Sunday, February 14, 2016


Saturday, I woke up at 5:00 a.m. It was 2 degrees. But, one of the many things I like about weekends is that I didn't need to get up. So, I snuggled down in bed, grabbed my latest magazine and started reading.

Eventually, my bladder betrayed me and I had to get up to visit the bathroom. Since I was up anyway, I turned on the kitchen light and fan.

Sidebar: This is the first winter that I've used the fan and am constantly amazed at how it evens the heat out. Just be sure that, in winter, you have it turning counter-clockwise.

I eventually got up and filled in the Blog. Then I made some breakfast (another weekend luxury). Today it was scrambled eggs and sourdough bread toast.

Finally, I shaved, showered and got dressed. I had taken out my down filled jacket from the unheated front hall closet last night (so it could warm up). I put that on and my gloves and headed out to get my hair cut.

Damn it was cold!!! I love my truck but, on days like today, I miss the heated seats in the Volvo!

Sidebar: I also miss the little wipers on the headlights. Newer Volvo's don't have them, but I thought they were cool!

I got there at 10:00 a.m. (the earliest appointment I could get). Michelle (my barber) did a great job and I actually look like a human again instead of some hairy beast.

Sidebar #1: In spite of being semi-bald, it has always been amazing to me just how fast my hair grows. I always put it down to an excess of testosterone. If there are any young ladies out there who want to help an old man to drain this out, private message me, PLEASE!

Sidebar #2: It occurs to me that some readers may get confused about the many Michelle's I mention. So, let me lay it out:

Michelle M. is my buddy in Facilities. We used to work together, years ago. We still exchange food (mostly soup). She is totally crazy and I love her to death.

Michelle P. was the Asset Coordinator in IT. We worked together for years until she left for greener pastures. However, she can't seem to get us all out of her system and comes back to visit, or eat lunch with me and Vicky or attend functions. Everybody loves her (she's lovable) but she has a habit of hugging too hard (at least for a guy with a fused spine)

And, Michelle ? is my barber. When I first came to Redford, I needed a haircut. So, I went to a place on 5 Mile and Inkster called Cardinal barbers. I got my hair cut by a guy a couple of times but one day he was too busy. Michelle offered to cut my hair.

A woman barber? WTF?

But she gave me the best haircut I ever had!

I've followed her through two moves to different shops and still get my hair cut by her.

From my haircut, I popped into Kroger's and got a few items I needed.

Finally, since I was out anyway, I filled my truck up with gas. I should have done this yesterday. It was $1.29 a gallon then, today it was $1.39.

Sidebar: I'm not stupid. I know the cheap price of oil is trashing the stock market (and thereby my 401k). But it's nice to fill up the truck for $25 instead of the $60.00 I was paying when I bought it.

I left the truck outside to get the groceries out. I thought I might cut the plywood as well, but it was just too damn cold.

Instead I made some chili. I got a recipe that I followed, somewhat. I ignored everything except for the measurements of the herbs and spices.

For example, the recipe called for tomato juice and tomato sauce. I used whole canned tomatoes that I squished by hand first. I like the texture of tomatoes in my chili.

So, I browned two pounds of ground chuck in the Dutch oven. I drained the grease (not much) and added a large chopped onion, a little chopped celery and one diced green pepper.

I dumped in two 29 ounce cans of whole tomatoes (squished) and one 29 ounce can of tomato sauce.

Then I added 1/4 cup of chili powder, two teaspoons ground cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder, a good pinch of Kosher salt, a couple of grinds of black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper.

I opened, drained and rinsed one can of red kidney beans and one can of pinto beans and then added then to the pot.

I brought it to to a boil, reduced the heat and then simmered it for almost two hours, stirring occasionally.

I was tasting it constantly, so I was not interested in eating it for lunch. I made a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup instead.

But, by dinner time, I was ready. I fixed a large bowl of it with some tortilla chips as the side. It was excellent, not too hot, not too bland. I was pleased.

I went to bed around 10:00 p.m.