Thursday, July 18, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

Moscow Don's racist twitterstorm about the Squad shouldn't surprise anyone. 

"An Oral History of Trump's Bigotry" in the June issue of The Atlantic does a fine job of showing how his "go back to their countries" idiotic comment is par for the racist course. 

A friend on FB shared an image about hemp that I found interesting. Here are the points:
  • "Anything made from plastic can be made from hemp.
  • Hemp requires about half the amount of water that cotton needs.
  • 1 acre of hemp produces the same amount as 4.1 acres of trees.
  • 1 acre of hemp produces more oxygen than 25 acres of forest." 

I'm told all that is true. 

America needs to start growing lots of damn hemp, people. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

Of all of the op-ed writers out there, Greg Sargent of The Washington Post is one of the strongest ones writing right now. Check out these two fine columns for your edification:

Today I was reminded of this fine scene from Blazing Saddles


Friday, July 12, 2019

Music Friday: "Shame" & "Misunderstood"

I featured "They Don't Shine" a while back for a Music Friday post, but here's another fine song from the new album by the Tedeschi Trucks Band. "Shame" is a live performance from 2018.  

For a bonus, I am featuring another live performance of a great song, "Misunderstood." 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

I hate bottled water. It's such a scam. Most of the plastic bottles don't get recycled, and if they do, there's a problem because China is no longer taking our plastic recycling. 

If you haven't been paying attention, look into what plastic is doing to our waterways and oceans

The height of stupidity is what I've witnessed this week. My in-laws bought bottled water. So I went down to the ice machine at our resort and got ice. These people then put ice in a glass and pour bottled water into it. The ice cubes come from the local water supply, and then they pour bottled water with the ice cubes. If you're going to use locally sourced ice cubes, why the hell would you not use the damn tap water? 

Over the vacation I've read two books by Neil Gaiman: Anansi Boys and Neverwhere. Both were outstanding. And I'm wondering if the BBC series Neverwhere is on Netflix or Amazon Prime. 

The next book I'm off to read is White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

The Nasty family is in the midst of a vacation. 

We first started in the monstrosity that is the Smoky Mountains Recreational Complex. 

While it's easy to disparage the typical tourist trap nonsense in that area, the Smoky Mountains are quite beautiful. We went zip lining above the tree line in the mountains, The next day we did white water rafting, which was fun as hell. And the final day we partook in the obligatory go-kart racing, which was a good time. 

Vacationing in that area does become an exercise in eating food that isn't good for you. 

On the way from Tennessee to my daughter's dance competition in scenic Sandusky, Ohio, the drive was beautiful, but the selection of music stations sucked. We rented a vehicle for the trip, so we didn't have our regular SiriusXM stations to choose from. Gosh, the selection of radio stations in Kentucky, in particular, is horrid. Absolutely horrible. 

On our way over from the interstate going to Cleveland, we had to take some two-lane roads. So I got to take in the scenery of upper Ohio, which reminded me of certain parts of Missouri. 

We drove through the hometown of Thomas Edison: Milan, Ohio. Factoid alert. 

On one patch of road, I encountered a sign stating "Rough Crossing" before railroad tracks. I've never seen that sign before. 

I want one. It sums up a lot about life. 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Music Friday: "Light On"

I'm late again. We're in the middle of a vacation in the Smoky Mountains. After driving most of the day Friday, then zip lining in the mountains on Saturday, and doing various activities today, I have all kinds of excuses, but in reality, I could have posted on Friday. 

My bad. 

I dug this song by this young lady, so I bought her album a while back. 

I guess her music might be considered as alternative pop? 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Music Friday: "Right On Through"

I'm late again. I thought about posting on Friday like regular, but it slipped my mind. 

Then with our last travel baseball tournament of the season this weekend, I didn't get to it until today. We played at Noon and 6 on Saturday and then had to travel back for a 8am game on Sunday. No rest for the wicked. 

As I was walking the dog tonight, this song came across on shuffle. I haven't listened to Wide Swing Tremelo from start to finish is a good while. I need to because I had forgotten about this song. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: White Bean & Avocado Salad

I made an improvement on a previous recipe because it's more simple and does not make as large a batch. I cut down on the number of beans to accentuate the avocados. 

2 cans of Great Northern beans (or something similar), rinsed and drained
2 avocados, cut into makeshift cubes
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
3-5 TB of extra virgin olive oil
A healthy bunch of cilantro, chopped
Half of lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse and drain the beans. Dump the beans into a large bowl and add the vinegar. Cut up the avocados and add to the bowl. Squeeze the lime over the mixture and add the olive oil and cilantro. Season with salt and cracked black pepper.  

Friday, June 21, 2019

Music Friday: "Fireline Road"

Here's a song with lyrics that'll get your attention. 

A classic tale told by James McMurtry.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

I finally got around to reading David Frum's fine article in The Atlantic. In the magazine, it's title is "How Much Immigration Is Too Much?" On the Interwebs it's titled "If Liberals Won't Enforce Borders, Fascists Will."

To me, Frum is on the mark about the US immigration policy being supported more by nostalgia and not asking hard questions. As he states, "But immigration needs to be thought of as a system, not a symbol [like a stupid wall]. And the system is not working. No intentional policy has led the U.S. to accept more low-wage, low-skill laborers and fewer cancer researchers. Yet that is what the United States is doing." 

And as he gets to the close of the article, he offers this point: "More than any other area of government, U.S. immigration policy is driven by nostalgia--by ancestral memories of a world long gone. Give me your tired, your poor...

This is no way to think about the problems of today. These are new times, calling for new thinking." 

In another article in The Atlantic, this time in the May issue, a Professor of Linguistics describes how the language is changing in a way that is a bit odd. Check out "Why Grown-Ups Keep Talking Like Little Kids." His analysis brought up some syntactical changes people have been making all the time.  

The last three times I've walked the dog the song below has played with my iPod on shuffle. It is one of my favorite Lucero tunes. However, I'm trying to understand what the universe is trying to tell me.

As I watched the White Sox-Cubs game tonight, I thought about the cities that have two baseball teams, and I asked my son which of the sets of teams he'd root for: 

  • New York: Yankees or Mets
  • Bay Area: As or Giants
My son went with the Yankees and Giants, and I went the Mets and As. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Music Friday: "Heartbreak Beat"

I'm late again, damn it. 

Regardless, I heard this old tune on a Sirius XM station yesterday, and I had forgotten about it. I haven't heard it in years. 

It's such an 80s song. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Music Friday; "Right Place Wrong Time"

In reverence for Dr. John's passing, today I"m going with what is arguably his most famous song. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

The past month has featured one disappointing series finale and a movie as a series finale. 

The much talked about Game of Thrones series finale shows what the last two seasons have been, a foray into HBO fan fiction. I was a bit surprised that Jon offed Danerys, but I don't get the logic of Tyrion's claim that Bran the Broken has the "best story." The best story of all is Jon Snow's. 

All in all, the last season was rushed.

And Martin still hasn't published the last two damn books. 

With much anticipation, I watched the Deadwood movie. I enjoyed it. It didn't end with a neatly wrapped ending, but we can assume that Hearst gets off on the murder of Charlie Udder because based on historical accounts, he did just fine for himself. It was nice seeing the bastard get beat up though. 

Regardless, it was a pleasure to watch those Deadwood characters again. 

Pacific Standard has a great article outlining that trickle-down economics is a scam: "The IMF Confirms That 'Trickle-Down' Economics Is, Indeed, A Joke." 

Friday, May 31, 2019

Music Friday: "Tank"

I got my daughter into watching the old anime Cowboy Bebop. It's one of my favorite cartoon series ever produced. 

That series does have one of the best them songs ever. Here's the full version. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Random Notes from a Crank

I finally got around to watching Spike Lee's BlacKKKlansman. It's a heck of a movie. Having watched a number of his films, I think it ranks up there with Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues, and Malcolm X

While I have a personal attraction to Mo' Better Blues because it's about jazz, It's a shame he never won an Oscar for one of the other three movies. 

Here's a shocker via three reputable sources:

It's possible that Kawhi Leonard is still underrated.