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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

I don't think it means what I think it means

When I was growing up, when you had to enter a code on the phone, it was always followed by the Pound Sign. So, now when I see women posting things or news about #metoo, my mind immediately goes to "Why would she want someone to pound her? Isn't that what they are protesting?"

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Spaghetti Squash for dinner!

I have a couple of squashes out in the garage, waiting patiently for me to get around to dreaming up a new way to cook them up. Among them are a couple of spaghetti squashes. Since I haven't played with them much, I went out to the internet for ideas.

When deciding on a recipe, I first have to go exploring in the fridge and pantry to see what's available. Today was a leftover rotisserie chicken, peppers, onions, crookneck squash and a few other dribs and drabs of goodies in the fridge. With that in mind, I went exploring and found one that sounded really interesting. BBQ Chicken and Spaghetti Squash looked just like what the doctor ordered. So.....I followed the recipe fairly closely, bumping up the onion to 1/2 of one, and cranked up the cheese with a jack and cheddar blend doing the duty. All in all, I'd say this is a keeper.Not as beautiful as the pictures on the website, but damn tasty none the less

BBQ chicken spaghetti squash

as always, if you try this recipe, or it inspires you to try something different, please let me know how it turned out. i'm always looking for fresh and clever ideas to improve my own cooking skills and recipes.
for a complete list of my online recipes, follow the link here

Thursday, December 28, 2017

I hope this isn't a sign of what's in store this winter

Here in Northern California, we've been suffering a dry dry autumn and winter so far. Nice days with the temperatures up in the 60s this week, but we sure could use some wet stuff from the sky!

I was walking down the walk along the side of our house when I spied a potential clue regarding the near future for weather..... Squirrels are of the natural world, and we've been told weather prognosticators have observed the natural world and the behaviors of the critters in it for clues regarding whether the winter will be wild, or the summer toasty. I'm not too sure how to read this sign. Is it going to be so cold the squirrels can't dig their walnuts out of the turf where many many have been buried, or will the water level be so high from the creek in the backyard that nuts have to be "squirreled" above the projected water level? The closest walnut tree is 100 feet away in the back yard along the creek...... Time will tell.

That brown lump is a fresh walnut, with the husk carefully removed by the fuzzy tailed rat that stuck it on the fence rail four feet off the ground.

Playing with hot lead....

So, I cast a lot of lead bullets for my black powder guns and for a number of center fire calibers as well. Takes a lot of lead to shoot as much as I do. I buy scrap lead at an industrial metal recycler, usually rolls of roofers lead. This is typically a roll that is 12 inches wide, 10 feet long, and weighs in at 42 pounds. Cheap, but dirty source material. How do you get it clean enough to cast? You smelt it.

Smelting is basicallsy a process of heating to melt, and then skimming off the junk that floats to the top. I toss in a handful of sawdust to "flux" the lead. Fluxing is just a process where something is added to the melted lead that allows all of the junk to clump together to allow the smelter to skim it off. I think I did around 100 pounds, and took about 2 hours, start to finish.

Here's why all of that work is worthwhile:

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Well, duh....

There are things you read that not only strike true, but shine a light on something that many of us already know. Imagine a major publication like Forbes, which I know is not a bastion of liberalism, shows with numbers what a lot of folks out there would like to keep in the dark. I have a number of fairly well paid friends that have jumped ship and moved out of California because of politics. They went to Texas and Nevada, and couldn't be happier. Read about the exodus from states that are run by democratic machines

Sunday, December 10, 2017

let the Christmas cookie madness begin!

Getting a bit of a late start this year, but Christmas baking season is now upon us!
So today, I'm going to be baking a batch of pfeffernuse spiced cookies that scream holidays. Dough is resting in the fridge. I made it last night, and now time to start rolling out those little nuggets of happiness. These are little cookies made with honey, molasses, cinnamon, cardamom, allsice, nutmeg, cloves, ginger , black pepper, and anise oil.

then it's time to roll out the three batches of springerle dough I made last night as well. One with a ton of powdered sugar and cake flour Recipe number 2 which yields a light, crumbly tender cookie , and a couple batches of Recipe number 1 which makes a denser, higher textured cookie. One batch of those is the traditional anise, and the other is a vanilla sugar variation that the family of the lady who gave me her mother's springerle roller really likes. Once the tiles are cut, they have to sit and dry for a day before baking.

Our house is going to be smelling like the holidays in a big way in three, two, one.....

Sunday, November 12, 2017

What to do with leftovers.....

So we had some smoked pulled pork left over. No really, we had leftovers!

One of my favorite things is carnitas tacos. Carnitas....pork. Smoked pulled pork.....pork. hmmmmm.

a big gob of pulled pork in the skillet will let you get a nice krispy bite to the pork. Next, street taco sized tortillas, some shredded cheese, a bit of pico, some avocado and there you have it... Redneck smoked pulled pork street tacos. Damn, they are good.


Friday, November 10, 2017

fun with craft projects

I probably posted this picture a couple of years ago, but can't remember.

Anyway, the reason I am posting this is to show you don't need a bunch of money to make some pretty handy stuff around the house.

It is no secret that one of my most favorite activities is cooking, and the subsequent eating, of many different types of foods. Right up there is cooking over fire. I saw a very primitive version of this on the television one day, where a trough had been made using a couple of piles of dirt, with coals spread down the middle between the two sides. This was used for cooking kabobs.

Well, a couple of pieces of scrap metal later, after calculating the dimensions based on a chimney starter full of coal.....viola! a Bo-beeque. Works like a champ too! Width based on the size of metal skewers in the drawer in the kitchen, and length based on holding a full chimney of burning charcoal.

kabob grill1
It's good to know someone that knows how to weld!

Breaking from the social media hell and a bonus recipe!

So I've been absent from my blog for a quite a while. I've posted a lot of funny stuff, recipes, observations, etc etc etc on facebook, when I should have been here instead. I've gotten so tired of the unrelenting crap on my feed I just walked away a couple of weeks ago. But...being the gregarious geezer that I am, no outlet for my ramblings makes the old dude grumpy. Grumpy is not a good thing. So......here I am, and I will resume my blathering here, where I can moderate my posts and the comments to them. Hope I find a few interested folks that will keep a lively and rational dialog going So just to get my feet wet, I thought I'd post a picture of something I heard about while driving tractor on the farm this pumpkin season. One of my favorite things to do while out in the fields talking about the farm is to ask folks for new and novel ways of preparing the types of food Doug and Pops grow at J E Perry Farms. One of my favorite foods in the world is Delicata squash. There are so many ways to fix it that I've tried over the years (did I mention it's my favorite?) the thought of a new way to prepare it really surprised me. I mean, really surprised me, because it was so simple and so elegant that I was actually mad at myself for not thinking of it. First, cut off both ends of the squash so it stands up. Take a heavy knife and slice it in half. Do try and not cut off your fingers, eh? Gut the squash as you would normally, removing the seeds and membrane. Next, slice it cross-wise in about 1/2 inch slices, lightly brush a little olive or whatever oil you like and grill or I my case, griddle. No need to peel, just make sure you gave it a good bath before surgery. I made a little butter and brown sugar sauce to glaze them with as they came off the griddle. Zoiks. Somewhat reminiscent of sweet potato fries, but better.
Grilled delicata squash....

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Death is a mysterious stranger to most of us comfortable folks in our middle years. But as we get older, the generation before us begins clearing the decks, making room for the next round of folks to fall before the scythe. My Aunt Janice passed away a couple of hours ago, and I'm still trying to process it. She was as full of life as anyone I know. She came and visited for the last time this past September. Di and I had so much fun with her that her memory will always be associated with a good glass of wine, and San Francisco in the fall. She found out that pancreatic cancer was loose in her body. A couple of months later, she is gone. She had a zest for life, an adult appreciation for the fleeting moments that had to be grasped and cherished. I've several of those moments locked safely in my heart, where she and her bud Shirley, her constant companion, life long friend and fellow widow, have taken up residence. Janice, I will miss your infectious laugh, and your gift for sniffing out the absurd. Thank you for the time we've spent together. You were a real character, and a jewel. Rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Killdeer chicks are quiet

Originally uploaded by bothenook

This year's clutch of killdeeer chicks. Momma was freaking out when I got close enough to take this picture. There were three chicks and one remaining egg. The three chicks did not move even slightly, and there was no noise to be heard. Momma did a great job, considering the feral cat population around the building. There is a "litter box" collection of cat poop less than 12 feet away from this nest. Chick 4 hatched yesterday, and by today, the nest is empty. One of these days I'm going to actually see the actions momma goes through to move her brood. Wish I knew where they ended up. Ain't nature grand?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Black powder measure values

So I ran across this on a forum, and am putting it here for posterity. I've used a 38spl case for loading my dueling pistols for a while, but I understood it to be 22 vice 23 grains. oh well. 22LR 5 grains 32ACP 7 grains 380 10 grains 9mm 13.3 grains 40S&W 19.3 grains 30 carbine 20 grains 38spl 23 grains 45auto 26 grains 357mag 27 grains 45colt 41 grains I've used a couple of these as quick and dirty powder measures while out at the range.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Voting with our feet.

QUOTE OF THE DAY "Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." Henry Ford
From: Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2013 5:09 PM To: Subject: FW: 1 4 u 2 c Outdoor Channel pulls production from CO due to Gun Ban 1 4 u 2 c Outdoor Channel pulls production from CO due to Gun Ban OUTDOOR CHANNEL PULLS PRODUCTION FROM COLORADO DUE TO CO SENATE BETRAYING 2ND RIGHTS! From: Michael Bane Date: Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 4:09 PM Subject: OUTDOOR CHANNEL Pulls Productions from Colorado To: Steve King
Dear Senator King;
I met you yesterday after the so-called "public hearings" on the anti-gun bills; as I mentioned, I am an Executive Producer for OUTDOOR CHANNEL. I currently have four series in production, including GUN STORIES, the top show on OC, with several additional series in development. My series focus on guns, hunting, shooting and the outdoors.
This morning I met with my three Producers, and we made the decision that if these anti-gun bills become law, we will be moving all of our production OUT of Colorado. We have already canceled a scheduled filming session for late this month. Obviously, part of this is due to our own commitment to the right to keep and bear arms, but it also reflects 3 lawyers' opinions that these laws are so poorly drafted and so designed to trap otherwise legal citizens into a crime (one of our attorneys referred to them as "flypaper laws") that it is simply too dangerous for us to film here.
I can give you chapter and verse on the legal implications if you need, but suffice to say that the first legal opinion was so scary we went out and got two others. Al three attorneys agreed.
We are relatively small potatoes in television, but our relocation of production will cost Colorado a little less than a million dollars in 2013.
Secondly, we have proudly promoted Colorado in our productions (and have been moving more and more production into the state); now we will do exactly the opposite. What does this mean for Colorado? The community of television producers is a small one. Last week I had lunch with a major network producer who was looking to locate his new reality series in Colorado. That producer is also a shooter, and the new reality series will now be based out of Phoenix. That lunch cost Colorado over a million in economic impact.
Thirdly, according to numbers I received from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (for whom I used to work) yesterday, hunting had an almost $800,000,000 impact on Colorado in 2012, driving as many as 8330 jobs. Next month I will be in Texas meeting with most of the top outdoor/hunting producers, and the Number One agenda item will be Colorado. Already, hunting organizations and statewide hunting clubs around the country are pulling out of Colorado, and we expect this trend to accelerate rapidly.
The message we will take to our viewers and listeners is that these proposed laws are so dangerous to hunters and any other person, be she a fisherman or a skier who brings a handgun into the state for self-defense, that we cannot recommend hunting, fishing or visiting Colorado. We reach millions of people, and, quite frankly, we have a credibility that Colorado government officials can no longer match. Colorado Division of Wildlife is already running ads trying to bring more out-of-state hunters to Colorado...in light of the flood of negative publicity about these proposed laws, I can assure you those ads will fail.
We estimate that as many as one-quarter to one-third of out-of-state hunters will desert Colorado in the next 18-24 months, which will quite frankly be a disaster for the hunting industry in Colorado and have a devastating effect on our western and northern communities (certainly cities like Grand Junction).
This is not a "boycott" in the traditional sense of a centralized, organized operation; rather, it is more of a grassroots decision on where shooters, hunters and other sportsmen are willing to spend their money. Look at the collapse of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in February. That venerable multimillion dollar trade show chose to ban modern sporting rifles and standard capacity magazines, and within three weeks it collapsed as all vendors and sponsors pulled out.
Colorado is going to pay a huge price for laws that will do nothing. Thank you, sir, for your support.
Michael Bane
OUTDOOR CHANNEL mbane@outdoorchannel.com

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Unconfirmed Short Story For Engineers...

Engineers might appreciate this story..............

A toothpaste factory had a problem because they sometimes shipped empty boxes, without the tube inside.

This was due to the way the production line was set up, and people with experience in designing production lines will tell you how difficult it is to have everything happen with timings so precise that every single unit coming out of it is perfect 100% of the time.

Small variations in the environment mean you must have quality assurance checks smartly distributed across the line so that customers all the way down to the supermarket don't get ticked off and buy another product instead. This being important, the CEO of the toothpaste factory got the top people in the company together and they decided to start a new project, in which they would hire an external engineering company to solve their empty boxes problem, as their engineering department was already too stretched to take on any extra effort.

The project followed the usual process: project allocated third-parties selected, and six months (and $8 million) later they had a fantastic solution — on time, on budget, high quality and everyone in the project had a great time.

They solved the problem by using high-tech precision scales that would sound a bell and flash lights whenever a toothpaste box would weigh less than it should. The line would stop, and someone had to walk over and yank the defective box out , pressing another button when done to re-start the line.

A while later, the CEO decides to have a look at the projects amazing results ! No empty boxes ever shipped out of the factory after the scales were put in place. Very few customer complaints, and they were gaining a share on the market. "That's some money well spent“ he says, before looking closely at the other statistics in the report.

It turns out, the number of defects picked up by the scales was " 0 " after three weeks of production use. It should have been picking up at least a dozen a day, so maybe there was something wrong with the report.
He filed a notice against it, and after some investigation, the engineers come back saying the report was actually correct. The scales really weren't picking up any defects, because all boxes that got to that point in the conveyor belt were good.

Puzzled, the CEO travels down to the factory, and walks up to the part of the line where the precision scales were installed. A few feet before the scale, there was a $20 desk fan, blowing the empty boxes off of the belt and into a bin. "Oh, that," says one of the workers ”one of the guys put it there cause he was tired of walking over every time the bell rang to remove the empty boxes."

This is why i always tell my engineers and students to ask the dude that will have to use the system. frequently the most low tech fix is the best......

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Friday, October 14, 2011

the new knee

knee shot side viewknee shot bothknee shot sunrise view

the new knee, a set on Flickr.

here's my new knee!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

what a bummer

here i am, working on a full recovery from a total knee replacement 5 weeks ago...it's doing well, thank you very much....and the weather outside is just screaming for me to grab the kayak and take it to the lake. if i could actually walk on two legs, i'd be there in a heartbeat. kind of hard to carry a 13 1/2 foot kayak while using a walker or cane.