2019 - Week 22 Cooking

I took some time on Friday to call the office of Rep Chip Roy (R TX), for his grandstanding. I did have a nice conversation with one of his people, where we agreed to disagree, but the take away is Intent only matters to the degree of wrongness, its still wrong. However when trying to express that in this thread, including my compliment to his staffer, he chooses to retweet that, not the fact that his intent doesn’t matter when it’s harm that is being caused. Anyways, it was interesting to be included in a number of retweets of Texans. Anyways, if you want to complain about process, do so on something that actually brings harm to your constituents, rather then others, otherwise the gesture is at best grandstanding, but probably meaningless.


Weezer & Pixies (Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, 3/28/2019)



2019 - Week 13 Cooking Results

I need to sharpen my knives. I got a new magnetic block which I like, but I’ve noticed as I’ve swapped the order of the knives available, that I need to sharpen both of my chef knives. I’ve taken them to be sharpened before and I’ve had my brother sharpen them. I’ve intended to buy a sharpener for a while, just keep putting it off.

I went to see Weezer & Pixies and Basement (? I think) with Nathan. It marked the Pixies off the bucket list for me (I’ve seen Weezer a couple times before). I’ve kinda wanted to see them since college, but they broke up before college, and got back together after. It was a very fun show. Afterwards we walked to Hello Marjorie for some cocktails. I am annoyed that it was my first visit there. Maybe I’ll have to find an excuse to go for cocktails more.

On the cocktail note, we discovered a thing we didn’t know about. Aquafaba, apparently is a vegan alternative to egg whites, can be used as a replacement. More research is called for. I have an interest in cocktails but usually I get distracted by getting intoxicated. So you have notes but you can’t always trust yourself and your tastebuds after a few drinks.

Shrimp Fried Rice (cleaning out the freezer of leftover shrimp)

Made some rice, used it to make fried rice twice. I don’t remember what I bought the shrimp for, but it worked out pretty well.. I brought the shrimp up to temperature then cooked and follow the directions for the most part. Fried rice is a perfect example of why you need to get everything in place before you start. I admit that I don’t always do the prep first, cause I know that you usually have time built into a recipe while something cooks to get the next step or two ready. But often it makes sense to get ready.

Kielbasa and Lentil Soup

There was a judgement call to make on the type of lentils to use and etc, so I made a call, and apparently it was wrong (red lentils). It ended up being less soupy and more pea soupy. Which was fine, I think the taste was pretty good, but it looks nothing even remotely like the picture on the site. I had leftovers from an early lunch today, still quite good.

Large Black Ham Slices & Eggs

So they were a bit bigger then I expected so when I pulled out the ham slices, I expected it to fit in a pan…then had to pull out another pan… So I have scrambled eggs in a pan, then two other pans with ham steaks, it was a bit silly. Relatively easy to manage, dinner was done quick.

Mangalitsa Pork Burgers

Low and slow…still a bit of complaints from the smoke alarm. A warning. Just a bit of warning, but not to bad. The burgers themselves seem to be flavored with something. I can’t tell what, but not just a flavor of pork… Anyways I think I thought the same thing when we had it before. Did we have it before? I’m pretty sure. Anyways, It’s pretty good. I’ll have to try it again.

Green Onion Sausage Pizza

After the semi-failure of the pizza from week 4, it was good to get back on the right path. the Cheese Shop had by chance, some fresh mozzarella. I made a grab of it and used it. I slowly stretched out the dough (over about 30 minutes or so). While I was waiting for that I shredded the cheese, cooked the green onion sausage and made the sauce. It was good to have it again with a nice crisp crust.

2019 - Week 13 Cooking

We went out to the new Palms Imax theater in Waukee to see and early screening of Shazam! It seems like they opened early to start bringing in money. There seems to be thinks that are not in place yet. Also it seems like some parts are a flow design nightmare. The parking lot appears to be unlined, the “sidewalks” seem to be just other colored concrete (we saw people parked over it). They’re still installing some of the decoration on the outside. Inside, the kiosk where we get the tickets (from the fandango purchase), it is unclear where we’re supposed to scan the bar code. There is a restaurant, and snacks and these work about what you expect. It seems as if they haven’t gotten down the amount of frequency you need to clean the bathroom, or change the paper towels (I got it twice, once with no paper towels, once with just a single one). The closes bathrooms to the IMax and upper end theater are far enough away it doesn’t make for a quick run out mid-movie and return. So for the upcoming big screen experiences, it seems to exclude it from anything of any length (2.5+) from wanting to be seen there. That being said, the sound in the XL Digital screen has better sound then where we have been going. They also don’t even seem to be remotely concerned about recycling. Shazam!, was pretty good though. I think DC is finding the right balance, between darkness and humor.

I decided to put the fridge looking on hold for a bit. The one I limited it down to is supposed to come in stainless still and black stainless (black being more expensive). But they were out of stainless, and I prefer the Costco delivery over others I have worked with (also the money I get back). So I’ll wait to around the next appliance holiday sale or whatever and check again. I do have everything measured and noted. The old house challenge of having narrow (by comparison) doorways. I went all the perspective pathways and found the easiest one (31” max width) was the one with the most width. This is also related to the fact that I’ve blown through my flex spending already (new bifocals + new CPAP), so if anything comes up, we don’t want to be in a bind.

I’ve been adjusting our near term financial goals to have more in reserve. The adjustment has been a bit hard, as most money adjustments are. It is also challenging to know that I can pay off the last of my student loans, but that may not be the best financial choice.

Also, I’m going to Weezer this week. I’ve seen them before, but I also get to see The Pixies, which is also pretty cool (I’ve never seen them).

Thinking on Social Media

After seeing my general phone usage stats over the last few weeks, I’m becoming more thoughtful about how and why I use it. For the most part, this is what this (website) is. Habit, planning, general expressiveness. It’s for me, if other people read it, that’s fine, but it’s for me. I’ll use it as a reference for what I’ve cooked before, where we’ve gone, as sort of the official history, and to help me remember the timeline.

As it stands, I’ve been reducing my usage. I don’t think I’ll stop, because it can be a useful tool, but how much do I really need to use it?

I think this coming year I’ll try to be more social in person with people that I’ve fell off with due to depression cycles. I’ve also thought of posting things here, instead of Instagram, but that feels like I’m forcing people to come here, rather then putting it where they want to consume it. I don’t know. I’m still thinking about it.

Early Fall Trip 2018 - Coming home Through Burlington, IA

We had plans to go through Nauvoo, however it is a much smaller town then I remember (I’d be my who knows how many times, and Shannon’s first time) and apprently closes down almost entirely on Sunday afternoon (very unwelcoming). I guess I should’ve done more research, rather then just depending on my memory. So we needed a lunch and made a call that instead of looking in a tiny town where everything appeared to be closed, we’d head to Burlington, which was on our plan anyways.

Snake Alley

Mosquito Park

Early Fall Trip 2018 - Dana Thomas House

So the Dana Thomas House is another check in our long list of visiting public Frank Lloyd Wright places. As with many places, the photographs of the inside was forbidden, and I can understand it to some extent (sales of photos, time on tours, etc), but there was the lamp, and butterfly chandelier (OMG) that I really really wanted to spend time with. So it made me a bit sad, but it was a wonderful double visit (we arrived to one of the last tours of the day, so we came back the next day to take pictures in the garden).

Early Fall Trip 2018 - Abe Lincoln Binge and Springfield, IL

(alt title: Whole lotta Lincoln Going On)

We visited The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Union Station, Lincoln Home, Old state Capital, Lincoln’s Tomb, The Lincoln - Herndon Law offices, Lincoln Depot, New Salem and the Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center. We walked around quite a bit in the downtown area, so we took some shots from around there too. I really liked the red door of the First Presbyterian Church just down the street from the Lincoln Home. I may have scared a UPS person that was close by as I expressed how pretty I thought it was.

Early Fall Trip 2018 - Airbnb - Virginia, IL

This was our first Airbnb, we have been thinking about it for a while, there is always a bit of trepidation there, because it is a new thing. That being said, this was quite a delightful experience. It felt like staying at a friends house (without the feeling that you may be a burden on your friend). It was cozy and nice, and unlike some places, I didn’t have that much problem falling asleep (I did have a hard time finding the right position so my CPAP machine would work right). There was enough space to allow me to stay up a bit later (as is usually the case), unlike a hotel room. We were located right on the town square, with the courthouse across the street. While we were hoping that this place that was just a couple doors down would be open (it had permanently closed the week before we got there). There was a lot of noise related to harvest season (semis going back and forth), but for the most part it was pretty quiet.

Early Fall Trip 2018 - To Springfield, Illinois

I am easily bored while driving, so while we trip, we try to schedule breaks, and avoid roads we’ve driven many times before. I have lived in Iowa all of my life (Shannon most) and I’ve never been here. A bit out of the way, sure, but a nice stop off.

American Gothic House

Maharishi University

I’ll not lie, this is partially because of my interest of the obscure, plus the mention of a golden dome was interesting (yellow is more accurate)

Villa Kathrine

Just across the river in Quincy. This is an indicator of an odd fellow liking a concept and making it happen. A wonderful view, the house still looks out of place, even decades upon decades after being there.