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Cow Power in a Can

Music: 

Outrun background music

My family has a long and complicated history with Choc-Ola. My mother's family lived in South Indianapolis. She went to Southport and Beech Grove. Her family went to the same church as the Normington family, who gave Choc-Ola to the world. It was, therefore, at all church functions. At least one of my uncles drove semi trailers full of Choc-Ola across the midwest. I've been hearing about Choc-Ola for 35 years, seeing their logo everywhere, and never have had the chance to try a drop.

From this rather large family, I've never talked to one person who says "I enjoy drinking Choc-Ola". When Choc-Ola came back around as a product in recent years, the people I mentioned it to were kind of wishy washy about it, "Oh that's nice for them, hope it does well". Do you want some? "Nope, not really".

So now Choc-Ola is back and selling product, and thanks to the Wonders of the Internet, I have a case of it. And I can taste test it for myself, against a more Northeasterly drink, Yoo-Hoo

So let's start the hyphenated chocolate-milk-but-safe-on-a-shelf beverage test.

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 6:52pm - Choc-Ola vs. Yoo-Hoo.  Choc-Ola wins hands down. csFlickr

You can see right away that Yoo-Hoo is much lighter in color. It's also a thinner liquid. They're similar in odor, but Choc-Ola tastes much more "Chocolatey". Natalie also reports that Yoo-Hoo is more "Chemicalley".

Yoo-Hoo also seems to have had more trouble integrating its solids back into the liquid in a glass:

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 6:55pm - Choc-Ola vs. Yoo-Hoo.  Choc-Ola wins hands down.</p>
<p>(Yoo-Hoo is the one with the un-integrated gunk) csFlickr

I promise in the name of scientific integrity that each of these products was shaken with great vigor, and drunk within moments of pouring. This photo also represents the residue from the "first pour" of each drink, the "top half", so that gack at the bottom of the Yoo-Hoo glass isn't gunge I scraped from the bottom of the bottle.

One thing Yoo-Hoo does have going for it is its much more complicated, modern sounding and exciting ingredients list. Choc-Ola makes one think of sitting on a porch at a farm, drinking chocolate milk. Yoo-Hoo lets your mind wander to men in lab coats and vast manufacturing facilites lined with vats containing palm oil, dipotassium phosphate and corn syrup solids.

Long story short, my family is goddamn nuts. It's at this point that I'll point out that my grandfather was a milk man. I believe a couple of my uncles were as well. Meanwhile, my mom grew up with no milk in the house, drinking Pepsi and eating Velveeta. This may account for some of the preference issues noted at the top there.

Choc-ola is great, and you should buy some of it. Bother your grocery store until they buy some. I successfuly annoyed my local grocery store into buying the frozen White Castles back in the '90s, so I know it can be done with persistence.

Unleash the Cow Power.

Edited: Natalie tells me I'd be remiss in not posting our own piece of Choc-Ola history:

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 9:25am - My wife found this old Choc-Ola crate for our kitchen.  My uncle used to drive for them, and this makes me remember being 4 or 5 or so and getting to sit up in his big brown semi.<br />
csFlickr

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Blowing Minds With Natalie

Music: 

Elvis Costello - No Action

We are ramping up to Viva Las Vegas 18, and Natalie has really killed this outfit. She made and then painted this skirt of the neon signs of old Vegas:

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:51pm - Natalie painted this awesome skirt for our trip to Viva Las Vegas 18 next week!                               csFlickr

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:29pm - Natalie painted this awesome skirt for our trip to Viva Las Vegas 18 next week! csFlickr

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:28pm - Natalie painted this awesome skirt for our trip to Viva Las Vegas 18 next week! csFlickr

And, at the last minute, her brother came through with this TV prop jacket:

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 10:28am - Cherry tears cndFlickr

Updated:
Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:26pm - The jacket. cndFlickr

xrayspx's picture

Wildlife

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A few minutes ago Natalie got all panicky and had me come running to see these deer hanging out in my neighbor's driveway. They were just poking around until some dog barked a block away and they moved off into the woods. They were obviously keeping an eye on me, but not taking off because of us.

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Satellite

Music: 

New York Dolls - Trash

This should buff right out. My old man's a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools...

Edit: Natalie took another one. There's this mounting plate on a collar attached to the main support. That whole thing is ruined. Also, I like the neighbor's pristine reference implementation in the background.

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TV Cabinet

Music: 

Curtis Mayfield - Superfly

Last winter we had some of our barn renovated into a new living room. Natalie has gone crazy with the retro look in here, and we just put in the second-to-last piece, a good looking spot for the TV (I'm still nagging her to just drop the hammer on an Eames lounge...).

We had been looking for a while for a '60s hi-fi console, but she found them too big, and they're really not deep enough to fit things like computers and large receivers. My requirements were 18" for the PC to fit comfortably, for instance. At one point I told her to give up on those, and just look for dressers that matched the depth requirement, here's what she found, for $55:

For reasons that aren't entirely clear to me, I decided that Step One was to rip the pressed board back off. We still have it, and it should honestly probably go back on with appropriate holes drilled. I really don't remember what I was thinking.

Anyway, we shimmed the drawer holes so things would fit flat without taking out the drawer track. The goal was to do as little damage to this thing as possible, just in the case we want to use it as a dresser, or re-sell it or whatever later. None of those things are going to happen. Here's that interim state:

And a wider view of how it fits in the room:

To cover the holes I had suggested some cool amp grille cloth fabric, but we actually had some pretty good stuff on-hand. It also has the advantage of not having a really tight pattern, so if it's stretched more in parts, you can't tell. The grilles are then held on by cabinet magnets. So the extent of the modification of the dresser is 12 screws to hold the metal plates the magnets stick to:

Done:

I may take some black cloth and add it to the inside, just to block 100% of the LED light when all the room-lights are off, but with the lights on, you can't see anything.

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George Clinton & PFunk, Plymouth NH

Music: 

Ball of Confusion - The Temptations

If you've never seen the beautiful chaos of a George Clinton show, you hate music, it's that simple.

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Attack me? Attack you.

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The computer in the top of this security video is infected with malware and is currently attacking Natalie's site. Also it's in Vietnam. There were more exciting things happening earlier, but it never occurred to me to screen grab them. Since that one sucks and is boring, here's another one of the store front. Looks like medical supplies.

I have Mexican security cameras from infected machines too, but it's night there just like it is here, so those feeds are way more boring.

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Plastic Surgery Disasters

Music: 

Reverend Horton Heat - Eat Steak

Several years ago I dropped a skinhead on my foot, and lost a toenail. I have not cut that nail in...6 years now? Jeez. Anyway, last night I decided to remedy the situation via surgery, since this is the main impediment to getting me into ski boots (the other main impediment can be cured by laying on the floor and repeatedly thrusting my shoulders toward the ceiling, which doesn't happen with any regularity).

The surgery went about as well as could be expected. I think I need one of those saws they use to take plaster casts off which cut plaster but not flesh, I bet they work on keratin too, or maybe one of these:

During:

Gave up:

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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Orpheum, Boston, 3-24-2012

Music: 

The Pogues – Poor Paddy

That was a Plate o' Shrimp, as it was on top of my feed as I was uploading tonight's photos.

It's too late for me to think and write well, so this is the Short Version today. This is the third time we've seen Nick Cave, and I have to say it was definitely his best sounding show. Not to say that he ever sounds bad, but he was off the wall tonight. Even he said it's the first time in a while he did Red Right Hand in tune, and The Weeping Song was dead on accurate.

Just to think that only four years ago I never thought I'd ever get to see him, and here we are three shows in, and excellent every time. Cave is full-on constant energy from start to finish all the time, these are consistently among my favorite shows, and I'm very glad I finally was in a position to take some photos.

Sharon Van Etten opened, and she was great. Reminded me of Hope Sandoval a lot, or Beth Orton, Juliana Hatfield maybe? Anyway she was good, go buy her record.

I hope that whoever lost the iPhone I handed in gets it back quickly. People really need to PIN lock this shit, I'm constantly surprised by those who don't.

Sampling of photos from the Flickr set:

Sharon Van Etten opened:

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xrayspx's picture

Winter 2013 Blizzard

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The over-hyped blizzard of February 2013 has come and gone. 3000cu. ft. shoveled by two of us in 2.5 hours. The lowest point in the driveway measured 22", more drifty parts measured 28", between the cars, 40". But still, who's panicking? It's snow. In February. In New England. Why the travel bans? Why the storm-namery? You suck it up, you shovel, it's clean.

Here are some photos, the Nemo thing might work since everyone's car looked like a nautilus shell under all this snow

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