Rick Glos Life in Portland, Oregon.

Recipe - Black Bean and Corn Soup

4. March 2013 08:55 by Rick Glos in

Turned out really good with a loaf of hearty bread.  Got the original recipe from here and tweaked it.  As the original post states, nice and creamy without having to add cream.

  • 1 bag of frozen corn
  • 1 cup of dried black beans (or 3 cans of black beans)
  • 1.5 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • (optional) grated cheese on top to serve

Simmer beans in pot of water for 2-3 hours. 

Heat large pot, add some oil, cook frozen corn for 4-ish minutes.

Drain, put 2/3 of beans in blender with chicken broth and blend.

Pour blended mixture, diced tomatoes, remaining 1/3 black beans, and salt into pot and simmer about 15 minutes or reduce to your consistency you like.

Sundays are for Farmers Markets

26. June 2011 11:27 by Rick Glos in

Max had his first pancake today.  What a mess he made.

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He does seem to enjoy feeding himself though.

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We also got a little red wagon for trips to the farmers market and Max fun time.

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He’s still a little wobbly.  I towed him about 1/2-way there until we had to go over a curb and he got scared.  Not bad for 7 months though.

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The strawberries are in season now at the Farmer’s market.  The best ones too, Hood Strawberries.  We picked up a couple flats plus some cucumbers, tomatoes and artichokes.  May seem like a lot of strawberries but I’m just getting started.  We use them for smoothies during the week all year long.  This past year I ran out about 1/2 way through the year and I think I had about 5 x 1 Gallon frozen bags.  So I’m thinking I need about 10.  We’ll see how many I get out of 2 flats minus the amount we eat.  You have to be quick with these though.  They are meant for great flavor and eating, not transportation or storage.  They were picked today and will go bad in a couple days if you don’t do something with them.

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Portland Food Carts - revisited

26. August 2010 08:00 by Rick Glos in

I previously mentioned how good the food carts in Portland can be about a year ago.

Portland Monthly magazine just did an article on food carts in their September 2010 issue – article.

Bing Maps has added a food cart finder – news.

I guess google maps has something similar – google maps.  You can make the google maps one easier to find in the future using ‘Save to My Maps’ so you can just pull it up from the maps.google.com address.

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Breakfast - 2

16. February 2010 14:18 by Rick Glos in

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The lazy man, I’m-too-groggy-to-do-anything breakfast.  Pour granola in bowl, pour milk, commence eating.

(Yes Dad, this is very much like the ‘stick & twigs’ breakfast you commented on yesterday. Further, note that the Granola is bought in bulk, I’m using organic milk, and I’m weighing it on a scale to make sure I don’t eat more than 4 ounces.)

Lest you think that’s healthy granola, it’s not.  Over the past few years I’ve found I’m constantly looking at the ingredients label on things and buying less and less processed food.  Portland does have a great selection of grocers and local organic food.  That’s another storey.  One of the helpful things about our grocer, New Seasons Market, is you can shop online and get nutritional and ingredient information.

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Breakfast

15. February 2010 11:45 by Rick Glos in

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This has become one of our staple breakfasts, oatmeal, chopped toasted almonds and brown sugar.

Bob’s Red Mill makes some damn fine oatmeal.

PDC 2009 Recap

24. November 2009 17:14 by Rick Glos in

This post is going to be a combination of fun and work.  After all, all of me went to LA for PDC, not just the work aspect or the pleasure aspect.

PDC 09 Conference Recap

These are notes condensed from 4 days of note taking in OneNote.

Stuff that got announced

Main Theme

3 screens and a cloud  (next 'wave' is Cloud computing [Mainframe (1970's) --> client-server (1980's) --> web (1990's) --> soa (2000's) --> cloud (2010's)]

  • Phone, TV, PC
  • Silverlight being the client mechanism (they are really pushing this to be the main UI mechanism)

Data playing increasingly larger role - Vivek Kundra - Chief Information Officer for the USA live via video feed

  • make information public - for public consumption and transparency of data
  • data.gov - searchable data catalogs

Conference Sessions Attended (11) + 1 pre-conference workshop

Workshop

  1. Developing Microsoft BI Applications - The How and the Why
    1. Note that I struggled with this decision.  I signed up for Getting the Most out of Microsoft Silverlight 3 but having spent the last 9 months on a Silverlight project for one of our clients, I did not think it was going to be that beneficial.  There’s a ton of info on the web for Silverlight.  However, there’s not much for BI.  The Silverlight application I worked on sits on top of a Analysis Services Cube – the API is completely different than just throwing down a Entity Framework model on top of a relational database (which I did as well for some parts of it).  This app has an AdoMdDataReader, CellSet and MDX statements.  I was curious how others approached this area.

Sessions

  1. Data Programming and Modeling for the .NET Developer - SQL Server Modeling Services
  2. Overview of SharePoint 2010 Programmability
  3. Evolving ADO.NET Entity Framework in Microsoft.NET Framework 4 and Beyond
  4. SketchFlow: Prototyping to the Rescue
  5. Microsoft Perspectives on the Future of Programming
  6. Should I Use Silverlight, MVC, or Web Forms for Web User Interface Development?
  7. Networking and Web Services in Silverlight
  8. Advanced Topics for Building Large-Scale Applications with Microsoft Silverlight
  9. Automating the App Lifecycle with Windows Azure
  10. SQL Server Modeling Services: Using Metadata to Drive Application Design, Development and Management
  11. Mastering Microsoft WCF RIA Services

Conference Sessions I wanted to attend, 44.

There was alot of concurrent session angst for me.  At any given time slot, there were 11 sessions and many of those I wanted to attend more than one in that time slot.  Luckily it was all being recorded and available at PDC, http://microsoftpdc.com/.  It will be interesting to see how making this all available online affects conference attendance in the future.

I might add that one of my favorite sessions, ‘Should I Use Silverlight, MVC, or Web Forms for Web User Interface Development?’, was an audience participation session where I got to talk quite alot because out of the mass of people in the session, I was one of the few using Silverlight in a LOB application.  However since it was audience participation, there is no video or audio available – an experience you can only get by being there.

Also, this years swag was pretty nice.  A laptop.  I brought my wife to this years conference because last year Microsoft booked Universal Studios theme park.  This year there was nothing planned.  In fact, the twitter stream was full of folks lamenting the lack of a breakfast this year and no party – until the laptops were announced.  Every attendee got one.  Pretty nice.

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The touchscreen is the highlight.  The other specifications aren’t too shabby either.  Windows 7 Ultimate, 2 GB memory, 250 GB HDD, huge battery life (8+ hours), bluetooth, all wireless specs (G, N, etc), and on…

The LA Experience

I’ve posted a few times here about how I’m going native so it wouldn’t surprise you to say I’m not a fan of LA.  You have to drive everywhere.  I saw a few bikes but with the weather so nice all the time this is the city that could lead the way in cycling.  The downtown area was a ghost town – during the day and at night.  All these high rise buildings.  Where is everyone?  One the streets driving.  The traffic was fun to watch from the hotel room.

The hotel, the Omni, was downtown and since I didn’t rent a car, I had some decent walks.  About 1.5 miles to the conference center (or you could take the attendee bus which was nice as well).

The conference center is in this area called an ‘entertainment campus’ called LA Live (wikipedia|web).  This was where we started off eating because we couldn’t find a place near the hotel.  Basically your franchise eateries plus some shops and anchored by the LA Lakers stadium.

We did ESPN bar the first night – they had good wings, good beer and lots of big screen TV’s.  It was fun watching the Sunday night game between the Colts and the Patriots on a huge screen.

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The next night we did a bar called Yard House.  They have 135 beers on tap.

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Then on the 3rd night I was feeling beer overload.  We did Mai Tai’s at Trader Vic’s.  It was fairly empty so we chatted up with the staff.  The manager was very cool and gave us this free drink in glass shell.

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During dinner my Mai Tai was in a SoCal cup and my wife (born and raised in Eugene Oregon – Oregon Ducks country) had to let em know how she felt about SoCal (sorry Jeff!).

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On the third and fourth night we were ready for some exploring.  We went to Little Tokyo which was a decent but nice walk (hey it’s like 65 degrees at night).  The sushi at Sushi Gen (500+ 5 star reviews in google maps) was very good.

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The following night we checked out La Golondrina on Olvera Street.  This was a pretty cool market and reminded me of the shopping I did in Mexico City years ago.  The food was awesome and the manager spent alot of time talking with us.  There’s some good history around the restaurant and shopping Olvera Street (oldest part of downtown LA).

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The Train Ride

The highlight of the trip although it almost didn’t happen.  We flew down and took the train back (Amtrak Coast Starlight).  After going through 3 lines (the line at the baggage check, the line to get through the TSA where you undress and then the line to get on the plane) it reconfirmed why I hate flying.  It’s customer-no-service at it’s finest.  For travel the train is the opposite.  No lines.  Comfortable seating.  Relaxed travel.  Yes it takes longer though.  Vote with my dollar is what I say.

When we went to Union Station to check in we discovered I made reservations for the wrong date.  We were supposed to board the day before.  Luckily we were able to switch but I gave my wife a nice scare (I think that will be the last time she let’s me make the travel arrangements).

Our cabin was very spacious and comfortable.  It had a bathroom with shower in it, two bunks and a chair and a nice window to watch the landscape roll by.  When I wasn’t plastered to the window watching the view I did lots of reading, I was able to finish two national geographic magazines and make it 1/3 of the way through my latest book series I’m starting, Wizard’s First Rule since it was a 24 hour train ride.

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The view from SoCal was mostly desert and palm trees.

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We then made are way along the coast and the train runs right on the beach and along cliff edges.

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We even went past some kind of rocket launch site for NASA and a USAF military base.  I heard this is only accessible via the train.

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Launch towers?

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Lots of interesting people to meet at mealtime.  4 people sit in a booth.  This girl was from Australia doing a 14 month world tour – spending 6 weeks in the USA.

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Then we started heading into the mountains as daylight started fading on the first day.

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I lost track of the number of tunnels we went through.

The next morning we awoke to the mountains of Southern Oregon with the morning fog still sitting on some of the trees.

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The beauty is hard to describe.  You are going to have to see it for yourself.

Portland Food Carts

12. November 2009 09:42 by Rick Glos in

We’ve recently been praising the food we are eating at lunch time at the office by going to what we call ‘cart row’.  Eric, my co-worker, and I make it a point to head to the carts for lunch each Wednesday – the only day I need to be in the office.  We are one of the those progressive companies that work from home and only meet once a week together as team.  Otherwise we use all the modern tools, instant messenger, live meeting and even Ventrilo to have discussions.

Anyway, we been surprised at the quality and freshness of the food at such a reasonable price.  It’s just over your standard $5 McDonald's price range – around $6-7 ish dollars for a meal but the quality is easily in range of some of your best restaurants – sometimes better.  Just yesterday Eric bought a sandwich and soup from the Portland Soup Company cart and they sliced the apple right in front of us that was making his topping for his Pork Butt with Apple and Cabbage Slaw.  How cool is that?

We both got the Beef Borscht soup.  I’ve never had beets in soup before, and it was a fantastic and a brilliant bright purple soup.

It seems to come in a wave and this seems to be a movement that has been going on in the background for awhile.  That same day, another co-worker, Serena, email us a link to a video touting the Portland Food Carts.  Then via twitter this morning I see Sam Adams, the Portland Mayor, has tweeted the same video plus an additional one.

I guess Portland is proclaiming itself the Food Cart Capital.

I have been thinking lately of posting some things about my cooking at home.  I’ve gone native.  Before moving out here I was easily your glorified meal guy.  Hamburger Helper, Tuna Helper.  I bought things in boxes at the grocery store with 30-40 ingredients of things you can’t even pronounce.  Today I cook mostly everything from scratch, buy veggies and fruits at the farmers market, and try to eat in season.

I don’t know if it’s the culture here or more of a national thing.  My Dad says there’s not the choice of grocery stores back in Illinois like we have here.  Portland does seem to love good food.  I sure do love eating it.

Here’s a couple videos just recently created about it.  There’s even supposed to be some kind of late night, evening food cart area where you can buy a beer and eat food under this tent that Eric has been mentioning at work.  Some kind of new hang out.  I see they mention what looks to be that place in video #2.

Video #1

Video #2

Stepping Stone Cafe

1. June 2009 07:34 by Rick Glos in

Saw this place in Portland called Stepping Stone Cafe on an episode of Man V. Food. Their motto, “You Eat Here Because We Let You”. 

Built like a diner with a modern vibe atmosphere.  Breakfast was good and the pancakes large.   Eating them while Guns n roses played Welcome to the Jungle.  The rest of the menu looked promising.  Burgers and milk shakes for lunch, meat loaf and mac n cheese for dinner.  Going to have to make a return trip here to try the rest of the menu.

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Squirrel Nut Zippers

20. April 2009 19:54 by Rick Glos in

Checked out the Squirrel Nut Zippers at the Wonder Ballroom on Friday night.

One of my favorite songs was when they played a black and white cartoon on the back screen and played the music for it.  At the time I thought, “That is soo cool, he’s singing exactly the words that the characters are experiencing.”  Later I would find out that it was a video they had specially made.  Still cool though.

Afterwards it was my first stop at Montage.  A late night Portland eatery that has surprisingly really good food – seemed it had a slant towards the New Orleans cuisine.  The spicy chili mac would be my recommendation if you can handle heat.  Check out all the bikes parked out front at midnight.

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Going German

26. January 2009 18:52 by Rick Glos in

A trip across the river on a whim landed us at Edelweiss Deli in SE Portland Saturday afternoon.  Buying all that beer and meat made me hungry.

So that led to eating next door at The Berlin Inn restaurant.  I came in with low expectations but it wowed us.  Genuine, authentic and fresh.  Hit it up if you like German food and hit on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays if you want to brush up on your German.  A German student walked in while we were eating and the owner was conversing in German with him.  I did my best to keep up but only caught enough to make a grade schooler happy.

Then just to make sure we had our fill, it was sausage and beer time Sunday night.  Damn good.

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