Monday, November 27, 2006

And the rest?

Busy enough Friday & Saturday. The lack of tension was replaced by an extremely high strung Friday as we got ready for guests. Our DC friends were in town and we spent a lovely Shabbos with them, but getting ready for it seemed difficult and last minute. At 2PM (with Shabbos at 4:17) I was stuffing shells, making mac & cheese, grilling chicken, and many other sundry things.

Relax. The dairy was for Friday night, the chicken for Shabbos lunch.

Leftovers + chicken for lunch, and everybody in the world stopped by. Some friends from the other side of town stopped in to say hello and we made them stay for lunch. Neighbors came by, we went to neighbors, etc.

Saturday night. Ahhhh, Saturday night. We concluded our gustatory weekend with a night out with the Southerners. Babysitter shows up, we head out to our favorite kosher Indian place in Manhattan. Our poor friends in our nation's capital are short on both honest politicians and kosher restaurants, and she in particular misses going out to this place. The food was terrific, the waitress was extremely pleasant to look at (enough that we lived with the slow service), and best of all we were child free.

I spent Sunday loafing around watching sports and nursing youngest who has a bad cold. And now here I am, fatter but happier.

Turkey Day Roundup

So, how was everything? In Order:

  • Turkey - Fabulous. We didn't really have enough leftovers for the Shabbos guests as planned since everybody ate so much. I had to grill chickens on Friday to make up for it.
  • Gravy - Ask the Mrs. She seemed happy.
  • Rolls - Thanks Mom!
  • Cranberry Sauce - Pureed. Mrs. had the bright idea to run the immersion blender, as she actually doesn't like big cranberry bits. We thought of sticking it in an empty can just to get the lines on it.
  • Corn Muffins - I can admit it now Thanksgiving is over. They had sugar in them. They went over well with all my ignorant Yankee relatives anyway.
  • Mashed Spuds - Fine
  • Sweet Pertaters - UNBELIEVABLE. That's mostly because I REALLY like onions, and this was full of 'em.
  • Chestnut Stuffing - I didn't try it.
  • Sausage Stuffing - Came out extremely well. As it turned out the package of what I thought was Andouille sausage was actually southwest, so there was no debate over spicy/not spicy.
  • Apple Pie - Became apple tart. Mom couldn't find her pie pans. It was good, but she keeps using tart apples and it ends up sharper than I'd like.
  • [Possibly] Chocolate Cake - Definitely chocolate cake. We had enough time to get it done.
On the whole it's one of the most relaxed T-Days I can remember having. We were organized, ready on time, and the table was set by 10:30 for a 4:30 start. We barely entertained the children and they behaved well all day anyway. Usually when we're at my mom's she's so insane it ends up tense. Instead we had a lovely, relaxed dinner.

(And, like all good Thanksgivings, I was able to recycle the leftovers of Wednesday's blogpost into this one.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tomorrow's Menu

is as follows:

  • Turkey
  • Gravy
  • Rolls
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Corn Muffins
  • Mashed Spuds
  • Sweet Pertaters
  • Chestnut Stuffing
  • Sausage Stuffing
  • Apple Pie
  • [Possibly] Chocolate Cake
We're hosting my folks & my brother & his family; mom is bringing the chestnut stuffing, rolls, and apple pie, and I think brother is bringing drinks. The rest is on our heads, though the muffins, mashed, and cranberry sauce are all done. Thanks to a wonderful company out in California I will be able to make sausage stuffing today - I just have to negotiate with Mrs. whether to add the spicy sausage or do something lame. It's my brother's birthday on Sunday, hence the possibility of birthday cake.

The turkey is last year's freebie from work - it's been in the freezer for 11 months, which hopefully is not too long. It's going on the grill someplace around 12 or 1 PM, with the meal hitting around 4 or 4:30. Mrs. will need enough time for the gravy, so I may put it up a little earlier.

I'm getting hungry already.

Wednesday Wun

Terry stole my first answer, but I think I may have another.

What do you think other people aren’t thankful enough for?

Other than the greatness of where they live, as Terry wrote about so nicely, I think people need to be more thankful for what they have and less concerned about what's missing. All of us, myself included, wish too often for more or different than what we have. A better car, more money, power, whatever. We're so busy looking at the pieces that aren't quite as we would like them that we fail to acknowledge the wonderful things we do have.

It's natural to be jealous or wistful of the things we don't have, and it's not a bad thing to have dreams of better things. But we all need to remind ourselves now and then that for most of us, what we have is pretty darned good.

Monday, November 20, 2006

This just in from Reuters

The US is the most unfriendly to visit.

I can see how they'd feel that way. Rude inspectors at Customs & Immigration makes for an unfriendly country. As opposed, naturally, to places like Saudi Arabia where a woman without a head covering is likely to be attacked upon leaving the airport. Or France, where the Islamic fascists have taken over whole neighborhoods, and you enter at your own risk.

Yup, I get it - America is unfriendly, and nobody wants to come here anymore.

Speaking of insane

Also from the NY Post:

Powerhouse Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) says he wants to bring back the military draft to counter widening threats and keep politicians from starting wars.

"I don't see how anyone can support the war and not support the draft," he said. "I think to do so is hypocritical.
Deja vu all over again. Was it not the democrats and the left swearing on every nondenominational secular bible (swearing on the NY Times, that is) that Bush was going to bring back the draft and send all the poor people to fight?

Shall I assume that Face the Nation is not important enough for anybody to question this lunatic about this? Charlie Rangel, did you forget to take your medicine again?

This Gem

caught my eye in the weird news today (quoted in full):

An elephant that killed at least 12 people in Nepal since October received its punishment this weekend.

Elephants are a protected species in Nepal, so local authorities tranquilized the mammal, then trimmed its tusks with a handsaw, said Murari Prasad Pokharel, a Sunsari District forest officer.
Apparently, elephants are a protected species and people are not. I bet the PETA folks are upset that any harm was brought to the elephant.

Strange times, my friends, strange times.

Friday, November 17, 2006

It seems

the frappin' hamsters running our intranet servers are down again. I can only imagine they were fed steamed broccoli, which is the usual cause of the catastrophic failure represented by the site right now.

Why do the little varmints wait to do this until Friday afternoon when I'm trying to fix a few minor problems with a page?

Anti semites.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

T3 - Watch the hands, huh?

1) Who is your most favorite puppet character (and no, it doesn’t have to be a Muppet), and why?

You want me to pick just one? Impossible. Longtime muppet fandom runs in my family, and I'd be hard pressed to choose a favorite. For simplicity's sake, I'll go with Animal just because, and Rowlf, who is my dad turned into a muppet.

And I've always had a soft spot for Crazy Harry.

2) Did you have a favorite puppet that you owned as a child?

We had a Cookie Monster hand puppet that I loved. I think it's still around at my mom's house somewhere

3) Do you ever engage in puppetry?

Again with the personal questions? Of course I do - every chance I get.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

You may notice

a few changes around here. I have bitten the bullet and moved on to Blogger Beta, meaning things are supposed to be easier.

Leaving aside the issues with getting haloscan to work with the updated framitz, there are some nice benefits to beta. Certain parts, like the link lists and organizing the page now have a PhD interface (Push Here Dummy). I have also been adding labels to my posts, but if I do 25 at a time, it's still going to take a while to get everything added. This is all supposedly better connected to my new gmail account, which would be lovely. Except I haven't given anyone my gmail account, so I'm not sure I'm going to get anything special out of it.

The best news is it finally kicked me in the pants to update my links on the side. I didn't look at half of them at all (let alone regularly), so it was time to clear out some of the dustier ones and add a few new ones. So apologies for those of you I ought to have added ages ago.

Let me know if you like things, or hate 'em. It's the same pointless writing either way.

Speaking of bowling

as I was last week, me & Missus went out on one of the local Hebrew Bowling Nite Outs this past Saturday eve. Now that shabbos ends some time before Tuesday, we can actually get out at night.

One of the local shuls does a couples bowling night every year, and that's actually how we met a number of our friends in town. So we went again this year to a new place a bit farther away. I bowled lousy, but a bad night bowling beats most other entertainments.

I suppose if I went more than once a year I'd do better, but it would also help if the numbskulls would stop turning the freakin' lights out. I grant you some people find a darkened bowling alley with unintelligible music blaring and airplane landing lights the only source of vision romantic, but I'm not one of those people.

Bowling should take place in the bright UV light of flourescent bulbs, and snuggling should be reserved for the back seats of cars and public phone booths.

Early to bed & Early to rise

is just making me a tired puppy. For various reasons I have taken over Mrs. Skinny's gym membership for the remainder of her time, which lasts until June. In the interests of using the thing, I have gotten up at some point between 5:30 and 6 of the AM the last three days to go sweat with other morons early risers.

It's harder to get out at night, and I need enough time to get home, shower, & make it to work, but I don't really think I'm so much of a morning person. Technically it's still bloody dark out when I leave, so I guess I'm not a night person either.

Exercise is supposed to make you feel better, but I think it just tires you out so much you don't notice you feel lousy.

Friday, November 10, 2006

In my many

years wasted at bowling alleys, this sort of approach (bowling joke there) never once occurred to me. After watching this video, I don't think I was mistaken for skipping this idea.

Each to his own, I guess.

A Political thought

occurred to me last night. It happened around 1:15AM, it being Hockey Night in Long Island (HNILI)and me still being up. I suspect others have noticed this, but I will post on it anyway.

Joe Lieberman is in a very, very good position. He is, at least nominally, Lieberman (I). I truly believe Joe can have absolutely anything he wants from either party right now, and I think he should ask for it. His vote is the one deciding vote in the Senate that can make the difference between a Democrat success and a Republican one. (I'm discounting the Stalinist independent from Vermont or wherever - I expect him to vote with the Dems regardless.) If Joe decides to vote with the Republicans, and everything else goes along party lines - the tiebreaker goes to the VP, who last I looked was still a Republican and the devil incarnate to boot.

Oh, I'm not kidding myself - I recognize Lieberman remains a democrat at heart, and still a liberal (though an older, more intelligent and more refined type.) He'll vote with the Dems on a lot of issues, no question. But if he chooses to exercise the power he has he'll switch sides to make a point, or to vote with his heart, or just to screw people over. If I understand the breakup of the Senate right now, and unless I'm missing something, Lieberman is the key guy.

If I'm in the leadership of either party, first thing I did yesterday was call Lieberman and try to make friends. If I'm the Dems, I promise him a committee chairmanship. If I'm the GOP, I remind him often how his party cannot be trusted to stand by him when he needs them to. They have votes to trade, and securing Lieberman's openmindedness is worth a vote or two.

Here's my message to Joe - your friends in the party threw you under a bus. They dropped you like a hot potato in a very poor guess at how the electorate felt about you and your stance on Iraq. They guessed incorrectly, and I believe the voters of Connecticut understood that you were unfairly abandoned by your own national party. You mainly lost that primary because of the more liberal types who bothered to vote in it, but Harry Reid, Howard Dean, John (I Served in Vietnam) Kerry hung you out to dry.

What do you owe these people?

Joe will stick to his core principles (since he seems to actually have some), which is as it should be. He will vote with the Democrats most of the time. But he doesn't have to, and he shouldn't when it doesn't suit the need of the people of his state and the nation as a whole. Democrat control of the Senate hangs by a thread, and while other Dems might jump ship occasionally, Joe Lieberman is the one who could be a steady roadblock to the more extreme liberal hopes of the left.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Stupid people

Courtesy of a friend. He thought (given that we've called each other stupid for years - more as a nickname than a description) I'd appreciate it. So now I'm sharing it with you.

For the record, I can't say I've heard, nor expected to ever hear, the term "scorched colon." I think it puts things in perspective, but I'm darned if I can figure out how.

Unsolicited Music Suggestion

Nobody was asking for it, but may I recommend you take a listen to Juluka?

I don't know if South African music works for everyone, and I don't really like the stuff Johnny Clegg does in English as much as the Zulu, but if you're looking for something different, take a listen.

Politics Politics Politics

as Comicus once noted. It got him is some hot water as I recall.

Regardless, here comes T3:

1) Now that the balance of power in the House and Senate has changed (due in large part to Democratic Party gains brought about by running more centrist candidates than they have in the past), will they surprise everyone and purge their fringe elements and actually try to lead from the center, or will they continue to pander to the tinfoil-hat folks with impeachment/frog marches and putting all the filthy Christianists into reeducation camps?

There will be no purge. As is often the case, it's harder to lead than to sit in the back shooting spitwads at the party in power. My prediction is largely business as usual - meaningless legislation will be trumpeted, actual work will be minimal, and every spending bill will have pet appropriations attached. Two significant things will be when the hard left starts screaming at the Dems for not going far enough, and any potential Supreme Court nomination, which has likely tremendous impact on the future of the nation, far more than the Missouri River Amoeba Protection and Defense Act.

2) When you cast your ballot, do you do so with at least some desire in the back of your mind to make a decision that the international community would be pleased with?

I could give a rat's tuchus about what the international community wants. It ain't their country, and they can build their own ^&%$# democracy if they don't like ours.

3) Now that this little exercise has passed, everyone is now ready to talk about the REAL race, that of President in ’08. Who’s it going to be?

Hillary will run - she has no better shot than now. I believe she's too polarizing to win, and I pray she does not win. The usual collection of midgets and buffoons will parade by, and my guess is Hillary vs. Romney.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Go vote

if you haven't already. And let's get this traveshamockery of a political process over with. Our public officials have spin to spin, time to waste, and our money to burn. Let's get the least objectionable criminals into power and get the whole bunch of them back into the slimy, infectious toxic waste dump they came from.

I voted this AM, and for what little it mattered I voted a straight Conservative Party line. It was all the same losers as on the Republican line, but I wanted my protest vote to register. I chose not to vote for one Jimmy McMillan, described on Wikipedia as follows:

Rent Is Too (Damn) High Party

* Jimmy McMillan 59, a Vietnam War veteran and former letter carrier, ran for mayor of New York City in 2005. In 2006 he sought to run for Governor as the candidate of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party. The State Board of Elections allowed him on the ballot, but only under the rubric of the "Rent Is Too High Party". That version will appear on Row H.
While I sympathize with Mr. McMillan's position, I don't pay rent and I'm not really a single-issue voter. Besides, if I'm going to toss my vote away on a candidate who can't possibly win, I'd like to join the few other NY State conservatives in supporting the same losing candidate.

The only joy today could bring me on the NY State level is if Hillary Clinton was struck by political lightning and lost. Which will happen the day her husband admits he's a sick serial rapist who opened our nation up to terrorists.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

T3 - It's getting dark out earlier

Ah, the fall. And the T3 changes colors as the seasons move along:

1. Do you have any food or plant allergies that kick in this time of year?

No allergies of any kind, happily. Our neighbor's kid is allergic to everything all year long (or so it seems) and I'm grateful we seem to have escaped it.

2. Is there anything in the food or plant realm that you might not be allergic to, but that you dread seeing during the fall anyway?

Politicians. Most of them have the mental capacity of plants, and it always gets worse this time of year.

3. Setting aside your discomfort for just a moment, what are some of your favorite fall things?

Believe it or not, cooler weather. I enjoy crisp weather with a chill in the air, though it's a very thin line between "crisp" and "$#%@ it's cold." And hot chocolate, which I enjoy year-round, becomes more socially acceptable.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

More on Kerry

[This started out as a comment to Terry's long post on the subject, but I think it's just gotten too big.]

I find it very instructive to judge people by who they consider important, or worthy of admiration, or who they want to model themselves after. The yokel who considers white trash pop stars as examples; the thug wannabe idolizing the rap stars; the hollywood groupies enraptured by a heartthrob or babe of the week - at best these people lose my respect, and at worst I have contempt for them. You have to set your sights higher, on the kinds of people that represent the best in human action and behavior, not the lowest & most meaningless we have to offer.

So what to make of a political party and its supporters that thinks a man like Kerry deserves the highest office in the nation? That a man that can casually insult the most honorable members of our citizenry (not to mention the rest of us who disagree with his politics) should be given the right to decide and direct national policy?

I recognize the reality of Kerry's presence in presidential politics. Many within the party do not idolize Kerry - he appeared at the right time for many to be the best option to win the White House. Most, I suspect, would have chosen a better candidate if they could have. The fact that Kerry is the best they had to offer is frightening - no one serious, with respect for the citizens of this nation and the tasks ahead of us was available to them? There are practical political factors behind Kerry's standing within the party and the left, I grant you. And, naturally, the Bush Hatred Factor contributes mightily to every choice made by the left.

And yet...

There is a noticeable group of people who truly respect this man. And Harry Reid, and Ted Kennedy, and the rest of the lefty "leadership." This is what they idealize. The old saw is "judging a man by the company he keeps." I think one can also judge by the leaders people follow, and the examples they hold up to the rest of us to follow. Needless to say, Kerry is a fool. A wealthy, privileged fool lording over the plebes and promising panem et circenses for all, never mind the higher taxes we shall have to pay to accomodate the circus clowns. A fool without the sense to keep his mouth shut, especially when his foot is zeroing in on his perfectly whitened teeth.

This is what you hold in high esteem? Think carefully, voters, if this ideal matches what you truly respect. What's worse? The fool, or the fools who put him in power?

Oh, this made me laugh

I think "[Kerry] has basically radiated himself with the isotope Asinine-90" is my favorite line.

UPDATE: Oh, Lordy! Goldberg is firing on all cylinders when it comes to Kerry. A later post:

And a fair-minded person might expect him to apologize for any unintended offense. Kerry refused because Kerry has the self-awareness of carpet mold.