Saturday, May 18, 2019

Today is Karl Goldmark's (1830-1915) birthday

And I am listening to his Im Frühling for the first time. I kind of like it, even though today was more like the first day of summer here.

Wild Wild Life

Marlin started out slowly when he began molesting the animals. He would pet a pussy. Finger a tit willow. Sexually badger a badger.

We think he went over the line when he coated his penis with insects and stuck the anteaters snout down his pants.

After that there was simply no going back.

( Don Meier, Talk into this with the Animals...The E True Hollywood Story of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom)

Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny


That's what alaskabob said in comments to a post on Legal Insurrection about Democrats upping the abortion ante when they defended murdering a baby born alive.

The title says "murdering" and not aborting as the proponents of these laws do.

Ontogeny means the development of an organism.

Recapitulates means to review by a brief summary.

Phylogney is the evolutionary history of a group of organisms.

So then, to observe the development of a human baby is to watch the evolution of humans.

The entire conversation is like this. Completely off the rails. They're talking about abortion laws extended to murdering children after they're born and they use legal language that shows how lost they've become in their own intellectual weeds. Their metaphors and their questions stated in high legalese depart from the brutal simplicity and confound the whole thread of comments. They've thought about this too long. They express their views in the language they use to think through it so we are shown their intellectual neural pathways and not shown clear and simple conclusions.

Realizing that Trump has the opportunity to alter the world view of the Supreme Court freaked out Democrats about Roe vs Wade being overturned, because they know for certain that's what they would do. Their overreaction is logical when viewed from the standpoint of knowing themselves so well. Of course they project that onto Republicans.

Conservatives are not that fierce. Democrats keep making this same mistake. Conservative politics exist to check Democrat wild ambitions, not to enact their own wild ambitions. Why? Because they are con ser va tive! Root word: conserve. They're far more likely to conserve Supreme Court law than attempt to overturn it. But Democrats understand the law to be so flimsy and so forced they don't trust it to endure any change in Supreme Court outlook. They don't trust the strength of their own freaking law.

I'm certain Alabama would not have changed their law to prohibit abortions, nor the states that intend to follow, had not New York hastened to change theirs first so far, so extremely, so bizarrely to include actual murder. And then have their state congress give it a standing ovation!

When liberals push that hard that fast then that forces opposition to push back. But they cannot help themselves. It's what worked up crackpots do.

I was watching Japanese news cover this American state change its abortion law to be much more restrictive. I did not previously see Japanese news cover New York change its law to be so far outrageously liberal to include murder of infant children. But I might have simply missed that. Unlikely, I watch everyday. Then, when Japanese news does cover the change in Alabama law, a strange thing for Japanese to be interested in, they describe the change fairly but then provide footage of a pro-choice protestor saying, "Now if I'm raped and conceive I'm stuck with a baby conceived by rape." With no fact check to that statement, no exploration into alternatives, and no footage of anyone supporting the new law. They described the change dispassionately and  then reported with extreme bias. *click*

We can expect the same treatment from British liberal news, Canadian liberal news, Australian liberal news, pick any country and their news reporting will give it the same treatment. No mention of the new restrictive laws as reaction to new outrageously liberal laws in reaction to presumed Supreme Court reaction to actual previous Supreme Court overreach.

Cardinals half male, half female

There are a lot of videos on this, but frankly, they're terrible.

Duckduckgo images [cardinal half male female]


America's Test Kitchen. What's Eating Dan?

Food nerd.

Smoch: Keeping up with the more Kardashians

Smosh is a comedy YouTube channel that your grandkids might know about. This is what very young people watch.

Swing through a waterfall

And not get wet.

Best and worst mulch for your garden

Thirty-one minute video. Roses are mentioned at the end (27:00 They're heavy feeders).

This video explains a ton of things you might not know. A ton.

For example, wood mulch starts out 400 to 1 carbon to nitrogen. When you put new new wood mulch on your garden the microorganisms are taking out nitrogen to work on the carbon and reduce it and that starves your plants of nitrogen. As the wood mulch ages over a year and a half the microorganisms increase and they take nitrogen from the air also, so the ratio goes down drastically leaving the best of both worlds; good carbon / nitrogen balance and dense microorganisms.

Watch how John Kohler draws out information from the owner of the mulch company. His enthusiasm causes his interviewee to expand on what John explains to his viewers. There is a good deal of repetition. The owner prevents John from wandering off track in his discussion, they're talking about mulch and not about compost, even as the mulch is composting.

If you want your garden to do fantastically as possible then you must give it the soil to thrive and you're not going to find that in any garden store because the garden soil is actually cultivated from various essential components and the components that are marketed, dyed mulch, for example, and mulch produced from damaged warehouse pallets can actually be harmful for your garden and your for health.

You know, Denver is a city run by hippie type liberals. This sort of thing is right up their alley. Shirley, we have something like this.

Sure enough. 

Denver Bargains, Free mulch from the City of Denver. Free mulch and free compost. For Denver residents. Everybody else, just get out!

Trump: Treason means long jail sentences. This was treason.

This here is what you call a syllogism. You got your major premise and your minor premise. The conclusion is left unstated: "Therefore, this means long jail sentences."

Please make it true.

Friday, May 17, 2019

"The SAT will assign a new score that factors in where you live and the crime level in your neighborhood"

Via CNN:
The nonprofit group that administers the SAT said Thursday it will assign a score to students who take the test to reflect their social and economic backgrounds.

The new score -- first reported by the Wall Street Journal -- comes amid heightened scrutiny that colleges are facing over the admissions process and the diversity of their student bodies.

The College Board said it would implement what it calls the "Environmental Context Dashboard," which would measure factors like the crime rate and poverty levels of a student's neighborhood, to better capture their "resourcefulness to overcome challenges and achieve more with less."

"There is talent and potential waiting to be discovered in every community -- the children of poor rural families, kids navigating the challenges of life in the inner city, and military dependents who face the daily difficulties of low income and frequent deployments as part of their family's service to our country," David Coleman, chief executive officer of the College Board said in a statement sent to CNN.

"No single test score should ever be examined without paying attention to this critical context," he added.

The Environmental Context Dashboard has been piloted at 50 colleges and universities, according to a spokesman for the College Board, and the organization hopes to make it more widely available to other schools next year.

Students are scored on a scale of 1 to 100 based on data from records like the US census and the National Center for Education Statistics. According to the College Board, a score of 50 would be considered average, while a number above 50 indicates more hardship.
Potential newborns to these challenging, more harship neighborhoods will have to wait for their "Environmental Context Dashboard". See new Alabama abortion law backlash

Chicken Piccata recipe

It'sa smooth likea da baby's butt. But you no eata da baby's butt.


Chicklit asked about the most fragrant roses.

I read a few pages on the most fragrant roses. And the comments to them are helpful as well. People who grow these things have quite a lot to say.

[most fragrant roses]

I have a new philosophy since owning a rose garden that came with a house.

After selecting the species of roses based on their known characteristics. How best to bring those characteristics out?

Picking a fragrant species is one thing, then growing it to maximum fragrance another.

I'd say by eliminating chemicals and preparing the best soil possible. And adjust it to suit roses specifically.

[prepare a rose garden]

A man I encountered on the internet by way of juicing machines and his thousands of videos on that subject is also very well known via internet by his organic gardening obsession. Those two things are linked. He had to completely change his diet to survive. So now he's obsessed with growing his own food the best way possible and preparing and consuming it the best way possible. His garden is about food. His videos are difficult to watch because like all the gardening videos he talks way too much about things only vaguely related.

So now when I research any element of gardening, this man shows up.

I'm seeing him everywhere on other people's sites. He is featured on other gardener's sites. And he's featured on sites that sell products for organic gardens. Because he goes there and visits them. All these people have seen his videos and they're pleased that he's come by to see them.  I've seen him in videos for worm casting producer sites. Last night I saw him featured in a video on a compost tea producer site. He's gone to the places that produce the things needed to amend soils with things that plants need to thrive to the point of super production. They're interested in providing the things need for the best plant health. Things that produce a living soil that works with the plants so they have the best root systems, the strongest branches and stems and circulatory systems, the best strongest foliage, budding, blooms and tastiest fruit, the most resilient to challenges, weather, and most resistant to insects, diseases, and fungal attacks.

These hippies have worked years on this, single minded.

So then, for the best most fragrant roses, start with the best soil possible. For roses.

[preparing soil for rose bushes]

The page tells us the best pH for roses and how to adjust it.

Then it mentions four of the seven elements that organic gardeners use to adjust their soils.

* Alfafa meal
* Kelp meal
* Compost
* Peat moss

Ha ha ha. It is the same deal as any Asian food recipe. We know what the seven common magical Asian ingredients are, then we look for which of those are used in any new recipe, along with any other uncommon ingredient.

Those four things listed on the rose soil site are on the list of common magical soil amendments along with the uncommon pH adjuster lime.

So as reader you go, "I know what you're talking about!" You know why those things are mentioned, while you also know the three other common magical elements not mentioned that would also help your garden soil.

Here's the thing. One of the seven common magical elements not mentioned is rock dust. This material comes in different types. It's basically minerals. Rocks that are reduced to powder. Very much like talcum powder. It provides some seventy minerals used by plants that are not part of chemical fertilizer three main chemical components.

What's funny is reviews on Amazon for any individual component all say, "I added this to my soil and it worked very well. Or they say, added this and there was no noticeable affect. Apparently unaware the item is not fertilizer in itself, rather, it's just one component of an array of soil amendments. Things that add organic carbon, things that add organic nitrogen, things that add fungal and bacterial activity that bring the soil to life and make the other elements available to the plants.

In Colorado you can drive along and see hillsides red with oxidized iron and spotted with shrubs deficient in iron because the soil lacks the living components that live in the root zone and make the minerals available to the plants.

These minerals sit in the soil inert and unavailable to the roots of plants without fungal and microbial life. The microbes that are put into the soil with compost and worm castings or with compost or worm casting tea that go in and surround the root zone bring the minerals into the roots. The addition of other of the seven common magical ingredients makes the soil alive. The plant roots can then draw up the minerals and other components into the plant to become part of the plant's structure, making the plant healthier, more resilient, more resistant, stronger, better tasting, better blooming, more fragrant.

Fertilizers that address nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium specifically to varying degrees do not address everything else that exists in good rounded living soil.

The kind of soil that worms like.

So what then do the best worm casting producers put in their soil for their worms? The obsessed internet guy went there and showed us. The elements added to worm-loving soil are the same elements  added to amend garden soil. It is a very long video and it does go on, but the great thing is he scoops out each element and shows us what it looks like and how it is added and how much. He digs right in and gets his hands filthy with black charcoal. A specific type that's best for plants, for one example.

* So that's one thing: fine powder charcoal, biochar
* Another is hummus material
* Another is chitlin material crab shells and the like.
* Compost, obviously.
* Rock dust, a broad combination of minerals in dust form.
* Seaweed of some type. Kelp.
* The worm people add coffee grounds for their worms.
* While non-worm people add worm castings purchased from the worm people who used coffee grounds.

The main things: compost and worm castings, the rest are used in less amounts. All together they're things that chemical fertilizers do not have and that produce spectacular plants. And the best thing is you cannot overdo it. You will not burn your plants with too much of one thing or another. Within reason, of course, obviously if you dump raw sewage on your garden imagining it top compost that might burn out your plants such as dogs burn out spots on a lawn.

Wild Wild Life

We didn't know how to explain. Especially to the people back at the home office in Omaha. You see we just wanted to have a nice little show about wild animals. A nature show. Simple and family friendly. Just Marlin Perkins talking about the animals while Jungle Jim Fowler would wrestle it into submission.

It was supposed to be simply clean family fun. Until something terrible happened. Marlin was accidentally hit in the head by a coconut on vacation and he suddenly became obsessed. Obsessed with having sex with the animals.
( Don Meier, Talk into this with the Animals...The E True Hollywood Story of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom)

Shaving cream croc

Rubber shoes. That's funny right there.

Because they're made for the summer. The heat, the material, the particular part of the body are all wrong for each other. Whoever invented these is out of their g.d. mind. But there you have it. The bad reviews on Amazon indicate that people are Croc connoisseurs stating their disappoint in being sent substitute Crocs -- the ones they got are not the real things. 

That kills me. An ersatz shoe is pirated. It's the wrong wrong shoe. The real wrong shoe is more comfortable, the rubber in the real wrong shoe is softer, more pliable, more comfortable insole. They know what they're talking about specifically, the Croc, and know how to talk about it, shoes, while still choosing a rubber shoe in summer.  

President Bush Jr. did this and that is the point where the man lost me. 

Matt Boling, fastest High School runner in the country

Trump unveils sweeping plan to reform immigration policy

Let's see what YouTube offers [trump plan immigration]

Results are surprisingly current. No need to filter.

Fox Business
CBS Evening News
USA Today

Everyone has something.

I pick ... eenie meenie miney Fox.

Ieoh Ming Pei 26 April 1917 - 16 May 2019

Goodness. That make him 102 years of age.

From Wikipedia:
Crosby's films in particular had a tremendous influence on my choosing the United States instead of England to pursue my education."
Odd. I wonder which ones.

Mucho más about the guy all over the place.

Matthew Reinhart, V-fold vertical risers

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Photo essay

I have been working on bowls.

Eastern red cedar:

A maple bowl made from a tree blown over by a tornado in 2015:

 A sweetgum bowl:

A black walnut bowl:

A hackberry bowl:

I got a call from a friend this afternoon - she said that she was looking for someone to cut down all the shrubs in her front yard. That struck me as odd, so I grabbed my handsaw and headed over. What I found was one absolutely dead shrub, one Leyland cypress that is unwell, but which doesn't need anything done right now and that's it. The other twenty or so bushes are fine.

"Where did you get the idea that all of these things had to be removed?" 
"My neighbor said they were all dead." 
"Is he a tree guy?" 
"He's from New York." 
Sure, that may sound like a non sequitur, but it speaks volumes. 
"Didn't your mother ever tell you to never trust a blue-belly carpet-baggin' Y*nkee?" 
"She did, but I forgot."

Anyway, I set to pruning the limbs so that I could get access to the trunk and then sawed that lil sumbitch down. It was deader than a doornail, and now there is an empty socket in the long line of gumdrop shaped shrubs, but at least the others remain.

I dragged that dead dry brush home and this happened:

That is correct - there was a burning bush in my backyard.

Then the sun set:

Axillism Rose

I still am looking good.

Com-on. Smell under my arm. I know you want to.

You pervert you.

It happens every day

I know this happens every day. Most of the time it is not on video so it doesn't get reported.

The antisemitism of the Democrat party feeds into these attacks. As does the medias protection and cover up for the likes of those two nasty Muslim cunts in Congress/

I hope the President continues to speak out against them and leads the charge against antisemitism. I

It is such a joke that various pundits and Democrats criticize the President as being anti-semitic.

President Trump has something that the Jewish reporters in the main stream media will never have.

Jewish grand children.

It happens every day

A man in Las Vegas died in the hospital after he was pushed off a bus because he told a women to be more polite to the other riders.

74 year old  Serge Fornier was thrown off the bus through the front door and never hit a step but banged his head right on the concrete. The animal that attacked him is now under arrest for murder.

This type of thing happens all the time but is covered up by the main stream media.

Did you know about it? Was it covered as much as the phony Russian Dossier or the recent baby of one of the Kardashians?

I think not.


RIP Jim Fowler

WKRLEM: Wild Wild Life

Did you catch all the knock off of 1980's icons?

Wild Wild Life

Marlin really changed after a few years on the show. He had been a devoted family man for many years but traveling gave him opportunists he didn't have at how.

He was always fingering strange pussy. Even in front of his wife. It was quite disturbing.

The Cheetah.

( Don Meier, Talk into this with the Animals...The E True Hollywood Story of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom)

WKRLEM: Is She Really Going Out with Him

The eternal question?

Spies, who's going to cut a deal first

This post on Legal Insurrection by William Jacobson gets the most comments of all other posts. It uses "Spygate" in its title and begins by quoting Katie Pavlich (born 1988, news editor for Townhall, Fox contributor, blogger) "The Comey vs Brennan vs Clapper vs Lynch vs Obama show is going to be awesome."

Jacobson writes the Barr investigation into FBI and CIA spying into the Trump campaign has the Democrat-media Russia collusion complex panicking. And that explains the frenzy to take down Barr. People may go to jail for collusion between Fusion GPS, Clinton/DNC and mainstream journalists.

We'll see. I'm skeptical.

A key part of the investigation is the Steele dossier used to justify FISA court orders authorizing the spying. Comey and Brennan are in open conflict over which one pushed it.

But that's just the surface. The investigation could reach out of the FBI-CIA up through the Obama administration including Loretta Lynch and White House itself.

Then, comments over at Legal Insurrection are surprisingly synoptic in wishing all of them strung up for treason. Have a look. Skip to comments, that's where the fun is.

zucchini plants

I grew these only once and I loved having them as decorative plants more so than for fruiting plants. I recall they made only a few ripe fruit and I cut them off when they were still small because that's how I like to buy them.

I like their large foliage.

Similar to caladium elephant ears.

Both of these have enough empty space around them and under them for other species to stuff into the pots.

So that's what I'm doing this year. Yes to zucchini, no to elephant ears. For a change. And I cut way back on the number of caladiums to intersperse with everything else. In fact, I bought more caladium bulbs for other people than I did for my own balcony. The people I had them shipped to don't even know what the caladium bulbs are. I have to steer them to YouTube videos for information. I want them to understand they best damage their bulbs, gouge out their eyes all around, to redistribute the hormones and double or triple or quadruple the foliage they produce, and how to orient the bulb when planting.

Those crazy things sometimes have roots growing on the top.

All these gardeners talk too much. Every single one of them does. They drive me insane. I looked for the shortest video to show the plant, as a decorative plant, without all that yakkity yak yak for fifteen minutes nonstop.

Are we gardeners types like this in real life?

You'd have to learn to shut off your ears and substitute soothing music just to be around us.

The zucchini seeds that I bought are for a stripped variety. I haven't seen these in the grocery stores and people who bought the seeds rate them highly.

I wish rareseeds would show the plant. Even browser images show the vegetable.

See how other plants can be planted around them to fill in the empty space? You could have stuff grow up through them taller than the zucchini and under them in their shade and among their foliage competing with light and filling the spaces.

Such as caladiums providing different colors and patterns. That is this year's experiment. Maybe it won't work. Maybe it will make getting the vegetables too much trouble. I can see beans growing on poles or thin trellis right up the center of these. It will be fun to try. And triangularis underneath them. You know, layer the vegetables and decorative plants.

I notice morning glories gladly grow among other plants wending their way around them, using the structure of other plants as their armature. Their vining is so light and their foliage so tender that they don't interfere too much while uniting the entire garden by growing across rows of pots. By the end of the season the whole balcony is outrageous and out of control.

Last year in the last month I had two square feet of empty balcony floor area upon which to step. The crawling yam leaves covered the rest. This year I'll try to do that with watermelon. The smaller kind that grow to a soccer ball size. Just to see how that goes. I want vines to grow out of the pots and along the floor in front of the other pots. 

Dude, a tip, just because you'e an exalted gardener doesn't give you license to ponce around the garden in elf shoes.

Heather Green for Epicurious compares whiskey

She's a character.

I'm impressed she can taste all those little differences. 

I'd fail this contest. 

My test results are predictable

Scotch A tastes like kerosene 
Scotch B tastes like kerosene

American Rye A tastes like kerosene
American Rye B tastes like kerosene

Irish Whiskey A tastes like kerosene
Irish Whiskey B tastes like kerosene

Bourbon A tastes like kerosene
Bourbon B tastes like kerosene

Japanese A tastes like kerosene
Japanese B tastes like kerosene

Stranahan's Whiskey is a few miles from where I live. The cost of their whiskey is from $30 to $90. I think.

I think I'll tour the place by myself. The people I've asked to join me keep putting me off. Nobody seems to be interested. Yet everyone has toured Coors in Golden. *whispers* And that's an incredibly ugly facility. Talk about brutalism. Even prison guards agree, that's just way too much raw concrete. 

I think I had whiskey one time and it wasn't so bad. I think it was a whiskey sour, but I'm not sure. If whiskey sour can be made with Southern Comfort, and if it is sweet, and if it can be made in a batch in a 2 quart pitcher, then that's what I had. But only once. Only one time in my life I drank whiskey and was surprised it didn't taste like kerosene. So there is hope for me yet. If there is a cocktail that makes it taste like something else, then I can drink it. Same thing with coffee -- so long as it's heavily disguised. With sugar and cream and vanilla and cinnamon or something. 

Boston orchestra, Mozart, Masonic Funeral

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Transylvania artisanal bread

This is Dracula's hometown.

We baker types like to study the ways of other people.

So we can laugh at them. I meant to say learn from them but that other word came out.

Just to show how weird they are they use those fer'ner measures. 

She said twenty pounds of potatoes. So that means the bread is very soft like hamburger buns.

Less than 2 oz of yeast 

And some of the total amount of flour for an overnight starter. In french this is called levain and other places the same thing is call poolish (after Polish). 

Sometimes levain and poolish is a genuine sourdough starter containing up to hundreds of separate yeast species, but this is made with monoculture yeast and ferments overnight. 

The yeast multiplies overnight so the potatoes and flour are extremely yeasty by morning with the  odor of alcohol. Two byproducts of yeast activity are CO2 and alcohol, so the alcohol makes the dough a little bit looser, noticeably more wet. 

The next day additional water and the rest of the flour is combined. The overnight starter and the new flour and fresh water create a country-style loaf.

The dough shown in the video is extremely sticky. The woman keeps coating everything with generous flour that gets incorporated into the loaves without kneading, at each stage of handling, so a good deal of surface flour does not have its gluten developed. 

The following calculations are not scientific because dry ingredients are measured differently from wet ingredients, but for our purpose they're treated as equal because we use the same cups to scoop flour and pour water. 

They state things by weight.

She said 55 LBS of flour 

They did not say the amount of water but we can guess. 

It will be 55 LBS water to match the flour.

But the potatoes count as water so 55 minus 20 = 35 LBS of water needed to hydrate the flour to 100%.

1 LB of water = 2 cups  = 1 pint

8 LBS (pints) water = 1 gallon. 

35 gallons of water / 8 pints = 4.37 gallons.

They do not say what kind of flour. And Yurpeans rate flour by fineness of milling while Americans rate flour by protein content. 

In America:

Low protein flour is for cakes.
High protein flour is for bread
All Purpose flour is in-between for both cakes and bread. 

There is about 1% difference in protein between types. 

Whole wheat flour will have the fat that is inside the seed. 
Whole wheat flour will be higher protein but its protein molecules will not develop gluten protein molecules nearly as well. And when they do form, they're often cut by the bran. 

European 00 flour is milled to the softness of talcum powder. 


Sixty Grit's previous post on eels instigated this post.

I intend to deliver a master's class on Japanese cooking that will advance your level in a few minutes to what takes regular students years to absorb.

For you are quick learners.

For years I wondered why the miso soup that I make for myself isn't ever as good as the miso soup served in any Japanese restaurant. The answer turns out to be dashi. I made my miso soup with water or with chicken or beef broth, and they make theirs with dashi.

Dashi is the simplest of things. But it is based on centuries of accumulated knowledge and practice. It is a seafood broth made of steeped dried seaweed and steeped dried and smoked skipjack tuna such as fish jerky. Except sliced to extremely thin flakes. Those two things are steeped as tea.

And that forms a light fish broth that is actually superior to any other  seafood broth used for bouillabaisse. It is the scent and the taste of the sea itself. I tested seafood broths separately, various fish bits, and clam juice, all made with saffron, and dashi wins the comparison hands down. French are very good at this, but Japanese have their seafood act down.

So then, before anything else, do not fear the dashi. You buy kombu and you buy bonito and get started. There are a million videos on YouTube about how to steep these two things. Possibly fifty videos. It's simple as making tea. There is also instant dashi available so you can skip the traditional method.

When the video says "dashi" this is what they are talking about. And they say it so off-the-cuff because it is so common. It's the same thing as saying, "steep one teabag of Lipton's tea."

I wish my father was alive so I could show this to him. He never understood the concept of stock. I know he was interested because he tried to make soup several times. Gallons upon gallons, but he never started with stock. His vegetable soup was always watery. You couldn't add enough salt to make it interesting. It was impossible to repair. When I told him to start with stock he asked me, "What's stock?" And I saw the books he was reading about Japanese cooking. When he put them down, I read them. They all describe how to make dashi, yet he never internalized any of it. He never bought the two required ingredients. And because of that he was never able to do anything. Unable to get started. It was a mental block.

Even with vegetable soup you would start with a vegetable stock. And if your stock included something like kombu, then you'd be off to a fantastic start. Japanese use a lot of interesting vegetables that would take your vegetable soup over the top.

So then, dashi.

Second are the usual Asian flavor ingredients. I have seven magical Asian flavor ingredients that are used repeatedly. In everything. It's interesting to see which ones of the seven are used in this video. In the video they're added here and there and this stage and that stage, but they could all be added at once. And knowing there are seven and not only the five that are used, tells you ways you can make it even better. While there are still other ingredients you might like to add for your own personal satisfaction, such as specific curry blends or certain chile powders or pastes, turmeric, tamarind, cardamon, saffron, whatever you like.

For Champon you mix pork and seafood; fish, shrimp and squid.

Americans like bacon where Asians use pork belly and Italians use pancetta. Bacon is salt-cured and often smoked. Bacon has stronger flavor. The point is, you don't have to go out and buy pork belly. Slipshod inexpensive bacon will do.

Champon is a mess of vegetables. And noodles. Honestly, they all look like a clean out the refrigerator thing. Just lookit'em. What, no egg? Use whatever you have. All of whatever you have. Make sure you have bean sprouts and snow peas, cabbages, things to lend it some credence.

Compare, nothing so tidy as sukiyaki.

And where the woman in the video uses three pots, know you can do this in one. No need for those first things to be in a separate pot, and cook the noodles right in the broth. For a savings of cleaning of two pots.

UNC student arrested while stealing antiabortion sign

She is magnificent.

Also a child.

She is not going placidly amid the haste and the noise and she's forgetting what peace there may be in silence.

I did listen to her sympathetically. The error seems, she's operating by the assumption the campus is hers alone and not everyone's. She is gravely genuinely offended.  "They're restricting women's rights" and "If I ignore them, they just keep coming back," and "this is why it's so difficult for women to get abortions is North Carolina."

She lives with these arguments swirling her precious head when her clear head is needed for study, such that she's forced into physical action as she passes through the campus.

It's not possible to think, gak, another of those prehistoric jerks and keep going unaffected.

It's good to be arrested sometimes. It teaches this campus isn't just yours. She delivers all of her arguments again in defense of her actions. We get the full load. Again. We're right smack at square 1 again. We're stuck on first base. There is never any progress whatsoever. Non of the anti-abortion argument is heard in this video but the girl makes sure we hear her position. All of it. We fill the other side in ourselves automatically. It's a g.d. broken record, a damaged compact disc, a corrupted mp3 file. We've been having his same argument for ages, for generations, across technological leaps, but this miserable argument stays exactly the same.

When a woman asks you what you think about abortion, don't tell her. It is only introduction for her to tell you her position. Say instead, "never mind what I think, let's skip that (as this video does), tell me what you think instead." Because she asked to deliver an earful.

She must now believe what is happening, even though she can't. That's what college is for; to expand the mind.

What is in a name?

Seeing Muh-lock-ay cooking in his miniature kitchen while signing reminded me of Buh-lock-ay:

I am not messin' wit chu-all. I am fo reel.

Garrison cartoon, Barr tab

Find the shoe.

Whenever Garrison has Hillary Clinton in a cartoon he references her lost shoe after the 911 ceremony when she was tossed into the van like a stuffed rucksack. 

Eric Trump and Bill de Blasio argue in public

There's more to it apparently but I didn't bother. The deeper you drill into Twitter threads the worse it gets.

Old man falling down stairs

Who would even think of falling in slow motion? No dialogue, just being insanely silly.

Beginning dentist

The full skit is 9:11 if you'd like to see it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Of eels and burls

Unagi and anago - that's what I remember, and I could not pick a favorite between them - they were both awesome. Last time I was in Japan I told my host how much I liked unagi and he took me to a restaurant in Ito City that specialized in eel dishes - I had what I think was called unadon - unagi donburi. What can I say, that dish, along with an enormous bowl of Nagasaki champon which we ate another day in Tokyo were unforgetable.

Eel story II - I visited my in-laws in Narragansett RI back in '78. My now late F-I-L loved to fish, and somehow he managed to talk a local guy into taking us out into the Long Island sound in his boat so we could do some fishing other than surf casting. I hate fishing, but I went along. We caught a couple of flounders, which is what we were after, and a mess of eels. Being the depression era/Battle of the Bulge type guy that he was he dragged 'em into the boat, skun 'em and we took them back to his place for supper. Of course the dude's boat conked out, even with its new $3,500 outboard motor (guy kept mentioning how much he paid for it - Y*nkees!) so I had to paddle us back to shore using the lid of the cooler. They were both old duffers, probably fifty-something at the time. Turns out the water inlets that allow seawater into the engine's cooling system clogged up with seaweed or something, the engine overheated and shut itself down before it self-destructed. But we didn't know that at the time.

Anyway, F-I-L cooked all of the seafood to perfection and it was delicious. I gained newfound respect for eels that day, I must say.

Next up - burls. Last Wednesday I sawed some burls off a white oak tree. For the last couple of days I have been sawing up the burls and turning bowls out of the resultant pieces. Photo essay:

Small burl sawed in twain:

Bowl turned out of that half:

The dark spots are what remains of the ant galleries.

Large burl with the end cap cut off:

Two views of the bowl I turned out of that end cap:

But Sixty, you said you have to dry rough turned bowls for years before they are ready to be finished. That is true, if one wants a round bowl - however, since burls are already somewhat lumpy, I can put them in the microwave and speed up the drying process. Within two days, between sanding and trips to the microwave I can have a bowl ready to be sold.

I also worked on a red cedar bowl today but it's not ready to be presented yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Not the best recording I could find, but what are you going to do, eh? Brassy!

Snickerdoodles in ASL

I thought we were going to learn how to make Malachi and I was eager to see a new thing. I imagined it was going to be like matcha. But no. Malachi is the boy's name.

He spells a lot. Even "cup" and "cream" in "cream of tartar."

Each letter is emphatically separate while words are elided, "butter" and "sugar" hardly exist you must catch them fleeting.

4 E, is actually 4 C, he's preheating the oven. C, of course, stands for 100.

This is going to take awhile. Be patient.

Notice how his hand shifts distinctly to the right for "oo" in "snickerdoodles." 

While 1 + 1/2 cup sugar is not shown that clearly. As it is shown, you really cannot be sure he said 112, or 12, or 1/2 or 1 + 1/2, and that's the spot where clarity is most needed. "oo" can be a slight tap but kept in the same place, a mere pause in the tempo of spelling, but the numbers are crucial. For 1/2 the "2" must be definite and directly below the "1" as one thing, so we can see the fraction. So "1" bang, move over, "1" bang, slip down,  "2" bang and we'll actually see that whole number and fraction displayed in the air.  

He follows the recipe his mother did around him like my father used to do. Line for line as if each line is seen for the first time. Each line a brand new surprise. 

My approach is different. I'll look at three or more recipes, see what's going on, note what they all have in common, and then do it. 

RIP Tim Conway - you were one funny guy

It seems that on that show he had one goal - to make his coworkers fall out laughing.

Epoch Times with Curtis Ellis

Curtis Ellis was special advisor to the Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration. Here, Ellis explains communist China's idea of free trade.

Ellis has particularly acute insight. If you choose to listen you'll find the interview interesting. And then, should you drop a few Ellis tidbits conversationally, you'll leave your listeners with their jaws dropped.

(There is an ASL sign for this that is hilarious and not seen in any dictionary. It's a rigid "C" shape with the last 3 fingers tucked in. Then that hand configuration is jerked upward like a gear at something jaw-dropping. The C is the jaw. And with your own actual jaw extended, open mouth, and your head popped back. That head-popping is unusual and the C popped in the opposite direction is what makes it so funny. When I asked what that means, Jeff had to think, and then finally answered, "burp on you.")


I bought a large container of these strawberries and they're better than usual.

The gigantic type strawberry usually is not nearly as flavorful as the heritage types. The little bitty berries are better. But right now, this large grocery store type, that are made for their looks, isn't so bad.

And usually it's cornflakes and berries. But I like berries with cornflakes.

It's a terribly complex recipe; strawberries, cornflakes and milk.

*Squeaky voice* But what are the amounts?

Oh shut up.

I just liked this photograph.

Mountain scene

A photograph appeared on Ace of Spades overnight thread hosted by Misanthropic Humanitarian featuring this mountain scene that's been passed around on Tumblr. I've been authorized by, um, someone, it's not important who, to reveal the rest of the photo.

Two important interviews

Two extremely annoying interviews.

You won't even be able to stand it.

Sometimes we just have to ignore the unfortunate sources and accept poor interviewers to get the information that's useful.

First, I had Chris Wallace all wrong. But that was because of his weeks-long paeans to his father who died. Chris intended to swing in on his father's coattails. As if it were news, Chris ran biographical video obituaries one after another for weeks on end. I formed an image of Chris growing up in a household of Washington luminaries in continuous stream visiting his father. But that is wrong.

Mike Wallace is his biologic father but he did not grow up with him. Bill Leonard, CBS News president had much greater influence on him. And Chris really did earn his chops the hard way. He did not just slip in on Mike Wallace's coattails.

But all that doesn't make him any less annoying. He is confrontational, antagonistic, and he tries to corner his interlocutor. He has points that he wants made. He wants to talk about specific aspects of specific topics and he keeps steering his interviewee back into his area of interest, and not to the greater interest of the public. He is registered Democrat (for practical reasons in Washington) and it shows.

I cannot stand a moment of him. I skip past whenever he's talking to hear the person he's talking to exclusively and because of that I miss a very great deal. Too bad. I miss nice things too, like "are you reading upside down?" He catches Kudlow reading his (Chris') notes upside down.

Chris comes prepared with a chart with bogus statistics but I missed that too. I read it in comments. Apparently the numbers are exaggerated. Chris ignores China as state run command economy and not a free market system so denies tariffs can work. Everyone knows tariffs are bad. Everyone knows protectionism is bad. But that's what we have now and sometime you actually do fight fire with fire.

[Odd. Do we ever fight wind with wind, earth with earth, water with water?]

"How long is Trump willing to wage this trade war with China?"

     "Well, Chris, I imagine 3 months two weeks and four days. How am I supposed to know, you idiot?"

Does there exist a more punchable face?

Remember those pantyhose dolls? A dimple is created by pulling a thread through the stuffing and a puffy soft old person's face is created with deep creases. Glasses are placed on the face. That's what Chris Wallace's face looks like.

Second, British government propagandist interviewer for BBC, Andrew Marr does exactly what Chris Wallace does. He has his government points to drive and he drives them. He's trying to corner Farage into admitting his inconsistency by insisting he flipped his position. Farage keeps telling him, "that was then and this is now, thing happened between then and now" but Marr doesn't get out of Farage what he needs so he keeps hammering at the same line of questioning.

This interview is important because there is a seismic shift happening that's shaking up the established parties. The upcoming election is for European parliament, not British parliament, and Farage's upstart Brexit party is doing unsettlingly well.

Wallace despises Trump. But he does not despise Kudlow. Wallace is actually less confrontational than usual here with Kudlow. While Marr truly despises Farage because Farage directly threatens Marr's position as gatekeeper for government approved received wisdom.

Then, the shared speech impediment on top of everything else. If this were my chums imitating British then it'd be hilarious. Alas. It's all real.


The fireflies reminded me of Bethlehem where I caught them. You know what? When it comes to wildlife, Pennsylvania sure does have a lot of it. They have everything.

Bats, beetles, bears, bugs, rats, snakes, lizards, fish, salamanders, turtles, broad selection of birds, deer, you name it.

When we moved to Louisiana I was blown away by the exotic wildlife, armadillos, vultures, pelicans, alligators, pointed gar fish, crawdads, turtles, storks, tons of weird animals.

Back to Pennsylvania my brother told me about a nearby canal. I never saw it. Lehigh Valley Canal. Although nearby it was far for me. He walked that far away from home on his own and explored it. What a bass tard he was always ditching me. He told me it was too dangerous for me. I could slip in and drown.

And that would be terrible.

"What's it like what's it like what's it like?" I had an annoying habit of getting excited and saying things three times. No wonder he was constantly ditching me.

*turns to the side* You see, Doctor, it's why I have these lingering feelings of abandonment today.

And then years later returning to visit my grandmother I told my brother I'm still very interested in seeing it. You know, to make up for missed opportunities. Come on, a canal! Those things are historic.

He said, "The whole thing is filled with eels now. Nobody wants to actually swim in it."

"W-h-a-a-a-t ? "

"Yeah. Eels. Millions of them. Possibly five million."

And that put me off ever visiting that creepy canal.


But this is how you could fix it.

On Bitches, Broads, Dames, and Mothers of One Kind and Another

During my formative years, the words bitchy and bitching eventually made their way into my vocabulary, along with use of the verb to bitch, meaning to complain. Although I learned early on what disapproval, disappointment, disdain and disregard looked and felt like, hearing someone call another person a bitch wasn’t something I encountered until I was working as a waitress in a bar/restaurant while attending college. A woman I worked with had an ex-boyfriend who’d loudly and publicly threatened to “kill the bitch”; and one night he followed through on his threat by shooting her in the head and indeed killing her. It was rumored by those who knew her well that he’d forced her to her knees to service him at gunpoint before pulling the trigger and taking her life. There was also waiter at the restaurant who called me “dear” until I told him I had a name I’d prefer he use, and he would bandy the word “bitch” about when referring to customers and lovers who’d displeased or angered him. Other than that and a troll at Trooper York’s who lashed out at me after finding himself cornered, I’ve only heard of a few others (women who appear to abuse/misuse power such as Hillary or Kamala) referred to as such until recently, here at Lem’s, where that epithet showed up as a response in stories told about women whose behavior displeased and disappointed. Something about that response didn't sit well with me. When I traced my discomfort to back to my first experience of it, I realized it was strongly linked to abuse and disrespect in my mind. (As for the word “epithet” it took me a while to find that as well, as I knew it was out there somewhere, but kept coming up with epitaph instead which didn’t work, where epithet does.)
Broads and Dames entered my vocabulary via the record player and became associated with worldly, but semi-respectful, fun loving men who smoke, drank, and danced, all of which were not condoned in my community, though we were allowed to buy and play records. Those men appeared to embrace love and nurse broken hearts while serving their country and getting through life as best they could, and I was ok with both terms, after learning that broads were broad where a broad should be broad and there was nothing like a dame. Later in life, it was something of a surprise to break out of musical lala land and discover the bigger than life broads and beautiful dames presented in the movies and on television were in reality women with histories that often revealed early childhood abuse and trauma, along with strings of lovers and broken marriages, women who’d looked for and found meaning and admiration in acting, along with a way to survive. As for Mothers of One Kind and Another, I’ve learned to honor and accept the glory and the power a mother has and holds for good or ill. I was 32 when I became a mother and committed to enter the role and attend to the tasks and pitfalls involved to the best of my ability (which included some deficits) with results that to this day delight, surprise, intrigue and bring tears of joy to my eyes. Four years ago, on Jan 15, 2015 I wrote a poem entitled, Would I Go To Your Funeral? to express and work through the quandary I was in with regard to my relationship with my mother. In it I described my experience of her, and ended with this quote from the book that had been read at our family dinner table everyday of my life til I was fifteen. “O keep my soul and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee”. A year after that, also in January, I awoke from a dream about my mom with the words, “Go see your mother” disturbingly and clearly in mind, and when I stopped by her apartment that same day without her permission following a two year estrangement, I found her in decline, at the point of needing outside attention and intervention. For the next two years I oversaw her care along with Hospice, and on January 18, 2018, I was with her when she finally and quietly took her last breath. The morning of her funeral, I woke up with the words I wanted to share coming to mind and I, who’d almost four years to the day had previously wondered if I would go to her funeral, was able to sincerely deliver a respectful eulogy honoring her life and legacy. The journey that allowed me to stand there and speak with grace and truth, required me to work through, acknowledge and accept the meanness and unkindness along with the brokenness and beauty, self-sacrifice and self-centeredness, mothering and lack of nurture that was part of my experience of her as my mother. Behind, under, and around all that took place was the power of love, moving us both along with and without our awareness. I don’t know what to make of this, other than to be grateful for that which I do not fully understand, but receive as real and good. Beyond flowers, cards, phone calls, or dinners out; regard, respect, humor and the willingness to openly and honestly relate are the gifts that matter most to me now along with a shared awareness and appreciation for the presence, power and mystery of lovingkindness and tender mercy.

Hieroglyph owl

It means M.

And M means of ton of things.

Here, let me look in a dictionary and see what it says.

Its assigned number is G17.

G for birds, the 17th bird.

It means: through, together with, via, it, on, at, by, with, by means of, from, out of, as, namely, when, do not, take!

So then, pretty much any preposition you like, plus a couple imperatives.

And that's what makes it so doggone tricky to translate. You have to really intuit what they mean. And sometimes the potential meanings are opposites.

Plus the symbol is used endlessly in combinations with other symbols. Usually for the phoneme M. Like sign language. You see:then you think, "M," you see this owl, you think, "M."

I made a pop-up card of an Egyptian owl that left me very very diesel pointed because I was not filled with grace, nor did I draw graceful lines. I missed the key and forfeited the wisdom. 

The card sucked.

But I mailed it anyway. 

I think my brother has it. But I forget whom I inflicted it upon. They're probably thinking, "Why did he send me this piece of crap? It's not even attractive." 

It makes me want to do it again. 

I can think of a million ways. Possibly five ways. 

* Sitting on a top branch of a tree with a bird's eye view of people down there drawn on the background.

* Flying straight at you. 

* Flying as if landing and holding something like a snake or a rat.

* Sitting on top of an obelisk with hieroglyphs foreshortened on all four sides drawn on the background, and with the tops of heads and shoulders and legs of workers way down on the bottom. 

* Sitting upright tucked into branches just looking at you. As they do.

* Sitting upright with wings spread.

* Create a bunch of little owls having a party.

Before I taught myself how to do pop-up mechanisms, I did them all wrongly. I just tried to figure out how to get one side of the card to use the force of opening it to affect the other side of the card. So each thing was attached with an arm to the opposite side. The arm could be incorporated into the content. I made all kinds of weird stupid things entirely the wrong ways. One was a bunch of bugs playing instruments. Stupid instruments. A jazz band. A bug jazz band. The person who received the card loved it because it was so stupid. You open a handmade card and there is all this incredibly stupid crap in it. Bugs sitting on leaves playing banjo, washboard, trumpet and drums. That expand out of a card and then tuck back in again when it's closed. That's the real trick, getting them to close. 

I wracked my brain trying to figure it out. 

Turns out the real ways to do it are all well established and they're a million times better. Possibly five times better. 

At any rate, here's the owl card. A prototype really, but it was mailed anyway. My next one will be a lot better.

It looks like a parrot.

The hieroglyphs say "happy birthday" and the year.

See that hieroglyph 6th down on the left half? It's a woman giving birth. The 4 under it means "day."