Monday, November 30, 2009

Facebook: -noun. a place where people who haven't mattered to you for 25 years suddenly think they should.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Two Degrees Of Separation

Spent the early part of the evening at Joe's Crab Shack. "Joe's" is a fairly popular national chain specializing in (what else?) crab, served in a weather-worn beach shack kinda motif.

I've never been there, and a work buddy suggested we check the place out to celebrate my expanding abilities to feed myself. He'd never been there,either. And as a small-town Midwestern jock who still indulges in typical, hearty-style eating habits, he was rather moved by my plight, took it to heart, and was waiting... waiting... for this day to party a bit and just celebrate life for a while.


We started off with a round of Landsharks, on tap. Not a great beer, it's basically Anheuser-Busch's knock off of Corona: marketed as a summer-time-at-the-beach, quench your thirst, light bodied lager. Much like Corona in many ways, but without that skunk piss smell and after taste. I've never liked Corona. But I like Landshark when served in it's proper context. Add a slice of lime, better still.
It was a perfect fit: a mild, smooth taste; slightly sweet with little noticeable hoppiness. It didn't overpower the subtle flavors of the crab and shrimp, and complimented rather well.

Appetizers: Crab Stuffed Mushrooms were mushrooms, filled with crab and topped with jack cheese. Creamy and cheesy, these were yum.

The Calamari, on the other hand, sucked ass. Worst. Ever.
Calamari, done proper, is suppose to be lightly breaded, crisp and chewy. These were like beer-battered, or something. Crunchy. Crunchy is not the same as crispy. The batter over powered the calamari so strongly that all I could taste was the thick,crunchy stuff. The calamari itself, for all intents and purposes, may as well not have been there at all. That is, if it was actually there. I couldn't tell, and I'm not convinced that it was. I should have sent it back. Next time.

Another round of Landsharks...
leads to another...

I ordered the Joe's Classic Steam Pot: a cluster each of Snow and Dungeness Crabs, half dozen large shrimp, smoked sausage, cob corn, spuds... all steamed together with garlic and Old Bay seasoning. Tasty. The crab was meaty and tender. And everything else was cooked just right.
Not a lot of food. But at around $22 for a good crab dinner, I left satisfied that I got my money's worth. A full belly, but not painfully so.

Overall, a satisfying and entertaining dining experience. We took our two-man party out on the patio. (In Orange County, late November, we can do this.)
We talked a little football, and bagged on Tiger Woods getting beat on by his old lady(nyah,nyah).

Oh, and the separation:
One of these jovial fellas was a student of Lovie's back in the early 80's, when he was coaching linebackers at the University of Tulsa.

Because...




...no matter how hot she looks, there is somebody else who is tired of putting up with her shit.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gino's Turkey Leftover Recipe


First: Remove all the crispy, tasty skin from the turkey carcass, and eat it.

Second: You cut up some leftover breast meat into small chunks(dark meat works,too). Place the meat on a small paper plate and drizzle generously with leftover gravy.

Next: Cut up some more turkey, this time in larger chunks, and place on a larger paper plate.

Place the smaller plate of diced turkey in front of the cat, while simultaneously placing the larger plate before the dog. If your dog is tied-up, caged, or suitably restrained in another manner, as all dogs should be, you can skip the 'simultaneously' part.
Or, better still, just shoot the damn dog, and forget you ever had one.

If your cat wants more, give it to her. With gravy.

Place the remaining turkey leftovers in a plastic bag and then throw the bag into the trash.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This talk about Obama dragging his feet at The Brass's request for more troops to fight in Afghanistan has left me somewhat perplexed.

I believe that when you send troops into a hostile environment, you are also morally obligated to provide them with all the means at your disposal to ensure as much men and equipment as they need, erroring on the side of excess.

So, I don't know what all the foot dragging going on is for. The bullshit excuse that Obama needs time to assess the situation before making a decision is just that: Bullshit!
There's no way that The President, with his dire lack of military and war knowledge, is in any way capable of making such an assessment. What he would do, if he's smart (and he's proven such is not the case), is assemble his war council and listen to them. They would, of course and most likely, defer to The Brass in the field who have the first hand knowledge of the situation as it currently sits.

Nope. Instead, I suspect he's assembling his political council, trying to find out how to have it both ways.

In the meantime, every soldier who gets killed will have a family who can conceivably blame that death on the lack of personnel nobody seems to disagree exists.
Once again, not very smart on the part of the Boy Wonder president.

I do have some skin in this game, as my brother is currently still deployed to the region. I would hate for something awful to happen to him. I would also be hard pressed not to blame the President for playing politics with his life when reinforcements for requested.

Obama needs to either begin a pullout from the war, or declare that he's in it to win it, and then actually tell us, in clear language (I know, that's difficult for him), just what "win it" means.
Because I don't think anybody really knows.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Here It Is



For those of you who do not know me on facebook.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

He's Mine!

And my season is over three days earlier than planned.
9 points, with a huge 23" inside spread. He's the biggest buck I've ever taken, and will look impressive on my wall.

And I've changed my mind about retirement. I just can't do it.

Pic will be posted when I return.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Found...

On the property in Georgia. Seems the trail cam has only caught him at night, meaning he only comes out at night, as well.



The rut is beginning, and hopefully, he will forget those nocturnalisms and chase something directly in my shooting path.


If I tag this one, I will retire from deer hunting.
Forever.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why Is He Smiling?


Lou Dobbs leaving CNN for 'new opportunities'


Dollars to donuts, he ends up at Fox.
All the real talent ends up at Fox after leaving these other cable networks.

And the prospect of working while surrounded by hotter looking women would make any old dude smile.

Tracy Speaks


Go read it. And then tell him how cool he is.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Critters Is Critters

Two bloggers offered up these comments is my "zoo" posting:
...I am in the middle of ethical/moral quandaries about keeping animals in display facilities...
...my ethical boundaries about keeping highly intelligent animals in captivity...

I'm not calling them out, just pointing something out for the sake of discussion where they and I may not be seeing eye to eye.

I'm not sure what the measured intelligence level of a bonobo is, but if it's less than that of a six-year old, and such a level would be deemed quite high for an animal, then I don't get what the big deal is about keeping them captive.

We don't let our six-year olds run free, to live as they choose without limitations, do we? No, we don't, and there's nothing wrong with that. We keep our children captive, of course, and for good reason.
And these captive six year olds don't seem to be any worse for wear as a result of it, either.
And same goes for my cat (and the dog I refuse claim ownership of).

I believe that any critter, large or small, kept in appropriate captivity suffers from nothing. They are not like us.
These are still animals. A lower life form. If left to their own devices they will continue to do what they have always done: crap where they want, lay in that crap, enjoy the smell, and even eat,breed and raise their young right there, within nose shot of their last crap...

And if you find what animal researchers consider to be a smart one, 'smart' meaning: able to grab a stick and knock fruit out of a tree, or something else equally inane... keep in mind, if that fruit lands in their crap, they will still eat it.

Captivity, with room to do what they like to do (such as: drop crap where ever they feel like), does them no harm.
And the steady food supply we offer is probably a net benefit.
Therefore, I see no ethical quandaries. None.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

IHOP

When I bought this house last summer, the presence of an International House Of Pancakes just down the road, though not a deciding factor, was definately accepted as a added bonus.
Though IHOP has been one of my favorite places to eat for years, I've yet to venture into their dinner/lunch menu. It's all about breakfast for me. Specifically, the pancakes.
Any time of day, though I'm rarly found inside of one during the morning hours. I prefer the less crowded dinner time hours.
That's right: breakfast for dinner. What's wrong with it?

It's hard to screw up eggs and hashbrowns, though some places do manage it. But IHOP can be counted on to do a pretty reliable of job of not screwing up eggs and hashbrowns.

Their signature item, pancakes, though not All That on their own, are fully capable of being dressed up. And this is what brings me there. They flip a passable flap jack that can then be worked into a thing of delectable, mouth watering beauty.

Due to the unfortunate personal issues, I have been IHOP-free for most of the year. But I am roaring back again. I been to IHOP three/four nights a week for the past three weeks. Life just keeps getting better, don't it?


Tonite's dinner: the standard 'pancake combo': two eggs, hash browns and sausage.
Portions are jewish, but whatta ya want for six bucks?



And the real reason I'm there: the seasonal special, Pumpkin Pancakes. These are awesome. Topped with whipped cream and dusted with cinamon/nutmeg, it's a lot like eating a slice of pumpkin pie, complete with a slight custardy mouth feel that clings to the palate. (click on the pic to see just how yummy this thing is)
You really do need to get you some before the season ends.
I heard very little pissing and moaning from the right side of the blogosphere while George Bush was expanding health care entitlements.

Now that Obama wants his turn, it's the 'end of democracy'.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Day At The Zoo

We spent Friday at the World Famous San Diego Zoo.
As zoos go, it's supposed to be among the best in the world, and it probably is, with all of it's open air exhibits, giant aviaries, natural settings and very few cages.
It also boasts something like 4,000 animals of over 900 different species. Impressive when you think about it, but rather boring and over-the-top in actual consumer interest.

What I'm saying is that after you've seen three large snakes, viewing the other fifty-two is a waste of time...

...and that so many multi-colored birds all start to look the same after the first half-dozen.

I'm sure that I'm not alone if I say that what I'd rather see is that big lion chasing one of those excess gazelles. Or, maybe a snake swallowing one of them colorful birds with the fancy name?
Now that would be entertaining.

Anyway, here's a souvenir for ya.
See the Giant Panda? Cute, huh?

video

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Holy Cocoa!


Chocolate embedded with good intentions? Some folks are actually buying this.
Intentional Chocolate, founded in 2007 by chocolatier Jim Walsh, uses a special recording device to capture the electromagnetic brain waves of meditating Tibetan monks; Walsh then exposes his confections to the recording for five days per batch.
Sounds like New Age hippie bullshit to me...
...subjects who ate Intentional Chocolate improved their mood 67% compared with people who ate regular chocolate.
Well, of course. And I'm damn sure that people who eat Godiva chocolate normally feel better and happier than those who eat Hersheys.
And you know what? I'm even willing to bet that anybody who spends $60/lb, or more for boutique chocolates is loath to admit otherwise.

This is all bullshit to me, and to prove it...
I'll meditate over a bag of brussels sprouts and see if the six year old next door is happy to eat them.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Milestone

Well, this morning I had my re-appointment to the aborted vocal cord procedure from a couple of weeks ago.
Luckily, I shouldn't have to go through this one again for some time. Doctor says this should last me a few years (similar to the previous vocal cord injection from last spring, that wasn't quite as thorough of a fix).

This procedure was a little more involved.

First, he numbed up my nostrils, and then the inside of my mouth, vocal cords, larynx... basically everything from the base of my tongue down to the entrance of my lungs. Eventually, the juice set in, and I stopped gagging on the utensils he was ramming down my throat, all the while I was holding my tongue (because a third hand was needed: mine).

By this time I was already sweating and gurgling. I was able to take a restful break while he shoved needles into my Adam's Apple from the outside. Yeah, another passel of 'ouches' on that one...

Wouldn't it be less painful if they could numb you up before they shoved the numbing juice needles in you? Maybe the researchers can work on that...

Now, sufficiently numbed, a camera was shoved down one nostril, and I got to see my vocal cords displayed on the screen in front of me. This part was cool.

The doctor then proceeded to jab a series of needles into my Adams Apple, through to the paralyzed cord, applying a number of injections til he got the result he wanted.

It only took about 45 minutes, but seemed a lot longer.

I could sense immediate improvement in my voice, but was advised to keep quiet, and take it easy for the rest of day. Had to allow for some healing time. No problem there. I was too sore anyway.

I now have full contact between the vocal cords, giving me a real voice, one beyond a whisper, for the first time in a year. And been making up for lost time the past few hours.

Watch out, world.
I'm back!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

True Fame Lasts

November 2nd is the Feast of All Souls, a day when we take a the extra time to especially remember, in prayer, those loved ones who have passed on before us. By "we", I mean we Catholics, but it's a good idea for the rest of you heretics to follow, as well.

Yesterday was a little busy, but today I took my daughter and mother to the cemetery to visit grandparents, most importantly, my sister Mary.
We did our thing, and afterwards I took my girl on a tour of some of the more interesting resting places. (Many Hollywood celebrities of the previous age reside in this place, Holy Cross Cemetery.)

She's aware of the Manson gang, and of late, that Roman Polanski jerk who's been in the news. So, I took her over to visit Sharon Tate (and her baby). Daughter was impressed.
Even more so after I pointed to Bing Crosby about ten yards away. (She's knows Bing: He was famous old guy the aged folks like who sang a Christmas song with David Bowie, yeah, he's cool)
She was less impressed with seeing Rita Hayworth across the walkway.

Right about then she sees a grave site decorated for Halloween, just a about six spaces down the row from Bing.
Being an older section of the cemetery, not many families visit or decorate these graves, so this one stood out as rather unusual.
Daughter walks over for a closer inspection, pauses a second, looks up and exclaims "Well, of course!"



I guess he still has his fans.