Tuesday, November 25, 2008

keeping the standard

Do you know your turkey farmer? Better than Sarah Palin knows hers? If not, you might to reconsider your bird this Thanksgiving.

Get to know Frank Reese jr., standard, or heritage, turkey farmer at Good Sheperd Turkey Ranch.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

palin set to endorse line of turkey processing equipment

Sarah Palin, in an attempt to pay off some campaign debts, replace her aging wardrobe, and earn extra Christmas money, has signed a deal to endorse a line of turkey processing equipment for the homemaker who doesn't yet have everything.

Said Palin, "Ya know. Here in this great state, where we're used to doing pretty much everything ourselves, without the help of the government, the outsiders, who like to tell everyone how to do things, well...we just have to do it ourselves, ya know, to get by, to feed our families and to do the peoples business...so we're used to this kind of stuff."

The equipment includes a 4-cone drainer - perfect for the multi-tasking homemaker who wants to collect the blood of victims as well as a machine that sucks the feathers from a turkey and immediately stuffs them into pillows. "Pillows. Now that's a good Christmas present. Everyone likes a good pillow. Everyone in my family is getting new pillows for Christmas" said the former candidate.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

alien invansion

True story of liquid paranoia. It begins early on Monday morning.

Breakfast dishes are put away. Lunch is made and packed. Trash to the curb. Ahhh..that second cup of coffee sure is good. The dog is walked. Now time to pay the MAN his due. Out to the car and READY FOR ANOTHER WEEK. Wow, is that frost on the windshield? Winters is truly just around the corner. Whoa! That rear tire looks low. Kick it. Damn! Prod it. Damn it! It's flat. Bummer. Good thing it's early. I still have time to change it and get to work on time.

Rummage around in the trunk (but first have to remove all the paddles, life jackets, and miscellaneous summer fun debris) so I can get to the spare. Looks brand new. Like it's never been used. Find the fancy, very tiny jack, find the fancy, very tiny place to put the jack. Now for the lug nuts. Arghhh. Arghhh. Jeez, those are tight. Good thing I have the 2 lb sledge handy. Wham. Wham. Piece of cake. Loosen lugs nuts.

Jack up car. Remove lug nuts. Pull off tire, ahh. No wonder it's flat. It has a screw in it. Put on brand new temporary spare but notice that it seems a little shy of being full. Lower car. Watch spare got completely flat. Damn. OK. What next? Call in roadside assistance? In front of my house? With 2 flat tires? What good is that going to do? I can just see me asking the tow-truck driver where to go shopping for a new tire. "You know, I heard Firestone was having a big sale, let's try that first."

OK. What next. Take the tire to the repair store, my only plan. It's still early. Who can I harass for a ride at this hour. My neighbor. Cars still in the drive. OK. Fanagle a ride to the tire repair store with the neighbor. Drop off the tire. 30 minutes to fix a flat with no one in the waiting room? OK. Take a deep breath; it's still early. The neighbor has to go to work. So I ride back home with her. Call another friend. He's going to midtown in 30 minutes so, great, he can pick me up at the tire shop and I don't have to play Opie and roll it home.

Walk back to the tire store. The last block I pick my way through the gauntlet of homeless people who are beginning their day's work. Go inside. The tire, after a $22! patch is ready. Now to wait for my ride.

Go sit in the waiting room. No one there. TV's on; morning paper in an empty chair. Sit down, quickly riffle through the sports section. Some dude shuffles out of a side door. At first I thought he was a homeless person. He's moving real slow, like he's medicated-heavily. Perhaps this is his spot where he kills the morning. Paper. Coffee. Heat. TV. Not a bad deal compared to a bridge. But his clothes are new. Everything. Even his shoes are new. Maybe he's not homeless, but he does look ill. He sits in the chair next to me and kinda groans. Damn. I really need to get to work.

After about 5 minutes the shopkeeper comes over, looks down, and says gruffly to the man, "let me clean that up."

I can't see what he's talking about, but the shopkeeper goes and gets a mop, and then says, in an irritated voice, like this man is relative, or daily problem, "move your feet and let me clean that up".

The man moves his feet and then I see the weirdest looking substance on the floor. I have no idea what it is. It yellow-orange. A puddle the size of a dinner plate. Too orange and much too thick to be pee. Too smooth to be vomit. What is it? It forms a puddle underneath the man's chair. It's completely uniform in color, no chunks. It freaks me out. There's another puddle and dribbles next to the large puddle. Oh my god! What is that! The plague? Alien blood? My stomach churns. Jeez. I really need to get to work.

Just then my right drives into the lot. Thank God! I grab my tire on the way out, throw in the bed of the pick up and climb in.

"Dude!" My friend says laughing, "how your morning?"

"I think I just got the plague from an alien. Man. And I thought work was tough."

Three days later I have a fever, chills, and a runny nose. I haven't died yet. But I do feel awfully strange.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

answers! answers! we want answers!

First the good news.

The answer, it turns out is 20. OK, 19 if you want to get really technical since a friend bummed one. All it takes is one pack of cigarettes to get hooked on nicotine.

Starting down tobacco road is relatively simple and it's, like the ad suggests, pretty smooth. Just start a routine. Anything. Keep it simple. Simple is best.

After you get everything done you need to do in the morning, have that cig and then head to work. Wow. This has been a pretty stressful morning, I think I'll take a walk and smoke a cig. Cool. Man. I feel better and now I can think straight. Made it through another day and just to relax I'll think I'll smoke one. Slowly. Oh yeah! That's sweet as a peach. Going out late tonight, feeling a little tired, I think I have myself a smoke.

Nothing to it. If you're only smoking 2-3 a day, a pack will last a week, week-and-a-half. But that's how you ease into it. Nice and slow. But now, NOW! it's decision time. Keep it going? Or stop right now. I know I can quit. Just one more.

But no. There. I've given it up. I feel better already. One reason I started smoking was so I could give it up. Now I've done both. Had the habit and kicked it clean. No more frantic moments trying to find a light.

Smoking cigarettes is a little like smoking weed - except cigarettes are legal. But oddly, cigarettes don't feel legal. Not anymore. Perhaps knowing 3 people who have died from smoking-induced lung cancer had something to do with this guilty feeling I always had when lighting up. Smoking was definitely a guilty pleasure, and it had its pleasures. But I don't think I'll miss the habit, unless one counts those pangs of remorse every morning and night.

Now, for what some of you might consider to be the bad news.

Instead of cigarettes, I'm going to take up cigar smoking. I've found this great new brand. Cuban seeds, hand-rolled, and as enticing as a room full of promises...but more on that later.

Monday, November 17, 2008

cure for what ails you

I found two good cures for staying up till 4 am and still being productive the next day.

ONE. Don't drink any alcohol. None. Amazing. There's a huge difference in staying up till 4 drinking and just staying up till 4 listening to Mars Volta and talking with your neighbor. Scenario one, you fell like shit the next day. Scenario two, you're tired but nothing a good hearty protein-rich breakfast followed by a brisk walk in the sun won't repair.

TWO. The breakfast (but not before 11 am).
Make a paste of dijon mustard, minced garlic, rosemary, fresh-cracked pepper, salt, and a splash of half-and-half. Smear the paste completely over a pork tenderloin; then wrap the tenderloin completely in roasted red peppers and then in foil. You'll need to oil the foil with just a wee bit of olive oil. Bake @ 350F for ~20-25 minutes until 140 degrees. Remove, let stand for 10-15 minutes.
Fry up some very fresh, local eggs until the yolks just begin to firm around the edges. Thinly slice the pork tenderloin and place on egg white portion of the eggs. Pop the yolks, add a splash of Tabasco or tomatilla sauce. Serve with tortillas, coffee, and juice on the side.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

ACORN squashed soup

Yes we can. More from the November is Squashed Month Series whereby we celebrate autumn, and the decline and fall of the Republican Party.

ACORN Squashed Soup

1 medium acorn squash.
1 medium sweet onion.
1 clove garlic.
2 sprigs fresh rosemary.
1 medium red pepper, roasted and skinned.
2-3 cups vegetable (can substitute chicken) stock.
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half.
salt, pepper, hot sauce, and rosemary to taste.
Suggested garnishes. Roasted red pepper silvers, pumpkin seeds, and crumbled chevre.

Cooking time. ~1 hour total. Feeds 6-8 liberals.

Split the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds. Peel the onion, split in half, and place each onion half in the hollow section of the squash. Place squash, skin side up in a shallow baking dish. Pierce the skin repeatedly with a sharp knife, cover the bottom of the dish with a small amount of water (for steaming), add several sprigs of rosemary, and the garlic clove (unpeeled) to the pan. Cover and bake for ~1 hour until the squash is very tender. When the squash is tender you should be able to smell the galic and rosemary. Set aside to cool a bit before proceeding the next step.

Use the hour while the squash is baking to engage in progressive act ivies that will insure that the likes of war criminals like Dick "the Dick" Cheney never hold public office again. ACORN Squashed Soup is a value meal. Therefore, why not use the money that you might have spent eating out and instead, make a contribution to ACORN or moveon.org.

To finish the soup takes about 30 minutes. Scoop the squash into a large (8-qt) sauce pan. Add the cooked onion, and the red pepper, and squeeze the roasted garlic into the pan. Add 3 cups stock, 1 cup cream (or half-and-half), and cook until the flavors meld. About 15 minutes. You can turn up the heat and reduce the liquid for a thicker soup if so inclined.

Once the flavors have melded, remove from the heat and puree in a blender, vitamix, or food processor. Caution! This soup gets really hot and is thick enough to scald you severely if you let it fly out of the processor. Use a towel to cover your hands. Once blended, adjust the flavors; this a good point to add Tabasco or other hot sauce for zip.

Serve with hearty artisan bread or whole wheat crackers. Crumble some chevre (or feta or creme fraiche) on the top and you've got something that'll give you the energy to kick a conservatives ass.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

smoke break! moi makes good on a promise

I guess I'll take a walk tonight I know that I can't sleep
And I won't go too bad at all I'll just lay there and weep
Instead I'll make our favorite spot that's what I think I'll do
I've got those smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee blues
Smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee all night long
Wondering how the love so right could suddenly go wrong
I'd grab the next bus out of town but I've got to be near you
I've got those smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee blues--Jean Sheperd, Cigarette and Coffee Blues

Before the year is out and I have to make a new set of resolutions that I might not be able to keep, I thought it important to try and make good on one of this years. Resolutions. So I've taken up smoking. This may come as a shock those who know me because unlike other substances, I've never smoked cigarettes. Don't fancy them. Never have.

I lived with smokers growing up and hated the smell and the smoke and the brown boogers. Tried to smoke once when I was 14. Couldn't hack the taste. Smoking bans in bars in restaurants? I voted for them all because one of the costs of listening to live music shouldn't be smelling like an astray. But I wanted to make a resolution I could keep this year so why not take up smoking. Plus, I figure I can always quit ( or can I?) Besides, there are more opportunities for smoking in the midwest than snorkeling.

Now to make the resolution more interesting and challenging, I've decided to turn it into an art project. The premise of the project is HOW MANY CIGARETTES CAN I SMOKE and NOT become addicted. Does anyone know the point at which one becomes uncontrollably addicted to a substance that might kill you? Probably not. Erst while, how to explain the many crack addicts and alcoholics dodging about in corners and back alleys?

Smoking a half-a-pack of cigarettes over a couple of weeks probably won't do it so I gather I'm still safely away from the edge. Getting nearly addicted to cigarettes won't be pretty; it smells, it's expensive, but worse of all, it can lead to lung cancer. But then again, so can oil painting if done in a small studio. I'm imagine this project to be a cross between a Tom Waits song, a Jim Jarmusch movie, and a T.S. Elliot poem. Murky, dangerous, and full of intrigue. But that's only if it works out.

On the down side it could lead to high blood pressure, holes in the carpet, or stage IV carcinoma; but art is about control. Then there's the cost. A pack of primo (let's do it with panache!) cigs goes for more than $5. About the cost of a tube of paint, but granted a lot less than an ounce of weed, a bottle of fine scotch, or a heroin habit, but still if one were to go in all the way, a cig habit could add up with time. Not to mention the potential ill health effects. But art is full of sacrifices that we are prepared to make. In the end I may not have my health, but at least I have a health plan.

But there are bigger problems with me smoking. Foremost is that I don't know how to smoke so there's that to learn. Perhaps smoking is like painting, one can take a lifetime to learn how to do it well. Additionally, this decision could shorten my life, but then again, what's the saying?, "so could crossing the street". And does crossing the street while smoking double your chances at death? Let's hope not since I'm a serial jaywalker. None of this we know, so let's that call that some of the edges of the work. We've always liked to work around the edges. I do know we have only one life to lead so we might as well enjoy a smoke break now and then.

Upper Image: youngurban via the world wide web.

Friday, November 14, 2008

comments are no longer being accepted

You can read the online version of the paper at new york times special edition

What was so great about this art prank, definitely one of the best in the history of art-pranking, was the extent to which the gag was carried. Not only did they spoof the hard copy of the paper, they also spoofed the online edition, and they spoofed the videos that the Times produces.

the yes men

Thursday, November 13, 2008

back-room politics and the new world order

The Washington Post is reporting that Vice-President elect Joe Biden will be meeting with outgoing VP, Dick "the Dick" Cheney this afternoon at the Cheney's residence. I just hope the good senator has the sense to make certain that Cheney wears a condom.

the GOP dies so that sarah palin can live

As one of the rising stars of the soon-to-be defunct version of the Grand Ole Party, Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is scheduled to deliver a eulogy to the RNC at the National Republican Governors Conference today in Miami. At the conclusion of Palins' remarks, Governor's, spouses, and invited guests can take in a number of activities, including:

2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES (All Conference Attendees)
Guests will enjoy a leisurely cruise on the waters of the Atlantic.

The Professional Beauty Association will offer an afternoon of pampering to include manicures, pedicures, neck and shoulder massages. Participants will also learn about new products and beauty secrets.

The Art Deco District is America's only 20th Century historic district listed in the US National Register of Historic Places. A certified guide will lead guests on a ninety-minute walking tour to include the late, Gianni Versace's villa on Ocean Drive and historic hotels. Guests will observe the outside design elements and lobbies along with secluded courtyards. The tour will conclude at the Oriente in the Cordoza Hotel with the restaurant’s signature cocktail.
Sadly, we had to make none up of these activities. You'll note, if you check out the Republican Governor's Conference website, there are no scheduled sessions on the economy, global climate change, or environmental issues.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

winning the battle, losing the war

Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser continues to baffle the pundits, the council, and the public. Last week, he filed a lawsuit against the city asking a Jackson County judge to overturn a portion a recent city ordinance that banned family members from serving as volunteers for city staff. The ban doesn't prevent the family members from occassionally volunteering for city staff, just from volunteering ad infinitum with the city.

The ad infinitum part was the problem with the mayor's wife, Gloria Squitiro, who was seen by many as holding the symbolic key-to-the-city and anyone who wanted through the door, had to first get past her. That the mayor and his wife couldn't see that the public resented this setup is hard to understand given his pre-election statements proclaiming "once elected, if the public calls out my errors, I will listen and respond". How many ways must one say, this isn't what we (the public) voted for when we elected you, before you begin to understand? The public has been screaming over this issue for a year now and the mayor still doesn't get the fact that he LOST this political battle. It's time to move on with the agenda of the city and the people.

In many ways, the mayor is correct. We really don't need laws that are written to address one person, one family. But more importantly the mayor is dead wrong on the political issue, which in this instance happens to be larger than the law. The council and the people (at whose discretion the mayor serves) have overwhelmingly spoken. There is no inherent aspect of being Mayor of Kansas City that allows one to have their spouse as the office gatekeeper. And this is a huge problem for the mayor and the city because publically he's getting beat up one side and down the other and still, still, he refuses to relent. This is a politcal loss being taken by the mayor as a personal one, and if the mayor wants to lead, he needs to get on with the job of leading. Intractability isn't a leadership quality.

Politically, it hard to imagine a politician who's been more adept at shooting himself in the foot. In this latest pot-shot, the mayor has lost most of his toes on his right foot and seems to be wobbling at the helm and in danger of falling over on his head. By filing this suit, the mayor continues to keep this black-eye issue in the news where it only serve to continue to diminish his ability to work with the council, the citizens, and the media. But more importantly, it prevents the mayor from showing true leadership. That really is the mayor's job, not to run the city (the city manager does that) but to lead the city forward.

Case in point. Light rail. This was an issue the mayor decided to lead on, and it went down to overwhelming defeat. Why? In Part, because people don't think the mayor responds to their needs, so why should they listen to him? It is hard to lead when you continue to alienate. Yes, the ordinance was, in part, politically motivated, but understanding when you've lost the battle and moving forward is where agile politicians shine battle. The mayor continues to be awkward and awkwardness is not helping the city in a tough time.

Remember the slogan? A CITY THAT WORKS. A good slogan, but the problem here, is that this isn't working. Get over it. Move on up. And get back to work.

Monday, November 10, 2008

runs good; needs work

Things are likely to get worse before they get better. Millions of Americans, especially the most disenfranchised among us, children, the unemployed, and the elderly, are likely to suffer even more in the wake of the deepening economic crisis. Generally, they have little if any cushion to protect them and what cushion exists, is in danger.

It's not just the country as a whole that is ailing financially; a number of states are projecting huge deficits for the current fiscal year. Unprecedented ones. California, 11 billion dollar shortfall; New York, 2 billion dollars. And next year's budgets look even bleaker than the current ones. The solution for states is frequently narrow. In Missouri, for example, 90 percent of state revenues go to 3 programs: education, prisons, and health-care. In a Republican controlled legislature, one adverse to raising taxes and reducing prisons, it pretty much leaves education and health-care to take the brunt of the cuts.

Cities are seeing the fallout as well. The City of New York is looking at a 2 billion shortfall over the next 2 years. Kansas City recently announced that an additional 300 million in cuts could be needed this fiscal year (on top of previous cuts) as revenues continue to fall below projections.

In light of these troubles, the Obama transition team must begin to order the business of the upcoming administration. The economy? Global climate change? Dependence on foreign oil? Growing Russian hegemony? What should be addressed first?

It's still the economy, stupid. It's what brought the O-man to the office and if we can right it fairly quickly, we can more easily solve the other issues. Closely tied to any economic fix is the health of the auto industry. But if renewed growth in the auto industry isn't greener, and much greener than past growth, we'll have squandered a huge opportunity. The new administration must require quick and forceful changes in production models and increased mileage-standards. We must quickly move to very efficient automobiles. This helps to reduce greenhouse gases, create jobs, and move the country away from dependence on the our elixir of death known as oil.

The US economy is still one of the most robust economies in the world. We have an opportunity in the near term to once again lead the world but we must insist that the people's way, and not the lobbyist way, paves the road ahead.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

you've earned that puppy

Having you been using the words unprecedented, historical, and ground-breaking a lot this week? Stop. I'm pretty sure that this won't be the first vice-President to take the train to work.

Puppies. Puppies. Puppies. There's nothing like that new puppy smell. It's even better than the new car smell. And a lot less toxic. But face it. Puppies are a lot of work. And they demand lot's of attention. The puppy can't be part of the family if you don't do your job as well. Feed the puppy. Water the puppy. Love the puppy.

In Arkansas they call puppies 'hounds.' Earlier this week, voters in Arkansas, by a 57% margin of approval, enacted the Unmarried Couple Adoption Ban. It makes it illegal for any individual cohabiting outside of a valid marriage to adopt or provide foster care to minors. We've known for quite some time that they don't like gay people in Arkansas but apparently they also don't like kids that much. Fifty-eight percent is about the same level of support that Arkansans gave to John McCain. I'd say the state is pretty out-of-touch with the rest of the nation. Seems like it might be time for some White-Housing training.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

signs, signs, nowhere are there signs

The political detritus from an election has never disappeared from the landscape faster. I'd heard rumors of Obama signs being lifted before the election; someone told me it was their second sign to be stolen from the front of their yard in a week - but I don't think the problem was widespread or endorsed by McGruff. At the time, I surmised that it could just as easily have been folks who were trying to grab history-in-a-sign.

Yes, there were the few McCain supporters who engaged in yelling socialiste! and there was the large Obama sign with the hammer and sickle painted on it that graced the grand boulevard throughout October. However, it was just hard to imagine that desperate Republicans, regardless of the pending landslide, would drive en masse around in the middle of the night plucking yard signs as though they were opponent's eyes. The zealotry of pranking teenagers, yes, or college students who wanted signs for their dorm rooms, makes more sense for the trickle loss of O signs.

In contrast, after the primaries, the Ron Paul signs were left in street medians and on busy corners for weeks. WEEKS. Maybe Paul's meager 2 percent draw sucked all the energy from his campaign and no one had the wherewithal to pull his trash.

But come November 5th, the ubiqitous Obama and McCain (even the light rail signs) were gone from the landscape. I suspect the Obama supporters wanted to hang on to a piece of history and that the McCain and Light Rail proponents were just embarrassed by the significant pasting they'd just received at the polls. Wednesday, did feel a bit like New Year's Day, as though the country was ready to move forward FROM THIS DAY ON. Let's hope we are.

Friday, November 7, 2008

profit-taking fridays

Wow! Things are getting weird. I just sold the URL of the Nov. 5th NY Times Online Edition to a former McCain supporter for $25 and some change.

republican terrorists

Lot's of conservative pundits are throwing Bobby Jindal's name around as the future of the Republican Party, but isn't he a Muslim? Oh well, that's OK, look how it worked out for the Dems.

plumber's crack derailed mccain's campaign

As gracious as John McCain was in his concession speech, you may have noted that he left the analysis of what went wrong to the pundits. Herewith we take up the challenge of the Big Dog with the Bad Attitude. The weakness, it turns out, was something Warrior Ant Press likes to call, Plumber's crack. There was a huge plumber's crack running right through the middle of the campaign and it caused too many people, even his handlers, to turn away and not see the problem with their approach.

Back in 2000 the US Census Bureau asked folks to self-identify their ancestry. These results are shown on a county-by-county basis for the entire USA in the above map. Clicking on the map will allow you to explore it in greater detail. Here's the important story in the map. The light tan counties on the map are where the majority of a county identifies itself as being of American ancestry (whatever that is). This swatch, this plumber's crack runs from Texas through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Southern Missouri, and on into Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. These areas were heavily Republican in the 2008 election; even more so than in the 2004 election.

However troubling the crack may be for some, the good news is that it continues to shrink. The problem with the Republicans was that they didn't see it as a crack in the first place. Or else they had their head in it and couldn't see out. More and more folks are referring to themselves as being of a different ancestory than American. I suspect an American ancestry means your family has been in the country long enough to forget, or not focus too heavily, on your ancestral heritage, but my guess if you ask these folks who they think they are what they'll mostly say is that they're white. The rest of the country identifies with an ancestory other than that of the nebulous American and sees itself outside of this issue of who is white and who is black, brown, or any other color. The Obama camp understood this simple demographic aspect and worked to unify the rest of the country.

If you look at a map of party voting shifts from 2004 to 2008, the only places that became more Republican in 2008 are the same places where the self-labeled Americans reside. This gets to several things. It speaks to the McCain/Palin idea of labeling their ardent supporters as being the real America. This same broad swatch has frequently been called the bible belt, still evident today but shrinking in influence for the country as a whole save the Republican Party base. Geographically, these areas represent but a small part of the country as a whole. A big problem with the McCain/Palin campaign was that they let themselves be high-jacked by a very small percentage of America - the conservative Christian base of the Republican party, les Americanos. It's not that big a place anymore. And it's not going to get bigger. Not in it's current iteration. In order for the Republicans to survive, they'll have to rethink what they're doing. Lose the Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage blow-hard approach to yelling at people and find something else to focus on.

I suggest the GOP begin to focus on domestic issues that matter to a much larger audience than just the top 1 percent who contribute so much to the RNC coffers. Instead they should be focusing on living wages, affordable housing and health-care, and helping small businesses grow. This is what Country First could mean and until it does, the Republicans will be playing on the sidelines and watching the Democrats try and make the world a better place. Let's hope they can make it happen.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

5th round knockout


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

todo list

things to do before Tuesday evening @ 9 pm Eastern.

*Buy cigars.

*Ice champagne.

*Make torte reserved for VERY special occassions.

*Light the Barack O'Lantern pumpkins lining the sidewalk.

*Practice victory sneer.


Monday, November 3, 2008

vote early and wait

Lines stretched around the block for early voting in Wyandotte Co., Kansas with waits running 2 hours or more for the last 4 days.

Street preacher preaching the end-of-the-world to early voters in Wyandotte Co., Kansas.

Vicki and Michael Richmond, Kansas City, MO voting absentee at the Plaza Library so they can work the polls tomorrow. Waits were approximately 2 hours.

something's happening here

...what it is ain't exactly clear.

If things go really bad on Tuesday, we'll still have satire.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Republican bullies, those annoying blow-hards with their lies and dumb-ass rhetoric are about the get a long-deserved ass-whupping at the polls on the Tuesday. It's not going to be close. It'll be rout as millions of Americans stand up and finally shout back to Dick "the Dick" Cheney's his own words, "no, sir, fuck you."

Tuesday will be one of those cathartic moments, like when the humans finally take back Planet Earth from the zombies and the whole audience gasps a sigh of relief and spontaneous applause breaks out in the theater. On Tuesday night folks will be kissing strangers and whopping and hollering in the streets just as the red-necks slink back into the dim lights of their water-downed beer and limited world view and wonder how they could have been so stupid as to believe in Bush and that skipping school was a solid plan for a future of getting-ahead and providing for your family.

What's weird is just how long we will have waited for this moment. Seems like 40 years since we've been allowed to dream. There were brief moments of promise such as when Clinton got elected but then he had to get all white trash on us and blow a whole bunch of good vibes with a cheap intern beneath the Resolute Desk.

This time though, when the neo-cons start whining, the blue-staters will be able to proudly say, "you fat-bastard ass-wipes had it coming. While you were sitting on your duff, driving your overloaded SUV to the mall, complaining about the Hispanic help at the McDonald's drive-through, we were out working our asses off for a new and better nation. And now guess what Repugs? It's not socialism we expect from you. But hard work. Time to get busy with the rebuilding. So get busy or leave!"

Saturday, November 1, 2008

november is squashed month

We haven't posted recipes in a long time. We're still cooking, we've just been eating on the run a lot. No more. Now that the nation's long tribulation is about to run it's course, and NO, we don't mean the war in Iraq, we'll be offering up some recipes for your enjoyment.

And to kick this off we're declaring November - Squashed Month. As in 'Squashed.' We can only HOPE. Squash is a great fall food. It keeps for a long time. It has a mild flavor, which means it lends itself to coloration with many other scents and flavors. It's inexpensive. It can serve to extend many other dishes to feed larger crowds. And casseroles made with squash can serve as a main course just as easily as they do a side course. So let's get squashy!

Here's a variant of a dish my pal a. bitterman frequently makes for holiday gatherings. I like to color up this dish with red peppers, and intensify the flavors with a layer of portabella mushrooms sauteed in lots of garlic, a hint of tarragon, and an American Pale Ale reduction. The squash itself is flavored with chevre, olive oil, and a nice fig-flavored balsamic vinegar. This gives the dish several layers of color and flavor.

This a great main dish and reheats quite well.

Squashed Casserole (in memory of McCain/Palin). Serves 4-6.

1 medium spaghetti squash.

3 sprigs fresh tarragon, minced finely.
3 cups portabella mushrooms, coarsely chopped.
1/2 sweet onion, chopped.
3 cloves garlic, diced.
1/2 red bell pepper (or substitute 1/2 cup roasted red peppers).
1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds.
Dash of balsamic vinegar.
Dash of toasted sesame oil.
1/2 cup of American Pale Ale (suggest Schafly brand; substitute IPA.)
Freshly grated Pecorino cheese.

Saute the onions in olive oil on high heat. After a few minutes, add the portabella mushrooms and sauteed until the onions are translucent and mushrooms begin to brown. Then cover to release all moisture in the mixture. Once the moisture has been released, add the tarragon and garlic. Cook covered for 5 minutes, then remove the lid. Once about 1/2 the liquid has evaporated, then add a 1/2 cup of bitter ale (suggest Schafly IPA) and continue to reduce the liquid stirring as needed. Once you have a paste, turn off the heat and let stand uncovered.

Split the squash in half. De-seed. Then place the halves in a casserole dish with a 1/2 cup of water, cover, and bake in a slow oven for approximately 1 hour or until a knife easily pierces the skin. Cool. Then fork the spaghetti squash into a bowl. Toss with sea salt, cracked pepper, paprika, oil olive, a high quality balsamic vinegar, and a dash of toasted sesame oil. [This can be done the night before and then refrigerated until ready to assemble the dish].

Now the fun part. Layer in an oiled casserole dish. First the pumpkin seeds. Then the mushroom paste, then the red peppers, then the squash mixture. Cook covered in a slow oven, (325 F) for about 1/2 hour or until you can begin to smell the dish. Remove the cover, sprinkle the grated Pecorino cheese over the top, and return to a 425 F for 10-12 minutes until brown.

Remove and let stand for 10 minutes to firm up. Cut and serve with locally grown, tart jonathan apples and an American Pale Ale.