Saturday, September 16, 2006


Tonight I made maple-soy, sesame encrusted salmon; curried, pinnaple rice, and baked okra (okay, I didn't make the okra).

Jennie, I'm sorry.


I'm sorry I couldn't come to your going away party last night. I had to watch the boys much later than I had anticipated.

I'm sorry.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

You Tube and Food

It's been a while since my last post, but I hope to be a more frequent contributor to my own site. Since my regular visits here, it seems that You Tube has really taken off, and a recent food video I came across seemed a good time to return. Ironically, today, on the way from my in-laws', we had to stop for food ASAP. We tried a new fast food place because it had a drive-thru and we wanted to get the boys home. The place was called Culver's, home of the "butterburger." I had no idea what a butterburger was until I used the wonders of the Internet to learn it is a seared burger between a buttered, toasted bun. I'm not so interested. Well, again, it was ironic to stumble upon this video when we got home. It's got a message and beautiful food.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Drink Coffee

I'm always looking for more justifications for drinking coffee. Reducing the chance of liver cancer is another one. You can read about it here. I'm not too particular about my coffee, though I do enjoy a fine cup. My preferred coffee is Ethiopian Harrar, but I'll drink burnt gas station coffee if I really want a cup and that's all around, as long as it reduces my chance of liver cancer of course.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I am an unrealist.

That's my new motto.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Who Needs Oil

I think those interested in energy independence and alternative energy sources should look into the new Oslo plant written about here in Reuters. If we build one of these plants near the nation's capital, we could probably power the entire world. What's the energy source you ask (as if you haven't figured it out yet)? Human sewage. Does that sound horrific? So does the millions of gallons of oil we spill into our environment sound better (and that includes all the oils and oil based products we dump down the drain, toilet, and into our gutters -- this means you)? The article even examines the inconsistent supply of the new plant's "fuel source." It gave me a chuckle.

Okay, I'll get off of my soapbox. Check out the article for an interesting way that people deal with energy and waste.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Spring is Coming

Tomorrow night we turn back the clocks. This is a right of spring I don't enjoy. Losing an hour of sleep and making my mornings darker is no fun. But I'm excited to report that some of our seedlings have sprouted. This year we're limiting ourselves to growing tomatoes and peppers from seed, and we're excited to grow some cool tomatoes we've never even heard of. In fact, I can't even pronounce the name of at least one.

The clocks and seedlings are harbingers of more for me. They signal a time when I can get outside and enjoy the sun, work in the yard and play in the park. This year will be extra exciting because it's the boys first spring.

Spring is coming. I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Itsy Bitsy Spider

So I'm trying to get Baby A to go to sleep -- not an easy task -- and I'm singing the few songs I can remember lyrics to. Sadly, the Itsy Bitsy Spider is one of them. Besides not having many lyrics, it has hand movements that would traditionally accompany the song, but because I was rocking my son to sleep, the hand movements were absent. As I sang, I realized the story of that sad spider really reminds me of Sisyphus. And, in fact, in a sleep-deprived state, one can substitute the name Sisyphus for spider.

It's a sad state of affairs.

But as one thinks about this more than one should, the question of whether you view the spider as a Sisyphus figure or a "little engine that could" (how's that for elevating the level of discussion), really represents a world view. Which world view do I hold? I guess it depends on the day and how many times I sing Itsy Bitsy Spider in a row at 3 a.m.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Guns Don't Kill People

This morning I took the time to explain to Baby A and Baby B that guns don't shoot people, people shoot people. And that someone in front of the barrel of a gun is not responsible for being shot by the gun. The person with his/her hand on the trigger is responsible.

It's a sad state of affairs to think otherwise, and an embarrassment to not admit a mistake.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A School's Responsibility to its Students

I ran across this article in the LA Times that described a class-action lawsuit brought by students who failed an exit exam from high school. It caught my attention because one of my professional areas of interest is writing assessment, and I have spent ink considering exit exams and their values and drawbacks. I think there may be some value to them (though very little and value that can be achieved through less drastic measures), but I want to focus on one of the drawbacks here.

Certainly I think it is a laudable goal to set standards for student to graduate from high school. As a university teacher, I see students come to college who could have had better preparation. But all students are different, and each student matures intellectually at different times (if they mature). Read William Perry's study of college students and then read Mary Belenky et al.'s Women's Ways of Knowing.

Back to the exit exams. Here is one of my primary beefs with them: I think it is unethical to allow a student to matriculate through four years of school and not prepare them to pass a test designed for that school or district. I believe it is the job of the faculty to prepare all students, and when that doesn't happen (often the student's fault), the faculty must prevent the underachieving students from advancing. Now, I know this is a simplistic analysis. There are social ("social promotion"), cultural, political, religious (ID freaks and abstinence) and learning developmental issues to consider, but society has endowed an authority in teachers (see Foucault's Archeology of Knowledge) to determine what students should know, how they should learn it, and how well they should know it. By instituting an exam, teachers can abdicate that responsibility or they've had it wrenched from them by some of the forces listed above.

The bottom line: allowing a student to pass four years of high school and not prepare them for a test is just wrong. They should be stopped well before they get to that point -- ideally where they fall behind.

p.s. The students will win.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Dining Out

It's been a long time since I've had dinner out. I miss going out and trying new foods, but more than the food, I miss the social aspect of eating out with friends. Though I've enjoyed very brief outings to the UCEN on campus, eating a grilled cheese sandwich from Halo Burger just doesn't cut it.

I hear someone calling.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Baby A Rolls On

Baby A, possibly jealous of his brother, rolled from his belly to his back today. My two exceptional boys.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Just Rolling Around

Baby B rolled over from his back to his belly today. I thought this might be early for a baby, and Baby A has shown no interest in rolling over (he has managed to learn that he can get me to do just about anything, including sashay). It turns out the timing is about right for a baby to roll from belly to back, but from back to belly doesn't usually happen until 5 or 6 months. I don't know if this is true, but I'll just take it as gospel and say my baby is ready to go. He'll be walking by 5 months -- for better and worse.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Sagano Redux

Tonight I, and some others, returned to Sagano to eat on the "sushi" side. It's quieter and we could face each other. It took a while for us to be seated, which had never really happened before. It was an omen. Service was slow all night, and I knew things were bad when our server was also the owner. Normally, she hovers around the front desk, serving as hostess and making sure everyone was happy. Tonight she was dressed in more "server" garb and seemed a bit harried. To her credit, she took our large order verbally and only made one small mistake -- the wrong salad dressing on one salad.

The restaurant was busy, a good sign, but it seemed a bit crazier than usual. The table behind us was full, at least 8 people, who were waiting to go into the steakhouse side of the restaurant. The increased traffic made the place feel busy, and the service suffered.

The sushi was delicious, as usual, but I realized how important the service was to me at Sagano. I like sushi, but I find Sagano's selection slim given I don't really eat sashimi. So, I left with a full belly, but somehow dissatisfied.

Maybe going on a Friday night wasn't the best choice, though the only time available for our group. We went at 6, a bit early for the Friday night dinner crowd. Still, it may have been the wrong day and time.

We learned (true or not) that two of the servers had to return to Japan temporarily. We didn't ask why. I know the steakhouse is new, but I hope they work out the kinks and don't lose me from both sides of the restaurant.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sagano Brings in Entertainment

On Friday I went to Sagano's new steakhouse for someone's birthday. I went with family and friends, kids included. This is no typical steakhouse like Outback or Logan's. This is the kind of steakhouse like Benehana, where a chef/performer comes and makes food on a large grill right in front of you.

The performance was wonderful. Our chef was skilled and funny. I swear he was flirting with our single, female friend who was with us. There was fantastic knifework, flames, jokes -- even food acrobatics. In fact, my brother-in-law caught two flying pieces of shrimp. Baby B was fascinated with the performance, distracted only when he decided to spit up his entire meal.

Though pricey, the entertainment was great and the food was well above average. I had steak, another in our party had filet minion, two had tuna, and three had chicken. Each part of the meal is a course. We started with rice, had noodles, and had vegetables. Then we had the main course -- my steak. All of the food was good, but I prefer to have all parts of my meal together. Otherwise I feel like I'm just eating a plate of meat. Maybe I'm a bit too bound up in Western food traditions. Sure I could have left the food sit on my plate until the meat came, but the food just wouldn't seem as appealing cold.

The atmosphere was nice, but it was loud with all of the chefs making noise at the tables. I was impressed that Baby A did as well as he did with the loud noises. He tends to startle a bit, particularly in new environments. And speaking of Baby B, he beckons me.

I'd go back, but I still prefer the sushi side of Sagano, where conversation and exceptional food reigns.