New Recipe – Caveat Emptor

I got a hankering (always dangerous) for fish stew for some reason.   Anyway, it actually turned out tasting like I was hoping it would.  That NEVER happens.  It was a long roundabout way to get there, combining recipes I found for a Mediterranean Fish Soup and a Spicy Catfish Chowder, substituting swai and mackerel for the three kinds of fish in the actual recipes, and adding some stuff along the way.  It got kind of crazy, as my new recipes are wont to do.  For instance, one recipe called for wine, the other for beer, I, of course, used both.   I almost added rum on general principal.  Anyway, one foolish soul (who I love dearly across the miles and years) asked for the recipe.  Since I’m way overdue for a blog, here it is.  To quote Geena Davis, “Be afraid, be very afraid.”

Fish Stew

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion – sliced into rings
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot

Chop and sauté the vegetables above.

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 beer
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms
  • 3T parsley
  • ½ tsp fennel (or anise)
  • 1T oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1T Sriracha
  • 1 dash Worcestershire
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add all this stuff and bring to a boil.

Fish – diced.

Any should work, really.  I used three large swai fillets, but it didn’t taste fishy.  So I added a can of drained and chopped mackerel.  That did it.  Fish stock or clam juice in lieu of chicken broth should work too, and then the mackerel shouldn’t be necessary. I was originally going to use canned salmon, so if anyone tries that, let me know. Add the fish last and let it all simmer until done.

The odds are that someday I’ll want fish stew and only have tuna on hand.  On that day….I won’t hesitate for a second, I’ll start opening cans and dumping in tuna until it reaches my desired fishiness.

Good eating,



Today’s history lesson–Siege warcraft

Yes, I have a trebuchet, and you don’t.  Well, you may.  Most people don’t have trebuchets, and from my research, most people don’t even know what a trebuchet is.   Mini Tornado didn’t until today, but now she does.  I mostly glossed over the seige warcraft part and just explained that full sized trebuchets hurl large rocks capable of breaking down castle walls.  She asked, “rocks as big as TVs?”  “Exactly” I replied.  That was enough history, but she fully understands the theory, operation, and practice now.

That’s it.  It’s not pretty or fancy, and it’s not very efficient, but it fairly well illustrates the concept.  A large counter weight is attached to the short end of a fulcrum.  A sling is attached to the long end.  Load pouch and release.  The counter weight drops, accelerating the beam at a higher rate.  The sling adds even more momentum advantage and Boom!  Trebuchet!

There’s Mini-T to give it scale.  She’s a smidgen over four feet.

And there she is, firing like an artillery man!  I taught her how to hold the trigger cord at the waist and turn.  She committed whole hog! Such form!  I even caught the beam in motion immediately after release.  We were firing some plastic balls left over from Mini-T’s toddler days and ended with a long shot of about 125 feet.  It won’t take down a castle wall, but we had a blast until Mimi called us in for supper.

I’ll do some tweaking in the future and possibly get more range.   I may optimize it for golf balls and I’ll probably redo the counter weight… the bucket came out somewhat the worst for wear.  Or maybe just mount it in the yard truck and cruise around town doing drive-bys. 

Good Shooting,



Something Good.

I’ve decided that I’m never going to write about the Columbia trip, it’s just too depressing.  Not Columbia, it’s great, but the trip shook me out of the silent desperation of acceptance I’d fallen into and into an active anger which has permeated my life and been greatly amplified by the sheer volume of assholes with blind political loyalty.  Sheep, thought I.  I ‘unsubscribed’ to most of the people on Facebook and that helped tremendously…well, some. 

Anyway, I’m not here to bitch, I can do that while mowing the yard and it’s more therapeutic anyway.  I’m here to talk about something (besides Mini Tornado) that makes me happy: my truck.  Yeah Baby.  A bit of context.  RT has been in his current domicile since November 2010 and quickly realized that as a homeowner, a truck was absolutely necessary.  So, I needed to add a truck for chores while keeping my car for commuting, trips, etc.  ***An aside:  I refuse to commute to work and put 20K miles per year on something that gets 16 mpg,  It wastes fuel and the resources necessary to manufacture.  If everyone who drives a truck or SUV as their primary vehicle would get a reasonable car, fuel demand would plummet, average debt would plummet, and the country would be much better off.  At least 9/10 trucks I see are used as cars 95% of the time and nobody needs an SUV.  Good luck compensating for that small penis guys, and I hope you women adequately impress the neighbors with that monstrosity of an SUV you’re driving.  Rant off.**

That said, as a homeowner there are trips to Lowe’s, loading lumber, taking the lawnmower to the shop, moving furniture, hauling the bodies of the people who pissed you off to the river, and myriad other tasks for which there is no substitute.  These tasks occur about once a month in my life.  So, I need a cheap used truck that meets all the minimum qualifications.  What qualifications do you need RT?  Fair question.  (Another fair question is, “Why am I asking questions when I’m talking to myself?”)

My requirements were:  Full size truck, full length bed to be able to hold a piece of plywood and shut the tailgate, sturdy enough to stand upon and trim trees, old enough that I wouldn’t care if said tree trimmings landed on and/or dented it, must start reliably, acceptable brakes, headlights, and I was willing to go up to $1200.  Possibly $1400, but beyond that and I’m expanding beyond the truck paradigm.  What I didn’t care about:  Color, looks, paint job, make, model, age, radio, A/C, heat, blinkers, anything related to status, or anything unrelated to utility.

After much searching (locally, of course) I finally found my truck.  It’s a 1988 GMC Sierra with three different full sized tires and a spare on the right rear.  It even has a truck box that matches.  Awesome bonus there, and very useful.  It was only $1000, but I had to put a new gas tank on it, so I’m into it for $1250.  I may eventually get another full size tire, but it will have to be bald to match the others.  Then it’ll be perfect!

Happy driving.


Happy Birthday!

As some of you may or may not have noticed, I eschew the practice of wishing one’s facebook friends a happy birthday on their wall.  Don’t take it personally, I just don’t do it.  When the facebook started taking off and you could find some friends, it seemed like a neat idea.  Just pop in and say Happy Birthday (HBD)!  But as the site populated it seemed as though there were a plethora of friends having birthdays every day.  I hate to just write HBD, and had to at least form a complete sentence.  I hated to use the same sentence for everyone, so I had to keep saying the same damn thing a different way.  And what are the rules and requirements?  Where’s my manual?  Is it a non-optional convention to wish all of one’s facebook friends (FBF) a happy birthday or just the ones you like?  Can I just pick and choose or will someone be offended if I don’t wish them HBD?  I’m not equipped to handle these confusing social (media) situations.  I obviously solved all HBD social dilemmas by complete and utter non-compliance with what may or may not be a custom, which may or may not be established within certain circles, cliques, and/or clusters, that it is either optional or mandatory to write upon some or all friends walls upon the celebration of their birthdays.  So, if you didn’t get a birthday wish on your facebook wall, please don’t be offended.  I meant no offense.

Of course, my policy has some downfalls as well.  Say perhaps, if someone I really like has a birthday and I want to actually, really, wish them HBD?  Do I break policy and comment?  It doesn’t seem wise to break a policy unnecessarily.  But, I would never know it was someone’s birthday if I didn’t see it on facebook.  I only know a ridiculously small hand full of birthdays; Mini Tornado, my sister, and a couple more.  That’s it.  So, I can’t claim I would have taken the unfathomable step of getting a card or anything even remotely more engaged than a comment on facebook, even if I had wanted to. (Damn!)   There’s just some…je ne sais quoi, but in a bad way, associated with it.  I can’t even come up with an analogy right now, my brain is mush.  And registration is tomorrow! @$%&*   (Wow, I tried to type yeehaw, and it came out @$%&*.  Weird, right?)

So, even though I refuse to engage the public posting, I still have the option of the personal messaging system built right in to the facebook.  And that works fine.  Or I could write a blog.

Happy Birthday,



Okay, life’s a little rosier.

I’m feeling less depressed now that I’ve gotten back into my established rhythm.  I’ve got  a couple of long posts coming, but they may be a while, or may never happen at all.  Wouldn’t be the first time a potentially great blog disappeared due to distracted interest.  Squirrel!

Jared’s Wedding

Had a great week in Columbia capped off by Jared and Melissa getting hitched.  Hit many of my old favorite spots, and ended with KCOU fading out on an excellent song.  I’ve never been so disappointed to see a town as I was to see Blytheville tonight.  fml

Catch up time

It seems I’ve been slacking again.  IOW, I’m back to normal after my last flurry of posting activity.  But today there were three occurances that were noteworthy (to probably nobody but me,) but since blogs are, by their very nature, indulgent, I’ll elaborate.  I think I’ll go first, second, third, but reserve the right to change that at any given time…just to make sure you’re paying attention. 

First, I check my favorite blogs every day or three, and they are, of course, updated on differing schedules.  Some more, some less.  (I guess that’s what differing means…can I get a “hell yeah” for redundancy!)  Anyway, my favorite blogger had an update today which I discovered at lunch.  That made me happy.  Registered Nuts is listed on the Blogroll at the right.  If I can decipher the format to remove all the detritus it should be clearly visible.  Eventually, I hope.  Anyway, Registered Nuts is how I wish I could write.  She’s got crazy literary skills and a way with words.  I…not have way, I guess.  If I did I’d blog all the time!  Not really, I’m way too lazy for that.  But when I did post with my imaginary skills, it would be…better writed, more creativitied, and have fabulous ill…illus….pictures.

Second, an update to the Pink Rifle update.  Fedex delivered it today at lunch.  It got tested after work and it’s still got the same damn problem.  So, you call, they apologize, and they are sending another call tag.  Maybe they’ll get it right this time.

Third, RT has been feeding himself for many years, by cooking primarily.   As such, he’s a big fan of boullion, both chicken and beef.  However, for many years…many, many years, RT has been seeking a substiture for adding pork to dishes, since they apparently don’t make pork boullion. (WTF Wyler’s?!?)  But today, RT finally found what he has been seeking for so, so long.  Broth Base and Seasoning – Ham flavored, right there at Kroger.  Two Tbs per cup of water.  Heaven and bliss, my droogs and only friends.  There’s a crockpot full of blackeyed peas in the very near future.

Fourth, a bonus fail.  At Kroger there was a sign that said, “Smile your saving money.”

Happy Proofing,



Best. Mini-golf. Ever.

We had a family reunion last weekend at Pickwick Landing State Park, aka Pickwick Dam, or just Pickwick, TN.  Being a familial sort I made the trip with Mini Tornado so that I might reconnect with cousins far and farther, and let MT meet cousins she’s never met or has forgotten in the intervening two years since we made our last reunion.  (We just couldn’t make last years.)

It was great of course, and mostly uneventful and nothing screaming to make the blog, but I may come back to it at some point.  However…

…we stopped on the way in Jackson, TN at Casey Jones Mini Golf.  Check it out.

I wish I had gotten more pictures of the courses, there are two and each has its own stream which provides water holes on five or six holes per course.  There are also sand traps on several holes adding to the excitement.   There’s even one hole that turns 180° and is banked with the stream on the top edge and sand on the bottom.  Wow.  Just fun.  Beats the hell out of the clown’s mouth and windmills.  BTW, it’s par 44.

Happy Putting,




Frittata is a foreign word.  It means, roughly, baked eggs and stuff.  We should be clear that it is not “baked eggs” and other stuff, but indeed, “eggs and stuff” all baked together.   Or more properly, baked(eggs+stuff).  Further refining our definition, since the stuff is sauteed before adding the eggs, and since milk is mixed with the eggs,  I guess it should be:

Baked[(eggs+milk)+(sauteed stuff+pepper+salt)] where ‘stuff’ is a variable which depends on what you {purchase or acquire} or what you have on hand.  Including but in no way limited to to: spinach, kale, parsnips, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, cheese, meats (many and varied), hot sauce, garlic, et cetera and so forth.

Here’s what Wiki says:

Frittata is an egg-based dish similar to an omelette or quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables or pasta. It may be flavored with herbs.

That’s what I said!  Anyway, say you’re lying in bed (you: “you’re lying in bed”) and trying to figure out what to do with the remaining fresh spinach, what do you do?  Frittata!  Ya Gotta Frittata!  So, 45 minutes later, after sauteing some spinach, onion, and mushrooms, I took this out of the oven.  Great start to a Saturday.

Good Eating,




Quick Pink Rifle Update

Got the T/C Hotshot in and was very happy with it’s features.  However…fired cases could not be extracted.  It’s got an extractor which pulls it out properly, about 1/8″ or so, but it stays right there.  I’ve been using pliers to extract from there.  Buffed and polished the chamber, no joy.  Polished a lot.  Still, no joy.  Tried cussing it.  Nope. 

Oh well, took Mini- Tornado to the range for Fathers Day anyway, and fired a total of two shots.  In short, she was not fired up about the experience, and since I’m not going to be “that dad” and push her stridently to “have fun, dammit” we were gone quite shortly.  The extraction problem really wasn’t that big of a problem after all, and she won’t miss the rifle while I send it back to T/C to have them fix the extraction problem.  We’ll try again when she’s more ready.   I’ll update T/C’s service, too.  I’ve heard good things.  We’ll see.

Good Shooting