Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ow Ow Ow
Lack of blogging has been exacerbated by my feeling like hell on a damp towel. My bad left shoulder plagued me so much overnight that I got perhaps two hours of fitful sleep. And my other joints have ached so horribly lately that I have been off my feet as much as possible.
Besides, there is much going on in the blogosphere that my comment is rendered moot mostly. I hope to get the "thinking jelly" back in form and post more shortly.

That aside, I wish Joe Sherlock - businessman, raconteur, and friend of the blog - a swift and full recovery from his recent cardiac troubles. Even hospitalized he can outblog me. Grrr!

Monday, May 26, 2008

I'll Be Damned
I have to add something to my music embed post featuring The Bird and The Bee. I strolled over to the Wikipedia page on the band to discover that The Bird who I offhandedly called a "cute chick singer" is actually Inara George. She's the daughter of the late, great Lowell George of "Little Feat" fame. How about that? That's nigh onto musical royalty and I had no idea. And no wonder I liked her so much.
This is your fat man in the bathtub, signing off.
Lychee Sorbet
A foodie post for Memorial Day. Why not? Something light and cool and refreshing for the onset of hot weather. The following recipe is my second assay of the project after the first was just not a success. I used Trader Joe's canned lychees (hmm, not finding an image of the can online which means I have to drag out the camera again...). One can drained, one can with syrup into the blender. juice of one lemon, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of triple sec. Blitz until well pureed. Pour into the ice cream maker, process and freeze. Rather nice actually.
After having made my own I did my Google search on "lychee sorbet" to find something somewhat interesting. The few recipes at which I looked used exactly the amount of canned lychee that seemed reasonable to me: one drained, one undrained. No recipe used triple sec but I am a believer in having some alcohol in home-made sorbets for texture. Alcohol helps keep the ice crystals small and keep the sorbet soft.
I tried lime juice in the first batch and it is not recommended. Too harsh. The juice of a lemon is just right. Though I suppose you could up that to one and a half and still be to the good.
Other flavors that I think would work well with this one: ginger (ya think?) and mint. I may cook up a mint simple syrup if I make another batch and see what that does for the crowd. But all that experimentation being as it may, lychee sorbet is rather good. As long as you like the taste of lychee.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Not Exactly A Music Embed
But it will do for this holiday weekend. It's a commercial for the Discovery Channel but it's one of theb est commercials that's been made in a long, long time. It's short, it's catchy, it's punchy and it features Adam and Jamie, MC Hawking, Mike Rowe - great guys all. So, it's an ad. Ihope you like it as much as I do:

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Long-Delayed Music Embed
I offer up my apologies for the long delay in posting the (ahem!) weekend music embed but I have been dealing with a pinched nerve in my right wrist (or, as I call it, the "terror-wrist") which has made doing just about everything annoying and painful. Today it seems to have subsided. Which means I'm willing to type again. And the blogosphere heaves a collective sigh of indifference.
So what's the big deal here? A made-on-the-Mac music viddy of a song by an outfit called "The Bird and The Bee." The obligatory guy thing requires me to say: Cute chick singer there. And I like the voice - high and sweet. I don't think she's a great singer but she does what she does very well. It's always a pleasure when you see an artist who understands how to work with her material. Though I should give him his due - it is a duo after all. I also like the electric piano intro. If you search out the official viddy of the song, it's rather amusing to see him playing what looks like a grand or baby grand and the noise coming out is absolutely electric. It has a very Chick Corea "Return To Forever" vibe if I'm not going too far back for a referent. At any rate, an interesting group.
But it's the way that Dennis Liu used a whole raft of Mac applications to "textualize" the lyrics and form the video out of the lyrics. If you follow the link to the uToob page, you'll see a screenful of links about what was used to create the video. It's more than's worth bothering with here but if you want to burn some time, please check it out.
At this point, I'd better just let the viddy speak (sing) for itself. I rather like it. I hope you do too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. What appears below is currently running in the cinema lobe of EM's
"Thinking Jelly"...

Can you guess what these three images have in common? ( of them makes me sad)
Well..beat me to death...two in one day

I recently ran across this interesting list of musicians and their crimes:
(certainly an incomplete listing but I added a few)
Franz Liszt: treason, seduction, debt.
Johnny Cash: landed in jail, not prison, seven times in his life for various misdemeanors, most of them drug-related. Each stay lasted only one night.
Vince Neil: dangerous driving resulting in death.
Huddie Ledbetter: murder.
James Brown: weapons, assault, failure to stop for police.
Keith Richards: drugs.
Paul McCartney: drugs.
Rick James: sexual assault and torture.
Merle Haggard: theft.
Steve Earle: drugs.
Aaron Neville: theft.
Slick Rick: attempted murder, assault, illegal weapons.
Tupac Shakur: rape.
Chuck Berry- armed robbery, did 5 years in prison after being arrested under the Mann Act, income tax evasion and some really weird stuff including being sued by several women who claimed that he had installed a video camera in the ladies' bathrooms at two of his St. Louis restaurants. A class action settlement was eventually reached with 59 women on the complaint.
Michael Jackson was charged, tried and acquitted of child molestation. He should be charged with abuse of a corpse..his own.
Lil' Kim was charged, tried and convicted of conspiracy and perjury.
R. Kelly-child pornography charges.
Ike Turner-wife beating coke head scumbag.
Gary Glitter-tried and convicted of child sexual abuse.

But this freak..”The Mad Genius of Rock and Roll” Phil Spector was charged and tried for murder (and due to a mistrial, he'll have to do it all again).
hmmmm... the resemblance is uncanny...

A favorite of mine ....

*****PROFANITY WARNING!!! (Obviously)***

His attitude and passion suggest an emphasis on quality and unwavering high standards to me. I respect those attributes. That's why Gordon's face looks like 300 miles of Arizona fire trails: the STRESS!!! He's only 40. It’s a damn shame he cannot run for political office in this country..

I couldn't can guess where this headed...I've also heard he's absolutely terrified of his wife, as well he should be: she is simply stunning!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Nothing Today
Still dry of writing. Deck Farm™ to finish setting up today. I think the long-delayed weekend embed will go up this evening. Otherwise, check back tomorrow. That is all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yawning Like A Big Dog
You will have noticed a hiatus in postings. I certainly have. But sometimes one just doesn't feel like writing. I even bagged out on my weekend music embed because I didn't want to get into all the who-shot-John about why I picked what I picked. But, as we say in the newz biz, it's a TK. Probably later today. After I go out to lunch with friends at a dim sum (in Mandarin: dian xin, meaning "dot heart") restaurant here in the NoVa. Strangely, this fan dian (literally "food shop") which is one of the two best Chinese places I've eaten at is about two blocks from the other best Chinese, the justly famous Peking Gourmet Inn.
So, not much lately but more later. Had prime rib last night at the excellent Sweetwater Tavern. Yuh-um!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Linky Linky
There's a thicket of good posting up over at Gateway Pundit today. Click the link, read much. I really should add GP to the blogroll since I check it at least a few times a week.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Burpee's Finest
Or at least the ones I wanted this year. I've labeled the plants with the exception of the Supersteak tomatoes. So let me explain the layout of the plants in their little cardboard bed: first row on the left is the Hot Lemon Pepper, next comes Zavory low-heat habanero, then the Biker Billy Jalapenos, next is the Golden Giant bell pepper and then the Red Delicious bell peppers. The tomatoes are lined up perpendicularly to the peppers with the Health Kick in front and the Supersteak in back. And there you have it. Rather, here you have it:

Keep in mind that the lens I used is a short one so there is some foreshortening. The tomato plants are of a decent size even though the Golden Giant pepper plants are the tallest on the group.
I would have planted them today but it was still rainy and right now it is co-old. Well, cold for mid May. If the deck dries out over night, I'll finish the ErfBox prep and plant the plants. And the Deck Farm™ will be in bidness!
UPDATE: Here's a clip from the Burpee site with a bit of info on the so-called "Health Kick" tomato:
A breakthrough in breeding, this tomato is actually healthier for you than others you can grow or buy. Packed with the 50% more of the beneficial antioxidant lycopene, this prolific saladette produces a bountiful crop of 4 ounce, sweet red fruits.
"Saladette." Sounds like one of the dancing characters in "Veggie! The Musical."
There Will Be Posting
Not blood. Just posting. No blood for posting! But may I have a milkshake?
OK, enough conflated references for now. Suddenly I'm Lileks or something. Jeez, Edit'!

Actually this post is something of a placeholder for some post that I hope to put either this evening or certainly on the weekend. First, pictures of the plants were taken and I'm going to take some shots of the EarthBoxes and the ErfBoxes in progress. All of the EarthBoxes are full of soil and needing on the planting to be productive members of society again. One ErfBox is almost filled with soil (I killed one bag and figured I'd cap the box and re-build some soil-dabbling gumption before tapping the next bag of potting soil) and the last one is as yet unsoiled.
One nice thing seems to be that the garbage bad cover on the ErfBox seems to work pretty well. Score!
So, pictures will be forthcoming. And the weekend music embed is looking like it'll be another Apple-related one albeit nothing official from the folks at One Infinite Loop. I'll probably post it early Saturday if you want to come back for it. So, I'm off to deal with the deck (like a deck of cards, but it's my patio deck, see? I'm so funny!) and such excitement as laundry brings. Sheesh. My life.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm Always Thinking
Today I may have thought of the most revolting thing ever: gay sumo wrestlers.
Feel free to top that in comments.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Uh Oh
I can't remember the last time I ate pork. I think I have hamnesia.
Mmmmm! EscarGO!
I'll split it with you.
(I tried to embed this but it didn't work.)
Good Advice Any Day Of The Week
Hat tip to a member of the Birds and Moons forum (dedicated to PRS guitars).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Not So Much Baby Steppin' Any More
According to the brilliant UPS tracking system, the plants which will constitute the Deck Farm™ 3.0 are on the truck to my house today. Woo hoo! I will be soiling myself and planting ere long.
UPDATE: The plants are here. They are spread out on my kitchen table (spreading little bits of dirt over all the crap that's already there) and watered. I'll give them a day to acclimate to being out of delivery and then ... the planting begins. Oh and pictures. There should be pictures.
Even Before I Was Born
If Ann Althouse can blog about the past, I figure it's fair game even if she's dealing with bigger things like visible camisoles than I. This excursion into the mists of time goes back to Korea of the 1950s. Yes, there is a war going on even if it's officially called a "police action" due to the fortuitous circumstance that let the United Nations act in the in the interest of freedom for once.
Ellis O. Briggs is the United States Ambassador to South Korea and an exemplar of the great tradition of the gentleman diplomat. The sort of man who would know much of the world beyond his vocation. A man of encyclopedic knowledge. Maybe.
When hosting visitors to the embassy on some occasion, he was asked about a flower growing on the grounds. Not actually knowing the type of flower but possibly thinking it best to answer the question nonetheless, he said, "That's an aster." When the questioner said something on the order of "That's not like any aster I know." he replied, "It's a Korean aster."
Thus is brilliance established and a diplomat exemplified.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Oh And By The Way
I mentioned the graduation party I went to. I drank a Corona Light. Pffttt! Whiz water. No flavor at all. Miller freakin' Lite has more oomph. Why in Gawd's name does anyone drink this crap?
Delayed Embed
I do love me some excellent guitarists. Case in point is Al Petteway who was a DC area guy until he moved down to the mountains of the old North State. I saw/met him and his partner in virtuosity, Amy White, a couple of years ago at a house concert in Delaware. In one of those instances that's not always to be expected but happens more often than not, both Al and Amy were wonderfully gracious and friendly. I seem to expect that those who are superbly talented will carry an attitude. Yet those who have "an attitude" are usually not as talented as those who go through this world under-appreciated.
The song is "Smoky Mountain Morning. " It is highly representative of his acoustic work - wonderfully melodic, beautifully played. If you have a chance to see Al and/or Amy live, please do. You'll be in for a treat. And if you bought any of their CDs ... same result. Enjoy:

Posting To Resume Shortly
I have been unwell. Essentially abed for three days. Saturday was spent with as bad a headache as I have ever had in my life. The kind where any movement caused additional pain. If there's any consolation, it's that I've hardly been able to eat so maybe I'm down a pound or two.
At least I'm more or less out of it today. Fingers crossed. But I'm making bacon and eggs for breakfast and a pot of tea so things in cold, everso rainy NoVa should be moving ahead after a hiatus.
Even a delayed music embed when I find something I want to comment on.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

No Blogging Thursday
Just a moment of advance notice. I feel awful which means I'll probably get a late start on the day in which I have to get a few things done. For something interesting, hit the "Peeve Farm" in the blogroll and click on the obvious photo in a post. Way - I mean way cool.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Da Langwitch
I have to add another brief note from my continuing reading of John Barth's "The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor." He has a wonderful turn of phrase to describe a tambourine being played: "sizzling and biffing." Short, sweet and perfectly descriptive. Can you not hear a tambourine when you read those words?

Monday, May 05, 2008

I Like To Call It Brekkies
I think it's a Brit English thing. But what it is, is a recipe sent to me by the XMBD NMSE for your brunching pleasure. It a prep ahead dish but it looks well worth the effort:
French Toast Souffle (12 servings)

- 10 cups (1 inch) cubed sturdy white bread (such as Pepperidge Farm Hearty White, about 16 slices)
- 1 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened
- 8 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups 2% reduced fat milk
- 2/3 cup Half-n-Half
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

First day:
1. Place bread cubes in a 13x9 baking dish coated with cooking spray.
2. Beat cream cheese at medium speed of mixer until smooth.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.
4. Add milk, Half-n-Half, maple syrup, vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
5. Pour cream cheese mixture over top of bread, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Second day:
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Remove souffle from fridge. Let stand 30 minutes.
3. Bake uncovered @ 375 for 50 minutes or until set. Sprinkle powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup and mixed berries.
I am amused. Blogger's spell check offers the following options for the word "souffle" which is flagged for spelling: snuffle, scuffle and shuffle. I'll shuffle over to get me some so's I can snuffle it up and avoid a scuffle over it.
Happy Sinko de My-Oh
Actually, my intarweb this morning was running some kind of messed up. I couldn't load such essential sites as InstaPundit. Oy! How can I gather my knowledge of the world if I can't load sites? - Don't answer that! -
OK, yeah, I actually read the newspaper too. But that gets my hands dirty. Heh. Indeed. (oops - sorry - a symptom of not getting my fill of Insty methinks)

I'd like to point out that today is also Boy's Day in Japan, celebrated with the flying of koinobori (carp streamers) in honor of the male children in the family. It's traditional to have one streamer for each boy with size differences matching the ages of the boys. I love koinobori. They are one of the beautiful things in Japan. So happy Boy's Day to males everywhere! You'll always be some mother's son.

I went to a graduation party for the son of friends last night. A Chinese dumpling party to be precise. I brought the remains of my kim-chi dumpling filling and it was pronounced as excellent by a serious dumpling-eating crowd. I'm humbly proud.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

On About The Weekend Embed
I had a nice, long chat with my friend the Guitar Nazi last night and it got me to pick up my PRS Hollowbody II and actually practice again. My fingertips are acting snotty this morning for being so suddenly abused. Ha! They don't know the half of it. I had so much fun that I'm going to practice even longer today. And from now on. There's a song I want to play. So much so that I decided to make it the weekend embed. Nick Lowe and Rockpile (an under-appreciated band in my mind) with "Cruel to be Kind." Great pop song. Oh and you can see Dave Edmunds in the mix as well. Other things of note, in my (to steal a word from Billy Beck) guitarded mind are the very sweet Strat solo and the guitar Lowe himself is playing. Why? Because I have no idea what make it is. Double cutaway, large lower bout, trapezoidal headstock. And the performance was back in 1979. The body shape could almost be a PRS Santana model but Paul was barely started as a luthier when this viddy was shot. If anyone has better info, please drop a comment. Otherwise, enjoy a blast from the past:

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A while back I mentioned that I managed to stab myself in the leg with the box cutter I was using to trim the interior "floor" of the ErfBox. And I promised to leave a record of the event. So, here is a pic of the pants I was wearing, the hole in them and the bloodstain that resulted. I include in the picture a pen, for scale, that was turned out of osage orange and walnut wood by a friend of mine. I may as well put something good and cool in an otherwise kinda revoltin' pic. So without further ado:

Friday, May 02, 2008

To Avoid Being Stereotyped
Avoid stereotypical behavior.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Lack Of Blogging Will Continue
Albeit briefly. I've been busy. Apart from the continuing pain of bad hips and a shoulder that has gone over to the enemy side, I had Lycurgus come through on his semi-annual trip of business. We had kim-chi dumplings. And I still have one container of the filling. Sounds like dinner tonight is taken care of. Then yesterday Jake was in town, as in DC town, which meant a trip to the dark side. I'm not all that fond of the look of urban decay and H St. NE is not exactly a place to avoid it. But I found parking and the show was great. Today I had my groomer take care of my pelt, which always takes more time that I'd like but she does a damn good job so .... [shrug] Now I have take care of some business I've been working on in the last couple of days and the return to regular blogging should be just after that.
For the nonce, I leave you with a rare, mid-week music embed of the Jake doing Paul Simon's "Graceland." He finished his show last night with it and I think he did it better last night than in the uToob viddy. But it's well worth a listen. There's no doubt that the song is Paul Simon's but Jake takes it in a new direction that's not so far off the original as to lose that elemental connection but still re-create it. Aaron Neville did the same thing with Van Morrison's "Crazy Love" on the "Phenomenon" soundtrack. So, here's Jake's show-stopping, show closer:

UPDATE: I had the show's location as H St. NW. Bzzzt! NW is generally nice in DC. NE is ... well ... not so much.