Why?

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

7.23.2014

'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'.

Sigh. 

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

7.21.2014

From the garden to the table.

What to do, what to do, with the pretty Anaheim peppers that are ready to be picked in my garden?  How's about scratching my jones for Chili Rellenos?


The victims.

The recipe I followed recommended seeding the peppers before roasting them, as it can be difficult to work with the peppers once they get super-soft.  I highly recommend this.  Of course, if you are someone who likes heat, you could skip the 'seeding' step...Anaheim's are not that high on the Scoville Scale.  I'm cooking for women folk though(and it's nice to be able to use them as an excuse). Plus, I find the seeds unpleasant to chew.

Now, blacken the peppers all up.

 
 
I probably could have gone a little darker...but, I wimped out and got impatient.
 

Once you get the peppers peeled, it time to stuff them with some cheese(queso fresco)...and then get creative with your toothpicks to hold them together.

 
 
Get yourself some oil heated up(360ish), dip the peppers in your egg batter(more on this), and then fry them to a golden brown(or some shade of brown).
 
 
Lesson's Learned: Next time, I think I will try this with poblano peppers.  There is nothing wrong with using the Anaheim's(especially because they came from the garden), but I think the poblanos would be easier to work with...much roomier inside.
 
Also...this is not really a week night dish for most folks. No single step is tough, but...the beginning to end process is not fast.  The toughest step is making the egg batter to dip the peppers in.  Some recipes just tell you to dip in flour, and then egg...but the one I followed has you separate the eggs, then whip the whites into stiff peaks before folding in the beaten yolks.  A bit longer and more involved...but the finished texture was perfect. 
 
Plus, the toothpicks make you slow down and chew your food. 
 


7.20.2014

Nuptials were had.

Well, my mom's wedding went pretty okay yesterday. While overcast, the actual precipitation stayed away until almost 9pm, which since we kicked things off at 2ish, was plenty of time.  Dinner was done, the band was done, cleaning was started, and we were pretty much down to family and close friends sitting around the fire by that point.

More pictures and thoughts on the day to follow, but for now, I am a good son, so I did dance with the bride.

7.19.2014

May you live in interesting times.

Whoa boy. We are currently in Western Washington, helping my mom get ready for her wedding today. We came over Thursday afternoon, and I was kind of worried that Friday might drag a bit. Yeah, there were tables to be set up, and ice and kegs to pick up, and out of town family to catch up with, but that was a bunch of small things, with what I felt was sure to be a lot of down time spread through it.  Heck, at one point I even floated the idea of leaving the kids with some relatives, and my wife and I leading a group into Woodinville for wine tasting. 

Ha, ha, ha.  We had plenty to keep us busy...if not physically, then at least emotionally.  And while it wasn't my fault, I was in the thick of it.

We are staying at a hotel, and I'm going to see how the next 36 hours go to decide whether or not to name it...based on yesterday, they are on their way to a HUGE crushing at some point, but I am trying to decide if I was the victim of an individual failure, or an institutional problem.

You might want to get a drink and pull up a chair.

When we checked in Thursday, everything was fine...gave them our car information, got our keys, and I got the girls bags unpacked into drawers since we are here for 3 nights. The room was kind of 'meh', but this hotel was one of the less expensive options in the area.  We then went out to dinner, and in the shuffle of dinner/'bachelorette party' for my mom, my wife ended up with out Mazda, and I ended up with one of my mom's cars. 

Back at the hotel with a different vehicle than we had checked in with, I Did The Right Thing, and I went back to the front desk to say that we had a 2nd vehicle in the parking lot, where the same efficient employee was working who checked us in.  She had another customer at the desk, but he was yelling at his credit card company on his phone, so she asked what we needed, and I explained.  She then passed me a pad of note paper and told me to write down the info for the car, which I did, before heading back to my room, happy, because I had Done The Right Thing.

You can see where this is going, right?

08:40 the next morning, I went to bring a bag out to my moms car...but it was gone.  I went to the front desk where a new employee was working, who told me a 'parking sweep' was done, and 5 cars, including my moms, were towed, because they didn't show up in any registration paperwork.

I told him my story...how I had Done the Right Thing the night before...and instead of saying 'oh, sorry sir, our bad, let's fix that', he told me he would call the night clerk at home to verify my story, and then get back to me.

My wife wanted to go full New England on the guy, but I prevailed upon her to be calm, and give good customer service a chance to come through.

45 minutes later, I went back to the front desk, because I hadn't heard anything.  The guy told me that their night clerk couldn't remember anything, and that he was trying to get the towing company to waive the towing/impound fee for me.  My opinion was that that was between the towing company and the hotel to work out, just get my car released.  HIS opinion was that since his night clerk couldn't remember anything, it wasn't their fault, and he was gracing me with a favor, and that by noon, he might have an answer for me.

Since I wasn't getting anywhere with the local folks, and we had to get to my moms, we left in OUR car, and on the way to my moms I called the customer service line(which I had to get through via the reservation #).  I told my whole story to the customer service lady, stressing the fact that this was ONGOING, and that while I had already pre-paid for two more nights, I was willing to risk eating that if I didn't get some satisfaction. 

She took the whole story down, and says, 'Okay sir...our policy is that you here from someone about this issue within 7-days, so by July 24th'.

WTF!?!?!?!

When I called back at noon to the hotel, someone on the phone finally accepted some responsibility, saying that the impound yard needed us to pay to get the car released, and that the hotel would then refund us that outlay on my credit card, but that was how it had to work on paper.

Fine. And that part of things wasn't without it's own challenges...and really looking at it, I'm still not sure I'm satisfied.  I know my wife and mom are not.  Like they pointed out, they really didn't do anything for us...they refunded us the cash we had to put out to get the car...but that really doesn't make up for the 6 hours of stress and the running around we had to put up with.  No comped room, no discount, no real official apology. 

Like I said, I haven't named names yet...but the next 36 hours, OR whatever response I do or do not get from the customer service folks could still change that. 

But hey...there is going to be one hum-dinger of a wedding today!

Pictures of celebrations to follow!

7.17.2014

So Sad Looking

When I got home from work yesterday, this is what was waiting for me:


Ouch...that is some serious wilting going on there...but...those pots were saturated when I left for work this morning.  I think this is just the reality of what happens on a 109 degree day, especially when a convection oven type breeze pops up in the afternoon.  It dried that stuff out lickity-split.

Luckily, as soon as water was added, the plants perked right back up, and by sun down, they looked right as rain. 

I've moved them into an area where they are in shade most of the afternoon, and I have a few inches of wood-shaving mulch at the top of each pot...

I guess it might just be something I have to deal with on super-hot days.  I mean, I could ask the kids to water them around lunch time, but I've also been given to understand that it is not good for the plant to sit permanently in damp soil. 

The good news is that it is just the plants in the pots...everything in the raised beds is looking fine.

Stupid flippin' hobby anyway.

7.16.2014

A bit like heaven, it is.

Instead of complaining about the heat(112 at work, 109 in town), I'm going to focus on the positive: That feeling when you get home to the A/C, and take off your hot, heavy work boots, and sweaty sox, and peel of your jeans. 

Then the even better feeling when you put on a fresh, dry pair of underwear, sprinkled with a bit of Anti-Monkey Butt powder. 

Ahhhhhhh. 

An ice cold Samuel Adams Summer Ale doesn't hurt either.

7.15.2014

Consolation Prize.

My wife and I caught wind of the fact that one of the local wineries, Barnard Griffin, does a trivia night each Tuesday.  It seemed as good a way as any to celebrate 'Nothing to Do Night', with a little Date Night.

Unfortunately for us, the topic for the night was Tolkien...J.R.R. Tolkien.  It's unfortunate because while I enjoyed the Lord of the Ring movies, I can't say I'm a Tolkien fan...especially not in the way that I am Heinlein, or MacLean fan.  I actually KNOW stuff about those people.  Hell...my wife and I knew it was going to be a rough night when we couldn't answer the first question(What does J.R.R. stand for?).

That didn't stop us from having a good time though.  We split up a bottle of Riesling(it was a hot day!), and then we split a few appetizers(meatballs and a tasty-ass white beans and roasted fennel hummus) and a nice Caesar salad.  We didn't come close to winning the non-existent prize, but I got the best consolation prize, getting to bring the prettiest girl there home with me.