Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Boomsticks

Sleeping in, shooting guns with buddies, BBQ for lunch...I must be on vacation.




In both pics, JP is holding Jeff's rifle, a Rossi replica of the .45, lever-action, short-barrel carbine that Chuck Connors used on The RiflemanVery cool gun.  We blew through 300+ rounds of varying kind and calibre this morning. 
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Self-sufficiency

I was struck by the irony of the fact that when I typed "off the grid living" into Google's search engine, there were 5.3 million results returned in .16 seconds.

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Pizza Chronicles 12/3/10



Roasted garlic brushed crust, tomato sauce, Italian sausage, Ancient Sweets red peppers, mozzarella, and parmesan.
.....

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Culinary Artwork


Some work with oil paint, some throw clay or design ceramic masterpieces.  Others mold artwork out of plastic, glass, and metal.  Some create their own worlds with words in prose or poetry.  

I prefer yeast, flour, and water.  
And occasionally some garlic.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Pizza 11/26/10


Chicken Sausage with Mozzarella & Goat Cheese, Bell Pepper, Campiano Tomatoes, and Artichoke Hearts.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Meat Loaf Bundt with a Tunnel of Egg

Never before have I felt the slightest inclination to cook with a bundt pan.  It's fine for other people and I do not judge, but most of the food I've seen come out of bundt pans are just not really my kind of thing.

This, however, is very much my kind of thing. 

Behold, the Meat Loaf Bundt with a Tunnel of Egg:



Please go here to meet the originator of this masterpiece, The Food Librarian, and check out the recipe.  This photo, in all of it's raging glory, also is the property of The Food Librarian - I hope she doesn't mind that I used it.
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Progress!

My official new favorite state, besides Indiana and Texas,  is now Arizona.  Not only is it beautiful there, if a little toasty during the summer and early fall, but they just seem to be doing a lot of good things lately.  I like the new gun law, for example.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Miles Davis: Cool Jazz Sound - April 1959

If you don't have Netflix, you probably should.  I loved watching this show from 1959 entitled "The Robert Herridge Theater."  It is a 30m live concert featuring the Miles Davis Quintet, accompanied by an in-studio orchestra led by Gil Evans.  This is a timeless jazz classic performance with cuts from "Kind of Blue " and "Miles Ahead," two albums which epitomize the cool jazz era.

It's cool to see the vintage mics, recording gear, and early television production techniques, too.  Fascinating. 

Go watch it. 

http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/Miles_Davis_Cool_Jazz_Sound/70014499?trkid=1211018

Shut up already and go DO something.

The NAACP's accusing the Tea Party Movement of overt racism is as clear a case of the "pot calling the kettle black" as anything I have ever seen.  It is as ironic and darkly humorous as it is poisonous and hypocritical.  There is no question that, historically, this storied organization has done much outstanding work in the the attainment of civil rights parity for ethnic minorities, principally African-Americans. However, much of their recent work is centered on institutionalizing racism through the same type of self-serving, sensationalistic, race-baiting-for-profit exercises that are routinely engaged in by the Reverends Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson Sr., and similar profiteers. 

I guess, like everybody else, they've all got mouths to feed and bills to pay over at the NAACP.  And shouting about problems that don't exist is a heckuva lot easier than actually doing something substantive these days. With all of the hopeandchange(tm) going on, plus the very real racism scandal going on at the Justice Department to avoid dealing with, they've really had to work hard to find some way to get themselves back in the news.

Yeah, these people make me a little cynical.
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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Theresa Andersson - MBPYNHO

The latest installment of Music By People You've Never Heard Of.

An excellent combination of solo performance and creative mastery of current musical technology. I really like this girl. Be sure to watch to through the scat solo all the way to the end.



Check her out here.

And also this one. Crazy good...



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Saturday, June 05, 2010

"Days With My Father" by Phillip Toledano

This is a beautiful and moving photo essay.  It originated on the web a couple of years ago and is now a book as well.




h/t Rex Taylor Smith
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bruschetta with Ricotta, Honey, & Lemon Zest

This is from the wonderful Food52.com site.


I've made this three or four times now and you should, too.  It is one of my new favorite things to make and eat.  It's easy and an ingenious blend of flavors.  Do it.  You can thank me later. 

Yes, I snagged the photo AND the recipe from their site.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Walking in Light

As I was reading through some Bible passages about the Holy Spirit this morning, I re-stumbled upon a morsel of illuminating commentary in the footnote for I John 1:7.  It reads:

Through the Word of God the indwelling Holy Spirit shows the Christian that he (1) still possesses an old nature (v.8), and (2) needs the forgiveness of his sins (vv. 9-10).  The blood of Christ is the divine provision for both. 
To walk in the light is to live in fellowship with the Father and the Son.  Sin interrupts fellowship but cannot change the relationship.  Confession restores fellowship and immediate confession keeps the fellowship unbroken. 

 My Bible of choice is the Oxford New International Version Scofield Study Bible, the 1984 printing of the 1967 edition.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

LORAN Tower Demolition...

...because I like it when stuff blows up and/or falls down. 



This was a 1320 ft. tower located in Alaska.  I saw this first in RadioWorld Online, one of the trade journals that I read.  Sometimes.  You can read more about it here if you like to know about stuff that blows up and/or falls down.
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sharpshooting

Interesting article from Sky News about a British soldier who recently set a remarkable, if somewhat grisly marksmanship record in Afghanistan.  This guy's story is impressive.

To compensate for the distance, he aimed 6 ft. higher, and 20 in. to the left.  Here is his rifle:
Click on the picture above for more detail.  Here is an informative link to more info on the weapon.
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ciabatta


Baking bread is addictive.  It's really satisfying when it works out right.
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UPDATE:  I've had a request for the recipe, so here it is:

Sponge
1/8 tsp active dry yeast
2  tbsp warm water (105-115 deg F)
1/3  cup room-temp water
1  cup bread flour

Step 1.  Stir together warm water and yeast.  Let it stand for 5 minutes.  Transfer yeast mixture to another bowl, add room-temp water and flour.  Stir for at least 4 minutes until fully combined.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 1 day,

Bread
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2  tbsp warm milk (105-115 deg F)
2/3  cup room-temp water
1  tbsp olive oil
2  cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt

Step 2.  Mix yeast and milk in small bowl and let stand 5 minutes.  Oil another bowl with olive oil.  In bowl of standing mixer, using dough hook, blend together milk mixture, sponge, oil, and flour on lowest speed until flour is moistened.

Beat for approximately 3 minutes.  Add salt and beat for approximately 3 more minutes.  Scrape dough into oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let it set until doubled, at least 1.5 hours.

Step 3.  Cut two pieces of parchment paper, approx 12 x 6 inches.  Place on baking sheet and flour well.  Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and cut in half.  Transfer each half to paper and form irregular ovals approx 9 inches long.  Dust with flour.  Cover with dampened kitchen towel and let rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until almost doubled.

Step 4.  At least 45 minutes before baking bread, preheat pizza stone on lower oven rack position at 425 F.   Just before baking, score the tops of the loaf with a sharp knife.  Optionally, lightly sprinkle with coarse kosher or sea salt.

Transfer loafs, on the parchment paper, onto the stone and bake for 20 minutes or until pale golden-brown.  Remove to cooling racks.  Let rest for 30 minutes or so to allow the crust to cure.

Note that this recipe sounds a lot more difficult than it is.  There are only four steps and each one is easy.  It is also very forgiving.  You can use all-purpose flour if you don’t have bread flour.  Or you can mix flours.  Results will vary in taste and texture, but it works.  Also, if your personal schedule dictates, after completing Step 2, you can store the dough in the refrigerator and go to work (or whatever).  It will rise more slowly in the fridge, which is fine…just try to let it rise to about twice the size you started out with, probably 6-8 hours.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Gospel-Filled Wallet



One of my internet buddies has written a book.  And had it published.

It's called "The Gospel-Filled Wallet," and the author is Jeff Weddle.  Read more about it here.

Jeff says you won't like his book, though.  He thinks it will hurt your delicate sensibilities.  I say buy it and find out....that's what I did. 

Plus, I used a coupon from this page, the one entitled "LULUMAIL305" and got free shipping.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why America Hates Universal Health Care: The Real Reason

This is a blunt and concise article from Pajamas Media that hits the nail on the head.  There is at least one picture associated with this article that some will find offensive but, objectionable as it may be, it does aptly illustrate the author's point.

I am in agreement with 99.5% of the article, otherwise.  I think this explains well why so many Americans, regardless of political stripe, object so vehemently to the healthcare legislation that has become the principal feature of President Obama's administration.

Read it here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Everybody Gets Knocked Down..."

An excellent new commercial from Nike.  This really is inspiring. 



Very artistic, in my opinion.  Very well done.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

"Why don't the rabbis believe in Jesus?"

""Why don't the rabbis believe in Jesus?" Many Christians who ask me this assume that all rabbis are extremely knowledgeable about the Hebrew Scriptures. And, they figure, it stands to reason that anyone who is familiar with the many passages that point to Jesus would be persuaded to believe in Him too."

Another interesting article by David Brickner.

His historical perspective is interesting and I find myself in about 95.6% agreement with his conclusions.

I think, too, most of what he says about the true terms of orthodox Jewish religious scholarship also applies to Christian evangelical teachers, writers, and preachers today.  My perception is that a lot of what is preached and taught today as doctrine is derived as much or more from the study of popular commentaries and modern interpretations as it is from the Bible itself.  In evangelical churches that are more doctrinally conservative, there is a reliance on John MacArthur, Bill Hybels, and John Piper.  In the younger, edgier congregations, there is a lot of attention paid to the videos of Rob Bell, the inflammatory sermons by Mark Driscoll, and others.  There is always a big buzz when the newest book by Erwin McManus or Brian McLaren is published.

This is not new...25 years ago it was Charles Swindoll, Chuck Colson, James Dobson, and Billy Graham who helped shape the American Christian cultural consciousness.  Some of that buzz and hum may be good, but much of it is just noise and you need to be able to discern the difference for yourself. 

A diversity of opinion and a broad spectrum of influences and ideas is not necessarily a bad thing, of course, and that is not what I am suggesting.  Proverbs 23:12 encourages us to "apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge," which no doubt includes the writings and teachings of others.  This theme is repeated in different forms and nuances throughout the Bible.

However, no one should let their study about the Bible take the place of their study of the Bible.  If you find yourself more interested in reading some new book about social justice or how to live a dynamic and successful Christian life than you are about reading the book of James, for example, then you need to recalibrate.

Pray in earnest that the Lord will instill or restore in you a love for His word first.  It won't take long.  When you've got that going, you'll be able to sort through the noise and hear the music.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

"Rahm Emanual thinks Democrats are retarded..."

Glenn Reynolds should get some kind of award for this hilarious headline:


RAHM EMANUEL COMPARES DEMOCRATS TO RETARDED PEOPLE, then apologizes to retarded people.

Click on through for the details...or not.
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Friday, January 29, 2010

Entertainment

Why does Google News put all of it's stories about the drama that has usurped the lives of Tiger Woods and his family into the "Entertainment" category of it's website?  The available categories for news include "World, ""US," "Sci/Tech,""Business,"" Sports," and "Health."  Clearly, this tragedy doesn't fit in any of those categories either, although "Sports" may be the most appropriate since that is where most of the previous reportage about the golfing legend has appeared until recently.

But it definitely does not qualify as "Entertainment."  It is definitely not entertaining.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Steal This Recipe

Okay, here's the deal.  This is why Mark Bittman is so cool.  This recipe couldn't be easier, but it is an incredibly amazing rendering of brussel sprout deliciousness.  Watch this short video and just do it.  There is bacon involved.  Watch it now.

Cut and paste this into your browser if necessary:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/dining/281mrex.html?ref=dining

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I did add a couple of tablespoons of pine nuts. And, check it out, I didn't have any dates.  But I did have figs and everyone knows that figs and dates are functional equivalents.  They are basically the same thing, really, so if you don't have dried figs, used dried dates.  And I added some chopped red bell pepper for color. 

Do it.  Don't fear the brussel sprouts.  Embrace them.

(Yes, I stole that picture from the internet.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Audio Technology Stuff

The National Association of Music Merchants (forever hereafter referred to as NAMM) winter show was last week.  While, typically, it is the summer show that is the musical instrument manufacturing industry's biggest event, the tradeshow last week revealed some cool new products.

First, check out the Akai Synthstation.  It is a powerful, feature packed synthesizer and music production application for the iPhone and iPod.  This is crazy!




Also, there is the iPK25 keyboard controller.  It's so new, you can't hardly find it on the internet, but go check out this really cool video on the Electronic Musician site.

And here is an interesting video on some new studio isolation products from Primacoustic, which is a part of the Radial Engineering family of companies and a real leader in acoustic design technology.  I was really impressed with the simple and creative design of some of these little problem-solvers.  Some clever, thoughtful new tools that will really work well in many studios and performance applicatons.