Observations In Behavior

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Has anyone else ever wondered what is going through an individual’s head when you’re talking to them? Have y’all ever wondered what is actually behind the glassed over look in a person’s eyes? Is that person actually processing the information? What if you had to train someone to do a very specific task? Before I begin, I do think it is worth mentioning that I am very aware that what you will read shortly has personal variations based on personal preference or experience. But, that’s my point, are people, in general, capable of just listening to instructions without additional thoughts which interfere? To demonstrate, below i will explain step by step how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. See if y’all can just read and follow the instructions. You might be surprised just how hard it actually is to do. Understand that I make a few assumptions when delivering these instructions like y’all knowing what peanut butter, jelly, and sliced bread actually are. If you don’t, Google those ingredients first and then come back, I’ll wait. All terms in the following instructions are as I would use where I live locally. Different places (not in Texas) tend to call things by strange names for some reason. And, before we ask, much of the information contained below was emailed to me by a personal friend who thought it would be cool to try with my Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. The instructions worked well on 2nd graders, but gets lost in translation by older children and adults because we tend to over think things.

Ingredients

  • Two slices of bread
  • One butter knife
  • One jar of peanut butter
  • One jar of jelly
  • One clean surface (plate, cutting board, etc.)

Given that all the necessary items are present:

01. Begin by taking the sliced bread in it’s wrapper into one hand and remove the closure device by untwisting the tie or pulling off the plastic piece.

02. Untwist the wrapper to open it exposing the bread.

03. With one hand gently remove two slices of bread and lay them flat on your preparation surface.

04. Pick up the jar of peanut butter in one hand. With the opposite hand unscrew the top in a counterclockwise fashion. Once removed, set down the top on the table.

05. Holding on to the open jar of peanut butter, pick up the butter knife with the free hand.

06. Grab a nice portion of peanut butter on your knife.

07. Put down the peanut butter.

08. With the hand that is now available, pick up the left slice of bread and hold it flat in your hand.

09. Maintain and open palm w/ finger slightly bent to keep the slice in place.

10. Carefully apply the knife with the scoop of peanut butter to the slice of bread. Gently spread the peanut butter so that it is evenly distributed.

11. Lay down the piece of bread w/ peanut butter on the table next to the untouched bread, peanut butter side up.

12. Now, set down the knife.

13. Using one hand of the two that are available, pick up the jelly jar and open the jar in the same manner as the peanut butter jar.

14. Set the top down and pick up the knife w/ your free hand.

15. Insert the knife into the jelly jar and scoop out a decent portion of jelly. Because the jelly is quite unstable, you practice caution when holding it.

16. Carefully set down the jelly jar.

17. Pick up the remaining slice of bread with your free hand. Be sure that the slice does not have peanut butter.

18. Hold the slice in the same manner as the previous slice.

19. Gently apply the jelly to the slice of bread, be sure to spread the jelly so the that all the jelly is evenly distributed.

20. Set down the knife.

21. Holding on to the slice of bread with jelly in the same manner, pick up the slice of bread with peanut butter.

22. Be sure to pick it up from the sides so that you do not stick your fingers in the spread.

23. Adjust the slice of bread with the peanut butter so that it’s held on an open palm w/ slightly bent fingers.

24. Make sure that the peanut butter is facing up.

25. Bring both pieces of bread together as in a clapping motion, but with a fraction of the force.

26. Maintain this motion with your hands while you rotate your hands to meet the peanut butter and jelly faces together.

27. Remove the top hand and gently place sandwich on preparation surface.

28. Use the butter knife to carefully cut your sandwich in a diagonal fashion from one corner to the opposite corner.

29. Place butter knife at the edge of the sink as this is the international way of saying “I might want to make another sandwich”.

30. Enjoy the peanut butter and jelly sandwich that you prepared with your own two hands.

So, let’s review. Does it really take 30 steps to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? It’s all a matter of opinion, right? In regards to teaching, do we need to be so precise the very first time? Here’s what I personally think, the answer is yes. If we are taught short cuts first we will never truly know the right way or wrong way to do anything. As additional observation, it has been my experience that people want the end first, rather than learning how to get there the next time. No, I’m not a teacher, I’m not an instructor, nor am I a trainer, I’m a dad, who over the years, still applies the things I learned when I was younger to how I have raised my own children. I’m no where close to perfect, but I will always remember that the devil is in the details.

Well, I hope we had a little fun together today and that every once in awhile it pays to think about what we do so mindlessly. Life was better when the internet was my back yard, when a round up ball game on the corner lot was staring at my cell phone, and when I talked to someone it was usually face to face. Technology has made it easy not to be a part of life and hopefully there are still some old school parents who enjoy being involved in the lives which are around us. Anyway, before I go too far off topic I think it is the perfect time to end this post. Thanks for visiting, hopefully y’all enjoyed this little piece of nonsense.

Bourbon Cajun Barbeque Pork Loin

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My regular visitors might remember that I cook, or grill, or smoke on a very regular basis, like daily. On occasion, like today, I share what I am doing, giving the recipe and instructions. Now, I am not anywhere near a professional in any sense of the word, however, over my life I have mastered a large handful of recipes and dishes I I really enjoy preparing. I also enjoy feedback from people who try my recipes at home so I know how it worked out for you. The recipe I will share today just happens to be what is for dinner tonight. I have made this a dozen plus times but this will be only the second time using this particular bourbon. The first time, just after Christmas, left me wanting more than I actually prepared so I decided since I had half a bottle left to have a repeat. Coincidentally, I received this bottle of bourbon as a birthday present so I haven’t actually ever purchased it myself. I know it tastes great straight, served over one ice cube. Anyway, here we go.

Bourbon Cajun Barbeque Pork Loin

  • 4 pounds unseasoned pork loin
  • 4 cups Texas Bourbon Whiskey (82.4 proof)
  • 1/2 cup Cajun blend spices
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cub brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper blend
  • 1 cup unflavored apple sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard powder
  1. In a large mixing bowl blend all ingredients until texture is smooth.
  2. Place pork loins fat side up in a 6 quart crock pot or slow cooker.
  3. Pour 1/2 of mixture over meat and using your hands massage the meat covering all sides of meat.
  4. Pour remaining mixture over the top, making sure it settles into all the crevices.
  5. Place the lid on.
  6. Put selector on low for 8 hours.
  7. Remove from slow cooker and place on serving dish. Wrap with tinfoil and let rest for 20 minutes.
  8. Slice to desired thickness and serve with your selected sides.

Yes, it is exactly that easy. Those of y’all who cook know that the portions can be reduced to yield a smaller meal if feeding less people. I hope y’all enjoy this recipe and look forward to hearing your personal results. If you like it share it with your friends and family.

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Note To Self: Just Breathe

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The absolute worst time to have an anxiety panic attack is while you are sitting in a chair with a needle mere millimeters from the vein it is about to puncture. How do I know this? I know this from first hand experience this morning. But, before I get into that and what happened next, y’all might need to catch up a bit by reading “An Attack Of Aichmophobia” which was written by me on 19 December 2013 and can explain a little more why I was having blood drawn in the first place. The blood was to serve a two fold purpose, one to do my Hemoglobin A1C panel for diabetic medication prescription renewals and also to see if I had anything weird going on which might explain me really freaking out around needles. I know, made no sense to me either. Why stick someone with a needle that has been freaking out about being stuck with needles here lately. Needless to say, the blood could not be drawn as requested because I threatened to stick the needle where the sun don’t shine to the technician. I ended up back in my doctor’s office where I was introduced to Klonopin or at least the doctor thought he was introducing us for the first time. I’m real aware of this drug as it is one of the drugs my son takes to try to “control” episodes he has because of being bipolar. I have tried to use some humor in the last post because it has been my way of dealing with the fact that I’m pretty fucking scared at this point in my life. I mean, ask yourself, how can a diabetic get away from sharp objects?

Meanwhile, while sitting in the doctor’s chair, figiting and sweating like a whore in a Catholic confessional, the doctor went over my “symptoms” and any known allergies. By this point I’m agitated, I want to go home, I want to get the hell away from all of this to sort it out. The doctor offered me a small pill and a small sip of water in a very small paper cup. He said to take it so we could continue our conversation. So, I complied, I took the pill. Within a few minutes my mind was clearing up, my focus was coming back, and it seemed like I just might be coming back to my senses. A quick check of my pulse, my blood pressure, and a tiny flashlight in my eye revealed to the doctor that my anxiety attack has come to it’s conclusion. Wow, now that was impressive, it worked almost as well as the calming effects my wife’s cold hands have when she places them on my neck when comforting me. He went on to explain that what I had just taken was 2mg of Klonopin. Within a few minutes I was back in the lab chair with a needle in my arm drawing blood and I could really care less. The only thing I could think of is where is my pain, where is my fear, am I dead. I’m a very firm believer that fear and pain are two very basic elements that ensure our safety and remind us that we are indeed still alive. I felt neither but I did feel scared. I imagine how my son must feel, what must be going on inside his brain as he watches what happens around him. Does it have the same effect on him.

That is that. A short walk down the hallway to meet my wife in her office. After seeing she was in there alone I walked thru the door, closing it behind me, where I sat down in one of the chairs at the front of her desk, all I wanted to do is just breathe. She made no comments about what had happened. If I know her the way I think I know her then nothing will ever be said. She did mention that she would pick up my new prescription on her way home with all the instructions. I leaned in to give her a kiss, not saying a word, and I left. I got into my car and found myself going to work. I have spoken to her since because she called to check up on me. She tried to explain that from now on I will need to take this medication prior to testing and prior injecting until I feel it is all under control like it once was. Will it ever get back under control? Will it ever be the same again? Have I lost what I thought I had control of just days before? I have come to the point that I really have grown to dislike this whole diabetes thing. Seems everyone has a way to kick it’s ass. I wish I could find my way to kick diabetes square in the ass and right out the door. Is this the part when someone tells me that we reap what we sew? Unfortunately I can’t go back in time, nor do I want to either, tomorrow is another day, to be dealt with like any other day I suppose. I just need to remember to breathe.

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