Monday, February 25, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] I Miss the Honky Tonks, Dairy Queens and 7-...

Here... Have some music.

I've always liked this tune. It's one of those songs I'd forgotten about until it popped up on the radio. Then, you know how it goes: memories, fun things, and the uncontrollable urge to get up and do something.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/25/2008 02:27:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Happy Monday!

It's been a week... A very, very unproductive week.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as though it was nearly as unproductive as it should have been. I wrote, I caught a mouse, and I taught myself how to cook a whole heap of nifty new dishes while also putting some wild spins on comfort food favorites of days long past. So, in light of that little flurry of industry, I'm going to take the rest of this week and just sort of plod around doing what I can to not engage this puddle of sludge between my ears.

I figure I will either read a somewhat decent book, or I may just spend the week trying to figure out just how in the hell I can make a Slinky go down stairs --alone. Not in pairs. I only have one, lonely Slinky. For some damn reason, that has been a baffling quest of mine since childhood. It's haunted me, and it has plagued my existence since the day someone got my one of those damn springs.

Seriously. I can only get my Slinky to slink down one simple step instead of rolling ass-over-tea-kettle down and entire flight.

Do you, dear reader, have any idea the incredible crushing sense of failure one feels when their Slinky doesn't function as advertised?

Perhaps it would be best to just read a book. That freakin' Slinky will drive me mad.

Nonetheless, I will try to post some things here and there during the week, but I am not going to make any promises. However, on Sunday, I will be back... Oh yes!

As a teaser, aside from some of the things which I have already alluded to in this very senseless and meandering post, I will also be trying to follow-through on Jorf Sommermin's meme regarding three things I've learned the hard way (freakin' bastard keeps screwing up the name of this blog and the link to it, so hey! I'm returning the favor).

Now, I'm off to do what I can to escape this nagging, wretched sense of sanity I seem to be feeling at the moment.

Take care folks! If I don't see you this week, I'll see you Sunday... Sunday... Sunday!


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/25/2008 08:40:00 AM

Monday, February 18, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Gone Fishin'

Actually, I'm not that big of a fisherman. But, I figured it would be nice to hang that sort of sign upon this blog seeing as how I'm going to be clamming up for about a week or so.

Yes. It's time for a blogging hiatus until next week or March 1st (whichever comes first).

Don't worry though. Not only will I be back soon, I will also be checking email and keeping up with the comments here and pretty much doing my usual thing. I just need a bit of a break from scribbling.

So, don't go too crazy while I'm out.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/18/2008 10:47:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] <i>Don't Panic.</i>

Happy Presidents Day!

I know. As far as holidays go, it's really not what you'd consider a "top tier" holiday, and the only presents anyone seems to get on this day are endless marathons of all random TV shows. We've got the Anthony Bourdain No Reservations marathon on the Travel Channel. There's also CSI: Miami on A&E, the original CSI on Spike TV, Firefly on SciFi, and on and on and on... Even the freakin' Cartoon Network has something going all day.

Aside from that, though, it is Presidents Day, and, oddly enough, I'm going to celebrate President Garfield since, you know, why not?

As it turns out, I'm related to this president through some very twisted and obscure meanderings of the branches of my family tree. Apparently, some distant relative on my maternal grandmother's side of the family was married to one of Garfield's kids or something like that.

I'm not really sure how it all works out, but it's nice to know that I possess a little blue blood, American political royalty. Unfortunately, from what I gather, he wasn't that great of a president, and he was only in office for six months before he was gunned down by a crazed Republican supporter.

Freakin' neo-con bastards! You killed my great-great-great-great third cousin twice removed! Prepare to die!

Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy the holiday somehow. If you work in a bank or the post office, put your feet up, get soused and tune into one of the many marathons if you feel like it.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/18/2008 10:19:00 AM

Sunday, February 17, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] And Throw Away the Key!

Yes! Lock up R.A.W.. Lock her up for a good, long time. It needs to be done in the interest of public safety.

Won't someone please think of the children?

I've seen the pictures, and trust me. She's got flames and freakin' lasers shooting out of places that they really shouldn't be shooting from.

Okay... I'm done being silly now.

Peace out, gangstas!



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/17/2008 09:34:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] You Want This!

From the folks at Metafilter, I found a pretty nifty site for all you readers out there. It's called the Short Story Library from American Literature, and the real peach is that you can even sign up for a Short Story of the Day to be shipped all nice and tidy to your RSS reader.


You bet!

So, do yourselves a favor, grab a favorite, give it a read, and while away the lazy Sunday afternoon with a nice tale of whatever fits your fancy.

That reminds me. One of these days, when I'm feeling ambitious and actually have the time, I'll post on this blog some of the short stories I've written. Unfortunately, all I currently have are hard copies of the stories floating around, and I'm not altogether thrilled with typing them out all over again. Plus, posting from Word to Blogger genuinely sucks. But, I'll work on it.

The strange thing is, now that I think about it, perhaps clacking out something like that may actually help bust me out of this writing rut I've been in lately. Hmm...

Meh... I'm pretty much just babbling at this point.

Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy the links above and the stories contained therein.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/17/2008 12:54:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's So Not a Beautiful Day in the Neighbor...

For the record, my neighborhood is somewhere in that green mess right by the blue spot. Soon, the green yuck will turn into a little slice of purple before finally ending the day as a big, gray smudge.

It's a typical Wisconsin day, I guess. And, well... I think if I ever get to England, the one thing I won't complain about will be the weather. It seems that it would be an improvement.

Anyway, I hope all your Sundays are going fine and dandy and you're safe and warm wherever you are.

I'm off to run outside and enjoy the greenness of it all. Green is spring, right? I'll drink a Guinness outside since St. Pat's Day is right around the corner.


P.S. I hope this is the last time I write about the weather. It's like a broken, freaking record.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/17/2008 11:46:00 AM

Saturday, February 16, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Bring in the Pain!

Ooops... Sorry about the previous "attempt" at this post. some of you may have gotten an alert or whatnots for it only to show up and be driven to scratch your noggin and wonder what happened to it.

See, what happened was... umm... Locusts. A Biblican plague of locusts took over my computer, and since they're not normally known for their typing skills, apparently, they hit "publish" when they were trying to type.

Okay... Honestly?

It was me.

I am dumb.

However, in my defense, I do have some painkillers in my head. It's been a rough, rough day with a whole heap of aching bones and joints (even the hairs inside my nose hurt). And, since my fingers aren't exactly working as well as they should, I think I hit some sort of obscure combination of buttons which lead to things going ahead without my approval (I think it involved the letter "p").

Anyway, today's a painful one. But, don't worry. I gave myself another injection of Humira yesterday and things should be fine (though I did stab an odd, out-of-place nerve in my leg that almost made me pee my pants it hurt so freakin' badly. Very weird). The only drawback is that it should take a bit of time before things start working, and I'm up running marathons and resuming my break dancing lessons. Today, however, it's me and the couch.

Aside from that, and in better news, my mother's doing pretty well. I want to thank you all for the kind notes and well wishes. I still do have the best readers in the world, and it's folks like you who make this little corner of the intertubes a fun and friendly place.

You dudes totally RAWK!!!!one!!1!

Unfortunately, my mom's back in the hospital since she had developed fluid in her lungs. Apparently, after these sorts of surgeries, it's important to get up and move around as soon as possible to keep these things from setting in. However, as a result of her post-operative pain, she was unable to do things like walk and cough and subsequently clear her lungs. So far, it's not anything serious, but they are keeping her at the hospital to keep an eye on things.

Let's see... What else...

It's Saturday afternoon, and I hope the day is going good for everyone stumbling upon this. The weather here is currently not too shabby. It's coldish with temps in the mid twenties, but I ain't complainin'. Unfortunately, another storm's coming, and though the snowfall amounts keep changing, I can imagine it's not going to be any fun. At this point, even a single flake is seen as a vile and disgusting interloper to all things sunny and warm.

Well, it's clearly time for me to scamper to familiarize myself with my sofa.

Have a great Saturday.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/16/2008 03:17:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] More Burning Stupid...

I like this quote from Ben Stein:
"Assuming it all did happen by Random Mutation and Natural Selection, where did the laws of gravity come from?"
I'm going to have to keep that one handy on days when I'm feeling dumb.

Ben Stein has been making the rounds trying to hype a creationist propaganda piece called Expelled: No Intellegence Allowed (That's actually a pretty ironic title when you think about the gurgling, anti-intellectual crowd of heaving, irrational zealots behind the thing). Perhaps the best bit comes when Mr. Stein and the folks behind this film decide to hold a press conference to promote the movie, yet they make the reporters present sign non-disclosure agreements, and they carefully vet the questions to allow only softballs pitched their way.

Now, I'm not a member of the journalism community anymore, but I'm thinking that NDA's tend to run wholly contrary to the notion of a press conference as a free-exchange of information.

Anyway, here's a really hilarious article by Dan Whipple about his experience at this surreal summit of creationist hypocrisy.
The Search for Truth, God and Braver Scientists in 'Expelled'
It's some hard-core stupid dribbling from the head of Ben Stein in this article, and it really does shatter what little respect I once held for the man. He used to be a funny entertainer, but he's been hooked into the crowd of the anti-intellectuals and the anti-rational people who see too much education as a bad thing, and they openly shun the provable facts and reality of the world around them.

Ah well... I just wanted to get that off my chest today.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/16/2008 02:52:00 PM

Friday, February 15, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] A Web of Ice...

In a rush... But, here are some picture of a frozen web I found on the back window of my Jeep earlier today. It's kind of neat.

Yeah... I don't think that spider is going to be catching anything other than frostbite.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/15/2008 05:27:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] "We're All Gonna Die."

What happens when a president goes too far? At what point do we remove this unhinged madman from office and institutionalize him so as to have his dangerous paranoia treated before he does further damage to himself and this ashamed and embarrassed nation?

"American citizens must understand, clearly understand that there's still a threat on the homeland. There's still an enemy which would like to do us harm," Bush said. "We've got to give our professionals the tools they need, to be able to figure out what the enemy is up to so we can stop it."

"By blocking this piece of legislation, our country is more in danger of an attack," [President Bush] said.

Oh my god! We're all going to die if we don't give the telecommunication companies immunity from violating federal law. The creatures in Congress and the Senate are being asked to violate their sworn oaths of office by passing ex post facto legislation in clear violation of Article One, Section Nine of the U.S. Constitution.

Yes people. Cloaked within his "Chicken Little" rhetoric, George Bush is demanding that both houses of America's legislative branch commit treason solely to protect the telecommunication giants from being held accountable for infringing on the Constitutional rights of American citizens. And, Bush does this in the name of his ridiculous, nebulous war that has become far more a convenience for the chattering fool than a cause for the safety of our "homeland."

Have Americans become too stupid and too scared to see just what it is we are allowing this maniac we call a president to greedily strip from us time and time again in his mad quest for power? This president should answer to us! We should never have to answer to him. Our citizens are so much better than our leaders, and I hope, in spite of this crazed president's wishes, and the incompetence of our legislative branch, we do what we can to protect the valuable foundations of America's freedoms before they are taken from us.

There should be no immunity for those who willingly aid in stripping the Constitutional rights away from American citizens. They need to be held accountable, and a message needs to be sent to those who would so willingly defile our Constitution so as to protect a small handful of American industry.

Many, many times I hear the wailings that those who wish to harm our nation, wish to do so because of the rights and the freedoms we, as Americans, enjoy. However, in the eyes of those who pass the laws, those freedoms are meaningless and something to be taken away for whatever arbitrary reason our foolish leaders can concoct. Today, it's the protection of the phone companies who broke the law and spied on American citizens without a warrant.

What's next?

I will take my freedoms over your fear and your scare tactics any god damned day, Mr. Bush. So, kindly, take your terrorizing and your relentless hectoring and leave America alone. What you have done to this nation is far, far worse than anything those who attacked us could have ever hoped for, and for that, you should be judged.

This is going to be a long, long year, methinks in Bush's odd, little "comedy of terror."


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/15/2008 04:13:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Weehaa! Friday!

Well... It's Friday again.

I think this week just screamed by in a blur of madness and insanity. I mean, if it wasn't for the previous posts on this blog, I'd think a couple of days were just plain skipped during the course of the week. For example, what happened to Tuesday?

We had one, right?

Anyway, since it is Friday, I do have to ask what everyone is up to this weekend? I know some folks are probably celebrating Valentine's Day a couple of days late so as to be able to spend more quality time together (I think "quality time" in this case means getting absolutely sloshed until the bars close and the sun comes up).

So, who's doing what?

On this end, I don't think there's anything happening. There's yet another winter storm rolling into my neck of the woods on Sunday, and it's apparently supposed to dump another foot of snow on us Cheeseheads.

At the moment, I'm really not too sure how to feel about that. Seems like a perfectly miserable way to end a perfectly fine weekend.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/15/2008 11:16:00 AM

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day... Oh... Eight!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my readers.

sure a great many of you have lots of love in your hearts, and if you
don't have love in your hearts, well... Let it be hookers and whiskey
for all!

As for me, I suppose I can say that I am still mostly
single. I could ask the now-infamous girlfriend/ex-girlfriend if we
should be celebrating Valentine's Day, but there's always a pretty good
chance that could explode in my face and leave me wondering just what
the hell happened to make my teeth go skittering excitedly across the
floor like dice spilled from a cup shaken by a drunken hand.

the moment, I haven't any plans for tonight. Besides, I'm not the kind
of guy who really needs a special day set aside for doing silly, little
romantic things which I tend to do anyway at random moments throughout
the weeks and months of a relationship. I'm a big fan of giving flowers
for no reason whatsoever, for instance, and so far today, as far as I
can tell, I've fulfilled my Valentine's Day obligation by doing nothing
more than sending out a sweet little text message to let the woman I
love know that I am, in fact, thinking about her and not thinking about
a naked Heidi Klum holding a football sized wedge of cheddar cheese
while balancing on a six-pack.

So, I've got that going for me
(or at least I did have. Curse you, Heidi Klum! Why do you have to go
so well with beer and cheese?).

Aside from that, I do hope your Valentine's Days are good ones.


[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Ooo... It's So Shiny!

I'm having some publishing-emailing troubles here, but I'm working on it. To pass the time, have a look at this, and please feel free to step into the comments to share your giddy, childlike excitement:

I can't wait... The theme song... the crack of the whip... The hat... And, the notion that things sure as hell aren't nearly as easy as they used to be.

Bring on the Nazis!


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/14/2008 02:38:00 PM

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Yeah... That'll Work.

I don't know if I should laugh or beat my fists over this:
Physical, emotional and spiritual support pumps up kids for FCAT
When Evans High School students bend their heads to take the 2008 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, dozens of community members will bow their heads, too -- in prayer.

A group of about 40 churchgoers hopes that God's power will do what studying has not for the strugglingPine Hills school: raise its state-issued letter grade above the F it received the past two years.

"Once you've done all you can do, you put it in the Lord's hands," said the Rev. Michael Kimbrough, pastor of Rising Sun Baptist Church in Pine Hills, who is organizing the prayer chain. (Full Story)
Done all you can do?!?

What the...?

Have you tried, oh... I don't know, teaching?

It's not the children's fault they're failing, Rev. Mike. The fact is, Florida is a bleak and hellish educational sludge of confused Bible-thumping evangelicals and fundamentalist pseudo-Christians who care more about indoctrination than any sort of legitimate education. You're a land of dummies.

What happens when the prayer fails, as it inevitably will, and these kids are made to believe that their precious, all-loving, benevolent god wants them to be failures?


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/13/2008 10:07:00 AM

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

Hell froze over!

Yep. As you can clearly see, we're getting more snow at my little hovel here in Wee-scon-sin!

Christmas has long since come and gone, and there just is no purpose for this annoying, frozen stupidity tumbling lazily from the heavens above. Really.. When was that last time anyone who wasn't a gibbering skinhead told you that he or she was dreaming of a white Valentine's Day?

On the plus side, it's a nice, light, pretty powder of a snow that shouldn't be too hard to move around.

However, on the other hand, it's still god damned snow, and I think my mind is breaking as I realize that I'm running out of places to pitch this nonsense. Seriously. If I throw it up onto the snowbanks which have come to surround my house like some sort of Chinese architecture designed to keep those pesky Mongols out, it just tumbles off and falls right back onto the concrete.

Oy! And I used to think Sisyphus got off easy with his endless chore...


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/12/2008 11:44:00 AM

Monday, February 11, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Busy...

Sundays should not be crazy days. In fact, Sundays should usually start with a breakfast of either a mimosa or a bloody mary, some assorted nibbles, and the day should end on the couch shortly before noon.

Unfortunately, my Sunday was way more work than it should have been, and though I'm glad it's over, today doesn't seem to be much better. Not only am I operating with a dangerous bloody mary deficit, most of the odds and ends I usually wrap up on a vodka-fueled Sunday were neglected, and now I've got to try and get them done today... On Monday... Sans booze.

Trust me. I do most of my best work when plastered (which would probably be a much funnier joke if I were married with lots of kids ).

So, I'm going to just let you all talk amongst yourselves and share whatever happens to be on your minds. I'll be back tomorrow.

Try not to kill each other.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/11/2008 10:20:00 AM

Saturday, February 9, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Ready to Attack...

Yes... The poor, trapped and trembling blanket (out of frame) is soon to be DogCat's next victim as he springs with sloth-like alacrity. Please remember, this is Nature's way, and it is not for us to interfere. There will be a considerable trampling of the blanket followed by many hours of unconsciousness as DogCat devours whatever energy the blanket can bestow upon him.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/09/2008 10:42:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Nothin' but Net!

Here's a picture of some snow collected in my neighbor's basketball hoop. I noticed this last night, and thought about taking a picture then, but it was a smidge too dark (though today doesn't seem to be any brighter), and I was a wee bit shaky from freezing my giblets out there in the cold.

The whole hoop and net were filled with snow last night. For a moment, when it first caught my eye, I thought, so... It's going to be floating ice-cream cones now, is it? I'm not enjoying hypothermia.

Fortunately, I managed to pull myself together and realize that it wasn't an ice-cream cone. After all, not only did it not have chocolate sprinkles, it was too big, and most frozen treats don't usually hover ten feet off the ground in a dark alley.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/09/2008 09:20:00 AM

Friday, February 8, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Snowmen Are Eating My Nose....

Ahhh.... Friday.

Well, I think it looks like everyone made it through the week, and for some reason, you've chosen to drop by here to find... umm... what was it again, exactly?

I don't know how much inane blathering I'll be able produce on these intertubes today. It's not so much that I'm busy, you see. There's a Doctor Who marathon on the SciFi channel which provides a much-welcomed mammoth distraction. I blame the sonic screwdriver and Rose Tyler's jiggly bits, ya know. On my TV, they are the small, shiny objects that take my mind off things like snow, ice, food and whatever else.

I'm also suffering through a wicked bout of keyboard dyslexia.

The brain's working fine and dandy, mind you. It's just that there seems to be a whole heap of confusion somewhere between a blazing synapse and my pudgy, dancing fingers.

Ah well... Typo through the tulips, I guess.

Aside from that gibberish, there's been some rumblings from my mother's doctors about potentially releasing her back into the wild sometime today, and that does amaze me. Don't get me wrong. It's great that she's allowed to head home and everything, but considering that only a handful of days ago she was cut up on a table with no end of wires, cables and ungodly plumbing coming out of her, you'd think that it would take a bit more time to recover. After all, I get a sliver in my finger, and I'm a whimpering child for about a week or so.

If I were in her shoes, and it was me in that hospital bed, right about now would probably be the time I'd have sufficiently pimped my morphine drip to function more like a bottle of cheap tequila at a frat-house kegger than that painfully slow little drip-drip nonsense.

Nonetheless, since it is Friday, and the weekend is rushing in upon us like a nice, deep breath, I suppose I'll ask you all what your plans are for the next couple of days?

So, who's doing what?

I know some of you might have to work this weekend, and well... you shouldn't. Just make something up. I mean, it is that time of year where cars don't start, people fall down and get hurt, and sometimes, god forbid, the goldfish may actually expire, plunging your world into a hellish land of heartbreak, sadness and despair.

As for me, I am not doing anything special. So far, in fact, the only plan I have is to celebrate Lent this weekend by grilling a huge steak outside on the patio at high-freakin'-noon so Baby Jesus can look straight down and wail at me and my tasty hunk of perfectly-grilled, medium-rare disrespect. After all, I'm not really a big fan of fasting, and I enjoy my gluttony.

Aside from that, have a great Friday folks. Try not to get too crazy.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/08/2008 10:44:00 AM

Thursday, February 7, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Irony?

I let you contemplate the irony in this picture sent to me....

Now, I've got to go shovel snow.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/07/2008 09:47:00 AM

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Snowy... Again...

Yup... We're getting socked with more and more snow. I think, so far today, we've gotten around a foot or more of insanely heavy wet snow, and this nonsense is supposed to continue for several more hours.

The really annoying bit is that the airport's closed, so I can't go all looney and hop on a last minute flight to Mexico or anything.

Anyway, here's a picture of some of the snow piled on some of the crab apples in the tree outside. So far, I think it's the only thing with any color I've seen today.




Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/06/2008 05:10:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Dan's Happy Chili.

I think there are only a few things that can make a blizzard marginally enjoyable. Hot chocolate usually helps. Whiskey is always a great anti-freeze. But, I don't think anything tops a good bucket of spicy chili to warm the head when snow and ice are piling on top of more snow and ice, and the glacier is slowly moving into your back yard.

So, I'll share the recipe for my standard chili with you (Plus, Gaz asked, and Gaz is a cool, English bloke who strikes me as someone who needs a good chili recipe because I think chili in England is an oddity).

This is actually a pretty versatile and malleable concoction. For example, you can eat it by the bowl and be perfectly happy with it. Or, have it on a bun. You can also easily adjust the spiciness by either adding more peppers or adding more sugar. You can even add some cream to it to create a real ultra-rich head-scratcher of a bolognese sauce to put on pasta. It also freezes really well.

You will need (sorry Gaz, but my metric skills are too weak. So, you'll have to convert on your own):
  • 3 lbs. of ground chuck
  • 1 slice of bacon (chopped)
  • 1/2 pound Chorizo sausage (casing removed if it's got one)
  • 1 good sized white onion (diced)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (finely chopped or minced)
  • 3 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 14 oz. can of refried beans (I use refried black beans)
  • 1 can light red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans (drained and rinse these too, duh)
  • 1 7oz. can(s) of green chiles (I use La Victoria)
  • 1 jar of sliced Jalepenos (Optional)
  • 1-2 Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce (sliced)
  • 1/4 Cup of chili powder (Or less. Or more. Or not at all. I use it mostly for color)
  • 1 Tbsp. dried red chile pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. hot paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. of dried cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp. (or less) dried cayenne pepper
  • several dried red pepper flakes
  • Dash or two or three or four of habanero sauce (or you can use a bit of fresh Habanero. It's optional as this evil bastard is one freakin' hot pepper that tends to dominate a dish and kill all the other flavors)
  • Various other peppers if you've got them lying around if you wish (I don't recommend bell peppers though)
  • 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cilantro
  • 2-3 Bay leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red Wine
  • Balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Cocoa (I use Hershey's Dutch processed, but any cocoa powder should work --I've not tried a bar of chocolate yet, but I'm sure I will before too long)
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • B-V Broth (or a beef bullion cube if you can't find B-V)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Juice of half a lemon
I think that's everything in the ingredient department. There are so many options in this list that I can't even think of them all. For example, you can use three pounds of diced sirloin instead of the ground chuck. Or, you can use a combination of any sort of ground beef. Or, you can throw a chuck roast into the food processor and just chop it all to hell on your own (which might actually taste better and bring a better texture).

The peppers are something you can back off of or add more of as you need them. About the only thing that is vital is the can or two of green chiles. You can buy them in varying degrees of hotness. I use the mild because I like to be able to control the heat with other things.

Now, let's get to putting this collection of stuff together into something more edible.

You're gonna need a big stock pot, tub, or cauldron as this recipe makes enough chili to last the winter, and believe me; I've tried to scale this recipe back, but it just doesn't work as well.

Now, before you begin cooking, create a nice mise en place by chopping up your onions and putting them in a bowl (or some other bowl-like container), then peel and chop up the garlic and put that in a different bowl. Trust me on this. You'll find it a lot easier going if you chop and dice things and open cans before you start. You may dirty more dishes, but you won't be frantically spinning, whirling and waving a knife around madly as you're trying to cook.

Thankfully, since this is a chili, don't worry about measuring the dried spices so much since you can get away with eye-balling them straight out of the bottle and add more if you need to as you go along. But, the onions and garlic and chipotles and stuff really should be broken down and cut upahead of time.

Anyway, put a large stock pot on the stove (the pot should be at least six quarts in size), pour in a bit of olive oil, and brown the ground beef.


Stir some more... Break up some of the big chunks if you feel like it.

Stop stirring.

It's okay if there's some pink left in spots.

Once you've achieved sufficient browness (or grayness), dump the ground beef into a colander or strainer that's large enough to hold three pounds of ground meat (if the strainer has big holes that may allow passage of precious meat, put a paper towel in there first).

Now, you're making chili... Try not to nibble too much of the browned meat, by the way. It looks yummy, it smells yummy, and it may even be calling to you from the sink. But, don't give into temptation. Trust me on this. The meat needs something. But, you know, try a taste if you wish.

So, what's inside your stock pot at this point?

There might be a few small bits of ground beef and a thin little varnish of grease and oil. That's good. But, it's not good enough, is it?

Toss in the bacon (hell yeah I put bacon in my chili!) and stir it kind of quickly around to render the beautiful, wonderful, delicious fat from the bacon. If the bacon starts cooking too quickly, remove the pot from the heat and keep stirring.

The point is not to get the bacon crispy. We just want to melt the fat out of it. So, it should not be smoking.

So, keep at it until you've got a nice coating of bacon grease on the bottom of the pot. Mmmm.... bacon...

Now, you can remove the cooked little bits of bacon if you wish at this point. I don't know why you would, but if you feel it's an important thing to do, take them out and eat them. I leave them in though, and they pretty much disappear into the chili and become strange, chewy, little bacon ghosts.

Anyway, now you dump in your boatload of onions, toss in a healthy pinch of salt and sweat the onions down by stirring.

Smells pretty freaking good doesn't it? Nothing beats the smell of bacon and onions cooking together. Seriously ladies. If you want to win a man over and woo him wildly, all you need to do is fill your house with the scent of bacon and onions. It will lead straight to the bedroom. You won't even need to feed the bastard since he'll be completely under your spell by the intoxicating aroma.

Anyway, once the onions are softened and translucent after their sweat (we're not frying things here people), throw in the garlic and stir... stir... stir...

Yeah... Okay. That whole bacon and onion smell was nice, but once you throw garlic on top of it, your head should be spinning and your arm should be stirring.

Add a few pinches or several grinds of black pepper once the garlic is reasonably cooked (usually a few minutes does the trick). then, toss in the chorizo, and break it up as you go along with your constantly stirring ways.

By the way, this is right about the time you should start occasionally using your elbow to stir. Up until now, you should have been able to handle the onions, bacon, and garlic with nothing more than a simple flick of the wrist. But, now that the chorizo is in there, things should be getting a little heavier (and a whole lot yummier).

Now, the chorizo should be turning everything a nice, threatening shade of red, and it should have almost "melted" down into a thickish paste.

Add the green chiles and chipotles and habanero sauce and stir...

If you'd like to add a few jalapeno slices at this point, go ahead. I tend not to use them, but sometimes I do. In fact, if you're using fresh peppers, this would be a good time to add them.

Anyway, what you're looking for at this point is for things to achieve a consistent temperature throughout before adding more things a little at a time, and the chiles should only take a minute or two to get the BTU's back. You might have a lot of steam, and that's good. After all, steam is water, and at this party, water is sort of the dull, silent wallflower just taking up space on the couch instead of playing naked Twister or whatnots.

So, let it steam for a while if you wish, but keep stirring. And remember: Things shouldn't be getting brown or crispy. They should just be getting mushy.

Now, all those dried herbs and spices like the chili powder, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, thyme, and whatever else you've got lying around?

Dump those in. Let's say a tablespoon of everything except the cayenne. Go easy on that stuff at the moment.

Oh, and don't add the bay leaves, brown sugar or cocoa at this time. That's later...

Now, where the hell are we with this?

Oh yes. Once the spices are added and stirred around for a few minutesto get some of the flavor out of them, add the ground meat you've browned (or grayed). It's the stuff sitting in the strainer in your sink making all that noise about getting cold.

Add a drizzle of the B-V (or pitch in the bullion cube),

Don't stop stirring, dammit. What you want to do now is incorporate that vast collection of flavors into the pile o' meat, and you're going to need to use your elbow. So, get to it.

Now, once everything is worked into the meat, and once it gets up to a temperature reasonably close to hot, add the crushed tomatoes and the diced tomatoes.

Stir again...

Dump in maybe a 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of red wine and a good drizzle of the balsamic vinegar. Tomatoes need alcohol to get the very most out of them. And don't worry. Almost all of the alcohol cooks away once it hits its vapor point of (I believe) 110 degrees and steams away.

Yes, the dull, wallflower water is now going home with the drunkest guy at the party! Woohoo!

Add the bay leaves (use two or three if they're small)...

Stir until everything is worked together and bring to a slight boil.

Now, you could taste it at this point, but I warn you; It will taste like absolute crap. Trust me. It's going to be bland and spicy and nothing but a big confusion of flavors that make no sense together. The party has turned into a flash mob of sorts.

So, once you hit a boil, throw a lid on, reduce the heat and leave it alone for about an hour or two (you might want to drop in to stir now and then to keep things from burning to the bottom. And if things do burn to the bottom, scrape it off with your spoon and work it into the chili. It's good stuff so long as it's not TOO burned, but if you come back and stir early and often, you shouldn't have a problem).

After an hour or two, your chili should have taken on a whole new form. Take a taste and adjust the spices as needed. Be delicate about it though since we've still not achieved full Chilidom.

Now, dump in the can of refried beans, increase the heat, and stir until the beans are incorporated and you've reached yet another boil.

Reduce heat to low. Put the lid back on. Leave it alone and stir occasionally while you do other things for another hour or two.

Hey look! An hour's passed. Did you vacuum? I bet the house looks as wonderful as it smells. But, don't forget, you've got a batch of chili on the stove, and now's the time to add the sweet stuff.

Sidle your way up to the cauldron of yummy (You could almost mosey at this point, but I think it's best to keep the moseyin' to a minimum until the chili is finished). Now, it should be looking like a really thick, rich chili. Have a taste and, again, tend to the seasoning (if all else fails, add some more chili powder). You'll notice that the refried beans really do bring something neat to the concoction. They thicken it up (especially once it cools down a bit), and if you use the black beans, you wind up with a nice, deep flavor.

Anyway, at this point, I throw in a handful or two of dark brown sugar (let's say it's about 1/4 cup to a 1/2 a cup), and a 1/4 cup of cocoa (three or four scoops with a soup spoon works). The sugar will dull the teeth of the spices to make the heat less aggressive (but still quite warming), and the cocoa adds a sweet, sweet earthiness.

Now, increase heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, stir... stir... stir..., and put a lid on and leave it alone again. However, now that the sugar is in there, it's important to keep more of an eye on it and stir it a little more often. Sugar likes to burn.

Yes.. yes... Another hour or two has passed, and it's time to pay attention to this neglected little orphan on the stove.

By this point, I'm sure you know the drill. Stir. Taste. Adjust spices (add some cayenne and/or another chipotle if you want more heat). You might need to add more brown sugar. It should have a slight sweet barbecue flavor to it, but it's supposed to be very subtle, and you shouldn't notice it at all until after the heat begins to fade.

Here's the surprising bit.

Don't increase the heat on the stove (unless you really want to. I find that all these consecutive boils do good things to the flavors by breaking down ingredients and whatnots).

All you do now is dump in the kidney beans if you plan to use them (you did remember to strain them and rinse them off, didn't you?), the lemon juice, and the lime juice. Stir (of course). Put the lid on. Let it sit for an hour.

When you come back, you should finally have a batch of good chili. You may need to do a final adjustment of the spices and seasonings before serving, but at this point, it's edible and yummy.

Yeah... I know it's a lot of dorking around and not exactly a low-maintenance dish. It's an all day thing, and it's perfect for those dreary days where the rain or snow is beating down, and the world is just a silent stretch of endless gray.

Personally, if I'm serving this chili, I tend to make it a day ahead of time and let it chill in the fridge overnight. That's when the real magic happens. Next-Day-Chili is always better. The flavors just work things out in the cold depths of the fridge, and it takes on a whole new angle of flavors.

Anyway, I don't know how many of you will make this bucket of madness, but if you do, let me know how it works out for you. It really is a versatile thing, and you can make it as spicy as you please. I've taken a little of the leftover chili and made it crazy spicy by adding extra chipotles and cayenne and whatnots, and it still finishes in the mouth with a nice sweetness. I've also taken a few scoops of the original and sweetened with a little barbecue sauce and ate it like a sloppy joe (or a Made Right to you folks down there in the south). And, as I said, add some cream to a bit of it, and put it on pasta with some parmesan and olive oil, and you get an interesting sauce.

Oh... And it makes a damn good chili dog.

The real trick to making any good chili is to simply taste it often and adjust as needed. A little bit here and a little bit there can really bring a lot over time and get it to where you like it. Just don't be too heavy handed with the spices all at once. Treat it as though you're tuning an old AM radio.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/06/2008 05:32:00 AM

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Send Napalm!

Let's see... I need to take a quick inventory here.
  • Hot dogs and buns? Check!
  • Bucket o' Chili? Check.
  • 3 Boxes of Chai Latte? Check.
  • Bottle of Amaretto? Check.
  • Hot Cocoa? Check.
  • Red Vines licorice? Check.
  • Sour Jolly Ranchers? Check.
  • Carton of smokes? Check.
  • Bottle of codeine-flavored Tylenol 3's? Check.
  • Beer? Check.
  • Bacon? Check.
  • Electric blanket? Check....
Bring on the god damned storm!

Apparently, we're supposed to be getting smacked silly by yet another horrendous winter storm that's supposed to dump anywhere from fifteen to nineteen inches of snow on Cheese Land, and what you see above is a sample of my Winter Storm Survival Kit. It's a little heavy on the chili-dogs, alcohol, and opiates, but considering how this winter has been, those things are more than justified. In fact, I'm probably going to burn more calories shoveling 40 tons of snow than I would running a freakin' marathon, and doing that with two arthritic shoulders is damn near torture.

Now, the really strange thing is that I'm supposed to be heading to the doctor's tomorrow to give some blood to the vampires/phlebotomists in the lab there. That's not the strange thing. The strange thing is that this will be my third trip to this particular doctor, and every time I've gone, there's been a damned snow storm. The first time, in December, it was a foot and a half of snow, and what should have been a 45 minute drive turned into an hour and a half.

A month later, when I was heading out there for a follow up, we had around six to eight inches, and though the drive wasn't terribly bad, it was still a huge pain.

Tomorrow, I imagine I will postpone my visit until next week sometime. It's not a big deal since I can pretty much roll in any time I want so long as I've been fasting for at least twelve hours. Still... I should really take this as a sign that I need a new doctor. But I like this doctor. However, I don't want to see the guy in August and have to drive through a town of very confused people trying to deal with a foot and a half of snow in summer. A line must be drawn somewhere...

Anyway, after I cancel my visit (which consists of nothing more than me waking up and saying "to hell with this nonsense"), and if I don't die from shoveling, I'll be here tomorrow writing about the awards I've won. They're not major awards, but they are very sweet and surprising and incredibly flattering, and the best part is that I get to pass this award along to other bloggers. So, to those of you who have been on my good side, check in to see if you are one of the Oceanic Six Distracted Seven.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/05/2008 04:17:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Women Are So Lucky!

Whoever came up with this should easily win the Nobel:

Booze bra gives women a wine rack
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Could this be the reason Amy Winehouse seemed to have sprouted such a heaving chest when she left rehab yesterday?

For those occasions when booze just isn't allowed a wine-holding bra has been created for the ladettes of this world.

Be it a rock concert of simply a trip to the women simply need to fill up the sports bra device with their favourite tipple and then once inside suck the liquid out of the special teat. (Full Story)
Now, I'm not naming names, but I can think of a couple of my readers who would easily use this sort of odd wine rack. They understand a certain kind of fun.

On the other hand, let's say you fill your bra with a nice merlot, Bordeaux, or some other red wine and it springs a leak? You're going to wind up looking like you were stabbed or shot.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/05/2008 01:25:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Super Tuesday?

I honestly haven't the foggiest freaking clue as to why today is considered "Super" Tuesday. I mean, yes. It's a good day for the democratic process since a bunch of states' primaries are today, and people are lining up to cast their beans in hopes of picking the person who we will then vote to be our next president.

To me, that just doesn't really smack of being super.

And, considering the candidates, it really doesn't seem super in any way whatsoever.

Anyway, right now, on this Super Tuesday, my biggest concern is trying to stay awake. Lack of sleep makes me care really little about who's winning what primary. I'm fed up, I'm tired, and I just don't give a bloody damn.

Aside from that, there's news in my life. I suppose it's good news.

My mother had triple bypass surgery last Sunday, and the surgery went well and she's convalescing in the Intensive Care Unit Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU. They're really fussy and protective about that sort of thing, I've found). So, she's doing pretty good.

It's hard though. There's a heap of worry, and it's amazingly difficult to see a woman who suffered through the hellish upbringing of seven headstrong, maniacal sons trapped in a hospital bed with no end of plumbing and electronics connected to her. And, seeing her there, I find myself struck with a ridiculous urge to repay a favor from very long ago.

When I was, I think, seven or eight years old, I was laid out with a really nasty case of salmonella, and I was rushed to the hospital, quarantined and pretty much locked away to the point where my doctor would do nothing more than stick his head in the door and ask how I was doing rather than run the risk of being contaminated. In fact, the only person who would step into my room was a brutal nurse who made a hobby out of yanking out my I.V. and jabbing it into a new vein several times a day for no reason whatsoever (she claimed I moved too much, and I claimed she was a sadistic Nazi wench who honed her nursing skills and compassion in a concentration camp somewhere).

Nonetheless, to pass the time in my infirmity, I had a lot of books to read and whatnots, but one simple gift occupied most of my time. It was a furious and frustrating gizmo that would either drive me insane or turn me into a gifted artist with a gifted mind and the motor skills of a freakin' Ninja.

It came from my mother, and it was an Etch-a-Sketch.

Unfortunately, in the month I spent in that hospital room, the only talent I could master on that damned thing was the drawing of a fairly decent circle. It was rarely perfect, and sometimes it was egg-shaped, and other times it simply looked like an egg with no end of birth-defects. But, on rare occasions, I could draw a circle, and I would set the thing beside me on my nightstand proudly until the Nazi Nurse would shoot her way in, grab it, give it a shake and erase my effort followed by the ubiquitous pin-cushion treatment and demands that I not move my arm an inch and constant threats of restraints.

She was a ruthlessly evil bitch, and I hope she died a slow, painful death being devoured by a flesh-eating bacteria with poor table manners.

Anyway, that's what I would like to get my mother while she's couped up in that hospital bed: An Etch-a-Sketch. I don't know if I'd be returning any favors, and I seriously doubt she would ever even use it or fully understand the message behind it. Plus, when she gave me one, it was way back in the day when this city only had four television channels to watch (and hey! The Etch-a-Sketch looked like a TV). Now, she's got a freakin' five disc DVD player in her room. So, an Etch-a-Sketch really wouldn't be nearly as entertaining.

So, that's sort of why things here have been somewhat distracted and slow, and the the updates are even more infrequent than they usually are. Things have been busy with running back and forth to the hospital, I've been cooking dinners for my father to keep him from existing on nothing more than a steady diet of cheap bourbon and fried chicken from the Chancery; I've been watering plants, bringing in mail, shoveling and shoveling and just trying to keep what little bits I can from crumbling into chaos. Writing just hasn't been able to fit into that chaos.

To make matters worse, there's more snow on the way, and it's going to be a big damn storm with an estimated four to nine inches of heavy, wet nonsense. So, it's more shoveling. I can't take any more shoveling. I need napalm. Explosives.

I think that's what America needs to do. We need to turn our enemies angst into something positive. I think we need to phone bin Laden and his cohorts in Al Qaeda to tell them that this white stuff that's falling from the sky and piling upon our sidewalks and roadways isn't snow, but it's freedom! Yes. Freedom Flakes! Homeland Security Slush! It's the dandruff of Jesus!

Americans live on it. We worship snow. Look at the X-Games on ESPN! We love our snow! Without snow, we wouldn't have America! Do you hear me Osama! If you want to send a message where I'll feel it most, grab a shovel and clear my sidewalks!

Seems like a plan to me.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/05/2008 11:31:00 AM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Correction!

Wow.... I thought yesterday was Pancake Day. However, as it turns out, today is actually Pancake Day!

Here's the official International Pancake Day website.

And, here's the IHOP National Pancake Day website.

Apparently, there's some controversy with Pancake Day as IHOP doesn't want to share this Fat Tuesday tradition with the myriad of bungling political primaries going on under the auspices of Super Tuesday. As a result, a schism has been created in the land, and we now have TWO pancake days (Today, Feb 5th, and Next week, Tuesday, Feb 12th).

Here's the IHOP press release:
About National Pancake Day
February 12, 2008

Known also as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, National Pancake Day dates back several centuries to when the English prepped for fasting during Lent. Strict rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products during Lent, so pancakes were made to use up the supply of eggs, milk, butter and other dairy products…hence the name Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday.

In 2008, Fat Tuesday falls on February 5, which also happens to be Super Tuesday, on which a record number of states will hold their Presidential primaries. In the interest of embracing the democratic process, IHOP has postponed its celebration of National Pancake Day by one week, and will give away free pancakes on February 12.

Since beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly one million dollars to support charities in the communities in which it operates. With your help, we hope to raise $750,000 for Children̢۪s Miracle Network in 2008!

What does this mean for you?

Well, not only do you get to violate some arcane and silly Catholic tradition of starving yourself for forty days, you also get to eat more pancakes.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of aDistracted Mind at 2/05/2008 09:13:00 AM

Monday, February 4, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] And the Human Spirit Still Wins...

Abandoned places have always fascinated me. I'm not entirely sure why that is either. Maybe there's something about seeing an old, vacant, broken down mental hospital that gives me a sense of hope. After all, people are sent to these places when they are essentially at their very worst, and though the patients and staff are most likely long gone, the buildings still stand, and only the ghosts remain in the shadows and fractured light filtering in through the cracked and grimy windows.

Anyway, this site is the absolute best I've ever come across in terms of photos of abandoned places: Opacity.

Some of these are just astounding.

The picture you see here was taken at Whittingham Hospital in Goosnagh, Lancashire, and it depicts a mere thirteen years of neglect. Like the human mind, I suppose the places built to mend it can often be just as fragile.

I hope you enjoy clicking around on the galleries and reading the stories. It really is a spooky, eerie, and fantastic trip into human history.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/04/2008 07:21:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] It's Pancake Day!

Now, I'm not terribly sure what is involved in Pancake Day, but I like it.

In fact, I think I love Pancake Day.

It may very well be the most beautiful holiday ever conceived in the puny minds of men. To me, the invention of pancakes is right up there with quantum mechanics, the microwave oven, and those helpful little plastic ends they put on shoe laces to keep them from getting all frizzy and difficult.

Without pancakes, my world would be a very sad place.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize it was Pancake Day until well after I had finished my lunch of a meatloaf sandwich and started making a massive batch of Dan's Happy Chili for dinner --it's got all sorts of yummy stuff in it from chipotle and chorizo to dark brown sugar and Dutch processed cocoa as well as about seven or ten different kinds of peppers. Each spoonful is like a happy gnome on crack bouncing quickly around the inside of your mouth with a blazing torch to provide a little heat just about everywhere at different times. He's not a violent gnome by any stretch. After all, I hate foods that are so damn spicy you can't tell what the hell it is you're eating. I've eaten some pretty odd meat of very questionable pedigree on more than one occasion that was so bloody painful, I could have been gnawing on my tongue for all I knew.

To me, that just takes all the fun out of eating.

Anyway, since it's pancake day, and I worry that if I miss it, Pancake Day will be no more, I'm going to have to figure out a way of making cornbread pancakes that don't resemble the garden variety tortilla. Perhaps something along the lines of a Native American fry-bread (which I could eat until my head falls off). Of course, I will have to cook it in a pan so as to remain loyal to the pancake Ouvue.

That also makes me somewhat sad since, every time I step into my kitchen with the notion of making pancakes, a curious look crosses my face and my deep-fryer starts drooling. I swear, sometimes in those silent, early-morning hours before the house is overrun with cats, I can hear the delicate, loving whisper of "bring me the batter" coming from my fryer.

So, obviously, I only have two options:

First, I can ignore the promise of goodness of deep-fried pancake batter coming from the whimpers of my deep-fryer, and I can make pancakes the old-fashioned way --in a pan.

Or, the other, slightly more unusual, option would be to whip up the pancake batter, dip a pan into it, and throw the whole thing into the deep fryer to inevitably end up with a cake shaped like a pan.

Needless to say, I'm going to have to work on this...

Nonetheless, I hope you all manage to celebrate Pancake Day. If you've got an IHOP or some other less international pancake outlet near you, I recommend you go and enjoy yourselves. Don't forget the butter and maple syrup (remind me to write about the time I got a massive jug of "mapel syrup" sometime. It's how I came to the conclusion that the best maple syrup money can buy is made by people who can not spell).

So, Viva La Pancake!



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/04/2008 01:42:00 PM

Sunday, February 3, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Super Sunday?

Let's just get this out of the way...

The Super Bowl is tonight.

The way I see it, the Giants are going to win quite handily with a final score of 35-17. The Pats will start off slow, and Mini-Manning will take advantage. So, there ya go. No need to watch, and now you can spend your time doing more important things like getting drunk or sleeping. Sorry if I spoiled it for you.

Aside from that, I don't know how much I'll be able to slap up here on my little slice of the World Wide Weird today. There's a heap of family stuff going on at the moment that I will try to get to writing about later.

Anyway, I hope you all manage to enjoy your Sunday, and I hope your weekends were good ones.

What did everyone do this weekend?

Does anyone need an alibi?


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/03/2008 11:26:00 AM

Saturday, February 2, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] The Rodent Needs to Die!

Apparently, that contemptible, odious, little rat crawled from his hovel, saw his shadow, and condemned us all to six more freakin' weeks of this miserable winter.

Yes. It's Groundhog Day.

I hate Groundhog Day...

I hate groundhogs.

The way I see it, considering my arms have all but fallen off after digging myself out from the blizzard that fell yesterday, I don't know if I can handle another six weeks (which actually translates to another six months for us upper-Midwesterners). It's torture, and a god damned rat is the one carrying out my punishment.

I'll get even, though. Somehow, I will find a groundhog, I will kill it, and I will use its frozen carcass to brush the snow off my car and his little bucked teeth to scrape the ice from my windshield so I can get a better view of the hazardous, snow-packed roadway.

Would you like that Mr. Groundhog? Would that make you happy?

Perhaps we should just blind the damn critter. Really. Would it be so hard giving the little rat a poke in the eyes before he leaves the house? After all, if he can't see, he can't see his shadow, and we won't have to be reminded that this endless, freaking, nightmare of snow, ice and bitter cold will continue until we all go crazy like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

How about blunt force trauma to the head?

A Taser gun to make Phil all nice and sparky and smoldering?

Ah well... Next year.

Next year I will make the pilgrimage to Gobbler's Knob, and I'm going to bring an axe. And, I will bring friends. They will have shovels, and there will be a blood-soaked coup.

This rodent's reign of terror will come to an end!



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/02/2008 09:09:00 AM

Friday, February 1, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Headline of the Month?

Here's a screen-shot of a story out of Hagerstown, MD.

I wonder if he was a plumber... Maybe he's a carpenter? It's hard to say really, but sometimes, I guess, the headlines just seem to almost write themselves.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/01/2008 11:14:00 PM

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] At the Buzzer....

Sorry... I've been out all day, and I'll get around to writing about that tomorrow. Right now, I feel like I dragged a grand piano out of a puddle of quicksand. Yes. We got snow. Lots and lots of goddamn snow!

However, since it's Friday, and the weekend is racing up on us, I would be remiss if I neglected to ask you all what your plans are for the weekend.

Is anyone doing anything fun? Anyone got any smokin' hot dates?

Well, I'm off. Have a great night, and I'll see ya tomorrow.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 2/01/2008 10:28:00 PM