Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricaniption Fit

Looking at grocery store shelves (and shopping carts) in the advance of Hurricane Irene, it would appear that a large lactose intolerance convention is about to take place and that the attendees are planning to binge on lactose, suffer gastrointestinal distress, and then eat bread. I.e., the shelves are cleared of milk, toilet paper, and bread.

How long do people really think they are going to be trapped in their homes? I understand the tp, but seriously, can you really not last without milk for 24-72 hours? If that’s the case, the Dairy Council has pulled off the coup of a lifetime.

Screw milk. Make sure you have games to keep the kids occupied, a flash light, gas or charcoal for the grill and some good red wine to go with the steaks that are going to start thawing out quickly if we lose power.

Oh, and my money is on a spike in births in May…

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

East Coast Earthquake?

That was a surprise. It's feeling like 1993 around here! Anybody else need a stiff drink?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Beach-Free Summer

Ok, I’m going to come clean on squandering proximity to the beach. We’ve been to the Fenwick Island area about five or six times since May and we have spent maybe three hours at the beach. It feels wrong to spend the weekend at the ocean and not spend anytime there, but I partially blame nature for keeping us away. If it’s not raining, it’s a land breeze day and the green heads are unbearable. And if that’s not the case, it’s a heat index of 115!

Oh, and then there is the realization that taking a two and four year-old to the beach is almost more trouble than it’s worth. It was one thing making the annual trip to the Outer Banks and being within a two minute walk to the beach. But packing the kids and car, lugging the crap over the dunes, setting up the umbrella, sweating through your shirt only to then be attacked by the flies – it’s a tough sell.

The last time we were at the beach (a few weeks ago) we bought the yearly pass for the Delaware State Parks thinking that it would encourage us to make short trips to the beach since we wouldn’t be worried about wasting $8 on a botched 30-minute trip to the beach. Well, as soon as I paid for the pass, carried all of our “gear” down to the beach, set up the chairs and two umbrellas – the green heads struck with a vengeance! And they always strike the same way – they start biting me first, then they bite our four year-old, and then they bite the two year-old. And when the girls get bit – they lose their freaking minds! So, within the span of 30-45 minutes, we’ve paid $50 for an annual pass and lugged four chairs, two umbrellas, numerous buckets and sand toys, and 65+ pounds of children over the dunes, down the beach, and back again. Good times.

We tried the beach again the next day. This time, we are blessed with a sea breeze and the flies are nowhere to be seen. But now, my two year-old makes it abundantly clear that the ocean is a terrifying thing (at least in her mind). She won't get within 30 feet of it, and when my wife goes for a swim, my daughter just shouts "mommy, mommy, come back. I scared, I scared." It's as if she's been watching Jaws rather than Yo Gabba Gabba and princess movies.

So maybe I'm throwing in the (beach) towel? Is taking young kids to the beach is just more trouble than it's worth? I'll try again this weekend. Here's hoping for good weather, sea breezes, and patience.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summertime Rolls

Earlier today, Tales of Two Cities did a post on summer songs.

It got me thinking. Going back to the summer of 1985 and Burn for you by INXS, I’ve always had a summer song. This year it’s more of a summer album, and it’s Nothing is Wrong by Dawes. There’s no way I can narrow it down to one song, but Time Spent in Los Angeles, Coming Back to a Man, How Far We’ve Come, and Fire Away can battle it out.

Aside from Dawes, other votes for my summer song go to:
Other past summer song hits of recent years include:
  • Moab and Sausalito -  Conor Oberst
  • Here Comes the Sun Again – M. Ward
  • Kingdom of the Animals – Iron & Wine
  • He’s Gone – The Grateful Dead
  • Shoot the Moon – Norah Jones
  • California Stars - Wilco
And of course, don't forget Summertime Rolls by Jane's Addiction...

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Mezcal Madness

    If you’ve read my blog before, you may have caught on that I love beer and smoked meats. This love has not been great for my waistline. So, earlier this year, I started running and limited my drinking to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only. I did some math – my beer, wine, and cocktail calories were adding a decent chunk (pun intended) to my weekly caloric intake.

    So, I was kind of shocked last night when I realized I hadn’t had a single drop of tequila or mezcal all summer long. The P90’s love Mexican food, but we rarely have it on the weekend, opting instead for “fancier” fare. As a result, I haven’t had the occasion to mix up margaritas, palomas, or agavonis.

    But the weather last night was amazing. The deck was calling. And it was too nice of an evening not to sit outside and enjoy a cocktail.

    So I made an agavoni. But I used mezcal in place of the tequila. It was delicious. A little rough around the edges (isn’t mezcal always?), but delicious.  So I broke my no drinking during the week rule. It’s cool. The weather is lovely tonight and I went for a run. It will all equal out in the end…

    Here’s the recipe
    • 2 oz. Mezcal
    • 1 oz. Campari
    • 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
    • A few dashes of Orange Bitters
    • Twist of Grapefruit Peel
    Serve over ice.

    MMJ and Neko Case Duets

    Tomorrow night, two of my favorite bands are playing together at Merriweather. And it just so happens that they comprise two of the best voices in current music – Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Neko Case.

    After we put the kids to bed last night, Mrs. P90 and I were discussing how we hoped that Neko would join MMJ for at least one song. We were trying to think of what they should sing together. I thought of the version of Helpless that Neil Young and Joni Mitchell sing in the Last Waltz. I went to bed trying to think of other songs that Jim and Neko would sound great on. Here’s what I came up with. 
    1. Helpless – Neil Young and Joni Mitchell
    2. Sometimes Always – Jesus and Mary Chain and Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star)
    3. In My Hour of Darkness – Gram Parsons and Emylou Harris
    4. Sleep All Summer – Crooked Fingers
    5. Don’t Give Up – Peter Gabriel with Kate Bush
    Yes, I realize I’m going very obscure with Sleep All Summer, but I think Jim and Neko would sound amazing on it. And while Don’t Give Up would be great for them, I’m not sure it the right choice for a live show. Hmm, maybe the two of them should do a whole album together…

    On a side note, looking at the setlist from the show on Wednesday in Pittsburgh it looks like Jim and Neko did a duet of Islands in the Stream. Hopefully we can at least get a reprise of that.

    And if you’re not already planning to attend this show, I urge you to reconsider.

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    HoCo Fair - Baby Animals and Deep-fried Oreos

    On Sunday, Mrs. P90 and I took the kids to the Howard County Fair. There really is nothing like the fair to remind you of the diversity of Howard County. It’s the great equalizer. And it’s so much fun to walk the kids around, show them the animals, let them play in a vat of feed corn, and then dine on deep-fried Oreos.

    Yes, you read that correctly, Deep Fried Oreos. Oreos in their “natural” state do nothing for me. However, if you dip them in dark chocolate or deep fry them, they take on a new life. And deep fried Oreos are a treat best consumed warm and only once a year.

    If you’re a fan of Oreos and funnel cake then deep fried Oreos alone are worth the price of admission to the fair. There’s just something about the crispy exterior, the way the Oreo itself melts, and then the way the icing melts even further.

    Aside from the Oreos. You can’t go wrong looking at all of the animals, especially those in the Kids Barn. Baby pigs, baby ducks, baby cows, baby bunnies, you get the idea... And then of course, there is the giant vat of feed corn for the kids to play in. We made it into the Kids Barn just as the deluge started yesterday afternoon. 1. You haven’t heard rain until you have heard it beating down on a tin roof. LOUD! 2. Kids can spend an inordinate of time rolling around in feed corn. Who knew? My kids spent about 20 minutes playing in the corn and we found no less than nine kernels in the washer and or dryer last night after we washed their clothes.

    The fair runs through Saturday. Go. See Animals. Eat deep-fried Oreos. And figure out just who this HoCo Mystery Sheep is. hocoblogs@@@

    Mystery Sheep of Howard County

    Who is this mysterious sheep? Why the need for the disguise? I doubt we'll ever know.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    New Belgium Beers in Maryland!

    I've been doing some sleuthing over the last few days and it appears as though we should have New Belgium Beers (Fat Tire et. al.) in HoCo by the last week of August.

    As reported previously, at first we will only have 22 oz. "bombers." It's expected that kegs will follow a few weeks later, and 6-packs and 12-packs of bottles should be in our market by the new year.

    As for the exact beers we'll be seeing, I.M.Wine is expecting Fat Tire, Ranger, 1554, and a few from the Lips of Faith series. I would add Hoptober and Mothership to the list of beers to expect. I'd also guess that the Lips of Faith beers will be Super Cru, Clutch, and Kick.

    And I'll take this as my cue to hurry up and drink the bottle of Super Cru I smuggled home from Colorado...