Friday, May 20, 2011

My rapture playlist

As I picked up Kid3 from swim practice, I asked him what we should listen to on our drive.

He suggested Europe's The Final Countdown since the world is going to end tomorrow.

I'm going to piggy back on his idea and share what I'll be listening to when the earth starts shaking.

1) Europe - The Final Countdown
2) The Beastie Boys - So Whatcha Want
3) Metallica - The Four Horsemen
4) REM - Its the End of the World
5) Ministry - The Missing
6) They Might Be Giants - Dead
7) They Might Be Giants - Snowball in Hell
8) Depeche Mode - Blasphemous Rumors

What would you add?

Don't be frontin' when revelation comes!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My kid doesn't know his spelling words

Every afternoon, Kid 3 comes to into my office with his list of 3rd grade spelling words.  I read the word, maybe use it in a sentence and he spells them. Just to be sure he doesn't memorize the list in order, I always mix up the order (its not random, but in case he's reading this, I won't give away my pattern). He almost always gets them right, which I attribute to the fact that he studies them before he comes to me (let me live my dream). He's really good at spelling.

But here is the thing: he doesn't actually learn the spelling list. He just knows how to spell words. Sometimes, I throw other words in there, maybe not necessarily third grade words or a word from a previous list and he spells them. Sometimes, he gives me a funny look, but he just spells them. To really change it up, I sometimes make a crazy sentence out of several of the words.  And he spells them.

Every Friday, I ask him how he does on his spelling test.  Last week, he was not at home, but I found his spelling test and he missed one of the bonus words. I was a little surprised, because even though the words are hard (and I don't know what some of them mean), he had done a good job in practice.

Evidently, he mis-heard his teacher saying univalve and he wrote unicorn. I can hear the resemblence, but man, if only he knew that unicorn wasn't one of his spelling words, he might have asked for her to repeat it.

Yet another example of kids doing the darndest things!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Cupcakes and coding - a nice day off

Earlier this week, I took a day off. I was at my PTO cap and needed to take the day. Nothing really was planned for the day, so I did some things that I think are fun. I made cupcakes and reviewed MySQL stored procedures for a side project of mine. Sounds like nice things for a day off, no?

I didn't just make any cupcakes, I made Stout Cupcakes. Yes, there is a bottle of Guinness in these cupcakes. Okay, so I followed a Martha Stewart recipe, but they weren't any frilly frosted cupcakes on doilies. The cupcakes had a heaviness to them, more like a bread, with a bit of spice.  The molasses and nutmeg gave them a "ginger bready" taste.

That's stout glaze. No milk or lemon juice in there, stout was the liquid used to make this glaze.

My wife enjoys my cooking, but doesn't want to keep the cupcakes in the house. No sooner than they were glazed, I had called some of the neighbors and asked if they were home.  This is becoming code for "Beau is bringing something yummy."

I thought that they were pretty good. Heather suggested that I make a fluffier chocolate frosting, just to lighten them a bit. I'd be up for trying that again.

So what do you think of Stout cupcakes?

Monday, May 02, 2011

A sweet spring with Cal Giant strawberries

My wife, the big blogger she is, occasionally gets free stuff.  The day before Easter, when I was checking to see if a package from Amazon had arrived, there was a flat of Cal Giant strawberries sitting on our doorstep.  While it wasn't what I was expecting, it was still a sweet surprise.  A flat of strawberries is a lot of strawberries, even for our family of 5, which includes a teen aged boy (read: eating machine).

After I made myself dinner tonight (everybody else is at swim practice) and while my head is still pleasantly fuzzy from my Strawberry-Basil Gin cocktail, I decided I'd write about our free strawberries and how sweet they were!

Yes, I'm solo tonight and I made myself a pink cocktail. But what better way to use up the strawberries, as they reached the tail end of their life?

Well, you could mention the chocolate covered strawberries I made for Easter brunch.  Now that was a sweet combination.
Easter Brunch - photo by ScoutsHonor
Another way to enjoy strawberries, is dipping them in sour cream mixed with brown sugar. The brown sugar cuts the tang and thins the sour cream, making an enjoyable dip.

Yes, I use sweet like a California surfer, but these Cal Giant strawberries were a nice addition to our Easter brunch. And they were quite fresh too. I bet that these went from field to flat to our house. Its not that often that you get strawberries that fresh, unless you are from Watsonville (which would make you my first reader from that city).

On top of being fresh (like ripe, not like cool from the 80's), these strawberries were big. No wonder the name of the company is Cal-Giant, they were good sized strawberries.  I wasn't planning on making chocolate dipped strawberries for brunch, but a large strawberry makes for a very pretty one dipped when dipped in chocolate.

The only downside to this giant crop of giant strawberries which was delivered to us was that the bottom layer in the flat didn't fare so well in shipment.  But Cal-Giant doesn't make it a habit of shipping strawberries to your home, so go out and buy them from the grocery store!