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Showing posts from January, 2011

Put a Cork in it

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But try to be careful just how you put that cork in. Okay?

Case in point. Here's a nice bottle of Moscato that Carrie and I had Saturday night.

We picked it up last week at Trader Joe's and thought the cork looked a little funny cut off like that on the top but chalked it up to the bottler trying to make their product stand out on the shelf.

When I began to use a corkscrew to remove the cork I started to wonder if that damn thing was solid wood and not cork at all. It was quite dense and hard. Once the screw was all the way in, things weren't any easier. That bugger was very difficult to pull out.

There was a very good reason for that difficulty. The cork was put in the bottle upside down!

As you can see on the left, the part drilled in is the narrow part. The thick part of the cork was in the neck of the bottle and under quite a bit of pressure.

In the lower picture you can see the insignia on the part of the cork that was inside the bottle. I'm pretty sure that was suppose…

Cows are Herbivores?

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I think most of us learned early in school that cows are herbivores.

Sure, there were other facts given to us. They go "moooo", often have cute spotted hides like those on the Gateway Computer boxes, produce milk (which might not be all that great on its own but leads to cheese and ice cream), and cows often have cute names like "Bessie" and "Elsie".

But now I have to question those myriad facts I learned so long ago.

Just look at these two pictures I took today! That doesn't seem like a herbivore to me. What do you think?!

You can bet I didn't stick around to ask Bessie there what she was eating. I didn't want to be next!

Now that I've uncovered the disturbing fact that cows do have a yen for animal flesh what's next? Vicious rabbits (like the one in Holy Grail) or killer sheep like in that Kiwi movie Black Sheep. Or maybe this is a ZOMBIE cow! Yikes.

Actually the explanation is more pedestrian but the thought of zombie cows is worth explo…

A Bruschetta Weekend

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Carrie and I had bruschetta for lunch on both Saturday and Sunday.

It's very important to start off with fresh high quality ingredients when making bruschetta. In this picture you see some of the tomatoes that we used.

We bought the tomatoes at Trader Joe's because they have very good produce. We also purchased the basil, garlic and cheese there as well as the bread we used on Saturday.

The batch we made on Saturday didn't have quite enough garlic in the butter and the basil needed to be pushed a little harder too. Fortunately we had plenty of both ingredients on hand and used more on Sunday.

Even so, the bruschetta was very tasty on Saturday and we had no problem finishing off the 24 pieces in a very short time.

This picture shows the tomatoes after being sliced up.

Two teaspoons of fresh basil have been added and the mixture has been coated with a few tablespoons of olive oil. The bowl goes into the fridge to blend the flavors for a half hour or so.

While the tomatoes are cooli…

Saturday Eats

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Carrie and I did a lot of eating today. We got off to a late start but finished well.

No, this isn't something that we ate. Rather it was one of two deer remains that we came across while cutting through some woods while hiking off trail south of Mebane.

The day started with Carrie and I hitting Trader Joe's when they opened. And I'll tell you, it was darn nippy out this morning---hell, all day long. I managed to spend $90 on fixings for bruchetta (2 containers of grape tomatoes, garlic, butter, some baguettes, and basil) and pizza (sauce, dough, and lots of cheese) plus several bottles of wine and a lot of small portions of cheese.

After that we went to Occoneechee Mountain to burn off some calories to make room for the food we were preparing to consume. The 3 mile hike was bracing 'cause it was damn cold out still. I think it was still below freezing when we finished around 11am.

Then we picked up a few more items at Wal-mart since I needed to stop at a gas station next …

Still Icy in Places

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I needed to walk a MTA form over to the Technology Transfer office Today.

Since that's on the other side of campus from where I work, I did the walk at lunchtime and combined the walk with a side trip to the Battle Branch Trail.

The picture there to the left is the Forest Theater, slightly ice covered at the moment. Getting that picture was a mite treacherous due to the fore mentioned ice.

In case you're curious, Battle Park is named for Kemp Plummer Battle. Who the hell is he, you ask? He was president of UNC from 1876 to 1891. And yes, that was a long time ago.

This second picture shows the trail I was walking on. I didn't have much time so I just looped around on the Deer Track Trail, and then got back to the lab lickity-split.

The trail was very icy but except for the hilly sections, the footing wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Still, I wish I had been wearing hiking boots. I didn't fall but I did slip around a bit and it was because I was wearing smooth bott…

Cold equals Pain

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I received my electricity bill from Duke Power in my Email today.

Ow, ow, ow, ow!

This is the first time in the 8 years that I've had my house that my bill went over $100. And it cleared that hurdle quite readily with a "score" of $143.31.

That's 45% more than any other bill I've gotten from Duke Power and more than 50% higher than the bill I had last December. Ouch!

Admittedly this is by far the coldest winter that I've experienced since I moved down south 25 years ago so it's not surprising that the electric bill went up. But 50%? Yikes. And January is starting off to be colder than December so this month's bill will probably be up around $150 also.

At least this is normal weather for January; it's supposed to be cold now. December was freakishly cold for this part of the country. And don't get me started about snow!

Dog Tired

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I hurt my back at work last Wednesday and that's been slowing me down somewhat.

But I'm not the only one with sore parts. Poor Bella really received a workout this weekend.

Just look at the headstand she's doing in that photo on the left. That was taken on Saturday morning during a short snow squall. The weather went from sunny and mild to windy, overcast, and quite cold in just a few minutes. Freaky. And over in about 10 minutes.

It happened again around an hour later but by that time we were back at Carrie's place warming up in front of a nice fire eating croissants.

The hiking was colder on Sunday when the mercury (does anyone still have mercury thermometers?) dipped down to 20f. Brrrr!

Carrie and I took Bella, but not Bibbs, to Occoneechee Mtn for a nice hike around the mountain at 9am. Damn it was nippy out! I didn't even take many pictures 'cause I didn't want to take my gloves off.

Later that day we did another hike, around 4 miles, in the woods south of …

Found while Hiking

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I don't know who did the nibbling, but it was done just before we hit the clearing.


There was still plenty of plump juicy flesh on these bony parts. Yum-yum.


UPDATE: I didn't know it at the time, but a little research revealed that the bony head parts above once belonged to a rabbit. I would not have guessed that rabbits had such a long lower tooth but they do. The overall dentition is very indicative of a herbivore and the larger front teeth plus the placement of the small back teeth spells out the rest.