Saturday, March 28, 2015

Wedding thoughts

Just when you thought I wouldn't post, here I am again. 
Salivary gland issue resolved without surgery, yay. 
So I've booked the flight, hotel and car for your Mom's wedding - and funny enough, it appears that Great Grandma Susan, Uncle Tommy, Grandpa Don and Uncle Ian and I will be staying at the same hotel.
Was this planned? Trust me, no. 
If we all come out alive, I'll be forever thankful. If the hotel's standing I'll be even more thankful. 
So, anyway... when I come up we're doing the zoo, depending on weather and timing, we may do the amusement park as well. 
I can't wait to see ya'll. 

Now here's a test for Jess, who swears she reads my blog. 

Jess, I'm trying to find you the perfect wedding present. I'm searching for a babysitting service that'll give you a kind of a gift certificate for future use. 
If I can pull this off, you'll either know about it or be surprised. I'm betting on surprised. 
I'm going with legitimate services, not teenagers posting on Craigslist, btw. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

As the Cauldron Bubbles

So, today's dentist visit was extra special fun. 
Seems I have a blocked salivary gland, and got an emergency referral to an oral surgeon. 
Both dentist and surgeon weren''t happy about me dealing with it for about 2 weeks without attention beyond my OTC remedies. 
So he's (surgeon) treating with drugs for 2 weeks to see what happens, and if no change then it's biopsy. Yay me. 
He also adjusted my partial so it's not fucking with it as much. 
So now I'm on antibiotics for 10 days, along with an oral steroid cream that apparently insurance won't cover or doesn't cover without preauthorization. At $78 a tube.  
I told the pharmacist I'll make do with Orajel at $5 a tube first but to try for the cream. 

Don't ever get old. It sucks, and not in the happy spanky way. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015


Ok. Here's the pitch. 
In making chopped liver, I'm supposed to saute the chicken livers and onions in something called schmaltz, which is a kosher cooking fat made from rendered chicken skin.
First thing, because it's Kosher, it's pricey. And honestly, how many times am I going to make chopped liver? 
What I have, however, is a bunch of sliced, smoked jowl pieces... I was planning on using them to doctor the canned greens and peas I have...
So I'm thinking of rendering some of that to get the cooking fat, it'll be another layer of flavor and face it, there never was going to be anything kosher about this from the get go. 

I'm planning on sauteing the livers in the fat, with onions and garlic, and Gods help me, curry. 
Then I'll pulse them in the food processor and bang, I have chopped liver spread. 
Wish me luck. 

I wanted to get the recipe down, which is why I'm posting this. 


Ok  so I took the fatback, cooked to a crisp, drained it and ran it through the food processor until it was a paste. 
Cooked the onions down, then pulled them out of the pan. Added more fatback and rendered it down, pulled it to drain. 
Added the chicken livers and cooked them with the spice mixture salt, pepper, garlic, curry, ginger and pinch of dry mustard. 
When done, added back the onions and cooked for another 3 min. 
Then I took the chicken liver/onion mixture and spooned it into the food processor, added 3 hard boiled eggs rough chopped. 
Pulsed it a couple of times, and voila, chicken liver spread. 
OMG it's fabulous.I have it chilling in the frig right now. 

Oh, and for the record, curry and chicken liver go together like peanut and butter. 
Well, curry, salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, dry mustard and good old fashioned pork renderings. . 
It's so good your Uncle Bobby would eat it and he hates liver.  
Of course, you couldn't tell him before you fed it to him, but he'd like it after the fact.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Jessica's Wedding - The Travel planning.

It's December 2014, and your mom's finally marrying Chris in May of 2015. 
So Grandpa Don, Uncle Ian and I will be coming up for the wedding - however, as much as I love both of them, I'm not going to be trapped in a car with them for 18+ hours.  
I'm planning on flying in and renting my own car, so that way I'm not dependent on anyone's whims on where to go and or what to see and do. 
That being said, the issue of housing has come up.  
I suggested using, so we can find a house and split it 3 ways. So far, I've come across a couple of spots, however nothing definite. 
I want to rent a big enough space that I can host a party celebrating the wedding. 
Nothing big, just a family cookout.   

So, right now I'm planning on arriving on Wednesday, (Jess, pay attention) - so I'm thinking arrival, unpack, quick social calls, and early to bed for Thursday. 
The wedding is Saturday, so Thursday is mine, dammit. 
(That's the part you need to pay attention to, Jess.) 
Pot luck cookout at where Grandpa Don, Uncle Ian and I are staying. 
Prepare for Grandpa Don to be a bitchy ass, but don't worry. He's all bark. 

I'll post more later. 

Grandpa Merlin

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Let me start by telling you about this week. 
Saturday, check engine light goes on in the car. I can't do anything about it, it's Saturday and mechanic won't be open until Monday. So I promise myself and the car that I'll take her in Monday morning. 
Went to work Sunday, overslept on Monday and didn't get to the mechanic. 
Figured ok, tomorrow morning..  started for work, got 3/4 of the way there, and she died. 
There I am, in the left turn lane, dead in the water. 
I immediately throw on my flashers and call for a tow, call work and call the mechanic to tell them to expect me. 
Meanwhile, the light has cycled like 4 times, and there's a mini traffic jam behind me. 
Why, you ask? Because Atlanta drivers are idiots. They cannot comprehend that a stationary vehicle with it's emergency flashers on won't move just for them just because they're behind it. 
But truly, the cherry on that sundae is yet to come. 
The tow truck arrives, and has to back up to get my car loaded on its flatbed. 
So, the truck is facing the opposite of the traffic flow. 
He has his flashers on, and lets face it, a flatbed tow truck isn't small. By any means. 
So he has the car loaded, and we get in the cab, and this bimbo pulls up within like 6 inches of his front bumper. 
And then had this look on her face. 
Well, got to the mechanic, and they said it's the timing belt. $1200 
Then I had to rent a car for a week... that set me back $700 (but I'll get back the deposit)

The only bright side to this has been my mantra "at least it's not a car payment." 

Friday, February 7, 2014

TV Gold found while mining Hulu

I recently rediscovered a comedy classic while "mining" on Hulu. 
While I've long been a fan of Lucille Ball, she's probably more universally known for her work on "I Love Lucy", rather than "The Lucy Show" or "Here's Lucy". 
I grew up on all those gems, being lucky enough to catch "Here's Lucy" first run broadcast, as it was a show that the entire family enjoyed. 
(Yeah, back in the 60's families usually had only one TV, a console in the living room) 
Anyway, "Here's Lucy" for whatever reason wasn't put into syndication as her other shows were. 
Or rather, it never enjoyed the commercial success its predecessors did. 
That being said, I haven't seen the show since it's first run. 

I just discovered it on Hulu. 

And as wonderful a show as it was, it truly presents a time capsule view of the world at that time. Political correctness? The concept doesn't exist. 
And above all else, you have a glimpse of utter glowing nepotism at its finest.  
Think about it. 
"Here's Lucy" was produced by Gary Morton (Lucy's husband) at DesiLu Studios. 
Starring Lucille Ball, and her two children, Desi and Lucy Jr. 
And in re-watching these episodes for the first time, I'm honestly amazed at the cross pollination that took place, and the talent that Lucy was able to pull to do a sitcom. (I'm going to gloss over the burlesque racial stereotyping)  
As an example, the episode, "Lucy meets the Burtons" season 3, episode 1, had as guest stars, on a television sitcom for the first time, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. 
Something that would confound the first time viewer is the constant reference to "the ring"... quick backstory on that, Burton bought what was at that time, the world's most expensive diamond, and had it put into a ring he gave to Elizabeth. Hence, "The Ring". 
The episode provided for Burton to show off his Shakespeare, set up a wonderful demonstration of Lucy's physical comedy skills juxtaposed with Burton's epic stoic gaze, (aka Burton being Burton) show off "the ring", and above all else, the "power" of the show by featuring what was at the time the Power Couple, Liz and Dick and insuring top dollar for commercial time.

February 2014 update

Ok, it's February, and a week before my 53rd birthday. 
When I last posted, I'd just sent up your tablets, and your father gave them to ya'll ahead of Christmas. So, Happy Hanukkah. (It's so nice being multicultural)  
Aiden managed to prove why you shouldn't give tablets to toddlers, however I'm sure that got dealt with. Your mom hasn't said. 
(If not, please share with him when your mom or dad supervises.) 
I hope you're enjoying yours and it's helping with your schoolwork. 

So, being in the mid west, you get snow every year, in ungodly quantities, and it stays around, forcing you to deal with it. So, you're used to it. 
Well, here in the South, Atlanta to be specific, winter weather is a rare event, however every once in a while, we get slammed. (See 1977, 1983, 1994 legendary snow/ice storms, Atlanta.) 

That's what happened January 28th. 
The days before, we had been having a brief warm spell, with temperatures in the 50's and 60's - then, we get word that there's going to be a "winter event" but it's only going to be affecting the city south of I-20 ... accumulation of 3 inches (yeah, I know, you see that as a dusting) and temperatures in the 20's during the day, and low teens at night. 

Well, someone miscalculated and didn't account for drift. 

At around 11 am on the 28th, the ice storm hit. and in an act of utter stupidity, they closed businesses, schools, and government offices at the same damn time. 
Thus began a traffic jam of epic proportions. And the ice is coming down. Quickly. 
And when it hits the pavement and roads, it's melting and immediately freezing, adding to the traffic nightmare. 
So, I'm unaware of the traffic issue - but being the loyal employee that I am, I decide to leave the house an hour and a half early for my commute to work, normally a 20 minute drive. 
I think ahead, and pack my meds, along with a couple of changes of clothes, and grab a couple of frozen dinners, filling the cat auto feeder and water bottle, and I'm out the door. 
It's not that bad outside, however I'm a bit distressed when I see an accumulation of about an inch and a half on the railing outside my apartment. 
Regardless, I headed out. It's 1:30 pm, and I thought that the back roads would be my best bet. Apparently so did everyone else. 
I managed to get about 8 miles in 5 hours. And then, the car died. 
And it's almost sunset, meaning that the temperature is going to drop further, rather quickly. 
Thankfully, I got a jump from a Sandy Springs policeman, and was able to continue trying to get to work. 
However, some 6 hours later, the car died again. But this time there wasn't a nice policeman to jump the battery. And I'm blocking a lane of traffic, not that it's really moving, but still.  
And my blood sugars are crashing, because I haven't eaten anything since approximately 9 am that morning, and it's nearly midnight. 
I got rescued by Sandy Springs Fire Rescue, and taken to work. 11+ hours of utter hell. 
 Thank you, Captain Chris. 
Spent that night at work, and didn't get home until Thursday. 

So again, you can see why Grandpa Merlin doesn't do snow. 
Just wait until I hit the lottery. You'll only ever have to see snow again if you travel to it.