Thursday, July 28, 2011

If Looks Could Kill

The owner of this cat better be sleeping with one eye open...

I WILL kill you in your sleep.
 From the Random Cat Picture website.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Go Fly a Kite? OK!

As the URL for my blog indicates, another interest I have is flying kites. Generally, I prefer dual line stunt kites, but I recently purchased what's called a parafoil kite.  It's a single line kite, so I can't wait to try it out.

Parafoil Kite
I first became interested in this hobby while exiled to the Great White North, aka Michigan, where it was easy to find wide open spaces with what's called “clean air”, unobstructed by hills and buildings. The downside was a relatively short season – you see, a key requirement to flying kites is wind – which is also found in the term “wind chill.” Michigan also had lots of that. I never found flying kites in gloves and woolen hats all that enjoyable.

Since relocating to Tennessee, I haven't gone out as much as I'd like. While there's less times of the year affected by wind chill, as the kids got older and more involved in school activities, it's almost like waiting for a nine planet convergence, so to speak - when there is enough wind, the temperature is warm enough, there aren't any school activities, I'm off work, and the kite/s is/are in working condition. Plus, I have to search more for clean air. Hills and trees cause turbulent (dirty) air. There's an abundance of both in this area.

As the kids go off to college, that will take care of part of the equation – no extra-curricular activities that we're committed to regularly attend. I've got the new parafoil – it's never been out of its pouch, so it better be in good condition. I'm only working one job now, so I've got more free time.

Now, if the weather would just cooperate! Call me a cream puff, but as much as I dislike wind chill, I also dislike extreme amounts of heat about as much. We haven't been as scorched as Texas and Oklahoma – our hot streak hasn't been in triple digits – and we've gotten some (not a lot more) rain, but 95+ degrees is still hot -- oh, wait, we're having a cool spell. It's only going to be 92 this weekend.

As an addendum, probably the last time I flew my kites was during a visit to Oklahoma. No lack of wind, that's for sure. I remember breaking the spine of one kite because the wind was too strong.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Not Undecided, Just Waffling

Every once in awhile I'll fix waffles for breakfast, and of course, that means I have to be an ass, well, I have to paraphrase my favorite non-Biblical talking donkey and say, “It's morning. I'm making waffles!!”

Today was such a day. But, I didn't make just any ordinary waffles, I put a special touch on them.

Waffles and tea.

No, the special touch isn't the peanut butter. That's normal fare. So is the non-high fructose corn syrup-free corn syrup. Most people grow up putting the normal, boring butter and maple syrup on pancakes and waffles. I was raised on butter, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Actually, if you'll read the ingredients on your average so-called “maple” syrup, corn syrup is generally the main ingredient above maple flavoring.  So, most likely you use corn syrup, too.

But I digress. This isn't about what's topping the waffles. Not special.

The tea alongside is a little special. It's Vanilla Rooibos. Mornings generally mean lots of caffeine-bearing tea. Rooibos isn't what I call a “real” tea. It's derived from a South African bush, not Camellia sinensis that produces what we commonly know as tea – black, green, white, etc. It's an herbal “tea”, a non-caffeinated herbal tea.

I still digress. It's not about the difference between Camellia sinensis and (ahem) non-teas. Not special today.

What made this breakfast special is how the waffles were made. The rooibos isn't just served alongside the waffles, it's actually in the waffles. I infused a pot of the vanilla rooibos, cooled it down, and instead of plain water, I used the tea. It turned out very tasty, if I do say so myself.

It was suggested by our first-born offspring that next time maybe try Berry Blend or Jackfruit, or even the sweet, yet spicy, Berried Treasure. All these come from our favorite tea shop, Franklin Tea, lovingly served by Jan Erickson.

I've used ground Lapsang Souchong leaves as a dry spice, and the brewed version as the foundation for marinating brisket.

I invite you to experiment with tea in other uses besides just drinking. Anywhere a recipe calls for water, consider using tea instead.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Will and Kate Thus Grate

I know I said this is to be about puns and tea, but this is on my mind, and it's been bugging me for weeks. Tea and British. It fits, so indulge me while I rant.

What's with the media and the familiarity they have with Britain's royalty? Everywhere you watch, listen or read, someone has a news story about “Will and Kate”. "Will and Kate recently visited America;" "Will and Kate attended a polo match;" "Kate went shopping." Do the news outlets who report the news – as opposed to comment on the news, ever talk about “Lizzie and Phil”, or “Barry and Michelle”, or “Chuck and Cammy?” No, it's, respectively, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, President and Mrs. Obama, and Prince Charles and Duchess (or Lady) Camilla – okay, I'll admit it's usually Charles and Camilla, but at least it's never Charlie and Cam.

Calling her “Kate” when they were dating seems somewhat more acceptable, but now, shouldn't they both be given some respect and correctly referred to as Prince William and Duchess/Lady Katherine? Yes, they're young, but they're still royalty. The prince is second in line to the throne!

They're not America's royalty, but neither are Prince Philip and Princess Charlene of Monaco. No one calls him Phil. Even leaders who arguably don't deserve it get our respect, such as Moammar Khaddafi, and Fidel Castro.

I think it's a matter of trying to bring them to our level, not so much a lack of respect. If it was about lack of respect, then the media would be talking about “Big Daddy, JC and The HG”. Oh wait, for that to happen, they'd actually have to talk about them in the first place.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm A Lumberjack and I'm OK

Alright, I know what you're thinking.  "Tea?!?  Are you kidding?  Wayne, I thought you were a man!"  Yes, I drink tea, and I'm proud of it.  So proud, in fact, I bought this shirt from


Tea! the gentleman's coffee

When you think tea, you probably either have images of British people sitting around drinking with fine china, wearing fancy clothes, and eating scones, all while with an extended pinky.

No, when I drink tea, I drink with my friend Bubba.

Bubba - he's the one on the right

52 ounces of goodness!  I know this isn't the preferred method, but in our house Mr. Coffee has been repurposed into Mr. Tea ("I pity da fool!").  The first pot of the morning fills up Bubba, and then a second infusion of the leaves is used for iced tea.

I could go into all the benefits of tea over coffee, and the differences and non-differences black vs. green tea, but not today.  Gotta save something for future posts.

In case you're wondering about the title, you're obviously not a Monty Python fan.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Don't "Teas" Me With Your Puns

Welcome to my blog. With the inspiration of a long-time (not old) friend, I've kicked around the idea of writing a blog for quite awhile now. The problem for me has always been two-fold. First, what to write about. I liked the idea of a blog of nothing but puns, however, that always seemed unsustainable for a long time, so I knew I needed something more. Another area of interest has been tea. Not just plain ol' sweet tea massed produced in all the Southern restaurants, or run-of-the-mill grocery store tea grown and sold in bulk; I mean the good stuff, bought from tea shops, with intriguing names like “Breakfast Assam”, “Iron Buddha Oolong”, and my all-around favorite, “Lapsang Souchong”.

The second obstacle was finding just the right name. Since the blog would deal with puns, it had to be extra punny, phunny, humorous. I kept wanting to go with an Ali Babba theme, something like “Oh Pun Sez Me”, but it just seemed too cliché. Finally, inspiration came while reading about the O-Cha Japanese Festival in TEA: A Magazine.

So, I hope you like what you read, even if some of it makes you utter a low, guttural groan while shaking your head in disbelief. Please drop in from time to time for (this is when you slip into your best Cockney accent), “a spot of tea,”a laugh or two, and even an occasional deep thought.