Monday, November 27, 2006

Do I know the way to San Jose?

Why yes, I do.

In fact, Smashed and SM are heading out that way tomorrow for a little customer-related activity, and possibly for an eensy-weensy bit of sightseeing.

Blogging may be light.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Cat Blogging

LL (or is it WL) sent this picture of "Sparky" for everyone's cat blogging pleasure. (Except Sparky's, of course).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Asian Pear of my Pancreas?

Neddie goes all goopy as he prepares for the Holidays in St. Ives. How's this for some metaphors:

(Actually, there's only one wife, and she's the apple of my eye, the Asian pear of my pancreas, the grapefruit of my left knee, the mangosteen of my uvula, the kiwi of my peritonium, the carambola of my latissimus dorsi, the chewy caramel center of the Godiva bon-bon that is my life.)

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Try not to get washed away in tomorrow's storm. Don't eat too much. Don't shop too much. Don't shake the baby. Don't shoot anybody in the face. And put on a jacket, for crying out loud.

Festivus is coming.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Letter from India

MG writes from India that he's finally had a good full-night's sleep - and it only took one week to achieve!

He also says that the weather is sunny and warm.

Oh, and there was a tiger loose in the village he's visiting. (It's been moved to a local zoo).

Don't stay too long, MG, we don't want to lose you to another wayward cat!

EP Day a Fantastic Success

Well, the wait is over and done, today was EP day.

Fantastically well attended, there were people from near and far... AB attended - "A" has passed "C" in height, and is doing well.

FP took a break from snowboarding to attend - he's now getting a tour of our fantastic facilities.

Keng was there, it was nice to catch up.

There were even some people that we did not recognize.

TW was a no-show, as was JD - perhaps we'll see them next year.

AZ (probably) had the first Veggie Kabob that they've ever served.

CC showed off her new Razor - complete with a jealousy-inducing wallpaper installed. (And we noted that RS had some pictures to show off as well - not that they made it to our end of the table).

Sounds like JT's chairmanship might be extended for another year, although next time, perhaps someplace with seating that's not so linear would be nice.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Monday was not a good day for JU. A bit of rain and a quick distraction lead to a minor accident on 128 - leaving him with a wrecked front bumper and side panel or two, a disintegrated grill, and an insurance snafu to figure out.

We hope his week improves from there.

Any bets for how much damage to the Altima was done? Our guess is $1500 - $ 2000.

UPDATE: JU reports damage of $ 3000.00, and two weeks for the repairs. He also offers this advice - if your insurance company stops doing business in the state, find another one quick! (Don't wait for them to transfer you to another company).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

One Woman's Opinion

on what makes an authentic burrito.


as pictured above, it's a work of modernist simplicity. portability is key. burritos that have to be eaten with a fork and knife aren't burritos, they're casseroles. this burrito can be eaten with one hand, leaving the other free to hold a beer, or, since this foto was taken in L.A., a steering wheel...

The Burrito Blog

JL sends word that he won't be able to make it to Thursday's festivities, due to a meeting (how pathetique), and due to a wish to have a more authentic EP experience. How'd he put it? Oh, yeah:

I know it's not the long-established customary day, but we will be enduring a more traditional meal.

As compensation for the lack of his presence, he sent along a link to The Burrito Blog, which

chronicle[s] my [a Boston Area Burrito Fanatic's] life through a series of burrito eating adventures. I hope you enjoy.

JL says that there are some good reviews there, perhaps as suggestions for next year, or for this year's dessert.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Gentlemen, let's broaden our minds

As executive chairman of this year's EP committee, JT has decided to hold our annual gut-stretching / Thankgiving day preparation at a local GREEK restaurant. As he put it in his invitation:

EP Day is a longstanding luncheon at a really really bad Mexican restaurant one week before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, for us and fortunately for others, the really really bad El Phoenix “EP” is no longer with us. Since the EPs closing, the Mexican theme has broadened to Mexican or BBQ. This year the theme will be broadened to include Greek.

This decision puts JT in a precarious position. Traditions are all about, well, traditions. As Tevye found out, there are some limits beyond which we can't let ourselves be pushed. One can marry an anti-tsarist revolutionary, or a poor tailor, but one can not just run off and marry outside the faith, now can one.

In this instance, we might be just inside the line, or way outside it. There certainly was some grumbling when the decision was announced. Smashed thinks that we're probably just inside it - but of course only time will tell.

P.S.: And speaking of traditions that shouldn't be tampered with - Did you know that Leonard Nimoy played Tevye on Broadway? Talk about taboo - have you heard him sing?

Into the Blue

Rumors are beginning to emerge about tomorrow's Tea.

Seems that we'll be having a drink known as "into the blue", consisting of the following:

  • Rum
  • Blue Curacao
  • Pineapple Juice - (watch out PM!)
  • And perhaps something else that we don't recall

Smashed can find no reference to such a drink anywhere in the whole wide web - however, the Blue Hawaiian comes close:

  • 1 oz. Light Rum
  • 1 oz Blue Curacao
  • 2 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz Cream of Coconut (optional)

In addition to the blue drinks, it's also rumored that we'll have blue corn chips, with a nice supply of mango salsa.

Board Meeting

There's a board meeting today - but just late enough that there won't be seagull food until late afternoon, if at all.


Not only is JT sponsoring this week's Tea, he's also in charge of organizing the annual El Phoenix day, which is ONE WEEK AWAY!

Perhaps we should decide on a venue?

At least this year, there's unlikely to be a snow storm.

Blue Tea

In light of the recent political events, this Friday's Tea will have a blue theme.

JT has sponsored this Blue Tea, which has just about nothing in common with the Red Mass, except the political angle.

Maybe we can get Obama to drop by.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Dems take the house - and maybe the Senate.

Dance the night away - then get to work.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Blue Wave

Well peeps, the polls are open. It'll all be over in ten or so hours - so get to those polls, connect those lines, then sit back and watch the blue wave sweep some people out to sea. (Politically, of course).

Monday, November 06, 2006

Vote for the Kennedy of your choice, but Vote!

It's time for HSI to politically decloak and endorse (despite his campaign slogan, "Together We Can") Deval Patrick (D) for Governor of Massachusetts.

We do this for at least the following three reasons:

  • Kerry Healey's negative advertising.
  • We really just don't like Kerry Healey.
  • Patrick's support for Cape Wind.

We wish Mr. Patrick much success as our new Governor. (He's still enjoying a "double-digit" lead in the polls).

Vote-USA has the goods on the other races all over the US. The Massachusetts page is here.

Now to the Massachusetts ballot questions:

Question 1: [Yes] [No]. HSI does not support this question, and urges a "No" vote. Keep the supermarkets and convenience stores out of the booze business. Maintain employment levels there of minors. Don't cede more economic power to the likes of Stop and Shop and Hannaford. Just say no!

Question 2: [Yes]. HSI does not support this question, and urges a "No" vote. Keep the one politician, one line on a ballot rule. Don't confuse the elderly. Don't encourage third parties unnecessarily. It would be far better to have automatic runoff elections.

Question 3: [Yes]. HSI does support this question, and urges a "Yes" vote. Why? It doesn't allow subsidized child care providers to strike, but does allow them, under certain circumstances, to collectively bargain with the state. Sounds like a good idea to us.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging - The Return of Vodka Edition

The nights are becoming cold, and so it is culturally permissible to return to winter drinks.

Today's vodka has traveled all the way from Russia.

See you at 4:00.

Culture Day

Today is Culture Day in Japan (so don't expect any reports from the Nikkei, and we suppose that any banking will have to wait, too).

Culture Day was originally celebrated as the emperor's birthday (starting around 1868) but upon his death in 1912, the name was changed. Apparently, they didn't like him all that much.

Turns out that today would be a good time to visit Japan - from the Great Wiki:

...Culture Day is statistically one of the finest days of the year. Between 1965 and 1996, there have only been three years with rain occurring in Tokyo on Culture Day.

If we have any Japanese readers out there, they might want to check out these art-related posts.

Oh, one more thing. Today is Sandwich Day in the US. I plan to celebrate with a tuna sammich.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

2 Weeks Until the Day of the Refritos

Yes, the countdown is half done!

Here's a little EP Trivia:

Why are refried beans REfried?

For emphasis, of course:

Nobody I asked in Mexico seemed to know until quite suddenly it dawned on me. The Mexicans have a habit a qualifying a word to emphasize the meaning by adding the prefix re-. They will get the oil very hot (requemar), or something will be very good (retebien). Thus refrito beans are well fried, which they certainly are, since they are fried until they are almost dry. (Diana Kennedy, The Cuisines of Mexico,1986).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

More "Day of the Dead"

Why? Because it's more captivating than our upcoming voter guide.

Here's the Flickr text that goes with this pic:

These painted skulls are traditional in the Day of the Dead ceremonies in indigenous Aztec culture. Traditionally, the festivities lasted the entire month of August. [Similar to the Chinese observation of the Ghost Festival - suggesting a longer history than the 3500 years mentioned below]. When the Spanish Catholics tried to co-opt the ceremonies and suppress them, they moved the celebrations to All Saints Day in November.

But the traditional ceremonies have survived and continue to this day. People visit the cemeteries of their loved ones and decorate the graves. Or they build altars in their homes to honor the dead.

The skull is viewed as a symbol of life-death-rebirth. Painted skulls were traditionally used to honor the dead, whom they believed returned during the original summer month-long ritual. For the Aztecs, life was a dream and only upon death did a soul become truly awake. As a result, they did not fear death, but rather, they embraced it.

(On display at The National Museum of the American Indian.)

Days of the Dead

Please be sure to leave a few offerings around for those who've passed on. We're sure they'll appreciate it. Particularly if they're 3500 year old Aztecs.