Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving turkey stock from bones and vegetables.

Every year Mum would labor for two days preparing Thanksgiving turkey they way she learned how as a girl, developments in turkey breeding along the way notwithstanding. She roasted slowly overnight, basted slavishly the next day, and presented a beautifully evenly browned roasted bird suitable for Norman Rockwell's inspiration.

Dry as hell.

Left on the counter, we picked at it all day long and nobody sickened, nobody died.

Pleased to be done with it, satisfied all is well with the world, she was glad to be rid of the macabre large dead bird carcass. Year after year she pass on the notion of making stock from the bones. She had no use for stock anyway. Didn't even know what that is. It was not part of her early training. Not part of the deal. What a regrettable waste. X50

Do you know what to do with the carcass?

Pick the bones clean but don't bother to fuss. There is a lot of tendon and bones in there not worth the trouble. Remove slices if enough remains to do that, otherwise pick off the pieces both dark and white. The pieces can be used for soup, sandwiches, add to new stuffing, salads, burritos, tacos, tostadas, crepes, omelets, you name it.

I like to break the large bones so the marrow can drain. I also like to roast the bones for additional layers of flavors. I roast everything, skin, neck, liver, giblets, even vegetables if there is room on the pan. This produces a slightly darkened stock.

Roast until you can smell it. These bones were too hard for my kitchen pliers to break before roasting. They were broken after roasting so the marrow will drain into the water.  

The crisp bits of skin are delicious. Go on and indulge your inner cave-person and have a go at this mess right there straight from the oven. It doesn't get better than this. You sinister thing.

Boil until you can smell it. Until the odor takes over the whole place. Until you've had enough. More than hour. Less than, say, four hours. Fowl goes faster than beef. Chicken goes fastest of all.

If foam develops at the beginning then spoon it off. The protein-foam will cook back into the stock and it  tends to make the stock somewhat bitter. This doesn't happen so much when you roast everything first. I didn't bother this time.

Straining is in two parts. Most easily done done with two pots, the original pot and another.

Double bag the debris and get rid of it immediately. You do not want this stuff fermenting in your kitchen bin. 

Liquid gold. This is much better than what you can buy. 

It contains no herbs nor salt. This way you control things as you use it. Except for what remains from brining and whatever coated the skin. This liquid is perfect for too many things to list. You can drink it like this, a few herbs and pasta and bits that you picked off the cooked carcass make a perfect and perfectly simple meal.

When chilled the marrow within will develop a layer of gelatin. 

Usually a layer of liquid on the bottom, then a layer of gelatin, and sealing layer of fat on top. The layer of fat can be lifted off as a disc allowing you to control the amount of fat that you want for each use. 

Your success is measured by the amount of gelatin aspic. If the whole thing is aspic then you win 100%. Take a bow. If it is mostly liquid with thin layer of aspic then try harder next time. Boil longer next time to have all the marrow the bones contain. Or buy better birds next time. You will find organic and free range birds really do make the best stock.

Stock VS broth.

Stock is from bones and bits done like this. Broth is from boiled meat. 

Has Your Thanksgiving Bloat Passed?

Sunday Morning With Van Morrison

Shenandoah, that great classic hymn to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.  Beautiful song about a beautiful place.

I saw the Shenandoah Valley from the Blue Ridge Parkway one summer day, atop the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I parked my motorcycle and sat on a ridge top for half of he day, just staring at the Shenandoah Valley.   It may be the most beautiful place I've seen.

Here is Paul Robeson's version, sung in his magnificent voice.

Blessings of the day to you!

200 year old Shakespeare folio discovered, Also, Robert Bereny's painting, "Sleeping Lady" discovered

A valuable Shakespeare folio, one of 230 believed to still exist was discovered in the library at Saint-Omer, undisturbed for 200 years because nobody could read it and nobody cared. A Medieval literature specialist found the folio while searching for books to use in an exhibition. A librarian there said, "Oh, that beat up old thing? We use pages to line our parakeet cage."

↑ Contains mostly fact.

The Guardian.

It looks like a book. What is the difference between folio and book? 

In printing the term folio means three different things.

1) a printing on a full sheet of printing paper divided into four sections.
2) referring to pages bound but not numbered, and printed pages of leafs referenced verso and recto but not necessarily attached to each other directly.
3) meaning an approximate size of usually 15 inches. Distinguished from quarto and octavo.

Next, lost for 90 years, an avant garde painting, Sleeping Lady With Black Vase by Robert Bereny was noticed by a researcher at Hungary's National Gallery in Budapest that was used as a prop in the children's film Stewart Little. The painting was returned to Hungary.

The researcher recognized the painting immediately having seen only a faded black and white image of the painting in 1928.

↑ 100% of true fact.

Care for another related true story? 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

James Watson auctions his Nobel prize.

Because, "Nobody wants to admit I exist." 

Watson, shared his Nobel Prize in 1962 with Francis Crick for their discovery of the nature of the DNA spiral helix molecule in 1953.  Crick died in 2004.

A mind-blowing discovery. You must admit. I learned we owe much that we know of genetics to these two men. We all sat there in the science amphitheater stunned they could figure its shape. It is a difficult to conceptualize structure. 

Imagine a very long rope made as a very tight ladder that by chemical signal twists until it cannot twist any further. 

Pressure builds as twisting continues and the length of ladder rope responds by twisting the twists forming a coil maintained by the pressure of continuous twisting. Coil upon coil until the length is fully coiled and there is no room left for any more coiling. The length is now much shorter and wider. 

The tightening continues as pressure builds by twisting until the coil loops up on itself as if a thousand Slinkies™ connected together are twisted until they they loop in a length of loops that is shorter and wider. Loop upon loop until there is no room for more loops and the length is shorter and wider. 

Twisting continues until the loops wrap around themselves along the fat shortened length, wrap upon wrap  until  there is no more room for any more wraps along the length that has become even shorter and wider. 

Twisting continues until the length of wrapped looped coiled twists writhe into a tight bundle awaiting a chemical signal to unwrap and another chemical signals to rip another copy of the stretched out ladder. 

No, the world does not want your opinions on genetics. It has deeper concerns. You must go away now so the politicized social world can continue its trajectory. There is balance all around to consider you know. It's all fun and genetics until somebody puts an eye out.  And that goes for your friends studying climate. We have no need for your conjectures stated forthrightly and honestly. Goodness, how you have failed to evolve! 

Smart as you are, you're just crap at political science and sociology, and the art of playing along. Now you pay.


You may or may not know the lyrics to this one:

From an uncredited source at Wiki (which sounds good at least):
[Lyricist] Kiedis has stated that "Scar Tissue" came to him at the precise moment when he heard the other band members play the music and he felt as if an exterior influx had succeeded in merging the melody and the words, with both suddenly coming into his unconscious mind. link
This reminded me of a brief exchange a while back. I wrote:
Chemistry is valence electrons exchanging and rearranging. The nuclei hardly change at all (unless we’re talking nuclear chemistry). Anyways, electrons, being flighty and fleet, are forever waiting around for the heavier nuclei to get into the right configurations for exchange. When the laggard atoms finally are…zip…the electrons are already there like magic. link
To which amba replied:
That is totally what it’s like to write, or perhaps to create in any medium. You have to do the heavy, lumbering work of getting yourself properly aligned, then–inspiration is there. link

Senator Mitchell: "Mr. Fatah, my experience with Muslim community is so fundamentally different than yours.

I just know so many wonderful, remarkable, amazing, beautiful people." 
Up goes the scolding, pedantic, obnoxious waving extended index finger.
Don't say anything until I'm finished please.Don't say what I think you're going to say. Don't interrupt me.
"Eye, eye, I find that the implication that every single imam in this country is, is, eh, is, is inciting people to do violence, which in a sense is what you said, because the first prayer... "
"No! Don't put words in my mouth, Senator."
"So my first question is have you been to every mosque in the country? That you say is preaching on Friday a prayer that starts, a prayer that, that, talks about a battle with non-Muslim people?"
Boom! Tarek Fatah lets Grant Mitchell have it. He too is afflicted with the scolding, pedantic, obnoxious waving extended index finger syndrome.

Index fingers dueling as swords.

In a brief two minutes Fatah exposes Mitchell as sniveling quisling, or perhaps just another person well out of his depth.

This is in Canada. Where Canadians fancy themselves lovelier than we, more knowledgeable than we, more agreeable, more free of our internal strife, and in many ways they are. I suppose. 

Canadian senators are appointed by their prime minister. As you know, in the U.S. senators were elected by state representatives until mid eighteenth century rumbling led eventually to progressive William Jennings Bryan to agitate for change during the decades at the turn of the century resulting in the seventeenth amendment to U.S. constitution that finally passed by Congress in 1913 (the same year the Federal Reserve Bank was established). 

The Antidote To Loneliness

Ancient Egyptians used stibnite to make blueish black mascara, giving their eyes allure (and the origin of the 72 black-eyed virgins?). You can still see the Latin origin of antimony's name stibium in its modern chemical symbol:

The alchemist's symbol for antimony is:

which sort of resembles an upside down (heels over head?) version of the female symbol.

According to the Wiki, antimony is no longer used in mascara. Instead, carbon black (the same stuff that makes tires black) is used. link

Needles of stibnite in calcite

They Took Our Land

We hear that a lot, especially around Columbus Day or Thanksgiving.  Members of one group are angry angry angry about some other group taking (or allegedly taking) land that belonged to someone else sometime in history.

I posted a tweet Friday evening that Instapundit re-tweeted to his bazillion followers and so my stream was clogged up by other re-tweets and answers and insults and other stuff.  Here is what I tweeted:
Question: Can you name any country where the land wasn't at some point in history taken by one group from another group?
I posted that tweet to end a conversation I was having with someone on twitter who was complaining about Americans stealing land from other people.  And I also meant it in a serious manner.  Can you name any country where the land wasn't at some point in history taken by one group from another group?  Don't we all, complaniers and complainees, live on stolen land?

It's an interesting question because America is usually the only country that's blamed for taking land from other people (never mind that it's happening right now in Ukraine and parts of the Middle East).  I can't think of a country or a people whose land wasn't taken at some point.  We're all thieves on this planet.

Maybe I'm wrong, though.  Can you answer the question?  I'll stipulate that Antarctica doesn't count, and for those who think America stole the moon,  I'd counter that the moonbats probably colonized parts of America first.

Venus flytrap


Tanked is a television show on Animal Planet channel about a family owned business in Las Vegas that constructs specialized aquariums. The family speaks to each other in brutal New Jersey accent but their affection for each other shines through.

(I had the show on tonight in the background while preparing a batch of Anasazi beans and red Swiss chard but this is irrelevant to the subject at hand.)

One of their accounts was for a dining room table that displays all the fish from the top. A technical problem is the table must be filled completely with no air gaps or else condensation would fog the view from the top, and there needs to be surface agitation to create air exchange, so they designed a centerpiece shaped like a square vase that does all that with an insert that holds another vase for an impressive floral display. And all of the pipes must be concealed.

They did a beautiful job.

At wrap up one of the sons said to his father in unvarnished rough imperative, a tone I would never use with my dad, "Now you gotta use your etiquette experience and set the table by yourself." Then he leaves. The father addresses the camera directly, smiling broadly and in his own gruff accent."

"Now is my time to shine."

The clients were thrilled with the result. "Now everyone can see our products."

Notice the practical problem? 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Feminist Girls Making Science Boys Cry

Update: In Washington, soul-sucking leeches make children cry for reasons.

Of course I'm not talking about Feminist Girls and I'm not talking about Science Boys... but John C. Wright is talking about the exact same thing at this link and in the quote after the break... how willfully changing the rules in an never ending effort to never ever be satisfied and to always have an enemy is the goal.  Without a sexist to destroy, the feminist ceases to exist at all.  Her very existence depends upon pretending that her irrationality is reason and her offense is reasonable.  But I shouldn't pick on feminists because they're not alone in it.  I don't know if I'd say "leftist" the way that Wright does either, but he none-the-less is describing a process that can be seen, over and over, in vastly different social contexts.
I've linked once or twice to some of the bizarre doings of the science fiction community... but I see the same dynamics in mainstream culture every day.  Lying about people's true views doesn't matter.  Making someone cry is a victory.  Making someone innocent grovel is a victory.  It's "raising awareness" you see.  And if they win, they go poof, like a vampire exposed to sunlight, their existential purpose gone.  So they can never ever win.
Wright gives one very telling example dealing with Heinlein, a true giant of science fiction who, safely dead, has been transformed into the enemy... so that this particular breed of soul-suckers may live.


If you are the type who sends out Christmas cards, holiday greetings, note cards and the like, or if you fancy personalized coffee mugs, t-shirs, return labels, business cards, envelopes and and the like, then I recommend Vistaprint. And not just regular recommend either. I strongly recommend Vistaprint. They do an excellent job of it. Their prices are quite low. I cannot imagine them lower. I could not do better myself.  Their packaging and mailing rates are kept low. I am impressed.

But, Man, do they ever market. They just flat do not let up. Once they have your attention they resist letting go. And not just regular resist... At each step you are enticed to look at their other offers. It can be a bit overwhelming. Checkout is multistep process that allows them to keep urging you to add on. At payment they automatically calculate mid speed delivery at mid-cost, to have the lowest shipping rate you must choose a slower option. Then the final "continue to pay" button is not on the bottom as usual, they automatically add on labels down there at the page bottom unless you scroll back up mid page to continue without the the return labels. And it makes you think, "Hey, I could use those." Finally when done the page presented appears as if you are not really done and you must read the whole page to confirm, yes, I am done, but they succeed in having you read it and look again at their wonderful things all over again. Proper bastards with pushy marketing, but I must admit it all really does look very good, and you wonder, "What's wrong with me that I don't take them up on business cards or a few mugs?" Surely Nana would like a few photos of her grandkids or possibly a few of my dog."

I showed already the Photoshop I made when the super moon was in the news.

Simple. Egyptian without being overt. No hieroglyphics. The poster came out very nice. Nicer than most posters you see out there, larger than expected even though it was all measured beforehand, and the cool thing is I did it myself. 

A whole world of possibilities opens. 

I ordered another. Edge of the woods by French artist Paul-Elie Ranson, seen on Ace. Ranson's painting is displayed in a wide range of values. I chose the brightest and clearest, the happiest among them then adjusted in Photoshop for this: 

I rotated the photo for printing so that its dimensions fit what Vistaprint offers. 

This is a middle size poster 18" X 22". The cost for the printing is astonishingly low $6.00 with their special offer. (They always have special offers). With shipping $5.00. The poster comes rolled inside a sturdy triangular cardboard tube. Total cost $11.00, and you simply cannot do better than that. 

This will be mounted on mat board and framed. They also offer canvas versions for $24.00, much lower at least by half, than Flickr and Photobucket, and other photo hosting sites that make their real money from the same and similar things. 

For Christmas cards, this is the way to go. If you like, I can help you put something together with your own photos. Something that exceeds anything you can buy and for much less.

Rural Radio

The television in my cabin receives six channels.  I'm too cheap to buy a satellite dish, and cable television service doesn't come within ten miles of the place,  so I have only the few digital broadcasts that come in over the air.  The television channels aren't good -  mostly game shows, Matlock reruns, and the Golden Girls - so I listen to the radio a lot.

Local radio is a couple of FM stations that play country western, public radio, an AM station that runs syndicated talk radio, and the AM station that focuses on "local interest."  That one is my favorite, because it has content aimed at farmers and local small businesses.

What I learned this morning listening to rural radio:
  • Seventy-six percent of he standing corn crop has been harvested and 24 percent remains in the field because of wet and snowy conditions.  Eighty eight percent of the soybean crop has been harvested.
  • H & H Implement Sales is having a Black Friday sale on Kubota tractors, offering the best prices of the year on reliable and efficient Kubota tractors.
  • There are no stockyard prices for hogs and beef because the markets were closed Thursday for Thanksgiving.
  • Mr. Carl Ninneman passed away Wednesday after a lengthy illness.  Arrangements are being made by Gaffney - Busha Funeral Home.
  • The Northland Pines girls varsity volleyball team plays at Crandon Saturday afternoon.  There will be a team bus, but no fan bus, so if you're going to watch teh girls play, you;ll have to drive yourself to Crandon.
  • The DNR district office reports that the ice on the lakes is still thin and people shouldn't try ice fishing or snowmobiling until the ice is thicker.
  • Federal agents working with Oneida Reservation police arrested a 36 year old man and a 29 year old woman for selling heroin and methamphetamine at the Lac Du Flambeau casino, following a the month-long investigation of the overdose death of a casino patron.
  • Bakers at the Red Canoe Bakery worked overnight so you'll be able to enjoy their fresh, delicious donuts, rolls, and pastries this morning when you stop in for a cup of hot, strong coffee!
  • Big crowds of Black Friday shoppers are reported at Walmart stores in cities around America. The local Shopko has added staff to make your Black Friday shopping experience pleasant and fun!
  • The DNR reports that the deer kill was down 26% from last year's hunting season because of the heavy snows in the opening week of deer hunting season.  Area hunters report capturing photos of grey wolves on their deer stand trail cams, raising the possibility of the wolves thinning out the deer herd before hunting season.
  • A tanker truck containing farm waste slid off of US 2 in snowy conditions early this morning.  The westbound lane is closed while crews attempt to pull the truck back onto the highway.
  • A reminder to not to miss the Saturday morning polka radio hour from 8 to 9 tomorrow morning.  And right after that comes the radio market show when you can bid on specials offered by our advertisers.
It's 9 degrees here, with snow showers on the way.  I'm going to bundle up and take a drive out in the country.  I'm going to stop at a cheese factory to buy cheese curds, a local specialty, swing past the Kubota dealer (just looking) and pick up a cup of coffee at Red Canoe Bakery. And maybe see if Shopko has any Black Friday deals on insulated underwear, while I'm at it.

Nature episode, My Life as a Turkey

Joe Hutto, is a Florida artist who lives in a cabin in the woods. He had an interest in raising wild turkeys. It is not clear how he made this interest known but one day a bowl of wild turkey eggs was left on his doorstep. Joe hatched the eggs and cared for the chicks for one year. I wrote a synopsis but it turned out to be too long so I erased it. I promise, if you choose to watch this, you'll be amazed. View it here at

A brief preview:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Cowboys and Eagles

Thankful Feast

Georgia Cotton on the way yesterday.

At rest stop...

Thanksgiving Morning

The sound of gunfire woke me at sunrise on this Thanksgiving morning.

I'm at the cabin in the north woods, where Thanksgiving coincides with deer hunting season.  The noise of gun fire in the woods at sunrise sounded like a neighboring county launched a land invasion of our county.  This is an annual event, and we are accustomed to it.

I decided against taking the usual morning hike down the lane, even though I have the full array of head-to-toe high viz outerwear.  Most of the hunters will be cleared out of the woods by noon, so I'll go out then, when it will be safer.

Coffee.  I've had a cup of coffee first thing in the morning most mornings since when I was sixteen and pterodactyls still dotted the skies.  Coffee shops like Starbucks weren't a thing back then.  A coffee shop was another name for a diner, usually a smaller diner, where a cup of coffee and a slice of home made pie could be enjoyed while you sat at the counter and read the newspaper.  Or coffee and a cruller, if you preferred.

My favorite coffee shop is a place you haven't heard of, but you probably visit quite often,  My favorite coffee shop is Homebucks.  You've probably been there, they have locations everywhere.

I can show up at Homebucks in my bathrobe and nobody complains. I get to choose the music and the television station, and I get as many refills as I want.  I always get the comfy chair near the window. There is never a table of amp'd up sales reps behind me planning their day. And the cookies and scones are always fresh.

Nobody lines up in front of me wasting time trying to figure out which nine ingredients he or she wants in his or her coffee.  I order the usual: coffee with half-and-half in the big cup I bought in New Orleans a few years ago, at Cafe du Monde.  The server (usually me) gets it right every time.

There is no drive-through, but there is a drive-in that allows overnight covered parking, and they gave me the door opener. The newspaper is never taken apart and scattered over several tables. The magazine selection is always magazines I find interesting. No twenty-two year old server or barrista ever patronizingly refers to me as "young man", a thing I have grown to detest. I am not asked whether I qualify for a senior discount. I don't have to leave a tip, ever, and sometimes I get lucky with the waitress.

Best of all, if the coffee doesn't wake me up, they let me take a nap.

I made coffee, poured a cup, lit a fire in the fireplace, put on some Emmylou Harris, and started to think about Thanksgiving.  There is so much to be thankful for that I don't know where to begin, so I'll begin at the beginning.  I'm thankful that Captain Christopher Jones led 102 Puritans and Pilgrims and crew to sail the Atlantic in search of a land where they could have religious freedom, away from the constraints placed on the English by the monarchy and the Church of England.  I'm thankful that half of the immigrants survived the first winter, and decided to remain here and not return to England.

I'm thankful that for the next 150 years the colonies grew and thrived, all the while debating the nature of government and the governed, and settling finally on the notions of democracy, a representative republic, freedom from government oppression, and on human rights that were given by God, and not by some ruler, with liberty and justice for all.

I'm thankful for everyone who came after, the ones who endured hardships beyond our knowing, the ancestors on whose shoulders we stand.  I'm thankful for the warriors, the fighters who kept this republic intact through war and strife.  I'm thankful for laws made on the Biblical ideas of right and wrong, even though that nearly destroyed the republic when the scourge of slavery had to be ended.

I'm thankful to live in a civilized and safe society, among good people like you.  I'm thankful for my family, I'm thankful that I've lived longer than I ever imagined I would and have seen more than I ever imagined I'd see.

But mostly I'm thankful for God's mercy, forgiveness, and grace.  For without that, there is nothing, and with that there is everything.

Happy, happy Thanksgiving to each of you.  You brighten my days and bring happiness. And I hope I have done the same for you in some small measure.



ADDED:  This year I'm making a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner.  So far, so good.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Is everyone sick to tears of Ferguson yet?

So... "protests in sympathy" are going on across the country, because even if you're not oppressed you can still take a morning off from your Grievance Studies class at a top university to stand in a road and block traffic and get everyone mad at you for making them late to work taking care of sick people, or get them in trouble with their construction crew boss, and so get to feel just a little bit of what it's like to be black in America.  Because what's the point?  A bunch of white kids (the girl who got run over was a minor according to the story) in Minneapolis just don't want to be left out of annoying the community?  The kids (and if you look at the video, they are all high school or college age at most, no adults in the entire bunch) standing across the freeway in California aren't oppressed, but they stuck working class blacks and other minorities on the freeway because... they don't want to get left out?  What?  There is no way I can even imagine that a rational person can see blocking traffic as a goal achieving tactic.  So what's it good for other than the Feels?

Anyhow, here's what retired Miami detective (and novelist) Marshall Frank has to say about Ferguson.

(Guy looks so much like my dad (his cousin) and my grandmother that it totally weirds me out.)

roasted whole turkey

Soaked overnight in diluted buttermilk. The moistest most flavorful turkey I've ever eaten. Prepared simply with olive oil, salt and pepper. Started upside down over diced potato so moisture sinks through the breast while baking then turned upright at midpoint to finish. Baked a few hours, no basting, no fussing about. It is not so evenly browned, but I do not care about that. 

Kurt Schlichter

Watch Carlson Tucker laugh.

Kurt Schlichter is author of several books. His Amazon page here.

Schlichter's latest book, Conservative Insurgency, available on Amazon here. $8.00 Kindle version.

I must say, I enjoyed this book tremendously. In novel form, set thirty years in the future, structured as a series of interviews of characters that appear here and there under various chapter headings. Here are a  few to give you an idea:

2) Guerilla Politics
5) Lawfare
7) Safe Haven of the States
10) Breaking and Remaking of the Law
11) Target Academia
14) How Hollywood went Conservative
15) Victory

So, in conversational style, Schlichter describes how the Tea Party infiltrated and took over the Republican Party and how the conservative takeover involved more than just politics, how culture was wrested from the progressive stranglehold and power returned to states from a vastly diminished centralized government, how the hopes and dreams of progressive operatives were smashed by a process of changing minds, along with the failure of big government.

Starbucks got my name wrong

I'm never going to another Starbucks again ;-) 

Ted Allen loses it

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I am Spartacus

Image by b3ta member n8tive, profile here

How to resize a tiny video. 

Click HTML to view embed code:  

Read code for width and height:

Height reads: 266
Width reads: 320

The best width for this site is 525 otherwise it runs into the margins and displays over text.

266        x
-----  =  ----
320      525

266 X 525 = 139650
139650 / 320 = 436.4

x = 436

So, new width = 525, new height = 436,  Enter new numbers.


You needn't worry about arithmetic to solve the algebra. On mac spotlight does simple maths. PC offers calculator and so does entering numbers and symbols into browser's address bar. "*" asterisk sign for multiply. "/" forward slash for divide.

You can also bring up Photoshop and and open a new document with original dimensions. Once open, change the width to 525 and it will change the height automatically to retain the document's proportions.

Or, you can just use these numbers forever.

In this manner a video is displayed large as reasonable on this site with this template instead of a tiny video that Blogger offers penuriously parsimoniously with their video upload, as an act of kindness and consideration.

Schumer: "Dems erred with ObamaCare"

After passing the stimulus, Democrats should have continued to propose middle class-oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus,” he said.
He said the plight of uninsured Americans caused by “unfair insurance company practices” needed not be addressed but it wasn’t the change that people wanted when they elected Barack Obama as president.

“Americans were crying out for an end to the recession, for better wages and more jobs; not for changes in their health care,” he said.
Chuck Schumer to the rescue...
Schumer's concession is a striking change of tone from what he said shortly after the passage of the healthcare law, when he predicted that ObamaCare would turn out to be a strong political issue for his party.

“I predict … by November those who voted for health care will find it an asset, those who voted against it will find it a liability,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in March of 2010.

"White House Quietly Releases Plans For 3,415 Regulations Ahead Of Thanksgiving Holiday"

"The federal Unified Agenda is the Obama administration’s regulatory road map, and it lays out thousands of regulations being finalized in the coming months."
“It’s become an unfortunate tradition of this administration and others to drop these regulatory agendas late on a Friday and right before a holiday,” Matt Shudtz, executive director of the Center for Progressive Reform, told The Hill newspaper.
Not good news if you are a looted/burned out Ferguson business owner and you might be thinking of rebuilding. Obama just made it more expensive.

Burning Down The House

Monday, November 24, 2014


They're rioting in Ferguson...

...there's strife in Iran...

Plus ça hope et change, plus c'est la chosen meme.

amazing football catch

Bend like Odell. Or something. 

"Grand jury reaches decision in case of Ferguson officer"

"A grand jury has reached a decision on whether to indict Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager sparked days of turbulent protests, sources close to the process said."
If Wilson is not charged, government officials are bracing for protests in the St. Louis area and nationwide. They have discussed emergency plans in the event of a violent reaction, while protest and community leaders have mapped out their response in hopes of avoiding the unrest that exploded after Brown was killed.

The St. Louis Police Department is projecting it will spend three times the amount of money budgeted for overtime this fiscal year ending in July, according to Roorda. Since the shooting, the city has paid out $1 million in overtime pay, officials said.

“We just can’t get through this until we get to it,” Roorda said. “There’s a certain psychological toll that battle-readiness takes on a person.”

Washington Post "fact checks" comedy skit



Sunday, November 23, 2014


She was always the better looking of the two, in my opinion.
[added]  As if that's controversial.

Whose That Girl?*

Fifty years ago, she swung like a pendulum do. All lachrymations aside, whose that girl?
*Blog post in the style of Trooper York

Thanksgiving travel

A couple decades ago when I was adorable and still nice, a small group of five other friends flew to Hawaii over Thanksgiving holiday. We flew United, I was sitting next to Bart, one of my favorite friends. Bart has crow's feet at the corners of his eyes even then, that young due to his face fixed in a permanent smile.

"U.S. sends 5 Guantánamo detainees to European resettlement"

"The Pentagon sent five long-held Arab detainees to resettlement in Europe on Thursday, three to Georgia and two to Slovakia."
The transfer, announced after a U.S. C-17 cargo plane cleared Georgian airspace in its two-nation mission, left 143 captives still at the prison camps in southeast Cuba.

At the State Department, spokesman Ian Moss said transfer decisions are tailored to each cleared-detainee case.

“While our policy preference is to repatriate detainees where we can do so consistent with our national security and humane treatment policies, under certain circumstances the most viable transfer option is resettlement in a third country,” Moss said by email.
While everybody was focused on Obama's unilateral immigration action, the administration was releasing more Guantanamo prisoners. I thought it was the worst of the worst left there.

Sunday Morning With Van Morrison

They Sold Me Out.  Jesus and Judas at the last supper.

Blessings of the day to you!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Close captioned for the emotionally impaired

Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell Speaks To Alabama Football Team

And then Alabama beat number one ranked Mississippi State.

Green Cross Code

Questions? It has to do with pedestrian situational awareness and rule following when crossing a street. It's a nanny state thing.

Loretta Lynch

Billion dollar money grabber.


Lynch boasts of seizing 904 million dollars in 2013 alone. In one case a family lost their home when their son was caught with drugs on the property.

Boast away. If this doesn't kill her nomination to replace Eric Holder then nothing will. It must be made clear during confirmation hearings that all those forfeitures do not come exclusively from white people. Remind us again why we should trust federal government for anything.

Cash is taken from drivers under the presumption that anyone driving with cash intends to use it to buy drugs, even on stops made test driving while shopping for a new car. Boom, there goes the new car money.

Oh, how we laughed and laughed as we glee over our prosecutorial discretion.

So-called Police for profit practiced by cops on both sides of political persuasion has come under scrutiny when it was uncovered how police are trained to use a loophole in federal laws called "equitable sharing" unavailable under state law.


So, perfect then for Obama administration. Don't you agree?

cue: Loretta Lynn, Stand by Your Man
cue: Alice Cooper, Billion Dollar Babies.

Hillary Clinton was against it before she was for it.

"Hillary Rodham Clinton says she supports President Barack Obama's executive actions to protect about 5 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, calling it a "historic step" and urging Congress to pursue a measure approved by the Senate last year."
"This is about people's lives," she said Friday during an appearance at the New York Historical Society, adding that it was about "people who serve us tonight, who prepared the food tonight."

"I think the president took an historic step and I support it," the former secretary of state said in her first public comments on the issue.

Charging hypocrisy, the Republican National Committee released a Web video earlier in the day that included the audio of an April 2008 Clinton speech in which she criticized President George W. Bush's use of signing statements and other means "to transform the executive into an imperial presidency."

Give me one reason

Titus sighting.

Chinese Investors Snap Up Property In Bankrupt Detroit

China is experiencing a massive migration of its wealthiest citizens and their money to other countries, especially the United States.  Until the recent decade, few Chinese had any wealth; this is a new phenomena.  But now China has a rapidly growing middle and upper class, and an increasingly shaky economy, and wealth flows toward more secure environments.
If they could buy Broadway and Park Avenue, they would.  Rich Chinese investors are the biggest buyers of high-end luxury real estate in New York. And on a national level, they replaced Canada as the leading foreign buyer of American properties.
“The Chinese like anything new, and they like brand named locations like Central Park South,” says Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman, one of the leading real estate brokers in the city.
The property market in China, coupled with a stronger currency, is also enticing Chinese millionaires to buy homes here. Beijing no longer permits individuals to own more than two properties, even as an investment. So a growing number are going abroad as cash buyers.
But what do you do if you're a Chinese millionaire who isn't millionaire enough to buy property in Manhattan?  Or Hollywood?  Or Hawaii?

You buy property in Detroit.
With family homes regularly selling for around $10,000, the beleaguered Motor City is now the number-four destination for Chinese housing investors in the U.S. Bigger spenders have already snapped up some of Detroit’s most iconic commercial buildings.
A Chinese company named SouFun lists thousands of abandoned Detroit properties on its website at a price of $10,000 each.  Buyers snap them up, sight unseen.
“700,000 people, quiet, clean air, no pollution, democracy — what are you waiting for?”
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has made several trips to China for the purpose of encouraging Chinese investment in Detroit.   Chinese investors are listening.
In Sept. 2013, property developer Dongdu International Group of Shanghai (DDI) shelled out $13.6 million — the price of one of Shanghai's upscale apartments — for three iconic structures in Detroit, including the Detroit Free Press building and a complex built by Kmart founder Sebastian Kresge.
“Detroit is like Shanghai in that it has many classical and iconic buildings," the company said on its website.  "DDI through its successful history has had had great experience in bringing these types of buildings back to life.”
Ask not for whom the Dongdu, the Dongdu for.........never mind.   Momentary lapse there.

The Chinese are awash in capital and see opportunity in Detroit.  American companies, some of them, are likewise awash in capital and expertise, and have not invested in Detroit.   The long-term question becomes:  Who has the better vision of Detroit's future, the Chinese or the Americans?

Friday, November 21, 2014

This Land is Your Land


Undercover Boss, Chiquita

La camisa puesta
I put on the shirt. (lit. the shirt putting)
It means to wear the company name proudly.

This reality type television show amounts to one long advertisement for the company being featured. A company boss goes undercover as a new employee so they can scope out how their companies actually function from an entry level point of view. They learn how their employees behave, what they think of their company, shortcomings that can be addressed, things not easily seen from their executive position. 

The network gets their show, the production company gets their contract, the featured company gets an hour advertisement, shortcomings are identified and improvements made upon return to normal, outstanding employees are rewarded, So So, win / win / win / win. Isn't America great?

The show is bit contrived. There is a film crew present that affects behavior, after all. Even so, a few shocking things are uncovered.  

This particular show got me, pow, right in the heart. I don't know how one can watch this and not be moved.

At 24:40 Fernando flies to Salinas California to meet Leo, a Mexican national working in the lettuce fields as crew supervisor.  

This Leo is a real stud. He reminds me of a friend I knew from New Mexico. Gracious, reliable, considerate, thoughtful, and spiritual as can be. Completely liberal. He cut me off abruptly. I think because I failed to despise Bush sufficiently. I don't know. That was a real bummer because I liked Allen a lot. He had no interest at all in meeting any of my other friends. This Leo here does remind me strongly of Allen.

They take a break from their work and the boss asks incredibly personal questions. Each episode they do. Employees alway open right up and spill their guts. It's quite amazing how open people are. Nobody ever says, "That's personal." Maybe they do and those bits are edited. I do not know, but it is touching how many are eager to reveal personal details.

Fernando (undercover as Manuel) inquires about Leo's family. Turns out his wife lives in Arizona with their daughter, Paula, Fernando asks if Leo intends to have any more children. Leo answers, "No." There is a brief pause, "In fact he adopted." 

Stand up guy, this Leo.

The whole time I'm watching, I'm thinking, "This is the kind of guy I want in my country." 

I do.

At the end there is a reveal where the employees encountered are called to the office under some pretext. In this case back to Cincinnati to evaluate Manuel. It's a very good ruse. They're all thinking, "Wow, I get to decide this guy's fate. Heavy." 

This show has a subplot. Fernando recently attained his citizenship. He believes pursuing citizenship is the most important thing Leo can do. This reveal is saved for last.

We learn the process cost Fernando around $15,000. 

That shocked me. 

How are poor people expected to cough up that kind of cash? Must everything be a profit center with U.S. government? Surely the process cannot cost the government that much money, and if it does then there are way too many government employees involved. It's exclusive.

My grandparents were immigrants and they never spoke of any such thing as oppressively high sum they all had to pay. Grandmother and her two brothers all immigrated plus my grandfather she married. None of them mentioned exorbitant cost. Except for the cost of traversing an ocean, and the emotional cost of leaving their home and their families.  

So why $15,000 now? That's wrong. Immigrants should not have to buy their citizenship.

I'm against it costing that much.

Please watch, if you will. So you can become verklempt as I. There is a sign for "choked up," a fist closing at the throat. That expresses precisely how I feel watching this. The entire show is good. If you have the time, please do. It is entertaining besides the portion about Leo.

Leo spends 6 months in Arizona with his family and six months in Salinas. He has a high  school education with no interest in persisting. He works 7:00 to 7:00 or 9:00 so no time for more school. 

He hopes Paula can have a 9 to 5 job. From his point of view that is an American dream. 

Fernando says, We're going to give you a week of vacation, so you can  spend time with Paula and your wife. 

Fernando, points to his lapel pin flag. (with Mexican flag on the cabinet behind him)
I want you, I want you to also have the American dream.
This is such a great country. And I want to make sure that we help you achieve that dream. In fact, we're going to pay for you to file your paperwork for American citizenship  
It cost me somewhere around $15,000. But. I want you to become an American citizen.  Does that work? 
I come from a Mexican family. Our goal is to have a better life but in United States you can have whatever you want. You just have to work hard and be 100% at whatever you're given. 
I had a great experience.
I'm so happy. 
I mean,
It's just, 
It's just shock.

"And why does Obama think that we're all fruit pickers?"

Well, yes, he did say that last night.  Legal immigrant destroys Obama in epic twitter rant.

I'm an alien, a legal alien. An Englishman in New York.  But he has connections.

"Email Proves that White House, DOJ Targeted Reporter Sharyl Attkisson"

"One of the documents provides smoking gun proof that the Obama White House and the Eric Holder Justice Department colluded to get CBS News to block reporter Sharyl Attkisson. Attkisson was one of the few mainstream media reporters who paid any attention to the deadly gun-running scandal."
In an email dated October 4, 2011, Attorney General Holder’s top press aide, Tracy Schmaler, called Attkisson “out of control.” Schmaler told White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz that he intended to call CBS news anchor Bob Schieffer to get the network to stop Attkisson.

Schultz replied, “Good. Her piece was really bad for the AG.”

Schultz also told Schmaler that he was working with reporter Susan Davis, then at the National Journal, to target Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA). Issa led the House investigation into Fast and Furious. Davis now works at USA Today. In the email chain, Schultz tells Schmaler that he would provide Davis with “leaks.”

Gruber again.

Barack Kardashian

Thursday, November 20, 2014

So now you better stop and rebuild all your ruins

For peace and trust can win the day despite all of your losing.

Why listen to you? You're terrible at geography.

Who Makes The Law?

President Obama will appear on your television this evening to announce changes he is making by Executive Order to the immigration laws that determine who is and who is not a legal immigrant to the United States.  President Obama and his advisers believe that the president has the authority to make or change laws, and to select which federal laws his administration will enforce.

Many Americans, including a few congressional democrats and all republicans believe that the president does not have the constitutional authority to make laws.  That authority, they believe, was enumerated in the constitution for Congress.  President Obama also believes that a president can unilaterally change existing laws by issuing executive orders, and that a president can selectively choose which laws to enforce.  In the current instance, President Obama has chosen to not enforce certain immigration laws.

What do you think?

And for the purpose of this discussion, "Bush did it" is not an argument.  If you use that argument, and you opposed what Bush did, then you should automatically oppose what Obama will be doing tonight, so that argument becomes circular.

What does the Constitution say?

Article 1 of the Constitution provides:
All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives."
 The enumerated powers are a list of items found in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution that set forth the authoritative capacity of Congress.  They include:
To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization.....
To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof. 
The Necessary and Proper Clause is as follows:
The Congress shall have Power ... To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof. 
Article Two describes the office of the President of the United States, and includes:
The Recommendation Clause: The president has the power and duty to recommend to Congress's consideration such measures which the president deems as "necessary and expedient".
The president sees that the laws are faithfully executed.
Does the President have the authority to unilaterally choose to not enforce immigration laws now on the books;  to change those laws and, and to creat new laws by Executive Order?

Bill Cosby: "There is no response"

"I went to put in a complaint and the killer was with us"

"After the bodies of the reigning Miss Honduras, 19-year-old Maria Jose Alvarado, and her sister Sofia, 23, were discovered early in the day, police announced that the sister's boyfriend had confessed to killing them last week in a fit of jealousy over his girlfriend dancing with another man."
"She was simple, humble, a total innocent smiling and without malice," said Ludin Reyes, a fellow student at the Technical University of Honduras.

At some point during the night of Nov. 13, a heated argument broke out over the sister dancing with another man and Ruiz pulled a gun, firing first at his girlfriend and then at Alvarado as she tried to flee, said the National Police director, Gen. Ramon Sabillon. Alvarado was hit twice in the back.

Claudio Cecilio Munoz, an uncle of the sisters, said Ruiz came to the family's modest house on a dirt road the day after the young women disappeared to invite them to lunch, and returned several days to help with the search. He described Ruiz not as a boyfriend, but as someone who was courting his niece.

"We didn't file a complaint right away because we were waiting for a telephone call asking for ransom," Munoz said. "On Saturday their mother and I went to put in a complaint and the killer was with us."