Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Prognosticator of prognosticators

My three year old daughter has some trouble with extended periods of time. She knows Mommy's birthday is after Daddy's birthday, so since Daddy's birthday is over now, today must be Mommy's birthday.

So this morning she was talking about how we needed to make a card and get a birthday cake for my wife, and we told her that today was not Mommy's birthday. She's very big on calendar numbers now, so she asked, "Oh, what day is Mommy's birthday? 48?"

At first we started to say no, but then realized that she may be more right than we knew. My wife's birthday is February 15. So add 15 days in Feb to 31 days in Jan, to the two days left in Dec. Yeah, that adds up to 48.

Next thing you know, she'll be wearing Limburger cheese hats.

-The Krunchy Krab

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Depths of Despair

The power came back on. :(

Well, it was fun while it lasted. I now know that in 5 minutes I can have most of my house powered up in an emergency. The power came on, then went off again for a little while, and my wife accused me of tampering with the supply so I could keep running the generator.

Well, I will just pray for another cold front!

-The Krunchy Krab

Power outage! Hallelujah!

The power went out about 30 minutes ago! Yes!!!!!!

I FINALLY get to use my generator. Now, it wouldn't be such a big deal, yes, I bought the generator two years ago, but I wouldn't be too mad about not using it if it was just the generator, but I also installed a transfer switch in my house to let me power everything. That was an annoying process to be sure. And then I never got to use it - I bought everything the day after the power came back on two years ago, and it never went out again.

But now, here I am, the only person in my neighborhood with internet, lights, refrigerator, hot water, furnace, and tv, and I'm lovin' it.


-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Overheard tonight...

"You only have to say it one time, child"

(finger wagging) "I AM NOT A CHILD"

"Are you a grownup?"

"No, but I am not a child!"
(she's three years old)

-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Kids say the darndest things...

Phrases heard this evening when our daughter's friends came over to play:

"Here is your muffin. If you eat all of that, you can have some of this." "What is this?" "Bacon."

"It's Christmas! Christmas!" (said while throwing rice into the air like snow)

"I am a coverer." (Took a long time to figure out she was saying coverer) "Oh, what kinds of things do you cover?" "I cover all sorts of things!"

-The Krunchy Krab

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I asked my daughter this evening, "Are you brilliant?"

After a small giggle and a sheepish grin, she replied, "A little bit."

-The Krunchy Krab

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dude, I got a...



My new laptop arrived today. I thought it would never get here, quite literally. I don't recommend ever ordering from Lenovo, it was not a fun experience. But, after all that, it's here and it's cool.

I guess it was all worth it... ok, yes it was worth it now. It's the most powerful machine I've ever used!

-The Krunchy Krab

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A new quote...

A quote from my wife, about our new baby.

"She's so little. It's hard to believe she will ever grow up to be a woman who will be worried about the size of her butt"

-The Krunchy Krab

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Washington is the greatest state. Ever.

Is there anything better than eating a fresh homemade peach pie, made with fresh Washington Alberta peaches bought at a local produce stand?

Yes, there is.

It is better to eat said peach pie heated with this on top.

-The Krunchy Krab

Sunday, September 21, 2008

At long last!

It's finally over. I didn't think it would happen earlier this week, but I have finally achieved my first fantasy sports championship. Ok, yes there is still one day left, but the score right now is 290 - 201, and it will be a cold day in Arizona before someone outscores me by 90 points in a single day. 

My hat is off to you, Burnett Bombers. I had not beat you head to head before, you had a better overall record, a better division record, more points scored over the whole season, and a better name than me. Unfortunately in week 25 I managed to outscore you. Sorry about that.

So I'm not sure what to do with all my newfound fame now. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before paparazzi start knocking down my door. Oh well, as long as they photograph my good side (the side where you can't see my receding hair line)

I think I'll celebrate by... publishing this post!

-The Krunchy Krab

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It all comes down to this

This is it, my wife's favorite time of the year. The end of the fantasy baseball season. It's the final championship game, and right now I'm leading by 20 points. I've never beat this team (the Burnett Bombers) head to head before, but we're pretty evenly matched. It's sad to see the season end, but all that really means is IT'S FANTASY FOOTBALL TIME!!!!!!


-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Millions of peaches, peaches for me. Millions of peaches, peaches for $0.99 per pound.

Did I forget to mention the other reason this is the most wonderful time of the year?

What the best way to spend the day before football sunday? Eating peaches. One for the canner, one for me, one for the canner, one for me...

My daughter is very excited to have 50 pounds of peaches on the counter.

-The Krunchy Krab

Thursday, September 11, 2008

C'est le meillure que jamais

It's the best that was never... that's the literal translation of the french phrase I found on some food product on our recent trip to Victoria.

I believe this to be the most perfect candy cane cookie ever made. My wife disagrees. That may possibly be because I used that as my primary case for why she should be the one to shape the rest of the cookies using the dough I had made.

Now, you may be distracted by asking yourself, why are they baking candy cane cookies in September?

But the way I see it, there are two possible and more important questions you should be asking. First, if you know me (and why would you read this blog if you didn't?) you should ask yourself why you're wondering why I would bake candy cane cookies in September. Has any one thing I've done in the past led you to believe that I'm normal?

Or, if you don't know me, probably because you're one of those random hits I get from Google searches like "penguins with neckties that look like Geoffrey Chaucer" or "crunchy krab cakes", then you should be asking, why does this guy call himself The Krunchy Krab, and why am I still reading this?

Either way, someone has to eat this perfect cookie, and if no one else can bring themselves to do it, I suppose I'll just have to take one for the team.

-The Krunchy Krab

Monday, September 08, 2008

What is "Recipe the name" mean?

My daughter likes to listen to the Psalty Kids' Praise tapes in the car, hand-me-downs from my childhood. There's one song she particularly likes, that has a line in the chorus - "Blessed be the name, Blessed be the name, Blessed be the name of the Lord our God!"

She's still learning how to pronounce most words, and so she asks us now what things mean. So the other day she asked us, "What is 'Recipe the name' mean?" We finally figured out she meant "Blessed be the name" and was just pronouncing it wrong, which produced a good laugh. But when we told her it was "Blessed" she just said, no, it was Recipe. So now, she sings "Recipe the name, Recipe the name, Recipe the name of the Lord our God!" at the top of her lungs. Additionally, she attempts to make vibrato by raising her head and shaking it back and forth with her eyes closed and her mouth wide open while singing.

Sometime I'll catch it on video and post it here.

-The Krunchy Krab

Sunday, August 24, 2008

iPhone, day 3

I wish to address all the people who have chided me for sacrificing my ideals.

Hello people.

Ok now that we have that out of the way, I wish to remind you that I still have not paid money for any Apple/Mac product. I just leach off others.

- The Krunchy Krab

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dude, I got an...


Wait a minute, aren't I the sworn enemy of Apple

And yet, here I am blogging on my new iPhone

I'm sure there will be many posts to follow...

-The Krunchy Krab

Friday, August 08, 2008

"It's Real"

Hello. How's the family? Hello.

I turned on the tv, and what to my utter delight was on, but NFL FOOTBALL. Minnesota at Seattle. The Seahawks are on. Let the best part of the year begin.

-The Krunchy Krab

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I'm still here

I've got a backlog of about 10 posts that I just haven't had time to finish.

In the meantime, I made ribs tonight. Two full racks of beef back ribs. The highlight was the barbecue sauce I created. Here's the recipe (as near as I can remember)

2 T canola oil
1/2 to 3/4 C finely chopped/processed onion
2 T minced garlic
1/4 C water
About 1/8 C Red Wine Vinegar (apple cider vin would probably work just as well)
2 T lime juice
1+ C ketchup
3 to 4 T Worchestershire
About 1/4 C brown sugar
Cayenne pepper and Red pepper flakes to taste (I used about 1 tsp of each)
Black pepper to taste

Saute the onion and garlic in the oil in a medium saucepan for a few minutes.

Add everything else and bring it to a slow boil, stirring frequently. When it begins to bubble, reduce the heat as low as you can while still maintaining a slow bubbling.

Let it simmer for at least 10-15 minutes. It will reduce down to a normal ketchup consistency.

It turned out amazing - spicy and sweet. :)

Happy Eating!
-The Krunchy Krab

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I can spare thee no longer

Up until this point I've spared everyone (all three of you) my constant rantings about fantasy baseball. My wife LOVES fantasy sports (actually, contrary to the sarcastic tone, she has agreed to take part in fantasy football this year)

But it is now halfway through the season, and things are finally looking up, so I thought I'd write an update. I began the season in the depths of despair, having the absolute last draft pick. As it turned out, that was a sort of blessing, because I was always able to make two draft picks in a row. Also, since my strategies for fantasy sports tend to differ from other peoples' strategies, my top players were still available.

Anyway, the draft was done, and it was on to the season. Oh, I could hardly wait.

The first 13 weeks breezed by. I won my first game, oh joy! Then three losses in a row. I was sunk. Then, three wins in a row. Back and forth. Finally, I was one game over .500 after the ninth week (5-4). Since then, it has been smooth sailing.

Entering this week, I was in a three way tie for the best record in the league, 9-4, having won the last 4 weeks in a row. On to this week.

I was favored to win this week's matchup by 111 points. I did that almost exactly. The other two teams I was in a tie with both lost, so I am now all alone at 10-4. I'm favored to win my next two weeks by 155 points combined. So, I'm fully expecting to be 12-4 when I get to face some tougher opponents again. Who knows, I might finally win it all - not bad for only my second season of fantasy baseball!

-The Krunchy Krab


I love French Dip. It definitely makes my top 10 favorite meal list. It's a perfect food.

We just returned from our weekly grocery shopping, which has now become a real family affair. My daughter discovered that one grocery store (Food Emporium in Everett) has mini shopping carts (complete with adult eve-level flags that say "Shopper in Training") and so she won't let us go to any other grocery store. Central Market has them also, but its further from our house.

It has been a nice change though - it is more of an upscale grocery store, with lots of organic and natural foods, as well as higher end products throughout the store. Tonight, with empty stomachs, we went shopping (bad idea) for some dinner. The only deli meat they carry is Boar's Head, which is really superb. So, deciding to make French Dip, I shelled out the $11 per pound they were asking for roast beef. Boy was it worth it.

20 minutes in the oven and a pot of Au Jus later, I am quite satisfied.

-The Krunchy Krab

Thursday, July 03, 2008

My apologies to the Pacific Northwest

The thunderstorms are my fault. I got excited when we had more than two days of hot weather in a row, and so I did the following, which are most certainly responsible for the thunderstorms and rain we're having now.

1) I installed our air conditioner for the year.
2) I purchased a kids swimming pool
3) I invited people over for a barbecue, and promised lots of fun times for the kids in the backyard.
4) I bought a waterslide for said barbecue
5) I left the rear window in my truck open, because it always stays so warm overnight.

Usually, all it takes is for me to install the air conditioner (see past posts for my history of purchasing AC units at the end of heat waves, and generators at the end of power outages)

Obviously, I compounded things this time to the point where we have thunderstorms now.


-The Krunchy Krab

She beat me to it

I was going to blog about all the things our family has done recently, but my wife did it first. I suggest you head over there

-The Krunchy Krab

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. It turned out to be a pretty decent day - slow starting but with a nice finish.

First off, I woke up at 6AM, threw some clothes on and drove to church. Did I misread my clock? Service does start at 9AM, so I suppose it is feasible to assume I read my watch upside down. No, this was my week in the sound booth, so I needed to setup, do sound check, practice, worship, sermon, end of service worship, second service worship, another sermon, another end of service worship, then teardown.

Ok, that sucked with brief periods of extreme fun.

Then came the first highlight of my day. I got to operate one of these:

We had to take down one of the ceiling mounted video projectors that had stopped working. So, we got in the lift and seconds later were bumping our heads against the ceiling 30 feet above. I don't have a particular problem with heights, but when the lift is fully extended, it becomes rather wobbly. Especially when you have to drive it around while you're way up there. Anyway, it's great fun to drive when not 30 feet up, so I left church feeling very manly, having operated some machinery.

We came home, where we were soon met by some friends who came by for a visit. After that, and after my daughter woke up we headed out to dinner, courtesy of a gift card we had received to PF Chang's. Extremely overpriced, but good tasting, we enjoyed a nice dinner out for free :) The best kind of meal.

Then proceeding home, I settled down to employ my new vegetable brush (did I mention Williams Sonoma next to the restaurant?) to washing our lemons for the next highlight of my day.

We are now only mere weeks or months away from having Limoncella. If I can wait long enough, we will celebrate the arrival of our new baby with a tasty beverage. Yum.

Happy Father's Day everyone.

-The Krunchy Krab

Friday, June 06, 2008

The quest, parts 1 through 19

After basketball this week, one of the guys barbecued some pork kabobs for all the guys - there were 11 guys there, so none of us got much, but he had a selection of dipping sauces out. I tried one that turned out to be my new favorite. So, I asked him which grocery store carried that sauce - his response was "Any grocery store". Ha!

Thus began the quest.

On my way home that night, I searched a Safeway, Albertsons, and Fred Meyer. No such luck. Now, to my angst, I had neglected to memorize the brand name of the sauce, only what the sauce was called, and what the bottle looked like (It had a fairly unique color scheme).

Current store count: 3

It was a Thai sauce, so I figured I would have it made when I checked some Asian markets.
The next day, I visited 3 QFCs, 2 more Safeways, another Fred Meyer, Central Market, and Ballard Market.

Current store count: 11

Later that evening, I checked Trader Joe's on my way home and the Ranch 99 market, which is an Asian market (though I didn't know that until I was inside)

Current store count: 13

Finally, I checked Food Emporium, Double D Meats (I REALLY thought I'd find it there -they have every sauce known to man... except this one) and the Asian market near our house. I don't know what the name of it is, because they only have foreign characters on the side of the building. I checked another QFC, and another Fred Meyer.

Current store count: 18

Then came Thursday. Thursday, I discovered that the fates were laughing at my attempts. I went to Gwinn for lunch, and one of the featured entrees was a cold pork salad with... the sauce.

I know now that I'm fighting against something larger than myself.

So, I gave up. I'm going to present my findings to this guy, and ask again at what store I can buy this sauce. AND, I will get the brand name this time.

So why do I say parts 1-19 when I only visited 18 stores? Well, this evening I went to Central Market with my daughter and bought some sauce with the same title, from a different manufacturer. I've been craving it all week.

Craving satisfied. I like this sauce just as much as the original. Problem solved, quest complete.

-The Krunchy Krab

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The passing of a friend

Today at 2:20PM, my childhood neighbor, Jerry Stewart passed away. He has lived next to my parents for my entire life. He will be missed.


-The Krunchy Krab

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Almighty God

I can say now, without a shadow of doubt, that it has been fully confirmed for me that God has a sense of humor.

Not even 6 hours since publishing my last blog, the woodpecker has returned.

I'm on my way to the shed.

-The Krunchy Krab

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Woodpecker saga

I guess it's been almost a month since I last wrote. Much has happened, most of which revolved around a smallish bird with an extra thick cranium. Our neighborhood was chosen by the woodpecker tribal council to be the mating/insect eating/hole drilling training grounds for the entire North American woodpecker population. We didn't know it until recently, each neighbor battled alone. Now, united we can begin to stand against them.

So my battle began on the internet, where I gathered my research data to learn how to fight them. What I learned is that you really can't, and most governing authorities will charge you upwards of $500 if you kill one. Back to the drawing board.

For many weeks, perhaps months, our method of attack was twofold: I would throw open the deck door, run out, and pelt the area being pecked with rocks while hissing like a cat that has just been turpentined, and my wife would throw open the blinds in the window and slam open and shut several times. (The primary pecking area was directly above our bedroom window, and the primary pecking hour was anytime before 7AM)

These attacks failed to impress the woodpecker, so I was forced to prepare myself to be separated from $500. I began to assemble my arsenal, sorting it in order of expected effectiveness. (See picture below)

Not pictured is the .177 caliber BBs that have been my primary weapon over the last few weeks. No, I wouldn't really use the .303 on a woodpecker, not because it would be inhumane, but because it would rip a hole in the side of my house the size of half a baseball. As it would turn out, the woodpecker would do that for me anyway.

My artillery was an exercise in frustration. Since the .303 was out of the question, my next choice was the blue tipped round you see, which is like a shotgun shell for a .22. As my luck would have it, there are apparently two different .22 calibers, and I have the smaller one. It wouldn't fit.

I briefly considered moving on to regular .22 rounds, but without the spray effect of the shot shells, I would have to be much more accurate. I didn't think it wise to pepper my house with bullets while I sighted my rifle in, so that was out.

Back to the BB guns. Many were the mornings I sat in my shed with my Red Ryder BB gun across my lap, and my CO2 BB handgun in my pocket. Since the rifle was pump action, I would take one well aimed shot with it, and then drop it as I whipped the handgun out and took several shots as the woodpecker flew away.

No luck. I am a terrible shot. Also, the woodpecker knew when I was out there and would just sit in the top of a nearby tree, heckling me.

So, I turned to my last resort. Frankly, this was the one I was most excited about, my paintball gun. When I thought about it, it is really the best option. I love to shoot it, I'm not endangering my house, it's occupants (my family), or my neighbors. Any hits scored are non-lethal, since I turned the speed down. And the paint washes away the next time it rains. All positives.

Did you know that the CO2 tanks for paintball guns expire? Let me tell you, if you ever have to live everything I have for the last few months, and then you get to the paintball store to have your tank filled, let me know if you can contain yourself when they tell you they can't fill it. And they're out of new tanks.

Fast forward a bit. I'm sitting in my shed again, this time with my paintball gun (all gassed up and ready to go) The stupid woodpecker is sitting in the top of his tree again. After waiting 30 minutes, I stand up, spray the side of my house in bright pink paint, and go inside.

He hasn't been back since.

So, in the end I didn't get the revenge I wanted, but I also haven't been arrested (nor have I harmed the bird) or fined $500. And I have a full tank of gas for my paintball gun ;D

And it's squirrel season.

-The Krunchy Krab

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This is an example of an ACP (see below, you'll understand)

To give you an idea of the kinds of tasks that arise in my workplace, I will offer you this tidbit.

Two engineers arrived in my cubicle today, in the middle of a discussion, wanting my opinion on something. We build electronics for airplanes, and right now we're in the middle of final testing on our product that is going on the Boeing 787. So, it is in this testing that people begin poring over the Boeing product requirements to make absolutely sure that we meet all of them.

So, someone had found a requirement that in order to prevent mold from growing inside the unit, it was not good enough to have a sealed box. We were required to ensure that none of the materials used to make our product used "nutritive" ingredients.

I listened to them argue for a few minutes, and then interrupted. "So, what do you want me to do?"

"Well, we need to figure out if anything in the ACP (the product) is nutritive."

Me: "So, you want me to find out if the ACP is edible."


So, I told them to bring me a unit, and I would put some seasoning and barbecue sauce on it and try to eat it.

I don't think they got the joke.


I can't wait to find co-workers that appreciate my humor.

-The Krunchy Krab

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Our marriage is movin' on up

Well, my wife and I have taken another step forward in our relationship together. That's right, sports fans, we have purchased our first non-tacky piece of wall art together. Oh sure, we've bought prints before, and other things to hang on the wall. But we're in the big leagues now baby.

Now we just have to decide where to put it.

-The Krunchy Krab

Friday, March 21, 2008

NCAA woes

It's March "Mad" ness time. And boy am I mad. I'm not going to even bother posting my bracket. It's completely wrong. I'll be surprised if any of my final four make it. I missed on more than 30% of my picks in the first round.


Hopefully fantasy baseball goes better for me.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

A brief history of the world, part I

Since the dawn of creation there have been families with small children. And since two years after the dawn of creation, those children have loved to swing and slide. And behold, there was capitalism, and commerce, and certain people said, "Let us make stores, and let them stock certain items, such that small children may swing and slide."

And the fathers of the world observed this and saw that it appeared good.

And these people, these capitalists, these manufacturers of things on which to swing and slide saw their profits and thought, "We can do better"

And so they fired the writers of assembly instructions who were literate, because they demanded higher wages. And they hired screw buyers who were notorious for buying screws that were 1/4" shorter than needed, and locknuts that didn't fit them.

And their profits soared, and they saw this and saw that it was good for them.

And they fired the assembly instruction illustrators because they were wasting good ink on the diagrams. And they provided their new, low-wage illustrators the following instruction:

"They don't need any pictures of what it will actually look like assembled. Just show them the last 4 inches of each pole, then label them with numbers, but don't put the numbers anywhere on the poles. Draw poles with angled bends in them as straight, and draw straight poles across the folds of the instructions so they look bent. Don't even provide a diagram of what is included in the box, just make a list with no dimensions, only colors. Then paint everything the same color."

And the new illustrators followed directions and saved ink. And lo, profit margins increased.

And finally, they provided the following instruction:

"Don't even put a picture of the final assembly on the box. Make it plain cardboard with words in six languages poorly translated."

And to the webmasters, they instructed:

"Put the following picture onto the websites, such that the fathers of the world will see it and be confused, for we will construct the pieces such that it is absolutely impossible to assemble it that way - it will instead have to be assembly in the exact reverse manner as shown."

And again, their profit margins soared, and it was good for them.

This has been the story, since two years after the dawn of creation.

And all this time, since two years after the dawn of creation, the fathers of the world have been stupid enough to try to put these playsets together.

Personally, I would like to get my hands on the idiot who is wrapped in a moron, who provided the instructions above to the assemblers of my swingset kit. Things went much better after I relieved some stress by throwing a hammer (coincidentally, the same hammer that flew off a truck in the street and almost smashed my head in) and after I replaced all the bolts and nuts provided in the kit with my own that *gasp* actually fit.

And so, the end result - we now have three swings, a glider swing, and a slide in our backyard. You will hopefully notice that it is assembled in the exact reverse of the picture above. Took me 40 minutes to realize that.

But hey - my daughter likes it, and isn't that the point? I mean, who needs their Sunday afternoon anyway?

-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A lot has happened

So my blogging has slowed as of late. Not that I haven't had anything to say, I've just been too lazy to say it. And I'd rather spend time playing with my daughter and hangin with my wife than typing on a computer.

So, let me give you a brief rundown of the things I almost, and might still blog about:

Oh what the heck, I'll just try to cover them all in one post.

The most exciting thing is that we may have finally kicked the binky habit. I was home alone with my daughter last night, and we had pulled out the hide-a-bed to read and pretend to sleep. (pretending to sleep consists of closing our eyes and fake snoring for about two minutes at a time, no less than 50 times)

We had just finished picking up the toys, pulling out the bed, putting the correct blankets on the bed, getting all our pillows, adjusting the light, and settling down with our animals. I had a pink teddy bear, and my daughter had Lambie (who else?) I thought I was in for a good two minute nap, but when I closed my eyes I heard, "I will need my binkies!"

I was not about to get up and search the house for binkies.
So, first I tried to say that we didn't need binkies, but the quivering lower lip told me otherwise.
So, in laziness I tried a new tactic. I gave her a pretend binky. Fortunately, she is able to understand the concept of pretend, and so she was excited to have a red binky, and I had a green one, which magically changed to purple the next time she mentioned it.

So I spent my first two minute nap, wondering why I hadn't tried that before. I had a plan. My wife never knew what hit her. When we put her down last night, we tried the pretend binky tactic. Enter the quivering lower lip: "But I want my real binky!" Oh dear.

My wife, in a moment of brilliance, suggested that if she could go to sleep with her pretend binky, she could have a lollipop the next day. Lollipops are considered a very special treat... she's had probably 2 in her entire life.

It worked. 12 hours later, I was sitting in the living room, waiting for the first signs of life from the other end of the house. I heard her talking to her animals in her room, so I opened the door a crack. She was instantly out of bed. "Oh, hi. I am ready for my lollipop now."
My daughter has a mind like a steel trap, and it is no more easily distracted than Gonzo is in The Muppet Christmas Carol.

So now, I have stowed the binkies in a kitchen drawer, hopefully never to emerge again.

Let's see, what else has happened?
As you might have guessed, my truck's odometer rolled over. But, it's more impressive than you think. This rollover was to 200,000 miles. I always said I just wanted to make it last to 200,000. Now I can sell it - "1989 Ford Ranger, low miles - only 1000 miles!"
Ok, I know I could never get away with that. Now my next goal for it is to get to 213,327, because then I will personally have put 100,000 miles on it. I'm already at 202,000 so that's not too unreasonable.

Let's see, what else? We've done some serious cleaning/organizing... the basement is finally useable. Now on to the garage. One of my cleaning projects was to get rid of all the junk I've been carting around since high school/college. One of the items I found was a lighting control box we built in college before we could afford to get an actual lighting control board. It was a box, built of 1/4" plywood, about 12 inches wide, 5 inches high, and 10 inches deep. We put 6 toggle switches in the top, and mounted 4 outlets in the back. The wiring inside the box is the most impressive part. I removed it pretty much intact... here's a picture:

Of course, we took every safety precaution - we installed a fuse in the side of the box. Of course, when I opened the fuse holder, what did I find? A rolled up wad of foil in the shape of a fuse. Great. Of course this brings back great memories of college, throwing parties, concerts, etc. Holding the ladder for others to hang the Aggressor, and some of our early events.

Our second Karaoke contest was probably my favorite, despite Storm's 45 minute solo ear blasting concert at the beginning. This was before we had the big pocketbooks that allowed us to assemble the switch box I had just disassembled. I was set up backstage, with a large round table to which I had duct taped about 25 surge protectors. Running lights consisted of me switching these surge protectors on and off in time to the music. I really wish I could watch a video of me backstage, because during the second half, I really gained a 5th sense of which light was which switch, and I was throwing switches like a crazy man.

My mastery of this archaic but impressive lighting system culminated in the final performance of the night. It was not infact a karaoke performance, but was a group of 5 guys who wanted to lip sync and dance to "I Want you Back" by N Sync.

They moved through the first part of the song, it was going fairly well. All the girls in the crowd had gravitated to the front. The first chorus was coming up. (click here if you don't remember the song)

I was ready.

As soon as I began to hear "You're all I ever wanted" I cut all the lights (which consisted of laying on top of the table to hit about 8 surge protectors at once. I had previously taken the fog machine control box in my hand. I simultaneously hit the fog machine and reached out and turned on the aggressor.

Now my friend who normally hangs the aggressor on the ceiling (a near impossible task given the string and duct tape we gave him with which to do the job) was particalarly happy this evening, because I had opted in my lighting setup to instead place the aggressor on the back center of the stage, facing the crowd from behind the performers. This proved to be a most fortuitous decision, both to cement my relationship with my friend, and for this one upcoming moment, which I believe defined my short career running concert lighting.

So, hopefully you now have your eyes closed, imagining the stage being plunged into darkness, rolls of fog billowing around the performers feet, and 32 beams of colored light shooting out over their shoulders with perfect timing. The performers all looked at each other as if to say, "What the heck?" The crowd went nuts. It almost felt like N Sync was on stage. I had found my calling.

Well, that was a trip and a half down memory lane. And it all came courtesy of a jumbled mess of wires.

Here's a random picture of my daughter.

-The Krunchy Krab

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Yep, I met the man.

Sandwiched in between my excursion to the ultra exciting Amcon 2008 manufacturing expo (where I at one time spent more than 10 minutes in a conversation about rivets) and my riveting (pun intended) afternoon meeting with Actel where we learned about their new line of field programmable gate arrays, was lunch.

In case there was too much in the middle there, let me make it easier:

Sandwiched in between ... rivets... and my afternoon meeting... was lunch.

Seeing as how we were already on the Eastside, it only made sense to go to Dixie's BBQ, a landmark restaurant sitting directly underneath SR520.

It's a BBQ restaurant in a converted auto repair garage. Besides the fact that the food is incredibly good, their main claim to fame is their signature sauce - nicknamed "The Man" that the owner walks around spreading on people's sandwiches. Since I am somewhat known for my love of hot and spicy foods, I was prepared to stomach the worst to maintain my reputation.

We placed our orders and took a seat. I believe the chair I sat on was last upholstered during the Kennedy administration. Shortly thereafter, we were approached: "Have you met The Man?" I eagerly indicated that I wanted some. I was offered a toothpick-full at first, but insisted on the spoon. So, I was given a small spoonful. I whipped a large spicy bite on my fork and downed it. Several things went through my mind:

1) This isn't so bad.
2) I might burn my mouth more from the temperature of the food than the spiciness.
3) I should be macho and ask for more.
4) Why doesn't my voice work?
5) Maybe I shouldn't have downed the whole spoonful.
6) Can this stuff stop my heart?
7) Ok, take a swig of root beer and try to ask for more again.
8) Blink.

I did manage to keep most of my composure, and ask for more. It was definitely good, and despite thoughts 4 through 8, it wasn't as spicy as I expected or wanted. The first taste was a surprise because I just downed it and so it went to work on my throat instead of my mouth. After that, I was smarter about my consumption, and the whole experience was much more enjoyable.

Frankly though, "The Man" is not as hot as the Dave's Insanity sauce I have in my fridge.

But, I can now say that I met "The Man". Actually, I guess I can say, I met The Man, shook his hand, and kissed him on both cheeks. Or something like that. Don't get the wrong idea.

-The Krunchy Krab

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A picture post? Yes! A cooking post? Yes! A loophole? What else!

I've said before that I wouldn't let this become a cooking blog, but I found a loophole. It's time for a picture post!

Tonight's mission: A pizza pie. If you've never understood why it is called pizza pie, I highly suggest you take out the following ingredients and follow along.

1 batch Challah dough. I'll tackle that in another blog. You can easily substitute regular pizza dough, but you won't get the same dramatic rise and sweet flavor that Challah has.

3 Boneless, skinless Chicken breasts, cooked and sliced into bite-sized pieces

Some cooked bacon (optional), about 3 slices chopped

3 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

About 5 oz Sundried Tomato Pesto

Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Parmesan cheese, shredded

Some fresh basil, julienned


Begin by dividing the dough into two balls - one roughly twice the size of the other. The larger ball will form the bottom crust of the pie, and the smaller ball will be used for the crust. You'll see what I mean in a minute.

Begin by working with the larger ball - keep the smaller ball wrapped in plastic wrap. You need to work quickly once you start to work the dough, we don't want to allow it a second rise outside the oven. This dough will be very jelly-like, and will fall if allowed to rise and is then disturbed again.

Roll/toss/stretch (whichever method you're comfortable with) the dough to the size of your pizza pan. You could also use a jelly roll pan to make a rectangular pizza.

Next, we will make the crust. Take the smaller ball and cut it in half. Then, cut each half into thirds. Still with me? We're going to make two braids, one for each half of the pizza. Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin, strand. (See picture - they're about the same diameter as your pinky) Once you've rolled three of them to about 24 inches long, begin to braid them.

Squish the three strands together at each end to hold them together. Then, once you've finished a braid, place it on the pizza. If your dough is too dry, wet your fingers to make it tacky so it sticks. Repeat with the remaining dough to make the other half crust.

You'll probably notice that where the two braids meet is not very pretty. If you're a perfectionist, or you're just feeling inspired, feel free to set aside a small amount of dough to make a mini (1.5 inch diameter) braided wreath to cover these areas. I usually do it, but hey it's a weeknight and I was tired. Plus, taking all these pictures took enough extra time that I really needed to save some time and get this in the oven.

Next comes the sauce. Spread a fairly thin layer - Sundried Tomato Pesto has a strong flavor, and will easily coat and stick to whatever it touches.

Next, lay the sliced Roma Tomatoes - make a single solid layer of tomatoes covering the whole pizza. When it cooks, these will soften down into the sauce. Now, sprinkle the chopped bacon over the pizza, and then the chicken.

Now comes the cheese. Mix the two cheeses together, and sprinkle a generous layer over the top. You need complete coverage to seal in all the toppings. Finally, brush the braid lightly with an egg wash.

When you get to this point, you will begin to understand what I meant by my pie comment at the beginning of this post. Here's a profile shot with some of my daughter's Duplos for reference. Please note these are Duplos, not Legos. The depth of the finished pie is somewhere around 2 inches.

You remembered to turn the oven on, right? Preheat to 375. Set one rack in the lowest position, and another right above it. Put an empty cookie sheet on the bottom rack, and place the pizza on the rack above it. We're effectively baking a loaf of bread here, which will require more time than your standard pizza, so we need to protect the bottom to keep it from burning.

Set your timer for 8 minutes, then spray the oven and close the door.

After 4 minutes, open the oven slightly and spray again. You need to maintain a high humidity inside the oven during the early stages of baking to encourage a good rise. If you don't get enough rise out of your dough, it will be really dense and chewy.

At the 8 minute mark, check to make sure the braid isn't falling off, and everything is cooking evenly. It's preferable to NOT turn the pizza at this point, the dough will still fall if not handled gently at this point. Spray again before closing the oven, then reset your 8 minute timer.

Check again at 4 minutes - if the crust has not begun to harden, spray again. When these 8 minutes are up, it's time to turn the pizza. Rotate 180 degrees. Now it is also time to sprinkle the basil over the top (it will burn if put on when you start baking). You should also remove the extra pan underneath the pizza, to allow the bottom crust to finish baking.

Total cooking time will be about 30-35 minutes. If the crust appears to be just about done on bottom, but the cheese hasn't browned yet, switch to broiling - low if you have multiple broiler settings. Broil until the crust sounds hollow when tapped and the cheese is browned on top. Here's the finished product:

Let's take another look at how thick this bad boy is. It's well over two inches thick now. More like 3 or 4.

And finally, here's a cross-sectional view:

It's completely wonderful. Also, this is great for serving company - this pie will easily feed 10 people.


-The Krunchy Krab

Friday, February 01, 2008


"Nice fabric is so much nicer than not nice fabric!"

-Guess Who?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sometimes you just get it right...

This has never been a cooking blog, and I don't intend for it to become one. But I do enjoy cooking, so sometimes I just have to put some in here.

About once a year, I get the bright idea into my head that I want to make a shepherd's pie.

Ok, back the truck up for a minute.

All the purists out there are going to say, "That's not a shepherd's pie, that's a cottage pie! Shepherd's pie is made with lamb!"
So sue me, I'm calling it shepherd's pie. By those rules, it should be called farmer's pie.

Anyway, last week when we were making meal plans for the next two weeks I got this idea into my head again that I'd like to try it. Now, the usual problem with shepherd's pie is that it comes out tasting kind of bland. I was determined not to let that happen. See, I remember the last time I had a good shepherd's pie, and it was when I was about 12, and my mother made it. We all devoured it, and were trying to figure out what had made it so good, when my mom realized she had cooked the ground meat in wine... a lot of wine. No wonder we all liked it!

Anyway, with that as a starting point, I began to construct the pie. Here's my list of ingredients:

For the meat mixture:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 (I think they're 20 oz now) package ground turkey
1 medium onion, sliced into 8 wedges (or minced if you like onion in the final product, but I've never been fond of it, I just like the flavor)
About 15 baby carrots, sliced into 1/8" thick rounds
As much garlic as you like (I used about 3 tablespoons - I like garlic)
About 2 T caraway seeds
Classic Bouquet Garni herbs (savory, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, dill, marjoram, sage, and tarragon) - about 2 T of the mix
1 mini-bottle white wine (I think it was about 8 oz)
1 14oz can tomato puree1 small can tomato paste
About 2-3T sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
2/3C peas
2/3C kernel corn
2/3C green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces

Brown the beef and turkey in a large skillet with the wine, onion, carrot, garlic, caraway seeds, and herbs. When the meat is browned, add the tomato puree, paste, and sugar, and lower the heat to simmer. Simmer until the sauce is reduced and quite thick. (I simmered the whole time I was making the potatoes and pie crust - about 15-20 minutes) Add salt and pepper to taste.

Next in the construction is to make the mashed potatoes. Make them however you like - creamy, smooth potatoes tend to work better for this.

Then, because this is called a pie, and for no other good reason, I made a bottom pie crust. Probably not completely necessary, it kind of got lost in the final product, but it is a pie, and therefore must have a crust.

Just before beginning final construction, add the peas, corn, and green beans. These all require relatively little cooking, and if you add them before this point, they will just be overcooked in the final product.

The final construction is kind of obvious - place the pie crust in a 9" pie plate, spoon all the meat mixture in (yes, it will all fit). Then, to reduce leaking and just give it more of a homemade rustic look - instead of trimming the pie crust, just fold it over the top, so it covers the outer 2 inches or so of the filling. Spread the potatoes on top, and bake it in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are nicely browned on top.

For once, I was extremely pleased with how it came out - hence the blog post. The meat mixture is really flavorful, and after the potatoes and crust pull some of the moisture out during cooking, it comes out less soupy and more, well I don't know what the word should be. Delicious?

Anyway, thought I'd share it with you... I'm going to enjoy these leftovers!

-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone.

I hope everyone's holidays were better than these guys' who ran the failed Seattle New Year's fireworks. Word is, all their software is custom written in house, so if a "corrupt file" is to blame, it's likely completely their fault.

But on to more important or interesting things. I was browsing msn.com today and didn't see anything that I really felt like clicking on, but then noticed one story out of the corner of my eye that caught my attention. Here's an image of today's MSN.com homepage:

Don't notice anything funny? Let me whip out Microsoft's handy-dandy magnifier:

Help! I've lost 20 pounds but I'm still single! What next?

Maybe I'm a little out of touch with the dating game, but I don't think Dr. Neil Clark Warren founded Weight Watchers. Not that I really believe the 29 dimensions of compatibility work - I know of a couple who were matched through that system that were on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Needless to say, that didn't work out.

I can only assume three things about the person who created that blurb to appear on the MSN front page:

1) They are not, and never have been fans of Sir Mix-a-Lot.
2) They own stock in Hardee's, which has recently rolled out it's hurking breakfast burrito, and want to try to get back some business from young people trying to lose weight to impress the opposite sex.
3) As a kid, they were partial to the Sesame Street sketch where Bert and Ernie are fishing and Ernie just yells and the fish jump in the boat.

On a side note, today I found a component in our database at work that had a note: "NOT EPA APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED".
I changed it to read: "THE EPA DOESN'T GIVE A RIP."

Counting down the days to Presidents' Day,
The Krunchy Krab