Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spring Cleaning!

Today as Morgan and I were packing for my great adventure to the bay area for a week of learning how to keep time; we noticed a few things were missing. As we opened our blind in our bedroom after a long gloomy winter, we both were energized by the sun and "Spring Cleaning" was embedded into our minds. So it has begun, we through out some old drooled on pillows and did some dusting to eliminate the dust Rabbits (too big to be dust bunnies), and put some things in their correct locations like threatened so many times. But now I must end this happy occasion of cleaning to embark on my road trip for day. Until next week, the cleaning will have to wait.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bathroom lineup.

Today Morgan and I had one of those days that just seems to go perfect. We started the morning out by a little date out on the town with a jalapeno and cream cheese bagal. Then we went on a search for some kind of paneling to put on the wall of our bathroom. We are going to be completely gut and redo our bathroom from the ground up. It will have a pedestal sink, toilet, and a double slipper cast iron free standing tub with full wraparound shower curtain. We didn't want to just buy some cheap wainscoting paneling from a mass super store. We went to a family owned lumber company and with some discussing of what we wanted we found it. We found 3" tongue and groove redwood strips that will leave a 1/4" groove in-between each board. It is perfect. We went over to a local cabinet shop and he is going to set us up with a custom made chair rail to fit our boards. We now have 132 boards stacked, with stickers(spacers) in between each row, in our babies room curing to the temp. and humidity of our house. So stay tuned for more pics and updates when construction starts in on week from today.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What to do?

Morgan and I took a trip to San Fransisco a couple of years back. We stayed in the top floor of this lovely hotel. In fact our room is the one on the corner with the heart in it. We had all three windows on the corner, which led itself to great views of the streets below. I even woke up to a 1am fight in the middle of the street!
The next morning we awoke and went down to eat breakfast at the "Cafe do Brasil". Yes this is Brazilian food. It was excellent and quite satisfying. Ever since then Morgan and I have had a desire to eat at different restaurants, cafe's, and small places serving food and drink. This quest has been a slow one but one that has been thoroughly enjoyed. We have shared food and drinks in many different places all across California and parts of Oregon. Our journey will continue throughout our lives as this is something that we both enjoy doing together.
I regret to say that some of the places that we have eaten are now closed. Some of the noted are "The Shack" downtown Redding and tonight I found out that the "Cafe do Brasil" is no more. These restaurants are forever in our memories. So get out there and eat at some place off the beaten path before it too succumbs to the downfall of America: the chain.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Riding in Redding.

Tonight I took my Schwinn out on a little ride down to the river. I have spent a lot of time down by the river since I moved into the garden tract just reflecting on life. Tonight I brought down my bike to snap some still shots of it by the water under the light of our magnificent Sun Dial Bridge. I love riding this bike. With only one gear and tall skinny tires, it just glides down the road silently and with ease.
Tonight was a cool night without a star in the sky. As I rode down to the waters edge all the cares of the world were flushed away by the soothing sound of the river flowing by. The grass was dewy from the moist air just teasing rain. The wind was calm and the light cast from the bridge sent a glow out over the water. While looking out over the calm flowing river, I am reminded of all the history of the area and what the river symbolizes for Redding. I think about times I have spent trying to catch one of the many trout that are seen jumping out of the water. About Morgan and I floating down the river in our kayaks. And about the future the river will play in my life. It is a place were I can take my wife and future children to get away from the busy world. Where they will learn to ride a bike, see fish jump, birds fly, and beavers play. A place were many fish may be caught. A place that someday Morgan and I can go and look back on our lives and reflect. As I rode away tonight silently into the dark, I felt refreshed and at peace.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jim the plumber.

When you think of a plumber, 3 things come to mind: gross smells, fresh water, and crack. But did you know you should also think of littlejim? Well I too was a plumber and am on call to practice just like a doctor does. Tomorrow I will be doing one of my favorite things, snaking drains. A neighbor of mine has drain pipes in her house that are clogged just like in the photo. Not good at all! But worse off than that is there is a slight nuisance clog in her main only accessible via pulling the toilet.
So tomorrow I will be pulling the toilet and reaching down there and unclogging what ever is in the way. Ha, if only it were that easy! A snake will be in order and hopefully it resolves the problem till this summer when I can get under the house and replace the clogged pipes leading up to this and install a two way clean out. And you said plumbers are expensive! Well true, but do you want to handle other peoples waste? I didn't think so. So next time you turn on that water or use the john, think of littlejim.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

National Pancake Day!

Today is National Pancake Day! And because my darling wife found this out; she now wants pancakes for dinner! So, below is a cherished family recipe, starting with me, that I use to make mouth watering pancakes that if done right and with enough care will melt away in your mouth!
Ingredients for Homemade instant pancakes:
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (check expiration date first)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Combine all of the ingredients in a lidded container. Shake to mix.
Use the mix within 3 months.

2 eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups "Instant" Pancake Mix, recipe above
1 stick butter, for greasing the pan
2 cups fresh fruit such as blueberries, if desired

Heat an electric griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees F. Heat oven to 200 degrees F.
Whisk together the egg whites and the buttermilk in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the melted butter.Combine the buttermilk mixture with the egg yolk mixture in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the pancake mix. Using a whisk, mix the batter just enough to bring it together. Don't try to work all the lumps out! Whisk only for 12 seconds then STOP!

Check to see that the griddle is hot by placing a few drops of water onto to the griddle. The griddle is ready if the water dances across the surface. Lightly butter the griddle. Wipe off thoroughly with a paper towel. (No butter should be visible.)

Gently ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle and sprinkle on fruit if desired. When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake and the griddle-side of the cake is golden, gently flip the pancakes. Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is set. Serve immediately or remove to a towel-lined baking sheet and cover with a towel. Hold in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.Yield: 12 pancakes


Monday, February 22, 2010

Will the real EMT please stand up.

I am currently re-certifying my Emergency Medical Technician certification(EMT). I have been a EMT since 2001, and have seen more things than people would care to in their lives. During my early years, I was so nervous and unsure of myself. To be a good EMT you cant just know the basics that are taught in class. You must be able to avoid tunnel vision or becoming overwhelmed by the situation. This mentality I believe only can come from age, wisdom, and experience.
Did I just define Maturity?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

68er Cyclocross Debut.

Today I debuted my 68er cyclocross bike. It is built from a stock 1999 Voodoo Hoodoo mountain bike. I have changed the bars, seat, clip-less peddles, 32/17 non-singulater gearing, passed down on-loan cross fork, mavic ma-40 700cc wheel with a 44cm dirt tire on the front and stock rear wheel with new 1.8" KENDA tire on the rear(won today for winning age group). This is called a 68er vs. the traditional 69er because the front tire only measures 28" and not 29". Since I shed the front shock, gears, and all other none essential components; the bike went from a 32lb stocker to a race bread 23lbs!

The bike rode flawlessly today! The course was filled with a full length bmx track, pavement trails, two creek crossings, several slippery corners, and a long slippery muddy root filled back stretch that took you up a slight grade of misery! The bike took everything I gave to it. Every slippery corner was met with a predictable slide. I could not have asked for a better bike for todays race.

I rode to a sixth place finish in B-class. I won my age group and singlespeed categorys, and thankfully beat all the ladies. I would like to thank all my sponsers: Seely's Cyclery, Bikes Etc., San Fran Cup, and the Web Foot Riders! Without all these people, I would not be here today. Ride On.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Honey do list.

Today was a long filled day where my job was to embark on a series of adventures that involve doing things for us. These things are now more important than ever due to the baby on the way. Today, I got some more stuff organized in the babies room and started to finish a project.

This project was to put a 1/4" melamine back splash up in my kitchen. This was quite an adventure with only me at work. I was using some long adjustable tension poles for securing loads in semi-truck trailors. I glued the panel to the wall and with some 2x4's, steel tubing, and more wedges than a cheese factory; I got the panel installed. What a day! Now it is time to get my beauty rest for tommarows cyclocross race. Good night and one down, never ending to go!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Breakfast Time!

Eating is a passion I have had since before time. I have developed my taste buds to desire one thing above the rest: Lasagna! I really have no preference on what style or texture is used. Use Ricotta or Mozzarella. Veggies or none. But Beef and Italian Sausage are preferred.

This morning I will be dining on the last piece of my wifes award winning lasagna. She made this lasagna with all the ingredients above for my birthday. And of course she included the perfect garlic bread and even a little lemon bubbly left over from someones recent wedding, baby shower, or some happy gathering.

Anyhow, this morning it is just a big piece of lasagna and a fresh coffee press cup of Telegraph Hill Coffee Roasters coffee from San Fran Cup.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How does one come to be called "littlejim"?

In a distant town far south of hear 28 years ago; a furry 3.5 lb baby boy was born to parents Stan and June Ausboe. The story could stop here with 3.5 lbs being the sole reason. But it doesn't. You see the true beginning of "littlejim" happened a couple of months into my life when we took a trip to Crescent City.

Crescent City is home to my dad's best friend from the Navy during the Vietnam War. His Name is as you guessed it Jim. "littlejim" just was meant to be when you put a new born baby boy into the arms of a 6' tall boxer. From that moment on we were referred too as "little" and "Big" Jim. Because of him I have grown to love the coast, boats, and many other things that I just don't enjoy enough. Even to this day I still call him "Big Jim".

Through my life littlejim has come into play several times. There was once a man also named Jim, who came to stay on Big Jim's land for a while. I have memories of him drying his pants on the hood of a blue datsun pickup. But these pants seemed to cover half the hood being they were so big. He instantly was named "Giant Jim". Giant Jim was a master artist and sculpture maker. During his stay, he inspired Big Jim to bring out his natural artistic talent. I have not seen him since a little child but, I plan on seeing him once again this summer.

The latest need for littlejim has come from my bicycle riding. There is a man named Jim who has done great things in his life. As of late he has gathered people around him to ride once a week and has called them the "Web Foot Riders". Since we are both of the same stature; I have carried on littlejim and he has acquired "Old Jim". Though at 52 years old, he is one tough hombre on a bicycle putting people half his age to shame, ie littlejim.

So though I have gone by many different forms of the name James, littlejim is the one that has the most meaning. My wife Morgan even calls me littlejim in the prescience of her family of beasts all towering over six foot. Now you know the history and the story of the man who is called littlejim. So thank you for embarking on this journey "The life of littlejim".

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The start of littlejims life.

Today, as some of you know, I turned 28 years old. My wife Morgan is 9 weeks pregnant! This has lead Morgan and I into new goals and priorities in our life. I am starting this new blog to share to the world and myself the things going on in my life. The days ahead will be full of exciting, interesting, depressing, and just plain boring things about my life. What a sentence huh? Why should you read my blog? Well, it will keep you current on what is happening in my life such as: current events, things I learn, upcoming events, and maybe a few weird things thrown in. I appreciate all your future views and comments. Enough of an intro, get to work!