January 25, 2015
I thought it would be fun to add a page of old science fiction and horror movies to this blog. You know, stuff that, today, may make us laugh, but way back when we were kids scared the snot out of us.
I’ll probably add to it fairly often and this is just enough to kick it off.
I would like to keep this to films made prior to 1960, but I won’t promise anything…
April 18, 2015
This is me…. Dear Lord, please let me live long enough to see this…
PS – This looks like actual Star Wars… Thankfully…
The Domestic Me – The Institute For Teach Cook: Episode Two – Culinary Art – Installment One: An Actual Recipe
March 28, 2015
Hello again, gentle reader. It’s time for, yet, another lesson on how to lead a successful life in the kitchen. This time, I’m actually going to give a real recipe! How about them apples?
Actually, there are no apples involved with this concoction, but there is a half a banana, so I figure the colloquialism kinda fits. They are, after all, both fruits.
Several months ago, I fell prey to a recipe shared on Facebook for a home-made milkshake using vanilla, unsweetened coco, bananas, ice, almond milk and a blender. It was awful. Really awful.
But the general idea intrigued me, and since that time I have been experimenting on my own with my own idea of ingredients.
I believe that I have come up with a winner.
A few days ago I was talking with a friend (Heather) about my concoction, and she asked me to send the recipe to her and our mutual friend (Roberta)…
So here’s the recipe…
What you need:
- Blender, one each
- Banana, one half each
- Ice Cubes, twelve each
- Packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast, one each
- Metamucil (optional, but I highly recommend it), sort of a small spoonful each
- Chunky Peanut Butter, one small glob each
- Almond Milk, 8 ounces each
- Tall Drinking Cup (I use a 20 oz. shaker-mixer-cup-thingy – see photo below), one each
- Really Long Straw (I use this clear plastic tubular object that I thought was a really long straw, but which my wife later identified as a ‘Stirring Rod’. I’m including a photo below so that you may be able to identify it if you ever see one in real life), one each
What you do with all of this stuff:
- Carefully, even gently, dump it all into the blender
- Turn the blender on ‘High’
- My ‘High’ setting is labeled ‘Ice Crush’
- Yours may be something other than that – perhaps something like ‘Hyper-thermonuclear-atomic-nutrient-conglomerator-button’
- Or it may be something like the afore mentioned ‘High’
- Whatever your particular setting is, press that button
- After a very short time, turn the blender off
- Look for the lid (to the blender)
- Put the lid on the blender
- Refer to step 2
While the drink is mixing, you should:
- Clean up the mess that was created when you forgot to put the lid on the blender prior to starting it the first time
- Place the unused half of the banana inside some sort of zip-lock baggie contraption and put it into the refrigerator for future milkshake endeavors
- Put the rest of the stuff you are finished with where it belongs (pantry, trash, dog’s food dish, etc.)
When the mix looks like it’s completed, hit the ‘Off’ button again> open the blender lid> pour what’s inside into the 20 oz. drinking cup> stick one end of the straw into the cup> stick the other end of the straw into your mouth> suck.
Then say, “Wow! That’s really GOOD!”
I had set up a the kitchen with all of the stuff required to show you how to make this stuff, and enlisted my beloved wife to video me explaining the process. The whole thing went off without a hitch – it was perfect!
Except that Judy shot the whole demonstration using the ‘Time Lapsed” setting instead of the “video” setting on my iPhone.
BUT – it came out even more appropriately (for this blog, anyway) than if we had shot in video mode. You just have to read my lips and follow along. Very quickly. But it WILL save you time…
Stirring Rod (Really big drinking straw)
Tall Drinking Cup
By the time I had thought of including a photo, I had already finished drinking my shake. It was good.
March 14, 2015
Apparently, Judy has decided that she wants to prove to somebody that she can take me somewhere, so we met in Fresno last night to attend a concert of all of Beethoven’s piano concertos. (Actually, it was just a few of them as it was the first of three evenings in a row during which time the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, along with guest concert piano player Antonio Pompa-Baldi, will plow through the whole collection.)
All in all, it was an evening filled with beautiful, dramatic music, highlighted by amazing performances by Pompa-Baldi.
Honestly, the guy is amazing. I am convinced that his fingers are at least 12 inches long. I have never seen fingers like that on any other human being. I’m pretty sure he can cover the distance of three octaves on the keyboard between the pinky and thumb on one hand.
Additionally, I was seriously trying to count them (his fingers) during times when he was at rest, waiting for the the orchestra to get to the point where he would come back into the mix. I really thought he had 6 fingers on each hand. In fact, I wanted to stay after the concert to meet him just to count his fingers, but that was not to be.
And there were parts where he played entire parts with his right hand while is left was resting on his thigh! Like I said – amazing.
If you have never experienced a concert like this, I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a little culture added to his or her life.
However, if you do decide to expose yourself to this, I would caution you to pay attention to some of the finer points of proper audience etiquette, as well as give you some important knowledge of symphonic nomenclature.
The top things I learned at the symphony concert last night:
10. No matter how many fiddles are in the orchestra, they will never, at any point during the performance, play Turkey In The Straw. No matter how hard you beg.
9. They are not ‘fiddles’. They are ‘violins’.
8. Some of them are not ‘violins’, they are violas’.
7. Violin players show their appreciation by waiving their wands in the air in unison.
6. They are not ‘wands’, they are ‘bows’.
5. Just because the music stops, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to
aplod a plawed aplaude clap.
4. If the musicians get up and leave the stage, it may not really be time to go home.
3. Nobody will notice that you have fallen asleep if you nod off in time with the music.
2. Contortions, spasms and other deformations exhibited on the featured piano player’s face and/or body do not necessarily indicate an epileptic seizure.
1. There is no such thing as a ‘concert piano player’.
March 6, 2015
Almost everybody in America has a phone of some sort. Many people have a voice mail box attached to their phone number. Some have them on their cell phones. Some people have them on their home phones. Some people have them on their work phones.
Many of the millions of people who have voice mail of one kind or another are not satisfied with whatever default greeting is attached to their mail box (usually something like “The person you are trying to reach is not available. Please leave a message at the tone and whoever that person is will probably eventually hear your message and may decide to call you back.”), and are compelled to create one of their own.
People decide to create their own greeting for many reasons. “It’s more personal,” or “I want to cheer people up when they call,” or “I hate to get phone calls and I want everybody to know it,” to name a few.
Today I ran across one that I immediately fell in love with. It is attached to the voice mail box of a friend whom I hold in high regard (even more so, now). It was warm, friendly and cheerful, yet not sickeningly so; and while it was quite welcoming , it succeeded in conveying it’s message in a professional and courteous manner. It really was refreshing.
And it was, to quote the person who’s greeting it was, “unpretentious” and “honest.” And this is what made me ‘fall in love’ with the greeting.
What did it for me was then final statement in the greeting. It goes like this:
“Have the best day you can.”
Now that is coming from a person who sincerely wants you to be happy and, yet, understands that you may be laboring under a nearly unbearable burdon. It’s not just honest, it’s brutally honest.
It’ almost like, “Look, I know you are having a really awful day, but try to be positive and look on the bright side. You’re not dead. So, even though your day sucks, get over it and have as good a day as your lousy circumstances will allow. Even if it only brings it up to the level “crappy”.
Is that not the just the best line you have ever heard of in a voice mail greeting?
February 24, 2015
Tonight is “Mystery Pride and Prejudice Theatre 3000” night at our house.
I am banished from the living room.
February 12, 2015
Apparently, Murphy doesn’t like carrots.
February 8, 2015
Hello again, Gentle Readers,
It’s time, once again, for another piece inspired by my canine (and best) friend Murphy Patrick Harrigan O’Kammerer. This time, we venture into the realm of Poetry and/or Music dedicated to Murphy.
Those of you who are blessed with any sort of pet, especially a dog (or, even more especially, dogs) will immediately recognize the source of inspiration for today’s offering.
And, in tribute to Max, I have bestowed, upon The Murph, the title and rank of Doggy Woggy of The First Order… Sadly, he doesn’t know what an honor it is. But that makes him no less deserving…
And now, I begin…
Doggy Woggy Doo Doo
The Very William H. Kammerer, Jr., Esquire (not)
At the crack of dawn,
When the stars are gone,
Slingin’ Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day,
I go to the yard,
Lookin’ really hard,
For the Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day!
Sometimes I do wish,
I got a gold fish,
But that’s not the way out it did play,
But I’m glad he’s mine,
With me all the time,
Making Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day!
Fare thee well!
Fare thee well!
How I wish he could eat hay…
But I’ve got my scoop,
Picking up his poop,
Slingin’ Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day!
When he’s full of pep,
Gotta watch my step,
What the ground is covered with ain’t clay,
I won’t go bare foot,
Always wear my boots,
Slingin’ Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day!
Fare thee well!
Fare thee well!
Well he thinks I’m in the yard to play…
But I’ve got my scoop,
Picking up his poop,
Slingin’ Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day!
Slingin’ Doggy Woggy Doo Doo all the day!
Slingin’ Do-ggy Wo-ggy Doo-Doo-all-the-daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you so much… Please… Please… No, really – you are too kind… Thank you… You are a great audience! Thank you…
Thank you so much…
Hello again, Gentle Reader… I have returned with, yet, another lesson on how to live your life successfully under any circumstances or conditions whatsoever…
Today, am going out to get a new tire for my wheelbarrow. As part of the process for doing that, this morning I looked into the mirror to make sure that the neighbor kids won’t be terrified when I leave my driveway and, upon doing so, I realized that a good hat will no longer suffice to make me appear well groomed. I am beyond that stage and it is time to invest in a haircut.
Or… is it?…
At almost any other time of year, this would be a great time to get a haircut. However, in my case, for today, at least, bad hair presents a once in a lifetime conundrum. Seriously – this will only come up one time during my whole life (unless I change barbers, and maybe not even then).
On this day, the decision to get, or not to get, a haircut has become a matter of principle and priority.
Principle: Nice men should look nice. People think I am a nice man. I should look nice.
Priority: Looking nice is nice. There is money involved. Screw looking nice.
It required some thought… And so I gave it some thought…
On one hand, today, I don’t qualify for the senior discount provided by the shop that cuts my hair and makes me reasonably presentable to other members of the human race.
On the other hand, next Friday I will qualify for the senior discount.
This situation was quite disconcerting to me. I want to look nice for my wife and my dog (not so much for the cat), but looking nice comes with a price (in this case, an extra $1.50 if I do it today vs. next week).
(Let me give you a little background on something, here… Judy and I have started collecting our receipts so we can better evaluate
who spends more moneyhow we invest our hard earned funds and how we can better live within our budgetary constraints. She has a box on her desk for her receipts, and I have a box on my desk for my receipts. So far, I have one receipt for $8.34 in my box.
I’m not used to this sort of internal battle, and I was having a problem making a final decision on whether to act today or wait a week and save a buck-fifty
keeping me in the “who spends more money game. It was time to break out the big guns…
…This gave me a chance to use my newly acquired “Pro-Con” decision making tool:
I quickly did so and immediately messed up the process by putting my issue in the wrong place on the form. Then, when I had made my decision, I left off my plan of action. And, finally, I put in the wrong year – should be 2015. At least I didn’t get ahead of myself…
But, be that as it may, I made the crucial decision to – well, you can see for yourself above, and I don’t want to bore you by repeating repeating my final decision…
So, now I’m going to go to my truck, which (I just remembered) has been warming up for the past two hours as I have been writing this post, and go get a new tire for my wheelbarrow.
And NOT get a haircut…
And save a dollar and fifty cents... Or maybe a bit less, since my truck has been running in place for the past two hours…
As always, Gentle Reader, if I may be of any assistance to you in the ways of living a more successful life, please don’t hesitate to contact me at
one of my many personal email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,
Live Life Successfully Or Die Trying…
Always, The Very William H. Kammerer, Jr. Esq. (Not)
December 31, 2014
Hello again, Gentle Reader,
Today’s subject is a continuation of my new found photo addiction, this time featuring the catastrophic effects of last night’s major wind storm and my recovery efforts.
In an effort to give you an idea just how bad things were, and how great they became after my cleanup, I will display the photos in a “Before and After” format, with the “Before” shots coming before the “After” shots, and the after shots coming after the “Before” shots. (This will, hopefully, make the complicated situation a bit easier to comprehend.)
OK, let’s get started…
Patio Furniture Cushions and Umbrellas Before Repairs:
Patio Furniture Cushions and Umbrellas After Repairs:
Wheelbarrow Before Recovery:
Wheelbarrow After Recovery:
Observation Bench, Pre-Restoration:
Observation Bench, Post-Restoration:
Wayward Branch Before Massive Cleanup Effort:
Wayward Branch After Massive Cleanup Effort:
Fallen Tree Before Murphy and I Went Hiking In Yosemite:
Fallen Tree After Murphy and I Returned From Hiking In Yosemite:
Hey, it was Yosemite, OK? I’ll get to it…
December 30, 2014
Well, We all had such a great time with the “rocks” that I thought I would start photographing and naming some of the other personally owned inanimate objects in my life. This time, I have decided to go with my hats. Just one, to start with, but it’s a good one. In fact, it’s not just a good one, it’s a wonderful, wonderful one…
I was inspired by a commercial for the TV show , “Helix”. While I will probably never watch the show, there was something about the name that caught my attention. In fact, it brought me back to my childhood and made me think (warmly) about another TV show with a similar sounding name…
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you:
Helix the Hat
(The Wonderful, Wonderful Hat)
Or, at least, try not to fall asleep…
* Since a rock is a rock, after all, and not an animate object, it is not capable of taking its own selfie, so I did it the honor of taking it for it.
Attention! Attention! Attention!
After a brief exchange (no, we didn’t swap underwear) with my friend Judy Eckberg Robertson, I have decided that our rocks need names. And, after further brief exchanges with Judy E.R. and Judy Kammerer, I thought it might be fun to open up the naming of our rocks to you, my adoring fans, friends and family….
What do you think? You want to help us name a rock? If so, just pick one and submit your entry.
Thank you for your kind attention… That is all…
December 14, 2014
I’m going to start out by admitting something that has been rolling around in my head for a week or two.
For a long time, I didn’t think I was getting any older, and the thought that I was not getting any younger never made it’s way into my head. However, that has changed, and I am ready to go on record as believing that I am, in fact, not getting any younger.
At first, I was disappointed that I was not aging in reverse, but after some consideration, I have decided that that’s not a bad thing, and here’s why…
When I thought about it, I realized that time only moves forward, never backward, and the only way one can expect to be around tomorrow is to move forward with it and get older. When you stop moving forward with time and, therefore, stop getting older, you die (not necessarily in that order). The only way that anybody who is younger than me can catch up with me in years is if I stop aging (die). I figure it’s pretty much the same for all of us – you included.
Once I figured that out, I realized that failure to get younger is not a bad price to pay for waking up tomorrow. And once I realized that, I was able to embrace getting older with a modicum of grace.
Moving forward in age is actually pretty cool. It presents us with a whole new set of things to think about when making plans for down the road.
One of those considerations is retirement…
Some day, in the next several years, I hope to retire (it’s either that or work until I die, and I much prefer the retirement route for as many years as possible before I finally bite the big one – but that’s not up to me, and I’m working on being ready when the big one gets bit), and when retirement day arrives, I’m gonna need something to do with whatever time I have left on this Earth.
Up till now I haven’t actually given much thought to how I’m going to spend that time. Oh, I have considered volunteering and hiking a lot. Take up photography. Find some other frustrated musicians and start a 60s rock band (60’s meaning our ages, not necessarily the brand of music we would play). The usual stuff, I guess.
But as far as serious activity plans, just about nothing has come to mind.
Yes, today. And, as is the case with most of my best ideas, it came to me in the grocery store. This time I never even got to the checkout stand before it hit me. This time it happened in…
… The magazine isle. Yes, the magazine isle…
Judy was looking at some magazines in the magazine isle, and I was biding my time (being the patient husband) while she perused through publication after publication. Waiting… Waiting… Waiting.
After approximately two weeks of wait time, I decided that if she could peruse then so could I.
And so I did…
Peruse… Peruse… Peruse until –
– Whoa! I had perused myself through all sorts of works having to do with how to have the greatest marriage in the history of marriage, how to have muscles in places that do not currently exist on your (or anyone else’s) body and how to acquire millions in the house flipping industry – when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a nine dollar rag with my future right there!
Yes, my quest (you know – the quest upon which I had not yet embarked) had been successful, and all I had to do was to go to the grocery store!
Oh yeah – and wait patiently. Good things come to those who wait patiently.
I was astounded at how easily I had patiently waited my way to revelation! Seriously, folks, forebearance really works. We should all try it sometime…
Anyway, back to my story…
At the exact moment that my eyes landed upon this magazine cover I knew that my life’s plan had been revealed to me. One look at the guy on the cover and I was thinking, “Holy cow!! That’s me! That guy in the picture is my doppelgänger! This is what I am supposed to do!” All I had to do now was to convince Judy that allowing me to make the nine dollar investment required to obtain the document that I would use to map out my future retirement activity program and I would be all set…
It took some doing, but after agreeing to never again go shopping with her after we are both retired she permitted me to spend the money.
And so I did.
By now you may be wondering how I am going to spend my golden years. Well, here it is…
Yes, that’s right! I am going to become a modern day pioneer! I have already started reading up on skinning and selling furs and searching Craig’s list for classic guns and powder horns and leather leggings and jackets with fringes hanging down everywhere and other great backwoods companions! (I already have a couple of cowboy hats so I figure I’m off to a great start!)
I think I’ll probably start small on the “furs” thing. We have a couple of squirrels living in the back yard, and I can practice on them when I get my musket, slug making gear and Bowie Knife.
Man, I’m totally stoked that I have finally found my true calling in life! I only wish it had come to me three or four decades sooner! I could already be living the good life climbing every mountain, fording every stream and following every rainbow until I find my dream… (Hmmm.. I wonder if there’s a song in there somewhere… Nah – it would never catch on…)
Anyway, I have bids in on ebay for some bear traps, whiskey and a fur hat for Winter trapping trips, and I want to make sure they don’t get away so I am going to sign off.
But just one word of advice before I go.
Guys, If you’re not the patient type when you are shopping with your wife, you may be missing out on opportunities that might not come your way again. Make the occasion a time of searching for that one thing you are missing in your life.
You will probably find it in the magazine isle…