Sunday, January 28, 2007


It looks as if the Administration is finally getting serious about Iran, now that the Democrats have made sure that we can't really DO anything about them. Sigh. Anyone want to guess how peaceful the world would be now if that idiot Carter had given Khomeini a good hard whack on the peepee in 1979? For that matter, what would that area be like now had Carter sent a few B-52s loaded up with canisters of itching powder and stink bombs over the cities and then casually mentioned that next week it's nukes?

Still, talking about what we should have done then is like talking about what we should have done about Iraq during that two year plus "rush to war". We did nothing then, now we must deal with this clown Imadinnerjacket or however he spells his name.

So, what can we do about Iran? How about what they are doing to us? How about sending some of the Sneaky Pete troops, the SEALs, those Army guys in the Girl Scout Hats, a few Force Recon Marines in to blow up some of those oil pipelines that run Iran's economy, such as it is. Seems that Iran has a whole lot of valuable targets that would be very difficult to guard. Most of these targets would involve Iran's petroleum industry. Speaking of things that are vulnerable to explosives.

Back in 2003 I thought the whole purpose of going into Iraq was to get bases from which we could take the next two steps, Iran and Saudi Arabia, take your choice as to which would have been first. Little did I know that instead we would still be sitting around being targets, coming up on four years later.

Memo to the US Government. We already know that wars are uncomfortable to our guys. Fine. We can take that. The thing is, though, we are supposed to be making things MORE uncomfortable for the other guys. Someone please explain to me why we are allowing Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia to send clowns into Iraq to kill our guys when not one of these country's whole damned armys would fold to just the forces we have over there, without much in the way of reinforcements.

Our troops, their families and my grandchildren deserve a government that doesn't lose it's nerve after the fight starts.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Mystery Of The Dissolving Noodles

Payday came along and I bought everything I thought I needed to a huge pot of chicken noodle soup. I now know that I made a couple of mistakes but it was a learning experience.

I started with two pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breasts. I sprayed the bottom of my big pot with Pam and dropped them in and cooked them until they were done enough to cut up. I cut them up with Pugs at my feet, Eddie kept trying to climb Mount Peter to get to the chicken.

Back into the pot and then a "box" of chicken broth, it comes in quart boxes now. Who knew? That didn't look like enough so I added two cans of chicken broth. The Pugs were still tormenting me so I gave them each some "chicken ice cream". The last time I needed some chicken broth I didn't need all I had so I filled an ice cube tray with the leftovers. Then I put the yellow ice cubes in a freezer bad. One will keep a pug occupied for long enough to do much in the kitchen. Or other rooms for that matter. These broth cubes don't last but a couple of minutes for a German Shepherd, though. I miss George.

Since I like lots of vegetables in my soup I then added two pounds of frozen soup vegetables, Pictsweet if the brand matters. This turned out to be a mistake on my part as Linda Lou won't eat this soup because of the tomatoes. Even after I pulled all the tomatoes out and ate them in the first bowl. I think I'm going to be sick of chicken soup by the time this is done.

That was too many ingredients for the broth in the pot so I poured in enough water and turned the fire up. Then I added a half pound of egg noodles and a half pound of wacky mac, those egg noodles that look like coil springs and are odd colored because of the various vegetables in them. That looked like plenty of noodles so I turned the fire up until the stuff started boiling, turned it down to simmer and went and listened to Rush. The spices were simple, garlic powder, black pepper, white pepper some sage to remind me that I live in the Southwest and a couple of shakes of Oregano.
An hour or so later I ate the first bowl. Now I don't think those tomatoes hurt anything but Linda Lou is firm in her prejudices so refuses to try even a spoonful. It was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. I put the pot in the refrigerator and then reheated it for supper. Linda Lou had Hamburger Helper. What I noticed was that the second bowl had almost no noodles, though. They seem to have dissolved. I wonder what kind of secret ingredients they put in the noodles of canned soup, they last forever. A bit of concrete, maybe?

Oh well, the stuff still tastes noodley even if they are all part of the broth. Lessons learned? Use stew vegetables instead of soup vegetables. Half as much chicken, vegetables and other ingredients. Add the noodles at the last possible minute. Perhaps leave the noodles out and put them in as I reheat the soup.

I am going to be sick of chicken soup before this is gone.

Monday, January 22, 2007

So It Begins

The Democrats have been attacking the Pharmaceutical Corporations for some years now and they finally own both houses of Congress. Pfizer has cut some ten percent of it's employees, closing research facilities in Michigan, among other cutbacks.
I had a mild hope that I'd see a new drug or two to perhaps control my tremors so that I could feed myself a couple more years.

The Party that watches out for the little guy, right? I wonder how many little guys will live diminished lives so the Democrats can claim a victory over the evil corporations. Thanks, America. You showed those nasty Republicans.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Cold And Rainy

The temp is hovering just above freezing and it's nice and rainy. Today was our bimonthly Cowboy Action Shoot, canceled.At least I won't come in last today.

I'm trying my beef stew again today with a few suggestions from a recipe site I found. This time I have the same vegetables as last time but have a two and a half pound chuck roast in there. The chuck roast chunks are dissolving into tiny pieces. I found some recipe site on the 'net and one of the stew recipes called for a can of tomato soup, I put it in, good. Next time, though I'll put in a can or so of Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chili, instead. Other than that, the only difference is a little less flour and some spice variations. This time my hand fell on the Paprika so I poured a bunch of that in, in case a hungry Hungarian wanders up.

I am serving with cornbread muffins, again. This time with jalapenos in them. Note to self, a few less jalapenos next time. They are right tasty but give me a very warm feeling the next day. Speaking of hungry Hungarians, I should learn Goulash.

The major news of the last couple of days is the Duke La Cross "rape" case. Nifong has finally recused himself and it looks as if the State Attorney General has chosen another prosecutor with a documented history of prosecutional misconduct to look the case over and decide whether to drop it or to continue. I guess the honest lawyer is on vacation. It's a small state, they can't afford two honest lawyers in one department.

I do not understand Nifong and Gottlieb in this whole mess. Nifong a little, after all he had immunity from civil and criminal charges when acting as a prosecutor. I doubt though, that this immunity carries over to when he started acting as the lead investigator.

This case is not like what Gottlieb and Nifong seem to be well known for, sticking Duke students with extra big fines for underage drinking and suchlike. They should have known that these three families would retain competent counsel, with each of those kids facing multiple thirty year sentences. These families are out for blood.

The lawsuits are starting to come, they will be thicker than these Colorado blizzards we've been reading about. There are too many "little fish" with no immunity and not enough insurance to cover the coming judgements. These little fish, to protect their own families from destitution, will roll over on Nifong and Gottlieb. Not just in civil lawsuits, either. People like to forget that the civil rights of white boys are also protected. I can think of two or three federal felonies by Nifong and Gottlieb, three counts of each. Three counts of each on both of them. This will all come out during the civil suits.

Here is my question...If Nifong and Gottlieb were willing to try to railroad three well to do white kids into prison, who else have they already railroaded? Given the racial and economic makeup of that part of North Carolina, how many pour back guys are in prison while innocent?

Note, those who have not followed this case should Google "Durham In Wonderland" to learn far more than we ever wanted to know about dishonesty.

Friday, January 12, 2007

So, Now What?

We have seen the reaction of the Democrats now, the ones that insisted that we didn't have enough troops in Iraq. They are now totally against any more troops in Iraq. There is, of course, not a word on what will happen if (when?) we lose, as we shall lose if the Donks have their way.

We might look to exactly how the Christians in Bethlehem are doing as an example, not very well from what I've read. Seems as if the only Christians allowed to survive are those who trumpet the Pali's line against Israel. Of course at this rate there will soon be no Israel.

I got an E-mail the other day from an old fried, a lawyer who works for the US Government, in the Executive Branch. It was a series of really insulting anti-Bush bumper stickers. Regardless of the issue of loyalty up, something I had ingrained in me, what about the simple question of insulting me? Does it matter to him that over half of all American voters chose Mr. Bush? What on earth will he do when the Islamists win? What color Burqua will his wife wear? How long will it take him to learn to wear a turban?

I wonder what he'll say when America falls as did Constantinople? I suppose he'll file a lawsuit on the Muslim that is real close behind him. My understanding, though, is that the lawsuit will become moot as soon as he gets the bullet through the brain.

I believe that Bush and company have made many mistakes in this war, a war that was declared long before his administration began, but at least he is fighting it. I would have gone into Iran after Afghanistan. Or maybe Saudi Arabia. Be that as it may we are in Iraq with two choices, win or lose.

I am not sure what winning will look like, no way to guess what a real democratic republic will bring. I do know what losing will look like, I saw it before, the last time the Donks took both houses during a war. I saw the boat people, I read about the two million dead Cambodians. Friends who stayed in the Service told me about not having ammunition for practice. Forgive me for not having a whole lot of confidence in soldiers that can't shoot. Nor in Zoomies that can't hardly hit anything with a bomb. Navy ships sat alongside the piers for lack of fuel.

This is what is coming.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Waiting For Dubya

It is two hours before Dubya gives his speech, the one that pretty much marks his last chance to get the war right. While I do not, by any means, think that this war has been run perfectly, I notice that, unlike my war, the Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen still believe. The units engaged in this fight report reenlistments at almost 150 percent of the goals. The young men and women who have no intention of going career are extending their enlistments to go over with their buddies. This did not happen this way in the Southeast Asian War Games.

I do wonder what the high rate of reenlistment will do the the Services, long term. War is hard on the knees and back, even without any extra holes in the body, and every year the soldier carries a heavier load. With every extra man and woman who reenlists there is one less spot for a recruit to fill. It will also slow down the promotions for the first hitch types. Oh well, let the smart people worry about that.

I worry that the Democrats are going to force us into quitting while the Soldiers still believe. Aside from believing that this enemy will follow us home, not that some aren't already here, I recall my war. Now it got started under a Democrat, while this one seems to have started under a Republican. Of course most of us have forgotten about the 1998 act where Congress declared, and Clinton signed that regime change in Iraq is America's policy. Poor Dubya. Like I was in 1964 he is dumb enough to believe a Democrat. Unlike Dubya, I at least have not believed one since. Does no one in America remember that the Democrats overwhelmingly voted for this war? What is it about them that makes them commit troops and then when we've invested our lives and our allies have bet their own lives, and their family's lives, makes them want to run out?

How many Iraqis will be slaughtered if we leave? What about the next theater in this war, will one single person trust the word of America if we leave and the slaughter begins? These questions are important. There is a pretty fair percentage of the world's ane and a half BILLION Muslims that want to kill my grandchildren. I suspect that the percentage is well over ten percent. I further believe that the percentage is highest among military aged Muslims. Their schools teach them to hate us, our teach tolerance. Yep. That'll work.

Oh well, I'll listen to Dubya, I have no great hope. For too many the tens of millions of Muslims that want to kill my grandchildren are not the problem. The problem is Dubya and the rest of us evil theocrats.

Fazul Abdullah Mohammad, Rest In Pieces

The Sec Op flyboys got the feller that masterminded the '98 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. I hope that I will be forgiven for hoping that it was a painful, slow death.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Flying Hammer Of Thor

I wonder what Mogadishu and the "Blackhawk Down" incident would have looked like had the Clinton Administration sent the C-130 gunships to Somalia as the ground commanders requested. I suspect that the alQ types would not have decided we were such an easy mark. Of course I also suspect that the Euros and the Lefties would had been crying tears the size of horse droppings over the awful slaughter of the poor innocent little Somalis.

Well, the clock got turned back a notch and finally Spectre, the C-130 gunship has sung her song over Somalia. I never saw the Spectre at work, I did see her daddy, the AC-47 work. There were several different names for that bird, Puff the Magic Dragon, Snoopy and Spooky, it all depended on where one served in the Southeast Asian War Games. When the Little People were trying to get through the wire if we could hear those old radial engines throttle back to loiter we knew nobody whole would get through. We also knew to try to get our whole bodies into those helmets because bullets bounce. Up close it sounded like God unzipping His coveralls. Pretty much if we were close enough to hear all we saw was the inside of a hole or bunker, if we were far enough away we'd see a red line from the sky and a million ricochetes.

I don't know what Spectre carries now, she came along as I was leaving but back then she carried a minigun, an electricly driven 7.62 Gatling Gun, a 40 mm rapid fire gun mount, if memory serves that was simply the dual Bofors AntiAircraft gun pointed down instead of up and a 105mm howitzer. The A/C picks which gun to use depending on the target, the range and the expectation of ground fire. As most of us know, the longer the range the bigger the bullet. I would suspect that they flew over shooting the 105 at anything looking like an AA position, dropped down a bit for the smaller gun and then hosed everything down with the minigun. This is not based on anything but instinct, I do not believe an A/C would put his crew in any more danger than absolutely neccessary.

I read where there were a few "high value" targets down on the ground and we have to wait until ground troops identify the bodies. Good luck with that. It's one thing to look at a body that has been hit by one bullet, a 40mm shell going off right next to that body is a little more problemactic, to say nothing of a 105. Or twenty+ 7.62s. We may never know who all was killed. I do know it wasn't enough.

Update: I just read that the AC-130 is armed with a 20mm Gatling Gun instead of the 7.63mm Nato round. Those rounds are like three quarters of an inch accross. That's a slug that makes a big hole, even if it's not explosive or incindiary.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Clan

Some months back we had three out of the four kids in one place, complete with spouses, or should that be spice, and seven of the eight grandkids. A professional picture was taken of the mob, it somehow took this long to scan it into the computer.

As you can plainly see, we seem to have run long on boys, three out of the four kids were boys, seven out of eight grandkids (so far) are boys. I am pleased we don't do dowry in America. I'd open a vein.

Linda Lou was brave enough to go to Chuck E Cheese for the mob o' kids bash for William's birthday. I stayed home to watch the dogs, well, that was my excuse. I missed Michael and Jennifer up from San Antone but I reckon it's worth it to skip that place.

Birdseed Thieves and Marie Callender Pies and Cobblers

Retired people must have hobbies. In addition to shooting I have started a birdseed collection. Trouble is if I try to keep my birdseed collection in the house we get those little tiny field mice and Linda Lou threatens me with dire consequences. So I got this little plastic silo that we hang in the wild plum tree in the front yard.

Now the tree is full of flying birdseed thieves and the odd squirrel. Naturally it annoys me to see my precious birdseed collection being stolen, this time of year it is the Cardinals and Blue Jays, plus every little brown bird that I can't identify. Linda Lou won't let me shoot them so my little tree is always full of red and blue birds flashing around like rubies and sapphires. I tried taking a couple of mugshots, just in case they come to your neighborhood, I don't know how well they came out, click to see.

In other news, Mrs. Who of the not famous enough House of Zathras is mad at me because I wrote of Blackberry Cobbler yesterday, when it isn't blackberry season. It seems she hasn't canned enough blackberries to make a cobbler. Well, since even wives who have never met stick together and I don't want Linda Lou to punish me, here is the trick...Marie Callender frozen cobblers. Buy 'em at Wally World. These cobblers, and her frozen pies, are the best store-bought pies and cobblers I've ever eaten. And, of course, they are never out of season.

The Marie Callender frozen pot pies are good, too.I eat them a couple of times a week, for breakfast. Linda Lou has back trouble and when her back is kicking up she sleeps on the couch. When I wake up before she does I eat the pot pies for breakfast because I can fix 'em quietly, without waking her. They come in two sizes, ten ounce, for those on a diet, and sixteen ounces, for those of us that don't care if we ever see our feet again. If your only experience with pot pies are those teeny ones from Swanson, try one of these. Their new Cheesy Chicken is out of this world.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Navy Bean Soup Is Perfected

I've always loved Navy Bean Soup, I had never learned to cook it. Last month I made my first attempt. I learned then to never try making it with cheap bacon.

I tried again, finished it yesterday, it's perfect. This one is for Blogfather Harvey.

I put two pounds of navy beans on to soak overnight and slept the sleep of the just. In the morning I poured it all into the colander, washed and dried the bean pot. While the bean pot was drying I cut up a pound of good bacon, about one inch chunks is fine. I then sprayed the bottom of the pot with Pam, put the fire on, a medium heat is fine and dropped in the bacon.

While the bacon was cooking I cut up two medium yellow onions. After the bacon was almost done I drained the bacon grease. Note: don't cook the bacon all the way, just almost all. We want a little bit of fat left, for some reason the soup needs it. Not a lot, a little.

If there is leftover ham or pork chops, that sort of thing, it works just as well as bacon. Once the bacon is drained drop in the onion, beans and water. Fancy places like restaurants and naval vessels always have other vegetables in the soup, carrots, celery, etc. Hmm, there's a big ol' baking potato left over, cut it up and throw it in. What other veggies? Oooh, look there in the freezer, it's a bag of stew vegetables. In it goes.

Since we can't have soup without spices, let's finish up. Garlic? Sure, all I have is garlic powder. Pour it in. Put it in until you are sure there is too much, now add some more. Three or four bay leafs (leaves?), a few shakes of ground sage, a batch of orango and a little bit of thyme. Now some salt, some pepper and some white pepper. Hmm, a little more garlic.

One of my earliest memories is from before we had television where we lived, my mother loved listening to the Tennessee Ernie Ford show on the radio. One of his sponsors was Martha White's Gladiola Brand Cornbread Mix. Make this bean soup, serve with cornbread muffins and you too can say "Goodness gracious, it's pea pickin' good!" Tennessee Ernie was like two hundred years old when he died, he still died too young. The last time we went through Tennessee we stopped at the Grand Ol' Opry and one of the CDs we bought was a twenty-song one by him. If the only song you ever heard of his is Sixteen Tons you would be surprised to learn just how much of his stuff was Rockabilly. And just how racy some of it was. Baby boomers like to act like our parent's generation was so straitlaced. Forgetting, of course, that there were so damned many of us. Judging from our behavior I don't think very many of us were virgin births.

Oh, anyway, serve with cornbread. Oh, and add just a little more garlic. And put some Tennessee Ernie on. Desert should be blackberry pie or cobbler. And listen to Blackberry Boogie.

Note: It doesn't matter how cold it gets at night, don't try to sleep with your head under the covers.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I wish I had a better understanding of the terrain on the border of Iraq and Iran, I simply cannot understand why we allow weapons, money and bad guys to flow across that border. It's been over thirty-five years since I wore Uncle's suit but I still recall how to set up an L shaped ambush. I didn't have to have a funny hat, neither. Any Infantryman could do it then, why aren't we doing it now?

When we were having that two year long rush to war I looked at the map in my World Almanac and thought then that Iraq was just a step, a staging area much like Sicily in WW2. We already had troops and air bases in Afghanistan, Turkey and, I believe Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, as well as Saudi Arabia. The Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf were each American lakes, owned by the US Navy.

So, we gone in, knock off Sodomy Hussein, then retreat to a few bases, and the oil fields, let the Shiites and the Sunnis kill each other while we protect the Kurds and go on to the next step, putting the fear of God and George W. Bush into Iran and Saudi Arabia.

There is not a square inch of either of those places that our fighter bombers can't reach, as a matter of fact our helicopter gunships can get fairly deep into each. I seem to remember, back in the day, that our Zoomies and Rotorheads used to love to see stuff blow up. I would hope that hasn't changed although with the PCification of the military I am not so sure. Have the Weapons Officers in the back seats of those jets all been replaced by JAG Lawyers yet? Or is that next?

I do not understand why there is one brick standing on another through Iran. I do not know why Halliburton doesn't have the contract to rebuild. I blame the Democrats.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Look out! It's Eddie. Everyone must watch out for Big Ed. He doesn't really understand that he's no bigger than a minute, he just knows that he is descended from wolves.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

William Is Four

We had a small gathering Sunday, just the grandparents and William's parents, and, of course, William's little brother, Josiah. Next weekend is the big party, at Chuck E Cheese, I shall be too ill to show up there, actually I have permission to skip it, that many kids would be bound to give me another stroke.

From the top, that is William and his parents, Dean and Stephanie, next is Gramps and Josiah, the next two are William, his dad and one with Pele, their mess dog. That was my New Years Eve, whoopie!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Oddball Stew

I am teaching myself to cook new things, nothing fancy, just things I have never learned to cook before. I have never really learned to cook beef stew, having always been a pot roast sort of feller. A while back though, I was at Wally World just after they had put "yesterdays" meat out, marked down and there was some really pretty looking stew meat. So I bought it and pitched it in the freezer, along with a couple bags of stew vegetables, a couple of extra potatoes and some onions, the stew veggies never have enough potato and onion.

There was also the little envelope of stew spices, probably McCormick. In reading the directions I discovered that we are supposed to put some flour in the water, that is why our pot roasts were never like Momma made, I reckon.

So I poured a little oil into the big pot and started browning the beef, added the water and then some flour, too much it turned out, so I added more water until it was still too thick but manageable,cooked it for a while, then it was time for the veggies. Trouble is, I had added so much water that the right amount of veggies made it a soup, not a stew, no problem, I added more veggies.

So I ate it until the beef was gone and I still had a lot of juice and veggies left. I was wondering what to do and then I dropped into the little "supermarket" nearest my little house, a Brookshires in Quinlan. Linda Lou wanted the Sunday paper and I wanted a can of black eyed peas to eat for good luck, it was just after they closed the deli and so they had a bunch of stuff marked down including about a foot and a half or so of smoked sausage. Did I mention that marked down tastes better? Next month sometime the brand new WalMart is opening, no more driving twenty-six miles, one way, just to go shopping! Bet the prices come down at the Brookshires, too. Ooh! And the first race of the NASCAR season! Woot!

So I cut up the sausage and dropped it in the stuff in the stew pot. I boiled the whole mess for a little bit and now I have another couple of days rations.

Of course, the real trouble is that with just the two of us anything we cook it too much for us, so we eat it until we are just tired of it and then the dogs get it. We have fat dogs. So anyway, here is a new recipe, beef stew with all the beef gone and a batch of smoked sausage toss in. I shall call it oddball stew. It tastes pretty good.