Tuesday, April 26, 2016

April 26 Link Log

I've been digging diligently, and could undoubtedly find even more and better links if I stayed at the computer center for another three hours. Y'know what? I'm not going to. Because, guess what day it is? Tuesday--"Tortie Tuesday" in the cat-blog world. And guess who's eating for nine (four of her own kittens and four of her sister's), and didn't have a decent breakfast this morning, or dinner last night, because her pathetic old human had trusted a certain pathetic old relative of mine to deliver kibble? Heather (and Irene, who are rearing their kittens communally again, even though Irene's are two weeks older) want their dinner now. Categories: Books, Cat Pictures, Cybersecurity, Gardening, Health, Money, Phenology Links, Politics, Portal Paper, Recipes, Road Rage.


For those who can sit through a two-hour video, this web site must salute this Swedish video tribute to Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations.

(temporary link)

If you can't sit through a two-hour video, which I can't, here's the modern-day, snarky-funny book tribute to Smith and his book. Click on the "copyrighted" image to buy it from the seller who posted it, or e-mail salolianigodagewi @ yahoo if you'd like to buy it from me as a Fair Trade Book--I've not got around to posting the review yet, but I own a copy and would be delighted to sell you a copy. (This one is especially recommended to +Andria Perry and other Laura Ingraham fans.)

And why not a little shameless self-promotion? Yes, I've posted some more book reviews, since I've been online anyway...



I wrote a review of a French picture book by "Moka." I had no idea how obscure a book from 1993 could have become. Before posting a book review online I try to find out whether the author is alive and/or active in cyberspace. The author known as Moka has a charming web site, in French, where you can see lots of other books...but not the one I have! If you're interested in easy books in French, check her out:


John Grisham announces another "Kid Lawyer" novel:

(another long clunky link that might mess up your screen here)

Cat Pictures 

Now Ivy, the calico aunt-brought-up-as-a-sister with the resident adult cats, loved to pose for photos. Ivy was the communicator. She had some idea of what I was doing, when I whipped out the cell phone to take the cats' pictures, and she would strike adorable poses on cue. Heather and Irene are less enthusiastic about being photographed. In this (old) picture, Heather was sulking because I'd photographed (and stroked) Ivy first, but she's not struck a cuter pose since. Anyway, she's the type of three-colored cat who can be called a "tortie," at least above--the clear white spots seldom show.

Irene doesn't go in for sulking. Irene is, basically, a very sweet, lovable, homebody cat--brighter than most, but not on the same level at which Heather is and Ivy was intelligent.

All cat lovers should understand, just from looking at these images of the two mother cats, that the Cat Sanctuary is a site of unbearable cuteness, purr-ness, and cat love now. As in previous seasons, right after the kittens are born Heather and Irene co-mother, often curling up around the kittens together in a full circle. As the kittens started eating solid food, last year and the year before, Heather stopped nursing early in order to hunt and teach the kittens to hunt; Irene continued lactating for the full six months, and at least one other Social Cat induced lactation. In this cat family all kittens are communally brought up by all adult and adolescent female cats. (Males? Well, Mackerel was an involved father and devoted uncle...Mackerel was also the first to tell me that some other young male cats in this family didn't need to be around kittens.)


Looks like Twitter's getting it right! I wasn't thrilled by the smarmy, patronizing tone of the e-mail header (something like "Priscilla, learn more about how we keep you safe"--uuurrrgggghhh) but I do recommend checking out these three little buttons. I don't mind seeing the obnoxious flames ("Idiots who support this should be...") some people seem to like exchanging, and do mind having my Twitter feed clogged with retweets from The Spoiler Candidate Who Shouldn't Be Elected Street Sweeper, so the difference between muting, blocking, and reporting other Twits is worth reading about.



Whatever you've got, whatever you want, whatever may be in the way...don't poison your garden.


Some of the "pesticides" affect different humans and animals in different ways. The position of this web site is, however, that even if it could be proved that a "pesticide" would have no effect whatsoever on you, poisoning your garden would still be a bad idea...because it starts a Vicious Poison Cycle in which you wipe out the nuisance species' natural predators and thus have even more pests whenever your pest species' next generation appears. Monsanto's glyphosate brew, trademarked as Roundup, happens to be an especially popular poison and also one that has especially obvious, disgusting effects on me. Monsanto happens to be an especially evil corporation with a long, long history of despicable policies and products. This in no way means that Raid is good because it comes from Johnson instead of Monsanto. I don't have drastic reactions to airborne traces of Raid, myself; that doesn't mean that other people don't have, nor does it mean that the toxins that slip past our "allergy" reactions aren't the ones that give us cancer...but, looking out strictly for yourself--the more Raid you spray, the more flies and roaches you have.

Fair disclosure: this site is affiliated with (some of my favorite individual) left-wingers who don't like any big corporation. More fair disclosure: sometimes the Left happen to be right, and this is one of the times. These links are recommended because each one offers dozens of scientific references. Check'em out.


(More self-promotion: Local readers, if you need to get rid of pests in a Green way, call me. I grew up with all the no-poison tricks and can show you how to banish "German" cockroaches from a trailer in a trailer park. I also dig poison ivy, relocate wasps, and can do a lot about corn earworms and bean beetles during the years it takes a garden to recover from having been sprayed for them.)


What's a "McDougall Intensive"? Follow this temporary link to find out. It's just three days at a $200-a-day resort in California, with less time for swimming and tennis, and more time for lectures on how to go vegan, and first-rate vegan food. If anybody out there wants to go to California for a weekend, as spa weekends in California go this one is indeed a bargain. Stay another day and find out--on either coast in the U.S. lots of places that have only your basic air-temperature pool and tennis court charge $200 and don't even include food, or only a pathetic all-simple-carbs "continental breakfast." Three days isn't enough to complete the transition to a radically different diet plan, but the thing about "McDougalling" is that the diet includes enough complex carbs and snacks that most people don't feel the transition.



This blogger is so right. I'm sure some local readers are wondering...I didn't spend money extravagantly when I was earning it. I even saved some, although inflation is a huge deterrent to the idea of saving a lot of money. Thanks to frugal Green parents having taught me how, I invested relatively little money in good bargains that would last (and have lasted) many years. I wasted a lot on renting (rather than either working-for-rent or living in my own home) and maintaining a car...because as far as I'm concerned all money spent to pay rent or maintain a car is wasted...but not for long. I gave quite a lot of money to people and causes, which, most of the time, I don't regret. And I lived on what I'd earned for a while after earning it.


Phenology Link

Rose in full bloom in Alabama, 4/25/16.



The fundamental organizing idea of left-wing politics is that everybody is stupid. How many people do you believe are as stupid as they think you are? Personally, I think the number of people who really need a government agency to monitor all their monetary transactions, tell them what their friends should look like, remind them to wear seat belts, etc., is small enough that it would be cheaper to lock up those individuals than to maintain the government agency to supervise them.


Stupidity is...not reconsidering ideas that appealed to you when you were fifteen years old, after you're fifty years old. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield have never made any secret of their "story." They wanted to be good hippie-socialists in the 1960s, but they needed some money and just happened to have some good recipes and cute brand names for ice cream, and since it happened to be the 1980s, they got rich. So far, we have a story everyone would like to be able to relate to even better than we already do. And the "Bernie's Yearning" novelty ice cream was such a clever party idea. And there's that home state appeal...any viable candidate for national office, e.g. Mike Huckabee, e.g. Jeb Bush, aaaalways gets lots of support from the home state, just for Being Their Own. Bernie Sanders is from Vermont, therefore Ben & Jerry owed him a scoop of homeboy loyalty. Still and all...beyond the clever cooking ideas, giving actual money to Bernie Sanders?



Nobody gets nominated without being likeable, but here's widely liked Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH-4) on the need for our national economic thinking to get real. Well put, Sir. (As the photo makes clear, he's not closely related to former Headmaster James Jordan at the Gate City Christian School; he writes like a "Sir" anyway.) Take it from a penniless widow: given the choice, poor Americans would rather have opportunities than handouts. Not all poor Americans have the choice, or realize that they have it if they do. I happen to be one of those who do have the choice, and I say stick the welfare cards where they'll do the most good and give me honest payment for what I do.


Portal Paper 

Here, for historical interest, is the Portal Paper Q&A sheet reflecting the first week's questions. It's "Part 1" because additional questions will be answered later.



If you have a raised bed in which to raise asparagus...once it's been started the trick really is to wait long enough to cook it. People who've only ever eaten canned asparagus, or stale asparagus that's been wilting in its own juice in the supermarket, can't be expected to understand why it's such a delicacy. Asparagus is a delicacy when it's fresh and crisp out of the garden. You have to remind four-year-olds to wash it before eating it. For most of the year, asparagus is only available in frozen form, which is less thrilling--but highly compatible with rice, with (turkey) bacon or other MSG-seasoned meat, or with other stir-fried veg and/or more natural forms of meat. Frozen asparagus makes excellent stir-fries. That's why it's found in some manufacturers' prepackaged "Deluxe Stir-Fry Mix."


I don't eat shrimp, crab, or ham; no problem, this jambalaya recipe would work with chicken only. But I had to mention...y'know what I like to substitute for shrimp in some mixed dishes? Cashews (roasted, of course, never raw). I tried this as a visual joke once and, what d'you know, quite a few people like cashews better than shrimp in stir-fries (either with chicken, or vegan), in rice dishes, or in tomato dishes.


Road Rage 

Bicyclists feel it too, toward motorized road hogs. We could all use more of this cyclist's attitude...actually, we could use a law to the effect that, if a motor vehicle collides with any non-motor vehicle or pedestrian, the driver is banned from driving for life.


(I'm curious. Does "Sir Ji" make sense to U.S. readers?)