Friday, April 2, 2010

Spaghetti with Fennel & Herbs

I am back! But I still don't have a whole lot to talk about. So, I have decided to at least post about my adventures in the kitchen. Tonights dinner was a based on this recipe.


1) Tonight I didn't have any red jalapeƱo peppers, so I used some dried chiles that I had in the cupboard. It worked reasonably well, but I would prefer the jalapeƱos myself.
2) Although the instructions say to put the garlic in the skillet first, I would advise sweating the fennel first. Garlic has a tendency to burn too quickly.
3) You can get away with less chicken broth then is listed since you reduce most of it away. I only used 3/4 of cup (it was all I had).
4) If you like garlic, like I do, go with 4-5 cloves instead of 3.
5) If at all possible, buy whole fennel seed, toast it and grind it yourself. You will appreciate the flavor.
6) Although I am sure it would be delicious with pancetta, normal bacon works well. If you use regular bacon, use a little more since it the flavor isn't as powerful as pancetta.
7) I don't cook with fresh fennel very often. It was sweeter than I expected. Also, don't be alarmed by the licorice smell, even if you don't like black licorice. The flavor changes significantly during the cooking process.

I guess that is it for tonight. There will hopefully be a post on blackened steelhead and rice later this weekend.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Project

I am not the kind of man that can spend most of his evenings and weekends sitting around the house. Throughout my time in school I always had a goal I was working toward. That goal kept me occupied, driven. Once I hit the work-a-day world I had some trouble adjusting. Certainly I still had goals, but they were either too long term (save for retirement, improve as a trial lawyer etc), or too mundane to sate my desire. It seems I need goals that are, although difficult, obtainable in the mid-term. To put it quite bluntly, I need projects. Those that have followed my occasional postings have seen several posts on my last large project (my house). To be sure, the house is not yet complete, but the remaining projects are weekend sized for the most part. With the tangible end in sight, I decided it was time to acquire my next project: a 1967 Mustang Coupe. As it happens, my father is liquidating a good deal of things he has bought over the last few years, and he happened to still have the first car we bought together. The idea of finishing a project that stalled out so long ago was intoxicating. It simply had to be done.

About the car:

1967 Mustang Coupe w/ a vinyl top.

289, V-8 (and it runs)

3 speed automatic

Color: currently a mix of bondo gray, red, and Wimbledon White.

Interior: Black (except for the white high-back bucket seats that someone dropped in. I think they from a Ford Maverick)

Best of all: Manuel drum brakes...

Here some pictures to fill in what my words do not.  

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Santa clause multiplied by i

Other then my awesome new washer and dryer, there isn't a whole lot of news out here. But I did want to share something with you all: Bo Burnham. Not only does he have the coolest first name ever (even if he spells it wrong), he is damn funny. So take 4 minutes, watch this video. You will be glad you did. Be warned, it is musical comedy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I am only 27 years old. But I don't feel so young today. 

Last weekend our dryer died. It was clearly old. Older than Sam or I in fact. So last week we spent a couple of evening shopping for replacement. We were confronted by a fairly common and obvious problem. With the dryer dead, could the washer be far behind? It was clearly of the same vintage as the dryer. Wouldn't it make sense to replace them both now? So we shopped not just for a dryer, but for a good deal on a washer/dryer set. In the end we choose to spend extra money and purchase high-efficiency front loading units. They arrived today. And they made me feel old. Not in their newness, or moderness. Not even for the fact that I spent a large sum of money on appliances. But for the way I looked forward to their arrival for the last couple of days. And the excitement I felt in starting the first load. I don't know exactly when it happened, but I have become... domesticated. The urge to go out drinking and get a tatoo is so strong... but it is almost time to move the clothes to the dryer.

Authors Note: I know I was never the most exciting person, but I didn't think I would be this old at 27...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Poor Sierpinski

The last few days have been a bit of a roller-coaster. On Friday morning one of our two cats failed to show up for her usual snuggle time with Sam. This is uncommon, but not unheard of. Around 9:00 am Sam started looking for Sierpinski (the black and white one) only to find her hiding under my dresser. Over the course of the morning it became clear that something was wrong. Eventually she came out from under the dresser and Sam was able to see that she had a hard time moving her hind legs. By some confluence of luck Sam went outside and found the cat's collar in the street smashed; it had clearly been run over by a car. This led to the conclusion that the cat had also been hit.

As I am sure you can imagine, Sam and I were expecting dire news from the veterinarian once it was clear what had happened. Luckily most vets (and ours is no exception) are good at making time in situations like this. The initial report was shockingly good. It seemed as though Sierpi had dislocated her hip, but there didn't seem to be any broken bones or internal damage. Fantastic news!

With that good news in hand and a sore kitty at home Sam and I went out to see Watchmen and relax. Then Saturday we headed down to Rockaway to help my folks with a little project on their beach house (soon to just be their house...). When we got back there was very unpleasant news in the form of blood spots on the bedroom carpet. Not being able to tell where they came from we quickly isolated Sierpi in the bathroom. Paying attention to her, it seemed that the blood was coming from a small wound near her butt. We decided to leave her in the bathroom so she couldn't run or jump and let the wound heal.

Come the next morning it looked like the plan had worked well. There were fewer blood spots on the bath mat then there had been on the bedroom rug the night before. So I scratched her on the head and got into the shower. When I got out there appeared to be a gout of blood on the floor. I was understandably concerned. Upon closer inspection it wasn't entirely blood. It had the unmistakable odor of cat urine. I was still (understandably) concerned. But it was Sunday morning and the veterinarian was closed. There was little we could do but watch and wait.

I left for Rockaway again and left Sam behind to monitor Sierpi. But I was not hopeful. Around 3:30 that afternoon she again urinated and it was quite bloody. Yet, she didn't seem much worse for the wear. She was walking around, she wanted out of the bathroom. She ate a little and drank plenty of water. I was confused.

Come Monday morning there was no new blood on the rug. We decided to wait until she evacuated her bladder to see if she still needed to go to the vet. Despite drinking water she didn't seem to want to go. Finally after lunch, when her stomach appeared full and tender we decided she need to go in to the veterinarian again. I was expecting the worst. I had even prepared Sam for the worst.

This time we saw the cat specialist. After a brief examination she was ready with the verdict, but it wasn't as dire as I expected. Sierpinski's tail had been severed internally from the rest of her body. It was, for all intents and purposes dead. When the car hit her and (for lack of a better term) broke her tail, it also caused a problem with the nerves that control urine function. It won't be clear for 7-14 days whether normal bladder function will resume.

To conclude, for at least a week either Sam or I (mostly Sam) has to juice one of our kitties. She also has a bald butt and no tail. I know, deep down inside, that this isn't funny. But given that I was prepared for the worst, it is not not funny either. Observe:


Monday, March 2, 2009

Coming Attractions

So I know it has been a little while since I have dropped a post. Honestly there really hasn't been a whole lot going on to talk about. I haven't taken up a new sport/turned Canadian, or climbed a mountain, or even returned from two years abroad like many of my friends. Sam and I are just continuing our quiet but quite enjoyable time out here on the coast.

That said, I am working on (or at least thinking about) a couple of posts that I hope to have finished soon. One is (predictably) sports related, the other is (probably just as predictably) related to a recent ruling from the US Supreme Court on free speech/governmental speech issues.

I am also working on my over-use of parentheticals, but that is another topic for another day. I hope you all are well out there.

Monday, January 12, 2009

This is not a Blazers Post

In fact, I thought I would give a little update about how things have been going on the coast out here. So here we go:


I am sure most of you have heard we had a bought of winter weather out here in Oregon around the holidays. Sam and I went to Portland on the 20th to try and finish some Christmas shopping. We knew it was snowy and going to snow more. What we hadn't heard was it was going to snow a foot on Saturday. On top of that the freezing rain came in 36 hours earlier then I had been told it would. This is long way of saying that Sam and I wound up snowed in in Portland for a few days. However, come Monday we had to try and fight our way out of the city and over the passes since we were supposed to both be at work that day (luckily we have understanding bosses). So, we dug her Beetle out of the snow and we chained it up, and dug a ramp through the drifts to the hard pack snow. We loaded up, and I gave it good hard run. We made it some 250 feet to where my parents cul-de-sac runs into the main road. From there it took about an hour to get unstuck and heading home again. But after some working, some sand and some digging we were on our way again. And he made it a little over a half a mile. At the intersection of Pinehurst and Oatfield Rd. we hit another heavy bit in the road and it pushed us wide. By wide I mean we ran into a 3.5 foot snow bank on the far side of Oatfield. And we were stuck again. I was about to throw in the towel and walk back to my parents house when a very nice fellow (in shorts no less) pulled us out with a winch. From there we were able to make it on main roads and the free way all the way home. All told it took us about 4.5 hours. Sam held up like a champ though, and we played a rousing game of chain counting. This consists of counting peoples lost chains on the side of the road. He saw 27 of them between Portland and Astoria. Probably should have picked them up, I could have made a fortune reselling them.

Given the weather Sam and I spent a rather nice Christmas at home together in Portland. It was the first time I had ever spent Christmas without my family. It was a little strange but nice. There is something to be said for having a quite, stress-free holiday. After Christmas and with the weather thawing I headed for Portland for my vacation (I took a good 11 days off, counting holidays and weekends). I hit up Powell's and Everyday Music as well as hung out with some friends. (Note, to those friends I missed, I am sorry... perhaps we can try to grab lunch next time I am in town w/ free time.)

Back on the home-front as it were. Things in Astoria are good. Sam seems to like her job, (She has been blogging again, for those that might be interested). And 2 years in I still like mine. I have a nice routine, but there is a good deal of variation week to week. I started off he year with a trial and a good win over a rather good attorney. I have a few more trials coming up this month and next. If one of them turns out interesting I may toss out a post on that.

I am looking forward to this coming weekend. I have Monday off for President's Day (thank you government work...) and Friday night I am going to Fountains of Wayne concert with Paul in Portland. That should be awesome.

That is about it for now. Sorry, nothing so interesting as an abandoned dildo in an alleyway.

Two links before I go though:

  1. Stuff White People Like – Damn funny, worth a browse.

  2. Paul has started to use his blog it would seem. Holler.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Darius Miles Situation

So, I am sure most of you that care already know, but there are big doings for the Blazers on the whole Darius Miles thing.

For now I am not going to delve into the whys, whats or wherefores of the whole thing, but there is one point I feel compelled to get out there. Many of the people that are discussing this issue find the letter/email sent out threatening litigation to have been little more then bluster. "How can you prove the other team acted maliciously?" they ask. The short answer is "circumstantial evidence," or "inferential reasoning" if you will.

Here is the crux of the issue:  If Miles plays 2 more games this year it would have a somewhat significant negative impact on Portland's cap space heading into the off season. In the NBA a team can sign a player to 10 day contract which would be enough to Miles in to two games without significant cost to the signing team. Portland sent out a letter making it clear that if it appeared a team was signing and playing Miles for the purpose of harming Portland's cap they would take legal action.

So consider this:  Team A signs Miles to a 10 day contract, plays him 1 minute of garbage time in each of 2 games during that 10 days and then lets him go. Miles isn't signed and doesn't play another game all season. In other words, Team A did just enough to put Miles' salery pack on Portland's cap. Sure there is no direct evidence of the intent, NBA executives are smart enough not to put thier ill intent in an email. But we can infer their intent. And a jury/judge could do the exact same thing. I am not saying it would be the easiest case, but the "journalists" claiming that it can't be proven are some combination of naieve, dumb or too lazy to think it through. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rip City

So, a month or two ago I was thinking about the Blazers. Specifically, around the time they announced they were going to retire Terry Porter's number I started remenicing about those old Blazer teams again. Then I remembered the awesome Blazer rap songs and Rip City Rhapsody in particular. I spent hours (literally several hours over 2-3 nights) searching for an mp3 or youtube video of the that song.  You see I loved that song. I had the cassette tape. I had a VHS tape of the highlights from that season that had the video. And I watched it on a pretty regular basis. But I couldn't find it. It didn't exist anywhere. Adter that amount of searching I was convinced that the internet had let me down.

So, why did I tell you all of this? Because I thought perhaps it wasn't clear how big of a dork I was/am?  No, not exactly. You see, the great Lord of the Tubes has granted my wish. So to all of you that love it, to all of you that have never seen it, I present the video of Rip City Rhapsody! Big thanks to Bust-a-Bucket for getting this done.

While watching the video keep your eye out for some classic Drazen shots... as well as Kevin Johnson crying like a baby. But perhaps best of all, is hearing the Schonz calls in the background.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness

Before reaching our feature presentation, a short note. As I typed the title to this post, my mind half wandered and before I knew it I had types "Random Acts of Congress." I am sure that isn't exactly a new joke, but it made me chuckle. Anyway, on to the real reason I am here:

First things first, here is the article that inspired this post. 

There, have you read it? You should, my rant will make more sense that way. In case you are too lazy here are the cliffs notes: 1) Girl at Sheldon High starts a club to perform random acts of kindness. It grows quickly. 2) They start by giving free hugs at a Duck game, and all is good. 3) They try to rake leaves for people in the neighborhood. One of the people they approach decides these high-schoolers (7 girls and 1 guy) are there to burgle her house and calls the cops. 4) They try to hand out cards with nice messages and mints at VRC. Security kicks them out for violating the anti-soliciting rule.

It really is quite incredible. Unbelievable, frankly. Now, I can be as cynical as the next guy. Maybe even more so. I try not to be, but the fact is it is almost impossible not to grow cynical in my job. But here we have kids trying to be good. High schoolers spending time doing something other then  drinking, or trying to score some dope, or partying etc. and what happens? They get kicked out of VRC? An older woman calls the police and reports them as suspicious for trying to rake her leaves? I always knew that the world wasn't a place all full of happy sunshine and rainbows etc. And I know most people know it too. But still, if 7 girls and 1 guy, all of high-school age offered to rake my yard for free? I really don't think I would suspect them of trying to burgle me. And I deal with thieves, burglars and drug addicts on a daily basis. 

I don't know, maybe if it was in Detroit, or certain parts of Los Angeles or something I could understand the suspicion. But Eugene? C'mon! I guess I am just disappointed in people. I seems like such a wonderful idea for the students, and that it got such an antagonistic reception saddens me.