Monday, October 31, 2011

How To Cave A Watermelon like a Jack'O Lantern

Just in time for Halloween!

First, get a watermelon, in October. The watermelon should be ripe, but not too ripe, because the riper your melon the thinner the rind, if the rind is too thick and carving will be a nightmare, too thin and it will collapse.

You will need

- a watermelon, size is up to you. How much watermelon to you want to eat?
- a big, sharp knife
- a good sized serving spoon
- a pumpkin carving tool
- a large bowl

The first thing you will notice about your watermelon that unlike a pumpkin, is that it is not naturally hollow.

You have to cut a larger "lid" for your watermelon than you would for a pumpkin. This is also where the large serving spoon, pumpkin carving tool and large bowl come into play. Hollowing out your watermelon isn't actually all that much work and this is a quicker job than I had thought it would be. Watermelon is also significantly less slimy than pumpkin and there is no yuck factor to deal with.

Continue to remove as much melon as you can. I was not prepared for how wet the interior of the melon was. I kept having to drain puddles of water out of mine, even after I had scraped it as clean as I could.

Once you have removed the flesh, move on to carving.

An eye here, a nose there. Just like a pumpkin. Only cooler , I put newspaper inside the melon  over night in the refrigerator to help sop up the excess water.

Much red-er, none of that cheerful orange glow nonsense! The deep, scary red eyes are much more haunting.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

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The game

I would have a real entry today , but to be honest, I wanted to watch the game on a working T V. Go Rangers!!!!
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Another brick in the wall

I came home, I put on my little Rangers shirt and I planned my evening around watching the game. I even went to Target in my shirt to spread the Ranger love, apart from trying to proselytize to my fellow customers, I needed to get my 2012 calender for work and I heard they had some nice ones in the $1 section.

In years past, I had to pick out what kind of calender I wanted and sometime in December a new calender magically appeared - as office supplies tend to do. But then last year, my boss decided that the tax payers of North Carolina should buy my sticky notes, pens and printer ink but they should under no circumstances be asked to buy my calender! She removed the all ready delivered calenders that the unit had ordered and replaced them with versions she bought at the Dollar Store. I wonder if she wrote them off her taxes?

This year I didn't  even get the form for ordering the state sanctioned calenders. I hope the wacky  right wing taxpayers for whom my boss stands get  warm glows of satisfaction as a result of my being denied a decent calender -  Oh, wait I'm a tax payer and we don't get to pick and chose what our tax dollars go to because God knows I have a long list of things I object to having my state and federal tax dollars wasted on and I demand a refund for the Shrub Years as well.- I do not object to buying every other state employee a calender. I do not see a huge savings in denying  calenders to seven people. Freaking Tea Party idiots, they should be afraid, the more money I save buying discount calenders the more I have to donate to Democratic candidates and left-wing organizations and the more often I have to buy my own office supplies because they are such hateful bitches, the more I donate. Keep it up assholes, I've been saving up.

We are the 99% you jack-holes!  You will be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes. I think tomorrow in honor of having to buy my own office supplies because you hate me, I'm going to Sam's and buy some soup for the Occupiers.

I came home with my el cheapo discount calender and found that The Game had been rained out! I'm wearing my shirt and everything! I have my rally flag out too! This means that Thursday I have to put my shirt back on and make sure my rally flag is on stand by and try to get my groove back.

GO   RANGERS !!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The time it is a changing. Soon.

On the way into work this morning I decided I would have chicken wings with watermelon BBQ sauce for dinner., by the time I left work for the day I had forgotten all about the chicken wings and decided what I really wanted for dinner was pizza.

I casually passed my street and  went to the store and did a little wandering around and waited at the check out but really didn't care and then went on my way home.  I got home, took Dogger out to pee then fed her ,then fed me. While I was waiting for my pizza to heat, I changed clothes and caught up with my DVR. All very casual. I can do whatever I want  because it stays light for hours, I can take it easy. I don't have to rush around, I don't have to to do anything.

In a couple of weeks there will be more more trips to the store, no more casual post-work schedules. I will come home, I will change shoes and I will walk Dogger. Quickly. Its going to get dark early. Its not as pressing as it was, I'm not afraid to take Dogger out after dark any more but I do like taking her for a longer walk than our pre-dawn and evening walks around the block.  I really don't love rushing home to  hurry Dogger out the door for a brisk march around the nab. Its not really relaxing or enjoyable.There is an upside to all this rushing, after the initial flurry of activity, Dogger is much more likely to get her third walk of the day and I suddenly get a lot of house work done and even I get even more exercise in because suddenly riding the exerbike is much less of a chore - its too hot for the summer but once the house cools down, its a great way to get warm.

When its warmer and lighter I skip riding the bike and walk her later as to limit our exposure to hot air and hotter pavement and if I'm not walking her until seven, I'm not likely to take her for another walk at nine. I'm really going to miss casually coming home and watching TV and changing clothes and making dinner or maybe, instead, running errands or going by the store after work.  Tomorrow after work I think I'll go by the really nice Poverty Barn and check out their Christmas lights and then maybe hit the Sam's Club and then, eventually, head on home.  Slowly.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fix up

The back yard is officially back to being a "yard", the with the harvest of the melons complete and the removal of the voluminous vine, the cultivation season is officially over. Over the winter, the next step in the post-tree fall yard recovery  is going to be turning the non-cultivated portion of the yard from the missile site it is now back into a lawn. It is to dream the impossible dream.

But before all that gets started, I have two lovely melons waiting for me to do something with them. One is going to be a pumpkin but I haven't decided how I am going to exploit the other one. I may be radical and just eat it.

I pulled up the watermelon vine and returned the yard to its natural condition. I looked out the window a minute ago and I am all ready praying for snow. On the upside, now that its winter I have no real reason to go out there and I don't have to look out the windows. Speaking of windows, I have brand new curtains for the downstairs bedroom!  More ways to not look outside! I'm excited even if you are not. In fact, it makes the discovery of the sheers even more fortuitous. I bought  rods for them but I underestimated  just how wide the windows were and had to make a quick substitution.

I'm going to need to return the short rods because I'll need the bamboo poles I substituted for curtain rods back in the shed for the spring. I think the windows look so much larger now

The new curtains  ( not pictured) are full length,  fully lined and  insulated. They are useful and beautiful. The windows are going to look huge. I'm not sure what kind of light control they are going to offer but I can always get some pull down shades to keep the light out if it is a problem.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Yay, Monday.

Okay. I would have had a new entry for today except that I was gone all weekend and then I got back and had to wash the dog and then her stuff and then me - Pro-tip, do not take a shower at the same time you are doing a load of luandry because your shower and your washing machine do in fact, use the same water. There isn't some special  "laundry only" water supply. Its all the same water and you can't use it all at the same time, no shareing allowed. Not very friendly at all. The city of Raleigh loves me though, I just paid for a whole new water treatment plant.

Oh, and I had to not watch the Lamegers, so I watched Bridesmaids instead, which turned out to be a lot more touching than I had thought. I thought it was a The Hangeover for girls but it really isn't. Kristin Wiig is so good.

Okay, the dog is clean, I am clean, the dogs laundry is clean, my movie is watched and the Lamgers aren't as lame as they were last night - thus far.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

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Real food.

My plan was to "watch" the game on my phone and actually watch Bridesmaids on the TV, but here I sit, the TV not even on. I'm not sure I want to start a movie at this late hour of if I could even sit still long enough to watch it. As late as it is, and it isn't late, I've missed the window of opportunity to start a movie.

I have places to go and people to see and stuff to move from one place to another. I also wanted to find a compost tumbler because now I think I need on. I can't have a compost pile because of my pre-existing rat and cockroach issues and I don't produce enough vegetable peelings to kept a proper pile fed. I could however, probably keep a garden tumbler maintained - I am totally willing to sacrifice and allow fast food places to pollute my meal with  salad if it means I could take the leavings home and feed them to the compost-er. I'm good like that. I mean its not like the lettuce and tomato they put on those burgers are meant to be edible or anything, they are just there for looks. I worked at a fast food place and you do not want to know what the shelf life for a sliced tomato can be, trust me. And those salads? I made a lot of those but I do not remember ever throwing one away.

I'm also avoiding the game because I'm pretty sure I'm bad luck. The games with the Tigers were not televised in my market and so I couldn't watch them and they won the series, most likely because I was not watching, They did do spectacularly well in the game that brought them to the series, but I was not watching at that point!, I didn't tune in until after and they only scored a handful of times after that.

 I watched the game against the Cardinals on Wednesday, and they lost so I am going to experiment and not watch tonight's game to see if it makes a difference. If they win, I'll stay away, if they they lose, that will be two in a row and its hard to come back from that so I won't watch because I really,really wanted us to win and I have spent years watching them lose all ready.

The prison system also wants to recover my couch and build me a personalized fire pit.

Back to the composting bins. I was under the impression that as a state employee, I could buy them cheap from the prison system and I think once upon a time I could. Those times are past because I went to the site and they weren't pictured. I could get my prescription glasses done through them if I wanted and I don't think I want. I am surprised that since this is offered that it is not mandatory and part of our insurance coverage. Perhaps right hand does not know what left hand is doing?  Hands not available for comment.

The prison system also wants to recover my couch and build me a personalized fire pit and sell me shirts and hats with their logo on them.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I had read on Facebook that the game started at 7:05 - and something does, in Dallas, I'm guessing  there is great televised joy and much excitement but here in the rest of the world, the game actually starts at 7:30 . Imagine how terrified I was to  tune in to the game and instead find Two and a Half Men! I mean really. I should sue someone for emotional damage.

I thought about just "watching" the game on my phone, via keeping an eye on the score and not actually watching the game itself. Its easier that way, I should probably, just to learn the gross differences in the uniforms because most of the time I'll be watching on the dieing tube in the office and it doesn't really differentiate between colors, everything is just variations of lime green and violet. I do know the Rangers wear either blue or red and I assume a team called the Cardinals most likely wears red. These are not colors that work well in a noxious acid lime green and violet environment. I need to know the difference because in the last games, I credited the Rangers with a really sloppy error that was so bad even I recognized it was both sloppy and an error and it turned out it was the other teams sloppy error. Oops. Later in the same game the Rangers did almost the exact same thing, but they did it the right way - It turns out that two players can go after a ball and not  knock their heads together and then  drop the ball in tandem. Good game, Tigers.

Its times like this that a lap top would be a nice edition to my merry band of apliences. It would be so much easier if I wasn't shackled to the computer in a room with a bad TV - but if I was free of the desk top, the office would be just Doggers Room and I'm not sure how I feel about having a 100% dedicated Dog Room.  Are there such things as dog ladies? Do guys get shit for being pet owners? No, they do not. If a woman has three cats clearly she will never marry and she probably dresses them in onesies when no on is around but if a man has three dogs, he's a dog lover, good for him and I bet he will make a great Dad.

Speaking of Dogger, I tried to take her on a walk but she preferred to get her exercise by jumping around and trying to climb her leash instead, so we toured out back yard and I played and lost and lost and lost some more on Angry Birds. This is a bad evil game and I wish I had never started with it. I also wish it would let me skip level 18 and move on with my life.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Walk like a dog

Much less drama on today's walk, we didn't walk the same walk as yesterday either,  it probably helped that I changed my route and avoided those posers on New Bern. I had been avoiding my own neighborhood  form months because of the presences of dogs, more specifically, unleashed dogs, my new paranoia. In all the years Dogger and I have been walking down these blocks, we have been bothered by only two dogs ever - right up until  recently, when we meet a new unleashed dog almost every time we go outside.

Dogger never seemed too put out but I was left hyperventilated and horrified by what could have happened. Dogger doesn't want to meet new dogs,  Dogger prefers her friends to be of the two legged variety and frankly, she believes herself too good for these four legged interlopers. People are more her speed. In our perfect world the dog parks would be Dogger Parks and she would be just for her and her two legged friends. The parks would be full of people for her to play with and charm and everybody would  be happy.

In the past, we both saw leashed dogs as being more or less okay, but now, any dog makes me uncomfortable and I turn the other direction. I don't think Dogger would have a problem with a dog on a leash being in the same place as herself, but I  do. All dogs are potentially off leash - weak leashes, broken collars, people too stupid to move away when asked... They all pose a potential threat.

If I can't shake this soon, Dogger will be taking her walks in my back yard. I do however have great hopes for the winter. I have convinced myself that once it gets cold that  all the leash-less dogs will disappear. I don't know why I am clinging to this fantasy but I just know that this is true.

My guess is that the last time we got set upon by dogs it was because the owner was chatting with a friend with his front door open and   his dogs just ran right out into the street. If it was cold, I doubt he would have been standing there with his door hanging open. I hope.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Testosterone fueled douchebaggery is the most douchey of all douche behavior.

While walking Dogger, I watched two young guys throwing a football across the street. If you walk twenty yards down that street you come across a huge empty field just begging for two guys or an entire team of guys, to throw a ball around. Its vast, empty and right there.

But these two DB need to toss that ball back and forth across the busy street, One of the 'bags over throws a pass and it ended up inside the ten foot fenced yard across the street. 'Bag two made to jump the fence and would have if DB number three, the putative owner of said fence,  hadn't told him forcefully to not jump the fence - as is his right - provided he is the property owner - as he was on the porch next door. I have no proof of ownership and he might just be a troll.

The two guys and now their posse want their ball back. Troll says No. The DBs and their posse are irked. Troll calls the cops. 'Bags and their posse retreat and throw another ball across the street. I'm taking Dogger back and have to cross this gauntlet.

Because I was annoyed with all of them. I hate 'bags and troll was pissing me off. Why do white people have to be such assholes?  I was all ready rehearsing my withering take-down speech to these jackasses  and one of the 'bags make some noise about not throwing the ball because of the "white lady". I tell the guy it would be a bad idea to hit me with the ball.- because lets be real, black lady, white lady, it would be a mistake to throw the ball at a pedestrian. I didn't say the "Throw the ball at me. Hit me with the ball. Act like you are going to do either and I will call the police and scream assault. First you trespassed on the trolls property then you tried to hurt me, cops are going to come and not all of us are going to spend the night in our own beds." part. The posse scared me into silence.  Douche Bags.

 I get to the troll and tell him the cops are only going to make him give the 'bags their ball back. He needs a kick in the ass for being a troll, but the grossly self-entitled, no respect for other peoples property 'bags need a smack for being such  disrespectful sacks of shit. In truth, the troll, if he is the owner, could legally shoot the 'bags  for jumping his fence and leave them for the dogs - but they have to be inside the fence, so he did them a favor by stopping them before they got into real  "I Wuz Jus Protecting My Property, Offsir" territory.

The other day I witnessed my eighty year old neighbor lady read the teenyboppers across the street the riot act for the exact same thing. The message being the next time they touch her yard the speech will come from another authority figure and she's not going to fire a warning shot.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lets see. Friday night I went to  The NC State Fair  and then first thing Saturday morning,  I went on a tour of Churches downtown, which was  a lot more fun than it sounds, then I went to Occupy Raleigh , which was also a lot more fun than it sounds. This time instead of putting on emphasis on teaching us the hokey poky, we heard from very pissed off people as well as our real, live, North Carolina Secretary of State - who was also very pissed off - at us for not getting our outrage together sooner!  They did such a good job at this rally that the next time they do something, I'm doing it as well. They did such a good job getting and keeping people riled up that later, people who were not me got arrested.

From my experience at these things, you pretty much have to punch a police horse to get arrested,  but there are those who need the street cred a demonstration arrest carries. In this case they were told to leave and the protesters, predictablly, said you know "Hell No We... etc." Because the movment is not about going home and going away, they got busted.  More power to them.

Oh, and then...

And this time I want us to win,  last year it was just an honor to be there blah, blah, blah. Everyone was just thrilled  and thankful that they were just playing in the World Series, that asking to actually, win seemed rude. This? year, I want us to not just play in the World Series, I want us to WIN the World Series.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging


I now have a ghost detecting app on my phone. I suspect that this will bring my cat and I closer together.

I also have an app that will allow me to set a timer to make the phone ring at a given time. I also now have Netflix on my phone so I can ignore the movie I've had for two weeks even when I'm not at home, speaking of when I'm not at home, I can now book hotels through Expedia, from my phone! I don't go anywhere and I can't remember the last time I booked a hotel room from a land line, but now, I can see how much a room in Phuket would run me while I'm standing in  line at Walmart, and thanks to the lovely price-line app I downloaded the other day, I can price out flights to Rome while I listen to the Lunar Enhanced screech  racial obscenities  at me as they rage about the brutal  murder of their very much alive son. Today's woman must be able to multi-task.

There is this book I really want on my Kindle but it costs too much so I might get it a hard copy of it instead - which defeats the Kindle, but  $11.99 defeats me.

I haven't bought pumpkins yet. I think the failure of my pumpkin vines hurt me on a such a deep, weird level that I am now projecting my feelings of sadness on all pumpkins. My ambivalence about autumnal decorating is the manifestation of that hurt. Pumpkins just kind of make me nauseous now. I feel like I've been through a bad break up and I don't want to get involved  with other gourds again so soon.

Is it fate that not ten minutes after I finally found my Ranger shirt, they lost the game?

I've decided to give Whitney a chance. I'm going to watch it for the first time this week on a TV with a working  tube. I like her but I don't like-her-like-her yet and so far I like the boyfriend better. The show is not called The Boyfriend, this is not good for the future of the show.

This is going to sound stupid, but I know Free Agents was going to fail because there was too much set-dressing and the costuming used too many prints, the sets and the costumes should not be what stays with the viewer. They also threw too many speaking parts at us too fast, It was hard to figure out who was supposed to be the focus of the show and that is confusing to a new viewer, "is it that loud girl and those two guys or is it Hank Azaria and that girl who looks familiar?" as a viewer I don't want to figure it out. New shows need to stick to a small core group until the season progresses, and then slowly introduce us to the rest of the people who make up that world.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Three Dog Night

I think my dog uncovered a crime scene. Its fun living in the city. First she sniffed a plot of grass, every blade of grass and then she followed the sniff into the parking lot and that's where she showed me the blood trail! I was like Oh this is great! That's blood. Yeah. Some one was bleeding. Super.  and she's like Hmm. O-.  The only sign that anything happened there was a discarded flea collar in the grass.

Dogger didn't even want to pee on whatever she was sniffing! Dogs love to pee on their sniffs! Its what they do, they sniff and then they pee on it. Sniff, pee, sniff, pee. They can do it for hours, Dogger could leave pee every few yards all the way to the moon. She doesn't need oxygen to sniff, she would sniff atmosphere, she'll find those aliens, figure that whole thing out, Big Bang? creation of the universe?  she would take care of that.  Girl dog is that  good. First dog in space my Daisy.

 It wasn't the first time I've wished she could talk, because after the amount of time she spent investigating the scene I'm pretty sure she knows what went on, who was there, who was bleeding and why, and what it was all about.

She was all Dude, I don't think you want to know. One adult male  he smelled like cheese?  and two  unneutered female dogs,  one in heat, big dogs,  and two younger males with a  dog, wearing dirty clothes, smelling like earth and  meat and arousal were very upset here. Their dog was male, not fixed, um, flea collar was his,one of the females ripped it off. Very upset. One of the younger  human males was afraid and he paced around a lot, he was very upset, he sweated a lot, very scared, see here? urine, human, hmm, diabetic? The other male was injured by the female dog and the other man, see here? two sweats, one dog, one blood. There is a lot of blood on the grass and the dogs, lots of dogs have been here. The injured ran to the hard ground. Dude it was ugly.

And suddenly, the constant sirens I hear at night make sense.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sorry, I would have been here soon but I had to call a couple of  North Carolina senators and threaten them with return to North Carolina if they don't vote for the Jobs Bill. I don't think anything is scarier to a pol that makes it out of North Carolina than the idea of having to return permanently to North Carolina. One will vote for it and the other is an obstructionist, Rethuglican bag of shit.

Before that I had the wild and uncontrollable desire to make pie-ish things I don't know how to make pie-ish things but I know that I wanted more than anything to go to the store and buy pie dough and pie filling. I did that. I was a bit thwarted though because Kroger hid the pie filling, this causes  to believe in Kroger World  black people don't make pie and don't need filling or that black people do make pies but they grow their own pie filling. I'm sure some do, but all? I doubt this. and if they do not grow their own pie filling, the only pie they make from store bought filling  is cherry pie. I have these memories of shopping at other grocery stores, other Kroger's even and having many, many, many choices and an almost endless supply of things to fill a pie with. Perhaps white people make more pies, I don't know.

I made three pie-ish things. Two lovely round ones and one kind of oblong pie-ish thing. I am also not really hungry, I wasn't hungry before either I just really, really wanted to make pie-ish desert food.

I was in  baking place because I'm stressing. I stress bake. I am waiting for election results and the Ranger game to get underway. They won last night at the bottom of the eleventh inning, big time. 7-3.

Speaking of contests, the Democrat control Senate just betrayed their president and their constituents. Way to go. When will the party learn that maintaining discipline and punishing  bad behavior is a good thing? You don't vote the way the party wants and every cent the party gave you for your campaign has to come back, you don't run as a democrat again and you get nothing from the party  or its machinery ever again. The only thing the rethuglicans do well is maintain discipline in the ranks. We don't, and we let crap like this happen over and over again.

If a dem pol votes with the party line 100% of the time, they get 100% of  whatever funding the party hands down,  a dem pol does not votes with the party  less than 85% of the time, they don't get funding because they aren't a Democrat. Name and Shame. Out with the old and in with the new.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dems lead all school board races; Margiotta out; one runoff possible - Elections -

And the bond issues passed!

Finders Keepers

I found something I was looking for and I lost something I had gotten used to looking at.

As of Saturday,  the garden is done. I ripped out the beans and took down the trellis and laid the hoses out to dry. I also took the timers in and removed their batteries. Next step is to till the garden up and plant the winter cover. I'll do that next weekend when I'm not touring downtown Churches, attending another Occupy rally and going to the opening weekend of the state fair. I think I'm going to have to set an alarm or lower my expectations.

This weekend while I was taking down the beans I managed to find enough still on the vine to eat at dinner, and they were lovely, I realized I I haven't eaten anything from the vine since I came back from vacation and discovered the mother load and got involved with freezing. The  two remaining watermelon are still in situ and seem to be growing. I don't really know what one does with watermelon in October but I'm holding out hope jack-o-melon for Halloween. How about some lovely watermelon borsch?!

I found something too,  but not in the garden. When I came to see this house the very first time, the first thing I noticed were the very pretty curtains in the windows, that I later learned were sheers,  I think they sold me on the house. When I bought the house it was decided that the sheers while decorative, needed to be laundered. Then they disappeared.

I tried to recover from the lose by buying new sheers. New cheap sheers. New cheap sheers that were too short because somebody there did not want me to have full sized sheers. It wasn't really a problem for the first few years because I had short curtains, it would have looked weird with sheers that went to the floor. It would have looked like my windows' slips were showing and that would have looked even more stupid than the long drapes/short sheers look I had for the last few years.

I do think that there was a reason I never settled on sheers I really liked, it was because the One True Sheers were close by, waiting for the moment I would finally find them in the corner of a closet in the bottom of a box under another box. I would look like less of on idiot if the box they were in didn't plainly say "sheers" on the side - in my defence, there was an air pocket between the bottom of the top box and the bottom of the sheers box and I could have easily stuck my hand in and not felt the sheers. Multiple times.

Now all the windows have sheers, very nice sheers, thick, embroidered sheers that I could never afford if I saw them at the store, and these are not the kind you pick up at the dollar store -  and I have enough left over sheers that the single windows are probably going to get two panels each, like the big windows. Very lux. And I think they will improve my forty-year-old windows R value. I'm thinking if I layer them I might not have to wear a hat indoors this year!

It also makes me think that I'm going to rethink the roman shade idea for the downstairs bedroom. I think now I am warming up to getting curtains in there instead, I mean, I have the sheers, I might has well make use of them.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Raleigh area readers, Tuesday October 11 is an election day! We vote tomorrow for mayer, cuty council and school board. Out with the racist Tea Baggers  and in with the Smart People.


Occupy Raleigh

Well, I left early, I need to fess up. I left because 1) I object to being categorized as "marginalized" merely because of my gender "Well, if we have ten men lined up and one woman, we go with who is the most marginalized". Fuck you.  and 2) The band played Four Dead in Ohio/Nixon's Coming as a dirge and that song is not a dirge. It is incandescent with rage, it is the musical version of the St. Crispin's Day speech. Gawd. You play that song to get the crowd hot and angry and ready to turn buses over and  to start this thing by whatever means necessary not to make them think about the day Grandma died.
Anyway. I also object to trying to explain parliamentary procedure to 350 people in the middle of a park and I also think Jazz Hands  to show I agree and hugging myself like a frustrated three year old because I don't is really, really, really lame. If you want to know why they are still occupying Wall Street its because everything is a damn vote.

On the upside, congrats Tea Party. Thanks to your efforts you have created a nation of very angry proto-Socialists. Good Job, jack-holes. My real fear is that the whole Occupy movement is being bankrolled by the  same right wing money-men who bankrolled the Tea Party to further splinter the left and confuse the center and enrage the right. I fear the advent of Occupy candidates running under the Occupy banner and not as Democrats. Because that's what  pissed off Democrats do because we are just that stupid.

Anyway. Photo-Blogging!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Lighted disco balls that play carrols!!!
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So scared.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

How to blanche green beans

How to get more mileage out of your green beans or How To Store Green Beans

1. Get a lot of green beans. I like to start by planting some seeds and hopeing for the best.

2. Harvest the green beans.

3. Collect the green beans and place them in a pretty bowl.

4. Prepare the green beans. I like to rinse them off and snap the ends off and split them in two. This takes a long time, almost as long as waiting for them to grow. It reminds one why people invested in servants back in the day. It also reminded me to ask Santa for one of those those spongy floor mats they sell at Bed Bath and Beyond . After standing there snapping each indiuval bean I decided that one-bean-at-a-time was getting really tedious and that I should try to  speed this up a bit. I introduced a knife and a cutting board to the equation and made to cut the ends off of more than one bean at a time - A truley revolutionary idea.  I soon discovered that this would be a labor saving miracle if I had beans of uniform length, which I did not. My beans aren't those uniform length bean bots they produce at factory farms, no my beans are all natural free form beans and they are allowed to grow like they want as long or short as they want. Damn it.

Back to hand snapped beans.


 Now you take your beans and add them to a boiling pot of water. FOR THREE MINUTES.

After they sit in the boiling water for THREE MINUTES, remove them from the heat and put the beans in a bowl of ICE WATER for THREE MINUTES

After the THREE MINUTES remove the beans from the ice bath and  freeze. You have now successfully blanched your green beans. Go you.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Little dog lost

I was  mulling over the chances I could could squeeze another few houndred words out of  the aging process of  my green beans and my doorbell rang.  There was a young woman standing in my car port asking to speak to me  and, much to my shock, she did not appear high or schizophrenic or part of a Bonnie and Clyde style thrill killer couple. She was however, brandishing what looked like a rope.

 As I went out in the dark to speak to her I wondered briefly who would play me in the Lifetime TV Smart Women Foolish Choices in Jeopardy Movie made about the last badly planned minutes of my life.

As it turned out, the rope she was brandishing was a leash and she was not  going to use it to tie me up! Score!  She wanted to tie up a dog. The young woman had corralled a loose, lost dog, with the help of one of the feral cats, who it turns out is also a  Border Collie, who wisely chose  that moment to use itself as bait  and hid under the car causing a diversion and allowing the dog to be eventually captured. By me. With my dog leash. To be held in my backyard.

The girl was very concerned about the dog. Very. So concerned she promised if I kept the dog over night she would take the dog to the shelter in the morning - but, she teaches and has to be at work at 6:45am. Oh, and as concerned as she was, she had to go to a birthday dinner and needed to bounce. She left me her name and number and the dog.

I answered the door and now I have a scared dog tied up in my backyard. I  vaguely recognized the dog as did the woman across the street who has seen the dog all over the nab. The girl reported that before the dog was playing in traffic, it was following two guys, one of which might have allowed the dog they were chasing away was his girlfriends and either the dog or the girlfriend was named Beauty. But in either case, they were not responsible for the dog.

The girl took responsibility for the dog and then handed that responsibility over to me. The girl took off for her dinner and I called Animal Control. And waited. And waited and called again. The WCAC is not a no kill like the girl said it was, its a hold for five days and depending on the census at the shelter the animals  are either A) gassed or B) adopted out shelter.

Animal Control did make it out and now I feel like a dog killer. I called the girl and told her that the dog was taken care of and she's off the hook for dog duty. She kept the dog from getting hit by a car and now I get to feel like I just sent it to the gas chamber. I'm not answering my door anymore.

Lost, found, safe?

Update. This all happened at about 8:30pm. at 10:45pm my door bell rings again. Having learned nothing, I answer the door. It is the original dog finder and ta da! the dog owner who is pisssssed about the dog.

It does not help that dog finder has been  really haranguing the woman about her poor dog safety practices. I give the  very upset dog owner the number I called to get the dog picked up. They go away. I go back inside. Ten minutes later the  bell rings again and it is dog owner again and she is pisssed that I gave her the "wrong number". I did not. She was mad because when she called, instead of answering the phone "Dog Jail" they answered it with "communications". She called them back and got the number of the actual dog jail but not before she got mad at me for giving her "that number" instead of the dog jail number.


 I tell her that the number I gave her was the number I called  that resulted in a truck coming and getting her dog. She then accused me of having her dog inside my house. I told her I can't have another dog, and  that the dog finder and I did what we thought was right for the safety of the dog, what with cars and other dogs and people and all.

 I was told the dog was safe! and didn't need protection. I wasn't sure when the dog was the most safe or not in need of protection, when it was playing traffic or when it was seen running around  loose without a collar many times. She made me feel like a dog kidnapper. I hope she gets her dog back, quickly, because if she comes back here to give me shit again, I'm going to set my dog on her.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Don't roof and drink.

Go Rangers!  They knocked the Devil Rays out of the play offs! I believe the Rays are from Florida and they are named like an expansion team, like the <i>Marlins</i>, if you have to explain <i>why</i> your mascot is a bad ass, your mascot is <i>not</i> a bad ass. Your mascot is a <i>fish</i>.

Speaking of bad ass things that are really lame and slimy. There is a house down the street getting a new roof. Super, it needed a new roof and new flashing and new downspouts and new chimney I would imagine. They have been there since last week! I got a new roof some years back and I remember they had it torn down to the studs and then they rebuilt it and they left. They were professionals and they worked very hard all day and, they, did work <i>all</i> day and then they moved on to the next job. I know they weren't here for a week. And I know they did not drink on the job.

These guys are learning  the job while they drink on the job. They are also working all day but they spend a good part of the day walking up and down the street to the gas station and buying beer.There is occasionally a supervisor on site who tells them things like "When you get that laid down you hammer it. Now you hammer it. With the hammer, son, not like that, with the blunt end" and then they all laugh because the boss man said "blunt". The beer is finished the roof is <i>not</i>. Right now in fact, they are sitting on the porch of the house drinking more beer and being loud and the roof is still not finished, I don't know what they could possibly be celebrating - and I have my doubts they are celebrating the Rangers victory.

I have a feeling that place is going to end up with several rather creatively placed  "sun lights" and the fact that the roof will double as a spaghetti strainer will just make the whole house just that much more marketable when the time comes.

Yesterday, I asked the very nice,  professional handy man  while he was installing  my Thank You Jesus new sump pump about those workmen down the street and he called them "Jack Legs" and told me about the beer runs . He also just had a new roof put on his place and you can be damn sure there was no on the job learning or porch sitting or drinking at his place either.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Winding Down

I think my  office TV might be on its way out, the tube is about out of steam.  I'm <i>pretty</i> sure that commercial tomaoto sauce is not <i>green</i>. I also don't think that there is a lot of violet and neon green in the  Italian countryside, not to say that they are too tasteful for violet and neon green, I just don't think that the sky is neon green there or the trees violet

. Clearly, I am going to have to fix this situation, I have a TV upstairs I'm not using because the satellite people are being obstinate about fixing the broken cable that snapped during the storm last April. They seem to be convinced that all I need to do is mess with the remote adequately and magically my service upstairs will be returned to normal. I tell them the cable is <i>snapped</i>,  I can see it outside my window but they persevere in the notion that they do not have to send a technician out and that whatever is wrong is wrong because I pressed the wrong button on the remote. Yes, I pressed the TORNADO button on accident. Dickbags.

Speaking of things that are green, I'm pretty sure that the beans are done. I didn't harvest at all Sunday, and on Monday when I went out,  instead of another day of Green Bean Christmas, I scored <i>eight</i>. Eight green beans is what I was "harvesting" back before I went on vacation, before I experienced Green Bean Christmas Season. This weekend I am going to start the process of pulling the plants up and out, It is going to be arduous but I also need to get the garden tilled before I plant the over wintering ground cover in and I can't do that before the beans are gone.

It makes me sad to think about it. The plants were so green and vigorous this summer but now they are aging badly. They were Jen Garner but now the have morphed into Lindsey Lohan. I think I'm going to just shred the vines up and drop the leaves back in the garden, they seem to rot away really neatly and I'm sure add lovely plant material back into the soil.

It makes me a little sad that the bag of beans I have in the refrigerator is the last batch for this year. I did try some of the frozen ones for  Sunday dinner and they were really nice, I of course, steamed them too long but other than that, they were tasty. And by the by, they <i>do</i> taste different that the frozen factory bags o'beans you buy in the store. Humph.

The watermelons are  still soldering on but I'm not sure how long they are going to last either. I have two left and every day I snap off flowers and bean melons to help the plants focus whatever energy they have left on the two adolescent melons. I've noticed the vines are getting a little peaky and that can't be good for the fruits. The weather is rapidly cooling off as well and I don't think that melons are really excited about seeing the leaves change. They might be harvested sooner than I had planned, if so I'm voting they become ice cream.

Monday, October 3, 2011

do the right thing.
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How to make Watermelon BBQ Sauce

First, find a recipe , one that isn't this one <i>unless</i> prefer sweet, ultra mild BBQ sauce that without intersession would double nicely as a marinade or an aperitif. Otherwise, do more research on common recipes and see about adding watermelon to them.

Anyway. Second, get a watermelon, preferably a big one.

And then start chopping and seeding <i>6 pounds of watermelon</i> . I'm thinking now that it would be smarter to pulp the watermelon prior to putting on the heat, I believe that it would help it cook down more efficiently and make for a better sauce.

I have no idea if this is 6 pounds but the pot seemed to weigh less than a healthy full term newborn and about half of my cat. By this scientific method, I say 6 pounds. Little known fact, as raw watermelon cooks, it smells like cookie dough.

Its hard to get a weight of a watermelon because the weight includes the rind. The rind is heavy. I do not have a scale in the house and  even if I had a kitchen scale, your average kitchen scale isn't set up for pounds of food.

Next. Cook that watermelon for <i>hours</i>. 2-3 Hours on low. At that point, add the rest of the ingredients ( tomato paste, onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar, dry sherry, lemon juice and liquid smoke). Taste it, panic  because it <i>still</i> tastes like sugar water and add about three tablespoons of cumin and three tablespoons of red pepper flakes. If that is too much spice, add some molasses, if <i>still</i> too mild, add more until you get what you want.

Uncover and cook on medium for an additional three hours. It is messy.

Add corn starch until mixture morphs from a marinade to a sauce. Remove from heat and cool,

Separate into smaller containers and freeze.

Its not a <i>bad</i> sauce. It has an  unoffensive, ultra mild taste that might appeal to a mid western sensibility. I added dried red peppers to it and more garlic and onion powder. I should have added cumin and if I had pepper flakes I would have made liberal use of them. Its a nice sauce, its not going to burn your mouth or take away from the taste of the meat, I found it was very nice in stir fry and was surprisingly good with fish. Send me your snail mail addy and I'll send you some sauce.