Saturday, January 31, 2009

Salesman of the month

Ad at local gun store hails Obama as their salesman of the month. The boss says sales are up 300% since election day. Mostly EBR related stuff (Evil Black Rifles). The rush to stock home armories has extended to other stuff too -- like reloading supplies.

I went looking for a lb of a particular powder to experiment with some new 30-30 loads. It seems there's an overlap between powder with burn rates suitable for 30-30 loading and the .223 (5.56mm) loads popular in AR-15's.

The local shop was cleaned out.
"Any Varget in stock?" asked I.
"Nope."
"W748?" "Nope."
"3031?" "Nope."
"Reloader 15?" "Nope."
"BL-C(2)?" "Nope."
"AA2460?" "Nope."

"Shipment due Wednesday." says the gunstore clerk.
"OK, thanks." says I.

I headed off to the range to see what they had in stock.

Right off the cuff, the (National Trap team member) sales girl knew my first choice, Varget, was out of stock.
"How about Reloader 15?"
"I'll check in back" said she.

She came back with 2 lbs. "This is all we've got."
"Sold!" says I. "I'll take a bag of 7 1/2 shot while I'm at it."


Yee-hah. Even at inflated retail prices I was a happy camper. I've gotten spoiled buying in bulk for Powder Valley. Reckon I better get to thinking about another bulk order -- need to see about lining up reloader friends at work and in the area to spread the shipping and hazmat costs around.

Friday, January 30, 2009

At the reloading bench...

The Brown truck of happiness came today. Dropped off a box of 100 Hornady .308 160gr FTX bullets. aka The new soft/flex tip "Leverevolution" bullets.



I'm running out of excuses to finish some 30-30 loads; just need to find suitable powder in stock locally. That's been a bit tricky lately since the Obama-run-on-guns&ammo started.

Also brought a replacement cutter for my Lee case trimmer. Lost track of the 20+ year old one when I moved from old portable loading cabinet to new bench last year.

Down in Mey-hee-co

Looks like people are gettin' a mite skittish south of the border...

video

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hose 'er down Newt!

Three times a day. Takes a good 20 - 30 minutes to soak it. Gotta keep that concrete curing.

This thing is a huge sponge. It's remarkable how much water the concrete sucks in before anything starts running off. In no time at all it's white and dry again.

Took this shot early this morning.

It's been brisk baby. Down in the high 30's in the morning. Wonder how long till I trip and break my neck stepping around stakes, ditches and changing elevations all the while juggling the hose and a cup o' joe.

Gotta have my coffee doncha know? ;-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wired up

Electrical work around the pool today. Subpanels got installed and wired up. The large one is where we'll pull power for RV hookups and (hoped for) new shop later.



Pool light wired and ready. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall...


Electrical underground inspection set for tomorrow. Hopefully get approval to fill up the trenches.

Something good bound to come out of it...

This from Les Jones at "A Bouquet of Weeds"...
The only reason we don’t have inflation now is that the banks aren’t releasing the money. In small part, that’s because fewer qualified people want to borrow, now that everyone realizes we’re in a serious recession. In larger part, though, it’s because the banks are afraid to loan out the money for fear it won’t be paid back. Too, many banks are essentially insolvent right now, if what Jim Rogers says is true. They’re hoarding the cash for a bailout of themselves rather than others.




more...

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's a wrap

Looking uphill at the raised bondbeam. The deck on that side is about 2' above the waterline. The wall is notched for the pool cover track.



Cleaning up...



Nothing left but the crying -- and the payin' :-)

1330 update

Entry steps taking shape.



Spa face built out now. Had it notched for water fall/bypass to clear the pool cover.



Pool bottom half done...


Keep them trucks a rolling. We're on the homestretch.

1130 update

Have to notch back of the cover box wall -- got formed up about 3" or so oversized. The notch will allow us to pour deck right up to the finished dimension of the 26" pool cover deckplates. The long sides are being notched for pool cover tracks as well.


The cover box is mostly done now. Just a wee bit of steel still showing at the west end.They're detailing the inside of it and the inset box on the uphill side for the cover shaft trunnion. Meantime the mud is setting up a bit and will be ready to build up the actual bondbeam across the water line at the end.


Hottub anyone?



Nazzo fast, Guido. That tub's still got a major leak to plug.

10:00 update (Devil is in the details)

The tricky part of this is getting the concrete details correct for the pool cover. The cover is an automatic underedge style that pulls back into an underdeck box at the west end. This rectangular appendage at the end will be the cover box.

Here one of the crew is back in the cover box making changes to position of guidewires they use for reference while screeding the mud.

Thankfully the pool cover rep and excavating/pool contractor were on hand to clarify and communicate with the concrete crew. A couple adjustments to wall thickness on the cover box had to be made. Also a drain, electrical conduit and a couple bonding/ground wires were missed by the rough plumber in cover box.

Other than that they're back to cooking on gas now.
The cover box is shaping up.


North wall taking shape...


Getting started on the spa...

Monday morning, cold steel

There's a cold wet weather front coming on. The shotcrete crew showed up at first light to make final prep for shooting the pool. Jackets and gloves are necessary this morning. Not the SoCal experience most folks imagine. The concrete is due any minute now...


Elsewhere on the lot it's apple blossom time already. My phone camera doesn't do the buds delicate form and vibrant color justice. If I think of it I'll try getting down there later for a shot with a proper camera.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Living life Knees First.

Paw Paw led by example -- to church today to pray for our country and it's leaders.

yep, done that today myself.

Now I'll be off to the reloading bench and perhaps even the range.

Gotta put feet to those prayers dotcha know?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Back on track

We're on schedule to shoot the pool Monday (weather permitting). It looked doubtful we'd be able to hold schedule after that inspector wrote his recall notice.

Well, he should be embarrassed -- and we taxpayers chagrined. He agreed that not only did he mix up north/south twice in his notes, but, he was wrong on all 4 items he gigged. We got the go ahead to proceed without any rework. That's like a 0.000 batting average. Not even the Padres would keep him around.

Of course at the County they'll just move him to work another area when the complaints pileup. Apparently, this guy in notorious among contractors. He only makes it about 4-5 months in a given area 'til he gets moved again. They didn't know til now that he'd rotated back to our area again.

Heaven forbid he should lose his job.

Our tax dollars at work. /heh

Friday, January 23, 2009

You can't make this stuff "up"

This came through on one my work related/technical forums. The NTC (non-technical content) flows heavily on Fridays...

Hey, even engineers need a periodic brain flush. Make that, ESPECIALLY engineers.

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce .

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.


5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.


6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.


7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present .


8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.


9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.


10) I did not object to the object.


11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.


12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row


13) They were too close to the door to close it.


14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.


15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.


16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.


17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.


18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.


19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.


20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?



Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England or French
fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted.
But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.


And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not
one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and
get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?


If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be
committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?


How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.


English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.


Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' ?



You lovers of the English language
might enjoy this .


There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.'


It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report


We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the
silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.


And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.


We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP ! To be knowledgeable about the
proper uses of UP , look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP . When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn't r ain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so it is time to shut UP!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oh my achin'...

Inspector came and went today on the pool's rebar and bonding inspection. He didn't sign the card. Instead wrote up 4 nonsense items -- mostly steel. On top of that he couldn't get any North/South descriptions straight. It's a pretty easy thing to figure on our lot. The guy has a reputation. The steel and plumbing contractors just slapped their heads when I told them the inspector's name.

Gigged the plumber for doing the drain exactly right. If he wasn't sure all he had to do was brush an inch of dirt back to prove it. Lazy, contentious and several other descriptors immediately come to mind... /ahem

Got the steel contractor after him to explain how to read the table of required steel for elevated bond beam with slope surcharge and to point out to him that it's a pool cover box not an overflow channel (no disappearing edge anywhere in sight what on earth was he smoking?).

Baaaaaah, Lord willing we'll get reinspect/release in time for shotcrete to stay on schedule for Monday. More rain on the way. Longsuffering... Faith...

In other areas, bit off too much tonight in a Bible Study. Recently started meeting once a week with some young men from church for a study of basic Bible doctrines. We're using a course of the same name for our study. We do the study on our own in advance and then meet to review and discuss the quiz at the end. Well, Chapters 1 and 2 had fit well in our alloted time the first coupla' weeks.

Chapter 3? Not so much.

It's a survey course (and a reader's digest version at that), but still, covering arguments for the existence of God, essential attributes of God and doctrine of the Trinity in one sitting? Yeah, it was a bit much.

Benched.

Thought I'd be off to the range at some point on Inaugeration Day to exercise a freedom in (what may be) it's twilight. Chest cold and low grade fever changed that plan. Benched me for the day.

Speaking benches...
I did make it to the reloading bench though. Made a bit of a pile.

Those piles of lead and brass goodness should be enough to make a hoplophobe squirm.

Done with 45 ACP for now. As you might discern I'm breaking down that press setup.

Next up? Develop some 30-30 loads for the Cowboy Assault Rifle. Which is of course "All the Gun You'll Ever Need."

Still cheaper than therapy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'll have Nun of that!

A NUN WAS SITTING AT THE AIRPORT, WAITING FOR HER FLIGHT TO CHICAGO ..

SHE LOOKED OVER IN THE CORNER AND SAW ONE OF THOSE WEIGHT MACHINES THAT TELLS YOUR FORTUNE AND THOUGHT TO HERSELF, 'I'LL GIVE IT A TRY AND SEE WHAT IT TELLS ME.'

SHE WENT OVER TO THE MACHINE, STEPPED UP ON THE SCALE AND PUT HER NICKEL IN, OUT CAME A CARD THAT READ, 'YOU ARE A NUN, YOU WEIGH 128 LBS, AND YOU ARE GOING TO CHICAGO .'

THE NUN SAT BACK DOWN. SHE TOLD HERSELF THAT THE MACHINE PROBABLY GIVES THE SAME CARD TO EVERYONE. THE MORE SHE THOUGHT ABOUT IT THE MORE CURIOUS SHE GOT SO SHE DECIDED TO TRY IT AGAIN.


SHE WENT BACK TO THE MACHINE AND AGAIN PUT HER NICKEL IN, AND OUT CAME A CARD THAT READ: 'YOU ARE A NUN, YOU WEIGH 128 LBS, YOU ARE GOING TO CHICAGO AND YOU ARE GOING TO PLAY A FIDDLE.'

THE NUN SAYS TO HERSELF, 'I KNOW THAT IS WRONG, I HAVE NEVER PLAYED A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT EVEN ONCE IN MY LIFE.' SHE SAT BACK DOWN.

FROM OUT OF NOWHERE A COWBOY CAME OVER AND SAT DOWN, PUTTING HIS FIDDLE CASE ON THE SEAT BETWEEN THEM. WITHOUT THINKING, SHE OPENED THE COWBOY'S CASE, TOOK OUT THE FIDDLE, AND STARTED PLAYING BEAUTIFUL MUSIC. SURPRISED AT WHAT SHE HAD DONE, SHE LOOKED OVER AT THE MACHINE, THINKING, 'THIS IS INCREDIBLE, I'VE GOT TO TRY THIS AGAIN.'

BACK TO THE MACHINE SHE WENT, PUT IN ANOTHER NICKEL, AND ANOTHER CARD CAME OUT. IT READ, 'YOU ARE A NUN, YOU WEIGH 128 LBS , YOU ARE GOING TO CHICAGO AND YOU ARE GOING TO BREAK WIND.' NOW SHE KNOWS THE MACHINE IS WRONG, AS SHE THOUGHT TO HERSELF, 'I'VE NEVER BROKEN WIND IN PUBLIC A SINGLE TIME IN MY LIFE.' BUT GETTING DOWN OFF THE MACHINE SHE SLIPPED, AND AS SHE WAS STRAINING TO KEEP HERSELF FROM FALLING TO THE FLOOR, SHE BROKE WIND. ABSOLUTELY STUNNED, SHE SAT BACK DOWN AND LOOKED AT THE MACHINE. SHE SAID TO HERSELF, 'THIS IS TRULY REMARKABLE. I'VE GOT TO TRY THIS AGAIN.'

SHE WENT BACK TO THE MACHINE, PUT IN ANOTHER NICKEL, AND ANOTHER CARD CAME OUT. IT READ, 'YOU ARE A NUN, YOU WEIGH 128 LBS, YOU HAVE FIDDLED AND FARTED AROUND AND MISSED YOUR FLIGHT TO CHICAGO ..

Done and gone...

...by lunch. The steel guys wrapped up and stole away in a hurry before noon. Yeah, bad pun but I've got a fever -- cut me some slack.


Here it is from downhill side. This shows the elevated bond beam on the uphill side. That side and the upper walk will finish 2' above the waterline. I'm guessing it'll be popular jumping off spot for younger kids.

They jumped right on it

Steel crew showed up bright and early this morning. This was scheduled as a "dark day" in case we needed more time to finish the dig. I left a voicemail late yesterday informing the dig was complete. It was a pleasant surprise to see them in the hole at 0700. Everyone is hungry/happy for work now days. Happy to do my part for the economy and velocity of money flow.

By 0830 they already have made a lot of progress...

Monday, January 19, 2009

First rule of holes?

Quit diggin'


Finished the up the hole today.

Gained about a 100yds of dirt to add to the lower slope.

A 100yds makes some piles. About half of it showing here.


Leveling off and compacting more playfield area.


This doesn't do justice to the sidehill slope we're dealing with...



I need some more down there but first I'll have to figure how how wall I want to build/trade for slope. Comes down to weighing benefit of increasing field space vs retaining wall cost.

Rebar is next up. Rain's forecast later in the week. Need to get(re)mitigating erosion. We'll be busy putting wattles and sandbags back into place and guessing how the new earthforms will flow water/silt.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pool day 2

Well, actually end of day 1's work at sunrise on day 2.



It'll be quiet till Monday. They just have to add a bit more depth and finish digging sides and corners.

Perhaps not coincidentally the pool's 16'x36' dimenision fits the Golden Ratio (9:4).

All the dirt is going below onto the play field to get it all at same level. We should have close to enough for that task (about 100 yds) but prolly not quite enough.

Diesel tech

I just don't hear Sven and Ole jokes down here in So Cal. So, when I came across this joke recently I enjoyed it. The joke also sent me unexpectedly on a trip down memory lane.

Sven and Ollie had been buddies for many years and one day when they reported for work, they discovered to their distress that their factory was closing on that next Friday.

On Monday we find them both standing in line at the unemployment office, signing up for unemployment payments.

The unemployment clerk said to Sven, "What job did you have?"

Sven said, "I vas a panty sewer. I sewed the elastic on the panties."
Kinks T-Shirts

"OK," says, the clerk. "I'll set you up for a payment of two hundred dollars per week."

Then she turns to Ollie and says, "And, what job did you have?"

Ollie says, "I vas a diesel fitter."

"Ok," says the clerk, "I'll set you up for a payment of four hundred dollars a week."

"Four Hundred Dollars," yells Sven. "How come he gets four hundred dollars and I only got two hundred dollars?"

"Well," said the clerk, "he is a diesel fitter, that's a much more mechanical job, harder work handling piping and welding and all. So, he gets more money."

"Vhat do you mean," says Sven. " I sew the elastic on the panties, and pulls 'em over his head and says, 'Dese'll fit 'er'."


/rimshot
Thanks folks, you've been a great audience. I'll be here all week. Be sure to try the prime rib special.


Before I left the Pacific NW to seek my fortune and adventure in Uncle Sam's Yacht Club I worked a couple years with some old boys at a service station. I'd pick up from them in the afternoon after my A&P classes at the local Voc-Tech.

They were story and joke tellers like we just don't see anymore in this age of diminishing conversation and "always on" media.

One of them, Stan(the owner), was a Swedish Immigrant -- a WWII Swedish Air Force Vet. A real American success story and always hopeful for tomorrow and next year: even though he was losing the station at the time due to tailend of Carter's stagflation economy. He could laugh at any time on any day, no matter how bad things were.

There was the oldest of the bunch, John. He was a veteran of the Pacific war. He'd been an Army Reservist in the late 30's and was already a sergeant or staff sergeant when the balloon went up. So, he found himself deployed in the early dark days of WWII while most guys were still trying to sign up. He claimed to have been stationed on Bougainville longer than anyone other troop (13 months if I recollect). Said they called him the Mayor of Bougainville. If I recollect, he'd been a mechanic then too and wound up in charge the Motor Pool and maintanance.

John had lots of stories about crazy times on an island we never fully occupied. The Jap's keep bringing to them from outside the perimeter for the duration. He told of being pushed back to small perimeter along the water by the Japanese at one point.
Dark days. Dark like Helm's Deep dark.

Even when the perimeter expanded and was mostly secure they had to live with shelling and air raids. The US didn't have air superiority. Looking back he saw the humor in many of those situations. Lot's of shenanigans by enlisted guys with too much time on their hands -- some funny stuff. Some sobering stuff too.

Most of the jokes came from Adrian, a grizzled old retired Army Tank mechanic. Adrian was in his early 50's but between the weathered skin, whiskey eyes and missing teeth hillbilly grin he looked like he was 75. He always had a cigarette hanging on at the corner of his lip. Actually it was seemed to be suspended on his lower lip with no apparent means of support or capture by the upper lip. Ol' Adrian was at the same time the grumpy old man, the OC (original curmudgeon), and also the court jester. Like I said, most of the jokes came from Adrian. He had a whole pile of war stories too -- and the scars visible on his body to go with them: stories of frozen marches retreating down the Korean Peninsula, tanks stuck in cesspools in a remote Korean village, wild times in Japan on liberty, keeping the faith on multiple tours in 'Nam and so on.

Outside it all was Old Bill. He's another story. Just an old guy who hung around the station for fellowship -- didn't work there. He'd worked in mills and wasn't a Vet. He didn't have the same perspective and while welcomed in, I sensed he didn't have the connection the other old guys shared. There's a bond between Vets that crosses ages and even countries of service.


Anyhoo, these old boys were joke tellers. So was I. I'd been practicing and annoying family and neighbors since very young with my attempts at joke telling. Well, those ol' boys took me to a whole new level of play. /LOL

Every day there was a new (old) joke) and a different war story. In large part they were just passing the time. In some larger more important way, I realize now they were educating a young "soon to be vet" and passing the torch. I miss those guys.

But I digress... I'm WAAAYYY off track.
That's a long way around to get to the thought/joke that gave rise to this post. In the Seattle area there is a large base of folks who descended from Scandinavian immigrants. Along with that there's a regional flavor to their jokes. Let me put it this way -- "Sven and Ole" are big factors in most jokes. So is "Lena."

I miss that.

I didn't set out writing this to trigger all those memories in myself.

Boy, more than the jokes, I really miss those guys too.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pool: Day 1

Pull a string and...



We're off to the races!


Of course no battle plan survives first contact with enemy -- we'd already made significant changes to the plan by 0900. /heh

All for the better actually.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rock on Bobby!

The transcript of Cal Thomas' interview with Loo-zee-anna Guv'nor Bobby Jindal was posted at WND.

I've noted The Gov a couple times here before:

A Crack of Light
and A Fundamental Right.

Cal covers a lot of ground in a short interview. Bobby's summary of things done in Louisiana during his term makes me salivate (and mourn) thinking about California.

This one on the Republican Party's direction was toward the end of Cal's post.
The Republican Party needs to do two things: One, we need to stop worrying about the Republican Party and start worrying about our country. Second, we need to stop worrying about the messenger and start worrying about substance. We will deserve to be a majority party again when we show the American people we are competent, we truly believe the principles we espouse and we've got relevant solutions to the things they care about, whether it's the economy, health care, international terrorism.

...more

Monday, January 12, 2009

(Another) Burger to Die For

The wedding Saturday was in town at our church. We headed 15 miles or so to East County for the reception. There was a long break while the wedding party had pictures taken (and got thoroughly lost enroute). In the interim we went exploring for a lunch diner/dive out in Lakeside.

We scored at a no-name joint on the Lakeside main drag. They're stuffed in between a car wash, custom fishing pool store and steel contractor (same one we're using on our pool). The parking lot was full at mid-afternoon. That was all the decision support I needed when I spotted it.

Wah-hoo-ah! The bacon and avocado burger was a winner.



TWSO flipped for the onion rings I got myself. She did my waistline a favor by swiping more than a few. Best ever -- she said. Yeah, they were good. I liked them just fine. She likes 'em softer/better cooked than I do.

I'll keep Angelos in my personal stop slot. I like mine naaasty!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Doin' the (Saturday) hustle

Off to another wedding today. Gotta be there -- minor part in the opening...

Meantime we hustled up and got something going with the bareroot fruit trees I picked up.


We got them stripped of the packaging and started soaking them. We should have time (D.V.) to get them in the ground after the wedding reception and before nightfall.

Bosco supervised.

Also, transplanted the tomatoes from peat starter plugs up a notch to small pots/cups.


Got the holes dug and waiting on the lower 40 for the trees. More pix to follow.

Man it that soil sweet. It's as nice as you'll ever see out here on the coast. It's got 40-50 years of organic buildup from being an avocado grove. If you haven't seen 'em avocados lay down a heavy mulch of leaves the just builds and builds over the years. It keeps the weeds down and holds moisture for their network of shallow roots. Should make for nice soil for the next generation -- these stone fruit and apples.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Burger to Die for

My favorite burger place, Hodad's, is in San Diego's Ocean Beach neighborhood. For my money they've got the best burgers (single bacon cheese please) and 2nd best onion rings in town. Best onion rings honors goes to Angelo's up in North County on the PCH. You might call it different on the O'rings and I'd understand.



Excuse my French, but, if that ain't the closest thing to sex in a plastic basket I don't know what is.

If you like purty perfectly formed onion rings then you might vote Hodad's the top spot. Hey, they put a consistently excellent onion ring on the table. Me? I like my onion rings nasty, varied, misshapen and with funky flavors from sharing the deepfryer with the Greek and Baja-Cali-Mex stuff Angelos also serves. All served up in a grease soaked brown paper lunch sack. Yeah BABY!!! Call 911. Get me a cardiologist!

Well, this burger joint vid from Arizona got sent along by an old buddie.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Looks like I might have to head east to do a proper comparison with Hodad's burgers.

Anyone up for a roadtrip?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Puckered up for Pickles.

Just thinking about home canned pickles and my mouth waters...


My adopted grandma was the mad pickler of Cooks Hill. She put up an amazing qty of pickles each year well into her 70's. Everyone wanted to be on her Xmas gift list. Between her pickles and sweets she made a great gift basket. Her fudge and dip chocolates were legendary too. She'd worked as a confectioner as a young woman in the 20's and 30's before losing the farm in the dustbowl and moving west. Oh my achin' arteries...

I can't even remember all the types of pickles she'd put up: dill, sweet, bread & butter, cocktail...

If I recollect the whole back wall of her 2 car garage was floor to ceiling 10" shelve cabinets of pickles. Down one side wall were cabinets with other preserves (fruits, jellies, jams, etc).

How many cukes mounds did she plant? I don't trust my memory that well and you'd think I was crazy if I told you the number I'm thinking.

Spring thru fall she worked all day in her flower and vegetable gardens. We'd sometimes get paid with a giant dill pickle for helping her trim the Iris or for wheeling mulch/sawdust out into the flower beds.

Those dills were to die for. Don't ever bite one unless you wanted it to bite you right back. My older sis has promised to send that recipe my way.

An online acquantance sent along this note:
Great pickle recipe...

Do what you have to prep them and into quart sealers place 3 sprigs of fresh dill, 4 whole garlic cloves and vinegar (White Pickling)...Kosher Dills...but they have to sit, darkened space for at least two weeks longer then any other dills...One aunt adds a teaspoon of sugar as well...try both ways and see which you prefer!

After eating all the cukes from the jar, blanche cabbage leaves and put into the leftover brine and wait 5 to 7 days--Sauerkraut...You can do this two maybe three times then the potency is faded…then take out the garlic cloves and eat them while drinking the juice…very healthy!

I'm having for lunch both cabbage and pickles with venison burgers, homemade ketchup, relish and mustard but store bought tomatoes and lettuce...


He's Jewish so I'm guessing they'd be tasty AND kosher. :-)

The Sunday Collection Plate: Vegas Style

LAS VEGAS CHURCHES ACCEPT GAMBLING CHIPS!!!


THIS MAY COME AS A SURPRISE TO THOSE OF YOU NOT LIVING IN LAS VEGAS , BUT THERE ARE MORE CATHOLIC CHURCHES THAN CASINOS.

NOT SURPRISINGLY, SOME WORSHIPPERS AT SUNDAY SERVICES WILL GIVE CASINO CHIPS RATHER THAN CASH WHEN THE BASKET IS PASSED.

SINCE THEY GET CHIPS FROM MANY DIFFERENT CASINOS, THE CHURCHES HAVE DEVISED A METHOD TO COLLECT THE OFFERINGS.

THE CHURCHES SEND ALL THEIR COLLECTED CHIPS TO A NEARBY FRANCISCAN MONASTERY FOR SORTING AND THEN THE CHIPS ARE TAKEN TO THE CASINOS OF ORIGIN AND CASHED IN.



THIS IS DONE BY THE CHIP MONKS.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Spring's hopes and dreams

Looks like 3/4's of my Roma tomato seeds took off and have a good chance of making it.


Picked out several bareroot fruit trees to plant in the spots we prepared in the lower lot. It's cooler down there so I'll locate these (apple, peach, plum) down there. Need to make sure we get them enough chill to produce fruit.

I'm especially excited to get the apple tree in (memories of growing up in Western WA). This tree has 3 different varieties grafted in (Beverly Hills, Fuji and Einschimer). We'll definitely get enough chill every year for the Beverly Hills. Dunno about the other two.

Next up to start seeds will be the pickling cucumbers. The Divine Miss M is really enthused about making pickles. Big Sister is sending down Grandma's recipes. Need to get a bit closer to hot weather for the cukes to start.

Of course hope springs eternal so I was pleased to see the Brown Truck of Happiness had dropped off the new canning pot.


Meantime I have my young handyman helper getting started on water lines on the lower lot. Just wrote a check for over $700 for pipe, fittings, hose bibs etc. Ouch. Need to run almost 1400' of 1" Schedule 40 pipe to get in separate supply lines for irrigation, hose bibs and 3rd line in case we get an opportunity to hook into a well down below. That's a lot of pipe.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Video lessons for Parents: part deux

Sometimes I amaze even me. If a piece of video cam hardware isn't foolproof, I'll be the fool to prove it.

We were up in the high desert yesterday for a nephew's wedding. He's a young Zoomie working on C-130's who burned a weekend of liberty to marry his hometown sweetie. Then hustle back to duty on Tuesday. At least he was able to get a 3 day pass for the occasion.

The Divine Miss M was asked to sing during the ceremony. I groaned when I first heard the song selection played on the vocal track CD. It sounded to me like any number of forgettable going_nowhere_John Tess-ish_early_90's_sentimental_kumbyeyah songs. Well, I was more than pleasantly surprised to hear Megan's interpretation of the song while the young couple took communion. I was wow'd by her -- and I hear her all the time. Sometimes I forget what a special gift she has.

That's the good news.

The rest of the story is that halfway through her singing as I recorded video the screen flashed "memory full" and the camera switched off record mode. Ayyyeeeee!!!

Not Again!


stream of consciousness...
Mind races. I'm going straight the doghouse. Do not collect $200. Do not pass go. Get comfortable for a long stay and a lifetime of reminders of this mess-up. Arrrggghhhhhh

Check the memory. Yup. That's the only file.
How could that possibly have filled up a 2 GB memory card? I don't understand! Check other directorys of still photos and straight audio. Yup. All empty too? What in the world? Dang, Dang, DANG!
She's still singing. Oh that's sounding good. Look at folks responding....

Is the memory card installed? Yep, it's there.
Oh, no. It's not fully seated. Duh-oh....

...end stream of consciousness


So as I write this I'm uploading another partial performance of Megan's to Youtube...

/heh

Someday we'll laugh. For now the Son&Heir and I are the only ones who know. Let's hope the wedding videographer can get us a copy of the ceremony.,

Finally finished the upload...

Friday, January 2, 2009

In light of the current distress

How then should we live?

I've been a bit quiet here on the blog. It's not just the business of the holiday season. It's more the result of being in a reflective mood; eval'ing the way I've prioritized life and activities. You find time for what you love, no?

What do I love? What am I spending my time on? Where is my heart (ergo, treasure)?

Is my time being spent on stuff worthy of my love and life? Sounds like a question for the Preacher. "Vanity of vanities, thus saith the Preacher..." Ol' Sol wrote a whole book on that thread.

Speaking of preachers, we had an old friend, a preacher visiting from planet Houston, deliver the New Year's message last Sunday. He's past the 60 yr mark now and based on the quality of his life, character, and especially the evidence in his grown children's lives -- he is worth listening to.

(How'z that for an awkward, run-on sentence?) Parse it if you can.

He spoke from I Peter 4:7-10. It has been a encouragement to me this week and is along the lines my thinking has been developing -- turn anxiety into action. Thought I'd recap his sermon points here in case either of my readers might care.

What I took away from his preaching was to replace fretting with action: to make ourselves available to the Spirit's prompting to live love.

Peter 4:7-11 (New International Version)s
7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.
8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.


The question the Preacher posed to us was "In light of the current distress/end of all things being near -- how then should we live?"

He responded by calling attention to 5 points for action in the passage.
1. Let us be clear minded and self controlled v7
2. Devote ourselves to prayer v7
3. Have fervent love for one another (love that stretches to cover)
4. Use Hospitality v9, (The love of strangers) Heb 13:1
5. Serve one another. Use your gift(s). v 10


Finally, I'd add the next verse that completed Peter's paragraph.
I Peter4:11
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Global Warming?

We could use some. Not the coldest December we've had here in our part of SoCal but it's surprisingly cool.

Here's something we don't see too often down here. Yesterday after lunch this ice was dumped out of a cooler. Next day lunch time -- still there.



Interesting thread yesterday at Lex's place on earth temps and solar activity. Link