Monday, August 31, 2009

Do You Eat Out?
Watch it! I mean do you patronize restaurants? If so, you might want to look at for some deals on meals. The gig is that you buy "gift certificates" which come with some restrictions - notably that you can only use (I'll take as an example a sushi restaurant in my neighborhood - Aoba Sushi) say, a $25 certificate when you spend $35. And the certificate itself costs $10. So you would be getting a discount of $15 which is still a good deal.
Here's the reason for the post today - if you buy yourself some certificates today (the last day of the offer) and enter the code "TASTE" in the coupon code box, you get an 80% discount on the certificates. Thus a $25 certificate (priced at $10) would cost you $2 making the projected $35 meal cost you a total of $12. Deal. I ordered a few for a local place to which I have not been yet so I get to try it out for not a helluva a lot of money.
You can sort restaurants by zip code and I'd like to point out to my co-blogger the Enigmatic misanthrope that his favorite hangout, the Backdoor Bar and Grill offers certificates. Enh? Enh?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This Is The Day The Lord Made
God bless us, each and every one. I am praying for more people than I ever have in my life and my prayer is always for grace.

I deserve approbation though for not acknowledging the natal anniversary of Lycurgus, AKA Phillymon. Happy belated birthday brother! I have been turning over a suitable gift for you since finding that what I wanted to give you was sold out. And I'll make it public prior to my assembling and shipping - a big box of Japanese foods that will take you back to your childhood. Dried squid, dried bonito for katsuobushui, yokan (if it ships and I think it does), furikake, fukujinzuke. I hope you'll like what I cobble together.

And in other news, the phormer Philly Boys, now the Yumans are coming back, back I say! to the East Coast. It looks as though Wilmington, DE (just a snip off Philly all told) will be the new site of the Boys. So it looks like I'll be having more houseguests in September. And thank goodness I don't have to deal with 3000 miles and desert heat to visit them. Oy. I don't care it's a dry heat. What am I a scorpion I should live in the desert?

Friday, August 28, 2009

I just bought a boat. I can't wait to have sex on "The Angry Clam". That's what I named it.
Sectual Deviates
Snake handlers: A cult of poisonality.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"The work will begin anew, the hope will rise again, and the dream lives on."
Kennedy Death Day
The celebrations will commence shortly. Idiots can celebrate his life. Thinking people can celebrate his death. The runt of the litter outlived all the others. Highly unusual.
As the old, old saying goes: Good riddance to bad rubbish.
UPDATE: I was turning over in my mind my line above about the runt of the litter when I had the revelation. This was the Kennedy that was not worth killing. Of course the people of Massachusetts hold him in awe which says more about them than about him. It's really time for the Kennedy mythos to die.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ow! Ow! Bloody Buggering Ow!
Gouty right great toe today. Not the worst I've had but it makes walking painful and I'm peeved as I'm not eating a gout inducing diet right now. Unless metabolizing my own fat would be gout-inducing. Now that would suck like a black hole: lose weight and hurt like a smashed Smurf while doing so.
Oh bother.

Monday, August 24, 2009

More Adventures In The Kitchen
OK folks - this one's dead easy. Chocolate syrup. I made it with Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder which is all I had to hand. Heh heh heh! "All" I had to hand was Hershey's Special Dark. I used it to make some chocolate milk this evening and all I can say is "Oh my. This is quite tasty." Consider it a more adult version of chocolate milk, made so I daresay by the use of that particular cocoa powder. I'd like to take this opportunity to suggest that you take about ten minutes out of your busy day and make some of this.
Now, the rule is that if you start with something, it must be altered before it is left behind. It is a basic rule of cooking: I've effed with the basic recipe so it's mine! Damn your eyes! What to do, then, with chocolate syrup? let me toss out a few softballs for y'all to bat back at me. Trade the sugar for Splenda and find something to give it the body that would then be lacking. Gelatin? Cornstarch? I'm inclined toward gelatin as the amount of cornstarch needed to thicken a batch of syrup would not be enough to provide enough mass, whereas the gelatin might.
I might have to get some vanilla ice cream to try the old "pour it over" trick. Kind of a classic, doncha think?

A Snip On Footy
I appear to have been prescient in warning the cat fancying Enigmatic Misanthrope that the Geelong Cats, despite their sterling record, were not the best bet for the AFL Premiership. To wit, a quote from Rohan Connolly in Oz's The Age:
Just a few weeks ago, the AFL premiership seemed a race in two between St Kilda and Geelong. Now, a week out from the finals, the flag could be anyone's.

When the Saints and Cats clashed in round 14, both were undefeated. But Geelong has lost four of its past eight games. Yesterday, St Kilda, after having strung 19 consecutive wins together, lost its second in a row, this time by five points to North Melbourne.

St Kilda and Geelong will still finish the home-and-away season next week in the top two spots on the AFL ladder. But coming hard are Collingwood, which yesterday against Sydney won the 12th of its past 13 matches, and the Western Bulldogs, who beat the Cats on Friday night.
Go Magpies!

Friday, August 21, 2009

"Hi, Enigmatic Misanthrope Here”.
Just when you thought everything that could be invented, has been, we can still surprise you! Here’s an ass paper that would make Madame Curie’s “onion ring” burn.

“That’s the Power of 9-ply Glow in the Dark Toilet Roll!”
That’s right folks, 9-ply!!
Imagine never having a messy breakthrough in the dark ever again!

Now you’ll always be able to find the toilet paper, even in the dark, with this new Glow in the Dark Toilet Paper! Perfect for power cuts, this groovy glowing stool scraper means that if you don’t want to wake anyone up in your household by turning on the light, it’ll cast its green glow over your bathroom, so you can find your way around.
"Order right now and we'll double the value and include a free case of cute SpongeBob SquarePants colostomy bags"; "Here's how to order" ...

**EM Note**
Luminescence is accomplished with radium-infused cotton fibers. 12 micrograms radium per 9 ply sheet. Results of long term use may include: Hypertrophic-megacolon prolapse, Godzilla-hemorrhoiditis, Yam bag rot, asshole fallout-itis, blindness, coma and death.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Can See Clearly Now
I was planning on doing a little posting yesterday but after being toasted on Sunday, I was flying blind yesterday. My eyes were just a mess all day long - it's as if they were simultaneously too dry and producing gunk at the same time. I was needing lots of light to read and it was just so much more comfortable to keep the orbs closed. (shrugs) Today is all right. I might actually get something done for a change.
And my lesbian girlfriend is in town so we'll probably get together for lunch or something like that. And if you don't get the phrase: she is on the other team but she's a sweetheart and we have been incredible friends almost from the moment we met. She's a Floridian so our chances to share time are limited.
UPDATE: Quite a lovely time, really. We wound up having diner at the Sweetwater Tavern, one of my favorite local haunts. I had "Tex-Mex Eggrolls" for starters (two words: yuh um!) and though I was tempted for a moment by the prime rib, I knew I couldn't do any more than a burger. I opted for sweet potato fries for the first time and I must say they are a vastly preferable choice to the regular fries or even the delicious mashed version Sweetwater serves - more fully flavored, crisp exterior fry on a substantial starchy core. Nice. My companion chose a salmon dish which had flash fried yucca strips. To be honest, on looking at them, I thought it was a pita chip of some kind but the skin down the side showed that it wasn't. Even after tasting a bite I didn't identify it as yucca. Which is not entirely a bad thing.
But the best part of the whole evening was the catching up. I believe that is the way it should be with friends.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday is a day of rest. Thank God for that because Saturday was a day of huge party on the green with dear friends and people I've never met in Sharpsburg Maryland. I didn't get home til 3:00 am and I've been toasted all day. But it was a wonderful time.
By the way, the feeling you get when you find out you weren't invited to someone's party is called "shindignation."

Blogging should ramp up starting tomorrow. "Should," I said.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Woodstock 40th Aniversary

Here is arguably one of the top 5 performances at Woodstock.

The video proves that John Belushi wasn't making it up when he parodied Joe Cocker on Saturday Night Live.

The other 4 top performances, according to Pete Fornatale, author of "Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock" were Richie Havens, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and Sly and the Family Stone.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Is It Just Me?
Or does the pronunciation of the name "Albert Pujols" make anyone else want to laugh?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dogged Days of Summer
It's turned nasty hot in the last couple of days and I'm delightfully tired after hosting for several days. Lois is the kind of house guest anyone would want - my guest room is cleaner then when she arrived. (goalloprah) Girl, if you're that good a guest, you can stay at my crib any ol' time!(/goalloprah)
Also the week looks busy with a ship load (you thought I was going say something different, didn't you? yeah, I knew ya did) of quotidian things to do and my adopted family in Western Maryland is having one of their massive field parties this Saturday. Fun, fun, fun and there's no T-bird for daddy to take away.
So expect more blogging next week from me. Maybe the EM and Paul can pick up a few more days of fun 'n' games and viddies.

Friday, August 07, 2009

This is for my friends Bob Cooney and Glenn Eliot.

The harmonies remain spot-on after 30 years, and their lyrics reflect upon themselves. In sum, they are artists. Please forgive the rusty musicianship. Their story is too sweet and too long to transcribe via blogger.

Here are the best lyrics:

"I got everything I want
I can't help it if I don't

Baby, don't you worry about me.

I've been hiding out on the highway,
riding down the road

Baby, don't you worry about me."

Hope you enjoy!
Just Too Cool

The promised picture of the title page. Again, this was made possible by Amy Alkon whose time and attention I had no claim on in any way. So I'll remain in devotion to her for any amount of time I can imagine. As I mentioned previously, she has a book coming out which available for pre-order from Amazon, "I See Rude People: One Woman's Battle to Beat Some Manners into Impolite Society" (link goes to Amy's Amazon Mall - why not get it through her portal and let her reap a few more pence from the deal, eh?) I can definitely say that it'll be worth the read. I read her blog just about every day and her columns when I can stomach the idiocy of the world as it's spinning now. But what remains is Amy's good, common sense. I'm not saying I don't differ with her on somethings (I keep my belief in God, she's not going to go along with that) but in the living of daily life, the girl's got it goin' on - smart and sharp which I'm sure will inform the book's writing. Plus she gets to hang with Dr. Helen. I'm jealous. Jealous but not bitter, look at the nice thing she did for me!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Day Late
Dang it! I've been busy enough to be offline for a good portion of the last couple of days which led me to miss Joe Sherlock's birthday. Yesterday the esteemed Joe turned 66 - it's a Route, it's birthday, it's two, two things in one! Joe notes his genetic heritage argues in favor of his mortality but I, for one, am damned grateful that he's managed to skirt the boneyard and become a real online friend. Joe, you have a belated birthday tipple or, for that matter, a birthday dinner, waiting for you in Northern Virginia should you be coming this way. Happy Birthday and may there be many, many more.
And, should there be any doubt about my tagging this post with "mitzvah," I consider Joe a blessing. So there.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

EM's Hobby Corner
Making Dioramas is a wonderful hobby that can exhibit an extraordinary wide range of creativity. You can make a diorama of almost any scene your mind can imagine.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Workin' Here Boss
This is one of those parenthetical posts - stuff that I dig that probably matters not a whit to anyone else. But I post anyway. Pbbblllttt!
A friend of mine has/had an external hard drive that went south. Opening it up seems the thing to do but the case was remarkably monolithic. At least in appearance. I did a little online research which seemed to indicate that there were clips that could be loosened with a long blade slipped down inside the case. I passed that info on. I was wrong. I really needed to see the darn thing, hold it in my moist and delicate hands. Well, I got the thing delivered to me.
I've got to say, there was some kinda main force applied to the back cover of the drive - it was all bent outta shape. But still attached. What caught my eye, though, was a little sticker on the bottom that said something on the order of "removing this sticker voids warranty." Why would that be? I mused. Followed immediately by the realization that the warranty wasn't really the problem.
So I scraped the sticker off to reveal a pair of little screw heads. Aha! indeed. Unscrewing them allowed the guts of the drive to slide right out, easy peasy. Whereupon I proceeded to take down the internals to component parts which importantly consisted of two 500GB Seagate drives.
I then ordered a couple of external drive enclosures and have tried one drive in one new enclosure but it booted neither on my iMac, nor on my friend's PC. The idea was, of course, to rescue the data on the drive/s and then set them up as a couple of external drives as needed. But my enthusiasm for the project obscured my gathering basic background info. To wit: the original problem was actually that the power supply would not plug in properly. The drive had a four-pin socket and I saw that the problem (which I could have solved before removing anything) was that one of the pins had been pushed out of position and stopped the plug from seating. I gingerly tried to move the pin to its full upright and seat back position but it had been wiggled enough that it just broke off at that point.
What do I do, what do I do? Go to the maker's website of course and after spending an inordinate amount of time peering at the power supplies they offer, finding what I truly believe is the right one. So, harking back to the post title, what have I been doing this afternoon? Reassembling a naked hard drive so that when I get the power supply, I can boot this sucker up and get at all the good bits. And bytes. Workin' here boss. Makin' more work for myself than I really should but, hey. Workin' here, boss.

Monday, August 03, 2009

I Give Thanks In This World Too
Shortly I'll be posting a picture of the title page of my copy of Elmore Leonard's new book "Road Dogs" which I'm currently reading. Actually "devouring" would be a better term. The book has been reviewed by better critics than I and raved over, not to mention having a full four stars of Amazon reader reviews so I won't go into all the details though I will say everything you've ever heard about Leonard's writing is absolutely spot on: the story rockets off the pad on page one and the dialogue is crackling.
But the excellence of the book is not the point of the post. The point is to give a huge shout out to Advice Goddess Amy Alkon who was instrumental in my getting the book autographed. In fact the book link above goes to Amy's Amazon mall which is a very good way to order not just the book but other Amazonia as she gets a spiff in the process. I don't think it's quite right to go into all the process of how I ended up getting the signed book but it was through Amy and her man Gregg's good graces that I now have this wonderful thing (I am stupid crazy for autographed books as long as they're autographed to me). So I hereby publicly say that Amy is more than an Advice Goddess, she is a Manolo-esque Superfantastic Person. And I'll say the same about Gregg despite my direct interactions being solely with Amy. Thank you, thank you, thank you both.
Plus this also gives me a moment to say what a wonderful thing the internet is. It's through the blog and blogrolling that I first e-mailed Amy and she, despite her pressing schedule (she does way cool things - way cooler than the stuff I dither around with), has always been great about returning e-mails. It's fascinating. I got to know Jake Armerding by first hearing his music on a steaming online radio station. This wide whirl of a web has brought all sorts of wonderful things into my life and my gratitude for them, the music, the people, the friendships, the caring that I've experienced can not be properly expressed.
Keep an eye peeled in the next couple of days for the picture (yes, it will show my real first name) and one more deep bow in Amy's direction when that post is thumbtacked to the blogosphere. And hey! Amy has a book coming out in October. Buy it dang ye!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

I Was Going To Post-Mortem TdF
But Rich Karlgaard beat me to it. He calls it "leadership lessons" but it's a very astute take on what happened and what's going to happen. I have no doubt that Alberto Contador is the best cyclist in the world today but he's kind of a dick. No question he was screwed out of the previous year's win but he's not going to win as many as Lance if he treats his team like dirt. Oh well. Read Karlgaard's piece and next year will certainly be interesting.