Review: Bissell SpotClean ProHeat Pet

Two weeks ago, we adopted a sweet little girl who proceeded to have some accidents on our carpet. She was (and remains) timid, and the stress of the new home, changed food, and her anxiety led to first diarrhea and then piddles on our carpet.

While the carpet was sell used when we moved in (at least 8 years of heavy, rental use), we we kept it, and have had it professionally cleaned a couple of times. Fortunately, we weren’t expecting perfection, and the traffic areas are pretty grungy (closing in on 2 years since the last deep clean). Continue reading →

Our new addition – Lizzie

It should not surprise anyone who has been paying attention to this blog that we had to say goodbye to Garrett in January, at the ripe old age of 13. Since then, the house just hasn’t felt right. Sure, it is nice to not have to worry about feeding, and keeping the yard locked and safe, and to be certain to not stay out too late. But all that convenience pales in the absence of a buddy.

To partly fill the void, we have been sitting two wonderful Greyhound girls, Falcon and Clara who have brought joy, a bit of chaos, and the love of a greyhound back into the house. But still, something was missing. No permanent addition to our family. Continue reading →

The Simpsons – the early years

The addition of a Plex server, and the digitization of my DVD and Bluray discs, has given me ample opportunity to revisit some of my old favorites that haven’t been brought off the shelf in a long time. Among this collection is the first four seasons of The Simpsons. 1989 – 1993 episodes, and many essential classics. Continue reading →

Indiana Jones – a Pleasant Memory

While I have ragged on the original Star Wars Trilogy, noting that my recollection from my misspent youth was faulty in its fond memories, I recently also bought the complete seried of Indiana Jones movies on bluray. My fond memories of the magic of Indy, the stories of his adventures the fun effects. It was magical when I first saw it back in 1982 when Raiders of the Lost Ark was released. Continue reading →

Cooking and Shortcuts

Little known fact is that I worked my way through college cooking at a variety of restaurants and venues. Started as a prep cook at a Marie Callendar’s, I spent time at a sports bar, a Mexican restaurant, a seafood bistro, a sous chef in a country club, and then a chef at a local chain of Italian food, and finally running the kitchen at a corporate caterer. Continue reading →

Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

On the Instant Pot journey, this weekend I revisited a classic, the simple, hearty, yet instantly recognized “Chicken Noodle Soup.” There are some fairly basic ingredients that are common. Onion, Celery, Carrots, white meat chicken, and seasonings. Fairly simple, hearty, and – dare I say it – wholesome. The recipe I used was from Jo Cooks, and it was pretty simple. I used about 2.5#’as of split chicken breasts, and I added peas, but otherwise I followed the recipe to the letter. (well, I did add two bay leaves and several cranks of coarse ground black pepper from my peppermill) Continue reading →

Real Estate Insanity

Living in ‘Silicon Valley’ is interesting for many reasons, not the least of which is the zaniness of the housing market. Having grown up here in the 60’s and 70’s, I was oblivious to this phenomenon, thinking that it was normal. That is until I moved to Arizona for more than a decade and returned.

When we returned in 2014, we knew that we were in for a shock. When I moved away in 2003, the condo I bought in 1999 for $249K, sold easily for $350K, an amazing return on my investment. Continue reading →

Instant Pot – a month in

Approaching the end of my fourth week with the Instant Pot, and it is time to revisit with some observations.

First, my initial observation that it is stupid easy to use is still accurate. It really is almost impossible to screw up. Yes, I know that if you don’t have enough liquids it will fail to come to pressure, and that you can burn things in it, but I haven’t experienced that yet. Continue reading →

Aryeon: Universe Live

I have mentioned a few times that I am a sucker for ambitious music projects. A few months ago, Amazon Music turned me onto Arjen Lucassen, and then I found his projects, Ayreon. I bought the latest, The Source on vinyl, and holy hell, it was amazing. I bought a few more of the Aryeon project albums (on CD, as the vinyl versions had sold out, and the offered sale versions were for more than $200). Continue reading →