Slice Of Life

Slice Of Life, is a Weblog (BLOG) that I write, in which I try to tell some sort of story about something, or someone in my life. Sometimes it's happy, sometimes not, sometimes informative, sometimes...... HA, gotcha, did ya think that I was going to say not? Don't know me very well, do ya? :=) I will try to update the BLOG from time to time, whenever I can.

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Location: Chandler, Arizona, United States

My personality is outgoing, I use to be a wallflower, until I realized that it was all the outgoing people that were having the most fun. It was a tough conversion, but nobody I know today would even remotely consider me to be a wallflower. Basically, when I was young, my parents taught me that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything. I haven't quite found the "anything" part to be always true, but it has inspired me to always try to do, and be, my best.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The Jerky King

You can call me "Chef Tom" again this week. I'm trying my hand at taking the "Beef Jerky Making" crown away from our resident Champion Jerky Maker, "Hub". I tried to con him out of his recipe by slyly asking questions about my ingredients, but he was too smart for me, and saw right through it. So far, I've made 2 batches. The first batch came out tasting………. Less then desired, although all my taste testers were nice enough not to spit it out immediately (at least not while I was standing there, anyway). Fortunately, I was able to diagnose the incorrect ingredient (drat that stupid internet web recipe), and I substituted "something else" for the second batch, and adjusted the "seasonings" accordingly. The second batch came out much better. I can tell, because on the second batch there were several feedbacks received of "Can I have some more", which was in STARK contrast to the "No, one piece is fine" feedback I got from the first batch. I didn't even have a chance to get a sample to everyone who tasted the first batch, before the second batch was gone! I got a few more feedback suggestions, so I've adjusted the recipe again. Also, I happened to notice in today's Fry's supermarket flier that Bottom Round Beef is on sale this week, so "Hub", if your reading this (I know you are)…… The Gauntlet is hereby thrown down….. Let the competition for "Jerky King" commence!

Friday, March 26, 2004

Spring Training

The entire Process Engineering Department went to a Spring Training Game on Wednesday Afternoon this week, at the California Angels Spring Training Facility in Tempe. Coincidentally, there were 2 other intel groups there too, so instead of calling it Tempe Diablo Stadium, maybe we should have called it Arizona intel Campus - Tempe. In any case, the weather was beautiful, the beer was cold, and it always makes an even a little sweeter when the thought crosses your mind that everyone else at that time is still working. The game even managed to be exciting at the end, with the Chicago Cubs tying the score up in the 8th inning, and the Angels winning it on a bases loaded hit in the bottom of the ninth. I love being in Az during this timeframe, when most of the rest of the country is still trying to shrug off winter, we have to be concerned with applying sunscreen, so we don't sunburn, and hanging out with the co-workers often shows a side of them you never see at work. Several people took pictures, and I happened to appear in several, and everyone seemed to have a great time. Of course, in the scheme of professional baseball, Spring Training doesn't really count for anything….. Unless you happen to be viewing it during work time that is…….

Thursday, March 18, 2004

My JAG's 1 Year Anniversary

Did you know it's my anniversary this week? Yup, 1 year ago this week, I bought the new car. OK, to most people, that's not an anniversary, but I'm different….. If you haven't figured that out already. The reason it was memorable, was because I was previously driving that other car around for 11 years, and this was the first time in my life where I bought a new car, when I didn't really need one. There was nothing wrong with the Grand Am, besides the fact that it was 11 years old, and also this time, for the first time, I bought a car not because it was practical, or because I needed it, I bought it simply because….. I wanted it. Now, buying a Jag X-Type, can't usually be considered 'practical', but I still did manage to throw a little practicality into it by buying one of the 5 "loaner cars" they had on the lot. It was the 2002 model, and already had 8K on it, but they gave me the full 4 yr/50K mi new car warranty, and knocked 12,600 off the MSRP. OK, nobody pays MSRP, but you don't usually get 12 grand knocked off of it either. I took it in today for it's Free 20K service, and they gave me a 2004 X-Type as a loaner. Not as nice as mine, of course. No Sunroof, No Premium Sound, and it's painted a color that can only be called Puke Blue, but I'm trying to "bear up" under the "suffering". When I look back 1 year, I'm still happy I bought mine, and I guess I can sum it up best by my response to my friend when she mentioned that "You just bought this car to snub your nose at people driving cheaper cars, and to attract women". My response……. "Yeah, what's your point"? :-)

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

The Birds Told Me, That's How I Know

So, Winter is over, and Spring is here. How do I know? The Birds told me…… Sort of. Ya see, one of the things that I happened to notice after moving here to "The Valley Of The Sun" a decade ago, is that this city appears to sit almost directly under multiple west coast North/South bird migration routes. Like most "travelers" through the area, Phoenix appears to be a convenient place to stop. If you look closely at the right time of year, for several weeks, there are a multitude of "V" formation bird groups in the sky's around here, and occasionally you can come upon groupings of trees in the local parks with what seems to be thousands of resting birds concentrated in a small area, usually near a water source. I started seeing them in the sky this year, late last week. You can tell it's not local birds, because they fly in those "Long Distance" V Formations, and at this time of year, their flight directions seem to always be generally either North, or Northeast. So, if birds" fly south for the winter", it only makes logical sense to assume that they would also "fly back north for the summer". So, I care not what the Weather Channel, or the Almanacs, or the TV Weather people say, Winter is gone, and Spring is here……. I have it on very good authority. :-)

P.S. - Hey…...Lay off those "That SOL Story Is For The Birds"….. Jokes you're making….. I know you are :-)

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