I Have Been Tagged

I have been tagged by one of these chain online things, and I am supposed to do a number of things, including posting rules and what not.

I am tired of rules, and it is Thanksgiving, so if you want the rules you can follow the link to the person who tagged me and read them there. Now I am supposed to write six random things about myself.

1.) I secretly love the Cars and Van Halen. And not Van Hagar, I mean the real deal- Van Halen with David Lee Roth. Mean Street.

2.) I think corned beef and cabbage is one of the greatest meals ever. I could also eat stuffed cabbages any time of the year. And sauerkraut. Mmmm.

3.) I hate traveling. And not in the way that I just dislike it and am exaggerating and saying I hate it. I honest to goodness hate it. I always have fun once I get some place, and I enjoy seeing new things and meeting different people, but after two to three days anywhere, I am ready to go back home. I like my cat. I like quiet. I like my routine. I like being left alone.

4.) I can not watch horror movies of any kind anymore. They make my feet sweat and I have nightmares for weeks. I used to be able to watch war movies, and in fact loved war movies and novels about war (The Killer Angels is still one of the best books I have ever read), but now I get really troubled by violence. It just upsets me too much to watch these kids get blown up. Even Band of Brothers is bordering on too graphic for me, these days. I don’t know what happened, but I really can not handle it anymore.

5.) Baseball is just dead to me. It was not too long ago that I thought the perfect summer evening was sitting at home, watching a game or two, and reading, but now I am never on a baseball stationg for more than the time it takes to flip through. I am not sure if it is the 16 years of consecutive losing Pirates seasons that has done this to me, but I really can’t stand the game anymore. Plus, and this goes with what we were talking about yesterday, it just seems like baseball announcers are getting worse and worse. On the other hand, I do like listening to the Pirate announcers on the radio. I think Lanny Frattare is always entertaining and he has a really interesting voice.

6.) I don’t think most people really appreciate how important good salt and good pepper are for cooking. I watch people go through all sorts of elaborate rituals with their cooking, using expensive ingredients and arcane procedures to cook their “gourmet” meal, and then I watch them use Morton’s table salt and/or McCormick’s pure ground pepper (which is really only good for sneezing) and wonder what the hell they are thinking. Good salt and pepper really make a profound difference in how your food can taste, and you will end up using less salt. Same with cuts of meat. There is a reason marinades take up half an aisle in the grocery store anymore- you all are buying really shitty cuts of meat and have to hide the taste of what you are supposed to be eating with an over-bearing marinade. If your beef would not taste good with only a little pat of butter and some salt, and not even that, you are eating a shitty product. Having said all that, there are still some rare occasions when I just love slathering a ton of A1 on a piece of beef and calling it dinner.

If there were a number seven, it would be that I think TBOGG has the best titles to posts in the blogosphere. “Scenes from a Maul” ranks as one of the great ones, although today’s “Tripto Fans” is pretty awesome. At any rate, I am supposed to tag six people. I will start with Michael and Tim, here. That is two. Then, Kevin at RumpRoast and Cleek and Incertus. Finally, JenJen, who is job-hunting and could use your help.

You also can play along in the comments, I guess.






113 replies
  1. 1

    I got hit with that a few weeks ago.

    Hey, the Pirates signed a couple of Indian (the sub-continent) javelin throwers. Things could be looking up!

  2. 2
    KCinDC says:

    I absolutely agree with you about pepper, but salt is salt, for most purposes. Certainly if it’s going into anything with liquid, it’s going to dissolve, and you won’t know whether it was flaky or coarse or fresh-ground or sitting around for years. It’s a mineral. There are no essential oils to worry about losing. The salt grinder is one of the silliest ways to part people from their money I’ve seen.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    I will have to watch for that. I know my mom used to differentiate between iodized and non iodized salt, but that was more about getting iodine in the diet.

    That said, I have noticed that fresh ground pepper makes a big difference.

  4. 4
    DFD says:

    I have found it best to stock up on corned beef after St. Paddy’s when the stores slash the prices. You can then keep them in the freezer till needed.

  5. 5
    smiley says:

    Baseball is just dead to me.

    I’m with you there. I still like going to games though. I just don’t pay too much attention to the game. BTW, Forbes Field was the first major league park I ever visited. Pirates v. Dodgers. Don Drysdale was on the mound for LA.

  6. 6
    gex says:

    I’m with you on #4. I’m not sure why it is, but I think it is because as I’ve aged, I’ve come to find the world to be vicious and violent enough that I don’t really find violence entertaining.

  7. 7
    gex says:

    Also, I believe baseball is meant to be consumed via radio, not television. The pacing is such that it is good to have on while you are doing something else.

  8. 8
    HyperIon says:

    I agree with you on #4 and #5.

    I cannot watch much violence on TV/video anymore. It makes me incredibly anxious.

    And I was a dedicated BB fan until about 5 years ago. Due in part to Mariner suckitude. But also because players never stay long enough with a team to be the focus of fan interest. And the game has started to resemble a circus act. Flashing scoreboards, loud rock music, spoiled players who do NOT even know the fundamentals of the game. If only there were more players like Ichiro and Moyer…

  9. 9
    that colored fella says:

    Baseball is not dead to me – and this coming from a long suffering Chicago Cubs fan. Funny you cite bad announcers too, because the Cubs have two of the best in the business, Len Kasper and Bob Bremly (World Series manager of the D-backs). I learn so much ‘inside baseball’ from them.

  10. 10
    Jeff says:

    Baseball on the radio is the only way I can sit through a game.

  11. 11
    Punchy says:

    Comments:

    I think corned beef and cabbage is one of the greatest meals ever. I could also eat stuffed cabbages any time of the year. And sauerkraut. Mmmm.

    /wipes vomit out of mouth

    I can not watch horror movies of any kind anymore.

    Curious if you mean "horror" or more accurately, "gore". I dont mind horror so much, but I was dragged to "Hostel" in the theater and I very nearly punched the fucker who talked me into it. Like "Saw I, II, III, etc"….how the fuck does someone enjoy body parts being sawed off, sliced up, blowtorched eyeballs, etc? The Hill Have Eyes? I thought the premise was cool, but someone told me it was gory as shit. SOOOO glad I did not see this movie.

  12. 12
    teak111 says:

    1. sleep in the nude
    2. I’m an amateur drummer and love it.
    3. used to swim in the ocean a lot, but since the shark attack, I’m scared when I’m out there and its not fun
    4. i drink too much and probably should do AA but my life is still managable
    5. still suck my thumb, and now my kids do too
    6. i read blogs to distract me from my boring job and feel guilty about it
    possible 7. I’m hot for a girl who is not my wife and its sneaky fun, but I hope nothing happens

  13. 13
    Joshua Norton says:

    I hate traveling. And not in the way that I just dislike it and am exaggerating and saying I hate it. I honest to goodness hate it. I always have fun once I get some place, and I enjoy seeing new things and meeting different people, but after two to three days anywhere, I am ready to go back home. I like my cat. I like quiet. I like my routine. I like being left alone.

    OMG – It’s like I wrote that for myself. Except for the cat part. But if I had one, I’d like it.

    The thought of travel now-a-days sends me into the fetal position. Airports and overcrowded jets are now officially one of the circles of hell AFAIC.

  14. 14
    Morgan says:

    Your point in #6 about beef is only true if you’re talking about steak, and really that’s more about tenderness than flavor. Some of the tougher cuts of beef are also some of the tastiest, but you have to know how to cook them.

    Short ribs, for example, would be inedible if you tried to sear them in a pan and slather them with A1, but braise them for a couple hours with decent wine and some stock and they’re f’ing delicious.

  15. 15
    ninerdave says:

    This is epic win

    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....all-right/

    Cole is correct about Salt and Pepper. REAL Salt and pepper. Not mortons.

    And Cole why do you secretly love the Cars and VH? (Van Hagar is a separate band that is to be completely ignored). They are two of the best bands every. Don’t be ashamed.

  16. 16
    taylormattd says:

    You should have just broken the chain.

  17. 17
    Jeremy says:

    Maldon Sea Salt. Try it – fabulous stuff. Slate thinks so too.

    Buy it here.

  18. 18
    Quaz says:

    What kind of salt and pepper do you use?

  19. 19
    Punchy says:

    because the Cubs have had two of the best in the business, Len Kasper and Bob Bremly Steve Stone and Haray/Skip Caray

    Fixed for a slightly older generation of die-hard Cubs fans.

  20. 20
    Crusty Dem says:

    Punchy, you should’ve heard Jack Brickhouse. He was great..

  21. 21
    Face says:

    Van Hagar is a separate band that is to be completely ignored

    5150 and OU812 were pure genius. Sammy carried that band, and kept Eddie safe from his eventual train wreck by at least an extra 10 years.

    Go see a Dave-led VH concert nowadays. It’s so bad, you’ll simply never think of them the same way. Actually, you’d be better off not going.

  22. 22
    John Cole says:

    @Face: I have no problem with the later Van Hagar, but I like old Van Halen better.

  23. 23
    passerby says:

    Re: #4 Violence in the movies.

    I too used to enjoy war movies. I’ve seen all of the Vietnam and many of WWII.

    Recently, I sent back Sin city and Shootout after only 10 or 15 minutes of viewing and gave them a rating of one star. Cinematic wasteland to me. I used to like dark and gritty, but no mas, too upsetting.

    Lately I’ve taken to watching the old classics: How to Murder Your Wife with Jack Lemmon, and The Thing, the original, which was truly well done with a great script and sets, no gore, and it had a token female as a "love interest" who didn’t run around screaming and fainting like an idiot child.

    And my favorite classic comedy of all time, Teacher’s Pet with a very sveldt, befreckled Doris Day, Clark Gable and wonderful Gig Young. [The Bongo Club scene is my favorite. Gables’ on screen floozy girlfriend contrasted with the sophisticated and erudite Day. “The Girl Who Invented Rock and Roll” hilarious.]

    Pure delight.

    …and sometimes I’ll buy a cheap and flavorless steak and either marinate it with Allegro (outstanding) or drown it with Heinz 57.

  24. 24
    Chinn Romney says:

    1. I’m a decent guitarist and coming along in the vocal department, but I still enjoy playing Air Guitar as the 5th member of The Who.

    2. I hate bathing suits and swim naked every chance I can get away with it. And sometimes when I can’t.

    3. I love margaritas. I make my own and have only had one decent restaurant one in my life, at a Tex-Mex place in Old Town Alexandria (SW Austin Cafe? Something like that) on a business trip. However they changed the way the make them, so even they’re out now. Cointreau, 100% Agave, Lime/Lemon Juice fresh squeezed. Salt, Ice. That’s all folks. And I now why restaurants suck at them, a good one is very strong, and small, so the customers complain. Bigger is not better, dumb gringos.

    4. I think BJ has the best commentators of any blog out there.

    5. However, the Steelers suck. They really, really suck. It’s impossible to overstate the suckage factor, it’s HUGE.

    6. And finally, I predict Cole will get bored of San Diego and move back East within 1 year after he gets out there.

  25. 25
    Original Lee says:

    1. I never used to like green salads, but now that there are so many varieties of the "baby" greens available, and fairly fresh, too, I find that I enjoy eating salads, especially if there is baby spinach in them.

    2. I find it increasingly difficult to attend a baseball game in person any more. The ballparks have apparently decided that they need to entertain us with more and more stuff in between pitches, batters, and innings, and the music is SO LOUD that I frequently end up with a headache by the 7th inning stretch. So I now either watch the game on TV with the sound off and the radio on, or I read about it in the paper the next day, which is also becoming something I find difficult to do anymore, due to the inability of many sportswriters to complete thoughts, sentences, or paragraphs in any coherent way.

    3. I have finally figured out how to get multiple cups of tea from one teabag in a small teapot, so that when I’m home, I can drink tea all day.

    4. I miss the Sears, Roebuck catalog of yesteryear. I used to spend days leafing through the toy section, and then later the housewares and tools sections. You can’t really do that online very well.

    5. I didn’t discover Cabela’s until about a year ago, and now I prefer many of its products to L.L. Bean’s.

    6. I hate that most of what my car needs to have done to it needs to be done by a mechanic in a car repair facility, instead of by me in my driveway.

  26. 26
    ninerdave says:

    @Face:

    5150 and OU812 were pure genius. Sammy carried that band, and kept Eddie safe from his eventual train wreck by at least an extra 10 years.

    Well we’ll agree to disagree, but IMHO there’s no comparison between Fair Warning and anything post Dave.

    Go see a Dave-led VH concert nowadays. It’s so bad, you’ll simply never think of them the same way. Actually, you’d be better off not going.

    Hell no, I saw them in 1984, and that is my memory of real Van Halen.

  27. 27
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @KCinDC:

    Kosher salt and ‘table salt’ actually do taste different. ‘Table salt’ has iodine in it.

  28. 28

    are you familiar with this?

    it goes against what most of us have had drilled into us as far as cooking steaks but she’s got the chemistry explanation laid out and full instructions.

    i tried it and, wow, what a steak i had for dinner that night!

  29. 29
    C says:

    @taylormattd: "You should have just broken the chain."

    Yeah, all love to Balloon Juice but these things are obnoxious and I’m surprised to see them moving from the email ignorant to myspace ignorant to blogs I actually read.

  30. 30
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Yeah, all love to Balloon Juice but these things are obnoxious and I’m surprised to see them moving from the email ignorant to myspace ignorant to blogs I actually read.

    Agreed. There went six really insightful blog posts in one swoop of fail.

  31. 31
    CT says:

    Baseball, especially playoff baseball, is unwatchable. It has nothing to do with the announcers-its just fricking boring waiting 1-2 minutes per pitch. Even the most trivial, non-eventful at-bat takes several minutes to get to the climax of some guy tapping a grounder to second. Its tedious in the extreme, never mind the fact that the last few innings are after midnight in my time zone. Knowing that I’m not going to watch the end of the game, I don’t even start watching.

    If I’m in my car, though, I’ll flip on the radio and catch Jon Miller broadcasting-he could broadcast a traffic jam and make it interesting.

    Van Halen: Awesome, Van Hagar: Meh, The Cars: hand me that icepick please, so I don’t have to listen to that drivel ever again.

  32. 32
    Geeno says:

    1. I enjoyed Van Hagar, but Van Halen was clearly superior. It would have been interesting to see what would have come about if they HAD gotten Patti Smyth – they asked her before Hagar, but she was getting into her wee ones and said "no".
    2. I can’t stand cabbage in any form. I reject Cabbage and all its ways.
    3. Fresh Pepper is THE best and most versatile spice in the universe. You can do without so much cooking nonsense – expensive spices, complicated preparations, etc – if you just have good, fresh pepper.
    4. It is physically impossible to introduce "too much" garlic in to any food stuff. Garlic cloves sauteed in garlic sauce with shaved garlic on top is not "too much" garlic.
    5. I drink too much, but like teak111 not enough to interfere with the rest of my horrifically mundane existance.
    6. In spite of 3 & 4 above, I AM guilty of occasionally low-balling my meat for a meal requiring store baought marinade. Fortunately our local grocery, Wegman’s, has a very good quality store brand.
    7. I can no longer watch war movies. Saving Private Ryan was the last one I saw. It was the end all of war movies for me.

    I could actually go on, but 7 appears to be the requisite number.

  33. 33
    Dracula says:

    What’s with all the naked people on this blog?

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Geeno says:

    @karen marie:
    OMG Karen Marie – that’s great! I am so doing that this weekend.

  36. 36
    Face says:

    OT, but worth it.

    Probably NSFW.

  37. 37
    Hugh says:

    I also cannot watch violence anymore. I used to be able to. Now I can’t even watch nature shows where animals are killed. Interesting to note that others have the same experience. I am 47. How old are the others who can no longer watch violence? Is this age-related? Perhaps after 9/11 there is a trauma response many are experiencing… Interesting. Any other hypotheses? Sounds like a study in the making I think.

  38. 38
    Geeno says:

    Hugh, I’m 48. I saw Saving Private Ryan in the theatre when it came out. After that, other war movies seemed false, and I still cant bear to watch Pvt Ryan again. I AM more sensitive to gore in movies now, but still like the "horror" type gore flicks. There’s a certain unreality to the plot that makes them acceptible to my mind.
    You’re right though, that would be an interesting study.

  39. 39
    Dracula says:

    I find it increasingly difficult to attend a baseball game in person any more. The ballparks have apparently decided that they need to entertain us with more and more stuff in between pitches, batters, and innings, and the music is SO LOUD that I frequently end up with a headache by the 7th inning stretch. So I now either watch the game on TV with the sound off and the radio on, or I read about it in the paper the next day, which is also becoming something I find difficult to do anymore, due to the inability of many sportswriters to complete thoughts, sentences, or paragraphs in any coherent way.

    Do you peepulz realize how this reads? I hate going! I hate music! I hate sportscasters! Damn my newspaper beat writers! Grrrr! Grumpy grumpy mumble mumble mumble Geritol! GET OFFA MAH LAWNZ!

    It’s like this blog was suddenly taken over by old naked miserly curmudegons, out of bran and unable to operate the cellz fone.

  40. 40
    Hugh says:

    Geeno, I had a very strong reaction to seeing Saving Private Ryan. I felt ill for hours.

  41. 41
    Incertus says:

    All right–my answers are up, for what they’re worth.

  42. 42
    gex says:

    @Punchy: Torture porn is a more accurate description of the movies you list. They have no relationship to actual (good) horror films.

  43. 43
    jenniebee says:

    1. I have approximately twenty unopened sock kits hanging around my apartment. I joined this "sock of the month club" thing (my husband thought that was a joke when I told him about it) and they started sending the kits (which is when he was awakened to the harrowing reality of it all) and I started knitting one pair (and that’s when it occurred to him that they weren’t actually socks, they were socks that hadn’t been knit yet, which are not actually socks at all, which is when he went off the deep end) and never finished. But I couldn’t figure out how to cancel the subscription for ages (insert aneurysm "A" into husband’s brain slot "B"), so now I have all these unopened sock kits that I really will make, eventually.

    2. I like my hair color better now that there’s some grey in it. It’s shiny, like those icicles you put on Christmas trees, and there’s this one clump of solid grey (like the icicles…) right in front. It’s sparkley and much more interesting than my younger dull deep brown.

    3. I can listen to one song on an endless loop for literally hours without tiring of it. If the playlist is three songs, I can’t deal with it repeating even once.

    4. In a very "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe?" kind of way, my husband and I have given names to three children that we can’t conceive. Their names are John Danger, Atticus Sparticus and Isabeau Alaenor. We suspect that said potential children are refusing to be born to us out of fear/wisdom.

    5. When I have trouble sleeping, I use Ken Burns The Civil War as background noise to help me drop off. The sounds of the cannons and David McCullough are very soothing to me. I found out a few years ago that my father and brother both do the exact same thing.

    6. I’m really a very mild-mannered, defensive, polite and considerate driver. No, seriously, I really am. Then one day, my husband decided to teach me to drive his father’s F150 on the highway. Within 10 miles on I64, I actually said "oh, cut me off, will you? we’ll see about that!" and downshifted. My husband told me to pull over, and when I asked him why he said it was so he could check the truck for burst pods.

  44. 44
    srv says:

    If your beef would not taste good with only a little pat of butter and some salt, and not even that, you are eating a shitty product.

    John, if you can afford Hola Fruta, you can afford Idaho Grass Fed Beef.

  45. 45
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole: Yeah, yer right of course. But those damn chain tag things are for D-listers looking for an opportunity to talk about themselves even more than they already do. You don’t need that crutch.

  46. 46
    Geeno says:

    I could do this all day!
    1. I like ABBA now, but hated them in the 70’s. I think it’s because they conjure a time and memories now.
    2. I have 1000’s of drawings everyone tells me are are great, better than crap they’ve seen selling for money, but I can’t even summon the nerve to post them anonymously on the web.
    3. I can’t listen to Grand Funk Railroad with out having the aroma of pot enter my mind so vividly I think it’s actually there.
    4. I watched Jimmy Carter’s "Malaise" speach live in ’79 and thought it was spot on. That’s when I realized all the other "hippies" I hung out with were turning republican.
    5. Re: those other hippies. We all got together every week and crowded into my family’s small TV room to watch "Evening at Symphony". Then we’d break out the weed. As "Pieman" – a guy with long red hair, beird, and leather jacket – coated in grease from working on his bike- said, "Seiji Ozawa rocks".
    6. Jim McKay is the voice of the Olympics. For good or for ill, that’s all there is to it.

  47. 47
    Geeno says:

    Should I be embarassed by the juxtaposition of JSFH’s "D-listers" comment and my last post?

    I’m going with "naaaaah"

  48. 48
    Common Sense says:

    I think it is very sad that you have one of the most, if not THE most, beautiful stadiums in the league and have such an awful team.

    I enjoy baseball more than any other live game. I love going to games on a whim with 20 bucks in my pocket. I like being able to move down to the first row after the third inning or so and getting a spectacular view. I like being able to read or surf the net/TV while a game is on, simply checking back every few minutes to check on the situation. I really dig the recent international explosion and trends like the World Baseball Classic.

    The thing is, I used to be a football guy. Then the NFL robbed me of my team. Fuck the NFL for their $150 tickets after a $1,000 "PSL fee." For randomly halting the game for TV timeouts. For forcing every midmarket city in the country to build godawful 1970’s multipurpose sports facilities that utterly rob baseball of one of it’s biggest charms — stadiums that we have only recently jettisoned. For the ghastly introduction of Instant Replay, wherein we get to be told that what we just saw happen, didn’t in fact happen. When is the last time you saw a Home Run be called back? 20 years at least, and George Brett was none too pleased IIRC.

    If I want football, I go college. The Bowl system is obviously a joke, but let’s face it, so is pretending that one game in January is definitive proof of which team was better that year.

    Basketball is a circus sideshow. The games are an absolute nightmare to attend.

  49. 49
    Geeno says:

    If you want to watch sports, go to minor league games. Great deal for your sports dollar.

  50. 50
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Anyone, anywhere, who puts even one drop of A1 shit sauce on even a mediocre piece of beef should be slapped and slapped hard.

    Why not just cook Steak-umms.

    I have nearly removed garlic from my cooking. I much more prefer white onion, good salt and pepper and fresh spices.

    Oh, and I have a two-pound Humboldt Grass Fed tri-tip ready for the smoker/Weber for Thanksgiving. It’ll be lightly dry-rubbed with a special spicy rub, and it’ll be topped with sauteed and grilled onion.

    As I’ve gotten older I much more prefer baseball on the radio to anything other than European Soccer on TV. The NFL is nearly unwatchable because of constant and irritating interruptions from advertisers. College football isn’t so bad, but the games are still marathon-long.

    As for the violence, I can’t watch boxing or MMA anymore because it’s gratuitous, but I still enjoy BoB and SPR immensely.

  51. 51
    Geeno says:

    @HumboldtBlue:
    You cut me to the quick. Garlic is an absolute good. At its margins lies the gulf.

  52. 52
    gex says:

    @Hugh: I believe it to be PTSD from the Bush administration.

  53. 53
    Geeno says:

    I DO have admit, not all meats were made for garlic.
    Beef for one. Garlic on the sides, but not the Beef itself.
    Poultry was MADE for garlic. Lamb too.

  54. 54
    HumboldtBlue says:

    @Geeno:

    I hear ya Geeno, but I got garlicked out, too much food network. I still use it, just as you say, with poultry and also in my soups.

  55. 55
    Bari says:

    Hmmm. Do you now have small children? I was a fan of war and horror until the little ones were running around the house. Even Viet Nam did not seriously affect my love of the genre. However, parental protectiveness is incompatible with war and horror. I am no longer a fan. My three grandchildren only reinforced that trend.

    Also, since much of my watching is at home, war and horror movies often seem out of place in my home refuge.

    I forced myself to watch Band of Brothers because of its historical accuracy and general excellence.

  56. 56
    Joshua Norton says:

    too much food network.

    Ain’t that the truth. After a while listening to Emeril’s audience applaud for garlic gets real old, real fast.

    More flavors they can stop mixing together: honey mustard and chocolate peanut butter. It seems like every new snack item is one flavor or the other. Again, real old – real fast.

  57. 57
    passerby says:

    Karen Marie @27

    i tried it and, wow, what a steak i had for dinner that night!

    Thanks for the tip. My first impulse is to insist that the cardboard taste of a cheap steak requires either a flavorful marinade or copious amounts of grown-up ketchup a.k.a. steak sauce. But, I’m curious about this salting technique so I won’t knock it till I try it.

    Most meat distributors have stopped grading meat as it is not a federal requirement, so they reduce cost by not having to pay the USDA for grading.

    It’s rare to find prime or choice. These days we’re most likely getting select (maybe even utility grade–pet food). When I want a good steak, I buy angus. It’s got more flavor.

  58. 58
    Geeno says:

    Watching Horror movies with my Dad was a Saturday ritual so I’ve carried it on with the boys. They’ve clearly picked up on the difference between ridiculous gore in horror movies that is funny and gore that’s a bit too realistic and therefore disgusting, I’ve never had to drag them away from something I found objectionable. They knew and were happy to be dragged away.
    My 13 year old, who laughs at gore in "horror" movies is struck silent by the suggested gore in a "Schindler’s List" or "the Pianist". There’s fake and there’s real – that difference and understanding it is key.

  59. 59
    shortstop says:

    Y’know, your understanding and practice of not just the bells and whistles but also the overlooked basics of good cookery is one of the reasons I like reading you. I get into your posts about what you’re making for dinner.

    And I’m with you on the multiple merits of cabbage, the phenomenon of growing out of the ability to watch violent and scary movies, and the secret deliciousness of the Cars.

    But not liking baseball and not wanting to travel…oh, my. We’re from different planets.

  60. 60
    ThymeZone says:

    No offense, and I mean that in the most nurturing way, but I am a good cook who takes a lot of pride in making people smile as they eat the stuff I cooked for them. Which they pretty much always do, because it is awesome good. I am only good at about four things and cooking is definitely one of them.

    And I am not seeking or taking any cooking advice or information on a site that is clapping its hands over a discovery of salt and pepper. I pretty much got salt and pepper a long time ago. Heat is pretty useful too.

    But, you know, it’s the thought that counts, as they say, so thanks.

  61. 61
    John Cole says:

    And I am not seeking or taking any cooking advice or information on a site that is clapping its hands over a discovery of salt and pepper. I pretty much got salt and pepper a long time ago. Heat is pretty useful too.

    It is really impressive how much you have to distort what I said about salt and pepper to make it sound as if I am “discovering” them. And what is even more impressive is you had to do it to somehow make yourself feel more important… in an internet discussion.

  62. 62
    South of I-10 says:

    Re: #1 – Dude, I love Van Halen, from back in the day. I saw the 1984 tour a couple of times. I had tickets to Diver Down tour, but my Mom wouldn’t let me go (I was 13). I have been listening to them in the last couple of days, I’m going to my high school reunion this weekend.

  63. 63
    Hugh says:

    The parallel threads of cooking and violence coalesce in a meta kind of way. I DO have a young child. A 4-year-old girl. And maybe there’s a link there as you suggest, Bari. I do, after all, feel guilty now most of the time about all the things I should or shouldn’t be doing to protect her from the nasty things life has to offer. But I have a feeling there’s a bit more to it than that. I do think 9/11 has something to do with it. Violence just seemed much less theoretical after that (I live in Brooklyn and watched it from my roof).

  64. 64
    Geeno says:

    I love threads like this. We’re all talking about those OTHER meaningful things that aren’t politics for a bit.
    Food, food is important.
    Me and food, we tight, we go way back.

  65. 65
    ThymeZone says:

    Yeah, you are right, you said this amazingly profound thing:

    I don’t think most people really appreciate how important good salt and good pepper are for cooking.

    Really, John? You don’t?

    Have you considered a career in teaching Home-Eq to high school girls?

    Jesus H Fucking Christ, you are a butthead.

    You really don’t think people appreciate salt and pepper?

    What other deep thoughts are about to spring from your sizzling keyboard today?

  66. 66
    Stooleo says:

    My first concert was Van Halen. Saw them in Missoula MT while they were supporting their Van Halen II album. I must have been 13 or 14 and they totally blew me away. David Lee Roth was in his prime. He still had all his hair and he could kick over his head. It was a great show.

    As for guilty pleasures, who remembers this guy?

  67. 67
    ThymeZone says:

    And another thing, you fucking asshole. I don’t post here to "feel important." That’s you, not me. I post here for the fun of it. Period.

    Go fuck yourself in the ass with a sharp stick. I dont need you or this crummy blog to "feel important."

    Fucking prick.

  68. 68
    HumboldtBlue says:

    If you want to watch sports, go to minor league games. Great deal for your sports dollar.

    I second that, emphatically. We are lucky enough to be the home of America’s oldest and longest continually operating summer college baseball team, the Humboldt Crabs, 65 years and counting.

    Think Cape Cod League, except with a live marching band, the World Famous Crabgrass Band, locally brewed beer, locally made sausage and hot dogs, fruits and vegetables and the ambiance of Humboldt County.

    If you have a local minor league ball club it’s the best sports deal money can buy. I’d also say that about your local small college teams, Division II or III. Best sports value for the dollar.

  69. 69
    lovethebomb says:

    I love these sort of random bits of opinion on various matters. On cooking, I’ve found tabasco in it’s various flavors is an awesome meat flavoring agent – but it has to be added during the grilling so as to burn off the vinegar. Sea salt is miles ahead in flavor over table salt. Try RealSalt. Onions and Bell Pepper sauted before adding meat sucks up the grease. An organic white rice will also suck up juices.

    An aversion to violence is probably a natural progression of age and the comtemplation of death. I am somewhat pacifist esp after discovering herbal cigarettes, but understand the need for some good killing every once in a while, i.e. Dirty Harry.

    Never cared for any sports. Extremely boring to the fertile mind. It is a conspiracy of the big brother corporatocracy, bread and circuses, to distract the populace from the looting going on. See Noam Chomsky.

  70. 70
    JenJen says:

    OH MY GOD The Cars!

    I don’t even secretly love them… I rather openly adore them, and think they’ve been underrated if not wholly ignored by music dicks who will never recognize their obvious influence on everything that came after. It’s not too often that someone writes a line like "Chicken Counters Fill Your Bowls" and gets away with it. Sarah Palin couldn’t even write that shit!

    Death Cab For Cutie and countless others should send flowers to Ric Ocasek, stat.

    That being said, John, thanks for the tag… every little bit helps here in Brutal Laid-Off And Looking Job Search Land.

  71. 71
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    TZ, really, I thought if you were going to get completely bent out of shape, it would be about something more important than salt and pepper and someone saying you post here to feel important. You have more class than to get upset at that, think about it.

    Take a breather, this conversation isn’t worth the trouble it’s becoming.

  72. 72
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    OH MY GOD The Cars!

    I was just listening to Candy-O last night. Wow!

  73. 73
    John Cole says:

    @ThymeZone: Now how is what you just quoted me “discovering” salt and pepper.

    Go fuck yourself in the ass with a sharp stick. I dont need you or this crummy blog to “feel important.”

    This blog almost feels normal again. :P

  74. 74
    ThymeZone says:

    Take a breather, this conversation isn’t worth the trouble it’s becoming.

    No, I snark on his great salt and pepper treatise, and he comes at me with a personal attack.

    Fuck that, and fuck him.

  75. 75
    ThymeZone says:

    This blog almost feels normal again. :P

    Just like old times.

  76. 76
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    Fuck that, and fuck him.

    I guess the lion feels like roaring so I’ll get out of the way.

    Please leave both of you standing when this is over? I don’t like the sight of blood.

  77. 77
    Svensker says:

    Sounds like some folks forgot their Metamucil this morning.

  78. 78
    South of I-10 says:

    @lovethebomb: Tabasco is made 15 or 20 miles from here, and I have never been that crazy about it. I could not live without my Tony Chachere’s seasoning.

  79. 79

    I just finished re-reading The Killer Angels last night. I first picked it up ca. 1981, instantly fell in love with it, and have read it a number of times since. If anything can be said to be beautiful about a war, it’s the moment when Chamberlain, realizing he can’t hold his position much longer, and knowing retreat would be a disaster, has his men fix bayonets and charge down the hill. The words "right wheel forward" are forever fixed in my brain.

    But for the truth about the Civil War, Bruce Catton’s Army of the Potomac trilogy is the essential work. There is absolutely nothing romantic about Catton’s Civil War: a good (Northern) cause, but a tremendous waste of young men’s lives by the stupidity of a long sequence of terrible generals.

    The lesson I drew from Catton was, if young men are going to hand over custody of their lives to leaders to spend as they wish, then the leaders owe it to those men to spend those lives not only in a good cause, but to spend them effectively.

    This is one of the main sources of my dislike for Bush: he and his crew were perfectly content to spend lives stupidly in Iraq, year after year. And in what cause? So that eventually we’d set up a guy named Maliki as a local strongman.

  80. 80
    JaB says:

    Look- good salt and pepper? Get yourself a mortar and pestle, some sea salt, and various peppercorns (black, green, pink, whatever) and experiment. Grind fine, coarse, whatever, but grind just enough and use in the food right away. There’s no comparison. Be sure to get a pestle that fills the bowl entirely.

  81. 81
    Krista says:

    All right, I’ll play along:

    1. I am starting to hate my job and everybody associated with it.
    2. I’m currently trying to get pregnant and am really worried that I might be infertile.
    3. My daily site visits are this place, CuteOverload, and Literotica.
    4. I got my private pilot’s license when I was 17, but haven’t flown in 15 years.
    5. If potato chips are in the house, I obsess about them until I finally get to eat them.
    6. I always worry that people don’t like me anywhere near as much as I like them.

  82. 82
    C says:

    See? See?! This is what email forwards and surveys bring!

  83. 83
    Laura W says:

    @Krista:#2 You have forgotten that you decided you did not want to be pregnant for Nov 4 so you could drink, and now you are waiting until after Inauguration Day. Who wants to be sober on that day, Krista? I predict a 1/22 conception day.
    5) I almost bought Boulder Chips Salt & Vinegar today, but because I share your issue, I backed away from the chip aisle rapidly. (I did splurge on some Ritz Garden Veggie flavor crackers, and a bottle of sharp cheddar spray cheese. For Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvres, of course. Plus I have an art show the following Fri and Sat and will need some fast comfort junk food when I get home to fill up my depleted inside holes from smiling and chatting all day.)
    6) This is very sweet and vulnerable of you. The solution is just to hate everybody first.

  84. 84
    Blue Raven says:

    @ThymeZone:

    No, I snark on his great salt and pepper treatise, and he comes at me with a personal attack.

    When you respond to "make yourself feel important" with "fucking asshole," the irony in complaining about personal attacks burns enough to sear a steak.

  85. 85
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Krista: Are 2 and 6 connected? Because I think yer awesome but I don’t want any more kids.

  86. 86
    Sparkletts Water Show says:

    pppppffffffffffttttt.
    forget it.

  87. 87

    the irony in complaining about personal attacks burns enough to sear a steak.

    Fuck you.

  88. 88
    smiley says:

    @South of I-10: Damn girl, this might seem like cyber stalking about everything Louisiana but why do my words keep coming out of your keyboard? I just told a friend yesterday why I don’t prefer Tabasco (too much vinegar like thelovebomb said ) and love some Chachere. Unfortunately, I have to limit my sodium intake so I have to limit my Chachere seasoning. The sodium-free version is just weird (potassium rather than salt) and kind of powdery.

  89. 89

    Get yourself a mortar and pestle, some sea salt

    Oh come on. If you want real flavor, you have to start with elemental sodium and chlorine. Sure, it’s tricky, but you can taste the difference.

    Just ask the guy who thinks that the crockpot is the secret of great cuisine.

    I haven’t flown for 15 years.

    A little longer than that for me. Can’t get a medical. I do miss it though. Did flight instructing and oddjob commerical flying for some years.

  90. 90
    lovethebomb says:

    If you must buy mass market cheese, limit yourself to swiss, sharp cheddar and meunster. And maybe motzarella. Ok, some pepper Jack. Chop into cubes and consume liberally with beer or wine. Then slice into rolled tortillas w/ meat, peppers/onions and salsa, gaucamole and sour cream. Melt over chips. !queso.

  91. 91

    1.) I secretly love the Cars and Van Halen. And not Van Hagar, I mean the real deal- Van Halen with David Lee Roth. Mean Street.

    Why does this need to be a secret? The nimrods who like Van Hagar are the ones who need to keep quiet.

    And I’m starting to think my copy of Panorama (on vinyl, believe it or don’t) might be worth its weight in gold. Can not find the CD. Anywhere.

  92. 92
    patrick says:

    Van Halen, Yes. Van Hagar, No. Good salt and pepper, Yes. Baseball, No. War movies, Yes.

    1. I think The Avatar, The Last Airbender, was the best series on TV since The Andy Griffith Show.

    2. I only truly work about 15 hours a week.

    3. I am completely insane regarding teh Arkansas Razorbacks. Seriously, I need therapy. I live and die with every game and I think Houston Nutt is teh Anti-Christ. Most people know I am a sort of over-the-top fan, but few know exactly how insanely obsessed I really am.

    4. I think Saint Paul is the Great Corruptor of Jesus’ Message. He took Jesus’ beautiful, expansive message and turned it into something mean and small.

    5. I don’t like fresh coconut. Not because of the taste, but the texture.

    6. In one small, specialized and technical aspect of my job, I am the best that has ever been.

  93. 93
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    I only like one song by Van Hagar ("Right Now") and the rest of it is shit. Van Halen rules.

  94. 94
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    3. I am completely insane regarding teh Arkansas Razorbacks. Seriously, I need therapy.

    I spent a New Years Eve in a hotel with the team in Texas (I was in a room with my parents, I was about 16) and the entire hotel lost power that night.

    4. I think Saint Paul is the Great Corruptor of Jesus’ Message. He took Jesus’ beautiful, expansive message and turned it into something mean and small.

    Smart move. You’re right, and few people realize it. And after he made it mean and small, he gave it the name of Christianity.

  95. 95
    Keith says:

    I have about 10 different kinds of salt in my pantry (each in 5 lb bags). I’ve only used maybe half of them, but while they all have different characteristics (largely based on grain shape, IMO), the best are fleur de sel and Murray River salt (from Australia). Both are extremely delicate, and can lightly garnish meat for a really nice, crispy salt flavor.
    Some salts are hideous, though. I speak specifically of Indian black salt (smells like rotten eggs), and smoked salt (smells like smoked fish…VERY strong).

  96. 96
    passerby says:

    @South of the I-10

    Tabasco is made 15 or 20 miles from here, and I have never been that crazy about it. I could not live without my Tony Chachere’s seasoning.

    Tobasco may be the most well known hot sauce but I prefer Crystal Hot Sauce which I use on beef stir fry, wings, and fishsticks. Tobasco works better on shrimp and oysters for me.

    And, I can’t live without Paul Prudhomme’s "Salt Free Magic" which goes on everything from popcorn to scrambled eggs. Thank god for the internets so I don’t have to do without.

    and ps South, how ’bout dem saints: Saints 51-GB 29. Drew Brees is headed for the NFL Hall of Fame if he keeps on.

  97. 97
    South of I-10 says:

    @smiley: When my brother moved to S. Florida, he made me promise to send him Tony’s and Community coffee if they didn’t sell it there. I could not survive without either one.

  98. 98
    South of I-10 says:

    @passerby: I said it somewhere last night, but I will say it again here – Saints Bitches!

  99. 99
    smiley says:

    @South of I-10:

    he made me promise to send him Tony’s and Community coffee if they didn’t sell it there.

    I was a tea guy all through college and graduate school. Then I moved to Seattle for my first post doc position in the early, pre-national Starbucks age of the early ’90’s. Even then Starbucks was EVERYWHERE in Seattle, along with other coffee vendors (street carts especially). I fell in love with it in a big way and was WAY over caffeinated for most of the decade. Then I came to my senses.

    Last holiday season I was at one of my sisters’ houses in Baton Rouge when she made some Community (the half caf./half decaf blend). I had some and thought, "Damn, I like this." I came home to south Georgia and bought some. Bottom line? I think they keep the good stuff in LA. What I got here was really acidic and not all that great.

  100. 100
    gnomedad says:

    I don’t think most people really appreciate how important good salt and good pepper are alcohol is for cooking blogging.

    Fixed.

  101. 101
    JugOPunch says:

    Your right nothing like good salt and three pepper mills for the black, white and green peppercorns.

  102. 102
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Joshua Norton:

    For me, I think it may be the suitcase thing. I just don’t seem to have a clue anymore about packing light/packing well, then there’s toting/hoisting the darn thing, and taking weeks to unpack once home.

    I can’t believe I basically lived out of a backpack back in the day.

  103. 103
    Genine says:

    @Krista:

    1) *hug*!
    2) It’s been, what? Less than a year? You should totally chill because it’ll happen. I’m told it takes about a year or so. But if you think you really have a problem, I’d have to recommend a combination of fertility hypnosis and acupuncture. I’ve seen women have amazing results. I also have a friend who is a hypnotherapist who specializes in fertility issues and she’s had some amazing results with her clients. Between the hypnosis and getting your chi to flow better, you’ll be preggers in no time.
    6) I think you’re awesome, Krista! *sends loving energy*

  104. 104

    a) Krista adopt a child, you will be pregnant in no time, (worked for my mum :))

    b ) I really like Celtic sea salt, particularly when I am cooking salmon on the grill, wrap the piece of salmon in foil, add chopped parsley, chopped lemon balm, lemon juice and Celtic Sea Salt, perfect.

    c) as for the admissions:

    1) I like many here drink too much and yet I manage to hold down a full time job basically running a law firm, run a household, feed all the animals (3 dogs and 9 cats) feed the husband, pay all the bills, and have a small amateur photography business on the side. God help me if I ever sober up.

    2) I listen to Mike Oldfield constantly when I am alone, I will listen to Lake Constance over and over again and never tire of it.

    3) I would really, really like to beat the ever loving shit out of my eldest step-daughter right now.

    4) I have been in love with Donny Osmond since I was 11 years of age and that love has never ever diminished.

    5) There is obviously an invisible to humans sign outside my house which says "free food for cats, dogs, possums whatever" which means I go through three bags of cat food a week – minimum.

    6) I have a serious crush on Keanu Reeves.

    Have at it.

  105. 105
    South of I-10 says:

    @Krista: It took a year of not really trying (I wasn’t taking temps or anything) but not preventing to get pregnant. Sending lots of good vibes and hoping to hear you bitchin about how sick you are soon.

  106. 106
    gnomedad says:

    1. I am very nearsighted, which apparently predisposes you to retinal tears, which I have now had in both eyes. Were it not for repairs, I would be blind now. Take flashes and sudden new floaters seriously.
    2. I never drank coffee until I worked at home, then deliberately took it up in hopes it would divert me from the refrigerator. It only helps a little, but I enjoy my coffee.
    3. My 1972 draft lottery number was 238.
    4. I love anchovy pizza and make an effort to stay in touch with people who can stand it.
    5. I visited the World Trade Center observatory for the first and only time six weeks before the attack.
    6. I never would have bet that in 2008 we’d have telephones in our pockets but nobody on the moon.
    7. I used to sleep in the nude, but we converted it to a guest room.

  107. 107
    Common Sense says:

    I threw out my Tabasco for a bottle of sriracha years ago. Best secret ingredient ever. In any sautee. On a burger. Doesn’t matter the stuff is nectar.

  108. 108
    Tim Fuller says:

    Thanks for playing along John. I normally wouldn’t waste time on such drivel if it hadn’t been aimed at me by so prominent an individual (PZMeyers) and who is also someone I admire and think is doing a lot of the heavy lifting towards moving us towards rationalism.

    As to the waste of time, it’s what bloggers are best at.

    Wasn’t pepper was once more precious than gold?

    Enjoy.

  109. 109
    Katie says:

    We had corned beef for dinner thanks to you. Really, thank you. We barely have enough left overs for one sandwich, which I fully intend to get up and make for MY lunch before hubby gets to it.

    Salt is salt to me, but the Spice House’s tellicherry pepper is a thing of great joy and beauty. I have the whole kind and the dustless ground kind. That was the first pepper I ever had that I actually liked. Or maybe I should say that actually tasted like something.

    Cabbage is one of my favorite foods, but not as sauerkraut. I’ll eat it just about any other way it’s prepared, but I particularly like it 1) mashed with potatoes and lots of black pepper and a little bacon grease and 2) in cabbage rolls made with barley instead of rice.

  110. 110
    Comrade Stuck says:

    1. My 1971 Draft Number was 69, my friends got a big kick out of that. It might have been symbolic, but not at all funny when my induction notice came a year later.
    2. I was once on the Howdy Doody show as a child. I’m still afraid of puppet clowns.
    3. At age 7, While standing on a curb in Middletown ,Ohio, I saw JFK standing up in his convertible as he drove by waving, weeks before the 1960 election.
    4. Due to chronic ear infections since childhood, I am deaf in one ear and can’t hardly hear out of the other. Thank goodness for the tubes. But my neighbors get cranky when everything is turned up to boogiloo
    5. I am hopelessly in love with baseball, (and Cate Blanchett). Just can’t help it.

  111. 111

    […] John “tagged” me for this whole 6 Random Things About Me meme, I feel I should respond. So here it goes […]

  112. 112

    @Punchy, what’s wrong with you?

    John Cole, my husband, and I all love stuffed cabbages!

    As our cats would say, "They has a flavor."

  113. 113

    […] Cole got “tagged” and writes this truism: I don’t think most people really appreciate how important good […]

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