Archive for March, 2012

Dining delights

Friday, March 30th, 2012

I mentioned before that I was going to try this recipe for Mediterranean Langostino Pasta, but I didn’t post a followup saying how it came out.

It was very nice. I’m definitely making that again. I bought a large bag of frozen langostino from Costco, though, so I had plenty more available to use. I ended up using them in to make paella and bouillabaisse, both of which were also well-received.

Earlier this week, I had my daughter over and made this. She arrived before I was done cooking, so I put her to work on it as well. We both agreed that the recipe was a keeper.

Brits know (on average) ten recipes by heart, and I can’t imagine that it would be too different here. I wonder what’s going to drop off my list if I add any of these?

Earl Scruggs, RIP

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Earl Scruggs died yesterday. I’m sorry to hear that. There are a lot of people who play in the style that he pioneered, but he always seemed to have a little something extra in his playing, at least, to my ear.

I bought my first banjo in 1979, and laboriously learned to play three or four tunes badly using the books and tapes I bought, including Earl’s book with it’s little floppy record. I never learned to play the instrument beyond reproducing “fret this string here, then pick it” sequences until after I’d attended Pete Wernick’s banjo camp – about two weeks after camp, something just “clicked” and I suddenly knew what I was doing. I still can’t play well, partly because I’ve largely moved from banjo to ukulele, but there’s a qualitative difference in what I do now compared to what I did before.

I’ve been to Pete’s banjo camp twice, and I remember that he would have all of the attendees sign a birthday card for Earl, since the banjo camps took place around his birthday.

I only got to see Earl live one time, which was the last time he performed in Denver. Several people got him to sign their banjos after the concert. I didn’t bring mine, but I did get his signature on my copy of Masters of the Five-String Banjo.

I’ve got several Earl Scruggs LPs and CDs. I need to move them back up to the top of the playlist; maybe it’s time to get inspired to pick up the banjo again.

Everyone Knows It’s Windy

Monday, March 26th, 2012

It’s been a windy day in the area, today. The forecast called for gusts up to 55mph, and I have no doubt that that speed was reached. I’m still hearing occasional gusty winds now, around 9pm. There’s a building being constructed in the lot next to the building I work in, and tremendous amounts of dust were being picked up this afternoon; it was actually limiting visibility.

I went out at lunch to see if I could fly my kite – I’ve got a Skynasaur F-36 sport kite that I haven’t flown in more than a decade. The winds were so strong that the string almost cut my fingers, and one of the two lines snapped before the kite was up 30 feet. I decided that I’d been given a sign that kite flying was not in the cards for today.

I’ll have to try again on a day when the wind isn’t quite so strong. I’ll also have to learn how to adjust the harness on the kite; I’m not sure that it’s set up properly, because it tried to head upwind past my head the moment it got into the air.