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Archive for September, 2008

Recycling Night

It’s a late work night and I don’t have any original material to vomit forth so I’m recycling.

All righty then, I posted this two nights ago, from The Dude, but I buried it under a tonne of my bullsh*t.  Not so here.  Constant Readers (wherever you are), I give you…

Bacon Mayonnaise!!!

I’m sure if I hadn’t buried it there would have been comments.  It is one of those things where you have to just accept that it is not good for you and that you choose to enjoy it anyway (like smoking except I’ve never heard of second-hand bacon fat killing innocent bystanders):

Bacon Mayonnaise

Author’s note: Is it possible to improve upon a classic BLT? I think so, by adding another layer of flavor with my bacon mayonnaise. The recipe makes about enough for four sandwiches. It’s best to use it all up as the bacon fat will turn it solid in the refrigerator.

Makes about 1/2 cup/125 ml

1 egg yolk

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup/125 ml liquid bacon

Combine the egg yolk, mustard, and lemon juice in the small bowl of a food processor or in a blender and process to mix. Season with salt and pepper. Have the bacon fat liquid, but not hot. With the machine running, gradually add the bacon fat until the mixture starts to stiffen and emulsify, about two minutes. Once it starts to emulsify, you can add the fat more quickly. If the mayonnaise is too thick, just blend in one teaspoon of boiling water to thin it. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

You put this on a bumper hitch or a dead skunk and they are going to taste good. Creamy heart-clogging gold, I tell you.

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Update #1: Stabbing Victim X-Rays Remember kids:  Don’t try to remove the big honking knives yourself or you could die.

UPDATE #2:  I love how the UK always harbors some crackpate frontrunner for telling the world how they must change.

*** on to regularly scheduled drivel ***

Pic of Pelosi on Drudge…

Something about it NAGGED at my mind.  Nagged like Nancy as a matter of fact.  Then it hit me.  With a bit of p-shop type magic (only a very little bit as I’m feeling less than zero motivation) I floated another image layer over her face and viola!

Tell me the resemblance isn’t there.

… Speaking of deathly ill-looking things, read a paper from the CATO Institute on health care myths.  It’s dated 2005 but the principles still apply – nothing much has changed in 3 years.

cato-health-care-myths

***

Speaking of myths… Obama!  Yes, you can belly up to the bar over at Six Meat Buffet or you can click on the link to see a very disgruntled teleprompter… one that works for Obama.  Very bitter that ‘prompter.  The prompter was brought to us by Iowahawk who gave credit to XD-235.

***

Seems a pastor has taken “love your neighbor” a bit too far.

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UPDATE:  It appears that even in the most serious of times, the Democrats can’t resist throwing in snotty snide comments.  How professional San-Fran Nan can be!  For a loving cookie-baking grandma of 37 she sure can be a crass *itch.

Update #2: I HATE it when this happens.

Update #3:

Mmmm. God damn, Jimmy! This is some serious GOR-MAY shit. Me and Vincent would have been satisfied with some freeze-dried Taster’s Choice. Right? And he springs this serious GOR-MAY shit on us. What flavor is this?

***

That was the plan, anyway.

Winterizing is heavy on everyone’s mind and rather than leaving the mower in a “rode hard and put away wet” condition, I thought it would be a good idea to give it some attention on Saturday.

  • Wife selling Pampered Chef stuff at a local fall festival.   Check.
  • Kids at sitters.  Check.
  • Block of time.  Check.
  • Dog at the ready and just waiting to fetch tools as I need them.  Uh… hold on.

Perhaps tool fetchage is a bit too much to expect of a 9-1/2 week old pup.

Zoe Helped Herself to a Pillow

Drained the oil in the mower.  Most of it drained over my hands but I collected half a pint or so in the bucket.  There was probably an eighth of a pint in my shirt but not worth squeezing out.  Went to the hardware store for oil and returned home.  Then I realized that I forgot about the oil filter.

Turned around, went back to the hardware store and got a filter.

The old filter looked like it was old when model T’s were still on the road (I inherited the lawn mower).  By using a good tight grip and turning the filter I was able to determine that the previous owner had used a filter wrench to install it.  Straining to remain upbeat I said “No biggie!”  Got my filter wrench out and started twisting and slowly but surely there was movement – that slow giving up of the ghost that tells you that things are submitting to your will.  After a great deal of straining it was obvious that the filter wrench had given it’s all and the filter itself had not budged in the least.  The filter wrench lay on the ground, twisted beyond recognition, covered in little bits of my skin and glistening with my blood and 90 year-old oil.

The wrench was slipping anyway so I added two sanding disks from a random orbital sander back-to-back to get a little extra gripping power and I decided to remove the cowling of the mower to get better access.  Forty minutes later the filter started to break free.  The last resort would have been the old “stab the filter with a screwdriver and torque the bastard off” step but I’ve had really obnoxious filters resist even that and just tear like so much used tissue paper.  I went back to the hardware store for a filter.

Installed filter, went to go get the kids.  Kids kept wanting to play on the mower and the dog kept pooping in the no-go area of the yard.  Cruel Wife came home.  I begged her to keep kids and non-tool-fetching pooch out of my hair for a bit.

Started the mower to hear it purr, and purr it did.  As a test I put the deck down to see how it sounded with the blades engaged.   It sounded a lot like I was mowing over a Harley Davidson.  Got off, looked under the mower and discovered that there was no hog under the mower.  While down there I noticed that a foot-long section of belt had peeled off and was lying on the grass.  Hmmm.  Perhaps that had something to do with it?

An hour later, the three-arm job of removing the pins and hardware holding the deck on was complete and it was time again to be off to the hardware store to get a new belt.

As I attempted to install the new belt is was obvious that the new belt would not fit.  Several minutes were devoted to weeping and cursing.  Off to the hardware store again.  The new belt did not fit again.  Off to the hardware store again. By this point the clerks were not even trying to hide their smirks and snickers.  The belt finally fit, and the peasants rejoiced.  Here is where the really hard part came in.  just try to lift a mower deck by yourself while lying on your side and feeding four pins and keys into the linkages that hold the deck up.  It’s not easy.  The pins are slippery because of the blood and tears and the deck has no easy handholds.

After about 20 minutes the pins were driven home and and when I started up the lawnmower it ran beautifully.

I can only suspect that had my pup been properly trained in the retrieval of tools and the sizing of belts that it would have gone much smoother.  A simple 45 minute job took 7 hours, six bandaids, one blackened nail, two well-oiled shirts, and one Dairy Queen Arctic Freeze drink.  I hope she can sleep well at night.

Saturday night and Sunday (and this morning) were spent trying to get the spasms in my neck and pain under control.  Even now the vicodin and flexeril are just able to help me function.  Even percocet wasn’t touching it Saturday night or last night if that is any indication of how ridiculous it got.

So Zöe did not help me with the mower, but in other ways that pup has been the best gift I ever got.  She laid on the couch with me all evening last night with her head rested on my leg. I asked Cruel Wife if the pup had me wrapped around her tail and the look I got said “so much so that if you are wound any tighter you’ll snap in two…” and “…the dog knows it, too”.

Zöe is growing noticeably bigger – I swear if you put an ear next to her you can hear her growing.  Well, actually I can’t hear a damn thing but someone with their hearing intact might be able to sense something.  I don’t have a pic to post right now but if you check back this evening you should be able to see some taken yesterday.

***

Now for something fun and tasty. Sent to me by The Dude.  It is one of those things where you have to just accept that it is not good for you and that you choose to enjoy it anyway (like smoking except I’ve never heard of second-hand bacon fat killing innocent bystanders):

Bacon Mayonnaise

Author’s note: Is it possible to improve upon a classic BLT? I think so, by adding another layer of flavor with my bacon mayonnaise. The recipe makes about enough for four sandwiches. It’s best to use it all up as the bacon fat will turn it solid in the refrigerator.

Makes about 1/2 cup/125 ml

1 egg yolk

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup/125 ml liquid bacon

Combine the egg yolk, mustard, and lemon juice in the small bowl of a food processor or in a blender and process to mix. Season with salt and pepper. Have the bacon fat liquid, but not hot. With the machine running, gradually add the bacon fat until the mixture starts to stiffen and emulsify, about two minutes. Once it starts to emulsify, you can add the fat more quickly. If the mayonnaise is too thick, just blend in one teaspoon of boiling water to thin it. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

***

Here.  Enjoy a good list of why rats make great pets.

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… in a Model T (figuratively).

I spent a great deal of yesterday winterizing my riding lawn mower, which later today in this very post I will describe in putrid detail.   As a result of all this painstaking labor last night became a “Where the hell did I pack away the percocet?   Is it in that box in the closet behind the extra toothpaste?  No… how about next to the ammo?  No… how about in the little basket besides the blender?  Yes!!!

I was lying on the ground trying to replace the belt that links the pulley from the motor shaft to the mower deck.  It is a bad position to lift the disconnected mower deck up and down from when putting on several different belts.  By dinnertime my neck was pretty much in horrible shape and screaming like a ban sidhe‡.  So while I really wanted to do the following, I could not…  write, do some p-shopping, catch up, and…

ANNOUNCE THE RETURN OF STEAMBOAT MCGOO!

He’s pretty much the Moronosphere’s answer to the crazy eccentric sharp-as-a-tack smut-purveying lovable uncle we all had as kids.  Well, I never had such an uncle but if I did, he probably would have been a lot like McGoo.  🙂

So what did I miss yesterday?  Paul Newman died.  Cool Hand Luke and The Sting would not have been what they were without Paul Newman.  I disagreed with his politics but the scales were more than tipped in the other direction by his charity and love of children in need.  He was a true man’s man.

More later.

***

ban sidhe.  Confused?  Go look it up.

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A New Recipe

I thought maybe from here on out I would start taking pitchers of all the dishes I post recipes for.  The better to entice y’all over to the dark side of the kitchen.   The force can be used for good or evil, so why not make it fantastically and hedonistically evil?  And tasty.

This is a meal I prepared a few nights ago.  It worked really nicely.  It was based on a recipe from Jackie Passmore, who is a fantastic lady. Her recipe used bean threads and black vinegar as two components that I did not have.  I am finding more and more that asian cooking is quite flexible and this was no exception.  Her recipe was Bean Threads Stir-Fried with Sichuan Spiced Beef.

So consider my recipe to be a tribute to Ms. Passmore and her book “The Noodle Shop Cookbook“.

My recipe would be more like Bhan Pho Noodles Stir-Fried with Spiced Beef in Black Bean Paste.  See the difference?  Embiggen the pic below by clicking on it.

Bhan Pho Noodles Stir-Fried with Spiced Beef in Black Bean Paste

So here we go.

Bhan Pho Noodles Stir-Fried with Spiced Beef in Black Bean Paste

The Main Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb rice noodles (bhan pho)
  • 10-12 oz lean beef, finely slivered
  • 1 red bell pepper, slivered
  • 1 onion, slivered
  • 3T oil
  • Scallions – 1 bunch

Seasoning:

  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1 T dark soy sauce
  • 1 T chile paste in oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 T black bean paste

Sauce:

  • 1/4 C chicken stock
  • 2 tsp mirin (sweet cooking wine)
  • 2 tsp black bean paste
  • 1-1/2 tsp tamari
  • 1-1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp corn starch

Mix the slivered beef with the seasoning ingredients, set aside for 30 minutes.

Cook the pho for time indicated on the package (about 5 minutes for my noodles).  Drain them and rince them in cold water to cool them off.

Heat the wok to screaming hot.  Add 1 Tbs of the oil and when the oil just starts to smoke, add the peppers and onion and fry them for 30-40 seconds.  Pull aside, reserve in serving dish.

Heat another 1 Tbs oil.  Fry the beef and the seasoning ingredients until the beef is fully cooked, adding the scallions just before the beef is done.  Add in the veggies, mix beef and veggies well and return them to the serving bowl again.

Add remaining oil to the wok.  Stir fry the noodles briefly, add the sauce, and stir until the sauce is just absorbed.  Add the beef and veggies back into the wok, stir well to combine, and pour all back into serving bowl.

***

I loathe My Pretty Pony™ yet I have them lying around the house and tolerate them for the sake of my daughter, GirlHead.

That doesn’t mean I can’t use them for my entertainment purposes.

Pretty Punky Pony

Pretty Punky Pony

Next, I shall rain fire down upon Care Bears™.

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Get elemental with your inner Geek.  USB Plasma Ball.  They are real, I’ve played with one.

***

From the “You Can’t Make this Stuff Up” files: Treasury Secretary goes down on one knee for Speaker Pelosi.  It is rumored that she had multiple orgasms.

***

Well thank goodness for this.  If you’re going to charge the guy for being an ass to a cop, fine.  If you’re going to charge him with a DUI, fine.  But don’t charge him for assault when he was just farting at the cop.  Ooh, the poor officer’s eyes must have watered so.

***

What, they’d rather he spit on the guy’s fries instead?

***

You know, 22 years ago they’d have kicked the little 8th grade fruitcake out of school until he’d had some serious counseling.  He’s fighting to wear makeup in school.  The fact that his mother is supporting this attention-starved little ass means she could use a bit of work herself.  You just don’t see crap like this happening in countries that aren’t soft through and through.

***

Man am I glad these guys are on top of this.  Those hotdogs plump when you cook ’em.  You know how it is… you’re tailgating, you wrap your hotdogs in some duct-tape to bring them into the game and next thing you know the bomb squad leaves you to buying crappy dogs at the concession stands for $6 each.

***

On a serious note…

I’m in a mood.  I know it is life, but I have a friend who just lost his second parent to pancreatic cancer, another friend whose mom (my informally adoptive mom – wonderful, kind, sweet lady) who is dying of it, and a third friend whose dad was diagnosed with it, and friend #4 whose uncle is dying of it.

Try as I might, I’m not seeing any grander purpose about all this bullshit.  Lost my mom earlier this year and she went in a bad way.  Hell, my CAT had it better than anyone.  What’s the greater purpose?

It’s been 18 months of pain for me after a car wreck – and it is getting better, but about 4 times too slow for me.  Turn your head the wrong way you get to spend three days in serious pain.  There’s no sense in the suffering I see around me.  I’m feeling very cynical today and more than a bit bitter.  I say to myself “God can create the universe and everything in it but cannot help His creations?”  The book of Job ends up sounding cruel.  Let’s just say I’m having a crisis of faith and no small amount of anger.

Our bodies break down, sometimes when we’re 90, sometimes before we’re even born, but it always happens and there’s never any dignity in it. I don’t care if you can walk, see, wipe your own butt. It’s always ugly. Always. You can live with dignity, we can’t die with it.

– House, M.D. ( Pilot episode)

And because I’m feeling like a bit of a bastard… I was looking for “bulls and bears” for a Wall Street pic and just lost half my eyesight.  Damn.

"Bull Ride Gone Wrong" (no shite?)

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Love the stuff. Supposedly it’s “out of style” but if you like something based only on whether it is in style or not you are little better than a sheep.  I am many things, perhaps ignorant, perhaps lacking imagination, perhaps an assh*le, but not a sheep.

Steampunk, again.  This is an electric guitar with real style.

Steampunk Ladybug.

Steampunk Beds.  I really like furniture that is simple, clean, a blend of old and new in such a way that it is hard to date it.  Blade Runner was steampunk and is timeless.

A Sector Watch.  I wanteth it.

Another watch, probably costing the GDP of a small backwards country – like say California.

***

Thank heavens that race isn’t an issue in this race.

“If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention,” said Hastings. “Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through.” – Florida Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings

It’s like a bad horror movie.  You think you staked the beast in the heart and it comes back to claw you to death time after time.  Hillary returns?  Love the Biden resigning for health excuse.  Come on, just admit you don’t have the leadership skills to pick good people, Obama.

Also this could be titled:  “How to look like a damn freakshow exhibit.”  Modding your body so you look like an elf?  Try something different.  Take up ping-pong, macrame, or even animal husbandry.

BoingBoing has a bolt-on goatee shaving guide.  You just screw the little pegs into the sinuses in your cheekbones (no pilot hole needed) and from then on you can clamp this sucker to your face for that perfect shave every time.  No, not really.  You bite on it.  It does give that cool “Hi, I’m Hannibal Lector” suave look.

Can PETA get any damn weirder?  Human breast milk in ice cream.  Yeaaah.  Okayyyyy.

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Grab Bag O Imagery

Well, I promised a pic of Zöe with the hot-pink sausage-dog toy thingie.  So here’s me, LK, and the pup.

I’m guessing that Obama would like to do this to Biden.

I’m not naming names but I know someone who owns a Pampered Chef business and I LOVE their stuff.  Luckily I get to use a LOT of their stuff.  Some… meh.  Some of it just doesn’t meet my standards but that is because they’ve made some items too safe.  But other things like the garlic press and the utensils – oh yeah.  And baking stones… droool.

So anyway, I was thinking “pampered” and how it’s kind of a funny word, and as I broke it down it changed form to “pimpered” and I thought again (twice in one night, ow) that maybe, just maybe this would be a funny twist to the idea.  It’s a work in progress.

That is it for imagery tonight.  I thought I’d have time to try a few more ideas for fun but I had to work so it just didn’t fly.  Sorry.

Techno Update:

And if a portable high-lifetime bacteria/virus water filtration system with carbon filters isn’t teh cool, I don’t know what is.

This doesn’t really make me feel any safer.  Now I feel threatened by my government.  Correction:  Now I feel MORE threatened by my government.

What is your first – and I mean FIRST thought when you view the image here?

We only have the smallest of reprieves and ultimately our government intrusion will be a moot point. CERN won’t kill us until next springWe’re all gonna DIIIiiiieeeeeee. Someday.

Our sun is a bum. It does nothing.  And it begs for rides and favors.

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Biden Your Time…

[Warning:  I’m in a mood.  Cut me some slack.]

Way I see it, you just gotta wait and they’re going to beat each other to death.

Biden critical of Obama ad.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Barack Obama’s running mate says a campaign ad that mocked Republican presidential candidate John McCain as an out-of-touch, out-of-date computer illiterate was “terrible” and would not have been done had he known about it.

Obama spanks Biden.

***

Nice going, hound-dog.  I mean, damn, I’ve seen Hillary so on one level I understand but show a little self control.

"I could nail that." - WJC

"I could nail that." - WJC

Then Slick Willy goes on to say something way out of character or at the very least disingenuous.

“I get this,” Clinton said. “My view is … why say, ever, anything bad about a person? Why don’t we like them and celebrate them and be happy for her elevation to the ticket? And just say that she was a good choice for him and we disagree with them?

Whatever, it still smells like a steaming pile of bullshit.

***

Crime pays.

***

I PREDICT…

The new sell-music-on-memory-cards concept will lead to little itty-bitty cards packaged in indestructible plastic at least the size of a 8.5×11 sheet of paper (despite claims in this article) and misshapen and irregularly formed.

I also predict that it won’t be long before anti-copying “smarts” will be put on them – it is the ultimate trojan horse to control music.  Initially market it free of controls, get people hooked on them, then quietly initiate the controls, touting them as purely self-preservation-oriented.

The Clairvoyant Lemur has babbled.  Perhaps entirely in error.  Who cares?

***

Oh for God’s sake.  Why do they think cheerleaders dress the way they do in the first place?  Bunch of frakkin’ clods.

The previous uniforms didn’t flatter every member of the team, and some girls said their outfits were uncomfortable, Robson said.

“Girls are just bigger these days, not everybody’s a size zero,” Robson said. “We’re not being a bunch of prudes.”

Not everybody got to be an astronaut either. Not everybody gets to be a cute cheerleader with a good bod and feel flattered by their uniform. Deal with it.  Fact is, just like good athleticism is kind of required to be a QB or tight end, a stunning bod is pretty much de rigeuer in cheerleading.

***

This is a true and total damned waste of taxpayer dollars.  A new design wasn’t needed.  No one counterfeits the things – they look ok as-is.  I would rather they spent more money trying to figure out how to spank North Korea’s superbill counterfeiting capability.

***

Yep, I am thinking that this disorder is really far more common than originally thought.  A Double-X (XX) chromosome pairing pretty much condemns you to a life of this is some form.

NOTE:  WJC did not say “I could nail that”.  About Palin.

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Seriously scary stuff… I was amenable to controlled bailouts if they made sense from a pragmatic standpoint.  The kind of logic that says “If the whole applecart is not only going to be upset but nuked, then it is worth doing.”   However, this sort of stuff scares me silly – as posted by Michelle Malkin:

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

It gets better according to Malkin:

On Sept. 15, Paulson was patting himself on the back for refusing to “put taxpayer money on the line” to rescue Lehman Brothers. On Sept. 16, just a day after drawing a line in the bailout sand, Paulson teamed up with the Fed’s Ben Bernanke to engineer the $85 billion federal bailout of AIG. And on Sept. 19, he was telling Americans that “hundreds of billions of dollars” — their dollars — were needed to “be big enough to make a real difference and get at the heart of the problem” and “stabilize the system.” This is on top of the estimated $200 billion in capital and credit lines committed by Paulson to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — capital that he had promised he wouldn’t be injecting into those two government-sponsored entities in August ( “We have no plans to insert money into either of those two institutions.”)

You need to go to the link to her site and read what she’s had to say about Paulson and the scary stuff going on here.  It almost makes the democrats look like pikers.  Oops.  He is a democrat.  She has FAR more to say than I’ll post here.

***

I’m all for a good joke but this goes beyond humor into a vicious mean-spirited masquerade – joking about Palin’s husband and incest.  Keep it up Dems… lines can be crossed.

If anyone in Washington was surprised they should be removed for being naive suckers.  They should be anyway. Like North Korea had any intention of doing anything once they had aid and oil in their pocket.  Rule #1 – you don’t give someone a rock to throw at you.

This is a lot like a family declaring bankruptcy because of living on credit cards to fund all manner of hedonistic activities, and just as the papers are being signed they charge a two-week cruise.  Bonuses at Lehmen’s?

Last I checked, the man could only drive one at a time.  McCain and his Baker’s Dozen of Evil Terrorism-Sponsoring Machines.

Metrosexuality doesn’t pay.  It all comes down to this:  Are you going to be agressive enough to demand fair compensation?  Most women are just not going to beThere is your gender/wage gap. What a load of shite.

Double standard?  You mean “buy one, get one free” isn’t allowed with Palin? I wasn’t aware it was even an issue in conservative circles.

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Pupdate.

Today you get a puppy update. Pupdate, get it? Yeah, I knew you had.

Let us start off with a bang…

GirlHead and Pup - Privacy Preserved

The pup did experience massive barfage on the ride home.  I expected that it could happen.  Hot pup, excitement, and car motion.  Man, that’s about as risky as vodka and peach schnapps with a sorority girl.  Not quite.  but getting there.  At least in this case we weren’t talking about a liquid panty-peeler (and the pup has a 30 IQ point lead).

In case you wondered, Zöe is pronounced ZOH-ee  (the J and X are silent letters).  The wife always pictures the sheriff’s blonde daughter in Eureka and I picture the kick-butt black gal in Firefly (no one could carry that part off as well as she did and look great doing it).

An attentive reader (Weasel, she pities me) noted:

Decided to stick with a Z theme, did you?

Well yes, Weas, I did go with the Z name even though we dropped Zola.  Why stick with the “Z” theme?  I don’t know.  I was throwing out names as the pup was throwing up and the wife threw some out and I heard Zöe and said “Hey.  I like that.  It’s cute, it’s tough, it’s easy to say in a bad neighborhood… Yeah, Zöe… and add the SpeedMetal Ümläüts™ over the “o” and yeah, it (sort of) satisfies my original desire for a german name… no, not really, but… oh hell.  We’ve reached a truce, me and the wife.  We spell it Z-O-E instead of Z-O-E-Y, but she insists on leaving out the Ümläüts™.  Fine, but I’m still going to use the Ümläüts™ because I like ’em, so THERE.

Too Tired to Eat

Too Tired to Eat

Last night her crate was next to me (Zöe’s crate, not the wife’s) – I sleep on the couch on account of my neck – and she did whine quite a bit.  My answer was to dangle my hand down next to it so she could smell me and then fall asleep.  Neither of us got loads of sleep last night.  Which is why I kicked back the recliner today, draped a blanket across me, and laid her out on my chest full-length.  Just a few minutes later and we both passed out.

Strangely, or not so strangely I guess, when we both woke up she had a much different outlook.  It was like her little “Trust Him” switch got thrown and she started relaxing around the whole family in a big way.  In no time at all she, Cruel Wife, and both Lemurlets were all chasing each other around the yard.  She’s investigating the house and scoping out all the wonderful things to chew on.

Here I’d like to point something out… She has not piddled or pooped in the house once.  When I let her out and say “Go do your stuff” she runs to the back corner of the yard where I first encouraged her to “go”, and for her other tricks, 50% of the time she sits when told to and likewise for coming when I call.  Not bad for one day.  It is so weird.  Awesome, but weird.  Granted, I take her out every 30 minutes to an hour, and I praise the dogsh*t out of her every time she so much as sprinkles the grass, and she goes out after each meal or large water drinkage.  She will have accidents and she will also be a handful, but I’m encouraged by the start.

You’d think I was committed to training her or something.  I am I am I am SO committed to raising this pup to be a credit to her breed.  She’s very intelligent and very affectionate, even at 8-1/2 weeks.  It is the wife’s hope (and mine too) to possibly enlist her help to visit kids and the elderly in the hospital/nursing-home environment.   So far she has the right temperament.

Someone... play with me... or I eat the carpet.

Currently she is wide awake and begging to be played with… more later…

… and I still have to work tonight.  Oh boy.

And she just barked her first bark.  Uh oh.

***

And for the bad joke of the day… sent by a friend of my dad’s – bad bad bad (yuk yuk):

Hey everyone,

I have 4 extra tickets for the Robbie Knievel daredevil event in Philadelphia next weekend if anybody wants them.  As you know, Robbie Knievel followed in his dad’s footsteps and is one of the greatest daredevil jumpers of our time.

At this event, he’s going to try to jump over 5000 Obama supporters with a bull dozer.

Please let me know by Friday…..

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And the Pup’s Name is…

… is going to come out in it’s own good time.  In a few minutes.  Indulge me.

We left here at 8am.  Cruising singlemindedly down I-96 to 696, up 75, and through 300 miles of red lights and annoying traffic, we finally arrived at the farm.

The farm was laid out as hospitals and churches can be laid out – with no part appearing to the untrained eye as if they are related in any way.  So we looked around while the kids did this electron orbital cloud thing about us, never ceasing, never pinned down.

I had some sort of stomach thing going on from some chinese food I ate last night so I begged off to use the bathroom before going to see the mother dog and our puppy.  From my side of the 700 year old dual bathroom’s thin walls I could hear Cruel Wife shriek “No nononono-NO!  YOU NEVER PUT YOUR HAND IN THE TOILET!  YUCKY!”

Ah, so the boy had followed the wife into the latrine.  Heh heh heh.

Anyway, sometime later after I had waited an appropriate interval, we all trouped on down to the office where they had the dogs.  There was some loud industrial crushing equipment or ore pulverizer machines going in the back room so I had trouble catching much of what was said.  It would have been better had I just put in totally sound-deadening earplugs because even though I have moderately bad hearing loss, the recruitment issues mean that loud noises actually hurt me WORSE than people with normal hearing.  Yeah, go figure.

I nod encouragingly every so often even though for all I know she is telling me about her gender reassignment surgery and her induction into the Church of Rooster Worship.  She seemed satisfied so I didn’t want to upset the boat.  Then the pup was brought out (previously known as Zola).  I held her and within minutes was completely smitten with her and pretty much wouldn’t share her with anyone.  It was bad.  Cruel Wife knew I wanted a dog but she had no idea the magnitude of my yearning for a dog.  First 20 years of my life there was pretty much a dog around all the time.

So Zola comes out and is shivering and panting and more than a bit sweaty.  She’d lost a lot of litter-mates in the last few days and was pretty wigged.

We signed a sheaf of papers that would make a mortgage lender blanch and got her registration papers and health paperwork and pretty much got a swat on the butt and sent on our way.  We got complimentary donuts and cider but I wasn’t having any of it.  I sat on the grass with my dog.  I kept saying it to myself, and it was pathetic:  “My dog.  MY dog.  My DOG.  MY DOG.  mY dOG. … ”  Well, you get the idea.

30 years later the kids and the wife finish their goodies and time kicks into it’s normal pace again.  Powdered sugar hangs in the air and crumbs tumble to the grass in slow motion, and the kids have these glassy stares and smoky expressions.  The wife, having completed her maternal duties of feeding the offspring – hungry or not – is satisfied and we leave.

We get in the SUV (doing my part to help terrorism, apparently) and start down the road.  Five miles down the road, I notice that she is frothing at the mouth a bit and suddenly horks up a HUGE wad of puppy chow.  I remember thinking that she must’ve gotten the same chinese carry-out that I did.   So this wad of wet puppy chow boils over my flannel shirt on my right arm, onto the arm rest of the door, into the door latch mechanism, and makes this sickening plop on the floor.

Crickets did not chirp, they barfed in sympathy.  Me, I held my own.

Well at least we got that out of the way!  Not unexpected, and  I console her and tell her it’s all right and that she couldn’t help it.

Just as I got all settled in again she started stiffening up and straightening out then leaning forward and blew approximately the same amount of chunks onto my wife’s flannel shirt (I was prepared this time).  It cascaded over the shirt and ran onto the floor.

Crickets heaved weakly.  Me, I held my own.

Oh, it’s ok, pup.  You can’t help that you are hot, scared, and in a car.  It’s ok.

Coming back to 96 via 696, she horks up again with very little warning all over my lap.  On both legs from crotch to knees, my hands, forearms, and onto the floor. Her toenails were fighting for position with her tail to decide who was going to come up next.

Crickets burped bile.  Me, I fought wave after wave of nausea as I smelled her stomach acid and something else.

She felt all better after that and went to sleep next to me, between me and the console.  Me, I continued to fight wave after wave of nausea.  Crickets vacated the premises.

We arrived home 2 hours after we left the farm and put out water and food.  She was surprisingly in very little distress and didn’t seem all that interested in water or food.

She’s slept a LOT, drunk some water, peed a bit, did her #2 in the yard.

And she frolicked in the grass with me, chasing me around and around the yard.

I present to you:

Zoe

Zöe, nee Zola, at rest this afternoon.

***

Update:

This was such a cool idea, it seems a shame to ruin it… musical highways.

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So I’m sitting there one day and wondering to myself… why did the first person to get high off of a toad lick it?

Did they hold the toad in their hand, sheltering it with their body,  look furtively side to side, and then dart their tongue out for a lightning-fast lick before anyone would notice?  THEN what?  Say nothing, act casual while you fly through several takes of Heavy Metal?

(click to embigger it)

So then I started thinking… what if you stuck a popsicle stick up it’s hoo-hoo and walked around like it was a popsicle?  Who would you use for such a graphic?  If I’d used Samuel L. Jackson (who I happen to love as an actor) he’d have kicked my ass and rightfully so.  John Cusack would’ve been really good because he could look cool and hilarious at the same time, but he’d never bite.

Which brought up more questions than answers regarding toads.  How do you keep ’em fresh?  Freezers?  Do they lose potency when frozen?  What about other preservation methods?

So, in keeping with my newfound love of old advertisements, I figured I’d try a 40’s style mixed in with some contemporary and a hint of satire.  A big hint.  Pip Boy (or Shelter Boy) was the guest star because he’s always pretty upbeat and I love Fallout type games.

See what sleep deprivation and Nyquil get you?

Oh yes… tomorrow is P-Day.

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