Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Joe Cocker RIP - You Will Be Missed

After a long battle with lung cancer, Joe Cocker has passed, air guitar in hands, to the great beyond where I am sure his singing will be appreciated more than the songs of angels.

Once upon a time, in my early youth, I was a Beatles fan. Then I heard Joe Cocker sing some of their songs and I must say that the intensity with which he sang those hits put the Beatles to shame and he helped expand my music appreciation - a lot.

To say that Joe Cocker was intense though is an understatement. It's not like I was a Joe Cocker fan-boy or groupie or anything like that yet, I just have to say that when he sang a song - he gave it his everything - and for that I am thankful to have lived through his heyday and thankful to him for having giving it his absolute singing best while spazing out on stage playing his air-guitar.

Of course, it wasn't only Beatles songs he sang:

Man oh man - he was one of the truly great ones. Sorry I am posting a day later than I should have but was under the weather yesterday and unable to post a timely tribute then. Then again, who better to pay him tribute better than himself in his singing to us. He will be missed. Hope you are at peace Joe, maybe dropping a dot, toking a joint and sipping some Jack with a song on your lips and air-guitar close by you spasmodic hands. You are the man.

All the best,
Glenn B

I Think I Over Shopped For Christmas Dinner

I told she who must be adored, the wife, I would head out to Costco to pick up supplies for our family's Christmas dinner. She was going to wait until tomorrow but I told her that the roads would be clogged with last minute maniacs (who shop on Christmas Eve) looking for deals, stores would not put much new out on the shelves to replace what was missing, employees would have lots other than work and helping customers in mind, stores would be closing early making it a real pain in the arse. So, I volunteered to go today this evening even though I was feeling under the weather and despite the fact that I figured it would be much the same today as tomorrow. Yet, I thought I would stand a better chance of finding the vittles we wanted so away I went. 

Much to my surprise, there was almost no traffic to speak of on the way to the warehouse. Once there, I found a parking spot pretty quickly. Once inside, I was shocked to see how few people, as compared to what I expected based on past experience, were in Costco shopping. Yeah, it was fairly busy but not any busier than any evening in say the middle of August or February. I picked up all the veggies she wanted with he exception of fingerling potatoes and settled for small red potatoes instead. We'll have butternut squash, corn on the cob and asparagus in that department - along with the potatoes. I also grabbed some mushrooms and will figure something yummy to do with them.  I got the obligatory, for almost every Costco trip, milk, eggs and yogurt too. Besides that and the needed batteries, paper towels, TP and tissues, about the only other thing we needed was meat.

The bride had wanted Prime Rib. I settled for a standing rack of beef ribs, bone in, choice cut since they did not have Prime Rib. I figure since the ribeye steaks they cut from this same piece are always excellent so too should be this rack of ribs. My darling told me to get enough for ten people. Do you think that 17.8 pounds is enough for ten? I hope so and considering we already have a large smoked ham too, I am guessing it may be just enough to sate their appetites with some bones left over for the dogs (if the dogs are lucky).

While driving home with the goods, I thought of how big was that rack of beef ribs and figured maybe I went overboard. If she who will be roasting the meat thinks it too big, perhaps I will whittle it down to about half that size and cut the remainder into steaks that we can have tomorrow after grilling them on the BBQ or we could do the same on Christmas Day. Yeah, I said the ribs and ham were for our family's Christmas dinner, but this year we will be having that on Saturday instead of actually on Christmas day this Thursday. If not that, then I will let the son, aka: the male inheritor to my firearms kingdom, smoke them on his smoker. Yummy.

I also have some goodies for appetizers like a whole smoked whitefish, a nice sized smoked sweet Italian sausage, and some various cheeses. Add to that some seafood (probably some shrimp, squid, baby octopus, scallops, clams) that I will pick up tomorrow. Yes I am one of those maniacs whom I just mentioned who shops on Christmas Eve. No need for booze though, I probably have enough ale and wine already. We should be all set except maybe for some McIntosh and Granny Smith Apples for one or two of my apple pies.

I'll have to feel a whole lot more motivated than I do right now to make one or two of those. Shopping today, regardless of the store being only fairly busy almost knocked me on my arse, it literally exhausted me. I've been under the weather the last two days - stomach virus or something that had me running to the throne a lot. I even missed work today. I was so worn out from it that I slept until about 2:30 this afternoon and now that I am back from Costco I am about ready for another good night's sleep and it's only 730PM. Five hours of being up and I am about as run down and as tired as I have ever been before. Hopefully though, I will have my strength and spirit back by tomorrow to get me in the apple shopping and pie making mood - one for actual Christmas and then again on Friday night for another one or two for the family dinner.

It sounds as if we may make it a truly merry Christmas this year. I have to say, it will be the most expensive meal we will have eaten in years, that beef rack of ribs was not cheap but the expense is not the important thing. How delicious it is for us, along with how well it is liked by our company will be what matters. In as much as we have it, we are blessed with bountiful gifts.With all the other food added, with the good company who will be there, and all the Christmas gifts - it certainly promises to be an excellent celebration of gift giving. After all isn't that what Christmas is all about - gift giving! It is to me not so much that it is the birthday of Christ that is important but that it is the day on which God the Father shared the gift of his son with mankind. Yes, Christmas is truly is all about gift giving - it has been that way from the very first one when God gave the first Christmas gift to us and when the wise-men reciprocated with their gifts to Jesus. That we too give gifts, to one another, is just as important because it is in the giving that we express our love and make our sacrifices to do so - and in the receiving of gifts we can rejoice in the bounty we have reaped by way of the love we have sown and the sacrifices we have made.

Here is hoping that all of you, who
celebrate, have a very Merry Christmas,
Glenn B