilarious that this is a humongous can – nearly two pounds – of mini ravioli.

Hilarous... and yet fascinating. I needed to know more about the can, and the man behind the can.


Q. Chris, what attracted you to this particular can of Mini Ravioli?
A. I would have to say it's gargantuan size, and the fond memories of eating it as a child – those were my main attractions to it.

Q. Can the sauce get any tastier (as it is hyped on the can) than it already is?
A. I have to admit I was skeptical about that. Why fix what isn’t broke. It was a very bold statement to make when you’re an industry leader in the world of great tasting, but convenient pasta foods. I thought "can the Chef really kick it up a notch on this already revered dish? No way. Not possible..." I didn’t think it could get any better, but I was blown away by the tastiness of it. It was scrumptilicious!

Q. Where did you find this? Is it a good value? And what was going through your mind as you took it off the shelf and put it in your shopping cart?
A. I don’t like to name drop due to sponsorship commitments, but I believe your local grocery store now carries this fine product. The value is fantastic. Try it, try it, try it. It’s amazing! You could feed lunch to an entire orphanage with the amount of mini ravioli in each can.

Q. If you weren't having 850 grams of Chef BoyArDee Mini Ravioli for lunch what would you be having.
A. Zoodles perhaps, although grudgingly.
(Editor's Note – I only saw Chris consume half the can. We can only speculate as to the whereabouts of the other 425 grams.)

Q. How much ravioli can one man eat? That’s nearly 2 pounds.
A. How far can one walk man in the desert?
(Editor's Note – The answer is a circle. Due to a lack of landmarks and the dominance of one leg over another, a man walking in a desert will actually walk in a circle without ever knowing it (I am sure the same goes for women). Thanks to "The Flight of the Phoenix" (1965) for making this editor aware of that, thus saving him from a fate of endlessly walking in circles in the desert. But I am digressing on my guest's time.)

Q. How was it?
A. Absolutely delectable.

Q. Any plans for more oxymoronic meals? Jumbo shrimp maybe?
A. You bet. I’ve been thinking about trying the Costco sized portions of other various Chef Boyardee products next. I’ll keep you informed.

Thanks Chris! I'm looking forward to hearing more about the "big little" things you eat.

Friday, July 07, 2006

What I'm Reading Now

Hey look at me, two posts in one day.

I thought I would share with you all the marvelous things I put in my head via my eyeballs, or something I like to call, "What I'm Reading Now!"

First off, I must mention that I am multi-simultaneous reader, especially novels. I think it has to do with the touch of ADD I tell myself I have. And.. on with the show.

First up, I just finished book four of Bone by Jeff Smith. This volume's proper title is "The Dragonslayer". Bone is the tale of Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone. Yes... they look just like bones. Ok not exactly, they're sort of a cross between Casper the Friendly Ghost and Walt Kelly's Pogo. It's kind of a long quest, in a sort of a Old West/Olde English town... with rat creatures, uh and dragons and talking bug named Ted. I know it sounds odd, but it is smartly written, endearing at times, and suspenseful. Did I mention this is a comic book that has been bound into small digest sized "Graphic Novels"?

I didn't?

Oh... well now you know.

Ordinarily, I would never have picked up something like this, but it had been getting good press for quite a number of years so I thought I'd give it a try, and I'm hooked. There are nine volumes in total and seem to be published once every 6 months... so I should have a full review of the entire story in oh say... two and a half years. Click here to see synopses of the first four books.

I am also reading the latest issue of Wired (July). Truth be told I am not really enjoying it that much. It seems to be one of those countdown issues. You know, "Top 50" this or "10 Best" that. Just does not have enough meat for me. I'm also a little bugged ever since they switched the cover stock to a flimsy, super-glossy sheet from the ritzier, toothy matte-finish stock. I know... it's what's inside that counts. Unfortunately the content just didn't grab me.

Guess they can't all be winners... here's hoping August makes up for July.

I read the May issue of Discover (that's all the Gas Station had... apparently time moves slower there) on the train today. Haven't picked it up in a while, and I'm really not thrilled with the design, it's kind of drab, but... There were some really interesting articles in this issue, like the one about the Drake Equation. This equation is used to give scientists a rough estimate of the number of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, with radio transmitting/receiving capability that have NOT destroyed themselves yet (here on Earth we seem to be walking the razor's edge). A conservative estimate puts that number at a 1000 intelligent civilizations in this galaxy alone.

I also liked the short piece on what causes supernovas to explode, not so much for it's explanation, but for the fact that supernovas feed the universe by dispersing the elements that create us and sustain us. Atoms can not be created or destroyed, they only change into other things. So in essence, every atom in your body was here at the beginning of time and will be here at the end of time even when "you" are long gone. Wow... I have o go lay down.

Ok.. I'm back.

What else have I got on the go? Oh yes... Showcase Presents Superman Volume 2.

These are great value and great fun. They're inch-and-a-half thick books of black and white reprints of Silver Age Superman stories. Some of the stories are downright ridiculous and others like the one entitled "The Day Supergirl Revealed Herself", just make you chuckle at the innocence of it all. Oh and did I mention value? $16.99 for more than 500 pages of comics. Ahhh heaven.

And now if you'll excuse me, I believe I have a date with Supergirl.

Hello Wisconsin. And you too South Carolina.

I’ve installed a site meter on my blog at the behest of my better half, and I’m really digging being able to see who visits my site. Don’t worry... I don’t know who you are, I just know roughly where you are from and how you got here. Wisconsin? South Carolina? Folsom?

I seem to get quite a few hits from people doing a search for the words “Starbucks shaken lemonade iced tea”. And you know... I’m thrilled, because if there’s one thing I wanted to achieve in life, it was to become a corporate shill, let alone one for a company that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I’m just waiting for the flood of people looking for “Hummer” and “micro-penis”.

I’m not quite sure if this is a quirk of the the way the site meter logs things, or just the supreme boringness of my writing, but people seem to visit and immediately exit giving them a total visit time of 0 seconds. Some come back repeatedly to spend 0 seconds not reading what I wrote. Wow... Repeat customers who get nothing of value from me. Take that, Starbucks.

So listen.. If you drop by and feel like spending and extra 2 to 3 seconds on top of the 0 seconds you normally spend here, stop and say ‘hullo’, and tell me why you came.

By the way, just an update on my previous post about doing the little things and being a hero, well I kind of dropped the ball. I thought I was doing a heroic thing the other day by hustling out of my parking spot so that a woman who was sitting and waiting could pull in quick. Unfortunately all I got was static, wild hand gesticulations and the cuteye from her. I then called her a fornicating rotund sow under my breath (not exactly, but you can figure out exactly what I called her if you’re smart).

Not good. I’ll try harder... Promise.

Friday, June 30, 2006

He flies... we walk.

We just got home from seeing Superman Returns. I liked it. I wanted to really love it, but I liked it. It was like putting on an old cape. It fit well and it was comfortable, and sometimes comfortable is all you need to make you happy.

And I'm happy.

I'm not giving anything away here, but there's a scene in the movie where Superman stops a plane (not to mention Lois and assorted passengers) from smashing into a million pieces, and parks it in the middle of baseball stadium filled with cheering fans. There was scattered applause in the theatre as he did this and I started to reflect on that. I guess people need a hero. People want a hero. Someone who's motives are pure, who values fairness and who is dependable to a fault.

But who are our heroes today? Politicians? There isn't one in the entire lot who's even a quarter JFK, and it's no secret that he was far from perfect. Just ask Jackie... oh right... dead.

Athletes? Putting a big orange ball through a hole, or a puck in a net is about as heroic as falling down a well.

Movie stars? Rock stars? Religious leaders? Nope, nope, and uhhhhh no.

I often wonder how great it would be if Superman really existed. He'd fix things. He'd set everything right. He'd make sure bad things never happened to good people, and because he's a nice guy he'd even have compassion for the "bad guys".

But he doesn't exist. Well... maybe in a parallel universe, but I digress.

So where does that leave us? Do we sit and wait for a miracle, and hope that this perfect, fair, compassionate being shows up and bails us out? Do we chuck it all and turn our backs on the very concept of heroes because we've had our faith torn to shreds time and time again?

Well... I'd like to think that a little Superman exists in all of us. In fact I know it does because I've seen it first hand (you all know who you are you SuperFriends of mine).

We all have the capacity to be fair, to be compassionate, and to show great strength when others need us the most. The hardest part is having the courage to do those things. It's not always easy sticking your neck out to help others, and sometimes you may bite off more than you think you can chew.

But nothing can change if no effort is ever made?

Imagine what would happen in the world if we all showed a little more compassion, a little more tolerance, a little less selfishness. It's self-propagating. The good deeds beget good deeds and so on and so on.

Want to see an example of that in action? Stop and hold a door for someone behind you, 98 times out of a hundred that person will stop and hold the door for the person behind them... unfortunately Mr. 99 and Miss 100 are left to fend for themselves, but even Superman can't solve every problem.

Don't get me wrong.. I'm not calling anyone out here. I'm just as guilty of leaving my compassion at home and instead, carrying a big bag of expletives, which I freely and liberally toss at anyone who dares to bump me, cut me off or drive a Hummer (Actually I think even Superman would call a Hummer driver a stupid, selfish, egotisical asshole... with a micro-penis).

I wish one of my powers was being a better writer (My wife is the Super Writer). I think I get lost some times, and my point get's muddled, but I guess what I'm saying is don't wait for the hero to show up. Be the hero. The smallest heroic act could be the start of someting big.

And now... as I walk past the other side of 3:00 AM I think I've got to fly.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Because, Yoooooouuu... Asked For It!

Since I've had so many requests (uh... 1) for the turkey meatballs I mentioned a while back, I'll now reveal the secret formula. Or recipe as normal people would refer to it. Deep breath... here goes.

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup onion, chopped finely (nothing I hate more than a chunk of onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup catsup
1/8 tsp. pepper
A liberal shot of Frank's Hot Sauce
A handful of your fave fresh chopped herbs, but let's go with basil and flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste.

I know, I know. You're saying "What... no egg? No breadcrumbs?"

"No!" I say.. no need.

Back to business... Throw it all in a bowl... mix thoroughly but not overly. Form into balls about the size of a golfball. Brown in a pan on all sides with a little olive oil, then finish cooking in a simmering pot of homemade tomato sauce for an hour or so.


Did you just say "How do you make homemade tomato sauce?" Deep breath... here goes.

Mince one or two cloves of garlic and put in a pot with some olive oil. Don't be stingy with the olive oil... it's good for you. And don't burn the garlic. Add to that a dash of red pepper flakes. Add a can of crushed or diced tomatoes.

Now here is where things can differ depending on your taste. Personally I am not a fan of the 'thick as mortar' tomato sauce that you see on TV shows or in magazines. I like it to to coat the pasta not smother it. Because of that I usually put a squirt of water in the can of tomatoes after I have emptied it and sort of swish it around a little to get all that tomato-y goodness off the can and help thin everything out. Add that to the pot.

Next... add a good handful of chopped fresh basil and parsley... you can save some and toss it in at the last minute as well. A goodly pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper, a little more oil to thin it out, and let the whole thing simmer on low with a lid for at least an hour... the longer the better. Just make sure to give it a look-see and good stir every so often.

If you've used diced tomatoes and want a smooth sauce, whiz it in the pot with the hand blender (my wife calls it the "Thunderstick"... which sounds like her lucky bat)

Next up... Flank steak sandwiches. That one is for you Chris.

Monday, June 12, 2006

And now for something completely different.

I know...

It's been awhile. I just haven't had much to say, about much of anything. And I don't really feel inspired to draw something. I just don't have it in me right now.

But fear not, fortunately my wife is not as lazy as I am, and has created a little mini movie which is posted here.

As she states on her blog... enter at your own risk.

That's all for today.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Buckwheat Pancakes

I can't stop thinking about buckwheat pancakes.

On a whim, a couple weeks ago I bought a package of Bob's Red Mill Buckwheat Pancake and Waffle mix. I cooked them up and fully expected to toss the rest package, but to my surprise, I found that they were the best DAMN pancakes I've ever had.

Sorry Mom.

To be honest, they're not as pretty as regular pancakes, but they're not in view for very long anyway. And I must admit I added to the recipe just a bit. A capful of vanilla, a big pinch of sugar, a small pinch of salt, and about 3/4 of a cup of milk instead of water. But you know... do as you like.

What would you top these pancakes with? Yeah sure... you could put syrup on them, and that would be good. OR... could toss a cup full of frozen blueberries and a couple tablespoons of water and a smallish squirt of syrup into to a saucepan on high for ten minutes. And then you could whiz that into the best blueberry syrup ever.

Man... now that is a breakfast.

It's super good for you. (yes I know a bit of sugar and syrup, but it makes 4 servings.. don't eat it all!) Buckwheat contains flavinoids that extend the action of vitamin C and antioxidants. Hey whatta ya know.. blueberries are high in antioxidants.

You can read about buckwheat here.

Hey... I share, because I care.

Next up turkey meatballs.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Monday, April 03, 2006

Friggin' Starbucks


I hate 'em. I never go in 'em

Except for tonight. Yeah I went in... and it was my decision too.

Before the wife and I even stepped foot inside, we spied a driverless van idling in a lane of traffic about ten feet from a dozen parking spaces.

Where was the driver? In Starbucks getting a giganto mocha-whatsis with a huge blob of whipped cream on top. It figures. But don't worry, she left her idling vehicle safely in the hands of her nine year old daughter who – having caught site of my wife and I scowling at the van, wisely locked the doors. It's a pity the mother wasn't as bright. The kid looked terrified.

We approached the door and it was shortly before nine pm. I wanted to see what time they closed.. the sign said:

Monday 6:30am -

Great... what the hell does that mean.

We pressed onward.

The Menu Board.

I felt like iced tea. I saw something called Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade. I asked the girl behind the counter (no... I am not going to use the Starbucks term for counterperson) for a medium Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade (no... I am not going to use their ridiculous names for small, medium or large either). She looked at me as if I had asked for a steaming pile of crap on a Ritz™ cracker. Then I got confused because I thought maybe Shaken Iced Tea and Lemonade were two different items. But they couldn't be. Shaken Iced Tea was listed on one line by itself and Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade on another. I WAS right.

I guess she realized it too, because she then asked me what size I wanted (aw for the love of... I am not using those stupid ass made up names for small, medium and large.) Medium! Then she asks me if I want it made with black tea. Just make my fuckin' iced tea. Lemonade... Iced Tea Lemonade. Whatever the hell it's called!

She trundles off to make it and doesn't bother asking what my wife wants. Then some dude shows up at the register and the girl tells him to ring up an Iced Tea.

"What size?" he asks.


Then he looks at the girl and asks if that's all. She shrugs her shoulders incredulously, as if to say, "this jackass could barely get his order out, how should I know what the other one wants."

Anyway my wife pipes up and asks for a decaf something or other and he rings it all up.

I then asked him what time they close, since closing time isn't listed. He says what sounded like "It's never closing time." I swear that is what he said.

So I said "You're open 24 hours?" and he said "What?" with a puzzled look.

Then he said "We close at ten but on Sundays we close at 9:30."

What is this guy talking about? Was he told to instruct customers that it's never closing time? Is that more of Starbucks stupid ass branding trying to convince people that they are always there for you? Why can't I just order a damn beverage and why can't you tell me what friggin' time you close the place up.

Five dollars and twelve cents later we walk out of there. Somebody shoot me if I ever go back in.

We don't know what became of giganto mocha-whatsis and her paranoid daughter.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Illustration Friday - Sea

"Ever been to sea, Billy?" asked Captain Highliner.

So "sea" is the word of the week. Tough one.. tough one. I'm going to think laterally here and go with these air freshener designs I did a while back. Why? Well listen, I had a piece of tuna steak last week that was so fresh it tasted like it came out of the sea.

See? Fresh... Sea... Fresh... Sea.

All right fine. I know it’s a stretch, but I love the little pine tree in the top left, and isn’t that piece of Wrigley’s Gum on the right just adorable?

I really love getting comments, it’s great validation. The only thing is that when you post your link on Illustration Friday, you only get to see the current posting. So my dear friends, please feel free to poke around and look at my other posts. You’ll be amazed, delighted, amused... Or perhaps it may put you to sleep, but you’ll never know unless you have a look.

And I am out... Seeya soon.