Friday, December 25, 2009

It's A Wonderful Dinner

Well, the fire's out...

That's how all holiday stories should begin.

Christmas eve, my sister-in-law was making a fancy, French dinner at mom's house. I can't pronounce it but it involved filet mignon and salmon and cognac. It was the cognac that brought about the fun.

I arrived late for this portion of the evening but I made it into the kitchen in time to see the range hood afire. This was not part of the recipe. As fires go, it was small and contained and not really very scary but, it was annoying as all get out. When she flambeed (?) something on the stove top, the flames lept up to the exhaust fan igniting some grease that had collected around the fan assembly. Evidently, it doesn't take much. The plastic assembly then caught fire as did the wires that powered the fan and the light. The circuit breakers did their job and tripped. That's a good thing. The stove is on a separate circuit from the lights in the kitchen and that's a good thing too. It's best not to perform these stunts by firelight.

Like I said, it was contained. It just happened to be contained in a very awkward spot. If a pan catches fire on a stove top you can easily cover it, eliminating the oxygen needed to fuel the fire and the problem is solved. But, up under the hood, with a mounting bracket in the way, it was hard to suffocate this fire. It was an excellent opportunity to use a fire extingusher- one rated for all types of fires. One just like the one I was intending to purchase for just such an ocassion...

I get premonitions from time to time. They usually manifest themselves in odd ways like opting NOT to step outside for a smoke because the boss is about to show up unexpectedly and he won't be happy about that no matter how much I've been busting my ass up to that point... But, the night before, at another sister's house, i had noticed that her husband had a fire extinguisher in the hall just outside the kitchen and I thought to myself, I should get mom one of those...just in case...

No one panicked. I was very pleased about that. It *seemed* to go on for about five long minutes but it was quite a bit quicker than that. Once I determined there was no danger of electrocution, I got my hands in there with some towels and choked the life out of that fire. This wasn't all that easy and it took a couple of tries. Melting plastic, fire and fibers don't mix real well- they tend to ignite! I Suffered only a burn on the inside of my forearm from the melting plastic. No big deal. I didn't even cry. I went in the basement, made sure all potentially dangerous circuits were off- just in case- took the range hood off and capped off the wires. Wa la!

Dinner survived the incident and was, as the French might say, "le fooking awesome!" The peppercorns on the filet were a little much for me though. Now, off to Home Depot for a fire extingusher. I hope they're on sale!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tiger Tales

Or, is it "Tiger Tails"?

Most atheletes, when they "retire", take up golf. Tiger Woods can't be doing that right now. Michael Jordan, when he "retired" from the NBA, took up minor league baseball as a way of fullfilling a dream that his father had for him. It might have had something to do with the NBA's being a bit unhappy with his gambling addiction but, it was a great story back then. That Michael was good enough to be a mediocre baseball player in the middle of being the GREATEST BASKETBALL PLAYER EVER! is testament to what a great athelete he was AND how hitting a baseball is still the hardest thing to do in sports.

I don't know that Tiger Woods has any such talent or desire. And anyway, his thing now is to stay out of the public eye. In cruising the cable channels the other night, I paused long enough to see an "expert" saying that a picture of Tiger's facial lacerations would easily bring some lucky photographer one million dollars.

Tiger is an odd one. Most guys sleep with regular good-looking women and fantasize about bagging a supermodel. Tiger, married to a supermodel, set his sights on more pedestrian women. There's something very wrong about that but, I guess it explains why he's Tiger and you and I aren't.

Atheletes have a lot more doors opened for them than you or I do. Being a famous jock is going to get you into doors at restaurants, clubs and into vagina's that regular guy's just don't get. Tiger is a perfect example of that. By no accounts is he a handsome guy. He's not likely to charm a Perkins waitress if he's a cabdriver or a sheetmetal worker but, it could happen. In a way he's kinda like Sarah Palin in that he's "hot" in comparison to what he does and to his contemporaries. Sarah Palin is an ordinary women passing on the street but, as a Vice-Presidential candidate- WOW! Most of them look like Joe Biden or Dick Cheney. That makes her "hot". There are a million waitress's better looking than her but, none of them get as much TV time as her.

It's TV and of course, money, that makes either of these two people desirable to the general horny public. That's it. I think Tiger knows this. I don't think Sarah does but, her vagina is not (currently) under public scrutiny. Tiger knows that it is his fame and fortune as a golfer that got him the supermodel wife and the 15 and counting other women on his scorecard. I *think* he knows this. Little Tiger doesn't know this though and that's why he's in trouble. Little Tiger took over Big Tiger's brain and common sense went south on him as he went south. It happens to the best of us just as it happens to rest of us.

He's still (probably) the best golfer there ever was. He just happens to be a dumbass. He's gone from being "THE MAN!" to simply being a man.

Welcome to the club, Mr. Woods. We won't hold the door for you.