Magic Mushrooms

Here’s a recipe I crafted today to go with our Swedish Pancakes. If we have pankakor (pancakes) at night, Jae and I usually go for savory instead of sweet, and this turned out nice as a side dish, or rolled up inside…

Magic Mushrooms

  • One box of whole mushrooms (I got the larger one’s), quartered
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • Soy sauce, three turns of the pan
  • 2 cranks of pepper
  • Knob Creek Whisky, about 1 ounce
  • Light Brown Sugar, 2 generous tbsp
Combine mushrooms with the rest of the ingredients in a medium sauce pan, on medium to medium low heat, and cook for a while. Serve with whatever you want. Goes great with a wicked strong cheddar cheese, like Dubliner.


ajoBlog In Review Teaching

Teaching is a privilege!

“Teaching is a privilege.”

– Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Master

I’ve had the privilege in my short, atypical teaching career, of teaching about 900+ students, in grades 6-12. I started, in my first assignment after graduate school, teaching a multicultural studies class at Fairless Middle School, teaching all of the 6, 7, and 8th grade students in a trimester fashion. It was a great experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It not only gave me great perspective, but allowed me to start class three times in one year – valuable, and very powerful for a new teacher. My 6th graders are now in high school. I hope they’re doing just fine!

When I moved on to Nordonia High School, teaching 10th grade social studies, and more specifically, modern U.S. History and Economics, I had the privilege of teaching some of the most amazing young men and women. Adjusting to a new group of people, new students, and new circumstances all allowed me to grow as a person and professional. I could have not asked for a better mentor in Steve Testa, one of the most skilled educators I’ll ever meet. Steve and I still teach a blended hybrid course for high schoolers called Going Places, even though I’ve left Nordonia.

Throughout my time at Nordonia, I had the privilege of forming special relationships with students, beyond the classroom – the kind of relationship that develops organically, and is based on mutual levels of respect, and awe, of capabilities, skills, and personal traits.

In the last year of my tenure there, a group of students, seniors, came to have lunch with me on my planning period, and I often just sat in silence, eating my lunch, as they briefed each other on daily agenda items, the latest on shopping, work, school, and future ambitions. It was a privilege to be part of their inner circle (as much as they let me…), and it was an experience I’ll value for a long time to come. I learned a great deal, not only about them, but about how young people function, think, deal, handle, and process. I hope they connect back in the future, and look forward to their future success. E, S, N, A, and S: Do well in life!

I had the privilege of working for some fine administrators, who, although struggling with various issues of financial stress in the district, managed to keep the ship afloat, and keep as all motivated. Teaching in a district, and in a building, for the last year, already knowing that you’ll get laid off at the end of the year is tough. It was a privilege to spend it with fine educators, leaders, and people. I hope they’re all doing okay.

Teaching truly is a privilege. It’s a career, not a job, and something that drives you from within. I will always teach, instruct, show, model, train, demonstrate – whatever you want to call it, I’ll keep on doing it.

In my current job, as an EdTech Consultant, I now have the privilege of working with teachers directly. I look forward to impacting even more students than before. The passion that burns inside me is just getting hotter, and I’m not about to burn out! Teaching is a privilege, and I hope I’ll be allowed to do it for as long as I live.


Saturday hike at Munroe Falls

We hiked at Munroe Falls with our friends Megan and Brian, and their son Luke. The walking kids did really well, and the parents got a chance to chat while strolling in the woods. Oskar fell asleep in the backpack, for the first time, and he seemed to enjoy it!

Jae and Emelie check out a bench half way, but find that rest is for the weary, and it’s clearly time to get going…

Oskar in the best seat of the house, snuggled up in the backpack carrier.

… and asleep, because the cadence of the lumbering stroll through the woods just make a little boy tired… Notice Malomar, his chewing pig, attached with a handy strap!


TQM – What is it?

In short, here’s what TQM (Total Quality Management) strives to do:

  1. Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services.
  2. Adopt the new philosophy.
  3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.
  4. End the practice of awarding business on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier.
  5. Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service.
  6. Institute training on the job.
  7. Adopt and institute leadership.
  8. Drive out fear.
  9. Break down barriers between staff areas.
  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the workforce.
  11. Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management.
  12. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system.
  13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone.
  14. Put everybody in the company to work accomplishing the transformation.

First Hiking Spree hike this fall!

We, the family, had our first hike this fall, in the Fall Hiking Spree hosted by the Summit County Metroparks. We started at the new park next to us, Tallmadge Meadows. It was 5 pm in the afternoon, and it had been raining all day!Oskar had his first trip in the backpack, and his sister had grabbed her own hiking stick. Off we went, and off to a good start. The trail was wet, and muddy in places, but very nice, with rolling terrain, with great sections in the woods, ending up traversing some flat, open space, interspersed with wetlands and foot bridges.

Towards the end, Emelie got tired, and we loaded her up on my back as well. I figured that was around 60 lbs. or so… Flashbacks from my time in the service, but nothing we couldn’t handle! Fun was had by all, dirty feet included (Emelie was determined to find, and inventory all of the puddles!)

ajoBlog Going Places Teaching

Chinese fortune / good pedagogy!

One of our students, Brian C., on a recent trip with the Going Places program, shared what he had heard about learning in general, and it went something like “you remember 60% of what you say…” Here’s from a Chinese fortune cookie I had today:

“I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand.”

Coincidence? Maybe. Or, the universe is telling us something!


Let’s not forget…


The Kohler Numi High Tech Toilet Ad

Okay, so the other day I saw this ad for the latest in toilet technology. I get it, it’s nice, full of design quality, and for $6,400 it had better play music and have a warming feature for my feet, but… Who wants to use a toilet in an open room, with floor to ceiling windows? I certainly don’t… Those who know me personally know that I’m a pretty private person in some matters, and this happens to be one of them. I’d like to have the toilet, yes, but do I have to put in an open, window covered room? Is that the only way “to go” in the future, Kohler? I’m all for design, but want my privacy, too. When shall the twain meet?

ajoBlog Going Places

Pennsic Battle Scene (Pennsic 39)

Some of our students asked what the heavy fighting was like at Pennsic, since they met some local SCA fellows at the Art in the Park event in Kent, OH yesterday, so I thought I’d re-post this video I took last year. (This year, there was plenty of battling as well, but I didn’t film due to having another halfling to take care of! Enjoy!


Bob Parsons 16 Rules for Success in Business and Life in General

Get and stay out of your comfort zone.
I believe that not much happens of any significance when we’re in our comfort zone.  I hear people say, “But I’m concerned about security.”  My response to that is simple: “Security is for cadavers.”