Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cesar Chavez Day

Remembering Cesar Chavez on his birthday and on Cesar Chavez Day. He would have been 88 today. He eschewed fame and commercialism and remained humble and dedicated to his cause all of his life This is what real American heroes do.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The End of an Era as Boeing Pieces Together the Last C-17

I miss this more than I can say, more than I thought I would. I think all of us to some degree or another feel the same way. A large chunk of our lives was spent on this project. It's tough watching a program like this come to an end, tougher still to not be a part of the final stage. God Bless to all my past coworkers and the best of luck to all of you! It's been an honor. All good things come to an end.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine by Tom T. Hall

Tom T. Hall's, "Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine", has been at the top of my favorite songs list for decades. There has always been a somewhat soulful melancholic feeling to the song. One of regret, or perhaps a remembrance of past mistakes or misplaced priority. A shedding of all things that no longer seem important. In many ways, this is a man's song. It speaks to the heart of a man that has lived a full life.

I have placed two separate renditions of "Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine". The two performance take place at different times in Hall's career. Both are outstanding but it is in the second video, performed in 2011, that a much older Hall really shows the depth of his understanding of his old song. It is a deeply poignant song made all the richer by a voice that has developed a patina of sorts, weathered by the years and a lifetime of experience. The performance is a simple one, devoid of theatrics and distractions. Just a man and his guitar but it is a moving performance.You can see it in the audience. They are spellbound. The song strikes an emotional chord with me. I consider this song to be, not only one of the all time great Country & Western songs but one of the great songs.of any genre. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

On the second video Hall chats with the audience for a few minutes. If you want to skip the talk go to the 3:50 minute mark on the video.

Waste Not, Want Not.........

Carnitas Burrito

Carnitas Burrito

Yesterday's dinner becomes today's lunch and yesterday's pot of beans became today's refried beans mixed with chorizo and becomes a filling for my lunch time carnitas burrito. Some times a good meal is better the second time around.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tacos de Carnitas

Tacos de Carnitas

Jeri and I were getting in touch with our roots today with some homemade carnitas ,pinto beans and pico de gallo. We made soft tacos or "Tacos de Carnitas". It was an outstanding meal. I went back for seconds and got my fill. It was time consuming but definitely worth the wait.

Also, the plate in the photo is one of two that was purchased by my mother in the mid 60's. It's at least 50 years old. The other plate is green and with a different pattern. I rarely use either one but made an exception today.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rio Hondo Golf Course

Rio Hondo Golf Course

My father, Andrew De La O, was quite the golfer back in the day. He played in tournaments throughout Southern California and as far away as Florida. He enjoyed the sport. I golfed with my father numerous times when I was growing up and I did enjoy it but as an adult I have never golfed. It just was not my cup of tea.

This picture was taken, according to the date on the placard, in May of 1964, at the old Rio Hondo Golf Course in Pico Rivera, California. Which seems strange because according to Wikipedia, the course was built in 1965. I cannot find any other record of its existence. I might have to take a drive and see if it's still around just out of curiosity.

My father is second from the left. This was a company sponsored event with the Sherman and Bertram Company. My father and the man on the left of my father in the photo, Jesse Gonzalez, were top union officials in the Upholsterer's International Union (UIU) - my father eventually became the president of the UIU - and were either representing the company or the union in this event.

Addendum:  Seems I was confusing the Rio Hondo Golf Course in Downey, which was built in 1924, with the nearby Pico Rivera Municipal Golf, which was built in 1964. The above photograph was taken at the Rio Hondo Golf Course in Downey, California in 1965. Thanks to my friend Roger Helderle for the info.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Coffee Cups, Family and Good Friends........

Coffee Cup

I got up a little later than usual this morning. I'll blame the time change for that. it's all good though, my time is my own now. I just finished my breakfast of scrambled eggs and biscuits that Jeri made and I'm enjoying one more cup of coffee.

I collect coffee cups, kinda, sorta, I didn't set out to collect them, it just happened. I have every cup we ever bought while on vacation somewhere, as well as the coffee cups given to me by my children and grandchildren over the years. I have cups that were given to me by friends that I worked with years ago at McDonnell Douglas and Boeing, that brought me back coffee cups from their home states.

The cupboard is overflowing with these cups and I have two boxes in the garage filled with coffee cups. I never could bring myself to get rid of them. Maybe someday, when we get around to remodeling the kitchen, I'll build some type of display rack.

I rarely drink from the same cup two days in a row. My morning cup of coffee is also the time I use to reflect about things. Sometimes, it's about family, sometimes it's old friends or places my wife and I have been too.

This morning, I'm drinking my coffee from a cup my son gave me about ten years ago, or thereabouts, when he was in Alaska. It's from Amelia's Restaurant in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. I chose this cup this morning because my son Andrew is on my mind. We had such a great talk on the phone the other night and it is still on my mind. Drinking my coffee from this cup keeps him close to me.

Good Morning and have a beautiful Sunday!

Friday, March 06, 2015

Kale Soup with Pearled Barley, Navy Beans and Chicken Sausage

Kale Soup

I have cooked with kale once before, in the delicious Portuguese soup Caldo Verde with linguicia but it has been a while. Kale is considered a Super Food by nutritionist because of the many health benefits and I have been trying to find some way to reintroduce it into my regular diet again.  

Last night, off the top of our heads, we made a Kale Soup with pearled barley, navy beans and chicken sausage. We sauteed carrots, onion and celery (mirepoix) and garlic in Spanish olive oil along with fresh bay leaves and seasoned with salt and pepper. 

We browned the sausage and then added the beans, kale and barley in that order allowing the beans to completely cook before adding the kale and barley and the seasoning one more time. Th hole process took about 2 1/2 hours and was really delicious.

Looking back I should have browned the sausage first, both for color and added taste, then the mirepoix. Next time!