mytopleft

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A little mid-week food porn for you

Actually, I made this Sunday for dinner -- call it post-game food porn. It could easily have served as game food, which would have made it actual game food porn, but I digress.

I made root beer pulled chicken. Mrs. Wolves insisted on calling this barbecue, which everyone in the barbecue-eating world involves only pork. Putting sauce on something does not make it barbecue. Anyway, this was really good, so I am sharing it now.

Start simple, with 2-1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. As you can see, I started with neither boneless nor skinless and had to make them so on my own. You will also need seasoned salt and a bottle (or can) of root beer, not of the diet variety. I used IBC root beer, which is premium stuff. You can use your favorite.


Once your thighs are in a boneless, skinless state, sprinkle them with seasoned salt:


Then spread them in your crock pot (recipe recommends spraying it with a non-stick cooking spray first, and I concur) and then pour your root beer over the thighs:


Cover that sucker and cook it on high for 6 hours or low for 8 or so.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, you will have to make the sauce. Personally, I recommend watching a football game first, then coming back and making the sauce. We don't want to rush these things.

At some point, you will make the sauce, though, which means you will need a tablespoon of oil (olive, vegetable, whatever -- I don't care), 1/2 a medium onion chopped up, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup molasses, 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard, 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke and a bunch of sandwich rolls:


Yeah, the rolls aren't in the picture. Sue me, or refer to the title of the blog. Anyway, heat up the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the onions and could until browned. Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, mustard and liquid smoke. Simmer that stuff for a while, stirring constantly. You start the sauce maybe a half-hour before the chicken is supposed to be done, so the sauce is ready when the chicken is. 


When the chicken is ready, drain the liquid and keep a 1/2 cup. Put the cooked thighs in a bowl, let them cool. Then shred those bad boys:


Add that half-cup of liquid you saved from the crock pot to the sauce. Mix it up right, simmer a little longer, then pour the sauce over the shredded chicken:


Find appropriate sides to serve with these sandwiches, such as fries and stuff, toast the rolls if you are so inclined, and serve:


That's some good eatin' there. Enjoy.


I think somebody is giving the swordfish water or something

We're still here -- and a good damn thing, too, since the project I had lined up to start yesterday fell through. We were still doing nothing yesterday, but today some of us have been selected for a special project. It just means the other people will get to keep sitting around thumb up, surfing the internet while we work. They'll probably turn off our internet access, too. Oh, well. Not sure how long this "special project" will last, or what happens to the project after that. Guess we'll find out.

Speaking of game food porn . . .

Funny you should mention that, as we have some game food porn from yesterday's most triumphant Packers performance against the Bears, in which the Bears got their asses handed to them, 38-17. At home. Suck it, Cutler, and thank you for the two interceptions.

Anyway, while the Packers were triumphing on the field, Yours Truly was busting loose with the game food. With all due modesty, I feel like I did just as good a job as the Packers in my own way yesterday. We had, to open, a blue-cheese ball with crackers:


I made this, and I will have to research whether I have revealed the recipe. I think so, but I will check. I am sure it will make another appearance this season, and if I have not yet detailed the making of the cheese ball, I will. We also had onion straws and horseradish dip:


Always a fave. Add in the ubiquitous stuffed skins:


And top it all off with some chicken fingers and honey mustard dip:


And you get a spread that looks something like this:


Not as much Packers-themed serving ware as recently, but a good spread. No one went away hungry. All in all, a very good NFL Sunday.

Monday, September 29, 2014

About the game food porn poll . . .

Vote totals are low -- shame on you people, I'm trying to create an interactive experience here -- but unanimous in favor of a return to the game food porn poll, in which readers vote one what game food porn should be featured from each week's Packers game. Two days left to get your vote in. Of course, because the Packers play Thursday this week, there won't be a game food poll for this week's game no matter what the results, but expect one on Sunday or Monday for next week's game food, assuming the current trend holds. Vote, people!

Further proof that the Hungarians know how to party

The proof? We have our first visitor from Hungary to Eff You, of course. So, besides the source of Hungarian goulash, what is Hungary? At the most basic level, this:
Hungary . . . is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The country's capital and largest city is Budapest. Hungary is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the Visegrád Group, and the Schengen Area. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken non-Indo-European language in Europe.
My little sister, who majored in French (yeah, I know, let's not talk about it) studied in Strasbourg or some such French city in the Alsace-Lorraine for a semester. She learned some great shit about French cooking, but she also took a trip to Hungary because a professor of hers was on sabbatical there. This was before the Iron Curtain fell, by the way.

So she got her visa for Hungary -- a 48-hour visa, which was fine since she was just going for the weekend -- and off she went on the train. She got to Buda, or Pest, or Budapest, or whatever, and her professor was out of town until Monday. So she waited until Monday, visited with her professor, and got on the train back to France.

Unfortunately, her visa had expired, and in those days, the communists were a little persnickety about papers being in order. On the train, a conductor looked at her ticket and passport and was apparently appalled. Not being able to speak Hungarian, my sister was able to determine this mostly through body language and tone of voice. She realized she had a problem, and tried to talk to the guy. She tried English, he responded with a language she didn't understand. She tried French, he came back with another language she didn't understand. She tried Russian and German, and he came back with two more languages she didn't understand. Between them, they spoke nine languages, but not a shared language. The conductor grabbed some guy -- not sure if he was a railroad employee or what -- who apparently spoke Hungarian and Russian, and that guy made it clear to her that she could not cross into Austria aboard that train. She had to get off at the last stop before the Austrian border and walk across the border on a dirt road that didn't have a checkpoint, then get back on the train on the Austrian side of the border. She successfully made it back to France, and the rest is history. Just not history you're heard of. Anyway, that's my Hungary story.

Yeah, kind of pales in comparison to the rich history of Hungary, which includes a centuries-long battle against the Turkish invaders trying to spread the caliphate to Europe (some things never change, right?) and, of course Vlad Tepes' role in all that. Good old Vlad, apparently the model for Dracula, was quite a character.

Anyway, along with lots of interesting history, Hungary apparently is up to its collective butt in hot springs, with folks from the Romans on coming to Hungary to "take in the waters," as they say. This leads to things like hot chicks floating around in hot springs in inner tubes. Sounds like a fine reason to go to Hungary. Just sayin':


Anyway, let's all extend a big Eff You welcome to Hungary. Y'all come back soon!

Damn, y'all -- 100,000

Sometime this afternoon, visitor No. 100,000 came by Eff You. That's a lot of damn Eff You, so I guess I should mark the occasion appropriately:


I know there are many, many blogs that get more than that every day -- hell, there are many blogs that get more than that every hour -- but here at humble little old Eff You, I'm happy as hell to reach 100,000 in three years. Thanks, everybody, for coming by. Please keep it up, cuz it's lucrative as hell. With my Amazon link, I probably make 20, 30 bucks a year off this blog. Not going to calculate the hourly wage on that.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Denmark to Canada: Mama said knock you out

Tiny Denmark surpassed mighty Canada on the all-time visitors' list just a few minutes ago. The land of Hamlet and marauding Vikings is now No. 4. Thanks to all the Danes who keep coming by. Keep it up! Next up: No. 3 Germany (that one could take a while). In the meantime, congratulations to Denmark.


Gotta do what Mama says.

I believe this qualifies as a crime against humanity*

Good to know that the beer at Washington's FedEx Field is every bit as good as the team fielded by the Washington Redskins. Via Shutdown Corner on Yahoo, we learn that the beer on sale at FedEx, home of the Washington Redskins, is, um, old:
In a nifty piece of investigative journalism by The Washington Post's Dan Steinberg, we learned the Redskins are indeed still selling the since expired Budweisers at FedEx Field.
Why shouldn't the beer at the Redskins' stadium suck? After all, it couldn't possibly be worse than the Redskins' on-field performance last night, when they lost 45-14 to the New York Giants, who suck. Could it? Redskins fans probably didn't notice the shitty beer because they probably drank gallons of it to drown the agony the Redskins** were inflicting upon them with their woeful performance. Just sayin'.

* My initial reaction was that the crime against humanity was the Redskins serving old beer. It could be argued, though, that the pathetic imitation of a professional football team put forward by the Redskins last night was itself also a crime against humanity.

* *Sorry I was only able to use the Redskins' nickname 10 times in this post, but it was kind of short. I promise to do better, and for the two hopelessly liberal readers out there who claim to be "offended" by the name, refer to the name of the blog. Go Redskins! That makes 11, and I'm not even a fan of the Redskins. Um, 12.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Should we bring back the game food poll?

As long-time readers will recall, the last couple football seasons I put up a weekly game food poll in which readers would vote on potential game food selections. I would include the winner among my game food preparations for the Packers game that Sunday. Should I bring back the game food poll?  Vote at right. Also, I am constantly looking for new game food possibilities, so any suggestions you can make in the comments section are greatly appreciated.

Just a boring traffic post

Probably the biggest traffic milestone ever for Eff You is coming up in the next day or two -- sometime this week, I will get my 100,000th visitor. Send all your friends by so I can mark the event sooner rather than later. Of less blog-wide significance but at least as important to our Danish readers, Denmark is six visits away from passing Canada for No. 4 on the all-time list.

Gimme the gaff and I'll kill the damn swordfish myself

Yeah, we're back, doing exactly what we've done all week -- nothing -- and wondering if we'll be here tomorrow. True to form, they told us about a half-hour before quitting time yesterday, so I don't expect to hear anything for about another 8 hours or so. It gets a little frustrating, as if it weren't hard enough to try and plan things in Temp Town.  I wouldn't mind having the money for showing up tomorrow and doing nothing, but I also wouldn't mind having the extra day off. After tomorrow, I don't care what these folks do -- I'm on to my next project on Monday. Unless, of course, the vaunted reliability and security that mark life as a temp kick in and my next project doesn't start as scheduled. But that could never happen, right?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

At least Bill Murray's character learned to play the piano

Starting to feel like "Groundhog Day" around here. We're back again, doing nothing again, and not knowing if we'll be here tomorrow. Again. Naturally, there was no announcement about our fate last night until about a half-hour before quitting time, when many people had already left. They had to send an email, sent at 7:21 pm, which was a work of art in itself:
Greetings Project [Trapped in Document Review Hell]!

As many of you already know, the project will be continuing tomorrow, Wednesday, September 24. The hours for Wednesday are 8 am to 7 pm. The schedule for the rest of the week has not yet been determined. However, [the rat-bastard, tell-nothing law firm we're working for]  has indicated they would like to inform everyone that going forward there may be additional work, unrelated to the filing, but related to the merger itself. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to this project.

Best,
[The Poor Project Manager Forced to Operate Completely In The Dark About The Future of The Project]

The project manager was forced to use a lot of mushy, iffy language because the law firm won't tell anyone anything. Not surprisingly, given an uncertain future on this project, folks are bailing left and right for other projects. I'm only still here because my new project doesn't start until Monday. I feel certain this will be over by then, but even if it isn't, it will be for me. I like getting paid for doing nothing as much as the next guy, but the boredom is really intense. Guess I'm not cut out for federal employment.



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I am in awe of this president's respect for the military

No, really.


Fuck you, Barry. You are not worthy to be these guys' dogshit on the bottom of their shoe, much less their commander in chief.

Day Two of testing human tolerance for boredom

OK, maybe not human tolerance, since we're talking about temps here, but we are in the midst of a second day of doing absolutely nothing just so that we'll be here if anything happens. Nothing is going to happen, and while I normally have no problem with people paying me for doing nothing, this is pretty grueling. Maybe if they didn't require that we actually be here it would help. Oh, well. Today is probably the last day, but the fact that they won't tell us certainly makes it difficult to plan for the next gig. In theory, this could go on for weeks, after all. God, I hope not.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The swordfish is on the deck -- again

This project has died more times than I can count, but I think this time it's for real. How can I tell? I am blogging behind enemy lines from my own desk -- they turned on internet access at our desks because there is no work but they want us here just in case. Just in case of what, I have no idea. About 250 people got cut loose last night, leaving about 80 of us on hand in case some fire drill arises. Mostly, we're sitting around, watching that swordfish on the deck gasping for air. Not pretty.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I see lots of cheerleader pictures, but DEAR GOD this is something

I'm talking about just, wow. Call me sexist. I don't care. I think she is a cheerleader for the Jacksonville Jaguars.


Sweet baby Jesus, she just shot to the topof the list of Ten Women I'd Leave My Wife For. Naturally, that calls for an encore of the woman who inspired the original 10 Women post:



I swannee, she still does it for me. Don't even ask me where "I swannee" comes from, cuz I got no damn idea. I just know it is a Southern thing that means "I swear."

I can't lie, that sucked -- but the game food was good

I don't think anyone predicted a defensive struggle between the Lions and the Packers, but that's what we got. The Pack gave up 9 points to the Lions defense, for God's sake. The whole thing sucked, start to finish. Credit to the Lion's defense. For once, Packers' defense played well, but the offense did nothing.

Fortunately, that was not the case with the Chez Wolves kitchen. The game food rocked. First, we had tortilla chips and salsa, served in a Packers bowl, naturally:


We also had onion straws with horseradish sauce, always good:


Of course we had potato skins:


We also had brown sugar bacon dogs, which we have had before but, as I realized when preparing for the game, I have never given instructions on how to make them. So, without further ado, here are the instructions.

First, grab some bacon, cocktail wienies (or hotdogs cut into 6 pieces each -- I prefer Hillshire Farms wienies, but you can use what you like), some brown sugar, some toothpicks, worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce.


Yeah, I know, not everything is in the picture. I was kind of winging it. Anyway, cut the bacon into 6 pieces per slice. You can do it as 1/4s, but you will have a lot of overlap. Take a wienie (I love saying that) and wrap it in bacon, then secure everything with a toothpick. Like so:


Get a two-quart baking dish and put about a quarter-pound of brown sugar in the bottom. However many wienies you have wrapped, put them in there. You are limited only by your appetite for pork products and how much bacon and wienies you have on hand.


Top that with another quarter pount of brown sugar, then douse it with about a tablespoon of Tabasco and a couple tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. This is to taste, of course, so you might use more or less.


Put those in the oven at 350 for about 50 minutes, covered. They will be swimming in melted brown sugar when you take them out:


I served them in the Packers Snack Helmet, with mixed nuts in the facemask, but a serving bowl will suffice:


The spread looked pretty good, as did Marrying Into Wolves and whichever kit-tay that was.


Would have  been nice if the game outcome had been as good as the game food, but such is life.

South Korea acknowledges Eff You's world domination

OK, OK, there are indications that South Korea actually first came by during the Instalanche, but I feel like they should get a full-fledged treatment that goes beyond the mere mention they got before. It's the Taiwan thing -- yeah, they've been here before, but I barely even noted it. I feel like each nation that visits Eff You should get some props, so here come the props for South Korea.

Officially known as the Republic of Korea, South Koreas' history is tangled up with Japan and what we now call North Korea:
The name Korea derives from Goryeo, itself referring to the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo, the first Korean dynasty visited by Persian merchants who referred to Koryŏ (Goryeo; 고려) as Korea.[21] The term Koryŏ also widely became used to refer to Goguryeo, which renamed itself Koryŏ in the 5th century.[22] (The modern spelling, "Korea", first appeared in late 17th century in the travel writings of the Dutch East India Company's Hendrick Hamel.[22]). Despite the coexistence of the spellings Coreaand Korea in 19th century publications, some Koreans believe that Japan, around the time of the Japanese occupation, intentionally standardised the spelling on Korea, making Japan appear first alphabetically.[23]
After Goryeo fell in 1392, Joseon became the official name for the entire territory, though it was not universally accepted. The new official name has its origin in the ancient country of Gojoseon (Old Joseon). In 1897, the Joseon dynasty changed the official name of the country from Joseon to Daehan Jeguk (Korean Empire). The name Daehan, which means "great Han" literally, derives from Samhan (Three Hans). However, the name Joseon was still widely used by Koreans to refer to their country, though it was no longer the official name. Under Japanese rule, the two names Han and Joseon coexisted. There were several groups who fought for independence, the most notable being the Daehan Minguk Imsi Jeongbu.
Following the surrender of Japan, in 1945, the Republic of Korea (Daehan Minguk) was adopted as the legal name for the new country. Since the government only controlled the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, the informal term South Korea was coined, becoming increasingly common in the Western world. While South Koreans use Han (or Hanguk) to refer to the entire country, North Koreans use Joseon as the name of the country.
I've passed through South Korea several times, but only once have I spent any real time there. In December 1996, while I was an associate at a major D.C. law firm, I went to South Korea on business for a client. Thank God they let us bill for travel, or else I'd have had a really shitty week for billable hours. But I digress. As it turned out, the partner I travelled with and I had not all that much to do while we were there. We interviewed some of the client's employees, but we had a lot of down time. Because of who I was travelling with, that means that we went on the prowl for bars. We found them.

We found a good one in  Namdaemun market, which was established in the 1400s and provided me with pretty much all of the Christmas presents I gave in 1996:
Namdaemun Market is one of the oldest continually running markets in South Korea, and one of the largest retail markets in Seoul. The streets in which the market is located were built in a time when cars were not prevalent, so the market itself is not accessible by car. The main methods of transporting goods into and out of the market are by motorcycle and hand-drawn carts. It occupies many city blocks, which are blocked off from most car traffic due to the prevalence of parking congestion in the area.
I was there on business and did not bring a camera (yeah, kinda stupid in retrospect) but, fortunately, the internet often makes up for our mistakes of the past, at least when it comes to pictures. This is what Namdaemun (translated as Great Southern Gate) looked like then:


This was one of the original gates guarding Seoul. It was built in the late 1300s and served defense and ceremonial functions. About 6 years ago the temple on top burned. I don't know if they rebuilt it.

So we sat there by the window in a second-story bar, drinking beer and looking out over the marketplace, which looked kind of like this:


And this:


All in all, it was a good trip, and I would love to go back to Seoul. Perhaps in time. Until then, everybody give a warm Eff You welcome to South Korea. Could North Korea be far behind? Does anyone in North Korea have internet access?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Vikings are descending on Canada

Canada's once-insurmountable lead over Denmark on the all-time visitors list -- I mean seriously insurmountable, like 600 or 700 visits -- has dwindled to 20. While it is clear that Denmark will surpass Canada soon, what is not clear is whether they will salt the Canadians' fields, sell their children into slavery and take the Canadians' women for their own. I'm not sure how well that stuff floats in the modern world. Also, I think Canada and Denmark are otherwise on pretty good terms. Not sure how bad they want to mix it up over their relative positions on the Eff You all-time visitors list. Anyway, looks like Denmark is about to become No. 4. No. 3 Germany claims not to be nervous. Study your history, people. Denmark is rising once again.

I think we are towing the swordfish behind the boat

The firm lawyers came in this evening and let us know that the project is basically over but that no one is getting cut yet and they don't know when we will get cut, except that they do know that the regulatory filing will be next week so we'll be cut before that happens. Got all that? Some of us have work, but most people don't. The firm might make cuts among those who are idle (so I guess I'm safe for a few days, as I am not among the idle), but they don't know who or how many will be cut. Or when. Basically, they didn't know a lot. But they did make it clear we'll all be fired in the next 10 days. They just don't like to use the word "fired."

So, looking over the transom of the boat, that is one sick-looking swordfish.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I think I just heard the swordfish hit the deck

I've been thinking this was coming soon for more than a week now, as we have had long bouts with no documents for at least that long. Still, no cuts have been forthcoming. Got an indication today from a knowledgeable source that after tomorrow, a bunch of people are going to get the ax, maybe almost everybody. I wouldn't be surprised. Guess I better start working on finding a new gig.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Chapter whatever, in which I deliver on the promised home-opener game-food porn

Sometimes I'm late, but I deliver. A thrilling, comeback victory by the Packers yesterday. First quarter sucked, but by the end of the first half I knew we had those suckers. Always good to win the home opener. With a 4:30 game, the game food had to be kind of dinnerish, leading to the following menu:

We started off, naturally, with stuffed potato skins, the one constant of game food porn:


And its not dinner with no vegetable, so we also had a veggie tray:


As the game progressed toward dinner time, I brought out more items. For the main course, brats:


Yes, I boil them in beer before I grill them. You mean you don't? Then I brought out the cheeseburger macaroni and cheese, a favorite of Marrying Into Wolves:


Throw in some wings for the starving masses:


And top it off with roasted corn:


All in all, a pretty good feast. I was pleased, and I heard no complaints. That might be because I was screaming too loud to hear any complaints during this play.




The Eff You parade through Africa continues with a visit from Mozambique

Yup, got me some Mozambique the other day. A little slow posting because of Packers yesterday and a funeral today, but I'm on it now. Travelogue time!
[T]he Republic of Mozambique. . . is a country in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabweto the west, and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest. It is separated from Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel to the east. The capital and largest city is Maputo (previously called Lourenço Marques before independence).
The country is rich in natural resources, but the economy remains largely agrarian, although industry and tourism are on the rise. Since 2001, the rate of economic growth in Mozambique has been among the highest in the world. Unfortunately, independence from Portugal in 1975 was followed by nearly two decades of Marxist rule, the forced ouster of Portuguese residents (taking much of the nation's education base with them)  and central planning that pretty much completely fucked the country's economy. High growth rates in the economuy are easier when the economy is completely in the toilet, and the country still rankes among the world's lowest in GDP per capita as well as life expectancy.

It's a pretty country with a whole bunch of beautiful Indian Ocean coastline that is just stunning. I'm sure tourism will continue to increase as infrastructure is built. A new consitution in the 1990s created a multi-party democracy and traded Marixism for capitalism, and the economic situation has improved ever since. Good luck to Mozambique on that, and welcome to Eff You nation!


Bob Dylan did a song called "Mozambique" on his album "Desire" that I always liked. Couldn't find a video of it that wasn't somebody's You Tube vanity cover of it, though, so no Bobby for you today.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Home-opener game food porn is on the way!

At work now, but by the time the Packers kick off at 4:30 Eastern, there will be game food aplenty, and you know what that means -- game food porn! Menu today tentatively includes wings, a vegetable tray, cheeseburger-bacon macaroni and cheese, brats and roasted corn on the cob (game food has to double as dinner because of the 4:40 kickoff). Not health food, but good stuff! Look forward to photos later. Go Pack!

I guess the shoe really is on the other foot with this one

From New Zealand, we have a story that I find to be simply fucking hilarious. Oddly enough, gay marriage supporters do not:
Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick will get married tomorrow, yet the matrimonial union has horrified gay rights groups.
Heterosexual best mates McIntosh and McCormick, who have known each other since the age of six, are getting married as winners of a competition run by The Edge radio station in New Zealand.
The two best friends won an expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. The catch is, they have to get married. Same-sex marriage recently became legal in New Zealand. Naturally, the groups that fought for that change in the law are pissed about this development:
Same-sex marriage became legal in New Zealand in August last year, yet gay groups have condemned the marriage of McIntosh and McCormick.
Otago University Students’ Association Queer Support co-ordinator Neill Ballantyne told theOtago Daily Times that the wedding was an “insult” as marriage equality was a “hard fought” battle for gay people.
“Something like this trivialises what we fought for,” he said.
The competition promoted the marriage of two men as something negative, “as something outrageous that you’d never consider”, Ballantyne said.
LegaliseLove Aotearoa Wellington co-chairman Joseph Habgood told the Otago Daily Times that the competition attacked the legitimacy of same-sex marriages.
I find it interesting that gay rights groups who fought for  the "right" to get married -- never once realizing that marriage is not a right -- completely failed to understand that they were fighting for the "right" for anyone to marry anyone. They argued successfully that to limit the definition of marriage to one man and one woman was discriminatory. Now they don't want to live with their victory. If a marriage of two men is legitimate, why is a marriage of two men who are best friends but have no desire to have sex with each other -- or any other man, for that matter -- an insult? Interesting that they want to say this "trivialises" gay marriage. How hard would they argue that gay marriage does nothing to "trivialise" traditional marriage? Fuck them -- they can't even spell "trivialize."

They llok like nice guys. I don't know why anyone would be uupset at what they're going:


They seem to be into the spirit of the occasion, after all:


These guys are willing to get "married" so they can go to the Rugby World Cup on somebody else's dime. That is probably a more legitimate reason than many other couples -- same sex or otherwise -- can put forward. The reason is not rooted in something as nebulous as "love." It certainly isn't a political statement. These guys want to go to the Rugby World Cup for free, and this is what they have to do to reach that goal. Given that the New Zealand Blacks -- only a matter of time before the politically correct crowd goes after them the way they are going after the Redskins -- are pretty fucking good, I can see why the boys might not consider this too much of a sacrifice for a chance to see their team win it all.

I don't have a problem with gay marriage. I really don't care who marries who. I care very much that the state is still involved. The original justification for state regulation of marriage was to make people get married in order to give birth to new taxpayers and, because the state made divorce difficult and expensive, to encourage two-parent families to stay together so that those new taxpayers would be supported by their still-married parents until they actually became taxpayers.

Once California fucked up that arrangement by creating no-fault divorce in the 1960s, thus enabling anybody to get divorced easily and relatively cheaply for pretty much any reason, the rationale for state involvement in marriage disappeared. The state no longer has an interest to defend, so why should they care who gets married. The act has been reduced to a simple religiious ceremony, with no need for state involvement. As it is, if you can find clery to marry you, boom, you're married.

If the Packers go to the Super Bowl and I could go to the game if I marry my best friend, I would -- even though we both would be committing bigamy. Fortunately, we now have a winning legal argument that trying to prohibit us from marrying is discriminatory. If marriage can't be limited by gender, why can it be limited by numbers? This is going to get really funky. Believe it.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nancy Pelosi valiantly wages a lone battle against the Huns sweeping down from the north, or something like that

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the House, current Minority Leader, D-Calif. and living proof that a brain is not necessary to succeed in government, has once again shown that she really, truly has nothing useful to add to the national conversation -- or any conversation, it would appear.

While maintaining that Democrats are "not fear-mongers," she then threw out this gem while appearing on Bill Maher's show, whatever its called: “Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate.”

That sounds to me like a compelling reason to vote Democrat, doesn't it? I mean, seriously, who wants to vote for the end of civilization as we know it? Of course, since "civilization as we know it today" includes morons like Pelosi, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (whom I understand likes to look at pictures of little boys naked, according to Ace) and, of course, President Barack Obama in positions of power where they can fuck up our lives, then maybe Pelosi is right, except that ending that particular version of civilization would be a good thing.

While Nancy "We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it" Pelosi eliminates any doubt about her stupidity every time she opens her mouth, I still have this question:  since Nancy Pelosi is from San Francisco, what the hell does she know about civilization, anyway?

It would appear we have at least one happy Danish reader out there

When Denmark surpassed Sweden on the Eff You all-time visitors list, there apparently was much rejoicing in the land of Hamlet. One of our Danish readers posted a poem in the comments. In Danish, naturally:
Kong Kristian stod ved højen mast i røg og damp; hans værge hamrede så fast, at gotens hjelm og hjerne brast. Da sank hvert fjendtligt spejl og mast i røg og damp. Fly, skreg de, fly, hvad flygte kan! hvo står for Danmarks Kristian i kamp?
Thank goodness for Google Translate, right? I had to tweek the second-to-last line, as Google Translate wanted it to read "Fly, screamed, airplanes, what can escape!" I figured that probably wasn't right, so I took a shot in the dark. The Danes can let me know how I did:
King Christian stood by the lofty mast
In mist and smoke;
His sword was hammering so fast,
Through Gothic helm and brain.
Then sank each hostile hulk and mast
In mist and smoke.
Fly, he screamed, fly, what can escape!
Who is responsible for Denmark's Kristian
in battle?
Sounds like a nice martial cultural reference in celebration of opening up a can of whoop ass on the Swedes.  We so damn multicultural here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

BOOM! Denmark kicks Sweden's ass. Canada next.

Today Denmark surged past Sweden to move into fifth place on the all-time Eff You visitors list, and is rapidly closing in on Canada to claim fourth place. Eff You's readership in Denmark apparently is very loyal. Sweden, which used to be in second place behind the U.S. in the early days of this blog, seems to have lost interest once the Swedes figured out that, despite the profligate use on this blog of terms such as "porn," "pr0n" and "fuck," there is no actual porn on Eff You. Sure, I've posted some pictures of scantily clad hot babes now and then, but there was always a greater purpose behind those posts. Never was I merely trolling for traffic. Except when I was. Anyway, congratulations to Denmark on passing Sweden. Look out, Canada! There's a bunch of Vikings on your ass!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

13 years ago. Or yesterday. Hard to tell sometimes

It was 13 years ago today that terrorists launched a major, multi-pronged attack on U.S. soil, successfully hitting the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon with hijacked airliners, while passengers fighting back forced a fourth airliner to crash in a field in Pennsylvania, giving their lives to spare others. It is one of those events where everyone remembers where they were when it happened, and the images are still chilling:


For a while, all Americans seemed to realize that there are terrorists in the world and that we were their target. It only took repeated attacks over 22 years, starting with the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, for that realization to finally set in, but folks finally woke up.

Most folks aren't awake anymore, or at least they weren't until recent events in Iraq made it clear we remain a target. A lot of people, including the president, wanted to pretend that everything is hunky-fucking-dory and there is no cause for alarm out there, so let's all just go play golf, mmm-kay?

Yeah, that approach isn't working out. Time to wake up again, kids. "Never forget" means don't let it happen again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pick up the pace, people

At current traffic levels, we are about two weeks away from Eff You seeing Visitor No. 100,000. I think I'll do a special post for the nation that is home to that visitor, unless, of course, the visitor is from the U.S., as is likely, or I am not able to pinpoint the homeland of the visitor, which is even more likely. Anyway, send your friends by so we won't have to wait two weeks. Get in it, people!

This is not inspiring confidence

Most estimates in recent days have put the life expectancy of this project at about another 3 weeks -- the rest of this week plus two more. Late yesterday and through lunchtime today, though, we are out of work, or nearly so. Might be a problem with the document-serving vendor, or something else. I think the firm and the vendor are retooling their batching to reflect a changed approach, but I could be wrong. Nonethelss, it is worrisome even if the situation is only temporary. If they decide they can't get more batches to us today, we could get sent home. No making up those hours. Of course, I worry too much.

Monday, September 8, 2014

You know you want more cute kit-tay love -- don't deny it

A day without kit-tay love is like a day without sunshine -- unless you get some good puppy love, in which case things are cool. But today we are sharing kit-tay love. Just yesterday, Murder and Mayhem were chilling out in a display of full-on adorable:


But let there be no mistake; these kit-tays are stone-cold killers. Mayhem -- the nice one, I might add -- likes to sit atop a chair and leap upon whoever walks by. If she doesn't feel like leaping, she swipes at you to let you know she could kill you if she really felt like it:


That left paw dangling beneath the top slat of the chair? That's the one that will rip the flesh from your body. Other than that, she's cute as a button.

A belated Labor Day food porn oddity

One of the few crops that did well this summer on the farm was potatoes. Better tending would have led to an even better crop, but the spuds came out OK. Weather and me working all the damn time combined to fuck most of the other crops, although with actual summer-like weather the last week or so, the tomatoes have rebounded and produced. But I digress.

On Labor Day, I made french fries to go with the dogs, burgers and ribs. I made the fries from potatoes grown on the farm. We grew Yukon golds and some kind of "blue" potato I'd never heard of. I guess they were well-named, because this is what I saw when I sliced one open:


Sorry for the focus issue, but I was stunned by the color of the potato. And they all looked like that, once I sliced them up to make fries:


I had never heard of blue potatoes, so this was pretty shocking to me. As you can see from this picture, though, the blue mostly cooks out, leaving the potatoes looking more or less like your standard white potatoes -- but not entirely:


Anyway, thought I'd share that. My first experience with blue potatoes.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Cool discovery of Viking fort in Denmark leads to post giving TMI about the evolution of fort design

Because my readers in Denmark have been so aggressive lately and now are only a few dozen visits behind Sweden on the all-time visits list, I figured I would share this story, which I find fascinating:
Archaeologists in Denmark have discovered a distinctive ring-shaped Viking fortress which historians believe may have been used to launch an invasion of England.
The fortress found on the Danish island of Zealand, around 30 miles south of Copenhagen, is the fifth circular fortress to be unearthed, and the first in over 60 years.
Apparently these ring fortresses, built in around the late 900s, are scattered all over Denmark. They are
thought to date back to the late tenth century and the reign of Harald Bluetooth, the king who Christianised Denmark and Norway. However, some historians contend the fortresses were constructed by his son Sweyn Forkbeard, the first Danish King of England, as a military training camp or barracks from which to launch his invasions of England. Sweyn Forkbeard seized London in 1013 and was declared King of England on Christmas Day of that year.
Not much has been excavated of the newest discovery, but at least one of the other four ring fortresses previously discovered has been restored:


I don't know which one is pictured here, but the four previously discovered fortresses are located in Aggersborg and Fyrkat in northern Jutland, and Nonnebakken near Odense. Yeah, that doesn't mean much to me, either. Perhaps the Danes will check in with some enlightened commentary. I just dig historical shit like this and found it fascinating. Frankly, circular is a shitty design for a fort -- there are no mutually supporting positions on a circle. Once an enemy was up against the wall, there was no way to get rid of him except to hang over the top, exposing the defender to enemy fire. Compare that to this design, popular about 400 years later:


 This is a plan for what has been called Fort Raleigh, built in 1585 on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, by soldiers sent by Sir Walter Raleigh as an advance party for what became the Lost Colony. Google it -- I really don't feel up to explaining. Anyway, the fort was located by archaeologists and reconstructed about 80 years ago. Note the use of bastions to enable defenders to target attackers who had reached the wall. Defenders could aim along the wall to their left or right along the wall without exposing themselves to enemy fire. It looks kind of like this (couldn't find an aerial shot):


This method of using bastions continued for as long as forts were viable as a means of defense (rifled artillery rendered masonry forts obsolete about the time of the U.S. War Between the States). However, note that Fort McHenry, in Baltimore, which was the site of the battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the "Star Spangled Banner" during the War of 1812 between the United States and the United Kingdom, similarly used bastions, but these were placed at the corners rather than in the middle of the walls, as with Fort Raleigh:


as did the so-called Third System forts in the United States, built in the 1820s through the 1860s, such as Fort Pickens, built to defend Pensacola, Florida:

Obviously, one corner of the fort seems to have been blown off. It seems that way because it was. Sometime in the 1890s, I think, a gunpowder magazine in the now-missing bastion exploded, blowing away a pretty good chunk of the fort. Supposedly, the explosion was set off by the cigar of a soldier who was involved in a card game in the magazine. Don't know if that is true, but it makes a great story. When I lived in the area, we used to sneak into the fort at night and drink beer on the ramparts and look at the stars, among other things. There is a strong possibility that some of the folks with whom I used to drink beer on the ramparts might have picked up a stray brick or two left over from the magazine explosion. Back then, they were all over the place. I went back a couple years ago, and didn't see any bricks around. The Park Service must have cleaned up, finally.

Anyway, the point of this digression is that circular forts suck. Sweyn Forkbeard might have conquered England, but his guys only held it until 1066, when William of Normandy came over and kicked their circular-fort-building asses. William might have known fuck-all about bastions, but he obviously was not intimidated by circular forts. Nonetheless, I find 1,000-year-old forts, circular or otherwise, to be pretty fascinating. Sorry if you didn't. And yes, I chose the non-Viking forts discussed here because I have spent a lot of time prowling the grounds of and studying all three of those forts. Sue me for being biased.

It's not really a first-time visitor, but it is. Deal with it.

Taiwan came by for only the second time, but I have decided to give them first-time treatment. Back in the day, I didn't give new visitors the full travelogue treatment the way I usually do now, and Taiwan just got a quick blurb. I figured, since I used to live in Taiwan, I should give them more props. Today I got my second visitor from Taiwan, so here goes:
Taiwan. . . , officially the Republic of China . . . , is a state in East Asia. The Republic of China, originally based in mainland China, now governs the island of Taiwan, which makes up over 99% of its territory,[f] as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other minor islands. Neighboring states include the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east and northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taipei is the seat of the central government.[2] New Taipei, encompassing the metropolitan area surrounding Taipei proper, is the most populous city.
Taiwan used to be called Formosa, which is what the Portuguese named the island when they stumbled upon it in the 1500s. The Republic of China (ROC) used to include all of mainland China, as well, but Mao Tse-Tung (I think they spell it Zedong these days) and his communist henchmen drove the Nationalists out of mainland China in 1949. Both sides claim to rule all of China. Neither side believes its own bullshit on that, although the PRC in all likelihood will try to take Taiwan by force once it thinks it can get away with it.

My memories of Taiwan, I think, are of a time when Taiwan was transitioning from an attitude that war with the mainland was inevitable to a belief that war could happen but in the meantime, let's become an international economic powerhouse. When I lived there, the country was still under martial law, and trucks full of troops were a common sight on the streets of Taipei. The islands of Quemoy and Matsu, just off the coast of mainland China, still got shelled by the communist Chinese pretty regularly, and the government was fully prepared to repel an invasion from the mainland. When we went to the beach, I would have competitions with my father to see who could spot the most defensive bunkers. He always won, but it was astounding how well-fortified Taiwan's beaches were.

 In 1979, the U.S. was in the process of terminating diplomatic relations with the ROC, and my father was the last military liaison at the U.S. embassy to the ROC. (He later became the head coach of the national track and field team, and was the head coach of the ROC's Olympic team at Los Angeles in 1984, the first time Taiwan participated in the Olympics. It's a long story. Don't ask.)  At the end of 1979, when the U.S. officially ended diplomatic relations with the ROC -- thank you Jimmy Carter, you big pussy -- the embassy closed. In its place arose a supposedly private organization called the American Institute in Taipei, which served all the functions of an embassy and was staffed by former U.S. State Department personnel who resigned from the State Department, took jobs at AIT for the length of a standard State Department overseas tour, then at the end of that time miraculously were rehired by the State Department and sent elsewhere with no loss of seniority, pension benefits, etc. Yeah, no one was fooled.

I spent a lot of time at the beach, at least when I wasn't working. My favorite beach was Fulung, on the east side of the island south of Taipei. There was a resort there, with the beach separated from the main resort by what I assume was the Fulung River. Whatever its name was, it was a small, not-very-wide river spanned by a passenger bridge. The bridge was locked up at night, but we would sometimes stay overnight and swim across the river to go swimming in the ocean and sleep on the beach. Good times. Here's the bridge:


Much to the chagrin of local authorities, I once led a contingent of expatriates in jumping off the bridge into the river. Butch Stiftl, a German national who had hardly lived in Germany at all and spoke English and Mandarin like a native but whose German sucked (according to his mother), saved our butts with his fluent Mandarin, talking us out of what I think would have been a trip to the pokey. Just upstream from the bridge was a place that rented out catamarans. The intention obviously was that you would sail them on the river upstream of the bridge. I, naturally, figured out that at low tide I could sail under the bridge and did so. Had six inches of clearance between the top of the mast and the bottom of the bridge, easy. Not wanting to be arrested, I tacked back and sailed back under the bridge. As far as I know, no one else ever did it. The boat rental folks were appalled and kept insisting that what I had done was impossible, saying over and over (according to Butch) that "You can't do that. It is not possible." I assured them, through Butch, that it was, in fact, quite possible. I didn't get in trouble, but they did refuse to rent me a boat ever again. It was worth it.

My first summer there, we lived on Yang Ming Shan, which means Grass Mountain. It was a mountain north of Taipei where the U.S. troops and diplomatic corps used to live. Naturally, there were lots of terraced rice fields on the slopes:


There also was some kind of Buddhist monastery up there which had some really nice gardens that we used to sneak into at night. Good fun, as the gardens were not, to my knowledge, open to the public. Monks gotta sleep sometime, though. Somewhere in my files of non-digital pictures, I probably have pics I could add. Both of these pictures are off the internet, but they are of places I remember. I could add my own pictures, I suppose. Perhaps another time.

Anyway, please extend a big Eff You welcome to our visitor from Taiwan. I'd love to meet at the Waltzing Matilda for a couple of Foster's, if only I had the time and money.