Happy Whatever Day This Is

I had great intentions of a great, thorough update today, given my lack of a submission last week.  But it’s a holiday, and you know what that means!!  Matter of fact it doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot, there’s about an 85% chance I’ll never get out of the house.  It’s cold, everything is closed, what’s the point.  Oh bother.

And at the end of the day, we didn’t really do much the last few weeks.  We’ve been quite busy with, well, un-fun stuff.  It’ll take an upturn when the weather consistently warms up, I’m sure.  Or I hope at least.  Saturday was the one nice day of the weekend, and we took full advantage.  We waited until it got up to 65 or so, put the top down on the car, and went to Amador for a little wine tasting.  We were actually headed towards Sutter Creek, but some friends sent us a text from Amador so we changed course.  We hit Turley, Scott Harvey, and Wilderrotter with them, which are some of our favorites in that area.  Mostly we were in it for the drive, which worked out just spectacularly.  Meanwhile, young Quinn was back at the house alone with his friend Renfield, who we were watching for the weekend.  Leaving those two clowns alone in the house is always a dicey proposition, they can really cause some mischief for not being 30 lbs of dog combined.  So, we kept it to a short day.  Luckily, the house was still standing when we returned.

Weekend Away

Fine weekend for us.  Donette had been in Orange County all week working, and I met her there Friday morning for a little mini-vacation.  We were headed for San Diego, but my Aunt and Uncle live about 1/2-way there so we stopped in for a visit at their house, which we’d never seen before.  We had a great lunch and did some catching up, then headed on our way to San Diego.

The rest of the weekend was sight-seeing and general touristy stuff.  It went by a little too fast, I think we’ll be back in the not-too-distant future to check out more of the sights.  I’ve got a lot of pictures from the trip but I’ll spare you all of them;  Here’s some of what I thought were the best.  It maddens me that they’re all out of order, but apparently not enough to figure out how to fix it.  Most are of breweries, and the USS Midway museum, which was really about all we had time for.

‘Que Season Is Open

Another weekend in the books.  I believe we are firmly in the “winter slump” right now.  Not that the weather is all that bad, but I think the body just knows it’s winter time.  Hey, it’s 60 degrees out, could be worse.  Just not much going on though.  Friday night we stayed in and cooked a nice, reasonably healthy dinner.  Saturday our “event” for the day was going to a late lunch at Cascada.  Not exactly a wild day out.  It served the purpose though, and in a very reasonably priced fashion.

Sunday I got up very early and fired up the smoker for a day of ‘que.  Luckily I had it heated up and ready by 6:00, because it took a solid 12 hours to get the pork done.  Pork in verde sauce, to be exact.  Probably Chris Martin’s greatest contribution to the world, this recipe is one of my favorite things to make.  And, in a stroke of sheer genius, I actually wrote down what went in it this time, so I’ll be a little better prepared next time.  Other accomplishments for the day?  Well, not much on my part.  I went and got the car washed.  Woo Hoo.  This was, however, an hour and a half task.  Wow they were crowded.  While I slaved over a hot smoker, Donette joined our friends Michael and Alaina up the hill at some winery that was going out of business.  They must have found some deals, they returned with quite a haul.  We had the pork for dinner, and I was pleased with the results.  That’s a good thing, because I’ve got an entire freezer full of left overs.

Slipping Already

Well, I didn’t make it an entire month getting this updated on Mondays.  It was bound to happen.  The bar was just set too high.  I kept thinking something super-exciting was going to happen yesterday that I would need to include.  Not remarkably, that did not occur.

That wasn’t a very interesting weekend, but it had a few unusual twists.  I am, for the record, generally against twists.  Friday started things off nice and quiet.  A friend came over and we whipped up a passable stir fry, then played some cards.  Worth noting, I won.  It was a pretty dominant victory actually, never really close.  Truly a masterful display of cunning gamesmanship.

Saturday started off in a typically mundane fashion.  I broke down and got a new ipad, and spent the afternoon getting it all set up.  I broke my old one in March (yes, nearly a year ago,) and have debated daily, possibly hourly, since then over whether to fix it or buy a new one.  I finally opted for fixing the old one.  As the logistics of this decision slowly settled in, (calling people, making appointments, driving to the mall, blah blah blah) I ended up changing my mind.  I can do that.  I am still convinced it was a solid decision too;  I’m quite happy with the new one.  For evening entertainment, there was a big dinner party at a friend’s house nearby.  By “big,” I mean like a dozen people.  Can’t help it, I panicked.  I came up with some lame excuse and graciously declined the invite.  The response was, “Oh good, then we can drop our kid at your house.  Thanks!”  Whoa, didn’t see that one coming.  When another couple found out the arrangements, they were quick to pile on their little ‘uns also.  Something went horribly, horribly awry.  (Actually Donette sneakily went behind my back and offered to watch them as some type of life-lesson for declining the dinner invite.)  Well, there went my Saturday night plans.  Which is not to say I had any, but if I did, they’d have been certainly been disrupted.  After some debate, we decided to take them out for pizza.  When I say “we,” I am referring to Donette.  Solid plan, it worked out very nicely.  I could go into detail on the pizza place, but I’ll save that for another day.  I’ll just go high-level and say I love to hate the place.  They have reasonably priced food and a small arcade, which was key.  “Here’s a handful of quarters, go play.”  Perfectly executed plan.  We were actually there for quite a while, ate some good pizza, then headed off for a stop at an ice cream shop for dessert.  “Could have been worse.”

Sunday was also a bit out of my rut.  I have a pretty strict itinerary for my Sunday, especially the early hours.  There is a lot of coffee and news involved.  Nowhere in the schedule is there a line item for little girls running down the stairs at 7:00 screaming for pancakes.  Nope, it’s just not in the plan.  Pancakes were made though, if there was really even a decision to be made.  Thankfully, they were even declared passable, although it was made clear they weren’t quite up to par with the ones at home.  Whew.  Thank goodness for Krusty’s.  The little ‘uns got picked up around 9:00, then I made some effort to get back on track.  I rallied nicely I think.  Watched the games, then we had a birthday party (adults only, whew,) up the hill at a nice winery later in the evening.


Starting The Year Off Right

Look at me, getting this updated on a Monday again.  Off to a solid start.  What hasn’t changed is a complete lack of material to work with.  Hey, that keeps it brief and makes the page load quicker.  Anyway…  Friday started off reasonably strong.  It was a super-tiring week at work, so I just went home and joined the wife for a nice quiet evening.  We’ve been on something of a roll cooking at home instead of going out, and didn’t see a good reason to break that streak.  We made a salmon dish with good ol’ Costco salmon, and lemons and oranges off our trees out back.  Pretty much everything we’ve eaten for the last few weeks, and several weeks to come, has lemon in it.  Whew there are a lot of them things, and they are good.  After dinner we sat around and enjoyed each other’s company with some deep conversation and a glass of wine.  Or, we may have sat in complete silence and stared at our phones.  One of those.

Saturday was perilously close to a complete waste of a day.  Since cutting off our cable we’ve managed to get reliable streams of NBC, Fox, and ESPN, and all three seemed to have some worthwhile programming for us to waste our time on.  The notable exception there is CBS…  Darn them.  Still haven’t figured that one out, and as a result we’re missing a few of the NFL playoff games.  So be it, The Man ain’t getting my money.  I suppose we could have headed out to a sports bar and watched it, but that sort of defeats the purpose of saving money in the first place.  We also kept pretty busy watching our friend’s dog Renfield all weekend.  They went out of town so we’re dog-sitting.  It’s a good deal for us though, he and Quinn are bestest of buddies.  A tired Quinn is a good Quinn.  On the downside, when they AREN’T tired they can be a bit…  “challenging,” but for the most part it’s a positive.  For dinner, I went up to the grocery store and picked up some sushi.  Hmmm.  I realize grocery-store-sushi sounds a little dangerous, but it was actually pretty good.  (And, more importantly, on sale.)  It’s made from local rice too, and for whatever reason I’m a sucker for local foods.  (That worked out a lot better in KC where the “local food” was delicious BBQ.  Here it’s any varietal of white rice you could ask for!  YUMM!!!  Not.  What can ya’ do.)  The only problem I had was that they were a bit skimpy on the accoutrements.  I could take or leave the wasabi, but I like my sushi-to-ginger ratio at about one to one, if not even leaning towards the ginger just a bit.  Guess I better pick up a jar for such emergencies.  After dinner we watched American Made, which I think we both found entertaining enough.  I actually stayed awake, so it must have been a real hit.

Sunday brought an eerily similar lineup of activities, which is to say, not much.  I took the little hellions on a good long walk, which seemed to only moderately tire them while thoroughly exhausting me.  I guess they’re packing a little less weight than myself.  They both walk pretty well on their leashes though, no complaints.  I’m starting to figure out how to correct Quinn when he starts acting up, he’s definitely making progress.  If Teagan started going astray, I would grab the leash with both fists and yank as hard as I possibly could, which she may or may not have bothered acknowledging.  Quinn does best with just a little tap on the leash with a thumb and finger.  Anything more than that and the poor little guy just cowers and looks up at you like “What’d I do, what’d I do?!?!?”  At least he’s learning I guess.  Sort of.  Maybe.  Some day.  After that we watched the second playoff game, despite the grating annoyance of Joe Buck’s voice.  I’m glad we stuck it out, that was quite the entertaining finish.  For dinner we grilled a tri-tip and some artichokes.  That was my first try at artichokes and they turned out…  Edible.  I’ll most likely file them in the “not worth the trouble” category.