829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Monday, May 31, 2010

A shellfish guy

A dozen shucked oysters, (okay 16), the liquor being caught
below the strainer, chopped jalapeno, basil chiffonade,
shiitake mushrooms, butter, salt, pepper, dry vermouth,
and heavy cream.  Alright, it's not everyday food, I admit.
But I've been eating chicken with salad for the past week.
Now listen up:
Medium heat in saute pan, add whole butter, then saute 
mushrooms and jalapenos.  When tender, turn up heat,
deglaze with vermouth, reduce, add reserved oyster liquor
minus any shell fragments in bowl, reduce again, cut heat
and add shlunk of heavy cream.  When it's reduced by half, 
add oysters and gently stir until the edges of the oysters
start to curl and they feel firm to the touch (2 minutes max).
Remove from heat.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
   Spoon oysters and shiitakes onto plate and then coat
 with generous amounts of the nectar that you have
 just created.  Garnish with basil chiffonade (julienne). 

If you look closely, you may see a little crab on the plate.
He and another had recently been eaten by two of
the oysters.  Still alive when the shells were pried open,
they were gently poached along with their
unshelled captors.  Soft bodies and bursting with flavor.
Amazing.  Better than finding  pearls.

A Padron 4000 from A Little Taste of Cuba.  I like a
full diameter snip on the cigar to ensure a full and even draw.
My wife enjoys a few drags but prefers to wipe the wet end
off with a napkin.  I tend to goob it up a bit.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Boat Yard

At least I got to go down and scrub the deck, cabin top
and cockpit.  It's so gratifying. I get the same feeling
after I blow leaves and then cut the grass.  You kinda wish
it could stay that way forever.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


This Memorial Day Weekend will not be a memorable
sailing weekend for us. It's not because of the weather
forecast.  Not because the boat isn't in the water.
And certainly not for the lack of desire.

This weekend is Princeton University's Reunions and
Graduation.  When the world comes to Princeton,
merchants typically don't take days off. Not these days.
Saturday is always the P-rade, during which still-alive
 representatives of the last 80 or so graduating classes
march, or attempt to march (depending on how many
martinis they had that morning) in the Alumni parade
down Old Nassau and through the campus.

The Princeton Marching Band provides spirited,
if not somewhat tacky, esoteric tunes for the
 thousands of orange and black faithful 
onlookers lining the streets. And fields.

Look, last year they even offered suggestions on
reunion apparel and accessories for the
smartly-dressed keg party attendees.  I especially
like the 2-carat diamond earrings.  Legend
has it that back in the 80's, the amount of beer
consumed during this weekend was the most 
anywhere, during that 3 day period, with the
Indy 500 a close second. Now I think Silver
 Cloud Marina in Forked River holds that
dubious distinction. Pretty sure.  

Usually they manage to get some big names to speak
at the commencement. He was thrilled to know that
there was a Starbucks on the corner and a
 great little cigar shop right down Witherspoon
Street from the podium.  

Ah yes, the priveleged ones.  The world is at their
fingertips. The future economists, financiers, politicians,
educators, physicists, philanthropists.  Go get em Tigers! 
I'll sail next weekend.

Monday, May 24, 2010

We need another car

My older daughter turned 17 in March.  We were very
 proud of her when she passed her driving test.  A year
or two ago, well before we had to take this seriously,
I suggested that when the time comes, I should hand
my big old Ford Expedition down to her, and look for a 
much smaller, more gas-efficient SUV.  A Hyundai,
 Kia, Daihatsu, you know.  My car would be perfect
 for her; huge, lots of heavy metal surrounding her,
 four wheel drive, a good safe car for my baby.
  How time flies. No sooner did her birthday come,
she was lobbying for the handover.  It was weird, but
I wasn't ready to give old Bertha away just yet.
Not to mention that I didn't all of a sudden come
into a pile of extra money I didn't know what to do with.
And to boot, things started going south on the old girl.
The last thing I want to do is give my daughter a car
that would be in and out of the shop.  Time to start
looking for a used car.  Easier said than done.     

Does anyone have a lightly used car, preferably 4-5 years
old, with extremely low mileage, mint condition, airbags
all around, extra body armor, heated seats, moonroof,
Onstar, GPS, Ipod adapter, autopilot and a parental
 tracking device?  For about a grand?  Okay, two?
I rode my yellow Schwinn Varsity all the way through
high school and then some.  I didn't have, however,
a water bottle holder.  Bottled water wasn't even
invented for another what, 20 years?
Kids just don't ride bikes these days.
Dad, seriously, get a grip. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What's next for Joe, the glue factory?

Some of us are still in a state of shock.  The news spread
like wildfire over the blogosphere.  The Horse's Mouth
was dropped, hot-potato style, from Tillerman's favorite
blogs list.  Please visit O Dock for an eloquent overview
of this travesty.  Tillerman, for the love of God, say it
ain't so, and bring back Joe!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kick me if I do that again, hard

This music clip was a far better follow-up to the image last posted.
Have a good weekend everyone

Friday, May 21, 2010

Don't let me continue

The last time I attempted to author a politically charged post, it went over like a lead zeppelin, a screen door in a submarine, (there's a shape theme here I think)....... By the way, this image is totally New Jersey.  Oh, the humanity!

Let's invite yet another foreign head of state to stand in front of us, on our home field, and scold us like red-headed stepchildren (like me). The Arizona Immigration law is, for the most part, racial profiling, I agree. Is illegal immigration out of control? Yes. But it pisses me off that a) We can't figure out a better way of dealing with this matter, and b) we allow, with an open mic, leaders of certain (less civilized) countries to come and berate our policies with no restraints whatsoever. Mexico's economy benefits from billions of dollars in remittances from migrant workers in the U.S., but their leader still finds ways to criticize us.  I think there should be a bit more respect shown to us.  I guess that's what you can get away with in a free and open society. We need to find a way to improve relations and respect between these close neighbors.   I do love my country, don't ever get me wrong. Our forefathers fought to the death for freedom of speech, among other ideals. I'm just saying.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Seems like yesterday

Wow! You're my soulmate, mom to our daughters,
my advisor, partner, first mate, my boss.
The organization portion of our household.
The voice of reason in unreasonable times.
The soft to my scratchy, rough self.
The best thing that ever happened to me.
Does anyone have a tissue?  Seriously.
Happy 24th Anniversary!
I Love You

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A long six months

Against a gentle Northeast wind, we motored out and
 anchored at Tice's Shoal, in the lee of Island Beach
State Park.  There we unbagged our freshly mended sails
and rigged Bay Rhumb.  Baywoman at the helm with
her SF hoodie on (again thinking of you O Docker).
I've been warned that before the bimini goes back
on the frame, the rust (on the stainless steel frame;
that kills me) will be removed by me with some wonder
solvent whose name I can't remember, but it's a catchy one.
And it works like a charm.
Finally, after remembering how to rig the lazy jacks
yet again, without winding up in a colossal tangle,
we set sail and headed back west, home to the State
Marina in Forked River.  I think we'll be happy there.
But backing into the slip sucks.  I'm putting in for
a berth with a finger pier next year.

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's always something

Friday, May 14.  Launched at 10:00 a.m.  By 1:00, 
we were stuck in muck, and the tide was going out in
full swing.  It was supposed to be crappy all day long
with scattered thunderstorms.  Silly to go down and be
disappointed at 10:00 a.m., right?  Let's go down and
get  there at one. It's looking pretty nice out.  We'll still
have plenty of time. Wish I did what I usually do:
thumb my nose at the weather report.
We actually might have been able to sail.

I should have called them immediately.  Sea Tow is
the single most important investment any boater can
make.  He tugged us away from the dock, out into the
channel, and seeing how the wind had been blowing
hard out of the west lately and basically draining the
already typically shallow Cedar Creek, all the way
 down river to the bay.  Tillerman, I also love powerboats. 

My sailing buddy and piano player extraordinaire,
Pete Lauffer.  Through thick and thin, rain or shine,
wind or calm, he's just happy to be there.
And I couldn't be happier to have him with me.
We laugh real hard a good amount of the time.

Great to be back in Forked River.  No regrets.
Just egrets

Home for the summer. Floating high and dry after
I patched the huge chunk of keel that was lost
after hitting an unidentified immovable submerged
 object at the beginning of last summer. Talk about
 a buzz kill.  The bilge pump ran all season long.
Damned if I was gonna pay to get her hauled just
to see what the problem was.  I knew what it was.
Let the pump do its work.

  First time I've had to back into a slip, though.
  I did really well! I know it's not always going
 to be that easy.  Doc, I hope you toasted
us today, because I had hamachi for you tonight!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

E Bay 6/27/70









 My Mom hiked hard on her birthday.  No doubt her
effort helped keep them from swimming that day.
Dot's job was the bilgeboards. Her legs bruised
like a peach. She was a tough broad.  Still is.
I love you Mom.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What's easier?

Which should be simpler?
Carefully taping off your teak toerails making sure to
not leave any space between the tape and the wood,
stretching and bending the tape to conform to the
imperfect curve of the rail,
then rubbing the tape from edge to edge to ensure
there would be no seepage underneath from the
many coats of varnish to come over the next three weeks?

Or, simply pulling the tape up after three weeks of it being stuck
to your boat through lots of warm sunlight, and rubbing the tape
 from edge to edge to ensure there would
 be no seepage underneath from the
many coats of varnish to come over the next three weeks?

My fingernails hurt.  Bad


Apologies were issued, a peaceful walkout
took place, and no one got hurt. Hopefully.
There are some hard feelings, but they will
pass with time. Amber waves of grain.
I'm sticking to hubcaps and pizza from now on.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Don't get me started

Holy crap.  What is this country coming to?  California High school students being told by their administrators to turn their American flag-bearing t-shirts inside out on May 5th, (Cinco de Mayo),
like I said, May 5th!, so as not to insult or ruffle the feathers of their fellow, legal or not, Mexican-American students!  This is our country!  Are we going to go around ostracizing Mexican-Americans for wearing their colors on the 4th of  July?  No!  The Mexicans have a rich and storied culture.  Let 'em wear anything they want. This is a free country.  We can say anything we want, last time I checked.  And we, as citizens, should be able to wear anything we want as well. Really, let's stop worrying about hurting peoples' feelings.  That's a surefire avenue to being taken advantage of.  My Dad, if he were still alive, would be shaking his head.  And I know my Father-in-law is shaking his. They were both sons of legal immigrants.  Buck up America, let's not be such wusses. Sorry, but that's the way I'm  feeling.  Too much blood has been shed for our freedom to cow-tow to overly politically-correct, or incorrect sentiments.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'll be the Roundabout

Heading east on Rt. 70.  If the Philly folks stay right on
the circle, they can veer off onto Rt. 72, which we all know
lands you on LBI.  I prefer to call it Long Beach Island.

When I got out to take this photo, the pine smell was so strong;
It's amazing what warm weather can coax out of the forest.
The pollen was so thick in the air, it looked like smoke.
It was as if a light green blanket was laid upon the ground.

Contrary to what many people who have never visited this
beautiful state say, it is not one of only refineries and toll plazas.

You have to approach and enter a circle like you are the boss.
(Not Springsteen)  Just be aggressive, don't back off,
hold your ground.  You'll get through and the others will
fill in the gaps behind you.  No blaring horns.  No time
for that.  They're still talking about me in Massachusetts
after that fateful rounding of the Mashpee rotary
back in '89.  The Martha's Vineyard Ferry could not wait.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Back door man

I eat mo' chicken any man ever seen