Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I admit I have had a lot of different jobs in my adult lifetime. I tend to get bored after a couple of years and decided to move on. I will have been at my current job for four years in June and that is a record for me. I would have to say that in half of those jobs I've had really, really bad bosses (also part of the reason I leave) but I have had a few good ones. And unfortunately they leave before I do.

And it's happened again. My boss sent me an IM "Would you come see me please." I walk into her office and she asks me to shut the door. Oh no! I ask if it's good news or bad news and she says it depends on your viewpoint and that's when I knew. Even so, I admit I threw my hands in my head when she said she was resigning. Yes, I've been here before.

I worked with my current boss at my last job, she wasn't my boss but we got along well enough that when she left that job and started her current job, eight months later I was working for her. I wasn't looking for a job at the time (although I was thinking about it) so her offer came at a great time. And she didn't go looking for this new job, it came to her.

I am happy for her and I wish her well. She's a good boss. She understood that work is not the most important thing in life and she appreciates good employees.

As for me, I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. Probably nothing for now, just wait and see where things go. I might start doing some research though. But first I think I'll have a really, really big drink.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hyped for Summmer Movies?

Not really. I don't go to the movies as much as I used to for a couple of reasons. First, it costs too much, Second, it's really hit or miss as to whether I'm going to see a movie that is worth the price of admission. Finally, there just doesn't seem to be any good, original movies being made anymore.
The magazine Entertainment Weekly put out it's summer movie preview issue recently and less that half the movies they featured were original stories. Of the 51 movies they previewed for May, June, July and August, here is the breakdown:

11 are based on books, short stories or comic books

4 are based on television shows

1 is based on a video game (which I guess is better than a movie based on a child's toy!)

7 are sequels

4 are re-makes or spin-offs

4 are documentaries

That leaves only 20 movies with original stories out of 51.

Now I know books have been made into movies for years but few movies based on books have been as good as the books (like Harry Potter) and most don't meet the expectations. And Hollywood has been doing sequels for years (there were twelve Friday the 13th movies, yes twelve). The newest trend is movies based on cheesy television shows (this year it's The A-Team) or remaking movies (this year it's The Karate Kid) and usually the re-makes aren't nearly as good as the original.

Guess I'm going to have see more independent films at art house theaters. Thank goodness Denver has a couple of those!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Time to Start Cooking

I have a love/hate relationship with cooking. I love to watch cooking shows (thank goodness I don't have cable because my weekends would be spent watching the Food Network), I love to collect recipes and I love to cook for my family and friends. I hate cooking for just myself. The idea of cooking a bunch of meals and freezing them only to be thawed out and cooked weeks later just does not appeal to me. It never has and never will.

But I have a dietary restriction: salt. This means I need to cook fresh food and not eat processed food (i.e. frozen dinners, boxed rices, canned meats, etc). So I now I have to force myself to cook for only myself. What I try to do on Sunday afternoons is cook a couple of things I can eat later in the week (but NOT put in the freezer to eat sometime in May!). Right now I have country-style pork ribs in the slow cooker with low-sodium BBQ sauce. Lately I've been on a chicken salad kick so I've been making that each week and eating it for lunch a couple days a week. I don't really have a recipe for this but it consists of chicken (that I cooked, not from a can), low-salt mayo, no-salt mustard, apples, walnuts, pepper, dill, parsley and lemon juice.

The other planned recipe for today is Beef Pasties (pasties with the 'a' pronounced as it is in 'cat') which are pastries that are usually filled with beef, sliced potatoes, tunrips and onions (my recipe is a little different). If you haven't heard of these here's a little history: they originated in Cornwall, England and were lunch for the Cornish tin miners who, even covered in dirt, could hold the pasty by the folded crust and eat the reast without touching it. They would then discard the dirty pastry end they were holding because it was dirty and it was supposed to appease the knockers, capricous spirits in the miners who might other lead miners into danger.

While I think most recipes for pasties tend to be a little bland, I've taken the recipe below and spiced it up a little bit by adding spices and peas. You could probably also add finely chopped carrots or other veggies if you wanted. And by making them a little smaller, I think kids would love them.

My, look at the time. Got to go, America's Test Kitchen is on TV. But if you are interested, here is the recipe I started with from "Outdoor Entertaining."

Beef Pasties - Serves 4


1 pound of ground beef

1 onion, finely chopped

1 russet potatoe, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

2 boxes ready-made pie crusts

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium-size bowl mix ground beef, onion, potato, salt and pepper. Cut pit crust rounds in half. On one side of each half place a small handfull of mixture and fold the other side of the dough over the meat, creating a triange shape. Gently press along the edges to seal the pastry and brush with beaten egg. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minues, then lower to 325 degrees and bake until crust is golden brown, an additional 45 minutes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What the Heck Has Happened to Cell Phones?

My sister just got the iPhone. It jas a lot of bells and whistles. Yes, the Internet access on her phone is better than on my computer at home. And yes, the apps are pretty cool (she has one that translate dog barks into English). But it has one really big problem, making phone calls. I was on a call with my sister and her iPhone (for about 30-45 minutes) and the call was dropped four times. Yes, FOUR TIMES! What good is a cell phone (even with all the cool stuff) if you can't make phone calls?

Now I admit my cell phone is very basic and I don't pay a lot for it. I don't have unlimited minutes or texting (I don't do a lot of texting because it takes me about 10 minutes to type in a five word message). I don't have Internet access on my phone (I'm too cheap, there I said it) so I can't update my Facebook page or Tweet (and I really HATE Twitter). I don't download special ringtones, I use what comes with the phone and my current ringtone is actually an old fashing ringing phone (remember the ringing sound of the rotary phones?). I do have the ability to take pictures but since I don't have a sims card its hard to get the photos off my phone, and they are pretty crappy quality.

Yes, basically I use my cell phone for one purpose, to make phone calls. Yes, all the other things are really cool but do we really need all that stuff? I know people who can't survive without their cell phones (you know who you are) and that seems kind of sad to me. Why do we need to be in constant contact with each other? Why do you think people are interested in your every thought or movement? What happened to calling people and talking?

There's a commerical on TV now (I actually think think it's for an iPhone) of a man asking, "Who uses a phone just to make phone calls?" Hello, I do!