Sunday, February 23, 2014

Today's Sermon


I stopped to pick up the bagel

rolling away in the wind,

annoyed with myself

for having dropped it

as if it were a portent.

Faster and faster it rolled,

with me running after it

bent low, gritting my teeth,

and I found myself doubled over

and rolling down the street

head over heels, one complete somersault

after another like a bagel

and strangely happy with myself.

~ David Ignatow, 1941- 1997

Arizona's New Law Protecting The Persecuted Christians--Amen

I'm a helper! So here's my plan for helping Arizona (and possibly Tennessee and Kansas?) implement their new law allowing businesses to deny service to people if something about them offends the business owner's religious sensibilities. The problem is, how will you know if someone believes or is something that offends? I mean you'd assume the only way such a law could even hope to be constitutional is in the state's ability to assure that the law is fairly and fully enacted, right?

So here's my idea--Girl Scouts!!! Well, NOT girl scouts, but the thing that girl scouts have--SASHES!!! Everybody loves sashes! Because on them you can wear pretty "badges." Badges announcing your orientations, associations, basic moral beliefs so that everyone who hates people they don't know will know who to hate. Brilliant, eh?

I focused my prototype on things that generally offend Evangelical Christians, but to be fair--they'll have to wear a badge for that, too. Everyone and every belief gets a badge eventually. Here's the key to my first 20 suggestions.

From top to bottom and left to right:

Row one: GLBT, Jew, Muslim, Taoist
Row two: Drinker, Believes in paying a Living Wage, Anti-Gun owner, Marijuana friendly
Row three: Democrat, Hindu, Catholic, Listens to Hip Hop!
Row four: Atheist, Pacifist, Environmentalist, Bicyclist (you know how they piss some people off)
Row five: Divorced (and you would wear as many of these as times you have been divorced, for example Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich would each have 4!), Member of the 1%, Pro-Immigration, Pro-Choice.

People entering Arizona can be assailed by roadside stands selling them to tourists, and airport kiosks, too!

No, Jan Brewer, don't thank me, I'm just a helper!

Beef Stew & Crude Slaw

Brown the beef in a little butter, continue cooking on medium, add in a little Cooking Sherry.  Then add in Onion, Potato, Carrots, Green Beans and Tomatoes.  Season with Oregano, Garlic, Cinnamon, Cumin, and Smokey Paprika.  Cover and simmer for 90 minutes.

Slaw is just crudely chopped cabbage and green pepper with Marzetti Cole Slaw Dressing and black pepper and sweet paprika.

Mac & Cheese From Scratch!

 The base is basic: .5 Cup Butter, .5 Cup Flour, and 2.5 cups milk.  Add to this 2.5 cups of cheese of your choice.  This time I used Vermont Cheddar, New York Sharp Cheddar, and Munster.  I also added Hickory Smoked Ham and fresh Green Pepper.  The whole is baked for 50 minutes at 350˚.

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ February 23rd to March 1st

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Seedless Black Raspberry Jam

It's homemade from my friend, George who lives on Cape Cod.  Sweet present.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Simple Meal

Pan fried Tilapia, steamed Asparagus, and Garlic Butter Sour Dough Baguette wedges.

Sign of Spring

Walking in the snow covered neighborhood on Saturday...this old Silver Maple was attempting to bloom.

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Fire Station Opens

I have thought about this model for well over a year now.  It's execution followed my general sense of what I wanted: A Fire Station that is a complex large enough to house equipment, include ample room for personnel and a public component (the gym).  I did not make any plans but let it grow organically as I built it--my usual modus operandi.  It is also modular--i.e. the pieces come apart to give access to all the interior spaces.  The magic of Lego!
 I chose a corner lot with lots of room.  The reception area needed to be on the corner, and the corner needed an architectural statement.  3 vehicle bays were also a must.
 A bird's eye view of the reception area.
 The original design of the second floor area.  You see how each modular piece is a unique construction.
 Another view as I prepare to set it in place.
 Set in place.
 How it leads to the chief's office.
 Completing the lower bay with a mechanic's shop.
 The next piece is the front of the formal 2nd floor with a space for a public access free gym. 
 Completed, it's another modular component.  Mirrors flank the back wall.  Details to come.
 On the reverse side you can see the stairs that allow access from the fire station.
 This design element necessitated a change to a previous component.  This is part of the organic process of the design.
 The back area of the proper second floor is the nerve center of the station.
 Another view.  Details to come.
 The corner component came into it's own over the process of construction.  It mimics the alarm towers that were once ubiquitous parts of Fire Stations.  It's also a bold sculptural statement worthy of a public building.
 The top floor is a space that will be developed into a haven for the crew when they are not on call.  There is a generous "deck" on the backside, too.  I see some barbecue equipment and lounging space there.
 Front view without the roof.
 The roof has a heliport.
How it fits into the streetscape.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Today's Sermon


to my eyes
how delightful the fan of my beloved is
in complete white

~ Busan, 1716-1763

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ February 16th to February 22nd

Friday, February 14, 2014

Little Free Library in the Snow

What I'm Reading #61

This is the 3rd of this series of 6 cookbooks I've bought.  The previous two are World Kitchen Thailand and World Kitchen Morocco.  Beautifully appointed with photographs throughout.  The recipes are easy to follow and delicious!  I'm currently eying Tuscan Bean Soup.

Sunny Day In Sligo Creek Park

Tuna Noodle Casserole

The perfect dish for a cold snowy/sleety day!
Ingredients and Process:
  1. 3 cans of chunky light tuna (not Albacore) drained and flaked, set aside.
  2. 16 oz. of baby portobello mushrooms, sliced and sauteed with a little olive oil and water, set aside.
  3. 1 bunch of scallions, sliced top to bottom, set aside.
  4. 1 bag of egg noodles cooked.
  5. While noodles are cooking combine the following in a sauce pan and heat slowly stirring constantly.  
    • 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
    • 1 8 oz. container of sour cream
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup half & half
    • 1 cup Vermont cheddar cheese
    • The scallions you sliced earlier
  6. Drain the cooked noodles and toss with the tuna and mushrooms.
  7. Fold in the creamy mixture.
  8. Place in casserole dish.
  9. Top with additional grated cheese and roughly crushed potato chips.
  10. Bake in 325˚ oven for 60 minutes (do not cover).
  11. Remove and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Lego City: Train Museum -- All Aboard!

Based on the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, but on a more modest scale, of course.

Snowy Long Weekend

Marriage Equality Valentine!

And it's been a stellar week!

Monday - NEVADA: State Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto announced that the state would not defend it's ban on same-sex marriage in the courts (same thing happened in VIRGINIA last week).

Wednesday - KENTUCKY: Federal Judge rules that same-sex marriages performed in other states must be recognized in Kentucky, too!

Thursday - INDIANA: The state's legislature postponed any further attempts to enact a ban on same-sex marriage for two years, effectively ending the movement in the Hoosier state.

Thursday - VIRGINIA: Federal Judge declares the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, following court rulings in UTAH (Dec 20) and OKLAHOMA (Jan 14).

Romeo's Birthday!

He's two years old now!  Whoo Whoo!
 And he knows he's not in Costa Rica anymore!

 Present #1 a new Yak Milk Cheese Chew...his favorite!  And a new Beef Marrow Bone to come later.