Thursday, June 29, 2006

Anti What Kind Of Powder??

A while back I went shopping for bird seed and flowers with my mom. As we are wheeling into the checkout lane, I hear her call me over as she points at something. I notice then that she's on her cell phone and she's talking rather loud. That's when I hear her say it... 'OMG you have to see this stuff, it says Anti Monkey Butt Powder!!!' (laughs really loud.. people are now staring) ; oh boy. I find she is talking to her sister and they are plotting to buy a bottle of this stuff to send to her sister's husband as a gag gift. She then starts reading the bottle out loud; I slink away and end up on the aisle with bug spray. Long story short, she finally gets off the phone and people finally stop staring and whispering amongst themselves and we finally check out and leave, bottle of monkey butt in hand. I have to admit though, it is pretty damn funny; marketing genius even because if people don't need it for whatever it is supposed to do (anti-chaffing it says), a good few will probably buy a bottle anyways just for the laughs. I found several friends had seen it and purchased as gag gifts already. They even have a website. I hope the recipient of this bottle enjoys it, whether it be put to it's actual use, or just enjoyed for a good laugh. :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Different Kind Of Moo

Today I made a road trip to Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and I took the camera along. The trip wasn't specifically for pictures (early afternoon sun... ugggg) but you never know what opportunity will present itself. I checked out every road in the first section of the park and came across a group of longhorn cattle in a lake parking lot; they had a calf! At first he (she?) hid amongst the brush but then soon took notice of the camera's shutter noise and came to have a look. Such a cutie! It is somewhat unnerving, sitting there amidst 1000+lb animals, clicking away with a camera, but it makes for great photos.

Monday, June 26, 2006

For Want Of A Road

It doesn't matter where it leads to, I just want a nice driving road. Make it a road with smooth unflawed pavement, wide lanes, beautiful scenery, and most importantly of all, curves... lots and lots of curves. I want tight, banked, off-camber curves, S-curves, long and fast sweepers, hairpins and loops and I want them with a decently high (but safe) speed limit and no pokey traffic! Is that too much to ask? Apparently it is in Oklahoma, land of endless and perfectly straight pavement. There are very few decent drives here, and the ones that do exist take all day (of driving on long straight roads) just to get to. Talimena Skyway over in the south eastern side of the state comes to mind. Even the great Talimena though, does not compare to what was described above. I've driven those dreams before... TN 129 aka the Tail of the Dragon at Deal's Gap, the beautiful scenic roads that wind through Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and the Ouchita's in Arkansas; I hear Oregon has some absolutely fantastic roads as well, though I have not been there... yet. I want a road like that, right here; no, I need a road like that! I feel like a fish out of water with all this straight pavement around, almost like a part of my soul is missing. I suppose I shall be kept wanting though, for the time being.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The MOO Sandwich

MOO = Mayo on the outside. Trust me on this now, it's fantastic. You might think 'Mayo on the outside of the bread... Isn't that a bit messy?' Well... yeah I suppose it could be, which is why things get toasted first, it makes a toasted mayo glaze on the outside of the sandwich.

Here's how to make a sandwich the MOO way! Preheat the oven to 425, take out two pieces of bread and slap some mayo on one side and put them on a baking sheet mayo side up. Toast for 7 minutes then remove from oven and flip the bread mayo side down. Add your sandwich meats, cheeses and spreads (ie salsa, guacamole, BBQ or grainy mustard) and then toast for another 6-7 minutes. If you are adding bacon, pre-cook it first.

Mayo side up! Toppings added

When it's done toasting, just add your lettuce, tomato, salt and pepper and top with the 2nd piece of bread, mayo side up! Enjoy! The mayo makes a tasty glaze on the outside of the sandwich.

Lettuce and Tomato Toasted Mayo Glaze on outside of bread

You can also add the lettuce and tomato or other veggies (like bell pepper or onions) with the meat and cheese. If you take this route then things are made slightly different. Instead of toasting one side of the bread and then adding toppings and toasting open faced, you toast it as a completed sandwich. Put your first slice of bread mayo side down, add all your sandwich toppings, don't leave anything out! Top with the second slice of bread, mayo side up. Toast at 425 for 6-7 minutes, carefully flip the sandwich over and repeat.

Be adventurous with the sandwich combinations, and layer it up thick! Some favorites are smoke turkey with sharp cheddar, BBQ sauce and grainy mustard; BLTs; turkey layered with pepper jack, salsa, guacamole, bacon, lettuce and tomato; ham, turkey, and bacon layered with swiss, cheddar and provolone, lettuce and tomato; roast beef with provolone, swiss, onions and bell peppers; or for a breakfast treat try it with thick sliced breakfast ham, cheddar, bacon, and scrambled eggs.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Midnight Gardner

So, we have this long narrow flowerbed up against a brick wall in the backyard. It ends at a small concrete patio on one end, with a gate that gives access to the wooded hill behind the house, and from the gate a wood privacy fence runs down the side of the yard up to the front. The other side of the bed runs into a fence that separates the yard from the pool area, and across the yard to the front is, of course, the house. The bottom of the gate has heavy gauge wire mesh to keep pets in, and wildlife out; or so we hope. Apparently though, wildlife is not deterred by this. I fancy they think of it as a challenge to be conquered, or perhaps it's more like robbing a bank. Either way, I present exhibit A:

It would seem that sometime during the night, an armadillo either found a way through the gate (maybe the cat let him in?) or scaled the back wall Mission Impossible style. It covered every square inch of that flower bed, and oddly enough (or thankfully enough more like it) our little armored friend did not touch the yard itself, nor did it uproot or damage any plants. It did stir up all the mulch though, and actually it almost weeded the flower bed for us just like a little four legged garden tiller; our little midnight gardner.

Happy Anniversary!

I just want to take a moment to wish my parents a happy 32nd wedding anniversary. I love you guys!

Pool = Done, Yay!!!!

Despite the threat of rain, workers arrived this morning and got the pool cleaned up, refinished and replaced some missing tiles. Now to fill it up and treat the water and it will be ready for 4th of July! Naturally the weather has cooled off almost twenty degrees now and storms are forecast for the next 10 days.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sparrows = Rabbits

I have this birdhouse made to look like a cat holding a platter. It used to have a bunch of feathers in its mouth and somewhere on there it said 'what bird?'. It had been hanging in the flower bed, unused, until we moved it to this pine tree in the middle of the back yard. Last year something piled some sticks and twigs in the bottom but never actually made a nest or produced any babies until now!

This year a pair of sparrows finished off the nest and raised a nice little family, and then they did it again, and again, and yet again! That's right, they are on their fourth set. They aren't very shy about it either, no sneaking away into the bushes or into the nest to do their thing; nor do they wait long after the kids have left. This last time I think they waited 10 minutes after kicking the last of the babies out for good before uhhhh.... starting over, right there, in broad daylight, between the cats feet!

They also did a bit of remodeling, and they were a bit overzealous about it too. There is now so much grass stuffed into the box I don't think there will be room enough for everyone when the new chicks hatch out. It's positively overflowing! I wonder if there will be a fifth set? Or if my yard will end up looking like that of Lady Tottington's in Wallace and Gromit only overflowing with sparrows instead of rabbits?

For The Love Of Laundry?

I love laundry. Yup, that's right, I love it. Wait... what??? Ok so I used to despise doing the laundry because it took forever, all day in fact, to get done. This was mostly the fault of the dryer, because the dryer would not dry; each load had to be run 2 or 3 times. No more though! We picked up a Whirlpool Duet washer/dryer set and now not only are the clothes dry on the first try and all the loads done by noon, it's actually fun; fun to watch anyways. I'd never used a front-loader before and I must say its quite interesting... captivating even. I'm not 'that' easily amused, but I could sit and watch the clothes tumble round all day. Perhaps I'm being hypnotized? Now don't get me wrong though, I said I 'could' watch all day... doesn't mean I actually do. ;)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

I just want to take a moment to wish a Happy Father's Day to the most wonderful man in my life, my dad. Here's to you dad *raises glass*... All my love, Cheers!

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there, may you have a fantastic day!

Congratulations Audi!

Congratulations Audi, Joest Racing, and Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner in the No. 8 TDI R10 for a historic win at 24 Hours of Le Mans! Congratulations also to Allan McNish/Rinaldo Capello/Tom Kristensen in the No.7 for their 3rd place finish. The R10 is the first ever diesel powered prototype to win Le Mans and did so with a record 380 laps. Audi placed 1rst and 3rd overall and in LMP1 with the Pescarolo placing 2nd. Whooooooooohoooooooooooooo AUDI!!!!!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

24 Hours of Le Mans

Today marks the 74th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Audi R10 TDI's starting pole position. I just want to say GO AUDI GO!!!! Here's wishing Allan McNish/Rinaldo Capello/Tom Kristensen in the No.7, Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner in the No. 8, Audi Sport/ Joest Racing and of course Audi AG a safe, fast and winning race!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Out With The Old, In With The Blue!

Two years back I bought a new intake for the TT. It's quite the design; part cold air intake, part ram air (when set up with a FMIC), all power. The TTDA (that's twin tube dynamic airbox), is designed and manufactured by a fellow TT enthusiast as stage I of a three stage system, and can be purchased through The Modshack. The tube is made from insulated phenolic material, and houses a K&N cone filter fed by two air feeds so it sucks up fresh air while keeping things cool and protected from engine heat. Long story short, The Modshack came out with several new finishes and upgrades and after two years the carbon fiber finish just wasn't so exciting by comparison. So I sent my TTDA off for a refurb: upgraded insulation with koolmat, new composite endcaps, new clampless inlets, and a jewel like new finish of translucent blue over stainless. It arrived via fedex today. So without further ado, from left to right: New translucent blue, old carbon fiber, factory stock intake.

Out With The Old Part II

What do you do with things you don't want anymore in small town Oklahoma? Well if it's something that still works, you put it down at the end of the driveway with a 'free' sign on it and someone will take it off your hands. Actually it doesn't even have to be in good working order as I've had people take a broken wood desk and a non-working LCD computer monitor from the trash. Back to the point of the story though. Today we bought a shiny new grill. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the old grill, it still worked great, it was just a bit rough around the edges (read dirty and worn). Someone would surely appreciate a free grill! So down to the street it went with a 'free' sign taped to the front and not 15 minutes later I spotted a gentleman attempting to load it into the back of his truck. I'm sure after he cleans it up a bit it will look good as new and serve him well for many years to come.

Enter Kenmore; the new hotness. Actually the new grill is a bit smaller but it has a better burner design so it heats and cooks more evenly. Most importantly though, it looks nice! Ok so that's not really all that important. The cooking abilities are important though, and I'm happy to report 'so far, so good'. It has been christened with brats (seen in photo) and man were they good! In fact, I think I'll go have another. ;)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Celebrate Nature Photography

I love wildflowers. So much, in fact, that I have some planted in my front flower bed. I'd like to get more and plant them on the hill behind the house too. They are so beautiful! I have all sorts of wildflowers besides the ones in the photo, including lantanna, bachelor buttons, plains coreopsis (all pictured), babies breath, dwarf red coreopsis, lance leaf coreopsis, shasta daisies, blue flax, and black eyed susans. Now I just need some indian blankets, paintbrush and bluebonnets! :)

This quick snapshot of my wildflowers is to celebrate today, as June 15, 2006 has been officially designated
Nature Photography Day! I wanted to try some nice macro shots but it is just too windy here today. :(

So I say take the day off, it is an 'official' holiday after all, and go take pictures of nature! Happy shooting! :)

A Couple of Great Books

I love to read, but in the past two years or so I'd not picked up a book one. I'm not sure why, not like I didn't have the time. I guess sometimes passion for pastimes waxes and wanes, especially when you have several to get caught up in. Well in the past few months I seemed to have put the camera down, and picked up a book instead; several books in fact. I think I re-read every book I own. It was the second reading for some, others the fifth or sixth, and each just as good as the first (or better even in some cases!). Well then I just plain ran out of old books to read so I started something new. I found two that were so good I could not put them down! Now I am sad that I am done reading them (time to start over!). I can highly recommend The White Mare and The Dawn Stag, by Jules Watson. They are part of a trilogy, however the third book (The Boar Stone) will not be available till next year. This is ok though, as from what I understand the third book is not based on the characters in the first two... but is continued on by their ancestors some few hundred years in the future. At least you aren't left hanging with an unfinished story wondering what will befall the hero and heroine next. If you are a fan of Arthurian legend and historical fiction etc, you will like these.

Jules Watson weaves a tale both beautiful and horrible. The Dalriada Trilogy is a story of love amongst war. It is set in first century AD Alba (Scotland) during the Roman invasion, led by Agricola, and tells of an Epidii priestess who is offered as bride to an exiled Prince of Erin (Ireland) in exchange for help in defeating the Romans. Together they fight to unite the warring tribes of Alba into one force to turn back the red tide that is the Romans, but only if they can heal their emotionally 'complicated' marriage. She (Watson) provides a story with a perfect blend of love, fighting, fiction, and history.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Summer - pool = the suck

Sometime back in March we arranged to have our pool refinished because of bad algae problems (the pool guy said this was due to the rough state of the concrete). They managed to get the cover off and the water drained and last month two guys actually came out and put a coat of primer on. Fast forward to today; the pool still sits drained and unfinished. There have been excuses in all shapes and sizes and forms. The current one is a broken pump. A new one will supposedly arrive today and our pool is 'first on his list' to be finished.

Let me just say though, that having an empty pool when it's 95 out is no fun... no fun at all! Perhaps the pump will actually arrive in a timely fashion (although so far nothing about this has been timely or it would have been finished over a month ago). We might actually have a functioning pool for the rest of the summer. Perhaps I'll win the lotto too!!! ;-P



Yeah, so I decided to start a blog. Yay me! Right now I have no idea what to say either, but I'm sure something will come to me soon. You can expect all sorts of odd randomness though!