Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Quest Continues: Texas Schnitzel

So KX59 flips me a link when he hears that I will be in DFW...

Since you are going to be near Fort Worth, I found a truly epic chicken fried steak for ya...
Cowtown Diner in Ft Worth
 KX59 & the lovely and armed Southern Belle were the ones that took me to Goodsens in Tomball earlier this summer... it was the opening act in the Great Chicken Fried Steak Und Weiner Schnitzel Quest...
I had it in Texas, I had it in LA, and of course I had several orders in Berlin this year.

So, KX59 is trying to kill me -

The link he sent was about the "Full O Bull" Chicken Fried Steak challenge platter
9 pounds of chicken fried steak...
Think about a slab of CFS the size of a bath mat.

I could probably eat one...They give you all day to do it.
The problem is that you also have to eat 6 pounds of mashed potatoes, and 10 slices of Texas toast.

I avoided temptation and ordered the lunch version...

There was an issue-
I never should have held on to the menu after ordering.

As I was looking over the starters I saw this:

Oh my. Oh my oh my.
I was pondering an order of these deep-fried hand grenades and my lunch arrived.

Just the regular order was amazing.
And huge.

No way I'll be able to finish this beast AND and order of the deviled eggs.
CFS, green beans with bacon and mashed potatoes.

Probably not quite as big as the one at Goodsons...

But it was still really really good.

Did I finish it?

Does a cripple crab crawl?

If the Fates drag you kicking and screaming to Fort Worth Texas, mosey on over to the Cowtown Diner on Main St, between 1st and 2nd...
Sit at the bar and have Justin the barkeep tend to your needs and wishes.

As for that laginappe...
Yeah- I got an order of the deviled eggs to go.

They were awesome.

TBG- Stuffed to the gills.

(PS- Hey Borepatch- there is a special Easter egg in this post for you...)

Tech Tips - #246r.3

-or, how I spent my day in Dallas

When seating cards in an Evertz frame chassis,
Press the card in as hard as possible.

Then press even harder.

Only then will the card seat completely and start to function properly.
Seems that the chassis have a TFS that is set at a pretty high threshold.

TBG - Dallas, westbound.

(TFS? That would be the Technician Frustration Sensor.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

They Are Ruining Christmas...

Ah, the ubiquitous "they"... 
Who, you may ask, are "they"...

Radio station programming directors, big box merchandisers, all those folks that want to hasten us into the gift-buying mentality/behavior.

The ones that are particularly galling right at this moment are the radio stations and Muzak-analogs that run in-store and in-restaurant background music systems...

It starts just after Halloween... an occasional Holiday Hit stuck in amongst the regular airplay. Now it's all Christmas, all the time- from Thanksgiving morning to New Years Day...
And it's starting to piss me off.
(Untrue- I've been pissed off about this for a long time.)

Back when I actually had a say in the matters I tried to issue a moratorium on music & decorations at the Estrogen no avail.
The Woman Who Knows Most Things and the Perfect Child used to love digging out all the foofaraws and paraphernalia for The Season on the Saturday after Thanksgiving...
I would try to get them to delay to at least the 9th or 10th...(arbitrarily picked date, anything to delay the inevitable)
I figure two weeks of festivity was plenty for anyone.
Not that I'm a Grinch or anything, but a month or more of anything is too much.

Two weeks keeps it all fresh through the end of The Season- otherwise, hearing the 200th rendition of "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" makes me want to grab the .270 and look for a rooftop or a clock tower.

I've been on the road since Thanksgiving day, and will be for for the next 2 weeks-
and it seems like every hotel lobby, restaurant and airport I've been in has been blaring Jingle Bell Rock and I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus cranked to 11.
I'm already tired of it.

Fortunately for me my Rental Car du Jour has an iPod interface, so I can listen to Warren Zevon, Tom Waits, Jimmy Buffett and Leon Redbone ad infinitum... This way, when I feel the need for Seasonal Festivity, I can flip over to MY Christmas playlist and listen to my favorite sounds of the season like Mannheim Steamroller or the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, or perhaps even a little Bob Rivers:

(I know... It's kind of a drag...)

Meanwhile, back to the problem at hand-
Overdosing the general public on Christmas music...
Uncle Jay's suggestion:
No Christmas music before or on Thanksgiving. None.
Stop screwing up the holidays by rushing things.
Play all you want on Black Friday.
(Maybe it will calm the Rabid Horde down a bit and cut down on the pepper-spray incidents.)
Then wait until December 1st; play one every hour or so...
Ease us into it.
In the 2nd and 3rd week, bump the carols-per-hour up gradually until the 20th-
Then go whole-hog...

Wait. What am I thinking?

Expecting sanity and restraint from the American Merchandising Machine?

That be like Congress enacting Election Reform...

It's a lost cause.


Monday, November 28, 2011

2011: a Team Cam Oddity

TBG: "Open the penalty box door, Helen."

Helen: "I'm sorry Jay, I'm afraid I can't do that."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thomas Hood Was Right.

No birds
No flowers
No leaves


Back in the Saddle

Welcome to St Loogie.
34 Degrees.

Last time I was here it was wicked insane hot and we had tormadoes.
Now its just gray & cold...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Unclear on the Concept - Wassamatta U Edition

"So, Cletus...just how *did* you get that moose up in the tree?"
"Well, I had to get him out of the boat somehow..."


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Signs of the Apocalypse - Part 742.45a

(From back-of-house in an arena that shall remain unidentified)

You fuckin'-A right, Henry.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Kama Sutra of the Socially Inept

Just doing my part for the rejected, jilted and spurned.
No charge.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

5 Second Rule - Was it a Emausaurus?

Need help with that decision?


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Helpful Advice - NYC Edition

...Unless, of course, you want a shiv stuck in your ribs.

Moral of the story: New York hates you.


Kids These Days...


Friday, November 18, 2011

Hey Twihards!

(This includes you, PC...)


Thursday, November 17, 2011


They say it's all about The Hat...

So if that's the case, what are we to make of this?:

"We shall consult the Oracle. Come back in 10 days for our answer.
Bring mice. And a canned ham."


Letters to People Unlikely to Respond:
Assclown Smoker Apology

To the girl in the red Ford Explorer on Penman Ave:

As I pulled up behind you on my motorcycle and we waited on the traffic light,
I could tell there was going to be a confrontation.

You were rocking the "Commuting Smoker" pose- window down, mostly-consumed cigarette held stylishly out the window, occasionally flicking the butt to increase the ash content of the streets in Neptune Beach.

This isn't her, but it is the same situation in the same place.

I sat behind you watching, knowing what was coming, like I have seen it a thousand times before...
One last drag as the light goes green, then the butt sails out the window, to add to the huge collection of discarded smoker trash at every turn lane in North Florida, and I guess, most of North America.

Yep- you reeled it in for a minute for that final lungful of tars and nicotene, then held it out the window at arms length and let it drop to the street.

You. Fucking. Slob. Bitch.

I know you couldn't possible have known that not ten minutes earlier I'd just had a similar encounter out on Atlantic Boulevard where another smoking asshat flipped his butt out the window where it impacted my windscreen then bounced up, narrowly missing my face.
I spent the next 10 minutes cussing smokers in general, until I wound up behind you.

And this callous move pushed me over the edge.

"Hey! Lady. This isn't your ashtray! Pick that up!" I shouted.
The light had changed and traffic started to move...

I could see your shilouette in the car- you gave the palms-up, shrugged shoulders-

Oh. You're busted, and you want to play dumb.
No problem. Let me expalin.

I know you were surprised when I rode around you and stopped my bike in front of your SUV, hopped off the bike and walked to your window, which was still down...

I picked up your still-smouldering butt and flicked it in your window...
(...and you should be thankful I threw it down toward your floorboard instead of your face.)
"You dropped this, you slob. The street isn't your fucking ashtray."
I went back to my bike, dropped into first gear and rode off.

Here's where the apology comes in.

I apologize for using profanity at you.

I'm sorry you have a nicotene monkey on your back.

I'm sorry you're such a slob.

I'm sorry for the people you live and work with.

I apologize for wanting to live in a place without heaps of cigarette butts in the streets.

See you next Tuesday.


The big mean guy on the motorcycle behind you.


What the fuck is wrong with you people?

I could give a flying fuck what kind of poison you sniff, snort, shoot, inhale or rub into your belly. Do what you want. Really. I could give a fat rat's ass.



House Passes Permit Reciprocity Bill

Wow. Color me amazed.
But I'm not going to start holding my breath yet...

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. House voted Wednesday to approve a bill that would allow reciprocity between states that issue concealed-weapon permits..

The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 passed 272-154 with 229 Republicans and 43 Democrats backing it, the Los Angeles Times said.

Proponents want the measure to make it easier for gun owners to travel between states without having to worry whether their permit is valid, but opponents view it as a federal infringement on states' rights, the newspaper said.

"The simple right to defend yourself and loved ones from criminals is fundamental, and it doesn't extinguish when you cross a state border," said Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., who sponsored the bill.

The bill goes to the Senate where similar legislation died in 2009.

Forty states have some form of concealed-weapon-permit reciprocity, advocates said.


"...opponents view it as a federal infringement on states' rights"...

Seems to me that the 'opponents' the LA Times cites are a bit misguided.
I would think that the infringement would be if the bill required that everyone buy a firearm. Kinda like forcing everyone to purchase health insurance.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Gift

...for the Perfect Child.
(Good thing she doesn't read the 'blog, eh?)

 I was thinking about a t-shirt...

Now, if I could get the message *and* direct the link to a picture of Yours Truly in "Angry Ogre" mode...


Fun on the Menu, Berlin '11

(Οοοο! It is mit der Schwammerlsauce!)

I wonder if I should ask if they have Tequilaschnitzle?


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"...You really don't want to see the Executive Chef..."

Shut up and eat.

And leave a good tip.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Post-Halloween Creepification

This reminds me of a Dry Tortugas / Ft. Jefferson ghost story.
Buy me a drink sometime and I'll tell you the tale...


Saturday, November 12, 2011

TV Sports Announcer Dumbassry

I caught a good bit of last week's South Carolina / Arkansas game and I'm watching today's Florida /South Carolina game and chatting with The Woman...
Announcers talk just to make noise.
It drives me nuts to hear someone makes a comment like "...the receivers really need make those catches".
Uh, ya think so?

I'm not a Spurrier fan...
He brought a fan base to my alma mater that I really detest:
People with no ties to the school, except liking the take-no-prisoners style of football and a cool mascot.
A huge majority of Florida fans didn't even GO to college, let alone UF.

The CBS announcers constantly refer to him by his monniker of "The Ol' Ball Coach"...except they keep screwing it up calling him "Ol' Head Coach" or "Head Ball Coach" and as usual they are driving it into the ground...

The Woman: "We could make a drinking game out of this...
Every time they call him that, or when they make a 'Captain Obvious' statement like 'They really need to pick up that first down...'  you have to drink."
Yours Truly: "You're going to need another case of beer and I need a bigger bottle of rum."

'Sup, Dog?

Where my lime, bitch?
My Corona need a lime, dammit.


Newest OWS Demand: More Sunny Days in July



Friday, November 11, 2011

You're killing me, Whitey*...

Another day, another 45 minutes trying to get access to the building internet.

1'M 71r3d-71r3d-71r3D 0f j00 73cH-7YP3z 7H@ L1k3 70 D0 26 Ch4r4c73R P4Zzw0RDz 1n L337-5P34K Ph0r j00 N37W0Rk 4cc35z.
17'Z r34lLY P1551n' m3 0ff.


*One of Coop's favorites...

Background here: Just-Passing-Through-Lou


In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Perry Campaign Manager?

From my experience, this is the Texas way of saying
"We don't care how you do it Up North..."

KX59? Belle?


Making A Good Impression,

While on this gig, part of my modus operandi  was to find and use a laundry drop-off service in whatever city I'm in to wash my clothes in order to save money.
($11 to wash a pair of jeans, $4 to wash a pair of socks? Please.
Your clothes aren't the only ones being taken to the cleaners.)

The hotels that I've been staying at are usually Starwood Properties (Westin, W, Sheraton, Aloft, etc) and as a rule don't have guest laundry facilities, so self-service isn't in the cards either.
Starwood Properties are also occasionally a little highbrow...and the other guests can sometimes be a little snooty...

I had picked up my laundry on the way back to the hotel from the arena and stepped into the elevator with a well-dressed business woman who had just checked in.
She with her big purse and Samsonite rolling bag, me in my 5.11-brand tactical khakis, backpack and plastic bag full of laundry.

The elevator stopped on her floor.
As the door opened she looked at me then at my laundry
and sniffed "Nice luggage. Maybe you'll start a trend." and walked away.

Wow. See you next Tuesday, lady.

In retrospect, I guess I did look a little "Homeless Guy"-ish.


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Signs Of The Apocalypse - Part 249

Truer words were never stenciled....


Monday, November 07, 2011

Change You Can Believe In

Nerd Behavior 101

I keep a small zip-lock bag in my backpack for TSA purposes.

When approaching the TSA gropestation, I take all the change out of my pocket in put it in the baggie. This keeps all the change from gathering down in the bottom pocket of my backpack, along with the BNC barrels, end-to-end fiber couplers, spent 9mm & .44 casings, dog treats, nuts, bolts & RJ45 connectors.

Occasionally I go through it and sort out all the US quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies into a separate bag, and leave all the "others" in the easy access bag.

This provides me with a couple advantages-
First- I always have change for Machine Cuisine on-hand. Yay.

Second- I'm always happy provide a humorous spectacle for valet drivers and bellhops as I dig through my "change purse" for a Loonie or Twonie for a tip.


Odd Outlook Error


Sunday, November 06, 2011

Take Notes for Next Halloween

If you give the little hoodlums the good stuff, it saves you clean-up time since you won't have to deal with eggs and toilet paper...


Halloween Phenomenon

Anyone else notice this?


Saturday, November 05, 2011

Good Things / Small Packages - Part 1

During the course of my travels this summer I have found more than a few kernels of wheat amongst the chaff when it comes to restaurants...

There was quite a bit of chaff in the form of MickeyD's, Krystals, Chili's and other corporate fast food...
And there was quite a bit of good (or at least interesting) stuff in the form of places like Thom Pham's Wondrous Azian Kitchen and some other stuff in Minneapolis, Cossettis in St.Paul, several trips to The Keg with JR, a NSFW menu in St. Louis, Hooters in Ft.Lauderdale, some churrascaria like Brazaviva, Texas de Brazil & Fogo de Chao, a morning nosh in Jacksonville, good folks and good food in Dallas, a culinary debacle in Chicago, The Original Pantry in LA, some random Canadian observations, and a great restaurant pairing found in Calgary.

I've saved a bulk of really good places in my doorknob file, but I really haven't had the time or inclination to write them up, but I really need to get back on a regular blogging schedule, so here we go with notes from a couple places that serve big flavors on tiny plates....

First - a new tapas place here in Jax Beach (actually Atlantic Beach, but who's holding the GPS?) called Royal Palm Village Wine and Tapas...

Yours Truly, The Woman Who Knows Most Things and Bill & Betsy- long-time family friends from here at the Beach, decided to try this new place out- just to see what's what.

They are located in the old post office building on Royal Palm Drive in Atlantic Beach...
(I must observe that it takes a good bit of confidence in your marketing skills to open a fine wine store directly across the street from an ABC Liquors...but I digress.)
They have a huge wine selection- over 1200 bottles, and a large number of draughts & bottled beers.
There are several options on wine-by-the-glass and a nice 4-glass beer sampler...
I had a nice cider, TWWKMT and Bill had a flight of local draughts each, and Betsy had a red Zin that she liked... We sat outside, next to their herb garden, and enjoyed the evening... The temps were in the mid 70's and it was very enjoyable.
On the nibbles - I'm a sucker for olives, so it was mandatory to get a dish of their assorted Oleaceae. A very tasty mix... Bill also had a plate of the little green nuggets of joy as an appetizer.
We also ordered their wild mushroom bruschetta, and the chicken satay and a selection of cheeses and chorizo...
Bill and Betsy also had seasoned popcorn, the lemongrass ahi tuna, and pork tacos. I got a taste of the was nicely done- perfect sear and a very nice dipping sauce. The chicken satay was spicy and quite flavorful and the wild mushroom bruschetta was really tasty too.

We were also treated to a sample of their beef empanadas- made with a beef filling that just melted in your mouth.
(Egregious error corrected in the interest of accuracy. H/T to Constant Reader Tracy)
The empanadas were a lagniappe from the Executive Chef- seems that her daughter goes to the school where The Woman & Betsy teach... a pleasant and tasty surprise.

Our server was quite friendly, knowledgeable about the menu and the beverage selections, and very attentive to our needs and orders.
Overall- a very nice place... awesome beverage selection, friendly people, small plates, big flavors.

Royal Palm Village Wine & Tapas
296 Royal Palm Dr.
Atlantic Beach

Go. Imbibe. Enjoy.

Next up-  More small plates from Denver.