Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wild Drunk Monk At The Bonefish

During a weak moment some months ago I apparently signed up to receive emails from the Bonefish Grill. These emails describe the latest BFG offerings that my taste buds just can't live without, or so I am told. I ignore and delete most of them.

This past week though the email announced a new special treat, the Wild Drunken Monkfish with vegetables and rice in a spicy Asian sauce. If wild and drunken were not enticement enough, the monkfish sealed the deal. I am there!

This past Friday evening the Belle of Ballast Point and I headed over to the BFG on Henderson Boulevard so that I could indulge myself with this poor man's lobster.

We started our our dining experience with a couple of cocktails, the Black Cherry Guava Mojito for her and the Skinny Rita - Tini for me. She was in ecstasy with her mojito and the margarita in a skinny martini glass provided a pleasant pre-dinner buzz for me.

For her entrée, my dining partner chose the Snake River Rainbow Trout with a Lemon Butter Sauce. This was a light textured and tasty choice, though a bit over done to my taste. While she started with a house salad, I chose the Fresh Ceviche with chilled bay scallops, shrimp, fresh fish, avocado, peppers, citrus, cilantro and warm tortilla chips. This ceviche was swimming in a citrus, cilantro sauce that went well with my Skinny Rita - Tini.

Now for the Wild Drunken Monkfish. This dish was not particulary wild and I am not sure where the drunken part comes in to the recipe. The heavenly hint of lobster that I was expecting did not reveal itself in this monkfish. The taste and texture were missing due to the drunken monk spending way too much time on the fire. Simply put, the fish was way over-cooked. The rice was perfect and the Asian sauce was excellent, though.

To accompany our aquatic repasts, we chose a bottle of “Attitude” by Pascal Jolivet, France, a light and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc with an apple crispness.

Dinner with drinks and a 20% gratuity came to just over $136.00.

While our Bonefish experience wasn't horrible, I am still waiting for a truly outstanding seafood restaurant to come to Tampa. The BFG isn't it.

Bonefish Grill on UrbanspoonIn the meantime, for perfectly prepared seafood, it will be me back in the kitchen after a trip across the Gandy and a visit to I.C. Sharks.

Bonefish Grill on Foodio54

Monday, May 30, 2011

Paula's Buttered English Pea

Poor Paula Deen!

She really got hammered over her recipe for Buttered English Peas. Over 300 people commented, and some of the comments were hilarious.

Since I like to dabble in the kitchen I thought I would give her recipe a try, but like so many people who commented on the recipe, I made a few changes of my own. Here, then, is my version of Paula's Peas that I call:

Pasta With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
(It's the identical same thing, only different)

2 cups  cherry tomatoes -- halved
1/2 cup  olive oil
5 cloves  garlic -- minced
1 tablespoon  balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon  red pepper flakes
salt and pepper -- to taste
3 tablespoons  fresh oregano -- chopped
1/4 cup  pine nuts -- toasted
8 ounces  angel hair pasta
1/2 cup  kalamata olives -- pitted
1/4 cup  capers -- drained
4 ounces  feta cheese -- crumbled

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. 

Combine tomatoes, oil, garlic, vinegar, and crushed red pepper in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Roast until tomatoes are tender and juicy, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Stir in oregano. Let stand at room temperature.

Pour pine nuts into a pie tin and roast in the still hot oven for 5 to 7 minutes.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water according to the package directions. Drain. Return to pot. 

Add tomato mixture, olives, and capers. Stir over medium heat until heated through, about 2 minutes. 

Add feta, pine nuts, and stir until melted and creamy, about 2 minutes, then plate and serve. 

Cuisine: Mediterranean
Start to Finish Time: 1:00
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Per Serving 675 Calories; 46g Fat (61.2% calories from fat); 14g Protein; 52g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 25mg Cholesterol; 877mg Sodium.

We enjoyed this recipe for dinner the other night and it was orgasmically good.

Bon appetit, y'all!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Melissa

One of the greatest rockers of our time and a fearless lady turns 50 today.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Democracy: Just Not Here In Florida

In a democracy all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Based upon that description one might venture that we have a democratic form of government here in Florida. It is true, for the time being anyway, that we can all say whatever we want about the decisions that affect our lives.

The harsh reality is that Florida is being run as a totalitarian state. To quote from a Wikipedia article, "Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where the state, usually under the power of a single political person, faction, or class, recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible."

Two notable totalitarian leaders from the past:

And, today in Florida we have CEO Rick Scott and the Republican dominated Florida Legislature. It is not my intent to compare Scott to the monsters that were Hitler* and Stalin, but to give you an idea of what totalitarianism run-amok looks like.

Recent polls have shown that Scott's approval rating is in the toilet, which begs for an answer to a most telling question: Does Scott care?

Hell no!

Scott has stated on numerous occasions that he has not entered into a popularity contest and he doesn't give a rat's ass what the voters think. And, he has the Tea-bagger controlled Republican lackeys in the legislature to back him up.

Is Florida doomed? We are unless all eligible voters in the state get off their butts and vote in the 2012 elections. If you are not registered, then do it today. If you have family and friends that are not registered, explain to them how important their vote will be and what they stand to lose by sitting out the election. Remind them of what the 2010 elections have wrought.

How does one go about registering? Click HERE.

We may be stuck with Scott for three more years, but we can make significant changes in Tallahassee that will render him impotent. It is just a shame Florida doesn't have a recall at Scott's level like Michigan.

According to Chris Bowers of The Daily KOS, "A campaign to recall Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is underway. If 806,522 valid petition signatures are submitted to the Michigan Secretary of State before August 5, then Snyder will face a recall election in November. With an approval rate hovering around 30%, he'd be in big trouble."

Florida's Rick (with a "P") is enjoying a 29% approval rating.

*For those who look askance at the Hitler analogy, you might want to read the St. Pete Times article concerning Scott's recent propaganda party at the Villages of the Demented

From the music announcing Scott's arrival, to the banning of people and signs with dissenting opinions, to the broadcast of the event on the Internet, to the shameless busing in of school children - this whole disgusting display reminded me of the old newsreel footage of Hitler's rise to power with the Nazi flags adorning the buildings and the Hitler Youth Corps marching in the streets.

Joseph Goebbels would have given a "thumbs up" to Scott's propaganda machine. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Support Elizabeth Warren

Earlier this month, 44 Republican Senators pledged to filibuster the nomination of anyone to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unless the agency itself is significantly weakened.

Washington House Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Keith Ellison and Brad Miller have written a letter to President Obama supporting Elizabeth Warren and asking that the president appoint her to the CFPB. The authors have asked their colleagues to sign onto their letter, and that's where you come in.

Please, sign the petition asking your Representative to co-sign the Maloney/Ellison/Miller letter in support of Elizabeth Warren.

Click HERE to see the petition and to read the letter to President Obama.

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show interviews Ms. Warren in the following video. There is a 15 second commercial at the start that I couldn't get rid of. My apologies, but the Warren interview is worth the wait. You can stop the other commercial at the end of the video by clicking PAUSE.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ride, Sally, Ride

Happy 60th birthday to America's first woman in space - Sally Ride.

In honor of Sally's birthday, vintage Wilson Pickett:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sanity In Upstate New York: A Glimmer Of Hope

I can only hope that this is the start of a trend that will sweep the nation, and Florida would be a good place to start sweeping. Tallahassee is in dire need of a good housecleaning with gallons of disinfectant.

Like Republican politicians around the country, the Goobers On Parade in Tallahassee promised one thing while on the campaign trail, but are giving their voters something entirely different now that they are in power.

Jobs? What freakin' jobs?

All we have seen here in Florida is job loss. Of course, that is in addition to the major GOP objective of destroying President Obama by any means possible - even if America goes down in flames in the process. As House Weeper Boehner so eloquently put it, "...well, so be it."

The non-stop GOP attacks on Medicare, Social Security, the middle class, women's rights, education, the environment, and plain old common sense need to end.

Maybe the Hochul win is the start of something good.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What are Standard Accounting Practices?

Wouldn't you like to know.

Well, maybe you would. According to Mr. Data at the blog Still Liberal At 83, this is "a simple 100-year old method of placing earnings in one box and expenditures in another. At the end you know whether you personally or a company you work for made or lost money."

In the course of discussing how King George the Bush managed to turn a Clinton surplus into a deficit, Mr. Data said, "He simply forgot to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was an honest mistake. He put all the costs in a large box and threw the box into the Potomac River."

Click HERE to read more on Standard Accounting Practices and discover the Republican's Catch 23 through 38.

Warren Langer is a joy to read.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Russian Toast: На здоровье!

Editor's Update: Goodbye Boris, goodbye Natasha, goodbye borscht, goodbye dancing bear, and just goodbye. St. Petersburg Nights has closed due to a lease dispute. I'm sorry to see them go. 

This Russian toast sounds like - na zda-rov’-ye. A loose translation is - to our health. Why do I bring this up you ask. Well, the Belle of Ballast Point and I spent this past weekend at the Trade Winds resort on St. Pete Beach, and just up the road was a restaurant I have been looking forward to trying - the Russian themed St. Petersburg Nights.

St. Petersburg Nights bills itself as the only Russian restaurant in the Tampa Bay Area and the home of Eastern European hospitality and cuisine. That hooked me and reeled me in, so I went on-line and booked a table for two through their web site.

We arrived Saturday evening a few minutes before our scheduled seven o'clock reservation and walked into the deserted restaurant. There was no one in the lobby or at the hostess station. We walked around the corner and peered into an empty bar. I spied a server in the back of the dining area and I walked over and asked if they were open. She was in the middle of setting up what appeared to be a group dining table and didn't seem to have time for us.

Another person happened by and asked if we were there for dinner. We said that we thought we were, so we were directed to sit where we pleased. At the far end of the dining area is a small stage. In front of that, a dance floor, and around the dance floor were tables and chairs. We chose a table away from the stage.

After a bit our server arrived with menus. She gave us a few minutes to peruse the menus before taking our drink orders. There were several interesting Russian beers on the menu that I was looking forward to trying. Alas, none were available, but the one Lithuanian beer listed was available. We ordered two of those, and they turned out to be quite satisfying.

To start our meal, I ordered the Beef Tongue Salad and the Assorted Fish Platter. My bride chose the Deviled Eggs. The eggs were under-whelming, but the beef tongue salad was exceptionally good - similar to a chicken salad, but with cooked and chopped beef tongue. The fish platter consisted of a few varieties of pickled and smoked fish. One of the fish was a butter fish, and it was to die for. And yes, it did hint of butter.

For our entrées, I chose the Beef Stroganoff, and my dining partner selected the Forester Roast. The Stroganoff was probably one of the best I have ever tasted. The Forester Roast was similar to a beef pot pie with a baked crust topping, and was declared to be very good.

The Nights advertises live entertainment every Friday and Saturday with international singers, dancers, and bands, plus a Euro DJ after ten. On this Saturday we were treated to the saxophone styling of Boris (sans Natasha) and his band-in-a-box. Resplendent in his white John Travolta disco suit, Boris sang and played for everyone's dining and dancing pleasure.

St. Petersburg Nights looked as if it had seen better days, but the food was worth the trip from the hotel. I don't think I would consider driving over from Tampa, though, but the evening turned out to be a pleasant one.

St Petersburg Nights on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Happy Birthday To The Belle Of Ballast Point

Today is my Baby's birthday. I wanted to do something classy to celebrate.

That wasn't quite the 'classy' I was hoping for. I'll try again.

I love you.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 21, 2011: Judgement Day

The Belle of Ballast Point and I decided to spend a few of our remaining days on St. Pete Beach at the Trade Winds Island Grand soaking up some rays and copious amounts of rummy drinks. We figured that since we were Biblically doomed we might as well go out with a buzz on; besides, we really enjoyed our stay last year at this resort.

I have purposely scheduled this missive to appear, as if by magic, precisely at 5 o'clock this morning because a clock on the Judgement Day website indicated that the end-of-time poop would hit the end-of-time fan at precisely that hour. I am assuming eastern daylight time, though the web site was not specific on a time zone.

To my great surprise, before leaving SOG City for the beach I discovered that the Earth won't be annihilated today. That is a good thing considering that we are booked at the Trade Winds through Sunday.

On the contrary, after checking in with the resident doom-sayer of Family Radio, Harold Camping, I discovered that "the timeline of history is God's predetermined timetable for the unfolding of God's Gospel program for this world. In other words, it is the length of time between the day God created this world in 11,013 B.C. and the day he will destroy it in October 21, 2011."

Damn, but this guy is just a fountain of stuff I never suspected.

Anyway, since the world won't be de-constructed until October, I think the best we can hope for today is maybe seeing a few of our neighbors floating up to their heavenly Xanadu and the promised seventy vestal virgins. Why anyone would want an inexperienced sex partner, much less seventy of them, is a great mystery to me. But, to each his own.

Hopefully, when we get back from our little mini-vacation I will have some pictures to share with you - maybe some celestial floaters if we see some beaming up at the resort. In the meantime, I encourage you to take a gander at the Family Radio website where you will discover tremulous things.

For instance, the world was created exactly 13,024 years ago, the Bible states that before 1988 no one could know when to expect Jesus to return, finally, two and only two people are able to un-lock God's secrets for Judgement Day - Harold Camping and Jesus Christ himself. And, you thought Trump was arrogant!

Praise be to the delusional.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Il Volo - Bravisimo

The performance by Il Volo on last night's American Idol eclipsed all other performances. I was and still am blown away by these three voices soaring towards the heavens. I get goose bumples!

In the video Il Volo (Flight) performs Il Mondo, a cut from their latest CD.

Big Oil Lubed Rubio

"On Tuesday, 48 Senators, including Sen. Marco Rubio, put Big Oil before the American people and helped defeat a bill that would have ended tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies."

Click HERE to add your name to a petition to Rubio:

You should be ashamed of your vote to protect Big Oil's tax breaks at the expense of American taxpayers. You've accepted an astonishing amount of campaign money from oil companies. I urge you to stop putting oil profits and campaign contributions ahead of the American people.

Take action!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Rupture Is Coming, The Rupture Is Coming

Rupture, rapture...220, 221, whatever works! I guess it depends on which side of the current doomsday scenario you find yourself.

As most true believers already are aware, the world will come to an end this May 21, 2011 or maybe December 12, 2012. There seems to be a little confusion over when we should give away all of our worldly possessions, bend over, stick our head between our legs, and kiss our ass goodbye.

Initially, the world was supposed to end in May of 2003, but the Supreme Being-in-charge-of-Catastrophes got a hell of a good rate on an all-inclusive on the Mayan Riviera back then and totally muffed Doomsday that year. That, of course, caused a great deal of hardship on those Rapturees who gave away all their stuff. Those cases, I understand, are still being litigated.

Personally, I think 2012 stands a better chance of hosting a world annihilating disaster. If the Teabaggers, through their lips-on-the-butt Republicans, take control of this country then we are all doomed. Give away all our stuff? There won't be any stuff to give away, and we will not be transported to some mythical Xanadu in the heavens.

Let me sweeten the pot on this end-of-life-as-we-know-it possibility. Since He Who Breeds Lemmings On His Head (thanks to Andy Borowitz for that image) has dropped out of the Republican race, would anyone venture a guess as to which psychopathic CEO, be his name Scott, tosses his Teabagger lip balm into the ring?

Rick Scott, R-a prick with ears, the filthy rich pickle-headed crook that bought Florida is not going to need all four years in office to totally destroy the state. As a consequence, and due to his non-stop courtship of the right wing loonies, Scott appears poised to take Trump's place. Hair today, none tomorrow, or so they say.

My thought is that winning the Republican nomination, and holy crap, the presidency would be Scott's way of giving President Obama the mother of all fuck you's. Then there is the added bonus of doing to the country what he is doing to Florida.

Voilà, the rupture!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Secret Garden Of SOG City

The heat pump people were here all day yesterday helping us get rid of a wad of our discretionary dollars. Without AC it was cooler in the yard than in the house, so I took advantage of the time to take a few pictures, harvest some tomatoes, and kill a few of the thousands of little shit-asses that try to eat up everything I plant.

This warmer than usual spring has wreaked havoc on the vegetables. They don't know whether to flip or fly. That is to say, fruit-up or go to seed. The collards are doing great. The mustard greens crashed and burned already. The loose leaf lettuce is still perking along, as are the green onions.

Even though gardening in Central Florida is a challenge, the rewards are great when you can chow down on homegrown vegetables and save a few bucks at Publix.
The SOG City Hacienda

I have discovered the hard way that tomatoes do better in pots. The collards and borage dig the dirt.

It can be more than a little unnerving when all three feet of Stretch sneaks up behind you and stands there with his huge pecker pointed in your general direction.

Over twenty years ago I read an article that stated many Oriental cultures look askance at us and our practice of tilling the land, adding fertilizer, sowing seeds, and then when the crop is mature we mow it down, bag it up, and throw it away.

One of the first things I did when I got back from the Persian Gulf War was to kill off the lawn, shit-can the mower, and mulch both the front and back yards. My next move entailed planting flowers, vegetables, fruit trees, and colorful ornamentals. Going green was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Now, while the mowers are fuming around the neighborhood, I just kick back in the shade and toss back a couple of ice cold brewskis.

Life is good in the garden.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

End The Afghan War

"There is no doubt grassroots organizing and advocacy is helping to lay the groundwork for a path to end the war in Afghanistan. The American people are calling for an end to the war, and that begins with the President immediately announcing a significant and sizeable start to the withdrawal of all U.S. troops and military contractors by no later than this July." 
— Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Click HERE to tell President Obama: 
We need your leadership to end the war in Afghanistan.

Urge the president to announce a plan to start bringing home significant numbers of troops no later than July.


No more war!

Monday, May 16, 2011

In The News: Singing The Blues

The big front page story in today's local paper bemoaned the high cost of violating traffic laws and the impact on the populace. Hearts, it seems, are bleeding throughout the Tampa Bay area for those motorists who violate the traffic laws, get caught, and then get fined.

Actually, it is not the violation of the law part that gets people's shorts in a bundle, it's the getting caught and getting fined part. There is an unwritten tenet in Tampa that if you are too busy or important, then you can ignore the laws that cause an inconvenience in your life.

The article in the paper went on to report that with the high unemployment numbers and poor economy that a financial burden was being placed upon traffic scofflaws - those that break the law and those who ignore the fines.

Nowhere in the article was there a mention of how to avoid getting caught violating the law and how to avoid getting slapped with a costly fine.

The Oracle may be guilty of practicing law without a license again, but our legal advice would be to obey the law. I am sure this is a concept so simple that it evades the minds of many.

Our music department came across a little song that may offer some solace to those who got busted.

Happy Monday, y'all!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Reason For Football - Besides Beer

Yesterday I mentioned the name of my favorite football movie. Today I will treat you to a film clip of the greatest cheerleaders ever. Woo-woo!

My apologies to the Tampa Bay Buc-ettes. You ladies are good, but this is how it's done.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Doin' "It" In Florida

The latest buzz around the blogosphere sent out shock waves of concern amongst those Floridians still capable of ripping off a piece now and then. In other words, fornicating, in the very Biblical sense. Many in our fair state are in a state of discombobulation over the just passed Florida Statute 828.126 which states that the state no longer tolerates folks having carnal knowledge of just any passing creature.

Yes indeedy, the 2011 Clusterf**k in Tallahassee (a.k.a. the Republican dominated legislature), after many years of indecision, officially declared bestiality to be illegal. That, in itself, is not what stirred up the masses. Well, maybe the stump-broke cow breeders up yonder in the panhandle were a bit put out, but that is a whole different topic we will save for another time.

What caused the angst was the statute's wording which sounded as though copulation would be illegal no matter with what or with whom one rumpy-pumpied: "An act relating to sexual activities involving animals; creating s. 828.126, F.S.; providing definitions; prohibiting knowing sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal; [...]."

The argument proffered was, since humans are animals and sex with animals will be prohibited as of October 1st, that we Floridians better get all we can right now, because in the fall law abiding citizens will be...well, shit outta luck nookie-wise!

UPL or the unlicensed pratice of law is a felony in Florida, but damn the law, because the Oracle is here to advise you that you may be safe. From F.S. 828.02 Definitions: "In this chapter, and in every law of the state relating to or in any way affecting animals, the word “animal” shall be held to include every living dumb creature."

So, Florida, I would interpret that to mean you can do the horizontal boogie with any living creature of your choosing, just as long as it isn't a dumb one.

Yes, I know. There are those reading these words who are wondering, "Well, what about that blonde (whether it be male or female) that I picked up in the bar the other night that was dumber than a box of dildos? Hell, if'n I couldn't do a dumb one, I'd never get laid. Does that count agin me?"

Sorry Mortimer, any further legal counseling from the SOG City Oracle Legal Department is billable.

An American Political Nightmare

[Editor's note: This is an updated article]

I wrote a dandy piece the other day that I thought Blogspot had lost during their on going melt down. It seems to have been found and is posted below somewhere. It would be a waste to delete this article since it has already been published, so I am keeping it.

In the preceeding article I tried to give the 8% of delusional Americans who think that Donald Trump would be the cat's meow as president of the United States a benchmark to follow for the next 18 months. I compared The Donald to The Prick-With-Ears that bought the state of Florida.

To bring you up-to-speed: In the few short months after buying Florida, CEO Scott and his minions in the Republican dominated legislature have managed to add thousands of Floridians to the already swollen ranks of the unemployed. Scott has rejected billions of federal dollars just to tell President Obama to go fuck himself. He has ignored his own advisors on many issues that will now negatively impact Florida. Scott has been liberally applying love-cream body ointment to Teabaggers around the state and around the country while giving the finger to the folks back home - teachers, unions, state workers, the sick, the elderly, to mention a few.

My article closed with the admonishment that if the 8% wanted to see what Trump could do to America, then just keep an eye on Florida for the next 18 months. I figured watching Gov. Picklehead in action should scare the crap out of anyone who might consider Trump as president. To paraphrase myself, "A sleazy CEO does not a good leader make."

This morning I awoke to an even worse nightmare than Trump in the White House. Chief Executive Officer of the United States of America Rick Scott. Holy shit! Ultra-delusional conservative Republicans are getting moist at the thought of Scott running in 2012. Scott, so far, has said no, but as the Belle of Ballast Point said to me several months ago, "I bet that crooked bastard is thinking about running for president."

If Scott does decide to run, that should make the race to the White House very interesting. Just imagine two rich Republican shysters competing to see who can out-bid the other for the presidency.

Now to paraphrase a line from The Replacements, "That's some scary shit, Shane."

Trump For President

As a public service to America, the Oracle today will attempt to impregnate the simple minds of the 8% in our country who think that Donald Trump would make a dandy president with a basic truth. Being a past or present chief executive officer of anything does not a competent elected official make.

Take Rick Scott (please, someone, anyone), as a for-instance. This former CEO of a company that defrauded Medicare, bought the State of Florida to use as his personal homage to his perceived greatness. On the campaign trail, Scott claimed that because of his business acumen that he was more than prepared to do to Florida what he did to Medicare. By adhering to the corporate tenets of lying, cheating, stealing, and totally ignoring the voices around him, Scott appears to be well on his way to achieving his goal.

Like Scott, Trump built his empire by manipulating government agencies and misleading government officials, buying political favor, stretching (if not breaking) the law, and let's not forget, saying and doing anything that could  gain him attention - no matter how utterly false or asinine. Of course, it worked for Scott. He got elected, and now Floridians are suffering. The jobs Scott promised have yet to materialize. Florida unemployment has gone up by the thousands since he took office with many thousand more people expecting to be put out of work in the coming months.

My point in all of this is, for those Americans who think that Trump or any other business person would miraculously morph into a great leader - think again! And, keep your eyes on Scott and the once great State of Florida between now and the 2012 elections. What Scott is doing to Florida is what Trump could do to America.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Too Hot To Cook?

It wasn't really too hot to cook last night, but after a session at Pubix, where shopping is an adventure, I just didn't feel like cooking. So, last night I prepared my:

Too Hot To Cook Chicken Salad

This recipe will serve four people, takes about an hour from start to finish, and has around 380 calories per serving.

8 ounce bag of French green beans (haricot vert)
2 tablespoons of lime juice (fresh)
1 tablespoon of EVOO
1/4 cup of chopped yellow onion
1 large jalapeño pepper finely chopped (pickled, not fresh)
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
3/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
8 ounces of cooked chicken in bite size pieces*
1 cup of avocado cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium tomato, diced
1/3 cup of chopped red onion
4 ounces of crumbled goat cheese

Clip off a corner on that bag of haricot vert and nuke it for no more than three minutes. Carefully remove bag from the microwave and dump contents into cold water to stop cooking. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1 inch lengths and toss into a medium sized bowl.

Into that same bowl, mix in the lime juice, EVOO, yellow onion, jalapeño, sea salt, oregano, and cilantro. Grab yourself a cold beer and chill out for 30 minutes or so while the contents of the bowl get intimate with each other.

After a beer or two we can move on to the last step.

Gently mix in the remaining ingredients, plop on a plate, and serve.

To stretch this salad, you could serve it on a bed of mixed salad greens and top with toasted croutons.

*For the cooked chicken I recommend one of those rotisserie birds from the deli. As soon as I get the bird home I strip it of all the skin and bones, and shred it into bite sized pieces. I then divide the shredded chicken into two, more or less, equal portions. They have averaged about 10 ounces each on a food scale.

For this recipe I used one portion, and the other went into a freezer bag, and into the freezer to be used the next time I feel lazy.

Bon appetit, y'all.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

2012 GOP Presidential Debate On SNL

This is for the Belle of Ballast Point:

(Editor's note - there is a short commercial at the beginning. The video is worth the wait.)

Since "Rick Santorum" was mentioned in the video, my curiosity was piqued when Jon Stewart on the May 9th The Daily Show suggested that his viewers should Google "santorum". So I did. My, my!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Food: Lunch On Mother's Day

We have dined at the Boizao Steakhouse on probably five or more occasions, but for Mother's Day my bride was treated to a late lunch at the newest Brazilian steahouse on the block, Texas de Brazil. This churrascaria is just down the road from Boizao on Boy Scout Blvd.

Our party had reservations, but we arrived a little bit early. This afforded us the opportunity to start our Brazilian experience with the signature cocktail, the Caipirinha, made with limes and cachaca, a sugar cane derived spirit reminiscent of a North Georgia corn likker I had years ago.

Texas de Brazil has a really nifty salad bar that has a few more options than what may be found at Boizao and is included in the prix fixe price of the meal, or may be enjoyed without the option of meat service. But, you came to an all you can eat steakhouse to dine on salad? Texas de Brazil does serve chicken, pork ribs, lamb, and sausages but for me it is the beef.

Like most Brazilian steakhouses the diner is presented with a disk...green on one side, red on the other. Green indicates that your arteries have not clogged up yet, and red announces an impending heart attack...but, what a way to go! There are several different cuts of beef to choose from: top and bottom sirloin, filet mignon, prime rib, but my undisputed favorite is the picanha, a tri-tip that is simply to die for.

Texas de Brazil has a full bar and a rather extensive wine list. I was impressed by the the gaucho-waiters not badgering the diner to the point of annoyance trying to sell their higher priced wines. On this visit we chose the 120 Cab, a tasty yet moderately priced wine.

Desserts and after dinner beverages are available if you have the room.

To sum up our visit to Texas de Brazil, all I can say is this - if you have ever been to Boizao and loved it, then you will probably feel the same about T de B. The food, the prices, and the overall experience is about the same. As I mentioned earlier, the salad bar has more choices at T de B. On the down side, the dining area has a lot of hard surfaces which amplify the crowd noise to unpleasant levels.

Texas de Brazil has ample free parking in addition to valet parking.

Which of the two Brazilian steakhouses would I recommend? Flip a coin! Heads we go here, and tails we go there. And, if you have read my review of Boizao you will notice that it is almost identical to this one. I hesitated rehashing an old review, but the differences between these two steakhouses is minuscule.

Texas de Brazil on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

John Lennon wrote and recorded the song Mother. The first time I heard Barbra Streisand's rendition, it brought a tear to my eyes. It still does.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Underground Railroad

The most talented person I ever heard on the radio in the Tampa Bay area was Dave Dial, the engineer, brakeman, and conductor of the Underground Railroad on WUSF. On his show, Dave would build a musical story from all genres in the Underground Railroad library. There was continuity from one song to the next.

On any given show you could be feeling the mood of a familiar album cut when Dave would segue into something you had never heard before but it didn't matter because the known so perfectly meshed with the unknown. I miss Dave and the Underground Railroad.

I bring this up because I love to experience new stuff. Music out of the mainstream just titillates my musical senses.

My radio show went off the air back in 1968 when I joined the Army to dodge the draft. If I were spinning disks on the radio today, I might treat you to a cut by Rosalie Sorrels and back it up with a cut by Nanci Griffith about Rosalie.

Then, to wrap up this set, let's rock out with Terri Hendrix. Wind her up and watch her go.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Another American Idol Reject

Yesterday I slammed Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson of American Idol for their dismissal of music not in the American mainstream - that is to say, music not played on the formula radio stations.

And, don't get me started on today's commercial radio. I first went on the air (WSCM - Panama City Beach) back in 1960 when the station directors trusted their deejays to program their own shows.

You may not be a fan of Texas swing, but the late Don Walser is a prime example of one of the great under appreciated legends of that genre. Did you ever hear a Walser song on one of those Top 40 formula country radio stations. Me neither.

As a final note (for now), if blues be your thing, as it is mine, you need to take a listen to Florida bluesman, Brandon Strickland. Brandon lays down some awesome swamp boogey blues on his Dirt Road Melodies CD. Listening to Brandon just makes me want to grab my oyster shuckin' woman and hit the road for Sopchoppy.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Haley On American Idol

Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, two of the American Idol judges, epitomized what is wrong with the American music industry and audience last night when they criticized Haley Reinhart for choosing a little known song for her first performance of the evening. Haley chose to cover Lady Gaga's unreleased You and I.

The judge's problem with the song had nothing to do with Haley's performance; instead, they were saying that if the listener had never been to a Lady Gaga concert the song would be unfamiliar - like that is a bad thing. That kind of thinking, especially from someone in the music business, is a gross insult to all up and coming singers and songwriters of whom no one has ever heard.

To dismiss a song because you have never heard it before is just plain asinine, but is probably one of the reasons why main stream music today is such a reeking pile of audible shit. If the listener is fortunate enough to be able to detect a melody, all too often the lyrics (here I am being generous) consist of a word or a phrase just repeated over and over, ad nauseum.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of talented people in this country that no one has ever heard of, and they never will be heard of, because no one has ever heard of them or their songs before. Michael McCloud (case in point) once suggested that the next time you hear a song that you have never heard before, played by that nobody at the beach bar - just shut-the-fuck-up for a change and listen to it.

Who knows, you might be listening to a musical treasure from the next Cole Porter, Leiber and Stoller, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Lennon/McCartney, Leonard Cohen, or Bob Dylan just to mention a few great songwriters.

Instead of hammering Haley's song choice Lopez and Jackson should have praised her and educated the American public on the joys of discovering something new. The SOG City Oracle gives Haley a thumbs-up for musical choice and performance.

Tallahassee's Assault On Your Voting Rights

Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos on May 2nd made the following statement in response to United States Senator Bill Nelson’s comments on the election bill pending in the State Senate:

"Today I stood on the Senate floor and congratulated President Obama for a job well done by bringing justice to the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks. Then a few hours later, Senator Bill Nelson stoops to a new low and plays political games by comparing pending legislation to a terrorist organization that has killed thousands of people. That is unbecoming of a United States Senator and a leader in our state. That kind of fear mongering is irresponsible. Instead of playing political games, we’re focused on passing a no-new taxes balanced budget, unlike Washington, D.C.

Bill Nelson should be ashamed of himself."

I couldn't find a transcript of Nelson's statement, but he apparently made some reference to 9/11 which was so very Republican of Nelson since the GOP has been using 9/11 as their battle cry ever since...well, 9/11. 

On May 4th the Oracle received the following e-mail from Senator Bill Nelson's office:

"I wrote a column for the St. Petersburg Times; please take a minute to read it over, because it’s about an issue that should be important to everyone who believes in the principle of one-person, one-vote.

A so-called election reform bill is rapidly making its way through the Florida Legislature, which right now is in the final week of its annual lawmaking session in Tallahassee. If this bill becomes law, it would:

Significantly reduce the number of early-voting days;

Make voting harder for people who have recently changed their name or address, like, newlyweds or college students; and,

Subject voter-registration drives to stiff legal fines, even for inadvertent mistakes.

This is not a partisan issue, and I’m just one of many people and groups that strongly oppose this measure.

The Orlando Sentinel has said “it amounts to … ripping apart election laws” and “weakening democracy.”

The Tampa Tribune has said “this bill isn't fooling anybody. It's not about clean elections.”

Florida Today has called it an “assault on the most cherished of American rights.”

The Palm Beach Post has asked that we stop this “assault on all voters.”

As The St. Petersburg Times has said: “Floridians of all political stripes should not stand for it.”

But the state Legislature seems poised to pass it. One thing you could still do is e-mail Gov. Rick Scott and ask him to veto the bill if it reaches his desk."

[Editor's note: lots of luck getting the Rick with a 'P' to read it, but hope springs eternal.]


There is one other thing that you can do.

Compile a list of names starting with Haridopolis.


In 2012 the entire Florida Legislature will be up for re-election.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Deathers On FOX

This past Monday I posited on the possibility that a new group of Deathers would ooze from the bowels of the loonies on the loose in America.

Well, it appears that I was right on target. Fellow blogger Jeff Tone of The Liberal Curmudgeon today provided a couple of excellent examples from the right-wing cesspool that is FOX News (click the link below):


Frank Cerabino of The Palm Beach Post News also has an interesting take on the deathers. Click HERE to read. The post-article comments just add delusional frosting to the looney cake. There are truly some sick souls in this country.

Monday, May 2, 2011

bin Laden...FINALLY!!!?

Some eight years after George the Junior declared "Mission Accomplished" the mission has finally been accomplished - the United States of America has ended the life of the man all blame for the 9/11 terrorist attacks against this great nation.

It seems a little barbaric to celebrate the death of another human being, although if anyone deserved to die, then Osama bin Laden was a prime candidate for a speedy departure to the great, or not so great, beyond.

Rather than revel in his death I would rather celebrate this magnificent accomplishment of our Commander-in-Chief, President Barrack Hussein Obama, the brave sailors of U.S. Navy Seal Team Six, and all who supported this heroic mission.

It has taken President Obama less than three years to complete the empty, and unfulfilled Bush promise to capture or kill bin Laden - a promise that was tossed aside in order to pursue a vanity war that had nothing to do with bin Laden.

So, I say "Congratulations to President Obama and Navy Seal Team Six."

Finally, it is over!*

Or is it? Did anyone hear the fat lady sing? Maybe it is just me, but I can almost hear the Conspiracy Theory Choir gearing up at this very minute as they prepare to present the Oratorio of the Deathers.

To bring you up to speed, there is already a group called the Deathers who think Obama wants to kill old people. I can envision a new bunch of deather goo-wads rising up from the muck and demanding to see bin Laden's death certificate to prove that he was really killed, buried at sea, and not spirited away to a sun drenched beach in the Bahamas only to resurface at a future date to carry out Obama's master plan to destroy America before the Republicans get around to doing it.

The premise here will be that there exists a conspiracy within the Obama administration to again pull the wool over the eyes of an unsuspecting America to further his own socialist, terrorist, racist, communist, Muslim agenda.

"Preposterous," you say? We can only hope, but with all the loonies on the loose in America these days, who knows.

*The search for bin Laden.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Florida Legislature

The Republicans in Tallahassee are poised to stick it to us again with their odious BOHICA Bill. This travesty lumps the state budget in with growth management legislation.

A vote for the BOHICA Bill means accepting the state budget while at the same time raping Florida, or as the song goes, "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

This practice of combining bills should be outlawed and the perpetrators of this act taken out behind the Capitol and horse-whipped.