Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekend Plans

Something like this...

Friday FED

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Look

It was pointed out that this is the look I am currently rocking...

When I first heard it, it made me a little uncomfortable.
Now that I have referenced a picture it's all cool.
Just look at him...

Yukon Cornelius was pretty bad ass.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Two Wheels Tuesday

Special study this bike for hours edition.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Hey, Thanksgiving and all that, right?
Let's all go ahead and check that off the list for this year.

We did the whole shebangabang here.
Hell, I am mowing through another plate of leftovers, as I type this.
The big meal deal.

It seems that most years KVC and I fly solo on the Thanksgiving deal.
Not out of any overt contempt for the holiday or people into it, but because it is kinda nice to just chill out together.  You know?
Not this go around, though.
No, we were the dinner for misfit toys.
Just a couple, some of KVC's worky cohorts...
Our buddy Kate was one, and we shall refer to the other as the guest whose name we will not speak.

Anyway, with company coming I got super stoked on doing some full tilt cooking, right...
Hell, cooking Thanksgiving dinner is like the big leagues of cooking for guests, right?
The Big Day, with every dish ready for direct comparison to something some random grandmother made sixteen years ago, that was literally the best thing ever.

So, you gotta get game on for that sorta meal...

The plan, as concocted by me-
Roast a reasonable turkey, for four with leftovers to go.
That crab stuffed portabella action we do every holiday.
Garlic mashed potatoes.
Stuffing, or dressing, or whatever you call it, cornbread base, with sauteed leeks and bonus corn.
Roasted parsnips and carrots, cooked in some broth pretending to be done with the bird.
Brussels sprouts and walnuts, with just a hint of Asian spice/influence.
Rum simmered cranberry concoction thing.
Mushroom gravy, you know, from scratch.
Sweet potato pie, admittedly from a box.
A crock pot full of wassail.

Outside of the potatoes, that was my list, my stuff to cook list.  KVC was on the mashed duty, guests were in for pre-game snacks and wine for the evening.

I learned early in the day, day of, that literally everything is closed on Thanksgiving here.  No secret special only store open situation, it's all closed.  That tripped up our buddy Kate, just a bit, but she recovered with some snacking goodness from an obscure Indian grocer, somewhere north.

So, cool.  We are cooking, and chatting, and snacking like people do on Thanksgiving.  My stress level is toning down, as things are actually on track, with only the last big push to gets things on plates to worry about.  Extra, unnamed guest is late.  It's all cool...

I was feeling pretty good on the bird, by the way.  It's the star of the show, so I kinda think you gotta get that right.
Having not made one for about ten years, it had me nerved.  I ended up reading Alton Brown's dry brine tips a dozen times, 'cause that is my go-to dude for cooking science, and then riffing on the Zuni recipe for roasted chicken as well.  Also plugged a thermostat into the thigh, after about an hour in, and watched like a hawk for 165.

With plenty of cooking time to go, guest number two rolls in.  Additions to our mix include two salami, some pita chips (ranch flavored), smoked salmon and a big bottle of Woodbridge.  OK, whatever, sure.  Dude says he's starving, so I chop up that salami, mix together a plate of existing snacks and, uhm, ranch pita chips and put it on the table...
To keep the crowd out of the kitchen, you know, because I was still cooking.

I am managing the sides cooking times, pulling the bird so that it might rest and absorb all those juicey juices and all.
There is the standard new guest house tour, where KVC tells you something about every third painting on the wall.  More wine was opened, I guess.
Transition time, I pour myself a finger of bourbon, but not my first.  The table starts to get cleared/set.  Folks are loitering, lingering, sitting, sneaking bites of stuff.  Cool.  I get down on the gravy, making the rue, browning the flour, stirring like mad to prevent lumps.  The stove top fan is on, because the whole kitchen could roast things at this point of the day.
What?  Commotion from the girls, in the next room.  Something up, but I am nearly done with gravy.  Focus, stir.  Did somebody say sick?  Gravy done, burners off.
What the fuck?

Yeah, the guest whose name we shall not say popped in the bathroom.
Big time...
KVC saw some of it happening, real time.
Our buddy, Kate, was near saintly with concern.
I took the dude a garbage bag, cleaning products and a big goddamned stink eye.

And then I plated food.
That may seem a little odd, but I was two days deep in planning, prep and cooking and nobody was turning that ship around.
Food was ready to go, for fucks sake.

We sat down to, perhaps, the most awkward Thanksgiving I can imagine...for me, KVC and Kate.
Mystery guest continued to cower in the bathroom/vomitorium.
We cleared plates, had some wine, talked about the elephant in the next room.
And he remained, door closed.
Ice water was delivered, food refrigerated, half smiling/half terrified looks were exchanged.
Dude continued the crapper occupation.
I started a fire, we sat around it, drank wassail.
Still, the unnamed guest remained, like a princess in the tower.
Dogs were walked, a movie was watched, I tended embers.
That door remained closed, light escaping from the crack at the bottom but little else.
Girls went to bed, I had another wassail or two, watched the fire turn to coals.
And after seven long hours, the guest whose name shall not be uttered emerged with a garbage bag and long face...
Few words were exchanged, at that late (early) hour.  I left him slumped on the couch, to find a bit of sleep myself.
All guests snuck out, at some point before the sun came up...

Now, that is a pretty epic Thanksgiving story right there.  I could stop, but it continues.
That bathroom, in spite of many hours available for clean up still was an epic mess.  The purple-black slime still remained, bits of half chewed salami fat mixed in for maximum disgust.  It was fucking gross.  Really bad, the slime, the smell, sticky floor, fucking hell...
It was so bad that I threw away the bucket I used, cleaning it.  The mop, the gloves, everything.  Towels that were in the room, bath mat, the damned toilet paper, the laundry hamper.
It was like a puke hurricane.
Shitballs of awful...

Dear Kate had forgotten her dog's medications, at her pre-dawn departure, and was also leftoverless with all that drama.  She is still recovering from some jetlag, so her egress was understandable, by the way...
We all arrived at the Thanksgiving redo, family leftovers theme.  Comfortable clothes, food reheated in the microwave, dumb movies on TV, no barfing guests version.
The food was just as good, maybe better for not having to think so immediately about what had gone down the first time around.
We shared our trauma, horror and some laughs...and had fun.

So, yeah.
How was your Thanksgiving?

Oh, hey, the guest whose name we dare not speak was hoping to keep this story on the down low...
So, this is just between you and me.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Drive

It's your turn to drive.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Something to make you wonder just what the hell is going on out here...

And over there...

And pretty much everyplace else, too.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weekend Plans

Something like this...

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I know some of you are used to watching some sort of Thanksgiving parade action, so here.

Life Lessons

Learn to respect what nourishes you.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Disco Volante Spider, that is...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Been a while since I have actually posted anything real here...
I am not sure why, exactly.  There is stuff going on, out here, I just didn't feel like bending your ear on it, or whatever.

We rambled over to the island of Jamestown, this past weekend, for some air and adventure.

I have rolled over there before, as a bike blast thrash, but hadn't really slowed down enough to check shit out.
It's an island, so you know everything is on one street and there are four things to do at any time.
Jamestown sits in the bay, between here and Newport.
There may be a lowbrow Newport suburb vibe, but shit is pretty highbrow in Newport so even that is a bit fancy.
Big summer house lookin' houses and little ramshackle crackerboxes mixed in.

And a shit ton of those old rock walls...
Rocks piled into little boundaries and barriers.
Made me wonder about life on Jamestown, in the 1700's...

"Hey Swanty.  I haven't seen you in a moon.  Whatcha been busying yourself with?"
"Eh, you know, stacking rocks.  Got a good run on the east pile of rocks, now..."
"Ya, me too.  Pick up a rock, add it to the pile and again.  Idle hands and all that."

Anyway, we ambled over to Jamestown with an excuse destination, the Beavertail Lighthouse.
It is apparently the third oldest lighthouse in America, which is a detail that will likely prove useless to you in the future.  Now you know.
It sits on the south tip of the island on some rocky spit of shore, as you probably imagine an old east coast lighthouse would.
You get the idea...

Scrambling around on the rocks, facing the wind, watching the tide and the sea foam swirling in cold stone pools.
It made me think about Winslow Homer and his studio, up in Maine...
It was all so lovely and demonstrative, that front line of the war between earth and sea, that I could understand why a man would hermit away for years, trying to capture a whisper of that energy...

And then we got some lunch.
Well, sorta.  Our timing was a bit late for lunch and too early for dinner at most of the island spots.
Off peak hour on an off peak day on an island.  Perhaps poorly timed on our part.

Rather than resigning for sad pub food and white guy blues music, we ended up sitting outside at Fish.
Yes, it was cold.  It's November in New England for Christ's sake, of course it was cold...
But they have those heater things, an outdoor pizza oven, and a game bartender willing to deal with the likes of us.  We stuck to recommended pizza action, warm cocktails and witty banter.
All very satisfying...
I would hit this place again.  They seem to have their game together, from the glimpse I got to have.

So, yeah.
I sorta feel obligated to start on a rock wall...

Trike Tuesday

Maybe my fave Top Gear bit.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Those Days

This looks a lot like nearly everything I remember from my high school days.

The rest of the stuff in my head, from that era, has turned out to be pretty useless...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Drive

I think I would rather walk.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I Won't Dance

Friday, November 16, 2012

Weekend Plans

Something like this...

Grand Prix


Reminder, the first American Grand Prix in four years is going down this weekend, in Austin...

F1 racing, bro...
That is some cool shit.

Not some restrictor plated, plastic family sedan lumbering around in circles, but cars with more technology than the goddamned space shuttle rocketing around like angry hornets.
It's cool, trust me...

Here are some helpful insights, if you are new to F1.

It's on the Speed channel, or network, or whatever they call it now, if you actually believe me and want to watch.

Fraulein Friday

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Here is a lovely video about goose barnacle fishing, in Spain.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Feeling Cool

Try and keep up, kid.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Two Wheels Tuesday

Special crazy moose head fender edition.


Talk about going off the deep end, this whole parallel reality secession action is so goddamned ridiculous.

I guess it is citizens from thirty states, at this point?
Upwards of 60,000 Texans are on board for cutting off ties and getting back to actually being a whole other country, I guess.

I am just baffling that the election was the thing to set this shit off.  I mean the guy has been in office for four years now.  Was the reelection just too much for these folks to handle?
That was the last straw?

Because, seriously, those of us who watch more than one news channel kinda saw that coming...

Anyway, it does have me thinking.
You know Puerto Rico voted to join up, as an official state.
All these crying conservatives want their own loco-land.
So, why not give 'em something?
Like Alabama, maybe...
And make Puerto Rico a state.

Hell, we wouldn't even have to change the flag!

Really, I think we all know this is not about rich conservatives feeling butt hurt...
Because those 1% folks already have their own special countries, like Switzerland or the Caymans.
The folks pushing these petitions would probably really like Alabama.
It'll have 'em feeling just like home.

And maybe I won't have to hear their "our country back" moaning anymore...

My apologies to any nice people from Alabama...
Nothing personal.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Hey vet's...

Thanks for keeping an eye on our horizons.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Drive

Well, OK...

Saturday, November 10, 2012


In Serbia, they are rocking the Kawasakis...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Weekend Plans

Something like this...


Thursday, November 8, 2012


Here's a dull personal post for ya...

I have converted to Windows 8.

Not really sure why, exactly.  Not sure why you would even care.

I guess I like confusing myself with my own technology.
I am want to mess with settings on my phone, computer, etc...
It keeps you on your toes, dealing with new ways of doing the same things.

Since my most recent laptop fell under the cheapo Windows upgrade offer parameters, I figured why not.

After a day of messing with it, I will say OK...
It is different, for sure.  I haven't really adjusted to the whole tile deal, but I get it.
After a few minutes, I think the tile layout is smoother than the old start menu scene.
You can get back to a pretty comfortable old Windows 7 desktop fairly easily, so it isn't just wandering through shit you can't relate to, for being different...
The app bit is intuitive, if you can manage basics on a smartphone.  I imagine the app availability aspect will grow with more user adoption.

Using Windows 8 on a laptop does sorta reveal how nice it will function as a tablet interface, too.  If you are into that neato swipe/tap action on your fancy phone, well, it is built the same way.  Lacking a touchscreen, the premise does still work (you just have to adjust some of your mousing habits).

It's interesting to deal with a PC in this new way.  Windows has used the same basic interface structure for about as long as I can remember.  It takes some courage for Microsoft to change up what nearly every user over age five is comfortable interacting with.  But whatever...

I am not sure if it will exactly make me more productive, or anyone.  Maybe I will figure that out once I get more acclimated.  There is a lot of customization/information that can be layered on the new start screen.  That could either speed one up or distract a person, based on how it gets applied.  It's an interesting change, for sure.

So, yeah, that was a post about an operating system.
Totally exciting.

Thrasher Thursday

Dude hauls ass and lands the techy shit...


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wassail Wednesday

It's getting a bit cold here, recently...

So, I am thinking about warm drink options; cider, gluhwein, toddies, etc...

It occurs to me that I don't remember ever making wassail.
Shoot me your secret wassail recipe, if you got one...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Do It


Walter Kirn takes a moment to ponder the role of Ohio in this years election, over at The New Republic...

In my new, more realistic understanding of American democracy, gained just this year from a thousand expert sources, the role of all but a portion of the electorate is to show up at their polling places tomorrow and dutifully cancel out one another’s votes so that Ohio can choose our president.

Now, that is just the opening and his observations are bound to offend nearly anybody actually living in the state of Ohio.  I grew up there, and some of the words sting.
The whole read over here...

Having been away for some time, I do have distance and can appreciate some of the observations made.

Not posting this to offend anyone reading, who may be from Ohio, though it will get your ire up I am sure.
More just a op-ed that hit me closer to home than I thought it might.  Some cutting and, perhaps, accurate observations on my home state...

And reason to consider how much Ohio not only shaped me, but also the continuing course of our nation.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Go Ahead

Let's just go ahead and get this started...

Whatever the outcome of the election is, the other side is gonna talk about some vast conspiracy to steal the White House.
The independents are already stewing about that sort of thing.

So, let's just embrace the coming head flapping, teeth gnashing and crazy talking...

Demand a recount now.

You don't wanna be late to the party.

Motorcycle Monday


I like this thing, a lot.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Drive

Uhm, right, I'll be right down...

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Friday, November 2, 2012

Fan Mail Friday

I get this kinda shit all the time...

Weekend Plans

Something like this...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Life Lesson