Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last call.


Somehow, 2008 is mere hours from being over.

Things have been at Holiday Speed as of late, and we are close to runnin' out of steam. One more night of hoopla, then we can settle in on the couch tomorrow and watch the boys play hockey at Wrigley field. We hope to have a normal weekend, but things are gonna start happenin' pretty fast around here in the new year.

2009 is shaping up to be a good one, but more on that later. Right now, we're gonna reminisce a little with a few of our favorite images from '08.





























See ya next year.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lazy Sunday, revisited.

We threw away all the numbers above 10 for the thermometer, and it seems as if things aren't ever going to thaw out around here.

Best thing to do is hunker down in the nest, and try to consume as many calories as possible to offset the cost of the heating bill.

This morning we indulged in a Neil Creek Estate ritual, the making of the Big Ass Pancake. Once every few weeks, we whip up an old fashioned "pan-cake" - yes, just ONE - with all the bells and whistles. Sour cream and bacon mixed into the batter, butter in the pan, butter on the topside for good crispy edges after you flip, a little syrup in the pan to make that nice, crunchy crust...Makes for a good morning of sittin' around with the Wife, sharin' coffee and a humongous slab of pan-fried flour and eggs.

Today, we went a little further in pushing the engineering of Big Ass Pancake construction. Unable to find the sour cream, we decided to get our smooth on with a few hunks of chèvre. The results were overshadowed by the fact that, without the sour cream, the Big Ass Pancake lacked the acid balance and moistness needed to showcase the cheese.

Lest you think us foodsnobs, we'll be the first to admit that it was still pretty damn good...then again, anything with bacon and goat cheese is, by definition, good.

The Big Ass Pancake


Close-up on Cheesy Bacon Goodness.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is it STILL Winter?

Freshwater freezes at 32° Fahrenheit.

It has been awhile since the local weatherman has uttered any temperature with a "thirty" in it, and it appears that things are not destined to change in the near future.

Frozen water presents a challenge to the angler...we don't drink brandy, so we ain't gonna take up icefishing anytime soon.

We could stand at the boat-dock and practice our newfound ninja-like Scandi skills, but somethin' tells us that we would be flickin' ice out of the guides after two or three throws. Plus, castin' in 10° weather, with no fly, on a boat ramp - kinda marks a fella as a little bit...different.

We have been putting off the commitment to the vise as of late, but the procrastination is wearing thin. Lately we have been looking for "just the right [insert material here]", but who are we foolin? It's not like we can chase down a herd of Guineafowl and hand-select the best of the best...we just have to make do with what is out there, or go broke tryin' to find The Perfect...Whatever.

As previously noted, we got a new camera, and it takes some pretty spiffy pictures. Naturally, our boredom and procrastination at the vise led us to take some pics of flies, and our overdeveloped sense of critique allowed that we could probably do a damn sight better if we put our mind to it. After a little research, we came up with this abomination.


It might look goofy, but it does the job in pretty tidy fashion. Tissue paper provides the diffusion, and a $2 lamp from Sally Ann's provides most of the illumination. We're still tweakin' the setup, altering backgrounds and light angles, but we're pretty happy with the outcome for a first effort. We have v2.0 on the drawing board, but we always have a hard time finding sharks with frickin' lasers...

At any rate, some of last night's shot. Enjoy.






Sunday, December 14, 2008

Winter, revisited.

We just got a spiffy-as-hell video camera and a sweet editing suite from that nice older couple we lived with for years...Thanks Ma n Pa.


This bad larry is waterproof, appears to be durable, and doubles as a 10Mp camera...we be pretty happy about this whole deal. Now we can get down to the serious business of havin' fun filmin' our buddies whoopin' it up on the local flows.

We did a little warmup shoot of the trusty 1993 Martin D-28 in action. We recently rediscovered our guitar and, happily, our love of playing the guitar. Pickin' on the mandolin is fun, but there is something about the mellow sound of a woodstove and a good guitar that makes winter so much more bearable. What you can't see in this picture is the dog, who is bedded down right below us. When we start pickin', he ambles over and plops down right underneath the chair. We would like to think that this is some form of commentary on our playing, but in all likelihood it is the woodstove that gets him excited...at least he doesn't howl like he does when we scratch the fiddle.

At any rate, enjoy.


video

Friday, December 12, 2008

사랑과 양배추

오늘 우리는 진짜로 지루했다, 그래서 우리는 한국어를 가르치고 어떤 Kimchi를 만드는 것을 결정했다.

그것은 그것, 다만 약간 양배추, 사발 및 약간 소금 및 매운 소스를 만들기 위하여 다량을 가지고 가지 않는다.

Waaaait a minute. Y'all don't read Korean, do you?

Sorry. We forget sometimes.

At any rate, We embarked on a mission of food discovery today with the making of our first batch of Kimchi, that wonderfully salty, sour, and spicy Korean pickled cabbage.

We have started eatin' a lot more Kimchi lately, especially on our noodle breakfasts...little egg, some cilantro stems, Kimchi...and we would continue with this happy habit, except for the fact that Kimchi in AK is almost 6 bucks a pint. While we enjoys us some Kimchi, we ain't gonna fork over $24 a month just to eat asian sauerkraut in our noodles.

But as we stated before, we loves us some Kimchi, so there was only one solution...we had to make our own.

We started with a whole head of Napa Cabbage, quartered with the heart removed, then roughly chopped.


Add to that a pile of salt and let the cabbage give up its water for a few hours or so.


While you wait, mix up some rice wine vinegar, turbinado, and a healthy shot of Sambal olek.


After the cabbage has given up all the water it is gonna, squeeze the brine out then rinse a few times. Grate a little ginger and some garlic into the mix, then add a few chopped scallions. Dump in the vinegar/chile mix and stir for awhile.


After it sits for another hour or so, scoop it all into a pint jar and smash it in. Top with the remaining vinegar mix, stash it in a cool dark place for a week or two so it can ferment, and enjoy.


We'll see how this one turns out...Keep your fingers crossed and an epi pen handy.

행복한 먹기

Monday, December 8, 2008

Did we mention that it's Winter?


Lame. Not only is it going to blow like hell, it's
gonna snow 20"...Then melt on Wednesday...Then
freeze into one big slushy, muddy mess for the
weekend.

It's good to be home, but every now and then we
wish that home was in the Bahamas, or some other
warm, tropical oasis.

Then we snap out of it.


AKZ025-091500-
JUNEAU BOROUGH AND NORTHERN ADMIRALTY ISLAND-

INCLUDING...JUNEAU
1210 PM AKST MON DEC 8 2008

UPDATED

...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 PM
AKST TUESDAY...

.REST OF TODAY...RAIN AND SNOW. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 1 INCH.
SNOW LEVEL 1100 FEET DECREASING TO 700 FEET IN THE AFTERNOON.
HIGHS 35 TO 40...COOLING TO NEAR FREEZING NORTH OF TAKU INLET.
EAST WIND 15 MPH.
.TONIGHT...SNOW NORTH OF TAKU INLET. RAIN SOUTH. LOCALLY WINDY.
SNOW ACCUMULATION 6 TO 10 INCHES. LOWS AROUND 26 NORTH TO 34
SOUTH. EAST WIND 15 TO 25 MPH. STRONGER WINDS TO 35 MPH NEAR
INTERIOR PASSES. CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 100 PERCENT.
.TUESDAY...SNOW...HEAVY AT TIMES FROM TAKU INLET NORTHWARD. RAIN
SOUTH OF TAKU INLET. SNOW ACCUMULATION 6 TO 10 INCHES. TOTAL SNOW
ACCUMULATION 12 TO 20 INCHES FROM TAKU INLET NORTHWARD. HIGHS 33
TO 40. EAST WIND 10 TO 20 MPH. CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION
100 PERCENT.
.TUESDAY NIGHT...RAIN SHOWERS. BREEZY. LOWS AROUND 35. SOUTH WIND
15 TO 25 MPH. CHANCE OF SHOWERS 80 PERCENT.
.WEDNESDAY...RAIN LIKELY. HIGHS AROUND 42. SOUTH WIND 15 TO
20 MPH. CHANCE OF RAIN 70 PERCENT.
.WEDNESDAY NIGHT...RAIN LIKELY. LOWS AROUND 36.
.THURSDAY...RAIN SHOWERS LIKELY. HIGHS AROUND 36.
.THURSDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS.
LOWS AROUND 28.
.FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS AROUND 32. LOWS
AROUND 22.
.SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS AROUND 30. LOWS
AROUND 19.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Settlin' In

Back from the yearly obligatory peregrination to familial households...

Not that it is an ordeal, but it is still good to be home. Traveling to the outside takes a bit of work and more than a bit of coin, but we don't begrudge our families that fact. We try to make the most of our time outside, but always seems as though the meter is running. Adapting overnight to different schedules, being in "happy presentation mode" for the duration, sleeping in foreign beds... when it's time to come home, it's time to come home.

We are sad to report that no actual fishing took place during this road trip, but it is our own damn fault that it didn't. Ratbone got hung up in some work thingy that caused the original plan to be scrapped, and while the Fanz came up with a plan B, we didn't have the gear that would have made the trip fun. It's a flimsy excuse, and it was exacerbated by the post-trip fishing report we got, but we had our heart set on chasin' chrome.

We did get to hang out with (and get grumbled at by) Mike Kinney during a weekly casting session with the AATF folks. For those not familiar, Mike is a badass with the two-hander, and if you pay attention, a fella can get a lot of info on the art of casting in a very short time with him. We also got grumbled at by another hot caster, Aaron Reimer, during his weekly "spey for dummies" session. We got some good info from both fellas, and we now have a better idea on how to not look and cast like a doofus with the long twigs.

We also got to meet/BS with/drink (or jrink) with/hang out with a few fellow bloggers. We got some quality (as usual) time in with Rathbun, hatching a plan a la Ocean's Eleven to steal a picture from the lobby of a well-known bar in Seattle. It's amazing what folks will come up with after a few Rainiers, innit? We would post a picture of the meeting, but that would prolly tip off the authorities to the master plan involving a blowtorch, smoke bombs, go-go dancers with flamethrowers, and the getaway motorcycle...We've already said too much.

Wally accompanied us out for a night on the Westside, wherein we got lightly jrunk and talked about a veritable host of topics. We're pretty sure we hatched some plans too, but the recall isn't total. When we awoke the next day, we had a handful of BWTF stickers and a few odd shots on the camera.


While in TX, we met up with The Chick for tacos at Polvo's. For the folks that may not be up to speed on Mexican eatin', this ain't no Taco Bell. As some of you may have figured out, we loves us some pork done Mex, and the Flautas al pastor at this fine estblishment are enough to make an entire Mariachi band weep rasgones de la alegría.



And so RoadTrip '08 v.5 came to a close. 15 hours of travel, remember to pick up the dog, stumble in and light the pellet stove...

It's good to be home.