Sep 122017

I just got my second shipment from Fuego Box. Quarterly, I get three boutique hot sauces for $29.95. It’s a fantastic way to try new flavors. It’s a little higher than selecting three new sauces myself from a good shop, but there is value for me in receiving things I might not have considered on my own.

And as long as the sauces are the quality of Secret Aardvark Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce, I’ll be a customer indefinitely.

Hot sauces often have an intent. Some have an obvious Asian tilt, while others are clearly meant for Mexican fare. Still others fall in a Greek or Levantine vein. Secret Aardvark is aiming for a broad “table sauce” appeal—at home with many different cuisines, and melding effectively with a wide range of flavors. What’s in it?

Ingredients: Tomatoes, white wine vinegar, carrots, water, yellow onion, habanero chili peppers, mustard, organic cane sugar, salt, modified food starch, garlic, sunflower oil, herbs and spices. (Composite lists for tomatoes, habaneros, and mustard edited.)

So, reader’s impression: we’ve got all of the obvious heat coming from habs, but with relatively few of them in the mix. Water is a little concerning so high in the list. What’s the experience like?

This sauce is thick, almost like ketchup, with a few small chunks of vegetable and flecks of spice evident. It tastes good by itself, and even better on food. There is a big bright tangy burst of roasted tomatoes, with a little sweet-salty accompaniment. Then, there’s a backbeat of onion as the habanero come online. A hint of garlic and a whisper of what may be celery finish the sauce out.

As is typical of habaneros and other Capiscum chinense cultivars, the heat is cumulative. This sauce never gets dramatically hot, but understand that bite two will be hotter than bite one, and bite seven will be considerably hotter than bite four. Don’t have a dip of it, decide, and then consume indiscriminately. Pay attention.

I enjoyed it with a cheeseburger and tater tots, using it much like ketchup. It was an excellent egg sauce on a bacon, cheese, onion, and bell pepper omelet. I’ll try it on pizza. Secret Aardvark suggests an Aardvark Red Eye—pour 2 oz. beer into a beer mug, fill with beer, and then add a tablespoon of Secret Aardvark. I may try that sometime.

I don’t know if it’s a mainstay for me, but I’ll purchase and eat another bottle of it before deciding. Good stuff indeed.


 Posted by at 7:11 pm
Sep 112017

I had a hard time writing a Facebook status about 9/11 today. I wanted to be accurate, but I didn’t want to invite argumentative nonsense. I finally went with

Renewed anger and sadness as I remember 9/11 and its aftermath.

I am sad. Almost 3,000 innocents said goodbye to their loved ones that morning for the last time. Hundreds more died in heroic rescue efforts. Thousands more were injured, many permanently.

I am angry. Whatever else is true of President Trump, I am confident from his words and actions that the United States is again at war with radical Islamists who lust for American blood. We must continue working to make the punishment for spilling it in the name of Allah so severe that no one would dare it.

And, your bonus, emotion—I am irritated. Too many of us now hem and haw and fret and fuss about what happened that terrible Tuesday morning, particularly in the context of how to explain/teach it to those who weren’t alive or are too young to remember. Our children are among those. Lea was seven months’ pregnant with our first.

It’s not a pretty story, but neither is it a complex one. And I can assure you that both of our sons have a clear understanding of what happened the morning of September 11, 2001.

 Posted by at 1:48 pm
Sep 072017
  • Irma looks like a very nasty girl indeed. Praying everyone in affected areas gets out all right.
  • As for here, it’s not quite football weather, but it’s much closer to it than not. Diggin’ it.
  • Got a splinter from a chopstick last week, which has generated an immediate and permanent aversion to wooden and bamboo chopsticks. Beginning next week, I’ll be traveling with my own pair. Part of me thinks that’s a silly indulgence; the other part of me remembers that splinter and says “yes, of course you’re going to do that.” I’m generally having a truly sybaritic moment when I’m using chopsticks, and those are worth defending.
  • My first meeting with the North Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force went well, but also made it clear to me that a lot of my questions are probably best answered offline with task force leadership. I’m working on that now so I can put together a plan for myself for the next several months.
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind on the big screen for its 40th anniversary? I think I might find time for that.
  • No IndyCar race this weekend, but double points at Sonoma next weekend to decide the championship. Four drivers have a legitimate shot.
  • I’m badly overdue for a #hsvhotwings review. I’ll have one up in the next few days.
 Posted by at 2:41 pm
Sep 042017

I have made this point at some length on Facebook, and those discussions, coupled with my recent underwear epiphanies, lead me to this post on socks.

Don’t wear bad ones. Ever.

Every day of your life, the socks you wear should be in good condition. They should fit you comfortably, and they should wear well all day. Your socks should make you happy. If your socks do not make you happy, you should shop until you find some that do.

This is not a review post, but a couple of quick notes:  I have had consistent good luck with Lands’ End and Dickies socks. Dockers socks fit well and are comfortable, but in my experience do not last. Buyer beware.

It is difficult to have a good day with bad socks. But with good socks, it is a pleasure to pull and situate them upon your clean feet first thing in the morning whilst imagining all you shall accomplish that day.

Good socks don’t make a good life.

But it’s harder to have one without them.

 Posted by at 11:52 pm
Sep 012017

I have suspended work on my New Feminist Manifesto post series, which has been in progress since the spring. To readers who were looking forward to it, I’m sorry. I have not made the decision lightly. Please read on.

I designed the post series from the beginning to be substantive, but also antagonistic (starting right from the title—who does a man think he is telling me about a feminist manifesto?), because I wanted its posts to be forwarded and shared.

Unfortunately, I think the state of discussion in this country has degraded considerably even in just the past few months, to the point that such a model would be ineffective. Too many people all over the political spectrum are leading by spitting venom. I don’t think it would matter much how carefully I crafted my humor.

I started arguing online in 1994, with much higher standards of rhetorical etiquette in place. It was a much more civil place, much more of the time—and if you did choose to go off on someone, you’d better make it good. Solid and funny were a great one-two. Anymore, it doesn’t matter. Most of what’s out there checks either zero or one of those columns, and if something really does check them both, there’s too much chance it’ll be lost in the noise.

More importantly, there are multiple common topics between what I have written for this series and what I would like to write in light of my new passion for fighting human trafficking. I will very much want those posts to be as universally well-regarded as possible, which means I can’t go poking rhetorical fingers in the eyes of people I want to help the cause.

So, that’s the story with the New Feminist Manifesto. I haven’t quite decided how I’m going to write about human trafficking, but I expect it to be a recurring feature. Watch this space.

 Posted by at 4:32 pm is using WP-Gravatar