Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

For whatever reason, when the holidays come around, I get a thirst for ginger ale. So I bought some. I don't know why I mentally connect ginger ale with Xmas. Maybe because of gingerbread? 

This propensity reminds me of one of my posts from a good while back about people drinking tomato juice on airplanes: "Airplanes and Tomato Juice." 

Today Mrs. Nasty made some lil' smokies for her office's food day, and she used Heinz chili sauce to create the sauce the smokies were immersed in. Buying that stuff made me realize I've never used chili sauce before, which makes me think about some of kind of dips I could make with it and cream cheese. Stay posted...

One of my students, an international student from South Korea, gave me a gift at the end of the semester. It's a pretty awesome leather key chain that has my name on it in English and Korean. I need to teach more international students. 

I wonder what my dog thinks when I stop to pick up his crap after he's dropped a deuce on one of our walks. He's gotta be questioning me, "Dude, why are you picking up my scat? That's weird." 

People can make and enforce laws about dog crap, but we can't take action on real issues like global warming, gerrymandering, campaign finance reform, and growing US businesses. 


Friday, December 7, 2018

Music Friday: "Call to Arms"

This was the last song on my iPod shuffle tonight as I finished walking the dog. 

When I have earbuds in, I tend to notice the lyrics more closely. This song has some country strong lyrics. 


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sunday Hangover: SEC Championship ~ Georgia

What a game. 

After last night's game, there are all kinds of articles about Jalen Hurts out there. He was clutch. 

I didn't get to watch the game in a traditional way because my son had two basketball games, so I only got to watch it via the CBS sports app via Mrs. Nasty's phone when he wasn't playing. 

Add in a tornado warning and shaky cell service, and viewing the game was not exactly a pleasure. But we got to watch good chunks of the game when my son wasn't playing. 

When I did get sat down to watch the recorded game, there was only about 15 minutes to view because tornado coverage displaced the game. A tornado ripped through east central Illinois on Saturday. 

But it was a sweet win. 

There is much praise to heaped upon Hurts, so I'm not going to wax on about his performance. Other folks have already done that. 

Other heroes of the game were Waddle, Irv, Jeudy, and the defense in the second half. 

Coach Smart has rationalized the gaffe on the fake punt, but from what I've seen of the play, I think he's covering for his freshmen QB who freaked out on the play. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Music Friday: "Speed Queen"

Here's a band you all need to check out, Thunderpussy from Seattle. I read about them in Rolling Stone

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic Chuck Roast

As recipes go, this one is simple as hell and tasty. 

1 chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into pieces
Enough beef broth to partially cover the roast pieces in the slow cooker
1 head of garlic, roasted
Salt and pepper to taste

I first roasted the garlic, let it cool, and then pushed out the garlic cloves. I mixed the garlic cloves with the cut-up roast in a dish and let it marinate with the garlic overnight. 
In the morning, I put the roast in the slow cooker and covered it partially with store-bought beef broth. With the size of the roast I had, I used about half a carton of the broth. 

Set the cooker and low and let heat do its thing. 

Eight hours later I shredded the pieces easily and took out any unwanted fat that turned up. I ladled the beef and broth over rice. It would also be good over mashed potatoes too I imagine. 

As it cooked, most the cloves of garlic pretty much liquified. The broth wasn't overly garlicky at all. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

This Thanksgiving was the first one for me without both my mom and dad. Back when they still lived in their house, they'd always have the same argument. My mom would want my father to cut the turkey right away, and my dad, being a man who knows many things about meat, would always blow her off and say, "The meat has to rest." My mom would stomp off angrily, and after a short while Virg would mosey into the kitchen to cut the bird. 

I've tried and tried, but I just can't seem to like green bean casserole. I like green beans, but the casserole is just so damn bland. There has to be a way to make this concoction better. 

Over the past couple of weeks, I've bought some turkeys cheap from our local grocery store. If one uses the market's "max card," the turkey is $ .39 a pound. I got a couple of turkeys for later use. 

Instead of eating them at the holidays, people need to eat turkey all year round. You read that turkey industry, I"m trying to promote your birds for the whole year? Why don't you throw some sponsorship money my way? Write the check to "cash." 

I read an article in Utne about philosophical therapy, but it originally appeared in the UC Observer. In "Move Over, Freud," the author talks about a trend in therapy in which folks with a strong background in philosophy help others work through important questions and quandaries in life. 

The practice makes a lot of sense to me because I have gotten much more out of reading philosophical works than studying psychology, especially Fred, who has now become an intellectual anachronism in psychology, a guy often used by scholars in the humanities to support lame-ass analyses of this or that. 

Here are some stats from the the November and December versions of "Harper's Index":
  • Estimated number of voters purged from Georgia's voter rolls from 2008 to 2012: 750,000
  • From 2012 to 2016:  1,500,000
  • Percentage change from 2000 to 2017 in US consumer spending on music: +25
  • Percentage of music-industry revenue that is received by musicians: 12
  • Percentage of US teenagers who "often" find their parents distracted by their phones during conversations: 14
  • Who "sometimes" do: 37
  • Number of counties in which no local newspaper is available: 176
  • In which only one is available: 1,449
  • Estimated number of US newspaper jobs lost since the year 2000: 241,000
  • Amount of FEMA funding that has been transferred to ICE this year: $9,800,000
  • Minimum number of US cities that have announced plans to establish supervised drug consumption sites: 5
  • Estimated minimum number of cities that have such sites worldwide: 100
  • Number of people who have ever died of an overdose at one of those sites: 0
  • Percentage of interviews with professional baseball players that feature a variation of the phrase "one game at a time": 7
  • That feature a variation of "a heck of a game": 50

From the stats above, the one that disturbs me most is the purging of the voter rolls in Georgia, which stole the election for Kemp along with minor mismatches between signatures such as Quin Nasty and Quintilian Nasty. 

The lack of local newspapers is also a problem because the fifth estate even in those small towns keep on eye on what's going on locally whether it's the local city council or local sports. 

Bunny Colvin's idea of "Hamsterdam" in whatever season of The Wire that was was right. Supervised sites makes sense. 

I know Andrew Luck is having an outstanding, comeback season this year so far, but I'll offer him a bit of advice for the hirsute among us. He needs to shore up his beard game. I get that he wants to grow a beard. I've grown one since my dad's funeral. However, Luck needs to shave his neck to make his beard look more presentable, more kept. Step up your beard game, Luck.

Sunday Hangover: Auburn

That was not a disappointing Iron Bowl like last year.  

It was close in the first half, but then the Crimson Tide pulled away. 

However, Auburn did score on a trick play and a grossly under thrown ball that turned into a touchdown. 

Tua torched the Auburn defense. 

I'm still concerned about the Tide defense's ability to stop the run, especially with an SEC Championship game on Saturday against Georgia, a team that knows how to run the ball. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Music Friday: "Feed the Fire"

Dawes has a new album out this year. It appeals to my pop-like sensibilities, but I still want the band to rock more. 

This is one of the better tunes on the album. 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

[Belated] Sunday Hangover: The Citadel

Wow, I am really late with this one. So sorry about that. 

The surprise of this game was that it was tied at the half. So I imagine the coaching staff had some salty language to the squad at halftime.

The first half just showed how the option attack can be troublesome for any defense, which is why I want to implement a number of option looks for my upcoming JFL season. 

Regardless of my plans for a JFL time in east central Illinios, the Tide come out after halftime and opened a can of whoop ass. 

The Crimson Tide better get up mentally from the start for Saturday's Iron Bowl. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Music Friday: "Invitation"

I was saddened to read a while back that Roy Hargrove passed away this year. As jazz musicians go, he's one of my favorites. 

Here's he and his band playing a jazz standard. 

I've featured him a couple of times before if you search under his name in the search function of the blog. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

When I was driving around our town the other day, I noticed a sign advertising "seasoned firewood." I had never heard of seasoned firewood before. But apparently seasoning is a deal.

Of course, the smart ass in me began to think about what spices and herbs would pair well with wood. Taco seasoning? Sage? Cumin? Maybe a pinch of cayenne pepper? There are so many possibilities, folks, so many possibilities. 

I'm taking over a travel baseball team here in these parts. We held tryouts on a cold, cold weekend. I'm still waiting for my feet to warm up. We're only up to nine kids on the team, so we'll need to add 1-2 kids via a spring tryout.

The team's name was one I didn't like, so I came up with all kinds of possible names as you can probably imagine if you've ever read any of my "Band Names Gratis" posts. 

Here are a number of names I came up with:
  • Blue Jays
  • Slam
  • Slammers
  • Hammers
  • Chargers
  • Athletics
  • Travelers
  • Wolves
  • Wolf Pack
  • Thunder
  • Defenders
  • Raiders
  • Ghosts
  • Crimson
  • Tide
  • Bucks
  • Warriors
  • Demons
  • Diamond Demons

I finally whittled them down to three possibilities, and the kids will vote on the team's name on Friday. If you're interested, reply in the comments about your top three choices. 

In a big win, a Democrat won the US Senate seat in Arizona. Read the Post's "What Democrats' Big Win in Arizona Means" to, as it says, understand what it might mean. 

As could be expected, Moscow Don had a tweetstorm about the California wildfires to show that he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about: "Trump's Overly Simplistic and False Claim on California's Wildfires." 

It's hard to expect anything better from that moron. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday Hangover: Mississippi State

State can play some serious defense, folks. 

I only got to watch the final minute or so of the first half of the game live because I was holding tryouts for the travel baseball team I'm coaching, so I only watched the second half live. 

From what I saw, the usually stalwart offensive line had its hands full with State's defense. 

Alabama got a gift on one play that the Bulldogs would have scored a touchdown. The Tide db dove for the player and the State wideout put his hands up to indicate he did not block him in the back. However, I think the receiver putting his hands up made the ref think he actually blocked him in the back. 

So in reality it should have been 24 to 7. 

Regardless, that was not the score, and the Tide has now had back-to-back shutouts. 

The Crimson Tide defense was salty once again, surrendering only six first downs, 44 net yards rushing, and 125 yards passing. 

I am concerned about the Oline's ability to protect Tua. 

But next up is home matchup versus The Citadel. My hope is they rest Tua and let Hurts and Jones play most or all of the game. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Music Friday: "Everything Has Changed"

I am behind on getting new albums that have come out from bands I like and follow. 

One I got this week was Lucero's new release, Among the Ghosts.

It's a solid effort, one of the band's better releases in a while. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Sunday Hangover: LSU

I was worried about this game. LSU has a strong defense, and they had been playing well lately. 

While packing for our trip to Iowa, I intended to pack my usual game day attire, but I forgot to pack my away-game t-shirt. 

I forgot it. 

Based on how the Tide played, I guess I should not worry about wearing my typical game day attire? 

Nah, I'm way too OCD to do that. 

Regardless, the Crimson Tide showed up big time last night. They balled out. 

Quinnen Williams was, once again, an absolute beast last night. The commentators related how one of Alabama's linemen described trying to block that young man. I think it was described as trying to "block a bar of soap." He led the team in tackles with a total of 10 (7 solo) with 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. 

What a player. 

The offense looked good. The line blocked well, and overall the offense gained 281 net yards rushing and 295 yards passing. That's the kind of balance I like to see. 

Next up is a game versus State in Tuscaloosa. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Music Friday: "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town"

As we were driving up to Iowa for my father's funeral, I listened to a lot of the Pearl Jam  channel on SiriusXM radio.

This is a tune that rings true in some ways from an emotional level. 

Selected lyrics:
I seem to recognize your face.
Haunting, familiar yet
I can't seem to place it.
Cannot find the candle of thought to light your name.
Lifetimes are catching up with me.
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away.
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away.