Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sweet, sweet victory game food porn

Sorry for all you Patriots fans out there, but the Packers got it done. Argue this, argue that, when the final score was tallied, the Patriots fell short. Works for me.

So did the game food. We got it done, one dish at a time. First, because Marrying Into Wolves was here first, we did the veggie tray:

Next out were the skins, of course:

Once Cpl. Wolves got home, it was time to get dinner-like. So, in short order, we trotted out some onion straws and dip:

Some bacon cheeseburger  macaroni and cheese:

and some shaved steak sliders. Shaved beef, provolone cheese, served on a dinner roll. Mmmmmm:

All in all, can't complain.

Game food is coming, but first, a little victory dance

OK, the Packers' game went well. How do I know? First of all, this is Patriots QB Tom Brady's reaction to something during the game:

In case you can't tell, that's Brady yelling "fuck" repeatedly, and it is not the only time he did so on this nationally broadcast game. Yeah, That works for me. Final score: Packers 26, Patriots 21.

This is why Emperor Barry I has a teleprompter

Mostly because, when he doesn't use it he says something really fucking stupid, meaning the truth. Thanks to The Weekly Standard, we know that Emperor Barry I knows that he is legislating without the benefit of the legislature:

In case you can't hear, here is the transcription from The Weekly Standard:
"All right, OK. OK. I understand," Obama told the protesters after letting them go on for some time. "Listen. Hold on, hold on, hold on. Young lady, young lady, don't just -- don't just start -- don't just start yelling, young ladies. Sir, why don't you sit down, too?
"Listen, you know -- here. Can I just say this, all right? I've listened to you. I heard you. I heard you. I heard you. All right? Now I have been respectful, I let you holler. All right? So let me just -- nobody is removing you. I have heard you, but you have got to listen to me, too. All right? And I understand you may disagree, I understand you may disagree. But we have got to be able to talk honestly about these issues, all right?
"Now, you're absolutely right that there have been significant numbers of deportations. That's true. But what you are not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law."
Oh, yeah. "I just took an action to change the law." He knows damn well what he's doing, and he doesn't give two shakes of a rat's ass if the Constitution allows it. Just in case Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who is overseeing the efforts to listen in on Americans' phone calls and emails doesn't understand how I feel about this: Yo, Clapper, blow me. And Fuck Barry while you're at it.

I expect to be audited by the IRS at some point in the coming year.

Liberals versus conservatives, kitchen edition

I had a device used to fry bacon in the microwave. It got dropped, landed on a corner and cracked. Since it would no longer keep the bacon grease from leaking out, it was useless to me and I tossed it. I still had a similar device, only this one is round. It quickly became apparent that in a bacon-intensive household such as this one, two such devices were needed.

Not one to leave a need unmet, I went to a major national chain's local store that sells products for the kitchen, bedroom bathroom and, um, beyond into other stuff. They had exactly one type of device designed for cooking bacon in the microwave. (Actually, they literally had only one device period, a single example of the only type they offered.) I was unimpressed, as it looked like a Rube Goldberg machine:

Apparently it involved driving a spear through the bacon to cook it hanging on its side. This sounded like something that would take all day to set up. So I went to a mass-market store that liberals love to hate -- oh, fuck it, I went to Walmart. For considerably less than half what the other unworkable device cost, I bought this:

It is a clone of the bacon microwaver I already had and like (not the square one that broke). It is indestructible and easy to use. Conservatives love things that are inexpensive, easy to use and get the job done, be it in the kitchen or government. Liberals like bells and whistles and a big show, and fuck whether it actually works, or costs too much, or any of that shit, as long as it showcases their good intentions. Well, while a liberal is trying to microwave his bacon in that other thing, I will have long since finished eating the bacon I cooked in my new bacon microwaver. The same approach works with government, too -- simpler, less and cheaper is better. Word.

Getting ready for the game

The Packers take on the Patriots at 4:25 pm Eastern today, and a lot of people are calling it a Super Bowl preview. They are getting ahead of themselves, as both teams have a lot of football ahead of them before the playoffs even start. However, it's not a crazy idea. Even so, this game is nowhere near as big for the Packers as last week's game against the Vikings. Yes, the Vikings are mediocre, but they have a good defence, they were at home, and losing to them would have given the Lions a leg up on the division record tiebreaker. Packers took care of business, so we actually can afford to lose this one. Don't think we will, and certainly don't want to, but we can.

Anyway, the emergency backup auxiliary dog is ready for the game, wearing her Packers sweater hours ahead of time:

As you can see from this wider shot, she is lying atop the sofa in front of the Packers shrine, which includes items from my pilgrimage to Lambeau Field, an Aaron Rodgers action figure, Packers coasters, the flag, stein and football that are obvious, and other stuff that is hidden by the stuff you can see:

Yes, I'm probably crazy when it comes to the Packers. And as Christmas approaches, several other items will join the shrine. Look forward to an update.

A little post-Thanksgiving weekend food porn for you

Still in leftovers mode a little, at least as far as lunch goes, but did original food last night and test drove a recipe that likely will make the Thanksgiving cut next year. It was supposed to be a go this year, but it requires fixing it right at the end, and I was too busy. We'll see how that plays next year. I think I could have fit it in, but my turkey was late. Anyway, I fixed it last night, and Mrs. Wolves deemed it a keeper. So here goes.

Start with some bacon, two tablespoons of butter, a pound of Brussels sprouts:

Chop your onion, people, and sautee it up right:

Take those Brussels sprouts and cut them in half, also trimming the stems:

Cook about four full strips of bacon (more if you like, and who doesn't?) and crumble that stuff up:

Toss the sprouts into the pan with the onion once the onions are starting to get soft:

Keep cooking over medium heat until the sprouts are turning golden and the onions are carmelizing, then toss in the bacon, mix it up right, season to taste with salt and pepper, cook it all a little more and serve immediately:

Now eat, people. Bon appetit.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I can't decide whether I should be surprised a Frenchman invented this

I guess we've all known someone who believed their farts smelled like roses. Well, just in time for Christmas, now they can. The perfect gift for the truly flatulent among our friends is finally here:
A Frenchman has developed a range of pills aimed at making people’s flatulence smell sweeter - of chocolate or of roses - which he says will make the perfect Christmas present. . . .
For this year’s festive season he has added a new product to the range which he has titled “The Father Christmas fart pill that gives your farts the scent of chocolate.”
 Frankly, I'm having a hard time believing this would actually work. I have no intention of purchasing these, as my farts already smell like roses, but I suppose Cpl. Wolves might benefit from a bottle of these pills. In case you feel moved that way, check it out:
The pills are sold on the internet under the Lutin Malin (Crafty Imp) website and have been approved by health authorities, according to Christian Poincheval, who is based in the village of Gesvres in western France.
 Bon appettit, I guess.

Friday, November 28, 2014

I would be remiss if I did not post some Thanksgiving food porn

And heaven knows I don't want to be remiss. Naturally, then, I am bringing you an (incomplete) Thanksgiving food porn post. Naturally, I am hoping that pr0n posts will help shake the blog out of its holiday traffic slump. It's not horrific, but it is enough to make me use words like porn, fuck and pr0n in hopes of duping the perverts out there. Anyway, we debuted a new dish this year, a green bean casserole. It started with green beans, of course. You can use canned, frozen, or fresh -- three 14.5 oz. cans, 3 14.5 oz. packages or about 2-1/2 pounds of fresh beans. I went with canned, for convenience:

Anyway, you put the green beans in a casserole dish, chop up a half-pound of bacon and spread it on top. The recipe called for a full pound, but that seemed like overkill:

Spread the chopped bacon over the beans:

Take a half cup of brown sugar and spread it over the bacon:

Then take a stick of butter, melt it and pour that over the whole shooting match:

At some point, you're going to bake that at 350 for 45 minutes, but that will be much later, because is about 9 am on Thanksgiving at this point and you are sticking that sucker in the fridge while you fix other dishes. Some of the those dishes include cooking bacon, which means the emergency backup auxiliary dog will be waiting for some cooked bacon to hit the floor. Toss her some. Reward her patience:

Then fix some stuffed potato skins to put out as a snack during the early football games so people won't starve waiting for dinner:

Some of my work was done Wednesday night, when I made the bread. It must have been OK, because half of one loaf didn't even make it to dinner time:

I also made some pies the night before -- two pumpkin, one apple:

They were pretty freaking good. Once dinner time arrived, I pulled a bunch of side dishes from the oven. The green bean casserole:

 A dish of dressing (if this were in the turkey, it would be stuffing. We had that, too. But if you cook it in a casserole and not in the bird, it is dressing.):

A sweet potato casserole

Corn pudding:

The star of the meal, of course, was the turkey, a 16-pound bird that I brined for 24 hours in a magnificent elixer of soy sauce, rosemary, sage, salt, and water. Alas, I forgot to photograph it in all it's glory before I ripped off the wings and legs:

Fortunately, I photographed said wings and legs, post-removal:

Finally, I made some really bitchin' gravy. It was good:

Nephew Wolves proclaimed this a top-three feast. I've been doing this for better than 30 years, so top three is pretty good. Everyone was pleased, I must say, and we enjoyed the food and the company. I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. Look forward to upcoming Christmas food porn, not to mention game food porn in the coming weeks. Happy Thanksgiving!

No, seriously, I was NOT dreaming of a white Thanksgiving

Of course, we got a white Thanksgiving despite what anyone around here might have been dreaming of. I'm already suffering from a little snow-related post traumatic stress syndrome from last year's endless snowfalls. Now, on Wednesday, we have this winter's first measurable snowfall. We got about 3 inches, which would have been a lot more but the precipitation was ahead of the temperature by about 8 hours, so for that period we got a lot of rain. That made it harder for the snow to stick at first when it finally did turn to snow, but it did turn, and it did stick. Naturally, I have pictures for you. Early on in the storm, I went ahead and too this shot from the front porch:

A little later, I got a shot of Jeb the Wonder Dog out in the snow:

There is no more majestic snow beast than Jeb the Wonder Dog:

A little later, I was out driving a back road that looked surprisingly clear:

I couldn't figure out why the road was not messier until I rounded a curve and saw this ahead of me:

That, children, is a snowplow clearing the road right ahead of me. How fortuitous. Finally, while walking Jeb the Wonder Dog along the cornfield, I took this shot:

Nothing like a little snowfall with nearly a month left in autumn. I've got a feeling we're going to get buried this winter.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Yeah, I think this pretty much sums up Barry's stature in the international community

Emperor Barry I must be asking at this point, "Et tu, Kerry?" The Rodney Dangerfield of international leaders is now getting dissed by his own secretary of state -- and not the former one who hopes to replace him. Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Russian foreign minister recently and, according to the Russian foreign minister, basically told him that Obama is full of shit:
Though it went entirely unnoticed in the Western press, all major Russian news outlets – RIA Novosti, Sputnik, RT, and others – were only too happy to report on what US Secretary of State John Kerry said last week to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in private: “Just ignore Obama’s statements.”
Granted, most of us have known for a good while that Emperor Barry I is full of shit -- hell, even Emperor Barry I knows it (the problem being, of course that he believes "his own bullshit") -- but this apparently came as a surprise to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov:
According to Mr. Lavrov, John Kerry advised him not to pay too much attention to the US President’s harsh rhetoric directed toward his state. As recently as September, during his speech to the 69th UN General Assembly in New York, Mr. Obama puzzled and shocked Mr. Lavrov by placing “Russian aggression in Europe” in second place among the world’s threats, behind only the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, resigning to third place the “brutality of terrorists in Syria and Iraq.” “Aggressive Russia” again was included in Mr. Obama’s world top-danger list during November’s G20 Summit in Australia.
. . .

“Talking to John Kerry,” said Mr. Lavrov in his speech to the State Duma assembly, “I asked him, what did it mean. He said to me: ‘Just ignore it.’ You understand, if this is so serious, then, of course, it is very sad. And he said ‘just ignore it’ because he wanted at that moment to discuss how we were going to co-ordinate our approaches on solving Iran’s nuclear program and on the situation on the Korean peninsula.”
This is what the administration calls "smart power." Leaves me longing for a little good old-fashioned dumb power, where we told our enemies "Don't fuck with us" and they believed it because they knew that 1) we meant it and b) we could back it up with muscle. Now they know we can't back it up, that we wouldn't anyway because we are basically a bunch of pussies (in the White House, anyway) and that we don't actually mean it anyway.

Monday, November 24, 2014

There is a possibility Aaron Rodgers is getting in a dig at the Vikings

Yesterday's game was a return to Earth for the Packers -- surprise, surprise, a road game against a division opponent was a tough one. Still, the Pack came out on top, running the ball down the Vikings' collective throats with Eddie Lacey (a very good sign for cold-weather games ahead). Anyway, Aaron Rodgers had a beverage at his post-game press conference that might have been a shot at the ViQueens:

That's a Grape Crush, kids. Hmmmmmmmm.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Algeria came back, which makes me think I should do something for Algeria

Algeria came by once before and, quite frankly, I gave it short shrift, whatever the fuck that actually means.* Anyway, short shrift, long shrift, whatever, I think I should give Algeria more props, and so I shall.

The People's Republic of Algeria is next to Tunisia in the northeast, then bordered by Libya in the east, in the west by Morocco, in the southwest by Western Sahara, Mauritania, and Mali, in the southeast by Niger, and in the north by the Mediterranean SeaThat's a lot of damn neighbors.

Algeria pumps out oil and gas, which is the main driver of its economy.

*Actually, I'm not the only one wondering. According to The Phrase Finder, Shakespeare came up with the expression, apparently out of thin air:
Shakespeare was the first to write it down, in Richard III, 1594.

RATCLIFF: Dispatch, my lord; the duke would be at dinner:
Make a short shrift; he longs to see your head.
It doesn't appear again in print until 1814, Scott's Lord of the Isles:
"Short were his shrift in that debate. If Lorn encounter'd Bruce!"
That seems an uncommonly long time to wait for a phrase that is in regular use. We can assume that, given the gap, the phrase wasn't part of the language in Shakespeare's day, or for some time afterwards, and that he coined it himself. Some sources cite it as '14th century', but neglect to offer any evidence to support that.
So there you have it.

Pvt. Vera can rest in peace

The wheels of justice really do turn slowly sometimes, but they do turn. Thursday, more than 62 years after he was killed in action in Korea, Pvt. Miguel A. Vera was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. Born in Puerto Rico, his ashes were originally interred there. His nephew, Jose Ramon Rodriguez, himself a Marine, had campaigned for years to have his uncle buried in Arlington. Perhaps coincidentally, Pvt. Vera's valor in combat recently was honored by the nation he served:
Army Pvt. Miguel A. Vera was among 24 soldiers from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars who received the Medal of Honor in March after being previously overlooked because of their racial or ethnic backgrounds.
Vera, who was born in Puerto Rico, was just 17 when he joined the Army. He was serving as an automatic rifleman with Company F, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division in Chorwon, Korea, when he was killed at the Battle of Old Baldy on Sept. 21, 1952.
Even though he was suffering from injuries from a previous battle, Vera voluntarily left the aid station to join his unit in an assault on a well-fortified enemy position on a hill. When he and his men were within 20 yards of the spot, they were suddenly trapped by heavy mortar, artillery and small-arms fire, according to the official citation.
The company retreated, but Vera volunteered to stay behind to provide cover fire. When they returned later that morning, they found Vera dead in the same position, facing the enemy.
Having been awarded the Medal of Honor, burial in Arlington was a given. His nephew was presented with the flag from his coffin as the next of kin. That might not mean much to most people, but I'll bet it meant a lot to Mr. Rodriguez. I would call him by his rank, but I was unable to determine what that was. I nonetheless give him all due respect for the efforts he put in to get his uncle the proper recognition. I don't know why Pvt. Vera originally was not awarded the Medal of Honor -- they don't pass it out like candy, after all -- but it certainly sounds like he deserved it. I'm glad he was awarded the medal, and I am doubly glad his nephew achieved his goal of an Arlington burial. RIP, Pvt. Vera.

Hat tip to Hot Air.

Game food porn, bitches!

Not my kind of game -- I like blowouts, because I can relax -- but the Packers won, so I am happy. The Vikings are going to be a formidable opponent in the future, but for now, we remain triumphant. (I own two shares and am allowed to use "we" when discussing the Packers. I'm an owner, dammit.) Also happy with the game food, which was simple but good. Naturally, we had the stuffed potato skins:

We also did brown sugar bacon-wrapped dogs:

Finally, we threw in the bacon cheeseburger macaroni and cheese:

Contemplated other things, but went with these. I will put up a short food poll later tonight for Thanksgiving Day game food porn. That means, of course, we will have a double dose of food porn Thursday -- game food and Thanksgiving food porn. Couple new recipes on tap for the Thanksgiving food porn this year, so it should be interesting. Stay tuned for the poll!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Emperor Barry I proves who he cares about (Hint: Not you)

The number of people living in poverty is at an all-time high, the percentage of people who have dropped out of the labor force is near an all-time high, job-creation is centered on part-time and low-wage jobs, so what does the president of the United States do? He promises illegal immigrants he won't deport them and, even worse, that he'll give them work permits. Good plan.

And yes, I meant "illegal immigrants." They aren't undocumented. They have documents. Those documents -- passports, ID cards, driver's licenses, birth certificates, whatever -- were issued by other countries, though, before those illegal immigrants came to this country without bothering with the legal immigration system. They are immigrants who are here illegally and are, therefore, necessarily illegal immigrants. So who is more important to the president of the United States -- illegal immigrants or the people actually allowed to legally elect the president? Those people -- the citizens and legal residents of this country -- probably thought the president was elected to look out for Americans. Suckers. What the emperor just did is not immigration "reform" -- it fixes nothing. Nothing. It makes things worse for people who are here legally who can't find a job, or have given up, by making it that much easier for millions of people here illegally to compete for jobs. And who thinks this action won't lead to a leap in illegal immigration, just as the emperor's promise of amnesty for children caused illegal immigrant children to swarm across our borders in record numbers? Show of hands, please. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Coming soon to a Temp Town project near you . . .

It's not often you find a lawyer so incompetent that he might be too awful even for Temp Town, but I believe we have a candidate. From the American Bar Association Journal:
A lawyer who told jurors his capital murder client was a “professional drug dealer” and a “shooter of people” has been disbarred for “inexplicable incompetence.”
Sure, he basically served as a witness for the prosecution during his client's trial -- with the death penalty on the line, no less -- and he made no effort to actually mount a defense of innocence (or even reasonable doubt):
At trial, Hawver described his client, Phillip Cheatham Jr., as a “professional drug dealer” and a “shooter of people,” according to findings of fact cited by the state supreme court. During the sentencing phase of the trial, he said the killer should be executed. “I had a single mitigator to offer the jury in sentencing,” Hawver said in an affidavit, “and that was my argument that my client was innocent.”
Hawver didn’t investigate alibi witnesses and didn’t track his client’s cellphone to find his location at the time of the murders, the court said.
None of that is what makes Kansas lawyer Dennis Haver truly special. Not content to get his client convicted, he also was determined to lose his own hearing on charges of his incompetence, and he did so in a very, um, special way:
The Kansas Supreme Court posted its opinion (PDF) on Friday as well as a video of oral arguments in which Dennis Hawver appeared dressed as Thomas Jefferson.
Yes, you read that correctly: he showed up at his incompetence hearing dressed as Thomas Jefferson, thereby putting himself in danger of being found not merely incompetent as an attorney, but just generally mentally incompetent, as well. I mean, damn, y'all! Naturally, I would not leave you hanging. Here is the video of his hearing. You can skip to 5:17 to see his get-up and, if you really want a treat, watch his argument to the Kansas Supreme Court starting at 22:38:

My only question is, will he dress as Thomas Jefferson when he shows up for his first temp project next week? OK, two questions: is that business casual?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Oh, man, it's Oman!

And that whole Middle East domination by Eff You continues with a first-time visit from Oman. I'm telling you, Eff You is huge in that part of the world. So, let's talk about Oman. The Sultanate of Oman
is an Arab country in Southwest Asia, on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the nation is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam exclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries.

From the late 1600s into the early 20th Century, Oman was a fairly significant regional power, which at its peak in the 1800s controlled territory from Zanzibar (now in Tanzania) in the south to Iran and Pakistan in the north. As it's power decline, Oman fell more under the protection of the British, although it was never a British possession.

A number of ethnic groups live in Oman, but the population is primarily Arabic and Muslim. The country has modest oil reserves. An absolute monarchy, the sultanate has close military ties with the United States and Great Britain.

The Portuguese showed up in 1507 and occupied Muscat, building a fortress to guard the sea lanes and port that is still there. Took until 1650 before tribes banded together and ousted the Portuguese. In 1741, a Yemeni tribe came in and ran those tribes off, beginning the dynastic line of sultans that still rules Oman.

Oman is a desert nation, with mountains along the north and southeast coasts. It's right nice looking as deserts go:

 (Photo by CISAustralia.)

A number of forts are scattered across Oman from the days when it was a major regional power, including this one, pictured on the website of Liliana and Emil Schmid, who apparently have spent nearly 30 years visiting pretty much the entire world and are still at it.

It's pretty damn hot in Oman and doesn't rain much. Oil revenues give the country one of the better standards of living in the region, but the place isn't swimming in the stuff like some of its neighbors. Tourism is on the rise, as well. The population of about 3.8 million is more than a third expatriates, many of whom work in the oil and other industries. About half the population lives in or near the capital city of Muscat.

So there you have it. Please extend a big Eff You welcome to Oman. Come again soon, and bring your friends.

Actual temp conversation

Temp 1 (speaking to captive audience at his table): There's no such thing as black and white in pyschological analysis.

Temp 2 (walking past): That's kind of a black and white statement.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Emperor Obama to the peasants: Am I not merciful? UPDATE!

Hey, screw the Constitution and all the times Emperor Obama acknowledged it would be illegal for him to wave his executive order in the air and contravene existing immigration law without the participation of Congress. That stuff is so 10 minutes ago. The emperor -- who is leaning toward being known as King Barry I -- is going to do exactly that. Tomorrow, apparently:
President Obama will announce Thursday that he will use his executive authority to expand temporary protections to millions of undocumented immigrants, according to several individuals who have been briefed on the decision. Obama will travel to Las Vegas on the heels of that announcement to rally support for his initiative on Friday.
The stupid shit thinks he can trash the Constitution because he wants to and that it won't cause any problems. He thinks he's still campaigning -- he's going to "rally support" in Las Vegas? From whom, the illegal immigrants there? Is that because he couldn't be bothered to rally support in Congress for his ideas?  He's fundamentally transforming the country, all right -- he's turning it into a banana republic, ruled by a dictator who ignores the legislature whenever he finds it convenient. What could go wrong?

Update: Over at Town Hall, Katie Pavlich reports that Speaker of the House John Boehner's office did a little digging and found that the emperor said on 22 separate occasions that he couldn't do what he's about to do because he lacks the legal authority.

151 years ago the standard was set

On November 19, 2863, Abraham Lincoln set the standard for public speaking, cramming possibly the finest speech in the history of humankind into 272 words. Five known copies of the speech in Lincoln's handwriting are known to exist. This is the most commonly used, and is the one engraved on the Lincoln Memorial:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863
Some people with a proclivity for speaking in public should take notes: brevity is good, first-person pronouns are bad..

Damn, I scored some swag!

A woman with whom I am working somehow scored tickets to an ultra-exclusive musical performance last night by Eric Paslay, an up-and-coming country artist. He's written five No. 1 country hits for other artists and, from his debut album, has one No. 1 himself and another top 30 hit, with a third single looking like it will go to No. 1 as well. I like him a lot.

Anyway, the woman with whom I work is apparently a go-getter, because she came to work today with a guitar pick (Eric Paslay personalized, no less) and a copy of his debut CD, autographed to me personally. Damn! That's a first for me -- the CD, not the pick. I still have, somewhere, a guitar pick from Joan Jett, black and in the shape of a hear -- Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, get it? -- that I got from her in 1981 in a bar in Rochester, N.Y., the day after Thanksgiving.  Awesome show. Wish I could have seen Paslay last night, but there is still a chance to catch him opening for Dierks Bentley Saturday in Baltimore. We'll see. Anyway, for those of you not familiar with the man, here's a sample:

He's going to be big.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Belated game food porn

Seems like just a few minutes ago that the Packers laid a major ass-whipping on the Eagles, but it's been two days now and I really need to post the food porn. Sorry, I've been busy. Anyway, we had a good lineup Sunday. Because it was a 4:30 game, the food had to at least resemble dinner. So naturally, we started with a veggie tray:

That quickly turned into this, even with some celery added and other reloads:

Of course we had stuffed potato skins:

We also had onion straws with horseradish sauce:

Because Marrying Into Wolves' parents came to watch the game, we had squadoosh on the leftover action. I think the game food was appreciated. But those things aren't all we had. Oh no.

Sunday I served, for the first time in nearly two years, the Bacon Explosion. What, you might ask, is the Bacon Explosion? It is not my own creation, but I love it. It starts with two pounds of thick cut bacon:

You will take one pound of that bacon and weave a mat out of it:

Should look like this when you're done:

Cook the other pound of bacon. You'll need it soon. But first, you will take two pounds of mild Italian sausage:

On a separate surface, you will spread that sausage into a square of even thickness the same size as the bacon mat. You will then crumble the second pound of bacon over the top of the sausage:

Toss a bunch of shredded cheddar cheese over that:

Roll that sucker up, keeping the cheese and bacon inside the roll, and place it on the bacon mat:

By all means, make sure the ends are sealed so nothing leaks out:

 Then roll the sausage roll up in the bacon mat:

You should season this concoction with a barbecue rub. You can sauce it, as well, if you like. For a rub, I used Bad Byron's Butt Rub. You may use your own favorite:

Byron's is good, though. So rub it up:

Ideally, you would now toss this sucker into a smoker and cook it for one hour per inch of thickness at 225 degrees. But that takes constant attention, and you might have other things to do, as I did, so you can toss it in the oven at 225 for the requisite time, about three hours. Better smoked, but sacrifices must be made. Comes out looking pretty damn good, though:

And it served up nicely, too:

A good time was had by all, the food was good, and the Packers kicked ass. Who could ask for more?