Monday, July 31, 2006


In the spirit of Tom Peters who had the greatest line that I have ever heard regarding words: "Words ensnare me."


Sentient, pronounced Sen-tee-unt, has been following me around like a puppy dog lately. I have tripped across it in at least three different books that I am reading. Let's check out the definition to see if it is something that we should be working into our daily lives.

Sentient: responsive to or conscious of sense impressions. AWARE. Finely sensitive in perception and thought.

"I resolve to be more sentient in my travels today"

Hmmm.....this is a good one. I'll definitely be more sentient in a few minutes as it pertains to my body. I am heading off to the gym after a tough workout yesterday. My body will make me plenty sentient as to what I put it through yesterday!!!


(Wow....did you see that? Nutter's Notes has now gravitated into teaching us more about words!!! It's more than that "word a day" stuff too. I should be here everyday!!! What will he come up with next?")

PS: I just got back from the gym. I decided to do some sprints over at the basketball court. I am extremely sentient that I have been building muscles in my thighs by cycling and not building flexibility in them through running...........OUCH!!!

Sunday, July 30, 2006


How does a guy like me get so lucky? - I ask that question a lot.

I went out harvesting last night - and filled up about four bags of tomatoes and peppers to "drop and run" on some friends doorsteps.

I go back out tonight - and look how much more there is!!!

Friends - I am not sitting on a huge parcel of land. It's a regular city lot. I don't own a green thumb. I tilled, I put the things in some potting soil, I staked them for support, and I watered them. Look at how much I have been blessed with!!!! HE sure is a good father and provider for us.

....and this is after I have had to toss a ton of tomatoes - which I am attributing to not being totally "on it" during the two weeks of 100-110 temps that we got blasted with here in Sacratomatoe.

"But I live in an apartment" - hey, if you have some sun, get a 5 gallon bucket. I have heard of people that do it. Virtually weed free and probably a lot easier way to tilling!!!

It's exciting - this was my first shot at a full size garden. I remember watching the first little flowers and buds and wondering if I would get much output.....

.....oh brother!!! - output????

I don't have kids - but, if I did, I think this would be a wonderful thing to share with them. The vegetables and the growing cycle is a microcosm of child rearing. You plant, you nourish, you protect the best that you can, ................and then you eat them????? Stop that!!!! Go wash your mouth out. release them.

I'd even have my kid be the neighborhood tomatoe guy - I'd go to some neighbors and give them some dough to barter with little Noah Nutter as he peddled the wares that he was out there growing right alongside me. Yup.....he'd even have his own plants.

Hey....I might not even need to set the neighbors up - how much would you pay for that sinkful of homegrown, organic, fresh from the garden veges!!! that I think of it - maybe I shouldn't be giving these things away. This was a money makin deal and I let it slide right by.

Oh well - there's always next year for capitalism. Then again, I think the joy that I saw in one couple's face last night when they caught me making a drop on their doorstep. They were beside themselves. They used to grow tomotoes themselves and they said, "these are the first fresh vegetables we have gotten all year." We went inside and sat a spell and enjoyed each other's company for awhile....

.hmmmmmm....maybe I made something on this deal after all.

HappyUP!!!....Eat It UP!!!

Just when you loyal readers were saying - "hey, isn't it about time for some of those tomatoes to be poppin out of Nutter's garden?"

Yes, the cherry tomatoes were here for Fourth of July - and now the Beefsteaks are coming in by the TON!!! (OK...that's a stretch....but they are come in by multiple pounds)).

Here's a great summer idea - should you be lucky enough to have an abundance of homegrown tomatoes. If you don't, find a neighbor that has been growing them. Every tomatoe gardener always has way too many for himself.

Just slice those bad boys up nice and thick - and throw them on the grill. If you happen to have a nice marinade laying around to sautee them in, get that marinade going nice and hot. As soon as you throw the tomatoes on, give them a nice generous sprinkling of your favorite cheese. Tonight, I chose Romano and Parmesean.....they hold up to the heat a little better. Anyway, this is a no brainer for when you are tired of eating those tomatoes raw.

"Hey, what's that parked in front of the tomaters, Nutter?" - why it is a couple of nice, wild Mahi Mahi filets!!! Talk about easy....just get the fish, stick it in a ziplock with some olive oil, garlic, pepper, red pepper flakes, and a bit of lemon juice and you are good to go!

Good eatin - always a HappyUP!!! (Especially when it's easy......and pretty cheap. The Mahi Mahi you see above cost about $6. It would easily feed two.....probably three....maybe four if you loaded everyone up on those free tomatoes that you got from your neighbor!!!)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

My Two Cents

(A Special Post for Sunday Scribblings)

Some Say That I Am Cheap

I live on common ground
Though could afford to dwell among the elite
vacations in modest quarters
Yet could enjoy extravagant villas
Some say that I am cheap

The finest cars can grace my garage
Wines of the finest vintage could tumble across lips
Young women beyond number
could pass before my threshold
All these things I am told that I should desire
Am I cheap or is it that I can't hear

Things pass
Decaying hubris to soil
Hands wither in search of lotion
Unnecessarily exposed to winter's harsh touch

I spend my money to purchase time
Time to spend alone
To conjure upon snails and window pots
The next time we meet
You will find out what they have told me
What value do you bring to me
Tell me now who is cheap

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Greatest Thief of All Time

(A Special Post for SundayScribblings)

I watched the evidence of his work again on Friday

I actually saw the remains of his evil hand.

I was giving my HappyUP!!! workshop to a group in my company - and, for the third time, I took the risk and inserted the most dangerous piece of the program.

HappyUP is all about helping people improve their emotional states - notice that I didn't say, "help cure people from depression." The key word that I used was IMPROVE. This means that if someone is depressed, we work towards neutral. If they are neutral, we work towards glad. If they are glad, let's take it to downright giddy about living this life that we lead. If they are giddy...hmmm....well.....let's go into the uncharted waters of the positive relm.

HappyUP is about handing people the tools to do so - I learned long ago that I can't tell someone what to think. It doesn't work and I don't have the right. Do I still take a stab at it anyway from time to time? Sure. We all do. What I do have the right to do is to be a model for higher planed behavior and hand people the tools with the hope that they become an even better model than myself. I sincerely hope they double, triple, or thousandile my efforts (if you understood what thousandile meant in that sequence, yes, it just became a word).

The tool that I used - laughter. I stopped in the middle of the workshop and asked people to observe me. I took my serious face and I slowly transformed in front of them. I went from serious to neutral to grinning to chuckling to hysterically, gut busting, it really hurts laughter and continued to laugh on that level for about 10 seconds.

As I was slowing down the laugh to continue - I noticed the looks on their faces. It's the same one I have gotten every time and it is where I know the thief had come into them at some time in their lives and ransacked their dwelling.

While I was returning to "normal" - (boy, I even hated typing that preface about normal), I had to do the requisite, "....and it is at this point that you think, 'this boy has lost his marbles' " sequeway. I then go on to tell them that people will reach for many things for a momentary dose of happiness. They will spend money they don't have and/or wreak havoc to their bodies with various different attempts to bring momentary happiness (what is better termed "fun") into their lives while ignoring the most precious gift that has been given to them for free.

I go on to describe - the euphoria that I felt while my stomach was busting up and how that feeling, though now diminished post-hysterics, is still working in my body. It's a better feeling than any cocktail I ever drank.....and the hangover is a lot more pleasant.

"I laugh when something is funny" - is the comment that I get at this point in the talk. To that, all I can say is, "Wow." I just pulled out my owner's manual. It doesn't say a thing about needing an outside stimulus to actually use the laugh button. Really! It doesn't!!! Have you checked yours lately? Ever? Really, go pull your owner's manual's located right between your ears.

I want you to stop right now - and take a couple of seconds and actually start laughing. Start don't want to overburden your system. You have to warm up. Just start to giggle and then kick it up to guffaw and continue doing it OUT LOUD for about 10 to 15 seconds.

Go ahead. Stop. DO IT!

OK.....I know that you didn't do it - because the greatest thief of all has invaded your life. The greatest thief of all is our EGO. It worries about what other people think

(Reality Check Time: others are too busy thinking of themselves. If you ever actually gain the courage to do this excercise, get caught, queried on what you were doing, and the person says, "that's a great idea," you might want to hold on to that person).

Is this excercise to delude ourselves into thinking that we can cure our troubles just by laughing? - heck no. You would be drifting into a state of denial. It does change the emotional state that you are in at the moment. That state could be anywhere from depressed to feeling good. By doing this excercise, you trump all of those for a few seconds. This should put you into a better position to deal with whatever it is that is your next opportunity.

Will you do the exercise now? - or will you remain VICTIM to the Greatest Thief of All? (I really dislike the term "hate" but I do hate the Thief and the only person that I hate worse than the Thief is the person who REMAINS the VICTIM to him). The thief only came in once. Whatever the item was that he stole is inconsequential. It is the imprint that he leaves upon you.....the fear that he could come again...that is his biggest crime.

The Greatest Thief of All is worrying about what others think - which prevents you from becoming the biggest, best you that you were created to be. As my good friend McNair Wilson likes to say, "If you don't do you, you doesn't get done and Creation is incomplete."

It's a Sunday - and another great day to HappyUP!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

HappyUP!!!...Man Heading on Vacation?

So I'm getting ready to leave my house the other day - and this elderly man rides by on his old bike. Keep in mind....we are blowing past 100 degrees every day in Sacramento for about 10 days in a row. You ride a bike either early or because you have to.

"I gotta get a picture of this" - because of the trailer that he is pulling. Of course, I wanted to be discreet (I guess I wouldn't make for a very good papparazzi). I caught up with him at the stop sign and gave it my best shot.

The interesting thing - is what he is pulling in the trailer.

An old suitcase - he had the look of being impoverished. Was he just getting to work the only way that he could and there were tools in the trailer? Was he heading off on vacation? Was I looking at all the possessions that a person owned?

These are all questions that will never be answered - but it makes me a bit ....a big bit more appreciative for the life that I have.

Of course - he may have looked at me........and be appreciative for the things he doesn't have that tie him down.

Monday, July 17, 2006

HappyUP!!.....The Essence of Genius

"The essence of genius is to know what to overlook"
-William James

James is widely acknowledged as the father of American psychology- What could he be referring to in the above?

Here is my take - he is referring to the minutae that we attach far too emotion to. This is the kind of stuff that really doesn't mean much at the end of the day. Does it mean that we should be like the ostrich with our head in the sand? No. I don't think overlook and ignore are the same words or Mr James, an impeccable wordsmith, would have chosen to say "ignore."

Words are words....situations are situations - it is the emotion that we attach to these things as individuals that determine how much these will rule our lives. Yes, we do create our own realities.

We only have x amount of time and emotion to spend - and, if we waste it on things that will bring little long term value to our lives, we will spend little or no time/emotion investing in the things that bring long term gain. In essence, we burn up our tanks of gas by peeling tires back and forth down to the corner. We never have enough gas to make the trip to wise old grandpa or grandma's house.

Look at where your energy is invested today - look at the items where you raise your voice, get upset, gossip about, talk to workmates about, talk to spouses about, etc. Is it interesting or is it just passing time or, worse, is it wasting precious gas?

And know this - you have the ability to change this at any second that you decide to. Remember, in every change, there is a second that it is made. Sure, there may be a process involved but, during that process, there is a tipping point where you go off into the other direction. Many times, we wander off in a less than desirable direction without even knowing that we are doing it. We aren't conscious.

HappyUP!!! - look for where you are spending your emotion today. Write it down in a journal or notepad. Start building your better tomorrow by having a higher quality today.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

This Just In!!!!......

Last night, as I was enjoying my evening - I looked over into the park and I saw two peanuts walking peacefully in the park. The bliss was quickly interrupted when I saw that one was a-salted!

(OK.....after you let out the easy to predict "groan"....go out and HappyUP!!!)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

100....for 10 Days in a Row

OK....I am going to use the blog for something positive
- complaining about the weather. I am going to do it right here, right now, one time and then I am going to be done with it.

Here in the big SacRahTomatoe - (that's Sacramento, CA for my international readership), today was the second day in a row with the temperature over 100 degrees. I just made a trip over to and saw that the next 10 days are supposed to be over 100....

And that's just too many in a row for my liking - people start to get a bit crabby here in the Sacramento Valley when you start encroaching on two weeks of straight triple digits. Let's see, what else will happen...

Oh, I know - the "news" stations will start running the polution/air quality index stories all the time. This begs the question: is it news if we already know that it is going to happen? Instead of calling it "The Six O'Clock News Report" perhaps they should call it "The Six O'Clock Duh Report."

"But, Nut, they are performing a public service for all of the people with breathing conditions"- hold it....stop the presses right there. IF you have figured out tht you have some kind of condition that effects your oxygen intake and you haven't figured out that when it's hot you should stay inside, perhaps you are taking up too much of everyone's air anyway!!!!

Oooooh! That last sentence wasn't very nice, was it? - no, it probably wasn't. It was pretty funny so the editor told me to leave it in. Besides, I'm making fun of the weather people.

PLUS...this is my one time that I am going to complain for two weeks so - I am entitled.

Let's see...what else will be on the news- oh, I know. "Don't leave your pets or children unattended in the car during the heat wave." LIKE YOUR SUPPOSED TO LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN UNATTENDED IN THE CAR ANY OTHER TIME!!!....and our PITA pals probably wouldn't be too hep on animals ever being left in the car either.

....oh, I know - the news will cut to a local university/hospital. They'll get some doctor to tell you what to make sure you do during these times. I wonder what his suggestion will be. Hmmmm...after all of those years of What will this sage medicine man suggest? I can't wait.... my survival during this temperature torture chamber might rely on his very words. Perhaps he/she will say "DRINK LOTS OF WATER and WEAR SUNSCREEN"!!! Thanks for that cutting edge advice.

Hey, wait a minute- Perhaps I should call up the TV station right now and tell them I am available to come down for an interview. I'll save them the dough of having to send out the remote team that has to be on some doctor's time schedule. I can then tell all of the viewership to get more of my secrets at

Onward we will move to my friends who have to have black cars with black leather interior - "dang my black's burning up!" live in Sacramento. Are you too cool and chic to drive a white car???!!! How long have you lived here? Months that have names like JULY and AUGUST mean that there is a better than average chance of roasting! You were already a bit underbrained when you bought the car.......and now you validate it by complaining which indicates that you might not have figured out the black/heat correlation when you purchased the chariot.

How much longer should I go on - hey, I have to get it all out. From here on in, I have to replace "hotter than heck" with, "my what a very sunny day it is" for almost a fortnight.

Well...I think that's enough - and, if it's not, it may be time for a hastily planned vacation. Is it nice where you live right now?

And one more thing about how hot it is here - it's over 100 degrees a lot of days for our troops in God forsaken parts of the people are trying to kill them. When you think about that, I think I, and everybody else that is lucky enough not to be taking that kind of heat, should drink a nice cool can of Shut-the-Heck-Up. I just stocked up on that beverage....

Cheers! Bottoms Up!!! - and a toast to those who are the heroes that really should be complaining. I don't hear them crying.


(A special post for SundayScribblings)

The items we use for carrying our oh so precious stuff - for goodness sakes, we can't leave without this...or this here...oh, wait a minute...I need to take along that as well....just in case.
My first baggage that I can remember - was made of wire. It sat right between the handlebars of my Schwinn Stingray bike. Of course, it wasn't to cool to throw that accessory on the Stingray so as soon as I got home from school and ditched the school tomes, the basket came off too. That was handy. I actually had a removable piece of baggage.
It was during this time - around fifth grade that my parents subjected me to taking music at school. I love music now but hauling the saxophone to school via my pedal-and-chain-mobile taught me my first lesson in baggage handling. Bunjee chords were brand new back then 30+ years ago. I had my trusty basket between the bars and then to the front or on top of the basket, I strapped on another piece of baggage...the saxaphone case. Baggage on baggage. This was tricky and, as I am sure you can imagine, none to cool. Any chance of coolness was dispelled as most things that look awkward usually are and the entire load was often tossed to the dirt road that I travelled on. Oh the trauma of my childhood.
On to high school - where were backpacks in those days!!??!!! The baggage used there were my two appendages. This was a highly inefficient system when carrying multiple books, a lunch, and anything else.
College - brought along the introduction of the small backpace. This was cutting edge utilitarianism.
After graduating from business college - the logical career path was taken and I became a carpenter. Not a very good carpenter but a carpenter nonetheless. I still remember the 100 degree days. No sunscreen. A pair of gymshorts, redwing boots and my next piece of toolbelt. I still have that toolbelt out in my garage. I tried to put it on the other day.
Leather must not keep very well. After 20 years, it's shrunk...must have shrunk because it didn't come very close to fitting around my waist.
Then, the baggage gets serious - and you enter the world of work. You move up to a briefcase. Important people carry briefcases. Beginning loan senior loan bigger manager. I have been through the old briefcases to more stylish ones to catalog cases to...
Laptop cases - the classic styling of a man's briefcase forever ruined by the need to carefully pack around the slave to which we have become. How many generic laptop cases have I been through? I can't even imagine.
You see corporate America drones packing around "the brain" in different sizes and configurations....but you don't really see the difference, do you? They are pretty much all black, nylon zippers, "that material" (you know...that nylon mesh stuff) and just wider and taller than laptop within.
Not mine! - I finally found something that is becoming a friend. He's my bag. Sometimes I insult him by making him bear the weight of my laptop and such silly contraptions like PDA's and laser pointers. Many times, I allow him to enjoy the heavier weight of the myriad of books that I want to read, pads to scribble on, and the variety of pens I carry. You can't have too many pens, right? Cell phone, keys, doesn't matter. My friend has a big mouth but he never tells. He just consumes. He begs me to travel heavier because he can take it. Many times, I give in to his desires and then it is my shoulder that tells me who really is in charge.
Old metal zippers - you don't see those anymore, do you? Yes, they have their misery but they bring a reminder of another time. It was a time that you didn't throw away and buy new. You went to the shoe repair shop and had it replaced or restitched. I guess there wasn't as much room in the landfills back in those days. We made things last even if what we had wasn't as good as the latest new thing. Why does the sentence I just wrote make me think of marriage?
I could scribble forever on this topic - but, alas, I have a meeting to go to. Let's see....what will I need at the meeting? What might I need if there is time to kill?...if I get bored? ...if I decide to go somewhere else when the meeting is done? I may not know what I am taking....but I know where I am putting it.
Time to start packing - maybe I will throw some underwear in my briefcase today. It will be the first time the name of the item accurately depics the object that it is describing.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


(A special post for SundayScribblings)
I find the topic of Hotels to be most provocative - and as I went about my travels today, I ventured by one of "those" hotels. Are you familiar? Do you want to be?
"Those" hotels are the ones - where an unknowing family on a budget could decide to stay for the night. It's close to the freeway. Perhaps it is not a hotel but a motel. This one, however, is not just for those on their way to Disneyland or Grandma's house. This particular place of hospitality also attracts "business" people. The type that are there for cheap and short term transactions where business casual means skin.
Yes, that is what I was going to write about this week - and delve into the side of lonliness, desperation, cheap thrills.....
I even took the picture - as I drove by.
And then I slapped myself and said - "Nutter, who deemed you the next Pulitzer Prize winner!!!"
Besides, if I followed that story, I would then have to - ahem...uh....well....."do the research" which didn't seem like a particularly savory investment of my time or money.
So, we head right back to my wheelhouse - the funny story!!! I arrived the night before a speaking engagement in a town just outside of San Francisco. I could have made the drive the following morning but I wanted to catch dinner with a friend of mine down near The City.
Upon checking in, there was a nice note from the management -
"For your safety, we will perform water maintenance on our water system Monday, April 17th. The entire water system will be shut down in the hotel from 12 noon until 3 pm. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may encounter."
If you haven't figured it out by now - I am pretty easy going. Not much really gets to me. I don't think this did either. Yet, how could I ponder anything else as I checked in that Monday night but,

"I wonder if it worked!"

Let's go back and visit the note above- was it really necessary to begin the letter with "For your safety"? Perhaps I am a bit naive. When I go to a hotel in a developed country and especially near the city of San Francisco, I am pretty much not thinking that the water is going to be involved as a threat to my well being. Mugged? Sure. Panhandled? Expected. An occassional parasite because you aren't used to the local water supply? That's a given
"Hey, if they didn't need 'for your safety' they wouldn't have said, 'for your safety' now would they" - is the only thing that went through my head.
After being greeted with this letter - I wondered if, with all the hotels in America to pick, had Al-Qaeda picked this particular lodging location to carry out the next part of their plan?
So, here I am - in a strange city confronted by a dangerous challenge to my existence by the wettest villian of them all......the Water.
I stood in the face of that danger - I didn't ask if the testing had gone OK. Bravely, I wetted my toothbrush that night and shined my chompers as if the water had come out of a pristine spring. I showered zestily...rubbing the possible tainted aqua in total disregard that there could be caustic chemicals in them that would seer the epidermis from my body.
I then used the toilet with no.....- well....wait. I guess that, even if the water was contaminated there really wouldn't be any valor in using the head. OK...we'll skip that.
I only know this - when faced with the danger of a water supply that could have ended my days here, I stood up and let the world know that I would not be intimidated!!!

..................all while drinking the bottle of Evian that I had brought along.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Now that's some eatin!!!.....

Allright...what goes through your mind when someone says - Eggplant lasagna...or Zucchini Lasagna? If you are like me, it might be something like this, "hey, if I am going to pack on the carbs with that kind of pasta, I am going to throw in some real food!...meat...sausage..."

Here is the thing that I didn't know - and, while I may not be the brightest bulb in the lamp, I know there is someone out there amongst my massive readership that didn't know this either...

You replace the pasta....not the meat!!! - "what? Huh? Nutter, you nutter, what the heck are you talking about?" guys are a bit blunt but I like your spunk! - I was kicking around this weekend and somehow I come across The Victory Garden on the tube. Here is this Chef Boy-ar-dee fellow hanging outside with Gardner Green Jeans. They are picking vegetables and herbs. Now, this has my interest because, as all of you faithful readers know, I have this big garden going on this year for the first time in my life.

Chef Boy-ar-dee decides he is going to take eggplant and make eggplant lasagna - and I start going, "oh boy, when is he going to start throwing in the tofu as well?" But, because a mind is like a works best when it is open....I decide to check it out.

The chef then takes the eggplant - and cuts it in long wide strips!!! He's not replacing the meat...he's replacing the noodles. All of a sudden, Einstein that I am, say, "hey, if he does this with eggplant, I can do this with a few of those 3 pound zucchinis that are taking over my backyard."

And I would say that within one hour - I went from couch potatoe to stuffing my gullet with the outcome that you see pictured above. I didn't even right down any instructions. Here is what you do:

Get yourself:
-some eggplant or huge zucchini (no, those little ones that look like a pickles brother won't work).
-sea salt
-2 lbs of mozzarella (you won't use it all but you don't want to run short)
-a couple of jars of your favorite spag sauce (or make your own if you dig your own mix)
-a handful of fresh basil
-fresh parmesean

Slice the eggplant/zucchini into thin (but not razor or paper thin...they have to hold up) wide strips
Paint them with olive oil and dust them with pepper and sea salt
Grill them in a frying pan (a grill pan would be optimal...I don't own one...yet...I used a griddle)
Line the bottom of your casserole dish with your "noodles" (no need to oil the dish......the water in the plants
will keep them from sticking)
By this time, you will have been heating your spag sauce WITH the freshly cut,chopped basil leaves
Spread the spag sauce all over the "noodles"
Throw on a layer of mozzarella
(I did meatless but, if you wanted meat, you probably would have browned it and thrown it into your spag sauce by now)
Put on another layer of those grilled "noodles"
Do the spag sauce again
Do the mozzarella again
Once satisfied with your "layers" , throw some parmesean over the top
Stick it into the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes (it doesn't take long because everything is already hot)

Wait for your friends to come into the kitchen so you can pull out your bubbling masterpiece
Let it cool so it sets.......don't eat too gets even better as a leftover!!!!

I sounds complicated - but.....shhhhh...I'll let you on to a little secret....promise not to tell?


As said...shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh - I don't want to get the word out. You just have to put together a few signature dishes that look and taste impressive. This little baby qualifies. And, by taking out the pasta, you really cut down on that carb factor. This one is a winner!!!!!