Monday, June 2, 2014

Whose side are you on???

I know, I know people like happy things like pancakes and cool projects. Well, we'll get to those but there are a few other things to say first...

Lately a polling rep took note of the fact that I'm not affiliated with either major party. I could tell in talking with him that he really wanted to know why I'm  not a member of his party... "after all we have a number of views in common..." Well, to quote Tree Beard (and for what ever NSA spook is reading this that would be the JRR Tolkien fictional character Tree Beard) "I'm not all together on anyone's side because no one is on my side". One party has Barak Obama (do I really need to say anything else?). The other party has Idaho's attorney general who signed a legal opinion stating that there is no right to bare arms in the second amendment!

Can't, won't and shouldn't vote a straight party ticket for either party. Like so many other things in life one needs to make informed personal choices in voting. Short and sweet why would you choose the guy who doesn't represent your beliefs and interests? Choose the guy who is the best fit for what you want and hold him or her to what they say.

A couple of years ago Lisa and I made it down to LA for a graduation... at the time our sister in law was running for the local school board. Guess what, even though we don't agree on everything, if I were voting for the school board in that area I would have voted for her. It has nothing to do with whether she has a 'D' or 'R' after her name. Actually I'm not sure which party she belongs to (if any!) and it really doesn't matter. If I were voting in that election what mattered was that she was an actual mother of children in those schools who wanted to improve the education of her children. She was someone I could trust to actually look into policies and programs and make the decision that would best benefit her children. I would much rather that than someone who's going to just pick whatever seems popular because it's a stepping stone to the real office or job they're looking for.

Progress is made in this country when every day citizens make informed decisions (not educated because that has a slightly different meaning (and communists, fascists, cult leaders, etc. just love to 'educate' people)). Why do we need the EPA making rules to cut carbon emissions when people are already going that way? For example, people were upgrading to 90+% efficiency heating for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with government regulations even before some of the rules were made. (this time I really do mean educate) Educate people, provide them with good information, teach them how a particular path benefits them, show them what the options are (and the results and consequences of those options), and then back off and let them choose. True some will choose the wrong way, but they know the consequences and get to deal with them. In the case of the heater I'd much rather have the 90% (or better yet 95%) efficiency model than the old 70-80% models that are floating around out here. The higher efficiency ones are cheaper, more efficient and can be vented with a piece of PVC pipe which makes set up and operation cheaper and easier! In the case of elected officials I want the one that will represent my values and principles; that does not necessarily mean membership in a particular party... (actually some days I'd like to elect a Dalek to office... that would make for an interesting filibuster...)

Well enough said on that, well one more thing... we need to be responsible for the choices we make. And how we do that can have fun and interesting results! For example today I was clearing some weeds and putting in some bark mulch. I had some old mulch that I had previously purchased but I needed some more, so I bought some. Unfortunately I chose not to take the time to check on color... so, my old mulch was brown and the new is red... Really didn't feel like returning mulch so I needed a new solution...


Create a pattern! Now if I do the same thing on the other side it looks like I did something artistic on purpose rather that just "he screwed up and got the wrong mulch"

Ok, for those of you who like pretty stuff or just don't want to deal with scary things like making choices...

The first rose of the year... Just meditate one that...

For those of you who are more adventurey... I kind of uncovered a major ant hill in the yard while I was working outside today. Haven't dealt with it yet but I'm considering something like this...

Ok, so I've got something for the voters, choosers, meditators, artists, how about something we can all (or mostly all) agree on...

Saturday I actually achieved criterion fluff-age!

I realized that my starter was being a bit thin and liquidy and that the eggs would make it more so, so I added a couple tablespoons of flower to the mix just before the eggs and got the seriously fluffy and tender sour dough pancakes I'd been looking for.

Found the Fluff Sourdough Pancakes by Patrick

The night before cooking mix up
2 Cups flour
2 Cups milk
1 Cup sourdough starter

Use a fairly large bowl 1) you'll be adding more to the bowl and 2) if its warm enough, your starter is strong enough, and the bowl small enough it will try to take over you kitchen! Let it stand over night at room temperature (I like to cover it with a towel to help control it's environment and prevent ideas of world (or kitchen) domination (I hate competition especially from single celled organisms!))

When you're about ready to cook heat up your pan or griddle to 400F.

When the cook surface is just about ready mix into your batter
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Butter your griddle/pan
I use 1/3 cup portions and it makes 12 pancakes that way, but use your own initiative on size of cake and when to flip
The extra flour added structural integrity without adding toughness. You could probably add the 2 tablespoons of brown sugar from my last recipe, but I didn't and they didn't seem to need it (I tend to go for jam or syrup so they don't have to stand entirely on their own sweetness).

Ok, figured it out and just in time for berry season!

That's it for today...

As for next week... Lets see... pan, torch, random aluminum... "Zeek, git the propane"

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