Sunday, October 25, 2009

Positive thinking is the key to life

One would think the last week has had a bad turn of events for us. My usual hunting for job/going on interview ended in another thanks-but-no-thanks in a very pleasant manner. To be honest, I've given up a long time ago about feeling bad when I got laid off and didn't get hired. I don't feel apathetic nor do I feel my approach is apathetic but it's positive in the sense that there is a blessing in disguise somewhere to be found. Last week's closed door opened up a rather unusual opportunity for me. While out grocery shopping, I looked at Christmas trees, just to see if they even had any. Wouldn't you know it, they did! Not only did they have them, they had one I liked! I have said that I want a pre-lit 6.5 foot Christmas tree with white lights when we have a house. We rent, but technically, we are in a house, so I get my tree. It was staring at me in all it's glory at Walmart for a lovely $35. I would be stupid to not get it. Granted, I was toying with getting a new vacuum cleaner that day too but figured, the vacuum will be there even after Christmas and my vacuum, even though it's sort of broken, still works fine and can hold out a little longer. In addition to that, my new duvet cover set came in, as well as my old Halloween costume that I'll be using again this year. We went to the gun show and I had my purses out, didn't sell any, had a lot of card-takers though. I also made a very good contact for Jesse with one of the companies in town he's been trying to get a job with for the past two years and gave their #1 guy Jesse's card, so hopefully something good will come of that. I also took Lulu to the Petco Howloween costume contest and we won 2nd place for our costumes. They had the pet costume contest of pets only and then pets and their owners dressed up. Chrissy met up with us and we then broke away and went to the psychic fair. I got a free pumpkin there and she got a reading that she said was "very intense" and is still very glad she got it done. On intense feelings, I can't help but feel like something really good is going to happen soon. I don't know why, the last week I've been feeling like something amazing is in our cards but not sure yet what it will be.

Feminism Fail

One of my biggiest peeves with latter-day-feminism is how it steered away from women's rights and turned into a sexual revolution. Last night was a panel on relationships between men and women and one of the discussions was male-female relationships and societal roles. They touched base on rape. They also touched base on a note of how it has become easier for women to do masculine things and it's acceptable yet men can't do feminine things without being labeled a "fag" or "homo". Jesse questioned if they were playing with dolls and I said, "No, stuff like baking, sewing, being into fashion, etc." Oh. Well, one thing they seem to fail to touch base on is some women allow themselves to become victims of violent and sexual crimes. I'm not saying it's right to rape a woman, but if you're one of those girls in high school or college who goes to a party and gets blackout drunk and wakes up somewhere naked and violated the next day, I don't think you have any right to complain. In my mind, someone taking advantage of you is the least of your problems, your bigger one is you have an alcohol problem and that needs to be dealt with to prevent this from happening again. I recall in high school hearing several girls have a scenario where they got drunk at a party and expressed their natural animal needs to reproduce and wound up doing it with guys they would never have sex with and tell the guys that if they told anyone they had sex, they would say it was rape. Really? Is that how women empower themselves now days? By getting what they want and then threatening the opposite sex to be imprisoned if the truth be told simply because they're afraid of the truth? How is this a positive step for feminism? So girls like that would act completely idiotic and walk away from an embarrassing situation, wiping it off like they got away with something simply because they could call wolf.

Don't get me wrong, I believe there were a lot of wonderful things that came from the original feminist movement like the right to vote, work, equal pay, etc. But I think the sexual revolution has created a demoralization of society to a certain extent. If you have an open sex life and that is just the way you are ok with your choices, that's fine. But if you are promiscuous and try to act like you're not and lie about your sexcapades and threaten to say a man who simply was taking part in your throwing yourself at him and saw it nothing more as a "good opportunity", well, shame on you. I'm not gonna sit around and say I believe it's ok to sleep with everyone you meet. I believe that complicates the concept of commitment, devalues the meaning of love, and confuses love with lust. However, if that's what you're into, that's your thing. But I am sick of hearing these feminists talk about how horrible men are when they have become weakened in the last half century and women have become manipulative and controlling. Perhaps we should address that issue next time, yes ladies? Or would that be bad for feminism? I think it's time for another feminist movement: the one where women realize they have gotten out of control and need to straighten up their act to stop making themselves look foolish and proud.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Us vs. Them mentality

You all know I'm a very pro-gun person, but I'm starting to see the world more through a different light. No, I'm not gonna advocate gun laws. Just personal responsibility. You see, I've been hearing a lot of pro-gun stories lately that make me cringe and think how they're not good examples of gun users to the world. One was an obvious hoax, which was a Craigslist urban legend of a person who was robbed at knife-point and pulled his 1911 out on his attacker, then took his attacker's belongings and spent all the money, made phone calls to the FBI threatening the president and sex lines, etc. Then there was a story of an old lady who conceal carried and shot an attempted robber and her son said they were lucky she shot the guy because she's a horrible shot. A lot of pro-gun people look at tales of these sorts and cheer hooray for the gun owners. I look at them and fear Nancy Pelosi thinking about how she can take these tales and create some sort of bill to take away our gun rights because of "irresponsible gun owners" or something like that. I guess the line between pro-gun people has a divide that I never knew about that is like pro-gun vs. responsible pro-gun? I can't think of any way to describe it completely at the time being as it's 5:30 am on a Saturday. Perhaps it's just the more you look at things from the politician's standpoint and know your enemies, it's not enough to just be a Yosemite Sam gun-toting happy go lucky shooter anymore. It's more of a scowling upon those who own guns yet never shoot them because you wonder why bother having a gun for protection if you're not sure how it works or question your ability to hit your target when you do use it. Or feeling angry when you see someone write about how it wasn't enough to save their life in an attack, they also felt compelled to punish their attacker. I guess any responsible gun owner who has certifiably passed their CCW courses would know that stories like the aforementioned are not pro-gun at all but rather hinder our rights when seen through the eyes of liberals looking for any excuse to take that right away. My point being: even within our own world of gun-owners and pro-gun enthusiasts, there is still that us vs. them mentality.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A day full of hilarious mistakes

OK, I lied. There were just two.

First mistake:

I gave Charlie one of Chrissy's Halloween cupcakes around 2:00 pm as a fun Friday treat. Big mistake. It was a black frosted mess and Charlie was in cupcake mess Heaven. He had black frosting all over his chin and hands and looked like he was either one of those creepy hobo clowns or he had black face like the white actors used to do back in the day to play black people. It was all kinds of wrong and he loved it. He managed to somehow get a gob of frosting in his pant pockets. I have no idea how and I don't know how to comprehend that. The rest of the day consisted of him scheming a way to get more cupcakes. Various failed attempts included removing the contents of two drawers on the kitchen floor and opening the dishwasher, standing on the door and opening the microwave and turning it on and off to see if that would make cupcakes happen.

Second mistake:

I get Lulu those little Natural Balance food rolls. I don't commit to one of the $5 or more big rolls because I like to mix the sample treat size rolls with her dry food and get a variety of flavors. I keep them in the small cupboard by my kitchen sink. Charlie has recently discovered that cupboard, partially because that was where I was hiding the Halloween candy and had to move it, and partially because it has interesting things in there, like dog food rolls. Well, he takes one out and Lulu knows what they are and whenever she sees them, she gets all crazy until she gets to eat or until it's out of sight and back in the cupboard. At some point, Charlie no longer has the food roll and Lulu has it. I saw her under the computer table gnawing on something and realized she broke the plastic of the roll and was trying to get the meat out. I took the roll away from her and just gave her the rest of the roll. I didn't even bother to break it down. I just gave it to her whole. It was hilarious to watch her eat it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Holly and Brobee

Last night one of Jesse's coworkers, Holly, came over and babysat Charlie so we could go to our movie. Apparently, when we got back, she said Charlie cried for an hour grasping at the door trying to get us all wheezing and getting worked up and all. Oh well. Right before she left, she grabbed Charlie's little Brobee on the coffee table and asked, "What is this thing?" We replied, "That's Brobee." I guess that wasn't a good enough answer so we elaborated some more about how he's on a kid's show and Charlie just LOVES him. She said he looked like that old Looney Tunes monster with the red hair and then how she thought it was weird looking and then was a little weirded out when she went to put Charlie to bed and saw there was "another one of those things but bigger" on his bed. It was pretty funny the way she was so curious about what Brobee is all about.

What do raccoons, zombies and dumb kids have in common?

All of them have potential to get shot.

Last night Jesse and I went to see Zombieland. I saw it opening night with Chrissy and told him he had to see it because it was awesome and has a lot of things he loves in it; mindless violence, slow motion of mindless violence, and decent metal. We decided to walk downtown to see it. On our way over, we saw this adorable raccoon in front of an office building that looked like a house. He was just staring at us like, "hey guys, what's up?" He scratched himself and went back to doing whatever it was he was doing. At first I thought he was a kitty but then realized that those weren't tabby stripes on his tail. It was cool. When we got to the theater, much to my dismay, the theater guide online had linked up the wrong theater to the one downtown so the show times were all off. We walked around downtown to try and see if we could find another theater near by. On our way under 4th street between Sierra and Virginia between the El Dorado and Silver Legacy, some dumb kids in a mini van decided it would be a great idea to drive up behind us and scream really loud. It echoed because of the tunnel effect created by the two joining buildings. We got spooked and they were laughing at us. Jesse and I shook it off and discussed amongst ourselves how they're gonna do that to the wrong person one day and how stupid kids are. Then we realize they were dumber than we thought. They got a red light. Suddenly our harassers were stuck at a stand still while we were on foot, closely approaching their car. It was payback time. I crept up to their minivan, passenger side, and whacked the door, behind the view of the window. Everyone in that car screamed and jumped so far they almost hit their heads on the roof. My hand hurt and I think there may be a dent in the door. They then saw it was us and started to cheer us that we were "cool" and totally "played" back with their game. In actuality, I think they were halfway between freaked out and ready to crap their pants. Them cheering us on was their lame attempt at saving face and not looking so spooked to everyone. Lesson learned to the young kids who have to explain to mom how they got a dent or mark or whatever on the passenger side door of the minivan: don't try to act like a hard ass on 4th street, especially if you have a red light. You never know who is going to negatively react to your shenanigans. We scared them. They're lucky it was us and not some nut jobs with guns... But in the end, I think we all got a good laugh out of it. Jesse and I discussed how funny it was with how spooked they were. Good times.

Friday, October 16, 2009

One day I'll make a list and it will be awesome

Everyone seems to be doing one of those 101 things to do in 1001 days list things and I really would like to do that, but to be honest, I don't think I can think of 101 things I'd like to do. I feel I've done most of the things in life I'd like to have done and anything left is stuff that requires large amounts of money that accumulate as the result of years of savings. So I guess create a 101 things list is on my to-do list. How ironic.

I've become a regular coffee drinker. I know that sounds silly to say at the age of 27 years, 9 months, and 1 day old, but for the longest time, I could not tolerate the taste of coffee. I wanted to be a coffee drinker because I equate drinking coffee to being grown up. I suppose there are far more things that make me grown up like the fact I'm shocked at how pre-teens dress and act, I often talk about how great the past was, I own guns, and I think staying up past 10 is pretty crazy. But back to coffee. I think a year or two ago, I had decided that I would become a coffee drinker. I didn't really put much effort into it, but alas, I have succeeded. I have discovered the benefits of coffee that I like to call the welcoming of regularity. I think when you get older, your metabolism slows down and you need to be on the go-go-go and coffee is just that magical brown elixir that helps everything work out. And for that reason, I have learned to love it.

Today I went on a job interview. I'm not gonna lie. Every place I've interviewed over the last few months have struck me as places I would work for but not want to work for. I really got a sense of some of the employers I interviewed with. Only one place had the decency to call me back and say they chose another candidate who had more experience in the business side of the position I applied for (this was for an administrative position.) The other places I applied with ranged from people who wanted to hire a designer/admin person but only pay them $8 an hour, people who wanted to hire designers that were actually production jobs that require physical labor and skilled trade knowledge outside of the design spectrum, and of course administrative work where they pretty much wanted to hire an entry level person. Most of these jobs I applied for didn't have the decency to call back even though they said they would. In fact, they wouldn't even respond to a follow up. To me, that says a lot about an employer. They are not the kind of company you want to work for. If your employer doesn't have a backbone to tell you something before you even get a chance to work for them, I could only imagine how horribly passive-aggressive they would be if they were your boss. And I know it's not nice to judge books by their covers, but in my opinion, a company is only as good as their environment. A clean workplace is an organized workplace. Organized employees have their acts together. People who have their act together are productive. Productive companies are successful companies and so on. I can't help but think how horrible some of the places I interviewed at were, but most were filthy warehouses and some didn't even have distinguishable work desks. How these places manage to make money is beyond me, but I can say one company I applied for and had what I thought was a good interview, never called me back like they said they would even when I called to follow up, and they also kept posting ads for the same position time and time again over the course of a few months. Anyway, long back-story aside, I interviewed today at what I think has to be the prettiest company ever. It's hidden in an industrial area somewhat close to a shotgun range. Outside it is a beautiful commercial building. Inside it looks like an art gallery. The company itself produces a very noble product and the people there all seemed very nice and very organized. Even their warehouse and printing area was clean and in order! In addition to all that cosmetic stuff, it is a company with some longevity and stability. Obviously, it's been around for 40 years and the way I see it, it will be around another 40. It totally struck me as the type of place I could stay at til retirement. This was the first time I walked away from a job interview thinking to myself, "I really hope this company hires me because THIS is a place I would really like to work for." Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that my weird Halloween/4th of July hire pattern holds true. It is almost Halloween...

Part of me wants to go to the Sue Lowden coffee and donut canned food drive tomorrow morning, but Jesse needs to test fire a shotgun and our furnace maintenance guy is coming back out with the heat damper so he can light our furnace (and we can only use our heat very low because apparently, the furnace hasn't been cleaned in a very long time and we need to have someone come out to clean it and the furnace cleaner is coming next Wednesday.) Anyway, that all set us back close to $500, but considering we didn't owe rent, it's still a $300 savings. Maybe I can sneak out early? On that note, I am officially returning to the GOP. I've had people tell me I'm an Independent, but to be honest, even though I left to be an Independent, it never really felt right to me. I'm still too much of a capitalist who loves me some war-on-drugs. Anyway, I'll be switching back when I go to the DMV to renew my registration. Besides, I think the party needs more people like me. You know, people with a backbone and common sense.

On that note, I have nothing more to say. Maybe I can add that on my list of things to do?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rainy Day Random

Lulu hates rain and has been miserable all day because she has been trying her hardest to hold her pee because she doesn't want to go out in the rain. Eventually, after 18 hours, she gave in and finally went potty. I took her out pretty much every hour this morning to potty since 8 am and every time, she goes to the door, smells the rain or something and hauls back to hide under a blanket or a warm lap.

I realized I am dressed like candy corn today. Kinda. I have an orange sweater on, but it's a burnt orange. I was chilly so I put on my mustard yellow throw. I don't have any white to top it off but the fact I am wearing orange and yellow side by side in October makes me think of candy corn, so, there you have it.

I was working on a book cover for someone today and I gotta say I'm rather pleased with what I came up with. Even if they don't go with the design, I can always send my illustration to my stock site.

Tonight we're going to have pork chops. For real. I've been wanting pork chops for a while now. The other night, I defrosted what I thought was pork. After making it out of the oven and onto our plates, I realized it was steak. Breaded and baked. It actually wasn't that bad, but it didn't cure my pork chop craving. So tonight, we're having pork chops. Charlie grabbed the defrosting pork chop baggie and tried to hide it in his fire truck under the seat. It was funny, but probably wouldn't be so funny if I didn't catch him doing it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Italian Sunday Random

Today we walked to the Italian Festival, which was a good idea. Lots of awesome sauce taste testing. Good times. Some interesting sights including these weird Italian Elvis looking guys on stilts who, in my mind, looked more like Sleazy P. Martini, the "manager" of Gwar.

Anyway, when we got home, I raked the back yard a bit to clear out some of the fall crap that was uglifying my yard up. Then Jesse came out and we played catch with this flat football for a while talking about girl scouts and boy scouts. Jesse was never a scout of sorts, but I was a girl scout and loved it. I told him I want to put Charlie in boy scouts when he's old enough and be a den mother. Fun. Then we were talking about sports and teams. I said I'd totally encourage Charlie to join a team if he wants. I never did the team thing and feel like I missed out in life. I think Jesse did track but he was telling me about how he really wanted to play football when he was in jr. high and his mom wouldn't let him because she thought he'd get injured. I joked that she coddled him and he still got injured and shot his eye out. Har har har. Maybe if he was allowed to play football he never woulda shot his eye out? Har har har.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Halloween Cookies

Last Christmas I found this recipe in the Bible and made these for Jesse to take to work and I guess the girls in customer service loved them so I will be making them some for Halloween with a twist. Of course I figured any of you moms with kids who want a fun baking project or hafta take something to school and want to go another route other than cupcakes might want to give these a go. * I modified this recipe slightly from the one printed in the book and have my version below.

Halloween Peanut Butter Blossoms

1 stick butter or margarine slightly melted
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar in a bowl (for decorating)
1 bag Hershey's kisses (milk chocolate, with almond, dark, etc. is up to you)
1 bag Brach's Candy Corn Harvest Mix (it has the regular candy corn and the pumpkins)
1 tube black decorating gel
1 box assorted food coloring

Preheat oven to 350º

In a large bowl, mix margarine and peanut butter. Once those are combined pretty good, add 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar and baking soda and mix until combined. Add in egg, milk and vanilla until those are combined. Finally, add the flour a little bit at a time until completely mixed in.

Separate the dough into as many different color cookies you choose to make. You can do as many different colors as you want, or just leave them as is.

Shape dough into 1" balls and roll in 1/4 cup sugar. Place 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 -12 minutes or until edges are firm. They look kinda a golden color when done. Immediately press in Hershey's kiss, pumpkin or candy corn.

When they cool, add legs to the Hershey kiss cookies and eyeballs to make spiders.

You'll have created a plate of lovely pumpkin patch, festive candy corn, and spooky spider cookies.

* These cookies are photoshopped but they'll look close to the same when done.

10/28/09: I've added pictures of the rejects of a batch I made for Jesse's work. These are the same cookies as above. They're the ones I decided were too ugly to go to Jesse's coworkers.

Religion and science can coexist. TV says so.

Does anyone watch Bones? I was just thinking recently about the one guy who is a devout Muslim. He faked his accent because he thought if his team saw him as some fresh off the boat Muslim that it would be easier for them to accept his devotion to his faith while being a scientist, which pretty much contradicts each other. But I guess it brings up that whole system of scientific and religious beliefs that you believe one or the other and the two can't live together harmoniously. Well, for this character they did. And personally, I believe they can too. There's that whole school of thought on evolution and creationism and everything in between. I guess if you believe what you believe and it makes sense to you, then go with what works. On that note, if you believe in a God, and you believe in science, or you believe in a God or you believe in science, whatever works and makes you happy should be all that matters. The end.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Apple Desert Pizza

I have a friend who does a home made pizza night with her boyfriend once a week and they take turns and I suggested she get crazy one day and do a desert pizza. I'm winging it here based on my time tested pie knowledge but try this for fun:

1 1/4 flour
1/2 stick butter slightly melted
4 - 6 tablespoons water

Mix butter into flour to form little pea sized balls. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until doughy. Grab the whole lump and mush it into a ball. Place it on wax paper lightly coated with flour and place another piece of wax paper on top and roll it out. That's your crust.

2 - 4 apples sliced into thin wedges and peeled
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar

Mix all together and place apples on top of crust.

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 stick slightly melted butter

Mix all together to make little pea sized crumbles. Pour over apples

Bake for 30 - 40 minutes at 375º or until apples are soft and dough is golden.

Icing Drizzle

1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter slightly melted
1 - 4 tablespoons milk

Mix butter and powdered sugar. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time to create a drippy icing.

So this is basically like my apple streussel pie but in a pizza form with less ingredients because obviously it's a desert pizza. I think it could be a fun twist on pizza night.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Trouble Shooting: Where's My Gun?

I suppose this title is more than appropriate for so many reasons today.

First off, let's talk guns. Like for real, guns. My friend Chrissy went out shooting with us recently and I think since she's been hanging out with me in general has showed a little bit more of an interest in getting a gun. I think it was partially the whole us taking her out to shoot with Phil one time. Then seeing Zombieland. And seeing a S&W with pink grips at Jesse's work. Anyway, we went to Scheels (Tangent: Appalachian Grammar Disaster mispronunciations from locals include "Schills" as in one-schilling, "Shields" as in shield from danger, "Shells" as in she sells sea shells by the sea shore, "Shales" as in, well, I don't know, maybe something a yuppie would name their kid?) because Chrissy needed to get some snowboarding gear. We spent a ridiculously long time there and wandered to their hunting department. Chrissy looked at a lot of revolvers because she's interested in getting one. I can say that when I started shooting I was very much into revolvers for the same reasons and my taste in guns has greatly evolved into a completely different area so I am enthusiastic to see where Chrissy's shooting tastes will lead her one day. Anyway, she felt pretty happy with her Scheels shopping experience. After that, we went to Bizarre Guns because she wanted to go there. She was not happy with their service. Personally, I always like Bizarre and the old guy that works there is alright in my mind. I told him I had buyer's remorse with my Bersa and he looked shocked because when I originally went in last November or whatever it was wanting to get a PPK but not having the money and he suggested the Bersa, he told me how no one has ever returned them. When I told him my remorse was that I didn't go with the hi-capacity version, he chuckled and said he'll hafta remember that. And apparently, the new .380 Sig P238 is selling like hotcakes because after the one time I saw it at Sportsmans, every gun shop in town has sold out of them. Wowzas! Anyway, at the end of the day, Chrissy never bought anything and is still leaning towards revolvers. I told her we need to go out shooting some more so she can really get a feel for what is comfortable for her or take an intro to handguns class.

When I got home, I had to do some trouble shooting on some web work and quite honestly, if there was a gun to solve that problem, I'd be in a happy place. I went back to tinkering with some template fixes from what I'd like to call the template bastard from hell. He was a total tool. Seriously template, I get you're totally set on looking one way, but is it too much to cooperate with me when I ask a mild favor of you? You'd think I was asking the thing to perform some horrendous feat. No way, just simple stuff. Look pretty. Do your thing. Eventually, after an evening of slapping it around like a cheap hooker, I got him to do his work. I find web work goes a lot smoother when you take it with a sense of humor. Now if only I could get him to like that damned animation, then I'd be a happy camper. Oh well. I did enough trouble shooting for tonight.

Anyway, that's my grand adventure for this evening. My car's registration is due. I find it amazing I've had that thing almost a year now. I find it ass that I need to get it smogged again. We also need to order oil for our heater and our landlord set up a maintenance of our furnace for us. They have a 2 week delay on heating but I'm not really worried because it's cold but tolerable still. It's gonna cost a few hundred to get all that situated. Grumble grumble. I'm not complaining too much, though, because we have a really awesome landlady. Sucks she got screwed over by the property management company she was partnered with. Oh well.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Photography is the new music industry and photoshop is the new soundboard.

Has anyone noticed the evolution of photography of the average person over the last half century? It seemed that at one point in time, people used to take photos of family, friends, occasions, holidays, what have you. But has anyone paid any attention to the average family/friend photo these days? It seems as if the average person has gone from the photographic style of trying to get a group shot of everyone together smiling or one or two people doing an activity to a more abstract and artistic way of capturing the moment. Dead serious. I'd say on average, most people who are not trained to be photographers or ever had any experience in the likes are starting to pick up this self-proclaimed photographer title and it is just remarkable. I'm not a photographer, but I'm an artist of sorts. I think fellow artists and photographers will totally know what I'm talking about. But for the amateur, look at your photos from the last 10 or 20 years, be it your own or family photos, or those of friends. Look at how the style has changed to a more abstract and artsy style. It's incredibly strange. I think in this sense, whenever a photographer sees ads on the web saying things like, "Got a good camera? Become a photographer and make cash now!" they cringe in pain, especially if they have an astronomical student loan debt and have learned all the skills and techniques to properly do things and there are people who simply take in light what they have spent years learning to do the proper way. Of course it could always be worse and have an amateur put in their two cents about a professional being OK when in actuality they probably don't have the knowledge to know all the efforts that have gone into making an "ok" photo. Thank God everybody is a photographer and seems to know what makes a good photo. I mean, forget talent. Photography is the new music industry and photoshop is the new soundboard.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Work for the week

So I have this agenda to sew as many purses as I can for the gun show at the end of the month. There's 1 of 2 scenarios involved. Scenario 1: I for out the $100 necessary to get a table at the show. Scenario 2: I fork over $100 to Dave for one of his tables. I'm not sure how all will go but I think if I try to get a table and they're full, I'll just ask if I can take one of theirs. Anyway, I've really been striving to create merchandise. My dream of all dreams would be to get a coat or two made but, being realistic, I doubt that will happen. Maybe if I buckle down I can crochet some cute vests since those seem to be really in-style right now. I wonder if I could configure a one-size-fits-most type thing? Anyway, yeah, at this point, I'd say I have 2 holster pouches and 3 completed purses. Technically it's 4, but I sorta decided to keep the first purse I made, which was the Lulu purse. I'll probably make another one but not sure if I'll do that today, tomorrow or some other time. Ho hum... time to eat...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Apple Stuffed Croissants

I know Failblog exists, but what about a Success blog? Today I had a hankering for sweets. I wanted something sweet but not like super sweet like chocolate or anything. Just a nice fruity sweet. Wanted a pie but didn't have enough apples and wasn't feeling like going to the store. So I decided to experiment with desert and made apple stuffed croissants. Took my no-fail greatest pastry recipe and instead of rolling out a pie, I rolled out triangles. Anyway, Charlie kept picking the pieces of dough and apples from the bowl and loving it.

My absolute favorite is this face right here...

Charlie was absolutely in shock at the fact I took an apple at ate it. It wasn't a scream or fuss but surprise like, "What? You like those things too!? No way! So do I! Now, where'd they all go?"

So here's the finished product...

And here's how you do it...

Apple Stuffed Croissants

Preheat oven to 350º

2 1/4 cups flour
1 stick butter slightly melted
10 - 12 tablespoons water

Mix butter and flour to form little balls. Add 10 - 12 tablespoons water one tablespoon at a time till a nice dough is formed. Roll into a ball, slightly kneeding as you roll. Place on a lightly floured piece of wax paper and flip over so both sides get lightly coated in flour. Place another piece of wax paper over and roll out. Cut a square about 10" or so. * TIP: If you have a pizza slicer, those work amazing wonders in cutting perfect lines. END TIP * Cut the square in half so you have two rectangles. Cut rectangles in half from opposite corners (ie, bottom left to top right) to form two triangles. Repeat the process until you're out of dough. I'm guessing if you don't eat the dough as you go you can probably get like 9 - 10 triangles out of it. We only got barely 8.

3 small Granny Smith apples, cut and peeled
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix everything together.

Take pastry triangles and place apple fillings on the wide base of the triangle. Fold up and roll tucking the skinny point under the croissant and bend slightly into the half-moon shape. Sprinkle tops with sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool. Eat. Enjoy. Happy!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Weird mail fall harvest

Today I got a box in the mail from my parents and I was so excited because I was certain it was my old Little Red Riding Hood cape. Instead, it was a box of 3 eggplants. OK, I joked a while back about how much I missed having eggplant because it was so good last time I had any and my mom literally sent it up. But Charlie, oh Charlie, he woke up from his nap and saw his eggplants and was reunited with is old love. He loves eggplants. Literally. He smiled so big when he saw it, took it from my hand and gave it a hug. It was really weird. But hilarious.

Anyway, tonight I decided was a good time to make some eggplant. Why not, right? I also made some home made pasta sauce with my tomatoes from my cheater tomato plant and boy was that some good stuff! Real good stuff! Everything was made from scratch from stuff grown by me and my mom. Minus the noodles. But it was so good. Charlie just had 2 pieces of eggplant. Jesse had one. I ate the rest. So I guess we can say I ate a whole eggplant, which doesn't surprise me. I have a knack for eating entire fruits/veggies without any issues. It was awesome. I'm thinking about it still. Ahhh good stuff...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Tactical shooting practice and a good day

Today was probably the best day I've had in a very long time. It started out very carefully planned. I made Charlie breakfast and we both sat at the table eating eggs and toast with a glass of OJ. That was awesome. Then, I changed Charlie's diaper and around 10:30 gathered some ammo and the Bersa and headed out to go shooting. This required very careful planning because I wanted to shoot while Charlie took his nap with his little earmuffs watching me shoot. He was looking a little drowsy so I put him in the car, got some gas, and drove to our secret shooting spot. By the time I got on the freeway, Charlie was zonked out. Anyway, he slept nicely the whole time I was shooting. So about the shooting. it was pretty cool. I only got to shoot 100 rounds but I practiced more tactical stuff like shooting at different distances, different hands, laying down, stuff like that.

I discovered some really interesting things. 1. Shooting laying down is hard. But I did ok. 2. I can't do things with my left hand very well, but I can shoot one handed with my left hand relatively well. 3. I trust my shooting abilities enough to place my camera directly next to my target on auto-timer so I can get video footage of my shooting an object. For the record, the video was shot using American Eagle .380 95 grain bullets at 15 feet with my Bersa Thunder .380. Not that anyone cares, but if you do, that's the deal. My groupings were within a 2" radius. I think one might have been over 2" but for averaging out sake, we'll keep it at 2".

After that, I just kinda unloaded all over the board and destroyed it.

Sadly, 100 rounds of ammo goes really fast. I don't think I was out there for more than 10 or 15 minutes tops. It seems sad to drive out there to leave only 15 minutes later but this is again more proof we need to get the reloading bench set up and I need to start loading .380 because dammit, this was so easy and such a pick-me-up, I could easily see myself going out once a week to pop a few rounds off. I like shooting alone better, too, for what it's worth, because you don't hafta wait on others, but I do enjoy company...

After shooting, I came home and cleaned my gun, then Chrissy took me out to lunch and we went to BJ's and shared a pizza that was awesome. And we had to have a weird brownie desert thing too. It was her thank you to me for taking her to and from her lasik and watching her till her babysitter got to her house to watch her last night. Anyway, today, when Jesse comes home and asks me how my day was, instead of grumping, I can tell him it was AWESOME! Because it was...

Politically confused

I've been feeling a little politically confused lately. OK, a long time ago, I registered as a democrat when I first was old enough to vote because I didn't know enough about politics to know where I stand and because my family was middle class working folk, I thought that's where I should be. But then as I got a little older and worked more and was more conscious of where I really fit in despite my economic situation, I switched over to Republican. But then I felt the party started becoming too business-like, less backbone and more you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours. So for lack of a better reason, I felt out of touch and switched over to Independent American. Well, I guess lately, I feel like the Republican party seems to be cleaning up their act and maybe they're worth joining again. I mean, with Republicans like Ron Paul, it's definitely worth looking into again. And maybe I did exactly what I accused them of doing and not having a backbone, instead of sticking in and holding out, I just left for something better. So I'm seriously considering re-joining the dark side again. I'm just not 100%. I really hate just because I'm part of something being told that I have to vote for one candidate or another. On the same end, I hated because I was independent last election that I got so many Obama solicitors at my door and calling my house. I really do not like political solicitation. But I feel like (in Reno) there is such an active Republican party that has great standards and maybe it is worth looking into re-joining. I think I need some time to think. If nothing else, I know Katie would be standing by with the election form all filled out for me ready to go and all I have to do is sign it. Hehe.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hrmf random...

We sent our rent of pretty early this month because we wanted to get October's rent out of the way. The weird thing is for some reason it seems like whenever you have a private landlord, they demand rent asap but take forever to cash your check. But with a property management company, you can send them things late, early, whatever, and they cash it like that day. I dunno. I guess it's just because they have people that get paid to do it for them. Whatever the case may be, it's borderline frustrating because this completely throws off my budgeting math and what not.

Charlie is kinda done being broken. He sleeps all night now but he still needs to be rocked to bed. I think it was a teeth or growing thing.

Today I made a chicken pot pie for lunch. Then I made a beef stroganoff for dinner. Sometimes I like to think that with my awesome wife skills, other men look at me and think, "Maybe getting married isn't such a bad idea..." I think too many people have grow up in broken homes and took their mommy and daddy issues and try to sleep their ways into comfort or something and just look at marriage as a bad thing that is doomed if they ever do it. I don't get the whole being in a relationship forever thing. I mean, if you love someone and you're with them for more than 2 years, why not just get married? What's the hold up? I guess I wonder this all the time. Why wait to save money for a wedding or a house or whatever. Just do a small wedding. Get a little apartment and share those joyful and awkward moments of living in a small space together while you save up together for a house. I just feel like people who say that they need to wait a certain amount of time before getting married are worried something won't work out and are waiting for something bad to happen to justify their beliefs that marriage is a bad thing. I dunno. I mean, if you're someone who chooses to not be in a relationship, or to be a serial monogamist or a swinger or whatever, that's fine. But I just don't get the whole dating for years and not marrying thing...

My friend Chrissy got Lasik today. They don't cut the eye open anymore apparently. I totally want it if I can ever afford it. I'm watching her dog, Bentley. He's a little pomaranian. Charlie was laying down on the floor on his tummy cuddling with Lulu and Bentley just walked up to Charlie and humped him. I had to pull him off and say NO. Chrissy is right about her dog being gay. I mean, there was a female dog laying on the floor doing nothing and who does he hump? The male boy. Go figure.