February 3rd, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Road Trip, Travel, Uncategorized

I have been receiving some things I bought at an online auction and a few other goodies.

On Monday I got this week’s HelloFresh box. I got beef bulgogi bowls, cheesy smothered mushroom chicken with mash and roasted carrots, and plant-based protein enchiladas rojas. I am not doing them every week so I can have other stuff too plus it saves a little money.

I also won an auction for a vintage off-white Le Creuset porcelain-coated steel stockpot with lid and colander and it came Monday too. It is much larger than I imagined so I need a garage to park it in. I really like this porcelain stuff for clean up and this will be great for cooking spaghetti, linguine, and rice noodles for stir fry. I still want to try to can some home-made pasta sauce. I can’t do it yet since I would like to use my Instant Pot to help with the canning part. I need to fire-roast some tomatoes somehow; maybe on my grill after I get it here too. I have to research that.

The box of 17 Zwilling/J.A. Henckels knives showed up yesterday so I got them washed up and used a couple to cook dinner – beef bulgogi bowls. What a difference a good-quality knife makes. A little disappointed that the most expensive of the bunch – an 8″ chef knife – has a broken tip but the whole lot was still a great score for the money. I will take it to the knife sharpener guy and see if he can do something to fix it. I still need to get a sharpener but they are in pretty good shape for now. A couple of the handles have a melted spot on them but I can work on smoothing those marks out with my Dremel.

Today I got two Le Creuset salt cellars I won on an auction for way less than the price of one. I plan on using one for salt and the other for pepper. and they will be a help in the kitchen when cooking. I got another package today from a friend – a really nice bell for my bike and some chocolate Guinness candies that look like a little pint.

Tomorrow I am finally getting some Espresso cups I won in another auction. These are vintage Italian but they have no matching saucers. The price of the four (two red, two black) with shipping was less than a single cup on eBay! They are heavy ceramic and will come in handy since Monday my coffee order came in and I got several espresso pods in this box.

Also I have a few other needed things showing up tomorrow, and one of the items is an OBD-II vehicle code-reader that sends info about my truck to my phone on an app. This will help me clear out the codes and see there are any other things wrong without going anywhere and having to have it done. I hope to get the fuel filter and the vent solenoid changed in the next few days and it will be handy after that is done. It has been wet and it is certainly no fun laying on cold, wet pavement so I have put it off and the stuck fuel line needs to soak up some oil to loosen up so more time won’t hurt. Tomorrow I have to call and find out if they have the solenoid in stock then go get it and install it in the parking lot since I don’t know if it will cause any further problems.

I still have not gotten my airline plans done yet. I have been trying to get it finished up, but I have been back and forth quite a bit on what to do with Europe, vouchers and my miles and trying to make the most sense out of it. I think that with everything going on Europe will just have to be pushed to next year. I was hoping to go back in the Fall but now that is one less thing to figure out. There are so many unknowns and I don’t want to have to straighten out things if there is a border closing or a flight cancelled or a pandemic. It’s also some extra time to shop for fares. Now that I got that part decided on I have been looking at a different place to go along with the other two options that I have been considering. Notes are being taken and I think I have somewhat of a plan.

I will be getting my passport in the mail in the next few days so I can start the renewal process with hopes of getting the new one back in a reasonable amount of time. They are saying the turnaround time is only 10-12 weeks so that is not bad considering the country has been needlessly on fire for a year now.

There really is not much I can do in the trailer at the moment. It is too cold and damp to do much as far as re-sealing windows and the shower floor pan so I still have to wait to do that. I cannot really do much organizing since I ransacked some things out of it to use in the house until I get to MT for my things.

So there has been a little going on but not much, and I am sure that we all have a little different version of the same story right now – day in and day out. And, also much like many of you, it gets to me a little sometimes but that’s okay. We just gotta hang in there.

Have a good day!

November 26th, 2020

Adventure, food, Just things, Music, Outdoors, Uncategorized

Where has this year gone? I cannot believe that it’s already the holiday season for those who celebrate those things. I guess, in reality, even those who don’t celebrate are along for the ride. I need to get out for a few things but for now I will be whittling that back to one thing and then the post office.

I bought my turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce and it was delicious. I have enough for another plate tomorrow and after that I am good with it for many months. I don’t eat turkey but two or three times a year (I like chicken better) but it is a long tradition in families and I still do the meal even though it’s just me. Now that I can go where I want whenever I want to visit family it will be better and I will be able to see them on holidays more. They are the ones that live in the middle of nowhere, not me. 😁

It has been a lazy day for the most part, but I did do some cleaning and organizing earlier so I could have some extra room, a clean kitchen and a clean table to eat on. All day I have debated doing laundry just to get it done while there’s no one else in there with the same idea. I finally decided that I needed to just get it done so after I ate I took care of it. I would have had to do it in a few days and I am going to be moving around that same time so it’s just easier to do it now. I need to do my sheets and comforter but I will do those later. Maybe tomorrow morning would be a good time, when everyone is at the stores acting like two-year-olds fighting over the last big-screen TV on sale.

When I was at Trader Joe’s a few days ago I picked up some frozen gnocchi in a tomato sauce with mozzarella. I have wanted to try gnocchi so a few nights ago it was time to do so. Perhaps it needed to heat a bit longer/hotter as it was a little “doughy” to me. It was not horrible or disgusting; I just don’t know WHAT they are supposed to be like. I will keep trying, maybe find a restaurant that makes it for takeaway.

Yesterday I had my eye appointment but I went early to get some seafood for lunch. There is a local fast seafood chain here in Washington called Skipper’s. They have a location near my cataract surgeon so I stopped to see if they had salmon and chips. And they did. And so did I. I love fish and chips but salmon that is breaded and deep-fried is fish on a whole ‘nother level. When I finally get a normal fridge again it will be so nice to have the extra space. In the trailer I do miss having the freezer room to buy salmon burgers and other seafood on sale.

It has been a really nice day today with cool sunshine. I was running inside and back out in short sleeves and it was comfortable. I would not have wanted to be out all day without having a sweatshirt or jacket, but it was pleasant out walking the dog and doing some cleaning things outdoors.

I am not sure if anyone has become aware of this or not, but I bet you will now! Lately, I have noticed that wearing a mask has really changed human communication. Being one with hearing issues, I found that before this pandemic I was unconsciously reading people’s lips to help myself understand. Now, on top of not seeing (reading) lips and listening to voices muffled by a mask we are also not seeing facial expressions and that is certainly affecting our communication. It’s like we are all faceless – like we are living some episode of “The Twilight Zone” in real time. At the same time, I have noticed some very amazing eyes. Yes, I have been captivated by eyes before, but when you cover a face in a mask and the eyes are all that is there it is just incredible. I have seen some eyes that just smiled so big, and I have seen some incredibly beautiful eyes. I have also seen dark, intense eyes, sometimes a joyless, exhausted stare. I have seen all sorts of communicating with the eyes that wasn’t as prevalent before. It was there; we were just focused elsewhere. It’s really amazing. It’s like learning a new language.

Okay, enough existentialism. But I know you’re gonna be looking now! And you’re welcome.

It will be nice getting some stuff set up to work on my music again. I wish I had the setup I had in Colorado (I have mentioned this previously); a complete stage in my basement with instruments, monitors, P.A. system, and recording gear was pretty sweet, and next to it was my Irish pub – affectionately known as “The Morningwood on Dick Mountain” – complete with a billiards table and a bar.

It was nothing fancy but it was pretty nice and we had many, many weekends and evenings of entertainment and fun along with the countless memories. And oh…the parties. Every weekend ended up a party. Always Saturday, but sometimes Friday too. And if it was a holiday weekend you best buckle up when you get back from the liquor store because it’s gonna be one for the books. Never knew who was gonna show up or who would be passed out where or what was grilling at 3:00 A.M. (but it was gonna be tasty!).

We always had so much fun; those were some really good times – living life large. I had people from out of town out for the weekend over St. Patrick’s Day a few years before I left that house (you know who you are, Chelsea). The first night we gave it hell and lived to tell about it the next day, but there was one weak individual who said something along the lines of “I’m not playing tonight”. I believe I replied with something like “Yeah, um okay. We’ll see how that plays out.”. Of course, he was right in there with the rest of us later, trying to hold on to the Earth to keep from flying off into space. Sunday was worse than Saturday, and we couldn’t drink it off since the next day was back to work. So many great days and nights playing, writing and recording music by myself or with John, my friend and neighbor.

During this time it was a phase of life that usually involved Guinness, Bailey’s, and Jameson’s. The name for this is something I have quit saying, but if you look those three ingredients up you’ll see what it is. We drank these profusely, but then we quickly learned of the magic power and deliciousness of Grey Goose and two freshly-diced pineapples in a container for 14 days. It was game on after that. Many came, they all saw, and they were all conquered. I know…I had to find places for them to sleep afterwards!

And yes, my backyard went up the side of Dick Mountain. For real. Now can you please stop snickering like a 12-year-old-boy.

It’s a nice distraction to go back and think about those good times, especially during these not-so-good times. It’s good to think back and laugh, or shake your head in amazement that you did this stupid childish dangerous stuff, and you KEPT doing this stuff AND lived to talk about it (so far). It’s good to live life and have fun in the process.

Beer

Just things

Yes, I am admittedly a beer snob. A well-poured, sexy pint glass of Guinness is my beverage of choice. I have also been know to drink a Fat Tire at times. I usually prefer micro-brews to most commercial beers and appreciate the craftsmanship put into micro-brews and home-brews.

I just saw an article that there is a class action lawsuit accusing Budweiser of “watering down their beer”. Gee… didn’t we all know that already? And honestly… it is for a paltry $5 million. This is a company that had $39 BILLLION in sales in 2011 and you go after such a small amount? Come on now! Make it worth your time and get some real money from them!

First off… DUH! It IS water. Secondly, there should be a lawsuit against Budweiser for claiming what they make is beer.

I can understand the turmoil with Maker’s Mark wanting to (and then deciding NOT to) water down their bourbon. You could notice that rather easily I would think, but I honestly am not very sure how it is possible to water down Budweiser, since  if you add water after it is brewed it would obviously reduce the carbonation and make it taste even worse than it already does. You simply brew weak, shitty beer to start with and bottle it up.

Funny how all of a sudden these people had watery beer when someone ELSE mentions it and wants to sue. Unbelievably NO ONE noticed any change in taste or carbonation until then?

Yeah… that’s what I thought.

In Retrospect

Just things

As another birthday quickly approaches like a Big Mac through a colon, it gives me pause to think… think about milestones and things I have achieved in my life, the things I have done right, the couple of things I have done wrong (okay, maybe more than a couple), how life is different looking back than looking forward. I won’t comment in any detail on what I think I did right or wrong – I know what these things are and how I see they went. That is all I need and I am happy with that. Others may think differently, and I respect that.

All in all it has been more up than down, more good than bad, more right than wrong. In looking back I can honestly say that there is not much that I would change… if anything. Even the worst times in life were something to learn from, and they continue to be that even today. I AM damn glad that they are much fewer and farther between nowadays!

That is NOT to say that I would do much of it over again. Some things yes… provided they were done again exactly as I did them before. To go back and re-do things in your life to get a different outcome is not only impossible but will also never happen. The things you have done – both good and not so good – helped define you not to others necessarily as much, but more to yourself. You cannot erase that imprint. Ever. People always use the phrase “…if I knew then what I know now…”. Well, guess what… it ain’t ever gonna happen so move on and quit wasting energy thinking “Gee… what if…”. With that said, however, you can learn from it and not only avoid the same mistake again, but also maybe get something more out of a situation than you would have if you would have never had the prior “learning experience”.

I have learned a lot, yes, because I chose a more ambitious pathway than many others did. It gave me not only different experiences, but also more experiences to choose from. For me, it would have been suffocating to simply lead an existence and give up “me”. I want excitement out of life – to accomplish exciting and interesting things and push myself beyond a ho-hum existence. I may not be a completely fanatic “Type A” person, but I want to live my life and will not let my life live me. For those Type A folks, they take many risks, but their rewards are even more. For me, risk is PART of the adventure, but not ALL of the adventure. If I had not taken the risks that I took, I would not have been able to have all of the amazing experiences I have gotten to have in my life so far and still continue to have. My rewards have been amazing.

For others, they determined that their lives need to be a bit more “safe”… and there is nothing wrong with that. It is not how I have chosen to spend my time here wandering the planet, but I do have respect for how others choose to live their lives in any aspect, and everyone should respect the ways that others choose to live their lives that makes them happiest and fulfills them the most. I am sure that many people thought I have been crazy to do some of the things I have done. Well… that MAY be the case, but for me it was crazy to NOT do them and compromise living my life. I wanted, and decided, to live my life all along and while I was young and able – NOT when I could no longer do things.

But with all of this complicated shit is other, more basic things that I see differently now. Certain bands, songs, types of music, cars, clothes, booze… the list goes on. I find that many things I liked back in the day just really do not strike me the way they used to. I would not wear Levi’s Big Bell bellbottom jeans again. Even though I still love my heavy metal and hard rock, I listen to progressive rock mostly now (but I still like it loud). I find the 60’s Corvettes are not as cool-looking as I thought they were since it appears to me now some of the parts were leftovers from a Corvair (taillights) or some other POS car – same with the old Camaros. And booze – used to be I could not drink a Guinness, but now it is only one of a very few beers I will drink. I used to be okay with Smirnoff or McCormick vodkas. WTF was I thinking? That stuff is like turpentine. It’s Grey Goose or Crystal Skull for me now. But, I STILL hate to dance.

I guess at various stages in life you stop and take a look back at yourself. How you have changed, how it is different than you thought it would be, how YOU are different than you thought you would be, and if you were doing what you thought you would be doing at this stage of your life. Some people may use this as a GPS to get “back on track” and follow their itinerary to the letter. Not me, though. I just pause and think back on all the great times and how good things are and maybe what else I want to accomplish in my life that I have not done. I often wonder just how many people can honestly say that their life has gone according to some “plan” they had (and please… no “divine intervention” comments – I really don’t care and don’t want to hear it). I know mine has not gone like that, but I feared the boredom and wanted more out of life so I never really had a plan anyway as I look back to my younger days.

I never thought about this until the very moment that I am typing this entry, but I guess that not having a plan is the one constant I have had in my life after all.

It has worked out just fine for me.