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David Salley

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St. Crispin's Day [Oct. 25th, 2014|12:37 pm]

What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
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Another Redwall Recipe [Oct. 19th, 2014|06:16 pm]
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1 quart strawberries, hulled
1 cup strawberry ice cream
4 teaspoons sugar
1 cup seltzer water

Combine strawberries, ice cream and sugar in a blender
and process until smooth.  Refrigerate for one hour,
stir in seltzer and serve immediately.

My wife and I recently picked up a flat of fresh
strawberries, which we hulled and froze.  Seltzer water
is a staple in this house.  We drink it instead of pop.
Since we didn't have any unflavored to hand, I used
raspberry flavored.  Since we started with frozen 
strawberries, we didn't need to chill it.  Basically,
it's a strawberry smoothie, better a summer drink than
a winter one.

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Restaurant Review [Oct. 18th, 2014|11:35 am]

Restaurant: The Brotherhood of Saint Joseph
Type: Social Club
Location: 50 Clinton Street, Northeast PA 16428
Date: Friday, October 17, 2014
Rating: ***** out of 5!

This is supposed to be a review page for restaurants in Chautauqua County, but it's only 15 miles outside of Chautauqua County, and it got highly recommended for it's Friday Night Fish Fry so we decided to make the drive.  It's just off Route 20 and it took us about 25 minutes to get there.  They're open seven days a week, but only open in the evenings on Thursday (Wing Night) and Friday (Fish Fry).  The area is well-parked, but we got lucky and arrived just as someone right in front of the building was leaving.  There's a large white statue of St. Joseph on the front lawn.  You very much get the feeling that you're walking into a rectory.  It may have been a rectory at one time.

The dining area was spacious with half wood paneled walls, the upper half a cheery blue.  The ceiling was drop down acoustic.  It was self seating and the waitress approached us quickly with menus.  Not being members, we couldn't order alcohol so we had soft drinks which came in cans.  We both ordered the seafood platter with fish, shrimp and scallops for $15.  Perch and haddock dinners were available for a dollar less.  My wife ordered double scallops instead of shrimp. Each order comes with choice of potato and all you can eat salad bar.  I prefer potato salad with my fish fry but they had been busy that day and had run out of it, so I had to settle for baked potato.  My wife chose baked sweet potato.  Later in the evening, we heard a waitress tell a patron they were out of fish.  Considering how full the restaurant was and how well parked outside, I'm not surprised.

Everything in the salad bar was homemade by the brotherhood members.  The only other salad bar I've ever seen that was larger than this one was the former Ponderosa back in Buffalo.  This one was easily twice the size of the Pizza Hut one in Fredonia/Dunkirk.  It included macaroni and coleslaw to go with your fish dinner.  Also your choice of bread or rolls.  The soup of the day, included in the salad bar, was chicken wing soup.  I liked it, my wife didn't care for it.  The trick is to get a
half scoop from the bottom to get the chicken pieces and a half scoop from the top to get the hot sauce.   You can order the salad bar as a meal in itself, or $2 cheaper if you order a sandwich as well.

The dinner when it arrived, was hot, huge and delicious.  I got three large pieces of fish, the largest of which was larger than most single pieces of fish I've gotten as complete fish dinners.  It took me over an hour to eat it all.  It came with plenty of condiments.  We got tartar sauce for the fish, cocktail sauce for the shrimp, butter and sour cream for the baked potato and my wife got honey butter for her sweet potato.

Desserts were also homemade, of course.  We had a choice of banana creme pie, coconut creme pie and triple berry pie all made by Millie.  I asked if that was Aunt Millie, the bakery down on Route 20 and was told that they have their own Millie. :)    We shared a triple berry pie slice.

The meal was wonderful, we enjoyed it and I would recommend it hightly. A few minor details that made it just just shy of perfect.  I don't know if they have a parking lot.  We lucked out and got there just as someone was leaving.  Considering the number of cars on the street and the number of people inside, parking may be a problem.  The place was packed.  They could have used a few more waitresses.  The service may be a tad quicker if it's less crowded, but it still wasn't anything to complain about.  I'm seriously considering membership, just so I can have beer with my meals. Considering there's an actual bar in the next room, I don't see why we get served soft drinks with a can and a glass.  In my mind, the perfect fish dinner comes with a scoop of potato salad, a scoop of macaroni salad and a scoop of coleslaw.  They had run out of potato salad.  I suppose we should be glad we ordered before they ran out of fish.  There was unlimited macaroni salad and coleslaw as part of the salad bar, so that compensated for no potato salad.  The only soup was the chicken wing soup.  I'm accustomed to having clam chowder with my fish.  Three soups, chicken wing, new england clam and manhatten clam at the salad bar would have been perfect!
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More Book Reviews [Oct. 14th, 2014|01:16 pm]
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40.) Fudge Cupcake Murder by Jo Anne Fluke (murder mystery)
Number 5 in the series.  The Sheriff's office is up for grabs in the town election.  It's a hot race between Sheriff Grant and his deputy Bill, until Grant is found dead with one of Hannah's fudge cupcakes in his hand.  And it looks like the primary suspect is deputy Bill, Hannah's brother in law.  But the deeper Hannah digs into the mystery the more she finds that Grant wasn't quite the straight and narrow everyone thought he was.  But who'd kill him over it?

41.) Sugar Cookie Murder by Jo Anne Fluke (murder mystery)
Number 6 in the series. It's Christmas in Lake Eden and everyone is celebrating at the Community Center.  Then a recently divorced man shows up with his new trophy wife.  Hannah's mother's favorite antique cake knife goes missing and is later found in the trophy wife's back.  Naturally, a storm traps everyone at the Community Center and all suspicion is directed towards the man's ex-wife. Can Hannah find the real killer, before the storm abates and everyone leaves?

I enjoy reading the series.  I intend to read them all.  Be warned, book #6 is actuall three novellas all written by female mystery authors, all with Sugar Cookie in the title.  They may be part of different series, I'll have to track them down.  It also has the largest recipe file to date: 81 items!

42.) ST:TNG The Devil's Heart by Carmen Carter (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
The Devil's Heart is a stone that gives it holder the abilities to see the past, the present, cure the sick, raise the dead and even reverse time.  It's been fought over by multiple civilisations in the Alpha Quadrant including Klingons, Andorians, Romulans, Vulcans, and others.  Picard realizes that the Devil's Heart is actually a seed from the Guardian of Forever and he has to get it to a wormhole to send it to another galaxy to fulfill it's mission.  But everyone wants the Devil's Heart for its powers and is willing to kill to get it.
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The Schism [Oct. 14th, 2014|12:51 pm]
The Pope: Gay People have Gifts and Qualities to Offer the Catholic Church

The Cardinal: Gay Couples should not be around Children

BTW, this is the same Cardinal that's being 'promoted' to Catholic leader of Malta.  In other words, the Pope is kicking him out of the Vatican.  The gay couple argument reminds me of the divorced couple argument of the 50's.  You can't have THOSE people around children!

Personally, I'm waiting for the Great Schism of the 21st Century.  The Catholic Church, under Pope Francis, is going to be the Roman Catholic Church which tolerates divorced people, living in sin, gay people, etc.  The American Catholic Church, under America's Pope and The Bishop of Bling, will continue to dis-allow gay marriage, women priests, etc.
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That Was The Weekend That Was [Oct. 13th, 2014|11:06 am]
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Thursday, October 9th -- I had put in for a training session which starts Monday.  I was originally told that it was approved.  Since I still hadn't heard anything about flights or room confirmations, I checked with my boss.  There was a budget shortfall and since my training was literally the last item on the budget for the fiscal year, it got postponed.  I would have started packing this weekend.  It would have been nice of them to tell me sooner.

Friday, October 10th -- Picked up three take-out fish dinners from Sheridan VFW Post and off to a friend for a SF marathon TV session.  I have to be up early weekday mornings, so I can't stay up to see late shows.  She likes the same shows, so she records them and we watch them together on weekends.  You can watch an hour TV show in 45 minutes when you fast forward thru commercials.  We've caught up on Person of Interest, Agents of SHIELD and have Intelligence down to the last five episodes. (Literally, they cancelled the series.)  While watching, I also got a chance to sit down and work on my puppets for the first time in weeks.  Two years ago, I put on a shadow puppet play out of a children's puppet book.  It was incredibly well received.  Since it was a historical technique, I decided I would do another one and now that I know what I'm doing, the puppets would be a little more period in style.  I was hoping to put on the play the following year.  After over two years, I'm nearly finished carving the puppets.  Next, I have to color them all.  I just might be ready by next year.

Saturday, October 11th -- The usual errand running, except we made a trip out to the farm to pick up a pre-ordered turkey.  Our freezer is now FULL!  And we have a half pig to pick up later this week!  We're going to have to eat up a lot of the frozen meats and veggies we brought home from mother's when we gave away the fridge!  We drove into Buffalo to visit her for the first time in three weeks.  Guilt.  It was getting late so we dropped off all the stuff we brought for her and crashed at her house.  It continues to be the Aegean stable as far as getting it ready for an estate sale.

There are times when both mother and myself compare the nursing home to prison.  I brought her TUMS on request, the fruit flavored pastel colored ones.  The nurses confiscated them as contraband drugs.  They're calcium tablets!  But, when patients complain of a tummy-ache, they get pastel colored tums.  I'm not spending money to supply the rest home. They took away her plastic water bottle because plastic carries germs. I got her a metal sports bottle.  She's had two offers on it.  I told her we can supply them for $2@  I got it at a Salvation Army store for $1.

I've said before in this blog that I seem to acquire other people's stuff.  I have somewhere between 4-5 dozen jigsaw puzzles.  The ladies at the home do them every day.  So, last time, I brought half a dozen 1,000 piece puzzles.  The pieces are too small, they needed two card tables to spread all the pieces out and it took them four days just to do one puzzle.  They don't like them.  I didn't realize being in a nursing home left them so little time on their hands.  This trip, I brought 500 piece puzzles and took the old ones back. We'll see.

I brought my mother personal supplies. Women supplies.  I thought the women in the lobby were going to grab them out of my hands.  I'm convinced that if I lose my job, I could make a living running errands for nursing home residents; pizza deliveries, booze runs, contraband vitamins, etc.  The nurses are overworked just giving them the basics.  They only get extras from family, some of whom never come.  My mother's brother can't be bothered to water the plants in her house because being there without her makes him uncomfortable.  He won't pick up the mail because he says the mail should have stopped by now.  The box was crammed full on Saturday.  He can't be bothered to visit her on Easter or her birthday.  But when the home hired a professional entertainer to put on a free show, guess who was in the front row?

Sunday, October 12th -- Blacksmith Sunday!  Whoo!  The class has started on decorative napkin rings for their ladies for Christmas.  I watched the technique for when I start making stuff to sell, but my wife and I already have at least three sets for our SCA feast gear, so I continued working on a set of hinges I promised for an SCA friend who's making a Viking chest. One of the senior blacksmiths volunteered to assist because I had a more interesting project. He made a number of suggestions, some of which I couldn't use because I was trying to copy a historical set.  He told me not to apologize, go with what the client wants.  One set of tongue and tabs came out nearly perfect and won't require much filing to get them perfect. The other set, not so much, they'll need a little more work.  It seems one of our newer members works for a door company.  He's an expert on hinges.  Talk about great advice!  I got a lot done on them today.  I also got a little extra done for my swag bag.  As an SCA bard, I feel that I should have small gifts for aspiring bards.  Handmade is always better than storebought. To that end, I've been producing spoon rings and pendants to give away.  I've also been trading for pieces at the blacksmith swap.

After blacksmithing, we sprung my mother from the joint (Her words, I told you we refer to it as prison) and took her shopping.  The original plan was shopping trip, back to her house for corn on the cob since she didn't have any all summer and then out to dinner.  She cancelled dinner at the home, but neglected to mention to us that she wanted to be back by 7:30 for her pills.  She took so long shopping that by the time we finished the corn on the cob, there was only enough time for drive thru take out.  She said she appreciated having a day away from the place anyway.

The stray cats around the home continue to survive. There's apparently been another litter.  They have a cardboard box shelter, kibble, water and playtoys.  One nurse was catching them, paying to have them neutered and releasing them, but she was running out of funds faster than they could re-produce.  I'm going to have to look into a catch, neuter and release program for the home.

Monday, October 13th -- What?  You thought I had the day off???  I work for the Seneca Nation, remember? 
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Another Redwall Recipe [Oct. 8th, 2014|08:25 pm]
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Savoury Squirrel Bakes

1 lb potatoes, boiled and mashed
4 oz grated Cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375*.  In a bowl, beat the potatoes with the cheese, butter, chives, salt and pepper until smooth.  If the dough is too loose to handle, stir in flour to make a firm dough. Turn the dough onto a floured board and form it into a 2-inch thick log.  Cut the log into 1-inch slices and shape the slices into balls.  Set up a bowl with the egg and another bowl with the breadcrumbs.  Coat each ball of dough in egg, then breadcrumbs, then place it on a baking sheet.  Bake until browned, about 20 minutes (alternately, fry the cakes over medium heat in 1/2 inch of vegetable oil until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.)

We decided rolliing out a log was too much effort, so we just scooped teaspoons of dough and rolled them into balls.  We didn't have breadcrumbs, so we used quick oats instead.   We skipped the salt and pepper in process and used it on the finished product.  Tasty, but basically just mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese and chives.  This is way too much effort for a feast dish, but it might be fun to make with small children.
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Fantasy Novel recipe [Oct. 7th, 2014|10:03 am]
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The Tales of Redwall by Brian Jacques is your standard sword and sorcery fantasy series, except that the characters are all mice and squirrels and rabbits. Brian wrote "The Redwall Cookbook" listing how to make the dishes he mentions in his stories. It's basically a vegetarian's cookbook for children. I've decided that I'm going to reproduce every recipe in the book! Here's what we had for dinner last night.

Bellringer's Reward (Roast Roots and Baked Spunds)

Roast Roots
1/2 medium rutabaga, cut to 1x2" pieces
3 medium parsnips, coined
5 medium carrots, coined
2 turnips, cut to 1x2" pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375*  Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it well.  The original recipe called for a small rutabaga, 4 parsnips and 4 carrots.
My carrot bunch had 5, so I used them all.  Farm to Table gave me two turnips, so they got added and I cut back on parsnips and rutabaga to end
up with roughly the same volume.

Add the vegetables to the boiling water and cook for three minutes and drain. Spray baking sheet with oil spray.  Spread veggies across pan and drizzle with
vegetable oil.  I used olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake until golden, about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.  

Hot, cheap, filling and quasi-medieval, this would make a wonderful feast side-dish.

Baked Spuds
4 large potatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400*  Prick the potatoes all over with a fork.  Place them in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt, shake
pan to coat the potatoes.  Bake for 90 minutes.

Done only for the sake of completion.  It's a baked potato.  I halved the recipe and used aluminum corn cob holders for the roasting pans.  Perfect
fit.  The olive oil and salt made the skin crispy.  Serve with lots of butter.
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That Was The Weekend That Was [Oct. 6th, 2014|02:59 pm]
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Friday, October 3rd
It was so hot in the office, I had to have the fan on.  In October?  After work, we went out for a fish fry to Sheridan VFW Post.  Their fish and shrimp platter is huge.  SNI had a rabies clinic earlier this week.  It was run by folks I work with.  We brought in Gandalf for her shots, apparently not everybody can catch a LoTR reference. :)

Saturday, October 4th
The usual morning errands, including stopping at virtually every farmer's market and produce stand in Fredonia, Dunkirk and Sheridan.  I can't believe some people expect they can get $20 for a pumpkin.  The Hollow in Sheridan opened up today, no hay rides yet, but I picked
up a 'defective' pumpkin twice the size of my head for $.50  Mmmmm, pumpkin pie.  With a pantry, fridge and freezer now full of fall produce, I went skimming through the Redwall Cookbook for inspiration.  I like the cookbook so much, that I want to reproduce EVERY recipe in the book!  Sort of a Julie & Julia thing, except the file dates prove I started first! :)

Sunday, October 5th
UU Services with choir and potluck.  Being organized little beasties, we made our potluck dishes last night.  Since Karen doesn't like green beans and we had a small stockpile from Farm to Table, I made a four-bean salad.  Karen made a Vegetarian Chili.  The potluck,
being UU, was almost entirely vegetarian.  Thinking back, with the exception of fish fries, I haven't had meat in must be nearly two weeks.  Multiple lines of the Honey Dew list got crossed off.  It gives me a feeling of accomplishment when I can cross an item off. Friday was so hot, I needed a fan.  This evening was so cold, we needed to unpack the winter quilts.

There was a comic-con this weekend in Buffalo, being run by an old friend of mine Emil Novak. He even got his picture in the paper.  I would like to have gone to see it.  There was an article in the paper about it.  They interviewed a former comic collector turned new dealer. It seems he had 15,000 comics in his basement and had to quit when his weekly purchases exceeded $50 a week.  Good thing *I* don't know anybody like that.  Nope, no one like that around here! :)
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I've created another new word. [Oct. 4th, 2014|09:42 pm]

*Sigh!*   I need to create a new word again.  "Homomisoist", from the Greek for "man" and "hate"; one who *hates* homosexuals.  My mother is a homophobe, from the Greek for "man" and "fear".  For her 80+ years, she was brought up in the Roman Catholic church which teaches that homosexuality is a sin against God.  If she saw two men kissing, she would leave.  Not out of disgust, but out of discomfort.  It goes against everything she was taught to believe for over 80 years. She doesn't hate homosexuals, she's just uncomfortable because she's been taught to be uncomfortable around them.

Like these people, perhaps?
I don't consider this a victory.  These people have lost their business, they're facing $150K in fines, which means their effectively bankrupt. I can't picture them thinking "Oh, I was so wrong to be uncomfortable around gays because of what my religion taught me.  I'll never be uncomfortable around gays again!"  More likely, they're going to be unable to think of gays
without thinking of the adjective G_ddamn in front of it.  We haven't converted them to our cause, we've made them an enemy.  They're now homomisoists.

I understand that the gay couple had their rights violated.  I understand that we need to learn to treat gays (and pagans and transexuals and blacks and ...) as equals because we are all human beings.  I just can't help wondering if this was the right way to go about it.  The internet is a big place, I can't help thinking that if they had advertised for gay wedding cake
bakers on the internet they would have found someone who would have done it just for the publicity.

What if I opened a 'Just Gays' bakery specializing in ONLY gay wedding cakes?  Technically, a straight couple could demand I make them a wedding cake and sue if I refused, but would they bother?  Or just go to any of a hundred other places?  What about a nice Jewish baker in a nice Jewish neighborhood who decides to stop making bread and cookies and just make specialty cakes for Barmitzvahs and Basmitzvahs?  (I admit to an ignorance of Jewish culture, if this something actually offensive like offering a rabbi a ham sandwich than I apologize, I'm just trying to come up with an analogy.)

Refusing to server a customer is not a completely black and white issue.  If you're overdue for your annual bath and you reek to high-heaven, a restaurant can refuse to seat you.  How many times have we seen "No shirt, no shoes, no service"?  A bar can refuse to serve a drunk or a cold sober known alcoholic.  A bar can refuse to serve someone wearing biker colors (Recently confirmed by a state supreme court, the rational being that bikers from different clubs could start a bar fight which would ruin his business)  It's a complex issue, I can see both sides of this particular case (I'm reminded of my mother) and I don't think there are hard and fast answers.

Thoughts?  Let's keep it civil.
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