Nov 30, 2010

RIP Sammi

So we finally bit the bullet and put Sammi down yesterday.

She was so done. I stayed up with her all of Saturday and Sunday nights. Giving her little bits of water and cream...anything to get her to eat or drink something. Then on Sunday she pretty much stopped eating and drinking altogether. On Sunday night she started crawling herself around, maybe looking for a way out. Or a quiet place to lay down and die. Of course our other cats were having none of that. "Where you going? Can I come? Hey, that looks like a fun nook to hide in!"  Yeah...our cats often will leave a preposition at the end of a sentence.

So she feel asleep at the bottom of the landing of the staircase. I stayed with her until she fell asleep, but it was already 5:30AM on Monday by that point. I went to bed to catch a couple of hours of sleep, figuring that she would be gone by the time I got up.

But she wasn't. She wasn't really moving either. Just laying there...breathing. Barely recognizing us. It was time. So we called the Vet and said our goodbyes.

Here's my favorite picture of her with her best friend Syd...who passed away 2 years ago.

Syd cleaning Sammi

So long, little girl.  We miss you already.

Nov 29, 2010

Last Thanksgiving Post

I swear.

So I showered you all with some recipes over the weekend, but I failed to mention the most important thing that almost didn't happen on Thanksgiving.

As in Thanksgiving itself. almost didn't happen. For us, I mean.

Here's the dirt.

Gia and I showed up about an hour earlier than everyone else was due to arrive. Because we had Sammi, our sick cat, with us. She's still hanging in there, by the way. We have no idea how, but she's hanging in there. Anyway, we got there early because we wanted to get her used to the spare bedroom, feed her and make sure she got some rest before the madness started.

Because our Thanksgiving? It's madness. 28 adults and 11 children this year. That's down from last year because my brother and his family couldn't make it. And everyone was due to show up around 2ish. Dinner usually goes down around 5:30PM with appetizers and cocktails and lots of running around by the kids beforehand. The big turkey was in the oven, and everyone was bringing the rest of the side dishes. Mashers (me), stuffing, turnips, green bean casserole, creamed onions, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, etc...

That's when it happened. The oven just...broke. A big old double oven that just wouldn't work. Something to do with the electric control panel. It just stopped working. And we had the big turkey only half-cooked, three more smaller birds (lotta mouths to feed) totally un-cooked, and a houseful of side dishes to heat up. Yikes!

We had some not-so-wonderful alternatives. We do this every year at my sister's house because she's got the biggest place. My brother-in-law actually builds a huge dining room table every year just for the occasion. So that we can all sit at the same place. My mother lived pretty does one of my other sister's. But at either of those homes we would be really tight. And everyone would be eating standing up or something. Like I said, some not-so-wonderful alternatives.

So here's what we did. We rallied.

My brother-in-law lit the barbecue in the back yard and on went the three smaller birds in a large broiling pan. My other brother-in-law grabbed the large bird and off he went to his home to throw it in the oven for the remainder of its cooking time. And I ran out to the store for pans and sterno for the chafing dish stations that they had in the garage. Then someone grabbed another bbq from their house, and between all this; 2 bbqs, a microwave oven, a stove top and three chafing dishes...well, we actually managed to get it all done. And not too much later than when we would normally eat. My brother-in-law even got the blowtorch out for those dishes that needed a little crisping on the top.

And you know what?


Everything tasted delicious and everyone was super-appreciative of the job that was done on all parts to get the job done. It was really a wonderful dinner.

And then we followed it up with some awesome dessert (I tried minced meat pie for the very first time), some more cocktails and then some friends showed up for the best night of karaoke ever!

I'm already looking forward to next year.

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Good times...

Nov 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Recipes - Fall Spice Cocktail

I wish this one had a better name, but it was just listed as a Fall Spice Cocktail in the cocktail book we have. Or you could accidentally mispronounce it after having a few of them and call it a Fall Taco. That happened a few times on Thursday, actually. goes:

The Fall Spice Cocktail

1oz Navan vanilla cognac
1oz bourbon
1/2 oz chipotle orange simple syrup (see below)
2 dashes orange bitters
orange peel for garnish

OK, let's talk about that simple syrup. For those of you not in the know, simple syrup is usually just a mixture (in some ratio) of water and sugar. You heat the water up, add the sugar, stir until it melts and then store it in the fridge for your cocktails. Sugar doesn't dissolve properly in cold cocktails, so bartenders use simple syrup instead to sweeten the recipe.

This one is pretty straightforward and easy. Take 2 cups of water and get it boiling. Then add 3 or 4 orange peels roughly 1 inch long and 1/4 inch wide each. The heat comes from also adding a dried chipotle pepper to the mix. A chipotle pepper is just a roasted jalepeno, so you can roast your own or do what I did and look to your grocer to see what kind of dried spicy peppers they stock. Mine didn't have chipotles, but they had another kind of dried Southwestern chili. Not as big as a chipotle, so I used 3 of them. Snipped them up with a pair of shears and put them right in the boiling water.

Simmer that concoction on lower heat for about 20 minutes, then strain it through a fine mesh or coffee filter so that all of the seeds and skin from the peppers are captured. You should be left with an orange-colored liquid that smells sweet and spicy. Now mix in 3/4 cup of sugar and watch it dissolve. Cover and refrigerate.

From there, making the drink is easy. Add the vanilla cognac, bourbon, bitters and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir or shake until it's nice and cold. Pour into a small snifter and add another orange peel for garnish. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. Maybe it is appropriately named, because the vanilla cognac, orange, spices and the smoke from the bourbon fit together perfectly.

I used Angostura Orange Bitters for the recipe, but I there are some other companies like Fee Brothers or Regan's make them as well. Or you can make your own bitters...I know some folks who do that. Not me. Look up that recipe yourself.

The Navan vanilla cognac shouldn't be hard to find. It's made by the same kids who make Grand Marnier and it should be near it in your local liquor/package store. But I believe that there are other vanilla brandies/cognacs out there as well. Ask around.

And I used Wild Turkey 101 Proof for the bourbon. I thought the sweetness from the cognac and the simple syrup might be a little over-powering, so I wanted a higher proof bourbon to ensure that the flavor came through. I don't normally drink anything with that high of an alcohol content, but I thought it would work well in this cocktail. And it did.

Now it's a chilly Sunday afternoon and I want another!

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. I've been told this one creeps up on you.

Nov 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Recipes - Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

Since you all ( of you) wanted the recipes for the mashers and cocktails I mentioned I was making for Thanksgiving. Here we go yo!

Wasabi Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • 9 lbs new golden potatoes
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • Wasabi powder or paste (I'll discuss the amount down below)
  • 8 oz or so of softened butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups half and half 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
 - Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
 - Strip the outer papery layer off the garlic cloves, and then toss in a small bowl with some olive oil until they are fully coated.
 - Roast the garlic in the oven for 40 minutes until the outer layer is fully browned/starting to blacken.  Then set aside for a few moments to allow them to cool.  Once they do, squeeze the garlic paste out of the cloves.  Should be the consistency of...paste.  Ya know.  Set this paste aside for a bit.  We are going to add some wasabi to it now.
  - You should be able to find wasabi powder or wasabi paste in a tube at your local market.  If you buy the powder, mix it with a little water until a nice paste is formed.  Make it a little thin, because we are going to add the garlic paste to it.  Use as much or as little wasabi as you like.  I like the finished potatoes to have a bit of a green shade and a distinct garlic/wasabi aroma.  So experiment a little.  Just like you did in college, ladies.
 - Mix the wasabi paste and the garlic paste until they are fully integrated.  Set bowl in the fridge so the flavors can mature.

- Clean and quarter your potatoes.  I clean the skins with a vegetable brush thouroghly and leave the cleaned skins on the potatoes. But if you feel the need peel the skins, then go for it.
 - Cook the potatoes according to how you cook your potatoes.  I put them in a large pot and cover them with cold water with about another inch or so of water on top.  Bring it to a boil and then simmer on reduced heat for around 20-30 minutes.  I don't like them to get too soft.  So I'm constantly testing to make sure they come out how I like them.
 - Drain but reserve about 1/2 cup of the water to add to the masher while mashing.
 - I use a manual potato masher, but use whatever you have.  Add the softened butter and the water from the potatoes early on to make the process a little easier.
 - Add the garlic/wasabi paste and keep on mashing.
 - Then add your half and half (or milk or heavy cream) a little at a time and keep mashing.  Stop when you've reached the desired consistency.  I don't know how much milk I used.  I put 2 cups in the recipe, but it was probably less. I like mine thick and a little lumpy. Insert sex joke here.
 - Add salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste.

 - Yum, 'em up!

Tomorrow: The Fall Cocktail!

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Don't blame me if it sucks.

Nov 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Turkeys!

Gobble, gobble, hey!

So what are you kids doing this Thursday/today?

I'm heading over to my sister's house with my sick cat (and Gia) to have a hella good time. I made wasabi garlic mashed potatoes and some regular old sour cream and chive mashers for the big event. That's the way we roll. Everyone brings a dish. My sister provides the bird, we provide the rest of the dishes. Beat that with a dead bird!

And I'm making this special after-dinner cocktail with vanilla brandy, bourbon and a simple syrup made from orange peel and chipotle peppers. Spicy!!!

I pretty much fucking rule.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. My favorite holiday.

Nov 24, 2010

Nic Cage Releases the Pigs

This is the laziest post ever, because I'm basically just gonna regurgitate what the kids over at Film Drunk said about this compilation clip of Nic Cage absolutely losing his shit in just about every film he's ever made.

Seems that Warner Herzog tried to keep Cage subdued until crucial moments when filming The Bad Lietenant: Port of Call - New Orleans. Then he would ask Cage to "release the pigs". Aw...that's so sweet.

This man, this actor...he's a National Treasure.  Get it?  Ur-hur-hur.  Check it out!

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. I'm a vampire. I'm a vampire. I'm a vampire. I'm a vampire. I'm a vampire.

Nov 23, 2010

The Unbeliever

I've mentioned this before, but even though I'm a huge fan of science-fiction I'm probably an even bigger fan of the fantasy genre. Or at least I was in the past. I haven't read a good fantasy/sword and sorcery book in ages. I don't know why I stopped. Maybe it was just a matter of growing past them. But some of my favorite literary memories have to do with the fantasy genre. Stuff like Robert E. Howard's Conan work, Terry Brooks' early Shannara books, Fritz Lieber writing about Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Michael Moorcock's tales of his albino hero Elric of Melniboné, and (of course) Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

I guess Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke was the last great fantasy novel that I've read.  But it was also a bit ponderous.  I don't see myself re-reading that one for a long, long time.  The Harry Potter books were good, but not life-altering great.  Not for me, at least. I read them to find out where the tale was going to end.  Once it did, I moved on.  Although, I have to say that the films have all been excellent.  Well, not so much with the last one, but ya know... 

If pressed, I would say that Stephen R. Donaldson's first two Thomas Covenant trilogies (he's currently writing a third series...a planned tetralogy) are hands-down my favorite fantasy novels of all-time. I've probably read each trilogy about a half-dozen times, and I'm due for another reading. Which is what got me thinking about them today.

Thomas Covenant is a writer and outcast dealing with the his recent divorce from his wife, Joan who took their infant son with her.  This all happened because Covenant unexpectedly was diagnosed with leprosy, even losing two fingers on his right hand from the disease.  The leprosy also causes impotence, either physically or mentally fueled.  Joan couldn't deal with living with a leper, so she leaves him during a period of time he spent in a leprosarium.  Covenant deals with this by diving into the meticulous details of living the careful life of a leper.  Shaving becomes a deadly ritual each day as the leprosy affects his nerve endings and he might not realize he had cut himself.  So instead of using a safety razor, he insists on a painstakingly slow ritual with a straight razor.  To keep himself grounded.  These small details become his life.

Until he is transported into The Land after being knocked unconscious.  The Land is your garden-variety fantasy world.  Giants, magic, demon-like creatures and a big bad named Lord Foul the Despiser.  In The Land, Covenant's leprosy is healed and he is mistaken for the reincarnation of a long-dead hero named Berek Halfhand.  Along with the missing fingers, the white gold from his wedding band was the talisman for this former Lord and hero.  Covenant doesn't believe any of this.  He thinks he is suffering delusions or that he is in a coma and dreaming.  So he gives himself a title: The Unbeliever.

I's all sounds kinda silly.  But it's one of those "buy the premise, buy the book" things.  It's actually a very adult-themed book.  And very dark.  One of the first things he does after being healed by The Land is to rape the young woman who saved and healed him.  Because his impotence was cured along with leprosy, ya see.  Thomas Covenant is not your typical hero...far from it.  Thus begins his long journey into redemption and salvation.  He becomes the unwilling adversary to Lord Foul over a series of adventures as he travels back and forth between the real world and The Land.  We soon find that he isn't even the only person from his world to have traveled into the The Land.  And in the second trilogy, his emotionally damaged doctor is included in his travels.

It's tragic and gut-wrenching and exciting and everything that a series of fantasy novels should be.  And more!

I remember when I first heard that The Lord of the Rings was going to made into a series of feature films.  I was excited, but it was tempered by the thought that there was no way that any film series could do the novels justice.  I was wrong on that last part.  Peter Jackson did an incredible job with adapting the books into film.  Here was one of my favorite fantasy works of all-time on the big screen.  I couldn't believe it.

But it wasn't the set of books that I wanted to see adapted the most.  That would be these Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever.  And, sad to say, this post isn't about me rejoicing over the news that they are finally going to be adapted.  That will probably never happen.  I mean, if I had "Bill Gates Fuck You" money, I would make sure that it got done.  But I'm a fan and Mr. Gates probably isn't.  Shame.  Honestly, I would prefer an on-going series on SyFy.  Maybe six years long.  One for each book in the two trilogies.  That would be awesome!  Sigh.

I'm just thinking that, over time, these books have gotten a bit lost with the fan base.  Sure, Donaldson is writing another series of books about the character.  I haven't read any of them yet.  I'm waiting until he finishes the series and I will read them all in a row.  I'm too impatient nowadays to wait for each installment.  But neither the First nor the Second Chronicles are even available for the Kindle these days.  Not a good sign.  Frankly, I'm not sure they were ever as popular as I thought they were.  I had some friends back in high school and college who eagerly awaited each new installment.  But maybe I was just hanging with a very specific literary crowd.

I probably didn't do a good job selling the books above.  A leper?  A fantasy world?  Rape?!?!  But if you are a fan of the genre or if you've ever been a fan in your youth, maybe you should track down these books and give them a chance. 

I know I'm going to be giving them another read over the holiday season.  What better way to celebrate than with a leper rapist?

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. He's really not a very nice guy?

Nov 22, 2010

Putting them down

Just wanted to give y'all a quick update on Sammi. She's still hanging in there. She's a tough old cat. She's still not getting around by herself, other than dragging herself this way and that way for about five feet. So we are taking her to her food, her water and to the litter box.  She sleeps most of the day and she seems comfortable.

So we are going to take it day-to-day with her.  I don't know what kind of quality of life she is enjoying right now.  She pretty much slept all day before whatever it is that happened to her last Monday, and she's pretty much sleeping all day now.  So not much of a difference there.  And on Saturday night she was actually able to jump up on the couch to lay down with me while I watched Notre Dame whupp Army.  Well, she got about halfway up and I helped her the rest of the way.

We've had the discussion, or many discussions, on whether or not we should just put her down. But she doesn't appear to be in pain right now.  She takes her medication like a champ.  Even if it doesn't appear to be correcting any issues that she's having.  The one med that we stopped giving her was a pain medication.  Like I said, she doesn't appear to be in pain and the drugs were making her even dopier.  She's been much more aware since we stopped those.

I think the only reason we WOULD put her down at this point is for our own convenience, and that just doesn't sit well for either of us.  Sure, she's putting a cramp in our lifestyles right now.  We've pretty much been on Sammi watch for the past week, staying home to be with her instead of going out.  That might get old pretty soon, but again...a pretty weak reason to put a beloved pet down.

I've already arranged with my sister to bring Sammi along with us to Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.  We'll put her in the extra bedroom with a litter box, a blanket and some food and water.  Visiting with her often, of course.  We always spend the night anyway, so as long as she isn't too freaked out by the change of scenery I think it will work out.  The alternatives are either me leaving Gia home alone to care for Sammi while I enjoy Thanksgiving with my family or both of us staying home.  Neither of those appeals to me.

So we are in a holding pattern.  I don't know if she is going to get better.  She's an old girl.  But I just don't see putting her down so that our lives are made more convenient. 

I think anyone who loves their pets would agree.

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Don't blame me if it sucks.

Nov 19, 2010

El Duderino Abides

Thanks for all the birthday wishes yesterday!

click it to watch him in action

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. H/T to Warming Glow for the image.

Nov 18, 2010

1,000 and 44

So here it 1,000th post on The Verdant Dude. And, just like I planned, it has landed on my 44th birthday. It's like the two great tastes that taste great together. seems like just yesterday that I was celebrating my 300th post here.  Or my 40th birthday, for that matter.  Time flies when you throw a clock across the room, eh?

So, what's the best way to celebrate? A blow-job and some whiskey would be nice. No, not from you Slyde. You do have nice lips, but you have terrible taste in booze.

In lieu of that, how about 44 random and stupid things about moi?  Let's do it to it, shall we.

1.  Prior to moving in with Gia, I was extremely allergic to cats. Now they sleep on my face.

2.  My family never really did figure out exactly what my father did for a living.  I mean, we have an idea, but I'm going with international spy.

3.  I was terrible at drinking in college.  I generally drank until I blacked out/passed out, and vomiting was usually on the menu.  Now, at 44, I'm just hitting my alcoholic stride.  Yay me!

4.  I've got the cutest dimple on my...right shoulder.  What?  You were thinking someplace else?

5.  Boxer briefs...all the way.

6.  It's been five years since I got my one and only tattoo.  It's starting to feel pretty lonely down there on its own.

7.  I've still never been to any of the West Coast states.  Las Vegas is the furthest west I've traveled in this country.  And that took a whole lot of convincing on someone's part.

8.  I have been as far south as you can go in these here United States of America.  Many, many times.  But it's just about time to go back.

9.  I know it's just two guys eventually giving each other brain damage, but damn...I love me a good boxing match.

10. I find women with a kinda crooked face (like Ellen Barkin) to be incredibly sexy.  I find some women without crooked faces to be incredibly sexy also. I'm just saying I like a woman with a crooked face.

11. Gia does not have a crooked face at all, and I find her incredibly sexy.  She does have two different color eyes though.  So there's that.

12. If I had to have just one food for the rest of my life it would be tuna salad with pickles on sourdough bread.  But you gotta dice the pickle and mix it with the rest of the salad.  I'm not a barbarian, people!

13. With what we are going through with Sammi, I'm so glad that I decided long ago never to be a parent.  I don't think I could handle a sick or dying child.

14. Plus, having kids would just cut into my boozing time.  Priorities, people!

15. I'd stay up until 4AM and sleep until noon everyday if I could.

16. I love our Keurig one-brew coffee maker, but sometimes I think I'd like to sit down with a whole pot of delicious brewed coffee in the morning.  Just like the old days.  And not that drip shit either.  I'm talking percolator, baby!

17. I just found out that the first "season" of AMC's The Walking Dead is only gong to be 6 episodes.  So just 3 episodes left this year.  WTF?  Am I living in the UK or something?  Pfft.

18. I miss collecting comic-books.  Until I see a new issue of something and it's barely recognizable in format from what I read when I was younger.  I hate all that glossy paper.

19. I've mentioned this before, but it's been a while.  I chew my fingernails.  But only two of them.  I call them my "bad fingers".  One on each hand.  I used to gnaw on all ten, but about 10 years ago I was able to make this little compromise.  Now all my fury and stress goes toward those two bad fingers.  They are a mess.

20. I still have occasional issues with Restless Leg Syndrome at bedtime, but they seem to be happening less and less recently.  I have no idea why.

21. When I turned 19, I was legally allowed to purchase and drink booze.  But only for 12 days.  Because on December 1st of that year, the drinking age in NY went up to 21.  Looking back, it seems unfair to have had it taken away from me for 2 years.  It probably seemed even more unfair at the time.  Especially since I was very sick during those 12 days and on medication so I couldn't drink even if I wanted to.  And I'm sure I wanted to.

22. That semester at college was a bad one for me.  Because of the impending increase in drinking age and the rumors that the entire campus would go dry, it was all party all the time that semester.  I think I barely managed passing grades in everything .  I mean BARELY.

23. I did, however, learn how to hacky-sack and juggle that semester.  Skills that keep paying dividends to this very day.  Or not.

24. That Shake Weight advertisement on TV is disturbing.  Looks like an excuse for building up those jerking off muscles to me.

25. Not there is anything wrong with that.  Those are important muscles to exercise.

26. I'm becoming addicted to the Craig Ferguson show on late nights on CBS.  And it's one of those things that it feels right to watch it when it's on rather than DVR it to watch later.  The problem?  It doesn't go on until 12:35 or so in the AM.  See #15 above.

27. I wish I spoke with a Scottish accent.

28.Even though I love the weather in November (sweaters...yay!), I definitely start a 3-4 month mild depression around this time of year.  Probably because there is no baseball.

29. There are these stupid commercials for 1800 tequila starring Michael Imperiole that I'm starting to hate.  Not because they make fun of Patron tequila - which I agree is overrated - but because he turns the bottle upside-down and watches the tequila pours into the empty cap.  Then he says, " 1800 bottle just poured me a shot", but they don't show how he gets the cap off with the liquid in it without spilling mediocre tequila all over the place.  Phew!  I think I'm over-thinking some of these.

30. I only know that 1800 tequila thing doesn't work because we have a bottle at home and I tried it.  Oh, gullible me.

31. I wouldn't recognize Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, Ke$ha or a bunch of other pop singers if they walked up to me and slapped me on the face.  Well, maybe if Gaga was wearing her meat suit...

32. Nor would I know any of their music.  I'm not being an old, grumpy guy here.  I've probably heard some of their songs, but it's just not my bag, man.  And I wouldn't really know where to go to listen to music like that anyway.  OK, I guess that does make me an old, grumpy guy.

33. I'd love to see last week's episode of Community win an Emmy this/next year.  If only because I now know what a "bottle episode" is.  Well done, kids.

34. Speaking of Community, it's one of those shows right now whose theme song get stuck in my head.  The other one right now is Veronica Mars.  Especially the slower funky version from Season 3.

35. Whenever I watch A Few Good Men, and I watch it a lot, there are about a half dozen times that I just wish Tom Cruise's character would punch Demi Moore's character right in her privates.  Lt. Cmd. JoAnne Galloway is easily the worst character Aaron Sorkin has ever written!

36. Whenever someone asks me what I want for my birthday or Christmas I always say the same thing. "I don't really need anything."  I mean, I guess I do need stuff.  But I can never think of anything in that particular moment.

37. Speaking of gifts, I still have to figure out some kind of prize for Paticus for winning the first ever Verdant Dude Jack Contest a few weeks ago.  Sorry, dude...I've been busy.  I promise that I'll get 'er done.

38. There's a new show on the Discovery Channel that premiering this weekend.  Brew Masters, a reality show following Sam Calagiano - owner of the Dogfish Head Brewery - as he travels around the world searching out new ingredients and styles of beer.  I'm checking it out, are you?

39.A lot of people find it hard to believe, but at one point in my life I seriously considered joining the military.  I even was a part of the ROTC program at my college for a year before deciding it wasn't for me.  I often wonder how that one choice changed my life.

40. I've never met someone who knows more about MS Excel than I know.  I'm sure they are out there, but I've never met them.  Back when I was a corporate stooge, our bosses in the head office sent an "expert" to train my staff on Excel and Access.  It took all of my willpower not to take over the class after 10 minutes of listening to what this so-called expert had to say.  Instead I just pretended that there was an emergency I had to work on and I excused myself.  Saved myself three days of correcting the fool.

41. Besides the Dude, of course, one of my favorite all-time characters in a film is Wade Garrett from Roadhouse.  No way that Dalton was a tougher cooler than Wade Fucking Garrett.  Plus, Sam Elliot = awesome.  And he understands the Dude.

42. I generally pick up at least one bag of potato chips every time I go to the food market.  For health reason only, of course.

43. If you want to be my Facebook friend, click here.

44. I sometimes dream of electric sheep.  Is that weird?

Phew! Alright, now that we have that accomplished...done, done and I'm on to the next one. DONE I'M DONE AND I'M ON TO THE NEXT...

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. See you at 2,000!

Nov 17, 2010

Earl's Favorite Film Scenes: Volume VII

Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts yesterday.  Sammi is hanging in there, but she's lost even more mobility. Not sure where this is going so let's go for something a little lighter today.
The big fight scene from Grosse Point Blank.

Three things I wanna mention about this particular clip:

1. I remember seeing this in the theater with a group of friends.  When they started fighting, I immediately nudged my friend next to me and said " of the future" from Say Anything.  I think a lot of people in the audience were thinking the same thing.

2. The man that Cusack is fighting is Benny "The Jet" Urquidez.  A real-life martial arts champion.  Maybe one of the most famous of all-time.  He won over 200 bouts with no losses in full contact karate, and he held six different world titles in five weight divisions for over 24 years!  So reality he would have kicked Johnny Boy's ass!

3. I love me some 2 Tone ska, and The Beat, or The English Beat if you prefer, are one of my favorites.  I always loved the song "Mirror in the Bathroom", but now when I hear it I can't help but think of this scene. Amazing the things that a good soundtrack to a good movie can do with your head.

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. This is my 999th post.  Wow!

Nov 16, 2010

Good vibes needed

Say a prayer (or whatever it is that you do when you need to do it) for our oldest kitty, Sammi.

She's an older gal, and she's been having mobility issues for a while now.  Mostly just stiffness, it seemed.  Then yesterday she was really having a hard time walking.  Even to her food dish...her favorite place in the world. 

We took her to the vet and he thinks it might be feline neuropathy related to hyperthyroidism.  That's usually something that comes with feline diabetes, something she definitely does NOT have.  But in rare cases, cats with hyperthyroidism can get it too.  Right now we are just waiting for the lab tests to tell us, hopefully, exactly what is wrong with her. 

She is resting now, on a bit of pain medication.  So maybe it will be all okay.  We just don't know.  She is getting pretty old.

There should be some kind of offset for those of us who don't have children, and who never wanted children.  Our animals should be allowed to live for twice or thrice as long as normal.  It's only fair.

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Fingers crossed...

Nov 15, 2010

Beer Review: Full Sail Session Black Lager

Black lager is an interesting type of beer for me. Beers fall into one of two categories: lagers and ales. Lagers includes types like pilsners, bocks, dunkels and oktoberfests. They generally taste crisper and cleaner, sometimes a bit more malty due to the slower cold-fermentation process. Ales are represented by stouts, porters, wheat beers, pale ales, IPAs and just about every Belgian beer. The taste of ales is wildly varied, depending on the yeast and grains used. They are brewed at warmer temperatures using different types of yeast.

But, generally, most dark beers are of the ale variety. Not so with black lagers. They are just as crisp and drinkable as almost any pale lager you might come across, but they have a slight roasted malt/chocolate/coffee character that is oh so super tasty.

image: Brew York City
Full Sail Brewery out of Oregon makes a black lager called Session Black and they sell it in these short, stout 11oz bottles that will definitely remind you of Red Stripe lager. The bottle, not the brew inside. They also have rock, papers, scissors stamped on the bottom of the bottle caps. So you can collect them and use the caps to decide who is gonna pay for the next round...I guess.

It's got an above average alcohol kick for a lager at 5.4%, but that doesn't make it any less drinkable...a session beer as indicated by the name. They go down smooth and fast. Definitely a dangerous combination. Or a glorious one, depending on your mood that evening.

We popped open a 12-pack of these bad boys on Saturday to enjoy while watching some movies at home. I loved the combination of the crisp lager and the roasted malt character. Black lager is definitely one of my favorite types of beer. If you like American adjunct lagers like Budweiser, Miller, Coors or Rolling Rock then you might be surprised at the extra character that a beer like this one offers. Without sacrificing its crisp, clean drinkability. And if you like stouts and porters, then you might like to try one of these for a lighter alternative. Either way, it's a big honkin' win.

Give it (or another black lager) a try! You might be surprised to find yourself coming back for more.

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Once you go black...

Nov 13, 2010

Kitchen shortcuts

Here's a quick question for those of you who wind up doing a lot of the cooking in your household, either by choice or necessity.

What's your favorite kitchen shortcut?

You know, like buying shredded cheese instead of shredding it yourself. Or maybe using a special kind of jarred sauce* that you particularly like when making pasta. Could be anything. I love a good shortcut. But it has to be good, and not detrimental to the recipe and finished product at all.

Lately, I've been buying freshly chopped onion and celery from our supermarket. They package them together as "stuffing mix" in our local market's produce section. And friends, I put chopped celery and onion in EVERYTHING! Chili? You betcha. Soup? Of course. Tuna salad? Yummy. I could go on and on. It's just such a quick and easy alternative to chopping the ingredients yourself.

So what do you do to save time/effort in the kitchen?  Besides just dialing in for take-out, of course.

*I use jar sauce all the time, so I'm not judging.  Especially if I'm just making a quick and easy pasta dish for the night.  I usually jazz it up with whatever I have around in the spice cabinet, but some of them taste really good.  Of course, if I'm making a special dinner I make my own sauce.  Or one of a variety of sauces that I'm working on perfecting, that is. 
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Yeah...I can cook.

Nov 12, 2010

Technical Difficulties

Having a hardware issue with my laptop today (Thursday). So I'm working on Gia's laptop until I get it all sorted out. It's different.

In the meantime, I'll throw in my two cents on this Amazon/kid toucher book episode that made its way around the Twitterverse/Blogoverse the other day. Amazon didn't touch a kid.  That would be silly.

I have no problem with Amazon refusing to sell the book. In my brain, I don't think that's how censorship works. Lots of different stores refuse or refrain from selling lots of different things for lots of different reasons. Just because the book that this guy wrote and self-published didn't have technically anything illegal in it, doesn't make it okay.

I also have no problem with people pleading with Amazon to pull the book from their store. Amazon doesn't have to listen to them. Nor do they need to be intimidated by a mob threatening to boycott them. It happens. But people certainly have the right to speak their minds. Even the author of the book in question. Doesn't mean that someone else is obligated to sell it. Or not sell it. Ya know?

And finally, I also have no problem with someone taking the author of this piece of trash out with heavy ballistic weaponry. The guy says he has no experience with this type of relationship either as a child or an adult. That he was merely projecting when writing about it. Yeah...right. Doesn't matter to me. That kind of evil demands heavy ballistic weaponry. And I don't care what the Constitution has to say about it. Bllppttt!

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. People really suck sometimes.

Nov 11, 2010

Mad links

Not as in angry, but as in...ya know:

  • Who doesn't love some artsy-fartsy photos of nekkid ladies? And I think this NSFW photo by Demetrius ~tanguero~ González is one of the most delicious things I've seen in a while.  These sirens would definitely lure me in.  Well, maybe not the scrawny one in the middle so much. (H/T - Violet Blue)
  • I've now seen the first two episodes of The Walking Dead and I'm loving it.  I liked the first episode directed by Frank Darabont a bit more.  Loved the pacing.  But the second episode worked pretty damn well too, in a Dawn of the Dead kinda way.  This one is a keeper.  AMC has already ordered a longer second season.  Kewl.
  • Don't know what you want to fucking do today?  Go here and your decision may be made easy.  Then again... (H/T Gorilla Mask)
  • Conan O'Brien is back and I gave his first show the obligatory viewing.  It was okay.  I definitely liked the Jack White performance toward the end.  A nice little rockabilly duet with Conan himself. I'm beginning to think more and more that White is a musical genius.  Seth Rogan, however, as the "first" guest was boring as all hell.  Meh.  Talk shows bore the crap out of me.
  • So Adam Sandler gave each of his friends and co-stars from the film Grown Ups a brand new Maserati.  It must be nice being friends with Adam Sandler.  Except for the "being friends with Adam Sandler" part.
  • So Joe Morgan, of Fire Joe Morgan fame and the dude who says things like "They (Red Sox) cannot beat them (Rays) by outscoring them." was finally, mercifully fired from his baseball analyst job at ESPN the other day.  The man was an enigma wrapped in a riddle hiding in a petticoat.  What?  Well, Joe Poz explains it better.
  • There is a secret subway stop in NYC that is not-so-secret anymore.  Well, the train doesn't actually stop and let you off (de-board?).  But you can now stay on the 6 train past the Brooklyn Bridge stop (they used to make you get off/de-board) and view the old City Hall stop that is no longer in service as the train does a turn-around, um, thing.  Why?  Because it's real an underground tunnel kinda way.
  • Get ready for tiny little artificial black holes exponentially expanding to destroy life in this universe as we currently know it.  CERN's Large Hadron Collider generated it very first "mini-Big Bang" the other day.  Woe/whoa is us! (H/T @feliciaday)

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. We all go a little mad sometimes.

Nov 10, 2010

Missile Command

So it seems that someone launched a missile about 35 miles off the coast of Los Angeles the other day.  I say "someone" because we, as in the U.S. of A., haven't admitted that it was one of ours.  They've confirmed that it wasn't an attack on Uh-mericuh, but they won't go as far as saying they know who actually did launch the summbitch.

I hear news stories like this and I often wonder if this used to happen all the time.  Before the days of the internet and video phones and traffic helicopters.  Just a missile tech on a Navy ship somewhere with an itchy trigger finger.  Or a mis-communication between ship and command.

Listen, it was probably just a test or a malfunction or something that slipped through the miles of red tape that our military is wrapped in.  So here's a new rule I'd like our government to live by in the future for shit like this:

If it doesn't appear that it was an attack, then just admit that it was an un-announced local launch test of a harmless, non-weaponized missile.

Done.  That's all I want.  It will help me sleep better at night.  Thank you.

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Boom goes the dynamite!

Nov 9, 2010


Well, our stay in Charleston lasted a bit longer than we anticipated. We didn't have a direct flight home on Sunday and it became apparent that we were going to miss our connection in Atlanta coming home. So Gia got on the phone with a representative from Delta and arranged a direct flight home on Monday afternoon instead. Worked out well. She had Monday off anyway for Veteran's Day, and I had my computer with me so I just hunkered down on Sunday night until all hours doing what I had planned to do Monday work-wise. Win-win.

But now that we are "home" we are ready to go right back.

As I mentioned over the weekend, we are planning to relocate down there and I think we would like to do it sooner rather than later.

That means looking for gainful (heh) employment and finding a place to live. Frankly, the second part seems like it won't be that difficult. We looked at a bunch of houses while we were down there and the costs for homes down there are soooo much cheaper than they are on Long Island. Frighteningly cheaper. And there seems to be a ton of housing available right now in the greater Charleston area.  Of course, we have to thoroughly research each neighborhood. WE want to be the odd neighbors, not the other way around.

So it's kinda exciting.

Now...anyone out there in the Charleston area wanna hire me? I prefer to set my own hours and work in my pajamas. That's not gonna be a problem, right?

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Chucktown!

Nov 8, 2010

Final Girl Film Club: The Funhouse (1981)

Disclaimer: This review is a part of Stacie Ponder's Final Girl Film Club. She picks the flick, and (like a bunch of zombie sheep...bah!) we review 'em. Sounds so simple that even a mutant retard in a Frankenstein mask could do it. - Earl

I'm going to be totally honest with you all here for a moment.  I haven't seen The Funhouse in probably twenty years.  I'm doing this review straight from memory, but that's okay.  This was one of those films that was being shown on Showtime or HBO back when we first got cable, an I must have seen it a couple of dozen times in all.  I could probably close my eyes, put on an REO Speedwagon album and the film would just play on the inside of my eyelids.  My own personal freakshow...with boobs!

But I will use the Internets to assist me in this endeavor.  Because what's a review without salient sucky details?   Like the fact that horror-meister Tobe Hooper directed it.  I had no idea that he was involved way back when I saw it, but thinking about it now it kinda makes sense.  He had done back-woodsy, red-necky weirdos before in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the awful Eaten Alive.  So back-woodsy, red-necky carnival folk seems like a logical progression. 

I remember the film starting as a ripoff of the beginning of Halloween.  A POV tracking shot following the killer's eyes through a mask.  Or maybe it was a Psycho homage because there's a nekkid shower scene almost immediately.  I guess if you are gonna steal, it's better to steal from the classics, amirite?  Then the action switches to a virginal young girl going to a carnival with a new beau and some friends.  They get the silly idea of spending the night in the funhouse of the carnival...why not?  But then bad things start happening after they witness the murder of a fortune teller/carny hooker at the hands of a dude in a monster mask.

Seems the poor guy got a little excited at the prospect of some way-past-her-prime hooker vajajay, and he prematurely popped his load.  Much to the delight and laughter of the old lady of the evening.  But, as the saying goes, it's not nice to laugh at a mutant carny retard after a premature ejaculation.  Jenny from Forrest Gump knew that.  If she had laughed at Forrest in her dorm room he would have worn her head as a hat all around the Gulf Coast instead of naming a shrimp boat after her.  But I digress...

Laughing at the lovable lug was just one in a series of stupid mistakes made in this film.  Like spending the night in the funhouse in the first place.  Or stealing the mutant's father's money when they thought no one was looking.  Now the game is really afoot.  All they had to do was hunker down and hide until morning, but nooooo!  Had to go and piss off the freak's daddy.  You can probably guess where the rest of the film goes from there.  Freak and father hunt down the meddling kids (hey!) until the eventual bloody end for most of them.  Sure, there is a survivor.  But it's not telegraphed by Tobe Hooper at all.  Except that it is.

So in the end (hehe), did I love it or did I hate it?  Well, I kinda loved it.  I think.  That may have to do with my fond memories of watching R-rated cinema at home as often as I wanted to.  I seem to recall that it was a bit of a slow build-up.  I don't they even wound up in the funhouse until about 45 minutes into the film.  I could be wrong about that one.  But what I do remember, I think I really liked.  

I'm interested to read what the rest of the Film Club Coolies have to say about this one upon re-watching it or watching it for the first time, for that matter.  Like I said, I remember it so well that I don't think I'm missing anything by re-watching it right now.  Then again, maybe I am.
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. I'm really trying hard to imagine Forrest Gump as a serial killer now...FUN!

Nov 7, 2010

Coming Home

UPDATE: OK, we are coming home tomorrow. Got bumped from our flight today and the next one they could get us on was leaving at 9:40PM. Eff that! So we decided to spend one more night in Chastown instead. Wunnerful, wunnerful, wunnerful.

Later today. It's a good thing and a bad thing. Bad because who really wants vacation to end? Good because, well, I really miss my cats.

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. CATS!

Nov 6, 2010

One of these day...

...I'm gonna figure out what I want to do when I grow up.

I know what I don't want to do. Or at least I think I know what I don't want to do. Maybe I'm just lazy. Actually, I'm sure that's it. Lazy.

I know I've worked incredibly hard and for incredibly long hours in the past, and I just don't want to do that anymore. But my work life now, while comforting in a "wake up at 9, work in your pajamas" kinda way, isn't very financially viable. It's also not very stable. And we are looking to relocate and maybe grow up and buy a home one of these days. So maybe it's time for a "real" job again.

Scary proposition.

I've never had to really look for a job. They've always just kinda fallen in my lap. Now I maybe want to look to do something else. Something different. And I'm not really sure how exactly to accomplish that. I know I don't really like what I do now, but then again I don't think I'm going to actually like ANY job out there.

And I'm turning 44 in a couple of weeks.

Time to grow up. No matter how scary a proposition it seems.

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. I really, really have no idea what I want from my work life.

Nov 5, 2010

Gadzuka - pt II

So last night I made my bastardized version of Shaksouka again for the gang while we are down here in SC on vacation, and I made some small changes to the original recipe shown below from my post back in April.  Thought I'd share them with you.

  • I roasted my own red peppers and poblanos this time around and I think that makes a big difference from buying jarred roasted red peppers.  The poblanos were new this time around and I used them instead of jarred hot peppers.  They aren't as spicy, but they added a nice flavor.
  • I used ground chorizo this time around.  It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it was really wonderful.  Every spoonful now had a great mix of chorizo, tomato, peppers, paprika, egg and cilantro.  These are a few of my favorite things...
  • Instead of serving it with polenta, I made grits this time around.  Seemed to fit the low-country SC theme we've got going this week.
  • I also sliced an eggplant and fried it up in some olive oil and some of the grease from the cooked chorizo.  For Gia, not for me.  I can't stand eggplant.  But she loves the stew served directly over the cooked eggplant and grits.  No accounting for taste.  Especially in men. ;)
  • No...I still haven't take a picture of the final product.  When it's hot and ready, I'm eating.  Sorry.
Here's the original post from a while back.  Enjoy! - Earl

In the spirit of Passover*, I decided that I wanted to make a traditional North African tomato and egg dish called Shakshouka that has become a staple at many Israeli restaurants. I've also seen it spelled Shakshuka and Shakzuka. Either way, it's a really delicious stew-type dish.  And I was also inspired by RW, who spoke of a hearty vegetable stew/soup he made.  And the fact that we have had a cold and miserable rain falling here in NY for about 3 days now.  Stew just seemed like a good idea.

*not really.

I first came across this dish when perusing the huge menu at the most awesomest, eccentric NYC restaurant ever, Shopsin's.  Kenny Shopsin and his crew make every item on their 1,000-strong menu from scratch and I really don't know how they do it.  His version of Shakzuka has more sizzling peppers and roasted zucchini than the traditional recipe.  I'm not a huge fan of zucchini, so I spied another similar dish called Zackzuka on the menu that opted for chorizo sausage and cilantro instead of zucchini.

That's what I ordered.  It was delicious!

So I wanted to make something similar, but I didn't feel like cooking forever or looking at a million recipes.  So I took a gander at a traditional recipe, and I...ya know...made it my own.  I call it:

Earl's Gadzuka!!!
  • 1 28oz can peeled italian tomatoes in sauce.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 small onion - diced
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves - diced
  • 3 or 4 roasted red peppers - diced
  • 8 or 9 small roasted hot peppers (jalepenos will do) - seeded and diced.
  • Some roasted zucchini - I'll explain later
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large chorizo sausage - sliced thinly
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a good deep saute pan.  Something with a lid as you are going to need that later.  I used a 3 quart saute pan and it fit everything nicely.  Once the oil is heated, add the onions and garlic.  Saute for a few minutes until the onion is golden and translucent.

Add the paprika, salt and tomato paste and stir thoroughly.  Here's a tip...don't chince out on the paprika.  Buy the good stuff.  A good smoked paprika will last you a long time and it adds so much flavor to just about any dish.

Add the full can of peeled tomatoes to the pan.  Use a wooden spoon or the like to chop the tomatoes into smaller pieces to speed up the process.  Or you don't have to.  Whatever you want.  Add the roasted red peppers and the hot peppers as well.  I found these great roasted and pickled red peppers at the local market.  I don't recall what they were, but the heat wasn't overwhelming and they had an intense sweetness that added a lot to the final product.  If I find out what they were I will leave it in the comment section.  Bring all of this to a slow boil and then reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the downtime, take your chorizo sausage and slice it up.  1/4 inch thick slices will do.  I used a chorizo that was about the size of a small pepperoni.  Most foot markets will have the packet of 3 or 4 smaller chorizos.   You can use those too.  The chorizo is already cooked, but I thought it would be interesting to quick fry them over a medium flame in another dish before adding to the stew. Gave them a bit of a char that was pleasant.

Add the chorizo to the sauce pan with the rest of your stew.  At this point I also added some roasted zucchini that I found at the shop.  They were jarred and ready to eat so I didn't want them to break down totally in the stew.  I don't know how many I used.  I just forked out a bunch of them onto the cutting board and ran a quick knife through them.  Dumped it all in the stew.

Then I took went to work on the cilantro.  After washing them, I stripped off the leaves until I had a big enough pile.  "A big enough pile for what?" you might ask.  "A big enough pile to make me happy!" I respond.  I then did a quick chop and added it all to the stew.  Made sure it all came to a rolling boil and covered it for another five minutes of stewing on low heat.

Finally, I gave the stew one last stir and then cracked four eggs directly on top of the it.  That's right...the eggs are gonna poach themselves right in the stew!  Yummy!  Cover the saucepan and let it cook for around 6-7 minutes, until the eggs are mostly set with the yolks a little runny.  You can eyeball. it.

Dish it out into large serving bowls and sop it all up with some pita bread.  It should serve make decent-sized servings,  You can try serving it with some rice or polenta.  Gia loves polenta, so I used that.

It was tangy, hot, sweet, smoky and wonderful.  Everything I could have hoped it would have been, and frankly quite a bit more.  What's nice about this dish is you can add or subtract anything.  Don't want the eggs?  Don't add them.  Not a fan of zucchini?  Ditto.  Maybe you like andouille instead of chorizo, or you don't want to add meat at all?  Chef's choice.

I'll be making this one again.  And again. And again.  And again.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Gadzooks, that's good food!

Nov 4, 2010

Pure Folly

I love Folly Beach because...

1. It's a cool little surf town.

downtown Folly

2. It's got cool little surf town places to Taco Boy.

the funky entrance to Taco Boy

3. They put a fish head on a sign designated for special fishing permits on the pier. As a warning...

that's another fish in his mouth too!

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. All I ever wanted....

Nov 3, 2010

UPDATED Fall TV schedule

Wow, I've been cutting heads seriously this year. TV is going through an "everything sucks" phase for me. Here's a brief rundown of everything I've dropped so far this year.

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS 8:00 PM) - Done.  I finally fucking done with this show.  I absolutely HATE Ted!  He is, without a doubt, the worst television character I've ever come across.  And it's a shame.  Because Neil Patrick Harris and the rest of the crew are doing some fine work.  But Ted Mosby sucks.  It was like ripping off a band-aid, but I'm glad I did it.  Fuck this show!
  • The Event (NBC 9:00 PM) - Holy crap, was this boring!  I don't care about the event, I don't care about the characters, I don't care about anything with this show.  It's awful.  Truly awful.  And a total waste of my time.  Good bye.
  • Hawaii Five-O (CBS 10:00 PM) - I didn't hate this show.  In fact, I kinda liked it.  But it was all just pretty window dressing.  Buh-bye!
  • Glee (FOX 8:00 PM) - I know there are fans.  God knows, I know there are fans.  But I just don't get it.  Did you know that the cast of Glee just passed The Beatles for most hits in the Billboard Top 100 by a musical group?  Yeah.  So here's my ice-cold slushy to the face, Glee.  Bye!
  • Terriers (FX 10:00 PM) - Here's another show that I kinda liked, but I just couldn't get into.  The leads were engaging, as was the storyline.  I guess it was just new TV overload for me.  I may watch this one when it shows up on NetFlix Instant.
Thursday - here we go...
  • Shit My Dad Says (CBS 8:30 PM) - Sofa King Awful!  It was so unlike the Twitter feed that it supposedly was adapted from.  I see almost no evidence of that.  And Shatner shat the bed with this role.  Low point?  The Shat doing a karaoke version of "I'm Too Sexy".  See ya!
  • BlueBloods (CBS 10:00 PM) - I didn't really even give this one a shot.  It was okay.  And the fact that is was shot on location in NYC was a plus.  But ultimately it seemed like just another CBS soap opera.  I cut it loose before it had a chance to sink in.
  • Saturday Night Live (NBC 11:30 PM)- YES, YES, YES!!!  I've finally been able to delete this albatross around my neck from my DVR!  Relax...I still kinda watch it.  But now it's on NetFlix Instant a couple of days after it premieres.  And since I live on the Internet, I already know which skits to watch and which ones to FF through.  So bye-bye Mrs. American Pie!  It was nice knowing ya!
That's an extra 7 1/2 hours of time I can spend each week catching up on Veronica Mars!  Sweet!

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. I dropped them like they were hot.

Nov 2, 2010

What's at stake?

OK, it's not really what the song is about (at all!!!), but after reading this from RW yesterday I couldn't get this Mighty Mighty Bosstones tune out of my head.  And certain political ideologies are kinda like drug addiction, so maybe I'm not too far off here.

The audio on this video isn't very good, and it's one of their more indecipherable covers anyway. But here are Dicky and the boys singing about what's at stake.  With a little help from Jack "Choke" Kelly from Slapshot.

What's at Stake?
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (via Slapshot)

Stick that needle right through your arm, do everything that does you harm
So you're lying there on the floor, see ya staggering out the door
Try it and you like it and you know you can, take it on
Take your real life till you soon discovered where you are,
You don't know, so you're at the bottom with a nose full of blow
Don't know what you're doin to me, so you're lying there so helplessly
Get yourself back up before it's too late, or a life of pain will be your fate
You don't care about anyone, just as long as you have your fun
Or as long as you get your fix, now you're taking a deep six
Try it and you like it and you know you can take it on
Take your real life till you soon discovered where you are,

You don't know so you're at the bottom with a nose full of blow
Don't know what you're doin to me so you're lying there so helplessly
Get yourself back up before it's too late or a life of pain will be your fate
Higher baby, get higher baby, get higher baby, don't ever come down don't do it!
Now you triy it and you like it and you know you can take it on
Take your real life till you soon discovered where you are,
You don't know so you're at the bottom with a nose full of blow
Don't know what you're doin to me so you're lying there so helplessly
Get yourself back up before it's too late or a life of pain will be your fate
What's at stake [4x]

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. What's at stake?

Nov 1, 2010

Still Only 25¢: The Incredible Hulk #197

Disclaimer: Part of an on-going series of blog posts about comic-books, the mid-70's and a wee boy named Earl. Or not really. You know my name isn't really Earl, right? - Earl

click here
I was a big fan of the cover of this particular issue of The Incredible Hulk when I was a kid, and I really didn't know exactly why at the time. I just liked it a lot. It looked different than the rest of the Hulk comic-books that I had been reading at the time. He looked darker, more savage (if you can believe that!) than he normally looked. Maybe it was because he wasn't day-glo green. Maybe it was that flat-top look he's rocking with the bangs. The mid-70's hulk generally had a wilder, shaggy-haired image. As drawn by Gil Kane or Sal Buscema or whomever was drawing him at the time. This Hulk looked more primal. More like how he originally looked when he was introduced in the 1960's. Not that I was aware of that. I was 10, people. All I knew of the '60's could have fit on the head of a pin. But I must have seen some reprints or something. Marvel in the 1970's was filled with reprints from the previous decade.

But the real reason why I liked this cover so much is the artist. Bernie Wrightson. And I happen to think that Bernie Wrightson is one of the most talented artists to ever work in the comic-book industry. Just my humble opinion. Of course, I didn't know that it was Bernie Wrightson back then. All I knew, like I said, is that I dug it. It was years later when looking through a book of Wrightson's art that I realized it was he who had drawn this particular cover.

The fact that Wrightson had done this issue is interesting for another reason entirely. One of Wrightson's most famous works from the early 1970's was over at DC in House of Secrets #92. The first appearance of Swamp Thing. He also did the covers and interiors to the first volume of Swamp Thing stand-alone comic-books that were published soon afterward. Well, the first ten issues of that set anyway. And they were all fantastic works of art.

What's interesting here is that Wrightson is drawing Marvel's version of another swamp creature, Man-Thing. Man-Thing actually pre-dates Swamp Thing by a couple of months. And Len Wein was involved in both characters, either directly (in the case of Swampy) or indirectly (in the case of Man-Thing). Wein's roommate around that time was Gerry Conway, and he was one of the original creators of Man'Thing. Wein would be directly involved in Man-Thing later on in between issues of Swamp-Thing. Weird stuff. There was talk of lawsuits over the similarities of the characters, but it was never really pursued. They probably weren't popular enough at the time to justify the legal action. I dunno.

But it is pretty cool to see Wrightson's work on Man-Thing up there. His use of muted colors, shadows and extraordinary detail was a gift to fans of the horror genre. He did a lot of work around this time with Warren Publishing who had a line of horror specific comic-books. He later began a series of collaborations with Stephen King that included Creepshow, Cycle of the Werewolf, the reprint of The Stand and some of the stuff in the Dark Tower series.

I don't exactly remember where and when it was that I first came across this issue. And, honestly, I don't remember much from the inside of the book at all.

But that cover...WOW!
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Whoever knows FEAR burns at the touch of...the Man-Thingc.