829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

She's on the road!

It seems like yesterday!

Happy Birthday, Hannah, and congratulations
on your driving test.  Our love for you is unparalleled!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What the Pho?

Lucky me. This is what I had in front of me at
about 1:15 today. A bowlful of soul. A Vietnamese
dish called "pho", pronounced "fuh".
A rich, light-colored beef broth flavored with
charred onions and ginger, star anise,
cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, cloves,
and cardamon. In the kitchen,
they place a heap of cooked, warm
rice noodles in the bowl with
thinly sliced raw beef, beef navel which is
fatty meat from the brisket,
and shreds of cooked beef tripe. Wait,
it gets better! They then ladle piping hot broth
over the contents of the bowl to cook
the raw beef and warm everything else.
That is served with a dish on the side
piled with bean sprouts, a bunch of fresh thai basil,
jalapeno slices,scallions, and a lime wedge.
The idea is to add the sprouts, scallions,
hand-tear the basil leaves (all of them), squeeze the lime,
and throw the jalapeno slices in for good measure.
However, the actual heat of the dish
comes from the array of chile sauces on the table.
After a couple of spoons of the chile of your choice
you're ready to stir together and dig in.
Chopsticks do the trick for me, preventing me from
eating too fast. A spoon is also on the table, but if broth
is required, just lift up the bowl and slurp. My mouth
is watering again! This meal sticks with me for hours;
beside a small amount of fat from the
navel, it's quite a lean dish, but it satisfies
like no other bowl of noodles.

My back patio today at around 3:00. Okay,
the thermometer is in the direct sunlight,
but you get the picture. It was gorgeous
today and looks to be for the next several days.
We will ski in Vermont this weekend for the
last time this winter. Sunscreen will be mandatory.
There's that bottom paint smell again...you smell it?

Monday, March 15, 2010


I love the smell of my hands after putting wood in the fire

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday, Floody Sunday

Saturday's high winds wreaked havoc on our area,
including our yard, where three very tall evergreens
decided to give up the fight. With the winds came a
torrent of sideways rain that saturated the earth

My bilge pump ran flawlessly all night, but this morning
there was a strange absence of sound coming from the
basement. Surely the water table had dropped and we
were out of the woods? Not so fast. A quick look down
the basement stairs revealed a shiny surface to the floor.
The pump's float got stuck in the up position and we started
to flood. Luckily, from past experiences, everything is up from
the floor or in rubbermaid tubs. The pump is sporatic at this
point, but still effective. I'll have to keep a sharp ear out.

On a lighter note, It's Albert Einstein's birthday.

I think he would have felt at home on my dad's E-Scow!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday, Sunny Sunday

Johnson Street Beach, Bay Head, NJ
Looking north toward Asbury Park

Looking south toward Seaside Heights

She who must bark at all other dogs
and most people


Trail Mix

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Signs of Life

     Not that another snowstorm is out of the question, but there are some signs that in fact we may be nearing spring.  I never held Punxsutawney Phil accountable for the predictions of the top hat-wearing town officials that drag him out of his burrow every February 2nd anyway.
     With the smells of earth and grass re-emerging from under their winter blanket, my to-do list grows exponentially.  And now the thought of necessary jobs to be done on the boat before launch weighs more heavily on my mind.  Which job takes priority?  Picking up the thousands of branches and sticks littering the yard?  Sanding and varnishing the slowly peeling toerail on the boat?  Fertilizing the grass?  Compounding and buffing the hull?  Finding a reasonably priced (not gonna happen) replacement glass table top for my patio table which shattered in a million tiny pieces?  The pressure mounts. It always seems overwhelming this time of year,
the same way it does to me in the fall,  when the boat needs to be put away, but the yard is full of leaves and branches.
     I shouldn't complain.  We have a house with a yard and lots of trees that we love.  And we have a boat that we love to sail. I love my wife and girls.  The work always manages to get done. Life is good.  I can smell that bottom paint already.