Thursday, July 24, 2014

This is NOT Good!

Reuters reports that a Liberian man who collapsed in the Lagos airport is being tested for ebola. Although it has not made the news on this side of the pond, ebola has killed almost 700 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. If the virus is truly loose in Lagos, it could be a disaster. Also, because of the numbers of oil patch hands travelling there, these men could provide a vector for infection in the US and Europe.

If you want to learn about ebola and other hemorrhagic viruses, read "The Hot Zone" by Richard Preston. I promise you, you will not sleep well after reading it.

Red Dog in London

Red Dog took a ride on the London Eye and then went to Covent garden to see the mimes. They have a new gig - no visible means of support.



Two Words - Candied, Bacon

What a concept! It combines the two things men want most.

Take some bacon, coat it with sugar, lay it out on a rack and put it in a 400 degree oven. While it is cooking, heat up a small amount of honey to reduce its viscosity. Add some cayenne to the honey if you want some kick. When the honey is thin, brush some of it on one side of the bacon and let it cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Flip the bacon, spread some more honey and let it cook again. Sprinkle the bacon with crushed pecans and put back in the oven until the honey is crystalized.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Book Review - Wayfaring Stranger

This is the latest book by James Lee Burke. It continues the saga of the Holland family, this time following the life of Wendel Holland, grandson to Hackberry and cousin to Billy Bob. Burke explains the family relations in his forward. He also says this is his best work and I agree with him.

The book starts with Wendel as a young man and a chance meeting with Bonnie and Clyde. It continues with Wendel in the Battle of the Bulge and the rescue of his future wife from a concentration camp. After the war, he partners with his platoon sergeant in the development of welding technology and starts a pipeline construction business.

Burke uses Wendel's personal and business experience to explore the dark side of human nature, violence, love and redemption. As always, Burke has some of the most poetic descriptions of nature that I have ever read. This is a love story as well as an adventure story set in the post war era. I really enjoyed this book, and if you are a Burke fan, so will you.

Bacon Jam - Its Gotta be Good.

I popped over to London on the Eurostar last weekend. I was looking for breakfast and came upon Gail's Artisan Bakery. I noticed that they had more than bread. They also had savory sandwiches. I opted for the one with bacon jam spread on a toasted english muffin with a slice of ham and topped with a fried egg. It was an upscale version of an egg mcmuffin.

I had never heard of bacon jam so I looked it up. It's a concoction of brown sugar, vinegar, maybe some bourbon, various spices (chili powder, mustard, ginger), onions, garlic and cooked bacon. And I gotta think you couldn't go wrong with some Tabasco or Crystal sauce. The bacon is cooked and then the other ingredients are cooked down until it is reduced to a pasty consistency. Then the paste and the bacon is put in a food processor and blended into a chunky paste.

Spread it on bread for a tasty treat. Me, I'd probably spoon it out of the jar.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


The oil patch is really a small community. If something happens anywhere in the world, there are only a few degrees of separation between yourself and persons involved in the incident. For example, the engineer I am sharing an office with here in Paris knew one of the victims on MH17. They had worked together and lived next door to each other in Malaysia.

If anything happens anywhere in the world there may only be one or two degrees of separation between you and the incident.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Red Dog: Lost and Found Again

You may have seen some of the adventures of Red Dog. The little guy has travelled the world with me. He was given to us by our middle grandson with instructions to take picture of him during our travels. He has been to Malaysia, Korea, Japan, Paris and Vienna as well as Boston, RI and NH. He is a well travelled dog.

Yesterday, my wife and middle grandson took him along on a visit to the Chocolate Museum in Paris. Well, he misbehaved and they had to put him in doggie jail for a time out.

Later that day, we took him out for dinner. He escaped on our way to the restaurant and we thought we'd never see him again. But, as we were crossing Pont Neuf, we saw a homeless man holding Red Dog. We went up to him and offered a reward for Red Dogs return and he was happy to comply. So, Red Dog is now safe with his owners. He has had a bath and is drying on the windowsill.