Bacchanal on the Comal!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Way too much fun!

The Inaugural Bacchanal on the Comal is continuing within the clouded memories of those who attended! The ship was docked and boarded by a crew, the likes of which it has never seen. First arrivals, Denita Two Dragons and Eric the Monk, sans Zane-age, which made for more than one comment such as: Man, we can really have fun now, and not have to worry about the '"R" word, i.e., Responsibility (like keeping both eyes on Zane at all times)! That made me heart skip a beat - and won them the rights to the guest quarters. No steenkin' tent for them! Besides, the jambalaya and pies and cakes - mmmmmm, their taste in music has really turned my head to "lesser known" but better music than is churned out by the major labels. Thanks Eric!

I am trying to remember who boarded next, El Capitan I think. We piped him aboard and were immediately impressed by the 42 liters of adult beverage he managed to bring onboard in one trip. We ate drank the finest Key Lime Pie Shooters known to man. He has the recipe posted on his site so I recommend you get over there and give it a pull. And we had plenty of them before we headed for the Gristmill and some fine dining by the banks of the Guadalupe River.

The LCBeth and AJ show appeared with two entire cows, pre-slaughtered and butchered for the gargantuan brontosaurus rib-fest that Beth would prepare at midnight Friday, for proper cooking on Saturday. I have to hand it to her. Wow. AJ, our newest Texan, was his effervescent self. The first words out of his mouth were, "This is the great cheesehead invasion of 2005. When would you like to surrender?" Gotta love that; surrounded by Texans and asking when we would like to surrender. He was duly assimilated, Borg-style, into the Texas culture. If you haven't met him, you are missing out on verbal fencing at its best. Although no blows were thrown, the discussions between him and Eric and Stu were a wonder to behold. It was one of the best continuing debates from opposing, yet common, views that I have ever witnessed. Polite bantering and heavy sparring were the order of the evening. Thanks to Dash for bringing the proper grilling instrument and briquets!

Speaking of Dash, you'll not meet a nicer man. He is considerate and a true gentlemen. All ye pirates who attended learned about him, just by being in his presence. I reminded him that it wasn't six weeks ago that we were rocking on the front porch and deciding to do the blogfest. We all owe a "tip o' the hat" to him and El Capitan!

Mr. and Mrs Minority phoned at the duly appointed time for us all to be at the Gristmill. Of course, we were late so they snagged a table and we were delighted that they had "squatted" for us. We got there about half-hour late and everyone was stuffed to the gills after that fine repast. Everyone but poor ol' me. I had ordered filet mignon, medium, and was delivered a heated hockey puck. Ummmmm, no, this doesn't work for me, ma'am. They apologized and promised to do better on the next filet. But noooooo... another hockey puck. Well, just '86 it then, ma'am. (All the while, AJ insisted that I would eat it and enjoy every bite! He who likes his steaks on the fire for 10 seconds - each side!)

Then it was off to Gruene Hall for the Tunes of Buckwheat Zydeco. What a hoot. This man can play, and his band is so tight that they play a two song warm up for him. Great stuff. Shiner beer flowed like the Comal. Lord Spatula met up with us there and the fun continued.

We were joined by Kurt P. and his beautiful Mrs. who hails from o'er the pond. Lovely accent, lovely lady, and two well-behaved dogs! Sorry you guys had to bail so early Saturday morning - I would have loved to give you some hugs for the best damned homemade beef jerkey ever to cross my lips! Wow. I am needing that recipe!

After a night of inhaling adult beverages and replaying the fun we had, we all met up on Saturday morning for the trek to the Comal River toobfest! AJ was duly initiated - he jumped right in and insisted that Wisconsin waters are much colder! It was about that time that Stomps With Foot told him he would be fined $1 every time he mentioned Wisconsin. I lost track after $20 and we have forgiven the debt.

Lord Spatula came onboard after the Gruene Hall fun, and asked if we had a router for him to hook into. Ummm, no router, ummm, no IP address... didn't matter... he was up and running in seconds, and began posting. Gotta hand it to him - he is a trained professional. Don't try this at home, but ye can try anything if Spats is around. Instead of looking for fresh roadkill for his Trainwreck stew, he had venison! Whoa! And quite a pot he prepared. Thanks, Spats, the stew was fantastic, even Sunday morning!

Toobing the Comal River is one of lifes great pleasures for me. It was a great pleasure to be able to introduce the noob toobers to the Comal, as well as float with Dash and the other river rats that thrive on that bit of self-indulgence. The funniest part was seeing where the toobers missed their application of sunscreen. Like 75% of their red bodies! They all had fun, but Denita and Spats probably got the worst of it. It will be a temporary reminder of a permanent feeling for them! Taking a leisurely float down the Comal is like manna from the heavens. Refreshing, exciting and relaxing. We missed El Capitan, and hope he can make it next time. Stu kept counting toobs and heads and we didn 't lose anyone! Ahhhhhh, good job Stu.

We returned to the ship a couple or three hours later to find Beth's ribs awaiting. Not only beef ribs, but also pork ribs, chicken (two types) and tater salad, carrots/celery and dip. This stuff did not just magically appear. Beth worked her ass off in the blistering Texas heat, over a BBQ grill. We didn't even get plates before we started to gnaw on dem bones. Just gimme a sink and I promise to wash my hands and face after I finish these first 12 ribs. The sauce was scrumptious. Unbelievably delicious. After ravaging the ribs, we settled down to the rest of the fare, with or without plates. I was even dipping tortilla chips into the tater salad!

Foosball and music filled our time Saturday evening until my granddaughter, codename: Dunky, appeared with my daughter, codename: Sweetie One. The blue-eyed, tow-headed dancing wonder then commenced to steal everyone's hearts as she danced to the Live Aid DVD on the 60-inch TV.

Sunday was concluded at the shooting range, which I opted out of. Seems that the clogged sink in the galley created a strong sense of guilt in me. I couldn't leave Stu with stew clogging his pipes, so I bailed and returned to the galley to make things right. All is well. The Bacchanal on the Comal was a great success, which one can always count on when the best crew ever makes its way onboard.

Thank ye verily, me crew and hearties!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Land Ho!

Well, there are Sea Ho's too, but this one is titled land ho!

I thought you would get a smile out of the replies to the evites I sent out yesterday. A smile is already creeping across my face and I envision the camaraderie and ensuing mayhem of the Inaugural Bacchanal on the Comal!

About 34 hours before we tie up at port. Stow the mains'l, and stand-by the monkey-fist as the ship prepares to drop anchor!

dash I'll be there. See you at Buckwheat.

mrminority (+ 4 guests) We will be there with swords in our hands and eye patches a twitchin'. In fact I have all the scaliwags coming!!

A Trainwreck in Maxwell Ayeee matee, we be thahrrr. Just for fri nite and then you'll be ready for two dogs to walk the plank.

Random Firing of Neurons sorry. Won't know until maybe Friday. UPDATE: AJ will be in place for a special New Texian Initiation Rite (the extreme pain fun will be worth it, a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling AJ! - ZiPpo

Denita TwoDragons ARRR! I'd be hung as a scurvy sea cow if I and my Old Man weren't coming! Clear a place on the poop deck fer the two of us, Cap'n! The Little One is goin' t' stay with his Magga fer th' duration, so's we can debauch to our heart's delight, BTW.

El Capitan I'll have my publicist forward a copy of my appearance contract and amenities rider. No brown M&Ms!!!

LCBeth Umm... won't I get in trouble if I don't show up?

Lord Spatula Will meet up at Gruene Hall.

Martini KP I need a getaway - this sounds parfait! Count me in.

Feisty Repartée She'll be th'Arrrr for Friday night with scalawag in tow. I be expectin' all me crew to be gentlemen pirates, as the wenches are already fancy ladies!

Now for the rest of ye slackards - listed to shame you into an RSVP, I know that you will be there!
Not Yet Replied - 1 - Emperor Misha



Tuesday, June 21, 2005

All Hands On Deck

Now hear this …
Friday is almost upon us. The ship is approaching port. Here is a photo of the dock …

… and when the Jolly Roger is flying, I am onboard! I should arrive before Noon, Friday, to get things shipshape for the Bacchanal on the Comal.

We plan to dine at the Gristmill around 5:30 p.m. or so, then to Gruene Hall. So cool! El Capitan has promised to have Key Lime Shooters for pre-dinner elbow bending! You have got to try these!

I'd love it if ye could be onboard the ship before then, and we can go as a crew. For those of ye not able to make it in time to dine, or if'n ye be late for dinner, I will be wearing a blue Tommy Bahama Hawaiian Shirt and shorts. I will also have me locks braided with pirate beads (or a pony tail at least) with a white walrus moustache and ye'll have to look for me. I will tell the hostesses at the Gristmill we are the Bacchanal on the Comal Party, or hell, just ask for ZiPpo The Pirate! Yar.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Landing party... rig out!

This from LCBethYeah,

Well... I get to thinking... which gets to planning... which can be just plain scary... So... I have plenty of plates and Solo cups. Trust me on this one. And, if you want to do burgers or hot dogs, I have MORE than enough mustard, mayo and relish (long story).
Cap'n ZiPpo:Burgers and dogs sound great! We have two grills and a complete galley aboard. Plan on bring a couple of bucks to defray the cost for food - especially if Lord Spatula concocts some more Train Wreck Stew.

When you do the new post, do you need to include suggestions like lawn chairs?
Cap'n ZiPpo: Aye, bring yer lawn chairs, if'n ye can find room.

Tables of any kind? (I have a card table I can bring.)
Cap'n ZiPpo: Aye, ye bonnie wee lass, at least one card table would help. The ship is short on tables.

Citronella candles? (I have 5 little ones I grabbed on sale.) Coolers? I'm guessing it will be at least partially BYO, right?
Cap'n ZiPpo: Skeeters are so big down here that they wear fur coats and are hunted for their fur. Off or Cutter spray or wipes (with mega doses of DEET) are recommended for hanging out after dark.

How many racks of baby backs should I get in addition to the 4 "racks" of beef ribs? (Upon further thought, I think these are really half racks- they're the same length as a rack of pork ribs, and cows are a lot bigger than pigs, so... ) I was also contemplating some grilled or smoked chicken wings/strips/legs/parts-to-be-named-later with some buffalo sauce (and bleu cheese dressing, of course). Thoughts? Maybe some slaw (cabbage or brocolli)... tater salad is always yum... some Chex mix and chips and (homemade?) salsa for snacking throughout the evening...
Cap'n ZiPpo: Mmmmm, they don't call you the Serving Wench for nothing! Anything you can't bring we can lower a boat davit and row to the local H.E.B. to score.

Also, I had contemplating some of my mom's recipe whiskey slush. You can ask Denita about it. It's yum, to say the least.
Cap'n ZiPpo: Time flies when you're having rum (or whiskey slushes).

Am I stepping on toes? I tend to get a bit... nutty when it comes to organization. Oh, I'm thinking about sending out an invite for the Blogfest steering committee (if you were at the fest, then you're on the committee). Not sure if that will get anyone else there, but we can try, right?
Cap'n ZiPpo: No toes being stepped on at all, little missy. Raise the signal flags to notify the steering committee if'n ye will.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Comal River Recon - License to Chill

Situation Report! I headed to the Comal River today. We rigged-up with a cooler-dedicated toob, filled with plenty of Tecaté Cervecas, pre-quartered limes (for the Tecaté), waterproof cigarette cases, sunscreen and bottled water.

We hauled the toobs about 200-feet from our parking space to the entry point and cast off all lines. We put in with a cool splash, air temperature was about 94° and the water temperature was a sweet 72° (definitely not shrinkage temperature). Yar! The Jolly Roger was flying on the cooler and we began drifting toward the main "chute." We hooked feet under armpits of the toob in front and were swiftly engulfed by the cool water. If only I had remembered to keep my mouth shut, then the Comal would not have been spewing from my nose. Ok, we survived the first chute - the next one is much calmer, but is a "butt-raiser," meaning you've gotta raise yer dainty arse as you are moved through the chute. If you don't, you will drag bottom at about 100 mph for about six feet. Not really, but it feels like it.

The Comal then moves gently, and slowly past residential areas and Schlitterbahn. I will have all attendees "hooked-up" with a wristband that will allow us to exit at Schlitterbahn's Rapids Pool Area and catch our breath (as if we will need it, but it is just one of the benefits of attending!). Then we re-entered the water and made landfall at the "YOU MUST GET OUT HERE, OR YOU WILL DIE," signs. After climbing a few steps (ADA compliant) we walked back to the beginning and did it again! Yar. Total time for the float from put-in to climb-out: one hour and ten minutes. It seems the slower the Guadalupe is flowing, the faster the Comal flows, and vice-versa, so our trip may be longer than 1:10:00.

What a hoot. If El Capitan thinks he is going to miss the Comal toobing he has another think coming. We could toob all day and not get tired.

Parking is $5 per car at the park and is well worth it. Bring a cooler, we have about 10 toobs so it will be first come, first served, then rentals are available for those lollygaggers who show up late. Texas Toobs charges $10 per toob and a couple of dollars if you want to do a repeat run. They have shuttles that pick you up at the exit point and return you to the entry point or to their concession area.

Things to bring for the float – Bacchanal on the Comal (literally):
1. Cooler (this can be a community cooler - discuss amongst yourselves)
2. Beer. This is a requirement. Anyone not bring beer will be flogged. Bottled water is optional, as well as Jell-O shots! Both are recommended.
3. Sunscreen. There is nothing finer than being immersed in the healing waters of the Comal River. There is nothing worse than getting burned to a crisp by Mr. Sun.
4. Waterproof cigarette container - available for $3 any where in town. These containers can also hold cash and drivers licenses or whatever you want. There is no where to spend the cash, and you don't need a license to toob. A license to chill is implied.
5. River shoes, not required, but highly recommended. Available at the local H.E.B. grocery store for a whopping $5.99.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Captain ZiPpo to the crew …

Now hear this:

Our embedded recon specialist,

Dash Riprock has painted the target for Friday night, June 24th.

I just called Gruene Hall! (it's pronounced Green, for you non-Hill Country types) and they will not be selling advanced tickets for that show. It will be $10.00 at the door.  They'll start letting people in at 7:00 p.m. and the show starts around 8:00 p.m. 

There are not a lot of musicians that get to play in front of an audience of 3 billion, but Buckwheat Zydeco whose real name is Stanley Dural Jr., had that distinct pleasure when he played for the summer Olympics of 1996. He's also played shows with Eric Clapton, U2, Robert Cray, and Los Lobos, and has earned 4 Grammy Award nominations. His name Buckwheat came about because the braided hair he had when he was growing up reminded his friends of the character from the Little Rascals. Zydeco, of course, comes from the music that he loves that originates from the area of Lafayette, Louisiana. Dural plays the "piano accordion" accompanied by a band that includes trumpet, saxophone, and other instruments, playing a mixture of rock-n-roll, funk, blues, jazz and roots music. Sound like fun? Come see for yourself, and pick up a copy of Buckwheats first studio release in 8 years, Jackpot.

 I don't expect it to sell out very early (if at all) for that show.  I do plan to go, though.  It'll be a good one. El Capitan, The Baboon Pirate, mentioned he wanted to eat at The Gristmill located just behind Gruene Hall, while he was in town. It's situated above the Guadalupe and serves awesome fries, probably the best you ever had. Maybe we go there Friday night and then just walk over to the concert after.  Just a thought.
Dash, Privateer Recon Master, by decree.

Aye, aye! We will be dining at the Gristmill around 5:30 p.m. or so, then lollygag around the green at Gruene, slam back a few Shiner's at the Hall, then walk out and come back in for the show. I know it's crazy, but that's the way they do it.

I need to know how many will be joining us at the Gristmill so the appropriate number in our boarding party can be proffered to the proprietor.

Click the link (gotta love that slogan, "gently resisting change since 1872," for area accommodations, or ye can just crash (be advised there is only one head on me ship) at 328 S. Sycamore! There is plenty of room in the backyard and we can set up a "campground," to accommodate more bodies in the back yard - tents, cots, sleeping bags, whatever works!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Come one, come all, to the Bacchanal on the Comal

If there is one thing that El Capitan is - it's a poet. He has singlehandedly tagged a moniker to the Texas Hill Country Tunes Toobs & Targets Blogfest.

With a bit of creative license I present to you the official flag of this premier event.

Yar, me hearties, get ye to Brew Naunfels.