Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Monday, February 01, 2016
The wallpaper was a fruit and vegetable motif, done in brilliant orange and green. This was the late sixties/early seventies, when really earthy earth tones were popular (avocado green refrigerators and ovens were born around this time.)
Spices we had then: petrified tumeric in a small can from 1937, oregano, and something called "Beau Monde" seasoning, which seemed to be an unholy concoction of garlic salt, cream of tartar, whatever they used to make that "Butter. Buds" product, and some black pepper thrown in to save it from looking like powdered puke.
With these and ketchup the house chef would serve whatever dead animal wound up on our plates.
Sunday, January 03, 2016
So we've been talking about the book of James in Sunday school. The best I can describe it, James is mostly about discipleship, and not being a phony Christian.
Recently we've been going over the verses regarding the tongue: 3:1 - 12. Verse 6: "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and is set on fire by hell."
That verse has really got to give one pause. It reminds me of Jesus' words in Matthew 15:18--"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man."
This set me thinking after church, as I wandered around town, about what was inside me. Full disclosure: I've been fairly prayerless the past week or so. I'm newly returned to the Lord and still trying to get disciplined about my devotional time.
All of the negative stuff from James has sort of been coming into play (not in a big way, but bad enough) : faith w/o works, envy, pride, an untamable tongue, listening to too much secular music and feeling weird...all floating around in my head.
When I get this way, I start feeling like a walking example of the Parable of the Sower, how the cares of this world can choke out the Word.
I resolved this afternoon to perambulate in prayer as I was going around, which I did, and I have to say I'm glad. Sometimes having a think and a prayer and a wander can do you a world of good.
Thursday, January 01, 2015
I like that this is turning the idea of of "resolutions" on its head. Because your New Year's stuff should be more about focus than about stuff you oughtta do,, which can ruin your focus.
That being said, I'd like to get this under way with my three words, which are:
- Calibrate. I'm going to ask myself, "What's my level? How do I get there and how do I vibrate on that frequency?" This is also sort of a spiritual idea, the idea of, getting with one's Higher Power, whatever that may be, and finding out what you should be doing (yeah, I know, "should".)
- Educate. Self-education is going to be very important this year, about a lot of different things.
- Create. More blogging, hopefully more YouTube videos this year (maybe even getting started on a book, holy shnikeys!)
Happy 2015, buddies.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The man driving a small car, with a huge dog in the passenger side, both of them looking as though this was the most normal thing in the world, a level of peaceful intimacy between them that was enviable.
A youngish man in an SUV, turning slightly to look incredulously, and say, "What?!" to some toddler, who had no doubt said/done something very funny.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
You've heard what the experts have had to say--"No one is interested in what you had for lunch! Stop tweeting and Facebook-ing your food!" And I have disregarded that advice and tweeted about food before. It's fun to break the rules sometimes!
And I suppose that they're actually right, those experts, in a way. Taking a photo of your pan-seared ahi tuna or whatever, and saying, "Out with the gang at that great new restaurant!" may be a pretty good thing for your inner circle of internet pals, the folks you work with, your family, your down the street neighbor who's on your Facebook, and whatnot, but it's not something that will generally hold the interest of anyone outside that tight-knit inner circle.
I think that a posting of any kind having to do with food should be something that causes people to sit up and take notice--you've got to have something to say about food. You don't necessarily have to be Jacques Pepin, but you have to have a reason for writing what you do, an awareness of what you like and don't like and why. Some kind of an observation or perspective on a food matter. These are the kinds of things that will draw more people than your Aunt Gertrude (who reads all your stuff!) to be interested.
And now, I'm sure people are going to hate me or something, because I said all of that simply to set up a few words that were rattling through my brain about onions. Whoever has read this far can judge whether or not I adhered to my own self-imposed expert rules.
The Whole Thing About Liking/Not Liking Onions
Almost everyone starts out as a kid not liking onions. It's something about their texture, it can be kind of "papery" in a weird way. Certainly, if your mom or whoever was the cook when you were growing up can really ruin your experience of onions by not cooking them properly or throwing them on badly cooked meat, especially if you're the type of kid like I was who also had a hard time liking red meat. Fried onions can seem kind of slimy and weird. The whole thing leaves you feeling like you'd be fine if you never ate another onion again.
But then, at least in my case, things happen as you get a little older. You start noticing that nice, fresh, thinly sliced onion tastes pretty darn good on a cheeseburger. In fact, onions and cheese tend to go together really well, "cheese and onion" is sort of a food institution.
And then, it happens: someone serves you Roasted Cipollini Onions, which are the kind of thing that absolutely melts in your mouth. The first time I had these, it was so good I nearly came unglued. The way this dish is made, the onions have a sweet/savory nut-like flavor that can send you over the moon.
Not everyone crosses the bridge from hating onions to liking them, they can almost be classified in that snooty category of foods thought of as "an acquired taste." As a person who has made that jump, I can tell you that I feel a little more like a real adult, knowing that I have embraced onions as a culinary friend.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Interestingly, just last week I was in a video chatroom where they were debating on the value of online ed solutions like Coursera. I'm taking a writing class there, and I piped in with my opinion that it may be good for learning stuff on your own, such as punching up your writing skills, but that it wouldn't be sufficient to prepare you for a job in business. It seems that Laurie Pickard is gearing up to prove me wrong.
This is a discussion that needs to be had, obviously. If you read "DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education" by Anya Kamenetz, and a few of the other books like it, you'd see that there are a lot of people looking at this issue.
There are so many reasons today why traditional higher ed is not a good fit for many of us out there. One example would be the high cost to parents who send their kids out to college, pay a lot into it, and wind up having to pay even more $$ because instead of buckling down and studying, Jr. has been doing nothing but drinking, partying, and getting into trouble. Jr. then has to come back home, and, rather than gain an MBA type position, he has to work the fry station at McDonald's.
No disrespect to McDonalds, though, because as I recall when I worked there, they actually worked *with* me to work out a schedule where I could take some college classes. Not enough of the entry level workplaces out there are willing to do that these days.
As a person who's had to balance work and school, and now these days with an added load of having to take care of elderly parents, having an educational resource that I can slip into the narrow cracks of my free time is an immense blessing.
In this economy, people are less willing to shell out the bucks to an institution whose idea of improvement may be only beefing up the sports program, or a cosmetic overhaul of the cafeteria/food court. When you consider the ever growing unlikelihood that a brick and mortar degree will lead to a job, large colleges setting up free MOOCs may be their first effort at remaining relevant to the needs of the future workforce.