Sunday, September 27, 2009

Easy Bok Choy Salad Recipe

There are many variations of Bok Choy salad, but if you are tired of regular lettuce salad, you have to try this. My Bok Choy salad recipe has a sweet and sour flavor which gives it a sort of Oriental kick. Bok Choy has a unique flavor that is a cross between cabbage and celery. This recipe is easy and quick to make. You will need the following ingredients:
  • 1 bunch / head of Bok Choy
  • 1 cup coarsley chopped celery
  • 1 bunch green onions with tops
  • 1 small bag slivered almonds (usually found in "baking" section)
  • 1 Ramen Noodle package (without flavor packet)
  • 1 package Chow Mein noodles (optional)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (lite soy is ok)
  • 1/8 cup (or so) sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (very important ingredient)

Chop off the bottom 2 inches (or so) of your Bok Choy and discard the bottom. Make sure to separate and thoroughly clean, rinse and pat dry the Bok Choy. Coarsely chop the Bok Choy into a BIG bowl or tupperware container. You want the pieces to be fairly large bite-size chunks as they will wilt a bit with the dressing.

Throw in your cup of chopped celery. Clean and chop the green onions with the tops and throw them into the mixture. Add the small bag of slivered almonds and crunch up the Ramen Noodles and throw them in. DO NOT add the flavor packet from the Ramen Noodle, save it and have some broth later. You may also substitute Chow Mein Noodles instead of Ramen Noodles, and I suppose you would add about 3/4 of a cup. I actually prefer to not add the Chow Mein noodles while preparing the salad, rather sprinkle some on the top while serving. (They tend to get a bit soggy after a couple days in the mix) That is it for the dry ingredients. Give the whole salad mixture a toss.

Put your 1/8 cup of sugar in a small bowl and add your 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup soy sauce and the 1/4 cup red wine vinegar. There are 2 schools of thought here whether to heat the dressing mixture or not. I put it in the microwave for 1 minute and then stir it vigorously. Immediately pour it over the Bok Choy Salad mixture. Toss the salad again to make sure all the ingredients are coated with the dressing.

For best results, cover and refridgerate for about an hour. You can taste it immediately, but if you wait a bit, the noodles will soften up as they absorb some of the dressing. Make sure to stir it before serving each time. It will last for 3-4 days in the fridge or 5-6 if you are a die-hard Bok Choy Salad lover like I am.

This Bok Choy Salad makes a great side dish for left over Chinese food, or just take a little to work in a small tupperware bowl as a side dish. I am sure once you try it you will be addicted!

Depending on the size of your Bok Choy from the store, the amount of the other ingredients may need to be adjusted to suit your taste. Some people even add other ingredients like sea salt, pepper, use apple cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar or sesame seeds.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Day In My Life..

You would think that a webmaster guru would just be sitting at home behind the computer at home sipping coffee. But the unfortunately, the affiliate earnings are too volatile of a basket to put all my eggs in. Plus, I have been at the highway department for over 20 years - so it is a bit hard to just quit, no matter how much I enjoy coffee.

So here is a day in my life at the highway department. Our job today is to install 2 catch basins (storm drains), crossover pipe and overflow pipe. The crew consists of me operating the Case backhoe, a "bottom man", 2 truck drivers, and a supervisor.

Well the day started out just great. Someone parked a truck really close to the trailer I need to hook into, so I had to back into the hitch at a pretty good angle. But since the Highway department is so short-handed due to layoffs, I tried to hook to the trailer without a spotter. I rammed the pintle right into the trailer plug, breaking it into a bunch of little pieces. Above you can see the mechanic fixing the plug while we load the supply trailer.

We put all the pipes and inlets on our implement trailer and chain everything down. Loading is done with a Bobcat with fork attachment.

I fill the "Jetter" trailer (plug fixed) with water. Water is need for the saw used in a later step. More pipe is also loaded on the ladder rack. You will also notice a trash pump in the back of the truck, and the side boxes and bed is loaded with everything we may need as the jobsite is 25 miles from the highway garage.

This may not look like much, but this is the whole reason we are here. There a lot of gravel roads in our county, and it has been county practice to turn these gravel roads into "chip and seal" roads. This is just an applied tar and stone application to relieve the residents of the dusting problem gravel roads can create. This procedure involves widening the road, which in turn means moving the ditches. Moving the ditches requires relocating the storm drains. The above photo is a storm drain that is too close to the edge of the road. Upon further inspection, the metal pipe going across the road is rusted out, so it also needs to be replaced.

Here is the drain on the other side of the road. It is not really evident in the photo, but there is a 3-4 foot drop-off right at the edge of the road - unsafe not only as our proposed chip and seal road, but even just how it is.

All set, let's tear it up! Case backhoe with extend-a-boom digs through the dirt and gravel with ease.

With the laser set up for depth measurements, a truck driver gets out to check readings and keep me going in the right direction and at the right depth.

Well we made it across, and in this photo you can see the clay tile on the far end that is a farm tile that drained into the old inlet and will need to be hooked back up into our structure.

The storm water will actually run from the far end to the near end in this photo, and the driver locates the outlet tile and readies it for plumbing into the structure that will be on this end.

The other truck driver is full of spoil, so he dumps his load where we need it to fill in the 3-4 foot drop-off, and he is sent for a load of gravel to fill in the trench.

This is how the holes are cut in the inlet structures. We are lucky to have a chain saw that is outfitted with a diamond blade. Water is fed through a garden hose to the saw that lubricates the blade. When all things are working well, the saw cuts through concrete and rebar. The cost of one of the saws, to the best of my recollection, is around $1600, with a chain costing $600. Not cheap, but it beats the hell out of a dry blade saw. The worker cutting the hole is actually the "bottom man", but he is the best at cutting the holes. So now we know what he was doing when the truck driver was in the hole.

The first structure is set in place and the pipes and tiles are fitted into the holes. When all pipes are installed, they are mortared in place. You will notice we are using dual wall plastic pipe. As long as you have enough coverage of gravel, the advantage is it will never rust out.

Surprise, we found another "side" tile and had to "Y" it into the the other inlet pipe. Gravel is placed over the larger pipe to stabilize everything, and we are ready for mortar. We hand mix it in a wheel barrow and wheel it over to the work site.

Above the 12" plastic pipe, we are installing a 15" metal "overflow" pipe. You may have noticed that the outlet pipe was only a 6" clay tile. This small of a tile can only drain so much water, so the overflow pipe is like an insurance policy. If the drains are full and cannot accept any more water, the overflow pipe will allow the water to run out over the surface and not wash out the road.

Oh yea, I forgot to say I had to hook a chain to it and find a way around all the equipment and bring the pipe to the trench.

The supervisor gave the upper trench a few final readings to make sure the water will run in the intended direction and also to make sure the road surface will cover the metal pipe by about a foot of gravel.

Time's up. Cover the pipe with stone to get the road open and pull the road closed signs. We can't work overtime because the county is broke. (actually we completed this in around 9 hours including loading and drive time with no lunch) A little touchup and landscaping tomorrow and we can move on to the next project.
Update: 9-23-09 (next day)

It rained pretty hard overnight, so it was a little difficult lanscaping mud. When we are done with all out drainage projects, another crew will run a tractor with a fine grading landscaping attachment. The whole road will be hydroseeded and the road conversion process will be completed. Our county converts around 8 miles of gravel road to chip and seal a year. Depending on the difficulty of all the things that need to be done, 1 mile of road takes around 3- 4 weeks. There may be 3 different road conversions going on at the same time, in different stages of completion.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Digging Deeper Into Bowling..

I mentioned before that I had met Gianmarc Manzione, The Bowling News Manager at Well Gianmarc has started a new blog that goes more in depth in bowling topics than the space on will allow. His new blog is called the "Kegler Chronicle", and you can visit it HERE. Gianmarc's post for September 18, 2009, is a great article / interview with Dale Traber. Dale is a top contender on the PBA Senior tour and has an accomplished record on the regular PBA Tour. A little known fact about Dale, is that he bowled his brother Dave on TV for a National PBA title in 1994. You can watch the match below.

So go visit Gianmarc's blog and see some entertaining facts and tidbits about the bowling industry from around the world. Even if you have been following my blog about the PBA Senior Tour, there is much to learn about the fantastic accomplishments of these bowlers and their history.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ron Mohr Gets Feature Article On Website!

My new friend Gianmarc Manzione from has penned a splendid article featuring Ron Mohr. I knew it was going to be great from the title; "2009, The Year Of Ron Mohr". There are even a few things in the article I didn't know about Ron. You can read the full article HERE.

I just want to thank Gianmarc for giving Ron the recognition he deserves, and giving the PBA Senior Tour attention and pointing out the kids don't have the only exciting game..

Wednesday, September 9, 2009