Archive for July, 2010


New Dollar Coin

Received this email:

dollar coin

in my inbox today; it has been forwarded several times (Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:) and the original sender is unknown to me, but the fact that it has been sent to me as part of a mass mailing to dozens by the sister of my sister-in-law signifies its possible virulence.

(I have preserved the original grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. I have reduced the size of the largest fonts, but suffice it to say, I felt several times as if I were being electronically shouted at.)

I would like to take a moment to deconstruct this person’s arguments:

1. I resent the implication that I am  a “True American” only if I share your religious beliefs.

2. What has begun exactly? (Paranoid, party of ???)

3. You don’t have to repeat yourself. Telling me to do something based on a specious argument and then repeating it two more times does not make it more convincing, unless maybe you’re talking to a moron.

4. No, I didn’t guess it. I had no idea what your point could possibly be.

5. Maybe you could explain to me what exactly trusting in God has to do with our method, and use, of currency?

6. Don’t instruct me to “send it on to everyone”; if I think something is worthy of passing on, I am perfectly capable of making that decision for myself. But oh, that’s right, you think you’re talking to a moron.

7. You are perfectly free to trust in God every day; does this mean that if you aren’t reminded by the miniscule writing on a coin you might forget?

8. Your writing sucks. You have poor grammar, make persistently poor use of punctuation, and don’t even bother to proof something that you obviously hope everyone in the country will read. If your ridiculous argument didn’t reduce your credibility to zero, this will certainly do the job.

Is the argument really that the only way we can be unified is by a consistent belief in the same version of an Almighty Deity? If that’s true, then we’re doomed, as community, country, species.

Our versions and visions of right and wrong, justice and injustice, fairness, decency, and community can only be based on the recognition that we ARE already community — that what’s good for everyone is ultimately what’s good for us, that if we don’t look out for and take care of each other we have no hope for our future, that our survival depends not only on our individual abilities and intelligence and opportunities but on our variety of strengths and experiences, on our interdependence as well as our awareness and appreciation of it. Can YOU feed yourself? clothe yourself? keep yourself warm in the winter and safe from the elements and disease without the help of many other people? Do you know the faith of the person who raised the chicken you ate for dinner last night? or who wove the cloth that made the shirt on your back? If your child’s teacher is smart and compassionate and kind does it matter if the church they go to is a synagogue or a mosque or the woods?

I have some dollar coins in the change drawer in my car. I don’t have one with me right now to look at to see if it actually says “In God We Trust” or not. What I really can’t see, no matter how hard I look, is how it can possibly matter.


Whining Liberals

I read this article this morning from last Sunday’s New York Times. It’s about the hardship a fisherman based on the Gulf Coast is facing as a result of the Blackwater oil disaster. I have a lot of sympathy for a lot of people who are truly suffering as a result of this debacle, and a great deal of concern for the ecology of the Gulf as a whole, but this is ridiculous. The sympathy I am being expected to generate in this case is because, while he is making twice as much money a month as he would shrimping, he is no longer his own boss.


This is the kind of crap that gives liberals, (of which I am, by most standards, considered to be counted among), and the New York Times, a bad name.


Yesterday’s Pizza

Mix in a food processor, using the dough blade:

1 c. wheat flour

1 c. unbleached flour

6 3/4 oz. warm water

1/8 c. olive oil

1/2 tsp each: salt, sugar, yeast

Let rest while doing the following:

Preheat oven to 450˚ with pizza stone on lowest rack. Let it get good and hot.

Blend 4 T pesto with ~ 3 oz. goat cheese using a fork.

Caramelize one large onion: slice onion paper thin, sauté in olive oil in cast iron skillet, decreasing heat as the onion cooks to avoid ANY browning — the whole process should take at least a half an hour or you’re cooking it too fast.

Chop 1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes (in oil).

When the onions are done, remove from pan and throw in ~ 1/2 lb of baby spinach. Cook gently until the spinach wilts.

Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with coarse corn meal. Roll 1/2 of the pizza dough out using a piece of saran wrap over the top so you can get it really thin. Spread the goat cheese/pesto onto the dough. Top with tomatoes (include any olive oil that’s come along for the ride), brown, syrupy caramelized onions, and spinach. Slide the pizza onto the well preheated pizza stone (keep the parchment paper underneath) and bake ~ 6 minutes.



Green Energy

Saw these signs on my way to the aforementioned swim and sunset last night:

Make No Mistake On the Lake

As far as I can tell, they are referring to the signholder’s desire that the state of Michigan refrain from installing windmills as sources of energy because of concerns about their ability to withstand ice (a valid concern) and the possibility that they’re going to adversely affect property values.

I completely understand. I mean look at how much worse this looks:

compared to this:


Butter Door Design

Refrigerators have been around since the mid 1700s, with many improvements made in the 1800s and an ever-increasing list of special features. They are self-defrosting, make ice, dispense filtered water, have temperature and humidity controls that allow us to dictate various “zones” for the various types of foods, etc. etc.

But every insertexpletivehere time I open the butter door a stick of butter falls out.

This compartment has one task: to house butter. Apparently no one has concerned themselves with the fact that one needs to access this butter by lifting this compartment’s little door, which invariably nudges one of the sticks just enough that it totters to the floor.

How hard is this, really?



Community Living

Passed on the way to the beach for a swim and sunset: Majestic Ridge Estates.


First of all, we’re all perfectly qualified to judge whether a location is Majestic or not; is this not a quality which, by definition, should be observable by the naked eye?

For example, this is what one might call a “Majestic Ridge”:

We see the majesty, and the ridge, even without someone telling us it’s there.

This, on the other hand, is just a big house you probably paid too much money for:

And look, no ridge in sight.

Lastly, was this name selected by the requisite resident tyrants neighborhood association committee (houses of yellow brick or tan siding only, no clotheslines, any car valued at less than $50,000 parked discretely in closed garage) following submissions to the Most Pretentious Names for a Neighborhood contest?

If we’re striving for truth-in-advertising, I guess I’m glad I live in Hilly Woody Place Overrun with Deer, Deer Ticks and Daddy-Long-Legs in Neighborhood Surrounding Algae-Ridden Pond Lake. Too bad that doesn’t fit on a sign.


Ultrasound Woes

Hearkening back to the good ol’ days of being pregnant with my sons. Many of you remember, perhaps with some discomfort, that when you’re going to have the ultrasound  you must drink 32 oz. of water the hour before so that the technician can use the full bladder to help locate the uterus. I’m thinking that if the technician can’t find a uterus with a fetus in it, maybe he or she should pursue another line of work.

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