[Nearly a third of the Corvid family (41 species) is comprised of Crows and Ravens who make up the genus Corvus]|
I have always had a strange affinity and association with Crows. As a boy growing up in North Texas they were my nearly constant companions wherever I traveled. I could be walking to school, riding my bike, playing with friends, etc. There would be Crows in attendance nearby with very few exceptions, if I was outside there would be Crows around. This has pretty much continued all through my adult life. One could argue that there simply is a large amount Crows in North Texas and I was bound to encounter them at almost every turn. Crows like hanging out, they are easy to notice, they don’t hide very well, and they almost always make their presence known.
In the mid 90’s I was working in a small office park near Forest Lane and Greenville Ave in Dallas. I went out for lunch daily and there would be always be Crows just loitering nearby or standing on my car. I began to take a little more interest in Crows and started witnessing odd things. Once while at the office I heard a distinct "Knock Knock Knock" at the front plate glass door and opened it to find a Crow lying flat on the grass with it’s wings spread out completely. I stood there about 5 feet away, I thought to myself “Oh my God! I’m witnessing this bird die.” But it finally got up and stumbled around like it had been in a trance or something….maybe it hit it’s head on a window and was knocked out for a minute or two. Not long after this happened I read an interesting book called “Animal Acts” that had some good information on Crows, it stated that Black Crows in Texas have been observed lying down in red ant beds and letting the ants crawl all over them and then getting up and smashing (crushing) the ants with their beaks and rubbing this ant mixture all over their wings and their bodies. Turns out those red ants have an acid in their bodies that is a potent psychotropic with hallucinogenic qualities and that these crows were observed repeatedly coating themselves in it……who knew?
I spoke with a lady once while I was still in Dallas and told her about my experience with Crows. She told me about having worked with Native Americans who would all give a part of their lunch everyday as an offering to the Crows, and someone would go out and place the food away from the building or cars. I started doing this and did it for many years and I came to believe that the Crows had somehow communicated with others that I was good for a free lunch, for months I tried different experiments and would go somewhere and watch the crows come and start waiting for me to put some food and there would always be a Crow come eat it within a few minutes. This has happened in many different states so it's not simply a regional thing.
There are not so many Crows now here in Arizona but I’ve recently seen a group that seems to be watching me and coming a little closer. I’ll try some granola bars, that's always a crowd pleaser.
I stumbled upon this website at http://postsecret.blogspot.com/. The idea is this, anyone can create a postcard revealing a secret that they hold inside, and send it (no not as an email attachment, I said postcard damnit! think stamps!) anonymously to the author of the website, where it will be shared with the world.|
When I first glimpsed the site I can't say I was all that enthusiastic about spending much time there, but I must admit that I was quickly sucked in, and I read every postcard from the top of the page to the bottom. Now I know what you're thinking, "wow he read a whole page, give this guy a fucking medal", but this isn't a normal "page", this is like the Tour De France of webpages. As far as I can tell, the entirety of the website is conveniently presented on one single page, a plan I intend to incorporate right here on The Asylum.
So I read the postcards on the site. I thought some of them were funny, some sad, some clever, some even brought a tear to my eye. Yet, many were just crap that should've been eliminated to make room on the homepage for the good stuff, and we all know space is finite on the homepage. Bits and pieces of poems or songs or cliches, some blatantly fictional, pitiful suicidal cries for help, and some are just plain stupid, but all in all it was worth the read.
Some of the secrets were so powerful that I'll share them with you here.
This one speaks pretty clearly for itself, and I dedicate it to JEB Stuart. Seriously now, is there anyone who doesn't?
This reminds me of a joke from one of those Truly Tasteless joke books. It went something like this:
· Boy: "Mommy, I don't want to eat tomato soup again."
· Mom: "Shutup and eat, we only have it once a month!"
Men, I think the lesson is clear, don't eat soup.
At the risk of Smug Git calling me a savage, after all I pee in the shower, I admit that I almost never wash my hands after using the toilet. I mean, if I piss on my hands, sure i'll wash them, but otherwise what's the point? Because I touched my cock? It's not fucking diseased! I, like most men, adjust myself several times per day, and I urinate several times per day. This, coupled with masturbation, means I can touch my cock anywhere from 10 to 100 times per day, and i'm not going to wash my hands every time they touch my cock.
I included this one because it's just so... erotic. There's a very good chance this person will join The Asylum, if (s)he hasn't already.
And here are a couple more that didn't make that site:
RSS is catching on, and rightfully so. It's one of those really cool ideas which continue to make the internerd better, more useful, and cooler.|
RSS is Really Simple Syndication. It allows one website to share content with other websites, or applications, in a standardized manner. Where previously, if you wanted to, for instance, display recent Newsweek stories, you would require a script or program which would fetch the newsweek.com homepage and try to strip the needed information out of the source code. Even if you got that working it would break every time newsweek.com modified their layout code.
With RSS this is easy. RSS is an XML format, it is structured and very simple to parse, it made something which was previously more work than it was worth in development and maintenance time into something that developers can easily use with confidence that things won't suddenly break because some html was modified.
But what does that mean to YOU?! I realize most of you probably don't care about the technicalities, so i'll show you a few cool, useful things you can do with RSS without knowing much at all about RSS.
First of all, the asylum homepage and blogs now come complete with validated RSS feeds. There are 3 types of feeds:The Asylum pages with feeds have a rss icon in the header title, as seen here:
If you see this icon, you know there's a feed for that page, and more importantly, you know the address to that feed because it's a link. You can click on it, or right click on it and select "copy link" or "copy link location" to get the feed url.
How to Find an RSS Feed
Many websites have an icon of some sort on their homepage to indicate a feed, some similar to the icon Asylum uses, but many others, and some without any icons or links at all. In that case you'll have to do some minor sleuthing.
Firefox comes in handy here, because it will tell you if a webpage provides a feed. A RSS icon in the lower right hand corner of the browser indicates the website you're viewing provides an RSS feed:
If you think or know a website has a feed, but you can't or don't want to bother to find the url to the feed, it's not at all hard to determine in the page source. Click the "View Menu" of your browser and select "Page Source". You'll see a whole bunch of scary code, but don't fear, what you seek is near.
The info you want will typically be in the head of the document, which means at the top. The info should be in a <link rel="alternate" href="..."> tag. Look for something like this:
The value of "href" is your feed address.
How to Use an RSS Feed
So yeah yeah, you've got the address, now what the fuck do you do with it? That's a good question, after all the whole purpose of finding a feed is to use it somehow, but how?
One of my favorites is the google homepage at http://www.google.com/ig. You may have to create a Google account to save your preferences, but it's worth it.
After you create an account or login, on your Google Home page, click the "Add Content" link in the top left corner to expand the menu.
This expands to give you a whole bunch of popular things to add to your start page. Go ahead and add some, hell add them all if you want. They have some cool stuff you can add just by clickin.
Then notice the last section, "Create A Section", this is a spot where you can finally use those RSS urls! Enter an asylum RSS url, for example http://www.asylumnation.com/blogs/index.rss , and it will be added to your homepage. Pretty cool, right? There are literally millions of feeds you can add to this page, you can create a homepage here that will give you all the latest news stories from all the sources you care about most, and organize them as you see fit.
My Google homepage, each section can be dragged and dropped into a new place:
Now set your Google start page as your default home page in your browser options.
Firefox has a really cool feature, you can bookmark an RSS feed and it will automatically check the feed and update the bookmarks, so you get a dynamic list of headlines.
If you click the firefox RSS icon described above:
and select "Subscribe to the feed", you can create a dynamic bookmark group of stories. Place your feed bookmarks in the toolbar to make it even more useful:
Figure this out yourself, there are a ton of different newsreaders out there, some do cool fancy things like show an alert from your system tray when one of your feeds posts an update, others don't do much of anything fancy, but they all read your feeds.
This is by no means the limit, but it is the end of my time here today. Now that you know about RSS, and you know how you can use RSS, you can keep your eyes peeled for new feeds and put them to good use. There are many applications other than what i've described here, such as cell phones, GPS, MP3 playlists, newslists, forums, anything under the sun. You could probably even set your google start page as your active desktop very easily. Anyways, the point is embrace it or die in pain, sluts.
That's all folks.
So I finally made it Stateside. |
I left home wednesday evening at 8pm, and arrived in SC, PA at 10pm Saturday evening. (both US eastern time)
In this time I have experienced the following slightly noteworthy things.
A middle-aged man of middle-eastern appearance trying to get a gas-driven chainsaw through copenhagen airport security as carry-on luggage. He himself got onboard, but was forced to leave the tool behind. He made the security personnel quite nervous, and by the time the ordeal was over, 5-6 additional security personnel staff had showed up to witness the debacle.
2) Spending 24.5 hours at Heathrow Airport's, terminal one.
I really enjoyed witnessing the ebbs and flows of people and activity at an airport. It has a slow, steady pulse as if the airport itself is alive. Life is indeed glorious.
But being unable to be enamored by this observation for the full 24 hours, I picked up a copy of Cevantes' "Don Quixote". I got through the first 250 pages at Heathrow. A shame that I had to wait to my 28th year to begin reading this work. It is a most pleasurable and amusing experience.
3) getting held back 2.5 hours as the passport control centre at Newark Airport. The travel documents issued to me by my university in 2002 had expired during this past year I spent in Denmark. My university was aware of this and had issued new ones to me. The 2.5 hours were spent mostly standing in line at the "detention facility" as they had more than a dozen staff members manning the ordinary passport control facility and only two manning the detention centre facility. The result was a bottleneck which cost many passengers their connecting flights. Luckily I had no such need of haste and was able to get the red tape cleared up in good order. I found the staff courtious and professional, if slighty lacking in the english department (but seemed to have no trouble with Spanish, a language in which I communicate exceedingly poorly).
4) On the shuttle bus from the airport to the NY port Authority I spent my time chatting with a finnish man who had been living in New York for seven years, and was returning after having visited finnish relatives. He was a Photographer and we discussed the merits of viewing displays og human frailty (through the medium of deceased specimens) as an artform. We had a great time engaging in this issue, to the point where we got wierd looks from other passengers within earshot.
5) Spending almost 3 hours waiting in line at the greyhound gate for my bus ride to milesburg. The greyhound baggage security system was amatourish, painfully slow and from what I could tell, wholly ineffective. It consisted of one security staff briefly peering into (but never touching or searcing) the opened carry-on bags for each passanger. Another staff member asked each passenger in turn to empty out their pockets and then proceeded to casually wave a hand-held metal detector about the passenger. A suicide bomber could easily just have gotten in line and blom him or herself up before being subjected to this mock security search and could kill dozens more than if he or she waited until getting on the bus. The whole exercise was a futile waste of time and ressources, in my opinion. But I guess the placebo "feel good" effect offered to the passengers has a modicum of merit in it's own right.
6) I arrived at my destination and was picked up by one of my friends that promptly invited me to a Eurotrash Party with free wine and beer. I was appalled at the lack of good cheese, crackers and fruit. But I decided to rein in my outrage and instead settled with drinking a bottle of South African Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc anno 1996, and watching lithe white females trying to dance like black people.
I guess I could have had a worse trip.
My wife and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary last Monday and just came back from a one night stay at Central City/Black Hawk for some slots and BlackJack. We broke even cause I rule at the BlackJack,man. Wife's good at those penny slots but I suck.|
Anyway,here we were at this Buffet with all the old people that got off the bus and I started observing everyone. There were so many old people. Mostly women with other women. Looked like widows. But some had their husbands and were so happy it seems....I saw myself in there with my wife and I was ok with it.
I'm turning 40 next year and I'm actually ok with the life I have made for myself.
I love my wife so much....I'm looking foward to old age.
In a society where everyone tries to win Powerball and hopes that their big ship will come,most people sometimes don't realise that what most of us have now 2/3 of the earths population could only wish they have it this good.
I mean here I was in a restaurant where I could eat whatever I want as much as I want and stay as long as I want. This we take for granted...were living like Kings and Queens and we take this for granted.
We wish for a bigger house,more money,more,more,more.
It never ends.
So what if I never ever build that car.
I mean,I would still like to,but I'm doing better than most.
And so are a whole lot of y'all.
the soviet souffle hunter sits patiently in a jar of beans on the kitchen counter.|
Yea, I know. You're sitting there thinking that because I work in a "kitchen" I don't mind the heat. Suck my sweaty balls.|
I can't stand this shit. Yes, in the winter I always say it's too cold, and in the summer it's always too hot. FUCK! I need a vaction to somewhere that's liveable.
I took my old fruits today and threw them in my blender with some vodka and cream. MmMm sorbet! well not really, but it tasted good.
What do you possibly cook when it gets this hot?
Step away from the Range!
Cooking is out of the question. What we need is some good pickled food!
Who doesn't like pickled Herring? Olives? Pickles? Pearl Onions?
Well if you don't stop reading.
Most pickeled goods can be bought at the local store. So this should be mostly simple for us all to do. (unless you are crazy and can't eat olives!)
here's what you need:
1 small jar pickled Herring (any pickled fish will do)
1 small jar pickled pearl onions
1 small jar dill pickles
1 small jar pitted green olives (or pit them yourself)
1 small jar capers
we also need:
(this is depending on skill and equipment, you may want to just buy Mayo)
3 egg yolks
1 litre vegtable oil
2 cups djion musturd
2 tbsp tabasco
4 tbsp worstichire[sp]
The only work here is making the Tarter sauce.
If you have a good mixer here's how we make the Mayo.
Frist add the Yolks(save the white) with the mustarad and some salt. Whisk at a high speed. Slowly add the Veg. oil then you Tabscao and Whortshestireeer. When all is said and Done you should have what looks like mayo. Taste, pepper? Salt? Love?
We will then take our Pickles, Onions, Capers and Olives and blend them with our Mayo.
Taste it...That's Tarter? or does it need more?
We server this with our pickled fish. Dip and eat. Mmmmm.
Through in some bread and cheese if you want just don't turn the oven on!
Don't forget a good cold white wine. Always good with fish.
Have fun eating, well all love food!
[if anyone wants an idea for a certain food, my PM is open I'll tackle requests]
I had an old friend that worked with me that was real cool. We camped out,fished,shot his guns in the woods and went everywhere together.|
He was a Vietnam Vet and didn't want to talk about it. So I respected that.
One day he confronts me at work and tells me he can't live like this anymore. He saved up enough money to get this gazebo or some shit deep in the mountains,far away from society. Like the fucking unibomber,man,was how he wanted to live. Hunt the land and come into town for some staple supplies once a month. So I helped him pack up his shit the afternoon of his last day at work,nothing much really,mostly old clothes,into his 80 AMC 4x4 Wagon,and we just shot the breeze before I said my last goodby's. When he finally did,he handed me a cassette tape and said "I talked into this last night. Got drunker than a skunk. It's everything I know you wanted to know about me and 'nam."
I don't have that tape anymore,dammit. But I remembered what it said. Came home that afternoon,and played it.....
"We were on assignment to pick up casualties at the fields...pause....bodies everywhere. We loaded them up one at a time. Other trucks there doing the same thing. Two men per truck loading bodies in back...piled up to the top. Dark set in when we were done...partner went with another truck cause it was an old friend from home...same high school...so I drove alone in a convoy.
Rear view mirror seeing nothing but bodies....this face looking at me thru the rear view..half his face blown off but that one eye looking right at me....I adjusted that mirror cause it's too fucking creepy. Bumpy roads...10 miles an hour at best...still another 15 miles to go...He's still fucking looking at me. I know it. Turn my head to look...can't move him...glass in the way..this is crazy,man. I mean he's dead. He's just dead. Turned again to look....a fucking tear rolled from that eye.(long pause....then just bawling...)
This is my 45. Yea. It's nice,man. I could just pull this trigger right now...end it all. But your right,John. That's the pussy way out....(sound of gun unclicking)
...we were sweeping out a section of field,talking shit with my buddies....ambush. FUCK! Gotta save my guys. Fuck. Too many. Run mutherfucker! Run!!
Jumped in a hole. It stunk bad. Piss and shit. Fucking urinal. As they were comming I slid away from the hole. Quiet as can be. Water up to my knees. Strange sounds. Maybe rats. I can't fucking see. Bright day outside and I can't fucking see.
Waited till dark. Managed to climb out. Walked back to camp.
Next morning I made it. No one else did.
I COULD HAVE SAVED THEM MAN! I COULD HAVE SAVED THEM!..."
There was some other stuff in there about trying to fly a helicopter and forgetting to unchain it.
And other funny moments. But before the tape stopped playing,all you heard was crying faintly...then snoring.
I thought I'd share this little blog cause with all the fucking technology we have in our hands we are still able to fuck shit up and end up facing another war that's as bad as or maybe worst than Vietnam.
I pray for all the brave soldiers out there doing the job no one else wants to do. Dying so we don't have to.
But at the same time I'm a coward cause They better kill me first before taking my kids into that hell hole.
I wish this war would end.
Summer is upon us!|
I really enjoy when the days become longer, and I can enjoy some sunshine after work. Drinking some melon SoBe, crushed ice, and rum on my balcony. Kitchens can be so dreary. I think I'll post up some simple summer fare, since we all have the ole BBQ a blaze.
(below is appox. for 2-4 eaters, please adjust)
Rillette de Canard.
2 Duck breast (you can use chicken if you wish, duck is much better though)
1 Garlic blub
1/2 cup Black olives
2 cup Olive oil (or more)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
Baggette (French Bread)
Brie Cheese (as much as you want)
Making a good confit takes time, which is what we are doing here. First in a pot heat some olive oil unitl it is smoking hot. I mean hot! Remove from heat and let sit 5 mins. Into this pot put your Duck Breats, chopped shallot, galic, cliantro and thyme. Let this sit for about 6 hours in fridge. You can let it sit longer if you wish. Once it has sat remove from cold source and into your oven at low heat 200F, for about 2 hours. Add more oil if it looks dry.
Now you'll want to turn on the BBQ, as the confit cooks.
Brie is awesome on the grill, coat your brie with some oil and let it roast on the Barbie, just until it melts. We'll sever this with our Rillette.
Pitted Black Olives and the dijon musturd go into your food processor (or what have you) blend well. Remove your duck from oven (make sure its cooked) and blend that in aswell (Just the duck!).
Server with the French Bread, Grilled Brie, and some of the confit oil, and love.
(This can be done with fish aswell. I suggest Tuna or Salmon, only cus I enjoy them.)
Pear Pork Madilion Salade
4 Pork Madilions
1 cup yogurt
1 cup Halzenuts
1 bunch Watercress
1 tbsp Honey
(this perp can be done while you make the confit you serve as your app. the confit rillette should give you lots of time to serve up this, if not feed them more brie and olives. mmmm olives)
Skin and pit your pears. A simple task done with a pearing knife, ironicly. (PM me we any questions). Place the Pears on your BBQ with care, turning then to get color, but not to burn. Into the food processor they go. Puree, I mean pulp! GO, GO, GO. Add the yogurt when all is good.
I guess I shoula metioned yo roast the rosemary and hazlenuts aswells!
You can do this in tin foil, easily done. Add this to the Pear/Yogurt. Sugar? Salt/Pepper? to taste. and the love, extra love.
This is your base for the plate.
On top of this place some Watercress you soak in lemon/honey water before.
Grill you Pork (or other) to tasters choice and you are done.
I don't do desserts.
i really need to get aroudn to some good brunch stuff soon don't I?
I always wondered how my life today would have been if my parents chose to stay in the Philipines instead of finding a new life abroad.|
Would I be fat? Would I be healthier?
The Bubble. It's like in order to survive here in the bubble,you need to excel in FREE education up until your 18,then excel in college with credit or a scholarship then you find a nice comfortable job,get married and live happily ever after and those values reflect on your kids and the cycle repeats itself.
That's the bubble.
Survival isn't that important in the bubble.
Everything's in your reach if you do everything society dictates.
And even if you don't do everything society dictates,then government handouts and stuff will keep you full.
My grandfather many years ago came into the bubble. He tried to teach me gardening. He plowed a quarter of an acre in the back yard. He cultivated with only his Bolo' knive. He grew lots of veggies there. He worked every day,stayed fit and died late.
So why did he do all this? Cause when he was outside the bubble,this he HAD to do to SURVIVE.
This became his EVERYTHING. Work,play,hobby..everything.
Now when he entered the bubble,he didn't have to garden. Food is down the block in this supermarket where you find food from all over the world. And affordable cause you did what society told you and you can afford it. You don't have to excersize in this bubble.
You can sit on your ass all day and make money because society made it this way.
Even the beggars looking for beer money on the streets aren't that malnurished. They just want a beer.
Now these people living in the bubble have this wonderful gift.
The gift of choosing.
You can choose to sit on your ass,or you can choose to go to Bally's®.
Outside the bubble,your only real choice is work day and night on the field...or die.
Sometimes I wish I could leave this bubble,and do hard physical work in order to survive.
And I wouldn't have a choice in this matter.
I think if I would have stayed in the philipines,I would have been much more like my grandfather.
The joys of life being with the earth day in and day out. Eating only once a day after a good day working,even if it's just a bowl of rice. I find people like my grandfather have so much history. So much pain in their past. So much...surviving.
The bubble takes away the need to survive. So we look for entertainment. Things that will give us joy. Movies,Internet. Television. Music.
Yet with all these things happening in the bubble,wonderful things..things people outside the bubble can only dream of having,people still choose in this bubble,to kill themselves.
Why? Because our animal instincts to survive were taken away from us,and replaced with...Boredom.