Green Line

Jun. 14th, 2014 12:39 pm
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
The Green Line light rail between Minneapolis & St. Paul opened today. Blustery day, and I heard we may have severe weather coming in later this afternoon.

I went to the West Bank celebration. Some local special interest groups had booths, and there was a mini-food fest of local restaurants (with very reasonable prices by street fair standards!)

The weather being miserable, I sat in the music tent and listened to the Sunshine & Rainbows Family Band (folk-style).

I had taken the Green Line bus to get to the West Bank, but hopped the train back downtown. Very crowded, but not the sardine-packed ride there was back when the Blue Line opened. I plan to take the whole route later this week when I can get a good seat.

Almost done with class!
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Hi folks!

One of the less populated shelves on my Goodreads account is "foodie." Cookbooks, books about cooks, books about food and drink, books that include a recipe for something or other, that sort of thing. So the list of books Goodreads recommends to me based on it is rather short. On the other hand, it's a very different selection from my other shelves.

Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Eating Alone by Jenni Ferrari-Adler
Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child by Noel Riley Fitch
The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin

Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris by A.J. Liebling

A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines by Anthony Bourdain

French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew by Peter Mayle

The Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher

Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker and Apprentice to Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford
Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg

The Language of Baklava: A Memoir by Diana Abu-Jaber
Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat by Grant Achatz

The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten

On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town by Susan Herrmann Loomis

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn
The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection by Michael Ruhlman
The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - City by David Lebovitz

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl
The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food by Judith Jones

The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation by David Kamp


In related news, I'm currently reading a book about energy drinks. Oh and the book "Frances Elizabeth Willis" I reviewed recently at my blog had a surprise guest appearance by Julia Child.

Let me know if you've read any of these, or heard any interesting buzz. Or failing that, just plug your favorite book about food.

SKJAM!

Some stuff

Jun. 17th, 2012 09:16 pm
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Random bits--

After far too long a delay, the Lunds grocery store we were promised way back when is finally open. I was very disappointed the first day, as the signage said it would open at 6AM, and I got up to be there, but it turned out the opening for that day only was 9:30. It's a very nice store.

I'm a bit worried for the small grocery place nearby, though. Not much they can do to compete except for the much faster checkout service. The local coffee shop is more hardy and can easily handle the chain place with its genuine Bohemian atmosphere.

We have a new quality coach at work, who tells me she was seriously blown away with how good I am on the phone. I still run into rough patches when customers don't want to be helped, but it's true that when I'm on, I really am Mr. Customer Service.

Did not win any of the baskets in the United Way raffle...again. Don't know why I bother sometimes, and none of the winners ever sends a thank you note for the baskets our department creates.

Coming up on my birthday, not as excited/nervous this year. More concerned with making the CD exchange work and being fully funded for ConVergence.

Still doing very well at the Goodreads giveaways, seriously it's like they love my reviews or something. Currently waiting on "One For the Money".

Hope you folks are well as can be expected, and Happy Father's Day to all those to whom it applies.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
I am going in for a colonoscopy this Wednesday. Today, I start my low-fiber diet. Not six hours, and I am already jonesing for whole wheat and gristly beef cuts.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Yep, Minnesota is having us a good old-fashioned blizzard.

I managed to slog my way to the post office to send off a Secret Santa gift; the line was much, much shorter than last Saturday's. As in, instead of twenty people backed up all the way to the entrance as a customer repeatedly insisted that there had to be an even cheaper way to ship her package and tying up the counter clerk who wasn't occupied filling a complicated order involving at least four international money orders, there was just me and the fellow who came in right after me. If it continued that light, maybe the post office people even got to close in time.

Since for some reason my dial-up speed is even lower than usual, near molasses in January levels, I decided to hit the library for a while. They closed early due to the weather.

Then I went to the Wondrous Azian restaurant and had some pho, because this was a day for hot soup. They closed early too, and probably a good thing, as the exit door was blocked by snow drifts when I tried to get out.

Movie theater had already closed, and the final nail in the coffin came when I came out of Block E and found out the buses weren't running! This is Minnesota, the buses run until there's absolutely no way for them to get through. Good thing I was only a half-mile or so from home.

On the good side, the holiday mail has started coming in. I have two unidentified Amazon packages, a couple of mix cds (more on those later) and several nice cards.

Staying in the rest of the night, if I can help it.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Have sent out quite a few of the surprises for the folks on [community profile] holiday_wishes and [community profile] wish_list. I know at least a few of them have arrived because the recepients have said so, and one definitely did not. (Gonna have to look into that.)

Need to wrap the presents I'm giving family members, and figure out who I've got left to shop for. My parents have asked for giving to a good cause this year, so that one's easy.

Made a couple of posts on Scans Daily, which is having a big December event.

Work goes okay.

Still trying to lose weight. Valiantly resisting my usual habit of buying cartons of egg nog and drinking them at a single sitting, but man I love egg nog. Exercise getting even harder to get around to with onset of snow, ice and frigid air.

Have received one package so far this season, I know who it's from and approximately what it might be, but am saving opening it for a little closer to Christmas. Also, my brother's family holiday letter.

Hope all of you are as well as can be expected, and keeping warm.

Okay.,..

Nov. 15th, 2010 09:42 pm
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Friday is "Sweet and Salty Treats" day at work. Even as loosely defined as my "diet" is (eat less, exercise more), this is not going to be helping.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Yep, my folks' 50th Anniversary party was this weekend.

I came down the day before and helped make nametags, though I fear I spent most of the afternoon napping--so tired these days. We ate at Banning Junction to try out their "Oriental buffet." It was okay, considering it's a small town family restaurant. The sesame shrimp was much milder than most places in the city make it (not surprising) but the lo mein was very disappointing--they used a noodle recipe that was way too floury and made the noodles clump together.

The day of the party, the other immediate family came down and everything was moved over to the golf course clubhouse. Attendance was good, with many relatives, my mom's old schoolmates and work colleagues, and such of Dad's old buddies as are still around. A few folks couldn't make it, and sent their regrets or visited the next day.

I spent the early part of the party manning the door; it was lovely weather, sunny but not too hot and a good breeze. There was a small golf tournament the same day, plus the regular golfers. One fellow asked me to bring in his rental drink cooler for him--he was wearing just swim trunks, tennis shoes and baseball cap and hadn't realized there were going to be a bunch of people in the clubhouse when he got back.

Mom and Dad appeared to be in good spirits and not too tired after the party, though we had to wrap it up earlier than some would have liked due to there being a class reunion coming in a couple of hours later.

I caught a ride back to the Cities with my nephew, who is back at security work. We swapped "easily penetratable security" stories.

Sunday I spent considering choices from the heroines_fest LJ community, and doing research and an initial outline of the story prompt I picked.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Thursday was dinner at Aunt Judy's house. The food was quite good, and I was happy to catch up with that side of the family.

Friday, I took the bus up to Sandstone, where my siblings and I had an early supper with our folks.

I picked up some more of my British comics collection for the Scans Daily community--hope you folks like 'em.

I also spent a lot of time on the Neopets site--on dial-up, Keyquest just won't work, so I played that a lot and even won a couple of times.

On Saturday, we visited Lena's Gift Shop in Askov, which features Scandinavian and local gifts--and is "the home of the rutabaga malt." I do not recommend the rutabaga malt, by the way, but if you're feeling adventurous... I got quite a bit of Christmas shopping done.

I did a fair bit of yakking with the folks too. Won one game of Dominoes, lost two.

Sunday, we went to brunch at the Audubon Center, one of only two times they'll be open this winter. (Last year had disappointing attendance, so they cut back.)

On the bus trip back to the city Sunday night, McDonalds was unable to fill my order in time, so they refunded my money.

Back home, I found that the folks at Wish List and Holiday Wishes had been quite enthusiastic about the prospect of getting a surprise from me, so I've got a fair backlog. Will need to concentrate on overseas delivery first, but with luck everyone will get their stuff by New Year's.

Hope your weekend was tasty!
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Work has as usual been hectic, especially with the recent changes to the credit card laws. Suddenly a lot of stuff that was handled electronically has to be hand-checked.

It's United Way basket time, and this year our department's theme is "Halloween." Most likely, there will be many bags of candy.

Today, I went to the family gathering for Mom's birthday/Mom & Dad's anniversary. It was fun, though the picture session at the end in the bright sunlight was painful. My nephew tells me he has finally been cleared to join his unit overseas.

Tonight's special at Espresso Royale (my local coffee shop) was Yerba-ade. It has a piquant flavor I do not find entirely pleasing. I do not think I will order it again.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
My oldest niece Faith has graduated high school, and this last Saturday was her graduation party.

It was at her family home in Osseo, and I caught a ride with my brother's family to get there. It was a nice spread, hot dogs, minifranks, deli tray, popcorn and a keg of root beer. There was ice cream cake as well, but it only came out for a short time because the weather was making it melt very fast.

As is often the case, mostly it was relatives, so I got to catch up with some of them, and a handful of Faith's school buddies.

Faith is going to start massage therapy training in the fall, on her way to becoming a full-fledged physical therapist.

My parents had come up from Sandstone, but parked in Wyoming and had nephew Terran drive them the rest of the way up to avoid the big city traffic. Terran (who is thankfully back in full-time employment with the National Guard, but not being shipped overseas) drove us to Wyoming later in the afternoon.

Once out of Wyoming, we took Highway 61 rather than the freeway; it's a teensy slower overall, but doesn't have the bunching problem, and the scenery is nicer.

It's good to visit with the folks every once in a while.

The next day was Father's Day, with my birthday celebration tossed in, and my brother's anniversary. My family tends to clump celebrations together--Faith was lucky to get her graduation separate!

My middle niece is apparently starved for soda pop (it's a special treat at her house) and bogarted the private stash I'd brought along to drink on the trip back to the cities. Hint: If it's a brand no one else in the family is familiar with, it's probably Uncle Scott's.

Dad got a big book of Disney art, and my brother and his wife got a picture holder in cameo size.

I received an encyclopedia of the little people, a throw pillow, some African tea, a new fancy mug (says "Happy Birthday" on it) and one of my dad's carvings. A satyr/gargoyle wall mask with bulging green eyes made from railroad reflectors. I've hung the last one in my cubicle at work.

We had leftovers from the graduation party and chocolate cake with little candy bars in the frosting. The littler nieces naturally wanted the candy bits, which I'm sure I did at their age too. But was I really that blatant about it?

So that I could stay a couple extra hours with my parents, I went online and purchased a bus ticket rather than catch a ride with a sibling. However, I was not aware that the Jefferson Lines website sets the default date on "tomorrow" and simply assumed that Sunday was the 22nd. It was not until about an hour before the scheduled departure that I realized my mistake. I went online to reschedule the ticket only to learn that "no route is scheduled" for Sunday. I tried calling the convenience store that is Sandstone's bus stop, but the phone number listed on the website was out of service.

So we had to rush up to the store, where the clerk assured me that the bus did indeed run on Sunday, and would stop in Sandstone even if no one had bought a ticket for that day. And I could just pay the bus driver when I got on. (I wasn't too keen on that last bit, as I was already out one bus fare--Jefferson Lines is no refunds.)

Fortunately, when the bus arrived, the driver took one look at my boarding pass and waved me on. I suspect the date mixup happens a lot. The bus was not overcrowded. The overhead lights weren't working, but the outside light didn't fade until just before the Cities, so I was able to read fine.

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