Losing My Sole on the Stairway to Heaven.

Welp, another year closer to that cold, unvisited grave.

Let’s have cake!

Normally on my (and Mozart’s) birthday my wife makes me an authentic Sicilian cassata cake, and each year’s is more elaborate than the one before. Witness:


Sierra Exif JPEG

(Yes, these are the pics I posted last year at this time. If you’re new here, give it a read. It’s much funnier than this year’s.)

However last year she was down with the flu and couldn’t make it to the kitchen.

And I’m not getting one this year either.

No, it’s not La Grippe again. It’s those damn two pounds. NewWifey(tm) knows if she makes a cassata she’s gonna EAT a cassata – at least half of it – and afterwards she’ll have to go back on the Worm Diet to keep me from hooking up with Kate Moss.

So because my wife is in danger of getting fat, I have to suffer.

But as it turned out, I didn’t have to suffer much. NewWifey(tm) came up with a brilliant plan: serve me something I love, but she hates so much that she won’t be tempted.

So she did:

KFC color

KFC! (All thighs!)


Supermarket grade cheesy card!!!


I married well. Yes I did.

I love KFC. For all my high falootin’, toque wearin’, French trained gormandizing, the meal I’m gonna ask for before being strapped into Ol’ Sparky following my conviction for Grand Theft Manatee, is KFC. A bucket of regular recipe thighs, no sides. Not even the crappy plastic spork. Just pass that bucket and I’m off to meet my Maker with a smile. And a grease stain down my shirt.

I love KFC so much I actually learned how to make it myself:

KFC Clone orig

I wrote an entire post about this some time ago, but in a nutshell: it’s not the recipe, it’s the equipment. Those “13 herbs and spices”? It might have been in the original recipe, but now it’s just salt, pepper, and MSG. That battered metal thing is the key. It’s a pressure fryer, not cooker. THAT’S the secret.

But on my birthday, NewWifey(tm) got me the real thing. Not because it’s better than mine (it’s not), but because that leaves us more time to boink. And there are some birthday traditions she will not compromise.

The beer! Now make no mistake: NewWifey(tm) drinks beer. She’s Irish, so it’s an integral part of her religion. And often, breakfast. But she’s not a particular fan of dark beers, and my favorite beer happens to be rather dark indeed: Celebrator Dopplebock, a Bavarian double bock beer that comes with a cute little plastic goat medallion on every bottle (no, that’s not why I like it…not the only reason, anyway). Unfortunately it’s $15 per 4-pack around here, so I rarely get any. But NewWifey(tm) found a place that sells them by the single bottle, so…lunch! And she won’t be tempted to try any. Win/win!

However, before gift giving and and Round-1 of Boinkfest 2018, I decided to try another sunrise photo. I was up again before dawn, but rather than repeat the shots I posted in my previous entry I thought I’d tramp out a bit farther and catch something special: sunrise over Vernon, NJ.

I live up on a bluff overlooking a stretch of the Appalachian Trail, and if I walk down my street there’s an entrance to a part of the trail known as “The Stairway to Heaven”. A lot of city day-hikers come up during the summer – in full mountaineering gear, including tents, starvation rations, and crampons – to trek the full 1 mile to a rocky outcropping that looks down on Vernon, and back again. Then they go home and tell their friends how they almost died of exposure up there on the north face, but managed to make it back to base camp just in the nick of time. Thank god they had crampons!

They typically take pictures like this (found online):


Pff. Amateurs. NO concept of how to compose a picture. The quaint charm that is Vernon is completely lost in a wide angle shot like this. Fools!

This time of year though, none of those incredibly hardy souls venture out for some reason. So I was all alone when I headed out with my camera, tripod, and cat. Somehow I managed to forget my crampons, though.

There’s a little cutout off Barret Road where these dainty hikers park, and I stopped there first to take a quick pic of the historic “High Breeze Farm” farmhouse and the valley beyond. This farm has been continuously worked since being carved out by the original Dutch settlers in the 17th century:

Barret Road sunrise

A very grey, misty morning. The temperature was starting to rise, so the fog was also. I had to over-expose several stops to get this shot, as the sun was still some minutes away from making an appearance.

I wanted to get that shot of the sun cresting over Vernon though, so I had to book. The entrance to the trail is just to the left of that pic, and I hustled down it. The cat followed.

The trail was rocky and still snow covered, despite the climbing temps. But I had on my good Columbia hiking boots and a bottle of Cap’n Morgan Spiced Rum, so no worries. In a half an hour I’d be setting up my tripod on a jutting rock and snapping award winning photos of the sun illuminating the whitewashed church spires and rooftops of Vernon, NJ. Award winning, I tell you!

And then my boot exploded.

I was maybe 100 yards from the lookout point when all of the sudden my left foot got very cold, and very bleedy.

What the hell? I looked down and saw one normal looking dun colored Columbia trail boot with black sole, and one that had the dun colored upper, but a snow white base. Where did the black go?

It turns out the black rubber sole decided it didn’t want to go hiking in the cold any longer, and made a break for it. It separated from the rest of the boot in one solid piece, hoping the rest of me wouldn’t notice.

But I noticed right away. The very next step saw my un-soled foot catch the jagged point of a rock buried under the snow, and it sliced a gash from pinkie toe to arch.

Dammit, of all things. A mile into the woods, mere minutes from my destination (and the subsequent award winning photograph) and a wardrobe malfunction strikes. What should I do? Soldier on, ignoring the pain and stench of blood, til I got the shot? Or turn and leave?

I’m a pussy. I turned and left. I thought, “I wonder if the smell of fresh blood will be of interest to any of the large black bear population around here?” and decided yes, yes it might.

I hobbled back to DangerHouse along the snow covered trail, wincing every time my bleeding foot landed on another pebble, then not wincing once it became numb from cold.

I should mention here that the cat was no help at all during any of this. He sniffed at the wayward rubber sole, rubbed against my shin, then just lay there purring and looking inscrutable while I rocked back and forth holding my bleeding foot. He could have at least caught me a squirrel or something to keep my strength up.

Finally, of course, I did manage to make it home where NewWifey(tm), unlike a certain ingrate cat, was very sympathetic and helpful. Remind me to give her a treat later. I took a hot shower, she bandaged my foot, and I’ve been sitting here ever since writing this entry until the pain subsides.

And now it has.


Let Round-1 of Birthday Boinkfest 2018 begin!

After a beer and a thigh, that is. It’s my birthday, after all.

And remember kids, nothing is worth losing your sole over. Take it from me.

Award winning, I tell you!

Boots no sole




52 thoughts on “Losing My Sole on the Stairway to Heaven.

  1. Alright… I’m sick with the flu, and I just hurt my throat laugh coughing when I read the part about having more time to boink.. But now I’m craving KFC. Time to send my hubby out. Well, maybe not. Whatever recipe they’re using these days kills my agita. Maybe I’ll have soup.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You poor thing! Too sick for KFC?! And I thought I was upset about Trump….

      Hey, send your hubby out for KFC soup! Two birds, one stone, right? That’s GOTTA help.

      I hope you feel better soon and get a boinkfest of your own in. Because, y’know, ecstacy loves company 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! How the heck did you ‘splode your freakin’ boot like that, bro?!
    More importantly, where’s the link to your earlier post about home made KFC? You think I read this blog for the pics, you got another think coming.
    Oh, Happy Birthday, btw.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have no idea how I managed that, other than sheer, godlike talent. It’s how I do so many things, come to think of it.

      Gah. That KFC entry was posted on my old blog, and I can’t seem to find it now (after a beer, two glasses of wine, and 3 fingers of The Glenlivet). Sorry! Maybe I’ll do another one – but isn’t the pic cool? Huh? Huh?

      Thanks, btw.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. HaPpY BiRtHdAy! Cheers to you! I had a pair of Columbia’s that did the same thing – only I was shopping at a mall where I could just buy a new pair. Girls are smart that way! 😉 HaPpY HeALinG too!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. OMG!!!! What a freaky accident, I mean, who would imagine that? You must have been very naughty in at least 3 past lives, I tell you.. at least three, perhaps four.

    Happy Belated Birthday, I must say I adore KFC – back in Brazil when I was a college student (that was just a mere 5 years ago, maybe?) – they opened one and it was a special thing to go there to eat. That crust.. oh, that crust.

    yes, I knew about the pressure fryer – super cool gadget, you are sooooo lucky (well, apart from the foot thing, poor baby)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Very naughty” is still worth it 😉

      Thanks very much for the birthday wishes, I.U.C.! Wow, there were KFC’s in Brazil during the Pleistocene? 😉 But yeah….that crust…mmmmmmmmmmm…..

      I got the fryer on eBay a couple of years ago for only 40 bucks! It’s called the Wear-Ever Chicken Bucket, and you can still find them there (they make a 4 and 6 quart version – I have the 6). I love the thing, and even though it’s lower pressure than a pressure cooker, I still use it as one.

      Thanks again Sally, you rock!


  5. Happy Birthday. White meat for me, the bbq if they still make it. But, I’ll take the sides. Mashed spuds, gravy and especially biscuits. I love their biscuits. But, I’m dieting, too, so good thing there is no Kintcky Fried chicken within a hundred miles of here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We’d make the PERFECT married couple. Like Jack Sprat and spouse, none of the bird (or sides) would go to waste! Until one of them started dieting and ruined it, that is 😉

      Thanks for the birthday wish! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy Birthday, Dangerlad! I hope you, Sponge Bob, and the Colonel had a grand old time. Now go buy a new pair of shoes and stop at a bakery and buy a CAKE. (Actually your misadventure just confirms my opinion that hiking is not good for you…)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I honestly can’t blame that errant sole. If I were it I too would have told you to go on ahead without me. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DangerDangerWarningWarningTheConsequencesWillBeDire!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on the poor thing. If someone dragged me out of bed at 4am and sent me on a forced march in the snow just to get ANOTHER FUCKING PICTURE OF THE SUN COMING UP LIKE IT HAS EVERY FUCKING DAY FOR THE LAST FOUR AND A HALF BILLION YEARS, I might start questioning my loyalty also.

      Still, I paid cash money for those suckers. They OWE me.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, babe!!



  8. Happy belated! January seems to be a very popular month for birthdays. Mine, my friend’s, yours, another blogger, my two uncles from the same family. I guess my grandparents, my parents, your parents, all like to get it on in April. Your birthday meal was very similar to mine. I’m a Popeye’s man, so Popeye’s all spicy and dark with their cajun gravy, and a big tray of cocktail shrimp from the grocery store. It’s the simple pleasures. Hahah.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Woo hoo! April inseminations representin’, yo! One of these days I’ve got to find a Popeye’s and try ’em out. I’ve read from a lot of people that they think they make a superior bird. Some day. In the meantime, my favorite is still the ones I make myself – mostly because of price. I paid 20 fucking dollars cash money for a bucket of 1- thighs. 20 dollars! I can buy a family pack of 8 thighs at my local GrabGrubMart for 3 and a half bucks and go to town. Sheesh.

      But yeah: a bucket o’ bird, brew, head…simple pleasures, man. You said it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds like an adventure …

    I don’t want to have… except maybe the boinkfest!

    As a side note you are making AJ a little homesick – minus all that white shit on the ground. She says I bet the view in the Fall is gorgeous. AJ’s parents live upstate there are some pretty awesome views up there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww. I’ll tell you what, next year I’ll ship you out a box of snow for your very own. Well, it’ll be dandruff. But spread it around the porch a bit and it’s indistinguishable! You’re welcome.

      And yes, the fall foliage up here is spectacular most years. The fall foliage watchers, not so much.

      Hang in there, AJ!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy Belated Birthday. Cassata is something I’ve heard/read about but never experienced. You lucked out with NewWifey(tm). Read your list of chores and hers. Her #4 still makes me chuckle.

    Ah, KFC. When my mom moved in with me, after my dad died in 2010, Tuesdays was the $12 CDN bucket of chicken thighs with french fries (cause I do NOT fry except once a year) day. I also made and served her coleslaw. Not that neon green horror from KFC but ‘proper’ coleslaw. (OK, it was bagged coleslaw mix with commercial coleslaw dressing .. but I made the effort so I should get credit.)

    We can definitely be buds though I’m a lager beer fan. A half pint of Guinness (COLD!!) is as much dark beer as I can drink. Though it’s great in stew. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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