Monday, November 2, 2009

Hey Jude

I'm not much of a Beatles fan, but I found this flow chart entertaining.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


"Too often, the thing you want most is the one thing you can't have. Desire leaves us heartbroken, it wears us out. Desire can wreck your life. But as tough as wanting something can be. The people who suffer the most, are those who don't know what they want."

I hate to admit it, but I may have seen an episode or two of Grey's Anatomy. Even more I hate to admit there are quotes from the show that make a lot of sense. Such is the case with the episode I watched today. I watched an episode today that ended with the above quote. It got me thinking. What are the things that I desire? What are the things that I want most in life? Do I even really know what I want?

I desire to go back to school. I desire to find someone special and start a family. I desire to have a career that I enjoy and provides a good living.

Lately I've been have a really hard time with life. Actually, life has taken me out back, smacked me around a bit, and now refers to me as Susan. I'm sure things could be worse. I'm not starving or homeless. Yet the things I desire seem to be so far out of reach. I've started to wonder if I'll ever have any of the things I want. I have the sickening feeling that I'm going to end up alone, with no education, and an $11 an hour job. The thought of a wasted life kills me. This is not the life I want, but I don't know how to keep it from happening

These lyrics from the song "Ball & Chain" by Social Distortion communicate exactly how I feel.
"Times are hard, getting harder. I'm born to lose and destined to fail."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm Not Nearly This Creative

I found this surfing online last night. It made me smile.

Who knew you could do so much with post it notes? Apparently this guy did.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"I Thought They Smelled Bad On The Outside!"

One of the best scenes from The Empire Strikes Back is when Han Solo has to save Luke Skywalker on the planet Hoth. Luke has just escaped the Wampa, an alien ice monster set on eating our hero. After his escape, Luke is wounded and stranded in the middle of a ice planet with no shelter. Luckily for him, Han Solo comes to the rescue. After finding Luke, Han Solo's Tauntaun dies from exposure to the cold. So Han Solo must improvise on the best way to keep Luke alive and warm. The scene I'm talking about starts at the 3:15 mark on the clip.

What a cool scene! As a kid I liked the sound effects of the Tauntaun innards spilling out as Han Solo sliced it open. Anyway, the purpose of this post is to point out there are still fun and creative ways to make money off of Star Wars. The folks over at ThinkGeek have come up with Tauntaun Sleeping Bag. Their description of the bag says:
This high-quality sleeping bag looks just like a Tauntaun, complete with saddle, internal intestines and glowing lightsaber zipper pull.

It looks just like a real Tauntaun!

It's the intestines that are the key in keeping the kids warm at night.

Okay, this product isn't actually available or even in production. It has become so popular and requested by so many Star Wars fans though, the people at ThinkGeek are trying to get all of the permissions and licensing required to sell these wonderful pieces of nostalgia. I think it's a great idea.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Camera Breaking Butt Story

Last week my friend Elisa came for a visit from Utah. While she was here we did all sorts of fun stuff like going out to dinner, attending a wedding reception, having a barbecue, breaking a pinata, and bowling.

While on the way to the bowling alley, I decided to act a little immature. I stole Elisa's phone from her purse and hid it under my leg. She thought she dropped it or left it at the restaurant where we had lunch. I silently snickered to myself as she had someone else call it, but I successfully muffled the ringing. She eventually figured out I had her phone. After a little obligatory taunting, I returned it.

After our bowling game we were paying for our respective games, when I discovered that my phone was now missing. I know I probably deserved it. I searched around for it, but it was nowhere to be found. I figured one of the girls, Elisa, Tabi, or Shelby, had taken it. Although I wasn't sure which girl. So in order to get my phone back, I started systematically taking their electronic devices to trade for my phone. My plan was to use their property as ransom for my phone.

I began with Tabi's cell phone, probably because she was the easiest target. Then I managed to get Elisa's cell phone and camera through some mis-direction. Then the girls threw a wrench into the plan. They had somehow stolen my friend Jon's cell phone. Jon eventually got Shelby's cell phone, which meant we had all three of the girls cell phones and a camera. Then I took Tabi's car keys. So I had three cell phones and a set of car keys in my front pockets and I placed the camera in my back pocket. Jon got his cell phone back by wrestling it away from Shelby.

I told the girls that I would willingly trade all three cell phones, a camera, and the car keys for my cell phone. We were all acting pretty juvenile at this point and had to have my friend Adrian (a neutral party) act at the go between for the trade. All seemed right in the world again until Elisa turned on her camera. This is what it looked like.

Apparently this is what a camera looks like after I sit on in.

I felt so bad I had broken the screen. It turned out Elisa's camera had been a Christmas gift from her mom, which made me feel even worse. I told Elisa I would replace it. So we made a trip to Wal-mart and found a new camera. They didn't have the exact camera there but we found a comparable one that she liked.

The moral of the story: Don't sit on stolen digital cameras while involved in a gender war at an ice cream shop.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What the %$#@!?

Since last night, I have realized a few things that have been a little annoying to me. They're not enough to ruin my day, but they're still annoying. I figured the best place to vent about these things would be right here on the great big world wide web. Heck, maybe even someone will read this.

First up on my list of annoyances is the dinner I attempted to make last night. Every Tuesday I have a couple of friends over and I make dinner. Last nights main dish was to be stuffed pork chops. I've made them once before and they turned out well. I thought this time would be just the same. I placed the pork chops in a brine over night, made the stuffing, and was ready with my cooking plan of attack. When I went to get the pork chops out of the brine, I discovered the salt for the brine hadn't dissolved. I didn't think too much of it, and kept going. I then struggled actually getting the stuffing into the pork chops, but eventually succeeded. I was ready to cook them up. I placed them in the pan and began cooking on medium heat. When they were golden brown and delicious I figured they were done. I checked, and they still were a little raw on the inside. I kept cooking and eventually they became blackened stuffed pork chops. And here is the kicker, they still weren't cooked all the way. How in the world can you burn something and still have it raw at the same time? So frustrating.

Next I was watching SportsCenter and found out the quarterback of the Denver Broncos will get the trade he wants. He got his feelings hurt and now he doesn't want to play anymore. What a whinny baby. He's such cry baby that he won't even answer calls from the team offices, coach, or owner. Choosing to ignore them instead. That sounds real professional to me. I'm sure that makes a wonderful statement to any other teams that might want him. I hope Denver trades him to Detroit and he's stuck on a bad team for the rest of his career. On a side note, now my team needs a new quarterback. It'll take a while for a new quarterback to learn a new offense and we'll probably miss the playoffs for a fourth straight year. Thanks for nothing Mr. Whinny Baby quarterback.

This morning I woke up to see an overcast sky. I checked the weather and it said the high today would be 39 degree. 39 degrees! It's April. It's supposed to be spring time. Two weeks ago it was a warm sunny 70 degrees. Now it's freaking 39 degrees. It's not supposed to be close to freezing with a chance of snow. I'm a warm weather person and this cold cloudy weather is really starting to suck.

The weather leads me to my next annoyance. My car heater has decided to crap out on my again. For the fourth time. I've flushed out the heater hoses and even had the water pump changed. Still, my car heater's favorite pass time it to blow freezing cold air from outside. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to replace the heater core. There's another couple hundred bucks that will be sunk into the money pit also known as my car. Lame.

Speaking of cars, I went to fill up on gas this morning on my way to work. It was such a pleasant surprise to see that gas has gone up to $2 a gallon. Not. I don't know about anyone else, but during these lousy economic times, rising gas prices are not something I want to see. Do the oil companies not have anything better to do than to stick it to Joe Public? I am so not excited to see what gas prices will rise to when the summer comes. Looks like I won't be taking any road trips.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dog Hero

I came across this video and was amazed at this dog. It tugged at my heart strings a little bit. I wonder how much animals really understand about the value of life. It even has a happy ending.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Funny: AT&T

This is kind of dumb, but it gave me a chuckle.

One thing that has always bugged me, and I'm sure it does most of you, is to sit down at the dinner table only to be interrupted by a phone call from a telemarketer. I decided, on one such occasion, to try to be as irritating as they were to me. The call was from AT&T and it went something like this:
Me: (swallowing) Hello
AT&T: Hello, this is AT&T...
Me: Is this AT&T?
AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T...
Me: This is AT&T?
AT&T: Yes This is AT&T...
Me: Is this AT&T?
AT&T: YES! This is AT&T, may I speak to Mr. Byron please?
Me: May I ask who is calling?
AT&T: This is AT&T.
Me: OK, hold on.
At this point I put the phone down for a solid 5 minutes thinking that, surely, this person would have hung up the phone. I ate my salad. Much to my surprise, when I picked up the receiver, they were still waiting.
Me: Hello?
AT&T: Is this Mr. Byron?
Me: May I ask who is calling please?
AT&T: Yes this is AT&T...
Me: Is this AT&T?
AT&T: Yes this is AT&T...
Me: This is AT&T?
AT&T: Yes, is this Mr. Byron?
Me: Yes, is this AT&T?
AT&T: Yes sir.
Me: The phone company?
AT&T: Yes sir.
Me: I thought you said this was AT&T.
AT&T: Yes sir, we are a phone company.
Me: I already have a phone.
AT&T: We aren't selling phones today Mr. Byron.
Me: Well whatever it is, I'm really not interested but thanks for calling.
When you are not interested in something, I don't think you can express yourself any plainer than by saying "I'm really not interested," but this lady was persistent.
AT&T: Mr. Byron, we would like to offer you 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Now, I am sure she meant she was offering a "rate" of 10 cents a minute, but she at no time used the word "rate." I could clearly see that it was time to whip out the trusty old calculator and do a little ciphering.
Me: Now, that's 10 cents a minute 24 hours a day?
AT&T: (getting a little excited at this point by my interest) Yes sir, that's right! 24 hours a day!
Me: 7 days a week?
AT&T: That's right.
Me: 365 days a year?
AT&T: Yes sir.
Me: I am definitely interested in that! Wow!!! That's amazing!
AT&T: We think so!
Me: That's quite a sum of money!
AT&T: Yes sir, it's amazing how it adds up.
Me: OK, so will you send me checks weekly, monthly or just one big one at the end of the year for the full $52,560, and if you send an annual check, can I get a cash advance?
AT&T: Excuse me?
Me: You know, the 10 cents a minute.
AT&T: What are you talking about?
Me: You said you'd give me 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That comes to $144 per day, $1,008 per week and $52,560 per year. I'm just interested in knowing how you will be making payment.
AT&T: Oh no, sir, I didn't mean we'd be paying you. You pay us 10 cents a minute.
Me: Wait a minute here!!! Didn't you say you'd give me 10 cents a minute? Are you sure this is AT&T?
AT&T: Well, yes this is AT&T sir but......
Me: But nothing, how do you figure that by saying that you'll give me 10 cents a minute that I'll give you 10 cents a minute? Is this some kind of subliminal telemarketing scheme? I've read about things like this in the Enquirer, you know. Don't use your alien brainwashing techniques on me.
AT&T: No sir, we are offering 10 cents a minute for.....
Me: THERE YOU GO AGAIN! Can I speak to a supervisor please!
AT&T: Sir, I don't think that is necessary.
Me: Sure! You say that now! What happens later?
AT&T: What?
Me: I insist on speaking to a supervisor!
AT&T: Yes Mr. Byron. Please hold.
So now AT&T has me on hold and my supper is getting cold. I begin to eat while I'm waiting for a supervisor. After a wait of a few minutes and while I have a mouth full of food:
Supervisor: Mr. Byron?
Me: Yeth?
Supervisor: I understand you are not quite understanding our 10 cents a minute program.
Me: Id thish Ath Teeth & Teeth?
Supervisor: Yes sir, it sure is.
I had to swallow before I choked on my food. It was all I could do to suppress my laughter and I had to be careful not to produce a snort.
Me: No, actually, I was just waiting for someone to get back to me so that I could sign up for the plan.
Supervisor: OK, no problem, I'll transfer you back to the person who was helping you.
Me: Thank you.
I was on hold once again and managed a few more mouthfuls. I needed to end this conversation. Suddenly, there was an aggravated but polite voice at the other end of the phone.
AT&T: Hello Mr. Byron, I understand that you are interested in signing up for our plan?
Me: Do you have that friends and family thing because you can never have enough friends and I'm an only child and I'd really like to have a little brother...
AT&T: (click)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"He Lights You Up"

Last month I shared a story of John Elway and the kindness he showed to a young fan. Today, I came across this story from the Associate Press about Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. We need more sports hero's like this.

MIAMI -- When Dwyane Wade visited the home of 8-year-old Michael Stolzenberg, he noticed all sorts of Miami Heat souvenirs around the boy's bedroom. Magazine covers, championship memorabilia, that sort of thing, but no jerseys.

Problem solved.

After the Heat defeated the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night, Wade removed his jersey and gave it to the boy -- who nearly died from a bacterial infection last summer, an ailment so devastating that doctors needed to remove both of Michael's hands and feet just so he would survive.

"He lights you up, the smiles on his face. He seems so happy," Wade said."Everything that's happened to him is unfortunate. But he lights you up. He makes you feel good. He's a kid I've had a relationship with for a while. I've been to his room. He has everything already in there, and I wanted to add to it."

Michael was bitten by a bug on July 22, 2008, and went into shock two hours later. The next day, doctors warned his family that he would likely die. He wound up spending more than seven weeks in the intensive-care unit of a South Florida hospital. He was the quarterback on his youth football team, a lacrosse player, an avid bicycle rider and video-game player.

All that changed, suddenly and without warning.

Eventually, the Heat learned of the boy's situation, and reached out. Michael was shown on the jumbo video screens Monday night during the game, got a standing ovation, then got the biggest thrill of all -- the jersey.

"Hopefully we can get that signed and get it on the wall," Wade said.

Wade has often met with sick children during his time with the Heat, usually in private, often not wanting any part of the spotlight.

He didn't want any on Monday, either, even after making a gift so publicly.

"I knew where he was sitting, so when I caught his eye and saw him smile right back, it's great," Wade said. "It didn't matter at that time, the connection that we had, it didn't matter who was looking. It was just us."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hot Tamale

My favorite food of all time are tamales. Of course this hasn't always been the case. When I was a kid I claimed my favorite food was pizza. I was a teenager and being a normal teenager, I liked pizza. I have since gotten over it. Although I still enjoy a good slice, tamales are by far the more superior food. Unfortunately they are not nearly as easy to make as picking up the phone and calling the neighborhood Dominos. I didn't let that stop me.

The other night around 9 pm, I decided Saturday would be a tamale making Saturday. Of course, I had no idea on how to make tamales. So the first thing I did was search a recipe out on the Internet. Internet recipes can be a little sketchy because all you have is the list of ingredients to go from and maybe a picture. Who knows if it'll taste good or not. Anyone can put a recipe out there. This is the recipe I used.

Meat Filling For The Pork Tamales Recipe

7lb pork butt roast, prefer boneless
1/3 cup chili powder
96 oz. chicken broth
1 Tbs. + 2 tsp cumin
2 heaping Tbs. Garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. + 2 tsp chicken base
2 triangles of Ibarra chocolate
6 heaping Tbs. flour
3/4 cup cold water

Fill the stock pot with the chicken broth and add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, chicken base and chocolate. Heat to boiling then cover and simmer on low while you cut up the pork. Cut the pork into 1 inch cubes. Trim as much fat off as you can. Add the cut up pork to the boiling sauce. Partially cover and simmer on low for 2 hours or until pork is tender. When the pork is tender, combine the 3/4 cup cold water and flour with a whisk until well blended. Turn the heat up to high and when it is boiling, slowly add the flour mixture to the pork. Stir the pork continuously to avoid lumps. Continue to slow boil while stiring for about 3 to 5 minutes and then turn the heat off.
Before you make the masa, soak the corn husks in warm to hot water in a bowl for 30 minutes or until they become pliable. Gently separate the husks so as not to tear them. If some are torn you can use two husks and over lap them before putting masa on them.

Delicious Masa Recipe

4 cups MaSeCa Instant corn Masa Mix
3 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (no salt)
1 cup fresh corn oil
2 1/2 cups chicken broth

Put the masa, salt, and garlic powder in a large bowl and combine the dry ingredients.Then add the corn oil and mix with your hands. Add the chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time.Continue to mix with your hands and adding the broth until you get the consistency of cookie dough.You should have a consistency that you can spread with a knife or spreader. If you add too much liquid you can always add a little more masa to thicken it up.

Putting The Tamales Together
The corn husks should be soft and pliable. Take a few out and pat them dry with a paper towel or towel. Take a spoonful of masa and spread it on the corn husk. Place several chunks of pork down the center of the masa. The idea is to put just enough meat so that you can encase it in masa and not leak out. Now roll it up. Continue to make tamales and when you are done place them in a steamer with the open end pointing up.

Steam The Tamales
Place the damp cotton towel over the top of the tamales and cover with the lid. Make sure you add just enough water to the bottom of the pan so the water doesn't touch the tamales. Check it often so the water doesn't run dry. Get the water to boil and then turn the heat to low. Simmer/steam for 1 1/2 hours. Check the tamales by removing one and letting it cool for 5 minutes. Open the hot tamale and check that the masa is firm and not mushy. If need be, cook a little longer and check every 15 minutes until done. When tamales are done take them out of the pot to cool on the counter.

I quickly wrote down a shopping list from the recipe and I was off to the store. Some of the ingredients seemed a bit strange. It called for chicken base (strange because I wanted to make pork tamales), 7 pounds of pork (that's a lot of pork), and chocolate. I never thought I would attempt to make something spicy by adding chocolate to it. The recipe said it would make about 20 - 30 tamales. So I decided to buy two of everything to double the recipe. That 14 pounds of pork if you're keeping track.

I got back from the store at about 10 pm with all of my tamale making loot. I knew making tamales would be an all day adventure, so I decided I would prepare the pork filling right away. I could refrigerate it over night, and not have to worry about it on Saturday. I immediately set to trimming the fat off the pork. I don't use a lot of pork in my cooking, so I'm not sure what the raw pork is supposed to be like. Maybe someone can fill me in. I started trimming away, but the pork was much more slippery than chicken or beef. Maybe my knife was dull or something, but it seemed like it wasn't cutting very well. It was all I had, so I perservered. By now it was 11 pm and I only had one of the pork roasts trimmed. I was determined to get some meat filling prepared before I went to bed so I opted not to prepare the second roast. After the pork was trimmed I cut it up in to more managable pieces and started cooking it. It took another 2 1/2 hours to get it fully prepared. Not something I expected or planned for when I realized it was 2 am.

Saturday I invited Andrea over to help me roll the tamales out. I made the masa and we proceded to begin rolling the tamales. It didn't take long before we realized that there was a lot more meat than there was masa. So we made a second batch of masa. Then we made a third. And half of a fourth batch before I ran out of masa mix. I was expecting to have about 20 - 30 tamales. By the time it was all said and done, I had made 4 and a half dozen, with enough pork to make another 18. A total of 6 dozen tamales was way more than I expected.

So I did what anyone one with that many tamales would do, I attempted to sell them. Okay, not really. But I did feed just about anyone that came over to my house of the weekend and tamale or two. They turned out really well and I got quite a few compliments, which always makes a cook feel good. Next time I make tamales, I'll make sure I'm more prepared.

The tamale masa

The pork filling

The corn husks

Pre-steamed tamales

The last step

The finished product

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Holy Ravioli!

I like to cook. It's a relatively new hobby for me, but one I really enjoy. I've made some things I never thought I would be able to do. Dishes like a stuffed pork chops or chicken Kiev. I've really had fun finding new dishes to attempt. Having them turn out successfully has been that much better. That was until I tried to make ravioli the other night.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, I make dinner for myself and a couple of friends. They've had the opportunity (I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing) to partake of my culinary creations. This week we were having trouble figuring out what we would have for our weekly meals. We asked around and it was suggested I attempt making ravioli. I thought it would be easy enough. I could find a recipe and a video on YouTube on how to do it. Piece of cake. Surely I couldn't do a worse job than Chef Boyardee.

I found a ravioli recipe with fairly simple directions. I borrowed a pasta roller from a friend. I thought I was ready. I made the pasta dough according the recipe. So far so good. While I was letting the pasta dough rest, I made a spinach and ricotta cheese filling. Things were still going well. Then came time to roll out the pasta dough into a sheet. For those of you who don't know, when using a pasta roller, you can't just set it the the desired thickness and start rolling. You have to start the roller on the thickest setting and progressively work the pasta dough thinner and thinner until the desired thickness reached. As I was attempting to roll the dough, I ran into my first problem. The thinner I rolled the pasta dough, the more it fell apart. The pasta dough wasn't elastic like it was supposed to be. I had to throw it away because it got so bad. No problem though. I thought ahead. I had made two batches of pasta dough, just in case I messed the first one up.

As I started rolling out the second batch of pasta dough, things went much more smoothly. The dough was elastic and stretching out like it was supposed to. I had the dough rolled out in a sheet on the table to my desired thickness. I was ready to cut the pasta dough, add the filling, and seal those little suckers up.

After I cut out all of my individual ravioli squares, I began to place a small amount of filling on each one. Still no problems. I began to cover the filling with another piece of pasta dough when it happened. Every single piece of dough I tried to pick up was stuck to the table. I thought I floured the table sufficiently to keep the pasta dough from sticking, but I was so wrong. I tried various techniques to get the pasta dough unstuck from the table with minimal damage to the cut out squares. I tried a slow steady pull resulting in stretched out pasta dough pieces. I tried quick and fast, like a band-aid, which resulted in even more stretched out or torn pasta pieces. I tried a spatula, which tore the pasta pieces and bunched them up so they couldn't be used. After about a half an hour, I was done. I had been defeated by the pasta dough. I was so frustrated that I swore off Italian food altogether. Of course that didn't last long. We ordered pizza as a replacement for the ruined ravioli. Foiled again by Italian cuisine.

Last night I decided I would try the ravioli again. I must be a glutton for punishment. I found an episode of Good Eats on YouTube to see how Alton Brown would make the ravioli. I watched as his technique involved using an ironing board. Weird? A little bit. Effective? Absolutely. Apparently the pasta dough doesn't stick as well to the cloth of the ironing board cover like it does hard table and counter surfaces. After watching the episode, I was filled with confidence again. I was ready for a rematch. One on one. Mano y ravioli.

I made fresh pasta dough and made sure to let it sit extra long to allow the gluten to form. I made a new filling, this time with some beef. Because who really wants to eat pasta without meat anyway? I know I don't. I rolled out the pasta dough with the pasta roller just as before. And just like on Good Eats, the dough wasn't sticking the cloth. Yes! I could smell victory. Actually I couldn't smell anything, because I wasn't cooking anything yet. But I knew success would come. I placed the filling on the pasta dough and then folded the other half of the pasta dough over on top of the filling. I sealed them up with an egg wash, and then I cut them out. It so much more efficient and easy compared to the first attempt.

The nice thing about fresh pasta is that it only needs to cook for about 2 minutes in boiling water. After I had my little raviolis formed, I cooked them up and put a little bit of homemade marinara sauce on them. They turned out oh so good. The ravioli's weren't pretty (hence no pictures), but I think they'll begin to look better with more attempts. Or maybe next time I'll try making tortellini instead. I'm confident I will no longer be defeated by pasta. HA!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Random Thoughts

I decided to jot down a few of my random thoughts from today. They may be serious, funny, or just weird. But this is an example of what goes on in my mind during the day.

  • It seems like when I read other peoples blogs, their lives are way more interesting than mine.
  • I think I would starve if I had to live on a vegetarian diet. I once dated a vegetarian, and as wonderful as I thought she was, I really wanted to eat at a steak house.
  • Question: I wonder how long I can hold my breath? Answer: 1 minute, 1 second.
  • Question: Why was Kermit the Frog the only Muppet allowed to be on both The Muppet Show and Sesame Street?
  • I should make an effort to learn Spanish.
  • Goonies Never Say Die!
  • I have the Elton John song, Tiny Dancer stuck in my head. It's funny how some people thing the lyrics are "Hold me closer Tony Danza".
  • I still need to do my taxes. Ugh.
  • Going back to school simultaneously scares and excites me.
  • If I were to start a Latin boy band, I would call it Tamale!
  • Speaking of tamales, I would like to make them some time as well as travel to the International Tamale Festival in Indio, CA.
  • I just called a company called Independent Group Agency. Aren't the words "independent" and "group" opposites. How can they be together like that? I wonder if their offices house a hole in the fabric of reality because of those two words being put together?
  • I wish Jay Cutler and Josh McDaniels would just learn to get along
  • I hate having a catch phrase. Currently it's "I was gonna say...". It used to be "I've gotta be honest...", on my mission it was "Fetch", and before my mission it was "Oh dear". They've all annoyed me and I wish I could learn to speak for 10 minutes without saying the current phrase.

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Up, Up, And Away!"

My friend Tabi is a huge fan of the show Smallville. Recently she has brought here DVD collection of the show to my house for me to enjoy. I used to watch the show like clockwork while I lived in Rexburg. When I moved to Fort Collins, I didn't have cable. So I stopped watching the show. It wasn't until a few years later that I got cable again. By that time I was so far behind in the watching the show that I didn't even bother to try to catch up. That is until Tabi re-introduced me to the goodness of Superman.

After watching an episode of Smallville the other day, my roommate asked "What super power would you want?" I thought that was a really good question. You would think that a comic book fanboy like me would already have a power chosen and reasons to back up my decision. Sadly, this was far from a reality.

As I began thinking about it, I found that I became more and more indecisive. Should I choose super strength so I don't have any problems doing any physical activities? Should I choose super speed so I can accomplish any task quickly? Should I choose flight so I never have to worry about being stuck in traffic. Should I choose invisibility so I can go and do what I want undetected? Should I choose telekinesis so I can manipulate things with my mind? There are so many to choose from. After some lengthy thought, I finally narrowed down the super power I would want.

Instant teleportation.

Sure those other powers would be cool. I mean really cool. I would choose being able to teleport because of it's practical use. Running a few minutes late to work? Not anymore. I could wake up 15 minute before having to go anywhere, shower, shave, and dress. Then BAMF!, I'm exactly where I need to be. Forget to pick something up from the grocery store? BAMF!, I'm right there in the dairy section to get it. Want to visit my brother in Texas? BAMF!, I'm right there hanging out with him. It would be like the movie Jumper, except good.

What would your super power be, and why?

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Friday Funny: The Pope's Chauffeur

After getting all of Pope Benedict's luggage loaded into the limo, (and he doesn't travel light), the driver notices the Pope still standing on the curb.

"Excuse me, Your Holiness," says the driver," Would you please take your seat so we can leave?"

"Well, to tell you the truth," says the Pope, "they never let me drive at the Vatican when I was a cardinal, and now that I'm Pope, I'd really like to drive today."

"I'm sorry, Your Holiness, but I cannot let you do that. I'd lose my job! And what if something should happen?" protests the driver, wishing he'd never gone to work that morning.

"Who's going to tell? Besides, there might be something extra in it for you," says the Pope with a smile.

Reluctantly, the driver gets in the back as the Pope climbs in behind the wheel. The driver quickly regrets his decision when, after exiting the airport, the Pontiff floors it, accelerating the limo to 105 mph.

(Remember, he's German.)

"Please slow down, Your Holiness!" pleads the worried driver, but the Pope keeps the pedal to the metal until they hear sirens. "Oh, Dear God, I'm gonna lose my license -- and my job!" moans the driver.

The Pope pulls over and rolls down the window as the cop approaches, but the cop takes one look at him, goes back to his motorcycle, and gets on the radio. "I need to talk to the Chief," he says to the dispatcher.

The Chief gets on the radio and the cop tells him that he's stopped a limo going a hundred and five.

"So bust him," says the Chief.

"I don't think we want to do that, he's really big," said the cop.

The Chief exclaimed," All the more reason!"

"No, I mean really important," said the cop with a bit of persistence.

The Chief then asked, "Who ya got there, the Mayor?"

Cop: "Bigger."

Chief: " The Governor?"

Cop: "Bigger."

Chief: "The President?"

Cop: "Bigger."

"Well," said the Chief, "Who is it?"

Cop: "I think it's God!"

The Chief is stumped, " You been drinking, John? "

Cop: " No Sir."

Chief : " Then what makes you think it's God?"

Cop: "He's got the Pope as a chauffeur."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

Hi. My name is Mo. I secretly like a lot of things that are pretty lame and for which other people would laugh at me. But that's okay. I'm going to share them with you anyway. I was surfing different blogs and came across a post about guilty pleasures. I was having a pretty good chuckle when I realized I had some of the same guilty pleasures. You can make fun of me all you want. I'll still indulge when you're not looking.

WWE - World Wrestling Entertainment. I can't believe I'm admitting this. I enjoy professional wrestling. As staged and cheesy as it is, I still enjoy it. It's totally a soap opera for guys. Maybe I like it because it reminds me of being 11 years old and watching Monday Night Wrestling with my friend Danny and my dad. Whether it was rooting for the Ultimate Warrior or booing Rowdy Roddy Piper, it was a good time. Whatever it is, I still watch. I don't watch on a regular basis, but if it's on and I'm home, I'm probably watching it. At least until anyone else comes into the room, then I make sure to quickly change the channel.

Robot Chicken - I know, I know. This show is crude and pretty twisted sometimes. But more importantly it's really funny. It has so many pop culture references and pokes fun at a lot of the things I enjoy.

90's Country Music - When I was fourteen I was friends with a kid in my ward named Bill. He was just about the coolest guy I knew. He was 16, had a car, and was on the football team. And Bill loved country music. I wanted to be cool like Bill too, so I started listening to country music. In fact, one of the first albums I owned was Billy Ray Cyrus. I didn't think that a love of country music that was popular at the time would stick with me for so long. I still find myself occasionally searching out songs like Summer's Commin' by Clint Black, Some Girls Do by Sawyer Brown, Too Busy Being In Love by Doug Stone, or Cadillac Ranch by Chris LeDoux.

Competitive Eating - Not participating in it, but watching. I wouldn't consider myself a fan. I find it more of a spectacle that I can't not watch. Every Fourth of July, Nathan's Hot Dogs sponsors a hot dog eating contest which is televised on ESPN. I happened to stumble across it last year and couldn't stop watching. It was gross and intriguing at the same time. Weird.

Shopping - Okay, I admit it. I like to buy new clothes. I don't do it often because I can't afford it. But when I can afford it, I totally enjoy shopping. Although I do have my limit. I can't shop for more than an hour or two before I get grumpy. Yet during that hour or two of time I'm excited like a teenage girl at a Jonas Brothers concert. Ugh.

So what are your guilty pleasures?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Mornings

Dear Saturday Morning,

I write this knowing you have already come and gone for your weekly visit. I wanted take a little time to write to you. I'm doing this during the time I spend with your brother, Saturday Afternoon, but he'll get over it.

Saturday Morning, you have been over stepping your bounds as of late. I used to enjoy our easy going times together. You never brought the alarm clock with you like your friends, Weekday Mornings. I thought our time was mutually enjoyable. I would sleep and recuperate from hanging out late with Friday Night.

Lately you have become more and more insistent in starting our time together earlier. The last couple of weeks you have decided to wake me up between the hour of 6 am and 7 am. This does not make me happy. I'm not sure why you have started doing this, but I would appreciate it if you would stop. I'm single, with no children, and relatively young. There is no reason for you to wake me up so early.

I admit when I was younger we had something of a contract. You would wake me up early. We would eat sugary cereals and spend our time watching cartoons. Those are fond memories. But I've gotten older and I've changed. Things won't be like that anymore. But that doesn't mean they won't be good.

Let's compromise. You promise to let me sleep in until at least 9 am. Then we can spend the morning making breakfast, playing football, running, hiking, playing racquetball, or whatever else sparks our fancy. Sound like a deal?

I'm looking forward to seeing you next week.

Your friend,

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Friday Funny: Puns & Other Groaners

1. The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

6. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

13. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, "You stay here, I'll go on ahead."

14. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

15. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: "Keep off the Grass."

16. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, "No change yet."

17. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

18. It's not that the man did not know how to juggle, he just didn't have the balls to do it.

19. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium, at large.

20. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

21. A backward poet writes in-verse.

22. In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

23. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

24. Don't join dangerous cults, practice safe sects!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Where The Light Is Better"

Sometimes our sports heroes really are as good as we hope they are. In a world of prima donna wide receivers and steroid fueled baseball sluggers, it's nice to see that some sports figures really get it.

My issue of ESPN The Magazine showed up in the mail today. The first thing I do when I get a new issue is to quickly flip through the pages looking for anything Denver Broncos related. What a delight to find the last page with this picture right on top. I started reading the story standing in the doorway. Yes, I'm enough of a Broncos fan to stop whatever it is I'm doing to devote all of my attention to anything having to do with the team.

The story I read can be found here.

I hate to admit, but I've been turning into a big softy and this story touched me. It's stories like this which make it so easy to be fans of sport figures that are stand up people. It's not what they do on the field, ice, green, or court that matters. It's what they do when the cameras aren't rolling, the lights aren't flashing, and the crowds aren't cheering that really matters. I think it's what makes them into real sports heroes instead of just sports figures.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Top 5: TV Theme Song Edition

I probably watch way more TV than I should. In fact, I know I watch too much. I can't help it, I get sucked in by a good story. Plus I learn lots of useless and random facts, which is always fun at parties. That is if I can tear myself away from the TV long enough to actually go out and be social. Anyway, I'm getting off topic here.

Back to the topic at hand. I was trying to introduce the newest of my Top 5 lists. I haven't done one of these in a while. I was sitting at work, reviewing various pop culture topics in my head, when the theme song from the TV show The Greatest American Hero popped into my head. I started thinking about how catchy it was. That thought eventually evolved (if you can call it evolution) to thinking about what my Top 5 TV theme songs would be. That's how I ended up here. So lets get started.

5. The Greatest American Hero - Believe It Or Not

I have a vague memory of watching this show with my parents as a child. I don't remember much about the show, but I definitely remember the song. Turns out I'm not alone in remembering the song more than the show. The full version of the song actually made it to #2 on the Billboard charts, making it way more popular at the time than the actual show. This song is so catchy that even George Costanza from Seinfeld used it as his answering machine message ("Believe it or not George isn't at home, please leave a message at the beep. I must be out or I'd pick up the phone; where could I be? Believe it or not, I'm not home!"). It's also been used as material for everything from making fun of President Bush to being parodied by Homestar Runner to being used in the Gilmore Girls. How can a song that has contributed so much to pop culture not be on my list?

4. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Theme

Chances are if you were a teenager in the 90's like I was then you know all of the words to this song, and can sing them on command. It's cheesy, but don't be ashamed. I can too. There's no judgement here.

3. The Dukes of Hazzard - Good Ol' Boys

When I was younger I loved this show. I don't remember any episodes in particular, but it was the song that stuck with me. Nike helped renew my love for this song by using it in this commercial. This song actually reached number on on the Billboard Hot Country Charts. There is just something enticing about "straitening the curves" and "flattening the hills", basically making your own rules as you go along.

2. The Andy Griffith Show Theme Song

All of the songs on this list ranked and remembered primarily because of my childhood memories. This one I think more than any of the others brings up memories from my childhood. I would watch this during the summers. My dad would come home for lunch and we would watch the daily episode of The Andy Griffith Show. He even taught me how to whistle using this song. It's simple with no need for lyrics. Absolutely classic.

1. Cheers Theme Song

Who doesn't want to go to a place "where everybody knows your name"? The writers of this song attempted 3 times prior before coming up with the final product. What they came up was an instant classic, eventually becoming iconic. Every time I hear this song I have metal images of Cliff and Norm sitting at the bar. Every single time, no matter what the song is used for. And it's been used a lot.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ultimate Man Cave Plans, Finally

Right now it's 11:00 pm on Thursday night and I can't think of what to share with you about my man cave. I designed the layout and even made a 3-D model using Google SketchUp. Yet I still can't seem to come up with a way to explain my ideas in a clear way. Maybe it's writers block. Maybe I'm not that articulate and expressive to begin with. But the fact still remains that I need to post an update. So here it goes.

My ultimate man cave would have all of the following, if I'm ever blessed the the space and money to actually build it. Since I don't see myself winning the lottery any time soon, I'll just have to dream. My man cave would be equipped with everything from a theater room, to a pool table, to a urinal in the bathroom, to a wall painted with a giant Broncos logo. I don't want it to just have the fun toys to make it entertaining, but I also want it to be an expression of my personality. Here is an over view of what I would like it to basically look like.

That's right, this design is pretty generic and you're wondering where the personallity is. The above picture doesn't do justice to what I really envisioned. Maybe it's because I'm not really proficient at using Windows Paint. One day I'll remedy that. Actually, I probably won't. I'll just have to show you the designs I made using Google SketchUp. These pictures better represent what I'm envisioning.

Do you see that? The huge Broncos logo in my billiards area? No.

Okay, here's a better view of that important wall.

I can't forget the theater room with an HD projector.

What man cave would be complete without a barbecue and grilling area?

I designed much more, but I don't want to bore you with more pictures. If I do that, you may just stop reading all together, and I can't have that. Another time I'll post more ideas as my man cave evolves.

There you have it. My ultimate man cave. It's simple, but it's mine. A place to dream about where I can watch the game, grill food, and hang out with the guys. Wait, I'm single. I do all of those things now. Maybe I should work on converting my place into a real life man cave.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To The Man Cave, Cave Man!

A couple of weeks ago I was watching TV when a commercial for the DIY Network came on. The DIY Network stands for the Do It Yourself Network, which is kind of like HGTV. They show programming to the viewers about how to perform home remodeling themselves. The commercial that came on was for a show called Man Caves. My curiosity was instantly piqued. I want to have a man cave I thought to myself. I did a search on the Internet and found this.

As I've been thinking about man caves for the last couple of weeks, I've come to realize that the concept of the man cave isn't new. The website for Man Caves states: "Every guy needs a space to call his own… a sanctuary where boys can be boys, where life essentials include a wet bar, a poker table and a place to watch the game with the fellas." Batman has the Bat Cave and Superman has his Fortress of Solitude. ESPN Zone's are large public man caves.

Heck, even my dad had a man cave. I think most of our dad's did. Usually it was an old couch sitting across from an old TV where they could watch the game, or the den, or garage. My dad didn't call it a man cave. It was the shed he built in the back yard where he and his friends would hang out. I remember he put in a wood stove and a dart board. I think he convinced my mom it would be an extra storage space for all of the things that had accumulated in the garage in order for her to let him build it. Even as I type this, I realize that my grandpa has a place where he goes to be alone too. My grandma even calls it "the cave". It has his computer and I helped him set up a little black & white TV over Thanksgiving.

Today man caves are much more sophisticated and modern. They have big screen TVs, bars, and pool tables. Still the concept is the same. It's a place where a man can get away and hang out with the boys. Women don't seem to understand the man cave concept. Women will call each other up on the phone or get together for dinner in order to bond. Men need an event like watching a game, or playing golf, or poker, or going fishing. A man cave provides that type of environment to do those things.

I'm still in the process of designing my ultimate man cave. I'll show my design in my next post. Until then, I figured I would post some pictures of man caves that are already in existence.

I like that you can see the screen from the bar.

The pool table is a nice touch.

What's better than one projection screen? Two projection screens.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dante's Peak

Tonight I watched the movie, Dante's Peak, for the first time. I know the movie is about 12 years old. It came out while I was serving my mission and I never got around to watching it. When I came home and was catching up on the movies I had missed, it wasn't on the list. In fact, I've never even had a desire to see it.

My friend Kerrie changed that. She came over and chose Dante's Peak for us to watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised.

I'm not saying I think it's an Academy Award caliber movie. I would say that it's a total popcorn movie. The type of movie that is watched purely for entertainment. I didn't have to think too much about what was going on. I was able to just plop down on the couch and get lost in the movie. That is a nice thing to do. Sometimes I think we look for artistic direction or social commentary so much in films, that we forget that it's okay to just enjoy the movie.

Dante's Peak was fun. Everything from rock slide inside the volcano, to the acid lake, to the lava flow destroying the grandma's house, to the melting tires on the truck while driving through another lava flow. I would have loved to see this movie on the big screen. The special effects were very good, even 12 years later. It's definitely a movie that I would see again.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Random Things

There is a Facebook note going around telling people to list 25 random facts about themselves. If you're tagged in the note, you are supposed to write down 25 things about yourself, tag others, and post the note. I've been tagged twice in the last 2 days, so I decided to write the 25 random facts about myself. I'm kind of a push over some times. Here are 25 random facts about me. If you're reading this, then I tag you.

1. My first paycheck was $127 dollars. I did handyman work for a local mortgage company.
2. I bought my first pair of Nike shoes with that first paycheck.
3. When I was 14, my favorite music was country music.
4. When I learned how to ride a bike, I didn't know how to use the brakes. So I would stop by running into cars, trees, fences, etc.
5. I hate tomatoes.
6. I drank almost 2 liters of soda a day while I worked for FedEx. So healthy.
7. I got my first D in fourth grade science.
8. In middle school, I rebelled against family tradition, and named the San Francisco 49ers as my favorite football team. I have since repented.
9. I did a summer internship at Disney World. I like to tell people that I was Aladdin, but I actually operated Splash Mountain.
10. My favorite food is tamales, but I have no idea how to make them.
11. My favorite novel is the Sword of Shannara. I read it for the first time in 7th grade.
12. I hate the game Phase 10, and have never made it past phase 4.
13. In second grade, I was the first in my class to count to 100 by 1's, 2's, 3's, 5's, and 10's. I was rewarded with a soda from the teacher for doing so.
14. History was always my best subject in high school.
15. I'm a super-hero geek. My favorite super-hero is the Incredible Hulk. When I was little I would growl like the Hulk from the TV series.
16. Disney World is the only amusement park I've ever been to.
17. Pancakes are my least favorite breakfast bread. Waffles, french toast, biscuits, crepes, and then pancakes.
18. I have been to 25 of the 50 states.
19. I used to memorize commercials and recite them to my family for fun. I still have the Tootsie Pop commercial memorized.
20. As a child, I once lit a poster of a panther on fire with a lighter while it was hanging on my wall. I'm still not sure how I put it out and didn't burn the house down.
21. The first football game I remember watching was the 1985 Super Bowl between the Chicago Bears and the New England Patriots. I remember because I watched with my dad.
22. I have never changed a diaper in my life.
23. My favorite song from the 80's is Walk Like An Egyptian by The Bangles.
24. I once drove for 14 hours straight, by myself, to see a girl.
25. I think that a no-bake cherry cheesecake is pretty much the best dessert ever.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Far From Perfect Push-Ups

I've been a little lax the past couple of months about exercising and staying healthy. Okay, that's a bit of an understatement. I haven't done any regular exercise since my last 5k race. Shame on me. I'm trying to do better. In an effort to exercise more, I started doing push-ups yesterday.

This past summer I worked my way up to doing roughly one-hundred push-ups a day. Not all at once though. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do that. I was doing sets of 15 throughout the day in order to get stronger. I was feeling pretty good about myself. Then for no reason at all, I stopped. I haven't done a push-up since, until yesterday.

I only did about 3o push-up yesterday, but I am totally feeling it today. My chest hasn't been sore like this in a long time. I tried to do more push-ups this morning before work. I managed to squeeze out 5 before my body started shaking like a leaf and my eyes began to water. I managed a total of 10 before my body gave out on me. It's kind of depressing to remember how far along I was and how far I have to go to get back there. All I can do is take it one day at a time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What's That? Teen Pop Trash? Nope. None Of That Going On Here

I've listened to a couple of songs on the radio lately that I can't seem to get enough of. In fact, I even found myself on YouTube looking for them, then listening over and over again. I'm not really sure why, but I really enjoy both songs. The strange part is that they are pop songs. Not just pop songs, but as my friend Sandy would say, they are teen pop trash songs. Totally not the kind of music that I listen to. What is wrong with me? I normally listen to alternative and modern rock. I enjoy bands like Rise Against, 3Oh!3, and Tickle Me Pink. Music that is a little edgier and has more substance.

Yet I continually find myself drawn to these two teen pop trash songs. Scary as it is, I kind of like it. I'm not saying I'm going to start listening to The Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus or anything drastic like that. I'm just saying I enjoy these two songs. Don't judge me.

The first is Hot-N-Cold by Katy Perry. I've heard this song on the radio in several different places. It has a catchy hook. The chorus is melodic and easy to remember. The subject matter of the song isn't original, but I do think it's a fresh take. All of which are reasons why I enjoy it so much.

The other song is Love Story by Taylor Swift. I was flipping through radio stations in my car when I first heard this one. It was something that I didn't recognize and I decide not to change the station. After that, I was done. I had the words of the song stuck in my head for the rest of the day. I actually had to look the lyrics up just so I could know how the song goes, in order to get it out of my head. It's a totally cheesy love song, but enjoyable just the same.

So there you go. I've taken the first step. I've admitted that I like a couple of teen pop trash songs. Now the healing can begin. At least until Rihanna comes out with a new song.

Time To Make The Doughnuts

One of my favorite shows to watch on the Food Network is Good Eats. It's hosted by Alton Brown. It's sort of a Bill Nye the Science Guy meets a cooking show. The various recipes are presented, as well as the science and history behind the featured food. I have to admit, the first time I watched the show, I found Alton somewhat annoying. Yet I continued to watch and eventually grew to like the show and the host. It helps that he has some pretty good recipes.

A couple of weeks ago there was an episode about doughnuts. Who makes doughnuts at home? It's so much easier to go to Krispy Kreme, Duncan Doughnuts, or any number of other places. But the episode intrigued me. So I kept watching. As I watched, I remembered making doughnuts with my mom as a child. I remember they were very simple. Refrigerated biscuit dough from the store we poked holes in, fried in oil, and then sprinkled with powdered sugar or cinnamon. Since cooking seems to be a new hobby that I enjoy, I decided to make homemade doughnuts from the episode.

Here is the recipe from the show:

1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 ounces vegetable shortening, approximately 1/3 cup
2 packages instant yeast
1/3 cup warm water (95 to 105 degrees F)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
23 ounces all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surface
Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying (1 to 1/2 gallons, depending on fryer)

Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment, combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter or pastry ring and using a 7/8-inch ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 degrees F. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.

With nothing to do tonight, I decided to try my hand at doughnut making again. This is the third time I've made the doughnuts, and I'm still a ways from having them perfected. I did take some pictures of the process just for fun.

The doughnuts have been cut and are bench proofing.

The doughnuts have been fried and are being cooled on a wire rack.

I would normally make my own icing, but I had some canned frosting I needed to use.

Don't they look good enough to eat?

I also decided to add the Good Eats episode. Gotta love YouTube.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The ABC's Of Me

- Age: 31
- Annoyance: Floss breaking and getting stuck in my teeth.
- Animal: Weimaraner. It's a bird dog that I want.

- Beer: Smells bad, why would anyone want to put that in their mouth?
- Birthday/Birthplace: September 7/Montrose CO
- Body Part on opposite (same) sex?: Smile
- Been in Love: Yes, several times in fact.
- Believe in yourself: I try. Sometimes I'm mores successful than other times.
- Believe in God: Without a doubt
- Believe in Ghosts/Spirits: Depends
- Believe in Evolution: Yes

- Car: 1997 Chevy Blazer
- Candy: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
- Color: Blue and Orange. Go Broncos!
- Cried in school: In the first grade after I vomited on the school steps.
- Chocolate/Vanilla: Chocolate
- Chinese/Mexican food: Chinese is good food, but I'm a Mexican. I love Mexican food.
- Cake or pie: Pie. Key lime pie to be specific.
- Country to visit: Mexico. I want to see the Mayan ruins.

- Day or Night: Night
- Dream vehicle: Nissan 350z. It's not super luxurious, but I think it's one I could actually own someday.
- Dance in the rain?: Nope. I don't dance at dances. Why would I dance in the rain?
- Do the splits?:

- Eggs: Over medium.
- Eyes: Brown
- Everyone has: Their own special brand of crazy.

- First crush: Meggan Hustad. I was in first grade.
- Food: Tamales. So good. I think I may try to actually make them sometime.

- Greatest Fear: Spending my life alone and not living up to my potential.
- Goals: To go back and finish college.
- Get along with your parent(s): Yes.
- Good luck charm: I'm supposed to have a good luck charm? Why didn't anyone tell me? Where do you get a good luck charm?

- Hair Color: Black
- Height: 5 Feet, 10 inches
- Happy: When the Broncos win.
- Holiday: Christmas.
- How do you want to die?: Surrounded by loved ones
- Health freak?: Not really, although I am trying to be healthier
- Hate: Feeling like I'm stuck in life

- Ice Cream: Tin Roof Sundae. Vanilla ice cream = good. Caramel ribbon = good. Chocolate covered peanuts = good. All together = Tin Roof Sundae
- Instrument: Guitar. I blame Guitar Hero for wanting to learn how to play

- Jewelry: Nope
- Job: Phone Surveyor

- Kids: Are loud and sometimes smell.
- Kickboxing or karate: Kickboxing is more fun to watch, but both would be cool to learn
- Keep a journal?: I have a journal although I could be better at writing in it

- Longest Car Ride: Rexburg, Idaho to Baltimore, MD. 2200 miles in 3 days.
- Love: Happens when you least expect it
- Love at first sight: Never happened to me

- Milk flavor: Chocolate
- Movie: The Godfather
- Mooned anyone?: Never
- Marriage: Someday
- Motion sickness: Not usually. Unless I'm on a Ferris wheel.
- McDonald’s or BK: McDonald's is definitely the lesser of two evils

- Number of Siblings: 2
- Number of Piercings: 0

- One wish: Just one? Isn't customary to get 3?

- Place you’d like to live: Fort Collins, CO
- Perfect Pizza: Pepperoni, ham, and extra cheese on hand tossed crust.
- Pepsi/Coke: Pepsi

- Quail: Is a small bird
- Questionnaires: Give me something to do with my down time

- Reason to cry: I don't know. I hate crying
- Roll your tongue in a circle: Yes

- Song: Currently listening to: Typical by Tickle Me Pink
- Shoe size: 10
- Salad Dressing: I don't like salad dressing on salads, but they do make good marinades.
- Skipped school: Not until my senior year of high school. My mom caught me.
- Smoking: No
- Sing well?: I'm tone deaf, so no
- In the shower? Nope
- Strawberries/Blueberries: Strawberries

- Time for bed: Usually not before midnight.
- Thunderstorms: Are cool
- Touch your tongue to your nose: Nope

- Unpredictable: Colorado weather. It was 70 degrees yesterday, and today it snowed.

- Vegetable you hate: Mushrooms
- Vegetable you love: Carrots
- Vacation spot: Disney World

- Weakness: Kryptonite
- Which one of your friends acts the most like you: None. I'm unique
- Who makes you laugh the most: Probably Sandy or Lori
- Wanted to be a model?: Never
- Where do we go when we die: To spirit paradise or spirit prison
- Worst weather: Hurricane like winds and hail.

- X-rays: Once, when I thought I broke my ankle.

- Year it is now: 2009
- Yellow: Is the color of snow you should never eat

- Zoo animal: Lions

1. Slept in a bed beside you? It's been a long time. I don't' remember.
2. Last person to see you cry? Andrea
3. Went to the movies with you? Andrea
4. You went to the mall with? Andrea
5. You shared a meal with? Tabi and Kerrie
6. You talked to on the phone? Clemente. He called me at work to provide some information about his business.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Bad Days Aren't Nearly This Bad

On my way to work this morning I was listening to the radio. In between songs, the DJ related this news story about some poor guy in Michigan who seems to have had one of the worst days ever.

Just remember, your day is NEVER as bad as this guy's. In Michigan, man lost his dog. Drives car out onto frozen lake to look for dog. Locks keys in car, while it's running. Heat from the exhaust pipe melts ice. Car falls into lake. Dog never found. It's a Perfect Storm of SUCK.
A Perfect Storm of SUCK! This man is a living breathing country song. You can read the full story here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Official Slacking Blogger Update

Okay, it's official. I have been a total slacker the past couple of months in updating this blog. There have been plenty of things happening in my life that I could have written about, but I haven't. I've been lazy. I've been spending all of my free time watching SportsCenter or the Food Network. I guess spending time doing those things makes for less motivation in updating my blog. Since I have some free time right now though, I've decided to give everyone out there a treat by putting up a new post. I think some people have gotten tired of the picture of my feet and the scale from the last post.

This is my car. A 1997 Chevy Blazer LS. When I bought it, I loved it. I actually bought it thinking that in the near future it would be used as a family car. Well seven and a half years later, I'm still the only one driving it. On the bright side, it hasn't been trashed because of rowdy kids. I've managed to trash the car all by myself. I'm kind of surprised it's stayed in one piece for so long. I've had to get new tires twice, get the brakes replaced twice, replace the U-joints and the drive shaft, replace the windshield, fix the rear hatch release lever, replace the drivers side mirror, and weld the drivers side door latch back on so it would stay closed. And there is still a lot more that needs to be done.

This is what it looks like now. A little bit dirtier and definitely more worn down. About a year and a half ago I was getting new tires for the second time. At the time I was told the ball joints needed to be replaced as well. I didn't have the money to replace them so, in typical Mo fashion, I put it off. About a 2 months ago, my car started making this loud clunking noise as I was driving down the road. I did some research on my own and determined it was the ball joints that needed to be replaced. I took the car to the shop and told them I needed the ball joints replaced. The worker asked all of the typical questions about my car. Make, model, year, and what I wanted done. Then he asked if it was the upper or lower ball joints that needed to be replaced. I was speechless. Upper or lower ball joints? My car has two sets of ball joints? It turns out my car does have two sets of ball joints because it's a 4 wheel drive. I told the worker that I didn't know which set needed to be replaced. He said that wasn't a problem and they would evaluate which ones they were. To make a long story short, it took the better part of 2 days and $400 to get the ball joints replaced. As I was driving home, I remember thinking at least I won't have to hear that awful clunking noise anymore. Just as I had that thought, the noise started up again. Argh! I spent my travel home for Christmas budget on my car, and it still made the clunking noise.

Last week as I was driving home from work, my car started to overheat. The temperature gauge was north of 260 degrees and the check gauges light was on. I figured the thermostat had gone bad, so I stopped to get a new one. I had to stop three times on my way home from work so it wouldn't overheat completely. In order to replace the thermostat, I had to wait for the engine to cool down, so I decided I would replace it before work the next day. The next morning I changed out the thermostat and figured that would be the end of it. I decided to let the car run for a while to get the coolant circulating and to see if the car would still overheat. I came back about 10 minutes later to look at the temperature gauge. Lo and behold, it was north 260 degrees again. Not cool. (No pun intended, but still funny.) The thermostat wasn't the problem. It was the radiator or something else to do with the coolant system. Argh! This was going to cost more money.

I took my car to a local radiator shop to see if they could figure out what the problem was. After a quick check, it was determined that the radiator was cracked. The mechanic decided to add some more coolant in order to find exactly where the crack was. He began pouring the coolant into the radiator to fill it up. He kept pouring and pouring and pouring. It turns out the water pump was literally falling off of the car and the coolant was being poured on to the concrete. The mechanic said they could fix it, but that they would have to order a new water pump. While he was speaking, the only thing I could think was how much it was going to cost. After doing some figuring, he gave me an estimate of about $200. I agreed and he began work on the car.

The next morning he called and said the work was done. I could come get my car. Not excited to pay the money, I took my time in getting to the shop. After paying for the work, I drove away. As I was driving, I noticed my heater worked. It hasn't worked in a couple of years. That means I can stay warm in the winter time when I drive. I was so excited about the heater working that I had already driven a couple of miles down the road, when I realized I hadn't heard any clunking noise either. I would have never thought replacing the water pump would get rid of these problems. Now that my car is in good running condition again, I even enjoy driving it again. I'm not happy that I had to spend $600 in the past month to get things fixed, but at least I am experiencing farfegnuten (the joy of driving).

At least until my radiator cracks some more.