Friday, December 29, 2006

...And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow....

Recognize the line?

Sam McGee...

The wind, she's been a blowin'!
25 to 35 knots the last two days... and according to NOAA it's going to get worse, not better. I'm starting to work on social-engineering a ride back to KW on the Seaplane when I go. Riding the Yankee Freedom (a/k/a "Vomit Comet") is not such a great idea right now.

Two good things- First, the rain has stopped.
Also, with the winds so high we haven't had any Cubans come ashore.

On the flip side of the coin, these conditions bring on other issues...
The strong winds have brought us lots of Physalia...
(No, not my car... Real Physalia physalis... Portugese Man O' War.)

And with so many of the bright blue By-the-Wind-Sailors, we get lots of visitors with horrible stings...
Today I saw the worst one I since I was a kid back in Marathon... A visitor snorkled straight into one today.
The woman had a 4" by 4" burn patch on her left shoulder where the body of the creature hit her, then at least 5 long lines of welts from where the tentacles (dactlyozooids) hit her and zapped her with nematocysts. The welts went around her shoulder and across the front of her body and down to her hip.
(The poison is a neurotoxin, so the Rangers try to monitor stung visitors to make sure they don't go into anaphylaxis.)
Each day so far we've had at least one serious sting... Not a good thing.
We've posted signs on the beaches, the tour guides warn the visitors, but we still get at least one good hit every day.

Another change is that the seagull population is getting very agressive.
These white-feathered rats-with-wings are dropping down on the visitors as they carry their lunch plates from the serving tables to the picnic tables to eat.
The visitors either drop some or all of their food, causing a flurry of activity from the 40 or so gulls that are hovering overhead.
The lunch crew from the Sunny Days and the Yankee Freedom have to stand guard over their tables- the Sunny Days crew is on station with a long handled net, and the guys on the Yankee have brooms to shoo away the birds-
If they relax their guard for just a moment, the birds will land directly on the lunch table and grab food...
Gazing into my crystal ball I can see an informal seagull euthanasia project coming up...

What else...?

I guess that's it for now...

Film at 11.

Famous! out-

(PS-- Want to learn more about the Portugese Man O' War? Click here.)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Back to the Dry Tortugas (again)...

I started the year out here...
Jan 2006
Seems only fitting that I should end it out here too...

I rode out on the Yankee Freedom... We had a 20 know wind out of the Northwest, so we were quartering a good chop. Once we hit Rebecca Channel, things got positively ugly... 6 to 8 foot seas. Not pretty at all...

The remnants of many a Christmas dinner were strewn about the cabin...Nasty
I hid up in the wheelhouse with Capt. Brad. (Not Morgan)...

At one point one of the crew came up...

"Good news and bad news, Capt'n." he said.
"Well...Gimme the bad..." Capt. Brad said.
"Bad news: There is a huge gaping (is there a different kind?)
hole in the left pontoon." said the wrenchmonkey.
"What's the good news?" Brad asked, nonplussed.
"All that water pouring into the hull has put out the fire in the engine room..."


TBG out.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Only in the South...


Wish I'd thought of it first. Heh.

Famous, out-

MY favorite Christmas carol...

...Yes... it's that time of year again.
When we drag out the same old wheezy stand-bys to sing along with,
everyone in their own key, of course, to bring joy and happiness to all.

Carol of the Bells, by Skippy.

As the old saying goes, "Everyone brings joy to others...
Some when they arrive, others when they leave."

Famous, out-

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Okay, I'm not reading any more food blogs.

In theory, Tofu does strange things to you...

"Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality. That's why most of the medical (not socio-spiritual) blame for today's rise in homosexuality must fall upon the rise in soy formula and other soy products."

And other studies confirm that not enough tofu might be bad for you, depending on whether you are an Asian female...

(Of course, I know of a few super-competitive hyper agressive world leaders that could use a nice big glass of soy milk every morning...)

Now... the question arises:"If soy is so harmful as to potentially alter sexual physiology and behavior, why haven't the Chinese and Japanese all died off or become homosexual centuries ago?"
Jim Rutz wades into that little poser here.

Oh, these nutritional and gastronomic conundrums!

Famous, out-

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

This is just so wrong...

There are no words to describe this...

Is it safe to view at work? Probably.
Would it be difficult to explain? Definitely.

Famous, out-

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Geez. Another 30 points on my HDLs...

I thought the Fried Coke was going to be a bite in the ass...

Now they come out with Chicken Fried Bacon.

Famous! & Extra crispy. Out-

Notes on a fridge (on a spaceship)

Firefly/Serenity Fans:
(And if you're not, you should be...)

A collection of notes on the 'fridge aboard Serenity...

Great stuff... I love the artwork.

TBG out-

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wings and Shotguns

Every year after our company Christmas Party we have the day off.
Sometimes we play golf, once we went bowling, and occasionally we go out to the North Florida Gun Club and shoot a couple rounds of skeet or trap.

This year, we gathered at Hooters and chowed down on wings and weak American beer, then headed up to the Northside.

It was cold. I mean really cold.

Jim and Zack, waiting in the 30 degree chill for their turn to shoot...

Andy Doremus at Station 5. Watch out for ejected cartidges...

Yours Truly at Station 6.

Ben, Zack, Croc & Jim. Slowly freezing to death...

Just one bit o' advice for the Croc...
When you call for your target, wait until you actually see the target before you fire the shotgun.

Preferred method:

Croc method:

The clay pigeon laughed and waved as it flew off to the north...

We had a great selection of guns- Ben was shooting Ron H's Mossberg 500 riot gun, Jim had his Benelli Black Eagle, I brought my Beretta a390 and my Stoeger, Eric had his pump Remington, I think...

Not pictured, but still in attendance...
Eric Geisler, Ryan "Tommy Boy" Laird.

325 12-guage rounds later we departed...
Even with the 20 mile per hour winds and temps in the high 30s, we'd had a great time.

Famous, out!

Lake Effect Snow

K-Flan and I had late morning flights out of Cleveland...
(His on Southwest, mine on Continental.)
Weather reports were showing "lake effect" snow on the way in the morning.
(Is lake effect snow supposed to be less snow-like than regular snow? Snow Lite?)

Lake effect or not, the cold white stuff was on its way.

We decided to get on the road early...5:00am was the agreed-upon time.

It was already starting as we were getting on the road.

Big fat ugly flakes. (Just like in California.)

Lots of traffic...

...and more traffic.

Keepin' it at 50... Fortunately I had reserved the SUV with 4WD.

Hey... why are those headlights facing this way?"

I thought all the Yankees knew how to drive in the snow...

Finally! The airport.

Uh..y'all are going to clean all the snow off that plane before we take off, right?

No...Seriously. Please get the ice off the wings...

Well... We made it back. There was a 45 minute delay for deicing in Cleveland, and another 30 minutes ground delay in Newark, but we did make it.

Got back to Jacksonville just in time for the weather to drop into the 20s here.
Nice. But at least there is no snow...

Famous, out.

Pennsyl-bama, continued.

Franklin PA is a tough town to enjoy, especially in December.

K-Flan and I were attending Bacou-Dalloz/Miller Fall Protection training...

I won't bore you with the details of the class, (I'll bore you with other stuff- Heh) but I will say if you are in need of training for fall hazard recognition, risk evaluation and fall hazard control, take this course. Great stuff.

For some odd reason, Mr. Flanagan didn't like the nameplate on his desk.

Now, after a long day of principles of fall protection and regulatory requirements and application of theory and practice, we needed an adult libation.
(Not to mention it was bloody cold!)

Just to be sure to stay out of trouble, we parked at The Hotel and walked to the bar.

Oddly enough- even after the episode with Drunk Chick and Green Teeth, we returned to The After Hours... (You know, I'm really starting to see the truth of Proverbs 26:11...As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.)

Well... Fortunately the DC and GT weren't there, so it was a peaceful night...

We even met the absolute nicest bartender, Lori, there.

It is very possible that she is the best-looking girl in Frankin...perhaps even in all of western Pennsylbama.

After putting a serious dent in the local supply of Captain Morgan, we wandered home.
The temp on The Banks clock read 20 degrees...
I will say that the cold weather does lend a festive air to the holiday season.

Downtown Fraklin

We did stop at one other bar in Franklin...

I'm a little concerned with the entertainment at some of these places...
In Jax Beach we have Karaoke or trivia contests.

In Franklin, however...

Bring a partner. Right.

One drink and we split...

Amazing, out.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Uncle Jay's Pulled Cork

A week or so ago I made a pulled pork that, by popular acclaim, was one of the best I had come up with thus far...

So... By popular demand:

Uncle Jay's Pulled Cork.

(Coca-cola & Pork Shoulder)

4-6 lb pork shoulder (butt).
(I used a boned and rolled shoulder, but bone-in is OK, just a little more work when your are shredding the meat.)
1 large yellow onion
2 large cloves of garlic. (don't use the pre-minced stuff here.)
1 packet of McCormick Grill Mates (R) Mesquite Marinade
1/2 to 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 20 oz. bottle Coca-Cola (The Real Thing.)
Olive oil. (Whatever you have, regular, virgin, extra virgin...hell, I don't care.)
Salt (kosher, of course)
Black pepper.
Non-stick cooking spray (unless you like scrubbing the sides of your slow cooker)
All-Purpose Flour for dusting the pork prior to browning
yellow mustard (optional)


Get your slow cooker out.
Get a large frying pan out.

Quarter and slice the onion.
Peel, crush and coarsly chop the garlic.
Spray the sides of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
Pour a little olive oil in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Add onions and garlic.
Add GrillMates Mesquite Marinade
Pour in Coca-Cola
Turn on "low" heat

Unwrap pork shoulder and dust with flour, salt and pepper.
(put a handful of all purpose flour on a paper plate with a tablespoon of kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. Roll the pork in the flour/salt/pepper mixture.)

Turn stove on high heat and in the large frying pan add olive oil (a couple tablespoons).
When it is good and hot, add the pork shoulder and brown it on all sides...
You're looking for a little brown crust on all sides and ends...
Should take no more than 10 minutes to do the whole thing.
Once browned, move the meat into the slow cooker.
(Lower it in carefully. A slam-dunk would be inappropriate here.)

Lid the cooker and wash up.

Cook time 8-10 hours.
(I put mine on at 10PM and at 7:00 am I was shredding the meat)

Next steps:

After the cooking time is expired, remove meat from the slow cooker to a cutting board and give it ten minutes to rest.
(It's been swimming for a long time, it going to be tired.)

While the meat rests, start your sauce.

Take all the "pot-likker" for the slow cooker and put it in a large pot over med-hi heat.
Add brown sugar (to taste) as the mixture reduces.
(Also add yellow mustard here if you want just a little zing)
Stir frequently
Reduce sauce to half original volume.

While sauce reduces, pull pork.
With 2 dinner forks, pull the cooked port into long shreds, the meat should just fall apart.

Put the pulled pork back in the pot. When the sauce has reduced to a nice thick sweet sauce, put sauce back in the pot with the pork.
Mix well. Leave heat on LOW.
(Reserve some sauce for dipping or dressing sandwiches)

Serve with cole slaw and soft rolls for making sandwiches.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Travels with K-Flan Redux

What, exactly, did I do to deserve this?

There was an e-mail I recieved while still in Shanghai, which I had read while doing Other Stuff and promptly forgot about...

We're sending you and K-Flan to a fall protection training course in December.
Get it on your schedule."

So... On Monday last, I'm wandering through the office like a lost child and a claw-like hand grabs me and drags me to the IDS Travel Desk.

"Hey... Big Guy. You. Me. Cleveland. Monday week." K-Flan says, in his usual I'm-too-redneck-to-use-articles speech patterns.

"Huh?" I cleverly replied.

"You know. Fall protection. Pennyslvania."

"Uh... OK." I said. "Continental has a non-stop to Cleveland. I'll drive from there."
"Pittsburgh. Closer." he said.
"Pittsburgh is a two-hop on, heaven forbid, US Scare. Not gonna happen. Continental."
"Are you sure?" said Travel Girl...
"Make it so." I told her.

Here we are a week later, lake effect snow falling all around as I try to pilot the Chevy SUV into the arrivals area at CLE, and I'm searching for K-Flan, hoping he's not being detained by the airport police. He had come in on Southwest, similar price, but a three-hop... I guess he's a masochist (Look it up) or something.

Anyway... Here we are again. Yours truly and the Redneck. On the road again.
The first words out of his mouth as he got in the rental car...
"This $@#%&! weather is unfit for man or beast."
"Which is precisely why they sent us. Duh." I told him as I filed a flight plan out of CLE and headed west toward the Garden Spot of Western Pennsylvania, Frankiln.

2 and change hours later we pulled into Franklin...and let me tell you, I've been in some backwater burgs in my time, but Frankiln is a piece of work... It's barely a wide spot in the road out at the corner of No and Where...
We found a spot for some dinner before checking in to the hotel... a picturesque little joint called The After Hours... Restaurant/Bar/Poolroom where we had dinner and abuse for under 20 bucks...
There was a line in an old Charlie Daniels song about "an old drunk chick and some fella with green teeth"... Never thought I'd live to see it, but here we were...
Green Teeth and Drunk Chick were shooting pool... More like just moving the balls around with the sticks than "shooting", as a certain skill level is required, but let's just call it shooting and be done with it., shall we?
The old drunk broad was talking at K-Flan between "shots", and when he couldn't understand her slurred speech and started ignoring her, she got loud and belligerent...
Her old man tried to quiet her down... "Hey... those guys are either cops or bounty hunters... leave them alone. We don't need trouble."


Well... We finished our dinner and things were getting pretty weird...
Drunk Chick sat at the the other end of the bar and every once in she'd look over at K-Flan and I and loudly yell something unintelligible....
"Rassth! Yarnohght! Shhhhhurght!" and then Green Teeth would come over and sush her again...

We finally bailed on the place in order to go check in at the hotel...
As we left Green Teeth sent us off with a blessing...
"Jesus loves you!" he said "Everone else thinks you're assholes." he finished.

You know things are bad when both bartenders, the cook and two other patrons of the bar all apologize to you for the bad behavior of others...
Very scary.

Seems like there is only one of a lot things here...Lots of use of the definitive participle "the"... The Traffic Light, The Bar, The Statue, The Taxi, The Prostitute..We headed to The Hotel... The Hotel has a lounge where Monday Night Football was on, so we got checked in and headed down for a nightcap and to watch a Carolina beat up on Philly for a bit...
We discussed Green Teeth, Drunk Chick and the rest of the local denizens we had encountered...

"Dude, based on the local flavor of this place, I'm thinking we've fallen into a twilight zone place... Backwater as any place Down South...maybe worse than most...I think were in Pennsyl-bama..."
These people make K-Flan look positively sophisticated....


The white stuff is falling still...
It's going to be a long week here in Pennsylbama...

"... I was almost to the door when the biggest one
Said, 'You tip your hat to this lady, son!'
And when I did, all that hair fell out from underneath."
Charlie Daniels - Uneasy Rider

Stay tuned, I'll keep you posted.

Famous, out.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I have no problem with that...

....Go ahead, discriminate against anyone who acts like this...

6 Imams Kicked Off Plane Gave Crew Several Reasons to Be Suspicious

(Original story on FOX here)

Sunday , December 03, 2006
By Cassie Carothers

Six imams were kicked off a US Airways flight last week in Minneapolis for committing several acts of suspicious behavior, not just because they said their evening prayers before boarding the plane, a police report shows, contradicting earlier media reports.

US Airways manager Robby Taylor Davis told police three of the six imams had one-way only tickets and only one passenger checked luggage. He also said in the police report that most of the six requested seat-belt extensions typically used by obese people despite being thin.

Also, a passenger on the plane who speaks Arabic heard the group mention Saddam Hussein and criticize the United States' involvement in Iraq. The passenger, whose named was redacted from the police report, said he saw two of the men take seats in the front of the plane, two take seats in the middle, and two more in the back.

Minneapolis police, along with U.S. Federal Air Marshals, decided the collective behavior of the group was suspicious enough to detain the men and question them.

Earlier reports only said the group had been seen praying loudly before the flight, and the group was removed after a passenger passed a note to a flight attendant bringing attention to the group, and did not include details on the other suspicious behavior of the imams.

The imams, who were returning from a religious conference, were detained and questioned before being released shortly thereafter.

"Pauline," a passenger on the flight who didn't want to give her real name for fear of her safety, said she thought the it was a stunt to garner media attention.

"They were so poised and ready to go to the press. By the time I arrived home from the airport ... they were already announcing on the news that they were being discriminated against," Pauline said on FOX News' Hannity and Colmes.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, four airlines accused of breaking federal anti-discrimination laws settled with the government. Transportation Department investigations found the airlines had unlawfully removed passengers because of perceived ethnic or religious backgrounds.

The Transportation Department received a complaint about the US Airways incident on Monday from the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said spokesman Brian Turmail.

"We're going to now look into the matter," Turmail said.

The Homeland Security Department's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties said last week that it was investigating the incident.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ok... So, one of two things is going on here...

These guys are trying to get air time for their cause... Which is fine with me.
Arrest them and shine a flashlight up their asses like the TSA does mine when I get "detained for questioning" because I forgot my Leatherman in my bag... If you want the pulicity, then you have to pay the price...

The second possibility is that they are just stupid...
Even if you have only HALF a brain, you know not to do things to call attention to yourself in/at airports or on airplanes... If they are THAT stupid, they have no business riding on a mass transit public conveyance. They need to be on a short bus going on public outings with a cadre of keepers and handlers that make sure they don't make messes on the floor.


I'm not sure which fits the bill more...

Let me get this straight... They think they are being discriminated against because of these shenanigans. People are supposed to think nothing out of the ordinary is going on when they see this?...


Someone please tell me WHY a group of Arabic men acting in this manner don't deserve the rubber-glove treatment...and if the airport/airline sees this behavior and doesn't act on it, I would have HUGE issues there.

Especially considering how many times I have been stopped/questioned/violated just for being a technician and having the tools of my trade on my person.


TBG out.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Next year...

And to NH, who suggested delving into the world of Multibird Cookery...
The Turducken... (John Madden's favorite)
A de-boned turkey stuffed with a boneless duck that is stuffed with a boneless chicken...
A tasty idea... although I would have to give it the old Uncle Jay spin...

Spend the better part of November de-boning various forms of poultry & such, then cooking up the following delicacy...
A humming bird stuffed into a sparrow, stuffed into a crow, stuffed into a seagull, stuffed into a pheasant, stuffed into a chicken, stuffed into a duck, stuffed into a goose, stuffed into a guinea hen, stuffed into a peacock, stuffed into a turkey, stuffed into an emu, stuffed into an ostrich, stuffed into a bigger turkey (say, Michael Moore) stuffed into an waterbuffalo, stuffed into a pterodactyl, stuffed into a Cessna 410...

Mmmmm. That's good eatin'!

TBG Out-

Bonehead alert!

Holy crap!

I made a real bonehead mistake in my instructions for fried turkey...

(I plead insanity- I was insanely busy while trying to write these instructions; The Tennis Masters Cup semifinals were underway and I was trying to monitor gamestate and change the logos and write at the same time...Multitasking is not my strong suit. Heh.)

BEFORE YOU UNWRAP THE BIRD, you must figure out how much oil to use.
Put wrapped bird in empty pot and run water into pot.
Fill until bird is covered by 2 inches of water.
Make a fill-to mark side of pot (inside) with a Sharpie.
Dump water and move onto prep.

It should read:
BEFORE YOU UNWRAP THE BIRD, you must figure out how much oil to use.
Put wrapped bird in empty pot and run water into pot.
Fill until bird is covered by 2 inches of water.
Remove the bird at this point.
Make a fill-to mark side of pot (inside) with a Sharpie.
Dump water and move onto prep.

Of course, anyone with half a brain (which is what I am equipped with) would know that to measure volume via water displacement method one would have to remove the object in question in order to get a proper quantum... Geez, even a UGA graduate would know there was a missing step here...

And a huge thank you the DH for slapping me upside the head and pointing out my error...

Famous, out-

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Giving you The Bird - Uncle Jay's Fried Turkey

I have had several requests for my Fried Turkey recipe...
This is the recipe I've been using for ten years now-

I got this basic recipe from a guy I worked with back at KBJ Architects years ago- Paul Robinson, from down in St Augustine, gave it to me one afternoon as I frantically scribbled it down on a sheet of stolen graph paper...
I've eaten some other people's recipes and I've toyed with other flavors and procedures (Mojo Bird for instance), but this is the all-time favorite. I usually cook 6 to 10 turkeys on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas for friends, neighbors and co-workers... We have been doing a Thanksgiving dinner at work for several years, and this recipe is always well-recieved.

For the last two years I have been in recovery from my return from China and the Tennis Masters Cup during Thanksgiving week, basically too tired to go through all the BS to cook a bunch of birds for dinner.
I got a couple e-mails while I was in Shanghai asking if I was cooking this year and when I said I wasn't, a couple people asked for the recipe...

Well... I've given this recipe to folks before, and there has been Some Trouble...
People take the recipe and make substitutions, and/or change the procedures, then get substandard results... and then complain to me about it.

Well... I'm publishing this recipe here- If you want to use it you'll have to make the pledge...
(Note: If you don't make the pledge and use this recipe and make even one tiny little change, quick Karma will do you in...Be advised.)

Hokay! Here we goes...

Uncle Jay's Fried Turkey Recipe. (v

Repeat after me...

I promise to faithfully follow all instructions given to me in preparing Uncle Jay's Fried Turkey.
I will use only bona-fide and sanctioned ingredients and I will protect myself and my family by following all saftey procedures.
I will protect the sanctity of The Recipe by reproducing it faithfully, keeping all ingredients and procedures intact, and I will give proper credit upon dispersal to friends and family.
This recipe is intellectual property of Uncle Jay Enterprises, LTD.

Pax Vobiscum.

Stuff you're gonna need:

Turkey Fryer Stuff (Big-ass pot, bird stand, lift hook, propane burner & full tank.)
One 2-gallon ziplock bag.
Fresh Turkey. 9-13 lbs, depending on your pot.
Anything over 13 lbs is probably too big for average pot.
(And I mean fresh. Not frozen thawed ... Fresh. Publix has the best ones.)
One bottle Red Stripe Beer. (Or 1 sixpack: 1 bottle for recipe, 5 bottles for the cook.)
5 gallons of peanut oil.
(NOT canola, vegetable, safflower, coconut, motor, oilve, grapeseed or any other type of oil.)
One shaker can of Tony Cacheries Cajun Seasoning.
(NOT the "low salt" version. Get the green can.)
Kosher Salt.
One injecting syringe & needle. (#20 horse needle is nice)
12 inches of twine
Long-stem thermometer
Welders gloves or oven mitts.
Large cardboard box (refrigerator size is good)
One turkey-sized disposable aluminum pan.
24 or 32oz plastic cup (Like from the soda fountain at the gas station.)


Work Preparation:

1. Make sure your propane tank is full.
2. ALL cooking will take place outside.
3. Every time you touch the raw turkey, you will wash your &*#$@ hands BEFORE you touch ANYTHING else.
4. Make sure you have a large surface to work on to prepare the bird.
5. Sanitation hint: Once you start working on the bird, have an assistant pour the seasoning /salt /etc from the container into your hands as you need it. If you touch the can, you WILL cross-contaminate, and you WILL spend several hours in the bathroom counting tiles.
Also, put down several layers on newspaper on your prep will save time on cleanup.


Cook Prep:

(Part one is done the night before, all prep must be finished before 11:00PM.
(I'm not kidding.)

BEFORE YOU UNWRAP THE BIRD, you must figure out how much oil to use.
Put wrapped bird in empty pot and run water into pot.
Fill until bird is covered by 2 inches of water.
Remove the bird at this point.
Make a fill-to mark side of pot (inside) with a Sharpie.
Dump water and move onto prep.

Prepare Bird

1. Pour beer into 24 or 32 oz. plastic cup
(Using this cup will make it easier to mix the seasoning and get it into the syringe.)
2. Agitate beer (take some of the fizz out of it.)
3. Let foam subside
4. Put 3 tablespoons of Tony Cacheries seasoning in the beer.
5. Mix THOUROUGHLY. (Lots of salt in there that needs to dissolve.)
6. Let mixture stand
7. Unwrap bird, remove "goodies" from inside body cavity and neck cavity.
8. Rinse bird well, especially inside. Fill with water several times, until water runs clear.
9. Make sure there are no ice crystals inside.
10. working from the cavity end of the bird, run your hands up under the skin of the turkey, separating the skin from the meat. Do both sides, and try to get down toward the thighs and wings.
(IMPORTANT - Try NOT to tear the skin as you do this. The skin protects the meat as it cooks...If it is excessively torn, the unprotected meat will cook incorrectly and leave dry sections of meat.)
11. Take small handfuls of Tony Cacheries seasoning and insert it under the skin of the turkey, rubbing it on the meat up as far as you can under the skin with your hands...(again, careful not to tear skin).
12. Sprinkle a good amount of seasoning into body cavity.
13. Sprinkle a good amount of kosher salt into body cavity.
14. Give your beer mixture a good stir.
15. Fill your injecting syringe with the mixture.
16. Inject syringefuls of mix into the breastmeat, moving the needle around to different points to evenly distribute mixture. Also inject thighs and drums. Use all the mixture.
17. When finished, pull the ends of the legs together, cross the ends of the bones and tie them together with twine. Fold and tuck wingtips under the body.
18. Sprinkle the outside of the bird liberally with kosher salt.
19. Put bird in 2 gallon ziplock bag. (You will need help with this.)
20. Both you and your assistant GO WASH YOUR F%&#@$ING HANDS.
21. Put the bagged bird in the fridge.
22. Roll up the newspaper from your work surface and throw it away.
23. Clean EVERYTHING with disinfectant.
24. A nice cold Red Stripe would be good right about now.


Cooking Time!


1. Set up your burner on a large flat hard surface.
The driveway is good. On the lawn is bad.
Put down cardboard under the burner assembly, unless your want a nice oilstain if there is an accidental spill. Keep away from the house, car, pets, or anything else flammable.
2. Have your FIRE EXTINGUISHER on hand.
3. Bring out your bird and place on work surface.
4. Put pot on ground.
5. Fill your pot to the fill-to mark with peanut oil.
6. Light burner.
7. Adjust flame- you want a medium-high flame.
8. Put filled pot on lit burner.
(At this point you must NEVER leave the cooking area unattended.)
9. Put thermometer in oil, making sure the tip doesn't touch the bottom or sides.
10. Heat oil to 350.
(This will take a little while, but not that long. Watch the thermometer.)
11. Unwrap bird and impale NECK SIDE DOWN on bird stand.
12. GO WASH YOUR F%&#@$ING HANDS while your assistant watches the oil.
13. When oil is at 350, put on your welders gloves/pot holders.
14. When oil is at 365-370, remove thermometer and pick up the bird with the hook and carefully lower it into the oil. Remove the hook.
It will bubble up quite a bit, and there will be a lot of steam, so watch your hands/wrists.
Also, watch for overspill; if oil is too near the top of the pot, oil may overflow.
Be very careful.

Monitor the oil temp. Keep between 350 and 370.

A beer might be good right about now...but only one.

Cooking Times:

Weight - Cook time
9 lbs - 36 mins
10 lbs - 36 mins
11 lbs - 38 mins
12 lbs - 38 Mins
13 lbs - 39 Mins

15. At end of cooking time, hook the eye of the bird stand and raise the bird from the oil.
16. Place bird stand on work surface and let stand for 5 minutes before doing anything else with the bird.
17. While bird cools, kill the fire on the burner.

It will take more than an hour to cool the oil to a point where it can be easily and safely moved.
IF YOU ARE VERY CAREFUL you can move the pot from the stand and put it somewhere safe to cool. Use your welders gloves/oven mitts. Make sure it is safe from kids, animals and accidental contact.

18. After 5 mins, tip bird of stand and into disposable pan and take it inside the house.
19. The bird will be easier to work with if you give it 20 or so minutes to cool.
It will still be very hot inside.
Carve it up 15 or so minutes before ready to serve.


After dinner, go deal with the oil.
Pour it back in the bottle (strain it) and save it for cooking a turkey at Christmas.
Used oil is good (stored in cool dark place) for 6 to 8 months.

Famous, out-

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tennis Masters Cup - 2007

Another Tennis Masters Cup Tournament is in the books-

If you weren't following it, Federer schooled James Blake big time...
6-0, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 43 minutes.
A far cry from last year's 4+ hour match between Nalbandian and Federer.

Tennis Masters Cup - Main Page

Final scores

Official Photo Gallery

Some photos from the Tournament...

The Product

Videowall Cubes...ready to be assembled.

Why wideo wall cubes? Because we can rotate a larger number of sponsors for more exposure...

See that China Union Pay logo on the wall?
Great exposure for sponsors...they love it.

Even from a distance...

The view from the cheap seats is good...

We did content for the scoreboard videowalls...

Match Statistics

And schedules...

The Stadium (QiZhong at Minhang)

The stadium is pretty impressive:

Main Gates

Food and Exhibition Tents

The People

The $3-a-day guys...

Videowall Guys

Fixing a blownout cube on the Lighthouse side.

Yours Truly

An aerial view of YT at work...


After the last match we made record time breaking down and packing our equipment.

All I need are these flowers and this beer...

Getting out - Getting home

We had a 5:30am car to the airport...
After we arrived at the airport, cleared the ATA Customs check with our equipment, got checked in and cleared security, we had a good 20 minutes before boarding time.

K-Flan hadn't had coffee yet... A necessity for him to function properly.
In leiu of breakfast, he ordered a coffee (which took forever to arrive) and a large orange juice. The OJ arrived- and provided much entertainment until the coffee showed up.

The festive OJ...

The return flight was almost non-eventful.

The 5-page complaint letter I sent to Northwest airlines didn't do much good...
No complimentary upgrade was waiting for me, so no love there...

Months ago I reserved an emergency row seat... That held out, so at least I had someplace to put my legs on this trip. Thank Ghod for small favors...
Only a small delay on the Shanghai-Tokyo leg, and a short delay (one hour) on the Tokyo-Detroit flight...
I got my bags and made it through customs without the rubber-glove treatment, but just barely...
Why "just barely"...
Throughout the day on Monday, a constant tirade to all and sundry was going on...
Redneck, who hates airtravel, and US-based airlines specifically, kept a constant bitching to anyone with an ear...
He was mostly silent from the hotel to the airport, although I know he wanted to bitch, he really didn't have any foundation for it...
But once we got to the airport the lack of coffee started to get the best of him and the memory of our inbound issues began to wear on him and he decided to see if he could get some satisfaction out of NWA in the form of an upgrade to Business Class, in order to compensate for his discomfort on the inbound flight...

Do you remember the old saying- "You can get much further with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone."
This is K-Flan's modus operandi...except in this case, the "gun" is his profanity-laced baritone voice, which carries across the check-in area like an angry wave. Alas, he is carrying on, loud and long, in a East Arkansas dialect, which the diminutive Chinese NWA ticket agent doesn't understand...
Colloquilisms such as "...beatdown like a red-headed stepchild" and "he's gonna get hit so hard he's gonna hum like a ten-penny finishing nail struck with a greasy ball-peen hammer" make absolutely no impression on people who speak English as a second language. All they do is look at you funny and say "one minute prease" and go find someone else who might speak a little more Engrish to pass the buck onto...
Meanwhile, K-Flan just has another opprtunity to voice (long and loud) his displeasure with NWA, and how this kind of run-around is EXACTLY the kind of problem he's talking about...
Problem two: He does this everywhere. To everyone.
Even people that don't have any connection to NWA or any reason to listen to him.
Like the people in the coffee shop in the Shanghai airport.
Yo! K-Flan... Learn which windmills to tilt at, dude. The waitress (who only understands basic Engrish works like "coffee" "coke" "sandwich") doesn't understand when your coffee order goes something like "Coffee, and it better be better'n the black sludge that North-F$@#ing-West bankrupcy-operatin' Airlines drains from their broken down septic treatment systems and the mo-ron flight-incompetent-attendants serves up to their paying customers..."
It only scares the waitress...thinking your are ordering something she doesn't understand and that she'll get yelled at because she didn't understand...

Also... (Because it could possible affect me)
I don't care if you verbally harass the filght attendants or whomever, especially since we sit far away from each other...nothing to connect him to Yours Truly...
(Because a Flight Attendant with a hot pot of coffee standing near him might be tempted to "accidentally" spill some on him during a bout of "turbulence" nudge-nudge-wink-wink)
But- once you are off the plane and you are in the netherworld of Customs and Immigration, it highly recommended to Shut The F#$@ Up until your have passed through all the inspection areas... Uncle Jay's Rule of Airport Survival # 3- Do Not Draw Attention to Yourself....

So, while we are waiting in line and the Customs Inspector is reviewing paperwork, when the inspector asks him for his declaration form, he starts in on NWA's uselessness in providing forms and how they are incompetent in serving their customers...
Hint: If you talk too much, you look suspicious. Shut The F$#@% Up.

But- even with all the bitching whining and moaning, he was still stuck back in steerage with trhe rest of us cattle.

But we made it back...

And, once again... just to add insult to injury... we run into Jacksonville International Airport's inability to get bags from the plane to the baggage claim in a timely manner...

It was a record-breaker last night...
57 minutes before the bag claim started running.
The bags came out about 1 bag every 15 seconds... That's right. 4 bags per minute...
I got 2 of my bags in 20 minutes... the third bag never showed up.
(Not JIA's fault. It didn't make the plane from Detroit, although I can't figure why the 2 heavy equipment cases made it but the bag with my clothes in it didn't.

I waited until conveyor belt stopped moving then headed to the complaint office...
The nice lady in there took my claim check numbers and tracked the bag- it was still in Detroit.
She took the info and said they'd deliver them when they came in...

And I finally got to leave...

So, just to put the final numbers to bed...
Expected ETA in Jax - 5:30.
Actual arrival time - 5:45
Ground wait in Jax because another plane was still at our gate: 21 minutes.
Depart plane: 6:12
Arrive Baggage claim: 6:17.
Baggage claim starts running: 7:14
Bag one arrives 7:30
Bag two arrives 7:33.
Bag claim finishes 7:45.
Lost bag claim filed at 8:04 (4 other people in line before me.)
Depart JIA : 8:15.

Why does it take 2 hours to get (or not get) bags at this airport?

And now this...
Jacksonville Registered Traveler Program

Hey, JIA-
You'd be better off taking some of that money and instead of building a lounge for frequent flyers, hire a few more baggage guys...

Amazing- Out.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Closure issues

I never finish anyth

Friday, November 17, 2006


The quote of the week from K-Flan:

"Well... It's going to hurt until it gets better."
Well, duh, Captain Obvious.

Somewhere there is a voodoo doll going
"What the hell is going on? My arm is killing me!"

K-Flan has spent the last few mornings in the room we are affectionately calling JoAnna's House o' Pain.
And every morning she puts in a few more needles than the previous session.
The poor bastard is going to look like a sea urchin pretty soon.

"Hi. I'm K-Flan. Better keep your distance."

But seriously...
She's making him look like a porcupine...

A little antiseptic never hurts...

"I haven't even put a needle in yet..."

That's one down, six to go...

Let's see how many needles we can stick into his elbow...

White knuckles. Do you think he's a little tense?

Some of these babies are in deep!

I'm in my happy place... Nothing can bother me...

...until this bastard comes in and starts twisting the needles....

And Joanna just laughs and laughs...

Oooo... she's evil.

Famous, out.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Great Firewall of China

If you are in a country where Interweb access to Blogger sites are blocked, I have found a little goodie to help you keep up with your favorite sites without incurring the wrath of the Ministry of Information's minions.

Typically, the firewall tables mask out all sites with string "blogspot" in the URL.
There is another censoring entity that does this, but we won't discuss it here...

In any case, if you'd like to peruse a Blogspot site in an area of restricted access, log onto and type in the first name of the desired Blogspot address.
(This is the only tricky spot... for instance, my site is, not It takes a little digging to get the correct URL.)

Anyway- pay a visit to and get the full scoop...

TBG Out-

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Shanghai: The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Lots more fun and games here in Eastern China...

Out and about:

Paul does some sightseeing in a local tourist attraction.

Did she wash those in Windex?
'Cause I can really see myself in her pants tonight...

In the interest of protecting reputations of the International Visitors to Shanghai, the management of has elected to practice some selective censorship...

We wouldn't want anyone to get in trouble with the folks back home, you understand.

K-Flan's elbow has been bothering him for the last few months... It's a variation on tennis elbow caused by motorcycle riding. The arm position and posture causes some discomfort that is a cross between tennis elbow and carpal tunnel.
Obviously, this has ruined his sex life completely (which is too much information and I could really care less about that...)
More importantly, it means he can't tote and lift equipment, which means I have to do it... and that, me Bucko, is something we simply cannot abide.

So... The fair Joanna, physiotherapist to the players at the TMC suggested a course of accupuncture.
Heh heh heh...
(Remember Jay's Blog Postulate No. 1: Someone else's pain, discomfort or misfortune is the basis of all comedy, and thus, makes for a good blog post.)
So today before start of play we hunted Joanna up and got her to dust off her instruments of torture healing and she went to work.

"You might feel some discomfort or maybe pass out."

Joanna: We will need to put in 4 or 5 more needles...
K-Flan: You're gonna need 4 or 5 more people to hold me down to do it...


Were...were there monkeys...?
Terrifying Sea Monkeys?

So I'm shopping at the Family Mart this morning picking up some of the tasty little triangular ricecakes... The ones with the tuna filling are especially tasty...

I found this next to the carbonated beverages...

I'm not sure what this is, but the stuff suspended in the liquid is/are little fuzzy things reminiscent of Sea Monkeys...

But just because I bought it, that doesn't mean I have to drink it...

Amazing, Famous!