Friday, December 31, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Following our 1st annual Christmas Awareness Dinner, we passed around a questionnaire to help our guests self reflect on Christmas. The form was created by the wonderful organizedchristmas.com (Wonderful, not crazy).
Here are the results of Christmas:
*Brackets denote editorial commentary
a. What worked this holiday season?
Tim-Dad: Most everything
Donnie: Honey, have nothing to say I had a wonderful time +
Kate: Family time was great.
Elliot: Scribble Scribble
Noah: Christmas meat.
Paul: Chinese food, Edamame Salad, Chruch
Cyndy: I think most everything worked.
Peter: Good Food, family together-ness.
b. What changes did you make to create simpler, less stressful celebrations?
A transporter machine like on Star Trek. None
Tim: Lock dad in a cage. [?]
Kate: It was nice to spend time with Paul and Cyndy during dinner prep.
Noah: Eat Christmas meat in pajamas.
Cameron: Wake up earlier.
Cyndy: Paul made me do more cooking.
Peter: Sleeping cots for naps. [I must have missed that]
2. What was the worst aspect of preparing for the holidays this year? How can you avoid the problem in the future?
Tim-Dad: Thinking of gifts to get. STOP Thinking.
Cyndy-Mom: Watching the weather – can't do anything about the weather.
Donnie: Must do cards sooner. Will not schedule dental work on Dec. 23rd.
Tim: Driving to NY. Kidnap Cyndy, lock her in cage.
Kate: Filling out this form with Elliot has been a challenge.
Elliot: Scribble SCRIBBLE
Noah: Waiting for the car coming back from the body shop. Christmas shopping in a Chevy Cobalt. Avoid Deer.
Paul: Meat over cooked, no dry firewood.
Cameron: Getting a Christmas tree. Get it from another place.
Cyndy: Grocery shopping. Pay attention!
Peter: Traveling too far waiting for UPS and FedEx deliveries.
3. Were you satisfied with your family's level of giving and/or spiritual observances? How could next year's holidays more closely reflect your family's values?
Donnie: My family is wonderful.
Tim: Nope. Beating each other with sticks.
Elliot: Scribble Scribble Scribble Scribble.
Kate: Thank you Paul and Cyndy for the thoughtful gifts and patience with our little rascals.
Noah: Raw pork chops... end of comments
Cyndy: Yes. I don't know.
Peter: Attend Church together.
4. How well did your household function this year? Were you calm and cozy, or stressed and strung out? What improvements could be made for next year?
Tim-Dad: Very good. Yes.
Cyndy-Mom: Best year ever for family fun. Yes calm and cozy.
Tim: Terrible. We were all calm and cozy, except dad. Lock Dad in cage.
Elliot: Scribble Scribble Scribble Scribble Scribble.
Noah: They were all calm and cozy. I was stressed and strung out because of them.
Paul: Toilet was messed up.
Cameron: OK. I was crazy and excited. I could be calm.
Cyndy: Functioned well. Calm. Cozy. More eggnog? Cornelia very strung out, needs more catnip?
Peter: Calm, cozy, and warm. Bonus Heat
5. Honesty Time: how did your holidays go? Did you experience the magic, expectancy, the sparkle of the season? If not, what changes could you make to recapture the joy of the next season?
Tim-Dad: Very good, Very good.
Cyndy-Mom: Wonderful. Yes.
Donnie: Lots of criticism from Noah. Will let him watch PeeWee anyway.
Tim: Please lock dad in cage! I experienced Super Duper magic. Jesus told me “Your [sic] awesome.” Lock dad in cage, hit with stick.
Kate: Lots of magic, lots of family. Thank you for having us.
Elliot: Scribble Scribble Scribble Scribble
Noah: They are not over yet. Revisit this question in mid January. What? What? [Are you saying Joel could still ruin Christmas, after Christmas?]
Paul: Too much sparkle.
Cameron: Ok. Yes.
Cyndy: Sparkle... always need more sparkle. More Kate Spade, less yelling about asking for Kate Spade from Paul.
Peter: Start with dentist toothache. Skip dentist false teeth.
Tim with Cyndy's weirdo camera lens.
Mother talking of her fabulous lunch at Colonie Manor. She's almost ready to move in.
Peter absorbing the powerful healing powers of the crystal at the center of Mt. Shasta.
Preparing to probe the Christmas Meat.
Cyndy with her new plate.
Dominic the Donkey hour with Tim.
Cornelia after peace and order had been restored.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
As of yesterday, there has been 80% germination in the top performing petri dish. So I am off to the lab to see if it will be higher today....
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
CHRISTINE gives to RACHEL
CHRIS gives to PHIL
KATE gives to CHRIS
NOAH gives to CYNDY
RACHEL gives to NOAH
PHIL gives to KATE
JOEL gives to PAUL
CYNDY gives to JOEL
PAUL gives to CHRISTINE
Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The USA version of the Fiat 500 was unveiled today at the LA auto show. They also announced the list of 130 dealers. Armory Chrysler/Jeep is going to be our local Fiat dealer. The base price will be $15,500. Fiat wants to compete directly with the Mini.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
These are the egg chickens (there are also some broilers- not shown here). Philip found about a dozen eggs this morning, so we had egg salad sandwiches for lunch.
Philip and I stayed on Cory's house/sea container- lovingly named the "Hertz Castle" since it is a Hertz container. There are three windows, a fold-up bed and very little furniture. It is surprisingly cozy and the sunrise and sunset views from the top of the hill are amazing!
The sea container from a distance.
I got some awesome birthday presents: a beautiful Christmas quilt; a four course (x2) duck dinner, and computer speakers.
Friday, November 12, 2010
The menu was appetizing:
We skipped the wine pairings. One chef did the first item listed for each course and the other chef did the second item for each course. Otherwise, we didn't know which chef was first and which was second.
The way it worked was that we were served both items for each course and we voted on which we liked better on a little card that we then turned in at the end of the evening. At the end, there was also a selection for which we liked better overall.
Amuse Bouche: Little Egg v. Duck Tartare
Both Rachel and I voted for the little egg. The duck tartare was very good, but the little egg was exceptional. This was early when we hadn't figured out how to take decent pictures yet (it was quite dark).
First: Duck Consomme v. Duck Liver Tortelloni
Both Rachel and I voted for the duck consomme. It just may be too hard to put regular duck liver [not that there was anything particularly "regular" about it. It was still good] up against foie gras.
Next: Duck Confit v. Duck Leg
Rachel and I split on this one, although we both liked both. I went for the duck leg and Rachel went with the duck confit.
Main: Spice Scented Duck Breast v. Duck Breast Roulade
Rachel and I both really liked the duck breast roulade. The spice scented duck breast seemed to have too much sweet going on, although that may just be a matter of personal preference.
For the overall judging, Rachel voted for the first chef (little egg, duck consomme, duck confit, and spice scented duck breast) as the best overall and I voted for the second (duck tartare, duck liver tortelloni, duck leg, and duck breast roulade).
Desert was a non-competition item, mincemeat strudel, that used copious amounts of duck fat as a substitute for some of the butter. We both like savory things over sweet desserts, so this was also a big thumbs up.
No word yet on the compilation of all of the voting from the other guests.
A portion of the receipts from the evening went to the California Waterfowl Association.
Friday, November 05, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Kate and I attended Cliff Bard's wedding tonight at The Stockade Inn in Schenectady. It was very nice. We had the pleasure of sitting with Mike Stiles. I warned Kate during the cocktail hour that He was crazy. She was surprised by his behavior, I however was not. Mike handed out the attached bumper sticker to EVERYONE at the wedding.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Christmas Planner Pre-Season Values Worksheet