Tuesday, April 25, 2006

foneGEAR | tuneGEAR : Blog

foneGEAR Blog is now live, with mucho insight into the world of accessories.

Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops

Today is Free Cone Day, I just can't figure out if it's worth driving all the way to Auburn Hills for a free ice cream.

Update: Probably not.

Philips Patents Device That Blocks Ad Zapping

From the MIT advertising lab blog: Philips Patents Device That Blocks Ad Zapping. The device
would prevent "a viewer from switching from a channel when an advertisement is being displayed on the channel. A viewer may either watch the advertisements or pay a fee in order to be able to change channels or fast forward when the advertisements are being displayed."
Just curious, have they come up with a patent that keeps me from throwing my shoe through the screen because I can't flip away from an ad? I'm not buying any product that implements an idea like this.

How Bourgeois

Monday, April 24, 2006

From the News: Bar 12/21 gives diners a taste of Morton's

This place looks good. I want to try some prime sliders.

Mushroom Sandwiches

I've been reading Nigella Lawson's excellent book How to Eat, and Sunday I decided we needed to try her mushroom sandwiches for lunch. It was the right decision.

To make these, you need just a few ingredients: portobello mushrooms (although I bet any big mushrooms would do), garlic, parsley, olive oil (Nigella uses butter), dijon mustard (although I subbed spicy deli and it was fine) and some type of crusty bread.

Turn the oven on to 400, shower minced garlic and parsley down upon the mushrooms, liberally coat with oil and roast for 20 minutes. Put a little mustard on the roll and make sure you soak the bread with a lot of mushroom juice. If something starts burning, take the dish out, it;s finished. I guess you could keep the mushrooms whole if you had a kaiser roll, but sliced was the way to go with these long ones.

You can't go wrong with this combination. It's hard to even call it a recipe, it's just a bunch of things roasted in a baking dish until they all kind of merge, and it's really, really good. Lauren and I didn't talk much, we just appreciatively chowed through our sandwiches until we were finished. I really didn't think Noah was ready for this much garlic (although later I read that Nigella disagrees), so I made him his first batch of pierogies (he got some butter). A good day for everybody.

Time: 20 Minutes, start to finish
Cost: $4.95 (Rolls $.50 x 2, Mushrooms $2.71, Parsley $.79/bunch, Garlic, Mustard and Oil already in house, but let's say $.45)
Personal Satisfaction Meter: Up There
Notes: With three decent mushrooms, there were leftovers for another large sandwich

How Bourgeois

Pistons 1, Bucks 0

Last night Intern Paul and I went to the first game of the Pistons-Bucks series, and saw Detroit off the Bucks convincingly. Playoff basketball is just the greatest: as much fun as it is to go to Pistons games during the regular season, the noise and energy level are much, much higher, and it's just the first round. The only thing I have to compare it to is my MSU season tickets from '99, when they went to the Final Four. That was pretty amazing, but I think this was louder*.

Nobody goes to the Palace for the food, but Paul did get this ice cream bar with a built-in cookie that looked pretty good. Now we need to start working on some round 2 tickets, because we forgot to get Dippin' Dots.

Of course, by being stupid enough to graduate early, I missed the 2000 NCAA championship. Dumbass!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

HB Presents: Salaryman Lessons 4

Greetings, Class. Welcome back to our continuing series on achieving success in the workplace. If you missed the earlier installments, here's a quick recap:
  • Salaryman Lessons 1 covered learning how to dress for the job you want and how to drink coffee.
  • Salaryman Lessons 2 was about successfully navigating social situations with your boss and enjoying crudites.
  • Salaryman Lessons 3 was about turning down jobs that look good on the surface but will torpedo your careeer.
Today we're going to talk about why you need to own some blue dress shirts. My current favorite is 100% cotton (this is vital), and I bought it at Target.

Doesn't that look sharp? You need blue dress shirts because they will make you look good in any situation not calling for black-tie formality.

Blue shirts look great with a camel blazer and a rep tie. They look good with basic blue suits. They are extremely smart with those corduroy jackets with the leather patches on the sleeves. There is virtually no pant fabric they don't complement from wool to canvas. Blue shirts are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They're slimming. Sometimes, in a meeting, your blue shirt will have a really sharp, quick response when that jerk Chad from sales brings up a product launch you bungled, and everyone will laugh at Chad. Who does that guy think he is, anyway? That'll teach him. Some blue shirts can bake.

When don't they make sense? You might want a white shirt for interviews and something kind of shiny for "the club." Other than that, blue is what you need, chief.

Stay tuned for Salaryman Lessons 5, "Hey! Where'd I leave my keys?"

How Bourgeois Produce Thursday Presents:

Organic Cucumber and Yogurt Salad

This is the first thing I made with my new yogurt maker this week. After a quick taste to make sure I hadn't cooked up something lethal, I mixed the homemade plain yogurt with chopped seeded cucumber, a seeded, chopped tomato, lemon juice, salt & pepper and enough cayenne pepper to make things interesting. It's good straight from the bowl or with corn chips.

The yogurt was not at all time consuming to make, since most of the processing time is inactive. I had to heat milk, add milk powder and a half a cup of yogurt as starter, and then put it in the machine for 4-10 hours, depending on how tart I was aiming for. 6 hours was fine. I used all organic ingredients as a trial and it's very good, but to keep doing that I need to buy the organic milk powder in bulk online to make it cost-effective.

I would show you the second dish I made, yogurt with peaches for Noah's breakfast, but he cleaned the bowl before I could get a shot, which is the best indication so far this was a good use of 15 bucks.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


A couple of weeks ago Lauren and I got some takeout from the Flaming Kabob in Southfield, and this is a combo plate with Mujudara (rice, lentils, browned onions), Falafel and vegetarian grape leaves. Flaming Kabob is very great and not expensive; sandwiches hover in the $3 range and are mucho tasty, and more elaborate stuff is still usually under $10 if you keep it vegetarian. You can spend more but I've never felt the need when you can get nice and stuffed on lentils and browned onions.

Orange Twirl

Springtime in Detroit means ice cream, usually soft-serve, and any nice night you can find people lined up outside Dairy Mat, Frozen Custard, Frostie Treats, Ray's, Dairy Deluxe, Stroh's, Famous Flavors, Dairy Treats, Frosty Freeze, Dairy Bar, and the ubiquitous DQ, B-R, and Coldstone, not to mention the gelato shops rapidly multiplying in our downtowns.

Above is the orange twist from Dairy Mat, which happens to be my personal favorite, but I do like a chocolate frozen custard too. Or chocolate ice cream, or chocolate twist. I usually don't get much plain vanilla. The really cool thing is that many of these places are in direct competition, being within a half mile or so of each other on Woodward, but they're all always busy, and each of them has something different and good to offer.

Free WiFi

Free wifi's great for sure, but at Mongolian Barbecue? When do you have time to surf the web when you're standing in line to have your food cooked, and then you're busy scarfing down five bowls of what you made? Points for trying though.

By the way, if you haven't been it's about the greatest place ever. All you can eat stir-fry from a huge iron grill with ingredients of your choosing. It is just so good, and if you skip the first two meals of the day to cram in as much dinner as possible, it's a good value too.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I am in my office right now, having a conversation on the phone that is so boring that I'm actually considering knocking myself out with my Treo. It's painfully boring. To make matters worse the call is static-y, so I am actually straining to hear this boring dialogue. It's agony.

Monday, April 17, 2006

It Doesn't Get Much Better Than This

I decided to save the best for last when writing my posts tonight. But now it's after 11:00 and I'm absolutely exhausted and need to be up early tomorrow morning. So, I'll give you the brief story behind these adorable pictures and will be sure to write more and take more pictures to post tomorrow.

This is my very good friend Breeanne. Bree and I have been friends since high school, but sadly and for no real reason, lost touch. We haven't seen each other in nearly ten years!!! Today though, Bree, her three year old son Jack and almost 5 month old son Aidan came over. It was the most amazing thing ever. I'm just over joyed. It's true, it doesn't matter how many years pass between friends, it always feels like you're picking up from the day before. I felt that way with Kendra too!

Bree moved to a town near Cincinnati a few years back. He husband Davis was transferred there. She searched for me and I for her with no avail until one day, back in November, Bree found me through a friend of my little brothers! It's a little complicated, but soon she call and I was just so overwhelmed with happiness to find my long lost friend.

Tomorrow Bree will come over again with the boys and this time also with her husband David and ten year old son. We're all getting carry out Indian food, yum!!! I can't wait to meet David an her affectionately called son "Monkey". I will snap some pics.

I just have to say holding little baby Aidan brought me so much happiness. It makes me miss the baby days, but not the sleepless night. Jack cracked me up so much. Instead of saying "yes" he says "Yes,of Course". I said:"Jack, do you want some milk?" and he looked at me all serious and angelic at the same time and said: "Yes, of course!". what a cutie.

I'm so lucky to have amazing friends.

Why Didn't We Think of This Sooner!?

Jon and I avoid whenever possible, taking Noah out to eat right now, especially for dinner. He just doesn't like sitting still for more than 10 minutes at a time. So this evening, when my parents invited us to join them on their weekly "Monday Night Breakfast Date" to the whistle Stop Cafe, we were stunned....why didn't we think of this sooner!!!?? The entire place is full of trains, train memorabilia, train nicknacks, train everything. It's like Disney World to Noah. We had the back room to ourselves as the main area was packed, and Noah had all these trains to play with. He sat through the dinner saying "choo-choo" over and over with a big smile on his face. We even got him to eat some eggs! All I have to say is thank God for parents who take you out for dinner once in a while and thank God for the Whistle Stop Cafe!

It's All a Game

So I've gotten a lot of input today about selling our home, finding a home, money, investing, strategies and mortgages. Some parents and friend have been pro this move, some con. I've heard both the optimistic or not. One thing's for sure,selling and buying a home is one big game. You need luck, sure. You need the guys to come along who will actually buy your place, but you also need game. List your home at just the right price, make sure it shows well, know how to barter, agent, no agent. Then it's just as tough to find a house you like and get a good price.

Luckily, our agent said today to my Mother (They're long time friends) that it is definitely a buyers market and that Jon and I can find some great deals if we can A.) sell our home or B.)afford the down payment on our new place and rent out or current house. That option B.) was actually quite interesting. A friend of mine said to me that it would be amazing if in just the two years we have lived here, we could manage to get more than we paid, given the current Detroit housing market. I took that amazing as like...amazing if it actually happened. But as our realtor pointed out, our house has a new roof, all new windows, new hardwood floors throughout, new a/C and furnace. It's in good shape AND we under paid anyway because we bought it from a friend who gave us a break. So, I'm hopeful. This move just might work somehow.

In the meantime, we took a drive by the street tonight. Exactly 1 mile from there to town. I could live with that. we still have that left over spoiled side that San Francisco gave us. We walked to the market to get fresh produce daily, went around the block for coffee, fabulous restaurants, entertainment and Golden Gate Park. Being in a walkable community means a ton to me. There is a nice little market, a dry cleaner, bank and pharmacy one street away from the house we will look at tomorrow. It would be fun to ride my bike up there for a snack like I did as a kid.
where was I? Oh yeah, we drove to that area and I swear, as Jon put it, it was like being in that movie "Ordinary People" but without depressed people. You know, nice suburban homes, Moms and kids, Dad's just home from the office, walking down the street or sitting on their front porches. It was really nice and gosh, you don't even know how much I hope this works.

But you know what? Jon said something really true this evening. We were getting ice cream at the local dairy queen and he said: "We really do have such a great life." (I'm knocking on wood right now) He's right and new house or not, that's not what really matters. What matters is hopefully life is good and that people are happy and healthy and together.

Let's Go See.....

Well, I got a phone call today from our realtor's assistant. Our realtor herself is out of town, but her assistant Susan, can show us the house. So tomorrow afternoon, Noah, my Mom and I and hopefully Jon will get to take a peek. In the meantime, I need to start cleaning, organizing and throwing away things. Anyone need a waffle iron?

Well We're Movin On Up, Movin On Up.......

Ok, not exactly. Not yet. But I've decided to blog the long road to some new digs.
The house Jon, Noah,Priya,Dr. Fleischman and I live in is nice. It was well cared for by the owners before us, was updated a few years ago and is solidly built. The only problem is, it's small, SO small! We have three bedrooms, the third being a playroom as our home lacks a family room. It's about 1,100 square feet,and filled to the brim. Detroit is a really weird housing market, especially where we live. For the longest time, real estate was artificially inflated due to the automotive industry. Around us, you can't expect to get even basic housing like 1950's bungalows inexpensively. We happen to live in an even smaller than a bungalow ranch.

Behind our house is a very nice, private, fenced in yard. Theoretically, we could get a loan and add-on, there's space. It's crossed our mind many times and we've just had the first two story add-on go up on our street. The big foot homes are coming too, we saw the first little home tear down be replaces by a giant house. So we wonder, do we stay?

On the other hand, while our neighborhood is nice, safe, and quiet, it doesn't have many young people and children. And on top of that, we can't picture ourselves being in this neighborhood for years. You know when you find the right fit, and we're still looking for something a bit more "homey" at bit more "neighborhoody".

The reason we need to move is that we need more space and I want to feel settled in a home I know I will be in for a while. Our house now, we viewed as a 5 year or less starter home. I like it here, but we want to find a place to put roots down and a home to make into our own. I don't know, and neither does Jon, if we'll have more kids in the future, but if we do, there just isn't enough space here. I know, I know, I've heard it a million times...people have had 5-6 kids living in small houses for years. I get it, but this isn't even a bungalow with a room upstairs or bedrooms down the hall. Noah's bedroom butts up against the family room and the bathroom, he's always waking up. The third bedroom has two doors, one that goes through to the kitchen. It's more of a den then suitable for a bedroom with privacy. On top of that if we had a family room, that would make a HUGE difference space wise. We have a great partially finished basement with a living room/playroom type space. The only problem, it's cold and kind of dark down there, not a room you'd want to always be in.

So! We've found a house we like. It's a long shot, but I'll at least try and see what happens. I'll keep y'all posted on this stuff. It's a buyers, not a sellers market here, so I'm kind of worried. One thing, on an interesting note, the home we have our eyes set on is on the very street my Mom and Dad bought their first home!!! I was came home when I was born to this street, how cool! The only difference, back then, they paid a lot less for basically the same home., Argh! Inflation, yuck.

More to come soon!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

So Much for Good Karma

Good Karma
Originally uploaded by Something To See.
Today my Mom came by to help Jon and I figure out what kind of fence and gate we would need to buy to close off the only little bit of open space in our backyard. As she stepped off of our patio and onto the uneven ground, my Mom twisted her ankle and fell to the ground. She ended up in the emergency room. They couldn't find any breaks and said that it most likely is a bad sprain.

My poor Mom. So much for good karma though. I really believe in the stuff. Last week my parents donated a house to a woman in need and this is what my Mom gets?

I always try to tip waitresses 25% to be nice and for good karma. I'm pretty superstitious, huh?

That is One Cool Thing

There is a park near our home that just got some new playground equipment and they put in this very bizarre "thing". It's this purple head on two pipes for legs and I love it. You turn this guy's nose six times and then he makes a loud "BEEP"!!! Then you speak into his mouth. Next you hear the sound of a generator turning on, some whirling and a buzz and then what you had said into his mouth moments ago. Weird, huh? There is something about this guy though....something familiar. I can't put my finger on it, but thought I'd share the coolness of this Thing.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I am THAT Lady

fluffy mop dog
Originally uploaded by pepewack.
I am that lady, you know, the middle aged Mom that screams at kids from her porch when she sees them being bad. It felt so good do do something assertive. I usually am a "yes" man. Today though, I sprung up on auto-pilot, my adreneline was pumping, my heart pounded and I flew out the front door and onto the porch in under five seconds.

Noah was sleeping so I was getting some dishes done. Out the window, some kids went by across the street. A couple on bikes and one boy was riding a Razor scooter being pulled by a dog. I thought that wasn't very nice to the poor dog but kept on washing. THEN, I head the boy yell, the dog ran too fast and he feel off his scooter onto the grass. The kid started hitting his dog! He was litterally beating him!!!

This is when I flew out there. In my loudest, most authoritative I said; "Little boy, you do NOT hit your dog! That is abuse, what is wrong with you!?" He just looked at me, but I gave that kid the stare of death and stood right there on my porch for a good two minutes until they were out of sight around the corner.

This kid was 9 or 10, he knows it's wrong to hit animals. I worry about that poor dog. Even though I'm now that lady, I have also become Super Lauren, Defender of animals everywhere and I kind of like it.

Save Tiger Stadium

More disheartening news from this morning's Free Press. Kwame plans to tear down Tiger Stadium:
"You have a lot of interesting things and perspectives that have been given about Tiger Stadium, but the only people with money who have approached us want that stadium gone," he said.
So because "People with money" want the stadium gone, it should go? Forget the history, and what it means to people in Detroit. Forget about Hank Greenberg and Charlie Gehringer. Never mind Eugene V. Debs Memorial Kazoo night, which I was fortunate enough to attend with Intern Paul, where we played labor songs on the kazoo in the bleachers.

Detroit needs development, but it's not like there's a shortage of lots. There's only one Tiger Stadium, and we'll miss it when it's gone. There's still time to stop the madness, so sign the petition.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


We know that kids are into yogurt. Noah sure seems to love it. I like it too but I worry about sugar, preservatives and non-organic dairy products. It also costs a lot of money.

That's where my new toy comes in. I have wanted a yogurt maker for a while, but there was this whole cost/benefit thing going on in my head. Yesterday I was placing an order on Amazon for some new card scanners for work, and I saw that this yogurt machine was 40% off. I figure it's worth a $15 gamble to see if I can crank out some low-fat organic yogurt for the family. I'm really excited about making some flavors that you don't get at the grocery store - almond avocado, EVOO, chocolate-orange, Meyer lemon etc., but I think Noah will stick with fruit. The reviews also said you could freeze this for frozen yogurt, but I'm not getting my hopes up. If I can replace some of our commerical consumption with something nutritious and organic, I'm happy.

I learned something!

I'm sure everyone has their taxes long-finished at this point, but I thought I would pass along something I learned recently yesterday. If you are using fill-in PDF forms to do your taxes, save them to your computer before you start your work. If you save them to your hard drive after you fill them in, when you re-open them they will be...wait for it....blank. If you print them off right after you fill them in this is not a big deal, but I wanted to take a break and then double-check them (not to mention save a copy for my records).

I like doing my own taxes. It's a few hours a year, you get to see what your financial picture is really like, and you save a few hundred bucks on a preparer. I even like doing the math. I'm sure I don't have to describe the sinking feeling I got from getting to do the whole thing over because I saved the forms wrong, but if my experience can benefit even one truly last-minute filer this season, it's well worth it.

Monday, April 10, 2006

So This is Why You Have Kids

In a rare moment of relaxation, Noah stopped zooming around like the Road Runner and snuggled up with me. Happiness does come in small packages.

Proof that I Totaly Can't Spell

As HB reader Sarah has pointed out to me before, my posts often have a spelling mistake or two...well, actually, three or four..... Look, I'm not a good speller AND the spellcheck function on blogger doesn't work for some reason. Not to mention I either only have time to post A.) late at night when I'm exhausted or B.)while being ran circles around by a toddler. So, being insecure about my spelling abilities to begin with, you can only imagine how upset I was when Jon told me Boca, as in Boca Raton, FL was spelled "Boca", not "Bocca".

We went to Michael's Craft Store this weekend to use a 50% off coupon on something for Noah's train set. On the way to the train isle, Noah, for some unexplainable reason, was completly taken with $1 foam visors. Yeah, I have no idea. So yesterday I decided to decorate his foam visor, you know, kind of personalize this fashion statement. I thought he looked like a Bubby in Boca in it, so I wrote "Bocca or Bust". Oh well...Noah will never notice it's spelled wrong, heck, people who can't spell like me won't notice either. I also painted a teeny, tiny tote bag for him too. It's 6"x 5.5" and so cute. Noah's been carrying our Trader Joes grocery bag tote around, so now he has a purse, I mean TOTE of his own.

Where's Robert?

My friend Robb went to a few games at the World Baseball Classic a few weeks ago. See if you can pick him out of the pictire.


Gosh Aunt Kristin, could you be any more photogenic!? Some people have all the luck.

Thanks for coming to see us Aunt Kristin, seeing old, wonderful friends is always the best feeling ever.
Not that you're old, just a "Long Time" friend. You know what i mean...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Somewhere over the Keshet

This is hilarious. You see, the New York Times made everyone think that my brother-in-law, is gay. You'll have to read his Post. The last I checked, he wasn't very gay at all. But if he was, it would be sweet because I could set him up with my brother who is, and then Daniel would be my brother-in-law squared and how awesome would that be!?

Sakura Matsuri Desu!!!

Originally uploaded by yamakazz.
Only in Japan.... cute dogs wearing cute hair decorations under cute trees.
It's Cherry Blossom Festival time!

Speaking of cute and Japanese, here is a picture of Auntie Yuko, whom we saw this weekend but didn't get any super good, non-blurry pictures of. So here's a good picture from fall of my cute (and beautiful) friend Yuko san! Not only is Yuko san a regular HB reader, but she is also the most incredibly loyal and caring friend. We love you Yuks!

Cute Yuko
Originally uploaded by How Bourgeois.