May 31, 2007

Word For The Day

Commoonion - via Dean

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May 30, 2007

Quote For The Day

Go Raiders
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May 28, 2007

Legal Immigrant

A Polish immigrant went to the DMV to apply for a driver's license.
First, of course, he had to take an eye sight test.
The examiner showed him a card with the letters 'C Z W I X N O S T A C Z.'
"Can you read this?" the optician asked.
"Read it?" the Polish guy replied, "I know the guy."

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May 27, 2007


This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can.

It reads like a quote from one of David Weber's science fiction novels. The whole book does. A squadron on patrol finds itself within firing range of a fleet of much larger enemy craft, but achieves a costly victory thru courage, luck and technical superiority. The only difference is that The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, by James D. Hornfischer, is about the U.S. Navy in Leyte Gulf during World War Two, and not the Manticoran Space Navy taking on the Peeps.

It was Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland who made that bold statement to the crew of the Destroyer Escort USS Samuel B. Roberts. They did indeed do damage. They got so close to the Japanese heavy cruiser Chikuma it could not bring its big guns to bear, and poured everything they had into it. The Roberts was eventually sunk, along with other ships from the task force, but they took Japanese cruisers down with them, and disrupted and turned away what proved to be the major thrust of the Japanese effort to stop the retaking of the Phillipines. Over 850 US sailors and airmen died in the Battle of Samar, the main action of the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Among them were two brothers who would have been uncles to my wee wifey's foster sister. We remember them, and all the war dead, this Memorial Day.

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May 26, 2007

She's Posting Again!

Lots of people have reported this fact about Rachel Lucas, but I haven't seen it reported about Da Goddess. Some nifty stuff about her Little Dude the musician, which is especially cool. Her posts about him led me to comment about Emrack, which was part of what led me to begin blogging myself.

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Chicken With Cucumber And Bitter Melon

There are weekend farmers markets all around Milwaukee, We go to the one on Fondy, across the street from the original Lena's grocery, not only because it is convenient, but also because it is interesting. Many of the vendors are from the local Hmong community, and along with the greens and tomatoes which are the largest selling produce here on the North side, they offer some seriously hot peppers and other vegetables they grew in their homeland.

Hmong-style cooking, like that of much of Asia, is stir-fried. The technique is simple, you just need a heavy pan (a wok is nice but not essential), high heat, a little oil, uniformly cut vegetables, and lots of stirring and tossing. It goes fast, so you need to have all ingredients ready before beginning to cook.

1 small bitter melon
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
˝ pound skinless chicken breast meat, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar

Cut the bitter melon in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds, and dice. Toss with salt in colander and let stand 20 minutes. Rinse well and squeeze out the excess liquid, which carries some of the bitter quinine with it.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat in large, heavy skillet. Stir-fry the chicken, garlic and green onions until barely tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a bowl. Wipe out the pan and heat again with remaining oil. Stir-fry the bitter melon and cucumber until barely tender, again 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and sugar. Stir in chicken and heat through. Serve with white rice and hot pepper sauce.

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May 25, 2007


Chaz found an image which fits the two main catagories of recent bloggage. The only suitable response is to cry out...


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May 24, 2007

Collector Cruft

Yet more stuff I am seeking to unload. I'll accept a collector's pittance, if not a dealer's pittance. Note that several of the items on my three previous listings are also possible collector items. One item has already been sold. Act now, before everything else is.

Vintage Cameras: An accumulation of viewfinder 35s and roll film cameras, all from the days of metal bodies and glass lenses.

Vintage Monopoly Game: Complete. Game pieces etc. in a black box with text label smaller than the playing board.

Chinese Vase: Big. Ugly. Fake. Plaster. Painted with dragons.

Men's Magazines: Two milk crates full. Mostly "lad" mags like Maxim. A few Playboys and Playboy photo specials.

Tank Manual: TM 9-2350-215-20 Organizational Maintenance Manual
Tank, Combat, Full Tracked: 105-MM Gun, M60A1 (2350-756-8497) and
Tank, Combat, Full Tracked: 105-MM Gun, M60 (2350-678-5773)

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Craft Project For The Day

On a websearch intended to produce images of vintage aircraft with riveted aluminum bodies, I happened upon something which would be fun to make either for yourself or as a gift. You would, of course, stuff it with graaains.

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May 22, 2007

Mustn't Sleep

Clowns will entertain me.

Found at the relevant specialty blog.

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May 20, 2007

Two Pieces At A Time

Turns out there are not one but two 49-50-51-52-53-54 Cadillacs out there, except that neither is made from exactly those years and one is even uglier than the other.

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May 19, 2007

Viennese Cheese Pancakes

Alice B. Toklas was the long-time companion (that's not really a euphemism, it just doesn't tell the whole story) of literary figure Gertrude Stein. She is best known these days for having included Brian Gyson's recipe for ditchweed majoun in her cookbook, but the rest of the cookbook, including the other recipes contributed by friends, are worthy of attention. The only problem is that she assumes that her readers know how to cook, so the instructions are rather vague. This one comes from Carl Van Vechten.

2 yolks of eggs
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1/2 cup, or more, flour

Beat the egg yolks, and blend in remaining ingredients. The "more flour" gets added if the batter seems too thin, which may well be given that you will probably be using larger eggs. Make THIN pancakes (you are supposed to know how; someone hopefully is posting the instructions in this week's pancake recipe carnival).

Fill with pot cheese (no, silly, that means cottage cheese with the whey drained off; use queso blanco or ricotta), raisins, yolk of one egg, vanilla and sugar. No quantities given. Visualize enough to fill the pancakes, add raisins to cheese, season to taste and then add the egg yolk. Bake for ten minutes in rich butter.

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May 18, 2007

Problem Solved

Steamdragon reports that school administrators have addressed the problem of shooters entering gun-free zones.

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May 17, 2007

Quote For The Day

Children used to learn to read one letter, or, at least, one syllable, at a time, and to furnish forth a complete word by piecing togethrt its component parts. Now, rumor says, the method is to encourage them too grasp whole words, long or short, at once, by instantaneous observation, or, as often happens, by an effort of the imagination. When the word grasped is the word the letters spell, that is observation. When it is some other word, that is imagination. The development of either faculty is considered by contemporary educators to be useful.
The sad thing is that this wasn't written recently. I found it in a book written in 1900, Lucid Intervals, by Edward Sandford Martin, which I found while using the Milwaukee Library's wonderful search facility in hopes of finding something else entirely. If the author were around today, he would, from his style, probably be a blogger, and he would surely be appalled to find that educators still find value in students not comprehending what they read.
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A third batch of objects available to my Milwaukee readers, surplus to continuing operations. Except as noted any and all offers will be deemed reasonable, and except as noted, delivery is available for further pittance.

Extension Ladder - SOLD Werner D6128-2 Fiberglass. Maximum working length 25 feet. Also a pair of ladder leveler legs I wound up not needing to install. Significant delivery charge if I have to strap this to the roof of my Toyota.

Digital Piano: Roland HP-100 disassembled to clean the keyswitches (and I have all the pieces), which is an effective repair if you have the patience. Otherwise a functional MIDI output device.

Marquette Computer: One backplane and two sets of cards, including extender boards, 68000 based, missing some socketed chips.

Channelbind Press: Great way to present your documents if you have a source for the channels. Complete with cloth carrying case.


Just happened upon a discussion recommending one of the items in my first cruft list.

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No Angel Hair Needed

For the car guys out there: the best show display ever.

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May 13, 2007

The Carnival of Macaroni And Cheese Recipes

Back when we were starting out, one of the popular cookbooks was Diet For A Small Planet, a depressing tome full of excellent recipes. The premise was that you could save the Earth by eating more efficiently, combining foods which each supply part of the protein we need. Combinations include beans and rice, beans and corn, turkey and peanut butter, and dairy and wheat. All but one of those I remember are in fact common in diets around the world, the last one manifesting itself in the theme I chose for this week’s Carnival, macaroni and cheese.

To far too many people, macaroni and cheese is one word, and refers to the stuff that comes in a box. Once upon a time when I was grocery shopping, I totally confused another customer, who asked where to find macaroni and cheese, by telling him the macaroni was in Aisle Six and the cheese was in Dairy along the back wall. Our contributors, however, understand that that there are plenty more ways to prepare this dish.

Shawn Lea, who administers this Carnival, provides us with a link to The Cheesiest Baked Macaroni & Cheese (and other recipes from Hot & Sticky BBQ).

My own wee wifey, who's recipes I used to post, now has her own blog, and gives us Lena's 3 Cheese Macaroni, a classic soul food side dish.

keewee presents Blue Ribbon Macaroni & Cheese posted at KeeWee's Corner.

Bill presents Italian Macaroni and Cheese posted at Famous Recipes.

Another Bill presents ALL DAY MACARONI AND CHEESE posted at Slow Cooker Recipes. and presents Tuna-Macaroni Salad with Orange (but no cheese) at Diabetic Recipes.

Kathee presents Low-Fat Macaroni and Cheese posted at World Famous Recipes.

Riannon at In The Headlights submitted a recipe for baked mac n' cheese like her mom used to make, and suggests some additions.

Tinker, at The Secret Life of Shoes offers Slow Cooked Macaroni and Cheese

There are other ways to do the dairy and pasta combination beyond the standard macaroni and cheese. For starters you can move beyond the standard elbows to shells or rotini. We use egg noodles in a quicky we call Noodle Goop. There are also recipes which include assorted other ingredients.

The Headmistress/Zookeeper at Heartkeeper's Common Room adds all sorts of good stuff to her Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

Free Recipes presents Parmesan Ham and Macaroni Casserole posted at Free Recipes Online.

Michelle presents Sundried Tomato-Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Lamb posted at scribbit.

Chef Jules at Gourmet to Go submitted a recipe for Pastitsio Pie, which is sort of a Greek second cousin of lasagna. Lasagna is, of course, yet another way of doing the pasta and cheese thing.

As always, several people submitted other sorts of recipes. Nothing wrong with that as long as you don't do like I did and submit a gooey super-sweet one to the diabetic carnival.

Gillian at Food History submitted two recipes for Coleslaw. As soon as I saw the title on the submission, my first thought was that it was cool, as coleslaw goes with mac and cheese, and in fact she let me know that she was thinking the same thing.

Kevin presents 5 Minute Meals Your Family Will Love - Ready, Set, Cook! posted at More4kids Parenting. If I'd gotten to the Carnival earlier, these would have been great for Mother's Day since once they are prepped the kids can handle the final stage, leaving Mom to luxuriate. Same with your commercial dayglo orange mac and cheese, which most kids know how to make. Of course my son once blew some of his friends away by stirring the sauce till all the powdery lumps disappeared, producing a gourmet version of their usual meal.

Kevin at Technogypsy submitted an upscale beef stew, Beef Burgandy. He says "Please use a good wine. Trust me." but that doesn't mean you have to push the boat out too far, as there are plenty of decent inexpensive wines out there. Just don't use bum wine, and don't use the salted cooking wine -ever - unless you are underage and can't buy anything else. And of course, serve one of the above macaroni and cheese dishes on the side.

David Needham at Third World Country is into posole (ground hominy combined with other stuff for protein efficiency) and submitted yet another posole recipe.

Thelly's specialty is Chicken Recipes and presents Steak & Ale Hawaiian Chicken and Baked Hoisin Chicken Wings

Gerry at DiseaseProof offers a totally different approach to the concept of efficient food with Nutrient Dense Juices.

As always, you are encouraged to view everything else at the blogs of the participants, even if their submission didn't come in a format that didn't give me a handy main page link, and invited to participate yourself. Next week's theme will be pancakes (they never were just for breakfast) at a blog which actually specializes in them, but again all recipes are welcome. Send your submissions to recipe.carnival(at)


Martin erred and got his submission for next week in before the deadline. I saw pancakes and passed it up. Here is his recipe for Hungarian macaroni, with cheese and other good stuff.

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May 12, 2007

I Don't Think So

Even if she is, modern medical science can correct the problem.

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You Know It's Gonna Be...

We went out today, in the context of Mother's Day, to a family restaurant. She had a nannie split and I had a hot sludge funday. The music in the background was a bit too tinkley and jangley for an elevator, but still too muddy and muted to identify. When I got up to go to the necessary, the music, as too often is the case, was louder. I finally figured out what I was listening to. It was the Beatles' song Revolution.

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Noodle Goop

The fact of the matter is that it has been a long, long time since I have put milk and cheese in the blender, poured the resultant sauce over cooked macaroni, and baked until bubbly in the middle and crisp around the edges. We've come up with something else, almost as crude and simple as the day-glo orange powder, but much more satisfying.

1 bag (1 lb.) medium egg noodles
1 can (10.5 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
1 bag (8 oz.) shredded cheese (usually chedder)

Cook the noodles per directions, drain, and return to the pot. Dump in the condensed soup and stir till well distributed. Dump in the cheese and stir till well distributed. We normally just dish it out for ourselves right from the pot on the stovetop.

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May 10, 2007


More assorted objects available to my Milwaukee readers, surplus to continuing operations. Except as noted any and all offers will be deemed reasonable, and except as noted, delivery is available for further pittance.

Air Circulator: A big (about 1 meter diameter) Patton electric fan. Used one summer, then stored. Cannot deliver, $45.00 OBO.

Assorted Old Radios: An old military radio, I've heard it called a "Jeep" radio, seperate reciever and transmitter in a case about the size of a milk crate. Two Philco floor models, in rough shape. One very old Crossley "experimenter's" radio, in good shape but requires batteries at various voltages to operate. Will separate.

Mouse Motor: Chevy smallblock V8, reportedly 400 c.i., came to us disassembled but complete. Probably best used as core for exchange.

Coffee Table: Actually a metal framed industrial pallet. Perfect for that high tech look that was trendy some time back.

Doll House: Wood, two story, handyman's special.

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May 04, 2007

Read My Lips

All new taxes will be labeled as fees.

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May 03, 2007

Home Alone

Armed citizens make great news stories, but boring movies. "This one armed man tried to murder my wife, and it looks like he planned to frame me for it. Good thing she had her gun on her."

Similarly, home invaders don't face cute little tricks when the 11 year old girl they are facing is a champion shotgunner.


Per my commenter, it appears that the news report I linked is an urban legend. I stand by my preference for armed defence over entertainment.

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