Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Olive ......



I have owned a number of cars in my lifetime, but there is one that remains my all-time favorite vehicle. It was my first car, and I called her Olive.

She remains very special to me, and I wish that I had never sold her. Olive came into my life as a gift from my mother. That made her all the more meaningful to me. Mom and I went looking for a car. I fell for this used beetle, and she bought it for me. That was a selfless act, typical of her love for her children.

Olive was bear-bones. She had a heater and radio, but her air conditioning was to roll down the windows. She was a stick shift, of course, with that rear, air-cooled engine. Olive’s top speed was about 75 if you had the petal to the metal, and were going downhill.

Olive and I taught George how to drive a stick shift. He would really pop the clutch and the transmission would bang while he was learning, but Olive took it in stride and never complained. When we were alone, she confided in me that George was kind of rough, and she liked me best.

Olive took me and a buddy safely all the way to California and back. She wore out her tires in the Herculean effort, but never gave me a lick of engine difficulty.

Olive was my babe magnet – and you can see the babe she attracted for me. Emily already knew how to drive a stick shift when I met her, and so she and Olive made friends straight away.

I miss Olive, and sometimes think that I should get another Beetle in her memory. Maybe someday when I get rich …….


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fore Cart Training .....


Grand Master Equestrian Katie purchased a Fore Cart, and is in the process of training her horses to pull it. Eventually, they will pull it together as a team. But first, they have to get very comfortable pulling it alone. Also they need to learn to respond very well to the commands. In this picture, Grand Master Equestrian Katie is walking behind the horse and cart as a safety measure while getting Dakota used to pulling the cart.


In this picture, Grand Master Equestrian Katie had “climbed aboard” and is driving Dakota. He did outstanding once Grand Master Equestrian Katie got him used to pulling. Grand Master Equestrian Katie has tremendous patience with her training. And she is firmly in command of her horses. They know who is boss.


The next step was for Grand Master Equestrian Katie to give Emily a driving lesson. Grand Master Equestrian Katie had even more patience with her mother than she did with Dakota.


Finally, Grand Master Equestrian Katie gave Caleb a lesson. Here he is doing the “Gee” (right turn) maneuver. Caleb has more experience pulling that Dakota. For him, it is more a matter of getting used to pulling this new cart, rather than learning new commands.

Grand Master Equestrian Katie, Emily, and I all had a great day.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Mon's Breakfast ......


The year was 1975. The place was Rice Lake, Ontario, Canada.  The people were my best love and my two brothers. The monumental event was “The Mon’s Breakfast”.

While we normally counted on Emily for breakfast, we decided to give her a break and go to a restaurant. It was a small, Mom & Pop restaurant with a local flavor. The menu had names for breakfast combinations, and one of the choices was “The Man’s Breakfast”. It was quite a spread with a couple of fried eggs, toast, hash browns, choice of meats, and a short stack of pancakes.

Jim, in spite of being the youngest by far, ordered the Man’s Breakfast. The waitress, in astonishment that a mere boy would order such a large quantity of food, blurted out, “You want the Mon’s (sic) Breakfast????” George and I, in particular, got a huge kick out of that, in part, because of the Canadian dialect substituting “Mon’s” for “Man’s” and, of course, because she was dissing Jim in the process.

For some 31 years (and counting) after that, Emily and I have always called a huge breakfast, “The Mon’s Breakfast”.

Rice Lake

This picture shows Jim working up an appetite for “The Mon’s Breakfast” under the watchful eye of George, on Rice Lake, somewhere off the camp site shoreline.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My Signature Maple Salmon .......


Tonight I tried a new Sockeye Salmon recipe, and came up with Maple Baked Salmon. The glaze called for maple syrup. I was going to use some syrup we had on hand, but Emily said if I was going to be a great chef I needed to get some real, 100% pure maple syrup. So I stopped at the grocery on the way home from school and bought some.

We had to have salmon again tonight because I bought so much on sale at the grocery store. Yesterday’s portion was way too big, and we still had plenty left over for tonight. I had no choice, since the rain check I had was for $8.99/pound, and the current price was $15.99/pound. The $7.00/pound savings forced me to buy way too much for one meal.

This recipe turned out even better than yesterday’s Signature Salmon, so this is my new Signature Sockeye Salmon dish. It was very good.


And now for the bad news. The recipe said nothing about the possibility of the maple glaze bubbling over …. This is a picture of Emily’s oven. That big, black blob is my doing. Chef Bob may be banned from Emily’s kitchen for life……

Monday, August 28, 2006

My Signature Salmon ....


Tonight I made Emily my signature oven-baked, Sockeye Salmon with Honey-Almond glaze. It included yams and a garden salad with grape tomatoes fresh from our garden.

The trained eye will note that the man’s plate has more fish, and the woman’s plate has a yellow daisy garnish. Being a man, I am of the opinion that you can’t eat a garnish. However, being a man, I am also aware that “romance” works on women. Hence the yellow daisy on Emily’s plate.


This closeup of Emily’s plate illustrates the simple, but elegant presentation. And of course, the Sockeye Salmon was “spot on” or it would never have made it to the table.

Is it possible that I am watching too much of  “Hell’s Kitchen” with Chef Ramsey on TV?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Unsuspecting Photographer ....


This poor, unsuspecting photographer is about to meet a T-Rex.

The photograph has been adjusted to look more “primordial” using PhotoShop. I like the effect.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Too Hot For Human Habitation .....


This is a picture of a Williamsburg, VA, guide in period costume. I kind of liked the fellow because we had the chance to chat with him for a while before the tour started, and therefore got to know him a little bit.

During the conversation we learned that he had lived in West Virginia. So I asked him how he liked living in Williamsburg. He said that Virginia is simply too hot and humid for human habitation.

We all got a kick out of that since people have lived in Virginia since before the settlers came to the new world.