Monday, November 17, 2008

Didn't believe me?

For those that have never visited and doubt the validity of my profile location -- "In a metal shed in the woods" -- I offer you solid proof:

There she blows, complete with Ellie Mae's car, Sally the goat truck and a glimpse of Tilly the tractor. If you look hard enough you can even see the colored sheets placed over the plants in the garden to protect them from frost.

My buddy and college room mate JohnBob is in town. Back when we were room mates, I made him jealous by getting my private pilot's license. Now he often returns the favor by taking me putting around in his own damn plane. That dirty rotten bastard!

It almost sounds like the start of a great joke: What do 2 college educated, unemployed guys do instead of finding a job? Go flying. I gotta work on that punchline.

JohnBob has a sweet new radio stack.

You know there are too many lawyers on the planet when warning labels pronounce nothing but common sense. If you click on it, you can make it out, but let me spoil the surprise: "Caution: Leaking fuel caps can cause loss of fuel" REALLY? The saddest thing here is (a) this is probably there because someone didn't know that and died. (b) that person was smart enough to earn a pilot's license, but dumb enough not to know leaking fuel caps leak.
And because I know everyone on the planet shares the "joys of tractors" just the way I do: Here is the tractor store where I bought Tilly.
And another item from the wonderful and mysterious world of the tractor: The tractor auction. Sorry kids, this isn't auction weekend or the entire lot would be full to the brim with leaking, smoking, sick tractors with flat tires and worn out clutches. Grab some ether and get over there.And what tour of the city is complete without seeing "Jesus and the money lenders." Stop into the book store and purchase a T shirt or a big box of pamphlets. But hurry while the tiny struggling church only covers 10 acres. As you can see, it's about to double in size. Oh, and that building across the parking lot in the top right... yeah that's part of it too. It's okay they bulldozed all those houses. I am sure the property taxes from the church will be more than the city got from the houses.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can I be like everybody else? Please?

In a nonconformist attempt to be just like everybody else, here is my Omnivore's List.... as stolen from Ellie Mae. You could follow the stolen chain back to the beginning of time itself. In fact, I bet there is a cave wall somewhere with vague paintings on it... and a big X through haggis.

In general, I am pretty darn adventurous when it comes to food... though obviously I haven't made my way through the entire buffet. If you make it through the whole list, and the check comes, does that mean life is done?

If I counted right, my score is 72%.

1. Venison - outside of the backstrap, I don't get it. By the time you pay for the lease, the processing, the pork you have to mix in to make it palatable, the gun, the ammo and the multiple cases of beer you drink while on the lease -- this is probably the highest price per pound meat out there. Especially if you just eat the backstrap.
2. Nettle tea - sure, I'd try it. But what's the point?
3. Huevos rancheros - and stop right here if you've never had it. You're life was wasted. It's over. Go home.
4. Steak tartare - I am forever perplexed by folks that are icked out by rare or raw meat. The more it's cooked, the less you taste it. It's all in your head. Your mom overcooked it and so do you. My steaks hit the grill for the sole reason that I like the smoky charred outside -- not because I want them cooked. (And smoky taste only comes from wood. Not from icky charcoal or propane or propane accessories.) If you don't like them cold then let them warm up to room temperature first.
5. Crocodile - I am assuming alligator doesn't count as a substitution
6. Black pudding - quit squirming. Its good.
7. Cheese fondue - This is just on the list to keep people from scoring a 0.
8. Carp - I've had better fish.
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari - the tastiest fried rubber bands you will find
12. Pho - god I miss pho.
13. PB&J sandwich - my neices now have scored a 2.
14. Aloo gobi - had to look it up, but yeah I recognize it from the Indian buffet. Speaking of missing a food you can't get around here....
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses - the fact that I had to look it up and still wasn't sure makes me think I haven't had it. Though I've been through a good portion of the Central Market cheese wall.
17. Black truffle - nope. The foodie in me wants to try it. The cheapskate passes.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns - Hey, those are right next door to the Pho place.
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese - like Ellie Mae said: She bought it, but on a day I came home sick. It's not that I wouldnt try it -- but not when I am queesy.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper - give me a jalepeno or a serano any day. There isn't any flavor in these things, just heat.
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters - Can I get a #58 with this please?
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda - sounds good
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi - sounds like it is missing gin
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar - Not a big tobacco fan
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat - the other other white meat
42. Whole insects - not on purpose. I don't think accidentally swallowing counts
43. Phaal - I'm guessing no. I've had my share of hot curry dishes, but I don't think I've had this one.
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more - Ellie Mae says Glenmorangie 18 counts. It didn't cost that much then, but... inflation.
46. Fugu - Homer likes it
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut - You'd better not say yes to this unless a guy with a paper hat hands you one on a stick right out of the fryer. A cold one doesn't count. A grocery store box of KK's actually should count -1.
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear - maybe
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle - Ellie Mae even bought one of them there spaetzle makers from Amazon.
57. Dirty gin martini - the only way to drink them. And I am so damned tired of ordering a martini and having the waiter say "vodka or gin martini?" It's a martini. There made from gin. If I wanted a vodka martini, I would have ordered one, okay? Or maybe I would have just sucked the diesel fuel out of a car in the parking lot.
58. Beer above 8% ABV - This could be phrased "have you been outside of the USA?"
59. Poutine - I was going to say no until I looked it up. It's okay, though soggy gravied fries are probably an acquired taste
60. Carob chips
61. S'mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin - am I missing the point?
64. Currywurst - want
65. Durian
66. Frogs' legs - if it tastes like chicken, but requires me to hunt on a boat in the middle of a night with a pointy stick, only to get a couple of bites -- why don't I just have chicken?
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis - I had my chance in Scotland and didn't. I would like to try it, but I don't think I want to commit my entire meal to it.
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette - hey that andouillette sounds tasty.
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini - Maybe I've not had "the good stuff". It's not awful, but from what I had -- I didn't see what the fuss was about.
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost - yeah, I had to try it due to Ellie Mae's Norwegian heritage. I'll pass next time.
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie - blech
78. Snail - this is on my list. Too many people love the little critters. Butter/garlic sponges. How bad could that be?
79. Lapsang souchong - hard to get excited over tea
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Har - I am guessing this means Har Gow
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse - translation: if you've been to Sweden and had anything with "ground meat" in it, that is not the same as "ground beef"
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa - Ellie Mae - get on it.
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm stumped, Part 3

Did you notice the subtle shift from "day 2" to "part 3" or did I get away with it? Several days of rain and a few days of slow starts (and only a couple hours working) made day 3 turn into multiple days. But I rein superior. The stump king has fallen.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm stumped

Day 1

I like a project. Some of you may remember back about 3+ years ago I built a fine retaining wall in a futile attempt to save a big ass oak that was stepped on by a bulldozer. It probably took me 3 months to build it. (Not continuous, mind you. I was only in town about one day a month. And budget constraints had me buying bricks as money was available.) This was in the dark days before tractors. The wall tear down was done in no time at all. I might add that the build up was done by hand a bucket at a time. And at that time "bucket" meant a thing you carry -- not a thing on the end of a FEL.

The bricks have been squirreled away for a future project. The stump is ripe and ready to be picked. (This is a stump farm.) And, yes, this is the same stump that was made into a planter/fire ant condo. (The fire ants have moved in.)

Day 2

Wall gone and several yards of dirt moved. You may or may not be able to see numerous piles of dirt in the background -- each in a perceived low spot. At this point work is done with a shovel. I suspect Day 3 may look a whole lot like Day 2.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I am angry

A friend sent me this article. It bears reading.

"It isn't that a spork is inherently deadly, Olson said. It's the manner in which it was used."

Monday, November 3, 2008

oh thank heaven... its almost over

From my perch in the middle, it always seems like the Left and the Right are irrational on some level. The irrationality ranges from mild to severe. Imagine my surprise when I read a column from someone claiming to be from the Right that actually makes sense. Well played, sir.

If you are too lazy to read it, I will summarize: the sky is not falling. The world is not ending. The Right has been stupid.