Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I am shocked that I have not written in over a week. Plenty has happened that I could write about, but I guess I have just been a bit lazy. Pushing these little keys is tough.

Work events:

We had another bird in the warehouse. As there is no inspection upcoming the pacifist side of me has been on display. I allowed the little fella to fly around for a few days and work its way to the back garage. Once in there I trapped him and opened the doors to let him fly out.

My latest annoyance at work has been the complaints of gas prices. I have no issue with people being upset about the high prices. My problem is with people complaining and then rejecting all possible solutions to ease the situation. "Oh I couldn't possibly walk to the grocery store. It is 4 blocks away, how would I get the groceries home?" Ahhhh!

The Kids:

They both have bike helmets now. Nigel does not want to take his off. I think it may not be a bad idea that he wears his. He got his Daddy's coordination. Nora has regained her confidence in bike riding. When I got home she was riding up and down the sidewalk. Today was a big day for Nora. Queen day at her school. All the boys escorted the girls to and from class, and the girls were allowed to pick some of their activities today.

Robin and I:

We are counting down to the release of Iron Man. Baby sitters have been lined up. We will be there on Saturday.

I am training for the Morton Pumpkin Festival 10k. I am taking it very slowly to make sure I do not hurt myself. I am using a training program from running online. It takes you from the couch to a 10k in 20 weeks. Today I went out and did a 3 mile walk/run. I ran a total of 2 miles in intervals...walk .25, run .5. It felt pretty good.

I know that I promised to publish the six work bios this past Saturday, but I did not post an entry. Also, I do not have that many entries yet. I would love to get a few more before I post on Friday. Come on Chrisophiles....make me proud.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

The "NEW" Golden Rule.

Everyone is familiar with the the Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." As we all know times change and with that so do many of the things to which we have grown accustom. With that said I propose to you a new and improved Golden Rule.

Do not take responsibility for your actions which you can easily blame on others.

I see this very concept in action on a daily basis. Today was a great example. Every day the office personnel where I work order out for lunch. One of them goes and picks it up, returns to the office, and then they all divvy up the goods. Just so you know, there are only 6-10 orders made at a time...not too big. At least once a week there is a mistake made and a huge ordeal follows. In the end we call and have a credit given in our company name for our next order.

Today I made the suggestion that whoever goes actually checks the order for accuracy before leaving the restaurant. Judging by the looks that were given to me I am fairly certain I was speaking Chinese and at the same time said something negative about their mothers. Seems to me that a simple 2-3 minute check would save us a lot of time and trouble. Finally someone cleared it up for me by saying, that's not my responsibility. We are the customer.

Now, when we deliver to our restaurants, make a mistake, and it is not discovered until after the paperwork is signed and the diver is long gone, whose fault do you think that is? Based on the facts laid out in the preceding paragraph it would be our fault. No, no, no. It is the customers fault. They checked it in and should have caught the mistake.

Common concept....

Do not take responsibility for your actions which you can easily blame on others.

It is a catchy concept...jump on board the bandwangon.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Why My Dad Could Never Be A......

Truck driver.

For those of you who know him you may think NEVER is a strong choice of words. After all my Dad loves to travel, get off the beaten path, and meet new people. Truck drivers do just that. Over the last year and a half I have met a number of drivers that seem to be doing just that. They tell me of the interesting places they have been and people they have met. Maybe driving a truck would not have been so bad for my Dad.


Two reasons make this vocation impossible.

1. A vast majority of the drivers that come into my facility have no idea where they are going when they head out. So many in fact that I am starting to believe this is a personality trait of drivers. I field no less that 5 calls a day from drivers needing directions. Can any of you imagine my Dad leaving the house with out carefully plotting his route and then double checking it with his Tom Tom while en route?

2. And this is the most important...
Truck drivers spend a lot of time sitting and waiting. Whether it be waiting to be loaded/unloaded, or to find out what their next destination may be. My Dad is not a patient man.

I hope you enjoy this early morning fare.


Get on those bios people. I have three so far. Karen, Kris and Jere, kudos to you!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fantastic News

My first brew without the aid of a kit is a success. I was going for a beer similar to Blue Moon. I did not quite hit that, but the result is very tasty indeed. We have named the brew "New Moon". It is a bit sweeter than Blue Moon since I used sweet orange peel instead of bitter, and the body is not the same because I filtered mine. Overall I am very happy with my concoction and look forward to brewing many more.

On the homework front, cousin Kris and my Mother-in-Law Karen have both submited their biographies. I am looking forward to getting more and cannot wait to post them all for your enjoyment. Kris' and Karen's are both very good.

I see a New Moon rising...


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Homework Assignment

Alright Chrisophiles it is time to learn a little bit more about each other and ourselves at the same time.

I would like each of you to post a six-word biography. Can you manage to sum up you in six words? How about 3 six-word phrases? What does your life really boil down to? I wanna know.

Better explanation and examples here.

To get you started here are the six-word biographies of Robin and Chris:


skinny smart yarnie with a neckache
not yet rich, but already eccentric
spends too much time inside head


Hubby Superdad Brew Meister Meister Brewer
Laid-back goofy getting fit magnetic
Easily angered by repetitively stupid people

Please reply to either the comment section of this blog, or to my e-mail address. In two weeks, April 26, I will compile and post them here...with your permission of course. I think this will be pretty fun, so please participate.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Advice For A Dreary Workday

This whole Monday to Friday workweek still makes me giddy and I cannot fathom how anyone could complain about such a glorious schedule. However, when you throw in a windy, gloomy, chilly day in the spring, at the end of a long week...I understand how some may get a bit down.

The solution....

Wear a Hawaiian shirt (or as I call them big fat party guy shirt) to work. When co-workers ask tell them you are on vacation. The benefits to this are limitless. First of all I challenge anyone not to smile when they see someone at work in a big fat party guy shirt. It is not possible. Secondly, when you tell people you are on vacation, and offer no further explanation as to your presence at work, they view you with great admiration and ask very little of you all day. Further more, your disposition is much sunnier due to all the smiles, looks of admiration and lack of added responsibility.

So, my advice to you is next time you are feeling down about going to work, put on a big fat party guy shirt and have a vacation day at work.

Bill Lumbergh: Oh, and remember: next Friday... is Hawaiian shirt day. So, you know, if you want to, go ahead and wear a Hawaiian shirt and jeans.

On the beer front...I may crack open one of my New Moons for a trial taste this weekend.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Grill Night #4 and other thoughts....

There was no grill night #4. In its place was a night out for my Moms birthday.


Robin, the kids and I joined my Mom and Dad for a nice dinner at Bistro 320, a local independently owned restaurant. The meal was nice and we had an opportunity to meet the chef, Leo. He was a very nice guy and a talented chef. Being there brought back a lot of memories from my old restaurateur days. Really tasty food, but not enough butts in the seats. It frustrates me to see Peoria not support local business, restaurants in particular.

All people here seems to want is mass produced mediocre fare and to be told it is fancy. I am sure this phenomenon exists in every town as can be evidenced by the new Pizza Hut commercial. You know the one introducing their new pasta dishes. Supposedly patrons in an upscale New York City Italian restaurant are fooled by the great taste of the Huts new pasta. They actually think they are sampling the chefs new creations. Fancy decor, white table clothes, a good show by the chef and maitre d, and pre-made frozen food is all you need.

Do I detect a note of bitterness in my writing. Could I still be upset that Dominic's was and is still not a raging success? Could be...

Well, at least I have my wonderful Steadfast Stout. Yum, yum, yum!


Monday, April 7, 2008

Grill Night #3

The weather has changed and spring is in the air. Nothing smells more like spring than the aroma of grills in the air. That smoky, delicious bouquet has been wafting through our neighborhood in great abundance since Friday evening. MMMM, who does not love that smell? I am getting hungry just writing about it.

Unfortunately, we were unable join in the fun of grilling as our propane grill was losing its battle to internal cancer. Its only hope was a complete transplant of all its internal organs. We priced the operation and realized it would not be cost effective. We had it put down. In its place we purchased a good ole charcoal kettle grill. It really does taste better. Additionally, I am proud to say that I have yet to need the assistance of lighter fluid.

Saturday evening we went with the grills favorite food, the burger. The kids loved them and we could not get enough of the flame grilled goodness. Saturday was the kids choice, so we had hot dogs. Tonight was the almighty pork chop. Seared on the outside and juicy on the inside. Yum yum yum!

Now all I need to do is figure out how to grill breakfast and I would be a very happy man. I do remember making pancakes and coffee over an open fire on our camping trips to the boundary waters. Maybe there is hope.

What lies ins tore for grill night #4?......

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cook's Night Out

Every 1st Wednesday of the month our church has a "cook's night out". It is an evening of fellowship and good food. Tonights fare was provided by Subway. Can't go wrong with a $5 foot-long.

Every once and a while there is a presentation. Tonight our associate pastors husband, who happens to be the chaplain at Eureka college, did a program on the colleges spring break. They took a group to the Yakima nation mission. Among other topics they covered the various livestock and crops that are produced there.

One of the crops they grow on their land is hops. Yes, people hops. Had I only known! As some of you may know, we are in the midst of a hop shortage. I am in desperate need of hops. It is tough to make a good beer without the flavoring and aroma characteristics of hops. When they were asking for donations I would have been front and center, and all I would have asked in return is for a health supply of hops. I would have forgone the warm feeling inside usually felt after doing a good deed.

I conclusion....

Anyone know where I can score some hops?


If you have a few minutes to spare watch this for a chuckle.

This is not how I brew.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tax Time

I did our taxes. I know what you are thinking...what a go getter. This guy is organized and has his stuff together. Seriously, how many people do you know that have their taxes done before April? Oh, what is that I hear? Most people have them done already? Ok, how about this then. How many people do you know that have their taxes done AND have sent them off? Oh, I am behind the curve on that one too you say. Shoot, well better luck next year.

Well if I cannot brag about how quickly I got our taxes done I am going to pat myself on the back for the dinner I made tonight. Round steak marinated in olive oil, garlic, Worcestershire sauce then pan seared and finished in the oven. I topped them with mushrooms and onion sauteed in butter, and served it all with baked asparagus. It was so good that even Nigel ate the steak. Daddy did good.

Nora and I had our first, but brief t-ball lesson today. She took a few swings and made some good contact...with the t. She got the ball a couple of times as well. We have a bit of work to do on the form, but we have plenty of time. I showed her how it is done once and nearly took out the across the street neighbor's window. I best watch what I am doing.