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  • Normand Bissonnette 9:45 pm on December 31, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Best Albums of 2008 

    We are at the dawn of a new year. It is time for “best of” lists. So here is my obligatory favorite albums of 2008. I started thinking about this list a few weeks ago and at first I said to myself  “self, there hasn’t been any great albums this year.” So I decided to listen to all the music I bought and downloaded this year. Thank goodness I decided to listen some of these albums because after a critical listen to these albums I found that there are quite a few that I like enough to place on my list. So here is my list:

    10. Elbow – The seldom Seen Kid

    9. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – Cardinology

    8. Metallica – Death Magnetic (would have been higher on the list if they would have mixed it better)

    7. TV on the Radio – Dear Science

    6. Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping

    5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (Hated it at first listen, love it now even though it scares the living shit out of me)

    4. Beck – Modern Guilt

    3. Glasvegas – Glasvegas

    2. Portishead – Third

    1. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend  (amazing)

    That is it for this year. Happy New Year,

  • Normand Bissonnette 7:22 pm on December 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Deep Fried Christmas 

    Merry Christmas a day late! I was not in town yesterday, I did not have access to the internet. For our Christmas feast I had planned to deep fry a turkey, make some potatoes, brussel sprouts pan fried with bacon, asparagus in a vinaigrette, my mothers stuffing, gravy, home made cranberry jelly, oysters for the appetizer and cream brule for dessert. It was supposed to be the ultimate Christmas meal. I couldn’t wait, I love cooking. you hear that ladies a man that loves cooking and I am still single!

    I started making the creme brule in the morning. The turkey was soaked in a brine of salt, brown sugar and water for 16 hours. My mother made her famous stuffing and the cranberry jelly. We prepared the brussel sprouts by taking them apart leaf by leaf, what a tedious job, but it was going to be worth it. It was a very windy day. Not to cold but the windchill factor made it seem very cold. It was so windy that it caused a power shortage. Well the meal would not be spoiled by this unexpected turn of events. Like I said we planned to deep fry the turkey. Worst case scenario we would make the potatoes on the bar-b-que, the brussel sprouts with bacon on the bar-b-que side burner, warm up the stuffing in the bar-b-que, eat the oysters raw and top of the creme brule with sugar and use a propane torch instead of putting them under the broiler. It would still be a great meal.

    My brother and I fired up the burner to fry the turkey, placed the pot with the oil, a hell of a lot of oil, on the burner. We opened up each a brewskey and waited for the oil to heat up.We cooked the turkey it took about 15 minutes to heat up the oil and 35 minutes to cook the 15 pound turkey. We had three bears each and a martini. Deep frying a turkey on the patio deck in winds of 60 km/hr is nerve wracking business. After taking the tukey out of the oil we had to wait 30 minutes for it to finish “cooking”, That is when we decided to make french fries with the potatoes. A few were sceptical, my sister in law and my mother, they taught the fries would taste like turkey. We tried one potatoe. It took about five minutes to cook. I wanted one of the women to taste the fries because my brother and I was under the influence and anything would have tasted good at this point. They liked the fries. We fried the potatoes. My brother decide that we would fry the brussel sprouts, why not? We tried a fistful of brussel sprouts. The women did not like them but Alain and I did. We added salt and Lise and Mom gave us the go ahead. We deep fried the brussel sprouts and we threw in the bacon that was cut up to pan fry with the brussel sprouts, it could not make it worse.

    I almost forgot to mention that all this was been done in the dark because the sun sets at about 4:30 in this part of the country this time of the year. We had a flashlight to eluminate us. The last time I tried to deep fry a turkey it tasted very good but the turkey was a deep colour of black, this time it looked black to me when we pulled it out of the oil, well everything looked black because of the lack of electricity. The turkey was not black and it tasted great.

    All in all we had a very good Christmas meal even though the odds were stacked against us. We all know that fries are good but deep fried brussel sprouts are an acquired taste. We forgot to eat the oysters and the stuffing. We did not make the asparagus in a vinaigrette, the wine was very good. The creme brule was excellent but what I enjoyed the most was being with loved ones. I guess that is what Christmas should be all about. Merry Christmas to everybody.

  • Normand Bissonnette 9:04 am on December 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Holidays Almost Here and New Years Resolutions 

    Only five beddy byes before Christmas. Have you finished your shopping yet? I did earlier this week. I hate shopping when the stores are packed. The lines are full. Most people are in a bad mood, me included. People are complaining about the weather. What the …? We should all be in a cheery mood, Christmas is almost here. We get to spend it with our loved ones if we are lucky. We get to eat good comfort food. We get to drink as much as our heart desires. We also will be getting presents. What is there to complain about? I guess that there is allot to complain about but we should put it on the back burner for next two weeks and celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the like. For all the atheists out there happy new year.

    For some the holidays is a time for reflecting on the past year and making new year’s resolution. I usually don’t make resolutions since most of the time I keep them for a little while and then I fall to old habits. Most people do the same. This coming year I will be keeping a resolution. I am keeping this resolution to myself, for now. I might write about it at a later time, strike that last statement, I will be writing about it at a later time. I know this is a bit cryptic but I don’t people to ask me if I am keeping my resolution.

    On a side note we had our Christmas staff party last week, we had all had fun. I drank allot but I did not make an ass of myself nobody did. This year as well as the last instead of exchanging gifts we donated $1000 to a few unfortunate families in our region.

  • Normand Bissonnette 11:53 am on December 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Caution All-Season Tires Are Not To Be Used In Slush, Snow Or/And On Ice 

    All season tires are useless for us who lives in the northern climes. I think that all season tires are designed for places like Florida or California, places that do not have real winters. Why do tire companies insist on selling all season tires.  If they would call them what they are, summer tires, they would increase their sales because at the beginning of winter they would sell more winter tires.  I am also sure that there would be a lot less accidents since good winter tires are designed to have better grip on ice and in snow.  All season tires are designed  to be sold to people that cannot afford two sets of tires or are to cheap to buy tw0 sets of tires.

    I have driven in the winter with both types of tires.  I am used to drive in snow and I will tell anyone who cares to listen all season tires are crap for winter.  I drove my car the last part of last winter on all season tires and had a hard time driving in 3 inches of snow. So this winter I got winter tires. I got the least expensive one I could find. I compared a few types and the ones I got have an aggressive thread even though they were inexpensive.

    I couldn’t wait until we got another snow storm, we already had a winter storm this year and a lot of us were caught unprepared. Two days ago we got what some people would call a storm, it was a mixture of snow, freezing rain and rain. I got to try my tires. I was surprised that my car was spinning in about a foot of snow, I had to “rock” the car by shifting from forward to reverse to be able to get some movement from my car. I was disappointed with my tires.  I then realised that I still had my hand brakes on.  By releasing the brakes my car moved through the snow with ease.  I am very happy with my tires. If I had my “all season” tires I still would be stuck today.

    Another must have is heated mirrors. My last car, an Chev Optra 5, had them and I swore to myself that I would also get them in my next car.  My Cobalt LS does not have them, it has a sunroof but no heated mirrors. It has XMRadio but no heated mirrors.  It has air conditioning but does not have heated mirrors.  I should have gotten the heated mirrors. I cannot see in my side mirrors because there is half an inch of ice on them.  I decided not to scrape them after the freezing rain we got the other day because I would have to set them back and everywhere I looked they forcasted 9 degrees Celsius.  Ice melts at 0 degrees. The temperature went up to 3 or 4 degrees but the ice is still on the mirrors. I should have gotten the heated mirrors.  I guess I’ll have to wait until I get a new car.

  • Normand Bissonnette 10:54 am on December 7, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    The Lack Of Coffee Filters Causes Memory Lost 

    Don’t you hate it when you go to a store for a specific item and when you get back home you bought a whole bunch of stuff but not what you went there for?  This has been happening to me the last few weeks.  I ran out of coffee filter about two weeks ago and every time I went to a store that sells coffee filters I kept on forgetting to get the filters.

    One day last week I went to the supermarket, I had made a small shopping list with about five item that I had to get.  Of course the first thing I wrote on the list was coffee filters.  When I got to the store the firt place I go is the isle where the filters are when I get there I think to myself I don’t need coffee why am I here?  I got home, no coffee filters!  What an idiot!

    I know that most of us get forgetful some times, but two straight weeks?   This must be a record of some kind, maybe I should contact Guinness?  Maybe they’ll have an entry for forgetfulness with my name in bold letters.  I would be invited to talk shows everywhere to talk about how I prepared for my attempt for the record.  Everybody would want to hang out with me, be my friends.  All the money I would make with my lecturing tours.  Imagine all the women that would want to have my babies.  Goodness gracious wouldn’t that be the life?

    Thank God for paper towels,  I have been using them as filters these last two weeks.  I don’t know what I would have done without them.  Yesterday I had to go to the supermarket, I am proud to say that this time I did not forget the filters but the top item on my list this time around was paper towels.   I have to admit that I forgot to get the paper towels, will I beat my record?  Only time will tell.

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