Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Poor Wall Street. They have such a hard choice this election year.

Should they vote for the candidate they own who occasionally makes tsk-tsk noises about them in speeches and only delivers 99% of what they want, but who makes them feel like they've done something morally daring, even hip, by voting for a black dude, or should they put their weight behind the candidate they own who loudly proclaims their greatness in speeches and will be even more obliging in policy, but who may wear goofy underdrawers?

Decisions, decisions, decisions....


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekly Menu - January 29

Here's what's on the menu for this week around here.

Reality Check on Grocery Costs

In early January I put up a post Grocery Costs at Casa Anglachel, talking about my shopping habits and spending in 2011. A few days ago, an article was posted in the local paper, the Union-Tribune, about restaurant menu prices going up. The article included a table on wholesale food cost increases, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor.

Rotten Apples

There is nothing so annoying as an Apple fanboi/grrl. Especially when they are probably just some shill hired by Apple to search The Interwebz and post pro-Apple comments to blogs that have said something less than complimentary about their gizmos.

What Riverdaughter Says

The left blogosphere might want to think about that for awhile. If it thinks that nothing it does makes a difference to the powers that be, maybe it should try dissenting and allow the pain of independence work its magic. DON’T say you’re going to vote for the bastards even if they treat you like shit. And then mean it. They’re counting on you to go along with the crowd in order to alleviate that pain and fear. Peer pressure only works if you let it. And those of us who have resisted from the beginning can’t reason with you to make you see our point of view. Resisting peer pressure is something you need to come to grips with on an emotional level your own. It *is* painful but worth it when your thoughts are your own. It’s sometimes physically disorienting and nauseating, I won’t lie to you. People aren’t going to like you. They’re going to call you stupid or mentally ill. They’ll say they were wrong about you and you’re not as sexy and smart as they thought you were. They’ll tell you that you will bring Armageddon down on everyone’s head if you let the Republicans win. They know how the brain game works because they’ve read the studies and it’s always worked this way. If you give in to them, they win and they can do whatever they like because they know you will go along in order to feel good about yourself.

They need you more than you need them.  They still need the momentum of the crowd, the frenzy of the mob, the mounting pressure as the election gets nearer.  They need your vote.  If you refuse it, you monkeywrench their entire peer pressure apparatus and then they have to start paying attention to you and addressing your demands.  They’d rather not have to do that.  They have other people to win over.  It’s easier for them to know that they have checked you off their list so they can move on to tougher nuts.  Don’t make it easy for them.
Sunday: Ok, I think we’re on to something here



Friday, January 27, 2012



[ok-yuh-pey-shuhn] noun
  1. a person's usual or principal work or business, especially as a means of earning a living; vocation: Her occupation was dentistry.
  2. any activity in which a person is engaged.
  3. possession, settlement, or use of land or property.
  4. the act of occupying.
  5. the state of being occupied. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012


One of the reasons data aggregation is both big business and hard to grasp is that is it composed of many, many tiny bits of our lives, very few of which are particularly meaningful in isolation. An IP address in and of itself is not much. That IP address mixed in with your cell phone number, your YouTube viewing history, and a bunch of locally stored tracking cookies can speak volumes about you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


There is a post brewing around here. Probably a couple of posts. Here's a little background reading for what is coming up.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You're the Merchandise

With free apps comes loss of anonymity.

There is a trade-off between the user and the provider of apparently free online applications. It's not implicit because it is built into the EULAs. The wording varies but the gist is pretty much the same: When you sign up for and use the service we're providing, you are giving us information about you that we will use as we see fit for our financial advantage. The EULAs are getting more aggressive these days because the providers are using your data more aggressively.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Republican Follies

Obama is extraordinarily lucky in his selection of opponents this time around. Though hard to believe, the Republican Party is more internally divided than the Democrats, though the individual divisions have more ideological and participatory coherence than their counterparts in the Democratic Party.

Weekly Menu - January 22

I'm not sure I'll keep posting this, but I've had a few people ask me the kinds of things I cook and how I decide what to cook.

Mayacoba Beans

My new most favorite legume.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Money, Morality and Mittens

I've been following some of the back and forth in the MSM and the blogosphere about Mitt Romney, what did or did not happen with Bain and what it tells - or fails to tell - us about the Mittster. The crude analysis is that Bain robbed a certain company blind in the 90s and this tells us Romney is a Bad Guy, a vulture capitalist. OMG even Newt tells us it's true!!!!!

To me, it's another round of reducing political judgment to matters of morality.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Republican Choices

It's a good thing I had some parsnips to roast for dinner so I'd have something sweet to go with the bitter reporting by the Incomparable One.

Parsnips, Yum

I love parsnips. I just had a big serving of them for dinner. I roasted them with a red onion in a balsamic vinegar and brown sugar marinade for about an hour, then served them up with a barley and mushroom baked thing. A little dusting of grated Parmesan was the right touch on each.

It was very good.


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Grocery Costs at Casa Anglachel

My take on the Iowa caucuses - nobody much likes anyone. The election in November will be for who is least detested by the general population. Meh.

I've been keeping my grocery database for just over a year now. I started it with my shopping trip on 10/31/2010 and now I'm starting a new year. I set up some crosstabs and reports last week to see what is going on with food prices and my purchasing habits.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Modes of Reaction and Revolution

I am all about distinctions. It matters that we study differences between political actors and correctly identify points of congruence as assiduously as we try to separate the political world into the members of the Beloved Community and those who are beyond the Pale. That's why I was very pleased to read a deceptively simple article in the latest New York Review of Books by Mark Lilla, Republicans for Revolution. It is a review of a Corey Robin's book "The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism form Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin," and it gets to the heart of many of the observations and criticisms I've posted on this blog about misapplication of political labels, though with fewer polemics and greater elegance.