Friday, March 26, 2010

I Made It Through The Week

Without My Head Exploding...

I'm pleased to report that things are generally working out...late but still...

Apparently with age comes a form of supernaturally induced patience, or possibly just a lack of energy to get any more excited about things than I do sometimes.

The words of Shakespeare sort of sum it all up for me... but instead of "Much Ado About Nothing," sometimes around here it's "Nothing About Much Ado."

Have a LOVELY Weekend ...Y'all...

I Bought Two Laptop Batteries...

Highlight Of My Day?

I'm hunkered down in shipping mode getting some stuff out the door today in boxes full of bubble wrap and foam peanuts, so until the pressure is off the words are going to be fairly few and far between here on the blog.

I've got owner's manuals to finish and other minutia to deal with but that's the way it is being in business, in spite of what the late night TV "Infomercials" and the Government tells people.

Bye Bye...

(Oh...I almost forgot...Next Monday I'll have new batteries delivered for two of my three laptops...true wireless computing...a nerds dream...)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Up And Coming Candidate For Governor Gubernatorial Senatorial Candidate

I'd Vote For This Guy If I Lived In Florida...

Marco Rubio, former speaker of the House in Florida, is running for Governor a seat in the US Senate of the state now. Check out his farewell speech, mostly delivered without notes or teleprompter:

I'd vote for that Cuban any day, so stop calling/thinking I'm a racist...

(and who came up with the word...Gubernatorial...Gomer Pyle?)


My title to this posting changed to reflect my Florida friends pointing out Mr. Rubio is running for Senate...not Governor.

My Head's On Fire

My Bank And the Employees Thereof Are Idiots...

Don't ask the details because you'll think I'm making things up.

OK...let's use the words Feckless, Obtuse, and Inane. No bounced checks, finally money available, but they managed to order the wrong checks, without authorization, and mis-spell my company name in the process.

Right now I'm just trying to stay off the 11 PM news having entered the building with a big stick and a bad attitude.

Some people DESERVE to be "unemployed," and I know where one or two of them spend their days right now if any one's interested.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Slippery Slope...Part MCMVXII

Everybody Needs To Get A Grip...

I've been following this story for the past week or so now:

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. – A 16-year-old boy who police said made an announcement at Walmart ordering all black people in the southern New Jersey store to leave was charged with harassment and bias intimidation, authorities said Saturday.

The boy, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, grabbed one of the courtesy phones at Walmart's Washington Township store Sunday evening and calmly announced: "Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now," police said.

The teen was arrested Friday and released to the custody of his parents; police did not know whether he had a lawyer.

"This was an extremely disturbing event on many levels," Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said at a news conference. "Any statements like these that can cause harm or grave concern must be addressed as quickly we possibly can."

Dalton said the case would be handled in juvenile court in neighboring Atlantic County, where the boy lives. He would not say whether the boy has a criminal record, citing the teen's age, and would not disclose the teen's race, saying that did not factor into the investigation.

The 16-year-old has been charged with harassment and bias intimidation.

and I've stood it as long as I can stand it remaining silent.

Say that you're a middle aged dumpy, ever greying, ever balding, more than a little off of your fighting weight white dude, and you're walking through a Best Buy or Food City minding your own business.

Then say that suddenly you hear the in-store intercom crackle to life and someone then proceeds to blither out something like "all you angry old Anglo/European/American white bastards need to leave the building right now."

What would you do if you were an angry old Anglo/European/American white bastard?

Well, speaking from the position of having some inside knowledge of the ever growing minority of people with (ever shrinking) testicles looking at things from that perspective, I, personally, would assume that there was some idiot in the store...employee or not...which had gotten ahold of the PA system and two seconds later I'd turn my head and continue on my way looking at USB cables or Micro SD memory cards or possibly for a good deal on boneless chicken breasts.

Then by the grace of God I might actually manage to remember the (non)event long enough to recount it to some of my friends and family...that there was some idiot in a store last week... and I might blog about it, but most likely I'd forget the (non)event long before I had time to call the police and file a report and demand legal action.

Pretty simple, huh?

But TODAY, in the year 2010, in the cracks and crevasses of our once great Republic (not Democracy) if the EXACT same thing happens at WalMart...bastion of government liberal/progressive/socialist and Union Leader hatred (sorry for the redundancy) nation wide...

if the people/persons...the so-called "victims" of the perceived public slight/insult/or otherwise general racially induced commentary... happens to be a member of a Government/societal protected race/class of citizens, the managers and so-called "authorities" are apparently forced to run around like their hair is on fire, conduct an expensive government witch hunt, and in this case manage to find and lock up a 16 year old kid...and after much public indignation and hoopla...proceed to PROSECUTE HIM for something loosely called "harassment and Bias."

What the $#@! is this teaching the American people?

...and who the *$%# are passing these laws in the first place?

Dammit Ladies and Gentlemen, someone--a kid...probably a white male else there'd be no story here...acted in a socially unacceptable and boorish manner, but locking the stupid little bastard up and trying him in juvenile court?


Let the little shit-head finish growing up and let him keep acting this way and doing this kind of ignorant crap, and then let him go to trade school college and find out that he isn't invited to join a fraternity, and when he buys his first trailer moves in to a neighborhood with a clubhouse and home owner's association let him find that he and his wife get left off of all of the Christmas party guest lists, but don't LOCK THE IDIOT UP for picking up a phone and talking for five seconds.

He didn't yell "FIRE" and cause a stampede...

He was just young and stupid and and I guarandamtee you if ANYONE else of any other RACE/GENDER had done the exact same thing there'd be no NEWS STORY here.

Was it WRONG?

Yes...absolutely YES.

But was it CRIMINAL?

You decide for yourself, but you know where I stand here...

Is it just me?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Am I Considered "Anal Retentive" IF...

Things I Spend Time Thinking About All Day

All I want to know is, does anyone but me manage to write down their grocery list in the order in which they generally encounter the goods they wish to purchase, IN ORDER, from MEMORY, based on the layout of the isles in their favorite Grocery Store?

Problem for me is, Kroger has a "Regular Kroger" a mile or two down Kingston Pike from us in one direction, and in the other direction a little ways there's one of their new "Kroger Marketplaces" which...if you haven't seen one, sells stuff like furniture and other home decorating goods along with fighter aircraft and Electrical Power Co-generation Systems and nuclear weapons produced by the Pakistanis and Iranians.

...OK...I made the part about the aircraft and Co-generation and Atomic stuff up...but still...

Then I'm not even going to get into what happens when I make the occasional trip to a Food World doing my shopping or any other purveyor of Foodstuffs from other lands and planets.

I think that while our Congress is busy forcing me next year to go see Dr. Rashee, the local medical practitioner who attended medical school for twenty years at DeVry Institute or Phoenix University while also working as the pool boy/Gigolo at the local country club about my erectile dysfunction, that they could take the time to pass a few laws that will do all of us "Seniors" and "Seniors in Waiting" some good in our lives.

Why not pass a law that says that every single Grocery Store in the United By-God States of 'Merrica shall have exactly the same layout when it comes to finding Beer or Vegetables or Bologna or Baby Food or Feminine Hygiene products?

Is that too much to ask?

If I want to go on an "adventure" I'll go on vacation and hike my way to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa in a "Hover round", or wade the Everglades in a Speedo towing a shopping cart full of dead chickens, or attend a NASCAR race and camp in the infield of the track in an old School bus flying a giant Confederate Flag with a bunch of people who's favorite cheer is "WhooooooHoooo..."

That way I can avoid walking down the isles looking for Asian Hoisine Sauce wasting time only managing to find stuff with Gerber and Massengale on the label.

And while we're talkin''...friend to friend...another thing's bothering me.

Why the heck doesn't the state or federal government...those same bodies responsible for crap like the FCC and the FAA and the E-I-E-I-O and whatever (wait...Old McDonald still handles the E-I-E-I-O part of our government I think...) make every cable company in the continental US--including the satellite companies--do this simple little thing for old men with "remote control amnesia"?


Is that too much to ask?

Wouldn't it be incredibly simple for everything from... say channel 1 to channel number 69 (or whatever the highest VHF channel is) be actually NUMBERED in each city or cable jurisdiction in the same manner?

Forget having channel #2 be channel #4 and channel number #5 be channel 11, let me poke a button or series of buttons with my thumb and whatever fingers I don't have stuck in some bodily orifice or using to scratch something that's itching and get the results I expect.

Then with these new "digital TV's" and remotes that can access every number ranging from negative to positive infinity, logically place all of the stupid tear jerking Women's channels in a group, and the jock strap sniffing sports freaks sports channels in a group, all of the info nerds stuff and all of the home improvement stuff and everything else in channel groupings so those of us growing ever longer in tooth and shorter in memory can find something while we're up sitting on the toilet watching TV in the restroom reflected off the mirror of some strange motel in a foreign city trying to get over last night's Mexican dinner indiscretions.

I swear to God I can't tell you where anything but Fox News and the weather channel and possibly Food Network is here on my own TV in my own home after living here for nearly TWO YEARS.

But I can go to the Grocery store at Kroger tomorrow, and unless they have remodeled it since last Thursday or Friday, I can buy some stuff which will allow me to cook Asian Baby Back Ribs (already have the ribs) and some spicy Asparagus and some other as yet to be identified side dish and then watch something weird on TV--I don't care what because I can only solve one problem in any given day.

And I'm a bigger man for admitting that problem in the first place, don't you think?

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

It's Easy To "Cut The Deficit By Half"

When You Quadruple It In Your First Year In Office

You Decide...

Graph stolen from here (and they got it from the Washington Post)

More Random Thoughts And Cogitations

You Don't EVEN Don't Want To Hear/Read What I Really Think...


Here's a listing of all the reasons that I, as a younger man, would have had a bad weekend this past weekend here at the Turbo Pup Compound on the Banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.

#1. Obama and Reid and Pelosi managed to bribe Stupak "the stupid" and his fellow "pro life" Democratic (non)representatives with an "executive order"...something which can be reversed in the milliseconds of time it takes to sign another "executive order" or reverse by judicial fiat because it's terms aren't reflected in US now everyone living and dead and anywhere in between has guaranteed "healthcare" courtesy of my wallet.

#2 Georgia Tech lost to Ohio State in the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament.

#3 It started raining before daylight this morning and rained all freaking day on and off and will continue for another two or three days.

But you know what?

I have stuff to do this week professionally which will ultimately get me paid to do SPITE of the the best efforts of certain members of the stupid Imperial Federal Government of the By-God United States of 'Merica's best efforts.

Isn't it truly a sad state of affairs these days when a person has to try to succeed in spite of their government, because I'm fairly certain that our founders wrote the US Constitution in a way where it wasn't the government's job--local or state or Federal--to ensure I had a job or income or housing or even "healthcare."

And regarding "healthcare", for a long time in this country it was up to me and my predecessors to hire someone like this lovely guy:

...or this fellow...

...or even this kid...

...or in the end of hope this politically incorrect medical pioneer...

or God forbid this silly man if we as individuals want to take our chances...

and then if and when things went wrong we were responsible for our decision making process and the cost of the services or non-services delivered, and we didn't expect to be able to run screaming to the mayor or the Governor or the President complaining when we grew an extra big toe or something important like our liver or penis fell out or off of our bodies.

Not so today, because we've slowly abdicated the certification/qualification of everything from the guy that installs our toilets and puts shingles on our the people pulling our teeth and inserting cameras into our anuses, to some sort of Government entity.

And when things go wrong, instead of accepting responsibility for the problem or poor quality of the services and scope of options we're forced to buy, now their solution is to take further control and further limit our control over the maintenance of something as personal and intimate as our own bodies and minds (minds now being screwed with by "Public" government schools.)

And another thing.

Does anyone but me have a problem with them attaching control of "student loans" to a "healthcare bill."

Just wait, within 20 years you won't be able to study anything the Government doesn't like you studying, and learning anything that the Government doesn't want you to learn---things like history and how fecklessly and obtusely government delivers services, and I can see a time when people that the government doesn't like or approve of their thinking and beliefs being prevented from going to college...even if they can afford to pay their own costs and choose their own curriculum.

We're pretty much SCREWED Ladies and Gentlemen, if this thing passes the Senate and is signed into law unless something miraculous doesn't happen in the next year or so.

And instead of "SCREWED", I'd like to use another word, but you know what I mean anyway...

But in spite of all of that, I had a pretty good weekend anyway. I guess that the Official Government Induced Mind Numbing Process (OGIMN for short) is already taking effect.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Here... Do Cook This

I've Got Camels and Desert Palms In My Kitchen...

I might have mentioned previously on this blog (and on my cooking blog The Redneck Gourmet) that I cook some pretty complicated stuff around here sometimes--stuff with detailed formulas like people use making industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Then other times I like to fly by the seat of my pants and just do a little reading and Internet research and then have a few cocktails and have it out with myself and my spices and refrigerator, almost dirtying up every single pot and pan and dish in my kitchen in the process.

Last night was one of those nights, and Food Network's Alton Brown and Guy Fieri would have ran away screaming if they saw the process and the mixture of stuff I put together, but I think that it came out pretty dang good in the end.

I guess it was sort of like staging my own version of Iron Chef ... Cast Iron Chef Redneck Chef America North Africa, if you know what I mean.

I call the assemblage...Morrocan Pork Tenderloin with Savory Vegetables and Glazed Dried Fruit Compote.

(somebody probably needs to stop by here and slap me for that name, but then when I stick a couple of spoons full of the stuff into your mouth you might just change your mind...)

Here's the deal if you want to try it, and it's really not that hard if you do a little planning and your pallet likes something besides Burger King and Taco Bell Crap.

First things first, if you are cooking northern African/Southern Mediterranean cuisine, you need to go to the store and buy yourself a mixture of spices which when combined will produce something called Ras el Hanout.

Translated, the term "Ras el Hanout" in Arabic means "Head of the Shop" in English, and in spite of our Geo-political differences these days I've been cooking things from everywhere from Turkey to Morocco for two or three years now and find this basic spice blend or variations thereof to work well as a staple seasoning mix in my kitchen.

The history of the blend says that in the days before Railroads and interstate highways and Federal Express that the guys in northern Africa created these blends of exotic spices--with no specific recipe--from the very best herbs and roots and seeds which they had in their shops at any given time.

Thus once you start making it and cooking with it you can make your own "Ras al Hanout" with things you like the flavor of and leave out the things you don't like smelling or tasting.

My Ras el Hanout, which I put together last fall and stored in my spice cabinet in a big glass jar with a shaker top, included ground Cloves, Cinnamon, Paprika, Cumin, Coriander, (Fresh) Nutmeg, and Turmeric. I think that there was some Cayenne pepper in there somewhere also.

Once you have your version of that spice blend in hand, I swear that you can make cardboard or kitty food taste good on a cracker.

It works with pork or chicken or beef or even sea food as far as I can tell, and your imagination is the limit as far as side dishes you can put with it...rice and Couscous or vegetables and so on.

To duplicate my Dinner for Two and one half (including our little Missy the Turbo Pup) last night you'll need:

Two or three 1" thick closely trimmed Pork Tenderloins

Three or Four small new Red Potatoes...washed and quartered or cubed

Three medium carrots...scraped and sliced as you like them

1/2 medium Red Onion, sliced thin

1 cup sliced button mushrooms

1 apple...I prefer Gala or Fuji Pinks

Two Lemons-sliced into 1/8" to 1/4" slices and seeded

Six Dried Medjool Dates

Six Dried Apricots

1/4 cup white wine

1/4 cup port wine (or other red wine)

two or three tablespoons of Peach or Apricot Jam

One and one quarter cups of prepared Couscous

Now as to the preparation of all of the above stuff into a meal fit for a King an Emir, I rubbed the closely trimmed pork tenderloins with the Ras el Hanout on Friday and left them laying covered in the fridge for 24 hours. You need to give them at least two hours if you don't start things the day before.

Then I chunked up a couple of three or four New Red Potatoes and chopped up some fresh carrots and put them in a pot on the stove top to simmer on low for a half hour to an hour...until fork tender.

Meanwhile, I started preheating my oven to 400 degrees, and in my heavy 13" Lodge Cast Iron skillet I crisped four slices of thick bacon, and over on the cutting board I cubed up a Gala apple and sliced and seeded the Lemons in thin slices.

Once you get the bacon done, pull it out on the side on paper towels to drain, then pour out some of the grease and turn up the heat and put the rubbed pork tenderloins in to sear on as many sides as you can stand watching and waiting for.

Once your tenderloins are seared toss them and the cast iron skillet into the oven to finish.

You can pit your dates or let your dinner guests fish the seeds out of their mouth while you watch...and if your dinner company happens to be

Then over in a stainless steel skillet I take some of the bacon grease and a few splashes of canned chicken stock and start a simmering mixture including the Dried Medjool Dates and Dried Apricots, Mushrooms, and Red Onions and as things reduce I add a few lemon slices and pour in the white wine and then a splash of Port wine and then add the apple cubes apricot/peach jam and keep cooking and simmering and stirring and cooking and simmering and stirring and then...

Once you can tell the interior of your pork is up to about 135 to 140 degrees F (I use a digital instant read thermometer), pull it out of the oven...slice it up (or let it rest a few minutes if you can stand it), then plate everything up on your veggies and Couscous.

You know, Couscous, little itty bitty teeny tiny pastas made with 1-1/3 to 1-1/2 cups of boiling chicken stock simmered over some dried Israeli Couscous (or other Couscous you have on hand.)
You can even use rice I guess if you're lazy or just afraid of Couscous...but finally...

In the end...

Smell it, taste it, and then dump it all out of the pots onto your plate and enjoy it...

I'm going to take a nap now because writing about it all makes me tired...

But PLEASE try it when you have the time.

You'll Like it...