Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nothing gets my hate on like a whining dog.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Not Seattle's Best

Generally speaking, I've enjoyed my times in the Seattle region despite some strange cultural expressions among the locals.
This time, I think they've gone too far:
Business is booming for so-called "sexpresso" stands in Kitsap County, where they're busting out all over.


I know, I know... I usually take a live and let live stand on issues of personal morality, consenting exchange, and exploitation of men's desire to ogle naked breasts... but God damn it, I'm drawing a line here.

We need to do more to protect the public, and shield our children, from having to view this sort of thing.
This is beyond an assault upon righteousness.
It also is a blight upon our culture, an assault on womanhood, and a bad example for our daughters. An obscenity.

There is no shame left when a young, previously attractive women can pour coffee in public view while showing way more tattoos than is necessary. It's got to stop.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's Lao, Not Lousy

The cuisine of Laos features all the influences of it's neighbors: Thailand, Vietnam, and to a lesser
degree China with some residual from French colonization.

The condiment tray at every table resembles what you'd see at the typical Vietnamese chow stop:soy and fish sauces, Sriracha, and jars of crushed chilis, chili paste... and then that dark one to the far left... the other side of chili paste. It's dark roasted chilis crushed and mixed with oil. It's also kick ass, for both flavor and heat.

Lao sausage: chopped fatty pork blended with seasonings, I can detect cilanto, garlic and chilis... deep fried and served with a spicy dipping sauce based upon roasted/burnt tomatoes. Alone, this sauce would make a better salsa than any Mexican can ever dream is possible. This place mixes and stuffs their own sausage and all of their own sauces.
Wrap the sausage in a lettuce leaf, dip, eat... and let your mouth explode with a mosh of flavors. Yum.

Khua Mee Lao: Pan fried rice noodles in sauce with eggs, sprouts, cilantro, and onions

Marinated Beef Steak: grilled to a medium rare, served with a pungent hot/sour dipping sauce that seems to be based upon fish sauce and chilis. The raw cabbage slice is a good compliment.

Spicy Pad Kra Pao: Chopped chicken stir-fried with basil leaves, bell peppers, onions and habanaros. Add a side of steamed rice (to smooth the edges) and you'll want more.

Vientiane Restaurant, where all this euphoria regularly takes place, is a small storefront location with tight seating for about 40 at the most. All of their sauces, as previously noted, are prepared in-house and also made available for sale over the counter along freshly cooked pork rinds (chicharones), fried bananas, cookies and other Lao treats.

I'd say the cuisine is a lot closer to Thai (with more spice) than it's coastal neighbor to the east, but it's the influence of that same neighbor that sets the menu apart. I've made this place a regular stop, introducing a few others to the hidden gem of Orange County's Little Saigon.
If you ever get the chance, check out some Lao food. After eating Thai for thirty-years and loving it, I no longer think of it as that great of an option when Lao can be found.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Crocodile Tears

Not sure, but I'm thinking California is making some positive history at the moment along the lines of governmental reform. Yeah, California has led the way on a lot reform type things, but as of late, not so much, that's why this latest event is newsworthy.

Some background...
California's constitution requires a balanced budget by a certain deadline every year. This would be June 15th.
It was a requirement without consequence. For the last 25yrs or so, the budget has only been on time once, and has been as much as six months late, or longer.
A 2/3 vote of both houses was always needed to pass a budget. This led to much of the lateness, as Republicans fought tax increases that the Democrats always insist are necessary to achieve balancing.
The Constitution also requires a 2/3 vote to raise taxes.
In the past, when ever the gimmicks and hat tricks ran out, there were always the 2-3required GOP votes, after much arm wrestling, to get the budgets passed/taxes increased. Generally, these were sacrificial lambs, those who were term-limited out of the voters wrath.

Some nearer background:
Last election cycle saw a proposition put before, and approved by, the voters, sponsored by liberal teet-sucker groups with the full support of the Democrat Party, that would allow a balanced budget with a simple majority vote. The hitch: if not met by the constitutional deadline, all legislators' pay and per diem would be forfeited. Not merely deferred.
The Democrats loved this proposition. Loved it hard. Now, by simple majority vote, they would be able to have their way without those pesky GOP guys throwing wrenches and demanding compromises.

Today: California faces a 9-point something billion dollar deficit. The GOP, powerless to have any say, stayed out of the budget process while the Governor (Brown, yeah... that Brown)begged and pleaded them to go along with additional tax increases while placing more tax increases on the ballot.

The GOP held firm, promising a only to place taxes on the ballot IF public employee pension reform was also on the ballot. (A large part of the state's budget woe results from unfunded pension obligations.) The Governor was unwilling to throw his benefactors under the bus, so we now have what we have.

At basically the midnight hour, June 15th, the Democrats passed a 'balanced budget' that included understated obligations, over-stated revenue sources and non-existent taxes and fees... cheering publicly that they had performed their duty and would be receiving their pay checks as scheduled.
The next day, Governor Brown vetoed the fairy tale budget calling it, basically... a fairy tale budget.

Last Monday...
State Treasurer John Chiang, the one who signs the paychecks, declared the budget null, in bad faith, and about $2 Billion out of balance. He also announced that the legislators had not met their obligation, and have forfeited all pay and per diem (somewhere around $400+ per day) until they do.

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth before the cameras from the Democrats on California's Capital Hill.

I'm loving it.
Politicians who are not doing their job are not getting paid.
What's not to love?

The only improvement I'd like to offer: take all their pay,their jobs and including health and pension benefits. In short: terminate them. That's what would happen to me if I didn't do my job, wouldn't it?

(I expect our next Governor to be of Chinese decent, and named 'John')

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Was It Something I Said?

No less than three inhabitors of this blog roll are currently expecting babies. It's nice to see that some folks are not only taking our entitlement time-bomb seriously, but also are willing to be proactive toward a solution.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Trip

An early Father's Day had my son accompanying his Dad, who truly is the greatest Dad in the world(just ask him... his Dad, I mean), to someplace he's never gone before: The Arthouse.

The Trip is a film about two British comedians who travel the northern English countryside because one of them has an assignment for a magazine concerning the finest restaurants in the area and, for some reason, is unable to bring his girlfriend along so opts for his friend and rival actor to go with with.

The film consists largely of banter and insults delivered tween bites of fancy dishes with the picturesque countryside as backdrop.

B O R I N G ! ! ! !

We walked out after about 45 minutes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I urge you all to read the latest post at Brian's. It covers some pretty serious stuff.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Can't Unring This Bell

I'm tempted to the think that releasing all of Sara Palin's e-mails, both private and official, have set a new standard for 'transparency in government'. It's just a matter of how soon the Tea Party folks will make the same release of information requests of President Obama's email, or whoever they want to attempt dirt digging on.

This could get interesting as democrats will be subject to the same scrutiny that republicans get from the large press syndicates.

The Hangover Part II

The original Hangover was pretty funny, though the humor got a little too low to tickle my funny bone in a few places.

Sure, not much is different, with the same formula being followed:
A trashed hotel room in a party city, an strange animal, a wedding to go to, a missing person to find, permanent body damage, an Asian gangster, and a cameo by Mike Tyson.

So... you have the same plot and gags, wrapped in the same paper, but with a different bow with all the lowest elements carried forward while the true wit and brilliance from the original was dumped in the gutter, literally.

I barely got a chuckle and half of a giggle the whole time, but the rest of the audience seemed to really love it. To each his own, I guess, but the monkey was pretty cool.

So... I wasn't expecting much from The Hangover Part II that would differentiate from the original in any quantitative sense, and for this reason I was hesitant to waste my time on it.
I should have have followed my instincts.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

In recent conversation with kr concerning her brownie recipe I offered up my Pound Cake recipe. Here it is. This is simple, and yet so awesome you'll believe it was from scratch instead of a bootlegged box mix.
You will need:

-- 1 box of Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Yellow cake mix (another mix won't work, so don't even go there)
-- 8oz of cream cheese, softened
-- 4 eggs
-- 1/2 cup oil, canola works the best, get it
-- 1/2 cup hot water. not boiling, just hot
-- 1/2 cup sugar
-- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
-- 1 Teaspoon vanilla

Mix it all up like ya do...

... and pour into a greased and floured TUBE PAN. You really need a TUBE PAN for this. It's a large cake, and if you use a Bundt it will overflow and make a mess inside your oven. You don't want that. (If you aren't sure, yes, a Tube Pan is what you would use for Angel Food or Chiffon cakes).

Bake for about 90 minutes at 300 degrees (You can bake at higher temps, but the slower rise of 300 really does work best), until a light brown surface appears on top and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan.

It's good with strawberries or any other topping, but I prefer just eating it plain.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This is Weiner-free zone.

Monday, June 6, 2011

And Raising By Ten More

Hey Spike watchers!
This is what a Decade Of Hotness looks like, and then some...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Fix Was In

Some things I will never understand.
Like, for instance, how the hell this homely ass women was able to convince so many tube watchers of her hotness?

Looking absolutely stunning in a simple black mini-dress and shorter locks, Jennifer Aniston is crowned with the Decade of Hotness award, one of the night's highest honors,...
Are you fucking kidding me? And when does she ever not wear a black dress accompanied with flat, blown out tresses?

during Spike TV's 5th Annual "Guys Choice Awards" ...
'Guys Choice? Hmm... I don't remember being asked what my choice was. How about it, guy readers? Did you get your ballot in the mail, or was it a phone interview?
I know, I know... "Eye of the beholder" and all that, but still... I do know my vote didn't go to to the same woman who lost her husband's eye to the tattoo'd freak show known as Angelina.

A rigged vote if you ask me. Spike TV, who's target audience comprises of males tween 15 and 25, just happens to see uber-hotness in a minimally talented 42yr old spinster? Yeah, right...

(Link to the story)

Friday, June 3, 2011

If You Haven't Seen It Already

Why is it that a 10 yr old can sing the national anthem without adding 36 extra syllables to "Land of the free, and the home of the brave" but none of those other professionals can figure that part out?

Sure, it's a bitch of a song to sing anyway, but this young lady nails it just fine.

(Link for the story)