Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Crack!

Also known by its common name 'Peppermint Bark'
I used this recipe for the basics.

Ingredients (I recommend doubling):
12 oz Dark Chocolate
12 oz White Chocolate
8 Candy Canes

Line a large cookie sheet with tinfoil

Put unwrapped candy canes in a ziplock bag & beat into small pieces with anything you have handy (I used a meat tenderizer - what aggression?)

While beating candy canes into submission, bring water to a simmer in a double boiler.

Temper or melt the dark chocolate in the double boiler.  Personally, I used the Wilton wafers and didn't bother with tempering. 

Spread the dark chocolate on the waiting cookie sheet.  The original recipe said 1/8", I took it down to roughly 1/16"*

let the dark chocolate cool while you clean the top pan & melt the white chocolate.  The original recipe says to put it in the fridge for cooling.  I found that putting it directly into the fridge made the edges curl up.  The second tray I did I left on the counter and just popped in the fridge for a few minutes at the end.

Mix 3/4 of the peppermint into the white chocolate and spread out over the dark chocolate. 

While the white choc. is still tacky, sprinkle the remaining peppermint bits over top.  Cool the same way as the dark choc.

When cooled, break apart by hand. 

The whole process takes ~20 min and costs ~$5 per recipe. 

* My first attempt the layers turned out 1/4" thick and when I tried to break it apart it split between the layers.  Too thick & too cold = no bonding between the choc. layers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

'Tis The Season -Arrg!

I kind of sympathize with this woman in Portsmouth calling the cops about the Salvation Army holiday bell ringers.

“I listen to this for 200 hours a year,” said Hamilton-Parker, who works in a downtown shop near the annual bell ringers. “This is my fourth year and I can't take it anymore. I'm so sick of it.”
She said the bell ringing starts in the morning, clangs all day long, then continues into the night. According to her calculations, she listens to 40 hours of Salvation Army bell ringing every week, for five weeks a year, or 200 hours a year.

Maybe I'm a Scrooge but every time I hear that obnoxious ringing my urge to dig out change gets smothered by my rising need to choke the bastard with the bell.   It's not even the pitch, it's the frequency - it's like they're trying to match the bpm of a hummingbird's wings.  You'd think the ringers would get carpal tunnel within a week.  I would go stark raving mad having one camped outside my office window from Thanksgiving 'til Christmas.

Homicidal urges aside, they do get any convenient pocket change after Turkey Day.  However, I do refuse to drop a penny in those kettles before Thanksgiving.  The deal is, they get to assault my eardrums and guilt me out of change starting the day after Thanksgiving and I get to ignore them with prejudice anytime before I've had my turkey feast.  It's like turning on Christmas music or busting out the Christmas decorations before Aunt Mary's burnt the rolls and Uncle Ed's passed out after his 3rd helping of pie, some things Just-Aren't-Done. 

/end rant

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night Movie

I lieu of watching states turn red or blue while talking heads trade witty repartee, I've put in V for Vendetta - more fitting don't you think?

Friday, September 21, 2012

North Coast Blogshoot - Postponed :-(

Hi all, I hate to do this but we have to call off / postpone NC III due to a family conflict.  It's nothing serious but completely buggers our ability to host a shoot the weekend of the 6th. Seeing as Ohio's weather is unpredictable in October / November, we aren't planning to reschedule it for this year - the car & tannerite will just have to wait :-(

For everyone who RSVP'd - my apologies, I wish it could have worked out a different way.

Monday, September 3, 2012

New Gaming Set-Up

About a month ago, I broke down and bought improvements for my laptop / World of Warcraft set-up.  I was eking along with a cooling pad and using whatever was handy for a mouse pad.  It really wasn't working out, my laptop kept over heating and the ambidextrous mouse was a pain to use left-handed.  See, I'm a little odd-ball in that I'm right-handed but mouse like I shoot: left-handed.  Hey, maybe I was meant to be a southpaw!?  Anyhow, after a week of searching, reading reviews, and driving my darling husband nuts with my dithering, I bought Razer's left-handed DeathAdder and an Aidata cooling pad with a mouse tray attachment for the left hand.  I've been testing them out over the last month and finally got through few good gaming sessions (3ish hrs each session).  My goodness do they make a difference!

Razer's DeathAdder:

In looking for an ergonomic, left-handed mouse there's either Razer's DeathAdder or Logitech's VerticalMouse.  For price and familiarity I went with Razer - honestly, Logitech's freaked me out.  In reading the reviews prior to purchase, I came across some consistent gripes / concerns about the DeathAdder and I was worried that it would be a disappointment.  I'm so glad I didn't listen to them! Based on my experiences over the last month, I can honestly say that I'm very happy with the mouse and it has enhanced my gaming experience.

It was easy to set-up, I had the drivers downloaded and the mouse customized within minutes.  There were no issues changing the settings for the buttons and the glow features.  Razer does have the mouse buttons reversed, the right- and left-click are set 'backward' as a default but, hey, it's a left handed mouse.  This was a major gripe on the Amazon reviews, however, the feature can be changed from the Razer control panel (something all the reviewers said couldn't be done?!).  Out of curiosity, I kept the buttons reversed.  It took about a day to retrain myself for standard computer / internet navigation and one aggravating WoW raid to get it burned in my head what side does what.  It wasn't painful, I didn't die and no mice were flung across the room in rage. 

The DeathAdder mated up with WOW and all my addons without difficulty and I had a lot of fun binding the extra buttons.  Incidentally, I found that I can double bind the buttons.  Once to the Bartender addon for clicking on the screen in general and a second time to Vuhdo (my raiding framework) for clicking on raid icons.  So freaking fantastic!  So, instead of having a ho-hum 5-button mouse, it's more like having a 9 button mouse (one standard button has to be left on "target" or I can't switch targets by clicking their raid frames).  It has made healing raids and gaming in general much smoother.

As for comfort?  It was like shooting with a left-handed rifle for the first time - finally everything's where it's supposed to be and it's comfortable.  The extra thumb buttons are easy to reach without being pushed by accident, the scroll wheel is smooth & easy to click, and the pointer glides / tracks well for everyday use and gaming on the default settings.

Its appearance is tame for a gaming mouse - no outrageous color schemes or overly obnoxious decals proclaiming, "I'm a gamer!" (though they did add some in the box if you have a burning desire to do so).  I did turn off the glowing icon on the heel, it's never visible during use anyhow.  Otherwise, the matte top with the shiny 'piano' sides is esthetically pleasing and functional.  Thus far, it has resisted grime and my palm hasn't sweated up while gaming.

TL;DR: if any left-handed gamer happens to find my humble blog, get the Razer DeathAdder. 

Aidata's ld007p Cooling Pad:

Finding this was actually harder than finding the mouse!  Not one of the stock images shows that the mousing surface can go on the left side.  I passed it over a few times because while it said it was left handed, all the images were of the mouse on the right.  $!%# marketing.  Anyhow!  For what's available for southpaws (or righties pretending to be such) this is about the most economical option for laptop support with cooling fan and a mousing surface.  I was sorely tempted by the LapDawg Pug but all reviews pointed to it not accommodating a 17" computer, which was absolutely necessary. 

The Aidata does everything the company claims.  It is light weight, self contained, ambidextrous, adjustable, cools, and accommodates laptops +/- 17".  My computer is no longer overheating during raids and actually cycles between high and low fan speed during normal questing, which was a pleasant surprise.  The mousing surface is sufficient in size and support.  It does bend a little bit if you rest your palm on the outer edge, but it doesn't feel like it's about to break, etc.

I do have two criticisms.  First, when using the fan there's a notable vibration in the mouse surface.  It's not enough to make me look for a better option but it is a bit of a distraction.  The vibrations can be reduced by using one of the raised positions.  Second, it's rather awkward to hide the mouse tray.  As designed, you open the clam-shell, push a release button, pull the tray out away from the computer then place it inside the unit.  This may be necessary for stability, but it is a bit of a bother if you intend to break it down consistently. 

TL;DR: The Aidata ld007p is optimal for a left-handed, laptop gamer who prefers sitting on the couch versus at a desk that doesn't mind a little fan vibration.

**Both products reviewed were purchased by me for my expressed use and I am not receiving any benefit for these reviews**

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

North Coast III

Back by popular demand: North Coast Blogshoot III

Where: a wheat field in Northern Ohio
When: Saturday, October 6th
Details: One day only, pack-in pack out, with a cook out to follow.
Guaranteed targets include: Reactive water targets, Tannerite, and a car :-) However, we are in need of a sacrificial stuffed animal for the bayonet charge.

Look here for more updates and e-mail me apharcry at gmail dot com or contact the man of fustache-fame for RSVP / exact location

Thursday, July 12, 2012


After being gone for 9 months becoming a Marine, Heath's finally home.  It's been a long time and I'm damn proud of all that he's accomplished.  Now, to make up for lost time :-)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Another Year Older

Had a rather laid back birthday dinner tonight with my in-laws.  We made some chicken kabobs on the grill, had a little cake, and then I came home to the dogs.  That's just the way I like it.  I've always loved being born on the 3rd of July, it about guarantees good food, fireworks, and festival or two and I can normally get away with a quick verse of "Happy Birthday to You" at whatever family function's being held and slip the lime light of an actual b-day party. 

This year, I couldn't care less about being another year older.  However, I am getting the best present ever in about eight days, Heath's finally coming home!  His MOS school's wrapping up & he should be on a plane next Wednesday, yay!  At this point, I can't even think straight, it's going to be so nice to have him back!  So, Huzzah for another trip around the sun & God, do you think you could just hurry this week up a little, please?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Yelling at the Radio

Yep, that's what I was doing this morning.  Normally my drive to work's too short to bother paying attention to the radio personalities but I got hooked this morning on a call-in portion about the Obama-care decision by the SCOTUS.  Now, my wookie suit is fine and glossy, but it takes a bit to make me rattle the bowcaster.  However, when the twit calling in said that everything would be fixed by voting for Romney, I *might* have scared surrounding traffic with my vocal frustrations.  No, no, no! 

Becoming President isn't a carte blanche.  The President can't make or repeal laws so changing who's in the the big white house with fancy furnishings isn't going to get the ball rolling. So why are you focused on the President, look at Congress!  They served up this fetid mess of spew, so they, or their successors, are the ones that have to undo it.  It's their elections you should be concerned about and putting your effort into.  Obama and Romney are a shit covered coin toss, no matter which side lands up, your money's still covered in shit.  It's the Senators and Reps. that could make a difference - from local up to national.  Look at who's *making* the laws & vote for better representation.

*sigh* it's going to be a long year.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Early Morning Promise

I will never ignore Faust's whining at night again.  If he's waking me up he needs out.  I really didn't need the experience of cleaning diarrhea out of my carpet at 2am until I have kids (never would have been just peachy with me, too).  What did that dog eat?!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Missed My Birthday

Just realized my blog passed the one year mark about a week ago.  To celebrate, here's a video of Star Wars: A New Hope being read by an amazing cast of voice actors at the Seattle Comicon.  It's worth the hour to watch it all (at least go to 21:46 and listen to R2D2 as read by 'Ozzy Osbourne')!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Peeping Tom

This little guy was hanging about my window for 10 - 15 minutes yesterday.

 Didn't even mind when I took the screen out to get a better shot.  He eventually flew off (after a few failed launches towards the glass)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In Which I Enter My First Gun Debate...

Alright, so this post from Bob Owen (H/T to Uncle for the link) made me want to put in my two cent on novice, women shooters & their first guns.  

IMHO, A beginner shouldn't be tied to one gun until they've had the chance to borrow / rent an assortment to find out what feels right.  Sadly, there is no Sorting Hat to make purchasing a gun more like fate than trial & error.  As a new shooter, buying multiple guns may not be fiscally prudent and when combined with the possible training and licensing costs, it may be impossible.  Which is why I agree with Bob that, as an only gun, a snubbie revolver is a poor choice.  It only fulfills one aspect of self defense (CCW) and doesn't encourage practice (no fun for a newbie to try and make cans dance with an airweight - trust me).  The problems he outlined: heavy recoil, muzzle flash, poor sighting, etc would diminish or extinguish the enthusiasm to practice and to carry if that is the only weapon they have to work with.  It'd be like learning to bowl with a 14 lb ball.  It's hard to control, awkward, and by the end of a few frames your arm's sore and the pins are mocking you from the end of the lane.  Afterwards, you wonder why the hell anyone found it fun to begin with. 

However, when there is access to multiple firearms, I see an airweight as a natural choice for a beginner carry piece.  They're light, easy to conceal, there's little excuse to leave it at home, and little chance of it not going 'bang' when needed.  It does absolutely no good to have a nice, easy to shoot gun in the safe because you wonder where the hell you're going to hide it.  As a woman & a relatively new shooter, I'd like to say that finding CCW friendly clothing that make you feel pretty (surprisingly important feature) and still allow you to carry a larger pistol or revolver is a PITA.  For a new female shooter, it's just about mind boggling.  The snubbie allows for purse carry (I know, not ideal - still better than nothing) and allows a woman to get used to carrying in different locations.  From there, it's easier to move up to a more substantial gun and begin playing with CCW styles, holsters, etc.  If they can't get over the initial "how do I conceal this," then the whole CCW thing is academic.  

As a final thought, a new shooter shouldn't purchase a gun with the frame of mind that it will be the only gun they'll ever own or that it must serve all purposes.  The phrase, "two is one and one is none" applies here; relying on one gun to perform all desired duties is impractical.  I believe it's easier to find a near perfect grouping of guns than the 'perfect' gun.  Case in point, I would never choose my airweight for my bedside defense, I have a nice, heavy revolver for that - which I'm not inclined to carry - and the bedside revolver is a secondary choice to the 870 shotgun for "bump in the night inspection" (for which the airweight is a meager, tertiary choice).  They all serve a purpose and together make for a solid defense.  The key point is to make self defense second nature as quickly as possible.  If carrying an airweight accomplishes that, who's to say it's wrong?

*Note, I find semi-autos to be a fine choice for CCW (beginner or not) but the theme was snubbies / airweights and the post was long enough.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Good Day

Well, the float switch arrived from Amazon (thank you Brown truck of happiness!) & it honestly took more time to get it out of the packaging than to get it installed.  So my basement is once again safe from becoming a swimming pool.

I also spent some quality time with the boys this afternoon.  Freedom & Gambler both appreciated the rub down.  Hell, Gambler even let me bring out the clippers without acting the fool.  Maybe I'll breakout the hose and suds this week & get out some of the deeper grime.  With highs in the 80's, they might actually appreciate it!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Spent the afternoon baking cookies & rocking out to Queen.  It's been a good day!

Ginger Snaps - Choc. Chip - Sugar Cookies

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Week In Review

I think it can be labeled a bad week when both sump pumps die. However, the week did improve from there. 

The major change-over we're doing at work is smoothing out so I'm not staying as late as I have been.  A lot of the planning and prepping I did before going to California seems to have paid off.  I can't get into much detail, but there's a lot of my time and ingenuity logged into this project, I'm relieved to see it implementing well.  In all, I'll be glad for the first week of June, just to see it completed! 

Spring projects / chores are starting to come together as well.  I managed to mow *most* of the lawn yesterday.  This was the first time it's been dry enough to brave where the pond was & other murky parts.  Some areas I'll have to attack with the weed-whacker simply because I'm not sure what's there.  Sounds kind of funny that I'm not sure what's in my own yard, huh?  Well, ya see, mowing is Heath's chore, he likes doing it & makes it look good and I'm rather ambivalent to beheading grass.  So with a wet fall / winter / spring, some of the soupier parts of the yard may have become more, um, wild, and while I know we have some unburied sections of dog fence & some rather fearsome rocks in the back corner of the yard, I couldn't say exactly where they are. So, I'll bring the weed whacker home tomorrow or Monday & go hunting for buried mower landmines.  Have I mentioned how much I want Heath home?

I did get one of "my" spring chores accomplished yesterday.  It took 3 hours, but all my front beds are weeded, tidy, and ready for mulch.  The beds on the back of the house still need attention, but my back and knees cried mutiny.  Also, there is no truth to the rumor that I used copious amounts of weed killer on the Canadian Thistles invading the south-side flower beds instead of dutifully hand-pulling each one (nasty, prickly bastards deserved every last drop! I regret nothing!).  Speaking of prickly things, my next project will have to be making trellises for the raspberries as they're threatening to take over the entire north flower bed.
Today was spent spiffing the house and I think I'll spend the majority of tomorrow baking.  A big batch of chocolate chip cookies always makes Monday seem more surmountable.

Warrantee Lapsed Last Month...

Last Sunday I noticed that the downstairs sump was kicking on rather frequently, bugger.  My F-I-L came over & had a look at the outside (main) sump.  After working on it for 30 minutes, he pronounced it dead and went off to the land of orange aprons to procure a replacement.  Upon his return, we found that the pipe leading from the old pump was of smaller girth than the one needed for the new pump, so it was back to the land of orange!  Upon his return all parts were assembled & the new pump lowered into the pit to alleviate the over-burdened pump in the basement.

Unfortunately, all the extra labor proved too much for the basement pump, it began stutter-starting and then refused to shut off at all, bugger twice.  This time I had my dad come over to check the pump, and he found the diaphragm switch broken.  An exact replacement was $70, however, with a little searching in the great inter-tubes I found a suitable substitute for half the cost.  Huzzah!  The brown truck of happiness should deliver it on Monday.  I can't wait for Heath to be back so I don't have to rely on others for this sort of thing anymore!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

House Toad

Our faithful house toads have returned!  I give you the first house toad of spring!

Joys of Travel

Had a wonderful time in California last weekend.  There were a few set backs (mostly with flights) but getting 4 days with my hubby made it all worth while. 

About those flights though...

I'm kind of torn on United Airlines, while almost every flight I was on was delayed or cancelled, I did make it to my final destinations on the intended travel day (albeit several hours later than anticipated).  This wasn't much different than US Airways last time around either, so I'll just assume delays & rerouting are the new status quo for air travel and not a foible of United specifically.

Their staff wasn't overly impressive either.  While they were efficient in getting new itineraries, that's about all I can say to their benefit.  Most that I observed (had several hours to kill) lacked conflict resolution skills.  I can forgive a lack of sympathy, after a while I'm sure everyone sounds the same clamoring about how their plans are ruined due to something an attendant can do nothing to prevent or rectify.  However, their job is to make the situation at least appear better, not worse, and help with what little they can control. 

Case in point: There was one poor bastard at Palm Spring Airport that got the unofficially-official goat-rope.  He & his family disembark from the plane (PSP uses open stairs, not enclosed catwalks) and while his family continues in, he stops *just* before entering the building & remembers they have door-checked luggage.  The United ticket attendant sees him, calls him into the building to ask why he was going back & he explains about the luggage.  She then informs him that since he stepped into the terminal, he could no longer exit again & his luggage would then be sent to baggage claim. O_o  He points out that she called him in, apparently that didn't matter, he was in the terminal.  Thus ensues a rather Abbott & Costello-esque argument.  Eventually, a porter comes and moves the bags the whole 10' to the door so the gentleman could make his connection.  FYI, there were no signs stating you couldn't go back.  All she needed to say was "wait a moment and I'll have a porter bring the bags over" instead she kept escalating the situation by telling him he couldn't go out there and there wasn't anything she could do.  *sigh*  I'm not sure how the frequent fliers do it anymore.  I used to love flying, now I keep recalculating the cost of driving.

The above situation notwithstanding, I really like Palm Springs Airport.  It's small, easy to get in & out of and they have a lovely outside waiting area between security and the terminal buildings.  It costs about $50 - $100 more than flying into Ontario or LAX, but with the the extra drive time & the cost of gas, it about evens out.  The reduced stress counts for a helluva lot in my book as well.  I'm to 29 Palms in about an hour and it's a straight shot vs 2 1/2 hrs+ and the need of a GPS.  Not to mention LA traffic!      

I actually stayed on base this trip, which was quite an improvement from staying in 29 Palms proper.  I have to give props to the Sleeping Tortoise, I've never been so pleasantly surprised by hotel accommodations.  The room was comfortable, clean and extremely well priced.  Our room had the largest kitchen I've ever seen in a hotel room (full size fridge / freezer, dishwasher, stove top, sink & microwave) and a large, serviceable bathroom / shower (it wasn't spa like, but the hot water never stopped and the exhaust fan was damn near industrial).  The room included internet, cable, outdoor grill stations, picnic area, playground & continental breakfast.  All the staff were courteous, helpful and efficient.  The only thing I would have changed was asking for a non-courtyard room to avoid the playground noise, but there may not have been any available.  Overall, I would recommend staying there to any military personnel / family passing through the 29 Palms area.  I'm actually looking forward to staying there again.

Post about the actual weekend forthcoming :-)


Friday, April 6, 2012

Lessons Learned

Here's a couple things I've learned while my better-half is off becoming a Marine.

1.) There's no longer "my chores" and "his chores" - that dead chicken isn't going to scoop itself simply because he's not here to do it.

2.) The "honey-do" list has gotten a lot more reasonable since I've had to do the projects.  Definitely reins in what I think can be accomplished in a weekend.

3.) Cooking for one is impossible. 2 or 20? no problem!  But alone, I'm either eating leftovers all week or it's ramen again.

4.) There's a force-field actively protecting his side of the bed.

5.) I'm the hermit.  You'd need a pry-bar the length of Texas to get me out of the house without necessity or obligation and I hate going unfamiliar places.

6.) My ability to puzzle things out & muddle through projects has improved dramatically.  Amazing what a little unavailability does for my tenacity.  It might take me longer and not look near so pretty, but I'll be damned if I'm giving up on getting things done.

7.) I need to spend more time at the range alone.

8.)  My tolerance for strangers around the house / property has plunged to -0-.  *If* I answer the door, I'm armed and my favorite phrase is, "I'm not interested, I think you should leave now."

9.) This time apart would be much less tolerable without the dogs.  Coming home to 3 critters that are excited to see me & can't wait for a belly rub makes me feel a little less alone.

10.) Finally, and this is the most important lesson, we love each other.  There's no question, no doubt at all.  This process hasn't been easy, but it's refocused our marriage and made us realize how much we need each other.  All together, we'll be apart 9 months (less 10 days leave and 3 weekends).  While I wouldn't trade the experience, I couldn't imagine going through the rest of my life like this - I'd be no good without him.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Requiescat in pace

Still reeling over the news of Newbius's passing, he was one of the few gun bloggers I had the pleasure of meeting in 'meat space'.  He was a man of keen intellect and humor with such a passion for protecting our rights.  My heart goes out to his wife & family.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thoughts from a weekend in California

1.) Crying on the phone will get you a better discount
2.) It's advantageous to have flexible travel arrangements when flying US Airways; they tend to overbook flights and give out $400+ vouchers if you can wait for the next plane.
3.) Californians don't believe in posting speed limits in a logical manner and are firmly against them being visible at night.
4.) Yes, a four lane highway *can* dead-end into a military base, stop looking for the turn off

5.) Joshua Tree National Park is worth visiting if you're in the Palm Springs area.  It's nice for a day trip but also has enough variety to explore over several days. 
6.) Being disarmed sucks.  I missed my gun almost as much as my dogs. (Is that healthy?)
7.) I could use recommendations for good food in the Twentynine Palms / Yucca Valley / Palm Springs area(s).  We like eating local (ie, not Applebee's) but kept finding duds all weekend. 

Overall, I had a unexpectedly wonderful weekend and should have some pictures up soon :-)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Disappointing Day

I found out earlier this afternoon that my husband got the green-light for a 96hr leave this w/e and subsequently found that travel's too expensive for me to be with him.  Looks like it's me and the dogs this weekend.

**Correction:  Where there's a will, there's a way

Monday, February 13, 2012


Courtesy of the Russian Times, I found this interesting article:

On Tuesday twelve members of the Buffalo's firefighter squad were rewarded $2.7 million for emotional distress after a judge ruled that the city of Buffalo racially discriminated white men.
According to the lawsuit filed back in 2007, the city overlooked the twelve individuals and promoted black firefighters instead.  "This never should have happened,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney Andrew P. Fleming to

I'm shocked this made it to court and that they found in favor of the firefighters.  I'm sure they could have taken a payout without much fuss along the way.  Bravo for pushing it to be called discrimination; four years is a long time to fight for vindication.  I don't quite get the 'emotional distress' part of the case, but I'm not a lawyer.

Sad that I couldn't find the story on Fox News, etc.  I find myself using to get a more balanced view of the news.  Seems slightly counter-intuitive to use a foreign news source to find out what's going on in your own country. O_o

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I stopped riding Dressage in any formal capacity over two years ago.  While I like the discipline, I hate showing.  It seemed rather pointless to practice for perfection when I had no intention of showing it off to anyone.  So I rescued a gaited horse and hit the trails.  I still use dressage principles but it's not the same.

Now, in an effort to rehome a few horses, I'm back in the dressage saddle again.  I've been thrown into riding 3+ times a week, from zero O_o  Sufficient to say, my body hates me & certain muscle groups are barely on speaking terms. 

On the upside, I'm dealing with nice horses not hopeless cases.  The one horses is quite talented, but hadn't been ridden from early spring to December.  We're both out of practice, which isn't helpful when folks are interested in what she is capable of doing but want to see it first.  Saying she can do X, Y, Z doesn't mean much without proof.

All would be well & good if I could find the video from when she was showing, but it's missing.  So I tried to make a new sales video tonight but I utterly buggered the ride.  I don't even want to watch it to see what can be salvaged.  She knew I was nervous (remember that whole 'hating to show' thing?) and we spent more time vaulting sideways than going forward.  Yeah, maybe I'll post it for y'all to watch - could at least be amusing, 'though I'd be as embarrassed as hell!

Funny, I know I'll ride tomorrow (after a healthy application of Advil and Icy Hot) and she'll be fine.  I'm irked she unsettled me this afternoon when I know we've done better in the past few days.  Anyhow, I'm off to pamper my poor, sore muscles.  Maybe I'll post some of the less embarrassing clips later. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesday Video

Had to share this video, I love how he builds and fills out the music - fantastic!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This Week's Lessons

1.) A dog trapped in the bathroom sounds remarkably similar to someone trying to break down your door.  One is much funnier to find at 3 AM than the other.

2.) When you buy something, write down who's to get it when you die, it'll save time and drama later.

3.) Wills, Beneficiary information, and other legal documents should be reviewed about every five years for the same reason as #2. 

4.) The horse community, in general, is the antithesis of the gun community.  No amount of wishing will change that.

5.) Sometimes, referring a customer to your competitor is the best solution.  You no longer have to deal with them and they do.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


This is my basic biscuit recipe.  I found it years ago in a cookbook and fixed it.  Simple to make, fast to bake and very easy to turn into cheesy-garlic biscuits.

2 C Flour
4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 C lard*
3/4 C whole milk**

Sift together dry ingredients.  Cut in lard with a pastry knife until it's crumbly then fold in the milk.  Use your hands to finish combining the dough but don't go overboard.  Pull off chunks and place on a baking pan.  Into the oven @ 450ยบ F for 10 minutes (or golden brown).

Best served with hot bacon and fresh coffee.

* If you use Crisco or butter, you will be disappointed.  Try local grocery chains or mom & pop type stores, if they don't have lard, odds are they can tell you who does.  It seems to last forever in the fridge, so no worries about having it go to waste.

** Yes, whole milk.  I was raised on 2% but started buying whole milk in college because it lasted longer.  Now I'm hooked & can't go back.  Some of the recipes just don't turn out the same with 2% or (God forbid) skim.  Though I have been known - in an emergency - to used dried milk mixed with half & half  (roughly 7 parts re-hydrated milk to 1 part half & half) 

Friday, January 27, 2012


Hello there! *waves*  Thank you all for visiting my little corner of the blog-o-sphere.  Many thanks to the Gun Blog Black List for my recent surge in readership.  If you direct your eyes to the right-hand side of the screen, you'll see I've corrected my previous non-linkage to their fine site (my apologies!)  Stick around, I'm sure more free ice cream will appear in the near future.  God knows the dogs are bound to do something post worthy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's Electric!

The most satisfying sounds ever:  *POP* *Rwaarrr* *skritter*

aka: the neighbor's cat getting ~2300 volts off the fence around the flower beds.   Guess it won't be leaving any more presents amongst the bushes!

Better than Squeakies

While they're not *technically* dog toys, I have it on good authority that those Angry Bird plushes are wildly popular with the four-legged crowd.  You'd think I'd given them a live squirrel!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gunny Dream

I had my first gunny non-nightmare last night.  I've had plenty of "trigger doesn't work," "can't reload to save my soul" and "bad guy won't die" nightmares that seem to come with the defensive shooter territory, but I've never had a "save the day" gunny dream.  Sure, I've thought through what I would do during an attack, anyone who has their ccw permit has (or should have).  Over 3 years ago, I made a serious introspection of whether my life was worth someone else's, came up with 'yes,' and haven't looked back. 

Still, that dream was oddly comforting as it wasn't a bit of conscious 'what if' woolgathering.  My subconscious-self acted in a realistic and characteristic manner.  Showing, in a way, that I was mentally honest when I decided to get my ccw.  I'll even protect myself in my sleep :-)

Strange how realistic dreams can be: I wasn't a 'hero,' just an ordinary shopper going about their life.  I felt fear & the adrenaline rush; heard screams and breaking glass.  When knocked to the floor in the general upheaval, I groped the pistol out of my purse looking for my 'wallet' and ended up shooting from a few feet away, kneeling and landed at least 2 solid chest shots.  Then I woke up... at 3 in the Blessed morning, ugh.  Even with it being a 'good' dream, it was like waking from a nightmare, which is how I imagine the aftermath of shooting someone would be - a nightmare. 

Not sure there's a point to this rambling, just felt the need to share.  Has anyone else had a similar dream?  Did your dream-self act like you feel you would in real life?  Have you ever been shaken about your abilities due to how you reacted in a dream?  Just curious really.  In the end, I greatly approve of Bill Watterson's take on dreams in Calvin & Hobbes - just a few little guys rattling around in your head splicing reels together in the dark.  Nighty-Night!

Go hence and laugh

If you need a pick-me-up for the evening, pop over to Adaptive Curmudgeon's post about the glorious Chevy Volt.  Beverage Alert folks, I nearly ruined my keyboard!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Funny of the Day

Watching my 100lb German Shepherd plow into the baby gate only to get rebounded.  Shake it off buddy and walk away, it ain't goin' nowhere!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Praise Long Over Due

Back story:  In October, my wonderful other-half shipped out to Parris Island for 13 fun-filled weeks.  Before he left, he hid notes and surprises all around the house since he knew communication would be next to nil (yep, he's a keeper!).  In one of those notes I found out I had free rein on a holster from Dragon Leather Works *Squee!*  Which gave me an idea for him for Christmas, another holster  :-)  So I called up Dennis in November to see what we could come up with.  I had some really awesome ideas; unfortunately, I'm very good at asking for impossible things.  While he tried to make them happen, silly things, like copyrights held by the US government, stood in the way.  So I gave Dennis free rein instead - sounds like a good idea, no?
Fast forward to January 7th (also known and second Christmas) and Heath & I squeed liked little girls over these:
His & Hers matching holsters with hair-on accent!  Dennis, you truly out did yourself this time, I really can't thank you enough.  I love the feel of the flatjack, it's like carrying air and it melts right into your outline.  Even that plastic brick manages to stay concealed and feel unobtrusive (I tried Heath's on for kicks and giggles).  Still, I don't think mine's going to be covered over much, it's too pretty not to OC! 
*Note to anyone who cares: the holsters were bought & paid for.  Kiss my knickers.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


As a hat-tip to Daddy Bear's '30 days of Heinlein', I'm doing something I'm rather chagrin to admit - I'm finally going to read some of Heinlein's books.  They've been on my 'need to read' list for years but haven't made it off the shelf and onto my nightstand.  So, I've snagged The Moon is a Harsh Mistress to start tonight; any other recommendations? 

*Edited:  3 hours later and 10 chapters in & I'm having flashbacks to college days of buying a new book and reading until dawn, uh-oh!