Monday, December 8, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
First of all - there was a whole lot of cookin' goin' on! I didn't take many pictures, but trust me, it seemed like we were cooking for two days straight!
There were so many people, we had to set two separate tables. That's Nick and Sandra's friend Patrick in the background -
Did I mention that the food came out pretty good?
Lots of family were on hand to help celebrate everything we have to be thankful for!
Greg & Tracy's moms - Mickie and Judy -
Tracy's sister Sandra and her daughter Whitney -
Sandra's son Joey -
Tracy's cousin Marshall and his wife Amy -
Marshall and Amy's littlest one, Addia -
Tracy's dad Richard and others around the dinner table -
And the Swans -
I didn't get any good pictures of my dad, or Addia's sister Chesney. We had a great time! We should be rested up and ready to do it again in about 3 or 4 years!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I just knew that everyone was asking themselves this question, so I thought I would satisfy your curiosity and post this answer!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Pie Number 2
Pie Number 3 (we had a lot to be thankful for!)
12/3/08 Update - re-linked pictures so you can click on them to open a large version.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
If you go to YouTube to view the video, click the 'More info' button, there is a lot of interesting info about the video. And now, the video...
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
My Dad sent me this hot piece of cool tech.
What you need to know - The program, Silverlight, is needed to be able to view the images and you will be asked to download it if your computer does not already have it. When using a mouse with a middle roller, first click anywhere on the image, and then roll in on the graphic until you see pictures in various locations. Left click to move the images and continue to roll in on a picture to understand the detail involved. You can see people on the top of Half Dome!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I threw the citrus butter away, and marinated the salmon in a bowl of Trader Joe's 'Soyaki' sauce. This 'Soyaki' sauce isn't the most healthy part of the meal. It has 490mg of sodium and 4g of sugar in every tablespoon. But I'm just marinating the salmon in it, so I'm certainly not ingesting any more than 1 tablespoon or less (at least that's what I like to think).
The Organic While Grain Loaf looked good. It has 'Organic Millet' in the list of ingredients. I think that's what's in the bird feeder hanging in front of the house... hmmmmm? Oh well, we are Swan's after all!
Back to the kitchen. Next I painstakingly slave over the preparation of the peas. I cut open the bag of frozen peas, pour a few into a bowl, add water and pop them into the microwave. Did you know Clarence Birdseye invented the process of flash-freezing food? That's right, quick-frozen vegetables, fruits, seafoods, and meat were sold to the public for the first time in 1930 in Springfield, Massachusetts, under the tradename Birds Eye Frosted Foods®. I'm starting to sound just like Cliff Clavin sitting at the bar in Cheers. That's what the Internet will do to you...
Then I noticed the bread said it was 'slightly underbaked' and I should 'Crisp in a preheated 400 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, for a crisp crust and moist interior'. Well, everything was just about ready, and I didn't have time to preheat the oven to 400 degrees. So I just threw it on the grill.
That would have been a good idea, if I had pulled it off the grill in time. Unfortunately I didn't. So it turned out to be more of a 'Millet toast' rather than nice moist slices of 'Organic Whole Grain Loaf'. They were still pretty good with some butter.
And now, the final result!
Notice that no food touches the other food on the plate. I'm pretty sure there is a command in the bible that says, "thy peas shall not touch thy salmon, thy salmon shall not touch thy bread, etc." So you see, I'm just trying to be obedient. One thing to note - Tracy made the cool Fall table runner - that was way more complicated than cooking this salmon.
Nick's plate was a touch different, notice - no peas, he takes after his mom! And he doesn't go for the healthy salad dressing either. Oh well, some day he'll go for the healthy stuff!
I've noticed the salmon is very moist when it's grilled this way. The Soyaki sauce gives it a great flavor, and no other sauce is necessary!
Monday, October 27, 2008
So today, I want to explain why I'm voting for McCain and Palin. I am simply directing you to Randy Alcorn's recent blog entry where he explains a viewpoint that I agree with. Here's a teaser quote from one of Randy's recent blog entries -
What would you think if a politician said "I'm not pro-rape, I'm simply prochoice about rape. And though I would not choose to rape a woman, I believe that every man should be free to rape a woman if that is his personal choice." And what would you do if that politician promised the rape lobby that if he is elected president, the "first thing I would do" is to sign legislation that would invalidate all the state laws that restrict rape in any way?
Well, I think I would say that man is pro-rape, wouldn't you? But technically, no, he is simply prochoice about rape. Well, okay. Be prochoice about whether someone should eat Mexican food or Chinese food, or cheer for the Phillies or the Rays. But don't be prochoice about whether men rape women or kill children. Because that is to be pro-rape and pro-killing.
Did that get you interested? Here's Randy's blog entry - Why I’m Voting for 98% Pro-life John McCain rather than 100% Pro-legal-abortion Barack Obama
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Every day at work I hear someone talk about how they don't have enough staff to get all the work done. I hear this from people in other departments, people in my own department, people working for other companies, and I've even said it myself a time or two!
Every day at work I hear someone talk about how we need to cut back on staff because we can't afford to pay for all these employees. I hear this from my bosses, from other peoples bosses and bosses in other companies; however, I've never said this myself!
Every day I hear that the jobless rate is climbing and that is bad for the economy. I also hear about how companies are striving to automate their processes to reduce the number of employees they have so they can save money.
There's a basic problem here, shouldn't we be seeing something about this on the 6:00 news?
CCS is adamant that we provide full access to ALL the scanned patients records for their review. They are unhappy that we limit their access to ONLY the patient records they NEED to see. They don't like that because the way the system limits their access to only certain patient records makes getting to the patients online record a little more cumbersome. They say if they don't have full and unencumbered access to records, it will slow them down and cause their payments to us to suffer.
MCal on the other hand does not want to use the computer at all to view records. They want us to print out all the records that we have scanned and provide large stacks of paper to them each day for review. We've recently had some success getting them to review some records online. But they complain that the computer is too slow, and if we required them to use the computer instead of paper, it will slow them down and cause their payments to us to suffer.
To recap -
CCS says, "We need the records online, and since you can't provide them to us the way we want them, your reimbursements will suffer."
MCal says, "We need the records to be paper, and since you can't provide them to us the way we want them, your reimbursements will suffer."
Keep in mind these are both government agencies. I'm not trying to bash government agencies, but I think you can see my frustration! What is the world coming to?!?!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Here's the view out the window (Ok, it's the window by the elevator, not the window in my room) -
Look at this office building. These workers can go out their office back door, and stroll along the walking path next to the San Francisco Bay. What a life...
So what's Six Sigma anyway? I'm glad you asked. In today's class, Jeff taught us that Six Sigma is a process improvement business strategy that began at Motorola. It has changed quite a bit since it was first used at Motorola.
If you really want to know what Six Sigma is, read what Wikipedia says...
"Sigma (the lower-case Greek letter σ) is used to represent the standard deviation (a measure of variation) of a statistical population. The term "six sigma process" comes from the notion that if one has six standard deviations between the mean of a process and the nearest specification limit, there will be practically no items that fail to meet the specifications.
Taking the 1.5 sigma shift into account, short-term sigma levels correspond to the following long-term DPMO (Defective Parts per Million Opportunities) values (one-sided):
One Sigma = 690,000 DPMO = 31% efficiency
Two Sigma = 308,000 DPMO = 69.2% efficiency
Three Sigma = 66,800 DPMO = 93.32% efficiency
Four Sigma = 6,210 DPMO = 99.379% efficiency
Five Sigma = 230 DPMO = 99.977% efficiency
Six Sigma = 3.4 DPMO = 99.9997% efficiency"
'What?' Yeah, that's what I said. Jeff didn't explain it that way (and I think you can see why). He actually did a great job teaching us how we can use Six Sigma at our businesses to improve our processes, be more efficient, save money, and make our customers more satisfied. Now that's what I'm talk'in about!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Here we go- first I tear the stucco off because I'm replacing the entire thing - the door AND the side-light.
The side-light window is out, and I'm ripping out the frame.
8:48 AM - Ouchy! I got a splinter! I hate it when that happens. So I put my 'scientist' goggles on and performed surgery. No cause for alarm - I got it! Back to work.
OK, no use crying about it. I just need to find a hunk of wood that wasn't quite so thick and move along. Fortunately I had just such a piece of wood in my 'spare wood' supply.
All I had to do was rip the board to the right width, give it a couple of coats of weather-proofing stain, and I'd be ready for action!
Oh - look at the pretty flowers! Hey - there's a job to do! Quit messin' around with the camera and get back to work!
5:00 PM - The first screw! Yeah - I'm starting to put screws in - that's a major milestone in my book!
Did you ever try Corona mixed with Limeade? I can attest - it's pretty good, especially after you've been working on your front door ALL DAY LONG!
That's the story. The major work is finished. Next I have to insulate and figure out just how to do the trim on the inside and the outside - another tricky part. But the door is finally in, and I've reclaimed that space in the garage! Counselor, Construction and bathroom Concierge, it was definitely a full day.