What is that bright, round thing up in the sky?
The sun came out!! The sun came out! I have been sitting indoors, working hard on a variety of computer-related projects all week, but for the weekend we are enjoying sun. Real, continuous sunlight.
The storms that soaked our garden and knocked over our biggest lavatera made the air fresh and clean. You can see for miles. The harsh winter light sears everything in its path, in high contrast. Loveliness abounds.
Yesterday I went for a photography walk with my antique 120mm camera and briefly lost my mind. Today I am attemping to relax in the garden here at home, where I've harvested more rosemary than I can possibly use immediately. It's a massive armful, all from one plant, my eldest of three, which I had to cut back so it wouldn't take over the Greek oregano area. So I am reviewing drying and sauce options, and waiting for S to get off the phone so I can offer some to a friend a few blocks away.
We harvested potatoes today also. 4 pounds 12 ounces from our sandy soil. They are lovely, and will taste wonderful roasted with garlic and rosemary.
The flat leaf oregano is doing battle with several of S' flowering plants, so I suspect I'll need to gather it next. Mmmmm. Oregano....
posted by Arlene (Beth)2:07 PM
Thursday, January 27, 2005
I have a working photography page up at aegraves.com with a few, fully functioning galleries. I could do more, but I need a break from staring at the screen.
Oh, and the Cuisinart is working out SO WELL. It's good at everything. It makes tofu-ricotta filling for lasagna just the right texture; it blends my from-scratch pumpkin pie filling (which also involves tofu) into a smooth, thick paste; it makes a tapenade that is JUST the right texture. It's a great machine. S says that our struggles with killing blenders while trying to make hummus seem silly, in retrospect. And they were. But my cookbooks are old and all used blenders, and I didn't know any better. But now we know. And we're using it constantly.
The blender seems to be relieved to only make smoothies...
posted by Arlene (Beth)8:03 PM
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Must read document of the week: Sermon: Living Under Fascism, by Davidson Loehr (austinuu.org). This sermon/speech provides definitions of fascism, demonstrates how they are currently manifesting in the U.S. right now, and proposes starting points for curbing it.
There are a lot of quote-worthy comments in his speech, but here is one tiny sample about the hijacking of both our culture, and the hijacking of our foreign policy:A simple definition of “colonization” is that it takes people’s stories away, and assigns them supportive roles in stories that empower others at their expense. When you are taxed to support a government that uses you as a means to serve the ends of others, you are — ironically — in a state of taxation without representation. That’s where this country started, and it’s where we are now.This definition invokes Gerda Lerner's fabulous book, Why History Matters, which is partly about Hitler's revisions of the history books to support his world view and reinforce his authority, and how conquerors (domestic and foreign) have used this tactic in history.
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:58 AM
Choose... to write letters to the editor! S had advised me that our local paper had written a sensationalistic version of the pro-choice demonstration we attended on Saturday. Which is to be expected: our local paper, despite some degree of local independence in a City known for being progressive, somehow manages to skew everything into a pro-establishment light.
The local morning paper, with few exceptions, thinks all peace marchers are anarchists, all public gatherings end in lawless violence, all Green party candidates are a threat to our system of democracy, all non-corporate activities are seedy, etc. Large numbers of people demonstrating are characterized as uncontrollable, rioting throngs. A few people demonstrating are, by failing to have rioting throngs, showing that no one is interested in their cause because they are out of touch. Too many white people at a demonstration means you're an elitist special interest. Too few white people means you're out of the mainstream. If the demonstration is diverse, they'll switch over to quoting deflated head counts and never bring up race again. There is no winning. There will be a gem now and then, about some small group or independent individual who fails to fit into their labeled box. And there are some good columnists and cartoonists. But there is a certain predictability to the "news" reporting, and as extremists are setting the tone on issues like reproductive rights, I knew what to expect. (This is part of why I'm an enthusiast of independent media. I don't subscribe to this paper, but do pick up local weeklies, subscribe to alternative national news magazines, and regularly visit Indymedia and its local affiliates. Support your alternative media!)
It's not as bad as I feared, but still sensationalistic. Arrests! PEOPLE SITTING DOWN IN THE STREET!! Women RAISING THEIR VOICES!! Extremists advocating for increased maternal deaths were well behaved! Photos of one of the few people being arrested STRUGGLING!! Well. That's all the news that fits, right?
Of course, they left out everything good. Everything real. Everything that motivated people to go in the first place.
So I sent off a short letter. It reads as follows:Your coverage of the pro-choice demonstration on Saturday failed to capture it. [Protesters face off over abortion rights... (sfgate.com, 01/23/05)] The pro-choice march I attended was positive, festive, and an affirmation of human rights. The crowds were ethnically diverse; men, women, youth, and families were well represented. People near me waved attractive homemade signs and remained polite, despite being subjected to signs equating life saving abortions with "satan" and patronizing slogans insisting that women must not control their own family planning.It's a hard call as to whether or not it's worth writing to a pro-establishment-du-jour paper is a valuable use of time. Though eventually, they may figure out why their circulation keeps decreasing...
I commend the louder activists, described by you in such sweepingly negative, 'unladylike' terms, who were diverse in tone and substance. They are burdened with representing the entire American pro-choice majority in coverage like yours, and are subjected to scrutiny (and petty criticism) their extremist opponents never face.
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:10 AM
I live: I haven't been writing about food because I've been building my photo database. I've got 4,300+ images in so far, and am busy categorizing them. That's a fraction of my collection, but it's the part I want to work with first. I'm using a really great program called iView Multimedia Pro, which is impressing me so far.
I'm also testing out galleries for my photography portfolio web page, none of which I'm quite satisfied with. The unnecessary complexity of generating multiple versions of images for multiple levels of web display has been a constant source of frustration for both me and my favorite cousin, but unlike me HE is developing solutions. I'm toying with third party software, attempting to both get what I want AND what they want me to have...
It's a good thing it's raining, or I wouldn't be spending 12 hours+ a day on my computer, setting things up. Not that I can focus my eyes on this screen right now...
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:00 AM
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Just in case I've been too serious lately, and my quotes have all been too serious, try this from Pitt's blog at t r u t h o u t:The capitol city of the most powerful nation in the history of the planet was paralyzed today by three inches of fluffy snow. In order to get this kind of reaction in Boston, there would have to be live jaguars falling from the sky and devouring the citizenry from Back Bay to Quincy.The only fun quote runner up would have to come from the prosecutor currently pursuing Tom DeLay for corporate cash election corruption, as quoted by thethe New York Times article 'In DeLay Case, Prosecutor Welcomes Spotlight' (10/11/04 and more recently elsewhere):Mr. DeLay... [has] denied wrongdoing and denounced the charges as election-inspired, called Mr. Earle a "runaway district attorney" with "a long history of being vindictive and partisan," to which Mr. Earle retorted, "Being called vindictive and partisan by Tom DeLay is like being called ugly by a frog."Somewhere, Mollie Ivins is feeling like she got ripped off.
posted by Arlene (Beth)6:25 PM
Marching makes us hungry: After today's march, S was quite hungry, and it was cold, so hot food was appealing. The first place that came to mind as being open on weekends was Taylor's Refresher, a burger joint in the Ferry Building Marketplace, the posh food mall. I'm not accustomed to paying $7 for a veggie burger, but it was less freezing inside than out, and S needed to eat right away. The line out the door suddenly dissipated, and so we went in.
It was a fast food experience. We sat at the counter and watched the 16 or so young men in the kitchen racing around, assembling hot sandwiches at a furious pace. Our food, which we picked up after an annoying pager device beeped to alert us that it was ready, was wrapped in paper and served in paper trays of the sort that fries usually come in. In fact, we ordered fries, which came in a folded paper tray, and they were decent. The veggie burger was large, on a toasted bun, with tomato and lettuce, and tasted fresh. It had some sort of green dressing on it, which was pleasant to look at, but quite mild: it provided a level of moistness to the grilled Gardenburger patty it otherwise would have lacked. S had meat, but we were having philosophical discussions about the merits of having dialogue with people who aren't members of the 'reality based community,' and we didn't ask each other about our food. But I thought it was reasonably satisfying.
I was in the mood for crepes stuffed with spinach, artichoke hearts, red bell peppers, and feta, but that wasn't an option. Ah, well.
posted by Arlene (Beth)5:27 PM
Pro mother, pro child, pro choiceToday is January 22nd, the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Roe is the landmark Supreme Court decision that established the constitutional right to reproductive freedom, including abortion. I went to a pro-choice rally and march, which chanted its way down market street, and then lined the Embarcadero (our waterfront) to provide a noisy reminder to an extremist anti-choice group that San Francisco is a pro-choice city.
What do I mean by pro choice city? Our mayor spoke at the rally. Many of our supervisors spoke at the rally. Our district attorney and more supervisors marched at the front of the march, carrying a wide banner. San Francisco takes liberty pretty darned seriously.
The rally and march were fun, but watching the anti-choice extremists was kind of like watching a really depressing Radiohead video S showed me, that consists of a deranged man walking through a tunnel and being hit by cars without ever gaining his self-orientation. It's just SAD.
In the past decade, anti-choice extremists have managed some pretty creepy things that haven't gotten much press here. You may not be aware that during the war and ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia (during Clinton), aid groups were persuaded not to provide emergency contraception to women raped by multiple soldiers at the behest of anti-choice religious leaders, who considered any action that would prevent pregnancy from occurring as "abortion" - even if the women weren't yet pregnant. Those policies continue at many aid groups today in places of conflict and genocide, where preventing pregnancy in rape victims is considered to be "controversial" thanks to these folks, but denying help to rape victims to prevent pregnancy is considered politically neutral.
Denying aid to war crime victims should NEVER be politically neutral. We should never sink so low as a species.
Bush has defunded the UN's family planning agency over abortion, costing countless women their lives by depriving them of ANY family planning services (especially in nations where maternal mortality is extremely high).
There have been some alarming cases of molested children under the age of 10 who became pregnant and whose health and well being was obviously at risk, but who were told by anti-choice leaders that only their unborn children mattered. Once you're born, it doesn't matter what happens to you! Especially if you're just a young girl!
And here at home, these folks have been successful in passing unconstitutional laws (eventually overturned) forbidding abortion to save a woman's life, meaning that some people near and dear to be would be dead if they had their way. Wanting my loved ones dead is NOT PRO LIFE!
S joined me at the protest, where we made up part of the bike contingent initially, and then simply blended in with the crowd along the Embarcadero. We were generally silent watching the extremists, people who would want my loved ones to die of treatable reproductive mishaps, who ironically carried signs about how they love babies more than we do, and how 'women deserve better than abortion.' Meanwhile, many of the leaders of their movement have taken steps to undermine prenatal care, cut federal funds for mothers, prevent nationalized health care for mothers and children, cut school funding, eliminate sex ed, defund or otherwise make birth control unavailable even though it would prevent abortions from being needed, have attempted to eliminate single mothers from jobs working with children... They do just about everything they can to make abortion needed by MORE women here at home.
If it were REALLY about increasing births or preventing abortions, their leaders wouldn't be doing ANY of those things. So they are either the most self-defeating and least coherent advocacy group in the world, or their agenda is actually about the oppression of women. Regardless, they managed to succeed in being woefully misguided.
S was disappointed that there was no real opportunity for dialogue between the groups assembled today. I had to explain that the extremists were not busing in people from far distant towns to march in San Francisco, a pro-choice city, to have a dialogue: they are feeling emboldened by extremist poltical victories, and wanted to make a show of force in an place where they would not be welcome. (Feigning persecution for religious causes is great marketing!)
[One pro-choice protester near us started shouting "go home!" to the extremists. I attracted her attention to point out that we should welcome them here, so they can spend lots of money in our pro-choice city, supporting pro-choice businesses and a local economy who opposes many of their positions, thus helping our cause. She thought this was funny.]
The problem with having a dialogue with extremists is that we are not discussing the same world. It's like when a deputy that my mother was working with at a government job announced that my mother COULD NOT take her grandchild to see a Harry Potter movie, because such films promote witchcraft. My mother could not have a dialog with him, because he was talking about something which does not exist in our world as he believes it does. Because my mother does not share his belief in witchcraft, the more direct argument about the appropriateness of the film cannot reach a sensible compromise. That's probably why my mother suggested the deputy had a mental problem. :-o
The abortion debate in the United States is a clash of mystical abstract beliefs versus rational and democratic ones.
One group believes in invisible space fairies floating around and attempting to take physical form in unwilling women's bodies, and the other believes that every American has a right to believe in invisible space fairies, but can't force non-believers to surrender their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Mystics versus the Constitution. It has all the makings of a telenovela.
Many cultures in the world do not believe that a "spirit" enters into a baby until it actually is a baby: until it is fully formed and independently viable. Many cultures don't even name newborns until they live a certain duration, which they interpret to mean that they are whole, have a spirit, and were meant to live. The Catholic Church has swayed on this point over the centuries, at some points believing that no spirit was present prior to a "quickening" in a mature fetus and at others believing that it occurs at 'conception,' which is awkward in that the latest definition doesn't necessarily lead to pregnancy. Even my own culture does not name, baptize, or have funerals for miscarriages, on the account that they were not people and were not able to be born to be inducted into any religion.
Strangely, some of the same people who do not name, induct into their religion, or hold funeral rites for miscarriages believe that intentional miscarriages and abortions are murder. The ability for a six week old group of cells to have a spirit suddenly rests on WHY it falls out of a woman, rather than on any properties it innately has. Which makes no sense to those of us who need logical explanations for such things.
One extremist had a sign equating choosing abortion with "satan." For those of us who also don't believe in a satan, this is also a point upon which we cannot have a dialogue.
Another had a sign stating all human rights begin at "conception." Conception is currently defined in public as when a sperm is enveloped by an egg (anywhere! even in a lab!). This is complicated, in that a very large percentage of conceptions do not result in pregnancies. (Here in the U.S. the miscarriage rate is high to the extent that women report it. There is no formal reporting system, but for groups who try to track it I've read figures ranging from 15 to 50%; a friend's doctor recently pegged it at 20%. A google search for "miscarriage rate" and "USA" will provide a wide range of results, the better onces from proper medical websites, all surprisingly high.) What rights could such cells possibly exercise? He'd might as well be advocating for the rights of my kidneys - at least THOSE will stick around for a few years, and are large enough to be detected.
But even for the cells that may (or may not) result in a living person, they do not exist as a separate entity, and so can't have separate rights. They ARE just like my kidneys, really, in that they are a part of me, and can't exist separately, though I can exist without them. As such, they are part of my body, and my body is mine. Again, this is a conceptual gulf - I'm not going to advocate for separate rights for their internal organs, and they shouldn't for mine!
There are other gulfs. I was told in religious school that a "soul" enters a sperm + egg when they first join, and that a soul is indivisible... which means that only one of any set of identical twins (whose fertilized egg split into two zygotes) has a soul, and now I'm supposed to believe that everyone has a soul except for one of each set of identical twins... I mean, please. There are other logical problems: a senator who believes in test tube fertilization tried to insist that a test tube fertilized egg only has a soul once it passes into a woman, which means that if it falls out again, or you inadvertently don't put it in all the way in, it doesn't. Until you put it back in again. In-soul! Out-no soul! In-soul! Etc.
I think that all advocates of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can do to bridge the vast conceptual gulf is to make sure that biological facts are readily available; to promote birth control's availability, both loudly and subtly, since nearly everyone in the US is using it but may not be understanding how it works; to promote sex ed, so the bizarre misinformation that is chasing kids away from condoms and toward sexually transmitted diseases is remedied; and to powerfully advocate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all, including mothers and children -- the born (as opposed to the infinite conceptual "unborn") who aren't enjoying life as the world's so called richest nation should be able to provide.
Whether you marched, or sent a check to Planned Parenthood, or made sure a young girl you know has a safe way to get home from work, do something this week to make the world safer for women, for mothers, for little girls, for everyone. Find something that suits you and do it. Humanity is constantly in need of small positive gestures - they add up.
God bless your kidneys.
posted by Arlene (Beth)3:54 PM
Friday, January 21, 2005
Hey! There are lots of good pictures From The Jan 20 Protest In SF at SF Bay Area Indymedia, including these. (indybay.org) There are more at the splash page for indybay.org.
posted by Arlene (Beth)10:18 PM
A simple stir fry: chard, tofu, and bean sprouts over rice stickIngredients:
-two slabs of rice stick, an ultra-thin, quicking cooking rice noodle, prepared in boiling water per the package instructions. (usually 2 - 5 minutes of boiling) and drained thoroughly.
-1 tablespoon of canola oil for stir frying
-one bunch of chard, tough ends of the stems removed, chopped into bite-sized pieces
-2 large cloves of garlic, minced
-8 ounces or so of tofu, diced
-a cup of bean sprouts, rinsed thoroughly
-two or more tablespoons of Vietnam-style chili or chili-garlic sauce.
Heat the oil in a wok or other large pan until hot. Drop in the chard and garlic, and stir fry for about 2 minutes; then cover for 3-5 minutes, until the chard wilts down to about half its volume, stirring frequently. Add the tofu and cook for 5 minutes or so, partially/sometimes covered, then add the remaining ingredients and cook just until the bean sprouts are hot, but not mushy. Serve over the cooked, drained rice stick with soy sauce.
This serves 2-3 grown ups.
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:28 PM
Fun in the Dark: I spent most of today in the public darkroom, the same public darkroom my father used to make his prints in during the early 1970s. (It's been in its current location since the 1950s.) I met a photographer friend Jay (hereinafter referred to as J) there to get some advice on contrast. It turns out that my printing problem last time, with muddy prints resulting from my first substantive return to a darkroom in 20 years, wasn't just ME - it was that paper has changed.
There's something called multi-contrast paper that's come out in the last decade or so, and it requires red-orange filters to produce high contrast prints. You simply can't print cleanly without them, and in exchange, you get a broader tonal range. I had been mystified by my ability to print clean contact sheets on 1985 Kodak paper, but not be able to make a single clean, contrasty print on a new package of Ilford paper. It's because the Ilford paper required these new, colored filters. And because I've been reading the wrong kind of camera porn entirely, which didn't make this point clear.
So my pal and one of the guys that works there discussed filters with me, and they loaned me a set, and suddenly my prints look GOOD. I'm still making mistakes; I've been exposing things too long and developing them too little; I've been making some muddy prints because I'm using too pale a filter; I've tried intentionally printing in extremes to see what I can get. But I'm learning so much!! I've tried two kinds of paper, and still have a long way to go before I get used to printing on this stuff, but my friend solicited lots of moral support and positive reinforcement from others in the washing/drying room, so I don't feel embarassed to learn.
So today was a fabulous learning experience.
Yes, I completely think it's worth it to brush up (or learn anew) chemical darkroom skills. Why? Well, nearly all the famous black and white photographs I admire were made this way, and I want to understand HOW. (That's also why I read up quite a bit on alternative and antique processes, to understand how the pre-gelatin-silver-emulsion photos were made.) Also, these silver emulsion prints made with chemicals really do have a different tonal range than digital prints. In photographs, there are shades of grey, but in inkjet prints on the printers my pals have there are just more or fewer dots. Digital is either on or off, ones or zeroes. Chemistry provides .88s and .002s! GREY. And grey is important.
Digital is getting there. There are inkjet printers that pros use which have about 8 cartridges, all of which are different shades of black and grey. That's a step forward toward the quality of the past!
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:02 PM
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
The past two nights I watched both segments of Ken Burns' documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (pbs.org). Without any interest in boxing, I found this biographical review of a turn of the last century boxer's life FASCINATING. Because it isn't really about boxing: it's about the social conditions of a time when a superior black athlete was perceived as a threat to white "civilization."
It is not a surprise that Burns shows us how racist American society can be. The revelation for me was the fear that a boxer could put into a culture based on a weird cultural symbolism that exists to this day. The 'dominant' culture believed in white supremacy and white colonial domination of the world, and expected the "superiority" of white people to be manifest in ALL activities, as a way of reinforcing and justifying oppression of everyone else. Any little flaw, including the threat of an African American taking on the previously white-monopolized title of heavyweight champion of the world, was a threat to the entire conceptual system of white superiority. Burns uses quotes expressing horror at the idea of non-white people 'getting ideas' about the vulnerability of their white oppressors - just over a boxing match! This would make no sense, but Burns had already laid the conceptual foundation as to what it all symbolized. If the boxing title went to an African American, then whites weren't superior in all things, and if they weren't superior in all things, the heirarchal system of the day was a fraud.
A documentary about a boxer made me finally understand the irrational and illogical opposition men throughout my life have had over the idea of women competing in sports.
I had always thought they were actual sports - you know, competitive physical activity which rewards certain physical skill sets. I never perceived sports as a symbolic system intended to prop up a false concept of male superiority in order to justify male dominance in society. And that every time I swam/ran/rebounded better than some guy, I was undermining the conceptual patriarchy. (I have to admit that the last perception, from the point of view of a tall healthy gal like myself, has a certain charm.)
I still can't perceive sports that way: I'm a rather literal girl, and if I bike better than some guy, it's because I'm a better cyclist. But now I understand why some males have been, and continue to be, such total freaks over female participation.
Thanks, Ken Burns!
posted by Arlene (Beth)5:33 PM
Computing is terribly tiresome. I've put in a full workday dealing with software and cable hunting on my machine, and am still amazed at how shoddy some aspects of the computing world are. I purchased a new computer recently, with the help of holiday cash gifts from my parents, and have been encouraged by my pals to immediately purchase all new peripherals. Not because my old ones are worn out, mind you, but because the software to run them is intentionally not kept current by their manufacturers.
This 'Disposable Society' sucks.
On a happier note, a fondness for old things is something that many photographers I love share with me, and now someone is spreading that love around. Douglas Levere's Homage To Berenice Abbott: Two Views Of New York (pdnonline.com) is a discussion of Levere's book New York Changing, which is (in turn) a tribute to my heroine Berenice Abbott's Changing New York, a landmark 1930s documentary project on New York's endangered structures. Her images, shot on huge plate glass negatives under challenging conditions, show that Abbott is as much a brilliant technician as she is an artist. A book of her complete WPA-sponsored project, as republished in 1997 by the Museum of the City of New York, is my most prized photography book.
Several of my recent projects here in San Francisco have been inspired by Abbott's approach, but Levere has been much more directly inspired to reshoot Abbott's historic images now, in their current conditions, using large format cameras (some nearly identical to Abbott's own). That is a labor of love!
posted by Arlene (Beth)5:02 PM
Monday, January 17, 2005
Those wacky omnivores: I volunteer at a wonderful local nonprofit, which you already can name if you read this regularly. Every Wednesday night has historically been "volunteer" night, and all the volunteers who stayed after 8 p.m. would get fed a hot dinner, ordered in from a local restaurant. The dinner was always vegetarian, because a significant number of the volunteers are, and because you avoid all sorts of other potential problems for people on restricted diets (those forbidding pork, or meat combined with cheese, or meat, etc.). Also, the person who was in charge was a vegetarian and animal rights activist. There were a few people who griped about how the free food wasn't their favorite thing and they'd prefer meaty meals, -- but they always ate. Because there was nothing restricting them from doing so: they just would have preferred meat.
The person in charge left, and a new one came in, and she ordered both meat and veggie items for the first volunteer event, which will now occur every other week. And people like me, vegetarians who often eat with meat-eaters, enjoyed the meal as usual.
But something weird happened. Some of the meaters had a loud, weird conversation criticizing the departed vegetarian-formerly-in-charge and speaking as if they, as representatives of the American meat eating majority, have been oppressed.
They didn't put it that way. Because there would have been too much laughing. But they were really critical of not being able to have their preferences met the way they are met almost exclusively everywhere else. And then they mixed veggie pieces with meat ones, so anyone with a serious inability to digest animal fat (like me) couldn't eat them.
It was amazing to me. I was trying to imagine myself in the role of the "Oppressive Buddhist," who tortures mainstream Americans by making them eat healthy and sometimes fried Vietnamese or Thai food once every two weeks for FREE. And it just wasn't working for me. I could not feel their pain.
I tried to imagine this same conversation going on if the food had been Kosher. You know: a long rant about how their rights as pork eaters were being oppressed by their inability to eat pork once every two weeks at a non-profit. And I couldn't see it. Perhaps it's the fear of people who have had compulsory military training in Israel, perhaps its the idea that it would be insensitive to make such a remark. The same for Halal. But I couldn't really see the same concerns about sensitivity cropping up for Buddhists, or members of the vegetarian castes of Hinduism, or environmentalists, or animal rights activists, or just plain vegetarians by choice.
I think we're not scary enough. 'Too many fuzzy bunny associations. It's hard to do American-style, 'you will respect me because I intimidate you' tactics when everyone knows you respect the life of even tiny animals (and think that such tactics don't result in actual respect). Which is a shame.
We're nice people, and it's nice that we can get together and eat foods that none of us have problems with. At least, it was nice.
posted by Arlene (Beth)4:41 PM
Wacky technophilia: It happened again. My friends are so in love with gear that another one of them has forgotten what it is actually FOR.
Saturday I had some pals come over, one of whom just bought a new camera and who is now testing ink jet papers. He brought 16 or so prints of an image of Anna Kournikova (the tennis star/model) that he downloaded from the Internet to show us how the papers compare. Because he can't be bothered to make anything of his own with his brand new camera. I asked if he'd bring it to the Chinese New Year parade, and he said he was afraid he'd get it wet (since it traditionally rains on the parade each year).
So yes, he just spent some large some of cash for a prosumer digital camera he is afraid to take outside to use in mild spring weather.
I was the only one present who appeared to be shocked by this.
As we say here at home, WTF?
Some add agency rep is nearly breaking her arm patting herself on the back over this one. But I think it's sad.
posted by Arlene (Beth)4:36 PM
Mustard! This is perfect: I haven't been able to find the simple mustard I like in my local shops, which is white and has obvious mustard seeds in it. This solves my problem: Mustard and Mustard Seeds Recipes and Information (homecooking.about.com). While the recipes on using mustard don't do me much good (meat, meat, meat), the mustard itself comes in handy, especially for the tofu sandwich filling (called "vegan egg salad" on the tofu recipe list from the Full Bellies Recipe Blog (fullbleed.net/recipeblog).
posted by Arlene (Beth)4:35 PM
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Oh, I love this: The Poor Man: Compare and Contrast: Rathergate vs. Saddam's WMD - A Quantitative Comparison. (thepoorman.net). That sums it up rather nicely.
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:25 PM
This is a fun article: Guardian Unlimited:Fat to fit: how Finland did it. Instead of just telling people to eat right and exercise, the Finnish government dropped its subsidies for unhealthy activities and foods, and provided local governments with the funding to provide free or cheap public exercise facilities and parks so everyone would benefit. Sample:Local competitions were combined with sweeping nationwide changes in legislation. All forms of tobacco advertising were banned outright. Farmers were all but forced to produce low-fat milk or grow a new variety of oilseed rape bred just for the region that would make domestic vegetable oil widely available for the first time. Previously, farmers had been paid for meat and dairy on the basis of the product's fat content. The changes recognised the flaw and linked payment instead to how much protein the produce contained.Other parts of the articles talk about how they didn't need to educate the public -- people knew what they were supposed to be doing -- they just provided incentives (including lots of prizes beyond health) for doing the right thing.
It's just brilliant. There's even a summary at the end of public health initiatives in other nations. Those come after the hysterical summary of the attitude of defensive Britons that the Finns are too obedient to the government, while Brits are too independent to save their own lives through improved health. (S' comment: 'Well let the stupid @#$%ers die then!" :-) He was joking, but it's a fair response.)
posted by Arlene (Beth)8:11 PM
Act for civil rights: Honor Dr. King. Demand electoral reform nationwide (actforvictory.org). Everyone who purports to care about democracy should be acting to be sure that we have one, REALLY have one. This is a start. Follow that link.
posted by Arlene (Beth)7:43 PM
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Kidney bean and pepper jack cheese enchiladasThis is so easy, you really don't need a recipe. But I've never let that stop me before!
One thing to note is that it is possible to create a really wide variety of sauces with the red enchilada sauce recipe. I used mild, large, nearly purple-black dried chilies this time around, plus half a dozen chipotles (smoked, dried jalapeños), and the sauce was mild but with a warm, smoky undercurrent. It was a good flavor for a cold winter night.
-one prepared batch of classic red enchilada sauce, perhaps made with mild black/purple chilies
-whole wheat tortillas, one package (about 10)
-a can of kidney beans, black beans, or whatever other beans you like, including vegetarian refried beans
-8 ounces or more of jalapeño pepper jack cheese, grated.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Put about half a cup of enchilada sauce into your enchilada pan. Lay out your tortillas on the counter, and evenly divide the beans and grated cheese among them. Roll each filled tortilla tightly, and then place in the saucy pan. When all the tortillas are rolled and packed into the pan, pour the remainder of the sauce over them, being careful to leave no tortilla unsauced. Cover the pan with tin foil, and bake for 40 minutes. When done, the enchilada sauce should be bubbling, and the cheese should be thoroughly melted throughout.
posted by Arlene (Beth)2:50 PM
Tuolumne Meadows Winter Conditions Update for January 13, 2004:WEATHER: (from Jan 6 to Jan 13)You read that right. Where I camped in late September, there are now eighty two inches of snow. It's just incredible.
High temp: 33 ° (Jan 6)
Low temp: -16 ° (Jan 6)
New snow: 59 " (snowed every day except Jan 12th)
Total settled snow depth: 82 " (Jan 13)
I've been joking with my father, who complained about the cold nights in September, about how we need to head up there now. S has joked that it would only take us about 2 weeks to reach TM by snowshoe from the Valley. I've asked my father to arrange for hot pizza drops by helicopter throughout the route...
But in actuality, I hate being cold. I really hate being cold. There was a point during my trek in Nepal when we were within view of Everest, near the Tengboche monastery, and waterbottles my tentmate and I kept between our two sleeping bags had frozen solid during the night. One of us went to take a drink, and the water went thunk as we turned the bottle over. And I decided then that being cold was really lousy, and that I should avoid it.
So snowshoeing sounds delightful - you get warm very quickly, stay warm, and moving is a great deal of effort. But when you stop, and your perspiration begins to freeze... That's not so good.
Eighty two inches!!
posted by Arlene (Beth)2:38 PM
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
It's not just meHere is an excerpt from a conversation between my friends about going out for sushi.P: Time of event? If we get to No Name by 1630 / 4:30pm, and relay our order, we should received the sushi by 1715. It has been our experience that the order transcription process is not robust, is performed through noisy channels, and prone to deciphering errors. The root cause is that our orders are significantly greater than the system currently deployed at No Name can handle; the notepad they have is waaaaaay too small for the amount of stuff we have to order. Even though we provide a tabulated printout, the older lady still insists on writing everything on a sheet of notepad with tally marks that seem to hover in between lines.So it's not just me. My friends are obsessive about food, too.
Maybe we should printout only five items per page so the chefs can manage making them a group at a time rather than having to decrypt them tally marks and crazy hand writing.
Can L create one of those webpages were we can change things so we can put our orders in? L can just print out that page later.
L: [re web page] A wiki? Yes. [web address of editable order page set up for this get-together]
While I'm quoting my friends, I can also post an exchange about technology fetishism.Me: [after a discussion about a friend getting a new digital camera, and another trying to break his current digital camera to have an excuse to buy another] I don't see anything about today's digital cameras that will make antique camera lovers of the future think they're worthwhile.Many of my friends love technology for its own sake, but don't really DO that much with it. It's sort of like those weekend bicycle gear people, who can name every component on their bike, but can't tell you when the last went on a great 50 mile ride.
R: Have you seen the new Epson rangefinder digital camera? Designed to work with all the Leica rangefinder lenses...
Me: [sarcastically] So they've found a way to make a camera with Leica lenses which will be obsolete in two years? Progress! :-)
R: What do you mean two years!? Manual focus lenses are already obsolete.
Me: :-) Of course, there are people with pinhole cameras made out of candy boxes who are doing more creative work than anyone I know. So technology only helps us so much! :-)
They're in it for the gear, but they don't really utilize the gear they have. I am completely mystified: biking is fun, even on my cheap mountain bike! Photography is fun, especially with old film cameras! The latest technology has its uses, but if you're not really using it, it doesn't really matter!
Those of you who are real gear-heads have NO idea what I'm writing about, so sorry for the confusion. :-)
Those of you who have been on the web for many years know about the great Canon v. Nikon debates on the rec.photo discussion groups, back when the web was still a text-based world. I thought that entire line of debate was hysterically funny. Because it doesn't matter what brand of camera you use: it only matters that you have a tool that works for you, personally. The best camera in the world won't mean anything if you're not familiar with it, or don't use it properly, or don't know how to compose a photo. Some of the best photos in the history of photography were taken on unwieldy, low-tech view cameras and immense, plate-glass negatives which were exposed without any certainty about the ASA of the emulsion! And yet, those images are superior to many produced with more "advanced" cameras and uniform, professional films. [This very fact would make some of my friends heads explode. Sorry for the mess!]
I have friends who are very eager to announce the death of any and every technology they don't personally use. And many friends who jump on the bandwagon of whatever latest gadget comes along. That's fine, but all that matters is that we each have tools that work for us. The new tools aren't necessarily "better" if they don't fit with my working style.
I'll babble more about this in the new photography page I keep threatening to post...
posted by Arlene (Beth)10:49 PM
On potato panccakesYesterday I made the best potato pancakes I've ever made.
Potato pancakes are very simple, but as someone who doesn't really believe in frying, they have always been a bit of a challenge for me. My mother used to make some that came from a package in the Kosher section of the supermarket. It was a powder - powdered potato, parsley, salt, and spices - that was beaten with egg and water and then fried in oil. They were remarkably salty, oily, and good. I also purchased a packaged kind, though one from a natural foods brand, which had recongizable dehydrated potato strips, plus spices. I added soy milk and possibly egg replacer to fry those. They were also salty, oily, and tasty.
But it seemed silly to buy the mix when fresh potatoes are so cheap! I've seen many recipes for potato pancakes, involving just potatoes and salt; potatoes, eggs and salt; potatoes, eggs, flour, salt, and parsley; pureed potato; grated onion; etc. I've tried nearly all of them, and they've been okay. I've never felt they were cooked enough: there was always a soft spot in the middle that seemed under-done to me.
So I tried the Cuisinart recipe (cuisinart.com, PDF, page 20), which is just potatoes and salt. I shredded the potatoes with the cuisinart, added the salt, and then decided that all things are better with chili powder. So I added a mild seasoning called "Seasoning from Hell," which allegedly has habanero powder in it, but which also has many, many, many other herb/spice ingredients, and so comes across mild. I used a lot of oil, and fried the pancakes up.
And they were GREAT. S went to the store to pick up some sour cream; I chopped up some green onions. I made a huge batch, and we ate them ALL. They were, dare I say it, perfect. I suppose it is because they were just potatoes; we made the pancakes large but very thin, so it was easy for them to cook through; and the oil was very hot. But I'm still surprised at how good they turned out.
So, that's my recommendation: shredded potatoes, salt, a chili powder mix, hot oil, thin pancakes. I can't really enjoy these often: fried foods really don't agree with me any more, assuming they ever did. But these are worth having now and then on special occasions!
posted by Arlene (Beth)10:36 PM
Monday, January 10, 2005
I have the unofficial title of 'blender slayer.' I am on my third blender in 5 years, and it is suffering mightily. I make pestos, hummus, tofu-based pumpkin pies, smoothies, thick soups, and other challenging substances in my short-lived blenders. My current blender simply refuses to make pumpkin pie fillings any more, no matter what order I put the roasted butternut squash, honey, tofu, and spices in. It's just too thick.
S bought me many thoughtful gifts for Xmas, but one of the most practical is a Cuisinart. The granddaddy of food processors, these machines are reputed to be able to do anything. I've been 'cooked out' for much of the holidays, but I finally broke it out today to make a spread/dip to go with a fresh loaf of Metropolitan sourdough, cheese, and wine (for me: S is a teetotaller, or however you spell that.) This is a simple spread, but is really delicious. I'm sure there are recipes for complicated versions of roasted pepper spreads, but I wanted to make a very simple one. And it's just perfect.
posted by Arlene (Beth)8:50 PM
Roasted bell pepper spreadIngredients:
-3 whole roasted red bell peppers
-2 cloves of garlic, peeled
-2 teaspoons of capers, drained
-2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Blend all ingredients well. Serve with fresh bread. Makes a good, moist sandwich spread, too!
posted by Arlene (Beth)8:43 PM
Last night I dreamt that I had to meet a former coworker in the Mission District, where she was going to have to identify the bodies of several of her loved ones who had died in a disaster of some kind. I arrived at the address after dark and on time, only to find that it was a barber shop/community gathering place/art gallery, and that they were relieved that there were no bodies there. My former coworker had no phone number where she could be reached at. So I wound up wandering the Mission, looking for a place that might serve the sad function she would be attending to, all the while wondering if she had confused Street with Avenue, which would have meant I should have met her in the Sunset District...
You can see that the tsunami disaster is bothering me still, even in dreams.
posted by Arlene (Beth)8:40 PM
Sunday, January 09, 2005
I am realizing that I really am some sort of workaholic: any day I'm not editing or printing photos, bookbinding, or making some creative project, I feel dissatisfied. I have found that I can't even really enjoy sitting in cafes for long periods of time if the light is good, because I know it is one of those rare opportunities to get photos of some building or other that I have been looking at wistfully in the wrong light, waiting for just the right time...
I've been noticing a lot of kits to make "handmade" things, and a lot of commercially available items that appear to be handmade. There are kits to make cards by collaging the pre-cut items provided; there are kits to make albums using precut paper that you just need to run a ribbon through or staple to finish; there were handmade ornaments of all types available in stores, though they were handmade abroad; there are books which are the illustrated travelogues of others, filled with the hand drawn and painted images of artists; there are boundless products available for making "memory books," which are photo albums for people who like stickers and picture frames. Which would be cooler if the collage items weren't all available for sale in packages advising you that you should be using matching themes. (Your baby photos aren't enough now - you should buy baby stickers, and cut outs of baby items, and wrapping paper prints to put in the background, and baby bracelets to attach with thread, and...)
It's nice that all of these products are available. Hopefully it is encouraging to people who wouldn't otherwise ever touch an archival glue stick. But some of the kits are also a big repressive, in that there is only one right way to assemble an allegedly creative project. Which isn't creative: it's what assembly lines do, and no one calls the nice folks (and robots) who work on assembly lines 'artists.' It reminds me of when a couple friends of mine bought new houses in new developments, and then told me they were "designing" their kitchens -- by picking tile from a short list of allowable tile patterns, which would be installed in their homes in the exact same places they'd be installed in everyone else's identical kitchen. That's not design: that's a fast food menu. Design generally requires picking up a pencil, not just opening a wallet. But retailers who want you to open your wallet will call you da Vinci for choosing the "right" combination of their projects, especially through their own new "magalogs" (catalogs posing as magazines), so if this hasn't happened to you yet, it will.
So I hope that people are using these kits to warm up, and then moving on to doing creative things on their own, without training wheels. But if they're not, the kit business beckons! :-) The kit and instruction business It is good for designers: they design a collage with a few baby images, title it, and it goes into a fancy book with instructions (and catalog item numbers) so that others can copy their work. It sounds like a fun job! At least, until your supervisor tells you you're not using enough products, or that it's not 'fun enough,' or that you're not using cute enough babies (and you're using your own).
posted by Arlene (Beth)11:10 PM
I was at the public darkroom the other night, despairing that it had been a few months shy of 20 years since I had last experienced any degree of darkroom experience, and so was suffering a combination of terror and disappointment, when I noticed a catalog for the The San Francisco Center for the Book. While I already bookbind, and in fact cranked out something like 8 photo albums and a similar number of hardcover notebooks in December, I LOVE the fact that there's a local institution like this offering classes in other techniques.
It's very tempting, though I learn too much by experimenting on my own to want to rush to a class. But... they offer letterpress!! Wouldn't it be cool to run a letterpress! Yes, it would. Oh...
posted by Arlene (Beth)11:05 PM
I write about food all the time, but I'm not always in the mood to think about it. I do all the meal planning here at home, and even though there are only two of us, doing ALL the meal planning all the time, for someone who likes everything I make and rarely offers an opinion, can be a drag. So, I've been putting off grocery shopping. I bought some bananas and soy milk two days ago, but haven't been willing to go out for more without a little input about what we should eat. So no shopping has occurred. (Passive voice can be fun!)
So tonight we had pasta for dinner for the second night in a row. And I wanted dessert. I'm out of flour, sugar, apples... But I did have a few bananas. And I wanted dessert, preferably a hot dessert. The Honey Baked Bananas recipe at southernfood.about.com was perfect: quick, easy, and tasty. I had expected the bananas to get crisp, or something, but they're just hot, soft, and tasty. So I liked this one. Though S and I were both pigs, so we each had two bananas worth. We would have had less if there were some vanilla frozen soy dessert in the house, but...
posted by Arlene (Beth)10:59 PM
I had five small apples that weren't very tasty for eating raw, and wasn't sure what to do with them. I made a search on the BBC Food website for "apples" and got back 11 pages of listings. Many of those required ingredients I don't have, (or involved raspberries and goat cheese, which didn't appeal), but this was just right: BBC - Food - Recipes - Baked Apple Dumplings. I didn't bother with the milk glaze, and did add a little cinnamon. And it was just right. Mmmmm.
As an added bonus, it made the house smell good.
Next tempting recipe to try: something from the pear recipe list, especially this wonderful sounding pears baked in honey.
My apologies if you haven't eaten lunch yet and are reading this...
posted by Arlene (Beth)2:04 PM
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Last night some old classmate pals of mine came over. I haven't been shopping much, and didn't have much in the way of tasty desserts to offer them. So I asked S to look for a good peanut butter cookie recipe, and start baking cookies.
He found this peanut butter and oatmeal cookie recipe at nikibone.com. It's so simple, and so straighforward, that S cranked them out quickly, with very little help from me. These cookies are tasty, simple, and easy. They're nearly all peanut butter, so you know that makes them good!
If I can induce S to make these, what other desserts can I persuade him to make for me? Hmmm....
I've just added Nikibone's vegan recipe index to my bookmark page...
posted by Arlene (Beth)5:18 PM
Bookmarks du JourEvery so often I post a list of bookmarks somewhere, either by updating my other web pages to reflect new links, or by posting a list of bookmarks here. I had plans to publish a massive list I had compiled and was just thrilled with, but after de-fragging my hard drive, my browser didn't recognize the file and wrote over it, which was very sad for me.
I'm in the process of switching to a new computer, and so I'll post a list of the bookmarks I was using most recently here. Because I can. These are in the order they were posted.
-62,000 Fraudulent Absentee Ballots in Ohio? | Democrats.com Blog
-NewLab (newlab.com), a local photography lab where I had some slides made from digital files for a high price
-Photoworks | San Francisco (photoworkssf.com), a lab where I take some of my color film for developing. They're an AGFA chemistry place.
-Art competition slides from digital files (www.artcompetitionslides.com), a place to get slides made from digital files inexpensively and by mail
-SF Camerawork Home (www.sfcamerawork.org), a local organization I joined just last month which has a gallery and a bookstore
-Oscar's Photo Lab (www.oscarsphotolab.com), a film lab where I've also taken C-41, though my negatives came back sticky from tape on the contact sheet glass, so I've been wary since
-Art Prints - Photo Art Photo Print to Canvas (fedex.com), FedEx/Kinko's printing service, which I haven't used
-NAIA - Artists Information Statement (www.naia-artists.org), the National Association of Independent Artists' suggestions on how to write an artist's statement when entering competitions
-CAA | Ethics & Guidelines | c.v.conventions (www.collegeart.org), how to write an artist's resume
-Photo Digital Directory.com (www.photodirectory.ws), a list of SF photographic services
-BlogThis!, a script that allows me to blog while reading non-blogger web pages
-Mykeru.com, a passionate blog about politics and other things
-Parks Conservancy Employment, jobs at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy organization
-Administrative Jobs - Sierra Club
-Ancient Origins: Solstice (candlegrove.com), information about the winter solstice as it has been celebrated over time
-Recipes from Christmas Past (www.vegsoc.org) from the Vegetarian Society
-Urban Legends Reference Pages: Politics (War Between the States) (snopes.com), a discussion of how the map showing that the red states are nearly all former slave holding states and territories is accurate, but not necessarily a happy way to think about the cultural divide currently shaping the nation. (Snopes is generally better for non-political topics, when it is easier for its writers to stick to facts. This one they're trying to water down a bit...)
-POSIWID - the purpose of a system is what it does (www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~rxv), a handy way at looking at institutions and processes that do very bad things, which aren't what they claim they do, yet which reveals much about their priorities and purposes
-What about Auld Lang Syne
-Yosemite National Park: Tuolumne Winter Conditions (www.nps.gov/yose). This always amazes me. The last time I checked, they had 58 new inches of snow!
-Bissap Baobab - Menu (bissapbaobab.com), a tease from a restaurant which is never open when I'm nearby
-Traditions of the Sun: Chaco Culture National Historical Park (www.traditionsofthesun.org), a website a friend of mine worked on
-bookmarklet for Bug Me Not, a cookie avoidance and 'free mandatory registration avoidance' tool
-Old Photographic Paper (www.photo.net), thoughts on why you should try out the old paper you found in the basement
-SFBG S.F. Life | July 21, 1999: No. 728 | Darkrooms available to the public (www.sfbg.com)
-sf photgraphy center (alternativespace.com)
-Photography at About (photography.about.com), a great resource
-Rice Paper Sizing (www.rice-paper.com)
-alternativephotography.com : Mike Ware's ironic introduction to alternative photography and processes (www.alternativephotography.com). This site is currently my favorite place on the web.
-t r u t h o u t - fyi (blog) (www.truthout.org/fyi), William Rivers Pitt's new blog
-Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day - home (www.pinholeday.org), which is coming up on April 24th for those of you inclined toward lensless photography
-Let's Go Cosmos > Your Hubble Slideshow (letsgocosmos.com), by Andy
-Back.com - Articles - Exercises for the Spine (back.com), yes, old age is setting in for me
-Gymnastic Ball Exercises from BodyTrends.com (bodytrends.com)
-Exercise Ball - Exercises (ballyfitness.com)
-The W3C Markup Validation Service (validator.w3.org), the same one I recently used to validate all of my home-made web pages as HTML 4.01 transitional, because I am a hopeless geek sometimes.
So you can tell that I'm interested in politics, photography, and my sore back. Did you already know those things?
posted by Arlene (Beth)3:24 PM
Friday, January 07, 2005
I know I'm very cynical, but one of my side concerns about the tsunami devastation in South East Asia is that the situation will be used to displace ordinary people who live in the damaged areas, and their land will be taken by large scale foreign development agencies who will build massive resorts that locals will never be able to see the inside of unless they are hired as maids.
I told you I was cynical.
Anyway, in this interim period while relief for survivors is still the priority, there is some discussion of trying to curb, rather than promote, development in the devastated areas. It is here: Tsunami Reverts Beaches to Natural State (washingtonpost.com, 01/07/05). It's a more positive hope for the beaches.
S recently mentioned that a massive beachfront development killed by environmental concerns in the American South is now being seen in a new light: this year's storms pounded an area protected for endangered dune mice in Alabama thoroughly, and the development would have been destroyed. Construction further inland, where environmentalists pointed out wiser sites, were inland far enough to have withstood the storms.
So wise planning -- especially avoiding fragile and unprotected beach areas - can benefit everyone and save lives. Hopefully a similarly wise approach will be applied during the rebuilding after this widescale disaster. Careful site selection could not only protect from unusual tsunamis, but also from the seasonal storms which drench the region and often do minor damage.
posted by Arlene (Beth)7:44 PM
Unhappy things I've been away from the computer doing photographic printing of both antique and conventional sorts, which has helped to distract me from feelings of sadness. I've been VERY sad about the tsunami disaster. This is such a massive loss of life, it's difficult to even wrap my brain around. I imagine entire neighborhoods and zip codes of people here in the City being lost, and even then, it's still so vast... And sending money hasn't made me feel better - I would rather be able to do something more directly tangible and constructive to help, but I'm not in a position to. That is frustrating. I'm also sad because some of the most misguided people in the U.S. are coming to march against abortion rights here in SF, while doing everything they can to either damage women's health or cause more abortions to be performed, and they're too blind to see how EVIL they are. To argue that a dear friend who would have hemorraged to death from a miscarriage should have died rather than abort and live (and later have lovely children) because God wants women to die rather than sacrifice a bunch of doomed cells, or reading that so-called pro-lifers believe raped 9 year olds children should be forced to give birth (cbsnews.com, 03/23/03), or a more recent story (not on the web) that a 6 year old who survived rape should be forced to give birth... It is just sick for anyone to want that. It's an offense to motherhood, and to basic humanity. So I pity them for their anti-mother, anti-child-survivor wishes. And then, on a completely different note and scale, S is mourning the loss of a dear pet, and even though it's completely unlike either of the sad things, it adds a few ounces of general sadness. SO.
posted by Arlene (Beth)1:45 PM
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Here is a good obituary to read about an inspirational leader (complete with a 1971, big-hair photo): The New York Times > Obituaries > Shirley Chisholm, 'Unbossed' Pioneer in Congress, Is Dead at 80.
posted by Arlene (Beth)10:22 AM
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Note from the webmistress: To avoid really thinking about the depressing scope of the devastation in southeast Asia, I am currently revising my HTML coding and styles for these pages. (I learned HTML 3.2, but now HTML standard is 4.01 transitional. And thanks to the open source nature of the web, I copied invalid language from others who I thought were clever, and now have to fix it before adding new material. You know how it is.) You might notice some oddities over the next few days as I begin to make revisions to the text of the pages also. Please do not be alarmed, but feel free to e-mail me with any persisting disturbances for any pages "last updated --- 2005." Thanks.
posted by Arlene (Beth)5:43 PM
Monday, January 03, 2005
Dirty pool in Ohio: It's embarassing that the UKRAINE can, after much public protest and international intrigue, finally have a clean election, whereas we can't here in the U.S. Read this: t r u t h o u t - Conyers to Object to Ohio Electors, Requests Senate Allies (truthout.org, 12/30/04) AND especially read Representative Conyers' letter to Senators dated 12/21/04 (house.gov). And then contact your Senator. Letting election-fraud criminals go free (to later be rewarded by their party) hurts us all.
posted by Arlene (Beth)10:51 AM
My favorite article on the tsunami devastation relief efforts so far comes from India. Private Citizens Outdo Officials in Aid Efforts (washingtonpost.com, 01/01/05) describes how a cell phone network of friends organized their own, ad hoc relief agency and delivered practical relief, like new cooking pots and containers, towels, blankets, and other items -- things those who lost just about everything will need long-term -- to compliment the deliveries of cooked food already being made by others.
After all the horrible news in the world of atrocities, greed, and violence, it's great to read something like this.
posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 AM
Hey! The Chronicle wrote an article about the president of our Board of Supervisors, Matt Gonzalez, that isn't awful!! Forever the rebel with a cause, Gonzalez exits left at City Hall / Idealist energized young liberals in strong run for mayor. (sfgate.com, 01/03/05). Because this is a food blog, I am selecting this quote from Matt about life in politics:'You're going to a lot of chicken dinners. And when you don't eat meat, it's even worse. I'm not going to miss those dinners.'Yes, my fellow Green is with me as part of the 'International Vegetarian Conspiracy.' :-)
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:52 AM