Monday, February 28, 2011

Thanks.  I needed that.




It snowed last week in Cowtown.  Those who predict the weather say it's going to snow again this week.  And they call this global warming?

These photos were taken during the first hours of our California snowstorm.  A total of 3 or more inches fell by late afternoon.

When most think of California the last thing to cross their mind is snow falling in the Golden State.   Yet here it is.

Wifey just had to get a shot of her stud enjoying the snow.  All the white in my hair is snow. .. yeah, right, Bob.  Does my butt look okay in these jeans?

Both dogs did seem a bit confused as to how to react to what was falling from the sky.  Kiri tried to eat the falling snow and did have some luck doing that. Zeenie wanted to play ball. . . come rain, shine, snow or high water. . . it's always ball time for that girl. 

A cooper stll turned upside down collected snow.  A sundial set on its bottom made for an interesting photo.

Next door the neighbors built a snowman in their backyard (not shown here). 

And Sparkle Plenty sat alongside the house collecting snow and longing for the day that she will be put back in the lake. 

Tomorrow is the first day of March.  Spring and warm weather is just around the corner.  I can hardly wait for some global warming.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

Last week I whipped up a Shepherd's Pie in nothing flat.  So easy that anyone named Bob can do it.  Frozen vegetables as its filling (carrots, peas, corn, string beans).  The recipe calls for 1 - 2 cups.  I used three.  You're looking at mashed potatoes here spread evenly over the top and then baked.

The secret of tasty mashed potatoes is this:  Buttermilk, Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup), half a stick of butter, salt, pepper.

It's a keeper.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Still Rockin'

I'm a long time Prince fan.  Betcha never would have guessed that.  True.  He played to sold out shows in Oakland last Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Here's what one critic, KTVU critic David Pehling
wrote about the Oakland venue.

"If Prince’s much ballyhooed Bay Area stop of his ‘Welcome 2 America Tour’ had ended after the second sold-out night Wednesday, it still likely would made the short list for music event of 2011 for many local critics. On Thursday evening, the artist unleashed a torrid three-hour set that erased any doubts.

Prince who emerged clad head-to-toe in shimmering gold on a platform near the center of of the huge glyph stage in the middle of the Oracle Arena floor to a wildly ecstatic reaction from the crowd. One might have expected him to kick off the show with one of his more recognizable hits or at least a high-energy dance tune to get people out of their seats. Ever the iconoclast, Prince started things off on simmering note with the slow jam "The Love We Make."

A misstep? In a word, no. Prince turned the song into an epic, emotional guitar meltdown in a rare display of simultaneously heartfelt and mind-blowing six-string virtuosity. A facet of Prince's skills frequently forgotten by those only familiar with his recorded material, the man took charge with with a showcase of the kind of guitar pyrotechnics that would dominate the early part of the show.

The crowd may have been aching to hear the hits, but the immediate response was nothing short of abject adoration. Screaming Prince's name at every crescendo (at least in the section of the arena where I was sitting) the audience jumped squarely into the palm of his hand for what would unfold as a spectacular ride through the rest of the night.

The hits did come in short order with a rendition of "Take Me With U" from Purple Rain, but followed the golden guitar god path with the appropriately titled "Guitar." The ode to his ax continued what seemed to be an implicit aim to place Prince into that vaunted pantheon that includes Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen and Monday night special guest Carlos Santana. But for all the chops on display, Prince's guitar playing still served the songs on the Parade gem "Anotherloverholenyohead" and the seductive groove of the '90s-era ballad "Shhh."

The show hit another apex of energy as Prince's longtime drummer and live-band foil Sheila E rose to the stage for her own spotlight moment, punishing her timbales in a slinky white dress as the band powered through a version of her Prince-penned hit "Glamorous Life" that further inflamed the crowd. As much as the marathon concert was without question Prince's show, it was just the first of several points where the Purple One would relinquish center stage to his heroes and disciples.

I'll leave out the remainder of the article. ... with exception of the last paragraph:

"As the show wound down, Prince's boundless energy seemed to eclipse the audience's flagging endurance as the crowd had a tough time delivering the verses to "Raspberry Beret" prior to the latter-era hit "Cream" and onstage crowd celebration of "Cool" (a song he wrote for The Time). Still, those remaining danced on with abandon through the show's closing salvo of the early chestnut "Let's Work" and the '80s favorite "U Got the Look." For those lucky enough to catch the master in action on his last night in Oakland, Prince left the crowd exhausted, sated and hopeful that their next encounter might be just as magical."

I shoulda been there.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No Way To Start The Day

5 a.m. this morning Kiri's barfing her guts out.  That damn dog will eat anything and everything she finds.  Try as we must to keep everything away from her Kiri always finds some Tom, Dick or Harry thing to chew on and swallow. This morning Kiri barfed up the plastic insides of a dog toy she had taken apart yesterday.

How I hate starting my day out so early and to the sound of dog barfing.

The good news is that she barfs up whatever she ingests.  Otherwise Kiri would have to go under the knife to remove whatever it was she couldn't puke or poop out her system.  We're talking big money for that type of procedure.

Kiri's but a year old.  One day soon she'll outgrow the need to put anything and everything in her mouth.  Before then hopefully we'll all survive.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gotta Get One

 I gotta get me one of them burger presses . .. a Stuffed Burger Press.

I already have a burger press.  The stuffed burger press is a whole 'nother deal-ee-bob.

The press makes two burger patties.  One of them has like a valley in the middle.  Put stuff in the valley like cheese or fried onions or pickles, chillies (those canned Ortega things) . . . bacon. . .oh gawd, bacon!  ....anything you like on a burger could go there.

Slap the patty without the valley on top of the one with the valley.  Kind of pat it down and together.

Fry or grill that baby up.

Bingo.  New burger ball game.  I think it's a home run!

Twelve bucks through Williams Sonoma on line.  Amazon sells a couple of stuffed burger presses but they're both 20 bucks and up.

Or, you could do it yourself. . .. probably would be messy.  Don't drink a lot of beer before putting the stuffed burgers together and you could probably make do without one of those 12 buck presses.  Hell, drink a lot of beer and get crazy with it.  Your guests will yell out, "HEY!  Look what the hell I found in my burger!!" 

I'm getting one.

Bread and Butter - The Newbeats - HQ

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hit The Deck!

Plans are underway to install this type of decking in the interior of Sparkle Plenty.  This will replace the carpeting which needs replacing anyway.  Better this than carpet that by nature is prone to moisture and mold.

This will definitely put more sparkle in Sparkle Plenty.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hale-Bopp Comet

Remember this?  The Hale-Bopp comet was around in 1996 - 1997.  It was the damnest sight.  A comet that seemed to go nowhere other than to just hang in the sky.  Captivating.

It was estimated that the comet is visible on earth every 4,200 years.  Get this: It's last visit was in 2,215 BC. 

During the time that the comet was visible I was working and living on the California coast.  A drive to work meant 20 minutes along the California coastline.  Nothing like it. 

It was about 11 at night, driving home from a meeting, when I stopped at a wide spot in the road.  I sat on the tailgate of the truck for at least an hour taking in the smell of the ocean, listening to the sounds of waves crashing against the rocks.  It was a clear, star-lit sky highlighted by the comet and it's long tail.

I can remember sitting there and saying,

It was one of those Wow moments in life.

Monday, February 14, 2011

All About Hallmark?

Ever try flying a kite with a chase anything dog around?  At our house that would be Kiri.  Throw anything or float anything through the air, this dog is game to go after it.  And if it suits her fancy, Kiri will chew the hell out of it . .. usually earning this pup a trip to the Vet to up-chuck whatever it was she chewed and swallowed.


Last week it was kite flying in the backyard.  This damn dog just has to join in on the fun by snapping up the kite tail.

A dog's gotta do what a dog's gotta do.  She is pretty funny. Damn, I just love this dog.

Happy Valentine's Day?  One day out of the year it's all about gifts, cards and a steak/lobster dinner for your loved one.

It's like Christmas.  In December everyone exudes the sentiment of  'peace on earth, goodwill to all men".  My take is that the spirit of Christmas and Valentine's Day should not be one day or month out of the year but an every day approach to life.   Why just one day to love the one you're with. . . .or at least express that via flowers, cards, gifts, smooches, holiday sex and what have you.  Loving the one you're with and showing it should be an every day deal.  Life's too short to spend 364 days of not appreciating who you've chosen to spend your life with.  Each of us all need love and appreciation.  If we don't get it we wilt.....just like a flower that has not been watered.

I guess what I'm driving at is that life should be a celebration every day year 'round.   One day you'll be sorry that other things got in the way.

Thunk about it.  But don't do a lot of thunking. .. . just get out there and do it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Can you guess? 

Another one of Gracie's photos.  The kid has an eye and a steady hand for picture taking.  Of course my camera is half way decent which does add to all things being in focus.

Give up?

This is a freshly opened jar of Smuckers Goober . .. a blend of peanut butter and jelly.

Goober.  What's in a name?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wifey Has A Party

Yesterday was Wifey's birthday.  All the kids arrived around 5 dinner at 6.  Pasta.  Salad.  French bread.  It must have been delish . . . Scott had three plates filled with pasta and sauce.

Then it was time for Wifey to read her birthday cards.

Open presents.

Be surprised by a one of a kind birthday cake. . .. it was gluten free.

Dawn brought the cake into the living room in all its firery glory.

Wifey took a moment to check it out.

Then she took another moment to think what she would like to wish for . . . you know, the birthday wish that comes with blowing out the candles.

And then she blew them out.

Here's the crowning touch to Wifey's birthday.  As her gift Gracie bought two tickets to the Justin Bieber 3D film, Never Say Never.  It opened that day at the Cowtown Cineplex.  Hmmm, I asked Gracie for the second time who the gift was really for.  No answer.  Just a big smile.

The tickets were for 9:30 that evening.  Two very tired females left the house at 9 and returned at 11:30. . .. even more tired than when they left.  Gracie had purple lips and tongue. .. which at first I thought were from non stop screaming for dear Justin Bieber.  Wrong.  An icee on the way home, she said.

The last photo in the series says it all.  It was one of Wifey's favorite birthdays. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Whazz Up!

The girls:  Kiri and Zeenie.  Photographed by Gracie taken past Tuesday.  Kiri is just over a year old and in training to be certified as a therapy dog.  Zeenie is three.  She was certified just a bit after her first birthday.

They're lively, active pups who are always up for a game of chase or fetching a ball.  Bring out the leashes, they become nutcases chomping at the bit to get out of the house for a long walk.

Today's Wifey's birthday.  The whole fam damnly will be over for dinner, cake and presents.  It's spaghetti . . .their choice of a meat/tomato sauce I've prepared or a clam/herb sauce.  French bread.  Salad.

Grace will spend the night.  Her gift to her grandmother is two tickets to see Justin Bieber's film that was released today.  It's in 3-D.   I asked Grace last week just before buying the pre-sale tickets, "Is this for Grammy or all about you?"  Grace looked at me and just grinned.

That girl's a chip off the old block.  Eight years old and she's already working the angles.

Happy Birthday, Wifey!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

One Day Into Another

Gracie snapped this photo of Wifey's shadow yesterday.  She was taking pictures in hopes of enterting at least one in her school's student art show.  This might be the one that will take a prize.  Not bad for an 8 year old kid.

Lunch today with a pal who writes restaurant reviews for the local paper.  He'll write a review of where we'll eat.  Always interesting to watch how he works.

Son-in-law is on jury duty.  Judge says no more than a four day trial.  Yeah, right.

Daughter's working in a new job and loving it.  She was lucky to be recruited by a 15 store chain of supermarkets to be their graphics art director.  Big increase in salary compared to her last job.  She's all smiles.

Son is designing and building a backyard playhouse for Grace.  She wanted a tree house but the city said no deal unless a permit is taken out.  A permit is not required for a ground level shed or play house as long as it's single story and less than 150 square feet.  A playhouse it shall be.  We'll start building Grace's dream house in the next couple of weeks.

Wifey's off for lunch today with a friend and dog training with Kiri later this afternoon.

Split Pea soup is in the slow cooker and will be ready for dinner at 6. 

Another day that seems much like the day before.  Not a bad thing.  Routine can be a good thing.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

They Sucked!

Sunday's Superbowl. . . half time activities....I thought the Black Eyed Peas sucked.  At the time I thought well, maybe it's me . . ., old school Bob. . . . maybe I should get out of what ever musical era I'm in, shift gears and enter a new century of music.

Today CNN's Poll made me feel that I may not be so out of the loop after all. ..

CNN On-line Poll
Which recent Super Bowl halftime performer was best?



Tom Petty

The Who

Black Eyed Peas

Total votes: 73715

Need I say more?

Monday, February 07, 2011

What My Dogs Can Do
Just like this:

Must Have Been The Wings

It was a day for all us cheeseheads.  The Packers did what they were trained to do and kicked the Steeler's butts.  Doesn't get much better than this!

I feel like a flying cheesehead.

BTW:  I have a cheese head hat which I wore proudly all day Sunday.

I'm feeling Super Bowl hung over this morning.  No, not the beer as only had two.  So, must have been the KFC wings . . .you know, the 20 for five bucks deal.  Ohhhhhh, so good. 

You wouldn't think that two beers and some wings would hang you over. Hmmmm.

Maybe I done did clog an artery.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Look! Up In The Sky!

Remember how each episode of the TV series Superman began? 

"Faster than a speeding bullet.

More powerful than a locomotive.

Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Look! Up in the sky!

It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Superman!
Yes, it's Superman - strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman - who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel with his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights the never ending battle for Truth, Justice and the American Way."

Well cowboys and cowgirls, we're gonna have a new superhero. .. MARIJUANA MAN!  Look for the release on April 20th of a comic book with that name.

If there's a television series in the works wonder if they'll use an opening similar to that of Superman's?

Faster than a smoking doobie.

More powerful and than a gang of meth heads.

Able to leap fences and bud laden plants in a single bound.

Look!   At that guy with the cloud of smoke surrounding him!

something like that . . . .

ya think?

Friday, February 04, 2011

KFC:  20 Wings for 10 Bucks!

Until midnight Sunday.  Freaking deal. Stock up. Pig out.  I just love those damn things. 

As for this video just know that any church serving wings is a church of mine.  Praise the Lord and pass another wing.  That's what I'm talking about.

Wanna Be Hip?

Next time you're out on the town and there's an opportunity to dance here's you chance to be hip with the younger crowd.  The video here will definitely teach you some moves called the Dougie.

So get down, get moving, learn the Dougie!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

College Short Cuts

An Associate of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Master of Arts degree. . . all earned by yours truly.  Earned not by the easy way but the hard way.

15 plus units each semester.

To pay for books, tuitition and clothe, feed, put a roof over the families head there were 32 plus hours of work each week in a supermarket.  There were no student loans taken out.  

It went like this:

School Monday through Friday with classes usually in the morning.

Work 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 1:00 p.m. - 10: p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Monday and Tuesday were off days.

Homework and reading:  Week day afternoons, mornings Saturday and Sunday.  Lunch/dinner breaks at the supermarket.

There wasn't a lot of time for a life other than school and work. 

In order to earn decent grades to stay in college and work close to full time there had to be short cuts.  Ah, good old Cliff Notes.  Could not have done it without old Cliff's notes.  Saved my bacon.  Cliff's name should be alongside mine on the three sheep skins.

Initially the courses taken were geared towards meeting prerequisites for enrollment in law school.  About two thirds of the way through school that goal changed to the field of education.  One day I'll write about how that came about.  Interesting story.  

College was a good experience albeit one tough grind.  Overall a 3.80 grade point average.  Given the cirumstances not too shabby.  Something that I can say wasn't handed me but earned the old school way.  I'd do it again.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Blood for Oil

Here we go again.  Gas and diesel prices at the pump are going up, up and up.  Diesel in Cowtown is going for $3.65 a gallon and that's at the least expensive pump in town.  It's being said that 4 bucks a gallon is in our not so distant future.  And that's only the beginning.  So they say.

It's unfortunate that the most unstable, whacked out portion of the world holds the greatest amount of oil. ..a product the whole world has become dependent on.   There's been constant fighting and bloodshed in those countries since Christ was a corporal.  Centuries of bloodshed.  And it's still going on. 

This month it's Egypt.  Who knows who's next come March.  Late in the last century America was hauled into this never ending squabble of tribes, religious beliefs and mayhem for the sake of mayhem.  Our intervention was about oil sugar coated with an effort to bring democracy to that part of the world.  Those efforts have been at the expense our men and women, their lives, their blood. . . all for oil.

These on the other side of the world guys don't fight with honor . . . they're chicken shit fighters.  Car, suicide and roadside bombs.  Ambushes, which are okay in the field of battle but instead of turning tail and running or surrendering, those on the opposing side hide their weapons and pretend to be civilians.  And we don't intentionally kill civilians, do we?   No fair!  No doubt the face of war has changed a lot these past few years. 

Back in the day I used to love to fight.  Hell yeah.  There was a code that went along with a street fight.  When you're getting the best of someone you'd ask, "Had enough?  Say uncle?."  If whoever it was you were fighting wanted to stop the fight it's likely he would yell out, "Enough!  I've had enough.  Uncle!"  The fighting would stop.  JUst like that.   There were also times when someone was getting the crap kicked out of him bystanders would break up the fight.  Whenthe fighting stopped there were no more punches thrown.  No guns or knives were pulled or used.  Fighting was straight up, one on one.  Everyone knew what to do and everyone followed the rules.

Street fighting today is less than that.  Get knocked down and you're likely to be kicked in the head and stomped on.  Knives.  Guns.  Pipes.  Bats.  You name it they're using it.  It's now okay for two or three guys to beat the snot out of one guy.  Dog eat dog, no holds barred.  Back in the day if the guy was bigger or stronger than you were he'd fight with one arm tied behind his back.  That was to make the fight somewhat equal . . . more often than not the bigger guys still kicked the stuffing out of the smaller guys.  Today the punkfaces shoot first and ask questions later.  No fighting.  Just shooting.  The back in the day code of street fighting is no more.

There's a lot of trouble in our world.  One solution would be to pull everything in.  No more fighting the chickenshits in foreign countries.  Isolate ourselves as much as possible  Be self sufficient, less dependent on oil, manufacture everything we could with everyone instilled with the mindset of buying American.   It would be all about taking care of ourselves and minding our own stinking business.


I know.  Never would, could or will happen.  It's now a world economy.  America has to play that game.  There's no going back to the good old days.  They're over.  They're done with. 

I can dream, can't I?

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States