Friday, March 31, 2006

You Ain't Gonna Win Tex...

I see more and more shite about how crappy Bush is, how terrible the US is, etc. – here is a quick summation of things for you out of towners and anyone wearing a cowboy hat on a regular basis…

- Clintons are assholes
- Bush is an asshole
- McCain is an asshole
- Most politicians are assholes, but they are the rich and here money rules, that’s how capitalism works
- if you think most politicians actually care about anything beyond lining their pockets you are an asshole, and a stupid one at that. If you think they give a shit what you the poor and downtrodden think (unless you are part of a loud group generally oppressed by "the man", especially while the git is campaigning) you are a severely retarded asshole
- The American people don’t choose their president - that decision rests with the Electoral College. Even so, big business, vocal minorities, and foreign interests have so skewed the election and campaign process that I don’t think it will ever be fixed – though elections in Chicago most certainly are.
- The elections for president have been so close the last few times because both assholes are the same, there is no real choice.
- You may vote for the president, but you have no say in his posse, usually his cronies. They are the ones that do the real damage without fear of any penalties.
- Burn the politicians in effigy if you like, but leave the flag the fuck alone.

Get it?

Long Drawn Out Rambling

The monkey is out of the bag, so to speak. I originally started V Agent so I could just be an ass in public – mom always said do what you do best. I didn’t think cooking would meld well with the insane/inane ramblings of a dude in an M-17 gas mask so I started the Shredded Monkey: Cooking with Primates. There is something humorous about borderline cannibalism, just eating a little further down the family tree. Not to say I ever actually ate monkey, though rumor had it that the dude selling sandwiches in Panama was using monkey meat. Whatever he was using the sandwiches were pretty damn good, so if it was monkey I hope it starts showing up at the local meat counter. They already have buffalo, seasonally, and that is tasty. There was Korea where meat could have been someone’s pet just the other day and Germany where you could get venison, horse, and wild boar at the market. I gave the horsemeat a pass; it gave off a strange smell when being cooked.

Anyway, there is a wealth of food sites on the web. FoodCrazee, Vietnamese God, and Jingle’s Kitchen all have interesting views of their homeland as well as some excellent recipes and pictures of the dishes that make you want to get on a plane and head out to try some for yourself. That is saying something, as I hate to fly.

I love to cook, most likely because I don’t have to cook. The day of the mommy stays home and has dinner on the table when the daddy comes home from a hard day's work is behind us, in most places. My wife heard from fellow teacher who said a student’s father wanted to discuss his progeny’s progress with a man, not her. You can bet he has a number 3 decal on the back window of his pickup truck.

It is hard to believe that in the 21st Century anyone would have that attitude. Ok, I tease about women drivers and letting women vote, which is just part of being an ass in public. I am far from serious, however. I work with several female fighter pilots. The Air Force doesn’t do affirmative action when it comes to fighter jocks – either you have the right stuff or you find yourself flying heavies or an LGD-6D (Large Gray Desk - 6 Drawer). Flying fighters is a tough business but these women are some real stars. Then there is my wife, a teacher who faces battlefield conditions every day of the week in her classroom. She is a very remarkable person and I am lucky to have her in my life. She had the fortitude to press on while I was gone to other people’s deserts. She worked, ran the family, and had the car fixed (another unwritten rule of nature, when you are on your own the major appliances and the vehicle take turns breaking down) all without whining or running home to mom. Anyone that thinks women are weak and incapable needs to give it another think.

All right, I am babbling, just like Meg Ryan’s character in the movie “IQ” - funny movie by the way. It all boils down to I love cooking, love the interaction on the Blogs, and think it is interesting hearing the thoughts of people from other lands, other states, and different backgrounds. I also love being an ass - thanks for the advice mom!! Therefore, much as church and state, I decided to have assification and food separate, mostly, with the option to occasionally hang the 10 commandments in the courthouse.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Piss Me Offs

There are many disturbing things in the world and I have a habit of allowing many of those things to upset me, hence the prohibition against me watching the weather jackass on TV. I know I shouldn’t get teed off, but that is just the way I am wired.

I am taking a big chance writing this. I saw a post on one of the Blogs I regularly read and the poster said he hated Blogs created by “Self-absorbed assholes”. I expect he figures everyone should be doing a “come to jesus” or some political fist pounding, but a Blog, or Weblog is simply a journal. You can certainly preach the gospel or let everyone know that the shit head you are backing for office isn’t as big a shit head as their shit head. Moreover, it is a forum to explore your feelings so you have a perfect right to be a self-absorbed asshole, just as the Jesus-Nazis and political Gestapo can vent. Here is a tip for all you big activists out there – unless you are attending their $5000 a plate fundraisers, Congressman Graft and Senator Dippedhiswick could give a shit what you think. If you believe your congressional representative is interested in your personal views or that even the boy next-door has a shot at becoming president you are mentally ill and should seek help immediately. (Note: The aforementioned senators or congressmen could belong to either party)

Some things confuse me a bit as well. The developers and builders are going full bore here in Arizona. They are building more homes and more malls, all of which use water. I also noticed all the water parks and pools seem to be open and many of the parks have small ponds. There is even a mall with an artificial waterfront. In the news today there was an item about how we are now in a red alert for drought. The part I need explained is that if water is so scarce (it is the desert, after all) then why is a state government that issues a “red alert warning” allowing developers and builders to continue and the frivolous use of water by municipalities? I actually know the reason – developers are big contributors to campaign funds. Senator Grabsitall isn’t going to bite the hand that feeds the kitty.

Another confusing thing that came out of a politician’s mouth is that he voted against the bill to protect landowners from eminent domain because he feared it would jeopardize Luke Air Force base. The eminent domain law allows governments to grab private land to hand to developers so they may rape, pillage, and plunder to their heart’s content. So how is voting against a bill to keep local governments from grabbing your land going to protect the base? It seems like now any city could now grab private land around the base and allow developers to build, thereby encroaching on the base.

Those are just a few things that baffle me. Now the weather jackass, he just totally pisses me off. I am terribly sorry if this was all too self-absorbed…

Now the picture above I find both disturbing and annoying. I blame the Disney whore factory for my misery in this case. The statue is supposed to be pro-life, but considering who the statue is of I think it has backfired. In fact I think it may lead to a resurgence of leaving babies out in the forest for the wolves.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A BBQ Kind of Weekend

It was a barbeque kind of weekend. The kids came over, hit the bookstore – my wife had an educator discount, and then noticed we were close to Thee Pitts Again, a really great barbeque joint in Glendale, AZ. I had the ribs and could barely finish but they were so good I couldn’t stop. They cook them St Louis style, good amount of sauce and falling off the bone. If you all are ever up in this neck of the woods I highly recommend this restaurant.

There must have been a vintage car show that weekend because we had some really nice old cars pull in to Thee Pitts while we were eating. I guess everyone was in the mood for barbeque, and why not, the old Leinenkugle’s Weather Dial was scraping 80 degrees. Just a beautiful day. In fact it was too good not to fire up my own grill and roast up some bratwurst and Some Italian sausage that had been simmered in beer with a few onions. The huskies were certainly down with that and were on hand to keep their eye on the grill for me.

Hope you all had a great weekend!!

TV is Dead

TV programming has really bottomed out.  The only thing you learn on The Learning Channel is about freaks of nature or a tired redecorating show.  I don’t want to Discover how hoodlums build motorcycles, or know anything about tattoos.  Then there is all the sales crap.  I pay for TV so I can receive paid programming.  That makes sense.  I can’t tell them I don’t want their religious crap, mormon nonsense or the Spanish speaking channels – sometimes I actually forget I am in the US.  I love to cook but the Food Network has become stale and self-serving.  The shows I do like are always repeats.

Even the local channels are disappointing. I watch mostly for the local news, but the newscasters on our local Fox network are idiots.  I don’t  know if they think there’s a CNN scout in the audience or what.  When the cop gets done telling him they don’t have a motive and they can’t discuss the case at this point, their anchor monkey feels obligated to ask if they know why the crime was committed and if there is anymore the cop can tell about the case.  It is like they aren’t even listening to their own crap.  And no, I won’t be surprised by who committed the crime – You don’t know me well enough to determine what will surprise me and what won’t so just drop that line. When they do manage to get something right the dude running the graphics screws it up.  I won’t even get started on the donkey they have doing the weather.  

Then there’s the programming. TV does a lot of research on their markets and will play to the lowest common denominator.  That is why shows like Firefly get cancelled and shows like American Idol, 24, and the wife (AKA beast) swapping show endure.  I think they should combine American Idol and 24 and release real nerve gas and have Sutherland see if he can save everyone.  It would either be a really exciting show, or we wouldn’t be bothered with the crap.  

TV is also the home of the never-was.  There is Simon with no appreciable talent beyond being an asshole (hell, I can do that – sign me up!) judging talent.  Paris Hilton is another that has found you can buy or screw your way onto the little screen, even when you have absolutely nothing to offer.  If I wanted to watch whores, I could hang out on Van Buren.  Even the movie previews they try to tease you with suck.  Here’s a tip – if you want people to buy your special premium movie channels, show some movies that don’t totally blow.  Better still stuff the mormon crap and give the suckers, I mean the viewers the channels.  

It is high time to pull the plug and tell them exactly where to put the cable or position the satellite.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Flying Fisherman

Everyone has their heroes. I think for my brother and I the one that stands out is Gadabout Gaddis, the flying fisherman. You can see his fishing vest and some of his other crap in the Musky hall of Fame in Hayward, WI. He had a pontoon plane and flew from lake to lake and when he was done you could bet there weren’t any fish left. I think the fish leapt into his boat because they knew once he started fishing, they were doomed anyway.

Gadabout was ten foot tall clad in waders, fishing vest and hat. He even wore the outfit to bed so he was ready to get back out on the lake at Oh-dark-thirty. Gaddis didn’t go to the lakes; the lakes came to him because he was the ultimate fisherman. You see all those fishing bums on TV that think they’re champs – Gadabout ate those punks for breakfast.

We even had our secret Gadabout Gaddis cast where you whipped the pole in an upward arc, the lure would fly straight up about 50 yards and then land right at your feet. We could only hope to emulate him as the shadow he cast was long. When jesus was going around looking for fishermen Gadabout didn’t join him, he gave him lessons on how to fish. That’s why jesus was able to feed the multitudes with fish.

He was so devoted to fishing his last words were, just cut me up for bait and put my crap in a museum boys. Though he is gone now and the fish populations are coming back in a lot of the lakes, his legend lives on in our hearts. This one’s for you Gadabout!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Here's a Little Sumpin' Just for You!!

If someone tells you dogs don't do things out of spite he or she is lying to you.

Yukon is rather destructive and is relegated to his “cave” AKA the bathroom. He ate the door once (see picture) so the door is now lightly armored with sheet metal. The act of spite happened the other day when I had to bodily drag Yukon into his cave. I will discuss husky stubbornness another time.

When I got home and released Yukon, lo and behold he left me a nice steaming pile. Sort of a husky thank you for being banished to the bathroom so he wouldn't eat the house.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

There are a lot of things I remember from my childhood, but some of the events really stand out as though they happened just yesterday. One of these was our pilgrimage to Sugar Camp Lake and Theisenhusen’s Virgin Timber Lodge. I feel safe using the name because I am sure the owners are long gone, in fact I am not sure that I have spelled the owner’s name correctly or that the cabins are even there any longer. It was way up in the North woods - woods so thick you were afraid to walk back to the cabin by yourself for fear of bears, ravening wolves, and the dude with a hook where his hand used to be. Despite the wildlife fun, there was a lot to do and see.

There was a logging museum that had a statue of a Hodag, and another that had a huge saw fish, at least it seemed pretty big to me at the time. Best of all was Aqualand, still there the last I heard.

They had aquariums full of local fish species and a small deer herd, but the best part were the ponds out back. You could buy a frog and toss him into the pond – he thought he was getting away, but his excitement at being free only lasted a minute. The pond was full of Muskies. Hungry Muskies, and number one with a bullet on the Musky chart of delectable things to eat is frog. I remember the water would boil around the amphibian and then the froggy would suddenly disappear. The only thing Muskies like better than frog is chipmunk. Old timers used to actually use chipmunks for bait, putting them in a little harness and tossing them out in the water where they would swim around, but generally not for long. Of course, now a day you can’t use frogs or chipmunks.

Not far from the cabins was a fire tower. You could climb to the top and get a great view of all the trees. Though it is more of a guideline than a rule, you have to spit off the top of the tower. It was a great place for a dangle-spit competition as long as it wasn’t too windy. Yep, nothing like bringing up a real lunger and then snicker-snag over the edge. They could have put a sign up – Sugar Camp Tower, Home of the 3 foot Yo-Yo spit. I think three feet is the limit at which gravity overcomes the viscosity of snot and the dangler breaks off. Too bad Einstein is dead, he could do a paper on that… I smell a Noble prize in Bodily Functions.

Then there was the raft. It was more than a floating platform with a diving board on it, it was a rite of passage. You knew you had arrived at the next stage in your life when you could swim out to the raft and sit there with your legs dangling off the sides, hoping there weren’t any toe eating Muskies nearby. We swam, fished, and tossed huge rocks out into that lake. It will always hold a special spot in my heart and the memory of my childhood, at least as long as I can still remember anything.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Wear a Damn Shirt, Moron

When I was a kid I used to watch lots of Westerns on TV. Back then it was easy to pick out the bad guy because he always wore a black hat. It is just as easy to pick out the bad guy now a days, he is the one without the shirt. I can understand the bad guys in the Old West wearing a black hat, but what's the deal with no shirt?

Here's a fashion tip for all you thugs and thug wannabes - wear a frikkin' belt. It's hard to be a tough guy when the world can see your ass, unless you are just trying to give Butch McDick, your future cell-mate a preview of the nice fresh meat coming his way...

Husky Psychology Lesson 1

People have a habit of anthropomorphizing their pets, but I have proof they do indeed display human characteristics. I have read several books that say dogs feel the same emotions we do, however the emotions a much more intense. Jealousy is probably the best one to illustrate this point. When I pet ‘Strella Dog, Yukon immediately comes over and muscles her out of the way so he can be petted, and visa versa, I might add. Sense of humor is another trait we share with our furry friends.

I suspect many do not believe dogs have a sense of humor, that they are incapable of getting any kind of joke much less making one. I disagree and I have seen first hand how the dog sense of humor operates. I have two huskies and as everyone knows huskies are the clowns of the dog world. The humor is very basic, as you might expect – your dog isn’t going to come up and tell you the one about the priest, the rabbi, and the mullah. Their style of joke is more along the lines of The Three Stooges.

Take poop for instance. Whether you find it disgusting or not, poop is not only a natural function but a means of communication for dogs. One of ‘Strella Dog’s favorite jokes is to run out a ways in front of the mower while I am cutting the grass and dump a large load right in my intended path. She then runs over to the patio to sit and watch. You can tell she is laughing by her eyes and her posture, now dad (yes, I am one of those kind of people) has to stop mowing and clean up the crap. Or not, my mower has a bag. Apparently that is funny as hell.

Then there is the bait and switch. I have seen ‘Strella pull this on Yukon as well as on us. It is not only exceedingly funny, but a means to an end. Sometimes Yukon will lay on the futon that ‘Strella thinks is pretty much her futon. To get him off and have a laugh at his expense, she’ll dash into the room all excited and then run out again. Yukon, dog of little brain, gets up and runs after her to see what is going on. It is then that ‘Strella runs back in to the room and jumps on “her” futon. Once again, the look on her face and panting infer laughter. On a bigger scale, to get my pillow during the night, she will stand by the door and whine. I, apparently no smarter than Yukon, get up to let her out – mission accomplished. My pillow is now occupied by a mutinous black and white ball of laughing fur.

Wake up dad. One of Yukon’s favorites. It starts with dad napping. Yukon creeps slowly to the edge of the bed and then lets out with a short woo. A variation is the whisker tickle. Once again the husky creeps stealthily near and then the victim feels the sensation of something crawling on his or her arm. Upon awaking you are greeted by a large laughing ball of fur.

I think if you look at some of the inexplicable things your dogs have pulled you will find that you have been the butt of a dog joke. This may work with cats and other prey animals, but if you raise fish or birds and you believe they are thinking anything then you are just projecting.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Night of the Cannibal Chili Chickens

It was a dark moonless night, we huddled 'round the fire for the warmth, yes, but mostly because of what lurked just beyond the fringes of the firelight…

Spooky is it not? I don’t think the night was moonless, though it could have been, as it has been a while since my friend, my son, and I camped out at Mojave Narrows. The chickens weren’t chickens, they were ducks, and it was only a case of borderline cannibalism. There was chili involved however.

The Narrows was an endeavor to bring waterskiing to the Mojave Desert so the rich and famous could frolic. That is if you consider going around a mile donut shaped watercourse frolic. It seems somewhat boring to me - apparently the rich and famous thought so too, because the enterprise went belly up and Mojave county took over the land and turned it into a park. Now folks can go there to fish.

The county stocks the lagoon with trout in the winter when the water is cool enough to support them. When summer comes on and the water gets too warm the county dumps in catfish. There are also some dinner plate sized largemouth Bass lurking in the shallow weedy waters. That is what drew my friend and me. I brought my son because I though it was time he learned about fishing and camping. He was the only one that caught a fish that weekend, something he has never let me forgot. He caught it using the same bait we were, chicken livers.

We had many of the chicken livers left over, so we dumped them into the water for the fish to eat. The fish never got the chance because the minute the livers hit the water the ducks gobbled them down thereby committing the borderline cannibalism. After watching feeding frenzy I wondered if the ducks were afraid to fall asleep at night for fear their pals might eat them.

We had some more chili for lunch the day we were leaving dumping the leftovers on the bank to see what the ducks would do. Just as in the case of the livers, the ducks got their snack on in a big way. They were rolling in it as they ate – one in particular stands out has it was a white duck. The white duck became a Robin impersonator after eating the chili; its breast had turned bright orange. My friend called it a “Chili Chicken” and the name stuck as a tag for all ducks from then on.

That, gentle reader, is how the night, actually weekend, of the borderline cannibal chili chicken liver eating ducks happened…

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Korea One Drink at a Time

Korea posed a real learning curve made more difficult by the fact I was suddenly illiterate. I could speak a few polite phrases (not very well) but the Hangul written language remains a mystery to this day. All I remember is the Emporer that came up with the alphabet relied on artists and mathematicians to create the letters. This accounts for the very geometric appearance. The other thing is the tricky “o” that is sometimes just a placeholder and other times means something.
Despite that I was able to really enjoy the country for the most part. The family separation sucked big time, but that comes with the territory. Some of the fellows played with the bar girls, I just drank. Lots. More than ever. Ginseng-Bacchus Tea was ok too. We called it “dirt” because of the earthy taste form the ginseng root, the aftertaste was like you had just chugged a six-pack of Mountain Dew. Sometimes we did “Walls of Dirt” where one dude ran ahead and got glasses of dirt stacked on the bar; we'd drink those down and head for the next bar.
There was beer too. OB (Oriental Brewing) was my favorite. It came in huge “combat” bottles and whether you drank one or ten you were going to have skull-ache, so you might as well drink ten. The other main beer was Crown, way to bitter. There was Budwiser, but that was bottled by OB so might as well stick with the original. Besides My brother would disown me if he ever found out I drank Budwiser.
The King daddy of drinks in Korea was Soju. Soju was my favorite, kind of a Korean version of vodka, at least taste-wise. Jinro was the best brand the ones at the little “7-11's” were crap. Jinro practiced quality control, but the off brands had the alcohol content ranging from a glass of water to anti-freeze. You never knew. Soju also came in Combat bottles. It is inadvisable to drink one by yourself – we always shared. Usually mixed it with coke, or Kin (Korean version of 7-up) until we ran out of pop, then it was just Soju. There was a tradition to pour the top off the bottle. Legend had it that there was formaldehyde in Soju to speed the aging process and it would float to the top of bottle. Pouring it off the first inch of liquor was to make it safe to drink. I often wondered if that was the start of the “one for my hommies” deal.
You had to be careful with Soju because it didn't seem like much. To compound the problem it came in little bottles in the bars. You'd get some hard guy that would start pounding them down and wind up taking a dive off the balcony of the Friendship Club. The base Commander finally made the Friendship club close their second floor to keep this form happening. Too many broken limbs/skulls at the clinic. Never tried flying myself.
The was the urban legend of the G.I. that got so drunk he fell into a Binjo ditch and drowned. A Binjo is an open sewer, drowning is the least of your problems if you fall in one of those. The don't have shots for what's swimming around in that sludge.
Wow, reading back over this it was all about drinking. I will have to look through some of my old pictures and see if I can post some – they aren't all the insides of bars, either. I am pretty sure there are a few shots of a temple in there somewhere.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Another Weekend Shot to Hell

Dead Cow,

It’s not just for breakfast anymore. The kids came over and we had some excellent burritos made by my daughter and I tossed some steaks on the grill. Not too shabby! I guess it was a good way to celebrate all the rain we had Saturday!!

You like to cook or grill? Check out the Shredded Monkey… There are some great links to the Orient as well like Vietnamesegod and Foodcrazee - the pictures and descriptions of the food in Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore will make you hungry!!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Noggin...

Not to steal Cursed Tongues’ Thunder, pun intended, but it is raining here in lovely El Mirage as well. Lots of rain – the kind that huskies won’t go out in. Well, Yukon did, but he isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. Say what you may the rain is courtesy of our friend, now known as “The Rain God”. All you folks who feel the need to worship someone/thing can bow down to him chanting “We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy” because indeed you are not! Every year he plans the El Mirage health fair (using the words health and El Mirage in a sentence is a real stretch) and no matter what days he picks, it rains. It has to be him.

Good luck to that Cuban Drum Ensemble that’s supposed to play!!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sort of Half-Nekkid Thursday, but not Really

I really love Chicky's last post on her Skittering Thoughts and thought It would be fun to join in. I don't want to permanently scar anyone's retinas, so instead of any revealing pictures I will have to stick with a cheap joke. Certainly no competition to her assets, frozen or otherwise.

A Dangerous Course

I took a field zoology course during my first attempt at college. The prof was a cartoon character somewhere between Fred Flintstone and the Wile E. Coyote. I think he was out to show that Field zoology wasn’t for pussies, because his field labs always involved wading through streams or messing with animals best left alone.

The one lab that stands out though was when he decided to show us how to turn a small spring into a pond for waterfowl. He dug a up a couple of local ex-miners who had some how bought or stolen a license to use dynamite. Thinking back they may not even have had a license and probably stole the dynamite. I think he gave them a bottle of cheap whiskey a piece to help with this project.

We wound up out in the woods – no water to cross this time because it was only a small spring. Clem and Jeb, the miners planted the explosives while we moved back to what the prof thought was a safe distance. Just note about the lay of the land. The two chuckle heads were planting the dynamite in what used to be a stream bed. The stream had run out of an area full of glacial deposits, that is to say lots of rocks ranging from the size of your noggin to Mike Tyson’s fist. We had backed up against a stand of trees when Clem and Zeb came running up to our group, which was followed by the blast heard ‘round the world. Well, at least into the next county. The horrendous bang was followed by a shower of the aforementioned rocks, right over the top of us. Moving into the trees offered slight protection as the rocks were basically coming straight down. The pond for migrating waterfowl was a total flop, unless the ducks were really, really flat. To this day I am not sure where all those rocks came from because the spring didn't look all that different.

Somehow no one was hurt and the professor kept his job. I guess he may have been right about one thing; his course definitely wasn’t for pussies.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


We went to a recreation area some weekends, pulled the trailer up and spent time communing with nature. My brother and I had a different idea about what we considered communing, however.

Between the park and a small nearby town, there was a swamp and a horsemen’s camp. I was never sure if the allowed horsewomen, but I suppose they could come along as long as they didn’t bitch too much. Someone had taken the trouble to build a trail through the swamp. They even laid small logs over the icky parts, though many of these logs had slowly rotted away. You had to watch your step, which was tough because you were generally swatting at mosquitoes and deer flies while trying to cross. The term eaten alive comes to mind. It wasn’t so bad in the fall, when the cold cut down the number of pests, except for us, of course. You still had to look out for prickers, but there weren’t too many until you walked out of the swamp.

This trip was really worth the bites and scratches, because at a small store “So-and-sos Trading Post” (the place changed hand several times over the years and I have hats from at least two of those iterations to prove it) they sold smoke bombs and didn’t ask any pointed questions. We had a blast with those things mostly because we thought we were really getting away with something. We’d head on back, bombs in hand to the horsemen’s camp where sat the Aa-Aa log (pronounced Ay-uh Ay-uh). It was a hollow log that bore a resemblance to the log the cartoon Hawaiians in the Puffed rice commercial used. They kept saying Aa-Aa, hence the name. Once at the sacred Aa-Aa log, we lit some smoke bombs, pitched them in and watched tons of smoke rolling out of various holes in the log. I expect it has rotted away by now, but I will bet the inside was all different colors from the smoke bombs.

Now if you are an Enviro-Nazi I will ask you to please cover your eyes for the next paragraph or so, you’ll be happy you did later and I won’t have to listen to any bitching in the comments.

We had seen lumberjacks felling giants of the forests on TV. Most of all we liked the cool noise the tree made when it bit the dirt, literally. Next time we were in the swamp, we had dad’s trusty axe. My brother still has it, in fact. We’d pick a tree and chop it down. Good exercise, that’s for sure. It was disappointing because when the tree finally fell it got caught in the branches of another tree. There were so many trees that there was no way the tree would ever free-fall to the ground. We chopped down the tree the first one was caught in, then that one got caught in yet another. By the time we were done, sure we had chopped down a bunch of trees, but no cool noise.

Some other sports included lighting “jets” in the woods, crawfish fights, and tossing objects in the water and bombing them with rocks ‘til the floated out to sea or sank. I expect we were probably responsible for most of the rusty cans and broken glass you see on the bottom or the lake. We’d walk back to the trailer with sore arms from pitching boulders in the water, or slight burns on the hands when a .22 shell rocket went awry. It was a lot of fun, for us.

The other big fun there was dropping stuff into the crapper. Even up to a few years ago they still had two-holer out houses. Different objects made louder splashes then others, a big boulder or a coffee can full of mom’s world famous hamburger soup sounded like a depth charge. It wasn’t a comment on mom’s cooking, just that she made enough to feed us for a month. I often wondered what the poor sap that got stuck cleaning out the honey hole thought of all the foreign objects. They did make an improvement by putting in metal seats, but I prefer the old wood ones, especially in the winter. You sit on one of those metal seats when it is below zero and you forget why you came in – the sphincter clenches up so hard after your ass hits that super-cooled metal that there ain’t going to be anything happening. You just hope your backside doesn’t stick to the metal.

Our time up at the lake will always be one of my favorite memories, riding our bikes around the trail, experiments with phone headset buoyancy, swimming in the summer, trying not to crash through the ice in the winter and knocking the boards out from under the picnic tables to see the snow fly up. That also served as a great snowmobile trap – we saw one plow head on into one of the tables. That was the end of that greaser’s snowmobiling that weekend. Same with the dude that went out on the ice with his snowmobile on Thanksgiving. The water had just frozen over, not strong enough to support a snowmobile, and apparently they don’t float very well either…

Anyway, when you hit the lake I’d like to think you can still hear the joyful sounds of our laughter as another can is consigned to the briny deep or still smell the smoke from our flaming barricade…

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Unreal Reality TV

There's a new show on called Black White where two families switch races. Apparently network TV wasn't satisfied with just switching wives (though from what little I saw on the promos, I wouldn't have wanted either the husbands or the wives back – even Jerry Springer wouldn't touch any of 'em with a ten foot pole) and now a white family is given a sever tan ala Black Like Me and a Black Family is following in Michael Jackson's footsteps. I hope someone warned the white family what became of the author of Black Like Me... I think Michael has grounds to sue. At any rate I am not going to dash out to buy TIVO.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sorry, This Sheep is Taken

This is a strange town filled with strange people, there is no doubt. Even so once in awhile I am still surprised by some of the acts even these Phoenix folks commit. The latest happened a day ago.
A young girl called her father saying she saw a man grab one of their sheep and drag it into the barn. The father and police arrived to find an assistant fire chief holding the sheep down on the ground with his pants around his ankles.
Now, the dude could have been doing almost anything, but since he didn't have a shears in his hand I don't think he was after the sheep's wool. So far he has been charged with trespass, but I don;t think it will take long before someone mentions the unspeakable – sheep raper.
The news said he was inebriated leading me to believe he had picked an ugly sheep and was trying to drink her pretty, but that's just a theory.
In most molestation human cases the police assume there have been other victims in the past and ask for any who the molester has had contact with in the past and think they may have been victimized to step forward. Now I have to wonder if they plan on having a sheep line-up?

More Fun With Google

Someone sent me this bit of humor, you can find almost anything on the net. Apparently someone really dislikes our Fearless Leader and his three ring circus. Go to Google, type in asshole and then hit “I’m Feeling Lucky” .

Monday, March 06, 2006

Free Range Nuclear Waste

One thing that has always puzzled me about hazmat and recycling comes to waste that is mineral in nature. I have some Lithium batteries I work with. When they go bad, I have to send them through Hazardous Material (hazmat) for disposal. Now here is the quandary – where does lithium come from? The ground, right? So if I toss the battery in the landfill, am I not putting it right back where it came from? Does a hazmat team have to be on hand when they mine the stuff? Since it is hazmat what do the hazmat pogues do with it once I give it to them? I’ll bet they pitch it into a dumpster behind the shop.
The same goes for petroleum products such as old motor oil for instance. Definitely came out of the ground, so if I pour the waste oil from my car on my neighbor’s yard (no worries, the dude is a dick) no problem right? It soaks back in and goes back to being oil in the ground. Heck maybe someday someone will discover the new pocket of oil beneath my neighbor’s house and knock the house down to get at the oil. Bonus, more petroleum and my neighbor the dick is out of what little hair I have. It is win – win situation!
When I was in Clovis, NM they had an interesting garbage disposal system. Clem would load all the trash in the back of his open pickup truck and then hit the highway at about 80MPH. By the time he returned home, the garbage had vanished. He might have to make two or three trips to shovel out his luxury trailer house, but by gosh he got rid of the trash. It did not affect the taxpayer, oddly enough, because as far as I could tell no one ever picked trash along the highway.
Here in El Mirage, there is no recycling as such. There is garbage collection and I think they just dump their collection in the middle of town somewhere – no one would notice, believe me. I think recycling and the hazmat programs are important, but I wish the government or recycling companies would make it easier. There is no hazmat pick up for instance. You have to wait to take your out of date nerve gas, lithium batteries and old super grow fertilizer to a special drop off that only happens rarely. You know people are saying, “Screw it” and tossing the waste from their Meth lab straight into their trash can. If you want people to recycle and treat certain substances with special care, you have to make it as easy as possible or it ain’t gonna happen.
I was able to get rid of the old weed killer this past winter by pouring it on my neighbors vine – the one that keeps growing over the wall into my yard. It does a good simulation of “frost damage”. Now what to do with that stack of tires that won’t fit in the grill.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A Time in Wrinkle

Going to do a fame or shame test.  A friend of mine got one of those eye-bag removing ointments to try out.  Have to see if it works.  The bags under my, I mean my friends eyes look like he’s packed for a ‘round the world cruise and if the lids droop any further he’ll have to blink twice to open his eyes.  My pal isn’t really vain, I mean being bald already him doing anything to improve the skin is like putting a chrome bumper on a dump truck.  We’re not after the fountain of youth here, just trying to eradicate the Droopy dog look.  I think he’d settle for Deputy Dog actually.  Anyway, have to let you know if the crap does anything beyond doing wonders reducing the excess weight in his wallet.  

Bald is kind of natures joke.  I like to tell people I am just evolving forward.  What do we need hair for anyway – it just plugs the drain and it is kind of gross. For example the guy at the pool that looks like he is trying to grow his own sweater, or the girls in Europe growing their own socks.  No one is happy when they find hair in their food, especially those little curly ones when you are out in a restaurant.  You just don’t know where those suckers have been or if they had any buddies you didn’t notice in the part of your dinner already eaten.  Bon appetit!!

Baldness does have its advantages.  I don’t have to screw around with my hair in the morning, don’t have to worry about it turning gray, or clogging the drain – we have huskies for that!  I have long given up figuring gone is gone.  I already have my hot chick and as I have mentioned before mans main motivation are tits anyway.  The only reason men worry about how they look is so they can attract woman (well, usually women) so they can have some titties to play with. I once heard a comedian say”Tits are like toy trains, they are meant for the kids, but the old man always winds up playing with ‘em”.  Truer words have never been spoken.  Been there, done that, time to move on and add to the T-shirt collection.  Most of mine now have logos of rib joints.

The other thing that I (and my friend) have going is the fact I can’t see what I look like –that’s your problem.  So what if they lock the woman and children away as I walk down the street, my looks don’t bother me.  In fact I can imagine myself being as handsome and young as I want as I am the only one that it matters to – in fact my wife thinks I am very youthful, about three years old I think she said. So next time you see me coming down the street towards you, don’t waste your time screaming in horror, I won’t notice!!

Spitting Into the Wind

I really started writing this for the fun of just writing and some practice, hopefully receiving criticism on my writing style et al. This hasn’t happened, if fact few people read it all – one of them has to because we’re related. Any rate I have vented my spleen on many occasions and this will be the last time and then I can just have fun being an ass on the web. Ok, more of an ass.

Here are my views, and no amount of haranguing is going to change my opinion – get it?

- Cigarettes and tobacco in any form is bad for you. It is poison and the companies that still peddle the crap have admitted to it, hence the warnings. They are also expensive, so it upsets me to hear about one of my wife’s students coming to class ragged, unkempt, and smelling of cigarette smoke – his asshole parents need to get their priorities straight or the state needs to take their kids away.

- Drugs, including marijuana are bad for you. That is it. Period, dot. I could never subscribe to a party with a paltform that includes legalizing something that will harm and/or kill you.

- Alcohol is bad for you, too. It will kill you. I like a glass of wine or a Kiltlifter’s now and again, but there are too many people that don’t stop at one. Side benefit of drugs and alcohol – you can take others with you when you go. People do stupid things while intoxicated or under the influence or what ever you like to call it, I know as I was in a frat, drank heavily, and did stuff I now truly regret.

- All politicians are out for themselves and really don’t give a shit what you think. If you think some dude spends millions of dollars to get elected to a position is doing it out of the kindness of his/her heart, desire to serve the common people, or noble patriotic feelings stirring deep inside his/her bosom, you are mentally ill, seek help.

- Religion is crap. If you want to spend time staring up at the ceiling wishing for that new Mercedes or world peace, or whatever you are wasting your time. All you should be doing is taking care of others, being kind, taking care of yourself, and be a good steward of the land. Also just because someone attends a church regularly doesn’t mean he is a good person. There are some rather prominent bigtime assholes that make a big point out of making sure everyone knows they are religious.

- There is nothing humorous about being gay. I don’t need to see sitcoms based on dudes buttslaming their buddies, I find no humor in that whatsoever. If you want to do the same sex thing, go on ahead, want to get married, why not, just don’t bother me with your crap.

- TV sucks. Read more books.

- The media, by and large is composed of self-promoting assholes and I really give a shit what they think.

- Hollywood – see media, above.

- The space program, while interesting, is crap. We can’t handle what we have and now we are trashing up outer space too. The money would be better spent fixing problems like healthcare for the elderly, prepping for pandemics like the bird flu etc.

- Thou Shalt Not Kill doesn’t have any special conditions

That’s most of it, I think. If we all weren’t wasting time waiting for god or government to help us, not taking responsibility for our actions, pausing before we do something to consider what effect it might have on others, or cooking what few brain cells we have left with drugs and booze we as a people could be a real power for change in our government, in the health and welfare of our fellows, and our environment. We could do so such wonderful things.

Unfortunatley, It ain’t going to happen.

I was kind of shopping for a different political party. I still have some conservative leanings but don’t agree with the Republicans, the Dems are as big a bunch of snapper heads as the Republicans. The Green party is home base for too many nutters, the APC espouses things I am not down with. The NAZIs are a collection of unwashed dirtbags and really need to seek professional help – after what Hitler put the Jews and world through you really ought to think hard before telling any one you are a NAZI. Watch one of their rallies – some master race, eh? Communism doesn’t work. I did try socialism once, but the folks I talked with weren’t my type so I pressed on.

Well, there you have it. No drugs, no NAZIs, just peaceful coexistence and air I can breathe without choking. Now kindly bugger off.

Friday, March 03, 2006

I Got Yer Emoticon, Right Here!!!

An Emoticon for SEB…

Loose Animals

I was watching the news tonight and the police caught a dude trying to solicit a 14 year old girl. They caught him when he went to meet her for sex, but the 14 year old her turned out to be a much older cop. There are quite a few things wrong here.

First, a fourteen year old should only have to worry about what to dress Barbie in today or what kind of horse to ask for on her birthday (even though in her heart of hearts she knows it isn’t happening), and here is this monster trying to lure her into having sex. What a bastard.

The second thing is that if you are one of these predators and you meet a 14 year old girl online, it isn’t a 14 year old girl, it’s a cop. It will always be a cop and you are going to get caught, which is a good thing. Anyone caught messing with kids needs to be put on the fast track for the needle. To hell with registering them, who wants that piece of shit in their neighborhood? The picture you see is one of the shitheads that lives near me. I got it from Family watchdog ( You can fill in the address block and find out what kind of slime you have living down the block or next to your kid’s school. It is so nice we have a system that allows these assholes to run loose, as though a few years and jail has rehabilitated them. When is the last time you heard of anyone coming out of prison a changed man? A more experienced criminal, maybe.

These animals have always been around I suppose, but it seems like we’re hearing a lot more about them. Knowledge can be a powerful weapon. Thanks to the folks the put Family Watchdog and similar sites on line – it is the only defense the public has.

Sorry about being so preachy, but people who steal a kid’s childhood really piss me off.

Fat Ass Anonymous

Fat Ass Anonymous

Hi, my name is Pk and I am a fat ass. There. It’s out; I can start some sort of 12 step and be done with it. The fault all lays with me, not my genes, society, the fast-food industry or whoever else people with the problem like to blame. I eat too much and I do not exercise and have been living that life since retiring for the military.

Fat, old, and bald, the ultimate chick magnet – hell, even driving a Ferrari wouldn’t improve my chances. As it is I drive an Element, one step closer to that golf cart you see grandpa driving around Sun City.

I am not looking for any sympathy – or advice. Mom’s dead and I am not looking for a substitute. I do have a beef, no pun intended, with stores though. First, fat people aren’t necessarily really short. The right waist size doesn’t do me any good with a really short inseam. Second I don’t have arms god gave a munchkin, I need longer sleeves. And oh, thanks for punishing me by charging me extra for the clothes, as if I am not already miserable enough. If they have the clothes, that is. I swear I am the only fat guy in Phoenix because they never have anything beyond a 44. Even those only have a 30” inseam.

Ok, so I should lose the weight. I’d like to have my hair back and be 20 again too. Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills up first. I have exercised and tried a myriad of diets, actually lost weight and then wound up right back where I started. The best the doctor could come up with is “yeah, walking is good; you should walk away from the groceries”. Thanks for the tip, jackass. Umpteen years of med school and thousand upon thousands of dollars for help like that. I could be a doctor. I felt like shoving his golf clubs right up his self righteous ass.

Anyway, this isn’t getting me anywhere, just wanted to vent a bit, get the truth out in the open so no one is disillusioned and press on.

Random Thought…

The current administration claims that illegal immigrants are filling jobs Americans don’t want. That may well be, but why are they sending the jobs we do want off shore?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hungry for tips on cooking? Wondering what to do with that three foot long frozen salmon that has been sitting in your freezer since your last fishing trip?

Try this:

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters

Berkley Publishing Group Feb 06

Beyond Band of Brothers is based on Major Winter’s combat diary, letters, and materials originally gathered by Steve Ambrose for his book “Band of Brothers”, but never used. It takes the reader from the formation of Easy Company to the end of the war, and follows Dick Winter’s post-war life. The book is a valuable source document because the reader is getting a glimpse of what it was like for the common soldier through his eyes - in fact it feels like you are fighting right along side the brave men of Easy Company.

Major Dick Winters has created a well-written honorific to the men he served with, as well as a vehicle for their take on the war. Beyond Band of Brothers insures the voices of Easy Company never fall silent. This book is a “must read” for any historian or World War II enthusiast.

Fireworks in the wrong hands

Fireworks were always fascinating. We couldn’t buy them legally in Wisconsin, so we had to wait for a family trip down South, where it seems most anything goes. Meanwhile I tried to make them, without much success. Even bought some cannon fuse from a guy at school, but the broom handle cannon I made and various explosive devices didn’t – explode that is. Sure there was a nice fireball and lots of smoke, but no big bang. Some shrapnel would have been kind of cool too…

Fortunately, we hauled the trailer down to Florida over Easter break and once past the mason Dixon line there are fireworks all along the highway. I guess anywhere it is legal to marry close relatives and drink while driving your pickup truck down the road fireworks are mundane. We’d get to buy a bunch, except for the one year I screwed up with a box of “farmer matches” – the strike anywhere, including under the tire of my dad’s car kind of matches. The whole box I’d dropped went up, pretty spectacular, but not as spectacular as when my dad got out of the car and got a hold of me. Really added to my vocabulary that night!!

Anyway we were left on our own with class B explosives on the beach. We either had a cigarette (not for smoking, only for lighting fireworks) or a punk and most of the fauna on the dunes was scrambling for cover. We also bought fireworks out West. It was likr the flash crackers were custom made to fit into the hole in the middle of the huge ant nest. Boy did that piss ‘em off. They were throwing their little ant bodies on the fuse trying to put out the fire but to no avail. You had to stand way back because there’d be ants flying everywhere. They were big and red and very unhappy, a bad combination.

Bottle rockets were cool too, especially if you added a flash cracker warhead. That did overbalance the rocket a bit so you had to keep a sharp eye on it, no telling where it might go, but go they did.

I had some older bottle rockets, had them for many years, I was older and married – apparently the rockets didn’t age well. I went to light one off and it didn’t quite make it out of the bottle. There was a hellacious report which set off one of the neighbor’s burglar alarms and really rattled the windows. We decided it was time to go back inside.

I still get a kick out of fireworks. Unfortunately you can’t get them in Arizona – just as well considering how dry it has been out here. Last thing you want is a wildfire named after you, that “honor” is usually accompanied by a long stint in jail and reparations. I still remember how it felt to have a whole pack of flash crackers – you felt like you could blow stuff up all the live long day.