Monday, November 30, 2009

Project Warm-a-Pup

When we're at work, Yuki is normally left in his outdoor dog run. But with Winter approaching and Yuki getting long in the tooth, I have growing concerns about how much cold the animal can endure. To assist in this matter, I devised a plan to insulate Yuki's dogloo using a blanket, a large staple gun, and some industrial strength velcro.

I plastered half of the velcro all over the underbelly of the dogloo's roof. Then I stuck and stapled the other half of the velcro to one side of a blanket which I had cut in a circle.

I then stuck the blanket onto the interior roof and walls of the dogloo. After the blanket was secured, I cut out a door sized piece of blanket, cut strips in it, and velcroed it into the door.

This is not a pretty job, but it seems like it'll be very warm. My main concern for failure is that the sticky back on the velcro might fail causing the blanket to fall on Yuki's head. This is, however, an acceptable risk.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Yuki Gets Crack at Turkey Carcass

Yuki behaved himself all day as we prepared and ate the Thanksgiving dinner. To reward his good behavior, I decided to let him have a go at the turkey carcass after I had picked most of the meat off of it.

Yuki did enjoy the carcass, but I became concerned that he would ingest some sharp bones so I cut his fun off a little short. Regardless, it will go down as one of Yuki's better days.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This turkey snap comes from earlier in the year (April) when mating season was in full force for the birds. Hopefully this guy isn't on someone's table!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Very Special Christmas 7

In order to keep the tradition going, someone (preferably Robert) should buy the new "A Very Special Christmas" disc which hit stores Tuesday. Dad will take particular interest in track number five, which is a reggae version of his favorite "The Little Drummer Boy".

Monday, November 23, 2009

Amazon Lightning Deals - Blood Diamond for $2 - Few people give a rip...

Amazon is now offering their "Lightning Deals". Kind of a 5 days of Black Friday type thing. Many of them sell out fairly quickly. It is interesting to see which ones don't.

One such loser is the movie Blood Diamond for $2 which seemed to draw a collective yawn from America.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yuki Destroys Fake Tree

We had a new roof put on our house this week. When the crew showed up, we were at work and Yuki was in his outdoor kennel. It seems Yuki took exception to the strange men in his yard. He reacted by totally destroying the base of the fake tree that has been in his kennel for many months without incident.

That night, I took Yuki for his normal walk around the neighborhood. It just happened to be the night before trash day, and as luck would have it, we stumbled upon another very similar fake tree that had been placed by someone's garbage can. That's the same way I found the original fake tree! Yuki didn't have to go even one day without a nice fake tree in his kennel! Hopefully he won't destroy the new one.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Waffle Cookie Revisited

You should read my previous post entitled 'Waffle Cookie Success'. Using the receipe and waffle iron described there, I tested different cooking times. Too long, the cookie is overly crunchy or even burned. Too short, it can be gummy and very tough to get out of the iron in one piece. I had the best results using 2 minutes 45 seconds with 21 grams (3/4 ounce) of dough. This is a rounded teaspoonful. After this time, open the iron, turn it over, and shake the cookies (4 of them in quarters of the little Belgian iron) onto the counter. Let them cool for a few minutes before you try to handle them. This makes a good cookie, crunchier than the normal chip cookie because of the waffle indentations.

The California Coffee Scene

A few months ago Steph came home with a fancy new coffee maker. It is a Keurig and features single cup coffee "pods". They call them K-cups. It can make tea and iced beverages as well and all in all is pretty cool. I certainly have gone from drinking almost no coffee to having a cup or two on the week-ends.

One unexpected development since we got this new coffee maker is Jack's insistence on making the coffee. He can pretty much do all the steps as evidenced in the below video.

Monday, November 16, 2009

World's Tallest Telescoping Style Signpost

It's a not so well known fact that the Burger King in Cozad, NE features the world's tallest telescoping style signpost. At least, it did at one point. Driving by Cozad today, I decided to snap some long overdue pics of the famed signpost. I also went inside the Burger King, and was saddened to discover that the mini museum to the signpost that used to be in the lobby is now gone. I asked an employee about it, and he looked at me like I was an idiot. Fortunately, an older woman who had apparently worked at the store for a long time was familiar with the signpost's lore. She said they had taken the mini museum down a few years ago, but she wasn't sure why. She figured it was because they had built a taller telescoping style signpost somewhere else. A search of the web has yielded no additional information. That means that this blog post will have to stand as the only permanent recognition of this great telescoping style signpost.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Husker's Sell Out Streak to End???

Surely not - but I stumbled across this on the Nebraska football site.

White Whale Located, Captured

I've got plenty of KU t-shirts, but try as I might, I could never find a black one. This was unfortunate, since black is my favorite t-shirt color. This weekend though, I finally found some nice looking KU tees in black:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Black Friday Ads

The leaking has started. Looks like getting up early and heading to Best Buy is your ticket if you want a quality Garmin Nuvi GPS.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jack's Class Picture

Jack's first class picture has arrived!

They still struggled with getting the boy to smile...but he doesn't look quite as "mobster" as his last picture.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Waffle Cookie Success

After some false starts, I had waffle cookie success.

The Batter
From an old Joy of Cooking, with modifications.
Whisk together:
1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Beat until fluffy and well-blended
1 stick unsalted cow butter from a cow
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
Add and beat until well blended:
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla (no cheap stuff)
Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well blended.
Stir in:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecan pieces
To bake (this is tricky. Undercook falls to bits, overcook burns.):
I used a new little round Black and Decker Belgian waffle iron. 20 bucks on
sale at Kohls. Brush with cooking oil, and heat the iron. Put a big heaping teaspoonful into each quarter of the iron. Press closed, and bake for four and a half minutes. This will vary for different irons. Open the iron, turn it over, and dump the cookies onto a plate. Don't try to dig them out with a fork. They will be very soft, so let them cool a little before handling.
When cool, they have full chocolate cookie flavor plus a nice waffle crunch that
Mom's cookies never had.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Waffle Iron Cookie: Fail!!!

I started out with Nestlé Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and the waffle iron on a medium temperature setting.

I placed fairly flat average sized portions of cookie dough into the iron after giving it a spritz of cooking spray to make sure the treats wouldn't stick. I let the cookies cook for exactly 90 seconds.

They looked good, but simply wouldn't come out of the iron in solid pieces. They began to burn on the bottom. Fail!!!

It's possible you could use a cooler iron and let them cook a little less time and then pull the plug and allow the cookies to cool in the iron and harden a bit so you could pull them out easier. It may be that the store-bought cookie dough was the reason for the failure. In the end, it doesn't matter. This will be my first and last waffle cookie experiment.

Wafffle Iron Cookies

The following out of Fine Cooking Magazine. Waffle iron cookies. Erin is a doubter. I want to try it. Maybe Dad or Robert will give it a shot as well and report back to the blog.

"We don't have a waffle iron. It's one of those small appliances that's only good for one thing, and we don't eat that one thing often enough to warrant owning one.
But if we could use it to make cookies? Maybe we'd reconsider.
We saw this tip at Fine Cooking and were immediately intrigued. Crispy, chewy, thick oatmeal chocolate chip cookies baked in 90 seconds, just like a waffle." -The Kitchen Blog citing Fine Cooking Magazine referencing a cookbook called Dessert Express

One of the Drawbacks of Living in California...

We get an overdose of Pac-10 football. While almost all of the country gets Nebraska - Oklahoma on Saturday we get USC v. Arizona State. And the big local game? Sacramento State vs. University of California at Davis...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Double-Dipper Tofu Sticks!

My guess would be you don't get tofu coupons or recipe suggestions in the Sunday coupon sections in Arkansas and Nebraska! Frying it up and putting it on a stick is certainly a step in the right direction though.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A short tale at Twitter length.

Joe-Bob and Lisa met in Rome. They soon married. She sold her baby, and he used the money to buy a Maserati. Shortly thereafter, he took the car and left her alone forever.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Jack's Halloween Haul

This was Jack's first Halloween where he got to go trick-or-treating. We met up with our friends who live in a friendly neighborhood for that sort of thing (this nieghborhood would be high on Zillow's Trick-or-Treat Housing Index).

Jack's first house ever was interesting in that he really didn't know what to do exactly despite some of our coaching and practicing over the course of October. When the door opened he bolted through and proceeded to run through their kitchen and out into their living room. I finally caught him and escorted him back out where he scored his first piece of candy. He caught on quickly after a few houses and came home with the following:

By far, the most popular candies given out in this neighborhood were the Hershey's bar and the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. You can see he scored two "full sized" treats. Someone also give him a Pomegranate. He really don't know he was supposed to eat the candy so we didn't run into the problem of him trying to eat all of his candy.

Here's Jack and Granny walking along the route.

Here are Jack and his fireman friend Brandon heading for another door hoping for treats.

All in all, it was a good night and we all had a great time.

News Flash! Jack Goes Potty in the Toilet For The First Time!

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