Welcome...

Welcome...

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hello out there in the Interpoopland!!

My name is Bryan and me and the Rev go waaaayyyy back!!

To give you a little perspective of how far back we go one of my fondest memories of childhood is when we saw the Empire Strikes Back in a closed theatre for a private showing on the weekend of release. Whole red carpet treatment courtesy of his aunt!! Big red curtain rolling back to the wonderful title "Star Wars episode V The Empire Strikes Back" and into the wonderful star lit galaxy of my dreams.

The Rev was the first person to introduce me to the EU and the myth called Thrawn.

I am here to help the Rev break down, dissect, admire and sometimes show disappoint in our childhood dreams.

May the force be with you!!

Usmcbambam

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Pizza is Rolling Over Everything!!

Happy Wookiee LifeDay!!

Here's a Suggestion...GO AND SEE THE FORCE AWAKENS!


My parents got me a new LEGO Milennium Falcon for Christmas.
I felt like I was 8 years old.  Combined with the Movie being so good....it's been a Christmas In The Stars just like that Long, Long Ago!!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Station Ident...Star Wars-Style!!!

Press Play!

And Merry Christmas, Channel OCHO!!!

PS "Sorry for the Mess!"
I'm trying to Push the Oversized Image down a bit.  Ooops!  ^_~

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Pizza Rolls On and On...

So I've seen THE FORCE AWAKENS.

I've celebrated by looking at the Movie Poster and the Toys.

I'm gonna see it again, sure.
My mom calls me yesterday AM, "so whatcha think???""
She was excited...yet I wasn't.
How can I explain to her after all that's said and done, it was just a movie.
I supported that notion by saying, "Well...it was a Star Wars movie alright!"
The John Williams Music.
The Ben Burtt Sound Effects.
It was familiar and new all at the same time.

I am going to read the Novelization immediately.
The Story is where I had the greatest problem.  It wasn't with Acting or the characters outright...it was a nagging "why".  JJ Abrams crams a LOT of Story into this.
Does it suffer?  No.
Was it Fun?  Yes!
Who is this Movie about?  Seriously?  A mysterious young & gifted gal named Rey.  That's who I think THIS Star Wars movie was about.  She was our "Vehicle".  Like We the Viewer, thrown right into this Mix and by the Will of the Force...comes to have a role to play in a Space Opera!  We're all Special.  We're all Potential.  And we are all Rey as well.

Oh and I must have read that Doll wrong for I thought [REDACTED] was Darth Vader when it was the Kylo Ren doll.  I was trying like Hell not to look but iDigress...
My hypothesis was wrong.  My thought that the skull of Vader was cloned was Incorrect.

I will say being Spoiler-Free...was so worth it.
It was All New to Me.
I was cheering and sometime the only one clapping.  I'm gonna enjoy my re-watch whenever I can get to it.
Thanks to Tim Douglas who brought this whole night together.  We met up Peter "Doctor Hooey" Fernandez, Aaron "Posty" DeGraff and Bruce Spero as well.  I love seeing this group of guys!!
We got snookered at the SlumBrew Beer Garden and had a great time watching THE FORCE AWAKENS together.
No one dressed up.
And I left my Lightsabres at home.
I did ask Pete if he was up for it though ^_~

Namaste
And The Force Will Be With You...Always.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Pizza Rolls...

Twas The Night Before Star Wars...

Twas the Night Before Star Wars
And all through the Flat
The Twitter is Off and That is That

Free of the Spoilers
S'what I Aimed to Be
A little more than 24 hours
Will set my Embargo Free.

Well.  We've come this far.
I've remained Spoiler-Free, pretty-damn much.

I know this much:
a droid named BB8.
an X-Wing pilot named Poe
a gal named Rei
Gwendolyn Christie's Captain Phasma
and [REDACTED]

I might have gotten spoiled on one Story Point.
In line at BestBuy on Black Friday, with my Star Wars Battlefront-Flavored PlayStation4.  The line for the registers were filled with STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS toys!!
It truly was the "VALLEY OF SPOILER DEATH!!!"
I avoided as much as I could yet even a submarine leaks somewhere...
Yoda Dolls.
LEGO.  In fact, it was there & then I bought a Stormtrooper LEGO watch for 6 yo Ms. Lyra, Doctor Hooey's lil girl who's just learning to tell Time!! I hear she wears it a lot but iDigress...
The Large Doll Action Figures were Everywhere.
I saw an X-Wing Pilot with a Silver Helmet
I saw Stormtroopers of all kinds: Classic Tatooine desert rig, plain Clone Trooper, Classic Trilogy, Force Awakens and Captain Spectra.  Lyra almost got the Captain Phasma doll.
And a mysterious Black Garbed person in what looked to be a Golden Stormtrooper-style helmet,  This same character is also the "Face" of the Logo and then His Name...
[REDACTED]
Did I just see that???
Naw...
Awww shit no. So I looked away quickly yet you can't unring that bell either ...

I'll find out tomorrow.
I will say at this point I am 88% Spoiler- Free
and I gave my All staying that way in 2015's over-saturated Social Media Scene and the Individual Entitlement of Spoilers in the Geek Culture.
I have heard none of the John Williams' score, which I look forward to.
I haven't heard any dialog except for that Millennium Falcon clip we all saw, "Chewie, we're home"
I haven't heard any Plot Points except for the One I figured out with very little clues.
I still haven't looked at the Movie Posters,  Which I will later...
Before Black Friday I was confident about being 97% Spoiler-Free so please take that into consideration when giving out the Oscar for Best Star Wars Fan.

Namaste and The Force Will Be With You....Always.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Tao of Sully

Insofar and 'Nuff Said...

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Pizza Rolls...

Can you spot the Bad Joke in this?  Bwah-ha-ha!!!
21 Days to Go: 97% Spoiler-Free.
I might have found something out that I shouldn't have.  Toy boxes in the cashier line at BestBuy on Black Friday getting my PS4.  I did get the Star Wars Battlefront Bundle yet not the Vader Console but iDigress...

Saturday, November 28, 2015

iRawk Therefore iPod...

Welcome my Newest Nano to the Squadron, please


16GB. 7th Generation. 
Tiny.  Light.  Yet pretty darn cool.  

That is all...
Namaste.  

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Smoking Puck!

So I haven't had much to say about Pro Hockey lately.

Why?

Well.

The Experience of being an NHL fan has changed greatly.
As a local fan, I've been out-priced from the Balcony where the Gawds Should Be Dwelling.
The paradigm of the Experience has Changed.  There was a Sea Change.  It must have happened not too long ago.  Perhaps around the last Labor Stoppage.

The Players are Too Big.  Too Fast.  It's lost its Fun and become all Manufactured Spectacle.
For something that is a Simple Game.  Simple in a Positive Light and also Humble.
Hockey is fun.  I watch as much as I can.  I read NHL Dot Com and SportsNet Canada pages everyday.

Maybe I just need a season alone with EA NHL 2016 for the PlayStation4?  Perhaps I just need to "think" Hockey better and get a more fair assessment for the Talent Pool out there, which is Vast.
For 30 Professional Teams.  That's a lot of people to keep track of.  You Fantasy Coaches...sheesh but iDigress...
I guess as a Hockey fan, I was happiest with a Game Console and that Season's EA's NHL game.  I'd be ruthless & anal retentive with trades.  I had to keep those roster accurate!  From NHLPA '93 on the SEGA Genesis to the PlayStation 1 & 2 versions over a decade.

I seek a return to being a Happy Hockey Fan.
Cuz right now...as much as I like it, the Game is Out of Proportion with the Fans.
Try going to the Gahhden.  Tell me how much you spent.

Namaste...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Pizza Rolls...On & On...

A Right Now a-Here, in a Space Very Close to these Hands...

Since I was mentioning it.
I'm as Spoiler-Free as I was the last time I blogged about THE FORCE AWAKENS.
Which means I'm very happy unless I walk into something or someone overshares.
It's my Karma of Oversharing I'm most worried about.  What is Innocently Said and So Negatively Impacted Upon.
Peter aka Doctor Hooey has Warned me about Common Television.  So Nationally televised sporting events until December 20th I have to be very careful about.
I've yet to look at the movie posters.  Why?  It gives too much away.
A want to be awash in Newness.
In Sets and Costumes and Theme Musics and Lytmotifs and Lighting and Mood.
The Whole She-Bang!

So...Keep your Force to Yourself!  Because It's Within Us All.  ^_^
Cheers!

PS Posty was trying to mess with me talking about the latest trailers and the Old Bald Wookiee he found particularly disturbing.  Who?  Chewie's Father-in-Law? Itchy?
From the Star Wars Holiday Special...Namaste.

Get In My Belly!

Are You Kidding Around Edition!

Just Kidding!
Hey...I was honored to be asked to help a kid learn how to cook better.
My 10-year old buddy, Julian is going to try out for MasterChef Junior when auditions roll into Beantowne Faire in the coming weeks.  They're filling out a ten-page paper application!  He's Wickid Serious!  Jools is a pretty good cook at home for the kitchen, for his age & experience.  His Mum is a seriously awesome hostess & I love going to their parties for her snacks but iDigress...

What I thought was this: If Sully Was On the Set of This Show, Hired to Spot Talent and Winnow Out the Unsuitable...I'd look for the Kid who Washes His Hands, Who Sweeps his Floor, Who Knows How to Use Kosher Salt, Who Has a Sense of Knife Safety, Who Says "Behind You, Hot!", Who can peel a potato Correctly & efficiently...
And this is What I planned to share with Julian besides giving him One Plate to Share When Ever He Wants.  We Chefs call this "Repertoire".
Oh and Cookies too.  ^_^  Because they're simple to make and I really wanted to share this with him.

I got there at 4PM.  We were dining by 6:15PM.  These are the Facts.  Clean Plates were had, all around.  Perfect portions were presented.  Plating skills.  The Four Essential Elements of an Entree.
Here is how it Happened.
"First Things First!" I declare.  We preheat the oven to 325deg.  We'll need it.
Next!  2 Gallons of Boiling Water so we put a pot on the stove.
I like to keep it Simple.  It works and it is what you really want for dinner as well, most times than not.

I then asked to see what Jools got from the store.
My expectations were Simple:
A Protein (anything you want, kid. Beef, Lamb, Pork, Chicken, Fish...)
A Veggie (anything you want kid, I'll show you a technique...)
and a Starch (rice, potato...anything you want, kid ^_^)
Oh and leave out a Stick of Butter to get soft, please.

So I beheld in "My Basket":
About 5 lbs of Beef Short Ribs
1 lb of Brussels Sprouts and
6-7 Sweet Potatoes.

Now I know what "The Score" is.
Now We Can Start To Cook.
First Things First.  We need to get this meat cooking, properly.
We cannot simply broil or sautee this cut, I described.  I'm gonna show you what Braising is.
Luckily, Mum has a Cast-Iron Dutch Oven (culinary squee!)

Jools & I then seasoned the beef with only Kosher Salt & a little black pepper.  In fact those are the only seasoning & flavoring we used all night.  Everything will speak for itself, flavorwise I promised...
We needed some veggies so with our Cut Gloves Handed, I then gave Jools his Knife Cutting Demo.  We used two knives overall: The French Knife and the Paring Knife.  We had some garlic I taught him to squash with the palm of his hand then flat of his French knife, while shrugging off his offer the garlic press. ^_^  Then Simple "Julienne" Cuts of Onion & Pepper.  Aka Fajita-Style for the Mouthbreathers ;)
All Pun Intended, Julian can now make superior Julienne!

The Cast-Iron we put on the Stove top, sautee the veggies then sear the beef all in the one pot.  We then add chicken stock, cover and drop in the 325 oven for the first 45 minutes until we check it.  All along tasting the broth once we've added and brought to a boil.  Does it need anything?  Nah!  Great!  ^_^

With the Paring Knife, we then cleaned the bag of Brussels Sprouts, removing the knob & halving the rest.  I smuggled in as much Science as I could too.  A mini-lecture on Chlorophyll to a 10-year old who hasn't taken Science yet.  Brilliant!! ^_^  With the 2 gallons of boiling water, I then very specifically told him to add 6 oz of Kosher Salt.  That's 3 oz per gallon!  The water looked cloudy!  I then asked him to taste the water after I did and able to swallow.  Which Jools was able as well.  This is Blanching Water.  We're going to Blanche the Brussels Sprouts until Tender.  This is a French Culinary Technique for All Green Vegetables.  When tenderness was achieved in a few minutes, I then showed him the importance of the Ice Bath when Blanching Green Vegetables.
Look at them, how vivid the Green is!  We were eating them cold out of the ice, yet were so yummy & tender.  We'll be serving this before dinner, sauteed in canola oil, kosher salt until a little crispy.
DYK: Blanching your Green Vegetables with Iodized Table Salt is Bad for your Finished Product?  The Iodine will strip the cell wall of of their needed Hydrogen and encourage browning & limpness. Always use Kosher Salt.

With the Second things Seconded, we then skinned our sweet potatoes.  I asked Jools, well...how do you want them?  He kinda wanted them two ways: Oven Fries or Mashed?  I said Why Not Both!
So I put on another gallon of water and remarked, this time just a big pinch of kosher salt.
I reserved the 2 really long, big potatoes and the rest into a Rough Chop.  We then boiled the spuds until tender.  More Knife Skills with the French Knife.  From Julienne comes "Batonnet", little Batons aka French Fries.  Then to complete the Knife Demo, from Batonnet to "Dice".  With the scraps from making the potatoes into long rectangles and the leftover julienne onion & peppers, we then achieved "Sweet Potatoes Three Ways"...Sweet Potato Hash!
I then mashed the boiled potatoes with a whisk, adding butter and a dash of chicken stock until I reached the proper Puree I wanted.  A touch of Kosher salt and taste this?  Jools, what's it need?  Nothing?  Alright!  ^_^
With the oven already hot, I oil & season the fries then lay them on a sheet pan.  Jools offered a Cookie Pan which I said we'll need yet wrong tool for this job.  We'll need the one with the edges.
We check the Short Ribs at 45 minutes wherein I explain Doneness of Braised Beef through Touch of the the Fork.
"Braised or stewed beef is always cooked until well done. Tenderness is the clue to doneness; beef is fork-tender when a utility fork can be inserted without resistance and then releases easily when pulled out. Cooking beyond the fork-tender stage can result in dry, stringy beef. " 
We "felt" it needed more time so back it went for another 20 minutes.
Great time to start the fries.  The mashed need to be heated up, the brussels sprouts sauteed along with the hash.
Everything was in place.  In it's proper firing order too.

We pull the short ribs and I reserve the broth in a glass Pyrex.  Jools...this is where our gravy will come from.  We wait a few minutes and with a turkey baster, I remove the layer of fat from the top of the stock, explaining it will totally kill our gravy.  I take some soft butter and add an equal portion on AP flour to it.  Beurre Manie.  A Sauce Thickener, a Way to Make Gravy.  A simple roux.  Jools, taste this.  Yeah, huh? Well you cook the sauce until you don't taste that raw flour flavor anymore, OK?  ^_^
We sautee our Brussels & Hash then plate our dinner.

Nice Looking Plates, Kid!  We served the gravy on the side in a boat.
The Four Essential Elements of an Entree: Protein, Starch, Veggie & Sauce.
4 adult sized plates, 2 kid-sized for his 6 year old brother Levon & his best friend who was visiting.
We ate.
Boy did we eat!
It was good!  it was glorious!  We ate in the Dining Room!!!
It was well-met if I've ever had such an occasion to properly turn that phrase.
Such good manners in these three boys as well.  a very nice family dinner that could impress a TV Chef, btw ^_^

After dinner, the cookies needed prepping.  With the 1-2-3 Ratio, I showed Jools how easy it is to make Cookie Dough with flour, sugar, butter, an egg & a hot oven.  We added crushed Twix candybar & Toll House chips.  While the cookies baked, we cleaned.  I explained that we really cleaned as we cooked.  We swept our area with a broom a few times.  The Mess is very manageable yet we're gonna leave that sink clean because that's the way we found it.
And with my bare clean hand...I showed him how fun making the dough can be!


There has been no greater joy recently than the feeling of Contentment seeing three boys, munching on freshly baked cookies and in that Zone of Childhood Bliss we all recall.
The Bruins were on to boot!  Del, my buddy and dad to the boys & I go to the Pub to watch the rest of the game as it's bedtime for the Boys.
Del was amazed by my ability to talk to the kids.
I got to quote Batman.  My night was now Perfect.  ^_^
Namaste.

Monday, November 02, 2015

xkcd

"Salvage"
(the punchline is in the hovertext only if you go to it! =P  )  

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Pizza Rolls...On & On...

Still 99.4% Spoiler-Free with Two Months to go!
We got our tix already with a Doctor Hooey slam.  December 20, 9:30PM.  Reserved Seats.

So I've also taken a break from Twitter.  I'm in Writer-Only Mode until The Force Awakens.
Yet I still Tweet!  =)

I was thinking about Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
Sure it could have been better.
So why not a Special Edition after all this time and with upcoming new movies!

I love the Lost Scenes of A New Hope.  Toshii Station.  Biggs Darklighter on Yavin IV.  The Jabba Scene Special Edition not so much.  Boba Fett addressing the "Fourth Wall" drained the scene of its energy but iDigress...

Episode III: RotS deserves a Special Edition!  As fans, can we start a write-in campaign?
I read the Novelization.  Storywise, the book is stronger than the Movie.
The Matthew Stover tome is based on the last screenplay before Lucas did final reshoots.  Reshoots including a more crying Anakin on Mustafar.  RTFM if you don't believe me.
So let's rattle a cage or two and get some special editions of Episode III and the others too.  Let's include all the Lost Scenes!  The Story only gets Richer not more Convoluted.

Here are a few Missed Plot Points I found in my reading of this highly enjoyable Star Wars story.
If only the Movie was more like it's Novel...
but that was a Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Smoldering...

Hey yo,

Smoking Puck for 2015/16 is now dropped.

The start of the season is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.  Yet I'm reminded of "why" I love reading about ice hockey.  Growing up in Southie, we had a newspaper shop at Dot & where the Broadways split East & West.  There I'd find "The Hockey News", a weekly rag, worth the price.
Hockey writers are a clever bunch.  They're one step away from being a goalie mentality-wise.  A thinking man in a reflex-quick play.
No wonder I went on to Blog about Hockey the way I do.

Things I look forward to this season: roadtrip to Chicago & catch the Hawks at Home.

Namaste!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Thursday, October 08, 2015

The Pizza Rolls...

So it's almost Awake, eh?

Two months to go and the Force is out in force.

The other day I caught my first "spoiler" with 2 months remaining until release date.
Nothing major.  In fact really cool & obvious.  A LEGO playset with character for THE FORCE AWAKENS.
I didn't know the character's name.  Now I do.  I also saw his astromech yet I do not know this droid's designation, and will go into Movie Night the same.

I was aware of three characters names before this.  One being the Next Generation cute & spherical Droid.  The other two:
1. is the Sith with the funny lightsabre
2. the role Gwendoline Christie is playing.  I kinda think she's wickid awesome so I did peek.  Wish I hadn't but iDigress! =)

And that's all I know about THE FORCE AWAKENS two months away.

4 character names.  No plot points.  No hints.  No story blurbs.
I'm saving that for the Opening Crawl.
I get an InfoDump.
We all do.
Spoilers are so...Illogical.

I'm going in Eyes Wide Shut to open at the Fox Theme.
I want to go Back...it was a long time ago and it is far, far away, innit?
Namaste.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Get in my Belly

Hey there!

I just had the Best Professional Experience.
And it was Unintended!  

I'm a Union 26 chef at MIT.  
Yet I keep my Culinary Edge sharp by being a Brunch cook at Highland Kitchen, one of the Boston area's Best & Brightest.  I was given Providence and followed my feet to this humble kitchen where everything is done from scratch, and it shows in its popularity.  

I've been covering vacations at HK!
While we're all laid-off at MIT this year, I got the opportunity to pick up as many shifts as HK offered me.  For the past 2 weeks...I've been in a high-stakes summer camp for cooks at one of Boston's premiere restaurants.  

So I'm not going to give anything away in terms of recipe.  
You can't.  
HK's food is all about Soul.  It's Gnosis.  It's knowledge passed on.  It's a Tactile Knowledge.  
I loved every minute of it.  Was asked to cover a sick linecook on Monday.  What an experience.  I got no pics, was too busy.  Well....I got two!  =)  

Cooking at a pace.  Wow.  Three prep cooks.  8 hours.  One Clipboard brimming with different things, to prep with different techniques, at different scales, at different times...
ahhhhh.  
To be part of it.  
I worked 6 days in a row yet the Monday after Sunday Brunch was unintentionally a 13hr test that I passed with a smile on my face.  On Tuesday AM, I was noshing on the fried chicken I prepped as my last task.  Butcher a number of chicken.  Leave ready-to-fire.  
"Yes, Chef"

That's It.  That's my Life.  
Lots of "Qui, Chef" 
and a lot of happy guests.  




















ReTweet: Tao of Sully Supplement

I wanted to bring in yesterday's context. I was up late on a day off, about 8:30AM.
I read the newsfeeds.  I followed a link and got a New York Post page that included a YouTube of someone phone-filming the 6:45am live on-air Gun Violence in Virginia.
I watched the YouTube before they took it down.
I actually watched this several times over.  Especially for the segue back to the studio, the look on the anchor's face and the Next...
whew.  wow...  Why?  Why did I watch the 30 sec video over again?  The Sound.  It brought me back.  The ambient audio.  The sound of the gun reports & the screams.
To a day when I was 15 years old.

So yesterday I got all fire & brimstone on the subject on Twitter.
So in context for my thoughts on the Death Penalty in the Next Blog, what I think should be the consequence for such choices.  For Gun Violence in 2015 & Beyond.
It involves Gun Culture.  Gun Reform.  It might involve a New Deal.
Walmart stopping sales of the AR-15 and such firearms is the steps in Gun Control. The next availability of firearms to a General Public.
in 2013, this source claims that a believable number of 310 Million firearms are in civilian hands.

Thanks and if you agree with me, do something about Guns on a Local level.
Ask questions, if you are a bonafide civilian gun owner, what are you doing with it on your person?
Why is it off of the property that you're protecting?
If someone is caught with a gun on a local level, what are you doing in my town with an unauthorized firearm?  Why are you armed within the City Limits?  Why is your rifle out of its unlocked case?  What is your sidearm doing on your person?
Make Gun Crime a "Severe Offense" on a Municipal Level.  A criminal can only be caught with an illegal firearm.  And getting some of these 310 Million firearms out of any hands. Yet keeping Gun Control on a Local Level, it can respect the differences region-to-region and legitimate need for a firearm.  You could need a rifle in a county known for hunting, sport & game.  A blanket reform on Guns cannot help Americans in these regions.  But I'm from an Urban environment.  And nobody needs a gun in a city unless you're up to no good.  Or expecting it.  It's a heavy decision for a "normal American" to buy a gun and the needs ownership truly addresses.  Need to Power, Culture, Given Right...
On a Local Level, in Cities & Towns like cigarettes before it, perhaps we CAN make a difference.
We are blessed with an Armed Police.  Why do you need a gun?  Why are you carrying a gun?
We can't let guns fall into the hands of Cowards who are going to cause suffering & harm.
Gun laws need to become tighter than Good Credit.
Ownership needs transparency.  About 10 Million new guns are produced & sold in the USA per year.  Sure we have the Given Right...yet Why do we need so many?  Do we live in the Sudan?  No.

There needs to be a new Compromise about Firearms.  An armed, paid, Local & State Police Force should shift the Need for Firearms and their ownership into a more-insulated category.

Once you see what a gun does to a Human, it'll forever change their Coolness & your ability to tolerate them.  They're not a necessary evil, they're a mass-produced product with the blessing of some elusive feeling of Security that can't exist while armed such.
Having one admits how scared you are...and you've already given yourself permission to use it.




















The Tao of Sully

The Tao of Sully
On Capital Punishment

Hey everybody.

Recent news on gun violence gets me especially thoughtful, having witnessed it myself as a teenager.
You'd think that after seeing Traumatic Violence
and Being an Ordained Minister
and being a self-professed Pacifist in the vein of Gandhi
and being a Spiritual Person that I'd be a bit more "Evolved" on the Subject of the Death Penalty...

But I'm Not.
I support the Death Penalty.
I'm all for it.
It's rooted in Justice, Consequence & Ethics, literally Public Right from Public Wrong.
It's not attached to feelings, such the grief of Loss, or the Thrill of the Kill, or the Righteousness of Condemnation.
I believe in our U.S. Society.  And Our Evolving Culture.  Yet, Americans are a Kaleidoscope of Views and are allowed to be, which makes America one of the best Cultural Ideas Ever Still.

The idea of "letting someone to rot for life in Prison" is Cruelty.
Think about it.  Wait for it.  Let that notion settle in and invade your mind for a second.
Why would that please You?  Choosing that notion.  Allowing a Human we've judged as Evil or Wrong to Suffer?  It it Right for Anyone to Suffer?
Being a Spiritually-Motivated Person, I am responsible for My Suffering & the Suffering of Others, especially those around me both Near and Distant emotionally, be they friend or foe...
And the Cessation of All Suffering.  I can Choose That.

Staying on the subject of Capital Punishment, we've come a long way as Societies go.
I find the Quality of Life in History as Real Important Turning Points.
How we've treated ourselves, the Good Guy but also how we treat the Other. And especially how Great Societies treat their Imprisoned & their Condemned.
These notions are part of People Living with People throughout History.
There have been Dignified Eras and Cruel Ages, finding room for everything else in between.

As a child growing up Irish-Catholic, daily we had to look at the Crucified Christ.  I feel guilt for thinking about Daily.  About a Human Body so torn & displayed.  The idea of Crucifixion is a major trope in the Story of Christianity.  And the irony of its current usage to represent a group ethic of Peace & Forgiveness but iDigress...
I, among many, many Catholics over the past 2,000 years have thought a lot about Crucifixion.
It's Cruel.  It's Odious.  And It lacks Dignity.

Over in Japan, in Samurai books, the subject of Life and Death is a well-thought of subject.  In the Hagakure, it is remarkable how earnestly, respectfully and dignified the Subject of Beheading the Condemned is handled.  It is Solemn.  One Samurai states, "Last year I went to the Kase Execution Grounds to try my hand at beheading, and I found it to be an extremely good feeling. To think that it is unnerving is a symptom of cowardice."
Feudal Japan was indeed a Warrior culture.  Yet as Americans, we admire this in ourselves as well.  Founded in Revolution, Galvanized by Civil War and Made Profound by a Century of Armed Global Conflicts, American Identity is based on Gun Violence.  It's Huge!  We embrace the Gun as Cultural Icon & Great American Right yet waffle on the subject of what to do with the inevitable number of killers produced, who're Amended to the choice to give great grief with amazing access to an array of arms. 

Even the method of American Capital Punishment has come to a Simple Solution.
No longer do we use Public Gallows, we choose to execute society's worst killers their earned sentence with lethal injection, like putting a pet to sleep at the Vet.  Instead of the last thing a condemned sees is the blue sky as the noose goes over his head, like in a Johnny Cash song, the killer is in a hospital-style room...probably not too unlike the room he or she came into, so We The People so ordained by Our Creator...We're sending them back.
Also I'm not talking about botched executions.  I'm not bringing in the Appeal System or Wrongful Convictions.  Right now, that's all Red Herring.  What Matters Most is Suffering.  And Americans have found a better way to dispatch the condemned in what appears to be a method lacking suffering.  Lethal Injection has the verisimilitude of Being Evolved versus the humane methods of  a bullet to the heart or 13 Stair Steps to the crueler Electric Chairs & Gas Chambers.

I think the point of Justice is that No One Needs to Suffer.  And What to do With Those Who Inflict Suffering?
What to do with Murderers?  In 2015 America.
We come together in Societies; in one part We Run and on the other hand Run Us.
No one needs to suffer in our Now.  By Choice & By Public Policy.
We have come a long way since the Old West when we'd Hang 'Em High.  Yet that is the Great Granddaddy of American Justice.
Every society throughout History apparently & unfortunately have had their Murderers.
What do we do with them?  What is Right?  What is Just?
I'll choose Dignity.  And a course that Respects the Suffering of All in the case at hand.

Namaste.
Kriya Shakti,
Rev Sully
Hub O'The Multiverse

Eric O'Sullivan
Boston, MA USA

PS I was inspired by two very dear people in my life who I feel I owe a better explanation than "Embrace Conflicting Values" as a Mumbo Jumbo blanket to cover my argument.  To Emily & Peter & that night debating in the hotel room in Chicago!  Arguing just like old times!  It got heated!  Yet I always felt my argument that night was weak.  I had a hard time verbalizing my feelings, finding the words to support my POV.  Thanks!  I love yiz!!! ;P

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summa Our Books

One of my favorite Apps is the Audible Audiobook Reader.

I am a voracious "Reader".  I have a great subscription: I get 2 Credits a Month for about $25.  This Credit can apply to a quick "thin" novel with a relative cost of about $10 to a Massive Tome in the $60 range.  I have bought "3 Extra Credits" a few times since they're only $11 =) 

I take suggestions for Books again.  If it looks alright, I can throw it on my list until it's turn comes round.  I love Historical Non-Fiction.  I love a well-spun sci-fi novel still.  I've rekindled the teenage love in one of my Greatest American Authors, Stephen King.

I just wanted to make a few Bold Book Suggestions not from the Deep End of My Pool but a few read & unread suggested by Peter, Eliza and Posty.  Add me "The Thing" and we get the Best Fantastic Four tales but iDigress...

From Posty:
I'd never read this author and was looking to include some contemporary American authors I might have missed in the past 30 Years.  Posty is all glowing about Mr. Stephenson so I dived into this Massive Insular World and it was just what I needed.  To get lost in a huge fictional place, a dangerous Global game of Tag versus the workings of one of the World's Biggest MMORPGs, playing off & with the other Earth deftly.  International Espionage, Terrorists & The Agents that Chase Them.  The Interesting Ensemble of Hackers Collected by Russian Gangsters Looking to get their Money Back yet Millions was Embezzled by a Gamer within the World of "T'Rain".  It's smart and doesn't flinch.  It was a fat, long book.  It was my Summer Read of the Year, as Summer Reads Go.  

From Eliza through Peter:
Hugh Howey is a bit of a modern phenomenon in the publishing business.  Mr. Howey self-published on Kindle and he's got a viable Literary chance out the draw.  Great stories.  Do you need something to suggest to a teenage girl and above?  Great female leads.  And creating a World we can slip out of our skins and into some color-coded overalls to work our Shift.  Come for WOOL, stay for the rest of the Series.  
Howey's latest serial recently concluded, called "BEACON 23" and it's about Lighthouses in Space.  I'm really looking forward to getting that when it's collected & available!

From Peter:
This next on my bookshelf.  I've got it waiting for me in my library.  I love History!  I love Non-Fiction!  I was rambling on & on to Pete about the book I was reading.  I'll list it next and save the words for later...yet Pete then turned open his faucet and gushed about his recent read into the Real New World of the Pilgrims, their voyage, their culture and their Story through Mr. Philbrick's acumen.  I love a Good Story, Well-Told.  Peter knows what I like & like to talk about over pints at the Pub.  

From Sully:
Forty-Eight College-Style History lectures about the titular subject.  I got a bunch of different subjects: Financial Literacy, Argumentization & Rationalization, Basic Particle Physics, Analysis & Critique -How to Engage & Write About Anything, etc. 
Serious Input.  Let's bring on Alex Trebek!!  A good, refreshing reset on my American History in this subject.  One we still get into serious Sociological debate today with the Confederate Flag, its Public display & its Modern Legitimacy.  I guess my opinion on this matter is now as static as it is going to get, deeply feeling the Last Time the Rebel Flag Was Ever Cool was on the General Lee in Dukes of Hazard.  The 3 Flags of the CSA nonetheless represent the Losing Side & the Values that Culture Represented.  Yet I'm flattened by the subject and was telling Pete all about it.  Wherein Pete started on about how I'd just love "Mayflower".  

And the Wheel Turns...
Got a Book for Us?  
I got on my Short List for What's Next:
NEUROMANCER by William Gibson, my first of his.  This was Suggested as Well.  
Got anything for the Coffeetable?  
Cheers!  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Get in My Belly!

"I'm a Little Bit Country,
I'm a Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll."
It's a line from an Old Song yet it's my thought as I share these plates.

A Little bit Professional Kitchen...
A Little Bit Homecookin'.
Get Inspired.  Make something delicious...then share it!  With friends, guests & everybody in between.  Cheers & Namaste!

The Comics Gnome Poots!

A Day in the Fields of Cosplay.
My 2nd Foray into the War Against Seriousness.

Welcome to Boston ComicCon 2015!
I was happy to Suit Up and Check Out my Local Nerd Prom.
I had a great time.  I only spent a few hours, between Noon & 3PM until I figured I sweated enough.
Lots of people asked I was Hot under the Vinyl Cowl & Leather Motocross jacket and I simply replied, "I'm a chef.  I'm used to the heat"

I savvied from now on:
Only go in a Group. It'll be more fun with more people!  And...
Go Later in the Day.
Saturday is my usual day off so I'm like a horse chasing the stuffed bunny when the gate opens!  I need to temper my enthusiasm with Gnosis.  Mostly none of the creators I wanted to meet were available until later in the Afternoon.  The event on Saturday runs until 8:00PM.
So I was overall disappointed I didn't get my stack of funnybooks signed.
I did get one!  Yeah, the writer & the artist of one of my favorites.  So it wasn't a complete wash.
I think I can't go in broke either.  Summertime is when I suffer from Low Budget-itis and it's good to have a few free bucks.  In hindsight, I should have paid the $30 to say hi to Elvira, Mistress of the Dark yet I was saving that for Lunch but iDigress...
So pull up a chair, grab a sodapop & check out my slideshow of Sheer Geekery as Sully goes to ComicCon in Cosplay!  =)  Cheers!







Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Ticket

Drawing for the Dead

Jill and I had planned to mail order for tickets to the final Grateful Dead shows on 4th of July weekend, and decorated our envelope together in the hope it would improve our odds of being selected. As the time came to mail it, we did the math and realized we probably shouldn't spend the money... with preschool payments, architects designing an addition, etc. It just didn't feel responsible.
I took the money orders out of the envelope, stuck in a note that simply said, "It turns out we can't afford the trip. We hope you enjoy the art.", and said, "Oh well, if I'm meant to go, the universe will send me." I had it postmarked and mailed on my way to work, and promptly put it out of my mind.
Months later, I got a phone call from Frankie at Grateful Dead Ticket Services. She told me they wanted to use our envelope art on the 4th of July mail order tickets, and that if we signed and faxed the license transfer paperwork she was emailing me, they would be thrilled to send us complimentary tickets. It turns out this was not a practical joke.
On top of that, our envelope was on display at a Grateful Dead retrospective exhibit at the Field Museum across the street from Soldier Field while the shows were in town!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Save Ferris!!

A few weeks back I had a nigh-perfect whirlwind "weekend" in Chicago with Pete and Emily.
We dubbed it a Ferris Bueller's Day Off Occasion!
See?



We even saw a Ferrari driving down the street!
It was a sign!
=)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Get in My Belly

I was ridiculously honored to be asked by some MIT Grad Students to give them a Cooking Class.
I am a Union 26 cook at those hallowed halls of academia and I interact with Students, Faculty & Staff on a daily basis.  They know me as "Eric the Enthusiastic Cook".  And I love taking care of them all.

Now we come to last Saturday.
I was a little nervous at first but as soon as I saw my class of 22 Grad Students & Opened my Mouth...it was smooth sailing.
It really reminded me of one of my All-Time Favorite Batman phrases from INFINITE CRISIS #6...
"Booster.  You have no idea how to talk to kids."
But iDigress...

I had about an hour which spilled into two!
My mission was simple.  Show these brilliant young people how to cook a few favorites without relying on recipes.
I chose to use RATIO instead.
I've learned that simple Culinary Ratios will save you from being a slave to a recipe card.
And with a Ratio, you can make as many things as you need, to just fit the occasion whether it's for yourself or a 100.

As we say in the Kitchens, "K.I.S.S."
Keep It Simple, Silly.  Well, to be honest we usually say "stupid" yet that did not apply with this crowd.
My Demonstration Menu: Simple.  Three Things.
Crepes
Cookies &
Omelets.

What I knew would really "stick" with perhaps the brightest young people on the Planet was this.
Math!  Ratio!  And I had a lot of help...
This book forever changed my life as a professional linecook and added a few fathoms unto my Skill Set.
Ratio by Michael Ruhlman.
There are Simple Everyday Codes behind Cooking.  And to be able to share them...wow!

So I started with Crepes.  The crepe shell is a simple ratio I learned.
2:2:1
2 parts Liquid (it could be water, chicken stock or orange juice on however you feel yet we used water)
2 parts Whole Egg
and 1 part AP Flour.
I demonstrated how to use a kitchen blender to achieve an awesome crepe batter.
I then used another ratio for the crepe filling.  A simple sweet cheese filling
2:1.  2 parts Mascarpone cheese to 1 part Cream Cheese, add a little powdered sugar and a cap of vanilla extract.
I showed them how to make the crepe shells, fill then roll them.
Then had them make the shells & fill them as well.  Very hands-on.
Me flipping a crepe shell to show off. =)
We blew through the crepes.  That was a huge hit.

I then taught the "kids" how to make a basic foundation simple cookie dough using a Ratio:
3:1:2
3 parts AP Flour (sifted, of course)
1 part Sugar
2 parts Fat (we used unsalted butter, softened at room temperature)
We added some walnuts, raisins, a capfull of vanilla & chocolate chips with using only a mixing bowl & a wooden spoon.  I made about 2 dozen cookies in my demonstration yield.
They came out really decent.  Not the best yet elaboration comes after the brass tacks of technique.

I then shared the gift of the perfect One Egg Omelet with a little shredded cheddar cheese.
This is perhaps one of my favorite things to cook & to eat.  This was the Big Winner, even over the amazing crepes!  It was all technique too, not getting mired in recipes and cooking times.  They cook in literally a minute!

I then oversaw the knife skills demo where they learned the proper way to hold a Chef's Knife and to make julienne/batons to a consistent dice.  I'm happy to report there was no bloodshed =)
At the end, the "kids" gifted me with an apron that was embroidered with "Chef Eric"
Man...I'm so honored.

I'm very lucky & very blessed to have the confidence of my guests to be asked to perform such a class.
They offered to pay me too yet I refused.
It is truly my honor to have part of this.
Thanks "kids".

Station Ident

Hello and Welcome to CHANNEL OCHO!
My Contribution to Helping Write the Internet.
Image above: The "SuperOm" aka The Supermantra, a stylized Om within the iconic Superman diamond & a variation on the classic color combo.  
I drew it...then I put it on a Cafe Press tee-shirt but iDigress...

What do I do here? I blog.  Along with the help of my friends who occasionally chime in.
Why?  I'm into writing, sharing stories & experiences and also want to turn you on to something cool or delicious whether it be Music, Fiction, Hockey, Spirituality or a Well-Made Dinner.
Channel OCHO is the Magazine on the Coffeetable of my Life.  The Coffeetable was where my friends & I would gather, share stories, good meals & company.  Time & Geography have split a lot of the corps up, yet we hold it together with the glue of our love & interest in all things cool & fun.

Come check out the Archive of Articles:
And much much more!
Joie De Vivre!  And write it down.  You'll never know who you could inspire next!
Namaste & Good Luck.

Eric O'Sullivan
Boston, MA USA
@revsully on Twitter

Monday, June 29, 2015

Tao of Sully

On Service, as Noun & Verb

It doesn't matter where this is.
It doesn't matter who wrote it.
It doesn't matter whether it is funny or not.
What Matters Most is that it is Hanging On the Wall in Line of Sight.  You can make up your own mind, you can feel its Impact however your POV steers but iDigress...
I invite you to click the image and examine the list on this restaurant's chalkboard so I don't have to transliterate.
I'm a Professional Line Cook.
I work 6 Days a Week.  I live in Dharma because I do what I love & I love what I do.
And for Whom.
The four of Us walked into this trendy, Industry-Friendly bar yet the rest of my party didn't want to wait 45 minutes for a table.
I was fine with this notion.
I had to spit on the sidewalk as soon as I walk a block away, because I wanted to do it on their Doorstep.  That would have been the "Old Me", if I recall.
This Mission Statement of the House Values shocked me to my very core.
To the still-swimming zygotes in my balls, I was thoroughly Insulted.
This was the Opposite of Hospitality...this was Hostility.
A Screed.  A Set of Proscriptions.
Me being a Well-Intended Big-Mouth with an Irish Whisper wanted to run.
I felt like a long tailed cat in the room full of rocking chairs.
And it wasn't panic or anxiety.
It was Anger.  Umbrage.  Like Jesus in the Temple.

I get that it is jokey.
Yet...I also "get" what is appropriate for Line of Sight and Not.
Yes, there are Unpleasant Guests.  They make up a bit of the population.
They Happen.
And apparently They Happen to "Us" All, One Day or the Other.
Sorry to Say but They'll Happen Again.
And we need to deal with these Unpleasant Guests in a Way that Brings Out the Best in "Us".
People are Needy, I say this neither Positively nor Negatively.
This is Truth.  This is Dharma.
They come to our establishments to fulfill Need.
Hunger, Thirst, Company, Entertainment...
With that Said, the Staff is Not Sport.
Yet the Message can be said a lot better than this.
I feel that this in a way makes "Us", the "Industry", look bad.
So to the Author of this Chalkboard, I simply say, "Enjoy the Joke"
Because in my humble opinion, this joke is on all of "Us". =)

Thanks for reading,
Namaste.