Friday, April 23, 2004

On a serious note 


Earlier today, as I'm sure most of you have heard, Pat Tillman was killed in action in Afghanistan. It's all over the news because back in 2001, Tillman was quite the up and coming player in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals. He was in the midst of negotiating a 3.6 million dollar contract when he decided to quit the NFL in the prime of his career and join the Army Rangers. His pay in the Army? 18,000 dollars a year. He chose this path because he felt he could do more for his country in the Army than he could on the football field. Unfortunately today he made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
I remember being very impressed with Pat Tillamn when word of this story broke back in early 2002. I never thought he was stupid and naive to turn down 3.6 million dollars. I was impressed because I knew he was a better man than me. I actually remember feeling kind of ashamed of myself, because I damn well knew I would have taken the money if I had been blessed with his physical and mental skills (he graduated with a 3.82 GPA from Arizona State University). What impressed me the most, was the fact he refused to give any interviews, never allowed pictures to be taken, or allowed any special media attention to be showered on himself for his act. He just wanted to be one of the guys in Basic Training. As anonymous as he could be. (Unlike Tiger Woods with his one week special forces sideshow last week. How you feel now Tiger?)
I was listening to one national radio talk show host today who said "I bet Pat Tillman is pissed about all the special attention he's getting right now." Perhaps they are right about that. However I think maybe, just maybe, with Tillman's death we all will start thinking about the 700+ American, Spanish, Polish, Italian and other soldiers of every sex and race that have lost their lives over the last three years. Maybe we all needed a "famous" face to truly realize that there hundreds of thousands of people who have voluntarily put their lives on the line. They do so to try to keep terrorism out of America and Europe, so we can live a little safer. Will their efforts succeed 100%? Of course not, but I think it's safe to say we are all safer now that we've taken the fight to them, than if we had left them alone in Afghanistan to plot their next 9/11.
So hopefully, Pat Tillman's death will be a wake-up call to the majority of Americans who all too often watch the war footage with a detached eye. Maybe now, with the death of a superstar, they will realize what is truly at stake.
Here is a link to a great column in Sports Illustrated about the type of man Pat Tillman was. Click here

Thursday, April 22, 2004

His Name is OTIS! 





Yes, I have a NEW thrilling feature for all of you, my dear faithful readers. The picture above is of my new friend Otis. He's a darling, recently hatched Atlantic Giant Pumpkin plant. Yes, the type of pumpkin that can grow to be 500 to 1500 pounds.

Once a week I will post a pic showing good old Otis' progress in growing. And look! This time I was smart enough to place something near the plant to provide scale. I figured what better tool than a Series 22 Glock 40S+W for scale? And yes, my Glock DOES have a 15 round clip. Actually I have TWO! I was grandfathered as I already owned the gun before stupid federal laws took effect. Either way, my close personal friend Charlton Heston will take care of that in due course. That's a story for another day.

I do have my worries about poor Otis though. I tried this same task last year, and Vine Borers killed my plant while I was away in Latvia. It was heartbreaking. This year, I plan on gassing the entire area around Otis with DDT or something to make sure no insect can get within 5 feet of Otis without suffering a Hiroshima-like burning, tortuous death.

I'm sure y'all are asking why on earth I want a 500-1000 pound pumpkin. I mean, what the fuck do people do with something that huge? Obviously some of them hire cranes and place them on flatbeds to haul them to the local fair. Me? I'm gonna drill holes in it, place a bunch of strategic black powder bombs inside and BLOW THE FUCKER UP! Hopefully Otis will survive into the fall so I can pull this off.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Have a chore you don't wanna do? DO IT AT THE BAR!! 



We all have chores that we know in the long run will pay off in a good way, right? But sometimes the idea of such a chore can just be overwhelming, especially if you're in a bad mood. Well leave it to Duke to solve all your problems. Yes I am here to say that if you're able to do the shit job at home, 99% of the time you can also perform the same task at the BAR!
Sure, it seems crazy at first, but think about it. What? Y'all need to do some laundry? Well, isn't it worth it to drive 10+ miles to the laundromat that's next door to a bar? Even if you have your own washer/dryer combo in your own home? You need to buy some groceries? Well even here in buttfuck NH, there's a grocery store within walking distance of a bar. So, you need to make some flyers for your fucking lame-ass band's next show? Once again, here in NH, there are THREE bars within short walking distance of the copy joint. I know what you're gonna say next, my piece-of-shit car is broken down and I had to push it there for work. Guess what? Even here in butt-fuck NH you are within walking distance of FIVE bars. Why you people spend so much time sober is INEXCUSABLE!
Case in point. Today, I needed to plant my Celery sprouts into dirt. You see, if you want to be a real farmer and grow your celery from seed, you can't just stick them into the dirt and expect them to grow. You need to sprout them by placing the near-microscopic seeds into a dampened paper towel. Once they sprout and spread out for a few days, then it is time to try and take these sperm-like sproutlings and transfer them to dirt.
Well last night I realized that the sproutlings were indeed quite sperm like. They looked almost as big as the sperm that squirts out my penis; they were very large.
Well I wasn't in any mood to deal with that on my day off. As large as the sproutlings were, it still was not something I wanted to spend any time on a Wed. when I had the whole day to myself. However, I knew that if I procrastinated too long, they celery would be useless. That's when I had my "EUREKA!" moment. I grabbed all the necessary equipment, and headed right for the BAR!
Here you can see my first step in the process:



In this pic, you can see 1. MY BEER, 2. The pods in which I will place the sproutlings, and 3. the glass in which the sproutlings currently reside.

So once I have all my preparations ready, I take a cup of warm water and pour it over the pods. They quickly absorb the water and expand and grow. (Notice how their absorption of water is almost as fast the absorption of my beer in the upper left hand corner of the pic).



The next pic didn't come out as well as hoped. Basically, there are a bunch of the aforementioned sperm-looking sproutlings on the paper towel. I am in the process of transplanting 2-3 to a pod. Notice how I am already on my next beer by this point.



FINALLY! I am done and can relax at the BAR drinking a few more beers. (Thanks to Kate for taking this pic). All in all this process took me about 90 minutes. It would have taken me the same exact time to perform at home. But I had SO MUCH MORE FUN at the bar. And you can do this too! Need to do your taxes? Why do them at home? You can do that at the bar! Need to clean your house? Order a fucking maid service and go to the BAR! Need to mow your lawn? Hire a neighborhood kid and GO TO THE BAR! You have NO EXCUSE!



On a side note. When I got back from the bar, look who once again used their sixth sense to know that in 3-4 weeks they will have some succulent baby celery plants to eat:


AARGH!

Monday, April 12, 2004

Smoking Pork 101, with Professor Duke Crevanator 



Well as promised, here is my recipe for smoking a pork shoulder to make a big 'ol stinking pile of pulled pork sandwiches.

Before we get started, let me make it clear that this recipe assumes you actually have a real smoker. It's possible this recipe could be jimmy-rigged somehow in your oven via the broiler or something, but since I've never done that, I can't say if something like that would work.

This recipe also assumes you are willing to spend 6-7 hours watching over your smoker. Par-boiling meat in advance to shorten the cooking time is FORBIDDEN! And I mean FORBIDDEN! If you're not willing to invest the time to make true BBQ, then you should be at McDonald's, not reading my recipe.

Whew! OK, with that out of the way, let's get started:

1. WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

1/3 cup ground black pepper. (This means you buy the pepper corns and grind then yourself. I usually prefer to get garlic black peppercorns, but just plain black will work as well. Also, I will allow you to cheat by using a coffee bean grinder to grind the peppercorns. But NEVER, EVER use pre-ground black pepper, you lazy fucks).

1/4 cup Paprika

1/4 turbinado sugar (NEVER substitute this with plain sugar. If you're desperate, go to your local Starbucks and steal as many "Sugar in the Raw" packets you can stuff in your pockets)

2 Tablespoons salt

2 Teaspoons Dry Mustard (No, this doesn't mean scraping the scum off the rim of your mustard jar. Although that might work in a pinch for all I know)

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, an approx. 8 pound Boston butt pork shoulder

WHAT TO DO

The night BEFORE you plan to cook, mix all of the above ingredients into a bowl. It should look something like the pic below:



Make sure you stir them all thoroughly together.

Next, take out your meat (no, not that one, the pork)

In most cases, it should like this out of the package:



MAKE SURE you cut off all the fat from the outside of the meat. There is usually a big old slab of fat/skin along the front that wraps around to the bottom. This can be a major pain in the ass to cut off but it must be done. It helps to have a wife around to recruit into performing this chore. But it is not necessary (unless you are me).

This huge chunk of fat can be a pain in the ass to dispose of if you leave your trash outside and your backyard is a known habitat for beasts such as crows, raccoons, fox, coyote and the occasional barn rat. That is why is it quite handy to have a built-in garbage disposal. Below is an example of mine:



OK. Once the fat is removed, use approximately 2/3rds of the rub on the meat. Rub it in there pretty good. Don't overdo it, as you will damage the meat, but make sure the entire shoulder gets a rubbed with the spices. Once you are done, cover the meat with Saran wrap, and place in the fridge for the night.

The next day, pull it out of the fridge early in the AM (You may need 6 to 7 hours to cook). Use about half of the remaining rub on the meat again. SAVE THE REST OF THE RUB!

At this time, leave the meat out on the counter to let it get to room temperature. While that is going on, go outside and get some coals going in your smoker to get it up to temp.

(SIDE NOTE: ONLY USE LUMP CHARCOAL. SHIT LIKE KINGSTON AND OTHER BRIQUETTES ARE COVERED IN GAS FUMES AND IT WILL MAKE YOUR MEAT TASTE LIKE SHIT)

Once the temp inside the COOKING area of your smoker is up to around 250 or 275, you can put the meat in.

(NOTE: TRY TO KEEP YOU COOKING TEMP BETWEEN 275 AND 300 TOPS. ALTHOUGH ALL SMOKERS ARE DIFFERENT. YOU MAY NEED TO PLAY AROUND WITH YOUR OWN SMOKER TO SEE WHAT THE IDEAL TEMP IS FOR YOU)

For the first hour DO NOT ADD WOOD CHIPS to the fire chamber. Instead, mix the remaining rub, and about 2 cans of beer into a mixing bowl and stir to make your SOP. You may want to add about a 1/4 cup of vinegar and a 1/4 cup of oil. That is up to you. Once it is mixed, keep it warm (but not boiling) by keeping it on top of your fire chamber (if possible).

After one hour, BASTE THE MEAT WITH THE SOP. Once it is well basted, then add some HICKORY to the fire part for the first stage of smoking. See the pics below:





After this, only add a SMALL amount of hickory wood chips about every 90 minutes or so. Do not oversmoke the meat, once again, it will taste like shit.

Every time before you add hickory, slather the outside of the meat with your sop.

About 4 hours in, or when the meat temp. gets to 160, make sure you flip the meat so it gets cooked evenly on both sides.

When the meat gets to 180 or 185 (tops) you are done! Take it out of the smoker and bring her on inside. She should like this:



Now get someone who you're feeding to do the work to pull all this meat off the bone into a big old plate of BBQ. I don't put BBQ sauce on the meat after the cooking is done. If some of you prefer it that way (especially Midwesterners I've noticed), you can apply this now.

ENJOY!





Friday, April 09, 2004

Gone Fishing! 



We had fun last night down at the bar celebrating my B-Day. Special thanks go out to Mara, the Swede, Captain Leech, Big Nasty, Cheryl, Scott, Syd, Cathy, Lenny and the rest for making it a very good time.

Today, after going to work for half a day (it got really boring so I left), and then hitting the bar for a bit, I decided it was warm enough to hit the fishing hole.

I have 500 acres of woods behind my house ( no, I don't own it, but no one else ever dares go out there), and if I take my secret path through the woods I get to my own private fishing hole. People obviously used to know about it, as I have to cross this ancient death bridge to get to the shore.



You know who I think built this bridge about 30 years ago? CARLTON FISK! The baseball hall-of-famer. He's from NH, and used to own this huge block of land. He used it to hunt and fish.

Anyway, I went out here for about 2 hours. I only got a couple of bites. The fish are still moving too slow cuz of the cold water. If I had used live bait I probably would have had better luck. Unfortunately, because of fucking BEAVERS, the bottom of the pond is covered in old branches from an abandoned beaver dam that has partly washed away. So that rules out jigs that crawl across the bottom etc. You need some worms and shit near the surface to lure the bass and pickerel to come that close to the surface.
Either way I had fun drinking a 6-pack whilst sitting HERE


Tomorrow I promise to provide my step-by-step recipe for smoking up an awesome pork shoulder to make a whole pile of pulled pork sandwiches, just because I care about y'all.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Happy Birthday...TO ME!!!!! Part 1 



Unlike the vast majority of my friends and family I DO have one buddy that bothered to get me a gift for my birthday.

I woke up incredibly hungover this AM after going to Marty's with the Swede and Mara to have a pre-birthday party party. I stumbled outside to see if my truck had sustained any damage in the hell ride home, and lo and behold! There, in the driveway, lay my birthday gift.



Of course I was too hungover, and thereby stupid, to provide anything in the above photo that could relate the scale of this gift. But let me tell you, this is the biggest fucking mole I have EVER seen. It truly was the Gigantor of moles.

Needless to say, I was quite impressed with the daring hunting ability of my friend who went through such efforts to provide me this wonderful present. That friend is named Stinky, he is shown below.



This picture was taken moments after I found the gift and went and got the camera. He was sticking around to make sure I knew who was the giver of the gift.

Meanwhile, his brother Smelly was his typical lazy-ass self and didn't get me squat. Instead, like he does for 23.5 hours a day, he slept. Fucking bastard.



In any event, my birthday celebration has just begun. I'm sure there will be more tales later.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Today I HATE Deer, Wind, and Trees 



Actually I always have hated trees. Trees are nothing but fucking communists. I know. I was once a Lumberjack. In fact, I was an All-American Lumberjack on the University of New Hampshire's Lumberjack Team in the early 1990's. The first thing we were taught in Lumberjack training camp was "Trees are Communists and must be killed to protect Democracy". It was a lesson I took to heart. But that is a lengthy tale for another day.

In any event, the wind and a Commie Pinko tree conspired to commit a crime in my back 40. Below is a picture of the scene of the crime.



As you can see, the wind and this 40 foot White Pine decided to annoy the shit out of me by working together to have the tree act as a Tree-Commie version of a suicide bomber. The wind basically placed the proverbial bomb vest on what appeared to be a perfectly healthy tree, only for it to come crashing down in an attempt to wreak havoc on any freedom-loving form of life in its path. Luckily, no such life form fell prey to this heinous attack.

I'm sure you're asking, "Well if you're such a famous former lumberjack, won't you have fun chopping up this lifeless heap of Communism?" To which I anwer "FUCK NO!" The true thrill of the lumberjack comes in the kill. Hell, for practice me and my fellow lumberjacks would dash into the woods and fell tres pell mell and leave them to ROT where they lay gasping their dying breaths! In fact, we often would venture into one specific woodland which was full of walking paths that we knew Commie loving hippies would use to mountain bike and cross country ski. What we would do then was cut down large trees to fall directly across the paths! That way, the fucking hippies would have to turn around, or carry their bikes/skiis over the felled Stalinesque corpses. And keep in mind we NEVER used chainsaws. The only tool allowed was the AXE! Chainsaws are for SOCIALISTS! AAHH yes, those were indeed my salad days.

However, this particular tree in my back 40 MUST be chopped up and removed, even though I did not get to enjoy the thrill of the kill.
Which leads me to my next problem. We are starting all of our vegetable plants this week for our garden (inside to sprout before transplanting of course). We have a lot of work ahead us. here is a picture of all the seeds we will use this year:



I am building a couple of new vegetable gardens this year, and this fucking tree landed right smack dab in the middle of where I had planned my construction. FUCKER.

To add to my pissedoffedness, this AM I stepped out back to smoke a butt and have some coffee, and LO and BEHOLD! Look who is already waiting for me to plant my succulent baby vegetable plants. Just the type of thing that will be very yummy to someone who has been eating fucking tree bark all winter.



And NO, I can't shoot them. They aren't in season dumb ass. Normally I just give them a field of corn near the edge of woods. Kind of like an offering to some evil God, in order to spare my more important vegetables. However they caught me on the wrong day, and I was pissed. So I chased them through the woods for a bit. (There were actually 4 more with these two).
Unforunately I know they will be back.

Either way, I know there will be at least 3 things I hate even more tomorrow. And you'll probably be one of them

Monday, April 05, 2004

Being "Busy as a Beaver DOES NOT PAY! 



Over the past 4 days we've had some major flooding around these here parts. Of course this is all relative. It's not like some of the floods I've seen in the Midwest (back in 1993 near St. Louis), or in Houston (around 1997 or so). However for us up here in near natural diasaster-proof New Hampshire, it was fairly bad.

In the tiny town in which I reside, two of the "main" roads through town were closed, and a lot of the back roads were also shut down. This morning I had to drive about 50 miles south on a job. During my drive, in the first 10 miles through my town ALONE I counted TEN Beavers that had been killed by cars. All in all I counted 24 roadkill Beavers on my ride.

In this area, we have a lot of roadkill, but I can say with some authority that a roadkill beaver is very rare.

I was kind of confused by this at first, until I realized where the first 10 dead Beavers I had seen in my area were all located. You see, it was all near where roads had been heavily flooded. Then it dawned on me. These beavers had brought about their own destruction by destroying their environment! The very dams these beavers had built had caused such massive flooding that were forced to flee for their lives into areas that they were very unused to trying in which to survive; mainly roads and oncoming cars.

So the next time some uber-environmentalist freak says only humans are horrible and evil enough to destroy their environment to such an extent that it will destroy their own civilizations and those of native species around them, say "WRONG!". Then point out my very true tale about how Beavers are more than willing to completely wreck their surrounding territory, and those of the species with which they supposedly co-exist. Usually they destroy it so much, they are forced to move on to a new territory on which to wreak their havoc. However, sometimes nature decides to exact revenge on their rash behavoir. That's when you get the Beaver roadkill plague of 2004, at least here in New Hampshire.

Unfortunately on my ride today I did not have my camera. I did a google search to try and find a pic of a roadkill beaver for all of you to no avail. However, using the search term "roadkill" I did find this pic which pretty much tells the correct tale. I think.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Skiing in the clouds 



(Sorry, but I'm having trouble resetting the comments for each post)


Yesterday me, Mara, Ali and Daly went up to Waterville Valley here in New Hampshire to ski/snowboard.

Note: Duke skis, and does not snowboard. I reckon that makes me fucking OLD SCHOOL. I also ski because, like how many artists are endorsed by guitar string makers, drum makers etc., Duke is endorsed by BLIZZARD skis. Below is my official BLIZZARD endorsement photo. Nothing beats an Austrian made ski my friends. I'd tell y'all what bindings and boots I use, but they aren't PAYING ME!



Anyhow, we went up there because Waterville was charging 1 buck for a lift ticket. For those who may not be familiar with how fucking expensive skiing is, lets just say that price was about 40 bucks cheaper than it would normally cost for a Thursday. And about 59 bucks cheaper than a weekend ticket.

It was definitely a surreal day. It was warm and rainy out, which caused the cloud cover to be really low. Basically, the entire top half of the mountain was in the clouds. Also, the trails were barely adequate for skiing. There were huge bald patches of earth and rocks, and then big patches of both solid ice and slush. When you got off the lift at the top you could not see more than 10 feet in front of you. When we were going down black and double-black diamond trails, it was actually pretty fucking cool. Daly was snowboarding in front of me, and if he got over 10 feet ahead of me, I could just barely see him. And when you're dealing with slopes that are very steep, you couldn't see a bald patch, or a big rock until you were just about on top of it. I had one experience where I came over a big ledge catching some air and had to land on one ski to avoid my other BLIZZARD ski landing on a rock. In a complete miracle, I did not crash and burn when that happened, even though I had about 5 beers in me. I didn't fall all day, but I may as well have. Between being in the clouds, and having it rain, I was fucking soaked. But for a buck, it was totally worth it.

Lastly, a big thank you to all of you people who DID NOT show up for this great deal. We pretty much had the mountain to ourselves and it made a much better experience. I was dreading dealing with all you douchebags.