Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Halibut Recipes

 I think that halibut has a great texture but not much taste. It makes a great platform for other tastes like capers and lemon pepper. Here are a few recipes that I've created or stolen....go online for more ideas....

 Bob's Old Bay Halibut Recipe (best with "skin on" halibut)

 Two Halibut steaks (6 to 8 oz each)
2/3 can diced tomato (or chop your own medium tomato)
1 can butter beans  (or Great Northern or Cannellini beans)
1 heaping teaspoon Old Bay spice
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
2 heaping tablespoons pesto
2 lemon slices
2 sheets (18 x 18" each) aluminum foil

 Preheat oven to 400°F and combine beans, tomatoes, Old Bay spice and Garlic. Place Halibut skin down on aluminum foil and cover with bean mixture. Add pesto and lemon slice and fold foil into packet. Bake about 20 minutes or until halibut flakes easily. Do not overcook fish.....

Tuscan Halibut (best with "skin on" halibut)

 4 sheets (12 x 18" each) Reynolds Wrap® heavy-duty aluminium foil
2 cans (15 oz. each) Great Northern or Cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 tbsp. prepared pesto, divided
4 (4 to 6 oz. each) Alaska Halibut steaks
4 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon pepper
4 lemon slices

Preheat oven to 450°F and combine beans, tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons pesto; mix well. Center ¼ of bean mixture on each foil sheet. Top with one Alaska Halibut steak; drizzle with lemon juice. Sprinkle halibut with lemon pepper. Top with lemon slices. Bring up sides of foil and double fold. Double fold ends to form four packets, leaving room for heat circulation inside packets. Bake 16 to 20 minutes on a cookie sheet in oven. Serve with remaining pesto. Makes 4 servings

ALASKA HALIBUT ROYAL (best with "skin off" halibut)

1 cup dry white wine
2 tsp. salt
1 ½ lbs. Alaska Halibut steaks
¼ cup fine dry bread crumbs
½ cup each sour cream & mayonnaise
¼ cup minced green onions
Combine wine and salt; pour over halibut. Marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour. Drain halibut on paper towels; dip both sides in breadcrumbs. Place halibut in shallow buttered baking dish. Combine sour cream, mayonnaise and green onions; spread over halibut. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at the thickest part, or until halibut flakes when tested with a fork

Grilled Fresh Alaska Halibut (best with "skin on" halibut)

1 pound (454g) halibut fillet
lemon pepper, salt (for seasoning)
Preheat the grill. Place the halibut skin side down on oiled tinfoil, sprinkle with lemon-pepper-salt mix, and close the grill cover and cook only until the flesh flakes with a plastic fork.

To Accompany:
Consider sliced red peppers and mushrooms wrapped in tinfoil and steamed on the grill
Wild rice i s also nice if there are indoor cooking facilities

SPICY DENALI ALASKA HALIBUT (good with skin on or off)

  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp. each dried oregano and dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. each onion powder and garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. each black pepper and salt
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ tbsp. butter, melted
  • 4 (6 oz. each) Alaska halibut steaks, thawed if necessary
Mix together all dry-seasoning ingredients until well combined. Place Alaska Halibut steaks on a non-stick or spray-coated baking sheet or broiler pan. Brush butter onto top surface of halibut. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon seasoning mixture over the surface of each halibut steak. Broil 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at thickest part, or until fish flakes when tested with a fork. Store remaining seasoning mixture in airtight container for future use.

HALIBUT WITH CAPERS (best with "skin off" halibut)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 halibut steaks (6 to 8 oz)
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon minced or chopped garlic
1/4 cup butter
salt and pepper
3 tablespoon capers with butter


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the halibut steaks on all sides until nicely browned. Remove from pan, and set aside.

Pour the wine into the pan, and use a spatula to scrape any browned bits from the bottom. Let the wine reduce to almost nothing, then stir in the garlic, butter and capers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the sauce simmer for a minute to blend the flavors.
Return the steaks to the pan, and coat them with sauce. Cook until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve fish immediately with the sauce from the pan poured over it.

Blackened halibut or salmon (best with "skin off" halibut)

Ingredients to serve four:
2 Tablespoons ground paprika
1 Tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
4 pieces of salmon or halibut (about 6 oz each).
1/2 cup butter


In a small bowl, mix paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, salt, white pepper, black pepper, thyme, basil and oregano.

Brush fillets on both sides with melted butter, and sprinkle evenly with the cayenne pepper mixture. then rebrush one side of each fillet with melted butter.

In a large, heavy skillet over high heat, cook salmon, butter side down, until blackened, 2 to 5 minutes. Turn fillets, drizzle with remaining butter, and continue cooking 2 to 5 more minutes until blackened and fish is easily flaked with a fork.

Consider moving the fish around a little occasionally while cooking to prevent the spices from sticking to the pan. I used an olive oil spray to lubricate the pan before adding the fish...... Remember: It is against the laws of nature to overcook fish until it is dry and tough. DON'T DO IT!

Saturday, 27 January 2018

A Day in Seattle

We drove south from Port Townsend about 50 miles to Bainbridge Island and walked onto the ferry to Seattle. From Seattle, Mount Rainier is very ghostly and prominent and only about 60 miles away.

The first hotel in Seattle was opened in 1856 by Madame Damnable. She ran a high-class hotel of ill repute but earned her nickname, not from that, but from her ability to swear proficiently in Chinese, English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. Her name was Mary Ann Conklin. Prior to moving to Seattle, she was abandoned in Port Townsend by her hubby, "Bull" Conklin, who was a whaling ship Captain.

The last time we saw Seattle was 1968. We had a favorite Italian restaurant called Ferlinghetti's. It always took about two hours to get though the many dinner courses. Sometimes we even missed our theater ticket showtimes. We discussed the restaurant on the bus yesterday with some long time Seattle residents. They told us Ferlinghetti's. had gone out of business decades back.

The Space Needle and monorail were built for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. Both of these and the old Food Court were still there, but several other attractions have been built since we were last here to supplement an area now called the "Seattle Center". There is a Science Fiction Museum and a Music Appreciation center currently featuring "Nirvana" to name two new enhancements to the sleazy old World's Fair location. At a top speed of 45 MPH the Seattle monorail is thought to be the  fastest monorail in the world. Each of the trains has logged over a million miles on the one mile track. Back in the 60s we all thought monorails were the tits.

We went to a really run down area of the city in 1967 to see three short plays by Leroy Jones. All of the actors and the audience were black except for me and Mrs. Phred. One scene required anger and frustration from a black man wearing a hard hat. He took it off and threw it really hard and hit me in the chest with it. I was really impressed with his aim and it left me with a cool indelible memory. Did I tell you Mrs. Phred was thrown in jail in 1964 for protesting the Florida pavilion at the New York World's Fair and Florida's racial policies?

Sometimes the things you see in city store windows are as interesting as what you can see in a big city art museum.

We had lunch at a micro brewery on the waterfront and then spent a couple of hours in SAM (Seattle Art Museum).

I took a few pictures. Works in glass are always appealing.

It's interesting to go around to art museums in different big cities and see how much the directors are willing to put on the line in the way of unconventional modern art vs. the tried and true. Seattle's SAM  was packed with stolid stuff.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

You Ain't Nothin but a Hound Dog

White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico

We went into the White Sands Missile Range  to check out the museum this morning. My personal favorite is the Hound Dog. It was in service back in 1965 when I was in the Air Force. It's a beautiful design. Two of them were carried under the wings of a B-52. They each had a 1.45 megaton warhead. That's about 75 times more than Hiroshima. The  Hound Dog  had a 500 mile range. They were designed to take our air defense systems so that the B-52s could go in and deliver four big 24 megaton city busters.

722 Hound Dogs were produced by North American Aviation. The first delivery was 1959. The Hound Dog employed the KS-140 star tracker to help it home in on a target. The Hound Dog had a probable circular error of 2.2 miles, but with a 1.45 megaton payload, this was largely irrelevant. The Hound Dog engines helped to power the B-52 on takeoff. The Hound Dog was strictly a nuclear war missile which was never used for the purpose intended.

Here in Las Cruces we have numerous tennis courts available. The one we usually use has ten courts and a view of the rugged Organ Mountains.

One of the museum exhibits is the Patriot. It was designed to take down air breathers, but a software upgrade gave it a fair shot at unsophisticated ballistic missiles like the Iraqi SCUD in 1991.

The Pershing missile was a nasty little intermediate range ballistic missile. It was good for 1,000 miles with a nuclear warhead and a very small expected circular error. It was retired after the SALT treaty. I think the Russians were really nervous about having these in Germany. They probably imagined German troops taking them away from US forces. Crazy Germans...a Russian nightmare.

This 155 millimeter cannon fires a radar directed rocket with an extreme range.

They say that this flying saucer type rocket was launched from Roswell and landed here at White Sands. My guess is that it's just disinformation to cover up the actual Roswell saucer crash.

Werner Van Braun...America's greatest German rocketeer.

The museum had a Stinger missile.

This is a picture of the escape capsule rocket for one of the manned space flights.It was a great museum. They had ground to air atomic missiles that could take out a whole fleet of Russian bombers at once and tiny missile for tanks and everything in between.

We drove up to Cloudcraft at 9,000 feet and met Jim and Darryl. They were bicycling from California to Georgia over a six week period with a group of 30 that has an average age of 66. They only ride on the interstates when no alternative is available. The Interstates have "alligators" which are wires from failed truck tires that cause them to have many flat tires with their 120 PSI bike tires. They had just biked up 5,000 feet over 16 miles from Alamagordo to Cloudcraft. Mostly they sleep in churches except on Sundays.

There's a ski lodge on top of the mountain in Cloudcroft.

Mrs. Phred went into the tower in the lodge.

This is a view of White Sands from Cloudcroft. The dunes take up 275 square miles

The trestle at Cloud croft.

I graduated at the top of my class in Navigator school. Normally my assignment to the Strategic Air Command would have been automatic. However, I talked to the base commander just before graduation and told him over drinks that I was anxious to get my fingers on a nuclear trigger. In his wisdom, the Colonel had me assigned as a navigator on old cargo planes that carried no weapons or parachutes.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Checking Into the Morrison Motel

Let's talk about death. There are more death euphemisms than there are for body parts or even sex. Jim Morrison, for example, has been dead for 40 years.. We've been to his grave in Paris four times. Jim's headstones are frequently stolen and the graffiti changes often. The last time we visited a bored Paris cop was watching Jim's grave...They have Jim far enough away from Proust, Oscar Wilde and Heloise and Abelard that those graves don't get much punk vandalism...Oscar's grave featured  a lovely angel with a full set of male genitalia. those organs ended up on the desk of the cemetery superintendent and eventually disappeared...

Jim stole an umbrella from a police car in 1963 while he was a student in Tallahassee at Florida State University. He was drunk at the time and got busted for urinating in the wrong place while holding the wrong umbrella. Jim was born, like me, in 1943. I was also arrested in Tallahassee as a student in 1964. I drove my Harley Davidson at speeds over 100 MPH past the Tallahassee police station at 2 AM...I was drunk on 151 rum at the time...The policeman who arrested me was shaking badly...I remember the judge asking me if I was insane...I pleaded out with the simple military serviceman ID card and paid the $110 fine...

Jim was a roommate of my friends, the West brothers. They played "Strange Days" for me on vinyl and told me that Jim had moved out just before I moved in. You would have thought that Jim would have outlasted me based on his feeble law breaking attempts at umbrella theft and my own high-speed drunken exploits...Instead, here I am 52 years later having a good time...and Jim, at age 27, is in the great Golf course where we all get a hole in one...Taking a dirt nap...Pushing up the daisies ...Passed on...Deceased...At room temperature...Stone dead ...Demised ... Ceased to be..No moreExpired ..Gone to meet his maker ..Stiff ..Bereft of life ..Resting in peace ..Off the twig ..Kicked the bucket ..Shuffled off the mortal coil ..Run down the curtain ..Joined the choir invisible ...That good night ..In a better place.. Six feet under ..Crossed over ..crossed the bar..Crossed the River Styx ....Wandering the Elysian Fields ...Paid Charon's fare...Sleeping with the fishes.. belly up ..bloodless...defunct ..departed..done for.. erased .extinct ..gone ..inanimate.. .late.. .lifeless..liquidated ..mortified ..offed ..perished repose ..rubbed out ..snuffed out ..wasted ..lost taken ..bumped off ..bought it ..cashed in..checked out ..conked ..croaked ..Danced the last dance ..ate it ..finished .Kicked off ...Got a one-way ticket ..Popped off ..Snuffed ..Sprouted wings ..Succumbed..No longer with us ..Ashes to ashes, dust to dust ..Returned to the ground ..With the ancestors .Gave up the ghost ..Wacked.. Terminated ..Put down.. going to the big ___(whatever) in the sky"...Worm food ..Fragged.. Bought a pine condo..Gone into the fertilizer business .....Become living-challenged ...tits up

    Jim is definitely done dancing....He checked into the Morrison Motel...Jim's eating at the Rotten Skull Cafe...Jim's gone belly up...He's gone to the last roundup...He went past his "sell-by" date...Jim has left the building...Jim's no longer with us...He's on the unable to breathe list...Jim's permanently out of print...The lizard king is six feet under...Jim is sleeping with the fishes...He's wearing a toe tag...He's in the past people plantation...Been assigned to the Hale Bopp project...Become peasant under grass...He's playing harp duets with Hoffa...

    So...Jim was a pretty boy, but, actually I think I was at least as good looking as Jim. Not only that, but my crimes were more exciting...and I appear to be a much better survivor type...C'mon baby light my fire...As far as Jim goes, he's at room temperature...belly-up....bought a pine condo...ceased to bee...danced the last longer running the human race...pushing daisies...paid Charon's fare...stiff...wandering the Elysian fields...gone into the fertilizer business...worm food....resurrection eligible...kicked the oxygen habit...passed his sell-by date...examining the radishes from below...

    Mrs Phred went into Newport, Oregon to get her hair done yesterday. I took the camera downtown to get pictures of all the seafood processing plants and marine mammals.

    I liked this T-shirt. It reminded me of certain degenerate English gambler friends...

    Today we passed over the mighty Columbia River to an RV park north of Portland in Vancouver, Washington. We want to see Mount Saint Helen's again. It blew in 1980. The last time we went there was 1992. Looking at the recovery after another 20 years should be interesting.

    Laura came to visit Mrs. Phred back on the Siletz River. Mrs. Phred has her own online life with the women's RV Forum...Personally my own online activities are at "Second Life", where my avatar is extremely attractive and rich...I spend a lot of time in "dance bubbles" with attractive avatars who claim to be female...Probably most of them are unshaven middle-aged fat men from Cincinnati, fingering keyboards while wearing their "wife-beater" T-shirts and drinking Budweisers....

    Monday, 15 January 2018

    The Precipice

    Coos Bay to Winnemucca, Nevada

    Ever notice that, while you don't mind standing on the edge of a cliff, it can make you extremely uncomfortable when your companion does it?


    When everything falls apart


    We hang barely
    by a thread of love.

    - Pradip Chattopadhyay

    The campgrounds in Oregon have been full and hard to get into this summer. Tourism is up over 50% since the beginning of the "Great Recession".  It might be cheaper gas. It might be a stronger economy than the pundits would lead us to believe. Anyway you cut it, you better reserve far ahead for State Parks or RV park accommodations.

    We spend three nights in Crescent, Oregon after leaving Coos Bay.

    The eight hour drive east and south to Wunnemucca was very empty.

    I've Been Everywhere

    I was toting my pack along the long dusty Winnemucca road
    When along came a semi with a high canvas covered load
    If your goin' to Winnemucca, Mack with me you can ride
    And so I climbed into the cab and then I settled down inside
    He asked me if I'd seen a road with so much dust and sand
    And I said, "Listen! I've traveled every road in this here land!"
     I've been everywhere, man
    I've been everywhere, man
    Crossed the deserts bare, man
    I've breatherd the mountain air, man
    Travel, I've had my share, man
    I've been everywhere
    Song by Johnny Cash

    We should be able to buy some propane when we head east again this morning. We have a bolt on the main slide that keeps breaking. So far I've been able to fix it by replacing the bolt. I bought some triple strength bolts in Home Depot, but they shear off too after several extensions and retractions.

    I take a long walk in the early morning through Winnemucca, past the bordellos,  casinos and sunflowers..

    The drive to Winnemucca

    The drive to Winnemucca

    The drive to Winnemucca

    The drive to Winnemucca