Saturday, June 16, 2007

Another Meth Lab in Paradise

I've had to drive down to Mason County Courthouse twice this week for work. I've never been to Mason county before but it is a gorgeous little piece of Washington. The county has the more miles of coastline than any other county in Washington, the geography is rolling hills covered in forests and dotted by grassy clearings. But, this ideal little county is crime ridden; Meth, poverty, car jacking, you name it. Sad that someplace so beautiful can be such mess.

Anyway, here is the beautiful county courthouse in Shelton.

On the drive back to Seattle, I got stuck in traffic, of course, and I wonder why I rarely leave the city on a weekday!

As you can tell I was a little bored staring at the steering wheel

Thank goodness for Ipod.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

What's for dinner?

Here is something I haven’t done before on this blog; share a recipe. I really like this one, and it is super simple, so why not share?

Mandarin Beef Medallions – beef, honey, soy sauce, ginger and garlic - what more could you want?

• 4 beef medallions – the recipe calls to trim them but I say, hey, why get rid of tasty beef fat?
• 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
• 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 4 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil – I use toasted.
• 1 garlic close, minced
• ¼ teaspoon ground ginger – I’ve used both minced fresh ginger and ground ginger, I prefer the fresh but the ground will do if you are pressed for time or just don’t have any ginger around. The same princple holds true for the garlic.
• ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
• ½ teaspoon salt – I use sea-salt, of course.

The process is pretty simple.
1. Trim the medallions or leave the fat on, your choice. Combine the rest of the ingredients (except the salt) into shallow dish that all your steaks will fit in. Be sure to stir the honey so that it dissolves into the liquid. Then put the steak into the liquid, turn a few time to coat, cover, and then let stand for 10 minutes at room temp.
2. Meanwhile, heat a nonstick ridged grill pan (or a non stick pan if you don’t have a grill pan, I personally haven’t seen my ridge pan since we moved and a flat pan works just fine although sans grill marks. I have yet to try this on a grill but it should work out well there too) over high heat. When a drop of water skitters across the pan (this is important, your grill must be hot enough to boil water on contact!!!) put the steaks onto the pan and sear each side of the steak for one minute.
3. Reduce the heat to medium high, salt the steaks, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to your desired doneness (and I hope that is rare).
4. Pour the left over marinade over the steaks, turning the steaks a couple times, until the sauce thickens into a light glaze. Remove from heat and let the steaks rest for ten minutes or so. Top the steaks with the glaze before serving.

The result is tasty, sweet and salty steak with a nice crust. I’m currently in the ten minute sitting process while the steak get happy in the marinade, it’s actually been a bit longer than that, so, off to the stove for me! I might post a pic when they are done.

Here is how it turned out ...

Note, things can get pretty smoky when you are searing. Hopefully, you, unlike me, have good kitchen ventilation. I really, really need to get to Albert Lee next weekned and buy a stove hood!!!

Well, The Police concert was pretty good. It wasn’t great, the U2 concert last year was great, but The Police was just pretty good. The first song, Message in a Bottle, was pretty rough. Sting was trying to keep it slow and Stewart and Andy were trying to speed things up, the result was very hard to listen to. At first, I thought this was going to be a repeat that Stewart described in his blog.

But, they pulled things together about halfway through the second song, Synchronicity II, and the rest of the concert was fantastic. The crowd was so old that I seemed young in comparison, which was nice. Despite the review in the PI , the concert did have empty seats. I’m sure they were all sold but there were continuous row of empty seats which is a tell-tale sign of scalper’s touch. The fact that these seats were empty means the scalpers got screwed, they couldn’t sell the blocks of seats they bought, and that notion brought a smile to my face. It is horrible that scalper buy up tickets in bulk such that the average purchaser can’t get tickets to “sold out” shows and then turn around and sell them at huge mark-ups. I had several friends who couldn’t get tickets but wanted to go; thus I’m just glad these scalpers lost money, but still, it sad that those seats went empty when there were certainly people who would have wanted to see the show.

Anyway, I ran in the Sound to Narrow 12K yesterday. I had been hoping to break 60 minutes but I think I was just shy at 62 minutes. I stopped in one place while climbing the last hill and I’m sure that was where I screwed up. It rained through the entire race. By the time I was done I was soaked to the bone and then I had to wait for another 20-30 minutes until the people I came with finished standing in the cold and soaking up the rain with every piece of clothing on me. By the end I was pretty chilled and it took me a long hot bath to feel normal. I’m feeling pretty good today, my butt it a tad sore but none the worse for where. I’m already looking for my next run to help me to get to my end goal, the Seattle Marathon in November.

Well, I should get back to my homework. I currently doubt my rational for taking a course this summer. I’m not sure why I did it. I won’t graduate early, I’m not taking a reduced class load in the fall, and all I’ve done is ruin my summer. Oh well. Live and Learn. Later.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Yawn ...

Man, am I tired.

We didn't get a weekend this week, not really anyway. My mother-in-law's mother, Grandma C, fell and broke her hip and we drove to Spokane to see her. While Grandma C is recuperating in a facility in Spokane, her daughter (my mother in law) has decided that it is high time to clean her house. Like a lot of elderly folks, Grandma C is a pack rat. She never throws away anything and she has a bad habit of buying dolls/coins/etc off the TV, from magazine ads, and any other source of cheap crap. The problem is that the various items she buys, from her limited income, are marketed as collectibles that will only increase in value when; in fact, the only thing they collect is dust. I swear that these companies must consciously prey on unsophisticated consumers like Grandma C who are suckered into buying this junk as a form of investment; people who prey on weak consumers should be dragged out and shot. Anyway, as a result of her weakness for these sales pitches, and her inability to let things go, her four bedroom house has only one usable room and floor space is a rare commodity. Thus, there will be a few long months of sorting through everything, determining what is pure junk, what is valuable (either emotionally or financially) and giving away (or dumping) the rest. We got a start on Saturday by removing the big items, a 35 year old broken television that must have weighed 100+ lbs, a moldy waterbed, etc … All stuff that, had Grandma C been there, she would not have let us throw out.

With all the driving and working in Grandma C's house, I didn’t really get a chance to recharge this weekend and, as a result, I'm really dragging this week. My work day is just too long, from about 7 – 10. Here is my typical weekday. I get up at 6:00 am and leave the house by about 6:45 to get to work by 7:00, I stay until 4:30 pm, drive home and let the dog out, I then drive to the law school at 5:00 pm to do some last minute preparing for the class I'm taking for the summer, class start's at 6:00 pm and goes until 7:35 or so, then I go home and eat dinner and then read/study until 10:00 pm when I go to bed. Repeat. I can't wait until school starts in the fall so I can take a rest! I shouldn't complain. It is not going to get any easier when I'm actually in practice. Take for example this excerpt from my textbook on Professional Responsibility:

"You will end up billing only about two hours for every three hours that you spend at "work." And thus, to bill 2000 hours per year, you will have to spend about sixty hours per week at the office, and take no more than two weeks vacation/sick time/personal leave. If it takes you, say, forty-five minutes to get to work, and another forty-five minutes to get home, billing 2000 per year will mean leaving home at 7:45 am, working at the office from 8:30 a.m. until 6:30 pm, and then arriving home at 7:15 p.m - and doing this six days per week, every week. That make for long days, and for long weeks, and you will have to work these hours not just for a month or two, but year after year after year" Patrick J. Schiltz, "On Being a Happy, Healthy, and Ethical member of an Unhappy, Unhealthy, and Unethical Profession. Vanderbilt Law Review. 1999.

Good for me that I would rather be overworked than bored.

Anyway, the one respite I have during the week are Wednesdays (because I don't have class on Wednesdays) and this Wednesday (tonight) I'm going to see The Police in concert at the Key. I'm pretty excited (as anyone who walked by my room in Fraternity house and could hear music coming from the room could probably attest) to see them. I heard they sucked in their show up in Vancouver, but here’s to hoping they have the kinks worked out by tonight. I'll post a review tomorrow. Hopefully.