Sunday, September 30, 2012

I keep trying

And I keep failing...

Some people make this look so easy. I know she's thinking "..not this again <sigh>".

Mounting from the ground bareback has been one of my goals for years. I'm a reasonably well regarded horseman. I should be able to do this! Maybe if I stand her in a little ditch.


She's really been very good about all of this. Of course I'm not getting any younger and it becomes less and less likely I'll do this as time passes.

Whatever the case for the time being I'll just have to use rocks. Logs. Milk crates. And...well..mounting blocks!

It's not like it's a big problem. It's more the abstract business of coming to terms with the realization there are some things I just can't do.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Perfect Day...

For polo!
Polo in the Country

Sunday the 16th would be a contender for most beautiful day ever. If there was such a record. It was sunny. Dry. Seventy degrees. Calm. A positively stellar day.

There was enough action in the 6 chukka match between Norfolk and Dedham where 22 goals were made. I'm not sure who won. Well I am. It just doesn't matter. It's all in fun.

These ponies really know their job. That little grey pony takes this more seriously than the riders!

It's not just the polo match. Around here the polo match is the highlight of the season.

Somebody has FA-18 flyover?

Yes. An FA-18 flyover!

With a 30 minute private air show. Well. Ok. The whole town got to enjoy the air show.

It was all very exciting! I heard so long as they were up there they did a flyover at the New England Patriots game (home season opener).

Dave Thind did a dressage demonstration at half time with the world record holding stallion, White Star. Dave is right down the street at Cutler Farm. Nice place.

Dave Thind warming up with White Star

People show off their cars...

'57 t bird

Enjoy good food...

Good food

And everyone loves the hounds.

Release the hounds!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Problem Solved

I had a problem several weeks ago. When I stopped to I have some favorites but I wanted to try something new. As I looked at dozens, if not hundreds of beers I realized that, over the years, I've at least tried pretty much everything I had a passing acquaintance with.

I had no idea how to choose something (completely) new. By type? Well sure but then what. Go in alphabetical order? Prettiest label? Nearest brewery?

I grabbed a 6 pack from Offshore Ale. Beer from Martha's Vineyard is local and maybe somewhat creative and crafty and I like ales. But then I had to wonder what about Martha's Vineyard would make I thought maybe it was "gimmicky". So I put it back. I was having a problem!

I left there with Long Trail Pale Ale and a vague idea about needing a plan.

A week or so later...I had..a plan unfolding. I Googled "beers to try".

And I made a list!

From the search results I have a list of about 40 beers the "experts" think are pretty good. Some of them might even be hard to find. That will keep me busy for a while. Add this list of seasonal beer and I think it's fair to say...problem solved.

Starting here

I vaguely recall something about Anchor Steam Brewing having been influential in the craft beer movement decades ago and being overall fairly well regarded. So I decided I'd try their beer.

I think it's kind of average but I liked it. I tend to like ales so I found this was malty and sweet but it was refreshing enough. I haven't poured it into a glass yet so I don't know what it looks like. This was different and while I wouldn't say I'm an expert I found it satisfying enough.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Almost Maine Lobster Roll

Almost Maine Lobster Roll (the side loading whole wheat bun is not how it's done)

Authentic Maine Lobster Rolls are served up on New England style split top hot dog buns. Lightly buttered and toasted on a grill. These buns have flat sides. We have plenty of New England style buns here but whole wheat New England style buns are unknown. I suppose I could make my own. Nah.

The Maine Lobster Roll starts here:

An angry Maine lobster

You want a lively lobster.

I like lobster steamed. Put 1 inch of water in a big stock pot. Splash in a capful of white vinegar. Cover it. When the water is going at a ripping boil lift the cover, chuck the lobster in fast, head first, and slam the cover back on. I know he's really just a big bug but this is the most merciful way to do him in.

The water will come back to a boil quickly.

Steam your lobster 8 minutes for the first pound and 3 minutes for each additional pound. Start timing when the water comes back to a boil but even with a big lobster it will be back to a boil in 30 or 40 seconds on a really hot burner.

This guy went for 11 minutes.

$3.99 a pound?!

When the lobster finishes steaming fish it out of the pot with some tongs, transfer it to a bowl and run cold water over it for several minutes to stop further cooking.

When the lobster cools down refrigerate it.

When ready to make a Lobster Roll, crack open the tail, knuckles and claws, pick the meat out, rinse it and blot it dry with some paper towel. I pick the legs off and suck the meat out.

Chop the tail and claw meat into half inch pieces. Mix in a tablespoon of mayonnaise for each pound of (whole uncooked) lobster. Just enough to make the lobster stick together. If you think you need more that's just enough.

A key point here - an authentic Maine Lobster Roll has nothing else in the filling. Adding celery or onions <gasp!> makes "lobster salad". You can put that in a bun and it might be quite good, but it's lobster salad in a bun. Not a Lobster Roll.

Line your bun with a lettuce leaf and fill it with your lobster filling. You can pinch some paprika over the top if you want.

Authentic or almost authentic it's a perfectly delicious dose of lobster.

In my opinion 3 things go with a Maine Lobster Roll. Iced tea. Lemonade. Beer.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Quality Time

L and I both agree. This is Quality Time.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

We'd spent Sunday afternoon doing groundwork. A refresher course of sorts. We don't do that as often as we should. The lesson I have to learn, over and over again mind you, is pay attention.

Pay. Attention.

It can't be overemphasized. L has impeccable manners and she's a pleasure to handle. Mostly. On the ground or under saddle, she will not mess with me as long as (she thinks) I'm paying attention. If she so much as thinks about ripping my arm off to snatch a mouthful of grass and I don't notice? She's going to mess with me. She's a horse.

Same thing under saddle. If she thinks it, and my head's not in the moment, she'll try to take over. Horses are like that. They don't take breaks from the herd. If it's something alpha should notice, and doesn't? Well then? Game on, as they say. Some horses get spooky and flighty. L will just take over.

My trainer says she should be so far beyond even thinking such things. But that's just who L is and we have an understanding. Fortunately she's a good horse and at her worst she's pretty harmless. At her best she's a perfect jewel.

So the lesson is. Pay Attention. It's a subtle thing. She just needs to know I notice. Oh and of course, basics. Always be mindful of basics. Refresher courses are a good thing.
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