Thursday, October 28, 2010

World Series Trip Day 1

This was an amazing day.  The second best baseball game I've ever attended in my life (I was at Game 7 of the World Series when the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in '01.  If I was able to attend the Giants' clinching game this year, that game would easily vault to #1).  Here are some pics of me and my brother (@gohandrake) at the game (my dad didn't want to spend $500 on a SRO ticket, although he will tomorrow):

Buster kicked it in the room and watched the game while we were gone (I'm not shitting you, I left the game on and turned the TV to face him and placed him on a table watching the TV).  But there is some sad news regarding buster.  He kinda lost his head over this whole World Series trip.  Literally.  I've had him for about 15-20 years now.  About 15 or so years ago, he fell off of the top shelf of my bookshelf in my room.  His head fell off and his face fell to pieces.  Back then I glued everything back together and painted it up the best I could.  So I got to the hotel earlier today and I opened up my suitcase after the flight and found his head detached at the neck.  This is the first time since then that his head broke off at the neck.  I placed it back on and let him watch the game.  (Remind me to get some glue on this trip)

The game itself was awesome.  Steve got A LOT of shit from all of the Giants' fans (me included).  He got threatened a handful of times (again, some times from me) but thank goodness we avoided violence.  (I'm so disappointed he never got his ass kicked).  We walked all around the park and saw Willie McCovey and McCovey Cove.  We had a drink, almost got in MORE fights (WHY DID YOU HAVE TO WEAR THAT JERSEY?!?!?!)

Rangers took an early 2-0 lead, but the Giants came back and tied it and then blew up the 5th inning with 6 runs.  It was indescribable (but I'll do my best).  I was born and raised in Phoenix.  I haven't been in San Francisco since I was too young to remember.  Today I was a San Franciscan.  I wore black and orange and was asked if I had season tickets, asked how many post season games I had been to.  I was high five-ing and hugging people who literally embraced me as one of them, or at least as one of theirs.  WE - yes WE rocked that place.  I almost cried.  A few times.  Okay, a bunch of times.  This is MY team that I've loved since the day I was born.  I grew up revering Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal and adoring Will Clark, Matt Williams, Kevin Mitchell, Robby Thompson, and Barry Bonds (pre-roids).  And everyone else there today had as well.

I don't have to go over the play-by-play.  ESPN will do that every hour until about 8am tomorrow morning.  As an experience, it was one like I'd never experienced before.

And I'm going back again tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World Series Trip Day 0

I'm getting ready to leave tomorrow for San Francisco.  Thanks to my most favoritist cousin in the world I have 2 tickets to the first two games of the World Series.  Dad and bro (@gohandrake) will be joining me (don't know how we're getting the 3rd ticket to each game, so if you have any let me know.)

I'm packing right now.  I'm used to 80 degree days with little wind here in the Valley of the Sun.  Rumor has it it gets a bit breezy by the bay and slightly shivery in the City, especially at night.  I'm not sure how to pack, but I'm planning on looking like those guys from Cool Runnings when they leave the airport.

Speaking of things I'm packing...
So I've decided that my newly rediscovered bobblehead needs a name.

I've thought a lot about it and discovered that that whole thinking thing is wholly overrated and unnecessary.  I'm going with my first instincts.  Meet Buster the Bobblehead.  I really settled on the name for three main reasons.

1.  Simple alliteration. Love it.

2. Tell me you don't see the resemblance:

A. They're both wearing black and orange
B. They both look like they're about 16
C. They're both white.
Yeah that's all I've got, but that second one is really the kicker.  I seriously think my Buster looks like he could be a rookie of the year (although he is a little stiff on defense *rim shot*)
"I'll show you my little stiff" - Buster the Bobblehead

3. Seeing as Buster is my favorite non-living Mythbuster,

I similarly favor my Buster the Bobblehead as my favorite non-living San Francisco Giant (sorry Kung Fu Panda)

So there you have it.  Buster the Bobblehead.

You bet your ass he'll be travelling with me to San Francisco and he will have a spot in the hotel room to watch every game (and yes, I'll turn the TV on for him).  Superstitious you say?  Maybe.  But I'll leave you with this.  Over the last few innings, I sometimes forgot to hold Buster as we watched the Giants bullpen take the hill, but never when I held him (and he got to see the game) did the Phillies get a basehit.



Friday, October 22, 2010

Crisis Averted

Again, pretty simple, but much longer than 140 characters!

If you didn't read my last post, do it now otherwise this one will make no sense.  Back? Good.  We shall proceed.

Well apparently it helps when you work for God, because He takes care of His peeps.  My brother, the minister, and his wife are going to have their baby today.  Their doctor, it seems, has planned a vacation for their due date (same date as Game 1 of the World Series) so he made the executive decision to induce today.  They break her water in 11 minutes (timestamp: 12:19PM PDT).  And my brother must have married the second best woman in the world (after Wifey of course) because she's letting him meet me in San Francisco on Wednesday! (TANGENT: I think I'll start capitalizing Wifey.  After all, for blogging and tweeting purposes, that is, has been and will continue to be her name.  Much shorter than mrsfullblownwino or fullblownwifey (although i do like that last one...) ENDTANGENT)

My cousin works for the Arizona Diamondbacks and was able to get us 2 tickets to Game 1 and may be able to get us 2 more to Game 2. There's 3 of us (my dad decided to go) but we'll figure it out!  We have our flights, our tickets and our hotel rooms.  Now we just need the Giants and the Rangers TO CLOSE OUT THESE FUCKING SERIES!!!!!!! Seriously. Enough already.

His new crisis?  His wife may still be in labor during the Rangers game.

Easy jokes to follow:

Doc: Breathe! Breathe!
@gohandrake (his name is Steven. When he was a kid he did that Ke$ha thing with his "s". It kinda stuck, so from here on out I'll be shortening "@gohandrake" to "$"): I'm trying but they have a guy in scoring position with no outs!

[in the waiting room]: Listen to that screaming! Is she already in labor?
No, the Yankees just scored.

$'s wifey: OHMYGODITHURTS!!!!
$: *sniff* I know, I know honey, but we've got Lee throwing tomorrow, so we should be okay.

Doc: Oh my goodness Mr. Valdez, it's twins!
$: No no no, the Yankees eliminated them.  It's the Rangers. I know. They're my favorite team.

*gasps* a nurse: the baby is black!
$: Turn off the TV. Honey, start explaining.

I could go all day with these, but I want to hear yours! @ him & me with your best or leave them in the comments!


PS- Early congrats, kid.  I can't express in words what a joy you'll be feeling today and how happy the whole family is for you. (I'm talking about the baby) (okay and the game too)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Brother's Household Crisis

Fairly simple actually, but definitely longer than 140 characters.

@gohandrake, AKA my younger brother, is a Texas Rangers fan.  I'm a San Francisco Giants fan.  The Rangers are one game away from their first World Series ever.  The Giants are two wins away from going.  Oh yeah, he lives in Oregon and I live in Arizona.

These all come together in one great opportunity:  San Francisco is about as close to half way between him and me as you're going to get and that's where games 1 & 2 would be if the Giants get to the World Series.  Game 1 on Oct 27, Game 2 on the 28th.  So where's the crisis?

His first baby (Little Audrey Rae, AKA my Li'l Raesin) is due (wait for it...) Oct 27.  So we joke that we're going anyways. Then the Rangers win tonight and the reality of the opportunity becomes much more apparent.  He actually asks his 8 1/2 month preggers wifey if she think it'd be okay if he's out of state the day their baby is due. Guess what she said...

So after getting his balls out of his throat (where she had shoved them after tearing them from his scrotum) and finally convincing her not to move out and in with her parents (otherwise known as "upstairs") he texts me that he "just got shot down big time."  Heh heh - duh!! So we talk and we figure his only chance of going to the World Series is if she goes into labor now-ish.

So I'm asking all of my tweeps to @ him with your best labor inducing ideas.  Please, I implore you.  The life and dreams of a passionate young baseball fan hangs in your hands.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I've got two lemons into lemonade stories that will possibly intersect tonight:

Here's a rare "atta boy" blog post as opposed to a griping one, especially regarding customer service.  Wifey and I made the (possibly questionable) choice to accept an invitation to Peju's super secret, super exclusive (or so they tell the invitees), super pricey (as wine clubs go) Library Wine Club.  They're supposed to send freaking awesome, ready to drink library wines.

We recently received our first shipment:

1. '06 Zin
2. '04 Estate Bottled Merlot (they have one of the better Merlots in Napa)
3. '06 Estate HB Cab Sauv (91% Cab, 8% Merlot, 1% Petite Verdot) - Wine Club Price: $175/bottle.

They shipped the wine late last week and it arrived Monday morning.  That likely means it sat in a UPS warehouse over the weekend.  It was over 100ºF in Phoenix this weekend.

After removing the foil of the HB Cab, you could see, feel and smell wine.

One call, that was all.  They promised a new shipment of all three wines as soon as the weather allowed.  No need to send this wine back - keep it and hope for the best.  They said that a heat wave came through unexpectedly after the shipping plans/arrangements had already been made.

Story #2:
Tweeted about this on Friday.  Driving home from El Paso.  It's about 4pm on a Friday afternoon.  Windows are down, music is blaring, life is good.  Phone rings - it's dad/boss telling me that a client of ours has asked us to give a 2hr presentation the next morning (Saturday!) at 7am.  Apparently the original presenter had to back out last minute.  I don't have a 2 hr presentation, nor do I have two 1hr presentations that can seamlessly be put together.  My night looks like this:

6:30PM Get Home
7:00PM Two of our friends & their kids come over to hang out
7:30PM Toast for a Cure with friends (the other wifey lost her mom to breast cancer, my dad lost his sister) & eat dinner.
8:00PMish-9:30PMish Stare at computer screen with a bottle of '05 Armida Cab Reserve constantly refilling my glass (sooo good!) while friends and my wifey sit in living room and socialize.
9:30PMish Friends go home.  My fam falls asleep.  I keep staring at computer and tweeting from time to time.
10:30PMish Realize that I have to be up in 6 1/2 hrs (not bad) and presenting in 8 1/2 hrs. Go to bed.

So I get up and get to parent's house to go w/ dad/boss to this presentation.  Fifty+ contractors are there.  I still don't have a presentation.  We're told I'll have the floor for 90-120 mins, but I wouldn't have to be on until about 8a.m.  I have about 45 mins to throw something together from 4 different 1hr presentations I have.  I do.  It goes well.  (if you're interested, the presentation turned out being "Energy Efficiency through the Building Envelope." Thrilling, I know). We have people thanking us left and right.  It was a HUGE political win for us.  This company is big and we just helped cement our ongoing partnership with them.

So how do these two stories intersect tonight?

Tonight, we'll be drinking $175 bottle of wine knowing that we have another coming once the weather cools.  It may be bad, but hey, it may not.  And if it's not... :D! I can't wait to try it.  We'll be splitting it with my parents, who are our favorite wine drinking buddies.  They get wine at least as much as we do, if not more.  And after we sample a glass or two of this wonderful juice, my parents will be taking us out for sushi as a thank you for me putting together that presentation last minute and really helping out the companies.

It's going to be a good night


Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Below is my basic chili recipe.  I took Bobby Flay's and the Neely's recipes at and combined them.  Then I tweaked that a bit.  See the basic below in Times font and my comments and variations below that:

1 Med White or Yellow Onion (finely chopped)
1 Red Onion (chopped)
6 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
1 Yellow Bell Pepper (chopped)
1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 tbsp Cumin
4 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp oregano
2 lbs Ground Beef
1 Bottle of Guinness beer
1oz Semi-Sweet baking chocolate
2 cans kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
2 – 16oz can diced tomatoes
2 – 16oz can crushed tomatoes
1 lb Bacon

Chop all of the vegetables and measure out the seasonings before you start cooking! Or at least while you cook the bacon. If you cook the bacon on about the 7 setting, you should have about enough time to chop the other ingredients and measure out the seasonings while the bacon cooks. (that is if you have a food processor style automatic chopper or you can chop real fast - I prefer my small food processor/auto chopper thing)

Chop up the bacon into 1” pieces and fry over medium high heat in a frying pan.  Remove the bacon when it first begins to crisp (don't burn it) with tongs or a slotted spoon and reserve in a bowl for later.  Try not to eat all of the bacon while you’re cooking the rest of the chili.  You may want to hide it or fry up an extra package of bacon if you think this will be a problem.

Add the chopped garlic, onions, and bell peppers and the chili powder, cumin, oregano and smoked paprika to the frying pan with the bacon grease.  Cook until vegetables are tender.  With a pair of tongs or slotted spoon, move vegetables into a Dutch oven or large pasta-style pot. 

Add the ground beef to the frying pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.  Season with salt and pepper.  When the meat is browned, deglaze the pan with the beer and bring to a boil.  Stir in the chocolate and cook until beer is almost completely reduced.  Add beef/beer/chocolate mixture to the vegetables.  Heat entire mixture over medium.  Stir in the kidney beans.  Stir in the crushed and diced tomatoes.  Heat to boiling then turn down to low (at about setting “2”).    Simmer 1 hr 15min.  Mix in the bacon and continue to simmer for 10-15 mins.  Serve with shredded cheddar, chopped chives and/or sour cream.

Okay I've never made it the same way twice, so here are some of the variations, including what I did tonight.  I originally started throwing the bacon in the pot with the veggies but I found that you really lost the flavor of the bacon, so now I throw it in as close to the end as possible.  If its crispier than you'd like, leave it in for longer. Tonight I put a real nice crisp on the bacon when I first fried it up and put it in the chili after about an hour of simmering. I left it in there for about 15mins.  It turned out perfect.  Great flavor in the chili and it softened up nicely.

As far as the beer is concerned I've never used anything but Guinness, but I have tried two bottles instead of one.  Don't do it.  Way to beer-y and not in a good way.  But if you want to try to experiment with other beers, feel free.  Hey I don't have to eat it, you do.  You may want to get more than a sixer for the night, especially if anyone else is drinking.  Personally I don't usually drink Guinness (I'm more of a Fat Tire guy, myself, well actually I'm more of a wine guy, but when I'm drinking beer, I prefer Fat Tire) so when I buy it, it's usually for this recipe and I could easily go through a six pack on my own (it's not a quick meal by any means).  Here's the recipe for going through a six pack of Guinness while cooking chili:

  • Bring home beer.  Open one, put one in freezer (top shelf of door is usually warmest and least likely to freeze beer), put 4 in fridge (back of bottom shelf is usually coolest). 
  • Drink open beer (#1).  
  • Once open beer is empty, you should probably be just about cooking the ground beef (depending on how quickly you drink, of course).  Take the beer out of the freezer (#2) and start a-drinking.
  • The next beer (#3) will be used to deglaze the pan.
  • This stuff has to cook for another hour, so unless you have a nagging spouse that thinks drinking a six pack in one night is altogether irresponsible and unhealthy, you're probably ready for #4.  As for me, I'd never call my wifey nagging to her face (just kidding! as all of my tweeps know, I have the best wifey ever!) but I personally usually choose to have a glass of water about now.  But don't worry, I don't judge, so feel free to pop the top off of #4!
  • Now tonight, I chose to have a Fat Tire with my meal, but by no means should you let me influence you (other than doing everything else this blog says to do) and when you cook with a beer, it's never a bad idea to drink what you cooked with when it's time to eat. (#5)
  • And this recipe is so damn good you have to have seconds and when you do...well go ahead and grab #6, after all, what good is one beer in the fridge.  That's like leaving just the ends of a loaf of bread and putting back in the pantry.
Now for some comments on the veggies.  I've lately really liked chunkier bell peppers, because you can taste them better.  I rarely use only six cloves of garlic.  It depends on the size of the cloves and how many I have left on an ear.  As for the onions, I'll chop the yellow/white one up finer than the red and have them mix in with the "broth" and chop the red into larger pieces because they have (in my opinion) a nicer flavor and again, the larger the pieces, the more you'll be able to taste each ingredient. 

A note on the spices - there are many different types of chili powder.  When I'm lazy or just trying to use what's in my pantry, I'll use regular chili powder.  Today I had ancho chili powder I had bought for a different recipe and used 1/2 ancho 1/2 regular.  Didn't really taste the difference.  I did use smoked paprika today, but I'm not sure I can totally taste the difference between that and the regular paprika once it's in the chili.  The ratios are just about right, but if you want to tweak it a bit, again, feel free - it's not like I'm going to eat it!

I love kidney beans.  I might add another can if it wasn't for the fact that my son doesn't like them.  Well usually he doesn't.  Today he did.  I have no effing clue about him.  He eats real raw fish sushi, loves mushrooms and kalamata olives on his pizza and orders fresh grilled salmon off of every restaurant menu but bitches about too many kidney beans in his chili.  Sometimes.  And I have 2 more behind him to deal with as they grow up... oy vey.  But I digress... point being kidney beans are good.  Try an extra can if you like them as much as I do.

I was told that today's was the best batch I've made.  I'd have to agree.  I added shredded cheddar, wifey also put sour cream on hers.  No chives today.  In the end though, the bacon was the key.  Everything else was good too, but the bacon was the most noticeable difference.  I love beer with this, but if anyone has any good wine pairing suggestions, please comment!  My thought would be an inexpensive kinda sweet Zin or a Syrah.  There are definitely a lot of flavors going on here and you'd need something big to be able to hang with the food.

Oh, one last note - this is not a spicy dish as written.  "Chili without spiciness?!?!?!" you may exclaim inquisitively (or question emphatically, take your choice). If this is offensive to you (I'm looking at you Lynch sisters-you are from Texas, right?) feel free to throw some crushed red peppers in there or maybe some fresh jalapeño peppers with the veggie/spice step.  At our house, I'm the only one that loves spicy foods, so I sprinkle crushed red peppers on my chili after we're all dished up.  Know that too much spice may change my wine pairing recommendations.  I'll have to get back to you on that specific topic, and of course, please feel free to offer your own thoughts.

Okay I promise these posts won't always be this long!  Hope it was informative and I hope you try the recipe and love it!


Friday, October 1, 2010

#Grenache Day and the ensuing weekend

So this is my first post.  I've attempted no less than three "first posts" before this one.  Let's hope this one actually gets posted.

I'm not sure if this is how this entire blog is going to go, but I do know that it's how I'd like it to go.  I love wine.  I'm passionate about it.  I'm not, though the most educated person on the subject, so when I talk about it on this blog, it'll be from some personal experience and from a lot of research.  I'm not sure I'll always (or ever) be able to properly cite my references, but I'll do my level best to at least point you in the right direction, or at a bare minimum let you know from whom I'm getting my information.

Friday was "International #Grenache Day" (make sure you include the #hashtag!).  Based on the little information I could find on the grape, I decided that I was going to buy three different bottles of wine, all with the Grenache grape, and host a small tasting (small = me, wifey, mom & dad).  I was able to get some information from Kevin Zraly's "Windows on the World Complete Wine Course" (although my edition is rather old) and I'm sure I read some tweets by @RickBakas and @TishWine that lead me in the right direction.  I may have even read some Wikipedia (

The thought process was I'd get a Grenache from Spain (or Garnacha as it's called there) and then two Grenache-based wines from the southern Rhone Valley (wines from the northern Rhone Valley are often 100% Syrah, very different from the wines made in the South - more info:  Even the Grenache-based wines from the southern region can be very different from each other, so I decided on a Côtes du Rhône and a Châteauneuf-du-Pape.   It turns out I didn't have $45 to spend on the only Chateauneuf-du-Pape Total Wine had, so I ended up getting whatever the very helpful guy that worked there told me to get.  

Okay so I've done some more extensive research on exactly which bottles I bought and I've come up short (note to self, take pictures and notes on the day of the tasting, you dipshit).  The good news is that I remember the grape blends and where they're from, so hopefully that'll help a bit, also they're all about $10 (I'm sorry...) Sooo here's how we'll describe them for the sake of this blog:

Wine 1:
Southern Rhone blend: 60% Grenache; 40% Syrah - Bought at Total Wine

Wine 2:
Southern Rhone blend: 50/30/20ish Syrah/Mourvèdre/Grenache (GSM's are common blends for S. Rhone, although technically this one would be a SMG) - Bought at Total Wine

Wine 3:
Spanish 100% Garnacha (Tapeña - Bought at BevMo

Notes and impressions:

Wine 1:
I loved it. Wifey loved it.  Mom really liked it.  Dad thought it was okay (Dad is a fan of "suck-your-lips-from-your-mouth dry" wines.  It was VERY light. Dude at Total Wine called it "medium bodied".  I must drink Fat Albert bodied wines then because this was way light as far as I'm concerned, but not in a bad way.  It had a very unique flavor about it.  I described it as red cherry (as opposed to black cherry) (NOTE: I don't know shit about verbalizing that which I taste, so take my descriptions with a grain of salt).  I would call this a good summer red, although it does not need excessive chilling.  I see this paired well with a capellini pomodoro (more on this later).

Wine 2:
Dad and I agreed that this had almost no nose and almost less taste.  The little we could get out of it was earthiness, although not quite Pinot Noir style earthiness.  It sucked.  Next. (I promise I'll let you know if I can remember which wines these were.  I'll do better next time, Mommy, really!!!)

Wine 3:
Although 100% Garnacha/Grenache (supposedly a "lighter" grape) this was the closest to a traditional California red.  This is why I wanted to do this type of tasting.  This tasted NOTHING like the first two and furthest from the first one (the Grenache-heavier one of the French wines).  This was Dad's fave.  The most tannins of the three although not "heavy" on the tannins.  Definite dark fruit. Earthy, but not overly so.  For $10, pretty damn good. My 2nd fave tonite.

Soooo we do a quick tasting then I have to run off to play cards with my buds. Wish I could have stayed longer and talked more about the wines (more on this later, too).

We played cards, had fun, wifey went out with the WAGS of the other players. Good night all the way around.

Next day:
Had a Gruner Veltliner for the first time EVER.  It was a "Grooner" brand from BevMo.  Hmm... I've had this before.  It's called Sauvignon Blanc. Don't know if its the winery or the grape, but very chalky.  Wifey very accurately called out notes of dry sparkling apple cider. Wasn't bad, but with all of the attention that Gruners have gotten lately, it was very underwhelming. Hopefully my next Gruner will be more enjoyable (not that this one was bad, but it just wasn't the "nectar of the gods" I was expecting).

So I get to cooking that night. Have this rich, yet kinda light pasta dish in my brain.  Thinking fresh tomatoes, thin spaghetti, bacon, garlic, onions (I think), wifey suggests shrimp, and my fave ingredient, fresh basil (I grow loads of it... my only damn "crop" that grows well).

My thought is to dice 2 of my 4 tomatoes and crush the other two, creating a saucy sauce with chunks in it.  I start by frying the bacon and after it starts to brown adding in the onion (I'm pretty sure there was onion in there) and the garlic.  Next comes the tomatoes.  Not as much sauce as I'd've liked, so I add a can of diced tomatoes.  I throw the al dente spaghetti in the sauce to absorb the juices, but I realize I still don't have enough sauce.  I toss in the chopped fresh basil.  The dish was a little softer than I would have liked.  Just not quite what I was hoping for.  Dinner was a solid 6/10.  Very "okay".

Next day:
I sauté the pasta dish in some olive oil for lunch the next day.  This is what I was looking for.  The tomatoes dry out a bit and take on the strong "sun dried tomato" flavor.  The bacon crisps up.  The pasta gets a nice crisp to the outside.  I add a little salt that should have been there the night before and pair it with more of Wine #1 from Friday.  A solid success.  The flavors come out so much more after the additional cooking and everything gets just enough crisp on it to kill the mushiness from the night before.  Lesson to be learned: next time, more sauce and more time in the pan.

So in addition to all of this, I first decided I wanted to moonlight as a VinoVirtuoso "Wine Educator".  One of my friends asked me to conduct a tasting at a little girlie party she was putting on.  Well then I realized that it would be almost $200 to join VinoVirtuoso and I really started thinking about why I wanted to do it.  It wasn't for the money! It was for the wine and friends and I don't need VinoVirtuoso or any other similar company for that.  So I took it upon myself to come up with about 15 different tasting topics and I emailed some people to gauge interest.  Great response! So it looks like me, wifey and some of my friends are going to start semi-regular tastings about once a month.  The first one will be an "everyday" type of winery that makes everything from Sauv Blanc to Cab Sauv with the idea being to get the "tasters" familiar with the varietals and how they differ from one another (using the same winery, vintage and price point will help level the playing field and really help highlight the differences in the varietals.) I'm hoping to really turn this into a regular event.  It'll also be great blog fodder.

Okay this first post is waaay too long and has taken waaay too long to actually get out there. So I'm gonna cut it off here.  Will try to post again soon, especially if I have something interesting to say.  Thank you for reading this, especially if you've actually gotten this far!