7.31.2011

Sourdough starter

I'm trying to make a sourdough starter again.  The last one I tried, a few years back, never got off the ground.  There's a recipe for a yeast-based banana bread that I want to try, and it calls for some sourdough starter.  So, I have to make the starter.

So far, it's doing well.  I've done the third day's work on it and it has shown some life.  In fact, it's shown too much life.  Yesterday, I did the second day's mixing and by the time I returned from aikido, it was already rising more than the directions said it would after 24 hours.  I made the decision to wait the full 24 hours instead of going by the amount of rise.  When we got home from seeing a play late last night, it was overflowing its beaker.  I took a little out of the beaker and returned it to its spot.

After today's mixing, it's not as aggressive as it was yesterday, so I hope it's still alive.  We'll see after work tomorrow.

Lunching out - Perry's Market and Grill

K and I got the opportunity to have lunch together this past Friday.  In order to get her back to work quickly, we chose a nearby restaurant.  Perry's is just a couple of blocks away and they serve good food.  The ideal lunch is Wednesday when they have they're pork chops for a bargain price.

K had the Tequila Lime Chicken salad and I had Tomato Basil Pasta (Angel hair pasta topped with tomato basil sauce and grilled chicken).  Our entrees were quite good.  Tasty and nicely prepared.  I then went for a slice of Pecan Pie for dessert and was disappointed.  Just another place using an elsewhere-prepared pie, probably Sysco.

We got out of there for $30 not including tip:


At the Movies - Secretariat

Secretariat: 3

I caught some of this on TV yesterday and the rest of it this evening.  I now want to go back and watch the actual footage from Secretariat's Triple Crown races.  I was amazed that the field for the Preakness was 6 horses and the field for the Belmont was just 5.  The fields have not been that small for quite some time.

There was a family stuff in the movie that was brought in insufficiently for my tastes.  I bet a bunch of it ended up on the cutting room floor for time.

Still, I enjoyed it.  I don't know if I would have spent money for a theatre viewing of it.

At the movies - The Tourist

The Tourist : 1

I caught this on the TV last night and was horribly disappointed in it.  The characterizations seemed uneven, some of the simple special effects were horribly done.

I'm glad I did not see it in the theatre.  I regret having seen it at home.

At the Movies - Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 2

Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 2 : 4

I saw this a couple of weekends ago, and I've seen it once since.  So, by my definition, this movie rates a 4.

I really did enjoy it quite a bit.  At one point, in the first viewing, I was almost brought to tears.  This was the scene when Harry was leaving Ron and Hermione to go face (get killed by) Voldemort.  It was a very understated scene that I really liked.

Highly Recommended

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 07/30/11

Aikido players:  Tim, Trey, Dan, Marvin, Gail and Tony

Ukemi:

Partial set.  Did some work with Gail and Marvin

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

With Marvin and Gail.  I alternated as uke between the two of them.  We made it through the first 6.

Techniques:

None today.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Aikido Friday Night - 07/29/11

Aikido players:  Tim, Trey, Marvin, Gail and Tony ( a new student)

Ukemi:

Partial set

The Walk:

Twice

Releases:

With Marvin.  We made it through all 8

Techniques:

We did some work on Shomen-ate at the very end.  We did a little "bump the dummy" drill for the three white belts.

Aftermath:

None of note.

The day's tweets

  • 08:37 BIDDYS BEADS - Artfire Crazy Train - Collections for : A Day at the Beach, Contemporary and School #handmade #artfire bit.ly/rv2mda #
  • 09:11 Envy Us Creations - bit.ly/nV3y8h - Thread jewelry: earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 11:11 Lecabita - bit.ly/nZzHyw - A husband and wife team working in wood for 35 years. Stop by and see their shop. #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:12 JMcCoy - bit.ly/qsVAf7 - A retired paramedic working with found lumber to create art in wood #handmade #artfire #
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7.30.2011

The day's tweets

  • 09:05 Envy Us Creations - bit.ly/nV3y8h - Thread jewelry: earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 11:11 Lecabita - bit.ly/nZzHyw - A husband and wife team working in wood for 35 years. Stop by and see their shop. #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:13 JMcCoy - bit.ly/qsVAf7 - A retired paramedic working with found lumber to create art in wood #handmade #artfire #
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7.29.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:36 ANDREA DESIGNS - Artfire Crazy Train - knitted handmade scarves shawls ponchos baby clothing and more #handmade #artfire bit.ly/nfTTX #
  • 09:07 Envy Us Creations - bit.ly/nV3y8h - Thread jewelry: earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 11:15 Lecabita - bit.ly/nZzHyw - A husband and wife team working in wood for 35 years. Stop by and see their shop. #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:16 JMcCoy - bit.ly/qsVAf7 - A retired paramedic working with found lumber to create art in wood #handmade #artfire #
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7.28.2011

The day's tweets

  • 09:12 Envy Us Creations - bit.ly/nV3y8h - Thread jewelry: earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 11:09 Lecabita - bit.ly/nZzHyw - A husband and wife team working in wood for 35 years. Stop by and see their shop. #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:15 JMcCoy - bit.ly/qsVAf7 - A retired paramedic working with found lumber to create art in wood #handmade #artfire #
  • 17:23 Ruth Peterson's artwork will be at Armadillocon's Art Show this year www.armadillocon.org #convention #
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7.27.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:35 JANUARY GIRL DESIGNS - Artfire Crazy Train - Bracelets, Jewel Sets, Necklaces, Earrings #handmade #artfire bit.ly/rcZZQY #
  • 11:11 Lecabita - bit.ly/nZzHyw - A husband and wife team working in wood for 35 years. Stop by and see their shop. #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:22 JMcCoy - bit.ly/qsVAf7 - A retired paramedic working with found lumber to create art in wood #handmade #artfire #
  • 14:31 Envy Us Creations - bit.ly/nV3y8h - Thread jewelry: earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more #handmade #artfire #
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7.26.2011

The day's tweets

  • 09:07 Envy Us Creations - bit.ly/nV3y8h - Thread jewelry: earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more #handmade #artfire #
  • 10:45 Rita Keller's artwork will be at Armadillocon's Art Show this year www.armadillocon.org #conventions #
  • 11:09 Lecabita - bit.ly/nZzHyw - A husband and wife team working in wood for 35 years. Stop by and see their shop. #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:12 JMcCoy - bit.ly/qsVAf7 - A retired paramedic working with found lumber to create art in wood #handmade #artfire #
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7.25.2011

Artfire - Item of the week - Baron Fountain Pen in Brown Coconut

Due to an issue I had reading a calendar (at my age I still can't tell what day of the week a Monday is), I'm going to have multiple items on discount for a couple of days.

My item of the week this week, until August, is the Baron style Fountain Pen turned out of Coconut with Bright Copper hardware.  I actually turned two of them this past week, and uploaded them to my shop, so both of them are on discount.  If you buy one, I'll discount the price 10%.  If you buy them both, I'll discount the total 25%.

Here's the description of the pen from my artfire shop:

This is a Baron style fountain pen turned out of a blank created form the shell of a coconut and cast in a resin. The hardware is a nice, bright copper finish. It has a nice heft to it and is probably a good size for a man's hand. The cap for this pen screws onto the cap to close the pen, or to the end of the barrel to keep it close while writing.

A bit about of the process of creating these pens: I start with a hand-selected blank created out of coconut and a resin and the bits that make up the mechanism of the pen. I then spend some time working the blank to be the proper diameter to match the mechanism. Sand paper is applied, through a number of grits, to get a nice, smooth surface. Several coats of finish are applied and buffed. The wood and mechanism are then combined to create a fabulous writing instrument.

Here are a couple of pictures of the pen(s):





Weekend update

Friday:

Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Aikido
Dinner with K at Durango's
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 for a second viewing

Sunday:

In the shop for a bit.  Worked on Darth Vader's bread peel.  It might end up being one of his General's peels though.
Honey bread and cinnamon raisin bread
Dinner with the in-laws
WSOP on the TV.

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 7/23/11

Aikido players: Tim and Trey.  We also had a potential new student watching from the sidelines

Ukemi:

Full 12-fall warmup

The Walk:

Once, for the visitor's benefit

Releases:

Trey and I did right-sided releases only

Techniques:

Trey and I did 1-10, right side only.  He Tore'd for 1-5, I Tore'd for 6-10.

We then worked on the standing portion of Koryu Dai San.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

1) Kote Mawashi

Uke grabs tore's left collar. Tore steps back, threatens eye, steps back again collapsing uke's wrist.  Steps forward knocking uke down.

We spent a lot of time on this on, as usual.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

2) Uchi Tenkai Nage

Uke grabs tore's left hand. Tore does 7th release, sending uke into roll-out.

Must remember: small circles and get behind uke.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

3) Gyakugamae Ate

Uke grabs tore's right sleeve. Tore steps back, collapsing uke's arm, then steps forward knocking uke back.

We practiced both the early (before uke attaches to the collar) and the late (after uke attaches to the collar)

--------------------------------------------------------------------

4) Kote Kajiki (aka Hiji Kime)

Uke grabs tore's left hand. Tore does 4th release, tore switches hands into "thread the needle."

We did this a couple of times.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

5) Mae Otoshi

Uke grabs tore's right hand. Tore does 5th release, turns into mae otoshi.

We went back to the classical version of this.  We'll keep the back door in our repetoire, though.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

6) Ushiro Waza Mae Otoshi

Uke chokes tore with both hands. Tore secures grip, steps under uke's arms, mae otoshi.

This went relatively well.
 --------------------------------------------------------------------

7) Ushiro Waza Tentai Kote Hineri

Uke grabs tore from behind. Tore steps to right, straightening arms, breaking uke's grip. Tore grabs uke's wrist into tentai kote hineri.

No real problems with this one either

--------------------------------------------------------------------

8) Mune Tori Kata Gatame

Uke attacks with shomen ate. Tore steps to right, drops uke's hand to his foot, falling uke. Tore twists ankle to turn uke over, pins legs, then takes uke's arm into arm-bar.

A small issue about which hand slides to the ankle and should tore go to his knees, however briefly.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Aftermath:

None of note.  We may have a new student.

The day's tweets

  • 08:31 BLUE GREEN AND PINK - Artfire Crazy Train - Sea Shell Collection, Earrings, Bracelets, Necklaces #handmade #artfire bit.ly/mZt46v #
  • 10:06 Yellow Rose - A wide variety of fabrics, patterns and notions for your sewing needs - bit.ly/p1vnfH - #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:10 Wood A Plenty - Clocks, boxes, home decor, toys and games. All out of wood www.artfire.com/users/WoodAPlenty #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:12 JimJuris - Unique matted photos, photo notecards, photo editing and SEO information www.artfire.com! /users/JimJuris #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:14 Baron Rollerball in Afzelia Burl - t.co/VrcRUZW - my item of the week. Contact me for a coupon for 10% off. #handmade #artfire #
  • 17:34 Ruth Peterson's artwork will be at Armadillocon's Art Show this year www.armadillocon.org #convention #
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7.24.2011

Artfire - Featured Shop - BeeJooled Faere Wurkz

BeeJooledFaereWurkz is a polymer clay sculptor in San Antonio, Texas.  She's been working in the medium for around two years and shows an amazing amount of skill and imagination.  She likes to work Swarovski jewels into the creations and they add a bit of glitter to the pieces.

Most of her pieces would be appropriate at the ComicCon art show, or even DragonCon.

Take a look at some of the pieces in her shop:




The day's tweets

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7.23.2011

Lunching out - Magnolia Cafe and Bakery

A new restaurant opened up within walking distance of the office this week - Magnolia Cafe and Bakery.  It was too good of an opportunity to pass up, so I went there for my Friday lunch.

It's a nice open place with a number of tables.  They appear to plan for lots of folks stopping by and picking up dinners for heating up at home, according to their menu.  They've got a bunch of sandwiches, soups and desserts.  They may also have an entree or two, but the one they had listed yesterday didn't seem like an entree.  I don't remember what it was, though.

I ordered the quiche combo.  A ham quiche with a cup of tortilla soup, a glass of apricot tea and a slice of coconut cake.  The tea and tortilla soup were quite nice, with a nice amount of spice in the soup.  The quiche was awfully bland, but the crust was well done.  The cake was pretty good, not terribly sweet (except for the icing), but seemed just a touch dry.

My meal came to about $13, I believe.  A decent value.  I'm certain I will be returning and trying out more items.  Below is the picture of the meal I had.

Aikido Friday Night - 07/22/11

Aikido players:  Tim, and Trey

Ukemi:

Full set of twelve.

The Walk:

Not tonight

Releases:

Not tonight

Techniques:

We spent the evening on the last four techniques of the standing portion of Koryu Dai San.  

These are the descriptions taken from Nik's web site.  We do them in a different order and with slight changes.  Last night we made a drastic change to Nick's #5 which is our #6

Nick's:

5) Mae Otoshi Uke grabs tore's right hand. Tore does 1st release, turns into mae otoshi. 

Ours:

5) Mae Otoshi Uke grabs tore's right hand. Tore does 5th release, uke tries to reach around and choke Tore, Tore turns it into mae otoshi. 

Ours after last night

5) Mae Otoshi Uke grabs tore's right hand. Tore does 5th release, uke tries to reach around and choke Tore.  Tore intercepts Uke's outer hand, bringing it back through between the two bodies and turns it into mae otoshi. 


6)  Ushiro Waza Mae Otoshi Uke chokes tore with both hands. Tore secures grip, steps under uke's 
arms, mae otoshi. 

Nick's:

 7)  Ushiro Waza Tentai Kote Hineri Uke grabs tore from behind. Tore steps to right, straightening arms, breaking uke's grip. Tore grabs uke's wrist into tentai kote hineri. 

Ours:

 7)  Ushiro Waza Tentai Kote Hineri Uke grabs tore from behind. Tore steps to the left, extending arms in "Happy Buddha" to prevent uke from completing the bear hug. Tore grabs uke's wrist into tentai kote hineri, completing the technique with either the street or the classic takedown.

Nikc's:


8) Mune Tori Kata Gatame Uke attacks with shomen ate. Tore steps to right, drops uke's hand to
his foot, falling uke. Tore twists ankle to turn uke over, pins legs, then takes uke's arm into arm-bar.

Ours:

8) Mune Tori Kata Gatame Uke attacks with shomen ate. Tore steps to right, drops uke's hand to
his knee. Tore then places one hand on uke's knee, the other on uke's ankle, providing leverage to cause uke to fall.  Tore holds on to the foot, moves toward uke's head.  Tore then threatens an attack at uke's head, uke raises a hand in defense.  Tore grabs the hand, steps back at 45 degree andgle causing uke to roll over on his belly.  Tore completes the technique with an arm-bar.

Aftermath:

I was apparently very irritable last night for some reason. Otherwise, none of note.

The day's tweets

  • 08:31 THE HOBBY ROOM - Artfire Crazy Train - hooded towels, headband sets, hat sets, tutus #handmade #artfire bit.ly/q619kv #
  • 10:09 Yellow Rose - A wide variety of fabrics, patterns and notions for your sewing needs - bit.ly/p1vnfH - #handmade #artfire #
  • 10:46 Rita Keller's artwork will be at Armadillocon's Art Show this year www.armadillocon.org #conventions #
  • 13:22 Wood A Plenty - Clocks, boxes, home decor, toys and games. All out of wood www.artfire.com/users/WoodAPlenty #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:13 JimJuris - Unique matted photos, photo notecards, photo editing and SEO information www.artfire.com/users/JimJuris #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:16 Baron Rollerball in Afzelia Burl - t.co/VrcRUZW - my item of the week. Contact me for a coupon for 10% off. #handmade #artfire #
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7.22.2011

The day's tweets

  • 10:05 Yellow Rose - A wide variety of fabrics, patterns and notions for your sewing needs - bit.ly/p1vnfH - #handmade #artfire #
  • 11:06 Nancy Cagle and her art will be at ArmadilloCon www.armadillocon.org/ again this year #conventions #
  • 13:08 Wood A Plenty - Clocks, boxes, home decor, toys and games. All out of wood www.artfire.com/users/WoodAPlenty #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:15 JimJuris - Unique matted photos, photo notecards, photo editing and SEO information www.artfire.com/users/JimJuris #ha! ndmade #artfire #
  • 16:11 Baron Rollerball in Afzelia Burl - t.co/VrcRUZW - my item of the week. Contact me for a coupon for 10% off. #handmade #artfire #
  • 17:20 Ruth Peterson's artwork will be at Armadillocon's Art Show this year www.armadillocon.org #convention #
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7.21.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:24 HUMMINGBIRD TAK - Artfire Crazy Train - Necklaces, Pandora Style Jewelry, Puppy Paws Jewelry #handmade #artfire bit.ly/pnXbsO #
  • 13:10 Wood A Plenty - Clocks, boxes, home decor, toys and games. All out of wood www.artfire.com/users/WoodAPlenty #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:11 JimJuris - Unique matted photos, photo notecards, photo editing and SEO information www.artfire.com/users/JimJuris #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:39 Yellow Rose - A wide variety of fabrics, patterns and notions for your sewing needs - bit.! ly/p1vnfH - #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:14 Baron Rollerball in Afzelia Burl - t.co/VrcRUZW - my item of the week. Contact me for a coupon for 10% off. #handmade #artfire #
  • 17:20 Michelle Parker and her artwork www.knotwyrks.com will be at Armadillocon's Art Show this year www.armadillocon.org #
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7.20.2011

The day's tweets

  • 10:46 Rita Keller's artwork will be at Armadillocon's Art Show this year www.armadillocon.org #conventions #
  • 11:05 Nancy Cagle and her art will be at ArmadilloCon www.armadillocon.org/ again this year #conventions #
  • 13:08 Wood A Plenty - Clocks, boxes, home decor, toys and games. All out of wood www.artfire.com/users/WoodAPlenty #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:11 JimJuris - Unique matted photos, photo notecards, photo editing and SEO information www.artfire.com/users/JimJuris #handmade #artfi! re #
  • 15:39 Yellow Rose - A wide variety of fabrics, patterns and notions for your sewing needs - bit.ly/p1vnfH - #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:12 Baron Rollerball in Afzelia Burl - t.co/VrcRUZW - my item of the week. Contact me for a coupon for 10% off. #handmade #artfire #
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7.19.2011

Weekend update

Friday:

No aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Aikido
Dinner with K and K at Durango's
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Sunday:

Blueberry pancakes
In the shop for a bit.  Worked on pens and Darth Vader's bread peel

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 7/16/11

Aikido players:  Tim, Trey (yay!), Brad, and Sal

Ukemi:

Full 12-fall warmup

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

I worked with Brad on the releases.

Techniques:

Watched Brad and Sal work on 1-5 together.

Trey and I worked on the standing portion of Koryu Dai San.  I stunk up the joint.  Number 1 (Kote Mawashi), as usual, and #2 (Uchi Tenkai Nage) were not that great.  Trey did pretty well, especially as he's been off of the mat for a while.

Aftermath:

None of note.

Volleyball, 1-2

A late (8:30) game last night. We got stomped the first game, won the second game and did ok the third game. I wonder if it would make sense to have me serve first most games? I seem to win a number of points, against some opponents, without getting a return back.

Next week is the last week of the regular season. Playoffs follow the week after.

The day's tweets

  • 08:23 PUCKLEBERRY - Artfire Crazy Train - Custom Monogrammed Bows, Kids Kitchen Accessories and other items #handmade #artfire bit.ly/r4Jq0 #
  • 10:06 Yellow Rose - A wide variety of fabrics, patterns and notions for your sewing needs - bit.ly/p1vnfH - #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:08 Wood A Plenty - Clocks, boxes, home decor, toys and games. All out of wood www.artfire.com/users/WoodAPlenty #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:16 JimJuris - Unique matted photos, photo notecards, photo editing and SEO information www.artfire.! com/users/JimJuris #handmade #artfire #
  • 16:13 Baron Rollerball in Afzelia Burl - t.co/VrcRUZW - my item of the week. Contact me for a coupon for 10% off. #handmade #artfire #
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7.18.2011

Artfire - Item of the week - Baron Rollerball in Afzelia Burl

My item of the week until July 27 is a Baron Rollerball turned out of Afzelia Burl.  The scientific name is Afzelia zylocarpa and it is commonly known as Makamong burl in Southeast Asia.  A beautiful burl that is rare on the World Market.  Similar in appearance to Amboyna burl Afzelia burl has more varied figure in burl form.


 It has a nice heft to it and is probably a good size for a man's hand. The cap for this pen screws onto the cap to close the pen, or to the end of the barrel to keep it close while writing. This pen takes Hauser refills.


Contact me for a coupon for 10% off the purchase price until July 27.  Below are a few pictures of it






Artfire - Featured Shop - The Beer Soap Co.

Ok, this is just impossible to pass up for the beer lover in your life.  If you can't find a new beer for them as they've drunk them all, how about a soap for them based on their favorite type of beer?  The Beer Soap Co. has 110 varieties of beer soap, each made with a different beer and a different scent. The beers are from around the world and, possibly, from your neighborhood.

They've got soaps based on: ales, bocks, dunkels, lagers, malts, pilsners, porters, and trappists.  They also have solid colognes.  Take a look at some of the items from their shop below:

Sam Adams Imperial Stout:




Fosters Australian Lager:


Winter Ale Solid Cologne:

The day's tweets

  • 08:30 MRDesigns - If your lady likes bling, choose any of the original designs in this shop. bit.ly/nKx1AJ #handmade #artfire #
  • 10:32 Dryad Studios - Dryad Studios handcrafts Arts and Crafts, Mission, and Mackintosh style furniture. - bit.ly/rkdxKo #handmade #artfire #
  • 11:06 Nancy Cagle and her art will be at ArmadilloCon www.armadillocon.org/ again this year #conventions #
  • 13:33 Wolf Creek Millworks - We process, mill, and work recycled timber into home decor. bit.ly/oCEygw #handmade #artfire #
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7.17.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:21 LA DE DA CREATIONS - Artfire Crazy Train - find that unique and maybe some what bizarre gift. #handmade #artfire bit.ly/ncRUCO #
  • 08:31 MRDesigns - If your lady likes bling, choose any of the original designs in this shop. bit.ly/nKx1AJ #handmade #artfire #
  • 10:30 Dryad Studios - Dryad Studios handcrafts Arts and Crafts, Mission, and Mackintosh style furniture. - bit.ly/rkdxKo #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:34 Wolf Creek Millworks - We process, mill, and work recycled timber into home decor. bit.ly/oCEygw #handmade #artfire #
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7.16.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:30 MRDesigns - If your lady likes bling, choose any of the original designs in this shop. bit.ly/nKx1AJ #handmade #artfire #
  • 10:31 Dryad Studios - Dryad Studios handcrafts Arts and Crafts, Mission, and Mackintosh style furniture. - bit.ly/rkdxKo #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:34 Wolf Creek Millworks - We process, mill, and work recycled timber into home decor. bit.ly/oCEygw #handmade #artfire #
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7.15.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:19 DIXIE DAZZLE - Artfire Crazy Train - Bracelets, Earrings, Necklaces, Pendants, Supplies #handmade #artfire bit.ly/pZRr5g #
  • 08:31 MRDesigns - If your lady likes bling, choose any of the original designs in this shop. bit.ly/nKx1AJ #handmade #artfire #
  • 10:30 Dryad Studios - Dryad Studios handcrafts Arts and Crafts, Mission, and Mackintosh style furniture. - bit.ly/rkdxKo #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:33 Wolf Creek Millworks - We process, mill, and work recycled timber into home decor. bit.ly/oCEygw #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:34 Sierra style click pen in Red/Black Box Elder Burl - my item of the week on artfire - t.co/FAhv17c - contact me for 10% off #handmade #
  • 15:36 Rocky Kelley and his art www.rockykelley.com/ will be at ArmadilloCon www.armadillocon.org/ again this year #conventions #
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7.14.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:30 MRDesigns - If your lady likes bling, choose any of the original designs in this shop. bit.ly/nKx1AJ #handmade #artfire #
  • 10:30 Dryad Studios - Dryad Studios handcrafts Arts and Crafts, Mission, and Mackintosh style furniture. - bit.ly/rkdxKo #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:34 Wolf Creek Millworks - We process, mill, and work recycled timber into home decor. bit.ly/oCEygw #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:35 Sierra style click pen in Red/Black Box Elder Burl - my item of the week on artfire - t.co/FAhv17c - contact me for 10% off #handmade #
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7.13.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:31 MRDesigns - If your lady likes bling, choose any of the original designs in this shop. bit.ly/nKx1AJ #handmade #artfire #
  • 10:30 Dryad Studios - Dryad Studios handcrafts Arts and Crafts, Mission, and Mackintosh style furniture. - bit.ly/rkdxKo #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:33 Wolf Creek Millworks - We process, mill, and work recycled timber into home decor. bit.ly/oCEygw #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:34 Sierra style click pen in Red/Black Box Elder Burl - my item of the week on artfire - t.co/FAhv17c - contact me for 10% off #handmade #
  • 15:36 Rocky Kelley and his art www.rockykelley.com/ will be at ArmadilloCon www.armadillocon.org/ again this year #conventions #
  • 17:31 AMBERS HAND - Artfire Crazy Train - Gifts for: Weddings, Engagements, Birthdays.#handmade #artfire bit.ly/37AVX #
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7.12.2011

Lunching out - Molino Blanco

I'd seen a report, this past Friday, that Tookies had reopened and planned on going to lunch there. At the last minute, a co-worker told me that Tookies had not opened, so I was left without a planned destination. I reverted to Molino Blanco, my restaurant of choice if I don't want to travel to Durango's.

The sign on the building said they were under new management, and boy were they. I got the feeling that they had opened up just that morning. They had a limited number of menus (4?) and were in desperate need of $1 bills.

Besides that trouble with the operation, the food had gone downhill. The green sauce was not nearly as good, the fajitas were pretty bad, and the enchilada was even worse. Unfortunately, it was bad enough that I won't be going back. I'll take the extra time to go to Durango's

Here is a picture of the meal:

Lunching out - Lupe Tortilla's

A couple of weeks ago I finally made it out to Lupe Tortilla's on Bay Area.  It's been there a while, but it just did not hold much appeal for me.  Too chain-y.

And, after dining there, it is too chain-y.  I did not properly record my opinions at the time, but it just was not very memorable.

I think the salsa verde was below par, the red salsa was decent.  Fresh, if I recall correctly.

The green sauce for the enchiladas was not sharp enough for my tastes.  They did get the order right and left off the sour cream.  The Tes Leches cake was ho-hum, but that may just be my relationship with Tres Leches.  I don't think I've ever encountered a version that I was ecstatic about.

I don't plan on returning, but I'm not averse to if someone else wants to go.

Below are the pictures of my meal:



Volleyball 3-0, 0-3

We played a double-header last night. The first match was against the co-op team that really should not be playing in the league. The second match was against the first place team. They had a fabulous lady hitter. I still have seam marks (14 hours later) from one of the spikes of hers that I attempted to return.

Still, a fun night overall.

The day's tweets

  • 08:29 MRDesigns - If your lady likes bling, choose any of the original designs in this shop. bit.ly/nKx1AJ #handmade #artfire #
  • 10:31 Dryad Studios - Dryad Studios handcrafts Arts and Crafts, Mission, and Mackintosh style furniture. - bit.ly/rkdxKo #handmade #artfire #
  • 13:35 Wolf Creek Millworks - We process, mill, and work recycled timber into home decor. bit.ly/oCEygw #handmade #artfire #
  • 15:35 Sierra style click pen in Red/Black Box Elder Burl - my item of the week on artfire - t.co/FAhv17c - contact me for 10% off #handmade #
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7.11.2011

Artfire - Item of the week - Sierra click pen in red/black Box Elder Burl

My item of the week is a Sierra style click pen, with a satin finish, turned out of Red and Black dyed Box Elder Burl.  Contact me for a coupon for 10% off of the price of the pen:





Weekend update

Friday

Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry pancakes
Aikido
Dinner at Durango's
Started Cheese danishes for Sunday

Sunday

More viewings of Harry Potter movies
More work on Cheese danishes
Over to V.'s to see Z. and L.

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 07/09/11

Aikido players:  Tim, Brad, Dan, Marvin, and Gail

Ukemi:

None.  Giving my knees a bit of a rest.  Watched over Gail, Dan and Marvin

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

I worked with Marvin Dan on the releases.  We did some good work on 1-6 both sides.

Techniques:

We spent some time working on Shomen-ate.  They made some good progress.

Aftermath:

Knees are still sore, trying to baby them as much as I can.

Aikido Friday Night - 07/08/11

Aikido players:  Tim, Dan, and Marvin

Ukemi:

None.  Giving my knees a bit of a rest

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

I worked with Marvin and Dan on the releases

Techniques:

I don't recall, unfortunately.

Aftermath:

Knees are still sore, trying to baby them as much as I can.

Artfire - Featured Shop - Wood Expressions

Reginald Stanley is the proprietor of Wood Expressions on artfire.com.  He produces some really neat natural edge, clean edge, and burnt edge bowls.  He does plates, platters, vases and boxes as well.  The woods he uses the most in his shop are chestnut, elm, and hackberry.

His wife takes care of the web site, shipping and paper work and he gets the fun part of making a whole lot of sawdust.  He uses turning as a creative outlet for me after working all week in Bridge Construction.

He, and I, find that the end result of a turning is a constant surprise.  The wood changes from one revolution on the lathe to the next.

Most of the woods Reginald turns are from local trees that died, damaged by a storm or firewood piles. After going to a number of woodturning shows, he's been inspired to start putting decorative texturing and dye on some of my piece for a more fascinating effect.

The finishes on the pieces vary from one to the next, but most bowls and plates are food safe oiled, waxed and buffed so they can be used for food. Vases, boxes and decorative things may have many coats of Lacquer to get a high sheen.

Give his items a look.  they're well worth it:




The day's tweets

  • 08:30 Twisted Strands - twisted wire pendants, earrings, rings, and sets #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/TwistedStrands #
  • 10:34 Stil Novo Designs - eco-friendly home decor & gifts made by recycling reclaimed oak wine barrels #handmade #artfire bit.ly/jZrYyC #
  • 14:35 C Newcomb - Scroll saw and lathe work to provide gifts for anyone imaginable #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/cnewcomb #
  • 16:39 Cigar style pen in Box Elder Burl - my item of the week. Contact me for 10% off #artfire #handmade t.co/rS75ejj #
  • 17:32 PINE RIDGE TREASURES - Artfire Crazy Train - bit.ly/nfFgQV - beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings - #handmade #artfire #
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7.10.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:29 Twisted Strands - twisted wire pendants, earrings, rings, and sets #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/TwistedStrands #
  • 10:34 Stil Novo Designs - eco-friendly home decor & gifts made by recycling reclaimed oak wine barrels #handmade #artfire bit.ly/jZrYyC #
  • 14:38 C Newcomb - Scroll saw and lathe work to provide gifts for anyone imaginable #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/cnewcomb #
  • 16:39 Cigar style pen in Box Elder Burl - my item of the week. Contact me for 10% off #artfire #handmade t.co/rS75ejj #
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7.09.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:31 Twisted Strands - twisted wire pendants, earrings, rings, and sets #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/TwistedStrands #
  • 10:32 Stil Novo Designs - eco-friendly home decor & gifts made by recycling reclaimed oak wine barrels #handmade #artfire bit.ly/jZrYyC #
  • 14:35 C Newcomb - Scroll saw and lathe work to provide gifts for anyone imaginable #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/cnewcomb #
  • 16:39 Cigar style pen in Box Elder Burl - my item of the week. Contact me for 10% off #artfire #handmade t.co/rS75ejj #
  • 16:45 Bev Hale - www.bevhale.com/ - will have her steampunk goodies at the Armadillocon Art Show again this year #convention #
  • 17:29 POOR YORICK DESIGNS - Artfire Crazy Train - bit.ly/nIhVRS - handmade and vintage jewelry #handmade #artfire #
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7.08.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:31 Twisted Strands - twisted wire pendants, earrings, rings, and sets #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/TwistedStrands #
  • 10:35 Stil Novo Designs - eco-friendly home decor & gifts made by recycling reclaimed oak wine barrels #handmade #artfire bit.ly/jZrYyC #
  • 14:34 C Newcomb - Scroll saw and lathe work to provide gifts for anyone imaginable #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/cnewcomb #
  • 16:38 Cigar style pen in Box Elder Burl - my item of the week. Contact me for 10% off #artfire #handmade t.co/rS75ejj #
  • 16:42 Marjorie Ferrell will display her art work at the Armadillocon Art Show this year! #convention #
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7.07.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:29 Twisted Strands - twisted wire pendants, earrings, rings, and sets #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/TwistedStrands #
  • 10:32 Stil Novo Designs - eco-friendly home decor & gifts made by recycling reclaimed oak wine barrels #handmade #artfire bit.ly/jZrYyC #
  • 14:35 C Newcomb - Scroll saw and lathe work to provide gifts for anyone imaginable #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/cnewcomb #
  • 16:41 Cigar style pen in Box Elder Burl - my item of the week. Contact me for 10% off #artfire #handmade t.co/rS75ejj #
  • 17:26 ARTISTIC SOUL DESIGNS - Artfire Crazy Train - bit.ly/oa1cDq - Handmade accessories for women, children and home #handmade #artfire #
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7.06.2011

Weekend update

Friday

Aikido

Saturday

Blueberry muffins
Aikido
Dinner at Friendswood's "The Gathering"
Started Focaccia for Sunday

Sunday

Blueberry pancakes
Started work on Hamburger buns for the evening
Mixed up hamburgers for grilling later
Baked focaccia and hamburger buns
Grilled burgers and chicken for dinner

Monday

Started work on another batch of hamburger buns, as I was disappointed in the first batch
Over to Mom's for 4th hot dogs, etc.
Watched some fireworks on TV at the in-laws

The day's tweets

  • 08:29 Twisted Strands - twisted wire pendants, earrings, rings, and sets #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/TwistedStrands #
  • 10:32 Stil Novo Designs - eco-friendly home decor & gifts made by recycling reclaimed oak wine barrels #handmade #artfire bit.ly/jZrYyC #
  • 14:34 C Newcomb - Scroll saw and lathe work to provide gifts for anyone imaginable #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/cnewcomb #
  • 16:41 Cigar style pen in Box Elder Burl - my item of the week. Contact me for 10% off #artfire #handmade t.co/rS75ejj #
  • 16:45 Bev Hale - www.bevhale.com/ - will have her steampunk goodies at the Armadillocon Art Show again this year #convention #
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7.05.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:29 Twisted Strands - twisted wire pendants, earrings, rings, and sets #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/TwistedStrands #
  • 10:32 Stil Novo Designs - eco-friendly home decor & gifts made by recycling reclaimed oak wine barrels #handmade #artfire bit.ly/jZrYyC #
  • 14:35 C Newcomb - Scroll saw and lathe work to provide gifts for anyone imaginable #handmade #artfire www.artfire.com/users/cnewcomb #
  • 16:46 Cigar style pen in Box Elder Burl - my item of the week. Contact me for 10% off #artfire #handmade t.co/rS75ejj #
  • 16:48 Marjorie Ferrell will display her art work at the Armadillocon Art Show this year! #convention #
  • 21:37 JILLS TREASURE CHEST - Artfire Crazy Train - handmade jewelry and ceramic items #handmade #artfire bit.ly/37AVX #
  • 00:30 Chris Dame will be showing his artwork 8thdayanime.com/ at Armadillocon this year www.armadillocon.org/ #convention #
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7.04.2011

Artfire - Item of the week - Box Elder Burl Cigar pen

This is a cigar style pen turned out of a clear, stabilized box elder burl blank with black chrome hardware. It has a nice heft to it and is probably a good size for a man's hand. This has a double-twist mechanism (twist clockwise or counter clockwise), and uses parker refills.  As my item of the week, I'm offering 10% off.  Contact me for coupon code.



Artfire - Featured Shop - Becky Helmer Designs

Becky is a transplant from Pittsburgh to Lubbock who discovered, while her husband was at rehearsal for a local theatre, that she could and enjoyed making jewelry.  Below you'll find some of her creations from her selection of rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets at Becky Helmer Designs.





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The day's tweets

  • 08:17 CCTexanLuxe - Jewelry featuring precious and semi-precious stones - sapphires, emeralds, and others #handmade #artfire bit.ly/cw3Tq2 #
  • 11:31 WoodExpressions - Decorative texturing on bowls, plates and vases for unique woodturned items. #handmade #artfire - bit.ly/cw3Tq2 #
  • 15:29 RickDerWitsch - High quality prints of rural countryside scenes - #handmade #artfire - bit.ly/cw3Tq2 #
  • 17:32 Carbara style pen in Sunset Orange Spalted Maple - my item of the week - contact me for 10% off - #artfire #handmade t.co/LVxwjMq #
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7.03.2011

Aikido Saturday Afternoon - 07/02/11

Aikido players:  Tim and Dan

Ukemi:

Full set of twelve.

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

I worked with Dan.  He still has the trouble with the fifth release.  the others he's doing pretty well on.

Techniques:

The plan was to run through 1-5 of Ju Nana Hon Kata.  We managed to get through 4.  We spent a lot of time on the left side for #3 and then finished on the right side for number 4.

Aftermath:

Very sore knees, for some unknown reason.  The problem from Friday night was not so pronounced.

Aikido Friday Night - 07/01/11

Aikido players:  Tim, Sal, Dan, Marvin and Gail

Ukemi:

Full set of twelve.

The Walk:

Twice, as usual.

Releases:

I worked with Marvin and Gail on trying to get the first three releases on the right side.  It was not a good night for me teaching-wise.  I felt like I was losing my patience.

Techniques:

We did a little work on shomen-ate.  They were managing the technique, but there are, as always, a host of things to work on.

Aftermath:

I stretched a ligament or something.  The inside of my right knee caused me a bit of pain later on.

The day's tweets

  • 08:18 CCTexanLuxe - Jewelry featuring precious and semi-precious stones - sapphires, emeralds, and others #handmade #artfire bit.ly/cw3Tq2 #
  • 11:27 WoodExpressions - Decorative texturing on bowls, plates and vases for unique woodturned items. #handmade #artfire - bit.ly/cw3Tq2 #
  • 15:28 RickDerWitsch - High quality prints of rural countryside scenes - #handmade #artfire - bit.ly/cw3Tq2 #
  • 16:45 Bev Hale - www.bevhale.com/ - will have her steampunk goodies at the Armadillocon Art Show again this year #convention #
  • 17:32 Carbara style pen in Sunset Orange Spalted Maple - my item of the week - contact me for 10% off - #artfire #handmade t.co/LVxwjMq #
  • 19:11 Chris Dame will be showing his artwork 8thdayanime.com/ at Armadillocon this year www.armadillocon.org/ #convention #
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7.02.2011

The day's tweets

  • 08:18 CCTexanLuxe - Jewelry featuring precious and semi-precious stones - sapphires, emeralds, and others #handmade #artfire bit.ly/cw3Tq2 #
  • 11:27 WoodExpressions - Decorative texturing on bowls, plates and vases for unique woodturned items. #handmade #artfire - bit.ly/cw3Tq2 #
  • 15:29 RickDerWitsch - High quality prints of rural countryside scenes - #handmade #artfire - bit.ly/cw3Tq2 #
  • 16:43 Marjorie Ferrell will display her art work at the Armadillocon Art Show this year! #convention #
  • 17:31 Carbara style pen in Sunset Orange Spalted Maple - my item of the week - contact me for 10% off - #artfire #handmade t.co/LVxwjMq #
  • 19:43 Jim Humble - www.humblestudios.com/ - will have his art in the Armadillocon Art Show for the second year! #convention #
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7.01.2011

Welcome to Gandalf, the new Ford in our stable

Given a number of considerations, last week we decided we needed a new-to-us vehicle.  Kim and her parents did some test sitting to narrow down the models I would choose from.  I then sat in the two models that they had winnowed the field down to, and decided on the Ford Flex.

This vehicle is going to allow all four of us to travel comfortably and allows easy exit and entry for Kim's parents.

The cost of a new one was far outside of our budget.  The cost of a used one stretched us further than I would have liked.  We went with our usual dealer, McRee, and our usual saleswoman.

From start to finish, the car search took about 6 days.  I expect the car to be in our family for 15 years or more.

Without further ado, here is Gandalf:











Aikido Thursday Night - 6/30/11

Aikido players: Tim and Troy.

Techniques:

I ran through 7 of the 8 of the standing portion of Koryu Dai San.  Any guess as to which one we left out?  Kote Kajiki.  We took it easy on Troy's back.

I had, as usual, trouble with the first one.  My punch and footwork just never get synched the first few times through.

I ran through 5 of the defensive jo techniques., and they came off pretty well.

I ran through 5 of the offensive jo techniques, and they came off pretty well, too.

1. Migigawa-ryote-junte-tori

Uke grabs the jo on his left, tori's right as tori jabs. Tori extends the jo over uke's right 4th toe, causing him to take a right-sided roll-out

2. Migigawa-ryote-junte-tori (ok, the technique has the same name as the previous one, according to Higoshi's book, what's up with that?)

This is a counter to a resistance to the first version.

Uke grabs the jo on his left, tori's right as tori jabs. Tori attempts to extend the jo over uke's right 4th toe, but uke resists. This allows tori to withdraw the jo and re-thrust it to uke's back, causing uke, to rotate around with crossed hands. Tori then extends the jo over uke's left 4th toe, causing him to take left-sided roll-out

3. Migigawa-ryote-junte-tori

This one is a counter to a resistance to the second version

Uke grabs the jo on his left, tori's right as tori jabs. Tori attempts to extend the jo over uke's right 4th toe, but uke resists. This allows tori to withdraw the jo and re-thrust it to uke's back, causing uke, to rotate around with crossed hands. Tori then extends the jo over uke's left 4th toe, but uke resists this off-balance and pushes back on the jo.

Tori then accomodates uke, and moves the jo back to the original side of uke. In the process, tori is going to circle to his left, keeping downward pressure on the jo with his left hand and putting the tip of the jo on the outside of uke's right wrist. Also, while doing that, the butt end of the jo, in tori's right hand, will make a counter-clockwise motion to create more of an off-balance. At the end of this maneuver, tori's body ends up parallel to the jo and he then moves forward, toward uke, causing uke to take a back fall.

4. Hidarigawa-ryote-junte-tori

Uke grabs the jo on his right, tori's left as tori jabs. Uke suspects the first technique, only the from the opposite side, and, instead of countering as he would for technique #2, raises the jo above his head with both hands. Tori responds by moving parallel to uke and raising his end of the jo about chest high, with the left hand ending up a little higher than the right hand. From the posture, tori extends uke over uke's left 4th toe causing him to take a left-sided rollout. While in the midst of extending that off-balance, tori does a little right hand wrist curl (as we do in mae-otoshi of Ju Nana Hon Kata) to inspire a more effective off-balance.

5. Migigawa-ryote-junte-tori

Uke grabs the jo on his left, tori's right. Uke suspects the first technique and, instead of countering as he would for technique #2, raises the jo above his head with both hands. Tori responds by rotating, while uke is raising the jo, counter-clockwise 3/4 of a turn and raising the jo so that he can pass under it. This results in a similar off-balance to #4 and a similar left-sided roll-out.

6. Hidarigawa-ryote-junte-tori

Uke grabs the jo on his right, tori's left as tori jabs. Uke suspects the first technique, only the from the opposite side, and, instead of countering as he would for technique #2, raises the jo above his head with both hands. Tori responds by rotating clockwise under the jo, pushing out and up on the jo at the same time. The butt end of the jo will not move much, resulting in tori ending up in a cross-hand grip. Tori then drops the jo behind uke's neck, while extending uke back, causing uke to take a back fall. Tori rotates 1/4 turn counterclockwise to keep uke from hitting his head on the jo.

We then ran Troy through 1-5 of Ju Nana Han Kata, both sides, before we ran out of time.

Aftermath:

None of note.