Leslie's Omnibus

Roadside Diner

A couple of my Jawja Blodger buddies insist on making me drool with envy on a monthly basis when they list the menus for upcoming Sommelier's Guild dinners. At last, I can return the favor!

The surprising part? The subject is beer, not wine.

Lloyd's Restaurant, in partnership with Three Floyds Brewing Company, is hosting a Beer Dinner on May 14th. If you're in or near Chicago and want to attend, you need to sign up soon, as they're three quarters booked already.

Need more incentive? Here's the menu:

Fried Ipswich clam, Belgian endive spoon, blood-orange jalapeno aioli

Goat cheeese, BBQ smoked chicken, chives, phyllo cup
American "mild" ale

Blue hill bay mussels, gumballhead bloody mary broth
Green olive crostino
American wheat ale

Roasted poblano & blistered corn soup w/carnitas, cucumber cilantro foam
Irish brand red ale

BBQ seard duck breast, sweet potato & duck confit hash
American amber pale ale

Braised beef short rib, asparagus, caramelized blue cheese bread pudding
Robert the Bruce demi-glace
Bold Scottish style ale

Chocolate cake creme brulee
A huge, sweet barley malt

Cost? A measely $39.95 + tax.
See you there?

(And, yes. I'll be wearing my stretchy pants for this one!)

Road Report - Dingle

More on lovely, lovely Dingle (be sure to click on the pix to embiggen):

At the Small Bridge, we heard even more great traditional music, first with Uillean pipes and guitar:

... then with Uillean pipes, banjo and guitar...

(Sorry this is so dark, but that place was like a CAVE inside!)

The green Murphy's (different owners, and more than a bit of rancor make sure you only mistake one for the other once) was our home away from home. Michael is a wonderful host, and our room was lovely.

The colors of many of the buildings practically sear your eyeballs out!

Dingle logic at its best.

One sign you'd never see in Chicago. Gotta love it!

Some of the stone walls had the top course set with stones in their locked and upright position. (That's one way to discourage anyone sitting there!)

Couldn't resist.

I had fantastic local crabmeat at John Benny's. Yum, yum, yum!

These critters were located right behind another local B&B!

More tomorrow...

Tootin' the Horn

Big ol' smoocheroos to Mike of Presto Agitato fame for giving me the keys to un-borking my template! He patiently waded through line after line of code to do it, too.

I owe you a manly meal, prepared with my own two hands, the next time you're in town. Seriously. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole, pan gravy and apple pie ala mode for dessert sound good?


Having quickly grown accustomed to a full Irish fry-up for breakfast (1 egg, 2 sausages, 2 rashers of bacon, 1 white pudding, 1 black pudding, 1 grilled tomato, 2 slices of toast and, optionally, hash browns and/or a huge serving of baked beans), I found this to be true:

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(At least for the next few weeks until I can work those extra inches off!)

Anyhow, I've had pork products (Peter, this is going straight to the top of my summer recipe list!) and manly food on the brain ever since. So today when I found Elisson's take on gastronomic grotesqueries right before finding this heart attack-inducing recipe for Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf with Black Truffle-Saffron Macaroni & Cheese, I knew that somewhere up above, the Fates were laughing at me.

Ah, well. I'll diet next week.

Giggle of the Day:

leonard nimoy william shatner james doohan
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Road Report - Dingle

Just a few quick images from our first day in gorgeous Dingle:

More tomorrow!

Okay, one more thing. Here's a traditional music "session" at O'Flaherty's Bar in Dingle:

Count the instruments, if you can. The guy on the washboard was from Newfoundland, and played the Jew's Harp, as well. True democracy in music.

Road Report - Killarney

More images of Killarney National Park:

As promised, here's Tim O'Riordan and Vince Morrison of Natural Gas, performing at the Danny Mann Pub in Killarney on April 20th:

My travel buddy's favorite pub song from the trip:


Road Report - Killarney

Near Ross Castle, Killarney National Park

St. Francis', Killarney

Every street looks just like this!

Best job in Ireland -- the Guiness Inspection Team.

In the Irish Jaunting Car with Buddy (the horse) and travel buddy, Ross Castle behind us.

Kids will be kids everywhere, even at Ross Castle.

Entry, Ross Castle grounds.
Ross Castle, from around the lake. Scenes from Ryan's Daughter were filmed here!

Killarney National Park.

Killarney National Park.

Kerry Red Deer, Killarney National Park.

Killarney National Park.

Jaunty Jaunting Car driver!

St. Mary's, Killarney.

The Flesk. The lamb chops practically made me weep, they were so moist and tender.

Road Report - Killarney

What an incredibly beautiful country. After two legs of flight and two legs of bus travel, we arrived in Killarney on Sunday in the late afternoon. (And if I ever do this again (and I will), I'll do Chicago to Dublin, stay in Dublin a night, fly Dublin to Kerry, and bus it from Kerry Airport into Killarney.) Too pooped to do much, we had dinner at The Flesk, and headed back to the hotel to sleep.

The Flesk isn't a fancy joint -- in fact, it's owned by an American who returned to his Irish roots and celebrates his American Legion membership in the decor -- but the food was fantastic. I had the Spring lamb chops with a stuffing made with fresh bread crumbs, sweet cream butter and herbs from the garden out back, a wild mushroom and port wine reduction sauce, and herbed mashed potatoes. So good I gnawed every chop down to the bone and contemplated licking my plate clean, to boot.

Tuesday, we did an Irish jaunting car tour of the Killarney National Park and Ross Castle. (Photos when I get to a place where I can get wifi access.) We also managed to hit a wide swath of shops.

Tuesday night, we went to see Natural Gas at the Danny Mann Pub. Absolutely fantastic music, and the Smithwick's went down a treat, too. Here's a sample:

(I've got a couple of videos of my own to upload as soon as I get home!)

Yesterday was mostly travel -- Killarney to Tralee to Dingle. Heartbreakingly gorgeous views as we first went up into the mountains, then down into Dingle Bay.

Gotta run. More tomorrow!

Really, I mean it...

... last post. But I needed a giggle today, and this did it:

See ya!

One More Thing Before I Go...

I am not opposed to taxes; the government needs money to perform its essential functions. However, propping up failing industries is not an essential function of government. I challenge anyone to cite the article and section of the U.S. Constitution that empowers the federal government to do this. And don't try the old "general welfare" statement in Article I Section 8, either. As James Madison, primary author and widely regarded "father" of the Constitution stated: "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."

Too right.

Put simply, the Democrats want to reach into my wallet and decide how much money I should have, and the Republicans want to peek in my bedroom window and decide how much fun I should have.

My very liberal buddy Barrie, who has lately taken to sending tea bags to her own federal and state legislators, should be dropping by here every once in a while to post. (I'll make a blogger out of her yet. Heh.)

It's not just right wing reactionaries who are pisssed of and letting the world know.

P.S. -- Socialism explained here.

Chartered Excursion -- Ireland

I've got five hours left to do a little laundry before heading off to the airport. By tomorrow night I should be raising a pint and hearing stuff like this...

Yes, there'll be whiskey in the jar, too.

As I was going over the far famed Kerry mountains
I met with captain Farrell and is money he was counting.
I first produced my pistol, and then produced my rapier.
Said stand and deliver, for I am a bold deceiver,

musha ring dumma do
damma da whack for the daddy 'ol
whack for the daddy 'ol
there's whiskey in the jar

I counted out his money, and it made a pretty penny.
I put it in my pocket and I took it home to Jenny.
She said and she swore, that she never would deceive me,
but the devil take the women, for they never can be easy

I went into my chamber, all for to take a slumber,
I dreamt of gold and jewels and for sure it was no wonder.
But Jenny took my charges and she filled them up with water,
Then sent for captain Farrel to be ready for the slaughter.

It was early in the morning, as I rose up for travel,
The guards were all around me and likewise captain Farrel.
I first produced my pistol, for she stole away my rapier,
But I couldn't shoot the water so a prisoner I was taken.

If anyone can aid me, it's my brother in the army,
If I can find his station down in Cork or in Killarney.
And if he'll come and save me, we'll go roving near Kilkenny,
And I swear he'll treat me better than me darling sportling Jenny

Now some men take delight in the drinking and the roving,
But others take delight in the gambling and the smoking.
But I take delight in the juice of the barley,
And courting pretty fair maids in the morning bright and early

Where am I going? Killarney, Dingle Town, Tralee and a quick run through Dublin.

I'll be posting pictures from the road as I can.

And an Irish Blessing on you and yours:

May you alway walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.

The Road Ahead

Yes, I am heartened by people who have never before thought to pick up a sign and demonstrate:
There comes an economic breaking point at which ordinary citizens say enough is enough. Government takes so much; federal income taxes are just the tip of the iceberg. Sales taxes, special taxes on certain products, mortgage taxes, property transfer taxes, real estate taxes, state and sometimes local income taxes, taxes on services such as cellphone usage, licensing and other fees, and it goes on and on.

But... the Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn makes a very good point:
Sure, movements have effected change, and to the extent that regular protest rallies are a feature of movement politics you could say that public protests are sometimes effective in creating and sustaining momentum and raising awareness.

But one day or episodic protests like this week's "tea parties" against taxation?


Is that what those of us who are so angry we can't see straight right now want? To be nothing but a blip?
Even if all this teabaggery was organized around a specific plan or call to action, it would still be just so much noise without follow-up, growth and actual pressure on elected officials to sign-on or be voted out; a big-scale impotent tantrum on the order of the street protests outside the meetings of international leaders.

And that, my friends, is the challenge.

To get past our anger. To look for leaders among those who left their jobs to pick up a sign, who write or speak eloquently about not just what is wrong with government, but offer up real plans to fix government.

Republican and Democratic leadership are not listening. Most media disdains us.

We need to yank our own socks up, organize, and seek out new leaders from among ourselves.

Protesting is a good start, but only if we back it up with organization and candidates who reflect our own beliefs and values.

I don't know about you, but I never again want to go to the voting booth knowing that I am pulling the lever for the candidate who does the least harm.

I want to be able to vote for the candidate who can and will do the most good.

In order to do that, we must look beyond our anger and offer up solutions, votes and action.

Then, and only then, will Washington take us seriously.

Bumper Sticker

It is well known that my BlogDaddy and I frequently disagree when it comes to politics. Today, he refers to Teabaggers as "a nutcase minority."

And what, exactly, is a "Teabagger"?
[A]n American who still beleives [sic] in the words written in the constitution and is upset with Democrats and Republicans alike for excessive spending, taxing, and overall life regulation. They are also well known as using their brains in a time where it is so unpopular.

Democrat: "Did you see those Obama hating, bigot republican teabaggers on Fox at the tea parties nationwide?"

Republican: "Do you think those teabaggers have figured out we aren't really conservative at all?"

Teabagger: "We hate Republicans and democrats alike for their lies, corruption, excessive spending and taxing, and of course the fact that I can't earn an honest living without pulling their hands out of my pocket."
Let's get this straight. Code Pinkos are nuts. Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Whackjobs are nuts.

Consider this:

While some carried signs about immigration and even one vowing to do away with the Federal Reserve, the message was rather consistent and the tone hostile: they are very upset with the current administration and Congress’ handling of fiscal and economic issues.

But Republicans should not be rejoicing quite yet. Many protesters went out of their way to say they are upset with both parties and hold George W. Bush equally responsible for launching the now never-ending stream of bailouts. And the crowd, if anything, was libertarian in bent rather than conservative. These people are advocating less government, restraints on federal power, and a return to “constitutional government.” Social conservatives who seek expansion of state power on issues from abortion to support for faith-based programs may find themselves at odds with a newly invigorated movement to shrink government and enhance individual liberty.

Teabaggers? You'd have to be a little nuts not to be one.

I'd really love it if someone would whip me up a bumper sticker based on this poster. (Photo gleefully swiped from Rave.)

I'll be hanging some teabags from the rear view mirror on the Omnibus.

Update: Ms. Schakowsky? Coming from you, that's a supreme compliment.

Update 2: Remember this?

Teabaggers one and all.

Holy moly! I seem to be getting hits from all around the globe today. What the heck did I say now?

Update 3: May I just say that crap like this just adds fuel to the Teabaggers' ire?


Hang on to your dreams. Sometimes they come true later than you'd think:

(And yes, I shed a few tears through this.)

It isn't that she has a magnificent voice -- she does. But what made this performance so extraordinary is her confidence and her presence in front of judges and a live audience, all of whom were prepared to be totally underwhelmed.

There are a zillion great singers across the planet -- but a true performer who is a great singer when completely under the gun? Not so many.

I've got me a new hero.

Remember I told you about the whopping big sink hole that opened up a few blocks from my home?

Well, guess what they found when they started digging around in there? And how cool is that?

(A tip of the cap to my Barstool Blog Son!)

Work kept me from going, but it looks like the Chicago Tax Day Tea Party was a success!

Why did I miss Graumagus so much?
When I argued with other conservatives that the formation of the DHS was a bad idea because the microsecond a socialist administration took power that agency and the power it wields would be used as a political tool against citizens (because socialists, being nothing but communists with commitment issues, always fear internal threats to their power more than external ones to the welfare of the population), I had hoped I was simply paranoid.
Nope. Not paranoid at all. Just prescient.

Welcome back, my frizzen friend.

I am all for anything that sparks a spirit of entrepreneurship in the young. Lexie Oliver, in particular, shows real promise. Drop by her website and buy some of her stuff. It's beautiful, wearable and really reasonably priced!

The crankylitprof, she always makes me laugh. (Major spew alert!)

Since breakfast has turned into my favorite meal of the day...

You Are Buttermilk Pancakes

Your prefer traditional, old fashioned foods.

You shy away from anything fake, and you like meals with simple ingredients.

It's not likely someone would find margarine or diet soda in your kitchen.

Instead, someone might find a loaf of homemade bread baking or a soup simmering.



Holy crap! I find myself agreeing with an Obama pal on this:
"You should not use the emergency department as the place to get primary care," Whitaker said. "For some reason, this is controversial. Emergency rooms should be used for emergencies. I'm shocked we should be getting into debates about this. An emergency room visit is $1,000. A doctor's visit is $100."

If these patients are uninsured, other patients are paying the unnecessary extra $900 through higher insurance premiums, Whitaker said.
... and...
About 40 percent of the patients coming into the emergency room did not need emergency care and could sit for hours being bumped by patients who did. It makes sense for the hospital to divert those people to neighborhood clinics or other hospitals that focus on their needs such as pediatrics or geriatrics, he said.

There are Tax Day Tea Parties all over the map tomorrow! I'm going to try to hit the Chicago get-together. You?

I'm off to Therapy Night at Rocko's to meet up with my best friends:

If you're in the neighborhood, come join us!

Update: Night three of insomnia, and I have the song from the old (60's) Camp Fire Girls song stuck in my head. Urk.


Who knew Roger Ebert was an aficionado of stand-up comedy? (And quite gleefully loves the naughty jokes, at that!)

Speaking of naughty, I've struck the motorized barstool from my Christmas wish list. This is what I really want. In fact, I want a whole squadron of 'em.

(A tip of the cap to Crankylitprof!)

Neal Steinberg has a joke that should appeal to El Capitan. (Scroll all the way down.)

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Yup. That's about right.

Will wonders never cease? An LA jury finally found that creepazoid Phil Spector guilty. Huh.


Captain Phillips is free, curtesy of Navy Seals. Well done, gentlemen. Well done.


Why am I hooked on William A. Jacobson? See for yourself:
A court should decide cases based on the facts and law before it. What anyone else, and most particularly foreign courts, think of the decision should be irrelevant to the decision-making process....

... The Court owes it to the parties and the Constitution (
Article III) only to resolve the cases and controversies before it, not to engage in or worry about legal public relations.
Too right.

Barkrack Odogma:

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Today's Overload of Cuteness:

I want one just like that. Maru's personality reminds me a lot of the Divine Miss Marilyn. Sigh.

(Via Julie)

A Blogthing twofer:

You're Totally Sarcastic

You sarcastic? Never! You're as sweet as a baby bunny.

Seriously, though, you have a sharp tongue - and you aren't afraid to use it.

And if people are too wimpy to deal with your attitude, then too bad. So sad.


You Are 65% Non Conformist

You are a pretty serious non conformist. You live a life hardly anyone understands.

And while some may call you a freak, you're happy with who you are.

Blame Jay.

Holiday Schedule

My favorite Easter hymn:

Corn That Springeth Green
1st verse English traditional, remainder by Leigh Ann Hussey

Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain,
corn that in the dark earth many days hath lain.
Love lives again that with the dead hath been:
love is come again like corn that springeth green.

In the grave they've laid him, earth above his head.
Many oaths they've sworn there, vowing he was dead,
yet he arose so fairly to be seen:
love is come again like corn that springeth green.

With their scythes they've cut him 'til he could not stand;
to the cart they've bound him, wheeled him o'er the land,
stabbed him and flayed him, yet his will was keen:
love is come again like corn that springeth green.

He was pressed and broken by the mighty stones;
in an iron cauldron boiled his blood and bones.
Ill as they've served him, stronger hath he been:
love is come again like corn that springeth green.

Raise your glass and praise him, all who love him well --
send the brown bowl 'round that all may drink their fill.
From death to life he leads us all between:
love is come again like corn that springeth green.

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Happy Easter to you and yours.