Thursday, July 31, 2008

Batman or Bush?

My friend Kingsley sent this to me. You have to watch:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

John-Boy Edwards says, "Hush, little baby-mama, don't you cry"

I have a friend who says when men get in trouble you can trace it back to one of three things: babes, bucks, or booze. So far this story has two of the three.

The National Enquirer now reports that John-Boy Edwards has been funneling $15,000 a month to his baby-mama.

The story's made it into the monologues of late-night television and a few on line sites, but not the network newscasts or cable news channels...yet. Interesting because the UK media has picked up the story and are now questioning why it's being under-reported here.

Look who I met

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Steve Fossett Dead or Alive?

News reports say some of the investigators who searched for Steve Fossett and his missing plane believe he faked his death.

Fossett's disappearance [nearly one year ago] sparked the biggest search in American history, with the Civil Air Patrol's Black Hawks, fitted with infra-red technology, joined by over 30 private planes and internet experts scanning the Nevada desert looking for clues.

Lloyds of London is apparently facing a $52 million claim on Fossett's death and hired Robert Davis to investigate. After 8 months, Davis says,
I discovered that there is absolutely no proof that Steve Fossett is actually dead. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I'm a man who deals in facts, and I don't really care if he is alive or dead, it make no difference to me.

Neither Fossett's body or plane were ever found. Hmmmmmmmmmm....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Your love is better than ice cream

Glenda, Vicki, and I were honored to host a wedding shower for sweet Melissa and Quain. Here are some photos from the ice cream social!

We recruited John, David, John, Sam, Quain, and Butch to serve.

Special thanks to Mary B. for making the incredible Ice Cream Wedding Parlor chalk board drawing!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Next Food Network Star Finale Recap: The Anointing of Aaron

After last week's debacle when the judges gave an obvious pass to Aaron for making lousy food and giving a lousy presentation...we can only assume that he's the most likely to win this year's title. Well, that's my assumption. We'll see if I'm right.

After a weak explanation of why the judges let all three contestants stay last week, we get an "at home" look at each of the them. Frankly, I don't think any of the three are particularly likeable.

Each contestant gets to work with Producer Gordon Elliott to define and tape a 4-1/2 minute pilot episode of their would-be show. I met Gordon Elliott a couple of times. He's a great guy. Very funny. We had hamburgers in the loop area of St. Louis.

Posh Dallas pitches three shows in three different shadow boxes. Sort of video in a bento. It was all very overwhelming--sort of like Posh herself. Gordon focuses Posh into her `Beautiful Basics' box and tells her he doesn't want her to come off as a smarty pants. He correctly says she needs to be accessible.

Next, heir-apparent Aaron. Quickly Gordon renames Aaron's show "Big Daddy's Kitchen." I actually don't know what makes Aaron Big Daddy all of a sudden, but Aaron is confident.

Adam comes out, presents a complicated idea, and isn't funny. Gordon redefines the idea and makes Adam believe it was his.

Posh is up first and is working in Rachael Ray Ray's kitchen. First try, she runs out of time making her fish with some sort of egg custard sauce. Second try, she's back to her frenetic, squinty-eyed, freaky self. Gordon tells her she needs to be more likeable. Third try, Posh is still frantic but a little more personable.

Unfunny Adam is next. He thinks he has his own set, but again it's Rachael Ray Ray's. Adam's whole show is based on internet feedback, but the woman on the internet providing the feedback makes him nervous. He makes that culinary delight: beer can chicken. Whoa. Now there's a creative idea.

Aaron, not known for his on camera presence, looks "like a deer in the headlights" notes Gordon Elliott. Big Daddy has a problem following Gordon's direction. After about four million takes we see a salvageable segment. No telling how much tape was shot to get a :15 piece of tape we can watch. If he really gets his own show, I'm glad I won't be producing it. Oh yeah, Big Daddy made a rib eye and some plantains.

Now we have the competition live on tape. Bobby Flay in a bad looking tie/shirt/jacket/pants combo intros the contestants. I love Posh's yellow dress and necklace. The Tusch and Susie Jolie Fogelson are ready to judge. I didn't realize it, but we're going to watch the edited pilots. This is unfair. Believe me--a good editor could even make me look good on tape.

The kicked-off contestants come out. Oh, look there's Kelsey and Shane sitting next to each other. I sure hope they're dating. They're just so cute together.

Posh gets squinty as her pilot comes up. Posh's son is sooooooo cute. Posh does a good job cooking and telling us stories. Unfortunately, she still comes off as a little bit of a "smarty pants" when she tells us "if i could master this at 13 you can too." The Tusch and Susie Jolie give her props for her culinary knowledge. Of course, if you watch The Food Network, you know culinary knowledge isn't necessary to have your own show. (eg. Semi-Homemade's Sandra Lee, the unwatchable Guy Fee-Aid-ee, The Deen Boys, Robin Miller, etc.)

Adam's show is: Hungry in Philadelphia. Sounds like a local cable access tv show to me. Adam does a good job interacting with McCall on the internet. I like that name, "McCall." He calls his beer can chicken...faux-b-cue. Nope, not for me. I'm not doing any food with Faux in it. Too much like Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee for me. The studio audience laughs at unfunny jokes. I'm thinking maybe their chuckles were augmented with some canned laughter. I kind of hope so, because he was not funny. The Tusch is overjoyed and blown away by Adam's pilot. Susie Jolie "learned so much." Like what Susie? Rub your chicken with paprika and salt? Sautee some fresh green beans? This is not ground-breaking stuff. It makes me worry about Susie Jolie's judging chops.

Aaron is left to last. Presumably because Gordon and crew have done a masterful job editing the four million takes down to 4 minutes of watchable video. Aaron is nervous so his voice gets high and squeaky. I guess to make him seem down home, he keeps calling the steak "this thing." Oh, Big Daddy! You kill me. A cutaway of Aaron watching his video shows he's really liking this Big Daddy thing, too. Aaron just gets a big kick out of himself. The Tusch loves Aaron, Big Daddy. Aaron created a world that Susie Jolie wants to be a part of.

The Tusch, Susie Jolie, and Bobby Flay are going to deliberate for awhile on how they can crown Aaron winner, even though he's consistently been one of the worst contestants on camera. Personally, I'd rather just read Big Daddy's recipes on line. For one thing, he'd have to remove at least one of his earrings before I'd watch his show. Secondly, I'd never watch any show called "Big Daddy's Kitchen." Nope. I've only had one daddy and Aaron's not him. Third, BD has a thlight lithp which driveth me nuth.

The Tusch ends the deliberation by saying, "The questions is who can start working on a show tomorrow." Well, that's not Aaron. The Food Network top dog comes out and tells us the new show is going to come on the air in "exactly one week." Wow! That will be different. In past years, it's taken months to see the winner on a show and they've been really short-lived.

Well, no surprise. Aaron wins. Who predicted and when? See this post: The Next Food Network Star Recap: What A Ripoff So here's my advice: No need to watch next week. Give Aaron the title now. Even though he's stiff on camera, can't present a recipe to save his life, is horrible in front of a live audience......he'll be The Next Food Network Star.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Update on John-Boy Edwards' alleged clandestine meeting with baby-mama and love child

--FOX News has confirmed with a Beverly Hilton security guard that reporters from The National Enquirer confronted John-Boy on his alleged rendezvous with Rielle Hunter. The son of a mill worker hid from reporters in a basement bathroom while reporters yelled out questions to him.

--The LA Times has banned its bloggers from blogging about the incident. No really. So much for freedom of speech.

--And, in an interesting twist, two National Enquirer reporters have filed a criminal complaint against the BH Hilton for acting unlawfully while they tried to question John-Boy.

Still waiting for some coverage from CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC

Warning: Satire

July 25, 2008 (From the UK Times Online)

He ventured forth to bring light to the world

The anointed one's pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a miracle in action - and a blessing to all his faithful followers

by Gerard Baker

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”

In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.

He travelled fleet of foot and light of camel, with a small retinue that consisted only of his loyal disciples from the tribe of the Media. He ventured first to the land of the Hindu Kush, where the

Taleban had harboured the viper of al-Qaeda in their bosom, raining terror on all the world.

And the Child spake and the tribes of Nato immediately loosed the Caveats that had previously bound them. And in the great battle that ensued the forces of the light were triumphant. For as long as the Child stood with his arms raised aloft, the enemy suffered great blows and the threat of terror was no more.

From there he went forth to Mesopotamia where he was received by the great ruler al-Maliki, and al-Maliki spake unto him and blessed his Sixteen Month Troop Withdrawal Plan even as the imperial warrior Petraeus tried to destroy it.

And lo, in Mesopotamia, a miracle occurred. Even though the Great Surge of Armour that the evil Bush had ordered had been a terrible mistake, a waste of vital military resources and doomed to end in disaster, the Child's very presence suddenly brought forth a great victory for the forces of the light.

And the Persians, who saw all this and were greatly fearful, longed to speak with the Child and saw that the Child was the bringer of peace. At the mention of his name they quickly laid aside their intrigues and beat their uranium swords into civil nuclear energy ploughshares.

From there the Child went up to the city of Jerusalem, and entered through the gate seated on an ass. The crowds of network anchors who had followed him from afar cheered “Hosanna” and waved great palm fronds and strewed them at his feet.

In Jerusalem and in surrounding Palestine, the Child spake to the Hebrews and the Arabs, as the Scripture had foretold. And in an instant, the lion lay down with the lamb, and the Israelites and Ishmaelites ended their long enmity and lived for ever after in peace.

As word spread throughout the land about the Child's wondrous works, peoples from all over flocked to hear him; Hittites and Abbasids; Obamacons and McCainiacs; Cameroonians and Blairites.

And they told of strange and wondrous things that greeted the news of the Child's journey. Around the world, global temperatures began to decline, and the ocean levels fell and the great warming was over.

The Great Prophet Algore of Nobel and Oscar, who many had believed was the anointed one, smiled and told his followers that the Child was the one generations had been waiting for.

And there were other wonderful signs. In the city of the Street at the Wall, spreads on interbank interest rates dropped like manna from Heaven and rates on credit default swaps fell to the ground as dead birds from the almond tree, and the people who had lived in foreclosure were able to borrow again.

Black gold gushed from the ground at prices well below $140 per barrel. In hospitals across the land the sick were cured even though they were uninsured. And all because the Child had pronounced it.

And this is the testimony of one who speaks the truth and bears witness to the truth so that you might believe. And he knows it is the truth for he saw it all on CNN and the BBC and in the pages of The New York Times.

Then the Child ventured forth from Israel and Palestine and stepped onto the shores of the Old Continent. In the land of Queen Angela of Merkel, vast multitudes gathered to hear his voice, and he preached to them at length.

But when he had finished speaking his disciples told him the crowd was hungry, for they had had nothing to eat all the hours they had waited for him.

And so the Child told his disciples to fetch some food but all they had was five loaves and a couple of frankfurters. So he took the bread and the frankfurters and blessed them and told his disciples to feed the multitudes. And when all had eaten their fill, the scraps filled twelve baskets.

Thence he travelled west to Mount Sarkozy. Even the beauteous Princess Carla of the tribe of the Bruni was struck by awe and she was great in love with the Child, but he was tempted not.

On the Seventh Day he walked across the Channel of the Angles to the ancient land of the hooligans. There he was welcomed with open arms by the once great prophet Blair and his successor, Gordon the Leper, and his successor, David the Golden One.

And suddenly, with the men appeared the archangel Gabriel and the whole host of the heavenly choir, ranks of cherubim and seraphim, all praising God and singing: “Yes, We Can.”

Thursday, July 24, 2008

John-Boy Edwards busted at Beverly Hills Hilton....Inquiring minds want the whole story

Last October The National Enquirer reported that presidential candidate John Edwards was having an affair with an independent film producer who had worked on his campaign. In December, The Enquirer reported that John Edwards, who likes to refer to himself as the son of a mill worker, had fathered a love child with the woman. In response, Edwards said, "The story is false. It's completely untrue, ridiculous." Of course, at the time of the denial John Boy was still running for president while his erstwhile wife, suffering from a recurrence of breast cancer, soldiered along beside him.

Now The National Enquirer says at least seven of their reporters witnessed Edwards visiting his alleged mistress and child at the Beverly Hilton Monday night.

At 9:45 p.m. (PST) Monday, Edwards appeared at the hotel, and was dropped off at a side entrance. NATIONAL ENQUIRER reporter Alan Butterfield witnessed the ex-senator get out of a BMW driven by a male companion and stroll into the hotel.

Said Butterfield: "Edwards was not carrying anything. He walked in alone. He was wearing a blue dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He was looking around nervously before he entered the hotel.

"Once inside, he interestingly bypassed the lobby and ducked down a side stairs to go to the bottom floor to catch the elevator up - rather than taking the elevator in the main lobby. He went out of his way not to be seen."

Meanwhile, Rielle had reserved rooms 246 and 252 under the name of the friend who had accompanied her from Santa Barbara, Bob McGovern. Rielle was in one room and McGovern was in another with her baby. This allowed her and Edwards to spend time alone, a source revealed.

Edwards went out of the hotel briefly with Rielle, they were observed by the NATIONAL ENQUIRER and then went back to her room, where he stayed until attempting to sneak out of the hotel unseen at 2:40 a.m. (PST). But when he emerged alone from an elevator into the hotel basement he was greeted by several reporters from the NATIONAL ENQUIRER.

Senior NATIONAL ENQUIRER Reporter Alexander Hitchen asked Edwards why he was visiting Rielle and whether he was ready to confirm that he was the father of her baby.

Shocked to see a reporter, and without saying anything, Edwards ran up the stairs leading from the hotel basement to the lobby. But, spotting a photographer, he doubled back into the basement. As he emerged from the stairwell, reporter Butterfield questioned him about his hookup with Rielle.

Edwards did not answer and then ran into a nearby restroom. He stayed inside for about 15 minutes, refusing to answer questions from the NATIONAL ENQUIRER about what he was doing in the hotel. A group of hotel security men eventually escorted him from the men's room, while preventing the NATIONAL ENQUIRER reporters from following him out of the hotel.

So, today is Thursday. Have you seen this story on any network newscast? Any newspaper? Me either.

Back in February, nearly every news outlet from The New York Times to MSNBC to Newsweek were reporting allegations that John McCain may have had an "improper" relationship with a lobbyist. The sole on-the-record source for The New York Times was a disgruntled former McCain staffer. No proof. No video. No seven reporters catching him in the act. Nothing.

A bit of disclosure...I've always believed John Edwards is a great big phony. I kind of think John Edwards is sincere when he says we should do something to help the poor in the second of his Two Americas. But John Boy is mega rich. Mega. Mega. Mega. To the tune of forty million dollars net worth. He built a house for his family of four (oldest daughter Kate is already living on her own) that is 28,000 square feet. Not 2800, 28,000! The new pad features an indoor recreation building that contains a basketball court, a squash court, two stages, a bedroom, kitchen, bathrooms, swimming pool, a four-story tower, and a room designated “John’s Lounge.”

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Believe me, if I had his forty million dollars, I'd build me a big house too. What I wouldn't do is run around The Two Americas and tell a bunch of hard working people that I was going to raise their taxes so he could use their money to help the poor folks.

Bob Shrum, former campaign manager for John Kerry tells this cringe-worthy story about Edwards in his book about the campaign:

...Mr. Kerry had qualms about choosing Mr. Edwards to be his presidential running mate in 2004, but grew "even queasier" after Mr. Edwards said he was going to share a story with Mr. Kerry he had never told anyone else — that after his son, Wade, had been killed, he climbed onto the slab at the funeral home and hugged his body and promised that he would do all he could to make life better for people.
"Kerry was stunned, not moved, because, as he told me later, Edwards had recounted the exact story to him, almost in the exact same words, a year or two before — and with the same preface, that he'd never shared the memory with anyone else.

Read this excerpt from a 2004 Byron York column written from the primary campaign trail:

After his speech...Edwards escapes to his campaign bus, which he calls the Real Solutions Express. Once in the door, the smile is off and Edwards is back to business, taking off his coat, quickly sitting down, squirting a bit of liquid sanitizer on his hands, beginning to read some papers. Then he looks to his left and realizes that supporters have come outside in the cold to watch him through the bus's window. All of a sudden, BAM! — it's showtime again. The big Edwards smile and wave and hand gestures are back. For a moment it appears he might roll down the window and start talking about the two Americas. But there's a plane to catch.

Phony. I never trusted him. I never believed his schtick. I feel sorry for his wife and kids (all four of them). I even feel sorry for his baby-Mama.

And, I think the mainstream media should at least cover it in passing. Give John Boy the same treatment they gave McCain. For all we know, Barack-star is still considering Mr. $400 Haircut for the VP post or a cabinet position.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh Barack-star, you silver tongued-devil, you...

"You know, it's always a bad practice to say 'always' or 'never.'" — Barack-star in Amman today.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Next Food Network Star Recap: What A Ripoff

I've faithfully watched every single episode of this show and haven't complained. Last night's show was a complete ripoff. 60 minutes of wasted time. 60 minutes I'll never be able to retrieve to do something meaningful. Like wash out all the trash cans in the house with pine sol. I'm really angry with Tusch and Susie Jolie Fogelson--they're obviously so in the tank for Aaron that when he deserved to go home, they just changed the rules. Well, crown him the winner. Give him his own lousy FN show. Put him on the road with Rachael Ray, The Neely's and The Deen Brothers.

The show starts with each one of the contestants doing a promo for The Food Network. This is something I know about, so my critique here will actually mean something. Lisa gets the hardest concept to pull off--being hoisted up some huge wall of wine with Mission Impossible-like wires, dressed in skin tight cat suit, all the while delivering lines she's had to memorize. Even worse, she was directed by the most obnoxious person on any television network: Guy Fee-Aid--Eeee. Call me crazy, but I really think 45-year-old guys with spiked hair, sunglasses on the backs of their heads, surfer shorts, and arm bands should be banned from television.

Judges-fave Aaron got the easiest promo. Stand still at a craps table, read a teleprompter, and throw some dice at the end. Whoopee. Big challenge. Plus, he was directed by Bobby Flay, who did the whole promo for him first--showing him exactly how to deliver the lines. Another huge turn off for me was after the taping when Aaron said he is now ready to sign autographs. Right.

Adam, also stuck with Guy Fee-Aid-Eeee, had to do dance steps across a stage with show girls while he did his promo.

Now, I ask you, was that fair? Of course not.

The cooking challenge:
Each contestant got a former contestant as an assistant. Posh Lisa chose Kelsey and jumped up and down. Adam chose baby-faced Shane. (I still want Kelsey and baby face to go out on a date). That left the talent-less, walking disaster Jenn for Aaron.

The contestants all make a buffet of food, then present it to Las Vegas performers.

Posh Lisa came out singing. Her song stunk, but her voice was pretty good. Her food was apparently good, too. Even though part of her crown roast was overdone.

Adam also nailed the presentation, and the Las Vegas performers liked his food the best. [Even though Bobby Flay and the Tusch majorly dissed it by calling it just a bunch of smoked meat.]

Aaron came out and completely embarrassed himself with some really unfunny stand up. No one, I mean no one laughed. Not even a sympathy laugh. Then, on top of that, they hated his food. Three pasta dishes in three hours? Even I can do better than that. Cringe-worthy presentation + bad food = disaster.

What a sham! Obviously, Aaron should have gone home. Bad food, bad presentation. But instead of sending him home, the judges decide no one's going home. Boy, was that a peek behind the curtain or what. Oh yeah, and unlike previous years, viewers won't be voting. Nope. Our estimable team of judges will choose the winner. So here's my advice: No need to watch next week. Give Aaron the title now. Even though he's stiff on camera, can't present a recipe to save his life, is horrible in front of a live audience......he'll be The Next Food Network Star.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Best Summer Watermelon Salad

Try this slightly different take on watermelon. It's the grown-up way to eat watermelon. Looks beautiful on a white platter!

Watermelon, Mache, and Pecan Salad
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 (6oz) package mache, thoroughly washed
5 cups seeded and cubed watermelon
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
1 cup cumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Toast pecans in a single layer on a baking dish at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Cool.

Toss mache (or other baby lettuce--I used arugula) in a little vinaigrette. Place a bed of lettuce on a flat serving dish. Toss watermelon gently in more vinaigrette. Spread watermelon (artfully, of course) across mache. Sprinkle evenly with pecans and Gorgonzola cheese.

Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup pepper jelly
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil

Whisk first five ingredients together. Gradually add oil in a slow steady stream whisking until blended.

* From Southern Living Magazine, July 2008

Stick a fork in it.

That was the theme of last nigh's Ribfest III at our house. This is our big, fun summer party for our friends we know from work, hockey, book clubs, etc. I'm posting some pictures of our backyard before the Ribfest so you can see how it's transformed. This was the best year yet! We went through about 12 slabs of ribs, 9 pounds of brisket, 4 pounds of shrimp and 6 half gallons of homemade ice cream. Can't wait for Ribfest IV. Well, maybe after a little rest.

Here are some ideas that worked out well that you can steal for your own party:
--We used votive candles with people's names on them as place cards, nice way to add some light around the table
--We had a variety of barbecue sauces from famous bbq places (Gates in KC, Corky's in Memphis) so people could try them out
--Hand fans, because it was hot, hot, hot! Printed Ribfest III stickers and slapped them on the fans
--Went to the Container Store and got a bunch of carry out boxes, so people could take home any leftovers they wanted (of course they had the Ribfest III stickers, too)
--Got some dry ice chips and spread them on platters then put my salads in their serving dishes on top so they would stay nice and cold
--Best tip: Invite really fun people who love to eat and enjoy each other's company!