Assault Hearse Dragster

Here's a scan of a picture I drew when I was about 12 years old:

Just what everyone needs. A dragster that's also a hearse (I guess) with curtains, gun turret, spotlight, air-horn, radio & blower thingy on the hood. All brought to you by Coke.



New Tunes & Tonics

I probably should have reviewed Margo's (not her real name) Advanced Configuration and Troubleshooting class) slides when I got home but instead I was greeted with Act II of of last night's latest Ant Attack. After that died down (along with the death of many tiny disapproving ants) I realized that I forgot to bring my printout of the class home with me anyway. Oops.

Luckily for me, my brand spanking new copy of The Tikiyaki Orchestra's CD Stereoexotique came in the mail this afternoon. I also hadn't had a chance to peruse the latest Tiki Magazine that came last week. This must be a sign. I should relax, listen to my new tunes and enjoy a frosty beverage. I didn't really feel like mixing anything fruity so I decided to try a Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry beer. That's fuity. Sorta... Maybe.

Yeah... what am I thinking? Pomegranate raspberry beer? I guess I've been giving AB a few shots lately just to see what they're up to. At least they're trying different things: craft beers, varietals, and now... fruity beer. The Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry is nothing spectacular. It's not particularly good but it's not bad. It first hits your nose with a mild cherry LifeSaver. It then greets your palate with a bit of tangy fruitiness from the pomegranate and then just sort of disappears into blah. It's not sweet. It's not particularly hopped. It's tasteless light beer with some fruity flavoring added. I was sort of expecting something more like the Jolly Rancher kick of a Smirnoff Ice but this doesn't do that at all. It's nice that there are alternatives. Overall I give it a 2.5 out of 10 (whatever that might mean.)

The Tikiyaki Orchestra however is a great and welcome find. I can only hope that Stereoexotique will not be the one and only release from Jim. The album takes the vintage exotica sounds of Martin Denny then blends them with a bit of lounge organ and beautiful, exotic (sometime eerie) steel guitar. The more I listened to the steel guitar, the more I was reminded of another album I have by The Vanduras. Sure enough with I looked at the liner notes, Gary Brandin of The Vanduras and The Blue Hawaiians was credited for the steel guitar work. It all makes sense now. This is beautiful soundtrack-worthy stuff. Go give it a listen if you want. It's also packaged with a nifty coaster and a drink-umbrella in the spine of the CD case. Pretty nice huh?



This morning Heather and I went over to My Favorite Place. It's not my favorite place but it's OK I guess. You'd think 10,000 square feet of space would hold more than one solitary tiki shot.

It's a small green shot made for Shonfeld's USA. It's microwave and dishwasher safe (how often to you microwave stuff in a shot glass?) I didn't have one, so I do now.

I also found a General Electric PC-1 Color Control Meter. I can't figure out what the heck it does but it did some with a bunch of little plastic cards that go in the device for different kinds of light (I think.) It comes in a handy carrying case that seems to allow the device to be mounted on something (tripod? camera?) while still in the case. The cover unsnaps and both the front and back are out of the way. Maybe it has batteries somewhere. I can't tell. It's small and heavy for its size. Maybe Mike can figure out what to do with it.


I took this picture last weekend at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Huntsville.

I thought it looked pretty cool.


Desiccant Accumulation Report

Jerry brought in the motherlode of all silica gel packets this morning. It's the giant one to the right of the jar in this picture:

Dave and Curtis also added some small packs.

That shiny layer on top is all from the giant packet. Our paleontological measuring instrument currently records a desiccant depth of 1.5 cm.

Thanks to everyone who keeps contributing to the jar.


Fruit Stuffing?

Another flashback from the Foodarama:

Fruit stuffing... er... banana, onions, bread crumbs and poultry seasoning.

Run away!



After a few rousing games of Chickenfoot with Heather and my Grandmother...

I built an igloo out of dominoes.

Nice eh?



The squirrels have been busy while Jeff is away.

He wasn't using that drawer very much anyway...

I better keep an eye on my nuts.

Some things never change...




Friday night at Your Dekalb Farmer's Market I accidentally picked up a few cans of tamarind juice when I was out buying coconut water for Saturday's planned Wai Niu's.

Evidently there was one can of coconut in front and then cans of tamarind in back. I was more concerned about making sure the cans weren't dented rather than looking at the pretty pictures. I didn't notice what I had done until I was putting them in the car. I went back in to get some more coconut water and kept the tamarind juice just to see what it was all about.

What the heck is tamarind anyway? Evidently it's an African tree with some really ugly looking pod thingies that produces a very sour fruit. Supposedly it sweetens as it gets really ripe. The can of "tamarind juice" contains water, tamarind pulp and sugar. It's very sweet and not as tangy as I'd expect from reading all the descriptions. It reminds me of the taste of prunes or dates (perhaps why the fruit is also know as the "Indian Date.") It's quite puply, kind of like an unstrained OJ. Overall it's good stuff. I can't say much for the color though.

But what can you do with it?

Here are my ideas:
  • Drink it straight - chilled (not over ice... the pulp gets funky.)
  • Make a cocktail - You'd need to strain out the pulp somehow for most drinks or perhaps use it in a frozen blender drink so the pulpy wouldn't matter as much.
  • Sauce/Glaze - reduce a can of this on the stove an use it as a glaze for chicken or maybe some pork chops.
  • Same as above but spice it up with something.
If you have any other ideas let me know.

Note: I also discovered on this shopping trip that Your Dekalb Farmer's Market does sell pints of fresh-squeezed lime and lemon juices. I went ahead about bought my own limes anyway because a foolishly thought I'd have plenty of time to squeeze them. Next time I'll just buy the juice.


Think Pink

Bear came in with a new find from Goodwill this morning.

This thing is PINK. Bubblegum pink. It's as pink as Heather's Strawberry Kiwi Gatorade Rain. It's so hot outside it just drank over half the bottle of it too.

It has no markings. Just a pink ceramic glaze that is flawed on the inside bottom and appears to have bubbled up and corroded or something I'm not sure if this is a tiki from a "glaze-it-yourself" ceramics type place or from some other decorative outlet. I've never seen one like this. It needs to go next to a Hello Kitty. Or maybe a Hello Tiki.

Tiki Trio - One for the Birds

Heather picked up this trio at a Cartersville Eckerd's last week.

A dazed and confused tiki (sort of like a Tiki Bob with teeth maybe) and a couple of tiki genies...

The one in the center is actually billed as a "birdfeeder" as he has an extended lower jaw. I have similar one of these at work that I found a few months back. I should probably pair them up and put some candy in there or something. My coworkers would probably like that.

They look good on the front stoop but would probably not weather so well out there in the sun. I'm not sure exactly what type of resin they're made of.


Grilled Pizza & Racing

After the chaos had cleared from the birthday party my brother-in-law Tom made some grilled pizzas.

I got the job of rolling the dough but other than that my only other task was consumption of product.

It was very good product indeed, rivaling anything you could get delivered and probably what is served in most restaurants. Simple sauce, cheese and sausage. The trick is grilling the crust and getting it just right. Tom had obviously done this a few times before and had no problems with it. Only minimal reference was made to his origin of this technique as found in Mario Batali's book Mario Tailgates NASCAR Style (I may have to pick this one up... please donate yours to a Goodwill near me.)

While we were grilling... in the world of the NASCAR Busch Series in Montreal:
Robby Gordon Goes Nuts: Link to news article at NASCAR.COM

I had no idea this was happening as I was recording the race at home and didn't get to watch it until this morning. I was stunned near the end when Robby Gordon was black flagged because her restarted in second position (after NASCAR told him to drop back to 13th) with what appeared to be a determined attempt to take Marcos Ambrose out of the race in retaliation for Ambros spinning him shortly before that at the beginning of a caution (which even Robby admits he doesn't think Ambrose did on purpose.) In any case, he took out Ambrose and went on to pretend he won the race. I like Ambrose but hadn't really formed an opinion on Robby Gordon. I have one now. It's not a particularly positive one.

At least it was more exciting that today's cup race at Pocono. Nobody could touch Kurt Busch... unfortunately.

8/8/07 - UPDATE
OK. Robby Gordon has made an attempt to make things better by offering to let Ambrose drive his other car at the next cup race. I guess he realizes now that he went a bit nutso. It's a nice gesture and might turn out good for Ambrose. NASCAR Link

Instant Birthday Kit!

As seen in Acworth on Saturday:

Just add water and a dozen squealing 8-year-old kids and you're there.

I didn't get the "no standing" rule... You kind of have to stand up in order to walk up the center of the thing in order to slide down. The silly string rule was not violated. Winds were low. All went well.

I was kind of concerned about "MADE IN CHINA" on the label but I figured they probably wouldn't be chewing on it so it should be OK.

The King of Cups

I got this photo from Sam (the second coolest person I know with an iPhone) yesterday:

Peanut Butter and Banana Creme Reeses Cups.

I haven't liked the white chocolate ones or even the dark chocolate ones but I may have to go and find one of these just to try it. I'm sure he didn't save me one. ;)


Precursor to the Marimba Lumina?

I just ran across this nifty post on Modern Mechanix this morning: Flashlight Beams Make Music On Photo-Electric Marimba (Sep, 1935)

It reminds me a lot of my Marimba Lumina and some of Don Buchla's other cool controllers that can be found on his website.


Meet Kanaloa 26-015

At least today turned out a little better.

Meet Kanaloa. I found him at Goodwill during lunch.

There was some green junk on the back where someone had torn off the heavy paper tag that most of the Coco Joe's stuff have on them. I was able to find a post over on Tiki Central that had a picture of the tag. So I printed it out and glue-sticked it to mine. Thank you fine people of Tiki Central.

Looks like this one was from a design in 1981. I've seen other online that had a '91 instead so I assume this one was made sometime between the two. Other than the torn off tag he's in great shape.

I also was able to finally get my two new tires this afternoon (A continuation from this post last week.)


Do Over

What's wrong with this picture?

Other than the fact that it's taken with my not exactly great camera phone which is even more spectacularly awful in low light... It's a Waffle House that isn't open. Yes. That's right. 5:30 something in the morning and it's not open. Not that I go there or anything but every morning I sit there at the light and watch it. This just isn't right.

That should have been my first clue to turn around and go back.

My trip to Kroger went OK, but then when I arrived at Costco for gas, the lights were on but nobody was home (and the pumps were still locked.) Finally around 6:04 Costco gas man arrives and all is well... so I thought.

When I get to work I find that one of coworkers (who normally comes in much later) took my spot. I guess at 6:08 he though I wasn't going to make it in.

All these disturbing unnatural events caused be to leave my frozen lunches in the car so I had to go back out for a second trip. Ugh.

At least I didn't have to deal with the burning coffee pot this morning. I did check my receipts for 666 again just in case. I'm OK there at least. Ugh.