Saturday, October 20, 2018

Perfect Brandy Manhattan Recipe

Previously known only to those from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, this cocktail  was brought to El Paso, Texas in the late 1950s by the late, Stanley E. Drapes, Major Ret USA  especially for his wife Lucille (Jurgella) and her sister Isabel. The recipe is said to habe originated at either the old Sky Club or Antlers supper clubs in Stevens Point, and could have been adopted by the two Jurgella sisters.  

Happily, the tradition to serve this cocktail on festive occasions has been exported to Hawaii by Stanley and Lucille's son, Vincent, and continues to be served in El Paso by his son Michael, and in Wisconsin and Minnesota to this day. 
Na zdrowie!


For one serving:
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz brandy

For a cocktail party, consider making the liter and half recipe (1.5 L). Mix a week in advance so that the ingredients can "marry" and age together. 
Store in the refrigerator, and the mix will taste smoother when allowed to age longer.

Combine: 
500 milliliters of dry vermouth 
500 milliliter of sweet vermouth 
1 liter brandy 
Serve in old fashioned glasses over ice with marichino cherries on swizzlesticks. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Favorite political ads: Richard Linklater












Sunday, October 07, 2018

Snacks for a little deer ๐ŸฆŒ

This afternoon a juvenile deer walked through our backyard from the arroyo and went next door for a snack. Usually, we have about six adults and this summer saw two babies in the arroyo with their mothers. He’s evidently been by this particular yard before as he had no trouble munching there for at least five minutes.


Thanks to MJ for alerting me to the little deer. He spied him walking theough out backyard. Then he saw him munching in the front yard.


Video shot with an #iphone8plus edited with #imovie and later squared for Instagram using #nocropapp.




Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Threads Box WIP

#TBTuesday #bravocotton by Rainbow Gallery #wildflowers by The Caron Gallery #needleart #linencanvas #plasticcanvas #metallicthreads #needlepoint #dimentionalstitches
  

UTEP Student Veterans Writing Program

This program serves as a supplement for veterans returning to school after their service. It aims to assist those in First Year Composition, but may help veterans in all their writing life stages. 

Veteran students are encouraged to participate as their schedule allows.

This program seeks to reach to veterans specifically now, but hope to allow all military affiliated students in the future.

Availability limited to the first 30 students. 

Fall Semester Schedule
Wednesdays
1:30 PM to 2:30 PM.

RSVP at MSSC@utep.edu

University Writing Center
http://uwc.utep.edu/

Military Student Success Center




Friday, August 17, 2018

Foto Frontera at the La Fe Cultural and Technology Center


Exhibition Link on Wix

If you are in town from Thursday, September 6 to October 26, 2018, please stop in to see all the wonderful photographers' works which will be on display along with my dad's images.

For the event, I chose to create a new website for my dad's images using Wix. Every semester, I teach a First Year Composition course that includes an ePortfolio or Advocacy Website assignment. This allows me to remain relatively current with the various free services students can use to create their websites. Because of this practice, I decided to create a photography exhibition / portfolio for my dad's photographs that will be exhibited in September at the La Fe Cultural and Technology Center.

I like the idea of being able to connect from one service to another while adding content here, and chose Wix because it lets the designer create finely arranged pages, and provides several basic templates from which to choose. Weebly is very good too and I've created sites with it. It is very good for students that have little or no web design and authoring experience. However, Wix seems best for portfolio and gallery type sites. 

Thursday, June 07, 2018

It had to come at some point



When a relative greatly disappoints, go to Costco, gas up the vehicle. Then, go inside and buy a big box of strawberries ๐Ÿ“, some shrimp ๐Ÿฆ , and avocados ๐Ÿฅ‘. 


Then come home and make strawberry jam for the very first time. I did everything but buy a bottle of Taittinger ๐Ÿพ


The disappointment stems from this relative (over 40 and living in another state) believing that any immigrant is a bad immigrant. I didn't go to this person’s Facebook page, but instead, the person commented on an image i posted of Jim Carrey with a quote. 




The recipe comes from a link to Ina Garten’s strawberry jam recipe. It’s really simple and has but three ingredients: fresh strawberries, lemon juice/grated lemon rind, and sugar.


Find her recipe here:

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/fresh-strawberry-jam-recipe-1916121


Saturday, May 05, 2018

Aluminum 35mm Film Canisters

My dad was a retail camera buyer for a local department store. Previously and immediately after high school he worked as a darkroom technician for a portrait studio and then a drug store. 



In high school, he told me that #Kodak was phasing out its metal film canisters and switching to plastic. I immediately started saving the aluminum ones, and sometimes he brought me some from work when people left their film to be developed and printed.. 




Over the years, I’ve discovered special film types had colored canisters. Shown in image 3 Is a book of little stickers printed by @moo. Good times. 



Friday, April 20, 2018

The quiet ones with whom we share the land: Mule deer and skunks

Accompanying an announcement reminding students a draft was due soon, this image was included with a note about the deer that live nearby. Added here is a collage of one of several skunks who live around the arroyo, too.
mule deer

One of six mule deer that live in and around the Franklin Mountain foothills in an arroyo behind my house. This fellow and the others usually walk up and down the arroyo, munching on leaves that hang over the walls.

Deer usually travel together in groups of threes, although all six have been seen together as far as Snowheights and Westwind. Last week, I spied two females with their juvenile offspring, one each.

A couple of seasons ago, the six, seen earlier down Westwind one evening, were seen later that night walking back into our arroyo (a rain runoff collecting station for the area) behind my house.
collage of American skunk, male
Silently and slowly they walk along the backyard walls that face the arroyo below La Posta. They are nearly invisible unless you see them move. One side glance and they disappear again until you detect their movement. This place was christened Foxes Arroyo as two foxes have lived in the arroyo, too. One night I heard their growly noises at our old cat Buddy, and I saw their ears and faces peeking over the back rock wall. Another night we saw them scamper across Belvidere to get back into the arroyo. Like the deer, they forage beneath the larger house walls across and in the arroyo. Instead of greens they search for small rodents and other small mammals. 

Quietly, too are the skunks and other smaller mammals that dwell in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains. In the winter, a momma skunk and her kits will sometimes keep warm in our garage. We leave its door open about three inches so that animals can get water. If we left out dry cat food, the skunks come in for a nosh, too. But the night I captured this small skunk it was about 10:30 PM. They also make the rounds about 2:00 AM. Here, he is munching some seeds I put out for them. In the morning, all the birds will alight and finish what was there. The bird seed includes sunflower seeds, dried fruit, and nuts.

Along with the skunks, we have Steller's blue jays (migrating), two types of dove, mocking birds, juncos, tiny ladder-back woodpeckers, thrashers, minuscule field mice, ground squirrels, coyotes, owls, raptors, (red tailed hawks and the petite American kestrel) and squirrels. Years ago, a friend in Northeast El Paso said he saw a badgers in his neighborhoods near the Franklin foothills off Magnetic. Deer and skunks are also living there, too.




Thursday, April 19, 2018

Photography and Vintage Film

In between reviewing student assignments and meeting with them, I was catching up on newsletter reading. The Twisted Sifter always provides interesting posts about visual artistry and how it intertwines with technologies, whether old and new.



Today's newsletter is no different and provides a balance between moving images of 1911 New York City, presented by videographer Guy Jones, black and white film and Christopher Burkett's Ilfachrome CIBA large format film photography.



Each video explores how either the editor of the movie or the photographer combine old school technology with new. The real magic continues in the "post production" work, whether adjusting the speed of the video and adding ambient sounds, or taking up to eight hours to expose Burkett's diminishing supply of special film to its equally dwindling inventory of paper.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sidebar: Concrete, Cotton Seeds, and Cigarettes

Recently, I've been sharing what I call Sidebars, random information about local items of interest. I send the information along when I send announcements Asarco smokestack under construction, El Paso, late 1960s.to students via Blackboard. This was the most recent Sidebar, but now I'm thinking I will go back and post more of those here, too.

Image above: In the mid-1960s, after my father worked for The Popular department store for many years, he left to work for a testing laboratory. There, he tested cement, and ran soil compaction tests for many large projects in town, including the now demolished Farah Manufacturing facility (now the site of the Fountains of Farah), Morehead Middle School (concrete corrugated shaped flat roof), the El Paso International airport traffic controller tower, and the tallest ASARCO smokestack, completed in the late 1960s. At ASARCO, dad photographed the construction site at ground level several times and he was even allowed to take me there, too. Between the ages of 7–12, I went to many sites and watched the concrete compaction tests at the lab and helped place cement cylinders in the damp room where they were to be cured for 21-days. The cylinders were capped at the building site with a funky yellow sulphur cap at either end. 
For its time, the ASARCO smokestack project was the largest and longest continuously poured cement project in the world. When the regionally grown cotton was ready to be processed into cotton-seed oil, dad worked at the Southwestern Irrigated Cotton Growers Association* (SWIG) processing plant. When he came home after working at SWIG all day in the fall, his short-sleeved cotton shirts were permeated with the smell of refined cotton seed oil. 
One Sunday, while visiting my grandparents at their home in Smeltertown, which stood directly across the street from the ASARCO plant, dad got a call to go to the construction site. I begged to go with him and he said yes. We toured the ASARCO site with the project manager and walked inside the tower as seen here. I remember looking up to see the blue sky while standing dead center within the hollow stack. (Shades of The Ring!) Later, when it was complete, dad rode the construction elevator to the top of the smelter tower and shot photos from its platform. Unfortunately, those photographs were given to ASARCO and I never saw them. 
By the time the tower was demolished on April 13, 2013, my mom had died in January of that year, and dad had lost most of his sight due to macular degeneration**.

**Macular degeneration is hereditary. However, those who get it in later life were usually those who smoked cigarettes. My father smoked unfiltered Chesterfields from the age of 15 to 58 or so. Not long after he quit he began losing his eyesight. 

Perfect Brandy Manhattan Recipe

Previously known only to those from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, this cocktail  was brought to El Paso, Texas in the late 1950s by the late, St...