Country Musings

(Edited and re-posted from my comment at Sebastian’s) I’ve never been to a big NRA convention, nothing outside a “Friends of the NRA” Dinner-fundraiser. They’re too far away and politics-oriented. The Gunblogger Rendezvous is more my style, but there’s another NRA-dinner happening just before the next-next weekend gun-show, and it’s a small-scale affair run by locals for locals at the American Legion Hall on Greenstone – and it’s really just for fun. I got us tickets because that way we can meet and talk to more people and settle-in here.
What I have noticed moving away from the city/suburbia nexus to the country/rural region is that there’s a huge attitudinal shift in just 20-miles of driving. Out here in flyover country I’m only thirty minutes from the hated City, but it’s a thousand miles mentally.
People are not especially noticeably or outwardly more conservative (how would that manifest, more NRA t-shirts?), and they are as fluent in urban computer-speak and tech-culture as anyone in the Bay — but their hobbies and sports and activities and JOBS are decidedly not the kind of cubicle/paper-shuffling that exists within the City Walls.
They do ride bicycles up here but often for many-many miles, so it’s not just PC virtue-signaling (and the bike weenies are still jerks). They also ride big loud motorcycles and in packs. Some leather-clad, patch-adorned motorcyclists drive Japanese bikes too, so it’s not just Harley’s. The young men drive little econo-boxes until they grow up and buy a truck – and a ranch or farm to live-on/work-on. People ride horses, still – it’s not just for little girls. They shoot bows-and-arrows in school and then go to hunt with them – and everybody has guns. There’s a thousand square miles of very rugged country-mountain stuff as a huge backyard, and it’s criss-crossed with rough roads, so that keeps the relative population low at any given time besides weekends, and trucks with lift-kits are not just Suburban-Poseur Signaling, either.
Anyhow it’s a very different from the blinkered, concretized mentality of the Urban Space we escaped, which most Country People I talk-to, both young and old, find dangerous, decayed, ugly and unfriendly. They have self-selected and live out here on-purpose, rather than go to the bright-lights just thirty minutes away. Bright-lighters come up here to gawk and gape and think they are superior (they’re not), then drive on to more bright-lights in glittery Tahoe to lose money.
The Anti-NRA people are centered in the Coastal Cities and its fiefdom-exurbs, and it’s because they are part of that machine and they like it that way. But people escape from that all the time and especially the young who want to experiment and live a fuller life: a life with guns and with trucks, with animals and critters, and with Freedom and Liberty – things that that the oppression and demand for conformity that life in the City prevents. So they get away from all that crap and live outside the box, out in the Country.

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)
  • 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.


Sleep Sitting Up

As the title mentions – but it’s not that easy. You’re body wants to “submarine” and slide down the supporting arrangement of pillows. Ow. At some point that eludes the necessary lumbar support and you can awake as a pretzel. Double-ow. Also the head is a weighty watermelon that lolls back and forth and has a will of its own – and the neck seems like an insubstantial arrangement to hold it all up. Neck-ow can result.
I thought I had this licked by sleeping on a vertically aligned pillow, from butt to shoulders, so that my shoulders hung off the sides and let my chest-wall relax, open. Well it got too hot and there was the convulsive shivering again. At about 3:00AM when it was time for more Ibuprofen, I just got up and dicked around on the internet. The throughput was much better than during daytime with this stupid Dish-Net craptastic ISP we have. Afterwards (about forty minutes) I returned and put the sofa-cushion back to work in the dark and arrayed the rest of the pillows so I could recline (and fall asleep) without too much shuddering pain.
It all reminds me of the time of my wife’s broken collar bone. Back in the 80’s before we were married we took Friday-off in advance of a long-weekend, and headed up to the mountains for a camping trip. We didn’t get too far up the Peninsula before a 16-wheel tractor-trailer suddenly changed-lane into us, and we were spun-off the Freeway and her Chevette rolled. Definitely an E-Ticket ride, watching the windshield pop out upside-down and terar-awau, and then a sandstorm of roadside crud come billowing in on the vacuum.
The car was totaled but she “only” had a broken left collar bone where she was thrown against the door pillar – and severe lacerations. She couldn’t sleep laying-down lest the collar-bone shift – which caused a lot of pain, but if she sat-up in bed she could sleep and the bone didn’t attempt to escape through her skin. So I had to tie her up in bed with an arrangement of belts, in the shack where we lived that was once the abode of Jerry Garcia. There were a lot of distinctly weird objet d’art laying grown-over in the yard there. I think she destroyed the photographic evidence of that episode.

Out in the Gold Country

Came across this while hitting the Antiques stores with my wife and her BFF. A WWI Springfield Armory 1918 bayonet cut-down by American Fork and Hoe for WWII and the M1 Garand, with a scabbard of Victory Plastics body and a Beckwith/New England Pressed Steel throat (B 1/9 N marking).

1918 Springfield Armory M1907 bayonet

1918 Springfield Armory M1907 bayonet

American Fork & Hoe cut-down spear-point bayonet

American Fork & Hoe cut-down spear-point bayonet

American Fork & Hoe produced cut-down spear-point Springfield  Armory M1907 bayonet

American Fork & Hoe produced cut-down spear-point Springfield Armory M1907 bayonet

More turtles – no pants.

There were seven in this fishbowl being Maytagged around by the surge, but none the worse for it -I had to stay out or be tumbled-up with them, the water was THIN and I could barely float in – besides avoiding shin-whacking by the fins. But they dont bite – not me anyhow.

UPDATE: Jeebus !  WTF is wrong with NEU BLOGGER??? You try to do a simple f*ing embed in a g**daMN stupid-simple post, and all you get is HTf*ingML script????

Gadzooks you gunny peoples do all kinds of weird stuff in two weeks – and the politics is definitely crazy-whack – but Mr. Completely shoots for GOLD!

And I am all excited to be able to go to the Gunblogger Rendezvous (v. 7) this year.

Not an Inevitablity…

This used to be a golf course…before that it was pineapples, now it’s a maze of flowers and butterflies. We hiked the upper reaches of the old course to a large pond that was a course water-hazard – it held huge koi fish and ducks a plenty. They get along without much help now.
Across the channel Molokai is shrouded along the top ridge.

Maui Land & Pineapple Company has gone tits-up. The “pine” are no longer in production and people are out of work.

DT Fleming Beach was named after David Fleming who planted the first pineapples up by Kapalua in 1912, and the beach was pretty empty as usual.

Drinks at the Ritz’ outdoor cafe are very spendy (as usual) but the scenery is unparalleled. We were not guests, just party-crashers.

Surfin’ Safari

On the world’s smallest wave, in water little more than waist-deep, it’s still easy to wobble-off and wipeout.

I did manage to stand up and ride a couple into shore with a push from the instructor and paddling like crazy, including the very first wave. Performance deteriorated after the first wave as I over-compensated six ways to Sunday.
My wife rode several all the way into shore.
It’s a helluva lot more work than I anticipated – a sport not just an activity, and I have a newfound major respect for the guys and gals who do it. With the only throttle-mechanism being your paddling arms, and with the board being in the way since you’re lying on it with your neck cranked up and looking off into the wet and salty distance, paddling occurs with the outer arms and elbows using a hitherto unknown and unused set of muscles that God probably did not invent but the Devil did.
Towards the end of my exhaustion I got set upon a wave that directed me to the stone breakwater, which me being unstable and unable to avoid, I attempted to bank-off like a shooting a berm – a proper dirt-riding technique that would work if you had a throttle and another motivating source and some tires – and dirt. In water that equals mud – my arms were up in the air, not down paddling in the water. I managed to carom off a few-three slippery sub-surface rocks and headed (leaned) away from the pier before belly-flopping off into the clear water away from the stones. Got a good earful from the instructor and lost the fin. Watercrashr.
Afterwards came lesson #2 about surfing: Later that evening over some beers I was still totally stoked and amped by the rushing endorphins, and eager to take another lesson until I awoke with arms like cement pleading for ibuprofen – the makers of Advil must burn huge offerings to the Surf Gods.
Snorkeling on the other hand is weightless and effortless by comparison, and the fish and turtles who are not curious appear only slightly annoyed at your presence. With masks that have RX diopters we can actually see all the marine life, instead of the fuzzy blotches which inhabit the world when my glasses are removed. They are totally recommended for those of us who are near-sighted and reveal a world of activity that you maybe didn’t want to actually know about.

It was a great sixteen days, more pictures when they get developed to CD.