New Mexico Chili Cook-Off

New Mexico Chili Cook-off

This is an actual account as relayed to paramedics at a chili cook-off in New Mexico . . .

For those of you who have lived in New Mexico or tasted your way across it, you know how true this is. They actually have a Chili Cook-off about the time Halloween comes around. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the Santa Fe Plaza. Judge #3 was an inexperienced chili taster named Frank, who was visiting from Springfield, IL.

Chili -- Sharing the SoCal Autumn Sun
Sharing the SoCal Autumn Sun

Frank: “Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off.. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge’s table, asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native New Mexicans) that the chili wouldn’t be all that spicy; and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge #3.”

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:

CHILI # 1 – MIKE’S MANIAC MONSTER CHILI

Judge # 1 — A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 — Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
Judge # 3 (Frank) — Holy crap, what the h— is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that’s the worst one. These New Mexicans are crazy.

CHILI # 2 – EL RANCHO’S AFTERBURNER CHILI

Judge # 1 — Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.
Judge # 2 — Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge # 3 — Keep this out of the reach of children. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

Chili -- Nesting
Nesting

CHILI # 3 – ALFREDO’S FAMOUS BURN DOWN THE BARN CHILI

Judge # 1 — Excellent firehouse chili Great kick.
Judge # 2 — A bit salty, good use of peppers.
Judge # 3 — Call the EPA. I’ve located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. The Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I’m getting sh*t-faced from all of the beer.

CHILI # 4 – BUBBA’S BLACK MAGIC

Judge # 1 — Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2 — Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
Judge # 3 — I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. This 300 lb. woman is starting to look HOT . . .  Just like this nuclear waste I’m eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?

CHILI # 5 – LISA’S LEGAL LIP REMOVER

Judge # 1 — Meaty, strong chili. Jalapeno peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 — Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the jalapeno peppers make a strong statement.
Judge # 3 — My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted, and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I’m burning my lips off. It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. HELP !!

Chili -- Nesting
Nesting

CHILI # 6 – VARGA’S VERY VEGETARIAN VARIETY

Judge # 1 — Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 — The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic. Superb.
Judge # 3 — My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I crapped on myself when I farted, and I’m worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally. Can’t feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone.

CHILI # 7 – SUSAN’S SCREAMING SENSATION CHILI

Judge # 1 — A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge # 2 — Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried about Judge #3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
Judge # 3 — You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn’t feel a thing. I’ve lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they’ll know what killed me. I’ve decided to stop breathing. It’s too painful.  I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I’ll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

CHILI # 8 – BIG TOM’S TOENAIL CURLING CHILI

Judge # 1 — The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2 — This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he’s going to make it. Poor fella, wonder how he’d have reacted to really hot chili?
Judge # 3 — No report

Humor — Morals and Nutrition — or lack thereof . . .

Humor -- Shadow Birds

Attempt at Humor #1 — Morals

A teacher told her young class to ask their parents for a family story with a moral at the end of it, and to return the next day to tell their stories.

In the classroom the next day, Sam told his story first, “My dad is a farmer and we have chickens. One day we were taking lots of eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the truck when we hit a big bump in the road; the basket fell off the seat and all the eggs broke. The moral of the story is not to put all your eggs in one basket.”

“Very good,” said the teacher.

Next, Mary said, “We are farmers too. We had twenty eggs waiting to hatch, but when they did we only got ten chicks. The moral of this story is not to count your chickens before they’re hatched.”

“Excellent!” said the teacher again, very pleased with the response so far.

Next it was Barney’s turn to tell his story: “My dad told me this story about my Aunt Karen … Aunt Karen was a flight engineer in the war and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whisky, a machine gun and a machete.”

“Go on,” said the teacher, intrigued.

“Aunt Karen drank the whisky on the way down to prepare herself; then she landed right in the middle of a hundred enemy soldiers.

“She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets. Then she killed twenty more with the machete until the blade broke. And then she killed the last ten with her bare hands.”

“Good heavens,” said the horrified teacher. “What did your father say was the moral of that frightening story?”

“Stay away from Aunt Karen when she’s drunk.”


Attempt at Humor #2 — Nutrition

A doctor was addressing a large audience in Oxford on the subject of modern nutrition.

“The rubbish we put into our stomachs should have killed most of us sitting here, years ago.

“Red meat is full of steroids and dye. Soft drinks corrode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. High trans-fat diets can be disastrous, and none of us realize the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water.

“But, there is one food that is the most dangerous of all and most of us have, or will eat it.

“Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?”

After several seconds of quiet, a 70-year-old man in the front row raised his hand, and softly said:

“Wedding Cake?”


Humor #3 — Poetry

Laugh And Be Merry

    By John Masefield

Laugh and be merry, remember, better the world with a song,
Better the world with a blow in the teeth of a wrong.

Laugh, for the time is brief, a thread the length of a span.
Laugh and be proud to belong to the old proud pageant of man.


Laugh and be merry: remember, in olden time.
God made Heaven and Earth for joy He took in a rhyme,
Made them, and filled them full with the strong red wine of
His mirth
The splendid joy of the stars: the joy of the earth.

So we must laugh and drink from the deep blue cup of the sky,
Join the jubilant song of the great stars sweeping by,
Laugh, and battle, and work, and drink of the wine outpoured
In the dear green earth, the sign of the joy of the Lord.

Laugh and be merry together, like brothers akin,
Guesting awhile in the rooms of a beautiful inn,
Glad till the dancing stops, and the lilt of the music ends.
Laugh till the game is played; and be you merry, my friends.

Sunroom Cats – Watch the Birdie Show

Sunroom CatsOur two cats, Mist and Smoke spend a good deal of time in our sunroom. This room used to be our open-air patio — that is, it was outdoors and Mist and Smoke are indoor cats.

Now, however, they are allowed into the sunroom and can get some ten feet closer to the birds. We have lots of Mourning doves, hummingbirds, sparrows and similar birds and the occasional crow, Coopers hawk and squirrel. Sunroom Cats

In the morning they crowd the feeders and the ground under them. In the afternoon their shadows appear on the shade which my wife has lowered to prevent the sun from shining in her eyes.

Sunroom CatsMist, the female and smaller of our cats, finds these shadows fascinating. She watches them from the floor, the chair, the TV table and Charlie’s “wheelie/walker.” For about two hours, until shortly before sunset, we can find Mist, and occasionally Smoke bird watching while Charlie reads or watches TV. Sunroom Cats

We enclosed our patio and built the sunroom so Charlie would have a room of her own to read, play games, watch TV, drink tea, smoke and enjoy her garden. It’s nice to have a room that her cats also enjoy and can spend time with her.

IMG_0113

Sunroom Cats


The Cat.

By Oliver Herford
 

OB-SERVE the Cat up-on this page.
Phil-os-o-phers in ev-er-y age,
The ver-y wis-est of the wise,
Have tried her mind to an-a-lyze
In vain, for noth-ing can they learn.
She baf-fles them at ev-er-y turn
Like Mis-ter Ham-let in the play.
She leads their rea-son-ing a-stray;
She feigns an in-ter-est in string
Or yarn or any roll-ing thing.
Un-like the Dog, she does not care
With com-mon Man her thoughts to share.
She teach-es us that in life’s walk
‘T is bet-ter to let oth-ers talk,
And lis-ten while they say in-stead
The fool-ish things we might have said.

 

 

Sunroom 4 – Finished?

Mist and Smoke at home in the sunroom

Our sunroom is finished–well, except for a TV stand and new cable outlet.

Yesterday, the room’s shades were installed. The shades are on the outside of the west and south walls and will block the sun so the room will not get too hot and not so bright as to drown out the TV picture.

South Sunroom Shade
South Shade

The shades are motorized with a remote control so Charlie can operate one or both of them from her chair. They are also on wire-guides to make sure they go straight up and down and do not flap around even in a Santa Ana wind or rainstorm.

Sunroom Shades Partway Down
Shades Partway Down
Sunroom Shades' Wire Guides
Wire Guides

Sunroom Interior South and West
South and West

Last week her two new chairs and footrest were delivered. After the installation of the shades yesterday, I took her shopping for a new table to replace the glass-topped outdoor patio table we’d been using for the last two decades. She found one at Living Spaces in Huntington Beach to be delivered today between 10 and 1. The store has a couple of battery-powered scooters for those with difficulty walking and I didn’t have to unload Charlie’s from the back of the Buick.

The delivery guys–two young men in their twenties–arrived early, a little after nine, before I’d finished clearing Charlie’s table and moving it outside. (They offered to come back a little later if we weren’t ready. Yeah, like I’d accept that offer.) After I finished clearing the table, they moved it outside and quickly assembled the new drop-leaf table. And before the start of The View, we were back in business.

Sunroom Interior West and North
West and North

This afternoon Charlie finally found a corner TV/media cabinet she liked and ordered it. So, we should be finished with furnishing her new smoking/sunroom shortly.

Meow–thumbs up!

The cats (Smoke and Mist) have already laid dibs to the visitor’s chair as their own–either basking in the sun on its back or sleeping in the seat itself. Facing out the window also provides “cat TV” and a good look at the birds and squirrels at, around and under the feeder.


Sunroom Shades Down
Shades Down

“Mondays are the start of . . .

Mondays . . ,

well, it’s Monday.

Charlie’s new furniture arrived for our sunroom — it arrived about 8.30 am (with an arrival scheduled for between 8 and 10 am. Two chairs and a footrest. Pictures tomorrow.

Speaking of pictures, I’ve had a devil of a time uploading pictures to this blog. Tried several of the suggestions in the WordPress Support forums and nothing worked. So, I tried something else — I switched browsers.

It worked.

I generally use Firefox but I’ve been beating my head against the wall of an HTTP error trying to upload pictures since upgrading to WordPress 4 and its siblings. Sometimes it worked, often it didn’t — including today.

After trying everything else I could think of, I tried using Google Chrome. It worked. Yee-ha!

CAT TV Mondays
CAT TV

Cats

Well, now that I feel better, here’s a picture of Smoke and Mist, taken yesterday, as they were watching CAT TV. Just when I took the picture Mist turned around.

Hope your day went well and, if you’re a teacher, remember for this week: Tuesday is the new Monday.

Monday Poetry

Monday

    By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Awake! arise!    Cast off thy drowsy dreams!
Red in the East, behold the Morning gleams.
“As Monday goes, so goes the week,” dames say.
Refreshed, renewed, use well the initial day.
And see! thy neighbour
Already seeks his labour.


 

. . . the work week which offer new beginnings 52 times a year!”
― David Dweck