Monthly Archives: April 2012

Potato Pancakes

I couple of years ago I started making potato pancakes.  Some of my early efforts were miserable. Too much flour, undercooked, no seasoned enough. They were not inedible, they just were not what I was looking to create.

Early on I leaned on tons of garlic. It is an easy choice- my wife and I do not know the meaning of the phrase “Too much garlic”.  Even so I wanted to pull back from heavy garlic as I was cooking almost every dish I made at the time with enough garlic to take out a vampire.

I moved onto Thyme.  I used too much of that as well. Apparently most of the world finds thyme to be an extremely strong herb.  I learned to scale back on that too, though I still feel thyme is rather tame.

I settled on a garlic, thyme cake using either red potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes. At this point I use use no flour. If they are not cooked at the right temperature they tend to fall apart, but otherwise I feel the flavor is better.  I also have a fantastic mandolin for cutting the spuds and onions now which has added fantastic texture.

Early on I tried to add different ingredients. I like to make a rosemary cake, but I need to use fresh herbs for that one..  I also made a tasty one that had maple breakfast sausage in it.

I made a batch tonight. I had to do a power clean of the kitchen (due to overdue) and in between sessions I decided to use the last few potatoes.  We are out of black pepper, well we had less than a teaspoon.  I used it, but added 25 coriander seeds.  Salt, pepper, onion, coriander and egg. I cook all my cakes with a light layer of olive oil on the pan.

While not a hard day cooking is a nice cool down, especially when making a favorite dish. Very relaxing, kind of like this song.


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Posted by on 04/30/2012 in Dirt, Weekapaug Groove


The impressions of music

I remember going to local record stores with my Dad and brother when we were young.  I don’t remember if it was a Cavages or a Record Theater but they had all the 8 tracks behind glass.  The 8 track I have the fondest memory of is Loggins and Messina- Best of Friends. 

House at Pooh Corner is a favorite, but back then other songs really had an impact on me. Vahevala is probably one of the few songs I have ever danced to without any self consciousness.  I remember my twin brother and I dancing like fools around a table that my dad built.

The song opens with a whistle and Kenny kind of whistfully talking about a trip leading to Jamaica and then BAM!  Vahevala!  I really remember enjoying how the song changed tone.  Listening to it now, well it certainly has the feel of a song written in the 70’s.  I also loved the percussion/woodwind  interlude.


Danny’s Song. Awesome song, many people like the Anne Murray version more (we had an Anne Murray 8-track as well) but I am a Kenny guy- I will go into the Danger Zone on that one, yeah I am alright.  This song has more impact listening to it as a parent.



Angry Eyes and Be Free made an interesting opening to the album in their contrast.  We really enjoyed it all and what choice did you really have with 8 tracks? Many times I remember attempting to skip  from one track to the other,  attempting to fast forward to song 3 on track 4 and hitting track 5 instead.

The song I remember doing it the most with was The Ballad of John and Yoko the Beatles compilation we had.  I also remember doing the same with the Star Wars Soundtrack.  It was influential in many play session with the Star Wars figures. How can you recreate the Greedo shooting without the Cantina theme.

As I started with, so I shall end.  The House at Pooh Corner has had the lasting impact off that 8 track.  It brings a smile to my face when I listen to it.




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Posted by on 04/28/2012 in Weekapaug Groove


And with the 10th Selection of the 2012 NFL Draft the Buffalo Bills Select

Stephon Gilmore, Cornerback South Carolina

I don’t hate it. It suggests to me that McGee is 50/50 on a recovery to his past play and that Leodis may not make it through camp.  Good Buddy, get us a solid tackle prospect and a tall receiver!

Luke Kuechly


That is what I hope happens. Sure, the have Kelvin Sheppard in the middle and he was very impressive in his first year. From all I have read or heard in the last week Kuechly can play all three positions, is an excellent pass defender and has great character.  Great character was a staple of the Super Bowl teams of the 90’s. We had our wild personalities and we had our grounded players. Kent Hull, Pete Metzelaars, Steve Tasker, Shane Conlon, I could go on.

I seem to be much less worried about left tackle than most people. Chris Hairston had a good season when healthy and the Bills are sure to draft at least one, though probably two OT’s during the draft. I suspect if they only chose one they have their eye on a few undrafted free agents.

I don’t mind most any defensive pick, but I bristle at Michael Floyd at WR.  I am sure we can use some competition at WR, but if they do what they should and tinker the offense to take advantage of a potent running game the Bills stand a chance to make the playoffs.

I do feel that way every year, but this one in particular has a magic feel to it.  We retained key free agencts, from Stevie Johnson to Chad Rinehart and Kraig Urbik. In between is Scott Chandler, who may see Clemson TE Dwayne Allen come aboard (a 2nd or 3rd round hope from me).

The Mario Williams signing make me a Buddy believer and the Mark Anderson addition signals a belief that more pressure is needed and in waves.  I would try and trade Dwan Edwards (a 3-4 style defensive end) for any draft pick you can convince a needy 3-4 team to be willing to dangle.

Go get ’em Buddy and after the draft, yeah, give Freddy his due.

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Posted by on 04/26/2012 in Gamehenge


Victim or the Crime?

In Buffalo this week the trial of Dr. James Corasanti began. He is being charged with vehicular manslaughter, second degree manslaughter, leaving a deadly accident scene and tampering with evidence.

He hit Alexandria (Alix) Rice with his car on the night of July 8th 2011, that is not being disputed. His lawyers claim it was a tragic “mistake”.  Alix was launched just over half the length of a football field according to the opening statement by the prosecutors today.  It was also learned that the only thing that kept Alix from being decapitated was her skin not breaking.

Before the trial started stories started to leak that the defense was looking into Alix’s drug and behavioral issues.   As if it were not scummy enough behavior to leave the scene of the accident, surely you must agree that pointing out that there was some THC in her system was fair play right?  The man didn’t want to turn over his blood  for testing that night(a court order was obtained), but surely we must muckrake the victim.

I plan on following the Buffalo News for how this case develops.  I wonder how far Joel Daniels, Corasanti’s lead attorney, is willing to drag a dead girl in order to free his client.  I believe with all my heart that those accused of any crime deserve a right to defend themselves, but if this were Joe Funkstein, McDonald’s manager, would we be hearing about the human frailties Alix possessed?

I have thought of Alix’s parents from time to time since she was killed.  I can’t imagine the horror and pain.  I hope the judge confines the maligning of this young woman and I pray for justice and not another example of how money talks.


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Posted by on 04/26/2012 in Dirt


iJon after about a month

While losing some of that initial Dream Weaverish dazzling I have found a good middle ground with the iPhone. It is an excellent way to share pictures of my two children with people. I have not picked up our old digital camera since I switched over.

– I downloaded and have been enjoying the free USA TODAY app. I read the New York Times free version from time to time, but the incompleteness of the paper has me choosing it less and less. Yes I could pay for the full version. No, not a cost that fits right now.

– I have the WGR app, which is nice for keeping up with current home town changes in a day. I often find the writing below even my standard and many hosts seem to have a standoffish reaction to dissenting opinion.

– I use it most as an iPod at work. Whether music or pod casts when I am processing work it helps the sometimes mundane process go along easier. I can be found trying to contain my laughter or tapping a pen to the drum beat. Apparently I have started singing a few times, though I don’t remember doing so.

– A tip I learned at work (it may be in the book, I didn’t read it though)- double click the button and the apps that are open will show up in the bottom row. Close as many as you don’t need.  They drain your battery extremely fast.  I had everything open before I knew about it.

– I have not used the baseball app as much as I figured I would.  It is a long season, but at 5-14 the Padres are simply horrid right now. WItness this piece of awfulness-





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Posted by on 04/25/2012 in iJon


April 29th 1992

We are coming up to the twentieth anniversary of the riots following the acquittal 4 LA police officers in the beating of Rodney King during an arrest.  The video showed a brutal beating that included 56 baton blows and six kicks.  There was a six day riot that carried a 1 billion dollar price tag of damages.

While inexcusable the riots were a community venting its frustration. I remember the coverage on Channel One at school.  Reacquainting myself with the riots, I didn’t remember the mobilization of 10,000 National Guard troops and 1,700 federal agents by Friday May 1st, the 3rd day of the riots. I was a senior less than 2 weeks from graduation.

I have read a few commentaries on race relations since the riots.  I used to work an overnight shift at a sub shop located near bars.  I saw the bad of all races enough to recognize that ignorance doesn’t constrain itself to any one set of people.

From the drunken ignorance of being called a cracker or being on the receiving end of a Spanish diatribe on my sexuality or the disdain of some frat boy with halos of cocaine lining his nose and a stream of drug fueled bravado screaming about sauce being on his sandwich I have run the gauntlet of ignorance. It is a rainbow of nescience out there.

Of course, that was only some nights on the job. Thankfully we were usually busy enough that either the crowd policed itself or our weekend security removed the problems. It is worth noting none of these activities would end with people getting food from the establishment.

I don’t think enough people have reconciled themselves with their bigotry, it has just been driven underground. I have been in a few situations that have resulted in the end of friendships.  I won’t associate with people who are so blinded by their hatred that they continue to spew it even after they have been told it is not appreciated.  It isn’t always easy. It is however, always right.

Have we grown enough as a country that there will not be a riot if George Zimmerman is acquitted?  There have been numerous “justice beatings” in the country in the name of Trayvon.  It is extremely disrespectful to his memory not to mention the obvious lack of any logic.   So is the incident in Ohio where a highway sign briefly targeting Trayvon with a racial slur. I have my doubts about any growth.

Frank discussion is the best, though not easiest path.  It is a tall order in the smart phone world where our collective attention span is trending, not on Twitter, toward housefly.

*edit- Last nights reaction to Joel Ward’s goal is a prime example of  the ignorance still prevalent in our society. I wonder how many of the people who tweeted racist comments to Joel Ward would actually say it to his face.

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Posted by on 04/25/2012 in Dirt


Shannon Hoon

Like most people I was introduced to Blind Melon via “that Bee girl song”.  While there was a time where that song was overplayed enough to make me turn the station,  a few years after its hey day  the song is as meaningful to me as when I first heard it.

It is not even close to my favorite Blind Melon song.  I know many people were disappointed by the remainder of the eponymous album I enjoyed most of the songs.  Shannon Hoon was a fine lyricist and while the music surrounding the music always matters to me I am more of a lyric man.  Shannon delivered.

I remember when I knew he was in trouble.  I was watching MTV’s coverage of Woodstock 94 and it appeared as if Shannon had consumed just about every substance that was thrown in front of him. He was dressed full in white with a barrette holding his hair back.  He rambled, he pondered, he pontificated, he was fucked up.  Plain and simple.

Sadly, just over a year later and on the heels of a fantastic album Shannon was found dead of a cocaine overdose. I remember being sad, yet unsurprised.

I still have some Blind Melon in the rotation, along with Nirvana, Alice in Chains*, Sublime – all groups whose new material was experienced long ago.

Three of my favorite Blind Melon songs-





* Why couldn’t Jerry Cantrell just have used a different name after Layne died…

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Posted by on 04/25/2012 in Weekapaug Groove