Thoughts on Boiling Crawfish

I remain convinced that my seasoning mix for boiling crawfish is superior to the big ol’ jar of Zatarain’s one buys down at the market. I boiled another sack for the BioHouston Chili Cookoff on Friday. Instead of my recipe, I took the path of least resistance and bought the big jar. It apparently makes no difference to the average consumer. Of course, I have not yet met anyone else in Houston who mixes their own boil seasoning. Everyone I have talked to about this just buys Zatarain's, so it may be that no one has ever had anything other than the big jar o' Z. However, I think I’m going to continue to make my own seasoning when I do it at the house. For events away from home, Zatarain’s is way easier. Since nobody seems to give a damn except me and J, I don’t see a need to bother with the extra effort.



Chef Paul Rocks

Takes a bullet and keeps on cooking.

I love Chef Paul. His cookbooks are fantastic, but are bastions of what I refer to as “sous chef cooking”. The recipes take 14 pans, 1200 steps, and ideally several line cooks to handle the details. They’re the kind of recipes that make you want to delegate everything off to the sous chef and go have a drink. Of course, the easy answer is to go eat at his restaurant and not worry about it, but since I live in Houston, that’s not always an answer.

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Just Say No

One of the things I find amusing about living next to a large city is the comedy byproduct from watching well-intentioned but clueless bureaucrats try to solve the seemingly intractable problems resulting from cramming an assload of Americans into a geographically limited space. The District of Columbia, a shambling lurching golem of dysfunction, has for years been some of the best comedy gold. Now, a new plan has oozed from the city that brought you Marion Barry.

The DC cops want to go house to house asking people to consent to warrantless searches and promising amnesty. Strangely enough, the people aren’t buying it. Some folks think it’s a bad idea to let the po-po into your house. Imagine that. I live in the ‘burbs, do nothing illegal, and am generally a fairly respectable citizen in my old age. I still wouldn’t let any agent of the state into my house without a warrant. I can only imagine some inner-city residents of DC have more grievances against the police than I do. Having officers go door to door asking to be let in strikes me as a fabulous waste of time. I also don’t believe the cops when they talk about amnesty. If I let them in and there’s a severed human head on my coffee table, I don’t think they’ll let that one slide. Of course, whatever they see is considered probable cause for a follow-up warrant, right? At which point, I’m sure amnesty is completely out of the question. At least the DC residents aren’t swallowing the bullshit. Remember, folks, the agents of the state, while occasionally useful, are not looking out for you. It is rarely in your best interest to cooperate unconditionally with them.

I will be curious to see how this plays out later in terms of how many people actually let them in. Somehow, I don’t think it’ll be very many.

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Levaquin sucks, but I guess it's preferable to remaining a bacteria-laden mucus factory.




Arthur C. Clarke died. He was probably one of the few genuine optimists working in the sci-fi field. He was definitely one of the greats, and will be missed.

Oral arguments for Heller were heard as well. Legal analysis of the argument is left to more cpabale minds. I found it amusing when Justice Roberts was explaining to the DC lawyer how he interpreted the statute in question and the DC lawyer told him that wasn't necessarily correct.

Umm. I'm not a lawyer and all, but when the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is telling you how he interprets the law, you pretty much agree with him because you can't win this argument. You may be right, but you're still gonna lose.

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Burden of Consciousness

I'm tired and feel much like hungovr cat. Whatever the hell bug I had two weeks ago has returned with a vengeance. I spent most of yesterday in bed asleep. I am mobile, but just barely. Work has done an excellent job of kicking my ass. So in lieu of substantive comment on Obama's speech, (Racism is bad, mmmkay?), I offer skulls. No deep hidden meaning unless you choose to ascribe one from the depths of your tortured unconscious.

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The Intersection of Sex and Shopping

I am approaching the official onset of middle age (40) fairly rapidly. In general, I figure I've got a handle on life and how to live it. I"m good on most of the questions of how to avoid the slings and arrows of daily misfortune. Where I don't have a clue, I have a wife with a completely different skill-set and my good buddy, the internets. I can usually get by without too much difficulty. Even having young miss N move into the house has not swayed me from this opinion. That was, until this Saturday. N has a couple of interviews for college scholarships coming up, and needed a suit and some shoes. I had a wee bit more disposable income this week, so me and my ladies went out clothes shopping.

OMFG, I had no idea. It is a truism that women control sex, but I had no concept of the fact that if the gentler half wanted to get fucked, all they have to do is go clothes shopping. For the amount of money I spent Saturday, I wouldn't have to buy clothes for about two years. I could chalk it up, in part, to where we finally purchased N's suits, but that would be mostly a lie. Due to the fact that N is a small person, we went to half the damn world trying to find suits that would fit. By about store number three, I had sticker shock so bad my brain went into functional overload. We had another 4 stores to go. The first store, I looked at some tags and asked J if they were kidding. By men's apparel standards, they were smoking crack when they put the price tags on. Apparently not in the women's world, since the prices were all in the same general range. Which, to reiterate, were absoludicrously high.

We finally ended up buying two suits for N at Brooks Brother's Women. Yes, they're a little pricey, but only a little. However, they had two advantages over everywhere else we went. Their size 0P came the closest to fitting, and they have tailors to do alterations to make them fit. Yes, N is so small a 0P has to be taken in to fit right. If anybody knows where to find clothes that small for actual grown ups, advice is always appreciated.




It's Pie Day! Everybody loves pie, right? J is partial to cherry, while I am a fan of almost anything involving raspberries and chocolate. So go out and... oh, wait. That's PI Day. Who the hell sets aside a day to honor a universal mathematical constant? Oh, yeah, nerds and geeks everywhere, that's who. In other words, my people.

Anyhow, there's plenty of Pi themed merchandise here. Pick up something nice in celebration of everyones favorite irrational ratio.




Eliot has resigned. More importantly:
Michael Garcia, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, issued a statement today that no deal has been made.
So the delightful prospect of his indictment will remain to tantalize me. I offer no judgments either way on his personal life, but I would certainly understand if his wife decided to divorce him.

Let's be clear. My delight has everything to do with the fact that Eliot Spitzer is a repulsive, authoritarian statist who used the law as a club to beat up on people who did things he didn't like. He made great political hay out of busting prostitution rings while patronizing them himself. He deserves everything he fucking gets, and then some. I say this only partially because of my great distaste for everything he stands for, and partially because of principle.

If you are in charge of enforcing the laws, you should be held to a higher standard than the general populace, not a lesser one. If you, as an officer of the law or attorney general or prosecutor, engage in behavior that would cause the great unwashed to be sent to jail, you should go for at least twice as long. In Spitzer's case, I would also argue for more time just based on terminal stupidity and/or arrogance. He knew perfectly well how the banking secrecy laws worked. He just thought he was immune because of arrogance, or he fucked up because he's a dumbass. Either way should be good for a few more months.

Anyhow, he's out of office and hopefully soon in jail. Now I get to make jokes about the blind leading New Yorkers for three years.

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Mary Ann Wins

Well, the news of Mary Ann's arrest for possession of marijuana should help settle the age-old debate of Ginger v. Mary Ann for some. Ginger always seemed like she had a tendency to slam a couple gin & tonics and get mean, like throwing shit at your head mean. Now that we know Mary Ann is a doper, that changes the whole equation. High maintenance star or laid back doper girl? You can make the call, but I think I know which side I'd come down on.



Paranoia Fuel

While I while away the hours, conversing with the internets and awaiting the next sordid revelation in the Spitzer saga, I peruse other things. Via Hit and Run, I find a post that not only manages to discuss the possibility of cybernetic insects spying on me but also includes the idea that I might possibly be justifiably concerned about the built environment as well.

Of course, from a purely practical perspective, I would think I'd do better to be concerned about buildings than bugs. One can build all kinds of interesting surveillance tricks into a building. Hell, there's an entire industry devoted to it. Why the author thinks this is unreasonable is beyond me. The questions, as always, are how concerned you need to be and how aware of the surveillance you really are. In any event, I sure don't need more fuel to add to my paranoid fires.

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Glorious Schadenfreude

Apparently, it's wrong to take joy in the suffering of others. So I will step back and say instead that I am taking a deep pleasure in the mysterious workings of karma in laying low the hypocritical and moralizing among us. Anybody buying that? Anybody at all? No? Okay, schadenfreude it is. I'm enjoying the hell out of this.

Elliot Spitzer is a scumbag who used his position as Attorney General of New York to invent dubious legal rationales to pursue crusades against businesses he didn't like. He's a fecking asshat who should go down hard for being a corrupt power hungry bastard. That he got caught up in Mann Act violations with these lovely ladies just adds icing to the cake. The married guy with three kids is blowing a couple of grand at a time on hookers. But he's got no problem telling us how to live our lives, and smacking us down if we break the law.

He's hanging quasi-tough right now, in that he hasn't uttered the "r" word, but we'll see. If the feds indict him, he's done.

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Crow Sure Is Tasty

So, a little under a year ago I made the following statement:
Then we can go back to ignoring the pesky outsiders and focus on the true candidates, like John McCain. After all, he’s going to win the Republican nomination right around the 12th of Never, so he must be a serious contender.
Checking my watch and calendar, I see the 12th of Never has yet to arrive and John McCain is indeed the Republican nominee for the presidency. So, I think I'll score a loss in the prognosticatin' column of my politics scorecard, which will keep my my electoral losses company. I'd say I'll be happy if McCain loses, but I'm going to be unhappy whoever wins the election.

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I believe, although I can't be bothered to check since my Google is broken today, that Eugene Volokh predicted the end of what we see here. One can apparently be censured for what somebody else thinks you think while you read a book. If your coworkers are stupid and get offended because of their stupidity, it's your fault they're dumbasses. Oh, wait, we proved this a few years ago in DC. Don't use the word niggardly, someone might get offended!

Given my proclivities towards reading books like this one, I'd probably be in the same boat had I gone to that university. Thankfully, I didn't. I would hate to have gone to a university that managed to say, with a straight face, that my reading a book created a hostile environment.




Well, the geekier portion of the internet no doubt already knows this. Gary Gygax died yesterday while I was out dealing with idiots. If you don’t know who he is, move along, this post ain’t for you. It’s hard to adequately explain the impact he had on several generations of nerds, but it was incalculable. I’d say more, but really, what is there to be said? I’m sure if you look, others will have written reams about the grand significance of it all by now. Me? I’ll pass. Smartass and snark we do around here. Seriousness and significance? Not so much.

He and his works helped, in no small part, make me the person I am today. He will be missed, although some tributes are probably more tasteful than others.

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Well, that sucked. Newsflash: people are fucking stupid.

The winner of the Moran Award for the evening was the gentleman that showed up at the last minute, got into the wrong line, got to the head of the line to find out he hadn't signed in before we shut down the signature books, and then we discovered he was in the wrong precinct anyway. Good job. You are the dumbest voter of the evening. We had numerous contenders, including several people who were actually cognitively impaired. He wins, though. You know you're acting like a dumbass when the actual 'tards do a better job than you.

I'd also like to give a shout out to the people who missed all the signs and portents proclaiming this to be the Republican primary until they got to the actual ballot part of the election. Thanks for the extra paperwork, donk. Further props, as always, to the people that think the guy (or gal) working the election had a goddamned thing to do with the choice of polling locations, voting equipment, ballot language, or anything else. I'd also like to thank the people that can't be bothered to find out ahead of time where they should go for the election and just show up to random polling places, then bitch about the fact they had to go to several before finding the right one. This is my fault, how, exactly?

Congratulations are due as well for validating my impressively low opinion of humanity in general and proving yet again that no matter how dumb I think a random collection of a thousand people is going to be, I'll be too generous.

In conclusion, all y'all can kiss my ass. I have worked the elections in this precinct for 6 years, and I am through. I will be early voting for the rest of my life and will work a poll again about the same time I fart roses.

I'd tell you what the results are, but honestly I'm too tired to care. I'm going to bed.

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Vote For The Last Time

Since we have put the house on the market and signed the contract on the new house, J has decided to not run for precinct chair after the primary. This means the primary tomorrow will be the last time I will be working the polls for the foreseeable future. So, for the final time, I will exhort you to go and vote and be nice to your election workers. After tomorrow, I won’t care if you decide the appropriate course of action is to pelt election workers with rancid gummi bears. I won’t approve and you’ll be an asshole for doing it, but since you won’t be pelting me I won’t get too incensed about it.

If you’re voting donk, vote for the candidate least likely to win the general election. I have no idea which one that is, although current polling data suggests Clinton. You won’t be in my polling place in any event. Don’t forget to caucus, lest your vote be overturned by the machinations of your local donk activists. Don’t let that happen to you! Caucus, and demand your rights, loudly and often! Don’t take no guff from nobody! How you voted is how that caucus should go, and say so as loudly and vociferously as possible! Make your viewpoint heard, as often as possible!*

If you’re voting efenant, I humbly suggest Ron Paul on top and anybody other than Her Majestic Pinkness in the CD22 race. Honestly, out of all the people running, any random selection would have to do a better job than her. If you can’t vote for Paul, and think McCain is quite possibly a manifestation of the antichrist, uncommitted may be your option. Just don’t vote for the Huckabeeste, because, despite what I was told this weekend, we do not need a “spiritual godfather” in the White House. The phrase makes me think of a grinning Baptist Don Corleone. Pass national health care and a flat tax or get a horse’s head in your bed and a sermon when you complain about it. Anyhow, if you’re voting efenant, there is no caucus after the election, so don’t show up. There’s nothing to accomplish except boring party business.

*If even one person takes this advice and makes the donk precinct chair's night miserable, I can sleep in peace knowing I have done something for humanity today.

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Say It Loud

Tam is, as usual, preaching to the choir, but she's doing a damn fine job of it. Go read.

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