Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Pallasites of Kiowa County

If you're reading this thinking it's a story about inbred hillbillies in rural Kansas, move on to the next blog. But if you think rocks that crash to Earth from outer space are really cool, then check out the Million Dollar Space Rock that Steve Arnold found.

To give you an idea of how beautiful this lump of rock they're sitting on really is, here's a photo of one that's been cut open and polished...

(thanks to Monnig Museum at TCU)

No more posts today... I've got a shovel and a back yard, I'm gonna find me one of them thangs.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Second Amendment Target Tour

The Second Amendment Target, having started its journey in Florida, moved from there to Arizona, took a pit stop in Arkansas and is now in Alaska, is looking for its next way station. And all you got to do is submit your favorite gun flavored photograph (taken either of you or by you) to Resurgemus by November 30th. You may already be a weiner winner!

And everybody is a winner! Just showing your support of the Second Amendment makes you a winner, so get going, dust off that camera and send 'em in!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Salmon Croquettes

Sandy’s new recipe blog, Flies in the Butter starts out with, what I’m sure is, a great Georgia recipe for Salmon patties. And it made me think just how regional cooking is.

See, where I come from, they call them salmon croquettes. And those crazy Cajuns eat ‘em slathered in hot sauce and not catsup. So, I guess not to be outdone by no Georgianer, I’m gonna post my recipe for salmon croquettes.

Straight from the canal country of deep southeast Texas…


Start with a roux, (for those that don’t know, just take some bacon grease and get it hot, mix in some flour and cook it until light brown) and add some chopped onions and celery (finely chopped) and minced garlic if you like. Pour the water from the can of salmon into the flour and grease mixture to complete the roux. Continue cooking until a nice brown color.

Don’t you dare pick out the little bones in the salmon because Cajuns don’t want to miss out on anything. Mix your roux and a can of unadulterated salmon in a mixing bowl. Now you can add some cayenne pepper or other seasonings that you like at this point, but I don’t.

Put some corn meal on a plate and dip out a glob of salmon paste from the bowl with a big honkin’ tablespoon and drop it on the corn meal. Once it’s covered all over with the meal, roll it into a ball with the palms of your hands.

Mash it flat, pat it into the meal on each side again to make sure it's coated good, and put it in a cast iron skillet with just enough oil to cover the bottom and keep doing that until the skillet won’t hold any more. Fry them until golden brown on both sides, salt to taste, and slather them with Louisiana Hot Sauce. Tabasco will do, but doesn’t have as delicate a flavor as Louisiana style.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Islam is the AntiChrist

For weeks now I've heard commentators talking about the rioting Islamofascists in France and referring to them as youths, young men, and just about anything other than radical Islamists.

Are we so afraid to call it like it is that we can't name names? And did I actually hear a television commentator refer to them as "young African Americans"? What? In France????

So, I guess (theoretically)it's politically correct to say that young, black males from the United States are running rampant through France, rioting and burning property, murdering and looting, but it's not okay to mention that, "Oh yeah, they're Muslim."

Reck-o-nize Peeeple! It is the religion of peace that is causing almost all of the problems in our world today. Prove me wrong. Please. Somebody?

Daddy Longlegs

Night before last, I saw one of those huge mosquito things buzzing around in my bedroom and by morning it was floating dead in the toilet. At some point my little bride killed the creature and gave him a burial at sea of sorts. Except for the burial part. I guess she didn't think he was worth spending the resources of a special flush.

Or maybe, like the cat, she wanted to show off her trophy.

Whatever the reason, she has always had a healthy fear of these "mosquito hawks" as she calls them. Matter of fact, that's all I've ever heard anyone call them around here. Got me wondering. Just how dangerous are these giant bloodsuckers?

Google is my friend.

Turns out, in most parts of the world, the mosquito hawk is a term for a dragonfly. So, what the heck is this dude in my toilet? It's a crane fly. And they don't suck blood. They don't even bite. They probably don't do anything other than fly around looking creepy.

And a popular nickname for them is "daddy longlegs."

Well, just to show you how messed up we are around here, our daddy longlegs is a big honking spider. Or he just looks big because he has legs about 3 inches long each, but he does have a body smaller than a dime in the center of 'em. The bride pointed out that the proper name is actually Grandaddy Longlegs. But we mostly just call them daddy.

Most of you know that the daddy longlegs spider is just about the most poisonous spider in the world, if not the most poisonous one. Luckily their mouth is too small to bite you so you're safe. At least that's what I've always been told.

Turns out, they ain't poisonous. Not even a little. Hell, they ain't even spiders. Oh, they're arachnids, allright, but they're not spiders. Spiders have two part bodies. Did you know that? And these dudes have a single blob for a body. They are pretty harmless, eating fruit and other bugs and sometimes each other if they get really desperate.

And, it's not really a daddy longlegs. It's a "Harvestman."

But it turns out, there is a daddy longlegs spider. It's not the one crawling up the pine tree behind my house. This one is in my house!

The real daddy longlegs spider is actually a pholcidae spider, or common house spider. To me it's the creepiest of all, but I never called it a daddy longlegs. Or grandaddy longlegs. Until now.

These dudes are venomous, like most spiders, but the venom is so weak that it doesn't even hurt most other bugs.

I know you all are confused at this point so I'm going to put a picture here to illustrate the difference. There will be a test on Wednesday...

left to right, Crane Fly, Pholcidae Spider, Harvestman. Image was lifted from courtesy of The Burke Museum

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Really Bad Idea

My little bride will try nearly any new product. Not too long ago, she brought home several bottles of this Colgate MaxFresh Whitening Cool Mint with mini breath strips fluoride toothpaste.

First of all, it's not paste. Colgate should really get a handle on that. It comes out more as a goo...

And, if you don't squeeze it aggressively enough, it sucks back up into the container which is kind of a turn-off after it's been on someone's toothbrush. So you squeeze it and jerk up and away leaving a large blob on your toothbrush...

...which has a tendency to run off your toothbrush and drip down into the sink below.

And my son wasn't really impressed with the taste.

He used the term rotten burritos, but I think he was exaggerating...

Regardless, this is a poor product and I don't think we'll be repeat buyers. It must have been on sale for her to buy more than one bottle of it in the first place.

What’s your blog really worth?

I’ve been seeing a link around the blog and pony shows that has some kind of algorithm for determining the value of “stock” in your blog. And, I suppose that anything is worth exactly what someone else will give for it and therefore haven’t hung my hopes and dreams on building my blog up for a retirement nest egg.

But Nic Duquette has a more interesting approach. His equation is based on blog ads and the number of hits you get per day. Mind you, I put blog ads on my home improvement site and have yet to pass the $1.50 mark for a month. But in this article, it seems, getting a mere 100 hits per day will put you in the free beer category. Anything above that is gravy.

And, if you link him he promises to trade hits with you and make that happen.

Forget a bunch of African bureaucrats with TEN MILLION DOLLARS to just GIVE ME if I hand over my bank account number. THIS ONE WILL MAKE ME RICH!

Thanks Nic, I owe you one…

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Camel Toads

Someone sent me a copy of a newspaper clipping where a woman wrote for advice about her godson talking about camel toads at the swimming pool. She was concerned that this was a dangerous drug thing the kids were into and wanted to know how to deal with it. The columnist replied that the term was probably "camel toe" and referred to a delicate part of the female anatomy.

Last March I posted this. "Giant Monkey Camel Toe." I took this picture in front of a local car dealership on my way to work. I still think it's funny.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


this has got to be the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. Thanks Not Fit For Humans, for brightening my day.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Top Punch Lines of All Time

A pig that good, you don't eat him all at once.

All right, damnit, I'll wash the dishes!

I didn't say she was crazy, your honor, I said she was fucking Goofy.

I guess I know my own daughter's handwriting.

I didn't want anybody thinkin' I was a truck driver.

Okay, but don't try to start anything!

I told you I was sick!

She puts a suit on him and sends him to work every morning.

You're thirty-four and you're the pricipal.

I don't think I could stand ten dollars worth!

No, I'm not a real sailor. I'm just wearing the hat.

If you haven't heard the jokes, then I probably ruined them for you, didn't I? Some things you can't un-see. Sorry.

Life or Death

I posted this story about nine months ago or so. I thought about it again today when I was sitting in church with my youngest son and he reached up and put my arm around him.

I have never had a job where I made a life or death difference to people, hell I mail stuff for a living, but I have known a lot of policemen, firefighters and servicemen over the years who have such a job.

When I worked as a stage hand, there were a lot of firefighters in the union because their off days afforded them a lot of opportunity to work shows and pick up some extra cash. Of course they loved to regale the uninitiated with stories of blood and mayhem and always the dead fat lady who had been in a bathtub for a week before she was found. The standard crispy critter stories and occasionally the, “that cop asked me how I knew he was dead, ‘you’re not a doctor, are you??’ and I told him, ‘buddy, I ain’t no doctor, but I do know when the mofo’s head ain’t attached to his body no more he is dead!”

For several years I worked for a company across the street from Station No. 1, which was the biggest, nicest fire house in the city. It had a brass pole and they didn’t dance naked around it either.

Once, I was coming out to my car and I could see one of those dumpster trucks barrelling down Seventh Street at a clip and he had flames boiling out of the back. He had obviously emptied a dumpster that was on fire into his truck. I could tell he was headed for the fire station so I ran across the street and into the back door.

Ray, who was Captain at that station, knew me from the stage crew. They all knew I like to joke around and found it hard to take me seriously. When I burst into their break room to tell them that a truck was on fire, Ray gave me that look that says, “okay, what’s the punchline?” One lieutenant got up, ambled over to the door and peeked out. He came running back in yelling, “shit, they’s a truck on fire out there!” The fire truck rolled out the front door, turned the corner and stopped at the burning dumpster truck and they proceeded to hose it down.

When son1 was about 3 years old, the daycare called me and asked me to pick him up. He had a fever and they wanted to send him home. It was late in the afternoon, so I took him back to work with me and figured we’d leave shortly and go home for the day. He was standing next to me at my desk as I caught up a few last minute agenda items.

I noticed that he seemed kind of out of it and asked him if he was okay. He didn’t answer. I reached out for him and he went limp in my hands. He wasn’t breathing!

I grabbed him like a sack of potatoes over my shoulder and ran out the front door, stopping traffic on Seventh and dashed through the open front bay doors. There was one lone firefighter getting a coke from the machine.

I shouted at him that I needed help and laid my son on the cold concrete floor. I don’t know where they came from, but firefighters and emt’s came out of the wood work and swarmed my boy. I was choked with emotion as I watched them work on him. There were so many that I couldn’t even get close, but they would talk to me and tell me what was going on. I never felt like I was left out of the process.

The ambulance came and they told me they were taking him to Children’s Hospital. I followed in my car and called the little bride on my cell phone to let her know where I was going. Her friend from work brought her and they arrived nearly as soon as I did.

After a thorough examination the doctor told us that sometimes children have a fever spike up really fast and it puts them into a sort of seizure. He said they’re actually breathing enough to keep them alive, but you can’t always tell. Though not life threatening, per se, it can be a very scary experience for the parents. They released him to go home with us.

Later that night I received a phone call. It was one of the firefighters that was there when I brought my son in. He said that they all wanted to know if he was alright. My eyes still get a little blurry when I think about those men caring enough about my family to look us up and call.

Those men made a life or death difference in my family that day and I will never forget it.