March 2005


Tatoo this one to the insides of your eyelids

Yes, it’s come to this. Remember Martha Stewart. Then, read this: What NOT to do – When Federal Agents Come Knocking:

“… Don’t talk to a federal investigator of any kind, for any reason, ever, on or off the record. It’s always on the record. Worden’s Rule 1: Stick your tongue between your teeth and bite down until the blood flows. Do not admit to anything. Especially, do not deny anything. Remain mute, no matter how long they try to drag the interview out. Even if an attorney representing you is present, say nothing unless in the privacy of his/her office.”

I was brought up to cooperate with the authorities, but that’s a thing of the past. More and more the petty tyrants of bureaucracies, law enforcement, all the big and little nosy parkers of government, are becoming less and less ‘servants of the people” and more and more enemies of those they purportedly serve.

When asked by any such for “help,” just shut up. Not. One. Word.

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Dan (Riehl World View) “NYTs” Krugman: all the news that’s fit to fake

“Krugman Leaves Times for NRO/Invasion of the Headline Snatchers”

“Fairy tales can come true/It can happen to you… “_*_

🙂

(Apologies to George Carlin)

“… it’s Nine O’Clock in Chicago… In America’s Third World County™, it’s 7:42; time for the Eleven O’Clock Report.” Yeh, I only recall the 7:42 part with anything approaching accuracy. And it was Baltimore. Anyway, a couple of interesting convergent posts in divergent places over the last two days. Both asking (and partially answering) the eternal question: It’s past curfew; do you know where your credit cards are?

This one at The Bleat has James Lileks relating a cautionary tale about a call from his credit card company. Here’s a taste:

“And just the other day I was blithely dismissing worries about shopping on the web. Then again, for all I know someone made an impression of the card at a restaurant; thatÂ’s still the easiest way to get someoneÂ’s credit card number. Anyway, itÂ’s all a mystery. It canÂ’t be connected to those troubles PayPal is having with their database – I answered that email right away and entered my information into their new supersecret computers. I didnÂ’t know they were co-located in Bulgaria, but you learn something every day.

(Just. Kidding.)”

This post tells of an identity theft victim turning the tables on the perpetrators (h/t Joe Zeff commenting at Pournelle’s Current Mail) Ovid goes Sam Spade all over some identity thieves:

“I’m so mad about this that the obvious doesn’t sink in for a bit. I have interesting information. You don’t have breakfast mail-ordered. These thieves were at that restaurant and that’s a local zip code….”

Cracks the case and even gets the cops to respond (!!!!). Good on him.

From a discussion on Jerry Pournelle’s Current Mail page:

I see they’re now discussing putting the Pope on a feeding tube.

And in a surprise announcement, Michael Shiavo says the Pope once told him that he wouldn’t want to live that way.

As long as the Pope avoids Judge Greer, et al…

More at the link about strange bedfellows.

…then it must be time for me to start planning weekend meals

So, here’s a big part of a Saturday meal. heck, with just two of us, now, it’ll last through Sunday (and with WonderWoman going off to a conference Sunday afternoon, it looks like I’ll even have some on Monday). So, I’d better have something good.

And easy, naturally.

Sooo…

Chilis n Cheese Grits

Note: getting my family to eat something called “grits” is a challenge. I still can’t get ’em to eat plain ole grits as a breakfast dish. Not even with crumbled bacon and lotsa butter. Go figure. Must be the Nordic genes craving *lutefisk* instead… *yech!*

This is my modification (naturally) of my mom’s recipe. Since she’s now in her 80s and has been making this for at least 40 years or so, even though I’ve enjoyed it like this, I called to check a couple of things before I wrote this one down. Check’s OK with the REAL cook in the family (with one warning below), so it’s a go. The only amounts below that are pretty well set in stone are the liquid measures and the grits. Everything else, the garlic, onion, bacon and green chiles, can all be vaied in lotsa ways for differing tastes and still end up with delicious Chile Cheese Grits.

8 slices of cooked bacon, fat trimmed, crumbled (or 1/2 C or more packaged bacon bits)
1 C milk (low fat or skim’s ok–see “cheese” below 🙂
2 C water
1 C quick grits–really, don’t take the time with the regular grits. (Less time=lower chance of grits sticking to the pan. 🙂
1 C grated Cheddar/Jack cheese mixed. Any cheese that melts well, apart from mozarella, will do.
1/4 C (or maybe a lil more) sour cream
2 Tbs butter/margarine/olive oil–whatever (actually, I prefer bacon grease)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 can chopped green chiles
2 eggs (beaten)

Oven at 350° F; greased baking dish; coupla pans for prep (sauce pan, frying pan).

Combine the milk and water in a saucepan and bring to just under a boil, then add the quick grits. Reduce the heat and let ’em cook for about 5 minutes. Stir every now and then.

While the grits are cooking, between stirs chop/mince the onion garlic and get them ready for the dish. If you fried the bacon up instead of using packaged bacon bits, sauté the onion and garlic in a couple of tablespoons of bacon fat until just clear. Otherwise, use the butter/margarine/olive oil to sauté the onion/garlic.

OK, now the grits and everything else is ready, dump the onion, garlic, bacon bits, green chiles, (beaten) eggs and cheese together in the grits saucepan and stir well, then dump the mixture in the baking dish. Give it about 30-40 minutes at 350°. My mom says, “Watch it to make sure it doesn’t get too browned.” Remove, let it sit a bit and then serve. It’s great with pinto or red beans, ham, or even as a breakfast side with eggs and salsa.

NOTE: for a “creamier” grits base, add more milk… I’ve been successful with UP TO one additional cup, but it does tend to be a LOT looser the more milk you add, so be careful. Adjust after a few tries to get the end consistency you want.

Note #2: I’ve wanted to try this with chorizo instead of bacon, but I never seem to have chorizo and grits handy at the same time, and chorizo hasn’t been all that easy to come by in America’s Third World County™ until quite recently, anyway… If you try it with a sub for the bacon,let me know how it goes for you, eh?

Mincing garlic: a mini-tutorial

Clove of garlic on cutting board. Lightly crush the clove flat with the side of your chef’s knife. Remove skin. Do NOT clip off the root end! Use the root end as a handle and quickly slice lengthwise from shoot end toward stem. Hey! Keep your fingers outa the way! Now, chop across the garlic. Now whale away at it. VoilĂ ! Neat lil minced pieces. Want a bolder garlic flavor in the dish? Use a garlic press. It’ll release more of the oils and “mince” the garlic even finer.

UPDATE: DO NOTE that I never make this dish exactly as noted above. Tonight was no exception. Happily, it turned out better than usual. Here’s the variation for tonight.

I was running a lil late, so I “compacted” some of the steps. I “microwave-sautĂ©ed” the onion/garlic. Saved some prep and cleanup time. I also tried something I’d been thinking of (not the chorizo—that’ll have to be another time) for a while. I added the “microwave-sautĂ©ed” onion/garlic and the green chiles (about 8oz this time) to the water/milk mixture as it was heating knowing full well that it would “clabber” the milk. Nice lil quasi-cheese addition to the dish. It really added something nice, I think. Mixed EVERYTHING except the eggs and let it sit in the saucepan for a bit while I whisked the eggs. Eggs in, mixed quickly and immediately into the oiled casserole dish, then oven. Saved using a pan for sautĂ©-ing, cut a few minutes prep and had a slightly different taste/texture. Still recognizable as same dish, just a lil different, easier cleanup (by a tad) and a lil faster.

Let me know what changes you make that are successful, would you?

[UPDATE] The tag end of leftovers from this went in a pot of bean/beef soup/stew as thickener. Worked well.

Killing Grandma for Fun and Profit

Folks who’ve read this blog (and my e-logging previously) may well be familiar with holly Lisle. Every now and then I recommend reading her essay, “How to Write Suckitudinous Fiction.” In her previous “life” (before her success as a science fiction author), Holly was—still is, for that matter—an RN. She’s seen folks like Terri Sciavo. Holly has a well-thought-out piece up about the implications of the Schiavo case that I highly recommend. Just CLICK on the linked title, “Killing Grandma for Fun and Profit”

h/t: Jerry Pournelle’s Current Mail

“We hear that there are tumults and riots in Rome, and that voices are raised concerning the army and the quality of our soldiers. Make haste to reassure us that you love and support us as we love and support you, for if we find that we have left our bones to bleach in these sands in vain, then beware the fury of the legions.”

The Loony Left Moonbat Brigade and their co-conspirators in the Mass Media Podpeople’s Army do all they can to bring about an attitude like the one shown “Tommy” below. They succeeded with the Vietnam War. This time around, they have failed—so far.

TOMMY

I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that,
an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,
But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”,
when there’s trouble in the wind,
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys,
there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”,
when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool–you bet that Tommy sees!

Yeh, the LLMB and the MMPA want us to fall for their lies that they support the troops but oppose the war. And how do they show that? By lying about what our troops do and the effect they are having. These folk present our military as having killed an enormous number of Iraqi civilians—often lumping in with genuine casualties both numbers of Iraqis slain by terrorists and the dead scum (the terrorists), then disingenuously inflating the number of both.

Bah. Wait until “the legions” have their turn to express their thoughts on the matter to the MMPA and LLMB…

And don’t for a minute fall for the idea that the reception Tommy got (and that the LLMB and MMPA really want for our military at home) has a good chance of taking hold. Fortunately, even with attempts to manufacure a generation of idiots via prisons for kids masquerading as so-called “public schools,” there are more than enough people in this country who know better than to show such disrespect toward the men and women who are fighting terorists there so that we do not have to do so here. More than enough to serve as a bulwark against the lies damned lies and “news” reporting (with apologies to Mark Twain) that the LLMB and MMPA attempt to feed the public daily.

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