Month: December 2011

Cooking for the Culinarily Challenged

I love these guys. When they geek out on Star Wars, or talk about the issues faced by a gay family, their cooking videos are amusing as all hell.

Should mention that the Star Wars thing, agree completely on Empire Strikes Back. By Jedi Returns you could see Lucas going off the deep end. The Ewoks were cute but that whole movie could have been thirty minutes long and you would have seen Luke and Darth battle it out, and the Darth throwing the Emperor into the reactor was epic! But Empire Strikes back is still the best of them all.

Anyhow the cooking videos, case in point here’s Wasabi Mashed Potatoes and bacon/brussel sprouts:

I emailed them another way to prepare Brussels sprouts. Just cut them in half, season with salt, pepper and maybe a little garlic powder or fresh chopped garlic, and then heat up a tablespoon each of unsalted butter and olive oil in a pan. Put the sprouts in cut face down and leave them like that. You want to caramelize them a bit. When they’re brown you’ll know. Give them a flip over and let the whole side cook for a minute or so.

By then you’ll have a bit of stuff stuck to the bottom of the pan. De-glaze with a little of your favorite red wine.

Back to the video, it amuses me because of the ode to Julia Child in Bryan’s drinking the wine. Too funny.

But one bit of advice I can give all of you. Once you get it down, you’re good to go. Timing is EVERYTHING. I learned this a few years back and everyone is surprised how calm I am about big meals.

And yes, I’m a drink while cooking type too. Julia was right, never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink.

Sarah Palin can shut it

Sarah Palin is all aghast that the White House holiday card isn’t festooned with the Roman instrument of torture, the cross.

Well Sarah, not everyone in the United States is Christian. That’s right peaches, some of us are big, bad nasty atheists! I can see the horror creeping across your face right now Sarah.

I don’t believe in God. And what’s more, the symbols of the season, the colors, they’re all lifted directly from Pagan practice. Red, Green, Gold, Silver, yep all Pagan. The tree, that goes back to the old Yuletide.

And the light – that too is a Pagan symbol. It beckoned for the light to return because December 21st was the solstice. That means that overall we’re going to get more light by a minute or two per day until we’re once again in daylight time in the U.S.

It just proves that Sarah Palin doesn’t know jack shit.

Finally ordered one

An EZ-Pass. The retarded part of it is it wants a car registration. So I gave it what I will have on my car. You see when I do buy a car I will get my amateur radio callsign put on the plate. And I know the make/model/year of the vehicle I want so I just keyed that all in. And they did dip the money out of my account so lets see how fast they ship it.

I decided to get it because over the past five years I’ve been driving back and forth to North Carolina and the damned tolls, they’ll have one lane open for cash, and twenty open for EZ-Pass. So I decided it was time to get one.

Now nominally the trip is 12 hours with the toll waits. I figure this will shave off perhaps 3 hours from the trip not having to come to a complete stop and wait for an hour plus at each toll stop.

Cox selling off wireless spectrum to Verizon

Wow, I could have told them they shouldn’t bother with wireless.

First of all Cox priced themselves out of the market. They have a relatively small physical footprint, and they wanted $70 which when taxes and fees were applied probably rose to $90 a month.

For what? I pay $50 for UNLIMITED voice, text and net/web. So why the hell would I pay close to $100 a month for a service with a smaller physical footprint?

I didn’t, and a lot of other people didn’t either. That is why Cox was pretty much forced to sell off their spectrum grab.

What concerns me is that now two companies, at&t and Verizon control almost ALL the wireless spectrum in the United States.

It’s going to get ugly.

A Miracle on 22nd Street

This is amazing. It happened in 2010 but it’s still relevant. And of course the NY Times makes it hard to embed on WordPress. So here it is.

And then there is the story where people are paying off the holiday lay-a-ways at stores like K-Mart and Wal-Mart.

You know, sometimes you can be as grouchy as hell about the holiday, or about the Christians out there trying to make us second class citizens. But to read about and watch the acts of people trying to make it a better holiday kind of restores ones faith in humanity to do the right thing.

There are a lot of “Christians” out there who could learn a serious lesson from the people who’ve made this a happy holiday for countless families.

Even I, as atheist as I am have helped people out. We all have to do it. And sometimes we are the recipients of the generosity of our fellow man.

And meanwhile I’m off on a national security errand.

Professor Elizabeth Warren candidate for U.S. Senate lays it down!

You have to watch this. She knows of what she speaks, she’s done the research and she is one of our best hopes to restore the Senate to the Democrats.

What interests me most is that not one politician has embraced the statement that over the last 30 years, but going back even further into the late 1940’s we’ve seen a systematic movement to separate the middle class from their hard earned dollars.

In fact over the last 30 years we’ve seen an outright looting of the middle class. Our wages have stagnated at the same time as credit terms have become overly burdensome.

But it’s clear, we need to take our government BACK from the corporate plutocracy.


And here is something else to chew on. Medicare/Medicaid and even the Veterans Administration strive to reduce the cost of health care while improving health outcomes.

There was a story a few years back about the VA in Missouri. At the time they were spending $45,000 per patient to care for para and quadriplegic soldiers with health outcomes that weren’t so good. Then an administrator thought of an idea, send the doctors and nurses out into the community to visit those soldiers.

A few notes from that:

1) Health outcomes for those soldiers improved! Some doctors said it most succinctly that because they could visit the patients, they could head off hospitalizations for pneumonia, etc.

2) The cost per patient DECREASED to $17,000 a year, a full 63% reduction in cost to provide care to their patients and to have positive health outcomes as a result.

I remember Ronald Reagan stating that government was the problem. He was wrong then and those who think government can’t do anything, well let me explain a bit further.

Government prior to the banks getting control could respond to natural disasters. Government provided more police to keep our cities safe, more teacher to educate the children, and they also provide health care for the elderly and the poor.

It’s that last that is REALLY interesting. I’ve already demonstrated that the VA could achieve SIGNIFICANT reductions in cost while improving the health of their patients.

But here’s the kicker. Medicaid/Medicare have an overhead cost of 3% of budgeted total. Private insurance companies on the other hand run in the 15% to 28% overhead strata.

So tell me, who really does a better job?

Some soothsaying on national politics

I’ve been following the news stories regarding Newt Gingrich (Hence soothsaying), Mitt Romney, and Rick Perry with some interest.

Because I think all of them have flaws that if the DNC and the President run with them doom any chances of their ever being President.

Gingrich for example has proposed putting kids to work as janitors in schools. That’s pretty egregious for a country that loves it’s kids.

Then of course we have Rick Perry and his anti-gay screed. That just doesn’t play like it used to back in 2004 Ricky Boy. And not for anything, Rick Perry is, to put it succinctly, an idiot. Those ‘jobs’ in Texas? Mostly low paying temporary positions. And Perry’s associates are highly disturbing, from whack job Pastors to big oil.

Now Romney – we were discussing him at work the other day. First of all there’s that suspicion that he’s more loyal to the Mormon church than he would be to we the people. And then there’s that magic underwear bit.

Plus Romney has the baggage of acting rather liberal in the overhaul of health care in Massachusetts while he was governor. It appears he can’t decide if he is liberal or conservative, he flip-flops with a regularity accurate enough to act as something to which to synchronize a clock.

In essence Romney is always after being something, be it Governor, President, all for the greater glory of himself and his church. Need we forget Romney’s claim to fame was doing leveraged buyouts of companies and flushing out the workers.

With this in mind I suspect that President Obama has a pretty good chance of getting a second term.

I also see the bloom coming off the rose with regard to the Tea Baggers. Yes, I will never stop calling them that. It is a summary of the bat shit insanity of the group.

You have Elizabeth Warren opening up a very strong lead against Scott Brown in Massachusetts, and we’re seeing some good challenges to the Tea Baggers elsewhere too.

I think we’ve all had quite enough of the obstructionism of the Republican/Tea Bagger alliance.

So check back in a year and see if I was right.

Rick Perry and his Catholic Bishops

So I won’t even post the video here because I find it so odious.

You have Rick Perry trying to say the wall of separation is only for freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. If we played by his interpretation the U.S. wouldn’t have the religious freedoms it enjoys today. I should know, I live in RI where Roger Williams proposed the Lively Experiment, where the first Synagogue and first Baptist churches stand.

But we have our own asshat of a Bishop, Thomas Tobin. Tobin cannot resist putting his fingers where they don’t belong, namely on the rights of we the people, be we gay, lesbian, bisexual or even transgender.

I see the Catholic church as irrelevant at this juncture in time. They had their chance to run things and all we got for it was a lot of dead people and a bunch of people who don’t know what is in the Bible these days.

All you have to do is look at how many different versions there are of the Bible to know something is seriously wrong.

And just so there’s no doubt, I am no longer Catholic. I have defiled the host Bishop, please excommunicate me.