Friday, December 30, 2011

/the good and the bad

    I was at Walmart in Fairmont yesterday.   I hate shopping Walmart,  Everything is tastefully bland, no character at all, and if it wasn't for the convenience, I would boycott the chain.   I was there to buy a filter for my kitchen sink, and came home with a 100 dollar plus receipt.  That said, I came home with 3 bottles of wine and the biggest damn filet of beef I have ever seen, marked down to 10 dollars. Oh yeah and  some Snazzy pjs  I had been planning a meal from the time I saw the filet.  I thought " its gonna be warm enough to grill, wouldn't it be cool to grill out for post/mid/pre holiday.   I bought fresh button mushrooms, just cause mushrooms are pretty much always welcome to the party.  Had planned a transcendent meal.  Then a friend shows up today and I have a glass of wine and blam!  a bottle of wine later and pretty much playing it by ear and not wanting to put too much effort into the dinner,  I begin the meal.   Instead of grilling; I was much to far gone for that; I flash seared the bacon wrapped filet on top of the stove in a saute pan with garlic oil.  Microwaved a potato about half way, then put it a the hot oven.  Char/Searing the salt and peppered steak on both sides, I placed the pan in the oven with the potato.  Started the Mushrooms, with grated Lemon peel,  a squeeze of Lemon juice, butter, salt and pepper.   Fine diced some onion, got out the sour cream.  took the steak and potato out.  Flashed the pan with wine and crushed juniper berries.  ?Reduced it down, and finished with butter.  Split the potato and doused with butter, salt and pepper and the finely minced onion, topped with a dollop of sour cream. It was a  Top Five steak of my short, blessed life.
I make no excuse,,,I am a carnivore.  When a steak transports you to the Serengeti and into the avatar of a lion, it's a good steak.  This was good...grrrrrrr

     Now the bad,,,remember when I took the frying pan with the steak out of the oven?...Well I took it out without the protection of a towel or heat pad.  Seared the dickens out of the palm of my right hand.  Burns like hell as  I type this, but I'm  looking at it as a badge of honor.

Stay Hungry my friend

Stardust memories

Here are some memes I miss from my childhood that probably will startle some,  amuse others, but I'm sure will bring a smile to everyone.     One of the things I wanted to do as a kid was dance like Fred Astaire, here he's dancing with the only partner who could out dance him, Eleanor Powell.  I've always liked swing music and this segment of the musical "Hellzapoppin" will surely clear your mind as to why.  And here is a little teaser of Swing Nazi style. Swing Kids...  And no one does it better than the Andrews Sisters here singing  " Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B " from the 1941 movie "Buck Privates".  Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa, both virtuosos, doing "sing, sing, sing".    And lastly, maybe the best comedy skit never grows stale.?'s on 1st"

As 2011 draws to a close, I wish all my readers better things ahead in 2012...Oh and screw the Mayans,  party hardy Friday, December 21st. Have a hangover for next Christmas

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Some Links to chew on.

 I know these funnies aren't for everyone, most are kinda quirky and scientifical, but that pretty much describes yours truly.  They're Camp Massawomee's  Winter Solstice gift  to the rest of humanity.  
This here one is my favoritest comic strip, almost.  Scenes From A Multiverse    though I like Calvin and Hobbes maybe morer.  The Perry Bible Fellowship is pretty cool too.  The Abstruse Goose goes down easily as does PHD Comics.   Are we sensing a theme developing here?  Well let's add this one to the mix xkcd.

The above is a t-shirt found at the Shop and Save in Mannington and photoed by my friend Jack Bailey.  I thought it special.

And lastly I want to thank all of my blog's followers.  Both of them....Happy holidays Patricia and Sean.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christopher Hitchens

     I did not know Christopher Hitchens until he died.  I had not read any of his works, nor seen any of his television appearances.  Missed all his lectures, debates, and book signings.  To me he was a cipher, a zero.  Then he dies, and instantly there are obituaries everywhere, encomiums  galore, sprouting like dandelions on a warm spring day.  Such praise of a man I had not heard of before piqued my curiosity, and after reading laudation upon platitude I find him a kindred soul, but too late this recognition.  Ah, but  the printed word is nigh immortal, and I have a lot of reading to do to catch up with Christopher Hitchens.  But I aim to try.  To paraphrase someone else..."The world is a much more ignorant  place now".  

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Attention:  This is a rant.  If it offends you, then fuck off.

     Several days ago I received a request to send a form letter to the Department of Justice/Attorney General and President Obama requesting them to reconsider their stand on Medical Marijuana.  Yesterday I got it returned to my mailbox with the notation that it was rejected by the addressees as SPAM.   My letter was rejected as spam'
     I'm sorry,  it may have been a form letter, but it said what I wanted it to say to the President and Attorney General of the United States  of   my belief that medical marijuana is beneficial to our society and should not be outlawed, and did it much better than I could.  I do not send spam.  To say my letter is spam is disrespectful at the least and certainly against the spirit of our Constitution.  Am I not allowed to let my voice be heard.  Are  the president and attorney general  of our great nation deaf to the people?  I guess we will find out.  I'm for sacking all 537 of our elected officials in DC.  Start off with a clean slate.  Cannot possibly be worse than what we have now.

     The cherry on top of this fiasco is that I normally wouldn't have known that my letter to holden and obysma was rejected as spam because I get so much spam I bulk erase/empty my spam folder  every three/four days and don't look at the contents  But a friend wanted an address for an  site that sends me spam for viagra/cialis and the government reject was sitting directly next to it.  My letter that was rejected as spam  was automatically put in my spam folder.  Go figure....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Doing a friend a favor, or strange things I saw this week

     I think it was my friend Trish who took me to the grocery last, the time I broke down and bought two out of season tomatoes.  The smaller tomato of which when I sliced into it for my tomato, egg and cheese sandwich, had sprouted seeds inside.  Either that or there were little green wormy seedy things growing inside the tomato and either way they didn't improve the taste of the bland vapid love apple.  Guess it's time for canned.  And speaking of which I recently read an article "Five things experts won't eat", and canned tomatoes was one of them.  Seems the plastic lining has some sort of biphenol that leaches out of the lining because of the acidic nature of the tomatoes.  The expert said eat only tomatoes canned in glass, which you can't find in the store, only on the shelves of home canners.  I'm not a home canner, and I'll brave the biphenol,  perhaps that's what improves the taste of canned tomatoes over the frankenmato we find in the stores most of the year.
     I picked my friend Jack up at the Pittsburgh airport Friday night,,,always a pleasant chore, but this was late (10:30) at night and I had trepidation.  One of the reasons the trip to the airport is pleasant is that they have a pretty good newsstand.  But being so late I thought they would be closed..They were open...yeah...but the only newspaper I saw was "USAToday".  I picked up a copy, looked around for "Games" magazine.  None to be found, so I got a copy of "Golf Digest"  my reasoning being I could read it for tips to playing Tiger Woods Golf on my Wii.  I checked out and the cashier Chris asked me if I wanted a bag, I said no, and as I said that I spied a large blue plastic  basket back behind him that seemed to be filled with newspapers.  Couldn't tell which one, they were all the same but they didn't seem to be the USAToday, unless they were yesterday's issue.   So I asked him what they were and he replied Pittsburgh Post Gazette.  Well that's cool I thought, "I'll take it".  Then the cashier asked if I  would you rather have  the  Tribune-Review.  "Both" I said, "do you have the New York Times?"  His answer made my heart soar like an eagle.  "Yep, got it.  You want it or the New York Post?"  "Both" I gleefully responded.  Bingo I had struck it rich.  Thanks Jack.  But damnit it was too late for coffee, all the shops were closed. That's another good thing about the airport in Pittsburgh, the coffee not too bad.
      I had gassed up in Mannington before the trip so I didn't need gas, but for all of you who have been to the Pittsburgh airport, have you noticed that the gas station there is internal, and if you stop for gas you have to go all the way around again,,,about three miles worth of going round again...what's up with that.
      Jack hadn't eaten all day so we stopped at Quaker Steak and Lube near Robinson Township.  Always a treat because the place in filled with automobile memorabilia, and Jack is fluid in Car Talk.  Eating hot wings and having Jack talk cars is pleasant enough, but this time we got into a discussion about the Harley with the Santa Claus rider hanging from the ceiling directly over a couple next to us in a booth.  While Jack went on about the speedometer half-way up the left front fork, and if the small tube on the right side of the machine was an oil filler tube or the oil pressure gauge, or both and just where was the shock absorber for the rear wheel, none being evident.  While all this is going on the couple under the motorcycle are sure were talking about them as they can't hear us, the TV drowning our voices out, and all they notice is we're looking in their direction with great animation.  The guy's bigger than both Jack and I together and I'm thinking take a hit on my inhaler now, or wait till he says something.  I wait, he doesn't do anything and I eat my fill of sub-Atomic wings and some really good fries.  Oh and a Small Guinness.   Small...I was driving.  Oh and at the door as we were leaving was a big thick newspaper "Pittsburgh City Review".  Icing on the cake.
     Only saw three deer all the way back to Mannington, then spooked three in my driveway as we pulled in.  No horns so they won't be pulling the load in a couple of weeks.

Friday, December 2, 2011

We are stardust, and that's the problelm

According to the best minds on the face of the earth, we, you, I, everyone, the dog Kissyface, every cockroach, mushroom, flu virus, rock, ocean, sea, rainstorm, everything except molecules of hydrogen and most helium are remnants of exploding stars.  Everything we see, taste, smell, feel everything that has existed, exists, will exist, save for the hydrogen and some of the helium, came from the interior of an exploded star.  That concept is so beautiful,,,,that if it were not true...I would think it so.   But it is true,,,We are star people...with star pets, eating star food, and that's the problem.

Or the solution to the Fermi paradox..

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sad note

Lynn Margulis, wife of Carl Sagan, died Tuesday from complications of a stroke she suffered a week earlier.  She was a visionary scientist and an inspiration to those of us who believe in Gaia.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chicken again?

Right now I'm sitting back with a Martini made with homemade Tanguerey, having just taken a much needed nebulizer treatment and getting ready to watch an episode of "Burn Notice" on Netflix via my Wii.  I had to take the Nebulizer treatment a couple of hours early because like the beer bellied lung challenged ignoramus that I am, I ate five large chicken drumsticks along with a big scoop of leftover rice and broccoli with a cheese sauce.  My stomach is full pressing against my traitorous lungs, I'm struggling for breath and I'm smiling.  Content that even though I can't breathe, I have got a recipe for fried/baked chicken I am truly proud of.  This link KFC-Original-Recipe-Fried-Chicken-Recipe  Will provide the herbs mixture.  I don't use the eggs.  And it doesn't need that much sugar, tends to darken to much.  I marinate the chicken overnight in Buttermilk and Sirachi sauce, then when I'm ready to cook I wipe off the buttermilk and dust the chicken with the herb/spice mixture, Dump what's left of the herbs into a paper bag with a cup and a half of all purpose flour and shake the chicken to coat with flour and fry till deeply golden.....Stay hungry my friends.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving

My family has a tradition that any Thanksgiving that goes by without starch saturation is a criminal shame.  We always have Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes or Yams.  I mean we made all that Turkey Gravy, hate to see it go to waste.  Here at Camp Massawomee Mashed Potatoes has become a two person project.  I use a ricer, if you don't have one run, don't walk, to the Kitchen Store nearest you and buy one.   Use Idaho/Russet potatoes.  Bake them,,don't peel them and boil them in water.  You bake them and then, cut each in half, insert cut side down into the ricer.  Rice, then remove the skin from the's where the help comes in,,,hand to the person who is going to coat the skin with butter, salt and pepper and Parmesan Cheese.  You rice the other halve of the potato and so it goes.  Add butter to the riced potatoes,,,,use plenty of butter this is a thanksgiving feast, the emphasis is on feast.  up to halve and halve by weight.  Then add your scalded milk to adjust for texture, salt and pepper to taste, and then any add ins to vary the taste, though they are not really needed.  Lately I've been adding boiled/baked parsnips, and Sour Cream/Cheese of your choice, roasted garlic is great too.  The Potato Skins are neatly flattened by the ricer and are a tasty treat with the Turkey Feast..   This Thursday I'm giving thanks to my daughter Lori for Emily Elizabeth, and to the VA for taking me in and giving me health care.  I'm sure the doctors there wouldn't approve of all the butter I'm going to use on Turkey day, but damn it's only one day.  Oh and them leftover potatoes with a bit of added corn starch make for some  delicious sauteed pancakes for breakfast Friday morning a change of pace from home fries..

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I like fried Chicken

     Like a great many people, I like Chicken.  I've had it Baked and Broiled, Roasted and Stewed. Cacciatori and Marengo,  Creamed Chicken on Biscuit.  Chicken Soup to soothe  the  soul.  Of all the was to prepare Chicken the one I like the best, the method that makes me salivate the most when just thinking about it is Fried.  Both my parents made great tasting Fried Chicken,  mom's being brighter and livelier on the tongue that Dad's deep full Chicken flavor.  Both used just salt and pepper and flour.  How they made their chicken taste so different I never learned, though I was in the kitchen many times while it was being prepared.  I've never been able to duplicate the taste of their chicken, and I've tried so many myriad of times.
     I've collected many books on food, a couple exclusively devoted to Fried Chicken, but still haven't come up with an acceptable "recipe".   Oh I don't throw any of it out,,even when fried chicken is bad, it's still good enough to eat.  What I've been looking for is that taste that compels you eat the meat and suck on the bones to get every last bit of goodness the chicken has to offer.
     I was channel surfing the other day and came across a show "Top Secret Recipe". Synopsis: a guy and a food truck travel around and try to duplicate famous chain food, i.e. Domino's Pizza or the Outback's Blooming Onion.    I Tivo'd the shows and lo one was KFC.  He travels to KFC headquarters and talks with the corporation's President and the head of food research, getting nothing from either save that the chicken is cooked in x oil in a pressure cooker.  But he also went to see the Colonel's last personal secretary.  And there he learned that the Colonel had confided to her that his mother had told him when he was little that Sage and Savory were critical for good fried chicken.
I remembered that the next time I went to Kroger's in Bridgeport and bought a bottle of savory.  Trust me on this reader's Sage and Savory are critical for Fried Chicken.  I hate to Fry chicken in the house when it's closed up, too much grease in the air, coupled with my bad lungs makes a bad situation. So I baked a batch of drumsticks.  I know it was baked not fried, but then I ate a full meal of asparagus,a fair portion of  long grain and wild rice, and all five of the drumsticks.  I had prepared them on a rimmed cookie sheet on parchment paper.  My stomach distended from the meal and quite uncomfortable having a hard time breathing from the pressure on my lungs,  I peeled the congealed juices that had leaked out of the bone ends from the parchment and savored them one by one till there was no evidence that chicken had ever been prepared save for the faint odor left in the kitchen and my upstairs bedroom when I took my much needed nap after dinner.

I don't have  a recipe, but I know how a made the chicken,,,and it starts with an overnight soak in Buttermilk dosed with Sirachi hot sauce.  Wiping the excess marinade off the next day and dusting the chicken with a mixture of sage, savory, black pepper, poultry seasoning, salt, turbanado sugar, garlic  powder, and cayenne pepper.  Then shaking the herb crusted chicken  in a paper bag with Kentucky Kernal seasoned flour.   400 degree oven for 20 minutes, turn, then 20 minutes
more.  Out of the oven, rest for 5 minutes, then scarf, snorph, gobble  the goodness.  Can't wait to buy some Crisco,  get out the electric skillet and try the recipe fried.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This weekend sucks

1.  First off the bat is North Marion getting blitzed by No. 1 Bridgeport.
2.  The Mountaineers get stunned by Louisville.  As I'm typing this I'm watching Louisville/WVU Big East          Soccer Championship game.   Most of the girls on the field would make better kickers than what we have.  And Casteel better get his head on straight.  If it wasn't for Irvin there wouldn't be any defense.
3.  Homeboy Nick Saban goes down at home in Tuskaloosa.
4.  While the Falcons eked out a win over State,,and are on track for a 7-3 season,,,I haven't seen any of the games.
5.  Surely the Steelers can squeeze out a win later this afternoon against the hated Ravens......please, Please, Please
6.  By the way the Mountaineers are ahead One to Zip at the half...Go EERS.

7.  Okay so maybe it's not so bad....Lady Mountaineers Soccer team are back to back Big East Soccer score  2 to 0.   Go EERS.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Murmuration, Murmuration, Murmuration

Follow the link below and be ready to be blown away.

Two women in a canoe happen upon a flock of starlings.

I would like to say something here,,,,but I have no words.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Grey's Anatomy

I can't remember how I came across Grey's Anatomy, I don't watch much broadcast mainstream TV. But when  I  opted in for Netflix,  the first thing I began watching was Grey's Anatomy.   Now I've watched pretty much every episode and I'm in the middle of season 7.  After 100 + episodes it's fairly safe to say that I wouldn't send my pet snail to Seattle Grace Hospital.  This soap opera with very high production values has opened my eyes to many issues confronting modern medicine and society, and done it with style and grace.  At times the plots are predictable and seemingly trite and just at that moment "Bang" the shooter kills the first doctor and proceeds to attempt to kill the hospital.   But what really bugs me about the show is that sometime during every episode something happens and tears begin to well up in my eyes and my vision blears and I cuss under my breath, for they have touched me deep inside and I have reacted with empathy for the characters.  I know it's all make believe,,,,but the emotions engendered are real and they  feel human after all.

That said, the garden is done for the year, though there's a couple of tomato volunteers that started really late and are just putting buds on.    Winter is upon us, so spring is just a season away.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Great Game

First off...Sorry for forsaking this blog.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were totally synergistic() tonight.   The crowd...the sold out crowd...was the tenth man.
Don't remember a crowd that into a game....gotta go see them,,,someone,,,take me....please.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Damn it Mike, I kinda liked Jake

I hate winter.

It's cold, and makes you want to huddle around the home fire.

It's only saving grace is the omen of spring.

If death is here,  can't resurrection be far behind?

I'm a kronic pessimist,   Yet  still a perennial optimist.

And all because of           " Spring is in the air".

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