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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Like Every Drink Is His Last

My seven-year-old son drinks ever drink like it could be his last and it is downright annoying.

He'll rush over to his cup, open the fridge, pour some juice into his cup and then stand there with the door open gasping, huffing and sighing his way through the juice like he was lost at sea for days.

He does this almost every time.

Drives me bonkers.

He eats cereal this way too... and does that clanking spoon thing right along with it.

I have to leave the room when he eats cereal for breakfast.


My wife and her friends have invented a new thing among moms.

They call it shrinking - which is shopping and drinking.

I'm not talking Paris Hilton style where you go into some high rent store and they give you a glass of wine or champaigne.


I'm talking about going to the mall, having some drinks, browse the racks, maybe buy something, head back to the bar, drink some more, browse again and possibly buy something.

The key, said my wife is to go before the weekend dinner rush for the drinks, shop while most people eat only to return themselves for some appetizers/drinks when most are finishing their dessert.

Then return to browsing the racks.

Wild times for wild women.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Phantom Field Goal

I scored tickets to the UNC vs. Virginia football game at the last minute on Saturday (got the call at little after 10am for a noon kick-off).

UNC has a new coach, Butch Davis, who is seeking to elevate the football program to the status of the school much-heralded basketball program. It was a great day for football: the hot weather finally broke and fall was in the air.

But that didn't stop me from getting sunburned on my neck and knees - maybe it had to do with the metal seats...

The game got off to a slow start but ended 22-20 with Virginia coming out on top after Carolina missed the two-point conversion to tie the game as time wound down.

Of course there was that phantom field goal that Virginia got. I'm not going to say that it was the deciding factor in the team's loss but some fans sure felt that way.

Here's the take from Lee Pace over at Carolina's web site:

"Everyone was equally flummoxed by the review of a Gould field goal midway through the third quarter that was originally called no good by the officials but overturned upon review in the press box. The kick looked wide left from my view at the 30 yard line, but Virginia's ball boys were positioned in the end zone and felt the ball was inside the upright and over the cross bar. They immediately appealed to Groh to challenge the ruling. The video replay showed the official directly underneath the falling ball flinch--either at the ball headed straight toward his face or at the sun, or both. He wasn't even looking at the ball as it fell through the goal posts. Why he signaled "no good" instead of conferring with his partner standing under the opposite upright is a legitimate question."

It does beg the question: how does a referee call a field goal no good when it was good? From the stands it totally looked no good. After a few minutes the announcer balked "would the referee please pick up the phone" then the prerequisite huddle amongst the striped men and then the announcement that the call would be overturned. The field goal was good. Of course boos reigned down and cups and lemons and even small bottles of liquor (smuggled in by frat pledges!) were tossed on the field.

I don't believe I've ever heard of a field goal being reversed like that in all my years of watching football.

This one will go down in history and at least I'll be able to say I was there.

Another Classic Pic


By my 4-year-old.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Like To Cook

I took up cooking after I became an at-home dad mostly to give myself a sense of purpose.

I always dabbled in cooking - and of course like most men I am the master of the grill - but stranded at home during nap time in the early years of my tour I took to watching The Food Network.

Watching a kid, cooking gave me something to think about during the day.

Most recipes call for some sort of prep time and time was something I had a lot of and outside of reading and television I needed to find other things to stimulate my brain during the days.

I got a few cookbooks that first Christmas (Bobby Flay and Jamie Oliver) and I was off and running. One thing my wife and I had been doing for years was to replicate delicious meals we had at restaurants. For instance, after we moved from Los Angeles to North Carolina, we had trouble finding good Thai food. So we started preparing our own pad thai and a dish called pra ram which is a red curry, spinach and chicken meal. Or cribbing appetizer ideas from my work. One thing we often serve is a seared tuna, avocado and chipotle mayo on a crispy wonton that's a popular item at one of my jobs.

The first thing I learned was that you need a cabinet stocked with various herbs and spices especially when dealing with international foods. Another thing I learned was the value of using fresh ingredients (which also spun off into using seasonal and local ingredients as well).

In recent years I've been supplementing the family finances by working part-time for several local catering companies which allows me to see first hand how dishes are prepared. I also have access to chefs whom I can ask their advice on techniques, textures and the value of presentation.

I'm pretty up to speed these days and you'll find me cooking meals probably four to five days a week.

Last week I had some pork chops but I didn't know what to do with them. I ended up braising them in a pineapple juice and Worcestershire sauce served with steamed broccoli and brown rice.

Some other dishes I made was a olive oil, lime and green beans side that I pinched out of one of my wife's Better Homes & Gardens magazines which turned out to be freakin' simple and delicious. Grilling bread is my new thing that a neighbor turned me on to this summer. Over Labor Day I grilled a loaf (sliced) of rosemary olive oil and then the next day made some sunny side up eggs and use those to top off the bread. Yum!

Fortunately, my kids are pretty adventurous eaters and will try most things I make at least once. I'm not sure if it is because many times they are part of the food prep process whether it's just going with me to the grocery store to get some essential items, helping measure or mix ingredients or maybe just seeing someone preparing food in the kitchen that makes them interested in eating the food I make.

There's still the occasional raviolis and mac & cheese in their diet but not nearly as much as some other kids I know.

Maybe one day I'll open my own place. I've toyed with the idea on and off over the years. I'm not really into trying to do the restaraunt thing per se, but maybe some sort of upscale deli.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Sniff Test

I've recently discovered that my 4-year-old has been putting his clothes back into their respective drawers when he changes.

And all this time I thought he was putting his clothes in the laudry hamper.

I came into his room this weekend while he was getting out of his pajamas and into his clothes for the day.

When he took off his pjs he opened the pajama drawer and put them back in there.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Putting them where they belong," he said.

Of course!

I then tried to explained that only the clean pajamas go into the drawer.

"Nope," he said. "They go in there."

As he told me this he opened his t-shirt drawer and pulled out the shirt he was wearing yesterday, then reached over to the underwear drawer and pulled out his Spongebob boxers I'm sure were wore yesterday and then he got out a pair of shorts.

So I guess it's all sniff testing from here on out.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

It's Coming...

If you are an at-home home dad, father-to-be or the primary caregiver of your child please consider attending
  • this

  • I went last year and found it very insightful and full of laughs.

    And that was after I got called a loser on the plane to KC by some bitch...

    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    Wasted Time


    Virgina's Wasted Time deliver the goods at BCHQ.
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    Pomp & Circumstance


    I took the boys to the campus of UNC in Chapel Hill Saturday afternoon for they could see the football players make their pre-game walk from the Old Well to Kenan Stadium.

    I have to say it was pretty cool.

    The crowd was large and electric, clearly juiced about new head coach Butch Davis and the prospect of finally having a ranked football team.

    Another reason the crowd was jittery was because of the announcement that Appalachian State beat Michigan.
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    Only in North Carolina.
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