Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sophie B. Hawkins

Damn, I wish I Was Your Lover.

This is the banned on MTV version.

Taken From My Porch Just Now

Great Egret. These guys are elegant hunters. Fish, frogs, but also mice, lizards and other small game. They figure if it's smaller, slower, stupider than them, it's on the menu.

Fuck the stupid stuff Hillary just said. This is more interesting. I'm hosting several of my collegues from the college for a potluck get together to celebrate the end of the school term. I'm bringing the ice cream.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Random Ten

Here's the soundtrack for today:

Aye, Aye, Mama - - - Clifton Chenier
Rock Boogie Shout - - - Buckwheat Zydeco
Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover - - - Sophie B. Hawkins
When She Moves - - - The Bears (Rock)
Boogie Chillun' - - - John Lee Hooker (live, acoustic)
Page 43 - - - Graham Nash & David Crosby
Foggy, Foggy Dew - - - Tommy Makem (live bootleg, me on harp)
Pissin' In The Wind - - - Jerry Jeff Walker
Hazy Shade of Winter - - - The Bangles (this drummer rocks, that is all)
Cauce Corto, Aeroplano Pesado - - - Los Tigres Del Norte (Short Runway, Heavy Plane)

Bonus Track:
Super Flumina Babylonis - - - Palestrina (recorded in San Xavier Del Bac Mission by Linda Ronstadt, me on harp again)

That's my playlist for the morning. Gotta go do some rat killing in town. Dog to the groomer and other stuff. Abbie loves being clean, and she's shedding at a high rate, even for a German Shepherd right now, but she hates getting a bath. I hire that shit out because I don't have the heart.

Monday, May 19, 2008

In Da "House!"

I was just kicking back, flipping through the TIVO'd finale of "House." Watching them go through the usual stuff. You know how House works. The Doctors earnestly in good faith fuck everything up until, at the last moment, in a flash of inspiration they get it right.

The right thing they got came in the 3rd act. 13, one of the doctors who works with House, is having an emotional meltdown moment. She takes refuge in the lady's room, sitting in a stall. Right over her left shoulder is a sticker that says "Vote For Change '08." Then they cut to her feet. House's sneaker comes under the stall divider and he says "Wide Stance."

That's beautiful and subversive stuff. During the conversation, taking place in a bathroom, where at least three republicans that I can think of off the top of my head met their downfalls. We are reminded which party has the bathroom lurkers. Everytime they cut to the gorgeous young actress playing 13, there it is, big as life and twice as lovely, "Vote For Change '08."

To top it off, they did this on Fox.

Sometimes I remember what it was that I loved about living and working in Hollywood.

They did this on Fox.


самиздат (Samizdat)

I have just finished reading Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values by Philippe Sands, an internationally acclaimed expert in International Law.

I was enraged. I was also heartbroken. Sands does an excellent job of making his case. He does so in excruciating lawerly detail. Part of the credibility he brings to this is that he was one of the lawyers who brought the case against Auguste Pinochet.

Step by step through the process of the degredation of principles of law and simple human decency he outlines the way American Law, the Law of Nations, and what the Apache and other native peoples would call Sacred Law, was first, weakened, then discarded entirely. He does so using the case of Detainee 063. He shows the escalation of tactics, from strictness, through bullying, and finally into plain and simple cruelty. All of which achieved nothing of any benefit to the stated goals of finding intelligence in the War on Terror.

He interviews the lawyers who drafted the memos, the cabinet officers who expanded them. He attacks the process that led us to this state of affairs.

He draws an undeniable parallel to a case at Nuremburg which was the basis for the film Judgement at Nuremburg. He goes so far as to conduct an interview with the son of one of the Nazi defendants. What made the case at Nuremburg applicable here is that the cited case was judges and lawyers who twisted legal arguments and made a case for the legality of the death camps, the slave labor system, and other Nazi war crimes. By providing the evil a cover of law, they helped to make it happen.

The name of what I'm about to do after reading this book was graciously provided by Jurassic Pork of "Welcome to Pottersville". Thanks JP!

Samizdat was the old system in the days of the iron curtain. Using typewriters with carbon paper, using duplicating and mimeograph machines, folks behid the curtain would copy works that were forbidden. They would also memorize entire books and recite them in underground salons.

What I will do next with this book is send my copy off to Melissa McEwan of Shakesville. I chose her because she is passionate and vocal in her quest for a better America. Hell, she had a brutal case of the flu and dragged her sick ass to the polls in order to vote in the last Indiana Primary. She was one of the main inspirations that got me to start my own blogging.

I am going to send her my copy of the book, with a short little inscription. She's going to read it, write about it, and pass it on to another. Just like the old Samizdat (literally: Self Publishing).

Unfortunately, the truth has become contraband in our country. That must change.

I'm looking forward to following this book's progress through Blogtopia. (Yes! Skippy coined that phrase!)

Big Brass Blog

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Operation Rescue!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

If you're here because you were searching for ways to fuck with women who want to exercise their still barely legal rights to health care without interference from assholes like you; or, if you're here because you want to destroy labs and other venues of science because you care about animals more than you care about people or the advance of knowledge,


This isn't about cute bunnies being tortured in the lab. This isn't about being self righteous bullying assholes to young women facing a crisis in their life, this is about Chocolatissimo Nutella Bomb Ice Cream!

You're still an asshole, but who knows? Maybe if you ate more ice cream you'd be more tolerable to be around.

When I went to take the custard out of the refrigerator for its final freeze, I discovered that it had set up to a consistency that was too thick for freezing. This happens with frozen custards and is not a cause for panic or despair. It is easily remedied by adding a little more liquid, in this case, a bit more Frangelico and a bit more whole milk while it is all stirring in the stand mixer.

I don't have measurements to give you because I was working purely by eye and feel. The only way to develop that eye and that feel is to make lots of ice cream. Tough assignment to be sure, but, I'm certain you have the will and the courage to achieve it.

Put it all back into the freezer container and go through the steps in the freeze just as before. Layers of ice and of rock salt. As the ice melts keep adding more and laying on the salt with a will.

An important thing I just noticed is that you can see the mark of the fill level on the container. Note where that line is, and where the top of the ice cream is. That growth in volume during freezing is why it is important not to exceed the fill line before you freeze. That is all. Carry on.

Remove the container from the freezer unit, it's helpful to give it a quick wipe down so you don't chance contamination from rock salt or ice brine. Remove the dasher and scrape off the accumulated ice cream into the final container. Don't be all fussy about getting it all, this is one of the best times to stick the dasher into a big bowl and give every kid in the house a spoon.

I'm using the standard, green rectangular Ziplock® plastic containers to lay up ice cream for the parties of the weekend. There's always about a solid quart of overflow for my own enjoyment. In this case it's an old cottage cheese container.

Put it back into the freezer for two or three hours to firm up the consistency, and serve.

This is an intensely rich, silky smooth ice cream. Using the 72% cocoa mass bittersweet chocolate give it an amazing chocolate presence which subtly gives way to the more delicate flavors of the Nutella and Frangelico. Dark, dangerous, intriguingly complex. This stuff is absolutely incredible.

As I gave April her serving, I watched as she took her first taste of it. I watched her eyes widen with delight. I figured why waste the moment so I said "Tell me I'm a genius and you love me."

As soon as the shivers of ecstasy passed she blurted without hesitation, "You're a genius and I love you."

Hey, I takes 'em where I gets 'em. It's always nice to hear.

big brass blog