Wherefore art thou, Dale Cooper?

Twin Peaks is well known for its array of quir...

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I’m rewatching the two sessions of Twin Peaks on Netflix streaming, and it is just as good or better than when I left it 15 years ago. The show is horrifying, and razor sharp in its writing.

The show shaped a view of the world that I might not have noticed otherwise. Of course there’s a spirituality to the show that is neither here nor there.

But there’s an element of “real life” to the show. When I’m in public, I get excited when I see the same faces. I even name them or give them nicknames. And when I see them, I excitedly say, “There’s Crack Lady!” And there’s Asian hat guy!

While watching the show, you can’t help but say, “There’s log lady!” or “There’s Curtain Lady!” or “There’s the one-armed man!”

It’s a great show.

Here are a couple quotes that I noticed and wanted to write down for later:

“Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. Could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black coffee. Like this.”  -Dale Cooper

And this one:

It’s usual in cases of strangulation for the victim to void his bowels.

Let it be written, let it be said, I not only miss Dale Cooper, I miss practically every character on that old show.

Our dogger has double directional output

Oh goodness, I’m tired today.

Talulah has picked up a stomach bug of some kind. Last night was the worst it’s ever been. She occasionally gets a bout of diarrhea or a barf here or there. But never both ends.

Last night it was both ends, and between worrying about her and her needing to go out, we didn’t sleep much. I’m exhausted.

Having a dog is probably as close as we’re going to get to having kids. We have no intention to pursue (kid) adoption at this point.

Although I’ve heard fostering can bring quite the income when fostering higher numbers of children.


I’m not saying I have any idea what it’s like to be a dad. But the amount of time I spend training Talulah is significant. It’s changed my perspective on the world and definitely altered my priorities.

I spend far less time smoking crack now that I have her. And Tina’s not whoring nearly as much.

So we have that working for us.

If you know anyone collecting crazy weird-looking samples of dog shit and vomit, let me know. I could have Talulah produce some for you.

Happy Humpday.

And watch out for those folks with weird smears on their foreheads.

Hipstamatic: Man eating pound cake

I grabbed this Hipstatmatic shot today at Target.

I call it: “Man Eating Pound Cake.”

That’s because there’s a man eating pound cake. It just makes sense.

You can click on the image to enlarge.

Dinner Blog: Scallops with Butternut Squash

I’ve posted this before, but it’s an awesome meal. It’s scallops with a mashed up butternut squash in a butter sauce with shallots, sage and lemon.

The butternut squash has a touch of cayenne pepper in them. I haven’t made this since Christmas with my family in North Carolina. I want to point out that the cayenne pepper we used in NC isn’t nearly good as the bulk cayenne pepper we bought at Whole Foods. The cayenne we used in NC was made from crushed red pepper flakes, it seemed.

The rich color of the powder we bought and the flavor is worth the extra trip to a grocer who sells it bulk. It’s also a little more reasonable, because you only buy what you need.

Recipe below. Bon appétit.

Here’s the recipe. Serves 4. It’s from America’s Test Kitchen. So, so good.

  • 1 Butternut Squash (about 2 to 3 lbs). I did a 3 pounder yesterday) Peeled seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks.
  • 1 tablespoon half and half
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs of sea scallops (I bought .75 lbs for Tina and me. But I made the full butternut squash, because it’s inexpensive and good for you … kind of).
  • 2 tbs of vege oil or canola
  • 1 Shallot minced
  • 2 teaspoons of minced fresh sage and 8 whole sage leaves.
  • 1 table spoon of lemon juice

1. Place squash in microwave and cook for 8 to 12 minutes. Turn once. Throw in a food processor with 1 tablespoon butter, half and half, salt and cayenne pepper. Make smooth.

2. Pat scallops and throw in a large skillet on medium high heat. 1.5 to 2 minutes per side.

3. Heat remaining butter, swirl constantly 1 min, add shallot, sage and sage leaves and go another minute. Off heat, add lemon juice, salt and pepper and pour over scallops and butternut squash.


Last night’s dinner, Hoisin-Glazed Boneless Ribs with a side of … Rob Bell

Last night I made hoisin-glazed boneless ribs with garlic broccoli. It was supposed to be broccolini, but my local grocery store was out of broccolini, and I didn’t feel like driving to a Whole Foods to find some.

I have determined that my local grocer is a broccolini hater.

The hoisin-glazed boneless ribs was a first-time recipe for me. I tend to feel like I screw up first attempts at recipes, so I don’t put a lot of time into the photo of a first-time recipe. It ended up being okay. The dark bits on the meat weren’t burned. They were places where the hoisin clumped up.

While I was cooking the pork, it seemed the recipe was lying and I lowered the heat before it said to do so. It was a mistake, and I kicked myself for it later.

I have learned that I should have trust in recipes from experts, because they have done this very act a thousand times and they are the professionals.

It’s like airline piloting or … science. The professionals in those fields are usually trust worthy. I almost wrote that I should have “faith” in professionals, but that’s not accurate. “Faith” isn’t the same thing. Faith isn’t even in the same ballpark.

Trust is different than “faith.” Faith is belief in something unseen. But I can see, taste, smell and hear the cooking experience. I can verify with my senses that a professional is communicating a recipe for a successful meal. Faith, on the other hand, has no such provable outcome.

Last night, the skeptic in me took over and it almost cost me the recipe. I ended up having to cook the meat longer, thus drying some pieces out. Trust the recipe and the meal will be a success. Doubt the recipe and the results may suck, and pizza delivery or making a sandwich may be the only salvation.

This is where I shove a wooden square in a round hole.

This may be contrived to say, but many believers see the bible as a recipe book for success. And in some ways, there are some good bits of advice in the book. But the book is also littered with a LOT of bad advice. So one part of the recipe says, “Love your neighbor as yourself” and the next bit says, “Hate your family and love Jesus.”

This is not a recipe for success. It’s a recipe that can’t be saved with a pizza delivery or a sandwich.

As opposed to cooking (or science), world religions require faith in the unseen and the unprovable. I criticize people for not acknowledging that. Religious people should recognize what it really is, and I think Rob Bell sort of does that for Christians — which is why people like my uncle think he’s full of shit.

Religion recipes often result in bad-tasting social behavior, which is why I don’t trust it. I want to trust that the outcome of my thoughts and behaviors are going to have positive results on my neighbors both near and far.

Chew on that for a second. Or don’t.

Last night, I checked my site stats before turning out the light. Le Café got a nice hit boost yesterday thanks to the post about Rob Bell.

I added a comment this morning to lure people into a conversation. I would imagine that anyone who likes Rob Bell isn’t a typical believer, and therefore might be worthy of a conversation.

Who knows if it will do any good.

Happy Sunday!

It’s Pat!

Wednesday nights are pool night. Last night was a home game, and  the bar where I play is about 150 yards from our condo.

As I walked up to the bar, there are three large sets of windows. The bar was empty except for two people practicing pool and two people sitting at the bar. The closer I got to the door, I noticed an older woman, probably in her 70s, and she was getting up from her stool and walking toward the bathrooms. I never saw her before.

When I walked in, I greeted everyone.


I scrawled my name on a chalk board by the pool table to get in line for the next game, and I started talking to a friend of mine by the bar. About five minutes passed, and I happened to look over at a couch in a corner by the bathrooms. There was a person laying on the couch facing away from the bar, wearing flip-flops.

“Who’s that?” I said.

The bartender and another guy looked over, and the bartender says, “Hey Pat, you can’t be sleeping in here. Get up or you’ll have to leave.”

Apparently Pat was the 70-year-old woman that I saw when I walked in.

(I’ll put the rest of this entry below the fold)

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Happy Day After

I’m trying to concentrate more on family than the blog. So that’s what I’m doing. Except for right now, of course.

Talulah and I went running in the snow this morning and when I got back, she was tracking blood all over the kitchen. She broke the hell out of a nail on her right front paw. It’s hanging there by a thread. The poor thing.

I bandaged it up after cleaning the wound. She successfully tore it off, and now she’s sleeping next to my dad.

The snow is absolutely gorgeous. You should be here. We could make a warm drink and sit by the fire.

We might even be able to get the remote control from my grandpa and turn off the sunday morning sermons that have been on TV since this morning.



In North Carolina, safe and sound

Tina and I made it last night at around 9:30. It took us almost 12.5 hours to drive. Driving through the  West Virginia turnpike was a little hairy. There was snow coming down, and the twists and turns were daunting after 9 hours of driving.

During the drive, my dad and my brother called me about three times a piece. I turned to Tina at one point and I said, “Man, it really feels like they want us to be there. Dad has a welcoming calm in his voice. I like that.”

My parents were waiting for us when we got in. When I talked to my mom the other day, she said, “We’ll have a beer here when you get in.”

When I talked to my dad when we were about 20 minutes away, I said, “Man, I’m looking forward to that beer.”

“We don’t have any beer here,” he said.

“Oh okay.”


“Well, I’ll pick some up on the way in.”

We hung up. No big deal.

Two minutes later, my phone rang. It was my dad. “Hey, Jer, what kind of beer do you want? I’m in the car. I’ll go get some.”

How cool is that?

This morning I chucked it with Talulah for about an hour. Then I ran mom and dad’s little dogs for about 10 minutes. They are little barky dogs, and I thought they could use a little heart rate increase.

I’m showered, and we’re going to church at 1 p.m. at my brother’s church. We’re going to celebrate with them today. We’ll open presents and all that. On Christmas we’ll take it easy. I’m going to make scallops and butternut squash tomorrow for dinner since it’s only going to be my mom, dad, sister, Tina, my gramps and me.

Happy Merry Christmas Eve. I wish you the very best. Thanks for checking in.

Let me know what you’re up to in the comments. I’d love to know.

It’s Tina’s Birthday!

It’s Tina’s birthday today. She loves birthday wishes almost as much as she loves you.

So while I’m spoiling her with gifts and kisses, send some word kisses her way. She’ll love them just as much as she loved her dessert last night at dinner. We went to a place called, “Hot Chocolate,” so you know their desserts kicked ass.

And by kicked ass, I mean, they’d make hungry kids cry if they ever had a chance to taste one.

We had two.



Speaking of cooking

If you were downtrodden after reading my last post, here’s a pick-me-up! How about recipes that I’ve had success with!

These are not the greatest photos, but I can recommend the recipes. I’ve recommended this first one before. But if you haven’t tried it yet, I strongly recommend it. It’s perfect for warming up on these cold days. In Chicago, it’s been 0 degrees with windchill, and the heat never seems to go off.

The first image is for Spicy Tortilla Soup. It’s really fast to make. Here’s the online recipe. We do a slight variation of it. But for the most part, this is a great base to start from.

One thing we do is use regular tortilla chips (instead of baking soft tortillas). Don’t skip the feta cheese. I usually leave the jalapeño seeds in. Bring the heat.

Note: This isn’t my favorite photo in the world, but taking pictures reminds me to tell you about it later.


The second recipe I’ll put below the fold to avoid filling up my home page.

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