About me

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Season of Jim

A most excellent blogger, Crow, posted this video recently, surely to help me remember, though I doubt she knew she was, then, writing directly to me. She has her own trials and tribulations without any of mine to occupy her time and thinking.

I had seen the video before, and then forgotten all about it. Here at the end of the year, post-Christmas, on New Year's Eve, she reminds me that it's OK to be alone, that it can be quite healthy to be alone, and exactly just what being alone is, like almost every other thing in this world, depends on exactly, not one thing more or less, what we do with it.

After a substantial personal disappointment back during the summer, I decided that the next two seasons were mine, a Season of Jim. Some people have called that selfish. Narcissistic. Unfeeling. Unthinking. And many other negatively connoting words and phrases. Mostly, I've managed to encourage them all to kiss my ass.

Well, I believe the exact phrase has been "kiss my hairy ass," but that might fall into the realm of TMI.

So here we are at the end of my self-proclaimed six-month season of me. I see a few people more clearly. That's mostly good, but a some would benefit from a little fuzz in my vision. Some will never speak to me again, and I embrace, if not cherish, their silence. Most of you will simply nod and write this off as another eccentricity, a Jim-thing. I am quite fine with that.

You know what? I think I'm gonna be doing a little more of this. No need to fix what ain't broke.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Trying to recreate Grandmother's sweet potato pudding recipe

My grandmother, like most other grandmothers, was quite the cook. I've managed to recover some of her recipes from trial-and-error. (Rest assured that not one she would even consider using was ever written.) I've succeeded with chicken stew, which you might call chicken pastry. And I can make a decent biscuit, especially if I stick with drop biscuits OR OR OR I buy frozen dough.

Well, I am the black sheep of the family plan.

For years, I've been trying to make a sweet potato pudding like she made. My memory is faded here. We only had such puddings in the fall. So far, I've not succeeded, and I attribute this on-going failure to (1) my life in general, and (2) my lack of access to a potato field without being shot in the process. Why the latter? Because Grandmother always used jumbos for her puddings.

She used jumbos because they were not particularly valuable. In fact, they were hard, if not impossible, to sell because of the excessive size. City people had set notions on the appropriate size for a sweet potato, and you've likely seen millions of these in your grocery store. We fed the off sizes to the hogs. Later, the small sweet potatoes would become known as canners because a company opened nearby that would buy the small taters, process them somehow, and sell them in cans.

Jumbos remained the domain of Grandmother's kitchen and the hog pen. Bear in mind that my grandparents were products of Reconstruction. They learned to eat what they had, and they often had stuff that no one else would buy.

Of course, I have yet to meet adequate in my personal review on the sweet potato pudding, though each attempt produces a relatively good product that I always eat. Well, I lick the pot and bowl, but that's another matter.

Here's my latest attempt in living color.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A mystery looms in my life

My shower curtain is made in China. No surprise there. It even has a Made in China tag imprinted toward the top. Of course, and I'm rinsing my ponytail, I always see something else. Always. Why is that? Is the shower curtain trying to tell me something?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Making snow cream

Apparently, this is mostly a southern recipe. I'm not sure that I've ever heard the people in the snow belt talking of snow cream, though it seems unreasonable that they never made something edible from the snow. Well, except for pouring maple syrup on snow and calling it good, which I doubt it is.

Perhaps for us, it's the relative infrequency of a decent snow that is important. Often, our snow is mixed with sleet and freezing rain, and that makes the snow not so good for snow cream.

Today, we had a big, for us, snow, purely snow, and this afternoon, we made some decent snow cream.

I sorta followed my grandmother's recipe. She used eggs. My mother could not face the thought of eating a raw egg, and she withheld eggs when she made it.

They both used sugar. I would too, except for this trying to be good thing. I used generic Splenda.

You'll need

1. Some eggs. I used three.
2. Some vanilla flavoring. I used a big splash of artificial vanilla flavoring.
3. Some milk. I used the last of what was in the jug. It was skim.
3. Lots of sugar. I used generic Splenda.
4. Snow. I used what fell on my car this morning.

Mix 1 through 3 together. Well, not the shells, but you probably knew that already. Spoon in snow, and mix it well. It takes more snow than you think, and you'll want to add a little, mix, and then add more.

Here's the video with additional detail.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Remembering things in gardens

While taking a short break from work, I found myself visiting a couple of gardens. Well, two so far. Perhaps I'll be friskier when Christmas is out of the way.

First, there's the J.C. Raulston Arboretum, just a short walk from my apartment. Lately on these visits, I've been smitten with the bees. My grandfather was a bee charmer with many hives, and I have fond memories of gathering honey with him. No, I never have been able to charm a bee.




There's also what we call the Bob Garden. It's a low area behind a mall and next to some expensive housing. There's a pond full of catfish and ducks. Well, a goose or two also. I loathe geese. Well, except when they're in the oven.

The real name is the Greensboro Bog Garden. I don't know when Lily and Josh ever figured out that the name was not Bob, and Josh claims to know the correct name, but neither have fessed up to when their enlightenment finally came. Probably when they finally read the sign.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I hate snow

Yes, I do. A lot. We've had three snow event this December, and it's not even winter yet. I could just spit. Well, I already did. Might spit again. And then guess what? The forecast calls for MORE Saturday night. This is just SO wrong.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My busy Saturday

It was one busy Saturday, even if we did short circuit one plan to visit Raleigh to watch Lil and Josh run in a foot race. They ran without me. Both finished. Josh ran on no sleep and little food, going back the last mile so he could finish with Lil. Now, that's a gentleman.

He was sleepless in Greensboro because of flight delays that left him sleeping on the floor outside security at Orlando. The only eatery that was open was a Starbucks. He hasn't forgiven them for the prices yet.

Meanwhile, I attended the counter-protest in Raleigh. Five haters from Kansas were in town to picket and protest the Elizabeth Edwards Funeral. Yes, Freedom of Speech takes odd turns now and again. Some 1200 of us appeared to physically separate them from the funeral. We also had Dykes on Bikes and Bears on Bikes (think thunderous), lots of vehicles with outstanding sound systems (think twang with techno tribal ), and one twink on an unmuffled scooter (think grumble bee).

The nonsense lasted some over two hours until the haters from Kansas left in the very cold rain.

Here're a few scenes from the morning.




Following the downtown protests, I found some dry clothes and lunch. I also fetched a half dozen kilts from the cleaner, but that's another matter for another day. Lily and Josh were on the road for a visit! When they arrived, we had a nibble, and Lily taught me how to manage the bread packaging in the fridge.




Then it was onward and upward! Time for Drag Bingo. Drag Bingo (www.dragbingo.com) is a local activity that raises money for HIV/AIDS education, and it averages about $10,000 a month, primarily because of the generosity of so many local businesses and volunteers. Every penny spent during the evening goes directly to Alliance of AIDS Services - Carolina (www.aas-c.org). That's a whole lot of money for a state and community such as ours, where haters lurk in most corners, and speaking of our ugly people from Kansas, they did not make an appearance in Durham, though the police were on the ready just in case.



That was one busy day.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I have found me a church

Like Betty Butterfield, I was out there looking for a church. Unlike Betty Butterfield, I found one.

Now, before you get all excited for me, let me perpetuate a stereotype: Straight people go to church while Gay people go to gym. That's not generally true, though it did make a good line in a movie you probably have not seen. Some straight people also go to the gym, if the ogling I see going on is any indication, and I'm here to tell you that some gay people go to church. I don't know why.

I was made to attend church when I lived at home lest I burn in hell for want of a Mother's love, and very little would please my mother more than for me to show up one Sunday and go to church with her, but it won't be happening, at least anytime soon, not so much because she wouldn't remember it, but because to this day, I loathe religion and the activities therein, aside from a peculiar interest in odd ceremonies.

With all that said, some 12 years ago, She Who Must Not Be Named decided that we could not longer afford the $20 a month for me to visit a local gym and stay sane on the StairMaster. Concurrently, the overseer at the gym would not accept a six-month membership even if my mother did give me the money. So I hit the streets to run, developed plantar faciitis, a nasty form of tendinitis, stopped running, became fat, and then old.

Besides, I could dig holes in the yard, move shrubbery about, and call it sufficient exercise, or so I heard almost daily.

The ensuing physical degradation took me from a mindset of one who could walk as far as was necessary to the fat and bitter old queen you've come to know and, in my dreams, love, if not in the coming then in the going. Many feel goods arose in the interim.

Two years ago, I gave up one feel good for another. Last January, I sought to drop the second feel good. Of course, a third feel good had to be found, and I took up stepping on puppies. Well, not really, but it makes a good story. Actually, I started walking. A lot. Enough to develop injuries, injuries that at one point left me sitting in a patch of blooming iris with fractured metatarsals wondering how I was going to get home. I keep waiting to see that security tape of a bitter old queen sitting in tears by the sidewalk bemoaning the fates to no one in particular.

Through the first six months, I changed shoes some four times daily to confuse the tendinitis. In June, Zappos with two pair of ASICS came to my rescue, though running remained forbidden. Then came heat of a very hot summer. It was glorious. Of course, hoofing through the world is a bit like trouble when the weather's bad, and with winter coming, I worried that I'd stop, fatten up, and adopt another feel good.

After some review, I adopted instead a gym about a mile from where I live. Lots of aerobic machinery. A decent amount of weight lifting equipment that I ignore. And most important, a fee that I could afford. And so towards Thanksgiving, I signed up.

I had forgotten how could it felt to sweat into oblivion. Folks, we were made to move, and move a lot. For me, the hour on the tread mill or bike is a moving meditation or, perhaps as often, the time to read the paper. Or listen to music. Or catch up on the news. Or otherwise mentally process the accumulated information of the day.

Some would correctly suggest that this is another feel good, and it probably is, though I suppose it's healthier than the previous. I do know it's made one gal far happier, and she doesn't even know it, that being the gal who studied her one research methodology class very well, but only gleaned the knowledge, not the wisdom therein. Why is she happier? Because I started each of our days together with a four-mile jaunt on a tread mill watching Angel, and I finished the day with another four miles watching Law And Order.

It was that or chase her with a stick.

So at the risk of being sacrilegious, I have joined a church here after 12 years of walking in the wilderness. There's a small monthly tithe and a minor yearly love offering. It's money, a very little money, well spent, especially a year into a state tax on smokes that makes us look like those northern states. And Canada.

And then it snowed. And did so in December. Go figure.

Friday, December 3, 2010

For whom the fire alarm tolls

OK, so I'm a few hours into an unexpected, and oh so needed staycay, glad for my large mug of coffee, cruising the net, reflecting on last night's comment on one of the essays in _The Fire Alarm Is Not Your Dinner Bell_, when BOOM!, off goes the building fire alarm.

Oh drat, I sort of thought.

Find shoes. Refill coffee. Get a sweater. Generally cooling my heels to let the first wave of humanity pass on the stairs. Besides, if it's a real fire, I can walk out on them.

So...the though...I am so full of it...let's make a quick vid. And so I did. In doing so, the fire alarm stopped, followed by the message telling me it was just a test.

I hate making memories.




http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/JimPenny

Monday, November 29, 2010

Maybe I learned a lesson

April last, I gave in and bought an iPhone 3GS. The thought of consolidating so many devices into a single machine intrigued me.

I should have known there was going to be trouble when the clerk told me that it would be between 6 and 36 hours before I could use the phone, and there was nothing that would make that happen faster. There was also no way to undo the sale. Well, except to go to another company.

Towards that evening, the phone started working.

In a couple of days, I needed a better battery. Checking on-line to learn about battery life led me to endless sites that told me the countless ways to extend battery life on an iPhone, and yes, all those suggestions were variations on not using the phone.

I could use up 30% of a full charge just checking the news (in text) while I woke up in the morning, and I soon took to using it as a corded phone as often as possible. That was quite the challenge when I was traveling.

Meanwhile, when I made the purchase, AT&T had announced that MMS (picture messaging) would be available in a couple of weeks. They were a month late, but never offered to refund a portion of the unlimited family texting. The stated problem was the burden that MMS by iPhone would place on the data network. Never mind that every other phone on the network had MMS enabled AND that the iPhone could send pictures by email anyway.

Note that when MMS was finally permitted, the lag on the send was substantial, with the final part of the send, whatever it was, occasionally taking a full minute.

I remain convinced that the MMS decision by AT&T represented an arbitrary act to reduce iPhone functionality without seriously upsetting Apple and its hype-filled ad campaign of snappy features, all apparently on WiFi not 3G.

After about a year, the battery issue was a problem, though not enough to get a battery replacement, much less a phone replacement, and I found an external battery for $80 that doubled as a protective case. A week later, that battery died, and the manager of the RDU store replaced it. The replacement lasted a month, and then died in Rockville with a release of heat that nearly set off the smoke alarm in my hotel room.

So we noodled along nursing this love-hate relationship. Then I spent a week in Manhattan with little or no signal. Repeat that for a week in San Francisco. Then another week in a burb of LA. You know, I certainly understand that I don't have much of a signal when I visit my parents in the edge of the woods back home. Well, no I don't, not really, but so many folks think they live in the boonies, but SoHo is hardly on the edge of the earth, and all I could do for the week was send and receive the very occasional text message. Voice calls required the hotel telephone. Real data exchanges happened in the hotel lobby on the free WiFi. Or at Starbucks.

Then came the fourth version of the iPhone operating system. Think total collapse of functionality. Signal strength going and coming while sitting still. Calls garbled, which is quite the feat given that calls had been nearly unintelligible without the speaker phone engaged. Apps that failed on startup.

Last week, we were working in downtown Atlanta. The iPhone owners suffered, as did all the AT&T subscribers, at least when compared to the Verizon subscribers. Maybe Sherman burned the cell towers also.

So last month, I bought a cheap Go-Phone and moved my SIM (subscriber information module) card to it. (Apple likely chose AT&T as the iPhone carrier because GSM technology is worldwide, which gave Apple an immediate worldwide market with little or no additional development expense. T-Mobile appears to be the only other GSM carrier in the US.) Finally, I had a phone that worked and a battery that lasted.

Last Wednesday, I upgraded the iPhone software to version 4.2 of iOS, hoping the upgrade would address the loss of functionality that appeared with 4.0 and 4.1. It did not, but I thought it had. What was happening was that the iPhone was mishandling data, if it was handling data at all.

By Saturday, the only data transfer that occurred was over the WiFi in my apartment. Moving the SIM card back to the Go-Phone didn't solve the problem.

Neither did calling customer support. At 7:12 PM, the agent asked me to hang up, turn off the Iphone, wait four minutes, and then turn it back on. At that point, he would call me back. He did not.

A subsequent call to the after hours "emergency" number left me with the suggestion to take the phone to the AT&T corporate store for a new SIM card, which I did the next day, Sunday, holding my temper, which seethed as pre-eruption Krakatoa must have, all the while the friendly customer service fellow exercising every technique he had learned to diffuse a situation.

I was not going to be defused, as he soon learned.

After some 30 minutes, I was out of the store with a working Go-Phone and a revised account. AT&T flags iPhone accounts differently from other phones, probably to make it easier to throttle data usage by people like me.

In the parking lot, I placed the iPhone under the rear tire of my car and ran over it. Repeatedly. After that, I beat it to pieces with a hammer. To Apple's credit, the device is physically tough, but not that tough.

I so wanted to shoot it.

Now before you tsk-tsk over the destruction of a valuable piece of hardware, let me point out that brand new iPhone 3GSs are under $100 now. I doubt that an EBay auction would have netted $25 for the one I had. How can Apple get by with such obviously planned obsolescence?


~~~

I have a long history of being skeptical in the face of extravagant claims, and the idea of form over function is simply maddening to me. I should have known that the iPhone was going to be one more fine example of form over function, just as I initially found the Mac to be two decades before and the iPad now.

It is right here that I have managed to disappoint my own self.

In the meantime, AT&T stands as a prime example of how to not do business, and I look forward to becoming a member of the class action suit, not to recoup the money I paid to receive no service, but for the simple closure.

However, I'm not likely to be an AT&T subscriber at that point. Which competitor it'll be, I do not know. All the cell carriers have putrid customer satisfaction as documented by Consumer Reports where, astoundingly, AT&T appears to have the (slightly) superior data network. It's just that I have hours of time on the phone with AT&T's customer service with little or nothing to show for it. After some six years, I think it's about time to find another carrier to argue with.

---

I just received an email from AT&T's customer service. The rep wrote: "Our records confirm that we did attempt to contact you back on 11/27/2010 at approximately 7:20 PM. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach you. At this time a follow up call was scheduled for today, 11/29/2010 before 8:00 PM CT to contact you back about the 3G data coverage problem you reported."

Probably not the aggressive response one might hope for when paying a premium for a service that is unreliable. It's certainly easy to tell when an organization has grown complacent.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Breakfast with Bro at the Toot-n-Tell

So dinner with the doodz wasn't enough. Oh no, not for me. I have to follow-up with a breakfast at Toot's with the bro. And fried bologna. And snausage. Grits with fake butter. Bacon and a bistit.

And no, I did not run over the Mormen riding down the road as we left. The frosty morning was sufficient punishment for them. Besides, they'd be about the only non-Bible thumping Baptists within 30 miles of where they have to live this year. That should be about enough pain for one while.

Dinner with Doodz

Yep, we took Rico's by storm the day after Thanksgiving instead of shopping until we dropped. We took no prisoners. Hard to beat an outing with Lily and Josh.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I finally had my windshield repaired

Yes, it's been nearly a year since I appeared for the crack-of-dawn meeting. 9 AM at work. So not me. On the way, a dump truck ahead of me lost a few rocks. There was only one place in the world for those rocks to go, that being my windshield, and the did. Moments later, I'm sporting two new star bursts. So lovely. Months later, I'm returning from a long road trip. It's 8 PM on a Friday. Cruising down the five miles of interstate to my exit.

C-R-A-C-K!

Two thirds of the windshield, right at eye-level. Let the loveliness grow.

Replacing that windshield is a $375 endeavor. A month or so back, I found an outfit that repaired cracked windshields. Not Safelight.

Last Wednesday, the man came out towards noonish, told me my crack had accumulated dirt, and then repaired it anyway.

Because if the dirt, I can still see the line, but it's not like it was. The smaller, perhaps newer, end of the crack really did vanish.

Yep, I'd use Chip & Crack again. I just wouldn't wait so long to do so.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nosetatomous and Toestatomous

Nosetatomous and Toestatomous are ancient flying reptiles with magical powers. They can poof into a house to eat the noeses and toeses of sleeping children.

Parents and parents to be should study this very closely.

Lunch with mama

Mama wasn't really with us today. She sorta pinged from question to question, passing rolls and hush-puppies repeatedly. I took them as she offered.

Not so long ago, that lunch would motivate a stop by the State medicinal dispensary. Today, think about 10 miles on sidewalks and treadmills.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The temptation of Jim

This is so not right. One sweet bike all lonely in the parking lot. I was born to suffer.

Lucky Pot Thanksgiving Lunch at Work

With all the travel, more like travail, schedules, we held the Thanksgiving Lunch a little early this year. The rules require that recipes be made available, with no references to mess like Aunt Jane's Secret Green Bean Casserole Recipe allowed.

I made biscuits, and here's the vid of how I did it. After watching, you have no reason to face a meal sans biscuit ever again, save not wanting one, and I doubt that ever happens.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It gets worse. Yes, it does.

Another winner from Joe.My.God and Second City TV. Yes, it gets worse.

George Takei Calls Out Anti-Gay Arkansas School Board Member

We can thank Joe.My.God for spreading this one. No one has said it with a voice like this one until now.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

FCKH8 :F-bomb goes ballistic

Totally not safe for work, but it'd be worth the ensuing job search just to see the reactions.

I gotta get this t-shirt.

Monday, October 11, 2010

National Coming Out Day 2010

Here on the cusp of so many suicides by gay and lesbian and transgender young people, I wasn't sure I would make this video. So I sat at my desk with five files open. Should it be one? Should it be two? Should it stay five? And what font?

Really. I was thinking those very thoughts, and I decided that I was wasting whatever it is I am and have, so I went for a walk, which is my custom these days. Perhaps later, it'll be for a run.

During the walk, I made about 30 minutes of video, and then deleted most of it. Here are the nine minutes that survived.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday morning at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum

Oh what was I thinking? After the grand hoof-about around the ever lovely KMart, I noodled up past the Shell (where I fetched more coffee), and trundled across and about the arb. Hardly anyone else was there, except for a raucous couple in the accursed white garden.


Arrived, I have

Well, in a manner of speaking. Maybe. Somewhat.

It wasn't enough to participate in the field-defining publication: Assessing Performance.

Oh, no. How could that ever suffice?

Then there was the heart-rending compilation: Foursquare and me.

So let's lay it on even deeper: When I was a cat.

All soon to be followed by a collection of white trash haiku. Well, we're supposed to write about the stuff we know, are we not?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lightning and the Tree: Reprise

A few month ago during a summer storm, lightning struck this tree and rattled my dishes. The tree roots were blown from the ground at the edge of this cemetery. There have so far been no reports of undead, well, except for the few exceptions over by the airport.

Friday, October 1, 2010

It gets better

If you're not aware, there's a large project over on YouTube that is focused on a concerted response to the alarming up-tick in gay suicides finding their way to the mainstream media now.

After some reflection, I decided to contribute to the project. Although I do not expect to be included in the final product, it was cathartic to make the video.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

NC Pride 2010

Yes, Pride is a deadly sin under at least one rubric, but I don't much mess with that rubric anymore.

So there we were in Durham.  Bro had me over there at 8 AM so he could work at Food Lion's table.  Yes, Food Lion, a North Carolina company, is a sponsor of NC Pride.  OK, so some Belgium bought controlling interest in Food Lion way back, but it'll remain a Salisbury company for a very long time around here.

This meant that I had about five hours of knock-around time yesterday before the parade, some of which I spent with the Mad Hatter Bakery and a large cup of coffee, all the while ignoring the guy next to me with his huge and well-worn Bible.  All he received was the early morning pleasantry, as I doubt he was there to celebrate being different.

As the parade prepared to blast off, some of Bro's Dykes on Bykes (and a few trucks) friends found us.  We sat in the shad with them.  You'll see one's bohuncus prominently displayed in parts of this vid.  Yes, she kept walking out in front.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Unexpected memory at Food Lion

I bought just a few things today, enough to see me through the next bit of travel without too much that I'd be throwing out.

As you might expect, I don't spend a lot of time in the shampoo section, but in passing, this caught my attention.



It's been years. Long ago, I had some form of mane and tail. At some point, I cut it all off.

Then came Lily and Josh, and we'd go for visits to see Buck and Granny. At the end if each visit, Granny would hand us a bag of goodies. The kind of stuff we wouldn't ordinarily buy for ourselves.

Sometimes, way down in the bottom, there'd be a bottle of Mane and Tail, all set for use with toddler ponytails.

Right beside my plate of Rice Crispy treats.

Location:Western Blvd,Raleigh,United States

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Road food

If the motoring public had any idea just how sleepy I am today, they would clear this road. Apparently, I did not sleep last night.

Let's blame it on a recurring and vivid dream involving a change in latitude.

So it's chow time.



Ladysmith offers road food served on the hood. I ate it from the hood too.

That cheese burger was something special.

Might be time to retire

We could wish.

Meanwhile, I was walking to the car this morning, and I found something.



Burger King with that dollar menu is going to love me!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sharing the tub with my SBF

Yep, it can get lonely on the road. Sweaty too, especially after an hour in the hotel gym.

Headed to the shower, I spied with my little eye a spot.



On closer inspection, I find an eight-legged masseur.


Oh bliss of blisses.

Location:U.S. 29,13,United States

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pursuant to the Gay Agenda: PM Edition

Yes, it was one gay old time at the corral today.

Someone got a trim. A much needed trim.




Then it was time to attend to the ceiling fan blades.




Past time. Look what came off in the first pass.




That led to a floor mopping. Kitchen and bathroom.




With carpet sweeping as the grand finale.




Don't tell me I can't rock a holiday!

Pursuant to the Gay Agenda

Yep. It's Labor Day. Got a little extra time to pursue the Gay Agenda. Don't want to fall behind and have my queer license called into question.

Let's start the day at 5 AM to get a jump on the straight people.

And tweet about it.

Just completed a 3.33 mi walk with @runkeeper. Check it out! http://rnkpr.com/a9h84p #RunKeeper

Gotta become one with the gay laundry room.

The first two are my personal gay washers. BTW, using powdered detergent is a capital offense.




And then my gay dryers.




Yes, the gay pillows needed a wash.




These are not my draws.




Of course, it's time to clean the filters in the gay air conditioner.




Perhaps past time. They look better after a quick rinse.




With the laundry underway, it's time to dust.




Yeah. It was on sale. Along with the dust thingie.




Both are very gay.

That was the morning. Wonder what gay ribaldry the afternoon might hold.

Easier to grow than to keep

Yes, it was time. Past time. For what? Oh. A manicure.



Too late now. Might as well move along to the next disaster.

Location:Westgrove St,Raleigh,United States

That's it for this year

Most years toward about this time, late August to early September, it happens.

A cool dry front moves through.

This year, it followed a hurricane. Odd. And it fell on Labor Day weekend. More odd.

Between Saturday and Sunday this weekend, summer ended. It was 57 Sunday morning. Today, it's 58. A foretaste of the brutal cold to come.

With the bluest sky you remember seeing. And yes, that same superlative applies equally each year.

Welcome to the Southern End of Heaven.

Now, pardon me, but I must find that electric blanket. We're apt to have frost in about six to eight weeks.


Location:Westgrove St,Raleigh,United States

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yes, I did. Write a book, that is.

Foursquare and Me (with a licentious subtitle)

We'll see how this goes. A few months back, I messed around with Foursquare, probably polluting countless Facebook and Twitter streams. I collected the tweets on a daily basis, and then annotated them. All on the iPhone, which I still find hard to figure.

I doubt we're dealing with a new King Lear, but it was an interesting exercise, one that's led to some discussion at work that's left me thinking there needs to be the movie version. Well, "need" might be somewhat strong. That could happen over the holiday weekend, depending on several other things, not the least being Earl as well as this collection of cat haiku that needs to end soon.

Link to Foursquare and me

Coke and peanuts

After you try this, you'll agree that you've never eaten anything better and that everything else you eat from this point forward will be a distant second.

Fetch some Coke and peanuts.



Open the Coke and take a few swigs.



Open the peanuts. I had to use an Exacto Knife.




Make a funnel with your hand.


Pour in the peanuts.



It'll fizz a little.



And then some more.



Drink the Coke and eat the peanuts simultaneously.



Do this while admiring most recent portrait.




Location:Perimeter Park Dr,Morrisville,United States

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Duct tape and first aid: A few days later

The healing progresses, though the remnants of the blister are still real attention getters.



All that fluorescent lighting makes for interesting colors. Also note the leftover tape adhesive under that toe. It normally doesn't stick all that long, but here is an exception.

The process is as it was. A little antibiotic cream.



Apply the non-stick, hospital-grade pad. Follow with duct tape.



This one is likely short-lived because it'll be in the shower in about 90 minutes.

Location:Westgrove St,Raleigh,United States

Baked sweet potatoes

Yes, the sweet taters are coming in! After spending countless summers digging the things and eating them in a litany of Bubba-like recipes from Forest Gump, I can now just sit back and enjoy the fruit of someone else's labor.

I do appreciate industry...in others.

These taters are from Food Lion. They are relatively cheap, though not as cheap as when I just stepped out into the field and picked up a few. Well, not unless you count the medical bills from the shotgun.



Mama baked them on a pan in the oven. I do not. I use the iron pot with the lid on. That way, I can eat the skins, and we both know the vitamins are in the skin.

Yeah, right. Actually, I just like the additional fiber. The rest of you can note that sweet taters are low glycemic. That means eating one is not going to jack you up, and then slam you down.



There is no need to add anything except the taters.



Put the lid on. Bake a couple of hours at 400. Your nose will tell you when they're done.



I let them cool a little before touching them. Smooshing your fingers through 400 degrees of cooked tater is not fun.

One tater with butter (and the skins!) makes a fine meal for me. You can add sugar and cinnamon as you choose. If you do, it becomes dessert.

And yes, you may eat your dessert first today.

Location:Westgrove St,Raleigh,United States

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Duct tape and first aid: Day Two

At least it doesn't hurt so bad as to make walking a chore.



Nonetheless, it still looks bad enough to require hospitalization. And no, I have no idea why my thumb is blue. Perhaps I'm turning into a Smurf.

So let's put on a little less salve than yesterday.



And spread it lightly. I suspect this step is not necessary. We just do it because we can't see past our mother's care.




And then a bandage.


I doubt it's hospital-grade anymore.

And some tape.



Starting from the bottom. Probably some athletic tape would stick as well and cost more, but then we'd lose all the reaction from the medical community.

Besides, the weekend SyFy was filled with movies about the endtimes.

More tape.


There's a little tape pulled betwixt the piggies. I doubt that amounts to much improvement in staying power.

Location:Westgrove St,Raleigh,United States

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sweet potato pudding

First, my grandmother made the best that ever was and ever will be. That you didn't get any should be enough to send you over the edge.

Here is my version. It bears no resemblance to hers because I see no reason to spoil that memory.

Besides, without Papa, who will grate all this jumbo taters? Not me, that's for sure.

Splash some olive oil in the iron pot and dump in some baked sweet taters



Chop them well, skin and all, and add some eggs. (We both know the vitamins are in the skin.)



Stir this well.

Then find the coconut. Notice that I'm not about to ruin a perfectly good manicure by grating coconuts.



And some apple sauce.



And some raisins.



Dump as much as you want of each into the pot.


Stir this very well.

I did not consider the batter sweet enough, and I added honey.



Yes, brown sugar and marshmallows would work well here, but I don't want candy. Besides, I also do not want to have that discussion with the internist, the one that keeps talking about how sweet I'm becoming in my old age.

At some point, find the pecans.



Spread them all over the top.



Yes, walnuts also work. I just prefer pecans.

Bake the whole mess at about 350 until it's done. Your nose will tell you when that is.