Bob and Marilyn's Weblog
November 2016
Recipe time
November 19
I've seen chickpeas growing but the only time I have consciously ate them was in bean salad which I actually avoid like the bubonic plague.  Lately however I have eaten hummus and discovered that its not completely unpleasant.  Further it turns out that hummus is made from chickpeas.  All of this is by way of leading up to admitting that we brought some chickpeas home from Costco and we've been enjoying them.

It seemed to me that a tex-mex hummus might be pleasant so I brewed one up and it couldn't be simpler.  I started with about half a blender full of cooked and chilled chicks. Start with no liquid but save it in case you  need to thin the concoction later.  Dump in a can of refried beans and blend the hell out of it.  Its actually not unpleasant if you stop at this point but it gets better.  Cut the guts out of some jalapenos and start dumping them in the blender, sampling as you go.  
Hummus and Enchilladas
Eventually you'll arrive at a level of heat that appeals to your taste buds but in our case it took a lot longer than I expected.  Your mileage may vary depending on your taste buds and how hot your jalapenos are.  

For a final flourish you can make a wonderful enchillada using nothing more than the tex-mex hummus for filler.  Just slather some hummus on a tortilla, roll it up and lay it in a greased bake pan.  Roll up as many as you want - depending on the size of the tortilla you may need 2 or 3 per serving.  Then cover them all with a tomato sauce and bake.  I just used a can of tomato paste, some water, a little soy sauce and a bit of Worchestershire.  You want them to bake long enough for the tortillas to get thoroughly saturated with the tomato paste.  Just before you serve them spread some grated cheddar on top and let it melt.
Oh dear, its been a while
November 13
My last post opened with a comment about how happy I was not to have to vote in the US presidential election.  It seems I missed October altogether which is fitting.  October was a write off in a lot of ways.  I did accomplish a lot but I was constantly feeling sorry for the farmers who had to contend with simply awful harvest weather.  I was going to call it "unprecedented" harvest weather but I'm not sure that's correct.  We've had lots of awful harvest weather, even in my lifetime I can remember bad harvests.  Perhaps we've just been spoiled for the last 10 or 15 years with unusually good harvest weather. I know there are BTO's (Big Time Operators) who farm WAY more land than I personally think they have harvest capacity to handle.  Not that I'm some expert on combine sizing but when I see numbers north of 5,000 acres per machine I have to think the manager is either unduly confident or perhaps just hasn't accumulated enough experience. After this year they'll all have a little more experience. 
Long Time No Type
A great disturbance in the narrative
I've been watching the nightly demonstrations south of the border with amusement.  It seems those dastardly (deplorable?) Republicans simply can't accept the results of the election.  What's that you say?  Not the Republicans? Oh my. What has the world come to.

I simply don't know what kind of a president Trump will be.  And nobody else does either.  Least of all Anderson Cooper or Don Lemon.  I'm old enough to remember when Reagan got elected and I'm here to tell you that anyone who says they saw his genius from the start is lying.  I was no different from everyone else north of the 49th and a lot of Americans as well.  We all thought he was nothing more than a failed (stupid) actor who had tapped into some xenophobic underecurrent in American society.  Perhaps those left wing nitwits demonstrating nightly will be proven equally wrong or perhaps they won't.  Right now we just don't know.  

All I know for sure is that the lefties claim to be the tolerant, kinder, more understanding segment of society right up until they don't get their way.  Its called the tyranny of the left and its long overdue for a reset.  If Donald Trump does nothing else he has demonstrated the hypocrisy of the left and their lap dog media.  We hurried to get to a hotel in Canmore on election night so that we could watch the CNN and MSNBC anchors cope with the unfolding reality that their whole world view was coming unglued.  I assumed Don Lemon's head must have literally exploded because he stayed out of sight for over 24 hours but he must be able to afford his Obamacare premiums because he eventually recovered and resurfaced.

Its not nice to gloat so I won't do too much but I have to say it: I've said since he first got elected that Obama's biggest achievement is to displace Jimmy Carter as the worst president ever.  He took power 8 short years ago with control of the House, Senate and a majority of state legislatures.  His foreign policy has been a miserable failure, he has decimated Democrat support across the political landscape and he's leaving race relations in the worst state they've been in since the 1960's.  The world is a more dangerous place as a direct result of this man's mismanagement and many inner cities are also as dangerous as they've ever been.  I've said many times that we are watching the demise of a once great empire, similar to what happened in Britain after WWII.  It was inevitable but Obama hastened the decline.  Donald said it best when he said "What the hell have you got to lose?"  Obama has set the bar so incredibly low that at the very least Trump should be able to do better than his predecessor.
The past month and a half
There's not much point rehashing all that happened through our wet and dreary October.  I got the tin hung on the outside of the shop.  Then I insulated the inside and hung tin there too.  I was sore for a long time.  Particularly after I did the ceiling.  Maneuvring those big 14 foot long sheets into place was hard work but its done and from a distance it looks not bad.  

The new engine in the butt buggy has been a major improvement but there is room for further work.  For some reason the drive belt has hopped off the rear pulley a couple of times now.  The first time it happened right at home but yesterday it left me walking home from the Co-op so that needs to be dealt with.  

We made a hurry up trip to the boat just over a week ago now.  We figured it would be coated in green slime so we wanted to go wash it off before winter set in.  Grace and Al came along for the trip because we promised them a boat ride.  That turned out to be a false hope on their part.  The first night on the boat I fired up both engines and went below to watch them run.  While down there I noticed some water leaking on the starboard side and that lead me to a major aneurism forming on the the exhaust elbow.  The engines are cooled by a closed loop similar to your car but in place of the radiator there is a heat exchanger which circulates sea water.  That sea water comes in through a couple of oil coolers, passes through the engine heat exchanger and then finally dumps into the hot exhaust before it runs through the aft of the boat and drops into the ocean.  That's a pretty noxious environment where the sea water and the hot exhaust gasses get mixed.  I expect sulphuric acid is only one of the many nasty by products created and as a result the mixing elbow is short lived.  I should have checked them before we left in July because clearly the starboard side would have already been obviously failing.  The port side was less obviously failed but clearly not far behind the starboard elbow so I ordered a pair and we'll have to make another trip to install them.  I was able to find one elbow on the Island but didn't really expect to find a pair and it didn't make sense to change one without changing both of them.

The upshot of all that was that Grace and Al didn't get their boat ride.  We could likely have gone out and got away with it but I just didn't think it was worth the risk.  If the aneurism on the starboard side had blown it would have spewed exhaust gas and sea water all over the engine room.  We could have gone out on the port side engine alone but in that case if something else went wrong with that engine we'd have been out with a broken down engine and a dubious back up.  In every maritime disaster story I've ever read you can always trace the timeline back to an initial decision which was dubious but arguably "safe enough". So I acted like a captain and kept us tied to the dock. 

So we spent a couple of days touring around the Island in the car and then came home again.  We had pretty crappy weather on the Island - no surprises there - but we had unbelievable weather for the trip home.  Clear blue skies.  Dry roads.  No snow anywhere, not even up in Rogers Pass.  I can only hope we'll be half as lucky when we go back out, likely in early December.  We've got a flurry of activity coming up at home in Buchanan so we won't be able to get away in November.  The risk of waiting is that the weather is more likely to go against us the longer we wait but there's just too much going on to get away any sooner.
That's what the "new" shop looked like after I got the paper rehung.  It looked like crap when we got home but I immediately got the paper pulled back up and taped back together.
.... and this is what it looks like today.  From a distance it looks pretty good but up close its obvious that it was my first effort at putting tin on a building.  I'm sure I'll see other buildings that look worse now that I know what to look for but I'm equally sure I'll see buildings that look better too.
Isn't that a fine looking pair of cars?  We think we'll just sell the Exploder and keep both Lincolns because we really can't decide which one we like better.  The yellow one has winter tires on it so its the one we'll be taking to BC next month.