All is well

It’s nearly kickoff time for the 2021 Cavalcade of Consumerism, so grab yourself a sammich and a frosty beverage and settle into the La-Z-Boy for the Big Game.

The NPD Group advises us that 30 percent of respondents to a recent survey yearn for the door-busting, clerk-trampling, no-holds-barred combat of Black Friday, in which sleep-deprived, half-frozen fatties who spent Thanksgiving night camped outside a Lubbock Best Buy do it hand to hand over dubious bargains on giant TVs that will watch them like famished zopilotes and suggest other must-have items based upon their observed activity, if any.

“Damn, another ad for Weight Watchers. And Planet Fitness. Who has the time? Pass the Fritos and bean dip.”

NPD doesn’t explain their survey methodology, but you know they didn’t ask for my thoughts, because 100 percent of me would rather stuff an angry ferret down his bibs than head for the trough on Black Friday to see what the Waltons are serving to the sneezers and wheezers (there’s still a plague going on, you may recall). Let ’em make their bacon out of the NPD’s dummies.

We plan a muted Thanksgiving here at El Rancho Pendejo. Herself will collect her mom from The Facility and we will do a late lunch —  cider-braised turkey thighs with taters and apples, stir-fried succotash with edamame, some class of a green salad, and Herself’s famous lemon bars. The ladies will enjoy a dram or two of wine, while I make do with a bottle of fake beer.

I bought the fixins on Monday to avoid the rush. There were just two cashiers at Sprouts and the queued natives were restless. If we get through the weekend without gunplay it will be a holiday miracle.

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24 Responses to “All is well”

  1. JD Says:

    PO’G: If you’ve not tried it, I recommend Heineken Zero non-alcoholic beer. Available at many grocery stores as it’s non-alcoholic. I always say “Just a wee sip of a Heineken Zip!”

  2. carl duellman Says:

    stir fried succotash sounds interesting.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Carl, it’s been a holiday tradition around our place since forever. Martha Rose Shulman has a bunch of good recipes at The New York Times and at her own website.

      • SAO' Says:

        We’re at my wife’s folks’ farm for the weekend, so it’s too late to add to the menu. Nor would I dare suggest so much as an Andes mint to add/subtract/augment/round-out her mom’s picture-perfect spread.

        But I think the stir-fried succotash and cider-braised turkey might headline our Solstice dinner.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I’ll report back to the group after Thanksgiving. This braise is a new recipe for me. We didn’t see any point in doing a full-on turkey deal since both Herself and her mom are light eaters.

        Anyway, as you know, we tend to wander off the reservation for holiday meals — Asian, Mexican, Italian, whatever. That we’re doing turkey at all is something of a departure for us. We haven’t done an actual bird in Burque; our last traditional feast was in 2012, back in B-burg.

  3. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Our best to Herself the Elder and Herself Junior! And to Mad Dog The Only.

    BTW, Herb you would be pleased to know we had two trombone players and our jam on Monday. 120 db in front of them!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Back at thee and thine, señor.

      Two tromboners? Hijo, madre. Did you warn the neighbors? They might’ve thought it was an elephant stampede.

      • Herb from Michigan Says:

        That is going to give me nightmares. Some people fear clowns. Me? Trombones. Did you check to see all your valuables were intact after these trombone players departed?

        • JD Says:

          Not only that! A really good tromboner/ist can take your larynx out with the slide in a nano-flash! Close in engagements are not recommended. Light sabers have no chance!

          Good advice from Obi Wan Tromboni! 🙂

  4. SAO' Says:

    Thankful to everyone who helped me keep my sanity this past year, so the collective of co-conspirators here gets a special nod.

    And if anyone is looking for me on Black Friday, you’ll find me under a dozen blankets in a pie-induced coma, at least until sun-up. Then, after coffee, Black Friday on the farm is no different than those of any other color. Chores, chores, and more chores if you expect to get fed that day.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Likewise, I’m sure. If I weren’t able to shout down this rabbit hole I’d be doing it out in the streets, where “they” can get a clear shot at me.

      As the Zen masters have taught us, “A day of no work is a day of no eating.” And you don’t want to miss that farm eating.

      • SAO' Says:

        ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠🧘🏼‍♂️ Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water 🧘🏽‍♂️

      • SAO' Says:

        Shouting down the rabbit hole is fine. But if you want to start a movement, you’re going to have to sing louder.

        So we’ll wait for it to come around again, and this time, with four-part harmony, and feeling.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    We are headed up to our friends David and Maureen up in Bombtown for the traditional Thanksgiving Pig Out and Shoot the Shit Festival. Everyone has all their shots and we have a lot to catch up on since last year it was cancelled due to the pandemic and the year before that as David was on travel and the festivities were cancelled.

    And as of the first, I am gainfully retired.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Well done on both counts, sir. Drive carefully. We’ve gotten about a quarter-inch of rain since 11 p.m. last night, and up thataway it might turn into snow.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I put new tires on the Furrister last fall and barely drove it, due to working from home, the pandemic, and all that jazz. So I’ll be careful. Not to mention, fall back on my born-and-raised in Buffalo, NY institutional memory on how to do donuts in the snow….

        • Shawn Says:

          Late one delightful snowy evening on a Turkey Day trip to Anchorage, AK with a few of my college buddies, I was doing doughnuts in my old 1971 Dodge 3-on-the-tree utility van in a shopping mall parking lot. As I swooped around I realized that one of the parked cars in the lot was suddenly speaking to us. It was a vehicle of local constabulary influence, and kindly reminded us by loud speaker, “That’s not only dumb, that’s stupid.” I appreciated the generous police officers for reminding me that advanced education doesn’t drive all of the idiot out, and sedately cruised out of the parking lot. My college buddies like to periodically remind me of that evening and the police officers oratory.

          Happy Thanksgiving to all !

  6. Shawn Says:

    I brewed up a spicy brine concoction last night and dropped the bird in a big bucket with lots of ice and the cooled down brine. Later today I’ll smoke the bird on my uber-tech charcoal smoker with custom moving blanket insulation. I think Alice may stop by later to help me out with the bird basting.

    Oh ! I almost forgot. I went by the bank and got a thousand $1 bills. I thought I would drive through the parking lot of my local Black Friday retailer early tomorrow morning right before they open the doors and throw out bills here and there as I roll along. I want to see how many folks sacrifice their consumer positions to imbibe in the melee’ of fluttering paper. I’ve got a copy of Monty Python’s theme song I’ll play loudly as I cruise across the lot. Well, at least that’s what I’ll think about as I sleep in tomorrow AM and relish the thought that “I have enough steenking consumerish crap”.

    On a bike related issue, a number of you are using Schwalbe Marathon tires. Apparently from your indications, they are good tires. Does anybody know where they are made? I need to re-shod my everyday multi-terra velomobile and was thinking about breaking the piggy bank for some decent new tires. I’ve been running the old Conti Town & Country’s but several years ago they cheapened the recipe and moved the manufacturing to a more job-needy country and the quality isn’t quite the same.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      Indonesia and Vietnam. I used Marathon and Marathon Plus tires for years with no complaints save one. Buy a bottle of their bead lube so you can mount them fairly easily, especially on Mavic rims. They are a tight fit, and using two Quicksticks made the job much easier. The plus is damn near flat proof but heavy. Goatheads don’t stand a chance. They last a long time and have decent traction.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I run Schwalbe Little Big Bens on several bikes. Bulletproof, but not exactly supple.

      Also, I like pretty much anything from Panaracer, especially the models they make for Soma. I’ve heard some people complain about Panaracer sidewalls, but I’ve gotten good service from Paselas and Soma’s Shikoro, Cazadero, and The Everwear.

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