Welcome to our little slice of paradise! Clear Lake Shores is probably one of the best kept secrets in the entire Bay Area. Yes we are an island. We are surrounded by Clear Lake, Jarbo Bayou and the Lazy Bend canals. Plug this in to Google Maps and you'll see what I mean 29.32' by 95.01' We are about half way between Galveston Island and the city of Houston and located in north Galveston county. I will try to keep us up on all the goings on that we can walk, boat, bike or drive our golf carts to. Very few things pi$$ me off but one of them is wasting my precious time. I'll try not to waste yours. Enjoy. ab

Thursday, June 30, 2016

How appropriate

It's Social Media Day. I don't know if blogs count so maybe I'll check my faceplace page. For the second time this year.

I know you're dying to find out how the Chinook went down. It took about 90 minutes for the built in probe to hit 140 degrees. I pulled the salmon off and let it rest for a bit before the taste test. In prep I rubbed a little butter, garlic powder, dill and added some fresh ground pepper. I took the first bite and my nitpicky teenager took the second bite. While I was wondering if the garlic was a tad too much I got a huge thumbs up from W. That it a good thing. The more I ate the better it got. When the mama got home even she liked it. It seems the subtle smoke from an electric unit is right on the money. I will put this squarely in the win column.

Ah Hemingway. The first guy got his head blown off by his wife, The next guy was gutted like a fish by his friend and the third guy spent more time hallucinating from gangrene before he sluffed off his mortal coils. I can't wait for a cheery story. I think I'm starting to see a pattern?

Huge weekend coming up. Don't forget to renew your Civic CLub membership at the park on the 4th. Stop by and watch neighbor Rob and his East Side crew cook a couple hundred hotdogs. That'll be a show all by itself. And if you can lend a hand please contact the club. You can use the link on the right.

Tire mogul Harvey Firestone gave President Calvin Coolidge a pygmy hippopotamus in 1927. Today, Many of the pygmy hippos in U.S. zoos are that hippos descendants.

Thank Mental Floss.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

National Almond Buttercrunch Day.


OK. After a lengthy chat with neighbor Rob I was convinced to brine the Salmon prior to smoking. This is my first brining so be gentle. 1tsp salt and half gallon of water for two hours. The recipe I found is specifically for an electric smoker like mine so It shouldn't suck too bad. Most of the other recipes were explicit in stating what woods NOT to use and mesquite was on the list. BUT before you start name calling those are for traditional barrel smokers which we know produce a whole different level of smoke. We shall see. 

We took the Chrysler on our nighttime driving lesson. He's a lot more comfortable driving the tub. Less to have to think about that the Jeep. Progress is progress I guess.

Any Hemingway fans out there? Except Rick. My summer reading list is all Hemingway. I've picked up a few of his books before but found them to be a hard start. My brain is out of breath before I can reach most periods. I've got two short stories down and a few pages in to The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Perseverance.

My first pass at planning a road trip was vetoed. Back to the drawing board. I guess 4,700 miles was a bit much.

From Mental Floss" The muppet Elmo is the only non human to testify before Congress."
and there ya have it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I know it's hard to believe but

It's National Paul Bunyan day.

I have a plan B for my new smoking toy. As I cleaned up yesterday I noticed the drip pan had a lot of soot on it. I'm thinkin' if the smoke is on the pan then it can't be on the meat right? I'm thinking I'll put the drip pan up on a higher rack, then more smoke can get to the meat? Well that's my plan and I'm sticking to it. The Salmon is next. I'll put it on in the morning and shoot for lunch. If it works, the bird gets it next. 
The Drivers Ed via Street Smart is nearly at an end. So far so good I guess. We've been practicing with the Jeep in the Stewart parking lot in the afternoons. He's just about got the whole shifter thing figured out. At any rat he's a whooooole lot better than Last Monday. I think it might be time for him to drive the Pacifica. She steers like a boat so it will be completley new. Let the fun begin.
Next up, It's time for a road trip.

Monday, June 27, 2016

National Sunglasses Day is here already.

Slow calendar day. The birthday boy (me) got a new toy for Fathers Day/BD. I have been wrasslin' with a few ideas for quit a while but I decided to do something different. I have been smoking different meats for a while now the traditional way. Wood fired offset smoker. Everything from lobster to Emu. Most of you have seen it at some time or another. I started looking for my next smoker months ago. I like the offset style mostly because I'm used to it. I enjoy babying the fire and playing with the different woods. Our long term plans here in paradise don't call for a good smoker. The ones that run upwards of $1000 but will last a while. I can't make myself spend $400 on any of the new light weights out there that just won't last so I started poking around and looking at options. Pellet smokers are all the rage now. Rick says he wants to get a smaller one because his smokes out his neighbor. His neighbor that's dying from cancer. So he's out of the smoker business. Then theres the propane fired smokers. add your wood chunks or chips, turn on the propane and go. I settled on a Masterbuilt electric smoker. I know it sounds like an oxymoron but thats what it is. Not an oxymoron, an electric smoker. You plug it in turn it on and add your chips. It doesn't get much easier.

This model uses chips. Not chunks or pieces. Chips. and just a few of them at that. About half a cup and they last a looooong time. I reckon my little bag will last through the year. I want to be impressed but it has yet to happen. The first round of ribs were big ol' fat country style. I love Mesquite so that was the chip du jour. All said and done I underestimated the cook time by 2 hours. 4 in the new toy and had to finish them off in the oven for another two. The smoke flavor was OK for my tastebuds but MJ loved it. Did I mention she's not a big smoked meats fan. OK thats one solid plus.
By any stretch there is not much smoke. And I'm being generous. Agreed, I'm used to a different machine. One that could lay down a fog bank to cover a naval invasion. I've seen cigarillo's put out more smoke than this rig.
Did I mention I found Hoerners dog?
Part II was yesterday, more ribs just in a different shape. St. Louis style. Neighbor Bryan brought his down and threw in a chicken for good measure. I miss the smokey coloring of my old offset. As was discussed, this is an electric oven. That smokes. A little. And that is what I am having to adjust to. The ribs were on for 6 hours at 200 and still needed a couple of hours in doors. They were ready but they just ain't done. Did I mention this thin comes with a remote control? Yep. Pretty cool once you get it figured out. And the built in temperature probe is handy as all get out once I remember to use it. I can control the whole thing from my basement. That's a good thing. So. Next will be a whole yard bird. I'm telling you straight up it has some tough competition from my Big Easy. That thing works bird magic. But without the smoke. We'll see.

Monday, June 20, 2016

It's National Ice Cream Soda Aaaand ..


National Kouign Amann Day is observed annually on June 20.  Kouign amann is a round crusty cake, made with a yeast-raised dough containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry or croissants but with fewer layers. The resulting cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough creating the layered aspect of it and the sugar caramelizes. The name comes from the Breton words for cake “kouign” and butter “amann.” Kouign amann is a popular and traditional pastry in Brittany, where it originated in 1860 when flour was scarce, but butter was abundant.
Buy a kouign amann to share with your family and friends.   If you are feeling adventurous, try your hand at making your own.  On social media, use #NationalKouignAmannDay.
National Kouign Amann Day was submitted by b.patisserie in April 2015.  The Registrar of National Day Calendar declared June 20 as National Kouign Amann Day in June 2015.
I can't pronounce it but it sounds wonderful! For Fathers's Day and Birthday I got something different ans a little weird. It's an electric smoker. Burns wood chips. Not pellets and not chunks. Chips. I've been trying to get it preseasoned all weekend but the rain keeps throwing me  curve. I want to keep it on the front deck but being electric and all has it's own challenges. Neither one of us can get excited about having a smoker under the house so I'm not sure where this will go. It doesn't smoke near as much as I expected. WE'll see what it does for a rack of ribs later.
Today is the day the fruit of my loins gets his learners permit. I have all the official documentation I can get my hands on and then some. 
A new twist in my application for a CHL. The past two months when I submitted my email query asking if there was a problem I got the standard boilerplate email blah, blah, we're busy, blah. Well, last week When I sent in my lateset query explaining that the State has exceeded it's own mandate of 180 days for completion guess what I got back? Nuttin'. Nada, Zip. Makes one wonder.
Here's what's on the agenda Tuesday. Looks Like the Waterfront Committee has been busy. And who are most of these folks?
3. PUBLIC HEARING: Waterfront Lease Revocations for various leases that have been found out of compliance. 
4. REPORTS FROM COUNCIL: Councilwoman Bailey Mayor Pro-Tem Burns Councilman Solmonsson Councilwoman Fenwick Councilman Hoerner Mayor Johnson 
5. STAFF REPORTS: City Administrator Chief Cook Building Official 
6. COMMITTEE REPORTS: Roads and Drainage Planning and Zoning Economic Development Corporation Waterfront Compliance Parks and Pool Committee Landscape and Beautification Advisory Committee Okie's Courtyard Design/Review Committee 
9. CONSENT AGENDA: a. Check Register: 06/02/16 thru 06/14/16 b. Minutes from Regular Meeting held June 7, 2016 c. Waterfront Transfer C-065 Joshua Connelly to William and Katherine Chalfant 
10. COUNCIL BUSINESS - Discussion and possible action may be taken on the following items: 
a. Revoke Waterfront Lease B-027B leased by Leslie Lundquist, for Pier and/or Piling issues (Building Official Kevin Harrell) 
b. Revoke Waterfront Lease B-043A leased by Rebecca Vickery for Pier and/or Piling issues (Building Official Kevin Harrell) 
c. Revoke Waterfront Lease D-094 leased by J. M. O'Neal for Bulkhead issues (Building Official Kevin Harrell) 
d. Revoke Waterfront Lease E-124C and E-125 leased by Edward Leahey for missing numbers and street markers. (Building Official Kevin Harrell) 
e. Revoke Waterfront Lease E-126 leased by Abberdean White for missing numbers (Building Official Kevin Harrell) 
f. Revoke Waterfront Lease F-140A and F-141 leased by Paul Merryman for missing numbers and street markers (Building Official Kevin Harrell) 
g. Revoke the prior agreement with Sidewalk Brands, LLC previously approved by the City Council and approve an Economic Development Agreement with Sidewalk Brands, LLC. 1
Ready for Summer? You better be. It starts tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Whiskey and keyboards

Never go together. Or should I say rarely? As in never say never? Moving on. It’s Flag Day here in the USofA. It’s also Strawberry shortcake day, National Bourbon day and for whatever reason It’s National Pop goes the weasel day. On a larger scale it’s also International Bath Day. Go where you will.

I’m flummoxed about the shit that just went down in Orlando. By all accounts this US Citizen had been vetted by DHS. Aren’t these the same punkin heads that are doing the background checks on all the Muslim refugees from Syria? Dudes, If you missed this one WTF makes you qualified to OK someone from a country that’s on FUCKING FIRE?
I get the age old axiom that you can’t stop a dedicated lone wolf. I do, I get it, it’s a solid theory. But it sure sounds like there were bells and whistles going off all around this piece of shit that were missed/ignored/overlooked. It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback so I’ll stop now. I guess I’m just glad I don’t have your job. 
And to think, we had one moron with a gun that shot up a church and murdered some wonderful people. He had a Confederate flag decal on his truck and we couldn’t strip those flags from our public places fast enough. Shit, then we went after anything and anybody who was related to to the South in the Civil War and God forbid if they or anyone they knew had ever had a slave. Statues are still being removed and schools are being renamed. But this human stain in Orlando is cool? Him and San Bernadino and Boston and their Icons are still cool. America we are upside down. Again, Thank you mister President. Your are our Commander in Chief. I did not vote for you. I do not support you. I can’t wait for your dumb ass to get the fuck out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But you are my President. And I am ashamed. 

Folks, you and I did not create this problem. The people in Washington DC did. I lived there for a few years and what a wondrous place it is. It is truly an American Treasure. Except for all the politicians that live there. My only problem with term limits is that it dictates who I can and cannot vote for. And that is fundamentally wrong. For the life of me I do not see any other way out of this mess other than to vote out every sonofabitch that currently holds office. I know, I know it’s the old don’t throw out the baby with the bath water but like I said earlier they are the ones who have screwed everything up , not you, and not me. I have a sad history of voting Independent and we all know how that's gone. But I’m open for suggestions. One thing is clear in my mind. No more career politicians. None. 8 years then go home. You’ve made your millions. Unless you’re “lucky” in cattle futures and make 10 millions. Lyin' whore. 
I rest my case. Go home assholes. The only you are fixing is your retirement checks. Mr. Trump, you have my vote.

And for the folks who set their children on fire....

I need to vomit.......

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Can you believe it?

It's National Corn on the Cob day already! Where does the time go?

Well, sew far, get it? my latest adventure has been a success. Not too shabby for my first outing. They might not win any medals but my toys are now covered and that my friends is a win.

So, most of you have probably heard about the "undocumented" high school Valedictorian in Dallas. Her video is on most of the news feeds and even some in England. Now maybe she goes to one of those "special" schools or maybe Valedictorian isn't as smart as I once thought it to be but, as the lovely and talented Miss Martinez states their application status is 7 years in the works. Sweetie I wish you all the success possible in your future and Thank you for doing it right but you are not an undocumented alien. ICE has your documents. And they are so mind bogglingly fucked up it takes them 7 years to do anything. I know, we had the same adventure years ago with Melinda. I wrote to both our senators and W to enlighten them on the pathetic status of what was then INS. They most likely stopped reading when they got to the "fucked up beyond definition" part. We had been married for 6 years and took our child to the INS interview. You'd think that would mean something but you'd be wrong. Had to hire an attorney. What do you do when your company is too fucked up? Re brand. Try to shake the name recognition. Voila ICE. I'd fire every sonofabitch there and hire the first people that walked in off the street. Could not possibly do any worse. And here we are 20 years later and oopsies, still a shit hole. Good job federal government. And you dumbasses think they'll fix health care. Back to Miss Martinez, Congrats my fellow Texan and thanks for doing it the right way however painful. Maybe if we build a HUGE FUCKING WALL we could reassign some of the Federal resources that are being sucked up by the Illegals? Just a thought.

Tonight is Jammin on Jarboe. Come on out and hear the Dennis Davis band. Don't forget the bug spray.

My long lost Cousin Bob is coming to visit. Can't wait. This should be a hoot.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Ooooo Yeeeaaahhhhh...

National Black Cow Day is observed each year on June 10.  Are you in the mood for ice cream?  We are all familiar with the Root Beer Float but did you know that it is also called the Black Cow?

A Black Cow was originally made with root beer and vanilla ice cream.  Now it is sometimes made with root beer and chocolate ice cream or cola and vanilla ice cream. Score.
Off to a fair start with my new adventure. I started with this,
And this 
And so far I have these.
I might not make Suzie Homemaker jealous but it works for me. 
Three down, two to go. Time for another beer.
Happy Friday Clear Lake Shores! 
And a heads up Wyatt starts Drivers Ed Monday. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Decisions, decisions

This one's on you. It's National Donald Duck day or Nation Earl Day, It's a toughie.

I got rid of my flattop at the last garage sale. It was one hell of a cooking machine and I’m gonna miss it. The main reason I passed it on was because I just don’t use it enough and sitting in the “basement” 
 all my crap just collects dirt. Then, when I decide to use something I’ll spend a day cleaning it up. Well, today I think I have a solution. Like my Big Easy I will simply cover up my toys.

 How you say? I have a big piece of Sunbrella that used to cover the Harley just sitting around taking up space. So what If i use that to make some covers for my kitchen toys downstairs? What a great idea! All I have to do now is learn to sew. How hard can that be? I’m off to begin my newest adventure, I will learn to sew. 

BTW I was at Academy yesterday and they have 10x10 pop ups for $46 and change. Now that's a deal.