mytopleft

Friday, September 30, 2016

Saw Foreigner, sort of

As I've already mentioned, we went to the county fair last weekend. We didn't see as much fair stuff as I would have liked, because we were there to see Foreigner. Foreigner was huge in the late '70s/early '80s. Mrs. Wolves really likes them. So we went. It was good.

I'm not going to give a full concert review -- I used to do that for a living, back when I was in newspapers -- but I will say that the show was everything you would expect from a top-name band, even if that band's best days were long ago. I was disappointed that Mick Jones, the founding member of the band and the only original member still part of the line-up, was not there due to health issues. In that respect, we saw the world's greatest Foreigner cover band. None of the musicians on stage were part of the original band.

However, they all have been part of the band for more than 10 years, when Mick Jones decided to revive the band and start touring again, and they are an excellent group. The guy Jones recruited to replace lead singer Lou Gramm -- who has health problems of his own, which is why he quit the band for good in 2002 or so -- does an excellent job as lead singer, and sounds almost exactly like Gramm. In fact, if you closed your eyes, you had no reason to think it wasn't the original Foreigner top to bottom. And no one there gave a damn. They enjoyed the show thoroughly.

They played pretty much all the hits, from the opening Double Vision through Feels Like the First Time and Urgent to the closing Jukebox Hero and the encores, Sad Sad Monday, I Want to Know What Love Is and Hot Blooded. It was a good show, and I'm glad we went.


This was the opener:


And this was the closer:


From the first to the last, it was a great show.

Another boring traffic post

September traffic has been awful. Not the worst ever, and not even the worst post-Instalanche, but pretty damn bad. Of course, if you don't post, they won't come. I've been busy with work, but if you're going to have a blog, you better post. Note to self.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cooler weather must be here

How else to explain the kit-tays' sudden desire to sleep on top of a warmth-emitting entity: Here they are on Mrs. Wolves on morning earlier this week:


No, Mischief doesn't often join in, but the sisters do. Guess winter is coming.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The swordfish isn't jumping out of the water much these days

Unlike the strong, healthy leaps that the swordfish takes at the beginning of a project when everything is firing on all cylinders, the swordfish is taking some really half-hearted leaps these days. My original estimate for the end of this project (my part of it, anyway) was mid-October. I'm revising that. At least some folks are likely to get whacked this week. The swordfish isn't on the deck yet, but he looks pretty winded.

Temp elevator antics

This blog is supposed to be about life in Temp Town, chronicling the lives of temporary attorneys in the nation's capital. That's how I make my living, after all, so I should know something about it.

Alas, temps bore me, and they bore most other sentient beings, as well. I've written about most of the things that I have found interesting about temps, and so am reduced to awaiting interesting interludes that just happen. Fortunately, two occurred just this week, both involving elevators.

I thought I had mentioned this before, but a couple searches of the blog indicate that I have not, which surprises me. So I'll mention it now. Contract attorneys are roughly 351 percent more likely than the average person to wait for an elevator standing with their nose two inches from the crack in the center of the door. When your elevator opens, if you work in a building with contract attorneys working there as well, when you elevator opens, there will be a dorky-looking person standing there in the middle of the doorway, less than inches from where the closed doors were seconds before.

By the way, they also will think proximity equals right of way. When I ride the elevator on any project, I always stand back from the door because I know that when it opens, a temp waiting for the elevator will be standing there, nose mere inches from the outer door. You don't want to be too close to that. So today, when I took the elevator back to the workspace after taking a break, I stood back.

Good damn thing. When the elevator arrived at my floor, the door opened and I started to step forward to leave the elevator. Had I been at the door instead of a couple steps back, I would have run right into the temp who was waiting with his nose practically pressed against the outer doors. As it was, he apparently felt that because he was closest to the door, he had the right of way and promptly attempted to rush onto the elevator before I had a chance to exit. This shit is so common in Temp Town that I didn't even flinch -- I stepped forward, didn't deviate course and made sure he took a shoulder to the chest. Hey, I'm a dick. What can I say? I'm sure he didn't learn that maybe you should let people get off the elevator before rushing on, but I ain't a teacher.

The second elevator-related incident today was actually a new one for me. When I was leaving for the day, another temp was already in the elevator lobby, waiting for an elevator. When one arrive, she walked on first, and I followed. When I got on the elevator, I noted that she was too busy face-down in her smart phone -- doubtless smarter than her -- to be bothered with pushing a button to let the elevator know what floor she wanted to go to. I gave serious thought to pressing a totally random button and getting off the elevator to let her go whereever, but in a moment of weakness, I pressed the button for the lobby. Sometimes I disappoint myself so.

So, we went to the fair

We didn't really go to the fair, though. We went Friday, primarily to see Foreigner play (more on that later). I wanted to see Jake Owen Saturday night, but Mrs. Wolves wanted to see Foreigner, so I put in my bid for husband of the year and we saw Foreigner (more on that later). Anyway, Friday was a workday for me (obviously), but I took off early, contributing to my husband of the year cred. Alas, Friday was what we like to refer to as "hot as fuck," so going to the fair while the sun was still high in the sky was a losing proposition. So we didn't, going at twilight only a bit before the concert started. So I didn't get to see the animals and all the other farm stuff I love about the county fair.

However, we did get to see a pretty good amount of the competition exhibitions. Or at least, I did, since much of this stuff was in the building that housed the bathroom that Mrs. Wolves needed to use, and the line for the women's restroom was long and slow. The men's room was quick and easy, so I went about the exhibit hall, seeing what there was to see. Like cookies:


And what I guess was artwork:


And the ever-popular bugs-pinned-to-a-styrofoam-base:


I got to wander around outside for a bit. Good to know that fair food is just as lethal as always:


Went back inside the exhibition hall, still waiting for Mrs. Wolves to reach Nirvana. More artwork:


Saw some more baked goods, too. Not sure what these were. Muffins and ring cakes, looked like:


I didn't know this was a category, but there was a doll competition:


No, really:


I did learn one thing that had never really occurred to me. The baked goods are submitted before the fair starts, so the judges have time to evaluate all the goods. Not sure how long, but more than a week before the fair starts. The fair then runs for about 10 days. That's why all the cakes are cut in half. The judges taste one half, and the other goes on display with its ribbon. Hard to tell from this picture, but by late in the fair (the fair ended two days after we went) those cakes and what not are getting stale and moldy:


Unless, of course, they are seriously coated in funk-proof materials, like icing and sour gummy worms:


Anyway, lots of cakes on display:


I also enjoyed looking at the canned goods, which, technically, are actually jarred. I should enter next year:


Really, didn't see how the judges could decide. Do they open one and test it? I don't know, but the jarred goods that I also jar looked just like mine. Maybe I could kick ass at the fair next year:


Not in the quilts category, though:


At this point, Mrs. Wolves emerged from the eternal restroom line, and we went to see Foreigner. More on that later.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Night Football music sounds pretty good

The bumper music (used to go in and out of commercial breaks) has been great on Sunday Night Football as the Cowboys physically abuse the Bears. We heard this song:



And this:


Not bad.

Not everything is as simple as it seems

A Tulsa police officer has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting of an unarmed man who ignored commands to stop approaching his car. When he appeared to be reaching into the window of the car, the officer fatally shot him. The video, available at the link, sure makes it look like he wasn't much of a threat.

On the other hand, police officers tell people to stay away from their car for a reason:




Kyle Dinkheller died because he kept issuing warnings. Don't think for a second this video isn't part of police training nationwide. If you get involved with the police and won't follow instructions, I have a hard time with charging them if things get deadly.

Game food, but not

We went off-site today to watch the game with Married Into Wolves. Went to Buffalo Wild Wings (not paid for the plug, but not opposed to a little gratuity, if B-dubs is listening) for the Packers' 1 pm game. Still haven't bought the NFL's Game Pass or whatever they call it, and no more DirecTV, so I am filling in at the moment.

So, I didn't make game food. Sorry. If it helps, and you've been to BWW, we had the sampler (onion rings, boneless wings, nachos), some wings, potato wedges and popcorn shrimp. Yeah, food coma afterwards. Great food, and we had the perfect booth -- game on a screen in front of me and behind, so Mrs. Wolves and I could watch one and Married Into Wolves could watch the other. And, of course, we had a glorious victory at home over the hated Lions. We looked great (I can say we, as I own two shares of the Packers) in the first half, and then we looked like we were clock-killing pretty much the entire second half. It was enough, though.

As for my lack of posting, the current gig is killing me. I have a lot of backed-up content on all manner of things. I'll get there, I guess. Hell, I don't even get to The Farm every weekend. No posting leads to bad traffic, and numbers are way down. I promise to try and do better.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

And Hillary! becomes a guaranteed laugh line -- for Democrats

Not sure it's fair since the laugh line came from Charlie Crist, former governor of Florida, former Republican, one-time independent and now a Democrat running for a House seat in Florida. The laughter was no doubt directed in part at Crist himself, who is such a whiny little bitch that he's become something of a joke in Florida (Crist left the Republican Party to become an independent when be lost the GOP Senate primary to Marco Rubio, then joined his true party and became a Democrat after he lost his independent bid to become governor again to Gov. Rick Scott (R). He's probably going to lose this race, too. Not sure what party he'll join then.

So Crist is a little bit of a joke himself. But it doesn't look good when the audience laughs because he refers to his party's presidential nominee as "honest:"


I don't think this sort of thing bodes well for Hillary! It doesn't mean she'll lose, but it does indicate that if she wins, she'll enter office with credibility that is a punchline. Thanks to Hot Air.

Update: The Hillary! forces continue to try and avoid embarrassment for their embarrassing candidate, so they get video pulled. Nothing like a little free speech. Well, fuck them:



Bon appetit.

We lost, but the game food was a win

We were the night game Sunday, so game food was served late. We had our new stuffed tater tots (at left), brown sugar bacon dogs (center) and the traditional potato skins (right):


We also had mini-lasagnas, also excellent:


All in all, the game food was great, the game, not so much. Turnovers, missed opportunities, bad communication -- that's no way to win a Super Bowl. We'll see how things shake out. But the food will be good!

Monday, September 19, 2016

A little produce from The Farm

The gig I am on has limited my Farm time (as well as my everything else time) so I have had to rely on surrogates. Mrs. Wolves went by The Farm the other day and did some harvesting. She got some beans and tomatoes:


She also brought home a butt-load of peppers:


No really:

 She harvested some potatoes, including our biggest ever:


Good amount of spuds:


Not a bad haul, really. Lots of fall crops in, so we'll see how that goes.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Kit-tays being cute. Shocker

When it comes to places they choose to sleep, dogs like to be comfortable. I'm not sure what criteria cats apply to that decision. If Mrs. Wolves' laptop is open, Mischief is there:


If there is a box involve, Mischief is there:



Murder seems to prefer more comfortable spots, such as chairs with blankets in them:


And then we have stuff like this. Not clear, at least at first, which of the kit-tays is under the sofa cover:


Yeah, it's Mayhem:


Several hours later, she is still there. Not sure what drives these cats.




Thursday, September 15, 2016

OK, I'm open to the possibility that she's not fine

I get it. There are a lot of conspiracy theories out there about Hillary Clinton's health. I'm sure most of them are not true, but there are a lot of wild theories out there. Maybe there wouldn't be if she didn't lie about everything, including her health -- and, lately, especially about her health. This past weekend, while at a ceremony in New York commemorating the 9/11 terrorist attack, she once again had a public episode that calls her health into question:
A frail-looking Hillary Clinton collapsed during the 9/11 memorial service in lower Manhattan on Sunday morning — prompting Secret Service agents to grab her arms to prop her up and help her into a campaign van.
The 68-year-old Democratic nominee appeared to fall ill while standing amid other politicians shortly before a moment of silence at 9:58 a.m., sources told The Post.
Videos posted online showed a wobbly Clinton leaning against a metal bollard on the perimeter of the memorial plaza. Secret Service agents grabbed hold of both her arms as she swayed and stumbled off the sidewalk along West Street.
Naturally, bystanders got video of the event,. You can see that she is being held up while waiting for the van, and then collapses when she starts toward the van:



There are blogs that have been following this for a while now. Like this:



A lot of this is likely horseshit, but there is no doubt that her campaign lied like a cheap rug about her health in recent days. Their explanation of why she collapsed kept changing, and ultimately it because clear that, if you believe the pneumonia explanation, they lied about that, too, by keeping it secret and blaming Hillary's Sunday collapse on "overheating" on a mild September day in New York. Look, Hillary! lies because that's what she does.

I usually hate kids singing, but . . .

. . . this is pretty freaking awesome. The 202nd anniversary of the attack on Fort McHenry and the writing of the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key was yesterday (missed it by 28 minutes), so this seems appropriate:



Thanks to Ace.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Glorious victorious game food

Sure, the Jaguars are better than they were last year, particularly on defense, and a lot of sports-type people are picking them to win their division, but it didn't matter yesterday -- the Packers won, in the heat, on the road and with absolutely magnificent game food being served at Chez Wolves.

It actually was pretty serendipitous that we got to watch the game at all. Because Sunday Ticket and DirecTV are so expensive, and because the Packers are on free TV at least eight times this year, we cancelled DirecTV and got cable (a great deal, too). Figured I would get NFL Game Pass from the NFL. You can't watch live -- you have to wait until the 4 pm games are over to watch the 1 pm games -- but I was OK with that. Circumstances conspired, however.

The Ravens were on CBS. The Redskins didn't play until Monday night. The "local" game on FOX? Green Bay at Jacksonville. My cup runneth over. And I can't lie, the game food lived up to the occasion. Two new recipes -- plus potato skins, of course -- and both are solid contenders for the Super Bowl menu.

First out of the gate, we had some tater tot-based game food. Strong competitor with the stuffed skins, but different. You start with some tater tots, sour cream, shredded cheddar, bacon, green onions and cooking spray:


Preheat the oven to 450 F. Take your cooking spray and grease up a muffin pan. Put two tater tots in each muffin cup:


 Bake those on the bottom shelf of your oven for 10 minutes, then take them out. Get a shot glass, blast the bottom with cooking spray and smush those tater tots with a twisting motion to form a cup:


Like this:


Bake those bad boys for another 15 minutes. Take them out, add cheese, and pop back in for a minute or so until the cheese is melted. Then, take the tots out of the pan and put them on a platter. Top with sour cream, sliced green onions and bacon. Die happy:


 These are really good. Mrs. Wolves and Married Into Wolves both wanted these permanently on the game day menu. Who am I to argue?

The second magnificent game food recipe was actually perilously close to healthy,, believe it or not. Yet another muffin pan was required. Your ingredients are eggs, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, broccoli, saltine crackers, frozen corn and, yes, cooking spray:


Take six saltine crackers and crush them finely.I Use a mortar and pestle. You might prefer some kind of food processor:


Mix the cracker crumbs -- or dust, depending upon how thorough you were --  with 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese:


Meanwhile, take two cups of frozen broccoli florets in a bowl, add a little water, and microwave them for two minutes. Trim the florets from the stems, and spoon into the muffin cups:


Top the broccoli with about a half-cup of frozen corn, divided evenly, of course:


Then add the crumb-parmesan mixture to each cup, as well, and top with cheddar cheese:


Beat about 10 eggs -- add a little milk -- and fill each muffin cup with the mixture. As the egg mixture filters down into the other ingredients, top off each muffin cup so that the egg mixture is even with the top of the pan:


Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes until the cups are puffed up and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean:


Let stand for two minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the muffin cup and plate those suckers:


BOOM! Mini quiche. So good.

Naturally, I started my game food preparation with the one item always on the game day menu: stuffed potato skins. The Packers platter was waiting expectantly:


Fortunately, the platter didn't have long to wait. The skins were great, too:


All in all, great food, and a great outcome for the game. More exciting than I like -- the defense had to make a great stand to win the game -- but an excellent opening day nonetheless. Hope the new recipes work for you, too.




Monday, September 12, 2016

So much farming, so little time

Actually, not farming all that much lately, just dealing with the produce is killing me. I am finally on a good overtime project, working six days a week -- I'd be working seven, but it is football season, people -- so The Farm is getting less attention than normal. Fortunately, all The Farm is doing at the moment is cranking out peppers, tomatoes, carrots and beans. I stop by, harvest some stuff, and go about my business. Maybe water something. Anyway, last week I harvested a butt-load of tomatoes:


Farmer Tom planted a bunch of lettuce where the onions were:


The cucumbers were putting out seed pods, not fruit. Must have missed on pollination:


On the other hand, the potatoes continue to thrive. Probably harvest those in October:


\Farmer Tom has been eating the living shit out of the carrots. I really need to harvest more of them, but he has the advantage of actually living there. Still, lots of carrots still in the ground. And I did manage to get some:


New bean crop coming in nicely:


Got me a few of the last onions:


The hot, mostly dry weather has been great for peppers:


No, really:


Did kind of a drive-by this weekend at The Farm. Farmer Tom put in some kohlrabi and some other cold-weather crops after he bought a whole bunch of heirloom seeds. Next year should be interesting. As it is, we are waiting on still more beans, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, kohlrabi and God knows what else. Lots of farming still ahead.