My Exciting Life

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Yesterday I cleaned my keyboard. It sparkles like… um… a really clean keyboard.

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Winner, winner, Kraft Dinner!

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Cheese Paté Pineapple

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Cheese-Paté Pineapple

2 pkg (3-oz size) cream cheese
2/3 cup prepared mustard
2 1/2 lb natural sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 jar (2 oz) small pimiento-stuffed olives, drained
1 fresh green pineapple frond

1. In large bowl of electric mixer, combine cream cheese and mustard: beat, at medium speed, until well blended.

2. At low speed, gradually beat in grated cheese, to combine well.

3. Turn mixture onto wooden board. With hands, knead until smooth and pliable.

4. Refrigerate cheese mixture until chilled and able to be molded – about 45 minutes.

5. With hands, roll mixture into a cylinder. Place cylinder flat on cookie sheet; underside will be back of “pineapple.”

6. Mold into pineapple shape, about 5 1/2 inches long, 15 inches around at widest part, 10 1/2 inches at narrowest part.

7. cut olives crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Carefully place olive slices on cheese in straight horizontal rows, arranging them so vertical rows run on diagonal (see photograph).

8. Using a wooden pick make diagonal lines, 1/8 inch deep, between rows of olive slices.

9. Cover with saran. Refrigerate, still on cookie sheet, until serving time (overnight, if desired).

10. To serve: With broad spatula, carefully remove cheese-pineapple from cookie sheet to serving platter, standing it upright on broadest end. (Flat side becomes the back of the pineapple.)

11. Place pineapple frond on top. Surround with small crackers, for spreading. Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.

Makes enough to spread 180 crackers.

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I don’t understand the dimensions in step 6 – they seem a little bizarre. Just mold your cheese into something that looks like half a pineapple, approximately life size. I didn’t bother to stand it up – I thought it looked better laid out on a platter (also easier to dig into).

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Birthday girls

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Cheeeeeeeeeeese

If I was going to make this again, I’d add more stuff to it to make it more interesting – like chopped onion. I’d also use less mustard.

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It makes a lot of cheese ball, so if you’re not serving a big crowd you’re going to have a lot left over.

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Die, Camera Theiving Scum!

Or, how I spent my summer vacation.

I took the train to Vancouver with my friend Marlena and went directly from the Via Rail station to the ferry to Victoria. On board the ferry I guess I set my camera down on a seat to take off my hoodie and walked off without it. A while later I realized I didn’t have my camera, but I couldn’t remember exactly where I was when I set it down. I looked all over and informed the chief steward (or whatever that person is called), but to no avail. Gone, gone, gone. Lost and likely stolen.

I don’t really wish death on the thief – just a pang of conscience that will make them do the right thing and turn it in to BC Ferries. I don’t really hold out much hope, but I’ll be checking this site regularly. I’m most angry at myself for being so careless. I tried losing my camera (and other items) on the train trip several times, but my travel companion was always there to remind me to gather my things. I think I need a personal assistant with me at all times to pick up after me.

Other than that, it was a great vacation.

I don’t have any photographs to show, but I do have a few crappy sketches I did on the train – something we did to amuse ourselves in the dome car. The idea was to do quick sketches of other people without looking down at the page. Here’s some dude in a ball cap (as seen from behind):

Sometimes he faced forward and sometimes he turned his head to the side, so I incorporated both views into the sketch which is what makes it look so “cubist”. The circle thing at the bottom is the latch for the fold-down tray of the seat behind.

Here’s another dude I sketched:

I don’t remember much about him – I think he may have had a bald spot. I think he also moved around a lot while I was trying to draw him.

We also attempted portraits of each other. Here’s the sketch Marlena did of me:

Because Marlena is a real artist, her drawing actually resembles the subject and not a wiener dog. Here’s my drawing of her:

I’d say it looks like Bette Davis in her declining years crossed with a sock puppet. At least it made Marlena snort with laughter.

One of my reasons for this trip was to see Patrick Watson perform at Vancouver’s art deco Vogue Theatre. Neither disappointed (though the Vogue was a little shabbier than I was expecting). I took these pictures last year (click to enlarge):


This Vancouver Sun article has some nice interior photos of the theatre (click on the “photos” tab).

I love me some Patrick Watson (in a manly, non-carnal way), and this was as close as he’s coming to Edmonton on this tour. Here’s a YouTube video from the Vancouver concert:

And here’s an official video from his wonderful new album Adventures In Your Own Backyard. It was shot at a Ukrainian hall in Montreal and the painted backdrop reminds me of the Ukrainian hall “back home” in rural Saskatchewan where there was a cousin or uncle getting married nearly summer of my youth.


Sorry, sorry, sorry

…for the long silence. I’ll be back to blogging shortly.

How do you like the new theme? I got tired of Matala, especially the default border around the images that I had to manually remove each time. Pretty minimal, isn’t it? In my offline life I have “maximalist” tendencies, but online I gravitate to spare, uncluttered design.

This theme (called “Sundance”) is meant to highlight video posts, so I created a “featured video carousel” at the top of the blog – but it was buggy so I removed it (it kept displaying other videos from the blog besides the ones that were embedded in the post. Also, it made the blog really slow to load).

See you soon.

Sit yourself down…

and take a load off.

As of Thursday you’ll have another option of where to park your tush in upholstered comfort when you come over for a visit at the ol’ Bachelor Bastion.

That is to say, I bought a couch this weekend. Guess which one and tell me why:

No.1

No. 2

No. 3

No. 4

No. 5

No. 6

No. 7

No. 8

No. 9

I’m really looking forward to seeing your guesses. It would also really amuse me if you gave each of these couches a name.