Thursday, September 10, 2009

Act Like a Lady, DUI, Laptops.

This morning I caught a segment about Steve Harvey who was/is a stand up comic but has now written a book called Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man all about financial problems in marriages. The theory being that the majority of divorces are caused by marital problems. He said he thinks a couple should have four accounts, one general account where they put all their pay and from which mortgages, household bills and such are taken. A second account should be a savings account into which you put a regular amount every payday and which needs two signatures to withdraw anything. The third and fourth accounts should be individual ones for each spouse to give them a certain amount of independence. Matt and I have been married for 37 years this month and have always had a general account and more recently a savings account. We have never had any problems as either of us can withdraw money at any time. However, if one of the couple indulges in uncontrolled spending, I can see that would be a problem. I know of friends who have personal accounts so they can use that money however they wish. We have never found it necessary. Anyway, Steve was giving financial advice to couples this morning, most of which I thought was very sound. As he says, he has messed up marriages twice and thinks he has now got it right. One thing which used to happen in some households was that the wife would have to ask her husband if she needed money, I think that is dreadful. A piece of advice I personally would give to people would be to use financial software. Once I started to use Quicken - before that Manage Your Money - I could keep an eye on where our money was going and control our expenditures if and when necessary. There are probably other financial programmes out there, but I don't actually know of them. I can't believe the latest news on drunk driving, a Qu├ębec man, Roger Walsh of St-Lazare, has had 18 DUI convictions and last year struck and killed a woman out with her dog. She was in a wheelchair. He has been given a life sentence with eligibility for parole in 7 years. What's the betting they let him out at that time. There was an argument because the crown wanted to declare him a dangerous offender but he wasn't so declared. Seems like a dangerous offender to me. Today it will be packing and loading stuff into the car and all the last minute stuff one has to do before vacationing. Not so bad this end, but I hate coming home and having to unpack everything. There's a difference in the anticipation of heading out and the finality of returning. Oh, keep it quiet, but I think I have persuaded Matt that I need a new laptop as a birthday present next week. As I mentioned, the mouse pad in my old one has gone kaput and as I am assured it will cost me a small fortune to repair it, I have been moaning and groaning about it plus saying "What are you getting for my birthday". So guess where we will be on Sunday when we get to the States. The other day they had Wolfgang Puck of Spago fame, one of my favourite chefs, on GMA and the following is one of his recipes. I guess as this was intended for Labour Day I should have posted it last week. Wolfgang Puck's Mediterranean Grilled Chopped Vegetable Salad With Feta wolfgang puck From the Kitchen of Wolfgang Puck Servings: 4 Labor Day might be a day off for most, but at least one person will be working hard: the master griller. Luckily, another master griller, Wolfgang Puck, dropped by "Good Morning America" to share some of his best Labor Day dishes. So strike up the grill and get ready for some delicious fun. Ingredients 1 medium eggplant 1 medium zucchini 1 medium yellow squash 1 medium fennel bulb 1 small red onion 8 asparagus spears 3/4 cup (180 ml) extra-virgin olive oil Salt Freshly ground black pepper 30 organic green beans, trimmed 10 organic baby carrots, trimmed 1/2 cup (125 ml) pitted and halved Kalamata olives 1 cup (250 ml) mixed organic baby lettuces 1/2 cup (125 ml) organic crumbled feta cheese, plus 1/4 lb (125 g) block 3 tablespoons lemon juice 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar 1/2 cup (125 ml) Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette (recipe follows) 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh parsley leaves Directions Cut the eggplant, zucchini, and squash diagonally into slices 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Trim the fennel and cut crosswise into slices 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Peel the onion and cut crosswise into slices 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Trim the asparagus. With 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the olive oil, coat all the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Set the vegetables aside. Build a fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill, for indirect-heat cooking. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a mixing bowl with ice and water. Add the green beans to the boiling water and, as soon as it returns to the boil and the beans are bright green, use a wire skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer them to the ice water. Add the baby carrots and boil until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes; transfer to the ice water. Drain the vegetables and set aside. When the fire is hot, place the vegetables on the cooking grid not directly above the heat. Cook, turning as necessary to prevent scorching, until are nicely browned and tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes total cooking time. As they are done, transfer the vegetables to a platter and leave to cool. Cut the grilled vegetables into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces. Cut the carrots and green beans on the bias into 1/4-inch (6-mm) pieces. Put all the vegetables, olives, lettuces and crumbled feta in a large salad bowl. Add the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well. Divide the 1/2 cup (125 ml) of vinaigrette among 4 large salad plates, spooning it around the edge. Mound the salad mixture evenly in the middle. Using a cheese plane or swivel-bladed vegetable peeler, shave the block of feta over each salad. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately. Have a great day.

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