September 30, 2004


We were hanging out one Saturday at the Bookseller, as we were inclined to do back when less busy, and the subject of Martha Stewart came up. One of the volunteers there mentioned, as evidence that Martha was off the deep end, having seen her advocate making one's own marshmallows. We immediately came to the defense of homemade marshmallows; they are vastly more enjoyable than boughten ones, unless said boughten ones are toasted over a campfire.

I found the following recipes online thru a google search as a convenience; both had in fact been posted by my wee wifey.

Easy Marshmallows:

* 1 package Jell-O (any flavor) -- (3 oz.)
* 1/2 cup boiling water
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
* confectioners sugar

This is a slightly softer marshmallow than a standard recipe, but as long as it isn't damp it's just fine.

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water, in saucepan, low heat. Add sugar; cook and stir until Jello is dissolved (do not boil). Blend in corn syrup. Chill until slightly thickened. Beat at high speed until thick, about 8 to 10 minutes. Pour into 8-inch square pan, lined with wax paper greased with butter or margarine.

Chill overnight. Turn firm mixture out onto a board heavily dusted with confectioners sugar. Carefully peel off wax paper and dust surface with sugar.

Cut into 1-inch squares or into shape, using cookie cutters dipped in sugar. Roll cut edges in sugar. Store tightly covered.

Really Good Marshmallows:


* 2 pk plain gelatin; or 2 TBSP
* 1/2 c cold water
* 2 c sugar
* 3/4 c corn syrup
*3/4 c hot water
* 2 ts vanilla


Soften gelatin in cold water in a large bowl.

Place remainder of ingredients in good sized pot. Heat & stir.

In the meantime prepare a pan 8x8 by wrapping in aluminum foil & spraying
with Pam (or some similar item).

Keep stirring & watching the candy thermometer until it reaches 245F. Pour
into a bowl & beat on highest speed

Pour in a thin stream over softened gelatin. Continue beating for 15
minutes. Add vanilla or any other flavorings near the end of the beating.

Using a rubber spatula, scrape into the prepared pan. Let sit overnight at
room temperature.

Dip serrated knife in cold water to cut apart.

To finish: roll in equal amounts of cornstarch & powdered sugar OR coconut
OR chopped nuts OR a package of jello.

Variations: substitute brown sugar, substitute dark corn syrup, add
different flavorings, substitute juice for water.

Posted by triticale at 11:12 AM | Comments (7)

September 26, 2004

Entry Level

Joe G, guest blogging at Deans World, linked to this essay, but missed the sociopolitical significance of it. Any job, even the lowliest, has something to teach a person who is looking to learn and advance himself.

Posted by triticale at 07:16 PM | Comments (1)

September 22, 2004


I was never very big on It. Even as a youngster, when people would ask "Is It supposed to rain" I would reply that "It doesn't always do what It is supposed to; maybe It should be punished if It doesn't". However, to the extent that we can speak of some vast indefinite It, It hasn't been going very well for Da Goddes of late. Joanie was one of the first to encourage me to graduate from commenter to blogger. If you think this was a good thing, now would be the time to show your appreciation.

Posted by triticale at 07:46 PM | Comments (2)

Work Update

When I first started cellular work I was hired simply to drive and collect data, a "Can you here me now" guy if they run that ad in your area, but with computerized test gear. I'm now on my third contract in the field, and have worked my way up do where I'm analyzing the data and sometimes recommending network changes.

One of my new responsibilities is reviewing customer service reports. I have occasionally spotted site failures thereby, but most complaints are fairly dumb. I got a real doozy on Monday. This security guard is using his mobile to call his wife, at set break times, from inside the building. The number is always busy. Altho I did not save it to the network, I printed out a response form which read "No Trouble Found - could not replicate problem - she always answers when I call"

We did a part of a major system upgrade tonite, switching 20 sites over to a new control system at the office. This requires shutting the sites down and rebooting them, and so it is done in the wee small hours. I was in the gas station at 27th and Center at 3:00 this morning, and recieved an offer previously only gotten via email. A street vendor approached me trying to sell me Viagra. After he wandered off it crossed my mind to have asked him his name, to see if it was something like Zagreb J. Mobility.

Posted by triticale at 05:59 AM | Comments (1)

September 21, 2004

Eeek! Oli!

Given that these people are doing The News of the World, perhaps they should send an investigative team to the Wisconsin Dells.

Note: This is a link to a Sunday Page Five. It will be meaningless after September 25th.

Posted by triticale at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2004

Morale Booster

A family in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis with a son presently serving in Iraq started out trying to improve his morale, and saw an opportunity to enable the community to do so for his entire unit. If it grows as it should, it will serve that purpose for all our forces, so take a soldier to the movies.

Posted by triticale at 12:04 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2004


That's from the same alphabet as Arrrr! Today is International Talk Like A Cliche Stereotypical Pirate Day. I had intended to dig out Target Lock, by James Cobb, and post some quotes from a modern fictional pirate, but I procratinated. Don't let that stop you. Talk like a pirate, or they'll keelhaul you.

Look on the bright side. If this were International Talk Like A Cliche Stereotypical Bandito Day they would simply keel you.

Posted by triticale at 07:37 AM | Comments (2)

September 16, 2004

Found It Myself

I was fishing around in Google, and searched on blog pajamas. The first page out of 35,800 hits started with some social diaries where pajamas have already been expected. Halfway down I did find someone reacting to the "guy in his living room" meme, a lapsed atheist who calls himself The Curt Jester. Scrolling down the page I found the funniest forger post I've seen so far. The best thing about it is that altho it presents data the lefties don't want to see, the framework is snarkyness about Microsoft, so I can send it to my left-wing brothers (one is a full fledged frother about Halliburton) and hopefully they will absorb a bit of knowledge without being forced to acknowledge that I have drifted away from my raising.

Posted by triticale at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2004


No, not lowering a fatmobile's body over its frame. Speaking as a manifestation of a distant someone's persona. The way Stephen Green is channeling Jeff Goldstein.

Posted by triticale at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

Distributed Intelligence

The exploration of those memos has shown the depth of knowledge on diverse subjects to be found in the blogosphere. An examination of another nitpick raised about Bush's service in the Air National Guard produces another convincing example in the comments, even if it is presented as hearsay.

Posted by triticale at 09:03 PM | Comments (0)

The Linker Is Thinking

Not that it is that rare, just not what he is known for. This observation merits serious consideration by the conservative and libertarian portions of the body politic. What we need is a plan for winning the victory.

If, as is suggested, Kerry no longer needs to waffle, he will be playing to the base. It is important not to unleash the attack machine. Demonstrating that the memos could not be anything but false is clearly a win, but loudly proclaiming "They are all a bunch of lying poopypants" will mean a loss. Let the people toward the middle come around at their own pace. Four more years of growth at home and improvement around the world and they will be ready for a realignment.

The other question is what to do with the Republican party. Once the Presidency is secure, then it will be time to move the rest of the government past the big-government stage of Republicanism. Conservatives have unleashed a serious primary challenge against the country-club wing of the party in Wisconsin. Jacksonian libertarians, abandoned by the Libertarian Party, should be doing the same in suitable areas.

Posted by triticale at 08:57 PM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2004

Wine Blogging

Well, that is a large part of what I read Professor Bainbridge for. I would be interested in finding out if someone calculates a QPR for Richard's Wild Irish Rose.

The reason I'm linking him today is that he is giving away free (a great way to advertise books) an excerpt from his textbook on corporation law, amended specifically to address the possibility of a stockholder suit against the directors of Viacom for lost value at CBS over the forgery issue. He says it won't happen.

Economics blogger Steve Verdon also took a specialty specific tangent on the memo scandal. Taking points of doubt only from Kevin Drum's admirably sceptical post, he does a Bayesian analysis of the probability that the memos are not forgeries. Mathematically negligable.

Posted by triticale at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2004


Like Juliette said, Just Because:

The Geek with a .45 has posted an excellent essay aimed at those who fear the motives of gun-rights activists. Could be a good entry point for anyone you might be trying to reach.

Wretchard the Cat uses his background in military history to explore Dan Rather's situation from a different angle. I have to wonder whether the otherwise readworthy Billy Beck dislikes him as much as he does Steven Den Beste.

The post at Belmont Club pushed someoneover the edge who had sworn he'd never launch a blog. I first discussed issues of Power and Control with M.Simon over 20 years ago, in the context of industrial computing where he makes his living. If he ever figures out that the Internet rendered Ogilvie on Advertising obsolete he's going to get some serious recognition.

Brian J. Noggle censors a dead horse.

Is the blogosphere really a complex self-organizing system, or just neat non-linear nonsense?

Failure is not an option, it is included in the base price.

Posted by triticale at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2004

Embarrassing Documents

They were supposed to embarrass Bush, but instead...

When I told Emrack how the forgeries were produced, all my son had to say was "Lazy F***s!"

I'm inclined to suspect that whoever produced the memos was not lazy, but deliberate. If Karl Rove really is an evil mastermind, this was a perfect rope-a-dope. The fact that it is trivially easy to prove the documents are bogus makes believing them as informative about your true nature as buying a "surplus" (wink wink nudge nudge) DVD player off the back of the truck and finding a brick when you open the box.

The other interesting detail about this story is that while the certified forensic document examiners are cautiously expressing doubt and searching their references to confirm that no suitable typewriter existed, the amateurs simply generate proof.

Update: In related news, Oliver Willis assures us that there is no liberal media bias.

Posted by triticale at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2004

Unmentionable Cuisine

From the time I acquired the cookbook (perhaps more correctly a collection of recipes and a discussion thereof) I figured that it would be interesting to post one of the recipes specifically unmentionable within our own culture. The Veegans choose to lump all animal consumption under that label, whereas most parts of the pig, cow, and some birds and fishes are perfectly mainstream in our culture but taboo in some others. The particular selection was, as mentioned, a response to stereotyping commonly encountered. The Carnival of the Recipes was the proximate trigger for getting it posted, but there was no reason to expect Beth to take on a burden I chose for myself.

Shortly after the post went up, the wee wifey and I went away for a romantic weekend. Since then I have received comments ranging from frivolous to critical, and a bit of a Baldilanche. It is past time for me to say more on the topic.

I do not believe I was engaging in moral relativism. Other people in other situations may indeed engage in behavior which would be immoral for us. Our canine, Hunter, makes her love for us so obvious (if she's been away with my son for a couple of days, she wags not just her tail but the whole back of her body when she sees me) that I would struggle to keep her fed in a survival situation. Wild dogs taken as game, or animals raised in a feed lot, whould not share such feelings. I've known bunny breeders who have run up against this, selling as pets what had originally intended for the table; one reason Emrack's ex-father-in-law was never able to launch himself as the Colonel Sanders of rabbit. Five percent of college students listed Easter pets as the reason for avoiding duck.

Other animals are avoided by some peoples for religious reasons of one sort or another. Beef is not eaten by worshippers of the Good Cowherd, Krishna, and pork is avoided by my own forebears and other people of the Book. It has been suggested that the objection to eating horseflesh has its roots in Catholic opposition to the horse worshipping-and-eating religions of northern and eastern Europe. This resistance is relatively easily overcome; during World War II there were hippophage butcher shops around the U.S. The one in Milwaukee was named for Man-of-War, a recent Derby winner.

I could go on about people who equate lobster with cockroaches, or the African tribe which executed chicken eaters, but I've had as much fun with this topic as I am up for.

Posted by triticale at 11:44 PM | Comments (1)

Driving Off

Owen, who drives into the Milwaukee area from an outlying community, won't be buying his gasoline in the city of Milwaukee. Our friend from the left side of town has, as I do, lived in the part of town where pre-pay is already the norm, and doesn't see the inconvenience as a disincentive. Several of the other commenters do, and the time lost going in once to prepay and a second time for change is mentioned. My own comment, responding in part to that scenario, covers a goodly portion of what I myself have to say on the topic.

Actually, you don’t have to go back for change. All you have to do is what I did at the Gas-n-Go at 30th and Vliet today. I knew from my gas gauge that a fill-up would run $12 to $15. I would really rather get a fill-up, but other errands on the way home made that more of an inconvenience. If my errands had taken me in one of the other possible directions, a station in the city might have gotten that larger sale; now the odds are that the tank will next be topped off in the suburbs. Stations in the city wouldn’t lose all my business, but it would be split between the ones here in the inner city which are already prepay and the ones in the suburbs. Even tho my pattern may be atypical, it is another one which, across the entire population, will adversely impact (dare I say, hurt) gas stations in some parts of the city.

Mandating pre-pay as a "solution" to the problem of gas station drive-offs was done to make things easier for law enforcement. The security videotapes may provide positive identification of the vehicle, but every one of the 165 offenses in the city this year seems to have been committed by a friend or cousin passing thru town. The fix for this could have been far more specific. The car got the gas, the car is guilty. You can get the car back for tow fee and restitution, and it is your problem to collect from the hypothetical errant friend or cousin from out of town.

By the way, Emrack states that the nature of our neighborhood can be summed up by a detail regarding the other gas station near us, at 35th and McKinley. Beyond the 24 hour prepay and the No Loitering signs, there is the fact that the rather half-hearted convenience store in the former service bay stocks seven varieties of pork rinds, but no tortilla chips.

Posted by triticale at 11:38 PM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2004

Swiss Gedörttes Hundfleische

It is not my intention that anyone prepare and eat this. Like the instructions for full auto firearm conversions, it is offered for informational purposes only. In particular, i wish to counter the notion commonly encountered online that eating dogmeat is specifically a Korean practice. I found this recipe in the book Unmentionable Cuisine, by Calvin W Schwabe, where it is reported that the only recent cases of trichinosis in Switzerland resulted from eating undercooked dog, rather than the pork with which that parasite is usually associated. Incidently, many Swiss prefer horsemeat to beef for fondue.

Hang a dressed dog carcass for eight to ten days at about thirty six degrees Farenheit and then debone it, retaining as large pieces as possible. Pack these in oak barrels, in the following salt mixture for seven days at forty five to fifty degrees Farenheit: for each twenty pounds of meat, use seven ounces salt, one sixth ounce saltpeter, one third ounce sugar, one third ounce cracked black peppercorns, and one half bay leaf. Repack after two days, putting the pieces from the top on the bottom. Liquid will be drawn from the meat. After seven days, add some red wine with crushed garlic to the brine and let sit for several more days. After this curing, rinse the meat with warmish water, but do not soak. Run a piece of binding cord thru the end of each piece of meat and press it between two boards in an open sided press in a drying room at fifty to fifty five degrees Farenheit and seventy two to seventy five percent humidity for five to six weeks. After pressing, hang the meat in the same drying room until fully dry; six to twenty weeks. The dried dogmeat is traditionally sliced paper thin for serving; the recipe gives no information about condiments or side dishes.

Posted by triticale at 09:59 PM | Comments (7)