Friday, March 30, 2018

Music Friday: "The Intro" & "Say It Louder"

I had forgotten that the bands Buffalo Tom and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats had new albums come out earlier this month. 

Both are solid albums. 

Here are a couple of tunes from Tearing at the Seams

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

I'm going to have to update my "Death Wishes" post sometime because I recently told Mrs. Nasty that if I get killed by some kind of assault weapon and/or lack of background checks because of the intellectual buggery and the financial whoring of politicians by the NRA, I don't want any person who is a member of the NRA to attend my funeral. They are not invited. 

People tend to gloss past the first part of the Second Amendment: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of free state." The Bill of Rights was written in the 1790s when our leaders had extreme distrust of large, standing armies, and the nation relied on ad hoc militias for military missions. For example, Andrew Jackson used a militia, not the army, when he killed all kinds of Native Americans during the War of 1812. And one of the reasons the US mainly got its butt kicked in that war was because of the nations reliance on militias. 

We have a large standing armed forces now. If a person wants to use weapons of war such assault rifles and automatic guns, that person needs to join the military. 

Then again, the most deaths by guns are because of handguns. 

Here's some interesting factoids from March's "Harper's Index"

  • Hours last year for which Germans were paid to use power because supply outstripped demand: 331
  • Percentage of US news stories about poverty that feature black families: 59
  • Of US families living under the poverty line that are black: 23
  • Number of write-in votes for University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban in the state's November special election: 414
  • Estimated number of US private schools receiving public funding that teach Christian curriculum: 5,071
  • That teach an Islamic curriculum: 70
  • That teach a curriculum inspired by L. Ron Hubbard: 5

Clearly we need to fight harder for the separation of church and state. Those last three figures are bullshit. I don't want my tax dollars paying for that curricular nonsense.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Broccoli Cheese Soup

This is a variation on the cheese soup recipe I saw on the aforementioned episode of Good Eats

Half of a yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 large stalk of celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
32 oz. of chicken stock
1 minced clove of garlic
1 cup of heavy cream
1 bay leaf
7 ounces of gouda, shredded
3 ounces of smoked gouda, shredded
1 package of steamed broccoli
Smidge of tyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a dutch oven to medium and melt the butter. Sweat the onion, carrot, and celery until soft. Coat the mixture with flour and cook for approximately a minute. Add the stock, bring to boil, and then move it back to a simmer. 

Add the garlic and bay leaf. Simmer for 10 minutes.Use a handheld mixer to blend the aromatics. 

Add the heavy cream and continue over a slow simmer. Add the shredded cheese in bunches. In the meantime, steam the broccoli and add into the soup. Simmer for five minutes. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Music Friday: "Million Dollar Loan"

Here's a new fashioned protest/political song about Moscow Don. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

This is not a surprise, but as the Washington Post reports, the number of typos and misspellings by Trump and his administration are astounding. Moscow Don's lack of attention to detail and the administration's incompetence are probably unparalleled. Check out "'Elected to Lead, Not to Proofread': Typos, Spelling Mistakes Are Commonplace in Trump's White House." 

Moscow Don is doing a tremendous job of being a moron, and the wonderful, first-rate people who work for him are equally as inept. 

Yesterday I thought I'd combine cottage cheese, which I like, with some sliced guerito peppers, which I enjoy in my salads because they provide a nice spicy kick. I wouldn't say the combination of cottage cheese and gueritos was horrible, but I wouldn't probably combine them again. 

The other night I was watching an old episode of Alton Brown's Good Eats (well, they are all old episodes now), and that episode on cheese has inspired to try making some cheese soup. I doubt I can find some find fontina cheese around here though, so I'll probably just use gouda or provolone. What might be even better is smoked gouda.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Music Friday: "No Roots"

Sirius XM's The Spectrum station has been playing the hell out of this tune over the past months. I don't know much about the artist at all, but one of the people who spun the tune once said the song is based on her life because she moved around a lot. 

So there you go. 

I guess I can kind of relate. Compared to the community in which I live, Mrs. Nasty and I are outliers in that we both grew up in Iowa (separate cities and didn't know each other until her college days) and have lived in different places. 

As for me, I lived in Waterloo, Iowa up until college; Kirksville, Missouri; the Kansas City, Missouri area (Gladstone to be specific); back to Kirksville; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; St. Louis, Missouri; and now Charleston, Illinois. 

Most of people around here where I live haven't lived many other places, if any new ones,  at all. 

But I'd like to think I have pretty good roots now. 

However, I still consider myself an Iowan. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

If there is no one in the porn industry working on a spoof of Moscow Don and the Stormy Daniels affair, filmmakers should be ashamed of themselves. 

And that statement begs the question: Are there any porn filmmakers who can be shamed? 

This much is clear: Moscow Don is a consummate buffoon. 

I have about 130 pages to go to finish Ron Chernow's biography of Ulysses S. Grant. It's quite good and provides a much needed history of Reconstruction that K-12 and college classes neglected from me. 

I'm not entirely through the whole of the biographer's coverage of his presidency, but one of my only gripes about the book is that perhaps it needed to cover more about what was going on with Native Americans during his administration. The horrible crap happened late in his second term, but I wanted more analysis of why Grant acted the way he did toward Natives and why his decisions led to destruction of their lives and culture. 

I did learn that Grant was a big proponent of the separation of church and state, a principle I have in common with him. Here are two statements from speeches he gave in 1875 that should clearly show where he stands on public education:

  • "Encourage free schools and resolve that not one dollar of money appropriated to their support no matter how raised, shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian school ... Leave the matter of religion to the family circle, the church and the private school support[ed] entirely by private contribution. Keep the church and state forever separate."
  • The US should "establish and forever maintain free public schools adequate to the education of all the children ... irrespective of sex, color, birthplace, or religions; forbidding the teaching in said schools of religious, atheistic, or pagan tenets; and prohibiting the granting of any school-funds, or school-taxes ... in aid ... of any religious sect or denomination."

These intelligent statements, however, conflict directly with how Grant wanted to Christianize Native Americans.

Regardless, if I were a voter in the 1860s-70s, I would have voted Republican because they (mainly the "Radical Republicans") cared about voting rights and protections for black folks. Democrats, in contrast at that time, were for the hokum that was/is states' rights, which was just cover for returning the US to white supremacy. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Music Friday: "Whiteout Conditions"

One album I got last year that I really enjoyed was Whiteout Conditions by the New Pornographers. I'm late to the party with this band. They've been around a good while. 

They are now one of my pop/alternative fixes. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

Texas held the first primaries of the year the other day, and there was a tremendous turnout of Democratic voters as you can read about in Newsweek: "Democrat Turnout Surges 87 Percent in Texas Primary Since 2014." 

The trick of course is using that enthusiasm to capture seats in Congress and the the Texas legislature in November. We'll see.

Here in Illinois we vote in our primaries on the 20th. J.B. Pritzker sure has a crapton of money because he's been running TV ads for ages. I prefer Daniel Biss, but I suspect Pritzker will win the nomination for candidate for Governor. 

That Stormy Daniels affair keeps resurfacing, doesn't it? Moscow Don aka David Dennison is getting sued: "The 7 Most Ineresting Aspects of Stormy Daniels's Lawsuit Against Trump." 

I foresee a lot of David Dennison jokes in the future.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Music Friday: "Wolves"

On our way over to St. Charles, Missouri, a few Josh Ritter songs came up on my iPod shuffle, a couple from his Animal Years album. 

"Thin Blue Flame" played, but I've featured that tune before

"Wolves" is one of the stronger songs on that album, in fact one of my favorites, and I listened to it on the way over to the Show Me State. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

"What Teenagers Are Learning from Online Porn" by Maggie Jones in the New York Times is a really interesting article. It's not surprising that teenagers are having to learn about sex through porn because of the stupid glutted reality of abstinence-only sex education pervading curricula, which is right-wing idiocy. 

The Porn Literacy class featured in the article is doing a lot of good. Unfortunately, it is only reaching a small number of teenagers. It needs to be replicated across the country. That and realistic sex education. 

The Republican consultant Rick Wilson wrote "We Kissed Conservatism Goodbye When We Let Trump Lead the GOP" wrote a fair-minded assessment of MoscowDon. I could have told him similar points years ago. I disagree with the author on his feelings about the Second Amendment (how people should be able to have assault weapons, etc.), but it's been clear for a long time that the current president doesn't have consistent principles. Often narcissists don't.