Friday, October 15, 2010

To market, to market...

Well, after a long wait, The Fresh Market has finally opened near here. We waited a long time in the hopes for a Wild Oats or Whole Foods. I am not as familiar with TFM, but my take is that it's similar in concept to Whole Foods but smaller. We do have a few smaller organic/natural markets in town (a respectful nod to Rollin' Oats, Natures and Richard's). But it's about time we got a full-on green supermarket.

I went in today for the first time since they opened this past Wednesday. It was still a mad house! The produce was great, and the prices seemed comparable to Publix. So far so good. My only complaint is that the layout of the floor is horrible. Everything is at an angle, which looks cool, and I suppose separates them from every other market, but there's a reason why the others have aisles in a normal straight line. With the crowds, it was ridiculously difficult to get around. If there was more than one person with a cart in the aisle, it was nearly impossible to get around. I assume that once the customer flow settles into the norm, it might not be so bad, but I would think that they would plan for the best possible scenario with as many customers as they could hope for.

Years ago I worked with a retailer who remodeled all their stores and moved the aisles to a 45 degree angle to the exterior walls. It was a pretty radical change, and it wasn't too long before I think they realized the error of their ways. I'm not sure if the new place will come to the same conclusion or not, but I'm still happy they're here and will still shop there once in a while.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Being Green

We were in a conversation this morning, and it brings a question to mind. What does "going green" mean? I think everyone has their own interpretation - which is not a bad thing, but I'm wondering what it means to you. Recycling? Changing lightbulbs? Consuming less? Driving less? Or is it something completely different? What do you think?

Busy Morning....

Got up early to meet Patti & Paul at the dog park this morning with Finn, Polly and Milly with my three. But when I got there, the road was closed for another stupid bike race. "Share the road" my ass. Grrr! So a quick text and phone call and we made another plan to meet up at North Beach dog park. They beat me there and called to remind me that the small dog part was closed. Dang it! So off to 5th ave park. Never been there. But the kids were getting anxious and didn't know WHAT was going on, so we gave it a try. It was an okay park. Noisy, just because it's under the overpass. Didn't like the short fence, but mine have never been fence jumpers. After that, we went to PetSmart to pick up some dog food, and a couple new squeaky toys just to make it a good experience. Then home to more coffee. That's a lot of activity on a Saturday morning before 10AM. 

The best part is that Patti made these AWESOME banana muffins! YUM! Thanks Patti!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another experimental dish...

Okay, the chili/cherry/lime pork roast is in the cooker. So in a few hours we'll know if it's awesome or never to be spoken of again.

Pork roast w/
pitted, sliced cherries - maybe 2 cups
1 onion
4 garlic cloves
black pepper
1tbsp green chili sugar (one of those random things I just happened to have)
3 hungarian peppers
2 red hot peppers (I remembered to wear gloves this time)
zest of 1 lime
little chicken stock

My plan is to serve with brown rice. Maybe fresh shredded red cabbage.Another experimental dish..., originally uploaded by callenstewart.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fired in Salute...

My grandfather was in the Navy during World War II. One night, when I was about 17, he told me his story about the King of Arabia. He was aboard the USS Murphy when they picked up the King of Saudi Arabia to meet with President Roosevelt. The meeting is documented in history, but his stories were not.

The King would apparently not set foot on the ship, so the deck was covered in rugs. He would only eat fresh meat, so there was a herd of sheep on deck as well. One day, he and a couple of his Navy buddies snuck into the throne room, and took turns sitting on the throne. If they had been caught, the consequences would have been quite severe. One of the King’s guards gave my grandfather a coin and a handwritten note. Unfortunately, it was written in Arabic, so he didn’t know what he had written. He showed me the note that night, but had never had it translated. I’m not sure what ever became of the note after he passed away. The shell in the picture was from when they fired salute to the King. He managed to get a hold of one somehow and saved it. The coin he received from the King’s guard he had adhered to the shell and later engraved. The engraving says, “Fired in Salute to King of Arabia Aboard the U.S.S. Murphy. February 12, 1945.”

He gave me the shell that night. It was pretty amazing, and I was shocked and honored that he would give this to me. I’ve kept it for years now. Often wondering what the heck I was going to do with it, but I just can’t part with it. It’s a piece of history that no one else owns.

You can read more about the USS Murphy, and when it was spit in half, then repaired and redeployed. There was a documentary a few years ago, on Discovery I think. That’s another really interesting story in itself.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

An explanation...

Hi. My name is Chris and I'm a thinker.

Okay - to explain a little bit of my comments... I've come to the realization that I'm someone who thinks he's interested in learning or doing all kinds of things, but once I have an understanding of HOW something is done (please understand that I am not confusing this with SKILL), I tend to loose momentum. Interest is still there, I'm not as dedicated to it.

I took guitar lessons this year - which I've talked about doing for YEARS. But, once the lessons were over... well, I haven't touched it since. I bought a really cool camera (Nikon D90) last year and I "understand" the concept of photography, but again, my momentum has really slowed. The same can be said for learning Photoshop, Spanish (also French, Italian, Latin and Navajo - yes, Navajo. I blame author Tony Kellerman). I throw myself into it head-first. But once I get the concept, I'm ready to move on to something else.

Now that I understand this tendency, I need to know how to hold on to those interests and keep motivated. I have no idea how to do that. Or should I just accept that I am always going to be a "jack of all trade, master of none?"

A friend of mine and I were sitting around chattin' recently and I was talking about some of the VERY vivid dreams I have - and have had all my life. And she noticed a theme - I'm always solving some sort of problem in my dreams. I don't know if that has anything to do with this or not, but I feel like there's a connection. Like maybe once I've conquered the "idea" of a skill, I'm finished with it. Hmm...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I have to stop thinking.

I think too much.
I think too much about doing stuff.
I think too much about learning things.
I think too much about going places.
I think too much about how things are created.
I think too much about how things are done.
Thinking is a waste of time.
I need to stop thinking for a while and just do something.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Marching into spring... finally.

This year continues to fly by. I haven't been posting nearly as much this year, as you can see. The winter here in Florida has been unusually cold, which has really taken it's toll on the yard. But I think Spring is finally here. We've been spending a lot of time cleaning up, pruning, and planting spring color. Friends are coming to visit in a few weeks, so we want to be sure it looks as nice as it can. We would be doing these things anyway, but with company coming, it gives a little more motivation.

Well, I've completed my guitar lessons. Mostly. I missed the last couple sessions. The truck finally died, so we spent one weekend shopping around. I can't remember why I missed the previous lesson, but I felt like I was so far behind at that point that I blew off the last one. That's okay, I really just wanted some direction and good pointers. And I got that. So I'll continue to practice on my own and maybe in the fall sign up again.

I'm still taking pictures. I have a shoot this morning with a three year old. She's a friend of ours. A beautiful little girl, so this should be easy. Her mom wants Easter pictures. Hopefully I get a couple of good ones.

I'm off to Orlando in a couple weeks to attend Photoshop World. I've been to a couple of Scott Kelby's seminars, but never the BIG one. I'm really excited about it. I know I'll go feeling all inspired which will later turn into overwhelmed. But it doesn't matter. I know I'll have tons of notes and materials to review.

Speaking of photography and Photoshop, at our monthly neighborhood gathering I met some really interesting people. Kent and Jules Follett are photographers who specialize in the entertainment industry. Jules just published a giant photobook called Sticks n Skins - featuring drummers from famous bands. Some I'm familiar with, some not. But it's an incredible book. Check it out. Turns out they are just a block or so from my home. They invited me over to check out their studio any time. I sure I'm going to take them up on it. I love meeting interesting people, and I'm sure I could learn a thing or two from them too.

Friday, January 29, 2010

End of January already...

Well we're one month into the new year already. It's happening fast. Although I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions (as I said earlier), it's still a time for new and renewed ideas.

I've started the year by finally signing up for guitar lessons. So far I've enjoyed it. I would be much farther along if I spent more time practicing. But life gets in the way. There are other things to do, dogs take care of, and work.

This year I'll also continue to work on my photography. I've gotten my feet pretty wet this past year, so it's time to expand a little bit on it and start to do something new with it. I'm a little tired of the standard landscape shots and candid pictures of the dogs. I'm inspired by all the artistic photography I see on Flickr (my favorite haunt lately).  So, we'll see how it goes.

Have you started anything new this year?