Friday, May 27, 2016
Interesting read on the productivity and mobility of our nation, and how that is trending in the coming years, over at The Atlantic..
Here is the kick off of the article-
American restlessness is written into the national DNA. In the 19th century, families moved toward opportunity, whether it came in the form of open, fertile fields or smoky urban factories. Americans didn’t just see their westward migration as a trivial preference for sun and space. They saw it as the important work of a nation, a Manifest Destiny.
But if Horace Greeley were alive today, his advice might be something more like, “Move back home, young man.” Americans today are strangely averse to change. They are less likely to switch jobs, or move between states, or create new companies than they were 30 years ago. In economist-speak, "the U.S. labor market has experienced marked declines in fluidity along a variety of dimensions." In English: America has lost its mojo. Manifest Destiny has yielded to manifest dormancy.
I have done a lot of moving and such, so this article resonated a bit.
The link, again, if you missed it.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Monday, May 23, 2016
I am just gonna put this our there, because I am not sure if I am nuts.
I might be...
I do have a capacity for the OCD, at times. Sometimes that part of my brain can be switched off, other times the tiniest details can make me insane.
Yesterday, we were out, doing stuff, meeting up with a friend, your standard weekend activities.
I have already had a dull, uninspiring snack from another restaurant, so the food OCD was on, but not in overdrive.
Snack stop number two, my gal orders a bit of shrimp cocktail.
It's a seafood place, so, that's what you get on the appetizers menu...
Those shrimps come out (not the ones in the picture) and there, sitting right in front of me is a shrimp with tail broken off...
The tail is still attached, just hanging off the rest of that shrimp.
That really bothered me, for some reason...
Well, a lot of reasons, if I get into it.
There really isn't much to get wrong with shrimp cocktail, ya know?
It's shrimp, some sauce and some lemon, on top of some ice.
Like 50% is just paying for pretty presentations, really. Just don't make it ugly, pile it on a plate like you give half a damn.
So, staring at this sad, broken shrimp, I start to extrapolate...
If this crap presentation is acceptable, just what else is acceptable in that kitchen?
This shrimp cocktail is the easiest thing the have going, what goes wrong and gets by in other dishes?
When was that walk in last stripped and cleaned?
What is this on my fork?
And about then, I am ready to leave...
I stuck it out, because I am functional.
I even ate that shrimp, truth be told...
But it took me ten minutes to be OK with eating that shrimp.
It's not OCD, really. I know...
Or maybe it is.
It's high expectations.
The mediocre is what bugs me, especially combined with high pretense.
Friday, May 20, 2016
I keep trying to toss together some thoughts on this election cycle...
Really, I am finding it utterly exhausting.
Our ability to have reasonable debate seems to have disappeared.
We're left with crap cable news punditry, parroted by everybody...
Usually, in ALL CAPS.
Using that caps lock key imparts some higher degree of truth, I guess.
The badly edited cell phone video backing up the claims must further emphasize righteousness.
Links to suspect websites with long, but simply written, theories on causality are the footnotes of justice.
There is no listening.
Without listening, there can be no debate.
It's just disappointing...
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Anybody holding one of these?
What a handsome old truck...
I have mentioned my trucklessness previously.
It still stings a bit...
I was told to shut up about it recently, my the missus, because, well, we just don't own a truck any more.
Most days, of course, I don't need a truck.
Hell, most days I work from home and don't even need a car.
Now that we're home owners, all of those convenient truck things now present themselves as challenges.
Things like grabbing some lumber for a project, can't quite do that. Does my desire to buy a few bags of compost outweigh the idea of compost stink in my little buggy, it has not yet.
I still can do stuff. A surprising amount of stuff fits in my car, with rear seats folded down.
But a sheet of plywood just ain't gonna happen.
And I get to this circular conversation, why not an old project truck?
Well, I already have these other house projects, which probably wouldn't get done if I was distracted by the cool old project truck, but those other projects would be a lot easier with a truck to haul some stuff around in...
(What I probably should be thinking, is how to hire out these silly projects, so that I can skip out and do other fun shit.)
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
I have skirted around directly addressing our current election cycle, here, the choices, the reality of it...
There is a lot going on and little reasoned discussion on the topic, that I have seen. We seem to be at the point where endlessly shouting individual beliefs over another's voice is what counts as communication - debate which democracy requires.
The NY Magazine has quite a reasoned long reasoned long read, by Andrew Sullivan, that I found worth a few minutes of time. A review of the candidate field and dive in to the rise of the Donald.
Those who believe that Trump’s ugly, thuggish populism has no chance of ever making it to the White House seem to me to be missing this dynamic. Neo-fascist movements do not advance gradually by persuasion; they first transform the terms of the debate, create a new movement based on untrammeled emotion, take over existing institutions, and then ruthlessly exploit events. And so current poll numbers are only reassuring if you ignore the potential impact of sudden, external events — an economic downturn or a terror attack in a major city in the months before November. I have no doubt, for example, that Trump is sincere in his desire to “cut the head off” ISIS, whatever that can possibly mean. But it remains a fact that the interests of ISIS and the Trump campaign are now perfectly aligned. Fear is always the would-be tyrant’s greatest ally...
...And so those Democrats who are gleefully predicting a Clinton landslide in November need to both check their complacency and understand that the Trump question really isn’t a cause for partisan Schadenfreude anymore. It’s much more dangerous than that. Those still backing the demagogue of the left, Bernie Sanders, might want to reflect that their critique of Clinton’s experience and expertise — and their facile conflation of that with corruption — is only playing into Trump’s hands. That it will fall to Clinton to temper her party’s ambitions will be uncomfortable to watch, since her willingness to compromise and equivocate is precisely what many Americans find so distrustful. And yet she may soon be all we have left to counter the threat. She needs to grasp the lethality of her foe, moderate the kind of identity politics that unwittingly empowers him, make an unapologetic case that experience and moderation are not vices, address much more directly the anxieties of the white working class—and Democrats must listen.
I recommend giving it a look. Link here.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Monday, May 9, 2016
Friday, May 6, 2016
Things are a bit hectic, here...
But you have bothered to show up, so you deserve a new post, huh.
Here is a link to a local peregrine falcon roost.
There are baby birds and full grown birds.
Also, birds being eaten by the above noted birds.
They're falcons, that is what they do...
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Since moving to the northeast, I have been introduced to a bunch of holidays that I didn't know existed.
It's a little weird, because folks here just imagine that everybody knows about them...
How about Patriots Day, ever heard of that?
It's a real thing.
Boston just about shuts down for it
I still don't know the whole story on it, but presume it has something to do with some revolutionary era stuff...
(Or Tom Brady, people here love 'em some Tom Brady.)
Here in the Ocean State it's Independence Day, today.
It turns out today was the day old timey Rhode Islanders said "screw you" to the English crown.
The first of the colonies to do so, actually...
Which is kinda funny, when you consider that the whole damned state is so tiny that nearly every map you look at needs to point it out with a little arrow.
Anyway, happy Independence Day...
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Monday, May 2, 2016
Man, here is something I completely forgot about making, made one last night and now feel like a dope for not making 'em a couple times a month...
Really, super simple stuff...
Basic pie crust.
Saute some stuff you like.
Put it in the middle of that crust.
Maybe add some cheese, or whatever.
Fold over the edge of that pie crust.
Give that crust an egg wash.
Maybe put some parm on that crust.
I went with leeks, mushrooms, squash, some spinach and flat parsley. Gruyere on the bottom and stinky blue cheese on top.
Some leftovers would work great, like some roasted chicken or maybe some short ribs.
Put galette in your search thing, you'll get ideas.
Seriously, savory pie for dinner?