Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-05-11

Wow. I'm not liking this trend, thus far. Migrane from the get go this morning, again hitting a tear inducing crescendo mid-afternoon. Needless to say, I didn't make it to any classes, though I did stay in touch with Dr. Paratt, since he helms both of my Tuesday sessions. No schoolastic problems will be created by this particular absenteeism, I think.

Around 6 I realized that I was feeling fairly human and that it had been a while since my last Advil, so I called Abe and un-cancelled our planned spaghetti dinner. Given current symptoms, I elected to nab a ride from him to the house, rather than try to drive my unstable self.

I actually started feeling pretty good by the time I got down to Purvine hall to meet him and Nichole - beautiful sun out (appropriately shielded by sunglasses), although there was a pretty chilly wind blowing across campus.

Unfortunately, this was a false impression of the worst kind. Upon sitting down in the backseat of their car, my skull promptly imploded. Apparently the cool air was semi-numbing my skull and allowing the more vocal bits of my brain to swell. Returning to normal conditions was far beyond unpleasant - I almost asked them to just drive me the 200 feet back up to the res hall so I could lie down and call it a day.

On the plus side, things returned to bearable levels within a half hour or so, and I was able to enjoy a rather pleasant meal of spaghetti and garlic chicken among friends. I really can't ask for more in terms of ways to finish off a horrible day.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-05-11


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-05-10

At times I'm a little frightened by how my body reacts to various things. I've been finding lately that a very mild application of alcohol, perhaps a glass or so, is often enough to help me deal with pre-migraine symptoms, or the peripheral nausea and dizziness. Perhaps it's a case of associating those symtpoms as "normal" for having had a drink, or assisting me to relax enough that my tension isn't contributing to the problem. Regardless, it's an occasional solution, if things aren't too very bad.

With that in mind, we decided to take advantage of a local establishment's special for dinner tonight; $4 for two tacos and a Mojito - quite an excellent price for the drink alone, I'd think. In any case, I now know that Mojitos are rather delicious when properly made, and my head doesn't feel half bad. I think that nets out at a win for the evening.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-05-10

20100510-Josh on the Spot
"Josh on the Spot"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-05-09

Trying to having a nice, quiet breakfast with Eden before she left this morning was more of an issue than I had anticipated - seems that most of Klamath likes to get their Mother's Day duties out of the way in the mornings, meaning that Denny's had a line out of the door and a circus within. On the other hand, that did give us a chance to try out the Klamath Grill in the older section of town, which was still packed, but viable.

I was sorry to see her go, but I'm left with the rather pleasant thought that I'm down to approximately a month to go before I can come home. That'll have to be enough, for now.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-05-09


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-05-08

Eden and I elected to spend most of today alone together, which was actually quite pleasant. We headed up to Chilonquin to visit a crafting supply store that Eden likes and one of the few used bookstores in the vicinity. The bookstore was definitely time well spent for me, as the shop has a resident feline to mind the store that was incredibly friendly, and quite theraputic for me - I just don't have any friends down here with a cat to share. I also made out like a bandit (or the proprietor did, depending on point of view) on books, taking home about a dozen volumes, mostly books that I've loved and have needed a copy of for a while.

On the way home, the surrounding daylight was about as perfect as I could ask for, with clouds in the sky, so I elected to show Eden a few of my favorite vantage points for Mt. McLoughlin and the Upper Klamath Lake. I've been meaning to put together a coherent panorma of each for a while now (my last effort had a slice missing in the middle of the composition thanks to moving the camera slightly too far). I'm rather pleased with the results, really.

Finally, we finished up the evening with a couple rounds of Apples to Apples with Abe, Nichole, and Cooper. Sadly, knowing each judge fairly well didn't offer me quite as much of a competitive advantage as I would have liked, but that's ok - it was all good fun.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-05-08

2010508-Overlook approach 1
"Overlook approach"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-05-07

Today started with all of the normal migraine warning signs, but I resolved not to waste any of my time with Eden, regardless. We had planned to see the new "Iron Man 2" opening today, but the local theater was completely sold out through Sunday. Given that, and appropriate determination, we decided to head over to Medford to make the showing there. It was a good opportunity to just talk on the way over, and let everyone get to know each other, and my head stayed within the bearable range throughout the afternoon with a little help from advil and energy drinks.

I actually quite enjoyed the movie, for the most part, but got hung up on technicalities in the action scenes for Natasha Romanoff - obviously her scenes were shot by another special effects crew (there were a couple of dozen in the credits) and the accelerated frame rate for her moves wasn't done well at all - it semed like she was moving quickly enough, but the actual frames on screen were too few to match up with the 30 frames per second of her surroundings - made her flicker something awful.

Unfortunately, the application of energy drinks for vasodilation and pain management gave out mid-way through dinner - the third energy drink of the day did nothing to blunt the pain and actually left me with a rather unpleasant tingling sensation in my extremities - time to cut off that strategy for the moment.

Depressingly, the pain just kept on ramping up from there - nearly no peripheral effects, just horrible pain driving into my skull, that actually drove me to tears shortly before bed. I can't remember the last time I cried from pain, and I'm definitely not enthused about this change in pattern.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-05-07

20100507-Amped up
"Amped up"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-05-06

Good day today. Eden ended up starting her trip late, but made it down around 4:30. Given that Abe was still in lab, I thought it'd be a good idea to introduce the girls and also show off the new "Frosty Spoon" frozen yogurt shop that's opened up near campus, which is essentially just a reasonably well done knock off of Yo-Cream in Portland. Unfortunately, we found out that there is one important difference - Yo-Cream does not use milk products with rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin), the Frosty Spoon obviously does. For most people, this isn't much of a problem, but, as past experience has proven, this is a potent migraine trigger for Eden.

She was a good soldier, even with the pain, though. The dinner to meet everyone from the household at Pho Hong went well, and I think everyone made a good impression on one another, so to speak.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-05-06

20100506-Clyde inna cone 1
"Clyde inna cone"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-05-05

Cinco de Mayo today, which meant free tacos in the student union at lunch. Passable ingredients, beyond having completely unseasoned meat, but there's only so much you can expect from mass-produced free food.

A good evening as well; Abe and Nichole took back the kitchen and put together a tasty turkey dish in the slow cooker.

I'm a little restless, waiting for Eden's arrival tomorrow, but thankfully everyone had a relatively easy school day to prepare for, so we elected to bring out the expansion for Settlers of Catan and have a massive 6 player battle. The game is really quite epic at that scale.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-05-05

20100505-Oh, Really?
"Oh, Really?"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-05-04

As I mentioned a while back, Abe and Nichole's dog Clyde got loose a few weeks ago and bit a neighbor (where and under what circumstances are up for debate) and so Abe had a court date today. As today's normal A&P lab session was cancelled due to the lab midterm this morning, I was available to serve as driver to get him to this appointment, which worked out well for respective schedules.

I've never seen him quite so dressed up; the contrast was rather startling. Unfortunately, the entire court appearance could be most kindly described as amusing. The office and court consisted of a tiny two room affair in a strip mall, and Abe didn't even get to see a judge - the secretary just had him write "I plead not guilty" and sign his name on a scrap of paper. (No notarization, date, or even delineation as to what charge he was not guilty of!) He was then summarally informed that he would be advised of his trial date within a few weeks and dismissed.

In any case, with that business done, there wasn't much left to do with the day, beyond study for tomorrow's A&P lecture quiz and cook dinner. Yep, I stole the reins again (technically I'd scheduled to take Tuesday before we found out Eden was early - I just maintained the slot), offering up some Red Wine Beef stew and No-Knead bread. Good karma and comments from the home team on this as well. I do quite love the feeling of a well-stroked ego.

Bonus round: If you'd like to make up a batch of the bread or the stew, I've blogged about both in the past - here's a link for the recipe and commentary on the bread and the recipe for the stew is reposted below, as myspace isn't terribly link friendly.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Culinary Effort: Red Wine Beef Stew
Current mood: full
Category: Food and Restaurants
Attempted 12/29/2007

Original Source: Young and Hungry: More Than 100 Recipes for Cooking Fresh and Affordable Food for Everyone Page 48 - "Red Wine Beef Stew with Potatoes and Green Beans"

2 lbs beef, cubed
3 tbsp butter
4 carrots, cut into small chunks
3 small onions, diced
4 cups reconstituted chicken stock
2.5 cups Sangria
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 Yukon gold potatoes
1 4 oz package Idahoan "Roasted Garlic" potato flakes

Put half of butter and half of beef in pot and brown at high heat. Remove to external container, repeat with other halves of beef and butter. Return all browned beef to pot, reduce heat to low medium, add all remaining ingredients. Simmer for approximately 1:20.

Variations from original instruction, rationale:
4 cups reconstituted chicken stock instead of 29 oz from cans,
What was on hand, liquid balance
1 4 oz package Idahoan "Roasted Garlic" potato flakes instead of 2 tbsp flour
Liquid balance, flavor, thickening of sauce to gravy consistency
2.5 cups Sangria instead of 2 cups dry red wine
Liquid balance, flavor
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes instead of 1 cup
Flavor, reduced waste
3 Yukon gold potatoes instead of 2 Yukon gold potatoes
What can I say? I like Yukon golds
None instead of a few handfuls of green beans
None on hand.
1:20 cooking time, at medium low, all ingredients at once, instead of 1:35 cooking time at low, staggered ingredient addition
I prefer flavors to be more melded than distinct in a stew.

Excellent, though a little meat heavy.

Notes for next time:
Perhaps a greater proportion of veggies to meat - 2 lbs is a heck of a lot of beef.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-05-04

20100504-All Dressed Up
"All Dressed Up"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-05-03

Eden shifted her schedule a bit today (she was planning to come down for a visit late Friday, and is now aiming for early afternoon on Thursday) and thus this week's meal plans shift as well.

I'm afraid I took the reins almost forcefully, simply advising the household of Eden's shift (they're all heavily anticipating meeting her, as their primary description has been along the lines of "the woman responsible for the best parts of my life in recent years") and stating that dinner would be served at 7.

While a bit outside my normally expressed personality, the announcement, and ensuing Tostada feast, went over well. It seemed like everyone really enjoyed the meal, and it bodes very, very well for the move in this coming fall.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-05-03


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-05-02

Nice, low impact day today. Very nearly nothing accomplished, which was perfect after last week. Did go food shopping with Abe and Nichole, as we're going to try to be better about eating in, even though Abe has been competing strongly with Cooper for the title of coupon king, generally keeping our expenditures within reason. I'm ending up spending most evenings at their house just because, lately, suprisingly not to the detriment of my study time - the place is generally quiet and study friendly a good portion of the time, and it feels a lot more homey than the dorms, to be sure. Also tried out Pluto's "famous" hot dogs, which is a storefront that's been taunting me since for months, but I've got to say, I'm not impressed. Pretty distinctly mediocre luke-warm food. Low prices, admittedly, but I'm inclined to spend the time and money to make better hot dogs at home. Ah well, they can't all be stellar, right?

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-05-02


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-05-01

Today's interview seemed to go really well, after a lot of build up. Whew... all done, think it went very well. Kids, the proper attitude is a very friendly "You're going to choose me, we both know it, now how can I help you justify it?" - Confidence sells, period. Oh, and to answer the next question everyone will ask, I can expect a letter mid-July with either acceptance or better luck next time.

Honestly, I've been very near euphoric all day with the relief of being out of pain and finally getting a little sleep. Good day for a landmark event. Oh, and I also got to tour some of the training facilities specific to the radiology program while I was waiting - pretty impressive!

I have to admit, I did elect to spoil myself a bit in celebration of having things done - finally got around to exploring the new game shop in town, Astral Games (amazing place), and investing in my own copy of Settlers of Catan. Good day.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-05-01


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-30

I really don't have adequate words for how happy I am right now. 60+ hours of constant migraine appear to either have broken or nearly broken at this point - pain is down to 10-15% of what it was and I'm feeling relatively clear-headed, which is bloody well awesome considering I'm due for a potentially life-changing interview in under 12 hours. My rear still hurts rather a lot from the painkiller shot that student health gave me, though... apparently Torridol is at least somewhat effective for me, but it took a few hours to help.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-30

20100430-Wait for it
"Wait for it"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-29

Migraine still going, no Tai Chi, obviously. Not doing so hot. Dragged myself into Chemistry lab long enough to do the weekly quiz and a quick lab, but honestly I was just going through the motions. Ow.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-29

20100429-Michael closeup
"Michael closeup"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-28

Well, I originally started working with student health to try to figure out my migraines in a more permanent fashion, but hadn't had any migraines since that point. That issue's resolved, unfortunately - terribly nasty one hit around 8:30 this morning, a bit before my A&P lecture midterm. Probably didn't help my scores, and the darn thing still hasn't left. A bit unusual there; normally these things only last 6-8 hours, but this is something else. Not good. Actually had to email my communication instructor about skipping class; as it turns out, he was already emailing the rest of the class about cancelling the session due to a work commitment. Go figure. Hopefully tomorrow will be more pleasant.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-28


Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-27

A little camera strangeness today; the Canon suddenly isn't talking to either of my win xp machines, and cannot format it's own card... Windows 7 sees nothing wrong and happily chats away with the thing. Have I angered the gods in some obscure way?

Unfortunately, this means I've lost a couple dozen good action pics of a lively little robin earlier today because I didn't realize the formatting issue was preventing the camera from writing to the card. Guess we'll see what happens from here - had the netbook try to format the card manually, which seemed to work, but took a bit over 2 hours - very odd indeed.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-27

20100427-Playing with Knives
"Playing with Knives"

Daily Post (Josh) 2010-04-26

Dinner with Abe and Nichole tonight was a real treat, and a surprise, to boot. Abe made up some Salmon Scampi, which was something else. Normally I don't care much for seafood, but he's got some real talent there. Obviously, I'll need to take a few tips from him on cooking with wine.

Daily Pic (Josh) 2010-04-26

20100426-Plentiful Parsley
"Plentiful Parsley"