Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things You Want to Do in 2009

From this site comes this week’s Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things You Want to Do in 2009. In no particular order, mine are:

  1. Continue to lose weight. I’m down approximately 20 pounds since August 2008!
  2. Compete in Culinary Competitions through the American Culinary Federation. This plan is under way.
  3. Enjoy more time with my wife.
  4. Continue teaching at the Midwest Culinary Institute. Been teaching there as an adjunct for a while now, and really enjoy it and intend to broaden my range of class offerings.
  5. Exercise more. Wendy & I joined a gym recently and have been working out there. I intend for this to become a habit.
  6. Process my backlog of recipes into BigOven — my recipe management software. I am seriously backlogged and would love to dig my way out.
  7. Climb to the top of the learning curve in my new job. New jobs take 1 year to learn around here since you must go through one cycle to be exposed to everything. As I write this, I am in month #8.
  8. Travel! I’d love to get back to Las Vegas, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Germany, Dominican Republic. I’d love to get to California, France, Florida (Disney, specifically), and, well, just about anywhere else!
  9. Finally kill my old stupid debt, once and for all. I’ve made SIGNIFICANT progress over the last year, and have only a little further to go before I am completely stupid debt-free (stupid debt being different than, say, house debt or car debt).
  10. Continue to develop my culinary skills and knowledge.
  11. See what comes my way! Take delight in the things the world throws at me. Seek the good in everyone & everything.

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things You're Really Good At

From this site comes this week’s Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things You’re Really Good At. In no particular order, mine are:

  1. SCUBA diving. Wendy & I are certified at the Rescue Diver level.
  2. Humor. I’m a funny guy. What can I say?
  3. Cooking. I’m a damn fine cook. Should be — I’ve trained enough and love it completely!
  4. Teaching. I really enjoy teaching.
  5. Working with college students. Akin to #4, above, these are skills developed in my job.
  6. Being a husband. I think I’m finally getting good at this!
  7. Traveling. I am a good travel partner.
  8. I’m unusually good at judging if something will fit… For example, if we’re packing the car, I can look at what needs to go in and correctly estimate if it will fit or not. Sad that this is one of my super-powers.
  9. Proof-reading and editing. With all the technical writing I’ve done, I developed pretty good editing skills (and some bad habits — like writing in passive voice).
  10. Setting long-term goals and accomplishing them.
  11. I’m really good at putting my foot in my mouth. One might think after 40+ years on this earth that I’d cease doing that. Not so! Only the frequency has changed — thankfully, it has decreased. But it still happens.

Productivity Books Galore

Recently, I’ve been sent several very interesting productivity books and am slowly working my way through them. The titles I’ve received:

  • Zen to Done by Leo Babauta
  • The Power of Less by Leo Babauta
  • Making It All Work by David Allen
  • Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
  • 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller
  • The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People by Carol Eikleberry

I’m currently just a handful of pages into Making It All Work and can already tell that this book enriches the lessons set out by Getting Things Done (also by David Allen). This new book is, happily, written much more for my personality type than Getting Things Done was, so I am enjoying (and absorbing) the information quite readily.

My current intention is to read all of these books then determine how their lessons can be applied to my life, probably resulting in a cherry-picked solution custom-tailored for my specific needs. (And then, if evidence holds true, I will write a book about my process and become a thousand-aire off it.)

“Certainly if you find yourself reading productivity book after productivity book you’re missing the point.”

What productivity books have you read? How have they impacted your life? Do you do any of the methods suggested in those books? Let us all know in the comments.

An Apology to the World

Dear World,

The United States of America, your quality supplier of ideals of liberty and democracy, would like to apologize for its 2001-2008 service outage.The technical fault that led to this eight-year service interruption has been located.

Replacement components were ordered Tuesday, November 4th, 2008, and have begun arriving. Early tests of the new equipment indicate that it is functioning correctly and we expect it to be fully operational by mid-January.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage and we look forward to resuming full service and hopefully improving it in years to come.

Thank you for your patience and understanding,



(thanks to Jay for sending this!)

Jean-Robert at Pigall's to close February 28, 2009

After an extremely successful run in Cincinnati, Jean-Robert at Pigall’s will close on February 28, 2009, this article in the Cincinnati Enquirer confirms.

The restaurant on 4th Street  in downtown Cincinnati, is majority owned by Marilyn and Martin Wade and run by Executive Chef Jean-Robert de Cavel, opened for business in 2002. Since that time, it has been awarded 4 stars by Mobil for 5 consecutive years, and is the only restaurant in Ohio, Indiana, or Kentucky with that high a rating.

The closing of Pigall’s presents a great opportunity for Chef Jean-Robert to reinvent himself, unshackled from growth-hungry non-restaurateur owners!

The closing of Jean-Robert at Pigall’s is a tremendous loss for the city, of course, but that will be only temporary. I am confident that whatever Chef de Cavel decides to do will far surpass the considerable greatness of Pigall’s. My dearest hope right now is for peace for JR and his family through this difficult transition. My second hope is that they will stay in Cincinnati and open another restaurant.

It has been my considerable pleasure to dine many times at Pigall’s under Chef’s direct care and partake of truly astounding, life-changing meals. And it has been my honor to work in the kitchens of the restaurant since January 2005. I have learned a tremendous amount from Chef and the staff at Pigall’s — both as a customer and an employee — and will always be grateful. The culinary team at the restaurant have become friends and have enriched my life.

Farewell Jean-Robert at Pigall’s. Long live Jean-Robert de Cavel!