Saturday, November 30, 2019

KLEM FM

This song music made me think of Robbie Krieger and Dust Bunny Queen in the same breath. Who can tell me why?

London Bridge killer was released from prison early

The prevailing attitude is treating terrorism delicately. The conceit is if a civilized society treats terrorism delicately then society rises above it. The advanced society demonstrates their enlightenment by simply not giving terrorism its energy. They say, "There. Now get on with your life."

Or something.

I don't know. I don't understand it.

I don't want to understand it.

This man, Usman Kahn, had Anjem Choudary's phone number on speed dial. That's not an exaggeration. Kahn was a follower of Choudary. Kahn was sentenced to sixteen years but served less than seven.

Now everyone chimes in. Boris Johnson chimes in saying the early release is a mistake.

Thanks, Captain Obvious.

But I suppose it must be said because ... Britain.

The story is interesting. Heroic. Given the circumstance is entirely manmade. Entirely political.

At heart, the issue is guns.

And Brits have America on their brains. We are their brain virus.

They know how ridiculous it is to stop a terrorist attack with a whale tusk and a fire extinguisher. That those implements had to be resorted to is cartoonish. That the population is stripped of its ability to protect itself but a terrorist attack is stopped without guns means this situation must be an example of how guns are not needed. Anticipating American ridicule British people take the offensive, "Let this be a lesson to Americans that you don't need firearms to stop terrorism."

Fuck you. You're ridiculous. Your entire culture is ridiculous. And no, your shit sandwich is not delicious.

A few days ago I read a comment to a video that had absolutely nothing to do with the United States. Some incredibly stupid satire video. The British commenter said because of Trump he has no interest in visiting the United States. Perfectly non-sequitur.

As I read it I thought, odd, I never had any interest whatsoever in visiting London or any of England or any of Great Britain and it has nothing to do with a particular leader. Even though my family is from there. Even though my present family visits all the time. It's among the last places on earth I'd consider boarding a plane to go visit. I also thought, good, we don't want to see your ridiculous stupid arrogant British ass over here anyway speaking like a retarded mong.

But I didn't say anything.

I just let it go. I was ready to type, "Sentiment returned with compounded interest." But I didn't.

Now in these threads (you must click through to see them all, but don't bother, it's only irritating) about a terrorist attack stopped with rudimentary and bizarre instruments by citizens and ultimately by firearms of police, the same type of remarks are asserted continuously.

It has nothing to do with us.

Yet the British liberals keep dragging us into their ridiculous demeaning conceits. They persistently invite argument. They persistently drive us away from them. They constantly naggingly make us want to punch them in their stupid arrogant faces. It's none of our business. It has nothing whatsoever to do with us, yet we are forefront in their minds during their hour of crisis and their absurdly cartoonish response to it.

Britain, you are ridiculous. And there is no end to your arrogance. Your conceit is shown everywhere.

Dream

Dumbest dream I've ever had, right here.

I don't know why I was taken back to this stupid spot in time.

I am three years old. Exactly. It's my birthday. That day I completed three years on earth. But I didn't know that at the time.

I am standing in front of a desk and my mother is chiding me. She wants to know why I scribbled on the desk with crayon.

I look at the scribbles. It's not my work. Not my scribbles. Not my style. Can't she see that?

Here's the thing: These scribbles go back and forth and my scribbles go round and round. Why can't she recognize somebody else's handwriting?

Barry must have done this. But I don't have the capacity to blame someone else. I just stand there stupefied. I don't have the vocabulary to defend myself. I'm being blamed for something I didn't do and there is nothing I can do about that except cry. And it's not worth crying about.

Barry is not there. He is outside as usual playing ditch the little brother. My dad is not there. He's never there. He's a photograph on top of the television set. My sister is not there. Just us two and my mother is not happy with me.

She doesn't want me unhappy. She's already baked a cake for me and I don't even know what a cake is. I don't know what a birthday is. I don't know my birthday cake has three candles. I've never seen a candle. I've never seen a fire up close. I've never had a birthday song sung to me. I have no idea what's in store. All I know is that I did not make that scribble.

It's a dark scene. Low light. Everything is brown. Dark brown. Like Wizard of Oz before they wake up in Oz. The whole thing is depressing. There is a faint tap at the door like this: tap tap tap. 

Like a woman tapping gently at the door. Or possibly a man using the paw of a kitten. 



"Coming!"

I wake up and twist off the sofa. I put one leg on the floor and stand on it. Then the other. My whole body hurts and my balance is nonexistent. Each step toward the door is achingly slow as I pull together movement on this concrete existence. I expect another knock by impatience but that doesn't happen. And that tells me it could be the mailman already gone. But he knocks louder than this.  I expect to be faced with a woman or possibly a young person. I have no time to get dressed. I will say to them, "Behold my magnificent water-drum stomach. You can actually tap a tune on it if you like." I open the door and nobody's there. Just air. And a floppy package on the floor.

Goddamnit. Now I have to bend over and pick it up. 

Exercise and I'm not even awake.

I know what it is. 

Wranglers jeans. Cowboy cut. Green.

I'll open it later.

With belt loops in front spread apart to accommodate a large cowboy belt buckle. It's a thing with those guys. They're like wrestlers that way. This is their artistic expression. It's an exaggeration that they like to indulge.


Wrangler actually asked the cowboys what they want in a jean and this is what the rodeo cowboys  told Wrangler. 

"We want front belt loops spread apart to accommodate our glorious silver cowboy buckles." 

And Wrangle was all, "Aw, man. Yeah. Right. We can see that. Thank you for your valuable input. This tremendous innovation will set us apart from all other jean makers. It will show that we're serious about our objectives and meeting consumer demand." They were thinking, "We will own the cowboy market, and they will own us." 

I need the belt loops spread apart too. To accommodate my hoof-pick belt buckle. Which is also horse-related but not nearly so rough as bucking broncos. Those guys get totally beat up. And they keep coming back for more horse and bull abuse.

They're masochists. 

And when you tell them straight up they're insane they just stand there and grin wryly because they know it's the truth. They like being tossed around brutally.

Trump is close to designating Mexican cartels as terrorist networks

If Trump was the dictator that he's described as being then he would have already done that without giving anyone time to respond with their concerns. Trump would authorize military action within Mexico without consultation, the way Obama did with drones in Yemen, even killing American citizens. Instead, Trump allows principals in both countries time to respond.

Mexico doesn't like the idea. They say that they're already making progress dealing with the cartels. Trump keeps extending his offer to help them. They fear the United States taking military action autonomously.

If it cleaned out their cartels, you'd think that they'd welcome it. But then, have you ever heard their national anthem?

It's ridiculously martial.

Ours is humbly martial. Surprise that our flag is still flying after getting pounded to dust by the British. Theirs brags about their martial machismo that doesn't exist.
Mexicans, at the cry of war,
ready the steel and the bridle,
and the Earth trembles at its core
to the resounding roar of the cannon.
Really? They have cannons on soccer fields?
If, however, a foreign enemy would dare
to profane Your ground with its sole,
think, Oh beloved Fatherland!, that Heaven
has given a soldier in every son.
Right. We saw that one soldier on the beach in Cancun on the way to Isla Mujeres with his binoculars looking outward toward Cuba. Ready to blow his whistle.

A lot more details at the Conservative Treehouse if you care to read them. The story is about Obrador writing letters stating his objection and about Barr going to Mexico. The article is headed with a horrible photograph of Mexican citizens hanging by their necks from a metal arch that welcomes visitors to Limón de la Luna where Bienvenidos is two words, and limón means lime, not lemon, Well come to lime of the moon. The four people hanging are a pregnant woman, her younger sister, her husband and a teacher. It's relevant but not exactly timely to Trump's action. Trump referred to the recent American Mormons whose vehicle broke down between two Mexican rival gangs.

At the treehouse, this:
Remember, within the geopolitical dynamic that benefits all three North American countries, Mexico needs to start taking clear and decisive actions toward all levels of internal corruption if the ultimate economic objective of the USMCA is going to work.
Well, fine.

But when did Mexico become part of North America?

Back when I went to grade school in the days of the dinosaurs when our Flintstone school bus took us to school before the last Ice Age mostly melted everywhere except Canada, Mexico was decidedly Central American. Sometimes they even called it Mesoamerica. And it's not just me thinking this, the Mexicans themselves still call us Norteamericanos to distinguish us from the rest of Americans, to isolate our conceit in naming ourselves after all the Americans, North, Central and Southern. How rude of us in their view.  We call ourselves Americans, they call us North Americans. They put us in our specific place. Different from theirs.


And you can tell when you're in the southern hemisphere because at night the star field changes. And there is hardly any light pollution so the stars are written large and bright. Gone are all the familiar constellations and instead you get things like the Southern Cross sticking right out big as all life in front of your face. Blam!


Now all the internet agrees that Mexico is in North America and Central America is that thin squiggly thread that connects North and South America, specifically from Guatemala to central Panama, with Mexico solidly in the North American Continent.

It's as if our children became teachers and changed everything to suit themselves. I can hardly believe Mexico lobbied to be part of us. They pride themselves on being different. Did we even bother to ask them if they'd like to change continents?

We'll change their continent without asking, but we won't designate their narco gangsters as terrorists without first giving enough time for them to respond. We're odd that way.

Aerogarden

The Aerogarden invites us to view their models to pick the one that's best for us. Pffft. The biggest model is best for us. No messing around with smaller models with less lights that are weaker.

But they fake us out with super-duper large models for proper farmers. Units that are not decorative. For serious people who grow multiple types of things that grow at various rates.


No. 

Although this looks splendid it's for somebody else. Someone who's serious about indoor farming. We are just goofing around having fun, these people are serious. These come in a couple of sizes to varying degrees of extravagance. Not appropriate for urban apartment living. These are not sensible gifts. These are too much. Way too bright. You get Baby Bear, Mama Bear and Papa Bear, the thing that we want, while here you get these, Great-Grandfather Bear.

These Aerogarden people are getting their act down.

I watched them go through phases. 

At first I assumed the owner who lived in Boulder was a hippy type who was interested in hydroponics. Probably interested in growing pot chiefly but introducing his product to appeal to a broader audience. In the beginning his customer service was excellent. 

Then he sold out [!]

To Scotts lawn fertilizer company. The stock was taken off the NYSE and listed as penny stocks. The new owners experimented. They expanded the marketing scheme. They expanded the line extensively. They offered tons of cute little kits for girls. Units that looked like toys with low light output and only a few seed pods. Things did not grow very well in these weaker units. Now they're all gone from their website. 

All these MBA types using market statistics to narrow down what works best.

They switched the lighting from high output fluorescents to LED. They switched the fertilizer. Duh. Their customer service department is no longer quite as good. Before they would replace seed pods that failed to germinate immediately with no questions asked, now they're more inclined to tell you to use distilled water. 

My two units use the old style high output fluorescent lights and I'm frankly tired of replacing those all the time. Proprietary. And they're made in China. And China just flat doesn't care about quality. They're expensive and weak. LED is a lot better.

The new owners pared down their models while at the same time expanding the line to include these super farmer types shown above. They further confound their offering by combining these much larger types with regular size models. So you can go crazy in one room and stay sane in another room. Either way, all the models put out a lot of light. Most people will not want that much light going on automatically in their homes for so many hours through the day.

This medium size model, Harvest, looks and sounds too much like a toy. It sounds like cheap plastic.

The woman drove me nuts. She talks way too much. I skipped over most of her blather. Just stop talking and get to the demonstration. 


Too small. Too dainty. Too toy-like.

This is their largest model, Bounty.  It comes in two types; standard and elite that is bluetooth connected. I don't want an internet connected unit. I don't want an indoor garden that I can operate using my phone. I want to keep garden and phone separate.

This Bounty elite unit on Amazon is an older style with a big honking interface on the front whereas the newer style has a sleeker interface.

This man is taking out his herb plants and replacing them with chile plants. He's realizing the roots are extensively intermingled.

And that's another thing. The company is called Aerogarden, presumably for the air space between the seed pods and the water reservoir, but honestly, all the units are hydroponic. The roots grow in the water reservoir. The company should be named Hydrogarden, not Aerogarden.


That guy's pequin type peppers and bird's-eye peppers are tiny red peppers that will burn your face off. They're the type that grow wild because they break off very easily and birds eat them, poop out their seeds and they grow all over the place. They're way big in South Africa.

I grew some in a window sill. A friend came over who is 1/2 Mexican descent. He told me that I'm saying the word wrong. It should be pee-kin, not pee-quin. He smashed one and ate it. Then regretted eating it. Then forgot to scrub his fingertips completely. Went to the bathroom. I noticed him stirring uncomfortably. He had touched himself with his fingertips and transferred the substance now his testicles were burning. I urged him to go back into the bathroom and scrub himself with cold soapy water. And I did that without laughing.

Because the same thing happened to me a few years earlier. A friend was given a plant that was loaded with upright tiny red peppers. We were picking them off and tossing them into the dirt expecting them to grow on their own. (They didn't. They lacked bird poo.) Later I went to the bathroom. Sat on a stool and conversed with a party of people. Soon I was squirming around on the stool and nothing would relive the building pain until finally I couldn't stand it any longer and shouted, "My balls are on fire!" And ran back to the bathroom to straddle the sink rinsing my balls under cold running water and hearing everyone in the kitchen laughing their asses off.

And they keep reminding me of that horrible moment and laugh all over again.

But I did not laugh at Allen when the same thing happened to him because I'm so ma-chur!

The man in the video could have trimmed the plant tops at the same time he trimmed the roots. The bonsai video guy knows that. He left the tops to struggle with insufficient roots. That was more stressful to the plant than having the tops trimmed to balance the plants. And had he been Prince Charles then he would have explained to the plant in a calm voice what he was doing and ask the plant's permission.

Old style Bounty elite with this large frontal interface on Amazon for $232.00 down from $261

New style Bounty elite with sleek appearance and interface on Aerogarden site for $224.00 down from $400.00, a savings of 44%


Friday, November 29, 2019

President Trump visits Bagram airfield for Thanksgiving

It was a top secret mission. His team surprised everyone. The plane flew without lights.


AF1 taking off.


AF1 flying across the ocean


AF1 landing at Bagram airfield


Trump with staff deplaning and getting into waiting vehicle 


Trump waving to well-wishers along the way to the hangar and the mess hall.

Finally. Surprise!



More.



More stuff like this all over the place.



The Indian guy is talking and I'm all, "Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up." The whole way through. I keep telling him to shut up but he is not shutting up. Finally he shuts up and I feel a tremendous sense of relief when Trump returns to the microphone. Nobody I've ever seen handles a crowd like Trump does. He's a breath of fresh air in an ocean of ... no wait ... he's a breath of fresh air in a garbage ... no wait, wait, wait ... he's a breath of fresh air in a place with stinking contaminated stagnate air that's been condemned as EPA cleanup site.

Know what is really sad? Click through on the first Twitter link and everyone is praising Trump for doing something fairly ordinary. They're all very excited about having Trump for their president except for a few painful souls who hang on just to bitter-snipe.  Every tenth post or so is some magnificent dummkopf saying something childish and resentful and idiotic while imagining themselves purveyors of ultimate truth, fonts of received general wisdom. It's clear their sources of information are all hopelessly corrupted media common as dirt. They stink up everything that they breathe on.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Historian Doug Wead talks about his new book, "Inside Trump's White House," interview with Epoch Times

This is the antidote for all other poisonous American media. Wead is so effective that corrupted media has threatened his life. It is the opposite of everything else. It is poison to poisonous propaganda and our poisonous-on-touch media simply cannot have it.

Ew, that makes them so mad they could just kill him.

The book just came out. Let's read the reviews on Amazon. O-o-o-h, $19.33 down from list price $30.00 for hardcover. That's a savings of ... what? ... 35%!

Seven reviews so far. All five stars.

* Finally, an honest account of Donald Trump and his presidency that includes first hand reporting-not hearsay or make believe!

* Great account of a great family...and president.

* The book is great! Trump is everything I thought he was and better. Everyone should read this. It’s eye opening.

My only objection is that the book jacket doesn’t fit the book. It is too small. Quite distracting as I’m trying to read.

* An honest firsthand look into a much maligned family. I laughed, I cried, and I am so glad I got a different perspective.

[Well, take the jacket off. Make your own out a brown paper grocery bag. Gawl! We knew that in the third grade. Then put the original back on when you're done. Nyeah, what an ul-ta-rah maroon.]

* I am so impressed with this books and its tone from what I have read so far. I have read a few trump books and this one is very comprehensive and one written from an author with Trumps personal innovation and open access. It says a lot about the Author and Trump and his administration alike. You won't waste your time or money investing in this one, if you are after the truth.

* I started this listen with a mixed feeling of hope that this read would unveil a behind the scene account of what went on and more importantly what has shaped our current president and in fact the reactions he has to so many detractors. I came away refreshed about the first family and a more personal inside look at what drives our president.

The authors fair accounting as a well respected journalist did not disappointment me.

I wish President Trump would tone down the fiery words but have at least an appreciation of how he has come to be conditioned to be so combative.

* FYI, the author, Doug Wead, is interviewed for the release of this book by American Thought Leaders. He is a pleasant, well spoken man. The interview is fascinating and frankly jaw dropping at times. If the book is anything like the interview, it should be a great read. I ordered the book after watching and I'll update after reading.

We know that!

Wead says in this interview:
I don’t care what the reader takes away. 
What I wanted to do is get real stories, accurate stories, truth on paper. I want them to believe whatever they want to believe and take whatever they want to take, I want to hear their opinions, read their books, but my job is to get in there get the stories, get the facts then get out. And I’m writing for history. I’m writing for a hundred years from now, two hundred years from now and for anybody who’s interested. 
The bit that he says at the beginning is repeated almost immediately in the interview. I don't know why they did this.



Sweet potato pie

This was my dealio, Emilio, for Deena's holiday dinner.  She told me to bring a side or a dessert so this is a side that's a dessert.

At least it's better than bloody Halloween fingers.




I winged it. On everything. No measuring. Pffft.

Except I scooped the flour twice with a cup that is 8 (fluid) oz. but 4.25 flour oz. So there's automatic measuring right there.

That turned out to be not enough. I actually thought it would be too much. I expected surplus.

I needed more for the crust to be thicker and with generous edge and for more lavish decoration. But I was satisfied with how it turned out; thin crust, poor edge, scant decoration.

We baker types are flexible that way. It's only a pie, not a rocket to Mars.

So that tells me next time to use at least 2.5 cups of flour.

And 1 stick of butter. And that's pre-measured to 1/4 lb.

And the water was in the same cup with ice. And I used the whole thing. So about 1/2 cup of very cold water.

Vodka would have worked very nicely but I forgot about that.

I used a magic marker cap to punch holes in the dough. The punches popped right out of the cap and those were used on the top also.

My pineapple was too old to be useful so my filling is pineappleless.

What a bummer!

And I forgot to substitute with lemon. So my mixture is missing those acidic elements. Except for the orange juice and there is quite a lot of that.

I spaced out adding oranges.

What the heck, it's got enough extraneous crap in it. And the filling is delicious as it is.

Dried cherries soaked in rum. Dried apricots soaked in rum. Raisins. Pecans. Generous cinnamon, scant clove. Brown sugar, regular cane sugar. All these things were added incrementally taste-testing multiple times each step. I'm very satisfied with its flavor.

I have two Glad storage tubs of filling that went into the freezer.

I also have a messed up kitchen.

Here are the other photographs if you care to see those.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving eve

It is warm here, 62 degrees late in the evening before Thanksgiving. I am thankful for warm weather. I have been working, running and just yesterday I mowed my lawn. That was the 15th time I mowed my yard this year, and while I can't locate my records from last year, I think this year's number is lower than usual. It has been over two months since I last mowed, thanks to the prolonged drought we had earlier, no mowing was required. Truth be told, the lawn still didn't need to be mowed, but I thought that the riding mower would make quick work of the leaves which have been piling up. It did, and now it looks as though I raked the yard. Ha!

It is so warm that I have the windows open - you know it's an unusually warm November day when you walk out and notice it is warmer outside than it is inside. Okay, sure I am cheap and not one who turns the thermostat way up, but the point is - it's nice out there.

Yesterday, in an effort to start cleaning up my shop, I turned a bowl out of a large piece of the Bradford pear tree I took down back in September.


And by "I took down" I mean paid the pros with the proper machines to take down. Buh bye, PITA tree. The branches it shed damn near killed me, so I killed it back. 

Bradford pear chunks clogging up the works:


Bradford pear chunk sawed into a round, put on the lathe:


Then that turned into a nice bowl:


That one has a kind of nice hemispherical shape, and that got me to thinking. 

Now bear with me, to loop back around to a recent theme, lately I have been putting together plans for the executor of my estate as he lives out of town. Things like where the Kruggerands are buried, which funeral home to haul my carcass to, and, once attended to, the final disposition of my mortal remains. Towards that end I started doing some research - turns out that each pound of body weight results in about one cubic inch of ashes. Also the equation for the volume of a sphere is 


So if I solve that for V=200 I end up with a sphere with a radius of 3.65", approximately. Now doubling that means that a sphere with a diameter of about 7.3" will be big enough for me and a bit of breathing room. That, and the shape of that bowl got me to thinking some more. That led to me turning another hemispherical bowl which I inverted and placed on the first like so:


So, eventually, those two bowls will be dry and I can finish turn them, figure out how to glue them together, provide an access hatch and bada bing - I have urned my keep.

And, just in case I want to test the final product for actual volume, a gallon of water is said to be 231 cubic inches - so that will be a simple test to run - if the finished vessel holds a gallon of water then I am good. 


USMCA activity

This post is way political. Hold onto your hat.

Washington activity is detected following a letter delivered to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador (AMLO). This is the second of such letters. Trump's economic team and AMLO are working together against Pelosi's team and AFL-CIO Richard Trumka.

Pelosi and Trumka are working to obstruct advancing USMCA because that works to Trump's reelection advantage. She cannot bring herself to help US economy and Mexican economy and Canadian economy while harming Chinese economy that all goes to advantage of Trump.

This USMCA is an agreement written between United States and Mexico. Canada sided with Pelosi. Canada's leadership is ideologically aligned with American Democrats and they've decided to wait for the results of the American 2020 election in which they hope to see Trump eliminated. For that reason at this point Canada is merely ancillary. All the real work is between Mexico and the United States.

Pelosi's block is her and Trumka's insistence that Mexico provide Social Security for all of Mexico's workers. Mexico leadership resents Pelosi's interference with Mexican politics. This is ridiculous to the economic agreement.  Mexico's response to  Pelosi is "bite me."

US -- Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer
Mexico -- Foreign Minister Jesus Seade
Canada -- Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland

For all intensive porpoises Chrystia Freeland is irrelevant.

↑ Joke. Okay? Potted plants are never irrelevant. They clean the air and they bring a sense of the outdoors to interiors. They soften hard edges and they provide life to otherwise dead interiors.


USMCA is an agreement between Lighthizer and Seade that Canada joined. 

This meeting is something between Lighthizer and Seade that extends the work within the deal that will put a stop to Pelosi and Trumka's obstructionist claims, something such as  provisions in which Mexico agrees to border enforcement should a labor dispute panel arbitrate a US labor union challenge. Something like a small arbitration trade panel to make quicker labor related trade dispute resolutions rather than enduring extensive court cases.

Trump wouldn't be having Lighthizer call Seade to Washington if he and AMLO had not already worked all this out. 



This $44 billion investment is why Mexico is willing to assist Trump on border security.
President Trump has leveraged major economic benefit to Mexico because in the larger picture the USMCA, in combination with prior ASEAN agreements, is the economic breech that drains China. However, to receive the benefits, Mexico has to be a stable partner on geopolitical issues including immigration, border security, internal corruption and dealing with drug cartels.
If all this goes according to plan then Trump will have succeeded in replacing China with Mexico for Wall Street US investments.

Trillions of dollars are at stake.

The incentive for Mexico to work with Trump is the US decoupling with China in favor of Mexico. It is a very big deal. It explains Mexican cooperation with Trump.

Canada merely observes. They have already deconstructed their manufacturing base to become a service-driven economy. They watch as Mexico and the United States realign to Central and North American production economies.

Surprise!

USMCA could come up for vote next week.

Scott Rea Project: deboning and rolling a turkey

Step 1: put rings on fingers of both hands.

Step 2: put on wristwatch

Step 3: tattoo hands and fingers

British chefs couldn't cook without the word "lovely." There is nothing lovely about a splayed de-boned bird, but Scott says so, and let's pretend so with Scott because Scott does a very nice job here.

For some reason, his surprising expertise and his gentle manner of speaking as he goes all Jeffrey Dahmer on a hapless packaged turkey, he reminds me of a high school friend Gary Hennigan. But Gary is at least twice as wide.

£45 = $58.00
£14 = $18.00

That's a savings of over 300%. (18X300%=54) You should go to England and buy one.


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Trump KAG rally, Sunrise Florida

Come, Mr. President, take off your shirt and let's look at your chest, that beautiful chest of yours.

He's on fire. Uh.

Fire. It's all about ..

Fire. Woo woo woo woo woo.

He really wrecks my nerves, Child.

Watch it!

Or you'll be the only one left out of the fun.

Trump pardons turkey

This is stupid. Stew. Pid.

Blah blah blah blippidy blah blah, name, name, name, somebody, somebody, nobody cares, history, irrelevant, blah, blah, turkey, nobody cares, done.

Don't watch it.

I wish they would just stop. Your little square dance is stupid.


Slaughtering, gutting, de-feathering, cleaning, salting, cooking that turkey would be 100X more interesting than a little fake-@ass turkey-pardoning ritual. As if the turkey did something wrong or had been unjustly prosecuted and needs pardoning. It's silly. Washington is silly. All show people and they cannot even put on an interesting show.

Know what is interesting? Old people doing real things.

Incidentally, Bing is better at finding old YouTube videos than YouTube is. I spent untold hours, possibly minutes, searching YouTube and coming up short. Coming up with millions of irrelevant results, possibly hundreds, that got farther and farther away from my specific search parameters.

Turned to Bing [elderly couple, chicken] boom there it is third in the first row of videos. I recognized the woman instantly.

The couple slaughters and clean a chicken and coats it in salt to cook a kosher chicken. They show us how life was for everyone just a few generations ago. They sing together as they work. These people are real. They are interesting. They are a treasure. Washington people are unreal and uninteresting.



Greatest snowfall in Denver history


I lied.

It's a regular usual customary normal snowfall of any western state at any time of year including June. 

But you'd think it was historic by the way newsreaders talk.

"Oh, I remember the blizzard of '82."

     "You were stuck somewhere. Weren't you?"

"Yeah. First week of this job. I was stuck at the airport." 

Oh, shut up. Just stfu. You got nothing. 

That was the year that I returned from Hawaii having spent Thanksgiving there. Boy, could I tell you stories. 

     *squeaky ventriloquist voice* Tell us a story. 

No. 

     *squeaky ventriloquist voice*  Come on. Be a sport. Tell us a story.

 No.

     *squeaky ventriloquist voice*  Pretty please with sugar on top? 

"Okay, Squeaky, goes like this: There I was in Honolulu with a friend. Another friend from Aspen greeted us at the airport and gave us each a lei. Just like in the movies. Those things are made with real flowers and they're actually kind of heavy. They make you feel totally stupid wearing one.

And then at the hotel room you watch them die an agonizing ugly death. Get that f'k'n thing outta here.

Went to the beach. Waikiki in Honolulu. I could have bought pot at least five hundred times. Waikiki is extremely pot-oriented and I look exactly like the usual customer. One of constant flow of thousands each day. They were on me like flies on ... no wait, on me like white on rice. No wait. On me like eager drug dealers at a Hawaiian beach on a male twenty-year-old vacationing haole. That's exactly what it was like.

Immediately I encountered people I know from Denver. This was not planned. We had no idea each other was doing the same thing.

Now our Denver group is expanded unexpectedly and delightfully those new people encountered even more Denver travelers that the rest of us knew tangentially. Within hours we ended up a group of Denver travelers of some eighteen or so people. 

Later a portion of us went in to a bar that turned out to be owned by an alcoholic crackpot working behind the bar. A lesbian lady who f'k'n adored me. I mean it. She lavished me with free drinks that I could not possibly consume. She marked her free drink customers with a Wobble toy. The toys that cannot fall down. Perfect for drunks. These little wobble toys were in front of all of us wobbling around. I think I bought one drink but ended up with ten. Something ridiculous. I cannot drink. So I sipped one drink all through the night as my friends regaled her with stories. 

"What are you guys doing for Thanksgiving?" 

     "Nothing."

"Oh no. Oh no. No. No. No. You're coming here. I will fix you guys a Thanksgiving dinner. All you guys. Bring the friends that you know. You're all coming here. I will have everything prepared. I haven't done this in years. I've wanted to do this a long time. I'm going to retire soon. This is my chance. You guys are giving me the opportunity to do what I wanted for years. Please. Come here. I will have everything prepared for you. For all of you. Bring the people you mentioned. All of you come here." 

How could we refuse?

I didn't want to do this. Everyone else did want to do this. Guess who won?  

She already showed us that she is alcoholic. What are we to expect? We expected the alcoholic worst. 

But what the heck. Let's go back there and experience disaster.

All the rest of the people agreed to meet there. We all had nothing to lose. They each agreed. We were all prepared for disaster and satisfied that nothing good could come of this. We all had suitable plan B and plan C to take up where the disaster left off. There are plenty of other things to do in Hawaii especially during Thanksgiving. We'll all go to her bar on Thanksgiving just to see what she comes up with.

She closed her bar. 

The day was devoted to us. 

A room in the back that we did not know about was set up to accommodate twenty or so guests. She had brought out her family service pieces. Elaborate antique silver filled a very long table. The table was decorated expertly with Hawaiian-style/Thanksgiving-style cornucopia. Tall white tapers along the length of table that one does not expect in constantly warm Hawaii. White tablecloth the whole length. Chairs assembled from various sets. 

She went out of her way to produce a beautiful setting.

She presented a full-on Thanksgiving production. I've never seen anything like it. She came through like a champ. Like a professional. And she did all this nearly invisibly. She was present only briefly. Her joy came from her doing all this for us, not from being part of our party. That is, she did not participate in our activity. Rather, she disappeared. Exhausted, no doubt. We have no idea how she managed all that. Turkey and ham as I'm recalling it, gravy, mashed potatoes, yams, green beans, pumpkin pie, homemade cranberry sauce, regular tossed green salad, wine, cocktails, and Coca Cola for some special someone. 

At the end of a very fine meal we toasted her and gave her standing ovation and she ... wait for it ... wait for it ...  cried.

She made our Thanksgiving. She made a spectacular Thanksgiving for each of us. And apparently we made hers. 

Time to leave.

Flying back, I'm recalling now, two of us had layover at LAX. A very brief switch of airplanes. Passing through the terminal we encountered two friends who were at that spectacular Thanksgiving  dinner and had left a day earlier. Their flight was cancelled due to blizzard in Denver. Due to bizarre airline scheduling that precludes messing up schedules following schedules messed up by blizzards, our schedule went like clockwork while they were still struggling to get home. We passed them at LAX.

Sorry, Suckers. 

Boy, did I ever feel happy.

I meant to say guilty just now. Freudian slip. 

Back home in Denver, it really did blizzard. The extension built out from the porch that turned the porch into a solarium *whispers* was not exactly to code. And the roof was loaded with snow. 

A friend of mine noticed the roof over that extension was sagging a bit. Noticeably. He brought over his skis to use them to knock the snow off the roof. This is the person who taught me to ski. He is the strongest skier I've ever seen. He locks in his legs, tucking one knee into the back of the other and transforms into a cannonball down the slopes. Where every other skier goes "s-s-s-s" ski trail daintily down the slope, Myre goes hard "C" ski trail. BAM! in your face. He is power-skier. He's scary. He'll ski right over your stupid face. Slice off your ears.

Luckily, he's nice.

But there he is now on top of my roof. It's a one-story building so not that high. And the snow below nearly reaches the roof edge. He decides to ski off the roof. 

Good Lord. 

The man is going to break his bones just to be absurd. Just to have fun with this blizzard. He has fun where everyone else experiences trial and tribulation.

"Get your camera." 

"Goddamnit. He's really going to do this."

I'll find that photo and scan it, but right now I'm too lazy. From my pov it's historic. That is historic blizzard. 

Not being stuck at the airport first week on job, a thing so exciting the newsreader recounts it while reporting an ordinary Denver snowfall. What a dope.

Here's what he should be reporting. How Denver streets are not snowplowed when the city's mayor is Democrat. And how that's glossed over because the mayor is Democrat. How easily non-plowed streets are explained and accepted when the city mayor is Democrat. 

And when the city mayor is independent or state governor is Republican how the streets are plowed constantly during the storm, over and over again throughout the storm, and continuously thereafter, nothing but the sound of street plows throughout the night and all day,  main streets, side-streets, neighborhood streets, continuously while snow is on the ground and until it all evaporates, but only when the city mayor is Republican. 

There is a huge obvious difference there that goes unreported. On purpose. I haven't heard a single snowplow. There is near zero traffic. Zero sound of traffic. Not a single person outside. And the street that I see is still covered. As if we've experienced debilitating historic blizzard when all we've had is a regular snowstorm. Newsreaders, just bite me.

I wondered why people were so obnoxious last night. 

They were listening to newsreaders predict historic snowstorm. In their minds they are in it. They actually listen to newsreaders. 

Deena caught me. 

I am now instructed to bring some kind of side dish.

"How do I get to your place?" 

     "We're doing it here. Upstairs."

"Oh. Well. That makes it easy to find. That changes everything." 

I don't feel like cooking anything. 

I just don't. 

I've been looking through thousands of food-related photographs. Handling the photographs all over again. I've got pie-pictures coming out of my ears. I look at the times when I cared. I'm forced to look back at the things that I did. My old self surprises my new self. I don't even know that younger guy. He is a different person. My soul is his soul but he is entirely different. 

How can my soul have continuity when the body it inhabits changes so much?

Come on, Soul, answer me!

I don't give a f about pies.

I hereby resolve to connect with my earlier self. To give my soul continuity in this life.

I am instructed to make sweet potatoes. 

As I do.

And I think this time I'll make them as pie. 

Seeing those pictures of earlier pie crusts makes me want to do that again. 

Here's what I'll do.

Make a pie crust. 

Make it artistically. 

Use the pie dough to create more decorations for the top. Create holes in the top so the filling bubbles through and extra crust embellishments for an artistic presentation. 

I'll do this to please myself. 

To reconnect with my soul.

I will leave this all up to my soul. Give it full rein. 

Then the pie filling, eh, the usual thing. 

I invented this when I was twenty. 

I was invited to one of Joe's parties. He told me to bring sweet potatoes. 

I didn't know how to cook. I dolled them up with orange juice and orange zest. Raisins and such. Brown sugar. I kept tasting and something important was missing. Cinnamon. Clove. They had the flavor I wanted but they lacked something important. 

I didn't know what I was doing.

I tasted. Thought. Tasted. Thought. Tasted. Thought. Over and over. Finally *ding* butter. 

They need butter!

Omg, that changes everything. 

Lesson 1: always add butter.

Butter, butter, butter, butter, butter, butter, butter, butter, butter, butter. 

It fixes everything. 

You cannot go wrong with pineapple. Orange chunks. Raisins, cranberries, figs, dates, dried apricots. Load the sweet potatoes with extraneous crap. Sugarcoat the whole thing with brown sugar. Give it body with butter. Encase it in fabulous flakey crust. 

Flake, flake, flake, flake, flake, flake, flake, flake, the whole thing falls apart as you eat it. 

Art is destroyed by eating it. 

Of all the people I met last night, all the jerks on the road squeezing in front of me. Like rush hour in blizzard, all those people hastening in blizzard preparation, the shoppers gone nearly insane, all the contrarians who cannot even manage a simple conversation without initiating an argument, the most interesting person was the checkout guy at Sprouts. Now there was an interesting fellow. He is charming. Communicative. And fast as blazes. Efficient. He has your things all bagged up before you can enter your PIN. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Conan the Belgian Malinois taken to the White House

Odd name for a female dog, but whateves.

I cannot take my eyes off this dog. It behaves exactly as all three of my Belgians behaved. If the trainer would just put down his hand and touch the tip of Conan's ear, the dog would calm right down comforted by the human connection. Instead, Conan agitates to be touched. Even Pence will do, where his handler fails to keep touching, so long as Pence touches. A simple touch will suffice.

Tap her head, keep tapping, to tell her you're still there, still paying attention to her. She's very demanding for attention. She n-e-e-e-d-s constant attention.



American breeders must keep the Belgian types separate while European breeders do not, so, over time American-bred Tervurens and Malinois and Laekenois tend to lose black coloration of Groenendael types. Conan has very strong black coloration and to me that suggests recent European lineage.

They are all the exact same dogs by confirmation with the exception of coat. So when you pick a type of Belgian shepherd then you are picking a type of coat; jet black, tricolor long, tricolor color short or wiry.






You'll notice Conan appears to have a coat much darker than the Malinois pictured, and a bit longer. As if Conan is between Tervuren and Malinois with very strong Groenendael-black. 

All mine were Groenendael types, but I must say, that coat is a massive pain in the butt. 

Way too much vacuuming for me now. Way too much brushing.

If I were to choose now, I'd most likely do what police services do and go with the coat type that's easier to deal with, knowing that I'm getting the same dog.

Although, I still love those long coats. They're beautiful. Maybe they're worth all the trouble. 

They are real...

An apparent Obama supporter turned Trump supporter?

There could be other possible scenarios explaining the seemingly incongruous image.

Maybe you can think of one.

Troll book review on Amazon

This post is about a review on Amazon that is so clever you can hardly figure out that it's trolling.

But first, the book is introduced on Ace of Spades Sunday Morning Book thread. Way at the bottom, second to last item.

Someone else made a comment. Then Oregon Muse comments. I think. These paragraphs are in separate boxes.
Reading Neil Postman's Entertaining Ourselves to Death, which has been on my reading list since I was young. 
It's really quite good. The first half is dedicated to the exploration of the effects the medium used for information transmission in a society has on that society as a whole and the mental habits and reasoning practices of its constituent members. The impact of the spoken word, the written word and of the image are explored, and the utility of memory and the way community is construed and truth perceived as a consequence is described and evidenced. 
Highly recommended. Goes far beyond an analysis of television to an exploration of how we conceive and organize thought and orient to the world.
Then Oregon Muse writes. I think.
Originally published in 1985, Neil Postman’s groundbreaking polemic about the corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse has been hailed as a twenty-first-century book published in the twentieth century. Now, with television joined by more sophisticated electronic media—from the Internet to cell phones to DVDs—it has taken on even greater significance. Amusing Ourselves to Death is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of entertainment. It is also a blueprint for regaining control of our media, so that they can serve our highest goals.
Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business 

I clicked on the link. The book is rated 4.5 stars with 510 reviews.

That's a very good rating. Naturally, I read all the bad reviews first. Only 4% one-star reviews. Apparently the book is used in high school and colleges and the kids forced to read it view it as outdated. Their reviews are shallow and a bit clumsy. They are poor students. You can tell children are writing. "Boring" and "Outdated" and "So last century" and the like. "The speed of the reader made it hard to follow."

What? Maybe that was an audio book. I don't know.

"very difficult to read quickly. longer than normal sentences, larger than normal words, a lot of fluff and extraneous items. had to read for a class, and honestly, the way in which it was written bored me to tears. sorry!"

[sic] all over the place.

"worthless read, worse drivel I have ever read, written at the teenage level"

So then, very different perceptions. Very different levels of intellectual grasp.

Then this gem:
As a teenager being forced to submit to reading the torturous boredom and monotony that is this book, I say this was a waste of my summer vacation. My fellow classmates also agree with me. After picking up the pieces of my kindle that I threw across the room in frustration at having to read this horrendous book I say I have no love for this "book", it would serve better use mopping up my tears of hatred. I have a week to finish this book and Im only 9 pages in. I think I speak for all the children in the world when I say this book was annoying. The only reason Im giving this book one star is because of the fact that Neil Postman obviously has the ability to form sentences, just not ones that are any good or have relevance. The name of this book is a serious misnomer, it should be boring ourselves to death.
I love this so much. His whole summer is wasted ploughing though a single book that you can read in one night.

A friend told me that he threw "Ancient Evenings" across the room against the wall after reading only the first few pages. I'll never get that image out of my mind. Because those were excellent first pages. I had read a LOT of stuff about Egyptian history and art and culture and there is absolutely nothing out there that brings their magic-filled existence to life like Norman Mailer's fictional construction. I loved every word that my friend hated.

"Mopping up my tears of hatred." Oh, God, I love this so much.

He has a whole week to read a book and he's only nine pages in. This is the tell. We're being put on. His summer is not ruined.

He (not she) is a teenager and he speaks for all children of the world. Stop it. You're killing me.

"Misnomer. Should be Boring Us to Death." A teenager who views himself as a child and who gives up at nine pages but whose summer is ruined because of a book due in one week does not write this well. This is an adult, a very good reader and high intelligence writing as a child to demonstrate the premise of the book. It is satire. And done so well that it's not so easy to pick out from the real one-star reviews.

Leek and potato soup with green chorizo

The chorizo isn't green. It's homemade sausage with a lot of cilantro in it.

Leek and potato, carrots and such, form the base of the soup along with chicken stock processed to puree.

The trick of this soup is summer-ripe heirloom tomato and avocado slices placed in the bowl before the soup is added and shredded lettuce and shredded cheese on top of the soup, for crunch and for additional depth. With generous cilantro to catch your breath.

It is a salad inside a soup.

It is incredible. Nobody expects that. Nobody knows how fantastic that is.

One time years ago ...

Fine.

Decades ago.

A friend and I dropped into a small place on Colfax. I think it was named "Maria's."

It was a strange place. Something like a gas station converted to a tiny clean restaurant. Possibly a 7-11, but definitely started out something other than a restaurant. They were not prepared for the crowd they would attract. Their meals were traditional home-Mexican. A bit different than everything else that you see. And that's what attracted so many customers.

Before your actual meal each person was served a simple bowl of clear chicken broth. Very flavorful. This must have been made on site, not a commercial chicken broth.

At the bottom of each bowl was one segment of fresh tomato and one slice of avocado. Just sitting there at the bottom of the bowl. You could see them at the bottom just waiting for you.

I went back to that restaurant a couple of times just to enjoy that introductory soup. A very long wait, only a few tables and a whole lot of customers, then poof, the place was gone.

So sad. A place outstanding as that. I have no idea what went wrong.

It was like Maria had died. Something great, something truly unique died.

I think about that first-course soup all the time. It was so clean and simple. Anyone could make that but so far as I knew only Maria did.

My version is a meal in a bowl.

My soup is thick, made from pureeing vegetables with stock. I use an entire high summer heirloom tomato and half an entire avocado. I float shredded iceberg lettuce on top for its crunch instead of croutons and shredded cheese for additional depth and dimension that melts when it's mixed into the hot soup.

I go crazy where Maria kept sane.

Mine is a meal where Maria's was introduction to a meal.

Thank you, Maria. Whoever you are. You are splendid.

I bet you ten dollars she died and that's why they couldn't go on without her.

They were bereft.

She had a great thing going on.


This stuff blended with chicken stock to form a thick soup. Maria's was clear broth so you could see the tomato chunk and the avocado slice on the bottom.


Maria's version did not have chorizo or any other meat besides the clear chicken broth


Best when the tomatoes are best. If tomatoes are not in season then just forget the whole thing!


Half an avocado. Or, what the heck, maybe the whole thing. Usually I'll squeeze lime all over the avocado and season the pieces heavily and separately from the rest of the salad, but in this case the soup does that. 


Now, that treasure is buried under the soup. It's like pirate-soup; hidden treasure.


One expects croutons on top. And that would be fine. Especially if the croutons were seasoned or if they were sourdough. 

But this time we're using lettuce for a similar crunch. Your guests will be all, "What?" Nobody sensible puts lettuce on top of thick soup. It just isn't done. But nobody appreciates yet that there is a raw vegetable salad underneath that is greater than the soup that is hiding it. 

Asiago cheese and cilantro topping. No messing around. Great cheese, not slipshod cheese.

 

This is what I wrote way back then in September 2013.
This soup contains an interesting unexpected underworld of hidden raw vegetables and green chorizo, a rich smooth and balanced body of liquified earthily elements, root vegetables, topped with a deep nutty cheese available to melt readily, and breathily aromatic herb. The combination of a salad like this inside a soup like this is wrongly, achingly, naïvely successfully satisfying.  
Win.
Ha. Who even writes like that?

But it's true.