Okra

In completely random events, I discovered a new recipe for cooking fried okra. With rare exceptions, I try to avoid fried foods on a regular basis. I go thru my phases where I crave fried chicken, but not on a regular basis. This leads me into my ingredient shortage and discovery.

I picked up some okra at the farmer’s market. I had originally planned on boiling it but I got the craving for fried okra. I grew up in the south and the only way to make fried okra is with cornmeal. Guess who didn’t have any cornmeal? You guessed it, me. It’s Sunday night and I’m at the end of my meal prep. It’s only 2 hours to bedtime and I know if I don’t cook this okra it will go to waste. I’m debating on whether to run down to Mollie Stone’s1 to pick up the cornmeal. It whining to myself about not going and hits me. What if I try the pretzel flavor shake & bake mix that’s been sitting in the cabinet? I bought it on a whim and had almost forgotten about it. The moment I think of it I’m sold on trying it. Worst case scenario, it’s awful and I throw it out.

It turned out to be an unholy concoction of deliciousness. OMG, it was so damn good. Just the right mix of salty flavor to go with the okra. I popped it out of the oven and I’d eaten almost half of it before it had time to cool off! I think I have a new way of making fried okra.2  I think next time I’ll throw in a few extra seasonings to give it more kick, but it was really good.

Ok, you’re just dying to know how I did it now, right? If you are familiar with okra, you know it gets slimy the moment you cut it. Cut it up and wash it off good. Don’t let it dry completely but definitely let it dry. The pretzel mix is thicker than the regular version and it will clump up if you get too much moisture into the bag. You also need to use both servings of the mix that come in the box. Trust me, you’ll need it. Mix the chopped okra into the bag with the mix and of course, shake it up. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and put it on an ungreased (or covered in foil) cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Slightly longer if you like it extra crispy. The only draw bike is the mixture will pop off and separate from the okra if you bounce it around too much. I might try a light egg batter next time, but I’m worried it might over do it. Either way, if you like okra you have to try it!

Oh and the okra never made it into my meal prep. I ate it all.




  1. Local neighborhood grocery store []
  2. Ok, it’s technically baked []

Sweat

​I tend to sweat in the oddest places. I rarely sweat under my arms. Up until just a few years ago, I never wore deodorant because I never had underarm odor. It just never smelled there. And I have no idea why it changed a few years ago. Even now, it’s still very sporadic. I’ve taken to keeping deodorant at work just for those odd days. However, I sweat profusely from my head and arms. Yes, my arms sweat. I will be drenched on my head and arms, but my chest, abdominal region, and underarms will be bone dry. I don’t have an answer as to why. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise when I was big into watches I went thru a lot of them due to sweat. If the band was anything but plastic, it would get ruined. My watches would get so sweaty and develop their own smells. The watch would then need to be cleaned or discarded. When smartphones came along I embraced them as my time-keeper so I could get rid of my watches.  I don’t think I’ve actually worn one since. 

Why am I rambling about sweat you ask? Well, I apparently ruined my fitbit from sweating on it too much. I got an upgraded version, the Charge HR, on my birthday this year from Shawn. It didn’t even last a year before the band started bubbling and eventually peeled loose from the embedded electronics. Unlike the Flex, you cannot swap out the band on the HR. It is permanently embedded with what I assume is glue now that my first one has come apart. 

I called up the company fully expecting them to tell me to take a hike. The online forums looked pretty disappointing as well. Imagine my surprise when Fitbit (the company) agreed to replace my fitbit (the device).1  I went thru the Q&A with the woman and at the end she announced, “I’m happy to advise you your fitbit qualifies for a free replacement.”  I bet my face looked like a cracked egg. They don’t even want the old one back! They asked me to recycle it vs throwing it away. (They got bonus points for that.)

It was a gift, which means I didn’t have the receipt. It’s been easily 7 months, and it was “water damage.” I fully expected them to say no. In an age where companies find every excuse in the book NOT to deal w/faulty product, it was refreshing to actually have one do the right thing. Had they not, I’d already decided to get something different. Now, not only did they keep a customer but they earned some loyalty as well.  




  1. See what I did there? Haha []

Meat

​It shouldn’t come as a surprise I’m a 

Chicken artichoke pasta with spinach and cabbage

meat and potatoes sorta fella. I grew up on a farm and while we grew tons of vegetables, meat was always our primary meal item.  I’ve tried to cut back on my meats and increase the veggies but I always seem to backslide. The struggle is real y’all.

I do a lot of meal preps for my work week. If I don’t, I end up eating out a lot. I still try to eat healthy when I do, but it still ends up being very rich. My fat ass is never gonna have abs if I keep that up. Aaaaaaaaanyway, I’ve been trying to take advantage of the local farmer’s market. The one close to me is on Wednesdays and I do meal prep on Sundays. You see the conflict. I dug the food vacuum sealer out of storage and it’s helping a lot. I just vacuum the veggies and throw’em in the fridge till Sunday rolls around. It’s been helping a lot. 

The pic is one of my quick meals. I say quick because I didn’t make it all from scratch. The pasta is a spinach basil. The artichokes came in a jar.1  The spinach, tomatoes, and cabbage came from the Farmer’s market last week. What you don’t see is a small drizzle of olive oil over the entire dish along with the pesto sauce you do see. The chicken is a roasted chicken with all the skin peeled off. And here’s a little secret. If you don’t like your veggies overcooked, just throw them in raw and when you heat the dish for at least 2 minutes in a sealed container it steams the veggies for you. I love the natural taste of most foods and being a super taster2 this works exceedingly well for me. Veggies that need more cooking time like brussel sprouts are easy to cook in advance, just cook’em about half way instead. That way when you do heat up the dish, they don’t get over cooked. As for flavoring, I’m mostly just use salt & pepper. Depending on the dish, I also like the Flavor God line of spices that are specifically designed for adding to food after you cooked it.  I’m not a big fan of super heavy sauces and add on mixtures that often add up to a lot of extra fat so it isn’t hard to avoid the heavier items. 

This week’s menu is what you see above, the lovely chicken artichoke basil pasta with spinach and cabbage. I also made some turkey meatballs w/potatoes and more cabbage. Needless to say, I’ll be giving Cooper a run for his money this week. I also added some roast chicken and leftover bean chili I had in the freezer. Of course, it helped my ego just a smidge this morning when two of my coworkers commented my arms look bigger. Food is half the battle for weight gain so maybe it’s working! 

I’m not perfect by any means but I find if I provide myself opportunity to eat healthy, I will. I’ll never be ripped as I just don’t have the discipline for it. But, if I keep eating better I won’t need to do so much damn cardio, which I loathe! 




  1. It’s hard to find them just grilled in oil vs pickled []
  2. That’s just a fancy way of saying I have more taste buds per sq inch on my tongue than the average person []

Dump

​Dump

I usually avoid talking a lot about politics on da blog as a rule.  I do often encourage folks to get out and vote. However, this year is just insane. In previous years, ideologies might have been at work, but this year I honestly feel like our very democracy is at stake. If “He Who Shall Not Be Named” were to win, I fear we wouldn’t have another election. Our devolution into chaos would be complete. It still astounds me that such an absolutely insane man could even win the nomination much less have a chance at the presidency.1 

Facts mater and he seems to not care about facts or reason. That should concern everyone, regardless of party affiliation. He says whatever occurs to him and then just denies or recounts it later. He has even admitted in interviews he often just says whatever he thinks the crowd wants to hear. I’ve yet to hear a sound well-reasoned argument as to why this man would be a better choice than anyone, much less Hillary. 

I get there are some reasons many feel he will ‘shake things up’, but the overwhelming cognitive dissonance involved with such reasoning cannot be denied. You cannot make misogynistic, racist, homophobic, sexist, bigoted, and/or just plain ignorant comments on a regular basis and follow it up with “oh, you misunderstood me.” He has yet to put forward a single explanation on how he will get anything done. “Just trust me”, he says. Uh, no. I don’t trust you because you haven’t given a single reason, other than rhetoric, why you should be trusted. He has never held any sort of political office. He has run basically every company he owns in bankruptcy, and then brags about it. And that is the tip of the iceberg. The only claim to fame he has is his daddy’s trust fund and a reality TV show. That is not a qualification to be President. And frankly, I wouldn’t let him be president of my fan club.2  

You may not like Democrats as a rule. Or you may not like Hillary as a rule, but voting for this man would be a vote for chaos. And if you think that would be good for America, you clearly haven’t thought the real world ramifications through very well. The idea of having a child, prone to wild tantrums, in control of our nuclear codes scares the shit out of me! Don’t even get me started on the damage to the world economy or our own. 

As for Hillary, you don’t have to particularly like her, but you do have to respect her years of service. After roughly 30 years, she is still in public service and has not only survived as a woman but thrived.  She is by far the most qualified candidate for president I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. And while I do not agree with all her policies or decisions, she is the only choice to Trump.3  

The lining on the cloud here is that Trump’s insanity is turning away most centrist voters. Hell, he is even alienating a huge chunk of his own party. His campaign is becoming more and more chaotic and his rhetoric is off the rails. First the Japan comments and now the sad ‘Obama founded ISIS’ nonsense.  What a maroon! He might appeal to the crazies and fundamentalists in the base, but that won’t win him an election.  Right now the election is Hillary’s to lose. And that is a good place to be. Let us all hope it stays that way. 




  1. It is fun watching the extremist and hypocrites inside the Republican party eat themselves alive []
  2. If I had one mind you. Hehee []
  3. And throwing your vote away on the Anti-vaxxer, wifi-kills-you Stein or the bizarre Johnson is not a moral stance no matter how one might try to twist it that way. []

Here

​My poor blog has been so neglected lately. What can I say, life has just been busy. You know my motto, life first blog second. I’m still here. I haven’t abandoned anyone. 

Lawd knows I have plenty to say just so little free time. After a 10-hour work day, gym, and food, there is just enough time for a quick smooch from Shawn, settling the Cooper, and then off to bed. And who blogs on weekends?

Quick updates: Work is good. I am STILL struggling with the hours though. And as usual, it isn’t the getting up part, it’s the going to bed. I simply have the hardest time getting to bed for a full 8-hours. Hopefully, my body will just adjust given enough time. It is a 5-year assignment after all. I’ve been volunteering for a lot of off-site overtime gigs. We get hired occasionally to help dispatch the medical components at private events like Pride, Outside Lands, Bay to Breakers, etc. As an agency, we are well respected for our work. Anyway, the gigs are always on overtime and fun. I just worked Outside Lands this past weekend. Because of all the heightened security and tighter restrictions on illegal beer vendors, it was much smoother this year. I got to spend a big chunk of time watching the shows. Major Lazer puts on a good set btw.

Home is good. Cooper, other than his never ending allergies, is good. hehehe  Of course, GHHD #2 (aka Up Your Alley fair) just passed. We had fun. 

Overall, life is stable, fulfilling, and busy. Life has settled but I try not to take the things I have for granted. I got a great man and a great dog. Who could ask for anything more, right? I’ll try to put out more updates. I’ll tell ya a secret. I miss the blog too! 

Phone

sammy7
Samsung S7 Edge – Silver

In other not tragedy and sad news, I got a new phone. I know, I know, color you surprised! Me with a new gadget?

I loved my Moto X PE, but I was overworking the poor thing. It just couldn’t keep up with me. I even tried a hard reset to see if that would make a difference.1  For a ‘mid-range’ phone it sure was a good phone though. I don’t regret forking over the cash one bit. I’d still have it if the chip had been stronger. The funny thing was the phone didn’t have much bloat to it. It came almost stock Android, but I use a lot of apps. I was going thru it to see what I could get rid of to maybe help keep it and I really didn’t find much to trim. It did make me realize just how much I use my phone for. Over 100 apps and 2/3’s of those get used at least monthly. That’s crazy!

Anyway, I had been hearing some good rumors the Samsung S7 was a leap over the S6 in regards to battery life. (I’ve realized a crappy battery is an absolute deal-breaker for me now, no matter how awesome the phone)  Critics were raving over it so I thought I’d give Sammy another whirl. To my surprise, it was good. It still isn’t Xperia Z3 good, but a good 2nd place runner up. Tangent/ That damn Sony phone is still the go to phone comparison for battery life. /tangent  Anyway, the battery was pretty good but I’ve gotten so used to having a bigger screen I wasn’t a fan. I went back and swapped it out for the S7 Edge. Even bigger battery and much nicer color palate (silver). And to be fair, the bloatware seems to be very manageable. It still has way more than is needed, but many of the apps can be disabled, even if you can’t uninstall them. Samsung just needs to stick to making quality phones and ditch all the bloatware that virtually no one uses.

I was originally against the Edge as I am very hard on my toys and the curved screen is a recipe for disaster when it comes to my clumsy ass. But, I missed the larger screen so I’m chancing it. And as much as I hate phone cases (read bulky and ugly), I broke down and bought one. And not only that, I actually leave it on the phone! hehehe It’s faux leather and only mildly bulky. The damn phone is covered by my Jump plans insurance so I figure if I break it, I can always get it replaced. My favorite feature so far is the new fingerprint reader and the incorporation of fingerprint security into Android. What a hassle-free function. I absolutely love it!

On a related topic, while I was considering the Moto way back when, I signed up for a Kickstarter phone, the Nextbit Robin. Well, I completely forgot about it until a year later when it arrived at my door!  Ooops!  I took it for a spin and it was nice. Very similar to the shape, size, and texture of the Experia Z3 actually. The battery was decent but still not at a level I needed. I was disappointed as I really wanted to like this phone. The cameras were the biggest let down after the battery. Both the front and back cameras are ok for everyday well-lit shots, but they simply don’t measure up to most other phones, even in the same price range. For folks that don’t take a lot of pics it would be stellar. It just isn’t a good fit for me.

I’m considering selling it or giving it to charity since I don’t use it. I’m only looking for the money invested. That said, I might also keep it as a dev phone to tinker with. I’m been slowly exploring the idea of teaching myself how to build apps for it. I need a device to practice on. As always, finding the free time to explore a new hobby is a challenge. ha! My schedule is already busy enough.

Ok enough rambling about gadgets. I could go on all day. Don’t even get me started on the whole idea on upgrading game consoles only a year after the new one came out.




  1. I keep everything in various clouds so never fear of really losing anything []

Games

People are losing their shit over the Pokemon game! OHMEGURD! Seriously.

Most seem to be in two camps. One camp is in love with the game and going happily insane playing. The other camp is overly grumpy that a game has overtaken all their social media platforms. The latter seem to imply that being adult means not liking games. Whatevs.  Overlooking the random sheer stupidity of people not paying attention, gaming is fun and more power to them. I’ve never been a Pokemon fan, but loving many video games I support my fellow nerds.

And if you seriously think deriding someone for playing a game makes you somehow more of an adult, well bless your heart is all I have to say to you.

And speaking of games, I’ve finally put down Destiny for two seconds. I’m replaying Darksiders II (The definitive edition) on XOne. The game is a bit buggy for the Xone version but I seem to be getting into it more. I don’t remember why but I hated the 2nd one when it first came out. I think it was some of the odd or flawed game mechanics. Anyway, I reordered it thru GameFly and I’m having much more fun with it this time. My queue was sitting for so long I’m sure GameFly thought I must have died. hehehe  I think we had the same 3 games out for almost 6 months.1  Well, I also had the new Ratchet & Clank that distracted me for awhile too. I finished it a couple times. Not a fan of the hoverboard racing but loved the rest of the game.

And speaking of Destiny, the last DLC for this disc comes out soon. I’m eagerly awaiting it.

Till then, game on nerds!




  1. Hint, we weren’t playing them, they were sitting on the coffee table gathering dust []

Busy

I have been busier than a one-legged man at a butt-kicking contest! Oh lawd baby jeebus.

So yeah, my new admin gig keeps me pretty busy. It didn’t help my coworker went on vacation. (I’m not complaining at all. Vacation is good)  On the flip-side my paycheck should be phat this next payday. haha  I do like it overall, but I’m still struggling with the hours. Being up at 5:00 am is painful. To be more accurate, it isn’t the getting up part, it’s the going to bed part I struggle with. For the life of me, I am still struggling to get to bed in time to get a full 8-hours. It’s been easily a month now. It doesn’t help Shawn has become so accustomed to my late schedule that he is totally out of sync w/me now. I barely see him weeknights.1  I’ve also been rather sad over all the recent tragedies going on. I just can’t bear to dive into it for awhile. So many wrongs on all sides and it is only getting worse. But I digress…

It doesn’t help that my ‘quick’ naps end up being 2 hour naps usually.  I mean what gives with that? I used to be the king of power naps. I could close my eyes and get a 15-20 min power nap and feel refreshed. Now, I’m down for the count. haha  Damn getting old.  Being on a 10-hour day means hitting the ground running or I miss something. So far it seems to be a toss-up between sleep and gym time. Arrgh. The struggle is real.

Cooper has adjusted fine. He is awake and ready as soon as he hears my alarm kick on. It’s a routine fight not to trip and fall over him hovering under my feet in the dark. All he knows is daddy gets up in the dark to feed him and he gets to go back to sleep when daddy leaves. Rude!

Anyway, I haven’t mentioned any of my traveling plans as of late. Shawn and I have been on a tear these last few weekends. I’ll get to it as I figure out my new rhythms. At least the new gig is going well. I enjoy my coworker (we’ve always gotten along well) and the work keeps me busy. I’m learning different aspects of the legal and criminal systems, which is always good. I just need to get the schedule under control.

And speaking of, the next batch of work just arrived.

 

 




  1. I’m sure he likes the down time. []

GHHD

The first GHHD1 of the season is just around the corner and I’m still grappling with the Pulse massacre. How do I even begin to describe my feelings? It affected me deeper than I thought it would. In many ways, I’m leery now even here in SF. I find myself more watchful of strangers and I’m more mindful of people around me. It makes me angry that I’ve been affected this way. It also made me realize the fight for equality is not over. As long as fanatics think they can go around hurting others in the name of [insert stupid religious extremism here], our fight is not over.

Because of my job I tend to disassociate from big public events, even in the gay world. It isn’t that I don’t care; in my line of work it’s mostly a protection mechanism. But this awful tragedy cut me to my core. I couldn’t ignore it, I couldn’t put it out of my mind and forget about it. I was in tears pretty much the whole week after. I didn’t know a single soul but these are my people. They grew up fighting the way I fought, just to survive and be. Our straight brethren can sympathize but they can never truly understand what we go thru. And that isn’t to bash them. It’s a testament to how we as humans are wired. We tune into ideals and actions that resonate in our own lives. Well this resonated in mine. And worst of all, not in a good way.

Worst of all, it brought back survival fears from my early years of growing up gay. East Texas wasn’t the friendliest place to be gay, let’s face it. I got bashed a few times and witnessed others get bashed as well. It’s funny because I used to tell myself that the hate crimes against me were “minor” because I came away with a few bruises. The sadness in that statement does not escape me now. This tragedy brought back the fear of not only being attacked but also just daring to live openly. I had put that fear away and now it’s come back. I don’t know for how long honestly, but I feel it again. Fears I thought long dead and forgotten. I’m sad, ashamed, and angry all at the same time.

GHHD #1 approaches this weekend and I volunteered to work. I normally make sure I’m off so I can attend the parade or fair. This year I thought I’d do one better and work. It’s not much but I feel like I’m contributing to keeping everyone safe. (I’ll be working remotely from the medical command booth)

I refuse to be afraid to live my life. I refuse to fear being out in public. And I sure as hell refuse to be intimidated into avoiding my own safe places. More of us may die. And I certainly hope it is never me, but I won’t go back in the closet. I won’t pretend to be something I’m not. I can’t think of a better cause to die for honestly. I’m probably being a little dramatic but I’m all worked up right now.

I hope that you celebrate Pride this week. Not because you have to, not because you feel obligated, but because you want to. You want to show that we are united in this. No matter how diverse, we are united in this fight. We will not be intimidated with fear. For my generation, we grew up living/breathing fear and we won’t go back. For the new generation, this might be their first taste of it. We all need to make sure it is their last.

No matter what you do, be safe and know you are loved. If your in big cities or small towns, know that you are not alone and your voice is one of many. I wish you all the safest and happiest Pride. Celebrate in whatever way brings you joy.

Hope springs eternal…




  1. Gay High Holy Day []

Clueless

I just can’t bear to discuss the recent tragedy in Orlando yet so I’m posting some light humor instead for now.

I’ve switched to my new schedule at work and now have Friday’s instead of Monday’s off. My dept is incredibly short staffed1 and I’m headed in for some overtime. I’m dressed, Cooper is settled, and got my biker gear on. One problem, I can’t find my damn keys. I race around the house looking and tearing everything apart. I spend the better part of 10 minutes looking and I’m out of time. I can’t find my damn keys!

I finally give up and order Lyft. I have a spare door key to lock the front door. I’m walking out the front door to get in the Lyft and I turn, out of sheer habit, to double lock the outside main door… wait for it….. wait for it…. with my damn keys!

They were in my hand the whole time!

Needless to say, I can be a bit clueless at times. I giggled all the way to work.

Go forth and be merry.




  1. as usual []