I began this afternoon by slowly cooking an onion. It seemed right to
me as I needed to saute a column at the same time and sometimes you
need to start small, like with an onion. In this case I thought I
would just start with an idea of what I want to change in the coming
I added some peppers, carrots, cabbage and tomato and let it cook
down with no idea of what would be the final outcome. At the same time, I wrote down a
few things I would like to see change this year then grouped them by
those I could control and those over which I have no power.
A. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently published a book
that included what he saw as problems in President Obama’s policies.
Instead of investigating the alleged policy problems, our news media decided to
discuss whether Gates was being disloyal to President Obama.
Publically elected officials are our employees and nothing more. I
would expect former Secretary Gates to be loyal to me, his employer, and let me know something is wrong. Gates and Obama are fellow employees and both answer to me, the voter-not to one another. This whole conversation speaks to a lack of transparency in government and a national media that sees our nation’s leaders in the same light once saved for Kings and Queens. The revolutionary war was fought so that we wouldn’t have to bow to Kings or Queens and made clear it is our
right to say the “emperor” has no clothes. I would like to see our opaque
government clarify and our star-struck media gain some perspective and use the first amendment for something other than the right to shake their pom-poms.
B. We have become a “cult of personality” which basically means
individuals are singled out for praise and status based on their
ability to draw attention instead of their ability to do good things.
If you want proof, then I will ask you these questions. Can you name
one of the hotshot firefighters killed this past June while battling
wildfires? Can you even tell me where the wildfire was located at or even
which State? Now, please tell me who Kim Kardashian is dating or the
name of Beyonce’s first born child? I bet you will go 0-2 on the
first set of questions and 2-2 on the second. A change must occur in
that we focus whatever notoriety we can on those who deserve it
instead of those who ask for it.
I don’t want the following to sound like New Year’s resolutions as I never make such resolutions.
A. Continue to simplify my life; a path began for me by Lisa by
example several years ago. My main tool in this pursuit is to
carefully evaluate my ideas before I marry them to an action. I am
fairly creative but need to remember my own rule that it takes 100
ideas to make 10 good ideas and that not every whim needs to be
followed with an investment of time and effort.
B. I want to continue to see my health as my greatest asset and add to that account through exercise, good decisions and moderation. Muhammad Ali once said the best exercise he ever performed was to place his hands on the dinner table and push back, makes solid sense to me.
I started this column with an the idea of changing what I can and ended up acknowledging what I couldn’t change. I also started with an onion and ended up with supper. I hope you can make positive changes in your life this year and here’s my recipe for what started with a simple onion.
1. Sweat one onion in a covered pan with olive oil for at least an hour and during that period of time add whatever vegetables you have in the crisper. Cook until the vegetables are soft and mix together readily.
2. Grill enough chicken to handle however you plan to serve.
3. Add any Jamaican Jerk season mix to the vegetable mixture along with red pepper to taste.
4. Add one can of cream of chicken soup to vegetable mixture
5 Add chicken into vegetable mixture then de-glaze your saute pan with half a can of stout beer (I used a coffee stout from Big Wood brewery)
6. Cook some egg noodles to slightly Al dente and add a few minute before you eat
7. Drink the rest of the beer and while you wait to eat, this probably goes without saying.