Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Landscape Just Runs All Together After A While

I can't remember where I snapped the picture of this Mail Pouch barn - I think it was Ohio - but it coulda been Kentucky. Either way, they're a pretty cool sighting as there aren't many of them left.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Flippin’ Swag
2 YEARS AGO: Warm Fuzzies
3 YEARS AGO: I’ll Get You My Pretty
4 YEARS AGO: This Kind Of Misunderstanding That Can Never Fully Be Explained
5 YEARS AGO: Let The Adventure Begin
6 YEARS AGO: Coming Soon

Friday, March 30, 2012

He Forgets He Lives With A Maven

I took this picture in rural Greenup County, Kentucky, located in the far north-east tip of the state, in the range of mountains known as the Appalachians. This place was tucked so far up in the hills, on a tiny, winding, two-lane road, that I had to drive 35 mph for almost the entire thirty miles in from the main highway.

I took the picture to get the price of gas. I'm guessing the station has been closed for quite some time, as the price on the sign reads $1.69 per gallon. And that's for super-unleaded.

Even though I lived in Kentucky for a while, I've never spent any time in the eastern part of the state, especially not up in the hills, where everyone is probably kin with one another. I've always been a bit fascinated by Appalachia and have always wanted to explore. And many years ago I learned about the Blue Fugates, which has fueled that interest even more.

Riding the narrow roads through the hills brings to mind every hillbilly stereotype imaginable, many not far from the truth. I didn't see any moonshine stills, but I don't reckon they're too much out in the open anyway. Probably hidden out back behind the barn.

On our way out, Ed was telling me about the brief conversation he had with a few of the local guys working the job site where we unloaded. Then he turned to me and said, "You know...if you lived here, you'd be the smartest person around for 100 miles."

"And that's different from any other day, how?"


No, no, I'm sure he meant it as a compliment.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Does Anyone Notice The Shoes Of A “Very Important Person”?
2 YEARS AGO: Do You Think Raquel Owns A Dog And Gets Enough Potassium?
3 YEARS AGO: No Need To Do Anything Drastic; There Will Always Be Re-Runs
4 YEARS AGO: Beautifully Retro
5 YEARS AGO: Ready, Set, Go!!
6 YEARS AGO: Giving New Meaning To An Ambulance Chaser

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Better Than Team Drivers

I've seen plenty of teams in trucks before but none as cute as this - and I'm not a dog lover. In fact, I don't even like dogs. But when I saw these two, I had to snap a picture. I whistled, they both came to the window, and then looked right over at the truck while I took their picture.

They sort of look like an old couple, don't they, him with the grayish beard and all? A very alert old couple, but one that's clearly comfortable together. Their body language is perfectly in sync.

Now that's what I'd call a road dog.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Distracting Than Texting While Driving

So last night I was driving while Ed was in the back preparing for bed. I was on Interstate 10 in Beaumont, Texas and it was almost 8:30pm. It was dark and I was traveling in the center lane of three.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a white pickup come up on the driver side of the truck. It caught my eye because it was keeping pace with me, kind of lingering. Usually, most people - especially asshole pickup drivers, and almost always asshole pickup truck drivers in Texas - can't wait to get away from or around a big truck. They hate being behind or near something so slow. But this guy was just hovering.

I looked over and although I couldn't really see in his truck because it was semi-dark, I thought he had his shirt off. I also thought I saw his hand is in his lap. Then it occured to me that he may have been masturbating!

So I took another quick look, seeing he definitely didn't have a shirt on. I could see he was wearing glasses, that he was kinda fat (not flabby fat, just the hard, barrel belly kind of fat), and that he seemed to be around 38-45 years old.

I yelled back to the sleeper to tell Ed to look out the window on the driver's side, "Check out this guy in the white pickup. I think he's naked. Or shirtless. Something. And I think he's jacking off."

Ed moves like a glacier, so by the time he looked, the guy had fallen back, crossed behind the trailer and started to approach in the right lane. I yelled again to Ed, "Baby! Look out the kitchen window. The guy in the white pickup. Tell me if you can see anything. I swear I think he's naked."

Here's a still shot of the pickup truck approaching on the passenger side, taken from the truck video camera:

Ed waited for him to get near the window, while I glanced at the side view mirror, waiting for him to get closer to the front of the truck. That's when I heard Ed say, "Yep. He's naked."

"Totally naked??"

"Yep. And he's got his dick in his hand, totally jerking off."

"Are you serious?? You can SEE his dick?? And he's really naked?"

"Yep. Big fat guy. Naked as a jay bird. Jerking off." he says.

Oh. My. God! The pickup then got close to the passenger window, and when I looked over, I saw the top of his head and could see he was looking over at the truck, but I couldn't see his face.

Ed was asking where my camera was, but I told him to forget it because it was dark and the guy was falling back again anyway, now almost to the back of the trailer.

"He's slowing down. Almost to the back of the trailer now." I said.

Ed told me to slow down, but I didn't want to be obvious, and I certainly didn't want this guy to think I was into looking at him, but I was looking because I wanted to see if he was really, truly, driving down the road with no clothes on.

I moved over to to right lane now, and he was coming up on my left. I said to Ed, "I'm gonna light him."

"No, don't." Ed said.

I wanted to shine the spotlight into his pickup to a) get a better look and b) try to embarrass him. Which when you think about it, probably wasn't going to be possible since he was already driving through Beaumont, on a busy interstate, buck naked.

I got the spotlight in position and waited for him to pull up next to me. Once he was in position and started to hover again, I quickly looked over to judge his position and then flicked the spotlight on.

Right into the cab of his pickup. Right. On. His. Dick.

He was most definitely, absolutely COMPLETELY naked. You'd think a guy who does this would just unzip his pants, or just pull his pants down, leaving his shirt on. Maybe pulled up a bit for full exposure. But this guy decided to go Full Monty.

He just had his dick in his hand (or penis...who knows what the preferred way of calling it is in a story like this), stroking it proudly, and flicking the head of it in my direction.

I was flabbergasted. Yelling, "Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" to Ed. So many thoughts were flying through my head, and then I saw him starting to fall back again. I switched off the spotlight and watched him go behind the trailer, then veer off to the right getting off an exit.

So my thoughts were...

How often does he do this?

How did he know it'd be a woman driver when he sidled up next to me, naked? Or did he not care what gender the driver was.

Who is he? He didn't look seedy...he was just a regular looking guy and his truck was a newer model.


And then a good question my friend Vicki pointed out when I told her...

Did he get into the car naked or did he take all his clothes off in the car - either before driving or while driving?

I'm sure veteran drivers have seen things like this many times, but it still amazes me that it happens. The only other incident like this one, which also happened while I was driving, involved a

When I relayed the story to my mother, her first thought when I told her I spotlighted the guy was, "What if he follows you?"

"Mom, he's not going to follow me."

"Well maybe he'll just wait for you to stop. Then he'll get you." I tell you, she watches too much TV.

"Ma, we just filled up with fuel, it's a team run, and we're only stopping to switch out. He's going to have to jerk off for the next seven hours if he's planning to follow me until I stop."

And law enforcement is worried about people texting?? I'd say this is the epitome of distracted driving.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Aftermath
2 YEARS AGO: More Than Halfway To A World Record
3 YEARS AGO: When You Need Your Hump Fixed, This Is The Place
4 YEARS AGO: The Flight, The Hotel, The Walk And The Sleep Deprivation
5 YEARS AGO: A Lot Of Beauty, A Little Citrus And A Mini Moo
6 YEARS AGO: Shorn

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'll Hobble On My Walker To Visit

Drive-by photo of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

I've been a Corvette fan since birth and have been wanting to go here for years, but just haven't had a chance since we're rarely in Kentucky.

I'd love to own one, but my Corvette days are probably behind me - I'll probably have a walker before I have a Corvette. I guess I'll just have to settle for a visit to the museum and manufacturing plant.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In The Still Of The Night
2 YEARS AGO: The Final Count
3 YEARS AGO: Eddie My Little Ex-Marine Friday
4 YEARS AGO: Delayed By Lipgloss During A Period Of Elevated Security: A Travel Debacle Ensues
5 YEARS AGO: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
6 YEARS AGO: Your Cat Is In My Garden

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Is A Smash Hit

I don't know much that makes me happier than musicals. Any show with music in it, is usually an automatic hit for me. I also like shows that feature unknown singers, like American Idol, America's Got Talent, and the only one I currently watch; The Voice. I'm amazed by the talent. Just amazed. This week CeeLo even cried.

But my real favorite on Monday night stars a former American Idol, Katherine McPhee. She stars in Smash, a musical drama that follows the lives of a group of theater types - producers, directors, writers, actors, dancers, singers - as they put together a musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.

I'm a total sucker for talent, so as long as there are smash performances, I'll be watching. What a great way to start my week.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Home At Last
2 YEARS AGO: Wake Up In The Morning, Put Your Hand On Something Useful, And Take Care Of Yourself And Your Family*
3 YEARS AGO: Copter
4 YEARS AGO: Atchafalaya Whaaaaat??
5 YEARS AGO: There’s A Skirt On The Door For A Reason
6 YEARS AGO: South Of The Beijing Border

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oh, Sweet Cream Cheesus

I've been driving through South Texas for the last week admiring the blue bonnets. They always remind me of one of my favorite Dixie Chicks songs, Cowboy Take Me Away. The song begins with the following lyrics:

I said I wanna touch the earth I wanna break it in my hands
I wanna grow something wild and unruly
I wanna sleep on the hard ground in the comfort of your arms
On a pillow of blue bonnets in a blanket made of stars

It's an old song, and every time I have heard those lines, I've wanted to find a cowboy to lie in a pillow of blue bonnets with. Well, I have Ed now and since he's from Dallas, I consider him as close to a cowboy as I'm getting; and nightly we lay on memory foam, not blue bonnets, but maybe someday.

In addition to the beautiful fields of blue bonnets in the area, I found something else. Maybe even more delicious than a cowboy. Czech kolaches. Cream cheese Czech kolaches.

I found them at Frank's Restaurant in Schulenberg, Texas - a family run place for over 80 years. I bought a package and squirreled them back to the truck for dessert. They were baked at Weikel’s Bakery in nearby La Grange and delivered fresh that morning - delicately sweet and delicious, a dollop of sweet cream cheese surrounded by a pillow of pastry.

I've driven by signs advertising kolaches hundreds of times in Texas, but crazy as it may sound, never stopped to try one. Schulenberg has a history of German and Czechoslovakian settlers, and is known for local bakeries specializing in kolaches, so stopping to admire the blue bonnets turned out to be a tasty little stop-off.

And I'm having a really hard time deciding which is more appealing - a pillow of blue bonnets, or a pillow of pastry.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Pit Stop
2 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post for this day.
A Peek Behind The Sacred Pantry Door
4 YEARS AGO: Thistle Or Thatle
5 YEARS AGO: Big, Rich And Free
6 YEARS AGO: Look, Honey! A Grist Mill.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Imagine Life Artificially Sweeter

Sweet is not how one should describe a grown woman. The second I hear the words, "She's so sweet." come out of someone's mouth, my immediate thought is, Ugh. I'd probably hate her. She's probably one of those manipulative bitches who gets what she wants by appearing to be "sweet" but is likely the furthest thing from it.

I usually never like someone who has been described as sweet. Well, unless they're a little girl under the age of six. After that, a girl can be kind, precocious, sassy, adorable, delightful, animated, happy, whatever...but no longer sweet.

To me, "sweet" is fake, and I don't like fake. I don't like that uncomfortable smile that people plaster on their face, the one where their lips move but their eyes don't smile. The polite smile. The I-hate-you-but-I'm-going-to-smile-anyway smile. I think it's because our society puts a lot of stock in nice. Nice is prized. Nice is preferred. Nice is expected. Nice is what everyone wants to be seen as. Even if they're not.

I'm a big believer in "actions speak louder than words". I may be bossy, I may say things people don't love hearing, I may even piss you off. In fact, I'm sure I will piss you off (at some point). But when it comes to my showing you that I have your back, that I love you, that I'm there for you, that I really care, you will know it. Because I actually DO, in actions, what I say I'll do. What you need me to do. What the right thing is to do.

Saying please and thank you is right. Bringing something (wine, flowers, dessert, etc.) to someone's house when you're invited for dinner is right. Offering someone something to drink when they're in your home is right. Holding the door open for a woman, the elderly, anyone really, is right. Asking someone who you don't really like so much to stay for dinner, because they're the friend or family member of someone you love, is right. Sending a sympathy card? Right.

It's simple. It's the things you learned as a kid. You know what they are. And you know when you're wrong. You might ignore the nagging in the back of your mind, because you want to do what you want, think you have the right to do what you want. And you do have that right, but it doesn't mean it'll be the right thing to do.

I have met several people with sweet exteriors; people who are truly selfish, self-centered within. People who can't be bothered to put themselves out for their own family, let alone others. People who don't want to be inconvenienced. People who keep secrets and don't share any details of their lives but then expect you to understand them and accept them, when they haven't given you anything to understand. When they haven't shared one teensy little bit of themselves. They're users. They know how to be nice when they need or want something. And because they come across as "nice" and "sweet", if you were to refuse, you'd be the one who looks unreasonable.

I don't value nice. I don't fall for sweet. I see you for who you really are.

And if someone says to me, "Oh, so-and-so is so nice, isn't she?"

I'm sure my first thought will be...

Sure. On the outside.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Sweets For The Sweet
2 YEARS AGO: Silver Shoes, Cliff Clavin, And A Guiness World Record
3 YEARS AGO: A Bevy Of Pavo Cristatus
4 YEARS AGO: How Much Happy Can A Dollar Buy?
5 YEARS AGO: The Heat Is On
6 YEARS AGO: The New York Catch And Release Program

Friday, March 23, 2012

Water May Not Be The Only Liquid Nourishing These Flowers

Today I went for a walk with Ed while we were waiting for the shop to do an electrical system check on the truck - the voltage meter was spiking and Ed wanted to know why. I wasn't too keen on walking because a) I fucking hate to walk and b) I fucking hate the heat. And we are in South Texas, where the heat is constant and brutal. And by brutal, I mean anything over sixty-five degrees.

And today was well over sixty-five. Today, my friends, was well over eighty degrees - that's way too much mercury for me. Ed tricked me by saying it "wasn't that bad" and there was "a breeze". I should have known better, but I figured I would just go and get it over with and maybe he'd stop bothering me. He also said, "They'll be done with the truck by the time we get back."

Well, if you know anything about trucking, you know that the repair shop is NEVER done when they tell you it's going to be done, that was an out and out lie. So we walked. A little over thirty minutes, around the truckstop. The scenery was less than inviting. I saw a ramshackle taco shop, a hotel that had a room designated for "massages", and several pee bottles. One of them was actually a pee gallon. Who pees that much in a bottle and then throws it out the window? Pigs.

I took the photo above on our walk. The tiny pink flowers were sprouting up next to a chain link fence enclosing a yard of abandoned equipment. Perhaps the urine helps the flowers flourish. That was about as good as it got. I was a raging bitch by the time I got back to the truck. First, the shop wasn't done. Second, my head was sopping wet. Third, I lost thirty minutes of my day that I won't get back. And last, I needed a shower but couldn't take one in the truck because the yahoos in the shop were still standing around looking at each other, trying to figure out what was wrong.

Ed suggested I take a shower in the truckstop. I think it's been a couple of years since I've had to do that - I don't even remember the last time - so I packed up my bag and headed in with Ed. Using his UltraOne card, he got me a "Platinum Shower", a phrase which was also emblazoned on the door when I got there.

It was not platinum anything. There were two towels, a washcloth and a bath mat. Towels they apparently think people want to buy according to the sticker on the mirror. They were less than luxurious. The shower was cramped and on the "un" side of clean. There was a new fan (the old ones are usually caked with dust) which was nice, but it was just blowing around humid air.

The water was intermittenly hot and cold, which would have been a problem if I had the water any hotter, but since I don't like a scalding shower the blasts of cold water were nice. I can't say I felt better afterwards, though. By the time I blew my hair dry, I was hot again and my face was beet red.

I put my makeup on, opened the door, and gathered my things. I went to the restaurant to meet Ed. He wasn't there, so I sat at the counter and had a Diet Coke. Within minutes, a guy a few seats down started flirting with me. I chatted back to be nice, but as soon as Ed walked up, the guy put his face down in his plate and didn't say another word to me. Ed left to pay for the truck repair and texted me when he was done. On my way out, another guy, an older gentleman, gave me the once over. Twice. He even held the door open for me, smiling with a twinkle in his eye. But as soon as he saw me walk towards our truck, which Ed had waiting for me right outside the door, he quickly scurried off.

So although I was sweating like a sow less than an hour earlier, I must've been pretty cute after my shower. It gave me a little ego boost, but nothing can take the place of the ice cold air conditioning in the truck that my baby had cranked up for me, in anticipation of my arrival. Just one more reason I love my guy.

The truck had an alternator problem, which was all fixed and partially paid for with the UltraOne points we accumulate every time we get fuel. It only cost us $300.00 out of pocket. Total score. We drove off to look for a comfortable spot in the parking lot, and hunkered down in the truck for the evening. We just did three back-to-back loads and we're off until Monday.

The laze starts tonight.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nappy Time
2 YEARS AGO: Dick. Not A Dick. Which One Are You?
3 YEARS AGO: First The Poultry, Now This
4 YEARS AGO: California Moon
5 YEARS AGO: Ryno And Rob
6 YEARS AGO: Living The Dream

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Towering Peach

Peach tower in Gaffney, South Carolina. Shot through the windshield of a moving truck.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Trucks, Friends, Life On The Road And A New Throne For My Queen Sized Ass
2 YEARS AGO: Changing It Up
3 YEARS AGO: They Gots Lots Of Soul
4 YEARS AGO: Eddie Calculates Everything Friday
5 YEARS AGO: Working On It
6 YEARS AGO: The Bird On The Hill

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Perhaps She's A Closet Road Warrior

My friend is looking for a job. She's also looking to move. Currently, she lives in Arizona, and although she loves the weather, she wants a change and she's ready to go anywhere and do anything.

I've suggested my all time favorite place - Nashville. I've given the "it's got four seasons, there's an airport minutes away from where I envision you living, there's a beautiful
private university and medical research center smack in the middle of town, the housing is inexpensive, there are beautiful lakes and mountains, and the people are super-nice" pitch, but she's still on the fence. Her focus is a little skewed right now, as she recently lost her job, but she's got ideas for her future and there are places they can happen. Personally, I hate Arizona, so I'll never be suggesting that she stay there. The job market is miserable, the pay is abysmal when you do get a job, and I personally don't know how anyone really wants to live in such an ugly, arid wasteland.

I've also suggested Asheville, North Carolina; Louisville, KY; and anywhere in New York state, preferably the Catskill or Adirondack mountain area. She's mentioned California (too expensive), Denver, and Florida. The real problem with this is no matter where she's goes, she'll be doing it blind - most of the places she's considering, she's never been to. When you have limited funds, it's hard to go check these places out.

I've advised her to take the Find Your Spot quiz, which through a series of questions helps determine the best place to live based on your preferences. I've taken the quiz in the past, and it gave me a list of places I'd like living, most of them being right on target with my likes and dislikes.

I find moving and/or changes to be very exciting. I've never been concerned about finding a place to live or worried about getting a job and she's much the same way - she's done it before (as a single mom!) successfully and said she's never had any fear. But now that's she's older, doubt is creeping in.

I know she'll find her target soon and will be on her way to building a brand new life. I've tried to sell the truck driving life to her, but she's not biting yet. Maybe when her son goes off to college and the nest is empty, she'll break out and become a wild adventurer!

And I'll be right there to help her along - I may not be all that "wild", but I have been a few places.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Man At Work

It's rare that we pick up freight at a place where hard hats are required, but every once in a while, we come across one. They want the hard hat, safety vest, safety goggles, steel-toed boots. Since all of that stuff is stored in the sidebox, it's a pain in the ass to dig out.

Since I don't usually do any of the loading unless Ed needs my help, I didn't have to dig anything out, and this place only required the hardhat and safety goggles, so it wasn't too difficult to find those two things.

I love the way Ed looks when he puts his hard hat on, so construction-site-sexy. And I'm also glad he does all the hard, hard-hat work on loads on a day like today, when the air is hot and steamy.

I'd let this guy into my sleeper berth anytime!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Under A Rock
2 YEARS AGO: Practicing For Retirement
3 YEARS AGO: Truckers Are So Sensitive
4 YEARS AGO: Light Sweet Crude
5 YEARS AGO: A Antiquing Conundrum
6 YEARS AGO: How Can You Not Love This Face?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

You Can't Go Wrong At ShopRite

ShopRite is one of my favorite grocery stores to visit when I'm back in New York. It's not that they have the best stuff - they pale in comparison to a Wegmans - but they're familiar. They are the grocery store of my childhood. The one with the Can-Can sales.

There are only a few grocery chains that I'll shop at throughout the country, and I stick to mostly the major ones in the area, but some are better than others. Wegmans has to be my all time favorite, but when I'm in Ohio I shop in Meijer, in California I go to Ralph's or Stater Bros., in Nashville I pop into Kroger and in Florida I like Publix.

I don't do discount grocery stores and I wouldn't set foot in a Food Lion. I've been in a Piggly-Wiggly, but once was enough. How can you not go into a store named Piggly-Wiggly? I prefer to stick to stores that sell beautiful produce, have a cheese department to die for, good meats and a large international foods aisle.

I'm a bit of a food snob when it comes to certain things and I just won't settle for less. If they don't have it, I'll do without. And some of these places are non-negotiable, regardless of time of day because of what's available to me - if I'm anywhere near Columbus, Ohio you can bet I'll be stopping at Meijer to get my favorite
cottage cheese. It could be three in the morning, I will waltz in there in my pajama bottoms and stock up on five containers minimum. OK, let's be realistic - I would likely sweet talk Ed into going in, but whatever.

I live for the twenty-four hour grocery store. And nothing beats shopping when there are no crowds.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
When The Feelings Get Too Strong For Words
2 YEARS AGO: Looking For Loads In All The Wrong Places
4 YEARS AGO: 1. Cut String 2. Walk
5 YEARS AGO: Amish Down The Lane
6 YEARS AGO: The Competition Is Stiff

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Town Under The Giant Oak Tree

This was taken guessed it! The Circle Bar Truck Corral in Ozona, Texas - one of the many undesirable little towns between El Paso and San Antonio, along I-10. If only I could drive through the entire state of Texas with my eyes closed.

It's located in Crockett County - named for Davey Crockett - a county which has the distinction to be known as one of the nation's leading producer of wool and mohair. When Ozona was founded in 1891, it was named Powell Well, after land surveyor E.M. Powell. It was
renamed for the high quantity of its open air, or “ozone”.

There's not much to the town, but at least they have a gas station and a Sonic, which is great because you can fill up with gas and tots and quickly get the hell out of town.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
2 YEARS AGO: Yeah, Cause Heidi Klum Is So Easy To NOT Notice
3 YEARS AGO: Busy Week
4 YEARS AGO: Small, Yet Mighty
6 YEARS AGO: Riding The Rusty Rails

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hanging On By A Thread

If you've taken I-10 from Los Angeles to Arizona, you have to pass through Desert Center, Calfornia. Located exactly halfway between Indio and Blythe is where you'll find it.

It's a pit. Apparently, at one time it was
fairly active - people actually lived there. On purpose. This old train car - I don't know where they hauled it in from - stands in a dirt lot next to the cafe.

I'm not sure there's any reason for anyone to ever stop here. I'm not sure it was a good idea to nix the landfill idea, as it's a perfect place for it. And they closed a prison here too - again, a perfect place for one.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to live here - although, if you're looking for a man it might be a good place, as they slightly outnumber the women. Good luck with that.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Early Version Of Google

I was home recently looking through some papers that belonged to my step-father Frank, who passed away in October 2011. I found a list. Boy, doesn't that sound like something out of a spy movie? I found a list...

Well, this isn't that exciting. I just found a list of terms with numbers next to them, written on the backs of yellowed depost slips from a bank in our old town that isn't even in business anymore. Frank was a collector of bits of information like this. He always wrote on scraps of papers, backs of envelopes, deposit slips pilfered from the bank. The capitals of every state, frequently used crossword puzzle words, obscure facts. I think doing this kept his mind very sharp, all the way to the end. He always had the answers, especially if it were some obscure fact. He just knew things. He was the search engine we all used prior to Google!

Here are the items from the list I found. Some of them, like the High Society 400 and the Lines of Quatrain, I'd never even heard of. Others are things it seems we've always just known.

Football Team: 11
In American football, there can only be 11 players from each team on the field at one time.

Dinner at: 8
Dinner At Eight is a 1933 film that can technically be called a romantic comedy. It is a study of people during the Great Depression. The movie addresses topics that include wealthy people dealing with the loss of money and prestige; relationships between men and women involving power, blind love, selfishness, and unselfishness; and relationships between the wealthy and those who work for them.

The R’s: 3
The three Rs (as in the letter R) are the foundations of a
basic skills orientated education program within schools: reading, 'riting and rithmetic

Golf course holes: 18
The very confusing Scottish history of why courses have 18 holes can be read

Bluebeard’s Wives: 7
The story of a violent nobleman in the habit of murdering his wives.

Supreme Court: 9
Court currently has six male and three female justices. One justice is African American, one is Latino, and two are Italian-Americans; six justices are Roman Catholics, and three are Jewish. The average age is 66 years, 3 months, and every current justice has an Ivy League background.

Sense: 6
ESP is commonly referred to as the sixth sense. The other five are sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.

Great Lakes: 5
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada–United States border which connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes Waterway. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth comprising 21% of the world's surface fresh water.

Tones in Octave 8
In a traditional MAJOR SCALE (a.k.a. Ionian), there are seven different letter names (and usually an eighth note is added with the same letter name, an octave higher than the first). If you start on C, the major scale is C, D, E, F, G, A, B (and C for the eighth note). You can start on any note, but you will get different letters. Wow - way more information than I needed. I'm confused. More

The Muses: 9
Nine Muses of the Greek Mythology were deities that gave artists, philosophers and individuals the necessary inspiration for creation - they were: Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomeni, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Ourania and Calliope.

Zodiac Signs: 12
Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius. See what’s
in the stars for you.

Hexagon Sides: 6
Holy shit - all I knew about was the six-sided one. I
should have taken geometry.

The Fates: 3
three Greek Goddesses of Destiny and Fate. Otherwise known as the Moirae, these timeless old hags weave the threads of destiny that control your life. They are: CLOTHO who spins the Thread of Life, LACHESIS who allots the length of the yarn, and ATROPOS who does the snip (the final one).
Known Planets: 9
Well, until the whole
hullabaloo about Pluto, there were nine planets. Now, there are officially eight. Whatever.

Bill of Rights: 10
The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution is known as the Bill of Rights. I'm not so sure about
Number 8 - there are plenty of people that should have cruel and unusual punishments inflicted upon them.

Pentagon Sides: 5
A plane figure with five angles and five sides. The word pentagon is derived from the Greek words for five (pente) and angle (gonia). In the United States, most people are familiar with the five-sided building we call The Pentagon, after its shape.

The Little Peppers: 5
Five Little Peppers book series was created by Margaret Sidney from 1881 to 1916. It covers the lives of the five children of Mamsie and the late Mister Pepper who are born into poverty in a rural "little brown house." The series begins with the Peppers in their native state and develops with their rescue by a wealthy gentleman who takes an interest in the family.

Wilson's Points: 14
The Fourteen Points was a speech given by United States President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. The
address was intended to assure the country that the Great War was being fought for postwar peace in Europe.

The Seas: 7
Many believe that "the seven seas" is simply an idiom that refers to sailing many or all of the oceans of the world.
The term is believed to have been popularized by Rudyard Kipling who published an anthology of poetry titled The Seven Seas in 1896.

Apocalypse Horseman: 4
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, called the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ to Saint John the Evangelist at 6:1-8. The chapter tells of a "book/scroll" in God's right hand that is sealed with seven seals". The Lamb of God/Lion of Judah (Jesus Christ) opens the first four of the seven seals, which summons forth four beings that ride out on white, red, black, and pale horses. Although some interpretations differ, the
four riders are commonly[clarification needed] seen as symbolizing Conquest,[1] War,[2] Famine[3] and Death, respectively.

Degrees in a Circle: 360
There are 360 degrees in a circle, no matter how big or small the circle is. A degree of arc is a measuremtn of plane angle, representing 1/360 of a full rotation.

Octogenarian: 80
Technically, not just eighty. An octogenarian is a person from eighty to eighty-nine years old. My
step-father was an octogenarian.

Pecks in a bushel: 4
A US bushel is a measure of dry volume and equals approximately 35 litres, or 8 dry gallons. An Imperial bushel equals approximately 36 litres, or 8 Imperial gallons. A peck is also a measure of dry volume and equals 8 dry quarts in both the US and Imperial systems. There are 4 pecks in a bushel. But the only way that I've ever know it was by the song my grandmother always
sang to us: "I love you, a bushel and a peck! A bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck! A hug around the neck, and a barrel and a heap. A barrel and a heap, and I'm talkin' in my sleep. About you."

Baker’s Dozen: 13
A baker's dozen, also known as a long dozen, is a grouping of

Faces of Janus: 2
In ancient Roman religion and mythology,
Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, thence also of gates, doors, doorways, endings and time. He is usually a two-faced god since he looks to the future and the past. The concepts of January and janitor are both based on aspects of Janus.

Men on Dead Man’s Chest: 15
Fifteen men on the
dead man’s chest, Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! Drink and the devil had done for the rest, Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

Books of the Bible: 66
The Bible contains
66 books, divided among the Old and New Testaments. There are 39 books in the Old Testament. There are 27 books in the New Testament.

Blackbirds in a pie: 24
Who doesn't know this
nursery rhyme? "Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye. Four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie. When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing; Wasn't that a dainty dish, to set before the king?"

Disciples: 12
Jesus had twelve apostles, also known as

Gentlemen of Verona: 2
The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1590 or 1591. It is considered by some to be Shakespeare's first

Knights of the Round Table: 12
It doesn't seem as if anyone knows
how many knights King Arthur really had, but let's keep the legend intact and just go with twelve.

Alphabet Letters: 26
There are eight letters in alphabet. Gotcha! Go on, take a'll come to you. Ha! OK, there are 26 letters in the English alphabet, the one most of us English speakers are used to. For other alphabet information, check
this out.

Dots in colon: 2
The colon (:) is a punctuation mark consisting of two equally sized dots centered ont he same vertical line. It informs the reader that what follows the mark proves, explains, or lists elements of what preceded the mark.

Piano Keys: 88
Almost every modern piano has 36 black keys and 52 white keys, for a total of 88. Some older pianos have only 85 keys. The
rest of the information might only be of interest to pianists. Heh-heh. She said "pianist".

Cabinet Members: 12
Now this one is wrong, according to my research, but it was probably right when Frank wrote it. The information I found is: "With the creation of the Department of Transportation in 1966, the Cabinet consisted of 12 members. This figure was reduced to 11 when the Post Office Department became an independent agency in 1970 but, with the establishment in 1977 of a Department of Energy, became 12 again. Creation of the Department of Education in 1980 raised the number to 13. Creation of the Department of Veterans' Affairs in 1989 raised the number to 14. The establishment of the Department of Homeland Security in 2002 brought the number to 15."

Freezing point of water: 32
Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (or 0 degree Celsius, if you're into that kind of thing). Don't we all know this one?

Teeth in a human adult: 32
Among permanent teeth, 16 are found in the maxilla and 16 in the mandible, for a total of 32.

Bits in a half dollar: 4
In the U.S., the
bit as a designation for money dates from the colonial period, when the most common unit of currency used was the Spanish dollar, also known as "piece of eight", which was worth 8 Spanish silver reales. One eighth of a dollar or one silver real was one "bit".

Lines of quatrain: 4
quatrain is a stanza, or a complete poem, consisting of four lines of verse.

Lives of cat: 9
It's a common myth that cats have nine lives. The myth is attributed to the natural suppleness and swiftness cats exhibit to escape life-threatening situations.

High Society: 400
At the height of the Gilded Age, the "Four Hundred" represented the epitome of New York Society during the last quarter of the 19th Century.

Basketball Team: 5
Only five players from each team are on the court at any one time - one center, two forwards and two guards.

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Food With Integrity That Fuels Creativity
If Only It Were Dollars Instead Of Miles
The Last Bit Of Winter
Eddie Fr-eye-day
Authorized Personnel
Stolen Zillow

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Such A Fragrant Sprig!

Tonight I made my friend Vicki's Rosemary Pork Chops and my Roasted Potatoes - as I usually do when I make the Rosemary Pork Chops, I throw a little of the herb in the potatoes - it's so fragrant, I can't help it.

It's super easy. Let's get started.

Red Potatoes (or any potatoes, really)
Porkchops (I used bone-in, but I've done it with boneless)
Beef Boullion Cubes or Beef Stock
Garlic (At least 10 cloves, chopped, to use for both dishes)
Fresh Rosemary
Olive Oil
1. The first thing I do when I make this dish is get the potatoes going. Put the oven on 450 degrees so it can start heating up while you prep.

2. Wash the potatoes, because you're going to leave the skins on when you cook them.. Then cut them in 1 or 1 1/2 inch pieces. Spread in a shallow baking pan.

3. Coat with olive oil, add salt and pepper and some chopped garlic - all to taste, but enough to coat the entire pan's worth of potatoes. Take two sprigs of fresh rosemary, pull off the leaves and mince. Sprinkle that over the potatoes.

4. Toss it all with your hands to make sure everything is coated, then throw 'em in the oven. Don't look at them for at least 25 minutes. I usually check them and mix around at least once to make sure they're browning. If you have to add liquid, add a little water, but not much. You want them to get nice and roasted on the outside. I usually wind up cooking them about 45 minutes, but just keep your eye on them.

5. Now start on the chops. Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with olive oil - I use my electric skillet because it's big enough to fit all these chops - then salt and pepper the porkchops and start to brown them on each side.

6. Once they're browned, throw in your garlic (for the chops, I used about 6 cloves) and mix around. Have your beef broth (or broth made from bouillon) ready to pour. I used one 16 oz. can of Swanson beef broth because I didn't have bouillon - you'll need enough to cover the chops. You'll be adding water also, so if you're short a bit, that's okay. Pour it on!
7. Now it's time to add that fragrant beauty otherwise known as rosemary. I used six sprigs - one for each chop. Maybe it's a little overload, not sure, but it sure did smell delicious. I dragged my sprigs through the broth and threw them in whole. I had the heat turned up so the liquid was bubbling a little, but once I put the lid on the pan, I turned it down to low, so it would simmer.
8. Once everything was done, I plated it. A nice scoop of potatoes, a porkchop with a sprig of rosemary, and the fresh green beans I steamed for our veggie. I like the pop of green. I spooned a little of the broth over the potatoes and the chop and served. It was DELICIOUS!I'm not really sure what happened in this photo - must have been the lighting - and since I only took one shot before I ate it, this is the only one you're getting.

If you want to make it yourself, click HERE for the recipe. Enjoy!

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Coast To Coast
The Joke’s On Us
Eddie Monsignor Starbucks Friday
All The Better To Smell You With My Dear
Neon Railroad
I Left My Heart…

Monday, March 12, 2012

Honing Her Skills For The Nursing Home

This is what my mother does while she's watching TV. Or sitting at the kitchen table. Or conversing after a backyard BBQ. In this particular instance, she was using a small scissor. Usually, it's a paring knife.

She's a human shredder. This was just the first step. After she cuts the orange rinds into tiny slivers, she cuts the slivers into miniscule bits - each piece measuring approximately 1/16 of an inch. If only I could figure out something to do with the pieces - maybe I'd be able to retire. She claims it's therapeutic. I think it's borderline mental patient.

Well, mental patient until I can figure out how to make a million from it. Then she'll just be a worker getting free therapy.

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Fire Up The Grill
The Voice Of Tucson Speaks
Crossing Over To The White Side
Eddie Voyager Of The Seas Friday
Indiscriminate Discrimination
Dancing Queen

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Stupid Rock

Have you seen this? The 340 ton rock that was recently delivered to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art? What I love is how the article didn't mention the guy who drove the truck. Not once.

They told us how they planned to do it: "The rock has already been raised off the ground by hydraulic lifts and put in a cradle; steel trusses were built around the cradle, all part of a modular tractor with 22 axles, each with its own set of brakes, and 196 wheels. It will weigh 1,210,900 pounds, including the rock." The guy who owns the company who is doing the moving of the rock said that the weight per axle would only be about 349,950 pounds. "That's not so bad." he
said. "The rig will be about 295 feet long and 27 feet wide and require a crew of 12 people to operate it."

They told us how much it would cost. The entire project will cost close to $10 million. Just what the broke state of California needs right now - a ten million dollar rock. What assholes. Michael Govan, the executive director of the museum, said "We're putting more people to work here in L.A. then Obama." Really? So $10 million worth of unemployed people in California are helping move and install this rock? It's just stupid. Of course, if I'm anywhere near
LACMA I'll be sure to stop in to see it, so I can blog about it. That'll be $30 they can add to the kitty - unless of course I go on Second Tuesdays or a Federal Holiday - admission is free on those days.

They told us where it would be traveling. They even provided a detailed map and wrote blog posts about where you can see it. The ironic thing about them transporting this rock through four counties and twenty-two cities, at six miles per hour, is the fact that this entire area (and state) is so UN-friendly to trucks. This is the actual route they took. Ask any trucker and they'll tell you that the parking in these areas is very limited, with the exception of the two truckstops in Ontario.

What they didn't tell us was who exactly drove that behemoth through the streets of Los Angeles. They didn't tell us about the person who possessed the talent to make those corners, to safely transport an "art exhibit", to make sure no onlookers were harmed while gawking (and likely touching) the equipment while the truck with the rock was parked. I'm sure at some point, one of the trucking publications I read will do a feature on it, but so far the articles I've read haven't mentioned it.

California is not nice to trucks. The fuel is sky high. The regulations restricting us are many. The parking is non-existent. We can't find a decent place to park anywhere in almost all of Los Angeles, but the stupid rock gets to spend the day in Bixby Knolls - a neighborhood adjacent to Long Beach which we've visited many times (and which has no truck parking). In addition, less than ten miles from there is the Port of Long Beach - ranked among the world's busiest container ports, where they handled 6,061,085 containers in 2011 - where vehicles in excess of 6,000 pounds can't even drive on the streets, let alone park on them. Yet, they've found the time to make accomodations to move a rock.

Overall, I suppose it's kind of cool. When do you really get to see that kind of thing? But it doesn't change how much i dislike California. I'm still mad at them from the last time they screwed with us.

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Crab Rangoon Makes Me Swoon
Bonnie And Clyde Meet Toni And Frank
Finally…A Bib That Is Both Functional And Accurate
Trickling Down
Anonymously Yours,
Over 7,000 Feet Of Pristine Beauty