28 March 2014

Finished With Main Engines

Home again, home again.

We gave the printed out info to Pop, he said he knew all about it but I have a feeling he didn't know the extent of it. At any rate, he's informed and that's all we can do.

The trip home was uneventful, and the pony is in the corral.

Back to work tomorrow, and my homework still has not done itself.

But for now I'm going to go see what my own bed feels like.

27 March 2014

That's Better


I slept in late, then went to lunch with a bunch of morons, then went and put some holes in things with some goth chick.

Yes, I got to shoot The Mosin.

Tomorrow I get to go tell Pop what I know about his new friends, and then I imagine he won't want to talk to me for a while. Since I can't do anything else, my hope is that he will decide to act on the information I give him and get himself away from these people.

And then I get to make the long drive back home and get back to work.


I can't sign into my Hotmail account because they want me to put in a security code.

They want to text or email me that code, but I don't want to give them my phone number or any other email address.

Windows 8 requires me to sign in using my Windows Live (hotmail) account...so I can't delete it.

I'm tempted to wipe both these computers and load something else on them instead. Then I'll close my Hotmail account and microsloth can go right to hell.

Only problem is...I don't want to work hard enough for Linux, and that's about the only alternative for an OS.

Oh what a tangled web we weave...

25 March 2014

That Hollow Sound

is me smashing my head against the brick wall otherwise known as Pop.

His new pals both have arrest records, but he assures me that they are "good kids".

I've finalized plans to go put some holes in something. Lord knows I need the distraction.

Something non-organic, that is. No bail required.


23 March 2014

Hellfire and Damnation

is far too good for the bottom feeding scum sucking parasitical whoresons and toadlickers who prey on the elderly in the wane of their days.

By that I mean I'm heading off to Florida for an undetermined time to help Eldest Daughter un-snarl the tangle that has become of Pop's affairs since he became too sick to do these things for themselves.

I blame myself, at least in part, because I should have been keeping closer contact with him. I dread this trip because I know that the time is drawing nigh where I will have to do it at least one more time again.

I'm glad that Mom and Dad have my siblings close by.

And now off to the road.


I have been playing hookey from work the past couple of days, taking vacation instead of applying healthy doses of grindstone to my proboscis.

I have been rewarded by three days in which the lack of precipitation was blessedly made up for in the increase of temperature. I have therefore spent my days riding around with the convertible top down rather than applying myself to my schoolwork.

Both gainful employment and dismal weather make their return upon the morrow, and to make it worse it seems as if my mother is still correct. I just opened my schoolbooks and found that my homework is steadfast in its dogged determination not to do itself.

I hear that grindstone spinning up to speed.

20 March 2014

Freddy's Dead

I wonder if the Patriot Guard Riders will ride at the funeral?

UPDATE: I guess not.


Middle Daughter texted me a while ago saying the VA was trying to get in contact with me because I'm listed as the point-of-contact for Pop. They didn't say what they wanted. I called the number they gave her but all I got was the answering machine, so I'm waiting for a call back.

Pop is not in great health, he's been having some circulatory issues and he's too damn stubborn to call either me or Eldest Daughter who only lives an hour to the east of him when he needs something. The fact that the VA is calling instead of him has me worried.

I'll hope for the best and plan for the worst, my schedule can be as fluid as I need it to be so if I have to travel I can do so. It's only 500 miles to Florida so I can be there in less than a day.

The waiting, as always, is the hardest part.

UPDATE: He checked in to the VA because he was weak and constantly falling down, they have sent him to hospice for short-term rehab. Eldest Daughter has been informed and is now on her way to give Grand-pop hell for making her worry.

I almost feel sorry for him...but I do hope he gets better soon.

14 March 2014

Happy Pi Day!

And to commemorate the occasion, I would like to announce that this recipe works just as well with peaches. Just substitute peaches for apples and add a half teaspoon of ground nutmeg in with the flour and cinnamon and prepare as per the recipe.

I've got part of one sitting on the kitchen counter, but if I don't have an empty pie plate by this evening I'll be very surprised.

Adventures in Literature

Someone that you know...or someone who knows someone you know...has written a book.

You should go check it out.

13 March 2014

A Question

Do we, as free American citizens, have the right to defend ourselves against criminal actions by invaders of our own homes?

What if those doing the invading have the sanction of the State?

I am watching these shenanigans happening in Connecticut and now they are happening in a couple of other places as well (New York, for example).

(Note: It would serve lawmakers well to remember that the American Revolution started in the New England states over government attempts to seize privately owned weaponry, and while such sentiments seem to have been squashed out of most of the residents there it doesn't appear to be gone altogether. This pleases me.)

I am hopeful that calmer and cooler heads will recognize that, much like the 55 mph speed limit, Americans will ignore laws they don't feel are good ones.

I fear, however, that the point will have to be made by bloodshed.

Lawmakers would do well to recognize that "don't want to" doesn't mean "won't" but given their amazing ability to ignore every bit of evidence around them I'm not sanguine about the prospect.


Heroditus Huxley has a post up about car values that got me curious to see how mine are holding up. So, I did a little research.

According to Kelly Blue Book, the Mustang is worth about half what I paid for it, but of course I bought it brand-spanking new and I've put more than the average number of miles on it. The Baja, on the other hand, is worth about 4K less than I paid for it, but I bought it used. I've had it almost 4 years and once again I've put more than the average number of miles on it.

The depreciation on the Mustang is more due to the fact that I went from brand-new zero mileage value to four years old and higher than average mileage value, and the Baja would be worth another thousand dollars if it had the average number of miles on it rather than the 40K extra that it has. And as much as I love my Mustang, I think I would miss the Baja more if for some reason I lost both of them. I could always find another Mustang convertible, but they don't make Bajas any more (and didn't make a whole lot of them to begin with).

Side note, apropos of nothing I suppose, the Baja regularly gets slammed by automotive journalists and internet pundits mostly for the fairly outrageous Pontiac style plastic cladding along the bottom and the short bed, but they are extremely popular among those who own them. KBB has an owner appreciation rating of 9.1 out of 10.

In either case, the enjoyment I've gotten out of not having to put a wrench to either one of them (much, in the case of the Baja, and not at all in case of the Mustang) for other than routine maintenance and desired modifications has far outstripped the value lost on either of them as measured by Kelly Blue Book.

12 March 2014

The Way It Ought To Be

Yesterday was a perfect day.

I would have taken pictures or something but I was too busy enjoying it.

11 March 2014


Reading this article leads me to the conclusion that my dog is magnetically challenged.

Either that or he's pushing out a Frontiers in Zoology journalist.

It could be either one.

08 March 2014

What A Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday, cold and rainy with highs in the middle 30s.

Today, warm and sunny with highs in the low 70's.

Yep, gotta love the weather in Dixie. Too bad I have to waste it on work.

07 March 2014

Ice Ice Baby

Freezing rain today, it started at noon yesterday and is forecast to continue on through the day with temperatures only climbing to the high 30's. I get to drive to work in it, oh joy.

The power just went out about fifteen minutes ago, no doubt due to ice on the lines. I have a lantern for light and the phone has internet and communication, not to mention Kindle to keep me amused.

Shame it can't do laundry.

PS. I am thoroughly sick of winter now.

UPDATE: I decided round about six thirty that I wanted some coffee. However, with the power out the stove doesn't work. No problems, I have a camp stove and a camp stove coffeepot! So I go out to the shed and pull it out of the loft...and then realize without electricity the water pump doesn't work, either...

So off I go to get some water, and perhaps some other needful things, and Krispy Kreme has coffee and donuts...and when I got back the power was back on and so the collapse of civilization as we know it has been put on temporary hiatus.

Oh well, I needed some emergency water stores anyway, and the ice is very pretty when it's not knocking out your power.

06 March 2014


I haven't been cruising my links lately so I completely and utterly missed this.

Fair winds and following seas to the most loved black lab on the internets, and heartfelt condolences to those left behind.

I have to go walk with my dog now. It's gotten kind of dusty in here.

Musical Interlude


I woke up this morning with a hankering for chicken corn chowder. To the internet I went to find a recipe, none of which I really liked so well, but by mixing and matching I came up with something that filled the bill.

First, you have to make some chicken broth:

Chicken Broth


1 large (approximately 6 pounds) chicken
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
3 sprigs fresh thyme (1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Kosher salt


Combine the chicken, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, pepper and a tablespoon of salt in a large pot. Add water to cover, at least 3 quarts. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat, skimming occasionally as necessary. Add more water as needed to keep the chicken covered and continue to gently simmer until the chicken is fully cooked (the juices from the thigh will run clear), about 40 minutes. Drain the chicken, reserving the broth. Makes approximately 3 quarts.

Shred the chicken, discarding the bones. Now that you have both chicken and broth, you can make the chowder.

Crock Pot Chicken Chowder


4-6 slices thick bacon, diced (you can never have too much bacon)
1 teaspoon bacon grease or extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped coarse
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth, divided
1 15 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
2 potatoes, diced
1 lb chicken, shredded
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 pinch nutmeg
Salt and pepper


Heat the bacon and bacon grease or olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook until the bacon fat is rendered and the meat firming but not yet crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes.

Stir flour into mixture to make a paste; cook until lightly browned and flour gives off a slightly toasted smell, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully, flour burns easily. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside to cool, about 15 minutes.

Whisk in 1 cup chicken broth until thoroughly combined. Pour bacon and vegetable mixture into crock pot. Add corn, chicken, remaining 2 cups broth, thyme, cream and nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to combine ingredients, cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

04 March 2014

Bambi Stew

I'm cooking this up for tomorrow. The good thing about crock pot cooking is you set it and forget it, then later you just come back and eat. I heartily approve.

This particular recipe comes in two stages, so you do the first part the night before and let it cook overnight, then you do the second part and go to work. When you come back supper is ready! Or, if you don't feel like waiting that long you can crank the old crock pot up to high and have it done in eight hours instead.

And without further ado:

Venison Stew

4 slices bacon
2 lbs venison, cubed
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small sweet onion
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1/2 lb sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup carrots cut in 2" lengths
3 cups boiling water
3 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium frying pan fry the bacon crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. Add the venison, garlic and onions to the bacon grease. Stir fry just long enough to brown the venison.
3. Place the venison, garlic and onions into the crock pot. Add the potatoes, mushrooms and carrots. Crumble the bacon and add it, too.
4. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in 3 cups boiling water (or just use 3 cups beef broth). Add to crock pot.
5. Add Italian seasoning and mix all ingredients well. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours until the venison is cooked all the way through.
6. Stir the flour into 1 cup cold water and blend until smooth. Add to crock pot, add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
7. Cook on low an additional 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high until the stew is thickened.

02 March 2014


My external hard drive, where all of my pictures were stored, has crashed. It just sits there and clicks.

I can't figure out how it happened, it was working just fine and then all of a sudden...

$150 just to have it looked at, general ballpark estimate between $500 and $600 to recover the data.

All my pictures of Laura. That's the thing that bothers me the most, and that's the reason I'll pay the bill.

01 March 2014

March ROTM

I have no idea who she is. Perhaps one of you do.

Apple Pie

Glazed Apple Cream Pie
Original recipe makes 1 - 9 inch pie
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 - 6 tart apples - peeled, cored and sliced (peaches work just as well)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
(1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg if you are making a peach pie)
1 (15 ounce) package pastry for double-crust pie
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter, softened

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup cream, and 1/4 cup butter. Heat until butter is melted, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, 2 tablespoons milk, and vanilla; stir into saucepan. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a medium bowl, combine the apples, flour, and cinnamon. Mix well.

Line a 9 inch pie pan with pie dough. Pour thickened filling mixture into pastry-lined pie pan. Arrange apple mixture evenly over filling. Top with second crust, seal and flute the edges. Cut slits in top crust.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and apples are tender. Cool for at least 30 minutes.

In small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon softened butter. Blend until smooth; pour evenly over warm pie. Refrigerate for AT LEAST 1 1/2 hours before serving (longer is better).

Served with a scoop of ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce will win instant approval from the most discerning of palates.

(PSA note...don't try the advice in the video with a redhead...unless suicide was the intended result. Of course, the redheads I hang out with would probably be the ones demanding the pie. ;) )