Saturday, January 31, 2004

Day's Are Getting Longer in the Northern Hemisphere

Good Morning to you.

The days are getting longer here in the Northern hemisphere. More light is all right with me.

I met a man from Argentina yesterday. It's strange to me to think it's summertime in his home while it's rainy and gray here in the Pacific Northwest.

We have a new person in our group at work who is from Bali. I'm hoping to learn more about his home and someday would like to travel to Bali.

My writing seems very flat today. I wish I could write in three dimensions like I used to.

And I say unto thee brethren reverend righteous people of the Cafe known as Jack...let us pray. -

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly."

Woody Allen

I'm thinking maybe I should get some botox. Either that or a haircut.

Hey whadda you lookin at? Keep your eyes to yourself buddy.

Have you ever thought the verbal equivalent to communicating by writing a blog would be to open your window and yell outside into the neighborhood? HELLO NEIGHBORS HOW ARE YOU TODAY...I TOOK A SHOWER AND PAINTED MY CATS TOENAILS. THEN MY GOOD FRIEND MILLICENT STOPPED BY AND WE HAD A CUP OF TEA. OH MY MY MY.

I've been having a little trouble breathing and seeing lately...other than that I'm fine though.

Big day of college hoops on the teletubavision today. One of these days I'm going to get out of this recliner and shoot a couple of hoops or something my self.

Yikes that sounds bad. I mean I would shoot a basketball or do something like take a walk or ride a bike. I think I might pull out some Roger's and Hammerstein musical's instead for the time being.

Everyday's a gamble, I figure if I wake up in the mornin' I'm a winner.

Granny (From The Beverly Hillbillies)

I like this story by someone named Chad. Pretty short and to the point. Had fun, fell asleep, had a dream, checked back 20 years later, fulfilled the dream.

  • Chad's Dream

  • What was your dream 20 years ago my friend? 10? 5?

    For me it was to have a job, a family, a wife I loved. Or to put it more clearly a job, family and wife I loved. My dream is fulfilled too.

    May God Bless You and Yours

    Just Jack

    Wednesday, January 21, 2004

    Not Much to Say - We Don't Know - Refrigerator Story - Making Stuff Up

    Good morning neighbor.

    I don't have much to say of any use but that's never stopped me from talking or writing before, so why start now?

    What if we all waited to speak or write or otherwise communicate with others, until we truly had something of value to communicate?

    I guess there would be a lot less stuff to look at in the check out line at Safeway.


    Have you ever stopped to think how unwilling we are as humans to admit to ourselves or others that quite often "we just don't know"?

    Not sure if the "there's nothing I don't know" syndrome is more of a male phenonomena or spread equally among men and women. Is it spread equally amongst occupations or does it tend to be more pronounced in people who are supposed to know (Doctors and engineers come to mind) than say garbage collectors?

    My mother was a Bridge player. I remember her telling me about one particular couple she played with. The husband was an engineer and he tended to think since he knew a lot about a little he knew a lot about a lot or knew everything...or at least gave my mom the impression he was somehow all knowing/impotent/infallible and I imagine an utter pain in the ass.

    Where does this all go you say Jack? Can you wrap it up in a neat little package for us?

    Just hold your horses little missy, we'll get their. Relax and have a cup of tea.


    My wife and I laugh everytime we think about a time her dad was working on the refrigerator at the lake cottage. The fridge had been slowly getting hotter on the outside and losing it's heating ability over a period of time one summer. I think we may have this on video, her dad was explaining the theory of cooling as the removal of heat or some law (or at least a local ordinance) of thermodynamics. You'd have to see it and have known him. He had a twinkle in his eye and it was funny because of that, and also because it turned out the reason the fridge was failing was a mouse had built a house in the cooling fan area. It's funny to watch and think about his half-kidding technical sort of explanation and some good natured ribbing by the audience watching him, "I didn't know you were a refrigeration expert dad?" and then the discovery of the ultimate cause of loss of cooling being a mouse.

    Where is this going then? Thinking about knowing everything. As a human there are so many things we don't know and you know what?

    That's scary.

    So what do we do? We make up stuff.

    About living, dying, life after death, other religions, my religion, other people, my people, my family, our family, men, women, my race, your race, my color, your name it we made something up.

    What's the good of admitting you don't really know?

    For one thing you can quit being such a pompous ass.

    It also would allow you to be surprised, more childlike, maybe more loving, less arrogant (sometimes I think my blog should be called "notes to myself")

    One problem with admitting we don't know is it's a hell of a lot more work to live in that space of not-knowing. It's a state of constant tension. It's also a lot more fun and maybe a lot more life-like than giving in to the know it all in us.

    Once I know something I can quit thinking, which gives me more time to stare at the tv or computer.


    Let's all repeat this to ourselves today, okay after me now -

    "We don't know."

    "We don't know."

    "But that's okay."

    "But that's okay."

    "on my honor with liverty and jusice for all"

    "on my honor with liverty and jusice for all"

    "we dee endow"

    "we dee endow"

    "to watch Fox Network and Animal Planet with equal awe."

    "to watch Fox Network and Animal Planet with equal awe."

    So today we are going to say we don't know. Not we don't know and we don't care. We don't know and we care a lot. We care so much in fact that we are going to take some time and think and not just point and click and listen and watch but really get the old brain revved up.

    That feels good eh?


    Here's a little sort of joke thing I read from Robert Crandall one time. He was giving a presentation to engineers and managers at a meeting of American Airlines employees. The story goes some thing like this.

    I became an engineer and learned more and more about less and less until I knew all there was to know about nothing.

    They promoted me to management and I found I had to be less specialized. I eventually learned less and less about more and more until I knew absolutely nothing about everything.

    So we don't know then. But that's okay. We can live on faith. We can live in tension. We can think. We can change our minds. We can live, love and learn.


    Remember our promise today. We are going to admit we don't know even if it makes us look silly...but we are going to be very excited too because admitting that we don't know might just allow us to learn some thing new. Maybe not to hate someone because of the way they look, or talk or where they live. Maybe a chance to help someone who needs a hand. Maybe a way to look beyond what's right in front of our nose to a bigger picture that involves others. Maybe a chance to rethink or for the first time think about what someone told us or taught us about Hindus, or Christians, Moslems, white people, black people, red people, yellow people, blue people (...I'm kind of thinking if someone is blue you should probably "know" how to give CPR).

    If you've never listened to Sly Stone's songs "Everyday People" or "Family Affair" they both touch on these ideas in a different (more talented less heavy handed) way. That's where the red, yellow, blue people thing came from.

    One of the lines of Everyday People is, "There is a blue one who can't accept the green one." Figured you'd probably need to know that :-)

    You can google up the lyrics to those songs as well as I can. Even better is to listen to the music. This page has some interesting comments on Sly Sly Stone - Everyday People

    Just two other things while you are finishing your Chai.

    Thinking about Martin Luther King Day this last Monday....

    Everyone interested in U.S. history, and in some sense the history of the world at a certain place in time, should listen to the song Abraham, Martin and John

    and finally

    I highly recommend you and I take the time to listen to Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech given at the march on Washington August 28, 1963.

    May all your good dreams come true...


    Saturday, January 17, 2004

    Basketball - "Prairie Home Companion" - "Car Talk" - "This American Life" - "Whad'Ya Know"

    It's NCAA basketball day at Cafe Jacks today. Come on down, have a good strong cup of coffee and some conversation. We don't serve any of that ballerina water around here.

    Iowa Hawkeyes are playing the Illinois Fighting Illini right now on ESPN 1. There are fourteen college basketball games on regular cable today. Yes! I haven't had a day off for awhile so I'm looking forward to just writing, watching some basketball and being with my family.

    I was at a great high school basketball game last night. My daughters are both Varsity basketball (and volleyball) players. They are great. Good shooters, fast, strong, good rebounders, smart, good name it. And I am not biased I live in a place similar to Lake Wobegon where the women are strong, the men are good looking and all the children are above average.

    Garrison Keeler is such a great story teller and has such a wonderful calm voice. I highly recommend you check out some of his shows either live on NPR or by visiting Prairie Home Companion.

    A few other NPR programs I believe are really worth listening to and very funny are -

    Car Talk. Lot's of good stuff on their web page, check out the worst cars of the millenium. My Vega came in number two. I used to drive with a case of oil in the a gas station it was fill it up with oil and check the gas. Someone who owned a Vega said they, "Burned so much oil, it was single handedly responsible for the formation of OPEC."

    This American Life. Ira Glass is another great storyteller with a good voice. Check out the stories about people's first day on the job (Especially the Squirrel Cop Story)

    Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know. There is some funny stuff to read on the web page (I recommend thanks for the memos) but you really need to hear this show to appreciate it.

    Have you ever noticed that jokes on the internet or via email are generally not very funny? Not all the time of course but just in general. I think the spoken word is the key, timing, body language all play a role in any human communications.

    I'm going to sign off for awhile.

    I hope you have a great Saturday. Get some rest or do something aerobic.

    Don't Worry Be Happy

    Remember to Breathe in through your nose nice and slow and then blow it out nice and slow through your mouth....

    Unless you happen to work in this lab where breathing is prohibited -

    Lab Safety Memo.


    Friday, January 16, 2004

    We Need Eccentric People - Three Stories - Aunt Nita and Tim Lived in a Boxcar - Merle Haggard "Big City"

    Good Friday morning to you my friend.

    Have you ever thought about what the world would be like without eccentric people?

    What a boring place it would be. I think the term eccentric people could be replaced by the terms different people or special people or people not like ourselves.

    I love eccentric people. I like people who are "characters", that bring color, or life, or humor to the mix.

    Life is too short to just be bland. Let it all hang out now and then baby.

    How could you ever know what brought another person to be who they are? What pain, joy, sorrow, suffering, abuse, praise, love, hardship, loss, gain, luxury or deprivation brought that person to who they are when you cross paths.


    Three short stories about eccentric people I have crossed paths with.

    The first is about a guy I met a few years ago. He was a great debater, loved to argue, complain, piss and moan. Not a bad sort, just a glass is half empty for the most part sort of guy. In the course of a conversation he mentioned his dad. I could sense some pain I thought. He told me that he was with his dad in a park one time when he was a small lad (I'm thinking maybe 4 or 5 years old). There were geese in the park. Not sure if they were Canadian or the White domestic kind. Anyway while dad and son were sitting there watching the geese, dad decides to wring a goose's neck. Maybe to show son how to survive if he's ever down on his luck and in a park?

    I just thought how totally strange that story is. I picture a nice day in the park, dad or mom and a young son or daughter looking at the cute animals in a park....and then dad wrings one of the geese's necks. Actually geese are pretty darn mean and aggressive but I don't think I'd show my kid that they are easy to throttle.

    Actually to be honest I am pretty much afraid of geese. I tend to be sort of like Alvy the character Woody Allen portrayed in Annie Hall when it comes to being a fraidy cat. You know the scene where he's trying to capture the live lobster in the kitchen? Very very funny. It's odd I can be really brave or really chicken (in a joking way mostly with other people like my wife or least I tell myself I'm really brave and not really afraid of a spider or a snake or a big hissing goose).

    There are a lot of Canadian Geese around where I work. A friend of mine and I were taking a walk the other day and a gang of Canadian's were waiting for the bus. We took the long way around because they looked pretty threatening swaying their long necks around and hissing. I've seen them stare at their reflection on the ground floor windows for long periods of times so I'm not sure how bright they are. I give them a pretty wide berth at all times just to be on the safe side given a bad experience I had with a Canadian one time...


    I was fishing for steelhead and had waded into a river. Across the river a Canadian goose and her familty were floating around. I think it was a Mom and her small goslings. She kept honking and seemed sort of excited even though I was probably 30 yards or so across a fairly big river. I'm not paying any attention and all of sudden I hear the honking getting closer and the goose does a low fly by just missing my head honking all the way. I fell down, dropped my rod and was really embarassed and startled.


    The second eccentric person story of the day is about a guy I ran into in the North woods of Canada who was "yust wisiting".

    For a couple of summers when I was 12 and 13 I worked (more or less) on my Uncle's farm in Northern British Columbia. It was more like vacationed and played with my cousins than really working. But he would let me drive his big tractors, and do some shovelling of grain and brush clearing and things to keep me occupied. Very nice man and very nice family.

    We were about 40 miles up the Alaska highway on a farm that was 30 miles at least from any civilization to speak of. The nearest town was Ft St John BC. There were some really delicious wild strawberries up there. My cousin and I would pick a few but it was hard work because they grew down low and were not that plentiful. One day we were driving down a remote road (we could drive at 13 or 14 up there in the boonies) and saw a hobo looking fellow in the distance carrying a large gunny sack over his shoulder. We were many miles from any houses, traveled roads or towns or farms. Stopped to talk to this grizzly looking guy who is missing his teeth and baths for many weeks and he tells us, "I am yust out wisiting." The gunny sack he has over his shoulder is dripping a red liquid from the bottom.

    It has a severed head in it! was full of wild strawberries. He must of had many pounds of those tasty berries. I always wondered who in the heck he could have been visiting (maybe the animals and plants) because there weren't any people out there. I wondered how he had gotten there, where he lived and how he got out of there and back where he lived.


    My final eccentric person of the night story is about a couple of guys my wife and I ran into at the Dirty Shame Saloon in Yaak Montana. We had been up in that remote area of Northwestern Montana looking around. I'd been there a few times fishing and wanted to show my wife how pretty it was and how cool the Dirty Shame was. We pull up to the bar and there's an old small beatup pickup parked in front with a goat in the back that has some saddle bag contraption strapped on it's back. Inside the pickup is a woman sitting waiting for someone.

    Inside the saloon was empty except for the bartender and are two men dressed in homemade buckskin clothes (made from deer hide). They weren't like fake dude type outfits they were like real dirty mountain man like outfits. These guys had long beards and the works. We strike up a conversation and they tell us they have, "been pickin hucks up in the high country makin good money." They had been picking huckleberries which are a fairly popular tourist sales item in Montana. I think they told us they were paid one dollar a pound. Man I'm surprised they could afford beer. They also told us they "squatted" on someone's land and lived all year round in a tent. The goat with the saddle bags and the woman in the pickup were part of their operation. I guess she didn't drink.

    Pretty eccentric.


    Some time I must write a little about my aunt and uncle who lived in a box car in the middle of Montana. They could be pretty eccentric. In some ways I'm probably as eccentric as they come and darn proud of it by the way :-)

    Since I was talking about Montana a little bit I'll leave with the lyrics from the Merle Haggard Tune "Big City". I like that song and the album it comes from. Once when my daughters and I were driving through Yellowstone I was playing that song and there were was a Buffalo herd walking across the road. I kept telling them to watch the Buffalo because they were dancing to the music. It really did look to me like they were.

    Now let's listen to a little Merle:

    I'm tired of this dirty old city.
    Entirely too much work and never enough play.
    And I'm tired of these dirty old sidewalks.
    Think I'll walk off my steady job today.

    Turn me loose, set me free, somewhere in the middle of Montana.
    And gimme all I got comin' to me,
    And keep your retirement and your so called social security.
    Big City turn me loose and set me free.

    Been working everyday since I was twenty.
    Haven't got a thing to show for anything I've done.
    There's folks who never work and they've got plenty.
    Think it's time some guys like me had some fun.

    Turn me loose, set me free, somewhere in the middle of Montana.
    And gimme all I got comin' to me,
    And keep your retirement and your so called social security.
    Big City turn me loose and set me free.

    Merle Haggard "Big City"

    Peace to you and yours.

    Have a wonderful Friday and weekend.

    May all your troubles be little ones (unless you don't want kids)


    Saturday, January 10, 2004

    Waiting To Go On Airplane - Sometimes It's Best to Fess Up

    Happy Saturday to you.

    I'm waiting to go on an airplane ride this morning. Pretty excited about it. I love airplanes, worked on them for twenty years, been on lot's of test flights, been around airplanes since I was a little kid when my stepdad had Piper Cubs and would let me fly using the stick from the backseat.

    Have you thought about what Pete Rose, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton have in common?

    They all did something they shouldn't have and then lied about it. The problem wasn't so much in the act initially as the lies to try and cover it up. We try to teach our kids that you can be forgiven for the wrong things you've done, just tell the truth. Even as adults we can't always summon up the courage it takes to just tell the truth. Granted there are all kinds of complications with telling the truth in any particular case. Probably most difficult would be that telling the truth may hurt people we care about.

    I don't's tough. We're all sinners. We all have vices. Probably the best thing would be to be a whole person and not do things you have to lie about in one area of your life while acting holy and righteous, upstanding in another. If you want to do bad stuff get a job where that's acceptable. At least then you won't have to lie about it. I guess I'd say "If you're going to be a bank robber be the best danged bank robber ever." I'm not so sure I think bank robbing is equivalent to cheating and lying....honor among thieves. Can you rob banks and be ethical? Maybe. Can you cheat and lie and be ethical? Of course not.

    Whatever else Pete Rose has done with his asinine lies about betting on thing that is missed with all the hoopla about the baseball hall of fame is that Pete Rose is giving gamblers a bad name. I'm considering giving up sports wagering since he's tainted the name so badly by correlating being a liar and betting on baseball.

    "I dint bet on baseball, er er er I mean I bet on baseball when I was a manager but dint when I was a player, I mean I did bet on baseball while I was a player but dint ever never bet on my own team, er er I mean I did bet on baseball while I was a player but I dint ever bet agin my own team....."


    I guess we need to remember that being able to swing a bat, run, throw and catch a baseball is not correlated to being an ethical/good person or having an intellectual capability exeeding that of a moth. I saw the bright light and couldn't help flying at it....

    Good day to you.

    Thursday, January 08, 2004

    Appearances Can Be Deceiving - A Story - Royal Dog In Trouble - Les McCann and Eddie Harris - Baily

    Good Thursday morning to you. Hope this finds you well.

    I've been thinking about a little story about how a butt crack changed my life. Contrary to how it sounds, this is a story for young people or anyone thinking about "appearances" being too important.

    When I was around 12 years old I loved to ski. The ski area at Red Lodge was about 40 miles from where I lived. We would bum rides from whoever we could to take us skiing. Someone's brother, dad, teacher. One of the people who took us was a teacher named Mr. Beel.

    Mr. Beel had come to rural Montana from Berkeley California to teach high school kids about science. In my book he was cool, smart, funny. He had an old Studebaker that would barely make it up the hills to Red Lodge. The ceiling cover was coming off in the back. We would take turns holding it up with one hand to keep it off our heads.

    I grew up in an area of Montana and in a family where most people did not have a lot of money. I was lucky to have a pair of skiis, a peanut butter sandwich and cocoa for lunch and money for a lift ticket. I didn't have cool skiis, boots, or clothes. That was a problem for me for a short time in my life. I was at an age where "appearances" were important. Skiing is a sport where you can see people who have a lot of money and show it with how they dress, what kind of equipment they have.

    I was in that early adolescent phase and became self-concious and a little worried about looking like a dork in my jeans with my non top of the line equipment. That is until I was saved by Mr. Beel's butt crack (he has no clue I'm sure).

    Here's how I had my epiphany.

    My intellectual hero the overweight, hippie teacher, scientist, ski-car driver Mr. Beel didn't have cool ski clothes or equipment either. But he was a cool guy. One day we were at the ski run and I walked into the cafeteria and saw Mr. Beel chatting with some people about something. He was happy, they were happy, he was animated they were animated....and his butt crack was hanging out for everyone to see. No one seemed to care or notice. He didn't care. He was oblivious to how he looked. At that moment I decided I didn't care how I looked either....I haven't tied my shoes, brushed my hair, or worn a belt for the last 40 years.

    Back on point again. What actually happened was at twelve I realized no one really cares what I look like. People care what they look like. The main thing is to be happy...and forget about your clothes or your butt crack hanging out or whatever.

    Afterthought.......After I wrote this I thought I should add a few words of caution. If you do walk around with body parts exposed; two things to keep in mind (a) you don't want to hurt other peoples eyes (fat people like me should have to wear shirts)...Did you read about that golf course in Iowa or somewhere where they forced fat old men to put on shirts? I say "hear hear" to that idea my good gentlemen and women and (b) you don't want to get arrested...well probably not anyway.

    You've heard the old saying about walking around with your pant's unzipped right? It pays to advertise baby ;-)


    What else could we talk about this morning. That's sort of a royal we..since I know you can't talk to me.

    I see one of the royal dogs is in trouble. A royal dog of the canine variety that is. This has to be important news; it made it all the way to the Topeka Kansas Capital Journal where I clipped the AP story below. From what I gather not only did this dog go on a biting spree, she then tried to pin the rap on another dog.

    Here's the AP wire -

    "A dog belonging to Princess Anne attacked a royal maid five days after it fatally mauled one of Queen Elizabeth II's beloved corgis, Buckingham Palace said. Florence the bull terrier bit the maid's leg at the royal Sandringham estate in eastern England, the palace said. The woman was treated for a minor bite following Saturday's attack and didn't need to go to the hospital.

    Five days earlier, Florence savaged a corgi named Pharos at Sandringham, injuring him so badly that he had to be put down. Media reports had widely blamed another of Princess Anne's bull terriers, Dotty, for the corgi incident, but Buckingham Palace cleared her Tuesday and blamed Florence instead.

    Buckingham Palace refused to comment on whether Florence would have to be put down after biting the maid, who was in her 50s, according to a report in The Sun newspaper.

    British media reported that Florence had no history of violent behavior, unlike Dotty, who bit two children in a park in 2002 and landed Princess Anne with a $880 fine."


    Have you ever listened to Les McCann and Eddie Harris Album Swiss Movement Live at Montreax? Damn that is one fine album. The best track on it is "Compared to What" which I thought was written by Roberta Flack but apparently by Gene McDaniels

    Here is a link to the

    Les McCann and Eddie Harris Album Swiss Movement Live at Montreax

    and to the

    Compared to What Lyrics

    It's some great jazz saxophonic coolness baby. Turn it up real loud and it will pump you up. I got turned on to it one summer when I was working in the Grand Teton's and living in an employee dorm. There was a wild man (in a good sense) living next door and every afternoon/night when he got home he would crank that song and we'd rock out.

    In case you were wondering what in the hell this has to do with Princess Anne's corgi one of the lines in that song is

    Tired old ladies kissin' dogs
    Hate the human, love that stinking mutt (I can't stand it!)
    Try to make it real compared to what?

    I can sympathize. Sometime I'll tell you the story about my crazy aunt and uncle (I mean that in a good way) who lived in a boxcar in the Big Sky country in the big open. They didn't have any kids but they had chiuauas they treated like kids. My sister and I hated those dogs. They were always sick, with little casts, or wraps on their legs. They would ride on the floor of the front of their car and sort of stink the place up. Maybe I'm making this up. I love dogs. I had a little dog that was truly my best friend (animal friend). I'd talk to him all the time. Not in a weird Son of Sam like way but like a normal person who talks to dogs, crows, cats, birds. Hey what's normal anyway?

    I'm going to stick a picture of my dog here. Even though it makes me sad since he's gone now. Man I loved that guy. Like they say on that Horizon Air commercial you can still smell him on me and I imagine some of the people I work with may want to have a little talk with me about that ;-)

    Baily was the best dog a person could want. I'm sure he's in dog heaven now.

    I should be moseying along now.

    Wishing you the best and wondering if you like this song too
    Won't You Be My Neighbor

    Hope to see you soon neighbor.


    Wednesday, January 07, 2004

    Thoughts At Closing Time - Straight Story - Teach Us to Count our Days - The Flower Fades

    I have 45 minutes until closing time at 2 am. Just you and me Joe. Frank Sinatra on the jukebox singing the song Johnny Mercer wrote -

    One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)


    Things change too fast sometimes. Kids grow up, parents grow old, years on the job come and go. Sometimes it seems like an instant.


    Have you ever seen that movie the Straight Story? Alvin, the old guy driving the tractor to see his sick brother, says "the hardest part about getting old is remembering when you was young."

    Audio Clips from The Straight Story


    Have you ever read the 90th Psalm?

    It's one of my favorites. Moses wrote it. He is talking about eternity, God's power and human fraility.

    One of the lines is,

    So teach us to count our days
    that we may gain a wise heart.


    Another beautiful passage comes from Isaiah Chapter 40

    A voice says, "Cry out!"
    And I said, "What shall I cry?"
    All people are grass,
    their constancy is like the flower of the field.
    The grass withers, the flower fades,
    when the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
    surely the people are grass.


    You know what I hope for you my friend?

    That you are happy.

    That you find a way to joy in your life.

    Do what makes you happy when it's time to do that thing.

    Work, get high, have kids, don't have kids, don't work, don't get high, drink, stop, laugh and love.

    Just one more Biblical verse for tonight To every thing there is a season

    or if you prefer let's use the Byrds song written by Pete Seeger instead Turn Turn Turn

    Peace and good safe now.


    Flan From the Butte Heritage Cookbook

    Good Wednesday morning to you. It's just after midnight January 7 early in the morning and this new year 2004.

    Have you ever made flan? I love that stuff. What I actually know how to make from scratch off the top of my head is custard. Custard and flan are sort of like first cousins in the food world. Custard uses the whole egg; flan only the yolk.

    I made some flan last night from a mix my wife bought and was wondering how to make it from scratch. I looked in my Butte Heritage Cookbook and found this recipe in the Oriental section for flan.

    8 egg yolks
    1 cup sugar
    2 cups fresh milk
    1 lemon rind or vanilla for flavoring
    3/4 cup brown sugar

    Dissolve brown sugar in 1/4 cup water and cook over moderate heat until the sugar browns. Line a suitable mold with the mixture and set aside.

    Scald the milk in a double boiler for 15 minutes. Blend the egg yolks with the sugar, milk and flavoring.

    Pour into mold lined with carmelized sugar. Place this into a bigger pan half-filled with water and bake until mixture becomes firm.

    Cool before removing from the mold.

    Georgene Cachola
    Georgena served in the Peace Corps in the Phillippines.

    Thursday, January 01, 2004

    Sports v. Reality

    Good Morning to You.

    Hope you are feeling fine today. Can I get you a number three? Hash browns, two eggs over easy, toast and coffee?

    Lots of college football today. Did you see the Texas Tech vs. Navy game the other day?

    Texas Tech's team did some kind of choreographed dance number in the end zone after they scored a touchdown. The announcers, the Texas Tech coach, the refs and the fans were not happy. Texas Tech got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

    I can't say I blame the players since they see that kind of nonsense on the NFL they probably think it's fine.

    The problem I see with the end zone dances, players signing balls or making cell phone calls after touchdowns is that it may eventually blur the line between sport and entertainment to the point where you end up with something like professional wrestling or roller derby. Not a sport and not entertaining either (sorry for you professional wrestling and roller derby devotees...just my opinion).

    I love the hoopla around sporting events I just don't like seeing individuals going to extremes to pat themselves on the back. It's classless if nothing else. Plus you could pull a muscle :-)

    It's funny how we distort the importance of sports in our culture. We all (fans and players) have to remember it's all a game and not real. Real is a nurse in an emergency room working to save a critical patient, or a soldier in harms way, a mom taking care of a sick child, a pastor counseling someone grieving.

    Having said that I'll get back to watching the football bowl games and looking forward to the Golden Gopher Texas Tech basketball game later today. Just trying to keep it in perspective.