Monday, March 28, 2011

Southern California, circa 1974

Look at me in my fancy duds. Nothing says haute couture like a red corduroy sport jacket. I hear you can find them in all the finest department stores these days. Too bad I didn't have the matching plaid pants; otherwise, I'd be unstoppable. Now look behind us. See that unusual looking plant? My teenage brother planted that. Kinda strange for a teenager to be interested in horticulture, wouldn't you say? Especially in Southern California. That's what my parents thought, anyway.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Perfect T-Bone

Drivers of automobiles need to stop trying to be so polite and stick to the rules of the road. You've all witnessed the scenario where a driver in the left lane of a double-lane, two-way road yields to an oncoming vehicle turning left in front of them. The "courteous" driver feels good about yielding the right-of-way, but completely disregards the fact that there is a right lane of traffic. Oftentimes the "courteous" driver's car obstructs the view of other drivers and causes an accident. Next time a "courteous" driver yields the right-of-way in this kind of situation, don't take the bait. Just because they yield doesn't mean they can control what other drivers are going to do.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Terrorism Works

The news coverage of the shootings at Ft. Hood has crystallized a very unfortunate fact in my mind: terrorism works. When an Islamic extremist can gun down his fellow soldiers while shouting “Allahu Akbar” at a major military base, and the mainstream media is reluctant to call it terrorism, we've got a serious problem in the United States. The irony is that the people who don’t want to “jump to conclusions” are the biggest victims of terrorism themselves. They are so terrorized that they cannot even conceive of terrorism in this case, let alone utter the word. Terrorism is not only the act of destruction, violence, and murder; it is also the resulting attitude of fear, silence, and denial that some hope will spare them from the next attack. Indeed, the response of the major media outlets has confirmed to me that terrorists are achieving their goals.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nobel not so Noble

America: where working against the domestic and foreign policy interests of the United States gets you a Nobel Peace Prize. Now I understand! The end of America means the beginning of peace. Duh!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Sausage of Vienna

Vienna Sausage, the best in the land
Proudly I sit with a can in my hand
No hunting required, no guns to employ
Just pop off the lid, and start to enjoy

O Sausage, fair meat from a place called Vienna
The mere sound of these words will raise my antenna
In the family of SPAM, but to my regret
It’s the weird, crazy uncle some want to forget

Crammed into a can with no room to spare
The fragrance of meatiness perfumes the air
The savory broth for which to imbibe
Has an “interesting” smell that’s so hard to describe

Akin to the digits of a middle-aged man
These Vienna Sausages fall from the can
Seven pink wonders, each two inches long
Oh, the magic fills my heart with a song

Extruded in batches from a giant machine
It’s cylindrical sludge (if you know what I mean)
This product includes both the feet and the snout
And form a geometrical meat-log layout

The texture is soft, even spongy, and light
There’s no criticizing this gourmet delight
It cuts with a knife and is smooth as paté
It’s good on a cracker (at least that’s what they say)

The trimmings of animals all scraped together
Crushed and formed into “sausages!” Oh, the splendor!
Combining the innards, the bone and the hoof
My triglyceride count has gone through the roof

The can says the meat is "mechanically deboned"
And I’ve heard that the animals all have been cloned
To provide the consistency we all deserve
A marvelous product we clearly observe

The snap of a hot dog, distinct and unique
In this sausage is absent, like Ancient Greek
Not as fatty as SPAM, and the taste, well, it’s great
It’s surprising that it would remain on your plate

Running string through the links of this tender meat
I make a large wreath and admire this feat
Like the candy necklace I munched in my youth
An occasional speck of grit stuck in my tooth

No need to refrigerate or even reheat
This superb byproduct is ready-to-eat
A good M.R.E. on a camp or a hike
A delicious companion wherever you like

Some call it ambrosia, the “food of the gods”
While others can’t stand it…what are the odds?
Bake them, deep fry them or make into hash
Some strongly contend they belong in the trash

Some consider it only “emergency” food
But sausage supporters believe this is rude
With all the preservatives, this meat will last
For centuries, or perhaps a nuclear blast

Despite the debate I think you will agree
That keeping canned food is necessary
There is no excitement, no glamour, no glitz
But you’ll be glad you have them when the Big One hits

These fleshy M-80s all drunken with brine
That buttery texture, so rich and so fine
This pureed meat product, a marvelous snack
Take heed, may induce a mild heart attack

For this wondrous concoction, eternal my thanks
To the mad scientist of these Frankenstein franks
These freakish frankfurters, this mystery meat
A brilliant invention, a miracle treat!

This culinary marvel I proudly will serve
Impaled on a toothpick as a kind of hors d’oeuvre
Made from chicken, and beef, and don’t forget piggies
This succulent sausage is offered by…Libby’s.

Scott M. Passey

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chris Cornell: From Edgy to Sketchy

I loved Chris Cornell the moment he hit the Seattle grunge scene with his band Soundgarden. He got even better with Audioslave, a band which I adored for a few short years before they split. Now he's on his own and his latest offering is not living up to expectations. He definitely a singer's singer, a true crooner, but his new album leaves a lot to be desired. Here's hoping he returns to his roots and the original stylings that made him such a star. Audioslave is definitely my most-played on the iPod, and it's due in large part to the talents of Chris Cornell.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Queensryche Moment

In 1995, I was in graduate school and trying to make ends meet by working part-time at a local grocery store in Edmonds, Washington. One night as I was working the service counter, a man approached me and asked where the bathroom was. I directed him to the back of the store, while simultaneously trying to maintain the best possible poker face. I didn't want to give Geoff Tate, the lead singer of the 80's band Queensryche, the satisfaction of knowing I recognized him. I honestly think he was making a public appearance just to find out if anyone recognized him, since QR popularity had diminished considerably by that time. I wasn't particularly enamored with their style of music, but it was one of those brushes with "greatness" I did not soon forget. Looking back on it, I wish I had made an announcement over the store's PA system: "Attention, Olsen's shoppers. Mr. Geoff Tate of the band Queensryche is in the building and has just asked to use the bathroom. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Tate to our store."