November 11th, 2007


Busy but good

Congratulations to yechezkiel and xallanthia, married today. May they be crowned in peace and glory.

I was hoping to go to their wedding, but had a full plate here. Worship was groovy (and better attended than it has been). Confirmation Class moved right along. We began to wrestle with what it means to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior today, something we will come back to again and again throughout the class.

Then the youth went bowling. My first game was awful (107); but then, I hadn't bowled for a year and a half or more. My second game was at least respectable (140). Then came the Church Council dinner and meeting.

Church (Charge) Conference is next Sunday. Mucho administrato must be completed yesterday! The paper tornado must be faced. And we're late getting the budget written, so tomorrow I have to start calling people together to get that piece of business done.

Different roles for different pets

collinsmom was noting how Sassafras looks up to me as her pack leader. She was waiting for me, very patiently, to come let her out. I read an article recently on tips from the Dog Whisperer. He said that dogs are pack animals and are only really happy when their place in the pack is assured. The human has to be the pack leader. Letting your dog run all over you doesn't make the dog happy. So, yes, that's what I've become. I am the pack leader, and we're doing very well together.

Cats are a different matter. I'm not Cuthbert's pack leader, I'm his Mommy. He'll let me cuddle him and stroke him and even clean the gunk out of his eyes. collinsmom is just a fellow kitten by comparison, and he plays rough with her. Which is why I call him Saint Sometimes. Last night, he tagged her good with his claws. But then, she had just come back from a long school commute away. He acts out when she's been gone too long, claiming attention in negative ways. He does that to me, too, but settles down much faster for me.
camp cook

And the winner is . . .

We've been following The Next Iron Chef with avidity. My pre-show evaluation was that Michael Symon was a bigger personality than John Besh, but he's had a problem with producing a whole spread of great dishes. Besh is more mature, more experienced, a consistent cook -- but his food is much showier than his affect. So, Symon would be more fun to watch but Besh would probably score better on all five dishes in a match.

All this meant that if Symon could pull off an entire meal at his best, he could probably smoke Besh. And that seems to be what he did.

Both chefs outdid themselves. Symon made six dishes, rather than five, and five of the six were out of the park with the judges (the established Iron Chefs). Besh did seven dishes (throwing together a dessert at the VERY last minute just to please Morimoto. All were up to his standard, though I noticed that he tended to pair the secret ingredient (Swordfish) with other proteins (shrimp, lobster . . .), while Symon did a better job of featuring Swordfish prepared in different ways.

In the end, Symon won, though we never saw a score. Three Iron Chefs voted, as did the three judges who've been along for the whole series. Presumably, the Chairman would break a tie, though I'm guessing that the Food Network VIPs were probably ready to steer the vote the way they thought it should go.

Mario Batali was not part of the Iron Chefs panel, fueling speculation that he means to retire from the show. We'll see. It would be a shame to lose him; he's my favorite to watch.