Friday, February 27, 2009

Wait 'til next year!

Mark did not win the chili cook-off. We think it was because one of the judges was his grandfather and the other his teacher, and they didn't want it to look funny. And as his mother, the chairwoman of the board, I concur.

Mark's chili was very good, but we are talking about ways to improve it. The winner was a delicious white chicken chili that Bob said was really soup, but I thought tasted like chili. Even if it was soup, it was great, and I'd love that recipe. Number two (I thought, but I'm not sure whose was whose) was a thick chili made with stew beef (or maybe venison). Anyway, it was what my sister used to call "stringy meat." I've used that before in chili, and think it's a good choice.

Mark's chili wasn't as rainbowy as I wanted. Since I had to take the slow cooker to work and barely made it to the school on time, Mark had to put everything together the night before. He had
  • 2 lbs of browned hamburger (we should have drained this better)
  • 2 large cans of whole peeled tomatoes (this summer we'll use fresh, maybe from our garden)
  • 4 cans of dark red kidney beans
  • diced purple onion, poplano chili, Serrano chili, and a small red thing (the Bi-Lo was out of jalapeno)
  • 3 T dark cocoa powder (maybe needed more)
  • 3 T chili powder (probably too old... buy fresh)
  • 1.5 T cumin (needed more & too old)
  • salt

It was good and flavorful, but could have used a POP.

What I wanted to add, but which should be added near the end of the cooking so they don't turn all mushy and gray:

  • shredded carrots
  • julienned zucchini
  • julienned squash
  • red, yellow, & orange bell peppers

I think I'll try this this weekend, and use the stew beef. I also usually use black beans and pinto beans as well as the dark red kidney beans, but Mark wanted a more classic look.

We'll see.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Chili Cook-off

Tomorrow night, Mark will enter the chili cook-off at his school. He has been thinking about this since the last time, which was two years ago. He thinks he needs to keep it simple but hot. He watched the judges and realized that was what they went for.

This is one of the reasons I love Carolina School for Inquiry. While Mark would be Mark anywhere, it's only at a child-centered inquiry based school that his Markness is so thoroughly embraced. Every time I speak to one of his teachers, I hear, "Let me tell you what Mark did..." The really cool thing is that they say that to all the parents. "Let me tell you what Devon did..what Shayna did.. what (fill in the blank) did.."

Mark has been thinking about the chili and has experimented. He won't be thrilled, but I'm going to suggest some veggies to make it a HOT RAINBOW chili. And of course, the secret ingredient is: cocoa. Don't tell.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm not dead yet...

I am still here, just checking in to say hello. I quit at work twice, but it didn't take. I considered leaving job postings on the copier to piss off my boss but thought better of it. I prayed for patience and understanding... it is tax season for him too. I decided to answer the phone put say I'm not in, then return calls from 3 to 4. If I can refrain from answering "one quick question" every five minutes, I might get some work done.

I have a really bad headache (although not the worst I've had.) I may go in late, but I still have work to do at home, so it's not like I'll get a rest.

I am not complaining. I am whining. This is how I get through hard times and long car trips. I know it is good to be busy and I know I will make it and I know I will meet all important deadlines. I know I will not kill anyone and I know I will not piss off more than one or two clients this season (at least so much they don't come back--- good riddance I don't like you enough to go to jail for you) and I am pretty sure I won't drop dead.

Are we there yet? Can I have a milkshake? He's poking meeeeee.....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Angel Way of Eating

I have too many blogs. I said that, I know.

For the past two weeks I've been Eating the Angel Way, following Annie's angel's guidelines. I have been writing about it on another blog Kathy's one thousand one hundred and twelfth diet journal.

I inadvertently posted the AWE post here. It is now there. Please check that one out. I'm pretty happy with my progress so far. And of course, Annie, you may use any comments (dumb or profound) I have made if it will help you with your book. But, be kind.

Loose ends

I have too many blogs...

OK, first, Time-Warner Cable sent a new subcontractor to install our cable and broadband. They were professional & efficient and I hope I can request them if we ever have a problem. The good contractor was Knight Enterprises. I don't remember the other one.

I've gone off and joined a band...

OK, I spent too much time on this...

From Sunshine & Bubblegum, a cute idea that I pretty much made a pig's breakfast out of. This is the deal:

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”or click The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations" by clicking: The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”or click Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

It took me awhile to get the hang of it, so this is really the third or fourth picture I got when I clicked on flickr.

Monday, February 16, 2009

writers and witches, and words...oh my!: too silly not to try

writers and witches, and words...oh my!: too silly not to try
And I'm nothing if not silly today.
1.YOUR REAL NAME:Katharine Mary Duffy Thomas
2.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME:(mother and fathers middle names) Fletcher Joseph
3.NASCAR NAME:(first name of your mother's dad, father's dad) Albert John
4. STAR WARS NAME:(the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name)thoka
5.DETECTIVE NAME:(favorite color, favorite animal) Red Cat
6.SOAP OPERA NAME:(middle name, town where you were born)Mary Beaufort
7.SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd fav color, fav drink, add "THE" to the beginning) The Blue Diet Coke (oh, yeah, it strikes fear into the hearts of all who hear it.)
8.FLY NAME:(first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name)kaas
9.STREET NAME:(fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie)coffee oreo (somehow appropriate)
10. PORN NAME: (1st pet's name, street you grew up on) Dara Harden (oooh gross.)
11. YOUR GANGSTA NAME:(first 3 letters of last name plus izzle)thoizzle
14.YOUR GOTH NAME:(black, and the name of one of your pets) Black Mao
15. STRIPPER NAME: (name of your fav perfume/cologne, fav candy) Cinnabar Zero (I don't think they make Cinnabar anymore, but I don't wear cologne any more either. Maybe it should be: Vanilla Zero)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cursed with a magnetic personality

This is my horoscope from AOL for today:

Friday, Feb 13th, 2009 -- You are intellectually well-equipped today to manage even the most complex interaction with disparate groups of people holding on to different sets of interests. Normally, you might be inclined to throw in the towel and just let it all play out on its own. Now, however, you can maintain control while making it appear as if you don't have your hand in setting the new course.
Now, initially, you say, wow, that's good, especially for a service providing tax accountant on Friday the 13th. And it's always good to be intellectually well-equipped.

However, I have worked about 60 hours a week for the past month. That's not counting anything I might do for my sister's business, my family, the school, or myself. I am very very tired. And while I may be intellectually well-equipped, I really don't want to interact with a disparate group of people holding different sets of interests. I WANT to throw in the towel and let it play out on its own (which I would NOT do normally, thank you very much.) I want to complete payroll deposits, bookkeeping, sales tax, and if I'm not dead yet, some tax returns. The prospect of setting a new course is way overwhelming.

Oh well. Bring it on. Where is the coffee pot?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Musings while waiting for the Time-Warner cable guy

I am not actually waiting for the Time-Warner cable guy, because he has come & gone, leaving everyone feeling that it is SOOOOOOO Monday. And since I still don't have cable, I guess I'm still waiting...

So these are my musings.

Why do we have to get cable anyway? Why is it in the interest of the US government that everyone be required to have digital tv? Do they need the digital so that they can send subliminal messages? Or do the cable and satellite companies have really good lobbyists? If I say "screw it" & just use my TV to watch DVDs, am I being unpatriotic?

Why, in a society that supposedly values the free market, do have the choice of Time-Warner Cable or else? I could get satellite, and at least there is some competition there, but why aren't there at least two cable companies?

Does Time-Warner Cable know that its service people are jack-asses?

I knew it was going to be bad when, after waiting on hold for an hour, my husband decided to order cable on line. The set up date was three weeks later, and they gave a two day window for when they might come. Almost immediately, the first month's fees came out of our account. So we know they CAN be efficient. When he set it up, he said that the house was not cable ready, since we didn't know for sure. The guy we bought it from said he was told it was cable ready, but he didn't use cable either. Since we didn't know what we had, he said nothing, and the installation price was supposed to reflect that.

So this morning, the guy calls. Give him credit for calling and for being there early on the first day of the window. He loses credit because he said it was not acceptable to have our 19-year-old son sign for it, and Bob had to take annual leave and come home immediately. There are limited benefits to having a 19-year-old son at home. One of them is supposed to be having a responsible adult to wait for service folk.

He loses more points because he went under the house and said there was a leak, and he couldn't work under those conditions. He also said it would cost an additional $80 to run a wire to our bedroom upstairs. I said I didn't want tv in the bedroom, but Bob said he did, and since I like sleeping with him, I relented.

The cable guy then loses all credibility because he leaves before Bob gets there (fifteen minutes after the call), saying to reschedule when we get the plumbing fixed, make sure Bob is home, and have a nice day.

I actually do not want cable. Other than Monk, it offers me nothing. I do want high-speed internet, so I can read pretty blogs without waiting minutes for the pages to load, so that I can upload photos, so that I can do things. We can't get DSL, even though we are in the middle of the city. If television weren't important to everyone else, I'd say, let's just get Verizon wireless internet. They cost a lot, but at least they provide good service.

As far as I know, Bob has talked to the Time-Warner Cable people, who have probably let him know they don't give a rat's patootie, after all they are a government sponsored monopoly. I'm pretty sure we are going to reschedule. I already have a plumber on the way (Outhouse Plumbing, where a flush beats a full house.) I am sure this is the beginning of a really crappy relationship, and if my best friend dated someone like this, I'd have an intervention.

But no, I'm going to be patriotic and put up with this crap. Too bad my reliable plumbers can't do something about the Time-Warner Cable crap that is filling up my house.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tax Season

I'm not dead yet.

If anyone misses me, let me tell you, I miss you too. I'd say "Wish you were here," but that would be ugly.

This is my view from my desk right now. I get high-speed internet on Monday or Tuesday, so I think I will be able to use my very limited free time to get around the blogosphere a little more.