Owlish Mutterings
All right, blogger lost 2 posts in as many days. What's the deal. Update: and now, magically, they're back. You just know there are people out there who believe that the GOVERNMENT is censoring their post every time blogger has a hiccup. Actually, that might be an interesting research subject. How many paranoid schizophrenics are using blogger?

Instapundit's got some comments about Walmart vs Target vs internet vs no one ever buying anything. Several thoughts: 1) The super Walmart near my parents' Tiny Texas Town is the place to go. The area isn't big enough to support a Target, but the Walmart is clean, well lit, and reasonably well liked. I don't know if it has driven other places out of business. 2) The super Walmart opening in Galveston led to the shutdown of a couple of smaller grocery stores, and the Kroger building a new, bigger store. I shop at a variety of grocery stores. I usually go to Kroger because overall it tends to be cheaper than Walmart [my grocery purchases are rather price dependent - I buy coke or pepsi brands depending on what's on sale that week], I think the produce looks better, and the lines are shorter and the self checkout works [I've had a couple of problems doing self checkout in Walmart]. I don't shop at Randalls just because I don't want to have to get another preferred shopper card. Finally, I go to Central Market in Houston when I visit some friends in Houston and want something special or unusual. They shop exclusively at Central Market and Costco because they think the quality is better, and are willing to pay for it.

My airline travel ended up being much smoother than I had expected. I don't know how the final numbers will come out, but I overheard the pilot on Sunday talking about how he had expected a fuller airplane [at around noon]. I was "selected" for further security inspection on the way back. The guy was quite professional, clearly telling me every time he had to touch me. I still think it would be reasonably easy to get a non-metallic weapon on a plane, simple to get the equivalent of brass knuckles, and can think of a way to obtain a gun. The equivalent of 9/11 wouldn't happen due to the Instapundit "pack, not a herd" meme, not due to the security guys confiscating fingernail clippers. Unless terrorists specifically targeted a plane with few passengers. Hmm.

Ok, so Thanksgiving was a success. I made the turkey, stuffing, [by the way, we don't stuff the turkey], jello, [man, that stuff can get rubbery when you forget to add the extra 2 cups cold water], and cranberries [one bag with sugar, one with Splenda]. Mom made a couple of other things, and various people brought various desserts [one from a bake sale, one from a bakery in Dallas, etc.] My grandfather is now officially moved to the Tiny Texas Town. I flew to Memphis, helped pack some, helped him not go crazy while the movers packed stuff and moved stuff, drove him in his car, then later got a ride with an aunt to Dallas to fly to Hobby. In between I got 2 cavities filled, which is irritating since they're still cold sensitive. I don't recall local anaethetics having mood instability effects, but the night after they were done was bad.

I don't understand. Isreali soldiers make a Palestinian man play his violin, seemingly to make sure he wasn't carrying a bomb, the scene gets videotaped, and now the Guardian has this quote: Yoram Kaniuk, author of a book about a Jewish violinist forced to play for a concentration camp commander, wrote in Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that the soldiers responsible should be put on trial "not for abusing Arabs but for disgracing the Holocaust Disgracing the Holocaust? Have we completely lost the ability to differentiate between the victim and the victimizer?

Modified Wilson's Cornbread Stuffing
Go here for the unmodified version. Modified Wilson's Cornbread Stuffing 1 whole chicken 2 bags cornbread mix [used Martha White] 2 bags stuffing mix [used Kellog's herb dressing] 3 medium eggs 2 medium onions 3 slices of stale, not moldy, wheat bread about 1 tsp. sage 1) Boil chicken. Reserve chicken stock for later use. 2) Make cornbread. 3) Debone chicken, shredding meat into bite sized or smaller pieces. 4) Coarsely chop onion. 5) Mix all ingredients [with your hands]. Add enough chicken stock [and/or water, if necessary] to gain a consistency such that the bready ingredients are starting to turn to mush. 6) Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. The edges of the stuffing should be beginning to turn golden. The taste is relatively subtle. I might recommend adding more sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, or black pepper depending on what you like. My dad, who doesn't particularly spicy food, thought this was great, and the closest to his grandmother's stuffing he's tasted. We added the chicken meat because that was what she always did. Not a huge amount of prep time, but cooking the chicken and cornbread the day before is recommended. By the way, this recipe makes a pan of stuffing large enough that 8 people at Thanksgiving ate about half of it. Leftovers, yum!

SciFi vs Science
Scored an 80% on this quiz, and I disagree with one of their answers. Yay me! Hat tip: Read My Lips

Today's strip sets up many possibilities for tomorrow. Heh.

Religion of Peace
And in Iran, we have a 14 year old teenager dying after being sentenced to 85 lashes due to the crime of breaking his Ramadan fast. Yesterday, a guy at the bank was speechless/ pissed/ frustrated after hearing the 911 tape of the mother that cut off her baby's arms. That story bothers me much less than this one, because (1) she's been charged with capitol murder (2) I suspect she's quite ill. On the other hand, no one will be punished for this kid's death, who was young enough to still be impulsive yet old enough to know what was happening to him. Hat tip: Patriot Paradox, via Llama Butchers.

Via TexasBestGrok and LlamaButchers: A list of 61 top cult movies. Ones I've seen in bold, ones I would see again or plan to see in the future in italics. 1 This Is Spinal Tap 2 The Rocky Horror Picture Show 3 Freaks 4 Harold And Maude [would see it again just to see how my memory of it matches the movie] 5 Pink Flamingos [long story about this film. Will never see it] 6 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 7 Repo Man 8 Scarface 9 Blade Runner 10 The Shawshank Redemption 11 Five Deadly Venoms 12 Plan 9 From Outer Space 13 Brazil 14 Eraserhead 15 Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! 16 The Warriors 17 Dazed And Confused 18 Hard-Boiled 19 Evil Dead II 20 The Mack 21 Pee-Wee's Big Adventure 22 Un Chien Andalou 23 Akira 24 The Toxic Avenger 25 Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory 26 Stranger Than Paradise 27 Dawn Of The Dead 28 The Wiz 29 Clerks 30 The Harder They Come 31 Slap Shot 32 Re-Animator 33 Grey Gardens 34 The Big Lebowski 35 Withnail and I 36 Showgirls 37 A Bucket Of Blood 38 They Live 39 The Best Of Everything 40 Barbarella 41 Heathers 42 Rushmore 43 The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension 44 Love Streams 45 Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story 46 Aguirre, The Wrath of God 47 Walking And Talking Nicole Holofcener 48 The Decline Of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years 49 Friday 50 Faces of Death, Vol. 1 51 Monty Python and the Holy Grail 52 A Clockwork Orange 53 Mommie Dearest 54 The Princess Bride 55 Swingers 56 UHF 57 Valley of the Dolls 58 Fight Club 59 Dead Alive (aka Braindead) 60 Better Off Dead 61 Donnie Darko

Fun answers
Lol: 10. FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK?The Anarchist Cookbook : 24. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM JOB?i'd like to get a job answering email surveys about me

Getting to know your friends
So, got a meme email from a friend, the idea being to answer the questions and then send it to everyone you know. So instead of emailing it back, I'm posting it here. 1. IF YOU COULD BUILD A SECOND HOUSE ANYWHERE, WHERE WOULD IT BE?How about a first house, first? 2. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING? A bolo tie. 3 semiprecious stones on top of each other. 3. THE LAST CD YOU BOUGHT? Full price: Evanesence Fallen. Half price or less: 98 Degrees 98 Degrees and rising and some christmas albums [not by 98 degrees]. Hey, I was bored, it was only a buck. 4.WHAT TIME DO YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING?7:30 or 8:00 5. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? No obvious choice, probably Lost Boys 6. IF YOU COULD PLAY AN INSTRUMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Piano/Keyboards 7. FAVORITE COLOR?Brown 8. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SPORTS CAR OR SUV Sports Car 9. DO YOU BELIEVE IN AFTERLIFE?Yes 10. FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK? The Chronicles of Narnia 11. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON?Fall 12. IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Telepathy 13. IF YOU HAVE A TATTOO, WHAT IS IT? AND IF YOU DON'T, WHAT WOULD U GET?Not currently, but thought about getting a somewhat abstract, tribal owl. This is the closest I've seen; I would want it rotated to be facing out, and the claws need to be different. 14. CAN YOU JUGGLE? No 15. THE ONE PERSON FROM YOUR PAST YOU WISH YOU COULD GO BACK AND TALK TO? Probably a high school science teacher 16. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK? Tuesday 17. WHAT'S IN THE TRUNK OF YOUR CAR? An empty can of Skoal [not mine]. 18. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SUSHI OR HAMBURGER? Eh, an apples or oranges question. Like both. Been planning on making some sushi at home for the last month or so. 19. FROM THE PEOPLE YOU WILL EMAIL THIS TO, WHO'S MOST LIKELY TO RESPONDFIRST? N/A 20. WHO'S LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? N/A 21. WHO DID YOU RECEIVE THIS FROM? DL 22. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLOWER? Roses 23. DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT? Yes 24. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM JOB? Haven't found it yet. 25. YOUR FAVORITE MEAL? Steak, salad, baked potato. Iced tea. Maybe dessert.

Rather "stepping down"
He's still going to be working for cBS News, just not as anchor and managing editor. Way to go, Queen of the Space Unicorns! Hat Tip: Ace of Spades

Blog, blog, blog, blog
Over at The Llamabutchers is a fun listing of rules to live by when starting a blog. I haven't needed the "OMG, I've been Instanlanched" section yet, though. Still on blogger, still don't know much HTML. Oh well.

I'm going to do my best to do most or all of the cooking this year. 8 people, not a big deal. My dad really likes cornbread dressing, and he got a recipe off of Fox news: "Wilson's cornbread dressing:" Basically: 1 package cornbread [make it, then crumple it [I think]], 1 package Pepperidge Farms herb dressing, 1 medium onion, 3 eggs, 1 large can chicken stock. Mix it all together, should be the consistency of oatmeal. Bake 375 for about an hour. The change I'm going to make if I have time is to boil a chicken ahead of time and add the meat as well as the stock. And of course, there's Thanksgiving food bloggage everywhere. Like Cake Eater Chronicles.

So, I'm back in the Tiny Texas Town, after driving my grandfather down. My, one can accumulate a lot of stuff after living in the same house for 45 years. Such fun.

Dog Toys
And here comes a quiz for the dog-loving adult in your life: Dog Toy or Marital Aid. 9/14 on the first quiz, 8/14 on the second. Ie, slightly better than chance. Battlenet is slow, and I feel like a prisoner waiting on his last meal, only to find they didn't have steak so they gave him a hamburger patty instead.

I don't read a bunch of medical blogs usually. However, here he reviews Halo2 [less than impressed] and there are a bunch of posts on Arafat's death and what we don't know.

Well, I was going to head up to my parents' today, then my grandfather's tomorrow, but I think with a tornado warning I'm going to delay a little. Maybe tonight, if things calm down some. I will likely have dialup access only until after Thanksgiving, so posting will be spotty, if at all. Have fun.

Team America still rocks
Hey, Andrew Sullivan likes Team America. I may have to think more kindly of him.

So, this weekend went rather well. Went to the Texas Renaissance Festival yesterday, met up with a friend, his wife, and other friends of theirs, and hung out. Fun. Got a Christmas gift for my sister. Various revelations, including the fact that the friend of a friend was a pot smoking Eagle scout. More talk which led me to think about how my life could have turned out differently. Who knows. Somehow got stuck in psychiatrist mode, thinking about how the choices people made for "garb" involved projection. Had to wonder about various barbarian costumes, guy in red and black leather armor with metal spikes everywhere. Freud would have had a field day. Friend's wife was strongly anti-Kerry, very glad he lost. Her son [friend's stepson] is in the Marines, this week working on being certified to land on an aircraft carrier. Good luck.

St. Arnolds Pub crawl
So, one of the local microbrewerys sponsors a pub crawl, well, okay, several pub crawls during the year. Tonight was one held in celebration of their Christmas Ale. A Good Time was had by all, as far as I know. One of the guys was doing a fairly ridiculous projective test, that he had gotten from watching the local community college's psychology class at 2 AM. I started doing things that would have concerned a psychologist interpreting it. Whee. Ok, so the Christmas ale has quite a kick. Good Stuff.

Dead, buried, rotting. Still no official word as far as I can tell about cause of death. The Chronicle [print version, not in online version as far as I can tell] reports he was buried in a cement coffin, so that he can be buried in Jerusalem when possible. Ie, when the Jews are in death camps and Israel is replaced with "Palestine." Cynical, me?

And in the category of things not to do when you're having your picture taken with the Queen... Or maybe it is the thing to do. Some guys had a booth during Mardi Gras, selling various kilts [non-plaid; leather, camo, etc...]. Somehow they weren't here for the biker rally. Hat tip: Drudge.

We have this wonderful story about a 3rd grader being sexually abused by a female neighbor. Yeah, it's bad, but statements like "I just feel justice needs to be served and it's going to be," the boy's mother said. "She ruined my child." make me want to slap the mother. 1) Your son was going to this woman's house almost daily for a year. (In theory, to play with the 7 year old daughter of the alleged abuser.) What did you do to make sure this was a good idea, safe, useful, etc... 2) Your son isn't ruined, unless his self esteem is completely shattered when he finds out his mother thinks he is ruined. He may have problems, but these can be helped. Hat tip: Drudge

Eric Ernberg's column on why he thinks bloggers are parasites here; response here. Whee. You just can't go wrong with phrases like: "Why, journalism without expert gatekeepers is like ice cream without Worcestershire sauce." And speaking of expert gatekeepers, the evening of the election my parents went to bed sure that Kerry was going to win the election. Which of the incredibly nuanced mainstream media channels they were watching is unclear.

Halo 2
Yes, today is the first day it is officially available. And in celebration, G4TechTv has Red vs Blue [as well as a huge amount of other hype.] Sorry, just not my style of game. On the other hand, World of Warcraft is coming soon. I'm not sure I'll get it mostly because I am afraid it would turn into my only contact with humanity. Update: and now Blackfive is out killing aliens too.

Once again we have the master showing why he's the greatest: 1)God-Fearing Freedom Eggs Baked in a Bacon-studded circular fashion 2)Gnat at the piano concert 3) I’m a live & let-live sort of guy when it comes to this; I’m in favor of civil partnerships, legal protection in the workplace, hospital visitation rights, societal-wide acceptance of the utterly NO DUH notion that gay relationships have the same essential emotional qualities of straight relationships. I support gay adoption - unless there’s a M/F couple in line, in which they should get preference. That has nothing to do with sexual identity or heterosexual chauvinism. I think a kid does best growing up exposed on an elemental level to both male and female characteristics; does that make me a raging bigot? Can we not even talk about that? Works for me.

Dan Rather
Tony Pierce has a list of Dan Ratherisms from election night. Way to go, Queen of the Space Unicorns! My favorite: "We used to say if a frog had side pockets, he'd carry a handgun." Does that mean it was a favorite saying of his growning up? If so, did he get beaten up a lot during grade school? Hat tip: Jeff Jarvis

Team America
Saw Team America last night. Spent the whole way back singing "America, Fuck Yeah!" What did they have to edit out of the sex scene to get an R rating?

From Instapundit comes this letter from a reluctant Bush voter. Now, will the Democrats listen or will they become increasingly irrelevant?

Yay, I think. I just hope this gets taken as a referendum on the war on terror. Various random thoughts that I don't really want in the public domain. Oh well.

Ok, so he is in theory "between life and death," but they don't quite know what's wrong with him, so they do some nice simple diagnostic tests like a colonoscopy and a BIOPSY OF THE SPINAL CORD?? One of the "teaching tools" we had in medical school was a computer program that gave you a case in the ER and had you select various things to do. They have such things now as well, but better. Anyway, one of the choices selectable was a brain biopsy. Why, exactly, I have no idea, since if you have to do a brain biopsy in the ER you are really screwed.

Christians vs Lions
Via Drudge, the attempt to get lions to convert didn't help in the past, and doesn't help today. Darwin didn't quite win.

Lileks has Interior type pictures up! Cool.

From the lost nomad, via the primary main objective. Lol :) :P

During the last 1-2 years I have met up with a fair number of people that I had pretty much lost contact with the previous 5-10 years. I don't know if this is true, or if it makes sense, but... It initially seemed some people hadn't changed at all. Instead various people have changed in various ways. Categories included: what a person has [including wife, kids]; what activities a person does [racing, dog shows]; job. The problem is that I haven't changed significantly in those. My category is maybe best described as: changes in how I categorize myself. Which is a completely internal, mental masturbation kind of category.

Nerd Test
There's the geek test, then there's the Nerd Test. 32%-Nerd wannabee Probably slightly higher in college; I can't remember all the constants.

Neal Stephenson
He answers questions on slashdot, in this interview. His thoughts on types of writers are interesting; his description of his ki battle with William Gibson is great. Bet you didn't know Gibson has telescoping Carbonite stilettos in his arms.

Puttering around reading the Houston Chronicle led to this link: Doctor urges diet free of beef, dairy products. The article adds an important word to the headline: Vegetarian doctor urges diet free of beef, dairy products. But he's a doctor, so he must know what he's talking about, right?: "He explains why in his book: "More life-threatening illnesses have been linked to meat-based diets than to just about any other factor in our lifestyle or environment." " What bullshit.

Did lack of cruelty kill him? Cause of death: "acute intoxication due to the combined effects of cocaine and opiates."

The other thought is that while watching Kill Bill my friends noted that another friend probably wouldn't watch it, because of the "cruelty." Initially, that seemed silly. The world is cruel. Life is cruel. Forcing a little boy to stick himself with an insulin needle is cruel. I almost think that's one of the most important lessons of medical school - you can't save everyone, so you do your best and you can help some of them. Yet. Driving back home I started thinking. "Cruelty free" cosmetics. People who are vegetarians because they can't bear to think of the animal that went into the meat. Conversations I've had about theoretically cruel things the food industry does, which prevent more pain. People concerned about "sweat shops," which turn out to be thought of as good jobs, which then vanish after US public outcry. Man, I can't spell today. Hooray for spell checkers. Anyway, was I too cruel? Not cruel enough? [jobwise] Too concerned about others lack of cruelty? Wanting management to be less cruel? Don't know. Anyway, vote. Seems like turnout is going to be big. Line from a book I finished today: "A liberal is a conservative that has been arrested."

Fun weekend
So, watched several movies over the weekend, hung out with friends, ate sushi - what could be better? Movies included the oh so bad Phantom of the Paradise as well as the violent but fun Kill Bill vols 1 and 2. The amusing thing about Phantom was a stereotypically gay character named "Beef" [Lisp, used glittery makeup, etc] that I think the people watching it with me were concerned would offend me. He didn't, of course. What else can I say? An attempt at a rock opera combining plot from Phantom of the Opera and Faust. Failed. Miserably.

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