Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 02: Issue 12



Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! This week we tackle the idea of semi-friends on Facebook, making the perfect hash (food, not the drug), enabling the perfect pizza, and mastering tape measures. Before we get to the main course, I want to let everyone who has been sending questions that I set up a FAQ to answer everything I can that doesn't incriminate me, you can read it here. Now that all of your questions are answered, let's open the fridge and see what's leftover...

[The Back Window]


CREDIT: Darren Hopes









CREDIT: Thao with the Get Down Stay Down - Know Better Learn Faster

[Friends & Facebook]

This was an interesting week in regards to the friendships I maintain. A soured friendship that has been mentioned on this blog in the past have been given a second chance, which I am quite pleased about. I mention this because it has an uncanny parallel with another situation with a different friend that has started to brew this week. One of the things that soured my friendship with the first friend was his lack of communication, but he continued to comment on my posts on Facebook. I used to think "he can't call, but he can comment - WTF!". Because of that and a few other people I had not spoken to in several years commenting on posts which started all kinds of unexpected issues, I developed varying levels of restrictions for my Facebook account. I have groups where people can't see anything I do (blank page), groups where people can see posts, but can't comment, and groups that are wide open. My thought was (and still is) that if you need to get in touch with me so badly, you can do it in a more meaningful way than fucking Facebook.

This week I get a Facebook email from an old friend that I recently accepted as a friend on the service. When I accepted him, I put him the "view all but can't comment group" because we don't talk often and didn't want to get into the mindset that I mentioned in the previous paragraph. His email of course asked why he can't comment, which I explained all of the reasons I am typing here. He did not take it well. I suppose my reaction should have been to feel bad, but it just reinforced my decision to develop the access groups. We don't speak to each frequently for several reasons: time and family responsibilities are certainly part of it, but so is a crumbling foundation of common ground and mutual laziness. I am not interested in having a Facebook fueled shadow-friendship where old pals are monitoring my posts and selectively commenting on what interests them and viewing that as a conversation between the two of us, all the while wondering why I don't call them up to grab a beer since we talk all the time. I refused to put myself into a mindset where I am worrying about how I offended someone on Facebook or some other social media (have you read this blog?): If someone doesn't like what I am cooking, by all means go to to the diner across the street.

These are fucked up times when it comes to defining what makes up a friend, but allow me to cut through the bullshit: A friend is someone you see or talk to frequently (barring special circumstances), someone you confide in and get support from, someone with whom there is mutual trust, respect, and consideration. If the person you talk to via facebook does not meet that definition, they are an acquaintance, a colleague, or a stalker. While you are comforting yourself at night with how many facebook friends you collected (yes - collected, not friendships made) take this nugget of information to heart: The human brain cannot process more than 150 relationships. I think we should all stop feeding our egos and work on keeping things meaningful and intimate. If you think of friendship as an endless sea of people drowning and you have a boat that seats 150 people, would you pick up someone you never talked to or someone that would make your life better? Would you take someone who'd rather be left to drown for their own reasons?

Sink or swim baby.

[Recipe of the Week: Super Hash Browns]

Still working on that "what to do with a big pork roast or shoulder you make earlier in the week" idea? This week, we shall make a old fashion hash with a twist. I attempted to make this earlier in the week and while it tasted good, the texture wasn't right, but then my wife gave me a great idea based on her latest blog project.

You will need either a sandwich maker or a waffle iron to make this recipe...

INGREDIENTS
3 shredded potatoes
2 eggs
1 diced onion (you can do two if you want)
1 diced pepper
1 lb of diced pork roast or 1lb of shredded braised pork shoulder
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Grease up the sandwich maker/waffle iron as directed and pre-heat
2. Mix all of the ingredients into a bowl
3. Form the mixture (by hand) into appropriately sized "cakes" for the iron
4. Cook as directed in the machine (should be a few minutes).

Out will come crispy delicious hash cakes.
(Repeat until the mixture is gone)

[DIY of the Week: Make a Pizza Oven with a Weber Grill]


As you know, I love the idea of an outdoor kitchen, specifically a nice pizza oven. I have posted some really difficult/detailed DIYs, but this one seems much more reasonable. Keep this socked away for when it gets warm East Coasters, and all you readers in the South and West - get crackin!



Build a Pizza Oven out of a Weber Grill

[Video of the Week]




[Conclusion]


I have a whole story about my experience with a financial broker this week that I think I am going to turn into the entire theme of next weeks blog (sans the recipe of the week of course). If you need to reach me, you can do so via email at: "blog at joeylombardi.com". As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Joey Lombardi | Create Your Badge

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

Recently, viewers of this blog have been actually sending me email asking questions. Basically, they are the same questions worded different ways, so I figured I would throw it out there. Please feel free ask other questions (you can email me at: "blog at joeylombardi.com"), I like the feedback (and knowing there are human beings out there and not google spider-bots hitting the site).

1. Why do you write a blog?

I took journalism classes in high school and college and always liked to write. My career is technology based and doesn't have a stomach for long form writing (everything is bullet points and executive summaries) - since I felt that part of my brain dying I opted to open a blog and began vomiting words on the internet. I started the blog when I had my business, Computer Joey. I thought I could write up things that were interesting to me technologically and drum up business for the store. Unfortunately (for the blog and everyone around me), I was a miserable prick during that time and I found myself not very excited about anything technology related. So while I sat in the store waiting for customers to come in, I would write about anything except technology and computers. I didn't have any expectations that someone would actually read it and for the most part, nobody did.

I didn't post often and eventually a technological glitch made the original blog inaccessible (until recently), so I decided to start a new blog with a new tone. Eventually I made a commitment to myself to post every week to see if I can keep the schedule. Getting back to the original question, I like to write the blog because I can map a personal time-line of my thoughts and feelings realizing that the payoff on this project is long term. I write very much for me, with the hope that others can enjoy or learn from what is on my mind. At this point, I have lofty ideas that this blog will be around for decades to come and the children I will one day have can have an insight into who I was without them (and while they were young) without any bullshit parental pre-text.

2. You are really harsh on organized religion, what's your problem (jerk)?

My favorite subject in school was always history. Historically, where there is organized religion, there are problems. I have two branching thoughts about religion:

a. On the concept of religion itself: I view any form of religion as a moral framework with a basic survival methods mixed in. Religion came out of necessity - human beings were nomads, and there was no law except kill or be killed. Early humans realized there had to be consequences to actions, and without actual law enforcement, they came up with idea of the damnation of the eternal soul. It worked out very well but as humanity progressed, the basic message of religion (which I will always maintain is "don't be an asshole") became "my way or the highway". I don't understand how anyone can confuse a simple morality tale as hard facts.

I will admit to some underlying hostility to people who blindly accept stories designed to teach a lesson as history lessons. I get very nervous of the mix of religion and politics - especially in the United States which was cleary formed to be independent of religious bias.

b. On the execution of religion: I view anyone who makes a living off of the faith of others as completely suspect. I don't think wealth and religion should have a symbiotic relationship. I am both amused and disgusted that Christian groups don't practice their own rule of "turn the other cheek". I can't get my head around extremists of any faith who are willing to take life that they claim is so precious to make their point and advance their agenda. I am glad anyone in this country has the freedom to believe what they want and organize around that idea, but they should respect that right in others (translation: you do your thing, and I do my thing, and let's not talk about it to each other). I can't get behind organizations that treat women as second class, fight to have children be taught fairy-tales as facts, promote intolerance towards homosexuals, and encourage dangerous and unrealistic sexual practices.

I think we have one shot at this world and then we are done, so I am not going to accept the idea that something better is waiting for me. If this is all we get, I am going to make the best of it.

3. Why don't you talk about your job?

When you go out to dinner with friends, don't you hate it when they talk about work? Me too. So I don't talk about my job here.

4. Why are you a Democrat? Don't you know that [insert most hated Democrat here] ruined this country?


Who said I was a Democrat? My vote is always up for grabs based on who is the best choice. In the 2000 election I very much liked McCain but felt he sold out in 2008 (don't get me started on Sarah Palin). Typically, my social political view is very left and my economic views are conservative. Take that for what you will.

5. Why do you make up fakes names for all of your friends except for [named removed] Republicaster?

UPDATE: Originally, we had a running joke that I used Republicaster's real name and pictures in the stories. After a few incidents, I finally broke down and a 5 year running joke has come to an end because of idiots and HR departments.

6. How much do you exaggerate in your stories?

Not as much as you might think.

7. Is your father really that silent/why do you write about your dad?

My father is a pretty quiet guy, he isn't mute, but I think he wishes he could be (if the world allowed him to). I write about him because I have never met a personality type like his in all of my travels (his brothers are similar, but not the same). He is a truly unique person. The older I get, the more I understand him, so part of the exercise is to see if my take on something I wrote about him changes or adds more layers as life happens to me. Remember, many of the stories are written in stylized prose and are very much intended to be read with humor (my sister certainly laughs).

8. Why is the blog called "Ordered Chaos"?

I don't think there is such a thing as random Chaos. There is a pattern and cause for everything. We chose to ignore that information because it is easier than facing our base desires, which feed our motivations. We blind ourselves to our motivations and call it Chaos; but I don't believe in the self-imposed blind spot that we all pretend to have.

That's all bullshit - I just thought it sounded cool :-)

9. Is the "Mongolian" real/Is he the same person in every story?

Yes, he is real and the name is not re-used for other people, he is the same person in every story.

*****

That is all for now. This particular article is intended to be a "living document" and will be opened up and changed as more questions are asked of me.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shaming of Christianity?

[RANT: Christian Magazines]

I was at my local library this week waiting for my GMAT Prep class to start when I noticed the cover of a magazine shouting "The Shaming of Religion". I walked over and picked up Liberty Magazine (which I had never heard of before), and found the main article. In the opening paragraphs, the author, John W. Whitehead, quotes another author John Leo from a 2002 essay he wrote:

“History textbooks have been scrubbed clean of religious references and holidays scrubbed of all religious references and symbols. Some intellectuals now contend that arguments by religious people should be out of bounds in public debate, unless, of course, they agree with the elites.


“In schools the anti-religion campaign is often hysterical. When schoolchildren are invited to write about any historical figure, this usually means they can pick Stalin or Jeffrey Dahmer, but not Jesus or Luther, because religion is reflexively considered dangerous in schools and loathsome historical villains aren’t. Similarly, a moment of silence in the schools is wildly controversial because some children might use it to pray silently on public property. Oh, the horror. The overall message is that religion is backward, dangerous, and toxic.”

I'd like to comment on this quote. If a person of a religious background makes a valid and quantifiable statement, it is valid, but valid on its own merits. Any point made by a religious person should not gain credence or be detracted from because background of the person speaking. That being said, if someone claims they received a direct message from a religious deity, their comments should absolutely be discounted and the speaker should be greased and feathered (I am looking at you Pat Robertson).

The concern that Jesus is not being discussed in public schools is also not valid in my opinion. I didn't realize schools were expected to teach children about people who probably never existed in a historic context. I am going to spell it out for you believers... there is a strong probability that THERE NEVER WAS A JESUS CHRIST. Will Mr. Leo get upset when the school doesn't teach Santa Claus' work against the Nazis in WWII? I hear those reindeer took down their fair share of fighter pilots.

To even group Christ in with Luther is problematic. Luther can and is taught in most high school level history courses because he was responsible for the splitting of Christianity which laid the groundwork for many issues in England. Stalin is taught because he played a major part in the last century's political makeup, and it would be hard to understand how the Cold War started without understanding Mr. Stalin's motivations. Finally, I was NEVER taught or talked about John Wayne Gacy (except when I was chatting with my friend Jeff who liked to throw in the occasional mass murder reference from time to time). Actually, I have a suggestion regarding Gacy... students should learn about him and the many Catholic priests who abused children in a sexual predators awareness course.

Mr. Whitehead's article then discusses a child in Colorado who was not allowed to give a live report about his hero Jesus Christ. This is a tricky situation and I feel bad for the child and the school, but I would ask if children were allowed to do reports on Superman and Spiderman. If not, then to my previous point, in this context Jesus has no place in public education. He then continues to expose the most extreme examples of religious avoidance in public schools. I find it interesting that schools have gotten to this point not because of Liberals, but due to other religious conservatives validly arguing why their children are learning about Christianity but not of their own faith. What can a school do except draw a very bright line and tell their educators not to cross it - schools are in a no win situation. Whitehead's closing example about the high-school brass band that couldn't play a musical version of "Ave Maria" at graduation is the perfect example of the situation. Whitehead argues that the principle who requested another song be played didn't even know the words to the song. Who cares? If I were a part of that graduating class, I wouldn't want that song played, there are other songs that could be more universally enjoyed.

The article essentially builds the argument that Christianity has permeated our culture via music, art, and history - so how can you separate it? You can't. You don't. You have to teach religion in history class. Greek polytheism right through Christianity, Judaism, and the Muslim faith. But you teach the facts. Teach students about how the Catholics started the crusades to gain access to rich middle eastern spice markets but whipped up religious fervor about bringing Christianity to the heathens - many died. Or you learn about the Salem witch trials and how people were burned at the stake based on a stupid girl's accusation, or how the Church overlooked the holocaust during WWII. All of the music, art, and documents with a judeo-christian background SHOULD and IS accessible to students at any school, but that doesn't mean they should be having prayer vigils at the front doors of the schools. Do it at home.

Parents have the right to teach their children whatever beliefs they want, but they should not expect a school or other students to learn/listen to their beliefs. Religion belongs at home and in the church. Students and adults alike need to take the moral framework from their upbringing (religious or not) and incorporate that into the world they operate in. You don't have to hide it, but you shouldn't rub it in people's faces either.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 02: Issue 11


Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! This week we compare the Haitian earthquake with the 2008 Chinese Earthquake, we have a recipe for healthier pork fried rice, and much more. So let's open the fridge and see what's left over...

[The Back Window]


CREDIT: Rudolf Schlichter (I picked the song this week and then found this)


CREDIT: Rufus Wainwright - Beauty Mark (NOTE: I picked this song because Rufus' mother Kate McGarrigle - an accomplished musician in her own right, passed away this week, and this song is about her)

[AID Comparison: 2008 China Earthquake vs 2010 Haiti Earthquake]

I was at a dinner party on Friday night and my friend stated that she didn't think the US gave as much aid to China for their 2008 disaster as it is with Haiti this month. I thought she might be right, but I also recalled China turning down US support, so I wanted to look into it more for my own education. This is what I came up with.

** Quick Information **

CHINA - 2008

Total Dead: 69,000 (USAID/Wikipedia)
Total Injured: 380,000
Estimated Homeless: 5 million people
Total Population of China: 1.4 Billion people
Percent of Population Killed: .01%
Total US Aid Received: 5.4 Million (Most of the donations came from USAID)
Total Chinese Internal Support: 592 Million allocated for recovery
Total Foreign Donations: 457 Million

HAITI - 2010

Total Dead: 50,000-150,000 (Wikipedia)
Total Injured: 300,000+ (final counts still unknown)
Estimated Homeless: 1.5 million people and growing
Total Population of Haiti: 10 Million (2008)
Percent of Population Killed: 1% (and counting)
Total US Aid Received: The US has committed 100 Million Dollars in relief aid
Total Haiti Internal Support: Unknown, but Haiti's entire GDP is 7.1 Billion (China's is 4.33 Trillion)
Total Foreign Donations: The European Council just approved 600 Million in aid
(USAID Fact Sheet)

** Support **


Immediately following China's 2008 Earthquake, several governments offered aid in the form of money AND on-site support. China accepted monetary donations, but refused to allow any aid in the form of volunteers (reference). China eventually allowed Japanese and Taiwanese Earthquake relief experts into the country to offer their assistance, but rejected all other relief workers. Since China has a strong, organized, Communist government, they have historically not accepted aid (as mentioned in the articles) during times of natural disasters. Although they did accept help in 2008, this is not the norm.

US relations with Haiti have been poor from the start. When Haiti gained independence from France in 1804, the US boycotted the fledgling country and imposed trade embargoes, which hurt Haiti badly. From 1915-1934 the US Marines essentially ran the country (including control of their banks). Since then, the US has been involved with the Haitian government in one form or another. Many believe the US has some responsibility for Haiti's inability to respond to the disaster as the US supported the current Government (widely viewed to be corrupt). As Haiti has been unable to fend for the themselves, they have been accepting any support that has been offered.

It is clear that the US has provided more support to Haiti then they did China, but I would make the argument that China took what they needed and no more, while Haiti is taking everything they can, not only because of the Earthquake but also due to their typical daily difficulties.

[Recipe of the Week: Pork Fried Rice]

Take the Pork Recipe from 2 weeks ago or you can use a standard roast, or you can just cube some pork and fry it up - your call.

INGREDIENTS:
1.5 lbs of pork - cubed
2 white onions - diced
1 red pepper - diced
1 green pepper - diced
2 cups of brown rice
4 tablespoons of low salt soy sauce
1 egg - optional

DIRECTIONS:
1. Get 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil (add salt before) - add rice and cook as directed
2. In a frying pan or Wok (the wok is nice because it is BIG), splash some olive oil in the pan, heat on medium low and add the onions. Cook until the onions are translucent and then add the pork. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the peppers. If you are going to use the egg. Put all of the other stuff to one side of the pan and crack the egg into the pan. Allow the egg to sit for a minute and then start to break it apart with you cooking spoon or spatula. Move it into the overall mix of vegetables and pork.
4. When the rice is done, add it into the frying pan and and add the soy sauce and some hot sauce if you want. Mix it around and let the rice get fried up. Stir occasionally.
5. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

FINISHED.

[DIY of the Week: Shrinky Dink Jewelry]

Fun for the kids and adults...
Photojojo: Shrink Plastic Jewelry

[Video of the Week]



[Conclusion]

It was a long week friends. I was going to add an rant about a magazine article I read, but I need to fact check a few lines, so I will post it mid-week or in the next Sunday Leftovers. If you need to reach me, you can do so via email at: "blog at joeylombardi.com". As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Joey Lombardi | Create Your Badge

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hot Tub Time Machine Party

I signed up to host a HTTM Party in Philadelphia. This is going to be private style, but you can get your own party if you sign up (full disclosure mode, I get 10 free tickets).

Get your tickets:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 02: Issue 10


Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! This issue we discuss hucksters and a book with stories about the Hulkster? Speaking of the Hulk, I will share my recipe for championship rice. Settle back as we see what's leftover....

[The Back Window]




CREDIT: Bon Iver - Skinny Love

[Assholes]

After I read the comments from Pat Robertson regarding Haiti I was going to write this response. Then I thought "should I feed into this asshole's publicity machine?" Then I came back around not to comment but to inform:

This man makes his living saying he is religious. A Christian (the same people who say "Turn the other cheek"). He doesn't preach tolerance, love, forgiveness or peace - he sells hate. Any minority group/victims that he can grind his axe against for publicity are chewed up and spit out on the airwaves. Robertson created a television network which was bought by Fox and then bought by ABC (it is called ABC Family now). Part of his contract is that the network has to air the 700 club for 2 hours each day. I don't know how air-tight this contract is, but this man should not be given 2 hours on a television channel for adults let alone children. It's time to put a stop to this rotten message. It's time to start writing into the networks and radio stations that broadcast him and get him taken off the airwaves:

ABC Family Feedback Form
Email: FaithWords Publishing Robertson's recent book publisher

Make it a point to write down the advertisers and call and complain to them... it's the only way to get rid of this huckster.

Watch Pat Robertson in action:


[Haitian Relief Note]

I posted a note a few days ago on how people in the Philadelphia area can donate supplies or money (click here). But I wanted to add more information to that note.

I am sure many people saw the option to text message a $10 donation to the Red Cross. While it is totally legit, because of the way billing works with text messaging it can take up to three months for that money to reach it's intended recipient. The Red Cross and other charitable organizations that have employed this method are still recommending using direct donation methods via their respective websites for the money to be used in a more timely manner.

[Reviews]

** MOVIES **

The Lovely Bones: I got a chance to see this movie for free this week and it's a good thing because I would have been pissed off if I paid. Simply put, the movie is essentially a remake of the crappy Robin Williams film "What Dreams My Come", except the main character is a little girl. Once she gets killed the movie becomes aimless and unwatchable. I won't ruin the ending, but they can't even deliver a crowd pleasing pay off in this over-emotional snooze-fest. On a positive note - Marky Mark didn't completely suck.

** BOOKS **

Manhood for Amateurs - By Michael Chabon: This book is a series of essays Chabon wrote about fatherhood, marriage, divorce, and being a geek. It's a wonderful book that is heartfelt and honest. The stories about his struggles with giving his children information about drugs and sex are well thought out and written, but the book shines the most when he talks about his ex-wife. There is an essay about his relationship with his former father-in-law that was sad and funny and perfectly executed. Chabon redeemed himself to me with this latest book ("Maps and Legends" was abysmal) and I am looking forward to his next work whether it be fictional or auto-biographical.

Hitman - By Bret Hart: I grew up a wrestling fan, but more specifically, I grew up a Bret Hart fan. The book is an interesting and well written look at his life and professional wrestling business. I enjoyed reading about his difficult childhood and running up to his career in the then WWF. The book loses it's focus towards the end; perhaps its because he suffered a career ending concussion and then a life threatening stroke (I would imagine his life long note taking suffered during that recovery period). The ending doesn't give you the send off you would hope for as Hart suffers through one last round of personal disappoints and then the book ends. I suspect there will be a new version with a few extra chapters now he has returned to the WWE for one last goodbye. I hope he is given the ending he deserves.

** TELEVISION **

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Season 3: I somehow missed the entire Season 3 when it aired. If you haven't watched this show, it is excellent. Get the DVD because the special features have a live re-enactment of the "Nightman" play with the entire cast. Danny Devito is a genius for taking this role and it is my sincere wish to see him walking around Center City one day and buy him hard liquor.



Ken Burns: National Parks: I am a huge Ken Burns fan, but I attempted to watch this when it aired on PBS and got distracted. I "netflixed" the blu-ray DVD and while the images are stunning, it is SOOO fucking boring. I am going to pass on the first disk and move on the #2. I will let you know how it goes.

[Recipe of the Week: Championship Rice]

Mid-week I found myself not having a ton of stuff to cook with and I didn't want to go out to get supplies. I decided to do a "whatever I have in the house" dish. Similar dishes have been called Championship Rice, this is my version.

INGREDIENTS
1 package of diced pancetta (8 0z.)
2 onions (diced)
1 clove of garlic
2 cans of black beans
1 package of brown rice
1 32 Oz container of chicken stock
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon of mustard powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. In a small sauce pot, add 29 oz of the chicken stock and bring to a boil. When boiling, add the rice and cook as the directions dictate. When the rice is done, put into a big bowl.
2. In a small frying pan, add a splash of olive oil on low medium head, and when hot, add the onions. Cook then down until golden and then add the pancetta. Allow to cook for 4 minutes stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic and allow it to cook in for 3 minutes.
3. Open the beans and drain and clean them from the juice in the can. Add them to the frying pan and then add the remaining chicken stock. Add the salt, pepper, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, and if you want - hot sauce. Bring up the head so the mixture is bubbling and then down to a simmer, cover the frying pan with a lid. Let it cook for 8 minutes (stirring frequently).
4. Add the mixture to the bowl of rice and mix in.

Finished.

[DIY of the Week: Build a Djembe (African Drum)]



Build your own Djembe (and End Table) - More DIY How To Projects

[Video of the Week]
Death Metal Rooster?



[Conclusion]

That's all for this week friends. If you need to reach me, you can do so via email at: "blog at joeylombardi.com". As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Joey Lombardi | Create Your Badge

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haitian Relief and Donations

If you are in the Philadelphia area and want to donate to Haitian Relief (and were worried about shady organizations stealing the money). Take a look at these:

Supply Donations


Rubbing Alcohol, peroxide, band aids, sheets, diapers, etc can be donated to:

Philadelphia Haiti Disaster Relief Drop Off Sites
** Office of State Senator Leanna M. Washington **
1555-A Wadsworth Ave.
Philadelphia, Pa 19150

Leon H. Sullivan Charitable Trust
5601 Vine Street
Unit 9
Philadelphia, Pa 19139

Viant
60 North 2nd Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19106
(monetary or medical supplies only)

You can also donate money to the Red Cross
Donation Phone #: 1-800-HELP-NOW
Donation Address:
International Response Fund
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013
Website: http://redcross.org

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 02: Issue 09



Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! This week we will discuss basic social graces and... pork. I know your interest is piqued, so let's open up the fridge and see what's leftover...

[The Back Window]




CREDIT: Don Covay - Mad Dog Blues

[Etiquette: Bringing Babies to the Movies]

I went to see Sherlock Holmes last night (I liked it, didn't love it BTW) and something happened that I haven't experience in years... someone brought a very small baby to the movie. Since I haven't experienced the ol' "baby in the movie theater" problem in a while, I haven't thought about it... until now: Rant Time! Of course the initial reaction is "who the hell brings a newborn to a fucking movie theater?" After reflecting on that for a few hours, I still think it is still the right question.

Yesterday evening was COLD; is it worth bringing out a newborn to see a movie? Let's say weather is not an issue: what about the fact that a very dark, loud room with random explosions might freak out a baby? Let's say the baby will sleep through the explosions: what about germs? It is flu season and you are going to expose your child to a room full of sniffling and coughing people? Is a Guy Richie movie really worth the risk?

Let's stop thinking about the child's welfare and think about everyone else in the theater: Nobody paid $20 bucks to hear a baby scream. People go to the movies to GET AWAY FROM THEIR CHILDREN! Does that sound selfish? I'm okay with that. I don't have children. I delayed having children so I can go out and do stuff and not look at my (future) child as a burden. When I do have a baby, I damn well know I won't be bringing Jr. to the theater with me. Why does this couple get a pass, when I know people will be shooting me the fish eye if I did it?

When the baby started to wake up and make noise, did the dude get up and take his kid out? NO! He rocked the baby so he wouldn't have to miss anything. This guy isn't going to be winning any father of the year awards. At the end of the movie, I saw this man walking out with his child and his wife - and it seemed like this was a nice evening out for their new nuclear family, and I felt a little bad for them. Maybe they didn't have anyone to leave the baby with and they needed to get out of the house... and that's rough, but I still go back to DON'T TAKE A BABY TO THE FUCKING MOVIE THEATER! Seriously, I know it's rough, but stay the hell home or take shifts watching the kid to get out.

[Society: Parents and Facebook]

After the movies, me and the wife went to our favorite Thai place. We were seated next to a table with two older couples having dinner. One of the men was loudly bragging over how he monitors and spies on his son via Facebook. Due to his loudness, I determined that his son is 15-16 years old, plays sports, "friend-ed" many relatives and family friends of the parents and recently committed some offense via the social networking site in which his father made him apologize to everyone online.

I didn't want to know any more about these people, but his wife continued to complain about her offspring and how she essentially enjoys making her child's life as difficult as possible. The other couple just nodded and agreed with her approach to parenting. The loud-mouthed father, drowning out the conversation I was attempting to have with my wife, gleefully claimed he had many secret monitoring tools in which to keep tabs on his child. I asked my wife to finish her meal as quickly as possible and we got the hell out of there.

My basic problem with their conversation (besides having to fucking hear it) is that these people monitor and fear what their children do instead of talking to them and trying to make them better people. Their complete hands-off approach, which was quite clear in their 30 minutes I had to listen to them spout off, has obviously taken its toll on the child-parent relationship (and the fact that both parents seem like raging assholes). Instead of talking to their kids, they silently watch for mistakes and social disgrace in the comfort of their dens and couches while their children are locked up in their rooms - everyone avoiding each other, but electronically keeping tabs, not out of interest, but to ensure their reputation as parents is not tarnished.

Makes you wonder why they bothered having children in the first place.

I imagine children are getting smart to what their parents can and cannot see regarding their Facebook activity. Are parents going to have to spend their already valuable time monitoring their kid's online activities versus actually parenting their children? It should be interesting over the next few years. Facebook is changing the paradigms of our society rapidly. I can learn more about my neighbors, cousins, and friends in a 60 second scan on their profile page than from months on conversations with them. It is certainly making the art of conversation obsolete.

I am starting to feel picked over, how about you?

[Recipe of the Week: Braised Pork Shoulder]

I did a similar recipe in early May of last year using the grill, but if you want pork in the winter (as well as use this delicious meat all week), let's try this. My plan is to show a few different ways to use the pork this month (I am totally swiping this idea from the San Fran Chronicle)

Ingredients:

Whole bone-in pork butt, about 8-9 pounds
Kosher salt and pepper
1 piece thick smoked bacon
1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 celery rib, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1 1/2 cups unsalted or low-sodium chicken broth + more as needed
1 1/2 cups Pinot Noir + more as needed
1 small sprig thyme
1 large bay leaf

Instructions:


Trim pork of excess fat. In a small bowl, mix salt (3 teaspoons), pepper (1 teaspoon), garlic salt (2 teaspoons), paprika (1 teaspoon), and mustard powder (1 teaspoon). Rub over all surfaces of the meat.

Lightly cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 325°.

Place a heavy Dutch oven just large enough to hold the roast over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook the until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon and leave the fat in the pan (If you have a 9 year old obsessed with Bacon, you can give him the bacon).

Take the roast out of the plastic wrap and carefully place it - fat side down - into the hot pan. Brown the meat until it releases from the bottom of the pan on its own without much effort; brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the roast and set aside.

Remove any blackened bits of meat from the pan. Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently. When vegetables are soft and beginning to caramelize (about 5-7 minutes), add the Marsala. Bring to a boil and cook, scraping the pan, until evaporated.

Return the roast to the pan. Add the broth, Pinot Noir, thyme and bay leaf. The liquid level should reach at least halfway up the roast; if it doesn't, add equal amounts of stock and wine.

Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Crimp a piece of foil over the roast, but do not let the foil touch the roast (cover roast with parchment if foil touches it). Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and place in the oven. Cook 1 1/2 hours.

Remove lid, turn roast over, re-cover and cook an additional 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until a knife easily pierces the meat and the internal temperature on an instant read thermometer is around 165°.

Move roast to a large cutting board. Strain sauce. Skim the fat then place sauce back into the still-warm pan. Flip roast over and return to the Dutch oven; lightly cover pan with parchment or foil and let the roast rest in the sauce for another 45-60 minutes. Taste sauce, reduce as desired and adjust seasoning.

Slice pork and serve with some of the sauce.

Read more: SFGate.com

I think I am going to mess with this so I don't have to use the Dutch oven... More to come!


[DIY of the Week: LP Room Divider]

Have a room you need to split up? Check out this nify idea - you can get the records cheap from used CD stores or ebay.



Apartment Therapy: LP Room Divider

[Video of the Week]



[Conclusion]

That's all for this week friends, I got a corporate America rant brewing, so check back next week to see if I managed to articulate it. If you need to reach me, you can do so via email at: "blog at joeylombardi.com". As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Joey Lombardi | Create Your Badge

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 02: Issue 08



Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers. I have sick all week and that has made me boring, so this is what is left over.

[The Back Window]



CREDIT: No idea


CREDIT: Japandroids - Young Hearts Spark Fire

[Happy New Years]

I am a little cranky this week. I am overcoming another cold and I don't typically get sick, so I am a total wuss when it comes to the flu. This cold has caused me/allowed me to sit on my ass and watch a ton of crappy movies (Holy shit - the Battlestar Galactica movie "The Plan" was TERRIBLE). My optimism for the future declined with every sugary crap movie HBO has presented to me. Why am I telling you all this? Because I don't have much in terms of rants or anything I really want to write about. Just meandering, yellow mucus thoughts.

I am glad all the holiday bullshit is over and as I read everyone's decade lists and summaries, I just think we shouldn't straddle this new decade with all our hope, optimism, and longing. New decade, same problems. Wow - I am a grouch today.

[Recipe of the Week: Chicken Pot Pie]

I ordered this at a restaurant this week... and I never made it myself. So here we go.

Ingredients
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)

In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

[DIY: Make your own Irish Cream]

Yes this can be a recipe too, so sue me.

From Cupcake Project

What you will need....

Light cream or whipping cream, depending on how rich you want your drink
Sweetened condensed milk
A good bottle of Irish whiskey
Instant coffee
Hershey's chocolate syrup
Vanilla

Go to Cupcake Project for the instructions.

[Video of the Week]

Miles Davis does Michael Jackson... Why? Why?



[Conclusion]

If you need to reach me, you can do so via email at: "blog at joeylombardi.com". As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Joey Lombardi | Create Your Badge