You don't learn anything if you don't try anything new once in a while.
So last night around 7 PM I put the beans in the crock pot to soak overnight. 16 dry ounces of beans in two quarts of water--I had expected them to swell as they soaked.
But when I got up and started putting the ingredients together--well, I stopped and laughed when I added the drained beans to the crock pot with the ham chunks: it was full. There was no room for onion or green pepper in the pot, and the amount of water I could add would be insufficient to the task of making soup. "This isn't going to work," I chuckled.
So I got out Mom's big old soup pot, the aluminum one that she always used to make chicken stock in. That one's big enough, and everything fit handily into it: ham, beans, a chopped onion, about a cup of the frozen chopped green pepper, a can of mushrooms, a generous scoop of chopped garlic, and two quarts of water.
This means, of course, that instead of being able to pile it all in and ignore it until dinnertime, now I've got to keep an eye on it all day. Right now it's heating to boiling, which is going to take at least 20 minutes. I took the ham out of the freezer last night, but it did not defrost as much as I'd hoped overnight in the fridge. *sigh*
Once it's boiling I'll reduce heat and let it simmer. Then I can switch it off long enough to go to K-Mart to buy cat food, and as the day winds on I'll switch it off again later to hit the store for a loaf of ginzo bread. By dinnertime I ought to have a lovely pot of ham and bean soup, though.
...and plenty of leftovers. There's going to be a lot of soup; I may have to freeze some.
* * *
Working on the surf of the usual suspects; it's been an hour since I started the soup and it already smells soooooo good....
* * *
It's not just New York City that's leading the way on totalitarianism (though there's more on that in a moment) but New York state is forging ahead too. They want to require all guns in NY to have micro-stamp firing pins.
Translation: We know that you are buying that gun in order to commit murder, so we're going to make sure that we can find you when we do!
The simple way to avoid this? Don't buy any new guns. Buy only used guns, ones which were manufactured before the requirement was in place.
...which is why the gun manufacturers don't like the requirement. They know that legal gun owners are generally pretty smart about their rights, and that microstamping guns are a violation of the principle of assumed innocence.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has estimated that microstamping would increase the cost of a firearm by “well over $200,” according to a fact sheet it issued, but advocates say the cost to manufacturers would be less than $12 a gun — a cap imposed as a condition of the New York Assembly bill.Notice that these "advocates" are not named? That's because these "advocates" are smoking crack. $12 per gun to include a new and unproven technology? And who bears the cost when it doesn't work?
I believe the $200 figure because I know a (very, very) little something about engineering, manufacturing, and how government bureaucracy multiplies costs. Each microstamp code has to be unique, and it has to match the serial number of the gun (one way or another) else the entire idea is worthless. So instead of having a box of firing pins from which an assembler can grab one at random, firing pins have to be coded and tagged and tracked through the manufacturing process the same way the frame is. (Or whatever part has the serial number--upper, lower, whatev.) And when final assembly has been accomplished, the whole thing's got to be checked so that the right gun has the right firing pin. The manufacturer will be fined (or worse) for selling guns that are incorrectly registered--that's probably a federal felony.
Sure, it might cost $12 per part to put a microstamp on a firing pin--but it is going to cost $200 per gun to do it once you include all the hidden costs. Make no mistake about it.
* * *
Do tell! "You can’t believe everything you read, even if it's peer-reviewed," goes the lede of this Arse Technica article on groundwater leading to sea level rise.
Sea level is rising very, very slowly. It's not a crisis. Shut up.
* * *
New York City also wants to limit popcorn servings and ban milkshakes.
Of course! The people in the city government, they're smart and wise and kind and want only for the STUPID, USELESS VOTING RUBES to be healthy and happy!
* * *
Another example of the open-mindedness, kindness, tolerance, and generosity of liberalism. Joy Behar doesn't like Mitt Romney, therefore his house should be burned down. Oh, wait, not his house.
One of his "millions of houses". Yeah.
* * *
Sex instruction class given to 11-year-olds.
Here's the thing:
There is nothing wrong with explaining to kids the biology of sex. That is to say, basic anatomy and functions thereof, gametes, how one gamete gets to the other, and so on. Contraception, STDs and disease prevention, consequences of pregnancy, etcetera. Including "you're better off waiting until you're older" and "the best contraception is abstinence" and "the best way to avoid getting an STD is not to have sex."
The class should not include discussions of anal and oral sex.
Of course, liberals are fervently, violently opposed to any sex education curriculum that includes the three statements I quoted above. They would, in fact, classify that paragraph synopsis of proper sex education as "abstinence-only education", even though it gives all the "facts of life" that an 11-year-old needs. (And some older kids. Let's face it: some kids think sex is about having fun, not making babies...mainly because the only sex education they got in school was on how to use condoms.)
* * *
Karl Denninger: "This is a yellow-level recession warning." One more month like that and that'll be it.
The post he put up after that one, though, chews into the nitty-gritty of retail sales and says they're not as bad as the headlines make them look. He says that--rather than declining--they're flat at most, and he describes the report as a "yawner".
But even "flat" isn't good if you couple it with the slowdown in sales of crude goods to manufacturers.
* * *
Look at how close Obama is to Carter.
* * *
This is something Limbaugh has been saying for years, albeit in a different way: "If You Keep Hearing Calls For Bipartisanship, It Must Mean the Democrats Are Losing". Limbaugh says, "'Bipartisanship' means Republicans agreeing with Democrats."
...[W]hen Democrats are in power, solutions will come from the Democrats; it's only when they lose power that they begin urging that their Plan B, "compromise from the center," is so wonderful.Emphasis faithfully copied from the original.
You did not hear much about this Plan B when the Democrats were ramming through ObamaCare on a party-line vote. (Not even party-line, actually--Democrats joined the Republicans in opposition, but no Republicans crossed over to support ObamaCare.)
When they had sole power in Congress, they spoke of never letting a crisis go to waste, and of their "mandate." They continued speaking of their "mandate" even when the public informed them, in rally after rally and poll after poll, that they were not in fact given a mandate to take over the health care system.
And what do I need to add to that?
* * *
Another Ace post on Chicago teachers
From the article he links:
The average teacher in Chicago Public Schools—a district facing a $700 million deficit—makes $71,000 per year before benefits are included. If the district meets union demands and rewards teachers with the requested salary increase, education employees will receive compensation north of $92,000 per year.$71,000 before benefits.
The teachers want their 30% pay increase because City of Chicago wants to increase their workday. The Board of Education says the longer work day will add 54 minutes' instruction time to the typical teacher's workload. Their description totals up to a workday of about eight hours if I'm reading it correctly; the numbers they give add to seven hours and thirty-five minutes, and if you assume a half-dozen five-minute "passing periods" it's a bit more than eight hours, including being at school ten minutes before the start of classes and staying ten minutes afterwards.
"But teachers have to work on grading papers! That takes time! Teachers have to work extra hours to do that!"
1) There are plenty of people who work long hours for a fixed salary. Talk to an engineer at a manufacturer and ask him how many hours he's expected to put in per week. They don't get extra pay for the extra work.
2) Did these teachers not understand what the job entailed when they decided to embark on that career path? Are they now saying, "Shit, no one told me I'd have to grade papers!"
If you're making $71,000 per year before benefits, and your employer asks you to stay at work an extra hour per day? In this economy?
SHUT THE FUCK UP AND DO IT, BITCH.
* * *
I played a little WoW yesterday. I hadn't intended to play any; I was still wiped out from that marathon WoW binge I went on, Monday evening into Tuesday morning. But after putting away the groceries, getting the beans in to soak, making hamburgers for dinner, I watched anime; when that was done I logged on to WoW to see what was happening.
I didn't really do much. A few quests (for the money since Ormus still has his experience cap turned on) and one random instance, which turned out to be a Cataclysm one. About a third of the way through it I realized I'm not in the mood for this but I finished it; then I logged out.
Feeling really tired I went to bed around 11:30 or so, and slept until 2:30; I woke up then and was wide awake. *whimper*
I ended up logging back into WoW. I looked at my balance of justice points and used some to buy a new cloak that's better than the new one I bought yesterday. Then I ran a few quests in Icecrown until I was tired enough to fall asleep again, around 5:30.
My metabolism hates me.
* * *
Tenshi na Konamaiki continues to have horrible, horrible art. Ep 36 was as bad as ep 35 was, only it was a "filler" episode, so there wasn't even any real plot taking place.
Yawara! ep 89 was another one of those interminable "Jigoro tells a story from his youth" episodes. The character designs for the series are used to tell an out-of-continuity story about some imbroglio from Jigoro's past; this one was from 1936 and it was basically a rehash of the "Jody Rockwell comes to Japan from Canada to challenge Yawara". It was a big Canadian, a blond guy named Arnold something, who spoke broken Japanese mixed with English. He's a pro wrestler rather than a judo expert, but he's learned some judo by the time he meets Jigoro.
...won't give away more than that, but the episode was a total yawner (like all such episodes are in this series; fortunately there aren't many of them) and I spent most of it playing mahjongg solitaire on my DS.
There really isn't anything interesting about Jigoro's tall tales. I'm not watching the series because I want to hear all about his life in prewar Japan. These episodes--like the recap episodes--are a waste of time.
("Jigoro" being Yawara's grandfather, by the way, if you're not an anime fan.)
* * *
2.25 hours into the soup-making process and it smells heavenly. It's got another couple of hours to go before it's ready to eat, but dang, it's making me hungry.
The ham will have to get to the "falling apart" stage, and then I'll have to take it (and bones) out of the pot to chop up the meat; but once that's done it's going to be dinnertime.
I'm also wondering if I shouldn't cover it. The air is still really dry (especially for June!) and I'm worried about making porrige rather than soup. (Bean porrige. Blech.) I think I'll do that.