Sunday, January 29, 2017
Why call it a laptop? Nobody types with a laptop in their lap. Why not just call it a portable?
I don't use a laptop, but my wife has one on her desk. When I try to type on her laptop the mouse pad in front of the keyboard is a pain in the ass. Why don't they put the mouse pad behind the keyboard. It would make typing easier.
Just a suggestion
I posted on Seal-A-Meal once before, but I love this machine.
About six months ago I bought a Seal-A-Meal vacuum food processor. It was relative cheap on e-bay. I don’t remember the exact price, but it ran about forty dollars.
I had watched a number of clips on YouTube about the machine, but I was still skeptical.
This machine has changed the way we buy meat.
There is only two of us; and in the past if we tried to buy meat in bulk it would be freezer burned and grey before we got around to using it.
We still don’t buy meat in bulk; but if we are in the supermarket and see a particular cut of meat we like on sell we will buy a couple of packages and come home and vacuum seal them. This way we don’t have to put out a lot of money at one time but our meat supply is varied and builds up enough to keep us ahead for a couple of months.
Yesterday we bought boneless, skinless chicken thighs for $1.49 a pound. They were six to a package so we bought two packages. After putting them in the freezer overnight to firm up I vacuum packed them this morning.
Here is the recipe we use with chicken thighs:
In the bottom of the slow cooker we pour one can of tomato sauce, one can of diced tomatoes, four diced garlic cloves, we add a heaping tablespoon of dried oregano and a couple of basil leaves. We salt and pepper the thighs and place them on top of the tomato. We cook them on high for a couple of hours then turn them on low for about four hours. At supper time will boil spaghetti or ziti or sometimes noodles, cover it with the chicken and tomato sauce and serve this with a salad.
We like slow cooking and like to cook our meat until it is tender and falling apart or can easily be separated with just a fork.
At Walmart they sell vacuum food bags but they are terribly expensive. We buy 50 foot rolls of bag material on e-bay for about ten dollars – this way we can adjust the size of the bag to what we are sealing.
If you are interested I suggest you check it out on YouTube. They have vacuum food sealing machines that run upwards to hundreds of dollars, but I find this cheapest Seal-A-Meal easy to use and fits our needs.
Saturday, January 28, 2017
You can forget Harbrace College Handbook or Strunk and White Elements of Style as your definitive writing reference guides. The best book I have run across, and the book I most often use when writing or grammar questions arise is the Writer Source 2000. This is a junior high school guide to writing, thinking and learning; and the most understandable, convenient and definitive book on writing in my library. It is available used through Amazon for as little as four dollars.
If I only had one writing guide, this would be my pick.
In order to resist Trump and the Republican agenda it is not enough to blog to people of like mind. We can join demonstrations, or as writers we can confront alternative facts whenever they surface
The following is a letter I sent to the editors of major and local news outlets in Maine. Feel free to copy or use any part in Resistance Publishing
FACTS AND ALTERNATIVE FACTS
According to who you listen to, the first week of the Trump Presidency has been the greatest week in American governance or the beginning of the dismantling of American values.
There have been too many declarations and Executive Orders to cover in one short commentary, so I will focus on just one.
Paul Ryan stated that now the Republicans have the Presidency, the House and the Senate they can begin to simplify the tax code. This sounds like a great move, because we all feel that tax preparation is too difficult.
But the devil is often in the details. To Republicans, ‘simplification of the tax code’ means drastically lowering corporate taxes, taxes on investment income and taxes on the mega-wealthy.
In order to pay for these tax cuts, the Republicans will cut discretionary spending.
‘Discretionary spending’ is the covert phrase for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and government subsidized health care (The Affordable Care Act.) There is a Republican proposal now to increase the Social Security retirement age to seventy and to cut benefits in existing Social Security and Medicare payments.
But, if you live in the Fox alternative news world you will not worry about simplification of the tax code; because the alternative issues are women who enjoy killing their unborn children, gays destroying family values and Democrats who wish to take away your guns and your freedom.
Join me in Resistance Publishing
Friday, January 27, 2017
I just commented on a blog, that I feel out of touch with the world around me.
I lived most of my life without a cell phone. If I needed to make a telephone call I waited until I got home or reached my destination – and I didn’t miss anything by not having a phone appendage on my body.
It is the same with television. I was a teenager when we had our first television (black and white 16 inch.) If there was something I wanted to see I could turn it on at night after supper – and I wasn’t deprived of news or entertainment.
Today I took my youngest cat to the vet. There was a TV in the waiting room blaring Good Morning America. When I go to the VA clinic they have a TV on – usually on Fox. At the VA hospital waiting room there is a TV – you can’t get away from it. Our favorite Italian restaurant – upstairs in the lunch room there are three TVs, often on different channels. The diners we frequent all have televisions – usually on some stupid channel. Even at McDonald's there is a TV going in the eating area.
Almost any waiting room you have to sit in will have a TV playing. What the hell is this, that we must be entertained all the time?
We are not afraid of sickness or disease or destruction - we are afraid of boredom. We must have a TV; or cell phones that display tweets, face book, internet, instant messaging, texting… We cannot sit quietly anywhere without something to entertain us. We must have ambient noise.
There is no such thing as quiet, whether at work, while we eat, while we exercise, while we meditate, while we play, while we have sex and often while we sleep.
It is a strange new world and I haven’t adapted.
Sometimes I just like to sit in the quiet.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
I love eggs. I like them scrambled, poached, hard boiled, stuffed and especially over easy. I have one of those spatula with the rubber like blade that I use in order not to damage the non-stick surface on my frying pan; but most time when I flip the over-easy eggs I end up breaking the yoke. I always ended up with a little bit of cooked egg stuck to the leading edge of the spatula, so I figured the blade was not slipping under the egg smoothly. Lately I have been spraying the blade with cooking oil when I make over-easy; and now the eggs flip with no problem.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
UN FUCKING BELIEVABLE
My grandmother use to say, 'If you have to brag about yourself then you are not as bright as you think you are."
We are predicted six inches of an sleet/snow/freezing rain mixture all day today and over night. Ice is starting to accumulate on trees and power lines and the odds are we will lose power due to this storm.
We are always prepared with plenty of food, gallon bottles of water, gas lamps, flash lights and the cell phone is charged. Our gas cook stove can be lit with matches and our wood pile is stocked near the back door.
It is beautiful, but it will be a hell of a job to clear with my snow blower - and probably a lot of shoveling.
This has been a strange winter. Normal temps through the month of January are usually teens or low twenties with night temps in single numbers or below. This January has had day temps in the thirties and often reaching forty degrees. We have had rain instead of snow or wet snow, leaving roads and driveways ice covered. I hope this is not the new norm.
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Call your Senator and Congress person and leave a message.
It is easy. Call 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121
Leave a message with the operator.
Give your name and zip code and the operator will get your message to your Senator and Congress persons.
Tell your representatives to protect the Affordable Care Act and also to oppose the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary.
Congress persons are reelected every two years. They do listen to their constitutes.
We all can Resist
Today I sent a letter to the editor to all the major newspapers in Maine and local papers in my area.
It is not enough to blog about my discontent. I only have about twenty five people that read my blog and five or six that comment.
As writers, if we are to actively confront the Trump take over of America we have to reach out beyond our blogs. We have to publish. We have to point out ever falsehood and every Republican infringement on our liberty.
Below is my letter to the editors. Feel free to copy or use any portion - but please join Resistance Publishing:
As his first order of business on Friday President Trump signed an executive order giving federal agencies permission not to comply with parts of the Affordable Care Act. The order was not specific, but gave an opening toward undermining the health care that eleven million people depend on.
The aim is obvious: by not complying with critical portions of the law opponents can push the entire Act into chaos; then Republican law makers can say the Affordable Care Act has been a disaster from its concept and use that as an excuse to repeal it without a replacement.
Those of you who were so afraid of losing your guns should now be afraid of losing your Social Security retirement and Medicare, along with affordable health care. All of these programs are on the chopping block of the Republican law makers in order to decrease government expenditures; thus allowing a justification for massive tax cuts for the mega-wealthy and major corporations.
If you haven’t read George Orwell’s 1984, or haven’t read it lately, you should check it out from the library.
I keep making comparisons of the Trump Republican administration to George Orwell’s 1984 – but the parallel is so startling that it is undeniable.
“Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version. A great deal of the time you were supposed to make them up out of your head.”
“The essential act of the party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient …”
And the warning we should head:
“If all other accepted the lie which the party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became true. Who controls the past, ran the party slogan, controls the future: Who controls the present controls the past.”
We should be afraid. We should be very afraid.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Donald Trump's 1984
I have often referred to George Orwell’s 1984. Lately I have seen more and more parallels in today’s governance in the United States.
Now with the election of Trump the parallels scream out.
Trump’s pick for Attorney general is a known racist and a fundamentalist Christian that believes you should deprogram gays and that Gay marriage should be unlawful. He would readily support a Christian Nation concept.
Trump’s selection for the Department of Education has no education background and would like to see public schools replaced with a voucher system.
Trump’s pick for Labor Secretary would like to do away with overtime pay and minimum wage for workers.
Trump’s pick for the Environmental Protection Agency has been a proponent of doing away with the EPA
His pick for Housing and Urban Development is Ben Carson – who sings.
And of course the moron Rick Perry in charge of our nuclear weapons program – what could possibly go wrong
In Orwell’s 1984 the government practices Doublethink. Things are exactly opposite of what their title proposes:
The Ministry of Peace encourages war.
The Ministry of Truth spins lies to appear truth.
The Ministry of Love controls the thought police and torture.
The Ministry of Plenty restricts food and consumer goods.
Do we see a parallel here?
I think so.
A huge percent of the American population is stupid – and proud of it. These were the uninformed voters that elected a narcissistic con man to the Presidency.
In one of Jay Leno’s skits he asked people on the streets in California basic Civics questions – here are some of the responses:
Name the three branches of government. Most couldn’t answer.
What did the Emancipation Proclamation do? No one knew.
Who did the U.S. fight in the American Revolution? A man hesitated and then answered France.
It the President and Vice-President die who becomes President? When told it was Speaker of the House a woman insisted that, No - It was the Secretary of State.
When asked who runs the Judicial Branch of government, people could not answer.
One person could not name the Vice-President of the United States.
Another guessed that the American Flag had thirty stars.
A number of people were asked, who said ‘Give me liberty or give me death.” Most did not know and one man answered Bonaparte.
This is a disgraceful display of our inadequate educational system. But beyond that is demonstrates the feckless nature of a majority of Americans. They don’t know, they don’t care to know, and they are proud of their ignorance. These make up the majority of the Tea Party Republicans and the majority of the Trump voters.
Let’s look at the darling of the Tea Party, Sarah Palin. When asked the ‘got-ya’ question about Paul Revere’s ride – here was her answer.
You can’t fix stupid; but we could better educate our young people. In the meantime, we must loudly confront ignorance wherever it exists; especially the lies and half-truths that are spun in the Republican bubble and that have fueled the election of Donald Trump.
Monday, January 16, 2017
I have made a mistake – I gave up. It was the result of traumatic stress caused by the election of Donald Trump as President.
My intention was to pull away completely from everything political – avoid listening to the news or reading anything pertaining to post election and the Republican Parties’ plans for the rest of us.
Now I have had time to adjust, and I realize that we are not helpless, that situations are not beyond our control. That we must resist.
The way for each of us to resist is not to just complain on our blogs to like-minded people; but to publish resistance pieces in letters to the editor, in all the local papers and internet news sites within our area.
Every time the Republicans make a move that benefits the mega-wealthy or infringes on human rights we should point it out.
The Republican voters live in a fact free bubble and the only way to break that bubble is to constantly attack it with facts and logical arguments.
Today I sent my first resistance letter to the editor to five news outlets here in the state of Main. I am including it. Feel free to pirate it or any part, and join in resistance publishing.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
Republicans are now in control of our government and we will all have to wait to experience the outcome.
The Republican Party is the party ‘of the wealthy and for the wealthy’. Their motto has always been smaller government. The aim of smaller government is to limit federal expenditures, thus requiring less tax revenue from the wealthy.
Republicans have pulled a bait and switch on voters who vote on single issue policies: gun control, abortion, religion etc. They willingly placate these voters for their vote in order to gain control of government; but once in control legislate policies that benefit the wealthy.
Republicans have always desired to do away with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid by turning these programs over to private industries. Now they have the government trifecta necessary to end these programs as we know them.
At this time Republican politicians are lining up. Their first order of business is to do away with affordable government health care. Next will be to gut Social Security and Medicare.
Republican Congressman Sam Johnson (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, has already offered a plan that consist of massive cuts for Social Security beneficiaries. His plan would cut benefits for all but the lowest earners; it would raise retirement age to 69 and reduce cost-of-living adjustments.
I marvel how middle income working people have bought into the Republican purpose. It is the Democratic Party that gave us Social Security, gave us Medicare and supported unions, which resulted in better working conditions and higher pay. The only thing the Republicans have ever offered is tax cuts, which disproportionally benefit the wealthy.
My wife and I were really hoping that the Cowboys would play the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
We were pulling for the Cowboys last night when the score was tied and Green Bay kicked a winning field goal with sixteen seconds left in the game. My witchy wife even tried to hex the ball, but it did no good. I believe I heard you scream’ Fuck, Fuck, Fuck!’ all the way up here in Maine.
Anyway, we were thinking of you.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
DRESSING FOR COLD WEATHER
Though a non-Canadian, I guess I am something of an expert on cold weather.
My first years in the Navy were spent between Newfoundland and Iceland. By my mid-twenties I was a Navy survival instructor – instructing winter bush survival. I attended two Navy survival schools and the Canadian Forces Winter Bush survival school. My wife and I lived in rural Maine for four years off the grid and eleven years in the Alaska bush, including one year on the Arctic Circle. Now we are back in the western Maine mountains.
Winter preparedness is simply a matter of preparation, beginning with the clothes you wear.
I don’t bother with L.L. Bean and Cabala's when preparing for deep winter cold. Their products are fine if you want to flash their labels on the ski slopes; but for true winter preparedness you should look to people who work outside for a living and find out what they wear.
Logging in Maine is a big business. Hear in the mountains logging trucks are as common on the road as 4X4 pickups. Nobody is more exposed during the winter than loggers and they shop at Labonville. You won’t find loggers wearing silk long johns
I dress in layers in the winter. When working outside I wear double layered wool and cotton long johns (Coldpruf from Labonville,) wool shirts (not those yuppie light weight wool shirts – but heavy Woolrich 100% wool,) I have wool sweaters, wool mixed socks, and a wool bush coat. I do wear L.L. Bean rubber bottom boots. For gloves I buy work gloves one size too large and a pair of cotton gloves for liners.
|Empty wine bottles a good way to dry gloves.|
Drink more wine.
In my car I carry extra gloves, and emergency equipment including a light axe and shovel.
I love the winter, because I dress for it. If you are cold outside it is your own fault – you are not dressed properly.
I have been staying away from the TV news since the election of Trump. I do selectively read the short clips on the internet news just to keep up, and read the Portland Press Herald – the major newspaper in the state.
There is nothing I can change by hearing the tirades about Trump’s appointments, and I don’t need the aggravation. It is what it is.
Last night I did not watch the farewell address by our twice elected President. I consider the two greatest Presidents of my lifetime Lindon Johnson and Barack Obama – each for different reasons.
It just seems sad and pitiful that such a significant President and great first family should be replaced by the likes of Donald Trump; and that his accomplishments should be attacked and nullified by the party of socially extreme Republican.
I keep busy during the winter: there is snow to shovel and firewood to deal with; but in my moments of reflection I feel sad.
I have years and not decades left; and I just can’t carry this anger and regret with me 24/7.
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Liberals are pussies and Donald Trump has just grabbed us by the crotch.
Bill Maher warned us over and over again that liberals are overly concerned with political correctness while conservatives line up and fight.
On the very day Obama was sworn in as President, Mitch McConnell, leader of the House Conservatives, said that the aim of his party would be ‘to ensure that President Obama became a one term President.’
Yet, with a mandate in both the House and Senate, Obama compromised away from universal health care before the discussions even began, wrongly believing that moving toward the middle would elicit cooperation from the Republicans.
Even Harry Reid, when he had a chance to do away with the filibuster in the Senate and override Republican obstruction, made a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with McConnell that allowed the filibuster to remain.
We have constantly heard Democrats speak of their friends on the other side of the aisle; but those words have never been uttered from the mouth of a Republican.
I warned in my blog, that a Trump election was a real possibility. We saw thousands of rabid supporters turn out for Donald Trump’s campaign events and only hundreds turn out for Hillary. The momentum was always with him. We chose to ignore The Burn with a popular ultra-liberal agenda, and instead line up behind the politically correct, middle of the road, accepted heir to the throne.
It didn’t matter that Trump’s party intends to privatize Social Security (remove the safety net for seniors by offering tax cuts for investment in commercial retirement accounts) or that his party intends to do away with Medicare (turning health management back over to insurance companies.) Trump’s P.T. Barnum flare mesmerized the uninformed and easily manipulated Tea Party masses and the racist, homophobic, anti-government far right extremist, who’s main desire was to throw crap like monkeys in a cage.
Liberals are now experiencing a ‘regroup assessment.’ A ‘how could this have happened to us’ regret. But again, there is danger in our tendency for politically correct overreaction.
Liberals will make a monumental mistake if they try to move toward the conservative right in order to patronize the Republican base voters. The idea that we did not try to appeal to the blue collar middle class is a straw man of political correctness mentality.
We are the party of the middle class and should shout it to the sky. We should hunker down in our liberal beliefs and loudly and aggressively call out ignorance and bigotry and racism and misogyny when it dares to rear its head. We should become aggressive in our values and not cower to ‘our friends across the aisle.’ It is time for liberals to give up political correctness and enter the cage match, not with the attitude to resist and compromise, but with the attitude to win.
I hesitate to use the word depressed. In my late seventies the reality is that I have years not decades to live; and I refuse to let outside circumstances beyond my control distract me from the beauty of the natural world around me. But, the election of Donald Trump is really a downer.
Up until now I have felt upbeat. I have seen the advances of the Civil Rights movement, integration, open-minded sexuality, gay rights, an open discourse of religious ignorance, a black man elected President, a woman running for President, and yes marijuana legalization.
The rabid religious miasma coming from the middle-east I could write off as mankind behaving as usual; but at least it seemed here in this country we were experiencing a reawakening.
Now the yin has been canceled out by the yang.
The human race, I have no doubt, will continue to develop innovations in technology that will be impressive; but the human animal itself will continue to remain, as it has always been: steeped in religious bigotry, warlike and ignorance.
There have always been liberals that have pushed the envelope and always been conservatives who lit the fires to the burning stakes.
In my last years, I hate to see the death of the our small renaissance, and our world moving backwards into the Dark Ages to accommodate the haters, the bigots and the uninformed.
I am some disappointed
Friday, January 6, 2017
This year is the 200 edition of the Farmers’ Almanac.
Before television the Farmers’ Almanac was the planting bible for many country folks. It contained humor, helpful hints, health advice, recipes, astrology, calendar, astronomy and weather.
A reminder from the 2017 Almanac:
February 11 eclipse of the moon – visible mainly in Canada and the Northeast.
August 21 total eclipse of the Sun. For the first time in four decades the eclipse will sweep across the contiguous United States.
Monday, January 2, 2017
It is funny how sometimes a blog you write will bring back forgotten memories.
In my last blog I mentioned running naked through Jacksonville, Florida. Actually I have done it more than once.
This was during the time the song The Streak was popular. I was in the Navy and stationed at NAS Jacksonville. My buddy Tudor, a big red headed dude who was always game for a good time, was usually my partner in crime. There was a Limey Chief that had been temporarily attached with our unit. He was headed back to England at the end of the week.
Tutor and I had been drinking and it seemed like a good idea to streak the Chief as a departing memory for working with Yanks. We got naked, put on raincoats with combat boots, and had Tudor’s wife drive us to the Chiefs apartment. We knocked on the door, and when he answered we threw off our coats started screaming and took off down the steps.
As I said, we had been drinking.
Tudor’s wife had parked further down the road, so when we reached the car I jumped into the back seat, but Tudor ran right past the car and started down a one-way street naked as a jay-bird and still yelling. We had to circle the block and head him off, to get him back in the car.
I have lost track of Tudor, and my wife would probably say that is a good thing.
But Tudor, where ever you are, I am thinking of you man and I'll have a drink to you tonight.
Sunday, January 1, 2017
I have been known to streak through the streets of downtown Jacksonville, Florida bare ass naked – and it occurred to me as something I’d like to do for New Years; but it would probably have scare the neighbors; and besides that I don’t look good naked any more.
It is believed that calendars and attempts to document time into the future began with the Egyptians – a form of writing and math was necessary.
Actually, attempts to identify seasonal changes can be traced as far back as Pagan monoliths.
As it turns out, most modern calendars to date are religious based, the Chinese calendar being the exception.
The error in all calendars has occurred because of the attempt to align seasonal changes (the earth’s orbit) to moon phases (the new moon) which can vary anywhere from 29 to 31 days.
Earlier Christian calendars shifted the New Year between March and January – finally settling on January 1.
In the typical way of religion, science and common sense has been eliminated in order to justify calendars the conforms to religious dogma.
Nature’s new year began on December 21st. However, for the sake of conformity I wish you all a Happy January first.