July 30, 2006

Catlle Thief

The way they usually get caught is that they get the branding wrong.

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July 29, 2006

And Furthermore

What, exactly, is the official specified use of a gunny sack?

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Bean Salad with a Kick

The wee wifey found the recipe in Country Woman magazine. She is in fact pretty much of a country woman, for a lifelong city dweller who rejects my notion of moving to blue mailbox country. She made some revisions based on our tastes and inventory, and that is the form in which it is posted.The maagazine said it would serve six but the 2 of us went thru it all in 24 hours.

1 can kidney beans -- (16 ounces) rinsed and drained
1 can red beans -- (15-1/2 ounces) rinsed and drained
1 can black beans -- (15-1/2 ounces) rinsed and drained
1/2 bunch minced fresh cilantro -- stems not included
1 1 tsp ground jalepeno pepper
1/2 bunch green onions -- sliced
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup or jalapeno vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt -- or 1 TBSP garlic powder

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Toss to blend. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

This recipe is really a framework on which many variations can be built. For example, the black beans were my suggestion, and took the place of blackeyed peas. Any sort of canned beans except the wax ones which ruin so many bean salads could be used, and once the cool season gets here the hardcore could start with dried beans and do the whole simmer thing.

The original called for 1 jalapeno pepper -- seeded and chopped* but she'd already done that once this week for a batch of fresh salsa. The powdered jalepeno gave just the right heat for us. Other options for the heat component include smoked paprika or chili powder (or Penzey's heatless chili con carne seasoning if you are entertaining wusses).

The jalepeno vinegar was homemade. All of last year's end of season closeout peppers were cut into rings, and have been steeping in a gallon of cider vinegar ever since. The original simply called for cider or red wine vinegar and she also considered using her homemade garlic vinegar

*When cutting or seeding hot peppers, use rubber or plastic gloves to protect your hands. Avoid touching your face or other sensitive body parts.


We made another batch, in anticipation of Sunday company. I experimented with the smoked paprika, and at 1-1/4 teaspoons it was starting to make an interesting contribution to the flavor. For more adventurous palates than those I seasoned this batch for, one might continue adding and tasting.

It occurrs to me that diced bell pepper would be a suitable addition, especially in assorted colors. Diced regular onions, sweet or sharp, could be substituted, but the green ones really seem right.

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July 28, 2006

Team Spirit

One of my coworkers is an Oneida who grew up on what he refers to as "The Rez". We asked him today how he feels about athletic teams using Indian names and mascots. He told us the only way he might consider it an insult is if they are losing.

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July 27, 2006


Ann Althouse does a partial deconstruction of a commonly used word, but doesn't take it all the way. If a person is repressible, doesn't that necessarily mean he has already been pressed?

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There's a big uproar right now in which people are asserting that Israel's response to Hezbollah's efforts to destroy the nation are not proportionate. This is just silly. Any response is proportionate. The only subject for debate is what is an appropriate proportion. You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. They send one of yours to the hospital, you send one of theirs to the morgue. That's the Chicago way.

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Advantage Abandoned

M&Ms can now melt in your hand, without the need to hold on to them for an hour as my brother once did.

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July 23, 2006

The Name Grain

Having an obscure commodity as a nickname has its disadvantages, but at the moment I'm glad I didn't go with the less obscure one which I would have used as a CB handle had I ever had a reason for a CB handle back in the day.

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Confusion For The Day

I wandered into the upstairs living room, and Mr. Chin was there, watching golf, of all things, on the big TV Emrack had left behind. Tiger Woods sunk an elegant putt for another birdie, and I made a remark about competetive advantage. The foster nephew started into an incoherent, f-word laced rant about people who think they are special because they read Nitschke. I jokingly asked him if he meant the Nitschke who had said "That which does not kill you makes you stronger." He said "Yeah, that Nitschke," and resumed the ncoherent, f-word laced rant. He obviously didn't mean this Nitschke, but it turns out he didn't mean this one either. He in fact meant Neitzche, and was not pleased to have the difference pointed out.

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July 22, 2006

Lifesaving News

I have long believed the popular conceit that "High School is the best time of your live" is one of the root causes of teen suicide, as it leaves those for whom it is far from true with no hope for the future. This study, which I would have missed had not Norm not linked it, should be heralded far and wide.

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July 21, 2006

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

I'm back to work, and thus back on the road. We've put close to 5,000 miles on the rental car in the last three weeks, covering Southeast Wisconsin from Kenosha to Green Bay and as far west as Waterloo. I've been pretty good about snacking, bringing ziplocks of sunflower kernals and sport bottles of iced tap water, but taking comfort stops in gas stations means exposure to lots of junk food. The other day up in Lomira (there is a particularly cranky cell site up there) my eye was caught by a wrapped slice of something labeled as cream cheese cake. As I guessed, it proved to be a pound cake, and a tasty one at that. I mentioned it to the wee wifey, and she pulled some recipes out of her data base and added her special touches. The resulting cake was even better.

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups butter - softened
3 cups white sugar
6 eggs - separated
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons McNess Wonder Flavor - or substitute 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) grease and flour a 10 inch tube or Bundt pan. Place a Pyrex pan full of water on the bottom shelf.
In a large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks one at a time. Beat in the flavoring. Beat in the flour.
In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain. Pour into pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Check for doneness at 1 hour. A toothpick inserted into center of cake will come out clean.

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July 19, 2006

And Another Dumb Sticker

Send our kids to college not to Iraq
Setting aside the fact that calling anyone older than about fifteen a "kid" is an insult, do the producer and displayer of this believe that people of college/combat age are being sent to one of the other location without any of their own volition involved? There is no military draft in this country, in part because it proved not to produce effective soldiers. If there were such a thing as a college draft, I would not expect it to produce effective students.
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July 18, 2006

USMC Question

OK, youse shitbirds, explain this to me. If, as I understand it, this is your rifle and this is your gun, one is for killing and one is for fun, what, exactly, are a gunny's duties?

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July 16, 2006

Marauding Marsupial

The Speculist has a post in which he mentions the Thylacine. Sounds like the name of a drug, but unlike the bromo-dragonfly it is indeed an animal, and interestingly, one which might not be extinct.

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100% Of Nothing

Venomous Kate put it perfectly when she linked the story in one of her asides:

Yet another Sony proprietary tech looks ready to bite the dust. Will they ever learn?
One of the commenters to the core story noted that Sony had already made this mistake 15 times. I hadn't been aware of most of them, but the saga of Beta in the home videotape should have been enough to teach them the lesson. The Beta recording format has significant technical strengths compared to VHS (I know film buffs who cling to it and it is still used on different tape for professional applications) and could have ruled the market if sold correctly. The Sony Corporation could have had 30% of the market for their own and a pittance of royalty from the rest. Instead they are currently keeping all of the profits from the sale of no Beta home video products.

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July 15, 2006

Eesy Cheasy Potatoes

This recipe comes from our foster niece, sister to NP et al. She makes this for the holidays but we had it for dinner earlier this week. Very easy and very, very good. She clipped the recipe from somewhere, but she can't remember where.

5 to 6 medium red or yellow potatoes, sliced thinly (5 or 6 cups)
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
8 oz shredded cheese (2 cups)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to
9 hours. Serves 4; more at an event with other side dishes. When we all get together a double batch is standard. The recipe per Beppy calls for process American cheese. My standards call for sharp chedder. Anything in between, or the new-fangled shredblends, would also work.

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July 14, 2006

Quote For The Day

If you want to get connections you have to do stuff under the desk.
That's from the project engineer I'm working with, while he was hooking up my laptop to the network so that he could download the data I've collected.
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July 12, 2006

But That Trick Never Works

Wretchard Fernandez, in a comment to his own post, says that

This seems to be al-Qaeda's favorite idea, that starting a war between everyone and everyone will result in a Global Caliphate. It's an eschatological idea; that to bring on the furnaces of Armaggedon will leave them in charge of the earth.
This was supposedly Charlie Manson's motive for the Tate-LoBianca murders, to inspire a race war which would produce a mess only Charlie could lead people out of. It didn't work then, and it isn't working now.

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July 10, 2006

Noah Vail

Mister Free Market tells the tale (not, properly speaking, a fairy tale) of trying to build a flood-worthy ark under modern-day conditions. Note that he doesn't even address what would happen were Noah to justify the project on the basis that G-d told him to build it..

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Coded Language

Now that we are settled into a place where she doesn't need to climb stairs once she gets inside, the wee wifey has being preperation for the long-ignored knee replacement. During the preliminary visit, the nurse collecting her vitals asked whether she feels safe where she lives. The answer "Of course not" totally non-plussed the nurse even after herself pointed out that we "stay by" 27th and Vliet at the edge of da 'hood. After some back and forthing the nurse finally explained that this wasn't some sort of survey of the city but an opening for discussion of abusive relationships. The nurse would no doubt have been nonplussed again if she learned that I was told on my wedding night that the response to my first act of abuse would be delivered after I fell asleep, with a hammer, and nonplussed yet again to learn that I was mystified as to why this even needed to be mentioned.

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July 09, 2006

Sweeps Month

I guess it isn't too late to post this link. It appears to be exactly what I've been seeking. This other one won't deal with the warpage issue.

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Make Me A Milk Shake

Be careful what you sue for. You just might get it.

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July 08, 2006

Viniger Barbecue Sauce

Here's another barbecue sauce recipe the wee wifey sent me. It's a lot simpler than last weeks, and will not be as unusual outside of its home territory of North Carolina.

2 c Cider vinegar
2 T Sugar or brown sugar
2 t Salt
1 t Fresh ground black pepper
1 t Cayenne or hot red pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to dissolve
the sugar. Serve at room temperature or chilled. The sauce keeps

The instructions she found are not complete. First of all, the ingredients should be combined at least a day ahead of time so the viniger has a chance to absorb them. The serving instructions merely hint at the fact that this is a finishing sauce to be served with slow-grilled meat, rather than to be used while cooking. If you wish to use it that way, omit the sugar. This results in the Eastern North Carolina hog baste. In the western part of the state, conversely, they add ingredients, starting with ketchup and sometimes including mustard, whatsthishere sauce, liquid smoke or grilled onions. If you really want to get creative, we're experimenting these days with smoked sweet paprika. Substituting it for the cayenne pepper would be subtler than throwing in that smoke stuff that always talks back to me.

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July 04, 2006


We respect those who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, but if you mention cold dead fingers people think you are some kind of a kook.

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July 01, 2006

Quote For The Day

"An industry's prosperity cannot be decided by law"
Beyond making the point it sets out to, the statement from which it comes also addresses the distinction between government-created money and enterprise-created value and wealth which is totally beyond the comprehension of a commenter to this post.

By the way, those who believe as Chet does that the Treasury Department gives money value by creating it should consider Zimbabwe's inability to pay for paper and ink with which to print more worthless bills, as it is rooted directly in such a misunderstanding of economics.

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I've often heard it said that diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggie" while looking for a heavy stick. What isn't usually mentioned is that some people use the word to mean saying "nice doggie" while your leg is being chomped.

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White Barbecue Sauce

Altho I'm as much into cooking (if not baking) as she is, my wee wifey is far more into recipes. Her recipe mailing lists have more subscribers than the Recipe Carnival has readers (at least according to my Sitemeter). I'm one of her subscribers, and some of the recipes I've posted I originally found thereby. I have to credit her with spotting this one and bringing it to my attention. Outside of its home territory of Alabama white barbecue sauce will serve quite nicely to disconcert your guests, but I can report that it has gone over well with even the narrow-palated of the extended household.

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

Whisk together all ingredients until blended. Store in the refrigerator up to
1 week.

I did not follow the ingredient listings exactly as received and posted, but left them as is to provide a baseline. Because the concoction is not cooked, the garlic was run thru a garlic goosher (not the same one we use to extrude polymer clay), and the quantity was, as those who know me would expect, increased to four of the big cloves. I didn't have creole style mustard handy, so I went thru the collection and went with a Milwaukee Dusseldorf style instead. Note that there are burger restaurants here which set that out instead of the yellow salad stuff. Anywhom, since most of the other varients I found while researching didn't mention the mustard, people who didn't know what the sauce should taste like won't distinguish any change in its contribution. I also added a hefty splash of the golden habenero hot sauce currently fronting the collection. I would suggest not substituting Miracle Whip even if that is your preferred spread.

The sauce is generally reported as being used as both a basting sauce while grilling and a dipping sauce after, and recommended for chicken, pork chops, and ribs. I grill lots of burgers, throwing commercial patties on whilst frozen as recommended on the packaging. Basting them, with pretty much anything, during the final stages of grilling always brings compliments. With this sauce, the basting of anything should be left for the final stages, so as to preserve the distinctive non-coloration.

Serve with red wine and Blue Hawai'ins on the Fourth.

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