Archive for February, 2008

Black Guys and Libs – –

28 February 08

Back in the early 1960’s my wife was one of those who demonstrated boldly and loudly for equal rights for black people. This was in the South. In Georgia. In Atlanta. She was busted on one of the demonstrations. This caused her to have an FBI record. It caused all kinds of hell in her very proper upper middle genteel white Southern household. It also caused problems when our children were in the military in the 1980’s and needed security clearances. It took a lot of guts for a white Southern girl to stand up for equal rights back then.I can remember that my parents had black friends in the early 1950’s. This was just about unheard of in genteel white society at that time. Unlike my wife’s family, ours saw only people, not black or white. Later, I worked at a church in one of the first neighborhoods to go from white to black. I taught music, English and math to the local black kids. This would have been about 1965 or 66 or so. My wife and I were adamant that equal opportunity be provided for all citizens. Our stance has not changed.

I don’t see the kinds of hatred and discrimination that I saw growing up anymore. That is not to say that there are not whites who hate black simply for being black and different. There were and are a lot of stupid, hateful, psychotic people in the world, and probably always will be. There are just as many stupid, hateful, psychotic blacks who hate whites simply for being white and different. Make no mistake, racial bigots can be of any flavor, not just vanilla.

What I do see now is a whole bunch of black people who have taken the opportunities that we all worked for so hard in the last century and have made something of themselves. I see many black people of quality in the work place. This is good, not only from the standpoint of morality, but also from just plain economics. The more people who are educated, motivated, living good lives, etc., the better off all of us are.

Then there are the other black people. The ones who keep an attitude. Who do not clean up their communities. Who hate police, and will not help the cops catch the bad guys. Who deal and do drugs or tolerate that activity in their neighborhoods. Who listen to ugly music at full volume. Who hate white people and think that we owe them something. Who follow the race lords. These people break my heart. I say that there is no general white movement keeping these people down. It is not white people who call anyone who wants to do well in school an Oreo. It is not white society who despises anyone who wants to better themselves and escape from poverty, fear, and misery.

Yet there is some truth in the notion that there are white people who want to keep these people back. There are white people who want to keep these people in the ghetto. They are called liberals. It is libs who make excuses for bad behavior and do not seem to think that rap that talks about niggers and ho’s and crime and drugs should be frowned upon. It is liberals who seem to think that it is ok for kids to grow up speaking Ebonics instead of English. It is libs who do not want accountability in the school system. It is libs who will not allow or enforce dress and behavior codes.

Children are animals that must be taught civilized behavior and educated for success in life. We are seeing generations of people, black and white who are told that whatever they do in school is just fine as long as they will hold hands and sing kumbaya, it doesn’t matter that they cannot speak, read, or write understandable English. It doesn’t matter that they cannot handle finances as long as they are concerned about the polar bears. It doesn’t matter that they have no grasp of the history that made this country. The only history that seems to be of any account is a distorted Afro centric view of Western civilization. Granted the history of the many black contributions to this country were ignored or suppressed in the past. That is no different than the current overemphasis. The fact is that many black citizens have contributed to many fields in this country from Colonial times up to today. However, the black civilizations of Africa and the Far East did not contribute directly to our foundation and to overemphasize them to the detriment of a working knowledge of Western European history is a grave disservice. It is more important to get an ego boost from genuine achievement than from feel-good lib bullshit. When the kiddies get out of school they find that the marketplace doesn’t care about their tender feelings. It only cares about results. This can be severely disillusioning for the little darlings who have not been prepared to perform as productive citizens. Is it any wonder that so many libs choose to work in academia or government service where incompetence is not penalized?

I cannot see Hollyweird or the lib community changing any of their practices. Libs like to see victims everywhere that they can keep feeding more and more government pap from inept programs that do little good other than perpetuating votes. Think about it, black guys. Does the media, whether movies, TV, news, or whatever present positive images and role models for the black youth? Or – do they show black kids with jive attitudes and smart mouths being cool? Do they show bad attitude athletes or smart, successful entrepreneurs as models for emulation? Does a total jerk and loser like Michael Vick or a winner like Herman Cain get the most airtime? Do you see black professionals and scientists or black criminals more often in the media? Do you hear Jesse and Al talk more about a false accusation launched by a low-life prostitute or do you hear them and those like them trying to clean up the images presented to your kids by the gansta’ rappers?

Us white guys have done just about all we can for you. We have provided opportunity for you to help yourself. We cannot force you to use those opportunities to better yourselves. We have provided penalties for anyone who puts you down for being black. We cannot provide penalties for being stupid. You provide those penalties for yourselves.

It is true that in America, class can be changed fairly easily. Money is not the determiner of class. Mostly it is education and personal presentation. People will treat you as the class that you present yourself. If you wish to be treated as trash, present yourself as trash. If you wish to be treated as quality, present yourself as quality. You will need enough education to sound like quality as well.

If you wish to be harassed by the cops, drive a flash car while dressed as a ghetto punk and blasting rap out of your oversized speakers. The cops will naturally focus on you before they focus on someone presenting himself as a quality gentleman. Even though you may be totally clean and straight and legal and the quiet looking gentleman may be a drug lord. Presentation of self usually dictates how others will perceive and treat you. Not fair, just reality.

I once overheard a black woman stating that she wanted to be able to raise her son as a black man. She didn’t want him to be raised as a white man. Huh? I have always been somewhat puzzled by this. What exactly does it mean to be raised a black man? I understand raising someone to be a successful human being. We want to teach them all the skills necessary for functioning as a person of integrity, compassion, intelligence, warmth, decency, and so on down the list. We wish to raise them as productive and successful members of society who make the earth better by their presence. Where does color come into this? I certainly tried to inculcate all the aforementioned values into my children, but I wouldn’t have a clue what it meant to raise them “white”. For the most part, I’m unclear what color has to do with integrity, or decency. Is intelligence a white characteristic? Is compassion a black function? I’m not seeing something here. For that matter, I’m rather unclear what sex might have to do with the most important values we should be teaching our kiddies. I guess I tend to see people as humans of whatever virtues they might display first, with color and sex being somewhat further down the list than integrity, etc.

Now conservatives – you guys don’t get off scot-free either. (Old English: sceot = tax. Scot-free = tax dodge). What have you done to improve the schools in your neighborhood? In your district? In your town? In your state? Or have you just kept on making a living with no thought as to what your children and the children of your neighbors are being taught? The kids in the inner cities are your neighbors too. These kids will affect the world that your children and grandchildren inherit. You cannot make a better country for your kids and ignore the rest of the people in this country. We all sink or swim together. I grant that you have a perfectly good complaint about the crap the schools are trying to shove down your kid’s throats. But you must also be actively concerned about what the rest of the kiddies in the country are getting as well. You must be constantly working to improve schooling even after your kids are through. Am I my brother’s keeper? Yes, and we should be more diligent about practicing this than anyone else. Do you understand and practice this? Or do you just shrug your shoulders and say that’s their problem, it doesn’t affect me?

It is worth your while to read Dr. Thomas Sowell’s book Black Rednecks and White Liberals. Whether you agree with Dr. Sowell’s conclusions or not will depend a lot on your personal bias. Nonetheless, the man is brilliant and thought provoking. I must say that I have for years stated that inner city “black culture” was just another name for low class, uneducated behavior that is not acceptable in anyone, black or white. At least when whites act in this boorish way we can sneer at them as “redneck trash”. It is not racial to say that bad behavior is bad, no matter what the race of the people involved. Bad manners and bad English are marks of trash, no matter whether it is a redneck whine or a black mush mouth mumble. Equal rules for all people, equal rules.


Exotics –

26 February 08

This is a lunch toasted open face sandwich of sorts that my mother used to make. I can remember them from back in the 1950’s. I have no idea where she learned these things or whether it was her own idea. I do know that they are very nice and tasty. I do know where the name came from. Sometime in the mid 1970’s I was having lunch with her several times a week and this was her go-to when she was tired or completely out of other ideas. She used to say “I guess we’ll have something exotic and unusual” and then do these. Therefore we started calling them exotics.

Skip forward to today and Herself and I still like these a lot. And we call them exotics in humorous tribute to my mother.

Bread (we like honey-wheat or pain de mie)
Cheese, cover the bread like cheese toast (cheddar, sliced about 1/8” or less)
Tomato, one good sized slice in the center
Bacon, 1 piece, divided into halves or thirds, centered on the tomato

We pre-cook our bacon about halfway (enough to render most of the grease), since Herself just cannot stand undercooked bacon.

Into the broiler until the cheese bubbles and the bread is crisp around the edges. Don’t worry if the bacon gets slightly charred. Adds to the flavor.

That’s all there is to it. Simple, satisfying, delicious.


Herself Sez: I think this must be a Kentucky thing. My grandmother used to make them for me for lunch from time to time, too! Remember, my family was from the same area of Kentucky as your Mama’s family, m’dear. I don’t remember that we called them anything special, though.

Why I am Against Minorities –

23 February 08

Let me state this as flatly and plainly as I can. I am not in favor of feminism. I am not in favor of the NAACP. I am not in favor of any organization which seeks to promote its own special interests over those of anyone else.I am a strict Constitutionalist. It is unconstitutional to deny anyone else’s freedoms and opportunities. Period. You cannot use sex, race, or religion as a basis for denial of same.

I insist that anyone may apply for any job they choose. Anyone may apply to any University they choose. Anyone may attempt to buy a house in any neighborhood they choose.

However – the employer should also have the right to hire the most qualified person possible for the job without the government dictating who must be hired. The University must be free to select the most qualified applicants with the best grades and not forced to admit people who do not measure up to the quality of learning expected just to meet some quota. The banks must be free to deny credit to those who do not qualify financially.

This does mean that I am opposed to any sort of quota system. I am totally against putting any one group above another group. I am for totally free competition. This does mean that if anyone is not hired or admitted because of sex or gender there are and should be heavy penalties.

However – if the search for the best means that a company is heavy on white males – so be it. If the company, in selecting the best people for the jobs winds up heavily black female – so be it. Let the most qualified people get the jobs.

I don’t want or need to know someone’s sexual orientation on the job. As long as we are all trying to do the best possible job for the company it is irrelevant what makes you horny. I’m not interested and don’t care as long as only consenting adults are involved and it does not affect job performance.

I think that race, sex, religion and all the other garbage that we carry around and get all wrapped up in are irrelevant. I am color blind and sex blind on the job. The only thing that matters in the workplace is the ability to perform.

Does it register that someone is tall or short, black or white, male or female, and all the rest? Sure. The things that are superficial characteristics register but generally are not important to job performance. They just don’t matter to me (and to most people). So – minority types, quit looking for something that exists mainly in your mind. If you do get hit with real anti-whatever discrimination then you can get wound up about it. But don’t see tigers in shadows that don’t exist. All humans are capable of maladroit social interaction, but clumsy behavior does not necessarily equal deliberate and malicious behavior.

In short – it is wrong to deny any group’s opportunities. It is equally wrong to promote one group over another. Reverse discrimination is still discrimination and oppresses ion. Just because the shoe is on a different foot does not change the fact that it is still a shoe.

Actually, I am not against minorities, I am against promoting minorities over anyone else. Or demoting them below anyone else. Level playing field all the way. That’s what I am for.

Sourdough Pain de Mie –

21 February 08

This is a sourdough version of the king of breads. It makes a nice loaf with lots of subtle tastes. It works best with a clangy San Francisco sourdough, but it will also do well with a milder sourdough starter. It has a tight, smooth crumb with good tooth and taste without being too heavy.

100 grams sourdough starter
200 grams all-purpose flour
200 grams water

500 grams mature starter
375 grams bread flour
125 grams whole-wheat flour
30 grams milk powder
30 grams sugar or honey
11 grams salt
150 grams water
1 pkg yeast (optional)
30 grams soft butter (optional)

Mix the sourdough starter, flour and water. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 12 hours at 68°F to 70°F. Less time if the kitchen is warmer. You will get more complex flavor development from the slower rise. Don’t get higher than the low 80’s in temperature or your sourdough will be totally unhappy.

Mix all the ingredients and low speed for 3 minutes, or until all incorporated. This will be a bit of a sticky, moist dough. Mix on second speed for 5 minutes. Put into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 1-1/2 hours. Fold. Let rise 1-1/2 hours. Form into a log and place in an oiled Pullman pan. Let rise until 3/4″ to 1/2″ from the top. Close the top and bake at 400°F for 45 minutes. Cool on a rack, wrap in baker’s cloth overnight. Do NOT yield to the temptation to cut it before it’s cooled down or the flavor and crumb will not be fully developed.

Some additional comments:
The choice between sugar or honey is yours. They both work nicely.

Adding regular yeast will give a higher, faster rise at the expense of some of the subtle flavors.

Using butter will shorten the dough and give a slightly more tender crumb. I don’t find that it is really necessary.

If you want to use more whole-wheat flour and less bread flour, just adjust proportions as necessary. If you do much more whole-wheat you probably will need to use commercial yeast to get a decent rise.

You could also do this as a standard round loaf or in a regular bread pan. This will make about a 2-1/2 pound loaf. Scale it off to 1-1/2 lb. to 1-3/4 lb. for use in a regular bread pan.

HERSELF SEZ: This is a really nice bread! I don’t know which I like better, his Honey-Wheat PdM, or this. Both make great toast, both make lovely sandwiches. The Sourdough PdM is slightly “chewier” to me, and that gives it an interesting quality for buttering and simply eating!

Telephone Technology –

19 February 08

I just had to get a new cell phone for work as my old one was dying. Of course, I don’t pay for this, the company provides. I had to change services to the one the company prefers. Pretty painless, other than entering the numbers I wanted to keep since the company doesn’t pay for data transfer. Kept the same number and the switchover was handled by the new service.The new phone is one of the “free” ones with the service. (Motorola W385 – if you care). Now free isn’t really free, you get one from your service by signing one of those locked in contracts and the cost of the phone is paid by you many times over. But anyway, this was one of the ones on the “free” list. We can get anything we want, but we have to pay the difference for a non-free phone if there is one unless we can provide a business justification for the upgrade. That really is quite reasonable.

This thing is pretty slick. It is quite small – almost on the border of too small for the aging hands to use comfortably. It is also quite light – about 100 grams. It is amazing what can fit in this small a body nowadays. It can do mobile internet, keep a calendar of events, schedule alarms and notifications, voice mail, text messaging, take pictures, do calculator work and other stuff too – you know – all the latest cool stuff.

You can have pretty backgrounds on the color screen. You can have a nice screen saver. All this is your choice. You can have every person in your contacts list have a different ringtone. You can download and play music or short movies. Amazing.

You can use Bluetooth communications for all kinds of things: you can hook into a Bluetooth enabled computer and transfer files back and forth. You can also use the phone as a modem and connect to the Internet where there is no normal Internet connection. You can use a Bluetooth earpiece/microphone and wander around listening and talking to the air – as so many people do nowadays.

Of course, this can also be abused – think of the number of people that you have seen walking around oblivious with loud music blasting or having air conversations at maximum volume. Rude is still rude and inconsiderate behavior – no matter what the technology involved.

But the most amazing thing to me is voice commands and dialing. With the Bluetooth you don’t even have to take the phone in hand – just touch the earpiece button for two seconds and then say “call whoever at work (or home, or whatever)”. Or say “check status” and get the current battery state, signal source, signal strength, message status, current time and date, and so on and on and on. Reasonably clear pronunciation will get the job done. Back to this in a moment.

I grew up in the 1950s, when the telephone company was a monolithic monopoly. I can remember numbers that started with a name – Butler-9 was our exchange. I can remember party lines. You had to listen for the dial tone and make sure that you didn’t start dialing over someone else’s conversation. You also had to be careful what you said if some nosybody was listening on the party line. Back then it was one telephone per household. If you wanted extension phones the telephone company really soaked you. All installation was done by the phone company, wiring and all. If you wanted to move the phone from one room to another you had to call the phone company and pay a service charge for their guy to move it. You could not do any of your own work or Ma Bell could take you to court and/or penalize you pretty heavily. It was a big deal when the rules relaxed and you could have extension phones and do your own wiring. It was a status symbol for a while to have an extension in every room.

Then there were cordless phones and every gadget conscious householder had to have one (or more).

Then came cell phones, they were expensive, heavy, bulky, unreliable and had pretty spotty coverage. The new status symbol became a mobile phone. Then you got pretty well soaked on minutes when you went over your plan minimum. I had a mobile phone in my truck because I was doing mechanical contracting at the time. It was not unusual to have $400 a month phone bills. My bookkeeper would have a fit just about every time.

Now cell phones are a necessity of life and more reasonable in cost.

Back in the 1960s I was working for Remington-Rand repairing office machines – typewriters, adding machines, calculators, copies and robo-typers (I’ll have to tell you about robo-typers sometime – interesting goodies). On one of the training trips to the factory in Elmira, New York (Southwest New York state) they gave us a lab tour and showed us all the neat stuff that was being developed. One of the goodies was a calculator that was made out of Plexiglas and worked from a vacuum. You didn’t push buttons; you covered suction holes with a finger to activate a number or function. Kinda neat. Never got developed into anything marketable that I know of. The other neat, futuristic goodie they were working on was a voice-activated typewriter. This was really a big, bulky thing – 60s, remember. They loved to have us Southern boys give the thing a try – the Southern accent drove the machine nuts and it would print the weirdest garbage. The machine had to be reset for each operator and wouldn’t work very well if the operator had a cold. This also could not be made dependable enough for commercial production. (I did get back to voice recognition as promised).

There is a wonderful scene in Star Trek 4. The crew has come back into the past (late 1980s, when the movie was made) to rescue humpback whales (yeah, the plot is a little lame). Scotty needs to use a Macintosh computer. He starts off by saying “Computer” and expecting a response. The local holds up the mouse. Scotty then holds the mouse like a microphone and says “Computer” again. Then he is amused and shocked to learn he has to use the keyboard. This may not be as funny in a few years (or maybe funnier) as we get used to voice control of everything. I wonder if our grandkids will look back and remember a time when they had to turn on a light manually, or actually drive a car instead of just announcing a destination.

In some of Robert Heinlein’s later works: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Time Enough for Love, Number of the Beast, To Sail Beyond the Sunset, to name a few, a computer is sentient and a regular member of the household with sight and voice recognition. These computers were really people with hardware bodies. That time may not be as far off as we think.

If the Moslems don’t destroy western civilization I dare say that before my children die – maybe even before I die – we will have affordable household robots that understand voice commands to do routine housework. Or will technology take us in directions that we cannot even imagine today? Or both?


Herself Sez: Don’t get me started on “voice technology!!” I’m waiting for Dragon Naturally Speaking(R)(TM) to start recognizing my conglomeration of Southern / Western / Kentuckian / Etc. accent. I have never been able to use it – even after hours and hours of “training” trying to get the stupid program to work. If we get voice-activated robots, I will view them with a jaundiced eye until I am sure that they will “dust the buffet” on command as opposed to “rust the tuffet”

Democrats consistently Democrats – –

16 February 08

I realize that kicking Democrats rather resembles the bullying that I used to see in school where the dimmest, weakest, and goofiest were always the targets. Oh well. 

Now it seems that Michigan and cannot have the same silly early primary that Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada have. So the Dems say that they will not seat the Michigan delegates – all 156 or so of them. Seems there’s the same deal with Florida’s early primary. Poor Florida Dems – their votes never seem to count. 

I thought these were the “fair play” people. Weren’t these the same guys that made Florida recount the votes many times over? Weren’t these the people that examined chads with magnifying glasses to see if the liberal candidate’s chad had even been touched? Didn’t they want every vote to count? Especially those of liberals. Aren’t these the same people that are always launching lawsuits to stop any law requiring proof of identity or citizenship or anything else that might “disenfranchise” any voter, no matter how unqualified? Heaven forbid we should make people prove that they are citizens or haven’t already voted three times that day. 

And to hell with examining ballots with magnifiers. If someone is too stupid to read and follow the instructions about punching all the way down, then they are too stupid to be voting on important issues. 

It would seem that the fair play doctrine doesn’t hold for Dems – just everyone else. Isn’t that what we should expect from a bunch of people who are fooled by Hilary? She refuses to release any of the legal documents that show her history. She abuses the FBI and pulls off travelgate and is never held accountable by the liberals of this country. She insists that she is so experienced and qualified to lead. If that were so then just living with a surgeon for a few years would make you a qualified doctor. 

Then there’s Obama. Does anyone seriously think that he is qualified to lead this country in a time of terrible Moslem aggression? He is not qualified in any sense. Assuming that the minor difficulty of no management experience, either as a governor or the corporate type is overlooked. Assuming that he would be willing to try to stand against Moslem terrorism there is the point that, to a Moslem, he is not an acceptable person. He is the son of a Moslem father and went to some of the Madrasah training and is an unperson to a serious Moslem. He will not be able to deal with Moslem countries. That doesn’t seem to register with the Dems. He is a pretty fellow and a good emotional speaker – but that’s as far as I can see it at the moment. Oh yes, vote for him and he will bring change. But he never says what change or how he’s going to do it. I’m rather interested in how this pretty boy with zero management experience is going to run the biggest corporation on the face of the earth. 

Edwards? Well, I dunno about anyone else, but I really want someone more qualified than a sleazy trial lawyer who made more money for himself than for his client and who constantly preaches class warfare while paying ridiculous money for his beauty treatments. What on earth is Edwards qualified to do other than admire himself in the mirror while he flops his golden locks? 

Well, I suppose that the candidates reflect the people. I shouldn’t be surprised that what passes for Democrat moral outrage is only directed at Republicans. After all, they see themselves as so morally superior that any action that they desire just has to be morally correct. 

I suppose it is naïve of me to expect people to recognize that correct behavior applies first and foremost to themselves. I believe I remember something about criticizing the splinter in another fellow’s eye when you’ve got a whole 2×4 in your own.

Feminazis and Pigs – –

14 February 08

Feminists seem to think that males are no damn good, only suitable for siring children. Preferably female children. To be disposed of as soon as medically possible. (Very soon now). Then they should be castrated or shot or some such. If the unfortunate child is male, heaven help him. These gals just don’t like men. I don’t know whether or not most have even had trouble with men. Maybe they had bad relations with their fathers. Maybe not. Maybe they have been discriminated against by stupid men. Maybe not. Maybe they had bad experiences with men as young women. Maybe not. Isn’t it kind of stupid to hate half the human race? Wouldn’t it be better to work on figuring out why the hate is there? Is this hate any better than the hate of low whites for blacks? Is this any better than the hate of Moslems for the rest of the world? Ladies – hate is hate. It doesn’t matter how you justify it.

Lesbianism is a political statement for many feminazis. Now let’s not get into that business about born gay vs. choice. Both are true statements. Some are born that way. Check good current science. Some make the choice. Check the same science.

Male Chauvinist Pigs – A good description, actually. These guys are not gay, they just think that women are no damn good. Oh, they like sex with women – at least until their own orgasm. But they have no use for females other than as a sperm receptacle. And may even refer to women in this fashion. All they think that women are good for is keeping house, receiving sperm, and bearing children. Preferably male children. If the unfortunate child is female, heaven help her. Once the female has borne the children, she may or may not be kept around while the aforementioned MCP uses other women as sperm receptacles. These guys just don’t like women. Maybe they had lousy mothers. Maybe not. Maybe they had bad experiences with girls. Maybe not. Kind of stupid to hate half the human race, isn’t it? Why do these guys need to marry maids? Are they that desperate? Gents – you would be much happier and fuller people if you would work on getting rid of the hate and having better relationships.

Now, maybe I’m not very smart, but I don’t see a lot of difference between feminists and MCPs. Should we talk about Female Chauvinist Pigs? Should we use masculinists? Where is the difference here? Both groups hate the opposite sex. It is irrational in both cases.

Let us be logical here, people. Some of this may come from the horribly awkward business of going through adolescence. Boys are terribly awkward and extremely tender emotionally. They generally cover up fear and uncertainty with extremely boorish behavior. They can hurt adolescent girls horribly. And so many adolescent girls don’t intend harm and don’t realize the power they have over the poor, dumb boys whose brains have suddenly moved into their crotches. Fortunately, most boys come through ok.

Contrariwise – adolescent females are also emotionally fragile. They are changing and growing even more than the boys. New and unfamiliar hormones are driving them more that ever before. It is difficult to cope. The body aches and changes shape almost daily. The crude and boorish and sometimes cruel behavior of the boys doesn’t help. Fortunately, most girls survive ok.

The question is: What are we to do with those who are driven by hate? Now it is unfashionable to allow male pigs to put females down. While they can do it in private conversation without much fear of reprisal, acting like a male pig on the job will eventually get you crucified. None of the legal stuff helps the woman unfortunate or dumb enough to get into a relationship with one of these bastards, though. What to do about the female pigs? It is almost impossible to nail one for bad conduct on the job unless she is so egregious that you can get umpteen witnesses against her. You generally don’t have the private relationship problems with these gals because they won’t date men anyway. There doesn’t seem to be much of a level playing field here. Yet I maintain that the one is the same as the other.

I have probably enraged some feminazis by this writing. Feminazi is disrespectful. OK, so how is male pig respectful? Quid pro quo, ladies, quid pro quo.

Think on that a while.

But they never did anything to ME –

12 February 08

Oh yes – the good old “they never did anything to me” argument. So, it is ok for torture to happen as long as it doesn’t happen to you? You can stand by and peacefully watch a mugger beat hell out of someone as long as it doesn’t happen to you? You can happily watch a murder as long as it doesn’t happen to you? I guess so, because that’s what you see on the news all the time.I see horrible atrocities committed by the Sudanese against the people of Darfur. There is a growing sense among libs that they would like for “something to be done”. Well, the only something to be done is going to have to be force. The Sudanese will not respond to anything else. We don’t have any other leverage against them. But wait – the Sudanese never did anything to us. Why should we intervene? Why should the Sudan take precedence over North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan? These do represent threats to us as a nation. The Sudanese do not. Why do libs want to twiddle with another nations sovereignty, and not protect ours? “Is a puzzlement.”

If some jackass mutters a racially wrong word, even if unintentional, I see the press and the left out with cross and nails and hammers. For days. The story gets beat into the ground. But anything like public indifference to crime is just sloughed off. I hear the Al Frankens of the left go on about things that never happened – Tawana Brawley, Duke Lacrosse – but I don’t hear their outrage if a black punk beats up a frail and distinguished WWII vet, I think in Philadelphia, not one word of outrage do I hear from the race lords or the press.

Herself Sez: And what about the couple in Killeen, TX – Todd and Stacy Bagley were kidnapped on the way to church, lit on fire, burned to death and shot in the head by four blacks. This was not investigated as a “hate crime.” In Burlington, NC – A 10 year old white child, Tiffany Long, was raped, sodomized, sexually tortured and murdered by two black males and a black female. The black female so viciously rammed a broomstick into the child, that the parents were prohibited from seeing their dead daughter’s body. This was not investigated as a hate crime. These are ONLY TWO of the many crimes not reported by the national media – while non-crimes are over reported. Back to your regularly scheduled correspondent.

It is horrible if one human damages another. The race or sex or nationality or religion of either party is irrelevant. It is also rather irrelevant what one grandfather may have done to another. There is no excuse. Libs – quit excusing bad behavior of anyone. Anywhere. Any color. Any religion. You seem to think that America deserves anything that comes our way. Nonsense. Quit comforting our enemies.

Snow –

9 February 08

To a dyed-in-the-wool Southerner, snow is just another four-letter word.To some people, it is wondrous stuff. This would be mostly in climates where snow falls and it stays cold enough to keep the stuff as snow. These people who like this stuff usually do or depend upon winter sports types for economic gain.

Down here in the South, snow is a whole different critter. First off, we don’t have it enough to have a whole lot of heavy-duty road clearing equipment on hand. Secondly, we don’t usually get snow. We get a mixture of snow, sleet, rain – just makes a slushy goo that is neither pretty nor useful. We don’t have pretty fluffy stuff, we have a mixture that is pure treachery and usually just looks dirty.

About the most dangerous thing around here is a Yankee with a 4-wheel drive in an Atlanta ice storm. You can drive up I-400 and see them ploughed into the median about every half mile or so. See, Yanks are used to driving in snow. Even when we get snow, the temperature/humidity is usually just right to for ice on the roads. Now while you might be good at driving on snow, nobody is good at driving on ice. And the real capper is that we get black ice – a lot. Black ice is just about impossible to see. You just drive along happily on a fairly normal road until you hit black ice. Then you are toast with zero traction. Not a good thing at all. Chains would help on ice, of course, but we have such patchy roads with large clear spots between ice patches that chains just tear up your tires on our roads.

Of course, for a kid, even Southern snow is a goodness. We shut down the schools when snow hits. There is good reason for this. As I said, we cannot drive safely. Southern kids do all the normal snow stuff, or at least we did when I was a kid. Snowball fights. Snow angels. Snowmen. And the ubiquitous snow ice cream – with the attendant joke – don’t eat the yellow snow.

Snow ice cream is easy to make. My mother came from Kentucky and knew about such things. Get a bowl full of very clean, fluffy snow. Sprinkle sugar over it. Add vanilla extract. Mix in a bit of milk or cream and stir it all up. Eat it with a spoon. There’s nothing else in the world quite like it.

{{Herself Sez}}: My grandmother was from KY also, and my mother was born there, although she was raised in MS. We used to subscribe to Mathis Dairy (as did the Ol’ Curmudgeon’s folks) for our milk. Now, milk was not homogenized back then, so the cream rose to the top – hence the moniker: “cream-line” milk. My little grandmother would spoon some of that heavy top cream into the bowl with the snow along with some sugar.

Now-a-days, snow ice-cream just doesn’t taste “right.” Not just because my taste buds have grown older, but because the cream isn’t “right.” The heavy whipping cream has been “ultra-pasturized” so it will last nearly forever, but it is tasteless. Last time I was able to obtain raw milk, I realized that good taste was the same taste I remembered from childhood! So our attempts to be “safe” from food-borne illnesses has led to decreased flavor in the basic foods we eat. So we flavor them more with salt. More than we need, most of the time. Now, back to Himself:

As an adult I have lost the enjoyment of snow. It is mostly a pain in the butt that makes the roads treacherous and makes it impossible to get work done. But occasionally I can remember the delights of snow in the eyes of a child.

Crabs and stock cars –

7 February 08

Back in 1950s my father worked at the General Motors plant in Doraville, GA. It was called the BOP – Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac were made there. My mother taught math at GA State University. It was convenient for them (and us kids) that the break between Summer and Fall quarters, the vacation my father could take, and the kids’ school break all lined up throughout the 50s. We would take off for vacation at that time every year. For a while we alternated between my mother’s sister in Mobile, Alabama and my godmother in Orlando, Florida. The trip was not too bad for the kids. My parents were pretty smart. We had a 1954 Chevrolet two door sedan, green with a white top. Other cars before that, but that is the one I remember best. I think it was the only new car my father ever bought. He got it at the GM employee discount. They would very carefully pack the back between the front seat and the back seat with suitcases, level with the back seat. Then padding, blankets and sheets would soften the platform. They kept my sister and me awake until it was time to leave. We would leave about midnight, and we kids would drop off almost immediately. The parents would drive through the night, alternating as necessary. You must remember, this was before the expressway system was built. It was all two-lane highways, maybe four-lane on occasion. You had to be very careful about speed traps near the smaller GA and AL towns. This I found out the hard way as a teen. 45 was 3 times the speed limit in some places. The kids would wake around eight or so, and we would arrive within a few hours. Less stress on parents and kids. I still get sleepy in a car if I’m not driving.

Herself Sez: He gets carsick, is what he gets. If he isn’t going to drive, I have to feed him Dramamine!

My aunt and uncle lived in a suburb of Mobile with the Indian name of Chickasaw, after the local tribe, Chickasha. Chickasaw is just about due north of Mobile, about 5 to 10 miles and was originally settled during the French period. We could always tell when we were getting close. There was a paper plant on the edge of town. Scott paper, I think. The inhabitants couldn’t smell it, which is typical of those who get used to a mill nearby.

My aunt’s husband was a Georgia Tech engineer who worked for a Mississippi barge company that freighted stuff from the headwaters in Minnesota down to the Gulf of Mexico. Other rivers connected the Mississippi to most of the Northern industrial states. I’m not sure exactly what his function was, probably something to do with load calculation or some such. I don’t think that my aunt worked. There were two cousins of the male persuasion, a year and 3 years older than I. The arrangement of houses was somewhat different, I don’t know if this was just in this neighborhood, or throughout Chickasaw. Anyway, the houses were completely reversed from the norm that we see here, houses face the street, back faces back. In that neighborhood, the houses faced each other, with a sidewalk running between front yards, and the back faced the streets. We would drive down to Mobile Bay, walk out on the piers and drop fishing lines and crab baskets into the Bay. The crabs were so easy to cook. Just put them in a pot of salted boiling water until they turn color. It’s probably easiest to just buy a commercial crab boil at the grocery, but if you want to roll your own, vary, add, subtract from the following base:

1/4 cup fennel seed
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons coriander seed
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup kosher salt

Mix up the spices thoroughly and wrap it in cheesecloth. This is called a garni bag if you like the French version. Anyway, just plop the crabs in, preferably still alive, after the water comes to a rolling boil. It only takes 3-4 minutes. When they turn color pull them out, crack the shells and dig out the meat. Good drawn butter is the best. To draw butter just put a few sticks in a small saucepan, boil it gently until all the milk solids separate out. Ladle out the clarified butter into heated dipping tubs. Good stuff. Don’t forget the claws, that’s some of the best meat. BTW – you don’t get much meat out of a crab, most of it at the leg to body joints. Don’t try to eat the lungs, the largish white things on the sides.

If you wind up with fish and maybe mussels or clams you can do a fish stew. Just boil the crabs or shrimp lightly, and shuck them, fillet the fish and cut it up in chunks. Sauté some garlic and onions in olive oil in a heavy dutch oven. Add:

a quart of water
1 cup wine
4 chopped tomatoes
4 chopped potatoes
fistful of chopped fresh parsley
spices to suit:

You can try a pinch of cloves
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp tarragon
about 10 to 20 grinds of fresh black pepper
add sweet red pepper flakes if you like.

Simmer all the ingredients for about an hour. Add any fish, the more variety, the better, and the shellfish. If you have clams or mussels, wait a couple of minutes before you add them. You don’t want to overcook. You want the fish to be done when the clams or mussels open. It takes in the neighborhood of 10 minutes for the fish. It takes about 5 minutes for clams. Add salt and pepper to taste. Easy on the salt until the end. If your shellfish are salt water, the liquor may add some salt as it mixes. Anyway, simmer for about 10 minutes or until the fish looks white and done and the clams are open. I like a good, strong garlic bread with this.

Garlic bread? Most people get a French loaf and bake it, slice it , and then try to run garlic butter down into the slices. There’s an easier way to get better bread: Smash several garlic cloves on your cutting board with the flat of the knife. Pull off any skin. Rough chop the garlic. Sauté it in a skillet with a good bit of butter, olive oil, or both. When the garlic gets soft start sautéing slices of a good rough bread until it is a light, golden brown on both sides. Add olive oil or butter and garlic as necessary so that each slice get a good coating. Greasy is better than dry. Now serve all this up with some fresh parsley garnish. I like some grated parmigiano reggiano (parmisean cheese) over the stew. Don’t use the canned crap. Get a small block of good, fresh cheese and a micro planer and do your own. Your taste buds will appreciate. Now you can fiddle with this to your every whim. Use beer instead of wine. Add any veggies that seem good. Different species of fish, different spicing. Do your own thing. There are no hard and fast rules, just enjoy.

Another activity that the men folk liked was the stock car races, this was in the early days of NASCAR, and stock car racing was just getting popular as an underground movement. NASCAR is really big business now. Enjoyed by millions, both men and women. Sometimes I think the women like it because the horribly loud noise and vibration, including subsonic, rattles their ovaries. I think the men like it because it rattles the women’s ovaries. I don’t like it because it hurts my ears. I may have worked in heavy chiller and boiler plants for too many years. Heavy bass hurts.

Another reason I just don’t care for it is that somewhere around 1955 we were watching the cars go around and around the oval when there was a truly horrible crash. One driver was killed, I think his name was Lamar Crabtree. Several others were injured. I just can’t watch a race and not get saddened by that man’s death. For those who do follow the races, I believe I remember that he was No. 3, same as Earnhardt. Anyway, I did drag race a bit when I was a teen – didn’t we all back then? But – I just cannot watch oval racing to this day. It was good to be a kid in the 50s.

Herself Sez: I can’t find a reference to a multi-car crash on a track in AL in 1955 or so. Searching for Lamar Crabtree I found one guy who drove at that time – and he died in 2003! Maybe it was a different Lamar Crabtree? I do try to keep Himself accurate in stuff like this. 🙂

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