Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How I'm spending Christmas vacation

...Or, Look what a mess I've made.

I recently hinted that I'm going to build a wine cellar in my basement, and this is the week to get started! My house was built in 1956, so it's got a small room where the well used to be (of course, it has since been converted to municipal water supply). This little cinder block room is surrounded on 3 sides by dirt, so it's naturally temperature regulated at about 59°. To make it into a wine cellar I need to do a bit of rewiring, then fill some holes with foam gap filler, paint a moisture sealant on the concrete block walls, panel the walls, cover the floor, then put in the wine racks and stock it! And something about a door, too, probably...

Right now the well room looks like this:

But soon it will look like this:

Friday, December 14, 2007

Make a sammich out of it!

I've been doing it this way forever! Make sure you try it during the holidays, and show your friends. Works great on cake, too!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Like Yo-Yo Ma without a didgeridoo

I've been doing some research on building wine storage in my basement. Along the way I found this quote:

"We slouched away from the wine shop as another liquid treasure teased us from the window. Like Amelia Earheart without a plane or Miles Davis without a saxophone, we were wine fans without a cellar. "

This wine lover isn't much of a jazz fan, methinks. The original article is here.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Butt bone connected to the... shoulder bone

Roast Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder)

This cut of meat comes by many names: pork butt, pork shoulder, picnic roast. It really is the shoulder, and it really is the cheapest cut of meat in the case: about 1.79 a pound. Apparently the reason for that is it's a very fatty, tough cut of meat with a bone in it.

Cook it like this and you'd never know it:

4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons rosemary
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 red onion
1 pork shoulder, bone in

Mince or press the garlic and rub it all over the meat. Mix the rosemary and fennel seeds in a bowl and sprinkle them on the meat pressing it with your hands so it sticks.

Cut the onion into eighths and place the segments in a roasting pan or 5-quart casserole. Place the pork fat side up on top of the onion and cover.

Roast in 250° oven (yes two hundred fifty) for 8 hours. Put it in over night if you want it for lunch. Remove from oven, let cool 1/2 hour and serve. The meat falls away from the bone and you don't even have to cut this stuff. It's ultra tender, juicy and delicious. Keep the meat in the juices when reheating leftovers.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

You scored as James Bond, Agent 007

James Bond is MI6's best agent, a suave, sophisticated super spy with charm, cunning, and a license's to kill. He doesn't care about rules or regulations and somewhat amoral. He does care about saving humanity though, as well as the beautiful women who fill his world. Bond has expensive tastes, a wide knowledge of many subjects, and his usually armed with a clever gadget and an appropriate one-liner.

83% James Bond. Also 76% Jack Sparrow and 68% Lara Croft. A somewhat conflicted hero, apparently. You can take the silly quiz here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Make this sweet potato recipe

Make this delicious twist on sweet potatoes and you shall be a hero at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

Sweet Potatoes au Gratin

5 to 6 medium sweet potatoes
3 cups heavy cream
1 stick butter
1/4 cup chopped parsely
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 cups grated swiss cheese
Salt & pepper

Slice the sweet potato into 1/8 inch slices. (Square off the sweet potato prior to slicing. Round is fine, but square slices will fit into the baking dish better.)

In a saucepan, heat the cream, butter, and herbs, on low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until butter is melted. Place a single layer of the sweet potato slices into a buttered 3 quart baking dish. Pour about a cup of the cream mixture over the sweet potatoes. Add a layer of Swiss cheese. Continue with sweet potato, cream and cheese layers and finish with Swiss cheese. It's quite runny and expands while baking, so a bit of room at the top will keep it all in the dish.

Bake for about 40 minutes at 375, or until potatoes are tender, check after 25 minutes.

Plan plenty of time to let it sit. 30 minutes will help everything firm up. Serve and enjoy! Makes 6-8 big servings.

Don't be afraid to make lots - the leftovers reheat very well.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The hardest working band in show business

Friday, November 16 at First Avenue: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.

100 days

I got 2 words to describe this show: DAMN!

Energetic and non-stop, the show opened around 10 pm with the throw-back Dap-Kings for a few introductory tunes. And they never stopped playing once. As soon as one tune ended the next would start in a seamless flow of tight horn hits and funky rhythms. Sharon Jones, who's apparently 51 years old (!), was brought on stage after a classy and lengthy introduction by the fast-talking lead guitar player, and she proceeded to shuffle, sing, dance and belt with endless energy for the next 90 minutes.

This show was nothing but good old-fashioned class, which was enhanced by the guitar player's fast talking. I'll offer a quote that he said prior to Ms. Jones' return to the stage during the encore:

(The Dap-Kings had come back up on stage and were vamping, while we expected Sharon to come back on stage.)

"Ladies and gentleman, I must inform you that due to contractual obligations the time has come when we have played the allotted songs in the allotted time. Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen, I am sorry, the show is over."

The crowd boos in disbelief. The band came back up on stage just to tell us THAT?!

"But when one door closes, another door opens, and while the show may be over, the party has just begun!"

Incredible. See them when they come to your town and in the mean time listen to their album, 100 Days 100 Nights, or buy it from Daptone Records. You won't reget it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lil Punkin

I've been asked for some updated pics of my neice. These were taken a couple weeks ago, when she was 8 weeks old. Just starting to smile a bit... Pretty freakin cute.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Heroes, Gyros, & Beer-os

It's been happening every week during the TV season since last fall...

The break out phenomenon that took the nation by surprise...

It's called Heroes, Gyros, and Beer-os.

Monday nights Lee and I get together to watch Heroes, eat gyros from Gyropolis, and drink Grain Belt Premium beer-os.

You, too can help make Monday everybody's new favorite night of the week: watch some good TV, support your local gyro shop and tip back a local brew.

And let me know if you have food and drink ideas that rhyme with Lost and 24.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Catching up part 5

I have been meaning to get this up for a long time. It's come up in a few conversations recently so I guess it's time. I went to India in March of 2006 to train some Dell employees. These are entries from my journal while I was there. Previous posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Friday, March 10
6 am
The Charminar, Hyderabad, India

Sunrise was a bust for photos and lighting, much like the sunset the night before. We left the hotel, the same driver from last night and I, and I actually saw the most color in the sky from the car as soon as we left the hotel, about ½ hour before actual sunrise. The driver kept going slow, explaining the surroundings, in spite of my gentle urging to get to the Charminar, a prayer temple in the oldest section of the city, before the sun was actually up. “You see, sa. Sun is coming slooooooowly, sa.” Repeat. He would make a statement like that every so often, like “very old, sa. 600 years, sa,” or some trivial information like that. Then he would repeat it until I actually said, Yes or OK, not just uh-huh, or mmm-hmmmm. Then he’d say it one more time. I appreciated his enthusiasm, but got a little tired of the routine, plus I was annoyed that the weather was not cooperating with my photo ops.

The Charminar opens at dawn for prayers.

So I took a couple pics, said no to a half dozen stops he suggested on the way back to the hotel, had breakfast and went back to bed.

2 pm
The Final Run

I hooked up with a driver, the same one who had driven me around on Wednesday, and went out for one last round of souvenir hunting. Went to some more authentic shops this time - not touristy; rather where Indies go to shop, less mall like and more bazaar like. In fact one place was called Big Bazaar. Got some pearls for the girls and a shirt for my brother. Couldn’t find a t-shirt with Hindi on it. Not even one that said India. All the t-shirts with writing were in English. Not aimed at the same type of tourist shopping that I expected. Couldn’t find any postcards either. Strange. Also went to Karachi Bakery, apparently a world famous place, and got some biscuits (cookies) to take home.

So I took it easy the rest of the evening, had a snack and a Cobra Premium (it’s no Grain Belt) at the bar, got packed up and took a nap. Had one last dinner and left the hotel at 12:30 am Saturday the 11th. Got back to the states about 24 hours later around noon on Sunday the 12th.

I'd love to go back.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Catching up part 4

I have been meaning to get this up for a long time. It's come up in a few conversations recently so I guess it's time. I went to India in March of 2006 to train some Dell employees. These are entries from my journal while I was there. Previous posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Thursday, March 9, 2006
6 - 8 pm
Birla Mandir, the white marble temple, Hyderabad, India

Until tonight I hadn’t spent any time out “on the street”. For the last three days it’s been a car ride somewhere, then inside an office or store or restaurant. I got a car and driver at about 6 pm planning to take pictures of the sunset behind the Buddha statue at Hussein Sagar lake, which 200 years ago was the main supply of drinking water for the city. No longer drinkable today, but it is still supplied only by rain water.

We arrived in time for sunset, but rain clouds covered up what little color was there, so we moved on. While I was out of the car I could smell little more than exhaust, or body odor of someone nearby, which wasn’t terribly disgusting, just noticeable. On the way to Venkateswara Temple, an all-white marble temple, we got a flat tire.

My driver, of course, didn’t want me to help so I took the opportunity to walk up the block and take some pictures. There was a welder a block away putting up a sign and I thought it would look interesting in the dark... So I took some pictures of people on the street.

On the way up the block was a strong smell of urine, mixed with sweet, pungent incense and some food spices. There are food stands nearly everywhere, and I had already seen a few men peeing on walls or on the sidewalk while we were driving around, so I wasn’t too surprised at the wide variety of smells. Made for an interesting aromatic experience, though. The streets are filthy.

With the tire fixed, my driver insisted we go to the temple, which didn’t really matter to me much at the time. He said the view was great at night - much better than the day, so I said fine.

First, you must remove your shoes. Most everyone else was in bare feet, so I removed my socks as well. Also cameras are not allowed, so this led to quite a sacred experience for me. It’s easy for me to spend too much time behind the lens of a camera sometimes, trying to take every memory home with me... so I feel a little more reverence, I guess, when I know I’ll be taking mental pictures.

It was amazing! From the cool stone on the bottom of my feet to the many people who had come to pray wearing colored chalk on their cheeks and receiving a blessing, all the white marble (god, all the white marble), the cool breeze, the moon and clouds overhead, the prayer chants.... From the top you can see the giant statue of Buddha in Hussein Sagar. A Lutheran guy with a Muslim guide, in a Hindu temple, looking at a Buddhist sculpture. Pretty heavy.

At the top, a very peaceful place, I stood with my face into the wind and enjoyed a serene moment, just taking it all in, really for the first time so far on the trip. My guide said quietly, “It’s very quiet up here. No traffic.” (And he said sir, or “sa” at the end of each sentence.) He continued, “No stress, sa. Very peaceful, sa. Very quiet, sa... No one to bother you, sa. No one to interrupt you while you enjoy the mood, sa.” And on and on... Actually it seemed like a comedy routine after a bit. I had to laugh.

Don't forget your light-up Vishnu and Ganesh on the way out!

Read Part 5...

Catching up part 3

I have been meaning to get this up for a long time. It's come up in a few conversations recently so I guess it's time. I went to India in March of 2006 to train some Dell employees. These are entries from my journal while I was there. Previous posts: Part 1, Part 2

Thursday, March 9, 2006
10:30 - 3 pm
Emporium, shopping

I hired a driver to take me out souvenir hunting. Half day excursions cost Rs. 825, all day 1200. Rupees are about 44 to the dollar, so 100 rupees is just over 2 dollars, 1000 rupees is about 23 bucks. The first place was an emporium, specializing in India handcrafts. Surprisingly this would be the only such store I would get to see the whole trip. Had I known this I may have bought more items. The store clerk was very helpful and spoke English well. The woven silk pieces were really beautiful. From large and small tablecloths to pillow cases to place mats, it was difficult to choose just a couple items. Along with a carved elephant, I chose a violet pillow case with peacocks and elephants in the design and a blue table runner.

Now, I had been told that prices were negotiable everywhere, not to settle for the price tag or the quoted price in both online research and from a local at Dell. The total of my items came 1440 rupees, or about 33 bucks. Pretty cheap, but I was going to try my hand at bargaining. I offered 800 rupees for everything. The guy looked at me funny and said, “I don’t understand.” He again added up the total and said it again 1440. This guy’s pretty good, I thought. I repeated my offer and after a bit of the same upped my offer to 1000. He then politely but firmly informed me that this was a different kind of store. The price here is the price you pay. Some markets will not even have a price - those are the ones to bargain with. Not here. You can see the price clearly on the item, and you can pay it or you can leave. I had insulted him and I felt bad. Or else he was REALLY good. So I smiled and said do you take American Express?

My driver and me.

The taxi driver and the hotel doorman. They were all smiles until it was time for a photo.

After a little more shopping at a mall, my driver and I had lunch at Paradise Biryani, “the best place in town” for biryani, a rice, herb, spice dish served with lamb, chicken, or veg. We washed our hands and sat down upstairs inside. It was better to be inside than outside, my driver said, but I’m not sure why. His English was better than my Hindu or Telugu (which is nil), but not too great, so many of our exchanges ended in confusion. We had lamb biryani and ate with our fingers, me following his lead. Silverware was provided, but traditionally meals are eaten with the fingers. This was the only time on the trip where I saw it, but I didn’t eat outside the hotel much. The dish was a little spicy and came with some spicy sauce and a milk sauce. Washed it down with a Pepsi and payed the inflated bill, which I didn’t notice until later. We ate 2 biryanis at Rs. 95 each plus 2 sodas, but were charged for 3 sodas, 2 biryanis, 2 soups and 2 salads. Even the inflated total was less than 10 bucks. Surely an honest mistake.

The street from outside Paradise Biryani.

I mean no disrespect, but that's from Mad Max right?

After that I went back to the hotel and had a beer by the pool and relaxed for a couple hours.

Read Part 4...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Your life, the soundtrack.

You are making a feature film about your life. What songs do you select for the soundtrack? You'll want at least one song for each major stage of your life, the highs and lows, significant relationships, educational and career milestones, etc.

It starts with Mickey Mouse Disco, 1979. That's the first record I remember listening to over and over. The theme songs from Dukes of Hazzard and Knight Rider would come next, followed by - I know you had a copy of this, too - The Thriller album. We can wrap up the eighties with Axel F - the theme from Beverly Hills Cop - the first song I learned by ear and showed me playing the piano can actually be fun (which it still is).

Fast forward to high school so I can embarrass myself with titles such as Keep on Movin, It Takes 2, and Bust a Move. By the time I was out of high school, U2's Joshua Tree was constantly in the Discman. From then on (and still today) it became transitional/travelling music. Whenever I was on a long road trip or going somewhere new, U2 was along for the ride. Still the best album ever.

College was grunge: Pearl Jam's Ten album - the whole thing ought to do it. Late nineties would be a few songs from the ska band I was in, the Jinkies. I was 24, had a "real job" and I was in a band outside of school. At that moment I felt like I had made it. Funny what silly things you think when you're 24.

The soundtrack of my life for the past 5 years or so would be an odd mix between chilled out funk from the Meters, chilled out ska from the Skatalites, and chilled out electronica from Groove Armada and St. Germain, among others.

Last week I picked up 3 new titles in the funk and soul category: Budos Band II, Stanton Moore III, and Greyboy Allstars' What Happened to Television? I highly recommend all 3.

Aaron, Lee, Jodi, it's your turn. And pass it on.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Catching up part 2

I have been meaning to get this up for a long time. It's come up in a few conversations recently so I guess it's time. I went to India in March of 2006 to train some Dell employees. These are entries from my journal while I was there. Previous post: Part 1

Tuesday, March 7, 2006
Qutab Shahi Tombs, Golconda Fort - Hyderabad, India

I left for the fort around 10 am. First the driver insisted we stop at the Qutab Shahi Tombs. Got some very good pictures there, but we were a little hassled by a pushy “tour guide” who wouldn’t take no for an answer and continued to follow us around and try and engage us in conversation. He wanted money at the end for doing "his job". Ultimately I didn’t pay him and I don’t think he liked that.

With little free time that morning we moved on to Golconda Fort. More than a fort, it’s really a small city surrounded by walls. You pass through four gates before arriving at the entrance to the fort itself. Once there we were approached many times by more "tour guides" wanting to give us the full tour. Even after saying no, they will still follow you around and offer information until they know for sure that you're not paying. Turns out the self guided tour was sufficient. We hiked to the top to take in a great view of the city. The walls of the fort are very impressive, built right into some enormous natural boulders on the hillside.

Had time after for a refreshing dip in the pool, then got absolutely stuffed at the buffet. Crazy hot Thai seafood soup, almost too hot to eat, but very tasty.

Check out my version of the recipe.

Read Part 3...

Catching up part 1

I have been meaning to get this up for a long time. It's come up in a few conversations recently so I guess it's time. I went to India in March of 2006 to train some Dell employees. These are entries from my journal while I was there.

Monday, March 6, 2006
Hyderabad, India

After 19 hours of travel I arrived from Amsterdam a at about 2:00 am. My first impression was the feeling of humidity and the large crowds waiting to greet their travelers. I was aware of the stares, and had been informed that this was common. Indeed, I was the subject of gazes wherever I went.

The cab to the hotel took less than ten minutes. I checked in and went to sleep around 3:00. I met up with Gavin from Corel’s UK office for lunch, then went to the Dell office. Work at Dell was rather monotonous. 3 pm to midnight or later each night Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I stayed up until at least 3 each night, trying to sleep in each morning, but that didn’t work too well. I grew more and more tired each night we worked. Perhaps it was the repetition of delivering the same material to 7 or 8 groups per night...

The Dell office is in the "Hi-Tech City" area of Hyderabad.

Read Part 2...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

...But only as a last resort

There's just so much to love about the following statements. If I had to pick five reasons to enjoy sake (or beer for that matter) these reasons make perfect sense.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The tag stops here

Aaron tagged me with a 7 random things meme. OK, I'll play along, but I'm not sending it to anyone - they've both already been tagged...

1. My sister has a daughter which means I have a niece. She's here.
2. Since getting HD tv service, I've really paid a lot more attention to baseball than I ever did before.
3. However I'm not able to rattle off stats, player names, positions, or team place in standings. And I likely never will.
4. I think it's quite possible that slowly, over a couple years I went from a person who truly loved his job to one who is simply very glad to have one.
5. When you tell someone you haven't spoken to for quite a few years what you've been up to all this time, you'll quickly find out that there just isn't all that much to tell.
6. I think that's because the real fun is in the details. I can think of 10-minute experiences that are a hell of a lot more interesting than a brief history of the last 10 years.
7. My 15-year high school reunion is this summer. I am not attending. I suppose #5 has something to do with that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's a baby girl!

Congrats to my sister and her husband on the birth of their baby girl, Sophia Ana-Marie!

Born August 17. 8 lbs, 7 oz., 20.5"

It's all pretty wonderful and amazing. And she already really likes me. I'm pretty much her favorite uncle. Well, definitely one of her 11 favorite uncles.

She's awfully sweet, in that way babies are. I only wish she lived closer, both for sis's sake and mine. I'd love to be able to see the little gal more often!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I never like that tree limb anyway

So Ma Nature swept in and helped everyone in west Bloomington with a little pruning, including this limb on my maple Friday night, and leaving about 250,000 people without power. Also note the downed power lines in the pic below.

Several trees were uprooted and toppled over, especially on Vincent and on 91st. As for a little bit of "lemons into lemonade", I was able to safely paint around the power lines attached to the house while the power was off. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The end is (nowhere) near

...But progress is being made. Yeah, I know I've been whining about it for days, so here are some pics to: a) prove that I wasn't making it up just to get attention, and b) show off some pics so that I can get some attention...

I started scraping a little bit in June, and really started working on it this past week. I took a few days off work over the 4th and, with some help from Lee and Adam (thanks, guys!), got the entire front of the house finished: priming all the bare wood and trim, and applying two technicolor dreamcoats on everything. "Before" pics are from about 3 1/2 months ago, in March.

The new color is very similar to the old, but more beige-y and less taupe-y, I guess. And you can see more of the not-quite-finished boulder project, too. The job change in March has made such a difference in what I can get done around here. I'm honestly happy to have the time to be at home and work on this stuff, even when it's hard work...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Stuff I built - a patio update

This is the patio right after they took the forms off. It looks a lot better now that it has a couple chairs, a bench, another bench, and stuff. Kinda looks like 1/4 of Mickey's head, upside down, doesn't it?

So here are a couple pics of the stuff I've built and put on the patio. First is a cedar trellis, on which I have hung some tiki lights (not pictured). Sort of a screen to section off the AC and firewood area.

Also, I built a cedar planter box/bench combo, which now holds some herbs (also not pictured). Thanks for the herbs, sis!

There's lots of landscaping left to do around the patio - mainly adding dirt, mulch, maybe plants. I still need to complete the boulder wall project in front, so landscaping in back will likely come later. And I keep putting off scraping and painting the house, mostly because I just don't want to do it. I mean who would?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

And I shall call it "Timmy"

I threw the summer kick-off party Sunday, the inaugural bash on the new patio. I'd say it was a smashing success. Had a couple of neighbors over, the bro, lots of friends... There was much food, drink and burning of stuff. Adam made pitcher after pitcher of Mojitos, Jenny made some killer peanut butter chocolate bars, among many other tasty treats. We played volleyball in near darkness, then whiffle ball batting practice in complete darkness. As it got cooler we put on extra layers and lit a fire. Hardly anything got broken at all until...

Lee and I decided the patio needed christening (with a bottle of Premium, of course). So after much fanfare and a brief naming brainstorm, the patio was dubbed Kon-Tiki-Tiki-Lau in a glorious spray of golden, foamy beer and shards of glass. It was quite lovely.

I can't wait until the next one...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Planters all done



Close up:

And good thing I got it done, too. The driveway guys are coming 2 days early! Tear out is Tuesday May 8, pouring Wednesday...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Work in Progress

Inspired by my soon-to-be-installed new driveway, I decided to spiff up the rather neglected area by my front steps. So right now, somewhere around half done is a retaining wall and a couple of planter boxes. I need to patch a step before I finish adding bricks, but after that, a few more layers and voila...
I'll post before-and-afters when it's done.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

24, or 12: the halfway point

Season 6, 5:00-6:00 pm

Worst episode ever. Here's my take, in the words of some of the characters who were actually there, but didn't have a chance to say what they really thought:

Secret Service in White House Bunker:
First Agent: Dude, a bomb! Almost blowed-up the Prez!
Second Agent: Well, that's what happens when we bring a known terrorist in to meet with the president in the most secure and super-secret place we could possibly imagine.
First Agent: You really think he did it?
Second Agent: Nah, but I got a wife, kids, and a pension to think about. I mean it's MY ASS.
First Agent: Somebody else must have smuggled it in, I guess. We gotta talk to somebody at the metal detector. I mean it's EVERY TIME with those guys!

Conspiracy in EVEN MORE super secret pipe room:
Bad Guy: You think he'll talk?
Ex-Mrs. Hillary Swank: Nahhhh.

Russian Embassy, exterior:
Jack: Funny, but my Russian is still fluent. I may have lost that slight Ukraininan accent I worked on, but hey, it's been 18 months since I even spoke ENGLISH! Don't make me choke you!

Russian Embassy, interior:
Markov: You know, it's really great to be here in the US of A, in this sunny state of California, where I don't have to work too hard or wait in the bread lines or ration my fuel... But I think we should destroy these filthy capitalist pigs and teach them a lesson!
Soon-to-be-deceased Russian guy: A lesson in what? Why should we make trouble?
Markov: I don't know I guess... Just to shake things up, maybe? I mean, wouldn't it be nice to just go back to the motherland and poison some MF's for the KGB now and again?
Soon-to-be-deceased Russian guy: Da.

Russian Embassy, interior, later on:
Soon-to-be-deceased Russian guy: Jack Bauer just told me something werry, werry important. Now I'm the ONLY ONE who can stop Marko. I have a funny feeling about this...

CTU Los Angeles:
Morris: There's no way ever that we could ever monitor anything coming or going from that embassy. Oh, wait...

Washington, DC airport:
Karen Hayes-Buchanan: Hi Bill, I'm in the Worldperks lounge at the airport. Yeah, another Northwest delay. What do you mean "should have called 5 hours ago"?!

Back in the White House Bunker:
President Palmer: Ouch. How could you let this happen? Are you the head of my Secret Service or NOT??
Secret Service Agent: No, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night!