Monday, December 29, 2008

Look what Santa brought EM.....
Now don't go rolling those "Manson Lamps" at me...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

BlogDog, Thanks. We all miss my Dad, just like we miss your Mom and Dad.


Paul, Ana, and, Angus

Christmas Eve Day
I wish you, one and all, a very Merry Christmas, a blessed time of peace and joy. PoW blogger Paul has recently lost his father and my feelings for the season have been overlaid with sadness for his loss. I knew him and he was a good friend of many years, going back to the Navy Language School in Boulder, CO with my father. My hope is for for his family's finding rest in a time of turmoil and that the new year brings them blessings and the memories are only the good ones.
Paul, Ana, I love you (and Angus too). May you find the joy even if a teardrop hangs over a smile.
For you other friends, readers and fellow Americans, I hope to re-make the blog in the new year with all sorts of expanded and fingers crossed, interesting content. I have committed myself to guitar lessons which I will be reporting on as a method of forcing my hand. Don't worry though - I won't subject you to videos of my learning to play!

God bless us, every one.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

So, Anyway...
The Enigmatic Misanthrope and I are on the same page about one thing for sure: grocery shopping at Wegman's is a peak acquisition-of-food experience. Not that I'm going to detail it all but it does serve as introduction to this morning's trip to acquire a cauliflower (yum!). The store was crowded but in one of those amazing instances which may be due to the more upscale shopping experience and the holiday season, everyone was polite, friendly and generally nice. And by everyone I mean store staff as well. Which, by the way, is not out of the ordinary for Wegman's.
That being as it is, as I was exiting the store, a lady was being helped with her purchases out of two carts into her car. The store employee was saying that she should put the fragile things up front while the rest could be stored in the back. "Oh like the eggs." she said. So I, of course, stopped, pointed to the cart she was looking at and said, "Did you put all of your eggs in one basket?"
She was nice. She laughed. I enjoyed the moment.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Another Blast of Christmas
Courtesy of quondam Stray Cat and the swingin'est guy around, Brian Stezer!

I Consider It Good News
Yet I am still trepidatious. Emm Gryner has a new disc coming out in February. That's the good news. It's called "Goddess" which is the worrisome part. I, of course, preordered it since I am such an abject fan of her music. But I've seen too much of the use of "goddess" amongst women who creep me out. The XMBD NMSE adopted the appellation "Queen of the Universe" which is less annoying than just "Goddess." At least in part less annoying because she recognized her mother as the superior with the title "Dhalia Queen." It may seem strange to you but it was a lot of fun actually.
The talented and lovely Amy Alkon (soon to have her new book "Revengerella" in stores - buy it!) understands the proper use of the term in that she is the "Advice Goddess." Choosing a limiting descriptive before the word is the right way to use the term even if some super-annoying women manage to use it properly that way (cough)kimkomando(cough).
Oh well. I hope the music is as good as the last four discs she's put out. I should be hopeful - four successive releases that are very nearly without a single flaw is one hell of a string. She has the talent to make it five. But "Goddess?" I'll accept it if it's as good as "The Summer of High Hopes."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Today's Whyzzat
I am just so in the mood for kebabs today. And I'm in the mood for "kebabs" (Brit spelling), not "kabobs." I don't know why. Donner kebab. That would be nice.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
The Fellowship of the Ring..

One of EM's favorite deleted scenes
Truth Is Where You Find It
And today, I find it on the intarwebz:
Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she'll give you baby. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of sh!t.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Out And About
No, no, no! Not that way! Not in my unrequited man-crush on the Enigmatic Misanthrope way at all! I just mean running errands. I got a wreath today. As I was driving to the local nursery, I was behind a van of a sort of ugly brownish-maroon color. Appropriately so as the person who owned it was definitely a maroon. When I first looked at the back of the van, I could see the usual three words on the back of self-owned postal vehicle - Caution Frequent Stops.
Where does the maroon come in? Well, it didn't say "Caution: Frequent Stops" or even "Caution - Frequent Stops." It said "Caution; Frequent Stops."
This, naturally, put me in mind of something else I saw on the back of a car this year. It was a license place holder that read: "I touch the future - I teach." My first thought was "I've seen students these days and you need to know the difference between good touch and bad touch." I'm all about the comedy. Not so much about the pedagogy.

Have Yourself A Sultry Little Christmas
Eartha Kitt, looking as luscious as ever back in the early Fifties, sings her Christmas classic "Santa Baby." This is just the kind of song writing that's missing in the modern world - funny but not ugly and draped with class like a Christmas tree in Swarovski crystal. Today we get things like "White Trash Christmas." which, while laugh-inducing is like watching a Keystone Kops movie instead of a Cary Grant screwball comedy. And Miss Kitt just wears the song. Brilliant.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Apart from this, no blogging today. Sickness afflicts me again today though yesterday was the pits. A headache that just could not be dislodged and a sort of pre-flu chill that could only be checked by being under a quilt. I'm better today. Thank goodness as yesterday was spent mostly abed. Thank goodness for the NFL as there was something to watch as I laid there and whined, bitched and moaned. I am a lousy sickie. Unpleasant, ungrateful and wretched. Which is strange because when I'm actually sick enough to be in hospital, I'm quite compliant and thankful for company.
I am a seething mass of contradictions. Emphasis on mass.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Moment of Christmas Gaiety
Yeah, that's right. I said it. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
All right, all right. Snark aside, I present Johnny Mathis, one of the few remaining modern masters of song styling, singing just for you. You who click on the viddy that is.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Last Sunday I had a dear friend over for dinner. Her birthday is in December and since December babies usually have to suffer the indignity of combined "birthday/Christmas" presents, I've made it a point in the last few years to either have her out to dinner or cook something for her and take the opportunity to be an autodidact in the kitchen. This year I thought I'd cook in. (Is that a real term? "Cook in?" I'll say so and move on from there.)
The meal was all right. Not overwhelming but good. Wild rice (cooked beforehand and served cool - should have heated it up), a Costco Caesar salad (legitimized by our getting her a card at the same time), a rather nice roasted cauliflower and red pepper dish (with a caper vinaigrette), a ham steak with maple/dijon sauce (a whole ham would be thusly glazed but since this was just a steak, a sauce was more reasonable) and rum ice cream for afters. It was all pretty good and I taught myself the sauce and made the cauliflower dish for the first time. By the way, roasting cauliflower is just the superior way to prepare it. It comes out with a delightful nutty flavor and I roasted it tossed in a very good olive oil which doesn't hurt the flavor either.

All of which is prologue to what left me speechless. My friend asked me the question, "Do you remember a Christmas where you got what you really wanted?" (insert long pause here ... getting longer ... silence ... pondering annndddd ... nothing)
I've had a lifetime of wonderful Christmases. I've gotten wonderful things from my parents, my siblings, my ex-wife, my in-laws and friends. Yet I could recall no single instance where I had some overweening desire which was satisfied at the tearing open of a package on Christmas morning. This makes me sad. Not as sad as the photo over on Curmudgeonly & Skeptical makes me but pretty darn sad nonetheless.
Is this what it coems down to then? The failure of memory? The idea that all the gifts which were so desired and so appreciated fail in the face of the attempt to extract a deeper meaning out of the getting? I am nonplussed. A more likely explanation is a failure of my imagination that those things seem, after all these years, to have not had as lasting an impact on me as I was sure they would.
I am left with a palpable sense of disappointment with myself. Merry Christmas? Yeah. Sure. I guess.
Christmas is for kids anyway. Really. I'm getting a tree and a wreath tomorrow.

Anybody know if it's true...
that if you send your favorite brewery a plastic gallon milk jug filled with beer can top tabs, they will in turn, send you a keg of your favorite brew..for FREE?? Please let me know ASAP...
(now if I could just find a recycler to take these cans off my hands)
At least I could use the empty kegs as furniture...and yes..I've been known to toss back a few cold ones now and then..

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In The Spirit Of The Holiday
As it is presented here on PoW. (And with a wink and a nod to the Jolly Old EM.) This one I know by heart.

Oh yea..almost forgot.. Happy "F"ing Holidays
I know it may be hard to see..but I wanted to post this recipe I came across the other day. The photos pretty much tell the story..
The Bacon-Weave Cheese Log.
A few notes about prep:
.Put the bacon in the freezer for about 1/2 hour prior to weaving. (makes it easier, less floppy)

.You can also bake it on 400 degrees about 12-15 min

. Cheddar is fine, but I was thinking of adding Jalapenos..maybe jamming a wheel of brie in there or even peanut butter..

Don't get greedy with the cheese..too much and when you cut it, it will explode like a cheesy-napalm cannister.

Angioplasty comes to mind..

Monday, December 08, 2008

Guaranteed To Piss Me Off
Watching the televising machine as I try to clear some paper off my desk. An ad for Pizza Hut comes on, features the "Pan-normous" pizza (or some such idiot locution). Yet when they show "the" pizza, it's not "a" pizza; it's two pizza in one box. O F U Pizza Hut. It's not "pan-normous." Call it a "double special" or something. But don't try to sell it as "a pizza."
Maybe I shouldn't get pee oh'ed but it's just stupid shite like that bugs the hell out of me.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Weekend Embed Celebrates Christmas
This week I have what I consider a special treat. The late John Fahey, guitarist extraordinaire plays and teaches "Auld Lang Syne." It's moments like this that I thank God uToob was invented. 5 minutes and 22 seconds of a now-dead man who produced several discs of the finest interpretations of sacred and secular holiday music ever sold. Here is an Amazon link to a page of his music. There appear to be more discs than one should buy as my investigations tells me that the songs have been cut & pasted to make the diffierent albums. My opinion is that you acquire these: "The New Possibility (John Fahey's Guitar Soli Christmas Album)," "The John Fahey Christmas Album" and "Popular Songs of Christmas & New Year's" (also featuring Terry Robb).
With all that as prelude, I present Blind Joe Death himself, decidedly looking worse for the wear of his life, with the Scots' contribution to sentimental reflection. As ever, I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wherein Fantasy Asserts Itself
Today the serial (and surreal) failures that constitute the management of the major US-based automobile manufacturing companies came to Washington DC to plead for the new Nanny State to open the nursing bra to their questing mouths. I won't go into any details because if you haven't seen the numbers splashed over the main stream media and the news spots of the internets, you don't really care. So, you either don't care or you already know. Either way there's just no need for me to go into all the who-shot-John.
No, I'm a big picture guy. So big a picture that it becomes a cartoon. And my mind keeps spinning a fantasy that should be done in bright primary colors and printed on cheap pulp paper - a cartoon. A Christmas cartoon. Starring the incipient messiah Barack Obama as the incipient Messiah, the Baby Jesus. Featuring the decked halls of the US Capitol as the hay and jackass-filled manger in which the Bama Jesus lies. Looking on adoringly as the Holy Family stand the Unholy Duo of Joseph Harry Reid and Mary Pelosi. You could throw Oprah Winfrey in as the Star of Bethlehem but it's not part of the official fantasy, just a lagniappe for the star-struck.
Into this tableau stride the Magi from Far Detroit. But ratherthan bring gold, frankinsence and myrrh, these Magi just want whatever gold the Baby Bama, the Unholy Family and the Roman soldiers, who in this cartoon world are under the direct orders of the Baby Bama, have taken from the citizens at sword point.

And there it ends. The story of the Detroit Magi. Though I'd prefer it ends somewhere in Chapter 11.

This Annoys Me
I have over 1200 messages in my "Inbox." Read ones of course.
I have over 6100 messages in my "Sent" folder.
What the hell? Why have I not deleted these down to, say, a couple of dozen, in each folder? Do I really need to hang on to the fwd'd jokes? The messages I didn't reply to when they were fresh? And why don't I ever delete the crap I sent? This is like the garbage where the pews used to be in Alice's Restaurant and I've got no hippie with a VW microbus to take it out for me.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Wherein I Punch My Ticket To Perdition (Annual Edition)

A Thought For The Day
I'm usually not terribly aphoristic but I hew firmly to this belief: To avoid being stereotyped, avoid stereotypical behavior.