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Life and Times of an itinerant slacker in Sacramento. Thrills, Spills Galore coming soon. Not to mention lots of opinions.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Duuuuuude! We're Like Totally Gonna Get a Pot Referendum! I'm Soooooo Stoked!!!

For sure! According to http://www.taxcannabis.org/. Presumably, they are not just blowing smoke, then again...

Although crackPots they may be, TaxCannabis filed 700,000 signatures this morning. That for all intents and purposes ensures we'll see the referendum this November. Perhaps, in the future, legalization and regulation will include closing pot sales outlets on Election Day?

Interesting - the mainstream news media has not reported on this campaign besides telling us its supporters are an isolated handful of no-account losers. Wrong Again! Let's hear it for corporate free speech. Since that's the only free speech we have left, we must cherish it.

P.S. This Santa Clarita City Councilman must be getting enough cannabis already.



The juicy part comes in the second minute. Three comments on this;

First, In the last century, at least Fascists had good posture and dressed well. What's with the grungy sweatsuit and the slouch?

Second, the learned councilman bitches about some kind of vaguely defined immigration problem. He never really says what the problem is. Nor does he propose a solution. Expulsion of illegal immigrants is not a solution when people can simply walk back across the border. Well, what did you expect to come out of a rectum?

Third, some of my Midwestern relatives confuse Northern California with Southern California. You know who you are. Santa Clarita and similar Los Angeles suburbs form the heart of Southern California. San Francisco and Silicon Valley are the heart of Northern California. Every day we have to live with embarrassments like our Governor, Proposition 8 and this yahoo.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

From The Mark Twain Archives; An Idiot Of The 33rd Degree

This old gem of a Mark Twain Letter appeared in Letters of Note. This one is definitely worth reading.

I guess Twain felt the urge to respond to a mail order solicitation for some kind of patent medicine.

Who else would write;

". . . without doubt the most ignorant person now alive on the planet; also without doubt he is an idiot, an idiot of the 33rd degree, and scion of an ancestral procession of idiots stretching back to the Missing Link."

Read, enjoy, and discuss amongst yourselves.

Don't miss the picture of Twain goofing around in Tesla's lab. How cool is that? Why does it seem like all creative persons in the 19th century hung out with each other?

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Get Out Your Official Star Fleet Space Sickness Bags

Welcome to Arcturus Prime, where the local time is. . .

Don't say I didn't warn you.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

That's Funny, You Don't Look Stewish

Since it feels like it's been cold and raining forever around here, and there was lots of football on TV yesterday, I decided to make some beef stew.It was good,and we have leftovers for lunches, once I get through the end of last week's borscht.

The stew went over pretty well with the DW and DMIL, so I consider it a success. It was a good recipe for a football day.

This recipe is a mash-up of my two favorite European stew traditions; French Beouf Bourguignonne and Irish Stew. I like the French rich wine gravy flavored with onions, garlic and browned meat, but they typical presentation of a tureen with nothing but beef, mushrooms, scallions and sauce has always been a little disappointing.

I also like the Irish tradition of chunks of potatoes and carrots cooked with the meat. However, the Anglo-Irish flavored gravy of beer and Worcester sauce has never flopped my mop.

Therefore, in the tradition of Le Concorde, I applied the principals of Anglo-Francais engineering to make the perfect stew.

Anglo - Francais stew

You can do all the cooking in one stew pot,except for dredging the bef.

Start with about three pounds of stew meat. I bought a thick round roast on sale and cut it into lean cubes about one inch on each edge.

Dredge the beef cubes in about 1/4 cup flour,1 teaspoon salt, and a little pepper. Dredge in batches and brown the meat in small batches in the stew pot. Use a small amount of olive oil for each batch to scantly cover the bottom of the pot. A brown crust should form on the bottom of the pot. Set the browned meat aside.

Dice one large onion and 3 mince three large cloves of garlic. Gently saute or sweat in the pot with a little more olive oil. I probably used about1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in total, for the beef and onions.

Add about one cup of wine and three bay leaves to the pot and deglaze. Add the meat and enough wine to cover the meat. I ended up using a little more than 1/2 bottle. I used Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon, quite a bargain at two bucks.

Simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. I poked the beef chunks with a cake tester to decide that two hours was enough.

Add chopped potatoes, chopped carrots and chopped mushrooms. Add enough water to cover the now giant stew, and Cook for an additional half hour, or until the vegetables are tender. That's it!

I didn't measure the taters or carrots. I kept on shupping into generous chunks until it looked like I had "enough". I used red potatoes and smallish fresh carrots, both from the farmers market. I used an eight ounce package of sliced mushrooms from the grocery store.

I served this for dinner, along with some freshly baked Bisquick biscuits. The recipe requires 2 1/4 cups Bisquick and 2/3cup milk, however I had to add about an extra 1/4 cup of Bisquick to get a dough suitable for kneading and rolling.

The stew and biscuits made a great winter dinner, despite the conspicuous lack of green vegetables.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

KPLAH!!! I am Influential Yet Lame

I am influential:

Yesterday's post has already shaken the establishment from top to bottom.

Well within 24 hours, The President has responded by all-of-a-sudden demanding real banking regulations.

I am as powerful as Demosthenes and Locke

I am lame:

Our main home computer is in the shop. After implementing the latest Windows Update, I am getting the impenetrable Blue Screen of Death. The computer is in the shop for a few days. Thank goodness and a loyal reader for the Netbook.

In a way, I am glad to go without the computer for a few days. We've been spending too much time messing on computers lately. Maybe this computer glitch will benefit us by acting as the Bodhisattva of reality (versus "videality").

In the intermediate term, now tht Windows 7 seems to be working out, it may be time to explore upgrading our five year old computer. Or, I'll just become a Luddite. That option gets more and more difficult over time' as I only rarely stumble across a Frame worth Breaking.

That's mys story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What's The Matter With Boston?

The leadership of the Democratic party has spent much of the last two decades wringing their hands about why Americans everywhere don't line up to vote for them.

The best example of this thinking is the book What's The matter With Kansas. The book is pretty interesting, although somewhat dated at this point. The main thrust of the books is answering the question, "How can middle - America be so stupid as to not support the Democratic party?"

It's time to ask "What's The Matter With Boston?". Perhaps it's time to ask, "How can the Democratic party be so stupid that they drive voters toward a truly mediocre Republican candidate. . . ?". We can fine some answers in Boston.

Here's a nifty quotation from First-Massachusetts-Senate-race loser-in-three generations Coakley;

" As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands? she fires back, in an apparent reference to a Brown online video of him doing just that. This is a special election. And I know that I have the support of Kim Driscoll. And I now know the members of the [Salem] School Committee, who know far more people than I could ever meet."

From Boston.com

In my mind, this speaks volumes. Somehow, the Democratic party has decided that as long as you satisfy the People Who Matter, you can feel free to ignore all those unwashed losers out there. Nice. As long as you have the School Board and the Mayor of Boston in your pocket, you can feel free to ignore everyone else.

Although this seems like incredibly stupid political thinking, I fear the current Administration is drinking from the same Smiley-faced KoolAid pitcher.

Look at the so-called healthcare reform. As long as the insurance unemployed Americans will be forced to buy from the insurance industry is good enough for the Insurance Executives Who Matter (meaning no price control and limited competition), certainly it's good enough to cram down everyone else's throat. Look what they promised in the campaign. Not quite what Congress is debating these days. How many of these promises have you heard about since the election?

Look at the Financial Reform Legislation (Oh dear dear dear, there is no Financial Reform Legislation). The administration is talking about a weaktit penalty on rapacious bonuses, but obnly after they saw peasents rummiging in their barns, looking for pitchforks. Too little too late. Nothing has changed, because the way it is today (they get the profit, taxpayers get the losses) is good enough for the Financial People Who matter.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm In Love With The Modern World

Got my PC on.

I am watching the Vikings V Cowboys Playoff game and going back and forth on Facebook with Kathleen's cousin who is a SSGT with the USAF in a far away location I will not disclose at the moment. When I moved to Britian in 1990, it was like jumping off the edge of the world. This is better.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My "Better Than Goats Head Soup" Borscht Recipe

Here's my borscht recipe that's almost as weird - looking as Goats Head Soup, but a heck of a lot tastier, and less likely to cause hairballs. By the way, this link is great nutjob website.

This recipe is based on an Austrian recipe. I never liked the Russian and Ukrainian borschts as much as this. I am not a big fan of dill.

Better than Goats Head Soup borscht

Peel and thinly slice:

1 carrot
1 pound raw beets
1 potato

Simmer until tender in

1 quart beef broth.

In a soup pot, saute

1 large onion in

2 Tablespoons olive oil.

Add the broth to the onions (set simmered vegetables aside).

Add

18 ounces chopped raw cabbage
16 ounce can chopped tomatoes and liquid.

Simmer for about an hour.

Add

sauteed vegetables
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar.

Simmer another 1/2 hour.

Eat hot with bread and butter.

This soup might not "lure young people to serve Satan", but heavens it's tasty.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Martha's Disciplined Cole Slaw

I like cole slaw, so I made some today.

I'll give you my favorite recipe, so you can like cole slaw too.

First, the background. I am definitely a vinaigrette dressing boy when it comes to cole slaw. Creamy cole slaw does nothing for me, besides cause indigestion.

After much research last summer, the closest thing I could find to a recipe I might like was on MarthaStewart.com, of all places. Although close to acceptable, her recipe requires champagne vinegar and coarse sea salt. I wanted to give Martha a chance, until I realized that no one near me sells champagne vinegar (that's really an accomplishment since aI live a couple of blocks from Whole Foods). I recall reading an article in Cooks Magazine where their experts couldn't differentiate between posh sea salt and cheap table salt in dressings and cooked dishes. Martha was showing a lack of discipline.

I took Martha's recipe, and gave it some much needed discipline. I made that Girlie-man of a recipe beg for mercy. I guarantee this cole slaw will not run crying to its mommy at the sight of a playground bully. But seriously, folks, the recipe is is delicious.

Martha's Disciplined Cole Slaw

Dressing

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
6 Tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons salt

Whisk the dressing ingredients together.

Thinly slice

1 head of cabbage

add

1 grated carrot

Toss and let sit covered and refrigerated for at least 5 hours or overnight.

I like cole slaw and this is easier than Emo Phillip's recipe.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The Kraut of the Nibelung


Today is a good day for borscht, and I promised to bring cole slaw to an event tomorrow. Cabbage is required. No problem, thanks to the Sacramento Farmers Market near my house.

Never willing to settle for the mediocre, I chose the Kraut of the Nibelung. It probably didn't hurt that all cabbages were $1.50, regardless of size. This six-pound bundle of joy worked out to $.25 per pound.

Unfortunately, as with all things of our transient world, the cabbage came to its end.


Always remember the sacrifice made by the Kraut of the Nibelung.

He died for our digestive regularity.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Obama to Appalachia - We Don't need no Stinkin Mountaintops

The bifurcation between what this administration says and what it does challenges even the most cynical.

The administration keeps on issuing permits for more mountaintop removal mines, despite scientific evidence of it's dangers and its lackluster economic justification. This is a classic case of the Federal Administration faced with the dilemma of supporting the Public good or corporate greed. Looks like the Big O's administration has its thumb on the corporate greed side of the scale. I was wondering how much money Big Coal actually pays for it's pernicious influence. Apparently, Congress is pretty cheap these days. However, buying a judge will cost you a little more.

Wasn't this the bold new administration that was going to use facts rather than faith in the inherent goodness of the maximal corporate profits to lead America to a great future? Oops, guess not.

In addition to the Obama, WTF?, The DailyKos article and its links reveal an interesting subculture of Appalachian folks who are sick and tired of all this.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Package Travel for the New Economy

Recession getting you down? Can't afford those sumptious vacations you know you deserve? No problem, now that you can take the Hobo Tour.

For a mere "Price will be negotiable" an anonymous Craigslist poster will "take you away from this crazy fast paced life and slow things down. We will read and breath easy day and night. You will learn to look at things differently and you will see a side of life that you can only read about in books. This trip will give you a whole new perspective on your life and others, it will be fun too."

I don't know what's holding me back.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Does Google Dream of Electric Sheep?

Turns out it isn't only third world indigenous cultures that are at risk of corporate thieves stealing their cultural identity.

Philip K Dicks's family are going after Google for its questionable expropriation of the name "Nexus Android". Google is using this name for the hooptiedoo cellphone they introduced yesterday.

Interesting that Verizon felt it necessary to get permission from George Lucas to call it's competing phone "Droid".

Might Google be showing the early symptoms of a bad case of Yahoobris?

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Q: What Happens When You Abandon Your Principles?

A: Your Principals abandon you.

Even when you get to be President, I guess the urge to abandon your principles in a pathetic attempt to be the "most popular boy/girl" just accelerate.

Interesting that when you abandon your Principles, your Principals start abandoning you.

Look what Chair Pelosi had to say about President Obama today:





Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31180.html#ixzz0bqz4OMiF

The most striking comment, " (snark, sneer)There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail, (titter, titter,hee, hee)" quipped Pelosi, who has no intention of making the deliberations public.

Given the Being and Nothingness of this administration's so - called leadership of the Democratic Party, it's no wonder that so many Democratic Legislators are jumping ship like a pack of rats. Who in their right mind would be willing ask his family to stand up to a poo-slinging campaign to win the good fight and return to Washington to advocate absolutely nothing, and be ignored while Joe Leiberman's every whim is fulfilled?

Note to Nancy Pelosi - Giggling is not attractive.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Friday, January 01, 2010

It's 2010, So Where's My Jet Pack?

It's 2010 already, rapidly approaching 50 AMB (After My Birth), and 9 AM (After Monolith). No jet packs, no personal hovercrafts, no robot maids (that's right, folks, the Roomba doesn't count. Rolling on the floors and bouncing into walls is not cool, no Beavis, it sucks.) Life around here looks nothing like the Jetsons.

I wanted a jet pack, and all I got was a Jet Li movie on the internet. If I was willing to pay the roughly $100 per month for an Iphone, I could watch reruns of Gilligan's Island online.

WARNING, WILL ROBINSON, The link in the next paragraph is NSFW!

However, I do have to admit that we have way better access to porn (NSFW)than even the craziest pervy voyeur from 1960 could have imagined in his his wildest fantasies. How about them apples?

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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I must enjoy shouting into a vacuum, but I think about getting my act together one of these days. My mom says I am very handsome and intelligent.

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