Rainbow Warrior.

Who knew Dubya was such a pioneer? 

And, who is the Wellington Cafe Chick?  Inquiring minds want to know.


New Tent.

I got a new tent today.  I had been thinking about a new one for a few days, seeing as the crazy boxing day/end of years sales are going.  And with the exchange rate, I figured, why not at least take a look.  Yesterday I went to many different outdoor shops, some filled with crappy but large coleman tents-as big as a cabin sometimes!  Some had nice tents, and some had expensive, but seemingly of poor quality, meaning something was fishy...
Anyways, I decided I wanted a Mac Pac tent, which is a NZ brand.  I went to the store today, and found out that all the tents I was interested in were all sold out.  Not only in the store, or even the country, but in the stores in Australia too!  There were 2 tents on sale that were 2 person.  One was not a freestanding tent, and the least expensive tent Mac Pac made.  It was on the small-ish size.  Then the other was a heavy duty, 4 season Fairydown (also a NZ brand), top of the line alpine tent.  I bought the latter, and it's pretty hardcore.  I may have a better tent than even the one the famous Siberian explorer T-Bones McGillicuty has...maybe.
I pitched it this afternoon to check it's nuances out.

Also pics of NZ's Christmas tree, the Pohutukawa, namesake of the street I'm on.



How does one make their blog more delicious?!?

That's easy, add BACON!


Kiwis vs Mexicans.

Oh man, it's a beautiful day!  The weather is fine, oh so fine!
I've been taking it easy on this Sunday- a run, laundry, phone calls back to the peeps back home, reading in the sun....life is fine.
Yesterday we celebrated the day after boxing day, aka, Shadow Boxing Day.  I made a big Mexican brunch consisting of shredded beef in chili colorado, beans, pico, handmade tortillas and eggs, all topped with perfect avocados from up north.  The tortillas were not on a level of a Mexican grandma, or even a 5 year old Mexican girl to be honest.  But they tasted great.  It's not your fault Morgue- all issues were mine not knowing the secrets to teach you!
And then the piñata.  Oh what a beauty she was was!  A little black kiwi, filled with little treats, and ready to be demolished!
A few before me tried their best, but my 6th sense took over me, and I smashed that sucker like it was sitting still (which it kinda was...).  But we had great fun!

OR, the video form.


Box, Box Santa.

We had a great Christmas day yesterday.  Sunny, warm and easy.  I made my gramma's orange rolls for breakfast, then hung out during the day, nibbling on broccoli and cheese knishes.  We played games, drank mint juleps and beer, and ate Ben's Russian fudge.
And then the dinner came:
Lamb/Ham/Mashed Kumara/Asparagus/Roast Potatoes/Plum Puddin'/Trifle/Whiskey/Whisky

mixed up with ultimate frisbee/playground climbing.

It was a great day, except for the fact that I somehow messed up my knee with that frisbee.  It's sore, and I have a slight limp.  Sigh.  Oh well, it's Boxing Day!


What's Maori for "Piñata?"

Man, today was such a fine day weather wise.  I love that it was 72 degrees and perfect skies, opposed to the 18" of snow I heard about back home (and it's going to keep coming apparently)!

It seems like each time I'm about to embark on some headway on my project, I run into something that forces me to change direction....I can't get any momentum I feel.  The bottom line is this: NZ immigration!  Let me in or else!  I'm not crazy/diseased/wanted in my home country/speak english.  OK.
I'll keep on it though, even if that means I have to go towards the backdoor route of getting a skilled work permit which I have to pay for, as opposed to the business permit, which is free.
Perhaps I should apply for the ambassador job?

But in more positive and uplifting news: The Day-After-Boxing Day (aka, Shadow Boxing Day) fiesta's piñata is finally finished, and drying in an undisclosed location, to prevent any premature-candy-desiring-whacks!  It's a beauty!


Macho Madness Scares Beth Davie

I went to the house warming party at Matt and Miri's house last night.  It was the much-awaited "Fluoro" party.  And by fluoro, they meant neon.  It was great fun: lots of great music, great friends and the Macho Man's favorite whiskey, Fighting Cock.
Highlight: Actually SCARING Beth with my amazingly accurate representation of the Macho Man.
It was excellent.  There will be some pics later posted on this very web page.


Totara Flats

I went hiking out there at Totara Flats on Thursday-Friday.

(Clinking the photo will take y'all to the gallery....)

I started at the trailhead in Waiohine Gorge, and the 1st thing you do is cross over a really long, single occupant suspension bridge that's 200 feet above the river.  And it bounces.  A lot.
Then through muddy native forest for 3 hours, fording 2 streams, I finally got to the "flats" part of the walk.  I thought to myself, "it's pretty windy.  I should find the hut that's out here, because otherwise I'll be up all night with the noise."  I tried in vain to find the hut (I just found it on google maps, and don't know how I could have missed it, except for the really tall grass?) which wasn't signed at all.  I got kinda frustrated, but mostly because I was tired, and in searching for the hutt I wasted an hour or so by going farther that I needed to...
But I found a terrific place to camp.  It was a spot that had been previously used, and it had all that one looks for in a spot: a nice soft, flat ground for the tent, easy access to water, a fire pit already made, and most importantly, WONDERFUL protection from the wind.
I was so happy to find that place.  I pitched camp, had dinner, read, and made a companion/entertainment fire.  I slept pretty well.
In the morning, I was sore in my shoulders and hips from my bag, and my body rejected the idea of wearing the pack again.  I finally had to get going, as I had a time I had to contact Anne, otherwise, the police would've been called in to look for me...
It was the most strenuous hike back out.  It was hotter, more humid, and seemingly endless on the way home.  But I did it, and rewarded myself with an obscene amount of fresh strawberries from a fruit stand.  Yes.
In the evening I hung out with Morgan and we drank some Scotch.  Some really nice stuff-finished in Sauternes casks... We told stories of all sorts till he needed to go sleepy-time!



Not much to report other than my team destroyed everyone at pub quiz last night.  We won a $50 tab at the bar.  I really want everyone to know it was Miri who enabled us to victory.  Without her, we would have been last probably!

I might be going camping tomorrow, so there would be pictures up by this weekend....


Duck n Dodge.


I frickin' love it.  Dubya gets shoes thrown at him in Iraq.  Now reporters aren't going to be allowed to wear shoes during press confrences....

In other news, I'm starting my piñata today.  I'm either going to do a Kiwi bird, or a donkey or Tana Umaga.....


Rivers and Coppers

Yesterday I went out "tramping in the bush" as they say here.  Out in the Rimutaka Forest Park, the trail took me through native forests filled with podocarps, most notably Rimu  (That was for all the biologists in the audience).
After about 1.5 hours of walking, I came to the Orongorongo river, which was running rather low, and I ate a lunch I had brought of a ham 'n cheese sandwich, a banana and some wine biscuits, which have a rather odd name for American consumers...oh, and I brought along a thermos of tea, 'coz I can.
The weather was fine-ish until the last moments on the trail on the return.  As soon as I got to the car, the rain came down something fierce.  I'm glad I wasn't one of the group just starting their hike for the day....

And last night I got invited by a friend to the National Police Headquarters Bar.  The cops have their own bar on the top floor of their office tower.  (In nice weather) Great views and...

$3 DRINKS!  I needn't say more!


This is what it sounds like when doves cry.

Well I made some Posole on Monday night.  I joked that I might have been one of the 1st 5 people to make the classic dish of pork and hominy stew in New Zealand.  But I didn't really compromise, in fact, I would of been proud to have served it back home, even in a restaurant....
Anyways, I rant thus because of the "Mexican" food I ate for lunch today.  It was a place recommended to me, and I'm pretty sure I even heard Spanish being spoken in the kitchen.  The Oaxacan Tacos I ate could best be described as "Hippy Mexican,"  but it wasn't quite that odd.  It certainly wasn't Family Mexican-god, what I wouldn't do for that styles beans!
So in that vein, I truly miss good Mexican food, just like I did 2 years ago.  And you know what, so did Mark Twain!  Well, he didn't miss any enchiladas (if he had only known!) but he did miss amongst other things:

American butter, Saratoga potatoes, Connecticut shad, Baltimore perch, Brook trout from Sierra Nevadas, Lake trout from Tahoe, Black bass from the Mississippi, Virginia bacon, San Francisco mussels, Philadelphia Terrapin soup, Canvas-back-duck from Baltimore, Prairie hens from Illinois, and broiled Missouri partridges.

So there you go...even Taco Bell....ok, maybe not even Taco Bell....

Also I bought another hat.  The 1st step is admitting you have a problem...



The 1st is one I bought yesterday at a clearance.  It's  a Hills brand, made here in NZ, and I like it, but it'll be too hot for summer wear.  It also needs some work on the front brim.

I roll 100 TIMES HARDER with this one.  Remember?!?



I went to the Lower Hutt farmers market yesterday morning with my friend Damon, on recommendation.  It was pretty nice- utilitarian- but the selection was pretty homologous between stalls.  The prices were great too...
Anyways, I got an amazing lamb roast I cooked tonight for dinner tonight, and made lentils and a radish-cabbage slaw to go with.  The flavor was rich, and relatively mild for lamb.  I'm going to be ordering a side this week for the holidays...
And I went to the beach again today.  I just exacerbated my sunburn!


Beach Bum

I just got back from the beach, laying in the sun and swimming in the bay.  It was perhaps 70 degrees F, maybe 75.  Very warm, but not miserable.  And the water was pretty cold.
But I finished my book about Gondwanaland.  When was the last time you read a book about that place?
Dinner and/or trouble in town tonight with Morgan and Cal.  I've seen more of his siblings this week than him with his studiousness! 


Rawk Climbing

I am so impossibly sore this morning.  My grip is nearly non-existent, from trying to hold my body close to a rock and not fall off.  My legs never really recovered from the ultimate-stairmaster climb of the eastern hills over the Hutt Valley.
 There will be physical activity for me today, other than walking.  Unless someone needs me for a netball game.....
I took many pics from the trip, since I was much better at doing that than climbing the rocks (really, it was the massively painful shoes that were too small).  When the sun went down, the light became awesome, and the wind even awesomer!


Bush Wacked!

Man, I just scrambled to the top of the ridge on the east side of the Hutt.
It was a steep go up the fire break, but once I got to the top, the views were worth it, even if one side was Wainuiomata....

But then I got lost coming down.  The trail I chose to take was of poor quality, very washed-out, and very narrow, meaning I was running through hawthorne-like bushes.  I then hit the nicer, "more foresty" stuff.  But the trails were confusing, and I kept coming out into people's backyards!  I just wanted to get out of the bush.  But I did it, and treated myself to my 1st meat pie of the trip.  Man it was GOOD.  I love 'em!

And I replaced my camera- the one that I bought for this trip, and then washed the day I left for NZ.  It never worked after that...but I got a new one, with a nicer lens (a LEICA!).

I'm going to rock everyone at pub quiz to-nite!



Well, looky here!  Here I am sitting in the early morning sun of the Hutt Valley, just outside Wellington.  Yesterday was a VERY long day for me, as the flight staff woke everyone up at about 2am NZ time.  I got into Auckland about 4:15am, and did the whole immigration/bio security thing.  And then I had to WALK the 12 minutes between the international terminal and domestic terminal at the BIGGEST AIRPORT IN THE COUNTRY.  They have no train/tram/or visible bus.
But I jokingly complained about that enough yesterday.

I got into Welly, had breakfast, went for a run in the warm weather around the Lower Hutt, took a nap of 2 hours, and then got on making Thanksgiving dinner.
The stuffing was great, the asparagus PERFECT, and the pavlova transcendental.  The Davie family and friends were wonderful company.  I am thankful for having them in my life.
We just chatted until I crashed about 10pm, and got a good night's sleep.  I'm running errands today in the city, and look forward to having my hair become "windswept."



I am in New Zealand suckers!


Drawings=Cash Money

This is the best way to pay your bills:


I'm packing today!

I have to sort out my camping stuff to take, get my clothes in order, etc.
I was asked, how does one pack for 3 months of travel?
I answered, "the same as one week, you just do more laundry."

I don't think this person travelled much....


Weekend Update

This weekend was a real hoot as they say in some places. They don't say it here though.

Friday I had brunch with Chris, after his arrival from Japan. I'd love to tell some great story about him modelling in Japan, but alas, that story is mine and he was just there on business. I pointed out that he's the only one I know that eats corned beef hash for breakfast, and he pointed that I'm the only one HE knows who eats biscuits and gravy....mine is tastier.....
Friday night the bad weather came in while I was eating uninspired Italian food with Emily. We then rolled to the Zoo, the Eastlake Zoo Tavern that is, and played long-ass games of pool.
After that, we waited at Bush Garden for Aki and his girl, who were in town for a conference Saturday. We were treated to some INCREDIBLE karaoke talent at Bush Garden (Bump n Grind by R. Kelly was on point).
But none of that matched me when we went to Venus Karaoke, and I sang a ton in the private booths. Waylon, Elvis, A-Ha, Haddaway, and "a whole new world" from Aladdin were all hits.

Saturday was finishing up my Empire business. I am officially retired from that enterprise. I can now say I'm a small business entrepreneur as opposed to an owner....
In the afternoon, I travelled with Emily to Whidbey Island, tracing much of the same route I did with Damon when he visited me a little over a year ago. Back home for dinner and a movie, and an earlier bed time than Cal bragged about on her most recent blog post! (9:30)

Sunday, today, was to be spent cutting down a large tree with my dad, but he got cold feet, and we did some other cutting of wood instead. I was all gung-ho about it, and was quite disappointed I didn't get to use the chain saw....
We went disc golfing, and I lost one in the water, right after my dad said, "don't throw it in the water!" I owe him a new disc. After that we played pool and drank a beer, and watched the football game. I also learned how to play backgammon.

Phew. Tomorrow I'm driving to Seattle to sell some Alfa Romeo parts I've had in my possession since I had my Alfa...how many years ago? 5 I think....



So Fresh and Clean

You noticed it already:  A brand-spanking-new format.  Props to T-Bones McGillicutty, aka Trever Santora for transforming my blog from looking like something millions of people have to a custom-with-drawn-by-me art.  Notice the tattoo?

I'm going to Seattle for the weekend- hopefully going on a hike on Saturday, provided that it's not snowing too heavily up in them thar hills known as the Cascade mountains!

Talk to y'all later!



I am currently kickin' it old school style in my home town of Olympia.  It's the longest spell I've spent here in probably 4 or 5 years.  It's changed a lot in some areas, and it's still the same in others.  I guess that's nothing special....
I went down to Portland to see my friend Meghan this last weekend.  I hadn't seen her in over 2 years, which blows my mind.  She had wanted to come up to Seattle for Halloween/Macho Madness, but was unable to get her shift the day after covered.  So I suggested that I go down there, and bring my costume, and then we could go out to celebrate Halloween.  After dinner (choucroute with 4 kinds of pork in it!), and many drinks of a Portland made apple brandy (very nice/very strong) with a High Life back (very classy) I dressed up.  And then Madness happened.  Pictures below:

And then we went out into the night, with me using my unique combination of ridiculous charm/mild harassment on the ladies.

And then the worst hang-over in a long time.  A pic with Meghan right before I left:

She's wearing the great Engrish shirt I bought her in Japan when I was 20....

Now I'm back in Oly, tying up loose ends, working in the yard for my dad, running, and working on my future project(s).  I feel like....hmmm....is it vacation, or just this weird "limbo" period?  I don't know.


...And we're back!

I'm back from my New England trip visiting family and friends.  It was unusually warm too- almost 70 degrees one day in Syracuse.  And mostly sunny, although it was about 2 weeks behind the prime New England leaf color.  (But I found 1 tree to take a photo of....)

Anyways, up in Syracuse, I hung out with my great friend Aki, and his wonderful girlfriend Vanessa.  We went to a German dinner and pub quiz the night I got there.  Pub quiz was hard- I think designed for people who are going to a major university for an advanced degree (Aki is in law school).  Also done in "The 'Cuse" were watching a trouncing in flag football, making some dinner for a bunch of people, reading "The Island of Dr Moreau" for the 1st time, and going to a place called Funk 'n Waffles.

I then returned to Hartford to stay with my grandparents and see my Mom's family.  I had an assortment of aunts, uncles and cousins to see over the days, and we enjoyed fine meals together.  It was good to catch up with this side, since I see them once every 2 years on average...
And now I'm back.  It's the beginning of the last days for me.  Time will fly quickly, I know.  I feel like my schedule the next 2 weeks is already full, but I know there'll be plenty of time wasted on the internets for example...
But the last days, sad for some I know this, but for others....well, let's just say that they'd better be ready for THIS.

Waffles and I'm just funky.
With Aks the Fox
Cheerleading with the dog, Remy



Away from Seattle

I'm currently on vacation back east. I've seen an old friend up in Syracuse, and am in Hartford, CT with my family. Not much else in terms of exciting things-I'll blog when I get home on Thursday...
Enjoy yourselves.



America, my faith in thee is re-deemed!

6 Time Heavy Weight Champion of the World!

With my friend Nicole, the dead doll that was loved too much.




That's really only the only term to use to describe Friday nights' action.  Pure madness.
I left for the party at 8:30, and was on the early side of the guest arrival.  As an side note, the party was a block away from my old house in Montlake.
I went with my friend Nicole, who was dressed as a doll who got "loved too much."  The party featured 5 bands, opening with a banjo/fiddler combo.  The banjo player was a 30 year old professor from UW I was told.  Then the people started showing up, and I became, well, let's just say the only thing I could be described as is, "on fire."
Macho Madness started fights (with lots of foot stomping enhanced punches), told stories (I will not eat green eggs and ham Sam I Am! Yeah!  Uh-Huh!), to a screen test with Sofia Coppola (To be, or not to be, that is the question! Oh-Yeah!  Uh-Huh!) and just generally captivating audiences.
All with half of a bottle of Fighting Cock brand bourbon.  It's what kept my throaty voice possible all night.
There are other tales to tell I suppose, but they'll be best done justice to your face, as opposed to here....
One last note:  When I started chatting up the hottest Sarah Palin at the party (there were 2 or 3 uninspired women....) I told here that as my tag-team partner, if I got killed she could have my heavy weight championship title without ever needing to challenge for it!  Her boyfriend/Worst McCain ever didn't like that much.....Republicans, whad'ya ganna do?!?



I'm sitting in my room which seems 98% empty.  And as soon as I wrote that sentence, the song I'm listening to had the words, "seems like I'm running on empty."  Funny.
Yeah, today I got up early and started the long day:  Take the biggest load to Oly, go to the goodwill, sell my bed, and drop a couple of things off at friend's houses.  And glue all my tassels on my costume.

As Morgue suggested, tomorrow I  become a full time Macho Man!

And clean.


Last Day.

I get to go into my last day at work in a few moments.  I am excited, to be sure.  Tomorrow:  Unemployment!

Went to a great dinner on Monday, but  was be blown away at how much it cost.  And I didn't even have to pay a dime- I was taken out by the chef of the club, and it got expensed...but seriously, what's the deal with chefs just over-charging by so much?  I would never take someone there, if I was going to be the one to pay.


Going back.....to the future!

I've been long over due in mentioning this here, but to some they know already:
This will be the condensed version of my tale.
I am selling my ice cream company.  I decided this a long time ago.  My life had some changes in it, that made me put everything under the microscope, and I realized that I'm the kind of person who needs to have all my successes mine, and all my failures mine too.  I cannot deal well with people who don't live up to my expectations.  So I knew then that I had to start on a solo project.
I also grew tired of my pay job, and realized I was going stagnant there.  I gave notice that I was leaving, and have 3 days left on my tenure.  They are losing the best sous chef that they ever had, as they claim, but my contention is this:  I just did the job.
For the month of November I am camping, traveling to visit family on the East Coast, and hanging out with my family in Olympia.  The day after Thanksgiving, I get on a plane to New Zealand.  I will be there at least until February.  I have little in the terms of definite plans for NZ; mostly I am going because I feel like arriving there will end "the current chapter" of my life (which has seen tremendous highs and crappy lows...).
So I look to the future!



David Sedaris in the New Yorker on undecided voters:

"To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”
To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked."



So my friend CP tipped me off on this:
A guy who is a baseball statistician of the highest caliber- Baseball Prospectus*, has been blogging about the election using algorithms he's created.  Obama has a 96.3% chance of winning, based on simulations in conjunction with polls and looking at the electoral college!

*Baseball Prospectus, sometimes abbreviated as BP, is a think tank focusing on sabermetrics, the statistical analysis of the sport of baseball. Baseball Prospectus has fathered several popular new statistical tools which have become hallmarks of baseball analysis. 

And that's why you're just visiting!

See what boredom finds you at work!

I may have to admit I have a problem if I'm still posting Macho Man clips in another month.



I'm eatin' ma pie that I made last night for breakfast. Is there really anything finer than a cup of joe and a slice of pie for breakfast? Well, sure, there probably is, but it's simplicity is brilliant!
I made an apple pie after I devoured my crunchy tacos for dinner. Man, those take me back to the day!
Back to the pie!


Free Time? What is this??!?!

This was such a strange weekend for me- there was no ice cream work to do. With the season being over, I had Saturday completely free, and the morning of Sunday open. I was overwhelmed with "free time." What does one do with this stuff? It made me almost uncomfortable, I've become so unaccustomed to it...
Friday night I went out with some friends to a reggae/hip-hop show, and that was pretty fun. The whole crowd was different than the other shows I usually go to, but it was super positive, and everyone I met through my friend who brought me out there was cool.
Saturday was college football/working on my costume/dinner party. Lazily paced for sure.
Yesterday, after some morning laze, I worked at the pay-job, then left to have beers with a friend from work at the pub across the street. After seeing the Hawks get smoked (they truly are pathetic this year), and the Red Sox lose to the Rays in the ALCS, we were depressed (by the way, setting up the least exciting World Series Ever, Philly vs Tampa Bay).
So, Mike called his friend thats the chef de cuisine at Tilth, a fine dining establishment, and we closed that place down over the best meal I've probably had this year.
I capped off the meal with an AMAZING '68 Madeira, that was so sexy, I proclaimed "I want a cologne that smells like this."
And then I had some bourbon too....(for a total of 2 digestifs)
It was a grand Sunday night, and this post will not do it justice now!


From the top rope.

OK. I was REALLY bored at work today, and started watching old videos of Macho Man matches....
This one is FANTASTIC!

Seriously, the ending is incredible.
I just add to my Macho Man costume each day.

I've decided I will be jumping off of lots of things.

Also, I've discovered the kids show I wish I had cable to watch:



The local DJ suggested searching this one out. So I did.



Had to work today, which was supposed to be my day off.
I hate working for other people- the whole "subservient" thing of the clubs kills me....
Anyways, I've been working on my Macho Man voice, which has been racking my throat something fierce.  But slowly, it's handling it better...soon, I'll sound like the real thing.
I probably need to just drink a massive amount of whiskey that night to "relax" my throat...

I'm working on my costume tomorrow....


I can't sing, and I can't dance, but I can make romance!

ask me again.

I figured out what my Halloween costume is going to be.  (And its not Lil' John from all the "whats?!"

I should say, OH YEAH!!

You ready for a little Macho Madness!?!?
If you really want to be entertained, just watch a few of the Macho Man's interviews with Mean Gene....
180 degrees!  Sugar is sweet and so is honey!  And the beat goes on!  The honkey tonk man is out of line!



'Mater Mania!

Much has been happening in the soup world of mine recently.

I made my famous Masa Ball Soup. This one's gonna make me millions!
Today I made my Caldo Gallego, using sausage I made with my own 2 hands. Fantastic on a cool autumn evening.
Pics from my run in with Emily's tomatoes the other night for the masa ball soup:

The last one is after I poked myself in the eye with the tomato eyes...

And be glad we weren't making 'mater cake, where you take a box cake mix and add some Cambell's Condensed Tomato soup.
I think I just threw up a little in the back of my mouth thinking about it.....


I have turned to the dark side.  I got a new camera, and it's not film!  I cannot believe it, since I've railed on digi's for years.  But when an entry level camera is so cheap and shoots 8 megapixels, I can't deny it's purposefulness for quick snaps.  I won't be making art for sure...
But here's some pics of the Empire Ice Cream Van, or Vanpire as Trever suggested...


Veep-ers, Creepers

Last night at work, we listened to the vp debate.  I was amused by the things Sarah Palin said, or I should say, failed to say.  When she at one point boasted she wasn't going to answer the questions that the moderator asked of her, then she in effect, lost the debate.  She repeatedly turned answers to questions towards "Alaska is an energy producing state.....ENERGY INDEPENDENCE!" from questions regarding say, foreign policy.  When the only foreign policy experience you have is that Russia is kind of close, and Canada scratches your back, then great.
She brought no actual facts and numbers really, and the ones she did bring were de-bunked by Biden.
I don't need to go on, as everyone reading this blog feels the same as me (I hope).

But is it possible to one day have a more idiotic president than Dubya?  Scary.



Monday and Today are the last gasps of summer.  I can tell.  It's sad, except for the fact that I won't be here for the cruelest winter has to offer.  The leaves are turning and/or falling.  The nights come early, and in the mornings, the air is crisp.  I took out the garbage & compost this morning in my sandals, and my feet got numb from the dew (on the long grass I have to cut tomorrow).
It is always summer in my heart though.

And then there's this... Seriously McCain, you picked her? Tina Fey's impression in a side by side comparison against the real (confusing) thing.


206 Hip Hop

Last night, I got to go to the Blue Scholars/Hieroglyphics show at the Showbox, on the guest list. I went with my friend Nicole, who is actually the reason I got in for free- she knows the guy that runs the sound board for the Blue Scholars. They ripped it, in front of an absolutely insane hometown 206 crowd. It was also a pleasure to see the classics Hiero, minus Del the Funky Homosapien though. I've loved those guys since I first heard their album '93 till Infinity, in say, '96....
It was also the 1st show I've been to for a long while- I had forgotten how much I enjoy shows.
And today, I sold the cream, went for a run, and watched the Sunday night football game which just ended.
Alright, to sleep!


Girls Divide By 2.

Do yourself and be prepared for a few things after going to Kenji Ulmer's party entitled: Risky Wager-Whiskey Rager.

Well, first, let me explain the name. When one showed up, they had to roll a die (6 sided for those taking notes. Not 20!) and whatever it landed on, you had to take that many shots of Rich & Rare Canadian Whiskey. Do not be fooled: R&R does NOT have either of the advertised attributes!
Girls divided by 2.

So the things you need to be prepared for:
-Being hungover. I was thinking, I drink whiskey like an old chap! Guess what? I drink it more like a young, reckless chap.
-Have coffee. I have none. None! Or milk. I have to go to the store when all I want to do is cocoon myself in my sleeping bag and watch tv.
-Have a big bowl of soup handy too while you're at it. Maybe I'll get some soup too at the store.

I've gotten guest listed to the Blue Scholars tonight, one of the top 2 Seattle hip hop acts (the other being Common Market). I'll report how that goes down.


Let's Keep It Real

I've got nothing new. Sorry. I'm so lame.

I SWEAR I'll come up with something....



I watched the movie "Be Kind Rewind" last night. It stars Jack Black and my favorite MC Mos Def. They re-make a bunch of popular movies in it, since the tapes all got erased. The call it "Sweded." Since it takes them time to make the movies, that's their excuse- they have to come from Sweden. Here are some shorts from the internet:



Rush Hour 2:

And then you need to watch the user Sweded internet videos. Predator? Yes.


Horned Death

I just got home after spending the day out at my friend Mike's new house in North Bend dealing with the elk he shot over the weekend.
The sucker was a big one.  There was about 500 lbs of meat to deal with.  I butchered while he ground.  The problem was that all the meat looks the same when it's as lean as elk.  There is probably less than 5% fat on the animal.  And it wasn't gamey at all.
So most of it got ground or cut into stew meat.  And some of the grind got made into spicy Italian-esque sausage.  There were a few steaks cut, and a few pot roasts wrapped.  For lunch we had a barbarian platter of choicest cuts, and then got back to the sausage making.  It was a mess, and not the preferred cold conditions.  I joked that he probably wished he'd never shot the thing.  Which, btw, took him 2 days of tracking.  He slept out in the open on the ground, and had only a fun-size kit-kat bar as food, since he never planned on going in that deep.  I saw some of the video, and he went nuts, like a soldier in the jungle.
This is what he shot:


Pickled Beans

Sorry for the lack of action round these parts....you know how it goes, right?  Still love your old pal 'gator right???  I hope.
What's the news?  Had a long-is week, since we had the compounding problems of not placing a dairy order the previous week (to have ice cream mix for the following week) and the dairy then not having cream on our scheduled day.  So we were behind, making ice cream on days I'm not used to...
Last night I  had the evening free, and spent part of it laying in the park with iced tea and lemonade on a blanket, watching some teenagers get busted by some bike cops for smoking pot.  Then I got to roll my friend's mom's Mercedes all night.  You don't know know how much restraint it took me to not go ridiculously fast on the freeway when there was an open stretch ahead of me.  Those cars were designed for the autobahn, no doubt.  It's probably a good thing I drive the dart- it will never be able to go 140 mph.  
Today we rocked it at the market, selling the most ice cream EVER.  EV-AR.  I was on fire kids.  And then Tom and I celebrated with $3 Bloody Marys at King's Hardware.   Mine had extra pickeled veggies/no salt on the rim.  I forget, do ya'll drink a good bloody mary down in NZ?



I feel like I've failed to blog not for the lack of desire, but just for the lack of stuff going on....
I had to do the work thing most of the weekend, but was super-excited to get Sunday morning off, so I could watch the Seahawks game.
What a waste of my time, as they got rickety-rocked by the Bills.  I turned off the game before half time- their offense wasn't doing anything....
Last night I hung out at my sister and brother in laws; the first time in a while.  I feel like I don't ever need/want to go to the Eastside these days- that there's nothing there except them.  And it's so far, or is it- 20 minutes with no traffic, and only coming home after 9 can that be guaranteed.
We played bocce ball, had dinner, and listened to my bro's new-ish stereo that really rocks.  It's so good, one can hear the noise of the lips of the trumpet player.  It was almost a "fuzzy" noise that on a lesser setup would have been considered acoustically poor.
And I'm not going into work today- taking a sick day, even though I ain't sick.  I have to finish putting in my new carpet in my car, a project that was conceived maybe 9 years ago, right after I installed the shitty old carpet myself.  My dad will be so pleased when he sees it!



I went and saw these guys (different poster though) last night:

It was mayhem. Check out the wrestlers!
Title match was between Ronald McFondle and Histeria. Barack Obama came out and fought off John McCain who had tried to turn the outcome in his favor. But he got Ba-Rocked!


Basque Birds and Drunken Aliens.

Man, oh man, oh Manischewitz....
I headed to a few new places yesterday after work, and revisited some old ones in hope of, I suppose, to re-capture past glories.
I first went to the whisky bar.  Guess what you do there?  Unfortunately, fighting wasn't on the ticket at such an early time of the day.  But I did get asked by a bum if he could $200, because he's high on dope and doesn't want to do anything else, especially work.  Nor could he, because he was high on dope, as he stated multiple (and quite honestly) many times.  I suppose it's worth a shot- I should ask random people for $200 too.
I then got excited to go to Txori, a Basque restaurant, to drink txakoli and eat pintxos.  The space is everything I'd love to have: Small, light and interesting.  More towards the minimal in most places, but a rustic shelving system housed everything behind the bar, creating a contrast.
The food and drink: fine, but like the chef's other venture, waaaay to expensive for what you actually get.  I'm glad I went, but I'd never go back again by my choice.  When you know what food actually costs, it can drive one insane as to see it be sold.  And by the looks of it, others have noticed too: the place was dead at peak dinner time.  But maybe, since it's a bar first, the crowd will arrive later.
And then the rest of the night was kinda uneventful, except I talked a lot in my to-be-halloween-character's voice.  I am going to be an alien in the 50's mold: green skin and silver suit.  I will talk something like a robot, and the alien's whole deal is that it just wants to be taken to your coldest, tastiest, malt-based beverages, not your leader.


Hardcore Rain Camping.

I'm back.
Short story is: It rained.  Lots.

T-Man and I hiked into the lake area, under a constant shower.  I wore boots, Trever wore flip-flops.  That's right.
We drank tea, and hunkered down in the tent, and I attempted to dry out my socks.  You know they're not going to dry when you wring them out multiple times, and every time they seem to yield more foot-scented water than before.
This morning we hiked out, and I slipped.  I think that's when I lost my fuel bottle for my MSR stove.....suck.
Most hardcore moment of the hike: stripping down to our skivvies, and wading across the river in cold waist high water.
All in all, it was fun, and relaxing.  Always nice to be away from people, even if it's ridiculously wet, and your friend doesn't bring a sleeping bag.



I'm going camping in the morning.  With the T-Man, no less.  Will inform of results on return!


Taj Mahal was drunk.

You know what is a good Monday night activity?

Taking yourself out to dinner, solo.

I went to an Indian restaurant, ran up a tab for 2, and read.  I quite enjoyed that, and you will too.
Today was boring, so there's nothing to report...


Vacation to Bolivia!

Man, what a week.  I've been hard at work since I last checked in.  Actually, I haven't really, and it's on the radar of the big boss that I'm not working my 40 hours/week as stipulated by my contract.  My argument is this:  We're not busy enough to warrant me being there 40 hours and/or, I am so good at doing my job, it doesn't take me 40 hours to do what most people can do in that amount of time.  Basically, I'm not changing much....
I've been hanging out, and doing the ice cream stuff.  The usual.  We've started selling at Theo chocolates, where we get our chocolate from.  There's a freezer in the retail store- just one more notch in the belt.
I just got home from having dinner at a co-workers parent's house for dinner.  I met her mom yesterday- she is Bolivian, and she said she wanted to cook me a traditional dinner.
I had 2 different kinds of freeze dried potatoes, one white (they're washed in glacial water) and one black (they're dried on the alto-plano, under hay and stepped on by poor people).  We also had a chicken stew, and the Bolivian equivalent of a Pisco Sour, made with some booze called Singani, made from Moscatel grapes.  We also talked of Che Guevarra and his exploits....
Another week tomorrow....


Marathons and whatnots

I am home from a marathon happy hour session with friends from work.
Highlights include:
-drinking multiple Mai Tais.  They're a great freakin' drink, rarely consumed regularly outside of the Hawaiian isles.
-Choosing my halloween costume: The Intergalactic Explorer on an Earth research mission who is also an alcoholic, female earthling-chaser.  When I do the voice it's really funny, I swear.  "Take me to your coldest malted barley-based beverages!"
-Playing pinball next to a hot/sassy blonde with a tattoo of the virgin mary holding rosaries that have an ice cream cone on the end of them.  Really.  She owes me a drink too.
-Having a #3 dog at Shorty's Coney Island.  Best hot dog experience of the summer.  Bar none.
-Having a Dick's deluxe and vanilla shake for the 1st time in 2 years with my best friend Aki, who is leaving for Syracuse shortly.  We reminisced over past experiences.  To past experiences!


Heat Wave

It's too hot to write anything....
except that the van is finished, pics will be posted soon, and that I watched Superbad last night.  It's got some incredible moments, really.  The scene when McLovin is revealed in ID form.  I love the line, "It was either that or Mohammed."
Watch it if you dare, because it is quite crude at times...


Sunny Days.

I found myself with little to do today, meaning no work at all, and the sun brilliant.
So I ran.  Through the arboretum, Jackson Park, and then up the hill to Interlaken.

And then I swam, after returning to my car, and lounged in the sun, actually tanning myself.  All previous sun exposure this summer: In the form of Farmer's Tan at the (ironically) farmers markets....

I had "chopped steak" burgers, a new theory on burger perfection tonight, and then went to see "Tropic Thunder." 2 surprises: Tom Cruise was enjoyable for his part, and the opening was ingenious.
I can't suggest nor dissuade you from seeing it though.  I spent $10 for a film I'm indifferent about...


Brews for You's

I went to my obligatory Mariners game yesterday with my dad and my brother.  In a lost season, er, a REALLY lost season for the team, I was only slightly optimistic they'd win.
They got smacked up.  Really bad.
But it didn't rain, and the beer was cold.  We played some billiards after the game, and I was once again reminded why I cannot play my dad.  He's just too good.
Then I watched this Israeli movie about an Egyptian band that gets mixed up in their destination's name on a goodwill trip to Israel.  They end up in a po-dunk town, meeting some interesting people.  It had some insanely beautiful cinematography, and some crazy akwardness between the characters.
Wow, I sound like Morgue...


I am the greatest!

See what I've done now.

That's right people. I am thy god!
Being part of Seattle Weekly's Best of 2008 rocks.
I think Empire Ice Cream gets a plaque. It'll be my second, after the Washington State Beef Council's "Steak Martini Challenge."

For those of you who've been privileged enough to hear that epic yarn, I toast you for indulging my story telling!

Polenta Bread

The guy who hounded us for a year about licorice ice cream (but never got it ultimately, when I realized wild licorice root really just infused a dirt...er...an "earthy" aromatic) brought us this bread a few weeks back.
It was INSANE.

I thought he was a pro baker, it was that amazing. And then I found out he's just a retired software engineer with lots of time on his hands. I talked him in to making the recipe, which he did by feel. And he gave me one. In metric. I thought that was so odd....
I baked it at work yesterday, and it came out pretty well. I love the flavor and moistness, but it's structure was too dense. Nevertheless, I made superlative grilled cheese sandwiches with an Italian sheep's milk truffle cheese for dinner. Also in food attendance: A tomato, basil and sweet pepper salad and nectarine-blueberry crisp. Oh, and some Austrian hefe.

Just another Tuesday (very hot!) night.


Sumo Pizza Cats.

My weekend is over, and another week starts.
Our super secret flavor was a big hit: Blackberry sorbet and brown sugar super swirl. Delicious!
I made pizza last night for dinner, and I've realized people at home cannot ever make great pizza dough. Firstly, no one in their right mind would publish a good dough recipe in public domain. Secondly, no one at home has the patience or industrial mixer required to really crank on the dough to make the gluten necessary.
I put garlic jalapeño cheese on my pizza, actually, everything that was a topping was from the farmer's market. Tomato sauce, cheeses, sweet peppers and basil. If only I had gotten some sausage....

And the wiki that I spent too much time reading: Sumo



Utter failure last night, I admit.

I feel ashamed to let you all know that I haven't made a pavlova in a very, very long time. Over 6 months, and maybe over 9.
I used to make them weekly! And I got to the point where it was all done by eye. And I just did it by eye last night. I also whipped the whites by had- or I should say my friend did, but we got to the right place, or so I thought.
The pav had a poor structure, and the sugar "bled out" some.
Plus I put in like 3 times the right amount of vinegar.
Actually, thinking back, it was the vinegar....
I didn't serve it. It died a hot water death.

So I ate chocolate and fresh raspberries with my date. Could've been worse....


Pavlova "ala Felice"

I'm off today. Well, I have a couple Empire duties, but one of them is a chocolate tasting. Poor me!
I'm cooking up a storm tonight, and have been looking forward to it, since I bought the produce at the market on Sunday.

Tonight’s menu (at this point) is:
Squash blossom “rellenos” stuffed with spiced ground lamb and rice
Yakima sweet corn succotash, with local green beans in lieu of limas
Spicy grated fresh pickles
Pavlova “ala Felice”

Yes. You wish you were coming, I know.

In other news, I get to see Aki today; he's been in London for the last 2+ months, and we get to hang out today.
And we made a super-secret flavor of ice cream, that we're not telling anyone what flavor it is. We'll put the fact that there's a secret flavor on the website, and citizens have to just ask the for the secret flavor-no tastes- or flash the Empire gang sign.


1 full week

I have posted something every day this week.  That must be the 1st time in sooooo long.
Possibly since I really started this blog...
hmm, what's new today?...not much, just lot's of ice cream selling, and working at the club.

Actually, today was kind of boring!
But tomorrow is Seafood Fest in Ballard, so we should be busy (no fish ice cream though...)

Also, I'm making my own bacon at work...it's gonna be bomb-tastic.



I put an ad on Craigslist to find a graffiti artist to paint our van.  It seems like we found a guy, but he was more or less the 1st artist with spray can experience, after a bunch of comix guys, or crazy people....then today I got like 5 people who seem legit.
But the van is gonna be rad!
I'll be making those pics come available when it's done (hopefully next week).  fo' sho'


Kiwis, what are you doing?!?

Why would you do this to your children?!
Fish 'n chips (for Twins)!



Besides Waylon Smithers, perhaps my favorite Waylon is Mr. Jennings.
I've just found a collection in torrent form of his 63 albums he released.  He had a career from '64-2000.  Amazing output.
Most surprising song I've heard thus far: A version of Norwegian Wood.
And to think it started with me looking for "Lonesome, Ornery and Mean"
Man what a great song that one is....


Dinner vs Mulberries.

I am home from my run.
I am pondering my future as it pertains to my dinner tonight.
Curry? Lasagna? (I am seriously considering making a huge one).  Just salad with rice? Baked potatoes?  Ahh...I will go to the store and let the fates decide.

Watch, I'll just order out!

Made lots of ice cream today.  And I ate my 1st mulberry, which the grower grows to let the birds eat.  He plants them next to his cherry trees, and they like them better, since they're sweeter.


Eat some S'Cream!

Ahh, it's a beautiful morning here in Seattle.  I am off today from Empire, since we decided that we only need 2 guys to run the stand.  We'll be rotating days off.  A break!
But it's National Ice Cream Day.  Celebrate it!  Eat some Empire Ice Cream if you can.  Eat Kapiti if you can't....
I finished watching Six Feet Under.  It's a show I started months ago, and the ending is quite heavy.  I cried, it's that heavy.  But, somehow, I felt good too.  Amazing stuff really....

So my day now is I'm picking up Kenji, going to the market, getting some ripe tomatoes and other veggies and eat them with some lamb kabobs.  Or some neck steaks.  I have a hankerin' for lamb today for sure.
Later I'm walking around Green Lake with a friend, and then tonight I'm having dinner with my cousin Paige who just finished at the London School of Economics.
What a free day in the sun!
Ohh, and I gots to make me a pavlova too.  With ripe fresh, local raspberries....to be a locavore in this area in the summer-such pleasure!



From the New Yorker issue pictured below:

1. Top thick slices of country bread with fresh goat cheese. Sprinkle with herbs and bake until crusty; serve to everyone but Jeff.
2. Vegetarian friends? Try veggie rumaki: wrap a strip of imitation bacon around a water chestnut, spear with a toothpick, and broil—but instead of imitation bacon use real bacon, and instead of a water chestnut use veal.
3. Steal Cheryl’s famous potato-salad recipe. When Cheryl asks, “Why did you steal my recipe?,” say, “I don’t know, Cheryl, why did you break my heart?” Then laugh so she knows you’re just kidding.
4. Blend fresh crabmeat with diced avocado, scallions, and a dollop of mayonnaise for a canapé topping so delicious that it will take your guests a full minute to realize that they’re eating it off dog biscuits. Once they catch on, act mortified and stammer that you must have “mixed up the boxes,” until everyone calms down. Then start crying because the biscuits remind you that today marks exactly eight weeks since you had to put down Buster, and you just miss him so much.
5. Tell Marissa that you appreciate her concern, but in the two years since Cheryl broke off the engagement you’ve grown up a lot, and you’re really in a much healthier place now. Then say, “Speaking of fiancés, how’s Peter’s alcoholism?” (Note: This is not technically an appetizer.)
6. For a taste of the U.K., fry up mini-servings of fish-and-chips. Take it to the next level by wrapping them in small pieces of newspaper, which, oddly enough, all seem to be printed with unfavorable reviews of Jeff ’s novel.
7. Have you ever noticed how sun-dried tomatoes and top-grade peyote look exactly the same? Not a suggestion, really. Just saying.
8. Another one for the vegetarians. If they think they like tofu, wait until they sample your delicious mock tofu—all you need is chicken fat, puréed pork loin, and five cups of piping-hot tallow. Cheryl will never know the difference.
9. Tempura makes great finger food, and the batter locks the flavor of just about anything in a savory, opaque crust. Impress your friends with creative choices, from squash blossoms to mislaid car keys to the two-carat engagement ring that Cheryl gave back to you after she “reassessed things.” Surprise!
10. Guests getting antsy? Head them off with a big bowl of steamed mussels. No one can resist mussels, not even emotionally stunted ex-fiancées and their new poorly-received-novelist boyfriends. Besides, disappearing into the kitchen will give you a chance to collect your thoughts and also to go slash Jeff ’s tires.
11. Homemade sugared almonds make the perfect sendoff, sure to please all your guests, even the ones who would be bludgeoning you with a tire iron if Peter weren’t standing between you. Good old Peter. He may not be the brightest or the handsomest person, but he’s very large.
12. As the party disperses, your guests might seem a little ungrateful, calling you an obsessive sociopath or pelting you with sugared almonds. Don’t worry, it’s probably the peyote talking. Just stand on the porch as their cars pull out, your eyes brimming with tears, and shout, “You know, I try, I really do . . .”
13. Add, “My dog died! He died! And he’s never coming back!”
14. Hepatitis! (Note: This is not technically an appetizer.) ♦


Terrorists Fist Jabbing in my Room!

I just got the infamous issue in the mail! (For some reason the CPU won't save the flip of the backwards photo I took...)

Sweet Toast

I am currently eating cinnamon toast for breakfast, something which I haven't done since I lived at home probably.

Man, is it great!

Who else loves cinnamon toast, say YEAH!
(Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal is another matter entirely...)


Longest. All-Star Game. Ever.

The midsummer classic took nearly 5 hours, and didn't end until 1:40am.
It was the longest by time, and by innings-15.
It was incredible for the fact that each time one team got "so close you knew they were gonna score" close, the other pitcher somehow got out of the jam, or an infielder made some incredible throw.
I've never seen 2 perfect drag bunts in a row.
Look at the box score below, grabbed from my screen, they are literally the biggest, most complex ones ever.
A shout out to the Stadium; the only one it'll ever get from me.  I hate the Yankees....


Weekend Ramblings

Ahh...so what's the story in these parts these days....
Friday night I met the owner of Matterhorn/Mighty-Mighty/member of the band Eggs here in Seattle.  Apparently, he's an old friend of my step-sisters from college.  He married a girl from the Hutt, and live in Wellington now.  He's really cool.  I owe him one....
Saturday was a long one, but at the Empire stand in UW, I was in the zone.  I sold more ice cream than the other guys, and I was flying solo.  I even had a girl drop her number.  Actually, her friend did it for her, and there was another woman standing there who was beautiful.  When the utterly gorgeous woman remarked, "wow!  that's pretty amazing."  I replied, "It's just a theme for the day.  I'll take yours too."
She then laughed, and told me that I didn't want hers, since she was married and pregnant....
Sunday though was torture at Fremont.  I had to work so HARD to get people to TASTE ice cream, and it was really hot.  Really hot.  I got discouraged and hit rock bottom when I told a guy who wanted to know where he could get his son a sno-cone that "I wouldn't feed my kid a bunch of that corn syrup crap."  He then said, "Uhhh.....thanks...." and walked away.
We're done in Fremont.
And then I went out with this girl from work to see The Wes Jones Band at the Little Red Hen- I took Damon there to see em when he came to town. 
And tonight I just home from giving the 1st ever ice cream factory tour to these 2 regular customers- the girls who took me to eat amazing fruit.  And I received more too....

Now an evening run around the lake accompanied by This American Life.


More Miracles

Man, it's been a long day.  I had more miracle fruit- I was given some by the girl who gave me the tour of the greenhouse- and had a "tasting" at work.
I tried: Limes (again), pickles (again), blueberries, goat cheese, chocolate, hot sauce, vinegar, arugula, cheap tequila, garlic, mustard and anchovies.
The berries seemed to have lost some of their magic, as most everything tasting only slightly off.
But what did taste strange to me was the tomato-basil sorbet we made tonight.


Miracles and Miracles

It was a great weekend.  Busy though with the business, as we started our double market days, meaning I got to wake up earlier and end my day later!  Fun!  But I suppose more income is more income at this point....and I made good use of my "position" with the ladies.
You know I'm kinda conflicted in this: I finally have an easy way to talk to ANY GIRL I WANT TO, for essentially no reason- ok "do you want to try some ice cream?" is a reason.  But what's the line I cannot cross?  Are there ethics here?  Can I not press them for more info?  Say, like a number?  Is that greasy?
I might be a little greasy....
Also, I went to the Seattle Int'l Beer Fest Sat night with my friend Dragan (the one whom laughs like a hyena) and met some more ladies there, including one of the Seagals. (They weren't cheering, she was just there.)
And today I met 2 of the girls that are very good customers/biology grad students at the University's greenhouse to eat some miracle fruit.  They block all your sour and bitter taste receptors in your mouth, making sour and bitter things super sweet.  I ate half a lime, and it was like the best margarita I've ever had- super sweet and fresh.  I got some for an experiment at work tomorrow too- I'll be laying out a big tasting spread after doing some research tonight....I'm excited!


4th of July.

Happy 4th of July, belated.  Yesterday I returned from a brief and highly unsuccessful fishing expedition/worst meal of my life to smoke a pork shoulder in my brick box.
It was smoked for 5 hours, then wrapped up in foil with my smoked Mexican chile BBQ sauce and cooked for another hour.  It was then pulled, and mixed up with more sauce.

It was the best BBQ.  Ever.

I could win multiple blue ribbons, because of it's unconventional style and taste.  Some will remember my Blacked Jerk Pork with Sweet Carrot BBQ sauce, but not many, because of it's limited audience.  Some will experience it someday: meaning probably YOU!
I caught up with a few people via the phone, and the best thing ever:  My friend exclaimed, "I'm an independent woman!"  and her sister in the next room just thought she was talking to herself, not realizing she had picked up the phone.

Watched the fireworks over Lake Union and nearly blew everyone up with a failed double mortar attempt.  Sorry Anne.


Fly Me to the Moon

A recap of last weekend:
Drove the Dart via the ferry to Pt. Townsend. It was nice to stretch the cars legs like that. Just cruising. When I got to PT, I went for a run to the lighthouse at Ft. Warden state park, which is about 4 miles return. It was insanely hot! I hung out the rest of the evening, with the exception of the rehearsal. Twilight was spent on a deck at a bar called sirens 3 stories above the water watching the small ferry (a different one) and the seagulls. It was pleasant. Also, the groom, who never drinks, downed 4 shots in something like half an hour. None of it was my doing, I swear.
The wedding was a long day indeed. Very hot again, but I looked good in my tux. The ceremony was nice, short and full of tears for the parents.
The reception, in the shade of a big tent, was accompanied by a gypsy jazz band that was quite good. I even sang a song with them- fly me to the moon. It was my 1st time singing with a live band I think...
After the reception, me and a couple guys returned to Seattle, exhausted, but got super-hot Indian food. I like it when I tell the waiters I want it as hot as they eat it. They always smirk...

This week is crazy busy, as it's our 1st double-market day weekend. So we have lots of stuff to take care of, but I will, seemingly have the 4th mostly to do what I want. I love that.

And, finally, I came across this amazing wine description, from a fancy restaurant in Seattle's website:

"Scot's Wine of the Month
Summer is finally upon us. Let's hope it's not a passing fling. Summer love is in the air and the Seattle-layers are coming off; Beware of the ghostly skin that has yet to see the sun in months. I've finally found my favorite shades, lotion and I am headed to the beach with a bottle of rosé. Domaine Ott's, Les Domaniers is priced right and is perfect for those hot summer afternoons and romantic evenings. It's soft and supple with hints of flowers of Provence and ripe strawberries. Slide the cork out and let the juice flow. The aroma is intoxicating and reminds one of young innocent love. The color is pale pink and not unlike seductive skin that has been veiled from the sun. There is a touch of wet stone and mineral…similar to humid air drench with the mist of crashing waves. This rosé is a clean and refreshing compliment to the thick provocative musk of bodies that have been baking in the hot afternoon sun. Les Domanier's Rosé is dry and great for inviting temptation. Women love it. It's perfect with Spot Prawns, Dungeness Crab and lush pink lips. As the sun sets and you are curled with your sweetheart take a moment to reflect how simply perfect life can be; Your girl, a beautiful sunset, a beach blanket, crashing waves, and of course a perfect bottle of Rosé by Les Domaniers."


It's Hot!

Back from the wedding. It was great, but I'm quite exhausted, so I'll write more later.

It's really hot. Too hot.
Oh, and she said yes.


Urusai Baka ro! (In a mean voice)

I've been waiting for this day a while:
It's one of my best friends, Trever Santora's Last Supper. He's getting married this weekend, and the guys are going out for a blow-out, no holds barred Sushi with a capital "S" dinner in a tatami room at Maneki.

I'm eating all of the restaurants yellowtail. They don't even know!

One might ask: Are there going to be strippers, hoochies or just general shenanigans going on?
No women planned, because I realized that there's those guys, and then there's us.
Games/Plans: Read the same thing above. We are so used to making up our own fun off the cuff that we're just gonna roll- with our shit off safety as they say...

I am planning on getting drunk and shouting like a Yakuza thug while wearing a Hanshin Tigers baseball club headband. The same one I'm wearing in this old picture. Trever is the one standing next to me, Aki below.

Yes, my shirt said "callipygian"


Genghis Khan Likes Butter

This last weekend had some good moments.
Fri PM, house party at my friend Kenji's house, drinking margaritas and meeting a real life Kazak! Yakemash!
Sat, a day at the market, using the van. Afterwards, my dad came up, my brother came over and we went to the pitch 'n putt at Greenlake. I played fine, considering I hadn't swung a golf club in a few years. We then went to a pub for dinner, then to another pub to play darts, where, in the 1st game of cricket, I won in 9 turns! It was amazing. We then went to a place I thought was going to be quiet to play some cribbage with those guys, but I instead ended up talking to 2 girls.
Best part of the conversation: When they mentioned the Genghis Khan movie coming up, I mention I loved a movie that came out about him in 1989: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.
Sunday was again spent at the market, and the evening was spent cursing after I mowed the extension cord for the lawn mower.  That is why YOU GET A GAS ONE (to my landlord).
And last night, there was trouble at the ice cream factory when the batter Dustin made last week that didn't have any sugar in it got run unbeknownst to me, producing butter.
I then spent 45 minutes cleaning the machine out.  When I corrected the rest of the batter that I found sugarless, by adding more sugar into it, I ran it.
It made more butter.


Van-sanity. Ok, that's really pushing it....

Well, it's been a regular week for me, until the last few hours of running around dealing with our new van.
It started at 2:30, when I left work, fought to get a cab, and when I got one 15 minutes later, the driver said he didn't want to take me there- it was too far! I guess he didn't have time. Then from the repair shop to the emissions place, where it failed, but got an exemption. I then fought a sunny Friday's rush to the licensing office, and got it sorted out there.
Now I am waiting for a call back from the insurance broker so we can use it this weekend. And only a few minutes before the end of the business week.

What's a boy to do with a Friday evening?


Ramble On

We had an actually nice weekend weather wise here in Seattle. The 1st half of June had been the worst on record, with the local paper reporting that we were actually colder than Siberia!
But the sun came, we sold well (Unless we go home with nothing, I probably will never say we destroyed) selling out of all but 2 of our flavors.
Ahh...what else of note. Cooked a graduation dinner on Sat night for 350 kids. I've never seen such consumption of food. They ate everything!
And last night, I watched the NBA finals for the 1st time this year. I haven't even really seen any other NBA games this season, what with the no cable/tv antennae....which is probably a good thing!


Ice Cream Doings

It's been very low excitement round these parts.
We did make more ice cream than we ever have made this week, with the new machine. It was in one 8.5 hour shift of insanity!
And we got a used van, and I drove it around a bit.
It's sad to say that a '91 Dodge Van with a 6 cylinder engine is fast. But it is compared to my car (which has the pre-curser of the van's engine in it....)
Who can come up with a good custom plate?


Alone in the Wild

I will start by saying it's been a very hard week for me. I'm not writing about why it's been difficult, but I will write about my experience of trying to get some clarity.

I went camping, alone in as remote as a place I could get to. I went into the Cascades, and ended up halfway between Hwy 2 and I-90. I took my car, the Dart, down a 15 mile, pot-hole filled, gravel road. It took me nearly an hour to do so. There wasn't anyone else out there.
I fortunately have a friend who lives in "that general direction" who I had conferred with before going out. I think he was doing some recon for me, and he went out that direction in the morning before I went. He called, and said that I'd need waders to get into the lake I was going for. I could borrow some from him.
So with waders, and my pack, and bear spray, I left the trailhead and went into Forest Service land. First I crossed a 100 yard bog, then went through old growth forest, then (I just found out) I went the wrong way. I hit a river I had anticipated, and crossed it, downstream from where I should've been. I then couldn't find the trail. All there were were beavers and their pond. I figured that they'd come in and covered the trail. It was getting late in the day, and so I struck camp in a spot that had been camp for someone else before.
I was right on the river on a small peninsula, or rather, an isthmus. I pitched my tent, built a fire, had dinner, and it was 10:30 before I knew it. The stars came out. I was alone. Very alone.
I awoke this morning to the sound of rain, and due to the poor soil of said isthmus, my fly wasn't as tight as it could've been. I packed some things away wet, ate an energy bar, and crossed the river, getting up to nearly my waist. Back through the woods and to my car, getting to do that crazy drive again. I listened to my dad's new album on the ride back.
I felt I got some clarity I was looking for. It was nice to be able to think without distraction. I think that is rarely attained in our lives nowadays. It's a shame really...
Oh, yes, and no sasquatch sightings either!


Ice Cream Awesomeness

I was just trolling the web for news on Empire Ice Cream, and over at the Seattle Weekly, I found this.

"The Empire guys start with the the milk, no ice cream mix for them, and you can taste it in the goods."


Time & Enchiladas

So the long story short is this:
We made ice cream in 35 minutes.  What would've taken us an estimated 6 or 7 hours of time in the old machines took us 35 minutes.
If time equals money, we're r-i-c-h.

Aaron likey.  I also likey enchiladas.


Sorry Kiwis.

I had to get my phone's codes updated- the one I bought in NZ.  I called T-Mobile, and when I explained the story to the woman at customer "care," she said, "you lived in New Zealand?  ....You know I have no idea where that is.....it sounds like it's in Europe somewhere."

I was in disbelief. I told her it's in the South Pacific.  She replied, "Really?  I am so bad with geography."  No you're ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE.

I don't know which is worse, to be un-locatable or a dumb American- oh wait, I think I do.

True story.


Mi Vida Loca

So we got our new machine, but have yet to use it.  That's due to the fact it was actually delivered late, and then had to wait for the electrician.  And when it came time to make some ice cream, we only needed to do a small amount....so Tuesday night we'll be rockin' it.
It's been a good/busy/tiring last few days.
Fri: 12 hours of cooking at the club for the Copper River Salmon winemaker's dinner.  Then I drank too much champagne, and got little sleep.
Sat: Woke up feeling bad, for previously mentioned reasons.  Worked the U-District market, which is vary lame for us.  We're trying to change some things about that, but it's not in our hands ultimately.  I then went to the club to do inventory, and after that the Brazil vs Canada soccer friendly.  It was such a great game with Brazil's obvious talent, and Canada playing as well as they could (in fact they almost beat them!). 3-2 Brazil.  Then a big sushi dinner.  And a late to bed night.
Today: Woke up early, but feeling fine.  At the market at 9, and had a pretty good day, interviewing with a food critic for the P-I (paper).  Now I'm done, and am sitting here exhausted.  But I'm going for a run before I pass out!
Life is good.


Cuts and Cream

Here I sit, typing with one hand at work, due to the fact I just cut myself. I'm waiting for the thing to close up....I should probably go to the hospital, but I don't want to wait for 5 stitches.
I must've learned this attitude from my mom, who forgot to tell me my lil sister had broken her arm-over a week ago. It apparently took her a few hours to get Sophie to the hospital, because it didn't "seem so bad." When Sophie didn't want to go into the store to get a treat, that's when she really got worried.

My mom is going to be angry at me telling this tale.
Ice cream went pretty well last weekend- it was excellent to be out there. I knew that's where I belonged.
Our new machine is being delivered this very moment! Hazah!


Online Licks

We're online at EmpireIceCream.net

"Local Ice Cream For Local People"

Does that mean no Californians?


It has begun...

We moved some stuff into the factory last night, and I'll be going in to make the 1st batters this year in a little bit.
I'm excited!


Down there in West Virginia




Best Player of the 1990's

I forgot to mention this:
I got the card I never obtained as a child, a MOST coveted Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie card from '89 Donruss (they were $.50 a pack back then!) from a pack my step-dad gave me.

I hope he gets traded back. Except they won't be calling him "the kid" anymore.

I loved this one:


Camping to Zeppelin

I slept in- I am off today. Nice to catch up on sleep. I put on Zeppelin II, sip strong coffee, have my "Korean Farmer's Breakfast." That consists of rice, kim-chee, and a lightly scrambled egg mixed with soy sauce and chili sauce.
The record is loud.
I bought a tent last week, a solo, ultra lightweight one. I had it set up in my room, but didn't take any pics. I've been putting together a gear list of light solo equipment. I think I have it all now. I filled my pack to the Lemon Song- the lighter, smaller pack (40L), instead of the bigger one (85L) I got from Trever that he used on his Siberia trek.
I fit it all in/on. Biggest thing/luxury: A nice sleeping pad. One cannot skimp on that I think. It will keep you comfortable, rested and most importantly, warm.
Here are pics of me all kitted up:

Call sign: Hammerhead.


History has taught us NOTHING.

I have a subscription to the New Yorker magazine (thanks to Paul). There was an article I just read about Herodotus' Histories. He's the guy that invented history- as a genre. He wrote a massive 9 volume series on the history of the Greek-Persian wars. Half of the series is about the back-stories of the various peoples involved. And the other half is about the actual wars between the various Greek city states and Persia. Xerxes was nuts, but if you saw 300, then you already knew that right?....
Anyways, the article ends with this:

Then, there is the story itself. A great power sets its sights on a smaller, strange, and faraway land—an easy target, or so it would seem. Led first by a father and then, a decade later, by his son, this great power invades the lesser country twice. The father, so people say, is a bland and bureaucratic man, far more temperate than the son; and, indeed, it is the second invasion that will seize the imagination of history for many years to come. For although it is far larger and more aggressive than the first, it leads to unexpected disaster. Many commentators ascribe this disaster to the flawed decisions of the son: a man whose bluster competes with, or perhaps covers for, a certain hollowness at the center; a leader who is at once hobbled by personal demons (among which, it seems, is an Oedipal conflict) and given to grandiose gestures, who at best seems incapable of comprehending, and at worst is simply incurious about, how different or foreign his enemy really is. Although he himself is unscathed by the disaster he has wreaked, the fortunes and the reputation of the country he rules are seriously damaged. A great power has stumbled badly, against all expectations.
Except, of course, the expectations of those who have read the Histories. If a hundred generations of men, from the Athenians to ourselves, have learned nothing from this work, whose apparent wide-eyed naïveté conceals, in the end, an irresistible vision of the way things always seem to work out, that is their fault and not the author’s. Time always tells, as he himself knew so well. However silly he may once have looked, Herodotus, it seems, has had the last laugh.

See? I told you no one learns anything from the past. Life is cyclical. Turn!


Amber Alert

Alert! Due to events out of my control, the BBQ/Sarlacc pit was not finished.

I did eat some great sushi late Sat night, after work (which became an unfunny joke with me as the punch line), go for 2 good runs, and attended a BBQ.

Next saturday I hope. Or else.



I've been pretty distracted & unfocused this week, but on Sunday I have big plans:

I am making a BBQ pit.  In my backyard.  It's gonna be sweet.

I'll be using an old Weber grill for a few components and bricks for the bottom part.  Maybe I'll be lucky enough to have it done in time to do some pork shoulder all afternoon....

Now that's what I call a BBQ Pit!