Friday, November 17, 2006

Too Busy To Complain About The World

I’m Silent For A Change

Do you want something to worry about? Forget MY personal opinion on these subjects, today’s assignment involves YOU doing some reading (in places other than the pages of the NY Times and the rest of the lamestream media) on these subjects:

1. It took less than two weeks for the new Democratic congress to start melting down while at the same time showing the American voters what a liberal moonbat Nancy Pelosi really is.

The defeat of her buddy and endorsed candidate, John Murtha, by Steny Hoyer for the position of House Majority leader is just the beginning of what I hope is a series of defeats for a woman that I consider to be the second most dangerous set of walking female glands on the planet behind Hillary Clinton. (And, by the way, why does Steny Hoyer sound like the name of a member of “Our Gang” on the old TV show The Little Rascals.)

2. Did OJ really do it? Apparently he’s telling everyone how he would have done it, IF he did it on a show on the Fox Entertainment Network (not FOX news) later this month.

3. Will somebody tell me what mechanism allows tornados to zoom in on trailer parks 99% of the time? Seven more people were killed by a tornado in North Carolina trailer park yesterday. It can’t be a magnetic phenomena, because other than the sub-frame, trailers are made from wood and aluminum. I think that every town should build their own tornado decoy consisting of a group of unoccupied trailers to draw the next storm’s wrath.

4. Why will grown men complain about waiting 30 minutes to vote for President of the United States, then go out to stand in line on the sidewalk for three days to buy a Sony Playstation III?

5. Can anyone tell me why I have to buy a camera to get a new cell phone? Seriously, I already have a really nice Cannon G3 digital camera, and all I want now is two cell phones to replace our 4-year old Nokia Phones that are slowly dying as pieces fall off and the displays crack from wear.

I’ve had a cell phone since 1990, and this purchase represents only my fifth phone in the intervening years--each supposedly smaller, lighter, and better. I say that each successive phone sucks worse than the one before. I long for my old big, bulky, 3 watt Nokia phone that mounted on a pedestal in my Suburban so I could talk to God in the middle of the wilderness rather than these crappy 0.6 watt phones that cause me to end almost every conversation with the words…

”If you can hear me…I’ll call back in a minute…”

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Here...Try This

A Quick Pasta Dinner--Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce

I'm still working my tail off trying to catch up with my obligations for the upcoming Canadian Technical Seminars, while at the same time being sick and tired of eating every meal out in a restaurant (I know, I know…boo hoo hoo.)

Here is what I did to solve my dilemma for last evening's dinner for two (double the amounts for four meals) :

Heat a large, heavy skillet and add:

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 stick of butter


1/4 medium onion, diced fine

Once the onion is cooked clear, add 1/2 of a 14.5 oz can of pureed tomatoes and a 1/4 cup of beef stock (or chicken stock) to the skillet.

Simmer over medium heat for about ten minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a pot of water to boiling, add a teaspoon of salt and a splash of olive oil, and cook yourself a batch of Penne Pasta (or any other small tubular pasta) and cook until it's "al dente" (that's French for the Redneck term "Done")

When your pasta is almost ready, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper flakes into your sauce and pour about a ¼ cup of vodka and a ¼ cup of half & half into the mix, then turn up the heat a little and stir, stir stir.

Keep stirring…

Pour your pasta through a colander to drain well, then toss it into the skillet with your sauce and stir everything up real nice.

Dump your pasta and sauce out into two big preheated bowls on chargers, grate some good Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmigiano Localetti Cheese on top, grab yourself a fork and napkin, and EAT.

Now feel free to entertain yourself, because I'm busy...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm Back In Town

My Mind's Willing...But My Body Needs More Sleep

I was up for 24 straight hours ending about 3:00 AM when I finally let myself doze off after losing a spreadsheet I had been working on for about 3 hours (without saving any intermediate results--I know...I beat me for my stupidity...)

Now I've got to try to recreate my previous results by combing through several dozen E-mails for contact info for our Canadian Seminars next week.

Blogging is just going to have to wait this morning...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Airport Blogging

Backward Thinking

Elapsed Travel time: Stardate 8 hours, 54 minutes EST

OK, so try to picture Pat and I sitting in the little airport restaurant/bar in White Plains, NY, drinking tiny $8 Jack & Cokes and $3 club sodas.

Add to that image me being just a little perturbed because after arriving at the airport 2-½ hours before our flight and stumbling through the obligatory disrobing and pawing in the TSA security area, we realized that there were only two gates and NO RESTAURANT OR BAR in the departure lounge area.

It took about two seconds for us to decide to risk running the security gauntlet again with my new explosive laden support hose New Balance tennis shoes in order to go upstairs and sit in comfort in the restaurant while we killed another hour and one half or so.

No big deal, but then when I tried to log onto the airport’s wireless network I learned that like Atlanta they wanted $6.95 worth of my credit card for 24 hours of access.

Like someone is going to hang out here all day for the great food and mixed drinks with flat Coke products. Of course there is the discount $3.95 rate for all the tight wads in their captive audience.

$3.95 gets you…

get ready…


Yeah, riiiight…

I went ahead and sprang for the $6.95 deal, which was a good thing because it took me 15 minutes to get Yahoo and a couple of other windows to load because instead of 802.1g they must be using 401.05a or something invented back in the stone ages.

The network is veeeerrrrrrryyyyy S L O W.

Regardless, it looks like we’ll make it home on schedule, and my business partner gave my spirits a boost by letting me know that both seminars in Canada are a go on the 24th in Calgary and the 30th in Ft. McMurray. Even better, I don’t have to make the trip. If I go to Canada and I’m not skiing I want to go in July, not November.

I’m ready to sit on my sofa and vegetate, see y’all then…

Vacation Post Mortem

Happy To Be Heading Back Home

Well, it’s about 3 AM and I’m wide awake, even though the alarm on my cell phone was set for six. We have about an 18 hour travel day ahead of us as we backtrack on three ferry rides across eastern Long Island and Long Island Sound to Connecticut, turn south west to the White Plains airport, then on to Atlanta and Brunswick by air.

We expect to be back at home on our little island by about 10:45 tonight. I get a little tired just thinking about the process. At least the driving portion is on the front end rather than the back end of the sojourn.

I hate to admit it, but I have to be one of the poorest people within 100 miles of where I sit right now, particularly if you exclude the children under the age of 18 and most of the cats and dogs in the area.

Good God but this part of the world is well off. As far as I can determine there isn’t a house priced at less than $1,000,000 anywhere on Long Island unless it’s burned down or had the foundation washed away by a flood tide.

Yesterday we drove down to East Hampton and wandered around their shopping district during a late afternoon break in the rain. Tiffany and Gucci had little stores right on Main Street, and there were some amazing antique shops containing end tables and little bookshelves priced in the thousands of dollars price range.

I wondered if they would take an out of town check…boing boing boing…

I have to say that our review of the Bed & Breakfast Inn’s we chose is somewhat mixed.

The Roger Sherman Inn was basically a really good Restaurant with 30 rooms located upstairs and in the Carriage House. We ended up in a rather small room where I banged my knees and elbows into the furnishings and narrow door frames practically every time I turned around. The staff was competent and friendly, but seemed to be more focused on the restaurant business rather than filling my ice bucket and interacting with the room guests.

The Sunrise Guest House here in Montauk has only four rooms for rent, and we got the only two room suit with a fireplace. The room was excellent, but the proprietor was a bit aloof and unprofessional and I suspect could be considered bit off-putting to deal with for older patrons or those wanting a “hoity-toity” atmosphere. Being the laid back beach bum that I am, he and I got along just fine, BUT…

He had this weird rule about no food or drink in the guestrooms at Sunrise, although he didn‘t enforce it on our stay. I guess that I should have known that something was up when there was no cups or an ice bucket in our suit.

We broke that rule and stomped all over the pieces for a half day before we noticed the sign on the wall in the kitchen area as I ran up and down the stairs asking for ice to go with our vodka, club soda, and cranberry libations.

I have to ask this question:

Who the hell runs an Inn that doesn’t sell alcohol or provide beverages other than at breakfast and attempts to not allow the guests to drink their own beverages in a room that costs $195 per night in high season?

Answer: William does.

Any way, now I’m going to roust Pat up out of bed early and try to eliminate some of the drama from the return trip by getting an early start, and we might be able to visit our friend Bucky (Dartmouth Class of 1942) on the way back through the area.

See Y’all in Georgia soon...


Monday, November 13, 2006

Planes, Trains Ferries, And (Rented) Automobiles

Three Boats Later…

I find the geography to be weird as hell up here on the north tip of Long Island--but in a GOOD way.

For those of you that haven’t been to Montauk, it’s like you took a beach from the outer banks of North Carolina and plopped it down in the middle of Asheville, NC.

Seriously, you can drive away to the north from forty foot sand dunes and in five minutes you’re in rolling hills covered with slightly stunted versions of typical new England hardwoods that have already lost their leaves.

After watching Pat freak out while we loaded our rented SUV onto a giant auto ferry at New London about noon yesterday, we arrived at Orient Point Long Island about an hour and a half later having saved at LEAST a half day drive down through NY City and back up north.

I was planning on driving down the north fork and back up the south fork of the island, but when we stopped for lunch at Claudio's in Greenport I found the North and South Shelter Island Ferry’s that cut yet another 1-½ hours off the trip out to Montauk.

By the way, I have this innate ability to stumble over places like Claudio's by accident, and while is isn’t always a cheep experience the opportunity to visit such landmarks is well worth the extra cost (a hamburger and fries was $11.) The restaurant had been there on the dock, owned by the same family, since 1870--thereby making it the oldest single family run restaurant in the entire United States.

After lunch, Pat wasn’t exactly thrilled that I had added two additional short boat trips to our itinerary, but the Shelter Island runs were across very flat water and we got to stay in the SUV while under way instead of wandering around a passenger lounge, so she was no worse for the wear when the saga was over with.

I’m still kicking my own butt for having left my digital camera in the trunk in Brunswick because I’m running around with a stupid throw-away camera that makes the flash go off every time the lighting isn’t 1,000,000 lumens.

I just got in from wandering out to make sunrise photos from the beach in front of our B&B and all I probably got was overexposed images of sand with blurry clouds and a yellow blob for the sun.

I guess that I’m going to have to super glue my Cannon G3 to the Tripod so that I can’t forget one or the other next time--it’s all of nothing from here on out.

It looks like the weather might be giving us a break for a while today so we’re going to run around doing some shopping and the tourist thing, then we have to rise early tomorrow morning and reverse our saga’s direction in order to make a 4:30 flight out of White Planes.

Wish us luck…


I just checked the NOAA website, and the break in the clouds at sunrise was actually the "calm before the storm." There's a mini-nor'easter blowing this way from the south west, I just hope it blasts on through so we can get out of here early tomorrow morning...of course, if Delta doesn't fly, it wouldn't be a total loss to be stuck in White Plains NY for an extra night.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Changing My State (Of Mind)

Another Travel Day

Dang it, but I managed to screw around and I didn’t get a reservation on the auto Ferry until yesterday afternoon, and by the time I figured out that the hourly trips were filling up my choices were limited to some time before 1 PM else after 7 PM.

I got us on the 1 PM trip. Who knew that it would be so busy on Sunday?

As a result, it looks like we won’t be going to Rhode Island tomorrow because I don’t want to leave at 6 AM and with the front and associated rain moving in I think that an expedient trip up I-95 is the best option, after visiting some friends on the Long Island Sound over in Norwalk, CT.

All in all it’s been a great vacation so far, with lots of great food and plenty of time to visit with our former neighbor Bucky (Dartmouth Class of ’42) and his family.

I’m still basically ignorant about anything going on in the news except Ed Bradley and Jack Palance died in the past few days and the Wicked Witch of the West Nancy Pelosi is still assumed to be the leading candidate for Speaker of The House next January.

I’ve got to go throw up now…