Thursday, December 24, 2015

Best of the Blogspot for 2013

(Reclaimed from Blogjob. Arguably these Blogspot memories belonged on Blogspot in the first place; the idea was to share them with a new audience. Blogjob tags for this one: confusible large dark hairy caterpillarsJudy Gray JohnsonKnow Your Pests serieslow-fat chicken recipesme me me me me,sickle cell diseaseVirginia Legislature 2013.)

Categories: Books, Christian, Correspondents' Contributions, Cybersecurity, Food, Health Care Reform, Little More than Links, Makers & Takers, Phenology, Politics, Virginia Legislature 2013.
Books
I didn't post a lot of book reviews in 2013, but a local author made the news:
Yes, both links referred to this book:
Judy Gray Johnson is still living with sickle cell disease, and there's a sequel:
Christian
Don't be deceived; this article is both conservative Christian and radically feminist.
Correspondents' Contributions
From Jim Babka: (Is this sort of thing really the Best of the Blogspot? It was a job ad; the position has been filled. However, going by the numbers...there are a lot of job seekers in my part of the world.)
Karen Bracken:
Myke Cole:
They're not my cup of tea, but quite a few people like his books:
Anne Crockett-Stark:
Patricia Evans:
Morgan Griffith:
Jane Hogan, shared by Patricia Evans:
Cybersecurity
Food (Yum)
That's right, thirteen recipes...all of which involve removing all the visible fat and blood from the meat before combining it with the ingredients I actually eat. Because the chicken is poached, not baked, it stays tender; in fact it can be hard to tell whether you're eating the "dark" or the "light" parts. (Chicken leg meat is darker than breast meat because it contains more capillaries in which traces of blood darken as the meat cooks. The way I cook it, most of this blood drains out; therefore, although the leg meat is slightly denser, most of it is as pale as the breast meat.)
Health Care Reform
In which I repeated a mistake from previous years by not keeping up with the changes the U.S. Veterans Administration had made...but I stand by everything else in this post.
Little More than Links
This post is especially timeless, philosophical, and worth reading.
Makers & Takers
This one was the last post for quite a while...partly because many Takers are haters, which is also why I resumed the Blogspot after a few months. I don't think haters should be allowed to win.
Phenology
This piece of scientific research was politically motivated, and it also got me an ongoing odd job in real life...
These are pieces of the latest version of an article I originally wrote in 1989.
These gross-out insect posts have been tremendously popular...I'm not sure why, but if I ever write a Hub Pages "Hub," they'd have to be the topic. The first buck moth caterpillar piece is about our local species; the second is about the whole genus. Both moths and caterpillars in the genus Hemileuca vary widely in color, but, as the second piece shows, there's still considerable confusion about how many different species there are in the genus, because individuals in the same bloodline can look as different as what initially seemed to be different species. Some of what have been accepted as distinct species are rare and may in fact be climate-linked variations. Moths can be gray, black, white, red, yellow, and/or orange; caterpillars can be black, brown, gray, mauve, greenish, and/or whitish, and some are even plaid.
So far as is known, all caterpillars in this genus have stiff bristles that contain venom and produce a skin rash on contact with humans. Some people say the rash is no worse than the rash you'd get from stinging nettles; some say it's like being stung by several bees at the same time. Both may be right; the toxicity of the caterpillars may be as variable as their colors, for all anybody seems to know. If you see anything that's more than an inch long and has branching bristles (as distinct from the harmless, stiff, straight or slightly curved prickles several other large caterpillars have), in North America, you're looking at an under-predated Hemileuca caterpillar and the public-spirited thing to do is kill it. These creatures are major pests in an orchard, where they don't even eat fruit trees and bushes, but merely intimidate fruit pickers.
Politics
Virginia Legislature
The 2013 legislative session was a season of furious controversy, as the Governor was hounding the legislators to pass a lot of the kind of thing their constituents had elected them to prevent passing. People who considered one another allies were e-mailing "vents" with headlines like "Who elected this guy?" and "I wouldn't vote for your legislator for dogcatcher." The legislators extended the session into March. A lot of the legislation that most correspondents agreed with me was bad was passed, in some form or other. Some readers abandoned the Tea Party; some abandoned the Blogspot and haven't been heard from since.
(For those outside the U.S.: this article thanked two separate Delegates whose family names are Marshall, and two whose family names are Bell.)