Saturday, February 13, 2016

Travel and work, work and travel

From when I left my house to when I entered my hotel room here in Vancouver was over 14 hours.  That's a long travel day (though I have a longer one coming later in this trip).

The good news is that I was able to work almost all of it, some in a DFW Admirals Club and the rest on planes, and so I finished all the work I had hoped to accomplish today.

Vancouver is in the forties and rainy, pretty much as I expected.

Tonight, I sleep.  Tomorrow, I register for TED!

Friday, February 12, 2016

I miss you, Mom

She died four years ago yesterday.  I wasn't going to write about her this year, but a lot of things have combined to leave me thinking a great deal about her over the last few days.

She was a good woman, a smart, funny, tough woman who raised three kids and was for many years a single mother.  She was a fighter who beat cancer three times.

Like all of us, she had her many flaws, and I use some of them in my comedy shows.  Those bits always work.

Even when I use her as comic material, I love her.  I never stopped loving her, though she always worried that I didn't, that somehow her failings had turned my heart against her.  I never understood those feelings, but now I do, and I often feel similar fears about my own kids.  I hope they're as irrational as hers.

I miss her.  I always will.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Heading out soon

Saturday morning, I begin a three-week trip to some interesting places and events.

First up is TED in Vancouver.  If you don't know about TED, you need to; check out its site and the amazing talks on it.  I've gone to a satellite show, TEDActive, for many years, but this marks my first time at the main event.  I'm quite excited to be going, and I expect to have a mind-blowing time there.

From Vancouver, I head to a very different type of show, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  Barcelona is a fantastic city that I first visited with Scott, and I'm looking forward to seeing it again.  The show itself promises to be interesting, educational, and tiring--it's rather large.  I do love tech gadgets, though, so it should be fun.

I then jump over to London, where I plan to spend a week doing, well, whatever looks good.  I'm probably going to eat at a few fantastic places, take in some great live theater, renew my love affair with Pre-Raphaelite art at the Tate, visit other museums, and generally enjoy one of the world's greatest cities.

If you're going to be in any of these places at the same time and want to get together, drop me a note, and maybe we can work it out.  I'm certainly up for unexpected adventure of the fun kind (as opposed to, oh, losing my baggage).

Three weeks is a long time on the road, and a long time away from home, but I'm still excited at all that's ahead of me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sure, Portland is known for great chefs

who create great food from all the best local ingredients, but that's not all you can eat in Portland.  Oh, no.  At the airport, for example, you order this crazy bastard of a dish.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Yup, that is the Mac-n-Cheese Burger, which comes with bacon, of course, because once you're this deep into the food insanity, how could you hold back the bacon?

Don't worry about me, though.  I made it all healthy by choosing a salad--the inimitable lettuce wedge, which itself comes with bacon and bleu cheese dressing--in lieu of the gorgonzola fries that one normally gets with the burger.

"Gorgonzola fries."  Even saying it tastes good.

As you might expect, this burger stayed with me for the rest of the day.

It's good to be home.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

It's local chocolatier month

at Salt and Straw, a wonderful ice cream shop here in Portland, so after a sushi dinner at next-door restaurant, Bamboo Sushi, I had to check out what was on the big (ice cream) board.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Two of us decided to share a flight of four kiddie scoops of four different flavors.  All were delicious.

Tomorrow, I fly home.

Monday, February 8, 2016

It's not always sunny in Portland

but today the sun shined all day, the skies stayed clear, and the weather proved to be fabulous.  One could not have asked for a nicer winter day.  I enjoyed all of the few moments I was outside.

Dinner tonight took me to one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Le Pigeon.  The menu was as inventive--and fattening--as always.

Click an image to see a larger version.

If you know me well, you can already be sure what I ordered.  I started with the foie gras and uni.

This dish proved to be a riff on bacon, eggs, and pancakes, with the uni sitting atop the sour cream filling the role of the egg, the foie gras acting as the bacon, and the amazing pancake and soy maple syrup supporting it all.  Foie and uni together are so good and so bad--for health--that they should be an illegal and yet widely available couple.

My main course was an equally obvious choice:  the Kobe salisbury steak--with foie--with mushroom gravy.

In some ways, this plate of food was simply an interpretation of the Stouffer's frozen-foods classic--until I took a bite of it.  Then it proved to be so sinfully rich and good that it, like the previous course, should be illegal and highly coveted.

Out came the dessert menu.

I'd like to be able to tell you that I resisted, that I considered all I had eaten, pushed away the single sheet, and told the dessert temptation to get behind me.

I didn't, though, do any of that.

Instead, I ordered the truffled chocolate chip ice cream sandwich, because truffles!  Chocolate!  Ice cream sandwich!

Oh, my, was it delicious!  Rich and wonderful, the blending of truffles and chocolate was more grand than I would have believed.

If you live anywhere near Le Pigeon, hurry over and try these dishes before they leave the menu.

Then, plan to walk a lot.  A whole damn lot.  You won't want to stop until you've burned off a great may of these calories, because if you do stop, you might fall, and if you fall, you won't easily get up.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

I actually watched the Super Bowl game

Not just the commercials, which I traditionally try to catch.  No, this time I sat in my hotel room and stared at the football game, because a local team, the Carolina Panthers, were playing.  I felt I should root for them.


The game was ugly, mostly because the defense of the Denver Broncos was simply better than the offense of the Carolina Panthers.  Poor Cam Newton, the Panthers' quarterback, spent a lot of time either being tackled by the defense or trying to avoid that happening.

The Broncos clearly were the better team, though, so I certainly don't begrudge them winning.  I also have no real room to complain, seeing as how I'm about as fair weather a fan as one could be; after all, this is the only football game I've watched all year.

Next year, regardless of which teams are playing, I'm returning to my practice of watching the commercials.  I find them often more entertaining than the game itself, and I'm certainly more interested in effective advertising than in football.

Oh, yeah:  I'm in Portland now for a couple of days.  Due to early meetings and some junk food I ate during the game--continuing a longstanding tradition--I ate a room-service salad for dinner, so I have no great food news to report.

Tomorrow, though, will be different.


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