Archive for February, 2006

Fun With Fruit

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

I’m about an hour away from going and getting me and The Phoenix some of my as-yet-unattempted Griffith Park Loop, but in the meanwhile I’ve just been concocting in the kitchen.

See lately, as part of my healthier eating kick, I’ve been doing the egg-substitute veggie scramble for breakfast. Then if I get a touch of the hungries during the day I’ll usually do a medley of chopped up fruit consisting of a banana, an apple, a grapefruit and an orange or tangerine.

Having been visited by the aforementioned hungries I gathered together the above-mentioned fruit and as I’m cutting the grapefruit into wedges a neon sign goes off in my head that reads FRUIT SMOOTHIE.

Oh hell yeah!

So first I bust out the food processor but I quickly realize I don’t need to complicate this. I don’t need to mush things up first in the Cuisinart and then blend it all up in the blender. I can go it the whole way with just the latter utensil.

I’m not proud of this mind you, but I do believe I giggled. With glee.

So into the Osterizer goes the grapefruit and a couple tangerines and a banana and an apple and what the hell, howsabout a couple kiwi and some baby carrots while I’m at it. Room for a lime? Sure. Followed by a container of lowfat yogurt. Anything else? I give momentary but sincere consideration to both a dash of Cap’n Crunch and some coldcuts, but veto both. I’m not entirely insane.

All that’s left is to press the 10th button on the far right of the panel (the one after LIQUIFY that just has an exclamation point and a little hard hat icon) and presto-grindo I’ve got a blender bubbling full of some sort of thick oozey sludge that looks…

Fruit Smoothie

…shall we say: abstract. And its taste? Well, it tasted like a half-assed mash-up of a grapefruit and a banana and an apple and a couple tangerines and kiwis and lime and carrots and some yogurt, but I chugged every last fabulous yummified drop of the stuff!

Ahhhhhhhhhh!

Doin’ The Calorie Limbo

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

“Trending downward,” as they say. “Interesting,” I say.

It actually may be too early to even make mention of this as anything other than an anomaly, but nevertheless my previous three days have seen a marked decrease in caloric intake with no effects… no hunger, no blood/sugar irregularities. Nothing. It’s all good.

Perhaps its my way of making up for the cookie dough binge of friday, the Mexican restaurant of Saturday and the Monte Cristo sandwich of Sunday, but Monday’s total was 1,942 calories, Tuesday’s was 1,553 and yesterday’s was an unheard of 1,279.

Not that I’m turning this into a how-low-can-I-go challenge, but as long as there’s no physiological back-firing I see no reason why I shouldn’t keep it up — or down as it were.

My fitday.com log can be viewed here.

Cheap Shots

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

A couple days ago I went and got something I’ve wanted for awhile: a sub-hundie basic digicam that would fulfill my personal directive never to be anywhere without an image capture device.

I’ve been making due and good on that promise with my phonecam, but it’s last resort, at best. Not that we’re deficient in digital cameras. Hell no, we’ve got the Canon Rebel digital and the Canon G4 (currently in the shop after I dropped it last week) and even the Canon ZR200 DV camera (do ya think I like Canons?), which takes stills as well. But none of them have that pocket-it-and-go capability.

Enter the Polaroid PDC5080 as found on the front page of Target’s insert in the Sunday L.A. Times. For $88 you get 5.1 megapixels in a pocket-sized 3.5″ wide by 2.5″ tall by 1.25″ deep package… and not much else. Sure it’s got an LCD display on the back and a flash and its SD memory card-compatible and runs on 2 AA batteries and is capable of stills and video (with rudimentary sound), but fancy and feature-rich it is not.

Polariod PDC5080

And that’s fine with me. Sure enough when I hit the Eagle Rock Target they were out of them, but the Burbank store still had three in stock and I made a beeline and got mine.

Not surprisingly, it doesn’t take the best pictures in the world, and certainly not when attempting to utilize its 4X digital zoom. Plus its slow turning on and there’s an ungodly delay after you snap the shutter while it saves the image. But all that is all right. For $88 a got what a cam I can shove in my pocket and roll for a lot less than I expected to pay.

Here’s links to trio of snaps during the dog walk yesterday that give you an idea of what it can do:

• http://static.flickr.com/31/102769235_4410a7debf_b.jpg
• http://static.flickr.com/41/102769234_77a13eb8f3_b.jpg
• http://static.flickr.com/25/102769233_dd343b410c_b.jpg

Knife To Meet You

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

I’ll spare you any photographic evidence and just say that the new set of Wolfgang Puck knives that Susan bought recently are REALLY sharp. I know this firsthand… or rather first finger. Thumb, actually. The right one.

I was chopping up some veggies for my morning breakfast scramble: mushrooms, peppers and spinach and I decided to add some butternut squash to the mix. So I lop off a few slices and trim the hard outer part off and I’m left with this two-inch-thick stack of hexagonally shaped squash meat… or whatever it’s called.

Now, it’s not like I just brainfarted and put the tip of my thumb in the downward path of the knife as I cut through the stack. If there must be negligence identified it’s the fact that I was dicing up the stack rather than the indivicual slices. See the trouble is like most things in life (such as water, rightwing nutjobs and writers of crap films like Wedding Crashers) the path of least resistance is the one taken, and even though I was doing my damnedest to cut straight down through the layers, the knife encountered a certain section of one of the slices that was a bit more dense and thanks to the force I was providing it angled out a bit in search of an easier way through, which in turn disrupted the stack’s structural integrity causing it to collapse and thus provide the shortest distance for the knife to travel in order to carve itself into a beefy portion of my thumb’s tip.

I’m talking a veritable filet.

So sharp was the utensil and so quickly did it cut into my digit that I didn’t realize it immediately. In fact, I belief I had the time to fully formulate the following thought…

Oh no you did NOT!?

…before realizing indeed I had and throwing everything into reverse in order to extricate the weapon.

Gah! But did the sucker bleed. I immediately thrust it under cold running water for as long as I could stand the flow battering the still-attached flap of thumb tip and then I squeezed it in a swath of paper towels and ran to the bathroom where I poured some hydrogen peroxide into a cup and dunked the sucker deep before applying pressure to the wound until the blood slowed enoughthat I was awkwardly able to apply a generous helping of Neosporin then blanket it deep in sterile gauze before wrapping the thing up tight in first-aid tape.

As it bled through I had to apply additional layers of guaze battened down with more tape, but eventually it stopped and now here I am telling you all about it with a thumb bandage that looks almost as funny as the irony that this wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been eating so healthy. Or had a job.

FUCK!

I soooooo look forward to removing the bandages and getting my first good look at the carnage but at some point I’ll have to. I’ll even have to trim the flap off eventually. Until then all as good as can be expected.

Turkey Shoot

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

Just crossed my mind so I figured I’d chuck its triviality up here. I love the TV series 24, but I can only hope last night’s episode proves to be the weakest link and the series doesn’t stretch its ridiculousness any further than it already has.

That terrorists were granted access to the president of the United States and allowed to make demands directly of him was bad enough, but that the prez — however reluctantly — actually gave in to those demands and provided them with the motorcade route of the visiting Russian leader — with whom he’s just signed an historic peace agreement! — so that they can assassinate him isn’t just preposterous… after all the whole series is preposterous and I can live with that. Far worse: it’s just crap writing, which is something that will lose me as a viewer if they keep it up.

And speaking of losing me, I made the mistake of dropping the needle onto the disc of Wedding Crashers and subjecting Susan and I to its inanity over the weekend — which we disgustedly quit about an hour in.

Has there been a more successful retarded movie in motion picture history? The terrible thing’s grossed hundreds of millions of dollars, and why exactly? I suppose it could be for the alleged comic chemistry between Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson of which it becomes readily apparent way early on that there is none. It certainly wasn’t for the wicked awesome script or the ensemble of interesting characters, or the totally fucking implausible scenario of two flimsy sleaze-bozos hanging out at the ultra-dysfunctional home of the secretary of the U.S. fucking Treasury with Owen’s idiot falling so incongruously in love with one daughter and Vince’s jackass getting stuck in oh-so-hilarious situations such as being masturbated at the dinner table or accused of sleeping with a foul-mouthed octogenarian — or best yet having an awkward encounter with the xecretary’s angry and misunderstood homosexual son while helplessly tied to a bed.

We finally hit eject in the next scene when Vaughn’s character, who can’t leave fast enough is begged by Wilson’s to stay because if he doesn’t his attempts to woo his true love will go all to shit. Could someone explain to me exactly how Vaughn’s absence would send things into a tailspin? Oh wait, I got it: because whoever the team was that”wrote” and produced this worthless excuse of a sex farce has all the creativity and imagination of a pantry moth.

It’s Just The Geek In Me: Goin’ Mobile

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

Thanks to the redesign of the Blogging.la site, which debuted yesterday, winksite.com was brought to my attention. What is winksite? Basically it’s an online community tht provides internet-challenged doofii such as myself with an easy way to port or produce content to any web-enabled mobile phone. So not only can you now wrap around my deathless ramblings when you’re waiting in line at the post office or DMV, but you might just find me filing shrthnd dispatches from the field on occasion. Hopefully very shrt.

Long story short: I signed up and now [sic] is available in an on-the-go — if rather barebones — version. You can view it either on your cell phone or on your computer’s browser by going to the winksite homepage and entering 13098 in the Winksite ID# box.

Blowin’ In The Wind

Monday, February 20th, 2006

So I’ve let the dog out into the backyard to go pee, at about the same time as I do every day, and she trots on out, does her business then goes sniffing around the new look I’ve given the southeast corner before coming back to the grassy area under the tree with the fragrant little blossoms (whose name I still do not know) and sitting down.

Most of the time she comes trotting right back inside after she’s finished, but on occasion she likes to linger a bit. This is one of those occasions so I come out from the backdoor and grab a seat on the low brick wall next to the walkway and Shadow’s just sitting there looking back at me intently with that look she has and I tell her I’m in no rush to get back inside if she isn’t. So she walks her front paws out in front of her and lays down.

And the the wind chimes are chiming and the late-afternoon sun is shining and the pre-dusk blue of the sky is especially vibrant and from the tree boughs above Shadow fall those aromatic little flowers like rain, and she’s still staring at me with this lazer look and before I know it I’m all teared up because of… hell I don’t know. Because it was just so damn beautiful. And because I’m so damn lucky and double damn thankful. For everything. For my wife. For my life. For Shadow. For the backyard. And the sun. And the breeze.

If this were a script, Shadow would rise sensing my emotion and come to me comfortingly, but this isn’t a script and Shadow just relaxes there looking at me and looking around, and scratching behind her ear, and letting out one of her huge sneezes, the kind in which the forward recoil drives her nose into the ground, which of course makes her sneeze again even harder.

And that made me weepy all the more because it was just as it should be, with Shadow at home and comfortable in her backyard for what I hope will be many more years to come. And maybe that’s part of why I got all choked up, too. Because it’s been such a strange journey getting to this point. For me and Shadow. And I’m so blessed that things have worked out the way they have.

Eventually the sounds of Pepper and Jiggy wrestling in the kitchen brings Shadow out of her meditative respose. She rises to cross to the walkway and trots down past me to the screen door where she waits for me to unlatch it so she can enter and disperse the play-fighting felines.

I wipe my eyes and get up to open it for her.