Saturday, July 23, 2016

Music Friday: "The Watermelon Crawl"

The Nasty family went to Six Flags "St. Louis" with another family yesterday. We didn't get back until 11:30 pm or so. That trip and the fact my kids had their big conference swimming meet today is why this post is late. We left way early in the morning to travel to Effingham, so my son could be there for warmups at 7:15 am. 

While we were at Hurrican Harbor at Six Flags yesterday, this song was played. I hadn't heard it in ages. It was a regular tune on a jukebox at a certain tavern I frequented in college. 

Enjoy the cheesy country music. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

We spent a week in Orlando for a national dance competition my daughter's squad was competing in. One we went to Typhoon Lagoon. One phenomenon I noticed there and at the local swimming pool this summer is that some men wear underwear under their swim trunks. I don't understand. Men's swim trunks have liners in them. What's the point? Are some guys ball sacs so sensitive that they have to wear underwear to swim? 

On a positive note, going to a massive waterpark like that one can make a person feel better about their body image. 

The GOP Convention starts today. I expect it to be ridiculous. 

Speaking of ridiculous, this short article, "Republican Platform Declares Coal is Clean," should have been put out by The Onion, not Grist. You could accuse the RNC of plagiarism. 

My family and friends of our family have recently gotten into geocaching. I enjoy it. It gets me outside and walking and exploring places. 

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Leftover Pasta Bake

Here's a simple dish I made for my family tonight. It uses leftovers. 


2-4 tablespoons of butter
3-4 cups of leftover shell pasta (rotini, ziti, and other such pastas would work)
1-2 leftover grilled chicken breast/s
3 tablespoons of diced yellow onion
1/2-3/4 cup of freshly grated cheddar
Health dose of Parmesan
Salt and peppar to taste
Healthy smidge of Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet on medium heat, dump in the onion, and sauté for 5 minutes or so. Dump in the leftover pasta, stir to coat the pasta, and then add the leftover chicken breast. Cook for five minutes. Set the skillet aside and top the concoction with the cheese. 

Bake in the oven for roughly 10-15 minutes till the edges get crispy and the cheese melts gloriously. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Music Friday: "No Excuses"

I've been meaning to write at least a Random Notes post based partly on my vacation in Orlando, FL. But I haven't yet. 

Regardless, no excuses. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Music Friday: "See a Little Light," "Dreaming I Am," and "Stand Guard"

Bob Mould has a new album out called Patch the Sky. I plan to buy it soon. 

In lieu of his new work, here's some of his old solo work. I featured his old solo stuff more than a few years back if you want to check that out too. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

Amid all the gnashing of teeth because of Clinton's emails, the whole deal reminds me of the millions of emails that were conveniently deleted during Generalissimo Dubya's regime: "The George W. Bush Email Scandal the Media Has Conveniently Forgotten" from Salon & "Bush Advisors' Approach on Email Draws Fire" from the New York Times

Which leads me to this satirical take about why certain people dislike/don't trust/hate Hillary Clinton: "All the Terrible Things Hillary Clinton Has Done - In One Big List." 

Regardless, both cases make me think about how the justice system is rigged for wealthy individuals with connections. 

Nontheless, I'd rather vote for the Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson than Trump. 

My favorite candidate is Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate, but I'm still voting for Hillary. 

I'm behind on getting some new music. The Avett Brothers and Sarah Jarosz have new albums, and I'm intrigued by the new album by Sarah Watkins. 

This article will make you think differently about the hot dog. But why do the good ones taste so damn good? 

I've only read two of of Philip K. Dick's novels, The Man in the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, both of which I enjoyed immensely. I had heard he had a troubled background as many artists do, and a new book uncovers his troublesome life. "Philip K. Dick's Divine, Amphetamine-Fueled Madness" sheds some light on the author. It's adapted from the writer's full-length book. 

This morning I was looking at a piece of art from another troubled artist, Jackson Pollock

Friday, July 1, 2016

Music Friday: "No Shirts, No Shoes, No Knuckleheads"

I'm a regular watcher of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. 

Last night they debuted Colbert and Simpson's song being played on the Waffle House jukebox at the restaurant Colbert frequented in Charleston, SC. 

Here's the first time they played it. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Music Friday: "Kinda Fuzzy"

When I was cooking the other day, this song came on via my iPod shuffle. I was reminded how good of an album Wonderful, Glorious is. 


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

After the horrible slayings in Orlando, the gun control/assault rifle debate is back again. And yet again under the influence of the NRA, no new legislation was passed. A person on a terrorist no-fly list is able to buy a gun

For a Canadian's take on the United States' gun problem, check out "The #1 Factor Experts Say Accounts for High Number of Mass Shootings in US."   

Then again, here is an article that provides good news for gun-control advocates. 

As a well-known introvert, I have to share these comics that help explain us: "10 Comics Explain What It's Really Like To Be an Introvert." My favorite is the shirt that asks, "Why are you still talking?" 

The work of one climate-change denier didn't go so well

DuPont is not a company I'm fond of because of its environmental pollution record, but they are working hard at trying to transform corncobs into fuel. I hope their research and innovation works. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Music Friday: "Tear in My Beer"

Let's get back to basics: Hank Williams ~ sadness ~ drinking ~ regret ~ loneliness ~ despair ~ heartache. 

In other words, it's the blues. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

I'm happy to relate I'm not part of organized religion anymore. That change happened decades ago. I'm more a believer in disorganized spirituality. One of the bonuses of that stance is that I don't have any kind of religious-based rationale to hate gay people. 

My daughter, on the other hand, has been going to this youth group for over a year now. I have misgivings about it for various reasons. I know exactly how the main characters of The Americans feel about their daughter Paige getting involved with a church. 

In The Atlantic online, the magazine solicited readers' replies to this question: "What is the greatest prank of all time?" The one I liked the best was from Frank Tokarsky: "To paraphrase George Carlin, the greatest prank of all time must be what organized religion is trying to peddle: 'There's this man who lives in the sky; he knows everything, and he sees everything ... and he needs your money." 

Here's an extended version of those sentiments: "The greatest bullshit story every told." 

I started out my resurrected softball career with a groundout (5-3) in my first at bat, a mildly pulled groin, a misplay in right field, a much needed walk for my second at bat, and a run scored. That certainly checks off the boxes for middle-aged man. The last time I played softball was when I severely dislocated my left thumb (the bone was sticking out) back in the mid-90s. I'm a bit rusty. 

Check out Robert H. Frank's "Why Luck Matters More Than You Think." That article spurred me buy his book, Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy. Frank is an economist, a profession stereotyped as being abstruse writers. However, the book is very readable and thought provoking.  

Friday, June 10, 2016

Music Friday: "Purple Mountain Jamboree" & "Straight to Hell"

I'm a big fan of Todd Snider. 

Now his super-band of sorts put out a second album. This time instead of covers, which is what the first album was full of, they are original songs. 

The first song is from the new album, and the second is from the first. 

Have a good weekend, folks. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Music Friday: "Mockingbird"

Here's a band that put out a new album recently. 

They are some dudes from Texas. I've only listened to the album a few times so far, but I enjoy it. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

One of the dangers of having a subscription to The New Yorker is the magazine's "Briefly Noted" feature, which introduces people to recently published books. One issue sucked me into buying The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman, and now I'm considering other books that the feature introduced me to: Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America and Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-first.  

I've been a subscriber to Utne magazine since high school. The spring issue features a number of great articles. Here are three of them:

If you're interested in words that have grammatical versatility, check out "In Which We Get to the Bottom of Some Crazy-Ass Language." 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Music Friday: "Left Hand Free"

Last night the Nasty family finally got around to watching Captain America Civil War

It was your typical Marvel Studios fare. I'm sure there are all kinds of differences between what actually happened in the comic books and how the movie presents the events, but I'll leave that to those who are reading Avengers comics. 

As is their bent, this Marvel-based movie had two bonus scenes/trailers after the main film was over. 

Before the second one featuring yet another permutation of Spiderman, this song was playing by a band I wasn't familiar with named Alt-J.