Fiery Pickles: An Online Chat Transcript

No Comments

I seriously want to do this next year.

Kerry: how’s your garden?
me: Man
I’m never going to eat all these cucumbers
Kerry: make ice cream
or lotion
me: pickles
That’s my plan for next week
Meredith loves em
Kerry: pickles!
You could give them as xmas gifts
“Fancy Baltimore Pickles”
Kerry: make that “Avelino’s Fancy Baltimore Pickles”
put peppers in with them
“Avelino’s Spicy Baltimore Pickles”
you’ll have  a pickle empire
“Avelino’s Spicy B’more Pickles, Hon”
me: I’ll just convert the whole plot to cucumbers and peppers (and chiles) next year
Kerry: I’ll design the packaging
that would be amazing.
cukes & chiles
me: haha
Kerry: Fiery Pickles
so much potential.
me: the name works perfect too
Kerry: of course, you’ll have to grow a beard.
me: Of course
Kerry: And the bottles need to be oddly shaped.  None of that pickle jar nonsense.
me: Dude
Chile-shaped jars
Kerry: awesome
chile shaped cucumbers!
me: though that might not be easy to store
Kerry: with red dye
man. We may have a hit on our hands

The Whistling Waitress


Meredith told me recently that she misses me blogging about what’s going on in my life. Right now seems like a really good time to rectify that.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks in many ways, but above all, there’s this: My grandma Marie passed away just after her 77th birthday. I’ll be heading home to Silver City this weekend to attend funeral services. Since she was diagnosed with leukemia in December, my thoughts have often turned to her. Her passing has only amplified that effect.

I’ve remarked before that the only hard part of leaving Silver City to move to Washington/Baltimore was leaving my grandmothers behind. Both of these women had an inexplicable impact on my life: My grandma Flora helped raise my sister and I when we were young. In what I could call my more formative years, I forged a relationship with my grandma Marie, a friendship I’d never known I could have.

I don’t know if her passing is just pressing on my mind or what, but I’m noticing things, remembering things that make me think of her. In the supermarket on Monday, Meredith and I saw a family who were checking out using a government check. They were marking off the items that their fixed income check would provide, and I couldn’t help but think of the many times in her life that my grandmother struggled to feed her family. She was never what one could consider wealthy, but she stretched every bit of income the family generated. She told me stories of her youth, of washing the laundry of richer families and lugging it around her neighborhood and the city of Bernalillo. She told me the precious value that a penny could hold for a child in those times, and why a dime could mean so much to her family.

It’s easy in our modern society to lose sight of the truly important matters in our lives. You needn’t look further than the Story of Stuff or the nightly news to understand how that happens. But watching that family check out with their $15 worth of groceries really jolted me. I recalled my grandma Marie and her mantra of always having something to eat in the kitchen: often a pot of frijoles and a pile of tortillas (though, if you ever ate either, you wouldn’t say ‘only’). But it was there. She fed my father, sister and I after church every Sunday, and she also welcomed my high-school buddies for lunch every few weeks with open arms and a friendly smile. And, as if she didn’t have enough grandchildren already, many of my friends were often in her thoughts and prayers. My grandma last year rejoiced when Harmony was married and at the news that she was expecting a baby.

Grandma Marie was a pious woman, selfless and humble. If anybody could demonstrate how to live without regard to their material lives, it was her. She enjoyed the simplest of pleasures: a long phone call from a friend; her novellas (and certain American soaps as well); a Cowboys victory on Sunday afternoon. She was the one who taught me the value of shopping with coupons, of finding the bargains. Grandma Marie was also the woman who taught me that family comes first. Continue reading…

New Mexico ranks first in greenlighting stimulus projects

No Comments

That’s according to the ProPublica Reporting Network, which crowdsourced a spot-check of 520 projects across the country. There’s a great article up (compiled by my buddy Amanda Michel) showing the state of stimulus funding in the 50 states. New Mexico appears to be doing well:

The federal Transportation Department data, listing the status through Aug. 7 of approved road and bridge projects in all 50 states, show a huge disparity in progress nationwide.

New Mexico is the furthest ahead when it comes to green-lighting projects, having issued a notice to proceed for all its approved projects.

According to Michel, the coming wave of construction is the big take away:

But in most cases, approved projects were still in the pre-construction phase, the Spot Check reporters found. “Construction is supposed to begin the first week of August, but I have yet to see any progress beginning,’’ wrote Coulter Jones, who looked into a $3 million paving project in Luzerne County, Pa.

Reports from the field came in over a two-week period in late July, so it’s possible some have advanced in the meantime. Coulter checked back last week, for instance, and found that work had begun on the Pennsylvania project.

In some cases, construction delays appeared to be the result of contractors’ schedules rather than red tape.

Looks like there’s some construction coming your way (no matter where you live).

Grant County Stimulus Funding

No Comments

The good people at ProPublica broke down the Recovery Act funding on a county-by-county level. Here’s the money going to Grant County. For example, you’ll see that Western New Mexico University received $1,423,579 for Pell Grants this year. If this page over at College Data is correct, that’s enough to cover full tuition for 415 in-state students. With all the layoffs in Grant County recently, hopefully it’s being put to good use.

Making laws with the Congress you’ve got…

No Comments

That famous Donald Rumsfeld quote comes to mind as I watch this Huffington Post video of Congressmen using every move in the book to avoid answering questions about Barack Obama’s citizenship:

The video is via David Waldman over at Congress Matters (which you should be reading if you’re not already), who aptly describes why this shouldn’t be as funny as it is:

Look how uncomfortable they are even addressing the “question” of whether or not Barack Obama was born in the United States, lest their wack-a-doodle “base” become insulted and threaten to teabag them, or whatever the hell it is they’re so afraid of.

You think they’re gonna grow a spine on an actual issue of substance? What are you, a damn idiot?

When the Senate gives away the farm on health care reform, remember it’s because we’re trying to appease these Representatives so they’ll sign onto a “bipartisan” bill.

Kicking the dead horse: an online transcript

No Comments

My sister is really good about letting me know when I’ve been talking too much on IM:

me: Man
Back in like 1998
I picked up this version of Carmina Burana on CD for $1.99
and I listened the hell out of that CD
And now when I hear a version, it never sounds right to me
Aislinn: what a bargain
me: I’ve bought 4 different versions since then
And still can’t find one that’s “right.”
Aislinn: weird
me: I know
Either the tempo is off
Or the tenor can’t sing right
Or, even worse, the soprano sucks
Aislinn: i’m sorry
me: LOL
It’s OK
I still enjoy it
It’s just a little nag, you know?
Like watching your favorite movie, but one of the actors was different
Aislinn: yeah, i get it

All the above said, the version I just picked up on iTunes by the London Symphony Orchestra is pretty damn amazing.

Post meme from Dan Carlson.