Saturday, August 09, 2008

Missy The Turbo Pup's Back On Our Little Island

And Coincidentally...My Name's Back In The Newspaper Here

I'm quite pleased to report that with the expenditure of eight hours of moderate effort tendered mostly on the national Interstate Highways, and in spite of government proclaimed excessive energy costs, we've managed to make it back to our real "home" here again from the temporary quarters situated on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River to spend four glorious nights on St. Simons Island, Georgia.

The hotel is within a half mile of our last abode on Alabama street and three miles from the Sea Palms condo in which we resided for over four years, and mother nature managed to hold off the thunder storms for the duration of our southeastward bound sojourn--reserving the obligatory task of blasting us out of our socks with lightening bolts until we were through happy hour and on our way to dinner in an adjacent restaurant and back into our beds for the evening.

Today is my official "Redneck Real Estate" meeting Day with contractors of various specialties and descriptions showing up to finalize ways for me to inject some more of my overtaxed hard earned dollars into my own personal real estate "Tipping" (as opposed to "Flipping") schemes.

When we walked into the building over on the Marsh for a much anticipated reunion with a number of our local friends we learned that a letter that I had hastily blasted off to the Editor of the local newspaper on Thursday morning had been to published in Friday's edition.

I guess that I'm now obligated to buy a large brass or bronze "trolley bell" and hang myself from the lighthouse or a local church steeple--dedicating the balance of my time spent on this lovely but highly troubled planet ringing it on the command of the local county government (capitalization intentionally omitted on the words "county government")

Give me a chance to get some work done this morning and catch my breath and I'll copy the text of my latest "readers newspaper commentary" here for your enjoyment and get on with my fourth anniversary blog birthday blogging.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Posting Number 1901

Help Me...I Can't Stop Writing...

This attempt at humor was originally delivered on August 12th, 2004, was titled "NASCAR Hype," and if you ever watch Racin' you might understand where I'm coming from here:

I enjoy watching an occasional NASCAR race. I’ve followed the sport of stock car racin' since I was a kid in the 1960’s, when it was still in its infancy (by today’s standards,) and guys like Bobby Allison and Richard Petty drove cars that were actually built on the same assembly line beside the ones that parked in your neighbors’ driveway.

The race cars also actually looked like the vehicles in the dealers’ showrooms—except for the 600 horsepower engine under the real steel hood, the roll bars, the lack of a back seat, the STP & Hooker header stickers on the fenders, and the big numbers plastered on the doors and the roof. Come to think of it some of our neighbors in south Alabama had all the stickers and the roll bars and no back seat. I guess you had to be there to understand.

There was little TV exposure in those days except regionally for the really big races like Daytona and Talladega—the Indy 500 was the only race of any kind regularly televised nationally back then. If you got north of or west of Tennessee and hooted and hollered and yelled the number “Three” in public, no one knew what on earth you were talking about let alone would be willing to fight you over whether Dale Earnhart or one of the Allisons was the better driver.

Today things are quite different. Total strangers will beat your Grandma if she happens to ‘dis their driver in public. From New Hampshire to California, from Michigan to Homestead Florida, people are fighting in traffic and willingly paying seventy five or more dollars to attend NASCAR races--events that represent probably the most commercialized 6 hours they will endure in a lifetime, with the singular possible exception of Christmas each year.

What really gets me is the TV interviews they do with the drivers and pit crewmembers. The interviewee is always forced to use the name of sponsors, car owners and other suppliers as every other word in each sentence. “Thanks Bill, I couldn’t have driven this Ronnie’s Pulpwood Bubba’s Garage Dodge Charger all 500 laps here at the Trojan Condoms Raceway without the help of them super Goodyear tires while quenching my thirst drinking some of that good ‘ole Gatorade sports refresher.”

After each race, the driver finally gets to Victory Lane after tearing up almost all of the grass in sight doing donuts and burn-outs and when he exits the car, having pulled off a logo adorned helmet the size of a beach ball, he then is forced to put on a baseball cap with some other logo on it. Then they line up soft drink and sports drink bottles and other consumer products on the roof of the car behind his head and body-less hands and arms appear in the TV picture to force feed him various drinks from prominently labeled bottles to the point he can barely answer the questions being offered by the TV reporter.

Imagine if the early explorers like Columbus, Cook, or Byrd were forced to submit to this kind of TV coverage and did interviews and had product sponsors like NASCAR has today. I know there was no TV back then, but just imagine if there was. Columbus’ return from the new world could have gone something like this:

Headphone-Clad Announcer: “So tell the viewers, Chris, are you glad to be back here in civilization?”

Columbus: “ Well I’ll tell you, Vito, we definitely wouldn’t be here in first today at the Pope Pius IX Marina if it weren’t for the performance of our fine vessils--the Guido's Shipyard Queen Isabella Ragu Spaghetti Beteroulli Olive Oil Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. They just sailed so smoothly. Of course, we did loose the Pinta about half way home due to engine failure.

Announcer: Engine Failure?

Columbus: Yeah, the sails, they blew right off her in a storm, they did…it was really something to see!

Announcer: “What about that incident at the midpoint of the trip with the native’s canoe outside the Virgin Islands—are you going to hold a grudge with him on the next excursion to the New World?”

Columbus: “No, I don’t think so, we just love sailing, and things happen when you are going eight or ten knots. This Guido’s Custom Shipyard built fleet of ships just ran right over those itty-bitty dugout canoes—I think that Indian is still swimming home right now. He won’t be no trouble in a year or so when we’re over that way again.”

Announcer: “Did you ever think that you and your crew wouldn’t make it back here to Europe?”

Columbus: “No, not at all. We all had every confidence that these Queen Isabella Guido's Shipyard Italian Solid Oak ships and Mercury Vesevius outboard sails had the muscle to keep us in the lead most of the trip and bring us on home safely…but, by the way, there was that one incident when the Indian Chief caught me with his youngest daughter…boy was she ever a hotsie-totsie…

Announcer: A Hotsie-totsie?

Columbus: Yes, boy or boy, breasts out to here and legs down to there. Whew wee, I didn’t know if I was going to make it back with my skin intact let alone off that island that night…er, um, never mind…forget what I just said… sorry honey, I'll be right home.”

Announcer: Where do you see yourself and your crew going from here, Mr. Columbus?

Columbus: You see that there moon up there in the sky?

Announcer: The Moon?

Columbus: Yes, well, we’re working with this guy named daVinci, you may have heard of him, on this new kind of ship and boy I tell you, she beats the heck out of the speed and power of these babies we just got off of. We ask the fans to just watch the news in a few hundred years and see what we’re doing. It will definitely make your head spin, it will indeed.

Announcer: Well, ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here first…now back to you in the studio in Madrid, Mr. Jennings…

The Means To Be (Less) Than Average

More Government Statistical Mumbo Jumbo...

I don't know exactly what set this rant off this morning.

The thought process went something like this:

A. Start thinking how stupid it is for the Imperial Federal Government of the By-God United States to pass laws so some local guy building a country club can't harvest some coal on his giant property by strip mining the ore and selling it rather than just mindlessly bulldozing the mineral into the low spots on his land.

B. Next start ranting in your head about all of the other things that the government has screwed up over the years in the name of looking out "for our own good" while soaking the people that are successful to pay for the ineptitude of what turns out to be a relatively small part of the population.

The break down in the process comes when the government, in their effort to prove that there is a "problem" or a "need" in the first place, has to massage the numbers--often outright lying and cheating--in order to prove that they are mandated to sign a new "entitlement program" into law because "the Majority of Americans" support the process.

That said, I'd like to get into to my initial topic this morning, the difference between the mathematical term "AVERAGE" and "MEDIAN." After all, when you think about it clearly, there is a significant difference between the two words.

An AVERAGE, simply put, is the sum of a group of numbers (grades, temperatures, or in the government's war on poverty...income) divided by the number of numbers you added together to get the total.

Is your head hurting yet?

Stay with me here...I'll try to be clear and relatively brief.

The MEDIAN, on the other hand, is the number in that same group of numbers that falls in the position where HALF the amounts are higher and Half are lower.

Let's look at a few practical examples:

Let's say that you start your own country and you have a total of fifteen citizens with income that looks like the following table (subsitute the word Median for the word Mean as I've been corrected in the comments):

Holy Toledo...notice that the Average income is over ten times the Median Income?

That's because if you look at the list carefully you'll see that SEVEN taxpayers make more than $66,000 and another SEVEN make less than $66,000.

Now suppose that being a Government, just for fun you start meddling with the tax roles, giving deductions to some people based on income because you know that you can still run the government by paying for the "deductions" and "earned income" credits with money from your taxpayers making greater than the "median" income. Something like this:

Notice what happened to the Average and Median numbers? The Median is exactly the same, while the average income only fell by about $10,500.

See, everything is fine when it comes to funding the government through taxes, while at the same time you've removed one third of your population from the burden of paying taxes. In fact, those same five people are not only still making their original average of about $27,000 per year--

BUT they're also getting the "earned income" credits (unearned tax refunds) so their earnings actually went UP by allowing the government to transfer money from the top two thirds into their pockets at government gunpoint.

OK, maybe the government isn't really all that bad you say, so now lets suppose that you come to your senses and mostly leave the income numbers alone for the lower income earners, but you still play games with the upper income brackets by doing your math in a screwy manner--saying that if you don't have "wages, salary, or tips" then you have no income.

This is actually how the government calculates the number of people "living in POVERTY."

Under that scenario, this is what your income numbers would look like with the exact same original population if the upper earners didn't work every day but instead earned their income through INVESTMENTS and SAVINGS and owned their Home(s) free and clear:

How about them apples?

The Median income fell by 93%, and the Average income is down by 80%.

All I'm saying here is that the next time you hear some Morning News "Anchor" lamenting the 40 plus million Americans (including illegals) living without health insurance (but not health CARE) or the number of Children living in poverty, remember this little math lesson I delivered this morning when you feel the government reaching into your wallet.

It's not that I don't care, it's just that I would like to decide who gets how much of my money instead of letting a bunch of mathematically inept liars do it for me.

The rest is up to you...

(embarrassed blogger note...I mixed the terms "Mean" and "Median" indiscriminately in the original version of this writing as reader T.K. pointed out in the comments. All I can blame it on is poor editing and the early morning hour in which I was writing, but the balance of my points remain the same regardless of the name change...)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I Bet They're Not From "Around Here"

Natural Selection...

Care to take a guess where the people in this news story were born (and where they were going)?

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) - An official with Arizona's Department of Public Safety says at least 9 people are dead after a sport utility vehicle rolled over on a rural highway southwest of Phoenix.

Officer Carmen Figueroa (fig-er-OH'-uh) says in a statement that 18 people were in the SUV that rolled on State Route 79, about 80 miles southeast of Phoenix, Thursday morning. The other nine occupants were injured.

Images from a television helicopter show a crumpled white SUV alongside the road and what appears to be a row of bodies covered with tarps.

Figueroa says only one vehicle was involved. The roadway is expected to be closed for several hours.

Yeah...I thought so...

(isn't it interesting the the ASSociated press didn't bother to tell you the nationality of the "victims"?)

Public Laundering Of Your Private Posessions

Another Golden Oldie...

Continuing on the fourth birthday blog theme here at "What I'd Liked To Have Said," this morning I'm re-publishing the second essay I wrote for public consumption which first appeared here on August 10, 2004.

Looking ahead to the next few days, I think that it's more than a little ironic that you'll be seeing re-published writing about the 2004 Summer Olympics and Hurricanes among other topics which end up being quite current even four years after the fact.

Since we'll be traveling on Friday back to St. Simons Island for a five day working vacation (working on the investment property) , I think that this morning's essay is particularly topical for me personally.

Enjoy...what was originally titled:

Washing Your Underwear In Public

Spending ten continuous days living out of suitcases in a hotel room brings me back to a reality that I have spent very little time with since college—the Public Laundry. That’s what the sign on the door says here at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites in Elgin, IL.

Laundromat, Wash-O-Matic, Rinse-and-Wring, call it what you may, each and every visit provides a wealth of entertainment opportunities and interesting insights into human nature, and invariably brings you into contact with persons and situations with which you could otherwise do without.

Of course I have had, through the years, intermittent opportunities to further develop and maintain my college developed skills in the public cleansing of my most personal clothing items. The issue of boxers or briefs become quite evident unless you properly sort, handle, and maintain control of your clothing items before and during your visit to the local “Palace of Clean Clothing” (POCC for short.)

For instance, there was that time when I ran away from home, after separating from my ex-wife, and I was forced to give her the old Kenmore washer and worse, the old Kenmore dryer I had recently, lovingly, totally rebuilt for a cost of a hundred thirty six dollars and fifty-five cents (or something like that.) The personal cost of a weekend of cursing and scraped knuckles was extra. I later learned that she promptly discarded both the washer and dryer in favor of brand new equipment once the divorce was final—she just didn’t want me to have them. She tried the same thing with the 30-year-old Snapper self-propelled mower I had also rebuilt, but you know how it is with a man and his lawnmower. I think that lawn mower cost me about five thousand dollars in the final settlement, but it was worth every damn penny.

Any way, back to the local POCC. I rode the elevator down to the second floor about one o’clock this afternoon, carrying our white clothes and my four-dollar mini-box of detergent, purchased from Rashee, the friendly Indian proprietor of the lobby gift shop. Somehow, I avoided buying a genuine imitation Rolex watch or a cigarette lighter that looks like a pistol (against FAA regulations, you know)--but I was awfully tempted.

Upon arrival in the POCC, I found one of the two washers filled with someone’s unwashed blue jeans and one of the two dryers in mid cycle. Undaunted, my heart full of hope, I launched the load of white clothes with $1.00 worth of quarters, $1.50 worth of detergent, and planned my return 20 minutes later with the colored clothes. Wrong you stupid, white, redneck man.

Upon my return twenty minutes later I found BOTH dryers in operation and the load of blue jeans mysteriously in mid-wash cycle. This was war. What (or whom) was in that second dryer? I again left the POCC briefly, planning to catch the one dryer at the end of its cycle and then load MY own second load into MY washer. Again, wrong, you paleface redneck. Another ten minutes and another three floor round trip on the elevator found me and a four foot tall middle eastern woman glancing furtively at each other as she partially unloaded both dryers and fumbled with clothing of all sizes from 6x to Jolly Green Giant. Was this woman running a laundry service out of the Holiday Inn POCC? Could be…

Another elevator trip up three floors, another ten minutes writing this story, and back to the POCC where I found both washers empty, one dryer available, and the little woman with the red dot on her forehead nowhere to be seen. I sprang into action, untieing the sleeves of my dress shirts from the knot they invariably form in the rinse cycle and gleefully launching another $2.50 worth of quarters and detergent into action. An additional dollar bought me the services of the available dryer. I was turning the corner, in the home stretch now, ladies and gentlemen.

Three floors down, and three floors back, and my heart is still singing the pleasures of clean, although slightly damp and wrinkled clothing. The aforementioned mysterious load of blue jeans was doing nicely in the dryer also.

Got to run, now…I have a dollar date with a lovely, appliance-white-colored clothes dryer. She’s mine, Mine, MINE I said, ALL MINE, get away, dammit… I THINK I NEED A DRINK.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Speaking For The President

Greatest Hits Ancient History Revisited

It just occurred to me again that this blog has a birthday coming up this month.

Four years, and If I write an essay a day between now and then the total would be 1900 essays in 1460 days.

Not bad for a guy that hated English class and most people that taught English for the first 30 years of my life. Writing was a nuisance back then. Certainly not a hobby or even a potential profession like it is today in our little world here in my home on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.

Since I'm extremely busy at work during the day and even in the evening now preparing for a working vacation back to our Little Island on the Georgia coast, I thought that instead of writing new material for the rest of this week leading up to August 10th that I'd republish the first five postings I made as the "Coastal Companion" Blog got off the ground back in 2004.

Here's my first rant, published online August 10th, 2004:

I sent this E-mail to the Neal Boortz show this morning:

Mr. Boortz,

How about looking at this story linked from Drudge Report:

In summary, after Candidate John sKerry admitted that he would have gone to war with or without the presence of weapons of mass destruction, he then goes insane again with this gem: "Kerry challenged Bush to answer some questions of his own -- why he rushed to war without a plan for the peace, why he used faulty intelligence, why he misled Americans about how he would go to war and why he had not brought other countries to the table."

Here are my answers if I were President Bush:

President Bush- Question 1: "Here John, take a load off and have a Wendy's burger on me ( I know how much you and the missus love them) and listen for a moment so we can straighten out you and the rest of the Democratic Party.

First of all, I'm not aware of a single war fought in US history in which the plan for peace didn't involve first bringing our foe to their knees and, after thoroughly kicking their ass(es), spending a few years overseeing restoration of order and a functioning government on an organized basis according to OUR RULES. In addition, we generally pay for the repairs and restoration of the country involved (even if we didn't cause the damage or deficiency) out of US taxpayer funds.

And by the way, ask the French, Spanish, Russians, Germans, or Hannibal about their diplomatic policy in the 1500's to 1700's for alternate policies. We've voluntarily omitted the raping and pillaging (but we do put panties on the heads of prisoners occasionally.)

President Bush- Question 2: "Yes, some of the intelligence that the Congress, the office of the President of the United States, and our Allies used to make the decision to go to war has since proved to be flawed...but, it's not like we started out on a 1000 mile airplane trip with a wing or propeller blade missing off of the airframe. The flaws were subtle, John, and only proven years after the fact. Hell, we still took off, made altitude, and landed at our destination with fuel to spare. Most of the American people think that the general outcome was worthwhile in the end. Get over it.

President Bush - Question 3: "Now Mr. sKerry, how did I mislead Americans about how I would go to war? Were not the numerous UN resolutions, the obvious danger to the rest of the free world, and America attacked on our own soil not enough?

What part of this equation do you and Mr. Edwards think that Americans didn't understand?

Were people confused about which end of the gun would be pointed at Iraq, who made the bullets, or how effective our state-of-the-art military would be at reducing the Iraqi Military to "resistance status?" Call them bands of street thugs, call them insurgents, they are anything but an organized army/fighting force once we got through with them. Let the liberal press use their code words, the problems in Iraq today are caused by TERRORISTS, not freedom-fighters.

President Bush - Question 4: "John, John, John, why do you and the liberal media insist on stating that the US has prosecuted a unilateral attack on Iraq when British, Italian, Polish, Ukrainian, Dutch, Australian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Japanese, Thai, Danish and other forces have been involved in concert with our efforts for over a year? Why, I've heard that even the Spanish continued to send Sherry, Port wine and Tappas snacks after they pulled out their troops this spring. Why do you insist that because France, Germany, and Russia are not supportive that somehow our efforts are less effective or illegitimate?

For the record, since 1947, any UN effort that has actually seen real combat and security threats involved primarily US troops, US designed/built ordinance, and US lead command and communication structure. Excuse me if I just cut to the chase and got the job done. By the way, I'm not one bit sorry that we have been so effective to date."

"Now excuse me, Mr. sKerry--I have a country (and unfortunately--a campaign) to run."
See You in November.....

Why can't Mr Bush and the Republican Party just come out and tell it like it is???

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Emperor's New Clothes

I Want A Jacket Made By These Guys...

Check out the Knoxville tailoring establishment, John H. Daniel, where FOX News Bill O'Reilly buys his clothes.

I just found out that we have such places nearby here on the banks of the mighty Tennessee River, and I'm severely tempted to at least look at what they do there...

(somebody slap me...I clearly have some form of a Capitalistic disease and need to be vaccinated)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Smelly Hippies Take Charge Of Your Trash

Dude...That Odor Aroma Isn't Patchouli, It's Methane Gas...

Picture me with my ever greying, ever balding head tilted back toward the heavens laughing hysterically at the ironic twist of things out there in the so-called Governments operating on the left coast in California these days.

According to this news article, people in the bastion of the sensitive, liberal, politically correct world of San Francisco are putting their recyclables where their mouths and ideals should be---in the regular trash receptacles.

Apparently people out there are too busy these days singing "Kumbaya" and burning incense out in 'Frisco' to take the time to separate their left over bean Kurd and tofu from their cardboard and cellophane...

Garbage collectors would inspect San Francisco residents' trash to make sure pizza crusts aren't mixed in with chip bags or wine bottles under a proposal by Mayor Gavin Newsom.

And if residents or businesses don't separate the coffee grounds from the newspapers, they would face fines of up to $1,000 and eventually could have their garbage service stopped.

The plan to require proper sorting of refuse would be the nation's first mandatory recycling and composting law. It would direct garbage collectors to inspect the trash to make sure it is put into the right blue, black or green bin, according to a draft of the legislation prepared by the city's Department of the Environment.

The program is designed to limit the amount of food and foliage that goes into the city-contracted landfill in Alameda County, where the refuse takes up costly space and decomposes to form methane, one of the most potent of greenhouse gases. It will also help San Francisco, which city officials say currently diverts 70 percent of its waste from landfills, achieve a goal set by the Board of Supervisors to divert 75 percent by 2010 and have zero waste by 2020.

Does anyone but me see the stupidity or at least some less than small bit of irony in this story?

First of all, let me say this and get my daily dose of profanity out of my system...

In my considered Redneck opinion, this idiot named Gavin Newsom, the current Mayor of San Francisco, apparently has "shit for brains", so anything coming out of his mouth or any other bodily orifice is likely to contain the very methane gas he's complaining about.

Now, as to the substance of Mayor Newsom's proposal...the dreaded punitive $1000 "fines" he's proposing for breaking the San Francisco's garbage police's rules will, as I've said all along, make matters worse, not better.

While it is true that as long as you can throw away anything you want to for $30 per month people are going to do least at the same time you can control what honest GOD fearing people do with their trash and refuse by providing the service at a reasonable cost.

Cheep, affordable garbage service virtually guarantees at least some minimal level of compliance, while expensive fees, time consuming rules, and giant fines only guarantee that the roadside and adjacent vacant properties will become impromptu landfills and garbage heaps.

Get it?

Further, I have some personal experience with this subject while living on the Georgia coast--where both the city and later the county attempted to eliminate dumping by imposing mandatory garbage collection fees.

The county did it through the addition of the garbage collection fee in land owners' property taxes, while the city simply added the fee to your monthly water/sewer bill. I guess that the theory was that if you didn't pay the trash bill inclued in your tax bill or water bill, the government would take your house or turn off your water as a result... but can you guess what actually happened?

First of all, the trash service we received across the board was ABYSMAL because the customer had no choice in contractors (there was no competition) AND, virtually no one recycled because the government contracted collection companies and government provided collection personnel made it impossible to understand their ever changing rules about how and what you could recycle, and when and where you had to put things out on the curb for collection.

Further, just like Mayor Newsom's apartment dwellers in the news story, there is a whole culture of citizens--some call them the homeless (urban outdoorsmen) or the "working poor" who don't pay rent and don't own real property.

They do, however, own a number of old refrigerators, sofas, flourescent light bulbs, single tennis shoes, and they all eat a good deal of McDonalds cheeseburgers packaged in foam, cardboard, plastic, and paper.

Guess how much the waste disposal fees collected on property tax and water bills influenced their trash disposal practices.

Can you say ZERO?

In fact, I believe that it actually made things worse in Glynn County Georgia because outside of our singular exception of our little island, there was garbage EVERYWHERE... strewn up and down along the streets, and laying in piles on the sidewalk and on every out of the way place.

To make matters worse, the city trash collectors and the county trash contractors would not pick up anything if the pile was mixed refuse.

If you legally put out a pile of leaves and branches for collection on Thursday and some moron came by and tossed a load of household garbage or an old toilet into your pile without your permission, the City workers or the county's anointed contractor would simply drive past and ignore it.

Meanwhile, as the days and weeks went by the pile would grow bigger and Bigger and BIGGER until three times in five years I had to call the City and beg them to bring a CREW OF MEN, a FRONT END LOADER and A DUMP TRUCK to the alley behind my rental property and remove sofas, the guts of a PIANO, and tons of other stuff that total strangers piled on my property.

To add insult to injury, the city told me that unless I put up a fence across the back of my property, at MY EXPENSE, that they would charge me the next time the lovely residents of the city and county chose to use my property as a landfill rather than following the law and using the taxpayer financed waste disposal system they had so carefully engineered.

Government in action...ya got to love it...

Now as to Mayor Newsom's genius ideas and proclamations.


Further, if you cancel their trash service, do you think that they're actually going to stop eating and buying cigarettes and beer at the grocery store and suddenly produce ZERO refuse...just because you command that they do so?

You, Mayor Newsom, are an idiot, elected in a land of full of blithering blooming idiots, and you're lucky that people don't treat you like they did Governor George Wallace and Presidents Lincoln, Ford, and Reagan.

If I were you, Mr. Newsom, I'd be out picking out a new Tux to wear to your next public appearance, and it'd weigh significantly more the the twenty outfits you already have hanging in your closet right now (can you say BODY ARMOR?)

That will be all...for now...

Fine Dining In The South

Here's The Final Tabulation of Expenses...

In the event that I just used a little bit of something, I only included the approximate cost of the product used, not the cost of the ENTIRE JAR of whatever. Also, the meat pricing is actually for one giant sandwich made on one giant loaf of Italian bread, so at lunch today there will be more MEAT and more BREAD involved in the proceedings and the cost climbs even further.

I also left out the cost of the spices and herbs, fresh and dried...

But of course, as is usual in my cooking adventures, COST is never an issue, it's the QUALITY that counts around here else you might as well go eat at Bennigans or McDonalds...GOD FORBID.

OK, It's Really A TEN DOLLAR Sandwich

Making Up The Profit In Volume...

Well, I'm quite pleased to report that my earlier recipe ended up producing enough olive salad to make a LEAST three of these "sandwiches." Here's a look at my first effort last evening for dinner:

Here's what it looked like on the plate...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Twenty Six Dollar Sandwich

In New Orleans They Call It A Muffuletta...

Monday I'm sort of responsible for lunch at my office. They came to me and asked for "ideas" for a quarterly employee luncheon, and I took matters to task and came up with my own signature solution.

Fourteen people (not including the two on vacation) will starve if I screw up.

We have a kitchen which has everything but an oven, so all of the cooking has to be done before hand or avoided all together. Since I can't make a dishwasher cook pasta I'm cooking a little here at home today in preparation for the event.

In addition to the basic ingredients for boring old sandwiches with meat and cheese on a slice of bread, if you're adventurous I'm providing the ingredients for Greek Gyros featuring my own home made lamb loaf filling and tzatziki (yogurt cucumber) sauce and we're also putting together a couple of giant Muffulettas for the event.

I actually started my work late yesterday with these ingredients for the olive salad on the Muffulettas:

1 medium can Sliced Black olives
pint of Green Salad Olives
pint of Whole Goya olives
1/2 cup Cocktail Onions
1/4 cup Capers
2 Carrots, sliced fine
1 stalk Celery
3/4 cup Pepperroncini
1 cup Pickled Cauliflower
1/4 cup Capers

1/4 cup celery seeds
1/4 oregano
1 head garlic, diced fine
1 table spoon black pepper

1/2 cup of olive oil

A Loaf of Fat Round Bread

Sliced Genoa Salami
Sliced Sopressata Salami
Sliced Ham (preferably Serrano but I settled for Virginia baked)

Sliced Manchego Cheese

You put everything but the bread, meat, and cheese into a food processor and pulse it until you have a coarse mixture.

Add the olive oil.

Refrigerate it over night.

Now slice the loaf of bread in half horizontally, tear out a few chunks of the insides to make room, and smear some more olive oil on the insides of the bread. Layer your olive salad, meats, and cheese alternating the layers until you run out of ingredients or get tired (or think you've got a big enough sandwich.)

Wrap the whole thing up tightly in Saran Wrap and let it sit for a while (or in the fridge over night), then slice it up and EAT that sucker.

Call me about 6 PM today and I'll tell you how my test Muffuletta tasted (half the fun of cooking is doing the research .)