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About Merkin

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    Virginia USA
  • Interests
    breathing in...breathing out

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  1. Benz by Rick Beck

    I read it one installment at a time and chafed, CHAFED at the end of each chapter. Far better to read it all at once. Odd how we all, with so much evidence to the contrary, want so desperately to believe in our criminal justice system, and how bent out of shape we get when we learn about blatant injustice...
  2. A timely, awful reminder that cannot be ignored. Thankfully, there is light at the end of this tunnel.
  3. Notes

    “Notes” is a wonderful capture of what I remember passing notes entailed: the dread of interception and the fear of discovery resulting in life-ending embarrassment, the delicious perception of the total risk of leaving a paper trail… I fear that today’s easy access to texting has diminished and cheapened this thrill, as it has so much of human interaction.
  4. Another Summer in Georgia

    I think it may depend upon the extent to which you ring changes to the facts, and how “public” these facts are. If you tweak a fact or two for a better fit for your plot I think most readers will go along with it, especially if you take the time to alert them to the altered reality before or after your tale is told. Too big of a twist and you are writing fantasy, and should announce your work as such. Most of our stories are “private” in the sense that they concern and affect individuals within small settings, and so we give free rein to our imaginations as writers, since nothing that we are relating will change the course of history.
  5. Another Summer in Georgia

    Dang! This wonderfully entertaining tale by Cole Parker reaches its end. “Another Summer In Georgia” provides us with an enormously satisfying sequel to its first part, and shows us extraordinary development in the relationship between Colt and Jim, while Jarrod emerges as a significant character in his own right. I can barely wait to read what will happen in the next part of this series.
  6. Query

    I bet the little fellow was caught porking one of his brothers and was sent to conversion camp for curing.
  7. Buffalo Wild Wing Disappointment

    We don't try to feed six people offen one chicken, Colin. That's not hospitable. And if you don't think those beaks aint sharp, ask any kid sent to gather eggs from under a settin hen. Using beaks to pick our teeth is just an expression. We use broke-off kitchen matches just like everyone else.
  8. Buffalo Wild Wing Disappointment

    What a ridiculous part of a chicken to bring out as the draw for a destination restaurant. Plus whatever becomes of all those sad chickens running around with no wings? They must look like a bunch of Schmoos. Here in Virginia when we fry up a chicken there won’t be anything left of it on the plate except for the beak. We use that to pick our teeth.
  9. Article of interest to all writers

    Unh oh. Just about every Nifty story category will have to be purged of similarities and coincidental plot lines. Every point-of-view character who has ever looked into his bathroom mirror and described his dick will have to be removed.
  10. Welfare Info?

    The recipe for bread pudding is as I learned it from a cook raised here in the South and the tablespoon of vanilla seems standard around here. Southerners like things very sweet with flavors very noticeable. I'm just glad I didn't learn from a more traditional cook who would have used measurements like "dollop" and "splash" instead of spoonsful. Although even Julia Child liked to call for a splash of booze now and then.
  11. Welfare Info?

    Sorry for the hijack, Mike. I just remembered this is your forum. My bad.
  12. Welfare Info?

    Cole, Cole, Cole. How many summers will you have to spend in Georgia before you catch on to authentic southern Bread Pudding? Here is a helping hand for our surfer: Ingredients Pudding: 1/4 cup raisins 2 tablespoons bourbon (Maker’s Mark preferred) 1 1/4 cups whole milk 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg Dash of salt 3 large eggs, lightly beaten 4 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed day-old French bread Cooking spray Sauce: 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup light-colored corn syrup 1/4 cup butter 1/4 cup Maker’s Mark bourbon To prepare pudding, preheat oven to 350°. Combine raisins and 2 tablespoons bourbon in a bowl. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain mixture in a sieve over a bowl, reserving liquid. Combine reserved liquid, milk, and next 6 ingredients (milk through eggs) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add bread, tossing gently to coat. Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with the pre-soaked raisins, pressing gently into bread mixture. Cover with foil; chill 30 minutes or up to 4 hours so the bread will take up the liquid. Place dish in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake, covered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sauce: Combine 1/2 cup sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup bourbon. Serve each pudding slice warm with a generous tablespoon of sauce.
  13. Welfare Info?

    For shame, Cole. Without bread or milk, bread pudding would be nothing but raisins.
  14. Welfare Info?

    So glad some of our more "exposed" members are safe and sound.
  15. Hot Nights and Bitter Fights

    Oh, Jason, whose pen is still mightier than the sordid, you haven't lost your touch. James