Wednesday, October 2 2019

coffee, hotsauce, kale, cables, and frosties

Dear Journal,

Good morning everyone! As you're reading this, I hope you are warm, dry, and drinking a good cup of coffee. This morning my coffee maker is acting a little weird. Of the 12 cups of water I added, only about 4 cups made it into the pot. And at this point I'm kind of frustrated and I'm asking the universe out loud how many different things can go wrong with a simple drip coffee maker. At this rate I'm going to end up buying one of these stupid things every month. Sip. At least it tastes OK. Maybe a little strong. Perhaps this whole debacle is just operator error. If I accidentally brewed some super coffee, we'll know by the end of the entry if I start going off the rails.

Yesterday was a great day. I had a quiet morning, spending most of the day working on something difficult. The project I took this week sounded easy, but yesterday I discovered all this hidden complexity, and had a weirdly fun time mentally piecing it together. I went for a quick walk, got stuck in a downpour, then ate lunch at my desk. I brought leftover tilapia mixed with baked beans spiced up with an excess of pineapple habenero hot sauce. It ended up being one of my favorite lunches. The tilapia toughened up just a bit in the fridge, almost like chicken breast, so it held up really well chopped up in the baked beans. And good hot sauce is always a treat. I would like to start cooking with hot sauce more.

I had a few more meetings in the afternoon. We met with our Secure team neighbors about some Amazon account strategy stuff, and throughout the meeting we dabbed the pineapple habanero hot sauce on little crackers.

I took the bus home, and as I walked up our driveway, Marissa and Rodney greeted me on the front step. Sometimes when I come home Rodney is playing in the yard, or they're both drawing on the driveway with sidewalk chalk, and it warms my heart. Today they were just angrily swatting mosquitos, and after a quick hello hug we darted inside to avoid the late fall bug spawn from yesterday's rain.

Rodney and I jumped in the car and drove to Hy-Vee. I had a full dinner planned, and I wanted to shave off as many minutes as possible. We made a quick lap around the store, picking up everything we needed to make saucijzenbroodjes, with a side of red potatoes and carrots. I also decided to throw some kale and bacon into the mix. Hy-Vee was out of garlic yesterday, which is something I have never seen before. I had to buy the "special garlic" that is packed into gourmet tiny boxes. Opening it at home, I felt like I was unboxing a special computer part, but inside was just a single underwhelming stubby head of garlic.

I love it when a recipe just clicks. I mixed and chilled the ground beef, tossed the red potatoes in oil and arranged them on a baking sheet, threw the carrots in a pan with butter, and slowly starting rendering the chopped bacon on a skillet. I've done kale and bacon before, but this time, armed with the carbonara knowledge, I started with a cold skillet to render out more of the fat. I added the kale and allowed about ten minutes for the steam to leave, then the leaves started to darken and lower into the skillet, wicking up the bacon fat. I was so entranced watching the kale transform that I almost forgot about the rest of the meal.

We ate dinner and chatted about the day. Marissa had taken Rodney and the dogs to agility practice, and Rodney had another great potty training day. Marissa gave Rodney a bath while I put his laundry away, then we put him to bed. Before bedtime, I made the mistake of letting Rodney read the story. Oh, he'll very sweetly ask if he can read to you, but he really just rifts with the book open in his lap, trying to get some final laughs out of you before bedtime. It's like toddler stand-up comedy.

Rodney went to bed, then I went upstairs to set up my new computer I bought with my birthday money. It's a new raspberry pi, and I splurged on the 4GB model, but in a total oversight, I forgot that this model had switched from HDMI to micro HDMI and didn't have the needed cable on-hand. I decided to take the car to Best Buy. As I was heading out the door, Marisa meekly asked me to pick up a frosty from Wendy's on the way back, and who could turn that down? I braved the heavy rain all the way down East Washington only to find that Best Buy was closed, but I still picked up Wendy's.

Marissa and I ate our frosties on the couch and watched some YouTube videos, then I got up to start another round of dishes and wipe down the kitchen. Marissa cleaned the stairs. We reconvened at 11:15 to start a movie. Marissa picked Fantastic Mr. Fox, and it sucked us in immediately. As we watched the movie, the dogs wrestled on the carpet, almost like they were competing with the movie for our attention.

This morning, I'm enjoying this concentrated cup of super coffee while getting in the mood to dive back into work. I'm working from home today. Marissa will take the dogs to agility practice in a bit, then as long as the rain holds off, we'll walk to Glass Nickel for Lunch. This is my last work day before a long wedding filled weekend, and to celebrate I think I'm going to make a deep dish pizza tonight.

Hope you have a wonderful day today. Remember, always start bacon in a cold pan, Best Buy closes at 9PM on weekdays, if you drive to Wendy's at night during a flash flood warning, drive slowly. Thanks for reading, and have a great Wednesday.