Sunday, December 31, 2006

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?

For auld lang
syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your
pint-stowp !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne,
my dear, for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne,
my dear, for auld
lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne,
my dear, for auld
lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty
fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne,
my dear, for auld lang
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
- Robert Burns
Happy Hogmanay to all my friends, family, and readers.


"I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food."

- W.C. Fields

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hurt So Good

Further proof that any song he sang, he owned.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Faith and Begorrah!

A Tip of the Toque to Robbo the Llama Butcher:

What Kind of Cross are You?

You are the Celtic Cross: This cross was first made out of stone and is often found atop hills, in front of castles and in graveyards throughout Ireland and Scotland. The stone was carved with various symbols including a circle or halo (representing eternal life) and variations of the celtic knot.
Take this quiz!


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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Musical Geography Question of the Day

Because I know he will get it in a heartbeat, Vic is forbidded from playing this round, but gets an automatic win -- this one's for second place, folks:

If you're going to go ahead and wreck your health, where are you going?

Good to the Bone

Based on an earlier recipe I tried almost 2 years ago, I porceeded to take responsibility for the preparation of Christmas ham this year. My new glaze was 2 cups of water, brought to a boil and then steeped with 2 Stash brand Chai Spice Decaf Tea, simmered for 8 minutes. To this I added a 12 oz can of OJ concentrate, 1/2 cup mollasses, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup bourbon, and 1 cup ginger ale.

I covered the bottom of the pan with rosemary sprigs, and added water just up to the top of the sprig layer. The bone-in, spiral cut ham was placed on top of this, open face down, and prepared with bay leaves and cloves inserted into the cuts. More rosemary was placed over the top, and it was roasted at 300 degrees for 15 minutes/pound, with the glaze being added throughout.

I must say, it was quite well received, and I was pleased with the results. The ham came out so succulent that I decided to try something I've been curious about since starting culinary school. Based on the results, I have two pieces of advice if you cook a ham this way:

1. Try the marrow.

2. Don't let your wife or sister-in-law see you.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Lad's Aunties are Evil


Noisy toys.

'Nuff said?

Not quite, one more thing:



President Ford has passed away. He was 93, the oldest-lived of any U.S. president. God rest his humble soul.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pun Fun

Has it been that long?

Anyway, I've decided to develop a new cartoon super-villain. It'll be a giant sentient rodent who takes delight in letting the air out of people's tires so they can't escape.

That's right, he's... Deflater Mouse!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bait and Which?

Almost thou persuadeth me to respond, Smallholder.

But again you have made the same mischaracterization of my position which you have made every time this point comes up, and I have ceased believing that is unintentional. As long as that happens, I refuse to respond to the body of your post. You're going to beat a straw man every time, why should I bother defending the poor inanimate agrarian mannequin?

Update (12/23/2006):

Can anyone guess what that mischaracterization is? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Monday, December 18, 2006

I See Plot Devices

After the discussion in Emily's post about the big news in the world of scatology... er... scamology... er... sciencefictiony...... degenerated into a discussion of really bad moviemaking in general, Nightfly was inspired.. or something.... to pen this little ditty to the tune of "Road to Shambala".

Feel the groove, man.

The Th*tanic Verses (Or is that Bend it Like Xenu?)

A tip of the Toque to Emily at It Comes in Pints?

A new movie is in the works. Obligatory couch-hopping to ensue.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I've been Ambush Tagged

By the Llama Butchers.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?

Oh, yes please. Don't forget the wassail, the hot spiced cider, and the hot buttered rum.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Depends on the physical bulk of the gift. Usually he wraps them, but if, for instance, the gift is a bike or wagon, a simple bow will do.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

Colored on the tree, white on the house.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?


5. When do you put your decorations up?

As soon after Thanksgiving as we have a chance to, though this year that wasn't until Dec. 11th. Living here in Oregon, trees are VERY fresh when we get them, so they last a good long time.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

Crackers, beef stick, port wine cheese, and other snacky stuff. It has always been a tradition in my family to forego a real meal on New Year's Day, and instead nosh on hors d'oeuvres all day while watching the Rose Parade and bowl games.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child:

Christmas tree hunting. Again, growing up in the Pacific Northwest, where evergreen trees are so abundant, we never BOUGHT a tree. We always drove up into the hills/mountains (back in those days you didn't need a permit) and cut one ourselves -- always from BLM land, never national forest or provate land. My mom would pick the tree, and my dad would cut it down and haul it back to the vehicle. More often than not, my mom would make my dad traipse across the hillside for an hour before finally returning to the first tree we'd spotted, and often the ideal tree was the top 7 feet of a 20-foot-tall tree.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

My parents never told me he really did exist, so I don't ever recall an Earth-shattering moment of revelation to the contrary. This is currently a bone of contention in our household, since TFR grew up in a family that to this days perpetuates the myth among its children. I don't want to play up Santa Claus to The Lad, but TFR has won on this one.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

Yes. In my family, it was one gift Christmas Eve, all the rest on Christmas Day. We've adopted TFR's family's tradition, which is to open gifts between family members on Christmas Eve, and Santa gifts Christmas Day.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

When I was a child, my parents started a tradition of giving my sisterand me one new ornament each year. A few were lost or destroyed over the years (moves, flooding, etc.), but most survived. When each of us married, those ornaments went with us. Lo and behold, TFR grew up with a similar tradition, and we're carrying it on with The Lad. Therefore, our tree is covered in an eclectic variety of ornaments. As for the exat process, we start by stringing lights (including two strings of light shaped like Winnie-the-Pooh and friends), then the garland, and then ornaments. Every few years, TFR lets me indulge in icicle tinsel.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?

Love it, almost never get it. TFR hates it, except at Christmastime (a result of her Minnesota upbringing).

12. Can you ice skate?

I've seldom had a chance to, but took right to it when I tried.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

The used copy of BH Liddel-Hart's A History of the Second World War given to me by TFR our first (very poor) Christmas together.

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?

Time spent with friends and family. I'm a very social person, and since moving back to Oregon, I've made few friends and often find myself very very lonely. The holidays often are the only time I am with a large number of people about whom I care deeply.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Homemade caramel corn.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Reading the gospel account of the nativity on Christmas Eve.

17. What tops your tree?

A star.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?

Giving. And when it comes to receiving, it's all about the surprise. No matter how small the present is, if it's unexpected and thoughtful, that's more important than how expensive it is.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?

It's a tossup between O Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night, and O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

20. Candy canes:

Mmmmm.... Love 'em. I used to give them out to customers when I worked as a parking lot attendant.

21. Favorite Christmas movie?


22. What do you leave for Santa?

We don't, yet. At TFR's family's, it's the traditional milk and cookies, and carrots for the reindeer.

Consider yourself tagged, Ken at It Comes in Pints, Bob at Eugene Rant, and the Nightfly.

Do the Math

A tip of the toque to my best friend Lurch.

It has to be heard to be believed.

Santa's Downfall

Say "No" to this cuteness:

Go ahead, try.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sympathy for the Devil

Whatever else you think of Martha Stewart, you have to give her this -- the B knows how to throw down when it comes to libations.

'Tis the season to be jolly, indeed.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Musical Geography Question of the Day

If he keeps his pocket full of spending loot, from where is he?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Lied to Myself

After a stressful first term readjusting to life as a full-time student, I told myself I didn't care about my actual grades, as long as I passed.

I lied.

Grades are supposed to be posted tomorrow, but mine were available today. I got a B in Cooking Theories I (a 6-hour course), a B in Human Relations in the Workplace, and an A in Restaurant Operations (both 3-hour courses), for a GPA of 3.25.

I'm pissed at myself for the B in Cooking Theories. That's the core cirriculum of the program, the foundation of everything else. And I could have had an A, if I'd finished one more cooking lab.

I'll do better next term in CookingTheories II.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Gives a Whole New Meaning to Ho! Ho! Ho!

A tip of the Toque to the Bling Blog:

Pimp My Nutcracker.

Seasons Beatings

A tip of the toque to Tree Hugging Sister at Coalition of the Swilling via Ken at It Comes in Pints?

Not only is Dennis Miller dead on right, he's the only man I know who could pull of references to Ronnie Lott and capers in one monologue.

Single Malt/Latin Dance/Ballroom Dance

If anyone knows what's up with Haloscan, drop me an email.

Wreck the Halls

You're not alone, Robbo.

Since last Christmas was The Lad's first, it was spent in Minnesota, where TFR's family lives, and my mother, as well as my sister and her husband (all of whom live in Michigan) met us there. Because we left on the 18th and didn't return until after New Years Day, we didn't get a tree for our place. That means the last time we had a tree and did serious decorating was Christmas of 2004, and the last time we put AWAY Christmas ornaments and decorations was some time in January of 2005 (Hey, we're not as bad as SOME people). We have color-coded Rubbermaid containers for our decorations and ornaments, but by the time they were filled, we didn't have room left in them for our lights. Money was tight, and (more importantly) I was feeling lazy, so instead of going to the store and getting another container, and rather than risking the lights in a flimsy cardboard box, I decided (despite TFR's protests) to store them in an old Samsonite hardside suitcase. I tied red and green ribbon on the handle (so I'd remember what was in them), and stored them in the attic (you see what's coming, doncha?).

Fast forward almost two years, to yesterday evening. We spent the afternoon after church driving out to a Christmas tree farm in Veneta, because the proceeds of the sales there yesterday went to our church youth group's mission trip this spring. We picked out a 7' douglas fir. Usually I would prefer a white or noble fir, but because they were for a fundraiser, and fresh cut, the trees were higher priced than we usually pay -- the doug alone cost $25.

So we got home, got the living room rearranged, and the tree set up, and I went to the garage to get out the Christmas decorations. I got all of the boxes out, and began to panic. Why?

You guessed it -- no lights. I searched high 9the attic) and low (the garage), but no lights. I eventually gave up and went to bed.

This morning I started again with the search, and ended up doing a yeoman's job of cleaning the garage in an attempt to find the missing box of lights (box, mind you), all to no avail. TFR even questioned whether I had truly looked through ALL of the boxes in the garage and attiv.

After about an hour, and at wit's end, it suddenly dawned on me what had happened. I clambered back up into the attic, dug out the suitcase, and let out a triumphant whoop as soon as I saw the red and green ribbon. I hauled it down and lugged it into the house, putting a triumphant spin on things when I declared, "See? I TOLD you I looked in all the boxes!"

Friday, December 08, 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's Its

A while back I made a common grammatical mistake, but one I should not have, and a good friend called me on it.

I have atoned:

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
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A tip of the toque to Robbo of the Llama Butchers.

Musical Geography Question of the Day

What could you walk across with five steps down, and where?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Light at the End of the Tunnel is Usually an Oncoming Train...

... But hopefully, not this time. I finished my finals on Monday, and go in this morning to make up some kitchen lab work. One final was easier than I expected, the other harder, so, it balanced out.

I also just received confirmation that I passed the ServSafe exam we took back in November. The ServSafe certification is a food handling safety and sanitation certification that is accepted in all 50 states in lieu of a food handler's card, and is in fact more stringent than many state standards (and no LESS stringent than any). Passing that is a make or break for the program.

Now I just need to scrape up $900 so I can pay the rest of this term's tuition and register for winter term.