November 26th, 2020

#7396: Woke up a bit after the usual time

I can remember how Mom would get up early on Thanksgiving and start cooking--

You know, Mom was automatically an early riser, anyway. She needed an alarm clock, but years of raising kids had permanently made her a morning person. She'd get up earlier than usual on Thanksgiving, though, and start making the feast. All that food--and not only did she cook half the day away on the actual day, but she'd spend hours on preparation beforehand, too, over the days leading up to the actual holiday.

I don't work that hard.

Brining the turkey is automatically a time-saver, because you don't have to spend hours fussing over the thing as it roasts. No basting. No covering or uncovering or-or-or. Twenty minutes to make the brine, maybe an equivalent time actually to put the bird into the brine the next day. Twenty minutes of prep while the oven is preheating. Into the oven at one temp for half an hour or so, reduce to cooking temp, then check the little popper deal after a couple of hours.

Mom would make home-made stuffing, even to buying several loaves of cheap bread and making her own croutons. I remember the trays of bread cubes, sitting out and drying for several days prior to the actual day. As a little kid I got a kick out of stealing one or two of them and eating them, for some reason. Every year I'd get a headache when she simmered the onions and celery in butter, the night before. (When she later went low-fat, due to pancreatitis, she switched to chicken stock...and my headaches stopped.) I don't think I have her recipe, but then I never really cared for it all that much--not a big stuffing guy, myself, and the seasonings leaned too much on sage.

She'd bake pies, too. Pumpkin, of course. Later, she'd make pecan pies, too. Apple pies--or apple crisp--was not out of the question.

Jellied her own cranberries from fresh, made a delightful spinach salad with fresh mushrooms that I don't know how to make, candied yams and mashed potatoes and-and-and. (Not green bean casserole, though, that I remember.) Makes my own efforts look a little pathetic...but they make us happy, anyway, my wife and I.

* * *

...woke up almost at 8 on the dot. We're planning to get up around 10:30, so I'm going back to bed in a bit (having spent about 45 minutes already on this post, and eating a PBJ) but I'm kind of enjoying the peace and quiet.

We've got a 1 PM Skype call scheduled with the in-laws, and I want to set up Achernar with a webcam so we can sit on the family room sofa and talk to our relatives without huddling around a cell phone. But that's later.

Right now...a few more winks before the day really starts.

#7397: Damn it, they're making it very difficult

Wasn't going to talk politics today, still don't want to, but they keep dragging me back in!

"The Democratic party lawyers just shit their pants. ... Their Thanksgiving is officially ruined; they are all going to be working all holiday weekend to file a response."

Why? Well, one bit of the suit that's blockquoted:

As explained and demonstrated in the accompanying redacted declaration of a former electronic intelligence analyst under 305th Military Intelligence with experience gathering SAM missile system electronic intelligence, the Dominion software was accessed by agents acting on behalf of China and Iran in order to monitor and manipulate elections, including the most recent US general election in 2020. This Declaration further includes a copy of the patent records for Dominion Systems in which Eric Coomer is listed as the first of the inventors of Dominion Voting Systems. (See Attached hereto as Exh. 8, copy of redacted witness affidavit, 17 pages, November 23, 2020).
Emphasis mine, because, you see, the Chinese didn't send a spy to infiltrate the US, sneak into a warehouse, and set the voting machines to allow that foreign access. There were Americans who gave them the current usernames and passwords necessary to access the damned things. Whoever did that will (or, at least, "would") be able to reasonably expect to face a charge of treason. This is the kind of thing that the Democrats desperately wanted to be true when they were accusing Trump of "Russian collusion".

As usual, it was pure projection, wasn't it?

And if you go here you'll find this gem at the very end:
I haven't been told to worry yet, but the shift around here is palpable. The suit is...comprehensive. ... There's a lot of discussion about some executive for Dominion that made a bunch of red flag modifications to the system right before the election that were against protocols or something.
I am expecting that the Democrats who know where the bodies are buried (speaking figuratively...I think) have been sweating bullets all along and putting up a brave front for their subordinates, hoping all along that this shit will just go away. I don't think they counted on Trump being the kind of fighter he is.

--they keep doing that, too, don't they? They don't understand who they're fighting against, not even at the most basic level. I do believe they thought they could steal the election and that he'd just concede it, maybe file a few court cases but give up. Maybe they thought the courts would rule in their favor? Maybe they thought Trump would accept an overwhelming (though obviously fake) blue tide? Or are they just suffering from "smartest man in the room" syndrome, where they think everyone else is too stupid to see through their scheme?

This is why I can't buy the Moon landings being faked, or 9/11 being a government conspiracy. Too many people involved with a scheme make it impossible to contain. A secret known by three people is common knowledge the instant one of them opens his mouth.

* * *

Faux News tells people that if they go on Newsmax, they won't go on Faux. Why? Because, to use an old phrase, Newsmax is eating Faux News' lunch. And dinner. And midnight snack. And the next day's breakfast.

Faux's coverage of the 2020 elections was so obviously and ham-fistedly left-wing that the right-wing folks out there (self included) have permanently sworn off it. Their ratings have cratered since Nov 3. CNN--which was the former laughingstock of cable news ratings!--is now consistently beating Faux. No one is watching (comparatively) because they abandoned their core audience.

Again, I don't know what they were thinking--probably "smartest guy in the room" syndrome again--but they clearly did not think too hard about it. The switch was neither deft nor subtle, either.

They think their audience will come back to them. How optimistic.

* * *

We have to protect the delicate Lunar and Martian ecosystems, after all! The idea is to prevent the development of a frontier which is not controlled by leftist government officials.

* * *

Police need encrypted radios. We made that decision in 2002. Why hasn't it happened yet?

* * *

Japanese ambient music is a topic I need to explore later on. Not now, when I've got a bird to get into the oven and stuffing to make.

* * *

I find this tempting. I don't have a personal laptop that can do much more than run Win10 and Open Office...and it's starting to get slow at doing that much. This Gateway-branded laptop is $400 and has some impressive specifications for that price point. Okay, it's a Core i5 rather than a Ryzen, but it's four hundred dollars and it comes with 16 GB of RAM. And the Core i5 is not a slouch, anyway; the processor in this machine is, I believe, the same one that's in my work laptop--which does everything just fine, let me tell you.

256 GB is not huge for a SSD, but it's "big enough" for most of what you'll do on a budget laptop. (All our machines with SSDs have 256 GB drives.)

16 GB is gobs of memory, and lets you do a hell of a lot at one time.

Just don't expect to use this kind of machine for gaming.

* * *

And that's all. Still gotta get that bird going, and then make stuffing, and then we'll see what happens.

#7398: Cooking! Lots of cooking!

So, right after that last post I hied meself to the kitchen and began cooking.

First up, decant bird. Rinse bird. Oil up bird. Wonder why oil's not sticking....

Pat bird DRY with paper towels. Re-oil bird. Oil sticks a lot better. Salt, pepper, garlic powder on skin of bird.

Two small apples, a single medium onion, chopped up, in a bowl with a cinnamon stick and two cups of water, microwave 5 min. Put this into cavity with some rosemary and sage.

Put bird into 500° oven for 30 minutes.

Now, stuffing: a cup of celery and onions in one frying pan with a stick of butter; if you're in a hurry as I was, use another frying pan to cook a pound of breakfast sausage. Cook both, stirring frequently, until done. Put in bowl with a Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix and a small apple, diced. Add 2 cups of chicken broth, stir until all bread cubes are moistened. (I ended up adding another cup of broth, because my cubes weren't moistened. Last time I made it, no extra broth, and the stuffing was too dry to hold together when served.)

Turn into greased 13x9 pan and bake at 375° for half an hour.

The stuffing mix I got was an "unflavored" pack of bread cubes. With the celery, onions, and sausage, I don't recall it needing any more spices.

Cleaned up, got the pans and dirty dishes into the dishwasher and set it for its 1-hour cycle. As I sit here, I have about an hour and forty minutes before I need to check the bird's temperature, and I'm eating the cranberry salsa I made last night with Wheat Thins.

The lovely thing about this salsa is that it is not the kind of thing you pop into your mouth and go, "AIGHH HOT HOT WATER ICECREAM SOMETHING" oh no. The first bite is sweet. The second bite is sweet-ish. Third and fourth, okay, this is starting to grow on me...and after a bit you can feel the heat begin to build. I try to make it on the mild side, by removing about 1/3 to 1/2 of the jalapeno seeds before dicing the peppers. In truth I could probably stand the full-strength stuff, but my mother-in-law cannot, and so I'm in this habit now.

If it wasn't such a process to make it, I'd probably try making a full-on batch. You need 12 ounces of cranberries, a quarter cup of green onions, and a quarter cup of cilantro; half a cup of sugar, a decent pinch of salt, two jalapenos, and a couple tablespoons of lime juice. I use lemon juice since that's what I have on hand, but it's still four ingredients I do not habitually stock.

Anyway, you take all that stuff and whiz it in a food processor until it's salsa texture. You have to let it sit for at least an hour so the flavors can marry. Then--serve atop a bed of cream cheese with some good hearty crackers that won't break when you try to scoop up a mouthful of delicious salsa atop mellow cream cheese. Wheat Thins are the recommended variety to use.

I think, if/when I make this stuff for Christmas Eve, I'll make it full-strength and see how it comes out.