Feelgood Legislation

I’m on record as not being a fan of feelgood legislation. Generally speaking, government should be more serious in its endeavors.

Having said that, I chuckled as I read what the Washington D.C. city council recently did.

D.C., home to many embassies, renamed part of a road in honor of slain reporter Jamal Khashoggi. The road that was renamed runs outside the Saudi Arabia embassy.

Yes, that’s a big fuck you to Saudi Arabia!

While ultimately I may not favor such legislation, I applaud the statement this change makes. 😉

Jamie Oliver Cookware

Jamie Oliver Cookware

This is a post in the My Things series on this blog. In it I chronicle items I own. I seek to describe why I own the item, whence it came, and what value it provides . . . and any other tidbits of interest.

While Millville, NJ is not my ideal of a living area, there are some unique things about it. T-fal, for instance, is headquartered here. A geocacher I know from the early days worked here. I have no idea if she still does as we have lost touch with one another. Anyhow, she hooked me up this Jamie Oliver stainless steel cookware set long ago. I liked it so much I purchased some more pieces. I think I even gave my mother some pieces at one point.

I am not a Jamie Oliver fanboy. I have nothing against him, just never really got into him. But I wanted stainless and this was affordable. It has held up well.

Like all cookware sets, there are pieces I use less than others. When I moved out, I asked specifically to take this set. I didn’t take much from the house, but I wanted this as I thought I would be cooking a lot here in the apartment. I didn’t really want all the pieces, but I also thought the set should remain intact. I took all the pieces. I use most, but some more than others.

It is easy to cook on and very easy to clean. It’s what I would consider everyday cookware. There used to be a Teflon-coated frying pan. I believe we had more than one of those. As with all coated cookware, it flaked off over time. I no longer have it. It was either left at the house or discarded even before the divorce. I do not recall. I would not use a coated pan any longer.

When the children visit, I do more cooking with this than when they are not here.

I do not believe T-fal makes this set any longer, at least not as far as I can see.

Certain foods work better on stainless. I am happy to have this set and use it. I imagine it will move with me when I retire.

Infinite Frontier (2021) #2: Secret Files

Infinite Frontier (2021) #2: Secret FilesInfinite Frontier (2021) #2: Secret Files by Stephanie Phillips
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At least I somewhat understood this issue.

I’ve heard of Red Lantern before. And Roy Harper. But I am sure I have never read any stories with him. This gave a little background. An impetuous one who has lost his daughter. That certainly can weigh on a man. He seemed to want to wallow, but perhaps he has come back. That is how this is presented: Roy could materialize in many different ways. Time will tell.

Interesting use of the narrator here providing insight. Just who is the narrator?

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Right to Life

My students and I ended up discussing rights today. It came up in our social studies. Our book presented a list of rights: life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.

We went through the list and I attempted to fairly present each right. Liberty was the one I wanted to concentrate on. As we discussed that, I explained that liberty permitted one to do what he wanted to do as long as it didn’t bother others.

As we got into this, I tried to explain that these rights exist outside of government. To that end, I stated:

Government cannot make a law that would take your life.

In my head, I immediately saw the problem with that: the death penalty. I generally have been supportive of the death penalty.

It seems to me that our right to liberty precludes government from taking one’s life. I guess that means even in the most heinous of circumstances.

Old dogs do learn new tricks.

Stuff Affects Decisions

One of the things I have learned about myself is that I always feel compelled to participate in work events. When the grade level breakfasts, bake sales, potlucks,, etc. come up, I always provided my contribution.

Last year that changed. I ate the potluck, but I did not contribute. Recently divorced, I had no vessels to transport food in. Someone comforted me and said it was fine. And it was. There was more than enough food at the event.

I even rationalized that here at the end of my career, I can coast a bit on these things.

Fast forward to today. This year’s request for contributions came for the potluck came. I thought it through. I considered what was needed to help out. I used to have 9×13 dishes with serving baskets, carrying bags, and food warmers. Loved them! I could probably even ask for them back. I could purchase a new one. But I won’t do either as I want nothing and I refuse to reach backward to that house for anything; I took what I wanted.

At lunch the topic came up and I interjected my issue. A colleague of mine lamented I wasn’t cooking as she enjoys my food. Another told me she had a solution. She has three crockpots (Why would anyone have three crockpots?). She is going to loan me one for this event. Awesome!

This fits into what The Minimalists spoke about regarding an access society. We don’t need to own everything as long as we have access to stuff. I can easily cook something for this event. I am unable to transport it from home to work. But now I have access to such a vessel and I can participate.

This is great as I feel like I can contribute and I don’t have to succumb to purchasing something I am not interested in owning, storing, cleaning, and maintaining.

Aluminum Baking Sheets

Aluminum Baking Sheets

This is a post in the My Things series on this blog. In it I chronicle items I own. I seek to describe why I own the item, whence it came, and what value it provides . . . and any other tidbits of interest.

While it’s true that I have a real half baking sheet with grid, I purchased two (they came in together) aluminum baking sheets at the grocery store. I do not recall if it was before or after the other.

I use these far more often than the other. They are lighter and easier to deal with. My son enjoys French fries. A piece of aluminum foil atop this makes for a no cleaning experience. Likewise when I cook fish for Beetle.

It really is superfluous to have three baking sheets, yet they are used. I think the other I had higher aspirations for. The idea for these was that they were disposable and wouldn’t last. That has not been the case at all. These have been a very good investment for me.

Infinite Frontier (2021) #1

Infinite Frontier (2021) #1 (Infinite Frontier (2021-))Infinite Frontier (2021) #1 (Infinite Frontier by Joshua Williamson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

No clue as to what is going on. Thomas Wayne landed in an escape pod on some alternate Earth. How is he alive if he was killed in the alley?

There are a ton of characters I have no idea who they are.

The Quintessence are all dead.

The Green Lantern and his son approach some Justice building as it explodes. They wonder where the sister is. She appears to be in France talking with a blackmailing skeleton.

Everyone seems to know the multiverse exists.

Absolutely no clue as to what is going on.

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Craft Mat

Craft Mat

This is a post in the My Things series on this blog. In it I chronicle items I own. I seek to describe why I own the item, whence it came, and what value it provides . . . and any other tidbits of interest.

My fantasy self sees me as an electronics guru. Last winter I re-purchased some stuff that I had had at the house: Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and model rockets. Sigh . . .

In that frenzy of purchases, I picked up this mat. I think this was more to make homemade board games. That never materialized. Recently, I pulled this unopened mat from beneath the loveseat and placed it in the closet with my other projects.

Recently, I made another set of candle holders. Last time I used a cardboard box that I had flattened. Having none this time around, I opened the mat and used it. Worked like a charm.

I am certain there will be some Quest Scouts projects that will make use of this at some point. This is definitely not a needed item, but one I will probably use going forward . . . at least a few times.

Hot Fucking Tuna

21-12-05 Hot Tuna

David Bromberg Quintet & Hot Tuna
Count Basie Center for the Arts, Red Bank, NJ
5 December 2021

David Bromberg Quintet: Big Road Blues, This Month, Why Are People Like That?, Spanish Is the Loving Tongue, I’ll Keep Movin’ On, Peanut Man, Eyesight to the Blind, Tennessee Waltz, The Strongest Man Alive -> Maydelle’s Reel -> Jenny’s Chickens

Hot Tuna: Take Your Time, Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning, Heart Temporary, Been So Long, Ode to Billy Dean, I’m Talkin’ About You, Great Divide: Revisited, Roads and Roads, Bowlegged Woman, Knocked-Kneed Man, Come Back Baby, Sea Child, Good Shepherd, Hit Single #1

encore: Funky #7

Back in the spring I noted this show. It had been rescheduled from an earlier date because of COVID. I took a look and found a single ticket in the fifth row. I purchased it. It was the first ticket to a show I purchased since the divorce. I was excited!

Since then, other concerts have come and gone. Winter is nearly upon us and the prospect of driving two hours on a school night to see a show wasn’t as thrilling as it was when I first purchased the show. Nevertheless, there I found myself driving up to exit 109 on the Parkway.

I was convinced I was going to Hackensack. Turns out the Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre is the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. Nice town. I paid the extortion to park and went to the corner restaurant and had a drink and watched a little football. I learned that Loudon Wainwright was playing in the smaller theatre. I actually heard that show during a quiet moment of Bromberg’s set. I imagine that audience heard all of Tuna’s set. 🙂 Then I walked next door.

The Count Basie is an old theatre. Apparently, it was recently renovated as those next to me aid there used to be netting on the ceiling to catch falling debris. The theatre is nice. And comfortable. I did not feel squeezed into my seat. Plenty of leg room. 🙂

The David Bromberg Quintet opened. Somehow, I’ve made it all these years without seeing him. I am not well-versed in his music, but what I know of him is blues . . . Reverend Gary Davis blues. He did not play that style tonight. He had a young band. They played some bluesy stuff, but it wasn’t classic style. This Month was very much to my liking. Peanut Man, written during Jimmy Carter’s presidency, was a jazzy instrumental that I enjoyed. The finale, Strongest Man Alive, was in the style of an Irish drinking song. Everyone participated. 🙂 I was hopeful that either Jorma would join David or vice versa. Neither occurred. Spanish Is the Loving Tongue was the blah song of the set for me.

Hot Tuna went on at 9:00 and played 90 minutes. They began with three “acoustic” numbers. At least Jorma was playing an acoustic guitar. I marvel at the man who will turn 81 in a couple weeks how cleanly he plays. Watching the lockdown concerts every Saturday helped me with how great of a player he is. Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning was beautiful!

Then he plugged in. Oh, my!

It occurred to me that Hot Tuna is a style of music that is going to go away at some point, but presently, they kick ass! No, there aren’t stacks of Marshalls any longer, but it was straightforward blues rock from that point forward. While I enjoyed everything, it wasn’t until Bowlegged Woman that I felt things really geared up! Love Jack’s playing on this. That bass line is unlike anything anywhere else. Fabulous!

I thought there would be a set break there, but they rolled onward. Come Back Baby, Good Shepherd, Hit Single #1, and Funky #7 sure made it feel like it was the 1970s all over again. Awesome!

Whatever reservations I had about a Sunday evening concert on a school night were erased. I will gladly see Hot Tuna whenever they are around.

As Jorma would say, “Yikes!”

The Social Effects of Clutter

It’s almost as though Mia described the house I lived in while I was married. My goodness this is spot on to what was going on at Val Lane!

  • Messy house
  • Embarrassed to have others over
  • Children stressed with clutter around

Interestingly, since I moved out, apparently the house is far cleaner than it was when I was there. I asked my children if they thought I was the source of the mess. “Absolutely not,” they assured me. My place is spotless.

Why then do you think the house is cleaner these days? They pondered . . . I did not press. I think they recognize that the focus is different with me gone.

There were controlling mechanisms at play when I lived there. I do believe the constant state of messiness was used to provide a buffer between the spouses. With the mess there, my ex-wife “protected” herself because she knew it bothered me to live in her squalor. Keeping it messy kept me on edge. She worked like that.

At the time, I just couldn’t understand why someone would live as she did. It’s easy to see with distance. This was a way to cause friction. Some relationships only exist with friction. I think that explains a lot of the past two decades.

These days: clean, organized, and healthy. It’s good for the soul.

inhaling roses