Monday, October 31, 2011

Deviled Eggs II - The Sequel (oh, and Juice)

Remember the deviled eggs post from a week or so ago? If not, here's the link to it ( My daughter asked me if I would make them again for her so of course, I obliged and took the chance to tweak the preparation a bit. Here a photo of how the turned out:
Pretty? Heh? I could be fancy and use a piping bag for the filling but I went rustic, especially since they were going to be devoured minutes after preparation. BTW, they were so yummy!
After a couple of decades of faithful service, my old Juiceman Juicer finally passed away. I juice just about every day so I needed to replace it quick and while I long for a Vitamix, my wallet is not thick enough right now to spring $400 on a blender so I replaced the 20+ year old Juiceman with a 2011 model.
This is the Juiceman JM550S and now, three uses in, I'm impressed overall. Much more powerful than the old model and the food chute is 3" wide, I put and entire apple in (just like in the photo) with no problem. Oh, and $79.99 at WalMart, can't beat that!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Couple Cents Worth


You know what gets old fast? I know some of you might think I would say the snow, especially since we got hit crazy early this year. As much as I don't like it, I accept it because I am aware of the region I live and have come to accept weather anomalies as, well, normal. What gets real old, real fast, is the irrational behavior of all the nincompoops that forget they live in New England, where the most famous saying is, "if you don't like the weather, wait a minute." I was out in a few stores yesterday trying to do some routine shopping and it was insane how the crowds were out preparing for possible Armageddon. Look folks, it snows here in New England and sometimes at weird times - keep a freaking pound of bologna in your refrigerator and get over it or move to Florida or New Mexico so I don't have to deal with you anymore.
Now onto the stupid power companies. The United States has successfully launched humans into outer space in a vessel the size and weight of a giant airplane so many times - they decided to stop doing it; I guess it's just not fun anymore. However, with all that money spent and technology developed, it seems near impossible to keep power flowing into people's homes after a little snow and wind. I don't accept any excuse - it makes no sense that this hasn't been dealt with. Think of the thousands, sometimes tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands and millions of homes lose power, destroy hundreds of dollars worth of food in each home and who pays? We, the consumer!!! Someone needs to stop bitching about stupid things and start talking about infrastructure - NOW!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

What's Snew?

The joys of New England living and unpredictability of the weather came into play last night as it snowed a bit. This morning, as I was driving my daughter to school, I noticed a fair amount of snow (considering time of year and lack of snow on the ground) and said to my daughter this exact statement, "check out that car, I didn't know it snew that much last night."

SNEW? What's snew (not much, what's snew with you? - sorry, I had to do it). Seriously though, I really said that and it was totally a brain fart, I am well aware that snew isn't an actual word but it just came out of me and almost instantly, my daughter and I busted into uncontrollable laughter the rest of the way to school.
I still think the iPad is a piece of crap and even more so every day. Every time I come across a web site that doesn't work because crApple doesn't want to play nice with the industry standard plug-ins, I cringe at the audacity of them.
I recently decided to shop around for new car insurance and homeowners and am glad I did, save about $400!
I got nothing else - for now.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Should I Be Honored?

This came to one of my email addresses:

So, should I be honored or offended?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wasteful Student Gets Caught

Student (holding a printout of a paper and using it as a prop): How do I get the printer to not print on both sides?

Me: We don't allow single-sided printing in the lab - all instructors here must accept double-sided printing.

Student: Oh (befuddled look on her face), it's for a class at another college.

Me: Then you'll have to print it elsewhere, perhaps at that other college.

Student: Why don't you allow it?

Me: It's wasteful and costly and instead of raising student lab fees, we were able to offset that increase by maximizing our paper usage.

Student: (expression on face that implied cluelessness or not giving a crap about anything but her needs) Whatever, it's so unfair?

Me: Just curious, are you not printing it at that other college because they charge for printing (we currently are one of the very few who do not charge a fee per page to print).

Student: (No verbal response, just an expression that indicated she'd been caught being an ass).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Yet Further Proof

My last post, from just hours ago, was an example of people that don't suck, a seemingly rare thing. Well, something I've know for a few years now, rather someone I've known for a few years is snother such example and a constant reminder that extraordinary humans do exist.

I get home from work and stop to grab the mail. When I open my mailbox, I see this package in there - I love getting packages but usually, I expect them because they are things that I have ordered. I grab the package and immediately look at the address label having already considered it was a misdeliver but then I saw my name, and address on the envelope and immediately loooked up and to the left to see who sent this surprise package and was very touched at the name I saw.

Here's what was inside:
A container filled with lovely Caramel Dipped Cookies and an even lovelier note. Here's a person whose schedule is filled to the brim, someone whose had more curveballs thrown at them that Ted Williams and still manages to find the time to be so kind and wonderful to everyone.

It didn't take much more than a minute to bring tears to my eye and while this weekend was filled with tears of sadness as a group of us mourned the loss of a friend, today, thanks to my wonderful friend, I got to find some balance. I'm very touched - so much so taht I did something I ahven't done in more than a year - I ate a cookie! And boy, was it awesome!

Thanks so much for completely making my day!

Walk This Way

Occasionally, we get signs that there are people in the world who don't suck. Today, let me introduce two of them: The young man standing is Tyler, who is blind. The young man in the wheelchair is Lance - Lance asked Tyler to grab hold of his chair as he led him to his destination using the shortest route possible.

This isn't something I saw on the Internet, I witnessed it with my own two eyes - I know both students very well.

A-Z Meme

A is for Age
B is for Bed Size
C is for Chore That You Hate
All Chores - Cleaning is the worst
D is for Dogs
None (I have an awesome cat)
E is for Essential Start To Your Day
Lately, exercise and a giant protein smoothie
F is for Favorite Color
G is for Gold or Silver
H is for Height
I is for Instruments You Play
J is for Job Title
Technical Specialist, Blackboard Learning System Administrator
K is for Kids
Daughter (13 yrs old)
L is for Live
M is for Mother’s Name
N is for Nicknames
None at this time
O is for Overnight Hospital Stays
Two - fortunately, neither was fatal
P is for Pet Peeve
Being wasteful
Q is for Quote From A Movie
“These amps go to 11”
- This is Spinal Tap
R is for Right or Left Handed
S is for Siblings
Older brother and younger sister
T is for Time You Wake Up
5am on the weekdays and 8ish on the weekends
U is for Underwear
Boxer briefs
V is for Vegetable You Hate
None that I know of, I like my veggies
W is for What Makes You Run Late
Being around other people who run late
X is for X-Rays You’ve Had
Many, many, many
Y is for Yummy Food That You Make
Caramelized Salmon
Z is for Zoo Animal
I snatched this from Ria's Blog

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Deviled Eggs from Down in Georgia-ish

My daughter asked me if I would make deviled eggs for her because she never had them, and had recently heard of them in a story and was intrigued. While I am pretty certain she has had them, I thought what the heck, I will go ahead and make her some.

I went ahead and grabbed Paula Deen's recipe for "Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs" (included below) and made a very slight, but wonderful modification while preparing them this afternoon.

To my delight, she loved them (as did I). I was able to control myself to a very small portion while she indulged. It was the first time I ever made deviled eggs, not that I ever thought it was difficult (it's super easy) but just never thought to make them...I suspect I'll be making them again and even playing with the recipe (perhaps making a low cholesterol version) - who knows.

Here's the recipe (I've noted my modification) and then a video from Food Network showing Paula Deem preparing them...enjoy!

  • 7 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin (this was my addition - wouldn't have minded a smidgen more)
  • Salt and pepper, for taste
  • Paprika, for garnishing
  • Sweet gherkin pickles sliced for garnishing (I left these out)
  • Pimentos, for garnishing

  1. Halve 6 eggs lengthwise.
  2. Remove yolks and place in a small bowl with one full egg.
  3. Mash yolks with a fork and stir in mayonnaise, pickle relish, and mustard.
  4. Add salt and pepper, to taste (along with ground cumin).
  5. Fill egg whites evenly with yolk mixture.
  6. Garnish with paprika, pickles and pimentos.
  7. Store covered in refrigerator.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday 13: In Arm's Reach

Here are thirteen things that I can reach without moving back, forth, or to the sides (I can however spin around up to 360 degrees).
  1. Travel size Gold Bond Body Powder
  2. 12 ft. tape measure
  3. flipCam
  4. Packaging tape
  5. a VHS tape
  6. 18" wood ruler
  7. Blow dryer
  8. Flash Drive
  9. Envelope moistener (with adhesive)
  10. Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons
  11. A bottle of Sobe Fuji Apple Pear lifewater
  12. A recipe for "Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs" (by Paula Deen)
  13. A roll of Christmas wrapping paper
I could certainly go on and elaborate on where I am, why those items are within reach, or discuss briefly the idea that at any given time there are at least 6 others humans in the world with a list as unusual - instead, I'll stop here and go to bed.

Good night my blogger friends.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall Semester - Round 1

It seems that at least once per semester when I call out the students who are basically non-existent, one of them will chime in with an "interesting" tale or interpretation of the rules. Here's one from a few days ago:

It started with me posting this announcement in our online classroom and emailing it to every student in the class:
  • Remember there is an attendance requirement for this course; you must log into our course site at least twice per week (from Tues. through Mon.) - if you fail to do this more than twice during the semester, you may be withdrawn from the course without warning or receive a grade of "F".
  • If you've intentionally abandoned the course but have at some time entered the class site through Blackboard, even once, you must properly drop the class through the office of the registrar or via PeopleSoft. If you remain on the roster past the final withdrawal date, you will receive a grade of "F" for the course which will adversely affect your grade point average.
Here the response I received from STUDENT (unedited):
is there any way that i can not be removed from this course? i really need it and i did not intentionally abandon the course. i understand that excuses are not tolerated in this class but i have been doing the reading and it was my home internet that went down. i was unable to log on  to do the coursework. 
      my home internet is now working and if there is any way that i can fix this problem i need to know. if i remove this class from my course list i will have to withdraw from school altogether due to the fact i will no longer be enrolled half time and will not qualify for financial aid. i understand your policies but i need very much to remain in this class. I will do anything to be able to remain on the roster. please allow me to finish the course.

To which I replied:
You've shown zero interest in being an active student in this class. In only one of the first 5 weeks did you abide by the attendance policy, you missed 2 of the first 4 quizzes and missed 2 of the first 3 Word assignments and had virtually no participation in the discussion board.

You should have thought more about the effect being dropped might have on your financial aid beforehand, if you were truly having issues that hindered your work, there are ways around them but you neglected to even mention them until after the fact.

I'm very sorry to say that you were already dropped from the course, last week and I will not consider reinstating you.

Yielding another email from STUDENT:
     I do not mean to argue with you at all but your policies seemed to me to be very strict in outlining that no excuses would be tolerated. because of that fact, any problems that i have had in this class i have done my best to rectify on my own without bothering you. i honestly have done the reading and understand the material as well as the proper way to use the software and applications outlined in the course. I very much do wish to be an active member in the class and in the online discussions and i have been trying hard to be in the class. although i have not done many of the assignments, it is only do to the fact that i have not had the ability to pass them in on time. and the times that i have done them it was because i have either walked from Marlborough to Framingham in order to do them, or done them from another campus. 
     if there is no way to reinstate me to the class i apologize for taking up your time but i really do believe that I have been keeping up with the class and actively attaining as well as utilizing the information that is available through the text. 
     please believe me that i have been keenly aware of the effect that this would have on my academic and financial standing since the day i signed up to the class. in fact, on that day i sent you an e-mail to see what i could do to rectify my late start and be an active member of the class. You replied to me that i should not have joined late and that i should seek to drop the course. because of that, i have done my best to refrain from bothering you at all with any personal problems i have encountered. however, it is unfathomably important to me that I stay enrolled in this school for the remainder of the semester. i implore you to give me but one more chance if it is at all possible. 
     Thank you, 

And yet another reply from ME:

I've been teaching for a long time, at the core, all I ask is that you show up for class and do the work, now if that's strict, then yes, I'm strict but quite frankly, that isn't strict at all, it's what every teacher should demand.

I have other students who've had challenges and they worked them out and got the work done because they were motivated. The bottom line is you've not gotten the work done, not showed up and not even communicated to me that you had issues until it was aft the fact.

I wish you the best, but I will not reinstate you.

C. Daniele

Leading to a final email from STUDENT:
Professor Daniele, 
     I appreciate the time you have dedicated to my case and i appreciate that you wish me well. i did not mean to negatively characterize your pedagogical ideals at all and i am sorry if the way i addressed you seemed to do so. i simply meant that i feel your policies are objective and therefore i did not believe that an explanation of my absence or elaboration of my personal difficulties would get me anywhere. due to the fact that i was certain of this, i simply tried to work out my problems on my own until i encountered a problem i could not.  I apologize for wasting your time.
     thank you again, 

As a teacher, I read between the lines on this interaction very easily, I have a very clear picture of that the student attempted to accomplish, realize they could not and then realize that I had them figured out. I'll leave it to you, if you choose, to interpret - it'll be like a blog game - enjoy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stuff to Say

I had some periodontal surgery today, which was not comfortable after the Novocaine wore off but I'll manage; despite not being able to consume hot things and solid food doesn't work too good either. The answer, smoothies and vegetable juices.

I'm a little behind grading student work so I'll be getting to that shortly after posting this.

Here's an awesome post friends reunion email that "our" Jane sent to everyone:

Dear Friends,

My family and I just ate pork tenderloin, corn pudding, pasta primavera, green beans and salad. It was more fun the first time around, but it beat making dinner!

Loved seeing all of you.

My top 10 list of the evening (not necessarily in this order):

1. Vicky singing
2. Janine walking through the screen
3. Roberto making out Robert Schmidt's face
4. S'Mores by the fire
5. Jerry's high kicks
6. Seeing Caroline, Vicky and Elizabeth bonding
7. Seeing Andrew, Timothy and Nicholas chillin'
8. Janine after two Cosmos
9. See #2
10. Being together

Love to all.

That note is just one reason I love my friends - not certain I could've said it better. Actually, I am certain, I couldn't! However, I will reaffirm how much I love when we get together.

Finally, a YouTube video of some kid that will make you smile (unless you are Satan):

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Bundle of Life all Rolled Up In a Short Period of Time

As difficult as it was to go visit a friend knowing it is likely the last time I will see him alive, as I write this knowing he passed the next day (and while I was out of town), makes me grateful that I had the chance to be there by his side, him knowing I was there, and telling him that I loved him.

Saturday was a joyous day as I trekked to the county of Westchester in New York to gather with a group of old friends for our semi(ish) annual reunion (thanks again John and Jane - the most generous and gracious hosts ever). Featuring a surprise appearance by Schmidtty, the reunion was such a great time and lasted until the early hours of this morning. My child stole the show during our infamous karaoke segment but didn't make it any less fun for the rest of us to mangle once popular songs (and endure a dreadful Doors medley).

This morning, I awoke a few hours before anyone else so I took the liberty of letting Holly Jolly, the D family dog, out and watched Spongebob waiting for other to arise. Jane made a trip to Dunkies for Bagels and donuts and treated me to a delightful steaming cup of coffee and just before her return, one by one, the others made their way out of their sleeping quarters for some breakfast. I hit the road just before noon and made it back before 3, dropped of my kid at her mom's then returned home to spend some quality time with Pontious Pilates before showering and then watching the Pats take on the Cowboys.

While a tough game, I am happy that the Pats took the win - they did it for Gerry! After the game, I decided to go visit the grand opening of the first Wegman's supermarket in MA. Wegman's is a very interesting store - I picked up some groceries and then watched The Amazing Race before getting to this blog post.

The week ahead is filled with a bunch of things, including dental surgery on Tuesday and what promises to be the A/V day from hell on Wednesday. I'm sure most of this isn't at all interesting to the average reader but I needed to put it out there to free up some space in my running thoughts brain database - you understand.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Knocking On Heaven's Door

Not too long ago I wrote a post about my friend Gerry. Today I got the call that he is nearing the time of his death and that he may not make it through the weekend, that he can't have much more than a few days of life left in him.

These are the kind of things that leave you speechless sometimes. I wanted to say something comforting to my friend Kathy who told me, Gerry is her step dad, she was hurting but I had nothing - and she understood and before I could even mumble she said, "You don't have to say anything, I just wanted to be sure you knew." This is some deep stuff - way deeper than the stuff we usually label deep - this is life and death, all at once, the circle and/or the cycle of life in real time.

It was hard to go to visit someone knowing it is likely the last time you will ever see them alive and the state they are in is one in which you will have a nearly impossible time communicating. I looked at him, and when Kathy and his wife told him I was there he mustered up the strength, seemingly all that he had, to make a sound that seemed to be "How ya doing?" I took his had and held it firmly in between both of mine and joked with him a bit and I told him that I loved him and then let him rest.

I spent a short amount of time after with Kathy, Sarah (her sister) and Joan (his wife) before leaving as the next visitor came over. A powerful experience, thought provoking, and difficult - but necessary.

Think good thoughts and ot pray for Gerry and his family.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Riddle MeThis

Setting: Campus computer lab

You click print, nothing prints, how many times do you keep clicking print and not getting a printout before you assume there might be a problem a you should let someone in the lab know?

If you answered with a number 3 or less, I'll give you a pass. Any more than 3, especially if you get into more than a dozen (yes, they can be that ------), think about checking out.

Freaking yikes!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Liver and Onions

Those words assembled like that can bring on all sorts of thoughts and emotions. I recall the many times as a child it was the answer to the question, "Mom, what's for dinner?"

While most would vomit in their mouth a little ( or a lot), I wouldn't bat an eyelash and in fact, would often be thrilled. I loved liver and onions as a child as I'm sure I'd still love it today (though I refrain for health reasons).

I know what you're saying, "Chris is wearing loafers, no laces on his shoes..." Sorry, Steve Martin influenced diversion...

You know what, I'm gonna leave it at that.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Day Notations

I finished the Keith Richards book. If you are a music fan, a stones fan and/or a Keith Richards fan - I recommend this book. I'll post a more thorough review over at Book Me In later. And, I have begun reading Notes from an Accidental Band Geek.

I haven't touch the curtain rods - I've stared at them a few times; does that count?

I seem to have injured my left wrist a bit (no wisecracks). I blames Pontious Pilates - Yesterday, I did a treadmill workout along with some ab stuff and a bit of stretching but today, while the wrist is still in a smidgen of pain, with the help of a brace, I forged ahead and did both a treadmill workout and a Pilates workout. Thus far, the wrist seems okay, still not 100% but certainly no worse than yesterday.

I watched the Breaking Bad season finale this morning an all I can say is OMG! What the heck are they going to come up with next year.

Nice to see the Pats beat the Jets. I'm no Jets hater but I am a Rex Ryan hater and he only proves more and more how inept he is as a coach. However, The Jets defense was rather impressive and fortunately, as bad as the Pats defense it, it was better than the Jets offense. I'm convinced that if there is raw potential to be realized in Sanchez, it will never happen with Rex Ryan as his coach.

Enough for now.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Long Weekend...So Far...

One of my goals was to finally finish the Keith Richards book. The book is fascinating, super interesting but very long and since I don't have/make lots of time to read, it's been with me for a few weeks and time. As of this writing, I have less than 50 pages to go so I'm guessing I should accomplish my goal of finishing. Next two books in line: "Notes from an Accidental Band Geek" by the awesome Erin Dionne and then Greg Fitzsimmons book.

Today was the Brazilian Children's Day Festival at my church. Nearly a year of planning and the largest outreach to the Brazilian community we know of. The event was very successful and quite moving in many ways watching community in action - I am so proud of those who worked so long and tirelessly on this project and glad the press came to cover the event.

I need to finally get the curtain rods and curtains hung on the main floor. I took care of my bedroom months ago and the rods and curtains have just been sitting on one of the couches waiting to be hing for a few months now after many claims by me that "this is the weekend" - I need to take some action in this.

This morning, I worked out for nearly two hours after stating out loud (to myself), that I was going to still work out but try to take it a bit easy...I am a nutcase. Today though does mark a milestone in that it was the 365th consecutive day of exercise for me; a full year complete without missing a single day - I'll go right ahead and say it, that's impressive!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

For Gerry

I haven't know you all that long, certainly not nearly as long as most of the other folks we know in common. I have known you long enough though to know that you are a good guy, you have a great laugh, and you are well loved by those folks I mentioned earlier, that we know in common. I wish I had more time to get to know you better, hear more of your stories, just hang out with you more.

While your age might indicate to some that you've had a full or at least a long life, isn't that all relative? And the circumstances of what you are dealing with now, at least to me, see such circumstance always seems. This is one of those thing that makes those of us with faith question such faith because it's hard to resolve that one should have to have suffer as much as you have recently. Regardless, while I do believe in miracles and I continue to pray for one - mostly I pray for you to resolve this whole experience however it may please you.

I know that your family and friends will miss you deeply but will always have the great memories you left them with. I'll do my share, as your friends, to help them resolve their grief as I will need them to resolve mine - in the end, we'll all be certain where you'll be and do our best to find comfort that you are at peace and your spirit will remain with us always.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

What I'm Looking Forward To

  • Friends reunion
  • New Orleans trip
  • Season finale of Breaking Bad
  • Eventual return of Mad Men
  • A rare steak dinner (not a rare steak but a steak dinner at a restaurant on an Angus beef farm)
  • -12 years of research, and putting out the word, and finally someone listened...phase 1 of the OneCard system being installed.

Work has been real busy of late, lots of challenges but there are a lot of good vibes in the workplace lately.

I've renamed the woman on the Pilates DVD to "Pontious Pilates" - amazed at how much it hurts.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Where are the Foxes?

No, not a reference to the great SNL sketch with Dan Akroyd and Steve Martin but actual foxes. The answer, right here in Massachusetts apparently. I'm driving to work this morning and an animal crosses the darn street about 20-30 feet in front of me...I notice the tail fist, which is my first clue it's a fox then see the legs and the whole picture.

Did a bit of research and it's not such an uncommon thing to spot a fox in MA, seems they thrive here. Yay!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Podcast: Tenth Anniversary of Friends Reunion Disc - Part 3

Back in January of 2001 I created a CD of mixed music for John and Jane who were hosting one of our (approximately) biannual friends reunions. I recently came upon the CD, noted that it was ten years old and decided to put together a three part music podcast and bring the music to all of you. Please support these artists if you enjoy the songs and don't already own them, consider making a purchase.

Enjoy part 3 of this 3 part series.

You can download or subscribe by going to the podcast site by clicking here.


Listen right here on this page:

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Nothing About Fonzie

Decided to go food shopping in a different town a bit out of the way partly for variety and partly to be somewhere further from where I can be recognized but colleagues, students and the sort and wouldn't ya know it, I run not into one, but two colleagues. No biggie though - it's not like I've grown a new eye socket on my cheeks, but it's nice to have a full day off and leave everything about the workplace back at the workplace.

Still working my way through Keith Richard's book. It's a very interesting read but a long one and my spare reading time is kind of short. Speaking of books, My friend Erin's third book was released on 9/1 but the release party is tomorrow afternoon - I am looking forward to that little party.

Tomorrow I will release the third and final installment of the recent music podcast series - thanks to all who've listened; it's been fun making.

Yankees just wrapped up game 1 of the ALDS with a 9-3 victory; hopefully they can take it all the way - one game at a time.