Archive for July, 2009

Normally, this is something I would post on my own site, but it is having some server issues. Enjoy.

Ries was wondering yesterday, just what kind of beer President Obama would serve his distinguished guests. “Does he have good taste in beer?” we wondered.

XKCD, a webcomic for geeks, has a theory about what could have happened.

I did find an interesting article that talks about the kinds of drinks and beverages served in the current White House and by past administrations.

If I were the President of the United States, I would serve a lot of microbrews to highlight good American fare. I would have other stuff on hand, of course, to please those with a less refined palate.


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What with all the comings and goings of the Smith household, the weekly recipes went by the wayside for awhile. Sorry about that. Please do not flog me.

It is that time of year again. The time of year in Houston when the heat melts your face as you walk outside. The kind of heat that makes you long for climes with actual seasons (Wisconsin, we love you!). You know, those climates with four seasons, changing leaves, green springtime, and snow. I have heard they exist.

I digress. Yes, the heat. In this sort of heat, salads and fresh salsas make the days bearable. This gem, served with lettuce, chips, or as the side to a grilled meat, is heaven.

Mango and Avocado Salad
from Cooking Light 2003

    2 1/2 c. peeled, chopped ripe mango
    1 1/2 c. quartered cherry tomatoes
    1/2 c. peeled, chopped avocado
    1/4 c. chopped green onions
    2 tbls. chopped fresh cilantro
    2 tbls. lime juice
    1/2 salt

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Chill for 2 or more hours before serving.

Variation: to make this a salsa, throw in some jalapenos or green peppers. Both if you are feeling adventurous. Can’t find mangoes where you live? Try pineapple instead, fresh or canned.

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Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

Yesterday, I gave Gideon some crayons and some paper to see what he would do. They were a huge hit.

Today, he plopped himself down at his table and beat the top until I gave him the crayons and paper. So bossy! He must get that from his dad.

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On Baby Names

The thing about baby names is that everyone has an opinion about them and everyone believes their opinion is the right one. That was one reason why Ries and I concealed Gideon’s name before he was born. The second reason being that is it was nice to have a secret about the baby that only the two of us knew.

With that in mind:

Many years ago, I came across this site about baby names that made me realize two things: people name their children the most ridiculous things and I am not the only one who hates the inappropriate use of the letter Y.

Adding the letter Y to a name that is not Celtic or Welsh or some other ethnicity does not result in a trendier, cooler name. *sigh* It results in a really stupid name for your child and for girls it gives them a lovely name to use when they become a stripper. Seriously.

What got me thinking about the letter Y and baby names? My midwife has a blog where she posts the birth of the babies she catches. A recent entry made me groan because not only it is a boy’s name bestowed upon a girl, it flagrantly misuses the poor, sad letter Y.

Like I said. Baby names. Everyone has an opinion.

No babies were harmed in the creation of this post.

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Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre
Spaten now bottles Oktoberfest in these cute baby shaped bottles. Delicious.

Also, p.s. Look how big and skinny he looks! Like a real toddler.

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Home Alone


Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

I told those idiots if they left me home while they were in Chicago I would find a way out.

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The Smith family is headed on another adventure.  Hopefully the last one for a while.  I am starting to burn out.  We are headed up to Chicago.  I was just up there a month ago for Bachelor party festivities, but this trip will take on a much different feel for me.  You see, this time my only role is as babysitter.  This trip is for Michelle.  She is attending the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference.  She hasn’t been to a conference in about one-and-a-half years.  I know she misses all her conference buddies and this was easily her most favorite part about her job.

A long time ago, she decided that she needed to go to this conference (she is running some pre-conference thingy) and that Gideon still would not be old enough that she could leave him for 3+ days.  As a result, I am headed up with her.  My only job is to watch Gideon during the day and show up at convenient times so that she can show off her child and to a lesser extent her awesome babysitter.

We are staying with a college friend of mine who now lives in Chicago, so I know I will still have some fun but it won’t be like last month when we were up until sunrise on consecutive nights.  I’m hoping it won’t be too bad trying to put Gideon down to sleep at nights without Michelle.  That is really where her powers trump mine and I become as good as chop liver to my son.  Night time feedings, I just don’t have the equipment.  But don’t worry.  I have new ammo in my sleeptime walking arsenal.  I have a new “song” to sing to him that I picked up in Costa Rica.  I try to pick tunes that have a lot of bass so that I can use my lower voice and soothing vibrations of my chest to put him down.  With all the talk of flying monkeys taking our bad son away, I remembered that march rhythm at the wicked witches castle in Wizard of Oz.  It works like a charm and it is easier to do for longer periods without leaving me breathless.  Singing Edelweiss and walking fast can really leave you winded.

So, pray for me and wish Michelle good luck (like she needs it).

— Ries, Yeoh – oh – ohee – oh

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