Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Neal Boortz made this the first link in his "Reading Assignments" today saying, "You just have to read this. God bless Martha Cothren."



Monday, August 27, 2007

Blackened Steak

On the days when Da Kid's off and Herself works, he cooks. When she's off and he's been working, she does.

"‘Herself's' cooking tonight," Da Kid said. "She's grilling steaks," he added happily as he walked out the door the other day. He'd stopped by here quickly to change out of his uniform after he got out of orientation.

The community center "up the road a piece" has hosted pickup basketball (I guess that's what it's called) for years. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday guys — from business executives to local kids — go up there to play whut.ever their games are called: two on two, three on three, four on . . . Like I know?

Da Kid's played up there for years but hasn't had much of a chance in a while. Rather than go home and change, if he changed his clothes here rather than go home and then double back, he'd have a little more time to play before dinner.

The phone rang around 6:30. It was Herself.

"How do I turn the grill on?"

I didn't think anything of it. Herself's family is charcoal-based like I used to be, until I got the hang of cooking on a gas grill. Remembering how worried I was initially that I'd blow something (primarily myself) up at first, and telling Herself I wasn't familiar with theirs, I explained the importance of first opening the grill's lid. I then described how on mine -- the one Herself and Da Kid bought -- I turned the gas for one burner on HIGH and then hit the ignition button. Once that burner was going, turning gas on for the next burner. And once that started, the one after that.

If the first burner didn't start, I told Herself, shut everything off and call me. Immediately.

Five minutes. No call. Then ten. Fifteen! Twenty minutes!!! My explanation must have ...

The phone rang. It was Herself screaming into my ear:




"What's on fire?"


After determining through Herself's screams to someone outside (Was that "Karen's" voice screaming back? Yep.) that only the grilling area itself and the steaks were "fully involved," there was no need for me to suggest to Herself that she push the grill into the pool to save the house.

"Shut the gas off," I said.

"SHUT THE GAS OFF!" I heard Herself scream from the house phone in the kitchen.


For the record, Karen is one of Herself's fellow nurses and her best friend. Both are brilliant and in their work setting a helluva team. Which is why BOTH were requested, together, for the newly-created unit in the ER. But right now?" Oh, jeez. Anyway . . .

"Spray the flames with the water bottle."


"The water made the grease spread. Take the meat off the grill," I continued, "and keep spraying the flames. They WILL go out."



"It's out," Herself finally reported.

"‘Da Kid' should be here doing this instead of playing his stupid basketball," she continued. She started saying something about it serving Da Kid right if she went out and brought back cold, greasy burgers from the drive-through, when the whooping sound started.

And the Granddog began howling.

"I'LL CALL YOU BACK," Herself somehow yelled over the cacophony.

And, she hung up.

Which is when I called Da Kid on his cell phone. Not that he'd be carrying it on him while playing basketball, I knew, but when he got back to his truck his phone would be beeping and checking the message(s) he missed, first in the queue would be mine:

Everything's okay but I think a certain firefighter might be needed at (Da Kid and Herself's address). Please call your wife . . . NOW!"
Minutes later my phone rang again. It wasn't Da Kid. It was Herself telling me that a firefighter had appeared. It wasn't the one she's married to, though.

If fact, she said, there had been several firefighters. Engines and pumpers, too, — with sirens screaming and lights flashing — answering the automatic fire alarm on their security system, triggered by the smoke billowing through the open kitchen door from the grill outside.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Common Sense

The importance of personal responsibility

August 23, 2007

Neil Cavuto

Word of warning, what I'm about to say is going to annoy people. Maybe really annoy people. Maybe so much so they will never watch me again.

So be it. I want to talk about two words. Two simple words. Personal responsibility.

I fear, as a country, we've forgotten those two simple words. Easier to shift blame. But I fear the "shift" has hit the fan. And it's getting expensive.

Expensive, because politicians are scrambling to bail out homeowners they say were duped into signing stupid mortgages. At the same time we're bailing out folks who rebuild the same damaged home, the same way, the same construction, just to do it all over again, when said rebuilt home suffers the same fate.

I'm not saying there aren't duplicitous lenders. Or uncontrollable acts of God. But I also know we make our own choices. Just like we should read our own mortgages. It just amazes me that for those who didn't read the fine print, the rest of us have to pay the big bill? Or for those who opted not to get flood insurance, the rest of us are flooded with bills.

Look, disasters happen. And we help. That's human nature. That's human decency. What is perverse nature, and indecent, is someone taking advantage of that kindness.

In the case of homeowners who rebuild in the same risky areas with the same risky construction, without the risk of their own money. Or in the case of homebuyers who clearly didn't read what they were getting into, looking for our money.

Bad on them. Bad on us. Personal insult. Not personal responsibility.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

They're out of this world

"Kay" was in the middle of trimming my hair today when she noticed the time. "The news is on," she said flipping on the little portable television next to her station. "Let's see what new things we can feel all depressed about."

Feel the same way?

Then let me invite you to start seeing the news through a . . . uh, a slightly different persective. For example, the latest tape released by Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's second in command? Instead of the translations already provided by the news, try this one instead. It begins:

I'd like to start with a shout out to all my homies in the international jihad. You go guys, you put the fun in fundamentalist dictatorships.
FOX says that its news coverage is "fair and balanced" because it offers both sides an opportunity to comment. So does The Moxargon Group.


The opinions expressed on this blog are the opinions held by the Overlord of the Ultra-Galactic Empire, Remulak MoxArgon, and his Minions, and, henceforth, are the correct opinions of the Ultra-Galactic Empire. *

*Except for (liberals) Snotglob and Varos, they exist for comic relief.
Keep watching the skies, fellow bloggers, because they're watching us.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

The dummies

"Every improvident loan requires an improvident borrower to seek and accept it." -- George Will


The news has been filled with stories about all the people who are losing their homes due to foreclosures. I guess I'm supposed to be horrified and feel sorry for them,. I'm not and I don't.

What does bother me is the idea that the Federal government is supposed to step in and bail these folk out.


Well . . . because . . . uh, it's the fault of the companies that TRICKED them into mortgages they couldn't afford.

Yep! Sure is!

Jumped right out, grabbed these people and FORCED them to move into a house, and not just any house either! Nope! It was house they knew these folk simply couldn't afford to make monthly mortgage payments on.

(Oops. I forgot the exclamation point.)

Obviously Da Kid and Herself really screwed up when they bought their home last year. Got it all bass ackwards. The dummies.

First, they worked out a monthly budget based on what they were earning. Not what they might next month (or year or decade) but what they had been and not gross but net. From that they subtracted monthly expenses such as car payments, estimated utility bills, the cost of food, etc. The balance was what they had to pay a mortgage with each month.

With that information they went to the bank they'd been dealing with (individually and later together) for several years and showing their figures to a loan officer, pre-qualified for a boring, 30-year conventional mortgage that would cover a house costing up to X amount.

To make matters even worse, The Deadly Duo only gave serious consideration to houses within that limit. Yeah, they looked a several that exceeded that amount (and by quite a bit), but those were Grins and Giggle stops, usually punctuated with the line, "How the HELL could anyone afford to pay that kind of mortgage!" once the sales agent was out of earshot.

What a mistake.

Da Kid and Herself should have bought a house they couldn't possibly afford to pay the monthly mortgage on. If they had, if the Hildabeast and her herd get their way, we'd be paying their mortgage instead of them.

The dummies.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I hate these things!

You Are an Excellent Cook

You're a top cook, but you weren't born that way. It's taken a lot of practice, a lot of experimenting, and a lot of learning.

It's likely that you have what it takes to be a top chef, should you have the desire...

Spotted at Chef Mojo's


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Guess what I got in the mail!

I got another letter from the Republican National Committee today! Not an email like the dozens Mike Duncan, its chairman has sent, asking me for a donation, but an actual form letter from him telling me just how speshul I am. And as proof that I'm so speshul, the letter even asks me to fill out an enclosed questionnaire.

Not everybody is getting this questionnaire, neither, "because it is cost prohibitive for the Republican Party to print and mail an OFFICIAL REPUBLICAN PARTY CENSUS to each and every one of the 62,000,000 Republicans nationwide"!

Because I'm so speschul (And you're not!) MY "answers will represent the views and opinions of all Republican voters living in (my) voting district"!

Well dang. I guess the results they received from the speshul folk they sent last year's BLUEPRINT for the Republican Party for the next ten years, the RNC may have learned a thing or two or three.

This time, not only aren't they asking me to send my completed questionnaire back within a specific time frame, of the 23 policy statements I'm asked to Agree or Disagree with or mark as Undecided, this time they even included two involving illegal immigration!


4. Should we do everything we can to stop Democrats from repealing critical border and port security legislation?


1. Do you agree that we must stop illegal immigration?
Not that my answers are going to count. In fact, they're not going to be included at all.

It's not that I'm not going to complete my GOP Survey and mail it back in the self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. I am.

My answers won't be counted because I'm not going to include the $11 the RNC says is required "to cover the cost of tabulating (my) survey."

I'm guessing that when the RNC has been asking for donations, instead of the dinero they need, they've gotten too many of these:

Too much blather about stopping illegal immigration with absolutely no substance of a lasting nature to show for it, just because Mike Duncan seems to have become the "face" of the RNC instead of its General Chairman, Mel Martinez (R FL), nothing's changed..

They're about to get another one.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

"Eggs in a bag"

Years ago I heard (or read) about it, and then almost immediately forgot temporarily neglected to remember anything about it until a few months ago.

It had been one of those days. It was late and I still needed to figure out something for me to eat for dinner. It's not that I didn't have plenty of food to choose from, or "fast food" I could have grabbed from in the freezer in the garage. It's just that I wasn't in the mood for any of it. What I was wanted was breakfast -- eggs, specifically -- but the thought of pulling the pans out of the closet and then cleaning up the dishes and pans after?

No. That was just too much work.

I had the bread out and was reaching into the cabinet for the jar of peanut butter — I had to eat something — when the box of pint-size, freezer strength Ziploc bags jumped into my hand screaming, "IDIOT! You temporarily neglected to remember forgot about even trying . . . "

(That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)

Did it work? Yep! And well, too. So well that when Da Kid called a few weeks ago . . .


Da Kid called saying he'd be coming by when he got off duty the next morning, to do more cleanup work on the tree. Could I, he asked, fix breakfast for him.

It's not that I wouldn't. The problem is I'm not a breakfast cook, especially compared to Hubby. I get it done, eventually, but I can't whip out eggs cooked-to-order like he did.

How ‘bout "eggs in a bag," I asked.


Uh, you want bacon, too, I'm sure.

When Da Kid came in the next morning instead of finding breakfast ready, he found I'd already prepped everything for us to cook our eggs together. In Ziploc freezer bags.

(1) Coffee mug for each person.
(1) Pint-size, freezer-strength Ziploc bag for each mug.
(1) Pot of boiling water.

Line the mug with the freezer bag, pulling the edges of the bag over the mug's top to anchor it, then push the bag into the mug to make a pocket.

With me so far? Good.

Dump whut.ever into the pocket.

(Da Kid crumpled into his the bacon I'd already cooked, and no-longer-frozen shredded cheddar cheese from the bag I'd taken out of the freezer. Me? Diced ham, diced bell pepper, diced Valdosta Vidalia Onion and shredded cheddar cheese.)

Beat eggs, three for each mug, and pour into pocket.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the bag from the mug.

Take as much air as possible (but don't go totally nuts about it) out of the bag, then seal the bag securely.

Squish the bag to mix its contents.

Place the bag in the boiling water.

Gently stir the bags until a few minutes later they begin to float (because of the air you weren't able to get out of the bag).

Fifteen minutes (or so) after the water has returned to a rolling boil, it's done!

Remove the bag, open it, and flop your eggs on your plate.

"Mom, it looks like an omelette!"

"Don't talk with your mouth full."


Monday, August 06, 2007

Picture this?


Sunday, August 05, 2007


Starbuck and the Granddog haven't been around each other all that much. We've been working on that with visits back and forth, but the situation is rather awkward.

Starbuck picked Da Kid as his Chosen Person For Life long ago, back when he was still a ward of the animal hopsital and Da Kid, his primary vet tech. Now, when Da Kid comes for a visit he often stinks of another dog, and sometimes even brings that Other Dog with him.

To make matters even worse, when Da Kid sits on the couch -- where he and Starbuck snoozed together for years -- the Granddog jumps up with HIS CPFL.

Starbuck reached his limit today when Da Kid flopped on the couch to watch television and immediately started dozing off, and the Granddog jumped up with him, curling up against Da Kid's belly fully intending to doze off himself.

Enough was enough. Starbuck took action.

Levitating over the end of the couch, he slurped the Granddog full in the face to make him move, before snuggling up where he always has behind Da Kid's legs, announcing clearly that when it comes to Da Kid, He's my pillow, not yours.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Quotable Quotes

"Mom, now that I'm not living here anymore, I can't AFFORD to eat the way I used to." -- Da Kid after I mentioned he doesn't seem eat as much as he used to, while he snacked on a half box of cereal.