Friday, March 22, 2019

Music Friday: "Professor Booty"

I only know of two songs that have the word "professor" in them. One is R.E.M.'s "Sad Professor."

In light of the good news I received today, I offer you "Professor Booty." 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

I am in support of the global movement of the "Fridays for Future" movement. As detailed in this Washington Post article, "School Climate Strikes Draw Thousands to the Streets in Cities Around the Globe," the movement entails this: "students forgo classes each week in favor of something they have said is more important: pleading for action on an issue that will affect every person on the planet, but young people most of all." I find it heartening that people are protesting when many of them can't even vote yet. 

Meanwhile a majority of the GOP and Moscow Don either don't want to do anything about climate change or stupidly describe it as a "hoax." 


Stupid, stupid clowns. 

Their nonsense reminds me of a great quotation from a fine book by Catherine Nixey: The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World:

  • "One can achieve a great deal by the blunt weapons of indifference and sheer stupidity." 

Here in Illinois, the state legislature has passed a law that is going to the new Governor that is making the legal age of buying tobacco products at age 21. I don't know about this bill. If there is any legal age that needs to be changed, the legal age to buy alcohol should move back down to 18. I do see teenagers vaping as a major issue, however. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Music Friday: "They Don't Shine"

I need to get it together and start posting more often. I've had all of spring break, but I've been doing some work around the house and doing some reading. 

Regardless, Tedeschi Trucks Band has a new album out, and here's a solid tune from that opus. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Music Friday: "Fourth of July"

I am late to posting my regular Music Friday post because the Nasty family had to drive to Springfield because my daughter was dancing her solo at a dance competition on the UIS campus. 

On our way back in the middle of the night, the Sirius XM Lithium channel had an "artist confidential" feature that had Chris Cornell singing a number of songs acoustically. It was part of a tour I guess he did years ago. 

One of the questions he was asked was about how certain songs just didn't work right with an acoustic arrangement. The song he directly mentioned was "Fourth of July," one of my favorite Soundgarden tunes and a fitting song this week since Superunknown was released 25 years ago. 

Cornell also mentioned that this song is one of the best lyrics he ever wrote. 

So I happily present to you "Fourth of July."

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Pesto-Laced Meatballs with Quick Red Sauce

I got the idea for pesto-infused meatballs from a cooking show hosted by Jamie Oliver. I made some modifications though because I used pork rinds. 

2 lbs. of ground beef
Half of a yellow onion, chopped finely
2 cups (approximately) of regular pork rinds, smashed into crumbs
5 tablespoons of jarred pesto
2 tablespoons of Penzey's Tuscan Sunset seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Smidge of garlic powder
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
olive oil
1 ball of fresh mozzarella, cut in pieces to cover the meatballs

Saute the onion in a bit of olive oil for approximately 8-10 minutes. In the meantime, combine the ground beef, crushed pork rinds, pesto, and some of the seasonings. Once the onions are done, add them to the mix and combine with a potato masher. 

Form the beef mixture into the size of meatballs you want, put olive oil into a cast iron skillet, heat on medium-high, and brown the meatballs on all sides. You probably want to brown the meatballs in two or three batches. 

Put the meatballs into a 400 degree oven and cook until the insides are the desire temperature. Pull the skillet out of the oven, remove the meatballs, and drain the skillet of any grease. 

Put the skillet back on the stovetop on medium-low heat and then add the meatballs, crushed tomatoes, and seasonings. Cook for about ten to fifteen minutes and coat the meatballs from time to time with the sauce. Top the meatballs with the fresh mozzarella and cover the skillet to make the cheese melt over the meatballs.That'll take maybe five minutes, and they should be ready. 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Music Friday: "Outshined"

It's been a long damn day. I'm feeling outshined.

Btw, this tune is probably one of my top ten favorite Soundgarden songs. 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

After reading so many articles in the paper about Moscow Don's associates, I'm getting weary of the word "pleaded." That past tense in the English language doesn't make any sense to me. I would argue it should be "pled." 

If one considers the past tense of "lead," which is "led," it is not logical that the past tense of "plead" is "pleaded." It just sounds funny. 

In a similar vein, I get that the past tense of "cancel" is acceptable as either "canceled" or "cancelled." Cancelled to me just looks better. It's got two Ls. It is not playing around. It's CANCELLED. I like that extra l for emphasis. 

We finally made the switch from Directv to HULU. I am liking the change for monetary reasons, but I miss watching The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and MLB Network on a regular basis. 

I surely won't miss the weather wreaking havoc with Directv's reception though. 

In the wake of yesterday's testimony, this is an opinion piece that, to me, gets it right: "Michael Cohen Testimony on Donald Trump Was a WWE Body Slam Against Trump. Here's Why It's Credible."  I enjoy the concluding sentence: "Prosecutors have a saying: Conspiracies hatched in hell don't have angels as witnesses."

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Green Lentil Soup

The other week when I was at Aldi shopping I was browsing that aisle Aldi has that is a collection of seasonal items and foodstuffs they're trying to get rid of for whatever reason. As I browsed, I happened upon a bag of green lentils. 

I've had canned Progresso lentil soup many times, but I had no idea there was such a thing as a green lentil. I grabbed the bag for $1.29, and yesterday I made this soup based on the recipe on the back of the bag. As is my nature, I modified the recipe a good bit. 

3 medium carrots, sliced into think half moons
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1/2 of a yellow onion, finely chopped
6 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of green lentils
1 package of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 bay leaves
Healthy smidge of garlic powder
Healthy smidge of Penzey's Old World Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
wedge of a lime

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil on medium-high and add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook for roughly 8-10 minutes so the celery and onions soften considerably. Add the stock, bay leaves, and seasonings. Heat to a boil and then put the lid on and reduce the heat to low. 

Let that percolate for about 20 minutes, so the lentils soften. Then add in the mushrooms and simmer for another 10 minutes. Test for proper seasoning and serve. 

When I had the soup, I added a little Sambal Oleak and chopped cilantro and then queezed a wedge of lime into it. I think I might also try it by adding chopped green olives. 

If you can get past the soup's greenish-brown color (not the most aesthetically pleasing), it's a good soup. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Music Friday: "Jack & Diane"

This song was a huge hit for Mellencamp. It's a great song. 

The other day I watched the documentary Hired Gun. In a small part of the documentary, it features Mellencamp's longtime drummer Kenny Aronoff. He talked about his challenge of creating possibly the best drum fills of all time on this song. 

"Oh yeah, life goes on ... long after the thrill of living is gone." 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

When did it become okay for people to use their smartphones to blare whatever video they want and thereby subjecting everyone around them to have to listen to what they're watching? 

The 60 Minutes interview with Andrew McCabe is worth watching. From what I've read from various articles and heard in the interview, it seems quite clear that Moscow Don is seriously compromised. I would not be surprised if he and his campaign actively worked with the Russians to influence and win the election. 

For lunch the other day, I put together two things I like: imitation crab and grilled cheese. I simply put some Aldi's imitation crab meat between two slices of provolone in a regular grilled cheese sandwich. It was good, but the sandwich has an interesting mouthfeel that might not be appealing to some. You bite into the sandwich, and the inside is soft and gooey.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Mediterranean Chicken & Bean Soup

I saw a Mediterranean Chicken & Chickpea Soup in an issue of Eating Well, but Mrs. Nasty doesn't like chickpeas, and she doesn't like chicken thighs. So I used some cannellini beans I had in the cupboard and poached some chicken breasts. 

2 large chicken breasts, poached and shredded 
2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with juices
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic or a healthy does of garlic powder
4-5 teaspoons of ground cumin
4-5 teaspoons of paprika 
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
6 cups of water
1 can of quartered artichoke hearts, cut into smaller pieces
sliced green olives
chopped cilantro
Salt and cracked pepper to taste

After poaching and shredding the chicken breasts, pour the water into the slow cooker. Add chicken, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, onion, garlic, and spices. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Reserve the artichoke hearts, olives, capers, and cilantro for toppings  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Music Friday: "So Lonely"

I was/am a big fan of the Police, but I don't recall ever seeing this video for "So Lonely" off the band's first album. 

I'm been listening to the Police a lot lately. 

But we are all so lonely.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Music Friday: "In Hell I'll Be In Good Company"

Via FB I saw that this band is playing some music festival in rural Iowa the same day that Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit is playing. 

I'm intrigued. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

Lots of people are bitching about how boring the Super Bowl was because there wasn't a lot of scoring. I liked it because I appreciate good defense. People have gotten too used to video-game-style football. 

As I channel my inner 70-year old man, I state this conclusively: "Defense wins championships." 

And get off my lawn, you damn kids. 

Back in my day, teams ran the ball a lot instead of doing these damn short passes to receivers and other whatnot.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Music Friday: "Your Racist Friend"

Here's a great tune from Flood, an album one of the guys who lived down the hall from me in my dorm played all the time my freshman year. 

I heard the album so much that I got tired of They Might Be Giants. 

That was then. 

I like the band now.