Saturday, December 15, 2007

I am cook

Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
MMMM, yummy broth creation that was later used to make ancho crimini mushroom risotto. mmm mmm good.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Yes, I love garlic. Garlic gets me through the day and night. This was for our veggie Thanksgiving dinner. Most of it was saute'd up with the kale, but a small amount was put into the yummy gravy.

I love garlic.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What did you do this weekend?

This past weekend actually began a few weeks ago at my parents place. See, we have been working on our master bedroom for about 3+ years now and are almost at the finish line. We have the bathroom almost done and are just awaiting the return of our plumber. We're even sleeping up there even though the floor and finish carpentry are not finished. One of the major items is just that - finish carpentry - which includes trimming out the 4 windows in the room. That is what prompted the trip out east to visit my dad and use his power tools.

I had this image of window stools of reclaimed straight grain fir. Since we are in an 1890's house, I wanted to keep some items old and period. Well, that didn't work out. I bought some great boards @ the rebuilding center, but when I arrived at my fathers, we figured out I had the wrong sizes. It would have turned out to be a single very very expensive stool. Luckily, my father, a former woodshop teacher, had some great fir from previous projects in the back that we could work with. After some cutting and sizing, we were ready to begin shaping. My idea was to have the window stool jut out beyond the trim a bit and then have a roundover edge to an ogee at the bottom. That is traditional for windows of the period of our house. We tried to work with the wood with my father's router bits, but they just weren't cutting out enough. We then moved on to the 1960's Craftsman Radial-arm saw. Yup, a tool older than me. My father had a way to turn the saw into a shaping tool and create the same affect as a router. The blades and even the instructions were in great condition for being from 1960ish and sitting in the carport for so long.
Initially, the saw didn't work. It was damaging the wood. It was at this point that I actually had to leave. I had planned on spending some cash on a more elaborate router bit to take care of the job, but before I had even shopped, my father called to tell me the blade was in the wrong position. Typical for this family. At least we figured it out and the result is A W E S O M E! A couple days after my father told me about the blade, he delivered 4 pieces of window stool with perfect roundover ends, ogee edges and dadoed insets. All I needed to do was a little sanding, cutting and installing. That brings us to this past weekend.

I began at 1 windows on the south side. The window stool my father and I fashioned was cut to inset into the window and hang over and out. I had to cut out the edges in order to have an overhang to the left and right of the trim. That takes some math and some precision cutting, especially when cutting the corners. This is where I put on the leather gloves, pray and make sure the car keys are readily available (miter saws involved.) Luckily, no injuries this whole weekend. And you know, it worked out perfectly. Actually, it worked out perfectly for about 90% of the cuts. I only had to tweak a little.


I then proceeded on to the trim which was MDF - meant to be painted. This is for the inside of the window cavity and the facing trim on the side and top. I even added a little feature of a bead molding at the top of the window to mimic what is downstairs. I'm soo ingenious.


In the end, I spent about $70 on material, not including the wood my dad donated after my botched rebuilding center purchase. It took me most of Saturday and a couple hours on Sunday to trim out 4 windows. Nothing is technically finished, that would required filling the nail holes, calking where the gaps are, oiling or staining the fir and painting everything else. We'll get to that.

I present to you the finished product.



oh and to end this post, since it is on Halloween, I present to you



Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What a beautiful couple

Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
This photo is from a wedding we attended before becoming rockstars for a week. Look at that beautiful woman who is standing next to me. Wow, how could I have guessed I would be married to her.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Almost done

Almost done
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
I am tired...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

party like a....

Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
The only reason I woke up @ 8am was to move the car. Others were just getting to bed.
Monday was a great day and night. We woke in mt shasta early to skip any traffic at lake shasta and bolted down I5 to sfo. The drive was uneventful except a detour because the bay bridge was closed. We went over the golden gate which was amazing. There were a ton of people walking and biking and enjoying the last ceremonial day of summer. Upon arrival, we chilled before heading to Pacifica for a bbq with our friends. Great to catch up and hang out in the ocean coolness and mist. Oh, and the brats were perfectly cooked.
As evening approached, the excitement level rose. We met up with our english friends and some others we have met along the touring way. We found out the band was delayed, so we hung out and just chatted. When we did get to the venue, it was rather crowded, but we only had to hang out for a minute before Colin swooped us back stage. Cool! It was you normal back stage with couches and the band and beer and a fruit tray. We were only back there a few moments before the show started. We hung out on the side and watched a great show. Everyone was into it and there weren't any fireworks and Colin even sang on one of the new songs. Yay!
After the show is a little blurry. I will wake up and try and remember it all.... Off for some lunch.

Who knew

Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
ok, here come the blog posts:

who knew that Mt. Shasta had Zoobombers. Seen locked up outside of Casa Ramos, a Mexican chain.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Night 2

Night 2
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Just ate my lunch leftovers. I'm tired. It has been a long 4 days. Glad we're getting a 2 day reprieve. The show tonight was good and long. Heard some tunes we don't normally hear and were able to introduce Katie to the bjm.
Heading out in the morn, so gotta get some sleep. I'm gonna be rockstar and leave my all access wristband on until friday.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

BJM night one

BJM night one
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Hangover lasted most of the day. Show last night was amazing. Went to bed around 3. Woke around 11. Day in Haight.

Best moment: Anton on the haight putting up "dukes."

Monday, September 03, 2007


Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Dimmer just took the stage and I understand the drive from la was long. I am waiting outside, having the knowledge that the band is going on late because I am in the know and I am obviously awesome.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The ranch

The ranch
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
I have heartburn after that meal. Yuck. Note to self. The Cow Creek rest stop is the worst on the route. I swear serial killers hang out there or dump out there.

On the road

On the road
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
With a mild hangover or two, bagel sandwiches and a car full of cds and bottled water, we hit the road. We actually got out of town on time @ 8:05. The drive so far has been great except for the construction zones. Oh well. We're in Rice Hill now at the Ranch Restaurant because the girls are hungry. Cool little locale.
More photos coming!

Friday, August 31, 2007

One more day
it is friday and I go on vacation in about 8 hours. We're pretty darn excited. We watched a show on the food network last night and the highlighted a roadhouse in Illinois. It had good cheap food. I want to find a place like that on our trip south or even north. yay! roadtrip!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Alas, LA, goodbye

Friday brought the last day of class and my last day in LA. I have been to enough classes to know that Friday afternoon usually ends around 2pm. Yet, when I was in San Diego, it went until 4:30 and worth every minute of learning. So, I scheduled my return flight for 6:45pm. We got out around 3pm and I hung around a little catching up on email and doing some busy work. Finally, I decided to head to LAX. Everyone said it could get crazy with lines on a Friday, so I gave myself extra time. After dropping off the car and getting to the airport, I whisked through all the lines like a bat out of hell. I was at the gate almost 2 hrs before my flight. The story of my life. I hit the bar, had a beer and read my book. When 5:45 rolled around, I went to get some food and then off to the gate. Upon arrival, I was informed that the flight was now delayed until 8pm. Argh! I took it in stride, sat down and began to read, eventually nodding off for a quick nap.
Around 7:15pm, I wandered over to the departures screen for an update and now the flight was listed as canceled. OMG.
I'm not going to go into the long story of my return trip. The flight was canceled, we were rebooked, the flight was re-instated, we were rebooked and then the flight was canceled again. In the end, I was rebooked through SFO and then home. I got back to Portland around 1:30, yet my luggage was left behind in SFO. Got home around 2am after a little fight with the cabbie over if he would take a credit card or not. A very very long day, but I was glad to be home.

In the end, LA was awesome. Wish I could have spent it with my honey and didn't have to spend all day in class. Wish I had stayed closer to the fun instead of so far away which required so much driving. Wish I had been able to hang out on the beach and either watch the sunrise or sunset every night. Though, it was a great trip.

Hammies on Sunset

Picture 161
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Nope, not a foodstuff. Thursday in LA brought a meetup with Andrea, a friend we met through Allison and Tiger. Andrea offered to meet me in Hollywood and take me out. Once again, I had to endure the traffic from El Segundo and both of us were playing phone tag giving each other updates as to how close we were to where we were going to eat.
We ended up at Toi Thai, a great place just across the street from the hotel where A and I stayed the last time we were in town. That was also the hotel where our new car got keyed one night. Ahhh LA. During dinner, I complemented Andrea on her outfit as I felt a little underdressed. She laughed and told me that she had spent most of the day out east in flip flops and casual clothes shopping at thrift stores. When she realized she wouldn't get home in time to change, she changed into her winnings from the thrift store and I tell you, it was a great outfit from head to toe.
Andrea took me down the Sunset strip to the Key Club to see a musical - Debbie Does Dallas, a raunchy musical. Everyone remembers Debbie does Dallas, but this story was a little soft-core and provocative. Pretty funny honestly. Andrea had a friend who was in the cast, so she was on the list. When we go to the door, all I said was, "I'm with Andrea" and the bouncer blinked and let us both in for free. Pretty darn cool. The performance was spot on and fun. I laughed a lot and experienced one of those LA moments. After the show, we hung out with the cast who were high on adrenaline and had some good convo. The lead was a beautiful blond bombshell from Tennessee who had more energy than an energizer bunny. We were outside smoking (them not me) and her and a friend were joking back and forth when she suddenly pulled up her dress to her breast to prove she was wearing underwear. Right on Sunset, she essentially flashed everyone. Totally LA and yet no one batted an eye.
After the Key Club, we wandered down to B of A so I could get some cash and came upon a homeless man playing the keyboard. His schtick was that he had two hamsters on a wheel next to him. When I got the camera out, he immediately stopped playing, stating, "$2 for a photo." I agreed and proceeded to take the photos. I gave him $3 and we hung out looking at the paper for whatever to do. During that, he launched into a song where he completely called me out for not paying beforehand. He was mean. It was so crazy and funny all I could do was laugh and chalk it up to LA.
The night proceeded on to a club called Respekt on Melrose. When I saw the line, I got a little concerned as it was already 12am. But I muscled through and we were only in line for about 5 minutes. Once inside, it was an excellent scene. Andrea described it as a drum' n' bass club and they were really ripping it up. One of the ladies on stage was Shorty, a well known DJ according to Andrea. Well I have to say, they were amazing. And the venue was just right. Not too crowded, not too loud, and not angry. Everyone was happy and dancing and just having a groovy time. While standing around watching, one of the people we met in line came up and asked if I liked what I saw and said, "Welcome to LA." I thought that was amazing. That this woman would take the moment to say that. Thanks.
Eventually we had to cut out. I headed back to El Segundo, but was a little wired, so stayed up and packed so I could maybe sleep in a few minutes in the morning.

Picture 178
Debbie does Dallas

Picture 159
Gentleman with Hammies

Four Ways for a Whiskey

Picture 156
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
There are 4 ways to order a whiskey, according to 7 Grand, a bar in downtown LA. 1) Neat with a water back, 2) Put it on the rocks, 3) Have it as a sour, and 4) Make it an old fashioned. Booya! I love it when the bar tells me how to order my drinks. Wednesday evening took me to the center of downtown LA. Downtown LA is interesting. First of all, it is rather large and full of some amazingly tall buildings and architecture. It includes some museums and concert halls to boot. Because of the nature of the buildings, it is mostly a business oriented type of place, so when it comes to 6pm, it is quite desolate. I was walking around after my 45 min drive searching for food and drink and really needing to pee. Note to self, don't drink any water while in traffic in LA. You'll get stuck in traffic and need to pee.
I hit this bar named 7 Grand where, according to locals, all the cool kids hang out. If "cool kids" means guys in blue oxfords and kackis, I don't think I want to be cool. It was an interesting crowd, but I didn't care much. I just needed to pee. I had a couple drinks also.
7 Grand specialized in whiskey and I partaked in a Sazarac with rye whiskey and a Manhatten with rye whiskey. Both were true jems. Truly works of art.
I was to meet my buddy @ 9 at a place named The Edison and it was 7:30. I walked around trying to find a place to sit down and eat and also the place where I would eventually end up and couldn't find either. I eventually went back to the car in order to move it closer to where I thought the Edison may be. While moving it, I found A and I's favorite LA bar - Bar 107. I parked, went in and grabbed a beer at the end of the bar.
Bar 107 is a bit divey and attracts some interesting fellas. Next to me at the end of the bar was Chavez. He was a larger fit individual, someone who at the blink of the eye you wouldn't want to make mad. Well, Chavez was a bit drunk when I sat down so he was pretty friendly. We chatted and he revealed that he had just spent the past 10 years in jail and had only been out for about 3 days. Wow! I think I believed him. We talked a little, mostly him talking about god and future and introducing himself a few more times. It was all fun and the bartenders kept looking at me rolling their eyes. It was a game. In the end, I bought him a beer and headed to The Edison.
The Edison is bar created out of the physical plant in the basement of a building. This plant created electricity with turbine engines and other big equipment. The people who rebuild this location into the Edison preserved much of what was there and made it into a premier locale. It was amazing and huge. And expensive.
At The Edison, I met my friend and whom I would call a mentor of sorts and had a great conversation. We had a great time. Some of his friends showed up, including some tattoo artists who knew Atlas tattoo and Albina Press. Interestingly enough, I had two pounds of Stumptown coffee from Albina Press in my bag. It was a good night.
In the end, I couldn't stay out too late. Around 12:30, I decided to bow out and head back to El Segundo. Argh, the 45 minute drive. But, all in all, a wonderful night in downtown LA.

Picture 154
tall buildings

Picture 153

Picture 186

Picture 187

Picture 183
Bar 107

Picture 181
Only in LA

El Segundo

Picture 150
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Tuesday. Class was fine. Planned on heading downtown to meet a friend, then plans got changed to Wednesday. Suddenly, I had no plans and didn't really want to head north again. I headed into El Segundo and to the beach. I was trying to find a restaurant that someone recommended and then decided to go hit the beach. El Segundo is known as "business friendly. I assume that means they allow pretty much any business that wants to come by. Around my hotel there are numerous corporate parts with huge big name businesses - Raytheon, Boing, Air New Zealand etc. It is 5 minutes from the airport, so probably pretty easy for business. One downside is that on the shore, there is a huge wast treatment plant and a chemical/oil refinery. Seriously, two huge (huge people) plants right on the beach. Oh well, the sunset was still pretty awesome.

Picture 149
Chemical plant on the shore.

Picture 146
Plant 2

Picture 140

Picture 148
Who dat?

LA, night 2.

Picture 202
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
So, class is good. We went over the schedule and the instructor asked if it sounded good for everyone. He was wondering if we were all in the right class. I was ready to answer - what if we're not? Some of us traveled a fair bit, so we'll deal. Needless to say, the morning was review and the afternoon was pretty intensive. I am going to fill in the blanks here and that should help me in my job hopefully.
During the day though, I was bad. I kept logging on to gmail to check if I had received any email from my LA blogger friends. Indeed I had and we setup a meet at Barney's Beanery on Sunset in Hollywood. I understand Jim Morrison hung out there. Well, I google mapped the place and it stated a 20 minute drive. The locals said it would be 1hr. We were meeting around 7:30, so I took off from El Segundo @ 6:15 to make sure I had enough time. Wow, LA is huge. I did some freeway, but the directions I had put me on surface streets, specifically La Cieniga. Nice drive with little or no heavy traffic. What was weird though was cruising along though dense neighborhoods and then hitting a working oil field. I asked later and they stated that it is the last remaining working oil field in greater LA. Parts of Swordfish the movie were filmed there with Hugh Jackman golfing. I guess oil is more valuable than real estate still. huh.
I got to Hollywood early and drove around a bit. While finding a parking spot, I endure the craziness of LA parking signage. I finally found a spot and headed in. After a couple of brews, my friends showed up and we had a great talk. Dave and Mack are both bloggers for blogging.LA and had some amazing stories. They also had some great advice and guidance for my own blogging. Thanks guys. After some beers and a great Kobe beef burger, Mack led me to Amoeba records. WOW. This is probably the largest record store I have been to and I have been to some of the Virgin stores and the Amoeba in SFO. It was around 10:30, so by the time I found the vinyl and picked out a couple of records for A, it was time to close. I think I actually saw a celebrity there, but couldn't put a name to the face.
The drive home was surreal. I was directed to head down LaBrea all the way to Slauson and almost back to El Segundo. I kept driving and driving, wondering if I had missed the street when suddenly, I came upon it. I ended up back at my corporate hotel around midnight. Monday down, 4 days left of the great LA adventure.

Picture 201

Picture 200

Picture 192
so close to Crenshaw - remember Boyz' n' the hood?

El Segundo

Picture 206
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Editor's note: This was supposed to be posted sooner, but something with moblogging from the treo failed. Ergo, the following posts will not be timelined well.

In el segundo ca for the week and want to bring you along on my adventure. I plan on taking advantage of one of the world's most lively city. Pictured here are my neighbors to the hotel. I could shoot a machine gun around here and get little reaction. The hotel, a doubletree is the same as every other business hotel in the world. Normal. Oh well. Close to my training class. I ventured over to manhatten beach to find something other than corporate fine dining and am at OB's Pub. They actually have Longhammer IPA, so that is a plus. Also, non smoking in CA. The sun is going down and the sky is a beautiful mix of grays, light blues and burgundy. I can only assume this area is a little $$$$. The only sadness is that I am the only person in the world wishing the Steeler's pre season game was on. Oh well. I am going to drink my beer and eat my tuna melt and enjoy the atmsphere. More to come.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
I never knew you could grow coconut plants like this. Pretty fricken cool!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

Dog sniff

Dog sniff
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
So, on Flickr, I got invited to a group who liked photos of two or more chihuahuas. When we were at the Mississippi st. fair, the photo opportunity occurred. I have a camera that I sometimes don't know how to use. I was just trying to get a good photo and got a great one. So far on Flickr, this photo has 115 views or so. I'm lovin' it.
Anonymous reminded me that I haven't posted in awhile, so here we go:
Spent some time in the Chicago area a couple weeks back. Wow! What an amazingly huge city. Remember, this is a POV from a Portlander of 37 years. Walking across Michigan ave and looking down not seeing where the tall buildings end is amazing to me. I get a hard on for big cities and tall buildings. It makes me wonder even more - what do all those people do? It was pretty cool to wander around a bit, but I think we were mostly in the business area by Millenium Park and so there wasn't a lot of people watching. Also, the heat and humidity was killing us a little. After seeing at least some of downtown, we ventured to a neighborhood NW of the city to get lunch and shop. It was out kind of hood and we eventually met up with some other friends and proceeded to eat and drink ourselves to the giggles.
The reason for the trip was our friend's wedding and that was awesome. They are wonderful people and it was cool to see all of their friends come from every part of the nation to help celebrate. It makes me envious of such strong ties. Note to self - re-kindle some long lost friendships.
Some photos from Chicago:
Picture 121
The Bean in Chicago

Picture 102

Picture 172
The Bed Jump

Picture 176
The girls

Picture 587
Nor sure of a title.

Picture 173
More Bed Jump. We actually broke a bed.

Picture 197
Me and my beautiful girl.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Me happy

Me happy
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Got me a real man's bbq the other day. Someone else got shoes, but me, I get grill. We built it yesterday and grilled up some veggies and fish. And today, I got some cool grill toys. Send the marinade recipes now!

Oh and mark the calendars for Brettenium VIII. Those of you in the know know when it shall be.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Another reason I love Portland. Every so often you see a little street art that is not damaging or intrusive. I have been seeing these little birdhouses crop up in North and think they are a wonderful idea. I just hope the police or some paranoid schmuck doesn't think they are bombs or something.
Which reminds me, I need to get some new bird feeders. Mine are shot. I realized the grass in the backyard had gotten too high when I accidentally ran over the birdfeeder hiding in the grass. I'm babbling.
Summer is here. Today is the longest day of the year and I feel a little bloated. Haven't been doing my promised walking as much of late and that has me in a little funk. I feel fit because our diet is still pretty healthy, but overall, I know I could do better. I do get out during lunch for my Portland Mall walks which are a good hour of walking, rain or shine. I want to begin walking home again now that the sun is out. Much has probably changed on the route, so I should at least say hi.
I've been pretty busy with the master bedroom. We finally decided to finish that 3 year project and move up there. Hopefully we should be done by August. We have a new closet painted and build out. The bathroom is fully framed and ready for the plumber. I think we have a plumber, just need to engage him. Then drywall for the bathroom and a floor. I want to do bamboo, but that is up in the air I guess....
We've been trying to eat healthy, but sometimes it is challenging. We have integrated bread back into the diet. We get spelt bread which I still think is wheat, but others say no. I still don't do much sugar or corn or tomatoes or processed food or potatoes. A lot of greens and tofu. We discovered this guy at the farmer's market who makes great marinades and sauces from honey. Very simple sauces that are awesome without the sugar or other junk. YAY!
Oh and I bought a bar-b-que. Probably bigger than we'll ever need, but a man needs his grill.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cooking and nursing and cooking and nursing

Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
and cooking and cleaning and....

i'm not whining. seriously, i know who reads this and i'm not whining. it has been a crazy couple of months. awhile back, we switched to a new very restrictive diet to prep for Superinkygrrl's surgery. as a result, we emptied our pantry and a couple of friends got a good stash of some amazing food. it only took us a few days and a couple of shopping trips to figure out the diet and what we could and couldn't eat. New Season's is a godsend and everyone who works there has helped us out in finding the proper alternative to what we are used to.
So, over the past few weeks prior and post surgery, I have been a cooking maven. I have tried new things, expanded on old faves and gone outside my comfort zone to make sure A is comfortable. Some of the faves:
Roasted Vegetable Soup - roasted root vegetales that are then put in a standard soup. MMMMM good. I even made this @ 12am the day after A's surgery in order to have it available at the hospital for A when she is ready to eat.
Spicy broiled catfish - Alton Brown turned me on to a wonderful rub which I then used for catfish. The first time we did it we broiled it and it was tasty. The second time was in the skillet and just as good.
Roasted Vegetabes - yep, just plain old roasted veggies. Squash and other root veggies caramelize when @ 400deg in the oven. The sugars leach out and .... well, they end up being amazing.
Lentil Soup - another recipe from our friends at Food Network. Lentils pack a punch of protein, so I wanted to make some up. The soup turned out well.
Modified BLT - there was no bacon, we used thinly sliced tempeh fried up in sesame oil. combine that with full on 100% rye bread (gluten free and no sugar), romaine, thinly sliced onion, avacado and nayonaise and you got yourself a great sandwich.
tofu tofu tofu - we have done some great dishes with tofu lately, mostly frying it up in the pan with spices. A does a great dish with cumin and tumeric that turns out wonderfully. i just don't know the portions.

what i have learned is that you can easily cut out the following items without much challenge if you accept that going out or getting any sort of take out is off the table - wheat, sugar, tomatoes, corn, meat, cheese, milk, soymilk, peanuts, fish (only once every 2 weeks,) potatoes, and much more that i cannot rememer.

oh, and it is a great diet if you want to feel better and have more energy and lose some weight.

so, week three of post surgery and A is up and about more and more every day. i'm looking forward to this week as i may have a chance to try some other recipes i saw on the tv today. mmmm. marinated red onions and roasted cipolinni onions...

Friday, February 23, 2007

SuperInkyGirl is well

if you have been following SuperInkyGirl's blog, you know today was a tough day coming. well, she made it through and is doing well. the surgery was more than expected, but in a good way. as a result, she will need to stay in the hospital for a few days. Send your thoughts, your prayers, your energy, money (just joking) to her as she begins her road to recovery. she thanks you in advance. i love me superinkygirl!