Category Archives: 2013

Easy no-salt potato-jalapeno pancakes

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I gather some of you besides me count sodium mgs in your diet the way overweight people used to count calories.  If so, and if you’re on the lookout for a tasty treat you’ve probably never encountered before you might try this.

Blend or process a potato, a jalapeno, half an onion, a tablespoon of minced garlic and a teaspoon of grated ginger together until they reach the color of guacamole and the consistency of pancake batter.  [Works well without the ginger, too, whole different culinary experience.  I’m betting cinnamon could fit into it somewhere, to doctor it up into a mutation worthy of a space alien.]

[Edit:  Cilantro.  I forgot to mention adding some chopped up fresh cilantro.  Important, too]

Pour the mix into a sizzling pan of olive oil or butter and flip them a couple of times as they cook until they’re brown on both sides.

Pop those moneymakers into a dish and eat them like pancakes, or let them cool and eat them the way you’d have a bagel or donut.  Great under blackstrap molasses and buttered, great dry.  Name your own poison

Remember where you heard it first.

Old Jules

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Radiation ain’t all that bad

sunflower asbestosHi readers.

I saw a movie on Netflix named, Pandora’s Promise.  It was interviews with all manner of people who used to be against nuclear power plants, but changed their minds.  ‘Good’ environmentalists, mostly.

Their logic is that they were duped by other ‘Bad’ environmentalists into thinking nuclear power plants were bad and dangerous, but that not all that many people died from Chernobyl, and not all that many are dying from Fukushima.  And that most of the time nukes are cleaner than coal and don’t kill as many people.

These ‘Good’ Environmentalists understand that without nuclear power they can’t do anything about climate change, which of course, they haven’t been duped by Bad Environmentalists about.  All that stuff about health consequences of radiation exposure was BS.  Bad Science.  Whereas, everything about climate change is GOOD science.  “How dare they,” one pro-nuclear environmentalist shouts of climate change ‘deniers’, “Deny SCIENCE?  This isn’t the DARK ages.”

Convincing movie.  Leads me to think we were all duped a lot earlier than that, back when the USSR was making such a nuisance of itself.  We could have bombed those people back to the stone age if we’d never had our heads confused about fallout shelters, genetic drift, mutants, nuclear winter and all the rest.  Hell, if someone had told us the only thing we had to worry about was the blast, EMP, shockwaves rolling around knocking things down, firestorms, hell, I think we’re all big enough we could have handled that.

What Fukushima actually proves is they’re spending way too much money building safety features into those nuclear power plants.  Those they had didn’t help, and when the whole thing went south it just hasn’t been all that bad.

Plus there are a lot of people alive today who wouldn’t be if we hadn’t let ourselves be duped into believing getting nuked would be a bad thing because of radioactive fallout.

It’s a heartbreaker.

Old Jules

 

The mysterious Kansas parrot fetish

Reminds me a bit of a 1950s song, "Poor Little Robin," "Walkin' walkin' walkin to Missouri."  But this ain't a robin.

Reminds me a bit of a 1950s song, “Poor Little Robin,” “Walkin’ walkin’ walkin to Missouri.” But this ain’t a robin.

Hi readers.  I dunno.  The Kansas State Bird is the Western Meadowlark.  Don’t even bother suggesting that’s what it’s all about.

But all over Kansas City and the surrounding area a person will see that damned cartoon character parrot.  Bumperstickers, flags in yards, even on gravestones.

Occasionally a person will see the word, “Jayhawk” associated with the damned parrot.  A jayhawk isn’t, I believe, an actual bird, so much as a Civil War pejorative used by people with long memories referring to the Kansas-version of the Missouri ‘bushwhackers’.  Irregulars, citizen soldiers using the excuse of war and hatred to rape loot and plunder anyone who disagreed with them.

I don’t think this is a jayhawk.  I think it’s a hell-of-a-lot more likely it’s a damned robin walking to Missouri, and the people displaying it aren’t happy with gasoline being so much cheaper just across the State boundary.

But what the hell do I know?

Old Jules

Hobo Hilton highs for homeless

Opaque windows on all four sides at all levels to allow both privacy and lights are only one of the imaginary, unique, compassionate features.

Opaque windows on all four sides at all levels to allow both privacy and lights are only one of the imaginary, unique, compassionate features.

Hi readers:

When the tsunami of Chinese [and other Asian imports] spawned hobo-jungles of unemployed US workers a lot of us believed it was an ill-wind that blew no good.  However, what we couldn’t have anticipated was the new birth and rejuvenation of the US railroads to deliver those goods to consumers who still had jobs.

As you see in the photo the nearby dumpster provides easy diving as well as convenient disposal of garbage accumulations for community volunteers policing the area.  Note also the 'donation' bin located middle right.  Nearby residents are thereby able to voluntarily dispose of items of their own choosing rather than having things stolen willy-nilly from their vehicles and homes.  A pad located at the donation bin informs residents of the high-rise of who is contributing, and who is not carrying part of the load voluntarily.

As you see in the photo the nearby dumpster provides easy diving as well as convenient disposal of garbage accumulations for community volunteers policing the area. Note also the ‘donation’ bin located middle left. Nearby residents are thereby able to voluntarily dispose of items of their own choosing rather than having things stolen willy-nilly from their vehicles and homes. A pad located at the donation bin informs residents of the high-rise of who is contributing, and who is not carrying part of the load voluntarily.

The logjam automobiles at train crossings caused by new rail freight traffic forced many cities to elevate tracks inside the metropolitan areas.  Unfortunately the consequence was to displace hundreds of dispossessed workers living in hobo jungles.

The Kansas City Metro area, concerned for the welfare of their homeless population and inadequate available shelters during inclement weather, chose to devote resources to a long-term solution.  Based on the assumption US consumers would never again be able to produce anything but hamburgers to sell to one another and jobs  involving the transport, storage, unloading and sales of Asian products, they [the Kansans] built long-term.

Every elevated railroad intersection has a multi-story Hobo Hilton providing warmth, privacy, a place to relax where they  can be easily located and rounded up for police lineups when nearby neighborhoods fail to use the donation-bin with sufficient enthusiasm.

Asian products are fundamentally responsible for this one more demonstration of compassion so typical of US citizens and local governments.  When conditions change, Americans reach out and respond to help other Americans instead of only giving only lip-service “WE WILL NEVER FORGET” promises and self-congratulatory flag-waving.

It’s a warm fuzzy just seeing it.

Old Jules

Strategic Air Command HQ, Omaha, Nebraska of insignificance

KC VA Med Ctr

VA Medical Center, Kansas City, MO, 100 acres ofparking lot, 20 acres handicapped parking, 100 active hospital rooms serving a shrinking population of US Military Vets who didn’t make a career of being lifers. Draft-era vets are dying like flies, robbing the macho of facilities such as this one.

VA med ctr elevators

The ‘Valor’ elevators. Yeah, but if you think that’s a bit overkill in the nomenclature department the hallway getting there is ‘Hero Hall’. Goes to prove there’s no limit to the lengths the US Government will go to in order to keep all us gullible burned out has-beens who use the place thinking Vietnam, Korea and other Presidential Wars were places where heroism could manifest itself.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I said in my last entry I might post anew if anything different happened and by gollywolly it did.  Different as hell, in fact.  The Strategic Air Command HQ, Omaha, Nebraska of different.

You might recall my state of mind as being a bit tentative during the period just prior to my taking a break.  I had what medico-oriented people might consider sufficient reason to be concerned about ‘suspicious’ whatchallits on my goozle and lungs, considerable intermittent pain, and a ticker that clearly was behaving outside the range of idealistic tickerism.  The Strategic Air Command HQ, Omaha, Nebraska, of lousy ticker behavior this side of croaking.

In short, Texas wasn’t working out as the best place to pursue my options in the less-than-optimum mobility direction following anything coming down the pike involving hospitals.  Two cats were depending on me being around and able to do everything necessary to provide them with sustenance.

Jeanne stepped in and save my life at precisely the right moment in human history to allow that option.  Suggested at a moment when I was able to consider it, me trucking up to Olathe, KS, and checking into the horsepital here through the Emergency Room.  Her taking care of the cats while I was inside.

And agreeing to keep them afterward if I croaked during the process.   An offer I dasn’t refuse.

So I loaded up Hydrox and Tabby, groaned into the RV the day before the worst storm to hit Texas in a number of years, I’m told.  The Strategic Air Command HQ, Omaha, Nebraska, of winter storms.

Drove most of the night and reached the end of my tether in Gainsville, Texas, north of Dallas.  Checked into a motel room to croak.

Jeanne sent her two sons down to interfere with the Grim Reaper by driving me on up to Olathe, KS.  Shortly after arriving I parachuted into the ER of the Olathe Medical Center for a week or so vacation.

Turned out after they’d done a lot of poking and prodding I’d killed off allbut about 15-20% of my heart back when all this whining and complaining I’d been doing started in November.  And my goozle was a thing to behold over in the gastroenterology end of things.  That poor old tube had more ugly mess going on inside it than I’d have dared hope.  But [after swilling a tea of Burdock, Turkey Rhubarb, Sheep Sorrel and Slippery Elm for a month before the Cat-Scan] not malignant.  Nor was the suspicious lung stuff.

Quicker than you could tell it they stuck a magic electric cow-prod under the skin of my chest/shoulder and ran wires from it down into my heart.  It’s there to remind my mildly functioning heart muscle that it needs to keep trucking without any drama if it doesn’t want to get struck by lightning, kicked by a mule, as many times as it takes until it decides to behave itself.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been sleeping in Jeanne’s recliner, wearing a restraining thing so’s I can’t raise my arm above my head, thus protecting the wire running down into my heart from getting yanked out by the roots.   Another couple of weeks and that shouldn’t be necessary.

The RV’s in Jeanne’s driveway, Tabby’s finding a new home for herself with Jeanne’s daughter, Julia, and her sons, Michael and Andrew, and Hydrox is here with me trying to become a Kansas cat.

I’m figuring I’ll be here a couple more months, at least.  I’m forming a new relationship with the Missouri Veteran Medical Center mainly because I was so impressed with what all they did in Texas to prevent me having to go to a private hospital in Kansas to find out what the hell was going on inside my body.

But hells bells, I’m grateful for all of it.  Been finding a lot of reasons why my life’s going to be a better place as a consequence of not having cancer of the goozle, lung cancer, and having a cow prod in my chest in their stead.

I’m thinking, for one thing, I’ve arrived at a place in life where Hydrox can no longer depend on my services.  When I leave here most likely he’ll be staying behind with Jeanne.

All in allI’m the Strategic Air Command Headquarters, Omaha, Nebraska, of grateful to be alive and feeling as well as I do.  Luckiest man on the planet, any way you cut it.  Don’t try this at home, though.

Old Jules

New Year Day 2014

Hi again readers:   Turned out I ain’t as tough as I believed myself to be.  I’m in the hospital in Kerrville, TX, sneaked spang in a couple of days ago through the Emergency Room.  They know a lot about what’s been going on inside me now, and all of it is interesting and exciting, though it doesn’t necessarily bode well for my continuing to post on the So Far From Heaven blog a lot longer, everything else being equal.

But I’ve refused most of the things they’d propose to do insofar as keeping me this distance from heaven, plan to get discharged hopefully today, go back out to Gale’s and digest my newfound perspectives.  Make some exciting decisions about what a guy in my position ought to be doing with himself, thinking about, spending his time and energy on.

Probably should have been doing that all along, but it wasn’t rubbing right up against it consciously and autopilot isn’t the best place to observe important, exciting events.

Happy New Year to those of you who believe this is a new year and are willing to be happy during it.

Old Jules

A merry little dumpster diving year-end adventure

Hi readers:

When I left Andrews on Christmas Eve morning a cold fog wrapped the RV and a tasteful bow atop kept it all together for the felines and me until I reached Big Spring.  That’s where the brakes on the RV failed.  Roughly 100 yards before the entryway into the parking lot for a chain store for auto parts.

Great, helpful folks there while I was diagnosing the cause of the problem, feeding brake fluid to the pre-Christmas Universe.  Determining the next best guess to be a failed master cylinder.  And me with almost no tools along.

Ordered the master cylinder inside the store, arranged with them to park in their lot until it arrived the day following Xmas.  They showed me an electrical outlet where I could plug in to keep the heater and lights modern.

Hydrox, Tabby and I watched a store employee carrying boxes past us to the dumpster straining to get them over the side.  One plastic box appeared to be a great possibility for a litter box, so I went over to retrieve it.  I was astonished to observe the dumpster was home to several boxes with taped label, “Manager Disposal”, the contents scattered among the lowbrow cartons and candy wrappers.

The contents:  open end wrenches all sizes, box end wrenches, socket sets, miscellaneous other tools, a couple of which I’d surely need for the master cylinder replacement.  So early Christmas morning I climbed down the chimney of the dumpster and began digging out every tool I could bring myself to save from the landfill.

Finished in time to have myself a nice Christmas dinner of something-or-other, cuddle a cat, watch a vintage movie.

Next morning the master cylinder arrived, I installed it with the dumpster-tools, ran the RV around the parking lot a bit to test the brakes, and headed off to points south.

Easily the weirdest Christmas I’ve ever been blessed with.

Old Jules