Saturday, November 3, 2012

I Am About To Fall Back...

...onto the futon in the basement to watch some TV and eventually pass out for the night. I was happy to learn though, just a moment ago, that tonight will afford me an extra hour's snooze time in that we are to revert to standard time, from daylight saving time, at 0200 Sunday morning.  (That is mere 2 hours and about 8 minutes away.) Whoopee.

Sleep tight,

Fuck That Out of Touch Scumbag Mayor Bloomberg...

...who reportedly is now saying that: 'Yes the federal government is giving out free gasoline to the public, but the New York City Government is going to take their share first'. What a pompous, arrogant, bureaucratic piece of shit is he if that is, in essence, true. He is not serving anything other than his own interests as once again he shows himself to be painfully out of touch with reality and with the needs of the people whom he is supposed to serve and not attempt to rule.


All the best,
Glenn B


Yesterday, when I went to the local beer distributor to pick up ice for my neighbor Jessica, I decided I would buy something else out of respect for the distributor being open. It was pretty obvious that customers had not been flocking there in droves to buy beer or ice. Even though they were open, they were without power and had ice only because they had filled there ice freezer (a walk in sized freezer) with ice before the storm and it stayed frozen. I figured that their being open was a sort of a public service and felt I had to buy more than just 4 bags of ice from them in two days to at least show some support. It is only a few blocks from my home and I usually do not shop there because I know I can get better prices elsewhere. maybe I should consider shopping there more often because I don't think I get better service elsewhere. Yes my other distributor, a couple of miles away, instead of a few blocks like this one, was also open and even had power, but they had no ice. Costco is also a place I buy beer, by the case when they have something  like, because I usually save at least 5 bucks on a case there from the distributor where I usually shop. In all, I would probably pay $7.00 to $10.00 more per case at the local distributor, the one that had the ice. Maybe it is not a bad trade off, at least sometimes. I think I will spread the wealth a little more in the future even though they are nowhere near as inexpensive as Costco nor can they match the price or have the wide variety of the other distributor. What the heck, they were open and had ice - plenty of it - right after the storm! Good thinking on the owner's, or manager's, or worker's part. 

Well there I go blabbing and digressing again. I wanted to tell you what I bought there to give them some business other than me just buying ice. It was a small purchase but one that I could not resist. Right across from the counter, they had a piled up display of things like Mike's Hard Lemonade. Atop those, there were a few 4 packs of something called Mike's On The Rocks Hurricane.  I grabbed a 4 pack; how could I not out of respect for the owners having opened their store right after the so called hurricane (that was really only a tropical storm but a hell of a one at that). I am drinking my second 16 oz. can right now and am beginning to think this stuff may be more like a tropical storm too, instead of a hurricane, but a heck of one at that! I had the other with my dinner, a NY strip steak that I grilled, a salad my wife made, and a sesame seed roll from a local supermarket. It was delicious - the meal - anyway. 

As for the Mike's On The Rocks Hurricane, well - I have had many, many, many mixed type and malt beverage type drinks that were a lot better and more than enough that also were a lot worse. On the side of the can, in the small print, it says this: "PREMIUM MALT BEVERAGE WITH NATURAL FLAVORS AND CERTIFIED COLORS". I imagine that the natural flavors are those of a fruity nature. No not gay but fruity as in like fruit punch. What the certified colors are, I have no clue. In addition to those flavors and colors is the flavor of alcohol. It is not a strong flavor but the alcohol content is listed as 8%. Quite a bit stronger than your average American beer. (Do you know why most American beers and sex in a canoe are alike? They are both fucking close to water!) I am guessing that must be how they were able to include “premium” on the label because other than a higher alcohol content I do not see any reason to pay a premium for this stuff.  

In other words, the first one did not impress me as anything other than something akin to Annie Green Springs or Yago Sangria and may in actuality have been closer to MD 20/20 or Muscatel albeit with a cheap fruit punch added to the mix. (Those of you true connoisseurs of the not so finer wines know exactly what I mean.) I have to admit, though now that I have eaten dinner, and had the first one, and am now almost done with the second one, I am looking forward to the third and fourth ones in the pack. Not because it is a premium beverage as far as my idea of premium goes but probably because the alcohol content has made the flavor acceptable, maybe even almost delicious, after almost two of them.

Before I get too sloshed, and I intend to do just that, let me say that if I want a fruity flavored alcoholic drink, I usually go for something I make myself from whole fresh fruit (like bananas, nectarines, apples, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple and oranges - not essence of gay guys) in the blender to which I add a couple to few types of rum, and/or vodka, and/or whiskey. We only got a blender, in our home, within the last 2 or 3 years at most. I have no clue how I ever survived without one. The drinks one can mix in it are extravagant as far as I am concerned - and that goes whether or not you add alcohol. I may even have to try adding bacon one of these days but have to give some serious thought as to the other ingredients. I was thinking along the lines of sour mash or Bourbon or Irish whiskey but vodka may do, especially potato vodka (one of my favorite vodkas). Of course, I could add home fries and gin.  

Yet, in the meanwhile, since I do not have a blender full of some glorious concoction of God's mashed together fruity goodness, I have settled for whatever in Hades it is that Mike or the company known as Mike's has thrown together for me and I must admit, I am enjoying the heck out of it; any reservations to the contrary, mentioned above, fading with each gulp. 
Mike's Hard Lemonade Co. is located in both Rochester, NY and La Crosse, WI and I have to say, I my just have to give them some more business - if not because they are made in NY or bot because of the On The Rocks Hurricane then because I find their Mike's Hard Lemonade rather palatable and intoxicating. Then again, that is sort of like I am finding this On The Rocks Hurricane drink while getting well into can number 3. (Yes dear readers, somewhere in there, I ran outside to my 48 degree patio and grabbed another one).

Just checked another website and wow, now I see why it has gotten to me so much, it is made from fruit juice, rum and the devils own brew - red grenadine! These Mike's Hurricanes, with their red granadine, just stirred up some deelpy burined memories of bygone times. Now if only I had a couple of Brown Eyed Women with whom to share them, maybe like Delilah Jones! Thems were the days, those days of Grateful Dead concerts, when a drink like Mike's On The Rocks Hurricane would have been an extravagance! I would have loved to have met and shared one of these drinks with Delilah Jones. "Delilah Jones was the mother of twins, two times over and the rest was sins, raised 8 boys only I turned bad, didn't get the rules that the other ones had...". Her old man sounded worth meeting too: "Daddy made whiskey and he made it well, cost two dollars and it burned like hell". 

 One of my favorite Dead songs has always been Brown Eyed Women, if not my favorite, not that: "I cut hickory just to fire the still, drank down a bottle and was ready to kill" but then sometimes I could just about...

All the best,
Glenn B

Oh Damn - Here Comes Another Storm

They are predicting a nor'easter on its way to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast United States.  While the gurus are saying it would not be as bad as Sandy, they seemingly are not considering all those already damaged homes and business and other structures that certainly do not need another hit to make things worse. As for me, okay, so it takes off the rest of my house's shingles, then the insurance company will have to pay for it all - no question.

All the best,
Glenn B

Newly Hatched Crested Gecko

I have had a few crested gecko eggs incubating for what seems like an eternity now. Well, a baby hatched out today, or I should say was freed from its egg today by me. I cut the egg open to see if it was ready to hatch and it was fully developed with no egg yolk attached. So, it either had been stuck in the shell and unable to cut its way out or was just biding its time. It will probably do well as it seemed to have gotten its bearings and started to move about with balance a moment or two after it came out of the shell. I have one other egg remaining inside the incubator of three that had been in there. That one will remain as is and I'll wait for that baby to hatch on its own for another couple of weeks, then if not hatched I will slice a small starter hole in the egg. The other egg was not good.

 It is mostly dark red with a light tan mottling on its tail. Its color may change as it matures; crested geckos are quite variable in color as adults and baby lizards often change color as they grow into adulthood. Heck the color may change under different light as it usually does.

Now to find some pinhead crickets as soon as possible to start feeding this little booger. It will also get a diet of fruit baby food (like Gerber's mango mix) and crested gecko diet (a powder that mixes with water).

All the best,
Glenn B

So What Did You Do During The Super-Storm And Its Immediate Aftermath

Me, I hunkered down for the most part, at least during this storm. I stopped by Home Depot on Monday for something I needed, nothing to do with getting prepared for the storm. That was an eyeful of last minute panicked preppers, so to speak. I had to go out a few times, on Monday and Tuesday, to let the dogs answer natures call, all 7 of them (we had two visiting as they often do). On Tuesday I started to call the insurance company and roofers to start the process of having my storm damaged roof replaced. While we still had power, I emailed back and forth with a couple who wanted to adopt out a red Eared Slider turtle. I was willing to take it but wanted to wait until Friday to pick it up. They were hopeful that I could get it on Wednesday as they were leaving town on Thursday. I doubted it. 

On Wednesday morning, I traveled into Harlem, in northern Manhattan after all. I wound up picking  up the turtle from a very nice couple who were giving it away because they could no longer care for it. They were leaving for a work assignment in East Africa on Thursday. I figured I would adopt it out at the then upcoming Long Island Herpetological Society 23rd Annual Reptile Show. I had also ordered a group of Blue Tailed Salamanders to exhibit at the LIHS show. I had some last year but asked a friend to care for them during my bout with the big C and most were lost probably due to contaminated food. So I figured to replace them and had placed an order right before the storm; the order has been delayed until next week by the dealer due to the storm. I just found out yesterday that the upcoming LIHS show is no longer upcoming, it has been postponed indefinitely (personally I think this an overreaction to the storm but that is just my opinion). That was a disappointment. Now I am stuck with a Red Eared Slider that I certainly did not expect to have to care for for more than 10 days but shit happens. It will get good care nonetheless. 

My trip to pick up the turtle was pretty uneventful, I just wish I had topped off my almost full tank of gas on the return home. Some gas stations were open with very short waits. Now, forget about it, the lines are long, tempers short and there is a fuel shortage. I can wait, I still have over half a tank. Should last the week. 

Later on Wednesday afternoon, we sat down with the roofing estimator. She figured $10,350 to replace my roof shingles. Another $1,250 or so for the gutters too. Ouch. I am hopeful the insurance company will cover it all except for the $500 deductible. After that I had a few drinks and proceeded to get snockered. I also put together 15 or so packets of coins wrapped in aluminum foil for any trick-or-treaters who might show up. We had been busy in the house with the roofing lady and did not even answer the door when some kids came by because we had no candy on hand. So after my wife went to work for the evening, I thought having some spare change in hand to give any more that came around would be the way to go. There was from 50 cents up to a buck in each. Then, I sat out on my front stoop, cup with the silver foil wrapped treats and a pumpkin nearby. I went and got a few knives and started to carve as the evening quickly faded o black (well, not really black as the moon was just passed full). Not one kid came by. So, after that, since all the trick-or-treaters had come by only while it was still light outside, I visited three neighbors with kids and let each of their kids have two or three packets each. The rest went back into my almost depleted change jar. I continued to get snockered and wound up doing a bit of reading by glo-stick (white light).  

On Thursday, I went to Walmart and Costco to do some shopping. I picked up some candles at Wally World. We had enough for the storm with quite a few left over but I figured you just about cannot have enough of them if the power goes out and do not have a generator. At Costco, I picked up some AAA batteries, a 48 pack of them to add to the stock, even though I had enough on hand for the then current emergency. Those I had were in small 6 packs and I figured I could throw them into my go-bags or hunting pack. I also bought a few steaks (for dinner for today, Saturday), and a roasted chicken (best deal in the land at $4.99 for a large, nicely cooked chicken) and some other things. Before heading out to Costco on Thursday, my wife told me that a local beer distributor was selling ice. Even though they had no power, they had a freezer full of bags of ice from before the storm and it has stayed frozen solid. Once we discovered that the distributor had ice, I bought some and put the ice in our fridge to keep what little we had left in there edible; some of the previously frozen stuff had already gotten questionable even though we had some ice in the fridge and freezer.  Also took a walk with the wife, daughter and 7 dogs. That was an eye opener, lots of downed trees in next village over from ours. On Thursday night, I again did some reading by glo-stick before hitting the hay by 10. 

On Friday, I dealt with the insurance company on the phone and was told that an adjuster will be assigned my case within 10 days and will come by after that. Long wait but with all the houses that were destroyed what can one expect. The guy told me to go ahead and have any needed emergency repairs done if we think the roof will leak. Roofer told me not to worry, I hope she was right. I stopped by an elderly neighbor and had a nice chat. I wanted to make sure she was okay. I also went to get some ice for her from the beer distributor and while there I bought myself a 4 pack of Mike's Hurricane drinks. I have not tried them yet; the guy at the store told me they were basically alcohol in fruit punch. Saved for this weekend, probably tomorrow after work, if I work. The library has been closed since Monday. I got a small bit of plastering done yesterday. I filled in the hole where my medicine cabinet used to be. Bought a new one that is surface mounted. 

Today has been much of nothing. I ate breakfast only about an hour ago. I have been emailing people to check to see if they are okay after the storm. I also checked my mail, mostly junk. I did find that the Browning Citori Lightning that I had up for sale, on, sold. The final bid was not quite as much as I had hoped but I got more than I paid for it after all expenses and that money will go toward my gun collecting. I also read a few blogs. Then I checked on the availability of 62-64 grain 5.56x45 ammo, and saw it is still mostly unavailable except at inflated prices. Found out there is a gun show this weekend in Middletown, NY (as in today and tomorrow) that I will not be attending. Also found out there is a gun show in White Plains, NY next weekend that I hope to attend with my buddy Charlie K..

My wife is at work, my son still upstate and my daughter at her fiancĂ©’s place.  

I just took a call from my son, interrupted my typing this post. He is okay, still visiting his girlfriend upstate. He plans to be home early next week. I noticed a basket full of laundry upstairs and threw the clothes into the washing machine. I will have a few loads to get done today, of that I am sure. Happy I saw that one to remind me. She who must be worshipped left it in a location where I was sure to trip over it if I did not see it first. Lucky for me it was light out. 

I already also did the dishes (I am very pussified domesticated). 

Now, I had best close this blog post and go upstairs to sand down the plaster work that I did yesterday, then clean it up, before she who must be adored gets home from work. If I get a coat of primer/sealer on it before she gets home, that would be a plus. After that, I'll have to wrap her birthday present; her b'day is imminent more or less. 

Such is a boring and almost uneventful 5 days and a wake-up of my life before, during and after the super-storm. 
So what did you do before, during and over the few days after the super-storm?

All the best,
Glenn B