Wednesday Feb 27, 2008

Lessons in Love

This lesson is for Pam (really for her "SO"), who asked if I held classes for husbands.  Forget the flowers, champagne, and jewelry.  If you want to keep the flame burning, you fold laundry (without being asked to) while she's out with the kids. :)

Better than flowers

Future Debate Team Members

Overheard this evening while my daughters were discussing all things Disney

9 Year Old:  There's only a few characters that I think are real.  Basically I only think the princesses are real.

7 Year Old: What!?? You don't think Mickey Mouse is real?

9 Year Old: He's a guy in a costume.  He was invented by Walt Disney.

7 Year Old: If he's not real, how does he shoot fireworks out of his fingers?

4 Year Old:  Yeah!


Healthy Huevos Rancheros

Tuesday Feb 26, 2008

Salsa del dos hermanas


Tonight was burger night.  As I sliced up some tomatoes for the burgers, I noticed that I had quite a few tomatoes that needed to be used in rather quick fashion.  What a better opportunity then this to get the girls in the kitchen with me?  Well 2 out of 5 ain't bad.  At least when it comes to kitchen help!

  • 6 Tomatoes, diced (I used Roma)
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 3 Cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 Anahiem Chiles, deviened and seeded, diced
  • 2 Jalapeno's, deviened and seeded, diced
  • 1 TBSP Olive oil
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 2 - 3 TBSP Chili Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 - 5 cups of water

In a frying pan with olive oil, get the tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and onions to a really soft state.  Add the salt, lime juice, and chili powder.  Add 1/2 cup of water at a time and keep cooking it down.  Add more spices and water as required.  I probably used about four cups of water.  The more you cook it down the more the flavors will marry and the better your salsa will be.  Take your time, have a glass or two of wine and enjoy the aromas and experience.

Action shots of my girls in the kitchen

Sister Salsa

Sister Salsa

Sister Salsa

Sister Salsa

Sister Salsa

 Watch for a body building recipe for Huevos Rancherosñana!

Immersion Week Humor

This week Sun is having it's annual US Sales SE brain dump, it's called Immersion Week.  The event used to be held in places Downtown San Francisco in a major hotel, now it's held at the Accenture training grounds aka "The Q Center" in St. Charles, Illinois. 

I think the story behind the Q Center is that it used to be an all girl school.  Mostly small single bed dorm rooms where you can touch all the walls if you stand in the center of the room, and taller folks need to duck down in the shower.

Usually instructors get the "executive" rooms, king size beds, nice amenities, basically like a Westin.  While I've always been an instructor, I haven't always got an executive room.    If you've ever stayed in a "non-executive" room at the Q Center, you know what I'm talking about and you might find the following twitter exchanges funny.  This is the first year I have not attended, but my friends are including me in the fun.


And Later....


Monday Feb 25, 2008

Not exactly /.

Little chance of a technical hack like me being slash dotted.  But I'm excited to say a culinary hack like me got slash fooded! 

Out of all my creations I've blogged or have put up on Flickr, figures it would be the unhealthiest thing I've made.  But I'm honored nonetheless!

Sunday Feb 24, 2008

Family Portrait

Mi Familia

Saturday Feb 23, 2008

Killer Cardio

For those of you who strength train (and you all really should) do you do cardio before or after you lift?  I'm a post weight lifting cardio kind of guy, for a number of reasons, mainly though because I don't want to leave puddles of sweat on the equipment.  This is one workout that will make you sweat, so watch your puddles.  This is also great glute workout due to the double stair stepping.

Required Equipment:  StairMaster Step Mill

This can be done using either HITT (High Intensity Interval Training) or LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) techniques. 

For high intensity, go for 20 minutes using the "Fat Burner" mode and a setting of at least 10.  I usually do 12 but sometimes I bump it up to 13.  At level 14, you almost have to run up the stairs during the peaks.

For the lower intensity, go for 40 minutes with a setting around 8.  Experiment and find the right setting for you.

Click the below graphic to view the full size. 

Each column in the grid represents 20 seconds for HIIT and would be 40 seconds for LISS.  The StairMaster keeps track of all the time and adjusts the levels for you.  All you have to do is watch the grid so you make sure you doing the correct steps at the right time.

If you try it out, my only tip is to be careful on the backwards walking part.  It takes a bit of practice, but it's an awesome burn due to using muscles in ways they are not used to working.

Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

The secret to a good breakfast burrito is making sure you grill the tortilla. 

Friday Feb 22, 2008

The. Salad.


Chop Chop

Best.  Salad.  Ever.


  • 2 Heads of Napa Cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 Green Bell pepper, diced
  • 2 Green onions, sliced (including white parts)
  •  Optional:  1/2 Cup of Dry Chow Mien Noodles


  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 Tbsp "natural" rice vinegar (Natural is no sugar, "Seasoned" means sweetened)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Packets of Splenda (or 1 Tbsp of Sugar)

How to Make Heaven: Part II

Seared Perfection

Did you get your ahi to follow along?  No?  Shame on you!  Oh well, this turned out really good.

First off, I didn't notice any benefit of the overnight marinating.  A couple of hours is all that you really need.

Out of the tupperware, bringing up to room temperature.  Nice and stained from the soy.


Coat both sides with sesame seeds.  Although this is optional, I really like the texture and flavor it imparts.

A nice winter coat

And now to sear.  I'm sure some people will tell me I've done this all wrong and I've chosen the wrong pan but I find stainless to do the best job when it comes to searing.  I ruined a ceramic pan, cast iron was disappointing, non-stick was OK, but stainless was perfect.  A bit more cleanup at the end of the night, but it's worth it.

Get the pan hot, then add a little bit of sesame oil.  Turn the pan to spread the oil then add your fish.


Flip! About 3 minutes.  Lather, rinse, repeat for the other side.


Wrap in to some plastic wrap (Saran Wrap) for carry over cooking while you get everything else ready.

Carry Over Cooking

This next part is just bonus coverage.  Perhaps the best salad I've ever made and really simple. Some red and green bell peppers, green onions, napa cabbage, and a kick ass asian dressing.  A blog for another day...But while you are chopping, add some green onions to the reserved dipping sauce.

The Dip

The Salad..

Chop Chop

Best.  Salad.  Ever.

Cut up the ahi, this is where I'm sure I go wrong.  Can never get the grain right.  But it tastes all the same.

Crappy plating

A little Udon for the girls....


And after the four year old refuses to eat anything...Dino Nuggets.  I <3 the microwave.


Here's to healthy eating, and to you.

Thursday Feb 21, 2008

How to Make Heaven: Part I

Marinating Ahi

Are you ready for the best seared tuna of your life?  Well, get ready.  Get a hold of some sashimi grade ahi and follow along won't you?


  • 1/2 Cup of Soy Sauce (Naturally brewed dark if possible) 
  • 1/4 Cup of Honey
  • 1 Tbsp of minced ginger
  • 1 Tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp of Wasabi powder
  • 1 Tsp of Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese Red Pepper Mix)

Whisk that all together.  Reserve about 1/4 of marinade for dipping sauce then plop your ahi into the rest.  I've got about 1.5 pounds of fish here.  Turn over every few hours for good coverage.

I'm doing this overnight, part II (i.e. searing) tomorrow.  You'll need sesame seeds, scallions and a hot pan to play along.

Microsoft Announcement: What it means to Thin Client Computing

Did you catch Microsoft's announcement today?  If you live in a world where things like VDI, WTS, RDP mean something to you, then you'll be excited to know that as of today anyone can view the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol specification.  Why is this news?  Because up until today this involved lawyers, contracts, large sums of money and view only access via a remote connection that even disabled your clipboard.  That's why.


Playing with Food

Wednesday Feb 20, 2008

Mattel (Kind of) Cares About Your Kids

For the second time I've attempted to get recall envelopes for the "dangerous" Mattel toys we have.  We have a lot of them ( 5 girls = a lot of Polly Pockets ), but Mattel really only "cares" to a maximum of six of the toys. 


I guess should something happen with one of the remaining toys I'll just call up my brother in law, the personal injury lawyer.  ;)

I'm not sure why I never got the envelopes the first time I ordered them, but have chronicled all attempts.  We shall see what transpires with this attempt.  I've spoken to a few people that never received their envelopes either, if you are one of them leave a comment.

Monday Feb 18, 2008

Typical Tween

All Gone?

Apparently the above is enough ice cream to save in a twelve year old girls mind.  Same goes for a box a cereal with one of two pieces left in it or an empty 12 pack of soda.  I'm still debating if she's just too lazy to take it to the trash or it's a mental thing about not being the one who "finished" it.  Seems the latter as 1/2 the time she goes through the effort to put the empties back.

Update:  My wife says this time it's probably the work of a 9 year old and her BFF.


Sunday Feb 17, 2008

How to top a burger

Caramelized Sweet Onions

Thursday Feb 14, 2008

Just another crazy day

Made pizza for the girls
And Ahi for you and I
Just about to sit down to eat
The baby starts to cry
I change her and calm her and it's up the stairs to play
You can't wait for me because there is soccer practice today
You're out the door, I dine alone
Valentines is just another crazy day in this place we call home.

(and I wouldn't have it any other way!)

Check Yes or No

Do you love me, do you wanna be my friend?
And if you do, well then dont be afraid to take me by the hand
If you want to.
I think this is how love goes, check yes or no.

Cute little thing on Twitter this morning (tip of the hat to Skrocki!)

Tweet "@username <3" where you replace username with the persons Twitter name you want to send love to.

I sent one to my wife.

I see this:

She sees this:

What do you think she'll say?  :) 

Update:  Yay!




My name is Craig Bender aka ThinGuy. I'm a Principal Software Developer for Oracle's Virtual Desktop Engineering group.

I architect and evangelize the use of Oracle's Desktop technology including Sun Ray, Secure Global Desktop, and Oracle VDI.


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