Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fun Summer Drinks...

This web site tells us that it's okay to mix our beer with other stuff to make "beer cocktails" - even though it's perhaps a bit uncouth according to the American norm. Given my husband's love for the Mexican Michalada, I think this could be an idea that catches on. Here are some highlights:

Freshly squeezed juice of 2-3 limes
12 oz. Mexican beer, like Corona
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1/4 C Clamato or other tomato juice
Salt rim of beer mug and fill with ice. Add lime juice. Fill almost to top with beer and add Worcestershire, hot sauce, and Clamato. Garnish with lime wedge.

6 ounces light beer
6 ounces lemonade (ginger ale and Sprite also work)
Combine, drink, repeat.

1 pint beer
1-1/2 ounces whiskey
Drink together, with the whiskey as a chaser, or drop the shot glass in Irish Car Bomb-style.

1/2 pint lager
1/2 pint hard cider (optional)
1-2 shots of vodka Mix lager with cider. Attempt to remain upright.

Could result in things like this:


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Do you know Pancho Barnes?

No, it's not the name of another kitchy Mexican food restaurant in Phoenix, nor is "he" an old singing cowboy from the silver screen... Nope, Pancho is not only white, but a girl to boot - an amazing woman with an amazing story. Can't believe I'd never heard it before!

I came across the story of Pancho Barnes because a documentary on her life was being screened over at the Loft Cinema in Tucson, and some internet friends were spreading the word. We all know that if someone bothers to make a documentary of your life, than you've really accomplished something. Well, actually it usually means that you had some really great friends and lots of photographs taken of you - but it helps if you actually did something relatively interesting...

Pancho is best known as the owner of the Happy Bottom Riding Club, and for those of you who are as dense as I am, that was the famous "hangout" of the guys with the "right stuff" stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California. Chuck Yager, Jimmy Dolittle and Buz Aldrin all drank beer at her joint. She is credited with jump-starting the career of photographer
George Hurrel, who pretty much defined the 1930's Hollywood glam shot. She hung out with movie stars and famous people of all sorts.

Portrait of Pancho by George Hurrel

But, she also had a pretty darned interesting life, long before becoming the "Mother of Edwards Airforce Base". She was born an heiress, Florence Leontine Lowe. She wasn't keen on the role of women as seen in 1920's America, and shortly after her parents had passed on and she inherited the family fortune, she left her husband (Barnes) and joined a banana boat crew in Mexico. Her adventures in Mexico were where she earned the nickname "Pancho", which she maintained the rest of her life.

Returning to America in 1928, she decided to try out flying lessons. By 1930, she was breaking records set by other female aviators, including
Amelia Earhart. She worked as a stunt-pilot in the movies, which is when she began her Hollywood connections.

All this is pretty boring stuff compared to my usual pithy blog entries, I'll admit. Let's look at some of the more entertaining stories about Pancho:

1. Although she "left" her husband in 1928 to adventure, she was legally married to him until 1940. He was a reverand. While she was a pilot with a "barnstorming" show, she used to buzz his Sunday morning congregation.

2. Pancho was fond of saying, "When you have a choice, choose happy!"

3. Pancho was Lockheed's first female test pilot

4. One of the rules for "hostesses" at the Happy Bottom Riding club was "To be charming and pleasant to all guests, male or female. Don’t just go for the guy with the wavy hair."

5. In an early and entreprenurial recycling effort, Pancho obtained a contract to remove the food waste from the Army mess halls. Her ranch hands then cooked it into food for the pigs that were then slaughtered and sold back to the Army mess halls.

6. Pancho was an animal lover, and was constantly surrounded by dogs, cats, horses and livestock. Several pictures I have seen of her include her with famous celebrites and her dogs, with dirty paw prints all over everyone.

7. Pancho was inspired to learn to fly by memories of her Grandfather, Thaddeus Lowe, who was the Chief Aeronaut of President Abraham Linclon's Balloon Corps - essentially the first iteration of the existing Airforce. In later years, after the military evicted her from her ranch near Edwards by the airforce base, she used her family ties in her legal battle against Air Force, claiming "My grandfather founded the United States Air Force". She was eventually reinstated to her property and compensated over $300k.

Fun links for more info on Pancho, my new personal hero!

Tales from her friend Chuck Yager
The Wikipedia
And the documentary

Monday, August 3, 2009

Truck Farm

A wonderful idea for urban farmers.

"RUCK FARM is a Wicked Delicate film + food project. Combining green roof technology, organic compost + heirloom seeds, we are creating a living story about growing a little food in a big city. Each "episode" is a partial excerpt of a larger film project, slated for completion in fall 2009. Visit www.wickedelicate.com to learn more, and stay tuned!"

Perhaps there IS a way to make use of Nelson, Gary's 1965 Ford Pickup truck. I think it'd grow fantastic artichokes and tomatoes!