Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peanut-free Sesame Noodles

Cook, drain, and cold-water rinse:
8 oz. of your favorite pasta.
I used whole wheat.
GLUTEN-FREE rice pasta works OK, has a more brittle texture.

Mix - in a medium bowl that will hold the entire recipe:
3 tablespoons of Sun Butter (sunflower seed butter)
2-3 tablespoons of sesame tahini

Microwave the seed-butter mixture about 30 seconds, till quite warm.

Whisk in:
2 tablespoons Tamari sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons powdered ginger

Add the noodles, mix thoroughly to coat, and chill.

Yummy, if you like this sort of thing!
Better than they look in that photo.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I had a craving for sesame seeds for some weird reason. Cravings can sometimes be a nutritional need asserting itself. Sesame seeds are full of great nutrients, especially a broad spectrum of B vitamins.

So this is a What I Had For Lunch entry -- kind of. I could satisfy both my acute craving for the seeds and my ongoing love for fruit-and-protein shakes.

As I looked at the luscious delights piling up in the mixing bowl, I had this strange, kind of awful and kind of wonderful realization : I live in Eden.

Or rather, I live in a privileged position in a privileged society in which Eden is brought to me in trucks. This morning's paper headlined the latest food crisis in Somalia and, for that matter, right here at home people are living in the woods of the state park and -- we hope -- seeking assistance from food pantries. There's one at a church right down the street.
I, on the other hand, can decide I'm in the mood for sesame sticks and blueberries and bananas and this delicious sweet vanilla protein powder, which makes a sugar-free fruit shake that's killer-wonderful. And things I wouldn't even know existed if I lived here 50 years ago, like acai juice. All I need to do is load a grocery store shopping cart. And pay for them. Which too many people can't do.

Friday, July 22, 2011

How men solve clothing problems

So since we're moving furniture and boxing up stuff, finding one's belongings isn't an instant process right now.

Yesterday we worked up until 10 minutes before we had to leave for a lunch appointment. I had to find a shirt in a color that would not look poisonous with the capris I had on. NOTHING worked, minutes ticking away. "I can't find a shirt that will go with these!" I yelled.

Larry answered instantly: "Black! White!"

"Don't have either!" (Findable at that moment)


"Yes! Got it!"

Men are great outfit-simplifiers. For every problem, one of three answers will work. Black. White. Gray.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another day, another mammal

If I posted an entry about every raccoon we capture and transport, they'd all look pretty much the same.

Bright eyes reveal a look of suspicion and contempt. This one had an air of resignation:

Raccoons are also smart enough to eat the food rather than letting the fear of their predicament kill their appetite. "OK. Gonna be in here for unknown amount of time. Might as well enjoy the meal."

The release spot we've been using for a couple years now:

And usually an exit so fast I can't even get a photo:

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Yet another spew about juries and verdicts

Since justice isn't a topic I've written much about, I don't mean that this is another spew about it from me, but another in the massive stream of reaction to a recent case that dominated the news.

I did not keep up with the case and haven't clue one about it. This is about being a juror. Already, in this morning's paper, a microcephalic rant appeared from someone with the phrase that we hear, over and over and over and over and over......

"Everybody knows....." A phrase for and by the unthinking and ineducable, a phrase that has shored up a million wrongful accusations, reputation-destructions and wrongful deaths.

That particular proto-hominid insists that "everybody knows" the child was smothered. He obviously has no concept of evidence, proof, legality. And as for understanding that belief and knowledge are not the same thing - I doubt he's capable.

I was on a jury once and it's one of my most miserable memories, and not because it was any life or death matter, but because I was incapable of doing the job, and because the other jurors were too. My faith in the jury system went completely to hell after it.

It was a drunk driving case. We were a jury of six.

I was newly sober and as stupid as the arrogant, crusading, newly sober can possibly be. The other 5 jurors -- all 5 -- were ready to acquit.

I was a shy, follower type. But I was full of self-righteous condemnation of all who weren't as Marvelous, Special and So-oh-oh-ber as Superior Me, and was practically drunk on my rarely-felt power to persuade. I convinced all 5 of them to convict.

No need to tell me how many people drunk drivers kill and how the conviction might have been the wake-up call the accused needed.

No need to tell me that however bad my judgment was, I was judging to the best of my pathetic ability and that was what they chose me to do.

No need to tell me that, to reiterate, I did not volunteer for duty or for the case, but was chosen, coerced by law to do it at every step.

No need to tell me that if the others disagreed, their failure to stand up and say No, I will not convict is on them, not on me.

I get all of that.

The guy could have been guilty, but it was a borderline case with no proof and no real evidence except a timetable of what he ate and drank in the previous few hours. I had no business Saving the World with a conviction that was inadequately supported. Maybe I stumbled into an accurate verdict and maybe the Anthony jury did too, but in both cases it had to be about what was adequately proven, not what was likely or what "felt" right.

I was a crusading jerk, and the other 5 were spineless and uncaring jerks who just wanted a consensus so they could go home. It was a Perfect Storm of Category 5 Jerk, and something desperately needs to change about the jury system.

As I said, I didn't follow the Anthony case and don't feel entitled to any statements like "I think" she did or didn't do it.

But I did learn something in the past, about the huge honking difference between

"most likely,"
"she's a horrible human being"

hard factual evidence
that answers the questions
beyond reasonable doubt.

I have no solution to stupid juries, and I'm not convinced that this was one. The little that has come out sounds like they were conscientious and serious about their legal responsibility. If the system fails, the jury gets blamed and I'd want to stay anonymous too if I'd been on this one. The system failed when I was juror, and I still feel the weight of the responsibility. But I do know juries of carefully chosen morons are too frequent, and that something oughta be done.

I wouldn't call it my "solution," more like my vague thoughts, but I'd like to see much bigger juries, selected more randomly, but from trained -- trained -- people, and verdicts that do not have to be unanimous. Which does not mean convicting on 51% votes. Two-thirds or even 90% to convict could be required.

Or not. Could it be worse than this system? Yeah, my smart readers will probably think of scenarios in which it could, scenarios I haven't even thought of, but my experience instilled in me a horror of the system as it "works" now.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

In which we discover that rearranging the house is as much work as moving out altogether

I'm time-challenged right now because we're shifting things in our house.

O yeah? Big deal!

It is for us. I'm sure it's obvious that we live in a nice house, but what's not obvious is that we live in only half of it, and what we're doing right now is switching halves. It's creating a major weed-out of unused stuff, and rediscovery of forgotten things.

Aw, man. Tower Records was so awesome. Tower dot com isn't the same.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Our Fourth

American favorites from everywhere.

Great Granddaddy's flag in its usual place - wind is very high today!

Hot dogs from Rochester maker - woman-owned for 5 generations!
Purchased at our favorite Italian deli. (Link goes to their "about us" page. If you click the main page, you get automatic concertina music. You can hit the stop button on that before you proceed. Just a fair warning.)

Watermelon from Georgia USA:

Happy Fourth to everybody.