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Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category

I had no idea that Vegans were so into eating their used condoms. Plus that hardly seems Vegan at that point, but if they want to eat certified Vegan used condoms rather than synthetics, more power to ‘em, I guess.

Leave it to Vegans.

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Those French.

I was disgusted at this frenchman’s choice of white beans when a sensible portion of haricot verts with a shallot and almond butter makes more sense.

But white beans with Frenchman is just pedestrian and frankly, crude.

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I have seen two beheadings now and multiple executions by other means and I have to say beheading is one of my least favorite choices of how I would want to die personally, but if you run with the crowd that thinks this is cool stuff I am not too worked up if you die that way yourself. Getting beheaded by your own side when they mistake you as the enemy? Priceless.

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Society has something wrong with it. I am sure of it. When entertainment consists of targeting total strangers to see if you can sucker punch them into unconsciousness in one blow… You have issues.
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Obamacare is burdened by low income and higher risk people and requires the healthy and affluent to finance it. It is also dangerously close to tanking because it is not adequately funded. So we need more people to keep the premiums down!

Let’s add millions of illegal immigrants, because they will represent the biggest pool of healthy and wealthy people that will put more into the system than they take out.

Yeah, amnesty is key to making it work. Let’s see… What else? OH YEAH! I am pretty sure gun control, additional NSA funding, and more HomeSec bullets, armor, vehicles, crowd control, and facial recognition systems (drones go w/o saying) are also key to making Obamacare work.

From my BIL…

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Is this classy to make a giant flip-the-bird statue up and point it at your ex wife after you moved into the house next to your ex wife’s boyfriend?

No, but I still applaud him. The bitch.

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The heat was on.

A few days ago I was talking to The Brains at work, a couple of cool PhD’s in Things That Involve Math. One is a good friend and the other happens to be the VP at my company.

Suddenly Prime Number says to Hot Pants (the VP’s name as a result of this very story) “Hey, show Lemur the pic of your neighbor’s kid!”

Hot Pants whips out his smartphone and shows me where the kid had all manner of burns around his mouth and head. He ate a Bhut Jolokia pepper at school, got fried, and then rubbed it all around his face and head, unaware that the stuff burns skin, too. Then the kid went home for the afternoon.

I told Hot Pants that the ghost pepper is pretty damned hot and not to be screwed around with. Jokingly I said that I had some and I would bring them in if he wanted. He said absolutely.

For rough reference… Habanero is a quarter million Scoville. Red Savina is half a mil. Jolokia is a cool one mil. Roughly.

Yesterday I brought them in and taped them to my doorframe with a post-it note that said “Hot Pants… This is your destiny. – LK”

Around lunchtime he came in and there was a gathering of five of us to watch, with Rectified Diode being the most excited. He was really looking forward to watching it.

HP took a bite and I started describing to him what he was about to experience as he munched.

“Ok, it should start out with a nice smoky flavor.”

“Yeah, it is smoky… Nice.”

“Ok, now it should start to build slowly in heat but there are some other nice flavors there.”

“Yeah.”

“Ok, now it should pick up speed…”

“Yup.”

“Ok, now it is going to feel like you drank battery acid.”

(Dawning expression) “Yeah, that describes it pretty well.”

He gave a pained expression and was flushing red.

“Ok, now it will continue to get worse for the next 30 minutes. A lot worse.”

Then I took a picture of him holding up the bag, in pain.

He deliberately made a point of taking additional bites. See, when I ate one, I ate all I was going to eat in one go. He had rabid wolves eating him and he was egging them on.

So I sent out an email to a large number of people to give credit where it was due, with pics.

Subject: Mr. Vice President, Sir.

The man is tough. Continued to finish off the pepper even as it was attacking him. He dominated that pepper. Had I eaten the one I did in stages I doubt I could have kept chomping on it.

You have my respect, Hot Pants.

We should probably get some “fire eaters” shirts.

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Note: I do not give out compliments lightly, so this was a highly unusual email for me to be sending.

Later, Prime Number, HP, and I met with a customer. Old Man (our president) attended.

When it was over, Old Man looked directly at me and said “Stop trying to kill my employees.”

Apparently Hot Pants had spent an hour curled up on the floor of the locked men’s room in agony.

He still has my respect. I think I even felt a bit of guilt but it passed quickly and I at first mistook it for gas.

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I managed to scarf two donuts and two Pączkis.  Someone mentioned that they wanted to see a picture of one.  So here you go…

What could be a Pączki, if I hadn't eaten them all.

I was on a Mission from God Tuesday morning to even find any at all.  The guy at Zingerman’s looked at me apologetically and said “You needed to reserve them ahead of time.  No reserved boxes, no Pączkis.”

“Can I reserve three boxes right now for pickup in ten minutes if I wait over there by the door?”

I tried in vain to look like a nice person but failed miserably.

“No.”

There was no hint of apology in his voice this time.

Damn.

So I frantically drove around looking for a place that could serve an honest Pączki. I skipped Kroger, didn’t have time to drive to Hamtramck, and when I stopped in Meijers with the cloying scent of defeat and shame  and asked the gal if they had any Pączkis, she looked at me and said…

What are Pączkis?

I struggled valiantly to suppress the twitches of various body parts and to not look disappointed.  I  must have failed in the attempt since the baker-ess took several steps back and was trying to reach for the phone. An elderly couple gasped and somebody whistled. A tumbleweed rolled by.

So I bought four large packages of chocolate donuts, donut holes, cinnamon rolls, and raspberry donuts to quell the whinging of my co-workers.  If you listen to them they will tell you that I was the one to start whining about pastries on Tuesday morning.  DO NOT LISTEN TO MY CO-WORKERS.  THEY LIE.  ALL OF THEM.

On the way back to work I asked Cruel Wife to please look at a nearby grocer to see if they had any. Thirty minutes later she called to report success. Yay!!!

I could only eat two. I was all proud of scarfing down two paczkis.

Curtail Friar put on a professional show of Fat Tuesday and I feel inadequate. It is fair to say that crammed inside each pastry is seventeen eggs, two quarts of whole milk, two sticks of butter, and nine cups of sugar but I still feel like an amateur.

Perhaps I was unfair to not post a real pic for you.  Here are the only two Pączkis known to be roaming in the wild in our house.  They alone survived the gauntlet.  I will turn them loose and perhaps there will be more roaming around next year.

The nimble Raspberry and Apple Pączki. The slower custard/creme ones did not have a chance.

On the kid front… there’s some improvement but still a great deal of concern on our parts.

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Utah.  Where a kid needs to get permission from a parent for each and every tanning session but only notification (if possible) given to the parent before a teen gets an abortion.

Wow.  It’s good to make sure your kids are safe from harmful UV radiation and it’s also good to have unimpeded ability for your children to kill their children.

Santorum may have said something politically stupid when he talked of “Satan Attacking America” but he probably did the right thing by saying it anyway.

Regardless of your stance on abortion (and I’m going on record as opposing it, vehemently) you have to admit that not requiring parental consent is taking too much of being a parent away from the parents.

Let’s put it this way – teens gets to exercise their options in being a parent but the teen’s parents do not?

Seriously?  And yet we’re concerned here with excessive tanning sessions?

That is all.

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Eats.

Update:

I forget how many days it has been since we started our new eating lifestyle.  Cruel Wife is smoking me in terms of dealing with it well.  She’s a machine.

Me, I’m fixated on food. The Dude sent me the link to this.  Nice catch, man.  Nice catch.  Me, I just got a craving for smoked pork butt.

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Inscrutable Halfbreed walked into my office yesterday.  He’s the guy whose American dad met his mom, who  is full-blooded Korean-heritage and they came back to the states and had a family.  His mom makes kimchi that I weep over – beautiful woman, just beautiful.  She puts a righteous amount of chili flakes in the kimchi.

We got to talking about British tv, such as Dr. Who, Life on Mars, and Wire in the Blood and were wondering why so many of their shows are really quite superior to the crap coming out of Hollywood.

He said he was watching this one British movie and he could not keep up with it because he kept getting confused, saying “I couldn’t tell the women apart – they all look the same to me.”

He stopped and looked at me inscrutably.

I froze, deadpanned, and one eye started blinking arrhythmically.  I pursed my lips on one side and looked right, up at the ceiling, to the left, and back up again without focusing on anything.  I shifted to my other haunch and looked back at him.  I leaned forward and finding no respite from the awkwardness there I finally settled back in my chair, my mouth working kind of uselessly.  I started to say something and then stopped several times all the while Inscrutable Halfbreed looked at me with increasing inscrutableness.

“You don’t like a British show because… they… all… … look… … … alike?”  I fidgeted, trying sound aloof.

He stared at me inscrutably some more – he cranked that dial up to 11.

“Ok… you do realize that you just said that you couldn’t tell the Brits apart.  You do realize how funny that is, correct?”

Inscrutable Halfbreed is highly intelligent and knew damn well what the score was here.  “Yes, yes.”

“I’m blogging this, you know.”

“Yeah, go ahead.”

You should know that Inscrutable couldn’t just be a doorman, he could be the door.  Just goes to show you how awesome genetics really are.  So when he decides to look inscrutable with a hint of irritation you just know fun things are happening under the surface.

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Anyway, he can’t be too mad because he sent me this link to Social Eatz where this can be found… this burger cannot FAIL.  It cannot.

★BIBIMBAP BURGER★
Korean for “mixed meal”, it’s ground beef with a slow cooked egg,
covered in lettuce and served with pickled carrot and cucumber.

Crap, I forgot to attribute the photo - it was from Social Eatz's site - their picture, their burger, the works - I'm just hoping someone sees this and tells me how good it is and what I am missing.

Good golly, let’s eat.  Too bad it is in New York.  This is as close to NYC as I want to get.
I could be enticed to go there to try the Hanoi burger, however.  Pretty sure Jane Fonda had nothing to do with that one.  Give me a squeezy bottle of fish sauce and I’d be in heaven…
HANOI BURGER
Ground beef with mint, lemongrass, cilantro and red onion topped
with lettuce and served with a chili mayo and a sweet onion jam.
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Yup.  Europe is so much more advanced, cultured, enlightened than us boorish uncouth trogs here in the US.  Way to go, Greece, for turning what was a first-world country into something that aspires to 3rd world status.  Children being abandoned by families into the streets.  This sort of thing is heartbreaking – doubly so – because these parents prior to this apparently lost the instinct that makes you take care of your children even at the cost of your own life.  You do NOT just abandon your child.  At the very least, have the guts to dump the kid in person.  You may be worthless or even unable to care for them but at least have the spine to do it in person.  If you died tomorrow would you want your last act to be “I abandoned my child” or “I had to leave my child with someone who could care for him/her while I found a job that could feed us and I planned to visit daily or as often as I possibly can.”  Big difference.

Athens’ Ark of the World youth centre said four children, including a newborn baby, had been left on its doorstep in recent months.
One mother, it said, ran away after handing over her two-year-old daughter Natasha.
Four-year-old Anna was found by a teacher clutching a note that read: ‘I will not be coming to pick up Anna today because I cannot afford to look after her. Please take good care of her. Sorry.’

Triply sad is that even with joblessness sky-high there should still be enough families that are getting by and have hands to help others and they are not helping.  You can be out of work but until you find it, you can help watch kids, check on your neighbors, keep an eye out for criminals using the upset to take advantage of others.  It’s the time to pull your society together for common good, not fall apart.  The minute you dump your kids you’ve show that you are only a part of the problem with little or no solution to provide.

It’s not like I needed a lot more evidence but the Occupy folks by and large seem to be of the same mindset, needing others to take care of them rather than them take care of others (liberal thinking).   Abandoned baby found in tent.

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Fair warning – tonight my dialogue is all over the map in a rambling manner. 

I found a great Korean recipe site, maangchi.com.  I feel inspired to make something daring, something new, something fresh… well, perhaps not fresh, not anymore.  But tasty and well-preserved… yes, oh yes, most definitely.

ojingeo jeot is a dish made with squid.  You take your squid, salt it, and put it in a bin (sealed) in your fridge for not less than one month.   Now, I am showing you the two pictures below (the ones that you’ll find on Maangchi’s site), with the hopes that you’ll go over there and poke around.  Too many really good Korean flavors waiting to be experienced and if you don’t go you’ll miss them.

This is fermented squid.

Cruel Wife says she was torn by the kimchee that I was given us by my co-worker, Inscrutable Half-Breed†.  His mom is Korean (sorry, was – she grew up there and lives here now) and she is the real deal – she makes kimchee that I weep over.  Instead of ice cream in the middle of the night I have a big bowl of kimchee.   Anyway, Cruel Wife wanted to love it and she wanted to hate it when I made kimchee soup the other night, which is code-speak for “Yes, it is good, for kimchee, but culinarily speaking I am being brave by not running to the bathroom”.

† Note:  Inscrutable Half-Breed as a name does not offend my friend/co-worker of thirteen years – I easily refer to myself as Sour Kraut.  He knows I mock stereotypes and loathe the politically correct idiocy.  He’s half-Korean half-American and when he wants to mock the inscrutable stereotype he has a great scathing gaze.

Oh well, more for me.  The kids run screaming from the room.   Having my offspring run from the room at the mention of unusual foods is not my proudest moment but they are young and should be given some latitude.   In the last five days I personally have eaten roughly one gallon of Inscrutable Half-Breed’s mom’s kimchee, truth w/o exaggeration.  I had a two-cup helping of kimchi with a small bowl of rice and some blackened Tilapia for dinner tonight.

But I have the feeling that Cruel Wife will NOT try fermented squid.  To her, “fermenting” is too much like saying “rotting”.   Next up, is the pic of the ojingeo jeot after it has been mixed in with the pepper flakes, fish sauce, garlic, onions, sugar, sesame oil, etc.

Doesn't that look like the most awesome thing you have ever seen? THAT is fermented squid in chilies.

Apparently once you get it to this stage, it will last forever in your fridge (months and months).  People write in to Maangchi and the gal takes her time to write many kind and encouraging things like “The smell means it’s maximally nummers!”  or “Luck favors the brave!”  or  “Aw, go for broke!”   Well, she said none of those, exactly, but she does say a lot of encouraging things and asks her readers to please send her pictures of the goodies that people make there.

What is really cool is that this could serve as a starter for your kimchee or your kimchee could serve as a starter for your squid, and indeed some kimchee recipes involve fermented anchovies.  Probiotic cultures in your food is cool.  And tasty.  And I have to say, after talking with many fellow Americans, that this food is probably not for everyone (they keep making warding signs and sprinkling the places where I walk with salt).

As a side-note, I had Thai with The Dude last Thursday.  We ordered our usual dishes and asked them to kick them up to ten-stars (the heat scale on the menu goes to four-stars) per our customary heat levels.  We haven’t eaten there in a few months and oh how we suffered.  He wanted to do eight stars and I said “What?  You wuss.  TEN.  TEN stars.”  When we got our food we were dying and drinking water by the carafe.  I got back to work and talked with his wife and told her that because he was weak and unable to fight peer pressure it was his fault that we were both dying of internal injuries.

Moving right along…

One of my favorite snacks is roasted seaweed.  Sadly, I can count on one hand the people that want to have second helpings after trying some of my snacks.  Again, more for me.

Think of seaweed flavored cellophane. Tasty cellophane.

Another recipe of Maanchi’s that I want to try badly enough that it amounts to a burning sensation in my soul is her seasoned fried chicken (yangnyeom tongdak).  Here’s that pic to help sway you into going over there.  Now… go there… go there now.  Just GO.

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Who says romance is dead?

Sent to me by The Butcher of Lansing.

No idea where it came from originally.

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We were at The Dude and Crazy Cat Lady’s Cat ranch for the Xth annual bonfire and Roman Food Orgy.

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We ate more than was healthy, and then we ate more than was safe or reasonable.

I am STILL waddling.

Here is how my plate went down…

BBQ pork (shredded), bulkogi beef, corn chips, cheese-distillated (fractionated) product, synthetic onion-flavored sour-cream dip, spaghetti, horseradish, seconds on bulkogi beef, two chocolate-chip cookies, two slices of pumpkin bread, two halloween-style sugar cookies, and a bottle of tonic water.

Lots of kids were there and a number of friends, too. The Dude, ID10T-Killer, Black Lab on Crank, and Tenacious Bulldog.

Prometheus brought fire, too, I guess.

After test driving my iPad briefly (only three hours after I used it 10 minutes following the three hour setup), I heard Cruel Wife go “OOOOOOH” and at that point I knew we were going to go buy her one as well.

I can see how we’ll get our money’s worth already. They keep the kids quiet on car trips – using Angry Birds. I can see how Cut the Rope will be a useful tool as well.

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Oh, and I ordered Deus Ex: Human Revolution, juuuuust coming in under the wire as a pre-order and getting the tactical pack (nifty weapons and in-game credits unlocks).   So in two days, it will be here.  Yay!  Talk about waiting till the last moment.

May it be a damn sight better than Duke Pukem: Never.

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I am inspiration-less.  Be patient with me.  Been a rough week.  Still numb-er than I would like (left hand) and the left arm and neck pain is still there (no, it is not a heart-attack).   Not a lot can be done about it besides piss and moan, so I piss and moan.

The Dude is a rock.  He sent me this gorgeous haute cuisine photograph.  It is just gorgeous.  As in “I could gorge on that”.

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My Granddad used to always say, “Lemur, I don’t eat guts.  Don’t eat guts, Lemur.”   He clearly mentioned that our family had a long history of not eating offal/organs from critters when there were so many other tasty parts.

I have diverged from his paths on occasion.  I like liverwurst.  I like menudo.  But generally I try to stay away from guts.

Which is why I never eat placenta.  I just don’t do it.  If it’s human placenta, isn’t that cannibalism?  How about if it is your placenta?  Is it wrong or just really frakkin’ gross?   Really?  Seriously?   The Placenta Cookbook?

Holy sh*t-sucking leeches, Batman…

Mark Kristal, a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of Buffalo, is the country’s leading (and quite possibly only) authority on placentophagia, the practice of placenta consumption. He has been researching the phenomenon for twenty years, and concludes that it must offer “a fundamental biological advantage” to all mammals. What this advantage is, he writes in one of his papers, “is still a mystery … in fact, a double mystery. We are not sure either of the immediate causes … nor are we sure of the consequences of the behavior.”

Well, we don’t even know what the advantages are, but it sure seems to make more sense to eat it because it seems like the creepier something is when we eat it the better it ought to be for you, right?

The guy just wanders in and out, though.

According to Kristal, the first recorded placentophagia movement in America began in the seventies, when people residing in communes would cook up a placenta stew and share it among themselves. “It’s a New Age phenomenon,” he explains. “Every ten or twenty years people say, ‘We should do this because it’s natural and animals do it.’ But it’s not based on science. It’s a fad.”

I knew a couple families when I was growing up that were like this.  They wove their own clothes out of hair from their bodies combined with yak-teat fuzz for some of the softest underclothes ever – well, softest ever relative to the hemp burlap they normally recycled into their garments.  These people also made huts out of straw and cow manure, smoked dried moss, and thought urine was a fantastic aphrodisiac.

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Update:  Fixing Your Hernia, the Man’s Way.  This guy has guts.

It is absolutely impossible for someone to fix their own hernia.  - Sam Carvajal, a surgeon at Glendale Adventist Medical Center

Might have saved some pain and suffering if the guy had checked that little fact out ahead of time.

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Real men don’t use BBQ’s… they use the wheel from their car… the one that a woman ruined for him at just 1092 miles (ten days old) by pulling out in front of him without even looking.

Yes, the real man will use an aluminum rim from a 2003 Nissan Maxima.

They pack that sucker with a few bricks, throw in some play-sand from the kid’s sandbox, dump a buttload of natural wood charcoal (not briquettes), wedge in a peanut-oil-soaked paper towel to light the whole mess, and walk away.  They just don’t sit there and play with their wood when there’s meat to be beat.

Stealing one’s wife’s hairdryer works wonders once the meat has been seen to.  The blowing job gets the charcoal hot enough to shoe a horse.  Granted, we’re here to eat cow, but damn tootin’ you could do some serious work with that fire.  But the work we’re here to do is cook some cow, because we’re meatitarians, dammit.  That meat pic will get larger if you stroke click it.

That cow gets 2-1/2 minutes per side while immersed in the infero of Hades (center pic).   The meat is thrown DIRECTLY on the charcoal.  Be a man, flick it off if you don’t like it.  It’s not gonna bite ya, that little piece of carbon sitting there smoldering at 3000F.

Note:  Actually, it might bite you.  I flicked it with my index finger.  I hooked my finger and did a stabbing down motion to get the charcoal off of the meat.   It allowed me to scrape red hot coals under my fingernail where it resulted in a burn that lasted for hours.  This stuff is really hot folks, don’t just play with it.

If you like extra char, just run that hairdryer right in the middle of the pile of coals and believe me, things will happen.  Blow jobs always make things happen.

I will tell you this:  If you eat it my way as a guest and you tell me that you really would rather have salt and pepper on it, I will give it to you but I will never respect you.  That meat was sublime without a thing added to it.

And the next day, slapped between pieces of bread is a religious experience.  But hey what do I know?

I’ll make more comments on it more tomorrow when I’m awake.

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All she’s said for about five minutes is “Ew.  Ew.  Ewwww.   Ewwwww!”

I read her this article to take her mind off of her pain.

Women flock to take horse-semen shots

Yes, that is a very real title.

(she just said “Ew” about sixteen more times)

Green Man Pub chef, Jason Varley, said the drink was proving most popular with women.

“Ladies thought it was great  a couple were going to go home and get their husbands to eat grass,” he said.

I don’t want to know what that means but I have a suspicion.

Oh, what happened to Cruel Wife, you ask?

She bought the kids an after-dinner treat called “Hissee Fits” which are giant gummy snakes (which I promptly warned the kids not to throw in the house).

Girlhead whined about the toughness of the snake and wondered how old it was.  I asked her to hold it up so I could see how long it was.  I reckoned that it was about three weeks old and opined that it has probably dined well on gummy bugs (Cruel Wife suggested gummy worms).  We then wondered if they could swallow a whole gummy bear and Girlhead was of the opinion that they would have to be mini gummy bears.

Whining continued and finally Cruel Wife says “Ok, would you like me to soften it up in the microwave?”

Girlhead said “Yes, please!”

So CW nuked it for 15 seconds, no more, no less.  She reached in without looking and suddenly I heard “Oh!  Ow OW OWOWOWOWOWOWOW!” and things flying across the floor as she dashed for the sink.  I pointed out that purposely sticking her fingers in molten sugar was probably not her finest hour.  It immediately 2nd degree burned her middle finger, smeared across all four fingers, and flipped up on top of 2-1/2 fingers.   She’s had her hand in a glass of ice water and packed in WaterGel for four hours now.  I am thinking that her risk of needing an escharotomy is much reduced.   And here I’d put a bitchin’ edge on a razor blade in preparation.

I’ve been reading Fark to her for hours now to keep her smiling and laughing.  Not sure if the horse semen thing helped or not.

But they also linked The Bloggess, who had a story about giant chickens and chicken envy.  And towels.

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Some bright spark has determined that when beer prices go up beer drinkers reach for cheaper beer.

That is a stunning leap of logic that I had not guessed in my 20 years of drinking beer prior to quitting.

But lets be fair – the dynamic in a situation where the product is consumed by a fair share of addicts will be skewed.  At some point one will either try to buck off that monkey or come up with clever ways to feed it.  Cheap bananas, bananas that are spotted with age, bananas that ooze, and bananas that smell like gym socks.   Maybe a fellow will pick up banana peels by the side of the road in order to get the deposit back and purchase more bananas.

Hell, I’ve drunk beer drippings from the tap that were caught in a mop-bucket with granules of Spic-n-Span in the bottom – watching the sun come up.  After a while self-respect and personal pride count for very little as long as you keep that buzz going.

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Pork Products.

I got a new Brinkmann smoker a few days ago.  Father-in-law (hereinafter known as TPBS – short for Twenty Pounds of BS in a ten pound bag) and I set it up Thursday night.

As soon as it was all put together I plugged it in for a few hours to bake off the bad paint stuff and crud from the inside of the smoker.

This morning Cruel Wife inserted an 8lb pork butt in the smoker (9AM) since I was having a hard time getting out of bed (honestly).  I got up a bit after that and did yard work and tended the smoker all day.  I smoked the dog shiat out of that pork butt until 5:47PM.

Spaced Diode (a very good MESSENGER/FIPS buddy of mine) and his wife and son came over this afternoon and joined the family and my in-laws for dinner.

Smoked pork, macaroni salad, baked potatoes, olives, marinated shrooms, garlic bread – we ate until we nearly barfed and then ate some more.

A few burps were heard (followed by the fluttering confetti of partially eaten napkins as they were propelled from people’s mouths) and chairs scraped across the patio as everyone sat back far enough to undo belts and pat tummies.

Then Spaced Diode’s wife says “EXCELLENT pork products, Lemur!”

I looked at her in horror.

Cruel Wife’s silverware clattered to her plate and she sucked in a breath between her teeth.

Somewhere in the distance a coyote howled and a low melody sounded from nowhere in particular.

“What did you say?  Did I hear you correctly?  Pork products?”

She looked at me with those innocent Yooper eyes and said “Yes, pork products.  It was excellent.”

I am convinced that children cried and kittens died at that moment.

Tears nearly welling up in my eyes I cast a glance around to make sure the children were out of earshot and said “Yooper Chick, pork products makes it sound like we just got done eating hog lips and assholes.  We ate pork butt, which is the shoulder of a pig.  Why do you not just stick a knife in my heart and twist until my soul screams into eternity?”

Enough to make a smokemaster want to weep.

You can’t call smoked pork butt pork products.  It’s a sin against nature.

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Movie festival weirdness.

Ok, so the plot goes like this:  Bad guy rapes good guy’s daughter.  Good guy’s daughter commits suicide.  Good guy captures bad guy and performs an involuntary sex change on him.  Good guy then transplants daughter’s face onto bad guy.  Then good guy has sex with bad guy making it impossible to tell who is really a good or bad guy.

Guests, among them a group of sweepstakes winners flown specially to Cannes by Stella Artois from the U.S. to enjoy a once in a lifetime movie premiere were horrified by the experience. That group of Americans left and did not come back to the theater following a partiularly violent rape scene in the middle of the film.

[snip]

The latest from the Spanish director is based on a French novel, “Tarantula,” and the hometown crowd for the most part (the ones who stayed in the theater) did give Almodovar a five minute standing ovation for the adaptation.

Critics have also fallen in love with the upsetting film and are placing it in contention for the highest Cannes honor, the Palme d’or.

This is what I hate about “high art”.  It doesn’t matter if a story has merit or not, it’s just got to move someone emotionally, where the “someone” is a bunch of sick f*cks who have become so desensitized by their masturbation with great handfuls of sand and caustic soda that what should be repulsive suddenly gets standing ovations.  If you showed these folks “Pink Flamingos” today they’d go nuts.  Polyester was at least funny in a repulsive sort of way, and Waters’ movie PF was awful, but this latest one (not a Waters movie) with Antonio Banderas sounds like a steaming pile of excrement.

****

Give Squirrel a Whirl?  Hokay.

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First, thanks to Nicole, I was led over to Weasel’s place where her take on the Osama picture should make any American adult demand to see the photos.  I wanted to share one profound nugget, then you need to run over and buy lots of her shit.

[Obama] doesn’t own those photos. We do. We were wronged as a people and we have the right to see justice done. We watched office workers jump off the top floor of a skyscraper — jump rather than burn — and we have a right to see the dead face of the monster who ordered it.  – Stoaty over at Sweasel.com

Thank you, Stoaty.

****

The Cleansing Fire.

I eat chilies daily.  Without them life would be a dreary barren place devoid of color and life.

I love them all – from the sweetest Bell pepper to the Jalapeno to the Serrano to the Cayenne to the Bird’s Eye to the Scotch-Bonnets and Habaneros and Red Savinas.

All of those chilies have their places.  Stir fries, soups, omelettes, salsas, sauces – all benefit from capsicum.

Thai food is a blessing in this world largely due to chilies, a culinary newcomer to the Thai, and they have done wonders with them – all the curries and noodle dishes and sweet/salt/savory flavors punctuated with fire tantalize the taste buds.

Endorphines are released when capsaicin in the chili burns the tongue and mouth, and the rush that follows the heat is better than Taco Bell after sex.  (To quote Aggie Sith:  Stop judging me!)

Imagine my joy that day when Cruel Wife brought home some Bhut Jolokias for me as a gift a number of weeks ago.  It spoke volumes to me – she in essence said, “I am in tune with your needs and what makes you tick.”   The bag of peppers had this scent of smokiness and danger.  You could feel the crinkle of the cellophane packaging as you squeezed the package and the aroma of peppers was lofted, given wings so that it might caress your sinuses.

So last night I was watching Dexter -  for some reason I get hungry when I watch Dexter- and  I said to Cruel Wife “Got any plans for that can of chili in the pantry?”  She said “Nope.” and bade me goodnight.  Then I cooked up a sausage, threw the chili in there, and made up a quick quesadilla.  So far, so good.  I wolfed all of it down.  It was really quite tasty.

As I put my plate in the sink I noticed a glint of light from between the flour jar and the food scale.  “Ho ho!” said I, gently teasing the package from it’s hiding place.

I shook a pepper out of its packaging and held it up.

It appeared much like any typical dried pepper.  It was not much bigger than a man’s thumb, was of a dark chocolate coloration, and had that unmistakable smell of smoke and heat.  I put it down and trimmed roughly a third of the pepper off with my chef’s knife.  There it lay, a pepper divided, next to a few seeds that had spilled out onto the cutting board.  I lifted the pepper, gave it a quick visual inspection, and popped it in my mouth.

As I have said, I know chilies.  I knew it was a dried pepper and that normally one would reconstitute it or cook it into a dish before consumption.  In this case I decided I’d chew it up and savor it as it softened.

Although the timing from thought to thought varied, my thought processes proceeded like this:

Mmmm.  Nice smoky flavor, not fruity like a habanero, some sweetness but more of an earthy tone.

Not a lot of heat though.  Hmmm.  Well, every batch is different.

Oh, there we go, nice!  It’s a delayed sneaky heat – I love those!  Heat and flavor still playing nicely… that there is some serious gour-may shit.

Wow!  Zippy!  I gotta tell The Dude about this tomorrow.

Huh.  That’s a longer burn than normal.  Maybe these aren’t such a wimpy batch after all.

Hoo-hoo!  Mr. Toad’s wild ride!  Hold on to yer butt!

Uh… wow.  Just… wow.

Uh… ow.  Damn, these are vicious.  Aren’t you fellas cute?

Holy ****.   Stop the ride, I want to get off.

JESUS CHRIST.  LIKE DRINKING ****ING BATTERY ACID.

(grunting, and the sound of flesh bubbling)

WHERE THE HELL IS MY TONIC WATER?

OH **** ME.  Carbonation makes it WORSE.  I KNEW THAT!   Am I… sweating???  I am!  Oh, this is bad.

(mewling noises and faint popping sounds as tooth enamel shatters)

Okneedaglass.  Wherearetheglasses?   Needaglassnow.  NOCLEANGLASSES, SH*T.  DIRTYONEWILLDO!  What is that in the bottom??  DOESN’T MATTER!

MILKMILKMILK, FORTHELOVEOFGOD MILK.  POUR, DAMN YOUR EYES!  POUR FASTER!  Does milk even have eyes?  POUR FASTER!

(willing milk to pour faster, now hissing with the sound of gravel on a metal rooftop)

(chugging sounds and the very audible hiss of milk flashing into steam)

Okay.  Calm.  Be calm.  Be cool.  Little Fonzies.  We got this shit cool…  Ow Goddamnit!  Be cool…

(glass shatters on floor)

IT’S NOT WORKING!!  WHAT NOW???   AAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHH!

(the smell of scalded burned milk grows stronger)

SUGAR!  ALTON BROWN SAID *SHUUUUUGARRRRRR*!

(Hands scrabble through the utensil drawer, narrowly missing sharp edges on items and tossing them on the floor:  Peeler, a grater, a cheese slicer, an apple corer, a meat thermometer sans cover, a bread scraper, and a pair of food shears sharp enough to cut through steel siding – no blood, no wounds – out comes a 1/3 cup measuring cup)

(pour contents of sugar container into cup – never mind asking why the sugar container could not have been tipped up in a pinch)

SSSSSHHHHUUUUUUUGGAAAAAARRRRRR!

OK… whew!  That was sure lucky that it…

(spleen and eardrums burst and starts bleeding profusely)

Oh damn.  That isn’t working either.  OW!

By now, ten minutes have elapsed, and it was still getting hotter.  At some point the brain ceases to register pain in  a linear fashion and everything goes mute, the brain having overloaded and blown a fuse.  This is not a circuit-breaker.  We are talking about honest-to-God old-style screw-in fuses and in order to get any use from one’s brain at this point requires removing the fuse and inserting a penny into the socket, then screwing the fuse back in.  That is the only choice beyond just waiting it out and going stark raving bugshit.  At least bypassing the fuse allows some mental capacity – enough to babble to one’s self, much like babbling to one’s wife when your child is being born.  It gets you there and seems ineffective at the same time and you have no idea what you said later on.  Yes, bypassing the fuse may cause the house to burn down.  It is  a calculated risk and I’ve also stretched the metaphor beyond the breaking point so just let it go, ok?

25 minutes after the event known as The Cleansing Fire the heat subsided to a painful fire and by 35 minutes the ordeal was over.

Exhausted by the ordeal, I slept like  a baby.

I woke with the worst case of the “zactlies” I have ever had, bar none.  The “zactlies,” as a friend once put it to me, is where you wake up and your mouth tastes zactly like an old tractor tire with lots of little furry things living in it.    My stomach, esophagus, nose, and mouth hurt.

This morning I discovered that your alimentary canal can move food through your system in eight hours or less if it really is motivated to.

Still hurting around lunchtime I went with The Dude as kind of a going-away lunch and ordered a ten-star thai meal  (they only go to four or five stars on the menu but will “kick it up” if you ask them to).  I figure if your stomach hurts you – you just hurt it right back!   Fire with fire, I say!

I had mashed potatoes and pork for dinner.  The butter was a little spicy but I ate it anyway.

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