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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Cat with a Sniper Rifle

Cat with a Sniper Rifle
Originally uploaded by matthiasxc.
click and read, and laugh your ass off. stolen from mathias at irrational optomism. this is going to be one of those sites i come back to time and again. want to see what some of our youngsters are thinking? check out his take on that eco-wacko flick algore is pimping. you will laugh, and then, you'll nod your head up and down. we know most of those weasels enamored with this movie haven't a clue.
seriously, check this kid out. he's got it pretty together.


is this OUR Kevin Mooney?

found this while wandering around the web. check out this article at CNS News. see the byline? is that this Kevin Mooney? you know, it wouldn't surprise me. i've "known" Kevin for a couple of years through his posting at the submariner BBS, and when he was tasked with taking the San Francisco, i couldn't think of a man better suited to be a submarine captain. let me know if YOU know this is who i think it is. if so, it's just another reason for me to bookmark the site.

edit just got an email:
Hal - afraid not, just a tad younger than you might think, just celebrated my 37th birthday. But thanks for reading.
not who i thought he was, but he is a pretty good writer.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

food blog:variations on the paella theme

click picture for larger image. i recommend it only if you've already eaten
back to one of the safe zones.... FOOD. what i find helpful in the kitchen is learning one or two "signature" dishes backwards and forwards. then, you can take that knowledge and come up with an almost limitless number of variations, each as good, but different in fundamental ways. that way you never get tired of eating the same old thing. one of the things i've learned to make well is paella, the spanish dish made with short grain rice like bomba or arborio, and saffron. one of my earliest variations was an orange chicken and spanish olive dish that set the stage for later exploration.

i wanted to fix something for dinner tonight that didn't take a lot of work or fussing around. digging through the freezer, i found a 3 pack of apple and chicken sausages. while thinking about what i'd do with them, i spied my 4 serving paella pan hanging on the hook. dingdingding.... most paellas have a seafood component, like clam juice, clams, shrimp, etc. not tonight.

  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 apple and chicken sausages, rounds about 1/4inch thick
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 can (14 oz) chicken stock, plus two ounces water
  • 1 cup arborio or paella rice
  • 4 marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 8 pimento stuffed green olives, halved
  • pepper
  • olive oil

go to the paella link above for general techniques and tips. this will be a bare bones readers digest version, because really, this is so simple, that's all you will need.
take a pinch of saffron, and toss into a small pot over medium heat. when you can smell it, add a couple of ounces of stock and let come to a boil to bloom the saffron. turn off the heat when it starts bubbling and set aside.
in any wide bottom pan like a paella pan, or even a cast iron skillet (works like a champ), cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil. saute the sausage slices at medium, medium high heat until they start to brown. add the onions and saute until the start to get transparent, about 2 minutes. add garlic and stir for a couple of times. add the rice and stir to coat. toast the rice until it gets translucent, adding oil if you think it needs it. you can't go wrong with more olive oil. after toasting the rice for 3 or 4 minutes, add the saffron, a couple of twists on the old pepper mill, stock, olives and hearts. bring to a boil, stirring to make sure all the rice is in the liquid. turn down the heat to low, and leave for 20 minutes.
at this point, i resumed reading my paperback.
after 20 minutes, turn off the heat, and let set for 10 minutes. again, back to the book for another chapter.
fluff and serve.
serves 2 with leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

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

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

EDIT: this weeks Carnival of Recipes is up over at Right Wing Nation. Serious comfort food in this weeks edition. check it out.

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i'm inspired. no joke here

i was at the health club this evening, and wandered into the sauna for a couple of minutes after working out. there was a young pup and a high school football coach/assistant coach sweating in there. they were talking about getting ready for next year's football season, and also exploring the use of wrestling season as a way to get faster and in better shape.
i asked the pup if he planned on trying sports in college. he said there were a couple of schools talking to him, but after listening to the president's state of the union speach the other night, he is seriously considering holding off on college for 4 years to join the marines.
the coach seemed to have a heart attack when the kid said that. part of the exchange is why i'm inspired. the coach was capping on the kid, telling him he didn't owe the country anything, and that he should get whatever scholarship he could and run with it.

here's what inspired me to post this. this is coming from teenager: "coach, if I don't, who will? this country cannot survive without its military. and I'm young, healthy, and willing to serve my country. how will I be able to look in the mirror when i'm older knowing that my country was at war, and I took the coward's way out?"

bravo zulu kid. and as for the coach, i think he knocked himself about 60 notches down in the eyes of that kid. me, i'm used to it.

good job kid

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Monday, January 22, 2007

hope no new bugs show up

yup, we're in this big rush to punish American drug companies for making a profit. bad, bad drug companies. we'll let no name generics flood the market, and allow generics from Canada in as well. that'll show 'em.

except, in an attempt to stay in business
Pfizer will close three research sites in Michigan and two manufacturing plants in New York and Nebraska. It may also sell another manufacturing site in Germany and close research sites in Japan and France.
in what way is this in America's interest? i've ranted before about the narrowminded and myopic view of many against the drug companies. and now, one of the big players is closing research labs because they can't stay economically viable. holy frack, are we in for a big big surprise. hope i stay healthy and don't contract any disease they don't already have approved drugs for. i don't feel sorry for a company that gets itself into trouble because it is greedy. i do have a problem with a company getting in trouble because it can't compete with generics that are capitalizing on the research monies spent by the big pharmas. who the hell is going to fund the research?

read the whole article at My Way finance

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an emailed rant from my buddy kev

i am going to post the entire e-mail with only this comment: no shit. this kind of goes hand in hand with one of my very favorite articles in the SF comical, linked to the right, and here for your viewing pleasure.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen.
Lets Start off this New Year with the right attitude.........

A Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I starting thinking, What we are so unhappy about? Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all involved. Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home, you may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of having a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes; an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the US , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander-in-chief of an all-volunteer Military that is out there defending you and me?

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells. Just ask why they allowed a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book and schedule a TV special about how he didn't kill his wife but if he did he was insane!

Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.

I close with one of my favorite quotes from B.C. Forbes in 1953:

''What have Americans to be thankful for? More than any other people on the earth, we enjoy complete religious freedom, political freedom, social freedom. Our liberties are sacredly safeguarded by the Constitution of the United States, 'the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.' Yes, we Americans of today have been bequeathed a noble heritage. Let us pray that we may hand it down unsullied to our children and theirs.''

I suggest we sit back and count our blessings for all we have. If we don't, what we have will be taken away. Then we will have to explain to future generations why we squandered such blessing and abundance. If we are not careful this generation will be known as the ''greediest and most ungrateful generation.'' A far cry from the proud Americans of the ''greatest generation'' who left us an untarnished legacy.

If you're one of these Cry Babies------Shame on you....!

Author unknown

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter....don't mind. And those that mind....don't matter. "

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

i am so bummmmmed

remember about 11 days ago now, i was crowing about a new addition to my target pistol line?
well, i picked it up yesterday after the manditory 10 day wait. they gave a free 1/2 hour of range time, but i didn't use it.
when i buy a new firearm, the first thing i do is take it home, dissassemble, clean, and relube it. that's just how it is. i won't shoot a new gun until it's been stripped and inspected, lubed and reassembled.
only problem is, i can't disassemble the damned thing. buck mark pistols, especially those of this line, have a top cover that is part of the receiver housing. it doubles as an optics base. cool. only problem is, it takes 3 screws to remove, and the middle one JUST WOULDN'T LOOSEN. i used Kroil penetrating oil, i used heat, i broke two allen head wrenches.
finally, i said screw it. it's in a box, and on it's way back to Browning so their wizards can disassemble the damned thing. i figured if i broke allen wrenches trying to loosen the screw, the next thing i did would be wrong. and expensive. so i'll let them figure it out.
i'm so bummed

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Monday, January 15, 2007

madame g

madame g
Originally uploaded by bothenook.
now you see why i didn't protest when this lady told me she had a friend she wanted me to meet. who's going to argue with an international woman of intrigue??

ed. note: i should point out that this is our friend the golden one. she is the one my wife will blame in several years for introducing her to me!


Friday, January 12, 2007

a brief foray into the politics/religion zone

i've been staying away from political commentary, since most of what i have to say is being said by smarter and more erudite posters out there. if you want politics, you can find it easily enough, so i'm eschewing the whole subject as best i can.
i came across an article (hat tip to Knowledge is Power) that i just have to share. it's not something i've learned that was new, but it is so well put that i am seeing that knowledge in another light.

Democrat Keith Ellison is now officially the first Muslim United States congressman. True to his pledge, he placed his hand on the Quran, the Muslim book of jihad and pledged his allegiance to the United States during his ceremonial swearing-in. ......

Jefferson had been right. The "medium of war" was the only way to put and end to the Muslim problem. Mr. Ellison was right about Jefferson. He was a "visionary" wise enough to read and learn about the enemy from their own Muslim book of jihad.

and one of the commenters to the article was spot damned on: "Actually I find it hilarious that he used the same Quran that probably aided Jefferson with his decision to go after the savage Muslim pirates who were eventually wiped out.

Too ironic and funny... "
read the article here

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

curiously strong, and a bonus curiosity!

the other day, Notoriously Nice Mike posted about the new altoids dipped cinnamon mints. then i was in the store, and found them sitting on the same rack:dark chocolate dipped GINGER and dark chocolate dipped MINTS. oh, damn, i'm really in trouble now.

what i really thought was hilarious is that i went to google to search for a picture of the dipped ginger and mint cans using the following google search. the fourth search result showed me a whole new use for altoids that i'd never considered. kind of makes my toes tingle thinking about it.
now when i was a young sailor, the lore had it that Creme de Menthe had some amazing properties that ... uhh, scratch that. i don't know anything about this, and i've never been in the horse and cow on thursday afternoons when the sawed off stripper used to come in for a couple of drinks.
it's all hearsay. honest.

now THIS is a reaction!

I've had pretty good luck with the different off the cuff recipes i've tried over the years. friends that have been over ask when they'll be invited back. but i've never (to my knowledge) had a reaction like this lady posts in her myspace blog to my Baked Potato Soup recipe. it would be easy to abuse this power.


Monday, January 08, 2007


Originally uploaded by bothenook.
stopped by my favorite fruit/veggie stand . besides the obvious fruit and veggies, they have a huge selection of goodies ranging from candies to the craziest assortment of hot sauces this side of i don't know where.
so what's so healthy? nuts, good for vitamin e and fiber, and a whole host of other goodness. chocolate. hell, i don't even need ot explain why chocolate is health food. even if mental health isn't on the AMA's list of why it's good for you. and pretzels? low fat, of course. and yogurt? what's not to like about yogurt?
yup, health food. that's my story, and i'm sticking to it.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

new toy heading our way

so, my poor wife has to deal my obsession. some dudes are gearheads, spending all of their loose change and spare time building cars. others are content to while their hours and money away in bars and taverns. me, i am a powderhead. things that go bang and make holes right where i want them are my failing. so, i went and bought a new toy. thanks to the pain in the ass laws concerning sales, i won't be able to bring the new addition home until the 16th, but there you go.
here's a little taste:

just what i need, another .22 target pistol. yup, as a matter of fact, it is just what i need.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

food blog: baked potato soup recipe

so we had this big dinner at our house for Christmas. on the menu: top loin roast (that's what they cut the NY steaks from), a sprial cut honey baked ham, a lasagne, garlic and herb roasted red potatoes, and for the more traditionalists, a dozen HUGE baked idaho spuds.
so when the dust settled, and everyone went home with a ton of leftovers, i ended up with a load of beef, and 5 BIGASSED russet spuds.
hmmmm. what to do, what to do. toss the meat into a ziplock, and eat eat eat. i'll post the recipe for that later.
but the spuds: i had plans. one of my favorite soups is Baked Potato Soup. yes, i used capital letters. what the hell do i like on my spuds? butter, bacon, sour cream, chives ... sounds like a plan
as always, click for more size choices
  • 5 big baked potatoes. if you don't have them, rinse, poke some fork holes in the skin, lightly (very very lightly) oil the skins, and wrap with aluminum foil. toss in the oven at around 375 or 400 degF for about an hour. they are done when they give when squeezed
  • 10 thick slices of bacon, fried and chopped. hmm 5 spuds, 10 pieces of bacon. coincidence? i think not. save the bacon grease for saute duty
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped fine to medium. this is about 2 cups of onion
  • 3 big cloves garlic, minced. this is about 1 to 1 2/2 tbs or so
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 cups half and half. why skimp?
  • big handful of chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 2 tsp coarse pepper
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups shredded cheese. i used about 1/2 sharp cheddar and 1/2 colby jack because it melts so well

first, peel 3 or 4 of the baked spuds. don't get too finikity peeling. i leave at least one unpeeled, and don't get too crazy with the paring knife with the others. gives the soup an interesting texture, and a rustic appearance. coarsely chop the spuds.
chopped spuds

in your soup pot (remember, you will need good sized pot here kids) heat about 4 tbs of the bacon grease (i measured, that's about how much i got from frying) and saute the onions until they start to turn translucent. towards the end, toss in the garlic. give it another minute, then add the flour, all at once. basically you are making an onion, garlic, bacon grease roux. stir until you see the flour has absorbed all the fat, then keep stirring for another minute. add the stock slowly, wisking the whole time to get the roux dissolved in the stock. bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat to simmer for about 15 minutes.
making base

when the base is yummy looking, toss in 1/2 the bacon and everything else except the cheese. bring back to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let everything cook together for another 10 or 15 minutes. don't forget to stir. lots of stuff here that could burn on the bottom of the pot.
ready for cheese

when you just can't stand it anymore, or when everything is heated through and through, turn off the heat and add 1 1/2 cups of cheese. stir until melted.
ladle into a soup bowls, top with a little of the reserved cheese and bacon, and dig in.
lets eat

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

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

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