Month: March 2012

End the subsidies on big oil and gas now!

So today the Senate had a fillibuster against ending oil subsidies. The Rachel Maddow Show is explaining it right now.

What I find highly offensive is that the oil industry made $32 Billion in profit last year. Let me explain in accounting terms:

Revenue – Expenses = Profit. $32 Billion. So explain to me why the oil companies still need subsidies from the government?

I’ve written before about why gasoline costs so much. It is because the entire system from exploration  to extraction, to refining is all tightly controlled by just a handful of companies.

It’s time we the people take our country back.


TuneIn – For Android an IOS

I love this application. Yes, I have my music loaded up on my phone but sometimes it’s nice to let someone else drive the music flow.

Sure I have Pandora on the phone too but I like TuneIn more. You can browse by music genre, location, etc.

Here are the stations I love:

GotRadio – Jazz

House Channel

Party Hitz Radio

Y! Mowtown

WHUR 96.3

181.FM Old School

88.1|Power 88 (Hip Hop)

WRNB 100.3 (R&B)

106.3 |WWKX|Hot 106 – Hip Hop

Fullasoul Radio

Right now I’m listening to WHUR 96.3 – their Quiet Storm program is on.  OMG, Roberta Flack – The Closer I Get to You, the song also features Donny Hathaway.


Food: Watching Cupcake Wars

Wow, I never knew you could do so much with the simple cupcake. But then the different cakes, frostings, and other treatments make sense.

We were watching an episode where one of the cupcake contestants was doing a completely Vegan cupcake. That includes no salt, processed sugar, or fat. Now let me tell you, when I worked for a company doing nutritional scoring we noticed a pattern. Anything with salt, sugar or fat got a lower score than the same item without those three items. For example, broccoli scores really high, but add fat and salt and the score plummets.

So with the above in mind, I knew the Vegan chef wouldn’t cut it and I was right. The judges even laid into her about how flat they tasted, how awful.

Look, we humans evolved to have the cravings for salt, sugar and fats. This is evident when you buy  a steak and cook it. The lean cuts of steak are pretty awful, tough, not very good steaks.  But get a cut with a little fat in it, like perhaps a top loin steak, or my other favorite, the rib eye steak. They have nice streaks of fat through them. And when seasoned and cooked properly by searing for  3 to 4 minutes per side, then into an 400F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how you like your steaks.

Note the above violates the no meat, no fat, no salt rules. But I don’t care. I’m an omnivore, meat, vegetable, fish, fruit you name it.

Food: Polenta

So I’ve never made it before because it’s pretty available at the food emporiums nearby. But I thought what the hell, time to expand my culinary skills a little bit more.  I use fine cornmeal for it, but you can use medium cornmeal.

I used a basic recipe for Polenta:

8 cups of water

10 oz.  fine grain yellow cornmeal

3 tsp. salt

Combine water and salt, bring to a boil. Let  a stream of cornmeal into the boiling water and whisk until all the cornmeal is consumed.  Set the heat to med-lo and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Number one, it’s delicious. Straight out of the pot it has a creamy texture. But here’s where it gets versatile, put it in a container and refrigerate it.  Then pop it out of the container, slice and sautee in some butter, or chunk it up and use your favorite tomato sauce.

I haven’t deep fried it yet, I need to get fresh peanut oil before I do. Probably see how much the 10 gallon jugs at Five Guys costs. Yes, they sell the potatoes and the peanut oil, all has custom UPC codes on them.


Favorite Movies: The Horror Edition

I have touched on my appreciation of all things Zombie in other posts. But I also should mention, I love 1970’s based horror too.

Let’s start in no particular order:

1) The Shining – Classic mind fuck movie. It’s the horror of the unknown, the manifestations, just a fun movie all around. And all work and no play do make Jack a  dull boy

2) The Exorcist – My favorite line “Lick Me!” as little Regan is trying to shove her mothers head to her crotch, and then the levitation bit. Oh yeah!

3) The Omen movies, all of them. You get to see the Devil grow up, how cool is that.  And when daddy-o figures out that his ‘son’ is the devil, he tries to kill him but fails. It’s awesome.

4) Carrie – a telekinetic teen causes some major trauma for folks. And Carrie’s momma, oh bat shit insane Christian. It just gets too good.

5) ObZombie – Dawn of the Dead. Come on, a Mall and Zombies. Easy pickings!


When your ‘fans’ post derogatory comments

If you look at my post about the murder of Trayvon Martin, you’ll see a block of three comments from seemingly different people but they all occur in the five minutes between 2:01AM and 2:06AM.  So I looked further and noted that they ALL came from the same IP address, a Cox address in Las Vegas.

Lets see, who do I now in Las Vegas? I can think of a couple of people, is that you Mike? No, you’ve NEVER commented here before.  Could it be someone spoofing an IP address? Possibly. All I know is that it is definitely someone that doesn’t like me.



Reading: The Idea Factory by Jon Gertner

I am currently reading “The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation” by Jon Gertner.

I’m only about a quarter of the way through the book but it has already covered the founding of Bell Labs, the invention and development of the transistor,  and now I’m at the part of the book where the mathematical section takes over and from the theorists there such as Claude Shannon, Harry Nyquist, and a host of others develop theories such as Information Theory (Shannon).

What I like most about the book is that you learn about the men behind the names. For example, Claude Shannon after delivering his profound Information Theory (ObNote: My B.Sc is in Information Science) he began getting into game theory. He was a guy who rode a unicyle, or even a pogo stick through the halls of Bell Labs. A guy who after fifteen years left Bell and went to work at MIT as effectively their Professor Kronotis. He was a character, no doubt. But his work in Information Theory and Game Theory are heavily in use today. The communication networks we use depend on the former, while the routers and pieces of the net connection owe a lot to the latter.

The book is easy to read, in non technical jargon. But the brilliance of the players, and their foibles are amusing.

For example, John Bardeen, one of the co-inventors of the transistor, was a man who was very quiet, until you got some beer into him. He was so quiet that when he actually spoke, everyone went quiet because it was likely to be profundity that he issued forth. He was the one who figured out how to overcome the  surface states as the obstacle to effectively using a silicon or germanium microscopic  slab to amplify a signal.

Like I said, I’ve read a lot on the Bell System from their internal documentation and books to external treatises. But this book is the best analysis of the people behind the greatest innovations foisted by the Bell System.

You can buy the dead tree version for $17.61 or the Kindle version for $14.99.  I do note the dead tree version dropped from $29.99. This is one I might get both versions.