Garlic bread

I used to cook occasionally and could make a few things that taste pretty good. I was pretty good with a barbecue too. But I never considered myself much better than an average cook.

My brother, Daniel, on the other hand, is probably the best cook I’ve ever encountered. And he does it from raw instinct—he was never formally trained in the culinary arts. But he just seems to have a great intuition for how things will taste when he puts them together, even if the items are things he never put together before.

So here’s a sample of what I mean. Listen to the list of ingredients Daniel includes in his garlic bread:

I hope you took notes. Daniel rarely writes out recipes of what he makes. In fact, he rarely makes anything quite the same way twice. So his recitation of the ingredients is a rare gem.

Yes, it’s a relatively simple food but it’s the only video I have of Daniel cooking. And is simple as it is, you can still imagine the genius he has for flavors in a more complex dish. If you think you could do this, give it a try and post a comment to share with everyone how it went.

An actual Muslim president

Today on Meet the Press, Dr. Ben Carson said “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

I would have liked Chuck Todd to follow-up with the question, “what attributes common to all Muslims make them unfit to occupy the Oval Office?” What is there about Islam that is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution, Dr. Carson? Do you think a Muslim president would be a Manchurian candidate?

I would also have been curious to know how Carson would feel about an atheist president. If the Constitution requires the separation of church and state, why would a president’s religion (or lack of one) matter?

The West


© copyright David Ward and Michael Ward 1995 – 2015
Recording engineered by Daniel Fernandez 2008

I traveled around the country quite a bit when I was younger and was inspired by my travels to write the lyrics to The West. My brother put the lyrics to some music he created and also came up with the melody and harmonies for the song, as well as the arrangement. Then my brother Daniel recorded it with me singing and Mike playing guitar. Play this video (Yosemite National Park, above) to hear the song and here are the words…

Watch the sun, sets in the west,
Drops beneath the ocean crest.
Cool waters, deep and blue;
Golden sunrays warm me through.
Pretty girls and sandy beaches;
Follow the sun to its far off reaches.

From the mountains to the sea I know that it’s the best,
I’ve been around enough to see my home is in the West.

Look to the mountains standing high,
Jagged peaks at the edge of the sky.
Blankets the ground, white snow so cold,
Frosting the pine trees countless years old.
Breathe in the air so crisp and pure,
Feels so strong, feels just like a cure.

From the mountains to the sea I know that it’s the best,
I’ve been around enough to see my home is in the West.

I’ve traveled the land far and wide,
Good times always there at my side.
Now through it all there’s one thing I see;
There’s only one place I’d rather be.
And when my soul yearns for a rest,
‘Turn to my home, back to the West.

From the mountains to the sea I know that it’s the best,
I’ve been around enough to see my home is in the West.

I know my home is in the West
I know my home is in the West
I know my home is in the West
I know my home is in the West

A tale of two Americas. And the mini-mart where they collided

Forgiveness means the most when it is the most difficult to give. This TED Talk reminded me of the only time I faced Leslie Karen Rush (at least consciously), the woman responsible for making me quadriplegic. It was at the hearing sentencing her for felony drunk driving and the judge permitted me to make a statement before the court. I told Leslie that, although I held her responsible for what she did, I forgave her for it. I went on to say that I wanted to address her that day because I didn’t want her to go through the remainder of her life (we were both only in our twenties at the time) thinking that I hated her.