Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cat Cuisine?

Or, How To Piss Off Cat Owners Worldwide!

Just for the record, I own two cats and would never consider eating them. Nibbling on their toes and ears occasionally? OK, maybe, but never in the stewpot!

Now, *YOUR* cat, on the other hand... er... paw, is fair game.

Steve Graham of Hog On Ice has a contest on how to best cook a cat. Specifically, the 44 pound cat that was recently found wandering through New Jersey.

This is "Princess Chunk":

Steve is hosting the contest over on his food blog, Manly Grub. You'll probably have to register to enter, but you ought to do that anyway!

OK, a cat this big is the equivalent of Japanese Wagyu beef. The most exertion this cat has had in the last few years is pulling the mice from its fur where they'd been trapped by the gravitational pull.

The meat's gonna be extremely well-marbled, though it'll be hard to tell since cats are a white meat.

Marbled... that reminds me. My friend Zibig's cat Marblecakes was at least 25 pounds. She would have worked well in this recipe!

Anyway, a cat this plump you don't want to cook indoors. This calls for slow grilling over charcoal, where the lard can moisten the meat as it drips off and drops onto the coals, releasing delicious carcinogens to waft up and delicately flavor the meat!

As much as I'd like to cook this 44 lb. piggykitty in one piece, it's harder than you think to spatchcock a cat. So, best to just slice up the kitty into several pieces. If you're unsure how to cut up a cat for grilling, you can refer to this manual on dressing out rabbits. It's just about the same process.

Charcoaled Calico Cat

44 lb calico cat, cut into pieces
(For spicier flavor, substitute Siamese or Abyssinian)
2 c Fresh lemon juice
2 c Chopped onion
4 c Vegetable oil
4 tbs Salt
1 tbs Celery seed
1 tbs Onion salt
1 tbs Thyme
2 tbs Rosemary
2 tbs Oregano
8 Cloves of garlic, crushed
Optional - cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes to taste

In plastic bag or large shallow bowl, combine all ingredients except cat meat. Add meat and marinate 6-8 hours. Prepare barbeque for cooking. Place cat pieces on rack 6 inches above hot coals. Grill 10-15 minutes, basting occasionally. Turn, continue basting, and grill 10-15 minutes longer until juice runs clear when pierced to bone with fork. Serves 8 people or one pack of dogs.

Feline Seeks Owl For Sailing, Romance!

And It's Even A Pea-Green Boat!

The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?'
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.'
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

I'd Blow Out All The Candles, But I'd Pass Out For Lack Of Air...

All this past week, I'd been debating how to mark the occasion of my 40th birthday. I knew I was going to do a semi-humorous birthday wish list, but I couldn't decide on the Day of Days whether to do a serious examination of my life, or a lighthearted look at getting older, or just a "Hey, wish me a Happy Birthday in the comments" ego-boost.

I leaned heavily towards the retrospective, but as I composed it in my mind, I couldn't help but notice it stayed on the grim and depressing side. Hell, by the time y'all finished reading that, you'd be washing down your stash of Percodan with a fifth of gin and looping a noose over the rafters.

I couldn't go the frivolous route, either. I'm just not in the mood for it. My youth is totally, irrevocably gone as of today. I talked to my mother last night, and when she asked what I was doing, I said "I'm watching the clock as the last minutes of my 30's slip away..."

All day long, people have been saying "You're only as young as you feel!"

Well, I'm feeling old & worn out. That's just how it is.

Damn, there's that grim and depressing shit poking its nose out of the rathole...

The truth of the matter is that I'm feeling very Edsel-ish at the moment. You remember the Edsel? It was a failed marque put out by Ford in the late '50s. It was a fairly decent car, but it just failed to click with the public, and in spite of some unique and attractive features, it's now just a footnote in the history books.

Well, whether I'm an obsolescent model of Homo Sapiens or not, I'm still gonna go eat a big slab of prime dead cow tonight. Add a side of buttery garlicky asparagus spears as big as your... uh... well, big, anyway. Perhaps some grilled zucchini and crookneck squash sprinkled with sea salt, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Maybe spring for a bottle of Brunello de Montalcino, or an Amarone. Definitely save room for dessert. I'm thinking strawberries & zabaglione with a snifter of some Frog brandy that's been marinating in an oak barrel for several decades. Or an apple crumble with some Armagnac... Hmmmm. Maybe both...

After all, you're only 40 once...

Monday, July 28, 2008

What Do You Want For Your Birthday?

Do You Really Want To Know, Mom?

With the big 4-0 approaching, I've been getting pestered by Mom to let her know what I want as a birthday present.

I usually try to lowball Mom & Dad, because what I want and what they can afford are often separated by hundreds or thousands of dollars.

I've also got a few close friends who try to surprise me with something nifty, 'cause I can never really think of something I'd like when they ask what's on my list.

Well, I've actually given this some thought, in honor of it being my 40th trip around the sun this week. What can you get a man turning 40?

Something absolutely pointless and/or frivolous, that's what!!

Sure, I could use cash to fix the truck, and there's nagging bills outstanding, and I could stand to get some dental work done. But that's so boring and mundane, it just doesn't need to get mentioned in the same sentence as "birthday present".

No, what I'm wanting are things that make no practical sense at all. Things I'll get no use out of, and just clutter up the house and allow me to say "Yes, I own one!" Some of these items I've wanted for decades, others are more recent wishes.

So, that being said, here's my list:

(and THAT being said, let me also say that this is NOT a bleg or a gift solicitation! This list is for my amusement, and hopefully, for your amusement as well!)

Tops of my Want List for a long time. Being as large as I am, it's harder than it might seem to get one that'll fit. I may need to have a custom job run up.

I don't have the room for a real one, so one of the stuffed animal variety will do just fine. If I can get one that looks just like Mr. Moose from the Captain Kangaroo Show, I will jump for joy!

I was in 3rd or 4th grade, and Mom took me to the high school she was teaching at to let me watch their student talent show. A bunch of kids were doing Parliament/Funkadelic cover songs, and I absolutely had to have a pair of the Bootsy Collins shades.

What could be cooler than pulling off your Bootsy Collins shades and having your shades still on your eyeballs?

Never had one as a kid. No, I won't be able to ride it these days. I can, however, hang it on my wall as an objet d'art, and delight in teaching my niece and nephew valuable life lessons in impulse denial and patience by refusing to let them ride it.

Another item I've always wanted, but never acquired.

I meant to liberate one of these from Scout Camp before my final departure, but that would have gone against the Scout Law, wouldn't it?

Hey, I like bats. These are huge, and should scare my neighbors shitless.

For my occasional Tony Montana/Cash Bailey moments.

You can never have too much ice on hand. I love a tall frosty drink full of ice. It also comes in handy when you need to chill a body down prior to dissection. You know what they say about chilled meat slicing easier...

When I finally get up to the Boomershoot, I want to be wearing one of these as a combination sunshade/"don't shoot me" warning flag. Plus, I can wave it wildly about and shout "OLÉ!" whenever I hit a reactive target.

#11 - A DONKEY
I'd take a mule, too. They're fun to have around. They can pull your cart, carry your stuff, and kick the crap out of wandering coyotes that try to molest your goats. They can't molest my goats! Only *I* can molest my goats!

#12 - GOATS
Oh, Yeah, gotta have some goats for cheese, milk and BBQ cabrito on the weekends. Also, they'll keep the yard mowed.

Gotta have a few of these! One for the truck, one for the den, one in the kitchen, one in the bathroom (towel rack), and one dangling from the bedroom ceiling like a trapeze. C'mere, ya purty li'l heifer! I got mah spurs on!

Takes too long to explain... I'd like a large museum-quality bronze of the Dancing God.

Because I'm much more considerate to my neighbors than they deserve. This squealer would bring that routine to a screeching halt...

And there you have it... El Capitan's 40th Birthday Wish list!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Where The Rubber Meets The Rod

Get Your Kicks With A Ruger Speed Six!

I put some new grips on the .357 Magnum Speed Six, and it wasn't a tenth of the hassle that repairing the Vaquero turned out to be.

I found a Hogue Monogrip on eBay. It's not the exotic hardwood fingergroove grip I was wanting, but it'll do the job, and it's a fifth of the price. I think I paid $15 including shipping.

Installation was uneventful. The hardest part was knocking out a rollpin from the grip frame. The Ruger Blackhawk's Monogrip is virtually identical to this one, but it has a channel molded in for the roll pin to slide through. I suppose there just wasn't room in this grip for that to work.

The grip will help to tame the ripsnorter rounds I'm ordering from Buffalo Bore Ammo, much more so than the factory wood stocks, anyway.

I do feel a slight bit of unease, purely from an aesthetic perspective. The rubber grip completely changes the character of the revolver, pulling it deep into the era of modern firearms. I'd read somewhere that the wood-stocked Speed Six had a Victorian look to it, and in truth, if it weren't for the stainless steel construction, you could toss it in a pile of Adams, Pryse, Tranter, and various Belgian and British bulldog revolvers, and it would pass largely unnoticed.

Ah, well. Performance over looks isn't all that rare in the world of firearms. Usually you have to pay an arm & a leg to get both in the same package!



Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Marble Slab

Alas, Not The Ice Cream Store...

It's funny how often you run across these little coincindences, parallels and serendipitous moments with the other bloggers in your Blogroll. I'm starting to lose track of the number of times Elisson & I have inadvertently done posts with a common theme or similar content. AlanDP has a habit of posting about things I've got on my mind before I can, and I can't count how many times I've $h1tcanned a post because (in the misquoted words of Nathan Bedford Forrest) one of y'all on the blogroll "got thar fustest with the mostest".

I guess it is inevitable, though. We link other bloggers because we like what they write. We like what they write because perhaps we catch a reflection of our own personalities in their blog content. Sooner or later our experiences and histories are going to intersect.

This time, it's Eric The Straight White Guy who's posted about something very familiar to me. He's got a couple of posts up about finding a relative's gravestone in a state of disrepair, and bringing it home to clean up and give a respectful place to remain.

Well, take a look at what resides in my backyard:

Sorry for PhotoSchmearing out the name on the headstone, but like they sing in the song "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt", his name is my name too! I'm still attempting to remain semi-anonymous!

The stories behind our headstones aren't that different. At some point in time, this headstone was broken at the base and dislodged through either a deliberate act of vandalism, or perhaps some idiot mowing the cemetery backed a tractor into it. Hard to say.

This headstone belonged to my great great great grandfather. He was born December 29, 1817 somewhere in Mississippi, and died June 27, 1852 in Carrollton, Mississippi. He died young, but sired three kids before he shuffled off this mortal coil.

When my grandmother first got interested in genealogy, she made a trip through the South to locate where relatives had lived and died. She found the damaged headstone at an old cemetery, and secured permission from the local authorities to take possession of the marker before it could "wander off". I do not know if a replacement was ever commissioned. I'll have to ask at the next reunion.

My grandmother completed her tour of the South with this headstone wrapped in a blanket in the very bottom of the car's trunk. The story goes that Grandma was very nervous she'd be arrested in some podunk town for graverobbing if anyone was to catch sight of it, so it remained covered until her return to Texas.

Back home in Texas, it was placed out back under a pecan tree. This pecan tree, to be exact, and it remained there for the next few decades.

When the family sold the homestead in 1998 after my grandmother went to a managed-care facility, we were taking a last look around the property and spotted the headstone. No one else seemed to want it, so I volunteered to take it back to my apartment in Carrollton, TX. (Another coincidence?) It sat on my fireplace mantel while I lived there, and I used to annoy my relatives by telling them I was using it for a cutting board!

Now it sits out back in Houston, TX under this pecan tree, and with any luck, won't get moved again for another 50 years.

Friday, July 25, 2008

These Guys SUCK!!!

Real Guitars Are For Old People, Dad...

This is pretty damned funny...

Geddy Lee, Neal Peart and Alex Lifeson of Rush are invited to play their hit song 'Tom Sawyer' on the Rock Band virtual band video game.

They end up failing, scoring only 31% on Expert Mode...

Via BoingBoing and Laughing Squid.

Panda Perpetrator!

Step Away From The Bamboo Pole!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rain, Rain... Go Away!

My Yard's About To Float Away!

Hurricane Dolly's big flouncy skirts have kicked up a bunch of storm clouds over Houston today. It's rained on & off for close to 24 hours now, and the drainage ditches out front are starting to overflow out into the street and creep farther up the yard.

Normally, this wouldn't be cause for alarm, but for the past four days I've had a rapidly bubbling spring erupt in the middle of the yard due to a local water pipe cracking. There's two fountains about 4 inches high spewing up out of the ground. This constant flow of water has already filled the drainage ditches partway down the block, and the rain's making it even deeper.

The Man has already dispatched his water gnomes to work on the problem, but all they have done so far is to festoon the neighborhood with a bunch of neon-pink ribbons tied to stakes and wires in some arcane fashion. Apparently the summer's dryness has caused a lot of the clay soil to settle around town, and these water line breaks are happening everywhere.

I've still got water pressure in the house, but it makes for a lengthy shower since you barely get enough water to make it worth your while. It's like having two or three of those water-saving diverters attached to your showerhead.

The yard's gonna have a huge pit where the soil surrounding the break has washed away. Right now there's a thin layer of sod being held in place by the upwelling water pressure. This doesn't even take into account what abuses will be foisted on the turf by the water gnomes repair work...

I'm kinda sorry I got rid of my big three-man inflatable raft. I bet I could sail the ditches all the way down the street, and only have to ford one or two driveways along the way!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

War Criminal Arrested

Now, Which Group Fought For The Nazis?

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić was arrested recently on charges of genocide and other war crimes.

Radovan Karadžić had been under indictment for over a decade, and is thought to have escaped capture due to a cunning method of hiding in the woods with what appears to be a badger tied to his head.

Using cutting-edge badger separation technology, Serbian security forces were credited with having located and captured Karadžić.

Karadžić now faces additional charges of bothering a badger, now considered a capital crime under War Crimes Court in Belgrade.

Pneumatic Hydration

My Pants Really Ought To Fit Better After This...

I've grown somewhat accustomed to drinking Walgreen's house brand of flavored Vitamin water. They come in liter bottles, and usually sell at a 5 bottles for $4 deal. I most often get three of the lemon-lime and two of the mixed berry flavor.

They use Splenda for sweetening, so I get a tasty beverage for no calories and no caffeine. There's not a whole lot of vitamins in them. After all, you're kind of limited in how many additives you can add to plain water before it starts to look like sewer sludge. Still, it's better for my blood sugar levels than fruit juice or sugary sodas.

The problem is that I think they're being discontinued. They no longer stock them in the drink cooler, and they're getting scarce on the regular shelves.

So, when faced with no delicious lemony water yesterday, I settled for sugar-free sparkling water, in a tasty cherry flavor.

I'm not a fan of sparkling water, 'cause it takes forever to get the bottle open. If you twist the cap right off, the water fizzes up and you get soaked in overflowing foam. If you're standing over a sink, that's OK, but you lose 1/3 of the bottle.

So, you crank open the cap a smidgen, let it fizz up, then retighten before it spews out. This process can go on for quite a while before you reduce the carbonation enough to get the cap completely off. This is annoying at best, and intolerable when you're thirsty.

The other downside is the carbonation. All those sparkly bubbles don't just vanish into the ether with each swallow. Oh, no.

You belch some of the CO2 out, but a sizable amount remains in your GI tract, with predictable results in a short period of time.

I'm not sure how much CO2 they can pump into each bottle, but I'm of the opinion that if I was to belt on a floor-length rubber plenum skirt, I could do a pretty fair hovercraft imitation.

Y'know, benzene contamination be damned, this is the real reason Perrier fell out of favor. Too many supermodels farting and flying off the runway...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cinematic Suckularity

I Should Have Gone To See The Batman Flick...

After a weekend spent mostly indoors parked in front of a computer or testing the couch for suitable napping positions, I got an urge late Sunday evening to actually go do something before I ran out of weekend.

A quick perusal of the flick schedule showed I was too late for 'Hancock' and 'Wall-E', but I could still catch a showing of 'Hellboy 2' or 'The Dark Knight'. Assuming (correctly, as it turned out) that the theaters for the Batman movie would be packed, I went for 'Hellboy 2'.

Wow. Big mistake there. That movie sucked more ass than a metric ton of Amazonian Buttcheek Leeches dumped on a proctology conference.

I liked the first 'Hellboy' movie. It had a pretty good balance of action and humor. This one? Not so much...

There were three times during the flick that I contemplated getting up and walking out. Surprisingly, the Barry Manilow scene wasn't one of them, which tells you this movie had three scenes WITHOUT Barry Manilow that could be considered worse.

Nothing about this movie fit right. You had over-the-top action to no real purpose, one-dimensional characters, stuff thrown in just for a "Gee Whiz" than didn't help to advance the story... I could go on, but I'm really tired of thinking about this waste of celluloid.

So, FWIW, 'Hellboy 2: The Golden Army' gets two thumbs down, followed by letting my cats crap upon it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dance, Then, Wherever You May Be!

...I'll Lead You All In The Dance, Said He...

I saw this video over at Jimbo's place, and it's become my new Favorite Thing.

I don't know if it's the sheer absurdity of this guy globe-hopping to make a video, or the exuberance with which the local crowd joins in, or just the way it never fails to make me smile, no matter how crappy my day has been.

Go take a look!

(Video watching tip: Hit the "Play" button, then immediately hit "Pause" until the video loads. The grey slider bar will let you know when it hits 100%. That way it won't be all choppy)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer Slump

I Want To Lie In A Pool Of Super-Chilled Lime Jello

Jeebus Crisco, but it's hot outside...

I was supposed to be walking over to Castle Anthrax to see some legal folks about possibility of having some of their flying monkeys vigorously sue some ignunt pissheads who appear to be incapable of understanding that adherence to certain ordinances isn't an optional activity.

It's gotta be 8000 degrees outside, though, and I can just as easily go over in the morning before that sphere of burning gas 93 million miles away manages to work up to "roast" from "slow simmer".

I'm feeling a certain ambivalence towards cranking out blog content, and judging from what I've seen up and down my blogroll, so are y'all. So, do we all take a week off, or what?

I've got a couple of good posts in me, but I have to say I'm somewhat reluctant to publish them when my total reading audience consists of 8 Blowneyed Blodgers, 3 random visitors, and a handful of perverts following a Google search for "Flaming Shit Sack".

Ah, well. We'll just have to see what happens. You never know, I might just have to do a cat food taste test again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tales From The WECSOG Forum

No Duct Tape Has Been Employed In Fixing This Gun!

For you non-gunners, WECSOG is the acronym for the Wile E. Coyote School Of Gunsmithing. It's the sort of academy where inspired amateurs use lots of ACME products to permanently bollix up fine firearms...

Some time ago, the transfer bar on my Ruger Vaquero broke in two. Given that the price of .45 Long Colt ammo is stratospheric, I was in no real hurry to repair it, and let the sixgun languish in misery for almost a year. I haven't shot it all that much since buying it, maybe 600-800 rounds total.

I finally got off the stick and ordered the part from Ruger. I got two, as a matter of fact, just in case that transfer bar breaks again.

I pulled the lid off a cardboard file box to use as a parts tray, and commenced to breaking down the pistol. I'd not disassembled this pistol before beyond pulling out the cylinder and ejector housing for cleaning, and swapping out the grips.

The previous owner must have never thoroughly cleaned the pistol, either. Well, I already knew he was a doofus for buffing off the case-colored finish, but however many rounds he put through the gun, the burnt powder and gun oil residue was all still gummed up in the lockworks. There were a couple of parts that I took to have a blued finish, until I ran an oily rag over them and discovered they were made out of stainless steel! Lots and lots of grime!

I pulled everything off the frame with the exception of the barrel, firing pin assembly and the base pin plunger assembly and gave it all a thorough scrubbing.

Now, with most guns, reassembly is just a matter of disassembly done in reverse. You'd think a Vaquero followed similar principles, correct?

Au contraire, mon frere!

If you attempt to reassemble a Vaquero without reading the directions in the owner's guide, there will be a name for your pain, and that name is "Trigger Pivot Pin".

See, that pivot pin goes out on one side, and goes back in from the other. Took me two hours of bruised fingertips and much cursing before I figured that one out. In the process I also learned that if you momentarily loosen your grip on the loading gate, the gate spring can work loose as you insert the pin, altering the angle of the cylinder stop, making pin insertion a moot point. You basically just turn the frame upside down, shake all the parts loose, and start over from step 1.

Second, if you fail to insert the base pin during reassembly, the transfer bar will jam up under the firing pin, causing you no end of anguish. Since the first action in disassembly is pulling the cylinder and base pin, you'd think that was the very last thing reattached to complete the gun. Wrong again...

Third, the hammer pivot pin is under no tension at all until you get one of the frame screws inserted, which you can't do until all the fiddly bits are in their proper places. To get all the fiddly bits in their proper places requires you to rotate the frame on its axis any number of times, during which the pin will fall out of its own accord and disappear into the rug. Here's where a magnetic-tipped screwdriver comes in handy. You wave it across the carpet in arcs until you hear the "click" of the wayward pin grabbing onto the driver tip!

Fourth, you really need the trigger spring installed before reattaching the grip frame. Trust me on this...

The funny thing about all this is that I also own a Ruger Blackhawk in .357, which for all intents and purposes is the exact same pistol, albeit in a smaller caliber, and I have never had any problem at all getting that one stripped down and reassembled.

I'm guessing the Vaquero is being contentious since I left it broken for so long...

So, moral of the story? RTFM, for starters. Don't assume logic applies to the process. And, as always, you'll probably forget to insert the cylinder stop spring & plunger into the trigger guard and notice it in the parts tray just as you're tightening that last screw!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back From The Reunion

Two More Years Until The Next One...

Some random observations from the weekend...

First, I completely and unreservedly retract my earlier comment about Oklahoma being a dry dustbowl. Not only was the stretch of I-35 from the border to OKC greener than most of Texas we'd passed through, it really could have used a herd of buffalo in the freeway median to chew on the countless acres of lush prairie grass. Aside from the multitude of Indian casinos and the actual Okies that happen to be related to me, it's a nice state.

Second, if you have the opportunity to ride in a vehicle for the best part of two days with two toddlers, don't do it. Oh, I'll give Sammy & Grace props for being well-behaved for 90% of the trip. That remaining 10% consisted of full-blown meltdowns, meaning non-stop shrieking for mile after mile. You just can't ingest enough alcohol to deal with that...

Third, that insulated mug guaranteed not to leak all over your rented van seats? It will.

Fourth, bring along down blankets and parkas for your wimmenfolks. Even with the July sun beating down upon us in that fishbowl of a van, every time I'd sneak a hand towards the A/C controls to lower the air temp, I'd be met with tortured wailings from my sister and mom about how cold it was in the van.

Fifth, Never EVER leave your collection of music CD's at home, on the assumption that your brother-in-law will bring along good music. We agreed on Little River Band and Boz Scaggs, but very little else.

Sixth, If you're expecting the cuisine at a small mom & pop burger grill to be up to your big-city standards, you've got a lot to learn about restaurants. As soon as I saw the menu, I could have told you that whatever didn't come out of a #10 can came out of a deep-fat fryer via the walk-in freezer. We were there for the location and the private dining room, not the food quality.

Seventh, carry a wad of cash in your pocket for a sizable tip after some of your tightwad relatives undertip the waitstaff. Do y'all even realize what a monumental PITA it is to wait on a table of 25, with toddlers in tow? That 12% shit has to stop...

Eighth, don't drop your camera on the floor the first night. Your camera will still function normally, but for some reason every set of fully-charged batteries will drain out in about 5 minutes. I think the power-management circuits got hosed. At any rate, that's why there's no pictures!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm Leavin' On An Econoline!

Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again...

Time for a brief sabbatical, my Baboonadelphians!

Unca Tom is the host for this year's family reunion up in Oklahoma City, so I am about to spend many hours traveling in a rented 15 passenger van with Mom, Dad, Sis, BIL, and a 3 year old nephew and a 1 year old niece.

First stop is tonight as sister's place outside Austin, tomorrow a.m. we head for OKC. It will no doubt be a hellish experience, since my sister will not allow duct tape and laudanum to be used on her kids to ease their travel anxiety.

Dad's driving, which means I can assuage MY travel anxiety with a steady stream of bourbon. In fact, I can pretty much plan on being blotto most of the weekend.

I have no idea what to expect. I can always hope for a rousing game of Pin The Tail On The Okie, but in the end, I'm sure we'll just end up sitting in someone's hotel room talking while the assorted offspring screech and yell out in the hotel pool under the watchful eye of the unlucky cousin that drew the short straw.

I'll try to post updates & pics if I get any sort of decent interweb connection. This IS Oklahoma, though, so I'm sure 14.4 dialup is still about as fast as things get in that barren dustbowel. Oops, I meant dustBOWL. Yeah... right...

See y'all next week...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

More LOLrus

It's Either This, Or Crapblogging...

By now, anyone with an internet connection should be aware of the LOLrus... The original was actually an elephant seal, but over time, I've seen everything from Walruses (walrusi?) to Sea Lions representing the bucket-seeking pinniped.

Here's a couple of examples...

So, I'm out driving yesterday, and I see this huge walrus painted on the side of a U-Haul truck. It desperately needed the LOLrus treatment, but I had no spraypaint, and no time to run the U-Haul truck off the road in order to make my editorial changes.

Fortunately, U-Haul maintains all their custom truck graphics on their website. I could make the needed edits without running afoul of the law!

Like this:

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Gift That Keeps On Giving!

The Dulcet Tones Of A Man Screaming In Terror...

OK, who's got a PayPal tipjar that they're willing to donate to a special project? If we can get a couple dozen Blowneyed Blodgers donating their pocket & seat cushion change, we can buy this wonderful gift for Eric the Straight White Guy!

Can't you just imagine the look on his face... He steps off his deck, verses by R.W. Service drifting through his memory... enjoying the morning breeze and feeling the distant warmth of the sun contrasting with the more immediate warmth of his coffee mug... ...the whimpers and distress calls of pellet-punctured squirrels... the hum of the bluebottle fly swarm attracts his notice... there's a disturbance in the flowerbed... Could it be star-nosed moles? Woodchucks? ...perhaps just a gopher...

...But no...



C'mon y'all, ya gotta help me out on this one... Custom garden sculpture for only $90!!

Monday, July 07, 2008

That Streak Of @$$hole In Me...

I Just Can't Quite Get Rid Of It!

There's a pretty sizeable vein of @$$hole running through the varied strata that composes the personality of El Capitan. Most times you'll never see it. I'm pretty good at keeping that side of me tucked away for the short periods that I'm out in public.

Usually it takes a few years before you'll get a good display of how much a schmuck I'm capable of being. If we're friends, it will very rarely be directed towards you. Usually, you need to have done something to piss me off to get the full production. However, no one is immune when Mr. @$$hole comes calling...

There was the summer I was plagued by two pompous dingleberries, each one annoying in his own unique way. A whispered campaign of "overheard" insult and misinformation to each party in turn led to the two brawling in a bar, much to my amusement. See? Major dick move on my part.

Back in my teens, I had a window washer jet on one of my cars turned outward for the express purpose of hosing down bicyclists that wouldn't get out of traffic. What kind of @$$hole does that? (Takes a bow...)

Even now, after a heavy rainstorm that leaves deep puddles in the road next to the Memorial Park jogging path, I have this overwhelming urge to plow through the puddles in my big-tired 4x4 at 35 mph, sending huge roostertails of water cascading over whoever might be within range. Mostly, I can resist this urge. Mostly...

And today, the streak is rising again. I bought a bottle of orange/pineapple juice this morning for breakfast, and just by chance noticed that it is months out of date before I could open it.

We have a sneak-thief that has been pillaging other people's lunches and other food & snacks left in the breakroom fridge. I'm feeling the need to use some white-board erasing fluid to dissolve the inked-on "Sell By" date on the bottle, and leave it in the fridge to get pilfered. With any luck, the thief will spend the afternoon puking his toenails up.

See, you need an @$$hole to catch an @$$hole...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Wet Nekkid Chilluns

All Naughty Bits Edited Out For Your Viewing Safety

Well, sooner or later you have to have a photo on file you'll use to mortally embarass your relatives when they hit their teenage years.

My sister sent me some bath-time pics. Apparently it's more efficient to dump all your nekkid kids in the tub at one time, and keep the hose on 'em until they're squeaky clean.

I'm of the opinion they're still small enough to fit into the dishwasher, but my sister objects to that idea for some reason...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Some Random Thoughts

This Day Is Going So Slowly...

I finally got around to ordering the replacement transfer bar for my .45 Vaquero revolver. Actually, I ordered two. I figured if I broke one, I might break another. Glub only knows if Ruger will still be in business in 6-8 years if the Dim-o-crats get in power.

I love the safety system on a Ruger revolver. Unless you're actively pulling the trigger, the transfer bar does not let the hammer hit the firing pin, even if you whale on the hammer with a hammer. Hmmmm... that used to be the old Iver Johnson revolver sales slogan, I think.

The downside is if that transfer bar breaks, like mine did, you're SOL. The gun just will not fire. With the price of .45 Long Colt nearing $1 per round, that's not such a bad thing. Imagine that... Either fire 5 cylinders worth of ammo, or go to dinner & a movie...

I imagine if push came to shove, you could weld a little nubbin onto the hammer to bypass the system.

Since the .357 Mag Ruger Speed Six is replacing the 1911A1 as the "walking around" gun, I'm thinking about putting the fancy pewter grips back on the .45 Auto. I prefer them over the wood grips looks-wise, and the added weight helps with the recoil. I've ordered a rubber Hogue Monogrip for the .357 to see how it fits. Got it off eBay for $10 or so. I really want a nice set of Hogue finger-groove grips in some exotic wood, but they run about $75.

I finally got the .45 ammo I'd bought via my friend Zibig, since he was nice enough to bring them to lunch with him last weekend. He knew a guy selling three boxes of Winchester White Box, and I got them for $15 each. Supposedly they're less than 3 years old, but I strongly doubt that. The box still has the old full-size plastic insert, not the small "squeezepack" plastic tray, or the styrofoam inserts. No matter, they'll still shoot, even if the nosetips are discolored a bit from being in contact with the plastic tray for a few years. It's been a while since I've had the .45 out, and I really enjoy shooting the piece.

I'll try to blog a bit tomorrow before I head out for a full day of booze, poker and fireworks. If not, have a Happy Fourth of July, and remember to fly Old Glory and listen to 'The Stars & Stripes Forever' at least once tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Squid Pro Quo?

'Good Eats' Is My Favorite Cooking Show!!

I've been craving some squid recently. Dunno why, just an urge for that ooey gooey chewy texture of the little tentacles between my teeth.

I was searching for a squid salad recipe, maybe one like a Caesar salad, only topped with marinated squid rings & wigglies mixed in.

In my perusal of the Intarwebs, I happened across this recipe from Alton Brown's Good Eats show "Squid Pro Quo", and I just may have to give this one a whirl. How can you go wrong? You take some squid, and stuff it into... more squid!!

Big yums in my future, I think!

Here's the recipe from Food Network's site:

Squid Stuffed Squid

Recipe Summary -
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic, finely minced
8 to 10 whole squid (about 3 to 5 inches each)
2 ounces raw shrimp
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons finely chopped tomato
2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups prepared tomato or spaghetti sauce

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and salt and sweat until the onions turn translucent, about 1 to 2 minutes. Do not brown. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute. Transfer the mixture to a medium mixing bowl and set aside to cool.

Clean the squid thoroughly and remove the heads from the tentacles and discard the heads. Turn the tubes inside out (since the outside skin tends to curl outward, it'll hold the stuffing better inside out), put into a bowl and set in the refrigerator until ready to use. Place the tentacles and the shrimp into the bowl of a food processor and pulse 6 to 8 times or until there are no large pieces visible. Do not process until smooth. Transfer to the mixing bowl along with the onions and garlic. Add the bread crumbs, tomato, lemon zest, ginger, parsley and pepper. Stir to combine well.

Place the mixture into a resealable freezer bag and snip 1 corner. You may use a pastry bag with a tip just small enough to fit into the end of the tubes. Pipe the stuffing into the tubes, dividing the mixture evenly between them. Do not over-stuff.

Place the tubes into an 8 by 11-inch glass baking dish and cover with the tomato sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

How To Clean Squid!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Equal Opportunity Abuse

What's Good For The Gander Is Good For... The OTHER Gander

As long as I'm twitting on Blodgers, I might as well aim at one below the Mason-Dixon line.

This LOLdog's for Sam, who's maintained a low bloggy profile for a while now... Could it be that he's fixating on his weiner?

Good News For Hairboy!!

A Toad A Day Keeps The Gator Away!

Stunning news out of the land of Oz might spell relief for Elderly Brother & Blowneyed Blodger Jimbo!

Jimbo's great farookin' hair was in danger of falling out due to the stress of imminent attack by his nemesis, the free-ranging alligator. Normally, the scaly critters wouldn't go anywhere near Noo Joisey, but those cold-blooded bastards can smell fear from several states away!

Fortunately, Jimbo can now make use of Australian Cane Toads to repel marauding crocodilians. It seems that the toxic cane toads are wiping out the freshwater crocs in the Victoria River district of Oz's Northern Territory.

I propose that in lieu of the usual gifts of chocolate vodka and hair care products, we all donate a bucket of Cane Toads to the Save Jimbo From The Gators Fund. He can keep most of 'em around the house, and use some to make a toadskin suit. I'm informed by reliable sources that the toxic toad secretions will work well as a hair pomade with croco-repellent properties.

So, if you can get a line on a reliable toad-importing firm, let me know, and we'll get the pipeline to Jimbo's place up and running!