Friday, October 31, 2008

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Grace will be six on Thursday. As I've written here every year since age one we've memorialized the occasion by having pictures taken by a professional.

Here's Grace with Robin who has taken her picture every year since age one. This year we decided to have the pictures taken at Robin's home.

Grace had two outfits for this year's pictures. This one and what she is wearing below.

Because Robin has worked with Grace for so many years our little one has become comfortable with the process. In fact, she usually hams it up for any and all photo opportunities.

It's hard to believe that this year's sitting was number six. Time flies.

We must be having fun.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008


Song of the South was yanked a few years back from the Disney lineup of films. Politically incorrect. Racist.

Breakfast at Tiffany's fell victim to the same accusations several months ago. A theater owner who had planned to show the film thought otherwise and reversed his decision after being pressured from the Asian community.
The following is probably politically incorrect but frankly Scarlet, I don't really give a damn.

As a member of the "cracker" community maybe as a "nation" all crackers should rise up and protest all the films that portray "us" in less than positive light and create stereotypes of us.

Think Charlie Chaplin.

Think Abbott and Costello.

Think Three Stooges.

Think Laurel and Hardy.

Jerry Lewis.

The list could go one and on.

If they were of color none of these comedians work would see the light of day in the 21st century world we live in.

E-Bay is selling copies of Song of the South for a price higher than any other Disney film.

When censorship such as what Disney has imposed on everyone I can only ask, "What has happened to free choice in America?"

Thanks to son Max who provided a copy via the Korean network of available downloads, Wifey, Grace and I watched Song of the South several nights ago.

With a critical eye I tried understand why the film was censored. Portraying the South in the 1800's life was very much like what was shown in the film. What was the big deal, I asked.

Grace cried when Uncle Remus was told to leave the plantation for his tall tail stories. Song of the South, in my opinion, didn't degrade blacks but nonetheless illustrated them as workers and servants who were indentured for the plantation owners. It's what it was and the film served as a good platform for conversation of what was wrong with America back then between Grace and I.

Why can't a kind, gentle story and a lesson on history be made available to everyone? If we live in a free democracy why the Disney censorship? Am I missing something?

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Wifey, Grace, Zennia and I walked the Sundial Bridge last evening. It was a perfect evening for a stroll.

70 degrees.


The bridge's floor panels are lit at night as shown here.

We're going back this evening to see if I can take a picture of a sunset that is in focus.

That said, life can be out of focus from time to time, don't you think?

Have an in-focus Thursday!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008



Last week shopped Cost Plus and came home with pasta shaped like pumpkins, bats and witches. I thought Gracie and I could have Halloween food this week. What better way to celebrate.

So I cooked it.
And while I was cooking the pasta I checked out the ingredients. The usual stuff, I thought as I read through the listing. . . until I came to the last ingredient which you can see here.


Now is that the best Cost Plus can come up with. Surely there are other food colorings made with anything but squid ink.

I didn't tell Gracie about the squid ink knowing well what would happen. It didn't taste bad but the thought of what I was eating kept coming to mind. How do they milk squids? Is it like a farm sort of thing.

Hey, I'm a headed out to milk the squids. Be back around dark.

Now there's a thought.

Next time we'll stick to the pasta imported from Italy that's minus squid ink.


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Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Did you know that boiling potatoes that have been sliced or cut in half become water logged?

Did you ever wonder why you could never make fluffy mashed potatoes? Now you know.

Use Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes.

Boil the potatoes whole (natch!) for 20 - 30 minutes. I do not peel the potatoes.

Drain the water off of the potatoes and put them back into the pot. Put the pot back on the stove and let sit for 5-10 minutes (eliminates any water the potatoes may have absorbed).

Use a ricer to mash the potatoes. If you don't know what a ricer is you have no business messing with mashed potatoes.

With an electric beater mix in 1/2 cup of buttermilk, 1/2 cube of butter and salt/pepper to your taste. Add more buttermilk until the mashed potatoes reach what you feel is the right consistency.

If done right you'll taste the difference.
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Halloween is this week. Grace's first grade class took time out from their studies to visit one of Cowtown's many pumpkin farms. They'll be carving the pumpkins they picked on Thursday.

Grace is wondering whether to carve the big pumpkin she's sitting on or do the little one.
Kids at this age are starting to master the fine art of looking stupid for the camera. Watch the birdie!
Grace has orders to bring a side of beef home for Papa. She's on the kill and ready to pounce!
Ya gotta love guys who entertain kids who don't mind looking like a doofuss while they do that. I've got a cheesehead hat at home I'd gladly trade for a corncob hat.

I was thinking that my proctologist would look mighty fine wearing this puppy on his head during exams. If his patients have to feel stupid while he probes and probes and probes he might as well join in by looking stupid, don't you think?

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Monday, October 27, 2008


Grace is with us for five days. Her mother remarried (again) and is off lusting in the dust. Oh joy.

Wifey and I could not deny the grandchild the weenie mobile experience.

Wifey and I also could not deny the humiliation of singing those damn Oscar Mayer weenie songs just to get a free weenie whistle.

Weenies do whistle, don't you know?

On Sunday we were allowed inside the big weenie. What a treat.

Wifey and child are wondering if they'll be whisked away in the giant weenie mobile never to be seen or heard from again.
You could write you name alongside the weenie mobile. Wifey did that here.

Another chapter in the book of Grace ended with smiles on our faces accompanied by the sound of weenie whistles.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008


The Oscar Mayer Weenie Car was in Cowtown yesterday. Wifey just had to have her picture next to the biggest weenie she ever saw.

Damn, I'd love to own this car. I'd be the biggest weenie in all of Cowtown, maybe the world!

People would say, there goes Bob driving his weenie around town again.

The weenie mobile people were giving out weenie whistles but you had to sing a song in order to get one. As they say, there's no such thing as a free weenie. . . . I just had to have a weenie whistle.

So we sang two songs, in front of the supermarket and in front of God and every Tom, Dick and Harry that walked by ever so reluctantly but nonetheless smiling through it all:

First this one:

My Bologna has a first name,
It's O-S-C-A-R.
My bologna has a second name,
It's M-A-Y-E-R.
Oh I love to eat it everyday,
And if you ask me why say,
Cause' Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A!!!!

And then this one:

I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner
That is what I truly wish to be
cause if i were a oscar mayer weiner
everyone would be in love
oh everyone would be in love
everyone would be in love with me

We walked away from the weenie mobile with our two weenie whistles knowing that we helped to make the world a better place by singing two stupid weenie maker songs and putting a smile on more than a few faces.

I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008


A bird of prey sat outside the kitchen window this morning. I snapped this picture from inside the house.

Zoe weighs just under five pounds. Flirt, Dawn's dog who visits us frequently weighs in between 3 and 4 pounds.

Hawks and eagles have been known to carry off small dogs like ours.

This morning's discovery serves as a good reminder that we live on the edge of what is home to creatures like this.

Our resident coyotes howled up a storm last night. The pack would love to dig under the fence in search of small four legged creatures. We always check the fence for holes and breaks. It's been a while that we have felt that he had to safeguard our dogs against hawks or eagles by not letting them roam the backyard unattended.

Looks like it's that time again.

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Friday, October 24, 2008


Honda, as part of a commercial stunt, cut grooves in the highway near Lancaster California. Each set of grooves has a muscial tone to it. So check this out . . . here's the result of Honda's endeavor . . . only in California. . . and yes, doesn't Honda have anything better to do?!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


You're out trick or treating with your kids.

This person opens the door. What do you do and what do you say?

Make mine milk?

Can I get fries to go with that?

You must have been a real cutie during the 60's.

Didn't I see you on a National Geographic TV special?

Now you're one bud wiser.....NOT!

Gee, I didn't think Hooters was hiring.

Are those real?

What would you say?

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

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Every day after school it's the same routine:

Get off the bus. Get into Grammy's car. Come home.

Sit at the island bar. Have a snack. Do the assigned homework.

At age five.

I don't know about you but I hated homework. It cut into the free, after school time. There were things to do. Like rock fights. Any time there was a rock fight with another group of kids on the way home was a good day.

Then there were dirt clod fights. It was "no fair!" when someone put a rock in the middle of dirt clod. Normally being hit by a dirt clod didn't hurt. You knew when you've been hit by a clod with a rock in the middle. OUCH! NO FAIR! And that's when the fights started. Anyway day there was a fight on the way home from school was a good day.

Anyway, you can see Wifey here sitting next to Grace with the ever present word list of frequently used words. No home should be without it.

Then there's practice reading the little paper books that have the frequently used words in them.

They have Bob books that feature Bob as the main character. Somehow Bob has managed to wiggle his way into primary school literature. Maybe Bob is one of those frequently used words in the English language. Do you think?

I guess Bob doesn't qualify for anything higher than being used for primary school education. Actually, I'm fine with that. Keep it easy for Bob.

When Grace has a Bob book down pat she will come read it to me. Instead of an after school rock fight it is now a good day whenever I can hear Grace read about Bob. I just love those Bob books.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008


A friend, who's retired from serving on a local police force, sent this to me. Typical George e-mail. He sends me all kinds of redneck stuff.

I'm not sure that I buy this NOR will this change my vote.

Don't ya think there are good looking Democratic babes out there? I do.

Clickty click on the picture to view a larger size of the poster.

As long as we're on the subject of government and the political process, consider this:

Back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed. Now we are trusting the economy of our country to a pack of nit-wits who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling booze.
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We all have to earn our keep now and then. Life cannot be all TV football, NASCAR, Internet and what have you. Wifey has to know that I am still worth my salt.

So, I empty the dishwasher.

Take out the garbage.


And lots of other stuff not worth going into.

But I also cook. Last night I decided to prepare chicken cacciatore. It was a lot of work but well worth the trouble. This dish is sooooo scrumptious.

Actually, on the plate looks better than in the pot. Don't let this picture fool you.

The best part of the preparation was when it called for 3/4 cup of white wine. When I cook with wine it goes like this. . . one for in the pot, one for me, one for in the pot, one for me. The bottle of wine usually goes empty pretty quick so I open another.

One for in the pot, one for me. . ..

I cooked pasta to lay the chicken caccitore on. I'm not Italian but it sure felt like it last night.

Here's the receipe taken from the Food Network website:

Chicken Cacciatore by Giada

Serves: 4 servings

4 chicken thighs 2 chicken breasts with skin and backbone, halved crosswise

2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large red bell pepper,

chopped 1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3/4 cup dry white wine (some in the pot, some for me)

1 ( 28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons drained capers

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.

In a large heavy saute pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute it in 2 batches.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano.

Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from atop the sauce.

Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil and serve.

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Monday, October 20, 2008


A picture taken last week of the Sundial Bridge, pride of Cowtown. Nice place to stroll, walk the dogs, have a cup of Joe and people watch.

Now for hot off the presses information on where to park your money in 2009 and make a bundle. Get your pencils out boys and girls:

Investment tips for 2009:

For all of you with any money left, be aware of the next expected mergers so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some BIG bucks. Watch for these consolidations in 2009:

#1 Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W R. Grace Co. Will merge and become: Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.

#2 FedEx is expected to join its competitor, UPS, and become: FedUP.

#3 Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become: PouponPants.

#4 Victoria 'S Secret and Smith & Wesson will merge under the new name: TittyTittyBangBang

What else did you expect out of Bob? You should know better!

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Saturday, October 18, 2008


During June, July and most of August the Cowtown Valley was filled with smoke from out of control forest fires. Several times the fire headed our way and there were thoughts of evacuating the house.

Thursday I drove out to the lake. It's about 15 minutes from the house and saw a sign on the highway that said, "Do not report fire - controlled burn in progress".

Lo and behold as I drove by the lake there it was . . . another fire in the forest.

You'd think that after all the hassle of putting out the summer fires there would be US Forest Service rocket scientists that would think that setting more fires is not a good idea. And like Cowtown hasn't had it's fill of smoke filled air?

The burn is all in the name of forest management. As one ranger put it, "There hasn't been a burn here in 80 years and the forest in this area needs cleaning out." Man interfering with nature . . . not a good thing. Or so it seems to those of us who are uninformed in forest management.

Here's an example of one area at the Lake that burned this summer. This particular burn came right down to the lake and nearly took out several Parks Service homes.
My name is on a waiting list for a slip in this marina, one of two on the lake. It's located on an inlet to the lake. Even though there's not been success in finding the right sailboat for Bob, I'll still rent a slip for the year.

Those holding slips were required to pay to up by October 15th or remove their boat. Vacant slips will be given to those on a waiting list.

I'm on page four of their seven page waiting list. The worker in charge of the slips says that calls are being made to those on the list and I should know soon whether I've made the cut or not.

Boat or no boat, I'll have a place all my own to dangle my feet in the water 'cause I'm a thinking I'm a gonna make the cut.

Fingers crossed.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States