Sunday, June 26, 2011

How Hot is Hot?

I cooked chili competitively for many years. I won a few competitions and lost a lot more. One thing I learned is that spicing food is an art. Not everyone enjoys a dish so hot that the commingled flavors are indistinguishable, especially a chili judge. I bring this up because I had a dish at a Mexican restaurant recently that was so hot that the dish's flavors got lost. Made me wonder about life and the way we can come across some times. Funny, ain't it. I have worked hard, especially of late, to temper my responses when I feel provoked. A little less spice in my lingo, so to speak. So much of life, and cooking, is what you add or subtract from it. I'm no philosopher; but maybe remembering this spicy story might help you when your pot gets simmering.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fathers Day

The recent lost of my father has caused me to reflect on the ways I mark someone's passing . Things I shared with the individual come to mind, but holidays always make me pause. I think everyone has regrets, some more than others. Regrets tingle my memory, but; for the most part, I don't dwell on them. I mark the passage after loss as each holiday without the deceased passes; especially the first one. I think it's the hardest. My father and I had some rough times which I now mostly attribute to my ignorance. I didn't appreciate the sacrifice his dedication to serving our country cost him. Having a dedicated military man as a father is a tough road to hoe-for both parties. Now, in hindsight, the lessons I resisted that he tried to teach me have made me the individual that I am. I now realize my better qualities come from my upbringing. My worse side was all due to the path(s) I chose, some in complete disregard to all that I'd been taught. It's funny that I think a lot of things could be better in our world if kids today were brought up with the values I was taught. Kids today could stand to respect their elders better and exercise gentility and politeness in dealing with others. It's not complicated, really. A little "Yes Mam, Yes Sir, Please and Thank You" can go a long way. Respect your elders; despite your foregone conclusions, for what they are and the roads they've travelled, rather than condemning them for trying to teach you things. My father should be proud that he left a memory of a man who believed in a lot of things we seem to have forgotten today. His integrity and name were the most important things he had. He always protected and valued them. If you still have your father, treasure your time with him and try to appreciate the things he wants to impart to you. I am blessed that I have a treasure trove of memories to carry with me, I hope you do too,
Happy Fathers Day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


This is a mish mash today-no specific topic. Just discussing workamping in general. We took advantage of our positions in the hospitality/tourism industry and visited the local water park at a severe discount over our last days off . We're allowed to bring a guest or two, so we invited a friends wife and her three children. We had a great time even though we are sunburned a bit. The water park has limited days that we're allowed to do this, so we took advantage. Although there are no rides here, we can turn to our local lake to take a dip in later.
We lost two workampers over the last week. The "wife" half was struggling in the office and the "husband" half did not like the "scope" of the maintenance work. This is a large complex with a lot of things going on. To be truthful, I was a little leery at first; especially working in the hotel. To the facilities credit; a lot has been asked of everyone because of the flooding on the lake. This workamper didn't see painting and cleaning a restroom as part of his duties. The problems his wife was having probably didn't help. So now, all of our schedules have changed and everyone will have to work a little harder. You have to be real flexible in the "workamping world". During the season you can forget about having weekends and holidays off. Requested time off is frowned upon and needs a good reason.
Other than that, it's hot and summer just started. That's the "mish mash" for today!