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Preview: Out of My Mind in Mechanicsburg By Phil Dodd

Out of My Mind in Mechanicsburg By Phil Dodd



A blog about what goes around me in Mechanicsburg, Pa.



Last Build Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2010 14:32:55 UTC

Copyright: Copyright 2016
 



Pennsylvania, we need to talk. Once again

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 00:29:58 UTC

2009-10-19T01:23:51Z

So there I am, going to work once again on a Sunday morning.  And it is raining.  And no one is going over 35 mph on 581. What the heck is that all about? Lets be real, Pennsylvanians.  Most times you are driving like the Devil himself is poking you in the heinie with a pitchfork.  Pedal to the metal,...

So there I am, going to work once again on a Sunday morning.  And it is raining.  And no one is going over 35 mph on 581.

What the heck is that all about?

Lets be real, Pennsylvanians.  Most times you are driving like the Devil himself is poking you in the heinie with a pitchfork.  Pedal to the metal, and get the heck out of my way.

And, again, lets be real.  Most of you are driving vehicles that are way over powered for what you can actually handle.

But today because it is raining you all decide to slow down.  Who are you kidding?  If you can't control your vehicle then get another one.  I am sure that someone, somewhere is selling Yugo's. 

12 years in the Commonwealth and you are all still making me insane.

geez.




Ok, Pennsylvania

Mon, 12 Jul 2010 14:30:31 UTC

2010-07-12T14:32:55Z

It is time to put your  thinking caps on and head into the Way Back machine. I know that in the 60's, out in the wilds of Michigan, there was a peanut butter company that put bacon in the peanut butter.  I just can't recall which company it was.  I am pretty sure that Skippy Peanut butter was the brand....

It is time to put your  thinking caps on and head into the Way Back machine.

I know that in the 60's, out in the wilds of Michigan, there was a peanut butter company that put bacon in the peanut butter.  I just can't recall which company it was.  I am pretty sure that Skippy Peanut butter was the brand.

Can any of you help with this, and solve the mystery?

Thanks.

Phil




Good Times in Pennsylvania

Wed, 07 Apr 2010 14:06:03 UTC

2010-04-07T14:21:59Z

There is one thing that can always be said about Pennsylvania...if you have the desire, there is always something going on to do.  Be it various local food fests, beer fests, music fests, whatever fests.  There is a tremendous amount of events available to entertain you and your family. You just have to choose.  And that can be the hardest...

There is one thing that can always be said about Pennsylvania...if you have the desire, there is always something going on to do.  Be it various local food fests, beer fests, music fests, whatever fests.  There is a tremendous amount of events available to entertain you and your family.

You just have to choose.  And that can be the hardest part.  Especially at an event where there is a limited number of tickets.  Such as Cigarfest 2010.  Cigarfest is being held on May 1st in the Poconos.  Three thousand tickets were available and sold in a few short days.  And I didn't get one of them.  I am sad.

Sure, the ticket price was hefty.  $100 a pop.  But you walk in and get a new humidor filled with cigars, a lighter, a cutter, and the ability to walk around the floor of the show and get that many more freebies from the company's attending. Just the cigar accessories I could have gotten would have been worth the ticket price.  but it just  didn't happen this year. 

And now I have to find something else to do that weekend.  But as I said earlier, this is Pennsylvania.  There is a ton of stuff going on.  All you have to do is look.




Cigars and Humidors - Or How to Ruin a Cigar in One Easy Step

Sat, 03 Apr 2010 14:58:43 UTC

2010-04-03T15:12:30Z

Not everyone likes cigars, I understand this and I can appreciate it.  That all being said, I had an incident this week that bears some discussion. My neighbor is a few years younger than I am.  We have performed the over the fence talks, and I have given him a few of my home brewed beers over the years.  The...

Not everyone likes cigars, I understand this and I can appreciate it.  That all being said, I had an incident this week that bears some discussion.

My neighbor is a few years younger than I am.  We have performed the over the fence talks, and I have given him a few of my home brewed beers over the years.  The one thing we have not done is to share cigars, though he knows that I am a cigar lover.  I ran into him the other day and he was all proud to show me a cigar that a friend had brought back from Jamaica for him.  He got out of his truck and pulled out this cigar that looked like it had been stored in the mojave desert. 

After declaring that it was from the Dominican Republic, he asked my opinion of it.  Not being a man of too many flowery words, I asked him how long it had been in his truck.

"A couple of weeks", he said.  "Why:"

And so I explained to him how cigars need to be stored in a humidor that holds them at 70% humidity.  How a dried out cigar will taste like burning leaves, and will most likely fall apart.  First the outer wrapper giving way, and then the binder opening up to let the filler fall out.  He was crestfallen.  Being the good neighbor that I am I explained what cigar accessories are needed if you are going to keep cigars and smoke them later.  I even offered him a couple of cigars that I had in my humidor.  He asked what he should do with the one he had.  I told him it was good for a couple of puffs, and then to be thrown away.

So what is the point of this story?  Cigars need humidors, and humidity to stay in a condition where you can smoke and enjoy them.    Cigar accessories can be the last thing on your mind if you don't enjoy cigars regularly.  But you will appreciate your cigars more if you are aware of how cigars should be stored.




I do so love coffee

Thu, 25 Feb 2010 15:09:26 UTC

2010-02-25T15:16:43Z

As if there were something not to like about coffee.  I like to make a big pot of it in the morning and enjoy it through the first part of the day.  And then I am done.  I am not an afternoon, or evening coffee drinker.  Regardless, I am still looking for a supplier of good coffee beans.  A supplier...

As if there were something not to like about coffee.  I like to make a big pot of it in the morning and enjoy it through the first part of the day.  And then I am done.  I am not an afternoon, or evening coffee drinker. 

Regardless, I am still looking for a supplier of good coffee beans.  A supplier that is not so concerned with their image, as they are about their product.  I had a friend who was supplying me with beans from Greencastle, but I started feeling that I was imposing on him as whenever I heard that business was going to be taking him close, I would give him a list of what I wanted.  And that meant a lot of coffee to keep me in caffeine heaven until he was going to there again.  Yeah, I am too lazy to make the trip myself. 

Slacker.

Grocery store coffee sucks.  Most times the bulk beans are stale, with very little flavor.  Canned coffee is blah.  I like to grind my own beans.  Wah, wah, wah. 

Anyone have any ideas of where a guy can get some good beans?

I am listening.




A New Kid in Town

Sun, 31 Jan 2010 23:24:25 UTC

2010-01-31T23:29:14Z

For those of you who haven't noticed, we have a new kid it town.  And one that is right up my alley "Lovin' Beer" has been up and running since the end of 2009.  The young lady who is writing it is a big IPA fan.  I, as we all know, am not that big of a hop guy.  I...

For those of you who haven't noticed, we have a new kid it town.  And one that is right up my alley "Lovin' Beer" has been up and running since the end of 2009.  The young lady who is writing it is a big IPA fan.  I, as we all know, am not that big of a hop guy.  I like my beers smooth, and malty.  Regardless, She has been tasting some good beers from regional microbreweries and has a lot to say about them.  You should definitely check this out....And then come back here to listen to me talk about my latest good cigar.

Or you could listen to how I had the week off this week due to an illness, and I still didn't bottle a batch of The Out Cider, or the Imperial Red Ale that I have in the fermenters.  I kind of got lost in the couch cushions.

L8R




The Farm Show Satisfies Yet Once Again

Sat, 16 Jan 2010 15:23:36 UTC

2010-01-16T16:09:23Z

MLW and I visited the Farm Show last Sunday, the day after it started.  We went on Sunday night because The Princess was volunteering at the Pennsylvania Dairy Farmers milk shake booth.  What better place for her to be, might I ask? So what did we think of the food being offered?  Because that is the only thing that...

MLW and I visited the Farm Show last Sunday, the day after it started.  We went on Sunday night because The Princess was volunteering at the Pennsylvania Dairy Farmers milk shake booth.  What better place for her to be, might I ask?

So what did we think of the food being offered?  Because that is the only thing that I got the opportunity to check out this year.  And I know that you are waiting breathlessly to find out what I think.  Seeing as I am a food expert.  A foodie, so to speak.

Moving on.  The food.  Ah, the wonderful food.  First off, the milk shakes.  If you have never had a Farm show milk shake you have not lived a complete life.  The milk shakes are thick, creamy, and the most delicious milk shakes you will ever have.

Ever.

MLW had to have a baked potato by the Potato Growers group.  It was excellent as always.  I , on the other hand had to have some fried mozzarella.  EVeryone in the world needs to eat batter fried mozzarella.  It just has to happen.  Because it is excellent.  Beyond excellent, it is a slice of heaven on earth.

Our next stop was the the apple producers booth.  MLW got an apple dumpling with ice cream on it here.  I spent a few  minutes talking to the guys there about cider for my apple cider The Out cider.  I am still trying to find a consistent supply of cider that has no preservatives in it. 

While MLW was enjoying her apple dumpling, I traveled over to the vegetable growers booth and picked up some onion rings.  And they were just ok.  I was expecting a stronger onion taste, and didn't get it.  They were good, but not excellent.

So, we had milk shakes, fried mozzarella, apple dumpling, and onion rings.  So of course I had to cruise over to the beef booth and get the new meatball sandwich.  And it didn't do the trick either.  Ok, but not really something to write home about.  Being unsatisfied at this point, I had to, yes I had to go to the mushroom growers booth and get fried 'shrooms.  And they hit the spot  I just wish that I had room at that time to have the portabella sandwich.  Next year I will make sure that that will be one of the first boothes to hit.

We didn't take the time to walk the booths this year, which I regret because I wanted to check out the alpacas, and look for a soy candle maker.  But we didn't, and I will have to now wait for next year. 

But you gotta have those milk shakes.

 




FARM SHOW!!!!!!

Sat, 02 Jan 2010 14:45:48 UTC

2010-01-02T14:54:13Z

Yes sirree Bob it is coming back just like clock work.  The 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show!!   And you know what that means, now don't you?  Milk shakes, baked potatoes, potato donuts, fried mushrooms, fried cauliflower, apple dumplings with ice cream, another milk shake, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken corn soup, more fried mushrooms, another milk shake.    And that...

Yes sirree Bob it is coming back just like clock work.  The 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show!!

 

And you know what that means, now don't you?  Milk shakes, baked potatoes, potato donuts, fried mushrooms, fried cauliflower, apple dumplings with ice cream, another milk shake, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken corn soup, more fried mushrooms, another milk shake. 

 

And that is just on opening day.  I do love me some Farm Show food.  And don't forget the all pervasive odor of farm animals and their accompanying funk of manure.  It kind of reminds me of Mackinaw Island, Michigan in the summer.

 

For those of you who don't know, Mackinaw Island is an island at the tip of Michigans Lower Peninsula.  You get to the island by a ferry, there are no cars on the island only horse drawn carriages.  The other thing that the island is famous for is fudge.  You know, the kind where they pour it out on a slab of marble and mix it all up as it cools.  Lovely smell.  Up until you mix it all up with the smell of the horse manure on a nice hot, muggy Michigan summer day.

 

 

MMMMMmmmmmmm.  Yummy.

 

Now I just have to make sure that I have the time off so that I can get that milk shake.

 

See you there?




The Countdown is Serious Now

Tue, 22 Dec 2009 10:23:25 UTC

2009-12-22T14:23:24Z

Yep, only 3 more days until the BIG ONE.  Have you gotten all of your shopping done?  Have you prepared all of your favorite recipes?  Have you sent out all of your cards? And have you taken the time to breathe just a little?  I hope so.  Because this time of year is not the time to get all worked...

Yep, only 3 more days until the BIG ONE.  Have you gotten all of your shopping done?  Have you prepared all of your favorite recipes?  Have you sent out all of your cards?

And have you taken the time to breathe just a little?  I hope so.  Because this time of year is not the time to get all worked up about the little stuff.  This is the time of year to look at your family and enjoy them.

Unless they are the completely dysfunctional family, and then it is time to look at someone else's family and appreciate them.

I will be working diligently the next few days to make sure that all of you good people of South Central Pa have enough snacks, drinks, and the such to make your time with family and friends that much better.  I ask only one thing of you.

Be considerate.  Please.

There, now that wasn't so bad was it?




Beer Bread Recipe Revisited

Thu, 17 Dec 2009 16:52:13 UTC

2009-12-17T16:53:06Z

As any Home Brewer knows, Home Brewing Recipes are constantly changing, and being tweaked.  We are always looking for that specific taste.  Not too hoppy, not to malty.  With just the right after taste, and the correct look in the glass.  Experimentation is the mistakes are made, and conversely where the victories are.  The question is always what...

As any Home Brewer knows, Home'>http://homebrewingrecipes.blogspot.com/">Home Brewing Recipes are constantly changing, and being tweaked.  We are always looking for that specific taste.  Not too hoppy, not to malty.  With just the right after taste, and the correct look in the glass.  Experimentation is the mistakes are made, and conversely where the victories are. 

The question is always what do you do with those mistakes.  You could drink them, but sometimes that is not an option.  The taste might be off, the beer might be flat, whatever.  Throwing the beer away is never an option.  And you can only eat so many brats soaked in beer, right?  Bread is the next best option.  Yes, Beer Bread. 

Bread is basically flour, yeast, and water.  Beer is basically malted grains, yeast and water.  Get the connection?  so I started looking for a really good recipe for beer bread.  The first couple of experiments were pretty much disasters.  The dog liked them, but no one else.  My first breads were hard and flat.  They didn't raise enough.  As a matter of fact they didn't rise at all.  consequently they were like beer biscuits.  I made phone calls to friends who are chefs, I looked on the internet and I finally came up with what I think is the ultimate Beer'>http://homebrewingrecipes.blogspot.com/2009/12/home-b.html">Beer Bread Recipe.  And here it is:

3 cups all purpose flour

Pince of salt

1/3 cup sugar

can/bottle of beer

package of dry yeast

when the beer is warm, add the yeast and let sit for a good 30 minutes until the yeast is re-hydrated.

mix the dry ingredients. 

add the liquids, stir well, cover, and let sit for an hour.

Pre-heat your oven to 325.

bake bread for a good 45 - 60 minutes.  Depends on your particular oven.

I will let you know what happens as I keep perfecting this recipe.

L8R




Yeah I know it has been awhile

Sun, 13 Dec 2009 22:35:19 UTC

2009-12-13T22:42:00Z

I am busy.  Can't help myself.  But I did want to brag a little.    Being a homebrewer gives me the reason to mess around with a bunch of homebrewing recipes.  Some I make on my own, some I take from others and tweak around until I feel that it is right where I want it.  Or until I screw...

I am busy.  Can't help myself.  But I did want to brag a little. 

 

Being a homebrewer gives me the reason to mess around with a bunch of homebrewing recipes.  Some I make on my own, some I take from others and tweak around until I feel that it is right where I want it.  Or until I screw it up so bad that the only thing you can do with the result is make bread from it.

 

And I have made some pretty darn good bread lately.

 

Anyway, this Fall I got the brilliant idea to make some homebrewed cider.  Making it was the easy part, waiting for the cider to condition was way harder.  The cider sat in the primary fermenter for 2 weeks, then moved to the secondary for another 2 weeks, and finally into the bottles to rest for 4 weeks.  Yes, you read that right.  2 months worth of waiting to drink this stuff.

 

But the wait was worth it.  And I still have some left for a Christmas Eve party we are going to.

 

Just had to brag.

 

L8R




Beer Festivals in October

Fri, 18 Sep 2009 13:49:13 UTC

2009-09-19T15:11:16Z

October is a rocking time in Pennsylvania.


October is a rocking time in Pennsylvania.

Lots of good beer festivals in Pennsylvania during October. Please make sure that you have a designated driver, and drink responsibly.

L8R




Beer festivals in August

Fri, 07 Aug 2009 18:51:36 UTC

2009-08-07T18:54:13Z

You know you want to know where, and when.


You know you want to know where, and when.

Here are some beer festivals that will be happening in August.

Since I am on a mood upswing I will actually start updating what is happening in September also. Aren't you excited? I know that I am.




The End of Summer Blues

Fri, 07 Aug 2009 02:40:24 UTC

2009-08-07T04:54:51Z

Vacation has been over for a couple of weeks now. I am trying to buck up.....

Vacation has been over for a couple of weeks now. I am trying to buck up.....

We did another North Carolina vacation this year. Why North Carolina rather that New Jersey, or Maryland?

Think beaches with no needles. Think beaches without a couple hundred of your closest friends.

Of course there is that white-knuckle time I call, "Driving down I-95". There is just nothing that says summer than that high speed bumper car drive through Virginia. One minute you are flying like a bat out of Hell, and the next you are standing dead still.

And just who designed the highway around Richmond? It had to be someone who really just does not like people. To go from 6 lanes down to 3 lanes in the space of a football field. Really?

Anyway, we are back. Not happily, I might add. I had my fingers crossed that I would hit the Powerball and not have to ever leave the beach again.

Guess that that plan didn't get very far.

Crap.




Central Pennsylvania, we need to have a talk.

Thu, 16 Jul 2009 15:13:24 UTC

2009-07-17T00:34:37Z

No, it isn't you..... well, actually it IS you.

No, it isn't you..... well, actually it IS you.

We have been having our differences lately, and nothing seems to get resolved. The issue about your feeling of entitlement when it comes to driving like a bat out of hell. The fact that our elected officials neglect to do their jobs EVERY FREAKING YEAR, making things difficult for the drones who work for the Commonwealth. I mean really, all those folks want to do is to go to work where they do the same thing day in and day out, go home, light up the BBQ on the weekends and get on with their lives. They don't want to have to go out and apply for foodstamps. Get real, that is why they got state jobs in the first place.

But you, Pennsylvania, continue to allow the legislators not pass a budget, and you get us into this mess every year.

But that isn't the root issue here. There are many reasons why I feel that we need to spend some time apart. See new things, meet new people. We need some distance between us. And that is why I will be gone for the next week. If you really need to get in touch, you know where you can reach me. In the mean time, please spend some time thinking about what needs to be done in this relationship to make it work. Because I really do want it to work. But I also think that you need to take a long hard look in the mirror and decide which way you want to go.

Take care of yourself.

Namaste.




A novel idea

Fri, 03 Jul 2009 01:06:15 UTC

2009-07-03T01:13:28Z

C'mon. You want to know what it is, now don't you?


C'mon. You want to know what it is, now don't you?

As I was driving to work the other day, through the construction on 15, being passed by people driving well over the 40 mph speed limit I had this about driving laws.

First, eliminate insurance. Yeah, you read that right. No more insurance. If you drive a car, you are personally responsible if you get into an accident. If you can't pay, the person you ran into gets your personal property.

Eliminate all speed limits. Drive as fast as you want to. Go on, do it. It isn't as if any of you are paying any attention to the posted speed limits anyway. No more tickets. But re-read the first part. If you get into an accident, and it is your fault, you pay for everything.

No insurance, remember?

That would make things a bit more interesting, now don't you think?

More later.