Category - Miscellany

More To Life Than Bacon: Huevos Rancheros

Because a new bacon recipe that deserves to be shared…

4 slices bacon
4 corn tortillas
1 (14- to 15-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for sprinkling
1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
sliced avocado, for garnish
cotija cheese, for garnish

1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200°F. Stack 4 ovenproof plates on oven rack to warm.
2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add bacon (in batches if necessary). Cook 4 minutes on one side, then flip and cook another 4 minutes, or until crispy. Set on a plate lined with a paper towel.
3. Return skillet to heat and add 2 tortillas in a stack. Warm in the bacon fat 30 seconds, then flip stack and cook 30 seconds more. Wrap in foil and keep in warm oven. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
4. Purée tomatoes with their juice, onion, cilantro, chipotle, garlic, salt and half the bacon in a blender until very smooth. Carefully add mixture to hot skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until salsa is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and rinse skillet.
5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Crack eggs into skillet and cook to desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Spoon salsa onto each plate and top with tortillas, eggs, remaining bacon, extra cilantro, extra salsa, sliced avocado and cotija cheese.
     h/t Hunter S Thompson

…and… Read More

The First Time

I thought it would be more painful.  It wasn’t completely painless, to be sure…, but after 63 years of absolute abstinence, there was bound to be a little discomfort, at the least.  Luckily, it didn’t last long.  It was over almost before I knew it.  I was left with some feelings of guilt…, maybe remorse.  Time will tell about that…, I guess. 

I left my name, mailing address, phone number and email address.  No physical address.  I learned that lesson many years ago.  When all I used to give out was a post office box for an address and had an unlisted phone number…, not even the IRS could track me down.  And they were trying…, family and ex-employers told me so.  Two weeks after I got a phone listed in my name for a house I was sharing with the rest of the logging crew working on an out of town job…, an IRS agent left a note on the door for me.  But I digress…, in this case I want some acknowledgement of my contribution.  Then again…, I don’t want it to turn into a constant and relentless demanding…, or begging…, for more.

Yeah…, it’s already started.  It wasn’t a demand or a beg really…, more of a thank you note via email, with a not so subtle hint that it would be ever so helpful if I could give again.  Maybe I shouldn’t have been so generous the first time…, probably should have taken it a little slower and easier.  But after all these years, I felt that if I was going to do it…, I was going to do it right and go all the way.  Or at least as far as I felt I could, without feeling some real pain.  So I clicked that $100 button…, and it was over and done with.  No turning back now.  And I am not feeling too bad about it at this time…, I guess.

Yeah…, I donated to Bernie Sanders campaign.  The first time ever, that I have contributed as much as a single penny to a politician.  I might just do it again before it’s all over…, though most of the pundits in the media say he doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in this global warming climate of acing out Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. 

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Snow breaks Istanbul record in Mideast cold snap

Al Arabiya, February 20

Parts of the Middle East continue to grapple with blizzards as heavy snowfall breaks a chilling new record in Istanbul and a third snowstorm in Lebanon prompted the education minister to order all schools in mountainous areas to shut on Friday and Saturday.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality said Thursday that the snowfall in Istanbul has broken a 28-year record in the Turkish city, with snow reaching as high as 75 cm in the Çatalca district, in the westernmost region of greater Istanbul, The Hurriyet Daily reported.

“Our teams used 18,543 tons of salt and 926 tons of [chemical] solution to keep the roads open,” The Hurriyet Daily quoted Istanbul’s municipality as saying in a statement.

Despite the efforts to melt the icy sheets, the record snowfall is said to have paralyzed many areas of the city, and many locals took to social media to complain that the 1987 snow storm did not hurt Istanbul as much.

Where have all the bloggers and comments gone.

For ten years I used to click thru a number of websites each day to get a feel where indie thought was at. The past few years I have found that I no longer visit blogs. I know the authors sites on facebook and trust their fans to move things thru twitter. I notice over the past six months that The Agonist has become in the main a weekly catblogging and jukebox site, with the occasional glimpse of Numerian and other writers.

I went a googling and note that Nathan Bransford has similar experiences. Bonnie views Instagram as the new noir. Even Jack Handey votes for Instagram.

Remember Wonkette? Moar words and glitzy ditzy panels keep that blog alive.

Ian Welsh maintains some rage, also crying for money.

Little Green Footballs is praising Twitters failure to address troll abuse.

How about you gentle reader, what blogs do you read / and or/ comment at?

Men who take a lot of selfies ‘show strong links to psychopathic tendencies’

Sydney Morning Herald, By Eamonn Warner, January 9

As if we needed another reason to put a stop to selfies.

A new study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences has revealed that men who take a lot of selfies will score much higher on tests looking for signs of psychopathy.

Conducted by Ohio State University, the research shows that those very fond of a selfie display a wide range of antisocial behaviours.

Overall, 800 men between the ages of 18 and 40 were quizzed on their attitude towards posting photographs of themselves on social media.

Impulsiveness and a lack of empathy were among the most prevalent, while unsurprisingly the responders were also found to possess high levels of narcissism.

Bill Moyers Signs Off

I was a little disappointed in Bill’s final show. I was hoping that he would feature himself and sum up his thoughts about where we have been recently…, and more importantly…, where we are going. And hoping that he would announce that he was going to run for President in 2016. At least that would give me something to look forward to…, without projectile vomitting …, in that race. Anyway…, here are his closing comments:

BILL MOYERS: Mary Christina Wood reminds us that democracy, too is a public trust – a reciprocal agreement between generations to keep it in good repair and pass it along. Our country’s DNA carries an inherent promise for every citizen of an equal opportunity at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our history resonates with the hallowed idea – hallowed by blood – of government of, by, and for the people. Our great progressive struggles have been waged to make sure ordinary citizens, and not just the rich and privileged, share in the benefits of a free society. In the words of Louis Brandeis, one of the greatest of our Supreme Court justices, “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

Yet look at just a few recent headlines: this one from “The New York Times”: “U.S. Wealth Gap Is Widest in Decades”. From the website Alternet: “Just 40 Americans Own As Much Wealth As Half the United States.” From Slate.com: “The Great Wealth Meltdown: Middle-Class Families Are Worth Less Today Than in 1969.” And from “The Economist”: “Wealth without workers, workers without wealth,” pointing to the reality that “for all but an elite few, work no longer guarantees a rising income.”

So as the next generation steps forward, I am tempted to think that the only thing my generation can say to them is: we’re sorry. Sorry for the mess you’re inheriting. Sorry we broke the trust. But I know in my heart that’s not what they ask or expect. So instead I recommend to them the example of Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin, another of my heroes from the past. He battled the excesses of the first Gilded Age a century ago so boldly and proudly that he went down in history as “Fighting Bob.” He told us, “…democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle.” I keep asking myself, what if that struggle is the palpable reality without which this world would be truly barren?

So to this new generation I say: over to you, welcome to the fight.

And to all of you who have been loyal to these broadcasts, and to my colleagues who produced them and our funders who kept on giving despite my foibles and flaws, I say: thank you. This series ends, but not our website — BillMoyers.com. I’ll see you there, and I’ll see you around.

Oh…, he opened with this, “BILL MOYERS: Welcome. This is our final broadcast. But you haven’t seen the last of us — we’ll continue to report and comment at our website, BillMoyers.com, I hope you’ll join me there for a webchat later this month.” I’ll be watching for that…, not sure what to expect?

The New Robber Barons – Bill Moyers

Well…, I am sure I am not the only one who is going to miss Bill Moyers when he signs off his weekly PBS shows in the near future. I already miss Stephan Colbert. A couple of real class acts…, and this one from Bill is a dandy.

BILL MOYERS: Welcome. What happened in Washington over the past several days sent me back a century in time to the Gilded Age, when senators and representatives were owned by Wall Street and big business, and did the bidding of their monied masters by passing favorable laws that increased their already fabulous wealth. We’ve just watched the Senate and the House, aided and abetted by President Obama, reward financial interests that poured almost half a billion dollars into the midterm elections. They did it by slipping into the omnibus spending bill, signed this week by the President, a provision permitting Wall Street to resume the predatory practice of making risky bets with our deposits and sticking us the taxpayers with the bill if the gambles fail. And guess what? That provision was drafted by lobbyists for the huge banking conglomerate Citigroup. Lo and behold, the Citigroup language turns up in the final bill almost word for word.

What’s more, Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress, again with a wink from the President, sealed the grip of plutocrats on our political process with yet another provision tucked away in the same bill. It allows big donors to contribute up to one and a half million dollars to political party committees in a single election cycle. As one of the robber barons of the first Gilded Age exclaimed, “…we are the rich; we own America; we got it, God knows how, but we intend to keep it…”

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