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August 2014
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I Knew Better. . .

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But I decided to check out Saturday evening television.

First, commercials. LG apparently has a target demographic defined by idiocy. Latest LG phone commercial touts its ability to take great “pichers”. Not even “pitchers,” just “pichers.”

*gagamaggot*

Then, of course, since OTA reception here is. . . grainy and spotty to non-existent on both channels that are available OTA. . . cable. And what has Mediacom decided to do this month? “Improve” our service by moving channels all over the place and “improving” delivery of some channels to make the picture grainy to the point of almost unwatchable (but only channels we happen to find offer a few moderately interesting shows).

And then. . . the only even minimally bearable viewing offered tonight is reruns of Big Bang Theory.

Fortunately, I have plenty of books to read.

I Need This on a T-Shirt

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[Seen in a comment over at Sarah Hoyt's place--and I DO want this on a t-shirt!]

“I am a member of the White Male Patriarchy. I have places to go, and women and minorities to oppress.”

Stolen Foods

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Well, not exactly, but I did take this “not-quite-a-recipe” from Mostly Cajun, All American and Opinionated and kinda run with it.

To his “not-quite-a-recipe” I added some sucralose to taste after adding some green beans to my corn-red beans-”on-yum”-and-garbanzo mix. Actually, I took the water from my canned corn and canned green beans and added the sucralose and about a cup of balsamic vinegar, added in about a teaspoon of freshly-ground pepper and. . . ended up filling two wide-mouth quart jars to chill in the fridge.

So, building off his recipe

a can of garbanzos, drained
a can of red (kidney) beans, drained
a small can of corn (use the liquid)
can of green beans (use the liquid)
about a cup and a half of defrosted frozen green peas
some (not sure how much) chopped “on-yum” (Yum!)
coupla tablespoons of sucralose
about a teaspoon of freshly-ground black pepper
about a cup of balsamic vinegar (candy!)

I didn’t salt anything, since all the canned goods were pre-salted anyway and the balsamic vinegar is just tooooooo delicious to detract from with more salt..

This will be a staple. I just wish I’d had some wax beans handy for more color variation. . . And I might just add a few red pepper flakes, like The Cajun did.

Salsa “Notarecipe” #n, whatever

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Ever had a salsa and thought, “mmm, almost, but not quite”? Yeh, me too. I no longer search for the perfect salsa or the perfect salsa recipe, because taste is such an idiosyncratic thing.

Here’s what I currently use for my Average Joe Salsa. I pick up a so-so (actually not half bad) jar of “hot” (it is to laugh) tomato-based salsa at my fav dollar store. (Why spend more than a buck?) Pick a few small roma tomatoes and some peppers (my jalapeños are in right now) from the garden. Take some garlic, onion and the tomatoes and peppers and whir ‘em up in a food processor. Add ‘em to the cheapo salsa and, pretty darned good.

I avoid cilantro, because unless it’s cooked, it’s just nasty. I also avoid (like the plague) the salsa that’s not “Made in New York City?!?” because it’s nothing but some almost indiscernible red and green stuff added to really salty water.

But there you have it. Pick a prepared salsa that’s sorta OK and kick it up with whatever fresh ingredients float your boat. THAT’S the secret to really tasty salsa, IMO.

Good Neighbors

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The last couple of decades living here in a relatively small town (fewer than 2,000 souls populate the town) in America’s Third World County™ have been good. The first 40-*mumble* years of my life I spent mostly in metro areas ranging from a couple of hundred thousand folks to a million and more. The whole county contains around 25,000 folks, with about 60% spread out back in the hills-n-hollers-n-piney woods. . . although there are some areas with more developed farmland.

Although I’ve been leisurely nosing around for 40-80 acres to “get lost in,” just to get away from the crowding and noise of this major metropolis *snerk* where I now live, it is nice to have the neighbors I have now. Example:

Heading on down to the post office, just before the one-lane low-water crossing, a tree had downed a pretty good-sized limb. Traffic coming, I slid on by and once I rounded Joe _____’s place, I made a turn around, to come back and haul the thing off to the side of the road.

A couple of neighbors beat me to it. One was the young(ish) dad of the best kids in the neighborhood* (really!) and the other was his uncle from a bit further on down the street. They had it dragged on off to the side of the road by the time I had turned around and come back.

Good neighbors.

Now, I won’t say things like that NEVER happened in the cities I lived in, in years past, but around here, it’s just normal.

*Yeh, his 9-year-old son is the neighborhood organizer/leader. I had a basketball goal I had taken down (‘cos some drunk had driven off the road and down the hill into our yard, taking the pole out. *shrugs* Son & Heir had stopped using it a few years ago anyway). Asked him if he could use it. Said no, he already had one, but he’d ask around. Came back later with his younger brother, and they took it down to a family with kids who could use it. Another time, he was mowing some of his granddad’s property (a grassed drive beside our house leading to a large storage building just above the creek). He went ahead and mowed my front lawn, too. Uh-huh. One of those times when I had twisted my bad knee again and was using a cane. The kid notices things.

Good neighbors.

I’ll miss them when I move out to live on Goa Way, but not enough to keep me from moving, if I find the place. *heh*

Pubschool Education is in the Very Best of Hands. . .

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. . . or not.

[Names and location withheld to avert--justifiable--assault upon the guilty.]

Read/seen somewhere else. Woman happy to report via selfie that she and her friend were “Getting our nails did.”

A grade school teacher.

*sigh*

Oh, and the nail work was disgusting. Bad taste AND non-existent connection to logic and grammar. No, I wouldn’t dare “share” the pic. Why open myself up to charges of causing blindness. I had to exercise strict self-control to keep from putting my own eyes out after seeing what I can never unsee. . . The horror!

Remember: I do these things so you don’t have to.

Defining Terms #1,386

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Exhausted, wet, lost, uncomfortable, hungry and cold=”good training”. *heh*

So Many Books; So Little Time

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I’m a relatively fast reader, whether of fiction or non-fiction. With fiction, I find that I generally skim ahead of where I’m scanning, since I usually see a page or so at a time while actually scanning line-by-line. *shrugs* It took me many years to realize I was doing it, but after the initial stumblings caused by becoming consciously aware of what I was doing, I eventually just fell back into doing it absent-mindedly again.

Stories really move along for me. . . except when the author throws a wrench in the works with some subliterate crap, completely stupid description, or idiotic idea that derails my suspension of disbelief. But that’s a “whole nother post” as it were. (Excuse my use of “nother” or don’t. I DGARA. No one’s paying me to write this, you know. *heh*)

With non-fiction, another mechanism slides into play. Along with the “skim ahead” mechanism, nearly 50 years ago I began integrating the “SQ3R” (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review) technique into my non-fiction reading, and the technique has become almost second nature by now. It fits really well with my skimming facility and enhances recollection and understanding.

Add to that the lil thingy that I really enjoy doing (very) amateur word-sleuthing and “etymologizing,” and just flat know a lot of words (too much time as a youth spent reading dictionaries for fun)and can figure out most that I do not know based on familiarity with a few–mostly Romance, though one classical and a couple others–languages and the context in which a word has been used, and reading even otherwise dull tomes is fun for me. . . if they’re written by someone who is literate.

Still, even with a decent reading speed and comprehension, so very, very many books are being added daily to the potential reading list of books already written, that some winnowing skills are essential for any active reader. Here’s a rough outline of how I approach purchasing another book.

Does the subject matter, whether fiction or non-fiction, interest me. This isn’t really all that limiting, since my range of interests is pretty wide, but it does cut off some areas. Social sciences are mostly voodoo, so unless a book has a really good “hook,” I’ll give it a pass. Fiction? Oh, so-called “romance” crap is, urm, not for me. Otherwise, any genre except so-called “literary” crap will do. (I actively abhor typical “literary” works that have been shat out since somewhere around the turn of the 20th Century. Yes, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote crap. So did James Joyce. Pick any one of the other “lit-uh-rah-ree” writers of the 20th Century. Probably crap.)

So, does the subject matter interest me.

What are the first few pages like? How does page 50 read? If a book fails to come up to snuff in the first few pages, I’ll turn to page 50—just a page number I selected many years ago—and see if it’s any better. If not, buh-bye!

What are the reviews like? No, not how many raves or pans but what do the reviews actually say? If a book has many rave reviews but the reviews are hash written either by idiots who are “lit-rah-chure” snobs or illiterate boobs, I’m likely to give the book a pass. If the pans are written by either of those classes, I’m likely to give it a chance. Think about it.

Even given application that general, loose selection process, if I buy a book and try to read it but find myself unsold by anywhere from 25%-50% through, anymore I’ll just ashcan it. There’s not enough time to waste it on reading crap. Oh, if it’s BAD ENOUGH crap, I might finish it, but I’ll compile a list of the author’s sins along the way and might even post a scathing review of it, complete with mocking diatribe pointing out some of the author’s worst sins. So far, though, I have only written one review where I told the author to JUST STOP WRITING! In most reviews of badly-written books, I have stopped short of that and simply counseled those writers to enroll in remedial English courses immediately after beating any proofreaders or editors they had employed with a brickbat.

Really: I just don’t want to waste my time and energy on crappy books. I have too much else to do to pollute the 7-10 books a week I do finish with crap writing. (But when the train wreck’s horrific enough. . . heh)


Pejoration of Language is Inevitable

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But why does it always seem to stem from illiterates and liars?

Illiterates, for example, tear down useful words and phrases through simple ignorance and sometimes stupidity. An example from something I read recently will illustrate this point: “[I]t’s the exception that makes the rule.” This corruption was obviously drawn from the old adage, “The exception proves the rule,” which actually means, “The exception TESTS the rule.” The writer of “the exception. . . makes the rule” never bothered to learn what the original adage actually said and so his corruption makes at least some sort of (non)sense, based on his poor literacy.

Worse are those who wittingly corrupt words, terms and phrases to mean something opposite of their once common senses. Take for example a self-proclaimed “liberal democrat” whose words and deeds prove him to be a tyrannical statist bent on corrupting democracy.

That’s why I so often call out and condemn both illiterate and disingenuous abuse of English. “Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” as it were.

Leftists Are Anti-Science

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[By "Leftists" I mean, of course, the full spectrum of Dhimmicraps--and their Bureaucrappic minions--and all others to the left of "mainstream" Dhimmicrappic thought, Academia Nut Fruitcakes--almost all of them in the "humanities"--and at least 99.99% of the Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind.]

In every aspect of leftist propaganda–from hardcore Marxist theory to anthropogenic climate scare-ism to social “welfare” policies–leftist theories have been tested in the real world and found to be fatally flawed. Whenever I view the real world wreckage of leftist cant, I’m reminded of a Robert Heinlein comment:

“One can judge from experiment, or one can blindly accept authority. To the scientific mind, experimental proof is all important and theory is merely a convenience in description, to be junked when it no longer fits. . . “

By any honest assessment, whether one were to use Heinlein’s metric for science or Popper’s or any other honest scientist, leftist thought is anti-science.