Wednesday, November 22, 2017

How can anyone talk politics over Thanksgiving??

What is there to say, other than I Like Trump, or I Hate Trump?  That won't led to much of a discussion.  I am a news junkie, and I just don't have anything worth discussing.  Trump's first year hasn't accomplished much that you can put your finger on, let alone support or condemn.  Stock market is up, GNP growth is up, unemployment is down, wages are up a little bit.  All good things, but they might have happened no matter who won the 2016 election.  I like Trump, but I cannot point to things Trump did that led to those good things happening.  I like to believe that Trump's attitude and activity had something to do with it, but that's just a belief, I cannot back it up with concrete examples. 
  So what political can I say to all the left and hard left family members coming for Thanksgiving?  Particularly now they all have smart phones, and will summon up facts and arguments to support their lefty beliefs at the drop of a hat.  And now that politics is a religion that sees compromise as sin.
  Best to stick to talk about grandchildren, home projects, cars, the model railroad, the great windstorm that put my power out last month, recipes, wildlife (I have bears, wild turkeys, weasels, moose, deer about the place).

Wall St Journal opposes suit over Verizon- Time Warner merger.

Verizon, ($211 billion) wants to take over Time Warner (($79 billion).  The Justice Department is objecting upon anti trust grounds and is threatening (or perhaps actually has) file an anti-trust suit to block it. 
   The Journal, in an OpEd and some coverage in the business section, is saying that the merger in not anti competitive because Verizon and Time Warner are not competitors.  They offer different products and services, and so merging them doesn't reduce competition. 
  Hogwash say I.  They are both in the cable TV and Internet business.  Just cause their services have different names, it's still providing TV and internet. 
   Verizon is too damn big already.  Letting them get even bigger is bad for me.  I'm getting ripped off on TV and internet cable by Time Warner right now.  It got so bad that Time Warner changed its name to "Spectrum" hoping that a lot of Time Warner bad feelings might go away if they changed their name.  When last month's storm took out my electric, telephone, and Time Warner Cable, guess who was the last one to restore service.  You guessed it, Time Warner took two days more than the electric and telephone companies did to restore my service.   Does anyone think that a much  bigger Verizon would be any better?
   We passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act two centuries ago to limit the size and power of big companies. In the past, Sherman Anti Trust was strong enough to break up Rockefeller's Standard Oil.  They tried to break up IBM in the 1960's but wimped out in the end.  The last gasp of anti trust action was the suit against Microsoft over the browser wars.  Anti-Trust wimped out on that one too, which is why we still have Internet Exploder  letting viruses onto our PC's
   And all those "too big to fail banks" that Dodd Frank is so kind too.  If the damn banks are too big to fail, then they are plenty big enough for anti-trust action. And the humongous InBev merger that Justice OK'ed just this year.
   The Justice Dept should be encouraged to do some more anti trust work. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

If you are gonna do crime,you last longer doing it at home

Three dumb ass UCLA basketball player made the news 'cause they were picked up for shop lifting in China.  President Trump claimed some public relations points by talking the Chinese president (Xi?) into letting them off to go home. 
   Advice.  If you are gonna do a crime, do it at home, in a place you grew up, where you speak the language, where you have some connections that might get you off, where you know the hideouts, the fences, the cops, the judges. 
   Doing a crime in a foreign land, like China, where you don't speak the language, where nobody cares if you get put in slam for 20 years, where you don't know where you can hide, where you can fence stolen stuff, is just plain dumb.  You will get caught, and the locals will have no mercy on you.
   UCLA is admitting some real stupid students.  I guess you don't need brains to play basketball for UCLA.

Artichokes, a light meal in one pot

If you haven't tried an artichoke you are missing a taste treat.  They have a light, slightly nutty flavor, they are an honest green vegetable, of which we all need to eat more, and they are fun to eat.  Allow one artichoke for each diner.  They are eaten by pulling off the leaves, dipping the leaf in a little mayonaise, and putting the broad end into the mouth and scraping off the delicious edible part with your teeth.  The bulk of the artichoke leaf is stringy fiber too tough to eat.  You discard it.  BTW, never put artichoke leaves down a disposal, they will clog your drain but good.  After you eat all the leaves, you still have the artichoke heart to eat.  Cut the furry looking growth off the top of the heart, those are baby leaves waiting to grow, and entirely too tough and prickly for humans to eat. 
   Cooking is straightforward, put 'em in a pot, with a couple of inches of water on the bottom and steam them for 40 minutes or so.  Bring the water to a boil on high heat and then cut back to medium, enough heat to keep the water bubbling gently. Cut the prickly top of the artichoke off, leaving a round spot maybe the size of a silver dollar.  Before steaming them, drizzle some olive oil over the leaves and tuck some slivers of garlic inbetween to looser leaves. 
  One artichoke is enough to make a light meal, say lunch.  And they go well with anything to make a bigger meal. 

Will there be anyone left in public life?

After the sexual assault accusations finally run down?   They sank three newsies on Monday.  Who is next?  How many are next? 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Garage Door Opener goes crazy.

Got home last night and found my garage door wide open, wind and rain blowing into the garage.  I know I had hit the button on the door opener remote control to close the door, and actually seen the door start to close, before I had left.  I tried the close button and the door would start to close, get to within a foot of the threshold, and then pop into reverse, drive full open, and flash the garage light furiously.  I tried a couple ot times, no joy.  Since it was dark and raining, I just pulled the emergency release, unhooking the door from the door opener, and closed the door by hand.
  This door opener has a safety circuit, an electric eye that looks from rail to rail, and if the beam is interrupted by say a child, or a car, or a pet, or whatever, it kills the close cycle and opens the door all the way.  Next day, I heaved the door up by hand and felt a light feathery touch from a twig that was stuck to the bottom of the door.  So I took the shop broom and swept off the entire door bottom, and the threshold for good measure.  Bingo, that did it, the door opened and closed perfectly.  Must have been something stuck to the door bottom that stuck out enough to break the electric eye beam and send the door opener into it's emergency panic open response. 
   And a good thing too.  That door opener has been working steadily for ten years now.  I don't know if I could find the instruction sheet, or even the makers name, let alone a spare parts place. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Beat the Press

They spent a whole hour talking about sexual assault, Roy Moore, Al Franken, and why they think President Trump deserves more heat over that tape that was dredged up shortly before the election.  Boring.  Probably they ran the hour long piece because it was cheap and easy to produce.
  The suits who run American media think they are running entertainment.  The stories they select are intended to boost TV ratings or circulation, not to inform the public.  The media workers are mostly Social Justice Warriors who see their duty as getting Democrats elected.  Only Rupert Murdock was savvy enough to realize there is a large audience for news without to heavy layer of socialist propaganda you get on the networks and even PBS.