Thursday, March 31, 2005

Kadhafi Watch: Part 2

In keeping with Bread's interest in Kadhafi.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

NiHowdy Loses 1.2 Billion Readers

I'm back from China. Apparently blogspot is blocked there.

But on a positive note, I guess our barbecue secrets are safe.


Beef is back in Taiwan. That's right. No more grass-fed Kiwi cow carcasses. According to Grand Poobah for Life, Jack McDowell, as of Thursday, March 31, American beef will reenter the Taiwan market. Now, don't go sharpening your knives just quite yet. He informed me that Tesco and Costco will have it but didn't mention about other places. I assume others will as well. Also, the China Post reported that this does not include live animals or bone-in meat. I vaguely remember him saying that this was incorrect, but maybe It's just me that's incorrect.

Other good news for those who still have time left on their sentences. Taichung will break ground on a Costco around October. Not Costko, Fakeco, 101 or any of that other nonsense. The real deal Costco. No longer will we have to wait 2-3 hours as we motor north or south to spend our money. Instead we will merely have to wait until about May of 2006.

All Sports Hootenanny

The All Sports Hootenanny will take place on April, 24. This will include 4 teams: football, soccer, rugby and interpretive frisbee. The four teams will play every other team in every sport. Location: no idea. Time: from not-nearly-early-enough-to finish a.m. to cardiac-arrest o'clock. For more info, bug Lance.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Rumor Control

It has been disclosed that Amcham Jack now has controlling interest in The Taichung Voice. Terms are vague but this mag will continue to exist under the aegis of AJ/the American Chamber of Commmerce. Rebounding from a tough week (sorry about the chili) AJ has cuckholded Mr. Carroll. Please be ready to view many,great and really,really wonderful articles about purchasing really, really great and cheap microbrew equipment in the future. Lance is accepting any and all kneepad donations.


This evening Kevin and I had the opportunity to watch Elliot get confirmed into the Catholic Church (easy on the snickering you heathens). Anyhow, we met out at Providence University, and managed to sit through an entire 2 hour mass, conducted in Chinese. That deserves some kind of medal in my personal opinion, but I doubt Kevin would agree. At the 1 1/2 hour mark I leaned over and asked him when would this 'God damn thing' be over. He politely asked me to refrain from the Goddams until the end of the service. I conceded he was probably correct and managed to avoid any more verbal miscues. On the upside, I learned some new Chinese words -- cool, fun ones like Satan, sin, and obstinate. I asked Kevin if I could say Satan dammit, but I got no response.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Player Clocks Ref

Check out the right hook on this guy... Roberto Alomar forgiven...

Announcer Calls Plane Crash

"No way did that just happen folks..."

Originally uploaded by ryeguy.


Originally uploaded by ryeguy.

The heavens opened and pissed down rain as we arrived at the Double 10 Rd. stadium at 6:40 on the 22nd. The game had already begun with our pitcher in deep trouble. Perhaps the rain delay would help our guys get more focused. I took the opportunity to fetch a rain jacket and some beer for Kevlar. Bread was his usual enthusiastic self as we were joined by Canadian Chris and his diamond pal Rocky. Chris is leaving soon and we were all happy to be sharing his (maybe?)last CPBL game. It was of course Ivo's first ever. Despite the wetness everyone was in good spirits. The game continued after 30 or 40 minutes. The Bulls starter didn't last through the first and the home team was down by 4 going into our half of the inning. Things didn't get much better for the Bulls all night as the Elephants pretty much had their way with them, the final tally being 13-5. As Kevlar drank deeply of his tall boy, so did Ivo and we were out of milk by the end of the fifth with the Bulls down by plenty. We had to high tail it to see MaMa, keeper of the sweet sweet nectar Ivo craves, but the rest of the boys stuck around to the end. On the way out I couldn't help but notice the house music included Chinese versions of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Highway to Hell". Cracks me up every time.
After the game Bread met Bulls rightfielder Zhang Jia-hao, who had homered earlier. Zhang is famous for being one the most handsome ballplayers on the island and Wednesday at work Bread reported being rather starstruck.
The two teams played again on the 23rd and this time the Bulls came out on top 4-1...

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Kevin Springfield

Kevin Springfield
Originally uploaded by ryeguy.

I was rooting through some old LPs and came across this one by Kevin Springfield (remember him?) circa mid-80s. But I can't for the life of me recall the album title...

Maybe some of our readers could suggest something appropriate.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Guggenheim will be in Hong Kong

I never quite recalled what happened to the Guggenheim for Taichung plan, except that it failed.

It looks now that Hong Kong will have it rather than Taichung.

p.s. I saw a lady in business attire herding a large pig while driving to work today.

The Wrath of Bread

Originally uploaded by ryeguy.

This was taken last year in Tainan during the US-Taiwan game. Beware if you're not wearing orange. Of course tomorrow night it may be difficult to abuse the Elephants whilst sporting a blindfold.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Free Eats

There will be free spaghetti at PJ's today. He has concocted a baker's buttload of sauce and is dishing it out gratis.

Amo, Amas, Amat: Chili, Chile, Chilli

Saturday was beautiful. At the house, hungry and still in possession of my meager poker winnings - the wife didn't anticipate a pre-noon rising - I declared to my dog that we would be making chili again. Now, I've been making chili almost once a week for the last couple of months trying to work out a basic chili template based on the local resources. Back from the market, stocked and ready to go, I continue the chili custom of cooking and comfort.

A few words need to be said about what chili is and is not. It's not a sauce and not a stew. It's not a soup. It is not spicy Prego. Chili is chili. Let's look at the main, and sometimes only, ingredients: meat, chiles and fat. Tomatoes and beans were later additions. Looky here for a good primer on ingredients. Click here for recipes, history and the prevalent Texan view of beans (lower left sidebar). Chili was invented by carnivores, for carnivores. Keeps your belly and backbone from bumpin'. Eat it with broken-up soda crackers and cheese, with a thick slice of sourdough, on some hoagie bread, on rice, next to eggs or straight up. It's the everyman's accessible art. I'm not talking about the Simpson's standard-lowering Hooray For Everything! Nor is it the incomprehensible "genius" of Christo. This is Dogs Playing Poker art. Like grabbin the ring on the merry-go-round. Won't get it every time, but the chance is available to all, always.

The cooking part should remain simple. Stay with the basics and add one or two extras. The best and most challenging variant is the chiles. Fresh, dried and powdered. Now, our options in Taiwan are limited. Mostly, I stock up on different powders when I'm back home. Look for powders that leave a stain on your fingers when you rub it. That tells you the essential oils (flavor) are still there. Meat is important just for the sake of being meat. The cut is secondary. My last batch, and the best of these last couple of months, used beef shank and ground pork. For the fat, you could use oil, but I prefer lard or a strip-of-fat-strip-of-lean from the pork belly (Bart, butter your bacon!). As for the extras, bourbon, bittersweet chocolate, beer and coffee are all players.

Now to the comfort part. After getting it started, you would move on to what Smoky would call his 3rd Basic Position of Barbecuen' (Chili Makin). Being sunny and clear, I assumed a reclining position with a half twist on my patch of grass in the front. Flanked by my dog and my beer, listening to Fowler, Cagle and Hank, I settled back and did not-a-damn-thing for an hour. Rinse (your parched throat), repeat and eat. A beautiful Saturday.

Spring Scream Chicken

Head on down to Kending first weekend in April. The official site has all the info you need. Word is Red A's gonna go this year with a load o' beer. See some of y'all there.

Ivo's First Game?

Tuesday night, Bulls vs. Elephants.

Myself, Canadian Chris, and Kevlar are in. Ryan and Ivo are sitting on the fence due to fears of crowd noise. Anybody else interested? If so, leave a message here.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

How in tune with your senses are you?

In a recent lesson at school we covered the senses. One question we addressed was which one of the five you would give up (if you had to give up one). Most said taste or smell, with a few choosing sight, one choosing hearing (so he wouldn't have to listen to me yell), and one poor sap wanted to give up touch. I informed him that once he got a girlfriend he might think twice about that. He looked confused.

Anyhow, this prompted me to an experiment which I have involuntarily been participating in over the past week. Due to a head cold, I have forsaken taste and smell for the past few days. I can report that giving up taste/smell really stinks when your friend brings you fifteen hundred dollars of Fridays and you can't taste a lick of it. However, it's a bonus when you are too lazy to take out the trash despite the dead fish in the bottom of it. Not a bad trade off, especially considering some of the places I have traveled to in the past ten years.

If my sense of smell returns by Tuesday, I am going to go blindfolded for the day (which should be interesting being as I am supposed to be attending a ball game that evening). Hearing will have to be done on a weekend for job security reasons. Not sure how I am going to lose the sense of touch for a day, but I'll come up with something. Reports forthcoming.

Something no one talks about, well i never heard of it

Last night I was sick and tired fully intending on sleeping off my cold and resting my weary head. Alone i peacefully lay. At 8:10 AM I was awoken by the sound of puking. I sat up with a grand "What in da H.E. double 'Ockey is this nonsense?". My pillow was covered in spew. The cat buddy, the frickin' cat blew chunks on the pillow next to my head. Well I did what any sane person would do I bitch slapped the cat and moved to the cold side of the bed with the clean pillow. I have a cold I need to rest. At the grand hour of eleven O'clock i felt warm liquid on my thigh. It wasn't me! I tore off the sheets to see the little critter meowing cause he is hungry. Yellow vomit on my leg, sheets, bedspread. I GOT OUT OF BED.
I have had a life long dislike of cats, i truly never cared for them much. This little guy is kinda fun, so i got online to see what is wrong with the little christ-er. Guess what? Cats puke all the time. cat lovers write stories about their little darlings blowing chunks. Some cat lovers buy dogs. Apparetnly dogs love to eat cat vomit. There are stories of dogs and their abilities to consume mass quantities of steaming liquid cat stomach.
So I am prepping the laundry, and cleaning up the mess. I should go borrow John's dog. I'm sure he would love to help me out of this mess. It would be great cause dogs love to eat cat crap stomach contents.

Sick Poker

Note to all: When people are feeling a little under the weather, forget about playing games which require balls. Whether it be Iron Cross, Two Card Guts, Bouree, Spit or Don's Game (not sure of the real name), about ten dollars will change hands over the course of an hour. On the other hand, Texas Hold 'Em, Seven Card Stud, and Omaha seem to be okay.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Invasion Taiwan Countdown: 1,239 days

Some people are predicting a Chinese invasion of Taiwan to be an Olympic Surprise - that is an invasion right before the games in Beijing start.

The opening ceremony, in a most Chinese fashion, will be 8/8/2008.

I guess it might be their way of saying "Who's your Daddy?"

Father's Day 父親節 ‧August 8
 This day was designated Father's Day in 1945. The Chinese characters for "eight" 八 (eighth day of the eighth month of the solar year) and "father" 爸 are both pronounced ba.
So, we have 1,239 days until we finally speak proper Mandarin here in Taiwan.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Braveheart's Sword

The other night at PJ's I got into a little talk with a guy living in Taichung and he gave me a story. Seems he's an English-born Scottish nationalist of Scottish parents who found his calling in Canada. Anyway, seems he and some friends didn't like the way the William Wallace sword was being cared for. With all the acumen and plotting of the Dalton Gang in Coffeyille (Oh. I'm related. No need to comment), they managed to steal the sword and hold it for about 4 months before returning it. You can read his story here. Full of details and Scottish blarney (I'm sure they have their own word for it but I can never understand a damn thing they say). I haven't been able to find any more confirmation, but he sounded believable after 6 Buds. He also had a hand in writing the article. I'll leave it to you to guess which one he is. He's also got more stories about things that go boom!

Holder of the Winning Ticket Please Contact Me
If you guessed 4 years, 7 months and 12 days in the "When in the hell will PJ actually make chili again?" contest, you have 2 days to contact me.

That's Retrosexual to you, Karl.
I found this on a recommendation from Jihad-Pundit. Like his site. If anyone knows how to do some advanced customizing blog work, let me know. I'll supply the 'cue and the beer, if Red A ever delivers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


2005 Super Rocket Launch Forecast. Satellites in orbit just to orbit other satellites! US National Reconnaisance Office! BAIKONUR COSMODROME! Small town Saskatchewan! Indonesians in space! New space shuttle launch May 15 right before the new bad ass Star Wars movie...
They say it's quite a sight.

If you're into nebulae like I am you'll love this daily dose of cosmic porn...

Bread, Ukraine calls for you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

American Idol will make China free

Here's how.

Beware the Ides, Baldy!

Look out, it's here. Hope no one has any appointments with men in togas today.
From Kalends to Nones to Ides, here's how the Romans did it.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Taiwan's 3rd Valentine's Day

Taiwan not only celebrates "regular" Valentine's day, but also "Lover's Day" or Chinese Valentine's Day.

So, you ask, it's March 14, why are we talking about these two holidays?

Well, now there is a THIRD Valentine's day: White Valentine's Day. Go check out the local 7-11 and they have a banner for this holiday, which is supposedly Japanese.

Or maybe they are actually thinking of this alternative holiday?

French Bashing: The International Language

If you think American newspapers hate the French (remember this classic?) then you should read today's editorial in theTaipei Times.

Choice excerpts:

As France tries to pressure the rest of the EU into lifting the arms embargo on China, some readers might remember that Christine Deviers-Joncour -- the erstwhile mistress of former French foreign minister Roland Dumas whose tell-all books played a serious role in clarifying details of the scandal surrounding the kickbacks involved in Taiwan's purchase of Lafayette frigates in the early 1990s -- once wrote a book about herself called The Whore of the Republic.

The former lingerie model's right to this title is now under severe challenge from France's Defense Minster Michele Alliot-Marie, who last week said -- and you should probably reach for your sick bags now -- "France has the strictest, most stringent rules applying to the sale of weapons of the European Union and probably in the world." As the American writer Fran Lebowitz once said: "To the French, lying is simply talking."
Please, don't beat around the bush, tell us how you really feel! Here's how the editorial ends:
What sort of actions should be taken? The immediate cessation of visa-free privileges and an astronomical raising of visa fees, the closing of cultural institutions, the ending of scholarships for French students, refusal to grant or renew French nationals alien residency, refusal to accept documents authenticated by the French government, the severing of air agreements -- most of these measures are quite feasible and were used against South Korea in the early1990s.

But Taiwan should go further and impose a massive tariff, say 100 percent, on all goods made by French companies; the proceeds, such as they might be, should go to the defense budget. That this violates WTO protocols bothers us as much as the UN bothers US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. That the French might retaliate makes us laugh. Let them double the price they pay for information technology if they want; much of it simply cannot be sourced elsewhere. Taiwan, however, will survive more expensive Louis Vuitton bags.
Now, I wonder why they didn't mention the idea of a consumer boycott, of say: Carrefour, Geant, Renault, Citroen, Air France, Remy Martin, etc.? Are these companies perhaps major advertisers in the Taipei Times?

But I really hope we can see crowds of Taiwanese pouring bottles of French cognac down the sewers to protest French perfidy.

Blues Fest Report

As the sole representative at Blues Fest yesterday, I feel obliged to let everyone else know what a great time they missed. From the opening band Stevie Ray and the Fu Bros. (not sure of the band's name here) to the last (not sure of anything by that time), the show was a rousing success. Boogie Chillin' teamed up with Hazel Payne (who still has a great caboose) to perform Everybody Gets the Blues, and she herself later teamed up with the Mayor (everybody's favorite KMTer) to do You are My Sunshine (anybody who has ever heard the Cash/Dylan version of this song can appreciate how bad it can truly be -- Mayor Hu did them proud!). Another highlight was David Chen and the Muddy Basin Ramblers, complete with washboard, wash basin bass, and jug. Apparently a lot of these bands play up in Taipei at The Living Room.

I seem to remember some Slovakian guy taking the stage dressed in a wide brimmed hat and spitting out Slovakian lyrics. I also seem to remember chatting with Red Haired Karl and Vivian at Chili's while I tried to sober up. I think I met Dean, PJ, AJ, Chris, English Brett (Happy Birthday man), Kirk, Brooke, all of Milk in cognito, and basically anyone who has lived in Taichung over the past ten years and been involved with the music scene. I am not sure if there was a kissing contest, though when I got home I found some mouthwash (unopened) that was given out to all attendees in anticipation of a kiss off. Being as I don't remember kissing anybody, I'm going pretend it didn't happen. I do know that when I checked out my pocketbook this morning, there was not much money leftover, and anybody who was at Retro Poker can relate that that was no small sum.

All in all, it was a great day (I think) and a great way to live up to Jason Hu's dream of Taichung becoming an international city on par with New York and Paris (yep, we're one Guggenheim short -- oh wait, that got cancelled). Now I need to go downstairs and see if I was foolish enough to ride my motorcycle home or if I actually used my brain and took a taxi...

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Taiwan News (and Post and Times, sorta)

Don't know much 'bout history...
  • Today's China Post via the AFP: China considers Taiwan, which has been ruled separately since the end of a civil war in 1949, an inseparable part of Chinese territory which must be reunified eventually.
  • Again, the same courtesy of the AP and Reuters: Beijing claims Taiwan, split from China since 1949, as part of its territory. AP, Reuters and the AFP link here. Others, click here.
At least now they're using words like considers and claims. Used to be just presented as fact. I would like these wire services to dedicate a week to using Taiwan's view of China in their intros. Example: China, which Taiwan views as dirty, poor and loud... (courtesy of my students); China, which Taiwan views as a great place to make money but wouldn't want to live there... ( from most of my buddies who work there); Taiwan, while meeting the criteria established by the U.N. for being a sovereign nation but is not because money talks and censure is reserved for only those countries which have not recognized the U.N. as a world government...(that one would be mine).
The Taipei Guardian prints: "It (China's anti-secession law) won't be changed because of changes in the Chinese leadership," Zhang said. "Policies might change when leaders change." 張同新 (Chang Similarly New, my translation).
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller...?
From the PFP, courtesy of the T.G.: "Taiwan consciousness is not equal to Taiwan independence."
20 Pages of Editorials
From the Local section of the China Post: At least 100,000 people will take to the streets in Taipei to protest against the unfair presidential election of 2004 on March 19 (emphasis mine)...that gave President Chen Shui-bian more than enough sympathy votes to win reelection.
The China Post is very consistent about putting in their two-cent's worth at every opportunity. Any article credited to the China Post staff will almost always provoke a laugh ( or a "Damn right!" if you're Generalissimo Kirk).
Good news at last
Well, those crazy goofballs from the Pan-Blue camp have decided to work for constructive change. The Truth Commission that was looking into the attempted assassination of President Chen Shui Bian is disbanding. They will now dedicate their time to League for Peace. The League will organize a protest rally to mark their first anniversary of their first protest rallies. Some Wang claims they will march to demand peace, justice, sincerity and virtue.

Get ya gangsta self ready

Next poker night at my house is mafia night, that's roughly two weeks away. Spiffy names are necessary, names such as Kevin Two Times (because, well, he says everything two times). Leave other possible names here, and remember, keep it somewhat clean, big brother is watching.
Ties and cigars also mandatory, so Red A, I am giving you plenty of time to go out and purchase new additions to your wardrobe (or beg the guy at Tomato for some assistance again).

Karl - Off to stalk vampires

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The date for the cultural outing to the Taichung Distillery Cultural Museum is being set for next Saturday, whatever the date is. Please give a confirmation in the comments.

The Hot Tea PJ

A quick live-blog from PJ's on his ancient Apple. A guy just dropped in, while I was outside in the pro-choice zone, telling PJ about his internet radio site that he recently set up. He's in Taichung and is looking for musicians willing to air their music. I will provide a link to a good article in the Taipei Guardian when I return home. Here's the link. It also provides contact info.

Well, PJ has opened another round of furious betting by stating that PJ's K0h Tao will be up and running in six months.

Sports Movie Quotes

This is one alcoholic beverage away from incorporating your three favorite things J-Hole.

Friday, March 11, 2005

SWEET JESUS! Do you know where YER car is?

I recently bought a car in Taichung city and anyone who's tried to come to my place by car will tell you that the parking is less than optimal to say the least. I remember Karl the Kind, friend and guide to an acknowledged group of computer dumbasses, helped me out way back when and I distinctly remember him asking about parking. ( By the way, welcome back hope to see you at retro hat night. Bread said you got new boots and J-Hole wants to know about HTML. I've heard Aaron's got a new hand rubbing friction glee indicator and you know Kevlar's gonna be silly. )
Red A's strategy had been to park at the the YuMaoWu nearby and validate it through purchases. Those 3 to 5 hour stints were easily rectified by picking up a few beer, a French bread or diapers. This seemed genius for awhile as Sandy effectively implemented A's plan until it turned into a 43 hour stay one weekend not long ago and the vigilant staff at said supermarket wondered why it took so long to buy diapers and wine. They wanted to charge 3 grand in parking fees but Sandy, with a great performance from Ivo, bartered it down to 2 grand in shopping fees and a promise to never do it again. I'm convinced without Ivo there we'd have been nailed. So since then it's been a search every night.
Last night Sandy parked next to the upolsterer across the street in an arguably legal spot. We've parked there before as do others in the neighbourhood. I woke this morning and went to the smoking room overlooking the parking spot to have my coffee and noticed that at some point during the night some asshole had had the same idea as us and parked across from the upolsterer next to the Japanese restaurant effectively blocking the alley to any 4 wheeled traffic. Shit. I could also see people huffing and puffing up and down the alley, the upolsterer taking long mean drags from his cigarette staring intently at my car. A well dressed and important looking man looked especially pissed yelling at the barber ladies 20 yards further down the alley. Shit. I went to other end of the apt. and checked out the other end of the alley. Big tent set up. Damn. Trucks with poles and stuff ready to move in backing up. I could see the tickets on my car the other dude's. So I waited til I saw people weren't milling about so much and went down and moved the car. I'm pretty sure no one saw or followed. Parked, bought breakfast and was home discussing what the ticket might mean when I went to the window again and saw the other guy's car getting towed by one of those big North American style red pickups. 5 minutes and gone. As they were driving away I looked straight down from the balcony and saw the second red tow truck idling cargoless.
So I was thinking all day how lucky I was and how quickly that tow truck took off with that car.

Check out this video of a couple of Taiwanese car thieves.

Retro Poker: Hat Night at the Pit

I'll try to take some photos and maybe even live-blog if Kevlar has found the power switch on his Apple lap-top yet.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Fire it up

As I have said earlier, Smoky Hale is the definitive voice of barbecue and grill skills. I'm gonna post a few tidbits and if anyone is interested in the Whys? or following up, drop a comment or buy the book. Again, BUY HIS BOOK.

  • If you marinate your steaks for grillin, always let them dry completely before placing on the grill.
  • Water smokers are for those who don't know what a vent is and have unlimited amounts of money to spend on fuel.
  • Never cook over an open flame unless using lump charcoal.
  • Know the difference between basting and finishing sauces. Big difference.
  • It's impossible to barbecue on a gas grill.
  • Use water as a last resort to control flare-ups. And for God's sake, no pitchers of water at the grill unless for mixing an adult beverage.
  • Obvious, but needs saying and repeating over and over. Not everything cooks at the same temperature and for the same amount of time. Know your cuts.
  • Baby back ribs are not barbecue.

There. That oughta get some reaction or else this is the new food Bible.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Taiwan needs more babes!

Apparently not enough Taiwanese are having kids.

"Taiwan's birth rate plunged to a record low last year and Ma today is part of a three-year government campaign to encourage bigger families, hoping to ward off welfare strains on a rapidly graying population."
Imagine the hospital waits in the future! J-hole will have to give up his hypochondria hobby.
In a show of government concern, officials who give speeches at wedding ceremonies have taken to telling newly weds that being productive shows their patriotism.
I don't remember Rye Guy or Kevlar getting this speech - or did the Judge already know that it wasn't necessary! Taiwan Wan Sui! It's the new pick up line.
In the northern city of Hsinchu -- Taiwan's Silicon Valley -- the local government has handed out subsidies of up to T$100,000 ($3,200) to encourage births.
Kevlar, just think how many bowls of noodles that could buy! Better move before summer.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Cultural Merit Badges Still Available

Ni Howdy is offering the chance for you and your loved ones to experience one of the hidden gems in the Greater Taichung area. Successful completion of the course will result in a badge in one of the following three categories: Spousal Relations, Reflux Inhibition or Orient: Successfully, Humanely, Integrated; Taiwan.
We are scheduling a trip to the Taichung Distillery Cultural Museum. I think a Saturday would be preferable to Sunday, but both are possible.

While I can't quite do it justice, it is situated in the Taichung Industrial Park for heaven's sake, let me say this. They have a what they call "wine" and what we call 'shine or hooch that not only has 22 herbs, but is also recommended for pregnant women (too late Rye Guy).

It would also be a great opportunity to do our first Grog Blog. If they have wireless and we take a laptop, we could have a Live Grog Blog.

Leave times, suggestions and confirmations in the comment box.

P.S. - Suggestions for better names for the last merit badge?

Is your S.O. thinking of plastic surgery?

Once in a while, my wife starts talking about Botox or gossiping about Korean TV stars all having plastic surgery. I guess it's probably Next magazine's fault. Now, I found a site that I think she will enjoy (the dirt on the stars) while at the same time learn why you should not have plastic surgery.

Here's a Handy Tool

Bug Me Not is a service that allows you to avoid all those pesky registrations:

From their "how to use" page


You're browsing the web and you click a link to an article on a site (let's say but instead of getting the article you get a screen asking you to login or register. Infuriated at the idea of pointlessly registering for yet another site you turn to your good buddy

STEP 1: Make a note of the website address your are trying to access. For example:
Or even just:

STEP 2: Visit

STEP 3: Enter the address from step 1 into the box and press the "Show Logins" button

STEP 4: You should now be presented with a username and password. Make a note of them.

STEP 5: Go back to the site you were originally trying to access in step 1 and proceed to login with the username and password you noted in the previous step.

With any luck you should be able to access your article now!

Here's another one, but only for the New York Times.

Monday, March 07, 2005

More Barbecue

I just read this article on Texas barbecue.


Sunday, March 06, 2005

I'm more than willin' to talk about barbecuen and grillin'. But I suggest you first take a gander at the Smoky Hale link. This guy is undoubtedly the man. No hemmin and hawin' here. He'll throw more science at you than you can handle. No , "Well, I don't why, but we always done it that way." Be warned that not everything on that site is by him. Some of the other posters write things that might make Smoky pause, or just cuss and go write another book.

You can see below my custom-made unit. Based on a Smoky-recommended design, one of my Taichung buddies had it built for me. There are three levels for the fire grate. One for grillin, one for baking/roasting, like a turkey, and one for barbecuen.

Level three has not yet been tried out. I am in need of some fuel. Any hardwood, fruit-bearing tree will do. It don't take a lot. I accept branches. If you can help me out, I'll cook something up.

Man's next best friend

The results

Back from Singapore

I'm back from my trip. It was nice to enjoy some summer weather. Of course, all the short sleeved shirts and the sarong I bought will have to be mothballed as its is freezing in Taiwan.

Errata from the trip:

Bread - I didn't have time to get any bean burritos for you - but I brought back a pack of hot sauce to make up for it. Also, I was a bit disappointed that the menu at the Taco Bell was limited. Here's the real McCoy (warning: do not click if stoned.)

Karl - You will be happy to know your favorite magazine is on-sale at newstands in Singapore, though I have no idea why. You'd think they'd have something more in line with Kevlar and RyeGuy's persuasion.

Rye Guy - Better start saving to buy yourself this treat I found in Changi airport's duty free shop. The cost for the airline size 50ml bottle of the 1939 vintage was S$ 1,000 (NT$ 20,000.) Just imagine the look on your wife's face when you bring home that bottle!

J-Hole - Yes, PEEPS, were available at stores in Singapore, thus answering your lifelong question of what they are.

Kevlar - I brought back some Camels for you. Okay, I already smoked some of them. I didn't see any Clark bars.

By the way, Singapore's Changi airport rocks. They have free movies, video games, multiple TVs, and a SMOKING PUB. I guess I'll know where to find the NiHowdy crowd, and I don't mean the Estee Lauder counter.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

slang explained

humsuck, holy liftin', puckerbrush, well yahs all clever fellers you get the idea... still don't know what they call a pole in west Texas... maybe we'll get some kind of linguistic exchange goin on here...

testin' j holes pole

I don't know what im sposed to write here, something bout telephone poles...

Failed fiddlehead link

Sorry fellers my fiddlehead link didn't work out there in the "Overhome there" story. Try this one.

Hey! Who in the hell brought back the archives and link sidebar( and how did you do it?) ? Did I accidentally do it?

Overhome there

Last Seardee night me and the fellers overhome there had a bit of a rough go of her. We had gone fiddleheadin' earlier in the day some place up river, can't say where exactly, somewhere outback of the willy-wags. JR'd like to keep it a secret for the time bein'. Anyways, despite the fact she was some friggin' cold we managed to get a whole whack of 'em and got a pretty good jag on too while we's at it. Perly was rightoutaver by the time it was t' header an' we had t' get Ash to drive, though he wasn't in to great a shape neither. Well didn't Ash just a giv'er on up the side of the riverbank there and was just a piss-cuttin' her through the rhubarb when JR says he should slow the fuck down you ignernt son ofva whore, the cab ain't got enough room to swing a cat and he's spillin' his drink and so on. Ash kept on a humsuckin' her up the road and we's purtineer up t' the main road when we seen a couple of little gravel roader christers perched on the noll there with a big ol' bag a crabapples ready to whiff 'em at poor ol' Perly's pickup. So didn't I holler "Holy-liftin' you wanna giv'er there Ash..." when WHAM WHAM WHAM, crabapples exploding on the windshield there. Through the apple sauce an' muck I seen the two jeezly little christers just a cuffin' her back down toward the river laughin an' jumpin'. With all this commotion Perly started t' comeoutaver lookin' quite fizzed out like he'd been skizzled out of his pants or something or other, looked around the cab and proseeded to call Ash everything but a white man for drivin' so crazy an' runnin' into a bunch of apples an' we're lucky we're not sittin' out in the puckerbrush an' such an' so on. Ash says he's doin the best he could under the circumstances an' Perly better shut his face an' have another before he's sittin' back with the fiddleheads. By this time we's on the main road headin' overtown an' JR says we'd best pull off 'cause his back teeth were floatin' and I agreed. So Ash pulled us over into the rhubarb there an' we did it up an' got some more home brew off a the back there hopped in the front and Ash gav'er like there's no tamarrah. "Let's pick up some b'dayduhs n' butter an' have us a good ol' feed with them fiddleheads. We'll head on over t' Mildred's n' Ralph's. We'll stop at the LC an' get a couple of two fours for Ralph t' drink. He'll be happier n' a pig in shit t' see us."

Going to walk the dog. Leave messages for lunch. Good News/Obvious News - ESPN is showing the Okies at Tech tomorrow morning. CNN has some brain-stem saying how China is only looking to become a regional power with no aspirations of becoming a superpower.

The clock is ticking. Only a little over an hour for the free lunch deal. Side bet with myself: no one will be up before noon to take advantage.

Poker was held last night, as it always has been. Nice turnout. Maybe it's the Beam talking, but Bread, or whoever calls me before noon will be treated to lunch - courtesty of me via Bread.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Last night I dreamt the first twelve songs from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack.

shits and giggles

once upon a time there were some persons sitting around a table pissing away money secretly hoping to get some. The goal was to pay the bills. Doesn't that suddenly sound like work? Wondering if another cigarette would change their luck. Perhaps a beer? well Friday is here and poker will be on. can't win and can't stop playing. Playing the odds and having fun. If there was no tension or thrill would anyone bother to play? well it is never boring! And i am done with my first drunken post. Cheers.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Taco Bell

I'm in Singapore now. I was looking for some Indian stall because Barbara wants to eat there when I pass a TACO BELL. Yeah, it was combined with a Pizza Hut, but still it was a TACO BELL replete with Gordito window ads.

Obviously the Taiwanese didn't allow me to go there to eat. So we arrive at the Indian food stall, and of course, the Taiwanese back out because it was so ethnic.

Meanwhile, I'll be at Taco Bell soon fact, I'm heading home on Friday night...I wonder how long Bell food would keep?

Plase your orders now!

p.s. J-hole, I bought garlic and habanero tabasco chipotle...go figure.

Okay, so far I've been able to to delete the archives sidebar, post a poll on an email to myself but not here and do some creative HTML that vanished the links sidebar coding. I am asking for Karl to come back soon and help me. I know neither the others on the blog nor our readers can help (the two being the same).

Not long ago I went to a newly-opened pizza joint (No link found, but go here and compare name, slogan and browse the locations). I asked about delivery and one of the owners, some guy, told me that they don't yet but plan to. I told him that was too bad because he missed out on a good opportunity the other Sunday. The weather was cold and rainy. The wife and I were cold and lazy. We called Domino's and they told us there would be at least an hour wait. Furthermore, they were sold out of the regular crust and would have to accept their Nabisco Saltine thin crust. Anyhoo, the owner, some guy, told me one of his friends did the same but they called a local pizza joint. The pizza-joint guy brusquely told the ordering-pizza-guy that they don't deliver when it's raining. The hungry-for-pizza- guy was left listening to a dial tone - no goodbye - wondering how service-oriented businesses can get away with such blatant anti-consumer policies and attitude. Wait...That sounds familiar. It's like...Oh, yeah. It's on the tip of my tongue. I almost got it. YEAH BABY! Ladies and gentlemen. Let me introduce a hopefully recurring post. Something that I like to call THE HOT TEA PJ. For those not familiar with PJ, here is the Larry King wait-a-minute-while-I-get-the-kneepads version. I hope to provide you with a more accurate version of reality (carefully editing myself out), bon mots from PJ and the gang as well as pass on any scuttlebutt and idiocies until PJ figures out blog isn't Aussie for a large piece of excrement and cuts me off.