Friday, April 11, 2014

Pan Fried Flounder

This is easy and tastes great:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chuck It

Every time I purge my wardrobe I feel better. Tossing stuff is thrilling.

These two guys built a life around tossing things out. Worth a look.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Meat And Two Veg: I Always Come Back To You

File:Sunday roast - roast beef 1.jpg
This is what I do when I want to come home to a good dinner but I don't want to cook it:
Take vegetables and throw them into a crockpot. Carrots, green beans, cauliflower, leeks, celery, whatever... throw them in. Throw in some garlic and onions as well. I chop up the onions very fine so the boys don't know they're in there.
Now peel and quarter one potato per person. Throw that in.
Top it all with cuts of meat. Pork, cube steak, chicken thighs, all of these work. I like to cut them into strips to heat better. Season with salt and pepper. Pour a cup of beef or chicken broth over it all.
Let it all run on low. When you come home throw in some peas or spinach if you like, about 15-30 minutes before you eat. Check the temperature of the meat and, if it's sanitary (which it will be) serve.
There are countless variations. I usually go through the cupboard and fridge and make it up on the fly. It has never disappointed.
So what is the calorie count?
Potato: 163
4 Ounces of Meat: 150-250 (probably)
1 Cup Veg: 50 (probably)
So your grand total is something like 400-500 calories, and it'll keep you full. Fairly paleo, depending on your opinion of potatoes. It's certainly old fashioned. Old fashioned doesn't always mean bad, though... in fact there is a minor movement about Briton encouraging folks to "eat like granny" for good health. One study shows that Britons were healthiest during World War II, provided they didn't blow up or get stranded at Dunkirk.
There are myriad ways to spice it up. Creole seasoning, Old Bay, Mrs. Dash... OK, there are three ways to spice it up.
* * *

Note: Be careful who you say "meat and two veg" to. It can mean what I mean, or it can mean "boring dinner," or it can mean "cock and balls." You were warned.

Picture used under a creative commons license

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Want To Live Forever?

I have found that I can accept things intellectually without experiencing them as true. For example I knew that a parent's love for a child is the strongest, but I had no idea how much my parents love me until I had kids. There is no intellectual way around that; it has to be experienced.

It recently struck me that there is some benefit inherent in having an expiration date. This idea has been expressed over and over again through many cultures. We've all heard it. I've never felt it, though, until very recently.

We're hurtling toward death. Once it happens there will either be oblivion or something else. That's up to God or nature; it's not in my power to control. The fact that my time is limited, though, tends to concentrate the mind the closer I get to the end. It lifts me out of the mundane. This is all building to something huge, namely my own extinction. It's unremarkable for most other people, my death, but for me it is the great moment of my life.

All of this will pass away and I will be forgotten. Is that really sad? Isn't it stirring as well?

Every good story has an ending.

On the other hand, the deaths of those we love still seem like tragedy to me. I know a lot of people who have lost children, and to me it seems that there is no silver lining. If it happens to me I will be very angry with God, as are the men I know who have lost kids. I will learn to live with it or I won't, but it won't be good. I'm sure of that.

Also God screwed up on the lifespans of dogs. Twelve years, Sir? That's it?

It's strange. When my grandfather went he was sorry for us but happy for himself. He lost one son before he died. Wonder what he made of that?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What "The Manly Rules" Doesn't Want...

I'm not exactly endorsing it, but The Manly Rules is interesting. Worth a look, anyway. He states his case well.

Link here

Crabs In A Bucket and Joe Rogan

I've been listening to Joe Rogan's podcast lately, and I've found it to be a good use of time. I throw a couple on the iPod Shuffle and take a brisk walk for an hour or so and the time flies by.

It surprises me that I like him so much. My only real experience of Rogan before this was as Adam Corolla's replacement on The Man Show. I loved that show, and what I loved most was that you could tell that Corolla and Kimmel had affection for their audience. Rogan and Stanhope took it to a much darker place. It was compelling, but it lost the light heartedness that appealed to me.

But the podcast is excellent. Rogan is a gifted conversationalist. He always gets at the heart of things. He is always honest, but he is rarely brutally honest, and he is self critical. He champions the emerging information revolution, and says that it's going to make the Renaissance look like a kiddie show. I like that.

Here is his take on "haters," or negative people. They are like crabs in a bucket, trying to pull down the ones that have managed to climb to the top. He says that these people are actually good for us. It's a useful thought to have.

Lately some really good things have happened to some people I know, and I have been genuinely happy for them. This shows me that I've grown. I don't assume that there is a finite amount of success, and that if somebody else gets some it means there is less for me. Andrew Carnegie said that there is always room at the top of any profession, and he was right. We aren't pigs at a trough.

Even worse than this is to behave as if some authority dishes out success arbitrarily. "It's not fair." The standard response that "life isn't fair" is facile and misses the point. If you live in a free Western country there is only you and what you do, and that should be your primary concern. "Fair" is a waste of time. Identify the target and pursue it. Be humble in victory and stoic in defeat. That's the only way.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Northern Soul


I'm a casual fan of soul music. Recently I did a search on the subject and found some websites about Northern soul. I'd heard of it, I knew that they seemed to like white patches with black fists on them, but I'd never paid much attention. Turns out I should have.

Kids in the industrial North of England were turned on to American soul music by the mods in the South. They sort of took that ball and ran with it. They preferred little known artists, people who were trying to become Marvin Gaye or The Supremes but who never made it. They found the sound to be more raw and aggressive and honest. And it is!

DJ's from the North flew to America and scoured bargain bins for soul records and brought them back home to give them new life. An amphetamine-fueled dance style developed and for many turned in to an obsession. It's still Britain's largest underground music scene.

This whole story is chronicled in a 2013 movie titled "Northern Soul." Follow this link to watch the characters dance to a song which should have been a massive hit but never was.

The benefit for an American who likes soul music is that these folks can point you to some great music you may have never heard before. This list is a decent place to start. Here are ten songs from the film, all of them excellent and none of them very well known.

The song, by the way, is Duke Browner's Crying Over You. How the hell did this song not make it big? It's a crime.

So there you have it. Northern soul is ignored American soul music. Keep the faith.