7/19/2009

Bizarre Foods II

The crayfish I had caught on our trip to Woods Canyon Lake, had been flash frozen on dry ice. I had brought them back and kept them in my freezer until this weekend. So, after spending an exorbinate amount of money catching these little buggers,
we finally got a chance to cook them up and eat them. Here is what 11 pounds of uncooked crayfish looks like.
I fixed up 2 pots with salt, lemon juice, generic crab boil, hot chili powder and cayenne pepper.
I put 4 pounds in one pot and the rest in the other, boiled the little suckers for 10 minutes and let them sit for 15. I served them up with butter and in small batches so they would stay warm.We all had quite a bit of them, including Sean who really like the tail meat. I even sucked the heads of a couple of them, though I don't know what the big deal is, what you get out of it just taste like the water it was boiled in. It wasn't bad but it wasn't a big thrill either.
These crayfish tasted way better than the frozen ones you used to be able to get from Walmart, not fishy at all. The flavor was closer to actual Lobster than anything else. Plus Woods Canyon Lake is a very clean lake, So I'm not worried about any contamination. My attempts at purging worked very well, but some of the larger ones could have been purged a bit longer. Though the whole meal still only amounted to a lite snack.

7/13/2009

The Man, The Woman, The Lake, and the tiny little water bug things. (Vacation 2009)

07-05-2009 - After many months, Kathi and I finally get a vacation, and a chance to use our trailer for more than a day or two.

After over preparing (and packing everything you could think of) for several weeks, we loaded up the truck and trailer and left for the Aspen campground up on the Mogollon Rim. We left way earlier than we needed so the truck would be less likely to overheat hauling the trailer up the steep grades to get to the Rim (glad I got the towing package).

Kathi slept part of the way up. Since we could not check in at the campground till 2pm, we stopped at the visitors center just up on the Rim. Kathi slept in the car while I sat around and watched the piles and piles of campers leaving from the Woods Canyon lake recreation area. After a while I got board and we drove to Heber to see if my relatives Betty & Russ were at their cabin (they weren't). We stopped by Kathi's cousins cabin which was for sale for $138,000.00.

We checked in at 2pm, setup camp, and crashed for a while.
We went to sleep pretty much when the Sun went down.

07-06-2009 - I was up with the Sun (Kathi was up... and then back down again), and went down to the lake, I set my crayfish trap and also tried catching some using a small fishing pole with a large hunk of chicken on the treble hook. I caught about 5 good ones this way. A couple of hours later I went back to camp and got Kathi. We came back and I did some fishing. I didn't catch any fish but when I pulled in my trap I had 14 crayfish in it. I reset the trap and did more fishing. At one point there was a very young kid on another part of the lake that was trying to catch some minnows. We know this because his parents were trying to get him to come back to the car because they were going home. Brian (we know his name was Brian because his parents kept yelling it across the lake) was wailing and blubbering "I want to catch a minnow". This went on for some time with various family members screaming across the lake that he needed to leave and even promising ice cream, etc. There is nothing more ridiculous than a small child wandering through the mud and water of a lake up to his waist carrying a small bucket and a minnow net, blubbering the whole time that "you hate me", and repeating over and over "I want to catch a minnow". At one point he caught a minnow, then after transferring it to his bucket, he tripped and fell, spilling the minnow, prompting more wailing. Eventually he worked his way out of the lake and left, never realizing his dream of catching a minnow. Around noonish the shade was gone and it got quite warm, so we went back to camp, napped, had dinner, and returned later that day to check the trap. there were only 4 crayfish in it. I baited the trap
and threw it back in the lake.

Total crayfish for today 23. I began purging the crayfish at camp using a 5 gallon bucket, and an aerator powered by an inverter and a car battery.

07-07-2009 - Up again with the Sun. Froze the previous days crayfish. Went to the lake and checked the trap and there were 35 crayfish in it plus some minnows. We spent most of the day at the lake. After trying once again to catch a trout using a drop shot, and corn, I decided to try one of the minnows caught in the crayfish trap under a bobber. I finally got some nibbles, and something on the line. I reeled it in and had caught a trout. We checked and baited the trap again that night. there were 3 more in the trap. Total crayfish for today 38. I cleaned and froze the trout in the ice chest full of dry ice.
07-08-2009 - Once more up with the sun. We checked the trap and I had 48 crayfish. I did not reset the trap as it is not productive enough in the daytime. Since I was low on dry ice we drove in to Payson. We stopped at a restaurant called "Tiny's Family Restaurant". where the food was meh. We went on to the Walmart, I picked up some extra shirts, a couple of flashlight bulbs, and some minor fishing supplies. We returned and rented a boat at 10:45 trolled around the lake seeing the sites, and not catching any fish.
Kathi wanted me to take her picture but as the lake was pretty crowded an opportunity did not arise, so she took matters into her own hands.When I went to return the boat, after the first battery died, I connected the second battery. For some reason the boat was reeeeaaaallllly slow. I looked at the battery and noticed the wire on the positive terminal was smoking. It seems the positive lead had worn down to only 2 or 3 little wires. I stripped the insulation and connected the wire again. We were once again on our way at a much higher speed. We got back to camp and I took my daily shower (a trailer with a shower is awesome). I made dinner. For Kathi I cooked up the trout, and I had a Ribeye steak.Kathi also had her daily shower. Back to the lake and set my trap for the night. Although I had been charging the battery for the aerator, the voltage got too low in the middle of the night and the inverters alarm went off. It's a lot of fun freezing crayfish in the middle of the night. The moon was out and high in the sky, so I did not need a flashlight. It was absolutely, totally quite.

07-09-2009 - 4:30 am, up early to take pics..... I SAID 4:30 am up early to take pics.... Come on Robert get your ass up! So I dragged myself out of bed, and woke up Kathi. Those pics are for a later post, here are some pics using Kathi's camera.


Afterwards we checked the trap, and found more than 40 crayfish, but only 32 were keepers.
We returned to camp, charged the battery on the trailer and the one for the inverter (something I did every day). I was a bit bored and so we decided to hike along the side of the lake to the general vicinity of the off limits Eagles nest. On the way we found some very tame chipmunks, and fed them peanuts, pumpkin seeds and raisins (they did not like craisins).


Somewhere along the way we must have brushed up against either some poison ivy. I got a small rash on my right hand and Kathi got rashes above her knees. We returned to camp after picking up some calamine lotion and setting my trap. That night we did some stargazing, and Kathi got to see her first shooting star. I saw 4. We both saw a satellite or possibly the International Space Station. Then to bed.

07-10-2009 - Up with the sun to find that the trap had been pulled in and left in shallow water (by some asshole), but it did have 19 crayfish in it. At 07:40 Kathi rented a boat again and we proceeded to troll around and not catch any fish.
We did however get some pics and video of the eagle and it's nest.

We returned to camp for a while, showered and decided to try not catching any fish again. So off to the lake, which was very crowded. I found a shady place next to "Valium dad" and his kids, they may have been the people who messed with my trap as they asked about it. I had not brought any bait. I tried several lures and gave up.
I did catch a minnow with my net and used that as bait. I caught a crayfish accidentally with the minnow, and removed his tale (which continued to flick) and used the meat as bait. I did not even get a nibble. After a while we had to leave as a storm was coming.
We got back to camp and it started to rain. It rained for about a half an hour. So we did some packing, had dinner and went to bed. Sometime in the middle of the night I got a really bad headache. I got up and took a vicodin which helped me get back to sleep. (queue ominous music).

07-11-2009 - Woke up and I still had a really bad headache (not a migraine). I just couldn't do anything. I felt flushed, slightly woozy, but not dizzy. I thought maybe I was slightly dehydrated even though I had drank lots of water all week (in fact almost nothing but water). Kathi did most of the packing. I managed to do some. I drank 2 bottles of water and felt good enough to help complete the packing and get the trailer down, and connected to the truck. We drove to Payson even though I felt miserable. When we got to Payson I followed the signs to an urgent care and saw the doctor there. They checked my blood sugar (120), and did an EKG (normal). They pronounced that nothing was wrong except I was dehydrated or had an electrolyte imbalance. They recommended Gatorade. So we left and picked up some. I drank about a quart and felt better. The drive home was mostly uneventful if not hot, and I did worry about the truck on some of the grades. We got home, unloaded the truck and tried to relax. The total number of crayfish (weighing just under 11 pounds) was about 160 (safely in my freezer), and they only cost me about a couple hundred dollars.

I won't go into what we found in our back room when we got home....

7/07/2009

Jawbone Prime Review

For almost 2 years I have owned one of the original Aliph Jawbones. Recently I thought I had run out of the ear loops. The problem with them is that body oils or sweat causes the rubber to dissolve and the nickle plating to rub off, so you get only about 6 months out of one of them. The other problem with the original Jawbone is that it is very uncomfortable to wear after about 5 hours. So last week I ordered the new Jawbone Prime.

I got it and immediately noticed how small it is (about on half to one third the size). Supposedly you do not need an ear loop to wear one. The buds that come with it are designed to hold it in your ear without them. Well...... That is fantasy. Here is reality.

The only ear bud that would hold the device in my ear was the largest one, but it was so tight it was painful. The other buds would only work (sort of) with the help of one of the loops. I tried wearing it for about a week and gave up. Any movement of my jaw caused it to pop out of my ear. The other major problem is that because I was constantly having to mess with it I was inadvertently hanging up on people and turning the device off. There are 2 hidden buttons on it, both can be pressed accidentally buy just holding the device.

Luckily I found my last ear loop for my original Jawbone. I contacted Aliph for more and they refused to sell me any. I did find some on Amazon.com and other places. I have 2 on order. That should last me at least another year.

Aliph likes to sell the jawbone as some kind of fashion statement or jewelry, instead of selling it based on it's awesome noise canceling abilities. Personally it is not attractive, but that doesn't matter as I couldn't care less if it looked like a wad of gum shoved in my ear as long as it worked and stayed in place. I am not the only one who thinks this. check out their forums for other peoples reactions. I spoke with some people at a local phone retailer and they report that the only people who buy them are those that reasearched them and want them for their noise canceling abilities, everyone else chokes when they see the price.

Maybe in another year I will give them a try, hopefully they will get their act straightened out.

6/27/2009

Chopped Review

I usually don't critique TV shows but this one really bugs me. The Food network has a show called "Chopped" The premise is:

Take 4 chefs.
Have them make a dish.
Give them "secret" ingredients.
One of theses ingredient will be weird or just doesn't go with the other.
Have semi famous food critics critique the food.
"chop" the chef that can't make something good with the ingredients.
Repeat until only one chef is left.

This is how it really goes over.
Take 4 chefs.
Give them "secret" ingredients.
One of theses ingredient will be weird or just doesn't go with the other.
Have snarky self obsessed critics berate and belittle them unmercifully when they can't make something absolutely awesome using a crappy combinations of ingredients in a ridiculously short amount of time.
Film the loser as he/she leaves the building practically in tears.

Seriously, whats the point?

6/22/2009

Penny's in Heaven

Sometime in 1996 we acquired Penny from Marjorie. Before that she had lived with Karen, and prior to that with Kathleen in California. At one point there was a website catscan.com. where you would put your cat on a scanner and scan them, then upload the picture. Here is Penny's catscan.
Shortly after we got her she began to gain weight, so fast in fact we thought she had gotten pregnant even though Karen insisted she had been fixed. Turns out she was just eating a lot. I put her on a diet and she was only allowed to eat about 3/4 to 1 cup of food a day but did not loose an ounce of weight, even on cat diet food. At her heaviest she weighed about 15 pounds.
One of the surprising things she did was beg to be petted. Here is a video of her doing this.

She was still doing this up until about a week ago. She would often wake Kathi up to be fed, even though I was the one who fed her. She loved to sit on my chest and rub the back of her head on my chin. Her favorite food of all time was crab legs. Here she is pestering Kathi for some.
WANT!

About a year or so ago she started loosing weight. in the space of a few months she lost almost 10 pounds. she also became real picky about her food. so much so that we had to buy her canned cat food to get her to eat. Here she is partaking in one of her favorite activities "rolling in the dirt".
As you can probably tell she is very skinny in this picture. She loved to be outside. When ever we let her outside she would roll in the dirt, eat grass and sit either under our plum tree or under our grape vines. Now she rests forever in one of her favorite spots. This morning Kathi and I took her to the vet to be put down. Over the last several weeks she had been getting worse. She was barely eating, and could not even jump up on the couch to sit on my chest. It was so bad that sometimes the only way I could get her to eat was to chew my food and give it to her.

Last Saturday 6-21-09 was the last time she ate anything. A kingly meal for a cat. Kathi was having crab legs again and giving penny all she could eat. She must have ate at least a half a cup.

J.C. got a goopy eye last week. We cleared it up with eye drops. Sometime after that Penny got the same, but in her case she was having trouble breathing, wouldn't eat, and was barely drinking water. this morning we took her in to be put down, we thought it was best as we suspected she had a broken tooth and other problems.

The vet confirmed that she had a respiratory infection, at least one broken and abscessed tooth, and a lump on her thyroid (the reason for her weight problems). They gave her a sedative with some pain killers in it, she slowly fell asleep with Kathi and I comforting her, and then they gave her the injection to stop her heart. She went quickly, we wrapped her in one of my old t-shirts and took her home for proper burial. She will be greatly missed.

6/17/2009

Restaurant Review: La Taza De Oro Bistro (The Gold Cup)

Update: Restaurant Closed some time around 10-2009

I was informed of a really good Mexican restaurant near my house "Asi es la Vida" (This is the Life). I had been trying to have lunch there all last week but was too busy. Today I happened to go by there at lunch time, but noticed they were changing the sign. Seems they are under new ownership (oh well I will try it anyways). The interior of the restaurant is very brightly painted. However all the tables were set like you might find in a high end restaurant. I was presented with a menu by one of the servers who seemed surprised to see me there. I was asked if I wanted Chips and Guacamole (you bet I do), and a drink (Pepsi). There was not a lot of people there, a Doctor waiting on some other people, and a couple came in later.

My appetizer arrived and it was a nice mound of guacamole with the chips embedded in it, in a ring. I was also presented with 3 small bowls containing Pico De Gallo, a red chili sauce, and a green sauce (possibly a tomatillo sauce). The Guacamole and chips were very good, with just a little too much onion. The 3 sauces were all quite good (hot but not too hot). I order as my entree the Adobada described as "Fillet of Pork tenderloin with Guajillo Peppers and garlic, served with Chilaquiles, beans and rice". I got mine sans beans. While I waited, my drink was refreshed without my prompting (which is good).

When my meal arrived I was surprised as most Adobada I have had consists of chunks of slow cooked pork served in a spicy but not overly spiced red sauce (lots of red sauce). This was a thin grilled (tender) tenderloin medallion with a thin coating of the Guajillo pepper and garlic sauce. The rice looked like what you would get from a Japanese restaurant. I had never had Chilaquiles so I started with that first. The sauce was quite good and not overly spiced everything was piping hot. The rice while not colored red like most Mexican rice was really good and spicy (even with carrots, corn, and green beans in it). The vegetables in the rice were very well cooked. Finally I tried the Adobada. Wow this was really good. It kind of caught me off guard and so I looked in the direction of the severs and one came over to see what was wrong. I had to inform them that nothing was wrong it was just that the food was really good.

I finished up and got my bill. They neglect to inform you that the chips and guacamole is extra, but no matter at $3.95 it was well worth it. The Adobada was $10.00 and I did not catch the price of the drink. No matter. I highly recommend this restaurant. While this is not the Mexican food I am used to (the Americanized stuff) it is more authentic then you will find in most restaurants in Phoenix. Check it out.

3602 N. 24th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85016

5/27/2009

Hab da Pumpkin

The Long awaited sequel to Baman Piderman, Find da Sandwich:

5/22/2009

Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt

Behold the Glory that is the Three Wolf Moon T-shirt, Be sure to read the reviews.
You must buy one!
Pickup some Tuscan Whole milk too.

5/10/2009

Movie Review: Star Trek (The Lamest Plot)

When will hollywood learn that the quickest way to make a crappy movie is to use "Time Travel" as a plot device, and so it is that we come to the polished turd that is "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (no not that one, the new one).

While were on the subject lets throw the canon in a corner and take a massive crap on it. Then take the pieces that didn't get any shit on them and throw them back in to the movie willy nilly.

I almost didn't go to see this movie when I heard it involved time travel. I mean the instant you bring TT into a movie it is nearly impossible to reconcile the paradoxes thus created. Seriously.... Deranged miner blames Spock for the destruction of Romulus so he "ends up" going back in time and once there decides to exact revenge on Spock by destroying Vulcan and Earth. Oh yeah Spock also "ends up" going back in time 25 years after that, and mean ol' Romulan guy is waiting for him, captures him and then proceeds to destroy Vulcan (and kills Spock's mom too the big meanie), and now we have 2 Spock's in one time and some junk that makes "Black holes" called "Red Matter" (imaginative name ay! cause it's matter, and it's red... get it?), and all the history of who, how, and what is thrown out the windows (the canon). So if Romulus is destroyed what would be the point of attempting to make peace with a race who's planet will be destroyed in a supernova some time in the future? You figure out the logic (or lack thereof) behind it all.

Next up lets change some of the characters.... Like making Spock and Uhura hot for each other (what, Ohhhh!, Huh?). Wasn't it Nurse Chapel who was hot for Spock, Oh... Right she's not in this one. Oh and Uhura rooms with a green Orion slave girl with a bad body paint job (cause Starfleet needs horny oversexed controlling women in it's ranks). Well make Scotty an eccentric guy with a little alien comic relief dude for an assistant. Then there's the reckless, yet some how always right Kirk. Except Kirk was never reckless. Spock is played as a brooding know it all (borderline EMO) douche bag who flies off the handle over the slightest insult, and don't even say "yo mama" to him. Then for good measure toss in a little bit of Sulu and Chekov (just a little cause we don't know how to develop their characters). Though we will make Chekov an over reactive spaz. Then there are the Vulcan's who have suddenly become snotty eugenics types who conveniently have emotions whenever they feel like it.

Now the ships and equipment... The inside of the ships vary from hospital like sterility with a touch of art deco discotheque thrown in, to what looks like a large chemical plant , sewer plant, or maybe a brewery. The hand phasers did a silly mechanical switching from stun to kill. The giant mining ship looked like it escaped from an episode of Babylon 5. For a utilitarian device it has a lot of unnecessary nasty/evil looking spikes and protrusions all over it. I could just see some Romulan ship designer having his design rejected for not being SCARY enough "damn the cost! I want my mining ship to scare the piss out of an asteroid before I strip it of minerals". The Enterprise looked like Chihuly Thew up and out came the plans.

Okay... Enough Bashing, now to the things I did like about the movie.

The CG and special effects are top notch. The battle scenes are nice and messy, and sometimes when we are outside the ship there is no sound (just like in real space). We get to see the Enterprise maneuver more like a fighter jet then wallow around going only left and right like they did in most of the TV series.

There were some quite funny, but mostly irrelevant moments throughout the movie. There is even the gratuitous red shirt who gets killed. Doctor McCoys Character is nearly spot on, and he spouts a few of TOS cliches. We actually get to see Captain Christopher Pike do something more that go "beep" or even "beep.... Beep....". The original communicator even makes a couple of cameos.

For the most part though they might as well have made the movie about a completely different set of characters that had nothing to do with the original.

Go see it, but try not to think about it too much or you'll end up bashing it on a blog nobody ever reads (oh wait).

4/30/2009

Carlsbad Tavern Habanero Cheeseburger

The other day I picked up a copy of snoozeweek because it had a story about Star Trek. While looking for the story I happened upon an article about the 50 best hamburgers in the U.S as chosen by Bobby Flay. I don't know how they picked them, but doubt they tried "every" hamburger in "every" state (I digress). Anyways I looked to see what was the best hamburger in Arizona and they had the "Carlsbad Tavern Habanero Cheeseburger".

I have eaten at CT many times and never tried it, so today I tried it. At first I almost chickened out because the description states "This burger may cause temporary blindness or loss of hearing." But you only live once.... (twice max). While waiting for my order I noted 2 tables away an older couple in their late fifties had ordered the same thing. The waiter had come over to them and said "I told you it was hot" The guy had only take a couple of bites out of his and looked mad. The woman had eaten about half of hers. The waiter asked if they wanted a box and they said no. The woman stated that she liked spicy food but this was too spicy. They left almost all of their food. While waiting another couple sat down 1 table away and the woman wanted to order the CTHB. The waiter warned her that it was VERY HOT. She chickened out and ordered the Green chili burrito, the guy ordered something that looked like chili, but wasn't. Neither of them finished their food or took any home, leaving enough food for 2 or 3 meals.

Finally my CTHB came and I took a bight, it was hot but not anywhere near as hot as I thought it would be. Being lean ground beef it was a bit on the dry side. It came with fries and a small salad. The salad had their house dressing "jalapeƱo ranch". The fries were coated with something that made them crunchy (if it was spicy I couldn't tell). The hamburger was "meh". If you like spicy food you should try it, but otherwise it wasn't super wonderful. The waiter seemed surprised that I finished it. I overheard another waiter say that most people can only eat about half of one, then they start sweating profusely. I would say compared to the "Sun pork" I had at some Chinese Restaurant, and the "Chile Colorado" I had at Arriba's this was number 3 with the "Sun Pork" being so hot I couldn't finish it and didn't sleep all night, and The Chili Colorado being almost to hot to finish.

I have eaten at CT many times before, and of the things I have tried I would recommend the "Carlsbad Ribeye (excellent)". the "Prime rib Quesadilla (Very good)", and the "Carne Adovada plate".

Update: On a later visit I ordered the CTHC and on that occasion it was about 3 times hotter than the first time. It was so hot that I almost couldn't finish it. The next day I had serious stomach problems (repeated trips to the restroom), and a bum that looked like a Japanese flag! Eat this burger at your own peril.

4/14/2009

We didn't start the flame war

Not safe for work, Not safe for children.

3/27/2009

Purple Potatoes

Ever since the episode of Dirty Jobs that takes place on a potato farm where they grew blue, purple, and red potatoes (colored on the inside), I have wanted to try them. Since they aren't sold in any store I can find in or around Phoenix I ordered some a couple of years ago from some smug organic farm. They were seed potatoes and so were rather small. I was able to make a fair sized batch of mashed potatoes from the blue potatoes. Yes the resulting mashed potatoes were blue. The purple potatoes I ordered at the time were fingerling's and not good for much. The reds were small also. I planted them and did not get good results. Ok... I got NO results. Sure they sprouted etc. but the blistering summer heat here killed them rather quickly. Although a couple of the plants still survive so we will see. Anyways...

Several months ago Eric called me and asked if I was interested in some purple potatoes from the Pikes place market in Seattle. I said yes and he sent me 5 pounds, however... When they arrived they were in bad shape and I had to throw many of them away. the remainder I ended up planting.

Last week I found another smug organic potato farm in Maine that sells eating potatoes and ordered 10 pounds from them. I got them last week and despite the bad packaging they arrived in good shape. Why did I order them from an organic farm, well because you can't get them from anywhere else because your average mister and misses consumer thinks that a potato is white on the inside and ONLY white on the inside, any other color is either poisonous or would taste funny (whatever). Since mister and misses consumer aren't likely to buy these any time soon you won't find them in your local produce aisle. To recap my reason for ordering them is because they are blue, red, or purple, and NOT because they are organic.

SO... Here is what they look like on the outside
Not very big, and below is what this particular type looks like pealed. The ones Eric sent me were completely Purple.
Once placed in the water they immediately turned the water blue and during cooking the water turned aquamarine.
They Mashed up to a nice pastel purple.
Here they are served up with some chicken gravy and some of Alton Browns recipe for homemade Fried Chicken.
Some things to know about these Purple, Red, and Blue potatoes. They require a slightly longer cooking time (about 5 minutes longer), and they seem to have more starch in them so they will be a bit thicker. otherwise they taste exactly like.......... potatoes. Kathi said they would be great for an Easter dinner. The Blue and Red variety's make Blue and Red mashed potatoes. However I found that the Blue potatoes will be kind of gray when first mashed, then as they are exposed to the air they will turn bluish purple. The purple ones get darker purple after being exposed to the air. I have not made the Red potatoes yet.

3/25/2009

Only the Japanese!

This is supposed to take place in Vietnam. I defy anyone to find large tracks of deserts and camels in Vietnam.

3/22/2009

Luke Days 2009

Yesterday we went to Luke Air Force Base for Luke Days. March 21st and 22nd 2009. First let me say that whomever thinks that an airshow should be held in March in Arizona should be shot. To anyone out there thinking of holding an airshow in Arizona these are the only months to have one.... Ready.... got a pencil? November, December, and February. That's it. Second how is it no one had the idea to sell umbrellas at the airshow? Third, whats the point of having security, and a list of what you can and cannot bring in, then completely ignoring said list (sometimes).

So it began:

I wanted to get there before 9am but I guess not (I'm not bitter). Anyways we got there about 9:30, there was a mile long line to get into the parking lot. While waiting in this line we caught up with the line to get into the base and we let Mike and Daniel out to hold our place, while Chris and I parked the vehicle. Once we parked the car we found Mike and Daniel. These 2 OLD people behind us had a fit because they thought we cut in line. It mattered not to them that we explained that we all arrived at the same time and that Mike and Daniel were holding our place. The said they made their own family go to the back of the line (dumb assess). The old people failed to notice that other people up ahead were doing the same and their sacrificing their family was in vain. The line continued to grow and folded back on itself twice to the point that it was about 3 miles long. We did not get to the gate till around 11:00 (the airshow started at 10:45). The security screening was a joke. They funneled everyone through 4 lines, the 2 lines on the left were for people with bags. Seriously they should have had at least 2 gates open. The 2 bitchy old people didn't bring anything so they got in before us anyways (dumb asses). Backpacks supposedly weren't allowed in, yet they allowed people in with them. They spent all of 5 seconds looking in my camera bag and did not even look under the stuff on top (who knows what I might of been hiding in there). When we went to the airshow at Goodyear airport in 2006 there were dogs sniffing everything (but not this time). I do have to admit that the probulator mark 6 is less painful than the mark 5 or 4 (they chafe). Once inside we made a beeline for the flightline and found a spot right up to the fence. I later learned some people waited over 2 hours to get in to the parking lot only to give up and leave.

First thing we did was setup our chairs and (those of us who brought them) umbrellas. I then drank a liter of water. Chris set out to find an umbrella and buy some food and more water. I gave Daniel a Radio released his bonds and he ran off to take pictures of any and all airplanes he could find, as well as climb in as many as he could.

Before the F-22 Raptor was to fly Daniel came back with some Chicken Tenders and french fries. We watched the Raptor fly, which was awesome (way... way... better than the Thunderbirds), but just before it was supposed to join up with the P-51D, P-47, and A-10 for the heritage flybys I heard the pilot report a failure with the hydraulics, and it had to land early.

The remainder of the airshow was standard stuff (except for an aerobatic Helicopter). We all were quite hot. Daniel kept trying to steal my shade. This group of Chinese guys who were near us disappeared for a while, except for one who fell asleep. They returned for the Thunderbirds. During the Thunderbirds they sounded like a pack of paparazzi photographing Paris Hilton's Merkin.

For some reason all through the show someone saw fit to interrupt it constantly by running large buses back and forth right in front of the spectators. And I am not sure what this dudes job was but he was sure in a hurry to do it.
This was the first airshow I have been to at Luke that they had actual "armed" guards everywhere. Really?!?! Oooh I felt so safe. I'd like to write more about the airshow but it was too damn hot and too damn crowded to see any more.

So here are some pics.
Oh... One more thing. Redbull your drink sucks, and covering every cool looking aircraft in the show with your crappy logo sucks the big green one. Same goes for you too Geico.

I'd like to thank the following:
DiHydrogenMonoxide.
The people at Quantaray/Sigma for making a crappy zoom lens (90% of my pictures are blurry).
Luke Air Force Base for their ambiguous, silly, and un-enforced security rules.
My good friend hydrocodone (for my back) without you I would not have made it through the day.

3/15/2009

Chaparral Bass

Today Kathi, Chris, and I went to Chaparral park in Scottsdale. We got there around 8:00. We were trying for Trout but not having any luck. We even tried for leftover catfish, and bluegill. Around 10:45 I decided to go walk about. I started walking south around the park. I got about 100 or 200 feet from where Kathi, and Chris were and I cast my line with an old beat up rattle trap on it. In one area on my second cast I thought I had snagged my line. I saw a large bass on it, but it got away. I decided to cast again in exactly the same spot and caught the 3 pound bass below.
I let it go.

2/13/2009

BRAINS!!!

I had to have an MRI done due to some inner ear problems. I asked the Tech to give me a copy on CD, so just to prove to those that would doubt, I do have a brain.

And here it is.
Here it is again Labeled.

1/26/2009

Canceled Crestock

I canceled my Crestock account and had them delete my images. I site their severly inconsistent reviewers, and lack of return on images sold.

While they maintain that they "only accept images of the highest quality" I have found that they reject images that were accepted by dreamstime, and accepted images that were rejected by dreamstime (they did not know I have images on dreamstime). They accepted some of my (really bad) first attempts at Stock Photography. Then there is the paultry return on a sold image. Most images I sold returned only $0.25 and on very rare occasions I would get $1.00.

I am not the only one who has had the same problems. Their forums are full of similar complaints. With some "professional Photographers" having had whole batches of submissions rejected (200 to 400 images) because one or two pictures in the batch did not meet their standards.

Maybe some day I will try using them again, but not until they get their act together.

They did not remit my $7.50 for the images they sold.