Dark as a Dungeon

January 30th, 2009

“Dark as a Dungeon” is a song written by Merle Travis and first recorded in 1946. Merle Travis also wrote “Sixteen Tons,” which was recorded and made famous by Tennessee Ernie Ford.

This song is most famous from “Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison” where Cash interrupts his performance of the song to remind some of the prisoners, “No laughing during the song, please.” And after the song, he announces, “”I just wanted to tell you that this show is being recorded for an album released on Columbia Records, and you can’t say ‘hell’ or ’shit’ or anything like that.”

Along with Johnny Cash, “Dark as the Dungeon” has also been recorded and performed by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Dolly Parton, Jerry Garcia & David Grisman, and Bob Dylan & Joan Baez.

Dark as a Dungeon
by Merle Travis

Come and listen you fellows, so young and so fine,
And seek not your fortune in the dark, dreary mines.
It will form as a habit and seep in your soul,
‘Till the stream of your blood is as black as the coal.

It’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew,
Where danger is double and pleasures are few,
Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines,
It’s dark as a dungeon way down in the mine.

It’s a-many a man I have seen in my day,
Who lived just to labor his whole life away.
Like a fiend with his dope and a drunkard his wine,
A man will have lust for the lure of the mines.

It’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew,
Where danger is double and pleasures are few,
Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines,
It’s dark as a dungeon way down in the mine.

I hope when I’m gone and the ages shall roll,
My body will blacken and turn into coal.
Then I’ll look from the door of my heavenly home,
And pity the miner a-diggin’ my bones.

It’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew,
Where danger is double and pleasures are few,
Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines,
It’s dark as a dungeon way down in the mine.

(additional stanza rarely performed by Merle Travis:)
The midnight, the morning, or the middle of day,
Is the same to the miner who labors away.
Where the demons of death often come by surprise,
One fall of the slate and you’re buried alive.

Pheasant & Wild Rice Recipe from Inaugural Luncheon

January 21st, 2009

Courtesy of:

Herb Roasted Pheasant with Wild Rice Stuffing
Yield: 10 portions


  • 10 pheasant breast, boneless, remove tenders and reserve for stuffing, cut small pocket in side of breast for stuffing
  • ½ cup olive oil with chopped rosemary, thyme and sage
  • 1 lb. wild rice, long grain
  • 2 quarts chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ cup dried apricot, small diced
  • 1 tablespoon salt and pepper mix
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, roasted


  1. Boil the rice with the chicken stock, cook until soft and most of the liquid is gone.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, garlic and apricot. Cook until the vegetables are soft and all liquid has been absorbed. Refrigerate rice mixture until cold.
  3. In a food processor, puree pheasant tenders to a paste consistency to use as a binder for rice mix.
  4. When rice is cool, add the pheasant puree to the rice until well mixed. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and return to refrigerator until ready to stuff.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Make 10 small football shaped patties of the rice mix, stuff inside the pheasant, being careful not to over stuff the pheasant. Rub herb/oil mixture on top and bottom of the pheasant, season with salt and pepper. Place the pheasant on a heavy gauge roasting pan and then in a preheated oven for approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with lid or foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve over sauté of spinach.

*Pheasant can be substituted with chicken.

**Why in the world would you substitute chicken for pheasant?

Obama Inaugural Luncheon Menu and Recipes

January 21st, 2009

Download a PDF of the Inaugural Luncheon menu recipes, including one for pheasant (my favorite), here:

For more information about the Inaugural Luncheon, follow the link below:

Download the recipes in PDF format

Wisconsin Pheasant Served at Obama Inaugural Luncheon

January 20th, 2009

Someone at the White House has good taste! Wisconsin pheasant, one of my favorite foods, was served at the Inaugural Luncheon.


Area Farm Discovers Its Pheasants Served At Inaugural Luncheon

MacFarlane Pheasants Filled Large Order For Distributor In D.C.

POSTED: 7:52 pm CST January 20, 2009

After Mary Jo Bergs, of MacFarlane Pheasants Inc., in Janesville heard about the menu for the Inauguration Luncheon, she started doing some investigating.

“I started searching the Internet, looking for any clue,” said Bergs, a sales rep for the Janesville-based pheasant farm.

“Once I started seeing the menu, that’s when I started having the little light bulbs go off in my head saying I need to look into this further,” Bergs said.

MacFarlane Pheasants had just filled a large order for a distributor in Washington, D.C.

After a little bit of searching and a few calls, it was confirmed. The Rock County birds were part of the event’s main course.

“It was one of those, kind of, ‘Oh my gosh!’ moments where you’re just like, ‘Wow, this is cool.’ Even though we’re not really in the forefront and playing a part, it’s nice to know that underneath it all, we are playing a part,” Bergs said.

No one on the farm had any idea they were contributing to the celebration in Washington.

“I had no thought of playing any sort of role whatsoever. It was something that just came out of left field, and sometimes those are the best surprises,” said owner Bill MacFarlane.

The farm, family owned since 1929, said it has always tried to produce a product of the highest quality. MacFarlane said he’s proud their product is reaching the highest office in the nation.

“Our farm, our employees, we take pride in what we do, and to think someone out there chose our product to serve at that luncheon, there’s a lot of pride and feeling good about it,” said MacFarlane.

MacFarlane Pheasants said it will use its role in the luncheon in its marketing efforts. Some employees got an early start by putting up a sign outside the farm Tuesday morning.

The sign read, “Serving Pheasant to Our President.”

And according to MacFarlane Pheasants website at www.pheasant.com,

MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc is the supplier of the pheasant being served to President Obama and guests at the Inaugural luncheon on Tuesday. The recipe, designed by Design Cuisine of Arlington, VA. is “Herb Roasted Pheasant with Wild Rice Stuffing” and is available online. It is gratifying to know MacFarlane Pheasants’ product is recognized for its superior quality and consistency. States Design Cuisinse Chief Executive Officer, Kathy Valentine, “Our focus is to source the best product.” For more information on how to locate MacFarlane Pheasants products in your area, please call 877-269-8957, email us (MacFarlane Pheasants) at dressedpheasants@pheasant.com, or browse our (MacFarlane Pheasants) online store.

Why do men prefer blonds with long hair, small waists, and large breasts?

January 13th, 2009

If you’ve ever asked yourself a question like this, you were contemplating “Evolutionary Psychology.”

According to Wikipedia, “Evolutionary Psychology (EP) is an approach to the entire discipline that views human nature as a universal set of evolved psychological adaptations to recurring problems in the ancestral environment.”

In plain English, EP is the study of why human traits, behaviors, and preferences that seem to contradict scientific explanation have developed.

For example, throughout history the concept of birthdays and age did not always exist. Since the goal of all living things is to reproduce, men were looking for young healthy women to bear children. Since the man couldn’t ask for a woman’s driver’s license to check her age, he had to use physical clues. In a warm climate, large breasts might be a sign of youth because large breasts age and sag with time more obviously than small breasts. In colder climates where layers of clothes hide the body, blond hair could’ve been a sign of youth as naturally blond hair grows darker with age. These preferences stuck with men in their pursuit for partners.

If these theories interest you like they interest me, I encourage you to read Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love by Helen Fisher. More good reading can be found at the Evolutionary Psychology portion of Psychology Today.

Who is the blond guy on TMZ?

January 8th, 2009

the blond guy from tmz

The blond guy from tmz is Max Hodges. According to his information on imdb, Hodges has only appeared on tmz, where he does a fine job I might add.

These pictures are screen captures of my favorite clip, entitled “Matthew McConaughey’s Latest Flop” where Hodges comments that McConaughey is running commando and therefore, “Walking the Dinosaur.” Boom boom acka lacka lacka boom…

Watch the only non-tmz Max Hodges footage I could find here at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb1Re3_Aq8c


Max Hodges - the blond guy on TMZ

Everybody walk the dinosaur…

boom boom acka lacka lacka boom

See also “Max Hodges is a 49ers Fan” at Rencsi.com and and “Follow Max Hodges on Twitter” at Rencsi.com.

How to Write SMART Goals and Make SMART New Year’s Resolutions

January 5th, 2009

A SMART goal and New Year’s Resolution is one that is:


Decide in advance exactly what you want to accomplish. Ask yourself, “What am I trying to do? How am I going to do it? What am I assuming is true? What if my assumptions are not true? What is Plan B?”

Incorporate specific ways and dates to measure your achievements. Measuring your progress will help you stay on track and give you a sense of satisfaction when you hit a milestone. The feeling of success will also help you stay motivated.

How can you make your dreams come true? Achieving your goal might require baby steps. You might have to start by simply developing the skills, abilities, and financials to reach your goal, and that is a goal in itself. Break a big goal into bite-size pieces to make your resolution more attainable. Also prioritize your goals or multiple parts of a large goal to make it more attainable.

Be in control. Make your goals doable, but not easy. Achieving goals requires personal effort and change. Are you willing to make an effort and tolerate the changes that will take place as a result? You will only achieve results with your own enthusiastic agreement that the effort and change required are necessary and important to reach your goal.

The timing of your goal must be all of the above: specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic. Set a specific date you would like to reach your goal, and also dates to check your progress. Be realistic to give yourself the best chances to achieve your goal.

Now… Get started! 
Brainstorm. Don’t worry about the SMART principals and write down whatever goals for yourself that come to mind. Prioritize the goals in order of what is most important to you. Apply the SMART goal principals and make the goals you select for yourself specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

Print or write copies of the SMART goals and carry it in your purse or wallet at all times. Post it around the house, office, cubical, car, or wherever it needs to be so you are constantly reminded of your objectives.

Check your progress at the specific, realistic dates you incorporated in your goal. If you are not progressing like you had planned, make changes asap! What’s Plan B? How can you make your dreams come true?

What is the instrumental song in the art museum scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?

January 4th, 2009

I’ve always loved the art museum scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I especially love the instrumental song that plays as Ferris, Sloane, and Cameron admire work such as Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges-Pierre Seurat at the Art Institute of Chicago

No soundtrack of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was ever released so in case you’ve been wondering too, that song is an instrumental cover of Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want.

The instrumental version of this song featured in the movie is by Dream Academy. It appears on their greatest hits album Somewhere in the Sun: Best of the Dream Academy. (At the time this post was written, the ONE available on Amazon was $149.99! If anyone knows how to get their hands on an MP3 of this song, I would love to hear it…)

The original version of this song (with lyrics) is by The Smiths. It appeared on their 1984 album, Hatful of Hollow as well as The Very Best of The Smiths. The Smiths’ version also appears on the Pretty in Pink soundtrack (I own this on cassette tape!) and the Never Been Kissed soundtrack.

I recently heard this song during “Local on the 8’s” on the Weather Channel and I hope Ferris Bueller plays on cable some time soon… Enjoy!

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
Lyrics by Stephen Morrissey
Music by Johnny Marr

Good times for a change
See, the luck I’ve had
Can make a good man
Turn bad

So please, please, please
Let me, let me, let me
Let me get what I want
This time

Haven’t had a dream in a long time
See, the life I’ve had
Can make a good man bad

So for once in my life
Let me get what I want
Lord knows, it would be the first time
Lord knows, it would be the first time