Saturday, December 31, 2005

There Ought To Be A Law

Another dog mauling story is in the news out of Califorinia. When will all cities and municipalities across the country join the select few that have passed laws banning particularly vicious breeds of dogs. I urge all concerned citizens to talk to their local officials and join in the protest against these dangerous animals.

In Fremont, California, a police officer was attacked by a pack of beasts as he was escorting a 17 year old boy home after a routine traffic stop. He was later treated and released for minor injuries including bites to his ankle. He was lucky to escape more serious injury for the five angry Chihuahuas were out for blood.

Remember it is your duty to help curb this vicious breed. The next ankle attacked could be yours if you stand idly by and do nothing.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Blaming the British

I am pissed and I think that I will blame the British. I know this is unreasonable and my woes probably have nothing to do with them but I have to blame somebody.

I have had one of those hungers for a certain food. I am sure that most everyone has had this happen to them before. Nothing else fills this hole in my gut. I have been hungry for some barbacoa.

Barbacoa is not a Spanish name for Bar-B-Q but a dish made with the cheek meat from a beef head. It is put in a flour tortilla and made into a taco and it is pure heaven. Now with the mad cow disease worries, the head is destroyed in the packing plants and so barbacoa is a food of the past. But damn am I hungry for it.

The first case of Mad Cow that I heard of was in England so rightly or wrongly, I blame them. Damn them and their damn fish and chips. Maybe I will try to assuage my hunger with a bowl of menudo and see if cow guts can get beef heads off my mind.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Can't Watch TV

Last night I was flipping through the channels on TV when I noticed a program on the SciFi channel that got my attention. It wasn't the title of the program but the host that got my attention. The show was one of those quasi-journalistic UFO fanatic programs titled 'UFO Invasion at Rendlesham'. The host for the show was Bryant Gumble. Oh how the big headed one has fallen. His was a meteoric rise from gridiron commentator to the Today show host but then his fall from grace as his ego pushed him to headlining the CBS Early Show shows that what goes up with hot air must fall when the ratings cool.

What is next for Bryant? I could envision, 'The Man Raised by Sasquatch', or possibly 'Did the Mermaids Survive the Tsunami?' Then again he might even sink to infomercials next hawking wares with Ron Popeil. There is always the chance that he could resurrect his career. Geraldo did it after the Al Capone's Vault fiasco, which proved that it could be done.

If he can resurrect his career maybe he will show a little more humility or maybe he will just become the King of the Weird Science crowd with his big ego intact.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Quirks

I was recently tagged by Cissa. So this will be another cheesy Mr. Mommieblog post. The idea is to name five things that show that your kids are weird. Believe me when I say that this was not hard but I thought that I would stick in a little Christmas flavor to it.

1) My son is fairly hard to buy toys for due to the fact that pretty much all he plays with is sticks and sticklike items that he can twirl. Two of his older sisters are/were twirlers and he picked up the talent like it was second nature. He does not do so with his fingers like twirlers but with a hand over hand method like precision rifle teams. He can spin a piece of pipe so fast that it is a blur and both of these sisters are amazed at how he does it.
2) My fifteen year old step-daughter's favorite gift is shoes and has been since she was two which is the same age that she learned to tie them.
3) When my son woke up this morning, he went through his usual routine. He first went to the bathroom. When he came out, I asked him if he was coming in to see what Santa had brought, he said, 'No not right now.' He went back to his room and laid around until he was good and awake before checking out his gifts.
4) The kids never ask for the high end got to have gifts of the year but frequently they ask for some cheesy little gift that ends up being a bitch to find. When the fifteen year old was four, the only thing that she asked for was a blue hula hoop. Angry Joyce and I searched for three months searching for a blue hula hoop and found it three days before Christmas. This year my son asked for a copy of the movie, 'Jack Frost' as he had seen the preview for it on his copy of 'The Grinch'. I found it on Friday in a discount holiday bin at fye.
5) The fifteen year olds favorite gift this year was a Dora the Explorer blanket. She was quite a sight this morning running around with leather boots over knee-length, multi-colored toe socks and wrapped up in a Dora blanket.

As usual I will not tag anyone and will face the curse of breaking the chain. But if anyone wants to do it, feel free. If five other bloggers do it maybe I will not have to face the Curse. Now go ahead Crazy Dan call me a mommy blogger. In the words of 'The Christmas Story', I triple dog dare ya!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Whatever

Here at Blugstuff, there is absolutely no discrimination towards any race, creed, color, cult, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, shoe size, eye color, or geograghical region. So here is a pic that I lifted off a fellow blogger, that just about covers it all.

So from me to you whether you be Wiccan or Wiseass, whether you be Saint or Sinner, and no matter where you are from or whatever you call youself, I wish you a happy Christmas, Kwanzai, Hanakkuh, Bodha Day, Ramadan, Winter Solstice, and Festivus.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Day Late and A Dollar Short

Being the busy time of the year, I have gotten a little behind on my reading. Yesterday while going through the pile of newspapers beside my chair going through the usual news, I came across an article so profound that it seemed as if choirs of angels had filled the room and sang it's praises. It was an article concerning an invention that would revolutionize happiness.

In San Francisco, Scott Pinizzoto has evolutionized the toilet. The invention, The Swash, is an upscale toilet seat that converts the ordinary toilet into a bidet. And not just a run of the mill bidet for the Swash not only cleanses with warm water but the upscale versions of the Swash features a warming seat, a warm-air dryer, and a REMOTE CONTROL. Retailing for only $429 to $549, it seemed like a steal.

I rushed to tell Angry Joyce that I had found the perfect Christmas gift for her to give me. I outlined the article to her but one look into her now icy blue eyes let me know that my hopes and dreams were to be dashed once more. She stated that she had already gotten me a gift and if I bought this miracle invention the only time anyone else would see the inside of the bathroom would be when I was at work. I will not only not receive this blessing as a gift but there will be hell to pay if I purchase it myself. Perhaps I can stick one of those PayPal donation buttons on my sidebar for donations to "The Fuzzbox Fanny Fur Clean and Fluff Fund."

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A Caprock Celtic Christmas

Last night, Angry Joyce and I attended 'A Caprock Celtic Christmas' at Texas Tech University. I had some trepidation as although I like listening to bagpipes and Irish jigs, I have always thought that there is something goofy about the whole RiverDance thing. All my apprehensions were dispelled as it was one of the best performances that I have ever attended. It wasn't quite Ozzfest but I had a great time.

The evening started out with a bagpipe player who entered the hall playing a medley of traditional Christmas songs and melded in traditional Celtic music and occasionally mixed in some other tunes to elicit humor, which of course since it was a Caprock Christmas included 'Dixie'.

The next performance by a female choir group was excellent and was backed up by the musical director on Renaissance guitar. The master of ceremonies or 'fear an ti, which translates as man of the house, welcomed the audience and told the story of how on the holidays a candle would be lit welcoming travelers and inviting all to a night of dancing, music, and merrymaking, which also meant a little bit of pulling off the jug.

The musicians for the traditional Irish music were phenominal. I was most impressed with the bodhrain. I was not familiar with this instrument. The way this percussion instrument was played not only framed the music with rhythm but at times to my untrained ear seemed as rolling thunder across the plains, with a sound both eery and beautiful.

When the part of the evening arrived that I had somewhat dreaded came, all my doubts were dispelled. Maybe it was the difference between seeing this dancing on t.v. or seeing it in person, all I know is that I was transfixed by it. The first dancing performance was a woman and her two daughters. The youngest of which could not have been more than four or five. Although this performance lacked the intensity of the dancing performances to come later with the mother by herself, it was thoroughly enjoyable and was just the ticket to start off. On a sidenote, I would be remiss in not saying that I looked forward to each subsequent performances due to the fact that her skirts got shorter and shorter each time she reentered the stage. I guess all that traditional dancing is good for the bod, for she had the best set of legs that I might have ever seen.

After a short intermission, The West Texas Childrens Choir performed a few selections and I must say they were leaps and bounds better than the Chistmas Concert for the Damned that I attended earlier in the week. A group of mummers acted out a play and more traditional Celtic music was played. The finale was awe inspiring with 'Amazing Grace' played on the bagpipe backed up by both choirs.

I was glad that I attended and next year plan to take the kids with us. In fact this summer we might try to attend a Celtic Festival that is held in Amarillo each year. If anyone has a chance to attend one of these types of events, I would strongly encourage them to attend. If an uncouth redneck such as myself can have a good time, there is no telling how good a time can be had by a person with just a smidgin of culture.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmas Concert for the Damned

Last night was one of those times where I beg for deafness to strike me for a couple of hours. It was the Annual Christmas Concert at the school that my young 'uns attend. This year they had an extra special 'treat' for the parents in attendance. Usually they group all the elementary students together and sing a handful of tunes; sweet and relatively painless. But this year as a little bonus, each class from K-4th grade, climbed on the stage for two songs each in order to solo. Not the good kind of solo, which would be so low that they could not be heard but one or two urchins behind a mike with the opportunity to screech to a captive audience.

One of the highlights of the evening was the 5th grade beginning bands version of ' Poke a Stick into my Ears ' played to the tune of 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat.' The High School Band wasn't half bad though. It helps when you can keep a band director for more than one year and not have the revolving door policy that has plagued the system for awhile. Although one song, 'Jingle Bells and Jungle Drums', brought to mind the SNL skit with Christopher Walkin. The one where he plays a record producer who tells the band, ' I have a fever and there is only one cure. Cow Bells, I have to have more Cow Bells.'

To be fair and honest, I must say that it is important to teach an appreciation of music at an early age. And from the young screechers of today, that I heard last night, may come the next Mozart, Metallica, Snoop Dog, or Faith Hill (Not likely but possible). And my apologies to all those parents who might be offended by my remarks but your kids looked cute. Does that make it better?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Footballs the Shizzle

The intro to this weeks Monday Night game was one of the best ever. It featured Snoop Dog giving a pep talk as only he can as his YFL team looked on in bewilderment. I remember a while back hearing about his Youth Football League and his efforts in 'Getting kids off the street and into the stadium'. I commend him on his efforts and wonder just how cool is the After-Snooper Bowl Party. He also has a website to promote the league. It is definitely worth a look.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Week in Review

Lesbian motorcycle enthusiasts in San Francisco have won the battle. They have now won a court battle to trademark the name 'Dykes on Bikes'. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had refused their request as it was their contention that the word 'dykes' was disparaging to lesbians. The National Center for Lesbian Rights argued that 'dyke' is no longer a derogotory term and has been reclaimed as a positive term that denotes strength, pride, and empowerment. So now I am free to wear my 'I like Dykes' tee shirt.

In Ottawa, Canada, one of Canada's leading cinema chains 'Famous Players' stopped handing out Christmas wrapping paper. Parents and patrons complained that it featured angels fondling each other. A male angel was grasping the breast of his female partner, while she had hold of his genitals although both angels were fully clothed in white angel attire. The wrapping paper was a promotion for Virgin Mobile phone service. A spokeswoman for the chain stated that, 'It would have been great for the right age group but clearly it wasn't suitable for children.' Personally, I would love this gift wrap. I would then be tempted to send a gift to my snake-charmer neighbors.

December 7th marked the remembrance of 'A day which will live in infamy'. It seems that many have forgotton and the day is little marked. I would like to just say think you to the ever-shrinking number of survivors and to the veterens that fought for our country in the war that came from this day of treachery.

December 8th marked the 25th anniversary of the day John Lennon was shot and killed. No matter what your thoughts are concerning John Lennon, whether you thought the voice stood for a world in which to aspire or whether you thought it was a voice of a generation conspiring to destroy the correct world order, everyone must admit that it was a powerful voice that was stilled. In my mind the world is a little worse off for it's absence. Just imagine.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Tis The Season

Yes the Christmas season is truly upon us. Angry Joyce has confirmed her first true sighting of Christmas rage. In a shopping center parking lot, she witnessed an irate shopper keying a car while the owner of that car looked on screaming that she couldn't believe this irate person was doing it. The Irate Shopper was screaming back, ' That will teach you to steal my parking space, Bitch!'

It seems that as the shopper with the key was waiting patiently for a car to back out of a parking space and that car was backing up in the direction of the person waiting, another car drove in from the other direction and whipped on in. This prompted the official start of the Christmas rage season here in our humble corner of West Texas.

Merry Christmas to all and to all safe parking.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

West Texas Nutrition 101-C

Chapter Three: Approved Cooking Methods

There are basically four main approved cooking methods in West Texas. These are Boiling, Baking, Barbequeing, and Nuking.

Boiling: This is one tasty way to cook, and it is one of the healthiest ways to cook. One of my favorite dishes is boiled chicken. The recipe is simple. Roll cut up pieces of chicken in flour and then throw it in boiling grease. In all actuality, there are three ways to boil food. One is to boil in grease, another to boil in water, and the last is to boil food in it's own natural juices. I never use the term frying as it has taken on an unhealthy connatation and I believe in being healthy.

Baking: This is a method of cooking mostly reserved for approved desserts such as pies, cakes and cobblers but is also handy for such dishes as certain casseroles, enchilades, and meat loaf. One casserole in my family is from a recipe that Angry Joyce received from her mother. I did not know the name of it so when the kids asked me what it was, I simply replied Shut Up and Eat It and so that is the name it goes by to this day. It is simply layering taco meat mixed with undiluted cream of chicken soup, Velveeta cheese, ro-tel tomatoes, and flour tortillas , and served with a side order of refried beans.

Bar-B-Q: The creme-de-la-creme of cooking methods. Whether grilling or smoking, food just tastes right cooked over a good bed of coals or smoked to perfection with mesquite or pecan wood. Any wood that puts out a fruit will also make a good wood to cook with. I bar-b-q once a week and at one time did it more frequently until Angry Joyce told me to cut it out.

Nuking: Although it is not traditional, there is one modern convenience that is too handy to pass up. The microwave oven is good for two purposes. One is to reheat food and the other is to pop popcorn. Other than that, they make a handy clock in the kitchen.

This concludes Chapter Three of the Nutrition Saga. Once again thanks for all the suggestions. I believe that I will have one more post regarding a few staples of West Texas Cooking.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

West Texas Nutrition 101 - B

Chapter Two - Drinks, Condiments, Sauces, and Dips

Condiments: Mustard and Miracle Whip are important when talking of West Texas cuisine as they are two main ingredient to the required sidedish to any Bar-B-Q; Tater Salad. Mayonaise is a nasty and dangerous foodstuff and should be avoided at all costs. They are also important additions to that All-American concoction the Cheeseburger, and although I am personally a mustard man myself, the use of Miracle Whip is also acceptable for this use. Ketchup is also a major player as use in fried taters and also can be used to cover up such dubious foods as salmon patties in the attempt to make them palatable. Tobasco sauce might be considered the most important of condiments for giving foods that extra kick. I know of some people who will not even frequent certain restaurants that do not have it available.

Dips and Sauces: The sauce of premeire importance is Bar-B-Q sauce. Some value it so highly that they dip damn near everything in it. A key ingredient to any homemade bar-b-q sauce is beer. I personally go for the semi-homemade approach in bar-b-q sauce by first buying storebought sauce and season it for the appropriate meat. If I am Q'ing pork, I will make the sauce sweet with brown sugar and honey, and if it is beef or wild game I will spice it up a bit with Tobasco and red pepper, but adding some beer to both the sauce and the cook always makes it better.

Almost of equal importance is salsa. From dipping tortilla chips, to slathering on Tex-Mex, to topping eggs, nothing is quite comparable to the sheer perfection of salsa. Many varietes abound. There is the green salsa of tomatillas and jalapenos, the red salsa of tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and cilantro, and the orange salsa that my dad makes of habeneros and tomato sauce, which will literally melt the container holding it.

Queso is an important dip. My approach to queso at home is also of a semi-homemade nature. I simply take a can of Fiesta Cheese Soup spoon in some Ro-Tel and voila out comes a very passable queso.

Ranch Dressing in my opinion is the crack of condiments. But as most all females in this region devour mass quatities of this stuff, I would be remiss in mentioning it. It is used to steal needed vegatation from real food by putting in salads and dipping broccoli and cauliflower ( I shudder at the very thought) . It is also used for purposes of which I will not mention at this time but if you would like to see another of its uses just check the comment section of my last post and check out Crazy Dans comment.

Beverages: When drinking non-alcoholic beverages, you cannot go wrong by sticking to the big three: Coffee, Iced Tea, and Dr. Pepper (which was invented in and is bottled right here in the state). When it comes to alcoholic beverages, pretty much anything goes. If it gets you off, it's got to be good. Although it is not considered very masculine to order any drink which contains an umbrella. Didn't your mother warn you that you could put an eye out with that kind of thing? But if you feel that you must stick to a very strict social norm just go with the big three: Beer, Whiskey , and Tequila.

Water is a very dangerous beverage as fish fuck in the water and all manner of aquatic life do their business there. I will admit that on certain occasions I have been forced to partake of this liquid. When faced with thirst, I have bellied up to horse troughs and got down and drank from irrigation pipe and stock tanks. The best water that I have ever drank was from a piece of pipe drove into the base of a mountain in Northern New Mexico. The source of this water was from a pond formed by a beaver pond at the top of the mountain and the runoff stream (aptly named Beaver Piss Springs) meandered down the mountain. The water was cold as a witches tittie and if all water tasted like this, I could overcome my misgivings about drinking a liquid teeming with fish spunk.

Fruit juices such as orange juice are approved beverages for children. However if such juices are to be consumed by an adult, it is advisable to add a buffering agent such as vodka or tequila. This is due to the tendency of the acidic properties of fruit juices to break down the protective layer of grease in the digestive tract.

That concludes this chapter of Nutrition 101 and the same guidelines apply to this post. All suggestions for amendments and additions will be given due consideration. Thanks again to everyone for their help on the last post.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

West Texas Nutrition 101 - A

Before I start this series of posts, I would like to state that this is not meant to be a comprehensive guide on the subject. It is only a primer for those individuals who may for one god- forsaken reason or another find themselves in West Texas and do not wish to commit any social blunder concerning the cuisine of this area and for those residents who have forsaken their culinary roots and now wish to re-enter the fold. I am sure that certain omissions or vaguaries of terminology will occur so all suggestions for possible amendments, additions, or editing will be given due consideration. With that out of the way, I bring you:

Lesson 1 - Basic Food Groups

1) Fruits and Vegatables:
As far as vegatables are concerned, you cannot go wrong with the three staples; beans, 'taters, and corn on the cob. Other acceptable vegatables are okry, squarsh, jalepeno peppers, onions and home grown tomaters. As the old song tells us, 'There is only two things that money can't buy and that's true love and homegrown tomaters.' All other vegatables are suspect as you are essentially stealing the food source of real people food which is meat. If you are in a West Texas restaurant and are given the choice between salad or soup always choose the chili. This is important as it could affect the swiftness of the waitstaff when bringing beer refills.

Most all fruits are acceptable provided that they are cooked in an acceptable fashion, which is either baked in a pie, cake, or cobbler or if they are sliced up and swimming in Cool Whip.

2) Dairy Products:
Dairy products consist of: Milk which is essential for breakfast flakes. Butter for slathering on toast or cooking items which don't produce enough essential grease on their own. Cheese for burgers or hell everything is better with cheese and remember cheese in a can is not only handy but is nutritional gold in a can. Eggs which along with salsa and enchilada's is a key tool in fighting hangovers. Cool Whip and remember although Reddi-Whip is handy for sexual purposes has almost no nutriative value due to the laughing gas which releases the Reddi-Whip. Although that has uses of which I will not discuss here. Ice Cream which is essential for a decent cobbler.

3) Grains and Cereals:
This is an important part of the healthy diet of any West Texan as it is the essential ingrediant behind breakfast cereal, white bread, tortillas, and approved desserts such as cakes, pies, and cobblers.

4) Meat:
Now this is real food and includes any animal flesh that can be killed, caught, fished, or scooped off the side of the road after being runned over before it gets to ripe. From armadillos to zebras, all creatures can be made edible and even tasty if cooked using time tested methods. More on these methods in Lesson Three.

5) Gravies and Greases:
In West Texas, it is known that food is better when something is added to help make it slide down better for digestion and to enhance the taste. It is so important that it is a food group in and of itself, eventhough its ingredients are derived from the other food groups.

Gravies: The three main vareities of gravies includes cream gravy, brown gravy, and Tex-Mex gravy. In a future post, the uses of these gravies will be dealt with in greater detail.

Greases: It would be impossible to overstate the importance of good grease in preparing West Texas Cooking. Although lard has lost favor, it is still used by some but most of it's uses have been replaced by vegatable shortening and oil. In times past all kitchens had three coffee cans for catching the three main greases. These three greases are bacon grease, chicken grease, and fish grease and woe to the child, when it was their turn to clean up the kitchen and they poured a skillet of grease into the wrong can.

This concludes the first edit of West Texas Nutrition Lesson One and the next will cover condiments, drinks, sauces, and dips. My thanks to everyone who has contributed their suggestions and shown interest in the subject.