Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
In fromage news:
Vacherin Mont d'Or: It finally came in! A stinky, cow's milk, fondue-like cheese. Peeling off the spruce top and getting to the warm, runny, slightly sweet deliciousness is a true treat.
Chimay: A cow's milk cheese made by Belgian monks. These monks are apparently famous for their beer brewing abilities and decided many moons ago to combine their love of beer with their love of cheese by making this cheese and washing it in beer. This semi-soft cheese stinks, but is rather mild, with a nutty aftertaste.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Instead I bring you Stratfor's assessment of the President's Afghanistan strategy. It's been interesting to hear Republicans praising the president and the left not quite knowing what to do or say.
The analysis itself is interesting and I'm paraphrasing here:
What we have is the Taliban that is definitely going to infiltrate the Afghan army. The Afghan army which is the key to the success of the President's strategy. So instead of focusing all of our efforts on preventing this infiltration, which is near nigh impossible, we'll use the Pakistani ISI to infiltrate the Taliban.
What is that you say? The ISI has been instrumental in helping the Taliban in the past? No matter. We don't have any other options.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
I had a smoked version that was fantastic. The only problem I found is that it dried out extremely quickly.
Monday, November 02, 2009
My views on this topic have changed pretty drastically over the past 20 years. Genetics and luck just play too big a factor.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Those are some pretty sweet tactics.
Mark, sadly is lacking in the entertainment department. However, he more than makes up for it in the "Damn, he's probably right." department.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Comte - an unpasteurized cow's milk cheese. Pretty mild and a cheese I like to use to cleanse the palet if I'm out of fruit.
St. Maure - an aged goat cheese wrapped in ash. I'm a big fan of hardened goat cheeses with creamy centers. Very nice.
Fourme d'Ambert - Wow. Simply wow. A French blue. When I tasted it, the fruity aftertaste completely shocked me. Apparently they inject the cheese with a sweet wine. A sweet blue? Amazing.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Not a money quote. Simply my favorite quote of the article:
"Franken very often refers to himself as a “satirist,” which is a piece of hubris that comes to him too glibly and naturally. One wants to say, on hearing or reading such a claim, “Actually, sunshine, we’ll be the judge of that.”"
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Blacksticks Blue - a soft, but not creamy blue cow cheese from the U.K. It's orange, which is unusual. Pretty smooth initially with a nice blue aftertaste.
Robiola Bosina - a very soft cheese from Italy made with both cow's and sheep's milk. Has a velvety rind with a buttery, sweet inside.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
"To achieve maximum coverage at acceptable cost with acceptable quality, health care will need to become subject to the same forces that have boosted efficiency and value throughout the economy. We will need to reduce, rather than expand, the role of insurance; focus the government’s role exclusively on things that only government can do (protect the poor, cover us against true catastrophe, enforce safety standards, and ensure provider competition); overcome our addiction to Ponzi-scheme financing, hidden subsidies, manipulated prices, and undisclosed results; and rely more on ourselves, the consumers, as the ultimate guarantors of good service, reasonable prices, and sensible trade-offs between health-care spending and spending on all the other good things money can buy."
Drunken Goat - an aged goat cheese bathed in red wine. Fantastic. Smooth, with just a hint of goat. One of my favorites.
Humboldt Fog - a goat cheese, aged slightly so it has a rind, with chevre-like middle. And they throw a layer of ash in it for good measure. Lots of flavor and the multiple textures do wonders.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
But that's not as fun as blaming black on white violence on our president. So the tea party and 9/12ers continue to foam at the fact that not only do we have a Democrat in the White House, but he's also a black man. A combination that the wingnuts just can't accept.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I was taking my semi-monthly trip to New York on the Sunday night red eye. I was in poor man's first class (exit row) and was asleep before take off. I woke up briefly when the flight attendants came by with the drink service when I heard it for the first time, the crinkling of a peanut bag. Now as everyone knows, those peanut bags are pretty loud, especially on a plane where everyone is asleep and no one else is eating any peanuts.
Now a normal person would eat several peanuts at a time. A normal person might even pour the bag of peanuts into his hand. Not this guy. He took out one peanut at a time. He didn't even open the peanut bag all the way, but opened it just enough for his fingers to barely make their way in to the bag where he would grab a single peanut, eat it, and then squeeze his way in to the peanut bag once again. Over and over until his 25 peanuts were gone. The racket was intolerable. The only thing getting me through the 10 minutes of torture was the fact that it was just a single bag of peanuts.
Or so I thought. THE DUDE ATE ABOUT 10 BAGS OF PEANUTS! Once he ran out, he asked for more AND ATE PEANUTS THE ENTIRE FLIGHT!! (I'm starting to get angry again.) Crinkle, crinkle, crinkle, grab, chomp. Repeat 250 times. The humanity!
Needless to say, if he hadn't been 6'5", burly, wearing an American flag do-rag, and a sleeveless Harley t-shirt, my elbow would have likely ended up making contact with his nose.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
My friend had scouted out a great place. Close, lots of dove, and did I mention close. Unfortunately, it had rained the night before so the dove were not flying as much as usual (if you can drink from a puddle next to you, why fly to the big watering hole you usually go to?), but there were still plenty of flyers. Unfortunately, my aim needs some refining. It took me about 50 shells to get 7 dove. One person got the limit of 10 and the rest of us had between 5 and 7. One of us even took down 2 with one shot (he really missed both, as the birds were about 15 feet apart, but lucked out).
One of the dove that I shot fell in to some tumbleweeds. As I was poking around looking for it, I heard some rustling around and then some high pitched squeaking. I then moved the giant tumbleweed and came across one of these:
A black and white/yellow king snake who was very grateful to me for providing his breakfast, which I graciously let him keep.
The rest of the hunt was uneventful. We went back home, cleaned our dove, brined them, and then BBQ'd about 8 hours later. Nothing like brined dove, with a split jalapeno on the breastbone wrapped in bacon, and dipped in honey BBQ sauce. Can't wait to go on Monday.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
- Shropshire Blue - a creamy, yellow cow's milk blue. Very similar to Stilton, but almost seems to have a cheddar flavor, but that could just be the color of the cheese playing tricks with my mind.
- Zamarano - an aged sheep cheese from Spain. Reminds me of Ballerina from the Puget Sound area. A little nutty. Very nice.
- Societe Roquefort - the famous blue from France. A creamy, slightly runny sheep cheese. I like it, but not as much as I like St. Agur.
- Farmer Joe's Mozarella - a local mozarella. Very nice, especially with prosciutto.
- Borata Mozarella - my, oh, my. I can eat this cheese all day. Cheese stuffed with cream and shredded cheese?? Ridiculously good.
Here's hoping I can get the leftovers through security at the airport.
**UPDATE: They made it through.**
Monday, August 10, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Monday, August 03, 2009
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Muacia Curado - an aged goat cheese that is already completely eaten
St. Agur - a creamy blue (the best blue I've ever had by the way)
5 Year Old Gouda - the crystallized amino acids make these cheese a must have at any cheese party
were all amazing. Have I mentioned that I love cheese?
Thursday, July 30, 2009
- Megan McArdle, at The Atlantic, explains why she is opposes National Health Care
- Dr. Bala Ambati outlines an alternative plan to the current public option that is on the table
More to come. I don't know what the best option is, but the current situation is unacceptable. If you haven't already, read McKinsey's report on U.S. health care (the full report, not the synthesis). You'll be more knowledgeable than almost anyone you come in contact with on the topic.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Its latest piece on the calculus in the Afghan War and how the insurgent and counterinsurgent military, intelligence, and political interests complement and collide with one another is very good.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
As you can tell, Zane and I love Transformers. He, because of the cheap plastic toys, and me, because of the mental torture I'm able to inflict. What?? CPS has already been notified I'm sure.
Anyhow, we went to see the movie on opening weekend. Here's the best review I've seen. CAUTION! Contains profanity.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
When I was in NY, I went to the Manhattan Stake Center and heard Brother Darius (who at the time was the President of the Genesis Group), flanked by 4 stake presidents, speak. It was cathartic and one of the things I force myself to remember in times of doubt.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Stratfor continues to amaze me.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Monday, May 04, 2009
Two weeks ago, I was getting ready to stretch out in first class and looked at the empty seat to my right and slowly stretched out my arms and let out an audible cheer. One minute too early. Running on board with a minute to spare was our last passenger. And she took the first class seat next to mine. Usually in first class, we say our polite hellos and sink into first class land. Not this time. I could tell immediately that something was amiss.
First, she looked like a meth addict. Sunken in cheeks and weighing less than a 100 pounds easy. And second, she had the jitters. She couldn't stop twitching. Then she opened her mouth and didn't stop speaking for the next 5 hours. I won't even go into details, but suffice it to say that she had mental health issues. I think at one point, when she was talking about a terrible man she had a relationship and a child with, she made a circle with one hand and poking it by using the index finger on her other hand, told me that she shouldn't have had intercourse with that man.
At one blessed silent moment, she was quiet for all of 10 seconds, so I quickly curled up, turned away, and closed my eyes. To no avail. She, in rapid succession, turned the light on and off, making that loud clicking sound, until I opened my eyes and she said, "Oh, you're awake? I'm so glad. I hate flying and need someone to talk to."
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The New Yorker reports on the back channel Pakistan-India peace deal that almost was and the potential results of a conflict betweeen these two countries.
Monday, March 09, 2009
I had no idea how I was going to do. You see, I haven't been formally training. I've been running (a lot) and biking (a little), but I haven't had a training plan other than "Run Forrest, Run". I was also a little nervous because of the Saturday forecast (upper 80s). I don't function well in the heat. My engine is air, not liquid, cooled. If the air temperature isn't below 60, I'm usually screwed.
This year I was runner #9. My first leg was 6 miles, of which four miles was uphill. I hammered out 6:50s pretty easy. My second leg was 5 miles, four of which were downhill. 6:20s. My last leg was 8 miles and was at 5pm Saturday. No sleep. Very tired. Not a lot of runners around to keep me motivated. On the Beeline Highway. 6:30s. Fortunately my air cooled engine was helped by my outstanding teammates running back and forth across the highway dumping water on me.
I feel strong people. I'm going to CRUSH 3 hours this year. I predict 2:56 at St. George. I have a plan. Now I just need to get in to the race.
Time to get ready for my spring planting. I purchased the following at Burpee's:
- Spanish peppers (hot)
- Anaheim peppers
- Sweet bell peppers
- Golden zucchini
- Beefsteak tomatoes
- Early season tomatoes
I'm looking forward to six months of tomatoes. There's more than one way to skin a mini(for now)-Depression.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Oh wait, haven't I said before that inflation is a tax. Please erase that from your memory.
Very well referenced and you gotta love the CBO.
Monday, February 23, 2009
So the President's 10-year budget is going to cut the deficit by more than half by 2013. And yet it will still be half a trillion $s!!.
Increasing taxes on those who make more than $250K a year and winding down the war in Iraq contribute the most to reducing the deficit. Let's hope the Afghanistan mission does not devolve into a destroy the Taliban mission.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
After reading this post over at By Common Consent, I thought for the first time in more than a decade that I might be wrong about the purpose of suffering.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
And hysteresis? That's more than a little terrifying.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
It's all about the basics.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
As you can tell by now, I am of two minds regarding the stimulus. I have serious reservations about the excessive use of debt (if only our debt to GDP ratio had been closer to 40% instead of +65% at the beginning of this crisis - thank you George!). I am also concerned about the U6 number of 15% (true unemployment - forget the ~7% number being thrown around). I don't know what the best answer is short term and I definitely don't know what the best answer is long term.
The problem is that I don't think anyone else knows either.
"It is clear that the Anglo-Saxon model of supervision and regulation of the financial system has failed.
It relied on self-regulation that, in effect, meant no regulation; on market discipline that does not exist when there is euphoria and irrational exuberance; on internal risk management models that fail because – as a former chief executive of Citi put it – when the music is playing you gotta stand up and dance."
"A sound model of how money and debt are created makes it obvious that we should never have fallen for the insane notion that the financial system should be self-regulating. All that did was give the Cavaliers a licence to run amok".
Credit money, then fiat money?? We don't operate under a fractional reserve system?? Someone needs to reprint all of those macro textbooks.
I suffered physical pain when Keen stated that the only way to inflate the economy (to get it kick started again) was to increase the money supply (i.e., M0) by 25x. No wonder everyone at the Fed and the Treasury is so scared. They know what they need to do, but pulling the trigger is gonna take a much bigger set than they or I have.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Despite Krugman's shrinking, but still extremely large, platform that is the NY Times, Barro is still beating him in the one place that matters, The Economist Rankings.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Yves Smith, over at Naked Capitalism, is foaming at the mouth over the latest bank bailout plan being bandied about at the White House.
For all of the brainpower on his economic team, you'd think that President Obama could come up with something better than more of the same kowtowing to the banks. Due diligence would be a nice start.
- Those who appreciate genius
- Those who fail to comprehend and appreciate genius
Four years ago today I began this blog with the initial hope of escaping the pit that is Category 3 and quickly decided that I was better off not having such high aspirations and quickly switched gears to something that I did know a bit about (i.e., running).
So dear readers, let's hope that the next four years of little analysis and lots of linking bears more fruit than the past four.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
However, for this post over at Delicious Animals, I must make an exception.
I first met Mr. Delicious Animals when an old friend from the Japan Osaka Mission days (who happens to be Mrs. Delicious Animals) found out that I lived in Brooklyn (her family lived in Westchester) from the Osaka Mission site and reached out to me. Shortly thereafter, we moved to Westchester and ended up in the same ward with the Delicious Animals Family. The short of it is that I know Mr. Delicious Animals pretty well. I won't go into his curriculum vitae, but suffice it to say that the man is probably President of the East Coast Chapter of MENSA (if he would even deign to show up).
So read his educational and brief rant and ignore the bloviating of the talking heads for a day or two.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The really interesting thing is that conservatives have finally woken up to the fact that they are conservatives and have started worrying about deficit spending, the debt, and a European style social safety net. After Bush's record of record spending with nary a peep from the right, one might even say it's cynically refreshing.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Money quote: "There is no conceivable force the United States can deploy to pacify Afghanistan."
Monday, January 26, 2009
I will admit that I am easily swayed by lofty arguments, so reading the above article helped alleviate some of the leftover anxiety from last week's op-ed by Robert J. Barro decrying Keynesian economics in the WSJ. I now know what taking a tranquilizer feels like.
The St. Petersburg Times has put together "The Obameter" to track the ~500 promises that President Obama made on the campaign trail. It's only fitting that our Tampa resident grizzley bear's home newspaper is putting this together. I haven't yet gone through each of the 500, but I'm guessing that I'm only going to want the President to keep about 2/3 of his promises.
You can browse the President's promises by subject here.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
That's a lot of balls to juggle. Here's to our new President's negotiation skills!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Future 2009 hikes include Mt. Humphreys, Reavis Ranch, Four Peaks, and Brins Mesa.
The second new activity is cycling. Not necessarily brand new, but new within the past two years. I bought my tri-bike almost three years ago, rode it for a year, then decided that I didn't like riding it as much as what I could be doing instead (i.e., running). Well one of my brothers decided to drag me back into cycling. So we compromised. On Saturdays, we now run 10+ miles and then bike 20+ miles. It's been a lot of fun. He tells me that cycling first, then running would be a different story, but for now, I don't believe him.
Before I forget dear readers, I thought you'd like to know that Liz likes it when I spend at least half of the day walking around the house in my cycling tights. I try and try to go get cleaned up, but she keeps making me food or asking me to stand on chairs and get things down or move this or move that. Gotta please the pregnant one!
And now back to our regularly scheduled news of war, famine, pestilence, and economic hardship (in that company, economic hardship sounds downright pleasant).
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
I think that Weird Al needs to remake "Rock Me Amadeus".
"Unemployment, unemployment. Unemployment. Oooh, rock me unemployment!"