Monday, September 28, 2009

I do burn burn burn... I do burn burn

Note to the three people that read this: Read the post below before reading this one, otherwise you're just missing the start of a long story... maybe good *shrug*

Continued: Enter in the SCOVILLE! It's a unit to measure the ability for a certain type of pepper to destroy all which God has made good. It may also be a way to tell how hot a pepper is going to be. For me, it's about as close to skydiving, motorcycle riding, bungee jumping, and bear hunting as I'm going to get. Back to the scoville, you'll get a lot of technical information from the above link to how one might progress through the extensive pepper family. Pepper Spray, or mace, is made from capsaicin or the hot stuff in that pepper. Rub a jalapeno in your eye and see what it feels like.... then imagine that in your lungs, in your eyes, on your forehead, up your nose, and everywhere else it's not supposed to be. Doesn't sound fun? Fun Fact: I have an average scoville rating of 9500!

Back to how this affects me.... it all adds up to really enjoying the heat, but wanting to feel like I accomplish something while eating. I blame video games and the addition of trophies and points. It's a way to be competitive when it doesn't matter. =\ The heat is the exact same thing, but you have the enjoyment of eating to go with it. My scoville rating may be up there, but it's low when it comes to what's out there.

Let's say that it hasn't always gone well. I've been giving more reason to hate the pepper than love the pepper. It's done me wrong often enough. We'll save that for a more interesting post!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Burn - or how I learned to love the Heat!

Some time after high school I learned that I love buffalo wings, and that turned into a desire for spicier foods. The problem was, it started with one of the most disgusting hot wings known to man! Denny's used to, and probably still does, serve chicken fingers covered in a buffalo sauce that was birthed in bowels of some nether creature. And how one could love such an abomination is still unknown to me. But it lit a fire in me... crappy unintentional pun there.

In the last few months I've wanted to take my insatiable hunger for all things buffalo(the wing sauce, not the buffalo my ancestors used to feast upon) to another level. It might be because I've taken a liking to Man vs. Food, but I like the idea of enjoying the hotter things in life without crying, frying, and dying.... in that order.

I should probably explain "the burn" - It's the retention of heat from the spicy food you're eating. Mild salsa, Bell Peppers, or other Sweet Chilies don't provide much burn. You get some good flavour, but it's not what you'd expect. However, when you move to some medium salsa's or seeded jalepeno's you'll find yourself with a mild, mild burn left over if you've had enough. What I'm looking to hone is the ability to eat death... raw, inhuman... and be able to enjoy it and be satisfied. That's where the "other" peppers come in! The non-seeded Jalepeno's in green and red, the sassy Serrano, the sweet but SPICy Habanero, the bloody Scotch Bonnet, and the Ghost Pepper(Bhut Jolokia - make fun of it's name and it'll come to your house, melt your tongue, and belittle your significant other)!

To be continued.....I'm long winded and incredibly hungry

Friday, September 18, 2009

DesertHelpWanted - We Really Don't Like You!

If you live out in the desert and you happen to turn the radio on occasionally then you've probably heard at least one of the radio ads. If you have, then I have a question. Am I the only one that believes these people have the worst possible belief in humanity? Somehow they believe that name-calling and other degrading comments, infidelity, laziness, and going poor are great ways to make people go out and get a job! And by going poor... I mean condoning the behaviour. That ad has a woman telling another woman about DHW. The woman being told has a husband that hasn't worked in the last couple weeks and she's rather NOT HAVE HIM GET A JOB b/c he is doing everything for her. I'm just surprised that they can get business with very poor advertising.

I do have an idea for their next commercial -

"Have you heard of Desert Help - you can get a job for your deadbeat son!"
"But if he has a job, who's going to do all those drugs, and kill cats in the neighborhood?"


"Hey, here at Desert Help we really don't like you!"


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pickles, Pickles, Pickles, and God's love of Spice

I shouldn't have so many favourite things. I feel like Steve Martin in the Jerk. "I don't need anything!!.... but this jar of pickles.... I don't need anything else... but this Hofner bass..." It's good to have hobbies(if you can include eating pickles as one of those). Back to it, when we were up in Rancho Cucamonga we came across a pickle brand that I've never tried. It's McClure's Pickles and they're way too expensive, but very good. The only type they had were the Spicy flavour, but they have to be the spiciest spicy pickle that I've purchased.

Through thorough pickle shopping I've found that most pickles labeled spicy have to be sweet as well. While the corporate know-it-all's believe that's the only way someone would buy a spicy pickle they've missed an entire market of insane pickle consumers(yes, double meaning... buy consumer and eat consume.. eh eh? *sigh*). While pickles are one of the best side foods that God has ever allowed man to create they should not be paired up with anything sweet. By making them sweet you now have a Dessert pickle and no one wants a dessert pickle... if you do then you are no better than Hitler. BUT, that's the only way you can get a hot pickle!!! Wickle's Pickles, Famous Dave's Hot(but Sweet for the masses) Pickles, and some pickle jar we left in Texas that we got from Gruene, TX.

God heard my prayers though, and sent a message down to McClure's to stop goofing around and mass market your pickle recipe. Fortunately, they listened and are now being stocked at Williams-Sonoma for the sum of a small purebreed animal. Since I didn't want to take responsibility for buying a potentially horrible pickle(well, only sweet truly fall into this category) Leah bought some while she was out Macy's shopping(run by sweet pickle eaters). Had to wait till we got back in the desert to try them, but it was worth the wait! When you open the bottle for the first time, they have stuffed the top of the jar with the heads of lesser pickles; like a trophy wall to say "Hey, we're so awesome that even the pickles that don't pass our standards we remove the good parts and present them to you as a prize". That, or they're in there so you can try a small bite of pickle before diving into the greatness of spears. So I had one of those and was very impressed with the nice burn provided by these pickles! It's the hottest pickle that I've ever had - and that's a good thing! After consuming the trophy pickles, I noticed that a habanero was floating around in the brine. Yay for giving us a clue as to where the heat comes from! When I'm done with these pickles I'll see if I can stomach that habanero... If I don't write on my blog again, the habanero won.

Well... would have written about my Bass guitar infatuation, but the pickles took over.... I'll save that for later.


P.S. - I give it seven out of ten fermented cucumbers... Bubbie's are still the best for the money.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget.... for a few reasons

A lot has happened since 9/11/01. We should make sure that we do not forget the tragedy of that day, but there are a few other things to remember as well:

1. 9/11 itself - I still remember sleeping in that morning even though my folks tried to wake me up(yes, I was 21 and living at home) early to check out the news. When I finally woke up it was right after the first building fell. It's still surreal to even think of something like that happening. The feelings run much deeper than just seeing two incredibly large buildings fall into rubble. It's the lives that were lost, the lives that were saved, the courage of the rescuers, the fear, and the aftermath. It's a terrible thing that we lost our resolve and unity so quickly. I hope that as time goes forward that we can FINISH the memorials to those that lost/gave their lives that day. We should show those that would wish to harm us, and those that do succeed, that we do not lay down and allow it to happen. The war will do it's own thing, but rebuilding is another key to showing an unshakable resolve. If I have children, I want to be able to take them to the Pentagon, the WTC site, and Flight 93. I want them to be able to see and feel the tragedy, but ultimately the greatness of the nation they live in. It'll be hard to show someone something that they didn't go through personally, but can be done.

2. 9/11 Nephew - On the same day that the towers fell, my nephew was being delivered. Josh has the distinction of having the same exact date as a birthday. We can see that not everything that happened that day was for destruction. He's a good kid living with his family out in Louisiana. He's got that good ol' boy quality to him... loves doing roping, fishing, hunting, and other non-coast state boy stuff. Josh also has Asperger's Syndrome. And while it's a difficult situation to go through for both Josh and family, it can be a strength or testimony in one's life. I pray that he has a strong upbringing, and that what he goes through will only guide him better. So, Missy, you'll have a road ahead of you, but if you rely on God it'll come together just how it's supposed to.

3. 9/11/04 - It has now been five years since the wife and I got married. It's pretty amazing how time flies by so fast. It doesn't feel like it's been that long. When you look back on the last few years there has definitely been enough to fill that time, but it's easy to remember that time we spent preparing and getting married back in Texas. Yes, two Texans living in California went back to Texas to have a Texas marriage license. =) We also were able to get married in the town that I grew up in, and her Mom lives in. You just can't beat that(maybe beat isn't the word to use in a marriage.... don't tell her dad, he'll take it the wrong way). So we're still enjoying our life together, and I couldn't imagine it not being the way it is. I would also still marry her even after these five years... it's been that good!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Random Thoughts

Well, I don't have anything too long to write about except some current personal/professional events that shouldn't be talked about on a public blog. I'll just say that it's one of the more frustrating items that I've ever had to deal with. Let's get on to the fun items!.

1. - One of the better geek-ware websites out there. It's been around for a long while. I've been frequenting their website since they started up in 1999. They've since grown into a powerhouse of geekdom. I do miss that they do not do as many caffeine samplers as they used to, but they do have more products to choose from. Some of their toys may be overpriced from what you can get at another online retailer, but their geek shirts can't be beat. PEBKAC!!

2. Summertime - Since I wake up semi-early I've noticed that the sun is no longer up. I'll have to start using the lights in the bathroom when I'm showering pretty soon(yes, I clean up fine!). One of the nice things about Summer coming to a close is the nice mornings, days, and evenings here in the desert. It makes it worth going through the summers to have such nice fall, winter, and most of spring. I won't miss the 115 weather, and I'll probably forget what it was like for three months even though I've been here for 20+ years.

3. Glee & SYTYCD - One of the best shows of the last five years and a show that could possibly be a great show are starting up soon. If you missed the pilot episode of Glee you can watch it online for free. I would recommend it to anyone! Also, So You Think You Can Dance is the best dance show out there. It's better than Dancing with the Stars and the Dance Crew show on MTV. The dancers are all excellent and the choreography is usually a hit. On SYTYCD, they really need to think about calming down Mary Murphy. She's very intelligent when it comes to grading how well a couple dances, but I can't stand the screaming! I do believe the judges end up with favourites when they should be as impartial as possible. Too often they praise those that they love and try to shift those watching to vote for them. Don't get me wrong, they have good tastes, but sometimes they need to let go of the guy that America votes into the bottom for three weeks in a row.

Glee on the other hand is a show about a Glee Club. I guess you'll be getting a decent amount of dancing, but it's far from being professional. And who can resist 70s and 80s numbers being done by a group of "high school" students. I do hope that this does better than Arrested Development and gets a following. Glee has that feel of something more sophisticated than a lot of comedies out there. Usually that kind of humor doesn't work for ratings, but we'll see!

Alright, time to eat!


Saturday, September 5, 2009


I hope that someone can pinpoint the hilarity of this AP article. Aw, I can't wait for someone to comment.... Why on earth would you give a couple recipe suggestions for Lemon Jello when the article referenced is about poisoning someone with LEMON JELLO!

Give AP another point for excellence in online news reporting.

Friday, September 4, 2009

reliques pour l'undercroft

Just some things that have been on my mind - I thought this would be a good way to save them and put them away, but I know I'll be coming back to these yet again..... some of them.

1. McDonald's has become slightly more accessible - Not that I enjoy ALL their food, but the chicken strips with buffalo sauce are excellent. They also have good Coke and Orange Drink. But they've now added Dr. Pepper! That's my favourite! And to boot, the one near our house is serving sweet tea. It must be to give me a little piece of Texas.

2. What me Title? - Seriously, we purchased a used car almost two months ago and we're still riding with temp plates. =\ I'm not going to talk about the dealership until I get my plates, but it is annoying that they can't seem to get them.

3. SlotRadio - I've posted about this over on FB and over @ my350z, but I still think it's a great piece of technology. I should read up if you can take the 1000 songs that you paid 40.00 for to your computer so you can use it on different players, but if you're stuck using only theirs you're not terribly off. It would be great for parties, long drives, and working out. The best part is the player with a 1000 song card costs your 99.99 and only 40.00 for each 1000 song card. Pretty nice.

4. Real Journalism? - It's appalling that we even think about showing these things in our regular newspapers. I believe that online is a different world, but still would expect some respect. Anywho, I find it terrible bias on the part of the media that they'll be more inclined to listen to the current administration in matters like this when they wouldn't with the previous. If journalists were out to provide unbiased news then we'd only see this out on the Hannity's and the Olberman's of the world.

5. Weekend Warrior - Well, maybe not..... my idea of being a warrior is playing video games, going online, eating, and other homely things. No parties, no bars, no beach, no sun.... *yawn* I'm pedestrian.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

American History - spice it up?

Well, I'm enjoying a few books on American history, but I can't seem to finish any of them. I started the American Patriot's Almanac, but I can't really read that one as a book. Leah told me that I wasn't supposed to read a whole months worth of days in one sitting. It's definitely a fun read if you enjoy American history. So I started a book called American Lion! No, this is not the book about Ted Kennedy... lock the doors and careen me of a bridge if I ever want to read a biographical book on him. This one is about Andrew Jackson... one of the most awesome presidents we've ever had. The man was stubborn, dueled a ton and had been shot, survived an assassination attempt when not one, but TWO guns jammed, and found time to love his family and his Creator. He also loved his Nation. I am slightly concerned about his preference to greater federal rights, but that doesn't lower him in my eyes. He had great hair as well. My problem? The book reads like a text book in some areas. When it starts to slow down to a crawl; I fall asleep and, ultimately, lose interest for a time. So I sit that one down, and pick up Blacklisted by History to attempt to find out something closer to the truth about McCarthy. In a successful attempt by his enemies, or unfriendlies, he has been vilified by America without the average American knowing the truth. That's not to say that he's a saint, or was wrong in how he went on a cleaning spree of the government. Again, this is a GREAT read, but doesn't hold my interest long enough.

I believe it comes down to the fact that I can read fast and retain a good amount of the information in a book, but I don't get lost in it. Robert Jordan, Glen Cook, Tad Williams, or Joe Abercrombie all have the ability to take you away to a different time(yes, I understand what is and isn't reality). History can do that, but it seems I'm reading about the tight rope that our nation continues to walk on. Did McCarthy rid the government of Communism, or did he allow it to become more insidious? Through his love for the Nation, did Andrew Jackson give too much power to a government that was meant to run from the bottom up? And have we lost our heroes?

I hope that our Nation shows the ability to produce exceptional people that don't provide the government with more power, but provide America with a proper footing and prosperous times. A country that can understand and hold itself to a great moral standard. A people that can love the God that put all this in motion... One that allows us the freedom to choose even when it can cost us everything. I'll keep reading.. slowly... and continue to keep an eye for the people that gave so much for a great, but precarious Nation. (My little salute to George Washington, Jefferson, Revere, Lincoln, MLK Jr, Jackson, et al.)


P.S. I won't always be so serious - I enjoy insanity too much.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Can I get a CZAR for your tax dollars please?

With all that's been happening in our country, it might be worth pointing out the disturbing trend of appointing CZAR's to positions of power. They have a huge amount of control without the population being able to approve or disapprove. It's not a move that the President even has to vet through the congress. IMHO, it runs contradictory to our way of government. That guy over there in that picture is a young Stalin. Be wary of the power we give to these people... it might be enough to take away the liberties and/or freedoms endowed to us by our Creator.

I can has Intrawebs?

For whatever reason, it's almost imperative that everyone that has an internet connection has a blog, a facebook account, twitter, or whatever social program one can get their hands on. It just so happens that I have found myself enjoying facebook, and thought I would take a crack at the blog thing as well. For enjoying the internet and computer as much as I do, you would think that I'd be up on these kinds of things. but socializing hasn't been a huge part of that for a long time. mIRC and AIM after that were the last couple programs that I used to communicate with people known and unknown. Shortly thereafter, I started chatting on message boards with other car nuts and it didn't really grow from there. But getting Facebook has been a fun little experiment so why not attempt the blog as well. At least this way I can post about 5000 words per post so no one listens. ;-) I figure this'll be a catch-all for everything family and non-family related. I'll try to keep down on the politics, but what's part of life is part of blog.