Monday, September 28, 2009

Public Service Announcement

We had a post up earlier today that had a picture of the two of us wearing helmets. Then all hell broke lose. We had to take the post down. This evening we received a comment from our dear friends Tommy and Casey:

What happened to the helmets? I've been working on a witty comment all day.

Sorry Casey,

We took the helmet post down because that post was attacked by a left wing whack-job. We're going to moderate our comments from now on to prevent jerk faces from using our blog as a platform for propaganda.

I was into it for a while. But we're not playing anymore.

We still welcome comments from friends old and new. But FYI, comments on the following subjects will not be posted:

-the coup
-the thing that was not a coup
-which people someone thinks Jesus wants to suffer
-how fat I am
-comments containing the following phrases:
"ethically retarded"
"capitalist pigs"
"corrupt duopoly"
"stupefied and propaganda-addled North Americanos"

And finally, if you feel the need to state explicitly that you are not wishing us death, your comment will probably not be posted.


Tom, Karine, Zeke, and Ruby


By the by:

The offending poster I declare a left wing whack-job not because he / she supports the Zelaya government. There is nothing wacky about that. Its a perfectly legitimate point of view, one held by the US president I helped vote into office. Some of my colleagues and students support Zelaya. My next door neighbor, nicest guy you'd ever want to meet, supports Zelaya. No, the offending poster is a whack job because he / she posted separate entries under different names. Some of the names were female and some of them were male. That's just plain weird.

Also, because the offending poster believes that his or her political perspective affords him or her the right to spew vile and hateful language at other human beings.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Out of Office Notification

We're sorry, we cannot come to the blog today. We are away from our desks visiting Cayos Cochinos.

You may remember these beautiful islands from such great hits as Karine and Tom in Honduras 2008 and Karine and Tom in Honduras 2007.
Zeke has babysitters (twins!) and we've got a boat, an island, snorkels and fins.
Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Zeke on the move

Staycation Part 2

No, I'm not considering today's all-day, country-wide curfew to be a Staycation. It's nice to stay home, but this post is to re-cap the other things we did last weekend for the real Staycation 2009.

For my birthday, Zeke had a hard time deciding what to get for me. In the end, he chose these really cute Fisher Price stacking blocks. We spent hours playing on the floor with them, making echo sounds by talking into the open side, making towers, and putting the smallest one inside of the biggest. It has been a super-fun gift.

Staycation Sunday was a dough-y day. I started out in the morning by making my homemade pancakes. We love pancakes in this house. I had also read online that whole wheat bagels made a good teething/finger food for babies. I know that whole wheat bagels are usually made with honey- a no-no for babies, so I decided to make my own.

And yes, you actually boil them before you bake them! It was a lot easier than I thought, and yummy too!

Ever since I visited China in 2003, I have had occasional cravings for Chinese steamed dumplings, or jiao zi (pronounced jow-tsa). When we were on our honeymoon in Vancouver a few years ago, I introduced Tom to this yummy treat. So, with a few creative substitutions, we made our very own jiao zi right here at home! The grocery stores here don't carry dumpling wrappers, so I had to start by making my own out of a little salt, rice flour, and normal flour. I rolled them out and cut them to size with a glass.

Filling and closing the dumplings was the hardest part for me. I know that there is a "right" way to do this, and it involves 3 or 4 precisely placed pleats. I was not able to do this. I've been taught a few times by my expert friends Amy and Kate, but never actually figured it out. Luckily, the dumplings seemed to work well if I gave them a few pinches and sealed up the top.

We don't own any of those fancy bamboo stack-em and steam-em things, so we opted for boiled dumplings. Our filling was a combination of ground beef and finely chopped pork chops (we can't buy ground pork here) and some other little veggies and ginger.

We dipped them in a special dipping sauce and were amazed at how delicious they were. This is definitely something we want to make again! Next time, we'll do it with other people, since the stuffing/wrapping of the dumplings is pretty time consuming.

On Monday night of Staycation, we had our neighbor friends over for some Chicken Tikka Masala. Casey introduced us to this delicious recipe awhile ago, and this is the second time we've made it. I think it might be a new family favorite. I even made a little homemade garlic naan to go with it. While the dinner was delicious, the real highlight of the evening was watching Zeke play with his friends Lucy and Ellie.

It is so fun to see how he is learning to interact with others. The girls were wonderful with him, we love hanging out with their parents, so everybody has a good time.

By Tuesday morning, our last day of Staycation, we were gourmet-ed out. After such a delicious weekend, we enjoyed a low key morning of painting, sipping coffee, an afteroon family pool party, and ordering pizza for dinner. Staycation 2009 was great, and I'm excited to try out my new recipes again soon!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Haps in Hondo

So, I could try to give a detailed rundown on all that has happened today, but I think that my fellow blogger, La Gringa, has done a great job of explaining what's been going down. Basically, ousted President Manuel Zelaya returned to Honduras today and he's trying to get people all excited to protect and support him. He's currently camping out in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa. All appears to be calm here in La Ceiba.

Any time a country has two people claiming to be president, and any time one of them is standing on a rooftop shouting to the people to gain support, there is a possibility of some unrest. In order to try to keep everyone safe, the government here has imposed a curfew that started at 4pm today and goes until 6pm tomorrow. I don't have any reason to believe that we'll actually be allowed out of our houses for the evening tomorrow, but we'll see.

Everything appears to be calm and peaceful here in La Ceiba. Luckily we went grocery shopping on Saturday, so we've got food. No classes tomorrow (since nobody is allowed to leave their houses), so Zeke is excited to spend a little extra time with mom and dad.

I'm hoping to catch up on some other blogging tomorrow during our time at home. Just wanted to let people know that things are okay with us, and we'll keep you all posted.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Art Show

These are for sale. Karine's cost a million each. Mine are eight bucks for the pair.

The Agenda

We're going to start off the day today with a little water color painting on the dining room table. We'll post the results in a few hours. We will be listening to the Velvet Underground during this activity.

America's Test Kitchen

You may notice that the Mirado Black Warrior Pencil link has been removed from the our sponsors section and replaced with a link to the America's Test Kitchen cookbook. I guess its because the ATK cookbook has done much more in the last seventy-two hours to enhance the quality of our lives. Here's what Karine has to say: "Not only is this book full of great recipies, but its also full of great tips for first attempts at new recipies."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Staycation Day One: Photos

Karine made pancakes for breakfast this morning. They were awesome. Now she's trying to make some bagels, also awesome. I will begin filling up the swimming pool after I finish this little project.

I'll try to put these pictures in order, more or less, chronological.

Zeke's number one toy these days. I guess you could call it an obsession. The man loves ice water in tall glasses. Its because he cut his first tooth this week. He's all about cool sensations on the gums. I took this glass away from him because somewhere in the instinctual protective father part of my brain alarm bells rang. Something about not letting your children chew on glass. Even if they want to. His cries when he realized I wasn't just goofing around: heart wrenching.

Zeke loves grass. Ruby loves Zeke.

In the backyard at dusk, with a flash. Did I mention that we figured out how to use the flash on on camera? Its neat.

Here's Zeke after bath time. This is pretty much Zeke's attitude toward life captured in this photo here. Unless you take his ice water away.

Here's dinner last night. Pictures of food are so weird. Lobster tails with chipotle-lime shrimp, served with ginger glazed carrots and rosemary potatoes. Washed down with a Chilean chardonnay that was nice and cold. Zeke did us the favor of shuffeling to dreamland before the food was on the table. I'll post recipes later.

Karine is making some kind of wacky stuffed Chinese balls for dinner tonight.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fifteen Pounds of Basmati Rice

Part of the fun of Staycation is spending the money we would have spent on travel and lodging on splurgy-type items for the house. Our first splurge was a fifteen pound bag of Basmati rice. Wow! These fifteen pounds of starchy goodness are going to bring us basketfuls of fun. We just know it. It started last night with the braised snook and will surely continue for many meals to come. Just look how happy Ruby is with the bag. She was all like: Oh, oh I love this Basmati rice, take a picture of me with the Basmati rice!

Karine's Birthday -- Staycation 2009

You might think I whiffed it big time by not posting something cute and special for my wonderful wife's birthday. Well, that might just be your opinion. I learned in my college informal logic class that contrary to conventional wisdom all opinions are not equal. Some opinions are less valid than others. And if you are of the opinion that I am a big whiffer than you are just plain wrong. Maybe you are a big whiffer.

Karine's birthday has been extended this year. We've turned it into a four day extravaganza. We have a four day weekend because its Independence Day on Tuesday. We nixed travel plans and decided to stay home, chill out, and do whatever Karine wants for four days. Scheduled activities include afternoons with Zeke in our luxurious inflatable swimming pool, mornings sipping coffee on the front porch, family outings to the mall, and cooperative blog sessions.

The word is staycation. We're taking a vacation, but we're staying at home.


She won't know this until she reads it, so it will be our little secret in the meantime. When we go to the mall this afternoon I'm going to get her that non-stick frying pan she's been pining for.

Best thing about Staycation 2009. We get to spend all of out time with this man: