snowmen, igloos, glitch, bacon, & links

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I now have my only 8:30 AM ballet class. I like getting up and bundling and walking through the brisk Michigan winter morning to class.Yesterday my little Christian college was one of the few schools that stayed open locally.  The snow was heavy and wet with a last layer of freezing rain.

Later when I was walking to get my car from the shop I noticed a man and two children making a huge snowman. Great weather for that.

Behind the snowman was a very cleverly made igloo consisting uniformly shaped large snow bricks obviously made from packing them into the same box object.

The igloo builders yesterday could have easily used some kind of implement like this to make their bricks.

I decided to play a composition by an old classmate of mine for the prelude this Sunday. The composer is Lynn Trapp.

Attended Notre Dame with this guy. He is a fine composer and organist.

The piece is based on a pop-music-like Spanish ballad sometimes called Fishers of Men.

It reminds me a bit of pop Spanish music tunes like “Guantanmero.”

Not quite as good as that, actually. Anyway,  there seemed to be a coda sign missing from Lynn’s composition. I figured out a solution for this notation glitch, but I thought it would cool to email him and give him a chance to let me know exactly where the coda sign went.

His website was easy enough to find. But oddly there was no email for him. There were phone numbers. But I hesitated to call over such a small little thing. Often my friends from the past are not all that happy to hear from me. Ahem.

It said that Lynn was a director of music at a church. He is a life long church musician so that was not surprising. I tracked down the church and found an email for him on its website. But it bounced back. Ah well. Fuck it.

For Eileen’s supper last night I improvved a white chicken chili after studying other recipes. I combined Eileen’s favorite bean soup recipe with chicken and bacon.

In keeping with being a total doofus, I am proudly posting the recipe.

Chicken White Chili – adapted from another recipe by SBJ, 1/18/2011

1 Can of great white northern beans
2 med potatoes, grated
½ onion, grated
2 C chicken broth from boullion, divided
1 t cumin
juice of half of a lime

1 Chicken breast, fat trimmed and sliced thin
2 T olive oil
1 slice center cut bacon
2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
1 t chopped jalapeno pepper (opt.)

combine beans, potatoes, onions and 1 C broth. Add cumin and lime juice. Cook until potatoes are soft and mushy. Add 2nd cup of broth as needed.

Slice chicken breast and toss with olive oil. Refrigerate.

When potatoes are about done,  start bacon in cold pan. Cook bacon until done, then remove to drain. Add jalapeno pepper and garlic and cook for 2 or 3 minutes.

Add chicken and more oil as needed. Cook chicken until it begins to carmelize.

Add chicken, jalapeno pepper and garlic  to pot.

Makes about three large servings.

Yesterday’s Links

Barack Obama: Toward a 21st-Century Regulatory System –

I have to admire Obama’s governing style. Reaching out to our weird
angry exploitive business community in the US after they trounced his
ass in the last election. Must be for the good of the country.

On a similar note, I emailed my house representative yesterday, gently
imploring him to consider not voting yes to repeal health care. Ha. This
area of Michigan is so Republican and reactionary it makes my head
spin. Anyway, I tried to be civil and coherent. Couldn’t hurt, I guess.


Amy Chua Is a Wimp – by David Brooks

Speaking of conservatives, Brooks writes about the necessity of
socialization to cognitive learning and processing. Good stuff:

“Participating in a well-functioning group is really hard. It requires the ability to trust people outside your kinship circle, read intonations and moods, understand how the psychological pieces each person brings to the room can and cannot fit together.” David Brooks, “Amy Chua is a wimp”


News Is Power in Washington, and Aides Race to Be Well-Armed – by Ashley Parker

This is an interesting description of how young ambitious aides get up
very very early and scour the internet for the latest breaking ideas and
news for their bosses.

“There’s no news cycle anymore…” David Perlmutter, the director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa quoted in Ashley Parker’s article above


And here’s one I haven’t read yet, but plan to:

Boston Review — Stephen Steinberg: Poor Reason (culture of poverty)

Steinberg apparently teaches at Queens College CUNY. His area of
expertise is race and ethnicity in the US. I think the point of this article is to
further refute that some kind of black culture in the US contributes significantly
to poverty. As I said I haven’t read it yet.

See you tomorrow, Kemosabe

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2 thoughts on “snowmen, igloos, glitch, bacon, & links

  1. I disagree with your support of the Health Care program. I am concerned about the poor as is anyone, but the poor is not a permanent class. It is a justification, though, for onerous government programs which do little or nothing to solve these kind of problems. I view this merely as a way for power to be taken away from people. Or as I see it, the intellectual elite proposes that “most people are not smart enough to manage their own lives”. Freedom is costly,because you must be responsible to keep free. I believe that most people given the chance are better able to manage their own conditions, far better than some bureaucrat, who doesn’t give a twit about those people. Are we able to understand the difference of socialization, (more government) and a more dependent society, with the idea that freedom is dependent upon a well informed individual.
    I realize that this is at odds with you, but I didn’t come to this point of view without considerable experience and evaluation. I believed as you do many years ago. This changed.

  2. I’m not sure you understand how I believe. As you distrust government, I also distrust those who dismantle it without proposing a solution for how we could coherently attempt to have a society that functions (infrastructure without taxes?), or how we address those who need help (beyond “you must be responsible to be free”). I especially distrust a public discussion that reduces our present real human problems to ideology. I do however have a trust in you and your basic sense of fairness and the legitimacy of your understandings which I’m not sure you are reciprocating when you say in effect when you were young and immature you believed the way I do.

    I believe that it is the collective “we” that is the problem and the solution. In my understanding, democratic government ideally is not the “other.” It is us for better or ill. Granted our government barely functions and is corrupt. But the position you seem to be describing and the position that many politicians are taking right now in opposition to the governing system seems to be incapable of recognizing its own inherent hubris. (Hubris is what you accuse me and the “intellectual elites” of when you say that we propose that most people are not smart enough to manage their own lives… unfortunately, hubris is a human condition that all of us have to face, not one limited to one side of this particular argument). To harangue government for its power over its citizen’s lives seems suspiciously like attempting to wrest that power away from it for one’s own ends. To, in effect, unconsciously become what we despise. I think this is the trap for both sides of our current political partisan malaise.

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