Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


I do it for you!

And because I am weak. 

I stopped at the grocery store after work today, and a shiny end cap worked it's Jedi Mind Trick on me, causing me to walk out with not one, not two, but THREE items I hadn't planned on buying.

Three new flavors of Lay's Potato chips to try!

The least impressive of them was the Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese.  They weren't bad tasting, but they didn't taste any different than any other 'cheddar cheese' chip.  Fake flavor can only do so much for you. 

The Cappuccino ones were interesting.  My wife and I both agreed that the taste was 100% 'cappuccino'...it's just not a flavor we want to go 'crunch' in our mouths.  Strange. 

I'm not sure the ones in the middle are 'new'...but I had not previously seen them.  They were also the best all around chips, and the only one of the three I might spend money on in the future.  I like me some roasted garlic and salt. 

Glad I could save you folks your money and sodium intake. 


Well, now we wait.

Had an audition tonight for the Mid-Columbia Master Singers...it was a more nerve racking audition than any of the ones I had previously done for the musicals I have been in.  It was much more technical...instead of a 30-40 second section of a song, you had to be ready to do a 2-3 minutes solo, and some sight reading, and some vocalizes, and then sing part of 2 other excerpts.

Worst of all, it was specified that the solo piece could NOT be from a musical, or other 'popular' source...eliminating 113% of songs that I already knew.  The last time I had to sing 'chamber' choir type music was DECADES ago when I was in high school, and none of those were accompanied solos, so...I had to learn something new in two weeks.

Thank gosh for the internet. I love you, Al Gore.

By opening up a choral sheet music supplier website, and bouncing the available titles of songs off of youtube, I was able to find a song I felt was within my capabilities, and I figured since it was written in the 1600's, it wasn't 'popular'(Come Again, by John Dowland).  After making that decision, I was also able to use youtube to find the tenor part of the excerpts I had to do(His Yoke is Easy from The Messiah, and Lacrimosa from Mozart's Requiem.

Or at least,  I thought I had learned them.  It seems that singing along with a practice track on youtube is not quite the same as singing along with a real piano accompanist.  I had a few hic-ups, but did decent on the solos and excerpts.  I also believe I did really good on the vocalizes.

As for the sight reading exercises...well, dang...let's face it...I wasn't that good at that back in high school, and as you would guess, a skill does not improve by not using it for 20 years.

But...I believe that I did show a good ear, and on the things I did have a problem with, I showed a rapid improvement.

We'll see...the results should be out later on this week.


I'm blaming the camera

One of the things my wife does when she can stand to be apart from me is play bunco with a great group of ladies. Twice a year, once at a summer picnic and once at a Christmas Party, the Men-Folk are allowed to play. 

Usually, our host provides the main course, and other folks bring either sides or deserts.  In the past, I have brought such things as Brigid's Bacon Butterscotch Brownies with Salted Glaze, Brigid's Guinness Brownies, and The Best Brownies in the World, and the Best Brownies EVER, so I have a reputation to live up to.  I didn't feel like desert though, so I decided to wing it with some Smoked Jalapeno Poppers.

Yeah, they don't look like much in the pan, but...they were pretty okay.


Well, start by splitting the jalapeno's.  Since I am not a huge heat guy, I use a spoon to get out the seeds and most of the ribs.  Then, you stuff them.  For my filling I used two packages of Neufchatel Cheese(it's healthy!)(well, not as unhealthy as cream cheese), and then whipped in one pound of hot pork sausage that I had browned up.  It turned out to be too much filling...I started with 20 jalapenos, and had about 1/3rd of the filling mixture left.  I might or might not have tried eating it all with a spoon, and might or might not have been defeated by too much richness.

Then you take your stuffed half a jalapeno, and in theory, you wrap it with bacon.  That theory only works with thin bacon though.  The thick-cut stuff I had was tougher to wrap, so for most of the poppers, I just draped a blanket of bacon over the top, and tooth-picked it into place.

Place said poppers on the grill for oh...about an hour.  Seems long, but I used indirect heat, with lots of wood chips.  The cheese does a fine job of absorbing smoky goodness.

I was pretty popular...until the next morning. 

Count to 10 next time, dad.

With hunting season only two months away, I took my daughter to the gun range again yesterday. 

Her accuracy is getting there...she is not flinching anymore, and she is consistently minute-of-venison.

From the bench.

Yesterday, I brought a blanket to the range, and after she had practiced for a bit from the bench, I lay the blanket out, and told her it was time to start practicing from the ground, since there aren't many benches out in the woods and wheat fields. 

She was not receptive to the idea.  I showed her two or three ways that I find comfortable, and she kept insisting that none of them were comfortable for her, and that she would rather shoot standing up than sitting down.


So, I let her stand up, and I handed her the gun.  She then complained that the gun was shaking too much.

You don't say.

So, I told her to get back down on the ground and find a position that DID feel comfortable for her. She kept wanting to basically lay the gun across her lap and hunch over it...while I was trying to convince her to sit up, and pull the gun to her, instead of her going to the gun.

After about 5 minutes of back and forth, I finally let her do it her way.  I told her to get comfy, and when she was happy she could keep the gun on target, we would load it and let her try her position. 

Yup...you can guess how well it worked.  She was not happy with the physical result to her, or the result on the target.  And of course, I chose that time to lay it on thick, that maybe she should try it my way instead of arguing about what is and isn't comfortable.


And yeah, that also didn't work well.  It's really the first time I have lost my patience with her at the gun range...and we decided that maybe we would work on new positions at home in the comfort of the house. 

I also had a buddy last night that told me I could borrow one of these Primos Tripod Walking Sticks that he has. 

I think I might take him up on it.


Just Because.

Sorry...busy tonight.  Got dinner to make, and a truck to load in preparation for a dump run tomorrow morning...and just...stuff to do.

Here...for stopping by, you might as well reward yourself with listening to one of the best songs from my formative years.

Alicia Silverstone, for the win.  Proving that if you are hot enough, crazy doesn't matter.



Dang you Mother Nature.  If it's not the heat baking my containers, it's the wind knocking them over.

Stupid top-heavy container grown tomatoes.  Between broken branches and tomatoes that were just plain knocked off, I lost about 2/3rds of the tomatoes that had set in that pot.

Hopefully, there is still time left for them to set more.

For now, it might be time to try something I have always been scared to try...fried green tomatoes.


'Unusually Powerful'

Hey...look, I'm going to admit that I am proof that ANYONE can post stuff on the internet, and someone will be bored enough to swing by and take a look at it.

However, I'm not sure what the criteria are to write for 24/7 Wall St, and get stuff posted on yahoo...they must be low though, because this article about Beretta's New Super Rifle made me throw up in my mouth several times.

Paragraph 1:

Gun company Beretta is tone deaf when it comes to calls for restrictions on powerful guns sold in the United States. It must be the chance to make money.

I wouldn't say they are tone deaf...as Mr. Soyer pointed out this morning, Beretta hears well enough to decide the time has come to leave Maryland for friendlier climates.  As for 'the chance to make money'...isn't that what companies are supposed to do?

From Paragraph 2, THE line of the whole article:

Regardless of its origins, the gun is unusually powerful.

I'm not currently in the market for a semi-automatic rifle, so I actually had to go to the Beretta website to make sure I hadn't missed something, and that they hadn't suddenly started chambering AR's in .458 Winchester.  Nope.  Maybe he meant the ARX160, chambered in .22LR...as rare as that particular cartridge is in the stores, you might think it is 'unusually powerful'.


I can't even continue to rip the article up...I feel like I'm getting dumber each time I click on it.