Saturday, 5 October 2019

of Nachos and Captain Jack Sparrow

You know you've been married for a long time when you and your better half both have a craving for the same food at more or less the same time. Funny how that works.

This week the craving for nachos seemed to resonate with both of us. While we could have gone to our favourite watering hole and ordered a platter, as we've done a time or ten before, this time we opted for homemade instead. While a little more work, it was a nice treat for our Friday night movie. Pirates of the Caribbean never looked so good.

No doubt there are a thousand and one ways to make nachos. Definitely not a case of right or wrong. This mouthwatering feast began simply enough; with ground beef, browned, drained, and seasoned with a taco spice. It had about three layers of tortilla chips, each layer topped with a medley of chopped jalapeno peppers and green onions, taco ground beef, and a grated blend of three different cheeses. Just for good measure, to the third and final layer I added an extra sprinkling of Armstrong Old Cheddar. After all, one can never have too much cheese, but one can certainly have too little.

After a quick heating in the oven to melt all the yummy cheese, it was time to sit back with Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swan, and the rest of the motley crew … and enjoy the show.

For the record, there were a few left overs, but not many.

"Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate."
(Captain Jack Sparrow) 

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Sweet Potato Soup: Cure For A Cold Day

There is nothing like a hearty homemade soup on a cold day. It is still only September, but somehow the mercury found itself below the freezing mark, and with it came the first fresh blanket of that nasty seasonal white stuff … snow.

Time for a delicious homemade soup.

One of our favourites is sweet potato soup. Not sure why we don't make it more often; it is, after all, rather simple to make. On a lazy colder day, it once again seemed like the perfect dinner choice.

I'm afraid that I am not really that great at creating recipes, since I rarely measure anything. It is always some of this and some of that; whatever seems best at the time. So if you're looking for an exact step by step recipe, well I'm afraid this post may not be much help. But if you're creative, and have a sense of which end of the kitchen is up, I'm sure your homemade sweet potato soup will be equally awesome. So here's how I made mine … sort of:

I began by peeling some sweet potatoes. Though I still don't know the difference, I've substituted yams before too. They're equally good. These I cut into smaller chunks. I had about half a dozen carrots left, so I peeled and chopped them too. They went together in the same pot and boiled them until soft.

Once soft, I drained the water, added a can of low sodium mushroom soup, and two cans of milk. After mashing the mixture, I went a step further and pureed the mixture as well. You can add more or less milk, depending on the consistency that you prefer. We like it a little thicker. While all this was happening, I cut several small white potatoes into little chunks, skins on, and let them boil. Once tender, the white potatoes were drained, and folded into the sweet potato and carrot puree.

After reheating, we were ready to eat. I like to add a dollop of sour cream and a few cut green onions before serving. I have sometimes also added bacon bits. Tasty, filling, and wife approved. A perfect meal for that cold day … even if it is only September, and old-man winter gets confused and comes way too soon.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Oh Crap!

"Every time a bird poops on my car,
I eat a plate of scrambled eggs on my porch,
just to show them what I'm capable of." 
(anonymous)

😜💩😜

Pardon me for chuckling, but this story my wife shared with me was worth an extra snort.

It seems that a politician in Chicago was discussing a pigeon pooping problem with reporters at a transit station in that city known for its bird feces problems, when a pigeon promptly did its business and pooped on the politician's head. Well, crap; I guess the birds did get the last laugh after all!

Karma? Political savvy of our feathered friends? Hmm, maybe not. But perhaps the lesson is that, if you find yourself in Chicago's infamous  "Pigeon Poop Station," you might want to consider carrying an umbrella. Or at the very least, invite a politician to join you. After all, apparently they know just what to do with politicians.

😜💩😜

Story Source: Pigeon Poops on Lawmaker Discussing Pigeon Poop Problem
Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Retirement: The Other Side of the "Tire?"

"Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else."
(Fred Rogers)


Well here we are, almost two months past the date in which I had planned and hoped to retire. The previous retirement goal was five years earlier. That one didn't work out so well either. Hmm, maybe it's time to rethink this retirement thing.

I guess I had hoped that retirement for me would be more than just putting on a new set of rubber on the old car, and continuing on with it, much as before, with no end in sight.

Re-tire-ment? Bad joke; sorry.

So here I am, still hard working at a high-stress job. Do I begrudge it? Am I angry or depressed because things didn't quite work out (yet) as I had planned? Not at all. Far from it, actually. In truth, I am very grateful for a number of reasons, a few of which are these:

I am blessed with a good job.

Though I am on salary and put in far more hours than I technically get paid for, and though sometimes I have joked that I am a volunteer, I certainly cannot (and dare not) complain. Someone once said, "I complained of having no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet." The wage is good, the benefits are good, working conditions are great, my immediate supervisor has been great; what more could I ask for? This year I even qualified for a fifth week of annual paid vacation, not to mention several personal days to take as I wish. Yes, I am blessed.

I am still able to do a good job.

It is one thing to consider retirement when one feels like they can no longer do the job. But I can still do the job. Yes, sometimes I pull out what's left of my hair doing so, but I can still do it. That's got to still count for something, wouldn't you say? I would think so. A few years back my job position once again changed, and the new position dictated that I successfully complete a certain level of Power Engineering education. It wasn't easy, but I did it, and thereby successfully moved into my newest role.

My employer hasn't put me out to pasture yet.

Maybe I shouldn't wish myself out to pasture yet either. Like many of us, I've seen some colleagues face those dreaded Friday afternoon Human Resources meetings in which they were no longer welcomed back to the job site Monday morning. Maybe one day it will be my turn as well, but thus far, that has not been the case. "No news is good news," someone once said. I must still be doing an acceptable level of work. Certainly I've had some positive recommendations on my LinkedIn account by colleagues and former bosses.

Retirement age?

So there you have it. Retirement age? Maybe that's a subjective thing; different for everyone of us, and based more upon a plethora of personal circumstances and abilities than physical age. Yes, I am in my sixties now (don't ask me how THAT happened); retirement age for some, but for others more a time to re-rubber the old cow and carry on for another ten years or so.

Retirement? God only knows if/when. One day, maybe. But for now, it's "one day at a time." Maybe I'll make another month, another year, or another five years. Whatever it may be, I'm at peace with it; and I guess that's the best that I can hope for.

The only question that remains is, How did that poor old cow get herself into that predicament with that tire? Did she also attempt to retire too early? Hmm.

Photo Credit: Unknown

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Penile Self-Exorcism: The Ultimate Manhood Test?

Ladies, you'll forgive me if I address this post to the men in your lives. I suspect that it will make most, if not all, men cringe in a way that only they would fully understand and be able to sympathize with.

It's a man-thing.

Like many of you, I have had my share of kidney stones. Some were small that could be passed on my own with an interesting measure of pain; others were so large that they required a general anaesthetic and surgical procedure to remove. Some were laser blasted. Others involved ultrasound waves. Some had stents implanted between the kidney and bladder, only to be removed under another general anaesthetic about about four weeks later. Some kidney stone attacks happened on the job, others while on vacation, which forced a hospital visit to finish off the holiday. Good times.

I remember asking my urologist once what causes kidney stones, thinking that if it was a dietary thing (dairy products maybe?), then perhaps I could avoid future kidney stones by simply avoiding certain food groups. He said, "No, some people are simply blessed with them." What an interesting "blessing," I thought.

Fun, fun, fun (Yes, I am being facetious).

Well, as my luck would have it, recently I had yet another kidney stone attack. I felt like someone hit me across the left side with a 2x4 stud! Wow! During the subsequent ER visit and associated tests, I learned that this kidney stone was about 8mm in size. That's about the size of a kernel of corn. I since learned that, apparently the largest size of kidney stone that anyone can pass on their own is about 4-5mm in size. So here I was, lying in an ER bed with a moving kidney stone almost twice that size! Two bags of morphine dripping through my IV bag did nothing to help the pain. Lucky me!

Fast forward a few hours and I am in surgery, and all was good … except for that stent they left behind to assist with the removal of post-laser stone fragments. OK, past experience reminded me that they would simply put me under again in a few weeks and remove the stent. Right? Wrong!

Penile exorcism: The ultimate manhood test?

Well, apparently it is now common medical practice to remove one's own stent! Yup, you heard that right! My post surgical medical advice told me that, about one week after surgery, I should go stand in the shower and pull on a string, about 1-2 inches long hanging out of my private parts, and remove my own stent! Excuse me? A quick look at the calendar confirmed that this was not April 1st and thus not an April Fool's joke!

"It will be fine," the doctor said. "Simply take a couple ibuprofen before hand." Yeah, right; bubble gum would have about the same effect on me. I opted for a few ounces of whiskey instead.

So there I stood in the shower, and pulled, and pulled, and pulled some more, on what turned out to be about 24 inches (60cm) of stent and leader string, through my penis. Are you still with me guys?

Well the good news is, I survived this scene from a horror movie with little more that a headache from banging my head against the shower wall. The post exorcism ordeal left me with a bit of pain for about a day afterwards, but all is now once again thankfully good.

Still, the fact is, I am convinced that man is not meant to self-pull a 24-inch long demon out through his privates! Certainly, at least, not whilst sober.

Definitely high up there on my weird-shit-o-meter!!!

😱😱😱

Photo #1: via Google, source unknown
Photo #2: 12-inch (30 cm) stent after self extraction
Photo #3: 12-inch (30 cm) pull string leading to stent

Monday, 8 July 2019

Beards: To Shave or Not to Shave?

Yes, that's my mug shot. The real me. The man behind The Other Side of Will. Awesome, isn't it?! I think so too. LOL.

😊😊😊

I don't know what prompted me to create this meme. Perhaps it was just some of the many (envious???) stares of late, or perhaps it was one too many old Santa jokes. Then again, maybe it was simply my humorist side once again sticking out its head.

Excuse me, Miss;
my eyes are up here.

However, are beards really just a trend or a fad as some people claim? Yes and No. I have often joked that, if God gave me the ability to grow a beard, He must have meant me to wear a beard. Other than a couple brief hiccups, I have chosen to remain bearded for most of the past forty years. And as it stands today, I have no intention of ever being clean shaven again. Ultimately, my life; my choice. I'll be buried bearded, if I have any say in the matter.

But the fact is that, as far as any of us know, men have been bearded since the beginning of time. Still, there have clearly also been times when history has recorded eras when men either chose to be clean shaven, or were commanded to for various reasons to be so. Even in today's modern times, some vocations enforce a clean shaven face. I cannot help but wonder, if a clean shaven face were suddenly a requirement of my job, would I do it? Or would I quickly be looking for a new job? Tough choice. I know what I'd be tempted to say; at the risk of offending someone, I'd be tempted to reply: "Next time, maybe hire a woman?" Ouch! Hmm, probably wouldn't go over too well. LOL.

I ran across an article a while back that studied male healthcare workers (the industry I currently work in), bearded and non-bearded, and found that the bearded were less likely to acquire certain illnesses than their clean-shaven brothers. Interesting. For more on that, see: The Health Benefits of Beards. Are there health benefits for men to remain bearded? You decide. At least one study seems to suggest just that. Personally, I like their findings. Hmm.

Beards are not a trend; history has clearly shown this to be true. If there is any trend or abnormality to be had, I'd suggest that it is the notion that men should shave their God-given facial coverings. But that's just my humble opinion. From the beginning of time, I'd be tempted to argue that bearded generations far outweigh the non-bearded generations.

So if you're a history buff like me, and interested in some of the history of beards and shaving, you may want to check out this little article I discovered: The History of Shaving and Beards. It's actually quite interesting. Doesn't make me want to shave, though.

Finally, please don't hate me because I'm "beardiful," and I promise I won't suggest to your womenfolk that they ought to raise their standard if you're beardless. After all, a man without a beard is somewhat like a lion without a mane; again, in my humble opinion. Finally, to my beardless brothers, I apologize that your women keep staring at my beard. Not really my fault.

😉😉😉

However, maybe there's a hint to be taken here. Hmm.

"Kissing a man without a beard
is like drinking champagne without bubbles."
(anonymous)

"Never date a woman
who can grow a better beard than you can."
(anonymous)

___________________________________

A Caveat: To my beardless brothers, my sympathies. I understand how hard it is to sometimes align ourselves with the wishes of our female other halves. May God give you the strength to recover those key masculine parts from her purse. I trust you'll also appreciate that, this entire post was meant in jest and with my often twisted sense of humour at its core. No offence is intended. Peace.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Why I Don't Diet

Note to Self:

Having chocolate in both hands is not really what the term "balanced diet" refers to. Who knew?!

😆😆😆

At a recent visit to our vet, we were informed that our precious fur-baby could stand to lose some weight. Apparently her 56-kg (123-pound) girth is a bit to much for her. Perhaps ironically, my doctor would like to see me shed a few pounds too. Hmm, can you say, "conspiracy?"

The problem is, this man and his best friend both like to eat. Besides, how do you explain "diet" to a fur-baby? What kind of nonsense is this "diet" stuff anyways? If you haven't yet experienced that agony, try explaining to your dog as to why her dinner rations have been cut back, and let me know how it goes.

I cannot remember when this picture was taken, but I was amused by the fact that in it our beloved fur-baby had her eyes closed, almost as if she just heard another painful and bad Dad-Joke. Maybe she did. Maybe they can understand humour. Maybe dogs are smarter than we've typically given them credit for.

Well there you have it. The next time your significant other, or someone else not so significant, suggests that you should consider a diet, you can now add a religious argument to your arsenal of anti-diet arguments. How could you possibly justify removing that fat, which the Lord has clearly said belongs to Him?

Maybe my being fat is God-ordained after all. Hmm. Yea, let's go with that.

😜😜😜