Congratulations my friend, my brother!

May 13, 2010

My best friend is graduating from George Mason University tomorrow with a Masters in Technology Management.  Over the last 18 months countless hours studying and entire Saturdays which have been spent in pursuit of advancing his education, career and personal growth.  Though there have been sacrifices know this my friend in the end it will all be worth it!  I envy your drive and desire and someday hope accomplish similar feats.   As you prepare to leave for Asia to wrap up your studies, you should be happy and excited.   In the TechMan program you and your four teammates had winning success with your Capstone project.

May your success be many and your failures few; but provide lessons for growth.  You should be proud of what you have achieved, I am proud of what you have achieved.

Know that all of the struggles, stresses and sleepless nights your efforts will be ever rewarded.   Continue moving ahead one foot in front of the other.  Don’t trip tomorrow when you are walking on stage, don’t ever loose my number and keep that “Duct Tape” close at hand, you never know when you may need it…

Congratulations my friend, my brother!

Oh what to write about?

April 28, 2010

First to send props out to the Orlando Magic sweeping the Charlotte Bobcats right out of the playoffs.  Being the first team to advance, only sweep and showing no signs of stopping even when we are down, I feel this is going to be a great April, May June for Orlando.

Lindsay and I will be attending a Dads & Daughter Cinderella Ball in May hosted by the Girl Scouts, I am looking forward spending this special time with her.  In mid May I am headed back to Southern California for a week, looking to get some good time in HQ, it is always refreshing.  While I am there I am also hoping to hook up with some old and possibly new friends.  I have started contemplating what my next speech for Toastmasters, Project # 2 Organize your Speech.  As this comes together I will update it here and when I deliver it, I will be sure to use a better video camera to capture the moment.

Last weekend we watched Avatar, I did enjoy the movie, just not quite sure what all the hype was about.  It is becoming more and more interesting to me to think and imagine what process went into dreaming up this story and in all movies for that matter, but wow, vivid and creative just barely cover the adjectives needed here.

Oh well I have a few meetings today and I will be out and about in a real office for the rest of the day.

L8tr all

Toastmaster Ice Breaker (Competent Communicator Project #1) 04/22/2010

April 23, 2010

Last night I delivered my first speech at the Omni Toastmasters 6861 club in Lake Mary Florida.  My task was to deliver a 4 – 6 minute speech introducing myself to the club members and its guests. The speech recorded on my Blackberry and has been uploaded here – http://tinyurl.com/37r5zt7.  I spent a total of about 3 hours working on this over the last few days and I found the experience similar to what I perceive movie makers must go through when cut scenes from a movie to make sure a great product is delivered to theaters.

The first version was full of information, important yet extraneous and the run through was 7’30”, way to long.  I was shooting for about 5’30” and with that I started cutting.  The finished product was delivered in 5′ 22″, provided the information I felt was important to define what was not said; after the speech I received great informal and formal feedback both constructive and positive that I will apply towards my future projects.  For my effort, as with everyone’s first, I was awarded my “Speech #1, The Ice Breaker” ribbon at the end of the meeting .

As always, please let me know what you are thinking and do not forget to subscribe to receive email when the blog is updated.  L8TR

Saturday Night Baking…

April 17, 2010

When Saturday is not over before it starts with family activities, I enjoy watching Saturday morning Food Network shows.  Today April 17, 2010 was one of those days.  This entire weekend for that matter is event free, Sunday night we will be tuned in to watch the Orlando magic begin the run to the championship, lest I digress to my main point.  One of the shows this morning was Tyler Florence and one of the items he made was Berry Scones with an Orange Honey Butter spread.  Well I just so happen to be looking for a breakfast item to make for my wife for a special event.  With that I decided to make these scones but for this event I have replaced the fruit with chocolate chunks and did not make the homemade butter this round.

What are scones you ask, “The scone is a small British quickbread (or cake if recipe includes sugar) of Scottish origin. Scones are especially popular in the United Kingdom …”

Well after a long day of doing nothing but playing on the Wii with my daughter and beginning some items from my to do list, we ventured to the grocery store.  After all the parcels had been emptied and the kitchen was clean, I embarked on making my test batch of chocolate chip scones.  This is the first time I have ever made scones, but I have to say the name sounds complex, but this couldn’t have been easier.  Of course I used a recipe (see below), but execution is as important.  These tasty breaded cakes took about 40 minutes from ingredients to my panel of taste testers plates.  I used my food processor to make the base of the dough and then hand folded in the buttermilk and chocolate chips.  I think the key to getting these things baked perfectly is a very heavy baking sheet for even heating with no hot or cool spots while in the oven.  So without further ado the final product…

The taste testers unanimously agreed that these were fantastic and moving forward to the event version, they will be scaled down in size for a greater yield but the flavor should be as wonderful as their full size cousins.

The recipe:

BERRY BUTTERMILK SCONES

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling scones
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mixed berries, washed and dried (e.g. blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) or other desired filling
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F.


In a food processor bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add cold butter cubes and pulse until you have the texture of coarse bread crumbs. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, then add 3/4 cup of buttermilk and stir to combine. As it comes together add berries and fold dough to incorporate berries but not break them up too much.

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Using a pastry brush, paint the tops of each scone lightly with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until golden brown, and nice and puffy, about 17 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack.

*I think another alternative could be finely diced apple flesh

Enjoy

Fail – FedEx

April 14, 2010

so I thought the above was funny… today I was sending a 35lbs box 18x18x18 to our California office using our new FedEx corporate account. When pricing the shipping options these were my choices, amusing to say the least…

*great services but thought this was odd

I am still here…

April 14, 2010

I have been very busy lately, but I haven’t forgotten or given up on this here venture. I am always contemplating new topics or different genres. As always your suggestions are welcome and do not forget to subscribe to get update emails when the blog is updated.

Every day I have thoughts running through my head about what to write about, but time is always the challenge. Over the last weekend, we had a sick kid in the house and that kept us up and not feeling well either. Then of course work is there all the time and many after work hour commitments. Seems that as soon as I realize free time, something else slips on in and takes up that empty spot.

So keep that in mind, don’t give up on me as I haven’t given up on this…

(I do change the sub-header quote weekly)

My Favorite Quotes

April 2, 2010

Normally towards the end of each week I change the subtitle of my page to one of my favorite quotes.  I collect them and keep them as I journey along.  I find that some have a special meaning, some describe me or how I feel of course there are the funny ones too.  What I do know is that most of them were said in the course of other context but these are the bytes that stand out.  I do not always look for the source or research the quoted individual; I just know these make me think and smile.  So instead of adding just one, this week I decided to post some off of my list of favorites, if you look closely you may even see one or two that have been coined by yours truly. So without further ado…THE LIST!

Thomas Jefferson – “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower – “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – “There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.”

Putt’s Law – Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand.

Howard Brenner – “I feel like an island of right on an ocean of wrong”

Abraham Maslow – “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

William J. H. Boetcker – “That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.”

Aristotle – “All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.”

Krishnamurti – “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

Steven Wright – “Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.”

Plato – “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”

Mark Twain – “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”

Howard Brenner – “Professional helplessness is a disease that should be treated with shock therapy…”

Abraham Lincoln – “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Dan Rather – “An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger.”

Edgar Allen Poe – “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”

H.H. Williams – “Furious activity is no substitute for understanding.”

Peter Drucker – “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

James Thurber – “Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone?”

Richard Bach – “The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.”

Robert Frost – “The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.”

Barry LePatner – “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”

Howard Brenner – “Great quotes are now limited to thoughts containing less than 140 characters!  Lest you cannot propagate your musings on Twitter…” (09/30/09)

Sir Francis Bacon – “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.”

Mark Twain – “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”

Kevin Rose – “I don’t care what it is, when it has an LCD screen, it makes it better.”

Albert Einstein – “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

G.H. Hardy – “It is not worth an intelligent man’s time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that.”

Thomas A. Edison – “Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.”

Paul Fix – “The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory.”

John H. Patterson – “An executive is a person who always decides; sometimes he decides correctly, but he always decides.”

Napoleon Bonaparte – “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

Chinese Proverb – “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”

Alec Bourne – “It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated.”

Anonymous – “Time is that quality of nature which keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn’t seem to be working.”

Terry Prachett – “I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.”

Albert Einstein – “The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

William Wrigley Jr. – “When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary.”

Robert Frost – “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–/ I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.”

Isaac Asimov – “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny …'”

Howard Brenner – Sometimes the sign of a good leader is to know when to follow.

Unknown – “Talk is cheap, especially when supply exceeds demand.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower – Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

Alexandre Ledru-Rollin – There go the people. I must follow them for I am their leader.

Confucius – The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.

E. V. Lucas – “I have noticed that the people who are late are often so much jollier than the people who have to wait for them.”

Henry Stimson – “The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him.”

Ronald Reagan – “Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.’ And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.”

Malcolm Forbes – “It’s so much easier to suggest solutions when you don’t know too much about the problem.”

Dr. Seuss – Be who you are and say how you feel because those who don’t matter mind, and those who matter don’t mind

Mahatma Gandhi – 7 blunders of the world * Wealth without work* * Pleasure without conscience* * Knowledge without character* * Commerce without morality* * Science without humanity* * Worship without sacrifice* * Politics without principle*

Publilius Syrus – Any one can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

Flannery O’Connor – “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”

Howard Brenner – “Solution oriented shouldn’t contain steps on passing the buck”

New Direction… Journalism as a career path

April 1, 2010

As of today, I have decided to pursue Journalism as a career path. Based on my nine blog posts (10 including this one) 1 of which is a coming soon note and another is a re-post along with zero ratings and who knows how many people are subscribed (clearly in single digits); this is my calling, my destiny, I am the one. In the next 3 weeks I have my eyes focused on the Pulitzer!
Yes my friends, this is my calling and my place. Be happy for me, do not talk me out of it, I am committed and focused. After I conquer the media world with my musings, ramblings and regurgitated information my choices will be endless. Wish me luck and stay in touch along the way.

L8tr, peace out and good night…
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(BTW APRIL FOOLS)

Matzo Meals…Desserts

March 30, 2010

For a 2nd night Seder this year, we have been invited to celebrate Passover with some good friends.  Personally I am looking forward to this, as we have not had a large Seder in quite some time.  This is great on many levels not the least of which is spending time with friends.  Well the reason for this entry is to lay down some Pesach recipes that I hope will help enlighten your views, use and appreciation for the …bread of affliction… Matzo.  This unleavened bread serves as a reminder to the haste with which our ancestors made their leave from Egypt and their bondage.  Back in these changing biblical times, Matzo was a necessary means of nourishment; however today we can use it to make just about anything.  Here are two recipes for desserts I used for tonight’s Seder.  The 1st one is not a Passover recipe but it has been modified to use matzo in place of crackers – Chocolate Breakup and the 2nd is from the Food Network’s website, Passover Page Passover Cobbler.

Please keep in mind that for full Pesach Kosher, you must ensure all ingredients are Kosher for Passover specific.

Chocolate Breakup:

  • 1 – 12oz package of semi-sweet chips
  • ½ C sugar
  • 1t Vanilla extract
  • (Non Passover 35 Saltines)
  • 3 Whole Matzo
  • 1 Stick of Butter (room temperature)
  • 1sm bag of nuts (optional) for top – walnuts/pecans/almonds

Preheat Oven to 350°.  On a large cookie sheet with sides, places the matzo (whole or broken) in a single layer covering the entire sheet.  Melt butter, vanilla and sugar over medium low heat in a small sauce pan, whisk to ensure the mix is well incorporated.  Pour the mixture over the matzo and spread evenly.  Then spread chocolate chips over again spreading evenly and place in oven for 5-7 minutes.  When the break-up comes out of the oven, using a metal spatula (easiest) spread the chips to smooth in to an icing like presentation, add nuts if desired.  Once pan has cooled considerably, place in freezer or refrigerator to completely cool (a few hours).  Once this is done, break it up and place in a plastic bag to complete the breakup job if needed.  That’s it and enjoy.

Passover Cobbler:

(FoodNetwork.com © 2010 Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved)

  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾C sugar
  • ¼C kosher for Passover vegetable oil
  • ¾C matzo meal
  • 2T potato starch
  • 1t course kosher salt
  • 6 to 8C peeled and sliced fruit, like apples, pears, and strawberries
    • (I used about 6 medium sized Gala Apples)
  • 1/8 cup cinnamon sugar (or more if needed)

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil a 9 by 9-inch square baking pan.  Beat eggs with sugar until well blended. Add the oil, matzo meal, potato starch and salt and blend well.  Put all the fruit in the pan and sprinkle with most of the cinnamon sugar, reserving a little for the top. Spoon the batter over the fruit, covering as much of the fruit as you can. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.  Bake until the topping is set and just turning tan, about 45 minutes. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.  Adorn with Cool Whip or a scoop of your favorite Vanilla ice cream.

Both look delicious, the breakup is fantastic (easier to taste without cutting inJ).  All in all matzo is not just for butter and brei anymore, although they are still as awesome as always.  Let me know if you have a favorite way to enjoy this flat flour delicacy; what are your family favorites and traditions?  I will leave you with a little ditty I wrote while eating my egg salad on matzo sandwich today:

(Sing to the tune of ‘Pants on the Ground’)

  • Crumbs in your beard,
  • Matzo on your shirt,
  • Looking all Jewish on Passover,
  • With your Matzo crumbs all around!

Chag Pesach Sameach, Happy Passover.

Linxter Selected to Join the Microsoft BizSpark One Program

March 29, 2010

Linxter Selected to Join the Microsoft BizSpark One Program

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