Friday, July 14, 2006

Recipe Friday

Brian
Today's recipe is fun because it's dangerous, and it's dangerous because it's
ON FIRE,
so get your mother's permission. In fact, you need to be an adult to make it not only because it involves setting things on fire but also because what you set on fire is liquor, which you have to be an adult to obtain and possess. I call the dish what everyone else calls it:
Bananas Foster.
It's a dessert, and you would traditionally eat it with vanilla ice cream, although you could probably put it on top of all sorts of other desserts.

You'll need food products:
3 ripe bananas (the riper the better)
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons creme de cacao
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup dark rum
Vanilla ice cream, or whatever else you want to eat this with

You'll also need tools:
Knives
Cutting board
Large skillet, ideally not nonstick, with a lid
Measuring cups and spoons
Small, long-handled saucepan, ideally not nonstick
Long match
Spatula

Most importantly, you'll need to do the following:
Don't burn yourself or burn down your house

Get started by peeling the bananas and slicing them into thin little banana slices. Then (or, if you're pressed for time and confident in multitasking, meanwhile) melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat in the large skillet, periodically mixing them together with the spatula.

When they are melted, toss in the banana slices and mix them all around in the sugar-butter with the spatula. Let this mixture sizzle and simmer for a couple minutes, then mix in the cinnamon and creme de cacao. Shut off the burner.

Pour the rum into your small, long-handled saucepan, and heat it with your burner up high. Meanwhile, get your long match ready. If you have a gas stove, one easy way to light it is to stick it in the burner's flame. In about thirty seconds, the rum will just start to boil. I call this the point of no return. Actually, I've never called it that before, but one might call it that. Anyway, things are about to get potentially dangerous, so pay attention:

Make sure you have the skillet lid ready.
Hold the long handle of the saucepan.
Using the lit long match, light the rum on fire. Whoosh!
Lift the pan and pour the flaming rum over the banana mixture. It will still be on fire when it hits the skillet.
Using your hand-eye coordination, your sense of self-presevation, and your spatula, toss the flaming banana mixture around to spread out the flame without burning yourself.
If the fire gets out of hand, put the lid on the skillet.
Don't let the fire get out of hand.
Eventually, it will burn out. It is important that you let it burn out and don't blow it out or otherwise extinguish it, because the burning gets rid of the alcohol.

Phew, now it is safe again. While it's still hot, serve it on top of the recommended couple scoops of vanilla ice cream or whatever else you want.

Indexed by tags , , .

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Three People, Living or Dead

Brian
If I were Stephen Hawking, I'd be pretty stoked to be invited to so many people's fantasy dinner parties, because in people's heads I'd get to meet Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, and Socrates. Since I'm not Stephen Hawking, I think I'll make it a life goal to be famous and interesting enough that people want to invite me to their fantasy dinner parties.

Indexed by tags , , , , .

Monday, July 10, 2006

Rogue Helicopter Pilots Have Made Him Mad as Hell, and He's Not Going to Take It Anymore!

Brian
Local concerned citizen and possible paranoid schizophrenic David Thompson visited the Charlotte, North Carolina, city counsel recently to voice his podium-shaking concern about a rogue helicopter pilot and the men who don't want ice in the arena:

Link (via BoingBoing). For those of you who prefer print to video, here's what David Thompson had to say:
I stood up here last time. I’m gonna ask if when I get in to this you can give me an extra minute or thirty seconds, and once I get into this . . . I’m here tonight to request John Walsh of the FBI’s most wanted to make public and request a number one—America’s number one public enemy. We have a rogue helicopter pilot on the loose inside this airspace. He’s also on the loose inside this country. And I am after this report right here which is a classified document from the Freedom of Information Act within the FAA. When I came down here to speak back in April about the bundling, I went home. I said something, because I had—I could back it up, because I went to the Smith Junior High meeting years ago and I reminded you of four things I said, which were no smoking, thirty thousand seats, sew the hot water panels on it, and put ice in the arena. And I told you why there’s no ice in the arena. I made a statement, and the statement was the reason there’s no ice in the arena is because somebody had their hand in the pie. He didn’t want ice in that arena because he knew down the road, just like the NBA adventure, the NFL and the NHL were going to expand. And if he allowed ice to be put in the arena that meant sometime down the road he’d have a competing tenant, which would lessen his bargaining power with the city of Charlotte. I’ve been ready to explode like Mt. St. Helens since the weekend of May 27 and 28, and what happened to me was the evening of the 28 I woke up in my house. It was late in the evening—early morning, A.M. And my house was shakin’, and it’s shakin’! and it’s just shakin’! and it’s shaking!—it shakes for over a minute to two minutes. It shook constantly. And it was the same white helicopter that I saw on Sunday afternoon that flew over my house when I walked from my part of the house to my garage.

I won’t raise my voice. That’s fine, they have a right to be scared, because that’s why I’m here tonight. I was scared, I was endangered, and I was threatened. My life was in danger because we have a helicopter pilot that flew twenty-five to thirty feet above my roofline between the magnolia tree and the property line for one to two minutes, and then he bailed out. And I followed him, and I tracked him down through the FAA because I made an official report. Sue Myers knows about this, the FBI knows about this, John Edwards knows about this, the Criminal Intelligence Division of the Charlotte Metropolitan Police Department knows about this. I want this pilot. I want—it’s a matter of national security. Wherever you are, Mr. Helicopter Pilot, come out of your hole. And you too George Shin because you’re in that helicopter pilot—you’re in that helicopter, and you’re nothing but a chameleon, lemon-headed, coward, terrorist pussy! And I’m coming after you buddy! You’re gonna pay for it! Goodnight!
Indexed by tags politics, Charlotte, North Carolina, city counsel, David Thompson, podium, rogue helicopter pilot, schizophrenia.
Video credits:
Psycho complains to city about "rogue helicopter pilot", UNCJigga, courtesy Youtube, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Skydiving Weasel

Brian
Need I say more?
(submitted by Mrs. Good Reverend)

Indexed by tags weasel, skydiving, Weaseltrek.
Image credits: Still from
Extreme Weasel Adventure Skydiving, courtesy Weaseltrek, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes.

Bear Scare

The Grave Digger

One declawed New Jersey housecat scared a black bear right up a tree. On June 4, the black bear entered the cat's yard. Frightened by the 15 pound cat, the bear fled up a neighbor's tree.

Hissing at the base of the tree, Jack the clawless cat kept the bear at bay for about 15 minutes, then ran him up another tree after an attempted escape.

Finally, Jack's owner, Donna Dickey, called the cat inside, and the timorous trespasser disappeared back into the woods.

"He doesn't want anybody in his yard," Dickey said of Jack in an interview with the Newark Star Ledger.
Link. A full grown black bear can weigh up to 900 pounds, and are known to eat animals much larger than Jack. However, black bears are not typically territorial.

Maybe Jack thought that the bear was going to steal his lasagna.

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Image credits: Untitled (AP), via National Geographic, borrowed for news reporting and comment purposes.