Thursday, May 28, 2009

Aerial views of the construction

William took these yesterday from the top of the tree fort. This was before they knocked down the chimney and pulled off the old sky light.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Food Jazz

So I was explaining to William how the meatless tamale pie I fixed tonight was a riff on my usual version. Food Jazz. I served it with a cole slaw made with cabbage and shredded apple. He said I needed to write it down and save it. So from my Recipe File:

Meatless Tamale Pie

1 cup chopped celery
1 large onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
sauté in 3 T EVO
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 small can diced green chilies
1 can kidney beans drained
1 can black olives drained
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp garlic salt
1 T chili powder
Mix 1 T masa flour in water and add to above

Mix together dry then add wet
1 cup corn meal
1 cup flour
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup milk
1 egg

Put vegetable mixture in a large covered casserole. Top with cornbread mixture. Top with about ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese. Cover with glass lid and bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Probably serves 6 certainly more than 2. We will have this as leftovers tomorrow.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile

Last night we went out to a LeGacy production of Picasso at the Lapin Agile.
With the belly-up failure of Foothill Theatre Company, our only professional theater company, we were left with 2 tickets that we were able to trade out for this very good amateur production. I hope some professional productions can come back. I really hope for the late summer Shakespeare we used to have.
Video snippet of another production of Picasso. Comedy is set in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris in 1904. Picasso and Einstein meet in a bar just before each becomes well known. We did a lot of walking around in the Montmartre when we were in Paris.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Shut my Mouth

So the Democrats joined Republicans to vote 90-6 in the Senate to refuse funds needed to close Gitmo. With friends like these Obama does not need enemies.

I heard the response of Harry Reid about how we did not want terrorists released onto our streets. As if a transfer from Gitmo would entail our first releasing the prisoners then chasing them down to re-imprison them. He was even called on this inane statement by a reporter and he repeated it. The Democrats are falling for the right wing line that you have to fear terrorists in prison, as if we do not already hold terrorists in prison, such as the blind sheik, the shoe bomber and the unibomber.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Remember When

Remember when we used to play Trivial Pursuit with the Bordens and Frank always answered Idi Amin (and he was usually right). Well now my Christmas Cactus has started blooming. It has never bloomed in May. It blooms in November and December. William says "global warming." Could he be right like Frank used to be with his stock answer?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Best New Kitchen Tool

A Lime Squeezer. Everything is better with lime juice. So buy a bag of key limes and a squeezer and start squeezing. Bill thinks it is great fun, too.

Latest Plans of the Party of No

The Republicans latest plans to block the efficient running of an Obama Presidency goes beyond just voting no on legislation. They plan to block and hold on nominees. And then complain that not much can get done without deputies or heads of agencies in place. David Hayes, nominee for deputy head of Interior, was voted down by a block Republican vote today. Also Dawn Johnson as head of the Office of Legal Council will probably not be confirmed. No good reasons. Just obstructionism. Without 60 votes in the Senate to avoid filibusters, aka just shut down all business, the Democrats seem powerless against the obstructionist Republicans.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Diego's and House of Floyd

Out to dinner for Chilean food at Diegos, then to see House of Floyd a Pink Floyd cover band at the Grass Valley Center for the Arts. The restaurant was full and the food was excellent. I had the spiced Talipa with fun sauces. The concert was sold out and the band was great with video and light show. The crickets were bad after the show. In fact the crickets are still here in my ears in the living room. I hope my ears settle down soon. I should have brought ear plugs. William says his cilia are acting up too.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Destruction

The top of the "former porch" hangs down over the top of the door prior to falling off.
Taking a break from jack-hammering off the porch.
There used to be a deck here.
And here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Filibuster a Supreme Court nominee?

The talking heads talk about the "Alito Filibuster" as if there was one. Yes, there was talk, but the first vote for confirmation passed with enough Democratic votes to confirm Justice Alito. But because there are enough "blue dog" Democrats who can be counted on to often vote with the Republicans, the Republicans may be able to filibuster a nominee. The Republicans have often made an issue of their contention that the senate should only advise and consent on judicial nominees. But this is only true when the Republicans are in power.

Also there was talk during the Specter interview of no votes for Obama's health care plan because it included a public choice, as if someone who already had employer provided health care would suddenly switch to a public plan. Let me list the reasons why they would not. 1. You still have to pay for a public plan. 2. A public plan such as Medicare is fairly bare bones with a fairly high copay for procedures.
Someone has gotten the idea that a public health care plan is free. Also if you do not offer a public choice which might be fairly low cost for low income people who are uninsured and possibly uninsurable because of preexisting conditions, what are you going to offer them? What choices are you going to offer the 40 million uninsured? A high pay no coverage ripoff plan? Or are you just going to say that they have a choice. The choice to pay for bad coverage they cannot afford or not pay for bad coverage. The choice to have insurance or not. That is what many Republicans say right now. That these 40 million people have just chosen not to have insurance. I am sure that is true of some, but most would rather have insurance they could afford, which would also leave them with food on the table.
I also heard a comment that health insurance premiums should be based on life style choices. Essentially that a thin person who followed a healthy diet, exercised and presumably had no other bad habits would pay less for insurance. Gee this sounds like "Big Brother Government." Also that people would be counseled to make better end of life decisions so that less money would be spent on futile expensive medical decisions prior to death. OMG! You mean Republicans were wrong in their decision on Terry Schiavo?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ozone Season is coming

Western Nevada County
Ozone Grade: F
Orange Ozone Days: 130
Red Ozone Days: 11
Purple Ozone Days: 1

The western portion of Nevada County, including the Cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City, has failed to meet reasonable health based standards for air quality and have been designated "non-attainment" zones for ozone pollution by the federal government. Ozone pollution is increasing in Western Nevada County and exceeded national standards in
2008 on 142 days.

Western Nevada County is the 1st most ozone polluted rural county in the United States. Ozone pollution in Nevada County is significantly worse than in areas commonly associated with air pollution, including New York City; Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Las Vegas, Nevada; and many other US cities.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the American Lung Association, ozone is a powerful respiratory irritant that can lead to shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing, coughing, and premature death. Repeated exposure to high levels of ozone also leads to reductions in lung function, inflammation of the lung lining and increased respiratory discomfort, and irreversible damage in developing lungs. The U.S. EPA estimates that one out of three residents of Nevada County is at risk of experiencing health problems from ground level ozone.

The majority of Nevada County’s ozone is transported by wind from the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay Areas, and nearly half of all ozone is the result of on-road motor vehicle exhaust.

Quotes from an 06 petition to State Senator.
America's most polluted cities includes us in the Sacramento Area.