Monday, October 30, 2006

Moon Over Tiny House

Here we are another Halloween upon us and nothing to show for it beyond a bag o’ cut rate candy. The weather is nice though, you have to give it that. Beautiful evenings – the trick-or-treaters are going to have it pretty nice.

Speaking of scary things, it is neigh on election time too and it is going to be a tough one. I have a choice between a Republican hyena and a Democrat who was a developer. I rate developers right up there with rapists and lawyers. I could piss my vote away on a third party candidate, but in the long run, what would I have proven? I am registered as a Republican, but will undoubtedly vote for the incumbent governor, a Democrat. I think she has done a good job so far and it gives me a little comfort knowing we have someone to balance out our rapacious Republican government here in AZ. There is a Republican candidate, but the only qualification I have seen so far is he has eight kids. Oh good, his dick works. If I was his wife I’d neuter the bastard with a dull butter knife. Well, enough of the political nonsense. It really doesn’t matter who you vote for. It is the same shit; the names have just been changed to protect the guilty.

Spent more than a little time banging around a hospital last week. Word of warning, any hospital with the word “Banner” in the name is one to be avoided. The first one was like a refugee camp and this one was the “get it your damn self” hospital. It sucked sweaty donkey balls.

Voter tip: If a non smoking bill is endorsed by a cigarette company and a land use bill is endorsed by developers it would be in your best interest to vote no on those bills. I’ve said it before, if the cigarette companies were really interested in people’s rights they’d quit making cigarettes. And developers are just a pack of right bloody bastards.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

When it Rains, it Pours - Morton Salt Company

Got some stuff going on right now, I shall return forthwith.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

In the Soup

Two recipes that are great for clearing out the fridge are fried rice and soup. I suspect restaurants used take the same tack with the Soup de jour – whatever was left over from the day before goes into the pot. Nowadays I suspect they just pop open a can of something, but I could be wrong.

Sausage soup

2 pre-grilled spicy bratwurst diced
Red Onion rough dice
Green Bell pepper rough dice
1 small can Portobello mushroom pieces
2 pints of canned chicken broth
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbs water
1Tsp dried Oregano
1Tsp dried Parsley
Kosher Salt and hot red pepper flakes to taste
1 Tbs olive oil

You may have noticed I left out quantities in some of the ingredients. I used the hand full or this handful of that method, but roughly, the peppers and onions were about a third of a cup and the barley and lentils were a ¼ cup each, more-or-less.

Put a 3qt pot on low heat, add the olive oil, peppers, and onions; season with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper flakes. Allow to sweat until onions are translucent, add mushrooms, sausage, barley and lentils, turn heat to medium high and stir to coat lentils and barley. When sausage starts to sizzle a bit, add chicken broth. Add the parsley and the oregano. Simmer soup, stirring occasionally until lentils and barley soften. Taste and adjust salt and peppers as necessary. Pour in cornstarch mixture and bring soup to a boil, stirring constantly until broth thickens. Cool and serve. This makes about 3-4 bowls of soup.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

More Questions than Answers

Why do Indonesians insist on building things on volcanoes ? Or on the beach?

Why are we putting everything back where it was in Louisiana after Katrina – are the civil engineers from Indonesia?

The state made some training mandatory for teachers including Mrs. Phos – if the state decreed it why am I the one paying for it?

Am I the only one that thinks a wall between countries is outmoded technology – didn’t the Mongols finally make it around the Great Wall of China to prove they don’t work? Why do we want to keep Mexicans out in the first place are they more dangerous than Canadians? We aren’t building a wall on that border; can’t moslem extremist snapperheads come across that border too?

What’s with Idaho?

News Flash: Arizona declared Stupidest State

Now I for one thought Arkansas, Mississippi, or Louisiana would have been a shoe-in for this prize. I was surprised when Arizona received bottom honors. NASCAR is big here and most of the natives are drooling inbred Springer Show guests, but I figured there were enough Yankees down here to offset Jed and all his Kin. Of course I suspect the “No Habla” crowd may have helped the average, not because they are stupid (I’ve seen no sign that one country’s folks are smarter than others. I think the ratio of window-lickers to rocket scientists is pretty even over the surface of the globe, except for places like Antarctica where no one in there right mind would live in the first place – even meth addicts won’t touch that place), but because they couldn’t read the questions on the AIMs test.

I have a plan to even things out – forced relocation. Vermont was declared the smartest state so we gather up some of their best and brightest and ship them down here and then send Vermont some of our most heinous mouth breathers. I mean the US is all about equality right?

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Dirty Job: A Review

A Dirty Job: A Novel
By Christopher Moore

This book would be tough to recommend.  “A Dirty Job” really falls flat.  There is a rehash of characters from previous novels, such as the Emperor of San Francisco and the vamp from Blood Sucking Fiends, but they do nothing to really move the story forward.  The concept for the book could have been lifted from the television show “Dead Like Me” where reapers wander about the city taking souls.  The outcome of the book is painfully obvious right from the beginning.

While Dirty Job is readable it is not Moore’s best effort. Recommend “Blood Sucking Fiends” or “Fluke” instead.  Those books really showcase Moore’s talent.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sunny Day at the Air Patch

Just a few pictures of aircraft, plus our resident Hummingbird and Mr. Yukon

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Tie that Binds

To Wear or not to Wear

One of the guys I work with just checked in to the Hotel Whupass – he lost his wedding band. I clucked my tongue in commiseration but secretly I was chuckling at the scene I could imagine unfolding as he told his wife the big news.  He’s going to be coming to work tomorrow missing a large chunk of his ass.

I do not wear a ring. I have worked around electrical devices since I can remember when.  As I have said in the past Mr. Electricity is not your friend, but he loves gold.  Wearing a ring while working on electronics is just like putting a TV antenna up during a severe thunderstorm.  You might get away with it, but probably not. Ergo I have foresworn wearing a ring; in fact any jewelry at all, no watch, bracelets, and have resisted the urge to wear  mommy’s earrings as is the fad with men today.

The ring symbolizes a bond, one I carry in my heart so I don’t bother with other women any longer. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I can’t help but eye up some nubile young Hooker in Training (HIT) at the mall, you’ve seen them strutting about with all god gave them hanging out from various tucks, rips, or dips in what passes for their clothing.  Wonder how mom could let them run around like that – it isn’t cute and could prove deadly if the wrong sort takes notice.  I just collect the punch in the arm from Mrs. Phos who always notices me staring and move on with my life.

The other reason a ring is superfluous is that women are just throwing themselves at me – who couldn’t resist a fat bald old dude like me? Nature has gifted me with built in chick repellent. If nothing else the scars on my ears, from Mrs. Phos chewing on them all the time, should warn off any woman that can get past the fat bald old part. I think I am safe from any female predation.

I do have a ring, somewhere. I think it turned up once but no longer fits.  I could wear it on a chain around my neck, but then I don’t wear jewelry.

Sunday, October 15, 2006



Finally the rouladen recipe I promised – sort of.  Never one to leave well enough alone I decided to grill rather then braise these puppies.  I used some steak seasoning on the meat as well.  You could use some commercial chemical nightmare if you want, but I make my own blend so I control what is in it, though I am a little lax on rodent hair parts per million rule.  Next time I think I may substitute Jalapeños for the pickles as well.  

This is actually a very simple recipe.  The toughest part, pardon the pun, is the meat.  Finding round steak sliced thin enough may be a job. The market I use caters to Europeans so they had the round steak sliced to about 1/8 of an inch, specially for rouladens. You could pound a regular round steak with a meat mallet (or your noggin), but I find that doesn’t really thin the meat very well and can actually weaken the fibers to the point where it won’t hold together.  You could get the meat dude to slice it for you – might be the best answer.



Thin Round Steak steaks
Thick sliced bacon
Dill Pickle Spears
Mustard (the imported German sharp stuff is the best for this)
Steak seasoning

Place the steaks flat on the prep surface and sprinkle both sides with steak seasoning.  Rub the seasoning into the meat a bit.  On one side, spread the mustard to coat the surface of the steak.  Place two to three strips of bacon on top of the mustard.  Placing the pickle spear on the end, roll it up in the meat and tie it off.

I had Ms. Phos tie off the grilladens because of her acumen in beef roping, and she did a marvelous job.   Set the grill up for indirect heat. I used a combination of lump charcoal and hickory chunks, I like the smokey taste the wood imparts. I left the rouladens on the grill for ten minutes, then turned them. I started keeping an eye on them after about eight more minutes. “keeping an eye on them” is a highly technical culinary term meaning watch so they don’t burn. The total time is really going to vary upon meat thickness, heat, and if a butterfly in Peru chose this very time to flap his wings. If the center is at 160 degrees F, you are probably good to go – remember you’ll want the bacon cooked through.

With mustard, bacon, and pickle...

Ready for the grill...

Ready to eat...

Steak seasoning

1 Tsp      Garlic powder
1 Tsp     Onion powder
1Tsp      Cayenne pepper
1Tsp      Chipotle Pepper
2TBS     Brown sugar
Pinch of salt

Just mix and pour into a shaker.  You’ll want to taste the mixture to see if anything needs to be added, but I have had good luck with the proportions listed above.  

Ruminations from the Tiny House

Ongoing Goings on…

Just been pretty much engaged in advanced tail chasing - not the fun kind, but the kind where you are metaphorically chasing your own tail.  The biggest worry I have is if Anthony is going to get it on with Elizabeth in "For Better or Worse", a cartoon I like to read.  Don’t get your hopes up – I view “Get Fuzzy” as fine literature.  Reading another Christopher Moore novel, trying to finish the lot before Kim Jong-Il comes knocking, don’t you know.

I am going to try to make up the rouladens later and will pass along that little adventure, but felt remiss in not attending my blog for so long. I have tried to get out to “visit” a bit.  I really enjoy that, there are so many different (I mean different in a nice way) kinds of people out there and it is interesting to see what they have to say.  Maybe blogging will take us to the next level on our way to collective consciousness and got it right – there will be BORG in our future.  With all the info sharing going on today and seeing folks with Bluetooth devices sprouting out of their heads (looks pretty stupid, by the way) I can see it won’t be long before the Borg are a reality.. Borg and Blog are even similar in sound and appearance- coincidence?  I don’t think so.  

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend. I know Jin is and am quite sure Cherry is getting her share of exercise (there are many forms of aerobic exercise, some more pleasant than others).  Any way, later…

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Chef Phos-R-Dee

KAET Cooks: E is for Entertaining

And entertaining it was.  I had a great time cooking on TV.  Everyone at the station was so nice, and made sure I was where I need to be when I needed to be there. There were several other cooks; it was nice to meet them and just chat.   It was a great opportunity to see some of the other dishes, though ironically I didn’t see much of the show.  Even the host enjoyed the fish.

I have got to find out where I can get a job cooking on TV – that was a real hoot.  I’ll be receiving a DVD with the show and have to try to figure out a way to post a clip with UTube or something.  Meanwhile, I was presented with a nice Apron and KAET cookbook out of the deal, plus it was just about the best fun I have ever had standing up.  


Lamb:The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
by Cristopher Moore

Every superhero and mythic figure needs a sidekick.  Batman had Robin, the Green Hornet had Kato, and The Cisco Kid had Poncho, in “Lamb” Jesus has Levi who is Called Biff.  Biff has been resurrected by the angel Raziel to write another gospel  – the story of the missing years of Jesus.

Lamb is a tongue in cheek look at what Jesus's life was "really" like, at least as it was according to Biff.  As all of Christopher Moore’s books, this one is riddled with humor, improbable events, and the reanimation of dead lizards. Definitely not for the serious bible scholar, as Biff quotes from books of the Old Testament such as “Amphibians" and “Excretions” and will undoubtedly be considered profane by the devout.  All that aside is it a rollicking trip through the new New Testament.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Very Cloudy Day

Rough day for everyone

Cloudy skies:

Bad hair day for birds:

Small huskies with spit:

Large huskies that want dad to come in:

And a bird sitting this one out:

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Pictures from the Backyard

Just a couple pictures – the sky was pretty this evening, but I was actually hoping I would get another flight of fighters over the house.  I live near a base and we have an air show every day.  After having been in the AF for over 20years, it is nice to still be so close to the planes.

There is also a random shot of our grandpuppy Cashew…

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Things That Baffle Phos

- Boss’s Day is coming up, so do I get my wife a card?

- Why is it when some official/sports star/celeb has a brush with the law,
they invariably head for rehab?
Would that help keep me out of jail?

- If the media is supposed to report the news and be neutral,
why does the "Arizona Republic" site look like a
republican campaign poster?

- Why would anyone vote for a smoking ban bill sponsored
by a tobacco company or a land management bill sponsored by
home builders?

- Why, when nutters decide to kill themselves, do they feel
obligated to take others with them and why
does the media give the assholes air time?

- Some child molester/killer gets tattooed across the
forehead and the media feels the public needs to know –
do they want me to feel sorry for the frikkin’ animal?

- I listen to a TV political analyst who is a recovering
alcoholic and drug user. I know alcoholics, as a function
of the disease, have trouble grasping new concepts, so why
am I listening to this asshole?

- Why does the news seem to think I give a shit about Paris Hilton,
any trained ball chasing circus pony, or any other servant
paid to entertain the unwashed masses? That is like figuring
I would enjoy watching a bunch of hillbillies making left hand
turns for hours on end and give a shit which one of the pig-lovers
took the checkered flag first.

- Aren’t bowling and fishing something you physically do to enjoy?
Why would anyone want to watch them on TV?

- Are we in luck, did Tom Cruise finally die? The front page is finally

- In most species, when organisms are done with child
bearing/rearing they die off. Why am I still here?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Saw the News Today, Oh Boy...

I want to get this over with:

Q: Why don’t congressmen use book marks
A: They like their pages bent over.

That’s a really old joke, precipitated by revelations of congressional page-poking many years back. I can’t imagine Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, or George Washington schtuping young pages during their tenure and can’t understand why some of our leaders think it is ok now. It is tough to take the high moral ground when your leaders are stalking young boys and even more dismaying when it is the rightwing bible-thumpers sending loves notes to young kids. Of course, there is a precedent for religious figures altering altar boys. One thing religion does (hopefully) is provide a moral compass, if that goes by the way who is to teach right from wrong?

One of the main news items last week was about some Jock who tried to kill himself, but not really. Slow news day there Katie? We could pretty much drop that item in the “who gives a shit” bin. It is good news that the dude lived, but come on, he’s on par with the trained bear at the zoo – the world won’t come to an end because one jock may or may not be suicidal. BTW you don’t attempt suicide, you either commit it or you don’t.

Doping is back in the news. Once again, so what – a crooked or fixed sport program, like that has never happened. Hell, the Wrestling industry thrives on it. Once again, who gives a shit, except for the embarrassment…

Do you ever wonder why the rest of the world seems to think so little of Americans? It is things such as taking advantage of power, not keeping it in our pants, feeling the compulsion to win so strongly that we’ll stop at nothing that have endeared us to other cultures. This is what the rest of the world gets to see of us, and there are parts of the world where their media makes sure that is all their viewers see. The other sad part harks back to the moral compass I mentioned earlier. I believe some form of religion is important for kids to develop morals, but it is also important for public figures, such as congressmen and sports heroes to maintain rigorous standards and display qualities we want passed on to our kids – they are watching and learning…