Everything stated on this site is, of course, MY opinion / statement / thought, unless specifically stated otherwise. You knew that.


PLEASE NOTE: I'm *slowly* combining my blogs into this single site. If you are looking for Lotus Notes content from my old site, please EMAIL me at: jrlitton at gmail dot com and tell me the link or the content you were seeking. I will try to email you the content within a day.

- Joe

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Well, I've never spent my evening cleaning up after a gunshot -- until today.  My nephew ended up shooting himself in the leg, so while he was going into surgery, my wife and sister and I cleaned up the blood at his house.

Good Lord, this is so surreal!

I am not a fan of guns.  I was trained when I was younger in gun safety and how to shoot rifles, shotguns, and handguns.  I don't like it.  We don't own guns.  In my nephew's case, he and his family are what one would have considered careful gun owners.  The guns were kept in a safe.  But only one gun had a trigger lock on it.  It turns out that the other gun - the one without the lock - had a bullet in it.  The guns needed to be moved, as some painting was going to be done in the house.  Well apparently, while moving the guns, the one went off.  My nephew was the only one home and fortunately had the focus to be able to call the police/ambulance, and to call his mom.

I never would have thought that I would spend an evening of my life cleaning up someone's blood after a gunshot wound!  We don't live in a "bad" part of town.  We're a "normal" family, regular jobs, etc.  This is why I do not like guns -- gun accidents happen too easily.

So this evening my nephew was very lucky.  He's undergoing surgery.  He'll need some lengthy rehabilitation, but should be OK overall.

Thank you God.


Sri Lanken Chicken

Click for full image
Barry "Noted Chef" Sanders was kind enough to share this recipe with me.  It is the roadmap to palette nirvana.

Sri Lankan Chicken

Serves 2


1 cinnamon stick

2 tbsp vinegar

2 tbsp paprika

½ tsp chilli powder (more or less to taste)

4 cardamom pods

2 whole cloves (the spice not garlic)


2 chicken breasts bone and skin remove, cut in rough piece

2 tbsp vegetable/canola oil

1 onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

3 cm fresh ginger grated

1 tbsp minced chillis

6-10 curry leaves  (you can find these at an Indian store)

1/2 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander

½ tsp turmeric

½ cup coconut cream (cream not milk)

1 tin crushed tomatoes

chopped cilantro for garnish

lime wedges for garnish

Serve with basmati rice


1. Remove cardamom seeds from their pods and discard the pods.  Grind cardamom seeds and cloves in a pestle and mortar.  Once ground up, add paprika, chilli powder and vinegar and work into a paste.  Put the paste into a medium sized bowl with cinnamon stick and cut up chicken.  Coat the chicken well in the paste and allow to marinade covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

2. Once the chicken has marinated, heat the oil in a medium sized skillet or saucepan over a medium.  Saute the onions until golden brown onions, then add the garlic, ginger, chilli mince and curry leaves for 3

minutes making sure it doesn’t burn.

3. Reduce the heat, add cumin, coriander, and turmeric and cook the spices for another minute or until fragrant.

4. Now add the marinated chicken mixture to the pan and return the heat to medium to high, and brown the chicken for 3-5 minutes.

5. Next add the can of crushed tomatoes and bring mixture to the boil.  Add coconut cream.  Reduce heat to a simmer.

6. Allow to simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes until sauce has thickened.

7. Serve on a bed of basmati/jasmine rice and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.


Feng Shui - part 2

It's been a couple of weeks now since our Feng Shui consultation.  We'd been on vacation in Tampa dropping our son off at The University of Tampa and kicking back on the beach.

Well, we're back home and have made a number of adjustments based on the consultation, with more to come.  For now, I've posted a few pictures with comments in this photo album to reveal some of the adjustments.  I'll post more pictures as we continue with the changes.


Getting Feng Shui -ed

We've started making some simple adjustments to our home, based on a Feng Shui (pronounced "fung-shway") consultation.

There are different systems of Feng Shui, but much seems to be common sense - simply improving the flow within a space via a few adjustments here and there.  We had watched a video about Feng Shui (gotta love NetFlix!) and liked what we were learning.  Well my wife was talking about this with her acupuncturist, and found out that the acupuncturist's husband is a Feng Shui consultant.  Coincidence?  :-)

So we faxed Rich the floor plan of our home as a head start, and then met with him for an hour or two and walked through the house.  Rich practices Black Sect Feng Shui, which was the system to which the video introduced us.  Much is based around a "compass" of sorts, called the bagua  (pronounced "bah-gwah").  Much is also based on intuition, and that appeals to me a lot; we as a species could use to pay more attention to intuition.

So what adjustments have we made?  So far we've dressed up our entry quite a bit.  We have a front porch (that was a requirement for me when we built the house), and then our front door opens to a stairway leading up to the 2nd floor.  Our entry area was rather empty.  We've now added a couple of small metal wind chimes on either side of the porch entry, and added a plant just inside the front door, another plant on the landing of the stairs, a mirror on the wall of the landing, and may add a small water feature to the left of the stairway.  Just these initial few adjustments make the home feel far more inviting and I love having the plants there.  As I pass through the entry, whether coming into the house or leaving, I now get a positive lift from this space.

We've also hung a small metal wind chime in another area of the front porch, and have hung 50mm crystals in a couple of locations inside.  The sound of the chimes is quite subtle and very pleasing.  We've both always enjoyed how light plays with crystals, and the one we've hung in a corner of the master bath does an especially nice job of catching the morning sun and sending little bits of rainbow in all directions.

We have more to do (our consultation with Rich was just a few days ago), but already I am liking the fresh, gentle, and alive feeling that these adjustments have brought to the spaces in our home.  Rich also talked with us about the importance of intention - that consciousness, intention, and form are all connected.  This all feels right to me, and that nod of approval from the intuition is a good thing :-)

So for now, we've made a few adjustments.  There will be more over the coming weeks, and then I'll post a few pictures showing the adjustments.



Taking TypePad for a drive

One of the early (maybe the first?) Domino bloggers, Jake Howlett, posted about TypePad.  Well, although my Domino-related blog is built in Domino, I do like the general appearance of Moveable Type.  I've just been too busy with work and studying things that pertain directly to work to learn about Moveable Type.  Now, however, it appears that with the TypePad service there is a very easy way to create a blog based on Moveable Type.  So here we are then.

There's quite a variety of topics about which I've been compelled to write.  There are also photos I'd like to share.  But if something isn't related to IBM/Lotus technologies or web development or other geek topics, I usually refrain from posting about it in my Domino blog.  The items and pictures I post here may be of little interest to anyone but me, but if this site can serve as a catch basin for the miscellanea that pass from free synapse through keyboard/mouse to cyberspace, then that's good enough.

Thus ends the obligatory first post.

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