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 The Thinking Viking loves to cook.  I have some secrets, (Thanks Dad! You were the gourmet) – most of which I will only share in person.  But this one is already “out” and it’s “that time of the year” so….My secret Cranberry Sauce recipe.  It all boils down to one ingredient.

Ok, here’s your basic recipe.  (from nothing special about I just googled -Simply Recipes.com)

  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 4 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Optional Pecans, orange zest, raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. (this is where the secret is)

And you basically just boil the hell out of it until the consistency is right.  Low temperature, un-covered…

So, this works fine.  But I have a secret.

Swap out half the sugar with HONEY and screw this suggestion of optional ingredients and instead add several table spoons of fresh ground ginger.

This makes “good” cranberries sauce “Great”.  IMHO

MJ

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True story*. Fake names. This is kind of ugly. I forgive you if you don’t read all the way.

Last night, I was just sitting there, minding my own business, chuckling at a Facebook post, my tired butt planted firmly on the couch, when a message came in with a copied-pasted Facebook URL. Intrigued, as it came from a trusted source, I followed it.  Ah. One sided flame war.  Free-thinker friend I’ll call “Bill” was being harassed by someone named “Brad” – because Bill supports gay marriage rights, equal protection rights for LGBT folks,  and doesn’t feel homosexuals should have to hide their nature. Bill provides calm, rational arguments. Bill is straight. Well, me too. But of course Brad feels otherwise about &@% gays. Only fags would say that.  It makes him sick, it’s wrong, God hates gays, And that’s just the start. Gay marriage will never be legal because it offends too many.

I read the whole thread’s last page.  Brad was drunk, actually publicly claimed to be.  The usual hateful bigoted bits came from him – Bill must be gay, gay people are sick, gay people deserve the mistreatment they get because it is their choice and they could somehow stop being gay.  So far, I’m more amused than mad, a little surprised at the persistence and higher than usual amount of profanity, but not shocked. Not provoked to do much but read.

I then calmly point out his fallacy of logic, point out that gay marriage and equal rights for homosexuals are being, and have already been, voted into law in many states and many developed countries.

Wait – now Bill must be an idiot if he believes in evolution, it’s just a  “theory”.  Fish don’t grow legs, fools!

Wrong move, Brad.  I weigh in.

“Just a theory?”  How fucking ignorant are you? You do realize that “sub-atomic theory” FLATTENED HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI.  Ask 400,000 dead Japanese how sure we are about “theory”.  Gravity? Yeah, that  is  ” just a theory”, too. (from another post of mine Just a Theory – From Hiroshima to Whitney Houston) (hey WordPress.com – I just had to hand code that hyperlink – what gives? Insert-link did nothing)

Then it gets weird.  Apparently Brad thinks Bill shared Brad’s home address publicly and then makes thinly veiled threats about vandalising Bill’s home or otherwise stalking him. What?  And Brad suggests that his father would shoot other commentors on Bill’s side. Then he just starts tossing insults.  Then he goes after me – apparently my education at  The University of Colorado was worthless and I must have gotten nothing but a diploma out of it.  I check his page.  Community College grad with a certificate in metal machining.  Nothing bad about that, but it is undeniable I am better educated.  Doesn’t mean he is stupid.  He is proving that with his own words.  I grow weary, state as much, and leave the “discussion”.

As part of my on-going Facebook Campaign of  “I’m not gay but I don’t give a fuck if you are” I then shared on my timeline, nothing related to the flame war I just part of, a tragic post about yet another gay teenager who committed suicide after bullying. I ask “How many more homosexual kids are going to die before we finally as a people stop the hate?”

Brad was watching.  He commented on my post that I should be the next to die. Horribly written and mis-spelled, but clear enough. On MY post.  Before I can finish typing my not-kind response, a friend of mine read his comment and jumped in, ripping him as bad as I was about to.  Thanks Lena (also, not her real name), I got your back too. No more comments from Brad on that post.

There’s more. Today I hear this: Brad has found someone at his school with almost the same name as me, ahem – different middle initial and surname spelled as a different northern European tongue.  Brad thinks this guy is ME. Yep. No shit. But he’s posting this poor bastards home address and encouraging vandalism .This other “me” has now been sucked into this insanity.  A simple view of my profile would have tipped this guy off that I live halfway across the country. Fucking god-damned WHAT?

Police are involved. You will hear no more of this from me.

I was on Facebook IM with a friend in the Midwest couple hours earlier.  She can’t walk the streets with her girlfriend out of fear of public outrage and family ostracism.

Any of you reading this far are already on my side.  The right side.  The fair and human side. If you have read this far and are not on the right side, I pity you. You have evil in your soul.

MJ

PS – follow my campaign on Facebook at I’m not gay but I don’t give a damn if you are


Ok, here’s my super-great steak -mushroom-potato meal indoors with no BBQ grille recipe (adaptable to outdoor grilling – just be sure you keep the mushroom slices big enough not to fall through the grill).

1 12-16 oz boneless rib eye. New York Strip alternate.

1 large Portobello mushroom/ half carton baby Portobello

1 large russet potato

4 slices bacon

steak sauce

Worcestershire sauce

balsamic vinegar

12 oz can of Coke

12 oz beer (something clear, no stouts etc)

olive oil

black pepper

sea salt

Marinade the steak in equal parts Coke and Beer (lager, nothing fancy, “clear” ), with generous helpings of A1 (or your favorite  steak/bbq sauce), ( I used about 6-8 tablespoons and tossed some Tapitito hot sauce in too) Worcestershire sauce and a couple of table spoons – hmm several tables spoons balsamic vinegar. 1 tablespoon+ fresh ground pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Save a half cup or so of this for the shrooms. – let steak soak covered at room temp for at least three hours. The acidity of the mix will prevent bacteria growth, don’t worry.

Slice shroom into long strips and soak in the rest of the marinade. Get all pieces well soaked, leave it soaking until ready to start cooking.

Cook and eat 2 slices of bacon, keep the grease – cast iron skillet best.  Time to preheat oven to BROIL.

Remove mushroom from marinade and brush/shake with olive oil until coated (seals in goodness).

Sautee mushrooms in bacon grease until they just begin to darken and soften – remove and save.

Turn up heat on skillet little past medium, remove steak from marinade and sear both sides in bacon grease/mushroom juice in skillet. maybe thirty seconds a side.

Put steak on broiling pan/grill – put remaining bacon on top of steak like a blanket and cover it all with sautéed shrooms.

Broil 5 minutes – remove shrooms and bacon, flip steak, put the shrooms and bacon back on -bacon on top this time, broil 5 more minutes.

This should give a barely medium rare, juicy steak. Increase cooking as needed for less rareness.

While the steak is cooking freaking microwave the potato and warm up /soften some butter for it.

Eat the steak with a piece of mushroom in each bite – alternating with buttered potato bites.

Enjoy with a cold beer or a glass of Petit Sirah or Cabernet.

nomnomnomnomnom

MJ


So, I am seeing a lot of activity on “The News” about gas prices rising, and rising, and rising.  Well, this has happened before, why the hoopla this time?  Why are we hearing about our favorite scent so much?  The News is pwned. They choose what we see and hear and how often that happens, and dark shadowy figures tell them what to tell us.

They want us worried that forces beyond our control could affect our lives, our freedom.  Our money.  Fear is a commodity.  It is very flexible.

Let’s just say “Iran” and get it out there.

Thanks to Wikileaks, I now know this:

“If a massive attack on Iran happens soon, then the attack will have political and oil reasons and not nuclear. It is also very hard to believe that the Israelis will initiate an attack unless they act as a contractor for other nations or if Iran or its proxies attack first,” the email concludes.”

Go ahead, copy-paste and google it. You will find what I found. Iranians are not fools, they won’t start a war they cannot win. They are  people just like us Americans (I know my audience) .

Soon we will see vague reports that Iran has a nuclear weapon. Some secret group is likely planning to provoke Israel with a missile or bomb.  Then all hell will break loose.

I hope I am wrong.

MJ


Indiana state Rep. Bob Morris has called the Girl Scouts a “radicalized” group.  That they “sexualize” (I’m not sure that’s a word) young girls and are somehow pursuing a homosexual agenda.  Where’s the “terrorist cell” claim?  They sell those cookies for cash, train in secret meetings and encourage active recruitment. As a Cub Scout, I recall having to memorize a pledge of some sort, I bet they have one too.  Think of what might be hidden in the millions of boxes of cookies on counter tops all over America right now.  But nothing, on that angle, nope, instead, Girl Scouts are evil because they promote women’s health and they don’t hate homosexuals.  Gods hep us, they will destroy America!

girl scout selling cookies

Terrorists! RUN!!! They're arming the COOKIES!!!

First claim is absurd, based solely on Planned Parenthood’s not-secret involvement with the group.  This somehow means that Girl Scouts will all get abortions or something. Yeah, right.  That fallacy would be laughed out of any rational discussion.  But we’re not seeing a “rational discussion” here.

The second claim…where do I start. SO WHAT?  If the Girl Scouts teach acceptance and kindness instead of fear and hate, so be it.  I am getting sick and god damned tired of politicians using spurious moral arguments to take shots at women and women’s reproductive rights. So a GS group in Colorado let in a boy who considers himself a girl. What, do you think this will turn your little girls into raging lesbians?  I doubt it.  No, we know what it is.  You hate gays, and the fact the Girl Scouts DON’T feel like you do pisses you off.  So you take cheap shots, over nothing, just so people will notice you.

Going after the Girls Scouts? Really?  Bob Morris, you couldn’t think of a better use of your time than to wail about a group whose goal states:   “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”

Wait a minute.  I get it.

Bob’s not worried that his daughters will get abortions or become little versions of Ellen DeGeneres, he is worried that they might grow and learn and think for themselves.  And I bet that frightens him.  Because when they grow up and look at their Dad, they might not like what they see.

So, anyhow, Girl Scouts. They sell cookies.  And make S’mores. I think they sing Kum Ba Ya (radicals!).

Sounds OK to me.

MJ


Every person I have ever dated was a woman.  I’m just like that.  Makes me kind of biased, I’ll admit, but frankly, I don’t care.

What I don’t get is why so many seem to hate women, or at least think they are untrustworthy or even dangerous.  I saw a quote from a state senator from 2001, where they shared  that they felt the 19th Amendment – which gave women the right to vote – has harmed our country.  Ironically, that senator was a woman.  Now I see state after state trying to control what a woman does with her body. It all comes from the same people, the Religious Right.   I also admit that I’m not  completely qualified to judge, since I am not a woman. Apparently that doesn’t mean anything to these people either.

This is going to piss some of you off.  I will not recant.

Re: abortion.  Until the time a fetus is developed enough to survive outside the womb, it is part of a woman’s body and it is her choice what she does with it. Personally, I would never let an unwanted pregnancy get to the point where it has a face, but I’ve thought about it, and logic says, draw the line at it being viable to survive without mom.  Once it is developed enough to survive on it’s own, it is a person with rights like everyone else, until then, it is not a separate person.  There, that was  easy.  The “personhood”  bills that claim a fertilized egg should have the right to live are absurd. I saw a bill that would require women to prove miscarriages were not deliberate or face felony charges. This outrages me. My ex miscarried.  The gravity of that is still with me.  It may have been the beginning of the end of our relationship; she had said before that she didn’t want children, and I told her I felt the same.  Finding out that we almost had one may have changed her mind.  Can’t say.

Abortion opponents often imply that it is used lightly, as a way to have unprotected sex and not suffer consequences.  Song lyrics come to mind that state how I feel. Thank you “Everlast”

“Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom, said he was in love.
He said d’ worry about a thing baby doll I’m the man you’ve been dreamin’ of.
But three months later he said he won’t date her or return her call.
And she swear god damn if I find that man I’m cuttin’ off his balls.
Then she heads for the clinic and she gets some static walkin’ through the door.
They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner, and they call her a whore.”

Trust me, it aint easy. I am still haunted, but I don’t regret what we chose to do.  At 19 I was in no way ready to be a father, and at 16 she was not ready to be a mom.  If you asked her now, I do believe she would feel the same. It not did work out for us as it did in that tune, but I understand.  Yes, you are right to infer that I could have two children with different women.  I have no children.  I’m OK with that.

Re: the uproar about religious institutions providing contraception.  This one makes no sense. None. There are already too many goddamned people on this planet.  Condoms prevent the spread of STDs.  Remember AIDS anyone?  People are going to fuck regardless of what their Church tells them. We are animals, and that is what animals do. The fact that the Catholic Church is still preaching abstinence in Africa while AIDS is still ravaging their population should be a crime.  And about the various drugs. Fact is, many contraceptive drugs are also used for other reasons.  I dated a wonderful girl years ago who routinely took six Advil three times a day, for days at a time, every month because of severe menstrual cramps.  She would literally  hide in her bedroom and cry.  After a few months, I suggested she see her doctor about it.  They gave her a hormone prescription.  The cramps subsided to tolerable levels, and I got my girlfriend for an extra week every month. Win – win.  That prescription was “The Pill”.  Was I enjoying not having to use condoms with her? Well, yes. Yes, I did enjoy that. And I see nothing wrong with it. Point- she was Catholic. She later cheated on me, I then realized she was a promiscuous type, and I dumped her.  Just the way it goes in my opinion.

Rick Santorum has said that a pregnant rape victim should be happy with God’s gift to her.  I suggest he should go undercover in a prison, drop the soap, and then accept the STD he gets as a gift from God.

MJ

Please see The Silence of the Men – men stand up and fight for the women you love!

Please see Rush Delivery for my open letter to Rush Limbaugh

Please see The Littlest, Cutest Terrorists – The Girl Scouts for more on the war on women


I cringe when I hear the words “just a theory”.  Why?  Because of the way it is usually used to dismiss a scientifically valid point. There’s more to it, I’ll get to that in a bit.

I usually don’t say anything when I hear those words.  It’s just not worth the time.  But if I find I am talking to some uneducated, deluded fool (notice that I do not say “stupid” or “unintelligent”? Know your enemies)  who wants to take me on, well, the gloves come off.  (I find that last phrase I used odd, since you actually have to be much more careful in bare knuckle boxing, but I digress.)

Anyhow, my first salvo is rather hot. It has “evolved” over the years.

“Just a theory?”  How fucking ignorant are you? You do realize that “sub-atomic theory” FLATTENED HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI.  Ask 400,000 dead Japanese how sure we are about “theory”.  Gravity? Yeah, that  is ” just a theory”, too.

That usually shuts them up.  But not always.  I won’t elaborate now.

What bothers me more than the random Creationist who sincerely believes that the Earth is 6,000 years old and dinosaur fossils are the tools of Satan, is that there is an unspoken under current to a lot of public discussions that just should not be there.  “Just a theory” is a fallacy  of  speech, a subtle equivocation.  The word “Theory” isn’t used in the common tongue the same way it is used in science.  And subtle word games can influence people profoundly.  This is why there are people convinced that gay marriage will destroy morality, or that drug testing welfare recipients is a just and fair use of our resources.  Or that’s it’s OK to suspend Habeus Coprus and hold people in secret prisons.

This happens more than you may realize.  Big media is very good at this game.  So are advertisers.  And politicians. And lawyers. Hear the word “garbage” associated with  anything enough and the general public will start to dislike it.  Don’t worry, if you are young, rich and pretty and go missing, an army will rise up to search for you. That homeless man, “that crazy guy who smells” – “human garbage” who hasn’t moved for hours on the side of the road?  Chances are that roadside is also going to be his bed, or even his grave.  Put out enough cameras and you will be able to broadcast terrible things, and scare the shit out of enough people that they will beg to be protected right out of any freedoms they had.

There’s a viral video where a young woman helps a blind man by changing his sign from “I’m blind, please help” to “It’s a beautiful day, and I can’t see it” and suddenly everyone passing gives him money.  This works both ways, but real people just can’t speak so loud that they drown out the money that talks louder than anything. The words we hear are fed to us, their meanings twisted by fear tactics and in some cases, outright lies. And it’s OK because it is “free speech”. And those hearing the words spoken so loud, respond with money.  Money for drugs they don’t need (Whitney Houston comes to mind),  useless products (That means YOU Snuggi, Chia Pet, Ad nauseam), wars we don’t want, leaders who don’t lead.

We are in the era of Newspeak and TV walls.  Bradybury and Orwell.

But it’s worse.  The people whose voices we hear the most aren’t even people.

Think about it.

MJ