Luke's recipe notes
rice with pigeon peas
2 pigeon peas
That's the fact, Jack!
Purdue University is the only large, non-urban college campus I've seen that not only LOOKS like it has a ROTC program, it looks as if the ROTC took over and established martial law.
I’m officially back to doing Coffee House reviews. But I’ve ditched the “real” coffee houses because, frankly, they suck. The smell of cheap patchouli is nauseating, and they’re lousy places to look for non-wiccan chicks. Loner roosting pads at best, as far as I’m concerned.
So onward I go…to the Great Corporate Chain Bookstore!
Anyway, let’s talk babes!! And maybe some coffee, too. I’ve picked the Borders Books at River Crossing, or Keystone Crossing, or maybe El Paso Border Crossing. It turns out there are lots of women here on a Saturday night; few of them are sporting Goth gear or nose rings, Thank God. Suddenly, my sonar locks on a target. She’s fairly pretty; is she married? Good God, I can’t tell. She walks up to some pimply kid who must be her son. Am I losing my mind? I thought she was doubling back toward me. Was she flirting? Maybe she wasn’t. But damn, you can’t really tell! Maybe she just got really bored while waiting for the little crumb-cruncher to finish up his resource search.
A sip of my (now lukewarm) caramel latte hits the spot, with a bounty of flavor. At this point I hardly care; I’ve been too busy typing and scoping for hotties at the same time. There are a lot of chicks, but most of them have a beau in tow. Thankfully, not all of them. An auburn-haired goddess with moist green eyes, porcelain skin, and a pageboy haircut came in about 15 minutes ago. Now she’s sitting catty-corner from me at the far edge of the Café, next to the magazines. Well…she looks a bit young for me (well under 30). Hell with it, I’ve showed up on a Saturday night to get out of my comfort zone and try socializing for a change, so why does it matter? She looks over in my direction a bit. About 8 feet away from her is a spiky-haired, spends-a-lot-of-time-at-the-YMCA-looking Japanese dude. He fires off frequent 30-second phone calls while watching black-and-white podcasts on his laptop. His head swivels around incessantly, like a bobble-head doll….it bobs a little too often, you know what I mean? About every five minutes he stands up, throws a leg up on the table, and does deep bends and stretches. DING*DING*DING! We’ve got a winner in the Screaming Flamer Sweepstakes!!
This is good, very good. I can get up my courage and make some quick words with the girl….no bystanders will notice if I bumble a bit, not with Mr. Sassy-Pants nearby!
I decide to go stand around the magazine section and do some “browsing”. I fall into a holding pattern that lasts for at least 30 minutes. Occasionally, I peer over the magazine rack on tiptoe so I can view this wondrous auburn creature. I find myself in angst over which publication I should be holding as a “prop”. How about something I actually want to read, like “Motor Trend”? Too plebeian. Let’s grab something suitably “bookstore pretentious”. How about “Downbeat”? I pick it up, turn to the table of contents, and…Gaack!! Who actually READS this stale-as-dog-turds bloviation about the newest in post-fusion jazz schlock? I don’t think Duke Ellington would approve. I hold onto it anyway, since the paper is very glossy and pretty and no one cares what’s on it. I hover in front of Architectural Digest, lope on over toward the girl…..stop. I catch a glimpse of her stretching and yawning, sitting cross-legged in a brown vinyl chair, and it stirs memories of the nubile young things of the Student Union lounge, back in the day. I make my final creep, silently approaching (I can hear my heart beating)…. here I go. The girl could not have been more charming and polite. I was truly blown away. I introduced myself as Ross, and asked if she’d want to go out for lunch sometime. In a lovely, lilted voice, she said: “Well, actually I’m seeing someone, but thanks for the compliment (with a shy-girl titter). You’re a handsome guy.” She melted me right there, what a sweetie! The moment closing fast, I took in her gorgeous peaches-and-cream complexion, and her heavenly light blue eyes (with an endearing drowsy redness to the whites). She reminded me of one of those French Renoir paintings. I finally turn and go back to my seat. A few minutes later, I start walking towards the door. I glance her way, and she catches my eye; she gives me a bright grin and a nice wave, her dainty little fingers fluttering. Well, I assure you, it was certainly worth the nerves. I’ll be back here soon. In the opinion of the reviewer, Lovely Miss Auburn rates 4 stars. The coffee was fine; I’ll give Borders 4 stars, too.
Let's forget about all this fancy-schmancy coffee crap. I just keep thinking about....mmmmmmmm, burgers! Good stuff! I'm on the lookout for them every chance I get. I get two Value Meals now, because if I order just one Quarter Pounder, it's gone before I get home! LOL! Right now, I think I prefer McDonald's. Why? Well, there's something reassuring about that Corporate taste. You say, Corporate?!? Yuck! But think about it: If you want a good dental plan, do you get a job at a) a Corporate place, or b) a mom n' pop place? Corporate, of course! Well, it's the same thing with burger quality: you KNOW what you're getting at MickeyD's. But at Mom n' Pop's, you don't know if you'll get a) a burger from paradise, or b) botulism. It's a dice roll. But sometimes I get sick of McDonald's, and go someplace else. But not Burger King. Some bald goofball told me a few years ago that Flame-Broiling causes cancer, so I stay away from that shit. So my 'alternative' burger is Hardee's (NO, not Wendy's, that place is kind of girly). You can't beat that Monster burger, it'll get you through a cold Indiana winter just fine! I was at a Hardee's the other day, and this guy wanted a Hardee's burger WITHOUT CHEESE. The lady behind the counter yelled to the fry cook to hold the cheese, no problem. But I know what I would've done, I would've stared at him like, you dipwad! I just kept thinking to myself, "you dumbass!" LOL!
Do not waste your time with resolutions starting in January. I don't know about the weather in your locality, but here in central Indiana, I'm waking up in the morning to -5 degree windchills and 30 mph windgusts. It's dark when I go to work, almost dark when I go home, and I'm in no mood to "eat healthy". I'm scouring the grocery stores for BBQ sauce, so I can have something to mix in with the crock-pot cocktail weenies. Heck, this is the one time of the year I'm BEGGING for carbs, to keep my mind off the crappy weather. You folks who are showing up at my local Bally's club for the first time ever, trying to work yourselves into a fitness jones...oh, pity on you! Look at your doom: You've put on 25 pounds since Halloween, which is turning your arch supports into pancakes; and you've picked the shortest, coldest days of the year to carve out an hour of your daily schedule, for the purpose of SWEAT, and PAIN, and LOOKING AWKWARD in front of a bunch of steely-abbed fitness junkies. You know what? Most of 25 AIN'T coming off anytime soon. Because, after you put yourself to the torture test at the gym, you're going to do something that actually feels GOOD, such as picking up a crock pot full of BBQ-soaked cocktail weenies, and dumping them over your head, kind of the way a Gatorade cooler gets dumped over the head of a football coach at that Super Bowl you'll be watching in late January. I told you so. Wait until about a week after April 15 (death and taxes day), when all the misery is finally out of the way.
Waterloo, IN, late at night, December 2, 2006 - On a long, icy cold, and eventually aborted trip up to Flint, Michigan, I stop for gas at a place called "Kaghann's Korner". I suppose you would call it a convenience store, although what I saw looked and smelled more like a greasy truckers dive with "Truck Parking" attached. First impressions inside: An old pinball machine, several displays of knives and rebel-flag Zippo lighters, and a plastic basket piled up with "Amish" treats. I'm not sure this is the sort of place the Amish prefer to do business with. Also, I'm wondering who smells more, an Amish plowboy who's never seen indoor plumbing, or the "no-sleep-since-Kaghann's-Koffee-ate-my-stomach-lining" wench who greets me stonily at the cash register.
A visit to the men's restroom: 3 condom machines!! What's that about?!? I swear, I didn't see anybody in that place I could bear to use a condom on. Apparently, SOMEBODY'S trying to surprise '63-Inch-Waist Susie' with a French Tickler! I decided to take some pictures of this little piece of "Deliverance In The Northlands". After the bathroom visit, I spied a bunch of old coots and biddies milling around a questionable-looking buffet. A click of the flash, and a few startled glares came in my direction. Whoa, don't pull your pistols yet, boys! I'll be out of this county as soon as I can make it!Let me say another thing: seldom have I heard such scintillating conversations! "Ya gotta kill 20 crows - before they give up." Indeed. Goddamn crows.
Remember, if you ever try the buffet at Kaghann's, it's been visited by a guy who shoots and picks up dead crows all afternoon.Back out on the Road To Flint, I soon discover that Michigan has an annoying tendency to make every inch of its freeways look as if they're 1000 miles from civilization. Good Job, Michigan, this highway experience sucks my will to live! I was heading for Flint, but I'm so bummed, I'm not even making Lansing. Of course, the winter weather doesn't help - ALSO Michigan's fault for being too far north! Just go ahead and annex yourselves to Canada, you donut-chewing drunks!
OK, maybe I was a bit harsh about the Red Eye. I found myself beating a path down there on a Tuesday afternoon. Why? They're the ONLY establishment near the Circle* that has FREE WiFi! And on Tuesday, November 14, the WiFi need was quite urgent. Otherwise, I would have missed out on getting a free** viewing of a fetching Bengalese girl doing a sultry dance in a saree. So, I'll gladly throw the ol' Red Eye a bone: If you like free WiFi - 3 stars. If you like a nice clean restroom to yakk up your Whiskey Sours at 3AM in......3 stars. Soothing contemplation with a cappuccino in hand? Eh?...... sorry, 2 stars. This place just feels too much like a Denny's with high ceilings. But you could do worse around these parts.
1:15 pm, Monday, October 16, 2006, The Red Eye Cafe, 250 S. Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN 46225- First off, the waitress was very friendly; noticing that I was perplexed about where to sit, she chimed in with "so many choices" and a pleasant giggle. I mentioned being by once at 2am; she regaled me with a couple of tales about kicking out drunks at late hours. She finished with, "I guess I don't really miss the night shift." I happily discovered that WiFi is free. The interior of the place has plenty of nookes and crannies to ensure your coziness. I found myself curious about a small section off to the right of the entrance designated "Coffee Shop".
I will be making most of my posts viewable on Fridays, at around 3:00pm Eastern Time.
Greenwood(south Indianapolis) 8:15pm, Friday, October 27, 2006, The Strange Brew - I’m perched on the bumpy edge of a doctor’s office-gray couch (right next to a lovely orange-with-burgundy-leaf velour sofa, with “door knockers” on the arms). I am listening to the final set of the Shirtless Biddles, an acoustic guitar trio that tends to play drinking-type songs, but mostly decent originals. As I start to type, my ears are assaulted by the noise of several 15 and 16 year-old nymphettes, who are getting a bit too flirty with an elfish 14-year-old boy. Please, is there any propriety left?! Try something more modest than loudly exclaiming 'I gotta pee’ within earshot of me, lil' Britney Pink Simpson! The interior of the Strange Brew is comfy: one big square space, bordered on the back right by a low, broad coffee bar, and secluded on the back left by a 200 gallon tropical tank (with 3 couches, a small fountain, and a funky quad ostrich lamp). Every wall is a different color (mustard, mahogany, taupe); one of them features a big sun lettered The Strange Brew. The Brew's walls are heavy with real artwork (mostly by the wife of one of the Biddles players). Some murals and prints feature in the art mix; my eye is caught by a Hello Kitty head perched at the top of a lime-colored tropical drink. Currently, Strange Brew is letting local artists take turns to show their artwork for the month. Because of strong interest, the Brew's owner is considering reducing the showing terms to 2-3 weeks, allowing for more artists to be accommodated. Photographs are for sale, mostly with subjects of children, old people, poverty, hope. The friendly crowd in attendance on this particular evening hangs around after the Biddles show, and engages in much chatter; it is a much friendlier and more neighborly place than the Abbey. The kiddies are mostly up front, old-timers more toward the back. I must note that the coffee itself is very tasty; I ordered a Black Forest Mocha (which features dark chocolate and cherry flavoring), and the barrister brought it to my table in a hearty stone mug. Some of the Brew's coffee menu includes: Kenyan, Jamaican, pumpkin white mocha, and peanut butter mocha (all the mochas are served hot or cold). Two of the Brew's sandwich favorites include the turkey and the muffuletta sandwiches. And for muffin lovers (I know I'm one), there are lots of moist, tasty muffins. Very informal, some of the help and ownership are mixed in conversing with the patrons; somebody even brings a dog in. I get to talking a bit with some strangers at a nearby table, which is saying something for me. An added location, in the Fountain Square area, is supposed to open soon. In all, Strange Brew is a very pleasant, easy trip, and I'd have to say I like it better than the Abbey. 5 stars.
Thursday, October 19, 2006, 8:05pm, The Abbey, 825 N. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis, map for The Abbey - Thursday night at the Abbey, and a solid 15 customers are present on a cold October nite, yet fairly quiet. But not too quiet. Massive Attack, a European ‘trip-hop’ group, drones at a low level in the background. I’m not a big fan of indie music, but my ears tell me that this selection fits the Abbey to a T. The blue Christmas ‘ice’ lights are already hung over the front awning, twinkling through the frosty glass. I am cozily ensconced in a grease-stained, corduroy-covered Empire chair, in the ‘Back 20’ of the place: The layout of the Abbey is an L-shaped saucepan, with a narrow, pan-like corridor going to the rear. I love the Back 20: It’s a perfect perch for a wary loner like me to sit and stare in judgment of the Unwashed Masses congregated up front. Forlorn curtains are inexplicably hung between the two main parts of the store, preventing an easy view of the Back 20 from the entrance. At first sip of the mocha latte, I am welcomed back with a biting taste that reminds me I’m not in a ‘safe’ Starbucks type affair, like I normally would be. I had not come around since the unseasonably warm mid-September, and now seems like the first time yet again to visit the old Abbey. A lot of machine humming goes on in the 20, furnaces and fans and the back walk-in freezer. Abbey is half-café, half-chaos. A blue early-20th century molded-tin ceiling is painted in sky blue with fluffy clouds. Sky blue walls wrestle with cop-blue window framing and baseboards. Most of the lighting comes from a half-dozen ceiling globes, augmented by a few errant lamps in the corners. About 3 varieties of wooden café tables and chairs, but also several ‘Church pew’ benches. Lots of stuff taped and pinned up on corkboards, making proclamations about bands and community activism and "go vegan" and all that bit. Solos and small combo music acts play here on the weekends. The baristas in this dive are actually quite adept at baking up some tasty cakes. The coffee itself seems to be pretty good, but what do I know? It’s mostly about the ambience to me, and this place has plenty of that. Somehow, the hums and gothic-ness of the place just keep me soothed and a bit entranced, and I would hate to ever leave in a rush; tonight will be the first time I ever do so, so I can get back by 9 to relieve the babysitter. The place relocated about a year ago to 825 N. Pennsylvania St. Here, it gets a cocktail mix of UI-PUI students (especially chicks, boom-boom-cheeka-cheeka!) and alternatives and quasi-goths, piled high on top with over-the-hill freaks and activism wanna-be's. The immediate neighborhood consists mostly of ancient apartment flats, though the new Central Library is being constructed right across the street. That might result in greater percentages of safe, respectable types like myself wandering in for a cappuccino. Such a sad thing to ponder, eh? Drop by and enjoy the pure, unadulterated Abbey while it lasts. 4 stars.
I've spent several evenings at The Abbey coffeehouse, on 825 N. Pennsylvania downtown, but have not done a proper review of the place. Just letting everyone know, I will be getting around to it soon. I'll say this much for now: I like the place. Here's a map to it.
The Copper Cup, 3:50pm, September 3, 2006, 8th and College, Bloomington - This was actually my first coffee house visit in Bloomington, and I held out a lot of hope for it. But to be honest, I dreaded the whole experience. The décor: passable. Mostly retro-mod, with butterscotch wood- and chrome chairs and table-ettes. Interesting hyperbolic purple and green velour loveseat-chair ensemble in one corner. The ceiling was very high, the floor a glazed concrete; in other words, a predominance of post-modern touches. But the retail coffee-tea sale display (and serving bar) looked quite antique and felt out of place. It took me a while to notice that there is a narrow seating corridor off to the left behind the service counter. Kind of impersonal, but the place looks mostly business, anyway. A well-wired, quiet nook for studious co-eds.
12:21 PM, Sunday, October 1, 2006, Lazy Daze Coffee House - I finally was able to visit, albeit briefly, Lazy Daze Cofeehouse on the east side of Indianapolis, in the increasingly hip Irvington area. The setting of the Lazy Daze property: an old brick buildings, tucked into a narrow street, itself tucked improbably into the trees just adjacent to busy, speedy Washington Street. A bit claustrophobic, but in a charming European way. The inside, with tan couches, is snug, homey, a little dank, with the low ceiling and little standing room. The petite blonde barista was friendly, very fast. Good coffee. A lot of postings and flyers telling the patrons about artistic, cultural, and musical events and groups. In short, Lazy Daze appears to be quite involved in its neighborhood. The windows are hung with artistic glasswork (much of it being tagged for sale). Outside, there is a spacious deck to lounge on, with wicker chairs and faux stone-and-tile tables. I saw a lot of 30 and 40-somethings, some dogs and kids in tow; patrons were generally engaged in neighbors-at-the-fence type chat. I was in too much of a hurry to do thorough review of the establishment; perhaps a full review will come soon. An interesting plus if you stop by here: There is a used bookstore, called Book Mama's, right across the street (meaning it's practically in your face, since the street is about 8 feet wide). Also, Lazy Daze has free WiFi. Short of giving a rating, I'd say it was a quite promising and intriguing visit. I'll give Lazy Daze, and the Irvington village, a more full and fair review in the weeks ahead.
(At work, 4:38 pm, Wednesday, September 13, 2006)- I clinched a future lunch date at 4:05 this afternoon. Starting from this morning: I walked up a dreary, rainy September street looking, in vain, for that special woman to ask out. The harder I looked, the more deserted and alien the street seemed to get. I arrived at my building, and resolved to chill out. I got into an elevator car alone. Then, at the 2nd or 3rd floor, a spiffily-dressed brunette got on. She seemed shy, was quiet but perceptibly breathing. I was nervous before I even knew it. Absent-mindedly, after she told me that she was headed for nine(my floor), I asked her what floor she was going to. "I'm going to nine," she said pleasantly, ignoring my goof-up. Then I thought: Wait a minute, is THIS the opportunity I've been waiting for? She was looking downward. Then she looked upward and cocked her head in my direction (probably looking for a sign), and I froze. Ugh!! The rationalization thread in my brain went into warp drive-"her face is nice, but maybe sort of not quite what I'm looking for"- yes, it was that pathetic, because most guys would agree she's quite a pretty gal. While my lips became super-glued, what felt like 40 floors passed by. She half-looked-up and said, "Have a nice day", and then crossed my path to exit the elevator.
8:50 AM, 9/11/06, downtown Indianapolis. My daily morning journey to work includes not only my drive from the western 'burbs to downtown Indy, it also features a walk from my company's Henry Street parking garage, up to my office at 30 S. Meridian Street. In the six blocks between the garage and Monument Circle is the Warehouse District. More often than not, my path merges or collides with that of a nice young working girl. This summer, I've seen lots of them, making their way to work at any one of the office buildings on Meridian Street just north of the Warehouse District. Take this morning, for instance. I saw a pretty blonde girl appear on the right side of the street, coming out of Union Station Garage. A block later, she crossed over to the left side of Meridian, which is where I was at. We walked in tandem for about three blocks. She finally veered off to the left, into a corner building lobby. During this time, I pondered my opportunity to ask the gal out. As I've done before, I declined to do anything, thinking that she looked too unhappy. Of course, this was Monday morning, so maybe I should have cancelled out that observation. This scenario seems to happen a lot.
(Noon, Monday, September 4, 2006, Café et Crêpe, 316 E. 4th Street, Bloomington.) When I entered Café et Crêpe, romantic postwar French ballads were emanating from the PA system. Standing at the counter, I could hear a smattering of French-sounding chatter in the kitchen. I seemed to be the first customer of the day. After I rung the counter bell, a tall, rosy-cheeked, graciously-smiling barista with Heidi braids (She was evocative of a prettier Helen Hunt) appeared in front of me. She was cheerful and engaging, in an appropriately understated manner. When she asked me what I would like to order, I replied that I wasn’t sure what kind of coffee I wanted, but that I usually ordered mochas. "Okay, that sounds good. Well, hey, have you ever tried a Nutella Mocha?" I replied that I had not. "It’s very delicious." So I ordered a large Nutella. I also ordered a chicken fromage crêpe. Eventually, the owner of the French-sounding voice appeared. He introduced himself as Rashid. While we chatted, I inquired about the background music. "That’s Edith Piaf," he explained. "Very romantic, very deep. The French culture is more deep, much more romantic." Rashid added plaintively, "The French singers used to have a lot of conviction, a lot of soul. It started fading away in the 90s, and now (the music) is all about money." He finished with, "French is the language of romance, English is the language of business. That’s why English is the language of the world. I’m glad I have both (French and English languages)." Rashid ambled back toward the kitchen to check on the Crêpe, leaving me with a lump in my throat.
SOMA, 322 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, IN, 5:05pm, September 3, 2006: I’m still slightly enervated by my awful experience at the Copper Cup. Eager to put it behind me, I tramp down to the Soma on Kirkwood. Ahh, where to start? I love this place! It’s got the character, the AMBIENCE! Some cutesy mid-70s band is being piped in over the PA. Lovely. I find myself pleasantly ensconced in a dirty, scratchy, salmon-tinted 60’s “glitter-cloth” couch (don’t crash on this thing if you’re hung over, ouch). The very low ceiling hovers above, giving a snug, intimate feel to the place. A ‘disco-floor’ patterned red/purple/white/yellow linoleum floor features decades of wear. There’s a flyers-and-posters area, improbably scrunched-in opposite the couch corner, to give you a heads-up on the bands coming to town. Postcards are offered for sale, on a revolving rack. Kitschy example: “The French Way: Tales of Love and Passion! Featuring: Love’s Awakening, The New Sensation, Forbidden Fruit..” (this appears to be a vintage ad for a pulp fiction collection). A fish-tank-in-an-old-TV-set serves as the focal point for the front lounge. Soma occupies part of a basement in an old stone house at Kirkwood and Grant streets, close to the action epicenter of IU. The 3 or 4 servers behind the counter are very helpful and efficient. My double mocha was quite delicious. To justify my giddiness: It isn’t just the coffee, the kitsch, and the service. Inside and out, Soma possesses a fun, jovial atmosphere, with a lively mix of comfy regulars, chatty co-ed bunnies and their beaus, and amused alums such as myself. The student patrons, for their part, seem to fall into irreverent character before they even cross the threshold. I saw a bubbly, slightly chunky young gal playfully kick the door open to mark her arrival; patrons are swept up by the fun vibe of the place. The help have fun, too; lots of kidding and witty banter going on, the clattering of dishes, impromptu humming along with the music, and a disarming neighborliness when asked tangential questions about the place (such as “what band are you guys playing over the speakers?"). As much as folks like to come in and browse or sit down, you see a lot of apparently regular student patrons, who rush in, grab the finished beverage with fury, and rush back out on their way to another destination. They're stopping by because the coffee's really that good; these days, of course, you can pick and choose your java in a Big Ten college town. Soma hits the bull’s-eye on its product alone. Maybe I’m sounding over-the-top, but I’ve never been so taken in by a casual place. An hour passed away on the couch, and it felt like 15 minutes. I can’t get enough of it. Maybe sometime I’ll get sloshed at Nick’s and collapse into unconsciousness on the scratchy couch. 4 stars.
UPDATE: OK, I’m tragically unhip, the music WAS NOT 70’s-era, it’s ‘Belle and Sebastian’, and it’s “pretty new”, according to a mutton-chopped barkeep. D’oh!!
There's been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth recently in the popular press about the destruction of New Orleans, and what a substantial loss that is to our nation. Honestly, I'm more concerned about the ongoing degradation of a much bigger national treasure: The State of California. California is not merely a trendsetter for America and the world: it has affected, usually for the better, how we Americans view ourselves, has given the country an identity. Our music, our clothing fashions, our automobile trends, our housing styles, our daily lingo are propagated and evolved from life in California. McDonald's was "founded" by Ray Kroc, but the principles of the chain (and those of its imitators and competitors) were given their start in California. And, of course, where do you think most McDonald's TV advertising (the way in which we and the world have truly come to know the Golden Arches and the Big Mac) is produced? On it's own, California's economy is larger than that of all but four nations. California is everywhere in our lives, but the place is in trouble. I fear that it is gradually being turned into an overtaxed, over-regulated third-world country. Assuming for a moment that this really is the case, California's misfortunes may be a microcosm for the nation in this regard. Hopefully, my fears will turn out to be premature.
I'll try and post more about this, but mark it down on your calendars that this weekend (Saturday and Sunday nights) I will holding court at the Indiana Memorial Union hotel (in Bloomington, IN). Numerous fine dignitaries and luminaries will probably come by and pay their respects, and you're all invited, too! We'll even go out and drag back a couple of frosty kegs, if need be. Reuben, consider this your shout-out! Hot chicks are particularly welcome.
Linked is a list of Indianapolis-area coffee houses. I'm going to be sharpening this list, down to what I think are truly coffee-houses. If you have any suggestions or corrections, please let me know.
In keeping with the theme of the previous post, here's a site that features Indianapolis photos.
There's a new website to promote Indianapolis a preferred place to live and work. Don't laugh if you've never been here: Indy's downtown is extremely pleasant: very clean, very easy to traverse, a lot of things to do, very safe. My two cents.
...but not for "work", per se. I've done a lot of website work the last few days. Buying a laptop was a great idea, it turns out. Put some descriptive 'tags' on my new ASP.NET/C# blog, and some other details. Am picking up the ropes (?!?) on ASP.NET/C#, generally speaking. Tonight, I went to The Abbey, and plugged the laptop in for a couple of hours. Did some work, drank some coffee. I feel satisfied with the results. Didn't socialize with anybody worth a damn, but I wasn't in the right frame of mind for it. As far as babe-sighting goes, I probably need another venue to do it in: The Abbey was a horrendous sausage-fest tonight, and in general it doesn't seem to be a likely place for my preferred aged 28-38 pleasantly white-collar chick demographic, anyway.
Hey y'all, I asked out a girl at work today! A nice little Indian chicky, too. Didn't get a definite response (her friends were nearby, which I think made us both nervous). Anyway, I made the move.
Brinkster, if you don't know, is a large webhosting company. I have my website posted there. Based on my experience with them, they seem to do a pretty good job. Anyway, I discovered today that to add a record into a hosted Access (or SQL) data table, you type a straightforward Append/Insert query into the site's Database Manager Data Window (not actually called "Data Window", but it's easy to find and understand once you're in the Database Manager), and just leave off the 'FROM' element of the statement:
UPDATED 8/20/2006. CAUTION: much of this information has NOT been verified. You may want to call these places before you try visiting.
(11:44am Monday, office cube) Have I mentioned that I’m a saxophone player? Yes, I played quite a bit growing up. Did some jam sessions throughout the years (last one was a year ago), break the thing out for a blow at home every once in a while. I noticed here and there that the chicks dig it. Why haven’t I exploited that selling point, then? Fear of the public, I suspect. I’ve actually played at open mic nights 3 times in my life. Pretty good experiences, but I found that some beers helped smooth things out. Maybe I’ll give it a try. Does that sound like a way to meet someone?
(10:04am Monday, at my office cubicle) Ah, man, Monday morning, I find myself now at 36, and I can't handle the Saturday night binge-drinking thing so well anymore. Still a little slow as of this morning. Well, let's not wallow in the mire, type a little more and start the slow climb out of this mess.
Well, I got accepted for a .NET/Oracle/Crystal reporting position with Bucher/Lilly today. Good stuff. Only took about 6 weeks, and with a laid-back search effort. As important as anything, I worked very hard on C#. I re-did my flash cards, did a lot of reading/notes, and the labs. I even took a Brainbench test, highlight things to work on. I should be proud. I also took a Photoshop course; haven't had much time to work with it, but I took great notes. I'm speaking better in interviews, too. I too the smart step of tape-recording my interview practice answers; it helps a lot to listen to the playbacks. My house is on the market, too. I started getting it cleaned up and run like a tight ship. My life is being better run, too.
One thing about this proposed guest worker/amnesty stuff I'm confused about: would the employers of these illegals now have to chip in for their Social Security, unemployment,etc.? If so (and I would think it is 'so'), isn't that a significant new cost to have these employees? What does the Wall Street Journal have to say about this (I don't have a subscription)?
President Bush had better change his tune very quickly, or it's going to be too late for him to say any pronouncements against illegal immigration with any perceived sincerity. I say that with the non-too-solid assumption that it isn't too late already. As I write, we're already a few days past large demonstrations (tens, even hundreds of thousands of people) who identify themselves as "Latino" or "Chicano", waving Mexican flags and often claiming that much of the United States is part of their Aztlan homeland (As an aside, I'm now frequently reflecting on the time a work colleague of mine, from the Dominican Republic, said,"What the hell is a Chicano?!? Is that a Mexican from Chicago?"). Public opinion is shifting, crystallizing, becoming inflamed, against the break from the law that Mexican and Central American illegals have enjoyed for years. Some of us Republicans on the sidelines are wondering what our party and our president should do about all of this. Merits and principles of the immigration arguments aside, here's the simple political tail-covering reason why to oppose amnesty: Very soon, there will be incidents of violence and death between American citizens and Mexican nationals. It may happen with a Minuteman on the border, in a restaurant, on a college campus. Who knows where? But it WILL happen, and there will be a decisive inflammation of public opinion on the immigration matter. And there will be lots of political suicides. Face the unfolding drama now, Mr. President. The train is leaving the station.
By the way, the El Camino is for sale. Anyone wanna buy it? Here's the blurb: "1977 CHEVROLET EL CAMINO CLASSIC, smooth running 350 V8-4Bbl w/ dual exhausts, auto, Corvette-style Rally's, am/fm cass, $1600". Interested?
Do not waste your time with resolutions starting in January. I don't know about the weather in your locality, but here in central Indiana, I'm waking up in the morning to -5 degree windchills and 30 mph windgusts. It's dark when I go to work, almost dark when I go home, and I'm in no mood to "eat healthy". I'm scouring the grocery stores for BBQ sauce, so I can have something to mix in with the crock-pot cocktail weenies. Heck, this is the one time of the year I'm BEGGING for carbs, to keep my mind off the crappy weather. You folks who are showing up at my local Bally's club for the first time ever, trying to work yourselves into a fitness jones...oh, pity on you! Look at your doom: You've put on 25 pounds since Halloween, which is turning your arch supports into pancakes; and you've picked the shortest, coldest days of the year to carve out an hour of your daily schedule, for the purpose of SWEAT, and PAIN, and LOOKING AWKWARD in front of a bunch of steely-abbed fitness junkies. You know what? Most of 25 AIN'T coming off anytime soon. Because, after you put yourself to the torture test at the gym, you're going to do something that actually feels GOOD, such as picking up a crock pot full of BBQ-soaked cocktail weenies, and dumping them over your head, kind of the way a Gatorade cooler gets dumped over the head of a football coach at that Super Bowl you just watched. I told you so. Wait until about a week after April 15 (death and taxes day), when all the misery is finally out of the way.
Found out today from Julie V at Teksystems that I did VERY WELL on the .NET exam (a 78)! WOOOT WOOOOOOT!! I'm doing the rest of the book labs right now. Onward!!
I feel a very positive difference: Today, I fairly easily read though some .lNET code in the early chapters of my exam book. The vocabulary I have studied has, by itself, given me some connection to the code detailed in the book! This is huge. I sense great wheels and cogs starting to turn and churn in my fertile brain. More to come.
Finally took the Teksystems test. Way Difficult. But not to worry. I'm inspired now to make a commitment to master VB.NET! Onward!!
Now, I'm well into the Chapter 9 questions. Doing great. Maybe still try to take the Teksystems test sometime this weekend.
Well, here it is. We reviewed the 7 chapters covered yesterday (and did an excellent job of recall). Plus we Covered and reviewed a big chunk of Chapter 8, which has 22 questions. We're really kicking some now! Onward!!
I noticed at the bottom of this blog, March 4 2005, I got moving on .NET. A lot of progress has certainly made, and the payoff is coming.
I got through 7+ chapters of note cards today, and soaked up the details. Woooo-hoooo!!! May wait until Saturday or Sunday to do the Teksystems exam. Luke is at grandpa's Saturday nite, Kay may come Sunday. Let's keep rolling!
Perhaps even a goal for Thursday. We are reviewing note cards. Why?? To ace the .NET exams!! Remember the timers. We should go back and emphasize the earlier chapters, they are the dominant sources of exam questions, it would seem. Block by block, build up the knowledge. Maybe dig into the phrasing of questions more, find clues to possible exam questions. Should we make the leap Friday and take the Teksystems exam? Yes, let's shoot for it. We can always take others. Onward!
To do today: 1. Call Dr.(notes), 2. Shower, 3. dress, 4.Get envelope/stamp, 5.take list, 6. Blockbuster, 7. Bank, 8. Post Office, 9. Home, check email, 10. Fill out fax sheet w/voided check, 11. UPS Store, 12. Shoes (Penney's, Kohl's)
Do not waste your time with resolutions starting in January. I don't know about the weather in your locality, but here in central Indiana, I'm waking up in the morning to -5 degree windchills and 30 mph windgusts. It's dark when I go to work, almost dark when I go home, and I'm in no mood to "eat healthy". I'm scouring the grocery stores for BBQ sauce, so I can have something to mix in with the crock-pot cocktail weenies. Heck, this is the one time of the year I'm BEGGING for carbs, to keep my mind off the crappy weather. You folks who are showing up at my local Bally's club for the first time ever, trying to work yourselves into a fitness jones...oh, pity on you! Look at your doom: You've put on 25 pounds since Halloween, which is turning your arch supports into pancakes; and you've picked the shortest, coldest days of the year to carve out an hour of your daily schedule, for the purpose of SWEAT, and PAIN, and LOOKING AWKWARD in front of a bunch of steely-abbed fitness junkies. You know what? Most of 25 AIN'T coming off anytime soon. Because, after you put yourself to the torture test at the gym, you're going to do something that actually feels GOOD, such as picking up a crock pot full of BBQ-soaked cocktail weenies, and dumping them over your head, kind of the way a Gatorade cooler gets dumped over the head of a football coach at that Super Bowl you're gonna be watching soon. I told you so. Wait until about a week after April 15 (death and taxes day), when all the misery is finally out of the way.
I saw this on dailyKOS, written by KOS himself:
RE: Not getting a warrant,etc. Clinton used no-warrant spyings and searches to bust people for …. ILLEGAL CIGARETTE SALES. The horror, the horror.
By the way, Indianapolis will benefit from the addition of about 3,500 jobs to the Fort Benjamin (US Army) Defense Finance Center (they do much of the Army's accounting). This should prove to be a big boost to the IT job market.
We have MUCH BETTER CARS as a result of free trade. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, and a person such as my dad could hardly dream of going well over 100,000 miles w/o serious problems to fix on their automobile (such a thing is routine for me; I hate to spend money on cars). Dad's '76 Volare had baeen nonstop frustration up to 49K, when we sold it (it felt like an old heap then); the '80 Ford Fairmont chugged sadly with a cracked head by 70K; ditto for the '81 Escort by about 60K. The '70 Charger, I vaguely recall, was not trusted with long out-of-town drives after about 60K. And we had bailed out of the nightmarish '70 AMC Hornet at 59K, thinking we'd get improvement with the Volare. THe first car I recall really making Mom and Pop happy was the '86 Taurus (a European-influenced sedan); it seemed pretty smooth up through 125K, and clapped out at 146K (my mon wasn't keeping it well-oiled, I don't think). Long-winded, yes, but I think it illustrates how far we've come. Thank you, Japan.
I am so stoked, dudes!! I am finally committing to learning ASP.Net and the .Net framework for real! I've worked with these tools in the past, but I don't feel at ease with them as I should. It's time to boldly move forward.
In Indianapolis, there has been a long-term pursuit of a nicer, more bustling downtown. Sports arenas have been built, the convention center has been expanded, deals to get new and bigger hotels have been made. Have these sorts of efforts been successful in terms of strengthening the Indianapolis economy, or the Indiana economy? Do Hoosiers have better jobs and quality of life as a result? What do you readers think? I'd like to hear your comments.
Today is Saturday. Here are things I've done with my 5-year-old son today:
Do not waste your time with resolutions starting in January. I don't know about the weather in your locality, but here in central Indiana, I'm waking up in the morning to -5 degree windchills and 30 mph windgusts. It's dark when I go to work, almost dark when I go home, and I'm in no mood to "eat healthy". I'm scouring the grocery stores for BBQ sauce, so I can have something to mix in with the crock-pot cocktail weenies. Heck, this is the one time of the year I'm BEGGING for carbs, to keep my mind off the crappy weather.