Saturday, February 06, 2010

Saturday Morning Chuckle

He Must Have Had REALLY Dry Skin...

Long time readers may remember years ago when I used to post wierd news stuff here all the time just to take up space, but more recently I've advanced to posting more original material or pointing out what my Blog Friends and Idols are up to.

That said, I just can't resist reverting back to my former self and showing you this story from :

Man Arrested Had 75 Bottles of Lotion in His Pants

Police say a Massachusetts man who allegedly stuffed 75 bottles of body lotion in his pants couldn't make a smooth getaway, hampered by slacks that were nearly bursting at the seams.

Springfield police say 30-year-old Chamil Guadarrama of Framingham was charged with larceny after the incident Wednesday night at Bath and Body Works in the Eastfield Mall.

Police say mall security officers chased Guadarrama, but he had stuffed so many of the eight-ounce lotion containers in his pants that he could barely run.

Police say he could not bend over to get in the police cruiser until some of the bottles were removed.

It could not immediately be determined if Guadarrama has an attorney. A telephone number for Guadarrama could not immediately be located Thursday.

Being lazy and distracted this morning, I think that I'll just let that stand there by itself and let you do your own commentary. Everybody give me a 100 word essay on the subject and have it turned in by Monday morning.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Don't Make Me Beat You To Death With My Walker Umbrella

...And Run Over What's Left With My Shopping Cart Full Of Pork

It's going to be miserable again here this weekend, but about 3 to 5 degrees above an actual "winter weather" event according to the current forecast.

Regardless, looking at possibly doing a bunch of extra cooking over the next couple of days including another prototype test batch of my soon to be famous "Jamaican Me Cajun 'Green Butt' Chili," we ventured out early this morning to try to beat the lunchtime crowd on the Pike and at the local Kroger.

The place was basically as quiet as a Tomb, so my spirit rose as I flew through the produce section only tripping over one little guy busy with a giant overloaded cart of boxes of new inventory he was stocking on the shelves and display cases.

Then I hit was either row two or row three, and there was this young guy, dressed in all Black like a Johnny Cash Impersonator or something, standing at the far end of the isle "conversing" on his cell phone.

By "conversing" I mean he was having an animated conversation, and in between whatever disagreement he was having with the "she" or "he" he was talking to he was going through the motions of acting like he was shopping, except he didn't have a basket in his hands and there was no shopping cart within 25 yards of the idiot my lovely fellow grocery patron.

Problem was, apparently his eyes and ears weren't working he was so engrossed in the cell phone tempest, because if I had to say "excuse me" once to the SOB I said it TEN TIMES within five minutes over the geographical space of six grocery isles.

He was just standing there in a trance blithering and looking somewhere close to exactly the opposite way I was coming from.

I finally skipped a whole row around the guy who was going BACKWARDS to the "normal" path that people take in MY store when shopping.

He must have gone down the "tutti fruity" organic granola and soy milk isle (thus probably being a sniveling, booger eating, tree hugging Owl Gore following Progressive bed wetter) that me and every other red blooded, God fearing, American man born before about 1965 SKIPS because we want saturated fats and extra glycerol in our food and think Tofu is something delivered by the Russians to make us too weak to fight back when they finally take over Niagara Falls and move on down into NYC.

So any way, everything came out good in the end and I returned home with about FIFTEEN POUNDS of Boston Butt and Whole Pork Tenderloin.

The Tenderloin will be butchered into giant chops and big end cut roast and dumped into the deep freezer before the end of the day, and the Butt is going into a nice brine to sit overnight before the calculators, scales, micrometers, and clipboards and spreadsheets are activated and I get serious about fine tuning this year's chili cooking process.

The event, St. Simons Island Rotary Red Hot Chili Cook-Off is exactly four weeks away tomorrow, and I have a lot of work to do still in order to standardize the process which has been all over the map the first three tries.

In the mean time, don't let me catch you wandering the isles of a grocery store talking on the cell phone asking "do we have blaa blaa blaa? we have any of THAT?"

Here's a hint...

Take a pen or pencil and a piece of paper, and make a LIST...else risk some angry guy with a calculator and an attitude putting shopping cart tire prints on your forehead or down the middle of your back.


Gripes, Observations, Contemplations, and Re-Runs

I'm Out of My Mind...And Onto My Keyboard...

First thing this morning, I have to ask if anybody but me starts losing their mind when, disgusted with everything else that's showing on the other 99 cable channels, they turn over to Food Network at 1 AM and all they've got is the fifth re-run of the day of the same episode of "Ace Of Cakes"?

Don't get me wrong, I like watching "Ace of Cakes" but once in 24 hours is enough already, you know?

While I'm at it the same applies to Alton Brown's "Good Eats" and "Iron Chef" and most of the rest of their shows....wait a minute...Giada de Larentiis and Rachel Ray are OK the second or third viewing depending on my mood on some days...

Moving along, have you had the chance to start looking at your income taxes this year?

I spent about ten hours on Monday finishing the Corporate taxes, and now I have about twenty in the overall process so far, but let me tell those of you that don't do your own taxes that some of the things that they make you do to file a 1040 long form with anything but a single W-2 and the standard deductions will make your hair fall out.

You'll want to pull what's left out before you get through schedule C and D and E and the Capitol Gains Schedule.

By the way, did anyone but me know that if you have a long term capitol gain in a given year you have to pay capitol gain taxes on the ENTIRE AMOUNT OF THE GAIN, but if you only have a LOSS in a given year you can only deduct the first $3,000 no matter how much your loss was (unless you have a gain to offset it against)?

So until I sell another piece of property and make some money, I have a lovely fun gift basket full of fun little $3,000 capitol losses, forcing me to file the extra capitol gains/loss form for the next seven or eight years before I recover everything. looks like the IRS spent years and years putting that "gift" together...

And finally, that last comment reminds me of something else.

Since Valentines day is coming up, I just have to comment on that stupid Valentine Bear TV commercial and the Pajamagram commercials where the announcer says to the guys:

"she'll think that you spent [hours & hours...weeks...months...your whole life...(pick one)] putting it together..."

...taking a big breath....

Any guy that actually buys that line, and in the process believes that WOMEN don't watch the same TV commercials that they do, and goes down on February 14th and hands his wife/girlfriend (or wife at dinner and girlfriend at lunch) a package from these people and says...

"it took me a week to put this together...Dear"

deserves to have to make a visit to the local Emergency Room by ambulance and have to explain to the attending physician how the package got to where it was inside his abdominal cavity.

Which reminds me, I wrote an interesting piece on this subject last year. Being lazy and needing to get back to work designing the official "Jamaican Me Cajun 'Green Butt' Chili Shack," I'm going to reprint it here in its entirity for your enjoyment:

Virgil's Valentine Bear Company

If You Can't Join 'Em, Beat 'Em...

Anyone but me tired of watching the antics of the three stripper chicks on the
Vermont Teddy Bear commercials?

On the late night version...I swear to God...the bimbo recipient says this line:

"'s so much bigger than I thought...(other girls squealing in the background)...I could just kiss it and kiss it..."

Pluuuueeeeeeaaaassssseeeee...Spare me the innuendo.

UPDATE: I found the long ad in YouTube here:

As an equal opportunity insulter, the guys featured in the ad certainly look like losers that would buy the bears based on the appearance of the girls and the rhetoric delivered in the process of opening a box of goods that virtually everyone in America has heard "will make her think you spent days coming up with..." saw the ad, googled "Vermont Valentine Bear," gave them your credit card number, and hung up the phone on your way to go buy condoms and cheep wine.

Any way...I checked out the web site and wrote about this same subject tongue and cheek (excuse the pun) a few years ago.

This morning I thought I'd revisit the subject again because looking at the site I see that they're somewhat insensitive and exclusionary in their selection and obvious exploitation of certain societal and racial stereotypes of men this Valentines day.

If I were running my own competing "Virgil's Valentine Bear Company" I'd expect to be forced by government equality mandate to include products based on a WIDE cross section of our ever broadening melting pot society.

Not just white people or black people or construction workers or PHD's like Vermont Bear does.

I've taken a preliminary look this evening in some other places and come up with a few pretty good ideas I think.

As a tribute to the undervalued and oft overlooked American Sanitation Engineer, I'd do something using this guy as the model:

Pretty good...huh. After all, everyone doesn't want a CEO Bear or a Donald Trump Bear because it might hurt an ego or two.

Then, while looking through the Vermont Bear offerings I noticed a lack of "diversity" when it came to products aimed at the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered) market and I immediately thought of these guys:

That covers a lot of ground in my book, how about you?

And not to leave out the angry lesbian part of the LGBT equation I thought of this lovely woman...

That particular model would definitely have to be fully clothed and offered in a extra heavy, extra large cardboard box so the price would put it in a different category from say...the Skinny Gay "Brokeback Mountain" Cowboy Bear or the "Indian Chief with the vibrating tommahawk Caricature Bear."

And finally, I noticed lots of "blue collar" offerings on the Vermont site, but they were all mostly based on "Caucasian" Americans. How about a Bear based on one of the hard working guys from another land country that supports our glorious American way of life?

Someone like this "Taxi Driver Bear" guy from the middle east?

...or this cuddly little fellow, "Construction Worker Bear on His Day Off" from south of the border?

I know, I know, I're probably all excited about the idea by now, and I'm hard at work in my spare time working on my bear prototypes but I'm afraid my products won't be making it to market by February 14th.

Bear with me here (no pun intended) as I get organized, and please keep me in mind for next year. I'll keep you informed as things develop.


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Virtual Piano?

Coolest Thing I've Seen In A While...

If you play piano (or just want to fool around without getting in trouble at the mall or in church) then go HERE:

Writing's probably going to be light tonight because I'm tired from building and shipping valves all day yesterday... and another load is coming in Friday so I got to go clean up my shop and do some paperwork.

Regards Y'all...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

TSA Passenger Profiling...Right or Wrong?

A Multiple-Choice Test...

As I've said about ten million dozens and dozens of times here before on this blog, I've about had it up to here (pointing to the very top of my ever greying, ever balding head) with the BS associated with everything from our inability to "profile" when checking the intentions and possessions of potential airline passengers to the Government allowing the wholesale issuing of "student visas" and "work permits" to people from places like China and Lebanon and Syria under preposterous, unbelievable circumstances.

Most of this ingrained mental characteristic is simply based on my innate common sense, although the sniveling booger eating patchouli stinking tree hugging government subsidized liberals progressives in the crowd will be inclined to just stand up and point their fingers at me and scream "racist" and "bigot" and "closed minded" and you name all of the other possible labels in my direction.

I have to admit that part of this blithering here this morning is based on my own personal experiences over the past ten years of flying.

You can call me self-important or self-absorbed I guess, but still...

I don't really know why, but thinking back I'm pretty sure that EVERY SINGLE TIME I've gotten on a Commercial Jet since about the year 2000 I've been subjected to "enhanced screening," generally along with another half dozen dumpy white middle aged people (mostly men carrying laptop computers.)

While Pat passes effortlessly through baggage check and security in her stocking feet, I'm diverted the minute I enter the door to the Airport Terminal into the "special line" where the people with blue or green rubber gloves pass my checked baggage through Geiger Counters and MRI's and Cat Scans and God knows what other forms of "screening."

Half the time when I open my "checked" luggage at the Hotel I find a little tag or greeting card informing me why my formerly neatly folded socks and underwear have been scrambled into a knot...the reason being that after I left my belongings in the care of the GOVERNMENT the bag was opened and "inspected" by one of the aforementioned lovely glove wearing TSA employees.

Meanwhile me and my carry on bag and computer are diverted sideways through those little velvet covered ropes on posts like they have at the bank to a separate Plexiglas enclosed area, what I call a "holding tank," to wait another five or ten additional minutes for some gloved rocket scientist TSA employee to wave me over to a table where they go through my possessions and rub their hands all over me and wand me with a hand held metal detector.

Since I see them go through my stuff I don't even get the tag or the "inspected by" greeting card.

Maybe next time I travel I should insist that I'm not leaving the "screening area" until they tie one of those little tags onto my toe or other designated "appendage."

..."Thank you Miss."

OK, while I've delivered most of the above ranting and raving in a tongue and cheek manner because I have no control of the process, I also represent that every bit of it is true, including that they "enhance" my screening every time I fly, and I'm sure that I'm not the only one out there who has had similar experiences at least a few times.

And more importantly, what I'm trying to say here AGAIN is that "security screening" in it's present form makes no sense and no difference in your actual level of security while in the air on an airplane (or anywhere else for that matter.)

Most people just shrug their shoulders at the process but truth is that in their ignorance they FEEL BETTER and the government knows that.

When...not IF...the next major successful terrorist event happens here in the US, I promise you that all your government is going to do is further stick their head in the sand (or up the first available body orifice.)

And then the Community Organizer President and his talking head sock puppet Rob Gibbs will be on TV almost 24/7...

and after offering a big old sloppy Presidential "Whoopsy Daisy" they'll simply go back to assuring everyone hiding in their linen closets and under their desks that the Authorities have everything under control and that they're looking at new "enhanced measures" while at the same time saying...


(pause...sigh...taking a big breath here boss...)

See Folks, my problem with all of this high cost bureaucratic insanity is that while the expenses have been going through the ceiling for "Homeland Security," they're spending 99.3141597% (statistic per the Rogers' In-Congressional Budget Office, or RICBO for short) of the money looking in the wrong direction, at the wrong time, and at the WRONG PEOPLE.

I say that it's pretty easy to know where to look and who to inspect, and bringing this rambling dialogue back to my original point made in this Blog posting title, having come this far with me I ask that you spend another couple of minutes here this morning and take the following little multiple-choice test, designed explicitly to determine your ability to vote for the people who make "Homeland Security" policy, and if you're unemployed, possibly your suitability to get a job working with the TSA if you want to.


Here we go...

1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by:

a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d. Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40

2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by :

a. Olga Corbett
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:

a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d . Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

4. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:

a. John Dillinger
b. Michael Jackson
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:

a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:

a. The Smurfs
b. Davey Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens , and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:

a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown out of the sky over Lockerby, Scotland:

a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy
c. The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:

a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:

a. Mr. Rogers (the guy with the TV show...not me)
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by:

a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c. Mr Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

12. Since 2002 the United States has fought a war in Iraq against:

a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:

a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Green Jeans, Bunny Rabit, and the Dancing Bear
c. Billy Graham, Jimmy Swaggert, and Jim and Tammy Baker
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

14. On November 5, 2009 in a building at Ft. Hood, Texas 13 people were murdered and another 30 were injured in a premeditated attack by:

a. Lady Gaga
b. A young family of five including an infant and two Toddlers
c. Jeff Foxworthy
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

15. On Christmas day, 2009, an attempt was made to blow up an Airliner in route from Europe to the United States, thereby killing 288 passengers by:

a. Shrek
b. A Blogger named Virgil
c. Don Knotts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

If I wanted to sit here and rack my brain and Google the subject I could easily get another 15 questions, but I think that you get my point this morning.

So will somebody tell me WHY we're sitting around doing things the way we're doing things?

I'm waiting ...

(Que the sounds of crickets chirping...)

BTW, if you scored less than 15 out of 15, and I find out, I'm coming to your house and mowing the word "Dangerous Moron" in your grass with my Weed Eater.

Don't make me come over there...

(Thanks to Rodger over at Curmudgeonly and Skeptical and his Cuzzin Ricky for the idea and link) 6:00 AM...

Answers to the Questions for those to old or young to remember...

1. Sirhan_Sirhan

2. Black_September, a group with ties to Yasser_Arafat and the PLO.
(extra credit given to re-read the story here on wikipedia: Munich_Olympics_Massacre

3. I think everybody remembers this story, but I'm rapidly approaching being older than dirt (it happened THIRTY ONE YEARS AGO while World UN and Dictator Whore and Appeasers President Jumma "Smile When You Say That" Carter was busy playing the Banjo or something in the White House. Go here on Wiki for the answer... Iran_Hostage_Crisis.

4. You're on your own on this one, but I know it happened and am too lazy to spend time Googleing because my point is made elsewhere.

5. Islamic_Jihad

6. Palestine Liberation Front

7. Lebanese Shia Terrorists

8. Lybian moron Abdelbaset_Ali_Mohmed_Al_Megrahi

9. Khaled_Shaikh_Mohammed...I leave it up to you to guess where he went to church, but here's a clue...HE WASN'T A BAPTIST...

10.Egyptian Islamist Jihad

11. If you don't know this I'm coming over to your front yard...see earlier threat...

12. If you don't know this you fail and I'm too impatient to tell you right now.

13. al Quaeda

14. A domestically raised Dumbass Islamist Jihadist...if you don't know this your fail...

15. Some little Dumbass from Africa...if you don't know this you fail...

How'd you do?

Doesn't matter really I guess...

Now go get something productive done while I get back to re-building valves...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

What Caused The End Of The Last Ice Age?

Cave Man Al???

Scroll down for the answer...

Yes, I propose that way back then it was man's discovery of fire and that, combined with all of the Woolly Mammoth and Saber Toothed Tiger farts, caused things to get out of control.

I know that you feel as good as I do about the government trying to stop things from warming up further, right?

Something to think about...

Grey Eagles

WWII Mustang Pilots...

Go watch this video when you have about 15 minutes, then come back and try to tell me what's happened to our country and many of our population since.

[Link to "Grey Eagles"]

One of my early mentors in business, a guy named Sam Watson that ran a steel fab shop in the Atlanta area, was a North American P-51 Mustang pilot during the war and continued on as a flight instructor flying them in the Air Force reserve at Dobbins Air Force Base into the late 1950's.

Like Major Jim Brooks shown in the film, he didn't talk about the war much either, but he did talk about the machine and his love of flying the Mustang.

Sam's been dead for a long time now, and as they say...

They don't make 'em like that any more.

(...and you're welcome if you liked the film...)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Back To The Grind

Making Money Overshadows Fooling Around...

Last night we left the house in the car for the first time since lunchtime Friday and wandered down the Pike and grabbed a quick dinner out, then I came home and continued slogging my way through tax records getting ready to file the two obligatory annual 1040's with the associated schedules and forms, and now a corporate tax return for the first time in ten years.

There's something incredibly wrong when a private citizen is punished for living and breathing and making a little money here and there and in order to answer the Government's questions in the process you have to generate a stack of file folders almost A FOOT HIGH.

I read somewhere where the Federal Tax Laws have now exploded from about 400 pages when it was first enacted in 1913 to over SEVENTY THOUSAND PAGES in it's present form (excuse the pun)today.

That's just stupid, and all the people out there that benefit from running to H&R Block, filing returns and not only not owing any money but getting a "return" in the form of "earned income credits" and other "refundable credits" for non-achievement (then walking away giving up 25% interest in return for your "Tax Return Anticipation Check" so you can go buy a new car while I own a 15 year old Suburban) need to realize that, while it might be legal, to ME it's the same thing as coming to my house with a gun and making me give you a portion of my life and labor and possessions...

except you elect vote to allow the GOVERNMENT to do it on your behalf...under the guise that I don't NEED all of the money I earn...and because you're too chicken shit to come take it yourself.

You'll have to excuse me now because I have to go do some WORK in order to earn my money, and hopefully earn enought between now and April 15th to pay my fair share of the costs of roads and the military--things I want to pay for--and probably a couple of tax cheat deadbeats riding on my back courtesy of the US government.

That will be all...for now.

MORE 45 Minutes later...

No...I'm not Manic Depressive although my apparent mood swings here in this blog might indicate otherwise, it's just that I hate the IRS and I hate the BS sold to the population about higher income taxpayers.

I'm not one today but I aspire to be one (a "high income earner") again. One of my best friends made almost a million dollars over the past four years and he definitely doesn't "OWE" anyone nearly $350,000 in taxes in return for the privilege of getting three college degrees and working his ass off sacrificing marriage and ever having any kids of his own...

I too worked my ass off to get through college and have paid tons of money to accountant's over the years to keep me and my corporations out of trouble with the IRS, and I ELECTED to NOT have any children also because I was too busy working to raise a family.

I've screwed up in many areas of my life, but I've also managed to make some smart choices and maybe had a little luck along the way, and still I say that sleeping your way through high school and then going out and squirting babies out right and left that you can't afford shouldn't entitle you to winning the government lottery paying you "living wage" income and "free" health care health insurance and retirement benefits by shaving the top off of the incomes of me and my peers.

Sorry...just call me selfish I guess...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Initial Test Flight Test Slide(s) Results Inconclusive

Equipment Back In The Shop For Fine Tuning...

It was 20 degrees F here this morning, and I finally got up and forced myself to re-install my spandex get dressed in two layers and contemplate my fate with my home made sled.

After going over the undercarriage and checking all of the razor sharp edges on the skis which I had previously filed down during construction, every thing looked OK ("OK" having various meanings depending on your perspective as to my sanity), then I walked the contraption out the basement door and did a short test slide on the lawn which only went about 25 feet.

OK, but the snow was a little crunchy and soft underneath so I moved over to the driveway and checked for traffic on the street in front of the house. Since everything is iced over most rational people were staying home and apparently we only have one or two morons with a death wish (besides me) living on our street.

No land speed records were set, but I did make it down the driveway to the street once and took another short slide before that covering about half the length of the asphalt strip.

I was winded after draggin the 30 pound monster back up the driveway, but the good news is that the braking system works fine (of course when your going about as fast as the speed of sound smell that's easy.)

Bad news, the steering works only occasionally and trying to turn left might just make you turn right... so now I'm fooling around with the ski geometry and some other stuff on the front end to see if I can make more of my weight transfer forward.

More bad news, the road with the loooonnnggg steep hill I was planning on sledding on nearby was treated with Ice melt compound so I'm stuck on my 75' long drive way for the duration of the testing.

And meanwhile, I'm thinking maybe at my age and bulk I need a "Sleigh" rather than a "Sled", so now I'm thinking about building one of these...

out of PVC pipe and an old refrigerator body.

I know, I know, I know what you're thinking...

Stay tuned to this channel for more developments...

Downhill Conditions Improving

New Afternoon Snow Elevates Spirits...

Surprisingly enough we picked up probably another inch or two of snow mid afternoon yesterday as the temperature started it's plunge down to the current reading of 22 degrees F on the back yard weather station.

I was in a cooking mood since there was no way I could get Pat and the Turbo Pup to venture out in the car, so I produced a late morning Brunch and then scrounged around in the fridges and freezer and pantry and found that I had the ingredients for a Moroccan Beef Stew I've cooked once before called Tagine (click on the link for the recipe) which features tomatoes and carrots and cinnamon and cumin and Chickpeas and I used Beef Tenderloin tips and a couple of older Tenderloins which I cut up into bite sized pieces.

Served over Couscous made with butter and chicken stock instead of plain water, and I'd put the dish up against anything found in any Mediterranean restaurant I've ever been to.

While the stew was cooking down I put back on the new ill fitting so called "long underwear" and "waterproof" top garments and wandered down the street for the purpose of generally being nosey and taking a few photos.

Here's my ancient mailbox...circa 1963...on the far right sitting in the snow at the end of the drive:

That sucker is mounted in a METAL DAIRY MILK JUG buried in the ground and filled with concrete. (There's no way I'm digging it up and putting in a new post and box, but I may get energized enough when it stops snowing this spring to grind the old silver paint off and install a new finish and street number.)

Here's a look down the street nearby...

and one of the small "mini-farms" nearby which haven't sold out to be turned into subdivisions (If we ended up maintaining a presence in knoxtown I want to move over there...)

On a sad note I found this somber sight of this year's Christmas Tree laying in the brush pile in the back yard...

and then I found a couple of happy snow covered fellows down the street which made me feel a little better...

I guess I'll go now and do some work fussing with stupid income taxes, then take a nap in anticipation of polishing up the skis on the sled and trying to stay out of the newspaper and off the evening TV news.