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November 2014
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The Natives Are Restless. . .

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While the savages in Ferguson and elsewhere demonstrate why ordinary folks hold them in contempt, I’m once again glad I live in America’s Third World County™, where there may be violence from time to time, but usually limited to one-on-one (and at least one of the participants was askin’ for it). There’s quite a bit of gunfire, but it’s usually limited to the range, the deer (or other game) woods, and occasionally shots fired at someone who’s askin’ for it (trespassing, attempted burglary/robbery–usually out in the country where it’s REALLY stupid to try, cos if the 00 shot doesn’t get you, the landowner’s dogs will).

It’s nice to live somewhere with the virtues of civilization and few(er) of its vices.

Keep it in the X-ring, folks!

In the Very Best of Hands

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Because my Wonder Woman is a pubschool librarian, she gets all kinds of catalogs from all over. One that hit the circular file pretty quickly was for products for sale to state and other public employees and organizations from the state correctional department. (By state law, only public employees and organizations can buy products made by state-owned slave labor.)

The catalog’s cover boldly states

“If Your [sic] Looking For Hot Deals. . . “

At all levels, local, state, national, our governments are in the very best of hands. . .

I’m surprised this hasn’t happened to Capitol Hill.

Is It Just Me?

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Anyone else annoyed (to the point of having your gizzard chapped *heh*) by speakers and especially by writers who use the plural pronouns, “them, they, their” in place of “he or she, him or her, his or hers” whenever they simply want to obscure–or simply not specify–the sex of the (singular!) person to whom they refer?

I view such usage as lazy and cowardly. Use gendered pronouns whenever possible. Chap idiots’ gizzards.

Getting to be that time of the year, again.

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Yep. This time next week I’ll be on my second day of irritating everyone around me with almost nonstop Xmas music.1 *heh* Oh, I’m adding to the nearly two days’ worth of nonstop Xmas playlists I have already, so at least folks will have plenty of variety to irritate ‘em. ;-)

Added so far this year: Another Canadian Brass Xmas album; a 2-hour “fireplace video” playlist featuring pop/Xian Xmas songs sung by Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and others (easy YouTube download, that one); And Winter Came (Enya–via Amazon Prime Music); A Family Christmas (The Piano Guys–Amazon Prime Music, again); Gregorian Christmas (APM);
Irish & Celtic Christmas Music: Folk Classics (APM); and, oh, about 20 other albums.


1Well, “almost nonstop” if I can get my lips fixed, since I have whistled tunes for years when apart from other instruments or playback devices. For the first time in almost six decades, my “whistling”capability seems to be broken. *shrugs* May have something to do with a low-grade infection I’ve been fighting for a while now, but I can’t get the same flexibility or range–or even fine tuning–I’ve been used to for almost all my life. The tinitus has pretty well cut out playing other instruments, so whistling was about what I had left. Oh, well. . . so it goes.

I’m Far Too Accommodating

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I had someone on FarceBook ask for a better pic of me than my profile pic. (I can only wonder why. . . nah, that’s too much work. Don’t care why.) So, before anyone else asks, should there ever be anyone else who wonders what I look like nowadays (again, why?), here ya go (clipped from a Candid Capture). Don’t ask again, Mystery FB-er. *heh* I don’t have any better pics available.

me-cc-02

A Baked Potato Salad

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Baked Potato Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Side dish
Cuisine: Good Eats
 
A potato salad made from chilled baked potatoes
Ingredients
  • Cold Baked Potato Salad
  • 3 large baked potatoes, cooled, peeled and cubed
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I use the precooked kind)
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 green onions, sliced and then chopped (green part only)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 dash celery salt or 1 dash seasoning salt
  • 1 dash garlic powder
  • 1 dash paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (optional)
Instructions
  1. Gently stir together all the ingredients in a large bowl using a large spoon, reserving a little cheddar, green onion and bacon for garnish.
  2. Transfer to a serving dish.
  3. Top with reserved shredded cheddar, green onion slices and bacon crumbles for a beautiful presentation.

 

Now, that’s the way I found this recipe, and it looks OK as is, but I can’t ever leave well enough alone. So. . .

How about some dill or mustard (prepared) or mustard powder mixed with the mayo and sour cream? And why not chop and add some bread and butter pickles, too? Frankly, a little chopped celery would be nice, I think.

Just consider this recipe as I did when I saw it: a base recipe to vary to taste for your own use. Heck, I’d marinate the cubed potatoes overnight in a vinaigrette. Several research papers suggest that would increase resistant starch levels in the potatoes and be beneficial in moderating post-prandial blood sugar levels. Besides, if a tasty apple cider vinegar or even tastier balsamic vinegar were used (of course balsamic vinegar would affect the color of the potatoes), it’d be even tastier.

Haven’t tried the recipe (or my suggested variants) yet, but I am sure to do so soon. I’ll report back with “supplicants'” responses. *heh*


Here’s another one, similar but perhaps tastier from the get-go:

5 lbs potatoes, cooked and cubed (about 9-10 medium potatoes)
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups sour cream
5 tablespoons melted butter
1 -1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or to taste, or use white salt)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 -5 green onions, chopped
1 small onion, finely
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, finely cubed (or coarsley shredded)
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (or to taste)
2 cups finely chopped cooked ham (or use cooked chopped chicken or turkey) (optional)

1 TO SERVE HOT AS A CASSEROLE; grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish (or use a casserole dish that will hold the mixture).
2 Set oven to 350 degrees F.
3 In a large bowl, mix mayonnaise, sour cream and melted butter, garlic powder, seasoned salt and black pepper until well combined.
4 Mix in green onion and yellow onion.
5 Add in the cooked cubed potatoes, cubed cheese and ham (if using) mix with a large spatula until well combined.
6 Transfer/spread the mixture to prepared casserole dish.
7 At this point you may cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours until ready to bake.
8 Bake 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
9 Remove from oven and sprinkle the grated cheddar on top; return to oven and bake 5-8 minutes more or until the cheese has melted.
10 TO SERVE AS A COLD POTATO SALAD; make as stated in steps 3-5 reducing the melted butter to 2 tablespoons.
11 Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or more before serving.

 

 

Some Non-Random Musings on the Current Scene

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N.B.: I frankly DGARA about foreign affairs, except where developments might have a local effect because of “feddle gummint” stupidities or deliberately malicious intent (toward citizens) in policies. So, by “current scene” you can expect me to comment on what was once quaintly known as “the home front,” for the most part.

Today’s topic: Censorship, “feddle gummint” skulduggery, Sharyl Atkkisson, First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and a possibly appropriate citizens’ response.

By now, anyone with at least one firing neuron who’s not been living under a rock knows that our dear “gummint” placed spying software on Sharyl Atkkisson’s computers. Anyone in denial about the runaway skulduggery in effect in nearly every agency of the “feddle gummint” is either delusional or a part of (or expects to benefit from) the underhanded, nefarious, unscrupulous behavior that seems to now be the norm for “feddle gummint bureaucraps.” Heck, even the WaPo is “viewing with alarm” the appallingly stupid, criminal “feddle gummint” spying on a journalist.

If the feds can do it to her, they can do it to you. “Evidence” of “computer crimes” on ANYONE’S computers is now subject to The Sharyl Atkkisson Caveat: if the feds can plant things on her computer, who’s to say they didn’t plant stuff anywhere else they wanted to?

From now on, any claims by the “feddle gummint” to have found “evidence”–of ANYTHING–on a citizen’s computer should be loudly and raucously mocked.

Citizen response? So far, just the usual “view with alarm” stuff like the WaPo article. Sound and fury, etc. What would be appropriate, I think would be for a “vigilance committee” of patriotic hacker citizens to engage in a “Manhatten Project”-style effort to crack open every government computer system possible and flood the net with everything they want to hide from us. Snowden? He should be so far back he wouldn’t even be visible in the rear view mirror. Of course, it could happen that _some_ secrets could be minimally detrimental to national security, but I seriously doubt there are many such. Most “national security” secrets are more than likely just bureaucratic turf building/protecting.

Sadly, I do not have the skills necessary to make a contribution to the effort, and nor do I any longer have an audience/readership to influence toward that effort, since my work to remake this blog into nothing more than exercise space for “the voices in my head” has borne fruit. *heh*

In further mind-boggling abuses of rights supposedly protected under the First Amendment, while a student who is a Sikh has rightly received a pass on carrying a knife (“ceremonial dagger”) in pubschool, for religious reasons, Christian students who carry or read their Bibles, share their faith with other students or who are seen or heard praying or even just expressing opinions informed by their faith are continually oppressed. (Sure, schools pretty regularly lose in lawsuits over this, but the push against Christians practicing their religion in a pubschool setting is regularly, improperly, assaulted).

And cognitive dissonance never sets in with the left, because. . . it requires cognition? *sigh*

Reality-Based Fantasy, or Lies, Damned Lies and Politics

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One of the things that most disturbs me about politics nowadays is the consistent brutality politicians and Hivemind Podpeople (but I repeat myself; Mass MEdia Hivemind Podpeople are just political operatives with bylines *sigh*) perpetrate upon language and reason by means of corrupting terms. For example, there are very (very) few “conservatives” who espouse anything even remotely resembling conservative values or policies, and there are even fewer “liberals” who have any even remote connection to liberal values or policies. (Democrats who continually try to poison democracy by vitiating voting integrity commit vile calumny of democracy by claiming “democratic” principles, for example.)

My mind was “tainted” as a lad when both my extended family of pastors and theologians and historians, and my readings of Aquinas, Mill, and many others led me to think that calling things by honest terms is really the only way to approach finding true things, and that finding that which is true is a Very Good Thing.

Nowadays, in politics, The Hivemind (in all its forms), in the groves of Academia Fruitcake Bakeries, etc., lies in the form of words used to cloak their opposites are the norm.

Consider a fair definition of “speech codes” often in effect on so-called “liberal” campuses, nowadays,

“. . .a “speech code” [is] any university regulation or policy that prohibits expression that would be protected by the First Amendment in society at large. Any policy—such as a harassment policy, a protest and demonstration policy, or an IT acceptable use policy—can be a speech code if it prohibits protected speech or expression.

“Many speech codes impermissibly prohibit speech on the basis of content and/or viewpoint. An example of this type of policy would be a ban on “offensive language” or “disparaging remarks.” Other speech codes are content-neutral but excessively regulate the time, place, and manner of speech. A policy of this type might limit protests and demonstrations to one or two “free speech zones” on campus and/or require students to obtain permission in advance in order to demonstrate on campus.”

As against such statements as these from the prototypical classic liberal, John Stuart Mill:

“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. . .

“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”
~ John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

Mill, in his essay, “On Liberty” expands on the very principles the Founders sought to carve into the law of the land. Interestingly, Edmund Burke, the prototypical English conservative recognized that the Founders were expressing their understanding of the rights of individuals within the framework of conservative values. (“Conciliation with the Colonies,” March, 1775)

GENUINE liberalism and GENUINE conservatism BOTH hold free speech to be a cardinal liberty, due protection by the state. So-called “liberals” nowadays most certainly do not (though they lie and say they do), and many so-called “conservatives” today are not much better.

One can simply list fundamental individual rights and go down the list checking off those that so-called “liberals” genuinely demonstrate support for or that so-called “conservatives” genuinely attempt to protect and find little in the way of liberal efforts to support expression of individual rights or conservative efforts to protect existing expression of individual rights. What one is more likely to find is both camps saying they are doing so while really simply trampling individual rights in the process of creating privileged classes.

I really tire of these lying scum. One suspects such behavior would only be amenable t amelioration by means of citizens’ vigilance committees bringing back tar and feathers. Like that’s gonna happen. . . *sigh*

Try This at Home. No, Really.

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This is another in my collection of “not quite right” non-recipes. Make of it what you will.

Had no hoisin sauce, and nor did I have all the ingredients to whip up a batch, so I decided to wing it and approximate something in the neighborhood of a hoisin sauce. . . sort of.

What I did:

Combined:

  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (because I had only a smidgin’ of soy sauce on hand)–This is the single most significant departure.
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (‘cos I had no soy paste or black bean paste on hand and didn’t want to hassle with cooking some black beans, making paste, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (cos I’m out of honey and my molasses is reserved for other things)
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • One garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder (I don’t usually use onion powder, but it works for this)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (right: out of sesame oil)
  • About 2 tablespoons of Melinda’s Jalapeño Ketchup (better than just a few drops of hot sauce, IMO)
  • About “8 grinds” of black pepper
  • 5 prunes. Just because.

. . .in food processor until smooth. Pretty good. Not “real” hoisin sauce, but it’s usable as a substitute, IMO, so. . . I used it in a crockpot five-spice pork recipe. (Yeh, there were more ingredients in the recipe I needed this for, like a 2.5lb pork roast, a couple of teaspoons of five-spice, some apple cider, the soy sauce I had on hand, a large onion, quartered and pieced out, and some carrots and potatoes dumped on top of the whole thing. Woulda included some celery stalks, but I forgot I had ‘em. *shrugs* At least I left the kitchen sink out.)

TH
he only thing I’d do differently would be to change the order of loading in the veggies. Carrots on bottom, onions and then potatoes. That way, the potatoes wouldn’t soak up quite as much of the liquids/seasonings. Other than that, 12 hours on low produced a really, really delicious pork (shredded for “sammiches”–it just fell apart) and the potatoes, onions and carrots were very tasty.