Saturday, 6 August 2011

Let's hear it for vegetables!

Chopped up cabbage, a shredded apple, some shredded carrots, a bit of freshly ground black pepper, all mixed up with some * "Duke’s” mayonnaise. 

This is the recipe for the coleslaw I made today.

Don’t ask for the recipe. I did what my Mum (and your Mum) did – I guess-timated the quantities.   

That coleslaw was part of my simple lunch today, alongside two sliced hard boiled eggs.

For dinner I had a mess of vegetables which I had put into a slow cooker with a bit of stock. 

Diced fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, little bits of asparagus, garbanzo beans, onions, red peppers, parsnips - all combined to create an unofficial ratatouille. 

I ate it tonight with a slice of the “spicy salsa meatloaf” which I’d made yesterday.

Goodness gracious - vegetables are so good!

(I will add some chopped red pepper and chopped celery to “extend” the leftover coleslaw for tomorrow’s lunch)

* Duke’s Mayonnaise” is a southern regional brand.  It tops all the other nationally marketed mayos.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Political rhetoric from 90 years ago

Presidential candidate Warren G Harding was renowned for his high sounding stump speeches. Opponents were not so sure that Harding’s speeches actually said anything.

Here is Democratic Party member William McAdoo’s take on a typical Harding speech:

“... it is an army of pompous phrases moving over the landscape in search of an idea.  Sometimes these meandering words actually capture a straggling thought and bear it triumphantly, a prisoner in their midst, until it died of servitude and over work”

Or from H.L. Mencken on a Harding speech

“It reminds me of a string of wet sponges;
It reminds me of tattered washing on the line;
It reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, or dogs barking idiotically through endless nights.
It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it.
It draks itself out of a dark abysm...of pish, and crawls insanely up to the topmost pinnacle of posh.
It is rumble and bumble.
It is flap and doodle
It is bolder and dash”

(Quotations from a biography of Warren Harding written by John W. Dean and published by Times Books in 2004)

Warren G Harding was born on November 2nd 1865.
He was the Republican Party nominee for the Presidential election of 1920.
Harding was elected 29th President in November 1920.
He assumed office the following March (that was the custom “back then”), and died in office on August 2nd 1923

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain

As my dog Penne and I took our second walk this morning it began to rain.

The rain was half-way between “drizzle” and gentle rain.  It’s what I call “warm rain” – the sort that happens every now and then here in South West Florida.  

We walked on.  We were rewarded by the lovely sight of a double rainbow.  (The photo’ below is “from the web” -  it’s not mine as I did not have a camera with me as Penne and I walked).

My mind went back to some school teacher or other - (Mr. Richards or Mr. Parrot) – who taught us a mnemonic for the colours of the rainbow.

Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain.

Red - Orange - Yellow - Green - Blue - Indigo – Violet

Penne with her nose to the ground missed the whole thing!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Tea Party hypocrisy (and danger)


“Following the House, the Senate will hold a series of “pro forma” sessions over the next month, effectively blocking President Barack Obama from making any appointments during Congress’ August recess. 

That means Obama won’t be able to seat his pick to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, whose nomination Republicans have vowed to oppose until Obama makes changes watering down the agency’s authority.

After passing the debt limit legislation on Monday, House leaders announced they would hold pro forma sessions through August, a procedural move that forced the Senate to follow suit. The Constitution requires that for either chamber to take more than a three-day break, the other chamber must give its approval.”
  (from Politico)


So the opponents of government spending, yes indeed those “patriotic and anti-taxation”  Tea Party, Libertarian and Republican members of the House of Representatives, have decided that rather than call the usual recess, the House will hold  pro-forma sessions every three days in August, in order to block possible recess appointments by the President.

How much will this cost “we the people” who will be forced to fund for these pro-forma sessions from the taxes we pay?  Wouldn’t it be fairer if the House majority paid for these sessions from their own private funds?

The Senate, following the Constitution, has to fall in line with this lunacy.

Meanwhile, Tea Party ideology in the House has led to a a refusal to fund the Federal Aviation Authority.  Some 4,000 F.A.A. employees have been furloughed without pay.  Some 70,000 hard working Americans have been laid off from their F.A.A. funded construction jobs.

"To hell with public safety" seems to be the mantra of the dangerously radical right which controls the House of Representatives.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Unrequited love

My "senior cat" Ada has developed a "crush" for my dog Penne.    Ada wants to be near Penne at all times.

Penne is not impressed.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Change? "No we cannot". Pres. Obama's dismal performance and dreadful disappointments

As I write (19:30 hrs USA Eastern Time, 1st August 2011) the “Debt Ceiling Deal” has yet to reach a vote in the House or in the Senate.  I hope that either the House or the Senate will nix it.

It’s a ghastly fudge which fails to address the deepening chasm between the “haves” and the “have-nots” in the U.S.A.

It’s a ghastly fudge which postpones the deeper budgetary issues to “another day”.

It’s a ghastly fudge in which President Obama has abandoned his electoral promises of “Change – Yes we can” in favour of the voodoo economics of the Tea Party.

It’s a ghastly fudge designed to satisfy the International Monetary Fund and the ratings agencies (“Moodys” and “Standard and Poor’s”). (They are the masters now).

It’s a ghastly fudge which will do not one thing to:  

1. expand the U.S.A economy;
2. “create jobs”;
3. reduce the power of the international mega-corporations;
4. bring essential relief to the poorest of poor Americans.

I very much hope that either the House, or the Senate, or both will reject this fudge (even by means of a coalition of Tea Party Republicans and Progressive Democrats).

I am so greatly disappointed that President Barack Obama is betraying those of us who were naive enough to belief that he would work to bring about economic change for we, the “ordinary people”.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

All I want is a cup of coffee

5:15 a.m. Sunday 31st July 2011

I am in my screened in porch.  Day has not broken, but there is enough ambient light for me to re-enter life after a good night’s sleep.  I am ready to enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee. That’s all I need for now.

"Junior cat” Adelaide sways through the darkness and presents herself at my feet. 

She utters not a polite “miaow”. Her tone is more insistent, with a demanding “bleah”. 

“Bleah” means that I must caress her.

That I do.

Then, from some far off place in the semi darkness, “senior cat” Ada gets the drift and comes to my feet. She also demands my caresses. I am happy to oblige.

We are on a roll.

My delightful dog Penne is in another room. She senses that I am fussing over the cats.   She (wanting a bit of the action) presents herself (in particular her haunches) for a bit of scratching from me, her “Daddy”.

I oblige Penne, and easily satisfied, she wanders back to her bed.

“Senior cat” Ada remembers that she has a crush on Penne.  So she wanders off to snuggle up to her canine pal.

Penne does not reciprocate this crush.  She’s very sweet about it, but after eight or so minutes she can “bear it no more”.  She moves away to another sleeping place, only to discover that Ada has followed her.

Penne returns to my side.  I caress her yet one more time.

She relaxes.

I drink cold coffee.