Category Archives: I Laughed.

Baby Schnitzel

schnitzel-eat-1740723-pixabay-cc0-pubdom

Pixabay always has the best public domain stuff even if this one came without a background. The poor thing.

To begin let me clear up some ambiguity in the title: this is about making small schnitzel, not about how to make schnitzel out of babies. If you’re here for the latter, I’m sorry you have to leave disappointed.

So: I discovered today why my mom and grandma always made these little bitty schnitzel barely big enough to cover a store brand hamburger bun (which happens because cold leftover schnitzel makes AMAZING sandwiches).

I discovered today instead of the last time I made schnitzel because I am stubborn, stubborn, oh so stubborn.

When I usually make schnitzel, I aim to create something that will cover at least half of a dinner plate. I cut nice thick slabs of loin or tenderloin and carefully beat it into a nice big floppy pork blanket. If I’m working with tenderloin, which is a slender muscle that doesn’t make big thick slices, I at least make the schnitzel big enough to cover a large hamburger bun with some hanging out the sides.

Last time, I broke out the tenderloin and went for the meat hammer… but we’d lost it in the move. Okay, fine. I have a decent rolling pin… oh, also lost in the move.

Wanna guess where my last resort, a large stone pestle, went?

You got it.

So that’s when I learned an alternate method of making schnitzel without pounding it outHAHAHAHA no. I am far too stubborn to learn so quickly when I’m not learning on purpose.

Guess what I did.

Go ahead. Guess.

You’re probably wrong because I BEAT THE PORK TENDERLOIN SLICES FLAT WITH MY FISTS. I made schnitzel in a savage, unreasonable, beastly way.

I have German friends. I expect they will have me assassinated in reprisal for my crimes against schnitzelmanity.

But today, today! Today I learned.

And the learning made me realize why my mom and grandmom made little bitty baby schnitzel.

There have been Germans knocking around my mother’s side of the family line for at least a century and maybe two (family history is, sadly, not my strength).

Perhaps grandma’s mom or grandma said to themselves, eh, this Old Country business with hitting the meat with a hammer forever is for the birds. If I just cut the pork thin enough, I can work smarter instead of harder or whatever that dumbass ’90s business cliche was.

Maybe grandma was the one who took laziness to its logical conclusion and stopped hitting the pork with a hammer altogether. Maybe it was mom. Maybe it was great-grandpa, who motivated them to stop hitting the pork with a hammer out of spite because he was a fanatic about hitting the pork with a hammer the proper way, dammit, and would yell at you about it like a jerk.

But someone stopped hitting the pork with a hammer and just cut thin pieces of pork off a tenderloin.

Which is what I learned to do today so I didn’t have to beat my this post is over goodbye.

Advertisements

So I Was Talking To Some Luddites

 

 

 

caveman-1460898-cartoonish-pixabay-cc0-pubdom.png

Luddites are both annoying and fascinating.

They have the corner of a legitimate argument: technology has the potential to f**k us up royally. Yes, yes it does. I’m a Cold War kid. I remember watching The Day After.

mediacritica_the_day_after_650-650x250

I read (and sometimes write) dystopias. I’m a friggin’ science fiction fan and writer, fer crissake! OF COURSE I KNOW that technology has the potential to f**k us up!

So does a hammer. Or a spear. Or an obsidian flake.

Yes, technology usually needs to be managed. For example, in the wake of the invention of the automobiles we passed scads of laws governing their use. Where they can be used, how fast, what safety equipment can be used. Of course, we still manage to kill and injure about a million of ourselves yearly with the things, as I’ve written elsewhere.

As far as I can tell, the Luddite argument against self-driving cars is that they somehow won’t be regulated like every other invention and that they will somehow do a worse job at coordinating traffic safely than millions and millions of unconnected human brains all in various states of caffeine and fatigue and substance intoxication, plus under the influence of things like anger and grief and arguments and shouting children and dropping burritos in their laps.

Me, I think autonomous cars will do better. Sure, they can be compromised. So can your brakes and steering now — there are plenty of problems that will come up. There always are. Once upon a time fire displaced good old eating meat raw, and then someone burnt up their cave and died. I mean, a Luddite ought to be for going back to horseback… wait, you can fall off… I mean going on foot. Safety first! Hide in your cave!

Anyhow. The exchange with Luddites was amusing and silly. Here are a few tweets about it (this would be on my Patreon (sorry, patrons!), but they don’t seem to support links to tweets, so I have to put tweet-based posts here).

So, that happened. Whatever. I wonder why they just don’t go live without technology? I mean, the Amish manage it nicely without talking about it on Twitter, which you think Luddites would despise and not use.

It’s almost like their ideas don’t make sense except in at the shallowest possible glance — which they seem unable to see past.

At least writing this was fun, and I got to look up some cool images, and I got a blog post out of it. I hope y’all enjoyed it.

The Proper Way To Read A Book…

…is to hold it open with your toe so both your hands are free. Antics and toe courtesy of my middle son, 6 year old Victor, who now often reads the bedtime stories for his little brother Cuinn.

Elon Musk’s “Heart of Gold”

What a shame the real thing won’t be half as entertaining.

 

Musk shows some fitting sentiment with his idea to name his first Mars-bound settlement ship the Heart of Gold.

The literal meaning is nice. Our best intentions and loftiest goals, finally off to put some of humanity’s eggs in a basket other than Earth. Good show. The best intentions riff generally turns sour eventually, of course, but that’s simply the nature of time and change — someone gets the bright idea to try being meaner for a while, and everyone suffers until they get tired of suffering enough to demand some changes that may or may not help. It’s a fine sentiment, and probably best to start out with that rather than a bunch of cynicism.

The tribute to Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker’s Guide books is wonderful, as is the general tribute to the role of science fiction in keeping our eyes on the stars and our thoughts on getting somewhere rather than simply digging in deeper like ticks until another dinosaur killer comes around to wipe us out (assuming we don’t take the nuclear and/or germ warfare route). Damn shame Mr. Adams isn’t around to appreciate it. I wonder if he’d be tickled or annoyed or both.

Is it the best name for a spacecraft for a Mars expedition? Maaaaaaaayybe not. Unless we intend to drop a whale and a bowl of petunias on Olympus Mons.

Come to think of it, Olympus Mons would be a fine place to keep a small catalog of planets for sale, or perhaps make a decent summer home for a couple of mice.

Maybe Heart of Gold really is the right name.

The Luna Moth Has Landed

Me & my two little ones (3&5) came out to grill. This was waiting for us:

Just hanging out on the handrail of our front step. Very cool.

So Luna is minding her business and we’re minding ours. UNTIL…

Uh… you shouldn’t be there…

No, don’t go MORE toward my back, what are you thinking…

SERIOUSLY WTF NOT THE BEARD 

…but she relented and returned to my back. Awkwardly and with great care I managed to take off my shirt with her clinging to it and transfer her to a tall potted pine.

And I draped the shirt over her refuge so birds wouldn’t see her. This last shot is from behind the shirt — it’s not so see-through seen from the other side.

Luna is safe for now… but I’ll be watching my back.

If you walk with a cane…

…your kids will want canes too. And then, when you look the other way, they will swordfight with them (not pictured).

Fair warning.

The Most Ridiculous Jeff Bezos – Elon Musk Comparison Animation Ever. Probably Because It’s The Only One.

Warning: restroom rocket-waving contest. Which is somehow not a euphemism. Probably not safe for work if your supervisors are touchy or you don’t want to be laughed at for watching something so silly.

 

 

Sorry to inflict this on you, but it was WAY too bizarre not to share.

The Most Stylish Tinfoil Hat EVAR

Tinfoil hat crowdfunding

So there’s a kickstarter for tinfoil hats crafted to not cause laughter when worn in public. No, I’m not going to provide the URL. If you want one, or want to satisfy your curiosity, you’re going to have to use your own Google-Fu. I don’t want to contribute to this silliness.

So, yeah. Crowdfunding for a hat to guard your head from electromagnetic rays. The copy on the kickstarter caters to the casual worrier about various electromagnetic effects entering the skull, but you can bet the hardcore conspiracy theorist will be happy to have access to a mind control ray blocking hat that looks like a normal hat.

They have a version for babies, too. How very precious. And hey, who doesn’t worry a bit about being exposed to the bath of radio waves and magnetic fields that have been a fact of life in most of the world for the last 75 years or so? With the explosion of cellular networks and computer-telephones that fit in the palm of your hand, we’re probably as electromagnetically-doused as ever. It’s a worrisome thought for many.

Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields How They Heal The Dr. Oz Show

Unless you’re one of the people who think they can heal you. Oh, it’s so confusing. That’s how you end up with people buying hats to shield their brains from EM fields, and another group looking to EM fields for healing, yet another group worried about the magnetic fields things like house wiring creates, and still another group buying magnetic wraps for sore knees and elbows in the belief that magnetic fields naturally heal human bodies. And still other groups certain that the government is using mind control rays on them, or controlling the weather with cellular towers, and so on and so forth. It’s a confusing and complex world, and nobody knows everything. No matter how much you learn, you will be ignorant about many things, and mistaken about many others. It’s frustrating. And a bit scary. And some people deal with that by becoming certain that they can avoid problems if only they buy the right hat.

Funny thing about the hats, though. Let’s say for the sake of argument that they really do prevent harm to your brain by shielding it from electromagnetic somethingorother.

What about your unshielded nervous system? If the EM waves harm your brain, don’t they harm your nerves also? Shouldn’t this hat be a tracksuit? Especially once you consider that, if the EM waves come from a direction that the hat doesn’t guard, like from straight on or underneath, the hat forms a parabolic receiver that concentrates the EM waves right in the middle of your head? You know, where your brain is?

And, as noted earlier, there’s a version for babies. Who spend a lot of time lying down and crawling. An even better position for a receiver to catch those waves and focus them into a point right in the middle of the brain.

At the end of the day, I don’t think devices like this hat do a hell of a lot more than make the user feel a little bit more confident about navigating this confusing world. And, not incidentally at all, making some cash for the purveyors. There are many more devices of this type than just the hat, that purport to shield or heal from something nebulous and unproven to cause harm. Personally, I think a small proportion of them are made by people who really believe in the threat or healing, but many more are made by people who believe in the power of scaring others as a means of swelling personal bank accounts.

 

Comments On The Culture Of Black Friday Presented As A Series Of Science Fiction & Fantasy Movie Tweets

From my Twitter feed, @Tao23:

2014BFtweet0

(Link)

2014BFtweet1

(Link)

2014BFtweet2

(Link)

2014BFtweet3

(Link)

2014BFtweet4

(Link)

2014BFtweet5

(Link)

2014BFtweet6

(Link)

People Roleplaying in MY Book Reviews? It’s More Likely Than You Think.

WeirdosRoleplayingInPixelPeopleReviewsBarnesAndNoble

So… this is just weird. I’d love to know if any other authors have had this happen to them.

People are roleplaying — sort of — in the reviews sections of some of my ebooks at Barnes & Noble online. The image above is from the reviews section for Pixel People.

Obviously, they can’t exactly fit a lot in. I’ve played a lot of role-playing games in my time, and frankly, if a game I was in didn’t make it any farther than people giving uninspired descriptions of their characters, I wouldn’t have come back for the next session.

Maybe the action is somewhere else. I haven’t checked the reviews on The Grapes of Wrath lately. maybe ‘Raven’ and (snicker) ‘Eclair’ are fighting some orcs over there.

And, seriously, roleplaying in reviews? Seems like this would be a lot more efficient even in something as awkward as a thread in email with lots of CCs.

Or, I don’t know, get a freakin’ blog and roleplay there? They’re free.

For people engaging in an imaginative pursuit like roleplaying, this crowd seems pretty dim.

 

———

 

Addendum, 7/31/14: A Twitter friend, @nihiofkdi, tracked down the answer. Apparently “Nook RP” is a thing. To each their own, but rather than putting junk in the reviews of innocent hardworking indie authors like myself, which may discourage folks from downloading (“What’s this crap, this isn’t a review. Is this author screwing with me? Well, forget that. I’ll just re-read some Harry Potter, thanks.”), why not just gather at a friend’s house and play some good old fashioned D&D? It’s more fun that way, not to mention someone usually brings tasty junk food.