What Are We Without Our Children Around?




Wondering What Is Wrong?

FREE to Do What We Want!

Today was our first official day with both kids in school.  No half-week.  After our class ended we got together and did the following:

Paid our car insurance.

Went grocery shopping without having to do:

Chase after a child

Tell a child, “No you cannot have any toys.”

Tell a child, “Yes you have eaten that before.”

Discipline a child for being unruly.

Then we went out to eat lunch.  In public.  Without having to do:

Order something in nugget form.

Tell a child, “Yes you have eaten that before.”

Tell a child, “The bathroom is over there.”

Break up a fight.

Then we came home where the house was silent, put away the groceries, digested our food, and…well the rest I leave up to you to figure out.

This is going to be a good school year.


Thank You & Some Previews

Every once and a while I like to say

Thank you

to all of you, the readers and visitors.  This blog…well that is not true this blog would still be here, but I do appreciate each and every visitor, commenter, and lurker. I hope that you are enjoying what you are reading, if you aren’t speak up, and that you keep coming back.  Bring a friend next time.

Extravaganza FrogPreviews

Something else I like to do from time to time is give everyone a heads up of what I have in mind for the blog and topics in general.


Yes, I know I have been lax in talking/writing/sharing about food.  Around here this is a transition phase from summer food to winter food.  My goal is that as winter rolls around start sharing many of the warming and filling recipes that we make regularly, which usually start off with our soups and stews.  If you are only here for the food have no worries there will be more and soon.  I am jonesing for some Cheesy Soup.


Boy do I like my games.  That will not be stopping anytime soon.  Ain’t We Big Damn Heroes will be continuing.  At the moment I have been given the challenge of writing up Mr. Universe (now I didn’t like the character), but I can’t resist a challenge.  There will be plenty more family game nights, although not as often due to school.  Card games and other games will continue to get my “reviews” and “revised reviews” as we play them, speaking of which 3012, and Lord of the Rings are on their way here soon. If there happens to be something you would like to see more of speak up.


Life just happens and so does the writing about life.  I know that there will be more and most likely it will happen in gluts.

More Reading

For those who like this and would like to see different sides of me including the closest thing to professional you will see at the moment I point you to:

Speaking Out on Class

Topics include college, music, life (not so much), the research I am involved in, and my notes to me as an instructor of a college course.

Speaking Out on Blogging

The blog for the college course I am instructing.  Plenty of articles for bloggers, follow how the students are doing, and see some new bloggers become good bloggers.

Once again,

Thank you

for reading and commenting.

I Have Always Wanted A Castle

Our boy always gets the big box of Legos, but today I got the big box of Legos.  I worked my butt off for this and yes I know that I am a “grown” man with two kids, but when I saw this in the store I knew I had to have it.  I did not impulse buy this either I saved up money from my summer research project.  Thus I earned it.  Now if you don’t mind I am going to spend some time playing…I mean building. 🙂

Lego Castle

Star Wars Edge of the Empire

Summer Research Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/G7NN3NK

L5RMany years ago I remember standing in the hobby shop where I had just been transferred as the new assistant manager and due to the unpopularity of the move on all parts I was working the games section and only the games section.  Unlike my last hobby shop posting where as the assistant manager I was…you know an actual assistant manager of an entire store, here I was assistant manager in title and pay alone.  I didn’t care I had a games section to fix and there that day I found the first role-playing game since I cracked the cover of my red box Dungeons and Dragons set that would make an impression, Legend of the Five Rings the 1st edition.

I ran a Legend of the Five Rings campaign for three or four years before it came to an end.  Before that time and since I have not seen too much in the role-playing game industry that has caught my attention.  Shadowrun was good before FASA sold it off and then other companies started copying it.  Dungeons and Dragons became the game that every0ne cloned and then became a board game.  Vampire and the numerous associated settings were done wrong from the get go.  And so it went.  Today I am surprised when I find a role-playing game that is not a clone of a version of Dungeons and Dragon, Pathfinder, or an old game refurbished i.e. a quick edit, new artwork, and slapped with a sales tag.

So imagine my surprise when two days of reading later I have found a new game that has caught my attention and imagination in a way not since Legend of the Five Rings.  I have not read a role-playing game book from cover to cover since Legend of the Five Rings.  I am reading Star Wars Edge of the Empire from cover to cover.

Star Wars Edge of the EmpireThe first day I got Star Wars Edge of the Empire I was impressed with the size of the book, the writing, the research, and the production value.  I thumbed through picking random spots to stop and read.  Each time impressed that it was something I didn’t know, wanted to know, or more importantly answered questions that I had.  I honestly had concerns about yet another Star Wars role-playing game.  Having been a part of a couple they can degenerate into silliness or meeting main characters from the movie as most games were only interested in pumping out recognizable material and not concerned with a game that could be played.

Fantasy Flight Games with Star Wars Edge of the Empire seems to have done both.  Everything is recognizable and more importantly to me everything is set up to be played without having to ever bump into any of the main characters or events.  To be able to have an impact on the Star Wars universe without having to rehash what everyone knows.  At the moment I am working through the character generation section, which is my favorite to date as the system asks that the players think about the character before even getting close to the stats.  Working with the Game Master to create characters that have a story and background is number one.

Personally, I can’t wait to find a few people to play Star Wars Edge of the Empire and start working on a saga that would make Star Wars proud and make people who played in Legend of the Five Rings game clamor to take part.

With This Salad Dressing I Shall Rule the World!

Summer Research Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/G7NN3NK

Red wine and vinegar was my favorite salad dressing and I used to be able to buy it just about anywhere. Even when we moved up here I was still able to find my favorite salad dressing on the shelves.  Then one day it was gone and stayed gone for months.  Finally fed up I decided to find a way to create my own new favorite salad dressing.

And I did!

I found a recipe for a salad dressing and was unable to get the main ingredient up here.  As usual when asking the grocery “experts,” the answer I got was “What is that?” and “Never heard of it.”  This was the same response we get regardless of the ingredient that I am looking from: Miso “What’s that?”  Kombu, “Never heard of it.” And so on…

However, I was able to learn that a substitute for the missing ingredient was rice vinegar and that I have a ton of and I have seen on shelves here.  WHOOO HOOO.  Since making the first batch which I ate all of I have made a second double sized batched and discovered that this salad dressing is good on:

Lettuce (hope so)

Watermelon (surprise)

Shrimp (double surprise)




See nothing is off limits for this salad dressing.  Would you like to see what it is? Sure you would.


2 tbsp. rice vinegar (get the kind made for salads if you can)

1 tsp dijion mustard

1 tsp fresh tarragon chopped

2 tsp fresh chives chopped

1/4 cup olive oil


In a bowl mix the rice vinegar, dijion mustard, tarragon, and chives.  Then slowly whisk in the olive oil until everything is well blended.  Very simple and taste great on everything I have put it on so far.

Cool Lunch for a Hot Day

LunchRemember when I made a ceviche?  If not, I refer you to here.

Well I made the ceviche again.  I spent a lot of time on the ceviche cubing the cod into tiny squares, the tomatoes, and avocado like wise. The onion, Serrano pepper, and cilantro were minced extremely fine.  Other than those changes from the first time I didn’t do a anything different.  Just those simple changes made a world of difference.  The flavors blended better and the mouth feel is much more appealing.

Since it is hot and muggy around here I wanted some cool ceviche to eat for lunch.  Thinking that the two things that the ceviche could use were some crunch and some heat I fried up some tortillas and put some sriracha into a tin for mixing or dipping.

One word sum up


In non-food news the summer research survey that I announced here will be going live tomorrow afternoon.  I hope that you participate.