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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

happy day, we got the keys to the new house

first of all, i hope everyone had a great thanksgiving. we had a great time, and much food was eaten. much, much too much. but that's what it's about, i think.

anyway, WHOOOOOHOOOO. i picked up the keys to our new house today. we start moving boxes and stuff thataway starting in the morning. i am so pumped. took a few pictures

as always, click on image for larger version
this is the place, front view. its a bit under 1900 square feet of house on a 10880 square foot lot (1/4 acre). 4 bedrooms, formal living room, formal dining room, family room, kitchen, two bath.
another view of the front, towards the entryway and enclosed porch
this is looking down the side of the house towards the back yard. way back behind the orange tree is my playhouse!
this is just a small part of the back yard, from the porch.
this is looking from near the back garden in towards to back porch. we have a BIG chinese champhor tree, and it makes the whole place smell good...

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

holy crap, hot coffee thru the sinus cavities sux

McCormack says that Rain's erratic behavior would also come to include excessive politeness and deference.

"Everytime I tried to talk to him it was 'yes Momma,' and 'no Momma,' when he knows damn well my name is Ellen," she says, anger rising in her voice. "It was like I didn't even know him anymore."

McCormack tried an intervention with friends from the Anti-war community, but to no avail. In October, Bobby Ray packed up his Monte Carlo and left for basic training at Camp Pendleton.

"I have no son," she says in a barely audible whisper.


you have GOT to read this. i'm still laughing. yes momma

this is why i think lileks is a national treasure

The local news was worse, since nothing much happens in Minneapolis. At least in DC you got the full measure of horror every day. (I once considered patenting a suit that contained fine white powder in its seams so you could leave your own chalk outline when you fell. Saved time for all concerned.) So I got out of the habit, and never missed it.

i'm talking about lilek's bleats of course.

thanksgiving memories: Young Submarine Brothers

i've posted this other places before. it lives in a couple of archives on the web on various submarine related sites. since thanksgiving is a time for memories as well as feasting, i trot out my old essay from some time ago.

click for larger image

Everybody experiences one of those days in their life. Away from home, away from the family and friends that you grew up with. Away from everything that makes holidays the special times they are.
Thanksgiving, 1975. I was a freshly qualified submariner, dolphins proudly worn for only a couple of weeks. An "old" man of 21 years. Homesick, lonely, glad to be back in port. We had just returned to our home port of Mare Island after an extended underway. Some of us had leave, but the junior guys, like me, didn't have a prayer of getting time away from the boat. Nubs (new guys, or at least junior guys) always had to take leave during the non-holiday periods. Somebody had to stick around and keep the plant safe, or so the Navy thought. So what to do during the holidays?
Fortunately for me, there were enough jocks around that a good rousing game of "touch" football [defined as "you're out when you get slammed and tackled by the opposing team, and you touch the ground] was planned for the pre-dinner hours. Garbage Bowl '75 was on. We had enough players to scrape together two teams, THE CONERS and THE NUC'S. Who played on the coner team is lost to memory, but the picture of THE NUC'S shows a hardy band of youngsters. It's almost impossible to figure out what happened to the time, after looking at those young bucks, lined up for the "official" team picture. We all had a lot more hair, and a lot less waistline in those days!
The game was played on the parade field in front of the Marine barracks. The usual friendly rivalries between the non-nucs and the nucs generated some spectacular tackles. The quarterbacking was at least on par with the best of the pros, and the game strategy was bone simple....get touchdowns, and keep the other guys from doing the same.
The day was wonderful. We played, we rehashed, we embellished, until the most mediocre move was transformed into a graceful sidestep within an hour of completing the game. Those of us that didn't have a home to go to drifted to the boat. There, we replayed the game for the guys on duty, laughing about the pratfalls, and exaggerating our prowess and skills, as required by the guy code. We had come back to the boat to be with the only family we had available. We came back to share with those that couldn't be there, to help ease the isolation we all felt.
Dinner was served, and the one thing I can say about the boat is that they took a lot of effort to insure that even though we couldn't be home for the holidays, at least we would be able to have a traditional dinner with all of the fixings. Some of the crew had their families down on the boat for dinner. Although none of us would have admitted it, and even groused about there being kids underfoot, we loved having the sound of children laughing around during dinner. We may not have been home with our moms and dads, our brothers and sisters, grandparents, or any of the rest of our families, but we had our families with us there on the mess decks. We had our brothers and their families. It was enough.

mmmm, donuts, spanish donuts

anyone ever had real, homemade churros? you know, those long, skinny donuts rolled in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar? you can get them in a lot of mexican restaurants too. so here's the churros recipe i stole from my mother in law. don't tell her i posted this, or else i might get a pan upside my head.
joking

CHURROS

INGREDIENTS
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons oil

Sift all the dry ingredients together, and set aside

Beat the eggs lightly, then add the milk, vanilla, and oil. Mix completely.

Make a mound of the dry ingredients, and make a well in the middle. Add the liquid ingredients to the well, and slowly work the flour mix into the liquid. After completely mixing the ingredients, return to a bowl, beat lightly to insure complete mixing.

Let the dough rest for at least an hour, covered.

Heat oil in a pan to about 350 degrees. When the oil is ready, pull a chunk of dough off of the ball, and roll and stretch until it is ½ to 1 inch in diameter, and short enough to fit into the pan. Lightly fry the churro, turning it to make sure it is browned lightly on both sides.

Pull the churro from the oil, and drain on paper towels. Roll in powdered sugar, or cinnamon sugar, and enjoy. traditional is the powdered sugar.

there are other recipies for spanish churros out there that use boiling water, etc, to make the dough, and it's piped using a pastry bag. i like these better. this one is an old recipe from mamasita, so that makes it as spanish as it comes.

p.s. eat these dudes nice and warm. if you have too many, share.

for a complete list of my online recipes, follow the link here

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

reach out, reach out and touch someone

military humor

Monday, November 22, 2004

not in my back yard

as a proponent for nuclear power my entire adult life, i've seen the effects of nimby, or not in my back yard. as our dependence on foreign energy sources drive our foreign policy, from who in the world are our friends, to what we pay for fuel at the pumps, i find any amelioration of our need paramount. i've also bumped up against the whole environmental mindset. i helped clean and release a good sized chunk of a naval shipyard that had been decommissioned. i listened to the lawyers, i attended the public meetings, and i watched untold amounts of money dissappear down the gullet of the environmental lawyer's voracious practices. no remediation possible as long as there was money available to pay the lawyers. i watched a 1.2 billion dollar pot of money set aside to clean a superfund site of ddt in the san pablo bay across from the shipyard get chipped at by the sierra club lawyers, the friends of the earth lawyers, the abalone allience lawyers, etc, etc, etc, to where there is now no money, and not one bucket of waste was removed. but the groups these sharks represented all claim victory. who lost?

i've seen whole forests here in northern california ravaged by drought, insects, and ultimately fire. when a proposal to go in and remove the salvagable wood damaged by those events was tendered, guess who fought that move? the same ones that dissavowed any responsibility when the trinity fire started, and destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of forest because of the almost unimaginable fuel load. a fuel load that the foresters tried to reduce. the groups all claimed victory. who was the loser?

i've seen the state try to put in local power plants, near the locations that really need the electricity, such as in the san jose area. nimby's fought it. the plant was not put in. they claimed victory. who was the loser?

now there is a viable and workable method of reaping energy from the wind off of cape cod, as written about in this article from the san francisco chronicle. will the nimby's win? will they claim victory? who will be the loser?

i've been subjected to this mindset. and i've listened to the folks in haines, alaska. the majority of the residents in and around that town made their living off of tourism, mainly by catering to the cruise ships that ply the inland waterway from seattle to skagway. an "artist" activist from berkeley moved there a couple of years ago, and decided that she would be the arbiter of what was right and wrong in haines. she felt that it was imcumbant on HER to protect and save alaska. well, she is trying to save something all right. but it is her view of the world she is saving. she managed to get a couple of implants from other places in the country together, and they protested the cruise ships, picketing and giving the folks visiting their town grief every time a ship pulled alongside the pier. guess what? the cruise ships left, and now the town that has very little to support it's population that doesn't require decimating the local ecology, no longer has that "clean" source of income. i am sure she and her cronies claimed victory. who lost?

this whole mindset will shatter any illusion of right and wrong you may hold, once you've been exposed to it. that area of cape cod has as it's residents many of the rich and powerful, at least for part of the year. and many of these folks are the same ones you see standing in amongst the protestors outside the gates to nuke plants, cameras in their faces, and reporters breathlessly hanging on their every word. hey they are famous, they must be better than us.

these are the same people that went to puerto rico to protest the navy artillary range. raise a ruckus, get the cameras focused on the area, make entertainment tonite and the 6 o'clock news. raise enough stink, show a decidedly one sided view of the issue, and carry the day simply because they know how to deliver a good speech. where are they now? back living in the luxury their craft or trade affords them. what about the folks that relied on the money the military brought into the region, the money that the vast majority depended on to survive? have any of them gone back and asked the average person what they thought of the whole thing. of course not, because that's not important. poking the government, and especially the military in the eye, that was what was important. and they got to look like crusaders for justice. except they didn't ask the "little guy". they claimed victory, and went home, back to their maids and personal trainers, their pools and luxury vehicles. who lost?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

sounds trigger memories

When I was a young lad, I delivered the Oregonian and the Oregon Journal newspapers. We lived in the high desert country in eastern Oregon. My route drug me out of bed well before most of the townsfolk were awake.
I can remember spring and fall as magical times. Flocks of ducks and geese making their twice a year flights would darken the sky in the early morning. I’ve seen the entire sky, from horizon to horizon, full of the “V” flight groups of geese, and more ducks than there were stars in the desert night sky. Those mornings have been a part of me since. Tonight I listened to a flock of geese flying overhead. There must have been quite a few, because I listened to their honking signals for at least five minutes as they passed by.
Hearing the geese triggered those memories of trudging through town, a newsboy bag full of papers over my shoulders. The air was almost always crisp if not chilly, and smelled of wood stove smoke and fallen leaves. In the fall, I always had access to apples and pears, because every house in town had at least one or two fruit trees, and the fruit was ripe and waiting for me to pick a couple as I made my morning rounds. It seems a bit late for the geese to be heading south, but then, I’ve never really paid much attention to the dates they flew, just the formations.
I wish I knew then how special those mornings would be in the years to come. There was a freedom of being up and out that early in the morning. It was a time to fantasize about the future, about movies, about stopping time so that I might be able to finish the route and go home for an extra hour or two sleep before school. I was just a kid, and most kids don’t really pay attention to what they are experiencing at the time. It just happened. I’m glad I had the chance to see those things, and to do those things, and to have the time to think about things without any pressures other than finishing the route before I had to go to school. I’m glad I can hear geese flying overhead, and I’m 12 years old again, watching in wonder the undulating V’s of thousands of birds flying from somewhere I could imagine to a place I could imagine.
I bet I can still roll a paper without rubberbands and toss it onto a porch while riding a bike. Some things you never forget.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Carnival of Recipes #14 is up

over at boudicca's voice. she really did a good job on arranging the recipes. and there is another version of smoked turkey at the glittering eye that has a pretty good brine recipe for the bird.

fried turkey marinade

If you have never fried a turkey before, you are missing out on one hell of a good meal. Fryers are available all over the place now. Be sure to carefully read the instructions on what to do/not to do. If you already have a fryer, I don’t need to go over the safety stuff for you again.

This recipe is for you folks that bought the fryer, cooked a bird, loved it, and now want to try something different than the jar of stuff that came packed inside the box when your toy was new.
HARDWARE:
  • fryer, and enough peanut oil to cook the bird in
  • long thermometer capable of reading over 350 degrees F.
  • auto drip pan to put under the fryer. Keeps from getting a big stain on whatever surface you are cooking on
  • marinade injector. They sell these things everywhere now. Looks like a big hypodermic syringe and needle
  • fine sieve or cheesecloth


One important thing to do before you start brining your bird is to measure how much oil it’s going to take to cook that critter. I always stick the bird in the fryer pot, and fill with water until it just covers it completely. Then I mark with a sharpee what that level is.

Next, wash the bird, and brine per instructions from my previous post.

REMEMBER: never use sugar or honey in these marinades. This will only turn the meat black, as in indigo ink black. Very unappetizing. I don’t care what emeril says in his cookbooks. In this case, black is NOT beautiful

After brining, and while the bird is coming up to room temperature, prepare your marinade for injection. Make sure to drain the cavity of the bird, or you will get a real surprise when you drop it into the oil..
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning (I like tony’s salt free creole seasonings myself
  • 1 clove garlic, minced finely
  • half an onion, minced fine
  • couple of sprigs of rosemary, sage, or whatever herbs strikes your fancy, chopped up


Melt butter, and toss in all of the ingredients. Keep on a low heat for about 20 or 30 minutes to allow all those flavors to blend into the butter.

Take the butter and strain thru a sieve or cheesecloth. This gets the chunks out so you don’t clog up the syringe. Add enough cooking oil, like canola (DO NOT use olive oil. It gets too hot during frying, and the oil will end up tasting bitter) or water to make a good cup of liquid.

Inject the marinade into the bird. Don’t forget the thighs and drumsticks. I usually try to inject each breast in at least 4 places, and the thighs and legs a couple each. Lightly oil the bird, and coat it with a good rub. Just using the seasoned salt from the marinade recipe works very well.

Now let the bird sit while you fire up the fryer. Fill the fryer to the mark, and add another ½ inch or so. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. When you get there, use either the rack or basket to lower the bird (I send them to their fate head first), and kick the flame up, because the temperature is going to drop rapidly. Back off on the heat as the temp comes up. You want to cook the bird per the instructions you got with the fryer, but a good rule of thumb is 3 minutes per pound, plus 5 minutes. If you are watching the temperature of the oil, and it has been steady for a while but suddenly takes a jump up….get that bird out of there. You’ve cooked all the water out, and unless you like fried jerky, you best be pulling that critter.
I always toss the bird into a brown grocery bag for about 10 minutes. That helps get some of the excess oil off.

Slice it up, and enjoy.
If you try this, please email me with your results. And any tips you might have thought up or discovered.
We’ve had quite a few of these delectable treats since my birthday present of a couple of years ago. The only thing I’d do different is buy a temperature control gas regulator from cabella’s. that way I won’t have to hover over the damned thing the whole time it’s cooking, adjusting the temperature.


for a complete list of my online recipes, follow the link here

Thursday, November 18, 2004

smoking a turkey

First, you get about a thousand Big Bambu papers, glue them togeth.. oh, different life. sorry.

Thanksgiving is coming up, and we are all starting to think about what to fix for dinner. Of course, for most of us, that would be TURKEY! When we have thanksgiving dinner at our house, it’s usually for 20 or more people, so I always fix two. Both start out the same way, but get fixed entirely differently. one is smoked, and the other fried.

The basics: BRINING
Why brine? Helps keep the meat moist, and it adds a great flavor
How? The absolute very most basic brine is 1 cup kosher salt (no iodine to add weird flavors to the food) to a gallon of water. If using regular table salt, drop the amount to 1/2 cup to a gallon.
I then add a couple of things: a couple of oranges, cut in half, squeezed into the liquid, and then tossed in for effect.
As many cloves of garlic as you like, crushed
A sweet white onion, peeled, and chopped coarsely
For the smoker, I throw in a cup of brown sugar. NO SUGARY STUFF FOR THE FRIER!!! It turns the damned thing black…not appetizing at all.

Toss it all into a plastic garbage bag big enough to hold everything. Wash the bird, pull out the giblets, and then toss into the bag, making sure the bird is completely submerged. Keep cool (some places just leaving it in the garage is good enough. Here in Napa, I have to throw it into the fridge). Let soak for at least 4 hours, but overnight is better.

When ready, pull out the bird, and pat it dry, paying particular attention to the areas under the wings. You want the bird to taste good, not taste like a salt lick. Rub the bird down with a little cooking oil, and sprinkle on your favorite season salt. Or make your own! Don’t get too carried away with the salt… remember the salt lick comment. Make sure you put some on the inside of the bird as well. let the bird sit at room temperature while messing with getting the smoker fired up. a cold bird takes longer to cook. now i know that's obvious, but if you don't think it's important, i'll let you know that on exactly the same kind of day, same size bird, a fresh from the fridge bird will take at least an hour longer to cook.

see my next post for frying a turkey

Cooking instructions for the smoker:
I have an electric smoker. Found that it takes much less time to cook, and the results are generally more consistent. But I used a charcoal smoker for years, and it did a great job, it just took 6 or 7 hours to cook, that’s all. Anyway, I take apple tree branches from pruning, and run them through the chipper. You can accomplish the same thing by buying apple wood chips from the hardware store. We have a lot of almond trees around here, and almond wood chips are great for turkey as well. Take a nice big handful, stick them into a Ziploc bag, and fill the bag with water. Let the chips soak for at least 30 minutes. Fire up the smoker. With an electric smoker, I found a 6 inch cast iron skillet (cute little thing) placed on the burner was a great way to contain, and burn the wood chips needed for smoking. I use what’s known as a “wet smoker”, in there is a pan of liquid above the heat source, but below the bird. I use a quart of boiling water (really speeds up the cooking process), a bottle of white wine, usually a chard or sauvignon blanc, and a cup or two of orange juice. It’s a good idea to line the pan with foil before putting the liquid in. It really helps on the cleanup. Get the burner up to speed, place the liquid pan on the rack, fill it as noted above, and then put the bird on the rack above the liquid pan. I don’t do anything to the bird other than the brine and rub. NEVER EVER STUFF A TURKEY THAT IS GOING INTO A SMOKER. I use a turkey rack that mounts the bird vertically, and I always use that because it gives me a better smoked bird. Mounting it vertically allows the steam and smoke to come up into the bird and helps cook it from the inside as well as the outside.

Toss the chips into the pan, and walk away.

For a while, like 2 or 3 hours. Really.

Check the liquid level in the pan, and add boiling water if you need to, making sure the pan doesn’t empty, which will cause your bird to come out a tad dry. Don’t look, don’t mess with it, don’t do anything. Just walk away. When curiosity finally finally kills you, and you can’t avoid messing with it any more, stick a meat thermometer into the bird behind the thigh, in the thick part. You are looking for 170-180 degrees F, the temp you are supposed to cook poultry.
When it’s done, let the bird sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before carving. It’s damned good. I’ve found if it’s not windy out, and the outside temperature isn’t too cold, a 12 to 15 pound bird will smoke nicely in around 4 to 5 hours. Smoking time is always dependant on how many times to open it up to look, the outside temperature, and the wind. So give yourself a lot more time than you think you will need. When I did one in the coal fired smoker, I started it at 0400, and we ate at 1500. that’s why I bought an electric smoker!

NOTE: you can do this in a kettle BBQ like a weber as well. but before you even think about putting coals or anything else in the kettle, check to make sure your bird will fit. otherwise, you'll be doing like i had to once. i had to take 4 bricks, placed them on the grill around the outside, and then seal the lid with a lot of foil. bummer.
Use the indirect method, by splitting the coals in half, and put them along either side of the coal grate. Use an aluminum roasting tray to separate the coals. Into the tray, add the wine, and some water. Make sure you can get to the water tray with a baster. Don’t let the tray go completely dry. Put the top grill on, and place the bird over the tray. Add coals as needed, usually about every hour. This technique takes less time than the smoker, since you are a lot closer to the heat. Once the coals are good and hot, toss on the chips, drop the bird on the rack, and close the lid for at least an hour. Check every hour after that to make sure you have enough coals to finish the job, and that the pan has liquid in it. If you want to speed things up a bit, after the first quart or so of liquid, quit filling the pan. You will get a killer bird, but it will be more roasted than smoked. You’ll still have that great smoke flavor though.

an interesting blog entry

from an austrailian "The Swanker". i haven't read all of the posts, but i like the way this blogger analyzes input. i may not even agree with his politics, don't know because i haven't read enough, but i like the way he questions his inputs.
one thing i can say, though, is that the land of oz has been a steady and stalwart compatriot and and friend to our country for many years.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

another great post from iraq

iraq the model is a blog run by a couple of iraqis, and it's been an incredible source of information about what's going on inside iraq. please read this from their blog regarding what is going on in iraq in preparation for the upcoming elections. please also note that what many of us have been saying all along, i.e. the media coverage of events inside iraq, is addressed in this entry as well as others they've done in the past.

hard to imagine

that a place like this could have spawned bill clinton.

wow, michelle knocks one out of the park...again

for those of you following the condi rice appointment, a taste of what the "liberals" are thinking will make you shudder.
for a party of "all inclusiveness" (probably not even a word, but i'm sure it's miss-spelled), the single largest group of exclusionists in this country are the vocal libs. it's only ok to speak if you agree with their narrow philosophy. kind of amazing, but it sure is looking that way. who gets villified? those the left think "are traitors to their kind".

i recommend following the links in her blog entry to find an even better prepared and more intellectually concise treatise on the subject than i am capable of rendering.

the horrors of aging

i was doing some minor packing in the garage. we're getting ready to pull up tentpegs here in napa, and are moving to vacaville in a couple of weeks. hence the packing. i came across some old photos from my young sailor days. i scanned one in, and thought i'd share what 27 years, a couple of kids, 50% overtime, and a hell of a lot of fun will get you. for those squeamish viewers, please avert your eyes.
young bo the nook, (5'10", 180 pounds, 4% bodyweight measured by the doctor) attending school in hawaii, 1977. we used to joke that you could always tell if a fast attack submariner had been to school, because he was the only one on board that didn't look like he'd seen a ghost, what with a great tan and all. what's really scary is my kids are older than i was when this picture was taken. edit: just looked at this picture, and the bigger version hidden underneath it, and it really looks orange. doesn't look that way on my monitor at home. oh well.


bo the nook (5'something, 270 pounds, and the body weight percentage meter pegged), 27 years and countless pizzas, ribs, and other goodies later. taken this summer while working on my rental. scary. really scary

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

stolen from the wall street journal's

online opinion journal for 11/15, i quote the following:

Weasel Watch
Jacques Chirac, the president of France, missed another good opportunity to shut up, the Times of London reports:

Chirac dealt a blow to Tony Blair's attempt to heal the wounds between the US and Europe last night by saying that the Prime Minister had won nothing for supporting the war against Iraq. . . .

M Chirac, speaking to British journalists, including The Times, soon after General Powell's announcement, revealed that he had urged Mr Blair to demand the relaunch of the Middle East peace process in return for backing the war.

"Well, Britain gave its support but I did not see anything in return. I'm not sure it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favours systematically."

Unlike the French, who of course got loads of money in exchange for supporting Saddam Hussein. Whereas Chirac appears to see other countries only in terms of what they can do for him, Blair in his speech stressed common values:

I know one thing. If we were under direct threat, America would be our ally. I know that its people enjoy, as we have seen, a vibrant competitive democracy; and that in America, Hispanics, blacks, Asians and former Europeans live together, worship in their different ways and can rise from the bottom to the top in a manner we could do well to emulate. I didn't agree with Michael Moore's film. But in America he was able to make it and be praised for it. This is called freedom.

Chirac no doubt would respond that the French are free to praise Michael Moore too. Ah well, c'est la vie. We'd just like to point out these numbers (hat tip: blogger Patrick Ruffini):
Bush voters 60,515,255
Total population of France 59,900,268

Oh well, at least Frenchmen (and -women and -children) outnumber Kerry voters by a couple of million or so.

i was kind of amazed at the numbers. i keep forgetting just how big this country is.

and this little tidbit. i'm chuckling a bit under my breath.
National Journal's Charlie Cook argues that the 2004 election was far from "transformative" and hints that John Kerry might even have won if only he'd been someone else:

I still question whether Kerry got any votes that just about any other Democrat challenging Bush under these circumstances wouldn't have also gotten. Some of his defeated rivals for the Democratic nomination might have done a better job of communicating a compelling economic message in Ohio and Iowa.

Of course, if they'd done a better job of communicating a compelling economic message in Iowa, Kerry might not have won the Iowa caucuses! Anyway, didn't the Democrats overwhelmingly vote for Kerry because he was "electable"? We suspect the truth is closer to what Winston Churchill said about democracy: Kerry was the worst available candidate--except for all the others.


and finally
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union announces that it has intimidated the Pentagon into agreeing "to end direct sponsorship of hundreds of Boy Scout units, which require members to swear religious oaths, on military facilities across the United States and overseas."

The ACLU press release quotes the group's Adam Schwartz: "If our Constitution's promise of religious liberty is to be a reality, the government should not be administering religious oaths or discriminating based upon religious beliefs." But of course, the government was doing no such thing; the Boy Scouts are a private group. If you don't like what they stand for, don't join them.

The ACLU used to be so committed to free expression that it would even represent Nazis and Klansmen seeking to express their views. But apparently they draw the line at the Boy Scouts.

this one really makes me sad. need an example of why we as a society are heading for the trashcan of history? this is a good example.

edit: back again
now i wonder why the president had such a difficult time dealing with the UN and it's weapons inspection teams prior to our going into iraq. perhaps the following quote
Mr. Annan then flew to Baghdad for a private powwow with Saddam and returned to declare that this was a man he could do business with. The weapons inspectors returned to Iraq for a short spell, but by the end of 1998, Saddam had evicted them for the next four years. Mr. Annan, however, went right on doing business. And big business it was, however humanitarian in name. Under the Oil for Food deal, Mr. Annan's Secretariat pulled in a 2.2% commission on Saddam's oil sales, totaling a whopping $1.4 billion over the life of the program, to cover the costs of supervising Saddam. Yet somehow the Secretariat never found the funding to fully meter oil shipments, ensure full inspections of all goods entering Iraq, or catch the pricing scams that by the new estimates of Senate investigators let Saddam rake in $4.4 billion in kickbacks on relief contracts.
from a WSJ editorial can shed some light.

boy, there's more to the atkins diet

than i thought. the following is not a snivel, but an amused observation.

i use a site counter for tracking visits to my site. one of the options is to see what the entry page is. on all of the carnival of recipes entries i've posted, there were a bunch of visits generated. for the oatmeal cookies, exactly one, and i think that was the host's visit to check the url. i'm still being visited for the kale soup, squash, and pumpkin seeds, mainly. none for the cookies. interesting. so i suppose this whole atkins thing is real, huh?

by the way, too bad, because these were once again pronounced "the best cookie i've ever eaten" this weekend by my buddy dwardo of the left.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

to my amiga blueherondruid (aka C)

thankyouthankyouthankyou. guess what we had for dinner tonight?

well, first of all, because of a certain dinner item, i went out and replaced my old broken immersion blender with a whizbang superduper kitchen aid immersion blender

model khb100 in white


been meaning to do that for a while, but never got around to it.

anyway, the first course was bhd's wonderful celery and stilton soup, except i used gorgonzola stella instead. (minor dietary constraints not worth discussing.) oh was this good. i mean really really good. the very definition of comfort food.

then i followed with a nuked and broiled delicata squash with butter and honey. yummy as always.

and the main course was pan seared baked center cut pork chops with an apricot and honey glaze made with the pan drippings.

life is good

Saturday, November 13, 2004

tom friedman

i just got done watching tom friedman of the ny times on tim russert's msnbc show. i've really enjoyed the stuff friedman has done in the past. i don't always agree with him, but i've always thought he was a pretty smart cookie. i am reporting that nothing in that estimation has changed. too bad they (the govt) couldn't find a way to get him involved in what's going on in the world. if you get a chance to see the interview on reruns, i recommend it.

Friday, November 12, 2004

say what you want

about the NY Post and it's reporting, but they sure do write great headlines


and here's something from the boston globe, that bastion of the liberal massatwoshits press, with one hell of a powerful op-piece about that toad faced tablecloth hat wearing murderer.

thanks allan

for linking this. i have to admit i'm now a little piqued, and may have to further my readings of that blog. when the title is "armed liberal", and he writes a moving piece about veterans day, makes me want to go spend some time exploring.

again, thanks for the link allan

happy happy joy joy

my real estate lady called. escrow has closed on our new home. too cool to even say. oh boy oh boy oh boy. moving in the next couple of weeks.

recipe carnival XIII up and running

over at the common virtue.

great ones again, but i have a question? if we're such red meat issue folks, why are we all posting chicken recipes? probably the same reason as we do around here, cholestorol and the damned bathroom scales. damn the scales.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

the very very very best oatmeal cookies ever

i was watching America's Test Kitchen on PBS one rainy saturday a year or two ago. they were making cookies.
before i go any further, let me just say that i am a cookie whore. need your house painted? a plate of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, i'm there. need your oil changed? a nice plate of ginger snaps, or thumbprint, or springerle, or ....

got it?

so they made these oatmeal cookies. they were about twice the size of normal cookies, and they did it for a reason...to keep the cookie from drying out too much. it works!

so here's to chris kimball and the chefs at America's Test Kitchen. the very best oatmeal cookie in the world, with the recipe lifted directly from Cooks Illustrated online. oh yeah.

BIG CHEWY OATMEAL-RAISIN COOKIES

Makes 16 to 20 large cookies

If you prefer a less sweet cookie, you can reduce the white sugar by one-quarter cup, but you will lose some crispness. Do not overbake these cookies. The edges should be brown but the rest of the cookie should still be very light in color. Parchment makes for easy cookie removal and cleanup, but it’s not a necessity. If you don’t use parchment, let the cookies cool directly on the baking sheet for two minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups raisins (optional)

1. Adjust oven racks to low and middle positions; heat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl of electric mixer or by hand, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. ed.note: don't skimp on the time mixing the sugar and butter together. longer is better for these cookies. and make sure each egg is incorporated completely before adding the next

2. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg together, then stir them into butter-sugar mixture with wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. Stir in oats and optional raisins.

3. Form dough into sixteen to twenty 2-inch balls, placing each dough round onto one of two parchment paper–covered, large cookie sheets. Bake until cookie edges turn golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes. (Halfway during baking, turn cookie sheets from front to back and also switch them from top to bottom.) Slide cookies on parchment onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving.


ok, don't forget the cold milk!! mmm, i think i'll go make some right now. c-ya

a couple of notes this veteran's day

first of all, to all the vets out there, active duty and retired, thank you for your service to our country. you are the reason i can sit in front of my computer and rant and rave about any and all. you have insured the freedoms that we americans hold so dear. you new guys are now involved in a different kind of war. one every bit as important as any that fought before you. you are fighting a new kind of enemy, stateless, united in a toxic belief system that holds no life dear, intent on returning the world to a time where the strides civilization has made over the last 7 centuries were only vague possibilities. you have taken the fight to them, and for that, we owe you a debt of gratitude.
john, over at arrgghhh says it better than i. check it out.


oh, by the way, let the dancing begin. that freaking toad from the middle east has finally croaked his last. good riddence. perhaps there is now a glimmer of hope for the palistinians and isrealis to reach some sort of agreement to let each other live in relative peace. here is a powerful and emotional piece about the monster, written by an isreali.

and now, for something totally shocking. Iris Chang, the author of several books including The Rape of Nanking and The Chinese in America, found dead this week of an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound to the head. what an incredible waste. she was quite famous for her well researched and insightful books. i guess being famous and rich doesn't insulate you from life's travails. depression can strike anyone, and suicide is all too often the end result. i hope she has found peace.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

a good article, with numbers and everything

about current world support for the reelection of the president. hardly any emotional stuff at all, just numbers and facts, and golly, it makes me feel good. oh, it's from the dreaded National Review

remember the story about the young girl

and the mud puddle?

well, here is a picture of her landing. sorry, the res sux, but it was with a cheapy disposable camera. she's the yellow thing inside the oval.


and here she is post splash. note mom's rather critical look regarding her daughter's current state of cleanliness. i would like to point out that this young lady landed in a big assed mud puddle, and yet she was relatively clean. comes from years of softball, sliding into second base, according to her dad!


and one last shot of me and some of my many many kid visitors during field trips. "Hey kids, when we get back, you get to go out in the field and pick a pumpkin the size of your head."


and here's what a traffic jam on the farm looks like. that's my brother-in-law Doug behind the wheel. some days we had as many as 1200 kids, and an indeterminate number of parents/teachers/aunties/etc that came along for the ride. we had 4 tractors and trailers running non-stop from 0900 until around 1300 on the busy days

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

intellectual condescension

so i posted mr. ed's response to a response of mine. the post is long, and if you pay attention, you will see why there is such dismay in the ranks of the dem party. pay attention to the comments, and the tone. the condescension is almost palpable.
please let me relate a story from the pumpkin patch. no, i'm not veering of on some disjointed tangent. please bare with me.

it was early evening. a young gent came up to the counter, and remarked that the romanesque cauliflower we had picked and brought in looked pretty funky.
.
i agreed, and said it looked like a vegetable fractal. his next remark showed his inexperience. "wow, i wouldn't think that you would even know what a fractal is".

i let that sit for a minute, trying to figure out exactly how to respond, or even if i wanted to respond. my response: "fractal? well, let's see. i'm a senior nuclear reactor operator, working at a major research facility. i also carry a level II neutron radiographer qualification. i've written programs that require a solid knowledge of fuzzy logic, chaos theory, and mandelbrott recursions which are necessary to formulate fractals, in determining minimim and maximum defect locations. perhaps you might like to reconsider your comment. you CANNOT judge by outward appearances." to which he apologized for jumping to conclusions, and left in a highly embarrassed state.

so don't think that because i do not subscribe to YOUR belief system that MINE has not been thought out and analyzed to death by ME. i'm comfortable in my beliefs, and i would like to stack my education (I maintained a 3.98 gpa through 160 semester hours of engineering, science, computer science, and liberal arts classes, while working full time, with a family, and didn't start getting B's until i took my masters classes in environmental engineering at UC Davis), travels (i was a military brat, and a sailor myself for 8 1/2 years), life experiences ( i lived in france for 4 1/2 years during the algerian uprising, where neighbors of mine were killed every week in orleans just so the algerians could make the newspapers, and my school bus was armored against grenade attacks, and we were guarded by two heavily armed soldiers), i've been a nuclear submariner, a nuclear test engineer, chief test engineer, a manufacturing company production manager, an environmental remediation supervisor, and now i'm comfortably ensconced in a research facility that is working on cutting edge nuclear medicine, geological classifications, radiography, and a whole host of other stuff that probably wouldn't mean anything to you unless you read the most current and up to date scientific journals (how's THAT for condescension?), spawned two kids, one a special education teacher, and the other studying to be a biology teacher. care for me to continue? i've been certified as an international open water scuba diver for 30 years, i've piloted an ultralite airplane, and if i'd had an extra 2 grand, it would have been mine, i've gone sky diving, with enough time in freefall to warrant sprouting wings, i've raced motorcycles at laguna seca and sears point raceway, and i have climbed mt. shasta with a crew of drunken sailors, and we all made it back. i've dived thru the remains of the japanese fleet on a decompression dive in truk lagoon, and i've seen the midnight sun from the north pole. i've been chased halfway across the ocean by russian submarines, and i died, and was brought back using the 110 volt cord from a halogen lamp, while underway by a submarine corpsman (thanks again, doc). my grandfather ran for chairman of the democratic party in the state of washington, and had a cross burned on his lawn by the KKK when he worked in the sugar beet fields during the depression.
but i digress.

just let me finish by stating that because my value system isn't yours, it does not follow that it is not as valid (or in my case, more valid), or as well thought out.

and i get fan mail

i quote:
I came upon your site while searching for a roasted pumpkin seeds recipe a few weeks ago.
I enjoy your site :) I am also looking forward to scrolling through the carnival of recipes when I have time. I am a stay at home Mom, married for 12 years, who enjoys creating stained glass art as my most passionate hobby.
Like you, my husband works in the Nuclear industry (in NC). He also served in the Navy on an aircraft carrier for 6 years.
I get so tired of the stereo type that men who own firearms are a bunch of red neck, beer drinkin, wife beating, mobile home residing, bbq junkies. It is refreshing to come to this site where people can see that there are men out there who are responsible and loving husbands and fathers who pass on their tradition and love of hunting and to their children and grandchildren. They are not all a bunch of uneducated hicks with an 8th grade education ;) In fact, I had my first experience skeet shooting with my husband a few weeks ago. Don't ask how it went....my whole body ached for days! LOL
Also refreshing to me is not having to weed through a bunch of political correctness. I have two children in elementary school and I volunteer much of my time being involved in their education. It astonishes me how political correctness has gotten out of hand. Especially when myself and my husband who are trying to raise two boys to grow up to be strong and moral men who say "sir" and Maam" and (gasp) open doors for ladies. Please allow me to give you an example:
Last year in my son's 2nd grade class I noticed after several weeks that one little girl would not face the flag during the pledge of allegiance. I wasn't really sure if she was just day dreaming or doing it on purpose. I asked the teacher (who had been teaching for 42 years) about it. Basically, because of this child's religious beliefs, she is not allowed to pledge allegiance to the American Flag. The teacher also had a valid point when she told me that there are many parents who will not allow their children to participate in one of our most basic freedoms and will not stand with the very country that supports them through programs like welfare, affirmative action and many others that my husbands hard earned money supports. I am all for religious freedom, but it bothers me that the very country that ALLOWS them religious freedom is not good enough in their eyes to warrant respect. We have children in our schools who are violent, verbally and physically abusive to the staff and teachers and have parents who do nothing but perpetuate these actions by their being poor role models and just plain indifferent. Yet, the government ties the schools' hands in dealing with it. These children disrupt the class room daily and there isn't a damn thing schools can do about it except put up with it. Don't get me wrong, I understand that these children are caught in the middle and most are crying out desperately for help but it seems that there must be some solution out there somewhere that can remove the child from disrupting classrooms, yet a place for them to be educated in a setting where people who are educated in dealing with kids such as these can help them. Having children who are teachers, I am certain you hear from them often about these things.
Ok, I am done on my soapbox. Sorry, I tend to babble. I am not a very political person but I just wanted you to know that finding your site was to me, a breath of fresh air. After the last several months of listening to all of the crap being dished out from people who want to give health care and driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, spend more tax payers' dollars to support people who refuse to get up off their ass and get a JOB because they are too busy popping out illegitimate children I really needed an outlet. Obviously, emailing you was it.
Thanks :)

Fed up Mom in North Carolina


and penny, i suggest you have enough to say to the world that you should start a blog. they are simple, and who cares if anyone else reads them? it's just an outlet that may introduce you to folks that are either like minded, or have something to say that may change your whole opinion of the world.

and thanks for the kind words

Monday, November 08, 2004

cool. i got hate mail

while wandering around the blogosphere tonite, i commented on an entry made by an obviously despondent democrat. he made the comment that at least he had a canadian and an irish passport, and could leave the country.
my response was basically that if it was that bad, perhaps he should. unfortunately, this was just a surf in blog, and i don't have the exact phrase i used, nor do i have the gent's blog name. his response was (intellegently made) to email me rather than simply posting a response on his blog. guess he figured i probably wouldn't be back to read his incisive and scathing response. i did email him back with a semi-civilized response, and then asked for his blog addy so i could post it here. i also have the "save sent messages" turned off in yahoo mail, so i can't reproduce my response, but it was civil, as i'm sure you all know it would be. so anyway, thanks to mr. ed at removed by request for the following response to my post on his blog:

Typical response from a typical ignorant idiot.

Why don't I leave? Because this is the US and I have the right to my
opinion as you do yours. If you believe that any dissent is
un-American, I
would suggest that you, sir, are the antithesis of what it is to be an
American. It is what our country was founded upon. If you want opinions
to
be uniform, perhaps it is you who should leave. Try Saudi Arabia you
jackass!


cool.
i also got a love note, but i'm waiting on permission from the poster before i put it on the web. hate mail.... i share with no reservations.


edit: received a nice reply requesting additional info, and here it is in it's entirety
I don't mind you using my comments, however it does go against the typical grain of conduct to use someone's email address on a blog without their
permission. I would humbly request you to remove it.

You seem like a rather intelligent individual, yet it also seems that you gather your sources from viewpoints that mirror yours. Therein lies the problem. I enjoy reading your blog, simply because I don't agree with it. Unlike many of my liberal compatriots I was not unaware what the heartland of America thinks or believes for I live in it. I was brought up in a evangelical home (at least partly) and I actually do subscribe to the Spectator and the Weekly Standard. I listen to Rush, Hannity, et al.
Why?
Because I accuse middle America of putting its head in the collective sand.
Not being challenged on their views. Not having to defend their position. It becomes quite clear when your arguments don't hold up when you have to intelligently defend them. I find it rather amusing to find the recent trend among conservatives as echoing the very words that Rush coined many years ago: conservatives are intellectually bankrupt. If memory serves me correct he based that on the idea that liberals always spoke in terms of "I feel, etc." When you listen to the recent polls, evidently conservatives are just as lilly livered as liberals as they "felt" that George W. Bush could better protect them.
There a lot of people out there that consider themselves progressive libertarians and you should perhaps think about that. I think you should at least try to engage in dialog and discourse from a perspective of learning instead of merely trying to pound your oft-used, tired rhetoric down everyone's throat. I have seen glimpse of your independent streak at times on your blog.
It used to be that it was only liberals who bought into the party-line hook, line and sinker. Now, the tables have turned and it is the right wing with a singular and myopic viewpoint, intolerant and incapable of dissent.
There are many within the Republican party who fear that this could lead to a fundamental implosion. I don't share that thought (however good it is.)
However, if they feel disaffected, despite their objections, they will jump ship. Barry Goldwater must be turning over in his grave!

Have a good one Hal.

I do hope we could establish some guest column relationship. I would have no problem with that. I make it a point to tell people to read all sources and expose yourselves to differing views- we all may be surprised to find that there are issues we have a common ground on.


nice. but he forgot to include the blog addy, so i can't send you to him to read the original point, nor can you visit to see what someone with a differing opinion has to say.

i shant rebut the entire note, but i will say that the breadth of information i access on a daily basis is quite large. i've spent more time on the "other side" than on the right wing of the world, reading news and blogs that are diametrically opposed to my sensibilities, simply because i don't know everything (i've proven that little statement more than once). i've found some very interesting views out there, and i've even modified some of my beliefs based on information i've found. BUT: i've found more dreck and dross out there than i care to relate. most of the stuff i read comes from a frame of reference that i simply cannot accept, based on my own experiences, values, and background. i do not believe that the u.s.a is the source of all evil, nor do i think that we are the saviors from on high, either. to many of the "dark side", we, collectively are the reason the world trade centers are now a memorial, rather than a business center. as an example. that world view is so narrow and uneducated as to be laughable, if it weren't for the number of folks that believe it. a short sojourn into history will show that this has been coming for centuries, from before the u.s.a existed. we just happen to have occupied the nexus of events.
regarding other views that might be construed as "feeling" rather than information, let me say that i work my ass off, and i pay what i consider confiscatory taxes to support a system that only demands more and more. there is no overspeed governor on this engine. need more money for pet projects? raise taxes. transfer how many trillions of dollars from the haves to the have nots in the interveining years since LBJ's Great Society welfare program, and the percentages on wealthy vs. poor have not changed even one percent. but the conditions have. now the poor have cable tv, cars, cell phones. there was an article several months ago in the NYT where the reporter followed this homeless woman around. she was too poor to afford a place to sleep, but she had a cell phone? sorry. doesn't satisfy the WTF factor. that's not an isolated incident. consider philadelphia. there was a lengthy series of articles in the sf chronicle this summer holding philadelphia up as the gold standard for how to help the homeless. i may have the numbers wrong, because it was a while ago, but the gist of the article was that that city spent MILLIONS of dollars, helping less than 5000 people, total, with several million a year on the 386 (?) hardcore homeless.
as far as i'm concerned, we have entered into a societal mode that encourages behaviors that are counterproductive to the successful evolution of a society away from slavery. if you are crazy, get dropped into a hospital to get your head screwed back on. got no problems spending money on that. drugs/alcohol... rehab two or three times, then you are on your own. but that isn't happening. too many people, mainly "libs" have a vested interest in continuing these programs.
on and on. enough for now. but i will state for the record that there is one thing that i will always fall back on when arguing defense, intellegence, and national security: it is ALWAYS better to take the fight to the enemy's yard, and not your own.

ha... go figure

stolen in total from todays wall street opinion journal:
'Go Figure'
Jon Friedman, a commentator for CBS MarketWatch, is still trying to figure out what happened:

The Bush political team intuitively understood the tone of the U.S. voters much better than the media did. To be honest, I still don't quite understand how certified media junkies like me could have been so wrong.

I read the New York Times and the New Yorker religiously. I watch CNN and the networks' evening news programs as well as the gabfests on Sunday mornings, too.

Go figure.


dude should have spent some time out in blogosphere land. better news, better analysis, better opinions, better feel for the pulse.


and another:
Vote or Die
"Distraught over the re-election of President George W. Bush, a Georgia man traveled to New York City, went to Ground Zero and killed himself with a shotgun blast," reports Long Island's Newsday. Relatives of the dead man, Andrew Veal, "said Veal, a registered Democrat, was despondent over Bush's defeat of Sen. John Kerry."

Newsday visits Ground Zero and interviews visitors about their reaction:

Frank Franca, an East Village artist and registered Democrat, suggested the suicide was symbolic.

"I'm very moved by it," he said. "Obviously, this person was devastated. I can see why he would come here."

Franca's friend, Jeffim Kuznetsov, a 25-year-old student from Russia who lives in Atlanta, said the suicide is evidence of how deeply many Americans were affected by Kerry's defeat.

"It's a national tragedy," he said. "This election is devastating to all who believe in democracy."

Veal obviously had psychiatric problems, but these guys are just plain sick.


whack jobs all around him, no wonder he was a whack himself. the complete ignorance of folks that try to ascribe some meaning to a meaningless act, one of a deranged mind, indicates depths of what? i can't even think of a word that would adequately describe it. wish the dude had used a butcher knife though, makes us gun owners look bad. and he used an illegal gun in NYC, so that makes it even more of a crime. arrest his ass. probably the only part of him left anyway.

sorry. you can take the nook out of the submarine, but you can never get the submarine out of the nook. better quit while i'm still ahead. at least i still have a hea..... never mind

an interestin case of schizophrenia

can be found at the following blog. interesting comment regarding the inner isreali being glad bush won, and the inner american being dismayed. this writer isn't the only one in the world discomforted by the fact that deep down inside, they are glad the presidential race yielded a second term for dubya. i, for one, am glad in both the inner and outer me that the prez is going to be prez for the next for years.

son, i feel your pain. really. no, i mean it. really.

for the kids in iraq



good luck kids. you are going into the viper's pit, and we all are hoping against hope that each and every one of you make it home in one piece. from those of us that get it, let me say THANK YOU, and may whatever diety or value system you hold dear look over and protect you.

out

Saturday, November 06, 2004

i have finally finished

reading the entire Baroque Cycle by neal stephenson, and i am sorry to say that there aren't another 800 pages to read. dayam, if you are a technogeek, wonk, scientist with a yen for something different, interested in how a lot of what we believe in engineering, science, politics, economy, and adventure came about, why, these three books are just what the doctor ordered.

nook's advisory: do not start this cycle if you are scheduled to perform open heart surgery, or are making crepes for guests tomorrow. you will not have enough sleep to accomplish either of those two delicate operations. as a matter of fact, i'm lucky i read these books as they came out. if i had stumbled onto this trilogy today, with all three in print, i'd be a dead man walking in stiff legged, poor posture exacerbated, red rimmed vision induced collisions with large inanimate objects, due to sleep deprivation.

this stuff is why books were invented, and why the internet, as bold and engaging as it is, will never replace an 892 page hardback novel. bo the nook sez.......CHECK IT OUT!

Friday, November 05, 2004

carnival of recipes #12

is up and running at the glittering eye. and once again, there are some good grub recipes from the blogosphere pundits.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

thank you mike al-moor

for the following image.


please read Michelle Malkin's commentary regarding the picture.

it is a mosaic of the soldiers that gave their lives in the service of us, under the commander in chief that took the battle to the enemy, rather than waiting for another slam. i don't think the guy that put it together, or that fat sack of shit-guts mike al-moor understand just how fitting the picture is.


this image has been used by mike al-moor as a protest against the second election win by our president. i would like to say that instead of a protest, i find the picture very moving, a tribute to those who have fallen in combat, taking the war to the enemy's backyard, not ours. these images are of the fallen heros, some used up to three times to make the mosaic.
thank you for your service, youngsters. you have kept our lands safe and free so far, and i hope that the continued efforts and sacrifices you and your fellow servicemembers continue to do so.

thank you. thank you from the bottom of my heart. i am printing and framing the large version of this image, and hanging it over my desk to remind me of the sacrifice others are willing to make to keep me and my family safe.

i lied, one more moment

hey mike moore you fat pestilential piece of fecal excrement. fuck you, and the clones and drones that follow you as if you were the savior of the country. time to pack it up, and get the hell out of dodge. as vehemently anti-american as you have become in the last several years, i am sure you will not have any problems finding a home and a following in the countries you toured in the last 12 months as you tore down our country for adoring audiences.

fuck you fuck you fuck you.

sorry folks, i normally try to utilize a little more civilized language, indicating a grasp of the language somewhat better than a dentally challenged inbred grade school dropout. but i just can't think straight or intelligently when it comes to mike al-moor, because my hatred for that fat fuck has transmogrified from dislike to a visceral and elemental rage at the mere mention of his name. i hate him almost as much as he has expressed his hatred of our country, in public throughout europe.

i've done quite well

not jumping up and down gloating and screaming SO THERE and whatnot. but i've just about run out of patience and so i must, for just one moment, bask in the glory of the results of this election. ahhhhh. ok, enough. but let me allow ms peggy noonan of the wall street journal opinion mag (linked at the left) to carry on for me in a subdued but still gloating manner

4 more years. ahhh.

i saw a couple of young ladies come into my midpoint coffee shop the night of the election. obviously college age, they were wearing t-shirts stating "MEMBER OF THE VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY" on the front, and "DOING ALL WE CAN TO BRING DOWN HILLARY IN THE NEXT 4 YEARS".

imagine they must be pretty lonely at uc davis, the left wing of the UC school system, yolo county branch. of course, they were damned fine looking young ladies, and we all know what kind of conscience or political convictions young men have when on the hunt. maybe not as lonely as one might have imagined at first look.

drivin' the deere

click on pix to see a larger view.


ever notice now some cameras seem to put on a wheelbarrow of middle when you get your picture taken? me too. i don't know what it is about these modern cameras, but they all have a screwy lens on them


adding this just because i liked it. the kids love exploring and playing at the patch

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

squash the winter blues away

with a killer dinner side dish, delicata squash.


i love squash. fix it any way you please, i'm happy to eat it. but most squash recipes take FOREVER to fix. i have a quick and really tasty way to enjoy delicata squash. i fixed it this way for dinner tonight at work, and it is simple as can be.

ingredients:
delicata squash (but i've done this with sweet dumpling, and carnival squash as well)
salt and pepper
OR
butter and something sweet: brown sugar, or my favorite, Perry Farms pumpkin blossom honey

technique:
pierce the squash several times into the center of the squash
toss into the microwave and nuke for 6 to 7 minutes.

WARNING: failure to poke enough holes in the squash to allow the steam and pressure to escape may cause it to explode like a hand grenade in your microwave

here's where location can dictate the next step.

at work, i pull the squash out, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. then i slice it in half (very much easier to do after it's been nuked. they are hard as rocks before cooking, and need a band saw, sawzall, or a hammer and chisel to cut when raw).
scoop out the guts and seeds, salt and pepper, and eat right out of the shell. yummm.

at home, when the microwave dings telling you that it's done, turn on the broiler. let the squash sit until the broiler light indicates it's at temperature. this allows the squash to continue cooking/steaming itself. prepare the squash as above, except put it on a broiling pan, skin side down. slather on the butter and brown sugar/honey/apricot jam/whatever strikes your fancy, and pop under the broiler just long enough to melt the butter and caramelize, a couple of minutes at the very most.

plate, and enjoy.

of all the squashes, delicata is my favorite. the texture, the flavor, and the ease of cooking all add up to a really good side dish.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

latest photos from the patch

ok, i know there is only a limited sized pipe for some folks, so i've thumbnailed all the images and made them clickable to go to the full sized 600x450 pixel images. actually, even those are "shrunk" due to constraints imposed by photobucket. i am not complaining, because the service is free. just letting you know if you want a higher res/bigger image shot, email me and i'll see what i can do for ya.

so here goes:

how cool is it that we had a total lunar eclipse just days before halloween?


the evening colors were often spectacular. i don't know how to describe the sense of peace i feel out there in the evening, so i'll just let the pictures tell my story.


a couple of samples for the imagination challenged


a couple of varieties of pumpkins pops grew this year


uncle john, pops, and yours truly


a couple of pictures from pop's fruit stand: Perry's Organics Fresh Farm Produce


man, i can hardly wait for next year. this year was a mud filled, crappy weather affair, and i still had a blast.