Archive for August, 2011

Keith Richards’ Life: A book review

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

The man's take on what really went down.

Great read. If you’re a musician, you can really sink your teeth into his musings on different tunings, chord progressions, his guitar influences. If you’re a music historian with a penchant for scandal, you’ll go along for a ride in his Bentley as he and Gram Parsons try to score coke somewhere in France. It’s got it all.

I was amazed constantly how he didn’t OD with the amount of drugs he ingested over the years. Despite that, he relates each anecdote with such clarity, it’s as if it all just happened. For someone with a lifetime abusing illicit drugs, he’s got a picture perfect memory.

Laugh, cry, cringe, and then do it all over again as the chapters fly by. Just don’t talk smack about Mick Jagger; Keith will cut you if you do. Only he can do that.

In the end, he gets the point across that the Stones were never geared to be a pop band. They wanted to be a blues band and that’s the end all be all for them. He is about the music foremost above anything else.

This book made me rediscover their music, and it’s a great rebirth. Keith is definitely the man.

Categories: Books

The easiest Ranch Dressing recipe and words about words

August 28, 2011 Leave a comment

If you’re like me bottled ranch dressing leaves a lot to be desired. I like it thinner, with a more oniony flavor. Think Jason’s Deli or Wing Stop. Hell, if you got a Double Dave’s or Gumby’s you know what I’m talking about. It’s what they give you with pizza rolls (don’t get me started on them boy howdy).

Check it…


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Hidden Valley Ranch mix (get the Buttermilk packet, works the best here)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp paprika

Whisk it up and put in the fridge to set for at least an hour. If you want it thinner, add more buttermilk. Erik made his special chicken wings last night for his parents and nephew, and I made the above recipe as a dip. Very tasty combination.

So, about those words…

Grad school starts again for me this week. Sometimes it’s hard to get right back into the thick of things after three months off, but it should prove fruitful. I think I’ve finally started to figure out what could be the beginnings of my Master’s project. I don’t want to say until I get final approval from my advisor, but it’s shaping up. Hopefully he gives me the go-ahead.

A couple of weeks ago I took the second part of the EnCase Computer Forensics course at the Woodlands. Erik went along as a little vacation. He proved to be a great flying companion, even giving me the window seat. What a guy, right? We had some issues with his navigation skills early on, but otherwise it was successful. As for the training, I learned more about the stuff I’m starting to tackle now like recovering files, finding files that may be intentionally renamed, and setting up custom hash sets. Things are much clearer now than ever before.

As for Erik, I took him to some great eateries, we strolled around Market Square, very Melrose Avenue. A highlight was finding Borders bookstore having a huge going out of business sale. Bad for Borders, great for my bookshelf. Another was partaking in a pomegranate berry smoothie from the heavens above (sorry, I meant to say Jamba Juice). The taste buds were doing cartwheels and were sad when I was done. “More, Jen, more!” Sorry kids, no Jamba Juice around here. If there was I’d be there every other day.

I like the Woodlands. It’s not as fast paced as Metro Houston. Actually reminds me a lot of College Station, albeit with more traffic jams. However, it’s very conservative. As liberal as this gal is, it’s hard to walk into sandwich shops blaring Fox News 24/7. But hey, whatever floats your boat.

I predict that the weekdays will get busier with school, work, and martial arts classes. I find that the more I have to do, the more accomplished I feel. That’s not to say that I don’t still enjoy a few hours of reading a book or watching Arrested Development with my beloved husband. That’s cool too 🙂

Workout recommendation: Turbo Jam Lower Body Jam

August 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Turbo Jam Lower Body Jam


Want to know what’s one of the most lethal pieces of workout equipment? Check it:

Resistance band: evil little thing


This workout works the lower body with very little equipment: A resistance band, set of hand weights, and a mat. Very easy to follow along with Chalene’s usual fun method of instruction. And clocking in under 30 minutes, you can get it done in record time 🙂 I find it a great addition to a regular workout regimen.

Categories: Health and Fitness

Shake your tailfeather baby…

August 25, 2011 Leave a comment

About halfway through Keith Richards’ “Life”. It’s a great read. He tells his many stories with great detail and humor. Even though they’ve sold millions of records and concert tickets, the Stones are still a blues band at heart. I dig that.

Categories: Music

Musings about musings

August 23, 2011 Leave a comment

To muse or not to muse about random things… to muse it is:

  • Slowing down to a crawl in order to throw exact change into a toll booth collection basket. Unless of course your husband is nagging you to do the opposite, so you speed up and you lose a couple of quarters, thereby delaying the process even more. He is not meant to be a navigator when I’m driving, so so FIRED!
  • A large domestic feline decides she’s hungry at 5 am, hops on the bed, and stomps all over my head and body, all the while purring like everything is all good.
  • putting a couple of bricks behind the back tires of a vehicle parked on an incline may not exactly be enough to stop it from rolling backward if it truly has no brake action. I envision it to be parked in the neighbor’s lawn across the street when I come home from work.
  • Everyone blames the firewall. Always. Even if it wasn’t the original problem.


And so, in the vein of randomness and randomosity (is SO a word!), enjoy:



Categories: Musings about things

Book review: Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives

August 21, 2011 1 comment

Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of CaptivesZoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives by Thomas French

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An eye opening look into the inner workings of a zoo in Tampa, Florida (Lowry Park Zoo). The animal excerpts are poignant, funny, silly, and tear-inducing all at the same time, the human ones as well. It’s interesting to see how the author compares their human counterparts to the animals, showing that there really isn’t much difference between man and ape, between humans and animals. In one way or another, we all act the same; some just stand better and have less hair.

It’s not a candy-coated look by any means, so be warned.

Categories: Books

Restaurant Recommendation: Pit Master BBQ (The Woodlands, TX)

August 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Pit Master's Sliced Brisket Sandwich

If you’re anywhere in the Houston area any time soon and are feeling the need for some down home beefs and porks and chickens (turkey too), stop on by this place. The prices are reasonable, the staff is very friendly, and it’s not too hard to find (right off of Sawdust Road and I-45).

I had a chopped pork sandwich that had everything one wants in barbecue: it was moist, tender, flavorful (mesquite FTW) and plenty of it. They add a little of their special sauce, and give you a whole bottle at the table if you want more. The spousal unit had the sliced brisket sandwich (pictured), which he enjoyed immensely.

Then there was the peach cobbler. The first time I went to this place back in March I wanted to try it but had to rush back from lunch to training. This time, there was time enough, and it was SO worth it. Ask for a little scoop of Blue Bell Vanilla, it complements the dish very well.

My husband at first had some misgivings. I was originally going to take him down to the Salt Grass Steakhouse, but we were thwarted by the Fates. By the time we got there for dinner, we were told that the kitchen had lost power. Say huh? So I suggested Pit Master; he was like, “ok, whatever, but I really wanted Salt Grass.” Well, let’s just say he forgot all about the meh-ness very quickly.

Two enthusiastic thumbs up from me. If you want more info, here’s their website. Enjoy!

Categories: Restaurant Reviews
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