Friday, June 30, 2006

A long weekend finally...

It's finally here. July 4th is next Tuesday and we also get Monday off. That makes it a 4 day weekend/holiday and I am already looking forward to it. Mostly cuz it’s 4 days and I have a lot of stuff to do at home. So I have sort of a list. Making lists is good right, makes you look good or feel good?
Now accomplishing those tasks is a completely different matter.

On my list
- Work with *A* to make our walls look less bare. We haven’t put any pictures or portraits, we have frames lying around and some good photos and some art to frame. Hopefully we can get to that.
- I also inherited gym equipment from the previous owner. I have to set it up and start using it.
- Weeds in the back yard. Keep taking them off but they do come back. We are trying not to use chemicals. Any ideas about keeping them out? I have to also look this up on the web.
- The usual cleaning. All the more so since Dan and the lovely “C” are gonna be visiting from Connecticut. Gotta keep things presentable and be as good a host as “C” was when we visited her last year.
- A lot of small things that are always there to be done around the house, too numerous, boring and mundane to list.
-Almost forgot mow the lawn too. Darn rain has made the grass come back real quick.

Since Dan and “C” are visiting, we have something they will love on the menu. Chinese/Asian pork dumplings. Actually the recipe is from M, our friend and has come from her mom (soy sauce, glass noodles, sesame oil and the dipping sauces). They could also be called Gyozas. We have bought them from Asian stores but frankly nothing beats making them at home. The part of this that really rocks, is this dipping sauce which has red chilli peppers soaking in peanut oil (takes about a week or more to get the heat from the chilli in to the oil).
Drizzle these over the dumpling along with the other dipping sauce and I feel as if I am in epicurean heaven. I hope to write up a post with recipes and pictures early next week.

I also heard about a former colleague of mine who is to be the father of his 10th child. Yep 10th on the way, wife in labor. How did he get to ten you ask? He is a conservative Catholic and does not believe in any form of birth control. He is also of modest means and was worried about being let go during the last round of layoffs. Fortunately for him it did not happen. But then he always talked about how he hated his job and he would rather go in to business for himself. But he never did. You know health care benefits can be a huge reason for people to often want to keep a job. I wonder if that went in to his calculation? If he went in to business then having health insurance for himself plus 11 more would probably be very expensive. We have had many discussions abut politics, esp since we are on opposite sides on most issues, but he is so far out that other republicans at work have also found him “extreme”. I can only shake my head at someone wanting to have 10 kids, on a modest salary. The kids are all home schooled too. Well he has his freedom of choice I suppose. He is a fairly nice guy though and I wish him well.

It had been raining like crazy, here in the mid-atlantic region since last weekend, but Friday has been great weather wise.
Apparently DC got 7 inches within 24 hours nothing on the scale of the Bombay deluge from last year.
Outside the capital, as much as 14 inches was reported in parts of Delaware and 12 inches at Federalsburg, Maryland, on the Eastern Shore.

Felt the effects of this, trains disrupted and driving a real pain. The commute home was particularly so one day this week visibility was down to 30 feet, hazard lights on and speed down to 45 mph at times. Felt a lot worse with the spray from other vehicles esp the tractor trailers.

Glad I missed the stuff below.
In Elkton, Maryland, a 6-foot wide, 2-foot deep hole opened on I-95, blocking traffic in two northbound lanes, state police said.

A pleasant childhood memory was triggered by the smell of what I thought was corn roasted on charcoal. The strange part of this the part of the city I was walking in had nothing remotely like it there. I looked around but did not see anything. Yet the smell was very real and triggered memories in a flash.

As a kid, in Bombay I remember eating corn, but corn for me then was not the luscious, huge kernel bearing corn that we get here in the US. The only time I got to eat corn was when my folks were kind enough to let me buy from a street vendor. We just called him “Bhaiyya” which is Hindi for brother (broadly used cos he was also from the cow belt state of Uttar Pradesh in India). He used to have a flat bed cart that he pushed around and came about every day in the evening. Based on the time of the year he would have different things on the cart. Either freshly roasted peanuts or corn all on a coal fired portable stove called a “Sigri”. The corn was directly roasted on it and when it was done it came off slightly burnt in places, but always good to eat. He rubbed a spicy mix on to it. It used be some chilli, salt and lemon. I still remember him dipping in to that little plastic container that I thought at that time had this mysterious blend of spices that made the delicious corn taste every bit better. He would use a half cut lemon dip it into the spice mix and then rub it all over the corn and then hand it to the expectant kids around the cart. I also recall eating the tip of the corn first just because I like the slight burnt taste. The corn was not as sweet but very yummy.
Some days he would just sell pineapple by the slice. I loved to watch him carve the pineapple and then slice it up. Each slice would sit on a bed of ice on his cart. It was served on a plate with a seasoning mix on top, that I think was a little salt and pepper. The seasoning complimented the cold sweet taste of the pineapple.
Ahh for some of the simpler things in life.

So folks have a good weekend. Looks like light posting too. Hope to be back Monday.


Teri said...

Depending on the weeds corn gluten meal works pretty well - best for broadleaf weeds.

karmic_jay said...

Thanks Teri. They do look like broadleaf weeds.

Aditi said...

a 4 day weekend.. tsk tsk
wow nice description of the corn.. it made my mouth water and look for a corn vendor but its raining cats and dogs here.. pitch dark too doubt anyone is going to be found..
enjoy your weekend

spocko said...

I LOVE The corn story! Very nice. Very evocative
"also inherited gym equipment from the previous owner"

It's time to PUMP you UP!

I always said that if you decoupled health care from employers you would have an EXPLOSION of new businesses starting. How many people are worried about pre-existing conditions and moving out on their own because of it? Millions. Not that being self employeed is always the cats meow, but finally the businesses are starting to make noises like "Why do we have to pay for this? And they are starting to use metrics like $1,500 of this cost of this car is because of health care."

Maybe we should look at the opposite tactic on goods and services from other countries that have poor records of health care and working conditions. "This product is $4 dollars cheaper because the people who made it were locked into their building."

Have a great weekend and get yourself some corn!

Alka said...

Many many thanks to you for responding to Its a request and lending a helping hand to save a gravely ill child.
Hope you enjoy your long weekend.

Ash said...

I am also a compulsive list-maker!
To-do lists, life-lists, this list, that for me all the time !!

Enjoy the holidays ;-)

kandykane said...

10 kids !!!! goodness !!! has he been on the rolls for 'Viagra' advtg? he he he

have fun n enjoy the long break

karmic_jay said...

@Aditi..Hope you got a chance to eat corn.

@Spocko.. thanks

@Alka..thanks no problem.

@Ash..thanks Maybe he will be a good poster boy for them.

Top cat said...

great news on trying to use non chemical treatment on the weeds.
I usually live with the weeds and just keep them whacked down and I also use milorganite as fertilizer for my lawn.

10 kids..ummm, this is very stressful for a family, especially the mother and the financial strains it places on the wage-earner.
Not too sure this is what God wants for people but every person has the right to live by their beliefs.

Isn't it funny how smells can trigger memories.What a great story.

thank you for visiting my blog and for commenting kj.:)

Shitrint said...

u lucky lucky guy!
i so feel like sitting at home with it pouring out all the time...sunday was specially gloomy..
i wonder wen ill get a 4 day weekend!

Manic Street Preacher said...

k, lets be optimistic n say they'll never be lonely..:P
but life works in mysterious ways. so do devout catholics, i ges!...:)
..thanks for ur wishes, btw.:)


Manic Street Preacher said...

k, lets be optimistic n say they'll never be lonely..:P
but life works in mysterious ways. so do devout catholics, i ges!...:)
..thanks for ur wishes, btw.:)


Sadaf Trimarchi said...

the corn description made my mouth water too.

ohmigod, ten kids. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. As far as the economics of it - if you can afford it, fine, in terms of financial and emotional costs. Lots of sacrifices to be made along the way though.

Keshi said...

I think Im back on time?? :) hey Jay I missed u too and thanks aton for the bday wishes in my blog!

Hope u had a good long weeeknd :)


The Bhandari's said...

10 kids .....crazy
Yup I still eat those corns and roasted peanuts, amazing are they,
Good to know u having LLLLLong Weekend
Enjoy and have fun
And BTW nice long list ;)

Mr. J said...

That's a looooooooooooot of work..

karmic_jay said...

Thks top cat.

@shitrint.. you probably get more time off in India than us here in the US?

@msp.. welcome

@sadaf..thanks. I know he can afford it, but not sure how he manages since he is of moedest means.

@keshi/preeti. thanks

@me yep it is.

opinionatedinjerzee said...

hope you got some work done!! i painted my kitchen!! i will post pics soon!! lol!!

karmic_jay said...

@opin. Thanks. I did look forward to the pics. :)

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