Thursday, December 31, 2009

Everybody Have a Flabby Happy New Year

My Kitchen Jihad...Grown Men Quiver In Their Boots

What's going on in my kitchen right now probably could be against the law in many states.

I give the idiots in Washington DC another ten years and it probably will be.

No "trans-fats" and artificial sweeteners mind you, I'm talking REAL fat from pork and Turkey and Cows here in my world.

Did I mention a whole POUND of butter spread around in different places?

First there's the pot of black eyed peas which have been soaking all day and now have a smoked ham hock laying in the middle of the pot as I slowly heat things up.

Next there's the giant five gallon pot of mustard and Collard Greens, with not only a smoked Ham Hock but also a Turkey leg--bone in--wallowing around in there for flavor.

That pot of greens is just getting started on the stove top in anticipation of being available with the black eyed peas, a big pone of home made corn bread, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, beer bratwurst, and a giant stuffed pork tenderloin which I as yet have to go slice and fill with fruit and breadcrumbs and tie it all up with butcher's twine.

Then there's the breakfast casserole of bread and eggs and sausage and colored bell peppers and onions and bacon and cheddar cheese that's already put together, sitting in the basement fridge, and just needs to slide into the oven tomorrow morning for breakfast.

There's a half stick of of REAL, unsalted butter in that dish.

Then Saturday for dinner there's my soon to be famous White "Green Butt" Pork Tenderloin Chili which is still in the raw component phase.

And Pancakes and link sausage for breakfast Saturday and Huevos Rancheros (Mexican Eggs) for Sunday morning Brunch and I figure the ambulance will be arriving around noon to take me to the Cardiac Recovery Unit at Fort Sanders Medical Center.

If you don't hear from me here on the blog, somebody send up a flare....


What Ever Happened To 2000?

The way "Time is Flying", I find myself thrashing around this morning trying to get focused and organized, but then again since we're bumping up against YET ANOTHER holiday on the calendar I realize that everything's going to pretty much come to a screeching stop until next Monday morning.

I'm sort of looking at this "holiday" as a nussiance rather than a benefit because it's costing me money to stop and celebrate something that doesn't really matter in the big picture.

Because most everyone has the day off on Friday I had to beat some suppliers into shipping stuff I ordered last week, with one causing me to have to pay for over night FedEX because they were sitting on the shipment for apparently no good reason.

We've got guests in town for the extended weekend starting tomorrow evening so I have to get cooking later this morning to prep the New Years luncheon meal and plan Saturday Dinner and Sunday Brunch.

Sometimes I wonder why the heck I always end up putting myself in the position of making everybody's gastrointestinal satisfaction and needs a top priority on my personal time line, but I do and I did for this weekend so it's time to go consider the last minute grocery list and the details of getting things done on time.

In the mean time I'm fairly sure something in the news will piss me off and give me some additional blog fodder, but until then...

...regards Y'all

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I Can't Win For Losing

Silly Crap That Makes Me Crazy...

So I wander up to Staples yesterday to buy my end of the year load of office supply crap, and when we get up to the checkout with the cart full of paper and divider tabs and .5 mm pencils and Desk Lamps and all the other stuff we think we need I ask the rocket scientist girl at the counter this:

"I know that I left my Staples "Rewards Card" here last week, can you check and see if you have it?"

She then proceeds to drag us over to the "service desk" (there was no one else in line at the time) and we watched while she fumbled around in a bunch of bags under the counter...then she gayly announced that she didn't have a single "Staples Reward Card", just a couple of cell phones and a WalMart card in their lost and found.

Isn't that amazing, that the store which insists on assaulting you every time you walk in the door with a sales pitch to make you take one of their "affinity" cards has exactly ZERO cards left behind by customers?

In a place where they want every single customer to have their card, and where their employees are brainwashed to deliver a sales pitch over and Over and OVER again until in capitulation (and to shut them the heck up) you finally take it?

I'll tell you what's going on at Staples these days.

Once you finally succumb to their sales pitch, those son's-of-guns are throwing your cards away if you leave them at the checkout so that you can't retrieve the "rewards credits" you've earned over all of your purchases.

According to the website, we spent nearly $800 at Staples in 2009 and it really does add up when you include recycling printer ink and all the other stuff we buy, so I know a good thing when I see it.

And I, being a self proclaimed "Super Genius", had gone online prior to our visit when I realized that the last rocket scientist sales clerk had failed to return my "Rewards Card" to me (I have to ask for it back almost every time) and found my "Rewards Number" and had it written down on the back of one of my business cards for future reference.

This visit being in "the future", after five minutes fumbling around and not finding the card in the store I then presented the rocket scientist lovely woman with my business card bearing the number on the reverse (BCBNR for short.)

Do you know what that silly bitch rocket scientist lovely female sales clerk did?



Yep...She smiled as she told me about how to get my online rebates for some stuff I had bought and mentioned in passing that she had had a "brain fart" and that I also needed to call the 1-800 number she wrote on my receipt so I could have them add the purchase to my "Rewards Card" account.

I exited the facility with Pat pinning my hands together behind my back in order to keep me from spending New Years Eve in jail for assault.

Is it just me?

It's Almost New Years

Where's My Limo?

I have to say that I'm already tired of all of the "retrospective" stories on the TV and in the Newspaper rehashing everything we were forced to live through in 2009.

Of course a little bit of nostalgia goes a long way with me anyway.

I think the people that made the least contributions to the goings on in our country and in the world--those with the most minimal of actual accomplishments--by virtue of having nothing of consequence or responsibility to do are the ones which most enjoy reveling in and reminiscing about the death of people like Michael Jackson and the inauguration of our impostor professional poser President Obama.

I, on the other hand, have "bigger fish to fry," and I prefer to spend my time looking forward on the calendar rather than backward.

I'm just happy to have made it through 2009 after my company closed down last December 19th without missing a house payment, while at the same time managing to earn some semblance of a living and minimally maintaining my professional beach bum lifestyle.

In spite of the cash flow crunch, in 2009 I still managed to spend about two weeks back on our little Island of St. Simons (in April my team won second place, "People's Choice" in the 2009 Chili Cookoff using my recipe), spent time on another Island--Cedar Key-- last summer, and finished the summer off on Santa Rosa Island Labor Day weekend.

Not bad for someone who was "officially" "unemployed."

The key (excuse the pun), in my considered Redneck opinion, is just keeping your priorities in order.

Any way, the New Years' celebrations this year here in Knoxtown at the Turbo Pup Compound on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River will be somewhat subdued, with family guests (my new business partners) arriving New Years eve in time to eat a blended southern northern feast of Pork, Wurst, Sauerkraut, Greens, and Black Eyed Peas with Cornbread.

We're basically keeping a low profile and trying to get the second PLC panel put together so we can open the year with a shipment of new product in anticipation of rolling out a couple of new control panels and actually making some good money in 2010.

No limos, no funny hats and no staying out in a club until midnight, I doubt if I'm even awake at 12:00AM so riding around in something like this like we did last year in Kansas City between Christmas/New Years is out of the question:

I don't know about you, but I'm not waiting on the government to stimulate my personal economy, I just want them to get the hell out of my way and let me do what I know how to do.

The Imperial Federal Government of the By-God United States of 'Merica and all of the other "do-gooder" busy bodies can just go somewhere else and help someone that thinks that they need it...

...and I wish everyone the best of luck in 2010.

(I'm afraid we're gonna need it)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Old Enough To Remember Seeing This Image On TV?

Then You Know It Means This Blog Is "Off The Air" Right Now...

If you're bored, scroll down and re-read the insanity I wrote yesterday and I'll talk to y'all later.

Monday, December 28, 2009

I'm Starting al Qaeda Airlines

Nobody Move...Everybody Has a Bomb!!!

Isn't that a brilliant idea?

The Government Idiots in Washington DC could take all of the Taxpayer dollars they waste on fake, useless Airline security measures and just start an airline or charter service for Arabs.

If you have "al" or "el" or any name with more than twenty four syllables that requires extra phlegm to say, or you insist on wearing table and bath linens on your head, you could fly for free from any destination inside the united states to any destination in the middle east.

One way, on the taxpayer dollar.

And before you get on board a government employee would pat you down and run you a couple of times through the metal detector, and then if they couldn't find anything they'd loan you a box cutter, strap a load of plastics explosives around your waist, and shove a stick of dynamite up your ass before putting you on the airplane.

Then once everyone was on board and they were taxing for take off the cabin steward, a big wild eyed hairy sucker with a turban, a bandoleer full of ammunition, and a machine gun would come out and deliver the "preflight briefing" which would go something like this:

"cuickkkkkk (the sound of a microphone opening)

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and welcome on board el al Qaeda Airlines flight 666 to Mecca.

In order to ensure your safety and that of the passengers around you we ask that you remain on your prayer rug, with your Velcro knee pads and palm pads securely fastened to the carpet until the captain has turned off the "Velcro knee pad sign."

This Ismail Industries Allah 705 "Virgin Buster" Jet has four emergency exits...two over the wings and two behind the flight deck, although according to TSA and FAA regulations they have been welded shut from the outside prior to departure.

Although smoking is allowed on board once we reach our cruising altitude, we ask that you resist the urge to blow yourself up until we are safely over the Arabian Peninsula.

During our in flight cabin service refreshments will be available including goats milk, Camel Urine, olives, and crackers with feta cheese. Fermented sheep's milk would be available along with various wines and malt beverages for $5 each, but then we will have to slit your throat if you consume them because alcohol is forbidden in the Koran.

The in flight movie will be the 2009 remake of "Lawrence of Arabia" starring Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Peter O'Toole, Lybia's Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi as Omar Sharif, and Yasser Arafat as the Ghost of Christmas a minute...that's a different film.

any way...

The operation of cell phone bomb detonators, satellite phones, laptop computers, and other portable electronic devices is strictly prohibited (but we know you don't care what activities are allowed in flight so go ahead and do as you please...we won't stop you.)

On behalf of Captain Mohammed and First Officer Abdul and your Detroit based el al Qaeda cabin crew, we ask that you kneel down, relax and enjoy our flight as we head directly toward Mecca and your 100 virgins.

We know that you have a choice when making your air travel arrangements and we appreciate you choosing el al Qaeda Airlines

We hope you enjoy your flight. sound of the microphone going off)"

Heh...I wrote that myself...I amaze even me with my insensitivity sometimes...

Terrorism For Dummies

An Open Letter From An Angry Redneck...

Hello Mr. Terrorist,

I hope you're having a lovely afternoon there kneeling facing Mecca, chanting Allah, and visualizing your 100 Virgins out there in the after life.

Seriously, I'm starting to agree with you that some of the "Infidels" over here in the US need to have an industrial strength sized can of WhoopAss opened on their heads enjoy a little personal Jihadist terrorism, and here's my ten cents worth of advice on how you can totally screw up America and large portions of the "civilized" Western world--sometimes without even killing yourself by blowing up the first tennis shoe or lighting the first fuse on the bottles of liquid and powder you have strapped to your scrotum and shoved into your rectum, but I digress...

FIRST, you really have to understand that MANY of the people in charge of security here in the US are at best mentally retarded, and the ones that aren't are either too stupid to prevent any serious threats from occurring else they actually hate America and Americans enough that they don't care what happens and what the effects of their actions or in-actions are in the process. The rest of the people I haven't identified are too politically correct to risk offending you so feel free to run amok around the "enhanced" security measures they're putting in place this week.

SECOND, you need to realize that the American people are too interested in watching Reality Shows and American Idol or College Sports to actually get up off of their asses and elect anyone with any real capability to defend themselves and our country at large.

THIRD, you can sleep peacefully knowing that even the most inept members of your rag tag band of Muslim Missionaries can strike terror in the hearts and minds of our leaders and most of the population just by showing up and doing something to get yourself arrested--even if it actually never really posed a serious threat to anyone but yourself. The US Congress will pass a new law at the drop of a hat and the Obama Administration has a spoken policy of "never wasting a crisis..." so I think that you get my drift here.

FOURTH, you can count on our lamestream media--NY Times, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC and the ASSociated Press et. al.--to tell you our every move and leak classified information from "confidential sources" and other people that should know better but "decline to be identified" or "spoke on condition of anonymity" because things like Treason are against the law here but unless you're driving DUI or speeding the laws are mostly not enforced these days.

So, with that groundwork laid out for you to see, lets talk about how you and a couple of dozen of your swarthy, bearded, Allah loving associates can totally F**K up the American way of life in a single 24 hour period.

First of all, each of you needs to fly somewhere wearing obvious Arabic/Islamic/Muslim cultural garb and act as strange as possible. That will start shutting things down and make all of Soccer Moms wet their panties right off of the bat. Some people will go home and some will take the next flight, but isn't that what terrorism is really all about--attacking our civilization and our way of life?

Further, the night before your flight and at the airport you need to eat two or three bowls of Applebys or Ruby Tuesday Chili, then, traveling in pairs on airline flights at least two hours long, in the the last hour of the flight jump up and yell "Oh Allah my colon's going to explode" and run up the isle and try to use the restroom on the flight.

When they refuse, and after the five fellow passengers finish duct taping you to your seat, just smile and soil your pants leaving a giant stain that Ajax won't remove.

I mean something which will require the replacement of the tray table, seat back (in the upright and locked position), and the seat cushion/flotation device when you're done with it.

Then once you arrive at your destination, have spent your seven hours in interrogation, and have changed into your free Government issued underwear, go out to the rental car counter and ask for the largest truck/van they will rent you.

Be sure to load a couple of packages of radical Muslim propaganda into the trunk and glove box and leave it there for the company to find at the end of the day, then drive to the local fireworks stand off the interstate at the state line and buy $1,000 worth of roman candles, bottle rockets, and Cherry bombs.

Go to your motel room (leaving more fake radical Muslim propaganda on the desk) and pack the fireworks into two or three suitcases fused together, then go to the local mall, go inside, and light the fuse.

Step back and watch the fun.

You'll be arrested, but you'll be out of jail in less than a year, still alive, and will in fact have accomplished almost the exact same result as if you had driven into the building with a 1000 pound bomb.

You see Mr. Terrorist, in addition to being stupid, many Americans are Chicken Shit Cowards, and their reaction is only mirrored in the actions of their leaders, so by doing what I just described six times in a single day, you will have paralyzed the American Air transportation system and shut down the American retail sales system for weeks if not months in the future.

You see, our leaders won't just stop Terrorists with Turbans and poop stains on their flowing robes from coming into malls and getting on airplanes.

NooooOOO Sir.

They will want to force EVERY SINGLE PERSON to use the restroom at the airport at gun point prior to boarding. Heck, because it will become so difficult to fly, many airlines will go out of business else many low volume routes will be eliminated.

Instead of flying non stop from LA to NYC, they'll close the restrooms on planes and chain everyone to their seats and you'll be forced to "hopscotch" your way across the country in one hour segments with mandatory restroom stops along the way.

And all of the Malls will also probably close down and everyone will have to do their shopping on the Internet because you can forget carrying a bag of packages into the Mall to make a return for at least six months to a year without going through a metal detector and playing with a bomb sniffing dog.

Yes Mr. Terrorist Jihadist, many things are possible through Allah's will, and it's the LITTLE things that really get under peoples' and the government's why not give up the 9/11/2010 plan and just wear everyone down with crap like you did this past week?

Makes sense to me, although I'm just a silly middle aged Redneck. Think about it and get back to me if you have any questions, and until then...

Peace Be To Allah,

Virgil Rogers


TSA = Transportation Security Administration TSA = Try...Something...Anything

More Government Induced Stupidity

Would somebody help me get the issue of "Airport/Airline Security" straight in my mind this morning?

You see, I'm a little confused.

Here's what I know so far.

In the time since we got the idiots to stop hijacking airliners to Cuba back in the 1960's and early 70's, we've pretty much not had much problem here domestically except with the occasional mental case or drunk on a domestic commercial flight.

Then on September 11th, 2001 a half dozen shit heads of middle eastern/Muslim descent decided that it would be a good idea after taking some flying lessons to go out and bring some Ace hardware box cutters on board in their carry on luggage and take control of four airliners full of people and crash them into things.

In response to that event the idiots in our government decided to start strip searching pregnant women and elderly grandmothers, then as a follow up performance after another European bastard terrorist wanna-be A.K.A Richard Reid caused them to start making everyone take off their shoes and belts and stagger through the metal detectors with little two ounce bottles of shampoo and toothpaste.

All of that applied to every single person going through the airport while at the same time handling people wearing turbans kneeling on prayer rugs and chanting Allah Akbar etc. etc. with kid gloves as they cruise right through with no additional screening than that given to me, your average Redneck traveler.

That brings us up to this week when some Northern African follower of the Peaceful religion of Islam managed...

In spite of being on the "Terror Watch List"...

and in spite of not having a passport...

and in spite of apparently having to go through screening in Amsterdam (a FOREIGN COUNTRY IF YOU HADN'T NOTICED) and boarding a airline bound for Detroit (AN AMERICAN CITY, IF YOU HADN'T NOTICED)...

Managed to set himself and a few other passengers on fire in a failed attempt to bring the aircraft down.

Before I continue, let me point out that the guy was an idiot for waiting until the aircraft was ten minutes from the airport because any engineer and most people walking around having watched the 1970's "Airport" movies know that the best time to try to explode a Boeing and do the most damage is while it is at altitude--something like 35,000 or 40,000 on a transcontinental flight--not when it's down at 6,000 feet and the air pressure differential between the cabin and the atmosphere is minimal.

Now back to my original point.

I'm hearing and reading this morning that in response to this latest incident the so-called "Homeland Security Secretary" Janet Napolitano and her band of inept government boobies are going to start making everyone stay in their seats for the last hour of the flight and not allow people to have blankets or pillows or Computers or Video Games OR EVEN BOOKS in their laps or hands during that 60 minute period.

I guess that means that if you take the flight from our little Island of St. Simons to Atlanta and the scheduled time is 53 minutes that they're going to lock the bathroom door and make you keep all of your carry on luggage in the overhead bins and under the seat for the duration.

And what about the idiots that travel with their babies and toddlers flopping around in their laps (many times screaming and crying and annoying everyone else on the flight)?

Are these same people which are required by law to strap their kids down in special car seats while DRIVING to the airport at 65 MPH going to finally be FORCED to buy a ticket and lash their little darlin's down while traveling at 500 MPH and 30,000 above the ground?

Probably not, but our idiot government thinks nothing of going through an endless list--yes a veritable plethora...a Cornucopia of FECKLESS, INANE, INEPT processes and procedures designed to do nothing but fail their purpose and further annoy and inconvenience the traveling public.

Unless you wear a rag on your head and have a weird Beard hanging off of your chin, I don't feel one damn bit safer when you and and your Grandmother are forced to walk around in your socks and stockings and be groped by some GED wielding pervert wearing a badge that says TSA.

And if they really enforce that "last hour in your seat rule" they better start buying a few million drums of Clorox and Lysol else start handing out "Depends" adult diapers at the ticket counter because many men and most women can't make it on a three hour flight (particularly the ones that can't resist spending $8 at the Concourse Starbucks on a Latte Grande low fat Soy with Splenda...) without visiting the phone booth sized boxes they call "lavatories."

I guess that on a three hour flight you can forget getting your free micro glass of Coke and tiny bag full of eight peanuts and just expect to sit with someone's butt in your face because for the first TWO HOURS the line to the "lavatory" is going to stretch the entire length of the plane and the stewardesses flight attendants won't be able to trundle that little cart down the isle to get to you.

And not once has anyone at a senior government level offered to do the obvious...SEARCH THE CRAP OUT OF EVERY YOUNG MUSLIM BETWEEN THE AGES OF 12 AND 100, and tell the airlines that if they don't follow the existing rules--the ones enacted after 9/11--their airlines will forbidden from flying to the US or the offending airport will be banned from originating flights to the US.

Forget making God fearing Americans jump through an ever growing list of BS in the name of "security" when the THREAT to security is more than likely coming from OUTSIDE our borders. And the crap going on inside our borders could be reduced or virtually eliminated if these same Government Bureaucrats would control access and entry through the borders...but they won't.

Somebody tell me that I am not right here?

I'm waiting...

I'm telling you people, this is all just another shovel full of stinky, dollar bill encrusted, Grade A, un-homogenized Government Bullshit.

Not only that, but once again they've advertised their intentions so "Yehaa al Abdul" and "Yusha al Ismail" and all their wild eyed Virgin seeking co-horts will do is watch Fox NEWS/CNN and go change their tactics.

I'm sorry, but I have to go now and get a towel to wipe the spit off my monitor and try to think about something else before my head explodes.

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

Two Down. One To Go.

Better Enjoy It All While It Lasts...

I usually have mixed emotions about the "Holiday Season", and I guess thinking back it generally follows the path of whether I'm an "employee" or a "business owner" when late November rolls around on the calendar each year.

As an "employee" working for someone else and paid with someone else's dollars, the holidays are pretty much a fun break from the 9-5 routine, except on the occasion when as an "employee" I have been responsible for some important aspect of a project (or even the entire project) and the deadline falls during the period from the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years or shortly thereafter when the holidays and end of the year vacations often times cause me to find myself under staffed and overworked in my efforts to meet the deadline.

As a past and present business owner I can tell you, unless you are in the retail consumer goods business were you count on holiday spending as a significant portion of your annual sales, that as a provider of products and services to the industrial market it VERY hard to make a DIME between mid November and January 2nd because everyone that's not already staying home on vacation has their mind somewhere else most of the days they do show up at their desks and in the past I've had some hellish experiences in product production and delivery as a result.

It's hard to not be like Scrooge this time of year because almost everything stops and you can't find anyone in technical support and your component shipments are delayed because they're caught up in the seasonal rush of packages and mail.

And of course the people in accounts payable responsible for processing vendor invoices and cutting checks and getting you PAID...the original reason you went into business in the first place...are either on vacation or the department is otherwise short handed so basically if you haven't been paid BEFORE CHRISTMAS, in my experience you might as well walk away from the mailbox and not come back until some time after January 1st.

So any way, I've managed to live through Thanksgiving and now Christmas, and all I really want this morning is for this week to fly by and for Monday morning, January 3rd, 2010 to roll around so that....


Yes...YOU there...

YOU reading this posting.

Go...Shoo...close this browser window and GET BACK TO WORK SO I CAN GET SOMETHING DONE MYSELF.


OK, that will be all...for now...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

An Important Technical Question

Somebody Has To Ask...

Hey Ladies, if you gave your Husband the new Tiger Woods PGA Tour game for Christmas...

Is your marriage still safe?

And what kinds of entertainment does the game give the "players" between "practice rounds" or after winning the Tournament?

Just wondering...

BTW, the URL is sort of Ironic:

Instead for "/home/action", shouldn't it be "/away/action"???


BurpHeading North Again

Hotlanta Here We Come...

It's with a certain degree of reluctance that we leave Lower Alabama this morning because other than cooking and eating I basically didn't get crap done because another 2" of rain was added to the twenty feet foot or so of water that's come down out of the sky here in the past month.

The parts of the land that aren't standing in water are mostly a spongy, soft muddy bog incapable of supporting ladders or vehicles or even the weight of human feet beyond ten feet off the driveway or sidewalks.

Any way, we're again dividing the trip into two segments with the first ending in north Atlanta at my good friend John the Architect's house (I worked for the man almost 30 years ago) for dinner and a little catching up, then on back to Knoxtown midday Sunday to check on things at the Turbo Pup Compound.

Honestly folks, this professional beach bum is ready to get back to my new Company making some money, although I realize nothing much is really going to happen in the business world until January 2nd.

Still there's things that can be done at home in the international headquarters of PET working on software and hardware for delivery in January and UPS should have loaded up my carport with boxes of goodies to support my latest efforts.

That said, time to do a little Internet research on some stuff, a little packing and cleaning up in the kitchen, and then do my usual morning nap in anticipation of 4 hours of insanity on I-85.

Regards Y'all...

Friday, December 25, 2009

My Eyes Were Bigger Than My Stomach Everyone's Stomachs

Sale Prices Yield Massive Over-Cooking...


Going into the Holiday season, I swore that this year I'd take it easy and not cook an giant elaborate feast of appetizers, multiple meats, and a half dozen side dishes.

The idea sounded good at first, but then they put big turkeys on sale for $0.69 a pound before Thanksgiving and I couldn't resist grabbing a 14 pounder and shoving it in my freezer for future use.

I made it though Thanksgiving keeping my "minimalist cooking" pledge by accepting an invitation for lunch with my neighbors and their large family--only doing a couple of appetizers which only took a couple of hours to produce.

Then when we finally made our Christmas plans and I realized that there was an opportunity to cook Christmas Dinner and...while suffering for Alzheimer's...I offered to cook my NINE POUND turkey for Pat and Mom and I (remember it was 14, not 9 pounds.)

Further, in keeping with my pledge, the meal would consist of just the Turkey, dressing, and two sides with cranberry.

"Really simple."

SIMPLE, I promised myself.

And remembering the old saying "bird in hand (or freezer)...etc., etc.", I decided it didn't matter that a 14 pound bird will serve ten to twelve, so I just threw that sucker in the cooler and carted it to Lower Alabama.

By the way, the good news is that with a rock solid frozen 14 pound bird anchoring the proceeding in the Cooler we didn't need any ice over our day and one half journey south to support keeping cool itself and the beef tenderloin, fresh vegetables and other stuff we raided from our freezer and fridge.

That turkey was still hard as a rock when I cleaned out the cooler and then put it back into a couple of four gallons of brine solution.

So then after cooking a Fillet/Baked Potato dinner Wednesday night and fresh Pork and Chicken Tamale's with Salsa Verde for lunch yesterday...


at 1:30 PM Thursday afternoon my assault on turkey, Sage Sausage Dressing, Broccoli/Cauliflower Casserole, and a Baked Mashed Potato dish ensued.

Turns out that the other thing I forgot (besides the size of the bird), was that most of my recipes had been developed to serve a dozen people (scaling toward 30 diners a couple of times in recent memory) so when the dust settled at 6 PM last night, besides being too tired to eat, I had what was probably the BIGGEST PILE OF FOOD ever set in front of three people in south eastern Alabama.


So just now, after a nap, I got through ripping the tin foil and saran wrap off the top and processing the left overs--read that carving the rest of the Turkey off of the bone--so now it's time to scan the cooking blogs for something to make besides "Turkey Sandwiches."


In the mean time, If anyone has any good ideas, I'll let you have a couple of pounds of free bird....just stop by...


Oh, and by the way, just in case I missed you "Merry Christmas"...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S ! ! !

Here's Hoping You Get What You Wished For...

My request was pretty simple this year...

I just hope it doesn't end up under the tree.


(Shamelessly stolen from here )

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jack Webb Schools Obama

All I Can Say Is...A M E N...

Live from Smyrna Vinings Smynings Georgia

Back In Cobb County...

Well, we knocked the first three hours off the interstate portion of our Christmas journey mid-day Monday and then spent the afternoon in Suburban Atlanta between shopping destinations and the Hotel and restaurant for dinner.

Being back in town less than 24 hours, it's still easy to remember why I felt this "Little Big City" I learned to love in the late 1970's changed so much as it grew that it forced me to want to relocate in 2002. (Even today when we visit the traffic still makes my liver, spleen, and colon spasm uncontrollably.)

Now early this morning, before the traffic jam gets going full force, we're sneaking heading south on I-85 toward Auburn and then cross country to the farm.

Wish us a safe journey, avoiding the cell phone texting morons, and not being jailed for killing someone in an adjacent car with my bare hands while traveling at 75 MPH...if you will...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Travels

We're Headin' Back South...Praise The Lord...

Once again I have to warn everyone that my blogging efforts are going to be sporadic and hit or miss for a bit---whenever, where ever and what ever--this week as we pack and move south for the next 5 to 10 days.

If it were up to me we would head to Atlanta tomorrow around noon and then on to south Alabama on Tuesday morning, and then after Christmas if I wanted to really get crazy we'd spend next weekend in Cedar Key Florida and a couple of nights back on our little island of St. Simons, but Pat's worried about the cost and the length of time on the road so we may just do Lower Alabama and call it quits after four or five nights.

I'm still working on her psychologically and we'll pretty much know by tomorrow night the final travel itinerary. Of course the weather forecast will also have a lot to do with our plans because we can stay home for free versus sitting in a motel for $150 a night watching it rain.

Wish us luck and safe travels (avoiding the texting while driving cell phone morons) one way or the other...if you will...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Virgil's Pajamagram Pajamaham Company

Forget Lingerie...Give Her Something She Really Wants/Needs

As I wrote back last February in my posting called Virgil's Valentine Bear Company, I enjoy lambasting the seasonal TV commercials that drive me crazy selling stuff to Men that are apparently too lazy to go shopping before February 13th or December 24th and/or pay any attention to what their wife or girl friends (or wives AND girl friends...wink wink...) would like to receive as a gift.

Now it's Christmas 2009, and once again I find myself frequently assaulted with the Pajamagram commercials that come on every 15 minutes no matter what channel you watch on TV.

"when she opens your package, she'll think you've been planning for months..."

Yeah...R I G H T...

You ignorant Dumbass...

But (but not Boston Butt)...

Gentlemen, I'm pleased to announce that in the course of my normal entrepreneurial spirit, and as a public service, that it's time for me to roll out my own personal offering in the market of last minute Christmas Gifts for the ladies on your shopping list.

I think that it's something that's really needed...something that both YOU, the Man giving the gift, AND HER, the woman receiving the gift can enjoy--particularly if your little lady is a real life regular woman rather than some exotic anorexic bitchy fashion model like the girls they show on these ads...

when you may be coming home from work and looking at this every night...

I say forget images like this of you and the little Missus lounging around Christmas afternoon...

Not at my house...NooooOOOO...and you can have it too...

Just e-mail me with your credit card or Paypal account number and for the low, Low, LOW price of $109.99 (or three easy payments of $36.66) you can get a beautiful package that looks like this:

And Inside that fashionable box?

Not just two pairs of Funky flannel pajamas with weird logos and images sprinkled randomly over the strange dry-cleaning only friendly fabric...I'm going to include one of these at no extra COST:

Imagine the look on her face Christmas morning when she opens your package from "PajamaHam."

Order now, and while supplies last by December 21st we'll provide free shipping by Pony Express and our famous limited Botulism poisoning warning.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nerdy Christmas Re-Runs

I Thought That This Was Cool Last Year... here it is again for your enjoyment (crank up the volume):

(Somebody's out there's got Wayyyyyy too much time on their hands...)

Here's Your Obama Osama Christmas Greeting

Somebody Thank Reid And Pelosi For Me...


Our Turbo Pup Turns Three Years Old Today

"That's One Darn Fine Dog We Got There..."

It's our little Missy "The Turbo Pup's" Birthday today, and I thought I'd publish a photo montage of all the stuff she's done since she was born in coastal Mississippi back on December 19th, 2006.

Since being from the Gulf coast and having made a trip on Delta airlines to come to our house on our little island on the Georgia coast when she was two months old and weighed TWO POUNDS, she's become quite the experienced world traveler and professional beach/pool dog just like her Dad.

Here she is at about three months and three pounds...the nose and body gets longer as she matures...

A glamor photo in the yard of the condo about a month later...

Hanging out on the pool deck with her Cousin "Olive" down in Orlando that spring:

Impersonating Bugs Bunny...

You need to understand that our little miniature long haired Dachshund has her own luggage, and she knows when we're going out of town and she insists on supervising the preparations to make sure her Valet (that would be me) doesn't forget anything (including the puppy.) When we start packing and moving stuff around she can't sit still and will try to get into the car every time we open the doors to load something up. Here she is trying to hide and blend in the stuff as I load the trunk...

In addition to clothes and luggage, she also has her own furniture.

Here she is testing out her new beach chair on St. Simons when she was about 9 months old...(we had to get her that chair so we had a place to sit on the beach because she will take all of the towels and chairs if you don't make a dedicated place for her to sit.)

Swimming with a friend in Grandma's pool down in Alabama a few summers ago...

Wrestling with her dad sporting her Georgia Tech collar...

St. Simons this past spring without her chair (on my towel)

And earlier on that same trip hanging out on the beach and on a restaurant deck with her Dad on Cedar Key, Florida...

Last Christmas sitting under the Christmas Tree looking for more presents and puppy snacks in Kansas City

Hosting another friend and leading the inaugural ceremonies of the new and improved back yard Turbo Pup Pool and Recreational Complex (TPPRC for short) last summer here in Eastern Tennessee on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River...

As I've written several times before, I've spent most of my life living with cats beginning before the age 12 and ending with the passing of two wonderful fellows--Patches and Hoover back in the late 1990's.

With their loss due to old age I swore I would never have another pet, but today I can honestly tell you that I wouldn't know what to do without our little Missy 'The Turbo Pup" who never ceases to amaze me with her intelligence and her ability to use every ounce of her little 11 pound body and spirit to help keep me sane and grounded as I wrestle with life in my later middle age.

As my subtitle said..."that's one darn fine dog we got there..."

In closing, Missy would like to say thanks to everyone for taking the time to look at her pictures and for all your well wishes on this special day, and if you didn't like looking her photos, all she has to say is...

GO WRITE YOUR OWN BLOG and leave my Dad alone...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Cards

Expensive Social Frivolities...

There was a time, back a hundred years ago about the late 1980's when I was freshly married the first time and full of energy and each Holiday Season found me being responsible for putting out somewhere around 75 or 80 Christmas cards each year.

Then in the late 1990's and early 2000's time my life's circumstances got the best of me, and I became all pissed off and lost my mind and my ass financially and went out of business and for a few years I didn't even call anyone just to say hello let alone send them a Christmas card.

Being that way is harder than it looks, emotionally and spiritually, SO...

here I am today living in a foreign town in a foreign state... WaaAAAAAyyyyyYYYY north of where I really want to be living, licking envelopes and putting on self sticky stamps to the tune of $0.44 each and when the dust settled I realized we were back up to FORTY ONE CARDS THIS YEAR.

And that didn't include my cousins and Pat's extended family beyond grandchildren that had moved out of their parent's houses and didn't rate a card for various reasons including lethargy.

And I was too lazy to make my own custom cards this year.

I used to do stuff like this on a PDA sitting in the airport and then clean it up with Photoshop.

But this year, because I'd run out of art work that everyone hadn't already seen, instead $60 in postage and paper later I finally find my seasonal duties completed.

All the shopping.

All the wrapping.

All the shipments.

And now all of the cards.

You'll have to excuse me for saying that all I want for Christmas is for someone to spike me a giant glass of eggnog with 100 proof rum and let me just sit around and chant "Bah Humbug" from now until the 25th.

Is that an unreasonable request?

Holiday Lethargy

I'm Falling Behind By Getting Ahead...

It's really weird, but I have to admit that I'm having trouble getting motivated the last couple of days after starting the week off like a Jet fighter on full afterburner.

I guess you could say that for some reason I can't help staying out of "fire drill" mode due to some quirk in my DNA or something.

Accomplishment leads to Procrastination.

I got a ton of stuff done on Monday and Tuesday including finishing all of my Christmas shopping online (you got to love those "Free Freight Deals") and getting to the 75% point on my PLC project, then yesterday at mid-week I found myself just sort of sitting around spinning my wheels doing nothing.

I went back to bed mid morning and didn't get up until 3 PM...getting some of the best sleep I've had in weeks while the thermometer hovered around 40 degrees.

Aahhhhhh...the luxury of being unemployed being self employed.

Then I got up and tossed the last couple of strings of Christmas lights on the railings and bushes out on the front lawn.

I also finally managed to finish slow cooking the pork and chicken and beef for my current Tamale efforts, but only tonight did I get the Manudo spice blend put together and the Tomatillo's roasted and run through the food processor for the Salsa Verde.

I've learned that the thing about Tamales is that if you're going to make four of them, you might as well make FOUR DOZEN because it's a huge effort getting everything together, and unless you're from Jaurez or Mexico City things don't come naturally, especially for people from Lower Alabama.

Don't get me wrong, it's not hard, it's just a different cooking process and order and the way I've figured out how to do things I have to do a little more thinking because I've only cooked them a couple of times and those events have been spread out over four or five years.

As usual, each time I make notes and try to improve on the process. Two of the three previous efforts have come out really nice, with the third being a little dry and under cooked for some reason.

The first time I cooked them--the second time ever--for public consumption I had over 40 people try my pork and beef recipe out and if I had been in the catering business I could have made a little money off the offers I received that day--but thus far I cook for pleasure, not profit.

The good news is that the balance of the week can be spent fine tuning the PLC software, completing the user's manual, and getting ready to travel to my Mother's home on the Family Farm in lower Alabama for four or five days extending over Christmas.

After standing on the roof cleaning gutters and and doing other maintenance chores, I hope to be able to spend some time wandering around the property visiting my Great Grandmother's house lost in the woods and built in the late 1800's, and possibly get out my guns and blast some tree limbs off the trees across the lake with 22 magnum and 30-06 rounds.

The older I grow, the closer I seem to become to my family's ancestrial lands--parts of which go back to somewhere around the 1830's--the only problem thus far being always living four to seven hours away since the late 1970's.

Aromas from the oven in the kitchen call me now, so if you will excuse me I'll go see what's going on and hopefully not need a fire extinguisher.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Want My YOUR Money Back

Since I Didn't Vote 'em In, Can I At Least Complain?

Check this ASSocaited Press story out and come back to me when your head stops spinning...

Unwitting tourists attend White House breakfast
By BEN EVANS (AP) – 7 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The White House is once again explaining how uninvited guests wound up shaking hands with President Barack Obama.

This time, a Georgia couple hoping to tour the White House ended up at an invitation-only Veterans Day breakfast.

White House officials say the couple mistakenly showed up a day early and were allowed into the breakfast because there were no public tours available. They say the couple, Harvey and Paula Darden of Hogansville, Ga., were properly screened for security.

Harvey Darden, however, said there appeared to be a mix-up. No one told them about the breakfast, he said, and the Dardens thought they were starting their tour until they were ushered into the East Room and offered a buffet.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

I couldn't really give a crap what goes on at the white house these days. I assume it looks pretty much like a third world country most of the time with the Obama's in charge.

What bothers me is all of the important stuff they're responsible for--things like national security and monetary policy and little details like keeping me from waking up with a boat load of Cubans or Koreans or Iranians or Russians standing on my front lawn waving machine guns.

People can sit around and laugh and high five each other every time the Obamamaniacs pass some new stupid liberal/progressive/socialistic policy, but when the feces finally ends up hitting the rotating impeller ("the shit hits the fan"... for those of you that went to the University of Georgia)I'm going to close my front door and save my ammunition to fend off the hoards coming through my moat and over the ramparts.

Just call me selfish I guess...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I'm In Training To Be A "Motivational Speaker"

I'm Moving To A Van Down By The River...

(I saw this live on Saturday Night Live back when I watched the show regularly as a younger man...don't make me come over to your house and deliver my own speech...)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Go Christmas Shopping At Big Lots...Or Just Commit Suicide?

Take My Guns and Steak Knives Away From Me...

I went to Big Lots today looking for some Christmas Cards.

I'm happy to report that I didn't have to kill anyone including myself, and I didn't have a heart attack although my blood pressure is a few points higher on both ends of the scale after returning home.

Who ARE these people, and why do they lose their minds just because the calendar says "December?"?

Is it just ME?

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

Seven Simple Home Remedies For Men

My Own Version Of Reader's Digest Tips...

1. Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop.

2. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink.

3. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

4. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

5. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives; then you'll be afraid to cough.

6. You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

7. If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.


Thanks for the ideas goes out to Rodger over at Curmudgeonly & Skeptical Blog

Basement Blogging

I'm The Emperor Of All I Survey....

I'm just finishing up a successful session of programming this evening...something that was mandatory if I'm going to get this contraption out the door and into my customer' hands this week.

In the past five hours I've managed to re-write a substantial portion of the front end of my PLC program and really cleaned things up--in the process jumping across a couple of logical hurdles I've been wrestling with for a few weeks now.

I've had to tear out a bunch of optional "gee whiz" stuff which wasn't in the original specifications or the purchase order and concentrate on the core program code and making the thing sing and dance in the manner it was sold.

It's not really Rocket Science, but realize that it's been nearly thirty years since I last worked with PLC's and it's been nearly 20 years since I spent time writing software on any substantial basis.

Today finds me back on a ladder cleaning gutters and hanging Christmas lights and doing other home owner stuff...then there's still three or four pounds of Boston Butt that needs pulling and further processed into ...get ready...

T A M A L E S.

With real Masa dough wrapped in corn husks and steamed to perfection.

My stomach is growling just writing about them (the Tamales.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Butt's Been Brined & Seared

And Now It (A Boston Butt) Is Sitting In The Oven...

I love writing about cooking a Boston Butt almost as much as I love slow cooking a Boston Butt, because I get to write the word "Butt" and nobody can take offence to my content.

See, I just wrote the word "Butt" three times in one sentence.

Now I've written "Butt" five times in three sentences, but (but not "Butt") it doesn't stop there.

Even though it's a Sunday, I'll probably end up SAYING the word "Butt" several dozen times and not once be making reference to any politician or ex-wife or former business partner.

How can one person be allowed to have so much simple fun?

I say that you need to get off your Butt, get yourself a Butt, start by Brining it, and find out...

Stuff That Blows My Mind

Positive Thinking & Blogging...

I've found myself sitting here this morning wide awake, when I should probably be asleep, checking the FedEX website following the "tracking numbers" on a couple of boxes worth a couple of thousand dollars to me in the next month if they get to their destination safely and perform as intended/specified.

Being somewhat of a hopeless romantic, I can't help but think about how far the business world has come since my first days in my first job--as an idiot intern after high school graduation at the United States Army Aeromedical Research Lab (USAARL) at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.

Back then these guys, being on the forefront of technology...while still using carbon paper in some of the typewriters...had these fancy clunky dedicated IBM "word processors."

I thought that it was pretty cool and couldn't keep my hands of them when the Secretaries were at lunch. (the Word Processors...not the Secretaries...OK maybe one of them...)

In 1978 a "word processor" was basically a typewriter with memory...a machine with something the size of a bar/dorm room refrigerator attached to it that could spit out letters and forms while you filled in the blanks with the answers to "Dear..." and "Sincerely..." being the only variables in the equation.

Fast forward to yesterday morning and I wrote three purchase orders, one invoice, and a couple of packing slips and printed them out in color, in triplicate, without a shred of carbon paper in sight.

Then as to communicating with my customer and keeping them up to date?

In 1983, in my first real Engineering job, with a company located off Peachtree Street, we still had the carbon paper in Miss Eller's Typewriter and we were just converting from rotary to touch tone telephones in Atlanta, but only Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers on the TV show "Hart to Hart had cell phones--and those were the size of a cinder block and were mounted in the trunk of their Mercedes Benz 450 SL Convertibles.

At that time people still used telex and telegraph machines in their offices, and we would have two or three weeks to do a proposal because you had to allow for the US Post office or UPS to deliver the package across the country.

Today everybody wants to ask for a proposal in the morning and expects to have a price by 5 PM regardless of the circumstances or quality of the efforts involved.

I think we all end up paying more for the speed of the answer rather than the end result of the overall efforts involved in producing the product...better to err high than low on the price and lose money.

The first time I used a FAX machine was sometime about 1986 and it was a borrowed transmission at my old GT roommates' company to get a proposal out the door before the deadline.

Today almost everyone has fax machines or fax capability on their computers but let's face it...

other than the idiots in GOVERNMENT OFFICES, fax transmissions have pretty much been rendered obsolete by E-mail attachments of MS Word documents or PDF copies of same.

And that brings me back to my current freight shipments this past week, and the technology that allows me to follow my packages across the country from Knoxville to Kansas City.

I know my stuff was in Nashville yesterday, and I know it continues westward this morning.

And I know all of that by simply pecking on a computer keyboard and entering a few numbers.

I can do the same thing from my Web enabled Verizon LG Dare Touch Screen Cell Phone.

Sometimes I guess it makes sense to stop complaining, especially during the holiday season, and acknowledge how good things have been in 2009.

Not perfect, but it could have been a lot worse...

Anybody But Me Want To Slap That Moustache Off Geraldo Rivera's Face???

I'm Just Wondering...

Anybody else feel that way...because I personally can't STAND that SOB (Geraldo).

I've never have liked him.


I guess my dislike actually goes way back in history, back to a time even before his stupid
Al Capone'sVault BS Special aired back in the mid 1980's.

Many of you are too young to remember that sad saga in his limited broadcast career, and many of us are old enough to wish that we could forget.

But we can't, and then again you know what?

At least the idiot's presence on the Fox News channel gives them further credibility to being "Fair and Balanced' because the guy is pro illegal immigrant and "anti" about everything else I stand for in my own life.

Sorry if I appear cranky...I've been up since 1 AM writing Ladder Logic program code while watching the cold rain fall here in Eastern Tennessee.

I guess that it's time now for a nap before resuming my programming duties (and there's a Boston Butt to Brine and cook between now and dinner.)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

21 Degrees F In Knoxville

47 Degrees F on St. Simons Island...

Who's idea was this--leaving Our Little Island--any way?

One Eight Down...

Two More To Go...

Well, I managed to throw eight of my new custom 3-way pneumatic valves out the door on FedEX on Friday. Four went out in the morning in one heavy cardboard box and their cousins went out about 4:30 PM in another 23 pound shipment.

My fingers hurt from banging them on the edges of the metal components and pushing on Allen wrenches and clamping things in my bench vice because--basically I'm an office boy and have no calluses on my hands unless I'm in the middle of a home improvement project (something that's a few months behind me most recently.)

Now for the next week on the professional front it's nuthin' but me and Bobby McGee there's just me and my PLC Infrared Temperature Probe project which has to be out preferably by mid week.

Did I mention that my customer called and ordered another duplicate panel for their Maryland Corporate Headquarters/Manufacturing facility?

They want to be able to evaluate it's performance on more than one production line and have ominously threatened me with a command performance meeting with Corporate Engineering in January.

The good news is that I have another order, the bad news I have as yet to make the first Prototype work so I either have two dead panels or two working panels. The hardware is a no-brainer, it's the software that needs a little fine tuning before it gets packed in bubble wrap and peanuts.

If things go as planned I could end up being inundated with dozens of orders for duplicate panels, and then there's a whole family of variants I'm talking to them about for delivery in 2010.

And in the mean time the %$#@ Government will continue to take my time filing forms and stealing money paying for "licences" and "permits."

And now not only do I have to file Federal Income Tax for Pat and I (fortunately the Turbo Pup is exempt as far as I can tell), but now yet another tax return for the Corporation will be due April 15th, and of course there's the State Sales Tax people to deal with and on and on and on.

I'm afraid the Government BS is going to force me back into having to have an Accountant look at things this year for the first time in over ten years, in spite of being officially "unemployed" since December 19th last year.

Isn't that a total load of crap?

A guy gets laid off, and the only thing he manages to do to earn a little income over the subsequent 12 months is sporadic consulting, sell a piece of real estate, and spend the minimum cash out of savings mandated to start a new Corporation--the only guarantee being the possibility of further losing his ass--and the Government passes laws so complex it makes him PAY someone to do the paperwork else risk making a mistake and having to pay INTEREST AND A PENALTY for an honest oversight.

%$#@ing Government...

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Out Up All Night...Sleep All Day..."

"I Don't Know Where I'm Going..." **

Date: December 11, 2009

Time: 5:36 AM EST

Location: Somewhere In A Basement In West Knoxville, TN

Mission Status: Critical

Current Plans: Ship one carton of Four Valves...Sleep...Build Four More...collapse

***With my apologies to Joe Walsh and the Eagles...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's 36 Degrees And I'm Out Hanging Lights On My House?

The Wind's Blowing In One Ear And Out The Other...

Of course I can't manage to wear gloves and do the intricate wire tied pattern on my front railings so if I start typing like rthis layter tyonighty yuyou'lklk knbnow whast happpperned.

(Frost bite in my fingers = FGrodst Buitre inb myu fgingerts.)


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Death By Lawn Tools

Don't Make Me Have To Kill You With A Rake...

I'm Pissed.

More than just a little.

My regular readers/lurkers/followers may remember last year when I spent $500 on a Monday having all of the lawn clipping and branches and trimming and other miscellaneous debris removed after a season spent cutting the overgrown shrubbery of our new 1963 vintage home...and then the VERY NEXT WEDNESDAY my asshole back yard neighbor's white pine tree fell into my yard destroying a giant Holley tree and barely missing the Turbo Pup's picket fenced in recreational area.

The guy,in his mid thirty's, came over and basically told this old crippled 50 year old (ok 49 at the time) man that he was sure sorry but since it didn't break anything his insurance wouldn't pay and that I could borrow his chain saw if I wanted.

I resisted the urge to do something to him involving removing his starched/pressed/pleated Khaki pants and hanging him from one of my trees in the front yard with his Yuppy pink tie as punishment because I'm too old to spend a night in the Knox County Jail.

The idiot never lifted a finger to help remove HIS TREE from my yard and I've never heard from him again another $200 later.

That said, right now I'm fuming because our next door neighbors--one of only two rental houses on the entire street to my knowledge--didn't remove their leaves which fell off of the two giant Oaks in their front yard this season...they just raked them into giant piles at the base of their trees.

I, on the other hand, paid my "lawn technician" to remove my leaves and I cleaned up the stuff that fell since and it's laying in two little piles in the natural areas in my back yard.

I also waited for all of the leaves to fall off of our own and all of the surrounding trees and then put out a pallet and one half of fancy dark stained Cypress mulch in all of the existing flower beds and a giant new bedding area along the front of the house.

Now guess what?

Today with the wind gusting over 40 MPH and blowing nearly constantly out of the west at 10 MPH...

can you guess who's yard is clean and who's yard looks like it hasn't been raked this fall?

And can you guess who's cypress mulch flower beds are full of leaves?

Maybe you can understand why I ask that somebody please consider coming down to the police station and posting bail if you don't hear from me for a couple of days.

MORE (at 4:00 AM)

I've had time to think about this issue and it gives me pause to consider the value of things like "neighborhood covenants" and idiotic "Homeowners Associations" (something I've been the president of a long time ago in another life.)

Still, the idea of home owner's renting houses in generally owner occupied neighborhoods and not including "lawn maintenance" in their rental prices in my Redneck mind could be something the general public should rise up and solve on their own...without government intervention.

I'm half way considering calling my lawn guy, having him clean up my front yard into a giant pile, and then taking the leaves over and dumping them in my neighbor's carport or on his front porch.

If he doesn't actually see me doing it, what can he do?

"Hey dude...act of Nature/ sucks sometimes..."

"Chest Nuts" Roasting On An Open Fire...

But What If I'm A 'THIGH' Man??????

OK...everybody settle down after trying to understand the overt meaning of my title and subtitle, and take this quick posting under my new Blog category of "consumer griping" for what it's worth...because last night I cooked a dish--in this case Parma Rosa Chicken with Vegetables--and it reminded me to publicly ask this question:

"Has anyone out there but me noticed that boneless Chicken Thighs cost more than boneless Chicken Breasts in the grocer these days...even ON SALE?"

What's up that?

I guess that it could be that just like the "Buffalo Wings" craze made the price of Chicken Wing Futures go through the roof over the past half century, and today many people have discovered that the other "dark meat" cuts of chicken are capable of adding an interesting flavor and texture to things like Stir Fry and some other rustic pasta dishes I like to produce in my kitchen.

And just in case you hadn't noticed the price differential at your local Kroger, feel free to remember that you heard it here first...

Consider it my December "Public Service Announcement."

Now would someone knock me in the head and make me sleep for more than TWO or THREE hours in a row?

Nightie Night...

I'm Heckling The Contestants On Food Network?

Soul Searching Revelations...

OK People, I hate to admit that I'm getting so obsessed with Food Network that I watch the re-runs of "Chopped" or "Next Iron Chef" or any one of their other competition shows...just so that I can criticize the losing contestants.


On second thought...

Maybe not... (NOT!)

It's just that once in a while Glenn and Neil and Mr. Bill and Sean and Gretta and the balance of the FOX News channel's reruns get the best of me and I know that I can recite the dialogue from all of the Andy Griffith and M*A*S*H reruns...


Here I am alone in the "Mission Control" area of my shop at Midnight watching the same "Chopped" episode I saw earlier today...not exactly one of the most exciting Midnight's I've spent over the past 20 years-but a Man's gotta do what a Man's gotta do...and live with the consequences thereafter.

It's sorta interesting to remember that it's five o'clock Midnight somewhere every hour on the hour...

...and my PLC programming efforts call.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

"Blue Skys....Comin' My Way..."

Everybody...Sing Along With Me...

Maybe I should actually be doing "Singin' In The Rain", but I don't really care that it's raining outside here in Eastern Tennessee at the Turbo Pup compound on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River this afternoon.

It's supposed to keep raining most of the week and end up possibly snowing on us again Friday Night/Saturday Morning...

But I don't care.

"Jimmy Cracked Corn" and people didn't care back then either.

(Everyone please excuse me...I'm loopie from lack of sleep...)

You see, in the past 24 hours I have managed to pretty well solve all of the stupid problems I was having with two projects--one a nerdy high tech computer based control system panel--and the other a "light blue collar" dirty fingernail type pneumatic valve rebuild project I've taken on having never actually rebuilt a valve like this before.

I trust you, my dear reader (and Rusty and Roy) to not tell anyone this horrible secret.

BTW, did I mention that these specialty valves like this built in France cost over $1,500 EACH...NEW?

I actually have ten of them sitting here (laughing at me if they could) and I have to have at least four torn down, cleaned, polished, with new guts and seals and gaskets and O-rings installed, and back in a box in the Big Brown Truck by Friday.

And for the past ten days I've been crawling around here kicking my own butt and asking myself "what the heck were you thinking Virgil???"

Everything looked easy when I took the order after looking at one sample valve, but I made the mistake of not completely taking every single snap ring and rolled pin and cam follower out of the beast, and when all of it's friends arrived they proceeded to gang up on me and like some sort of Macabre Machine-Shop Video Game present hurdle after Hurdle after HURDLE of annoying little problems emanating from the silly little details I had ignored in the bid process.

In the end it all came down to a stupid little stainless steel roller bearing shaft that was friction fit into each valve assembly and was apparently super glued into place by my predecessors.

But in the end...

...wait a minute...the UPS driver's here...I got to look in the box...

I'm back...let me catch my breath...

I'm so excited...I just received my 2 ounce quantity sample shipment of Christo-Lube 116, and another 2 ounce jar of Christo-Lube 132

I SAID "Cristo-Lube"...

NOT Crisco-Lube...

And get your mind out of the Gutter people (and you know who you are). You can go here ( if you don't believe that I have a legitimate reason for needing something called "Cristo-Lube"--something besides "Bear Grease" or "Owl Shit" to lubricate these very expensive valve assemblies I was writing about.

(UPS really did just arrive...)

But I digress...

Any way, then after the first valve shipment I need to have four more flying and/or rolling down the road by Monday or Tuesday next week, and in my spare time I have to finish the PLC Ladder Logic Programming and get the panel packed in bubble wrap and peanuts and out the door by next Friday, sooooooooo...

You'll have to excuse me because I have to go now and get back to work.

Lost In My Own Basement

Fortunately it's heated and has a Sofa Bed...

I just realized that I've spent more time in my basement workshop in the past two weeks than I've spent in my upstairs office or bedroom.

I've even found myself sleeping a few times in the 4th bedroom and woke up wondering where the heck I was laying there in the dark.

The Turbo Pup, who has historically spent little time at the bottom of the stairs, has taken to coming down and barking at me and checking on me when I don't wrestle with her enough.

Unfortunately my blogging will probably continue to be light for the balance of the week until I get some finished products out the door and a few invoices written.

Feel free to entertain yourselves in the mean time...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Sunday Lethargy

Ho Hum...

Well, the college football regular season is over and the bowl games that really mean anything won't begin until the end of December, so I have an extra four hours for the next few weekends that I'm going to have to figure something to do with myself.

The house is in pretty good shape inside and out, with the only ongoing projects being the final staining and finish on the two new exterior wood door slabs I bought back in September in the middle of the Kitchen floor project.

Fortunately we have storm doors on both openings so the weather won't be a problem...and the front door slab is still awaiting hinge slots and hardware holes--something I'll probably do in the basement unless the weather warms up for a few days.

On the political front, I see where Dingy Harry Reid is up to his normal BS...calling a Sunday afternoon Senate session and a pow wow with President Obamarama to try to slip some more money into the the miserable piece of legislation they call a "Healthcare Bill" and getting the whole thing passed before Christmas.

If they do manage to get it done just realize we've all basically will have gotten a giant dusty lump of coal crammed into our Christmas Stockings courtesy of a Government that could care less what the American People think or want.

Then I read the most obtuse, feckless ASSociated Press article in the local paper this morning, subtitled an "Analysis" talking about "some experts say[ing] the world is losing the battle against Global Warming and warn that humans need to follow natures example: Adapt or die."

What total unmitigated BS.

The article then goes on to spew the typical Eco Friendly Greenie Weenie Tree hugger crap about rising temperatures forcing animals and plants to relocate or adapt (I call it "Evolve") and rising sea levels threatening every thing and every one from New York City to California and everywhere in between.

"Some biologists point to how nature has handled the changing climate. The rare Adonis Blue Butterfly of Britain looked as if it was going to disappear because it couldn't fly far and global warming was making its habitat unbearable. To biologists surprise it evolved longer thoraxes and wings, allowing it to fly farther to cooler locals."

Would somebody cry me a River over this horse hockey?

These same kind of idiots would have stood around the La Brea Tar Pit in Los Angeles and told congress it was Mankind's' fault the Woolly Mammoths and Saber Toothed Tigers were jumping in the tar pit because they were committing suicide running from rising sea levels and cooling global temperatures caused by Exxon and Con Edison.

How can these people keep a straight face when they hyperventilate and look at things that are happening (or not happening in the case of significant rising sea levels and atmospheric temperatures) and bend the effects and causes and results to fit their own stupid political agendas.

The article's author closes by telling us our Community Organizer President wants to give away $1.2 billion of taxpayer dollars for "international climate aid."

The World Bank and the UN and a bunch of other sniveling, booger eating, tree hugging, patchouli stinking "experts" and "activists" then go on to say "...$10 to $12 billion a year through 2012" "...more like $75 billion to $100 billion a year over the next 40 years" ...hold on..."it may even be $200 billion a year or $300 billion..."

How in the world can anyone have any confidence in numbers like that being casually tossed around and varying in a range of over 3000%.

That's a THREE THOUSAND PERCENT range of estimates of how much of other people's money it's going to take to move poor people out of countries that started out below sea level back about 1000 BC--places like Bangladesh and Thailand and even Denmark and the Netherlands.

They want to pass some new world wide taxes on "rich nations" and then run out and do things like build seawalls and dikes and levies and even build houses on stilts that are taller than the stilts the houses are already built on.

What a bunch of highly educated IDIOTS.

I have a suggestion made by my old Comedic Idol Sam Kinison....

Wouldn't it be cheaper to send them Luggage?

And packing crates, moving boxes, and U-hauls?

And give them maps showing flood plains and telling them to get the heck out and move to dry land?

I swear people, if we continue to let these wild eyed, hand wringing, professional victims and their corrupt politicians reach further and further into our economy and YOUR and MY WALLETS, all we're going to get in return for our "investment" is the opportunity to avoid drowning in rising oceans and seas and instead end up drowning in a NEW MAN MADE SEA...


Is it just ME?

Think about it and get back to me when you have the time...

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

We're Orange Bowling

Broadcasting Live From The Edge Of The Bermuda Triangle...

Well Ladies & Gentlemen, just in case you missed the game, my beloved Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Football team managed to slip past a determined Clemson Tiger Team last night down in Tampa in the ACC Championship Game.

We had to beat them twice in the same season to get to where we are and I know my fellow Tech Alumni friends in the Upstate of South Carolina will get a little boost out of the silence which is going to ensue for the next nine or ten months.

I didn't know whether to sit down or stand up while yelling until the very end...but they pulled it off and in spite of the loss to the University of Georgia last weekend (and Miami in the second game of the season) it looks like this season's bowl opportunity--the Orange Bowl in Miami January 5th--was not diminished in the process.

In fact, they'd probably end up playing in the Orange even if they were undefeated because Boise State and Texas and Florida and my other favorite team Bama are still ahead of them in the process.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to justify driving down the Florida Atlantic coast and buying a cheap scalper ticket for the game--something that makes absolutely no sense in light of our current employment/income situations.

And I guess that they wouldn't let the Turbo Pup in to watch the game so I guess we'll just end up watching it somewhere on TV.

In other news, in passing (while not paying much attention), I heard that Saturday was the anniversary of the infamous Navy Flight 19's disappearance into what we call today the "Bermuda Triangle" (December 5th, 1945.)

I've never bought into the UFO and ESP and other "space alien black hole" theories relating to that whole set of events, but still one has to wonder what the heck happened to FIVE perfectly good airplanes.

And then on a more somber note I recommend you join me in remembering the anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Fewer and fewer Americans today even have any direct memory of or any close relatives that were alive or were participating in the military during that sad chapter of world history.

It was the equivalent to the 9/11 for the American people during that part of the 20th century...long before the wild eyed peaceful Muslims killed near 3000 people on the East Coast of the US.

If you know a WWII veteran you should take the time to thank them for their service because they're getting to be few and far between and if it were't for their efforts we might be speaking German rather than talking about cooking German dishes on this blog.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Please Pass The Schnitzel, Wurst, & "Rinder Rouladen"

And You Better Super-Size My Lederhosen While You're At It...

Funny thing...

In my cooking adventures over the past ten or fifteen years I've discovered that in order to perfect any given dish I generally have to cook it three or four times in the space of ten days or two weeks in order to understand the process and fine tune the results.

I just can't cook something new and different once and then come back to it six months or a year later--particularly when I might be under the pressure of cooking for guests--and really know what I'm doing and have all of the subtleties and nuances of the flavors involved under control.

For instance, my basic German cooking has progressed from just slopping some canned Sauerkraut into a skillet to heat beside some unidentified sausage to today toasting Caraway seeds in a skillet, rendering some crispy bacon for the grease, and then cooking a premium Kraut down in the grease and some beef or chicken stock until it's tender and brown and serving with some nice hot seared Bratwurst and Knackwurst and two or three kinds of spicy mustard.

Moving a step further, I've been working on the seasoning and breading of Pork and chicken to produce authentic "Schnitzel" (hint...pound the meat flat with a hammer or old shoe or a meat mallet if you have one, then dip in flour, egg wash, and plain cracker crumbs and fry lightly in peanut oil.)

Hey...I think that I just wrote the shortest recipe ever back to this afternoon's oratory...

Then this week after buying some really nice looking beef tenderloins, in the process of butchering them down into 1-1/4 to 1-1/2" thick steaks I am also cutting out some nice thin "butterfly portions" about a quarter inch thick and tonight I'm cooking a dish called Rouladen (or Rinder Rouladen i.e. German Beef) for the second time in three days.

According to my Internet research it's usually made with round steak or flank steak or some of the other lower cuts of Beef, but since I'm a self proclaimed "steak snob" and I have plenty of Tenderloin handy, here's the Recipe if you want to try it and cook along with me:

German Rinder Rouladen for Two

The Bill of Materials:

2 thin fillets of Beef Tenderloin, butterflyed open and about 3/16" to 1/4" thick
3 or 4 slices bacon-cooked crisp
Dill Pickle spears, cut in half down the middle
Julienned Carrot sticks (optional)
1/4 medium onion sliced thin
1 can beef broth

Spicy mustard
fresh ground black pepper
TBSP or two of flour
1/4 stick of butter
Cooked Egg noodles, or Linguine/Fettuccine pasta, al dente

The Construction Procedure:

Cut your Bacon strips in half and toss them in a heavy skillet on medium heat and cook until they are done and as crispy as you like them, then saute your onion slivers/slices in the left over grease and reserve with the bacon on the side on some paper towels.

Now kick the heat up a little on the skillet and sear your tenderloin butterflies lightly on both sides, being careful not to cook things too done (it's not going to be rare or even medium rare unless you modify the process but still you don't want to make shoe leather out of premium beef.)

Pull them out of the skillet and add your broth and start it simmering, and spread a uniform layer of your mustard on one side of each of the beef slabs.

Add a slice of bacon or bacon crumbles (your choice) and then the dill pickle spear (and carrot slice if you want) and roll the whole thing up and pin it closed with toothpicks.

Doesn't that look yummy?

Now put it in the skillet in your broth and cook covered over low/medium low heat for about 30 to 45 minutes, stopping back by to turn things over after the first 15 or 20 minutes.

When it's all nice and hot you can pull out your Rouladen and sprinkle in a little flour and butter and stir up some gravy from the left over juice.

I plan on serving mine tonight over some Fettuccine (no egg noodles in the building and I'm too lazy to go back to the Grocer) with some warm Red Cabbage slaw on the side.

Enjoy Yall...

The Redneck Gourmet