February 2005


No, no “tiny dog” recipes—but lotsa chicken recipes from guys named Dave

Check the great selection in the Carnival of the Recipes #28, up over at Rocket Jones place. It’s more than just the great chicken recipes. Yum.

(But do check out the fiery Jerk Chicken at The Glittering Eye. )

When a little creature some mistake for a dog nips at your heels, step on it. Hard. No. Harder. ::squish-pop!:: That’s about right…

All these evil little vermin people keep as pets, vermin the folks call dogs but are really just lil rats in disguise… don’t you just want to call them by a more appropriate name? Like “Dog Food”?

I will admit, though, that they do make decent kick toys. And four or five of ’em might make a decent meal for a real dog. Or a base for an Asian stew.

(Ya know Chihuahuas got their start as stewpot critters, don’t you?)

Get that out of my eyes!

In December, the Milky Way Association™ delivered a belated Welcome Wagon Basket™ to Earth.

“A huge explosion halfway across the galaxy packed so much power it briefly altered Earth’s upper atmosphere in December, astronomers said Friday. [February 18]

No known eruption beyond our solar system has ever appeared as bright upon arrival…

…The blast originated about 50,000 light-years away and was detected Dec. 27…

…’That it can reach out and tap us on the shoulder like this, reminds us that we really are linked to the cosmos,’ said Phil Wilkinson of IPS Australia, that country’s space weather service.”

Glad to know the universe knows we’re in the neighborhood…

Shedding Light on the Scourge of Dieting…

Methuselah ate what he found on his plate,
And never, as people do now,
Did he note the amount of the calorie count.
He ate it because it was chow.
He wasn’t disturbed as at dinner he sat,
Devouring a roast or a pie,
To think it was lacking in granular fat
Or a couple of vitamins shy.

He cheerfully chewed each species of food,
Unmindful of troubles or fears
Lest his health might be hurt by some fancy dessert,
And he lived over 900 years.

[NOTE: this is a duplicate post carried over from my Whistling in the Light blog.]

I like food. And food likes me. Unfortunately, over the years, I failed to account for my changing lifestyle, my aging metabolism, etc., and food liked me so much that more and more of it seemed to stick around on my body until my 42″ chest became 48″ (sometimes more) and my 34″ waist became 42″.. or more, and 235# stared me in the face whenever I dared torture the bathroom scales.

A couple of years ago, that changed. Someone introduced me to the idea of adding a particular 150 calorie food bar and a mild one-mile walk to my day, and the result has been a blessing. Now:

From clinically obese on a BMI (Body Mass Index) to normal. (All it took was 50# staying off.)
42″ chest
36″ waist
Baggy Pants Posterior Syndrome™
NO PAIN IN MY KNEES!!!

I still love food (last night was Green Chicken Casserole and “Mexican” beans, leaf lettuce salad, ice cream—not “diet frozen dessert”—and a few “gummis” for an additional sweet kick). But now, food is nicer to me.

Diets are for fat people. Since I didn’t want to stay fat, it’s kinda good I didn’t diet, eh?

Lose the diet. Gain health.

(Oh, and thx to Donald Sensing for spurring this post.)

Update: in a related matter, give a listen to RA (Rob) Kemp’s “Chocolate in Heaven”

Sample chorus:

“Will there be any choc’late up in heaven?
This is something I truly got to know.
‘Cause if there ain’t any choc’late up in heaven
I got to fill my pockets ‘fore I go.”
—R.A. Kemp ©JJANA

In which I offer partial relief from a dread condition

Iowahawk’s satirical piece on “Mommy Madness” is a worthy read for those suffering from Dave Barry Withdrawal™*:

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2005/02/aid_pours_in_fo_1.html

In fact, Iowahawk might well form a partial answer to that dread condition…

A sample:

“From its inauspicious beginnings in rural Florida, the battle to preserve priveleged urban women’s happiness has spread like wildfire. America’s minority communities have been especially active in the cause.

“Suffering knows no color,” says Latasha Evans, 26. “When I heard about all the career and time management struggles of these unhappy white women, I knew as a Christian, I had to do my part.”

A mother of two in Harvey, Illinois, Evans persuaded her fellow parishoners at Calvary Zion AME Church to act on behalf of the victims. Evans’ church choir, The Mighty Gospel Wings of Mercy, recently recorded a self-funded album to promote awareness of Affluent Supermom Syndrome. Entitled “Sweet Glory of Self-Esteem,” the CD’s proceeds will go directly to offset victims’ Ballet and Pilates class dues.

Evans is also donating her time to the effort, travelling by CTA bus twice a week to Chicago’s Gold Coast and North Shore as a volunteer care provider for needy white supermoms in need of a break for self-reflection.

“It’s tragic when you hear, first hand, how these women don’t get the parenting help they need from their male partners,” she says. “The experience has made me realize how lucky I am to have D’Shawn [Collins], my babies’ daddy, and the $150 he sends me most every month.””

Much, much more at the link.

*Note: since Dave Barry announced the cessation of his column, over a month ago, millions of people worldwide have been heard to scream at unpredictable times (and in typically inappropriate places), “Why Dave? WHY!?!?!?!” This post is an attempt to offer some alleviation of their pain.

Belaboring the obvious: Bob Dylan flogs a dead horse

Boring news from the program notes of Bob Dylan’s latest tour:

“I know there are groups at the top of the charts that are hailed as the saviours of rock’n’roll and all that, but they are amateurs. They don’t know where the music comes from… I wouldn’t even think about playing music if I was born in these times… I’d probably turn to something like mathematics. That would interest me. Architecture would interest me. Something like that.”

(This from a guy whose chops were never all that good to begin with, whose music is pedestrian at best. ::sigh::)

Thanks for belaboring the obvious, Bob. Anyone with ears and two functioning brain cells can tell that the recording industry is pushing so-called vocalists who simply can not sing at the public (partly because more and more of the public are atonal musical idiots—or maybe it’s a self-sustaining feedback loop), or pushing vocalists who can sing to record crap for atonal musical idiots to consume.

Pitch? Melody? Heck, rhythm! All just messy blobs in most “big” recording non-artists’ non-work, today. The big deal with rap is supposed to be rhythmically-spoken words with some aort of pseudo-musical instrumentation backup, but if one listens to rap for even a very short time it is obvious (to anyone with ears and two working brain cells) that the words and the rhythmic delivery are usually wildly at odds with each other.

In othert words, rap is crap.

Want to hear proto-rap as music? Listen to Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger do so 30s era “talking blues.” Or try some Langston Hughes. Rappers just don’t seem to have the mental capability to actually craft decent rhythmic lyrics that actually have inherent rhythm that “sings” on its own, which is probably why so much rhythm is forced onto words in nonsensical ways in rap. Crafting well-wrought lyrics that beg a rhythmic delivery calls for thoughtful hard work. I’ve heard very, very little rap that demonstrates the creators did little more than scoop up something that fell into the toilet bowl and call it art.

And rap is some of the MOST creative of popular recording output!

OK, yes, there are a few exceptions. But even the few exceptions seem to be steered by unmusical idiots (in both the redording industry side and the consumer side) toward producing homogenized, dumbed-down unmusical pap. Witness the emerging talent of someone like Fantasia Barrino, who can interpret a song like nobody’s business, is steered toward doing an album like “Free Yourself” which is full of… ” pop/hip-hop, a humdrum patter over a rhythmic, repetitive semi-musical background” [Orson Scott Card—who knew we’d have similar musical tastes?] Even with a voice as rich and a delivery as strong as this gal can make it, these “songs” are pretty crappy. Dimwit lyrics, boring background. Just unworthy of someone who could, IMO, be an artist.

And that pretty well represents the best of the new. ::sigh:: And yes, there are other exceptions that could be creating more music, but a large portion of the public is simply too stupid to know that music could be better than the crap they consume.

So, back to that mediocre musician, Bob Dylan. Even he thinks the stuff coming out of the sewers of the recording industry today is crap.

Now, that’s rich.

Afterword: I neglected to acknowledge Drudge for the link to the article about Dylan’s comments that spurred this rant, and now the link is gone from Drudge. Ah, well.

The subject line is as instructed by the great Frank J of IMAO
And the quiz below is his invention. [warning: mild language implied (“****”) that may offend some tender sensibilities]

In (typically) ironic answer to Ted Rall, the idiot who makes racist remarks in poorly drawn cartoons (who does he pay to do his penwork? Whoever it is, it’s too much) whenever a black American steps off the socialist plantation, Frank J has devised

THE “WHO THE [h]*** DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” BLOGGER QUIZ Which I’ll attempt to answer in the text below…

1. Who the hell do you think you are?
That may be one of the deepest conundrums of metaphysics. “Are,” of course, comes from conjugating “to be,” as does that bane of Presidential Rhodes Scholars, the word, “is.” If one of the brightest minds (according to the likes of Ralls) of the 20th Century cannot discern the meaning of “is” then who am (there’s that pesky “to be” in conjugation, again!) I to attempt an answer? As to the hell part, well, let’s not go there, shall we?

2. So, other than blogging, what’s your job? Do you work at some fast food joint, dumbass?
I charge people for fixing the problems they create on their own computers. And I do slightly resent you calling me by the name of one of my son’s dogs… (the one that refuses to speak like a bass).

3. Do you have like any experience in journalism, idiot?
Like? Nope. Not one teensy tiny bit. Ironically, that makes me more qualified than Jordan Eason or Dan Blather to voice my views. (Please, please: more Valley Girl questions! And can you mark inflection for a little uptalk, just for verisimilitude?)

4. Do you even read newspapers?
Whenever I can’t avoid it.

5. Do you watch any other news than FOX News propaganda, you ignorant fool?
Nope. Don’t watch Fox News, either. I do sometimes tune in an entertainment show to catch the latest mass media Podpeople’s Army fictions, and I’ve been known to read time (the weekly fiction magazine) when there was absolutely nothing else available in a Drs waiting room.

6. I bet you’re some moron talk radio listener too, huh?
Nope. I have managed about 40 minutes total listening time to that blowhard, Rush Limbaugh, but it isn’t something I wear as a badge of honor. I do try to catch Car Talk when I can, though. Does that qualify as “Talk Radio”? After all, Tom and Ray do talk. They have callers, and it’s much more entertaining than the lies on CBSNBCCNNABC et al. But as to the moron assertion, the jury’s still out there.

7. So, do you get a fax from the GOP each day for what to say, you @#$% Republican parrot?
Nah. My fax number’s unlisted.

8. Why do you and your blogger friends want to silence and fire everyone who disagrees with you, fascist?
Actually, I like hearing stupid people talk, as long as I can turn down the volume and do something productive. Or even completely time-wasting. It’s like white noise. I can actually play games of Zen Freecell while skimming the latest rants of idiots. (My Freecell score attained while “reading” and/or listening to idiots is now at 4,600 wins, zero losses. Idiots are good for clearing one’s head. Or sinuses.) When you can listen to/read them and hear/read the actual content of their thoughts—yadayadayada—then you will have attained true peace, Grasshopper.

9. Are you completely ignorant of other countries, or do you actually own a passport?
No passport. Why would I need to travel to a third world country when I live in America’s Third World County™? At least I know Andorra’s political structure. And that could be important one day, if I can ever trick another buncha folks into playing Trivial Pursuit with me. For money.

10. Have you even been to another country, you dumb hick?
Thanks for asking. Yes. Several. BTDT. ::yawn:: But thanks for noticing that I’m from America’s Third World County™.

11. If you’re so keen on the war, why haven’t you signed up, chickenhawk?
I’m an old fart who can’t fake a 30-year difference with a fake birth certificate. What’s your excuse?

12. Do you have any idea of the horrors of war? Have you ever reached into a pile of goo that was your best friend’s face?
Horrors of war? I’ve “taught” seventh graders (as though seventh graders could be taught!). Don’t talk to me about the horrors of war! (And I’ve seen cold cream in the morning. .. )

13. Have you ever reached into any pile of goo?
Why, yes. Thank you for asking. I recall cleaning up my first stiff. (Well, he was stiff long before he died, in fact, and I periodically cleaned up some nasty goo then, too.) And my second… and…
It was a great job to work my way through school with. people dropping like flies on my shift every week… But please don’t ask meagain about procedures for removing a certain type of impacted waste product.

14. Once again, who the h*** do you think you are?!
I don’t know. You tell me. We’d both have a better chance of getting it right than a certain Presidential Rhodes Scholar…

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