Traffic Grumping

On my way home from work earlier this week, I'm passed on the road by a group of three motorcyclists riding shiny, new-looking, colorful (red, blue and yellow) Suzuki sport motorcycles.

They get ahead of me, and we're all toodling down the road, when the guy on the yellow motorcycle puts his left foot out and lets it drag along the asphalt. Great way to destroy an expensive pair of boots, I think.

And then... he swings his right leg over the bike, and he's standing/sliding/surfing on the asphalt as he's dragged along by the motorbike, holding on by the handlebars. After about five or ten seconds, he swings the right leg back up onto the bike, then picks up the left and resumes riding normally.

Watching this was terrifying. One ripple or dip in the asphalt, a bit of road debris, and I'd have had a human being bouncing and tumbling along the road in front of me.

This kind of stunt riding is something that, if it needs to be done at all, should be done (like the fine print on auto commercial stunts says) on a closed track by experienced drivers, where the road conditions have been pre-checked carefully.

If the rider's intention was to make the white-bearded geezer in the minivan driving behind crap his pants... well, it came pretty damn close.

- - - - -

The above is the post I meant to write Tuesday evening right after it occurred. Stuff happened, and I put off writing the post.

Friday afternoon, I'm on my way to the grocery store, and see that the traffic in the opposing lanes is restricted to one lane as police direct traffic around an accident site. Fire engines, ambulance, flashing red & blue police lights.

And, laying in the road on its side...

Oh, yeh. You got it. I don't really need to say it, do I?

...a bright yellow Suzuki motorcycle.

The cynic in me wants to say "Evolution in action." But the better part of me is wondering if there's a family doing a hospital-bedside vigil, or having to make funeral arrangements.


How I Spent My Evening

My brother-in-law and his wife are off camping at tyhe SCA's Estrella War this week, so they asked me to stop by and feed their dogs each day while they were gone. They have five large dogs and about four four-or-five-month old puppies from a recent litter.

So I get to the house this afternoon and go through the side gate into the back yard, and find...

...that the heavy unused metal-barred room divider that had been leaning up against the storage shed had been pulled over (presumably by one of the larger dogs) and had fallen on top of one of the puppies.

The pup was pinned tightly across its hindquarters, and it was crying and struggling to get out. It had also crapped itself, spectacularly, probably from a combination of pain and terror.

I lift the gate off the pup (trying to ward off half a dozen dogs and pups trying to jump on me and lick me), and it crawls under a nearby old car, dragging one leg like it's broken. Aw shit, and I realize I need to take the pup in to the vet.

So I find an old empty planter large enough to hold the pup, get it out from under the car and put it into the planter; it doesn't cry out when I move it, which is encouraging -- maybe the leg isn't broken after all -- but it's still shaking and trembling, and I'm worried about shock, so it's off to the vet's anyway.

Which, between drive time, waiting room time, and exam room time, takes up the next several hours. The doctor finds nothing broken, though the pup is limping fairly strongly and probably had some deep bruises under its fur. But no apparent permanent damage. They take the pup into the back room and give it a bath to wash the puppy crap off, for which I'm quite grateful. (Sorta like the old gas station offer, I guess: Fill up your tank and get a free car wash.)

So I take the pup back to its home and put it back with the other dogs. By this time, it's fully dark, so the next half-hour spent trying to find my cell phone is fruitless. (I'd called home from the backyard after finding the trapped pup, to tell them I'd be late getting back, then realized on the way to the vet's that my cell phone was no longer on its belt clip. Somewhere between the back yard and the car, it had come off, possibly when one or more of the large dogs was trying to jump up on me. I'll go back in the morning, when it's light, and try to find the phone again. Hopefully it hasn't been used as a chew toy.)

I don't know if my in-laws have named the pups yet, but I think if ti was up to me, I'd name that puppy "Panini".

And that's how I spent my evening.


A Reader's Moral Quandary

Over at Duchy of Burgundy Carrots, hostess Queen of Carrots fights temptation:
This week I had a library book that was so absolutely and forlornly lost, even after six weeks of searching, that I simply had to up and pay for it. Fortunately, it was only four dollars. Unfortunately, it wasn't one I particularly would be thrilled to own, if it ever does turn up. But the occurence did put a thought in my head. Suppose I find a book at the library that I really, really want to own. Suppose further that this book is rare or out of print, and even further that it looks like something the library is going to ditch soon in favor of more shelf space. Of course, the chances of me happening across it at just the right library sale are very slim indeed. How evil would it be to, ah, "lose" the book and pay for it, and then "find" it again but decide not to bother about getting my money back? Evil, evil, evil. I blot the thought from my mind.

Let's recast this scenario into science-fictional terms:

If you had a time machine and could go back to the Library of Alexandria just before it was destroyed, would it be wrong to grab as many texts as you could and jump back into the present with them?

Would that be "stealing"? Or would that be "preemptive salvage"?

(That very old, very decrepit, one-return-away-from-discard former library copy of an UNKNOWN collection sitting on one of our shelves has nothing to do with this discussion. Nothing, I say.)


Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

I had some whole-wheat rolls that had been in the freezer too long, and figured a bread pudding would be a good way to use some of them up.

I found a recipe for a whole-wheat bread pudding at the Land O' Lakes Butter website, and decided to do some fiddling around with it. (Original recipe here.) Another recipe I'd browsed had used bananas as an ingredient, and when I combined that thought with the melted butter in the LOL recipe, my mind immediately thought, "*ding!-ding!-ding!* Bananas Foster!"

So I substituted brown sugar for white, and cinnamon for nutmeg, added bananas and some rum (I kept the original raisins; it's not a bread pudding without raisins), and increased the proportion of eggs and milk. (Hilde likes an eggier bread pudding, one with a custard kicking and screaming to get out.)

Hulk say, "Puny human do good":
Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

1/4 C. butter
4 C. cubed whole-wheat bread or rolls
1/2 c. raisins
1+1/2 ripe bananas, cut into small chunks
3 eggs
2+3/4 C. nonfat milk
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. rum (I use Myer's)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a 2-quart casserole, melt butter. Add cubed bread, raisins and bananas to butter; toss to coat.
3. Combine and beat other ingredients. Pour mixture over bread & fruit; stir to coat evenly.
4. Bake 45-55 minutes, until knife comes clean.

Can be eaten straight, or -- for that extra measure of decadence -- top warm pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

cautionary note: This recipe is a dietkiller. It is a stone cold dietkiller with a dead man's eyes. You will want seconds. And thirds. Eat responsibly.