Friday, April 27, 2018

Music Friday: "White Man's World"

For people who don't actively listen to lyrics, they might think the title of the song intimates some kind of pro-white stance. 

That's not the case at all. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

Many people search for what sets homo sapiens apart from other animals. Some people say communication, yet we know animals have various communication strategies they employ on a regular basis. Some people say abstract thinking, problem-solving, and using tools, yet we know other species can do all that too. Check out Ackerman's The Genius of Birds if you question my previous statement. 

While our big brains could be a significant difference, possibly one of the notable differences is this: we can walk upright, and we're good at it.  As Ian Walker, a professor of biology at Harvard relates, "upright walking is the defining characteristic of the human lineage. Its consequences are hard to oversell." Check out the article the statement comes from: "3.6 Million-Year-Old Footprints Suggest Early Human Ancestors Were Excellent Walkers." 

Another way to think about what sets humans apart is the statement of Lucifer in Twain's Letters from the Earth (and I'm paraphrasing here): humans think they're the center of the universe ~ they think they're God's pet. 

Here's one of the better op-ed columns I've read in a while: "Trump Said He'd Stand by Farmers and Ranchers Like Me. He Hasn't." As conclusions go, Callicrate's is a good one: "American family farmers and ranchers are becoming an endangered species, squeezed by the forces of globalization and the immense leverage of gigantic corporations. We hoped that Trump would be our champion and side with use against the multinational corporations that are threatening our future and our nations ability to feed itself. But we've been let down. If the American farmer is to survive, we must be treated fairly. There is still time for Trump and Perdue to reverse course. We hope they seize this opportunity. But if Trump won't fight for us, we will bring the fight to him."

What I find confounding in that conclusion, however, is that why someone would ever think a Republican president would ever go against "gigantic corporations." Or any presidential candidate for that matter because most politicians forward policies based on who funds their campaigns. The fact of the matter is that many people got duped by a pathologically lying unsuccessful businessman who is really just TV reality star. And other folks just voted party over country. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

I made some chicken tacos on Sunday, and here's the recipe.

4 large chicken breasts
Chicken stock to braise the breasts in the crock pot
Healthy smidge of Penzey's salsa and pico seasoning
Smidge of Penzey's Adobo seasoning
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup of diced yellow onion
3 tablespoons of diced red bell pepper
I can of La Preferida red chile enchilada sauce
Shredded queso fresco
Chopped cilantro 

Trim any nasty bits off of the chicken breasts, put them into the crock pot, and dump in enough chicken stock to cover the breast halfway. Add spices atop the breast. Cook on low for eight hours or so. Halfway through the cooking time throw in the peppers and onions. Two hours prior to eating throw in the enchilada sauce. When cooking time is up, shred the breast in the crock pot. Use whatever kind of tacos you want to use ~ crunchy or soft. 

Revisionist Thoughts
Next time I make this, I'm going to dial up the flavor factor a bit by using some toasted dried chiles and adding garlic and shallots.I am also considering adding some type of hot peppers. JalapeƱos would probably be good. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Music Friday: "Before We Disappear"

I planned on posting my usual Music Friday post yesterday, but I forgot about it in the afternoon. Then I had to travel to my daughter's track meet. Once I finally got home at 9:30, I forgot about it again. 


Anyway, here's a great song by the late great Chris Cornell. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Edamame-Garbanzo Salad

I had a bag of frozen edamame in the freezer, so I did some research into versions of edamame salads. 

I surveyed what the Interwebs had to offer, and I made my own. Here it is. 

1 bag of frozen edamame, steamed in the bag according to directions
1 can of garbanzo beans, drained
2 small plum tomatoes, diced
1 bell pepper, chopped finely (I used a yellow one)
2 tablespoons of finely chopped yellow onion
Chopped parsley to desired proportions
Chopped cilantro to desired proportions

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
Juice of one small lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Steam the edamame, drain the garbanzos, chop the other stuff. Throw it all in a bowl. Whisk the dressing together and mix thoroughly. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Music Friday: "Amos Moses"

Today I'm featuring a classic, "Amos Moses." 

This video features not only Jerry Reed but also Glen Campbell. 


Monday, April 9, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

The Atlantic has a couple of articles worth a thinking person's time in the April issue. 

The first is "The Nancy Pelosi Problem," an article that demonstrates that the vitriol spewed against Pelosi by various people has a gendered proclivity. As the article shows, she's been pretty darn good at her job as Majority and Minority Leader. But a lot of what she's up against (and the Democrats for that matter) is showcased in the study that presents how people react to "John Burr" and "Ann Burr."

Another good piece features Julie Washington's work and research. She's a linguist who is trying to use AAV to help students succeed. Check out "The Code-Switcher: Julie Washington's Lifelong Quest to Change the Way We Teach Young Speakers of African-American English." 

"More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows" by Melinda Wenner Moyer in Scientific American should be required reading. I read it when it came out in October. The article won the American Society of Jounralists and Author's Excellence in Reporting Award.

In a more recent article in Scientific American, "The Number of Americans with No Religious Affiliation is Rising," the author reports on how the number of "nones" is getter larger in the US. I tend to agree with Shermer's statement that "This shift away from the dominance of any one religion is good for a secular society whose government is structured to discourage catch basins of power from building up and spilling over into people's private lives." Also, like the author, I find some of the beliefs of these non-religious people puzzling and downright silly.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Music Friday: "Kinky Hypocrite"

Here's a solid tune from the most recent album by the Drive-By Truckers.