Friday, June 29, 2012

Gone In 60 Bananas


Flyover Identification

These sequences were taken from the International Space Station. In addition to the scientific research conducted on the international station - something ONLY Nations can effectively do, at least until the Weyland Corporation takes over - they get an amazing view of the Earth around which they orbit. I can identify about 1/2 of the regions presented here (and have named the gifs accordingly), but others I cannot. Each one, I find fascinating.







2012, a Jobs Odyssey


When Harry Met Barack

Dewey Beats Truman. Mandate Struck Down.  Awesome reporting by anachronistic media outlets.

Galileo? Galileo, Galileo, Figaro



and if you want to see the original:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Affordable Care Act IS Constitutional

Just in minutes ago, Affordable Care Act - what the radical right has labelled "Obamacare" IS indeed constitutional,  SCOTUS declared this morning (link here). It's not the beginning of Socialism, or Communism, or Fascism.  It's not "the end of Freedom & Liberty".  If you want to drive a car or fly a plane or go fishing, you need a license.  If you kill someone, you get to go to jail.  If you're draft aged and the country goes into a World War, you get to be drafted.  There's lots of things the government (Local, State, and Federal) can and will make people do, and buy, and pay for.

It's great that the US can FINALLY join the other industrialized nations of the world and provide some basic health care service for its citizens.  It's awesome that my son won't lose his health insurance next year when he turns 26, nor can he be denied coverage because of any pre-existing conditions. 

Justice Roberts, I under-estimated you.  Thank you sir for doing the right thing.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Family Rain - I'm a Genius


Thanks to "The Heavy" for this link

At just 2000 hits, these British boys are still "undiscovered".

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Heavy, Vegas, The Cosmopolitan, This Saturday

DDF and I are going to see The Heavy this weekend at the Cosmopolitan
link here.
Who's with us?

Awesome, what you can do at the spur of the moment when you don't have little kids!

We'll drive Celeste up, it's 4.5 hours.  Should be a good show.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Skins - Surf

A guy drummer in an all girl band...  why didn't I spend High School like that?  =)

The Skins of BrooklynThe Heavy's gestation website linked to this video, and they play well, and have a good sound.   They're talented kids.  I am not sure they're really "afropunk" ... huh?   But they sound good, regardless.

In 60 Seconds Online

I saw this in Science this morning.
60 Seconds - Things That Happen On Internet Every Sixty Seconds
Infographic by- Shanghai Web Designers

For the original, link here.

The Heavy - No Time

This has been stuck in my head all morning.

The Heavy will be making frequent appearances here in JustJoeP since DDF was kind enough to burn CDs of them from her iTunes download last week.  My ZT Systems desktop, my automobile, and my pool-side jambox, have the House that Dirt Built and Great Vengeance and Furious Fire spinning within them.  I am looking forward to the upcoming album, Lest We Forget the Glorious Dead..

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Percussively Tenderized Skirt Steak

For Father's Day, I tenderized, and marinated a 1.34 lbs skirt steak from Double Check Ranch.  The video, and audio, of the tenderizing process (with thanks to Geddy, Neal, and Alex's YYZ) can be found here:

JustJoeP drumming link here : https://dl.dropbox.com/u/85246561/take2tenderized.MPG

It was actually alot of fun to get a new tenderizing mallet (from Bed Bath and Beyond), an Epicurean cutting board, and then setting up the CD player, tripod, and lighting.  The room was FLOODED with light, but that's hard to tell from the video.  I chose YYZ for the ride cymbal with single double drags that is fun to do with a drum stick, but difficult to do with an aluminum mallet.

I sliced up an organic onion, organic red bell pepper, and an organic tomato, and some Grady's sauce, and let the steak and veggies marinade as I sat through Prometheus Sunday afternoon.  The carne asad was the best I've ever made.  This Will Not be the last skirt steak I ever have.

Each cow has only one skirt steak.  It's delicious, and (obviously) extra tender.  =)


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Prometheus Is Pants

Dr Desert Flower and I just got back from watching "Prometheus".  Oh Sir Ridley Scott, you do let the viewer down so.  Fire your Lost writer.  Get a believable plot line, and go with it.

If you are a scientist, or engineer worth his or her salt, or have two neurons to rub together, you will scoff at, laugh at, not enjoy Prometheus very much.  If you ARE a scientist, or engineer, or a thinking person AND you LIKED IT, Please TELL ME WHY.  I was laughing at it 1/2 way through it.  DDF was texting friends from the bath room, wishing she could just leave - a terrible movie to take a geneticist to.

Ok, spoiler alert, don't reader further:  lessons learned from Prometheus include
- Guy Ritchie looks terrible in "old Dave" (circa 2001 a Space Odyssey) make-up
- +3 light years is really only 1/2 a billion miles, according to Charlize Theron (suck on that Degrasse Tyson!)
- DNA can easily be looked at under a microscope
- geologists have face tattoos and are social misfits
- biologists who are afraid of a pile of bodies will be so incredibly stupid a few hours later, as to try and pet a slithering albino muck cobra-like creature, Steve Erwin like.
- after having major abdominal surgery, via a robotic medical pod, and being stapled shut, you are able to RUN, JUMP, and massively physically exert yourself without hemmoraging, pain, or any significant impairment
- a "face-hugger / fetus" can grow from small kitten sized, to giant squid sized, with nothing to feed upon except the decontamination chemicals in the medical robot surgery pod, in the period of an hour or less, because it does not need to obey the laws of conservation of mass
- the daughter of a multi-multi-billionaire will readily sleep with a surly, smoking, commoner class ship's captain, at the drop of a hat, when on a high stress trillion dollar mission, with daddy on board.
- artificial gravity works perfectly on non-rotating ships
- androids have to use hair product, to maintenance their perfect coifs, even when they are fully synthetic
- the nasty infections / viruses found onthe old moon on which Prometheus lands, can re-animate the dead, and turn them into super-human strength killing machines which cannot be killed by repeated shotgun blasts.
- after a face hugger matures, it doesn't have to burst out of one's chest, and instead, can burst out of a humanoid's skull?  really?  As long as they are wearing pachyderm like helmets, I guess.

I think perhaps that my expectations were far too high.  It was a laughably bad, inconsistent, unlikable movie, but since we saw it at 4:15 (before 6pm) it as only $7 a piece.. so that was not-so-bad at least.

As my friend Ryan put it "Prometheus sucked monkey balls."  - I just wish he'd told me that BEFORE I wasted $14 and 2 hours of my life on it.  I could have watched "snow White and the Huntsman" instead.

The Heavy - So Dirty and Beautiful



Those who enjoy music recorded with an autotuner voice, be forewarned, you won't like The Heavy.

Similar to The Black Keys, but with an actual decade of evolved musical roots, instead of just wanting to be musicians later in life after they dropped out of college, and then learning to play instruments in a mediocre manner with catchy tunes that everyone buys on iTunes.  I like The Black Keys, don't get me wrong, but they didn't grow up playing instruments, dreaming of being in a band, learning chords and rudiments and fingerings as grade school kids, putting in a childhood worth of practice.  They didn't spend their high school years wanting to be in a band that rocked or grooved or jammed. 

Shades of Soundgarden crossed with Lenny Kravitz, Prince, and a hint of Fine Young Cannibals, if FYC had a horn section and played more bluesy music.  Big Bad Wolf even sounds like something Andrew Lloyd Weber would have put into JC Superstar.  Mix Tom Waites or Roland Gift, with a leaning towards James Brown and a dash of Johnny Lee Hooker.  Some of their song (see below) present sounds as diverse as Black Sabbath, Soul Asylum, Peter Tosh, and Prefab Sprout. 

I really like these guys, and listened to them throughout the day Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  When Dr Desert Flower & I got home Friday, I played the many links below for her on Youtube, and yesterday, she bought both LPs (Great Vengeance and Furious Fire and The House That Dirt Built) and single song (that Kind of Man) they have on iTunes for a very reasonable (and not yet famous) $6 a download.  I want to see The Heavy live, as they have enormous energy, but the closest they're coming is LA and Vegas, both are over-night drives with hotel stays.  If they get to Phoenix, join me seeing them and dancing with a whiskey in my hand.  I find many of their songs impossible to Not Dance to, inexorably making my foot tap, head nod.  Their raw, powerful, "dirty" sound radiates a beautiful truth that anyone who uses an autotuner has no business selling any records, and anyone who buys recordings of performers who "sing" with an autotuner will probably not enjoy The Heavy.

[caution, if you have younger, impressionable children around, some of the links below should not be clicked upon... unless you want to spice up their vocabularies and answer a child's questions about Human Sexuality and adult relationships]


The easily googled version on "The Heavy" is as follows:
The core of the group, guitarist Dan Taylor and vocalist Kelvin Swaby, became friends in 1990 when they bonded over vintage R&B and Jim Jarmusch films. The other members of the band are drummer Chris Ellul, bassist Spencer Page, and keyboardist Hannah Collins.  The Heavy released two singles in the fall of 2007, and then their first LP Great Vengeance and Furious Fire in September, 2007 in the United Kingdom in April, 2008 in the United States. "That Kind of Man," their first single from the album, was recorded and mixed by Corin Dingley the original drummer/member of The Heavy at Alpha's studio and released on record label Don't Touch Recordings before Ninja Tune heard it and promptly signed them.  In March, 2008, The Heavy were the Artist of the Day in Spin Magazine. The band were also tipped in Rolling Stone's Hot List in May 2008. They played in the 2008 South By Southwest music festival and collected one of the Best Discovery awards in Spin Magazine's Best and Worst of SXSW '08. They appeared on the 2009 LP, Johnny Cash Remixed, with the remixed version of "Doing My Time". On October 2, 2009 their second album The House That Dirt Built was released by Ninja Tune.

"How You Like Me Now?" which sampled the song "Let A Woman Be A Woman" originally written by the band Dyke & the Blazers was featured in the sixth season finale of Entourage, in the fourth episode of Community, and was played live by the band on the Late Show with David Letterman on January 18, 2010. David Letterman enjoyed the band's performance and asked the group play an encore of the song, which was the first time that Letterman had ever asked a musical artist to perform an encore on his show. During the encore, Letterman and Paul Shaffer contributed in a call-and-response section. The band was backed by the horns section of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings for this performance.

In NYC this weekend
http://www.songkick.com/artists/348524-heavy/calendar
in Vegas at the end of this month, at the Cosmopolitian

on Letterman
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBhtCT6iduk
with the Dap-kings

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBhtCT6iduk&feature=related

How do you like me now?
http://youtu.be/sVzvRsl4rEM
with 5 million hits
BUY THIS TRACK ON iTUNES: http://itun.es/iSV9nh

Girl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoQK30Gkwds&feature=related
this is fun..  somewhere in Greece... and you're so wet...  LOL!
don't listen to this with children in the room, who have not yet added profanity to their vocabularies
http://youtu.be/kP15m8PbGGE


In The Morning
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W1-a3MO19I&feature=related
get up and dance damnit!  dance until you're sweaty and you're breathing hard.
"you've got me working over time"
This is my favorite song from the Heavy


That Kind of Man
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxTjlpHq-TU&feature=fvwrel
Lenny Kravitz is being channelled.  (I'm gonna put on my head phones and drum to this later today).

Colleen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDWn54HIuuA&feature=related


Set Me Free
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4aRMQpOMJc&feature=related


Big Bad Wolf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctHWrnifntw&feature=related
the live versions (on The Heavy youtube channel) don't do this song justice, as they were recorded with very poor audio quality.


What Makes a Good Man
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNPmqBFpTwM&feature=related
makes me want to get up and dance, like a Lenny Kravitz song when I've consumed ethanol.
Go Ninja Tune Ltd!!!!  


Sixteen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q7ctsDyZxI&feature=related
very nice one handed triplet drags on the snare and rapid fire bass drum. 


Oh No, not you again
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=fvwp&v=dC4rumutsMI
Fun, silly, X-like, and DDF's personal favorite.

Strong Enough
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK5Y1HSG-ak&feature=related
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Another excellent tune.

What's So Good Bout Goodbye
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1mG08WpYLs&feature=related

Long Way From Home
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoB5ahJvjTk&feature=fvwrel
bluesy, laid back, good groove.  "I'll never be a prophet in my own land"
http://youtu.be/cl3Qa_bZDVQ


No Time
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrgbeL76U78&feature=relmfu
Where oh where???  is the girl that I found???
This song kicks ass, and I can't stop listening to it.  The Black Keys need to see a new locksmith, as far as I am concerned.


You Don't Know
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=E_WKvAQ7Lp4
Tones of Black Sabbath on the intro... delicious.


What you want me to do
http://youtu.be/3xIscd4okBE
again... this song has got my foot a tappin and head a bobbin...  I want to listen to this with a glass of whiskey in my hand on a dance floor (and I danced to it just so, on Friday night at home)


Cause for Alarm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLt9WziNF2w&feature=related
nicely reggae Tosh-ish.


And when I die  (Blood Sweat & Tears cover)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnfK32aklfo&feature=related
Does Tom Waits consult with you?


Bruk Pocket Lament
http://youtu.be/0cD9G_85FgU
slow blues

Our Special Place
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=OnOzt4-Ni5w
Mellow, sounds like something that would be played at the end of a "feel good" movie while the credits are rolling and people are filing out of the theater.

Who Needs the Sunshine ... slow, and somewhat simplistic...  but ok.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t96nO0osIEA&feature=related
the video is lovely... and extremely strong & flexible
http://youtu.be/Q83eP4UQlLI

Easier   .. also laid back, and simplstic (repetitive even) but not a bad song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZTVXAh9ZHQ&feature=related

Love Like That
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xo7iiZo354&list=AL94UKMTqg-9D5vANPdvwljlM9MlnVMEmy&index=6&feature=plcp
a little 60s-ish, and very simplistic...  not really my style, since I am not an AARP member (yet) ... but not badly done.

Stuck
http://youtu.be/IEN1LRfClPA
very slow and stoically sad...   almost like Prefab Sprout with a string section.
young & innocent ears should not listen to the obscenity sprinkled lyrics in the 2nd half of the song.


Classic Johnny Cash, "Doin my time" remix
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgSFY8pMgxk


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChFyZmP7Hxg

http://www.theheavy.co.uk/   The Heavy live in Luxor Theater Arnhem 27-03-'10

http://theheavy.cinderblock.com/ - products

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Edge of the Haboob

Phoenix is being hit by a massive haboob this evening, which is approaching the city from the SE (from Tuscon) as it usually does.  There's a huge amount of bare, dry, non-vegetation-covered terrain between Phoenix and Tuscon, and in certain wind conditions, giant dust storms rise up.

The Arabic work for these, is "haboob". ( هَبوب‎ "strong wind")  just like the Japanese wood for a tidal wave is "tsunami".  Some ENG:LISH FIRST. ENGLISH ONLY f*tards in Arizona and around the US don't like the word "haboob".  They think it will cause soldiers to have flash backs or something.  They're stupid people.  A "haboob" will not cause a 22 year old to have flash backs anymore than using the word "tsunami" would cause anyone in Hawaii to have flashbacks (Hawaii has experienced 100s of recorded tidal waves over it's verbal and written histories). 

Dr Desert Flower noticed this haboob approaching as I floated in the pool this evening, at 106F and 8% relative humidity.  She ran out into the front yard in her bikini to take these iPhone snap shots...bless her heart!  =)  I tried to take a video from the back yard but the haboob approached so rapidly that the upper level wave was already engulfing landing Southwest Airlines 737s directly overhead, occluding them from sight, and my photos were (as my friend Ron says) "pants".
That is a dust cloud bow wave, not a rain cloud approaching (looking east from our front yard).
If you find yourself on the interstate during a haboob, pull over to the far right shoulder, and wait it out (20 or 30 minutes, visibility will return).  Take your foot OFF the brake pedal, so that other cars don't try to "follow" you as you are stopped, slamming into you at the near zero visibility.

Houses and Humans

This made laugh and laugh....  it cracks me up.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sushi Girl - The Tubes

Forklift Cowboys

Early in my career, right out of college, I was tasked as young engineer to design and install barriers in the industrial plant where I worked that had a small fleet of forklifts driving around the facility.  It was a tire making plant, and fork lifts were everywhere, hauling pallets of rubber and wire, bobbins of extruded rubber, and other raw materials and finished goods all around the plant, quickly.  A clueless industrial engineer partnered with caterpillar to install a automated guided vehicle (AGV) - a robotic forklift - that was supposed to do the work faster, cheaper, and more efficiently than the human drivers on their clumsy forklifts.  Turned out that simple little things, like a shop rag "carelessly" discarded in the path of the AGV, and even if nothing was left in its path, the lethargically paced AGV could not match the precision and speed that a skilled human operator was capable of doing even while half-asleep.  The fork lift drivers were indeed cowboys, often racing each other, getting their work done as fast as possible to take longer smoke breaks, regardless of how much damage they might cause to their forklift, or the surrounding plant.  Maintenance would fix that, so why worry?  Production is what mattered.

The second company I worked for 6 years later, was a hostile unionized environment where the forklift drivers were known as "material handlers" and they believed themselves to be superior in the union caste system to the lowly production workers.  This was a automotive electronics plant - which has since closed and moved to China - and it had only 2 moving forklifts, so traceability as to who rammed what, was a little easier to figure out, and I was no longer the lowly design engineer, but rather, the only facilities engineer on 2nd shift responsible for the smooth function of a high volume automotive OEM supplier factory.  Reducing & repairing  the damage while trying to wrangle the cowboys (or a morbidly obese cowgirl, in one case, who accused me of "sexual harassment" with her shop steward as witness, because I recorded in my Daytimer[TM] for a solid month her non-compliance in wearing steel toed safety shoes) was a never-ending battle. 

Very tired of working 2nd shift, I got a better job, the equivalent of my boss's job, at a medical device manufacturer much closer to home, and on day shift.  I got to see Nathan Jr & Dr Desert flower more (but back then, she was not a doctor yet, nor had she ever visited the desert) and at the medical device plant there was only 1 forklift, and one well behaved forklift cowboy who knew that they would be held accountable.  Forklift damage around the plant - at which I was the Facilities Engineering Manager - was extremely minimal in this environment, but precautions were still taken.  We expanded the plant during my tenure there with a 2 floor warehouse & manufacturing area.  I designed the elevator to be large enough to handle a pallet, but not deep enough to take a forklift upstairs - since the floor could not have supported the weight of a forklift in the upper floor.  It only took the singular forklift cowboy 6 months to ram the elevator door that Otis Elevator had to come out and fix. 

A 1/4 century ago there were no "off the shelf" forklift barriers as there are ubiquitously available today.  Industry realized it was more profitable to cheaply build forklift barriers in China and sell them through Grainger, McMaster Carr, and other industry mail order catalogs.  By the time I got to the electronics and medical device manufacturers, these barriers were becoming more commonly available.  It appears that in the video clip below, that the facility pictured:

- located the shelves too close together
- lacked any useful forklift barriers
- had never had a walk-through from their corporate insurance representative
- might have been run by the clueless industrial engineer I dealt with at the beginning of my career
- didn't properly wrangle their forklift cowboy

Don't fear for the forklift cowboy here.  The roll-over cage on the industrial forklift is designed to support the forklift's weight, which is far heavier than the goods stocked on the flimsy shelves.  If the cowboy stayed in the forklift and didn't try to jump out, they're probably fine.  Fired (unless they're the owner's idiot son) but fine. 

I have to say, I've never seen such a clean, total, catastrophic warehouse collapse than what is pictured here.  In the foreground, you can see a labeling and shipping desk, and scale.  This camera was probably mounted near the ceiling, between 2 dock doors, looking into the warehouse.  Upon the 15th or 20th time I watched it, I noticed a 2nd forklift cowboy to the right, their forklift blocking the transverse aisle way. It appears that forklift cowboy #2 tries to accelerate out of frame at the last minute, but not fast enough to escape the collapse already in progress.  With as much forklift damage as I've had to deal with in my career, this is like a train wreck I can't stop watching.  I'm just glad it was not my plant.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Thanks Jesus, For This Food

De nada.

Rendezvous Red

High West distillery in Park City Utah makes some incredibly smooth, flavorful, high quality whiskey.  We had the good fortune of having the distillery recommended to us by Dr Todd, a colleague of Dr Desert Flower, who is an avid skier and who has visited the distillery previously. 

DDF and I went there last September enroute to Yellowstone.  She had a dirty martini, which she is inclined to do, and I had a Rendezvous Red, neat.  Mmmmm, delicious rye whiskey.   I bought a bottle at the "gift shop" that was bar adjacent, for $30, and it took 6 months to finish.

Early in the Spring, I spotted The Last bottle of Rendezvous Red at the Arrow Head Total wine, and snagged it for $32.  It took 3 and a 1/2 months to slowly, deliciously, sip that bottle down.  I'd never tried a good rye whiskey before.  High West is the Western United States oldest distillery, operating for over 120 years now, and they make a fine product.  I didn't get a hang over or head ache whatsoever, and the taste is...   well.. you've got to try ti for yourself, to be able to appreciate it.  It's on par with some of the finest cognacs I've ever tasted, but different.  Unique.  Wonderful.   If you have a chance to try some, don't pass it up.

My last lay-over in the Salt Lake City airport, I found a High West Distillery restaurant was opening up on the far far far side of the airport, near the international terminal (E, I think?), and the "American Bandstand" chain restaurant sells it at SLC as well.  Try it.  It's doubtful you won't like it. 

Drunk Girl On Awning

Drunk girls should not sit on awnings when they are drinking...  especially not awnings that could lead to a serious injury if their mass exceeds the safety factory that Chinese awning manufacturer built into the cheesy design.

Diseno Old Vine Malbec

Diseno Malbec, from Mendoza Argentina (2010) was a delicious red wine for less than $10.  the back label says it is supposed to have an inviting bouquet of stone fruit - eh, maybe it did?  And a 'hint of coffee complements the blueberry spice and chocolate flavors'.  I guess there was some berry and a hint of dark chocolate perhaps, but it was not over powering, and the Malbec went well with carne asada that I grilled.  I think I got this at Total Wine (either there, or Trader Joes, I am not sure).  If you see it, pick up a bottle, and enjoy it with a hearty dish.

The Best Soups Are Made At Home

I've waxed on previously about the new found love of soup I've acquired in my aging twilight years, now that I've passed the actuarial median of most married North American males.  Soup is a dish that as little as 10 and 12 years ago I scoffed at, and prior to that, typically avoided.  Now, as an older middle aged guy, I've grown fond of good soups.  And dammit, the best soups are made at home, from scratch.  Sometimes a restaurant can do a good job, but not as good as home.  And while I see canned soup as a "quick, last resort" if I am in a hurry, and I have other things to throw in it - like organic mushrooms or organic baby carrots - even the best processed soups come from giant vats at massive industrial complexes.  Just not the same as making your own, with the best ingredients.

So last weekend, I found this old ham bone, frozen in a plastic bag in the freezer.  It was from the delicious spiral cut honey baked ham that our family enjoyed over Christmas when our son was visiting, and there was still some meat and fat left on the bones, and of course, marrow left In the bones.  I'd also gone to Costco and purchased the GIANT (it's like 5 lbs) bag of Bunny Baby Organic Carrots the day before.  So I had this idea, of making a soup.  Very simple.

0) defrost the frozen ham bone for 2 days in the fridge
1) Get out the slow cooker, and turn it on HIGH.
2) add 1/2 a stick of butter (I prefer organic, happy cow butter, but we were all out, so I had to use some Safeway butter... eh.. it was Ok)
3) cover the bottom of the slow cooker with baby carrots, one level deep, after the butter melts.
4) add the defrosted ham bone, in the center of the slow cooker.
5) add two chopped up organic tomatoes from the fresh market -  they were starting to wrinkle a tiny bit, but they were still tasty and provided copious amounts of juice
6) add two finely chopped shallots from the farmer's market.  You can use onions or leeks if you want, but I love shallots.   Their flavor is subtle, AND, they tend to give me very lucid, very vivid dreams after I've eaten them.
7) add one chopped up organic red bell  pepper from Trader Joes. 
8) take two LARGE handfuls of dried, organic basil that you gathered from your own back yard basil bush before the first frost last winter, and CRUSH them, into very small fragments that you can sprinkle around the whole slow cooking pan.
9) add about 1/4 cup of pear infused white wine vinegar (we had a bottle in the fridge)  drizzling all around the ham bone but not on it.
10) you can drizzle about one teaspoon of organic honey on it (I did) but I found the final mix to be a tiny bit too sweet (remember, it WAS a honey baked ham originally).. so if you like the soup to be a little sweet, do this, otherwise, avoid it.
11) set the kitchen timer for 2 hours, so that you can remember to turn DOWN the heat setting to simmer
12) after 2 hours, lower it to a simmer for another 2 or 3 or 4 hours.
13) season with sea salt and black pepper, if desired.
Serve hot, right out of the pan. 

It was fantastic - other than being a tiny bit sweet - and I did not leave a single drop in the bowl.  The ham bone was so tender, I could actually pry apart the hip joint, and found myself using my carnivore incisors to render meat from bone, that my knife couldn't quite get - a little barbarian like, but arrrrgh! Well worth it!  And I scooped out as much marrow as I could get to on the 5 inch long bones.  Tasty!

Dr Desert Flower said she liked her bowl of soup, but I loved mine.  The recipe was completely ad lib, with ad hoc ingredients.  the flavor, and the aroma with which the soup filled our home, was memorable.

I think only old men (and old women too) can make delicious soups at home, And appreciate them.  Younger people might be able to make them... but it takes decades of perspective to really appreciate a slow cooked soup.

Organic Nero D'Avola TerrAmore

Earlier this week, I had a fantastic Nero D'Avola red wine, made with organically grown grapes.  TerrAmore Sicilia (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) 2010 makes a great inexpensive Southern Italian red wine for less than $7 a bottle.  I picked up the bottle at total Wine (I think, it was a while ago) and had it this week with steak.  Bottled by C.V.T. SRL Tortona Italia and Imported by Saranty Imports, White Plains New York, this was a rich, delicious, flavorful Nero D'Avola that I enjoyed tremendously.    This won't be my last bottle.

Yes, it was a screw top, but that did not detract from the quality or flavor  - keep an open mind, and you never know what wonderful discoveries you might make.

Mousetrap, The Movie

Mousetrap, The Movie.  Just as relevant as "Battleship"

Seccola Frizzante Prodotto da Vino Italiano

The Seccola Frizzante is a light, bubbly, inexpensive Italian white wine from Trader Joes.  I think we paid $6 for the bottle.  "Semi Sparking wine - Dry" the back label says (but my camera refuses to take back label shots this evening, blurring ALL of them).  "Produced in Germany from Italian Wine - ALC 10% by voll. 750 ml.  Bottled by Sektkellerei Peter Herres GmbH, Trier Germany, and imported by Latitude (that's how I knew it was a Trader Joe's wine).  Dr Desert Flower liked it.   In fact, over a two evening time span on a stressful work week, she polished off the entire bottle and I never tasted it, but she likes her bubble white wines.  If you like German bottled wines (Zer is a process!!!!) made from Italian grapes, or you're just plain old curious, try a bottle.  You might like it as much as she did.

She left the bottle out on the counter to remind me to get more, instead of putting it in the recycling bin along with the rest of the glass.   Now that it's duly noted here on the blog, I won't forget.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What You Need

It's been a productive morning this morning already....  helping lots of colleagues and solving problems for customers.  INXS been bouncing through my head as I make tea, for the 3rd time since 4am...
  What You Need.

More Irrelevant Movie Titles - Monopoly


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Little Black Spot On The Sun Today


Transit of Venus, wont happen again for another century.

Hungry Hungry Hippos


Has as much relevancy as the movie "Battleship" does to the traditional children's board game.