Stocking up and random thoughts

Some days are just meant for cooking. Not necessarily for a crowd of people, but just in general. And some days are meant to restock the fridge, the freezer, and the pantry. Some days are fit for both. Today was one of those days.

Since I had to be at the NOC to change a drive, reconfigure a couple of servers, and look at the space for the new buildout for our expansion, I headed over to Costco for a few things. What I was after specifically was sugar, paper towels, and ground beef. Those things I did get. I also replenished our limes, lemons, romaine, spare ribs, laundry stuff, chicken, tomato paste, and paper plates/bowls. Mother Nature decided to try and make up for two and a half weeks of no rain all in one day (she failed), leaving some people with temporary memory loss about that most important function: driving. I managed to make it home without getting run off the road by a white-knuckled driver and then turned around and headed back out to Publix for the remainder of things I needed: celery, carrots, onion, leeks (for stock), tomatoes, tea bags, ground pork and veal, avocados, butternut squash, and bananas. Not a bad haul for two brief trips. All the ground stuff will be going to make meatballs, of course.

In between bouts of working, I worked on this, for stock.

And this, for ice cream.

And dough for two loaves of bread, which is now on the first rise.

Tomorrow will be mixing and shaping meatballs and experimenting with a pasta sauce. And trying out a maple-oatmeal bread along with a baguette since my mom thoughtfully found my baguette pans. And perhaps taking a quick trip to the farmer’s market for cukes for pickling. And working the real job, of course, as always.

Oh, and I picked up a starter brewing kit today, because I’m just a sucker. There is actually a place right here in town – and not too far from my house – that has kits, supplies, yeast, bottles, and anything else you’d need to brew your own beer or make your own wine. It should be fun. Just in time for football season!

An idle thought I had the other day while driving past a gas station converted into a sandwich shop: how do these people come up with the funds to open these places? While I was kneading the bread, I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to sell it, really. I do think it would be quite a good thing to be able to make money at another thing I enjoy doing, just as I do now in the geek arena. I told a friend today as we were talking that I’d rather cook than sleep, and this is entirely true.

How to know when you’ve crossed over the edge

When you think about making a loaf of bread just to use it for croutons. Even worse is when you consider a second loaf – rye or pumpernickel – for the same purpose, to have a colorful mix of those crunchy cubes. Particularly bad is when you’re well aware that if you do this, and make these critters, you won’t be able to eat any of them. They’ll only be for the enjoyment of the other diners at your table.

It’s a madness, I tell you.

Pasta successo!

Homemade pasta has always been my nemesis. Not because it does something nasty to my digestive system, not because it tastes bad, and certainly not because it’s something I won’t eat. No, despite all my attempts to make fresh pasta, the dough has always laughed in the face of my efforts, refusing to evolve from separate ingredients into something edible.

Until now.

Yes, I can report now that yours truly has conquered the pasta demons that have haunted me lo these many years.

We begin by making a ball of dough, made of just all purpose flour and egg. In my case, because this was a test batch, this means a small ball of dough, suitable for making enough to feed two hungry people. I won’t bore you with the kneading and passing of the dough through the ever-smaller roller settings on the pasta machine, nor with the passing of the cut sheets of dough through the attachment. But I will say that making pasta is a sort of messy business.

I cut two types of pasta: fettuccine and spaghettini (angel hair). This was for no particular reason other than that these are the two types that can be cut with this machine’s attachment.

This is where I’ve generally run into trouble in the past. The pasta is supposed to sit for 10 minutes or so – and in some cases, must sit while you cut the rest of the dough – and during this time, it dries a bit. With previous batches, the pasta has been dry when it was cut and then turned into brittle sticks that snapped in half. In those previous attempts, even a damp paper towel over the already cut strands wasn’t a lot of help. When one of those strands was placed in boiling water, it instantly disintegrated. That might be useful for getting rid of water-soluble trash, but it isn’t conducive to good pasta.

Not this time, though. A lot of people will make fresh pasta, dump it into boiling water, and then walk away for eight to ten minutes, as if it’s the same as dried pasta. It isn’t. Don’t leave your pasta unattended! Check it after about a minute and a half for doneness, and if it isn’t done, keep checking it every 10-20 seconds or so. You’d be surprised how quickly it will go from too firm to mush, with the al dente stage passing you right by.

Since I am rather gun-shy about fresh pasta, I obsessed over my little batches while they were cooking. The fettuccine took about two and a half minutes.

The angel hair took about a minute and a half.

Oh, and did I mention that I finally got a loaf of bread made? I’ll need to make more, as a friend of mine is heading out of town for about ten days or so, and I expect people on the road can always use a little home-cooked goodness, eh?

Both samples of pasta were dressed very simply, with a dash of olive oil and a little shredded parm-reg, and my mom was the taster of about a quarter of the total of each type. Now that I know that I can indeed make fresh pasta correctly, the next step will be to make some fresh tomato sauce and some meatballs (when I was younger, in junior high, I made all the meatballs for the sandwiches we sold in our family’s convenience store down in the Ft. Lauderdale area). If I can find my baguette pan in the midst of the remaining boxes that are still packed, Wednesday’s planned menu of spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread will be entirely homemade except for the salad that will be served alongside.

Next pasta experiment: ravioli.

What do you do with fresh multigrain bread (whole wheat flour, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and almonds)? Why, you make a sandwich, of course. My sister did just that. Boar’s Head Salsalito turkey, a slice of cheddar, mustard, mayo, salt, and pepper between a couple slices of bread that was made just hours ago.

Food (television) junkies, unite!

I am a self-admitted junkie when it comes to cooking and food-related shows. FoodTV, PBS, Discovery Home, Fine Living: I’ve seen just about every show at some point or another. Some of tthe shows are quite good – Rick Bayless’ show is one, even though his manner of speaking can get on my nerves, and Lidia Bastianich is interesting – and some are just disasters worthy only of snarking – Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee tops this list. Most are somewhere in the middle.

But let me tell you one thing that is truly annoying: whenever a host or voiceover talks about how so-and-so takes pride in what they do, or how some producer talks about their secret being quality ingredients. This must be written down somewhere in the Manual Of How To Be On TV. When was the last time you heard of some business owner declaring that they’re doing the least possible they can, or that they use the crappiest ingredients they can find to make their food? It’s ridiculous. That said, if I were ever interviewed for some reason whenever this food business gets going, no doubt I’d say the same thing. How do you answer “What’s your secret”? You can’t very well give away any secrets you do have for the food you make – after all, that’s your intellectual capital. I suppose I just wish they’d find a different question to ask.

Speaking of food – and the only time I seem to not be speaking of food is when I’m speaking geek – I’ve decided that we’ll have to have some tastings around here after mom recovers from her surgery. And you know what that means: ribs! I figure I’ll take myself out to Costco, pick up some slabs, and then break down those slabs into smaller portions for tests of the rub combinations. That way, I can fire three or four portions from a single slab and test multiple rubs simultaneously. Then I can build on whatever my taste testers have to say. Of course, I keep reminding myself that it’s time to start writing down whatever it is I’m doing on a daily basis as I cook so that if something is a winner, it can be recreated consistently and eventually can be packed. Naturally, for the marinade the shrimp swam in, I wrote down nothing at all…

What’s on the to-do sheet for Sunday? More “real” work, of course, just as with Saturday even though the only part I wrote about was server setups. There’s always maintenance to be done, always something to update, always something to do. But, in the in-between moments, I do want to bake some bread, and I wouldn’t mind testing out a couple of pasta doughs to see how they do. I still have a couple of chicken carcasses in the freezer, and it may be time to break those out and go ahead and do some stock. Oh, and laundry, before I run out of clothes that actually fit. For dinner, I’m not so sure, as we have leftovers that need to be eaten, so my food output for the day may just be experiments rather than a meal. The best thing about experiments, though, is that they’re rarely completely inedible – or fatal – so the people acting as my guinea pigs won’t wind up as bodies I have to bury behind the fenceline. And my sister has specifically requested another batch of bread and butter pickles, so I’ve added that to my list as well.

Future plans: I’d like to try my hand at brewing some beer. I’ve always wanted to try it, and still do, even though I’m currently unable to drink anything with alcohol in it (it burns! it burrrrnnnnsss!). I think it’d be fun to do that and to make some wine as well. I’d love to take one of those intensive 2-3 day courses on wine at someplace like the FCI. Putting together a good tomato sauce and canning it – this will also take some testers, naturally, although one of my tasters doesn’t like tomato sauce. Grissini. Lemon curd tarlets with meringue. And on and on and on.

So many plans, so many ideas…

The Challenge: Day Twenty-Five

Thought I’d given up on the last of The Challenge, eh?

Fat chance. I do try to finish the things I start, after all.

Today I was to start the paperwork for prequalifying for a loan so I can find a house – or, rather, so when the right house finds me, I’ll be prepared. My uncle’s cousin is doing this for me, so of course we decided to feed him.

But I’m getting ahead of myself a bit.

Our trip to Savannah interrupted my lawn mowing schedule, so some of the weedier grass was coming up around my kneecaps, and it was time, as they say. I felt pretty good about it this morning, too: it only took just over an hour for me to cut the lawn (with a break), and then another 20 minutes or so to trim (after about a 40 minute rest, that is). According to the weather dork, today was supposed to be cooler. Ha! By the time I finished with the lawn just after noon, it was already in the mid-90s. We ended up at 96 today. There’s nothing like Florida in the summer. Or winter. Or spring or fall.

Anyhow, after I rested a bit and showered, it was time to head to the NOC to set up a couple of servers that arrived late yesterday. The newest – and last, for this cage – rack is now in place and waiting. That’s a good thing, because racks eight and nine are almost filled. This will give us room for another 24 or so servers. I’m hoping that the NOC guys get our new cage built quickly. At the rate we’re adding servers lately, this rack will be full before too long. It’s strange looking at all the gear in the cage and thinking back to when my then business partner and I started the company. At the time, we figured if we had a server or two and they paid for themselves, that would be enough. After two months, we were already so busy that she became the first fulltime employee of the company and quit her day job. And now, here we are, over 200 servers later. The partner is gone, off to pursue non-techie interests, and the past couple of years have been interesting (in the Chinese curse sense), but I wouldn’t trade any of it for a regular job working for someone else.

Since I had to make a stop at PetSmart after leaving the NOC to pick up some hairball gel for the little furry ones, I decided to cruise by Yoshi’s (or at least where Yoshi’s used to be) to see what was going on with that space. The sign that was up about some sushi place coming soon is gone, but I do see that there is work going on inside to renovate the place. There is another sushi place across Baymeadows as well – it’s been there for some time, even while Yoshi’s was open – so it’s a little surprising that one sushi place would close with another poised to take its place rather than the space turning into a restaurant offering another type of cuisine.

For dinner we elected to have shrimp, rice pilaf, broccoli, and sliced tomatoes. Simple, summery, and nothing too elaborate because yours truly is dead tired from all the physical labor today. I’m hoping that one day I’ll get my energy stores back in order so that typical activities don’t wear me out quite so much.

The shrimp was marinated in lemon juice, soy, honey, red pepper flakes, grated fresh ginger, garlic, and a bit of olive oil. I let that sit for awhile as I prepped everything else, then sauteed them in three batches in a touch of olive oil. “Batches?” you ask. “We don’ need no steekin’ batches!” Well, you do, really. Sauteeing the shrimp – or any food, for that matter – in batches allows you to maintain a steady temperature in your pan. In addition, overcrowding certain types of food in your pan will result in steaming that food rather than sauteeing it. This is fine, if steaming is what you’re after, or if you don’t mind how soggy some foods can get (or how mushy shrimp can get). But it wasn’t, in this case, what we were after, and the sauteed shrimp turned out quite well. The rice was once again pilaf with shallots and parmesan, as the people who are eating it around here have decided they really like that version.

So what’s our breakdown?

Shrimp, 2 pounds: 13.40
Broccoli, on sale at Publix: 1.99
Rice: 1.50
Tomatoes, vine-ripe: 1.50

Total meal: 18.39
Total per diner (4): 4.60

I will also add that the meal was very nutritious, with almost no saturated fat and the entire meal was low in calories. It also tasted quite good, from what I could taste. Admittedly, my portions were kiddie-sized and I had some formula afterward, but the other folks enjoyed it and ate the rest of my servings.

Is organic worth it?

I’ve been seeing articles here and there of late about organic food and whether going organic is worth it or not.

In an ideal world, of course eating organic would likely be better in the long run. The problem for most people – myself included – is that going organic is an expensive proposition. Very expensive. Case in point: this afternoon, my mom and I headed over to Native Sun, a certified organic market here in town (soon to be two markets, as they have built a new market out toward Costco, if you’re familiar with the area). This particular store is quite busy. It’s also quite expensive: boneless, skinless chicken breasts run a whopping 5.69/pound. The fruits and vegetables are likewise quite costly, sometimes running three times the price in a regular grocery like Publix, and five to six times the price you’d pay at the farmer’s market. Naturally, the organic items at Publix are also more expensive than their non-certified counterparts.

Now, in and of itself, this is not a bad thing. After all, they have to make their money after paying whoever provides these goods. However, because the cost per unit is so much higher, it prices a lot of people out of the market. The question then becomes not if organic is worth it – it is – but how to better bring organic items to the end user without creating the need for them to take a second mortgage on their house to afford it.

We then come to a double-edged sword. Wal-Mart is going organic, sort of: they’ll be carrying some organics, just as Target does now to a small extent. Not everyone is pleased about Wal-Mat’s foray into the field (so to speak), because of the effect Wal-Mart has on markets. I hope never to have to step foot into a Wal-Mart again in my lifetime, so I know I will not be buying whatever they’re selling. But, if it helps people who could otherwise not afford it to buy at least some of their food organic, can it be all bad? It can be partially bad, or even mostly bad for some people, especially for the producers, but does the end user, the consumer, ever stop to think about that?

It’s a conundrum that is not easily solved, I’m afraid. For me, while most things at Native Sun are things I will skip, they do have a good selection of bulk flours, sugars, salts, beans, and nuts that are organic and reasonably priced (because they are not packaged), and these are things that I can readily use in the food I create for others. And I hope to use those things soon, as I work out my schedule issues.

Public service announcement: It’s damn hot

Once again, out looking at houses. This time, we went back to the top two on our list (thus far) and had a closer look, took some photos, talked over the pros and cons. After a brief stop back at the homestead, we decided to go drive around a bit and see what else was out there in the same neighborhoods.

The answer: a lot. There are an absolute ton of houses around here for sale, some that we wouldn’t touch, and one that I’d love to have but that is likely out of my price range even with the most creative of brokers.

And it’s hot out there. Nothing around here has burst into flames just yet, but the heat just sucks the life out of you. And with the way yours truly has been failing to take in a good amount of calories per day, the heat just makes me feel like I’m dragging my ass.

Speaking of eating, it’s been ages since I had Popeye’s chicken – over a year, to be sure, and probably a bit longer than that. Always liked their spicy chicken with some faux mashed potatoes as a junk food treat. We stopped by on the way back from our tour of homes and picked up some chicken and potatoes. Alas, since I spent so long not eating and then eating only bland-type foods, the spicy chicken really puts a burn in my mouth although I had never thought of it as particularly spicy. Even the rehydrated potatoes with whatever that gravy is have a little kick to them. That’s really, really sad to me, a bonafide chilehead, and isn’t doing much to make the frustration level abate.

So here I sit, debating whether to continue my quest to try and eat an entire real meal (such as it is: a thigh and a blob of potatoes) or just give up and go back to some formula. I can confidently say that one of the pros about formula is that it’s fast. Down the tube, chase it with some water, and presto! The meal is over. Maybe I can convince one of the girls to run up and get me some Lactaid so I can have some ice cream later. In the meantime, I guess I’ll struggle a little further with the chicken until I can’t stand it any longer. Not haute cuisine by any means, I know, and not low fat. Cheap, though, I have to say that, and that’s a problem with fast food relative to the obesity issue: fast food is cheap and there’s plenty of it. Think about Taco Bell. You could feed a small country for about five bucks, and it’s not exactly the best thing for you. I watched SuperSize Me a couple of times, and I have Spurlock’s book in this pile of books that I’m reading. Quite interesting, I must say, and fits a theory I had developed quite some time ago about obesity and cost factors.

Now I’m rambling, though. It must be the drugs. We delivered a few things to Gabs (my sister with the migraine the other day), and her dog – a rottweiler that weighs as much as I do – managed not only to jump up on me but managed to put one big fat paw square on where my feeding tube enters the hole in my abdomen. That, my dear and faithful readers, is painful.

The Body Politik

I never used to think my body would betray me until I was quite old and the pieces started aging beyond their ability to repair themselves. Then, of course, this cancer business started and I realized that sometimes it isn’t just age alone that causes your body to rebel against you. As we wound our way through treatment, I thought perhaps I might be able to recover as quickly as I’d always recovered from the dings, scrapes, scratches, sprains, and other assorted mishaps I’d experienced over the years – the result of an active life. Unfortunately, this has not turned out to be the case. As one of my ENTs puts it, it’s a major medical trauma, and the rational part of my mind agrees and understands this. The other part of me gets frustrated because of the physical limitations and the inability I have now to accurately (100%) predict how my body is going to react to something: anything from picking up a bottle of dishwasher fluid with my left arm to eating ice cream I’ve made. I did both of these last night. The former caused pain to shoot up from my shoulder to my head and I nearly dropped the entire bottle. The latter caused me to wake up at 3 in the morning with a bad stomachache (no burning, thank you Prevacid) and a feeling like someone had punched me right in the sternum, so I suppose I need to add Lactaid to my drug cocktails. That caused me not to do much of anything beyond take some drugs for nausea and try to sleep until it went away around 2 this afternoon.

Which means that I did not do any of the things I had planned to do this morning: mow the lawn, make some bread, try my hand at some pasta, and I’m not cooking tonight. It’s disappointing to be hostage to the unknown manner the body will react. I’m hoping that, as all the doctors say, time will help with all of this. And I hope I can remain patient enough with myself to get through it without going slowly insane.

Another day, another round of houses

Yesterday afternoon, we went out and looked at half a dozen houses. This afternoon, we looked at half a dozen more. There are a couple that we really liked, a couple that were really, really odd either because of the layout or what the homeowners had done with the house. The rest just received a shrug as they didn’t really grab me.

There really was no cooking today, since the bulk of the day was spent working and the afternoon spent viewing houses and then picking up my sister’s car (as she had a migraine and my mom had picked her up earlier). Soup, ice cream, and cappuccino for me today, plus formula earlier. Still not enough calories, I do believe, but that’s the way it goes.

My other sister – the one sans migraine today – wanted me to plan a menu for her to cook for a group of her girlfriends. She wanted things that could be prepped as much as possible beforehand and then transported to her friend’s house out at the beach. I told her this would be a good catering puzzle. We decided on chicken breasts stuffed with asparagus spears and feta and roasted on a bed of sun-dried tomatoes, garlic-parsley potatoes, salad, rolls, and creme brulee for dessert. It sounds pretty good to me.

Someone asked me how we came up with the name of the company I own. A serendipitous misspelling, I say, courtesy of my mom. We haven’t stumbled across anything like that thus far for the food business. Not yet, anyway.

Time to head to the NOC in the dead of night to clean up the cage a bit, set up a new server, repair the power supply on another. This doesn’t do anything good for my schedule, but it will free up my morning to get the yard mowed (maybe) and get some bread going.

A do-nothing day

Last night, after our fabulous dinner party, I took a friend back to her place – her car-ma was apparently not good Monday, as she had both a flat and something preventing the car from actually starting, so we’d sent Gabrielle to fetch her for dinner (because people have to eat, and especially eat my cooking!), and we couldn’t very well make her walk home. When I returned to the homestead, my mom informed me that she’d made an executive decision: no mowing the lawn for me on Tuesday, and no cooking either. Tuesday was to be a rest day for me. I objected a bit, but I was plenty tired, and when Tuesday rolled up, even more tired. The exertion over the weekend and into Monday night caught up with me.

So I did a bunch of “real” work, some paperwork, and generally tried to relax. But I felt (and feel) antsy, for some reason that I can’t quite touch. I think that it’s probably because my brain is working away like a frenzied, overcaffeinated squirrel. This makes both my sleep and my waking hours restless, as it’s difficult to turn things off and veg out.

What’s on my mind? All sorts of things.

Italy. For some reason, Italy has moved into the first spot of places I want to visit. It has been in the back of my mind for years (I used to think my ex and I would be going), but recently moved into the forefront. Maybe it was the brush with mortality, maybe it was just the general thought of it, or maybe it’s something else, like leftovers from watching the World Cup finals, but I’ve set a tentative date of 2009. We’ll see how that works out.

Business(es). I have two more brands that I want to launch, in the same arena as my main business. One site is about ready to shove out the front door, and the other needs just a little tweaking and it’s done. Really, the only thing left to do is set up a merchant account for each and make the sites/ordering systems active, as I’m sure they’ll eventually reach the level of the flagship brand with a little pushing. I’m not sure why I just haven’t finished this yet, but I should probably set a firm date for those, to get them going. After all, diversifying is what I always preached to people when I was a stockbroker, and the same rules apply here, too.

Business(es), the food version. I’ve been trying to come up with a good name for a food business, and I’ve started researching the requirements for packaging food here in Florida. One of the first things I need to do is take the Food Manager Certification test, to get that out of the way. The certification is good for five years, and someone is required to hold that certification for just about any business that deals with producing food other people will be eating. All the other rules and regs I’ll have to research and then I’ll have to put together all the paperwork that goes along with starting a business, of course, but I don’t mind that sort of thing. I keep wondering just how some of these people who open restaurants get the money to do the renovations and keep themselves going while they build their business. I also wonder why so many restaurants tend to serve the same type of menu if they’re aimed toward the middle class market. I notice this here, but also in other cities I happen to visit, like Savannah.

Food, in general. Speaking of restaurants, and skipping over (for now) the wisp of desire I can feel deep down to open one, why is it that the serving portions are so damned huge these days at most restaurants? People are getting fatter, and at least part of that is because of the portion sizes when eating out and the fact that most people were lectured when they were growing up to clean their plates. There’s no reason to be part of the clean your plate club. Now, in my time BC (before cancer), I could have stood to lose about 10 pounds or so, but I can honestly say that even then I was usually unable to finish most of the dishes I was served when dining out because they were just so freaking large. What we really need is something between the plate-big-as-your-head restaurant and the look-we’re-so-stylish-and-classy-our-portions-are-the-size of-your-pinky restaurant. And if that sort of place could serve something that wasn’t the same as any other restaurant, so much the better.

Food, selling it. One of the issues I have at the moment is that I really don’t measure anything except when baking. this means that I’m going to have to experiment a bit and write down whatever is going into the mixing bowl or pot so we can find the best combination and so it can be recreated consistently for sale. For the pulled pork I made, I did actually write down the ratios, and that turned out pretty well. Of course, there will have to be successive tastings by my core group of tasters, and I imagine I’ll need to farm out some of that to other people to have as many opinions as possible while narrowing down the choices to whichever one winds up with the most fans. Then it will be time to find a commercial kitchen (since you can’t package food for sale in your home kitchen in Florida) or a copacker (a business that will take your recipes and pack them for you, in their own commercial grade facilities so you don’t have to have any), have a lab verify the ingredients and give the nutrional value, and so on.

Food, cooking it. I’d really like to get my schedule sot of back on track so I can consistently do the things I’d like to do in addition to working, like baking bread on a regular basis, experimenting with making pastas, making sausages, doing some canning, and so on. I also need to really work on making menus in advance so I can ensure I have things on hand for at least a couple of meals. After all, we don’t live in the days where a daily trip to the market is required, and with a little planning, this would save me some time, not wreck my schedule during the day, and would allow me to be more productive with all the things I’d like to be doing in addition to the day job. I have to admit all of this is probably going to be the most difficult for me, because of my incredibly odd sleeping habits and my tendency to decide at the last minute what the menu will be. Right now, for instance, I have no idea what’s going to be on the menu for Wednesday – today, as I type this – but I should. In fact, I should know what’s on the menu for Wednesday through Saturday. But I don’t. When I think of it, I’ll let you know.

There are some other things floating by, as well. I’ve another PET scan scheduled for the end of August. I’m almost able to open my mouth widely enough to get the Therabite in so I can start using that to help stretch my jaw muscles. I need to do some laundry. I feel a bit sick to my stomach right this instant. I need to increase my calorie intake in a serious way – I weighed in at 107 before the Savannah trip, weighed in at 106 this evening when I went to Publix for some heavy cream so I could make some ice cream, and won’t be able to make it through mowing the lawn if I don’t have enough in me. The problem is that most of the time when I eat, I feel sick. At least I don’t have that horrible reflux as long as I take the Prevacid. I need to find a house to buy, as I won’t be buying the one we’re in right now. I need to head to Costco to replenish the bulk items. I need to finish the remainder of the quarterly paperwork and get it out the door. I have a couple of servers coming in that need to be set up, and I need to order up some gear for our expansion at the NOC. And so on. A million things make their way through the rivers of my brain…