Thursday, July 31, 2008

Observing Beauty

I started my day by observing a video project that my co-worker, Lisa had created. She spent about four months taping short clips of butterflies up near her place in St. Helena.The video was about eight minutes long and featured some gorgeous footage of Monarchs, Pearl Crescent and an assortment of sixteen other species. She had the music of Enya playing in the background which made for a delightful experience. Later on in the morning I went to our herb garden here at the CIA to pick flowers and herbs to put on display for our guests to enjoy. Lisa helped me with the arrangements and had some good suggestions about how to preserve flowers.If you put a drop or two of lemon juice in the water, it will act as a natural preservative.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Making my own Pesto

Tonight I picked a few sprigs of Basil from our herb garden. My neighbor Andres Quinteros let me have a few sprigs of fresh mint from his garden, and I had a host of other ingredients which I was determined to combine to make a dynamite Pesto sauce.
First I chopped the Basil and Mint using a traditional paring knife creating what is called a schifenade(?) and then mincing a garlic along with a handful of smoked Virginia peanuts, In a medium size mixing bowl . I scooped all the fresh ingrdients and added a half an avocado ( peeled ).After that I added lemon juice and four tablespoons of freshly grated Paramasean Reggiano cheese. Lastly, I mashed up the avocado, and poured some extra virgin olive oil into the mixture. Lastly, I sprinkled in a sufficient amount of Kosher salt to taste. This stuff is what summer snacks are all about. I used a baked cracker to scoop out some of this Pesto, just to satiate my taste buds. Smiling, I washed the cracker and Pesto sauce down with a big gulp of Lemonade. Yum !

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Watching what's next

Although I don't go for the use of expletives for emphatic effect (especially when they are used arbitrarily) , this slide presentation has an interesting message.It is a commentary on social networking when used as a way of marketing interest

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Visiting Dignitary

Timothy J. Keating, USN is the current Commander of the United States Pacific Command. He previously served as Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and Commander, United States Northern Command. He assumed his current assignment on March 27th, 2007. Keating was born on November 5,1949 in Dayton, Ohio. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1971. Following duty aboard USS Leonard F. Mason (DD-852) in the western Pacific, he completed flight training in August 1973. Today his family and friends were our guests at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Following lunch, they were given a complete tour of the facility. It was a distinct honor to show these folks around and at the end of the tour I was decorated with a commemorative medallion.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Making the Trip

Leaving Sunday evening around 9:30 PM and arriving in Ventura at noon on Monday. Phew ! I drove all night down 101 after crossing over from 280 at Gilroy. Smoke haze was everywhere from fires throughout the south land. I was destined to be at my meeting at two in the afternoon. I learned about the Gap fire after continuing from Ventura on through to Burbank. I overshot my turnoff and frantically found myself in Pasadena realizing I had to double back and find Western street with some time to spare. The meeting with three of the consumer products people at Disney proved to be a valuable experience, but only after my objective was met.I then jumped back on highway 5 to make it back to Calistoga by 10 PM Monday night. This was after a meeting that only lasted 20 minutes at best! I drove and drove with little time for rest. Eventually arriving in Visalia around four o' clock. From there I got on Highway 99 which led me around 200 miles out of the way. Gradually, I breezed into towns like Merced and Tracy, eventually finding my way to Walnut Creek . Luckily I got back on 80 going north to the wine country. Today I am baked.  I know what I have to do now. I have to take this referral contact that was offered to me from my meeting with the Disney Folks in Burbank and bring my" product idea" to a woman in New York who already has a license to sell goods from the Magic Kingdom. I will introduce her to what will be a complimentary product that will help sell an apron that has already produced for them.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Having Expectations

I can get quite philosophical when it comes to expectations. On the one hand, I expect a miracle because I have faith that I am serving a purpose on this physical level. On the other hand, one tries to have no expectations, so that they can at least observe the process of things, and learn enough to proceed through life without too much disappointment. At this age, I've gained some insight by conducting myself in such a way as to avoid making similar mistakes as the ones I have made in my past. Everything communicates. Everything is trying to tell me something. I wish I could be more specific about what I am referring to; Except that I just woke up and am still reeling from a dream I had about people in my past that showed up at a pool party. A photo album was brought out in this dream, so I know I am being told to reflect on someone or some incident in my past. This Summer feels a little like Winter to me emotionally , because of some unresolved issue that is beckoning me forward. More will be revealed.