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Oh geez, my ribs hurt...
For those who can understand...Collapse )

Um, where's Tab A and Slot B, again?

Personally, the item I particularly like is that the inventory list includes sixteen and a half of the little wooden pegs...

A performer my wife brought to mind...
Paul Hunt

Ooh, tasty!
And, continuing with the food theme, we have tonight!

Kestrel (my wife) has been on a food preservation kick recently - she gets like this when the seasons start to change. Late spring and summer are times for pickles and other hand-type snacks, and she tried out several new recipes which "came of age" tonight.

First up, a spicy carrot pickle. You see this a lot in Mexican restaurants... at least, if you go to places more sit-down than Taco Bell. Basically, you pickle carrots (usually sliced rounds, but we used peeled baby carrots) and peppers (normally jalapenos sliced lengthwise; we used those, yellow bell pepper strips to add a bit of sweetness, and a habanero - no points for guess what that adds!) along with some spices in vinegar - let it age in the refrigerator for two weeks or a month, and it's ready to go. The verdict: quite nice, with about one to one-and-a-half more stars of heat than what you normally get in a restaurant. A month was enough to soften the outer layer of the carrots, but they still had a nice, crisp crunch to the tooth.

Next, a sweet onion pickle. Basically, slivered white onions with various spices in a syrup. Again, it came out very tasty, with a bit a crispiness. I think it needs perhaps another two to three weeks in the refrigerator, though - it tastes like it could use a little maturing. Still good, but it'll improve as it goes along.

And finally, cowboy candy. Another syrup-type pickle, this time using jalapeno rings and a number of spices - cumin, cayenne, garlic, and cilantro... basically, the spices for chili-making. The stuff you get in the stores isn't bad, but let me tell you this, starting from fresh makes a difference. I'm somewhat of a chili-head - or as they consider it locally, a lunatic. To me, the cowboy candy carried by places like Trader Joe's is good as a topping for toast or the like. Well, this stuff, after a single jalapeno slice, made the inside of my ears itch and my scalp break out in a sweat! I'll tell you this for free, this is going to counter any sinus issues...

All in all, three fairly successful experiments. Yum!

Well, dinner tonight was interesting. Also, quite tasty. Homemade pizza dough, garlic alfredo sauce, with scrambled eggs, crumbled breakfast sausage, ham, and slivered onions as toppings, and a good four-cheese blend. Not traditional in any sense, but definitely pleasantly edible.

No other real purpose to this post, just kicking something out there.

FINALLY, one of them GETS it!


The man may have completely lost it, but he has realized, and VERBALIZED, something that our own media has not and may never. This is profane, raw, and agonized, but it is also TRUTH. And that last is also why it may never get any exposure in our own media.

Things I enjoy, today's edition
Somehow, I managed to score an entire two weeks off work - I still can't believe it, but only one person requested any part of the two weeks leading up to Christmas, and that was only our last day before The Day. (We as a team are allowed two people scheduled off on any given day before any further requests have to be made using personal time rather than vacation.) So, with only a month to go, I was able to schedule myself a nice two-week vacation and don't have to go back until the week after Christmas. The odds of something like this... well, it kinda makes me want to go look into a lottery ticket...

Anyway, the Boy has today - and probably tomorrow - off, so it looks like his Christmas holiday has already effectively started, thanks to Portland's "Snowpocalypse"... or, as I'm referring to it, the Winter Whimper. Honestly, not quite an inch and a half of snow and the city's populace loses its collective mind. So I'm spinning some... slightly non-traditional seasonal music (Nox Arcana's Winter's trilogy of albums) as Kestrel and I prepare a long-overdue treat for dinner tonight: my Good Ol' Texas Chili!

Thirty minutes into preparation and it already smells like this is going to be a rather memorable batch. A large yellow onion, large-chopped and sauteed, a pound of hamburger browned in the onion deglaze, the various spices and vegetables (red kidney beans, two cans of Ro-Tel, a small can of pureed jalepenos, and a half-dozen roasted, chopped mixed hot peppers), a pound and a half of coarse-cubed chuck roast seared and browned, all layered into the Crock-Pot. Add enough beef broth to bring the mixture to the right fluidity (a matter of taste, much like the quantities and types of spices), stir it together, and start the Crock-Pot on the ten-hour setting. Along about noon, I'll check how liquid it is and how the flavors are marrying and make any mid-course adjustments that might be needed, and then we'll probably wander up to the grocery store for any fixin's we might not happen to have on hand.

A nice big bowl of that (with sour cream and shredded cheddar and maybe some chopped onion), a wedge of cornbread, something appropriate to drink (depending on my mood, either a cold glass of milk, or maybe a good beer)... I like to cook because I like to eat. This is good stuff.

One new fandom, one old one - ALL these folks are great!

Mosinging, I'm particularly interested in your opinion...

This is beautiful

Ooh, I want one!

As It Was, As It Is, As It Ever Shall Be...

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

by Rudyard Kipling

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Volley and return!
Okay, mosinging1986 blamed me for dragging her back to the Les Miserables side of teh intertubes... Dangit, I'm blamin' her for kicking off a musical binge! Currently listening to the soundtrack to Phantom of the Opera, with Cats likely to be the followup. After that, I don't know. Maybe one or the other of the Amici albums, or maybe E Nomine's Das Testement. Maybe Nox Arcana. Something powerful, and probably dark - I'm just in one of those moods, where something like that appeals.

Some thoughts on age

Raising a toast to the fallen
Wow. Just got the news - David Bowie passed away, after a long battle with cancer.

So long, Ziggy Stardust. You'll be missed.

For my various employment-seeking friends...
Originally posted by kestrelcat at post

Okay, this is entertaining...

Because I realize I'm not the only one fascinated by this sort of thing...

Fascinating - particularly when you realize that this tech is about a century and a half old. Really, improvements in the cost of precision are about the only change in that time - it's much faster and cheaper for a craftsman to the small-detail work which allows a box of this complexity to be made. Could have been done a century ago, but it would have taken a master craftsman a year or more to do the work. Now, it can be done by a well-trained technician (working from a master craftsman's direction) in several hours to a couple of days.

But it's deeply interesting stuff.

More Media Stupidity - "Doctors Fight to Ban Fast Food From Hospitals — and for Good Reason"

The prize line? “Just as cigarettes are banned from hospitals, why not do the same for meat, cheese, and other junk foods?” Meat and cheese are junk foods? What does that idiot live on? Moonbeams and happy thoughts? (Now, there's an idea. Three months of that diet, and he won't be irritating the thinking people any more.)

Rampent consumerism
Just caught an article about Samsung's latest offering - a 110-inch ultrahigh definition flatscreen TV for $150,000. It took me a few minutes to work out just why the notion revolted me.

Anyone want to guess how long it'll be before we start getting articles about the guy/girl/goat who spent more on the TV than on the house it got put in?

And they're STILL making the same mistake...

And just what, you might ask, is the mistake the writer is making? A mistake, incidentally, which Yahoo! writers have been making for years.

It's quite simple. They are assuming (do you remember the cliche about that word?) that income is the same thing as wealth.

Not so. Income is, as should be plain, what comes into your possession over a given amount of time. It can be complicated in various ways, such as gross (the simple total of what you are paid, regardless of your expenses), net (what you are paid less certain expenses, such as withheld taxes and employer-provided benefits), wage income (which you are paid by an employer under contract), residual (which is paid on an ongoing basis as ideas or other intellectual property with which you are credited earns out), or investment (which can be considered the rental paid to you in return for the use of your resources). In all cases, income is a stream.

Wealth, by contrast, consists of the resources you own. This, too, can be complicated in different ways: Net worth is (in theory) the sum total of your assets (investments which either act as a storehouse of value or produce income, or both) minus your liabilities (debts you owe - not to put too fine a point on it: investments that other people have made in you). (Important digression here: one of the most frequent mistakes people make regarding net worth is to include their house as an asset. Until you have more equity in the house than is owed on the mortgage, the house is a liability, not an asset! And that equity is determined by the market, not by an adjuster, and not by your own wishful thinking!) There are several other ways of figuring wealth, but net worth is probably the most honest of them, and it's certainly more useful than most. In any case, if income is a stream, then wealth is a pool that stream flows into... or out of.

So, getting back to the original subject, what mistake is Hope Yen making, and why is it a mistake?

Quite simply, Yen is assuming (there's that word again) that someone is wealthy if they make above a certain amount - $250,000 per year, in the article. Note that this is a flow of money - income. (Also note that there is no mention of whether this is gross or net income.) The problem with this assumption is that income does not guarantee an increase in wealth. No, not even at the level of a quarter-million or more per year. If you're taking money out of your savings and investments (your wealth "pool") faster than your income puts it in, then your wealth is decreasing, no matter how much you are earning, and even if you can be considered wealthy now, you won't be in the long term.

I'm not even going to start on the errors in the "income equality" thesis in the rest of the article just yet. I'll just leave it for now with the observation that the writer's views on social justice are about as well-formed as his (her?) economic concepts.