Band Names

Wow!  What a holiday time.  I usually don't get into the holiday spirit like others, but when you have friends and family like mine, one can come around.
I received so many great gifts, some highly practical (down slippers which feel like a sleeping bag on your foot), some odd (an ancient coin of the Magi), and a few that are one of a kind.

Those included:

A sequence of pictures of me doing the Haka, then jumping into the cold-as pond on a camping trip last summer (and me running out)

A song composed and performed by The Brothers Ulmer (They need a better band name, like Wani's Ulmers, perhaps?) about me and my adventures. Kenji has come along way in his guitar playing.

And a Guru Josh calendar done by Morgan, with help from the "Cream of the Hutt."  (Another good band name!)  All the months accompany a portrait of people from NZ with the Guru Josh record I stole from the Pacific Inn Pub/Gave to Morgan.  Add to that the fact that all the individuals have the same stupid pose, and include some appropriate frame of reference to how I knew them in a former life.  Excellent.

I love you all, thank you very much.  I feel loved and that's the greatest thing.

Speaking of love, I'm working the breakfast shift at work (6am start) and my soups this week rock 'em hard:
Wed- SW Black Bean with Cilantro Crema
Thurs- Braised Pork with White Beans, Fennel, Mustard Greens and Smoke Spanish Paprika.
Fri- Matzoh Ball.  I've made my own matzoh.  Really.

Too bad there's no one around to eat them....



Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays (don't forget boxing day either)

I'll be in Olympia for the majority of the next few days.

Have fun!



I was listening to PRI/BBC world's show "The World" and this was on there:

See how good your geography skills are.  I got to level 10.


I'm going to......Memphis?!?

I had a date last night with Angie where we went to the used bookstore down the way, and looked at travel guides to gain a better sense of what we wanted to do.

So I went straight for The Onion's Atlas. I figured it would be a fine place to start to appreciate the lesser known factoids of a prospective country of terminus. Not really, but Peru's sub-header was "Always with the damn pan-flutes!" I think it genius for some reason.

Then I had the great idea of just going to the airport on the 1st day of our vacation off. We could go to the ticket counter, and tell them we'd be willing to fill in available seats for cheap. 2 tickets to Memphis, Egypt?! No, Memphis, Tennessee. Errrr.....

We made a choice, and it's secret. I will tell you this: It's not Memphis. (damn)

And then we had Italian food at Bizzaro. It was bizzare indeed. It was an oddly decorated hole in the wall that specializes in fresh pasta, and it was fine. It hit all my pre-conceived expectations.

I leave you with this:
Apparently, there's to be a nails feature at a party in NZ, and all I have to say is this: No costumes or using "tournament of death" to describe it. Those ideas are patent pending!


Sunnier Climes

Hey, my tough holiday season is over.  It was really quite a breeze- mostly just showing up was what was required of the alligator.

I'm going to wrap presents now, then run, then I have a date with Angie to look at possible vacation destinations.  A truly sad statement of mine: we cannot make it to New Zealand in the spring of 2008.  It's too far to go/too much money spent on the ticket for only a couple weeks' time....

I do get to go someplace new, tropical and sandy though....that's not bad.

And there won't be any sandflies.


Crazy like a Fox.

I hurt my back tonight at work, and can't figure when it happened. I was going to run, but now I want to sit. And even that feels moderately uncomfortable.

I have a story from the other night I want to share:
I had picked Angie and her friend up from the airport late (back from Costa Rica). Dropped off said friend, and was near her house by the fisherman's terminal, when we got flagged down by a guy. He ran over to the car, visibly upset, and said, "call the cops! My mom has been kidnapped!"
I called 911, and the explained my position to the dispatcher, who wanted to talk to the dude. He was right by the car, telling his story, which kinda was convoluted, and then when the dispatcher asked him where he was, he ran away with my phone. So I ran after him, leaving Angie in the car, in the road with the flashers on. After a couple more minutes of him talking to the dispatcher, I got the phone back, and the 1t thing she asked was "is this guy a little off his rocker?"
I replied, "perhaps, but the cops need to come here regardless." He was a little crazy....

So they were on there way and so were we.....

How do I keep Angie blocked from commenting? The Calery kids really have bad netiquette.


Gone Bottling

I'm busy right now!

Super secret project stuff!



uh....Mister Splashy Pants? Really? Come on.

Surprise Pockets (Not as tasty as Hot Pockets)

I got woken up this morning by someone calling, then as soon as I answered, they hung up. I think that's the worst. The only thing that got them off the hook, was that even if I had remembered to turn off my cell phone, I would've been woken by the recycle trucks lumbering through the alley below my house. Glass breaking is the best alarm clock.....

I might be in the thick of the work/holiday calendar, but it's emerged it's quite easy this year. It's like we didn't get tons of parties booked- a sign of the downward economy? I think it might be, since not going out is one of the things I do when I'm short on cash. Anyways, it's really a matter of showing up and trying to fit all the food into our closet/walk-in fridge.

And lastly for this post, I surprised myself last night, when I was watching a DVD. Apparently, there was an episode of SG-1 I hadn't seen yet. It was like wearing a jacket you haven't worn in a while, and finding $10 in the pocket.

I'm gonna go check my pockets!


Adults Like Snow-Based Beverages!

It snowed today. A whiteout, which is pretty rare here in Seattle.

It all started shortly after I arrived at work, staring down a day of sprinting to get things done. We did get things done, but then as soon as food needed to go out, shite hit the fan, so to speak. Too many new people in the front of house, and too few in the kitchen....always the problem.

But the snow- I was really bummed I wasn't outside sledding with the Snow Dogz. I think I have to take a trip to the pass and sled this winter.
And by the time I left, at 11, it was raining/melting. On my lawn, I collected snow for a few snowballs, and a glassful. I now am having a cocktail, Whiskey and Snow. It's like shaved ice, with bourbon flavour!


Are you High!?!

hey everyone. I commence my re-telling of my Thanksgiving weekend here:

Saturday mid-day I drove down to Olympia with Angie, and we joined my family for the proper dinner. I roasted the bird, made stuffing, mashers, gravy, a green bean casserole (but not the nasty kind), and cornbread. Added to the mix by family: Cranberry sauce and this Jello/fruit mold, which is my favorite Andrews family food tradition. Seriously, it's AMAZING.

After rocking the Trivial Pursuit power hour, we went with my brother downtown to meet my friends Chris and Trever for drinks and shuffleboard at the Brotherhood. Outside the bar there's a Gyro cart called "gimpy's gyros." Apparently, the guy got in a bike accident, and used the money to do that....

Sunday was brunch at my momma's, and then Angie and I went for a walk with my dad. It was kind of crazy and structured now that I think about it....hmmmm.....it's quite difficult to split my time up when I go to Oly for only one night- so many people request my lovely company.

Well, it begins this week- the holiday madness. From Friday to the 16th of Dec, it will be work, work, work. Good thing for Angie she's going to Costa Rica. When I asked for the time off, I figured there would be a 1% chance I would get it. It was less than that: I got a reply of "Are you high!?!"


2 Trees? NO! 2 Pies!

Yesterday I worked on Thanksgiving- what a yawner! We had too many people on staff, but the only great thing about working was that I got paid double time, and took home a meal for 4 (2 pies!).

Today, I'm out and about shopping for food and getting ready for my weekend home. So there's not too much exciting going on....what else is there to say?

Adios England, that's it!



I've been catching up on the act of watching DVDs.
Going into the player recently:
Dexter, s1
6 Feet Under, s1
Entourage, s3
Stargate Atlantis, downloading season 4
And I just watched the 1st ep of Flight of the Conchords. Excellent stuff.
And some Miyazaki movies back there for some class...

Getting ready for turkey day.....I'm going to be cooking on Saturday at my grandma's house. No Leon, there won't be a bunch of Swedish girls attending......


Bombay the hard way.

I had today off (I've noticed it seems I only post on my days off, thus creating the illusion to the readers that all my days are off...) and it was highly productive. But it was also ANGIE'S BIRTHDAY. I had the gifts ready in the AM, and basically spent my whole day gathering ingredients/slaving away in the kitchen to produce an epic Indian meal for her and her friends. Ok, I didn't slave away all day- I did go record hunting and found the Steve Martin "Wild & Crazy Guy" vinyl....

Well there was some other stuff lodged in there too, but the menu had some vegetable curry w/ coconut, a kashmiri lentils, saag paneer, nice rice, pickled cauliflower, garlic naan, raita, salty mango pickles and great wine.

It was followed up by a greasy chocolate cake, which SOMEBODY ATE WAAAAAAAAAAY TO MUCH OF, and chai.

I am full and sleepy. I go to bed after a long and fulfilling day.

(Trever is back. I say that again, T-Man is back in Washington!)
These are Halloween party pictures fr.om my house mate.


3D Movie/Mystery

Nothing important has really hapened all week until yesterday.
We celebrated Angie's birthday ALL DAY.
-Run around Green Lake on an empty stomach (worst feeling EVER)
-Coffee and bagels
-a DVD
-IMAX movie in 3D (Seamonsters) that was super cool, and inadvertently snuck into the science center.
-A drink/trivial pursuit at an Italian spot
-Dinner at Carmelita, a vgetarian/vegan fine dining restaurant. I had a good time, and a good meal. I was happily supprised.
And then we got more suprised when the server told us that our tab had been paid for by someone who had called before we arrived and gave them his/her credit card. We cannot figure it out.

Was it you?


Pourable Tofu Madness!

My day off was busy. Productive, even.

I woke up to go to the eastside to go to the doctors and vote. I liked the fact that I was still regestered there (I did change it today) so I could vote for my cousin, Keri Andrews. I will look in one hour's time to see the results for her running, and all the other things I voted for, most notably, Prop. 1, which is for a regional transportation package that funds a combination of rails and roads. I think the plan has too little for rail and too much for roads. I also don't like the linking of the 2 different ways to move people into one plan. I'm hoping that by passing this one up, we'll be offered a plan that looks at a life without cars as being a realistic option in Seattle. I voted no, obviously.

I then had to run some errands up on the north end, and swung by a great-possibly the best reviewed- Korean restaurant called Hosoonyi. They specialize in draft tofu soup- the tofu is pourable, and it's served in super heated stone crocks that contain boiling soup at it's arrival at your table. I ate by myself, but my table was completely covered in small bowls containing the assorted kim-chees and sides. It was epic.

I then worked on my secret project- first phase- for a an hour and a half, and then dinked around, and then ran around green lake.
It was stuff all day.


saccharomyces cerevisiae

Howdy. It looks like I'm just hanging out solo on a Friday night at home. It's feels like a long while since I've just sat here, enjoying a beer/going to bed early/catching up on small projects. I haven't been dissed either- perhaps I'm dissing everyone else?....

Damon has left, a couple days ago, and his time here was greatly appreciated by me. It was nice to have a link to a past life...he did ask on his 1st night if I was planning to return. He got a lengthy reply, and told me in response, "so, Morgan got to you." I don't know if that's quite accurate, but something about Wellington definately "got" to me....
....I spoke to Morgan's mom Anne tonight, something I hadn't done in months, and she asked me if I was going to come to NZ. Hopefully in the spring I told her. We'll see....I'm having a "soul-searching" time right now in regards to my pay job, and, to keep things short and sweet, at least I have options (it's what Anne said).

So. We'll see. I'd love to take a 3 or 4 week trip down there. I would have the paid vacation to do it.

Ok. I'm just going to meld into the night. Listen to music. Drink another beer. Plot my next secret project, which involves apples and saccharomyces cerevisiae.

The night awaits!


Long weekend

It's nearing the end of my 3 day weekend. Friday night, after I got off work, I met Damon at the Alibi room. How he found it, I will never know- wait, I'll ask him right now......
He just wandered by this obscure locale to the bar, aparently. Anyways, I met him there, and he was chatting to this woman he met at the bar. The first thing I noticed about her: Insanity. She was INSANE. Like manic-happy-I-am-touching-you-talking-really-fast kind of craze. And she was probably about 6 glasses of shiraz deep (no food too).

So I had a hard time dealing with her. It was my issue I suppose, but I basically ended up extracting Damon, vaguely SAS style (in my mind) from there, delivering him to the free trade/democracy of the Pacific Inn. Where we drank and listened to rock n roll, and Tom made tons of jokes about Austrailia, which Damon took really well. I figured D just though Tom was an idiot.

Saturday was crazy, since we were getting ready for the party all day. Running errands and whatnot. Ran. Had pizza. Made a mulled cider and filled a pumpkin. Carved Pumpkins. I made a bat boy pumpkin....

The party was great. We had many utlandish costumes. Highlights: A birdfeeder, an American Gladiator (with joust), a cloud, a piñata, an outhouse, a compost pile, and I was Zombie Johnny Appleseed. I planted little plastic babies.

Lots of booze.

Sunday was a slack day. Cleaned up, cooked, and went to Capitol Hil for a night.

Today Damon and I went to Whidbey Island, to explore it's diverse riches of nature. We threw rocks on a beach at a floating log. We went to a pub in Coupeville and played pulltabs. Damon had his 1st chili burger. And we explored the 10" gun emplacements at an old fort. We saw Bald Eagles, deer and seals among the fauna. And took the ferry return. Here we sit, chillaxin' before a night of steel guitar at the little red hen, Seattle's premier country & western bar.

Phew. I am tired.



Actually, Damon had jet lag, and didn't know he was entering this post on my blog (that was signed in). Or perhaps it was the cactus he had for breakfast....

It is Friday morning, I'm in the aligators large bedroom. To get here took many forms of transport,
- walking with
- the London underground 'tube'
- the Heathrow Express overland trane
- a Leufthansa flight in the wrong direction from London to Frankfurt
- a Leufthansa flight in the right direction to Vancouver
- got in double length airport bus to get to the terminal
- travellator across the airport
- turboprop connector plane
- driverless interterminal train
- commuter bus from the airport
- the aligators girlfriends 4x4

I didn't do any sea transport, sorry about that!



Damon is in the building

He's here. And we had Chinese food for dinner. Now he gets to end his streak of 28 hours straight being awake.

Sleep, little Damon, sleep.


Los Taco Trucks

I was hungry last night, and trying to find the hours for a taco truck near my house.
Taco trucks are quite possibly the greatest thing ever- if they're good. I wish I had one outside my house. But guess what? Some guys started a blog for locating taco trucks in Seattle.
So all I have to do now is move nearer to one. Like in their parking lot.


and while I'm thinking about it, the future of taco trucks, called "skillet."


Best. Prank. Ever.

I found out today that one of my best friend's little brothers is a mastermind.
He goes to the same high school as I did, Capital High in Olympia, and he's a senior. The prank was done at the homecoming assembly, which, like all assemblies are stupid. But this one is really stupid, since it entails having skits that are voted on using the age old popularity contest thing.

So the prank was to crash the assembly with one guy dressed up as a giant penis wearing a Dubya mask. It gets better: the dubya "dick" shot the freshmen with a super-soaker filled with milk. (I didn't say it was a CLASSY prank!)

Here it is:

BTW, the woman chasing the penis out is the principal.

And the best part is that he didn't get caught! When it looked dire, a getaway car pulled up, and whisked him away. There is no proof of action for anyone involved.

Apparently, he's planning more. It's a skill he learned overseas....


Armed and Crazy.

I am done with changing my room around. It's really different. Perhaps over-utilized on one side, but the "guest quarters" needed to happen with Damon's arrival later this week. After he goes, I am getting a desk to make that part the "office."
I think I've moved EVERY thing except my clothes dresser, which was going to move, then didn't. I guess also things on walls are still static. One nice feature is that I've moved my record player to the corner of the room, where the floor has no creaks, thus allowing for skip-free playback. Stabil is great. I've listened to records all this evening while moving.
Played on my turntable:

Warren Zevon- Stand In The Fire (recorded live at the Roxy in LA)
Johnny Paycheck-Armed and Crazy (best song title is "Thanks to the cathouse, I'm in the doghouse with you.")
George Gershwin- An American in Paris. It's so fantastic.
Willie Nelson & Webb Pierce- In the Jailhouse Now

What a night.

Earlier today, we had our last day of ice cream production. Tomorrow is the last day of sales at the market, and what a ride it's been. We're planning on having the "last supper" afterwards. I am throwing it all down.
The Mint Triple Choco Threat is wicked, that's all I can say. True Bliss.

I've also changed what I'm dressing as for Halloween. I had planned on being a lercherous hunchback, i.e. Igor from Young Frankenstein, but a completely random idea came up, and I jumped on it. I won't say what it is here, but needless to say that when I told the costume shop guy who/what I was going to be, he said, "wow. I think that's a truly original idea."
I will say Pierce in NZ would be proud.

And, uh that's it I suppose. I tried a new pho place that was better than all others I've had recently.....

Well, off to make a late dinner. Looks like I'm staying in tonight.


Puffy Coats and Damon

I got a coat. A nice puffy-like-a-sleeping-bag one from REI. It's down, and will do the job. It has a hood and the best part is: It fits perfectly under my rain coat ( it seems made to match). and I used my dividend from being a member of $28. Free money is nice.

It's the last week of ice cream. Just got back from the factory, it' 1:12 am. A short day on Saturday, and sales at the market on Sun. It'll be over before I know it.

And then, clean the house for the Halloween party, and Damon. He'll be seeing the new room set-up.

Lot's of plans!



It's getting cold, and I've been looking for a jacket.

I've spent hours, literally, hours searching the internet for one. There are many features I'm looking for, but seem to have gone to the wayside due to this newfangled idea of "layering."

I found one I liked/met the requirements, but didn't make the purchase then. It was on a clearance site, and so when I came back, my size was sold out.

So here I am cold, and upset.

I just want a coat.


Seattle Times Blurb

Here's us in the Times:
"A new ice-cream company run by a Seattle bartender and two local chefs began selling an eclectic mix of flavors at the Ballard Farmers Market in mid-July. Empire Ice Cream flavors vary according to the produce the owners buy each week, and they've included carrot habanero sorbet and brown sugar peach ice cream.

Each batch — made with Italiana gelato machines at a catering kitchen in lower Queen Anne — makes about a dozen 8-ounce containers, which cost $4, or three for $10, said co-founder Tom Durchman.

The bartender and chefs, whose company is called The Epicurean Empire, plan to stop selling ice cream at the market in late October to focus on finding investors, improving packaging and maybe selling to a restaurant or two."

It's small, but it's still cool!


Weekly Ramblins

This week offers a few things.
1st is the most important: Empire Ice Cream has received it's first press! It's not exceptional, but still loved. It's on the Stranger's (One of Seattle's weeklys- the one that had the blurb about THE PARTY, well, my going away party....but that's another story and I digress....) Blog. The blog is called "The Slog" (get it!?!?) . The little note was basically our weekly email- if you read this blog, you should be on the mailing list- pumped up by the food writer, whom I've reviewed a bar with, Bethany Jean Clement.
There are some interesting comments, some of which contain racial statements.

But it's all good, as they say.
We're supposed to be in the Seattle Times tomorrow.

The other thing about the Slog is it had a post on Senator Larry Craig. It was an online recipe of his on a collection called "Congress Cooks!" Amazing but true.

There might have been more stuff to write about, but it's too cold in my room- I must hide under covers, and so I leave you this true fact about me:

I fell on my head last night. Twice. Pile driver style.


Sleep Mad

Fighting off sleep from the plane trip out here....5 hours of sleep...staying up till 9:30 is hard after the beers....I peruse the internet and read this:

"They are big boys and they hoe in up front and we put the acid on at half time for our tight five to really step up a bit more and create a bit of a platform for us especially at the breakdown."

It blew my mind that someone could make any sense of that...but then again, I'm by no means a rugby aficionado...more as a "casual observer/internet info procurer."

Sleep and dreams, Mr. Nick Evans. You shall learn to speak one day (don't crush me!)

I am delirious.



I am so stressed with how today has been looming for so long, and I just want it to be over with!
I'm leaving for the east coast at 10pm tonight, and will be leaving directly from work via taxi (they're paying and it's been an issue...). We're hella busy (did I just use "hella?") and I anticipate literally dropping everything I'm doing to get to the airport.
The chef is gone; his father passed away last week, and the burial is today. He shouldn't be there, but we don't have a sous chef. I've been so over worked I feel taken advantage of- I have all the responsibility without the title/compensation. And I have little help. The people coming in are almost not worth having. I cannot expect them to do a quality job, and they don't listen to the whole job's description.

Sorry, I am venting....

And there's more, which I won't regale you with the details of. Let's just say it's the last night of Ramadan....

I'll be around next week.


T-Man Fu

I have the T-Man in my room as we speak. And he just asked me about the Otago Kiwi drawing I was gifted, so I told him that story. One cannot hate that story...
Trever is in town from Hawaii for the week, and he spent his day in Seattle, going about the market and Ballard, and then he came over for the big dinner, which was "Barbarian Grill Night." Lynard Skynard would've approved indeed.
We had 3 different kinds of meat in 4 different cuts.
We also had fresh black beans (which I hadn't cooked before), an awesome salad with 'maters, baby cucs, and French Breakfast radishes. Roasted baby red potatoes and leeks were also served, and some mustard pickled peppers also were present.

Ice cream was a very good day. We had lots of people doing the 3 for $10, and even had a girl buy 14 cups (at a very good discount). She also got a shirt.
And my dad and step-mom showed up, un-announced, which was cool. My dad described the carrot-habanero sorbet as confusing. It's sweet, then spicy, but the temperature is cool. Toungue disorientation can be cool.

It was a nice weekend.


New Computer

I've gotten into a new Mac...and I'm diving deep, only to return for air when all is finished.
It has a built in camera......

It even has a remote, so I can lay in bed and listen to music/watch movies/photo slideshows.
It's sweet as.


I'm back

I attack, alligator style!

Bite attack, again!

Hey everyone. I am here, even though it might seem like I'm stuck in the south of England....
My computer has hit it's limit, and I plan on getting a new one this weekend, if I have time. It's been too difficult to work with, and blogging has moved down the list of things to accomplish when it does work.

Anyways, things are going well. Still at the ice cream thing, and working more at the club, since Dustin has moved on to another job-which is good for him.

I also wanted to say that I saw the rumpus pics at Damon's blog, and I must say I noticed Jon Ball does take a nice picture. Really does. And when did Morgue get his "Hutt Valley" shirt?
I wish I had been there. It was nice to see all the people I know indeed.

Following the All Blacks at the WC, and have to say, I like the results....I found a bar I can go to to watch the games. It's the "Kangaroo and Kiwi Pub." Guess what it's deal is.
I'll be back after I get the new CPU, ro-bros.



I cannot sleep right now. It's just after 3am. I am tired, and I worked a long day- I did both jobs on Saturday...but my mind is just excited.
I'm excited because of how much we're gonna make today! We have, for the 1st time, PERFECT WEATHER. 80 degrees and Sunny.
I am quite positive, based on our building-up nature of the past few weeks, we'll hit a sales goal that I know we all want, and even I never quite thought-or at least recognized that it was a near perfect day-we'd hit it.

But we can do it, and we will do it today.
And then, it'll be reward time: Bring home one of the machines and make margaritas.

That's right.

I'll let all y'all know how it goes. Monday, I'm planning on going to the Puyallup Fair for the 1st time in years. It's scone city baby!


2 Machines=I likey

Having the new machine is SWEET! We went bonkers-or at least it felt like it. It was about 4.5 hours at the factory, and we froze everything we could.

TD and I didn't even have time for me to whomp him at dominoes. He brings the bones, and I own 'em....


Big Weekend

It's Friday morning, and I've already assumed weekend position in my mind. I have an easy, if annoying day at work. We do inventory, literally counting how much we have of things, and it's really just time consuming. When I do it with Dustin, we go fast. I'm doing it with the chef today, and he's slow/exact. But we're closed for dinner, so I'll be done between 5-6 ish.

And then the long weekend.

Saturday: Make ice cream with Tom. We got another ice cream machine yesterday. So it will be sweet to finish in say, 4 hours at the most. And then Saturday will be spent getting ready for....

Sunday: Sell tons of ice cream. Not literally tons, but go crazy! I then get to have a dinner at a place I've been excited about eating at all week, Union. And then, who knows where....

Monday: Do nothing, or at least, whatever I want. It'll be my 1st day off since my family reunion-the last Saturday in July.

It's gonna be great.


The ball is rolling as they say....

I'm sorry to all of you, since I came to my blog and realized it's been a week since I posted anything. My life right now seems devoid of the free time that was once wasted upon the internet. I don't know if that is a good thing-it seems as if it should be- since many hours of my life were spent doing just that....

We had our best weekend yet. It was bonkers! We sold out of everything except 1 flavor, To bring home empty coolers was excellent. To bring home the banks was nice as well. To have everyone want to trade their stuff for yours- so many that you have to tell people, "no," was pretty great too. Word is spreading for sure. I was also contacted by a woman who has a magazine about local food/eating that will be launching next summer that wants to talk about a photo shoot-a nd she hasn't even eaten our product yet. And there's a guy who has an "upscale catering van" he's doing some classy lunchtime things out of. He wants to talk too.

The ball is rolling as they say....


1/2 day off

Another random bit of rambling from the Alligator....

We sold ice cream this last weekend. It rained. Hard at some times, but we did well enough, and had lots of repeat customers. People who say, "we'll be back next week!" And they are. And that's radical.
And the dinner afterwards...my gads man! If you are unlucky enough to not not have been there for it, then here's the run down:

Grilled Spice-Rubbed Ahi Tuna on various sweet 'n spicy pickled peppers (and cinnamon basil)
Grilled Beef "London Broil" on a fresh Yakima tomato sauce with bacon and basil
Chanterelle and Sweet Corn Pone- it a corn custard/pudding with the best mushrooms. Someone had to be the "keeper of the pone" to keep people from eating too much. And then not only did she eat too much, but also defensively flailed the serving spoon, throwing a bunch of corn custard all over the floor.
And an awesome salad with heirloom tomatoes.

Next week, we might do the 'Mater Seder- a meal featuring tomatoes in every dish.

I went out with my cousins (and Iris my sister) last night and that was fun. I always enjoy how different those interactions are away from family events. And my cousin Jeff sat next to a dude who had gotten out of prison that morning after 10 years in the pen. The guy was nice my cuz said, and overwhelmed for sure. The INTERNET ON A CELL PHONE!!!?!?!?

It's my 1/2 day off, and I'm gonna run greenlake.
Oh and NPR's the world had a feature on Fat Freddy's for all y'all Kiwis.
I am jealous I'm missing the Rumpus too. Take pictures, so I can superimpose myself into them.


You could be a part time model.

Just downloaded the Distant Future EP by Flight of the Conchords off iTunes.

Great stuff. I highly recommend.

Robot binary solo:


Sunday Feast

We had another good weekend. We sold out 2 flavors, which is a 1st for us. One of them was our new brown sugar and peach, which we had 70 of or so....that's great. the other was the Orchard massacre/insanity, which we had about 30 of to start- they were surplus in our freezer.
We still haven't had the weekend where it just goes off. But that might be due to the weather, seeing as the hottest day we've had maybe got 78 degrees. Or it might be that a food critic who writes for the times hasn't dropped by, which happened yesterday. She stopped by while the best cheese man at the market was over talking to us, and he said, "if she mentions good things about you, you'll wish she never wrote about you." After the column they were mentioned in, people started showing up at their farm outsided Elma. Or the the middle of no-where for you Kiwis.

So we could see a big jump. Perhaps. But the word is out in the market for sure. We have vendors coming over to trade with us, thus making our Sunday Farmhouse Dinner series more spectacular.

Last night we had, provided by trades:

Smoked Salmon
Estrella Cheese (the aforementioned cheese dude's)
A potato and greens saute with chanterelles
haricot verts and infant carrots
tomato and cucumber bread 'n butter pickles
Blueberry Pie ( I made a lattice top too)

And we added:
Natural beef, grilled with lemon zest and parsley
Italian braised Romano beans with fresh tomato and bacon.

You should come over for dinner.



So my week of breakfasts is over, I lament it. By Friday, I was finally in the rythym of things- I cooked probably more breakfasts in one week, besides in the month of December, ever. I forgot that cooking eggs is challenging, probably the most challenging thing to cook, because the variables need to be, well, not varied. You have to have the pan at the right temp (hell-the right pan too) and the right amount of oil...etc, etc, blah, blah,

And my soups. God Damn, man, they were great. I have skills.....

This weekend, as many readers know since they're on the mailing list for the Epicurean Empire, we are unleashing the 1st sorbet for sale. Hand picked wild blackberry. It's amazing. Deep flavor, and a beautiful color too. And we have a secret flavor, using the famed ingredient from Alba. If you know/figure that one out, you'll be down like a clown Charlie Brown.

I haven't had a drink for 2 weeks, due to a bet, and I am contimplating what the 1st one to hit my mouth will be?

Oh, wait, it'll be Bourbon. Fine Bourbon.

Gonna catch the Burrito Bus for a late dinner.


Soup man

Whew. I am tired. I had to wake up at 5am, since I'm working breakfast all this week. I have little idea of what the menu is, since I cook that menu about 1 week a year (or less). At least it's mostly eggs, which is the one thing I learned how to cook in NZ. I had never held a breaky shift before that, and today, I made myself proud....and then I started on 2 soups for later this week. I also don;t do much soup at night- I usually hold over the day stuff, which is generally good stuff. It's predictibly consistent.

My soups this week:
Mon- Roasted Tomato and Chili with Oregano and Farmer's cheese ( Mexican style)
Tues- Tuscan braised pork shoulder with white bean and fennel (thickened with bread crumbs)
Wed- Cucumber Gazpacho
Thurs- Oxtail consommé scented with madeira
Fri- Brazilian Chicken with coconut and citrus

I need to go to bed now and dream of soup and appropriate garnishes/accoutrements.


Blue Angels Mother F'er!

I hate the Blue Angels. They just waste fuel and pollute and close down I-90 and scare me to think there are planes sounding like that bringing doom to people.

Yeah America, we kick ass!

In other news, I'm at the market tomorrow selling my ice cream.
And it might not rain!


¿Sabes Micho?

Yesterday was a long one- I woke up at 6:30 to go drive down to Kent for our dairy. Then, up to Bellevue to my "real" job. It was a bad and strange day, and had to deal with inventory too....then at 4pm we left for our factory, and had bad traffic, of course.
We were making ice cream from 5pm till 12:30, and I got home at 1am.
And here I am, not wanting to do anything but go back to bed, and I get to go swing by the printers, and then go to work again.
At least it's the new menu coming in.

¿Sabes "micho?" ¡Mi chorizo!

(I'm making chorizo today)


Family Reunion '07

I went to my family reunion on Saturday. My dad's family met my girlfriend, which went great. She's great, but she didn't come prepared for the mental stress of the bocce ball tourney.
I hate to say it, but in the 3rd round, she had a meltdown...but we had already won 2 games, and got beaten by the eventual champions, so it's all good. Next year....
I brought an insane amount of ice cream to Birch Bay, where it was held. Everyone went nuts, which is the usual reaction. I was asked a gazillion questions about the business, which was fine, but it was strange because I was the focal point for about 12 people at one point, and they were just rapid-firing queries my way. I got overwhelmed, so I went swimming in the saltwater, which the sun-baked sand had warmed up when the tide came in.
We camped there on the property, and had a bonfire on the beach that night, which was cool.
In the morning the tide was way out again, and the blue herons were out in force- I counted 16 of them in a stretch of tidal water.
The weekend was nice and relaxing- I'm back to the real life this week, all ice cream and whatnot. Yeah.
I have today off, and I'm organizing my room, and listening to old records that my dad gave me- Aretha Franklin's Soul '69 is on right now. I love it.
And then running Green Lake in a bit.

(Sung to the tune of Devo's Whip It) Lick it! Lick it good! (Ice cream you sickos....)


Ice cream monster and animal massacres!

Sunday went rather well. In terms of sales, it was just what we expected out of our 1st day. Unfortunately, when I woke up just after 6, it was raining rather hard-not cold though. It stopped just as the market started, but it kept many people away for the day. I want to thank everyone who bought the ice cream, whether or not you know us....

In terms of realizing the first step of the master plan, it went awesome. I was excited to be part of that community of farmer's and small businesses, and just really happy in general. And not stressed out, which was the average state of being for me the last week. But we did it, and it will only get better!

The highlight of the day was feeding a one year old girl her 1st taste of ice cream. There was this look of, "hmmm.....what is this?" quickly followed by a gasp, laugh, shout and smiles. We created a monster!

I went to a nice restaurant on Saturday, Nell's, which is very close to me on Greenlake. There were seven of us, and shared bites of really everything. I think I set a new personal record for "most different types of animal protein consumed in one meal." They were:

-Tuna tartare
-Sockeye salmon
-Veal loin
-Black cod
-Pork Belly (yummy)
-Chicken egg
-Pork tenderloin
-Kobe beef hanger steak

That's eleven. Man it was a good meal. And a great, though tiring weekend. I'm gonna go for a run now, then a nap, then....? Who knows (not the shadow)

King Leon, I did it. It can be done in a matter of months.


Opening Weekend!!!

The next few days are crazy! On Sunday, we're open for business at the Sunday Market in Ballard. I am nervous as hell, and hoping it doesn't rain, which is really something I shouldn't have to think about at the end of July, eh? But it's a reality right now....
On Tuesday, we were at the factory making ice cream from 5pm until 1:15am, and it was great once it was over. I am the kind of person that gets real worked up up inside- I psyche myself out- and then everything goes well, and it's all good again....I am really proud of myself that I made it this far in such a short amount of time, and hope everything goes well.
I am sure it will.
We're off next weekend, which is kinda good, since I will pretty busy at my (real) job, or I should say, the bill paying one. We're putting 100% of what we make back into the company. We'll just let the beast grow.

I have little time for much else, so if I seem absent, please just hang with me, and feel proud for me. The 1st step in becoming my own boss!


Soda Jerks and stuff

It's late-ish Friday night, and I'm chillaxin' after work. Well, I am actually waiting up for Dragan's radio show- I missed his 1st show last week when I was in DC. I thought that being up at 4 am was a little harsh, when I had to get up early and pack to leave for home....but it's still a bad excuse, since this show is his dream. He's on radio station 91.3 KBCS Friday nights/Saturday Mornings at 1AM to 3AM.

From the website: In Dragan’s own words, “Trans Europe Express will feature non-commercial electronic music from Europe, an eclectic mix of IDM, electro, ambient, experimental and other sub-genres of electronica. It ranges from soft ambient textures to abrasive noise.”

So if you're into abrasive noise, call Dragan. But if you're like me, you just want to hear some mutha-funkin' TIESTO! And if you're really medieval, there's even a show on for you, featuring the music of the darkest ages.

One more week until the Empire is founded. We've even looked at getting scooper hats, you know the old-fashioned soda jerk paper ones? Awesome, except they're sold in boxes of 1000....maybe good for the kids in the future....

I have yet to see my friend Aki since he got back, and this bothers me a little, I'll admit. I have been waiting for the Japanese gansta shit he got for me to rock, and it has yet to be seen by mine eyes. Urasai bakkaro! Korroz!!!!

Finally, I just called Morgan, whom I hadn't talked to in a a coon's age, as some say. While it was nice to hear his voice, it was an absolutely terrible time to chat, and that (without personal details) makes me sad- Morgan, what I miss most about talking with you is your insight, and I thank you more than you know for being (I can only assume) naturally attuned to that.

And finally, I will end on a truly sad note: Trever Santora will not be playing the role of "Russian Soldier #3" in the newest Indiana Jones movie being shot right outside his back door. George Lucas thought he looked too Italian. True story.


Ichiro Madness

At last night's All-Star game, Ichiro (from the Seattle Mariners for all the Kiwis reading) hit the 1st ever inside the park home run. He was named MVP, and has now won every award he could really ever win in MLB, except the World Series title.
5 years at $100 million dollars to re-sign a 32 year old player? Not worth it on the field, but considering he's such a big fan draw.....


It doesn't run on Biodiesel

I'm back in Seattle- been back for a couple of days, but it's been busy. Ice cream and thos things. We're going to have to push the release date back one week, so look for us at the Ballard Sunday Market on July 22nd. It also looks like our fruit flavor is going to be Apricot. We got a whole bunch of free, over-ripe apricots that we cooked forever till they broke down, and made this awesome, sweet-tart batch. Yummy!

Damon is booked for Seattle in October. I'm looking forward to this. Halloween party shenanigans! And I also hope I won't be so busy at work (like when Morgue came) for me to take off a day or two and do the Olympic peninsula. What do you want to do Damon?

My oldest-continuous-best friend, CP has just had all his years of toiling at the Boeing desk come to fruition. He sent me his pictures from the unveiling of the 787, the Dreamliner on Sunday. It's all composite, and more energy efficent than any other plane. But it doesn't run on biodiesel.......

He hopes it doesn't crash....but he only really worked on the storage bins, so we should be ok Chris....


DC Police State vs War Zone

Man, it has been a crazy trip thus far. I woke early to get coffee/wifi and re-connect with many out there, and to do what work I can remotely.

So here's my tale:
Once upon a time, there was an Alligator who left Seattle to travel to the sacred homelands of his his mother. The fertile, gently rolling hills of Conneticut beckoned to him, but his flight was cancelled, and he got to spend Player's Holiday (Thursday night) in Chicago. He was amazed by the 2nd Windiest City, with it's past wealth and glory hanging out at the edge of the Great Lake. He ate at Rick Bayliss' Fronterra Grill, an epicurean's delight. Traditioanl Mexican food was consumed-chili purees of perfection!

It annoys the hell out of me to write that way.....so I'm stopping that. Ok. Does anybody know that they don't make postcards of Cleveland? They don't. I found out when we had to be re-routed through there to get to Hartford.

The family was nice to see, some of whom (my cousins) were adults now, not little whiny kids. Very cool guys.
The wedding of my cousin was a dance-off supreme between me and my little sister. She thought she won, because she's so much cuter than I am. HA! That's what she thinks.....

Sunday was a nice brunch/bbq at my aunt and uncle's house in the country, and I made a nice dinner.
Then on Monday morning, Iris, Mark and I drove down to DC, through New York, New Jersey (very nice- you get to drive 85mph to keep in the flow) and such-a-short-distance-you-could-probably-measure-it-in-feet time in Delaware, then Maryland, and the Federal District of Columbia (whose license plates read "Taxation Without Representation").
DC is actually nicer than I thought it'd be. The Mall is very nice and cool at night- all the monuments are lit up, and whatnot.

Tueday I went to the Capitol, and saw probably 20% of the building. They don't let you into the chambers unless you have a ticket from your representative or senator...and I also saw the Nat'l Greenhouse and Native American Museum.
And then started drinking at 4 at dime wing night. Can anyone tell me how gross it is to know you were part of a $3 wing-fury? And half a burger.

4th of July was crazy. I cooked ribs and collard greens (Sorry Damon- yours were great, but mine were perfect.) We went to a BBQ, drank Canadian and Mexican beers, ate, bullshited, lit off fire crackers and bottle rockets, watched the big display from the rooftop of a million dollar condo, saw some guys get their fireworks taken away by the DC PD (DC is a Police State- I said so on the news-it's a long story), watched more crazy people blow up shit. It was this insane war zone in DC last night. I've never seen so much explosions in a city before. And people are just running around-the little pyros!

Whew. If you made it, good for you. This is binge-blogging fer sure.
3 more days in DC, filled with many museums and monuments.
Have fun kids.


The Other Coast

Got a whole grip of stuff to take care of for the Empire. Some of it was done today (btw- got the machine delivered, and it's all shiney stainless steel) and there's more to do while I'm away.
Which leads me to the fact that I'm heading out East for the next 10 days. 1st will be Hartford CT, and the wedding of my cousine Miles. Also included in that whole shebang is seeing the family on the other coast whose curse it is to see me every few years. Then on Monday, there's a long drive down to DC, where I'll be on the Mall for the 4th. Drunk. Probably pretty drunk, actually.

While weddings (and drunks) are mentioned in this post, I'd like to say congrats to my friend Leon and his girl Laura, who have gotten engaged. It's time to start thinking about the wedding feast's menu I'll be cooking.....

Good on ya, Leon.


weekend bonzai!

Whew! What a weekend! So chocka full of stuff.
Friday night, at work, I ate the most decadant thing I've ever had. Well, definately the most decadant in a long time. I won't say what it is, because it will ovewhelm most of you. It was apeshit crazy good.
Then I went out with Angie and saw Whitetrash Whiplash, who unexpectedly rawked. The guitar player fell from about 8 feet up during the freebird guitar solo- and kept playing. I then slept until 1pm.

I went to Carta de Oaxaca, which is very good, and will be on my "go back and have pozole again list." Oh, Ballard- you have some good Mexican restaurants.

Saw "Eagle vs Shark" which was easily the best film I've seen this year. Truly great stuff. Thank you New Zealand for that one. I highly recommend it to everyone that loved Napoleon Dynamite, and not to those that loved "Blade 2."

I then continued my gastronomic delights by having a banzai Japanesh dinner, consuming sushi of various types, sukiyaki, broiled black cod collar and takoyaki- basically chopped octopus dumplings with ponzu sauce. Yum.

Uhh....what next? Oh yeah, Sunday morning I went on an 8 mile hike to Rachel Lake in the cascades (12 miles past Snoqualmie pass). It started nicely, following a stream and passing through alpine meadows in a canyon. And then the end of the canyon was met, and a relentless ascent began, up over 1500 feet, and over the snow line. It was raining on us, and then all of a sudden, it was snowing on us. We hurredly ate our lunches in the quiet-snow-lake place, and more or less bolted down before we completely froze. It got warm quickly, which was nice, and finished 5.5 hours after we started.

And then Dustin cooked me dinner, featuring the 10 pounds of cherries he bought for $10. Cherry Sauerbraten (braised beef shortribs with cherry-shiraz sauce), crushed potatoes (last time he ever cooks purple potatoes), greens, and for dessert: cherry cobbler and cherry ice cream. And wine. Good wine. And applejack. Good applejack.

And sleep.


Bing Bang.

So Tuesday night dodgeball was pretty good. It's a fun game for sure, but it lacks the same fun-loving crowd that brought me into the group, and have all moved on. I heard there's another group, consisting of hipsters, playing earlier in the evening on tuesdays. I might check that one out, if I get off work early enough.

Solstice came and passed, nothing notable, but at least I'm not my brother Isak, who just went to Fairbanks, Alaska for his summer job. Where it won't get dark for another 2 weeks....good thing he's working 12 hour days- it'll help him sleep.

I went to karaoke last night, and perhaps I have a new spot. It's an Irish pub, and they have an average sized collection, but with some ecclectic selections. I sang splish splash. Lyrics to this childhood favorite can be found here. What other song has the line, "bing bang, I saw the whole gang, dancing on my living room rug."

Anyways, gotta go. I have to get ready for my trip back east next week this weekend, and plan on seeing, "Eagle vs. Shark" if I have time. Which I'll make for the movie.


1st night of Dodgeball

Yessiree Bob, it's the 1st night of dodgeball to be played by me since last summer. I am looking forward to it, and have been for the last couple days. It is truly one of my great regrets that the game wasn't conveyed as a mission to NZ. It really was too hard to find a spot, eh Morgue? Well, there's always the future.....

I went on my longest and toughest run yesterday, and it wasn't my legs that were sore afterwards, but some mirrored spots on my ribcage. Apparently, if one breathes too deeply, it'll get you sore.....hmm.

Downloading the new White Stripes album right now, and I got tickets to their show at the Paramount in September. It'll be the 1st time I've been there since my very 1st concert ever: James Brown. That was on Halloween night, age 16 with Trever Santora, 3rd row. The Godfather of Soul in full effect.

I also want to post something the aforementioned Morgue posted on his blog. It's a seemingly excellent high school teacher's argument on why smoething has to be done on climate change. I know it won't change any of this blog's reader's minds, since you're all down with the good side, but it's still an interesting concept.


Her foot got stuck in a TV.

So the last week went by without blogging? How'd that happen? Well, it's been a mix of exciting social events, the work thing, and interesting personal life developments....I don;t think I can recall the majority of the things that have gone on past, say Friday.
CP left town for the bay area and left me in charge of his dog and all personal major posessions. I used them well. You know chicks really like whippets?
It was also TD's birthday, which was a banger at Porta with the dance-off, loud music, happy rendevous between folks, and regretably weak drinks/long lines. (if there's 2 things I hate about packed bars it's those 2 things!) After hours unveiled TD's newest and by far best gift he received this birthday- a new TV which replaced his old one which had finally crapped out on him. It had started limping along about 2 months ago, and needed to be quickly switched on and off to "warm er up." And that got to take so long, that Tom would just go straight to bed when he came home, as opposed to fall asleep in his chair under grandma's afghan. So, yeah we got a good used one on Craigslist, and broke the old one. And then Angie jumped off a chair, and got her leg stuck in the TV. Yes. It got stuck, and ate her flip flop. And she left blood on the floor like a wounded deer.

I think it's finally safe to say there's no chance in hell that those boys are getting their security deposit back.

And Saturday was the solstice parade- you know, the major city event where dozens of people ride their bikes around naked? It was the 1st time I'd seen it, and in addition to the aforementioned fun, the bands, floats and just crazy people were a great time. Drinking outside and people watching. It was nice. I'm gonna have to be in it next year, but clothes on, and just going crazy.

Today my dad came up with my brother Isak, and we shot pool (my dad is apparently a shark- I never knew), ate burgers and watched Tiger play at Leny's Place. And then threw the frisbee....A relaxing day.

Ok!!! Enough, I must run!


Oly, it's in the water!

Went down to my hometown this weekend for my dad's birthday/returning stateside party today.
Last night I helped him move around all the stuff- the idea is that he's turning my former bedroom into the "media" room. He's ready to upgrade the TV to HD, and has the computer there (which is a needier replacement IMO) and also he'll record music in there if he likes....we watched Sleeper, the Woody Allen classic. It's so good because of his neurotic rants, and the scene where he beats down the pudding is my favorite.
*******BREAKING NEWS*********
Woody Allen Interviewing Billy Graham. It's pretty funny, and there are 2 parts.
So yeah, we had the party and drank piña coladas and had burgers and chicken. It was great. Man, that Billy sure took all the wind out of my post........whew.......
I've started running, but not because Damon might be here in October........


In the News

Sorry I haven't written much- I know you come here for the best insight, ever. But it's been an odd week, and we're hitting some crunchtime stuff with the ice creamery. I'll write something good this weekend- I promise.
( I have no idea where that came from)


War Chests.

It's so hot, it makes you want to eat ice cream. I went to the farmer's market by my house today, and got Okanogan strawberries (still 1 more month for the Western Washington ones) and Chelan cherries. They might have rushed them to the market a few days early, but they're still good. And people just GAVE UP THEIR MONEY WITHOUT THOUGHTS OR CARES for them. I know I did. I saw one stand where the cash was coming in so quick, they just threw it in a crate, making an impressive War Chest of twentys......

I then walked around Green Lake for the 1st time since moving to my new place. It was full of the beautiful and not-as beautiful people.



I just saw my dad for the first time in 258 days. He has returned home from travelling since the beginning of the year, and obviously for most of y'all, I was gone since September.
It was for only perhaps 45 minutes, but we ate ice cream (Empire Brand Double Brown & Cocoa Nib with Choco Swirl) and he showed me the list of things he's planned for the house.
It was excellent. I am going to bed now, a'ight?


There's Zombie Fish in the water!

I went camping up in the Cascades, out past Index and Goldbar on Hwy 2 this weekend. I went with some friends, and we got a very late start on Friday night, and the fact there was traffic in the middle of nowhere (why?) didn't help.
We hit the trail at about 9pm, and it was a 3 mile walk. I'm glad it was an easy one, with 500 feet gain.

We arrived at this lake in darkness, with only one other campsite (which turned out to be some drunk yelling at his kids for a whole day. He sucked to say the least.) filled and we got set and ate dinner over the fire. The next day it was alright weather wise, and we just lounged about, and checked out the lake area. It was just off the mountains, and was (when filtered) the best damn drinking water earth could provide perhaps.

Rain came after our big bon-fire bonanza complete with hotdogs, smores, bourbon and ghost stories (zombie fish). Sunday was damp, and I mostly stayed close to the fire after going swimming (ok, it was really a jump in, a yelp of "holy shit!", and a race to the shore and fire.) and doing the requisite camp work, like getting wood, which was scarce due to the rain. Sunday was curry night, and drama filled with some yahoos getting drunk and firing their guns. I will add that (some) are in the military, but that doesn't make it any better. But I did come away with 2 genuine MRE's, complete with 3600 calories in a meal. And tons of sodium. It's what you need for combat I suppose. Or you could live for 3 days off one.

And the hike back in/stuck in traffic/eating at Zeke's burger shack/hey the weather is really nice in the city!

I can't see myself going to the wingoff. I think I'll just eat those wings with CP......


Worst. Applicant. Ever.

I know this is pretty bad, but today an old resume cover leter was exhumed from the "I cannot believe this!" file. It was brought for comparison against a new challenger. I must note that PLENTY of terrible resumes come through ANY kitchen, due to English as a second language, or just plain dumb people. But I wanted to post this actual, and incredible piece for your amazement.

And if you read this, you are as bad as I am....

"Seeking long-term employment opportunity with Restaurant working the Kitchen-back of house, saute cook most looked aster, of course a desire. I have exceptional prior kitchen friendliness, not kitchen suddeness. Learning and training is an ongoing practice and I excel doing so. Education is my priority; student living, of course is a necessity. I take responsibility for all my tuition and school costs which includes; room, health and trasportation and student fees. I have a career interest analysis wisdom and virtue; also, I should mention I am an avid outdoorsman and rich at all of it. You can most notably recognize, I (name blacked out), and asses the formulation as a whole and extract the following qualitites, because you will notice that each division is evident, apart of who I am today and will be tomorrow. I have desire to achieve a task within a comfortable time fram, I possess the strength to achieve a reasonable request, competent and responsive to upper management. Prefer shared deadline as a team rather then forced to be singled out. Find that I get along with all races, genders and personality types; except for, backstabbers, gossipers and cowards. I am responsible and courteous, I expect nothing but championship quality, unless otherwise expected. Have experience researching controversial issues, current affairs, bibliographies, popular culture etc. I enjoy a fast paced heated enviroment with value and intensity. I excel with interactive busy work tasks, and pursue small and large business fundamental objectives. Don Dellilo writes... that, all of the hand written and word processed excess documents thrown out, are to be valued later not disturbed as garbage before..."


Why Morgue Owes me like 10 bucks!

Morgue accidently sent me nearly 8 gazillion texts. Actually it was about 75. From 6:08 to 6:22 on 5/12.

So really it's only $7.50. I'll let you buy me a beer at the next Mariners game we go to.

Also, Aki Ulmer owes me a Daewoo DVD player in my NEW (read: to be replaced in about 3 years....) 1983 Alfa Romeo Spyder (to replace the one he totalled). Damn the man that took that ride from me on a nice sunny day like today!

Damn him to Japan......


1st day off in 2 weeks!

Oh boy oh boy. I got to do NOTHING today. It was nice.
I went to a house party with a bad theme. I won't divulge what is was-I shouldn;t encourage it. But I dressed up as Andre Agassi. With the earrings and racket. There was plenty of the usual, except I found I am a complete natural at guitar hero 2. I now have something else to buy to waste my time on. And I look forward to it, for some reason.
This morning I ate at my new favorite breakfast place: Señor Moose Cafe in Ballard. Traditional Mexican breakfasts and coffee that was very tasty.
And I've lounged about all day, sleeping and listening to music. Thinking about ice cream.....

And still I haven't done a damn thing with my room. Leon, be proud that I was intimidated by the massivesness of Ikea, and left with NOTHING. I am building my bookcase this week I hope.


Nicaraguan Islands

So my Dad has been travelling since the begining of the year, but y'all probably know that. He's been writing some tales of his adventures, and here's the latest installment.

It's a tale of being on a small Nicaraguan island, and meeting a local. It's a good short story.

In other news, it's hot-ish today. And seemingly hotter in my new upstairs room (still unpacked). I figure what's the point if ya got no shelves to put the stuff on? Ikea tomorrow morning I think.


Working. Mom.

I am currently working tons, at my non-me job. But I will have a gazillion hours overtime (but not like the city light guys who made $164,000 in ot last year ON TOP of their $85k base.....makes me wonder why I'm not handiling power lines.....Leon?) that will make it great to justify buying a nice machine that freezes dairy and sugar into money.

Escoffier had a recipe for asparagus ice cream that I will make next week.

Happy mother's day to all you mothers out there.



Home Sweet Home

It is strange to think I have a place all of my own again. I know I had a home and an apartment in New Zealand, but for some reason this seems odd. I again have all my stuff, some of which I never brought out of storage for my last (super-choice) place. Thus, said items haven't seen daylight since January '05.
I have changed a lot since then, and it was a very different person I feel who packed those things away. Why did I keep this? And that! I forgot about that!

It's kinda cool, like a treasure chest.

I have started compiling a list of things I need for the room. It's a long one. Part of the problem is that I have either loaned things, or gotten rid of them. I need a couch. And a lamp. And a matress. And many other dumb small things you can live without, but make things seem nicer.
But on top of that list, are the letters, postcards and pictures all you kids will send to me.
I will email my address to you. (And if there's any people out there that read the blog that want to send me something, contact me and I'll give you my email address.)

And then, it will go on the wall and make me a happy Alligator.


Happy Cinco de Mayo

Enjoy. Tengo un gato en mis pantalones. Necesito queso para mi burro.

Man that mouse is funny.


Food Trends...of the FUTURE!

Today I thought of a conversation I had with Damon aka Devo after some drinks one night. The topic brought up why I was leaving New Zealand perhaps, because it brought up my opinion that NZ's food scene was at least 8-10 years behind what was going on here in Seattle (or at least, what the cool kids are doing here). Damon then asked me what he, and a whole nation have to look forward to.

I have added roasted garlic (blank). The flavor of roasted garlic into anything, ANYTHING will be inevitable. Perhaps I missed that one- that it already came and went, but that unmistakable, played-out, and not very good flavor will be popular at some time.

Other, perhaps cooler things on that list included: emulsions, foams, essences, things cooked sous-vide, purple potatoes, fancy mac 'n cheese, bold southwestern cooking mixed with tropical fruit (I'm looking at you Bobby Flay), infusions, and braised meat cheeks. Some of those are truly yummy. Mango-chipotle salsa is not.

Empire Brand Ice Cream by Epicurean Empire. Look for it soon at your farmer's market! Made with local ingredients. Featuring peak of the season produce.
Coming in August: Sweet Corn Ice Cream.
No more secrets will be revealed now.

What's your favorite flavor?



This was a weekend I felt kinda wasted. I won't get into the details, but I realized it's ultimately up to me, not others, to make my days off profitable.
The issue with my catering business at this point is scheduling, or more precisely, the inability to have the 3 of us have our days off match. Then add into the equation the fact that people probably want to have their parties on say, a friday or saturday night, and that can't be realistic for 3 guys in the restaurant business.
So, what do we do? Unfortunately, we cannot just quit our jobs, and make a living doing this, yet.
In my discussions with Dustin today at work, he started making a milkshake. (remember the phrase: it started with a milkshake) This particular one was made with Olympic Mountain "Totally Nuts About Bananas." I'll let you figure out what flavor it is....anyways, I remarked how unexceptional the flavor was, and how it's just lazy not to toast the nuts in the ice cream. Then I noted that really, this company is the only game in town, and perhaps Puget Sound when it comes to "high end" product for restaurants. And it's not good, generally. Their flavor list is impressive, but still, it's no Kapito Coast ice cream-or even close. Hell, Ben and Jerry's is better.
Perhaps this is a good idea, and it'd be lucrative. We can make ice cream in our free time, and put it in the freezer until needed. This is something to think about further....

Also, it seems I've found a place to live in the Ravenna neighborhood. I'll let all y'all know when it's final.


Menos el Oso y El Salvador

Last night I went to see the band Minus the Bear play. This is a band that Morgan's bro-in-law turned me on to in NZ. In fact, it was he who alerted me to their playing last night at the Vera Project, Seattle's only (I think) all-ages music venue. It had been a long time since I've been to a place that small, actually maybe never. I do have to point out that I'm glad I'm not a teenager anymore- you're embarressed about everything, including dancing in front of others. I made a large space with my insane dance moves, since no one else wanted to touch me....they rocked out though.

I got an email from my dad. For those of you who don't know, he's been travelling since the beginning of the year in Central America, mostly for pleasure, but has started volunteering with this community in El Salvador. I want to publish that email here, since it's a story worth knowing.

"Hello everyone. Time for another travel update. This one starts off with a bit of political education so hope you are up for it. I have been living for the past 3 weeks in a tiny farming community called Ciudad Romero in El Salvador. The city was named after the former archbishop Oscar Romero who was assassinated in 1980 (I think) in the capital city while he was giving mass. Monsignor Romero had gotten the ruling families of El Salvador ticked off because he was advocating for the rights of the peasant farmers to such outrageous things (heavy sarcasm here) as food and water and health care and a piece of land. All the land was owned by a handful of powerful families and they weren't in the sharing mood. His murder sparked a civil war that lasted about 11 years. The people in the community where I live were living in a rural community near the border with Honduras at the time of Occar Romero's murder. The peasant farmers loved Oscar Romero and he became a martyr to them after his death. A rebel force called the FMLN took up arms and started a revolution against the government. The kind of revolution where one side has sticks and rocks and 22 caliber rifles and the other side has tanks and bazookas and semi-automatic machine guns (most of which were provided of course by the US government). Not exactly a fair fight. The FMLN did have numbers on its side and a pretty tenacious spirit. But I digress.

The people in the community weren't really fighters. They were just families caught in the cross fire. About 500 of them fled their community and crossed the border into Honduras. But Honduras didn't really want any refugees as it was really poor itself and surrounded the refugees and wouldn't let them go any further. One of the people who related the story to me said at one point all they had to eat was mangoes for 3 days. The women couldn't produce milk to feed their babies. It was a rough scene. The international community took notice and sent some aid and the president of Panama agreed to take the refugees into his country. But the negotiations took months to work out so the people slept on the floors in community shelters and churches. Kind of like Hurricane Katrina only longer and even poorer conditions. Finally they got transportation to an area near the town of Colon. They lived in the middle of the jungle in palm thatched huts along a river. They had no cars. Their means of transportation was boats on the river. They hacked a town out of the jungle and lived on fruit and fish and whatever else they could grow. They stayed there for 11 years. Finally the war ended in El Salvador. As part of the peace settlement some land was set aside for peasant families to settle and farm and gain title to as owner. Not the nice land of course but at least land. So they were transported by boat along the Atlantic coast (Colon is on the Caribbean side of Panama) and deposited in Honduras. From there the whole group of them walked by foot for four days over the mountains and into El Salvador and down the Lempa River to where they thought they were going to be allowed to resettle. Well the government still had some reservations with the deal so the community was stopped along the road by tanks and had to wait there for three or four more days before they were allowed to pass. But finally, after about a 12 year exodus they resettled in El Salvador in this area near the Pacific coast in a valley along the Lempa River. They created Ciudad Romero and have lived here ever since.

By our standards in the US, the community is dirt poor. They live in cinder block houses. They do have electricity and most houses have a TV and stereo. Three years ago they got potable water that is relatively clean and safe. They don't have toilets, just outhouses. They cook over wood fires though some homes also have gas cook tops. The streets are dirt. Everyone has chickens. Some people also have pigs, cows, and/or horses. The men carry machetes and go to work most days in the fields or on projects around town. The women of course pretty much keep the whole thing going. They do the cooking, wash the clothes, buy the food, clean the house, mend the clothes, etc. Only a few people have cars. They get up about 5 every morning and work all day in this incredible heat (95 to 100 degrees) without airconditioning or fans. Any activity between about 8 and 5 in the afternoon makes you sweat. The nights are a bit cooler and everyone hangs out on the por ch in their hamacas. The kids play stick ball or whatever else in the streets. There isn't much in the way of activities so people do a lot of talking. They chatter away about anything and everything. Everyone knows everything about all the folks in town. I don't understand all of it as my Spanish is still not up to stuff. But I think you get an idea of the scene. People are asleep by 9 or 10 at night.

The thing that is hard for me to get my mind around is that the way they are living now is the best they have ever had it. I have only been here 3 weeks now and have to take trips to the mountains on the weekends to cool off and escape for a bit. The heat is really difficult to get used to. I am lucky because I have the resources to have these options. It is a hard life they have, to say the least. But because of their history, they are really strongly bonded as a community. The story of their exodus gets told a lot. They have a mural in the church that captures it and they tell the story to any of the volunteers who come to live here. They are extremely proud and incredibly well organized as a grass-roots organization.

On the work side of things, it has taken me a while to figure out what I can do to help. I started out with the idea that I would be helping them build a web site for the organization here. I approached it like any project in the states -- we identified what content they wanted, figured out an organizational structure, came up with a design. I created a simplified version of a design document showing what we were planning to build and presented it to an executive body. If we could get the okay to proceed, I was going to start building the pages. We hit a snag though. It turns out they already have a rudimentary site and thought we could simply modify that site with our proposed content and design and go down that road. But I looked at that site and it is based on a whole different design model where the site design is pretty much fixed and they don't have to know anything about html code or anything but just use an "admin" feature that allows them to update messages on the home page or add links to documents or photos they want to add on some other pages. So anyway, doesn't look like I'll be building the site as we talked about. So I have been talking with them about other options for things I could help do and we came up with a plan that I would create a basic user manual to provide as a handout to people in classes. Real basic stuff like -- the parts of a computer, how to turn it on and off and use a mouse, how to open Word and write a letter, how to go to the Internet and do a search on google, how to create an email account and send an email. The folks here are pretty much computer novices so we have to start real basic. The other issue for me has been their equipment is old donated computers from the states that must be 10 to 15 years old. I don't really have access to the tools I need to create the website or create this user manual here. So I am relocating to San Salvador to be able to have access to computers and tools I will need for this work.

So that is where I head next week to start working on this user manual. I will be incredibly relieved to get out of the heat and up into the mountains. But I will miss the people in the community of Ciudad Romero as they have been incredibly warm and open and kind. A fellow here has done some interviews of people telling their stories about their exodus and has written it down into a lenghty, rambling document. If time allows and my understanding of Spanish permits, I hope to also try to take this document and apply my editing touches to see if I can capture the story of this community. That is a bigger undertaking than I can complete in the last few weeks of my travel, but maybe it will happen later. It really an incredible story and one worth capturing.

I have started to write some stories of my own about my journey so far and have been in contact with the editor of an online travel magazine who has published one already and wants me to send more. Here is a link to the site with the first of these articles if you want to read it. (http://www.offshorewave.com/offshorenews/not-your-regular-9-to-5-in-antigua-guatemala-by-brad-andrews.html) You can check back to this site again later to read other stories as I get them written.

Hope all is well with everyone. I miss my friends and family back home. This has been a long journey. I am looking forward to being home again and am wondering what culture shock I will go through upon returning. Probably having to face the political environment back home will be one of the first challenges. Anyway, take care and let me hear from you if you are so inclined. "

That's all.




I had my 1st of the season asparagus. Grilled with lemon juice and white truffle oil, i.e. the way it was meant to be. I love it.
My bigger point is this: make sure you get out there, to a farm or local market and start eating the good stuff. What's being pulled out of the earth on that day (or the day before). It's yummier and supports a better big picture than the big markets that give you poor selection.
Support good local ingredients.


Roller Derby Chicks Are Hardcore.

Last night I went to see the fury of the Rat City Rollergirls. The roller derby is a time-honored American "D" sport* that pits girls on roller skates against each other in elbow-throwing-filled-flat-track-mayhem. There was a team from San Fransisco that came up to Seattle, and shockingly pulled off an upset in front of a drunk and rawkus Seattle crowd.
The best fight involved the 2 girls being seperated, and still kicking their skates at each other.


And then, it was time to go to West Seattle for a house party. It's waaaaay over thar. Why does anyone kid themselves about West Seattle being close to Seattle. I think it's the bridge mentality- if you have to cross a bridge, it's just too far. It was a good one, and I may have done the haka, this time respectfully. Or more so than I did in the past without the knowledge I have now.
It really impresses the girls....

* A "D" sport was a term coined by me to describe dodgeball. If baseball, basketball and American football are "A" sports in this country, and say, golf and soccer are "B" spots, and then "C" sports are all the Olympic events. "D's" are all the ones you played as a kid, like kickball, or possibly extreme croquet.



Today at work we listened to NPR's coverage of the Al Gonzales "talks." Although oft-dry, it was highlighted by grumbling senator's comments of outrage aimed at (one more) Bushie-on-the-ropes.
When asked repeatedly about really anything, SEVENTY ONE TIMES HE SAID HE COULDN'T REMEMBER AND/OR RECALL.

pause. think.


If YOU had gotten into trouble, for ANYTHING, ANYWHERE, and FORGOT EVERYTHING (conveniently) seventy-one times, would you still have your job/partner/anything else?


For someone to even think they can get away with this.....

...... GONZO (that's what I call him) HAS THE BIGGEST FUCKING BALLS EVER.
They must be the size of Texas. Or quite possibly Texas plus the panhandle of Oklahoma.


Sloppy Joes vs Mac n Chee

My weekend has been randomly filled thus far.
Went out after work on Friday, because my mind justified it. I hadn't been out for 2 weeks, and after working 10 days straight, it seemed right.

But Capitol Hill?

The place is soooooo packed, there's NO parking. At all. Anywhere. Within 10 blocks of where you want to be. And the club, even though it had pretty good potential, it sucked- the music didn't match the "Havana" moniker/motif. Perhaps happy hour on Thursday is better. And then I went to sleep.

I then made weenie-mac on Sat night. For the 1st time, on request. Angie/Jackie: you are gross to love it. Velveeta: Thou should be ashamed. And, when did you get put in the refridge section, when my whole life you've been on the regular shelf, next to the other pasteurized cheese products? Mac 'n chee will never be the same for me.

I got sunburned to day at the M's game, which we won, by many runs. They looked good. I then made sloppy joes. An Americana tour de force weekend. And then I watched...er....I mean wasted 20 minutes of my life watching this.

But Stephen Colbert's green screen challenge turned up some great stuff.


I now present WING!

Discover New Zealand's very own WING!

As seen on South Park!

Back in Black is amazing, nay, legendary.


The Calendar Business

Today I heard one of the best quotes ever, and it was being related to me, second hand from my friend Dustin.
He was telling me that when he was in Belize, he met a guy from the Okanagan -but the Canadian part. I never knew there was a Canadian part, as I always knew it to be a county in Washington State.
ANYWAYS, he replied to the question of "what you doing down here?" with "well I woke up one day and got a dear john, and I figured I should go someplace. Plus I work in a calendar factory, and it's slow time of the year for the calendar business."

I really like that idea, that that particular field of industry is quiet, until say September, then all hell breaks loose, and they print off a gazillion craptastic calendars of things like Tractors, Chickens and Donkeys.

In other news, I received a scare in my email the other day when I received an email from Beth Davie, who is on the SWAT team for NZ Police. All I saw was NZ Police, and thought something was wrong. She mostly bragged about how her new car is the best ever. I suspect only because it was formerly owned by me.
I also told her that if she had been crafty and/or mean, she could have gotten me good. All she would have needed to do was have a work mate send me an email saying that I have 4 outstanding speed camera violations that had to be paid. I would have believed her.

After all, I did come back from Napier in under 3 hours (Anne Davie stop reading) AND hit 185kph.

My last words would have been, "it was worth it." (Use Renegade voice.)



Wait for it....wait for it.....NOW!

Anne davie, you should be ashamed of yourself for being addicted to Fox News.


Call Me Renegade

I've decided that this is my new work nickname.


Cause it kicks the MOST ASS POSSIBLE!!!!!

Think about it. It is a name that means "an outlaw or rebel." That's OBVIOUSLY me. And you get to say it with a raspy-I've-smoked-2-packs-a-day-and-drank-a-bottle-of-fighting-cock-bourbon-AND-I-just-woke-up voice.

"Renegade." He looks up; the knife in his hand stops filleting the piscine flesh. "I've been looking for you....." He trails off when the outlaw glares him down and says, "well, I've been waiting."

See? It's f'ing awesome. It's somewhat "ala Caruso" (similar to ala mode, but not as tasty!)

And I get to wear a leather jacket...wait for it....with the tassles on the sleeves. Choice.

Now, replace the name Chuck Norris with "Renegade" and you have "Renegade Facts."

True (bliss).

Also, less rebellious is a reminder to all that Chicago Public Radio's show This American Life kicks ass, and should be listened to. Available here! I will bounty hunt you down if you don't check out this week's show, about your dream job (not quite available at the moment of posting this-I just listened to it at work).


More Baseball Stuff

Since it was opening night last night for the Mariners (who won, I'll post the box later) and Trever Santora sent me a great thing in my email, I have decided that this post will be dedicated to baseball.
1st off: Baseball Facial Hair Hall of Fame. Some of these guys were really good, and 6 are in the hall of fame, but their facial hair is natty as.

Rollie Fingers
2. Take me out to the ballgame is a great song. Morgue/half of Wellington know this!
Here's the version from Damn Yankees:

3. The Box Score. Not the same as "Dick in the Box." One can tell what happened in the game if they know how to read it, just like cricket. We won, and we're in 1st place. Now we only have to win 161 more games!


Happy Birthday Morgan

It's his birthday today. Say it verbally to him where ever you are, whover you are, whether or not you know him. It's the proper and decnt thing to do!
Or, you can make and consume a pavlova in his name.

All hail Great Morgue Pavlova!
All hail Your being cloudlike!
All hail Your deliciousness!

And so sayeth the Alligator from the book of Moose.

What was that?
Also, I want to thank The Tallest Ninja (patent pending) for buying the holy Moose-ness a drink in my name. I owe you one TTN, and will get ya one back when you sneak attack me from the sky.

Accompanying me on that dessert journey was my favorite-tist pasta dish, Spaghetti al Amatriciana. A Roman dish of tasty intentions, it's loose recipe is this:

Spaghetti noodles for your appetite.
Onions and bacon fryed up with slight color. Add garlic, and don't burn, for Escoffier's sake.
Deglaze with red wine, add thyme. Add tomatoes, and some beef stock or bouillion. Cook until things have made a tomato love in the pot, say 30 minutes. Add lots of fresh chopped flat leaf parsley, and mix with the noodles. It should not be soupy. Top with Pecorino Romano cheese, more parsley, and chopped hard boiled egg. Drink with wine and bee happy.


And thanks to Anne Davie for the insight into how young and free I am. I know and love it.


Baseball Post

Right now I am watching my 1st Mariners game of the year! (one of the last pre-season games) and you know what? It's always strange seeing the game and have the comforting, and familiar voice of Dave Niehaus chatting along with the sound of the crowd in the background buzzing. And then he goes bonkers when something happens, like a homerun, and you have to turn the volume down.
But what is most interesting about the game is that it becomes such an integral part of the summer, since it's a daily thing. So therefore, one can make the conclusion:

Summer is here, because baseball is here.

And also, fall will be here when the World Series comes in October, but that's a long ways away, especially for those playing fantasy baseball, but that's perhaps another post...


A new Perspective

Today I spent the morning and early afternoon at the Small Business Admin. downtown. I connected with much information and a member of SCORE, a group of retired executives that volunteer their time helping people with the problems of starting up. It was incredibly informative, and perhaps put a realistic perspective on an issue I've been coming to realize:

Starting too big.

What I want to do is going to be financially impossible, due to the lack of money. (if anyone wants to give me 200 stacks with no strings attached, I can make it happen.) I've realized that it's going to be best in the long run to start smaller and build up to the restaurant. It's another step, but will make things easier when it comes to getting the big money. And it perhaps is more profitable.

So, I've begun thinking smaller, and my group is going to discuss this matter tonight. It'll be good.


Helen Clarke Is HERE!!!!

Guess what? No, wait! Guess where your PM is?!?!


This was forwarded to me from my stepdad, I had no idea she was here:

Gov. Gregoire Welcomes New Zealand Prime Minister to Washington

OLYMPIA - Governor Gregoire today welcomed New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to Washington . Governor Gregoire invited the Prime Minister to visit Washington when they met during her trade mission to New Zealand in May 2006.

“Prime Minister Clark and I have built a strong working relationship and I am glad she took me up on my invitation to visit Washington ,” said Governor Gregoire. “New Zealanders and Washingtonians share a commitment to protect the environment and share the natural beauty of our geography.”
While on her trade mission last year to New Zealand , Governor Gregoire met with
Prime Minister Clark and other officials to discuss collaborations to prevent shoreline erosion and promote a culture of sustainability.
Seattle and Christchurch , New Zealand , recently celebrated their 25th anniversary as sister cities. The Seattle-Christchurch Sister City Association builds a valuable connection across the Pacific Ocean through a wide range of cultural and education exchanges"


You know what really chaps my ass? That Christchurch, CHRISTCHURCH is Seattle's sister city!

I hope no one from Christchurch is reading this blog at this moment.
And man, SHORELINE EROSION! Awesome!