Belated Blogversary

Seems I missed my own blogversary.  It’s hard to imagine (or even remember) what has actually transpired since August 7, 2004… but I’ll, repeat my old post just for the hell of it – a Mai Tai recipe.

Da Kine rippin’ onolicious Mai-Tai recipe

Maybe it was the Exotica music that triggered it, or tasting the fine examples at Tao Tao’s in Sunnyvale: I went on a hunt for the best Mai-tai recipe.
Where the hell is that Demarara?

Mix: “Bleh” to those pre-mixed Mai-Tai bottle-blends. Even Trader Vic’s mix is too sour and without much fresh flavor. Dey all lousy, fuggedaboudit.

Sweet: I’ve tried a variety of sweeteners, from coconut syrup to orgeat syrup, but real juice just keeps coming back as the best answer.

Juice: Avoid tinned pineapple juice with that metallic taste, or anything less than fresh-squeezed. In the Islands pineapple juice is easy to get, while Island oranges tend to be less sweet – so pineapple/orange juice is not going to be sugary glop like you in the grocery stores here.
As a juice base I prefer passion fruit juice. If none is available pineapple-orange juice combinations are fine, or even “POG” – Pineapple-Orange-Guava, which is an Island specialty. Ultimately the drink should be flavorful without being too sweet or bitter.

Prepare two glasses with 4-5 ice cubes. Pour a dribble of juice from the jar of maraschino cherries into the bottom, over the ice.

In a cocktail shaker with 5 cubes of ice (for two persons) prepare:

    • 1/2 shot lime juice – to cut the sweetness
    • 1/2 shot Triple sec

1/2 shot Orange Curacao
1/2 shot Cointreau or Drambui

  • 1 shot Light rum, or even better, Brazilian Toucano, a Chacacha, (a light rum from the first press of the sugar cane juice itself) http://www.internetwines.com/rws19181.html
  • 1 shot good Jamaican Gold rum
  • 1 shot Demarara or Guyana 151 rum, or Myers’s

 

Fill shaker to the line with passion fruit juice, or 3 parts fresh pineapple to 1-part orange juice mix.

Shake until it’s cold.

Carefully pour over ice in drink-glasses. Avoiding swirling or tumbling the drink mixture with the bottom layer. You want to achieve a sunset, with light colors on the bottom, and the dark on top. Top with a 1/2 shot float of dark rum: a Negrito from Barbados, or Myers’s.

Pineapple slices skewered with a cherry under an umbrella should be used as garnish. Insert colorful straw.

Put on album of Martin Denny music.

 

Social Studies

I surfed via Instapundit to Sonny Bunch’s blog Everything’s a Problem to be inundated by a heretofore unbelievable level of SJW Twitter smug, trigger-warnings, and noxious toxicity. It’s beyond snark. And it amazes me to the core of my soul that there is such a primitive level of college-homestay Political Correctness and Thoughtcrime Code-Enforcement going on out there in the ether.

It’s hysterical in the sense that hysteria is a mental disorder. But sheesh.

On display for all to see un-ironically are The SJW Culture-Warrior Gestapo, knee-jerking as they goose-step to the big field decorated with the rainbow banners of Joylessness, and gather in Nürnberg-cyberspace to enjoy a little Three-Minute Hate.

No wonder I don’t Facebook.

I hate Hippie Spiders

I realize that in Nature (red in tooth and claw), all things find their balance and there is a hierarchy of who eats what and who is eaten by whom. The previous owners had a relaxed and laissez-faire attitude towards much of the outdoors and its’ creepy and feathery inhabitants. Too bad they adopted the Hippie, spider-friendly ethic – or maybe they were overwhelmed by the volume indicated. Maybe they didn’t recognize the terminal threat to their own children that existed with the “peaceful co-existence” and co-habitation with Spiders.
Out there in the thick prairie, in the Moeibus Loop of Life, there are mites feeding off bugs feeding off katydids feeding off…our eventually decaying corpses. And it happens whether we are shipped to a burning Ghat or a more efficient crematorium, or (especially) just wrapped in a cloth and laid six-feet under.

The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
The worms play pinochle on your scalp,
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose,
They eat the jelly between your toes.
A big green worm with rolling eyes
Crawls in your stomach and out your sides.

But in my admittedly vastly negative experience, there is no place in a HOME where I LIVE for an infestation of any kind of spiders. My extreme prejudiced for spiders is based n experience, and is akin to how I would respond to a thief creeping around in the house in the dark at night with a .357 magnum – with extreme prejudice.
Spiders are not the benign victims of anti-spider Media-frenzy, illegal-spider immigration, or a raaacist anti-Spiderphobia. Spiders in the wild are like rattlesnakes in the wild. You do with them as you please, and I’ll do with them as I please – Bang!
In this ranch-house on the primeval-vegetal Prairie, I have notice a few here and there, and some also inside. I’ve sprayed the house perimeter with the stuff that comes in a white jug from Homie-Despot or Costloco.
I have sprayed the thick nests and webs in the garage – and removed them physically. I chased a big fat hairy one from those nests as it darted quickly back and forth and tried to dodge the insatiable sucking maw of the ShopVac. And I missed. I stepped on one outside and saw a dozen teeny-tiny ones run in every direction. I think the host (Mom) was dead and they were feeding on/off it.
This may become a frequent war-effort, as I will NOT be bitten by a Brown Recluse again.
And tonight I was cleaning-up crumbs under the corner-cabinetry toe-kick, down on the3 floor by the sink, when the back of my hairy hand brushed a thick cobweb. So I proceeded to spray inside. The result will be as with a thief in the night, like the game of Clue – Mr. Spider/Thief was “stopped” in the Kitchen, by Mr. Sig Nitron-P220, in .45 – with the laser and hollow-points.
But I fear this is not yet game over.

Smaug in Claudifloria

The wife’s old car needed to get tested by the Cal-State Regulatory Bozos of the DMV and I had an issue with the truck, so in the cold morning mist we drove over to Ponderosa Auto Express. Surprise, the Bay Area coastal fog had made an unwelcome and damp intrusion up into our latitude, drawn by the cold storm in the mountains high above, and our house was surrounded by a cloud of the cold crud.
The old BMW barely passed the State Politburo’s Number-Nazis, so she’ll be looking for a more reasonable vehicle – like the Toyota Tacoma she’s always wanted.
Raison d’être for the truck’s visit was that we both noticed (hard to ignore) it had made a repetitive squeeky-graunchy sound yesterday as we drove up and out of a steep and windy driveway in Pollock to escape some ravenous mosquitoes and an insipid bit of property. The noise had a repetitive rotational aspect that sounded serious – and it reminded me of a couple other times such a mystery sound had occurred – like at home. My initial thoughts had to do with squatting and suspension, but this has only happened when hot or on hot days, so it wasn’t a cold-start issue. The rotational aspect was bothersome. Needless to say it did not repeat in this cold morning, so that helped to throw-out the suspension notion and the clever mechanic suggested on such a truck with rear disc-brakes it could be a dragging brake-shoe that activated (or failed-to release completely) when hot. Not a Highway Threat so we’ll continue to monitor it.
Meanwhile the application of rosewood stain to the speaker-boxes and repeatedly wiping-off is becoming a bit tedious. It’s hard to penetrate the oak grain, there’s no time-based instructions to follow, and seems to wipe-off too easily. Mainly I am impatient and not very good at it – or too perfection-minded and keep fussing. Anyhow “it” has begun and holes are drilled for the feet. Once the bottom is done the sides can begin, but damn these are big heavy bastards.
I would quickly move to a place with less onerous and dumbass restrictions and a higher IQ, but our generous healthcare benefits are localized and not portable.

Boom and Bust

The history of the Gold Country is replete with tales of boom and bust, of peak-moments of crazy-fabulous riches followed by troughs of fire, depression, failed-crops, and broken dreams. In other words, the prospective house needs a whole new roof, entirely new attic ducting, and an electrical make-over. There’s some witches-brew of mis-wiring; the light/fan in the master-bedroom trips the GFI in the master bath, but then the fan continues to operate. One GFI circuit in a front bedroom trips a circuit on the other-side of the house out on the deck. Another GFI circuit in the kitchen is un-tripped by itself but is tripped by the non-GFI outlet on the other side of the sink. The carpet smells of smoke, and walls need patching – that’s trivial and cosmetic, but/and there’s no vent-stack for the stove/range. Venting into the attic is not a recommended procedure as I understand it. The vent-stack could be fixed at the time of the re-roofing, but the full inspection report and termite-report and will come tomorrow. And no dirtbike riding, too noisy! Pbbth! Other than that the HOA is pretty un-intrusive! I’m gonna go have a beer.

Return of the Weatherman

Winter came back wet and cold. This morning we made meatloaf with grilled onions and the windows over the sink fogged up with the temperature differential. In the distance is a thin, turquoise line of clear-blue off over the Valley, and between that are rows and rows of stacked cumulus clouds advancing towards us.
Yesterday was clear but chilling as we drove out to see a bit of property with a house on it. We can’t afford to build a “dream-home” but would like to park some retirement money in real estate and not The Market or in Banks with no-return – nor in gold and silver. That just freaks me out. My own retirement account is static and UN-reachable for another few years. I’m not very astute financially and was never taught how money really works by my Leftist-religious parents or the schools I attended. I believe my parents liked to keep us shielded from The Root of Evil, and also they probably didn’t want us kids to worry about it since it was scarce for them too. But as a result I didn’t even know how to balance a checkbook until after College. Unlike many of my smart-money affluent classmates who were on the “Ski Team” and such, I think one of the “draws” for playing Polo and Swimming was the uniform costs were so low – all you needed was a swim-suit. Even a pair of soccer-cleats cost more than two Speedos. Football was gear-intensive and expensive. But I also didn’t know much how to go about getting and making money, and my HS retail-career consisted of scooping ice-cream. I hate ice-cream now and never touch the stuff.
So we went out on a search with our Real Estate friend, but the first house we went to was over-full with a party of stoners. Hey, I think I just invented a categorization, like a “Pride of Lions” or a “Murder of Crows”: “A Party of Stoners”…
Anyhow they were living in squalor. It was a sad combination of rubbish strewn everywhere, cigarette-butts in huge urn-like ashtrays dotting the landscape inside and out, hoarding-rubbish obstructing walkways of un-made laundry piled in every nook and corner, filthy floor-coverings, and the stench of marijuana, sweat, and urine. There was a sweet dog that needed a better home and owners. I had a BIG sad.
The neighborhood is immaculate, beautiful, neat as a pin with nice and neat neighbors. This worn-down hulking dump on the edge of a hillside would need to be nuked from orbit and the ground scraped three inches deep and salted before re-building could begin. There was already a skip in the front yard but no evidence that much effort was being made to clean-up and fill it. We backed-out carefully.
The next house was empty and because of the chill in the weather cold as an icebox. It was another one beyond our financial wherewithal to fix-up to a living standard. We’ll keep looking. It’s a fine balance between how-much major re-construction and the whole permitting process is required, and fixable livability – we’ll be staying there not renting it.

Fire on the Mountain

Crater rim firesOn Thursday after arriving at Crater Lake Lodge, we watched from our room as helicopters brought water buckets to the new lightning strikes that had ignited fires on the nearby slopes across the valley. Our view faced south to the upper Klamath basin, and that was smoky too.
Driving out two days later we crossed through verdant meadows and pastureland of the upper Klamath basin, liquidity that might exist in California if we had a coherent water policy and not a strictly political one. Coming across the border everything dried-out because, well, it’s a high desert environment that drains away.
As we drove south a fierce fire was raging on a ridge next to the freeway and we could see big air-tankers dropping retardant. We had gassed-up earlier at a rather remote location, and while at the gas-station a couple of Forest Service firefighters were expressing frustration at winds that had caused them to chase different fires in different directions.
Before we got to Shasta the smoke in the canyon was so thick that visibility had dropped to just yards – but the highway was OK and clear. The sparse following traffic had an urgency to it that I tried to match, but smaller and faster cars zipped by in a hurry to get the hell out of there.
Shasta Smoke
Shasta itself rose like a wraith, it’s pinnacle floating high above us and seemingly disconnected from the earth, its base obscured by smoke.
We got around the mountain and stopped briefly in McCloud for some lunch. The winds blow up from the south, generally, and on that side of the mountain the air was crystal clear – from that vantage point one wouldn’t even know that multiple fires were raging behind the massif.
It’s kinda like the drought situation here: the very-hipster SF BayAryans and ultra laid-back Angelenos seem to have no clue that the rest of the state is really in pretty bad shape, they water lawns indiscriminately – and I was among them. This problem has been on-going for about four years, and I never once heard word-one in the local media about it while living down there.
Meanwhile we’re lucky to have escaped the Sand Fire that burnt nineteen homes and seventy-four outbuildings just a few miles south of us while we were away. The nearby (Ponderosa) High School was the scene of evacuation where people and animals sheltered. Lotta horses and cattle here, and 4-H kids are very involved. I like that a lot.

Gymkhana: Oh Noes!

Bayou Renaissance Man alerted us to this vid which I sent to a friend yesterday – apparently it’s EVERYWHERE now.

So, some tennis-shoe magnate (sorry, skate-board shoe – who knew there was so much money in sk8in’?) has the cash to splash on his new favorite toy-and-game, good for him! I applaud his effort and ingenuity. I’ve never seen any of the car-drifting “Fast and Furious” type movies, but I imagine he could audition as a driver, and it’s fun to see a city you know well shown-off to such advantage. I’ve tried similar stunts on a Dual-Sport motorcycle in SF, and coming off a street/jump and going downhill the angle/geometry *really* compresses the forks, and then you (may) start to nose-over. You really have to watch the front brake since it’s the only functioning one when you do that, the other wheel is not touching the ground. Plus, all the damn SF trolly-tracks are metal and have ZERO traction, so they’re slippery as snot and they’re in every *corner* too – that and all the man-hole covers and PG&E metal repair-plates – just all kinds of stupid SF crap right where you’ve got the bike banked-over… I’d have to say that in my experience, the car-drivers of SanFrandisco are about the worst-skilled anywhere, and the cars all (or mostly) have seriously beaten and dying clutches from the steep hills.

The Pushback Begins

Governor Bobby Jindal says no “Health Exchanges” in Louisiana. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is on the fence, Governor Rick Scott of Florida says they will join Scott Walker in Wisconsin and wait before implementing the costly bureaucracy, unfunded mandate, and regulatory nightmare of Obamacare.

Meanwhile:

Of the 204 new Obamacare waivers President Barack Obama’s administration approved in April, 38 are for fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Northern California district…Pelosi’s district secured almost 20 percent of the latest issuance of waivers nationwide, and the companies that won them didn’t have much in common with companies throughout the rest of the country that have received Obamacare waivers….Pelosi’s district’s waivers are the first major examples of luxurious, gourmet restaurants and hotels getting a year-long pass from Obamacare. Read more:

Other waiver-recipients include Boboquivari’s restaurant in San Francisco, Café des Amis on ultra-expensive Union street, Café Mason near Union Square, The Franciscan Crab restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf with menu entrees ranging from about $15 to $60, San Francisco’s four-star hotel Campton Place and the Hotel Nikko, and Tru Spa, which Allure Magazine rated the “best day spa in San Francisco.” Pelosi’s office did not respond to The DC’s requests for comment either…

Is Judicidorkery a word?

The Supremes are teaching Americans a lesson and it’s that America’s got Talent! 
They have proven by an rambling legalistical formulation drawn from a massively confusing rug of mis-woven regulations, thick with tortured paragraphs and water-boarded dangling participles, that they are truly the third playing-party of .GOV and not exactly an independent or impartial arbiter – since Congress only has to lay-down and pass such a thick and tawdry (2,000 un-read pages) excretion, pebbled with undigested bits of non-aligned thinking and regurgitated kernels of misdirecting caveats, folded-over and funneled into a contorted conclusion, to trip and slip-on as they stumble over it before they finally arrive on stage, ready to tell the long-long joke.
What DO you call an act like that? – I call it ‘The Judicicrats’.