Tuesday, April 24, 2007

One More
I'm not one of those who stands foursquare behind Sharel Crow.
UPDATE: Instapundit notes"By the way, Sheryl Crow says the whole toilet-paper thing was tongue in cheek...."
Tongue in cheek does not solve the problem either. Well maybe for the exceptionally flexible. But I recoil in horror from the thought. And why can't Prof. Reynolds spell Sherel Crow's name right?
UPDATE THE SECOND: I use one square. This one.
You're All Invited Over For Coffee
I recently ordered a deck of coffee from the good folks at Boca Java. I like their coffee (and must resist the temptation to call them by their initials!) But I made a mistake on my order. I doubled it. I now have four pounds of delicious coffee (the "signature sampler") and many tins of chai latte. Come over to Chez BlogDog and we will drink coffee far into the warm spring evening. We can make iced coffee. We can sip iced chai lattes. Good conversation, tasty bevvies. Drop on by. Call first.
I almost forgot. Boca Java has its "Operation 3 Million Cup" which I bought into and urge you to consider as well. Boca Java will sell coffee at a discounted price which will be sent to our troops overseas. But they go one step further. They match donated coffee bag-for-bag. I am usually resistant to corporate charity as it's too often done on the backs of others. For example, some years ago I worked at an office that offered three options as a Christmas bonus: a certificate for a ham, a certificate for a turkey or the employee could give the value of the coupon to the company which would aggregate and give the total to (as I recall) the United Way. Pah-leeze! So the employee gives up a pittance and the company makes the charitable donation. But Boca Java actually makes a real donation even as they help buyers do something for our servicemen. I think that's great.
Hmm. I might have to put a link in the sidebar.
Bitchin' Widget Continued
Having used the "fuel gauge" for my wireless mouse and keyboard for a while now, I can still honestly say that it's great. But there is one thing. It thinks my mouse is my keyboard and vice versa. Sort of like having the hot and cold reversed on a faucet. Not a problem if you know it. Big problem if you don't.

Monday, April 23, 2007

No Doubt You've Heard
The latest idiocy from Shurrrl Crow is all over the intarwebnets. Use only one square of toilet paper. Tcha. Right.
Eric Clapton adopted the name "Slow Hand." Maybe Shurrrl is looking to be called "S..." Well, another four letter word that starts with "s" followed by hand. And she can adopt another of Clapton's naming conventions. He called one of his beloved Strats "Brownie." I'm going to say that all of Shurrrl's guitars are going to end up being called Brownie.

Moronic Rap Stars
"Timbaland" "Ludacris" "Xzibit"
I'm going to start a rap career. My rap name is going to be "Illiterit."

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I Like Ice Cream
And in searching the web for fun creamery products ("Blue Moon" anyone?) I think I may have found Don Imus's least favorite pie place. No, I'm not going to say. Click the darn link.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Brew Post
Last evening I went to a beer tasting put on the good, if over pricing, folks at a local Whole Foods store. The featured brewery was Dogfish Head which, if you're will to accept a stretch, is kinda sorta local. Well, they're in the region. Not really local. This is the third beer tasting event I've attended and I can say with confidence that I do like a hoppy beer - a good India Pale Ale with the full hoppy fruit is a wonderful thing to drink.
However, last night it wasn't the IPA that lead to my decision to actually buy some of the brew. It was their Aprihop beer that was the best of the night. As the site quotes Ale Street News: A "fruit beer for hop heads...." Yes indeedy. Another strange thing I found in their 60 Minute IPA (refers to the length of the kettle boil) was a serious grapefruit note. That might sound off-putting but it was great. Really. It couldn't have tasted more of grapefruit if they'd juiced one into a six pack. But there's no citrus in the brew - it's just the result of the hopping.
One thing I've found in going to these craft brewers events is that boutique beers are just sick expensive. The beers are also sick with alcohol. Dogfish has a couple of brews that clock in at 18% ABV (alcohol by volume). Yikes. That's wine territory.
Final result is that $10 worth of Aprihop is sitting in my fridge waiting for the proper moment to be enjoyed. $10 worth? Four bottles.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bitchin' Widget
If you don't know what Widgets on a Mac are, well, they're what made Microsoft to put "Gadgets" in Windows Vista. The Mac has a "Dashboard" which can be easily invoked (a leading icon in the Dock, a click of the scroll button on my wireless mouse) and has a startling variety of resident programs with which you can clutter up your computing experience. I have, let's get graceless and enumerative here, a 600 mile doppler weather map, a calculator, a stock watcher, a dictionary/thesaurus, a Skype widget (which I don't really use), an analog clock, a calendar, a package tracker (for UPS, FedEx and DHL), another weather widget with a 5-day forecast and finally, the new one: "Mighty Monitor." It's a "fuel gauge" for the battery life on my wireless mouse and keyboard. Very handy. The same info was avaialbe in my system preference but I would have to launch the preferences, choose "mouse and keyboard" and then possibly click on one of the options therein. Now, 'click' oh, good plenty of juice left. Brilliant!
Here's the page, if you want to cast an eye on it. And the hat tip must go to the invaluable The Unofficial Apple Weblog.
More On Ads
This one's been around a while - the GEICO ad featuring Burt Bacharach. As the GEICO customer talks about her accident, Burt sings something like "I got hit in the rear." Then in reference to the woman thinking about the company's spokesreptile, he sings "Lizard licks his eyeball." And his final sung line is "Hope I never get hit in the rear again."
Burt, take my word for it. You keep singing like that and everybody who hears you is not going to believe you. In fact, listeners will probably be thinking that you'd enjoy getting "hit in the rear."
I'm just sayin.'
UPDATE: Here is a music video of the song GEICO used in one of its "Caveman" ads where the caveman sees a poster in an airport. The song is "Remind Me" by Royksopp. The music video is a different version than that used in the ad. I kind of prefer the one in the ad. But the visuals, a very "Sims"-like presentation, are great to watch.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I remain in awe of what computers can do. I paired my Bluetooth headset with my Mac and, as a test, I'm listening to Mike Cross's "The Wrong Side of Midnight" out of iTunes in one ear through a speaker that has all the dynamic range of a toy piano. It's like a dog that can walk on his hind legs. It's not that it's done well; it's that it's done at all.

In reality, I think there's a good reason to pair a headset with the computer. This should allow me to make Skype calls without physically tethering myself to the computer.
A Bit Of Recipeblogging On An Otherwise Inconsequential Day
The XMBD NMSE made a particularly toothsome dish called Picadillo. Being a sharing kind of blogger, I asked if she'd pass the recipe along for posting, which she did. At which point I turn the post over to her:

Here's the recipe - I usually double it. I also go heavier on the spices (except salt) and usually use 3 - 4 cloves of garlic. When Mom makes it, she adds a small can of diced green chile peppers.


1 lb lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup raisins
1 medium/large Granny Smith apple, diced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Splash of canola oil to brown onions & garlic.

Sandwich (small) size pita bread
Container of sour cream for topping

In large skillet over medium heat brown onions and garlic in canola oil. Add ground beef and stir until browned. Drain off fat. Stir in tomatoes, apples raisins and spices. Reduce heat and stir to keep from sticking to bottom until apples are tender (15 - 20 minutes). Transfer to a ceramic serving bowl (preferably one with a lid).

About 10 minutes before ready to eat, wrap pitas in foil and warm at 350 for those 10 minutes.

When ready, cut pitas in half, line insides with sour cream and fill with the meat mixture. Eat and enjoy!
Of note, the mixture is better the longer it has to meld, so it's a great make-ahead and reheat, and leftovers the next day (if there are any!) are terrific.

A variation for those not allergic: brown 1/4 cup slivered almonds in 1 Tbl. of oil and sprinkle on top. Serve over rice.
UPDATE: It figures there's a Wikipedia page on this. Go thou, and be further enlightened. The olives sound good.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Today's Excursion Into Needless Ugliness
In noticing the recent passing away of the famed Hawaiian singer of "Tiny Bubbles" and (in the words of Tom Lehrer) other liked classics, I wondered if we might now properly refer to him as dirt nappy-headed Ho.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sometimes I Watch Ads
It's not necessarily a good thing. However, ever now and then, every now and then.... Have you seen the ad for a critter control company which builds actors into walls so that the "house" can talk to the owner about termites chewing on their downunders? I believe I've seen a couple of different iterations but what's showing currently is a woman whose closet door does the talking. Maybe it's the overlay of white slats that sets them off but the actress who plays the wall (or door) has the most incredible big blue eyes. Wow. Of course this may be contact lenses but still, wow.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Today's Splodeydope Daffynition O' The Day
It's not often get to put a link and a redundancy in the post title but hey, when life hands you dinosaur dung, sell it as coprolites. And now the definition:

CAIR package: Suicide bomber's vest or belt.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Blogity Blogity Blogity
Don't mean nothin. Just wanted to say it.
Feel free to vent in comments. Or make interesting. if nonsensical noises.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Music Miscellany
I recently bought The Fratellis CD "Costello Music" after the good folks at Amazon made me an offer I couldn't refuse ($7.99 for the album and that put me over the minimum to get free shipping). Being a fan of their song "Flathead" which I bought from iTunes after hearing it on an iPod ad, I thought I'd like to get to know their music better. Good disc. I'll move it into the heavy rotation for the nonce, behind Jake's new disc of course. (links will put into this post later - I'm unmotivated to do so right now)
Which leads to a larger question. Where do you find new music? I don't mean generically, I mean where do you find new music? I've found my new favorites in various places: the iPod ad, listening to streaming radio online (Jake, notably), music videos on a local international television channel (Emm Gryner and a Japanese group called Anzen Chitai [Safety Zone]). I heard Al Petteway and Amy White by going to a Cooldog house concert. One of the other acts at Jake's Jammin Java show was certainly worth some following (Jesse Harper formerly with a group called Old School Freight Train).
So tell me, where do you find music or artists new to you? It used to be a radio thing. Now, not so much.

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's Been A While
I've been slack in posting guitar links as I've been having so much reading the forums over at Birds and Moons. The Internet is here for my enjoyment after all. What are you doing here? But my peripatations through eBay force me to link this beauty. A Private Stock Hollowbody II without piezo option done up in one of the PRS blues (I'm going to guess Royal Blue) with gold hardware and a stoptail bridge.
Private Stock PRSi are essentially one-offs though all are based on production models. Here's what PRS has to say about them:
The Private Stock program is best described as a “business inside a business.” The program allows you to spec out and personalize your own instrument from a skilled, respected, major guitar manufacturer. We work very closely with each order to make sure it can be the best instrument possible. The Private Stock team consists of a small crew of highly talented, seasoned guitar makers. The woods are carefully picked from our “Private Stash” and these extraordinary pieces of wood are some of the best instrument grade woods found on the planet. Each guitar is stained with a complex special technique to bring out the most figure and create a unprecedented three dimensionality. The instrument is carefully guided through each craftsman’s hands, and finally checked by Paul and myself to ensure the best instrument possible. Each instrument is signed by Paul and receives a Private Stock number along with a letter of authenticity describing the specifications and feature of that particular instrument.
What I particularly love about this one are the bird inlays: gold-trimmed lapis in a rosewood fretboard. Worthy of oohs and ahhs. If I had five large lying about, I'd be adding this beauty to the harem. I'd even consider selling my current HB II and transferring the name to the new one. And to repeat one bit of info, the HB II is marked by its use of 10 top grade flame maple on both the front and the back. The maple is joined by spruce sidewood. This one has amazing flame.
UPDATE: What I forgot to mention was the guitar case. It's a Modern Eagle (another PRS specialty) case evidenced by the eagle blazon on the inside of the top. It's suede. Very sweet.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Get The Hell Off My TV!
I'm so sick of seeing ads for Elton John's 60th birthday party television show. As Dean Wormer would (or should) say, "Old, bald and queer is no way to go through life, son."

I didn't think I could come up with another one after last year's "message from Elizabeth Windsor" joke. I still got it.
UPDATE: A link is requested which forces me to get into the Wayback Masheen and find the referenced post. Turns out it wasn't an Elton birthday joke but an Elton getting married joke.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Late Thoughts From Home
Back from Jake's show at Jammin Java. I'm tired but happy to have seen a terrific show. Jake told me after that he didn't feel he was really "on" tonight but, typically, a show where's Jake is not "on" is better than any half dozen other shows you might see. Plus, he'll back in NoVa shortly to open for a friend whose band is putting out its first CD. Details to follow....
Oh, and a quick note - Jake's site has been extensively redesigned. (polite golf applause) Good show old chap!