Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Now I Know How Lady Macbeth Felt

Advice to the home chef:

When working with jalapeno peppers, wear latex gloves. 

Alternatively, be prepared not to touch you hands to any part of your body for the next six weeks.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Terrorist Attack in France During Ramadan

The problem: (from today's WSJ)
PARIS—A U.S.-owned industrial gas factory in southeastern France was targeted in a suspected terror attack on Friday morning, French authorities said, noting the decapitated remains of one victim were found at the site of the assault.
Authorities found a decapitated body along with an inscription, French President Fran├žois Hollande told a news conference in Brussels. Two police officers said a severed head was also found at the site. The officers said the inscription was in Arabic.
The Interior Ministry said Yassine Salhi, 35, who had previously been under surveillance by French intelligence services and is believed to have links to an ultrafundamentalist strain of Islam, had been detained in connection with the attack.
Witnesses said they heard an explosion around 10 a.m. on Friday. Mr. Hollande said a vehicle drove into the plant with an intent to “provoke an explosion.” The president said the driver of the car might have been accompanied by someone else.
French police and firefighters gather at the entrance of the factory. ENLARGE
French police and firefighters gather at the entrance of the factory. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
“The attack is terrorist in nature,” Mr. Hollande said, adding that two people were injured. “We must carry our values and never give in to fear.”

The solution:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Country Life

I suppose I should call it "Life in what is still now technically 'country' as it has farms but is probably going to be a suburb in five years' time, what with all the new developments going up."

I live in one of those new developments, but once I leave the development it's just me and the cornfields.  When I walk the dog in the mornings it's mostly farms we pass.

Farms and greenhouses.  This morning a dog from the greenhouse followed us a ways- bored, I suppose, with greenhouse life.  We walked her back to her owner.  The greenhouse lady told me not to touch her dog-- "I prefer that pedestrians don't interact with her"-- and lectured the dog on "not being a good listener."  I guess that's what constitutes country talk in these parts.

I am a suburbanite, born and bred.  The worst kind of suburbanite, in fact: I grew up on Long Island.  To me "wildlife" is cats and squirrels.  The only birds I can reliably recognize are robins and pigeons.

Now, though, I'm seeing some amazing birds.  The other day I saw two bluebirds.  Not bluejays--  real bluebirds.  I'd never seen one in my life, and there they were, two of them right in front of me.  I have to tell you it was kind of a thrill.

I'm also encountering quite a few wild turkeys.  They are very loud.  Does anyone know if they're edible?  Just a thought.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Feast Day, St Thomas More

 This clip from "A Man For All Seasons."

Stormy Weather

I have the best intentions, I really do.  I wake up early enough and I have my running shoes all ready.  The dog's leash is hanging on its hook, just waiting for me and the dog. 

But I don't fight with the weather.  When the sky is that weird color and the "severe thunderstorm warning" thing flashes on my computer screen, I believe lazy self-indulgence is my best option.  So I'm sitting in my living room, warm and dry (as is the dog), happily sipping tea and watching the storm through the window.

I've always loved thunderstorms.  They're exciting, dramatic, freaky.  Even after experiencing some serious storm damage, I still enjoy them, provided I'm inside and the roof isn't leaking.  And the power stays on.

So despite my good intentions I will probably not do a long walk today.  That's too bad;  I'm always inordinately proud of myself whenever I get a little exercise in.  I'll have to find some other way of inflating my self-esteem today.

The floor is open to suggestions.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Does anyone need any further proof that Evil is a reality?