Saturday, April 23, 2011

So far this year: an update


Hello friend, it’s been a while since we had the time to talk and “chew the fat”, how have you been-Well, sit down and relax, I will tell you a story of my life, as it is, and what I have been doing for the past few months. I may sound a bit down, but life has its ups and downs and it is very cathartic to just let it all go. So, if you don’t mind, I will use this moment to do a bit of self-therapy.

This year, so far has been very exciting. I have been working very hard on several projects and things are going very well, so far. My day job, as it were, has been ok, but the hours have been dropped down, the company felt that, rather than lay people off, they just cut hours – having some work is better that not having a job. So I find myself writing more and doing the odd jobs around the house. I am going to be building a studio in my garage, for painting and working on some furniture projects I want to do, as well as organizing all of my stuff. It is amazing how one can collect so much stuff over the course of the years. Some of it is important and cannot be replaced, but I will admit – some is just pure junk I cannot seem to part with. I guess I am the “pack rat” my mother said I was.

I have been working on my writing and painting… well more writing than painting actually. I am getting more time to go out and writing on location, like café’s and public places, watching life stride by, and getting some photography work done, it’s not so bad having some time to write or just do something for myself. It gives me a chance to be more introspective, work on the “me-projects” that I don’t always get to complete.

I have been hired by Blog Critics ( to write for them, their online news source is very popular and it gives me an opportunity to get my work seen by more people. My blog RantBabble ( has started getting some popular feedback and is getting more readers – I find that writing for 4 different web sites is allot of work but it is also many different outlets, so what may not work well for one site may be great for the other ones. I am going to the Paso Robles Wine Festival in May to do some review work for my food and wine columns and I may have a chance at getting some connections there to get material for my magazine Groove Studio One.

My Online Style and Entertainment Magazine, Groove Studio One is doing very well, the site http://www.yourgrooveonline is in “beta” and I am working out the bugs that come with web page design, but the blog side is getting multiple hits per day, sometimes in the thousands, this gives me a way to get involved with writing about fashion, food, wine and style – one would not know it, looking at me, but I am very interested in the elements of personal style, and I like writing about it. I have been able to meet many interesting people and I was even invited to take my wife with me to be on an episode of Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay.

My book “Rants and Ravings of a Modern Day Cave Dweller” was officially published this year on, it is a self-publishing site, but they work like the normal publishers, you have to submit material, go through the process and if they like it, they publish your book and market it for you. I look forward to it doing well, the publisher said it was “unique” and had potential, so we will see what come of it.

I have put together a concept for a Television Show, and I am working with local cable TV and public access television to get it put together. I have not come up with a title yet, but it will be connected with my magazine, I will do live interviews, “news” style coverage of local events. I have asked my longtime friend David Jay to help me on this project, he is a producer and a very popular “on air” personality in local radio. I have so great friends who are willing to help me achieve my goals, get some friends, I know you’ll like it.

I have made the acquaintance of a very famous artist, John Landon who lives here in the Central Coast; he has worldwide appreciation of his work and he said he thought my paintings were good, so I take the compliments where I can, and if he likes my painting, well I guess that means it is worth looking at. I also met another very talented artist, Neal Breton, whom owns San Luis Art Supply in San Luis Obispo; he is both a business owner and an artist, so he never gets to sleep, but there is hope.

The wife and kids are fine, my wife has been working on her stitchery and has a shop on Etsy, where she has been growing in popularity and making sales. My littlest one, Vera, was recently in a musical pageant where she sang in the final act; I don’t know who was more excited, her or myself. I felt so nervous with her on stage, I was hoping that she would not get stage fright, but she was wonderful, I felt so proud. My daughter Rita has won awards at school just before this spring break and she is turning into quite a little actress, she is working on jokes and impersonating TV stars, she wants to be an actress when she grows up, she does a great job at making her mother laugh.

All of my life I have wanted to be something special, not so much as “famous” or “rich” but to be someone remembered, and I have never seemed to find it. I now find that I have been memorable for some time now, I have a great family, I am a writer and an artist, I have great friends and my blogs get readers, like you, who come back from time to time so see what I am up to.

So if you get a chance, stop by my blogs, my Online Magazine and if you see me in person, try not to run me down with your car, I’ll buy you a cup of Java and we can talk a while, I got time.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

John Muir in the New World-AMERICAN MASTERS Documentary on PBS


“John Muir in the New World”


Premieres Apr. 18, 2011, 9-10:30 p.m. ET.

John Muir (portrayed by Howar Weamer) in YosemitePhoto by Bob RoneyCopyright Global Village Media

The American Masters series has brought to light the lifetime works of many people whom were never seeking fame or fortune, just wanting to make a difference in the lives of the world’s people.

The newest of these ground-breaking documentaries is “John Muir in the New World”, as it unfolds to us the life of one man whom would create the beginnings of the environmentalist movement that has saved our world’s natural wonder from ourselves, it also tells us of a person who revels in the glory of nature.

Young Muir

From his humble beginning of working the family farm to being considered “Tour Guide to the President”, John Muir saw the beauty in nature, he looked upon it as having a divine spirit, living and thriving; showing, in words ”the greatness of the creator”.

Unlike some documentaries that could be dry or lifeless, PBS has created an environment where the subjects of the stories live and breathe within the frames of the screen, telling the story in “their own words”. This unique and insightful “point of view” pieces together the life of a great American, an individual that befriends nature and chronicles his life’s work from his experiences and the people in his life- friends, family and contemporaries who in writing and history commemorate his works as a Scientist, Naturalist, Humanitarian and Activist.

John Muir was actively engaged in living his life to a higher purpose, protecting nature and conserving its legacy for all of us. As a founding member of the Sierra Club, he brought about ground breaking legislation that would create Yosemite National Park.

I could go on and on about how impressive this documentary is, but I would spoil the story of the rich tapestry of one man’s life.

This documentary tells a tale of a man on a mission to preserve “Gods Work” and walk within natures marvel. Next time you visit a national park, take your family on tour of a natural preserve or even go camping, remember that it is because of John Muir, and his vision of the world.

Joseph Timmons

Groove Studio One Review Critic

Additional Resources

“John Muir in the New World” won Best Documentary Feature at the Fallbrook Film Festival and Best Cinematography at the Litchfield Hills Film Festival.

“John Muir in the New World” and will stream after the premiere at & will be available on DVD June 28, 2011 from Kultur Films.

Children & Nature Network (C&NN) has developed educational materials for the program, including discussion, literature and activity guides for teachers, family nature clubs, and house parties, during which children, families, friends, and neighbors can watch and discuss the film together and also plan outdoor activities before and after the broadcast.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sweet Summer Flavors without the Hassles of the Grill

Sweet Summer Flavors without the Hassles of the Grill

A Man’s Guide to Grill-Free Entertaining

Pork Tenderloin with Asparagus Tips in Balsamic Dressing

By Joseph Timmons


With summer fast approaching, I look at doing fun foods to entertain friends or please my family. I often think about grilling, the Smokey flavors and outdoor dining experience is one I personally enjoy, however, no matter what one does, it is rather daunting to look after a grill and takes forever while chasing children or entertaining guests.

I find that I am “put off” by the process, drag out the grill, clean the grill, load the charcoal or go get propane, gather the grill tools, set up tables, and more time consuming - task oriented work which makes it impossible to have fun. Grilling is time sensitive and by far one of the true measures of food preparation, cooking, timing and your ability to sit and converse with friends and family. If the weather is temperate and you have the perfect back yard, grilling can be great fun and you can get great flavors in your food, but unless you have all the marks of a master chef, you often have to get up and make sure the food, or yard is not burning down.

I have come to the conclusion that unless you’re having a major get-together and your wife is willing to help with the grilling, there are alternatives that allow you to enjoy your party, company and cooking experience.

I have been a Food Critic and a “Foodie” for some time and I enjoy whipping up creations in the kitchen that has that Grilled Taste, but without the fuss, and if I may say so, I have been rather pleased with the results. I am going to share with you some tips on getting the “King of the Grill” raves, without the ghastly, greasy or gloomy aftermath.

For summer cooking in the kitchen, you need to have a cast iron griddle, some like the 2 side models, one side flat and one side that has “ridges” that will give food a “Grilled Look”. These griddles are very affordable, but they don’t sit well on Gas Ranges and don’t work at all on Electric Ranges. My choice has always been a Cast Iron Griddle that is long enough to reach squarely over 2 burners, and I only use the ridge side, I have a Gas Range, so that’s that, it’s my favorite, if you have an electric range, there are Electric Griddles that have platforms that can swap out or flip over, fairly inexpensive and available at many outlets like Sears, Wal-Mart or Target or online at

There are many cookbooks that tout “Indoor Grilling”, but unless you want to spend all day looking for your favorites in too many books to count, I suggest picking up one book, I feel, is the book to have in any kitchen, The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker. The book is a great resource and supports the concept, cook what you like and you’ll love what you cook, it covers all the basics and has easy to understand rules of cooking, which for a man reads easier than an engine repair manual. Recently, The Joy of Cooking has been re-published in a 75th Anniversary Edition, so it should be easy to find anywhere. Outdoor grilling requires long, and sometimes, hard to manage tools and implements, Indoor cooking, not so much, so you can use what you have in the kitchen and the cooking is easier for the fact that Ranges have temperature control; you can time things out and spend time with your guests, not with the grill. So, we have the cooking resources, the recipe resources and the tools to do the job, go ahead and pour a drink and let’s start cooking.

Today’s Recipe is Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Asparagus Tips in Balsamic Dressing and Rustic Grilled Potatoes with Shallots and Chives.


Entrée Items-

Pork Tenderloin, trimmed lean – 6lbs; should serve 8 people

2 lbs. Thick Sliced Bacon

2 bundles of Asparagus

14 Large Russet Potatoes (or Potatoes of your choice)

1 Clove of Garlic

1 Medium Size Onion

2 Shallots

1 Lemon

1 Lime

¼ Stick of Real Butter

Olive Oil of choice

Balsamic Vinegar of choice







You will also need Wooden Skewers


· Take the ¼ Stick of Real Butter and place in Bowl, allow to soften, Chop Cilantro into fine portion and mix into butter with ½ teaspoon of each of the following herbs – Basil, Rosemary, Salt and Pepper.

· Chop up Potatoes into quarters /cubes

· Chop Garlic into fine portion

· Slice Onion and Shallots into very thin slices, toss together with finely chopped Garlic

· Take Asparagus and Cut off bottom 2 ½ inches of Stalk, this is very hard and will take too long to tender when cooking; the Top Part of Stalk is only what you want.

· Take Pork Tenderloin and lie upon side, cut into 1 inch thick portions, should look like a “disk” when placed flat, may not be round but should be evenly cut.

· Lay out slice of Bacon, and spread butter / herb blend on one side then roll Pork Tenderloin into Bacon slice, wrapping the meat evenly, should be tight, but not too tight as to cause mix to squeeze out. Take 2 “rolls” and push Wooden Skewer, this will hold meat together while cooking. Place 2 “rolls” to each skewer, make 4 to 6 of these portions serving 4 to 6 people.

· Place Griddle on Range and turn on front and back range burners to about ½ ways, allow heating up to about 225 / 250 degrees, adding 2 tsp. of virgin olive oil to quick season pan.

· Place meat face down on Griddle and allow to cook about 15, then flip over, repeat this process for 5 to 6 times, evenly cooking. If you have an Electric Griddle, increase cooking time and turn over every 20 min. Turn on oven to 325 Degrees, get some good Oven Mitts and place Griddle into oven, since you can’t put electric griddle into oven, move meat to flat cast in pan or “cookie sheet”.

· Take a Large Pot and fill ½ way with water, Place a Colander / Strainer over opening, should work like a double boiler. Place Potatoes into bottom pot and let come to boil, in Colander, put asparagus and cover to steam. This should cook for 20 to 25 min, remove colander and remove Potatoes from pot.

· Put potatoes on cooking sheet, and drizzle over olive oil over Potatoes and bake for 20 min, remove cooking sheet and liberally cover Potatoes with Onions and Shallots.

· While Checking on Tenderloin, Take Lemon and Lime and cut each in half and squeeze over the Pork Tenderloin, the juice will give the meat a crisp, citrus flavor that will work very nicely with the herbs in the Bacon Wrap. By this time bacon should be firm and fully cooked, if this is so, the meat is almost done.

So we have the Meat and Potatoes in the oven now for about 20 to 25 Min each, combined time about 40 to 50 min, let both sit in oven for 60 min, then turn off and let sit for 15 min. Remove meat from oven and let rest for 10 min.

On Serving Plate, Place Potatoes, which should be a Golden Brown, place 2 tenderloin “rolls”, and Asparagus, drizzle Balsamic Vinegar over Asparagus and a little pepper for “zip”.

Like most men, I don’t have exact measurements like “Tsp.” and “Pinch”, but most men don’t, we do it by taste, which is the daring way to cook. This recipe is a great summer meal, light and fresh with great flavors. One last great thing about this recipe, it can be changed and you can add your favorite things, I suggest a side of fresh fruit like Mango, Plumb and Berries. This meal is also wonderfully paired with a summer ale or imported beer.

Try it, you’ll love it.

Joseph Timmons – Leftover Gourmet and Everyday Style Maker

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Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Man’s Man on Paper

Reading about “Man’s Man” in Literature

By Joseph Timmons

Outside classic Noir Pulp Fiction with the hard case detective types, finding images of the strong male figure in literature is somewhat difficult. The character with the hard edge, knowing right from wrong and acting on his own ideals gets lost in translation and some become over sensitive, “Namby-Pamby” sissy men that swoon when a woman gives that any sort of recognition or credit for a job well done. I have done my fair share of reading and criticizing all sorts of literary works and have come to a conclusion: the classics can give you more of a testosterone boost than some of the modern “hits” in the book world.  No teenage heartthrob blood-sucker can hold a candle to the books characters I will expound on, and the books I will list are “required” reading if you plan on being the kind of man that wants to be respected.

Ian Fleming’s characterization of the perfect spy and gentleman in James Bond would become the ideal mysterious persona that many men would aspire to become. Since the first book in Ian Fleming’s arsenal of big guns Casino Royale, published in 1953- James Bond would be the romantic hero (and sometimes cad about town) that boys would stand in front of mirrors with their father’s suit coats and imitate the phrases like “Hello Miss Moneypenny” or “Shaken-Not Stirred”. It’s no wonder that Sean Connery’s talents, at the wheel of this “Austin Martin” of lifetime roles, made the literary works come to life on the big screen twice as hot.

Ernest Hemingway, a notorious figure in real life, would transpose himself onto the pages of history. He Saw in his life things that some would only dream of, or have nightmares about. As a war correspondent, he saw the horrors of war and as a world traveler, he saw the secret beauty of the places and people he connected with. “The Old Man and The Sea” is a classic tale of a man fighting his greatest enemy -  himself, -  and “A Farewell to Arms” is also the work of genius that inspires.

For many years now, “Les Miserables” is touted for being a great musical, but have you READ THE STORY?  In that period of time,France is in the setting for many depictions of tragedy. Jean Valjean, a simple man of less than perfect past, is given a second chance by a servant of god. He takes that chance to turn himself around into a person to be respected, and time after time in the story he re-invents himself to try evading his past and an obsessive officer of the law, who, noble in conviction, is the bane of the actual hero’s existence. Read it ASAP, this is the story of a man who takes life’s moments seriously and does his best to be just, fair, and ethical.

My final pick is a bit whimsical: Shakespeare’s “The Taming of The Shrew”. It is a tale of a man boisterous and loud, who takes a wife just as loud and wild. The characters do their best to break each other down, but instead find humility in each other’s arms. In the end a woman who nobody can stand, becomes a wife of loving respect and admiration and a Fool of a Lout Becomes a Husband who respects his bride. A funny love story that shows the reader that respect is the first and best quality in a man’s character when it comes to women.

Being well versed in Fine Literature is the mark of a well rounded man. Knowing the classics, as well as the modern literary works is an admirable way to build up your lexicon of topics for conversation at work or parties.

Finding works and topical material that can help influence your way of thinking and add substance to  your thoughts brings us back to the age of elegance that is missed in today’s “Man’s World”. Intellectual diversity  is important and is something all of us should have.

Friday, April 01, 2011

All On The Line Takes Drab to Fab


Premier Episode of “All on the Line” – The New Sundance Channel Television Reality Show, Featuring Joe Zee of Elle Magazine is a Fantastic Fashion Hit.


The Sundance Channel and Joe Zee have created “All on the Line” a show that will be the newest, freshest and best reality television program on right now. Joe Zee enters into the lives of struggling and frustrated designers and breathes new life into their visions and works to make their dreams of success possible. The Sundance Channel and Joe Zee have given us an opportunity to see the fashion industry from the inside out in a fresh and bold new way, from the point of view of a designer who is so close to perfection that one small “stitch” may move them to the top of the game or into the bargain basement.


To make this memorable event even more special, “All on the Line” episode on featuring Joe Zee working with RADENRORO, a New York Fashion Husband and Wife team find their revival in personal confidence, clean lines and new ideas. RADENRORO was on a financial rollercoaster and vision tail spin when Joe Zee came in and showed them that they had what it takes, they just had to speak to their fashion, their business and their brand.

See “All on the Line” and be in the know…. now!

RADENRORO Fashions web site and Facebook pages have up to date information on their designs and where to find and see their vision of fashion come to life.

Download from iTunes

ABOUT THE SERIES (from the Sundance Channel)

Joe Zee - fashion powerhouse, celebrity stylist, and Creative Director of ELLE - helps struggling designers save their lines from ruin. Each designer was once heating up the runways but has since lost their way. Now, they have a second chance. Welcome to Joe Zee's fashion boot camp. With his market savvy, positive spirit, and a little tough love, Joe attempts to transform these talented but failing businesses into rack ready lines. It's ALL ON THE LINE for these designers as they rework everything to show a buyer who can make - or break - their dreams

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