- Thick as Thieves is a horrible movie. Don’t waste your money, and even more so don’t waste your time. I thought with Antonio Banderas and Morgan Freeman, I thought for sure it would be a winner. Stinker.
- I reapplied for my concealed weapons permit in mid November. The wait time is supposed to be at most 90 days. It’s still not here.
- The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services runs the Division of Licensing here in Florida. Apparently there is a backlog in licensing for security, firearms, concealed weapons, and others.
- When I called a couple weeks ago, they explained that my license application has not even made it through data entry and is currently sitting in a pile of other applications on someone’s desk.
- That’s funny, they cashed my check (over $100) before they even entered my application in the computer.
- My pal OB just received his license in the mail and he applied in November as well. Maybe mine will be here soon.
- I am rapidly becoming a big fan of the Kel Tec product line. They produce very unique and affordable firearms. The two I have my eye set on are the PLR16 and the PF-9.
- The PF-9 is a super compact ultra thin single stacked 9 mm, 7+1 capacity. The retail price is $333 for the blue or as much as $390 for the parkerized. I haven’t shot one, but I have a co worker who owns one and I saw him fire it. I held one yesterday which I found for $250 used. I think I may be able to find one just a little more than that new.
- The PLR16 is a 223 handgun. It’s the same caliber as the AR-15 that I carry at work, however it has no stock and a very short barrel. This one starts just under $500, but if you own one you can easily get $1000 for it. They are next to impossible to find new right now and there is at minimum a 2 month waiting list for them.
- My Glock 19 is going to be a little uncomfortable to conceal because it’s so thick. The advantage is the 15 rounds plus one in the chamber that it carries. And it’s extremely durable, good for the range, and fun to shoot.
- Dinner last night was pretty good. I enjoyed a beef and potato stew with flour tortillas and cilantro. It cost about $2.50 a plate, and that included peach iced tea.
- It’s amazing how easy making beef and potato stew is. Brown 3 pounds of cubed beef and a couple of small onions. Add water and cubed potatoes and two packs of taco seasoning packs. Turn down to medium low, cover, and stew for an hour stirring occasionally, add more water if you need. When it thickens, the stew is so good. Serve with warm tortillas and peach iced tea! 🙂 Sort of a mix between store bought and homemade.
- I have twice as much left over as Marcela and I had to eat, and we shared some with mom and dad.
- I’m still waiting for information on the operations job for FPL. I have some information, but I don’t know if I will or will not get the offer. As far as I know, I have done what I can do (other than follow up which I am on top of) and now I have to wait.
- Tomorrow, I will get my paws on The Saturn Project album, Anthems for a Broken World. The music is great and I want to play it straight through.
Category Archives: FL
Well, no more Armchair QB’s for a while. This is your Monday blog. I decided to take my nieces to the zoo today, and Kelly was OK with Kourtney skipping a half day of school to go with me. McKenna and Kourtney were anticipating it for more than a week, so I hope their expectations were filled. I doubt that it all lived up to the hype. We didn’t get to see the chimps going nuts, which to me is the best part of the zoo. The dog’gone monorail now costs $3 per person. Now, nobody at all rides it (except me and the girls). Also, the zoo added a section called the Amazon and Beyond, which was great. The jaguar was in hiding, unfortunately. I was really looking forward to seeing the jag. We did get to see the tigers fed (11:00 AM they get a snack) and that was cool. But the best part of the day for the girls was playing in the play areas. Forget the animals, they love to slide, swing, climb, and run. Kourtney played in the water park area and loved getting soaked. That’s so much better than some dumb gorillas or lions. 🙂
- As of last Friday, it is Christmas season. I always consider the Christmas season starting as soon as Thanksgiving day is over.
- Marcela has already packaged and wrapped presents and put up a couple Christmas trees. Max even had a Santa hat on last night. He didn’t like it very much.
- I finished the last of the leftover Thanksgiving turkey today. I made turkey salad and in the words of cousin Eddy, “it was gooo-ooood.”
- We watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Raindeer clay-mation show two nights ago. We plan on watching Santa Claus is Coming to Town this weekend. Those are two of my favorite Christmas specials.
- My all time favorite Christmas movies are:
- It’s a Wonderful Life
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- A Christmas Story (what kid wouldn’t want a Red Rider BB Gun?)
- Home Alone
- Sean Avery of the NHL’s Dallas Stars was suspended indefinitely for calling his ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert of 24 his “sloppy seconds” because she is now dating another NHL player. Many people are crying “FREE SPEECH VIOLATION!” For those who are constitutionally challenged, this is no 1st Amendment violation.
- While I do not agree with a harsh suspension due to the lack of even-handedness across the NHL to players who have said much worse, it is the discretion of the NHL to determine what language reflects poorly on them concerning his player conduct clause in his $15.5 million 4-year contract. The Standard Player Contract he signed specifically states that his conduct reflects on the NHL on and off the rink and “must be held to the highest standard of honesty, morality, fair play, and sportsmanship, and to refrain from conduct detrimental to the best interest of the Club, the League or professional hockey.”
- My disagreement is not that the NHL does not have the right to do such, but that they are coming down hard on this idiot for insulting his Ex while they have done little more than a slap on the wrist for some players who have made racist comments, physically attacked players on the ice unprovoked, and have committed felonies off the rink. The NHL got this one wrong, but so did Avery. Maybe he will learn to keep his mouth shut.
- I got my Curve in the mail yesterday. It is set up and running smoothly. My old BlackBerry has been spotty, signal was degrading, camera stopped working, and battery was fading. I had about 5 days left on my Warranty when I called to see about a new phone. That saved me hundreds of dollars.
- Originally, I had the charcoal colored Curve, and they sent me the red Curve in the mail. I like the red one better!
- Our fantasy football league is winding down with one more regular season game followed by the two game playoffs. Right now, Mark Similey and I are the only two who have wrapped up our playoff spot. Ritz, after starting 6-1 has lost 4 of his last 5 and really needs to win his last game to make the playoffs. Jesse who also started 6-1 has lost 4 of his last 5 and needs to win this week to ensure that he makes the playoffs.
- This has been a super competitive league. 3 teams are stilly vying for 2 playoff spots in the final week. No teams had clinched until the second to last week of the season. I have never seen a league with so much parity. I have also only been in a league one other time with Trav when he did not make the playoffs. That was the year that the commish cheated and we both set the earth on fire before being kicked out of the league.
- Marcela and I purchased bicycles on Black Friday. I got a cool little mountain bike for all the mountains here in FL, and Marcela got a multi-speed hybrid.
- I have to go, Max just did something bad!
- I have been dreaming about fishing constantly lately. I actually got to go out again today into the gulf stream and slam some dolphin with a few friends from work and one of their son’s.
- We were on the water by 6:30 AM (an hour later than planned) and filled the live well with baby jack and pinfish. Allen (the kid) had fun just catching bait. That’s one of the cool things about catching your own bait with kids, they get to participate.
- We ran from Bayfront south to Pumpkin Key, then out through the cut into the ocean side, past the reefs and into open water. Immediately, we were in blue water and found weeds. They didn’t hold any fish though.
- We decided to go deeper so we headed about 10 more miles east to roughly 700 feet of water. We scanned the seas for weeds and found them finally. Trolling north, the weed patches were full of dolphin (mahi-mahi), triple tail, bait fish, and shark.
- I put out the planer and Tony put out two rigged ballyhoo and we were on fish immediately. It was like total chaos, fish flopping all over the boat, blood everywhere. We lost two nice dolphin trying to keep the school close, but overall it was successful for a bunch of rookies.
- One crazy thing happened. In the middle of the school of dolphin was what appeared to be a cobia. I threw a jig at it and boom it was on. I fought it pretty hard and it wasn’t until it got pretty close that I realized it was a reef shark. I got it close enough and Tony gaffed it. That sucker was trying to bite everyone! It was great.
- We ran north to the Pacific Light and found more weeds. By this time it was around noon so it was HOT. That is usually not a great thing for dolphin.
- Regardless, we got a hit after trolling a large patch of weed and it had two followers. We got on the other one too, and we ended up with two more decent gaffer mahi in the boat.
- After this, it was getting hot and the bite was off so we headed in to Caesar’s Creek for some snapper. We got about 12 mangrove snapper and I caught one more shark that we released.
- Overall, for a bunch of rookies (with the exception of Tony) we did pretty good. With some preparation, I know we can really mop it up next time.
- BTW, even though I am sunburned and exhausted, the shark steaks are in my fridge right now. Grilled shark will be on the menu tomorrow night. Now we will see who bites who!
Lobster is a favorite food of mine. Its sweet seafood flavor and its texture makes it the perfect food. It’s also the most fun to eat the lobster you have harvested yourself. Let’s get to the list!
#5 Lobster Bisque – This is a great way to clog your arteries. It is basically the remaining bits from a Maine Lobster other than the tail and claws, combined with various seasonings, onions, oil, butter, heavy cream, and cognac and strained with a fine filter. The texture is supposed to be velvety smooth and the flavor should be rich, creamy, with all the taste of lobster. It is excellent!
#4 Fried Lobster Tail – As a disclaimer, I must say that I have never had it prepared this way, but a friend of mine from work who is a true fisherman talks it up so much that I have to give this one mention. It seems to be a pretty simple operation. You remove the full tail from the shell, halve it, batter dip it or coat it in flour/corn meal with seasoning, and drop it in the deep fryer until the breading begins to brown. Sounds good to me! Why is it #4? Because I can tell you I don’t like Lobster Newburg as much as I would a whole tail, and the soup is good, but I would still rather have a hunk of lobster meat fried up.
#3 Lobster Ravioli – This is a delicious way to stretch your lobster meat out in order to serve more people with less meat. Though it is excellent, I have always felt like restaurants go skimpy on the meat in each ravioli, and that is my biggest complaint. Since I don’t know how to prepare it properly myself, I guess I don’t have much to complain about. I have also had it prepared with chunks in the ravioli, and I have had it more finely minced. I prefer the chunks.
#2 Steamed Main Lobster – I get a little sad when I see a lobster that has been boiled. Why? Because there is a better way. Boiling a lobster, in my opinion, actually leaches some of the flavor from the meat. This can be proved because if you taste the water after boiling, it has the flavor of lobster in it. In any case, just steam it until it is red, serve with clarified butter, and you will have a quality lobster dinner.
#1 Grilled Rock Lobster Tail – I would imagine that Maine lobster would do just as a well as rock lobster, but that isn’t the point. The point is that this is the best way to feature the best food on planet earth. Simply split the tail in half down the length of the tail, spray your hot grill with a little no stick, then throw the tail on the Q. Turn it after a minute or two, and when the meat turns opaque, it’s done. The length it takes will depend on the temperature of the grill and the size of the tail. Make sure you have some fresh lemon and clarified butter handy! You may want to brush the tails with a little lemon/butter or olive oil during the grilling process.
A couple of helpful tips for lobster preparation:
Rock Lobster can be deveined after the tail is separated from the carapace by breaking about a 5 inch section of antennae from the lobster, then break the tip off it. Insert the small end of the antennae into the vent and work it in an inch or two. Twirl the antennae and continue twisting as you pull it out. The result should be that the entire vein should come out in one long nasty black string leaving a perfectly clean lobster tail.
Clarified Butter (ghee): This will make a great difference if you like dipping your lobster in butter. Simply place a stick or two of butter in a small sauce pan on medium-high heat. The butter will begin to bubble and foam. Turn the temperature down and let the milk solids settle. Turn the temp up a little and continue simmering the butter until the milk solids begin to brown and maybe even burn. When your butter reaches perfect clarity, remove it from hear and strain it through a fine strainer lined with wet cheesecloth. This clarified butter should last in the fridge for a long time if you want to keep it on hand.
Last night, I went out to Card Sound to tool around, try to catch some snapper, and maybe even a couple sharks. I gotta say, Dave V is a maniac! It’s almost midnight, and we are in a canoe buzzing around through the mangroves with a couple of lights, life jackets, a cooler, tackle boxes and fishing poles. We stayed in the canoe for about 20 minutes. LOL I am brave, SOMETIMES, but when we almost tipped and I started thinking about losing my cell, wallet, tackle, etc, and then I would have had to swim to a shallow enough area to flip the boat back over and all the hassle that would take, I just told Dave, lets head back in and hit a couple of bridges. The fish were there, though. We had a large snook, tarpon, or cuda feeding right beside the canoe at one point. It was pretty big too. Anyway, we ended up catching a schoolmaster and mangrove snapper, waded around scoping an area out for some more lobster (I did grab a big one, but it took off) for regular season that opens in a couple days, and we had a great time. Oh yea, a large shrimp jumped in the boat, too. I will not be heading out in the middle of the night any time soon in a canoe for shark, but maybe I will give it a try during the day.
- I woke up this morning at 5:50 AM on my day off: the phone was ringing. My work was calling to find out if I wanted to come in to work. Not today!
- I was expecting the call to be from Dave to make sure I was up and ready to go for a day of lobstering. Dave called at 6:30 AM to let me know he was heading out of the plant.
- I was glad that Dave would take the time to go out there with me, since Trav ditched me to visit the family in Louisiana. 🙂
- We loaded up the car, grabbed a couple of Jolt Ultra’s and a cooler of ice, and headed to Card Sound road.
- We had a great time, but after about 2 1/2 hours in the water, we caught only 1 lobster (short) and found about 5 large lobster carcasses. We did see one stone crab, quite a few large snook, some mangrove and schoolmaster snapper, a couple shark, and even some drum. No keeper lobster though.
- A couple of guys in a nice Angler 204 with fishing rods came over to see how we were doing, and they ID’d themselves as FWC. I guess they were undercover. They couldn’t believe we were not from a boat, considering that we were quite a way from the bridge. After they saw that we had our flag, our gages, and we were in the legal side, they wished us good luck and went on their way.
- Dave is a maniac, the guy was climbing up in the mangrove roots. I kept getting tangled in the dive flag line and my legs got a little itchy from what I think were jellyfish. I will go back in a few days to do some snapper fishing and try again for some lobster (August 6 is the regular season opener).
- Due to my wheeling and dealing at work, I now have to work 4 straight to make up for my miniseason time off.
- Tonight, Dave and his family are coming over for some chicken and burgers on the Q. I think we will play the Wii too.
- I spent some good times this week watching movies and going to the mall with Marcela. I still didn’t get to see Hancock yet. Maybe Tuesday.
- The blogroll/links section of the blog have been updated. Also, I have created a “Top 5” page to make it easier to find all of my Top 5 lists.
- Tomorrow, I will unveil a new weekly feature. It will be a fun one.
- On a different note, the economy grew at 1.9% in the last quarter, oil prices are dropping faster than ever in history, and faster than they grew. But if you watch the news, you would swear we are in a recession.
- The violence against our troops is at an all time low in Iraq, but you hear absolutely nothing positive in the news. Apparently the mainstream news outlets do not report good things, especially if they reflect positively on Bush administration or the Republican party.
- I am seriously tired! I just got back from a fishing trip to Islamorada with my friend Tony on the Sea King. We caught yellowtail, mangrove snapper, lots of grunt, and got snapped off several times by mackerel and ‘cuda.
- I drank 5 of the 20 ounce bottles of water while out, but I still got overwhelmed by the heat. I actually got really sick when we got back. It was a combination of the heat and the fumes from the diesel engine on the boat.
- Marcela will be back in 2 days! I can’t wait. That makes today the 19th day of my bachelorhood.
- I have been experiencing record blog traffic for the past two weeks. I am currently the number one search on Google for the Top 5 Muscle Cars, top 5 rock guitar solos, most annoying songs, beetlejuice shrunken head, and differences ways to cook fish for dinner. I did not alter the search terms, so you can save your comments about my grammar.
- I will be working over the next couple weeks to create a fantasy football league for the LPC folks. If you think you can hang with Pastor Trav and yours truly, join up and prepare for a beating.
- I have to clean the house between today and tomorrow. Marcela is going to kill me if I don’t. 🙂 If I told you that my plan was to leave the house a wreck so that Marcela would not want to go away again, I was only kidding.
- I was worried about our little hermit crab “Obi” because I haven’t seen him since Marcela left. I dug around in his cage and has been burrowed in his sand for the last 3 weeks. He’s ok! He must not like my company as much as Marcela’s. So I took him out of the sand and he just dug back down again. Oh well.
- This weekend’s “Saturday Top 5” is going to be one of the biggest undertakings in this blog’s existence. I will see if I can pull it off without being too presumptuous. Please don’t be angry with me if it does not include something that it should. But it will be big!
- Sunday I will be working so I will try to have a guest writer take on the Talk Soup. For some reason, guest writers just can’t get it done on Sunday. I guess it’s just my dedication to bringing you excellence in blogging and being the first with the most! Right Chris?
I love fish. I like to catch them, I like to look at them, but most of all I like to eat them! If I had to choose only one protein source to eat, it would have to be fish. So here are my top 5 ways to prepare the best food source on earth. Trust me. You need to know this information.
#5. Let’s have us a fish fry! Deep fried country style, with grits, hush puppies, french fries, and cole slaw reminds me of when I was a youngin in the bradenton area. I prefer fillets of snapper, grouper, trigger fish, dolphin, sea trout, cod, catfish, and flounder, but I also dig some blue gill, speckled perch, tilapia, or even bass for a fish fry. Simply dredge the fillet in some egg then coat it with a mixture of corn meal, salt, pepper, and cayenne powder and then drop it into some hot oil. Dip it in some good tartar sauce. I like batter dipped fish well enough, but some good corn meal crusted southern style fish fry is my favorite way to fry.
#4. Grilled. This is better for you and not as heavy on the gut as #5. Be sure to have a clean grill, spray it with no stick spray, and make sure it is hot. Don’t over cook unless you like fish jerky! I like to use a little salt, pepper, dill weed, and finish with some fresh lemon juice and maybe a little pat of butter. For a richer flavor I prefer steaks of salmon, kingfish, and spanish mackerel. For a cleaner or milder flavor, I prefer steaks of tuna, cero mackerel, (my favorite) swordfish, or fillets of grouper.
#3. Ceviche. Did you know you can cook fish without heat? That’s right. Personally, I prefer my ceviche HOT HOT (as in spicy) but nice and chilled. Making ceviche is about the easiest way to prepare fish. First, you start out with fresh boneless fillets of a mild and flaky fish, preferably yellowtail, or mangrove snapper, or even grunt. Cut them in half inch chunks. Add fresh chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and finely chopped jalapeños or your favorite hot pepper. Drench it with a good layer of fresh lime juice. Add a little salt and pepper to taste and pop it back in the fridge for about an hour. You can watch the fish go from opaque to white as the acids from the lime juice cook the fish. Serve it on a bed of lettuce with some good chewy or crusty bread or crackers. Now you’re talkin! Or is it eatin?
#2 Raw baby! Sushi (nigiri or sashimi). The Japanese know how to do fish. If you are going to eat sushi, it had better be fresh (never frozen). Pull a yellowtail up out of the water, off the hook, fillet it right there, slap some wasabi and soy sauce on it, and you’re eating some of the finest cuisine in the world! I would not ask you to try something I never have. I prefer ahi tuna, white albacore, and salmon for sushi, but yellowtail or any snapper, and yellowfin or bluefin tuna are all excellent choices.
#1. Taco time. Hands down, the best way to eat fish is with a slice of avocado, some fresh salsa, jack cheese, and sour cream on a warm soft flour tortilla. I have seen recipes where the fish is deep fried, but I prefer it charred on the grill or in the pan with some chipotle, salt, and pepper. Marcela makes some excellent salsa, so I just focus on getting the fish right. Sometimes I like to grill some onions for this tasty treat, almost like fajitas. My fish of choice for tacos or fajitas is good old dolphin/mahi mahi/dorado. Man, you wanna talk about good south Florida food? This is one of the best things about living in So Fla. When I’m out fishing for dolphin, when I see a school, it looks like a bunch of gold and green tacos swimming around in the ocean! If I have my choice, you can keep your fancy little blackened fish sandwiches, or your cute little flounder with lemon butter and capers over linguini. Give me some tacos!
Disclaimer: I have not been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and all water park rides are out of the question. These top 5 rides are based on my personal experience and my opinion (which is correct).
Men In Black – Universal Studios. Marcela and I have ridden MIB at least 40 times over the past 3 years. On our first trip to the park, the rain came down hard about 2 PM and cleared out the park so we went over and over and over. It is a ride that does not get boring because it is also a video game. My personal high score is over 500,000.
The Incredible Hulk – Islands of Adventure. Awesome coaster that launches you out of the tube going up. It’s also very smooth so you don’t leave it with a headache.
Sheikra – Tampa Busch Gardens. The best part of this ride is the initial drop at 90 degrees from 200 feet in the air after being suspended for a few seconds. After that, it’s a little anti-climatic, but the start is worthy of mention. They have also now removed the flooring so your feet dangle.
Kumba – Tampa Busch Gardens. A little bumpy for a standard sit-down coaster, but it has a lot of twists and loops and packs quite a bit of g-force. You might get a headache on this one.
Soarin – Disney Epcot. This is one of the most soothing and refreshing rides of all time. You sit on a bench suspended about 25 feet in the air and it simulates motion as you watch flying scenes on an Imax screen. They also pump mist and fragrances as you fly over orchards and wild flower fields. You get the sensation of flying on a hang glider.
5. The Kraken – Sea World. This was a first class thriller of a traditional sit down coaster. It starts with a drop off to your right and has a few breaks. It is a very smooth coaster but also has quite enough in the way of loops and twists. You also get to dive through some tunnels.
4. Dueling Dragons Fire & Ice– Universal Islands of Adventure. This is the baddest coaster at the Orlando Universal Resort. It’s two completely separate inverted coasters that have totally different twists and turns. The cool part is that at two points it appears that you are going to slam into the other coaster only to miss by about 12 inches and then going into a full loop. On Ice you appear to head toward a wall only to flip away last second, but Fire is the bad boy. Lots of speed loops, twists, and plenty of hard turns. AWESOME RIDE!
3. Montu – Busch Gardens. My favorite roller coaster. This is an inverted coaster (I prefer the inverted coasters) that kicks serious tail. It is Egyptian themed and travels through the ruins of the pyramids and the Sphinx. It starts with one of the biggest drops on any coaster in FL, but since it is an inverted coaster and dives to the left at the start, you don’t even see the track that you are on during the dive. The action is totally non stop giving no time to breathe. It also has one of the longest tracks of any inverted coaster according to Busch Gardens. It dives through several tunnels as well. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this ride.
1(b). Mission: Space – Disney’s Epcot. I could not decide which ride of the top 2 was better, so I give them both their props. This ride will probably make you sick, but it is worth the possibility of a little pukage to experience this thrill. You sit in a centrifuge while facing a screen that shows you a first person view of a space launch. You have a launch button in front and a steering stick with verbal cues when to hit the buttons. As you launch, the centrifuge spins you extremely fast giving the sensation that you are blasting off. Being enclosed in such a small space with no other visual stimulus, your brain is tricked into thinking that you are moving forward very fast, not spinning. Each seat in the four passenger ship is complete with a barf bag for each person. It’s a good thing, because about half the people get off dizzy and a little queezy. It was AWESOME!
1(a). The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman 3D – Universal Islands of Adventure. The coolest tech ride of all time, Spiderman 3D combines a moving track with motion simulation and 3D! You have to don 3D glasses for this one so it can be a bit annoying for some, but it puts the action right in your face. At one point, Spiderman jumps on the hood of your vehicle and it feels like he is right there! You are on a track riding in “The Scoop” (a vehicle that allows you to get the shots of that menace Spiderman) through the streets trying to get pictures of Spiderman. As you come on his enemies doing bad things, you are attacked and launched in the air, dragged over sky scrapers, and eventually dropped hundreds of feet to the ground face first only to be saved at the last second by Spiderman. Throughout the ride as you are attacked, Spiderman is shooting in and out of each scene with timely rescues from the attacks of the villains. You get the sensations of flying, falling, being sprayed by a little water, heat from fire as you are attacked, and crashing into all sorts of things. This is another ride that does not get old. It also mixes live pyrotechnics, water, and 3D cartoon with cool music. As you wait in line for an hour to get on the ride, you get to see all sorts of Spiderman stuff and views from the inside of the Daily Bugle where Peter Parker works. Too fun man! Buy the express pass or ride single rider to avoid the long wait.