What I'm Reading

Dead tired

With 2 enormous pines down in the backyard, the last few days have been all yard work. Spent almost an hour just cutting branches, then even longer dragging them off for a bonfire. All the yard tools are on strike. Chain saw chain jumped. Riding mower has frozen blades. Push mower is leaking gas. Tiller can't cut through the clay pan, tines noisy, and it looks like we're back to raised beds. I wish I could go on strike but the seeds must go in.

What I'm Reading

Regarding Sarah


Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin issued a twitter invitation to name Sarah Palin's new reality show.

Here are the top ten:

• MYTHMAKERS (@DavidHains )

• NATURE'S DEATH PANELS (@dunagan23)

• PALINTOLOGY (@iheartmuseums )

• WHALIN' WITH PALIN (@hmobius)

• THE BEWILDERNESS (@james_atomic)

• TRAILIN' PALIN (@invisiblea)

• WIFE ON EARTH (@fcw)




• Untitled nature show narrated by David Attenborough, in which the entire family is eaten alive by pack of starving polar bears. (@dr_ultimately)

Happy Birthday Leonard Nimoy

Happy Birthday Spock.

Found Rant

Talk to your neighbors...post flyers in churches/grocery stores/bowling alleys, any place that has a bullentin board..Put Address and phone number where democrats can go of call to change to REPUBLICAN.. Its time to take our country back from the SOCIALIST who are out to destroy the United States of America..

"Put Address and phone number where democrats can go of call to change to REPUBLICAN"

Are all 'Republicans' as learned as you?

Btw- us 'Socialists' would appreciate if you stop using our roads, water departments, public safety services, Armed Forces, public airwaves (OOOOO! The Internet! How SOCIALIST of you!) etc., etc.

Moron. Go away.

What I'm Reading

Hypocritical Right to Lifers need to kill, threaten and intimidate to show how pro-life they are.

Washington -- The FBI and the U.S. Capitol Police are investigating threats to at least 10 Democratic lawmakers, including Rep. Bart Stupak, believed to be linked to the passage of the controversial health care legislation.

In the run-up to Sunday's historic vote in the House on the health care bill, bricks have been hurled through Democrats' windows, a propane line was cut at the home of a congressman's brother, and threatening voice mails and faxes have been sent to some Democratic lawmakers.

Stupak, D-Menominee, has received threatening phone calls and faxes, including one drawing of a noose on a platform with the wording "Bart (SS) Stupak." A man left a voice mail calling him "baby killer" and saying he hoped Stupak dies of cancer. On another voice mail, a woman says, "There are millions of people across the country who wish you ill."

Stupak became a familiar face and name to those following the health care debate through his frequent appearances on TV in his battle to get more restrictive language added to the final health care bill. He originally opposed the bill, but announced he would vote for it after President Barack Obama agreed to sign an executive order that Stupak felt would ensure no federal money would be used to pay for elective abortions.

The fax of the noose drawing includes this: "All Baby Killers come to unseemly ends Either by the hand of man or by the Hand of God."

Stupak has turned the information over to the Capitol Police.

At least 10 reported incidents

Stupak hasn't been the only member of the Michigan delegation who has been harassed. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, received "ominous calls," said spokesman Cullen Schwarz, who added his boss had received a great deal of positive calls, too.

One caller said Peters "should've been an abortion," while several said they wished he would die, Schwarz said. Peters was one of the final members of the delegation to say he'd vote for the bill. Peters' spokesman said they likely will turn the threat information over to police.

Authorities are investigating incidents in Kansas, Virginia and other places, including Rochester, N.Y., where a brick tossed through the window of a county Democratic Party office had a note attached that said: "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice," roughly quoting the late Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican presidential nominee.

The FBI and Capitol Police briefed Democratic lawmakers on how to handle perceived security threats after at least 10 reported incidents, said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

Those who feel they are at risk will be "getting attention from the proper authorities," Hoyer said, declining to say whether any are receiving added security. Normally only those in leadership positions have personal security guards.

Stupak spokeswoman Michelle Begnoche said her boss has not asked for police protection "at this time." Nor has Peters.

In Virginia, authorities were investigating after someone cut a propane line leading to a grill at the Charlottesville home of U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello's brother.

The home's address was posted online by tea party activists angry about the Virginia Democrat's vote in favor of the health care overhaul. They had mistaken the brother's address for that of the lawmaker.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100325/POLITICS03/3250425/1022/FBI-probes-threats-leveled-at-lawmakers#ixzz0jBCAoDW2

Spring Awakening

Just in the past week, the bulbs have sprung and the blossoms have begun to burst forth.

Spring Vegetable Garden

The cilantro from last year has already reseeded and sprouted. It smells wonderful.

Though looking a little sad, the mustard greens have sprouted.

Brussel Sprouts


The collards wintered over beautifully. It never went under 15F so the collards continued to produce.

This lone parsley even survived the winter. A biennial here, parsley reseeds easily and usually dies back during our winter, springing up the next spring surrounded by little plants. This plant was theexception producing slowly through the winter allowing me to cut fresh parsley for my white bean soup.

My only lavendar plant not only survived the summer heat but also the winter and is showing new signs of growth.

Akira Kurosawa at 100

Akira Kurosawa's 100th Birthday today

If only... A world without religion

Health-Care Protests Bring Out Racists, Homophobes

By Frank James, NPR

It's sad but not surprising that some of those protesting Saturday against health-care overhaul legislation literally spit on at least one congressman and shouted racial and homophobic epithets as well.

Some of us have long suspected that at least part of the opposition to the overhaul is part of the free-form hostility some Americans feel towards the political ascendancy of people who don't look like them or who have a different sexual orientation.

When anti-overhaul protesters start abusing African American lawmakers with the "n" word or gay lawmakers with the six letter "f" word, then it starts to appear that at least some of the opposition is rooted in something other than philosophical differences over individual mandates.

As the Washington Post reported:

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) issued a statement late Saturday saying that he was spit upon while walking to the Capitol to cast a vote, leading the Capitol Police to usher him into the building out of concern for his safety. Police detained the individual, who was then released because Cleaver declined to press charges.
"The congressman was walking into the Capitol to vote, when one protester spat on him. The congressman would like to thank the U.S. Capitol Police officer who quickly escorted the other Members and him into the Capitol, and defused the tense situation with professionalism and care," said Danny Rotert, a spokesman for Cleaver.
Protesters outside the Capitol hurled epithets at Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.) as they left the building after President Obama delivered an 11th-hour speech on behalf of the health care bill. Carson told reporters that protesters yelled "kill the bill," then used a racial epithet to describe Carson and Lewis, who is a revered figure on both sides of the aisle.
According to observers, Frank was confronted by about 100 protesters inside the Longworth House Office Building, where Democrats were huddling for another meeting about the legislation. Some targeted Frank with anti-gay epithets and urged him to vote against the bill.

Gay couple turned away from B&B

A gay couple were turned away from a Berkshire guest house by the owner who said it was "against her convictions" for two men to share a bed.

Michael Black and John Morgan, from Brampton, Cambridgeshire, had booked a double room at the Swiss B&B, Terry's Lane, in Cookham, for Friday night.

When they arrived Susanne Wilkinson refused to let them stay.

She admitted she did turn the couple away because it was against her policy to accommodate same sex couples.

“ She said if we'd told her in advance she would have told us not to come ”
Michael Black

The couple have now reported the matter to Thames Valley Police.

Under the Equality Act 2006 it is illegal to discriminate against people on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Ms Wilkinson told the BBC: "They gave me no prior warning and I couldn't offer them another room as I was fully booked.

"I don't see why I should change my mind and my beliefs I've held for years just because the government should force it on me.

"I am not a hotel, I am a guest house and this is a private house."

WARNING: This is a work of fiction. DO NOT take it literally.

CONTENT ADVISORY: Contains verses descriptive of or advocating suicide, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, sexual activity in a violent context, murder, morbid violence, use of drugs or alcohol, homosexuality, voyeurism, revenge, undermining of authority figures, lawlessness, and human rights violations and atrocities.

EXPOSURE WARNING: Exposure to contents for extended periods of time or during formative years in children may cause delusions, hallucinations, decreased cognitive and objective reasoning abilities, and, in extreme cases, pathological disorders, hatred, bigotry, and violence including, but not limited to fanaticism, murder, and genocide.

Mr Black and Mr Morgan were in the village, near Maidenhead, to meet some friends for dinner and to see a local play.

Mr Black told the BBC: "We're two respectable middle-aged men - John is leader of the Lib Dem group on Huntingdon Town Council.

Owner apologised

"This was the first time either of us had experienced homophobia at first hand, despite being aged 56 and 62, we were shocked and embarrassed.

"Mrs Wilkinson saw us both before we got out of the car and immediately acted in an unwelcoming, cold way, but my boyfriend and I were polite and friendly.

"She said if we'd told her in advance she would have told us not to come.

"She apologised for turning us away. I asked for a refund of the deposit, which she gave me without quibble.

"We stayed polite and, to be fair, she wasn't rude or abusive.

'Civil matter'

"All she said about her reasons for turning us away was that it went against her convictions for us to stay there.

"We've since told a large number of friends and acquaintances and the reaction has consistently been amazement that this should have happened.

"I've reported the matter to Thames Valley Police who have confirmed that they are following it up."

A spokeswoman for Thames Valley Police said she could not comment on this particular case but said similar complaints would tend to be dealt with as civil matters.

Story from BBC NEWS

Udipi Cafe

Our favorite Indian restaurant is Udipi Cafe on Church Street in Decatur, GA

In the bowls: coconut chutney-far left; on the plate -dal(yellow soup), mint chutney (green), raita (white), and sambar (orange soup).
The bread is plain naan and idli.
The dishes include curries, peas and paneer, fried vegetables, flavored rices, and other vegetarian fare. One the side plate is half a fresh dosa. Every buffet order comes with a hot dosa stuffed with vegetable masala and a side of coconut chutney. Second dosas are available upon request. Usually one or two desserts are also on the buffet. Samosas are available at an additional cost. However, the buffet has more than enough.

This is the lunch buffet. At under $20 for two with tip included, you can't beat the price for perfect vegetarian Indian food.

Hot Chocolate Party

With all the talk of the Tea Party I am wary of announcing that, yes, I am a tea drinker.

In our home we have a tea drawer filled with herbal teas, caffeine free teas, and even one caffeinated tea for those mornings when I just can't get going. (With milk and sugar please.) Also in the drawer are the tea balls, tea scoops and tea biscuits.

We don't drink coffee. Period. I hate the flavor but love the smell. My husband is strictly caffeine free, shunning wheat and dark breads that add chocolate. Check the ingredients if you also find that shocking, I did! As a mom of two, I prefer caffeine free kids, who as little ones could bounce around for hours on one glass of southern iced tea. That's the tea my husband calls "church tea". If you've attended a Baptist church potluck in the South, you'll know what he means. Locally, the Varsity serves a mega size church tea that'll keep the whole family up for hours.

All this brings me to hot chocolate. This is the mom exception to the no caffeinated drinks preference. It would be cruel to deny children hot cocoa on a cold winter morning or after an hour playing outside from late fall to early spring. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, with or without marshmallows, but never low fat, caffeine free cocoa. Every child should have cocoa.

So if you ask whether I'm tea party or the new coffee party, I will reply, "Hot chocolate party". Then I'll leave you to discuss politics while I go have a cup of cocoa with my kids. (They talk politics more intelligently than most of my fundamentalist neighbors.)

Carrot Cake with cream cheese icing

I can't claim credit for the cake recipe but the cream cheese frosting is one I've tweaked by DOUBLING the cream cheese from the original recipe. I can't stand grainy, over sugary icing. It is a very moist cake because the carrot is grated very small and packed when measuring. Because it's an oil cake the edges have an "crisp edge", unlike butter cakes with seem to have "softer" edges. This recipe came from the BH&G New Cook book. Careful not to undercook even by a few minutes as the cake top will be sticky when you ice it.

325 degrees

Grease and flour 2# 9" cake pans.

Mix together
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 TSP baking powder
1 TSP baking soda
1 TSP salt
1 TSP cinnamon

Finely grate (very small)
3 CUPS carrots (peeled first please)
**packed not loose

Add carrots and
1 CUP vegetable oil
4 Eggs

to the dry mix and mix well.

Pour mix into 2# 9"round cake pans.

Bake 40 minutes at 325 degrees.

6 oz cream cheese - room temp.
1/4 cup salted butter - room temp
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Mix well, the longer the better.

It will barely cover the cake, so take it easy topping the bottom layer.

Thought for the day

If you're lonely when you're alone, you are in bad company.
--Jean Paul Sartre

The basics of soup making

Just remember some basics when creating a soup.
*Unless it's onion soup, onions should be added early. Sauteed onions are best, otherwise mince the onions well so they cook down and become part of the overall flavor.
*Butter scorches easily so use low heat. If you can't wait, margarine is better than burned butter.
*Add veggies based on two things: strength of flavor and time needed to cook. Potatoes are added last because they'll turn to starch and thicken soups prematurely. Add the hardest veggies like carrots first so they will have time to cook.
*Add spice throughout. Garlic powder should never be used when fresh is available. Ready minced garlic in 16oz jars cost less than $5 and saves so much time. Garlic should be added early and added only at the end in small amounts if you feel it needs it. Allow 15 minutes to cook if added late. Spices complement each other. Fresh and dry spice can taste very different and the amount you choose should be altered accordingly. Salt and salty veggies like tomatoes (canned) should be added last.
*Puree veggies to change the texture and flavor. Canned tomatoes are an excellent example. Diced the flavor is not as shared through the soup as pureed tomatoes.
*Looking at numerous soup recipes will give you a good idea about complementary spices and vegetables.

What I'm Reading

Fun with venn diagrams

Lemon Pound Cake

This is based on cousin Debby's vanilla pound cake recipe.
As usual I tweeked it just enough to make the perfect lemon cake.

350 degrees

Grease and flour TUBE PAN- a bundt pan is too small.

Mix together
Rind of one lemon
Meat of one lemon- remove seeds and skin.
3 sticks salted butter - room temperature
3 cups of sugar
6 large eggs - room temperature

In a separate bowl, combine
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Add half of flour mixture to butter mixture.
Mix thoroughly.
Then add
1 cup full fat sour cream
Mix thoroughly.
Add the remaining flour and mix well.

Add 4 tsp lemon extract
AND 1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice.

Mix well.

Add cake mix to prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes.

For the best cake texture, the true southern method requires that the cake cool completely on a wire rack. Then it is wrapped completely in AL foil overnight and served the next day.

Lentil Soup

My Lentil Soup recipe is one of those recipes I developed after perusing numerous vegetarian lentil soup offerings. It is rare I find a recipe that is just right, so experimentation is the standard in my kitchen.

Boil 1/2 lb of dry lentils for an hour.
*Water - Only add enough water throughout the recipe as needed to cover the ingredients. This is meant to be a thick soup, closer to the consistency of a stew.

1/2 a sweet onion, finely chopped.
3-4 sliced carrots
3 tbsp dry parsley
1 1/2 tsp dry oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced

Cook until onions and carrots are soft.

1/2 tsp celery seed
1 can of tomato - puree in food processor
1-2 bay leaves

Cook about 10 minutes stirring constantly as the salt in the tomatoes will cause it to easily stick.

1 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste.

Stir, turn off heat. Remove bay leaves. Allow to sit at least 10 minutes before serving.

Pretty Little Things

An $8 find from House-To-House consignments in Athens, GA. 22" x 28"

Greer's store, across from GA Square Mall in the Goodwill Shopping Center, has 2 stores full of consignment and second hand quality items. The second store is an overflow room stuffed with cut rate deals of larger furniture. The primary store is well arranged with 30 day mark downs up to 90 day discounts.

Because Star Trek 2009 Kicks Ass

Why the hell does Avatar get all the attention when Star Trek 2009 is so much cooler?

It's a civil rights issue, bigot.

Ort or Santa

Came across this piture of Ort on the Flagpole site. Ort or Santa?

Blade Runner

Home again. Home Again. Jiggity jig. Good evening JF.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. Time to die.