November 24, 2013
Judy and I have, generally, the same taste in fiction. We both like Clive Cussler, David Baldacci, Preston and Child and Richard Castle.
Judy, however, also seems to have other literary tastes, previously unknown to me. To wit, “Chick books” (like chick flicks, only on paper), and she has just introduced me to Nicholas Sparks (author of such man-books as “The Notebook”, “At First Sight”, and now ”Safe Haven”.).
She is excited about this book and, in a doomed to fail effort to share her enthusiasm and recruit a new fan for the genre, she decided to read me a passage from “Safe Haven”.
Tragically, this is the quote with which she attempted to woo me…
“As day faded into night, she loved watching the sky turning from blue to gray to orange and yellow at the western rim of the world. At sunset, the water sparkled and sail boats heeled in the breeze. The needles on the pine trees seemed to shimmer. As soon as the sun dropped below the horizon, Ivan turned on the propane gas heaters and the coils began to glow like jack-o’-lanterns.”
Upon hearing this passage, this scene from the movie “Bedazzled” came to mind…
But I’m a fair kind of guy, and I have decided to go against my usual writing habits and give it a shot on my own. Who knows – I could end up writing romance novels after I retire…
Anyway, here goes…
“Roses always made her cry, or rather, softly weep, tears of emotion turned to substance that emanated from the deep turquoise-blue pools that were, are and forever will be, her eyes; perfectly situated somewhere near the middle of the excruciatingly nearly perfect rectangular orb that she called her face.”
Hmmm… I’m thinking that’s not bad. I think I may be onto something here. I wonder what comes next…
“As each drop of the salty fluid fell toward the Earth, only to have its descent cruelly and prematurely halted as it struck her precisely cut slice of lemon meringue pie, it became progressively clearer to her that all of the roses in the world could not change the fact that she had ordered, not lemon meringue, but banana cream pie.”
I LIKE IT!!!
What you said: ”They’ll probably want me to put sheets on their bed.”
What I heard: ”Ted scroogled the feet time good.”
Me: “You know, I would rather be right here, snuggling with you, than with all of the best smelling skunks in the whole world.”
Me: “Well, a guy’s gotta start somewhere…”
Hello, once again, Gentle Reader, and welcome to another episode of “The Domestic Me“.
I’ve recently noticed that Culinary Art and Gourmet Recipes have become vogue on Facebook. I have been impressed with the presentations and have found myself, on more than one occasion, salivating like Pavlov’s Dog.
I have also found myself wondering how mere human beings come up with such wonderfully incredible ways to entice, indulge and satisfy one’s appetite.
Well, I’m still wondering, but I have decided that the best way to figure it out is to try my own hand and inject my own cooking abilities into the fray!
So, without any further ado, I am proud and excited to introduce my first foray in the field of “Culinary Art”.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Gourmets of all ages! I give you
Oeilet Petit Instant et Supplements de Vitamines
Oeilet Petit Instant et Supplements de Vitamines – Step by step instructions:
- Preheat oven to 730 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Go to the refrigerator and pull out a gallon of milk (you can also substitute a quart of milk or a pint of milk, but you won’t have as much left after you dump 8 ounces of the stuff into – oh wait – that’s coming up later and I don’t want to spoil the surprise).
- Go to the pantry and open the door.
- Recover from the shock of having your cat leap out at you from the darkness within the pantry.
- Find one of the three (3) boxes of Oeilet Petit Instant stored there and remove one packet of the Oeilet Petit Instant powder.
- Go to cupboard and open the door.
- Grab an 8 ounce drinking cup (Surprise!).
- Go to the bathroom and open the Medicine Cabinet door.
- Pull out appropriate quantities of your favorite Supplements de Vitamines and deposit them into a paper cup for transport to the kitchen.
- For the purposes of this recipe, I have chosen to include the following quantities of the following Supplements de Vitamines:
- “B” = 3000 mg (3 gel caps)
- “C” = 1 tablet
- “E” = 1 gel cap
- Glucosemine Chondroitin = 1 horse pill
- Ginkgo Biloba = 2 capsules
- Centrum Silver (non-chewable) = 1 tablet
- Fish Oil (Definitely non-chewable) = 1 gel cap
- Ginseng = 2 capsules
- For the purposes of this recipe, I have chosen to include the following quantities of the following Supplements de Vitamines:
- Check the heat on the oven.
- Dump about 8 ounces of milk into the cup.
- Pour in the powder.
- Go find a clean spoon (in an emergency, a knife or fork will do, but it will take longer to mix. Or if you’re in a real bind you can try covering the top of the cup with one hand and shake vigorously for five minutes, but I don’t recommend it).
- Stir the mixture until well blended.
- Turn off the oven.
- Arrange the cup and Supplements de Vitamines in some attractive fashion and serve.
Cow Facts Trilogy – Part Five (5): A Cow By Any Other Name (cont’d) Or What’s So Good About Smelling Like A Cow?
June 14, 2013
…Yes, it’s true – cows stink. But let’s not panic over that…
It’s been a couple of years (0ne year and 364 days, to be exact – but who’s counting?) since I left you all hanging, wondering how I am going to explain the benefits of having cow “scents”.
If you have been keeping up, you know that cows have their own distinktive aroma. There’s nothing else quite like it on the planet. True, there are things that are close, but not quite exact enough to be awarded a cigar. Cow odor is unique among all creatures great and small, and about the closest thing to it is the way a brand newly planted lawn smells on a hot day…
I have noticed that many people don’t actually like the way cows smell, and I find that just a bit mystifying. While it’s true that a herd of cows will probably never win any fragrance awards in the human realm, there are worse smelling things than a cow…
And this, my friends, brings me to the main points of this report…
- What could possibly smell worse than a cow?
- Why is it that cows smell the way they do?
- When did cows begin to smell that way?
- Where can one go to learn to appreciate the odor of a cow?
- How is it that cows smell so good?
Well, believe it or not, I have been pondering these questions over the past two years, searching for workable answers, and not coming up with even one.
Until last night…
That’s when I was “listening” to my lovely wife, Judy, read to me from her latest work on Translational Medicine…
She was reading from her notes on Translational Medicine, and I was listening – hanging on every word, in fact. But I am a very talented multi-thinker, and was able to simultaneously pay nearly undivided attention to her while continuing my uninterrupted search for the answer to why cows smell the way they do.
At one point during her presentation, I asked her the clarifying question, “But how do you incorporate systemic therapeutic approaches targeting multiple factors such as and did you know that cows have an incredible sense of smell, and, in fact, it’s believed that they can smell something up to six miles away? OH! LOOK! There’s the perfect place to hang my “burnt guitars” picture!”
I stopped.. I rewound.. I replayed what I had just said…
“SIX… MILES… AWAY…”
And that’s when it hit me…
“Wait a minute… Cows smell really bad, yeah, but they also smell really well.“
At this point, Judy appeared to have completed her speech, so I became free to focus my complete attention on the questions at hand…
And here’s what I came up with… The reason cows smell the way they do is ……………………………………………………………………………………………..
Yes, I said “chickens.”
Unless you have ever lived within ten miles down wind of a chicken ranch, you have no idea how refreshing it can be to smell a cow.
And that’s where we will pick up when, again, we continue…
Well, tool lovers, it’s time for another foray into the world of “putting stuff together with Bill!” This time, also staring Judy as my faithful marital partner and “let’s assemble something today” sidekick, and Troy, as the completely amiable Sears sales representative.
You may remember my experience with the Black and Decker Workmate Portable Workbench and Project Table from last year. This one promised to be infinitely more exciting, largely because it came in a much bigger box and had lots more parts than the last project.
This, you would think, would have occurred to me at the time of purchase. It’s a gazebo for crying out loud, and if one pays close attention, there are reasonably ‘easy to detect’ differences..
As you might glean from looking at the pictures, there is more to assembling a gazebo than a workmate 125.
One really GREAT difference, though, is that the instructions were in English (as a primary language).
This all started two weeks ago when Judy and I walked into the Sears store in Oakhurst, CA. Not a large place, but it has all of the things that a guy like me needs to test his patience. And it’s staffed by an extremely friendly group of people who we have come to know well and like much over the last couple of years since the house burned down.
On this particular visit, we met Troy for the first time… I was in the market for some sort of electrical sander, and he showed me one on sale. I thought, “It’s on sale. Sold!”
But my shopping spree was just beginning…
On the way to the check out stand, we passed a fully assembled Bay Window Gazebo. This was a very bad thing for several reasons:
- Judy and I had had a new patio poured several months ago, to cover up a patch of empty dirt (except for weeds) that used to be the floor of our bedroom before reconstruction.
- We were trying to think of a way to make it usable as a patio by adding some sort of cover that isn’t going to cost $10,000..
- The gazebo on display looked great.
- The gazebo was on sale…
In the end, the last point was really the only one that mattered. We promptly ordered one from Troy…
The following Saturday, Judy and I went back in to pick up our new gazebo. While we were there, Judy happened to notice an outdoor furniture set located just adjacent to the check out stand. She had actually been looking online for one all week to go with the new gazebo, and had fallen in love with this specific set. Go figure.
She looked at me. I looked at her. I looked at Troy. Troy looked at me. Troy looked at Judy. Judy looked at Troy. We all looked at the sign stuck to the love seat portion of the grouping…
You know what that sign said? I’ll tell you what it said. It said…
Judy smiled at me. I smiled at Judy. I smiled at Troy. Troy smiled at me. Troy smiled at Judy. Judy smiled at Troy.
And the rest is history…
At this point, we had become pretty good friends with Troy, which is both good and bad. Good because it’s always a good thing to make a friend. Bad (for Troy) because this is the point at which I got the idea of “documenting” the assembly of the gazebo, and I thought it would be a great idea to start with Troy briefly going over the process of assembly. Troy agreed and filming commenced…
It’s interesting (to me, anyway) to note that the instructions list only two tools required for assembly – a hammer and a ladder. A small pseudo-wrench-ish looking thingy is provided in the box.
To that list, I personally added two more tools – a second ladder and a socket wrench. The second ladder is only required if you do not have a very tall fellow (8′ tall) to hold up the “roof” during assembly, and the socket wrench is a replacement for the pseudo-wrench-ish looking thingy, which is (in my case) completely useless.
The hammer is for therapeutic use only (in case you elect not to use the second ladder and socket wrench).
And now for the good part of this whole post – I’ve decided to slap together some of the of the hours of video I decided to shoot showing the progress of the assembly. In fact, as you may be able to discern from Judy’s comments during filming, we probably could have knocked this out in about half the time, had I not been so excited about documenting the project.
I will have a few comments after the movie…
After movie comments (clarifications of cerebral flatulations)…
1 – On most good days, I really do know the difference between a hammer and a ladder. I think I was just overly expectant (overenthusiastic?) about the possibility of hitting something out of frustration.
2 – There never was a last step, so anywhere you hear me say the words “last” and “step” together in the same sentence, don’t believe it. In fact, if you hear the words “last”, “done”, “end”, “finish”, “wrap” or any derivative or those (or any other) words, or other indication that something has been completed in any part of this production, you can feel safe in disregarding that sentiment.
3 – When you subtract 8:30 AM from 11:00 AM, you come up with 2 hours and 30 minutes, not 1 hour and 30 minutes.
4 – When you subtract 8:30 AM from 12:15 PM, you come up with 3 hours and 45 minutes, not 3 hours and 15 minutes.
4 – The Bar-b-Cue actually took us 16 hours to complete. This, of course, renders my statement that it took us “between 3 and 4 times as long” to assemble the Weber as it took to build the gazebo a complete and utter falsehood. Probably a subconscious attempt on my part to make myself feel better about my abilities as a “thing assembler”.
Finally (I hope), today we are going to go see Troy again. Judy ordered two ottomans (ottomen?) for the gazebo. Ottomans. Really. I think she wants to start an empire… And besides that…
They are on sale…
What you said: “Finally… some deer appreciators.”
What I heard: “Simon lives in dirt with fish haters.”