Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas montage

A fetching Christmas package from my younger sister's family.

Opening presents...

These creche figures look slightly Chinese. They are from China...

The kids love to decorate sugar cookies the day before Christmas.

" Bassenian said he doesn't take lightly the task of creating a built-in environment for people millions of miles away."

All I can say is, I hope Bassenian doesn't design anything requiring lots (or actually any) math.

The title quote is from an interesting story about suburbs in foreign countries.

Architects create American-style suburbs overseas

Dec 26 01:01 PM US/Eastern


Associated Press Writer

Friday, December 26, 2008

Roast Beef Sandwich Au Jus

I love the period between Christmas and New Year's Day.

There are lots of days off to have a relaxing lunch at home and there is an ingredient available for a really great classic sandwich.

We normally will have a prime rib roast of beef for Christmas dinner, this is the perfect cut for Roast Beef Sandwich Au Jus.

It is simple to make: Just slice beef and place between bread. The hardest part is making the broth. Instant bouillon is easy and plenty good, but it is best is to use actual drippings from the roast itself.

A meal of sandwich, broth and either a beer or hard cider is perfection on a cold Winter day. Especially if one has just spent time out of doors skiing or sledding or splitting firewood.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Massive shoe buy...

I like to purchase several pairs of running shoes per visit to the store. It saves me time and by wearing lots of different shoes, I hope to stave-off injury.

I got such a deal at Kohl's

I had a 30% off coupon that they sent me in the mail and that was all the motive I needed. The nice thing was that all the shoes were on sale.

The list price for all five was $309.96, but since they were all on sale it came to $211.91, then the 30% discount brought it to $148.33.

But it gets even better: I also got a $30 coupon good for anything in the store on my next visit, so effectively the total is $118.43 for one pair each of; Nike, newbalance, Fila, Avia and asics. I should be good right into the heart of Summer.

ADDED: I haven't been running much, what with ice storms, snow storms, broken-down dogs and broken-down cars. Maybe new shoes will get me out the door. Two pair will be for the office, two for runs originating from home and one held in reserve in case a pair doesn't work-out.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A nice salad

1. Layout romaine lettuce and red onion on each plate.

2. Sprinkle on some cranberry sauce, garnish the edges with some nice olives and dress with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

3. Add heated roast duck, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Throw on a few candied walnuts and crumble Stilton cheese over the top.

5. Enjoy with some nice artisan bread.

Note: You may notice from the picture that there is another ingredient present but not listed. We like a bit of heat, so there are sliced cherry peppers in ours.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Science and distant relatives

Over the past weekend I had the pleasure of spending some time with relatives of my wife. A couple that I met for the first time, I had a lot to talk about: The husband is a scientist at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and so it was a great chance for me to talk science. I have been out of research for 7 years, so he probably didn't get anything out of it, but I learned a lot and really enjoyed our conversations. The wife has a lot in common with me too. She just took up marathon running and is working on an MBA. I finished mine a while ago, but we still had lots of notes to compare.

Oh, also their twin girls are the same age as our youngest girl and my sister had twin girls; so there was lots of kid-stuff to talk about. So just what do I mean by distant relatives? Okay, here is how they are related...

Step 1. My wife's cousin: Me to my wife, then her to her mom, her mom to a sibling and then that sibling to her daughter (The Cousin).

Step 2. The cousin's husband.

Step 3. The husband's sister is the wife from above and of course, her husband is the scientist.

If you count it all up, there are 7 degrees of separation between me and the scientist. I am pretty sure there is a shorter path too: When I worked for Affymetrix I dealt with scientists at Roswell Park, so that would be only 2 or three degrees of separation.

In The Land of Coincidence

The other day I noted how I ran into my next-door neighbor at the hardware store. He was his usual cheery self and gave me some sound plumbing advice. Now, a few days later I met his ex-wife for the first time.

There were three of us in the vet's procedure room, plus the dog. While the doctor was off preparing a debridment solution of betadine and sucrose, the assistant and I were chatting. I was telling her how we were staying at our in-laws due to the power outage and their house is set very close to a busy road--which Meenah chose to dash across. Then I started-in with how our road is a dead-end and the houses are far back from the road. She said, "Oh yes, I know. My son lives next door to you." Given her apparent age, I figured she was the mom of the boy next door, not the man. So, I replied, "So, you must be xxx's ex-wife"? Yes.

Small world.