Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm sick today.

So sick, I gave up a ski day with the following conditions:

  • New Snow Past 24 Hours: 13

  • New Snow Past 12 Hours: 9

  • Mid Snow Depth: 111

  • When I'm sick, prefer to crawl into a hole and be left alone.  My wife says I act like a whiny wuss, but I prefer to believe I act like a wounded tiger. 

    Wish me luck.

    Mr. F

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    I need a casual makeover

    I was driving down the street today, and I spotted one of the many panhandlers making a living in Portland.  This particular fella was nattily attired, and I was a bit jealous. 

    Picture this guy, but in a North Face jacket. khakis, and with a scruffy beard.  OK, maybe don't picture this guy.  Instead try this:

    The Duderino, but dressed slightly better.  That is more like it.  I love Jeff Bridges and The Big Lebowski.  I had a dream that we went to a movie last night and sitting behind us were Mr. Bridges, Clint Eastwood, and Paul Newman.  They invited our son to sit with them.  Trippy.  But what a collection of macho awesomeness. 

    Back to the subject- when panhandlers have a deeper closet than I do, it is time for some new threads.  I suspect the next few months may be seeing a trip to J. Crew/ The Rack.  It isn't usually all that fun trying to find clothes to fit someone shaped like a barrel.  

    Mr. French  

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    So I made a little chili....

    1" of snow, being enjoyed by the abominable snow beast.

    Portland has about 1" of snow on the ground, and everything is cancelled.  I'm sure there is no milk, bread, or catfood on a shelf at any retailer.  What a bunch of Sallies.  Only on the West Coast is 1" a castastrophe.  OK, it is down south too.  Anyhow.....

    This chili made me think a little.... all chili tastes and looks kind of similar.  So, no picture.  It was brown.  It tasted pretty good, but the recipe was in a seriously crappy format.  I skipped the brown sugar, and used poblano peppers rather than chilis.  I dutifully added the coffee, beer, and cocoa.  It tasted a lot like all the other chili I have made without these three things. 

    Still, it was quite good.  I really like the small chunks of sirloin mixed in, and I made it a little spicier as well.  My gripes with the recipe mostly concern the lack of units of measurement; 1 can of beer meant 12 ounces to me, but to some it might mean one of those giant Sapporo cans- Japanese chili anyone?  It also calls for "chili sauce" which could mean several things.  I like a little improvisation, which is why I am a shitty baker.  So make some chili.  Or don't.

    I originally bought ground buffalo (the Frenches eat buffalo instead of beef) and decided I would either make burgers or chili.  The night prior, we went to Killer Burger, which sated my burger craving.  Killer Burger goes down hard, so I followed it with a Metamucil chaser (Metamucil's role in my quest for the perfect poop is another long overdue post).  Mission accomplished. 

    Here is my thought and question for you: a burger at Killer Burger is about $7.  They are delicious.  However, a double cheeseburger is $1 at McDonald's in Oregon (no sales tax).  I am bold enough to say I LOVE the burgers at McDonalds (and the fries).  I know it is horrible for you, but once every 6-8 weeks, I hit it. 

    The burger at Killer Burger is way better than the McDouble, but not seven times better.  Is anyone else out there willing to admit they like McDonalds?  Stand up, and proudly fly your freak flag!

    2 teaspoons oil
    2 onions, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 lb lean ground beef
    3/4 lb beef sirloin, cubed
    1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
    1 can dark beer
    1 cup strong coffee
    2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
    1 can beef broth
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    3 1/2 tablespoons chili sauce
    1 tablespoon cumin
    1 tablespoon cocoa
    1 teaspoon oregano
    1 teaspoon cayenne
    1 teaspoon coriander
    1 teaspoon salt
    4 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans
    4 chili peppers, chopped

    1.  Heat oil.
    2.  Cook onions, garlic and meat until brown.
    3.  Add tomatoes, beer, coffee, tomato paste and beef broth.
    4.  Add spices Stir in 2 cans of kidney beans and peppers.
    5.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
    6.  Add 2 remaining cans of kidney beans and simmer for another 30 minutes.
    In my less than humble opinion, this is the most horseshit post I have ever created- chili is boring. 

    Mr. French 

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    And the winner is.....

    And remember, the tiny kid was not in the fight.


    This was a tough one; here is how it went down--
    Mandrills are naturally curious.  The mandrill approaches the giant python, which is lying inert on the igloo floor.  The temps on an igloo floor are quite low, and the snake (being cold-blooded) is essentially in a comatose state.  As the mandrill rolls the snake around, the skunk, feeling threatened, turns and sprays the mandrill square in the face.  Instantly, his throat and nasal tissues are inflamed and begin to swell shut.  He howls in pain and fury.  He scoops up the skunk, and although nearly blinded, toothless, and wearing regulation (16 ounce) boxing gloves, he crushes the skunk with his jaws. 

    The eagles are not taking too kindly to this.  They launch simultaneous but uncoordinated attacks.  Golden eagles have a wingspan of over 12 feet*, plus razor sharp talons and beaks.  The stunned mandrill is an easy target.  They draw blood quickly and efficiently, and focus their attacks on his head and neck.  This one isn't over though; the giant monkey** begins to gain the advantage when he is able to pin an eagle under his boxing glove.  He uses his other glove to punch/tear a mud puddle in the magnificent bird. 

    Once one eagle is dispatched, the other quickly falls prey to the same tactic.  The mandrill has defeated the skunk and both eagles, but he is mortally wounded.  He is unable to breath well due to the skunk's attack, and the eagles have extracted a terrible toll- large, deep tears in the face and neck that are bleeding uncontrollably.  He slowly lapses into shock and bleeds out.  When the guy peeking into the igloo sees the mandrill expire, he oens the door and crowns our winner- the sleeping snake.

    Mr. F

    * I have no idea what their wingspan is, and I'm unwilling to look it up in an encylopedia or other such research tool.
    ** I wasn't sure if a mandrill was an ape or monkey, but then I remembered they are called mandrill monkeys.

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    It's Presidents' Day! Rejoice in all its splendor!

    On this joyous occasion, which I rank somewhere below Easter but well above Valentine's Day or Labor Day, I thought I would take this opportunity to relay some incredibly important factoids about our country's past Chief Executives.  Here we go:

    1. The inauguration of Andrew Johnson as Abraham Lincoln's vice-president in 1865 was marred slightly by the fact that Johnson was incredibly drunk.

    Andrew Johnson.  People were uglier 150 years ago
    2. These days, most presidents have a cat or a dog as their presidential pet. However, John Quincy Adams and Herbert Hoover both had pet alligators, Calvin Coolidge had two lions, a wallaby, and a pygmy hippopotamus (among others), while Theodore Roosevelt kept a badger called Josiah who used to bite people.

    Teddy Roosevelt.  There is a reason he is on Mt Rushmore.  He was a Bad Motherf**ker.

    3. William Henry Harrison's 1841 term as the ninth president is the shortest ever - he made it through just under 31 days of presidency before inconveniently dying of pneumonia.

    4. Sucky presidential nicknames: Andrew Jackson was known as 'Old Hickory', Ulysses S. Grant was unflatteringly known as 'Unconditional Surrender Grant', short-lived William Henry Harrison was 'Tippecanoe', and Zachary Taylor revelled in the name 'Old Rough And Ready'.

    The name "Old Hickory" had nothing to do with his virility.  I think.

    5. Twentieth president James Garfield had a party trick in which he would simultaneously write in Latin with one hand, and Ancient Greek with the other. Both of which are now worthless languages.

    6. The only president to get married in the White House was Grover Cleveland in 1886. The 49-year-old Cleveland married 21-year-old Frances Folsom, who he called 'Frank', and whose legal guardian he had previously been after her father (a close friend of his) died. It seems President Clinton wasn't the first with a taste for the young ladies.

    7. The Secret Service has codenames for the president, vice-president and their family members. Ronald Reagan was 'Rawhide', George H. W. Bush was 'Timberwolf', Bill Clinton was 'Eagle', George W. Bush was 'Trailblazer' and Barack Obama is 'Renegade'. .

    8. William Howard Taft was the heaviest American president - so large that he occasionally got stuck in the White House bath, and had to be helped out by aides. He eventually got a bigger bath.
    9. In elections since the end of WWII, the taller of the two main party candidates has won the election 75% of the time. Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush are the only post-war presidents to have defeated taller rivals. Since 1900, nobody under the height of 5ft 9in has ever won the presidential election.  I'm 5'11", so technically I still have a shot.   

    10. Thomas Jefferson, the third (and many would say greatest) president of the United States invented the swivel chair.


    Mr. F

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    When Animals Fight...

    Our setups so far have been pretty pedestrian. This week we "take it up a notch."  I once flew with a guy with the nickname "Notch."  How he got that nickname is the topic for a very, very off-color post of its own. 

    Here we go!

    Mandrill Monkey.  Ours has no teeth, and prosthetic boxing gloves instead of hands (paws?)

    Two Golden Eagles

    Adult Python (without asian kid).  Why do people have pet snakes?  Do tell.
    Adult skunk 

    doing battle in a

    15' diameter igloo.  This guy is the only one with a ticket to watch.

    Toothless mandrill monkey w/ boxing-glove prosthetic hands vs. mature python, two adult golden eagles, and a skunk-- in large (15' diameter) early-spring igloo.  Ask your questions now, but remember; only one shall survive.  I have to thank Radd for the setup, although we differ on the outcome.  I feel Radd's Liberal Arts education did not give him the same depth of knowledge in animal husbandry as I have.  after all, my father has a degree in Poultry Science.  No lie.

    Mr. F

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    I have urges to commit random acts of blinding violence.....

    I love bikes; all kinds, for all uses.  I don't care if you like to ride around the block, commute to work, road race, or mountain bike.  Portland has a crazy bike culture, and you see all kinds of crazy stuff on the road.  That is fine by me, up to a point.  It's when the bike becomes more than an instrument of transportation or enjoyment that things go awry; please don't become a smug self-righteous ass clown about it.  I have four specific complaints:

    1. Tall bikes- When I see one, I want to swerve into their lane and smash their ridiculous bike between my truck tires.  Don't ride a bike in traffic that you can't bring to a halt without falling six feet to the ground.  It is also nice to have a bike that allows you to occasionally stop at a light or stop sign when needed.

    His friends probably wear an "I'm with stupid" T-shirt around him.

    2. Fixed-gear bikes with no brakes.  I get it, it is fun.  But don't deny that brakes work better than skidding.  I know you say that not having brakes makes you more aware, and this is the same reason teenagers aren't allowed to vote.  It's because they are too dumb.  And so are you if you think a chain is made to handle the kind of loads you are putting on it by using it to stop.  Denying the utility of brakes is similar to denying that a fork is an evolutionary leap up from the chopstick.  In addition, the fixed gear "lifestyle" is now available at WalMart.  I'm sure they are continuing the celebration of smelly under-employment and self-righteousness that we all love.


    3.  Blatant disregard for traffic laws combined with a desire to prove you have equal access to the roads with drivers.  You know the type, riding in the middle of the lane at 15 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone to show they are the equal of other traffic, but blowing through every light or sign.  Choose to be a rebel, or choose to be a productive member of society.  Just because you are allowed to ride down the middle and hold up traffic doesn't mean you should.  Move aside when the cars back up.

    4. Alternate forms of transportation like the unicycle.  We saw a guy riding down the sidewalk today at the same speed as a toddler walks, with a backpack slung over his shoulder and dress pants on.  I imagine unicyclists are thinking, "man, I look cool on this."  They should realize that when others see them, they think, " that guy has never seen a vagina." 

    The modern unicyclist.  Post to come on how much I hate fucking clowns.  Thanks, John Wayne Gacy.

    Biking is an enjoyable form of transportation, great excersize, and a whole lot of fun.  Once it becomes a lifestyle that allows you to judge others, you are probably a huge prick.

    Mr. F

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Oh Nate, how did you fall so far?

    I happen to think Six Feet Under was one of the greatest television series ever, slightly ahead of The Wire, and in a dead heat with The Sopranos.  Unfortunately, poor Nate has fallen hard.  First he did that horrible series with Donald Sutherland and the Baldwin (Billy?) with the tight face that married the gal from Wilson Phillips.  This one.

    Not this one.

    That show failed quickly.  Poor Nate.  David went and became Dexter, and avoided being typecast in my eyes.  He even married his creepy costar to prove he wasn't really gay.  

    So now Nate in is Parenthood, Tuesdays at 10 on NBC.  My wife loves the show, and even says she wants their fake family to adopt her.  I say Parenthood (while well acted) is the least original most derivativemostpredictablemost horseshitmost cliche show produced in the last 10 years.  Yikes, I can practically predict the ending to their phony problems in the first five minutes of every show by simply inserting the Parenthood variables into the following formula:

    White Guilt-Interfamily Personality Conflict+ Pixie Dust- Common Sense= Bullshit Feel Good Wrapup

    So I guess I'm saying I don't like this show to a degree I can't really explain.

    Mr. F

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    I would not be your favorite little Valentine today.....

    I know it isn't Wednesday, but I did a little baking today, and the results are noteworthy.  Back in November, I made my dear wife a red velvet cake for her birthday.  It turned out ugly looking but delicious.

      I got the recipe for that one from the lady that owns this; check it out.  She knows her stuff.  I don't.  Here is the whole sordid story of my latest baking endeavour. 

    I told my son that we would make red velvet cupcakes for my bride; the day got really, really busy, and I decided to stop in to Saint Cupcake and grab a few instead of baking.  When we got home at 5:30, my bride said she wished we would have baked them instead.  I felt like a lazy bastard, so I decided to head out to the store for baking stuff.  That is where the fun began. Before I left, measured out cake flour in two bowls to see if we had enough.  We did.  I left for the store (a total zoo) and quickly got all I needed except for the red food coloring- I needed 6 tablespoons, which is a lot.  I went to three stores, and the last straw was Whole Foods, were I got a three pack of red, blue, and yellow die that cost over $11.  It was about $4 at the other two stores.  Man, I hate Whole Foods sometimes (How can a grocery store not sell Coke?).

    Once home, I got cracking, and things moved along quickly.  When it came time to add the die, I realized I had half as much as I thought, and that red, blue, and yellow mix into baby-shit brown colored cake. 

      It really does look pooperific.  After they went into the oven,  I looked around on the counter and realized I had only mixed in 2 cups of flour rather than 3.5.  I saw the bowl sitting there, judging me.

    This is what happens to flour that judges me; it gets its ass thrown in the garbage.  The first batch went in the garbage as well after coming out looking like the picture at the top of the post.  I figured I could add the flour to the rest of the batter, and get better results.  So I did, and ended up with this.

    Horrible.  They went in the garbage as well.  I fucking hate baking.

    Mr. French

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    And the Winner Is....

    This one is easy, and most of the commenters got it right.  Here is how it went down in my simulation:

    The bear is used to pulling things out of the water and eating them.  Sharks usually either bump or "sample" their prey on the first pass.  The shark approaches the bear, and attempts to bump him.  The bear, rightly sensing the threat, attacks, raking the gills of the shark.  Even though the shark is well over twice as big, never underestimate the power of a polar bear; their paws are like anvils with knives on them.  The shark circles and comes back in for the kill.  The shallow water limits his ability to generate the speed or leaping ability that makes sharks so dangerous, but he gets his razor sharp teeth into the bear's leg.  The bear begins bleeding profusely, but not as fast as the shark.  With a limited ability to remove oxygen from water, the shark is soon unable to move.  Sharks that don't move die.  Game over.  The bear retreats to the ledge, and most likely bleeds out as well.  But he can move on to the bear afterlife knowing he won this episode of "When Animals Fight."

    On another note, my kid goes to private school, and they have a "Dad's Group."  Last night I went for the first time, to a crab feed.  Crabs remind me of water bugs, and I hate getting my hands dirty.  There was a lot of ManCave talk, which makes me want to stick needles in my ears.  Apparently my lack of desire for a large television makes me effete. 
    Actually, it was pretty fun, and Mr. French didn't just break his two beer limit rule; he blew through it, wadded it up, started it on fire, then peed on it to extinguish it.  Then he came home and tried to sleep.  I feel like ass, my eyes are nearly swollen shut, and my lovely bride told me I smelled horrible.  I take great pride in being odor neutral, so this hurt.  I am pretty sure someone slipped me a Mickey and filled my stomach with rotten meat.  I so deserve this it isn't even funny.  But I blame you, Jose.  You could have stopped me and instead you let me use my own poor judgement. 

    Have a great weekend,

    Mr. F

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Life is Getting In My Way Today....

    Busy.  I should put up that "Keep Hanging On" picture of a kitten hanging off a branch, but I won't.  Stop by tomorrow.  Or don't sucka!

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Feed Your Damn Self

    I'll get to the food stuff in a moment.  I snapped this photo as I rolled through the light at NE 15th Ave and Fremont today.  I was doing about 30 (as fast as the law would allow) and saw him running up to the intersection.  I knew he was going to be a red light jog-in-placer.  I was right.  I can't decide if this amuses or annoys me- I guess it is amusement, as I get very excited when I see some dumbass jog in place for 30 seconds.  I love it.  Plus, the photo is pretty ok considering the geometry involved and shitty quality of the iPhone3 camera. 

    I haven't cooked anything of note this week.  Get off your asses and make your own food.  You know, Eskimos get pushed onto floating ice when they can't chew their own blubber any longer.  I'm just saying. 

    I am in the midst of a torrid affair with the Banh Mi sandwich.  If you haven't tried this little jewel, go to any Vetnamese bakery or restaurant and check it out.  A really, really nice fusion of French and Asian (which is what Vietnamese food is of course).  I was at the aforementioned intersection because I was heading to Foster and Dobbs, a fancy charcuterie and cheese place that makes both a Banh Mi and a mole salami sandwich that my wife likes.  They are $7.50/each.  They sell many fine meats and cheeses, and the place smells lovely.
    I have a "secret" Banh Mi place that sells them for $2.50.  The bride is convinced the meat there is nothing but beaks and taints, but she is wrong.  As a matter of fact, my "secret" place throws away the french rolls every three hours in order to insure freshness.  It also sells weird Asian juices like (I shit you not) artichoke and watercress.  Artichoke juice is not lovely. 

    I must go make a living, so see ya later.

    Mr F

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    The Huffington Post Sold to AOL for $315MM

    $315MM total, with $300MM in cash to Arianna and her investors (I'm not sure how many there are).  Nice number.  The Huff Post gets about 20 million visitors a month, and is full of both actual news and crazy conspiracy theories put forth by other bloggers.  

    Here is my proposal; we need to get my beloved Stinkbug, which is at least the tenth most important thing I do every day, into the same strata. If we can, I promise to share the wealth with you, my loyal readers.**  Here is my idea; send this post to 1000 of your closest friends.  Tell them to do the same.  We will be in Huff Post territory in no time.  I have a friend that likes to say, "we'll be wiping our asses with $100's because we are out of $20's."  And so we shall.

    To OUR Success,

    Mr. French

    ** Unlikely.  You will most certainly get a piece of a convertible debt instrument that pays no interest and will most likely never convert into equity.  I will keep the cash, because I have both needs and a wealth of poop and vomit stories.  Sorry.

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    You either vomit, or you don't

    I have a theory- some people vomit, and others don't, except under the most trying of circumstances.  My wife is also a non-vomiter.  The flu? Diarrhea only for us.  I have never puked from a viral source.  Our son, the same.  I am pretty sure it could be tracked down in a genetic screen, but I have seen no such research.  I'm pretty sure that little Lui will be a vomiter though.  I bet she gets it from my wife's side, as I am pretty sure my bloodlines are vomit free. 

    I can vividly remember each time I did vomit, as they came under peculiar circumstances.  Here is a quick rundown:

    1. February 1988- Cancun, Mexico.  Fifteen year old Mr. French samples a plethora of tequila shots, and then stunbles into the surf.  Vomit is detected by local fish population.

    2.  November 1997- Houston, Texas.  My then-fiance Mrs. French and I went to Houston to see U2 on the POP tour.  I was living in Del Rio, Texas while going to pilot training, and this was absolutely my peak drinking days.  We met a college friend of mine out in Houston, and I consumed about four margaritas.  Here is the kicker- I went to the restroom, and was using the urinal.  I thought it might feel good to let out a huge burp while urinating, and accidentally vomited in the urinal.  It hit the urinal and bounced onto my pants.  Khakis.  Bad move.  And I realized my college buddy was an asshat that talked about Merino wool more than one would expect.

    This is a vomit/urinal combo.  I could have used this.

    3. New Year's Eve, 1999- St Paul, MN.  I was at Radd and Laurie's house, and I consumed six Paulaner Hefeweizens and about a dozen Little Smokies.  I love the Smokies, but apparently don't chew them that well.  The Paulaner briefly made me bulletproof, then very, very sleepy.  I awoke feeling sick, and attempted to rise and move the 15 feet to the bathroom.  Too far.  I released them in a geyser of red hurl.  Sorry about that, Laurie.

    Three times in 38 years.  I'm sure there are a few I don't know about, but I still think that is a pretty good streak. You can also see why I limit myself to two drinks. 

    So, how about you?  Any theories?

    Mr. French

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    When Animals Fight; Round 2

    Oh, if only it were that simple.  Polar Bear versus Great White, to the death.  Here is the setup:

    Adult male polar bear, 5 years old, 1350 pounds.  Healthy and hungry.
    Adult great white shark, 4000 pounds, healthy and hungry.

    The arena:

    A SeaWorld-style dolphin pool, with a flat bottom and a 3 foot elevated platform all the way around the perimeter.  The platform is 6 inches below the waters surface.  Here is the kicker- the water is 3.5 feet deep throughout the pool. 
    The 4000 pound shark has enough room laterally to turn around and to swim around the perimeter.  When standing upright, the water level is at mid-thigh on the bear. 
    The water temp is 55F.  The air temp is 30F. 

    Can the bear use the platform to his advantage?  Can the shark maneuver its bulk in only 3.5 feet of water?  Can the bear find ways to offset the sharks much greater mass?

    I guess we will see, won't we?  Don't think too much, or maybe you should?  Hmmmmm.......

    Have a good weekend,

    Mr. F

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Lermoos, Austria

    Hello there--

    Looking like teenagers

    Today we are going to take a walk down memory lane and go to Lermoos, Austria.  Lermoos is a tiny resort town in the Tyrolean Alps.  In June 2004 I deployed for 45 days to Sembach, Germany (near Frankfurt), and the Mrs. came over for 10 days near the end.  We had a few days off, so we decided to venture south to Bavaria and stay a few days at the resort at Garmisch Partenkirchen.  We decided to forgo any reservations, and to play it by ear.  Garmisch is a large US Department of Defense resort in the Alps.  It used to be a resort for senior German officers in WWII, and the US continued to lease it after the war.
          Strange to see castles everywhere

    We left Sembach in our rented BMW 318 with no air conditioning, and headed south the four or five hundred miles to Garmisch. The BMW had an overspeed horn that came on at 100mph, so we kept the windows open to stay cool and to drown out the buzzing of the horn.  The drive was amazing; every corner we cleared would elicit a "Oh my goodness, that is the most beautiful town I have ever seen!" from my bride.  And it was.
    Biberwall, our first nights destination

                        We stayed here, and that is my bride in the center window, second from top

    After a great meal topped off with weird German spaghetti ice dessert, we grabbed a drink then went exploring, and went to bed.  
    We got up the next morning and got back in our pizza oven of a car for the 3 hour or so ride to Neuschwanstein Castle, the castle that the one at Disney was modeled after.  We walked up to the castle in 90+ heat, following an asian transvestite in support hose.  Holy Petri dish, I hope he tossed those hose after that.  In true French style, we got to the top after a 45 minute walk and decided not to pay to go in.  No reason.  Just because.  
    The castle.  My wife took these photos before she got "into" taking photos, and now they embarass her.  

    Back in the sweat locker of a car, and off to Garmisch.  We began to notice a bunch of American senior citizens on the roads; it was June 8th, and the 60th celebration of the Normandy invasion had been two days prior.  Thousands of rowdy octogenarians were retracing their steps from Normandy through German to Bavaria.  We rolled into Garmisch at noon, and literally hundreds of drunk 80 year old paratroopers greeted us.  These fellas were rolling hard, and 101st and 82nd Airborne were raising a ruckus.  It was actually really cool to see these guys, and the bond they shared was evident.  

    There were no rooms.  Traci and I jumped back in the steamy car and tried to decide what to do.  We were only a few miles from the Austrian border, and my Tiger map showed an easier way back to Sembach.  We were ready to accept defeat.  We crossed the border, and the Tirolean Valley opened up before us.  I immediately began planning to move there and raise cows.  I know little about cows.  We pulled into a quaint hotel and got a room for about $60 that included breakfast.  
    The view from our tub

    The next three days were a blur of almost non-stop perfection; great food, great wine, hikes, bike rides on bikes with square wheels, and just more fun than I imagined possible.  My wife claims that this is when she realized I need to be in the mountains, and decided to grant me my wish and move from Minnesota to Oregon.  I had been at war almost non-stop for three years at this point, and was getting pretty angry at the world.  Lermoos brought me back toward center a bit.
    On the final day, I go up early and went for a run.  I saw an old guy on this patio eating eggs and sausage washed down with a beer.  It was 6:45AM.  All was right in the world.

    So go to Austria, and make a reservation for the first night.  Then play it by ear, and "develop the situation."  

    Mr French

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Well Fed Wednesday- Sausages and Peppers

    I think I've hit the jackpot on this one.  Sausage and Peppers, like you would see on "GoodFellas."  This one turned out pretty damn good, and I ate on it for four days afterward.  I can't remember where I found the recipe, so I will act like it is mine alone.  It's not.  Plus I changed some shit up to make it mine. 

    I followed the recipe as listed, with a few changes.  I added two extra garlic cloves, and I swapped chicken sausage for the turkey.  Turkey should be eaten in Thanksgiving form or on a sandwich, not made into something like sausage, or God forbid, a turkey burger.  I'd rather have a pork enema than eat a turkey burger.  I put mine on a lovely little bun called a "bollino."  The wife used pasta.  Here it is- cook it up.


    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
    • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
    • 2 yellow onions, sliced
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
    • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1 cup Marsala wine
    • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
    • 4 to 6 fresh Italian sandwich rolls, optional


    Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain.

    Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, basil, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.

    Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the Marsala wine, tomatoes, and chili flakes. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits. Bring to a simmer.

    Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each, about 1-inch cubes. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

    Serve in bowls. Or, if serving as a sandwich, split the rolls in half lengthwise. Hollow out the bread from the bottom side of each roll, being careful not to puncture the crust. Fill the bottom half of the roll with sausage mixture. Top and serve sandwiches immediately. 

    This is 20 minutes of prep, tops.  

    Cook it up,

    Mr. French

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    The Greatest Photo Ever Taken?

    I would have to answer with an emphatic "YES!"  Look closer.  Indeed it is what you think.  It is potty humor day.  A friend of mine had a fridge magnet with this picture on it, which was more awesome than Stretch Armstrong. 

    Here is my hockey vomit story- when I was twelve, we were on a hockey trip and one of the parents had driven their RV.  For those of you that have parents that did not get to live the glamorous hockey parent lifestyle, we played 80+ games in 4.5 months every year from age 9-14; do the math.  You are never home.  Anyhow, between games, a group of players and parents had gathered on the RV to eat and socialize.  At some point, one of the player's 5 year old little brother ran on the bus screaming, "I have diarrhea!"  He then pulled his pants down and shat on the carpet walkway next to the RV dinner table that also undoubtedly turns into a bed.  Less than 30 seconds later, another little brother (maybe 6) ran on, nearly stepped in the poo, and screamed, "poop!"  Then he vomited right on top of the poop.  And scene.


    Mr French