Monday, November 27, 2006

Meanwhile, in Montrose . . .

Brian
Edward and Gwen Chianese pulled off the upset to become No-Till Farmers of the Year at this year's Soilies.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Alvin? . . . Alvin? . . . ALVIIIIIIN!

Brian
Many of the most important discoveries in popular music have come through screwing around with the audio. For instance, if it weren't for records turning backwards, we would have never known that Paul is dead or that Led Zeppelin worships satan. We also know that LPs sound like the Chipmunks if you play them at 45 r.p.m. But what we never knew—until now—was what the men who performed as the Chipmunks sounded like in real life (via Neatorama). Me, I want a hula hoop.

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Image credits: "Alvin, Sans Simon and Theodore," Jonah Weiland, courtesy
Comic Book Resources, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkeys Make a Break for It

Brian
Link (via Neatorama). It's all fun and games until one of them crashes his motorcycle into a wire fence. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Gratuitous "Quotation Marks"

Brian
A Flickr group dedicated to tracking down, but not stamping out, the rampant overuse of quotation marks in English-language signage around the globe. Finally. (Via BoingBoing.)

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Image credits: "'Jesus' Is 'Lord,'" pjchmiel, courtesy Flickr, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes.

May We Suggest . . .

Brian
How I Met Your Mother. It was pretty obvious that the creators of Friends pitched it to the network executives as "like Cheers, but these friends hang out in a cafe instead of a bar." And it is equally obvious that the creators of this show on CBS (a mark against it in and of itself) pitched it as "like Friends, but with a bar instead of a cafe." So it has that working against it. Plus, it's a sitcom. Didn't those things go out of style about the same time as the Spice Girls and CompuServe? But this show has a terrific cast—props for hiring not only Alyson Hannigan and an against-type Neil Patrick Harris, but also the goofy tall guy from Freaks and Geeks—and that most important aspect of television comedies: actually being funny.

Anything pumpkin flavored. This time of year only comes around . . . something something. It used to just mean pumpkin pie, but now there are loaves, lattes, gelatos, sorbets, smoothies, cookies, and probably beer. It's not just the pumpkin—although it is the pumpkin—it's also the allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg (sweet fancy ketchup, the nutmeg!) that goes along with it. Yum with extra m's.

Fastforwarding through that one song in The Muppet Christmas Carol. You know which one I mean. Redonkulously slow and maudlin, it throws on the emergency brake right in the middle of the highway to funtown. And ugh, that unnecessary love interest. This is why the remote has that button with the two rightward triangles.

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Image credits: (1) How I Met Your Mother, courtesy
Amazon, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes; (2) "Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake," ilmungo, courtesy Flickr, acquired via Creative Commons license; (3) The Muppet Christmas Carol, courtesy Amazon, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes.

Friday, November 17, 2006

And Now We Pause for Mannequins on Skateboards

Brian

(via BoingBoing)

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Video credits:
Skateboarding Girls, Dirtiestline, courtesy YouTube, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes.

Recipe Friday

Brian

Well, it’s been another long while since I posted to honor my ongoing commitment to cooking, but with the holiday season fast approaching (or, if you are a major American retailer, already here), I thought it time once again for Recipe Friday. And what would be a more appropriate recipe than a little stuffed turkey dish I like to call

Turturken

Okay, I admit I just called it that for the first time. But it’s a fitting name because it’s similar to turducken but without the duck. And, really, without stuffing whole birds inside other whole birds. There are no whole birds involved. But that’s what makes it easy.

Food you’ll need:
12 ounces chicken- or turkey sausage
1.5 cups pumpkin seeds, shelled (also sold as “pepitas”)
7 tablespoons butter
3 slices turkey bacon
6 ounces ground turkey
1 large onion
1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
1.5 tablespoons fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary)
1.5 tablespoons fresh sage (or 1/2 tablespoon dried sage)
3 lightly beaten eggs
1 skinless, boneless turkey breast (sometimes sold as “turkey London broil”)
1.5 cups chicken broth
1.5 cups dry white wine

Tools you’ll need:
Oven
Microwave
Stove
Skillet
Knives
Measuring cups & spoons
Fork
Spatula
Cutting board
Oven mitts and potholders
Casserole dish or roasting pan (about 12” x 9”)
Smaller casserole dish or roasting pan (9” x 9” or 9” x 6”)
Cheese grater (unless your cheese is pre-grated)
Big microwave-safe bowl or dish
Small bowl for beating eggs
Plastic wrap
Meat tenderizer or mallet
Butcher’s twine, skewers, or toothpicks
Meat thermometer
Baster

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the big microwave-safe bowl, melt one tablespoon of the butter. When it’s melted, arrange the pumpkin seeds (shelled, remember) in the bowl and toss a little to coat them with the butter. Spread them out evenly. Microwave on high for seven minutes, stopping at two-minute intervals to toss them around so they cook evenly.

Lay out your sausages and poke holes in them in a few places with a fork. Then arrange them on your smaller casserole dish and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Take them out, let them cool, and pump the temperature up to 450 degrees.

Chop the onion, bacon, rosemary, and sage finely. Keep the rosemary and sage separate from the onion and bacon. Obviously skip the rosemary and sage part if you are using dried herbs.

In your skillet over medium heat on the stove, melt the remaining six tablespoons of butter. When it’s liquid, add the onion, bacon, pumpkin seeds, and ground turkey. With the spatula, stir it all up so it is mixed together nicely. Break apart the ground turkey. Let this mixture cook for maybe ten minutes. It’s done when the onions are tender and golden.

Meanwhile, slice the cooked, cooled sausage thinly. If you haven’t already, grate the cheese and beat the eggs.

When the onion-seed-meat mixture is done, remove it from the heat, stir it up, and let it cool.

Lay out your turkey breast on a cutting board. The goal is for it to be big and flat, about a half inch thick all over. It is probably thicker in places at the start, so here’s how to deal with that: Take a big, sharp knife and cut sideways into the thickest part of the turkey, making sure not to cut all the way through. Fold this part over and lay the meat out flat. If there are any other big, thick places that look like they could use the old cut-and-fold, give them the same treatment. Then cover the turkey with a piece of plastic wrap. Wielding the meat tenderizer, whack the meat through the plastic wrap repeatedly, hard, all over, until it thins out to a half inch all around. It might help to stop halfway through and flip it. This takes a little while, but is satisfying in a sadistic way.

Mix the sliced sausage, grated cheese, beaten eggs, and chopped rosemary and sage into the onion-seed-meat mixture, tossing it all around until it is evenly mixed.

Spread this stuffing out over the entire surface of the turkey. If you have some left over, that’s okay. Roll up the turkey, with the stuffing, jellyroll style. This means starting at the bottom of the long end and rolling once, then tucking in the sides, rolling up once more, tucking in the sides once more, and so forth until it is all rolled up. It is okay if the stuffing squeezes out a little bit. Secure the roll together with the twine or with skewers or toothpicks. Put this stuffed turkey in the larger casserole dish or roasting pan and spoon whatever leftover stuffing you have around the outside of it.

Now collect your wine and chicken broth. If you need to make chicken broth, just boil 1.5 cups of water and 1.5 or 2 cubes or packets of chicken bouillon. Pour the broth and then the wine evenly over the turkey into the casserole dish.

Put this in the oven and bake it at 450 for 50 minutes, or until your meat thermometer, properly stuck into the bird, tells you that the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees. At ten-minute intervals while it is cooking, open the oven, suck up some of the juices with your baster, and squirt this over the top of the turkey to keep it moist.

When you take the dish out of the oven, remove the turkey from the dish to a cutting board, remove the skewers or twine and let it cool for ten minutes. Then slice it up and have at it. May I recommend the garlic mashers as a side?

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Image credits: Wild Turkey, Male and Female, Charles Lucien, from American Ornithology, or, The Natural History of Birds Inhabiting the United States, Not Given by Wilson: With Figures Drawn, Engraved, and Coloured, from Nature, courtesy BibliOdyssey.
This recipe was inspired by similar turkey recipes in Mario Batali's Molto Italiano.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Drunken Elk Frightens Children

The Grave Digger


Swedish schoolchildren were terrorized today by what is believed to be a totally wasted elk.

The elk was probably eating fermented apples in a garden and had become inebriated, [police officer Jan] Caiman said.

Elk can weigh as much as 500 kilos (1,100 lb) and personnel at the school described the erratic male as "completely mad."

Link (courtesey of Reuters). Luckily for the schoolchildren of Molndal, the police had contacted hunters and that if the elk did not calm down, it could be shot.

Does anybody know a good recipe for elk?

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Meanwhile, in Montrose . . .

Brian
The First Annual Montrose Country Christmas Gingerbread House Competition will feature, among others, a "Montrose buildings" theme. You should enter if you think you can capture all the detail of the old Scoops ice cream parlor in candy dots. But if you are a professional maker of gingerbread houses, you'd better enter a different contest.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Spam Nonsense Poetry II

Brian
New-admitted Outlet Plate
by Johanna Orr

he is, indeed;

but, considering the inducement, my dear miss eliza,
we cannot wonder at hisand though wickham
had been little there since the death of darcy's father,
it was yet in his power
to

2006

While there are elements to admire in this piece—the clever use of punctuation, the creation of new words from the combination of two common ones, the bold and abrupt truncation of an ending—it clearly lacks the style and moment of PJ Nulloczo's work. In fact, it is little more than a lumping together of two lines from Pride and Prejudice.

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Celebrity Marriages Mine Has Outlasted

Brian
1. Renee and Kenny
2. Britney and Kevin
3. Pam and Kid

Edited Nov. 30, 2006.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Cat-wielding Voter Smashes Diebold Machine

Brian
An Allentown independent voter decided this morning that (a) Republicans wanted to steal the election, (b) they were going to use Diebold touch-screen electronic voting machines to do it, and, here's the kicker, (c) the best way to combat this is to destroy one such machine with a cat statuette:
"He smashed it with the cat's ears," said volunteer Jim Govostis, who watched the incident unfold at Raker Center, a nursing home owned by Good Shepherd, around 12:30 p.m.

Young, who brought the paperweight with him, then sat down, hung his head and waited for police, who arrested him without incident.

"He came in here very peaceably and showed his ID," said volunteer Gladys Pezoldt, "then he got on the machine and just snapped…He was immediately remorseful. When the police came, he got up, turned around and put his hands behind his back."
Link (via Wonkette). Sure, it's easy to call this man crazy. But what he did is probably still more rational than actually voting.

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Borat: Cultural Learnings With A Grain Of Truth

The Grave Digger


Last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing the Borat movie film. I don't think I have anything unique to add to the mounting praise and criticisms; let me just say that, hilarity aside, the move offers a wide variety of offensive material, from bizarre sexist remarks to gratuitous nudity.

Given that Sacha Baron Cohen, the actor portraying Borat, is not a native to Kazakhstan, I understood that most of Borat's ramblings were based on humor rather than fact. At one point, Borat sings the fictional Kazakhstan anthem, 'O Kazakhstan', citing Kazakhstan’s superior export of potassium.

I thought it was a bunch of horse shit. Turns out, I was right.

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Image Credits: Borat, courtesy Reuters, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Swedes to Put House on the Moon by 2011

Brian
A Swedish artist working in conjunction with the nation's space program (I know!) announced last month a plan to install one of Sweden's iconic little red cottages on the surface of the moon within the next five years:
[Artist Mikael] Genberg has arranged a competition for students and companies to design a house that could be contained in a small, light package, that would open up once landed on the Moon's surface.

"The house itself is supposed to be very small... the package will build itself up to a house," Mr Genberg told the BBC's Europe Today programme.

"It's going to be an unmanned landing - we hope it's going to land in 2011."
Link (via Fortean Times). Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt released a statement, reprinted here in the original Swedish:
I beleeefe-a thet thees neshun shuoold cummeet itselff tu echeeefing zee guel, beffure-a thees decede-a is oooot, ooff lundeeng a red cuttege-a oon zee muun und retoorneeng it seffely tu zee iert. Ve-a prupuse-a tu eccelerete-a zee defelupment ooff zee epprupreeete-a looner spece-a huoose-a. Bork Bork Bork!
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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Not Just Ventriloquists' Dummies . . .

Brian
Ventriloquists' dummies on record albums.

And not just ventriloquists' dummies on record albums . . .

Christian ventriloquists' dummies on record albums.

Link (via Neatorama).

Which begs the question, why would it be entertaining to listen to totally nonvisual recordings of dummies anyway?

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