Monday, June 30, 2008


staycation over
back to work today, monday
please pass the coffee
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Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Blogthing: Marital arts

Ganked from General Blather... Though to be fair, I'm an AWESOME husband in any era!


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Restaurant review: in•gre•di•ent

Trying to break the monotony of lunch spots in south OP, I took my Supermodel Wife to the new Park Place strip mall at 115th and Nall.

We ended up, after my awesome parallel parking job, at in•gredient, a fancy new local joint with a second location in Lawrence.

in•gredient, 11563 Ash Street, Park Place @ 117th and Nall, Leawood

It's a great lunch spot with nice terrace seating as well as a clean indoor dining room. The atmosphere was contemporary with a walk-through ordering process, very much like an upscale, more contemporary version of Jason's Deli.

For lunch I had the daily special -- the Sicilian Melt with a side of tater chips. The sandwich was spicy and excellent, with generous portions of salami, pepperoni and provolone laced with tomatoes, pepperoncini and a pepper sauce all on ciabatta bread.

I especially liked the ciabatta, which was nice and chewy, the way I like my artisan (or as I say, "artisanal") bread.

My Supermodel Wife had the half-pizza and half-Caesar salad lunch combo. By all accounts, the pizza (Alfredo chicken) was excellent if a little too cheesy for her taste. The salad was good, although according to the missus, was a little heavy on the dressing.

Service was quick and friendly. We arrived early enough to beat the lunch rush, but there is definitely a lunch rush so be prepared to wait in line if you get there after 11:45.

Overall, it's nice to have a good lunch spot that isn't a chain restaurant. I felt good about supporting a local business and I also am a big fan of their tipping policy, which I think says a lot about the management of the place:
In order to maximize the value you receive from your visit to Ingredient, we do not allow tipping.

Instead of tipping, should you feel the need, we recommend one of the following: Give a few dollars to charity...Say Hello to a stranger...Pet a dog...Perform a random act of kindness...Put a quarter in a parking meter you see that is expired...Do something nice for yourself!
Rating: Become a regular.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cock blocked

Sheeesh! It's getting to the point these days where you can't even enjoy a little recreational time with your cock.

Try and toss your chicken at a basketball game, and the PITA and animal lovers hate on you like you just drank the last beer at an Irish pride parade.

Now, the killjoys at the Johnson County Sheriff's Department are coming down hard on those who enjoy certain cock-centric sporting events.
A suspected cockfighting operation was raided Wednesday after a two-year investigation in rural Johnson County, the sheriff's department announced.

Deputies served a search warrant on a home in the 38700 block of West 151st Street. Authorities said they confiscated more than 170 fighting roosters and a large sum of cash.
Nevermind that the owners of fighting cocks take a great deal of pride in raising their cocks -- even going so far as to
suck the mucus out of them with their own mouths.

That, my friends, is dedication.

I tell ya, it just doesn't pay to be a bird fan these days.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin R.I.P.

Like a lot of bloggers today, I'm bummed about the death of George Carlin at the age of 71.

So, like a lot of bloggers, I'm posting one of my favorite riffs of his, in memoriam.

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Guest Post: How to Turn Beef into Gold

Today's post comes from probably the wisest person in the world, my dad.

This is but the latest bit of knowledge I have received from him, which learning goes back to when I was 8 years old helping Dad with some plumbing and he enlightened me with the wisdom that "Shit don't flow uphill." Oh how I've observed this principal in action many times since.

Anyway, this latest lesson came when I requested his recipe for cooking a couple of beef briskets I've had in my freezer for a while. You see, among Dad's many talents are his skills as a chef. He's a true da Vinci of da grill, the Botticelli of Boston Butts, a veritable Frank Lloyd Wright of ribs.

The man's an artist is what I'm tryin' to say.

So here, I share this priceless advice with you.
OK emawkc — here goes. Not all original, but I claim it as mine!!

You see my son, the medieval alchemist, who sought to turn base metals into gold, should have tried barbecuing a brisket on your Good-One Smoker. The transformation of the meat is on the same magnitude of magic but much more successful.
1 cup paprika
¼ cup ground black pepper
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne
Mix well. This should be enough for an 8 to 12 pound packer-trimmed beef brisket or two 6 pound brisket flats—might as well smoke both while you’ve got it hot.

The night before you plan to BBQ, combine the rub ingredients, and apply evenly to briskets, massaging it into every little pore. (Save a couple tablespoons of the rub). Place brisket in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.

Before you begin to BBQ, remove the brisket from the refrigerator, let sit at room temp. for 45 minutes.

Water the smoker, start the charcoal, bring temp to 220 to 240 degrees Fahrenheit.

Into a sauce pan poor a glass of wine (reserve remainder of bottle for use during CYO), ½ cup cider vinegar, ½ cup water, ¼ cup corn oil, ½ cup finely minced onion, a couple minced garlic cloves, and some Worcestershire sauce and at least a table spoon of GPA’S ODF Rub.

Warm up this mop on top of smoker after the meat in cooking—don’t boil.

Put the brisket on the rack toward the rear of the smoker with the fat sides up. Now would be a good time to notice which direction the grain of the meat is going. It will need to cook about 1½ hours per pound of the larger brisket.

After it’s been on for a couple hours start to baste the blackening hunk with the stuff from the saucepan—about once an hour or so.

Be sure to drink some of the reserved wine every time you put basting on the hunk—after all, you have to Control Your Outlook on the whole process.

After meat is cooked, how ever long it takes, let cool at room temp for 20 minutes, then slice very thinly against the grain, and serve.

So now grasshopper, you have the secret.

But remember these words of wisdom: BBQ is only incidentally cooking, and one should avoid, as much as possible, confusing the two. BBQ is play—serious, mind-concentrating, important- risk- running, even exhausting--anything in fact, except a chore.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Blogthing: Please pass the fava beans and Chianti

Please don't take this personally. Survival is survival you know.

And hey, at 54% your chances of being eaten by me are almost the same as your chances of NOT being eaten by me(although I think there are certain among you who would be more tasty than others).


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Thursday, June 19, 2008

HEADLINES: Phoenix probes Mars ice hole

The NASA brain trust has reported the much anticipated discovery of solid H20 (that's water ice for those of you in Missouri) on Mars.
"It must be ice," said the Phoenix Lander's lead investigator, Peter Smith. "These little clumps completely disappearing over the course of a few days, that is perfect evidence that it's ice."
According to the WIRED report (see above link), the discovery of solid H20 was a primary goal of the Phoenix mission.

Ecstatic mission directors now turn their attention to the secondary mission goal -- the search for Klingons hanging out near the ice hole.

(Hey guys, the best jokes never get old.)

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Star Trek-themed weddings are totally gay

I’m reading a lot of commentary around the blogiverse about the recent flood … of California gay marriages.

There has been a lot of "We're queer, we're married, get used to it!"

Plenty of "Married at last, married at last, thank God in Heaven we're married at last."

And even some "Gay people getting married and Jimmy cracking corn are two thing I don’t care about."

But my favorite take has been from my good friend from high school, PDSH.
I guess in a way I'm still bitter. Why shouldn't we just be able to pay for the certificate and have the state recognize something that already occurred? Why do we have to have another ceremony? The Clerk's service was nice, but I'm pretty sure I don't need someone to tell me how marriage is not to be entered into lightly.
I think this is close to the way I've approached the issue all along.

The way I see it -- and this is especially true in my case -- if you can find someone who can stand to be around you for the rest of your life you should hang on to them like grim death.

Getting married is nice, but it's mostly just ceremonial. It's more for the family of the two people involved, rather than for the two people involved. I know there are issues of health care, taxes, inheritance, etc. But these seem to be more civil issues than marital ones.

That makes it sound like I favor civil unions over actual gay marriage. That's not the case at all. I don't begrudge anyone the right to an according-to-Hoyle marriage with all the rights, privileges and nagging that entails.

Not being a gay guy (or gal for that matter), I'm not sure how much my perspective even counts here. But I've always thought it seemed a little insulting to gay people for us straighties to tell them it's okay for them to get married.

As if they need our permission to commit to each other.

Doesn't it seem a little condescending for straight people to "allow" gay people to get married? And why, if you were a gay person, would you even want acknowledgment from the "straight community" on your personal choices.

The answer is that even if it does feel a little condescending, it's good to have this milestone of equality finally passed. With the flamboyant genie finally out of the closet bottle, society can move toward jumping the next hurdle.

Plus, as a bonus, gay marriage really pisses off the leader of a certain fake-religious sect in the Topeka area that I no longer mention by name. Which is good.

Anyway, congratulations to all the newly hitched homos out there. May your wedding nights be FABULOUS.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

YouTube Tuesday: Bicky Knee Zone

Well, it sounds like I may not be going on an island vacation this year. That's okay. I hear Branson is lovely in the summer.

But for those of you who are going to the beach, be sure to take this great ancient Japanese wisdom with you:

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Money Trouble

As if we needed it, today’s headline was further proof of the total disregard these Activist Judges have for the rights and wishes of the tax payer.

According to the Associated Press, an activist judge in Florida has unilaterally decided to enact a little state-sponsored animal abuse:
(AP) Leona Helmsley's dog isn't quite as well-heeled as she used to be. Manhattan Surrogate Judge Renee Roth has reduced the trust fund for the little dog, named Trouble, from $12 million to $2 million.

The remaining $10 million now goes to Helmsley's charitable foundation.

The 9-year-old Maltese lives in Florida with the general manager of the Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel. Helmsley died last August.
Now, isn’t it just like a liberal activist judge to take it upon themselves to decide what to do with someone else's money?

Consider this, this cruel judge has just taken away more than 80 percent of the money this poor dog uses to live on. The little bitch will now have to struggle though the rest of her life on a trust fund of only $2 million, rather than the $12 million her former owner and current Hell-dweller intended.

Do you think the puppy-hating judge gave even a moment's thought as to how Trouble is supposed to afford a new diamond-studded collar each month? And let me tell you, that gourmet Fancy Feast isn't cheap. And what about Trouble's entourage? I guess they're all out on the street now. Let's just hope they've all been spayed or neutered.

My friends, haven’t we gone too far? Do we really want to live in a country where the good judgment of a well-respected tax-avoider can be so easily overturned by one calloused dog-hating judge?

Remember, if it can happen to Trouble, it can happen to your pet.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Media circle jerk continues

Here we go again.

Yes, Tim Russert died. Yes, it's a tragedy. Indeed, it's a dark day for America.

But to paraphrase Mark Antony, I come not to praise Tim Russert, but to bury him. I'm not a huge fan of Russert. I didn't ever really watch him and if you had asked be before a few hours ago what he looked like I would have only a vague idea.

It's not that I dislike him. It's just that it drives me crazy when people are fans of talking heads on TV.

Okay. He died. It's a damn shame that people have to die and my heart goes out to his family and friends. But you just know that there's a building tsunami of blog posts from people who only knew Russert as a face on a flatscreen.

But the worst of it will come tonight during the primetime news casts when every self-important news anchor will feel compelled to "say a few words" about their "friend and colleague" and what a supreme being he was because he was on TV.

There will probably be several video retrospectives with emotional background music as "we remember the life of our dear friend" and "all that he has contributed" as if, by virtue of him being on TV, his contributions are so much more valuable that the ordinary rank and file of America.

It has happened before
and it will happen again, because the talking heads on the teevee love being the story more than telling the story.

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The Evil Prints

As some of you may be aware, I've been working for several years on an evil plan to take over the world.

If you're not aware of that now, don't worry, you soon will become painfully aware when I unleash my… oh, well, there will be time for that later (mwahahahhah, cough, er…). Anyway, I digress.

Typically I try to keep my evil secret plans, well, secret. Like the time I was able to insert a certain one of my minions into the head position of the ALL POWERFUL Kansas City Missouri Parks Board (and I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those pesky kids and that dog!)

But again I digress.

What I was going to say is that I had a HUGELY Evil victory at the office this morning, and uncharacteristically I wanted to share it with you so that you can bask with me in my supreme evilness.

It all started as I sat at my Evil computer monitor studying some Evil spreadsheets and Evil quarterly plans. There were a few documents that I need to evilly send to the shared printer that all of the cube dwellers on my floor share.

So, with an evil, maniacal laugh which surely would have sent shivers of fear down the spines of my unwitting cube neighbors had any of the slackers bothered to show up on time for work, I hit the print button (with much evilness).

I gave the computers and printers a minute or two to crunch through my evil print job. I then headed over to the printer to pick up the documents as they came out, lest anyone find them and discover my nefarious plot.

When I arrived at the printer, I discovered that some unfortunate soul had incurred my wrath by leaving their print job unattended. It had created a printer error and backed up the entire print queue for about an hour and a half.

My evil documents were all at the end of the long queue, which wasn't even moving because of the printer error created by user THX1138.

Now, you lame do-gooders would have tried to help out poor, pathetic THX1138. You would have tried to find the 11x17 paper that he foolishly tried to print his documents on and placed it in Paper Tray 3 and pressed “C” to continue the print job as the error message suggested.

But that’s not how we Evil geniuses roll.

Instead, I did something completely Evil. I pressed the “Cancel” button, consigning THX1183’s print job to the depths of oblivion, never to be seen again.


But I wasn't finished yet. Only now will the entire population of office workers (who were trying to print documents to that printer) see the true power of my Evilocity!

Because next I went through the backed up print queue and found my print jobs and PROMOTED THEM to a higher priority than all of the jobs in front of me!

So my Evil documents came out before the documents of the sucky saps who sat by and did nothing about the printer error!

And behold! My Evil documents were printed and I went back to my Evil cube to continue my Evil day’s work so I could get back to my evening hobby of TAKING OVER THE WORLD!!!!

MHWAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA. AHHHHHAAHAHAHAA! HAAHAHHAAAAHAaaaaa.... (ouch, it hurts my throat when I laugh like that too much).

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Friday Blogthing: Gorilla my dreams

I knew this monkey business would finally catch up with me.



What's Your Blog Wanted For?

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Life imitates art

News out of Newton, Kansas:
Kansas man arrested for killing 4 kittens
The Associated Press

NEWTON, Kan. | A 36-year-old Newton man has been arrested on felony animal cruelty charges for allegedly killing his ex-girlfriend’s four kittens with a hammer.

Police arrested Brandon Hayes on Monday for allegedly killing his ex-girlfriend’s four kittens in May. Lisa Stewart said she gave her kittens to Hayes to move to her garage, but she never saw her kittens alive again.
Hmm... Where have I heard of this before? Oh yeah...

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Bag o'snake

It’s funny the kinds of things kids bring home from school.

Sure, you get the standard stuff like the day’s take of drawings and paintings. Sometimes you’ll find another child’s pen or brush or stuffed animal. And believe me, your typical five-year-old comes home daily with all manner of new and interesting germs to infect your upper respiratory system.

But on this particular day in early June, I was a bit surprised to see this particular five-year-old bring home a small plastic ziplock baggie from school. It was smaller than sandwich size, about the size some of you would use to carry your "herb" on your way to one of your hippie drum circles.

But there wasn't any Aunt Mary in the baggie (dammit!). Rather, the sole contents consisted of about the first four inches of a snake.

No, not that kind of snake. I'm talking about the kind that crawl around on their bellies scaring the crap out of people.

Still not right. Think of the same level of creepiness but more natural. You know, the kind of snake that eats rodents and air travelers.

That's right. Except luckily, the snake we're talking about wasn't that big or poisonous.

It was a small grass snake, the head and about three and a half inches of snake jerky apparently chopped off of the rest of the reptile by a lawn mower blade.

I didn't get a photograph (I know you're bummed), but here's an artist's rendering:
Those of you who have been parents for a while know that now is the time when you have to put up a calm front to avoid freaking out the kid while you wonder if you have a budding Ozzy Osbourne on your hands.

"Hey, whatcha got in the bag?" I asked.

"I found it at school! I'm the only one who got one," came the excited reply. "I found it in the grass in the play area and my teachers said I could bring it home."

Ah, gotta love those teachers.

"So, what are you going to do with it," I asked, totally not concerned in the least.

"I'm going to cut it open to see what's on the inside. Can you help me?"

"I, uh, well, er..."

"I'll need some of those plastic gloves. You know? Those gloves? Do we have any of those gloves? We'll need them before we cut it open. And we should probably wear mask over our mouths, too."

She was very mater of fact and clinical about the whole idea. She was eager and curious to see the actual interior workings of your every day, garden variety grass snake.

Unfortunately, the baggie with snake therein found it's way to the trash can before we could acquire the instruments necessary for the postmortem.

She was, of course, disappointed. She really wanted to see the inside of the snake. But the disappointment was soon overcome by the next episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, and anyway we were having quesadillas for dinner which is one of her favorite meals.

Still, my Supermodel Wife and I had debated whether our daughter was too young to see the Bodies Revealed exhibition at Union Station and decided that she probably was. Now, maybe it's time to revisit that debate.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

YouTube Tuesday: Ingsoc for Dummies

Today's edition of YouTube Tuesday is in honor of the supreme job Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did of pulling the steel wool over the eyes of voters recently.

Our national delusion continues, HUZZAH!

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Dino night

We headed to KC’s bustling downtown Saturday night for the much anticipated (by our 5-year-old) Walking with the Dinosaurs show.

Thanks to a connection through A Friend of Ours, we had a choice view from about 15 rows up from the floor of the Sprint Center. We had just found our seats as the lights went down and the narrator began.

It was an impressive production. The narrator described, in upper grade-school level terms (which is good news for those of you in Arizona), the geographic and environmental forces that influenced the evolution of dinosaurs from Pangaea in the Triassic to the dino-killing meteor strike that hit Mexico at the end of the Cretaceous.

Not that a five-year-old cares about the scientific mumbo jumbo. We were there to see the dinosaurs. Or, as my five-year-old corrects me, the robots made up to look like dinosaurs.

The dinos lived up to their billing. Through a combination of clever puppetry and sophisticated animatronics, the production company brought out life-sized versions of all the characters made famous in your childhood reading: Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Raptor, Brontosaurus (well, in this case Brachiosaurus) and, of course, Tyrannosaurus Rex.

It was great entertainment and included a 20-minute intermission that allowed me to grab a lemonade and M&Ms for the kid and a Bud Light for myself (all for the low, low price of $15).

The show proper was appropriate for the elementary-age target audience.

That's not to say it was boring to adults. The dinos were indeed impressive... and loud.It's just to say that it was light on the blood and guts factor during the staged fights between carnivore and herbivore. So it wasn't scary as far as that goes.

In fact, the scariest dinosaur of the night was the Grandmasaurus we ran into after the show while standing on line for a souvenir. The great beast roared angrily at the harried booth-tender as he showed her t-shirt after t-shirt until she finally, after what seemed like 20 minutes, chose one for her grandkid.

Anyway, they don't allow professional quality or flash photography at the show, but here are some craptacular pics I got with the camera on my phone.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday Blogthing: Beee-ach!

I'm thinking it's time for an island vacation.

Unfortunately, given the landlocked character of my Overland Park domecile and the current high cost of gas and air travel, the only island I'm likely to visit in the near future is Nelson Island.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not long on beach front property (maybe birch front property, but that's not really the same thing).

So, I guess I'll have to settle for a little online blog beach quiz...

What the Beach Test Says About You

You like people, but you're careful about who you get close to. Friendship is important to you... so important that you aren't just friends with anyone.

You fall in love with ease and confidence. Even if you've had bad experiences in the past, each new love is a reason to start completely over.

You are deeply passionate about several things in your life. You're not passionate about much... and the few passions you have are truly obsessions.

Your sense of humor is intellectual and obscure. Only really well educated people get your jokes.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Probing thoughts

Some local bloggers have been having a nerdgasm about the recent trip of the Pheonix probe (heh) to our nearest planetary neighbor, Mars.

It's all very exciting, the prospect of finding the building blocks of life on another planet, the achievement of sending our technology across the solar system to do our bidding, the thought of Americans colonizing another world.

But, lost in all of the hype we forgot about one very important group. I mean, don't get me wrong, I applaud our efforts to bring democracy to Mars. I'm just not so sure how keen the Martians are on the idea.

What might their feeling be about us probing their planet, acting all big and dusting off their ice and all?

How would you feel if a powerful nation shoved a thinly veiled metaphor in the shape of a robot arm into your polar ice cap?

Like I said, I support our invasion. I'm just sayin' we should let the Martians know what they're in for. And I think a good ambassador would be deep thinker Jack Handey.

A couple of years ago, Mr. Handey penned (keyboarded?) a piece for The New Yorker letting us know just what he would say to the Martians. It is cleverly titled, What I'd Say to the Martians.

Here's a snippet of audio taken from a recent episode of PRI's Studio 360. You can hear the entire essay there.

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YouTube Tuesday: numbnuts?

1) a pad that goes under the saddle to keep the saddle clean and to cushion the horse's or pony's back.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

In which I get punked by identity thieves

It was the damnedest thing.

When I received a mysterious package from BOMC2, I just kind of chalked it up to some kind of marketing gimmick. When I want a book, my first stop is Half Price Books on Metcalf. If I can't find it there, I hit up Amazon.

But a book club? Hmmm, I don't think so. But feel free to send me a comp copy.

Like I said, I sort of dismissed the book as an unsolicited marketing ploy to try to get me to join the club, that is until a few days later when another mysterious package arrived for me.

This time, it contained a selection of Gevalia coffees along with a note reading "Here is your first order. Your credit card has been charged $9.95. We hope you enjoy this selection of delicious Gevalia Gourmet blah blah blah..."

So now I'm thinking something strange is afoot. Two mysterious, unsolicited packages arrive at my door in less than a week? Something smells fishy, and this time it's not Meesha's nipples.

I call the customer service number listed on the Gevalia shipping invoice and say, "Yo, what up biotch! I di'int order this sheeeat!"

We discuss the matter for a few minutes and I learn that the order was charged to one of my credit cards. I make it clear, in no uncertain terms, that I don't want the coffee subscription and please cancel the account and any future orders.

Next I call my credit card company and, after navigating the IVR menu for a few minutes, I get the fraud department. I learn that the book and the coffee are two of three unauthorized charges to my account, the third being a $10 charge to

I get everything straightened out with Credit Card Co. They suspend the account, lock down the number and order me up a couple of new cards (one for me, one for the missus). We rarely use the cards, which really is what allowed us to catch these recent charges as the red flags that they are.

But I do have some lingering questions, like just what the hell is going on here? I hardly ever use the card, so how did the perpetrator(s) get the number? If this is some kind of credit card theft, why buy only three items, each of which is only ten bucks or less? And why have the items shipped to my address?

So I concluded that I've either been hit by retarded identity thieves, or I'm being punked by some joker who thought it would be funny send me goofy stuff that I didn't really want. Thing is, books and coffee aren't as funny as, oh, I don't know, a new iPod.

Whatever the case, let this be a warning to you kids to keep an eye on your credit card statements. Check your balances regularly and if you find anything suspicious in your mailbox, be sure to panic first and ask questions later.

And that's... One to Grow On®

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