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I know.


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Elsewhere, it’s cold.  Go here and scroll quickly down below the frightening hotness to see today’s lowest recorded temps.  Granted, most are in Antarctica, but not all.

I applied for an adjunct faculty position at Small Public College.

And made a very nice little red and blue wool bag.

And ate doughnuts!

It seems that we will be serving a special dinner when Kinan and Dinuk return for their concert next month.  On the drawing board:  Indian (as a proxy for Sri Lankan), unspecified Mediterranean (proxy for Syrian), Italian, and Korean foods.  The unspecified Med’s a big place.  With big food.

I think that whatever they choose, these foods will work well together.  It won’t be like the potluck at the 142nd.  When I was in grad school the first time, I still had two years left on my enlistment in the Utah National Guard but I didn’t really want to commute even once a month from Logan to Salt Lake.  I’m pretty lazy and didn’t like to think about how early I’d have to get up those Saturdays.  Women couldn’t be in field artillery units, so I took a Russian aptitude test and squeaked into the MI linguist unit as an interrogator.  I’m not sure on what subjects I might have been able to interrogate any Russians at that point, but I had recently done fairly well on an oral exam in my second-year Russian class — my topic was “о чем погибель динозавры?” which in hindsight looks a bit idiomatic, but I conveyed the idea that there were dinosaurs, they died, and some big thing had killed them, and that’s what mattered.

“о чем погибель динозавры?  Was it you, scum?  Talk!”

Anyway, this intel unit was unusual because everyone had to have a language.  Didn’t really matter which one.  Most of the others, apart from us Russian speakers, had learned the language for their LDS missions and had a lot of experience with the local cuisine.  At the potluck we had borscht, crepes Suzette, enchiladas, egg rolls, kimchi, sauerbraten, and a lot of other stuff.  Everything separately was delicious.  Everything together failed to achieve detente.  But that was during the Cold War, after all.  Dinner will turn out fine this time.


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Some kind of force field in here is preventing the fans from having any effect.  That’s the only reasonable explanation.

But it was a good day.  I sold more bags — all right, I sold them to my mother, but she had a legitimate use for them.  We met lots of people.  I decided to make a variety of string bag with an attached solid pocket or pouch, or pouches, for small objects in danger of falling through the mesh.  The Korean beef just gets better every week.  Chris told us about a special kimchi refrigerator they sell in Korea that replicates the temperature of the soil throughout the seasons, except on a faster cycle, so your kimchi is done sooner than if you buried it in pots in the ground.  It’s a real thing.  Samsung makes them, among other firms.

Four (?) years ago — that sounds long, maybe it’s three — I planted two or three strawberry plants in the tiny square of dirt I have as a garden.  The first year there were only five berries or so, and I had also planted peas and had a couple of pods.  That winter everything lay under a four-foot bank of ice that was compacted with gravel and repeatedly shoved against the side of the building by the snowplows.  But the strawberries came back.  There were more plants; they had put out runners.  This kept happening.  They always survive, and each year there are more plants and each plant is bigger, or let’s say the largest plant is always bigger than the previous year’s champion.  This year there were “lots of berries” by the poignant standards of the years before.  Then the building needed a coat of paint, and even though he was careful the painter spattered most of the plants with white.  A couple of days later, all the berries were gone, as if they’d been sucked through their stems by something underground.  So there was nothing for me.  I didn’t really want fruit with paint on it, but something must have.  Just this past week, though, another berry grew apparently out of nowhere and turned red at the right time for me to see it and pick and eat it before anything else could.  So that is the extent of the people food I’ve grown for myself this year, unless I get some coriander seeds.  I love cilantro, but I didn’t get around to picking any of it before it shot up like a tree and blossomed, and I figured it might not be any good after that.

The end.


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Quisition is a flash-card site that somehow knows how to test and retest you at the optimal time intervals for long-term memorization.  You can make your own flash cards or use sets compiled by other people.  To try it out, I compiled a deck with two subjects I sort of know (periodic table and Cyrillic alphabet) and two about which I hadn’t an inkling (Vietnamese food words and Tagalog vocab chosen for some reason, dunno, might be pairs of confusingly similar words).  It freaking works.  I know them.  I know them all.  I can’t necessarily pronounce them, but I will know until the heat death of the Universe that, for instance, peas are đậu Hà lan.  Literally, beans of Hà lan:  Holland peas.

…a Soul Food and Gospel Event (during class on February 24):

(~sulk, sulk, sulk~)

Grits taste like soap, though.  Although as a cake … with red  onion marmalade…

Fried chicken is a very touchy thing.  It has to be mostly chicken.  It has to taste great cold, and not everyone can accomplish this.  Almost any kind of barbecue > mediocre fried chicken.  I have a bad fried chicken association from my Louisville days — no, not that, although I don’t like that.  Another very popular and traditional sit-down restaurant with its own lift station; one night in a howling gale the town wastewater operator (this was a pretty small town) called to report a massive bypass caused by a VW-Beetle-sized ball of grease in the lift station.  Restaurants always have grease, I know, I know.  But that kind of put me off the place.  That and this .. some kind of beigeish grey creamed casserole side dish that looked very much the same coming out of a toddler’s mouth onto the ladies’ room floor as it had going in fifteen minutes before.

So I stopped going there eventually.

There was a BBQ place in Salt Lake City during the ’70s that served all these fixin’s and more, with dark, dark ribs that were made of smoke and memory and fell apart when you thought about them.   Dry ribs.   It was Mrs. Taylor’s — Mrs. T’s.  The ribs were only served on Fridays.  This was such a small place, I think it was actually her house.  It was a very special occasion to go to Mrs. T’s for ribs on a Friday.  You might see elected officials or Utah Stars basketball players there.  Too long ago; you can’t find anything about the place.  Except this, I guess.

Watching How the Earth Was Made instead, and trying to play this strange Tetris game.  HtEWM is good, but I’d rather watch The Universe.  They could keep showing the same episodes over and over; that would be fine.  I guess the thing I really have against HtEWM is …it tries to sound doomy and urgent like Mega Disasters.  No sense of humor.  And they called the San Andreas Fault an “ugly scar.”  The hell?  That’s almost as bad as “shark-infested waters.”  They freaking LIVE THERE.  Come and whine about it when sharks start crawling up on the land.

The slideshow will be about opportunity cost, PPFs, diminishing marginal utility, and international trade.  And Chapter 2 of Cod.  In other words it’ll take about a hundred years.  But I’ll break it up in July 2060 with this fun video I’ve used before of a HoHos eating contest.  I’m too cheap to buy actual HoHos for four separate contests, and have no interest in HoHo vomit after a weekend of cat vomit.  Poor little puma has to cut back.  That’s what I do, I give people (and pumas) too much food, except for HoHos.

I just learned (here) some very important information on cheeseburger cupcakes and the Bacon Chicken Narwhal.  Basically, that they exist, have existed, and can be replicated by ordinary men and women.  And now you, whoever you may be, know of them too.  The wisdom can never die.


This one is truly periodic.  And well thought out and utterly cool.  Interesting links there, too.

The one here is probably better known.  The art is nice.  They used to have one at the cafe at Elliott Bay, where it looked lovely and quite appropriate, although naturally not everything was on the real menu.  (Who would want that?  No one orders a Twinkie with a cappuccino.)  I did not know the same artist created a Fruits and Nuts table.  I’d seen the other two.

Because we’ve been (re)reading Cod this school year, I’ve been looking for fish treats, including Icelandic dried fish like the kind my UW classmate Geir brought in one day.  It looked like toenail clippings but tasted like potato chips.  Here’s some.   This could be haddock, or sometimes it’s saithe (Pollachius virens).  Both are gadoids, like cod.  Saithe is also known as coalfish or coley or lieu noir or (with its cousin P. pollachius) pollock.  Actually, it’s so well liked all around the Atlantic that it has many names, and there’s more information here, inlcuding the a clip of the sound they make.  But it might be a little difficult to recognize them that way, so look for a nice straight lateral line instead.




The Ratel Motel