Picadillo in Lettuce Leaves


1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 c sliced green olives
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
8 large lettuce leaves

1.Spray large skillet with nonstick spray. Saute onion until softened
(~5 mins). Add garlic, stirring frequently until fragrant (~ 30 secs).
Add beef and cook, break apart with spoon until browned (~5 mins).

2. Add olives, chili powder, and cumin; cook, stirring (~ 2 mins). Add
vinegar, salt, & pepper; cook, stirring constantly until vinegar is
evaporated (~30 secs).

3. Spoon about 1/3 c of mixture (picadillo) onto each lettuce leave
and arrange on platter.

Low- Carb, Gluten Free

From New Weight Watchers Cookbook.
2 PointPlus per filled lettuce leaf.

Nicknames that Spades has earned while running

Smiley Cyrus – While running ahead, she’ll occassionally look back to check on you with her tongue hanging out and it just looks like a big, happy smile.

Sniffy the Boat Anchor – You’re trying to run but she’s not letting you go anywhere because she wants to stop and smell the roses, particularly after a rain has “refreshed” all of the scents.

Jesus Dog – She intentionally aims for the puddles to walk through to cool off her paws or maybe just to have fun splashing.

NYPD Dog – She has a ‘stop-and-sniff’ policy instead of ‘stop-and-frisk’.

Play-doh factory – It has to do with pooping…

I believe I can fly – A turkey vulture or some other bird might be gliding overhead but for some reason she thinks she can catch it some 30 feet up.

The Weekend Warrior – Anytime we run our new 5+ mile loop together.

Panting Pro V – When she gets to panting quite loudly and you’re not sure you’d be able to hear a car coming.

Trail mix – This is the nickname for the stuff along the road that she finds and wants to eat and you try to stop her, compressed lawn clippings, harvested corn cobs, etc.

spades panting


Henry David Thoreau has many classic quotes about seeking the simple life. ‘Unsubscribe’ is the modern day call to simplify. Some may see a subscription as unfettered access whenever desired but others may see a subscription as an obligation – an obligation to get your money’s worth, an obligation to consume everything in one sitting so you don’t have to pay the subscription the next month. As soon as we are obligated to our entertainment, we have lost.

Taking out your regular bills like a mortgage, car payments, student loans, insurance, and utilities including cell phone and Internet bills, there are still tons of services clamoring for you to subscribe. Taking each of these monthly costs and multiplying it by 12 to get your annual cost and then summing them together can show they can add up quite quickly.


Office 365, Adobe Creative Cloud


Xbox Live, PSN


Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, MLB Nation, Center Ice, NFL Sunday Ticket, Crunchyroll

Paid TV cable/satellite


Audible audiobooks

Pandora, Spotify



Do you have subscriptions you’re still paying but aren’t using?

Stupid things people say to somebody walking or running with their dog

Walking or running with a dog, you might get to enjoy all sorts of commentary from good-meaning people that becomes tedious, repeated, and annoying.


Out of breath after a long run:

Who’s walking who?

Shouldn’t it be ‘whom’?

While running past:

What’s the big rush?

Running 3+ miles will do that, try it sometime:

Boy, somebody’s panting hard.

With the dog pulling at the leash, probably because of said commentator:

Is that leash strong enough?

I’m not a ‘dog person’, I’m a ‘my dog person’:

Oh, you’re a dog person?

Just sign this waiver:

Can I (or my kids) pet your dog?

You also sign this waiver:

Is it ok if our dogs meet?

Does it matter?

Is it a boy or a girl dog?

And what ethnicity are you?

What breed of dog is it?

Is it because you’re lazy?

I wish I could have you walk my dog.

Activity with my dog is because I care about her. Do you care about your dog?

Coming from a random stranger, your tip carries a lot of weight:

Have you tried [random one-size-fits-all suggestion]?

Jonathan’s Bread Story

This is titled Jonathan’s Bread Story because my brother-in-law told Jeanne and I this story. It’s bounced around in my head since then.

An old man and old woman have been married for forty years.They love each other in every way. The years have been kind to them and they are generally happy.

Throughout their marriage, the man had always given his wife the heel of every bread loaf. Whether it was a sandwich, garlic bread, or just bread fresh from the oven, she always got the heel.

“Why can’t I ever have the soft middle of the bread?” she’d stew. “Why does he always keep the best part for himself?”

After 40 years, one day she couldn’t stand it any more. As he served her a sandwich made from store-bought bread, there was the heel as the top of her sandwich.

“Why do you always do this?” she cried. “I hate the heel. I like the soft part! I’ve only eaten it all these years to make you happy. Why can’t you ever take the heel to show you love me?!”

“I’ve always given it to you,” the man said softly, “because it’s my favorite part.”

Communication goes a long way. 40 years of tolerating could have been 40 years of happiness on both parts.

I also enjoy the added level of humor if this story were told as part of a toast.