Hee hee

Ted Kennedy really was a scum bag, wasn't he?

Did you watch the TV last night?

I saw a travel show where they were touring Andalusian Spain, then a show where they talked about gardening, and then a show where they fixed up an old rotting deck.

And I felt good the whole time that the Oscars weren't getting any of my ratings. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have watched anything at all.

Rum Runners

I was looking for a different song, but this one is good too.

Sarah Palin as President?

Not here. Over at Borepatch's place.

It's an interesting read, though I'm not sure that he isn't over-inflating the power of "New Media" a little bit. When I think of all the people I know, most of them either get the newspaper or get their news from the TV. I know that there are people out there (i.e., me) who get most of their news from blogs and the internet, but in my experience most of them are youngsters who may not have developed a healthy skepticism towards the talking heads, really just don't care enough about politics and world events to be bothered.

Still, Borepatch makes a good point that nothing is impossible, especially if a person makes a concerted effort to turn the mainstream media against itself by using their own words against them. It seems that most of the republicans haven't figured out yet how to do this (any of them?), and none of the democrats even need to try as the media follows right along with them...


Sunday Music: Paranoid Schizophrenic Apocalyptic Whisper Kitten

Good ol' Johnny Reuben

no words spoken will go unnoticed
happy as we’ve ever been
quiet friend silent companion
the ghost
inside in your head
miracles for fools
nothing left to prove
when the spirit
i wasn’t looking for relevant religion
the demons i know have got plenty of style
run for the hills
stay for a while
leave your personality behind
paranoid schizophrenic apocalyptic whisper kitten
working on some brand new fabric
polyester satin linen
when it comes to improvements
old money funds new movements
reach inside your bag of tricks
the next healthy alternative
for what it’s worth
greener artificial turf
if that magic doesn’t work
culture whores ask for more
you’ve been rejected
brother every thing’s exhausted
at least you know where to go
when you don’t have any
more options

Always interesting.


Beef Stew

Wow. Delicious. I'm not sure what I did, exactly, but it was the right way to go.

Let's see. I coated the beef in a flour/cornmeal/herb mixture and fried it before putting it into the pot. I used a beer as part of the base. Half the vegetables (onion, celery, carrot) were added chopped to the pot, and half were diced and cooked on the stove for half an hour first, with garlic and in a little bit of butter and vinegar. Sweet potatoes were used in addition to regular potatoes. A touch of red pepper flakes was added to give just a little bite.  I'm sure there's more, but I can't remember it all...

Wow. I could eat this every day.

Sourdough Bread

Using starter that I made on Monday using beer dregs. Yeah, you heard that right. I wanted to see what happens. Pretty good bread, but the starter needs to age more to get more sour--as it is, the sourness is just a hint. Still really good bread, though.

Guess What's Cooking!

Hint: it's a pretty standard, generic food. 

Another hint:  A good, hearty bread goes well with it. 

Better music than yesterday

At the suggestion of NancyR, Morcheeba:

For whatever reason, I can dig this music but the stuff I had yesterday just wasn't my thing. Weird.


Everyone else seems to be doing it...

I noticed that I was on the blogroll at Low Dog on the Totem Pole, so they, in turn, have been added to mine.  And JayG's and Borepatch's... I'm a little late to this party.

Anyway, if you haven't gone over there to check them out, you should.

Even More News Stuff

Apparently, the Republicans are ready to commit sepuku and take up social "holier than thou" crusades again.  Frankly, I don't get why the .Fed is in the marriage business at all.

Here's a hint.  If support for something is split pretty much right down the middle (.pdf warning), don't touch it.  You'll just be pissing off half the country.

Nice to see that some people can still burn away my support with one news conference. You want to die on a hill, you can do it without me.

Hard to describe music

How WOULD you describe it? I mean, what genre is it?

More News Stuff

This comic was in the paper this morning, and I think if pretty well sums up this entire administration.

Dueling Headlines

CNN headline asks "Libya: An opportunity for al Queda?"

bluesun asks "CNN: Resorting to obvious headlines?"

Let Me Be Very Clear, Now--


Aye ye, freeking ye.


Jet Power

I see your Jet Mini Cooper and raise you a Turbine Beetle!

I'm crazy

It's 43 here, and mostly sunny.

Back in College Town, MT, it's 1 degree and snowing.

I miss Montana.

I'm crazy, aren't I?

I guess that's good to know.

Go Go Gadget COPTER!

I want one. Scratch that, I want TWO. That way me and a friend could do jousting. If you are going to do something insane, might as well do something INSANE. Go big or go home, that's what I always say.


Missing Moolah

Through messing around on the internet, I have discovered that one of the shops in town, through Davidson's Gun Genie, could get a 642 for under $300. That's a new S&W revolver for less than they would deliver a Charter Arms.

Bah. Gah. I need to stop messing around on the internet, because all it does is feed my temptation.

Recovery day

We have a dishwasher that's hooked up (and not leaking so far), a new dryer that, you know, actually DRIES clothes, and a shiny white bathtub (that still smells like weird chemicals, and that we can't use quite yet). And after dealing with all of that yesterday, all I want to do today is sit there with a dazed look on my face.

Just out of Curiosity

Why, exactly, should I care if my mouse trap is "Non Toxic"?

I don't understand.



Just sitting here with the tv on, and on the nightly news we have a concerned talking head blabbing on about: Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Wisconsin (and its revolution spreading to other states), cell phones causing brain cancer, and some drivel about Kennedys. I think all we're missing is global climate disruption, or whatever they're calling it these days, and we would've hit all the standard talking points. I wonder why they still call it "news." I call it "mass cultural indoctrination."

Crazy Russian Gamer With Guns

Be afraid. Be very afraid.


Looking south, towards town and over the pool:
Hot side: 105 degrees
Cold Side: 75 degrees
Air temperature: Just north of freezing
Beautiful day, though I quite like swimming in it when it's snowing, an even more novel experience.

Looking north from an overlook; the pool is just visible at the top of the town if you zoom in:

I love Ouray, Colorado.


Today I get to deal with a bathtub repair/refinish guy, the takeout of the old dishwasher and clothes dryer, and the delivery and hookup of the new dishwasher and clothes dryer.  My mother is sure glad that I'm at home to let in all these guys (I would even go so far as to say she's "giddy."  Chuckling under her breath constantly). 

...I hope they aren't meth addicts like those guys that did our windows were last year.  That was... awkward.

Thoughts for an early wakeup

Just because it is 32 degrees out does not mean that you cannot go swimming.

Just because it is 32 degrees out does not mean that you cannot get sunburnt.

If you are swimming and it is 32 degrees out, wear sunscreen.

If you do not wear sunscreen and you go swimming when it is 32 degrees out, be prepared for sunburn over your entire body.

If you get sunburnt over your entire body, be prepared for a non-restful night.

Oh, yeah, and curse my Scotch-Irish ancestors along with their pasty white skin!


To the Hills!

My mother has the day off today, and wants to "Do Something."  So I think we're going to go up into the mountains and give the hot springs another go--the last time we tried over Christmas time we got stopped by snow and decided to just go to the Black Canyon National Park.  Today looks to be sunny and clear all day, so perhaps we'll have better luck.  In any case we'll stop by my Uncle's house since he gets back from Belize today (the rat!).

Revolver Rambling

Went to Cabela's over the weekend just because, and wound up (as usual) staring at the guns.  Since I've been dreaming about (or lusting over, depending on your point of view) revolvers lately, I decided to, you know, actually HOLD one.  On hand, they had a S&W 642 Ladysmith, several SP101's, lots of LCR's, and one Taurus that was styled much like the S&W.

The salesman was very impressed with the LCR, and tried in vain to sell one to me. There's something in that design that just doesn't speak to me (it's ugly, dagnabbit... says the person who carries around a plastic fantastic pistol...).  I guess I want my revolvers to have soul, which is just hard to do with this one.  It was almost too light.  While I get the reason for that, again, it just doesn't inspire confidence in me.  Irrational, I know.  Another nitpick, I don't like the look of black revolvers, for some reason.  Liked the trigger on it, though. 

The SP101 is heavy enough that I might even consider shooting .357 out of it, and if I was going to be buying a pure range gun (out of this selection), I would probably go more for it.  As it is, I'm not sure what I want, and so this feature wasn't such a consideration.  I mean, it weighs almost the same as my XD, which, by the way, can hold 13+1 in the short magazine.  Harder to justify to myself, at least.  This particular gun had lasergrips, which were pretty slick.  And expensive.  Also, I'm not sure that I liked the ejection rod, in that it didn't rotate like the other guns.  Little things...

The Taurus I looked at mostly because it was there--seemed like a fine little gun, though the trigger was the hardest out of all the ones I looked at.  Painted black, though.  Cheapest gun out of the bunch, price-wise.  Even though it had the same profile as the Smith, the hammer was exposed--I don't get why you would have an exposed hammer and not be able to manually cock it, seems like the worst of both worlds.

The 642 seemed like the one I liked the most out of this crop.  It seemed just heavy enough, no exposed hammer, nice trigger, nice feel in the hand.  I'm not entirely sure what the Ladysmith moniker means--smaller grip perhaps?  Fancy name on the side to bump the price up?  I think I would buy a 642 over any of the other designs here.

I wish they had had a Charter Arms revolver in there to compare with--you hear a lot about how bad or good they are, and it would've been nice to see one in person.

The problem, now, is, I already have a perfectly serviceable weapon that is arguably more suited to my "small, carry around-able gun" category in the XD.  The only thing about the XD is that it won't be as easy in the summer--though with the clothes I wear it won't really be much of an issue.  It would be kinda nice to have a real pocket gun, a role for which I think the small revolver fits into nicely; while I have a pocket holster for the XD, it still doesn't fit into the "easily pocketable" category. 

If I were, instead, to begin considering larger-framed guns, something for which I have no semi-automatic of similar niche, I would probably want something in the "Bear Gun" or "Hunting Gun" category, more for hiking in the woods with.  Besides, you know that without the .44 magnum Clint Eastwood would be nowhere near his popularity level, right?

I need to go to some more shops around town and see what they've got, I guess.  Not that I have any money to spend, or anything, but I sure have the time...


The Weather is Wonky II

So yesterday, you know how I was weather whining? Well, today, It's 40 degrees out, the sun is shining... and it's snowing.

As they say, "If you don't like the weather in the Rocky Mountains, wait half an hour and you'll get something different."  Or, in today's case, you'll get everything different at the same time.

Sunday Scripture, with Current Event Linkery/Tomfoolery!

Proverbs 28: 24-25

24 Whoever robs their father or mother
and says, “It’s not wrong,”
is partner to one who destroys.

25 The greedy stir up conflict,
but those who trust in the LORD will prosper.


The Weather is Wonky

I am not happy with the weather today--the temperature is pretty nice (who am I kidding, it's 60 degrees in FEBRUARY), but every time you look out the window it starts to rain.  So, you think, "I guess I'll go and do something else for a while and come back."  Then you notice that the sun is coming in the window, so you go and look out--and it's starting to rain again.   


Stupid weather.

Counterpoint to Brewing

Butch Cassidy shows how he makes mead (with pictures!), a nice counterpoint to my recent beer making post.

He's also done some explanations on cider recently.  There's something for everyone, and no reason why you should be going without homemade alcohol!

"Give a man a beer, and he will waste an hour, teach a man to brew, and he will waste a lifetime."
--Old Homebrewer's Proverb

Books of 2011: Catch Up

These things always get ahead of me.  I guess I read faster than I write.

"Cryoburn," Lois McMaster Bujold
I was very glad to get back to the Miles Vorkosigan Universe.  It was one of the ones that my mom started me reading science fiction on, and made me really love character-driven scifi (as opposed to science-driven, which, don't get me wrong, is good too).  This one occurs a few years after the events in "Diplomatic Immunity," with Miles still acting the auditor, a role which I quite for him.  The best part of this one was that my mother bought the hardback, which came with a CD with a digital version.  I could read it on my kindle and she could have the hard copy, no fighting over who gets it first!
I would rate it at 8.5/10

"Starship Troopers," Robert A. Heinlein
While my former roommate enjoyed reading Classic Literature in the "Old Russian Guy" context, I never can get in to something like that.  Heinlein, however, writes classic scifi, which is more my style.  You've probably read this one already, so I'll just say that I thought it was an interesting vision of a future society, half utopian and half police state.  And powered armor is always fun.

"Do Unto Others..." Michael Z. Williamson
I didn't really like the first Ripple Creek book, "Better to Beg Forgiveness," as it seemed a bit too much like it was written, directed and produced by Sylvester Stallone, but "Do Unto" had more in the way of character development and, you know, that story stuff.  I think the Ripple Creek books have promise, but I'm not sure that Williamson has found his stride with them yet.

"Citizens," edited by John Ringo and Brian M. Thomsen
 A collection of short stories written by authors who were in the military.  Made me want to re-read some of my Bolo books, but otherwise nothing much memorable for me in this one.

"Citadel,"  John Ringo
I really enjoyed "Live Free or Die," the first in this series, and was looking forward to this one.  It doesn't focus as much on Tyler Vernon, instead it focuses more on some new up and comers, a girl in the Navy and a Welder working for Vernon's company.  I always like a science fiction story where the humans are continually underestimated and wind up completely surprising and overwhelming whatever alien overlord the author chooses.  Just makes me happy.  "Citadel" is not as funny as the first one, and focuses more on the military action side of things.  Funny story about this one--I read it in 12 hours, then went over to my friend's house the next day, and it turns out his brother had had it on reserve at the library, but his mom forgot to tell him the library had called, so it went back out, and I unsuspectingly checked it out right after.  Instead of turning it straight back in I brought it over, and then my friend and his brother both read it, and then turned it in.  All on one checkout.

"1635:  The Eastern Front," Eric Flint
I've read all of the hard-published books in the 1632 series.  I am coming to really really hate them.  You know that feeling you get when you read a good book and then find out that there is a sequel that hasn't come out yet.  That happens every. single. time.  And how many more years are there after the 1630's?  I can tell you we're at least up to the 2010's, and there seem to be more coming, so...
This whole stinking book is one big setup.  I waited three years since the last one in the "Main" storyline, and all I get is a big setup for the next one?  Quite frankly, I may stop paying attention to this series.  It will be like the "Wheel of Time" books, which I never read simply because there were so many.  Bah!
Book itself 7/10, even though I really like the series

Ok, that's all for now.  As I mentioned a couple days back, we watched The Lord of the Rings, so I think I will be re-reading those books, now.  Starting with The Hobbit, of course.  Assuming I can find our supremely beat-up copies around here somewhere, and all the pages haven't fallen out.

Hey, that happened to me, once!

If I keep this up, I'm going to have to make a label devoted solely to minecraft...


Detritus of the day

Not all of that junk came out of my pockets, of course, but a surprising amount of it did...

Anyway, good night.


Not that anyone cares, but I no longer look like a filthy hippie.  I got a haircut.

Move along, move along...

Cool ISS Diagram

The following link shows an animated time line of the International Space Station assemble.

Watch it here.

I also would like to add that while the ISS is quite impressive, WHY THE HELL DON'T WE HAVE A MOON BASE?

One word news summary:


Competition for Weird Symbolism Music

After seeing this video, which I'm sure it means something, but is so weird that I can't figure it out (though I've been trying all week...), I thought I might share a song that is also very strange and I'm sure it means something:

What do you think?

By the way, I love me some Neon Horse.


More Il'in

So you know that Kim Jong Il was born under a double rainbow, right?  Well, now, in celebration of his birthday, the mountain he was born on showed off a "big and bright" halo.  Isn't the Earth so kind to him? 


Layman's Beer Making: Boiling to Fermentation

I thought I might just put up a little post (with pictures!) today on how I make my beer.  So far I have only done extract+malt brewing, the all malt takes more equipment, and in my opinion, the end product doesn't justify the added cost and complexity.  Some people are way more into it, though, so keep your mind open. 

There are probably other better how-to's out there, but perhaps mine will be useful in some small way.

The first thing to do (after gathering your ingredients and equipment, of course) is start your pot boiling.  There is a trade off here, as you can get the best saturation of sugar in your water if you boiled the full 5-gallon batch, but it takes forever and you'd need a huge pot.  I have a 5-gallon pot here, with 3 gallons of water in it.  Three gallons seems to be a widely recommended compromise that works well for me.

Put your previously ground up crystal malt in a bag like this one, or you can tie it up in a bundle of cheesecloth.  Once your water boils, take it off the heat and add the grain bag to the water.  Let it steep like a tea bag for however long your recipe calls for. 

The grain bag and water after steeping for half an hour.  Remove the bag and let it drain.  Don't squeeze it too much, as you'll extract more tannins (make it more bitter) and little bits of grain. Set the bag aside, you can dispose the grain later.  I give it to the chickens, they really like it.

Add the malt extract.  My local homebrew shop sells it fresh out of a big nitrogen-pressurized drum.  Usually, it is hard to get it all out, I dip some of the hot liquid into the cup and let it heat up the extract. It usually takes several tries to get as much as I like out.  And this time I had three containers of extract, so that took even longer.  But I digress.  Your pot should still be off the heat at this time, by the way.  Stir the concoction until all of the sugars dissolve otherwise you will scorch the bottom when you turn the heat back on.  Speaking of which, turn the heat back on and bring it back up to a boil.

When the liquid comes back to a boil, add the first hops.  Here, the hops are in pellet form, but you can get them in all sorts of other types, too.  You will probably have some sort of hop schedule, with different amounts and  types to be added at certain times.

Usually when I add the first hops, I get a big billowing boil with lots of foam.  KEEP STIRRING!  This is the point that you are most likely to have a boil-over, and that is just a big mess.  Boil it however long your recipe call for, adding the hops at the required times and stirring periodically to keep it from scorching.

When you are done with the boil, take the pot off the heat and immediately put it into some ice water, or use a wort chiller if you have one.  This is called the "cold break," the rapid cooling causes protein chains to form and precipitate out.  Makes a clearer beer, etc.  At this point, you want to start being careful to keep random junk from falling in and contaminating it. 

You will have to add some more water to bring it up to the full 5 gallons--I like to buy some distilled water from the store and put it in the freezer until it is just starting to crystallize, at which point I pour it into the cleaned/sanitized bucket and add the still hot wort. Then stir it vigorously for a while--you are aerating the wort so the yeast has some oxygen to get going.  Some people are really hardcore and buy a tank of pure oxygen and a bubble stone (like the kind you may have seen in an aquarium).  In my opinion, that is crazy.  I mean, the vikings made beer with magic wooden spoons passed down from generation to generation.  See? No tanks of pure oxygen  required.  By the way, I don't know what happened with this picture.  It looked fine in the upload menu...

Between the added cold water and the ice bath, you want your wort to be around 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit (ale yeast, at least.  I have no experience with lager yeast) when you pitch the yeast.  I use a liquid yeast, because that's what my homebrew store has.  Shake it up, open it, and dump it in.    I suppose I should mention here that for storage, keep the yeast in the fridge, but when you are going to use it it needs to sit out for a while and warm up.  You want it to also be roughly the temperature of the wort when you pitch it, to keep from shocking and killing the yeast.

Now seal up the bucket and put the airlock in.  You can also see the liquid crystal thermometer that is on my bucket, which is helpful when you are worrying about the temperatures.  Then, put your bucket in a dark place that has a constant temperature at what your yeast likes, and forget about it for a couple few weeks.  I have heard of people going anywhere from one week to a couple months in the primary fermenter. I have personally gone as long as five weeks, but I usually go about three weeks and then bottle it--if you desire to go the extra mile, you could instead siphon it into a secondary fermenter, which results in a clearer beer (or so they say). I am lazy, and have never noticed any problems from skipping that step.

This batch is now bubbling happily along, and I have high hopes for it.  If it turns out any good, I may post the recipe.  If it stinks, then I for sure won't be boasting about it on a public forum like this blog...

Anyway, like I said, beer making is so easy vikings could do it with "magic" spoons and the souls of their ancestors, so it's pretty hard to screw up.  I hope this was helpful, and I hope if you make something good you let me know the recipe!

Just heard this song on the radio

The local community radio station that plays all sorts of music.

Pretty catchy, huh?

Good Advice

From Butch Cassidy:
In short, here is my message to modern man:
What the hell? Are you really too lazy to open a door? Is it really okay with you that it is now normal for a woman to not get flowers from a man? Can you really not bend down and just pluck something pretty? Is there a logical explanation you can give me for not picking up a 22 for your daughter/girlfriend/wife?
Something that I will indeed keep in mind when I reach that point in my life...

Taking a leap

Yesterday I finally did something that I wish I had done years and years ago--signed up for a hunter's education course, the first weekend in March. My excuse is that I was never that interested in guns and shooting until my Junior year of college, at which point I was umm, in college, and two states north of where I would have had to take the class.

Right now, though, they offer them twice a month and as of yet I have nothing better to do...


What to do...

My mother's out and about this evening, I have the home fires burning, and I have a gin and tonic in my hand... what to do, what to do... TV? Movie? Interwebz tomfoolery? It's nearly 7:00 and the night is young...

Another day, another sunset

From Monday night.

I don't know why, but we've been getting some good ones lately.

Gun Porn: S&W K 18-4

As requested, my mother's K-frame .22

It's a beaut, and fun to shoot!

And on a slightly related subject, I've been thinking about buying myself a revolver more and more, lately...

Why did that happen?

So last night after my mother got home from work, for some reason we decided to take apart the dryer and clean it out.  This involved multiple trips to the garage for various screwdrivers and such, two broken metal clips (that have since been replaced by duct tape), a full vacuum cleaner, and a trip to the home improvement store.  Since it was getting late and we hadn't eaten yet, we decided to use up some gift cards we got for Christmas to a restaurant by the home improvement store.  Since we were already out by the mall, we decided to go around and hit up a couple more stores for little things that were vaguely on the list.  A baby shower present here, a birthday present there, and pretty soon you're talking about real shopping.  We got home at ten o'clock and still had to re-hook up the dryer. 

But I think all the parts got put back in where they needed to be--I had no extra screws left over, for once.  And a load of laundry is currently running.  If you don't hear from me in the next couple days it's because the house burnt down...

Lord of the Rings, as ruined by early 2000's remix videos

We watched The Lord of the Rings over the weekend, and ever since a few specific scenes I've had these songs stuck in my head:



Po-ta-toes! Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em ina stew! Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em ina stew! Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em ina stew!


Blogroll--now with added Vitamin V

It's a fun word to say, "Blogroll."

Let's see, this time I've added two that start with the letter V--

Volk Studio Blog, with lots of pretty pictures, and Violent Indifference, with lots of random (but sometimes gun related) content, which could probably describe my blog, too.

Go froth and conquer!  Or read at the coffee shop with a cappuccino in your hand and your smart phone in the other, as the case may be.

I'd fly on that airline...

If you haven't already seen it, this pamphlet spells out a very awesome airline. WARNING: Not safe for polite company! But still awesome... I think I like the piloting idea. Just so crazy it might work.

Irish Red

Got the makings for another batch of beer. I'm going to give the Irish Red--my first non-kit recipe--another go. Last time it just wasn't red enough. I took out the 90L crystal malt and added more roasted barley. Hopefully that will do something for me.

Time to get some water boiling!

Whoa... the whole world in minecraft

On the one hand, I am envious of their amazing creation, but on the other hand I can't help but have a certain Styx song running through my head:


The weather isn't too bad...

It's almost 50 degrees out and I'm going to try a bike ride. Probably come back with wind-chill frostbite, but dagnabit I need to do something physical.

Wish me luck, else I'll probably blow out a tire or something...

Books of 2011: Under Heaven

I just finished reading Guy Gavriel Kay's "Under Heaven."

This book is poetry.  Reading it, you are constantly struck by the language, by the story.  I don't know how describe it adequately; I don't have the words for it. 

Guy Gavriel Kay writes writes stories that are woven in and out of history.  The books are almost fantasy, almost real.  "Under Heaven" occurs in a place much like Tang-era China, and the cultures that you encounter in the story are one of the reasons why it is so interesting. 

I have a passle of other books that I've read and need to write up here, but this one was special, and it got it's own post. 

I give "Under Heaven" a rating of Amazing/10.

In honor of today's "holiday"

If you want to call a saint day hijacked by a card company to increase sales a holiday...

Anyway, listen to a "love song."

And second semester!

Grandpa's house

It was nice to get out and about yesterday--getting sick of all this lollygagging that I've been doing.

Treasure Island, the hill with all the old equipment.

 The dark holes are the recent shooting, the light ones are aged from last summer some time. That's a piece of old particle board siding.

And got a little bit of shooting in.  My mom even participated, which is a first. My dad got her a K frame .22 revolver before he died, but never got a chance to shoot it.  She wanted to know how to use it.  I think between me and my grandpa we did a pretty good job; she was knocking the can around by the end.

Grandpa was in the army right after WWII--he was a medic, and wasn't issued a weapon.  He still had to qualify, though, and told me that when he took the test he only got one clip for his Garand.  He shot through it but still had more of the course to do, so one of the instructors tossed him an extra he had in his pocket and told him to finish it off.  Grandpa was part of of the occupational forces in Germany in 1946.  Nothing exciting ever happened too him--he just got to go around to all the little towns and sample the local brews!

That's the news from Lake Wobegon...


Sunday Music: Worship Music with Bagpipes!

Awaken the Dawn by Delirious?

All in all it's a pretty standard worship song--but what I would give to be in a church where they actually had a bagpipe band to do the background music!

In unrelated news, going to my grandparents today. Depending on how my Grandpa feels, we may get in a little bit of shooting on his back 40. That would be good--haven't shot anything for a month and a half...



Is it filler?  Is it wasting time?  Or is it WORLD CLASS PHOTOGRAPHY?  YOU DECIDE!


As a Karate Expert...

I'd vote for him over anyone else that's been put forward so far...

Probably my favorite Yes song

"Yes" the band, not the word.  "The Ladder" I think was the album that I listened the most to throughout High School.  Yep, Prog Rock is what I started on when I got into music.  Probably explains a lot about me...

No idea what's going on in the video, though. Just put the music on for background and open a new tab on your browser.


Situation has gone down the Toilet


Ironically, I found a Made in Mississippi toilet seat with a real metal hinge at Wally World, of all places.  If it lasts longer than a day, then it's better quality then this one.  And isn't that just. a. little. bit. sad.



I think something went wrong in there, but I can't for the life of me find it...

Ah, yes. The divide by zero error. Thought I had something, there. I guess that sums up most every anti-rights activist out there. Convincing at first glance, or to someone who doesn't know any better, but with an underlying assumption that is just plain wrong.


U2 taunts me again, with their great lyrics but Bono's moronic talking-headism. Every so often I listen to a couple albums and get my fix.

This video is a bit interesting, going FF through the setup and takedown of a rock concert:

I hope today is better than some others of recent memory have been...



So an anti-rights blogger ran a poll, was ticked off that people weren't answering the way he wanted it answered, and took his ball and left.  Linoge takes up the call, uses the exact same wording, and promises to see it through to the bitter end, no matter what.

Go and vote, and link to it if you blog, and let's see what happens!

If two is one...

...and one is none, about how many is 4725? I bought some more .22--the Federal bulk packs were on sale...

I wish...


Out Foxed

The neighbor called a bit ago and said he saw a fox come across the field and go towards the chicken house. Sure enough, I could hear a big fuss out there, so I loaded up a .22 with some subsonics and went to see what was going on.

From the tracks in the snow, he apparently just wandered around back there and then headed east down the canal bank. Our coop is built like Fort Knox, but I might set up one of the live traps in case he shows up again. 'Course, what do you do with a live fox?

Saved For Posterity: Peanut Butter Barbeque

Didn't have any fresh onions, so I started with some dried onions--maybe two or three tablespoons worth. Soaked them and some garlic powder in a mix of red wine vinegar and red wine. Set it aside for a while.

In a bigger bowl, I mixed together: about two spoonfuls of brown sugar, one spoonful of molasses, one big spoonful of peanut butter (I like the "all natural" stuff because it tastes like peanuts, and not like cornsyrup), two spoonfuls of ketchup, a squirt of hot sauce (I used that red Asian stuff), some chili powder, some black pepper, and some salt. I added the soaked onion concoction and mixed it all together.

This went on some pork ribs that were cooked in the crockpot. But I'm sure it would be good on many other things.

If I had some fresh onions I would have grated half of one on a cheese grater and doubled the rest of the ingredients. And perhaps used tomato paste instead of the ketchup.

Good stuff, that.

Now we're cookin'!

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is ideal for cooking to. Try it, won't you?

May be chicken, but ain't no fool

I went out to let the chickens out of their pen this morning--they took one look at the snow and went back inside. So now, from between yesterday and today, we have one set of chicken tracks that go about a foot into the snow, and then turn around and go back in.

See--chickens aren't as dumb as you think! I went outside, let the chickens out, and went back inside, too.


Quick Question

If environmentalist groups were really concerned about the environment, why don't they go after more credit card companies? I think I get at least one application in the mail a day. It goes right into the shredder, too, and then right to the landfill.

Please, Greenpeace! Forget "Save the whales!" Save me from unwanted credit card applications!

Bike Repair

$50 tune up, $20 new handlebars (gee, I wonder why...), and $20 for new brakes, as the old ones had some...issues (they broke in half, ok?). The frame was fine, the wheels were fine, the shifters/derailleurs were fine--I should have a good as new bike sometime this afternoon.

In slightly annoying news, after the "Driest January in Years" which kept my hopes up that bike riding might indeed be possible, even if it is winter, we got two inches of snow last night. So now I'll have a nice ride-able bike, and a layer of snow and ice on the ground.

More LEGO's

This time, 8-bit music made by hipsters:


Apparently, there is a limit to how much time I can spend staring at job openings at once, so yesterday I was instead looking at my blog roll. I decided to add a few more, but I also decided not to add a few, just because I'm facetious like that.

First was Made in America, which occasionally has a little blip about some product made in the USA. It's nice to get a heads up on some of those products, so it's been in my Google Reader for a while now.

Next was The Miller, who is New Jovian Thunderbolt's "My Buddy the Gun Enthusiast." If that means anything to you. Anyway, he talks enthusiastically about guns and such, and I find him entertaining.

After that was ZerCool at Plumbum et Circenses, which I have been reading off and on by clicking through other peoples' blogs. I don't know why I haven't put him on here yet, but I guess it just shows you how a person can get overwhelmed by the number of blogs on their list...

Last, for this post, at least, is Professor Mondo, who describes his blog as "The amateurish works of a desperate man who is not a thinker but merely an erudite pedagogue." He is a small-school liberal arts professor who laments the state of academia. As a recently graduated student, I can sympathize wholeheartedly, and wish that the liberal studies professors at my school were as erudite as him... I've been reading Professor Mondo since he was linked to by the Gormogons, thereby proving once again their great wisdom.

So, if you, like me, need a break from job searching or perhaps just need another small diversion, click on through to these new blogs! And, as always, if you blogroll me, and I don't deem you too crazy, then you too could be on my list.


Hey! I can see my house from there!

Colorado just introduced a Constitutional Carry bill! That's, like, where I live, and stuff! If it passes then it's almost as if I wasted $102.50 last summer for all the paperwork, and had my identity stolen for no reason!

Almost, not all the way, though, because I was in Montana from September (when I got it) to December/January, so that's 3-4 months. Of course, most of that time I was at school and it didn't matter that I was certified because of stupid rules that only prevent people who follow rules from carrying a concealed handgun, which brings us back to the first point, which is, LESS STUPID RULES!

Thanks to JP at Eyes Never Closed--without whom I wouldn't have known about this because NEWSPAPERS ARE ALMOST AS DUMB AS HANDGUN PERMITS!

That's it.

I had one of my rare dreams last night, and in it my bike was no longer a pretzel. And The Bike Shop has been advertising a $50 bike tune up--which I doubt will cover everything that I need here, but it could still be taken as a sign that now is the time to get some new handlebars. So I am.

Awesome LEGO Heavy Metal

My friend who I grew up playing LEGO's with sometimes sends me these things.


No good

Worst. Superbowl. Halftime. Show. Ever.

And I can't for the life of me remember any of the commercials! And since only one beer was involved, I suspect it was because they just weren't that good.

But the company and food was good, and that was the real goal of the venture.


We're going to have a bowl of Chili-Carmel Snackmix, a bowl of Guacamole, a bowl full of Pigs in a Blanket, a bowl full of Peaches-n-Scream-n-Cream Cheese dip...

Football? You said, football? Oh, in that case, I'm rooting for the Colorado Rockies.

When I was coordinating a party (Out Of Thin Air!) with my friend, his family asked "When is it?"
I replied "4:30."
"No," they said "What day of the week?"
My mom said "Looks like we found the right people to do a party with!"


I forget sometimes

I had to run to the feed store to pick up chicken feed, which is always fun for me. I don't feel like the type of person who would go to the feed store, but my family has had chickens and such for as long as I can really remember. We live on "The Farm," about 4 acres on the edge of town (literally the edge, the only thing north of us is the interstate and desert). I have probably had a more rural upbringing than 90% of modern Americans.

And then, in the news this morning, I read about a family in Tulsa, OK (which apparently got 10" of snow yesterday) who are practically starving because the only food they had in the house was some granola bars, and they can't get out their driveway to go to McDonald's. Is that the other 90%?

What's more normal, these days? A family that has been providing it's own food for so long that it's second nature, or a family that has been eating out so much that they starve when there's a foot of snow? I fear it's the later...


I know I haven't been doing this a real long time, but it is kinda odd when I can suddenly measure the passing of time by the annual events in other bloggers' lives. Like JayG and his son's pinewood derby race, which I distinctly remember from a year ago.

I think I've still got a couple of my derby cars around here somewhere. Those were the good ol' days...

Not a good sign, is it?

Please, watch this video.

Your Random, Slightly Goofy, Song of the Day.

Yeah, it's pretty nonsensical, but, please, please, don't bring me down!


Epic Shark Jump Alert

The Nobel Prize hasn't really meant anything to me since Algor and his internetz won it for a PowerPoint Presentation. Shark Jump I. Then Mr. Oby Wan won it for making tingles run down some journalist's legs. Shark Jump II. Now Wikileaks has been nominated, while at the same time the founder is going through a rape trial (and that whole situation has it's own weirdness associated with it). How much you wanna bet that it wins?

For your viewing pleasure, a jumping shark:

Cold Wind

The Mesa is over 10,000 ft. above sea level, has probably about 10 feet of snow on the top of it this time of year, and the wind was blowing hard enough to make that snow go elsewhere. I got to go camping up there, one December. One of the worst camping trips I ever went on. Glad I'm down in the valley right now...


I Guarantee that this will be the most annoying thing you watch all day.

...unless you think that you have something more annoying?

Yes. Yes, that was a challenge.

Added:  From KurtP, the first challenger!

Added II: Butch Cassidy suggests a Justin Bieber (featuring Ludacris! Yay!). Unfortunately, I have a strict "No Bieber" policy. Now, excuse me while I go throw up.

A Poem for all you with snow

Keep it warm out there.

It is winter
The bear sleeps
Not alone like me
But with many other bears
In some dark den
I bet that doesn’t smell too great

--Red Green

Still nothing here. You know, in all my years of school I never once had a snow day. Then the year after I left for college, when my brother was still in high school, he got a snow day. Lame.


Split Pea Soup

Forgive my recipe--if it's not baking, then there isn't a whole lot of an incentive to keep track of quantities.

So, here goes:

Get a bag of dried split peas, and rinse them off. Put them in your crock pot.

Make some chicken broth, either from stock you have, or from bouillon--I like to use that "Better than Bouillon" stuff. A couple cups of broth will do it. Add it to the peas.

Chop up an onion, and put it in a skillet to fry. I used a bit of olive oil and sprinkled some salt over the top. After it goes a while, add some chopped garlic. When everything starts to brown around the edges, add some cooking wine (or wine wine, but we were out). Cook it a little more, and add it to your pot.

While the onions are cooking, wash and chop up some carrots. I used four large carrots, cut into disks. Add these to the pot.

After your onions are done and in the crock pot, put a ham steak into the same skillet and cook it until it gets a nice brown coating on both sides. I like to cut off the fat and keep frying it while you chop up the meat into bite sized chunks. Then I either eat it like bacon or chop it up, too, and add it.

To season it I added some chopped dried marjoram from my herb pot. Also, I like to add some brown sugar or a few spoon fulls of molasses to give it a slightly sweet flavor--makes it taste like honey ham! Go easy on it at first, though--it's easier to taste everything once the soup starts to thicken up, at which point you can sweeten it more accurately.


I started it at 9:30 or so in the morning--it can cook all day until it is thick enough to spread on toast.


Yum.  Served with some sourdough toast and a glass of homebrewed Belgium beer.  This is one that I wouldn't be afraid to serve to Brigid!

Notice: I did not add potatoes, celery, or bacon, all of which I have had in split pea soup. I have also had split pea soup that was thin and watery. Potatoes and water are fillers, I don't like celery, and I'm not going to dilute my bacon with a soup!

You may notice, also, that I did such things as add the fat from my ham and real sugar. If you are one o' them "health conscious" wackos, you probably should be looking in one of your specialty cookbooks. I don't eat to lose weight, I eat because it tastes good and I'm hungry. And the soup was good, and now I'm not hungry.

Stay Tuned...

The split pea soup is a cookin' away downstairs in the kitchen.  I am planning on some nice pictures for you too, so expect it this afternoon sometime...

Something good might happen? Who knew that was even possible!

Remember, way back last May, my computer went all hippie on me and the screen went tie die?  And then it completely stopped working?  And then I got a new computer?  Well, it turns out that my problem and my model were on the list for a NVIDIA GPU litigation thing, so I filled out all the forms and sent a PDF of my order form from when I bought it (by the way, I love gmail and it's archives), and now we'll see what happens next! Supposedly they would repair my computer--so I guess I could load some sort of linux on it and start messing around with that.



Not as red as it looked in real life, but there you go.

In other news it's -7 Fahrenheit here, with the windchill. Nippy, that. Still, nothing compared to my brother's college town in WY, where it is currently -36 with the windchill and projected to get down to -51 or something equally unearthly. All I can do is say--"Sucks to be you, dude!"

Da Man

Da name of da man is Freddiew. Who would have thought that a geeky looking guy from Sunny CA could make so many awesome videos? Here is his latest:

You really should watch them all.

KBAR TDI: The I completely forgot to finish edition

A post about criminals not following the campus disarmament policies over at Defends Her Own reminded me in a roundabout way that I completely forgot to finish talking about my knife. Remember, the belt clip broke maybe a week after I bought it? Well, I emailed KBAR and they right away sent me another one. Of course, it was on the slow boat from china (literally, I think, that's where it was mailed from) but it got here just the same. The new clip has a shiny finish as opposed to the matte finish that was on the first clip--I don't know why, but new one sure didn't have as much black oily gunk on it as the original one had, and seems to be holding up just fine. I usually only wear it when I'm going somewhere that guns aren't allowed, handle back on my left side (with the clip in, to try and prevent it from catching on anything and peeling off like happened with the first one. So far so good, I still quite like it and am happy with KBAR's customer support.

FTC disclaimer: Blah blah blah, blah blah blah, I don't care, blah blah blah, my money, freely spent on goods and services, blah blah blah, go pick on someone else...

Quiz Question!

Can anyone tell me what other current hot topic(s) seem to use this reasoning, and with this amount of intelligence?

I'll give you a hint for one: it's a two letter phrase that starts with "G" and ends with "L" and has a "UN CONROL" in between them.

I usually call them "rights restrictors," they call themselves champions of safety, but in all cases they are bigots, and their reasoning always devolves to mindlessly repeating "GREATER GOOD... GREATER GOOD..."

I think I'm going to start calling them Double G Zombies.