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Lunch Experiment: Lentil Salad

Red LentilsI’ve been working at this client site for 6 out of the last 10 years. I have sampled the available cuisine in walking distance and the places we usually drive to are tasty grease pits that I just don’t want to eat at anymore. These days I’m almost willing to skip lunch just for the relief from the choices I’ve got. So I decided to try to find a nutritional option akin to the breakfast burritos that have been my staple breakfast for the better part of a year. 

Today’s experiment, Lentil Salad. 


Posted in cuisine.

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I hate my blog

I do.  I look at it with frustration.  Here’s why:


Posted in me, rants.

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Strawed in, Weighed and Sourced Out

Since setting out as an independent contractor, I’ve been noticing a lot of personal growth.  Emotional and spiritual growth, certainly, but the one that’s got me concerned is the physical growth.  My most recent travels seem to have expanded my horizons, starting at my diameter.

I’ve tried to find the time and energy to get back to working out.  And it’s just not working.  I’m too tired.  I’m too disinterested.  But I’m a problem-solver and this is a web 2.0 world.

Fatboy 2.0

So I’m outsourcing my personal fitness.  To me.  I’m going to pay myself to do my workouts.  If I work out, I get a reward.   If I continue to work out, I’ll get more rewards.


Posted in life, productivity.

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Some Moron Cooking

I thought it would be fun to post the pictures of chocolate goodness I had taken.  I’m a photographer, and there is something just sensual about that chocolaty goodness.  I didn’t even think to post the recipe, because I was working from a book and I wasn’t sure about how to do it.  And more important, the book was in the kitchen and I was in the basement and walking seemed likely to be less comfortable than sitting and just posting more pictures.

(But here’s the picture again, just cause:


The recipe for “Molten-center chocolate cupcakes” comes from Everyday Chocolate


  • 4 tbsp soft margarine
  • 2 oz / 55g / generous quarter cup superfine sugar
    • ss says: granulated + grinder = superfine
  • 1 large egg
  • 5/8 cup self-rising flour
    • internet says: 5/8 cup all-purpose flour + .9 tsp baking powder + 1/3 tsp salt = 5/8 self-rising
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2oz (1 square) semisweet chocolate

Directions (makes 8 cupcakes): (As told by me)

  • Carefully chop the square into eights.  Reserve any severed fingertips for later reattachment.
  • Dump everything else everything not solid chocolate (or fingertip) into a bowl and beat till smooth.
  • Put the paper cups into the muffin tray first, fill half way with dough, add a piece of chocolate, and top up.
  • Preheat the oven and then bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
  • Stand for 2-3 minutes, serve warm.  You can dust confectioner’s sugar if you can wait that long.
  • Stand over the body of your kill and savour the chocolaty life spilling into your mouth.  Optionally howl at the moon or chandelier, as appropriate.
    • Yes, I said savour.  With a U.  Eh?


The major discovery that I wish we’d been warned about is that this thing produces batter so thick it’s almost dough.  I thought we’d made a mistake when we added everything, and again when we saw how much my poor old egg-beater was whining about the work.  We added a bit of milk which was unnecessary.

Also, between the all-purpose flour substitution and the semi-sweet, it was a very dryly chocolate taste.  Good moist cupcake, but very not sweet.  Loved it.

Posted in cuisine.

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Sometimes you get the elevator

Sometimes you get the molten-chocolate-centered, chocolate cupcakes.


So I’ve got the cousins over for the tail end of their winter break from school.  And after a brutal shopping session discovering that post massive propane explosion in the city’s west end had resulted in the shut down down all the gas station propane filling stations, and the gas station attendant didn’t know how his own tank exchange system works, and…

After a brutal grocery session, it was nice to break out into the kitchen and just cook.  And it’s still a remarkable experience to take “the plan” and slice it into a logistically sane set of tasks that I can pass around to various teens.  You want a project management lesson, there it is.  Skill levels, skill sets, experience, balancing so everybody gets to participate on something non-trivial and of course, getting the job done.


And they are reliably talented.  As I let go of the task list, things got a lot less frenetic, and the kids worked magic.  All I ended up having to do was work the grill.  And we ended up with a dinner of steak, portobello mushrooms with red pepper,  pan-fried tomatoes in garlic, baked sweet potato.

And a mouthwatering cupcake for desert.


How was your dinner?

Posted in cuisine, life.

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Review: Eyes Like Stars — Lisa Mantchev

Eyes Like Stars, front coverDisclosure: Lisa Mantchev is a friend and I’ve been reading drafts of this book since  before she found it’s name.  Also, I freelance as her sidekick and occasional ninja.  Yes, I am bragging. She’s worth bragging about.

In Eyes Like Stars, Lisa Mantchev tells a simple story, about a found orphan struggling to save her home.

Except that Bertie’s home is a theater.  And not just a theater, but *the* theatre, where all the characters of all the works of all humanity make their home.  She’s grown up amidst pirates, magicians, brigands and elementals.  Her best friends in the world are fairies.  The stage sets are doorways that let her live and play anywhere and anywhen she wishes to go.

But now she’s going to lose it all.  Unless she can find a way to keep it.

And all of that? That’s chapter one.


Posted in books, review.

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Mindmapping the Desert

clip_image002[22]After writing the tasklist thing, I sat down to brainstorm my life and realized that the brilliant idea I’d had, of sharing my process, came into direct conflict with my rather critical need to respect a few confidentiality agreements.  So I’ve been waiting for a task that wasn’t covered by non-disclosure agreements and I think I found one today.

Having essentially taken my project through the birth and delivery process, I’ve been asked to drop the kid off at the nursery.  Which is to say, I’ve been asked to hand off my work to the operations team, with the idea that this would tend free me up to work on the next thing.

So now I have to figure out what transitioning means.  And to do that, I need to figure out what I need to do.


Posted in productivity.

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Review: The Giver — Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry’s The Giver starts out as a coming-of-age story set within a small, controlled community that has achieved happiness for all its members.  From start to end, members of the community are evaluated for how they fit into the community and those who cannot fit are released.

Life in the community is seen through the eyes of Jonas, an eleven-year-old boy who is looking forward to the Ceremony of Twelves, when children are assigned to roles within the community based on what the Elders have learned in observing them from childhood.


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Subduing the Task List, Part III

After discovering that I felt like I wasn’t in control of my situation (in Part I), I systematically created a task list (in Part II).

Just getting to this point has a tremendous calming effect on me. The feeling of being overwhelmed seems to be connected very strongly to the sense of “I’ve forgotten something.” From my exposures to the cult of productivity, I’m not the only one to feel this kind of relief.

Sadly, the task list is just a map to the actual end-state, so take a moment to enjoy getting this far and then a deep breath because now that you know what you have to do, the next step is doing it.

Taking Care of Business

Once again, I have a set of questions that I use to filter my list. For each task, I ask myself:

  1. Do I need to do this?
  2. Can I break this down?
  3. Do I need to do this?
  4. Do I need to do this?

I know. I’m trying to be clever. Hopefully, the strangeness of that list make you want to read on and find out what the heck I’m talking about?


Posted in life, me, work.

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Subduing the Task List, Part II

So Part I of this process was an exercise in identifying a problem. It’s rare that I ever treat that effort formally, which is probably good for you since it left me less to talk about. And after doing that exercise, I’ve discovered that I think my todo list is out of control, and that’s causing me stress. (Wow, right there is all that’s important from Part I in just one sentence)

The next step in getting things under control is figuring out what I need to be doing, and I’ve got some simple questions that I can use to help me:

Posted in life, tips.

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