Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shovels II

If you don't immediately want to add "Electric Boogooloo" to the end of that, well, then I can't help you. I figure I should talk about other shovels I carry around with me for the 3 soil scientists who found my blog. They exist!

There a number of smaller shovels you should consider when you're working in the field. you need something for pulling out peds to asses structure and texture. You also need to clean up the face of the pedon so you can snap a pretty picture. Soil can be amazingly beautiful, see?(Don't use that shovel, it's a military issue trenching tool. The handle is less than 3 feet long and it suuucks. Easy to pack, though)

On to important trowel tools. I like the simple folding trowel called the U-dig-it. It comes with a little carrying case with a belt loop. You would look totally cool if you wore it on your belt next to your leatherman and cell phone. This works for mineral soils, but it's all but useless when digging in deep peats.

Other options include a Japanese soil knife. This is not as packable as the small trowel, but it looks super tough if you wear it around. It's also way better for sawing into deep, organic soils. One side is serrated so it can be used to saw through roots and whatnot. It has a curved blade that is ostensibly good for planting seeds.
I don't actually own one of these. I have a rusty old tool:
I have it on it's own belt so I can wear it Bandalero-style over my rain gear. It comes with a totally useless sharpening stone in the little pocket on the front. This was new last year, leather doesn't really hold up too well when it rains so damn much.

Hey all you other soil folks, what do you use? I'm always on the look out for the newest in soily tools. Let me know!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rotten Pork

It's a well known fact that I have a really bad sense of smell. I'm like that ole hound dog, Trusty, in Lady in the Tramp. Mostly, this serves me well because I can tolerate odors that most people can't. Fish, skunk, old dairy, moldy tupperware, stockyards, or any matter of poop are no problem. My Broken Sniffer (tm Dirty Fisherman) sometimes gets me into trouble.

Take yesterday (please). I trimmed a pork shoulder awhile ago and saved some of the really fatty meat to use in a stew or something. Well last night I thought they'd work with some black beans for dinner. I chopped them up and threw them in the pan. I admit, the meat didn't smell exactly right but I don't trust my nose. Well tDF peeks from over the edge of his Journal of Light Construction and asks what I'm cooking.

Oh, just some pork I saved from that shoulder we had.
You can't smell that?
It's making my eyes water. I think I'm going to barf.

Apparently, this meat was rotten and I was cooking it. I guess when meat smells sweet it's the smell of rot? I honestly don't know. TDF got scared because if he wasn't there I probably would have eaten this meat and gotten violently ill. Bad nose! They also tell me that you can smell brown bears in the woods and that should be a warning. My nose won't work there either. I don't have a very safe nose.

It took the better part of 2 hours to clear the stink out. I cleaned out the pan, boiled water in it, then baked it in the oven. We turned on the new, awesome, hood full blast and opened a window. I read Martha Stewart and this month had a tip on simmering lemon and cloves on the stove to get rid of food smells. I also lit our one and only candle.

Later I asked tDF how it smelled
I smell rotten meat, lemons, and candle
oh. So it's not better even with the lemons and clove
I think our problem is a bit bigger than a "food smell"

We got rid of the odor, eventually. Now there are many jokes about cooking rotten pork.

All this talk about smells reminds me of my Brother. We walked in the door one day after school. My mom had been baking cookies, it smelled good (my nose worked back then). The Brother says, "Oooh, what's that stench?" He liked thesauruses, so didn't know that the word stench was always a bad smell. This still makes me smile.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A "vacation"

When normal people go on a short vacation, they usually go and do something relaxing. We aren't normal. Our most recent trip was a short 48 hour tour of Juneau. We took the fast ferry, Chenega, over on Sunday arriving at a respectable 6pm. And the unbearably slow ferry, Malaspina, back yesterday leaving a 2:45am. The hours between ferry rides were spent shopping.

Shopping is funny here. I grew up in a place where a person could buy pretty much anything, in person, with minimum of driving. We now live on Mars where it's hard to find things or if it actually exists in a shop here it's gut-wrenchingly expensive. You learn to adapt. Everywhere we go we pack an extra bag or plan on shipping a cardboard box full of stuff as luggage. Our luggage in Portland was a box full of ducting. I have flown home with a range hood and a kitchen sink. We have been to Juneau 3 times and loaded our poor, poor Toyota pickup nearly to the point of breaking.

That was house stuff, now for food stuff. We have very well appointed grocery stores. They are also the gougiest gougers who have ever gouged. Juneau has a Costco. I guess this was our Little House on the Prarie moment. We managed to buy almost 20 pounds of cheese. It was all very basic cheese. By the time we got to the store with fancy cheese, read; Stilton, gureyre, etc, I had spend enough money. I have a picture, but not online yet. That much cheese looks sort of gross.

We managed to buy a woodstove, 400 lbs of slate, tile backer board, countertops, ducting and insulation. The list goes on and on and on. At least I bought dry-aged, thick sliced, fancy bacon to console me.

Also, Juneau has the best hole-in-the-wall fish and chips shop every. It's called the Sand Bar, located in the industrial part of town. The Halibut and chips are otherworldly.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

An Alaskan obituary

One of my Mom's friends refers to the Obituaries as the Irish Sporting Page (The guy was from Cork, if I remember correctly). Some read like the begats in Exodus while some are unbelievably sweet. Like this one:

She was the best deckhand, partner, mate and was one of the few, if not only, women to head halibut on the landing table begore guillotines were around. --her husband.

If that doesn't convey a life well spent, I don't know what does.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Coconut prep

How to open a coconut without losing your mind via the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. I prefer cookbooks that actually teach me something rather than tell me what to do. Read into that what you may. Since learning this specific technique, I create excuses to buy coconuts just so I can create a box of lovely coconut meat. FYI, coconuts do not grow in southeast Alaska so this coconut has a carbon footprint of a Chrysler.

This is all laid out, very nicely, in Martha's baking handbook (thanks, Mom).

First, you need to buy a coconut. It should feel heavy for it's size. You should hear the milk slosh around in it. It should not be moldy. The 3 eyes should not be soft enough to poke through with your finger. Buy the best coconut you can.

Go home with your beloved. It's ok to hug a coconut. I certainly do.

Drill/punch out the two softest eyes with a screwdriver, icepick, or, if you are an improvisational lush like me, a corkscrew. This takes some muscle, so don't cut yourself. Invert the coconut over a glass or bowl to drain out all the milk. Do what you want with it, but beware it is an impressively rapid diuretic.

Bake the coconut at 350 degrees on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes, or until the shell cracks. It will crack, and it may take longer than 30 minutes. Make sure the eyes can breathe because, to quote the Dirty Fisherman, you don't want shrapnel all over the place.

[I'm still getting the hang of this bloggy thing so I apologize for the missing photos of the above process.]

Remove the coconut from the oven, wrap it in a towel when it's cool enough to handle.

Be sure to use a non-fuzzy towel because coconut shell is tough to get out. Go outside with your hammer. I prefer an nice 22oz framing hammer with a steel shaft and rubberized grip. Then you whack the bejezus out of the thing, making sure to hit the same area of the coconut so you get larger pieces.

See how the nut is sort of splitting down the middle. (Apologies about the picture, still learning.)

Aah, that's better. You can see the nut (still covered with a papery brown skin) coming away from the shell. Try to keep the pieces as large as you can. Baking it in the oven causes the nut to expand, breaking the shell. When it comes out of the oven the meat shrinks away from the shell, making it MUCH easier to remove.

Peel the brown skin off using a vegetable peeler. Rinse the meat in the sink and store in an air-tight container between layers of damp paper towels. This keeps for a couple of days like this, but it really is the best on the first day. Behold:

How awesome does that look? You can grate it, use the peeler to make curls, or grind it up for fresh coconut milk.

Coconut is by far my favorite nut. It's the Bacon of the nut world. And you all know how I feel about Bacon. Ambrosia is for sissies Bacon is food of the Gods.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


We residents of Southeast Alaska are accustomed to the Weather dominating our life. It's a real topic of conversation. They read it once per hour on the radio. I think tides come about second.

A sunny summer day when the Cohos are biting means that at least 1/2 of town is out trolling. When the jet doesn't land due to high winds or visibility, we just shrug and make other arrangements. Rain means that you wear a jacket. Weather forces everyone into a laid-back attitude.

It's not all hunky dory. The weather is also responsible for many foul moods. Like mine this morning: @#$% snow. When will it stop @#$%ing snowing. Isn't it officially spring on Friday? Man, I have a garden to turn over.

I'm whining I know. And Yes I would like some cheese with my whine (Stilton, Please!--but not Stilton with Mango chunks in it. That's the only Stilton in town and it sounds really gross. And Yes, lack of cheesy goodness is contributing to my foul mood.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Iron Cupcake: nuts

I did it. I entered the Iron Cupcake: Earth Challenge. The recipe is one of the first "real" recipes I ever wrote (by "real" I mean where quantities and chemistry matters) I would like to thank my incredibly gracious mother-in-law who endured no fewer than 5 phone calls from me about coconut, pralines, pecans, caramel, coconut, etc. Thanks!

This cupcake was inspired by an absolutely gorgeous bag of Pecans that showed up on my table last Friday. Our neighbor is originally from Florida and these are locally grown "Fancy" half pecans. I tend to swoon over quality produce. It comes from a 50% chance that the piece of fruit you just bought is rotten/gross.

Here she is: My lovely Coconut-Praline Dulce de Leche Cupcake

Coconut-Praline Dulce de Leche, originally uploaded by Chez Foss.

This is a macaroon pound cake base with praline glaze topped with caramel whipped cream and some fresh grated coconut. I used fresh coconut because I really like the texture it brings to baked goods.Plus, I really enjoy opening coconuts. Purchasing coconuts isn't too fun, though. When I went to the store, only 1 store had fresh coconuts, there were 3 to choose from. It really was a which one is less bad, rather than which is the best.

Anyway...I digress. This is not a heart-healthy dessert. There is a lot of coconut, 3 sticks of butter, and a ton of cream.

Here's the recipe already!

Macaroon Pound Cake

3 cups sifted all-purpose Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Butter, softened
2-1/4 cups Sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (I buy a 14 oz can and use the rest for other endeavors)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup fresh grated coconut (can substitute unsweetened, shredded if you don't want to grate your own.)

Preheat oven to 350. Line two standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl, set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla, beat until fully incorporated. Add in flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the coconut milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Fold in the grated coconut.

Divide Batter evenly among the cups. Do not fill up beyond 2/3 of the liner—about 1/2 cup of batter per cup. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through (my oven bakes quite unevenly).

Remove cupcakes from pan, let cool completely on a rack. Cover with pecan praline glaze Frost with Caramel Whipped Cream. Sprinkle with more grated coconut (optional)

Pecan Praline Glaze (Bon Appetite Cookbook)
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream*
1-1/3 cups pecan halves, toasted
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

stir Sugar, cream, and butter in a heavy sauce pan over medium-high heat until smooth. Boil 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in Pecan halves. Spoon warm praline mixture over cupcakes, arranging pecans on the top.

*variation for more coconutty goodness, you can use some of the unsweetened coconut milk as a substitute for the cream.

Caramel Whipped Cream (modified from Martha Stewart Baking Handbook).

1/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Coconut Milk, divided
1 cup heavy cream, divided

Prepare an ice bath, set aside. Pour sugar into a medium saucepan; cover and cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until sugar is completely melted. Remove lid, and cook, swirling pan to cover evenly until sugar turns golden amber. Carefully poor 1/2 cup of the coconut milk and 1/4 cup heavy cream down the side of the pan in a slow, steady stream (it will spatter), stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until combined. Place pan in the ice bath, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, whip the remaining 3/4 cup of cream and 1/4 cup of coconut milk until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold in the caramel until combined. Use immediately. (Note--I wanted to use up the rest of the coconut milk from the 14 oz can so I used it here. It makes the whipped cream much softer than cream alone. You can use all cream if you don’t want to use coconut milk.)

I'm writing another entry on preparing the coconut. It's a method from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook and it really, really works. Plus, you get to use a hammer.

A big thank you to all the ETSY artists donating to this month's prizes that I'm competing for:
There is also a group of corporate sponsors! Yay!
Don't forget to vote starting 3/29 at No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner.

Friday, March 13, 2009


The uppers are all installed. The hood is hooked up (all the ducting was run earlier this week).

uppers!, originally uploaded by Chez Foss.

I think I'm most excited about the hood. I had to clean a greasy film off of the walls, windows and light fixtures recently. It was gross. Imagine cleaning a grease trap choked with sawdust.

You can all see (and hopefully appreciate) the craftsmanship of the Dirty Fisherman. Those cabinets are made from Birch plywood for the carcasses, Cherry lumber on the face frame, and random doors we got from a garage sale. We figure the doors are made of maple and sprayed with some sort of polyurethane with pigment. They are a bear to refinish. The door pulls are from a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, hinges are Ikea. These are about as piecemeal as you can get.

I love all the little cubbies.

We need some sort of finial above the really tall door in the corner. I want a gargoyle. What do you think?

I am looking forward to frying something greasy and awful on the stove just because I have a hood. Panko'd everything for dinner!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Claudes: Seamart 1$ rentals

There is something about a movie you can rent for $1. It makes is very easy to watch that moderately embarrassing Rom-com or Seann William Scott vehicle (not that I've done that). Yes, the harpy-fisherman household spends a few dollars at Seamart, the grocery store that's so much more. [So, one time the lights of the S-E were out on their sign, so it said Amart. This pleased me immensely since I refer to this store as Butt-mart. I am clever.]

Recently, all the "old" movies at SeaMart were changed to $1 2-day rentals. It's worth watching all sorts of crap for $1. Seagal, Diesel, and Cage all made an appearance on our luxurious 19" screen.

Without further ado, here is a synopsis of 3 awesome movies we saw recently!

Pistol Whipped. Starring everyone's favorite misogynistic Buddhist Mr. Steven Seagal! Seagal plays some schlub who's a bit down on his luck. He owes money all over town and is in a relatively difficult financial situation. He manages, however, to drive a silvery range rover and live in a lovely craftsman style house. Due to some poor choices in cards and life, he owes money. He is also a highly trained assassin who has to go back to work to pay his debts. He is not a quiet, surgical assassin. He is the mess your mobbed-up stereotype ass in a restaurant type.

Seagal was married and had a kid in this movie. His ex-wife's new husband was his ex-partner on "the force." Back story just gets in the way of Seagal kickin the crap out of people. Which he still does in the slappy sort of way a fat, orange, squinty has been does. It's not real pretty. He gets the girl. The girl here is some sort of spy-ish operative that drives a suburban and used to be a graphic designer. I'll wrap this up with this witty post coital dialogue paraphrased from the movie.

The Lady: I learned that to get ahead in the world I needed a [slang: male genitalia]
The Seagal: Well, I don't know if I would like you as much with a [male genitalia]. 'Specially if it were bigger than mine.
The Lady: I don't think that's possible. (Goooooooood night everybody/Yakko!)

Movie II: Bangkok Dangerous

This movie only gets a list because it was irredeemably bad.
  1. Nicholas Cage
  2. Nicholas Cage with way too much makeup/plastic surgery, dyed black hair, looking quite drag queeny
  3. His hearing impaired love interest points at the rain, points at herself, points at rain, points at herself, points at rain, points at herself and grunts to get the fact that her name is Rain. Though it's likely Thai for rain and not actually Rain.
  4. The sidekick is only slightly less annoying than Short Round
  5. Kotekitae, in the kitchen. Also, learning this has made me quite obnoxious. I often challenge the Dirty Fisherman to bouts and use my feet to win.
  6. I fell asleep so I don't remember anything else.
Movie threeee. Babylon AD.

I will forgive Michelle Yeoh for appearing in this. Vin Diesel, a name only synonymous with quality, stars in this futuristic movie. He's an outlaw that kills and skins a cat for dinner in the outland he inhabits. It looks like a Hollywood version of a dystopian, futuristic Russian slum. Nosy McFrench, Gerard Depardieu, plays a Russian Gangster who recruits Diesel to transport some speshul lady from a nunnery to NYC. Michelle Yeoh is her chaperon.

This magical lady freaks the heck out over everything and is supposed to look otherworldy and wise and beautiful but comes off as clueless and slack-jawed. (Aside, what is up with actors thinking magical = mouth open and eyes rolling around? see Tom Cruise in Legend for a good time).

On their journey they have to change clothes, walk across a frozen lake/ocean so a submarine can take them onward to somewhere else, ride snowgoes in white camo, and get shot. They make it to the city. There is some sort of mystery if this gurl is a bomb or an android or some doomsday device. She is none of those things! She is knocked up and about to deliver two magical l'il moppets. Diesel will be the father. Awesome.

That's a lot of entertainment for $3 plus tax. Plus I got to make fun of all the bad hair: Seagal's weird ponytail, Cage's bad dye job, Diesel's shiny pate.

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Job

It finally happened. We have become radiant heat experts. You want to know how? We read the Internet and got a book from the library. I also charged up the wayback machine and visited my engineering degree. Helloooo fluid mechanics! Heat transfer also stopped by. Fortunately, economics stayed the hell away. This interaction calls for a special brand of approval.
So, how'd this happen, you reasonable people may ask. Why are these crazy people installing the most expensive, complicated, labor intensive heating system themselves? Well, it's a long story that begins in 2005 when we bought this damn lot with trees on it. It continues into 2006 where we drew plans on the floor of a rental using a quilting ruler and eraser shield. We had this idea that in floor radiant heat was the bees knees. We still have that idea but tend to cry when someone says it will cost $30,000.

There are various interbob companies that will design it for us, but since we already installed the 5/8 inch hePex pipe in the garage slab, we would need a custom package. These companies are all fine and dandy but the Dirty Fisherman thinks he/we can do it better, because he a) usually can and b) I'm an enabler. Also, the local expensive plumbing store has a bunch of Wirsbo radiant manifolds and what not at pretty steep discount.

See, this guy I married decides on something when I'm not around. He'll spend a huge amount of time convincing himself that this is the correct course of action. Then he'll call me and ask my opinion, while I'm at work and focused on other stuff. At first (in 2005) I actually gave my opinion. I later learned that he didn't want my opinion--he wanted me to agree with him and give him the green light. Today, this took the form of buying a whole bunch of brass crap from the plumbing store.

Hilarious exchange:

ME: So you pretty much made your mind up about this, didn't you.

the Dirty Fisherman: Yeah.

Me: What made you decide to do this today? (implied, isn't there something else you could do, like work on the several unfinished projects in the house)

tDF: Well, I'm trying to take it easy today. Tryin' not to get sicker. [he's been fighting a cold since our recent trip to Portland, OR]

Me: So that means buying stuff at [plumbing store].

tDF: pretty much.

Here we go, putting together a complex heat system that includes: at least 2 pumps that we don't know the size of, a boiler, four (4) manifolds, at least 12 actuator valves, expansion tank, and a brain that drives the whole thing. We need to re-work our electrical panel (with 200-amp service thank goodness) to make room for at least 2 60-amp breakers.

We can figure this out, right? I mean, we have two books coming to us in the mail.

You all can address us by our new titles: I am now an HVAC engineer and the Dirty Fisherman is a Radiant Heat Technician.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Soldier of Fortune, Inc.

This movie is brought to you by the awesome producers of The Rock, Armageddon, and Con Air. Two of these movies were directed by Explosion-Merchant Michael Bay. They were all produced by his highness, Jerry Bruckheimer. I have learned that Claude+"from the producers of..."+ 2 unattributed pull-quotes = really, really bad movie.

Here is what recommends it from the cover:
  • Buncha Q-list actors scowling in paramilitary regalia.
  • "Off the Richter Scale of excitement"
  • "This team totally rocks"
  • A Bruckheimer film

Ok, so a little bit of googling reveals this as a TV show that got renamed "Special Ops Forces" in the second season. The second season also added the super trendy for 1998 Dennis Rodman as some sort of Warrant Officer. This show clearly jumped the shark in the second season. Also, there seems to be a sort of rabid fan base for this show.

"Facts" and "reality" doesn't keep me from making fun of stuff, so here I go.

This movie (or likely pilot) takes place in exactly 4 places: At a beach volleyball game (Bikinis!), a naval hospital (which I don't get since these guys operate outside of the US government so why do they get treated at a military facility), a Mexican hacienda (exotic), and the Lair of the Soldiers of Fortune (they have a computer and some white boards for stragetizing sessions.)

Because we spend the first 35 minutes of this 98 minuted adventure flashing back to the same exact footage, I'll describe that.

These soldiers; Major Issues, Flattop, Woman, Limey, and Chance; are an elite crew of ex military that formed a little Blackwater team. There's only five of them so they are totally members of the small business association. They are tasked with rescuing a kidnapped daughter of a Cartel kingpin who just turned states witness. They go, and are totally destroyed. We get to watch this six (6) times between cuts of Major Issues watching all his team suffer in the hospital. Flattop gets blinded by a bucket of acid the eeevil cartel folks huck at him. Woman gets shot. Limey blows himself up. Chance gets all shot up in the legs. We see no less than 4 times each: The cartel Ford Taurus, a pool, slo-mo men menacingly drag a woman in a peasant blouse around (daughter of kingpin), Flattop walk around a car (token "cartel" Mercedes), Limey count off until explosion that's a dud, slo-mo Woman get shot in the neck, Major Issues yelling and trying to get his people safe, a slo-mo helicopter evac, slo-mo medical personnel coming to retrieve folks.

The seventh time, though, of seeing the same damn footage, the Bruck changes it up. Now, it Major Issues who is hurt and his team is safe. Whoa. This means the last 30 minutes of this experience was a total lie. Strike 1.

Then we see the whole scene at the hacienda again to make sure we, the audience, get what really happened. Strike 2.

A doctor, because he has a white coat on, speaks in some vague medical terms about Major Issues' injuries. He has a loss of vascular integrity, damage to the femoral artery, and a tremendous aneurysm. The team broods while healing from their various burns and scratches with warp speed. Flattop rides his stars n' stripes motorpickle to a church. (I should mention that Flattop's name is Billy Raye and says stuff like 'pappy,' 'hombre' and refers to the priest as 'padre.') Chance boxes anghstily. Woman goes to target practice and shoots, broodingly. Limey drinks (yay, stereotypes) and chews toothpicks.

Somehow, team awesome all decide they need some revenge and all converge on Major Issues who is wheelchair bound and sad. They bring him gifts. Let's play a matchy game of who brings what!

1. Flattop a. Whiskey
2. Woman b. Kentucky fried chicken bukket
3. Limey c. nothing (or Muskeg harpy can't remember)
4. Chance d. Playboy magazine

Answers: who cares! Strike 3!

Serious Oakley glasses-tearing-off-faces histrionics ensue. Major Issues thinks looking in the past is dumb. But since his team is also dumb they ignore this. They will not be stopped. Unfotunately they guy, Xavier Trout, who is their gov't contact (most likely a contracting officer or a COR) freezes all their accounts. "We can't even use the ATM," obviousses Woman. So they have a Soldier of Fortune, Inc. yard sale. Seriously, they're selling weights and back issues of soldier of fortune magazine or whatever to finance their illegal, international revenge. Flattop even pawns his Dodge Duelly. awww.

Since the revenge krew is out planning, we get to watch Major Issues' mostly shirtless recovery montage! Woot! He's learning to walk with his PT named Rico and a totally unprofessional naval doctor named Grace. Grace is more of a plot point than a character. She does get two good lines, though:
  1. "There's physical therapy and there's physical therapy!" when she slithers mostly nekked into the PT pool. (She is a lieutenant in the Navy frolicking in a pool, in a hospital with a patient)
  2. "You fix things and I feel things. I wish you could fix what I feel." After Major Issues sez he's going to join his krew on the revenge mission.
Grace also helps Major Issues shave because knee injuries mean that you can't shave yourself anymore.

Krew Inc. all slo-mo to a helicopter, in totally inconspicuous red, to take off to the hacienda of repeats. Rico, the PT 'n special forces double-major tags along. They totally kick ass and get the kingpin thanks to:
  • The sewer cap-explosive devices laid by Limey (you should have heard the Dirty Fisherman hoot about that)
  • gas masks
  • a plan
  • The ability for all five to time travel to the air field before the bad guys (even though the bad guys left first) and effectively hide on a Cessna.
Xavier Trout, COR, rolls up in a Lincoln Towncar to Major Issues and talks about the successful capture of kingpin. They exchange winky-dialogue that ensures that they both know that the other knows that they know. Top Gun ripoff music takes us to the credits.

This show has a fanbase. I'm scared to look into this.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Eating Alaska

We are a lucky community. We have three (3) grocery stores. These stores stay open until 10 pm and are open 7 days a week. It's really hard to convince people we live in the sticks when I can get feta or Quark or fresh lemongrass. Really, our stores do a terrific job of supplying a variety of foodstuffs for us.

The produce, however, is not so awesome. We get some variety, yes. And most things are available year round. Sometimes all the food freezes on the Barge up here. Have you ever spend $3 on an avocado only to meet brown, stringy much upon slicing into it? Or, have all of your leafy greens gone belly up all at the same time, leaving a slicky gooey mass in your produce drawer? No? Well come-a to my house and I'll treat ya.

Sales are weird here too. Seamart was having a "3 day meat sale." photographic proof below:

I know, right? I got yuh meat right heah. I was so tickled by this. In this meat sale, were four frozen pig heads individually vacuum sealed. They were next to the Turkeys. Three of them are still there. I really want one. What does a person do with a pig head? They smile so beatifically up at you, "Take me home and taunt the Dirty Fisherman," they coo. I could wear them like a helmet! There's something that appeals to me about making a pig-head meat helmet.

Anyhoodle. Our grocery stores also sell expired food at a discount. We have learned that expired yogurt is a bad idea, even if it's half-off. The baked goods are fine, still expensive, but not the horrible experience that old dairy brings. Behold: our discount bins.

This is in the back of the store, next to the knock-off barbies and crap from China. There is some variety here, but mostly it's old hair products (or non-hair products as the entire Bald Guyz line of scalp products ended up here). We root through this occasionally, mostly out of boredom and the desire to try something new.

This is sort of shameful, discount expired grocery shopping. I won't go further down the rabbit hole. So, tell me about your rabbit hole. How low have you stooped to save a buck?<\div>

Monday, March 2, 2009

dorky sweater

I like to knit. I like to buy cheap stuff at yard sales and thrift stores. I have a tote full of mis-matched yarn that is waiting to be projects. I do not buy acrylic yarn. It's only wool, but often in terrible colors. I justify purchasing a 1-pound cone of electric orange yard because it's only $1. (Someone said that this cone of yarn made her teeth hurt.) Such is my lot in life.

Because I am in a purging frame of mind, I have decided to stop purchasing yarn until I knit up my lot. This will be interesting as most of my yarn is a random assortment of colors, textures, and weights.

This is my first purge project: it's a cabled sweater-vest modified from the Fall 2008 Vogue knitting.

See? I'm posing like a lunatic. This is how Jamie Lee Curtis poses so she always looks good.

Anyway, So this is some heavy single-ply wool. I think it's called polar something or other. I really like how the small cables became the straps. The edging is crab-stitched on. Since the yarn is so heavy, it doesn't do that annoying stockinette curling thing. I still have two skeins of the white left and about half of the purple. What to make?

My office is always cold. Our heating system sucks and this week the hot-water heater is broke down. We won't get a new one until March 10th. Ugh. So, I wear a lot of layers and warm stuff to work. This sweater is actually very cozy and warm. I don't have any collared shirts but I figure I can get some once I go through my clothing.