November 24, 2004

More about "Top ____ Songs" Lists

From Dustbury, a link to the 1001 Greatest Singles, compiled in 1989.

Top five from that list:

1. I Heard It Through the Grapevine - "Gaye, Marvin" 1968
2. Johnny B. Goode - "Berry, Chuck" 1958
3. Papa's Got a Brand New Bag -"Brown, James" 1965
4. Reach Out I'll Be There - "Four Tops, The" 1966
5. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - "Righteous Brothers, The" 1964

Next up, Roberto of DynamoBuzz nails that link I couldn't find, to Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Here's my original post.

Posted by: Ted at 06:05 AM | category: Links
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Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinaaaaaahhh!!!

Last night, we had an unwitting test subject a very special guest over for dinner. Dawn braved I95 traffic and two protective dogs to enjoy mexican food with our family (we not only put the fun in disfunctional, we put the dis in there too. Love means never having to say anything nice about each other). One of the dishes served up was yet another experimental version of my vegetarian enchiladas. If I do say so myself, these are pretty darn good!

I need a name for these, since I already have "Vegetarian Enchiladas" and "Garden Veggie Enchiladas" in my recipe book. Suggestions welcomed. There are some notes on the recipe at the end of this post, including a revved-up version of my Salsa Verde. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Enchiladas

2 sweet potatos
3 medium zucchini
1 jicama
sliced black olives
4 cups shredded cheese (colby, jack, cheddar, whatever)
24 corn tortillas
3 cups salsa verde

Peel the sweet potato, quarter and steam until tender (15-20 minutes). Chop into bite-size pieces and then set aside.
Slice the zucchini in half the long way, then again to make quarters. Cut into 1/2" long pieces. Steam until tender (about 10 minutes). Set aside when done.
Peel and dice the jicama. You want about a cup and a half to two cups of diced jicama. Steam it for about 15 minutes (it stays crunchy when cooked).

Toss the veggies together in a bowl. You can leave them plain, or sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.

Wrap a stack of corn tortillas in a slightly damp paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes at 50% power. When those are warmed, microwave the salsa verde until it's warm as well. Pour some into a wide shallow bowl.

Spray a 9"x13" baking dish with no-stick, open the cheese and your enchilada assembly line is ready to go.

(The nice thing about enchiladas is that if they fall apart while you're putting them together, you can just layer the ingredients in the pan and call it enchilada casserole.)

Dip a tortilla into the bowl of salsa, both sides (the warmed tortilla and salsa help keep it from tearing or breaking apart). Spread about 1/4 cup of filling down the middle of the tortilla, then a good pinch of cheese. Roll both ends over the top, then transfer to the baking dish, folded side down.

Keep making them until you run out of tortillas or filling or pans. Evenly pour the rest of the salsa verde over the enchiladas, then spread the rest of the cheese, and then garnish with sliced black olives.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then remove the foil and keep baking until cheese is melted and bubbly.

If you can't find jicama (HEE-cah-mah) in the produce section, you can substitute diced or sliced water chestnuts. Or try a hispanic market. Leftover jicama can be eaten raw, and it adds a great crunch to salads, or serve it in sticks on a veggie tray with dip.

This recipe makes a lot (two 9x13's worth)! You can cut it in half, or juggle the proportions of veggies. The sweet potato balances the natural 'sour' of the tomatillo based salsa verde and white cheeses.

As presented, the dish gets all of it's heat from the salsa verde. Seed and chop a hot pepper or two into the veggie mix if you want.

Ted's Revved-Up Salsa Verde

My family preferes mild to wild, so there's always room to spice up my recipes to taste.

1lb Tomatillos
1 Jalepeno chilie, roasted, seeded and chopped
2 Poblano chilies, roasted, seeded and chopped
2 Green chilies (the kind used for chilies relleno), roasted, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano

Turn the flame on your gas stove to medium high. Put the chilies on the burner rack in the flame and let char, rotating them with tongs so that they blacken evenly.

When completely charred, lay one in your palm on a paper towel (careful, they are hot!) and use another paper towel to wipe away the charred skin. Do all of the chilies, putting them into a small bowl with a lid to steam themselves for about 20 minutes.

Slice the chilies lengthwise, then remove the stem and seeds. Chop the remainder and set aside.

Remove the husk from the tomatillos and wash. Slice the tomatillos into wedges. In saucepan combine everything, including the chilies and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

I like my salsa chunky, so I use a pastry cutter to break it up a little bit in the pan instead of putting it into a blender.

This recipe makes for heat about like medium salsa.

Posted by: Ted at 05:28 AM | category: Recipes
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November 23, 2004

Ding Dong and Ding Dong

Ding Dong, the bitch goes down!

Dan Rather stepping down from CBS news anchor.

he had agreed with CBS executives last summer that after the Nov. 2 election would be the right time to leave.

I'm dancing in my jammies!

Ding Dong is the sound this nutjob makes when you rattle his head.

Retired running back Ricky Williams has turned up once again, this time at a Northern California school for holistic medicine.

"I realized a while back that I have an innate ability to be compassionate,'' he told the San Francisco Chronicle, "and I saw that the strength of compassion is something that healers have and healers use.''

Not everything he says is from outer space though.

Williams' agent, Leigh Steinberg, and his attorney, David Cornwell, both think it's likely that he'll return to football next year. Steinberg calls Williams' departure "a sabbatical.''

But Williams said, "I understand their wishful thinking. It's easy math. If I play, it puts more money in their pocket.''

Nah, he's just a flake, and I still think he'll return to pro football for the bucks.

Posted by: Ted at 01:29 PM | category: Links
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Lilly and Marilyn were Hot Rod Babes

Head on over to MunsterKoach and stroll through a wonderful site dedicated to the legendary George Barris custom hotrods featured on the 60's show The Munsters. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Munster Koach (the family hearse) and Drag-u-la (Grandpa's coffin coupe), including plenty of pictures (cheesecake photos of Marilyn posing with the cars too!).

Thanks to The Astounding B Monster for the pointer.

Posted by: Ted at 12:36 PM | category: Cult Flicks
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(________) Gifts

Stupid Gifts. 'Nuff said.

Lame Gifts, Mother-in-Law style.

Worst Gifts (that a man can buy a woman).

Perfect Gifts, especially for the goatherder in your life.

Romantic Gifts, ranging from pure romance to downright naughty!

Which could lead to The Gift That Keeps On Giving.

Posted by: Ted at 12:04 PM | category: Links
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Blogger Bowl 2004

There was some serious excitement going on this week in the league! Besides another victory for yours truly (3 in a row, Yay Rockets!), Nick bumped off the suddenly-vincible Fire Ants and Victor claimed a share of first place by handling annika. Jim also edged Brendoman by 1 point to hang in at the middle of the pack*.

Now, cue the music and cut on the spotlights! Despite warnings from the NFL and the FCC, I'd like to introduce you to the greatest cheerleading squad both inter and outernet**. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Hot Jets!

Heather, of Angelweave!
Margi, of Margi Lowry!
Nic, of Shoes, Ships, and Sealing Wax!
Lemur Girl, of... uh, Lemur Girl!
LeeAnn, of The Cheese Stands Alone!
Sarah, of Trying To Grok!
Kat, of Mostly Fluff!
Big Hair, of Left & Right!
Jennifer, of Jennifer's History and Stuff!
Lynn S., of Reflections in d minor!
Susie, of Practical Penumbra!
Blogoline, of Blogoline's Journal!
Cindy, of Dusting My Brain!
Wegglywoo, of On the Beach at the End of the World!
Dawn of Dawn Enterprises!
Stevie, of Caught In The XFire!
Helen, of Everyday Stranger!
Mookie, of MookieRiffic!
annika, of annika's journal!
Denita, of Who Tends The Fires!
Gir, of Your Moosey Fate!
Tink, of Flitting Here and There!

Next week I match up against Brendoman. I'll have to play better than this week to beat him, for sure.

*Sorry for those bloggers I didn't link to, I don't know exactly who you are, and don't really have the time right now to dig.

**And no, I'm not apologizing for that either.

Posted by: Ted at 05:45 AM | category: Links
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Now even more annoying! Danger added for your clicking pleasure!

Banner ads that carry virii. Jeez.

Posted by: Ted at 04:32 AM | category: SciTech
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November 22, 2004

Seen at the North Pole Post Office


If you've seen this elf, contact your local authorities immediately. She is armed with a teenager's attitude and could be dangerous to your sanity.

Posted by: Ted at 08:47 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Luuka is in da house!

Hot Swedish babe alert! If you don't hear from me in three days, send more vodka. Pictures and wild stories coming up... now where did I leave that number to the bail bondsman...

Posted by: Ted at 08:10 PM | category: Links
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Happening to me. Lots of it too. I'll post more when I get a chance.

Posted by: Ted at 12:34 PM | category: Square Pegs
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November 20, 2004

To that Christian lady in the minivan

I was impressed by the sheer number of religious symbols and bumper stickers plastered over the back of your vehicle.

And then you went and flipped me off.

You proclaim to believe in Jesus. Well, I believe in turn signals. Try using them next time, and maybe that and your righteously pure heart will inspire me to make room for you to change lanes in front of me.

Posted by: Ted at 08:45 AM | category: Square Pegs
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November 19, 2004

Wouldn't you like to fly, in my beautiful balloon?

Two Fifth Dimension-inspired titles in two days. Wonder what that means?

Scientists using an experimental X-ray telescope suspended from a balloon have captured a unique picture of a pulsar shining in a form of light never before imaged in detail -- that is, in high-energy "hard" X-rays. The observation marks a milestone in astronomical imaging.

The difficulty in detecting X-rays is precisely what makes them so useful in medical imagery, they tend to go through things. Like mirrors and detection equipment.

Visible light -- the reds, greens and blues our eyes can detect -- is far easier to reflect and magnify, the basic function of an optical telescope. Shine a flashlight into the mirror, and the light will bounce back. A beam of X-rays would pierce through the mirror. To reflect X-ray light onto a detector, scientists need a telescope with mirrors aligned at shallow angles to the detector. The process is like skimming a stone on water.

Lofting experimental equipment by balloon is nothing new, it's a cost effective way to perform tests and diagnostics without actually sending it all the way into space (this balloon achieved an altitude of 39 kilometers). As a bonus, you can retrieve the payload after you're done testing, which is difficult to impossible from orbit.

"The beauty of balloons is that we can test these cutting-edge technologies for relatively little money. Try to imagine testing a 26-foot-long telescope any other way. We plan to fly InFOCuS several more times in the next few years."

This is all headed towards a proposed NASA mission called Constellation-X.

Constellation X, proposed for flight early next decade, would comprise several telescopes flying in unison with the combined light-collecting power needed to observe matter falling into black holes. Constellation X is a key mission in NASA's Beyond Einstein roadmap.

In other words, pure fundamental research.

I also noted this at the bottom of NASA's press release:

Note on acronym: The "u" of "InFOCuS" is actually the Greek letter "mu" (m), which denotes the prefix "micro".

Mu's in space! Who Nu?

Posted by: Ted at 09:35 AM | category: SciTech
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End of the Sudanese Civil War?

Rebel officials and the Sudanese government committed themselves Friday to ending the 21-year civil war in southern Sudan before January, signing an agreement at a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council in Africa.

Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha and southern rebel leader John Garang, the main negotiators for the two sides, made a similar pledge last year that never came to fruition. But this is the first time the warring sides have put a deadline in writing before the U.N. panel.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. I'm not getting my hopes up too much.

Sudan's southern civil war has pitted the Islamic government against rebels seeking greater autonomy and a greater share of the country's wealth for the largely Christian and animist south. The conflict has left more than 2 million people dead, largely through war-induced hunger and disease.

A conflict in the western Darfur region started in February 2003, when the government attempted to crush two non-Arab African rebel groups who took up arms to fight for more power and resources. The government responded by backing Arab militias now accused of targeting civilians in a campaign of murder, rape and arson.

Where have we heard this before? And for those who haven't been paying attention, the government has been known to send it's Air Force to bomb and strafe random villages in revenge attacks. Slavery is also rampant in the region. A thriving business has grown where Muslims from the north kidnap southern Christians and animists, forcing them to convert to Islam before selling them into servitude. A related industry functions as a conduit between those willing to pay ransoms (often clueless western Christian missionary groups) and slave owners.

Like I said, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Posted by: Ted at 07:47 AM | category: Square Pegs
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A flag of flowers

Sarah shares a way cool photo and the story with it.

The 2002 Floral Flag is 740 feet long and 390 feet wide and maintains the proper Flag dimensions as described in Executive Order #10834. This Flag is 6.65 acres and is the first Floral Flag to be planted with 5 pointed Stars comprised of White Larkspur. Each Star is 24 feet in diameter; Each Stripe is 30 feet wide.

Check it out.

Posted by: Ted at 07:23 AM | category: Links
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Kraftsman Tools?

I've been waiting for someone to make the obvious joke.

Posted by: Ted at 05:48 AM | category: Square Pegs
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I think soccer is boring

Wouldn't it be more interesting if they played by "Aztec" rules? You know, where the losing team gets ritually sacrificed at the end of the game. I'd watch that.

Posted by: Ted at 05:03 AM | category: Square Pegs
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November 18, 2004


Weggy has posted a picture over at her place that is so... words fail.

It's not safe for work, but definitely something to see. Enough to make an atheist reconsider.

Posted by: Ted at 04:22 PM | category: Links
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I was just watching the fish in the aquarium...

...unwinding after work, and recalled that PETA wants me to believe that fish are intelligent, feeling creatures and that we shouldn't eat them. Just then, a Guorami swam by with a string of poop twice his body length trailing from his little fishy butt.

Sorry guys, no sale.

Posted by: Ted at 03:52 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Rolling Stone Magazine - Top 500 Rock Songs of all time

Some interesting choices, and as with any list, mucho room for argument.

I put their top 50 in the extended entry (still looking for a link to the whole thing). more...

Posted by: Ted at 02:23 PM | category: History
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Do you know the way out of San Jose?

A fourth of all Californians are thinking about moving — either out of state or just to another town — to bring down their housing costs, a new survey shows.

I grew up in San Jose, California. In the mid 70's my parents sold their house and we moved into a brand new and very nice double-wide mobile home. In the mid 80's my folks sold that place for nearly three times what they paid for it new. Mobile-freakin'-homes appreciate in California!

only 19 percent of the state's households can afford the state's median-priced home of $465,000. That's a 5 percent drop from a year ago. Nationally, the median-priced home — where half cost more and half cost less — was $186,600 in September.

I love California, but I've never wanted to go back. The insane cost of housing there has always been a major factor in that.

Posted by: Ted at 02:01 PM | category: Square Pegs
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