Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ode To Pie Ala Mode

How I love thee, my pie ala mode
Your crust is golden, as if baked by the sun
I'll eat so much of you I just might explode
Your filling is sweet, with cinnamon and apples
Still warm from the oven, made by mother's hands
I should give thanks, where the chapel?
Ice cream on top, Golden Vanilla Ice
Melting into rivers that cascades into the plate.
The first bite is delectable, full of everything nice
What a wonderful fate to put on this weight.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Redneck and the Yankee

Oh, the pleasure of working in a cubical farm. I can see how Dilbert can write so many comics about the office life, he just has to sit in a cube for a few minutes and someone will start an interesting conversation that is good fodder for thought. Once again, a story presented itself just feet from where I sit at my computer. Starring the Redneck that sits to the other side of my cube, and with a Yankee that is transplanted here from Boston. Yankee wants to experience the Oklahoma life, hunting, fishing, water skiing, and talks Redneck into taking him out into the wild to teach him the finer points of the activities. First let me relate what happened during deer season.

Hunting Lesson.

"Da first thing ya gotta learn is to shoot a gun, have ya ever shot a gun that wasn't a driveby?" Redneck asked the Yankee.

Yankee replied, "I never shoat a gen."

"Then we'll go out to da lake and I'll teech ya. Dars a target rainge thar." Then Redneck proceeded to make plans to teach Yankee how to shoot. Something Redneck soon regretted.

Later at the lake, Redneck sat targets up at the thirty yard mark to make it easier on the Yankee. If he proved to be a good shot, the target would be moved back until the target would be at the one hundred yard mark. Redneck parked his pickup parallel with the target to give Yankee something to rest the rifle on.

"Put this here beanbag on da bed rail and rest da gun on it. Squeeze da trigger slow and put da cross hairs on the bull's eye. Thar be a kick so hold da gun stock tight to yer shoulder", instructed Redneck.

Yankee centered his shot and squeezed the trigger. Boom! Bull's eye first shot. Redneck raised his hand and Yankee reached up to high five him, except he forgot to take his finger off the trigger of this semi-automatic rifle. Boom! SSSSSSSSSSS! The sudden shot scared Redneck and Yankee and they almost ran each other over trying to take cover, they just knew someone was shooting at them. After a few minutes Redneck peeked over the pickup bed and noticed the bullet hole in his wheel well.

"I'm gonna kick yer Yankee arse. You sorry sunsabeech, you shot my truck!" It seems that as Yankee gave the high five he lowered the barrel of the gun and then accidentally squeezed the trigger, firing a round into the wheel well and tire.

I'd love to have read that insurance report.

Catfish fishin'

I was lucky enough to hear this conversation this morning. After everyone in hearing distance quit laughing and I wiped the tears out of my eyes, I wrote some notes down.

"I ougher kill youse Redneck butt. That Katfish is the whurst fish I'd ehver ate." Yankee yelled at poor Redneck.

"Hold on there pardner, howsya cukt it.

"I fired up the grill and kooked it just like I kooked trout. It was the toughest, most foul tasting thing I every ate!" Yankee was rather bent out of shape at wasting his meal on this fish.

"You cuked it like a trout, You cuked it like a trout?" Redneck repeated it between laughing seizures on the floor. "You didn't clean it before you cooked it?"

"What do you mean clean it? I kookhd it like a trout?"

By this time I had tears in my eyes, not so much by the conversation but by the full force belly laugh that Redneck was bellowing, and the room was filled with people falling out of their chairs laughing, for no other reason but hearing Redneck's rolling laughter. Redneck finally got enough breath between laughs to tell Yankee that you skin a catfish, fillet the meat off the bones, roll it in cornmeal and cook it, not like a trout which you gut and cook, head and all.

Yankee must be still having culture shock and as he stormed off he was muttering something about "Nuthing but @#&@#@# (censored for the non-sailors out there) Rednecks around here. I moved across the country to work with @#&#@# Rednecks"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We Can't Forget

I've always loved this view. From here you can see forever. At night you can see the glow of Broadway's lights and the moon shining off of the Upper Bay and Ellis Island. Central Park, the natural refuge in this concrete jungle looks like a stamp on the horizon.

How I love this city and the excitement that comes from every corner of it. It has become a place of refuge for every race and color, a beacon with her hand proudly thrust in the air. My family loves to picnic at Liberty Park, the thought of eating in the shadow of the symbol of freedom still gives me chills. Freedom. A word that is loved by some and despised by others.

I guess this is the day of the despised. They have acted on their hate and now I look at this view for the last time through smoke billowing up through my window. I look at the ashes of the other tower as it lays in a leap below me. With the quiver of my tower I know that soon we will soon join it. My floor grows hot. The carpet has started to smolder, in just a matter of time it will be blazing.

As I look upon the Upper Bay once more, I think of my wife and two kids. I think of what pain they will be put through in the next few months and years. Pain they wouldn’t feel if it weren’t for someone’s hate. But I can’t think of that now. No, in my last moments I can only think of the love they gave me. I will go in peace, peace that I know I’ll see my family again because of our faith. I go in peace knowing that the hate of others will not take the peace that my faith gives, the peace that comes from Jesus.

My feet are blistering and the pain is getting severe. I look out this open window and know that my time has come. As I step through my favorite window, I'll take that final step, and fly with the eagles.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Alaska, The Last Frontier

(I've been corrected, I broke the cardinal rule and didn't check my facts, Alaska is the largest state in the Union by area, but ranked 48th by population, that's 1.1 person per square mile. Correction has been made. Thanks for straightening me out Gully. Apologies to all offended Alaskans.)

What is there about Alaska? A couple of ladies have gotten me thinking about Alaska and the people it produces. I know you've already thought of one I'm talking about when you read Alaska. After all she is Governor of our largest state. A state bigger than a majority of countries in the rest of the world. Of course I'm speaking of Sarah Palin. I'm not going to get into politics as I'm not into screaming and ranting about what politics has turned into. No, I'm going to talk about her personal life, to a point and not over.

Mrs. Palin has a diverse background. She was a beauty queen, she ran several successful small businesses, she was a sports caster (like Reagan), she was a mayor and now governor. Her favorite meal is Moose Stew, she hunts (member of the NRA), a self proclaimed outdoor person. She's articulate and she stands for what she believes in, without giving into party or political correctness.

The second lady some of you know, some don't but should. She is a writer, one of my favorites, whose prose varies as much as the seasons. She has been a reporter, Alzheimer's advocate, world traveler, naturalist (I'm not going to use the birthday suit joke), dog sled musher (this Outsider doesn't know the fancy word), and most importantly, friend to multitudes. Some of you know I'm talking about Jeanne or Gully or Gullible, or whatever tag she's going by that day. Her blog is in the list at the left called "Gullible's Travels". Great stories and pictures. She is the one who taught me that an "Outsider" was someone that lived outside of Alaska.

It seems Alaska breeds individualism. Whether you're born Alaskan or privileged to have come from the Outside and stayed, Alaska brings out the best in each person. I know there are the exceptions to that rule, but from what this Outsider has observed, the exceptions are few.

Just think about it, how many people from Alaska can you name that have moved into your town? I have never been introduced from anyone that has left Alaska by choice. Why is that? Could it be lack of population compared to say California, which is where every other new person in town has come from. Could it be that parse population compared to square miles is what people up there like? What about that Alaska is the modern day West, the last frontier to be explored.

I think that's where the individualism of Alaskan's come from. They fend for themselves, because they are the babe of the nation and often overlooked as that state way up there with nothing but oil to contribute.

Well, in the last couple of years of knowing Gully, and now the little I've learned about Mrs. Palin, I must say, Thank you Alaska for raising people that remind us that sometimes its not cool to tag along with the crowd, that reminds us to stand up for what we believe despite what people will say. I can say from this knot head's observation, these two ladies have rose above the rest by doing just that.