Sunday, July 30, 2006

Beach Fun (including revenge pictures)

This could possibly have been the best beach day ever. Beautiful weather. Got out the door nice and early in the morning without wanting to kill each other (a nice change from our usual 'getting ready for the beach' routine), got a nice spot and stayed for a long time.

Took lots of pictures. This one of me and my nine-year-old little girl is now one of my new favourites:

Here's a few other neat ones. You will notice I favour 'action' shots. That's me, baby. All action, all the time. Snorf.

Oh, the one annoying part. Shortly before we were getting ready to leave, these people came over and plopped themselves down right in front of us. No, I mean, literally RIGHT in front of us. Which I considered to be pretty bad form. So, since I was taking my last few pictures over their heads, I decided to take a picture of one of them and post it here on my blog, as kind of a silent protest.

Nice tats eh? Three, count 'em, three... that we know of. And who knows about that one on her lower back. For all we know, it might go on *forever*...

Well, that should teach her. Never mess with someone who has a BLOG!

Is Techie Humour Funny to the Rest of the World?

OK, just like I try to be obscure about my kids, I'm also not going to talk specifically about my workplace. Except to say that it's a software development company, it's still pretty young, and I'm doing application support. And I'm going to have a blast... provided my head doesn't explode.

One thing that made me laugh this week was this joke on someone's wall. Remember, I'm a computer geek, so I found it hilariously funny. I'd be interested to find if normal people feel the same way. It's about how a software product gets created:

(you'll need to click it to read the captions, though, I expect)

So, for reference purposes, I'd be in that process around the second to last box. Removing a section of my leg along with the tree, I suspect. We'll see.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"The Car is Broken."

Yes. That's what we first heard from my teenage daughter when we answered the cell phone.

The car is broken.

That certainly conveys a specific impression, doesn't it? The car, through some fault OF ITS OWN, is failing to operate the way it should. It's BROKEN.


That's pretty bad luck.

Knowing the people involved, however, allows you some further insights into the situation. My wife, perceptive woman that she is, asked the following question:

"Are the headlights on?"

Pretty much cuts right to the chase, doesn't it? That's my honey. She doesn't mess around. And here's the telling response:

"Well, not NOW."


There we go.

The car wasn't actually "broken", then, was it? More accurately, SOMEONE LEFT THE HEADLIGHTS ON WHEN SHE WENT TO THE MOVIES. And THEN, surprise of surprises, the car wouldn't start. Duh.

You know, I'm not even irritated. Even though this is about the TENTH time she's left the lights on and drained the battery since getting her license. It just kind of makes me smile. You know, the admirable attempt to avoid any personal culpability vis-a-vis the current non-operational status of the car.

"The car is broken."

Yup. Just replace the word "car" with "explanation", and "broken" with "pretty sketchy", and that's more or less accurate.

If you squint your eyes the right way.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sliced Meat, Anyone?

OK, I admit it's my genes that have come into play here.

My five-year-old was pretty happy today because he finally received a toy sword. It goes "clang" when you press the button. We resisted for months and months, but eventually we relaxed our standards just a little bit more.

But I digress.

Back to the boy and his sword. While the rest of the family is sitting at the supper table, a captive audience so to speak, he walks toward us with his sword.

But it's how he's carrying it. He is grasping the sword tightly between his legs, as high up as it will go. It is reversed, so the business end of the sword is pointing towards him, with the handle far out at the other end.

He looks at all of us, and totally deadpans, in a bit of a slow drawl, "Is there a doctor in the house?"

Trust me, it was funny.

And he holds it. Even when we all kill ourselves laughing, he still stays in character and doesn't smile. "Is there a doctor in the house?"

That's my boy. Not too many five year olds can do the "oops I've stabbed myself in the groin" bit and make it funny. But he pulled it off nicely. (No, that's not another pun. Sicko.)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

From the Archives: My Breast Picture Ever

I like taking pictures. This one from 1998 is one of my very favourites, but I can't really explain why.

All I can say is that it was spontaneous. I don't think my wife was aware I was taking it. And it just shows breastfeeding in a casual, positive light without hitting you over the head with it.

I think I was playing around with the 'black and white' feature on the digital camera I had just started using, and I liked the way that came out too. Those soft edges got added some time later, for reasons that are now lost to the ages.

Oh, btw, that's my now nine-year-old daughter in the photo with my wife. I'm sure her twin brother wasn't too far away, getting ready to swoop. During that period, you understand, my wife was mostly serving doubles. Ha ha. (Look, I have to add *some* amusement to this post, right? That, and the "breast" pun in the title will pretty much have to do it!)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Is There a Monster in the House?

I was going to name this post "Oooh, Wasn't That Scary, Kids?", but then I realized that I already did that, last October. (Remember the Ballet Dancer of Death?)

On my last non-working weekday for the foreseeable future, my wife and I took the three littles to "Monster House."

I had seen the previews for this movie, but hadn't read any reviews or any articles on it beforehand. We just kind of arrived at the theatre and decided to go.

So, I must say, I was surprised by the movie. It didn't actually scare me, but it was kind of... scary. Enough that I was wondering how the kids were finding it.

Again, as with Pirates of the Caribbean, they demonstrate for me that they have a firm grasp of what's real and what's make-believe. They really liked the movie. The nine-year-olds jumped more than the five-year-old, and one of them spent a few minutes hanging on my arm. But she *is* a bit of a drama queen.

If you have kids, and they don't mind a good imaginative movie with a reasonable scare factor, take them to "Monster House." If they're a little... sensitive, keep them home.

Geek alert: I didn't know this when I saw it, but it turns out that the movie was filmed in live-action, and then digitally animated using motion capture. I'd like to see it over again, just to watch it from this new point of view...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'm a Lumberjack and I'm OK, I Work All Night and I Sleep All Day

OK, well I'm not a lumberjack. (Though I'm so burly and masculine, I'm sure I've been mistaken for one... wink wink).

And I don't work all night and sleep all day either.

So actually, the only useful word in the title of my post is "work."

Which is pretty significant today, since as of about an hour ago...


A buddy of mine knew that I was looking to return to the workforce, now that all five kids will be in school come September. He knew of a place that had been looking for a guy with my characteristics a few months ago (take that however you like), so he put me in touch with them. Two interviews and just under two weeks later, we made it official, and I start Monday! I have to say, I'm totally stoked. (Not 'stroked'... you people are so evil minded.)

One of the weird things will be giving up the title of "stay-at-home dad", which is funny, considering it was a little hard to get used to at first. But I'm awfully proud of having spent three and a half years at home. My little guy was less than two when I started, and now he's five. All of the kids have grown so much. You just can't put a dollar value on the time I was able to spend with all of them.

Of course, this will be a huge adjustment for the entire family. But being able to pay the bills on time will be a nice adjustment too.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Comm Vitt Me Iff You Vant To Liff...

I'm sure that there are lots of services like this out there... but I like this one. It's dead stupid easy, and it's useful.


It's like the Terminator for e-mails.

Do you want to use a website, but they insist on you providing an e-mail address? Do you not *want* to provide your e-mail address because you don't want to get any additional spam e-mails about "LON6 LASTIN6 ERECT10NS" or "KIND PERSON NEEDED TO TRANSFER LARGE AMOUNT OF INTERNATIONAL FUNDS", or even "INEED2GETLAID"??

Problem solved. Give them a e-mail address. Make up the first part, whether it's, or or The message will arrive at mailinator, and even live there for a few hours before it's deleted. If you want to check the message, just go to and tell them the mail name you made up (robin, or dropdead, or 123) and it shows you what messages were sent to that address.

Neat, eh? I'm going trolling for websites just so I can use it.

Hasta la vista, baby.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Gimme that Old Time Religion Photography

You might remember that I like to dress up. However, you might not know that I also like to drag others along. Here's a progression of "old time" family photos we've had taken through the years:

1987. Honeymoon. Don't think we had *any* idea at this point...

1988. First anniversary. Pulled our friends Tom and Leeanne along for this one.

Big jump to the year 2000. Four kids. Don't know *why* we didn't have time to get any photos done in the previous twelve years!

2003. Five kids now.

2005. Still just five kids. Finally figured out what was making it happen.

Now that we're back in the groove, hopefully we'll get these done every couple of years. It's nice to watch the kids getting older. It's somewhat *less* nice to watch ourselves getting older though!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Born to Blog Jive, Baby

You know, sadly I'm really too old to understand when people start talking stuff like 'shizzle my wizzle'. Let's just call it a variation of the generation gap.

However, thanks to "Gizoogle", technology has provided to way to help me bridge the gap! Click the... um... spinn'n rim below... um, beotch... and marvel in the wonder of my blog translated to jive. It opens a 'translated' version of my blog in another window.

Tranzliate this Shiznit to Jive!

Click the Spinn'n Rim Beotch!

If I was *really* adventurous, I'd put the thing on my sidebar and leave it there forever. But, what say we just test it out here in this post for now...

Friday, July 14, 2006


I'm a big believer in 'truth in advertising'. No, I'm not talking about the "Incredible Shrinking Bouncing Children and Their Pygmy Dad" debacle. I'm talking about...

Trailer Park Boys.

Have you seen the show? It's been on for a while now, but, as usual, I'm a little late to the party.

It's silly, and rude, and low budget, but it's entertaining. And it's made here in Nova Scotia, and has a cult following worldwide. It was, much like 'Family Guy', a show that I disliked the first time I saw it, and then months or years later found that it had grown on me. I think what brought me back to this one is that my friend Lockie had a few 'bystander' parts in a few episodes. Because of that, we watched some on DVD a few months ago, and that seemed to buy the show some favour from me.

But I digress. Back to the truth in advertising thing.

I was watching Trailer Park Boys the other night, on the Showcase channel. So after every commercial, they put on this disclaimer:

"The following contains nudity, sexuality, violence, and course language. Viewer discretion is advised."

Let's explore that a little more closely:

Coarse Language? OK, the show certainly has coarse language. Apparently, in one 22-minute episode, for example, they used the work "f*ck" ninety-one times.

Violence? It would be a stretch, but I guess some of the characters might get into little shoving matches once in a while.

Nudity? Sexuality? Never seen any.


You can't put a disclaimer warning about nudity and sexuality on a show, if there really isn't any!!!

Broadcasters: Please consider your disclaimers an IRON-CLAD guarantee!! If you WARN us about nudity and sexuality, then GIVE US SOME NUDITY AND SEXUALITY!!!







Yeah. No, I'm totally normal.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Start with Five, See the Sights, Finish with Five.

We went to Peggy's Cove the other day, with all five kids.

Which is no big deal.

We did, however, also LEAVE Peggy's Cove with all five kids intact.

Which is a much more impressive feat.

You see, Peggy's Cove, being one of the most amazing sights around these parts, what with all the huge rock formations constantly being spectacularly battered by the Atlantic Ocean, is positively a kid's paradise of potential danger. So many rocks to climb, so many cliffs to fall off of, so many ways to get washed out to sea...

Our youngest child, our five-year-old son, definitely wins the award this year. He was so thrilled with the place, he was positively wired. My wife, to her undying credit, was either attached to the child or less than two feet away from him at all times.

We took lots of pictures. However, the place is so amazing, our photographs never seem to do it justice. Here are a few of the nice ones though:

Oh, on that last picture, and you may need to click through to the larger version to see what I mean, check out the expression on the little guy's face. That pretty much say it all.

Five in. Five out.

We win again.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Mystery of Women

You know, women are funny.

Not ha-ha funny though. Weird and unpredictable funny.

Take my wife, for example.

Actually, let me backtrack a little. A while back, I got my dad a cool pair of sunglasses. They had super-duper UV protection, and they fit over existing glasses, and they even had little side panels with little lenses in them too, to give you sun protection from the sides. He really liked them.

In fact, when he came across another pair, he gave them to me. I keep them in the car so I can use them driving in sunny weather.

Here comes the thing with my wife.

See, for some reason totally uncomprehensible to me, she refuses to be seen with me when I wear those sunglasses!! For absolutely NO good reason! It defies all logic!

Let's throw it out to the internet. Everybody take a good look at this picture. Then tell me...

What lady WOULDN'T want to get with this??

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Pirates Win Again...

The conversation went something like this:

DAD: "Hey, kids. Mom and I went and saw Pirates of the Caribbean, and we think that it's a movie that you should probably wait to see until it comes out on dvd."

KIDS (in stereo... or one level beyond stereo where the sound is coming from three sources... surround sound!) : "DAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!! It will be fine!!!!! We won't be scared!!!!! We PROMISE!!!!!"

DAD: "Well, I don't know..."

KIDS: "Pleeeeeeasssse Daaaaadddd. We REALLY won't be freaked out!!! Pleeeeeeeeeeeassseee."

DAD (perfectly happy to go to the movie again by now): "Ok, then, so if you're all freaked out you won't be complaining to me, right???"

KIDS (sensing the turn of the tide) : "Oh yes, Dad, yes, yes, yes, no not us, no no, no..."

Long story short, I take them.

Even better, they dress up. Check this out... taken as we went out the door:

So we see the movie.

The end result: What did I even worry for? They *LOVE* it.

Can these kids be any MORE like their dad? I'm starting to think not.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


First off, let me say that I'm *totally* happy with the bouncer we bought for the kids, which I discussed in my previous post. Because they love it. (If you didn't read that post yet, I give you permission to abandon this one to go read that one first.)

Now, having said that, let me point out that MANY COMPANIES CAN'T BE TRUSTED. I believe that it has something to do with the fact that they want you to buy their stuff.

Let me explain.

After I set up the bouncer while the kids were away, I went to the source of all information, the internet. I wanted to see if people had comments or concerns about the product.

What I did find was somewhat interesting.

Allow me to point out that when I purchased the bouncer, I was impressed with the photo of the item that was on the box. It looked pretty cool, and pretty fun.

However, I found some of the same pictures on the internet... but it turns out that they aren't *quite* the same.

Check this out. Here's a photo of the box that the bouncer came in:

Oh, you can't see it in the picture I took, but on one of the other sides of the box, there's a big sticker that says "NEW AND IMPROVED!!" (which itself is a contradiction, but let's not go there...).

Now, let's compare that picture on the box to some of the pictures I found on the internet, which I've come to believe were *earlier* promotional photos for this product:

This picture above, let's call it "a REAL photograph". Which is what it seems to be.

Let's call this next picture, "The Amazing Shrinking Bouncers." Because EVERY ONE of the people in this picture, the kids as well as the adult, have shrunk! Suddenly, the bouncer looks HUGE!! Oh, and they changed the trees in the background. Maybe people are offended by certain varieties of foliage? Who knows?

For comparison purposes, I laid these two side-by-side, adjusted so that the bouncer size is consistent:

Nice, eh? Why let a product stand on its own merits, when embellishing it works so much better?

In fact, did you notice that all these pictures I found have MORE kids in them than the picture on the actual box? Perhaps that's because the documentation recommends that a maximum of three kids play on the bouncer at the same time. Their photos, however, showed FIVE kids! They must have had a "whoops!" moment with that one.

Now, before anybody gets irritated by these blatant attempts to deceive a potential buyer, let me point out that this disclaimer appears on the box, in really tiny text of course:

"Contents and specifications may vary from those illustrated."

Whew. Well, NOW I feel better! See? I'm not SUPPOSED to use the image on the box to actually tell me what the product is like! That's just to make me want to BUY it!


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Houston, We Have Lift-off Bounce-off

All I can say is, "I never really intended this." But sometimes, fun just bounces into your life.

See, a neighbour mentioned to me, when I was working on her computer one night, that she rented a "bouncy castle" for her child's birthday party. Four hours of bouncing, for about the price of a 'birthday party package' at the movie theatre, or the swimming pool, or somewhere like that. She gave me their number.

Sounded like a good idea. So I called the bouncy castle people. And we booked a day.

When the day arrived... now, keep in mind that we're in Nova Scotia....

It rained.

(You can't do it when it rains.)

So we rebooked another day.

Then on that day....

It rained. AGAIN.

Starting to see a pattern? We wondered if it would *ever* happen. So we went ahead and had an indoor party for the little boy without the bouncy castle. Remember that day?

Cut to three days ago. We were in a store (we really need to stay *out* of those places). We saw... a bouncer. One you buy and set up yourself.


It wasn't cheap. But it *was* less than twice what it would have cost to rent one for four hours. Economies of scale bounced through my mind. (Bounced, get it?)

We pondered for a day.

Then we went and bought it.

I set it up and inflated it when the three little kids were away. It looked pretty good. I resisted bouncing on it myself. With difficulty. Darn. But it's designed for kids. And it would have been pretty hard to explain how I destroyed the kids' bouncer before they ever got to try it. So I packed it back up. (It can't stay up when it's not in use... but it is *really* easy to set up... thankfully.)

Today, I went and picked up the kids from their mini-vacation with Grandma and Grandpa. We dropped by the hospital on the way home, so the kids could see Mom, since she would be working until midnight. Mom and I told them we got them a bouncer. Even then, without knowing anything about it, they were pretty stoked.

When we arrived at home and set it up, it would be fair to say that they lost their little minds.

Check this out:

Looks like fun, doesn't it?

So it's all worth it. Because bouncing is so much fun.

Unless, of course, it's your cheques that are doing the bouncing. Which, thanks to this purchase, is a sad but distinct possibility around here for the next week or so.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Very Few Kids, But LOTS of Pirates...

This has been kind of a mini-vacation.

Ever since Sunday, my three youngest children have been living it up in Cape Breton with my parents. Having a blast.

My oldest son just went off Wednesday morning to a camp (though there should be a better word... they don't have a fixed place to stay... they're travelling from place to place on an urban/rural environmental adventure) and is away until Sunday.

My oldest daughter, as you may have read, is working during the day, and dancing at the Nova Scotia Tattoo in the evenings. So most of her time at home is spent sleeping.

So, despite the fact that my wife has been working steadily all this time, we have found that the pace of life has slackened somewhat recently.

So much, in fact, that we went on a late-night date.

We caught (and I believe that for my wife, this is a first) the midnight showing of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." And we had a really good time. It was interesting to see such a cross-section of viewers at a midnight showing. Families, couples, teenagers, adults... they were all well represented. Even a couple of young women dressed up, quite spectacularly I might add, as pirates.

The movie itself was *very* enjoyable. It's packed with so much story, action, adventure, and spectacle that it bears another viewing. At *least* one more. Yeah, it totally rocked.

However, it is *not* a movie for my smaller children to see in the theatre. The potential to "fweak dem out" is just a bit too strong. Once it's on dvd, though, I guarantee it will be a big hit with them.

Tomorrow I'm going half-way to Cape Breton to meet my folks and pick up the little kids. And Sunday my 14-year-old comes home. And the Tattoo ends on Saturday. So life will return to normal pretty soon.

But I have to say, it's been a nice change of pace.

And who knows... I still have a little time left. Perhaps later I'll raid the playroom and dress up as a pirate myself, then go off in search of some plunder. Avast, ye scabrous dogs! Aaarrghh!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


My poor baby. Only seventeen. And already heading down the wrong path in life. Busted by the man. Taken down by the fuzz.

Let me explain.

She has her driver's license, if you recall. In the past few months, she's been given the opportunity to demonstrate that she is a responsible driver, and she has proven it. So she gets the car on occasion, usually to run errands for her parents, or to take herself to someplace I would have needed to drive her to anyway.

Last night, for instance. She drove herself and two friends to the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. She's a highland dancer, and has performed in the Tattoo for years. This is the week of the Tattoo, so she's been out every evening dancing for an appreciative public. Tattoo goes pretty late, around eleven p.m., so I was sitting at home at midnight waiting to hear the door open.

It does.

"Hello", says I.

I hear. Hmm. Not the usual casual hello I get, nor even the perfunctory grunt that a teenager occasionally uses as communication when it's too much trouble to form words.

I turn around. There she is. But her two friends are with her. Strange. Usually she drives them home, and is back home before her midnight curfew (imposed on new drivers by the government of Nova Scotia).

"Police? No... why?"

"BECAUSE I GOT PULLED OVER!!", she says, and not particularly calmly at that. She's holding in her hands her driver's license, as well as our vehicle registration and insurance card.

"YOUR STUPID STICKER'S EXPIRED OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT!!" she says. And gives me a red piece of paper. It's a "traffic offense report".

She's all teared up. Not in a "boo hoo" way, but in a "too much emotional stress" kind of way.

Now, I'm sure that the wrong thing to do at this point, probably, is to laugh.

Unfortunately, I do anyway. I laugh. The child, however, fails to find the humour in the situation. She's still a little... um... not sure if "manic" is the word... let's just say, "a little distressed."

Apparently she got stopped at a 'spot check' the RCMP had set up. They saw that the car's inspection sticker had expired, so they did the whole "license and registration, please" thing to her. She and her friends, all highland dancers by the way, give me the story in typical teen girl fashion, but I more or less get the point anyway.

So the poor child pays the price for her dad's inability to remember to check when the safety inspection sticker expires. Well, she didn't actually pay any *price*, she got off with a warning. Which I thanked her for. I told her that I'm lucky that she was a poor helpless teenage girl, which was probably what resulted in the warning. Me, I would have got a ticket, I bet.

But hey, it's a good learning experience for her. (oops, I laughed out loud while I was typing that)

Now she knows, no matter how well things are going...

... you always need to watch out for the MAN.

Note to teen daughter: By the way, honey, I got the Motor Vehicle Inspection done this morning, so you can take yourself and the girls to Tattoo again tonight. They won't pull you over this time. Wink.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

It's Always a Good Time for a Lawyer Joke

I love lawyer jokes. With apologies to my brother-in-law Joe. He's really a very nice guy.

So, anyway, here's a joke that made me chuckle today:

In a trial, a southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"

She responded, "Yes sir, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs.You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes sir, I indeed know you."

The lawyer was stunned! Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?"

She again replied, "Why, yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife, sir. Oh yes, I know him well."

The defense attorney almost died. The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, "If either of you idiots asks this woman if she knows *me*, I'll send you BOTH to the electric chair."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy "Independence" Day, Kid!

July 4th. My first child's independence day. My "test kid", as I've always called her, since she's the one we had to practice on, in preparation for all the others.

So my baby is seventeen years old today.

Oh God I'm old. Just shoot me now.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I Used Traffic to Increase Traffic

I've been getting a truckload of hits here on my blog ever since I started buying space on highway signs:

Cool, eh? Yet another example of thinking outside the box.

If you're interested in this for yourself, go to (Thanks again to StumbleUpon for more and more ways to waste time I don't have...)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

But Does He Taste Like Chicken?

Remember my poor little boy who wanted a pet a while back?

Well, thanks to my wife's birthday, the pressure is off a little bit.

One of our visitors at last week's birthday "non-party" for my wife, brought her a little gift.

A vase.

Full of water.

With a plant sitting on top.

And in the water...


A fish.

Siamese fighting fish. He seems alright. For a fish.

I've fed him for a week, and he's still alive. So far so good I guess. Seems happy enough in his cramped little vase. The internet tells me I'll have to change his water fairly frequently. I haven't decided if "fairly frequently" will mean "weekly", "monthly", or "whenever it occurs to me". I expect the latter is how that will work out.

The kids are very fond of him.

My wife is... well... let's say "ambivalent" and leave it at that.

Except, we adults all like his name very much. It came up during the party.

We call him "Sushi".


If he ends up, at some point, floating up at the top of the vase...

We can just roll him in rice, wrap him in some seaweed, chop chop chop, little soya sauce, and we're good to go. Yum!