Monday, October 25, 2010

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

To My Newest & Most Avid Reader ...

Yes, you're a douchebag for all the ridiculous and stupid, red-neck things you do, say and profess to be true. So, just in case you aren't familiar with what a Douchebag REALLY is ... enjoy this ...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Really Good Beans?

Have you ever seen a pack of something at the store and bought it just to see how it would taste? Here is the experiment of the day ... the Anasazi Bean.

It appears that this colorful, brown and white bean has been around for a very long time. Some say that it has a richer flavor and creamier texture than other beans. One of my favorite beans is the Pinto Bean which makes great refried beans. Also, the pinto tastes great when cooked with some pork, especially ham hocks. Can't wait to get the "ancient heirloom" Anasazi Beans into the pot!

Anyone care for a dish?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rain, Rain ... More Rain

So much rain came ... and more is on the way. Do you have enough where you are?

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A New Path

It's a good thing. Really :-)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Turning Points

Turning points. Interesting things, these “turning points” are. They seek to define the single moment or the one pivotal event which made the eventual outcome of something, well, inevitable. I'm at one now, and it sure as Hell didn't show up on my radar until I got some bad news that really shook me right down to my roots. The worst of it is yet to come though. In a few hours from now, the other shoe will fall.

Turning points. They should go by another name, the Lords of Cruelty. When you experience a realization of just how horrible a situation has become, that's when you know you're at a turning point. That's when it's time for you to wipe the slate clean so you aren't limited by yesterday's plans ... because they just didn't work.

I'm told that now is the time to exert a higher level of self-determination over the weeks ahead if you are willing to make a decision today. But choosing which road to take isn't enough; you must also commit to giving one hundred percent until you accomplish your goal. Sound like good advice? A plan?

I've been away from this blog for quite a while and much has changed in my life in the mean time. I will try to post more often. Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Wow! If you haven't been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, you seriously need to visit this place. It's an awesome way to spend an afternoon. While you're there, see the U2 concert. It was fantastic.

I don't have any pictures of the inside of the place because they prohibit photography inside the building.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hiya! Had to take some time off. A little R&R and a little recovery time too. Thanks for visiting. I appreciate it.

Happy Birthday Courtney

Happy 21st Courtney!

Many Happy Returns.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Hell" by Robert Olen Butler

It's been a very long time since I reviewed a book on this blog, but there are times when something absolutely MUST be said, wrongs MUST be righted, goodness upheld and a flying drop kick MUST land right on some guy's beezer.

We went to a local bookstore. Pulitzer Prize winning author, Robert Olen Butler, was giving a talk on his newest book, "Hell". These sorts of engagements are almost always fun, if not for the anecdotes, then for the fellowship with another writer. One or both of those is enough to get me to buy the book and give it a try.

One of the things we learned about the story was that Mr. Butler's fourth wife had just ran off with Ted Turner. Yes, THAT Ted Turner. That's why Hell is set in Atlanta. Now, I've been to Atlanta a few times, so I can say with some certainty that Butler's version of Hell is a little different than Dante's or John Milton's - although the sex is the same. It would appear that nowhere is one to actually enjoy it, even by yourself.

Another thing we learned about the book is that there are lots of people in Butler's "Hell" that one would expect to see in Hell. Dick Nixon, Anne Boleyn, and Bill Shakespeare to name a few. There are plenty that one wouldn't as well. The most important thing, it seems, isn't who, but why. Answering the question "Why are you in Hell?" is so important that it appears as a regular segment on the evening news in Hell.

We also learned that Mr. Butler had uncovered some very interesting connections that have occurred in History. Allow me to quote, "There is only one degree of coital separation between JFK and Adolph Hitler." The link? Party girl and Nazi sympathizer/spy, Inga Arvad. The source? Al Gore's unfailingly accurate invention, the Internet. THAT bold statement turned some heads!

Well, with information like that between the covers of "Hell", how could I resist? I bought the book. Had it signed by the author, took it back to my hotel room, and mortgaged an evening reading it.

Have you ever heard the expression "Christ on a bike!"? Have you ever meant it? How about "Christ on Rocket ship escaping Hell with Richard Milhaus Nixon!"? Before you think that "Hell" is SciFi or something, it should be said that they don't actually make it. Turns out that they don't make it because this story so bad it has it's own explosive gravity.

The part that really finished the story for me was a consumptive sex scene that was about as far from "bawdy romp" as the Donner's Party in the Sierra Nevadas was from a dinner table. If you're going to use a severed human penis as an after dinner mint, at least say it with a smile.

The flying drop kick thing in the first paragraph above is paraphrased very loosely from an piece Tom Archdeacon wrote about a professional wrestling event way, way back on Feb 20, 1987 for the Miami News. When I compare that newspaper article to Robert Olen Butler's book "Hell", I can see that the format of the material is different, but not it's subject. A more succinct and gripping telling of Mr. Butler's story could only have been made by sticking your tongue between your lips and blowing though them to produce a loud, sloppy-wet, and flatulent blubbering.

Hell? Yes. "Hell"? No.

The Pub

The Pub in Beavercreek, Ohio, may be the popular spot in town. It's THAT hard to get a table anyway. We have tried a couple of nights per week for a month now and finally managed to get a seat.

They try very, very hard to be "Authentic British". That's printed on the walls and even on the tickets you get at the end of the evening. Yes, there's soccer on the televisions, posters of British musical groups on the walls, and the wait staff all wear kilts. British. OK, one final test - is there any German beer on the menu? Hell no! Yep, they're British.

The beer menu is short, sweet and tasty. The food menu is even better.Their signature dishes include two heavy hitters. First, the pot roast.

The other is the Shepherd's Pie.

Yes, it was good, right down to the very last bite. If you can ever get a seat in the place, I recommend it. If you have no patience for lines, look elsewhere ... it's your loss.

The Pub
39 Greene Boulevard,
Dayton, Ohio
(937) 320-1199

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just Say No Potato Gnocchi Con Pesto

Yuck! Gnocchi with pesto is horrible. I've learned a new Italian phrase because of it. Dica appena no gnocchi con pesto. It means "Just Say No Potato Gnocchi Con Pesto." I picked the green coated chicken bits out of this dish and couldn't bear to finish. Yuck!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Existential-ly Noodles

There's something about Pad Thai that is simply magical. Just as Life must be lived through experiences or ‘le vecu’ as Jean Paul Sartre called it, Pad Thai is a dish that must be described through experience. To Sartre, the concept of vécu is based on a mixture (un mélange) that gets integrated into a whole. That, in a nutshell, is the recipe for Pad Thai.

Pad Thai begins with rice in its most passionate form - noodles. Long, slightly sticky, and deliciously chewy, rice noodles. You can find them in the Asian grocery stores bearing the Vietnamese title "ban pho".

Sartre said that "We must act out passion before we can feel it." So let's find someplace quaint, charming and cozy.

Genuine Pad Thai, the real thing, has a fiery temper, a breath of desire, a hint of appreciation, and the missing kiss of a lover that is gone and never coming back. The recipe has the four ingredients expressed as a kind of temporary madness: Tamarind pulp for it's sour flavor), Fish Sauce for its salty bitterness, Palm Sugar for its gentle sweetness, and a red hot Thai chili powder for transcendence.

Fry in some egg, bean sprouts and onion. Add crushed, roasted peanuts to taste.

Serve it with rice.

Pad Thai may teach one to love, but not how to stop. Try, just try, I dare you, to put down the chopsticks or fork and walk away before feeling stuffed. Just be sure to try it at the Siam Pad Thai restaurant. It's THAT good!

Siam Pad Thai
3027 Wilmington Pike
Dayton, OH 45429-4001
(937) 293-9606

Visiting the Cincinnati Premium Outlet Mall

Have you ever visited the Cincinnati Premium Outlet Mall? If so, what's your favorite store. Well, here's a few of mine.

There's nothing like Ralph Lauren. Just love those shirts. OK, and the briefs too.

Who can resist a Bookstore?

Especially when your old writing instructor's books are on the shelves?

Here's the best store of all ... Le Creuset.

One day I'm going to own a whole set of this stuff. Today, I'm adding a sauce pan to my collection.

All this talk of cooking gear has made me hungry. Care for a treat? It's on me!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

National Chili Day

Wow, is it THAT time of year again? Did you know that Thursday, Feb. 25 is National Chili Day? In some parts of the world that means a lot, but what are you doing to celebrate the chili? I decided to try Dayton's Second Best Chili Place, Jimmie's Cornerstone Bar & Grille.

The place is small, quaint and had a good crowd.

I grabbed a seat, and right away the server carried a plate of chili-drenched nachos by me that looked just great. Turns out that the dish is called Nachos Susanne. Had a Glass of Great Lakes Brewing's finest to wet the whistle.

It was a really tasty way to celebrate National Chili Day. Will be wandering back to the Cornerstone again one of these days. Parking is tricky, but there is a large lot across the street and a little south of the building.

OK, why didn't I choose the Highest Ranked Chili Place in Dayton? Because residents of Dayton chose Skyline Chili, and that stuff is just plain AWFUL!


What more can I say?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Year of the Tiger

A Siberian tiger enjoying a year named in his honor!
Image Source: Hollingsworth, John and Karen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Welcome to the Year of the Tiger! It's a great year ... because I'm a Tiger, a Water Tiger to be precise. I hope that this new year be a good one for you too.

Bad Juan's Really GOOD!

Went to Elsa's Mexican Restaurant in Dayton, Ohio. Heard a lot of good things about the place and ... they're all TRUE!

The building is quaint and decorated.

The signage is exceedingly small.

On the other hand, the portions are HUGE. Elsa's signature dish is the Super Burrito™. It's built for the BIG appetite, 10” flour tortilla filled with your choice of ground beef, shredded beef, chicken, or pork carnita served with refried beans, topped with a mild sauce, lettuce, pico de gallo, and aged cheddar cheese. GAWD it's GOOD!

This picture doesn't show the scale of this monster. This dish and table settings take up more than half the table. Is that cool, or what? Proof positive that in food service ... nothing exceeds like excess.

To wash this bad boy monster burrito down, you really need to try Elsa's signature drink - the Bad Juan.

It's powerful! So powerful, in fact, that a MAXIMUM of two will be served to a customer. Lemme tell ya, and this is from experience, after just ONE of these drinks, a person is just plain happy that his hotel shuttle makes half hourly runs to restaurant! YES, all that great food, drink and a safe ride home.

Life is very, very good ... even in Dayton, Ohio.

Elsa's Mexican Restaurant
3618 Linden Avenue
Dayton, OH 45410-3025
(937) 252-9635

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Day At The Museum

We braved the wind, snow and cold to visit the Cincinnati Art Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The snow had stopped by the time we finally got to Cincy.

This little guy greets you at the door. It wasn't as cold INSIDE the museum as it appears.

I know that I've talked about this in a previous posting, but I went back to the museum just to see these next two pictures. I love John Singer Sargeant's work. This museum has two of them.

Here's the other. This one was a test question in a college class I took a million years ago. She's still beautiful.

This painting was also a test question.

This snippet came froma painting depcting a slave market. Any doubt about the job series the woman on the left holds?

Contrary to the fifth grade passerby, the title of this piece is NOT "Naked Chick with Leg in Air".

Don't know about you, but red chickens speak to me.

OK, my preference is showing. I confess.

And in reply ... an old fashioned rolling eyes smiley.

This is the man who said, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Benjamin Franklin. (American Statesman, Scientist, Philosopher, Printer, Writer and Inventor. 1706-1790) Most people would probably recoognize him from our highest denomination of currency in circulation - the 100USD. Life is just that good, you know?

Speaking of life being good, aren't everyone of us glad to be a Mammal?

Television is a monster. I get it. I've seen the "Jerry Springer Show".

Speaking of horrors and shame, this one is Eve after being discovered by God in the Garden of Eden. The Fall of Man is mere moments away. This image shows the external only. If you can visit this statue, walk around her side and look up at her face. That image, perfectly executed, is why this is a masterpiece.

In Indian mythology, Yakshi is a female goddess associated with the fertility of the earth, love, and beauty. This mythos considers every woman a Goddess, and I think they have a point.

Wether they look like this ...

or this ...

They're all beautiful, like Miss Sunshine.

The Museum was a lot of fun. If you're ever in Cincinnati, you have to visit.

Cincinnati Art Museum
953 Eden Park Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 721-2787