Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 01: Issue 15

Howdy true beloggers! Welcome to Sunday Leftovers. This week I am hitting you hard and quick in the stomach. Hold that vomit and bile back, we have work to do. Lets get to it...

[Card Card Theft]

This week my wife's credit card was stolen at my favorite bar. Some shady-ass women who my wife saw and got a creeped out vibe from, managed to slide her hand into her purse, take out her wallet, take the card and put the wallet back her in purse. Allison noticed her acting strange, shooting looks at her, taking a quick shot, and then rushing out of the building. She didn't notice her credit card was missing until the next day, but thankfully her credit card company immediately noticed odd activity and shut the account down. This woman managed to spend 500 bucks at Pathmark. She stole a credit card to buy food I guess...I sort of feel bad that this woman stole for food, but I choose to think the worst and assume she got something she could resell. Pathmark is all sorts of sketchy so I am sure she somehow got cash money.

If I saw that woman I would tell her to put those quick hands to good use... I suggest somewhere on Vine Street, I am sure she can make a few bucks....

Capital One was totally class act on this issue, so if you need a credit card...

[Wedding Photographer]

Speaking of theft, another issue in our life at the moment is disputed charges against our "official" wedding photographer Joe DiFeterici (Regal Photography). For those not in the know, two weeks before our wedding in October we found out that Joe had a massive number of complaints lodged against him at the better business bureau. The reason we found out was because I called Joe to see what he wanted to eat at the wedding and he didn't call me back. So after a month, we googled him and saw the massive amount of incidents (yes we googled him before we hired him and he was clean at the time). So we freaked and a good guy by the name of Mark Anthony agreed to come and take pictures at no cost. Another friend of the family who is a professional photographer also took pictures and they turned out to be fantastic (we are going to do more on that in another post). Joe actually showed up at the wedding, took below average pictures and got pretty cranky as the night went on.

After the wedding we wanted to lock down the album ASAP, and he played games by not giving us the right forms, saying we had a different package and now it seems he has disappeared.

From what I have heard, after not appearing to court several times, a warrant was issued for Joe's arrest. Instead of dealing with the law, the man abandoned his house and pulled a disappearing act. Who knows where he is now...

CBS Video Expose
The Knot Message Board

I guess we shall see how this all turns out.

[Deck Update]

Its Done!


On to the paver patio...

[Recipe of the Week:Tangy Red Lentil Soup With Niçoise Olives]

It is cold outside, here is some soup!

Ingredients

1 large celery stalk, finely chopped
1 large carrot, unpeeled, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound red lentils, rinsed
1 pound chicken backs
4 thyme sprigs
2 lemons, halved
1/4 cup whole niçoise olives


Directions:

1. In a 4-quart saucepan, combine celery, carrot, onion, garlic, olive oil and salt. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add lentils, chicken backs, 8 cups water and thyme, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until lentils have broken down, about 30 minutes.

2. Discard thyme sprigs. Remove chicken backs, remove meat from bones, chop meat and return meat to soup. Using an immersion blender, partially purée soup. Taste and add salt if needed. Ladle soup into bowls, squeeze in lemon juice and serve topped with olives.


[DIY of the Week: Make your own robots]


Maker Workshop - Miniature Robots on Make: television from make magazine on Vimeo

Materials List

PDF File...

[Conclusion]

I have bitched enough this week, so I am done. Don't take shit from anybody.

Love,
Joey

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 01: Issue 14

Howdy true be-loggers! Welcome to Sunday Leftovers - if you are still reading this, you are deeply disturbed. This week I am going freestyle to break up my format a little. Enjoy...

[Rant of the Week: Cell Phone Plans]

I got a new cell phone this week. My contract is set to expire and I had a new every two credit available for the last few months but I have been holding off because I have been thinking of switching from Verizon to AT&T. I wanted an iPhone. Since Christmas, I have been getting very annoyed with Apple, but that is another story. Last week, I saw that Verizon is doing a "Buy One, Get One Free" for Blackberries. Which means I can get a Storm for me and my wife. I decided to renew. I called the help desk, informed them that I wanted to combine me and my wife's plans. They informed me that she was NOT eligible to get a new blackberry because her contract was out of cycle. I asked the associate to let me speak to a manager and laid the smack down. Allison was allowed to get her new phone. The associate said I can get phones at the store or ship, I chose to get them that day (I wanted my new toy!). So off to the mall...

I hate going to malls, I feel that most people drop at least 20 IQ points when they step through the glass doors. I went in to the Verizon store and of course there is a line. The little store is packed full of zombies...er...people and they just go in there to waste time. 90% of the people in the store are there for no purpose (look at the damn phones on the website!). I went in, told the girl at the counter what I wanted and she moved pretty fast. It took her 25 minutes to activate the phones so I had a chance to people watch. Every customer went in and complained about the cost of the phone or the service when everything is laid out on paper. It is also obvious that the people working there take advantage of people's lack of intelligence. They tried to sell me a 10 dollar car charger for 30, a 15 dollar bluetooth headset for 40... it goes on.

One kid who worked there tried to tell me that people were leaving AT&T and going back to Verizon for the Blackberry. I just looked at him and said "bullshit, show me the statistics." I am getting a storm and I still don't believe that. Then he started telling me how Verizon passed on the iPhone and I just shut him down (Verizon didn't want to give up control of the phone which is why to this day all of their phones suck). Then the kid tried to sell me some fancy home phone service (like Vonage but with pretty phones), I kept asking questions about the cost and he just kept telling me how cool it was. Finally he got the hint and started talking to another customer who found the blackberry "too much phone" for her to handle. She was a new customer and was within her 30 days so she could return it, but she didn't know that and the kid did not tell her. They were arguing for a good 10 minutes when the girl came out with our phones. We took them and ran.

As I fool around with this new phone, am I wondering how big of an asshole am I, because do I really need this shit? Oh well, now I can squint and read my favorite blogs while I am in the bathroom at work. We are certainly at the pinnacle of human achievement.

[Recipe of the Week: Joey's Lasagna]

I made this yesterday, so I hope you enjoy it....

Ingredients
3 cans of crushed tomatoes
2 lbs ground turkey
1 lb ground pork
3 lbs of shredded skim mozzarella (you might want more than this)
2 or 3 boxes of Dreamfield lasagna noodles
2 16 oz containers of skim ricotta cheese
5 egg whites
2 tablespoons of salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
a dash of dried basil
1 small onion
4 cloves of garlic
A splash of olive oil
3 tablespoons grated cheese
Some red wine....

Directions

(The Sauce)

Dice the small onion and the garlic cloves (you can press the garlic if you want). Throw a splash of olive oil into a sauce pot, heat on medium, and then put in the onions and half of the garlic. Cook until the onions are clear. Throw in all of the meat. Raise the heat a little, cover the pot. Leave the meat brown. Once browned, put in at least one cup of red wine (I like to put in more). Raise the heat to high until the wine comes to a boil. Put in the three cans of crushed tomatoes and all of the seasonings, keep on high until the sauce comes to a boil as well (make sure to stir well when putting in all of the ingredients). Once the sauce is at a boil reduce to medium low heat and let the sauce cook for 40 minutes.

(The Ricotta Cheese)

In a large mixing bowl, put the 32 oz of cheese and mix with the egg whites (you can use the whole egg if you want or use just one whole egg). I also throw in 3 tablespoons of grated cheese. Whip it well so it is light and fluffy (easier to put into the pan). Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Start to boil the noodles. I add a little olive oil into the water as it helps the noodles from sticking.

(The Main event)

Once the noodles are done and the sauce is cooked, get your lasanga pans (or tins) and coat the bottom with the sauce. Lay down the noodles making a complete sheet. Now add the Rocotta mixture on top of the noodles (a light layer). Add the sauce. Add the mozzarella cheese. Repeat.

I normally do two layers, but many people do more. Your call.

When you are satisfied with you height, put it in a pre-heated oven (400 degrees) for 20 minutes. Take out and let cool for at least 20 minutes.

My directions should give you enough for 2 whole lasangas

[Valentines Day]

It was Valentine's Day yesterday. Who cares.



[DIY of the Week: Skittle Vodka]

Taste the Rainbow bitches

[Deck Update]

The deck is still in progress. I am looking forward for it being done.

[Conclusion]

If you bought flowers in honor of Valentine's day, know that I will be laughing at you in some way when your sweetie tosses them in the trash 14 days from now. That's all I got.

- Joey

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

RIP hitman2398.tripod.com

Due to my little video rant last month, I sporadically google myself to see what comes up. Today I noticed my old tripod site that I had to do for college was still alive. It was an interesting snap shot of what my life was when I stopped updating it (abandoned for scrotch.com and eventually joeylombardi.com). In the past I had decided to leave it alone because of said snapshot, but tripod is littered with ads and it isn't who I am anymore - not by a long shot, so I closed shop.

It's sad to let go of those little pieces of your youth, but sometimes it is necessary to continue moving forward.

I wanted to commemorate the end of a site that has lasted longer than most of my friendships because I am sure I will forget it.

hitman2398.tripod.com
Sept 1997 - Feb 2009
"Ghetto Fabulous to the max"

A site to talk about friends, college life, publish school work, and indulge in silly fantasies. If it made someone laugh through any of the three published versions it did its job.


PS - Here is a picture I found of Sean in the file structure...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 01: Issue 13

Howdy True be-loggers. Welcome to lucky number 13. As the boss would say, "Put down the guacamole, put down that chicken wing, and get ready to move... get ready to feel alive". Well you won't feel alive after reading my feel good style of writing, in fact, I am pretty sure the suicide rate goes up shortly after I publish these articles. So put down that knife you were going to slit your wrist with and get absorbed in my bullshit for 20 minutes!

[Wrestling]

I watched my little cousin Ryan wrestle this weekend. He is 8 and has been bitten by the sports bug. Normally I don't like to go to these things because I hate sports parents and people going nuts on the kids, but I wanted to go support something that was just all about him. I went to the match and it was a few hours before he got to wrestle (who knew these wrestling matches for kids take all day?). Ryan did well, but the thing I was impressed with most was none of the parents were acting like animals. My cousin Anthony isn't the type to get nuts about sports unless some very shady stuff was going on, but I was expecting some foul parental experiences from SOMEBODY. Everyone was on their best behavior from what I saw, the parents were really just interested in their kids feeling good about themselves; win or lose.

I was glad to witness people being classy when all I ever hear about are the assholes. So I figured I would share.

[Home Construction]

Since this blog is all about what is going on in my life, I figured I would share a home improvement story. I have to get my deck replaced in the back of my house because it was falling apart. Besides finding a contractor and getting quotes; I had to get all kinds of permits and permissions because I live in a townhouse. First there was an issue that I had to get the deck built three feet in on each side of the property line, but my existing deck is ON the property line and I didn't want to lose space (the laws changes after my house was built). The contractors didn't want to get their hands dirty so I had to talk to the zoning office.

I called a few times, but that wasn't working so well, so I made a visit to their offices and after reviewing a few sketches, layout plans, and blueprints we figured out that the zoning law was off the books or at least doesn't apply for decks. So after a few more rounds with blueprints, the permits were signed on Friday.

Once I figured out that I was ALLOWED to do the deck, I wanted to run it past my neighbors who are on the corner because the materials will be going past their house to get to the common walk way. Long story, one neighbor was cool, the other neighbor never answered the door so I left a note and hope they don't care.

So that is my deck story this week, construction starts tomorrow, and should be done by next week's issue, I will put up some pictures.

[Guitar Lessons]

As I mentioned in my year end post, I take guitar lessons to keep my mind challenged. My teacher informed me he won't be available for a few months, so I am debating whether to get a new teacher in the mean time or just to focus on what he taught. Right now I working on this, and it is coming along really well (surprising myself)



Link for the Facebook crowd

If you are over and ask real nice I might play it for you.

Also on that note - what are your thoughts on people posting youtube videos of themselves playing music? Personally, I think it looks lame so I won't be doing it unless I have an excellent reason.

[DIY of the Week: Make your own red wine vinegar]

Make your own Vinegar...



Link for the Facebook Crowd

[Recipe of the Week]

Since the DIY was red wine vinegar, I figured we should make something using the damn stuff...

INGREDIENTS

2 tbl. margarine or butter
2 cloves garlic - crushed
3 shallots - chopped
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 1/4 pounds)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups finely chopped tomato (about 2 medium tomatoes)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme - chopped ...OR...1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


DIRECTIONS

Spray cooking spray in 10-inch skillet.

Add garlic, shallots and chicken. Cook over medium-high heat 12 to 15 minutes, turning after 6 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink. Reduce heat to low.

Add vinegar, cover and cook 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients, turn chicken.

Cook over low heat 10 to 12 minutes until chicken is done.


[CLOSING THOUGHTS]

Speaking of dinner, I am going to finish mine. Thanks for reading, I hope you don't kill yourself.

Love,
Joey

[PS...]

I am writing this during the grammys and Coldplay just won an award for "Best Rock Album" - when the hell was Coldplay rock? They are dressed up like Sgt. Pepper throwbacks and look like complete assholes.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 01: Issue 12

Howdy True Be-loggers. Welcome to the third straight month of Sunday Leftovers. I hope it's not getting too moldy for you. This week we shall celebrate eating via the superbowl, privacy on social networks, the economy... Let's get to it.

[Privacy on Facebook]

Social networks are starting to freak me out. They are defying the natural laws of personal contacts. I do not want to know that a I girl I didn't know well in 6th grade got her nipples pierced. The phrase TMI does not do what is occurring justice. We are freely giving up all of our data on these networks and we have no idea what is being done with this information.

I have broken down my concerns into two topics:
1. We are giving out too much information that can be used against us
2. The collectors: People from your past that befriend you and you never make contact again, yet you see all kinds of personal shit pop up about them on your welcome page.

Lets talk about the collectors first:

One of my buddies who was a long facebook holdout joined a few weeks ago and within days he got bombared by collectors. People he knew, but fell out of contact with, they see that he joined and ask to be friends. This is perfectly fine, but two weeks have gone by and no other communication has taken place.

I have dozens of these people on my account that I have not exchanged one communication with. I have no idea what to say to these people and since they asked to be my friend, I figured they should break the ice. I think I am guilty of doing this shit myself. Let's take a stand, if we friended someone but haven't said hello to them, do it or remove them.

On Privacy:

This week reports came out over scams using facebook. People are hacking accounts or using personal information being shared to get contacts to give the scammers money.

Here is what you can do:
1. Just delete the damn account - Ok, I know that isn't fun.
2. REMOVE ALL APPLICATIONS - you know all those "What Friends character are you applications that you share out with all of your friends? The asshole who wrote it has access to all of your personal information and who knows what they are doing with it. I am sure Joey and Monica will forgive you if remove the app.
3. Set up groups and lock down your account. Make it private and set up groups and give each group vaired permission levels.

One more thing...

If you are the type of person to mix your friends, your co-workers, and your hook-ups - be smart about the information you are sharing. If you are looking for a new job and your manager is your friend on facebook, I don't suggest commenting on how much you hate your job. Don't burn bridges.

Good luck and don't be creepy.

[Recipe of the Week: French Bread Pizza]
Ingredients

• One 18-inch loaf of good French bread, split in half
• 2 Lbs. andouille sausage, cut into small pieces
• Small onion, diced
• 2 1/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
• 1 Tbsp. butter
• 1/2 cup beer
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 cups sliced pickled jalapeños (recipe below)

Directions

Place bread on a sheet pan and toast in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted. Melt butter in a heavy-bottom sauté pan or cast-iron skillet. Add sausage pieces and onion until they brown — this should be done over pretty high heat. Add the half cup of beer. (Or, you know, just pour some of the beer you're already drinking into the mixture. Link says it's cool.) Allow the liquid to cook down.

Spread the cooked sausage mixture over the toasted French bread and top with the cheese. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and return pizzas to oven and cook for 5-to-7 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly. Garnish with pickled jalapeños.
Pickled Jalapeños

Ingredients
• 8 or 9 fresh jalapeño peppers
• 5 cups distilled vinegar
• 1 cup sugar

Directions

A couple days before kickoff throw the jalapeños into a medium-hot, cast-iron skillet until the peppers start to blister. Cook them for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a three-quart saucepan bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil, then place the peppers in a Pyrex bowl and pour the vinegar solution over them. Allow them to cool down and refrigerate until game time.

[DIY of the Week]

I am cheating this week, this isn't one that anybody can make, but somebody did and it is cool and fucked up:



Skeleton Bike - Read More about this crazy thing

[The Economy]

A friend asked me what the difference between this recession and the big one in the late 70's and early 80s. This was my response:

One of the big differences was during Carter's run the fed actually jacked up interest rates to keep up with the devalued dollar (which added to Carter's unpopularity)... I liken it to damning up a river and letting the pressure build up. When Reagan came in, they had a lever to pull (reducing the interest rates) and that opened up spending and recovery.

The problem now is that the interest rate is almost at 0.

I don't think we had a housing meltdown back then, which is the monkey wrench. We want to keep rates down so people buy houses, but the dollar is becoming weaker and devalued.

Nobody is really addressing all of the reverse mortgages that have occurred the last 4 years. If you are a first time home owner the last 4 years, you probably overpaid on your house and didn't have a house to sell to make crazy profit on.

We really aren't hearing about that situation, because in my view, that is the a huge devaluation of the dollar and for the people in that situation. Assuming we can get the rate of inflation back to a stable 5% each year, how many years will it take for those home owners to break even in their houses (or in fact to be able to make a profit) - THAT is when we will be recovered.

Also, tax cuts are great, and I will be happy to have some extra money, but we need to create jobs. I'd like to see some help go out to the small business owners, so they can stay afloat (I could care less about the auto-industry and wallstreet because their failures will cause much needed innovation and reckoning with both for their past crimes).


This past week alone 45,000 jobs were eliminated. These stats fucking terrify me, but I have friends they are finding jobs in this economy so keep yours skills up to date. Good luck to anyone looking.

[Closing Thoughts]

Ok thats all I got, the game is on and my buddy is here talking about UFC people kicking the shit out of each other. Have a good week, don't take shit from anyone. I will leave you with the late, great, St. Joe Strummer: