Thursday, October 26, 2006

Crash and Burn CER Chili

This recipe comes from the Kitchen of John Postlewait of GBA. He's a man who knows a good pot of stew from a pile of doo and he'll let you know about it, too.

This is a meal that will keep your stomach burning long after the service pack fixes what ails ya.


1 lb. hot pork sausage
2 lbs. chili grind beef ( or alternately 1 lb. chili grind and 1 lb fajita strips sorta diced.)
1 Kiel Basa sliced into 1/4 inch slices.
Couple cans diced tomatoes
couple cans tomato sauce ( more different flavors all the time)
1 onion diced
1 or two bell pepper ( depending on size ) diced of course
1 large can Chili Hot Beans. ( or Pintos with Jalapeno's if that floats >

LARGE pot required
Need to tear apart sausage into small chunks and brown.
Add beef and brown.
Start adding the other stuff.

I usually cheat when I season it.
Buy one of those Gilley's chili or 5 alarm chili packages, just to get the cayenne and white pepper etc.
Add Garlic powder, course ground pepper, and a bunch of chili powder.

[ typical frickin' man recipe, no quantities, or times or any of that other crap. ]

I like to add sliced mushrooms but some don't eat fungus.

Now that will put some flame to your CER's.
(note from Dana- stock some mints in your desk in case Philbrick comes in for a suprise visit. And maybe some of those scented candles)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Juice Runs, Grumpy Grey and Laptop Envy- Tales from a PHL Vagabond

Today is one of those days that makes traveling seem really fun.

I arrived at PHL this AM approximately an hour ahead of my scheduled flight- yes I realize this is pushing it these days- however I was utterly dumbfounded when the ticketing agent informed me that they had given all the seats away and I would have to fly standby on the 10AM flight- and the fatigued yet condecending look in her eyes led me to believe that if she could personally ensure I would get bumped from the 10AM, she would do it just cause she didn't like my sweatpants.

So I leave her my checked luggage- basically 40lbs of mousse, hairspray, toothpaste, gel, evian, crisco and other forbidden carry on liquids- and hustle up to security on the off chance that I could pursuade the gate agents to let me on.

Forty minutes later- as I finally clear the Security Labryth (for the FIRST time today), I make it to the gate in time, but alas, nobody has disappeared between the ticket counter and the gate.


So I sit down and hop on the PHL flight schedule searching for anything to San Diego. I locate a several Southwest flights, so I hop on down there to talk to the gate agent. YES- there is a flight. But no, he doesn't know what would happen to my luggage. Good thing USAirways and Southwest are about 4 miles, 3 Brookstones and half a dozen moving sidewalks from each other.

I hoof it back to USAirways- where I am met by a different set of eyes that say "I would burn your luggage given the chance" and I say to myself- "Who cares? I can always buy clothes, I have trusty M65 with me, what else do I need" and I scamper back to Southwest. Too late.

So they tell me- nothing for the rest of the day. I sit down, open up M65, and book MYSELF onto the 4:30PM San Diego via Midway flight, and walk up to the counter to get my boarding pass. The internet is an AMAZING thing. It was virtually instant. And this time, the gate agent- a girl of about 22 with an amazing smile- was friendly and did not appear to want to burn my luggage.

However, my luggage must be dealth with. It too wants to see Shamu and the San Diego Zoo.

So I go OUT of security and down to the USAirways baggage department, where I am informed, that my luggage DID INDEED make the 740AM flight. Interesting.

So I go back through the Security Labrynth (for the SECOND time today). And this time is even better than the first. Since my Southwest ticket was a "last minute purchase" I get to go into the special line- the one reserved for Pilots, Flight Attendants, Delta Crown Club Members, and Suspected Smugglers of Non Essential Toothpaste.

So..I survive.. hours to kill.... I wander around, look through Brookstone and Sharper Image, and walk 4 miles back to the food court for some breakfast and to stream a few episodes of Grey's Anatomy from The first episode works like a charm, then as soon as Nick (TGFGT) tells me he is having issues, kaboom. No more Dark and Twisty Meredith and friends. What am I going to have to do, WORK here?

I realize it is now time for a JUICE RUN. You've seen us. We have a greenish skin tone, a laptop under our arm and a power cord in hand. We scan the foodcourt pillars, the airport bar and the walls by the payphones for unused outlets. I have even been known to sit on the floor by a vaccuum station to load up on enough juice to watch Wedding Crashers during a cross country flight.

I found myself digusted that people WITHOUT laptops would have the audacity to take a seat with a clear shot at an outlet. Where were these people raised anyway?

Juice in tow, I work on a cut fill and some template creation and prep a little for tomorrow's Civil 3D class I am teaching out in California.

I look at my watch and realize that my luggage is currently watching the Beluga Show and enjoying a corn dog.

I figure it is time I head over to the Southwest Gate. Oh, a glance at the terminal monitor- my flight is in Terminal E not D. I follow the signs and notice this one "LEAVING TERMINAL D AND ENTERING TERMINAL E WILL RESULT IN HAVING TO GO THROUGH SECURITY AGAIN"


How bad can it be? Bad. Construction and detours later, I wind up in the longest and most disgruntled line yet. And yes, I am still considered dangerous. So, on with the strip search, the laptop wipes, the bag digs. And I make it through with about 15 minutes before departure. Once again, cleared Security Labrynth (for the THIRD time)

And yet, I am blogging. Needless to say- the flight is delayed.

Terminal E (Southwest) has no armrests on their waiting room chairs. What a simple, yet welcome comfort. Boy.... I must be having a bad day.

But I will get there. And I will have a great, fun group in class and with any luck my luggage took lots of pictures at Sea World.

Side note...Laptop Envy-- I spent a lot of time researching machines when I was out to build my desktop and purchase my new laptop (I love you, my precious M65). So now, whenever anyone whips out their laptop at security, I check it out. I saw a red XPS (which is what I really wanted- except apparently Dell Business Leasing didn't think it was appropriate for me to purchase a $4000 gaming rig), a few of those nifty technicolor Alienwares, countless Macs, IBMs, and the usually potpourri. Since there are a few gates near where I am sitting right now that have flights to Manchester, NH and there is an ICE class this week- I found myself scanning the crowds for the typical Sonys, Toshibas and Dell M90s that AEs usually carry. The guy sitting next to me is a good candidate..... Hmmm....

*** Postscript: I just took a hard look at my boarding pass and apparently, Southwest has open seating. This almost guarantees that I will be crammed in some middle seat hell from here to Midway since I now notice that other people have been lining up in what I had originally took to be cattle chutes. However, despite the rank smell of PHL, there are, indeed, no actual cattle.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

James Wedding to teach Civil 3D 101 at Cadapult, Ltd.

James will be teaching the Nov 13+14 Civil 3D 101 at Cadapult, Ltd. in Newark, DE.

We are looking forward to future classes and events where we can bring in Engineered Efficiency experts thanks to the ongoing partnership between Engineered Efficiency and Cadapult, Ltd.

(Cadapult is convenient to the greater Philadelphia or Baltimore Areas, including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania)

2- Day CIVIL 3D 101

November 13 + 14

Download Agenda and sign up form here

or call 302 733 0477 ex 0 or email

For more details, more classes and more information, check out the Cadapult Training Calendar

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

How Much Mountain Dew?

This weekend while hanging out at White Birch Cabin I made a comment to Mr. Probert that he needn't drink the last of the OJ since he had about 20,000 cans of Mountain Dew in the back of the truck.

And he said, "Dana, even if I had a SEMI full of Mountain Dew, I wouldn't have 20,000 cans"

And so let the nerd moment unfold... Of course we can't let this one go.

Based on the approximations of Mr. Probert's brother ( a former retail mogul)

28 Skids to a trailer
56 cases on a skid
24 cans to a case

37,632 cans in a trailer

So my vacations are about as boring as my real life.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

See you in Paramus, NJ???

In my attempts to make some friends for AU, I have decided that I will attend the AUGI CAD Camp in Paramus, NJ on October 19, 2006.

I signed up for a few Civil 3D classes, and plenty of AutoCAD visualization classes.

Look for me, and PLEASE come up and say hi! Nobody came up and said hi at the Collision Tour except Beth , and I drove her there so that doesn't count!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Pin Me! Join the AU Social Network

So you want to find out if you and I are compatible?

Yeah you do.

And you want to meet some neat people at AU this year?

Yeah you do.

Sign up for AU Connect. If you registered for Autodesk University, use your AU Login to gain access here: AU Connect

Nick Zeeben and I did ours over the weekend. Tell me if you think this is strange.

Ok so here is me. Apparently the only person I am compatible with is James Wedding.

And here is Nick. Hmmm... he has more chances to fill his foursome.

I need some friends!!! Go sign up now!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

So what do you do again, Dana? (when you can't be on your computer)

I have had a pretty fun weekend so far- and it is only half over! I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

The weekend essentially started on Wednesday night when I packed up Panorama and headed north to my parent's house. Mr. Probert had some early stuff, and I was expected in New Jersey at 9AM wearing my Land Desktop hat.

Thursday was great fun despite the fact that I might choose a root canal over Land Desktop these days. They were a really great group of surveyors and we got through a lot of surface building skills and even I learned a few things.

Friday I came to the realization that I needed to drop the M70 off at Cadapult over the weekend so it could be adopted by a new owner on Monday. So I had many computerless hours to kill while I backed up and bleached Ol' Bessie.

So I went to the Church Attic Treasure's sale and scored a copy of Richard Halliburton's New Worlds to Conquer: America's Most Dashing 1920s Adventurer Explores South America for $0.50. On the inside cover, there is a written inscription: "To My Lukie with all my love, your Sandy- Christmas 1937"

Then I came home and spent about 5 hours working on a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle of Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party with my Dad. I always have had a thing for Renoir, but I especially dig this painting and always focus on #6 after the scene in Amelie where she and the Glass Man discuss the figures in the painting.

Interestingly enough, the film Amelie also explains my obsession with garden Gnomes, lentils, photobooths, men who drive mopeds, and skipping rocks.

However it does not explain my obsession with Matryoshka which is something that I also spent some time with this weekend.

My parents house about half of our collection at their place, so Pannie and I took them all apart and put them back together again, then I thumbed through the tall stack of Golden Cockerel Catalogs my Dad hoards with my eyes glazed over wondering which of the finely painted treasures would make its way into my Christmas stocking.

I have quite a few, but probably my favorite of my collection is actually Panorama's (hmmm, maybe she won't remember), a blue and silver ten piece.

Pannie and I did some giant floor puzzles including a brand new Map of the World that I picked up for a discount on Friday, and we also played with her Magnetic Paper Dress Up Dolls which in spite of my dislike of all toys girly, I actually enjoy playing them with myself.

After the last CD popped out, I headed back south and swung by Cadapult, leaving Ol' Bessie to run an overnight "DOD Approved" deleted files scrub.

While driving, I listened to The Cluetrain Manifesto which is absolutely fascinating... It is amazing how much what is happening with Civil 3D right now happened with Java... and everything else. And it is so true how we as users "the target market" form our own communities and seek advice from one another, and how the internet has really made it easy for someone to start their own blog and spout off pseudowisdom in the form of pointless prose riddled with self serving links.

Upon arriving home, I was greeted by a box from Zappos. Finally, I now have shoes to go with my Engineered Efficiency garb. (And if you think I am kidding, come see me at AU and I will show you how well they match.)

Oh yeah, and this is funny.

Right before I left my parents house, my Mom was looking at the potential floor plans for the new Probert Estate (estimating building year: 2025) and said something that makes me realize that I have become my Father. Not only do I look like him, but I also have one of those jobs that isn't easy to explain- like Fireman or Farmer. I still can't really tell you what my Dad does, and apparently, nobody gets my work, either. At least not on my side of the family.

She said:
"You are going to hire a professional to help you with the site design, right? I mean, you need to make sure that the water drains away from the house and stuff like that"

And I said:
"Mom, you do realize that people pay me to do that for them"

And she said:
"Yeah, but you really need to hire someone to do this. You just can't do this yourself."