Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm back, and I brought drinks.

Sorry to have been gone so long. You don't care, and that's the way it should be.

Foodie Parent is entering the realm of internet nostalgia (thanks for the good times, Foodie Parent), so I'll do my food writing here from now on. The schedule will be... flexible.

Imma tell you about some fantastic hot-weather drinks right now. The base of all of these drinks is the same. It's Miller High Life.

High Life (AKA Champagne) is my go-to hot weather beer. It drinks easy as water and is as inoffensively flavored. Ice Cold on a hot day, I'll have several, thanks. Due to its transparent flavor profile it's a good medium for delivering other flavors while imparting the myriad benefits of beer. So, on with the show!

The Mint Shandy

If you don't know Shandy, you're missing out. She's the best. She's beer mixed with lemonade. Any lemonade will do- you can get all fancy-pants (agave nectar and fresh gnome-squeezed heirloom lemons,) go ghetto rollin' (rifle through garbage cans for a McDonalds cup half-full of lemonade,) or in-between (find a gnome at McDonalds and fill in the blanks.)

If I don't have any Lemonade mix on hand I'll use a squirt of RealLemon juice from the bottle with some honey, splenda or whatever. If you don't have any lemonade, lemon juice or lemons you can't have a Shandy. Move along.

The easiest way to accomplish Shandy Status is the 'psshtCRACK' sluuuuuurp/top 'er off' method. If you're all fancy you can use a glass.

To take the traditional shandy to holy crap that tastes like butterflies status, tear up some fresh mint leaves and just float em on the top. It'll aromatize that beverage til your eyes roll back into your head. See that? It's your brain.

So, about that fresh Mint. It's easy to grow. If you happen to have any, it's nearly impossible NOT to grow. If you want to start a mint patch, may I suggest a neglected corner of your neighbor's yard? I may not? Very well. Use a pot on your porch.

Also: a  pretty awesome substitute for Lemonade:

I  realize if one doesn't have lemonade in the house it's far less likely there's Fresca in the fridge. Not my problem.

Advanced Botanicals: The Poison Ivy

This one is not for the non-insane. It requires two additives: A lime and a chili pepper.

I use peppers from the 'Super Chili' plant I bought in a back alley in West Baltimore:

One pepper is hot enough to kill your inkjet printer. So by all means, procure one and inflict a Dorsal Slit upon it thus:

Pair it with a lime wedge:

Pop it in the can, or a glass if it's for a photo:

That's it. It is a glass of insanity. Use whatever pepper you have on hand and let me know how it works out. 

Thanks for hanging out, it's good to talk again. See you around!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


turned out lovely...
Got the drums polished up and put back together. here's the some of em. better pics when I get to it...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday with some old drums...

Picked these up last week... some WFL drums dating between 1948 and 1953. In pretty good shape, with some original calfskin heads. They are very dirty and in need of love.

crusty old badge

the 13" tom

before and after chrome rims

snare drum, complete, in the princess chair...

lots of shiny parts.

You can see where the wrap yellowed over time. I think the yellow parts are more beautiful than the unscathed white bits that live under the hardware. God knows what they've seen. Who played them first? How long did they sit unused to be able to find me so relatively unscathed? 

I'm excited to see them cleaned up, shined and glinting in the sun. Anybody out there like polishing chrome?

Friday, February 3, 2012

February is a month all right. The book I'm working on.

When the wife and I had found out we were gonna have an offspring, all the usual stuff happened- the crying, the eyes bleeding, ice cream, a hike in the woods.

The search for a suitable daycare provider and the subsequent happenings were notable, in that there was very little available in the way of guidance for a coupla first-timers save for the advice of our friends who already had kind in daycare. Here and there we found fonts of good advice but for the most part we were on our own to learn things the hard way.

A year or so ago I thought somebody oughtta write a book about getting into and surviving daycare- not for the kids, who are immediately fine, but for the parents.

A year later nobody's done a thing about it so I'm working on it. It's been a fun process and I've got a way to go yet.

So here's my question to you, stranger: what subject matter would you want to see covered in such a book? What experience did you have at daycare that was so bewildering you wish you'd had a heads-up? I've got my list, but I'd like to make the book something really useful and entertaining for as many people as possible.

So please leave me a comment if you've got one. Thanks for glistening!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Business- Clutterbomb

Last year I had such a load of small business administration fall on my shoulders I felt like it was going to kill me. Fortunately it did not, and by now I've got it pretty well sorted and things are humming along smoothly.

Getting through the mess I was able to amass some important tools and a metric ton of useful experience. I had to look the mountain of problems in the face and decide it wasn't as big as I was. I learned to organize the load in order to chip away at it most effectively. It was stressful and difficult and I vowed I would take the lessons I learned and put them to use.

To that end, I've started consulting with my first client over the past two weeks- a small business, busy with work, just a few years old, and buried under administrative problems. I'm helping them to get their taxes on track (it's bewildering if you haven't kept up) and accelerate their Accounts Receivable. Once that mountain is mowed down we'll work together on ways to offer new services to existing customers and streamline their inventory and business model.

In two weeks I've already made a difference for this business and it's an amazing feeling. The relief on the face of my client is an encouragement to me that I can get these folks on track- and I can do it for others too. There are so many people out on their own doing great work in their field but struggling in the office. Clutterbomb is my tool to get them running the administration of their businesses smoothly, with eyes open and stress-free. Well, with a lot less stress anyway.

Over the next month or so my goal is to add two or three new clients who need a little push (or a mess of help) getting their business on track or out of trouble. It's an exciting idea, and I hope a fruitful one.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


So I've been tracking drums for and rehearsing with Sarmust, brainchild of Omar Waqar. It's a kind of Indie Rock with a subcontinental influence. I saw Omar's ad back in July 2011and thought this project might just be weird enough to get myself involved. I've long had an infatuation with the native music of India and Pakistan, dating back to my high school days when I'd watch Bollywood music videos on saturday mornings, utterly flabbergasted but unable to look away. That led to a discovery of the classical music of the area and artists like Zakir Hussein, Ravi Shankar, Trilok Gurtu and John McLaughlin's Shakti project.

So I got in touch with Omar and we traded some tunes. We decided it was a good match and made plans to get started. Then life intervened and I wasn't able to get started on the project until November 2011 but it's been fun since. Omar's got a slew of tunes written and it's been fun hashing them out, writing drum parts and recording them in my basement studio.

So look for updates here on the progress of the album- I have high hopes that it'll be strange and beautiful. Check out Omar's other projects at

Saturday, January 21, 2012

new track up. basement reggae

QUEEN PROTOTYPE <--- Click the link to listen...

needs layers of female vocals. this was a lot of fun to record. no edits.