Monday, October 31, 2005

Groggy Breakfast

It's been a while since I invented a new recipe, and as you can see, my carnivalless stats have suffered for it.

But this weekend, I was inspired. I had made Bananas Foster a few nights earlier, and was in a "Cooking with Rum" mood. TFR had made mention that she hadn't had raisin bread French toast in a while (which is a hint), so I decided to combine the two:

Rum Raisin French Toast

3 large grade AA eggs
1/4 cup rum*
1/2 pint half and half
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cinnamon
4-8 slices raisin bread

crack eggs into a wide, shallow bowl (a Corelle 9x9 glass baking crock works perfectly). Beat until light and foamy. Whisk in vanilla, rum, half and half, and cinammon. place raisin bread slices in mixture 2 at a time and turn over once, soaking for approxomately 5-10 seconds a side. Place in a lightly oiled skillet or griddle, cook over medium heat until golden brown, truning over once.

Preferences for serving French toast vary, so go with what you prefer -- syrup, whipped cream, whatever. Personally, I like a little bit of unsalted butter and a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar.

*When cooking with rum, I prefer it to be as dark as possible. My favorite for this is Cruzan Black Strap Naval Tradition, a rum so dark it makes Myers seem like Bacardi Gold -- it tastes, as I've mentioned before, like spiked molasses.

Three Men They Went A-Hunting

Ever since my exhaustion- and elation-addled brain led me to sing "Whisky in the Jar" to The Lad the day he was born, it has become a tradtion that my lullabies for him are folk and drinking songs. I know, not exactly the most elegant of traditions, but he has really taken to them. So far, my repertoire has expanded to include Danny Boy, Finnegan's Wake, The Minstrel Boy, and one other song. It was a song my father taught me as a boy, and he learned it from his father. Doing a Google search, I discovered other variants of it, but this is the version he sang to me:

Three men they went a-hunting, to see what they could find.
They came across a haystack, and that they left behind,
The Englishman says, "It's a haystack",
The Scotsman he says "Nay",
The Irishman says "It's a Schoolhouse with its windows all blown away".

And so they rambled,
They rambled,
They rabled all around.
In and out the town and still they rambled,
They rambled 'till the butchers cut 'em down.

Three men they went a-hunting, to see what they could find.
They came across a steamboat, and that they left behind,
The Englishman says, "It's a steamboat",
The Scotsman he says "Nay",
The Irishman says "It's a locomotive taking a bath in the bay".


Three men they went a-hunting, to see what they could find.
They came across a bullfrog, and that they left behind,
The Englishman says, "It's a bullfrog",
The Scotsman he says "Nay",
The Irishman says "It's a canary bird with its feathers all blown away".


Three men they went a-hunting, to see what they could find.
They came across a tollgate, and that they left behind,
The Englishman says, "It's a tollgate",
The Irishman he says "Nay",
The Scotsman says "It's the end of the road, so we'll go the other way".


Hammer Time

Thanks for the Memory to Vinny, blogging over at Blogfather Rusty's.

Vinny links to an excellent column reminiding us this All Hallow's Eve why we have a German-speaking Frenchman to thank for the freedom to observe Halloween, All Saint's Day, Christmas, Hannukah, or any other non-Muslim holy day we choose.

It was at this time of year, October, in the Year of Our Lord 732, that Charles "The Hammer" Martel defeated a Muslim army at the battle of Tours, in Southern France, thus halting the Islamic invasion of Europe.

The article goes on to expound on the effects this had on the future of European and, by inheritance, American, culture. It's a good read.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Killing a Beaten Horse

Thanks for the Memory to Michelle Malkin via The LlamaButchers.

Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination to the SCOTUS

I'm relieved, but I'm not as exultant as many Republicans will be about this. I admit, I looked askance at Miers when she was first announced, just because I didn't know anyhting about her, and because I was rooting for Priscilla Owens. But as time wore on, i was a little abashed by the vitriol with which Miers was excoriated my many on the right, especially bloggers. I argued that there's a significant difference between not knowing if she was qualifield, and knowing she was not qualified. I was not convinced of the latter, and I felt too many were jumping to that conclusion.

Time has proven them right. As time went on, and I heard more, it became apparent that she was a less than stellar choice. And it was even more apparent that regardless of her qualifications or lack thereof, her candidacy had been severely, probabvly fatally, wounded by the opposition.

So I'm relieved that she has withdrawn. I hope the President will be more circumspect in his next choice. And I hope that if he does make a better choice, that conservatives will SUPPORT that nominee with as much vigor as they OPPOSED Miers.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Now THAT'S What I Call Compassionate Conservatism

This is why I support Jason Atkinson for Governor.

The man believe in public service, he believes in giving people a chance to better their own lives, and in putting his money where his mouth is.

He's young, he's passionate AND compassionate, and he's principled. I love that he supports education, and I admire his commitment to the beliefs and values that have gotten him where he is.

Read the article, then go see how you can help put this man in office.

Random Nuttiness

A few days ago, TFR and I did a little weeding around the front of our place. Nothing as intensive as if we were, say, Llamas, but still, we wanted to clean things up a bit. Besides, it's a rental, and we get a discount in exchange for doing our own groundskeeping. Actually, the Lad began to fuss, so TFR tended to him while I did most of the weeding. As I weeded, I kept coming across little "buried treasures" in the bark mulch.

You see, we live about a mile or so from the oldest commercial filbert (uh, that's hazelnut to you city folk) orchard in the United States. In fact, Oregon produces between 99% and 100% of the nation's crop (which is why I find it so ironic that I can only find hazelnut oil pressed in California and Washington, our two neighbors). So it would appear that the local squirrel population has developed discriminating palates. No rustic acorns for them, oh, no.

The squirrels here are an interesting topic in another way. here in Eugene/Springfield, we have reddish brown tree squirrels. But they're not native. They're Eastern Fox Squirrels, and they were introduced to the state. They are more aggressive than our native Western Grey Squirrels. So they (along with the non-native Eastern Grey Squirrel) have driven the Western Greys out of the cities. But they're also more dependent on humans for food, so if you go out in the country, you'll see the native squirrels. I think they're prettier animals.

And the fox squirrels aren't the only non-native flora/fauna that give us fits. Nutria (whoever thought THAT was a good idea needs to be beaten!), possums, English Ivy, even my beloved blackberries are classifies as an invasive weed. It seems that any place so fertile is also fertile ground for invading wildlife.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Good Blogs

Thanks for the Memory to The Maximum Leader

Hmmmm... Took the following quiz, got the following results:

Alton Brown
Which Food Network chef are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

Not a suprising result, since he is my favorite. The thing is, most of the questions, as I picked the answer, I knew it was an Alton Brown answer. Sure, there were a couple of exceptions -- I don't wear Hawaiian shirts, and I love to grill. But for the most part, it was an obvious match. So the question is, has my cooking style become what it is because I follow Alton, or have I become an Alton fan because our styles agree?

In other words, which came first - the Coq au Vin or the Crepes Suzette?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Buck(eye) Up

I received an email today from a fellow blogger asking me to add him to my blogroll.

One look at his blog, and my response was Oh, Hell, Yeah.

Camp Katrina is the joint blog of a group of Ohio National Guard soldiers whose unit helped in the aftermath of Katrina. There's some good stuff there. Go give them a read.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Deep Dish Compassion

You'll recall my post of a week ago regarding Jacqui, the little girl with a big medical need.

Well, this week, I've received an email from her grandfather, and if you're reading this from the Eugene area, here's a great way to help her out:

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we work to raise the remaining funds during the last remaining weeks leading up to her surgery - we have quite a way to go yet. We are confident that with a few people like you doing what they can, we will get there!
Just in case you have time to help spread the word about a local fundraiser, we have included two info sheets for distribution for a Papa's Pizza fundraiser we have scheduled for November 2nd. Papa's Pizza at any Eugene location will donate 50% of any order placed by anyone bringing in a flyer to their restaurants on Wednesday, November 2nd. Feel free to e-mail, copy, and distribute to anyone you think might participate. Thanks for caring!
Here's the coupon:

Image hosted by

You get pizza, AND you get to help a sweet little girl. Win/Win!

I Am the Very Model of a Very Ancient General

Thanks for the Memory to The LlamaButchers.

Julias Caesar
You scored 57 Wisdom, 84 Tactics, 52 Guts, and 50 Ruthlessness!

Roman military and political leader. He was instrumental in the
transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. His
conquest of Gallia Comata extended the Roman world all the way to the
Atlantic Ocean, introducing Roman influence into what has become modern
France, an accomplishment of which direct consequences are visible to
this day. In 55 BC Caesar launched the first Roman invasion of Britain.
Caesar fought and won a civil war which left him undisputed master of
the Roman world, and began extensive reforms of Roman society and
government. He was proclaimed dictator for life, and heavily
centralized the already faltering government of the weak Republic.
Caesar's friend Marcus Brutus conspired with others to assassinate
Caesar in hopes of saving the Republic. The dramatic assassination on
the Ides of March was the catalyst for a second set of civil wars,
which marked the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the
Roman Empire under Caesar's grand-nephew and adopted son Octavian,
later known as Caesar Augustus.
Caesar's military campaigns are known in detail from his own written
Commentaries (Commentarii), and many details of his life are recorded
by later historians such as Suetonius, Plutarch, and Cassius Dio.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
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You scored higher than 29% on Unorthodox
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You scored higher than 93% on Tactics
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You scored higher than 46% on Guts
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You scored higher than 63% on Ruthlessness
Link: The Which Historic General Are You Test written by dasnyds on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Sheehan Bites the Hand that Talked to Her

Thanks for the Memory to The Llama Butchers.

Cindy Sheehan has written an open letter critical of Hillary Clinton's support of the War in Iraq.

Now, I'm not the biggest fan of Hillary Clinton (heck, I usually can't stand the woman), but obviously, on this issue I agree with her. Furthermore, I feel a couple of Sheehan's comments needing response:
"I believe that the intelligent thing for Democrats to do for 2006 and 2008 would be to come out strongly and correctly against the botched, bungled, illegal, and immoral occupation of Iraq,"
I won't even bother responding to her description of the war, as it has been addressed time and time again. However, considering how successful the Democrats were in 2004 when they ran in opposition to the war, ther'e unintended irony in Cindy's use of the word "intelligent".

The California woman, whose son Casey was killed fighting insurgents in Iraq, launched an anti-war movement when she camped outside President Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch in August and demanded to meet with the commander in chief, drawing national media attention.

She was granted a meeting with Sen. Clinton to discuss the war effort, but says the Democrat "apparently" didn't listen,
And Cindy wonders why the President won't talk to her? Noone with any sense believed for a minute that that is all she wanted, or that it would do any good. She doesn't want the President to TALK to her, she wants him to DEFER to her. And that's just not his job. So even if he had talked to her, she would have come away with even more ammo, because she would just tell us that he "Apparently didn't listen."

as the senator told a reporter for the Village Voice, "My bottom line is that I don't want their sons to die in vain. ... I don't believe it's smart to set a date for withdrawal. ... I don't think it's the right time to withdraw."

"That sounds like Rush Limbaugh to me," Sheehan said. "That doesn't sound like an opposition party leader speaking to me.

News Flash for ya, Cindy, but the phrase "Opposition Party" doesn't mean that the Democrats have to automatically disagree with the Republicans on every single issue, just out of contrariness. I understand that this is how many people think, "If the Republicans are for it it must be bad", but that really is quite short-sighted and frankly, unintelligent.

Which brings us back to the first quote. The TRULY intelligent thing for the Democrats to do, Ma'am, would be to decide what they stand FOR, instead of whom they're AGAINST. But as long as people like you and Michael Moore and George Soros continue to leverage your publicity and money to position yourself as the Voice of the Left, that's not going to happen.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Caller ID: Area Code 504

Got an unexpected but happy phone call from a New Orleans cell phone at lunch.

IT was from the gentleman I met at the shelter in Houston who had not heard from his 14-year-old son. He's found work in Houston; they've found an apartment right on the Bus Line and not far from his wife's work; and best of all, he's heard from his son. He's well and in Baton Rouge, apparently he was with his mother the whole time.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers.

Monday Morning: Weekend of Football Recap

Dear Washingtonians,

Thanks for visiting, we hope you enjoyed your stay. Next time bring your football team, and maybe we can plan a game or something.

Seriously, despite the drubbing we handed to the puppydawgs, I was less than pleased with the Ducks' performance. The first two plays from scrimmage were both fumbles, and it was only UW's poor offense that let us get away with only giving up one touchdown out of them (the phrase "18-yard drive" is telling, no?). Compound that with some seriously silly time management at the end of the first half, and some really stupid penalties, and the score shouldn't even have been as close as 45-21. If we play like that against a better calibre team, we're in a world of hurt. Either way, we're 6-1 and that's better than a kick in the pants, I suppose.

Speaking of poor play by teams from Washington and its effect on the Ducks, thanks a lot to Wazzoo for blowing a solid lead to UCLA, thus ensuring the Bruins a contiued place in the hunt for runner up to USC in the PAC-10. On the line for the Ducks is possibly the difference between a berth in the Fiesta Bowl or the Holiday.

And Kudos to the Men of Troy for a Cardiac Comeback victory. Looks like a little of the "Luck O' The Irish" rubbed off on the visiting team this time. If the Notre Dame defender hadn't knocked the ball loose and out of bounds, the game's over and USC goes home with a L.

I know they're our rivals in the PAC-10, but I've always rooted for USC in this particular game, and if we want the best bowl berth possible, Duck fans need to grit their teeth and cheer Troy for the rest of the season.

(Former Ducks and their teams)

Being a big fan of Joey Harrington, I've tried rooting for the Lions, I really have. But if they want Joey to be successful as their QB, they're going to need an O-Line made up of something other than Swiss Cheese. Furthermore, after that cheap shot on Jake Delhomme, they deserved to lose. Helmet-to-helmet on a sliding QB? C'mon guys, leave that BS to the Raiders.

Speaking of whom, nanny nanny boo boo. Oakland just couldn't find a way to stop LaDainian Tomlinson, who became the first player in 4 years and only the third in 35 years to run, receive, AND pass for TD's all in one game. The Duck connection? Tight end Justin Peele, who received the pass LT threw.

Other teams with former Ducks that I follow:
Seattle handed the Houston Texans their fannies (like that's saying much), while the Vikings continue their slump.

All in all, a good, if tempered, weekend to be a Duck fan.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Double (Sized) Standards?

Thanks for the Memory to Lars Larson.

Ore. court rules Eagles must allow women members

SALEM -- A state anti-discrimination law requires that Eagles clubs allow women to join, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in a decision with little practical impact now that the organization permits membership by both sexes.

The rest can be read at the link. The quote that caught my eye was this one:

In 2-1 ruling, an appeals court panel said the law against sex discrimination in public accommodations applies to the Fraternal Order of Eagles because it operates as a business and basically offers services to the public.
So my question is, what are the odds they'll apply the same standard to Women Only businesses like Curves?

Smug by Proxy

A year ago today, a new blog was born, run by an astute 16-year-old and titled The Political Teen. As one of HIS readers pointed out, in his first month online, I linked to him, with high praise.

I wasn't alone, and thanks to his own writing skills and intelligence and the attentoin of some blogosphere bigwigs, he has far outstripped my own humble readership.

Happy Blogoversary, PT. I'm proud to say I was among the first to regonize your potential. Keep up the good work, and many happy returns.

Give 'Til It DOESN'T Hurt!

At the spa where The Feared Redhead works sit a flyer and business cards for a fundraiser for a young Eugene girl. Here is her story:

The cute little girl... now three years old. She was born with a massive malformation of the lymph glands on the right side of her neck. It is so invasive that it has wrapped itself around her windpipe. For the first year she was required to have a tracheal tube just to be able to breath. Injections of a special solution known as OK432 reduced the mass sufficiently to safely remove the trach. However, surgery is absolutely necessary to remove what is left since it continues to compromise her airway and produces other medical complications. The surgery will be performed by a world-renowned doctor in New York in November. However, insurance will not pay about $40,000 of the total cost. So, we are asking people to donate to a fund set up by Heart For The Homeless a non-profit organization located in Portland, Oregon. The fund is titled JACQUI'S FUND. You may contribute directly through USBANCORP to "JACQUI'S FUND." Or you may send a contribution to Heart for The Homeless, ATTN: Jacqui's Fund, 21085 NW Rock Creek Blvd., Portland, OR 97229, earmarking it for Jacqui's Fund. Contributions are tax-deductible. Checks and money orders may be made payable to "Jacqui's Fund." If you have questions, simply contact me, Jerry Propst, through the comment portion of this blog and I will do my best to answer your questions.
That's directly from the blog Jacqui's grandfather has set up. I'm asking all my readers to thoughtfully, prayerfully consider giving to help Jacqui. In addition, Jacqui's dad mentions that he needs help setting up a paypal button for donations. If any of you are adept at that sort of thing, please help him out.

We can do this, people. They're about halfway there already. Let's show them how much heart the blogosphere has.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Slippery Slopes in the Cascades

Here's the dilemma I face as both an Oregonian and a Non-Idiotarian: Pride in my home state, its natural beauty and pioneer spirit; and embarassment for my home state, its extreme politics and stupid government.

Here's what we're now famous for: Not our rugged coast, our majestic mountains, our lush forests; not Lewis and Clark, mountain men, the Oregon Trail. No, when people think of Oregon, they immediately think of Legalized Pot, Assisted Suicide, and now, Live Sex Shows. I doubt that's exactly the definition of "Westward Ho!" the pioneers had in mind.

This is what Bill O'Reilly talked about night before last. This is what's being discussed in newspapers and media outlets across the country. We're rapidly overtaking California as the Granola State -- the nuttiest, flakiest place in the nation.

I'm used to hearing (L)ibertarians, libertarians, liberitines, and liberals to one extent or another tell us that what kinds of activities consenting adults engage in in the privacy of their own bedrooms is their own business.

But now the supreme court has extended the definition of "bedrooms" to include "Joe's Tavern". As I've hinted at before, once we've established that any given system of morality is not applicable as a basis for law, NO system of morality can maintain its applicability. Each time ground is given way, it becomes harder and harder to defend the ground that's left. I'm wondering how far they'll eventually go before people have had enough. Heck, we have homeless people sleeping in our parks and under overpasses, that makes them bedrooms too, right? How long will it be before the defense of sex acts in public as Freedom of Speech is applied to ANY public place, not just private businesses?

I'd leave, but I fear that once the idiots are done clearcutting decency and good sense here, they'll just come after the next place. This is as good a place to make a stand as any.

Monday, October 10, 2005

PETA's Red Herring

Thanks for the Memory to Moonbattery via Ace of Spades HQ.

I'm not going to bother to link to the PETA document itself, because I don't want to give them traffic and because you can find it from either of the two blog posts linked above.

PETA's latest tactic, apparently, is to try to use children to get their parents to stop hunting, fishing, or eating meat at all. And the way they are trying to accomplish this? By publishiing comic books that tell kids that their parents are, in effect, vicious psychopaths. One of the comics is called Your Daddy Kills Animals! that tells kids they should "Ask your Daddy why he's hooked on killing!", and warns them that:

Until your Daddy learns that it's not "fun" to kill, keep your doggies and kitties away from him. He's so hooked on killing defenseless animals that they could be next!

There's also a companion comic book that assails cooking meat called Your Mommy Kills Animals!

The folks at Moonbattery made note of the irony that the folks at PETA would warn you about doggies and kitties. It was not lost on me either.

People say that PETA is self-lampooning. I'd agree, except that the evil means to which they stoop, the willingness to mess with schoolchildrens' minds, to alienate them from their parents, are too frightening to be laughable.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

DeLay Fuse

Thanks for the Memory to Ace of Spades.

I've reserved judgement regarding the indictments against Tom DeLay, beyond saying that I hoped justice would be done, whatever it is, and commenting at Naked Villainy, reminding Smallholder that DeLay isinnocent until proven guilty.

My friend Vulture Six, on the other hand, has been a staunch supporter of DeLay from the beginning. As a Texan and an active follower of state and national politics, he was convinced the charges were trumped up and politically motivated. He also has a very low opinion of DA Ronnie Earle -- an opinion that is not uncommon in Texas.

Well, it's looking more and morte like V6 was right.

I'll admit that I haven''t followed this issue as closely as many in the blogosphere, so this may come as no surprise to many of you, but here's what has come to light:

There have been three attempted indictments against DeLay.

His lawyer has moved for dismissal of the first, since, apparently, the activities for which DeLay has been indicted for, he engaged in in 2002, but they weren't illegal until 2003. Furthermore, Vulture Siz tells me that the Jury Foreman admitted to Radio Austin that the Grand Jury, which was comprised mostly of Democrats, had decided that they would indict DeLay before it had even heard the evidence.

The second indictment was for money laundering. The heart of this indictment is DeLay's handling of the funds in question AFTER they were raised, while the first had to do with the fundraising activities themselves. However, as an alert Ace reader points out, according to Texas Law, in order to constitute Money Laundering, the money handled has to be acquired illegally to begin with:



§ 34.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

§ 34.02. MONEY LAUNDERING. (a) A person commits an
offense if the person knowingly:
(1) acquires or maintains an interest in, receives,
conceals, possesses, transfers, or transports the proceeds of
criminal activity
(2) conducts, supervises, or facilitates a
transaction involving the proceeds of criminal activity; or
(3) invests, expends, or receives, or offers to
invest, expend, or receive, the proceeds of criminal activity or
funds that the person believes are the proceeds of criminal

If the fundraising wasn't illegal, neither was the handling of the funds "Laundering".

As for the third indictment, the Grand Jury rejected it.

It would seem that once again, a rabid leftist has let his eagerness to damage a political enemy cause him to act far too hastily.

Maybe Earle should have talked to Dan Rather.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Pun Fun: The Homophonic Variation

Two penguins are rowing a canoe across the desert.

The lead penguin turns to the other penquin and says, "Where's your paddle?"

The second penguin replies, "It sure does!"