I Just got back this afternoon from a weekend of camping at Denny Creek Campground, just off I-90 near the Snoqualmie summit.
Here's a map... we were at site # 28.
Hotness couldn't make it with me this time, as she's been feeling under the weather off and on, and she wanted to make sure she was well rested and better before we leave on vacation next week.
So G-rod and myself took off after work and headed to the mountains to meet up with the rest of our group.
This marks the third year we've gone to this campground. It's really nice, not very far from home, and there are several good hikes in short range from the campground.
Not that I actually took advantage of hiking this time, mind you.
Rather than bore you with details about people you probably don't know, I'll just post some pictures from our weekend with captions about what was happening.
Saturday morning I got up and started working on breakfast for the group.
It was in improvised dish I had made a couple of years back (at this very campground) and thought it'd be fun to try it again for everyone.
First you toast some pin nuts and then cook up some sausage.
Mix up some biscuit dough (I use the Bisquick "just add water" mix from the gorcery store).
Then you put a layer of the dough on the botom of your pan, top it with the sausage and nuts and cover that liberally with cheese. Put on another layer of biscuit dough....
Then pop it into a Dutch oven and let it bake for about 1-1/2 hours.
(Nothing ever gets rushed in camp!)
And when you're finished, it'll come out looking something like a Shepherd's Pie.
Who can resist something BAKED for breakfast at camp?
Needless to say, it was gone quickly.
Here's my 'home away from home'.
Notice the sturdy contruction and reinforced walls that will withstand even a grizzly bear attack.
Can't forget my camp Gnome.
He guards the tent 24/7 when I'm camping.
We made some sunprints, thus taking advantage of the very sunny sky
which didn't appear to have any clouds, but the moon was hanging around letting us know it was still there.
Some of us went for a walk around the campground with the little ones.
It was late June and nearly 90 degrees F but there was STILL snow on the ground!
Pretty much everything else we did at camp was sit around and enjoy each other's company.
And eat. Lots of eating but also talking.
Oh! And drinking!
Here is mix-master Ferretnick making up a marvelous menagerie of Mojitos!
A few mushrooms and some Bleeding Hearts.
That evening, we sat at the fire and made s'mores. This time I jazzed 'em up a bit and used pieces of carmel stuffed into the marshmallows. While toasting them, the carmel got all nice and gooey and went exceptionally well with the graham crackers and chocolate.
We stayed up way too late on Saturday night, and then got up again on Sunday to another beautiful day.
We had to pack up and be gone by 1:00, but there was still time to make a fire and sit around before we broke camp.
Around the fire, we toasted biscuits on a stick (mmm... we love our biscuits in camp!)
And then covered them in melted butter and cinnamon and sugar.
G-rod and I packed up our tents and got the car loaded.
I stopped for a moment to take a self-shot of me in my 'sexy' new hat.
And then the l-o-n-g (not really) ride back home.
Vacation is coming up soon, so posts may be a bit sparse for a while.
I'll let you know before we go, but I didn't want you all to think I've abandoned you.
Jun 29, 2008
Jun 27, 2008
Just when you think you've heard the latest dumb scheme from somebody trying to get noticed on the interent.... along comes somebody else.
This single, 42-year old is just trying to find love AND sell her house at the same time.
"Marry a Princess lost in Amercia" she wrote in one of her ads.
Pee-yew! Better get my boots on, it's getting deep in here.
Bonus points if you knew what the title of this post was from before I gave it away.
Just wanting to lay down some phat beats for ya'll.
Yo! Peace out!
Jun 26, 2008
I'm not one to hang out at a bar or pub after work. I'm not a big sports fan, so 'sports bars' don't hold any interest for me either.
And it's not because I don't care for beer (never really could get a 'taste' for it), but more like I could find other ways to spend my time.
I don't have a problem with it. Some folks need a way to unwind after work and sometimes hanging out at the bar with other like-minded folks does the trick for 'em. That's cool.
Just not my bag is all I'm saying.
On weekday mornings, Hotness gets coffee at the local coffee shop on her way out of town and meets the same group of people on their way to work and they stand around and talk for a while before going their separate ways.
On the weekends, she'll even get up early and make a special trip into town just to meet with some of them and they'll sit around and talk about all manner of topics for a couple of hours or so. Kinda like being at the pub... only with coffee. And in the morning.
However, there is a place I like to hang my hat once a week and if I'm lucky the usual group of people are there about the same time I am doing pretty much the same thing.
I'm talking about the comic store.
On Wednesdays, when the new comics arrive, you can usually find me there getting stuff from my box, browsing the racks, and just standing around taking up space talking about nothing in particular (but usually about comics).
I look forward to Wednesday evening almost as much as I look forward to the weekends.
Sometimes I even stop by on Tuesdays just to break up my week a little early.
I can hang out with like-minded folks and unwind. It separates my workday from everything else. And if I'm lucky, it's a regular geek party.
Yesterday Hotness called me from home (where she was working for the day) and asked me if I'd like to have her go to the comic store with me last night. She doesn't make as many trips there as I do anymore, so it was nice to have her there.
Last night some of the regulars happened the be there and as an added bonus... we got to have cake! (See, I told you. It's like a geek party sometimes!)
We sat around and talked, ate some cake, and just had a good time.
Other folks dropped in once in a while to say hi and chat for a bit and then went about their business.
After a while we all decided to go do the other things we needed to do (Hotness had to go return some stuff at REI, a couple of others went to get something for dinner, etc...).
On the way out another Comic Stop regular came in and we talked for a few minutes before taking off.
So for me, it's kind like happy hour at least once a week.
I don't always see the same people, but I can still have a good time when I'm there.
Jun 25, 2008
C'mon... tell me SOMEBODY had to know about the schedule before this happened.
A group of strippers show up for a breast cancer charity event (to act as 'caddies') just as a group of children are at the golf course for their tournament?
Really? Nobody thought that these two events on the same day couldn't possibly get mixed up?
I guess what bugs me most isn't that the schedules overlapped, but that the adults acted in a manner that wasn't appropriate where children were concerned.
When they got there and saw that there were kids why couldn't they just wait until the kids were gone?
No, they guys were sporting squirt guns and the women were running around in their underwear. (Not that women in underwear... especially strippers in underwear... is a bad thing)
Couldn't they have just said "Oops, bad timing. We'll wait in the limo until the kids are gone."
Jun 22, 2008
So, yeah. I'm posting kind of late about it, but that's how it goes sometimes.
Anyway, summer is here finally. It officially began at 4:59 p.m. on Friday and the weather driving home from work was n-i-c-e.
To celebrate, I played a few songs on Guitar Hero while I drank Mango Margaritas and ate some chips and salsa. Aye Carumba!
Hotness came home from work to find me horizontal on the couch playing video games.
We watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica season 3, then she went to bed. She was feeling a little overwhelmed after going to the gym and just wanted to sleep.
I stayed up to watch a movie I've had for a while but fell asleep on the couch about 10 minutes later and that was where I stayed until the morning.
Saturday morning, she went and did the 'coffee thing' downtown with her friends and then went to the barn to check on her horse.
Afterwards, she came by and got me so we could go run errands that day before taking advantage of the nice weather and getting more work done around the house.
We weren't gone long before she complained of not feeling very good. She was sore, which she thought was from being at the gym but turned out to be more like the flu.
Our little jaunt was curtailed slightly, so we could get back home and she could crawl back into bed. We picked up some pain reliever at the store (since we first thought it might be due to over-exertion from the gym) and headed back to the house.
Out of her regular clothes and into jammies, then into bed where she slept pretty much the entire afternoon.
I had picked up a couple of new DVD's recently, and since she was out of commission for the weekend, I parked my butt on the couch and watched movies, periodically checking in on her to make sure she was okay.
I'm not a big fan of western movies, but every once in a while they just seem right.
On today's list was;
"A Fistful Of Dollars."
I've known about this but have never watched it until now.
I loved it!
* Spoiler Alert! *
This is the final gunfight scene and was totally worth everything that lead up to it!
"The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly"
This was the restored version which clocked in at about 3 hours long.
It's a 'classic' as far as westerns go, but I enjoyed "Fistful" a little more.
I had to put this one on "pause" near the last 45 minutes as I had been invited to have dinner with my friends Dug & Deb that evening. (Actually, Hotness was invited also, but since she was feeling crummy she stayed home)
Dinner was yummy! And it's always nice to not have to cook so bonus points on that!
I stayed for a little while, but needed to get home and take care of the sick person I left there.
Got back, watched the end of the movie and tucked Hotness back into bed for the night after feeding her some chicken with rice soup followed by a NyQuil chaser. Yum!
Then I tried to watch the movie I started the night before, but fell asleep after about 30 minutes. It's not a boring movie, really! I just need to start on it earlier.
This time a made it into bed and slept reasonably comfortably, as compared to being on the couch for the night.
I got up and Hotness was still feeling ill, so I stayed quiet for most of the morning until she started stirring around.
I did some pruning on a rhododendron outside, filled bird feeders and then read a few comic books.
I also cut down the alder sapling that had gotten bent (ha ha! got bent!) and was hovering over the satellite dish. And guess what? I fixed the internets. Yay me! (It seems that the branch was just obstructing our connection and the receiver wasn't mis-aligned after all)
Hotness got up and sat on the couch for a while, but soon went back to bed.
I went back outside and did some weeding along the walkway to our front door and pulled out a metric buttload of nasty weeds! (1 metric buttload = 2.3 English shitloads... just FYI)
It was getting into the late afternoon and I was expecting G-rod to stop by.
He's going to stay at our place while we're on vacation and keep an eye on it. I needed to show him where the birdseed was, which remotes do what if he wanted to watch a movie, etc., etc.... plus I needed to give him a key to the place.
I told him that since it was going to be late afternoon, I'd feed him to make it worth his while coming all the way out today. Nothing fancy, but definitely filling.
I grilled up some chicken quarters on the BBQ and made a salad and some lemonade.
Mmmm! Look at that chicken!
I'm having THAT for lunch on Monday! (Good thing I made an extra one!)
We sat around and talked for a bit, ate for a bit, and then talked some more.
Then he headed back to his place and I checked to see if Hotness was still among the living. (She was)
I warmed up some more soup for her and she watched "Gone Baby Gone" before going back to bed again for the night, while I surfed around on the recently fixed internets. (yay me again!)
And that was how we welcomed summer in this weekend.
How about you?
Jun 20, 2008
This past Wednesday was Hotness's birthday and thanks to all of you who wished her well.
She really enjoyed it and it made her day.
I thought I might have some pictures from that evening, as we had planned on going to dinner when I got home from work.
That didn't happen, though.
She texted me before I left the office and said she was at a friend's house and that I should stop by on my way home.
I got there and they were making a blackberry crisp. (Well, three of them actually. One for them, one for a potluck and another for Hotness to take home for her B-day)
So we stuck around while they cooked and she drank some wine and we all talked. Then she had some more wine and we continued talking.
At one point I looked at the clock and said, "You know, if you still want to have dinner we're going to have to go soon."
So she nursed her wine some more and then we headed home.
She had to go to the barn before we left to eat, so after she got back we had about 20 minutes to get into town and get dinner.... and they closed in 15 minutes.
Needless to say, no birthday dinner, hence no embarrassing birthday pics (like last year).
We'll most likely go this weekend when we have more time anyway, but I didn't want to keep you all in suspense in the meantime.
In other other news:
Thanks to Elwood, I learned to
pilot a rocket ship, build a better mousetrap, grow my own tobacco, er I learned to strike out words in my posts.
Jun 18, 2008
He may be a little country soundin', but I like what he's got to say.
It's a bit on the long side (about 5 mins long) but it's worth it.
(by way of the Presurfer... again)
Edit: More on the energy bill passed by Congress and CFL bulbs can be found here.
Jun 17, 2008
Jun 16, 2008
Never let it be said that I do not provide a public service here at "What's That Smell?".
Today, I'd like to showcase this little gem from the flower kingdom....
the humble rafflesia flower;
Also known as the Stink Flower (or Carrion Flower).
This little puppy holds the world's record for the largest flower blossom*. It can measure up to 3 FEET in diameter!
Not only does it have a large blossom, but unlike many other flowers which attract both pollinators and humans with a friendly scent... this thing gives of a smell of putrid, rotting meat.
Since it's main pollinator are flies (rather than bees, butterflies, or the like) it's only fitting that it should give off a stench so terrible that flies couldn't resist it.
While it is classified as a "plant", it does not contain ANY clorophyll and cannot perform photosynthesis as part of it's lifecycle.
Instead, they parasitize other plants and live inside them only to burst out of them when they blossom.
Kind of like ALIEN for the plant world.
Rafflesia plants are known only in the jungles of Southeast Asia and even then in very limited locations.
Since they live inside other plants it is extremely difficult to find a "patch" of them until they bloom... when you can follow the scent to find them.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your sense of smell) the bloom only lasts for a few short days, so once the blooms are gone you're back to looking for a needle in a haystack.
Also, due to habitat destruction these plants are becoming harder and harder to find in the wild.
I'd love to witness one of these rafflesia plants some time. Especially in the wild, but even in an indoor greenhouse would be cool.
Jun 14, 2008
Jun 12, 2008
Just for fun and because I have nothing better to talk about right now, here is a cat playing with a theremin.
(by way of the Presurfer)
You can build one of these yourself, if you're handy with a soldering iron and a screwdriver.
Or go all out and get a real fancy one.
Here's some more theremin fun for you....
Jun 11, 2008
I've been kind of waiting to mention this on here 'cause I wanted it to be a surprise when it showed up at the house.
Jun 9, 2008
Our little hometown had their annual spring festival and hoe-down and just like we have for the past 6 years, we were there to be a part of it.
You can buy a raffle ticket when you pay to get in, and this year Hotness and I both bought some.
Jun 8, 2008
Jun 7, 2008
Ugh! Okay, enough with people getting hit by cars and the idiots who just stand around looking at them without helping. (What? Am I still pissed? Does it show?)
Today is National Trails Day.
Judging by the weather outside, it's an awesome day to be out in the fresh air hiking and experiencing nature... if you're a duck, that is.
Pretty much nuthin' but rain all day today and tomorrow.
But, if you're the intrepid sort of person and you don't let a little rain get you down, then by all means go out young man (or woman) and see the world! (or at least a nice spot of nature near where you live)
In Washington State, you can find many good trails by going here. They even have trip reports that are updated frequently so you can check out how a trail is going to be (muddy, storm damaged, well-travelled, etc...) before you get there.
If you're elsewhere in the U.S. of A. you can find out what's near you to go hike by checking out the American Hiking Society webpage and click on your state.
Today is also Duvall Days, so Hotness and I will be there watching the parade and having a fun time in our small-town, country-folk kind of way.
Jun 6, 2008
What ever happened to being a Good Samaritan and helping people out when something happens?
A co-worker just showed me this video (it's a little disturbing but nothing graphic, so it's safe for work) about a guy who gets hit by a car while people just watch or drive by and NOBODY helps him.
Granted there have been studies done on this sort of behavior, but that's not an excuse to let it happen or condone it.
That no one stepped up and tried to at least check on the guy until the cops arrived is just appalling!
You want to think that people are inherently good inside, and then you see something like this.
Jun 4, 2008
Getting unexpected surprises like this:
Jun 3, 2008
I made an awesome meatloaf last night.
I'm not just bragging... it was REALLY good!
I have extra so now I can have meatloaf sandwiches which are just an extension of more awesomeness by themselves.
I thought I'd share my recipe in case anybody is interested.
(If you don't like meatloaf, then you can stop reading and go check out some lolcats or sumthin')
My awesome meatloaf:
1-1/2 lbs of ground beef (the leaner the better)
1 lb of ground pork sausage (I used mild Italian)
3/4 cup of bread crumbs (or about 3 or 4 handfuls)
1/4 cup of worsteshire sauce (actually I just poured a bunch into the mixing bowl. It might've been a little less)
1 can of sliced mushrooms
1 pkg of instant beef & onion soup mix (like the Lipton kind)
and a handful of dried onions (if you have them)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (or 177 degrees Celsius)
Put everything into a big mixing bowl, then squish and mash it it all together with your hands.
Yes it's messy, but it'll be worth it. Trust me.
After you get everything all good and mixed up, put it into a regular-sized bread pan and bake it in the oven for about 55 - 60 minutes.
That's all. It's really pretty simple and oh so yummy!
Let me know if you try it and what you thought.
Jun 2, 2008
I once read or heard somewhere that you should always try to buy lemonade from a kid's sidewalk stand.
It's just a nice thing to do, and it's a simple pleasure to engage in.
The kids make a little change to spend on candy, movies or comic books and it makes you feel good.
Plus it's really tasty if the weather is hot and they make it all nice and cold.
So I tend to try and keep some extra change in my car for just such an occasion when the weather gets nice and the kids are out of school.
One time, I saw some enterprising young lads selling not just coffee, but STARBUCKS coffee at a roadside stand during winter break a few years ago. (No kidding! Their sign said; "Hot, fresh Starbucks coffee. $2.00 a cup")
They were on a corner in a residential neighborhood selling their goods to anybody who was on their way to work, so it was like 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning. Talk about dedication!
Anyway, I saw this story and thought I'd fit it into this post.
A couple of kids are selling lemonade to raise money for surgery for their cat.
I'd totally buy at least a gallon to help them out if they were in my neighborhood.
I enjoy hiking, although I have to admit I don't get out and do it much.
I'm a 'fair-weather' hiker, and even then I only go to local hikes.
I'd like to do more of them, as we have some really beautiful places to hike in here in Washington, but I just don't have the time to make it to a lot of the places. Not to mention places outside of Washington.
Like this place in the following video:
Not that I would actually attempt to hike this, I don't like hights and being up in this trail (in the condition it's in).... uh, no thank you. But I'll bet it's something to see in person.
Enjoy watching somebody else hike it, though.
The video is about 6 mins long, so don't the boss catch you .
Jun 1, 2008
So Seattle hadn't changed in the (less than) 24 hours since we were last there.
Another one involves a guy (a cigar-chomping, sports page reading guy) fluttering about the stage as a butterfly and trying to win the affections of another pretty little butterfly, when suddenly his wife shows up.... Oops!