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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

The Garden Chronicles

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, Growing Your Own Vegetables, Guy Stuff. Potatoes

Jill says that this year's garden has been the most productive ever.  Judging from the volume of produce that has all of a sudden materialized I am inclined to believe her.

Further evidence is I am about maxed-out on freezer space and have exhausted my inventory of quart canning jars.

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How to Make Crispy, Crunchy, Sweet Pickles

Backyard Homesteading, Dangerous Kitchen Experiments, Gardening, Home Canning, Pickles, Vinegar

Last summer I went on a tour of a lighthouse and happened upon an itemization of the perks that the US Congress alloted keepers employed by the Light House Service back in the 1800's.  Aside from lodging there was an annual salary of $600.  There were also consumable provisions including sacks of potatoes and onions.  A barrel of salted pork, sacks of flour, dried beans, sugar and salt.  Coffee, tea - and of all things - barrels of vinegar.

Which reminds me - what do you call a cat that drinks vinegar? 

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Friday Morning Music

British Techno Music, Friday Morning Music, Soft Cell, Tainted Love,

It's the start of weekend people.  Crank-up the volume and let the festivities begin with this 1981 hit From Soft Cell... 

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Guess the Critter

Arachnids, Guess The Critter

I found this arachnid while out for a walk with the dogs.  It's a hefty size as far as spiders go - more than an inch from the tip of the forelegs to the end of the hind legs.

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Nobody Here But Us Chickens

Backyard Chickens, Backyard Homesteading, Critters, From the Mailbag, Local Government, Reader Contributions

From time to time I have to remind myself to check the old mail bag.  If you were to email the staff here at  Gas Pains ( there is a reasonably good chance someone might pick-up your message within the next week or so.  It's a small staff but we are committed to eventually responding - so your forbearance is appreciated. 

Lest you be hesitant to contact us with a question or a comment I would also point out that your anonymity is assured.  Unlike the resident constitutional conservative over at the Brookfield home page we here at Gas Pains have a deep and abiding respect for the First Amendment.  You have our solemn guarantee -  we will not fink on you.  Just think of us as your cyber confessional.  We strive to be exceedingly circumspect. 

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Friday Morning Music

Friday Morning Music, Hot Women, Hunting, Just Like Heaven, The Watson Twins

It's the start of the weekend people.

For me it is family, dogs, a car show and the bow opener.  It just doesn't get any better than that!  Unless, of course, there are the Watson Twins...

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The Garden Chronicles - The Tomato Avalanche

Backyard Homesteading, Gardening, The Best Bloody Marys In Tosa, Tomatoes

I was reading the news over at The Mothership yesterday and noticed that there was coverage of the 5th Annual Tomato Romp, Tomato Fight and Best Bloody Mary competition on Saturday.

What a profligate waste of tomatoes. 

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Blogging About The Blog

Backyard Homesteading, Blog Housekeeping, Canning Tomatoes, From the Mailbag, Gas Pains, Groundhog Aggression, Growing Your Own Vegetables, Home Canning, How to Can Your Tomatoes, How to Make Crispy Crunchy Sweet Pickles, Mennonites, Tomatoes

I had some email back-and-forth earlier this week with the person in charge of the NOW homepages.  Seems that ever since The Mothership performed their 'update' of the community web pages there have been issues.  As is the result of all great bureaucratic updates lots of things didn't work anymore.

For instance - if you had previously bookmarked any of the blogs on your smart phone and clicked on the link you would automatically be redirected to  That's all well and good but I already have a link for this and a few of my 80-odd readers that use wireless devices like an iPhone, Droid or Blackberry found it annoying.  And they sent me annoying emails to that effect.

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Friday Morning Music

Hey Nineteen, Steely Dan, 1970s Pop Jazz

If you're old like me you'd remember this band - and this song - before it became something that is played while you are on hold with a call center.  The antidote to disco.

Steely Dan.

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A Burgeoning Pantry

Backyard Homesteading, Canning Kraut, Home Canning, Sauerkraut

The tomatoes never end.  Pick them, pack some, eat them every day, take some to the day job, drop a big box-full at the food pantry every week, turn-around and there's more!  It's almost biblical in scale.  Old Testament tomatoes are like a plague.  New Testament tomatoes are like the loaves and fishes.  They're the gift that keeps on giving.

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Kittens In the Bullpen

Hello Kitty Backpacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Strange But True

How about those Brewers?

I consider myself blessed this year.  Every game I've attended has ended in a Brewer's win.  Furthermore, while attending the Dodgers game last month I witnessed up-close and personal a real, live triple play.  First time in my life.  How cool is that?  With only six plays like that in franchise history I may be looking at a lengthy dry spell before I witness another.

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Friday Morning Music

Friday Morning Music, Garage Band Music, Herman's Hermits, Hot Women, Skeeter Davis

If you are old like me you'll remember this belly-rubbing slow dance gem.  You may have to fiddle with the volume - but at least the vocals appear to be live and aren't over-dubbed.

A song by Skeeter Davis - one of country's first crossover artists - covered by Herman's Hermits...

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