Friday, May 28, 2010

"Your child..."

So Knuckles is playing outside, and I don't hear any screams, so I assume everything's OK. It took the installation of a double-cylinder deadbolt and three days of grounding him every day, but he finally learned that he's not to go more than 3 houses up or down the street, and he's being rewarded for his obedience by being allowed to play outside. Then I get a knock on the door. It's a neighbor lady with whom I'm not acquainted, who's come to inform me of an incident in which she believes Knuckles (who is happily riding his Hot Wheels in front of our house, completely uninjured) was about to be run over by a hideous evil car. It doesn't add up to me the way she's describing it, so I politely say "Thank you for letting me know." She then goes on to repeat her account of the incident half a dozen more times, and each time I say "Thank you for letting me know." After the first few times, I start implementing some conversation-ending body language, because Sonshine came home sick from school and is puking, and the point of sending Knuckles to play outside is to enable me to get some work done inside. Finally I got sick of her not backing off the topic, so I pointed out to her that she'd said the same thing half a dozen times and asked her if there was some particular reaction she was trying to get from me. She said no and then yanked her child off Knuckles' old ride where he'd been playing happily with my permission, and left in a huff as she told her child he was not to play over here, loud enough for me to hear.

So what just happened here? What did she expect me to say to her incoherent description? "OMG THAT'S SO HORRIBLE! I'm going RIGHT NOW to build a time machine so that I can go back in time, hover over my child till a car comes after him on purpose, stop that evil car in its tracks with my Super Strength, pull the driver out of the car and beat the living snot out of him!" What am I supposed to do? I can't undo whatever incident she observed, nor do I have the power to get her to express herself coherently, and her outrage at it doesn't make my chores or sewing get done. And I'm not going to swear a promise to do better to look after my kid to a total stranger who can't even be bothered to state her name, so what did she expect?

Is this the new, modern social skills? You go over to strangers' houses and, without even introducing yourself, try to get them to admit something? My Aspies have better social skills than this, but they have been trained. So does that mean there's nobody training the normal people?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Medieval Chicken Nuggets

As I was looking through some medieval cookbooks, I found some interesting recipes.

First, I found a recipe in the Book of Sent Sovi for what I grew up calling malasadas (a kind of frybread). The only difference is that they sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar, where I've always had them sprinkled with powdered sugar. So I now have documentation for malasadas.

Then I found a recipe in the Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook for what they called meatballs, but when I made it up it was really eggy and hard to shape into balls, and did much better as patties. The patties tasted a good deal like chicken nuggets, even though I made them with ground pork.

I will post more about medieval recipes later.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Bye-Bye Bennett

Sen. Bob Bennett just got himself un-nominated for U.S. Senate.

Here's what you should notice about this:
First, that a whole parade of so-called "mainstream" Republicans endorsed Bennett-- Mitt Romney, Orrin Hatch, Jon Huntsman Jr.*-- and he still got the boot. A lot of these guys don't realize that people voted for them in prior years not because they just love them for who they are, but because they were the lesser of two evils, so they're vulnerable when somebody less evil steps up.
Second, that there are still people in the U.S. of A. will ignore all their mainstream media signals and vote their conscience, and a hell of a lot of them live in Utah. Local media endorsed Bennett too.

My impression of Bennett was that he's a good and decent man who I really don't want to send to the Senate. He just compromises too much. Now, I'm no fool; I know that if Senators were voting on a sandwich to give to the American people, and some Senators wanted a peanut butter sandwich and others wanted a ham sandwich, we'd end up eating a peanut-butter-and-ham sandwich. That's just the nature of politics. But when some Senators propose we eat a poop sandwich, Sen. Bennett's right there proposing a peanut-butter-and-poop sandwich. And today he's scratching his head trying to figure out why the heck we suddenly don't like peanut butter.

Case in point: CPSIA. Several Senators and Representatives proposed bills to amend it, and Bennett was among them. Bennett's "solution"? Delay its implementation by a year to give CPSC time to write the rules we have to use to comply. Wanna see how well that would have worked out? We're now months past the deadline Bennett's bill would have set, and CPSC is still not done writing the rules we're supposed to be following.

Sorry, Bob, but there's some things you just don't compromise on.

* OK, so he didn't endorse endorse him. But like MangledCat says at the link, what does it say about your view when you'd suddenly rather change the political system to one that favors Bennett? Think the guy's a Bridgewater fan?

Monday, May 03, 2010

Bagel's Whoopee Cushion

With some of his newly earned cash that was burning a hole in his pocket, Bagel bought himself another whoopee cushion. He tried to put it under the couch cushion and have Knuckles sit on it, but Knuckles was too light and the cushion too thick. So he came to me at my desk and said, "Stand up and close your eyes, OK?"

Excuse me!

Sunday, May 02, 2010


I can't wait for the last frost to plant my plants outside. I started just about everything indoors. We've got about a week or two to go until planting time, and one of the tomato plants has eaten Los Angeles. Seriously, it's about two feet tall. It was less than a foot tall a couple weeks ago when I repotted it from its little peat pot into a gallon pot full of the garden soil I've prepared with bunny poo. Now it's enormous and it's starting to set flowers. You gotta love bunny poo. Is there anything it can't do for your garden?

Since then I've been repotting some of the larger plants into planters made from milk cartons. The zucchini plant has taken off and is also blooming. I brought in a flowerpot from outside to repot one of the tomatoes in, but it must have had ants sleeping in it because the next morning we had an ant problem. I treated it with a 1:2 white vinegar solution. So now my living room smells like vinegar and tomatoes, and it's making me hungry.