Friday, December 16, 2011

Leftover Turkey Pie

A good way to use up leftover turkey.

Oven: 425 F.

~2c cut-up cooked turkey
~2c cooked (diced) carrots & peas
~2 c mashed potatoes (soft enough to spread--add milk if nec.)
1 onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
2 tins/can cream of mushroom soup
~1/2 c drippings
dash dry sherry
2 pie crusts (for bottoms)
1/2 c. shredded cheddar

Saute onions and celery in drippings and sherry. Stir in mushroom soup concentrate. Add peas, carrots, and turkey.
Divide into raw pie crusts (in pans).

Mix most of cheese with mashed potatoes. Spread over tops of pies. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with black pepper to taste.

Bake for 1/2 hour until crust is done and filling is hot.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What year is this, again?

Really, really starting to tick me off. In 2011, this should be a snap.
I just want to get some groceries and diapers for a sister in another state.

Here in Midatlanticville, I order my groceries online and then pick them up. Easy! And sometimes I buy groceries for an aunt in Wisconsin and they actually deliver them to her.

But apparently in this town in Missouri, no grocery stores do anything like this. Oh wait, Wal-mart does! [piles stuff into online cart]

--Oh, they only have non-perishables and they won't even get the items until a week from now? Huh. Well, crap, I could do better with Amazon.

So maybe I can just get her a Kroger gift card over the phone and she can pick it up and buy her own groceries? Okay!

NOPE! No over-the-phone transactions.

But hey! At least they have a Western Union station there, so I could at least wire her some money. For a hefty fee, but, whatever. [signs up on Western Union site]. So, name, address, phone number, email.

WHOA! Western Union "can't verify my information" and therefore won't send me an email to verify my...uh, information. WTF? What part don't they believe? My name? Address? Phone?

I just don't get this.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Systems Theory and the Nymwars

Here's the thing about the nymwars.

One fact I remember very well from my Systems class in grad school is that the function of an organization is what it actually does, not necessarily what it says its function is. And organizations function primarily to perpetuate themselves.

What this means is that, for example, say I set up a charity to fund research into curing a disease. So the stated purpose of my organization is "end this disease."

However, what actually happens in the organization is that people make phone calls, send out pamphlets, hold fund drives, set up accounts, and--why not?--even send money to the researchers. So in systems theory, all those activities are the actual purpose of the organization.

In fact, once the cure is found for the disease in question, the organization is likely to continue, because its primary purpose is actually to perpetuate itself (and in this case generate phone calls and paperwork). And this does happen with regularity.

So now people are trying to change the collective mind of Google by stating they are dissatisfied. This will almost certainly not work, because Google's actual purpose is probably not to keep users happy.

People using this (free) service are not, in fact, the "customers" but the resources that the real customers want. Who are the customers, then? Well, ask yourself who profits from your participation.

I guess if all the resources up and left, that would be bad for Google. But by now they have become huge and reached a saturation point where it's a lot easier to ignore that, because we are a flood of resources. And once you start profiting from your resources, it becomes easier to look at your funders' benefits and harder to remember to cultivate or use good husbandry with your resources. It becomes easier to take resources for granted. Look at our collective history and tell me I'm wrong: oil? water? animals? plants? human workers?

I doubt there are many individual Google employees who think of themselves this way. It's often difficult to see the actual purpose of an organization when you're inside it. But that's sure what appears to be happening.

I have my suspicions about why "real" names--as filtered through a biased Eurocentric perception, that is--would be profitable to an organization, but I'm sure you can come up with your own conspiracy theory at this point. So to be allowed to use your name of choice, you're going to have to find a way that this would be profitable for Google.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just in time for the rapture

You saw it here first... by doctorlizardo
You saw it here first..., a photo by doctorlizardo on Flickr.

For no good reason. Also I like writing "paleontology."

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Buchanan Park Fair 2011

Here's the thing. For no apparent reason, it has been nearly impossible to find out anything online about the annual carnival/festival/fair going on in nearby Buchanan Park until it's already over. Every single year (for the past three years.) I have only ever found out about it by literally walking past and seeing them setting up the rides. This is not unlike the whole thing with the petting zoo (only more so). I guess they figure if you don't magically already know about it, they're not going to tell you. So I'm posting this for anyone else who's been futilely looking for info online.
Anyway, we were at the park this morning, and it looks like they are setting up the rides. I'm guessing setting up, because they logically wouldn't be taking them down on a Saturday morning. Also, the area doesn't look devastated by fairgoers yet. So in theory, I think they will probably start it up on Thursday (or possibly Wednesday) and go through Sunday.
You're welcome.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Another Mushroom Soup Cheating Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes

This is another crockpot recipe, as that's what works for me these days. As usual, it's a synthesis of recipes I found online, modified to my liking.

Chop up 6 or so medium potatoes and one medium onion. Add to crockpot. If you peel those potatoes you are losing out on nutrition (and time)!

Add about .5 cup chopped ham, or turkey ham, or tofu ham, or not, as you wish.

Add a can/tin of Cream of Mushroom soup and then the same can/tin's worth of milk.

Add about 1.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, then add hot water to just below food line.

Sprinkle with ground pepper and garlic salt to taste. Stir it all up.

Cook 5 hours or so on high. Near the end of cooking time, add a glug of dry sherry and/or some beer. They really add to the flavor: I use both!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Recipe: Creamy Leek-a-Cocky Soupy (for Slow Cooker)

Cut up two chicken breasts and sauté in olive oil+butter. Add pepper during sauteing. The point is to scorch the outside for flavor without cooking the inside much. Place chicken in slow cooker/crockpot.

Chop four medium potatoes in smallish pieces and add to cooker.

Slice eight medium leeks (I hope you already know to wash away any dirt and discard the tough green parts) and add to pot.

Add one can/tin of Cream of Mushroom soup. I don't care that it's cheating. It turns out great.

Top with spices and stuff: about a tablespoon each of tarragon, dried chopped onion and chicken bouillon granules; a sprinkle of celery seed; a teaspoon or so of ground mustard powder; and ground black pepper to taste.

Pour hot water over all of it until it comes up to within an inch of the solid ingredients. Stir it all up somewhat.

That's it.

Cook on low for 6 or 7 hours. Or start on high for an hour and then turn it down for 5 hours. Whatever. As long as the potatoes are tender, you're good.

Recipe: Hot Knock

Start with about 3/4 mugful of hot milk. For Pete's sake, don't try using skim. That's just counter to the whole premise of Hot Knock anyway. Add a spoonful of honey, a dash of vanilla, and a shot of Foine French Brandy.

There; that's it. Drink upon coming in from exercising in the cold, or just feeling generally chilly.

Doesn't the name sound like a genuinely archaic drink? And yet we just made it up tonight. Upon coming in from the cold after exercising.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Rihanna: Adore Me (Pwease?)

These days I'm possibly the only person alive who still listens to music on the actual radio, and the only time I get the chance to do that is while driving on some domestic errand. So I realize I'm way behind times here.
But there's one song that's bugging me, and that's Rihanna's Only Girl (In the World). Now it's very catchy and danceable. The problem for me is that the lyrics are at odds with the rest of the song. (Does she write her own? I would think so, but I always think that, so I don't know.)
The music (including Rihanna's operatic voice) is sweeping, epic, dramatic, insistent, and staccato, like a pair of ankle-strap patent-leather stilettoes. But the lyrics? "...make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world..." Wha? A goddess doesn't beg.
The music says, "I have no equal: on your knees and worship, fool," while the lyrics say "reassure me that I have no competition, pleeeeaaase!"