Tag Archives: About Me

Let’s Run This Ship Into The Ground!

My wife’s new (to her) laptop arrived this evening. This means a few things:

  • The Beat Bar will resume tomorrow.
  • I can once again annoy you with eclectic Neocon Hawk Link Bazaars.
  • The final Gunny Holiday post can go up once I re-take the pictures.
  • If all goes well (i.e. nothing expensive rears its ugly head) I am ordering a wine-making setup on Thursday. I’m setting the budget between $100 – $150 after shipping and we’ll see how far I can stretch that money.
  • Hilarity will ensue as I try to get used to a fermenting kit that does not involve duct-tape, scavenged hose, assorted bottles, and giraffe balloons.
  • Anyone have any good wine recipes? I have a couple of very good dandelion wine recipes from an old local church cookbook, I know a guy who can walk me through birch wine, a friend’s mother makes very good elderberry wine, anything else the local NH flora can offer me in an alcoholic way? Wild-strawberry wine if I can gather enough? Anything I can do with raspberries, wild blackberries, blueberries? This fall there will be hard cider, lots and lots of hard cider.
  • I’m going to start posting some recipes here. As a guy who loves to cook, I have been lax in my duties regarding good food.

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No work tonight at either gig. What to do with my time?

  1. Bury my sister’s parents’ cat.
  2. Take the boy out for a couple of hours.
  3. Watch Ten Little Indians with my lovely wife.
  4. Sleep, in a bed, all night. Not work all night. Not get called by job 2, work a few hours, go to bed at some ungodly hour of the morning. Real, proper sleep.

Other than the cat thing, it is looking to be a very good day. See y’all tomorrow evening; there will be candy surprises.

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Graveyard Follies

My last two nights:

  • Work a full midnight shift.
  • Get home to find the handle broken off the fridge door.
  • Take a couple hours worth of nap.
  • Start getting dressed for a family Christmas party.
  • Get called to see if I could cover a 911 truck while the transfer truck was away.
  • Even though just finished dressing for a party and not being on call, say yes and change into ambulance clothes.
  • Get home for the pick-up stage of the party and realize I still have the company’s pager.
  • Change into work clothes for the 3rd shift gig.
  • Work another midnight shift.

Too tired for anything of substance today, so have a picture:

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If you are reading this before 1000 Eastern Standard Time (1500 Zulu, i.e. GMT), I am still at work. Yes, you will notice a Greenwich Mean Time converter in the interesting stuff column now.

For those curious, Eastern Standard Time is GMT -5.

Ain’t third shift grand, blech.

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Filed under Personal Space, Pocket Protectors

Pinky Out

I drink a wee bit more tea than your average American, so I thought I would talk about my habit here.

I’ll start from the beginning and list my favorite teas:

  • Jasmine tea – I’ve been hooked since a substitute teacher gave me a bag to try. Huh, that sounds so very wrong…
  • Irish Breakfast – A little more full-bodied and harsh than English breakfast. The fermented flavor is also a bit more pronounced. Both a friend and myself use this as an everyday blend.
  • English Breakfast: A good, more mellow change of pace to Irish breakfast.
  • Lapsang Souchong: This tea is smoked over pinewood fires to dry after the ferment. If you like campfires as much as me, this is your tea. Strong, the aroma just from opening the tin will fill a room, and is quite like drinking a fire with tea.
  • Gunpowder Green: The leaves are rolled into tight balls resembling a very coarse gunpowder before drying. As they steep, they open up like a normal tea. Most loose leaf can easily crumble, gunpowder green was made to handle shipping better without grinding itself to powder.
  • PG Tips: Yeah, I know, a brand, and a cheap one to boot. It is a cross between whole-leaf and the powdered junk in bags. Many tea-snobs will gag at the very thought, but I quite like it.

Now on to the water:

  • Nothing special, just tap water from my fridge. The water dispenser on the fridge is filtered and we have hard water in this valley.


  • Kettle to boil. My kettle gave up the ghost, so I am using a sauce pan for now.
  • Pot to brew. When I first got into tea in high-school, my sister gave me a very nice enamel lined cast-iron tea-pot. It is one of my most used and prized possessions.
  • Smallish tea cups with saucers. I actually prefer my coffee from the same cups. Full-sized mugs are really only used for hot chocolate and guests’ coffee.
  • Swizzle sticks for mixing sugar and whatnot.
  • Creamer to hold enough milk for a pot. I like to let the milk warm a little and the creamer can sit and warm a bit while the water boils and pot brews.
  • A towel to insulate the brewing tea to prevent rapid cooling.


  1. Fill the pot with hot water and cover to warm. (Optional and anal retentive, but hey, my tea.)
  2. Put the water on the stove, and once it reaches a rolling boil, dump the water from the pot, measure in the proper amount of tea per serving plus a measure for the pot, pour the boiling water in to fill, replace the towel to insulate.
  3. Allow the tea to steep, the time will vary with type.
  4. Put a dab of milk into the cup now if you so wish. Milk is not as good if added to the cup after the tea. I usually split my consumption 50:50 just-a-dab-of-milk:black.
  5. Pour a cup gently, a few leaves are okay.
  6. Drink the tea, extended pinky optional.


  • I don’t like lemon or sugar anywhere near my hot tea. Iced-tea is a different beast entirely.
  • No bags, but again, iced-tea is a different story.
  • No filters, tea balls, sorcery. Tea has leaves, fact of life. To me, watching the leaves swirl about my cup are part of the experience.
  • Earl Grey sucks.

There you have it, a thoroughly boring look at a pot of tea.

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Mr. Sandman

I spent yesterday being very busy: pick up my check, get a new cord for the computer, do some scheduling, meet the grandmother-in-law’s new boyfriend, have a family pizza dinner while meeting the new guy, stay up late helping my wife with a project, and deal with two more unruly than normal kids all day.

This all culminated in a very odd dream:

I had to go to UNH to help a friend (who no longer attends UNH) with a project. For some reason, despite the no weapons policy of the school, I decided to open carry my model 10*.

Somehow, I ended up in Manchester having to pick up a few things and was promptly detained by a cop and a half. One was an explorer type deal. The actual cop asked me to go along with a training scenario and walked off leaving the explorer with me. I asked if I was being detained and was given no answer, so I kept walking. At this point, the explorer started to draw his gun and the actual cop came back, telling me I was detained. Senior cop returned and again requested I go along with the scenario. I stayed silent the whole time and was released.

Then, I somehow got to Durham to help my friend, but the scene was from a mall out west. There was a massive crowd all presenting projects publicly. After my earlier detainment, I decided to cover my 38 and had no further incident for a while. 

After wandering aimlessly for what seemed like forever through a sea of people, I accidentally angered an insane student working on building a fake monastary. He proceeded to stalk me and try to strangle me. I drew at one point and he stopped. At this point, the local smokies booted me off campus. 

Upon return home, all of our friends were at my house having tea with my wife. It was a long ride, so I headed for the bathroom. After washing my hands, I got a voice-mail from a known area code, but unknown number. It was a sixty-one year old woman writing me a long love song/poem type thing. She sounded just like the match-maker in Fiddler on the Roof. She also told me she was coming over. After a long and stressful day, this was too much, and I fell to my knees.

The old woman never came, but when it got late, I had to run to the neighbors to get something. There, a young woman tried to seduce me into a passionate affair on the spot. I managed to get out and woke up as I was walking back home.

I guess the moral of this dream is to never eat a leftover slice of buffalo chicken pizza with a cup of tea right before bed in the ungodly hours of the morning.  

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Health Food

My caloric intake yesterday was a little odd:

  • Breakfast: Salad with homemade vinaigrette, homemade sugar/caffeine-free root beer, humus on pita bread. Eaten in my house in the White Mountains.
  • Lunch: Whopper, Dr. Pepper, and fries from the King. Eaten in Tilton, forty-five minutes from my house.
  • Dinner: Baconator with chili instead of fries and cherry Pepsi from Wendy’s. Eaten in Lebanon, an hour and change from my house in a different direction than Tilton.

Good thing I am moving furniture out of one house and into another for family all day today.

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