Monthly Archives: September 2007

Magimix 3150

What’s that you ask?  Just the coolest little machine evar!!!!  (I am a seriously lucky person. :))

It’s a ‘Cuisine System’ thank you very much.  Made in France, to boot.  YaY! (Take that, mainland China.)

I washed it first.  There is a reason that every page on the user’s guide says:  BE VERY CAREFUL.  THE BLADES ARE SHARP.  Damn straight.  I stuck my hand in the dishwater and promptly cut it on one of the blades.  OWWWIE!  It’s got three different bowls, three different cutting disks, two VERY sharp chopping blades, a dough blade (is baking in my future?), and an egg whisk.

I happened to have some parmesan cheese and ‘cuisined’ it first.  In less than 3 seconds the hunk of cheese had become a beautiful bowl of uniformly finely grated heaven.  I’m never going to buy that crap in a  plastic container again.

Next, I tried the kidneys for pup food.  (That’s what it’s for mainly — making pup food.)  I had already prepared the kidneys — a new pup favorite — and so  I dumped it all into the largest bowl and pushed pulse once.  It was done.  WoW.   After that, I did the yams.   It took me longer to wash them and crudely cut them into a size that would fit into the feed tube than it did for my new best friend Magimix 3150 to chop 2 pounds into perfectly shaped slivers of yam.  Freaking amazing! 

I got a little carried away with the pickles, though.  I wanted to make some tuna salad for lunches next week.  I had bought a big jar of dills and had intended to do just enough for the tuna.  I ended up doing the entire jar.  And still I wanted more.  Luckily, I had a head of cabbage.  I had that shredded in less that 5 seconds — not Magimix’s fault – I was the one who had cut it into 5 pieces. 

And then there was nothing left to shred, chop, slice or grate.  Well, there was one very old roma tomato, but I resisted the urge and threw it into the compost.

I’m a bit better now and have only gone into the kitchen to pat the Magimix.  I need more discs, though.  NEED MORE DISCS.  And maybe a juicer.  And a citrus press.  (I have a lemon tree, dammit!)

The user’s guide also comes with some recipes.  Since my Magimix is French, the recipes are decidedly European.  The first one is ‘Garlic butter for stuffing snails.’  I prolly won’t get around to that.  But it also has a blini batter recipe.  Mmmmm blinis.  With fake caviar.  Mmmmmm.  OOOoo, but there’s a recipe for Aubergine caviar.  I could be on to something.  The recipe for guacamole calls for avocado pears, creme fraiche (the hell is that?) lime, onions, 2 DROPS of Tabasco, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  Gads that must taste like shit.  To top it off, you have to ‘blix’ it for approximately one minute.  I don’t know what that means, but it sounds nasty.  I’ll have to try my guacamole recipe in my Magimix, just to let it know it’s in Texas.

I love it.  It is a beautiful thing.  I’m a lucky girl.

Letter to John Cornyn

I tried to write to Cornyn last night, but his web site was acting all funky.  Now I’m glad it didn’t work because Glenn Greenwald found an article on Fox’s web site by Col. David Hunt that I was able to add to my email to Cornyn.  Col. Hunt believes that U.S. generals, in both the Marines and the Army are betraying the troops and that those generals should be put on trial.

Here’s my email to Cornyn:

 Sen. Cornyn,

In order for you not to be a hypocrite, it is imperative that you amend the resolution which you offered in the Senate recently condemning anyone who disparages our military personnel serving in this time of war.  Clearly, your resolution was not strong enough since both Rush Limbaugh and Ret. Col. David Hunt of Fox News channel this past week have felt free to not only question our troops’ patriotism, but to accuse our generals in the field of betrayal.

This must be stopped.  I trust you will approach these two smears of our troops with the same vigor you did the moveon.org ad.  As you know, Rush Limbaugh’s show is listened to by millions of Americans and Fox New Channel is accessed by people world wide.

Please do everything in your power to stop this despicable trend.

Thank you.

I’ll probably hand-write another letter some time this weekend.

Miller Center National Debate

Fred Kagen is speaking now.

All of this is so dense.  I can’t type and listen at the same time.  The premise of the debate is whether the U.S. should keep troups in Iraq.

Big draw back?  Having to look at Fred in every third frame.

Calling John Cornyn

While Cornyn’s ‘Sense of the Senate’ resolution focused on the good General Petraeus for the most part, it did include this wording:

It is the sense of the Senate

to strongly condemn any effort to attack the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces;

It’s time to amend that resolution.  As it stands, it specifically names MoveOn.org.  Rush Limbaugh should be added by name.  At least the MoveOn.org ad criticised and questioned good General Petraeus based on facts (or rather his lack of transparency in handling the facts).  Limbaugh smears those serving with the same broad brush that is far too commonly used by undying endless war supporters in attempting to silence anyone who disagrees with their view.

All the details at Media Matters.

via Think Progress

Adding Up?

I really don’t know how to prioritized everything that was in the news today.  Some of it is just ridiculous.  For example, GWB whining about the spending bills not being ready yet.  Everyone I know remembers that the 109th only passed 2 of 11 spending bills last year, and that the bills have been late to W’s desk most of the time that he’s been in office.  But this week?  W: “Where’s my bills!  Gimme my bills!!!  Ast you once, now gimme my bills!”  What a baby.  I checked Lexus/Nexus and found nary an article reporting Bush complained pre-2007.  Not surprising, of course.

It would be funny if the Senate hadn’t voted for that Lieberman/Kyl amendment to the defense budget bill.  W yanks Joe’s chain (ever so gently) and Joe delivers.  Cornyn and Kay BH?  They’re on board to give the brat-frat boy the go-ahead to do god-knows-what against Iran.  Why else have the wingnuts ratcheted up the hysteria this past week?  (War not going so well?  More complicated than you expected?  Losing support?  Try a new improved war, with tactical nuclear weapons as a special bonus.  Makes a great Christmas gift! {imagine the soundtrack from Brazil playing})

And speaking of wingnut over-kill, is good General Petraeus still sobbing and sniffling about how mean ‘ole MoveOn.org confronted and questioned his prepackaged report?  No?  You’d never know given how Jerry Lewis (R-CA) and far too many congress-types acted today.  You remember Jerry Lewis, right?  At least my rep, Sheila Jackson-Lee voted against it.  Thanks, Rep. Jackson-Lee.  Seriously.

Since irony is dead, I’m not sure how to wrap my head around W’s threatening to veto SCHIP (Repeats W: Gimme my bill the way I wannit, you hear?  I got this here pen and I’ll sure use it.  Now, gimme!  baby) while Gates goes to demand that Congress give this administration $190,000,000,000.00 MORE dollars.  You all know we don’t have that money, right?

And btw just how much of that money is going to merc — err — security firms operating in Iraq?  Blackwater types (allegedly) are quite free to do as they see fit in Iraq and while Gates said today that Defense will investigate, Rice said, “Oh, no you don’t” to congress.  That’s just perfect.  A commenter at Balloon Juice had a stellar suggestion today.  Let those recently praised-American trained Iraqis take over for Blackwater, et al.  That would work, no?

Is this all adding up?  Not for me.

Chinese Moon Festival

Happy belated Chinese Moon Festival!  One of my students gave me a moon cake yesterday.

petersgift2.jpg

It’s such a pretty package.

petersgift1.jpg

I got pineapple.  There was also date and mango flavored cakes.

This is one of the best parts of my job.  I’ve learned so much about so many different cultures and traditions over the years.  I’m very fortunate.

I’ll gladly pay you $1.15 tomorrow . . .

 wimpy.jpg

for a cold bottle of MinuteMaid orange juice today.

The Coca Cola vending machines at school are now outfitted to accept credit cards.

My prediction?  Price goes up to about $1.50 (min.) before the end of the year.

Someone I work with said that in Japan you can pay for vending machine fare with a cellphone. 

Something of an update

It seems that there is so much more to the NYT/MoveOn.org story that I really shouldn’t ignore it. (FYI — the link is to Jeffy’s site.)  Actually, John Cole throws a wet blanket on all of them better than I could ever — so here’s a link to his post.  (At some point, I will learn how to do trackbacks. . . ) (My original post on the topic is here.)

Here’s some things that I find interesting about this whole — what to call it? — tempest in a teapot?  That doesn’t quite fit . . . I’ll have to think about it for a bit.  Anyway, first is a report from Media Matters about Rush Limbaugh calling  Senator Chuck Hagel, “Senator Betrayus.”  On his January 25th show, Limbaugh states, “By the way, we had a caller call, couldn’t stay on the air, got a new name for Senator Hagel in Nebraska, we got General Petraeus and we got Senator Betrayus, new name for Senator Hagel.”  The transcript and context are at the Media Matters link, along with video.

It looks like MoveOn.org came out the financial winner in this — it’s more than that though.  With the extra funds ($1,661,000+ and counting), they will be able to continue their advocacy, especially wrt to Iraq and the ’08 elections.  Good for them.

While wingnuts busy themselves by grasping at straws and trying to play ‘gotcha’ without substance, I find this report in the Washington Post very troubling. 

A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of “bait,” such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.

The classified program was described in investigative documents related to recently filed murder charges against three snipers who are accused of planting evidence on Iraqis they killed. 

Based on the information in the article, the three men charged allegedly planted a spool of wire in one case and an AK-47 in another case on two Iraqis they shot and killed.  One of those men claims that members of the “U.S. military’s Asymmetric Warfare Group” gave the sniper unit the bait and instructions for using them, but of course, Army officials won’t talk about it.

The article ends with this quote from an attorney for one of the accused:

“It’s an injustice that is being done to them,” Carnahan said. “I feel like you can’t prosecute our soldiers for acts of war and threaten them with years and years of confinement when this program, if it comes to the light of day, was clearly coming from higher levels. . . . All those people who said ‘go use this stuff’ just disappeared, like they never sanctioned it.”

Could this be the case where finally those higher up will be forced to take responsibility for something?  I’m not so hopeful.

Added:

Here’s a ‘Sense of the Senate’ suggestion I could support.

Ken Burns’ The War

Ken Burns has been all over the media promoting his latest work, The War.  (The interactive site is now up — it wasn’t earlier.)  I’d heard about the issues with Latino-Americans, mostly on PBS.  I watched parts of his Civil War Documentary, but Baseball solidified me as a fan.  I still have the tapes I made when it first aired.  My favorite part image-wise was the way he handled George Steinbrenner.

Today I heard Bob Costas interview Burns on the radio — for two hours!  It was great.  From that I gather — if I am not mistaken — Paul Fussell is in the film.  He’s another of my favorites.  I read The great War and Modern Memory while I was in Riga.  I read it on the long train ride to the university every morning.

I didn’t watch The War tonight.  I taped it instead.  I want to watch it with my friend and he’s not here now.  We’ll also have the advantage of being able to stop the tape to discuss what we’re seeing.  I’m really looking forward to it.

And we’re done

The installation guys have been gone for about twenty minutes, and finally all of the inside kitties have come out of hiding, and I’ve seen two of the outside kittens so far.  The pups were immediately released from their terrible time-out space and are in the front yard looking for those two intruders.  All in all, it took 5 hours.  Here’s the result:

I’ve still got to fix the ceiling and get it inspected, but for now, I’m extremely happy.