Communicator, cooker, drinker, poet. Grew up in a mining town, wore a hard hat.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

This Is What I Have To Deal With When I'm Trying To Work...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life Is Too Short To Have A Job You Don't Like

Simple as that. I had a lunch meeting with a person who recounted a simple, but very insightful anecdote about happiness at work. For the purpose of the post, I'll refer to him as Marc.

Marc was once having beers with an old friend who worked for a big telecom company. They started talking about the lottery and Marc recalled that he had once met a woman who would keep her job if she won the lottery. He asked his old friend, "Would you keep yours if you won 10 million tomorrow?" The friend replied that he sure as heck wouldn't. Then he asked Marc the same question. After a brief pause, Marc replied that he probably would keep his job. Why not? He liked it: the people were nice, lots of autonomy, not too much stress. We should all be so lucky.

I've had a couple of jobs that I would quit in a heartbeat given the chance. But I've also had one or two that I would totally keep if I won the lottery. As Marc recounted to me, smiling, "No big deal. Win the lottery? Call the boss, take a couple of weeks. Blow off steam on a cruise or something and get back to it."

What kind of job do you have: lottery-win-quit or lottery-win-keep?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Perth Potato Salad

Who doesn't like potato salad? Well, some people, I guess. But some people also buy Viagra online, drive without insurance, think privatizing medicare is a step forward, etc. Basically,
there's no trusting people who don't like potato salad, especially THIS potato salad, which is really friggin' good. My friend Sarah's parents made it for me once while I was at their cottage near Perth. There's been no looking back.

I don't use measurements when making this recipe, or most recipes, for that matter. Use your judgment, adjust for taste.

1) Start by boiling potatoes. Try red-skinned or new and don't worry about peeling them as long as you give 'em a good scrub. I don't keep track of time, but usually poke regularly with a fork until they're easily pierced. Remember that they'll cook a little even after they've been strained because they're still so damn hot. So yeah, boil 'em, strain 'em and then refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight, if you can manage it.

2) Now for the eggs. You're going to want (despite what your doctor may say) to use quite a few eggs. I go with about half the volume of the potatoes; remember, your celery, radish and other veg are going to increase volume further. Egg hard-boiling best practice: rather than boiling them for the duration, let the water come to a boil, cover, turn off the element and leave for at least 15 minutes. The heat from the water is sufficient to cook the eggs beautifully and this technique minimizes that grey yolk effect that is kind of gross.

3) Veggie time. Chop celery, green onion, radishes, lots of dill and a bit of parsley.

4) Dressing! There are various schools of thought on potato salad dressing: mayo versus Miracle Whip, mustard powder versus 'tard from the jar, multiple spices versus plain. Generally my advice is to go with what you like. But when it comes to Miracle Whip, I have a bit of a different opinion. As far as I'm concerned, Miracle Whip is one of the things truly wrong with this world. A super-artifical, sugary "dressing" marketed to poor people as a more economical and tasty alternative to mayo. These days, it won't save you much: mayonnaise and Miracle Whip cost pretty much the same thing. And if you're really die-hard for sugar or spice, throw in your own. But for the love of cooking, don't buy Miracle Whip. Stick with mayo; it has a cleaner, more neutral taste and a more useful texture.

My potato salad dressing usually looks something like this: 5 parts mayo, 1 part mustard, onion powder, paprika and last, but not least, lots of black pepper.

5) Get it together: mix potatoes, veggies, eggs and dressing in a big bowl and refridgerate for an hour or two before serving.

Goes well with nearly everything. This weekend we had it with barbecued ribs and tandoori chicken. Yums!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

*New* Management Implements Style Guidelines

Oh yeah, and *new* management has just implemented style guidelines. As of now, katesversion employs a home-grown mix of Chicago, Canadian Press, titles-in-start-case-cuz-I-can and some-rules-are-made-to-be-broken.

Under *New* Management

So not exactly *new* management, but more mature management. I've decided to pick up blogging again at the ripe old age of twenty-four. I am more thoughtful and interesting than I was the first time around. Okay fine, I may not be more thoughtful and interesting, but I've improved in some ways. At least a few. I'm not sure which. I'm still self-indulgent. And kind of crazy. Oh yeah, and I live in Montreal now. But the good news is, I'm bloggin again. That's good news, right? Right. That's what I thought.