Sunday, July 31, 2011

Forests for the Soft

  1. Perth * Bon Iver
  2. Helena Beat * Foster the People
  3. East Harlem * Beirut
  4. Ansel & Emily DeSader * Blitzen Trapper
  5. Peggy Sang the Blues * Frank Turner
  6. Chapel Song * We Are Augustines
  7. A Boat to Row, to Row to You * Boat to Row
  8. For Better For Worse * Old Man Markley
  9. If Ever I Stray * Frank Turner
  10. Juliette * Hollerado
  11. Out On a Limb * Joseph Arthur
  12. Goshen * Beirut
  13. Little Hell * City and Colour
  14. You Are A Tourist * Death Cab for Cutie
  15. Book of James * We Are Augustines
  16. Better Things to Do * Isaac Hoskins
  17. I Can't Make You Love Me * Bon Iver
  18. The Woods * Small Sur
  19. The Suburbs * Mr. Little Jeans
  20. Party on the Floor * DJ Earworm

A Long Weekend Says Hi

This was a crazy weekend around our house. We had about 20 some odd people over for the first time in a long time on Saturday night. My wife is on the board of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and this weekend was our turn to host a fundraising dinner at our house. This meant lots of cooking and required yard maintenance to make the house semi-respectable. The menu for the party consisted of:
  • 3 pounds of local pork and beef sausage from Johnson's Boucanière (love this place)
  • 4 1/2 pounds of a standing rib roast cooked via this Emeril recipe (this one cannot fail)
  • A few chicken kabobs marinated in Thomas Sauce and a sweet chili glaze
  • Kale salad with garlic, cheese and lemon vinaigrette
  • Homemade tabbouleh (my wife makes this and it rocks)
  • Homemade lemon sorbet (first time my wife has made this and it is amazing)
  • Fruit salad marinated in honey and Grand Marnier
  • A two tomato tapas recipe that has been a standard for us for years
  • Tons of local Louisiana beer and wine
We had essentially accomplished no planning for this event until Saturday morning so as soon as Saturday came, it was all business in order to accomplish the make shift list above. Basically, I managed all the meats, and my wife managed all the salads. Somehow, it turned out pretty well. CASA raised awareness, collected some great donations and we had a chance to connect with some friends we have not seen in a long while.

Today (Sunday) has been a blur. Catch up on work, cleaning the house, haircut (whatever is left at this point), cancelled soccer and so on. Tomorrow is the work week and I need a weekend that never happened!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hub City Farmer's Market

We've started to head out to the local farmer's market (Hub City Farmer's Market) on the weekends - the locally grown peaches are just too good to pass up. This week there was some live music on hand as well. Jozy also had the chance to come with us and had a blast. In addition to a ton of great peaches we picked up some locally raised chicken that I'll probably throw on the grill with a little beer can.

This is a great place to pick up some local vegetables, fresh bagels, homemade tamales, and locally roasted coffee. Go check it out!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jolie's Farm to Table

It's been a little while since I ate at local Lafayette restaurant Jolie's and a lot has changed there. The menu is completely oriented around fresh farm to table ingredients. Our dinner was fantastic - local cheese plate with sweet pickled beets and watermelon rind, bacon wrapped whole trout stuffed with fresh herbs and garlic and a filet straight from Eunice. 100% recommended if you are ever in town.

For fans of the color red, dancing and The National

This video was shot in Greenwich Village and features Matt Berninger of The National on vocals and some pretty interesting dancing.

Release the Sunbird - Running Away From Me

Zach Rogue, from Rogue Wave released a solo effort recently under the name of Release the Sunbird. It's a laid back album that you'll probably enjoy if you are into Rogue Wave at all. Here is one of the tracks that I find myself hitting the replay button on called Running Away From Me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Pack

We decided to take Jozy for our daily dog sitting trip and introduce her to Shoba (the wolf) and Sophie (the retriever). We never actually let them sniff each other. After some initial snarls, we settled in for a good long walk without a single incident. The sniff test would have just been pushing our luck. Maybe after a few more walks we can take the next step!

One of Jozy's new friends?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Only a prism can divide the colours...

I've been trying to set a more relaxing tone as I start my days and one of the key components to this for me is music. As a result, on some mornings I've taken to listening to Arvo Pärt, a classical composer from Estonia who is one of the most prominent composers of sacred music alive today. I've only owned one work of his (a gift from my sister-in-law) called Alina. This is a very sparse piano based composition that almost never ceases to strike me with its beauty, especially in the spaces between notes. When reading about Pärt today, I found this quote which seems to fit it perfectly:
Silence is the pause in me when I am near to God.
Today I decided to branch out and buy another piece of his work, called Portrait, which you see pictured above on the iPad as I work at my "standing" desk this morning. The pieces on this disk have more textures and layers (to my untrained ear) than Alina. Similar to Alina though, it has the same power to settle me and bring me into focus as I start a long day of work. Here is another quote from
Pärt that I found which is relevant to the impression this set of compositions leaves me with.
I could compare my music to white light which contains all colours. Only a prism can divide the colours and make them appear; this prism could be the spirit of the listener.
If you are looking for some beautiful music to bring you into focus in the morning, I could not recommend these two pieces more.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Cajun Farewell

Our good friends Mark and Karen are making their way out west this week, and this past weekend we had the chance to celebrate with their family and friends to wish them well on their next great adventure. This was a true Cajun goodbye from the food, to the people and the music. When I tell you that we ate some of the best crawfish étouffée, chicken and sausage jambalaya, drive thru margaritas and homemade cake, I kid you not.

In addition to the amazing food, we were treated to a back porch performance by Les Frères Michot. If you were to pick a band that you could label a staple of local Cajun music and culture, these are the guys. What a treat. Last but not least was the company. Mark and Karen's family have taken us in as their own (although I might have been disowned when I won their family croquet tournament) and their friends have welcomed us with the same Cajun spirit.

Consider this note a special thanks to Mark and Karen for their friendship, their laughter and smiles, and a special thank you to their family and friends for making us a part of your lives. Enjoy Arizona! And see you in a few weeks!

I take no credit for any of these photos. They are the truly wonderful work of Janenne DeClouet and I hope she does not mind me picking a few from her public gallery to share with you.

Four beautiful ladies. Our friend Karen is the second from the right.

Good friends below! Mark and Karen are in the middle below and his sister Ellen and her husband Michael are on the left.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Going for a Walk

Our good friend Retired has asked us to look after his family dogs for the next few days...well, one is 50% wolf but lets call them dogs anyway. Today was the first of the dog sitting days and boy were they exited to see us.

Shoba (the wolf) is just about as tall as my wife!

You might think that this might hinder their ability to bond, but guess again.

The walk was pretty easy, in fact, they are both better walkers than Jozy. And the looks that little children give you as you walk by are priceless.

Bill Frisell

Been listening to a little Bill Frisell, great jazz guitarist, this morning. One of my all time favorite pieces from him is this particular one called Verona from his album Gone, Just Like a Train.

I picked up Bill's music back in 1999 when I was in Troy, NY. I have fallen out of touch with his more recent work but maybe I will rectify that. Looks like he had an album release this past April called Signs of Life. Here is a video that explores the concept of the new album, which pairs him with a chamber-group. For someone like me who was introduced to a lot of his guitar driven jazz work, this combination is pretty interesting. If you are interested and have time to watch the video below, it is a cool view into the creative process of this unique string quartet.

"We know when not to know. Which is often."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hoffmann-Simon Riesling

Highly recommended.

Black Tip Shark

Black tip shark recipe from the other day was a success. Marinated the fish in orange juice, lemon juice, and olive oil. Grilled it for about 15-20 minutes and then covered it with this avocado orange salsa that was fantastic. Leftover salsa the next day was a solo success as well. This link has the details (skipped the kebab part). If you are looking for a great summer salsa, try this and you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Just Won't Stop Growing

The past week or two we have been under attack by large white mushrooms in our backyard. I spend time picking up a full plastic bag of these each day and the very next day, a whole set of them are back. Huge white caps all over the place. It's been raining a lot around here so I am wondering if the combination of the mulch that we had sprayed around and all of the rain has introduced this agent into our yard and allowed him to flourish. So far, luckily, Jozy has not appeared to have any interest in eating them. Knock on wood.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lingering Pieces

Lingering pieces of the kitchen project are still trickling in. Our bar stools finally arrived, and after much toil and cursing last night, are successfully in place.

And our dining room table light is in. This photo is kinda dark because I was trying to find the right lighting that would show how the light looks when on.

Pretty excited about the finishing touches.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

An Allen Wrench, Oysters and Caviar

Today was a productive day in the long standing saga of the infamous kitchen project. Our bar stools finally arrived and our new light in the dining room was hung! Pictures to come tomorrow.

My primary memory of this day may end up being the complex process of assembling bar stools using the horribly cheap Allen wrench that came from the manufacturer. The job was so difficult that I plan on putting it on my resume for sure. After about 30 minutes, I was running out to our small carport "shed" to find some additional washers and a little bit of faith. In order to find them, I had to dig through the remnants of the supplies left over from the previous owner of the house. These treasures are all in oyster and caviar jars that were historically re-purposed to hold nails, bolts, washers, etc. I find these small jars completely fascinating.

Unfortunately, I was never able to find what I needed. In the end, I had just about given up until my wife came home from work, settled me down and found a better tool. My father would have been proud - one of his constant pieces of wisdom was the need to have the "right tool for the job."

Monday, July 18, 2011

So little time

So much to read...

We have about 5 full book cases in one room of our house filled with books and if I had to guess there are about 40% of them that I have not read (either because my wife picked them out and I never picked them up, or because I had a desire to read one of them but it faded at the time). And I may be being aggressive in my estimation.

Reflecting on my daily patterns, carving out some time each day to read a book would be a great lifestyle change. However, I'm not going to promise myself that just yet. Right now, I'm focused on trying to get a work out in at least 3-4 days a week. A "reading habit" might be the straw that breaks the camel's back. One step at a time. Plus...given the fact that I am reading Game of Thrones (or at this point Clash of Kings), I can be at least guaranteed to fall asleep with my book at my side.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Jozy loves riding in the car. Say the word in the house and she starts running around full of anticipation. I think she would appreciate being able to discern if certain rides were going to last 7+ hours though. On long rides she puts her car sick face on, curls up and sleeps the whole time. She's been there since 4:30 this morning.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quick Favors

Quick favors sometimes have a way of turning into long projects. Here you see a quick request to change a water filter becoming a 4 person project accompanied by the moral support of one canine (not pictured). Our friend from LOM joined us for the quick 2 day trip to Hot Springs and has pulled some serious weight within 48 hours.

I plan on roping Retired into the "quick favor" mix next...beware, golf outings in Hot Springs Village are in your future.


Jozy loves the back porch in Arkansas (where we have escaped for a couple of days). She gets a little confused when I am outside and downstairs, but she loves it nonetheless.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Speak of the devil....

Speaking of sandals...this pair of Ocean Minded is quickly becoming one of the most comfortable pieces of footwear I own.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I'm a romantic; a sentimental person thinks things will last, a romantic person hopes against hope that they won't.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

I was going to call the title of this post "Sentimental". As I did some random linking through the web related to the this term, I opted for "Romantic" with the question mark caveat. In truth, I cannot decipher the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote above and if you have insight, I'm all ears.

The inspiration for the debate was the two items you see in the photograph above.

What you are looking at is the tie that my father in law wore when I married my wonderful wife, and his old glasses case. The last month or so I have been using the glasses case and today was the first day that I wore this tie. The glasses case seemed like a great way for me to have a constant reminder with me every day of a man who meant so much to my wife and mother in law, and who took me in as a member of his family. For that, I will always be thankful.

If you didn't know Chuck, know that he kept slippers for years, wore sweatshirts till threadbare, and almost never wasted need on items that were not truly needed. Thus the glasses case. I tend to think of it as carrying a small piece of this spirit with me. Now, for those of you who don't know me to well, I just bought two pairs of new sandals this past month so it has not rubbed off on me all that much...but that's ok with me. The memories I am left with and those that come back to me when I reflect on these two items are priceless.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Top 50

I traveled a lot the first 1/4 of this year. I think it was 13 weeks in a row. Intense work and personal travel for multiple reasons. The last few weeks have been mercifully light on that sort of requirement. This week the road calls again. As I was checking into my hotel the manager made the point of informing me "You know, you are one of our top 50 clients."

I don't mind travel, and thankfully, my wife is so incredibly supportive that I feel undeserving. So yeah, travel is ok, although I do really enjoy some nice breaks at home in between. It's good (and invaluable) to see the team that I work with in person...I just wish they would come to Lafayette every once in a while.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sundays Soccer Summer

Sundays in the summer, mean summer soccer, 8v8 coed out at the Moore Park complex here in Lafayette. And today in general was a great day for soccer in the US as well as down here in the bayou.

The day started with one of the greatest comeback victories of all time with the US women scoring a goal in the dying seconds of a 120 minute quarterfinal in the Women's World Cup vs. Brazil. I am not lying when I say that we were jumping up and down in our living room screaming at the TV. It was an epic, epic game not to be forgotten. Following the USWNT victory, we were treated to the Seattle vs Portland Cascadia Derby. I vow to make one of these games. If you have not seen the atmosphere that greets these two teams, you need to check it out. It is as good as anything you will find anywhere in the world AND it includes a lumber jack wielding a chainsaw.

Finally, following these two games, my wife and I headed out to the 8v8 game and posted up a big victory against an team made up of some players from the local university here. And to top off the victory, each of us had a goal! Unfortunately, I have to confess that I had looked away at the precise moment that my wife netted hers. By all accounts from the fans though, she was the picture of composure as she collected a rebound and slotted it home. 2 goals, one for each of us. That makes a brace.

Saturday, July 09, 2011


Lafayette's first gelato and espresso bar (Carpe Diem!) opened up this past week so we took some time out to visit and try the fare. I'd give the Biscotto (probably spelled this wrong) a big thumbs up - tasted like vanilla gelato mixed with lemon cookie crunch. We did not try the coffee or the espresso but you can be sure I'll be dong so in the future. Check out the pictures on their Facebook wall for some awesome photos of the local ingredients they are using to make their unique creations.

Friday, July 08, 2011


The cheapest plastic dog toys seem to be the ones that last the longest.

Blitzen Trapper - American Goldwing

New Blitzen Trapper. This song is easy to get along with on a Friday night in the summer.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

After Bob's

I promised to do a little before/after comparison related to the work that Bob's Tree Preservation did on our live oak trees so this is me making good on that promise. I think the difference is pretty awesome. For comparison purposes, I'll just use the north-ish side of the house. Here is the biggest tree before:

Here it is after.

A lot cleaner, less dead wood, higher crown, tons of mulch at its base and you can appreciate the limbs so much more. Better yet, none of it is on the roof and thus less roof damage and gutter clutter over time. Not sure if this is easy or hard to appreciate in this forum or not.


This item was picked up along with the harvest we received last weekend. There is somewhat of a silent debate going on in our kitchen regarding whether or not it is garlic or onion. I've eaten it raw and have my opinion.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


If there is one object in our house that summarizes a love-hate relationship, this is it. Some people may feel that shock collars can be cruel. For us, they give Jozy freedom to be outside all day with no fence. For that, I love it. Jozy needs it. For the two times it has shocked her, I hate it.

Jozy feels the same way I think. Sometimes she shows no fear of her "necklace" and embraces the freedom she has. Sometimes she asks to go out, and then decides otherwise...

It's a simple dichotomy that symbolizes many things.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Drive By Truckers - God Damn Lonely Love

The fact that I am still discovering songs like this from the back catalog of a band like this is awesome. I've never gone back and listened to all of their music - this song might make me dig even deeper.

I got green and I got blues
and everyday there's a little less difference between the two.
So I belly-up and disappear.
Well I ain't really drowning 'cause I see the beach from here.

I could take a Greyhound home but when I got there it'd be gone
along with everything a home is made up of.
So I'll take two of what you're having and I'll take all of what you got
to kill this goddamn lonely, goddamn lonely love.

Mulch Love

Part of the tree pruning package we bought was to have the live oaks in our yard "eco-mulched." This basically means that they pull up in a big truck with a big mulch gun attached to it and spray it all at the base of your trees.

It essentially mimics the ground cover that you would get in a wooded setting that you don't get as a result of the incessant yard work that we are forced to do. While this is great for your trees, Jozy was not so sure about it.

After some brief investigative work though, she soon discovered its scent and how fun it was to roll around in, eat, dig, etc. She has much love for the mulch at this point and is now tracking it into the house at every opportunity.


Bob's has been out at our house the last two days working on our trees. I'll post some pictures of the results when they are done. In the meantime, they are working under the watchful eye of a very strict boss.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July to everyone! Thanks for being a BOB reader. Here's a few family photos found as I cleaned out the memory stick on our digital camera this morning.

1. (Above) Me and my wife at the Gold Cup semifinal game. Sporting the Supporter's Club scarves as well!

2. My wife and Jozy playing fetch in Lake Balboa in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. I think Jozy is on to something here. Not quite sure how she tricked my wife into getting her two sticks for her.

3. Jozy taking me for a walk.

Applewood Smoked Baby Back Ribs with Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Casserole

The ribs came out spectacularly yesterday. Couldn't have been happier. And couldn't walk afterwards. Literally. I threw my back out moving a concrete stool close to our charcoal grill in order to have a staging station. If I was looking for an event to inspire me to buy a big time charcoal grill with attached smoker, this is it. It hurts to move today.

The ribs were rubbed about 4 hours prior to cooking in Alton Brown's Rub Number 9, and then cooked for 4 hours over indirect heat at 225-250 degrees using the 2 zone cooking method described here. While grilling, I threw about 8 ounces of apple wood chips on the coals during the first hour for a nice sweet smoky flavor. I took half the rack and caremelized a little Sweet Baby Ray's on half of them over direct heat before serving. The side dish was a butternut squash recipe that we found on Epicurious (since we had fresh butternut squash from our local garden). This was a pleasant surprise and will be making a repeat showing. Very easy to make and a great combination of flavors.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Two Amazing Soccer Scenes

Two amazing soccer scenes from the weekend that you just HAVE to watch.

1. A woman from Equatorial Guinea in the Woman's World Cup catches the ball on her on 6 yard line, takes two steps, puts the ball down and she is not the goalie. More amazing: no foul called. Has to be seen to be believed.

2. One of the best goals you will ever see was scored by Portlan Timbers' Darlington Nagbe. Yes, that was two juggles on the top of the box followed by a volley into the upper 90. Unreal.

If you boil ribs, the terrorists win...

In a continuation of the tradition started last year, I plan on smoking some baby back ribs in the backyard this holiday weekend. I'm tweaking the cooking approach a bit based on tips found at which has a ton of interesting bbq tips (written by an author with the pen name Meathead).

Last year, I think I cooked the ribs at a temp of around 300-350 degrees. Gonna be shooting for 250 today so that means about 3.5-4 hours of time on Old Smokey.

Saturday, July 02, 2011


Today started out really lazy but was followed by a bunch of yard work, an ongoing fight with the vine in our 10 foot hedge and then a rushed trip to the local community garden to pick up our harvest. We got there late so we picked up a bunch of stuff that was leftover. Check it out! We've been planning on having a quiet evening at home tonight with just the two of us (and Jozy). Looks like I have a wealth of options to choose from to impress my wife.

Coca Cola - Copa America 2011 Commercial

Great soccer commercial, especially on the heels of Bolivia tying Argentina yesterday. Funny for both football fans and non, even though it is not even in English. Trust me.

Before Bob's

I meant to post these yesterday but got caught up in rescuing a stranded traveler downtown who needed a jump start. I'm definitely looking forward to the long weekend. Monday, specifically. On Monday, Bob's Tree Preservation is coming out to our house to do some long overdue trimming and mulching of the 3 beautiful live oaks that we have on our property. This is something we've wanted to do for a long time but just needed to save up for. It is not a small undertaking. These are the before photos. We have two trees in the front of our house. The top photo is on the North-ish side of the front yard and the next two photos below are of it's sister on the south east side. Check back in after the weekend for the results!

Friday, July 01, 2011

We'll Score When We Grow Old

Awesome short 8 minute film about a young soccer team (found over at The Offside). Great way to bring a little perspective to your day, soccer season or anything else. Enjoy.