Florida

Food! Glorious Food!

So, today while making lunch for the crew today, I saw this on the bag of fries;

That is a very specific temp.

You don’t normally see a temp of 420. 425, 450, or 350 are the usual settings. So I asked Wifey, how do you think they came up with 420? Was it years of testing? Trying all the variables of times and temps? I would love to have seen the lab records…

“Tried half a bag @350 for 1 hour. Still soggy, inedible. Gave to the dog. He wouldn’t eat them either.”

“Tried half a bag @475 for 1 hour. Had to call the fire department. Dog howled at the sirens.”

“Tried half a bag @475 for 30 minutes. Dog chipped a tooth on them.”

“Tried half a bag @350 for 90 minutes. Same as last attempt. Dog afraid to try them.”

“Gave up and ate them frozen. Dog is very pissed.”

Poor dog..

But what I think really happened was like this.

Tech 1: “Let’s try half a bag @420.”

Tech 2: “420? Who the fuck cooks at 420?”

Tech 1: “It’s 420. Get it?”

Tech 2: “Huh??”

Tech 1: “420 – you know.. As in.. (points at baggy in lab coat pocket).”

Tech 2: “Ah… Yes, they’ll eat anything after that shit!”

OK, maybe not. But it could have happened at my house!

It’s like the story that sharks don’t eat people because they don’t like the way we taste. Now who the hell did that taste test? I say it went like this;

Scene: Two labs techs stand by a large pool with a great white shark swimming in it.

Tech1: Throws in a chicken and watches while the shark eats the chicken.

Tech 2: Writes on clipboard; “Shark likes chicken”

Tech 1: Throws a pig into the pool, watches while shark eats the pig.

Tech 2: Writes on clipboard; “Shark likes pig”

Tech 1: Pushes a cow into the pool. Shark eats the cow.

Tech 2: Writes on clipboard; “Shark likes cow”

Tech 1: Thinks for a moment, pushes tech 2 into the pool. The shark bites Tech 2, but doesn’t eat him/her.

Tech 1: Writes on clipboard; “Shark doesn’t like humans”

Actually, the shark was full, and was hoping for some ice cream.

No? Then let me tell you a true story. Yes, really. This is true.

When we lived in Alaska our neighbors called us the “ethnic family”. Not that we were “ethnic” (whatever that means). After all we are your basic WASP. They were referring to our eating habits. If you follow me on Twitter or better yet, Instagram (links at the bottom of the post) you know we eat from just about every “ethnic” group out there.

One guy in particular, “Long John” asked almost every night; “What are you making tonight?”

Fish & Chips!

“Don’t you guys eat normal food”? He would ask…

Now, to be honest, those pictures are not from when we were in Alaska. They are much more current, but that’s what we ate then and now. We have stepped up the game since then tho..

And seafood, of course. This is #Floriduh after all.

Breakfast anyone?

And I haven’t even started on the grilled and/or smoked stuff!

Give me your food story!

Peace,
B

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Another Post Bites The Dust

I had a really cool idea for a post, even had Wifey on board to help me, just to find out my entire premise was wrong… So what’s a ramblin’ blog writer to do?

Well, I guess I could write about genealogy. How I had a cousin (not on the Campbell side, of course) that I had not heard from in many years contact me. Now she did send me the message on a website I very seldom use back in August and I just saw it yesterday. But we’ve had a good conversation via email since then.

I could post about the ongoing home repairs, but all we’ve really done since the last post is hang a few pictures. I did finish painting one set of closet doors. But that’s it. It was while we were going through the many boxes of photos we have to see if we want to put new pictures on the wall that made me go to the genealogy site where I found that message board post. Funny how things tie together like that.

Also there was the little fair we went to Friday night. We all took the girls to see the newest Aladdin movie “under the stars”. I didn’t stay long as my back and legs were acting up in a very bad way. Plus even though there were two beer tents they weren’t selling any beer that night. What a waste.

Maybe I could use how our contracted garbage company (contracted by the county, not us personally), won’t pick up some wood that’s in a garbage can. I realize that when they came by for their usual pick up they thought that it was construction waste. It does look like that. This is wood from some old chairs that son-the-younger broke apart so we could stash them away when the last hurricane was headed our way. But when I called and explained what it was, I was told I had to take it out of the can and “bundle” it. WTF?? They won’t take loose pieces. This is the same company that doesn’t have a claw truck to pick up tree branches and such. We live in a very hurricane prone state, and trees not only get blown down in these storms, folks have to cut them back on a regular basis for safety.

I guess I don’t really have anything to post about after all. So here’s a video. Enjoy!

You saw this one coming, didn’t ya??

Peace,
B

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Guess We Just Don’t Have It In Us

Both of my faithful readers, along with those that follow me on Twitter and the FaceBook (links are at the bottom of every post folks), know we like beer. A lot. Although we usually go for US craft beers, and even then specifically local brews, we are not above some of the mass produced stuff either. But before you go and think we’re drinking the big brews we all know (and hate), we do our best to avoid anything from the really big guys; ABIn-Bev (Budweiser and such) and the Miller-Coors group, among others. As far as I’m concerned (Wifey wisely is not chiming in on this topic), all that those guys produce is yellow fizzy water. Or, if you prefer cougar piss.

One of the mass produced beers we do like is Modelo. And yes, sadly, it’s owned by ABIn-Bev. </sigh> We prefer Negra Modelo, but even Especial is nice.

So what am I getting at here? (Yes he’s off on some tangent again…) Well it’s this. Modelo has taken a very macho stance in it’s current advertising. They’ve been using UFC fighters, futbol (soccer for us Americans) teams, and now this. As a wimpy old fat guy, I guess I don’t fit their profile. Wifey was the one who saw this commerical and said “We can’t drink Modelo anymore. We’re not fighters”.

Well, I’m not changing to Corona (Mexican yellow fizzy water). Guess we’ll have to sneak our Negra’s. And to really screw things up, with our “Cuban” dinner tonight (Citrus Skirt Steak, Yellow Rice and Black Beans, with an Avocado Salad, I’ll have a Warsteiner Pilsner.

No, this is not some half-assed attempt to get Modelo to send me free beer. It’s a full-assed attempt. Please make this go viral so they send me FREE BEER!!!

Peace,
B

P.S. I’m drinking my go-to beer, a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale as I write this. Wifey is enjoying a New Belgium Fat Tire.

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Summer’s End

Well, maybe for some of you…

I’m sure you know by now that I live in Floriduh. We don’t really have seasons here. At least not like the rest of the world.

We do get winter. It lasts about 2 days, usually in February. We have lived where there were all four seasons. North Carolina has all four seasons, the Army saw fit to send us there twice. It didn’t snow all that much during those two tours, but we did get some. Alaska on the other hand, was lots of snow. It did hit 95 F once, for about 90 minutes during the very brief summer. I think it was a Tuesday that we had summer that year. And we did get 24 hours daylight during this time, not quite 24 hours of dark. We were not quite north enough for that. The least sunlight we received would be about 15 minutes. The sun would come up, move over about a half an inch then drop back down. And it was so very cold.

The Autumn equinox is coming up; Monday, 23 September actually. I can see the subtle differences outside. When I leave for work in the morning, before the sun comes up, the humidity is much lower. Not that it’s gone, it’s just that the dew point occurs after I leave, so my windshield is dry. That won’t last long of course. By mid-December, I’ll be dealing with it all over again. Plus those few days where the dew turns to a very light frost on the windshield. All it takes to clear it is about 3 minutes of the defroster on high. No need to scrape.

This is my favorite time of year. Not only is the weather a little marginally cooler, my two favorite holidays are coming up. Samhain (Halloween for some) and Thanksgiving.

Last year we took the wee bonnie lasses to a “Fall Festival” as we try to do every year. But last year we almost got heat stroke while in the corn maze! It was extremely hot and muggy. And no beer! Only water and sports drinks, although the coffee and hot chocolate were selling briskly. Go figure.

I do hope that wherever you are you get whichever seasons you enjoy the most. Maybe you’re like me and want to just move around to enjoy the variety of all the seasons. Personally, I do not enjoy snow all that much. I don’t mind the cold temperatures, I just don’t care for the white stuff. Having said that, we are taking the wee bonnie lasses to the mountains of Western North Carolina just after Christmas this year. They have been asking to see snow for several years. Hopefully, that will happen. But you never know, the weather is a fickle bitch.

It took me sometime to decide which video to use (and there’s always a video isn’t there?). I was thinking of Summer by War, or Summertime by Janis Joplin. Instead, I went with this one. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Up With Mother Nature?

And why does she hate #Floriduh so?

I realize that stories of #FloridaMan and #FloridaWoman are all over the place, and that my home state has a bad rap. But what did we do to piss off Mother Nature this time?

Yes, they’re coming for us!

Maybe it’s just me. We moved back to #Floriduh in 1996. 1997 was the year of wildfires. We were evacuated from our house (which we had just moved into) 3 times. In all truth, my yard still hasn’t fully recovered. Then in 2004 it was the year of 4 hurricanes.

Yikes!

Ivan was probably the most powerful of the 4, but it didn’t come near us. Charley, on the other hand, went directly overhead. But it wasn’t all that powerful. Son-the-elder’s FLANG unit was deployed basically the entire summer doing hurricane relief all over the state. He had his picture in many local newspapers. They also provided relief for hurricanes Katrina and Michael, and probably more that I can’t recall right now.

We are not under any serious danger with “#9” just off the coast. It is expected to become a named storm “Humberto” sometime in the next 24 – 36 hours. The current track has it just off the coast, following in Dorian’s footsteps. As of this writing, no EOC activation has been discussed.

And the models have it moving further off shore, again, just like Dorian.

Luckily we had no big plans this weekend. Our god sons first birthday is today, and there’s plans for a small party tomorrow, and some wind and rain won’t bother that. Hopefully.

Since we are looking at yet another rainy weekend (Sunshine State?? I call shenanigans). Here’s a video about another rainy season. Enjoy! (And sing along too)

Peace,
B

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In The Early Morning Rain

‘Cause that’s about all we’ve had from this hurricane. But I’m not complaining. The folks in the Bahamas really got hit hard. Dorian was over Abaco and Grand Bahama Island for damn near 24 hours. The islands are devastated. This makes me very sad. I really like Freeport.

But here in #Floriduh, at least in my area, just some rain and wind. But then, isn’t that exactly what a hurricane is? Wind and rain?

So here I sit deep in an undisclosed location in the bowls of a dormant volcano, somewhere in.. uh.. can’t say where. Day 2 in the EOC. Yesterday was long. A full 12 hour shift on about 4 hours sleep. Almost felt like I was back in the Army. Just with air-conditioning. But the same old jokes and lousy food, but no MREs (YEAH!!!).

The storm is about 100 miles due east of us. It only took about 12 hours for it to reach us as it was stationary for a very long time, then slowly moved north west. It has picked up speed, but is still moving very slowly. Current speed estimate is 8 MPH.

No track today, but here is a radar shot;

The western edge of the storm is hitting the coast, but not much.

I should say that we are currently just over halfway through hurricane season. This is the height of the season as well; as this image shows.

That yellow X over the western coast of Africa is out next worry. All the others are not going to bother land, but that storm is still an “unknown”, but it does have a 60% chance of becoming something “known”.

My house, and my brother’s house (he lives about 45 minutes west of me), have not any real issues. He did lose power for about an hour, but luckily bourbon doesn’t need refrigeration, so he made it through just fine.

Right now, our city manager says he hopes to close the EOC around 5 PM this evening, and we’ll return to a more regular schedule tomorrow. Sound good to me.

One thing I noticed on the way in yesterday and today was that almost every fast food place was closed. All the McDonalds, Dunkin’s, and Taco Hell Bell were dark and gloomy. But the Subway was open. Yesterday the local “greasy spoon” was open, but not this morning. Roads are basically clear. Only a few scattered palm fronds here and there.

I picked out a video that actually goes with the topic. I was going to use Gordon Lightfoot’s Early Morning Rain, but choose this one instead. I used Lightfoot’s song for the title (call it a two-for-one). Enjoy!

Some REO Cookies for ya!

Peace,
B

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Still Waiting…

Yes, it’s Labor Day here in the USA, and we are laboring. We haven’t started any painting yet this morning simply because we are worn out. But, all we have left are two little hallways so we have plenty of time.

As far as the storm goes, it’s not much different than yesterday. Hurricane Dorian is still a Cat 5 storm (but the sustained winds have dropped to 165 MPH from 185 MPH) and is still very dangerous. The biggest problem is that it has basically stalled over Grand Bahama Island. The forward movement is down to 1 MPH. Toddlers can crawl faster than that.

Image courtesy of the National Hurricane Center

As of the 5AM (EDT) updates, we don’t expect tropical storm force winds until tomorrow, 3 September, about 0800. Which is when I have to report to the EOC. Let’s hope my truck doesn’t get blown off the road.

This image is from the Weather Underground (again, NOT the 1960’s radical group). This shows the four models for the storm’s track. What is striking about this graph is that all the models have finally come so close together. Just yesterday there was still one model (GFS) that had the storm making landfall, now they’re all offshore. There are still some differences as to just how far offshore.

The GFS track still has it closest to the coast. We’re still hoping the the Euro model holds true.

I’ll make one more pass through the yard this afternoon just to make sure everything is picked up and stored away. Then one more test of the generator and I’m calling prep work done.

My biggest concern this morning is breakfast. I’m hungry!

You knew this one was coming…

Peace,
B

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Hurricane Update…

Bet y’all thought I forgot to post about Hurricane Dorian yesterday. I didn’t forget, we are going ahead with our Labor Day house painting plans, so I was a bit busy.

And just so you know how serious we take this storm, I give you this;

Phase One of the “Fuck Hurricane Dorian” supply run. Which doesn’t show the wine in the fridge. Also not pictured is the beer, because we already drank it.

A quick storm update as I have to get back to painting. It’s looking like the EOC will activated at 0700 tomorrow morning. I should know more this evening.

This is the 5AM forecast track – hot off the electron press;

Image courtesy of the National Hurricane Center

The track has the storm farther east again, and moving at a paltry 8 MPH. My grandmother can move faster than that, and she’s been dead a really long time! This crawl will allow the storm to grow even stronger, and totally messes with the track. Too much time over open water just makes the storm even more unpredictable. Also, it’s not expected to be close to us until Wednesday or so. Hopefully, this means the EOC opening can be pushed back a bit. But, Tropical Storm force winds are expected to be felt here sometime Monday. So who knows.

Here’s today’s “only using this because it has hurricane in the title” video. And yes, I know I’m really stretching it this time.

Peace,
B

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Trying To Reason…

About dinner time last night I received notice that my EOC (Emergency Operation Center) is expected to be activated at 0700 Sunday, 1 September. </sigh>

Now, this morning I see that the track has moved even more south (good for me and my family), but has also slowed down (bad for everyone). If the storm slows down even a little bit this will give it time to gain strength. What was predicted to be a measly cat2, now looks like it may be a much more dangerous cat4. Not to mention, the longer it sits out there the more variation on it’s track. Take a look at the 5 AM (EDT) forecast. The “Cone of Uncertainty” covers the entire damn state of #Floriduh. Due to two high pressure systems to the northeast and northwest of the system which may, or may not, push it around. This also means that there really isn’t anywhere in the state to evacuate to. So, where will it go?

“Nobody knows”

Chuckie Finster ~ Rug Rats.
Note the circle around the entire damn state! It’s a crap shoot I tell ya.

The thing that I’m having issues with (and this is entirely personal), is the planned activation of of the EOC on Sunday morning. I think it’s too early to activate. The storm will still be way east of us on Monday morning. I understand the need to get things in order BEFORE it gets hairy (retired Army guy here). But some of us still have things to do at our residences. Basically, it’s just me and Wifey at home. Son-the-elder is deployed overseas with his Army unit, son-the-younger works damn near every night, and with my broke down back and legs, and Wifey being the “little woman” that she is, we can’t move some of the larger stuff that needs to be moved. Hopefully son-the-younger will be able to do most of it today and tomorrow (he’s supposed to be off of work).

Since we are natives of south #Floriduh (which deserves that hashtag so much more than the rest of the state), we tend to have a somewhat more of a “wait and see” attitude towards these here storms. It’s not that we don’t care, it’s we know they tend to be hyped more than they are. Not always, Andrew, Katrina, and Michael were storms that deserved every bit of the hype. They were monster storms. We treat these events with respect. Meanwhile the rest of the state panics.

It is what it is. So, until my next update, here’s a video that may actually have some bearing on the entire situation (but probably not)..

Peace,
B

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The Time Of The Season

Faithful readers of this blog will know that my last post mentioned a certain tropical storm was headed my way. Well, that hasn’t changed. In fact since I wrote (and edited) that post, lots of things have changed. And then changed again. And changed some more. Some things even went back to what they were at the start of this whole shebang.

Here was the storm track then;

Note the last projected location on the map. The storm went way east of there.

And here is this morning’s track (as of 0800 EDT);

Image courtesy of the National Hurricane Center

Yes! Once again #Floriduh is dead in the sights of another hurricane. Sheesh!

On the plus side, it’s expected (more like hoped for) to be less intense than just yesterday’s models. Those had it as a Category 3 storm and sitting about 100 miles due east of my house Monday morning. Now it will (again, hopefully) make land fall about 100 miles south of me as a weak Cat 2. This, sadly, will mean my brother can expected an almost direct hit.

On the bad side is most models have it turning north once it hits the center of the state. This has two issues. First, it puts my area on that dreaded NE quadrant again. That will be the most intense section of the storm. Second, this will be my home for the weekend;

Notice the lack of beer and food. Not to mention sleeping areas.

For this storm my team has been assigned the day shift. We’ve been night shift for all previous storms. My guess for this change is because the last two storms the day shift has been stuck at the EOC for 24 hours when the storm hit, while those of us on nights just did the planned 12 hour shift. I think my manager is hoping to reverse this trend. Not gonna happen.

So, once again, a storm has ruined plans for a 3-day weekend. Now granted, this was a “working” 3-day weekend as we had planned to start painting the inside of the house. We may still be able to get some of the work done, at least the major prep stuff. But if it’s raining too hard painting is out of the question. Paint doesn’t seem to dry very well when the humidity is 1000%.

So here’s a video that only relates to the post because I used it’s title for the title of this post…

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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