Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mabel Photos

Here's a couple of photos of our favorite niece Mabel from our recent trip out to Arizona.

Three men and a baby went out for a ride to breakfast one day (my brother James, our friend Mark and me). Here's Mark making sure that his new friend Mabel is appropriately secure. She doesn't seem so sure about him just yet but by the end of the visit she was a big fan!

The photo below was taken as we were headed out to the airport to head home. Isn't she a cutie?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Phoenix Trip - US vs Venezuela Photos


This past weekend we were lucky enough to make the trip out to Phoenix to visit my brother and his family as well as spend time with our good friends Mark and Karen. The visit coincided with the US Men soccer team's friendly game against Venezuela. Here's a few photos of the gang at the stadium. The drunk guy sitting in front of us took this picture below. You can kind of tell based on how blurry it is...

 The game was a blast (with a stoppage time goal to seal the US' 1-0 victory) and it was even better to get the chance to visit friends and family. I have a couple of non-soccer related photos that I'll share in a few. Unfortunately, I didn't take too many pictures on the trip but I think I managed to get one or two cute ones of my favorite niece Mabel.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Breakfast Appetizers

Every once in a while my older brother teaches me something new even though we are in our mid/late 30s. Today he introduced me to breakfast appetizers. In this case, breakfast sausage on a stick, dipped in waffle batter, deep fried and served with maple syrup and hot sauce to dip in. Fantastic.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Do it like Bobby

When I have days off from work I sometimes like to spend a bit of time experimenting with a new recipe. I have never had lamb shanks before, so this past Monday seemed like a perfect opportunity. Somehow, I was able to convince my wife that this was a good idea (she is not the biggest fan of lamb).

Step 1 - I found this recipe from Bobby Flay. I figure if I am eating something that is brand new to me, this is a name I can trust.

Step 2 - Follow Bobby's steps. These all pretty much worked out ok. I seared the shanks first (these things look like they are out of a Flinstone's dinner). Here is a photo post searing.

Then I added the carrots, celery and onion. Caramelized those guys.

Added roasted garlic, a bunch of port and some red wine and let them cook in the oven for about 2.5 hours. The fact that this recipe had port wine in it was another factor that tipped the scales. I cooked the toasted orzo as well (another first for me), roasted some tomatoes and threw in some broccoli for color.

The end result was fantastic, fall off the bone lamb with a great flavor and leftovers for the next day.

 You don't need to take my word for it. My wife, not the lamb fan, has said that she really enjoyed it and is ready to have it again. I'd recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a great, and pretty simple lamb dish.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Three Honors

July 4th, 2011 was a special day for my wife and me. We had the honor of being the first non-family members invited to participate in the Annual deClouet Croquet Tournament. Being invited to participate meant a lot to us since it gave us the chance to be a part of their family celebration during a special holiday. This honor was followed closely on the heels by a second one when I had the incredible luck of actually winning the tournament! There was a period of time that day where I was a little nervous I would not be invited back...primarily because the margin of victory was a bit high. Not sure what came over me really, but for that one hour I was a croquet phenom.

Regardless, I have mentioned all of this before and the deClouets have of course never held that brief moment of luck against me and kept inviting us back into their home. Phew. So if I have mentioned it before, you may be wondering why I bring it up a second time...fair question.

On the heels of the win, I was allowed to bring home the official engraved trophy to our house for one week. Yes, it is engraved with my name and the year of the victory. The deClouets take this seriously.

And yes, I have unfortunately held onto the trophy for a little bit longer than I was originally permitted. The reason being, I needed to complete the third honor, and officially celebrate this triumph with the Lafayette City-Parish  President, Joey Durel. What better way to honor the success right? So today I took a 20 minute break from work and headed on down to Mr. Durel's office in an attempt to get a celebratory photo with the famous trophy. I am proud to say that the mission was a success and the photo will soon be framed on my wall! Check it out! Special thanks to Mr. Durel for being so willing to spare a minute of his time - pretty awesome.

With this third honor completed, I will be regretfully returning the deClouet family croquet trophy back to its official home tomorrow and I can close out this chapter of the saga. I have already started training for next year and will be ready to defend the title.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Jozy's New Beau

We have been doing a little dog sitting this weekend which has given Jozy the chance to visit with her neighbors Sofie and Shoba. Shoba has a large percentage of wolf in his DNA...making this type of rendezvous a little dicey for a female of Jozy's temperament. After we got past the initial meet and greet  which consisted of a lot of teeth, snarls and growls...the two dogs settled in for a successful date on the town yesterday.

Astute observers will notice that Jozy has some new gear for when we go on walks - her ABO Aussie backpack (tested and approved by rescue dogs in Atlanta).  I find that when she walks with this on, two things occur:

1. She pulls a little less forcefully, making the walk more enjoyable.
2. She carries her own poo bags, making the walk more enjoyable.

Word from Shoba was that he liked how it complemented Jozy's eyes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bluebird by Bukowski

If you've never read Bukowski, I think you're missing out on some of the most accessible poetry I have ever read...and some of the best as well. @Brainpicker posted this animation of one of his more famous works called Bluebird. Read the poem, click play afterwards. Scribble some verse somewhere.

Bluebird by Bukowski

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pur whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
in there.

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Found Photo - Xmas 2010

I got a new Mac recently and it is causing me to explore a lot of older photos that I had previously forgotten. Found this picture of me and my mom from back in 2010 that I really like. This was taken in downtown Hot Springs during our visit there over the Christmas Holiday.

Monday, January 09, 2012

I'm From Barcelona - Always Spring

Gloomy rainy day down in Lafayette. Here's a little pep in your step that's been playing in my office today in between 1000 meetings.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Christmas 2011 - Slideshow

Here are a set of my favorite photos from the week during Christmas and New Years when our family members descended upon Lafayette to celebrate the holidays. It was a blast to have everyone here...and the day that my mom left, as the last one to go home, the house seemed a bit too quiet. 

First, a few of my favorites (it was super hard to pick):

1. We took this family photo after having an awesome brunch at The French Press, taken by the guy who runs Genterie Supply Co. Great cajun breakfast, as evidenced by all the happy faces.

2. Jozy wasn't able to go The French Press but she had plenty of good meals under my favorite niece's spot at the dinner table. This was a common sight for a full week.

3. A group of us took Mabel to the Children's Museum of Acadiana, a place where children of all ages will have fun. My brother and I are Jersey cowboys at heart.

4. The children's museum has an ambulance that you can explore. We took this self timer family shot crowded in the back. Definitely one of my favorites.

And now a slideshow of the rest.