Monthly Archives: January 2014

Another Whiskey Recipe

Buffalo Trace has posted yet another recipe containing whiskey — this time for burgers.  A great spring or summer choice to help get me through the long stretch of cold weather we’ve been having in this area.  I’m going to need a new grill at home.  My current one is falling apart.

This post has the recipe and one for a zesty potato salad to go with the burgers.

Personal Monthly Challenge – January

In order to keep myself using this rather expensive DSLR I bought, I have decided to do a weekly project with a monthly theme.  This means that I should get my camera out at least once a week and take photos that match a theme for the month.  I already gave a blog entry listing the themes I am attempting for 2014:

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Time Travel

I found out about this from here.

11.4 million years ago, a star went supernova.  And we (the human race) just noticed it.  Within the past month.  Think about that.  The article has pictures from an observatory in London — one taken in mid-December and one taken in mid-to-late January — showing the explosion of a star.    The earth is going to be witness to something that happened 11.4 million years ago.  Possibly with binoculars.

I would love to know which way to point a 300mm telephoto camera lens to try to pick up on this, but I doubt with all the interfering lights from suburbia I will be able to see anything.

A Complicated Woman

Imported over from another lapsed blog.

Part the First: Dreaming

I still have dreams about my grandmother’s house. In my dreams, it still has white clapboard siding rather than red brick, and wood paneling with dark marks and circles and ovals and striations that my brain always ordered into faces. In my dreams, the only toilet and shower stall are still in the basement, open to all the world, and I can smell the mustiness. Not that the basement was a scary place when I was kid — all the grandkids loved it. My brother Yancey and I, and our cousins Maria and Crystal would go down there and play, chasing each other around and being chased by imaginary bad guys who would periodically capture us and tie us up with invisible chains to the support columns. The outside of the house had little in-ground hidey-holes that had windows looking out into them from the basement stairs; my grandmother’s cats would nest there, and have kittens, and we could watch the brood squirming and mewling from the other side of the glass.

When we weren’t playing in the basement, we were in the upstairs “bedrooms,” spaces built under the A-frame room, were there was an arc wall lamp with a shade that was perfect for maneuvering over someone’s head as a pretend brain-control device. Used, of course, by the imaginary bad guys.

And after we had escaped from the brain control experiments, the front porch swing was a space ship, and the railing on the front porch another place for the bad guys tie everybody up until we could be rescued. Or we’d go up to the top of the ridge behind the house and roll head-over-heels down the swatch cleared by my grandfather.

In my dreams, the crawl spaces leading off the attic are vast, the faces in the paneling move, the basement is dark, and the other side of the ridge edge drops off into the ocean.

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A few years ago, I started using an application called Daz Studio.  I had commissioned a portrait of an RPG character and it was taking longer than I had wanted due to the artist’s illness, so I poked around looking for something for the Artistically-challenged to use.  I had heard of Poser when it first came out a long time ago and was looking for reviews and such when I came across someone suggesting Daz instead.  I looked into it, found out they had started by making content for Poser, then put out their own software.  It was free, and that was a good price for me, so I downloaded it and started looking into tutorials and such.

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More Fun With Bourbon

Alerted on Facebook by Buffalo Trace again, I must say that this seems strange:

And it annoys me some, because I can’t even get Pappy Van Winkle here in PA (at least not without jumping through some serious hoops that are on fire), and these people are cooking with it.  Kind of makes me want to cry.

A Gray Day


Winter in southeastern Pennsylvania can be full of dreary, gray days, and today is no exception.  There is some freezing rain coming down and coating everything with a thin sheen of ice.  I took this picture trying to capture the skating rink that my front walkway turned into, but even though that part failed, I still like the way the photo looks.

I actually held the camera down low and used the screen to line it up.  Managed to get the depth of field pretty good, with the big, fuzzy foreground.  I may have gotten the composition right in this photo, too.  I think it captures the feeling of a dreary, gray day.

My 2014 Weekly Photo Project

So last year, I did a weekly photo project where I attempted to make sure I got my camera out at least once a week and get a nice picture, but within a theme for a month.  Those photos (I missed a few weeks for various reasons) are here.  The idea for this project came from reading the forums on Digital Photography School in this forum post.  Some of them I like, but I’m not sure I actually got better as the year went on.  For the first year, I may have mostly used themes that were… I don’t if easier is the right word, but it’s closest.  But we decided to keep the project going.

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December 2011

December 2, 2011

My sister-in-law, J., cooked Thanksgiving dinner this year. In the days before, she asked for her mother’s recipes for pumpkin and cranberry bread, and for cheese pie, worn sheets of paper stained from years of use. She spent several days with trial runs, never quite happy with how things turned out. When it was good enough, she took the loaves and carefully wrapped them the same way her mother had, and when she opened them at dinner, at my father-in-law’s, the pumpkin bread was dark and moist and just like her mother’s. Abigail declared the cheese pie (made from cottage cheese) better than Grammy’s.

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Bourbon and Bacon

So this was thoughtfully left in my Facebook news feed by Buffalo Trace bourbon. I wanted to share it, and I also wanted to be able to find it again when I am ready to try making it.

Also, I had tried to use that “Reblog” feature, but upon trying to find a way to put my comments above the reblogged post, I found out this feature can be viewed as stealing someone else’s content. Figured I’d just be safe and post a link to it instead, so I deleted the other post and made this one.