Friday Fives

1. If you were a cult leader, what are some of the things your cult would believe in?
The entire cult would be centered around creating a new utopia based on left-handedness and readily available fresh raspberries. Unfortunate right-handers who are coerced into joining the cult would be forced into a left-handed centric worldview. Lefties, by their very nature, would be elevated to positions of power in our gorilla shadow world government.

2. If you started a new sport, what would be some basic rules and the point of the game?
As a rather clumsy sporty sport sort, my new sport would be centered around marbles and those fancy Jai A Lai glove mitt things. And no base running but instead more of a dartboard style scoring system.

3. If you invented a new fiction genre, what would it be?
Left-handed presidential autobiographies.

4. If you invented a new food craze, what would be the basis?
Raspberry fritters.

5. If you founded a new country, what would one of the tenants of your new constitution?
Corporations are not people!!!!

Friday Fives

1. Lot’s of death and bad news this week. What’s something good that happened this week?
I’ll take an easy shot and say that the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup was some good news for the week.

2. It’s a good day when . . .
There is lot’s of fresh coffee and lots of ice in the fridge.

3. What’s the best feeling you have ever felt?
Landing at Stapleton airport on my return home from the Army and seeing my family waiting for me at the gate.

4. What cheap (< $20) guilty pleasure can turn a bad day into a good day?
A hot slice of pizza.

5. Do you have a best “Dad” joke?
Q: Why don’t you ever see any elephants hiding in trees?

A: Because they are really good at it.

Friday Fives

1. It’s already June, for crying out loud! What is your earliest summer memory?
“I have some fond memories of walking to the county library and checking out books and participating in the annual summer reading program. Also some deeply ingrained memories of going to the county fairgrounds, for both the fair and for the weekend quarter horse racing. My dad was on the county’s racing commission and he usually towed me along as a kid while he was setting stuff up or taking part in running the parimutuel betting booths.

2. what’s the stupidest thing you’ve done as a kid over summer vacation?
It probably involved something we would do playing down by the creek along the creek bed Lots of hours were spent there and it wasn’t necessarily a safe place.

3. Do you have any summer traditions?
I think gathering to watch triple crown horse races at a tavern somewhere, although this year, I am way behind the curve. Either that or taking in a show at Red Rocks.

4. What did your summer look like 15 years ago?
So, hmm, 2003. This was pre-blog, pre-Gmail. I am certain there was a camping trip or two (Gunnison/Buford?) I would have been 39 years old, so no major birthday stuff that I can recall.

5. What do you hate about summer?
Paying the electric bill due to running the A/C.

Friday Fives

1. Are you an active collector of anything?
T-Shirts, I guess. I have amassed hundreds. But I haven’t bought a new one in months if that counts for anything.

2. If you could quit your job and pursue your hobby full-time with financial security, what hobby would you pursue?
Baking. Opening a French bakery and making wonderful loaves of bread all the live long day.

3. What’s the gateway drug for your hobby?
For baking, I would say it is learning to make beer bread. Basically dumping and stirring and baking. Yum.

Beer Bread

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

3 cups self-rising flour (sifted)
3 teaspoons baking powder (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
1 teaspoon salt (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
1?4 cup sugar (sifted)
1/2 T Vital Wheat Gluten (sifted) (Optional but will help keep it together and not make a crumbly mess of a loaf.)
1 (12 ounce) can beer (just about any style of beer works and each variety gives the loaf a different character.)
1?2 cup melted butter (1/4 cup will do just fine.)
(Sifting the flour is a must do. This can be a brick of a loaf without sifting. Sifting gives it more of a cake-like texture.)

Sift all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir it up to incorporate all of it. Then slowly add the beer and stir until you have a sticky batter.
Generously grease a bread pan (if you have glass it seems to work the best.)
Pour the batter into the greased bread pan.
Pour the melted butter over the top
Bake for one hour.
Carefully remove from the pan and let cool on a bread rack for about 30 minutes

Slice and eat.
This is amazing toasted.

4. What one thing were you 100% into but now have no interest in?
As a kid I was into stamp collecitng and still have my binder of stamps but I am not an avid collector anymore.

5. What’s the weirdest hobby or interest you have heard of?
Oh gosh. Where to start. With the world of social media, you can find all kinds of things. I think my favorite is the guy who works at getting into the back ground of live camera shots as a hobby.

Friday Fives

1. What is the TL;DR of your favorite book?
The whale is an allegory for the elusiveness of the meaning of life, just outside of Ahab’s reach.

2. Do you listen to Audiobooks? If so, why?
No. I have tried but I can’t get hooked into the narrative.

3. Who should definitely NOT be narrating children’s books?
Kevin Spacey – with what we know now, it would be just too weird.

4. What would be some good books for a 12 or 13-year-old boy could pick up and then learn to love to read?
Harry Potter of course. And maybe some solid science fiction, like “Ender’s Game.”

5. What’s the most disturbing book you’ve ever read?
The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski. There is a terrifying rape scene that unfortunately stays with you for a while after you read it.

Friday Fives

1. Do you mostly prepare your meals at home or do you eat out more?
I have gotten into the habit of cooking at home – saving money and far, far healthier. I eat out on weekends quite a bit.

2. Is there a time of day when you are more likely to buy food already prepared?
Weekends at brunch.

3. What is your average weekly grocery bill (for how many people)? What is your total restaurant/fast food bill for an average week?
About $150.00 or so a month for me, but I haven’t really budgeted it out.

4. What is your favorite meal to prepare at home?
I have taken up crafting some yummy artisan pizzas based on Jim Lahey’s “My Pizza” cookbook. It is a slow ferment no-knead dough and the trick is cooking it under the broiler in a preheated 500 degree oven. Quite delicious.

5. What is your favorite meal to order in a restaurant?
Lox and bagels with a smear of cream cheese.

Friday Fives

Maladies:

1. Do you have any allergies?
I have a sulfa allergy and some pollen/mold allergies in the spring that can make for some miserable days. But better living through chemistry! Thanks, Flonase.

2. Do you have any phobias?
Not really. As I get older, I am less keen on big crowds, but I think that is more of a grouchy old man syndrome, rather than a phobia.

3. Do you have any chronic conditions that have changed your life?
Well, there is the heart thing and diabetes. Both are managed and on the mend.

4. Have you had any surgeries? Were there complications?
See above, I had the heart thing. Not a full on surgery (I was lucid for the entire thing.) But I have never been under the knife.

5. How are you going to die?
I joke that it will be a choking hazard caused by drinking water too fast. But it will probably be the heart thing.

Friday Fives

Friday Fill-in:

1. I’m mad about _____
just about everything in politics these days. As a nation, we have lost our way.

2..I’m sad about _____
the fact that Sally Jesse Raphael is no longer on the television. She was the soul of our great nation.

3. I’m numb to _____
news reports of gun deaths and shootings. It makes me mad and sad that this news is so commonplace and normalized the point that it doesn’t really affect me like it should.

4. I’m looking forward to _____
summer and some consistent weather. This year, the weather has been odd and off seasonal and I need me some consistency – snow in winter, rain in the spring, sun in the summer.

5. I always stop to look when _____
there is a little kid running around a restaurant. Usually highly cute and entertaining. Since we are as a people now taking our kids everywhere we go, we might as well take a moment to note the cute little ones.

Friday Fives

What 5 albums define your choice in music?

Discuss

  1.  Elvis Costello – Almost Blue.  I first heard this in the army and its mashup of classic country covers with the energy of Costello and his band was infectious at the time and led to my appreciation of the alt-country genre.
  2. Grisman and Garcia – Shady Grove.  I always had Grateful Dead music in my life from the dorms of CU Boulder and Western State in Gunnison as well as a roommate in the army who loved the dead but I was never really into them.  Then I found this gem of Jerry’s bluegrass approach that led through a back door into my appreciation of Grateful Dead.
  3. Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska. A theme album that really showcased his songwriting stripped bare to just the Boss and his guitar.
  4. Wilco – Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.  I think it was the movie – “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” about the making of this album and all the machinations behind it that led me to begin a long appreciation of Wilco.
  5. Big Head Todd and The Monsters – Midnight Radio.  Rare live recordings of their early days as a band and led me to appreciate bootlegs and rare tracks and live acoustic covers and recordings.

 

Friday Fives

1. What is a filthy business tactic you know that everyone should be aware of?

Union busting and the assault on the American labor force. There are so many myths about union labor that aren’t true at all and created by greedy Chamber of Commerce folks to make it easier to line their pockets. Union labor built the middle class of this nation. That and never pay extra for sprinkles on ice cream – that’s a filthy business tactic.

2. What is unethical as fuck, but is extremely common practice in the business world?
Tacking on lots and lots and lots of extra business fees. (This question is an awful lot like the one above.)

3. What has been the best corporate Darwin Award? A decision made by a company that basically killed the business.
The Walmart/Vlassic pickle affair wherein Walmart put so many requirements on to Vlassic to supply them pickles that they ran the company into bankruptcy trying to compete.

4. What companies make you wonder ‘how are they still in business’?
Sears/Kmart. It’s a mystery. Maybe more of a regional thing but in the Denver neck of the woods, I don’t know anyone who goes to those stores.

5. What company has forever won your business?
Amazon. They are huge, yes and attacked for ruining brick and mortar stores – perhaps. But their customer service is amazing, simply amazing and reliable.