Saturday, October 14, 2006

KarateMonkey's pretty damn good chilli

It's a nice lazy afternoon here. The air has that nice crisp feel to it, and I woke up in the mood for chilli. So after a couple hours spent smelling that wonderful smell. I'm pleasantly full and feeling proud of myself, and I decided I could manage a worse introduction to this nifty blog that RedSonja has seen fit to give me the key to. Without further ado I present KarateMonkey's pretty damn good chilli.

1lb. stew meat
1 onion
1 bell pepper (I use red) chopped
1 Jalepeno or serrano pepper seeded and chopped
2 14.5 oz cans
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chills ( I usually use two 10z cans since that the easiest size to find)
2 14.5 oz cans dark red kidney beans
1 14.5 oz can black beans
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons Chilli powder (I use the medium hot stuff from Penzey's)
1 teaspoon cumin

Get a big damn pot and spray the inside with some nonstick spray. Heat it up and brown the
meat add the chopped onion, peppers, and garlic. Let them cook for a few minutes and throw
everything else in and simmer covered over low heat a couple hours.

This will give 5-6 good sized bowls of a thick very filling medium hot chilli with a nice rich flavor. On those occasions when I’m not cooking for a demanding blogmistress who believes that the proper spice level for chilli is somewhere below tear inducing then I’ll use a bit more chilli pepper, and couple unseeded chile peppers.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday critter blogging

Since I have the cutest animals in the world, I can't limit it to just the cats....

Emma and Charlie snuggle on the couch.

Charlie and Addie pose for kitty porn.

Daxter sprawls.

Boob tube goodness, nostalgia edition

This week: She-Ra, Princess of Power. Apparently this series was introduced by an actual movie, which is what NetFlix sent this week. Wow. Awesomely nostalgically bad.

I think my favorite part was when She-Ra jumps out of a window, flies through the air, swings on a pole, and crashes through the roof of a stable (!) to land on her untacked horse's back. Who just stands there while he magically transforms into a winged unicorn.She also had the power to emote to animals. Sorta like AquaMan, but useful. I didn't remember that.

Shedd report

This week's task as volunteer-extraordinaire was otter department. Specifically sea otters. Damn they're cute!! I also learned that baby otters can be very loud when they want something. Which is often. You wouldn't think that little 18 pound body could make that much noise....

I also got to feed penguins again. Yay penguins!!! And didn't fall on my ass. Yay not falling!!!

Trash TV and Feminism

One of my guilty pleasures is trash TV. Mostly Maury lie detectors and paternity tests, but occasionally Cheaters as well. I know, I know. Just encouraging the exploitation of these poor people, but the schaudefreude is just irresistable. Today, though, was really depressing. Why?

Today's Maury was lie detector tests. You know, I think my man (it was all men today) is cheating on me, and I want the lie detector to prove/disprove it.

1) The first couple was married, but even his mother was accusing him of cheating. Apparently at one point he claimed some girl his wife caught him with was a cousin, which his mom immediately contradicted. I'm not sure WHY she needed a lie detector test at this point, but there it was.

2) Couple number two was a blind woman and her fiance. She had been on the show several months earlier because she suspected him of cheating, stealing from her, AND stealing from her daughter. All those things were confirmed by the lie detector. So he proposed and she accepted. (That was a bit of a disconnect for me....) Now she thought he was cheating again. His trip to WalMart turned into a 4 hour excursion, with 2 flat tires, etc.... Lie detector today said he was cheating, too. The best part of this one was when she beat him with the dozen roses he brought for her, and returned the ring. The worst part was when they showed her backstage taking it back.

3) Couple number three was a woman who worked nights while her boyfriend stayed home with their infant daughter. One night she came home early, and found baby asleep in her car seat in the hall. Bf wouldn't let her in the bedroom for a while, and when he did, his pants were up but unzipped. She looked around and found a woman hiding in her garage!!!!! Yet she still needed a lie detector test to prove that yes, he too was cheating. This guy tried to propose before the results were read. He too was beaten with the flowers he brought her.

4) Last couple: on the show in the past, girlfriend had suspected boyfriend of cheating. One night he came home super late and she noticed a "stain" around his dick. (She kept calling him "ring-around-the-[bleep] Reggie!) He claimed he had been eating a powdered donut and then went to the bathroom. Lie detector said no at that time. Same thing was happening again, only this time he claimed it was either parmesan cheese or baby powder. Needless to say, he was lying again.

This whole thing just depressed me to no end, I think because almost all these women were "repeat offenders". The ones who weren't had what I would take to be sufficient proof to dump these jackasses without needing to go on national TV. So why the uncertainty? Why did these women accept excuses like the parmesan cheese thing??? If there's a woman hiding in your garage, something is going on!!!

All I can come up with is that they don't think they can make it on their own, and so they want to believe. I understand wanting to believe. But good grief.... Just goes to show that feminism hasn't accomplished all we could wish, I guess.

Tailbone Update

Day 9 - ass still hurts. Am considering strapping donut to ass to sit on, despite inevitable mockery of coworkers.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Marine Letter From Home

Time recently published excerpts from a Marine's letter to the folks at home. He asked to remain anonymous, but the full letter is available here. Go read it -- I'll wait.

Okay. I just have to say that this guy is smart, observant, and proud as hell of his troops. I'm so glad to know that there are men and women like him in Iraq. Seems like all we hear about is the assholes torturing prisoners for fun and profit, so this is a nice change.

But I find my softie self wanting to just fly over there and hug all of them, 120 degree heat or not. The frustration and depression and stress evident in the letter just breaks my heart. What the hell are we doing over there????? Just one more thing Bush has to answer for.

UPDATE: Doonesbury has started a military weblog called The Sandbox. It's not intended to be political, just a venting spot for military life on both sides. For us non-military folks, it's an interesting look at life in the armed forces. Check it out.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Today I am extra grateful for....

1) My most excellent friend and coworker. Without him, today would have sucked beyond human comprehension. Between cheerful snarky banter, excellent technical skills, and a genuine desire to work hard and help his coworkers, he kept this morning from being craptacular.

2) The total stranger who sent us a lovely down comforter. Actually probably not a stranger, but we haven't figured out just who our benefactor is. And I LOVE down comforters.....

3) Big rainstorms I can play in. Not that there is one right now, I just am always grateful for those.

Despite all these things, my tailbone STILL hurts. A lot. Dammit.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Emergency Contraception, Unavailability of

So several weeks ago, Biting Beaver posted her story about trying to get emergency contraception. I was appalled. Apparently her ob-gyn told her to go to an ER, which, when she called, all told her she would have to meet the doctor's "criteria" to get a prescription. Eventually she ended up getting some from Planned Parenthood, but outside the 72 hour window recommended by the manufacturer.

The update: the EC failed. She is now going to get an abortion.

This story simply highlights what so many of us already know -- the pro-life crowd isn't pro-life, they're antisex. If they were so interested in preventing the number of abortions that occure, they would be promoting birth control and family planning, not discouraging it. But no, instead it's all about punishing women for having sex. Even monogamous sex. Even protected monogamous sex. That's not good enough. Sex for procreation only, or face the consequences!!!

I have some genetic diseases in my family. Rather serious ones, in fact. Diseases serious enough that I would not bear a child if I thought it would, or even could, have them. My husband and I choose to have sex. We're married, so it should be okay, right? Once a condom broke. I spent frantic hours trying to find a clinic that would script out EC for me. A few months later, it happened again. This time, my doctor gave me a hard time about it. "Well, we don't like to do this very often....." My FEMALE doctor!!! So I found myself on the phone at work explaining why I wasn't on the pill at that time, and why it was so imperative to me to not conceive.

This whole story breaks my heart. That there are people who would rather she bear a child that she cannot care for, rather than take a pill to expel a cluster of cells. And that to those people, life begins at conception, and ends at birth. That once she has that child, it's her own damn problem.

Bunch of fucking hypocrites.