Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolutions
We all got 'em. Here are some of mine in no particular order:
Use the terms "wanker," and "cracking" more frequently.
Try at least two new kinds of toothpaste.
A moratorium on fast food for three months and then re-assess the situation.
Bake more. Give more baked goods to friends.
Vacuum more frequently.
Hit a blogger's tip jar at least once a month.
Set up a for-real practice schedule for the guitar.
No more playing online mahjong! (Dammit!)

That's all for now. I've shown you mine, now you show me yours.
UPDATE: (Stolen from Maggie's Farm) This year, I resolve to think more.
It's The Last Day!
Let's all run around like decapitated barnyard fowl! Scream and cry! Fill your bathtub with gin and toss in an Olive. Not that there very many girls named Olive any more. But we all have our crosses to bear.
Happy New Year's Eve ever'body! I will *clink* you in absentia as I relax at home with some basquetbol on the televising masheen. I believe in 2010. I don't believe in Tinker Bell, the transformative power of Barack Obama and restrictions on our personal freedom. Ah, but I repeat myself.

Y'all go run along now. There's confetti to toss, booze to drink, cookies to toss and police checkpoints to be avoided. Not that I advocate the consumption of anything that our elders' warned us would make us weak and foolish though! But have some fun, dammit. If not on the Eve, then in the New Year. There remains much life to be lived and it's up to us to do so!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In Honor Of The Latest Islamic Splodey Dope
Ladies and gentlemen, Blue Öyster Cult!



Hmm, needs more cowbell.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ginger Dust
Let me say this about myself first: I am the son of my Scots-blooded mother. There is much McMullen in me. This is often manifest in my desire to not waste a damn thing. And that often comes to bear in the kitchen. Thus beginneth the saga of "ginger dust."

I make my own ginger syrup. It's very simple. Two cups of sugar, one cup of water and a peeled hand of ginger (roughly palm-sized) sliced as thin as possible. The mixture is brought to a boil and simmered on heat for about 15 minutes and then left for about 24 hours for the flavor to strike through as much as possible. The syrup is then strained off. But this leaves a good wad of sugar-infused ginger slices.
One thing to note about ginger is that it contains two distinct type of flavor molecules, water soluble and fat (or oil) soluble. The aforementioned wad of ginger slices still have a lot of flavor in them but it's the oil soluble flavor that remains. Obviously. But I am loathe (note aforementioned Scots blood ) to discard a utile comestible. So I have a bowl of ginger chips
that are 'wet' in the fridge. But I also spread a bunch of the chips out to dry on a cutting board. Those turned into crunchy little chips with very respectable ginger "bite." The trouble with them was that they were a bit too "bitey" and hard for use as they were. So, inspired perhaps by the freeze-dried ginger I have in the pantry, I wondered if I couldn't make a powder of the chips.
Story short - yes I can. I used a mortar and pestle and a lot of elbow grease to grind down the chips which I filtered through a fine mesh strainer into a pale yellow powder that has a sweet ginger tang. I haven't figured out how to use it - yet. But with the preservative effect of sugar, I think I have something with an infinite shelf life so there will be chances to try my invention.
One note - a spice grinder would probably make short work of the chips but I rather enjoyed the Zen of the grinding. Your mileage may vary.

So, the final question is what am I going to do with the "wet" ginger in the fridge. Well, I just some rice bran oil from the 'Zon (love the 'Zon) and I'm going to "fry" those to see if I can't make a light, crispy little ginger chip that can be used in a crouton-like manner on a salad or Asian noodle dish. If I manage the heat properly, I may end up with ginger-flavored oil as well.
Like I said: I don't waste anything in the kitchen.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Little Enya For Ya
Merry Christmas everyone. (hat tip to Maggie's Farm)


Something New
I made what I call "ginger dust" yesterday. I'll detail the process in a weekend post but for now, I'm intrigued by what I've done and am a little bit proud of the idea.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

TV Show Of The Year
Glee. Hands down. Or rather: jazz hands up.
It's fresh, there are evil characters, there are characters to root for and some performances that deserve more Emmys than are handed out. I'm looking at you Jane Lynch, and you Kristin Chenoweth, and really, the entire cast of "high school" students who rock the musical numbers week after week.
Honestly. Top marks and great praise to the creators of a show that's proving itself to be fresh and consistently interesting.

Not Gonna See It
I was highly intrigued when I saw the early trailer for James Cameron's "Avatar" but now that I can see that the story is a standard lefty group trope, I'm not going to give it a dime of my money. And I'm going to call it, from this moment on, "Battlefield Smurf."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Discount Woot
I have a coupon code for $2.00 off an order from Daedalus Books and Music. It expires on January 15 and I'm not going to use it by then. Anyone who wants the code can leave me a comment or e-mail me and I'll pass it along. Needless to say, it's only good once.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Raging Rudolph
MadTV's greatest Christmas parody EVAR. Have a Merry Freakin' Christmas!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Day!
I finally watched Pixar's "Up." Charming. Wonderful. Another homerun for the animation studio that seems almost incapable of making a mistake.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Just Realized
When Obama made that stupid speech all those months ago, maybe he did not intend that the world would "heal" but that the world would HEEL! And he was expecting to be holding the leash of course.
Not so much any more Barry.

Where I Try to Unpunch That Ticket


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Once Again I Punch My Ticket To Perdition

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Have A Dream!
Like the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I have a dream!

Unlike the
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., my dream pretty much resolves to the deep-frying of bacon in actual bacon grease.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Heard Today
I'm hearing from the radio machine that a 14th woman has come out of the Woodswork. That's just a putting green. A full round is 18 holes.
(Dang this stuff just about writes itself.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just So Un-Christmas-y
I could so kill a container of Popeyes Cajun rice right now. I suppose i should figure out how to make it myself but the fact will remain that for about four smacks, I get a stryo pot full of rice, hamburger and jalapenoy goodness. Hmm. Come to think of it, that's kinda pricey.
UPDATE: Or more accurately, ADDED: I recently made a road trip of sufficient length to necessitate stopping for food as well as gas. The stop had Popeyes and my traveling companion had a yen for bird so we got some of their strips. Boneless, so good finger food for eating while driving. I give Popeyes full marks for their strips, basically the best I've had from a fast food joint. Moist, flavorful, served nice and hot, crispy exterior. They're not particularly cheap but in this case, tey are well worth the price.

I see our old pal busted-ass Gordon Ramsay is going to have a "teach people to cook" special on Fox this week. I'll probably watch that. Maybe he'll make Cajun rice.
I Love Technology
I just downloaded a free app for my iPhone that takes dictation. That's right, I said "free." I tried it last night and it's not perfect (though spelling a name in a standard way for someone who uses a variant spelling really can't be faulted). But it works pretty darn well. I can talk to the phone and then have the text sent to an e-mail or a text message.
This stuff rocks so hard. Honestly, we live in magic times.

Magic times demand a Magic Mouse of course (see how I did that oh-so-seamless segue). I'm loving the Apple device in all sorts of major ways but I have found that it just drinks battery juice like a wino with a credit line at the liquor store. I use rechargeable batteries of course but I'm wondering if Apple might consider making a recarging cradle for this wonderful rodent as Logitech does for its MX Lazer mouse. Not a necessity, but it could make life just a wee bit more smooth.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright
In the fleshpots of the night.
You'll notice that I have resisted an comment on Mr. Woods and his ... ahhh, activities of late. There's something about it being a "target rich environment" for snark that makes me eschew the easy joke. But, really, could there be a sport more open to making mock what with things like "playing a round" of golf, his "woods," "driving." And now he's taking an "indefinite" leave of the links. I'd bet there are a thousand professional golfers who are now thanking their household gods for Tiger's wandering eye.
I will make one observation and then lay out one full-on snark after which I will never revisit the subject again. First, the women that Eldred has been linked with are about as nasty a collection of skanks as I've seen. A man of centi-millionaire wealth should have better taste. And then, it's probably good that he's leaving golf for a while. His driving seems to have suffered even as he's had no problem holing his putz.

UPDATE: How could I have fogotten this April Stevens classic?


Friday, December 11, 2009

Not On My Blogroll
Maggie's Farm is a daily read for me so I probably should add it to the 'roll. But there's a post there today that should be read by everyone. A statement in favor of freedom is one way to put it. If you don't visit the site, at least read the post. It is most excellent.
Coming Soon
I listen to talk radio a lot. More than anything else, really. But there's a huge drawback. I hear the same ads over and over and over. I'm going to start a list of ads that make me change channels immediately upon hearing them.
I'll start with these:
1. The "Zapper Credit System." Oh my long-suffering ears! Shut up. Just STFU. If I wanted to listen to an annoying sterotypical New Yawk yenta voice, I'd ... I wouldn't do anything because I don't want to and never will. Ugh
2. "The Talker" for the Ooma web-phone device. Annoying me with drivel will not make me want to buy this device. Pick another gimmick now.
3. The free credit report ads. Nuff said. Die you godless maggots.
4. The "Smart Cookies." AmEx (if I remember correctly) is pushing some gaggle of women who screwed their credit to the max and then realized that was unsustainable. So they formed a group and two years later got out of debt, or something like that. Holy crap. These women did something that was evidently moronic and now AmEx is paying them to lecture us. How about featuring people who never were that stupid in the first place? "Smart" cookies my achin' butt. Go away.

There are others and I'll be making notes on them as I listen but I invite you to add to the list in comments. I know you have something to add.
ON THE OTHER HAND: The home drug test ad where the mom asks the high school kid if he's used "beanies, hydro, whiffle dust, disco biscuits" is still funny. "Shabu shabu, dear." Heh.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ow! Dammit!
Something very evil is happening in my right shoulder. Which sucks because that's the arm I use to support myself against the bad hip joints. My life would be vastly better if I were a masochist.
UPDATE: I'm pretty sure I'm dealing with a rotator cuff injury. Dammit.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I Tend To Do Things That Don't Make Sense
Especially when it comes to ordering online. I really don't like to pay for shipping. I'll go through contortions to avoid shipping charges. Case in point is my first purchase from drugstore.com. I prefer one particular brand of cheap bar soap. Which is not carried at Costco and is no longer carried by my local grocery store. So I checked the 'Zon. They have it but the "prime eligible" "free" shipping soap cluster was about three times the price of a similar cluster from drugstore.com and, my first order, if I bumped it up to $25 gets shipped free.
You know what that meant. I then spent about half an hour trying to track something, anything to add to a couple of soaps. Men's scents? Nothing I like (dang! no Cool Water? no Fahrenheit?) Well, I do need some lip balm. I now have a free-shipping package consisting of nothing but soap and lip balm headed my way. At least I'll have enough Blistex to put in every room in the house and in the car. Saves wear and tear on the pocket. Yeah. Like that's the reason why.

A Quick Question For You
What's your favorite candy? Drop a note in the comments if you please. I am rather fond of gummi candies (recently tried the pink grapefruit gummies from Amazon and they are go-ood!) but if I had to pick out an absolute favorite, I'm going to go with a variation on the basic marshmallow I found several year ago at my local CVS drugstore: The marshmallow itself is cut into cubes which are then coated with toasted coconut. Oh baby!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

One Of Few
There are not too terribly many "modern" songs that I find to be real Christmas classics (this dates back to 1975) but Greg Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas" is one. The original video for this is marred by an unthinking reflexive anti-war imagery that I'm sure seemed right at the time but now looks both dated and silly. So I post a mid-2000s version which hews closely to the original song. It has always seemed a pessimistic song to me but on reconsideration, and watching some YouTube video interviews, I see that the song was intended as a real Christmas song with a heart. And the music is brilliant. I hope you like.


Monday, December 07, 2009

One Of Those Days
Do you ever have a day where you just can't shake the 'tired' off? that's today for me. I've manged to do some household chores (my kitchen is almost clean!) but now in the shank of the afternoon, I'm sitting her yawning and rubbing my eyeballs into a state of (probably) red-rimmed moistness. A nap would be good but I don't have the impulse for that. Which means I might just nod out at the keybosasnsdfglrr l sdfm .............dfbklv....,vad;;ad ; ;la ;l a

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
And it's already significantly melted. Ah well. It was fun while it lasted.



Saturday, December 05, 2009

Alert The Media!
How exciting! There is snow falling at Chez BlogDog even as I type (I'll drag the camera out for a couple of pix today just for giggles). And I got my first InstaLanche! Brought to me by knifeblogging and pancakes. Mmmm! PANcakes!

I apologize for the over-use of exclamation points in this post. Really! I do!

Friday, December 04, 2009

It's All About The Bass
Them low frequency vibes that is, not the fish. Though I have great appreciation for the fish too. I listen to a lot of my music off the computer as the subwoofer gives it a fullness that's rich and buttery. And though I've always liked Apple's earbuds for listening to the various iPods, I miss some of that rumble in the belly that a good bass response gives.
Luckily for me, the good folks at Amazon put these V-MODA Bass Freq Earbuds on sale cheaply enough that I went for it. Yeah. Nice. Of course there's no bass rumble to shake the digestive juices but there's definitely more thump! in the ear. There are little silicon sleeves around the earbud "speakers" that pretty much seal the ear for the sound. I don't know if that's essential to the sound but if i wanted to put in the 'buds to close out the world, these are the thing. I tried it on my test platform which is Donald Fagen's "What I Do" from the "Morph the Cat" disc. (polite golf applause) That'll do nicely. With, of course, the exception of the Nano which needs the control-chipped earbuds. I can make some sacrifices.
IN OTHER NEWS: I'm thinking of making this Celtic Woman disc as my addition to the Christmas music this year. Anyone care to disabuse me of the notion?
End Of An Era
Before I get too melodramatic, let me just say that I have been a newspaper reader since childhood. That may mean I read the comics, and then added the sports section to the read and then added the rest of the paper as my understanding of words progressed. But the "morning paper" was an important and as close to a constant as I care to think in my development. My mother, an early riser, would have the whole paper read, articles to share marked for note or clipping, as well as breakfast and school lunches made for the chilluns by the time we arrived at the breakfast table. I even subscribed to the Washington Post for a year when I was down in the Old North State for the collegiate experience.
Needless to say, it has been easily a decade and a half since I last regularly read the Washington Post due to its fierce leftist stance, regardless of facts or its allegation to be an "independent newspaper." I've read the Washington Times. And, generally, been happy with it. It's certainly more honest than the Post. But the Times has suffered of late. Scroll through ex-Timesman Stacy MacCain's blog (The Other McCain in my blogroll) to read the story. The Times is going to shed anything but its "core" so there'll be no more crossword puzzle and sudoku (actually already gone for a couple of weeks). Sue me but I enjoy those things as part of the whole newspaper read.
I'll still get the paper until my subscription runs out but I doubt I'll resubscribe.
This may give me one more hour a day but I will have lost something in that gain. It leaves me sad. I can hope that at some point a full-on newspaper will arise to compete with the Post but I think that the era of newsprint is essentially past us now. So here I go, posting this lament on the internet which is the very instrumentality that has eaten the lunch of the medium whose decline saddens me. O tempora, O mores! Sic transit gloria mundi.
On the other hand, jumping off at Glenn Reynolds's InstaPundit is a very good way to get a whole lot of the news of the day before the paper can deliver it and there are news aggregators like Drudge so I won't be without news. I just won't have it in the form to which I've grown accustomed.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Things To Keep In Mind
1. Jake Armerding with Eddie From Ohio at the Birchmere in mid January.
2. Al Petteway and Amy White at Jammin Java in March.

Must see both shows. This after totally forgetting the Al Stewart show I made such a big deal about. Sheesh.

Knivery
Just a note for the day - Amazon is offering a Shun Ken Onion 3-Piece knife set which is nominally a $595 set for $200 today. These are truly awesome knives and though I can't justify the purchase of any more kitchen cutlery, my cooking eye is twitching as I look at these beauties.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

If You Love Mark Steyn
And really, who doesn't? If you visit Blazing Cat Fur, you can hear him sing "Sweet Gingerbread Man" with Jessica Martin. It's a little bit of wonderful. I wish I could imbed it but it's a non-clickable player so I have no idea where to go. But you can buy a copy of "Gingerbread and Eggnog" from the Steyn Store. Link to buy is at the link above.
In other holiday-related news, the iTunes Christmas playlist has been officially re-authorized and playing begins immediately. Have a holly jolly!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Good Eats? You Betcha!
Prodded by a post of Elisson's, I grabbed a copy of food celebrity Alton Brown's recipe for "instant" pancake mix. I am quite fond of the flapjack and have yet to find a commercial pancake mix that really does the job. This afternoon I had a visit from my favorite starving artist and flapped some jacks for the both of us off of the recipe linked above. Oh hells yeah. This is the bomb diggity of BlogDog-made pancakies.
The set up is that you can mix up all the dry ingredients and use eggs, butter and buttermilk to mix up the batter when the time to nosh rolls around. I will contend that there is no more noble use for buttermilk than in the production of these pancakes. They are that good. I strongly suggest that you give this one a try. It's not at all onerous to make and you'll get a superior breakfasting experience. Thank me later. And drop by Elisson's to thank him.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Author At Work
As Jerome pushed back the clattering sectionate wood that comprised the cover of his ornate roll-top desk, he took pen in hand. Pausing to think deeply on the scene, he incised a nearly perfect image of the leading edges of his bicuspids into the soft, yielding plastic of his inexpensive ballpoint. Realizing that he was going to have to describe a dark and stormy night, he thought, "This is not going to end well."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Serendipity Woot!
My nice mail carrier brought me an unexpected envelope from Amazon today which contained some too, too cool items that Lycurgus culled from the vasty warehouses of the 'Zon. Having replaced my little cheapie LED light with a whiter, brighter name-branded Photon light, I ripped into the Mark Knopfler CD "Get Lucky." Hyeah. That's the stuff.
It's lyrical, elegiac in many ways and though his voice won't ever win awards for range, he knows precisely how to use it. Warm, intimate and as comfortable as the smoky peat taste of a neat Scotch. Though it's not really featured on the disc, his guitar wok is never short of superb. Which is not news to anyone who cares about music of course. Those who only know his work in Dire Straits probably won't thrill to this effort but trust me - buy this, wait for a cold winter evening where you curl up with a good novel and either a glass of the aforementioned Scotch (give me two fingers of The Glenlivet, please) or a pot of good black tea (milk tea for a winter's eve), put this on repeat and spend a couple of hours letting it pour all over you.
Knopfler is an international treasure.

You've Waited Long Enough
Context. Is that not sweet?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Inscrutable
And totally lacking in context.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sad News
I recently read a report about a de-feathering worker in a chicken processing facility who was asphyxiated when a container of fowl offal* accidentally tipped over.
Poor smothered plucker.

*which was awfully foul

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This Is The Day The Lord Made
As was yesterday. As tomorrow will be.
Enjoy it. Have a beer. On me. As long as you drink with me and not against me.

God made the grains, and the waters, and the tiny, tiny yeasties. He wanted us to have beer. Because He loves us and wants us to be happy. Talk about a blessing! And I'd like to point out in grateful anticipation that He set the world in motion that brings us massive breasted turkeys, (watch it! I know what you're thinking!), pumpkins that are made into pies, apples that are made into pies, cranberries, sage for sausage. Oh, just so many, many wonderful things. Here's something that I saw online that I think I have to add to the mix:
Cranberry Truffles

Heat 1/2 cup simple syrup and 1/2 cup bourbon or water; add 2 cups dried cranberries and steep until soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid. Pulse the fruit in a food processor, adding just enough liquid so the mixture comes together. Roll spoonfuls of the cranberry filling into balls, then roll them in cocoa, mixed with pulverized nuts if you like.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dang It!
It's around 11pm and I could just about kill for a beer. A clear wheat beer, a light beer with a touch of Rose's Lime. And I have no beer in the house. In point of fact, I usually don't. And yet right now, nothing in creation would be better than a beer. And I'm not going to gear up to go out and buy any. Don't be absurd. That would mean a trip to 7-11 at this hour.
I don't buy beer at 7-11. Not gonna happen. I'll buy a bag of chips, a flagon of Gatorade, even a half gallon of milk (for which I'll pay just about as much as for a gallon thereof at Costco). But I won't buy beer at 7-11. For myself. If you are visiting and want me to get you beer at 7-11, I will. Because I'm so darn giving.
Since I'm going to need milk, I may see what kind of 24-pak the Co of Cost has to offer tomorrow. Then I'll probably have a six month supply on hand. Unless you come to visit. All bets are off if that happens. And by "you," I don't mean you. I mean you.

Friday, November 20, 2009

One Measure Of True Devotion
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, or whatever the specific name they arrogate to themselves, is already advertising its summer 2010 schedule on the local radio. What they're specifically pushing are performances of "Cats" and "Mamma Mia." If I get out-of-town guests in the summer, I am actually willing to go to see a performance of "Mamma Mia."
Not that I object to ABBA, mind you. But without cover, you'd never catch me at the musical.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Joy Of Techs
Hmmm. There's a book title if ever I saw one. But it'll have to be a blog post for the nonce.
Last night my starving artist friend came over so I could give him an early Christmas present. Or late birthday present. Or ... you get the idea. He has been essentially sans TV since the digital conversion after darfing the whole coupon thing and he is, I repeat, a starving artist so it's not like he has cable or sat TV. But he does have a laptop and I saw a TV tuner USB dongle on Woot the other day. That's right. We set it up last night and watched a few moments of TV on his computer. Moreover, he can use it to record shows and play them back. The antenna that came with the dongle didn't get a great signal in my kitchen but he lives in a highrise so should be able to get the local channels fairly well.
TV is not a big deal but he's been cut off from the flow of human interaction as defined by the broadcast medium for some months now. He can now participate in the culture a bit more broadly than only watching Univision and some evangelical channel that gives just a little too much Joel Osteen for comfort.
Needless to say, I wouldn't have bothered to ensure his broadcast experience save that I saw the TV tuner on Woot at a very good price. Serendipitously, I looked at Woot just before he came over and saw a laptop bag for $8.00. It was something he explicitly told me he needed. So I went ahead and snagged him one of those as well. If it only lasts a year, it's still not a bad buy. There is some serious Wootoff action going on the last couple of days. A Shun knife carving set for $185? I don't need one but that's a hell of a price for Shun.
Got Nothin' This Morning
So I give you the fantastic Eddie Izzard as rendered into video via the magic of Leggos. Language warning though. It is Eddie Izzard after all.


Now I want Penne Al'Arrabbiata for lunch.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why Am I Not Rich?
Because, if I were, I would be wasting my assets on a self- build P-38 Lightning replica. I have always harbored the desire to build a kit plane but the idea of building my own scaled-down P-38 is just so perfectly insane that I fall in love with the world that offers us humans such things all over again.
Of course I would also have to find Lycurgus a ranch with a landing strip so we could do fly-ins. Yeah. I so would.

Wondering At Its Cosmic Significance
I'm aging. You'd think that such a basic fact would be evident from, oh, about the time rational thought began to arc between neurons in my young cerebroverse. But such a fact is easily ignored as one "develops." Grows up. Aging then is good. "I can drink when I'm how old then? But I can drive now, right? Good enough."
I'm not past my unsell-by date (it's a Brit term, you can figure it out) but the process is having effects that bother and, quite frankly, annoy me. Specifically, my vision is not what it once was. Of course, in a number of ways my vision is never what it once was but that's a philosophical question I'd rather not think about (fingers in ears, "La La La"). I need more light to read now than I did before. I recently went to dinner with a friend and in the ambient light I could hardly make out the menu. Holding up the tealight candle to the menu is ... inelegant.
So I've decided that I need one of those little keychain LED lights which I seem to recall paying about a sawbuck for the last time I got one. Resorting, of course, to Amazon, I found these: a five pack of the little goobers for $7.00 and free shipping. Maybe they're just gawd-awful crappy but there's something encouraging about facing advance and decline and, in dealing with it, finding a surprising bargain.
Life, which sucks, is good. As long as you can find the good.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This just about sums it up...


Insomnia - It's Magic Too
For example, I now know that my newspaper is delivered at quarter to four.

Monday, November 16, 2009

This Whole World Is Magic!
I just ordered octopus from Amazon.com. It's sold tinned, not fresh of course, but still .... I can sit in a seat that's the equivalent in comfort of any in my house and drive through a pestering rain on the New Jersey Turnpike at 70 miles an hour in perfectly dry comfort. I can sit in a somewhat less comfortable seat in an airplane and thanks to the partial vacuum formed over the wings of the plane be pulled 30,000 feet into the sky where I'll travel at more than four times the speed I can drive anywhere in the world.
Yeah, there are problems in the world. We have a boob for a president and mental midget Islamists want to kill the infidel (Can you just kill the Fidel? We'll be OK with that.) But I can sit at my desk and order tinned octopus which will be delivered to my door. Sweet.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Baby Got Back
Baby being me! Sometimes life serves up a slice where the cake is no lie (which reminds me - have you ever had red velvet cheesecake? It's red velvet cake layered with cheesecake and it is amaaazing) and the last few days were freakin' wonderful. A good out of town trip, doing things way outside the comfort zone (I mean, visiting friends in Delaware and going to a little totally Eye-tie restaurant that I wouldn't have found with a raging hunger and a Baedecker) that are just fabulous. I don't know if I'll do quite the same things ever again but I sure am glad I stepped out for a bit. And now I'm flapping my digits at my usual keyboard and running a couple loads of wash. All the 'settle back in' things.
SPECAT: Love you dolly girl. You should be an instructor at Hogwarts, you're so magic.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Y'all Play Nice
I'm going hiatal on your monkey asses. Don't worry. I'm headed off for a brief sojourn in Le Pome Grande, Ooki-na Ringo as 'twere. So have fun. Just don't set the drapes on fire.
OK, you can set the drapes on fire but put it out before any real damage is done.
If you want some good reading, I added Coyote Blog to the blogroll. (inhaling deeply) good stuff man (letting out breath)

Oh yeah: I made a pilgrimage to Costco this evening. It was mixed bag if ever there was one. The bad consisted of first, finding that Costco carries, at a much lower price, the precise brand and package of yeast I just bought from Amazon even with the
free shipping. D'oh! (I'm thinking of making these.) And the other drawback was the bill. Oy! Double my usual and over half of that was in three items: One set of USDA Prime steaks, one set of USDA Choice steaks (compare and contrast) and Gillette "Fusion" razor cartridges. Holy cow them little knives is expensive. But the best damn shave I've ever had.
The good stuff, on the other hand was multifold. I found kimchi there, for the first time ever. Decent stuff too, made either by Koreans or in Korea. Either way, it's as it should be. Then, I got some smoked salmon spread. Which I had to try when I got home. Oh yeah. Smoked salmon. What's not to like about that. If I'd gotten crackers on this trip, I'd be jamming that stuff down my maw even now. OK, not really, but it is good. I restocked my favorite shampoo after letting my supply run down to one leetle hotel give-away I stashed against just such an emergency. Which is good because my stylist (yeah, I have a stylist, what's it to ya?) just gave me the treatment today. Damn I look cute. And I got some "Le Grande Creme" soft cheese. It is the ice cream of soft cheese - mild, not even a hint of the brie ammonia in the crust and as snowy white as a cone of soft serve. It would be effectively useless to cook with but as a snackin' cheese ... oooohhhh baby!
What's Wrong With This Picture?



UPDATE: I realized after posting that I didn't provide any context for this. The ad was in the monthly magazine that my homeowners association puts out. And, to give the teachers their due, I did e-mail the person posting this and the mistake was made by the HOA. Still, sucks to be you, teach.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Free Pumpkin Pies for Thanksgiving!
Stop. Just Stop. Now
Phrases that should be stricken from ever being said again:
It's how I roll
Dass what I'm talkin' 'bout!

There are more but these two cropped up in particularly egregious ways lately. I invite readers to add to the list in comments.

Shameful Admission
For a real logophile, I find that I bump into certain words like roadblocks and, even when I can wrap my mind around the definition, my thought process grinds to a halt until I can process that particular word. An example is the word stochastic. I twig to the idea that it means "random" but what is it that necessitates its use instead of the word 'random?' This comes from a dyed-in-the-wool sesquipedalian as well.
"Quondam" is another one of those words. I should come up with a name for this phenomenon.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Today's Woot
If you need a good flashlight at a good price, today's Woot is a Brinkmann 3-watt LED aluminum flashlight. Think Maglight but apparently withput the beam focus capability. On the other hand, commenters say that the Brinkmann is brighter. $15 straight up including shipping. Can't touch that with a Maglight.
Remember, it's Woot so even if it doesn't sell out, it's only good for today.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Greatest of All Time
By which I mean the incomparable Gene Kelly.
Debbie Reynolds, not so much. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Absolutely Gorgeous
And Mythbuster Kari Byron is pretty cute too. I'd say from the looks of things, there's a little rugrat Mythbuster somewhere in the SoCal area. Pugs of War applauds the reproductive activities of any Mythbuster. Congratulations Kari!
The pic is totally stolen from The Firearm Blog. Click that link and scroll down for context.




Thursday, November 05, 2009

Just Say No
"Vote?" Like hell. I'm not going to stand for this nonsense any longer.



Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Holy Cow!
The Apple "Magic Mouse" arrived today. Two words: A Mazing. Scrolling is like a whole 'nother world and the ability to zoom the screen by holding down the "option" key is just silly. This thing rocks. Hard. Like Metallica trying to prove they're a better band than Anthrax.
UPDATE: There is something of a learning curve in using a new mouse, tweaking the tracking settings for example, but even after this short time of using the new mouse, I have to say - this is brilliant. Guinness scientists must have invented this. Scrolling across the smooth top is going to become the new, albeit pricey, paradigm for mousing.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Another Movie I Won't Be Seeing
George Clooney in "Men Who Smell Like Goats." Or some such. I don't care.

On the other hand, I now live in a properly red state (dammit Jim, I'm a
doctor commonwealth not a state!) again. Good news in bad times.

In other news, I put my Thanksgiving pies order (I give them to friends, don't assume!) in and had one of those sublime things for lunch: the Thanksgiving sandwich (roasted turkey breast, stuffing and cranberry sauce on sourdough bread) at my favorite bakery, the Little Apple Pastry Shop in Aldie, Va. If you visit, I'll take you to lunch there. Yes, really. One thing I'm going to have to try is the Thanksgiving pie: a "crust" of stuffing, turkey and veg filling with a mashed potato topping. Looks quite toothsome.
One more thing: One topping pizza. Really? Why bother.

Monday, November 02, 2009

So Busy Yesterday!
I hardly had time to think. I mean, the clocks back an hour and the calendar pages to turn! It was dizzying. I may need a couple of days to recover.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trippin' With The Snow Lep
Pre-action report: Verizon is offering a "media manager" which streams iPhoto and iTunes to a FiOS DVR. I have a FiOS DVR. I've downloaded the software and later today I will hold my nose and do a tuckflip into the deep end on this one. If this can stream iTunes radio, I may have a solution for listening to my favorite AM station (Mark Levin - THANK ME!) after the signal punks down at twilight.
Technology. It can do amazing things.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Undeserved Grace
I have recently been in the presence of the troubles of those I love. This pains me more than I can say. Then I remember the undeserved grace I received and wonder, how to I ask for blessings to flow to others when I am still greedy for them myself? If any of half a dozen of my friends won the lottery, their troubles could, in the main, be solved. As the Bard says: 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. So how do I get over the impulse to importune God for such blessings for myself? I don't think it's enough to say, "If I win the lottery, I will share my good fortune with those I love." Yes, I'd love to win it but I am too cognizant of the sin of avarice to be happy with myself for so wishing.
Let me instead pray that I can see the way to wishing the blessings of undeserved grace on others. Surely, good things for them are good things for me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Virtual Machine
Things might get interesting. Using VMWare Fusion, I just installed Windows XP on my iMac. The virtualization takes some getting used to - it's not a little strange to have a window running XP sitting on my desktop as all my other Mac-ish programs are running at the same time. But dang me if it's not a whole heap of fun!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Passing Sentence
And so the condemned man was brought before the King to hear his sentence for it was indeed to be death, swift and sure. Yet the condemned man knew the King, for all his power, all his glory, was a vain and foolish man. So before the sentence could be spoken, he said, "My Lord! Give me a year and I will teach your horse to talk!"
The King, a bit puzzled yet intrigued, granted him that year and, should the condemned man succeed, a pardon to the service of the royal livery.
The jailer, a common man but clever in his days, said to the condemned man as he was being led back to the cells, "You can't teach a horse to talk."
"Ah," replied the condemned man, "But in a year, the King may die. Or I may die. Or the horse may talk."

One Rockin' OS
I disabled the microphone on my iMac. Instead of running Snow Leopard, I wanted to run Def Leopard.
Of course now I have to type with only one arm.

Feetsball Redux
I had the most delicious meal of schadenfreude last night as I watched the Washington Snyders get their asses handed to them by the reasonably competent Philadelphia Eagles. Little Danny Snyder's ego play to own a collection of large men who are probably just like the ones who tormented him on the grade school playground is turning out to be just the fustercluck I expected when he bought the team (and reconsidered when he brought in Steve Spurrier and later Joe Gibbs to coach - I was wrong to reconsider).
There's something kind of epic in a team that opened their play with six straight games wherein their opponent was winless (albeit the first game of the season was against a very good NYG team so it's a bit specious to say that) and managed to 1) "amass" two wins and 2) give two horrible teams (Detroit and KC) what are likely their only wins this year. Epic fail, of course, but still epic.
I'm working on the idea of Li'l Danny's buying of the team as akin to an LBO but I'm not sure I can carry that conceit out. But if I do, you'll be the first to read it here
.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Professional Feetsball
OK. Watching the Arizona Cardinals play the New York Giants on the night football show. On the graphic at the bottom of the screen, the teams are identified by the following designations: AZ (natch) and NYG.
Are we not tempted to read that last one as a word since it has two consonants and sometimes vowel? Raaaaacist NFL!

Anodyne
Despite my uplifting, or attempts at uplifting, words below, my heart has been heavy since hearing the news. All this morning I've been listening to John "Five for Fighting" Ondrasik's new disc, "Slice" and it's remarkably good to ease the heaviness. I hope you buy it. You'll understand what I mean.
Anonymous Condolences
Sometimes the Internet is not really the right place to put personal wishes and in this case, I'm going to violate that personal bond but hold anonymity to those involved and hope that in making the personal public, I might not do actual violence to those bonds.
A very dear friend of mine called me recently to tell me, in a rather round-about way it turned out, that his younger brother was just found dead. Then, in a sort of grotesque echo of that, the brother's son killed himself. My heart breaks for my friend because I have no doubt that he will internalize both of these deaths with the feeling that someway, somehow he played a role in these sad events. In reality, the brother's death was a long time coming and there's nothing that would have stopped it. That snowball has been rolling down the hill for so long I knew the shattering on impact would be dramatic even if I couldn't have imagined that the real drama would be in the loss of another life.
Leaving the nephew aside for a moment, the loss of this brother was, sadly, not a real loss for humanity. He has been an alcoholic, drug-addicted wastrel essentially all his life, a fair amount of which has been spent in custody. Of course in our world this hasn't stopped him from being married a few times and producing a few children that he hasn't been able to support. I wouldn't bother to consider what left him this way apart from the fact that he grew up in a toxic stew of a broken family with a mother who was no mother at all. What matters about this is for my friend to recognize that he grew up in that same stew and he is doing all right - beautiful wife who loves him deeply, a good son and daughter-in-law who brought a beautiful granddaughter into the family not too long ago, a lovely home in the suburbs. His life is not the perfect image he carries in his mind's eye but it is good, better than he will admit, probably.
When we weep for the dead, we cry for what we lose, that our lives have been stripped of being with someone we will never again hold, talk to, laugh with, gain knowledge from, feel the warmth of. In this case, even though there was hurt in his voice, my friend has not lost anything that was not lost long, long ago. In the last several years his brother has done nothing but make demands. Money, a place to live, even (I am not kidding) organ donation. Again, not ask for, demand as in 'you have it and I want it and you're my brother so you should give it to me.' This was a life that had become a black hole for the physical and emotional resources of a family (my friend's mother and sister, not his family per se) that was dysfunctional at best.
Now as for the nephew, I am at a loss there. I believe the young man (23 years old if I remember correctly) was not long out of jail for attempting to murder his father. Why would one feel the need to take his life after the death of someone he earlier tried and failed to kill? Perhaps the hopelessness of existence opened up before him when he faced the actuality of his father's death. Instead of seeing a blight and a burden on his life lifted, he confronted his life and could only see himself as his father's son which made his going on an impossibility. It takes an almost unimaginable depth of hatred for one's father to lead to suicide when seeing nothing but "I am my father's son" in the mirror. But I imagine, I posit, I do not know. I only met the lad once and were I pressed, I would say he suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome.

Not every life illuminates the world. As sorrowful as the family is, and I don't mean to diminish their sadness, the world will not much miss either of these lives. But I desperately want my friend to understand that the lesson is there for him: You and your sister came out of the same dumpster childhood that broke your brother and then his son. You may not have the life your fondest dreams limn but you have a wonderful one nonetheless. Let him go, hold what you've made of yourself and for yourself dear. And may God bless you. May you and your family find undeserved grace
in every day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

More On The Mothership
Talking Apple again folks. Not that there's anything new with that.
Last night I was on the phone with a good friend whose family was a PC family of long-standing. He used to work for the feds and needed a PC for the Citrix VPN software to get him into his government computer system when he worked from home and his wife had started out on PCs which led her to become, essentially, a PC bigot. That, now, is moot. He retired which obviated the necessity of his using a PC so he got a MacBook. That he's a musician only made the choice easier as he explicitly mentioned how great the bundled software, and GarageBand specifically, is.
Now the family has an iMac to the mix and it seems his wife is over her Applephobia. Even his mother in law has migrated from a PC to a Mac. Pretty sure an iMac as well but I can't say that to an absolute certainty.
This is, of course, anecdotal but at the same time, it demonstrates what can happen when Apple has a chance to worm its way (get it- Apple, worm? these are the jokes, folks) into the regular computing expereince of daily users. I'm not opposed to PCs as much as I like my Macs. From what I've heard Windows 7 has done a good job of cleaning up the mess that MS made with Vista. But the experience is still seems to me not as seamless as it is with the Mac platform.
And I've ordered a Magic Mouse from Amazon. I actually save money by ordering from Amazon which has a nominally higher price but doesn't charge me tax. I think it'll be fun to use. I only wish I'd bought Apple stock back in April and doubled my investment through today.
I may have to update this post. I haven't yet been able to really identify the crux of the matter. Anecdotal evidence will do that to you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Very Possibly Perfect
If you wish to see how a woman can wear her hair extremely short and look just as sexy as ... analogies fail me. First, Morena Baccarin (whom I first saw as "Companion" Inara Serra in Joss Whedon's superb "Serenity") is just a gorgeous woman - as much an iconic "SciFi babe" as Tricia Helfer in "Battlestar Galactica." Secondly, watch the viddy (an ad for ABC's upcoming re-make of "V"). This is how very short hair on a woman should look. I hope the re-make is as good as Ms. Baccarin looks in the ads.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hole Lee Cow!
New hardware from the Apple Mothership. New iMac (did I buy too soon? of course) and something I just might have to get - a multi-touch capable "Magic Mouse." No more cleaning of a scroll ball ever. Nice. And multi-touch capable! Dang Steve, that rocks.
And a 27 inch iMac with more than 1080p definition? More than HD? Build a TV tuner into that bad boy and ... forget I said that. I didn't say that. You didn't read that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Self Evident
Ripped From The Pages Of Scientific American
"Stem Cells from Fat Used to Grow Teen's Missing Facial Bones."
Oh. My. God. I am a precious natural resource!
I can provide a nation's worth of the raw material for stem cell production.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Narcissist In Chief
President I Won really does seem to believe that "l'etat, c'est moi." I believe I'll call him Leroy Soleil from now on.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Quick Update On The Moccamaster
Decidedly makes better coffee than the very good Mr. Coffee maker which will soon live with friends. And I had to pre-het the water for the Mr. Coffee to make its product as good as it was. No need for that now. Teh noob has a space issue with my scrap of counter between the range and the refrigerator but I'll figure out how to deal with it elegantly. Or at least deal with it.
I love making the coffee into a thermal carafe. I tend to pull the made onto my morning table and knock back my cuppas as I read the paper. The last cup I sipped was just as toasty as the first.
The only thing that restrains my joy is that I have to do some days of sperimenting (Lucy) to adjust the amount of water and amount of coffee to precisely calibrate it to my taste. Not a bad thing to experiment on - good coffee.
Woot!
UPDATE: Not only is the coffee better, but it brews my morning pot o' in about half the time the Mr. Coffee did. And there's no piercing BEEP BEEP BEEP when it's through brewing. I'd say the only thing I lose in changing makers is a timer to start brewing automatically. But two things make that Moot! First, I never used that feature anyway and second, the Moccamaster makers believe that making coffee from fresh water is perferable to leaving a tank of water overnight to get "stale."
I dunno how stale water gets but I generally agree with that interpretation.

Friday, October 16, 2009

And Since I'm All Soppy With Nostalgia
I really, really miss Karen Carpenter. I'm not sure that she would have made music for the ages had she not died but I'm willing to bet good money on the idea that her amazing voice would have found material that would be popular and beautiful. I resent being denied the opportunity to know what she would have added to our musical world.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Let's Remember, Shall We?
Ah, those days of yester, the yoredays of our yute. I remember watching the televsioning machine with it's grainy black and white picture. I remember the Herb Alpert music that was used as the "Teaberry Shuffle" in ads to promote Clark's Teaberry gum.
I just ordered some of the Teaberry gum from Amazon.

I delight in the very idea that all the things that filled the nooks and interstices of our past have not gone away. Videos of ads on uToob, the gum itself. I suppose I could get some of those wax "cola bottles" things, the red wax lips that tasted like ... well, nothing natural to be sure. And what aging child can't forget the dusty snort of flavored sugar drained from a "pixie stick" directly down the throat? I imagine I could get those too. If they weren't just revolting to the taste.
There might be a catalog of disgusting sweeties from the past. And things that are so far beyond the pale that today's children would run crying to their school counselors if they were confronted with them. Candy cigarettes. Gum cigars. Now it's all red vines and dentally hygienic gums. Pfeh!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Coffee Masheen, She Has Arrived
And tomorrow morning, I'm going to be having Kenyan AA as bubbled through the Moccamaster. I like that name. Moccamaster. I am Master of my Mocca!
I'd better stop that. It's starting to sound a little too much like Cornholio.
Are you threatening me? I need mocca for my master!
I'll try to take pictures.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If You Don't Mind Teh Random
Today's Woot is a random five pack of 15 Christmas card boxes. 75 cards for $4.00 plus $5.00 shipping. If you don't mind taking a chance on the cards (and I have no idea who "Marian Heath" is), that'll probably cover your entire card list for not much scratch.
I tend to look over the 50% reduced cards on December 26 to see if any good ones are left. Yes, I am cheap frugal. It's me Scots blood.
Remember - the link is good for today only.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I M F N Nutz
My morning coffee is shortly about to become a whole new experience. Why? The Technivorm Moccamaster KBT-741. Indulgence ranges from transcendent to ugly. In this instance it could very well be both. Of course I've been wanting one of these since "Cook's Illustrated" informed me of its existence. Them recipe-writin' butter-mongers keep doing this to me!
Yeah. It's their fault.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Taking Rash Action
Keep in mind that in my life, the following is "rash action."
My desk has been covered with computers for the last couple of days. I've had a friend's old Dell on which I've been trying to get a decent version of the the Windows OS installed. It has been, to put it mildly, resistant. So i came to the conclusion that I may as well bag that effort. But then I conceived of turning it into a "Hackintosh" instead. Well, I did some internet surfing and after finding the specs of the Dell, and what I'd need to do to turn this caterpillar into a butterfly, I realized that it was absurd. Basically, the only thing I could use would have been the case. Not, I hasten to assure you, an elegant result.
So I am abandoning all efforts with the frackin' Dell. I'll pull the WiFi card and then see if anyone wants it for parts. I will be, finally, glad to be rid of it. There's a point at which one is throwing good time after bad (just as with money but let's not talk politics now) and I've decided to end this black hole into which I've poured too much time already.
So what is the rash action? That's a Mac thing. I've been using a wireless Mighty Mouse for quite a while now. It's a wonderful mouse, the best mouse I've ever used actually. But the little scroll ball atop the oblong ice cream scoop has a really, really bad habit of getting crudded up and it's not like the old under-the-mouse ball. It's not designed to be removed. My "scroll down" (as in moving a web page up to read more) has not been right for, well, I can't put a date on it but, as Staind sez, "It's been a while."
Today the Bluetooth started acting way too flaky for my taste. And two malfunctions lead to one ticked off mouser. Yeah - me. So I opted for rash action. As I learned from my genius brother, if something's broken, you may as well try to fix it. It's not like you can do any more damage and you just might fix it. Though I figured (properly as it turns out) that new batteries might firm up the Bluetooth connection, it was the perfect excuse to rip the mouse open and physically clean the scroll ball.
Rash? Perhaps. But the fact is the mouse is now working better than it has in a long time. It's all back together. The scrolling is not as smooth as new but it works. And there was a disgusting little ball of fluff on one of the scroll shafts. My rash action paid off. I'll now be able to clean this bad boy anytime I want without freaking. So I've got that going for me.
UPDATE: After pulling a couple of things out of the old Dell (the WiFi card which I bought for it when I thought it was going to be used and the DVD drive for a friend whose machine is limited to a CD-ROM drive), I figured I'd see what eBay had to say about the "value" of the box. Pfft. They appear to sell for about $20. I'm not missing a zero, that's -$20.00- Not even worth messin' with.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Grace Notes
Every now and them something comes along that just makes you smile. In this case, I have a low-level e-mail correspondence with a Washington Timesman who recently wrote column on the silly dustup over a picture of model Lizzie Miller. She was called fat because her tummy folded over as she sat in the shot. Well, the fact is, she is a gorgeous woman, an absolute knockout. And her laughing smile in the picture (click the link) is just glorious.
But the grace note for me is that in the e-mail, I got a copy of a picture of all the Glamour magazine "plus sized" models. Such beautiful women! I append the picture here for your enjoyment. I normally wouldn't post a picture of women sans clothes but, as you can see, this is how nude is done with class.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009



Inspiration...

I was taking my morning medication and noticed this warning label on the pill bottle. It has inspired me to get it tattooed on my body..one guess where this sexy beast is going…

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Today's Riddle
What's the difference between ACORN and ENRON?
ENRON didn't donate enough to the Democrats.

There are many other answers in a similar vein. Feel free to add your own.

Aaaand in other news: Why does David Letterman call his production company "Worldwide Pants?"
Because you need pants that size to cover the world's biggest a**hole.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Is It Extortion?
I haven't bothered to drag out my legal dictionary but I was thinking about Roman PoLetterman's situation.

Let's say that I have information about a married man who has maintained a series of inappropriate sexual relationships with women who work under for him. It is information that the person does not want revealed. So I go to said person and say, "I'd like to pitch you a screenplay idea." Whereupon I lay out the situation of which I have proof.
And I go on, "But I need money to produce this movie. Let's say, oh, $2,000,000. If you're willing to invest that amount of money, you can have full script approval. In fact, it will even give you unlimited access to my files for any editing you'd like to do. Of course, you risk losing your entire investment should things go wrong but I think it'd be a great investment for you."

Now, on a very basic level, the blackmail is obvious. But if it's presented in such a way, can it legally avoid the definition of extortion? If so, there's no crime. I need to dig out the law books and double check.

RiOlympics
I may have to do some deconstruction of the Peter Allen viddy I posted below which, I hasten to add, was also posted by mega-blogger Ann Althouse. So I'm in good company. Albeit .25% more gay.
But what I'm keeping in mind is how wonderful it is that Rio de Janeiro got the 'limpics. I have just one crucial thought about this decision: Consider the "atmosphere" visuals that will be broadcast along with the games themselves. Would you rather see pictures of people in the "Windy City" or images of bronzed Cariocas on the beach at Ipanema? Tall and tan and lean and lovely ....

A Brief Thought On Chrysler
Joe Sherlock today has piece on the situation at the littlest of the Big Three automakers with the heart of the matter nicely pulled together: "I was pessimistic about Chrysler's survival when it first filed for that bizarre banana-republic bankruptcy, which I now refer to as Obamaruptcy. And the subsequent shotgun marriage to Fiat - a nuptial which only made sense after a lot of drinking or a severe head injury."
First of all, "Obamaruptcy:" heh! It doesn't roll smoothly off the tongue but it is now an essential truism. So, full marks for the neologism.
But it's the meat of the post that intrigues me. I can offer no great insight into the car biz, especially in comparison to Joe who just knows his stuff. But an image, an idea struck me in reading the post. Both Chrysler and Fiat are like two falling-down drunks and the only way two drunks can support each other is if they're falling into each other from opposite directions. Unfortunately for us, Fiat and Chrysler are falling in the same direction with the only difference being the rate of drop.
As Joe said, the American taxpayer will never see his or her money that went into the "rescue" ever again. All to pay back Obama's union backers for their political support. Shameful.

Friday, October 02, 2009

A Word On Pedophile Rapist Roman Polanski
Don't worry: I won't get into an extensive who-shot-John exposition of all the ugly facts surrounding what the vile Polish director did in his violation of a 13 year-old girl. You can find that all over the blogosphere. I want to address an aspect of the case that rose at dinner last night with my boon companions the Wilmingtonians (recently the Yuman Beings).
I can't say that I know this for a fact but it was alleged in our conversation that Polanski had visited Switzerland before and was not arrested on those instances. Which led to the question of why was he arrested now? My response, based on nothing but an interior synthesis of the news is that the Swiss are reacting to the Obama administration's pursuit of "tax avoiders" by going after Swiss banking giant UBS.
It only makes sense that the Swiss government, whose hand was essentially forced by the US government, to break bank secrecy laws that have been in place for decades and have been a particular source of business for the "Gnomes of Zurich" would have good reason to decide: "If the American government insists on an absolute standard of the letter of the law, then we have no choice but to act on this outstanding warrant that has been in effect of the last several decades."

I'm not saying I have any proof but the reasoning fits the fact pattern rather precisely as I see it. And I can't blame the Swiss in the least. I hope they continue this idea and make sure that Americans in Switzerland are scrupulously law-abiding. It's not like the US is going to be providing capital for the banks now that the Obama economy is failing at full steam and the avaricious tax men continue to make trouble internationally.
If anyone else has a different interpretation, I'd be happy, no, delighted to hear it.

It's Sporty!

I'm now officially .25% more gay for having posted that.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More New TV Watching
I liked the new Fox show "Glee" from it's early premiere and tonight they brought in the incredibly talented singer and comic actress, and now Emmy winner, Christin Chenoweth. I didn't much care for her before she appeared in "Pushing Daisies" (loved! that show) but she's become a power on the tube. Home run hitter. Da bomb. It would be a very good idea if they kept her around for a few episodes.
Her character might wear thin but I could watch and listen to her belt out some absolute show-stoppers. And "Glee" has put together some serious production numbers. More Christin please.
Hmm. Looks like a single episode guest shot. Too bad.
Just sitting here thinking about the ‘Facts of Life” and humming..“You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life... “
(A group of girls attending a boarding school experience the joys and the trials of adolescence under the guiding hand of housemother Edna Garrett.)

My Favorite.. Mindy Cohn-(Natalie)

Was Jo a Lesbian? I always thought her mocking Blair was because of her secret pent up lesbian heat rising when she was near. I think that Blair was totally straight, but maybe enjoyed the fact that Jo was turned on by her. Blair was the hottest, though.

Does anyone remember the episode when one of their schoolmates died of a weed overdose, while the girls made "Feel Better" Fudge?

(hmmmm…“Feel Better” Fudge has helped me through many of life's challenges: death of pets, being sodomized, and that whole enema accident).

Some of my favorite dialogue from the show:
Mrs. Edna Ann Garrett: [Mrs. Garrett is giving the girls their mail] And the rest is for Natalie. Tootie Ramsey: *All* of those?
Blair Warner: Natalie... have you been writing to prisoners again?

All for now..the nurse is coming....
The Restaurant Coupon Update Brief
I just got around to printing the coupons I ordered from Restaurant.com. Stupidly, I was expecting them to be mailed to me. I'll post more about how it works. As little as I paid for these, I'm not in love with the restrictions. But $2 for $25 is a deal. I shouldn't complain. Too loudly.
And as long as I'm on about restaurants and , earlier, TV, I watched last night's "Hell's Kitchen." Sweet holy Escoffier! I wouldn't eat in a restaurant run by any of the contestants. One, who goes by the name Tennille, just frickin' shouts every word she says. Shut up. SHUT UP! Good sweating God, at least turn the volume knob down from 11. And she lives in the NoVa area. Uck.
Following up on reported Al-Qaeda and Taliban sightings in BlogDog's neighborhood....
Predator Drone mission from Claude Moore Park, Sterling Virginia...
video
So far.... 4 Kabob and a 2 Curry Restaraunt's identified...search continues.....
Oh Bother!
First, I owe my co-blogger a note of contrition as the Geelong Cats took the Grand Final from St. Kilda and blew right through Collingwood to get there. (mumble, mumble, you sunuva, mumble)
Secondly, I caught a little of the new season on TV last night which led me to think about Julianna Margulies who is starring in a show called "The Good Wife." (capsule review: Elliot Spitzer, phone home) I am nonplussed. Everything about her should be right in my personal hotness assessment: exotic eyes, raven tresses and yet she just makes me shudder. There's something predatory and vulpine about her that turns me away. It may be from my first exposure to her as the PITA nurse on "ER." So even with the great Chris Noth starring, I'm not going to watch that one.
Don't even ask about "NCIS: Los Angeles." Alphabet police set up shop in SoCal. Actually, I may have to do a deconstruction of that one, with a gratuitous reference to the lab geek chick on the original since the Enigmatic Misanthrope has the steamin' undies for her.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

In Brief
Spent all Friday on Kent Island at this year's first day of the Paul Reed Smith "Experience." I'm hurting in the joints today for the walking around and with the rain today, I didn't think it worth going again today as the Guitar Nazi and I hit all the highlights. By pure accident I wore a shirt that was the same color as those worn by the event staff. I did not try to skeeve my way into anything on that basis. I'm better than that.
I have to mention one of the staff though. There was a young lady taking pictures for PRS and she had the most incredible smile I've seen in quite a while. Absolutely dazzling. She was on the wrong side of the camera.
UPDATE: Reuters wrote an article about the Experience.

The Yuman Beings were here for a couple of days, leaving this morning, on their way to their new lives in Wilmington, Delaware. There's something about having house guests who not only take care of themselves, but did a bunch of things I needed done while I was away. And they crept away in the early morning today without making even enough noise for me to know they were awake! That's some kinda sneakin, I tell ya what.

And lastly, I found something I hadn't had at Costco the other day: white nectarines. Absolutely delicious. Smooth skinned, with the taste of white peaches but sweeter. I'm going to get some more and see what I get out of sorbet-ing them. Could be a winner.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Knew A Woman...
When I was in college, I knew a woman who had very particular taste in men. She most liked manly men like coal diggers and then military men of a particular rank. In effect she majored in miners and minored in majors.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?


Furious And Funny
Kathy Shaidle is on the blogroll as "Five Feet of Fury" which is an every day read for me. I've had the treat of watching her speech in regard to the Canadian "Human Rights Commission" via the Vdare blog. I referred to her as "damnably cute" when I first 'rolled her (blogrolled her - watch it!) and my assessment stands. But what gets added to the mix in the video below is how truly funny she can be about a serious subject. I'd have her speak to any group for which I needed a speaker. In a heartbeat. But see for yourself:

Human Rights Commissions: Useful or Obsolete? Part 1: Intro & Kathy Shaidle from josephinejosephine on Vimeo.


I Figured It Out
I think I finally cracked Victoria's Secret: She's kind of a slut.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Favorite Thing in iTunes
The "Genius" playlist. If you click on a particular song, which I'll do as the entirety of my music is on "shuffle," the "genius" will select songs that go along with it for a 25 song playlist. Of course you can modify the song count and you have to let Apple access your iTunes info so it can apply whatever algorithm those clever dicks have cobbled up to your music library. I was reluctant at first to do so as I do like my privacy but I ended up accepting Apple's protestation of respect for the individual's personal info.
In comments, give me a song and if I have it, I'll generate a playlist and list the songs in a later post if you'd like a sample. I'm grooving to Donal Fagen's "Snowbound" right now after listening to Paul Simon, The Pretenders, Joni Mitchell, Joe Jackson. All generated off Fagen's "It's What I Do" from "Morph the Cat."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kanye West Doesn't Care About White People
See for yourself: Dammit man!
I should slap the fishsticks right outta your mouth!