Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Fun

We sat out last night and ate Mozzarella on fresh tomatoes and garden-fresh basil. The boys played with the "sprinkler" out back and then the dog discovered how much fun it could be. I grabbed my camera and got this short movie of my crazy dog. The boys thought this was hilarious.

video

Shants

Karen, my sis, sent Jack a few shirts and some shorts that her kids couldn't fit into anymore. Jack loves them because they have Lightning McQueen (Litnin' Mackweeen as Jack says) on the shirt. He had the shorts on today and I took a picture because they fit him, but they are long, all the way down to his shins. They aren't shorts on him and they aren't pants, they're "Shants".

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jack and Olie

Olie got a frog pool in the back yard, Jack liked it alot and the boys liked to wrestle in it. Tired them both out.



Olie is our next door neighbor, he is a year and a half and loves to pal around with Jack and Jack loves to pal around with him. Buds.

James and Nate

James stopped by the office the other day with baby Nate and he is getting big! I snapped a pic just before he took off.


Look at the head of hair on that kid...

Great Vanity Tag

Huh?

Perfect place to put a telephone pole. Perfect.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Guitar Hero

I got Guitar Hero for my birthday and have played it a few times. I wanted to do something special with my guitar, so I removed the plate, painted it red and then used white and black vinyl to make a design it on it.

The design is actually from the guitar of Eddie Van Halen, who is the guitar god I aspired to be in my teenage years. I do not sell these, so please, edward, don't sue me!

Simple Syrup

A quick tip to add to my entry about home-made lemonade; specifically, the simple syrup.

You can store the syrup in plastic containers that can be bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond for a few bucks each and then keep them in the refrigerator. Each container holds 2 cups of syrup each. Four cups of sugar and four cups of water will make six cups of simple syrup, or three plastic squeezie-bottles.


(Click on the BB&B Link to go to the squeezie-bottles)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Garden

The First Tomato.

Yes it is doing well, thank you for asking.

I went out and found I had three plum tomatoes that were just about ready for picking. Jack showed me one of them and it fell off the vine into his hands. The plum tomatoes are pretty big compared to the ones I see at the grocery store. The real test will be the taste, though.

I am planning on eating some tonight and will report back. We are grilling out some teriyaki chicken, corn on the cob and hot dogs tonight, Mmmmm-mmmm. Kate also picked up some Samuel Adams summer brew.

Real Homemade Lemonade

Kate got some Limes the other day at Wegmans for some cookies she was making (more on how those turned out when she decides to blog all about them).

I decided to get some lemons and make real home made lemonade. I had the powdered stuff and the stuff they sell at the county fair and it just doesn't taste the same unless you make it yourself.

Its easy! It takes a few minutes, but if you read all the stuff they put in the powdered stuff, you would be surprised. The best-selling powdered stuff has: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (To Preserve Freshness), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Glycerol Ester Of Wood Rosin, Natural Flavor, Yellow 5 and Ascorbyl Palmitate.

My recipe:
Water, Lemon Juice and Sugar.

Here is what you need:
4 Lemons
1.5 cups of Sugar and
Water

First, you need to make some simple syrup. If you tried to dissolve a cup and a half of sugar into some water, even at room temperature, it would leave some of the crystals laying at the bottom, which is OK if you are a bee, but I like a consistent taste from my lemonade and that means all the sugar crystals need to be thoroughly dissolved.

Simple Syrup.
To make simple syrup, just get a sauce pan and empty 2 cups of water into it. Turn the stove burner on to 6 and then add 2 cups of sugar. Meanwhile, start to cut the lemons and prepare a medium bowl with a strainer over it to catch the lemon pulp. I zested the lemons and set those aside, so that my wife could use the zest for some other recipe and set that aside. Better to get everything you can out of the lemon that you can.

While the syrup is setting up, be sure to stir it every few minutes and watch for boiling bubbles forming. When it comes to a boil, shut it off and set it on a burner that is not being used.

The Lemon Reamer, get one of these, otherwise you are just wasting your time squeezing.
Cut all your lemons and squeeze every last drop of juice out of them that you can. Some use a juicer, I use a wooden tool that I got at the store for $3. Its called a lemon reamer and it works much better than using your hands to squeeze out every drop. You would need Popeye-sized arms to be able to do the job of this simple tool, so get one and be grateful that someone invented it.


The lemon juice, this is the stuff you want. All that "work" for a few ounces of juice.
Ream the lemons over the strainer to catch the lemon seeds and pulp that also comes out of the lemon when it is being reamed. I have yet to run into anyone that likes a pulpy lemonade. Maybe you would be the first, so if you want some pulp, you now know where to get some. Mash the pulp through the strainer to get all the extra juice out and throw away the stuff in the strainer.

The Lemon pulp, its OK to throw this away.
Fill up your pitcher to just over a quart of water, add 1.5 cups of the simple syrup, which may still be a bit warm. (Feel free to prepare the syrup beforehand and store it in a squeeze bottle and store it in the fridge for those times when you may need it) Add one cup of your lemon juice and mix it. Take a taste and adjust your simple sugar/lemon juice ratio to make it sweeter or more tart.

This recipe should make under 2 quarts of lemonade. And you have some simple syrup and lemon zest left over to use for other recipes. Enjoy.

Lemon Zest, use it for all kinds of other recipes, or throw it away, I won't tell.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Prints On Sale Now

I received the first prints for my "Pop Art" back and they turned out great. Johnny Cash was the first that I decided to get printed in the series because someone promised already to buy two prints already.

The prints go for $95 each and are printed on high quality acid-free paper with UV-resistant inks so they will not fade. Did I mention they are also signed by moi, the artist, making them a collectors item!?

Go to my other blog and see if any of these interest you: My first series is (tragically) dead musicians. Click Here and then contact me at goodyear (dot) john (at) gmail (dot) com.

The Hundred Dollar Tip

I went with jack Wednesday night for some dinner at Subway, he loves, I love it, its all good and the Korean ladies love to see Jack. While I was paying for the sub, I had jack up on the counter because he likes to be up close to the action since he can't see anything above the counter and its all magic if you can't see above the counter.

He says to me, hey, can I have some money and starts to reach into the tip jar, but I told him that that jar is for tips, you ut money in, not take it out. It is for the ladies that work there. I looked down into the jar (box) and noticed that the dollar in there was actually a hundred dollar bill. I alerted the ladies that they had a hundred dollar bill in their tip jar and they just smiled and said, "yes, yes" like it was no big deal.

I took a picture just to be sure of what I saw and wanted to blog a note about it.

CD in the Microwave

I don't know if you have ever tried this, but its neat to watch. Place a CD in the microwave and set it for 6 seconds, no more. Otherwise you risk overheating the CD and it that does not smell good (most likely toxic, too).

We used to put CDs in the mic at an earlier job when they were bad or if it wasn't needed anymore.So here is the old "CD in the Microwave" video;
video

Here's the original trick I tried to duplicate, but haven't been able to, yet. This is what spurred the Microwave CD thing. Links to CD Bubble trick:
Link 1
Link 2
Link 2