Friday, October 27, 2006

Come a Yippie Ti Yay

More on Cowpoke Beans from Sarah at CorrenteWire who remembers sitting in her "Papa's" lap:
He went up the Chisholm trail three times as a youth, and cooked for ranches until he “got too old and stove up to climb up on the wagons during roundup”.
To make real Texas chili | CorrenteWire
Read the rest and make the chili. I aim to.

-- ml

Technorati Tags: ,

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Seasoned Seasonal Tale (Redux)

In honor of Samhain's approach, as a treat for all you ghosties and ghoulies and the occasional hob goblin: here is a reprise of a favorite tale that first appeared here last year.

In my stage struck youth I once appeared as -- literally -- a spear carrier in a semi professional summer repertory company. Amid much hard work there were occasional parties. Usually they followed the strike of one set and preceded the assembly of the next. At times this was from 2 am Sunday morning until the realization that the work call was for ten on Sunday morning drove us to our weary beds.
One of the directors was David Hooks. He told the seasoned seasonable tale more or less as follows:

When I was just starting as an actor I was engaged to play the Doctor in Dracula for a touring company. Dracula was, of course, Bela Lugosi.
In his native Hungary Lugossi had been the leading theatrical light of his generation. A fabulous actor capable of a much broader range than the Count. But he came to Hollywood to do Dracula and never had another role. He ended his career in his eighties taking a vaudeville send up of Dracula to London.

Continue reading

-- ml
Bela Lugosi, Halloween

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Appropriate Economics

Given that there is lots of what Samuel Beckett quaintly called "filth" up for grabs (ie, money)
Any cashier will tell you that money is called "filthy" not as a metaphor, but as a simple truth. The stuff has been around far too many times.

Yet there is a misconception, frequently promoted by those who have most to gain, that profit is dirty.

Nothing lives
that does not take in
more than it spends.

Creatures who spend more energy than they ingest die.

Businesses with insufficient capital fail. go banrupt. die.

Non-profit organizations are soon dead.

A due regard for the meaning of words terms organizations dedicated to noble purposes that do not monetarily benefit those who provide its capital as:

Non-Dividend Organizations [NDOs]


Technorati Tags: ,

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Misread Rob.
Misinformed myself.
Misled you.

Rob Hunter corrects my jumped conclusion.

The Song of the Rice Barge Coolie *has* been contracted by Aeon Speculative Fiction,, for either their Nov 2006 or Feb 2007 numbers.

So head on over and bookmark it to keep that in mind for later, and then visit One Tin Leg for what Rob does have up.

[Life is so difficult on teh intarwubes, *sigh*]


Technorati Tags:

Friday, October 20, 2006

Today's Design Divergence

The old ice trays leak.

The new ones are serviceable with one exception: If you stack them after filling, water squirts everywhere as the upper tray nests into the lower.

Ok. The maker wants to save space. Space in the package; space in the container; space on the retailers shelf.

The manufacturer is rewarded for this design.

And the user has to find some sort of rack to keep the trays separate.


-- ml

Technorati Tags: ,

Monday, October 16, 2006

Rob Hunter's One Tin Leg

New Links to your right.

Rob Hunter, when I first met him, drove a black van named Dead Ernest Delivers. At that time he was a dj in between gigs. Once, in an alternative universe, he was a drummer for the Grateful Dead ( Or the founder of Greenpeace. Perhaps a standup comedian from Adelaide, Australia.

Now he writes -- very well, I might add -- science fiction of a kind Rod Serling might want to produce but would know his sponsors would find too unsettlingly true to life to want to pay for.

One Tin Leg offers samples in type and voice with cool interpolations by Rob's son Charlie Hunter.

A Rain of Frogs is Rob's blog.

Go read. I'll still be here when you get back.


Technorati Tags: , , ,

Tonight's Opera

Thespis kicked me about 2AM this morning.

Setting: The Izu Peninsula of Japan

Period: Circa 1905 to 1910

Back story: The fourth or fifth son of a British aristocrat, with little chance of succeeding to the title but sufficient income to please himself, becomes a marine biologist and settles on Izu with his wife and small daughter. Before the Opera opens the wife dies. Absorbed in his studies, the father allows the child to grow up at his side and among the children of the fishing village they live near. This is not so much an unstructured upbringing as it is a thoroughly unconventional one.

Plot: At nineteen our heroine is become a beauty and attracts the attention of a young Japanese Biologist who works with her Father. Father is informed that with the death of the last surviving brother he now succeeds to the family title, an Earldom which happens to be full of tin -- literally and metaphorically. This brings the attention of the diplomatic community in Tokyo. Among these is a visiting nob who falls for our heroine. The rest of the opera works out this situation. It does so on two levels: the present and her memories of growing up. So that in the midst of a drawing room scene of wooing, the heroine's memories of racing with her rarely freed Japanese companions over the hills and shores of Izu. Both scenes occupy the stage at the same time with only the heroine and the audience aware of both.

The Music: What a grand blend of Sullivan, Elgar, Holst and Shakuhachi, samisen and koto. But that's only a suggestion to the composer.

Theme: She says: But I'm not English, do you see? I was born here and spent all my life here. I am of Japan. Yet -- you see my dilemma -- I am not Japanese! I am my own peculiar self and you will find it hard to have me to wife. I will be too Japanese or too English and not enough of either to please you or any other.

Then Morpheus reclaimed me. damn.

-- ml

Technorati Tags: , ,

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Language for Food

Archy posed a challenge to define a certain practice of efficient cooks: multiple uses of ingredients larger than the company can consume at once.
One might call it the canny cook.

My first thought is a bit fuzzy and requires a bit of a bleg. There is a bit of light verse floating about in the fluff between my ears (Did I hear Stanley Holloway recite it?) that I will paraphrase (uhmm: make up) as follows:

Ah the noble joint
Roast on Sunday
Boiled on Monday
Cold on Tuesday
Fried on Wednesday
Hash on Thursday
Minced on Friday
Soup on Saturday
The beef of old England!

(with fulsome apologies to the shade who wrote the original verse I am attempting to remember. Any who recognizes it, please correct me in comments.)
That describes the practice Archy follows with his chicken, but does not give it a name.

The French keep a kettle slowly simmering on the back burner to accept all the liquids used in cooking vegetables and the pan scrapings from meat. The tops of celery and the peel of root vegetables also goes in. When stock is required for a soup or stew or sauce, it is strained from the Stockpot. But never empty it. Like a sourdough starter something is always left over to build the next stock so that every meal bears a faint rolling echo of many that passed before.

The Chinese do the same thing with wok scrapings to create Master Sauce.

Roy Andries de Groot was a noted mid 20th century journalist who wrote a fascinating text for Knopf in 1966 called "Feasts for All Seasons". Not content to provide over 700 pages mostly of recipes he also provides a thoroughly organized 'system culinaire' Which organizes the kitchen, the shopping, the cooking and the eating into the most efficient gourmet mode possible. One more Germanic-organized than the Germans -- as one would expect of a Dutchman. For instance in the section "Epilogue: Appendices and Indices" There is a directory of cheeses which surveys the prospects in firm, soft, fresh and aged. Another on wine discusses color, locale, price and quality up to and including rum as good as brandy and single malt Scotch -- remember this was the age of blends. Marketing and mail order sources are carefully and thoroughly examined for both ingredients and tools. A 'General Index' keys us to dishes by title. A 'Menu Planning Index' divides the recipes by categories: 'Breads and Cakes', 'Breakfasts for Lazy Sundays and Other days', 'Budget Pull-Back Dishes', and so forth. Finally a 'Regional Index parses the catalog by geographic origin.

de Groot's word for Archy's process is Encore Dishes. I submit that this word suffices for all occasions save the snarkiest of sarcasms.

Me Mum fried Sunday's chicken in the sausage fat left from breakfast. The herbs of the sausage made a delightful aromatic oil fit for chicken. Being a moderately large family, there rarely was more than a wing left. As me Dad said: "The pigs'll get it anyway."

One might brown the chicken in sausage fat before roasting and achieve somewhat the same effect?

Speaking of which, it is time to turn the pastry for tonight's party tartlets.

Technorati Tags: Archy, 'encore dishes'

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Today's neologism


-- A migrant's state of being disillusioned by assimilation?

Or is there a more weighty thought to add?

Reader comments invited.


Technorati Tags: neologism, migration, dissolutions