Saturday, May 13, 2006

Hillbilly/Redneck Get t'gether..... bring yur date...

Well Now....old Patrick over at Born Again Redneck has informed us all that there is a "Redneck Revolution" gonna be startin in the near future and that we'll be havin a cookout and stuff (hopes he invites me t'do the cookin)...and dontcha furget t'bring yur date like this feller is doin....but I got t'thinkin that we autta have a Texas Chilli Cookoff....sorta like the one old DT over at The Doubting Thomas told me bout. He sent me this here rendition of a poor feller that was sorta "drafted" inta bein a judge at a Texas Chili Cook-Off......

When I got dune readin this....m'sides were just ache'n frum laughin so hard....I'm shur y'all gonna get a kick outta this here story......

Texas Chili Cook Off!!
Note: If you pay attention to the first two judges, the reaction of Judge #3 is even better.
For those of you who have lived in Texas, 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 San AntonioCityPark
Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chili taster named Frank, visiting from Springfield, IL

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 Texans) 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:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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 hell 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 Texans are crazy.


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.


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. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is
in the front part of my chest. I'm getting shit-faced from all of the beer.


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?


Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding
considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must
admit the cayenne 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.
Screw them.


Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and 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.


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... 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.
Screw it; 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.


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 feller, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?
Judge # 3 - No Report

Now Sir....whats a good Redneck or Hillbilly get t'gether without a tractor gotta say that this might gross some a y'all ain't be warned.....

See what I be meanin....

...And a course...ya just gotta have a game of "Texas Horseshoes".....Well Sir...Y'all have a great day...take care and God Bless....Cookie....

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Bouyant Ascent...... Submarine Escape Training Tower....

A few days back...for nostalgic reasons...I posted an article about one of my duty stations while in the article about the USS Piper SS409. This brought back some other fond memories of those days back in 64 and the's an article about a once in a lifetime experience(hopefully)...The Bouyant Ascent.

For oh so many years, this tower at the US Naval Submarine Base was the defining motif of the Groton, Conn. skyline. Any old "Bubbleheads" (fer all you land-lubbers that's slang fer Submariners) who were stationed at New London/Groton during the late 40's, 50' and 60's, I'm sure y'all most certainly remember this landmark.

This is were we learned the rudiments of escape from a disabled sunken "Boat". For many of us...this 125 foot tall(if memory serves me correctly) old lady also helped many of us to achieve new self confidence and courage...and a sort of "right of passage" from Sub School student to, an almost Submariner.

This was generally one of the first sites that greeted us as our "boats" cruised up the Thames River returning home from a patrol...and the last site to see as we went down river to begin a new adventure.

If you went to the Base Exchange to buy some sort of souvenier (Post Card, coffee mug, T-Shirt, hat...) for the folks and friends back home...more likely as not it had this image on it. Oddly took me two full days of "Googling" to find this old photo...and that was by accident (naturally). all you lubbers and people unfamiliar with Submarine School and the types of training...what's so special about this "water tank"? Well Sir....this is where one did what is called The Bouyant Ascent"....a Submarine escape procedure.

A "bouyant ascent" is when a person surfaces from a depth of 50 or 100 feet underwater using ONLY the air in his/her breathing apparatus. Here's how it works.....

Dressed in just our Navy issued swim trunks, we would proceed to the top of the tower where we were greeted by this site looking down into the water.....

Once you became familiarized with your surroundings and instructed for the 10th time on just what to do and what not to descended (via the stairs on the outside of the tower) to an "pressurizable Escape trunk" 50 foot under the surface.......

...much like this one...but without the safety apparatus these men are wearing.....

Once in the 50 foot "escape trunk" with your instructor, the outer hatch was closed and you received your last set of safety instructions. The escape trunk was then filled with water just a little over your chin (if you were 5'11" tall) and the hatch to the inside of the tank was opened....and now........"It's Show Time".....

You ducked through the hatchway into the tank and you were now 50 feet below the surface, where you were then greeted by Navy divers who, for safety reasons...would accompany you to the surface...

Once outside the Escape would first notice a large "No Smoking" sign just obove the hatchway...don't laugh could be fatal.

The Submariner would then grab a bar on the side of the tank, arch his back so he was looking straight up through 50 feet of water above him...and then let go....the ascent had started. The air in your lungs would carry you to the surface.

Now's the catch! If you held your breath...your lungs would explode somewhere between there and the surface...not a pleasant to avoid this most uncomfortable had to EXHALE air all the way to the surface...a trip that took about 8 seconds. This was also the reason for the Navy safety diver...if you stopped exhaling...he would punch you in the diaphram to expell air...if you exhaled too much...he would give you an airhose.

If all went well...and you did exactly as arrived at the surface with a renewed sense of self confidence and one real great adrenalin high......

Now was manditory for all prospective submariners to perform the bouyant ascent from the 50 feet level...and optional from the 100 feet level. Myself, the buddy I joined the Navy with, and three other men opted to do it from 100 feet...a trip, that if I recall correctly, took about 14 seconds (remember...exhaling ALL the way). WOW...what another great rush that was....

I just thought old Cookie would share that nostalgic adventure with y'all...after all...what's an adventure in'f cain't tell no one about it.....take care and may God Bless everyone......

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Been real busy...get a post out ASAP.......

Sorry fer no post's fer a day or so...been at my Lawyers most a the time.......

I be gettin somthin out as soon as I can......

This is the firm of Scarem, Bitem, Eatem & Shitem.....

Hmmmmm......gotta think about that result a might....'s y'all's turn....take the test and be sure t'post the results.......

Hey...any a you old Boat sailors out there got a picture of the old Submarine Escape Training tower in Groton? I've torn the internet apart lookin fer one...wanted to do a post on Bouyant Ascents...a picture would help......

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Just a little history bout one a my duty stations... The USS PIPER SS409....


USS Piper (SS409)

-Keel laid by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery Maine, 15 March 1944,

-launched 26 June 1944,

-commissioned 23 August 1944,

-decommissioned 16 June 1967

-Balao ClassLength: 311' 8"

-Extreme Beam: 27'

-3"Mean Draft: 15' 3"

-Displacement: 1,526 tons (surface), 2,401 tons (submerged)

-Design Speed: 20.25 knots (surface), 8.75 knots (submerged)

-Design Depth: 400 feet


-21 inch torpedo tubes; 6 fwd, 4 aft;

-24 torpedoes,

-one 5"/25 deck gun,

-one 40 mm,

-one 20 mm,

-two 50 cal machine guns


-Twin screw, diesel electric drive

-Engines: 4 Fairbanks Morse - 5,400 shaft horsepower

-Main Motors: 4 Elliot Motor Co. - 2,740 shaft horsepower

-Batteries: Gould Storage Battery Co. - 252 cells

-Fuel: 118,300 gallons

-Submerged Endurance: 48 hours at 2 knots

-Patrol Endurance: 11,000 nautical miles, surfaced at 10 knots

-Design Complement: 6 officers, 60 enlisted men.

-Guppy: Snorkel conversion in 1951

Although built late in World War II, Piper completed 3 successful war patrols in the Pacific, winning four battle stars before the end of hostilities.

She was responsible for sinking more than 6,000 tons of Japanese shipping.After the war, Piper operated out of the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton Connecticut until her decommissioning in 1967.

They're all gone now...but here's a poem I found that sums up a Submariners feelin's bout those old "Boats".

THE GUPPIES by Bob Harrison, Greenfield Indiana, 9/4/2000

Long before the advent of the hippie and the yuppie

There was a class of warship that was fondly called the Guppy.

Now the Guppy was a submarine, in case you didn't know

Long and black and sleek she was, and always on the go.

In World War Two, the submarines were our first line of attack

Many of them went out to sea and some did not come back.

Now the submariners knew this but still they went to war

To defend their nation's freedom was what they were fighting for.

After World War Two had ended, when the Japs and Germans quit

Someone thought the old subs should be streamlined just a bit.

So they re-designed the old boats and named them Guppy Class

With snorkels, better batteries and a hull to make 'em fast.

They went to sea both north and south from east to setting sun

They never knew when night was o'er and daytime had begun.

Theirs was a life of silence and the darkness of the deep

Sometimes their only pleasure were a few hours of blessed sleep.

They ploughed the seas from Pole to Pole in defense of freedom's goals

From Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka to the faroff iceland shoals.

To spy on Soviet submarines and other ships of war

Was the job of these brave lads who roamed the ocean floor.

They ran patrols from Greenland to the shores of Timbuktu.

The GIUK GAP and MED RUN were just nothing for a crew

Of Guppy sailors who thought the NORTHERN RUN okay.

Then take shore leave in Norfolk for another night of play.

How many Guppies were there? Far more than I could name

And each has earned an honored place in the Guppy Hall of Fame.

They fought the war with Soviets in secrecy and guile

Until the foe gave up the fight, which made it all worth while.

Now they're gone, as all ships go when their tour of duty's o'er

Brave Guppy stalwart warriors, they roam the seas no more.

They've gone to graves far out at sea and this should be their lot

Gone from the sight of those they served but not to be forgot.

.......I was only on her fer bout 8-9 months before I headed off to Submarine Nuclear Power School and later...The Navy Seabee's...but ya couldn't help but fallin in love with this Gray Iron Lady......Cookie......

Garam Masala........

Well Sir...back in 1963 or 4...cain't remember eggsactly...the Submarine I was on...the USS Piper- SS 409...stopped in Karachi, Pakistan fer a short port of call. While there...I bravely (and agin the Captain's orders NOT to eat the food) partook of the local cuisine...which is usually some spicey meal made from a variety of meat products. I found the food(s) much too spicey fer my like'n...but I could at least say I had tried it.....

Many years later...after having been a Cop fer many years...I developed an ulcer...a common condition among Law Enforcement personnel (in fact Rolaids & Tums is called "Policeman's Candy"). Because of that condition...I unfortunately had to steer clear of most spicey foods...with Indian (Hindi) and Pakastani foods included cause of the heavy use of the Curry's and other spices.....

A few posts back I had put out a "SMARY" (Send Me Any Recipee's Ya'got") and several good folks of em bein Mr. Patrick Joubert Conlon...who was a Chef with his own fine Restaurant in San Fran......Now, the recipee he sent me was fer Garam Masala ...a spice combination used primarily in Asian (Hindi) foods.. and I be the furst t'admit that I don't know that much about it so's I "Googled" it (still sounds dirty t'me)...and here's what I found.....

Garam masala (गरम मसाला in Hindi) is a blend of dry-roasted ground spices common in Pakistani/Indian cuisine, whose literal meaning is 'hot spices'. There are many variants: most traditional mixes use just cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg (and/or mace), black pepper and green cardamom seed or black cardamom pods. Many commercial mixtures may include more of other less expensive spices and may contain dried red chili peppers, dried garlic, ginger powder, sesame, mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander, cloves, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin, nutmeg, and fennel. While commercial garam masala preparations can be bought ready ground, it does not keep well, and soon loses its aroma. Whole spices, which keep fresh much longer, can be ground when needed using a pestle or electric coffee grinder...... be Mr. Patrick's own special blend of Garam Masala and ways too use it....and comin frum Mr. P...that's good nuff fer this Cookie......

Garam masala can be used during cooking, but unlike many spices, it is often added at the end of cooking, so that the full aroma is not lost. Garam masala is not "hot" in the sense that chilis are, but is fairly pungent.

Turmeric 4 tsp

Paprika 2 tsp

Cumin 1 tsp

Coriander 1 tsp

Ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp

Ground cloves 1/4 tsp

Nutmeg 1/4 tsp

Cayenne pepper (or dried red chilies) 1/4 tsp - or less or more to taste.

I use less cayenne or chilies for a vegetable curry and more for meat. This makes enough garam masala for several curries. Mix it together well and use about a level tsp per serving of curry. So if you are going to cook two chicken breasts, use two level tsps of garam masala.

Cut chicken breasts into bite-size cubes. I like to add a potato (also cubed) and peas or okra.Heat some oil or ghee (clarified butter) in a skillet large enough to cook the whole meal.

If you can get mustard seeds, now's the time to add a teaspoon of them to the hot oil. As soon as they start popping, you add 2 tsp of garam masala. Stir till spices are mixed into oil.Add one finely chopped onion, as much garlic as you like (I use about a heaping teaspoon of finely chopped garlic per serving) and half a tsp per serving of finely grated fresh ginger or quarter tsp dried ginger.

As soon as the onions are golden, add the potatoes and chicken.

Dissolve 2 heaping tsps of tomato paste in a cup of water and add to skillet. Simmer with a lid on it for 30 to 40 mins until chicken and potatoes are cooked. You might need to add a bit more water occassionally.

About ten minutes before it's ready add the okra or peas and a 1/4 cup fresh cilantro if you can get it and salt to taste.

Serve with rice preferably basmati rice.You can use any meat - beef, lamb, firm fish, shrimps, turkey or pork. I usually use my left over roast chicken, beef or leg of lamb.

Well Sir...thats it fer t' a whole ton a yard wurk needs bein dun......and by the way...."SMARY".......Cookie.....

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Family History & Info....

Now...this here furst photigraph is my sister/cousin/aunt Maybelle...she was always good at figurin out things.......

...and down below...ya got some pictchers a me in "Sex Educashun" classes...home schoolin (the local Board of Educashun was agin that) nickname was "Clinton" back then.....

And then there be the family cat...BUSTER...takes after me he duz.....

Well Sir...nuff bore'n ya fer now...just thought y'all might like t'know little bout me and my family....

gotta get back out fishin and catch dinner......

Hat Tip to DT fer family pix........Cookie