Friday, December 29, 2006

They Did, After All, Give the World Sweetened Iced Tea...

...and bad dentition. And the "Stars & Bars". I was googling "Classic Margarita Recipe", in an attempt to fine tune my own margaritas. I came across this atrocity from Southern Living Magazine, (What's wrong with this picture???):

Fresh lime wedge (optional)
Margarita salt (optional)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons orange liqueur
2 tablespoons tequila
1/3 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Garnish: lime slice

If you chose "half a bag of sugar", go brush your teeth. Don't forget to floss. And who measures cocktails with tablespoons?? This thing has so much wrong with it. I'm surprised the Tequila isn't "optional". (Who needs it, long's ya gotcher sugar!)

For what it's worth, the best recipe I found was at "" Check it out.


Somebody write that down. That's the total on the old counter. We're starting over with the Site Meter. I get to play with a whole lot more data with this one, and we never again have to wonder what the hell "Pasta Pronta" is. (By the way, I did click it out of curiosity... not all that long ago. Now I know. God bless Paul Popiel!).

You can thank your lucky stars I didn't opt for the pay version of site meter.. I'd know more about you than your domestic partners, whoever they may be. Too much information. Those of you blogging, or engaged in e-commerce ought to check it out.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Papa's Got A Brand New (Body) Bag.

When I heard that James Brown had died, I knew I wanted to put something here. He passed away this weekend, in Atlanta, where we happen to be. There was a brief bit on the local news Friday night that he was hospitalized with pneumonia, had cancelled two appearances, but was ready to go on New Year's Eve at BB King's in New York. So when word came the next day that he'd died, I was surprised.
This ends a long, turbulent career for one of the most, if not the most influential musicians, and showmen, of our generation.
Jody Rosen, in this article on pretty much sums it up:

"But Brown's achievement is larger than his own oeuvre and the genres that it begat. Flip on the radio virtually anywhere on earth today, and you will hear the sound of the Brown Revolution, the blare of propulsive, polyrhythmic dance music. Beats have conquered the world, even the West, where polyphony was born and melody and harmony have traditionally held sway. No other musician—not Louis Armstrong, not Elvis Presley, not Bob Dylan—can claim so central a role in this momentous cultural shift. "Make It Funky," James commanded, and from Boise to Berlin to Bangkok, they have." RTWT.
It hardly seems proper to say Rest In Peace for Soul Brother #1, so how about:
R.I.F. (Rest In Funk) Take it to the Bridge! Hey!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Holidays To All!

From the denizens of the Hare-Brained Express, currently parked, as you see here, at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, GA.

Budding photographers who are interested in this image, (how did he get this exposure from near pitch-darkness??), can get the info with a few drachmas in the old tip jar! Heh heh heh.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I just noticed that the "Comments" feature on the blog was switched off. Not sure how it happened, but I know there are thous... uh, hun...., dozen..., oh hell, a couple of you out there that will want to comment on some of the recent onslaught of posts. This is to let you know that I've fixed it, so go ahead and comment away!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Eat Your Hearts Out...

No, this is not yet another post about eating! Just thought we'd show you folks up north and especially in the Northwest, and the great plains, what our weekend was like. It was sooooo nice we went to the beach and collected seashells. It's still nice.. it's been in the 70's since last Thursday, and it's going to stay warm until the weekend. These scenes are the beach on the Gulf of Mexico West of Gulf Shores. But the rain will be here Thursday, so I'm going to be out of here tomorrow, happy that the "travelblog" has been caught up. Web albums are updated at

Hunting With Dutch

In between the Turkey Run and the ASFA Region 4 Invitational, we managed to squeeze in a little hunting with Dutch Salmon. It was brief, but there were lots and lots of rabbits. None more photogenic than this guy.
I think I've mentioned this before, but the jackrabbits in Southern New Mexico almost never give you an opportunity to get a shot like this. They generally just run... away, leaving the photographer with just their, and the hounds', butts... receding into the distance. This was rare. (and if you've seen our Christmas card this year, I'll bet you'll find this guy familiar!)
Fanny, and Dutch's Angie, and the hare all make the turn for the fence.

Angie closing in.

...and Fanny goes for it. Swing and a miss!

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One Big Bird

Sometimes I wish I had the expensive camera and lens with me when we take the dogs into the desert. Then I think about what all that fine dust would do to it, and I'm glad I take the cheaper (and lighter) setup into this environment.

All this to apologise for the quality of this shot I got of one of a pair of Golden Eagles I saw when I took Randir and Buffy out to look for some slow jackrabbits. When I first got out of the car, it was sitting on the ground and I thought it was a vulture. Then it took off. Unmistakeable.

The Buffster and the Oldster did get to run around eventually, although there were no jackrabbits. And I did wait until this giant raptor had moved well out of range.

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Your Tax Dollars at Work.

See that line of white tower sections? On the left side is Interstate 8 in California, approaching Yuma. On the other side is... you guessed it: Mexico.

Yeah... that'll keep 'em out.

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Calling All Amateur (or Professional) Botanists.

After the Turkey Run, we spent the evening parked at the home of a deerhound owner a little north of San Diego. Among the lush flora of their yard was this "alien being". The homeowner doesn't know what it is. Anybody out there help?
The Bird of Paradise at the bottom is just a bonus shot, because it's very pretty.

A Day at the Bosque.

No trip to Socorro is complete without at least one trip around the auto tour route of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in nearby San Antonio. Here are just a few of my favorite shots: I'll make a web album with a few more and post a link later.

Light Goose Feeding Frenzy

A Prairie Falcon

Distinguished Uninvited Guests

Crane Landing, or Ballet?

On the Road.

To Review: Way back in October, we shot the ASFA Region 6 Invitational. That was followed a week later by the LGRA & NOTRA OB Nationals, which was followed 2 weeks later by the Region 9 Invitational. We then made the loooooong trek- in 5 days- to Albuquerque, for the Region 3 Invitational, and a TCC hunt, also in New Mexico, the following weekend. That gave us three days to get to Los Alamitos, CA (no easy feat!), and then 5 days to scuttle back East to Hutto, TX for the Region 4 Invitational. By this point, we were so good at this, we stopped for a couple of days in Deming, NM and went hunting with Dutch Salmon. Another week, and we were in Tallahassee for an ACC trial. We're currently in "vacation" mode, in Summerdale, AL, at the Rainbow Plantation RV Park until it's time to head for Atlanta for Christmas, then the year end GANG trials in Cartersville. Along the way, we had a lot of fun, and lots of good eats. We'll follow up as time permits, with photos, travelogues, and food reviews.

And if only it would end there, but like sharks, we have to keep moving to stay alive. We're going to head back West to Louisiana for an AKC trial in January, then we're going to make it all the way back to New Mexico for a real vacation. We'll be at Dutch's Pack Hunt in January, and his Desert Hare Classic in February. In between, we'll play like touristas and take lots of pictures, and maybe even go to Old Mexico and do some shopping... get some real good Tequila.

For those who have been counting that's across the country one, two, two-and-a-half times in a couple of months. Like it says on the map: Insane.

Getting Stuffed. Healthy Version.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Boy are we getting our share. On Saturday, we went to the Wolf Bay Lodge in Elberta, Alabama for the "best seafood" in, (depending on who you believe amongst the posters to Chowhound, Chefmoz, or Roadfood forums), the Gulf, the state of Alabama, the country, or the world! I knew we might be a little disappointed when we read the menu, noting that everything is "fried". For the healthy grilled versions, it would cost a dollar more. The restaurant also seemed to be filled primarily with families... not the "foodies" I would expect to populate the dining forums at the above websites; and weighted heavily toward the geezer class, (your author included).

At any rate, I opted for the West Indies Salad, a Mobile area specialty consisting of a whole bunch of marinated crabmeat mixed with sweet onions, sold at "Market Price", which on this day was 15 bucks. Margaret had the sampler platter with shrimp, stuffed shrimp, catfish, and oysters.

Now, being fried doesn't necessarily mean artery-clogging breading. The coating was very light and tasty. The stuffed shrimp and oysters were especially tasty. The salad was excellent. But how would we know this was the best seafood in (pick your geographical area) without something to compare it to?

So last night we drove the 12 miles to Fairhope, AL on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay, to try out the Old Bay Steamer, where they also offer fried seafood, but the way everybody eats it is steamed. They also modestly proclaim to have the "best seafood on the Eastern Shore". Well- they don't lie. In fact, I would call this the best seafood in the world! And the only way to eat it is to get the "The Big Steamer" sampler for 2- a large bar tray filled with about 2 dozen (whole)giant royal red gulf shrimp, 4 snow crab clusters(about 20 legs and a couple claws), a half dozen steamed oysters, corn on the cob, red potatoes, and way more cocktail sauce and drawn butter than would be healthy. I washed mine down with an excellent Abita Restoration Ale from Abita Springs, LA. Be prepared to make a serious mess! Two rolls of paper towel are supplied to each table, and you also get a large fingerbowl with lemon wedges and warm water. We can't wait to get back and do it again.

If you find yourselves in the Mobile area and want to go to the Old Bay Steamer, go online first and print out the $10 coupon- (good on any ticket over $50- and trust me, it's real easy to go over $50.)

Now it's time to break camp and head to Georgia for the Holidays. Margaret's already left, so she can make it to grandaughter's school presentation tonight. I'm following in the morning.

I have one more day of WiFi here at Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, and may use it to catch up on all our previous travel.. I'll at least post some pictures from the last few weeks. What a long, strange trip it's been.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

It's a Dynasty.

It's official. Grand Valley wins, 17-14. And Cullen Finnerty finishes his career as the winningest starting quarterback in NCAA history, with a mind-boggling record of 51-4. Them's some big numbers.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Another Big Game!

In just over an hour, there will be another big game. Unlike a few weeks back, where Michigan played Ohio State for an "unofficial" National Championship, this one is for real. This one is in NCAA Division II, and features my alma mater, Grand Valley State University, 14-0, and the number one seed, vs. 14-0, number two seed, Northwest Missouri State in a rematch of last year's national title game, won by the Lakers. It was their third national title in the last four years. Win one today, and I would call them an official "Dynasty".

This is a lot of fun for me, because when I attended (this gets wordy) "Thomas Jefferson College of the Grand Valley State Colleges" in the early 70's (we got college credit for bowling, bicycling, producing a humor magazine and, not incidently- photography), the football program was only in it's 3rd or 4th year- they had yet to win a single football game! They are now the owners of the nation's longest winning streak (27)... that's in all divisions.

Things have certainly changed. Go Lakers!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Get Well Tim Johnson. Please!

From time to time we report on political news about our adopted "home" state, South Dakota. This one has national implications. Our Democratic Senator, Tim Johnson has suffered an apparent stroke and is in critical condition. If he dies, or is incapable of returning to the Senate, the Republican governor of the state will undoubtedly replace him with a Republican which will revert power back to the bad guys.

Things that make you go "hmmmm".

I hope their checking Johnson for Polonium.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Festival of the Cranes

This is the third year in a row we've come to Socorro at this time. We're primarily here to hunt with our hounds, but there are so many other things going on in the area. The biggest, of course, is the Festival of the Cranes, held jointly at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near San Antonio, and the campus of New Mexico Technical University in Socorro. Art fairs are held around town, and in nearby communities such as Magdalena. Not to be confused with the Festival of the Cranes, there's also this...

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Stop the Presses! Dining Correction.

Today, following a rugged drive from Pueblocito to San Antonio on the Quebradas Scenic Backroads Byway,

we decided to try the green chile cheeseburger across the road from the Owl Bar. We have an aquaintance in Socorro who has maintained for years that the burgers at Manny's Buckhorn Tavern were way better than the Owl's. Well... these two diners agree! At the Owl, I've always left feeling like I could go for another burger. (Or in many cases, I did have another!) That was certainly not the case at Manny's. Big enough that they cut it in half for you. Great meat, great bun, and really great chile. Much smaller than the Owl, you will need to plan on waiting a while for a seat.

It's not just us, either... here is just a sample of many websites I found. Those are just average Joes. This one is from a guy who went looking for the best burgers in America. (See number 7).

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Going NoMail.

Rumor has it there's a somewhat important football game Saturday. It's no rumor that we'll be watching and will be completely incommunicado until it's over. Don't even try to reach us.. for anything, until about 7PM EST. If you've been living under a rock in Islamabad all year, an excellent explanation can be found here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Observant readers will have noticed the links on the right hand side of the blog.. (Including the Tip Jar! Remember that? Hmmm?). One is for Well, two weeks ago, Rally started wearing her snazzy new coursing blankets from We thought you'd like to see how they look in action. This image is from the Region 9 Regional Invitational in Gilbertsville, NY where she finished 2nd in Field Champion stake. This weekend in Albuquerque, at the Region 3 Invitational she was First in Field Champion. Pretty good results. Is it the clothes? Posted by Picasa

Eating Tip: New Mexico Version

This post is guaranteed to elicit a comment from Louisiana. Guaranteed. We arrived in Socorro, NM last night. A short trip from Albuquerque, got us to Casey's Socorro RV Park. We got settled in and decided that common-sense eating would have to wait: We headed 8 miles south to the famous Owl Bar, home of great green chile cheeseburgers. No red wine was consumed- it seemed out of place- but we did enjoy the cheeseburgers, a bowl of chiles and beans, and home made fries. And a Corona. (The beer selection is sadly lacking).

Needing to get the Escape to the local Ford dealer early this morning for a new clutch, and front brake rotors, we decided to hit the Socorro Springs Brewery for breakfast. A microbrewery and pub that opens at 6:30 AM Monday through Friday is rare indeed. That the fare is excellent is just a bonus. No, we didn't have beer for breakfast. Starbucks coffee is the house brew in the AM. Margaret had Eggs Florentine, which she pronounced delicious. I had the SSBC omelette: 3 Eggs, green chile, capicola ham, feta cheese, spinach, pepper jack. Fat and moist, it was just what the doctor ordered. Well, maybe not. Good though.

Get Drunk.. Stay Thin.. Live Longer

Counterintuitive? You bet. But we just love research results like this.

Trouble Looms for the Antis

The "lame duck" congress will probably pass this legislation shortly. It spells trouble for the more activist of the socalled "animal rights activists" who, as we know, really deep down, hate animals. It's interesting that this act was co-sponsored by very conservative and very liberal lawmakers. Hip Hip Hooray!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tucumcari Tonight.

Hard to believe that last Sunday we were more than 1800 miles East and North of here, in chilly Gilbertsville, New York. We're ensconsed for the night at the Cactus RV Park in downtown Tucumcari. The park is actually the courtyard of an old Route 66 motel. This is one of the units. They even came with garages! The weather has improved greatly from New York. Beautiful sunny, ... and warm... days. Posted by Picasa

Oklahoma: Windpower, and Sweet Horsepower

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More Dashboard Highlights

Any morning in St. Louis.. this one happened to be Wednesday. Posted by Picasa

Not Just Your Basic 18 Wheeler

Here's another new semi-regular feature. We'll call it, um...... Dashboard Highlights! Images from the driver's or passenger's seat of the 'Express as we travel around the country.

I encountered this rolling roadblock somewhere between Effingham, IL and St. Louis, on I70. As best as I can determine, this is a "74-Wheeler", and it was really heavy. The state trooper held up traffic as the oversize load took each overpass alone... and at no more than 5mph. Guess how long the backup was?

I don't know, because I was close to the front, but the radio chatter was not fit for family listening.

More to come...
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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Political Endorsement.

While there's still time, I want to reach out to all our friends in Texas, and say... if you don't elect this man your next governor, you're all morons! But then, based on your past political choices... we already knew that. (insert evil grin here)

It's not too late. Change is good.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A New York Album

Interested in more from our day in New York? Click on the link above to see more, like Riverside Church, lunchtime at Columbia University, Cathedral of St John the Divine, Times Square, and more. This is a detail from the Cathedral... pretty creepy. Posted by Picasa

Halloween in the Big Apple..

This is what you might see if you were in New York on Halloween, as we were yesterday.

We got to see the run-up to the Halloween parade. These guys were the "Grand Marshall". I'm told they were the real deal. How would I know?

There's no place like.... Broadway?Posted by Picasa