January 28, 2011

See There's This Little Island

in the North Sea that has been an independent country since around the 7th century and a long time ago they were attacked by Vikings and they were pretty defenseless until this one king called Ulf the Hermit (because he stayed in a room for almost his whole reign on account of he was so ugly and mean and never washed) decided right after one invasion had left to build a monster maze with twenty foot high walls that they overlaid the whole island with and the next time the Vikings attacked they got lost and starved and eventually they stopped invading because the people would always change where the walls were so nobody could map it but over the centuries they didn't need the maze any more and what with weathering and a couple world wars and nobody taking care of it it wore down to just a few remnants here and there around the island and nobody paid much attention to it until somebody realized that touching the old walls of the maze would cure certain illnesses but then humans being humans they abused it because when they weren't sick they could get high by touching the stones and so a kind of cult developed that the government which by 1980 had become a secret hidden entity wherein nobody even knew what the name of the leader was wanted to clamp down on so they started taking all the leftover walls down.

One night an old friend of a private detective wants to have a meeting at a tavern to talk about his particular case but because his body is literally falling apart (at one point a glass eye pops out of his head and lands in his martini right next to his olive) and as his nurse wheels him out all he can say is "find a way to stop this" but the detective has to find out what he was talking about so he gets on the case by using his Magic 8 Ball which tells him what leads to follow and what to look for and he winds up connecting the maze wall remnants with his friend's terrible affliction but as he gets deeper into the case he comes into contact with a dangerous group of fascists who want to overthrow the government nobody can find and restore the rightful place of the maze in the country's history and stop the destruction of it and they even have armbands with a maze outline that almost looks like a swastika.

And then there's the mountain made up of dead bodies where people are playing a great big game of King of the Hill by trying to get to the top after killing everybody else they can.

Not to mention the little people who live inside the cuckoo clock.

I wonder how it will turn out.

January 27, 2011

Last But Not Least

Thanks for looking in on me this week, btw. Chances are somewhat good we go back to once a week after this. I've started writing a story about a detective who uses Magic 8 Ball in place of Dr. Watson. It's okay though, he smokes a pipe.

Tonight completes the week of recipes. This time I did Lamb meatballs with couscous and Feta. And I want to say how surprised I am at how light this went down and how, though I am full, I am not stuffed or overfed or feel sluggish. I take that as a good sign for doing it right. Anyway that's what I'm telling myself.

If you've noticed anything this week I hope you've noticed that none of these dishes I presented take any more than a half an hour to prepare and cook. Some are even less. This is another half hour masterpiece. The reason for that is pretty obvious from a time perspective but also because I've been getting into simpler/shorter the last few months. This one has a bunch of ingredients, but it's easy.

In a bowl you combine
1 lb. ground lamb
1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 cup of chopped red onion
salt and pepper to taste

Wet those hands and get in there and make some meatballs. On the smallish-side this time. try to use this mess to make 18 to 20. Smaller will help them cook right, but also look better on the plate.

You put these meatballs on a cooking sheet (I lined with aluminum to help the cleanup). You will put them in the oven for 8 minutes at 425/450. Make sure nothing is pink when you think they are done. A little "burn smudge" is good here and there, but don't let them dry out. Lamb is easy and forgiving. Relax.

Make your couscous. LOOKIT THE BOX yeah?
1 cup couscous for this recipe

In a mixing bowl (small one) mix together
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (remember my citrus juicer? Be jealous)
and around 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
Set that aside. It will become the last thing you use.

Slice up
2 small tomatoes
1/2 cucumber
1 small red onion


When the couscous and meatballs are done you lay a bed of the couscous on a plate and put 4/5/6 meatballs on top per plate (remember, they're supposed to be small).
You fan out some sliced tomato and cucumber aside the couscous and toss some red onion slices here and there.

Now take the Feta (As much as you want. They are saying 4 ounces to spread around everybody) and sprinkle it, crumbled on the each plate. Go ahead. Be generous.

To complete, the little dressing you made is now sprinkled over everything on the plate, especially the tomatoes and cucumber. Notice I did not say put salt on those. It's in the dressing. relax.

But the dressing goes on the meat and couscous too, don't forget.

And that's it. Serve baby serve. I found it a very light-feeling dinner. Held my portions to reasonable and am well satisfied. I think you will like.

That ends recipe week. This one, anyway.

Now... you really want me to cook for you, don't you? Admit it. Well? Come on over. I'd be happy to.


January 26, 2011


People on a budget and vegetarians (who can eat mushrooms, sorry Dave) should love love love this VERY filling meatless dinner I made tonight (and practically ate the whole thing myself). This is an Oriental Stir Fry With Peanuts and I could tell at each and every step I took as I made it that I was going to like it. A lot.

This serves 4 but, I have to say, I LIT into this. I'm lucky in that I loves my veggies and so to have a vegetarian dinner is no big whoop for me. Youse that like meat, I could certainly see beef strips or chicken strips in here with no problem. But for tonight, I went the holy way and killed nothing with a face.

But first I want to talk about take out Chinese (this dish is more Japanese than Chinese but it's a lot like the "fried rice" you can get at any take out place.). Did you know that the distribution of the ingredients for take-out (not sit-down, dinner style) is provided by a very narrow channel of providers, like maybe - one all around the country? There are two Chinese take out places near us that we've used back and forth from time to time and BOTH changed their egg rolls to something pretty inedible at the very same time. That kind of made me suspicious, as you'd think here in 'merica they'd be more into competition. But no. The same distributor services both take-outs. And who knows who owns the provider. All I'm sayin'... (insert hidden dragon music).

So okay anyhow...

1 cup of rice gets cooked like a cup of rice. What? Read the damn box.
But here's what you're doing on the side while that's ricing itself...

1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of Sriracha (I used Tobasco, same burn different day) sauce
2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice (MrsRW got me a citrus juicer for Christmas and this translates into the juice from one actual, real lime... woo hoo!)
in a bowl and whisk all that together. Put it aside.

You have cut
2 organic carrots (hard outside skin shredded off with a peeler)
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed
into thin, narrow slices that are not chunky and hurt your cooking time.

You have also cut
7 to 8 ounces of shitake mushrooms (stems removed and tossed)
and 2 scallions
into thin, smaller-than-bite-sized chunks

You have drained
a can of bean sprouts in a strainer

You chop
1/4 cup of Planter's Dry Roasted peanuts

With that...

Heat a big wide pan (or wok if you got) to the point where putting
1 tablespoon of canola oil
can heat perfectly for what is to follow.

First the carrot and pepper strips... 3 minutes constantly stirring
Then the mushrooms and bean sprouts 2 to 3 minutes constantly stirring
[NOTE: People who can't eat mushrooms because of allergies are one thing, but I've always held that people who simply don't like mushrooms never had them prepared right. Cook too long and they are rancid. Cook not long enough and they are rubber.***** I challenge anyone who doesn't like mushrooms - allergies aside - to have mine in something I've made and we'll see what you think then.]

Put in the scallion bits in that whole mess just at the last minute. Stir and stir and keep stirring.

Add the soy sauce/hot sauce/lime juice mixture at the very last and just stir it around to coat.

That's it. You're done.

Fluff out your rice on a plate and scoop the goodies out of the pan and place on top.

Like I said - people who can't live without meat would have an easy time putting beef, chicken, even shrimp in here. I wasn't into faces tonight.

Also - NO SALT. Between the salt in the rice and the soy sauce you're good. If you put more, in my opinion, you ruin it. But at least taste before you add any table salt.

We put FAR too much table salt on our stuff EVEN BEFORE WE EVEN TASTE IT FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!.

This should take about 20-30 minutes tops and serves 4. Unless you were hungry like me...

***** THAT'S BACKWARDS. Too long is rancid, too short is rubber. Sheesh...

January 25, 2011

This One Sounded Very Weird

Just about everywhere I've read about this, though, the most usual comment is "deceptively simple." But there's nothing deceptive about it. And you can't get more simple. To be honest I felt I was taking a chance on this because I never heard of such a thing and it doesn't have some great, fancy Italian or French or Greek name. But since you use mild Italian sausage for it I'm going to say it's Italian. But who knows?

Put just a little olive oil in a pan and heat it to just right. Then you take
1 1/2 lb of mild Italian sausage and you brown it - JUST BARELY. Just enough to get the pink off.
In a bowl you put
2 lbs of seedless red grapes (you heard me), removed from the stem
sprinkle lightly (don't overdo this) with thyme and olive oil.
Toss that like a salad.
Heat the oven to 475 and go find an oven-safe bowl that will be big enough to hold everything yet small enough so that you can jumble everything up.
Put a layer of grapes on the bottom.
Set the Italian sausages on top of that.
Put in the rest of the grapes.
Shove it in the oven for 20-30 minutes depending on how you like your sausage. Occasionally mixing the contents.

And... um... that's it. I had that on a plate with some Italian bread on the side and a nice red wine. Here's the deal...

This is just about as inexpensive as you can get and still feed yourself some very complex flavors. Don't use brand new grapes (this was my mistake), but try and use grapes that have been around for a few days so that when it hits the heat the skins break on some. Or, if you've got new grapes, lightly mush them up a little bit (a LITTLE bit). The taste of the grapes changes under the heat, and when the resulting kinda-sauce melds in with the fatty juices from the sausages you've got something really unique.

I've never tasted that before and I cleaned my plate. It's called Italian Sausage and Red Grapes. Duh. You can just have it with bread or put some noodles on the side; whatever you want. You get points from me if you try this and report back.

I dares ya.

January 24, 2011

Recipe Week!

Well the book with no name is done. It is making the rounds, currently out and about like the veritable waif it truly is.

On top of that MrsRW is on a week-long business trip far far away.

And there's nobody watching me. I can do anything I decide to do. So there's only one thing I can think of doing right now and that would be...


And tonight I did a take on that healthful alternative to hamburgers we all love to hate despise. The TURKEY BURGER. I can hear you now, oh joy this cretin is actually going to talk about burgers made out of turkey? Well yes I am. Because I am sitting here below 200 lbs for the first time in years and I am determined to achieve that one resolution I made this year; "Get below 200 and stay there."

And I hate turkey burgers. I truly hate them. I can't stand them, in fact. So why am I making them, you may ask. Because I found a recipe that makes them not only very good but potentially sought after. I kid you not.

This is called TURKEY BURGERS WITH CREAMY ROMAINE SLAW. And it looks like that picture up there in the corner. Here's how it works:

You combine
1 lb. of ground turkey (preferably dark meat if you can find it)
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
Just under 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, and
2 little scallions chopped up really good
in a bowl. And you wet your hands and you get in there and patty that mess up into four burgers. Four little turkey quarter-pounders. You season each side with salt and pepper and set them aside.

Now you take
2 big leafs of Romaine lettuce and chiffonade the heck out of them (that means you roll them up like a cigar and cut the "cigar" so that you make little strips like cabbage in a slaw).
1 medium carrot gets the living heck chopped out of it
and you combine the lettuce and carrot in a bowl.

Then you take
2 tablespoons of mayo (I used Light because I want to stay under 200 pounds now)
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
and you whisk this together in a separate bowl.

After that you heat up some olive oil in a big flat skillet and just when it's perfectly hot you put the turkey burgers in there for 6-7 minutes a side.

While this is going on you toss the romaine/carrot mixture with the mayo/wine vinegar mixture to make a creamy slaw.

Toast 4 soft rolls (with seeds on the top like in the picture) and when the turkey burgers are done they go on the bottom slice of the bun. THEN you take your romaine slaw and cover them suckers up with it and smush the top half back on and voila - a turkey burger people will ASK for again.

The trick is in the slaw. But the combination of thyme in the burger and white wine vinegar in the slaw makes it very savory. And the whole thing takes about 20-30 minutes. And, in truth, if it takes you more than 30 minutes you really need to just go out to a restaurant and quit torturing people m'kay?

The picture shows sliced pickles and potato chips but, you know, I want to stay under 200 so I just popped in a baked potato.

Seriously, though, the dreaded turkey burger (which I can't stand) just made it into my rotation. Well, THIS version anyway.

Bone your aperitif... or whatever they say here...

January 17, 2011

I Am Not In London

And Jack the Ripper is not at my door.

Any of you folks who have me on your email list - or more accurately are on MY email list of contacts via hotmail - may have noted a plaintive cry for help late last week. From London, no less. Where apparently I have been taken by Jack the Ripper into a hovel and robbed of all my money. And the American embassy doesn't believe me and the hotel is mad at me and if you don't send me $2000 or some such amount I am going to be boiled in oil at the drop of a hat. It is a bald lie and I am in no way connected to such a wild story.

I have, however, been one of thousands of people who had their hotmail accounts hacked into last week. I can't get back into it because my password has been changed, and I can't get a new password sent to me because the "alternate email" they can contact me at has also been changed. So the account is gone and is now part of a vast network of spam originations sent out to thousands of unsuspecting contacts on every victim's list.

I've had that hotmail account since the years began with 1's. And I basically used it as the contact off the blog (where a lot of you found it) but also as the email addy I had to add onto commercial sites I needed to use and just KNEW it would generate millions of spams sent my way. For those who only have that hotmail addy as the contact info for me you should change it to ehwtfever (at) comcast (dot) net. And, yes, the wtf in the addy means what you think it means.

There were only a handful of old accounts that were still tied to that email account and, luckily because the addy was only stolen for the purposes of spam, none of them were compromised. So I had the opportunity to change all the entry codes to such places as the world-wide bunch of anarchists I play with and so forth.

I have no idea if any pleas for money like that ever work. Anyone who knew me enough to care about whether or not I was in actual trouble who didn't recognize it as bullshit would have just picked up the phone and called me. And everyone else recognizes stuff like that as bullshit. So however these people make money off of that is beyond me. But I suppose it's lucrative enough so that they keep on doing it. I guess if it wasn't they wouldn't bother. But that doesn't mean I can possibly understand how it could be.

Needless to say MSN, which operates hotmail, is perfectly useless in helping account holders fix the problem. The boards where incidents like this are reported is overwhelmed, and the "24 hour guarantee" they will address your problem has been waived. In the meantime they send you to links that tell you how to avoid the problem if it happens again, as well as a how-to for resetting your password. What the links don't tell you is what to do when you can't get back into your account to reset everything. They try to verify that you are the account holder and ask for your alternate email addy. But they don't tell you what to do if the hacker has changed your alternate email addy so that you no longer seem to know what the hell you're talking about. Then they want to know "Did This Help? Yes or No." Hahahaha.

My incident report has been sitting on their board unanswered for days now. And I see where other folks have said "WTF?? It's been two weeks! I need this for my JOOOOOBBBB!!!" Etc.

The weird thing, though, is that I got this hotmail account so very long ago that my alternate email address that I used when I signed up is from a provider that no longer even exists! So what good would that do me anyway?

All of which is proof, I suppose, that I have been connected to the inter-tubes for too long and need to get some fresh air.

They say Whitechapel is a good place for a walk...

January 12, 2011

Onward And Sideways! Sorta...

Though it still might be too early to tell, by now you may/may not have gathered a new take on the blog these days. Moving to a weekly post format, and then only when there's something to really say. I have always felt that less is more. Hopefully quality will trump quantity. In any case I've got too many entries where I look back and say... what the hell was I thinking?

It's a product of trying to be more productive and helped me finalize that "book with no name." At last.

And now, I've gone on to the next one - ideas for which began swimming around my head even last month. But I hesitate to say what it is because if I were to look at where I started with the last one and compare it to where I ended up they are two completely different things. Allow me to demonstrate...

The notion for this new one came while I was watching something or other on TV about ancient Egypt. The story was about the occasional pharaoh who was erased from the record or the actions of one pharaoh to erase the memory of one in the past. And I said to myself (I says, says I) "wouldn't it be funny if there was a President we don't know about because all record of him was erased" I says.

And immediately I envision this minor clerk in some government record office finding a document signed with the name of a President nobody ever heard of - the first document found to prove *they* didn't get ALL the evidence destroyed. And it bounds on to cover-ups of cover-ups and is fed by all the weird-o conspiracy theories running rampant out in the real (cough... coughcoughcough) world.

I even began looking through the list of Presidents we've had to see where I could squeeze him in and the most likely place is that bit of weirdness with President Cleveland serving two non-consecutive terms. Not sure exactly how, but something about there.

And from there it went down a side street into a whole dystopian thing. And this - mind you - all in a matter of a week or two and I'm sitting here with an opening scene I stole from something else I wrote and set aside where a guy is sitting at a bar and is literally, physically, falling apart in front of the friend (narrator) he demanded to meet to *tell him something* he's known for years.

And suddenly I'm three miles away from where I started and now if by some chance somebody reads this and steals the idea what can I say? Point being that in two years, maybe three, when I'm done with this one there's really no telling if any part of what I just said will even remotely play a role in what it ends up being.

So there you have it. I'm a nutcase.

And I probably just broke the very rule I started off talking about (re: blogging when there's actually something to say instead of just blithering) by boring you to tears with this latest bit of garbage lightning that goes through my head all the time and may not ever come to anything.

Well, rules were made to be broken. And people with blogs are goofy.

January 07, 2011

lol Xenu

Screen writer and producer Paul Haggis (Million Dollar Baby, Quantum of Solace, The Next Three Days) is sitting on a book that, when published, promises to blow yet another lid off the corporate religiosity fraud known as Scientology.

Joining a long list of ex-members who have disavowed the cult as well as a slowly growing list of "celebrities" who have discovered they have better things to do, Haggis' initial dust-up with the social invention of science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard began with the issue of Proposition 8 because the "Church" of Scientology joined with the Latter Day Saints in saying that gay people are weird and ought to be illegal or something.

It has always been strange to me why the cult's backing of Prop H8 was such a surprise. One only has to read Scientology "scripture" to see where homosexuality is officially considered an aberration the "church" can actually help you get out of if you shell out enough money. But, oh wait, you would have had to shell out some money to actually READ that "scripture" or else you wouldn't know that - sorry. I wasn't thinking.

Here's a part of the story published in the LA Times this week...
Director Paul Haggis has already been the worst kind of publicity for the Church of Scientology, penning this letter in August 2009 in which he resigned from the group over its support of Proposition 8.

Now he could become more than just a thorn in the church's side. According to this Gawker report, the Oscar winner is shopping a book with New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright about his experience with Scientology –- an experience that he says included, among other things, his wife cutting off contact with her parents at the order of church officials.

Or you can get the whole thing here.

I think because the people just looking for the lulz may have been taking an extended break from working against the cult of Scientology folks have a tendency to think the storm has subsided for our money-grubbing Hubbard space cadets. But they'd be wrong.

We STILL run this.

Learn more about Scientology here at Why We Protest. It ain't over til it's over.

January 01, 2011

Walkin' One And Only

"I shudder at how easily people get used to the seemingly intolerable. They are like plastic, easily deformable if slow pressure is applied. And all authoritarians seem to realize after a while that that's all they have to do: push steadily with just the right force - not too hard all at once or a violent breakage will result. Then people will get used to whatever it is instead of refusing to accept it and rebelling....

"I take particular effort to maintain a settled - an anchored - outlook. Frankly it also helps that I never use any of the modern fad digital toys that get people onto the conveyor belt and zipping along so that they don't stay focused in any one place for long enough to notice the big shifts that are happening to everyone else. Huge propaganda, in fact, attempts to see to it that hardly anyone does stop and watch what's going on. If you try to do it they bring to bear a world of jeers and seemingly almost fanatic tactics designed to make you conform."

This from The Match! issue #107 (Summer 2009).

The editor is one Fred Woodworth who has been [publishing The Match! continuously since 1969.

He's a fellow who puts his money where his mouth is. You won't find a web site. Fred doesn't have a computer. He prints The Match! on old school offset printing equipment using press plates burned by solar power. He lives in Tucson, off the power grid, and has taught himself to fix everything from cars to generators.

The Match! can be gotten free just by writing him at

The Match!
PO Box 3012
Tucson, AZ 85702

But everyone sends a donation. The catch is that he returns checks because he doesn't have a bank account. You send cash or stamps. It sounds like an article of faith but it really isn't. This is how he's operated since the late 60's. I sent him a twenty. A week later I got three back issues, a hand-written note saying it was good to hear from me again (I remember contacting him in the early 70's when the zine was getting going and his "ethical anarchism" was getting put out there into the world), and a promise that a new issue was on the way.

Fred is an anarchist. Meaning that all forms of authoritarianism are anathema to his worldview be it Hitler, Stalin, the Jewish Knesset, the Iranian mullahs, the Queen of England, Fox News, the American Left, President Obama, your local peace officer, and even other anarchists who call for violence against the state and any form of statism whatsoever.

Hence he has made a lot of enemies over time.

Because he refuses to use an ISBN system there are bookstores that refuse to carry him or any book he publishes. Other anarchists have called him every name in the book because he's let it be known that violent overthrow is another form of authoritarianism, and he has never feared to call out others who style themselves "anarchist" yet call the police for their own protection or sue people, using the court system, for their own ends. Samples provided if you dig deep enough. A few years back he got very sick, but never had insurance. He managed to get his procedure on the donations of people who spread the word, as he faced off with the local hospital which, knowing his reputation, basically treated him like a dirtbag and refused him even CHARITY services they were known for.

Regular readers familiar with The Match! are familiar with the sections of the magazine "Evil Empire Notes" - collection of how Big Brother is and has been sneaking up on everybody. "Who The Police Beat" - a listing of national police atrocities since last issue, and the "World's Largest Letters Section" which is, literally as described including responses that pull no punches when Fred thinks you're doin' it wrong.

The Match! - A Journal of Ethical Anarchism is something I never figured would have survived all the years since I was a "student activist" in the anti-war movement back in the day. But here it is. Often 75 pages an issue.

Considering all the things and ideas that have passed my way since lo those many years ago, I can't tell you how absolutely refreshing it has been to pick up Fred's work.

I may only agree with 65-80% of what he says. But you have to love a guy who lives like he yaps. Or at least as much as possible considering the world as it is.

If only to read some good old school anarchist philosophy (and the "Technical Topics" in the back of the zine explaining how to keep yourself off the grid) it is worth any donation you can make.

And Fred will NEVER see this. He doesn't have a computer, remember?