Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Burl Ives Christmas Tunes Spark Twitter War

It's Christmas Eve but the Christmas spirit has turned to rancor in the Twittersphere, fueled by a long-standing feud between the warring factions of two Burl-interest organizations. The president of the anti-Burl group Burl Ives My Ass Coalition, or BIMAC, fired off the first shot, tweeting his disgruntlement with the fact that Burl was figuring heavily in the rotation on a local radio station's  Christmas playlist. The spokesperson for the pro-Burl fan club, Burl's Legacy is Treasured, Honored and Enduring (BLITHE), wasted no time in firing back and within seconds @LuvmesumBurrl and @Burlsuxx4evr were throwing down in an all-out battle of the Tweets.

Below is an excerpt:


What dbag at 101. 5 KRUD has been playn Burl Ives day& nite? Makin me sick. #NightmareBeforeXmas     


Hey   Dont be hatin. Its xmas eve 4 chrissakes. Have a HOLLY JOLLY Christmas.  


 Go f**kinhollyjolly yourself. Listenin to Burl makes me hurl. 


Too bad. Every1 luvs Burl but u.   


 Ha. U crazy if u think any1 but Blithe pansies want2 hear ur bloated turd sing. BIMAC will boycott KRUD 4rill if they keep playin Burl. NJ.   


 Good luck with that. BIMAC got like 5 members.   


 RU joking? We are legion. We can shut Burl down faster than you can say Burl is a fat bastard. 


Laughing so hard rt now. 


 We'll see who's laughing when Burl goes off the radio. 


No chance. Burl is bigger than u are. BIMAC my ASS. LOL


  B.L.I.T. H. E - Burl's legacy is trashed hated and excreted. ROTFLMAO.


Speaking of excrement BIMAC sounds like the name of a laxative.   


Yawn. That the best u got?  


Whatev. Its xmas eve n I dont want to spend any more of it on ur shiz.


Good thing cuz Ima block ur ass from my feed. 


Already beat u 2 it. SCREW U BIMAC. Long live Burl!  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ranch Style Beans---an Encounter

I've always wondered about those Ranch Beans. They come in a black can. The label says they are "appetite pleasin' " and to illustrate this there is a cartoon guy licking his lips. I have to say if there is a phrase I have never been able to resist, it's  --"appetite pleasin'.  The beans also brag that they are packing "Real Western Flavor", and you know that's not something you can get just anywhere. There is a lot going on across the front of the can.

So I decided to give them a try. Some people experiment with drugs, or sex. I experiment with beans. They did give off kind of a psychedelic glow when I opened them. The beans are a nuclear shade of orange, and swim in a thick sauce that can only mean lots of additives. Yum.

What exactly is in them? Pintos, dressed up with tomato paste, onion and garlic powders, other un-named spices, a blend of vegetable oils and "rendered beef fat," which I think is another way of saying lard.

Ranch Style Beans have been around since 1935, and from the looks of the can they haven't changed much. But these are some beans that believe in themselves. I never saw a bean work so hard at self-promotion. The advertising from the back of the label is insistent:

"We think you will like them with just about anything."

"Ranch Style beans are hearty and true!"

I find the earnestness of the last declaration kind of touching. I don't usually expect a lot from canned food products. But I've always wanted my bean to be true.

These beans, though, are kind of evil, in that they are oddly compelling. Their flavor is hard to pin down. You think, "what am I tasting?" So you keep eating them trying to figure them out. They are heavily seasoned with something that might be gunpowder. You suspect that this can't be good for your stomach. But you keep eating them and eating them anyway. Straight out of the can.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Junk in my Trunk

My blog post title sounds like I'm going to talk about the effects of eating holiday goodies. Actually that would be a good topic for a post...but this is about something else. The other day I spotted a Christmas tree in the back of someone's pick-up. Then last night, I saw someone hauling a tree on the roof of their car.

I like catching people in the act of taking their trees home. I'm excited for them. Hey, look what they got!  Gonna be putting up the tree tonight!  I like that it's such a break from routine --people don't normally drive around with whole trees inside their car. And you know, it's not such an easy thing to do, when you're trying to transport a 7 foot fir by way of a compact sedan. I think a surreal experiment would be to stake out the road near Home Depot and see what methods people come up with for getting their tree home.

This year we have Roger's hatchback, but I have driven a tree home myself on more than one occasion, when I had the old Corolla. I never felt like I knew how to strap a tree to my roof. I always had to stuff it into the trunk. But the trunk was never big enough and the tree would stick halfway out the trunk, so I'd try to tie the trunk down with some kind of twine, and hope to god the trunk and the tree would stay put. But I never felt secure about the whole set-up---the tree sticking out, the trunk partially secured with my half-ass twine and weak knots. So I would give myself false assurance by saying, "Well, it didn't fall out last year!" And I'd get the kids in the car and keep my fingers crossed the whole way home.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Men serving me beverages ----the dream.

In my perfect world, men would come to me, bringing drinks. Not so much food. Just drinks. A latte to start the day. A mid-morning tea. At noon, a cup of coffee to eat with my sandwich. In the afternoon, a Pepsi on ice would be nice. A cocktail when I walk in the door at the end of the work day. A glass of wine with my evening meal. And at bedtime, a milkshake. Yes, I said a milkshake.

Hey wait pal, that drink's for me!

Friday, December 5, 2014

This winter I am going to learn about the Anglo Saxons

It's December and it's cold outside, but my brain is warm, because I've been listening to college lectures on CD. Yes, I turn my car into a college classroom every time I have to run out for milk, or pharmaceuticals, because I have recordings of Modern Scholar audio courses (Great Professors Teaching You!) checked out of the public library.

I'm doing this because * I love to learn! * And because trying to follow someone's train of thought takes my mind off my shivering ass and helps me forget to count the minutes until the car heater kicks in.

I have already listened to all 14 lectures on the history of baseball delivered by Professor Shutt of Kenyon College.

Professor Shutt sounds nothing like he looks in this picture. On the recording he sounds like the crustiest, gnarliest, craggiest oldest man who ever recorded a book on tape, saying, "No doubt about it, Ty Cobb was an unbelievable player. UNBELIEVABLE!!"

But I really enjoyed "Take me out to the Ballgame", and I learned the following:

  • in the early days of the game, it was permissible to throw a ball directly AT a player to get him out.
  • some of the baseball lots were squares, instead of diamonds.
  • they used to play with the same ball over and over again, until it got so brown with dirt, the batters couldn't see it coming. After a catcher or batter (can't remember which) was killed with a fast-ball, they started the practice of using brand new, spanking white balls.
  • the National League had started off with a Puritan heritage, and was the more tee-totaling league, while the American League had more of a German Catholic and DRINKING contingent, and so you could buy beer at American League games but not at National League games.
Now I'm listening to a 14 lecture series titled "Understanding Poetry" which covers the whole history of poetry starting with the oral tradition and going up to the present day.

Professor Drout of Wheaton College is an Anglo Saxon scholar and reads the poems of early Britain in their original Old English, which is quite something to hear. He rightly describes the Anglo Saxon language as someone clumping around in heavy boots. It sounds like a cross between German and Scottish.

I'm finding that the Anglo Saxon language really goes with winter, because it sounds so rustic, conjures up images of dark afternoons, of cold walls and floors, the wind whistling through a chink in the evokes struggle, bitter drink, sour amenities!

Just look what passed for shoes back then.

Indeed, even Professor Drout, who has devoted his life to Anglo Saxon studies, says that Anglo Saxon poetry is about absence, misery and heartache.

And so, for this reason, I have decided that after I finish the Understanding Poetry course, I will move into a deeper study of the Anglo-Saxons, by listening to Professor Drout's 14-lecture series on "The Anglo-Saxon World." It will be a fitting companion to the dark, cold, winter days ahead.  

Anglo-Saxons in scanty clothing, trying to keep warm.