! ! ! !
Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

>

Friday, October 29, 2004

carnival of recipes is up

didn't submit one this week...too damned busy. but it looks like some good ones. hey, any chili recipe that calls for a bowl of ice cream for the next day, to sit in, has my vote.

Carnival

cool... the san francisco chronicle

ran an article about my father-in-law, and his farm. pretty good accuracy, except they wrote that my wife diane is pop's sister, not his daughter. that's close to the only big oops, so not bad.
link here.

our season is drawing to a close. we gave the last school field trip today, and it was a lot of fun. i look forward to this all year, and squeeze every bit out of the experience that i can. tonight i was giving night rides on the hay wagon, stopping out in the middle of a corn field, and turning off the tractor and it's lights, and asking..."any of you see the movie CHILDREN OF THE CORN?" goofy, but fun. only two days to go. bummer. my one week vacation away from reality is coming to a close, and monday i have to go back to work. i will have worked 40 days straight before i get a day off next weekend, between working here on the pumpkin patch during weekends and my real world job during the week, but it doesn't seem like i've missed "time off", even with my vaction week being spent here. something about this that really calls to me. don't think i could do pop's job year round, but i sure have fun doing the pumpkins with all of the folks that come visiting, and the school kids for their field trips. only 11 more months until pumpkins!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

old mom nature can be a

real unfriendly entity at times. it's a rotten month for weather this month, and it's killing us at the patch. but there are some bright spots. for instance:
i had a nice family come in from picking their pumpkins, muddy from stem to stern. the daughter was about 14 or 15, and was a mess. i jokingly bet her she couldn't run, and belly flop in the big puddle, and slide all the way to the lettuce, about 25 feet. she had that look, and being a dad of a couple of females, i've learned to recognize it. she looked at her mom, then her dad. neither one of them seemed too put out by my challenge, so i pulled out a twenty, and egged her on. damned if she didn't make it about 10 feet. a perfect slide into second base. not far enough for the twenty, but i gave her the pumpkin she'd picked out.
i took a couple of snaps with a cheapy disposable camera, so when they get developed i'll post if they are good enough to scan.
i'm still laughing. and so is her dad. we gave him a garbage bag big enough to fit a 55 gallon drum, and he made her get in the bag before he'd let her into his car. good old clean family fun.

Friday, October 22, 2004

carnival of recipes #10 is up

over here. thanks allan. i'm definitely trying the celery and stilton soup. my mouth is already watering thinking about it. mmmmm.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

thanks to michelle malkin

who is linked in the links section, by the way. she dug up a great article called Concealed Kerry which should be manditory reading for anyone who really believes in the second amendment.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

humor from my buddy tommy cox

BULLETIN

MAKE SURE THE WORD GETS AROUND.

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT BECAUSE OF THE EXPECTED HIGH TURNOUT AT THE POLLS THIS YEAR, REPUBLICANS WILL BE VOTING ON TUESDAY, NOV. 2 AND DEMOCRATS WILL BE VOTING ON WEDNESDAY, NOV. 3. A FURTHER EXTENSION FOR DEMOCRATS CAN BE ARRANGED IF NEEDED.

BE A RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN! PASS THIS ON.

another good one from david brooks

from the op/ed page at the nyt yesterday link

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

a good read

about the current campaign, and how troubled the waters are. it's from the American Spectator. ok, you can ignore the last paragraph, but the whole still stands on it's own.

for halloween, roasted pumpkin seeds

well, everyone seems to have a favorite roasted pumpkin seed recipe, and i'm no exception. working at the pumpkin patch, we get to harvest a lot of seeds from damaged pumpkins, and from ones that we carve as displays. this recipe comes from my portuguese ex-sister-in-law, and i have to say that these are the very best of all the different recipes i've had.

ingredients:
  • pumpkin seeds, with most of the membranes (guts) removed. don't get anal, because some of the stringy stuff mixed in with the seeds gives them a little extra flavor

  • enough cooking oil/olive oil (your call. olive oil is good, but corn oil tastes better for some reason) to coat seeds

  • yellow corn meal

  • garlic powder (in a pinch) or a couple of cloves of garlic, crushed and minced (recommended. almost always better to use fresh stuff when cooking)


remove seeds from the pumpkin. clean off most of the stringy stuff, but leave some on for flavor and texture. when you eat these, you'll understand. place in a non-metalic bowl, and cover with enough water to insure everything stays submerged. add salt to make a brine. i usually only use about a tablespoon per quart,but if you are a salt freak, load it up! let seeds soak for at least a couple of hours.

remove seeds from brine, and pat dry with paper towels. dump the brine, then put the seeds back in the bowl. sprinkle enough oil over the seeds to coat by adding a little oil, toss the seeds, add a little oil, toss the seeds, until they are completely coated, but not dripping with oil. hey, we're trying to make a healthy snack here, not a fat fest! the good thing about corn oil, or olive oil, is that they may have fats, but no cholesterol.

dump about a 1/2 cup of corn meal into a paper bag,or at least enough to coat the seeds if you have a lot, add the garlic, a pinch of salt, and shake to mix. next add the seeds, shake and coat with the meal mixture, using whatever excess energy you may have that day to shake to your favorite music. better yet, have the kids do it.

place seeds on a cookie sheet, and put into a 300 degree oven. it's ok to dump the extra corn meal mix on the sheet, because that'll just add a little extra flavor when you pull the seeds off at the end. i've messed this up before, thinking that i could hurry the process up by going hotter, like 400 degrees. WRONG. all i ended up with was a bunch of overly crisp, bitter organic material, with little to no resemblence to food. low and slow, that's the secret.

check on them every 10 minutes or so, stirring them around on the cookie sheet to turn them over. keep an eye on them, stirring often enough to get golden brown, but not over about 30 minutes or so, else, see above.

pull the cookie sheet out and let the seeds cool. if you are doing a bunch of them, like we do, we put them into a glass jar and seal AFTER they have cooled all the way down. usually they don't last long enough to make it to the jar.

VARIATIONS of a THEME: you can skip the brining step, and add your favorite flavored salt to the meal mixture, such as onion salt, garlic salt, mrs. dash, tony's cajun seasonings, lowry's season salt.....on and on, limited only by your own imagination, and pantry.

edit: another variation. DO NOT WASH OR BRINE, lightly sprinkle corn meal on bottom of cookie sheet. spread seeds and top with the minced/crushed garlic. roast at 325F for about 35 to 45 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes to keep from burning. less gritty, and the kids seem to like them better this way. i like the others, but that's personal preference.


Monday, October 18, 2004

coming to a gun safe near me

ssshhhhhhh....don't tell my wife, but
here's the next installment. .22 long rifle, 10 shot, sister to the pair of .357 model 686's in 4 and 6 inch barrels, it will be sharing a shelf with.


specs:
Type: Revolver
Model: 617
Caliber: .22 LR
Barrel Length: 6" Full Lug
Capacity: 10 Rounds
External Safety: N/A
Hammer: .375" Target
Grip: Hogue Rubber
Trigger: .312" Smooth Target
Front Sight: Pinned Patridge
Rear Sight: Adjustable Black
Firing System: N/A
Material: Stainless Steel
Finish: Satin Stainless
Overall length: 11-1/8"
Weight: 45 ounces

an interesting conundrum

here's an interesting question regarding national and state's rights, regarding adherence to locally approved laws.
one of the biggest squawks lately, at least in the bay area, is that where state's recognize same sex marriage, those laws are supposed to be honored in every state. a classic example here are the same sex marraige laws in massa-twoshits, home of the two most liberal senators in congress. Mass. has sanctioned same sex marraige, and the community in question is now raising constitutional issues regarding other states not recognizing these unions.
well, what about states that grant concealed carry permits to gun owners? if you lived in vermont, and came to california, you can not carry concealed. what is the difference? if you want to make the arguement that we should honor only politically correct laws, let me remark that gay marraige is not addressed in the constitution. as a matter of fact, of the many issues that can be applied to this conundrum, gun ownership is the ONLY one covered by the constitution. so until they make it ok for me go down and get a concealed carry permit, being a law abiding citizen, with no criminal history, i don't want to hear about any state's rights vs. national rights bull dooky. same sex marraige rights for Mass. citizens married in that state, sure. but try carrying a permitted gun from georgia there. holy crap, you'd be in the slammer so fast your eyes would spin. and would the same folks yelling for their "rights" defend yours? like hell.

now having said that, i don't personally have anything against same sex marraige. hell, make everyone toe the line, i don't care. but what i do care about is the selective application of "fairness" as a political springboard for dissent. want pissed off? ask me why i don't have a concealed carry permit yet.

caption not required

ouch



having an idea bigger than a light bulb seems to be more painful than john thought
OR
the senator found out why the so called "soccor moms" are now being touted as "security moms" when he got too close to Sarah's daughter

we all need a wakeup call sometime

greetings all, back from a killer weekend at the pumpkin patch. nothing like a little (sorry, a boatload of) rain to put the damper on things. nothing like dropping an inch or so of wet stuff on farm land to turn the whole place into a mess resembling gumbo.

so here's the wakeup call. i took a load of folks out for a ride through the farm on the hayride. i had a blast, as usual. but one kid on the ride was just beaming. i mean, this kid was a grin from ear to ear, and he was so excited that it was infectious. he asked some really clever questions when we stopped to talk about the farm. he had his head on a swivel, looking at everything and actually SEEING what he was looking at. not completely unusual, but enough so that i remembered that 10 year old. so the rides were over, and i was helping sell pumpkins, when this lady comes up to the counter lugging a pretty nice pumpkin, and the kid was following closely behind. she said that she had a Make a Wish kid with her, and she wasn't sure if she had enough to cover the cost of the pumpkin. i thought that was a weird way to get a discount on pumpkins, but the kid just kind of stood there beaming. the lady said it was this young lad's "final wish" to go on a hayride at our farm, just like the one he had been on in the second grade on a field trip. the kid just nodded, kind of embarassed to be pointed out. the lady's eyes got all watery, and said that he could have had just about any kind of adventure he wanted, but this was the one he chose. i'm not sure if i heard right (kind of got misty eyed myself, and the next 10 minutes of conversation with the outside world had to compete with the conversation i was having in my head), but i got the impression he was flown out from albany, new york just to come to our farm and ride the hay wagon around the farm, and the Paul Newman fondation was footing the bill. needless to say, she had more than enough money for the pumpkin he had chosen, because i wanted that kid to have the pumpkin he chose. she refused when i tried to just give it to her. another general impression, the kid wasn't going to be around much longer.
i had to think about life a little. we take so many things for granted, and it took a really sick little boy to remind me that every moment is special.

Friday, October 15, 2004

carnival of recipes #9 is up

wow. this has entered it's ninth iteration. whoa. who would have thought us neanderthals knew how to prepare meals other than clubbing some poor defenseless critter on the noggin and digging in, al dente?
so, check it out. beth is hosting this week at carnival of recipes #9. oh, and my amigo allan hosts next week, so if you have a killer recipe for us all to share and try, send it to recipe.carnival(at)gmail(dot)com . yay allan!

for those who think stem cell research has been banned

lifted in toto from the washington post. this site requires a sign in, so i'll just copy and paste for those who may be interested. interesting points regarding what is available, what money is available, what is possible, and what is not being exploited by the researchers.
washingtonpost.com
An Edwards Outrage

By Charles Krauthammer

Friday, October 15, 2004; Page A23

After the second presidential debate, in which John Kerry used the word "plan" 24 times, I said on television that Kerry has a plan for everything except curing psoriasis. I should have known there is no parodying Kerry's pandering. It turned out days later that the Kerry campaign has a plan -- nay, a promise -- to cure paralysis. What is the plan? Vote for Kerry.

This is John Edwards on Monday at a rally in Newton, Iowa: "If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again."

In my 25 years in Washington, I have never seen a more loathsome display of demagoguery. Hope is good. False hope is bad. Deliberately, for personal gain, raising false hope in the catastrophically afflicted is despicable.

Where does one begin to deconstruct this outrage?

First, the inability of the human spinal cord to regenerate is one of the great mysteries of biology. The answer is not remotely around the corner. It could take a generation to unravel. To imply, as Edwards did, that it is imminent if only you elect the right politicians is scandalous.

Second, if the cure for spinal cord injury comes, we have no idea where it will come from. There are many lines of inquiry. Stem cell research is just one of many possibilities, and a very speculative one at that. For 30 years I have heard promises of miracle cures for paralysis (including my own, suffered as a medical student). The last fad, fetal tissue transplants, was thought to be a sure thing. Nothing came of it.

As a doctor by training, I've known better than to believe the hype -- and have tried in my own counseling of people with new spinal cord injuries to place the possibility of cure in abeyance. I advise instead to concentrate on making a life (and a very good life it can be) with the hand one is dealt. The greatest enemies of this advice have been the snake-oil salesmen promising a miracle around the corner. I never expected a candidate for vice president to be one of them.

Third, the implication that Christopher Reeve was prevented from getting out of his wheelchair by the Bush stem cell policies is a travesty.

George Bush is the first president to approve federal funding for stem cell research. There are 22 lines of stem cells now available, up from one just two years ago. As Leon Kass, head of the President's Council on Bioethics, has written, there are 3,500 shipments of stem cells waiting for anybody who wants them.

Edwards and Kerry constantly talk of a Bush "ban" on stem cell research. This is false. There is no ban. You want to study stem cells? You get them from the companies that have the cells and apply to the National Institutes of Health for the federal funding.

In his Aug. 7 radio address to the nation, Kerry referred not once but four times to the "ban" on stem cell research instituted by Bush. At the time, Reeve was alive, so not available for posthumous exploitation. But Ronald Reagan was available, having recently died of Alzheimer's.

So what does Kerry do? He begins his radio address with the disgraceful claim that the stem cell "ban" is standing in the way of an Alzheimer's cure.

This is an outright lie. The President's Council on Bioethics, on which I sit, had one of the world's foremost experts on Alzheimer's, Dennis Selkoe from Harvard, give us a lecture on the newest and most promising approaches to solving the Alzheimer's mystery. Selkoe reported remarkable progress in using biochemicals to clear the "plaque" deposits in the brain that lead to Alzheimer's. He ended his presentation without the phrase "stem cells" having passed his lips.

So much for the miracle cure. Ronald D.G. McKay, a stem cell researcher at NIH, has admitted publicly that stem cells as an Alzheimer's cure are a fiction, but that "people need a fairy tale." Kerry and Edwards certainly do. They are shamelessly exploiting this fairy tale, having no doubt been told by their pollsters that stem cells play well politically for them.

Politicians have long promised a chicken in every pot. It is part of the game. It is one thing to promise ethanol subsidies here, dairy price controls there. But to exploit the desperate hopes of desperate people with the promise of Christ-like cures is beyond the pale.

There is no apologizing for Edwards's remark. It is too revealing. There is absolutely nothing the man will not say to get elected.

letters@charleskrauthammer.com

Thursday, October 14, 2004

sky and sun pictures

i don't know if the fires burning around the napa valley and the sierra foothills are in the national news, but so far there are something like 60000 acres that have burned in the last couple of days. as you can imagine, the air quality and color is just a tad bit off. the following pictures are not manipulated at all, except to resize for use in the blog. way ugly out there

this is what the sun and sky looked like, towards the east at about 1000 this morning. this was taken in front of my workplace in sacramento.



this is looking east at noon. see the gradations of smoke? the whole place smelled like a campfire gone horribly wrong



this is the evening sky in napa, looking west. it's about 1700 in this picture, and it should be bright out. the sun is so occluded that you can look directly at it. actually the sun has the appearance of a total eclipse. very muted and red/pink. it's quite eerie to tell the truth.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

this is un-frickin-believable

the hand wringing, testicle removing whiners of the anti-gun crowd have finally achieved one of their prime objectives: the complete emasculation (either figuratively or literally) of the public school administrations across the country.

i present the following two articles here and here.
apparently the second story involved not a real firearm, but a replica used in reenactment. truly sad. we've become so frightened that there is absolutely not one iota of common sense or judgment being exercised anymore. sad. sad, sad, sad.
here guys, check your balls in at the door if you want to work in our school district, and leave the brain in the jar by the bed.
come what may, we will only be getting what we deserve, allowing stupidity like this to occur. it's hand in hand with the end of our country's greatness brought on by greed. greed from the lowest to the highest levels, private and corporate.
was it franklin? that said the end of the republic will come the day we realize we can vote ourselves money? i can see the end, and it is frightening.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

killer kale soup

my wife makes a killer kale soup. it's a modernized version of the soup her spanish grandmother used to make. this stuff is great on those brisk, or cold fall and winter days.

ingredients
  • 1 bunch of kale, stalks and stems removed. you only want the tender leaves. tear or cut to easy to eat size
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced fine
  • 1 (or more to taste) clove garlic, minced
  • 5 or 6 carrots, peeled and sliced medium thickness
  • 4 or 5 red potatoes, with skin left on, cut into eigths or at least into bite sized chunks.
  • 1 1/2 quart chicken stock, homemade, or swansons lite salt version. i like the swanson's better than any other commercially available stock, and i've tried them all!
  • 1 can (15 oz.) white beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz.) sliced, stewed, or diced tomatoes. note, if you don't go out and pick your own tomatoes, or get them from a farmers market, don't bother using grocery store produce department tomatoes. you will get much better flavor from canned. they can the tomatoes when they are freshly picked, not after they've been sitting in a box or on the shelf for 2 weeks. honest. canned is way better than safeway produce dept. tomatoes. so the moral is: grow your own, and can them!


saute the onion, garlic, potatoes and carrots until slightly colored. you don't want to carmalize these too much, just cook enough to sweat the onion and garlic, and give the spuds and carrots a little color.

add stock, and let simmer for about a half hour. i've used home made turkey stock from the roasted carcasses of fried turkeys (hmmm, there's another recipe idea!). THAT soup knocked my socks off!

add the beans, kale, and tomatoes, and let simmer for another 1/2 hour, or until the kale no longer resembles linoleum, and the veggies are tender.

we salt and pepper to taste, after cooking. this allows each diner to modify to taste.

this works very well with a nice loaf of crusty pugliese or other country bread, and a clean little sauvignon blanc from the napa valley. (p.s. if you have any need to figure out what to get me for a present, a 97 eisele vinyard, araujo estate bottled sauvignon blanc would do quite nicely!) even a 98 would be fine.

it was another fun weekend at the pumpkin patch

finished downloading and editing a couple of pictures from this weekend. sorry alan, no pix of me on the tractor yet. but i do have some good shots.

click for larger image
here's a view of the front 40 from behind the melons towards the pumpkin patch, with the corn maze to the left.


click for larger image
here are three of the tractors we're using for the rides. the little guy in the front is a 50+ year old john deere model A. i smashed my fingers one year installing a power steering unit on this dude, and it works like a champ. leaks oil around the power steering seals, but hell, it is OLD after all. all of the tractors are used on the farm. no barn queens (except for the other two old deeres. haven't got the bugs worked out enough to make them reliable to give rides this year. too bad)


click for larger image
another view of the tractors and the trailers.



well, here i am, bothenook in my sunburned glory.



my lady love, the nook's long suffering wife Diane. yup, i married the farmer's daughter



a couple of wagon loads of hardy explorers. pretty funny, i told them that i've had my picture taken about 50000 times by folks on rides, and now it was fair turnabout. i warned everyone that if they had a criminal past, or needed to remain incognito, they should turn their heads!

Monday, October 11, 2004

yup, you got that right

lifted from here
TOM FRIEDMAN [Cliff May]
Tom Friedman’s column on Iraq today isn’t bad but it’s annoying that he talks of the intelligence failure of the “Bush team.” Bush inherited the Clinton intelligence team – George Tenet, Richard Clarke and all – and chose not to change it, but rather to trust its competence, neutrality and professionalism.

In the last debate, Bush might have cited that as one of his mistakes.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

that's a bummer

went to get in my car this morning, and found the driver's side front window laying in about a bazillion pieces in my front seat. looks like a bunch of high school kids pumped up on "spirit week" were roaming the streets by my in-laws home in fremont. called the cops. guess what? they don't even respond anymore. sent me to a website, where i entered the info. that's it. cost me $249.52 to replace the window, since there was only one place open that did on site repairs. one frickin' window, $249.52. i'm in the wrong business. i'll post pictures once i'm back in napa, and download them. it would have been better money-wise if they just slashed a couple of tires. i'm so bummed.

edit: here's a picture of what i found

Friday, October 08, 2004

an update to the mural and the library


as i wrote in an earlier post, i figured the artist that screwed up the spelling of 11 words and names, including einstein's, was a democrat. now i know for sure.

as reported in the sf chronicle today, she's decided to do nothing. so she gets called on her mistake, agrees to fix it for more money, then pulls out when she perceives that there are folks out there that actually blame HER for the mistakes. a small quote from the article referenced above follows:
She noted that plenty of people from the city were on hand during the installation who could and should have seen the errant spellings, she said.

"Even though I was on my hands and knees laying the installation out, I didn't see it," she said.

The mistakes wouldn't even register with a true artisan, Alquilar said before deciding to leave the work as is.

"The people that are into humanities, and are into Blake's concept of enlightenment, they are not looking at the words," she told The AP.

When asked whether she chose the words and names for the work or whether the city provided her with a list, Alquilar took an artistic stance in response.

"The art chose the words," she said.


sorry, but what a load of crap. she can't even take responsibility for her own screwups. loser.

listening to the radio on the way to work

today, i heard a summation that made a lot of sense. tom sullivan's afternoon talk show is probably one of the most listened to shows in all of northern california, and he gets some pretty interesting callers. today's keeper: paraphrasing, but here goes. "when i was in college taking political science classes, our instructor had us write down what party affiliation we had, and what freedom meant to us. typically, the demo's responses tended to be freedom from x, y, z. the typical repub's responses ran freedom to do p, q, r.
pretty well sums up my observations as well.

carnival of food#8

is up and running at fresh as a daisy. thanks angela, you did a fine job this week. couple of new potential favorites this week.

back to the bumperstickers

today's offerings are:

Saw It? Wanted It? Had A Fit? Got It!

and

Dear God, Please help me be the person my dog thinks I am.


wish i could have said that

even half as eloquently. if you have read my posts on people i wish i could write like, such as this one,, you'd know that of the many bloggers out there, the dude that writes here at ejectejecteject is one of my internet heros. he's written many essays, and i've been more than impressed. he has the literary eloquence (mmm, used that word twice in one post. much start using thesaurus) to put in words what is in my head. please read his deterrence parts 1 and 2. this guy should write for a living.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

sometimes i wonder why

women worldwide aren't just a bunch of lesbians, intent on artificial insemination or parthenogenic cloning. guys, we're such a bunch of turds that the swedes are taxing men, just because they have outdoor plumbing. why? because swedish men are so violent, and their women are so abused, the government is proposing a preemptive tax on all men, to pay for the treatment of the abused women. wtf? after listening to about 1 1/2 minutes of oprah the other night (60 percent of all american men verbally abuse their wives, according to the blather during the teary intro), i'm just about to resign as a dude.

bullshit. i can't quite figure out why we men have become such an easy target. who speaks for the men? i am not discounting that there are issues in relationships, and i certainly will not dispute that there are some real assholes out there. but come on, aren't there enough real issues in the world that could use some attention? men are evil. men are wicked. men are abusive. blah blah blah. then why the hell do women have anything to do with men, if that's the case? sure seems like there are an awful lot of little kids running around out there in the napa valley, and they can't all be the product of rape, which is what you would think after reading the papers, listen to the "women's issues" channels and shows, or watch the various symposia trotted out for consumption on c-span.
i may just have to call my wife, and abuse her verbally, so that i can be a typical american male. of course, i wouldn't be able to sleep in the same county, ever again. she's a nurse, and knows how to bump you off, making it look like "natural causes".

as i was headed to the shower

i noticed that i'd been using my "nuclear notepad" at work tonight. i use it so often, i don't even realize that i am. just another surface to write info on, and it's reusable and doesn't add to the waste stream, so it's environmentally friendly! anyone else do this?

fuzzy tailed rats

so we have this walnut tree in the back yard. and a pear tree too, but that's another story. because we are a veritable smorgasborg for rodenta, i get to listen to the little buggers squawking and husking and cracking walnuts from the time the walnuts ripen until the next year, when the walnuts ripen. in otherwords, these little buggers are noisy. and destructive. i've had the phone lines (that means my DSL line, most importantly) replaced because these critters ate the insulation off the wires. i was internet free for 6 agonizing days until the phone company figured out what the problem was, and then another 5 days until someone actually came out to fix the problem. i don't like these little dudes. but i do have to admit they have a certain "cute" factor in their favor. much cuter than the 'possums that raid the cat's food. about even on cuteness with the raccoons. but at least the squirrels don't rear up and challenge me when i catch them in the garage like the 30 pounder i interrupted breaking into the cat food storage container. that was interesting. anyway, here's a shot of one of the fuzzy tailed rats in my back yard, chowing down on a walnut.


click on picture for the whole shot, critter in situ in the yard.
damn squirrels. only thing they are good for is target practice with the bb gun, and my neighbor calls the cops every time she hears me cock the old red ryder daisy.

welcome

i refered to this gent in an earlier post, but i'd like to formally introduce a retired submariner officer, with a blog at the stupid shall be punished. that is an old saying, one i remember well from the boat days. yes indeedy, ma nature and hyman rickover punished the stupid, usually with equal furvor and end result. so everyone, wave towards idaho, and welcome joel aboard.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

oh my, an impolitic joke

but funny. stolen from a post at rontini's submarine bulletin board:

Three strangers strike up a conversation in the airport passenger lounge in Bozeman, Montana, awaiting their flights.

One is an American Indian passing through from Lame Deer.

Another is a Cowboy on his way to Billings for a livestock show and the third passenger is a fundamentalist Arab student, newly arrived at Montana State University from the Middle East.

Their discussion drifts to their diverse cultures. Soon, the two Westerners learn that the Arab is a devout, radical Muslim and the conversation falls into an uneasy lull.

The cowboy leans back in his chair, crosses his boots on a magazine table and tips his big sweat-stained hat forward over his face. The wind out side is blowing tumbleweeds around, and the old windsock is flapping but still no plane comes

Finally, the American Indian clears his throat and softly he speaks, "At one time here, my people were many, but sadly, now we are few."

The Muslim student raises an eyebrow and leans forward, "Once my people were few," he sneers, "and now we are many. Why do you suppose that is?"

The Montana cowboy shifts his toothpick to one side of his mouth and from the darkness beneath his Stetson says in a drawl, "That's 'cause we ain't played Cowboys and Muslims yet, but I do believe it's a-comin'.

that's it! that's it!

i finally have a political label i can live with.
i found this at a new to me blog by a former submarine officer (ok, so he was an officer. i won't hold that against him until i get to know him) at the stupid shall be punished.
so what is my label? why, it's a South Park Republican. it makes perfect sense! i am now official, i have a label! dayam, not every day you get to have your world ordered by a simple click. i feel so empowered. and if you read the definition of a south park republican, well, that's me! oh my god, they killed kenny! the bastards!

oh, and from the same place that defined my political label, an interesting read on the kyoto treaty. what a lousy, un-scientific, anti-american piece of tripe that was. anyway, you probably don't want to hear what my several years of investigating and reading has yielded. but you might be interested in reading this from tech central station. good site by the way.

submarining is dangerous business

but when the boat you are riding on has just come out of the yards, and turned over 4 days earlier, you might expect things to work properly.
for these canadian submariners, things have worked out in a baaaad way. i just heard on the radio that one of the sailors injured during the fire onboard has died.

please keep these kids in your thoughts. they have gone in harm's way just because of the job they do, and harm has found them.

this looks interesting

calling all war movie buffs. looks like a pretty good movie coming our way. i haven't seen anything about this other than a couple of small articles, but it looks to be a seriously serious war movie. link to their site here

a quick, humorous (?) political observation

i was listening to the radio on my way to work, and i need to get this down before i forget it.
seems there was a lady contracted by a public library somewhere. they paid her $40,000 to paint a mural.
she misspelled 11 words and names.
she is charging the library $5000 to fix her errors.
she is blaming the library for the mistakes, saying they should have caught them while she was busy painting the mural.

i figure she's a democrat. she was paid from public funds, did a half assed job, charged extra to fix the errors, and then blamed the government for the problem. classic.

more stuff on mike el-moor



i just keep finding stuff about that travisty of lies and deceit, purportedly touted as fact. well, i suggest a peek at this from the nice folks over at the ethics and public policy center.

junk food

i've been a junk food junkie for my whole life. pretzels, chips, popcorn. it's all good. i haven't found a "new" way to fix popcorn since the days of the hair drier/air popper days. oh sure, there were the discovery days of season salts (i really like cajun season salt on popcorn. really good stuff), of molly mcbutter fake butter stuff, and seasoned popping oil. but those discoveries are behind me, and with the exception of season salts, it's back to the good old couple of tablespoons of oil, heat until one kernel pops, cover the pan bottom with popcorn kernels, drop the lid on, and shake like crazy. all of this goes into a big bowl, or paper bag, and melted butter is drizzled over the corn, season salt gets added, then toss, shake, and eat. classic, simple, yet damned good.

well kids, let me pass on a really cool thing i learned this weekend. as you may have guessed if you've read any of the latest posts, i'm helping out on my father-in-law's farm during pumpkin season. a couple of buyers for the veggie company that he sells a bunch of his organic produce to were at the farm, checking out what pops had that was ripening, and what he had to sell. now if you are a bay area resident, and you are in any way hooked into the food scene, you know of veritable vegetable distributers. they are a women's collective (well, kind of). and one of the common things these san franciscan women have is that they know veggies. most of them are vegans, so they don't do steak and eggs for breakfast. more's the pity. anyway, i was talking to the melon buyer, trying like hell to sell her on some of pop's killer charlyn melons. mmmmmm, the very best melon i've ever eaten in my life. no joke. the very best melon i've ever eaten in my life, and i eat a lot of melons. where was i?
oh yeah. we were talking about vegan alternatives to a lot of my favorites. it was becoming something of a game. i figured i had the show stopper, though. you just can't improve on buttered popcorn, home made, fresh popped, salted and delicious.

wrong

so here's to the lassies at veritable vegetable, and my new favorite vegan version of hot buttered popcorn.
ready?
pop corn. place in bowl. sprinkle favorite season salt lightly on corn. measure and drizzle as much extra virgin olive oil as you used to use in melted butter. toss or shake to coat the corn.

living here in the napa valley, i have access to some incredible olive oils, and i'm definitely going to experiment. but for this, my inaugural batch, i just used the extra virgin olive oil that is in my pantry.

i am in foodie heaven. this stuff is so good, i may never make buttered popcorn again. seriously. it's that good.

yeah, i know it's free

but photobucket, the free online photo storage site is pissing me off. big time. like, really pissed off. i've been trying to access my photo albums for a couple of hours, and the "does not exist on this server" error message keeps coming up. same with last night. i don't know if you guys have ever even seen the photos i've posted. i can't see them now. bummer

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

techno geek alert: way cool stuff

now they are developing robots to roam inside your intestines. check it out here at the NewScientist magazine.

and for you folks living in an H2O deprived area, here's a guy that believes he can economically get water from thin air. more innovative thinking, travelling outside the box. pretty neat if this idea works out.

more pictures from the farm

please pardon the big space. blogspot has some weird defaults that i can't figure my way around













click on thumbnail for larger image

pumpkins 2004 first photos


so, here are a couple of pix. as always, click on the picture for a larger (about 250kbyte) version.


the sign says it all. all are welcome, and the patch is a place to wander around, look at pumpkins, and let the kids run their backsides off. i love playing farmer's helper for a month.



well, there he is, the man himself. my father-in-law has been farming his whole life. and now that he's in his 70's, he only puts in 15 hour days, instead of 20 hour days, like he did for the first 50 or so years he worked the farm. this is Farmer Joe, and he is an icon in the Fremont area. we get 4 or 5 generations that come out the pumpkin patch, and they all have memories of Perry Farms pumpkins from their youth. it is just amazing. i've been a gypsy most of my life. i can hardly believe listening to pop and his cronies talking about what happened to such and such one day when they were all in the first grade together, some 66 years ago.



we seperated out some of the bigger pumpkins to make it easier for the customers/us to load. these guys run the gamut from about 30 pounds up to 120 or 130 pounds. i carried one out sunday that had to weigh at least 150 pounds. guess i'm getting a tad older, because i had a little difficulty getting my arms around that darned pumpkin, pick it up, and chuck it onto my shoulder. getting it the 150 yards or so out the the truck was a little easier. i would have loved to be at her house when hubby came home and found out he had a HUGE pumpkin to get out of the back of momma's SUV. hehe.



and i couldn't finish this photo essay without at least one picture of the flower bouquets we make up from statice and straw flowers, grown and harvested right there on the farm. hell, even the flowers are certified as organic produce, with their own organic labels and everything. dried properly, these flowers last until you get tired of looking at them

the first weekend at the pumpkins


went splendidly. i'm currently working up some pix to post from the first day, so until i get them, here is an overhead shot of the corn maze pops put in for the cornmaze company. this is a 5 acre field of corn, cut into the california bear flag. pretty cool.
.

the company that operates these mazes (or as they call them MAIZES...little play on words there) has a web site, and can be found here

Friday, October 01, 2004

sorry, but i have to do this:



Doctor's report the latest kidney stone passed by Elizabeth Taylor is a real stunner.

carnival of recipes VII up and running

at Trudy's patch. there are some yummy looking eats this week, and i'm going to have to give them a try.