Pools 9 & 10 – Carlos Avery, Minnesota

This is a recording I made near pools 9 and 10 at Carlos Avery, a Minnesota WMA, on March 13, 2016. It was a pretty grey day overall, and there isn’t too much going on in the soundscape other than some wind and the occasional bird. I recorded at a couple other spots, but it was too windy. There a couple pictures below.

Carlos Avery - Water
Carlos Avery – Water
Carlos Avery - Improvised Mic Stand
Carlos Avery – Improvised Mic Stand (I’m not quite pointing at the microphone with my thermos, but look at the nice tree.)
Carlos Avery - Near Pools 9 and 10
Carlos Avery – Near Pools 9 and 10

MIFC # 3

While you are reading MIFC # 3, you can listen to the rather unexciting soundscape I made this afternoon of our backyard in Minneapolis. I was going to go out to one of the WMA’s, but because we have plans later this evening, I decided there was not enough time. In the recording you can hear some birds1, a truck pulling up, the neighbors talking, squirrels frolicking in the leaves, and then a couple of flies whizz past the microphones at the end of the track.

MIFC # 3
MIFC # 3

  1. The birds might be Black-capped Chickadees, but I’m not certain. I tried using the Cornell Lab’s Merlin Bird ID app, but ultimately was not sure because the birdsongs sound a different. If you have a guess of what the birds are, please feel free to comment. 

MIFC # 2

Here is the second installment of MIFC – and I have still been listening to Monomer’s Labyrinth; it’s solid, and I recommend visiting the band’s bandcamp site and supporting. Currently, however, I’ve switched over to Bernie Krause’s soundscape Desert Solitude, featuring recordings by Krause and Ruth Happel and put out by Wild Sanctuary.

Over the past couple weeks or so, I’ve also been working through Krause’s The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wild Places (2013) on audiobook while I cook. It’s good, but my one complaint is it rehashes Krause’s other books in spots. For instance, parts of Wild Soundscapes: Discovering the Voice of the Natural World (2002) appear in Orchestra. The points are still salient, particularly when he talks about the human impact on biophonies1, so this is a minor complaint.

MIFC # 2
MIFC # 2
# MIFC #2

  1. Krause defines a biophony as a creature symphony; the whole soundscape of a habit or specific biome. 

Piggy Butt, Surprise! – Crock Pot Pulled Pork Recipe

The following is a recipe for pulled pork cooked in a crock pot. Having a food processor is also handy, but it is not necessary.


  • 2-3 lb. piggy butt (pork shoulder)1
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil (optional)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 serrano peppers, or 1 habanero2
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of ground cumin3
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Salt and pepper your piggy butt or pork shoulder. I like a bone-in cut, which can take a little longer to cook, but it results in more flavor. If you want, wipe down your crock pot with olive oil, and place in the meat.

Pork Shoulder
Pork Shoulder with Bone of Forest Raised Pig

Put the onion, garlic, hot pepper(s), cumin, oregano, and vegetable oil in a microwavable bowl and microwave it for 5 minutes and stirring it occasionally. This will bloom the spices and soften the onions. Alternatively, you can do this step on the stove. I have found that the microwave works just as well and is a little easier4. I tend to only use the stove and a pan if I’m cooking other things in the same pan to let the flavors mingle.

Bloomed Marinade
Bloomed Marinade

As an extra step, I now take the heated onion mix and throw it in a food processor and chop everything up a bit more. I like the mix a bit lumpy, but not a puree. Once you’ve done this, rub the mix over the meat. Be careful, as the mix can be hot depending on how quickly you jump from the microwave to the food processor.

Pork Shoulder with Marinade
Pork Shoulder with Marinade

Cook the meat for 7 to 9 hours, shred with two forks, and dispose of the bone. Once the dish is cooked, you can try to remove the grease. Generally, I do not, since this keeps the meat moist and has flavor. I scoop the meat into microwavable containers and freeze it. When I heat it back up, I take the meat out with a fork and leave all the extra grease in the container.

Many hours later...
Many hours later…

This dish got its name from the soccer-ball-sized dog that lives up the street, and who looks like an anime super deformed version of Chewbacca (Chewie) with fused together leg joints (Chewie appears to lack knees). I have often fantasized that Chewie’s favorite dish is piggy butt, which he cooks for his other doggy friends. I further imagine Chewie talks like Mike Tyson and frequently makes his piggy butt too hot, because he adds 7 habaneros, or something insane like a ghost pepper. Chewie’s mouth then burns, and he has to drink all the water he can lap up (from the water bowl, the ditch, even mouthfuls of snow when it’s winter, etc.). Later, Chewie gets a second spicy “surprise” when the piggy butt comes out his other end – hence, Piggy Butt, Suprise!

Piggy Butt, Surprise!
Piggy Butt, Surprise!

Update: The photos show a pork shoulder of a forest raised pig I got at the local farmer’s market in Olympia. I’ve never heard of forest raised pig, but presumably this was a pig who lived and ate in the wood.

  1. The pork shoulder is also known as the pork butt or “Boston butt.” The word butt does not refer to the animal’s rear end, but is Old English for “the widest part.” 

  2. I usually do one habanero pepper. This results in a meat that is spicy, but never as spicy as I think it will be (so it tends to be just right). For the most recent recipe I tried two serranos, thinking that it will give the meat a slightly greener flavor. In terms of heat and flavor, if you like less heat, you might try seeding the peppers and modifying the dish to your palette. 

  3. I tend to like more cumin; you may want to dial this back to one tablespoon to suit your tastes. 

  4. I learned this trick from America’s Test Kitchen. 

MIFC # 1

Far too many years ago I started drawing a comic called MIFC and in a flurry of distraction and too much other shit going on lost track of it. This morning, while shirking work and listening to Kraftwerk and Monomer, I decided to start reposting it.

I have a folder on my desktop called “Write,” which for some time has become a repository for items I feel an inclination to return to.

Write Folder

In January, I started sifting through it. The 5 Stooges meet Frank Perdue was one document I found; a document I won’t be returning too ever again – that one’s on me Hollywood. The folder also has a bunch of pictures, some old, some new, half written poems, gifs of my dogs, a transcript of an off-color conversation between a friend and myself about starting a fanfiction podcast, a year old promo video for Goblin 1, meditations on coffee, and a folder with MIFC comics in it.

MIFC is a multi-storyline comic set in the ’90s in Salisbury, Maryland. If the comic does continue, I’m sure Ocean City will make an appearance too.

Before leaving you with the first installment of MIFC, a friend of mine over at Theology Girl started blogging again. Her stuff is always humorously philosophical; if that is in your wheelhouse, be sure to visit her site. Also, I’ve submitted H.P. Thomcraft’s Game of Pawns to a couple of festivals (9 so far). Some I’ve never heard of, some I have. If anyone has any other suggestions of fests to check out, let me know. I like existential challenges.

MICF # 1
MIFC # 1

  1. Goblin is a screenplay I’ve been working on with my business partner in Black Square Productions

The 5 Stooges meet Frank Perdue

This was an idea that never got fleshed out.

“The 5 Stooges meet Frank Perdue” will be filmed at Shorebirds Stadium. The movie culminates in a baseball match where two teams have to play a game of “chickenball.”

I’m not totally sure what “chickenball” is, let alone looks like when crossed with cinematic possibility and 2 additional Stooges.