Monthly Archives: May 2007

Stuffed shells

Stuffed shells

When I was making the calzone, I remembered that its been forever since I have had stuffed shells. And that made me start Jonesing for some. I whipped together some whole milk ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, roasted garlic, roasted Poblano and JalapeƱo peppers, caramelized onions, spinach, Italian sausage, and a couple of scrambled eggs. Stuffing the shells was not hard but it proved to be extremely messy. I poured my tomato sauce over the top and then topped it off with a layer of mozzarella cheese. I baked it at 350 minutes until it was bubbling and the cheese was melted.

Last time when making the calzone, I had way too much filling left over. But tonight was very close. So I was proud of myself.

Pizza Making

Dough in fridge

I make a batch of dough for three pies on Saturday or Sunday. I store them in these ziplock containers in my refrigerator over the week. I very lightly oil the container so that the dough does not stick. The tops are only loosely tightened (to let any carbon dioxide escape). Then, when the weekend comes around, I am ready to make pizza.

Dough rising

About five or more hours before dinner, I take a container out of the refrigerator and put the ball out on a silpat sheet. The dough has not risen at all over the week. Now, the dough will warm up and start to rise. I occasionally flip it over so that both sides dry out evenly (the dough is very moist).

Pizza sauce

I will also cook down some pizza sauce. I open up a can of Cento’s pizza sauce and cook it on a heat diffuser on the lowest gas setting. This cooks the sauce at a temperature of around 130. I also add Italian seasoning and chopped garlic. After two hours, I add another can and cook it for half an hour or so (I want a mix of both fresh and caramelized tomato sauce).

Disc Golf 05/19/2007

hole 2

I seem to be on the outs with the group. They purposely schedule the starting time earlier than I can make. Oh, well. This morning, I only got 5 hours sleep. But I felt fine and up for a ride. I knew that I wasn’t going to make the deadline so I opted for a longer ride of 30 miles. I ended up playing disc golf at 11.

As soon as this throw left my hand, I knew it was going to be good: low, straight, and far. And an easy birdie to make.

Shall I call back?

What an interesting message left on my voice mail:

Hi Gary,

This is Liz from, ah, Sugars. Ah, I was just wondering if you were going to come by and visit me today or, um, some time this weekend. Ah, you can call me at Sugars at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Ah, I will be working the day, ah, shift Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So, ah, stop by if you want to visit.


Game Day 05/17/2007

Game #1


Ahh, another good game of Imperial for me. This time, I controlled Austria/Hungary and Russia. Sadly, A/H hit a brick wall. I definitely did not want to encroach on Russia’s space. And I never did get a ship in the sea to go out to Africa. Also, I had some hiccups with the financing. I had built one factory too many. So, when it came around to pay out dividends, I did not have enough money in the Treasury. So I had to make a couple of inefficient moves (that is performing no actions when landing on the space) in order to make it back to taxation.

I was able to build Russia up quite well. No one was really attacking her either. So, it was clear that I needed to make the invest/taxation run. The only problem was when I was buying more Russian bonds. I had the opportunity to buy the 8 level. But it would leave me with no money. I needed two dollars for the run up to taxation to end the game. So, I took a chance of Italy paying me some money. Which didn’t happen (and I should have been able to compute that, actually).

This allowed other countries to increase their final multipliers. When the dust settled, I was able to win by a couple of points. Which is a little too close for comfort.

Game #2

Princes of Florence

The going joke in our game group is to respond “Haven’t we played that recently?” when Adam puts Princes of Florence on the table. In fact, Mike was adamant that he actually had played it not too long ago. But when you cannot remember the rules, perhaps the recent playing was actually back in August… of last year.

This is definitely Adam’s game. And he jumped out in a huge lead to prove it.


To end out the night, we played a game of Tichu. Rehana showed up after we had played 3 hands and the last hand was called. So the loosing team had a chance to tie it up with a Grand Tichu 1/2. Fortunately, they failed.

05/17/2007 The scorecard for a game of Tichu

GT or T bet made or lost

This team scored more points than the other or one twoed

GT/T Team #1 GT/T GT/T Team #2 GT/T
MarkH & JohnG MikeCh & AdamR
T+   30  
    -150 GT-

Monte’s Catboat

Monte's Catboat

Monte Copeland built a 17′ sailboat called a Catboat. Which is way cool, in my opinion. He detailed a lot of the process here. I finally got a chance to sail it today. It was a beautiful out. Not a cloud in the sky. Temperature in the 80s. Light winds out of the North. Very few motorized boats out.

We drove out 360, to 2222, to 620, to the marina here. Surprisingly, for being built on the water, there were an awful lot of spiders on the marina and the boats.


After we motored out of the marina, we pulled out the sail and took off. Monte started off but quickly handed the reins over to me. The boat is extremely responsive and pretty vocal in response to what you do. If you pull harder on the rope that brings the sail towards the center of the ship, the speed starts increasing. And the tension on that line really increases making it harder to pull it in more. There was probably 50 or more pounds of force on that line. As the sailboat speeds up, it leans in the water. You want the slope of the hull to run flat over the water. And the position of the other person really does makes a difference in the angle of the ship.

If you want to slow down, you just let out the rope. And you can even let go of the rope entirely if you want. As you turn the ship, you can tell what angle works best against the wind. If you turn too much into the wind, the sail starts to flutter as it looses the wind.

We sailed down wind for a while which is pretty easy. Then, we turned back to practice tacking upwind which is much harder. Or, shall I say, much slower. The winds were mostly consistent. There were some moments of no wind. But it is surprising just how little wind you need to go. Of course, that other boat out there was bigger than us and had two sails. So it was much faster and more efficient than us in the wind department. And it was interesting how the winds changed when we got close to the shoreline.

tight corner

This boat also has a low draft. Like less than 3 feet of water. So, we are able to get quite close to the shore as we make the bend along the lake. Certainly inside of the warning buoys.


A couple of interesting hands here. The player to my left makes, I think, a 36 bid and calls threes trump. It is a shock to realize that I had 4 of them including the boss trump (3:3). The trump split was quite horrible: 3 0 0 4. Needless to say that they were set. I am beginning to realize that you really don’t need a premium hand to bid.

Case in point: I have five 5’s including the top two. But I had two loosing bones in my hand including a five point bone, 3:2. I bid 36 and everyone else passes. I lead one of my two losers and the opposing team takes the trick but with no other points on it. Then, the person on my right leads a 3 and I am forced to play my 3:2 bone. Fortunately, my partner is out of threes and trumps in with the 0:5. I then lay my hand down and claim the rest since all I have now are trumps.

Masala Wok

Masala Wok

Because I was almost out of gas and went to the station on Parmer and IH-35, I stopped by Masala Wok for dinner. I like this place. They have a number of good Indian dishes.

No cheap gas for you

no regular gas

It seems that they are out of regular gas. How convenient! Make people pay for the more expensive gas… Which is not an issue for me, being stuck using premium.