Saturday, September 23, 2006

I'm Off To See The Wizard The Beach

Massive Sandcastles Ensue

I'm gonna miss you, but please feel free to entertain yourselves while I'm gone...

Friday, September 22, 2006

I Could Have Fit In Here 25 Years Ago

(With Slightly Different Lyrics)

I'm quite happy that you can still have fun in the military.

The Good News Is that I'm leaving Town

The Bad News Is I'll Be Computerless

I guess that it's all a matter of perspective, but I heading out on Saturday morning to go do something that I've loved to do for about every year over the past 47 years of my life.

Go to Panama City Beach, Florida--otherwise known as "The Redneck Riveria."

I'm excited because it's been a few years since I've made the trip.

There was a time when I could claim to not have missed a single year on the gulf coast until about 2004, when I moved over here to the Atlantic Coast of Georgia.

Practically the only thing missing from this year's event will be my wonderful Father whom has been absent from this Earth for the past ten years. His last chance to watch me toss Frisbee on the beach and go fishing with me for King and Spanish Mackerel offshore was the week before Hurricane Opal pounded the Florida gulf coast in 1995.

However, we have a nice new addition to our family--my Nephew--and I intend to be a totally bad influence on him. I'll be in charge of teaching him how to deal with sand in his hair and swimsuit and how to build sandcastles and pick up chicks chase seagulls and crabs on the beach.

It looks like that the weather is going to hold out and the worst thing we have to deal with will be the occasional afternoon thunderstorm, but I may need some counciling because...


Further, I've given Pat instructions to not allow me to go to any internet hot spots or otherwise shake and shutter my way into the presence of an internet connection.

Stand by...I'm already feeling faint...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

If The Shoe Fits…Buy Two Pair…Part TWO

Readers Comment, And I Respond

Back in June, over on my cooking blog The Redneck Gourmet, I wrote about a recipe I was developing for Moroccan chicken with Apricot Couscous & Olive Tampenade.

Here was my intro to the recipe:

I’ve always been fascinated with the Northern African country of Morocco.

Forget places like London, Paris, and Rome; if I had the time and money I’d head straight to Portugal, and then when I was through drinking all of the Port wine I could consume I would catch a commuter plane or ship and head down to Casablanca.

Then I’d hang out with all the other Bogart and Bergman fans at “Ricks” sipping Sherry & Cognac while listening to Sam’s replacement pianist “playing it again.”

Unfortunately, since Morocco is something like 97% Muslim, I think it best to keep my white Redneck butt here stateside for the time being.

Not to worry, however, because I can always cook Moroccan food here at home and pretend that I’m looking out at the Mediterranean or far side of the Atlantic. I’ve done it three times recently, and I think that I have the process down to an art now.

That said, here is a reader comment which I just got from someone that calls themselves “Karim from Morocco”:

so what if Morocco is 97% Muslim? Are you racist or anti-Muslim?

Did you know that Morocco receives every year about 2 million tourists mostly French and Spanish?

Did you that Morocco has become the 3rd favorite destination for British in 2006?

why so much racism and prejudice?

I happen to know that it is a fact that Morocco is 97% Muslim, and everything else I said about the country was positive, yet this idiot wants to bitch at me on MY BLOG because I might be concerned about bringing “my white Redneck butt” over there under the current political conditions, with the current threats of terrorism against Anglo Saxon Christian men.

Karim's Main Question: "Why so much racism and prejudice?"

THIS REDNECK's ANSWER: "Because the last time I checked, it is safer (and a good deal cheeper) to stay here at home on the Georgia coast and cook Moroccan chicken than go to Cassablanca and risk being kidnapped and beheaded on TV."

I guess that now I know how the Pope feels.

And by the way…Hey “Karim of Morocco”…I have a request...


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Goober Peas

They're Finally Ripe...Here...Try This

Two pounds of green peanuts, a quarter cup of Kosher salt, a teaspoon of cayanne pepper, and enough water to keep them covered while they slow boil for about 12 hours.

Taste them after six hours of cooking and every hour thereafter, and don't let them boil dry, then get yourself a roll of paper towels, a bowl for the shells, a cold beer, and EAT.

That's what I'm doing about midnight tonight.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Help Me Get A Few Things Straight Here

Hurray...It's Time For A Good Rant

OK, I've Evidently Not Been Paying Attention. So the news is that the new Pope Benedict delivered a speech in Europe and therein referenced some ancient commentary in the process?

And now things are on fire all over the Muslim world and the Pope's life has been threatened by some guy wearing what appears to be household linens on his head and in need of a nice close shave?

Here’s the Link to the story, and here’s the so-called offending words:

The New York Times wrote, "He began his speech, by quoting a 14th-century Byzantine emperor, Manuel 11 Paleologus, in a conversation with a 'learned Persian' on Christianity and Islam — 'and the truth of both.'"

“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman [emphasis mine], such as his command to spread the sword by the faith he preached,” the pope quoted the emperor, in a speech to 1,500 students and faculty.

The Times continued, "He went on to say that violent conversion to Islam was contrary to reason and thus 'contrary to God’s nature.'"

So am I missing something?

If so, will somebody jump in and 'splain it to me?

Sometime back in the 1300’s some unelected in-bred fool in Rome had a meeting and wrote something on papyrus or on a stone tablet, and the Pope referenced it 706 years later in a speech at a German University, and as a result the Muslims feel like they have the right to run out and riot in the streets and otherwise go ape shit?

“Hey…that dang Catholic Pope called us names...said that we were barbarians, so we’re gonna burn everything down and issue a fatwa on his bead jiggling ass…”

How amazingly poetic.

IF I were a lawyer (which I’m not), and IF I were trying this issue in court rather than on the liberal world stage and in the copy room of the NY times, all I would have to say is:

“I rest my case, your Honor…”

"Ye shall know the Tree by it's Fruit" or something like that comes to mind.

And while we're speaking of tin hat dictators, next I have to mention President Bush’s visit to New York and speech before the UN general assembly today.

I watched it live.

Did you?

All I have to say after viewing the President's elite audience is this:

“What a totally miserable, stupid looking bunch of ungrateful freaks.”

There...I said know that I've told you I don't keep anything inside when it's the TRUTH.

Seriously, most of the assembled group of “diplomads” and other “gumerent officials” looked like they could have served as extras in the "Mos Eisley Cantina" scene from the original Star Wars Movie. You remember these guys don’t you:

I’m pretty darn sure that I saw those guys perched out there between the Israeli and the Palestinian Ambassadors, draining their spit valves and getting ready to fire up a tune at intermission.

Rather than sitting upright and paying attention to what our President was saying, it looked like most of them were asleep or otherwise rolling their eyes around the miserable heads like 8th grade students in biology class.

All most of these aliens dang foreigners want is for the US taxpayers to send them our cash, and then get the hell out of their way in their day to day dealings with the world and their own citizens.

US subsidized rape and pillaging, courtesy of the United Nations...isn't that special?

My solution to this situation would be for the US to do the following:

A. Immediately stop paying our UN “dues”. The result would be an instant 26% reduction in their budget.

B. Place President Bush on the UN podium with his pants down around his knees, and any leader or ambassador that refuses to kiss his lily white hairy butt and apologize for their behavior today would get exactly ZERO DOLLARS in US foreign aid for the next 365 days.

Next, after the “Kissing of the President’s Butt” ceremony, I would propose that any country or little tinned hat dictator that so much as puts a little toe out of line or does any saber rattling like Iran and that little troll that runs Korea insists on doing would NEVER EVER see another dime of our taxpayer’s money.




I bet that there would be mobs with pitchforks and torches outside the statehouses of a least a couple of dozen piece-of-shit UN member countries by sometime between now and New Years Eve.

I'm sorry people, but I still say that sometimes you have to seriously think about killing them all, and then let God sort them out, because I'm really tired of all of this touchy feely political corectness crap--it makes my head hurt.

AAAAhhhhhhhh ahhhhhhhhh Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh Thunk (the sound of me falling off my chair)

That will be all for now…

Monday, September 18, 2006

More Distractions

I'm Helping The Pope With Public Relations

Actually if it's up to me...the Pope is on his own, because I spent most of the day worrying about Nerdy stuff like this (just glance at it, else your eyes will glaze over and you'll collapse into some sort of catatonic state:

Theory of Discharge in an Orifice

The Roman engineer Frontinus, who was in charge of the water supply under Augustus, used short pipes of graduated sizes to meter water delivered to different users.

This was purely empirical, since the effects of pressure, or "head," and orifice size were not known quantitatively until Torricelli, in 1643, showed that the velocity of efflux was given by Vi = √2gh. We still calculate the velocity from Bernoulli's principle, that h + p/ρg + V2/2, is a constant along a streamline in irrotational flow, which is equivalent to the conservation of energy.

We'll consider here the case of zero initial velocity, as at the surface of a liquid in a container with an orifice in the side. We assume that a streamline starts at the surface, a distance h above the orifice, and neglect the pressure on the surface of the liquid, since it would cancel out anyway. The streamline then leads somehow to the orifice, and out into the jet that issues from it. We choose the point at which the streamlines are parallel a short distance from the orifice, and find that the velocity there is Vi = √2gh, as given by Torricelli's theorem.

A jet surrounded only by air (or another fluid of small density) is called a free jet, and is acted upon by gravity. A jet surrounded by fluid is called a submerged jet. If the fluid is the same as that of the jet, then buoyancy eliminates the effect of gravity on it. A submerged jet is also subject to much greater friction at its boundary. We shall consider here only free jets of water, and neglect the viscosity of water, which is small, but finite.

A cross section of a circular orifice of diameter Do is shown. The thickness of the wall is assumed small compared to the diameter of the orifice. Because of the convergence of the streamlines approaching the orifice, the cross section of the jet decreases slightly until the pressure is equalized over the cross-section, and the velocity profile is nearly rectangular.

This point of minimum area is called the vena contracta. Beyond the vena contracta, friction with the fluid outside the jet (air) slows it down, and the cross section increases perforce. This divergence is usually quite small, and the jet is nearly cylindrical with a constant velocity. The jet is held together by surface tension, of course, which has a stronger effect the smaller the diameter of the jet.

The area A of the vena contracta is smaller than the area Ao of the orifice because the velocity is higher there (converging streamlines). For a sharp-edged, or "ideal" circular orifice, A/Ao = Cc = π/(π + 2) = 0.611. Cc is called the coefficient of contraction. For a sharp orifice, is usually estimated to be 0.62, a figure that can be used if the exact value is not known. For an orifice that resembles a short tube, Cc = 1, but then there are turbulence losses that affect the discharge.

The average velocity V is defined so that it gives the correct rate of discharge when it is assumed constant over the vena contracta, or Q = VA. Then, we can write V = CvVi, where Cv is the coefficient of velocity. The coefficient of velocity is usually quite high, between 0.95 and 0.99. Combining the results of this paragraph and the preceding one, the discharge Q = VA = CvViCcAo = CdAoVi. Cd, the coefficient of discharge, allows us to use the ideal velocity and the orifice area in calculating the discharge.

Aren't you happy that I'm worring about such things so that you don't have to?

Well...You're quite welcome...

Another Golden Oldie

Hurricane Preparations

I'm stuffed and lazy this evening, and in the process of doing some blog maintenance, I ran across some things I wrote a couple of years ago that I thought were funny.

Here's one example of what I wrote in my first month of blogging back on August 14th, 2004:

Two hurricanes in one week (well, actually one hurricane and one tropical storm) certainly is a good formula to take your mind off of a number of life's frivolous distractions--particularly if you live on or near the coast of the Southeastern US during the summer months.

Don't you just love the gleam a good 145 MPH wind puts in the eyes of the local TV weather nerds and the gloating staff of "The Weather Channel?"

I personally prefer a good weather news story a great deal more than I like following the sexual antics and mis-behaviors of some overpaid athlete and their remorseful female conquest or the endless saga of some poor, photogenic wife whom has paid the ultimate price as the victim of her bad life partner choice.

The present movement of Hurricane Charley is of particular interest to me and my neighbors as it slides across the Florida pennesula this evening toward our homes on St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Current local forecasts are for winds only in the fifty to seventy MPH range. The minor storm surge is probably our biggest concern here as most of the island is two feet below the government's so called flood plain and there is only one low lying road connecting the island to the mainland.

Having been a coastal resident since only this past March, I find myself in the early stages of learning the habits and behaviors that will allow me to successfully negotiate the intricacies of storm preparation and, God forbid, evacuation in advance of an approaching storm.

I've found that many other longer time residents are in the same boat (excuse the pun.)

You see, the Georgia coast enjoys the distinction of rarely bearing the brunt of tropical weather of the type and severity that Florida and North Carolina does each year.

We are, however, tittillatted every three or four years with the possibility of the strike of a bona-fide doosie of a storm. It seems that I have arrived back home from a vacation in Chicago today just in time for such an event.

The thing that is most striking to me thus far is the reality that many if not most people absolutely lose their blankin' minds upon even the hint of the approach of a major storm.

For instance, I made a trip to the grocery store this afternoon to pick up a few last minute items--having spent several weeks out of town and arriving with the storm possibly only a half-day away. The first sign of trouble was that the grocery lot was virtually full of autos and SUV's upon my arrival.

The next obvious clue was the availablilty of only three shopping carts inside the front door of the store.

The place was an absolute madhouse filled with wildeyed senior citizens and soccer moms who were careening wildly up and down the isles, their carts each filled with bales of toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water, and on most occasions--TWO OR THREE LOAVES of bread.

The biggest personal blow was that the Peter Pan peanut butter was sold out entirely (I had to buy Jiff.)

Now I ask you, what makes normally rational people believe that they are actually going to go through two or three jars of peanut butter and three loaves of bread in the one or two days that a storm this size and path could cut us off from civilization?

If they do eat all of that peanut butter, they will be so stopped up they could never possibly use an entire case of toilet paper, could they?

In an effort to document my current experiences and assist any future coastal residents in the art of Hurricane preparedness, I would like to offer my own list of Do's and Don'ts:

Do listen to local weather broadcasts every few hours in order to stay up to date on the storm's location, forecast storm track, and any evacuation orders that may be issued.

Don't go to the local bar hours before the storm roars into your neighborhood and get shitfaced drinking kamikaze shots or a half dozen long island ice teas before heading home to tackle hanging that truck load of plywood you just bought at Home Depot over your windows and doors.

Do put together a basic hurricane supply kit including drinking water, prescription medicines, first aid kit, canned foods, flashlight and spare batteries, battery powered radio, etc.

Don't think that you're prepared when your hurricane kit simply includes a twelve-pack of warm beer, a fifth of tequilla, a couple of half burned candles from the last storm warning , an old Bic lighter, and an inflatable raft with one broken oar.

Do gas up the car or SUV and move it to high ground prior to the local roads being closed.

Don't venture out during the storm onto flooded roads in high winds at break kneck speeds in an attempt to recreate Lt. Dan's hurricane scene in the movie "Forrest Gump."

Do move your boat onto it's trailer and secure it in a safe storage area. Relocate larger boats away from docks, pileings, and other boats and double/triple anchor them in place.

Don't think you are going to weather out the storm on board your boat with your warm twelve-pack and fifth of tequilla. (You will end up dead or be seen on CNN by all of your friends and family--you'll be the one hanging by a cable underneath a Coast Guard helicopter.)

Got to go outside to check out the weather again Charley's back offshore in the Atlantic and the eye is tightening up again, more later...

I'll leave it up to you to judge if my writing style and ability has improved any in the past couple of years, but I find it nice to fall back on some old thoughts when the new ones are few and far between...