Spam Funnies - More Gibberish

NoSpamSpammers are sometimes so funny and weird at the same time. We haven’t posted one of these for over a year, but rest assured, spam attacks keep coming and are relentless in their nonsensical gibberish and insanity. They are absolutely an entertainment medium unto themselves.

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I am truly thankful for our spam filter which dispels over 99.9 percent of the cyber garbage, yet manages to allow us to yuck it up at some of the attempts they make to sound rational (FAIL!). Witness this gem of nonsensical gibberish recovered from the spam filter:

I’ll right away clutch your RSS feed as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly let me realize so that I could subscribe. Thanks.


Skull Ornaments

I found this colorful basket of elaborately decorated skull ornaments in one of the home furnishing stores here in town this week. I assume they are related to the traditional “Day of the Dead” holiday, but can’t be sure. I posted this picture on a popular social media outlet and got a lot of positive feedback, especially among the Hispanic sector of our “friends” community.

I bought only one ornament, but now I guess I should get a few more to send to those friends that liked them. I also need one for myself, since I like jewelery and clothing with skulls. It also fits in with the flaming skull logo and theme of this blog. Clickable image.



We haven’t had a scanner for several years and certainly not after relocating to Arizona. When the old scanner bought the farm back in K-Stan, we just never saw the need to replace it. However, I recently found this Canon Office Products LiDE120 Color Image Scanner that runs completely from the voltage available on the USB port.

Now that we have closed the bank account at the *big bank* we no longer have access to the branch office to deposit checks, etc. and I thought that since both of the Credit Unions we use have remote deposit, that I could use the scanner to make check deposits. I just happened to have a check to deposit the day the scanner got here and within a half hour of setting up the scanner, I had made my first remote deposit. Pretty slick!

I won’t go into all the features, but having it make copies in conjunction with our network printer is a plus. It scans documents directly into .PDF format as well, and does the usual scanning in of color photos while cropping the resulting .JPG image to the size of the original.

There are some funky things it does, but overall, it will satisfy our needs for the near future. I guess we’ll keep it.


LimoncelloOur lemon tree in the orchard is overflowing with fruit. Dozens of fat lemons are getting ripe and ready for the picking.

We have already harvested a couple dozen of the lemons from the tree and peeled off the skins to be used in a recipe for the famous Italian Limoncello digestivo liqueur which is the opposite of an apéritif liqueur, the former being to assist in digestion while the latter is for appetite stimulation.

Clickable image: a two gallon decanter containing the first stage of The Better Half’s limoncello recipe

I won’t produce the recipe here in its entirety, but suffice it to say that there were lemon rinds in the decanter that were steeped in 80 proof grain alcohol for ten days prior to TBH straining out the rinds, leaving this golden brew. The next stages are sweetening agents and another ten days of steeping, finally to be bottled and distributed as Holiday gifts to friends and family.

As for the rest of the lemons on the tree, we will distribute them to neighbors and the local food bank as the year-end season approaches. Also, we may get another opportunity to make MORE of this terrific liqueur with those lemons we can’t give away.

Bluegrass Festival

Bluegrass Festival

Although this event has taken place for the last 35 years, this is the first time that The Better Half and I have attended it since living here for almost four years. It is the 35th Anniversary of the Wickenburg Bluegrass Festival and Fiddle Championship. It is a three-day event, but we only were there for a while today.

Clickable Image: Chris Jones and the Night Drivers Bluegrass Band performing at the Wickenburg Rodeo Grounds, courtesy of The Better Half

The performance on stage had just started upon our arrival. We were listening to the music while we were browsing the vendor area just at the top of the grandstand. TBH had it in mind to pick up a few Christmas gifts from the vendors and she succeeded with that. She even got a nice Native American bracelet which I bought for her. I managed to score a souvenir T-shirt with the event logo for myself.

The performances were great. Both TBH and I like the Bluegrass style of music and we had a good time while we were there. We wish that we could have stayed longer, but we’ll be back again next year, I’m sure.

Upgrading the Smoker

SmokerLast week, we purchased an electric smoker. This is an upgrade from our previous charcoal-powered smoker, which was sort of a pain to operate.

I assembled the electric smoker in about an hour and “seasoned” it a couple of days ago. The seasoning consisted of running the unit at 275° for three hours and adding wood chips for the last 45 minutes of the cycle. Yesterday, I smoked some pork loin which made for some tasty pulled-pork sandwiches. Today, I have a chicken breast and some salmon in the smoker to be used in a couple of salads The Better Half is planning for dinner today. She gets chicken and I get salmon.

The new unit is great! Compared to the old one, it is much easier to use. You can add wood chips without opening the door and the access to the smoking compartment is excellent. There is a meat temperature probe which allows you to remotely monitor progress using the remote control unit provided. The remote is a two-way affair allowing both control and monitoring of set temperature, elapsed time, probe temperature and smoker temperature.

By the way, I am finishing this post after dinner and TBH’s modified Caesar salads were quite good. Chicken is on the left and Salmon on the right . . . clickable.


Blogiversary - Seven Is A Good Number

I see by the note on my calendar that today is the seventh anniversary of our first post under The Wandering Minstrel title. The first post was merely the introduction of our tagline, “SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM,” or, “If you seek peace, prepare for war!” That post contained a photo of some popular 9×19 Luger “Parabellum” rounds.

The Minstrel name came from the network identifier from my old laptop and has no significance beyond that. The flaming skull logo and it’s association with the tagline were intended to be the icon for our blog as a supporter of self defense and The Second Amendment. I moved those functions from the Cap’n Bob blog to this one, but maintained the other blog for The Better Half’s photos and our thoughts about conservatism and about how global warming (by any other name as well) is a hoax.

Now, as for seven being a good number, here are some examples. First, we own a pair of these Smith & Wesson 686 Plus .357 Magnum revolvers, each of which holds seven rounds in the cylinder. Clickable images courtesy of The Better Half.

Seven Rounds Seven Rounds

Next, we have our home defender shotgun, a Remington 870 Magnum Express with a six round magazine. With a full magazine and one in the chamber, it becomes “The Magnificent Seven” home defense system. Clickable image again courtesy TBH.

Magnificent Seven

We realize that we have not been as prolific in our freedom and firearms blogging for a while, but life events, both good and bad, have a way of taking up the time that may otherwise have been used for blogging. In spite of those circumstances, we’re still here and will post something personal, political, prosaic or petulant periodically, I promise.

Firearms Appreciation Art - Part III

Warthog Magazines

These are a trio of magazines for “Miss Piggy,” The Better Half’s Para Warthog .45 ACP pistol. She actually has four magazines, but one is equipped with a “pinkie extension” for people with bigger hands, and, therefore, that magazine wouldn’t stand on its base for the photo. The colorful background is provided by a southwestern tapestry that we used to cover the table when cleaning our guns.

This is the third and final firearms art in this series. I’m sure there are more to be discovered the next time I sift through some of the photo archives from later years beyond the 2008 and 2009 archives from which this series was taken. Clickable image.

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