Friday, June 29, 2007

Coming Clean

I really like destroying things with my Office Max super duper shredder. I mean, really like shredding things. I would shred things like watermelons and bowling pins if I could. I look forward to the daily load of junk mail. The credit card offers are particularly fun. They go in to the grinding teeth of death without being opened. Those sumnabitches at the credit card companies have started to put their offers in plastic bags or have made the envelopes so thick that even my beast cannot handle them. I have to open them before grinding them into oblivion.

Now that I've revealed this dark secret, I have to confess that I downloaded Kelly Clarkson's new album "My December". from iTunes. ..and I don't regret it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chicken Gizzards

Why does almost everyone give me a repulsed look when I mention that chicken gizzards are one of my favorite foods? If you cook them correctly (deep fried) and eat them right away they are very tender. The taste is very chickeny and does not have that organ meat bitterness. I decribe it as ultra dark meat. The texture is a little chewy like crawdads.

My late father and a few black folks are about the only ones that have ever joined me in an enthusiastic discussion about this Southern delicacy. Even my daughter, who has been getting flak because she eats hummus and other foods that aren't "Seen On TV", won't eat gizzards. Imagine that.

The wing is my favorite piece of chicken and always has been. Before Buffalo wings came around, you could get them for near the price of dog food. Gizzards and hearts are still dirt cheap. I don't want to get everyone eating them and subsequently drive the price up to that of truffles - but don't give me that look like I just ate hyena balls on Fear Factor when I talk about gizzards.

Thank You.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The summer drink sensation around here is tequila and Fresca. The continuing audition for the most suitable tequila for this simple and refreshing concoction currently shows Patron Silver atop of the leader board. This is not good. Patron can be purchased at a bargain price of $38 at Sam's Club, whereas the other 100% agave silver tequilas (I insist upon it) run in the $20-$25 range. Being a whiskey snob in the making, I already have a taste for the $79 bottles of Lagavulin 16 year Scotch. I keep a bottle on hand for special occaisions, but am content with a lesser whiskey for the ferial days. This is not the case with the tequila.

The Patron is very smooth and blends with the Fresca far better than the others. It's one of those great accidents in chemistry like the invention of the Super Ball or Silly Putty. It's looking like wall-to-wall Patron, but less frequently.

News Update:

The place was packed today. I waited two hours and read the latest issues of Outdoor Life, Golf Digest and Motor Trend before getting my "1 1/2 all over". I feel like a new man.

Monday, June 25, 2007

What Has Four Wheels and Flys?

Tuesday morning is trash pick up in my neighborhood. This has a significant impact on today's activities. There are certain things you want to go directly to the curb rather than sit in the garage's holding area for a number of days in the summer heat.
  • Melon eating is restricted to Mondays, particularly cantalope. Fresh chicken is also best served Sunday or Monday.
  • Dog poop in the backyard must be scooped and bagged.

  • A weekly search for aging foodstuff hiding in the fridge is in order.
  • Big bulky items must leave the staging area for the curb.
  • Trash cans around the house are emptied
The trash service limits taking away broken lawn furniture, old mechanical parts, and large chunks of scrap to once a month. No problem. Scavengers roam the streets. They will glady claim anything and all is picked clean well before dawn. Last week a lucky Curb Mart shopper snatched up a rusted-through charcoal grill and a mauled bicycle.

I look forward to Tuesday mornings. It's the least cluttered time of the week.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ladder Day Cents

I needed a ladder. The old one was euthanized after its cross support was twisted off in an accident. It was a piece of crap anyway and barely suited for gettting to the lightbulbs and fan that hang from our vaulted ceilings. I didn't think I'd miss it. Birds in the dryer vent, Mag flashlight left in the attic, cobwebs, dust on tops of kitchen cabinets.... Like it or not. I needed a ladder.

On things I need, I scratch and dig to save every penny I can. If I want something, all economic responsibility goes out the window. I needed a ladder.

I found a beaut at Lowe's. It was a heavy duty eight-footer. It was $129.95. Unfortunately, my new Honda CRV (loaded with costly and unnecessary options) was just a bit too short. I would have to have the ladder delivered. The delivery cost was $60. Damn. If I would have only added the $400 luggage rack on the Honda. Maybe Home Depot delivers for less.

Home Depot had an equivilent ladder for only $99.95. Great! Delivery was still $60. Shit! But the clerk suggested that I rent a truck from them for 75 minutes at only $19.95. I'm $10 better off than I would have been if the Lowe's ladder was delivered for free. The only catch was that I had to return the truck with a full tank. The round trip to my home and back was about 10 miles. My choice was to have Home Depot fill the tank at $4 per gallon or bring a receipt to prove that I filled the tank myself.

Gas that day was a bargain(?) at $2.95 per gallon. On the return trip I contemplated whether I wanted to pay the $4 or fill the tank myself. I figured I could roll in and pay at the pump with my credit card which offered cash back, save maybe $1.05, and avoid the embarrasment of asking for a receipt. I pull into a small station right next to Home Depot. You had to pay first and you had to pay inside. Bummer. I squeezed less than a gallon into the tank I waited 5 minutes to get the receipt for $2.53 and returned the truck. An hour of my time realized a savings of $7.47!
If I wanted a ladder, I would have gone with the $400 Little Giant and had it delivered.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Just For Me?

iTunes' Just For You feature needs serious tweaking. It's supposed to come up with suggested downloads based on my previous purchases. Supposed to.

They've been waving Crazy by Gnarls Barkley in my face for two months. Do they actually think I've yet to discover this obscure song? The song is not in keeping with the styles of music I download. It's not a terrible song, but seems to be playing in every retail store I visit. iTunes can't know this, but after I rejected it for seven weeks running, you think they'd get the hint.

I received notices about their Gay Pride collection. Perhaps this is an overraction by iTunes to songs I've purchased by The Indigo Girls or The Scissor Sisters? Maybe it's a marketing ploy to get me to beef up my collection with heterosexual oriented tunes like Crazy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Barbershop Blues

I need a haircut!
My barber, Bob, has his sign inexplicably flipped over to display the CLOSED side. It has been this way for a week Maybe he's on vacation? I hope he isn't closing for good.

Bob's shop gives haircuts to men. Bob does not run a salon or deal with family haircuts. You come in, see whose waiting ahead of you to note where you are in the queu, grab a copy of Motor Trend, and sit down in one of eight leatherette customer chairs. Bob has a cardboard display with 7 of the 16 Ace combs still available for sale. Bob sells hair tonic. Bob charges $8 for a haircut and shaves behind your ears and neck with a straight razor. Bob has a razor strap. Bob is all about basic.

If Bob isn't open today, I'll have to find the nearest Bill's , Joe's, or Mike's. I wouldn't be caught dead in a SuperCuts or Fantastic Sams.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Jesus vs. The Martians

It was a great night of television with Voom-Monsters HD channel on The Dish Network showing "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers" followed by "War of The Worlds" (1953).

Jesus goes head-up with the Martians in this scene from "War of the Worlds":
Uncle Matthew, pastor of the "Community Church" decides that perhaps, just perhaps, he can reach out to the alien invaders, who have already disintegrated the local police force and a few local citizens. He presses forward with The Good Book and cross in hand, quoting random bible passages. About three lines into the 23rd psalm he's returned to dust.

This was a disturbing scene to me when I saw the film as a child. My rationale at the time was that since Uncle Matthew wasn't a Catholic priest, he was powerless. I got over it. I feel for the protestant kids. They're probably agnostics to this very day.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Life Statistics

I saw my doctor last week for my annual physical. I looked on as he thumbed through my file. Interesting. Facts and figures about my body's trek through life could be tallied. I wanted to take the folder home and create a spreadsheet. Too bad that data about some of the more fascinating aspects of my life haven't been tracked. Here are some of the Grand Totals that I wish had at my disposal:

Diet colas I've consumed
Gallons of urine produced
Dollars wasted
Hours slept
Hours watching television
Baseball games attended
Times I've said "shit" and "fuck"
Number of people I know by name
Number of people that know me by name
Miles I've driven
Miles I've walked

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Smiling At Misfortune

Before purchasing certain products, I like to do a little research. There's always a trove of information to be found. The manufactures' web sites as well as reviews by professionals are most helpful. Many sites welcome user reviews. The evaluations of the products are so diverse when anyone can post a review that no conclusion can be reached. User reviews are useless.

But here's where the fun begins. I like to read the most negative reviews. The wailing and gnashing of teeth over a product that seemingly performed well for a majority of the reviewes provides plenty of laughs. Here are a few examples:

Reviewed By: A Customer Date: 6/11/2007 8:47:34 PM
This game sucks bad DO NOT BUY I wasted lots of money on this crap! Gameplay is awful, bad storyline, and the only good thing is the graphics. I played for about 10 minuets and I wanted to return it! No free roam no killing civilians or you fail! Everthing makes you fail and I really hate the story the objectives aren't clear.

reviewer: anonymous from midwest
lexapro made a relative of mine so sleepy that she crashed her car into another car, totalling 2 cars.

NOT GOOD :DO NOT GET THIS PHONE! EVER even if they pay you!!Reviewer: doctor__doctor on Mon Jul 03, 2006
I've had this phone for awhile and it is by far the worst phone I've ever had. On the AIM ,Yahoo, & ICQ programs it constantly freezes causing you to restart the phone but pulling the battery. Also the reception is horrid!!! I can be with someone who has 5 bars and I'll have 1 or 2... 3 if lucky. Plus, the ringtones are crap even the ones you buy, and overall t-mobile has a horrible choice of ringtones for all phones Hifi or not. There is no silent mode on the camera either which i HATE! So no sneaking around in school or at work. Over all I found very few positives about this phone other then good... Very good speaker phone that's about it I know 2 other people with this phone and another thing is the screen always has this like giant spot in it that wont go away kinda of looks like as if you where pushing down on a flat computer screen, and even shows up in the pictures when you upload them & regardless the camera is horrible too. this phone is bad, Really bad I hate it. it has a very limited space of memory so you cant download many things or take and save lots of pictures.

Brand New Tools

Many years ago, two fellows walked into a truck dealership looking for work as mechanics. The shop foreman asked, "Do you boys, have any experience?" The pair assured him that they had. The foreman hired them on the spot.

The next day, when the new employees strutted into the shop, the foreman was immediately aware that he had hired a couple of greenhorns. Their tools were brand new.