mytopleft

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Man, I hate being right

Some of you may recall my post regarding Iran building a 3/4-size mock-up of a Nimitz-class U.S. aircraft carrier, in which I suggested that the Iranians might build a mock-up for the same reasons we do -- to practice attacks on the real thing. The Navy said no, the Iranians said no, and lots of bullshit reasons were offered as to what the Iranians were up to.

Ahem.

Yeah, they're planning on practicing attacks on U.S. carriers. I am, of course, not surprised, but I do want some props:
The Sunday report by independent Haft-e Sobh daily quotes Adm. Ali Fadavi, navy chief of the powerful Revolutionary Guards as saying Iranian forces should "target the carrier in the trainings, after it is completed."
So, I guess that movie isn't going to happen. Weird. Although, of course, I thought the Iranians' choice of props was odd:
Hard to understand why a movie about that incident would involve building a mock-up of an aircraft carrier when the U.S. ship that shot down the airliner was an Aegis cruiser, and no aircraft carrier was involved. Oddly enough, this Aegis cruiser:
does not look like this Nimitz-class aircraft carrier:
Anyway, I think -- I hope -- the Navy wasn't really fooled. I'm sure the administration was, which would be why the Navy spokesman went ahead and sounded like a doofus, talking about propaganda. I really hope the Navy hasn't gotten stupid enough to underestimate our enemies that badly.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Helpful homemaker tip No. 1

Yeah, I've never posted a Helpful Homemaker Tip (TM), but I figured it was time. So here it is.

Remember, when your to-do list includes working on small engines (such as a lawn mower) and making a pie, make the pie first. Otherwise, no matter how well you wash your hands, your pie will taste just a little bit like oil and gas. I tell you this not because I made this mistake, but because I almost made this mistake today. Fortunately, I realized the sequence I had planned would likely result in a terrible pie. So I did the pie first. In any event, I share this because I care. That's who I am, after all -- a giver. So remember -- pie, then small engines. Rules to live by.

For lack of anything better to do, I guess I'll post some food porn

Damn, it's a slow season. Been doing some farming, but putting in seeds and plants makes for boring photos of dirt and what not, so  that's no fun. Work has produced little in the way of interesting shit insight into the world of temp attorneys, which is supposed to be the reason this blog is here, so I have to come up with something else to dupe you people into coming back here justify this blog's existence. Because posts including the word "porn" seem to drive my readership in Eastern European and Muslim nations, I guess we'll do some food porn.

Today's food porn is some comfort food, a nice chicken casserole. The photo below is not all-inclusive, but your ingredietns will be 2 cups fo cooked chicken, 8 tablespoons of butter (that's a whole stick -- nobody said this would be low-fat) 1/2 cup of chopped pecans, 1 chopped onion, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1-1/2 cups uncooked rice, 3 cups boiling chicken broth and 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes:


First of all, you probably better come up with some cooked chicken. I recommend sauteeing about 4 chicken breasts (depending upon their size -- you need less with big breasts. Just sayin'.):


Once you have those cooked, set them aside to cool. You can chop them up later, but trying to chop hot chicken breasts will only result in burned fingers. Don't be that guy.


OK, so chop up that onion:


Then melt the butter in a medium saucepan:


 and sautee them onions until translucent (that means you can kinda-sort see through them, kids), about 5 minutes:


Time to throw in that chicken, which you chopped into cubes after it cooled down:


After about 3 minutes, toss in the pecans:


Mix it up right, people:


At this point, it couldn't hurt to add the seasonings to the rice:


And then you can add the seasonings and rice to the mix:


You'd best be thinking ahead, because you need to bring the chicken broth to a boil:


Yeah, that broth is not boiling. Best get with it people, because you need that broth boiling pretty soon now. By the way, remember the picture of ingredients that didn't include everything? Yeah, bust out one of these bad boys:


And pour that sucker into the mix:


I hope you finally got that chicken broth boiling, because it is time, people. Pour it in:


You know what to do. Mix it up right:


Bring the whole mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover it and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is done and the liquid is absorbed.
 

Once you have met those conditions, you are talking about done. Eat that casserole:



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Another actual temp conversation

I've lost track of what number this is in the ongoing series, but a pair of temps had the following conversation the other day upon arriving in the morning:

Temp1: How's it going?

Temp 2: Same old thing.

Temp 1: Yeah.

Temp 2: It's like "Groundhog Day," but without learning how to play the piano.

Temp 1: And without Andie MacDowell.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's almost like no one has any idea why this is happening

NBC put up a post a couple days ago about the explosion of temp positions in all industries (didn't even mention legal temps that I noticed). The article acknowledges this as a recent trend, but finds no reason why this might be the case:
For Americans who can't find jobs, the booming demand for temp workers has been a path out of unemployment, but now many fear it's a dead-end route.
With full-time work hard to find, these workers have built temping into a de facto career, minus vacation, sick days or insurance. The assignments might be temporary — a few months here, a year there — but labor economists warn that companies' growing hunger for a workforce they can switch on and off could do permanent damage to these workers' career trajectories and retirement plans.
Gee, why would full-time work be hard to find? Why would companies prefer temps that they can jettison at any time? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Interestingly, the truth is in there, but it apparently only merits a single paragraph, buried about halfway through the article:
"There are a lot of perverse incentives for employers to use temps," said Erin Hatton, an assistant professor of sociology at the State University of New York, Buffalo, and author of "The Temp Economy: From Kelly Girls to Permatemps in Postwar America." For one thing, it's cheaper. Using temporary labor lets companies avoid the cost of providing benefits like health insurance, workers' comp, paid sick leave and the like.
Apparently, firms use temps at least in part because they can  "avoid the cost of providing benefits like health insurance." What is this, the love that dare not speak its name? How can you do a big story on the growth of  the use of temps without getting into "why" any deeper than that? Let's face it, Obamacare and the burdens it imposes on employers is a huge reason for the growth of the temp industry.  Why not say so?

Former CBS reporter Cheryl Attkisson knows. In an interview with CNN's Brian Stelter, Attkisson lets it all hang out, and it ain't pretty for at least one branch of the Democratic Party propagana machine -- er, mainstream media:
STELTER: Let me read this from “The Washington Post.” This is in March 10th, right around the time you were resigning from CBS. And Erik Wimple wrote, according to a CBS News source you felt you were being kept off “CBS Evening News” because of political considerations. Did you feel that way? I mean, were there political considerations at times?
ATTKISSON: You know, it’s fairly well discussed inside CBS News that there are some managers recently who have been so ideologically entrenched that there is a feeling and discussion that some of them, certainly not all of them, have a difficult time viewing a story that may reflect negatively upon government or the administration as a story of value.
STELTER: So you’re saying they are liberal or Democrats?
ATTKISSON: I don’t know what their registered party is, I just know that the tendency on the part of some of these managers who have key influences has been they never mind the stories that seem to, for example, and I did plenty of them, go against the grain of the Republican Party, but they do often seem to feel defensive about, almost, personally defensive about stories that could make the government look bad. Even if it’s something as simple as a government waste story that doesn’t pinpoint anybody in particularly and it takes on both parties. It seems as though some of them were sensitive about any story that might appear as though it criticizes the government.
The media isn't doing the job the founders envisioned, which is keeping government honest. Thomas Jefferson said he'd rather have a country with a free press but no government than a country with a government but no free press. Ideally, that free press would always be on the prowl, partisan or not, but all sides would get aired and people could make their own choices. That is not what we have today. Journalists at the national media outlets are overwhelmingly liberal, far to the left of  the general population and, quite possibly, to the left of most liberals. But please, don't call them socialists.

If we can't even get honest reporting on possible impacts of government regulation on industry, when the impacts are clear and clearly negative, why bother having national news organizations. Just go with a government propaganda unit and be done with it. Not that the Obama administration hasn't already thought of that. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Barry lends support to the theory that Barry really just doesn't understand Easter and Christianity

The president's Easter message was a mixed-up olio of concepts that do not mix well, and mostly it gave solid evidence that Barry simply doesn't understand Easter. Or maybe even Christianity. At least he gave an Easter message this year, something he doesn't always do. Even if it showed he doesn't fully grasp the concept:
Obama said this time of year is a good time to remember the “common thread of humanity that connects us all – not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs – is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.”
 Easter is, specifically, when Christians honor the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for all mankind and acknowledge that, after that sacrifice of his life so that our sins might be forgiven, he was raised from the dead and ascended to Heaven. Jews don't believe that. Muslims don't believe that. Hindus and Sikhs don't believe that. Easter is a Christian holiday celebrating the central tenet of the Christian faith. Barry apparently doesn't get that. And please don't talk to me about how Muslims value loving thy neighbor:
Qur’an (5:51) – “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”
There's worse stuff in the Koran about Jews and other infidels. Can we just leave other religions out of Easter messages, especially when what you are saying about some of those other religions is just fucking wrong? Not, apparently, if you are this president.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I'll be damned if that swordfish doesn't look pretty good

We have weathered all the gloom-and-doom talk that came with the client being purchased and it appears that the swordfish is looking pretty damned good. No telling how things can change from one day to the next, but it looks right now as if the new firm in charge won't be replacing people who leave, but also won't be cutting people or hours. Works for me. On top of the, scuttlebutt is that this project still has a long way to go. That also works for me.

Of course, everything changes in Temp Town, so I could be unemployed tomorrow. But right now, doesn't look that way. Hell of a way to live your life.

I'm not even sure what I could do to be "less white"

I'm not real sure what to make of this, except to chalk it up to political correctness run amok. I realize that the progressive fucktards think whitey is the root of all evil, but this piece I got from Campus Reform shows that the progs are approaching terminal stupidity:
A school-wide questionnaire at Western Washington University (WWU) asked the community “How do we make sure that in future years ‘we are not as white as we are today?’”
The question, released through the communications and marketing department's daily newsletterWestern Today, comes on the heels of admonishments given in multiple convocation addresses by WWU President Bruce Shepard for the university’s “failure” to be less white.
While the effort at the school apparently is aimed at increasing "diversity," they obviously are falling into the same old trap -- that different ethinicities is the route to diversity, not a difference of philosophies. To a liberal/progressive, a group of six people who all agree politically and philosophically is diverse if it includes a black man, a white woman, an Asian homosexual, an Hispanic person who is gender-ambiguous, a militant lesbian whose ethnic background is unimportant and either some kind of Pacific islander or a Native American. The important thing is that all of these people agree politically. It isn't diversity if the black guy is Thomas Sowell or some other African-American conservative. On the other hand, the same group could be diverse as hell ethnically and demographically, but if they were all conservatives, they would just be a bunch of closed-minded bigots. Liberals are funny that way.

In any event, I have decided to get behind this effort to be less white. I intend to say "motherfucker" more.


Bad news, folks -- Bieber is staying

Despite the clamoring pleas of a nation desperate for relief from this affliction, the Obama administration has refused to heed the cries for mercy coming from the citizenry. In yet another example of how Obama and his minions refuse to consider the concerns of millions of Americans, the Obama administration, in violation of its own policy, has declined to act on a petition to deport Justin Bieber. The White House, despite 250,000 signatures on the petition at whitehouse.gov -- even with a policy of responding to petitions that get 100,000 signatures -- declined to comment, instead issuing a statement on how what a wonderful world this would be if we could just give amnesty to everybody in the country illegally. And thus are dashed the hopes of millions who hoped to be rid of the one-man crime spree that is Justin Bieber. Not to mention unmitigated douchebag and launching platform of seriously dorky hairstyles.

The following is the Obama administration's statement to and about illegal immigrants and criminal dickwads like Bieber who should be kicked out:


"Don't know much." Ain't that the damn truth.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

We are getting some benefits of spring, even in the face of a recalcitrant winter

In between bouts of ridiculously cold weather given the time of year, we've had enough nice weather to make my flowers come up and bloom, even if that turns out to be a suicide run when the temperatures dip below freezing, as they have tended to do in the last week. We still got some flowers, and Mrs. Wolves has decorated the house with them. Aint they purdy?


She also grabbed some wildflowers at the edge of the corn/bean/wheat field:


So, the season progresses, I suppose. I certainly hope we are done with the winter-like stuff at last.





Maybe I spoke a little too soon

Yeah, that "Spring is finally here" post may have jumped the gun a bit. Most of last week the nighttime lows were in the 20s and 30s, and early in the week the highs were in the 30s and 40s. By this weekend things were back to the 60s, but we actually got a little snow-rain mix on Monday. When I got to the Metro station Monday night, there was slush accummulated on my windshield. In mid-April, for crying out loud. I don't know what the hell is wrong with this place.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Yahoo really wants me to do this

Yahoo, in an apparent effort to reduce spam, is requiring people who are sending links to other email addresses to also include some text. Because I send a lot of links from my Yahoo account -- the one I use for my usual stuff -- to my gmail account -- the one I use for my blog stuff -- I have to always includ some kind of text in the message to go with the link. Given  the National Security Agency's recent admission that it intercepts essentially all of our email, and NSA Director James Clapper's defense of NSA actions, I think it is only natural that my text is always "Eat me, Clapper." On the one hand, it enables me to escape the Yahoo spam trap. On the other hand, I can only imagine the file building on me over at the NSA.

Why, yes, it is more food porn, why do you ask?

While I was neither barefoot nor pregnant, I did spend a significant portion of the weekend in the kitchen, which I suppose makes me an oppressed woman. Or does it? Hell if I know. I do know, however, that I cranked out a casserole that is pretty damn good and worthy of a food porn episode, so here it is.

Naturally, it all starts with the ingredaments. You will need six boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, 1-1/2 cups of chicken broth, 1/2 cup dry white wine, 1-1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1 medium onion, chopped, 2 ribs of celery, sliced, 12 ounces of mushrooms, sliced, 4 tbsps butter, 1 package of Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice, 1 cup sour cream, 1 can cream of chicken soup, and 1/2 cup sliced almonds:


Start by browning the chicken breasts:


While that's going on, chop up the onions and celery:


Toss that in with the breasts to sautee a bit:


Next, combine the chicken broth with the wine, salt, pepper and curry powder, and add it to the browned chicken and sauteed vegetable in an oven-safe casserole dish (large) and cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.


 Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms:


then heat the butter in a skillet:


 and toss in the mushrooms, sauteeing them over medium heat until lightly browned:


Remove the chicken, vegetables and broth from the heat, separate and let cool:


Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Use the broth as the liquid to cook the wild rice, per package instructions. If not enough broth is left to meet the instructions, add a little water:


While you're waint for the rice to cook, stir together the soup and sour cream:


Combine the chicken and vegetables:

 
Stir in the mushrooms:


Stir in the rice once cooked:


Mix it all up right:


While you're stirring shit in, stir in the soup-sour cream mix:


Mix that all up right, too:


Top that stuff with the slivered almonds and bake it covered for 45 minutes. Then uncover it and bake it for 15 more minutes. If it seems to be drying out, add a little water:


It is most excellent. Bon appetit.





Sunday, April 13, 2014

A random act of food porn

So, I wasn't doing anything in particular the other night except fixing dinner, so I decided it was a good night for some food porn. Hell, it's always a good night for some food porn. In any event, I decided to fix some pork chops with roasted apples and onions. I think you'll like it.

You start with 1 tbsp of canola oil, 1-1/2 cups of pearl onions, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 2 cups of sliced gala apples, 4-6 pork chops, bone-in or out, I don't care, but about a half-inch thick, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 2 cups cooked rice, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/2 tsp flour, 1 tsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp butter, divided and 2 tsps thyme:


To start, heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a large oven-proof skillet on medium high, add half the canola and swirl to coat. Slice those apples, like so:


Once that pan is hot, toss those onions in and cook until lightly browned, stirring once. 


Add the sliced apples, put the pan in the oven for 10 minutes or until onions, apples are tender.


 Meanwhile, stir up 2 tsps butter, thyme, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper.


 Stir that into the apples and onions, and set aside.


Heat a separate skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle port with remaining salt, pepper.


Add remaining oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add pork to pan.


Cook 3 mins each side or until desired doneness.


Remove pork from pan, keep warm. Combine broth and flour in a bowl, whisk together. 


Add mixture to the pan the pork was cooked in, bring to a boil stirring constantly.


Cook 1 min or until reduced approximately in half.


 Stir in vinegar and remaining butter. Serve pork with sauce and apple mixture:


It's pretty fucking good.