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About blake_logan

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    Cool Member

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  • Age in Years
  • Sexuality
    Ask Me
  • Location
    Between the Mountains & the Sea
  • Interests
    Photography, Dogs, Reading, Movies, Music, Extreme Coffee Snob

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  1. Nothing like a Griswold Christmas, but last year I did a double feature with Home Alone & Home Alone 2.
  2. I fell for the TV ads and bought a Dyson upright on sale at Best Buy several years ago. It really sucked (which is usually a good thing for vacuum cleaners) but it didn't do a very good job of cleaning dog hair from my carpets. The water tank vacuum is probably a Rainbow. The only way to get one is to have a salesman come to your home and do a demo. Back in 1980, one of my students had just started as a part time salesman and I agreed to have him come over to do the demo so he could practice his sales pitch. He vacuumed once over about a square yard of carpet and the clear water that he'd used to fill the tank had turned into sludge when he emptied it out. I didn't have $1000 to spend on a vacuum cleaner at the time or I would have probably gotten one. No way I'd spend $2500 today.
  3. I watched three documentaries on Sunday. One was really good, one was kind of OK and one left me feeling "why did I waste my time on that". It turned out to be more like an infomercial than a documentary, so finding a documentary film that's worth waching can be a challenge. The Full Frame Film Festival shows an outstanding selection of documentary films each year. The archive section on the website lists all the films they've shown for the past 20 years. Find something there that peaks your interest then search for it on Netflix (or other streaming video sources). Maybe you'll get lucky.
  4. The guy with the tambourine looks like he's really having a lot of fun!
  5. I generally end up skimming (or skipping over) "stream of consciousness" narrations. I don't need to know the menu for every meal or what designer label is on the clothes the character is wearing every time they change. If it doesn't contribute to the progress of the story, leave it out.
  6. Just in time for Halloween.
  7. I got fiber-optic internet service installed yesterday (glass all the way to my house) and life is good.

  8. My go to cake these days is the Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Chocolate Stout Cake. I use Highland Brewing Black Mocha Stout, but any chocolaty stout should work. It's really quick to mix up.
  9. Debt free at last!  No mortgage.  No car payment.  Just what's on the credit card (but that doesn't count since I pay the full balance each month :2thumbs:).

    1. Valkyrie


      Nice! :D That's a great accomplishment.  Congratulations! 

  10. If you can find it, Grannick's Bitter Apple might help with the chewing. My first Labrador puppy was a chewer. I ended up spraying this stuff on furniture, clothes in the laundry basket & myself. The only thing he would still chew after it was treated were my smelly running shoes.
  11. Google "flavored whiskey" and hold on to your seat. I'm guessing that some of them are inspired by liqueurs (e.g. Drambuie or Southern Comfort) while cutting back on the sweetness. Others are just trying to be trendy.
  12. Where I live, barbecue is a noun, not a verb or an adjective. Pork shoulders &/or whole hogs are slowly roasted over a pit of hardwood coals (preferable hickory) until it's falling off the bone tender. Then it's pulled or sliced, optionally chopped, then seasoned with a sauce made of vinegar, water, salt, black pepper & red pepper. In some parts of the state they add a little tomato ketchup and some sugar to the sauce. The result is barbecue. It's always served with cole slaw (either red or white). Corn bread &/or hush puppies (deep fried balls of cornbread preferably including minced onion) are almost always served unless the barbecue and cole slaw are served as a sandwich on a hamburger bun. Acceptable accompaniments include fried chicken, chicken & pastry, boiled potatoes, potato salad, french fries, tater tots, green beans, baked beans, butter beans, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, sweet corn, fried okra, cucumber & onion salad, scalloped tomatoes, sliced tomatoes, fried green tomatoes and Brunswick stew. Dessert is usually banana pudding. Barbecue is generally eaten at a restaurant that specializes in barbecue or from the catering menu at a big party (takes a lot of people to eat a whole hog ), but it is possible to produce an acceptable version at home. Pork shoulder roasted for 6-8 hours at 250 F. degrees then seasoned with sauce including liquid smoke is pretty good. If prepared outside in a smoker you don't need to add liquid smoke to the sauce. When I'm grilling, it's usually beef (fajitas is a favorite) or chicken (I've got a recipe that makes a reasonable approximation of Nando's Peri-Peri chicken).
  13. CSA = Community Supported Agriculture At the beginning of the growing season, you enter into an agreement with a farmer to purchase a share of their harvest. The details of the agreement vary from farmer to farmer. Some do a "take it or leave it" box of vegetables (which sort of forces you to expand your horizons when something shows up in the box that you've never seen before). Others let you pick & choose from the display at a tailgate market. There are about 20 farmers in my area that have a CSA plan. I bought into one that lets you pick & choose since I don't think kale is fit for human consumption and I've not been able to eat turnip roots ever since my grandmother tried to pass off mashed turnips as mashed potatoes when I was about 8 years old then enforced the "clean plate" rule. Yeah, ranch dressing is pretty nasty stuff
  14. So, for tonight's trip to the CSA box, I pulled out collards, chard and a couple of spring onions. The challenge here is collards take a long time to cook whereas chard cooks very quickly. I decided to try fixing braised greens in oyster sauce, something I've read about but never tasted. The prep took longer than the leeks & asparagus from last night. To try to tenderize the collards, I cut the center rib out of the leaves then rolled up the green part and cut them into thin strips. I cut the chard in larger strips -- maybe 1/2 inch. I sliced the spring onions into 1/4 inch slices that got a little wider in the green part. I put a tablespoon of oil in a wide shallow pan over medium high heat and sweated the collards until they were completely wilted. Then I added the spring onions. When they were starting to get soft, I added a clove of chopped garlic. Once the garlic aromas were released, I added the chard and 1/2 cup of chicken stock, covered the pot and turned it to low heat. While the greens were braising, I cooked a package of ramen noodles. By the time they were done, the greens were almost tender. I mixed about a tablespoon of oyster sauce and a splash of rice wine vinegar into the greens, tossed in the noodles and added some pre-cooked frozen shrimp. I put the lid on the pot and let it steam on low heat until the shrimp were warmed through. This could have hit a 10 out of 10 points, but I decided to cut some corners. The shrimp were frozen and they had been in the freezer a little too long and were tough. Instead of real chicken stock, I used the little packet from the ramen noodles so it turned out a little salter than I would have liked. It ended up being more like an 8 out of 10. Tasty enough that I'm going to make it again. This was total improvisation, so you probably won't see anything like it in a cookbook or restaurant.
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