Friday, November 30, 2007

Top 5 Cheesemaking Animals

Amy and I are pretty busy right now, but we were running around tonight and had a spirited debate: which animals are the greatest producers (by weight produced) of cheese? And what animals would be welcome additions to that list?

First, the existing list:

1. Cattle
2. Goats
3. Sheep
4. Yak
5. Camel (under technical review at this time)

Second: Our proposed additions
1. Indiana Bat Cheese
2. Rabbit cheese - clover-y goodness!
3. Coyote cheese
4. Bobcat Cheese
5. Beaver cheese (briefly forgot the Monty Python reference)

Discuss!

Monday, November 26, 2007

T Dogg - International Man of Mystery

Latest word is that Brother T has cleared the mouth of the Mississippi River and also the boundary to international waters in the Gulf of Mexico, headed toward the Panama Canal, and then, Puerto San Jose in Guatemala.

Here he is in less interesting times, fishing the Gunpowder River in northern Maryland. A truly awful day of fishing, but it was beautiful and quiet down in that river valley on a hot August day.

No! No! Never! Never!

Went to see the doctor today (not a checkup) and in addition to all the other pleasant news he had to offer, he insisted that I cut my caffeine servings from my current average (about 6 to 8 a day) down to about 1/2 to 1 serving a day. HERESY! I mean, seriously, does THIS look harmful?OK, maybe it does look a little ominous. So this week is detox week (already got my first decaf coffee on the way home from the doctors office), and next week is "Battery of Tests Week." All the invasiveness, forced nudity, and prescription drug intoxication of (I guess) frat pledge week, but no hot co-eds. Oh well.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Escape from New Jersey!

Hell yeah, we somehow managed to drive from NYC to Baltimore in 5 hours while only spending about 1 hour in the state of NJ.......opting for a relatively beautiful drive through eastern PA instead. It worked like a charm!

We had some amazing food at Hill Country BBQ in the middle of Manhattan last night. http://www.hillcountryny.com/home.php It was Texas-style, which is not my favorite, but I still would give the (full) pork ribs a "8 out of 10." Only in Memphis have I had ribs that were TRULY better. They didn't have any beer on tap (????) but the PBR was cold, and only $2. They had one of my favorite down-home style features......live music (bar downstairs) piped through the PA through the rest of the restaurant. The DJ selections (Dylan, MJ Hurt, W Guthrie, BB King) were pedestrian for a roots music fan, but still pretty damn entertaining, considering it was NYC, and all NYC restaurants seem to either loop "Enya" or the Strokes. Both of which are vomitous.

In other news, Virginia Tech football pounded the University of Virginia - Charlottesville Campus on saturday. The UVA-C message board banter went from friday's "We are going to destroy Va Tech" to sunday's "Football doesn't matter, clearly we are the superior university."

It was a great game to watch, despite the fact that I had to watch it in the room with my sleeping 89-year old grandmother, so I couldn't bounce around, jump, yell, or even cheer. Oh well. At least I got to watch it in HD!!!!!! Wooo hooo bitches! Chris Long (UVA) is a BEAST,

and as such, Va Tech double teamed him and ran to the opposite side of the field...........which STILL netted Long something like 3 sacks, 10 tackles, and 1 forced fumble. BEAST!



Otherwise it was a fun game to watch - damn close until the 4th quarter. My Hokies will have another shot at Boston College next week for the ACC championship. I have a feeling BC is not nearly as excited about it..for a variety of reasons.


Good time to be a Va Tech fan. When I was a freshman, VT went 2-8-1.

Anyway, back to the grind tomorrow. Staking out one more wetland construction site for 2007 on the DE/MD border, and working on the budget and other random painful tasks. Hope everybody had a great weekend.







Friday, November 23, 2007

Hipster Bingo in NYC

Welcome to the land of the young, wealthy, and....disaffected? I have been in NYC nary 48 hours and have heard a wealth of priceless hipster quotes so far. A few of the exchanges:

Hipster in Tight Pants: Check out my scarf
Hipster with big Dior sunglasses at night: I was gonna say, that is a real hostile scarf. I love it.
Hipster in Tight Pants: Hell yeah. Hostile!

Amy to hostess: Excuse me, you've sat a bunch of parties who came in after us.
Disaffected hostess in $600 shoes: Ugggh! I dunno, I like, called some of the names on the list, and then we sat some of the new people. (Confused look) What did you want?
Amy: But we're standing right next to the hostess stand.
Disaffected hostess in $600 shoes: Well like I'm sorry if I didn't call YOUR PARTICULAR NAME, what the hell do you want me to do?
Amy: How about...............call the names on the list.
Disaffected hostess: (stares....thinks.....rolls eyes, walks off).



Honestly that's all I can think of for the moment. Family times have been pretty friggin hilarious, but not bad at all - wish my brothers were here. Brother A has his hands full of 2 sets of parents down in VA, while Brother T is waiting to clear customs on his ship out of New Orleans....he heads for El Salvador and then Guatemala. Here is the huge ass ship he is on:



Back to family fun for awhile! In the words of Rick James, "It's a Celebration, Bitches!"



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

First Day off in 3 months!



Thank God I am not working today. We are heading up to NYC (Queens) to visit the Swamp Thing clan for thanksgiving. NYC is always an oddity to me. I always look forward to going, and often.......I look forward to leaving there. NYC at night is like a drug...so much stimulus...you can forget about all the other things that are important to you and just look around and enjoy the sights - kind of like real wilderness. Ooh, the dichotomy.


While we are up there, Amy and I expect to get a full dose of "Crazy Swiss Grandma." Topics for discussion will include:


1) "Where are my gold lamps from that cruise to Korea?"


2) "Who wants herring?"


3) "Where is your father?"


On another note, a whole barrage of friends from Baltimore will also be in Queens visiting crazy old grandparents so we'll just make it..........uggh.......we'll all make the best of it. The advanced screenings of the Joe Strummer biopic "The Future is Unwritten" are still going on in Manhattan so we are definitely going to see that. Amy talked to the film promoter and found out that it still hasn't been picked up by a distributor....weird...


I'll let you know how the movie is and we'll send some "hilarious" updates from the family fun. I hope everybody has a long, relaxing weekend. Except the UVA football team, who I hope get their asses worn out by Virginia Tech.




Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Grinding Forward


The weight of upcoming work deadlines, impending, unstoppable, and pointless family drama, $3.25 gas, and general unrest is slowing me down today. Good morning to stop at the diner for breakfast. Hey, it's either that, or sit in traffic. Oh yeah - Pic: abandoned dragline crane. Dundalk MD. Digital.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Blues Music Weather

Looked at some new wetland restoration sites for next year. Old farms full of ditches...gotta love farming wetlands. Spent all evening drinking and listening to Mississippi John Hurt. The fall is definitely here. If it keeps up (gasp), we may actually have a winter season this year. God forbid.

And by the way, as a rabid blues fan, it's always been interesting to me that people associate blues music and bluegrass with fall weather. While part of that may be truly cultural (although revivals were usually held in the summer, not the fall), the fall is generally a time of content in agrarian America. The crops come off the field and the farmer gets enough money to hopefully sustain him & his through the winter (hopefully longer - until greens or wheat come off in the late spring).

Milkweed. Our yard. Baltimore.

Then again, much of traditional oral blues & bluegrass is prison music. But there - prison is open 12 months a year....so again, why fall? This is getting tedious.

On a more pointless but entertaining note, looking forward to one of the last real weeks of college football.....which will be followed by another 8 months of ignoring the TV! This week, the ol' Hokies take on the Gay Swordsmen, err, Cavaliers, of UVA. Should be a great game!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another quiet fall day

Beer and football and friends later. Work tomorrow. Clouds and wind this morning.

Extra Rain, Please!

Well, fall has finally arrived here and I couldn't be happier. The weather is just about what it should be, and our water deficit is about half of what it was a month ago. Duck season is in, and it's been a nice opportunity to get outside and get some peace and quiet.


Northern Maryland:

Between the drought and the (up to this point) mild weather, it hasn't been a super productive season for waterfowl, but there's plenty of time left in the season!!! I hope everybody gets out in the outdoors, whether it's in a kayak, a duck boat, or your hiking boots. Enjoy the scenery and wildlife before winter sets in!