Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Grin and Bear It, or, Choke It Down!

Rancho Grande – that is what I get for being too lazy to make my lunch for just one day. Could I have told my coworkers that their choice of restaurants did not meet with my approval and that I would therefore not be joining them?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Outstanding Coffee Beverages, without the Syrup

My new Aeropress is awesome! It even produces crema on the top of the espresso (which is a sign of a good cup of joe). I made a fine cappuccino last weekend. No one else seems to get as big a kick out of it as I do, though.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Can the Government Put My Money to Better Use Than I Can?

I wonder why my “accountant” structured the transfer of title of the Si from my brother to me such that I ended up paying $540 for tax, title, and license. This wasn’t an arm’s length transaction between unrelated parties. When I mentioned to my “accountant” that the transaction could be labeled a gift, thus avoiding incurring tax, my “accountant” asked, “You want to do the right thing, don’t you?” If “doing the right thing” means saving me money at the expense of the wealthy, wasteful, greedy government, then, yes.

One would think this CPA would be looking out for my bottom line, particularly since my “accountant” also happens to be my dad.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

It was another one of those weeks.

I think I will start working on my two-week notice this weekend.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Defenders of the Constitution

To be a district attorney or an assistant district attorney, one must be willing to screw with other people’s lives. DA’s have to be vindictive and obstinate. DA’s are typically lazy, too. Criminal defense attorneys have to be smarter than prosecutors need be. I mean, the laws are written in the favor of the State. The criminal defenders must work with laws that are drafted against their clients.

Criminal law is not “good guys” versus “bad guys.” Criminal defense attorneys are defenders of the Constitution.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Even Pickier Than Me?

I had lunch yesterday with a friend who is on a “raw food” diet. Apparently, the theory of such a diet is that heating food beyond 110° or so renders it incapable of being metabolized by the body, or something. My friend says she has benefited immensely from this diet. She has so much more energy, and she is free from many of the health maladies that plagued her before.

I don’t know that I will ask her out for lunch, again. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy visiting with her, or that her food preferences caused her to be anything less than the most pleasurable dining companion. She does not adhere unwaveringly to her diet. If someone invites her out to eat, or to dine at one’s house, she will eat what is available.

Rather, I know how, um, finicky I am about dining in restaurants. It would be even more difficult to deviate from one’s eating regimen if one were on such a restrictive diet. Out of consideration for my friend, I will not “impose” on her again.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Living for the Weekends

The much anticipated, long awaited weekend finally arrived. And now it is over. Just five more days until the next one. Is it not good that I spend my weeks looking forward to my weekends?

Friday, July 14, 2006

So Tired

I think I have been operating under a sleep deficit. That might explain my irritability and the fact that everything seems to be going awry. Shouldn’t the weekend have arrived already?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sazerac Cocktail

I am the fool of whom they speak of parting with his money. I recently developed an interest in trying a Sazerac cocktail. The Sazerac is among the oldest cocktails. It was created by Antoine Peychaud, a New Orleans apothecary, in the 1830’s. Bitters originally were used for medicinal purposes. The libation that came to be called the Sazerac cocktail evolved into the following recipe.

1 lump sugar
3 drops Peychaud’s bitters
2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey
Splash Herbsaint or anise flavored liqueur
1 strip lemon peel

Fill a small old-fashioned glass with cracked ice and set aside. In another small old-fashioned glass, put the lump of sugar and just enough water to moisten it. With a spoon, crush the sugar, then add the Peychaud’s bitters, Angostura bitters, whiskey, and several ice cubes. Stir. Never use a shaker. Empty the first glass of ice, add the Herbsaint or anise flavored liqueur, twirl the glass around to coat the sides, and pour out most of what remains. Strain the whiskey mixture into the glass, twist the lemon peel, and serve immediately.

My curiosity got the best of me, and I went out and bought the ingredients for the Sazerac cocktail. Liquor is not cheap.

I, of course, never pour out any of the Herbsaint. If there is more than an insubstantial amount, I just drink it. Some recipes call for the inclusion of Angostura bitters, but I prefer to omit that ingredient, as Angostura bitters are present in nearly every cocktail that includes bitters; instead I allow the Peychaud’s bitters to shine. Even though rye whiskey is supposed to be traditional, I used Maker’s Mark, which, though pricey, is not too expensive for a small batch bourbon.

I found this to be a most enjoyable cocktail. The Peychaud’s bitters and the Herbsaint are detectable, but not overwhelming. The bitters add a slight sweetness and have a faint aroma of licorice, to me, and the Herbsaint, predictably, contributes an anise-y warmth. The water from the melted ice diminishes the straight alcohol flavor. Although I am limiting my consumption of Sazerac cocktails to at most one a day, I may need to go drop some more cash for another bottle of whiskey soon.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Jittery from the Caffeine

I read about the Aerobie® AeroPress™ Coffee & Espresso Maker in this article a few months ago. Inventor Alan Adler created the syringe-like coffee press, which makes a rich, smooth, low-acidity cup of coffee.

When I brought it to the attention of a friend who is fond of coffee, she ordered one. What sold her was not the claim that it makes the best cup of coffee you’ve ever tasted. No one says their coffee maker makes a mediocre brew, she said. Rather, the convenience and portability convinced her to try the Aeropress. My friend has moved to a rural location where there is not a Starbucks to be found.

I have come to enjoy an occasional cup of coffee, so I decided to order an Aeropress a few weekends ago. With shipping, it cost just over $30.00. It took a week for it to ship from Seattle via snail mail, and I finally had the opportunity to try it out last weekend. It does make a remarkable cup of joe. The Aeropress produces a concentrated espresso. By adding water, it is possible to make an Americano. The coffee is quite good, and it is fun to make coffee using the Aeropress. As a result, my caffeine consumption has increased considerably

Monday, July 03, 2006

“Crack found in shuttle’s foam”

Crazy crack-head astronauts.

Damned TV Dinners!

I am… upset. What is the point of owning an ice cream maker when the f*@#ing ice cream cylinder always gets pulled out of the freezer to make room for the damned TV dinners that some indiscriminate TV dinner-eating fool likes to eat? There will be no serving from the frozen dessert food group for the Fourth!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Pressure

Clubs are not my thing. Going out and staying up late are not for me. However, I had no choice last weekend. Fellow employees had been asking me to accompany them when they went “clubbing,” and I had declined. However, at the beginning of last week, they “established” that I was going out with them. They were talking about renting a limo to ferry them between clubs. They were also talking up this event to everyone. People all about the courthouse had caught word of it. Some were telling me it would be fun. Others were warning me not to go.

We only went to one club, Red Door. It was dark and deafeningly loud. I had a few drinks at the coworker’s house before the limo arrived, but I did not drink anything at the club. I had to sleep all day Saturday to recover.

I suppose I should be flattered that they desired my company. In the future, it will be easier for me to escape, as I can now say I have done it, and I reconfirmed that I am ill-suited for clubbing.