All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


GFF -- Jordan

Before I get into this weeks GFF post, I wanted to say that I am often critical of public education and of many of the people involved in it. The reason for that is they deserve the criticism. That isn't the whole story of education or of educators. A great many good people become teachers or principles because they genuinely like kids and seeing them learn and grow. With that in mind, I give you Susan Jordan.

So often, words are left unspoken. People never get around to saying how much they appreciate someone.
Not so for Susan Jordan, the principal at an Indiana elementary school, who died saving the lives of her students Tuesday.
While she was hailed as heroic after her death for the way she sacrificed herself to save others, Jordan knew in life how much she was truly admired.
Last May, the students and staff at Amy Beverland Elementary School told her exactly how they felt about her in a video.
But its the video that really pulls at the heartstrings following Jordan's death. It seems the whole school takes part.
"She is everything I want to be when I grow up," says one adult woman. "She is kind. She's caring. She's compassionate. She's loving. She's sincere, and she's a professional. She makes all of us want to be even better."
Says another woman: "She's the definition of wonderful."
And then there's the kids.
What does Jordan stand for?
J -- is for joyful to be around.
O -- is for organized in all you do.
R -- is for radiant, because you, Mrs. Jordan, are radiant.
D -- is for demanding because you demand we do our best every day.
A -- is for awesome because you're an awesome principal.
N -- is for nice because you're always nice to work with.
The video ends with: "We love you Mrs. Jordan! ...Thank you for the many years of leadership!" 
That acronym may seem like the product of some cheesy forth grade kids imagination.  Which in a way is probably what it is.  Then again it is also the highest level of praise a 10 year old is likely to come up with.  Which makes it particularly fitting for a women who saved two 10 year old students and died as a result.

Those words of praise represent their best.  Which is what you gave in life Susan Jordan.  Tuesday, when the need arose to protect your kids from a terrible accident you gave everything you had.  I sault you and raise my glass in honor of Susan Jordan.


Trump Question

Let's say Trump wins the White House.  I hope that was as fun reading it as it was typing it. 

Anyway, Trump wins.  Fox News has gone out of their way during the election to demonstrate that they are nothing more than the slightly more conservative sounding propaganda arm of the bifactional ruling party.  They've been anti Trump, and pro-establishment republican.  To them that is fair and balanced.

Do you think Fox News reporters will be able to get White House press credentials?

Not Smart

College is not for everyone.

No it's not.  I don't care how much admissions offices spin it, or how much your grandparents or parents claim it is.  It's not.

Back in the 1930's both of my grandfathers dropped out of school after the 8th grade.  They went to work to help support their family.  They saw the world from a dirty place, a place where your muscles were sore at the end of the day.  They pushed for college.  College was, in their mind a ticket to a better life.  They looked for ways to pay for their kids and grandkids education.

Key words: "pay for".  Not borrow money for.  They didn't mortgage the house.  They paid for it, by working for it.  They took an old coffee can and put money in it.  It wasn't a lot and it wasn't enough, but it was a start.  My college fund smelled like Sanka. I'm damn proud of it.

When it came time for me to go to college, I picked the school that gave me the most scholarship money.  That's it.  That was the criteria, money.  I also worked 40 hours a week for almost the whole 4 years.  I didn't go to the best school I could get into.  I didn't even go to a more prestigious school that was willing to give me some money but not as much.  I went where I could afford the bill.

That's why I don't get this guy:

Guy With USELESS Degree From $62,965-A-Year College Is REALLY SAD About His Student Loans

The fool is over $200,000 in debt and bum'd out because he's paying around $1,500 a month for the next 30 years.  He can't file bankruptcy and he can't get a job paying him enough to finance the lifestyle he wants. 

Clues that you are not smart enough to go to college:
  1. You are borrowing money that you won't be able to repay quickly after graduation.  Yet you do it anyway
  2. When you finish your education you will owe more money than a house costs and don't have the letters MD after your name
  3. You mistake "prestigious" for "practical" 
  4. You make fun of the kids working at McDonalds or taking work study jobs on campus
  5. You pick your major based on how cool it sounds without giving any thought to what job it will get you
Those are also all clues that you're not smart enough to vote.  We won't get into that discussion.

I'm not anti-college.  I have three college degrees.  My associates degree was pursued so I could transfer from one college to another without losing credits.  When the President of my school found out that I was leaving to save money he kicked in a scholarship to get me to stay.  Which I did. 

I foolishly borrowed money for grad school, then being burned out didn't finish.  When I finally went back I had paid off the loan and cash flowed tuition from my job.  I didn't accept an opportunity to do post grad work at Stanford because I was $3,000 short at the time.  I kinda regret that. 

I'm not anti-college.  Ask yourself why you are going.  If its to get a good job when you graduate ask yourself some questions.  Will the job I want pay enough to make this worthwhile?  Is this school giving me the most bang for my buck?  Is there a better way to get this job?

If a good job is what you are after consider tech schools and apprenticeship programs or the military.  Take the ASVAB, it's free.  Then look at what occupations they will train you for based on your score.  Take that information and compare it to the expected pay ranges for similar civilian  jobs.  Sign a contract to go into that MOS.  Do your hitch and bail out into a high paying civilian job.  That's the whole reason we have the US Air Force.  Maybe not the whole reason, but its a better deal than $200,000 in debt and no future till you pay it off.


Keeping Up

Keeping up is hard to do.  It's hard to believe that January is almost over.  It seems like almost every day there is something to blog about.  Everyday something gets in the way of doing it.

I've let the BJW and GFF queues run dry.  I'll get a couple of months worth of posts lined up in those first.  Then I owe a cooking post, which I'll try to get written.  After that I'll do my best to fire off enough posts to equal a one a weekday average, which is what I shoot for normally. 

I've got stuff that I could write about, but I've never wanted to be a mommy blogger, which is mostly what my life is about right now.  There is nothing wrong with that, in fact I'm enjoying my wife and kids and growing spiritually.  I just can't imagine anyone wanting to sift through my latest diet and exercise goals or other daily drivel. 

Anyway, more posts are coming.


Much About Nothing

I like Donald Trump. 

What I should say is I like the idea of Donald Trump.  I've never met the man.  I never watched any of his shows on TV.  My only experience with him is reading about him second hand.

Will he make a good president?  That's kinda a silly question.  We're going on eight years of Obama.  Before that we had Bush part two, and before that eight years of Whitehouse panty raids.  Before that we had Bush part one.  There is an entire generation alive right now that has never experienced principled leadership in the Oval Office.  Good president? Compared to what?  The bar is very low.

Back to the Donald.  I think the reason I like him is he is the only person running for office that is telling the truth about anything.  On the other hand, maybe he is just playing for the cameras.  I don't really know, and neither does anyone else.

Watching the media pounce every time they think he says something that will cause the masses to abandon him was entertaining at first.  Now its just sad.  Most recently Trump quoted a verse from the bible.  Politicians do that from time to time.  Trump was talking to an audience at Liberty University which is a nominally Christian college.  So I guess throwing in a bible verse was appropriate.

Trump quoted the verse, from memory, correctly.  This leads me to believe that he might actually have a passing familiarity with the bible, or someone writing his speeches does.  Regardless, when he quoted the verse he also cited it, again correctly.  The problem is that instead of saying "Second Corinthians" he said "Two Corinthians".

Yep that's enough to disqualify the man, at least according to the media.

I never knew that the American media was so sensitive about religious matters.  I'm glad they took the time and effort to report on this obviously important item. 

This using the word "two" instead of "second" is a big deal.  I mean that sincerely.  I suspect this is going to have major implications in the presidential race.  Tomorrow Ben Carson, Mark Rubio, Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz will all start saying "two" instead of "second" and pretend that was their position all along.


Call of the North

When Mrs. Ipsa and I were married we had two ideas of how to spend our honeymoon.  Maybe I should say two ideas of where to spend it.  I had a good idea how I wanted to spend it.  She wanted to take a color tour of the Northeastern US.  I wanted to get married and start working on that how business.  The one thing I didn't want to do was wait until the fall of the year to do it. 

We compromised.  She got to marry me in the spring, before I could wise up and get away.  I agreed to take a color tour vacation in October.  The big question was what to do after the wedding.  I had a pretty good idea.  She wasn't willing to go along with Plan A. 

I had always wanted to spend a week fishing in Canada.  My new wife was game.  That kinda sold me on her too.  How many women are going to let you take them into the northern wilds to fish on your honeymoon?  Only the good ones.

I picked up the phone and called Joe at Call of the North and told him what I wanted to do.  He thought it was a great idea and even cut me a break on the cabin.  The fishing was always good and the rates reasonable.  I was hooked and made other trips over the years.  I always wanted to hunt up there but never had both the time and the money.

I've gone to Canada and used other outfitters.  I've never liked them as well as Joe.  After getting a moose this year, I decided I wanted to try again, and maybe get some fishing in too.  So I decided to check out what it would cost me to hunt with him.  That's when I learned that they are retiring and they have the place up for sale.

Years ago Joe offered to sell me the place.  Maybe I should have taken him up on it.  I hope its been a good life for Joe and Paula.  I hate to see them go.  Their son is a banker in MN and I don't think any of the kids want to keep the business going.  I hope a good family buys it and makes it a place for memories for another generation.


BJW--Practical Joke

You're still clicking it, aren't you?


Birther Issues

I saw this article: Donald Trump goes 'birther' on Ted Cruz, today. 

Some thoughts:
  1. Trump is right, Cruz's status as a "natural born citizen" is in question.  Actually its not in question, Cruz is not constitutionally qualified to be president.  More on that latter.
  2. Trump is right to point out that should Cruz win the nomination and general election there would likely be a drawn out court battle over eligibility.
  3. Ted Cruz as a candidate or how good of a job he would do if in office is not the issue.
From the article:
Cruz’s mother was a U.S. citizen when he was born in Calgary in 1970, but his father had been born in Cuba. Legal scholars say it is likely Cruz would pass the U.S. Constitution’s “natural-born citizen” litmus test if the issue ever landed him in court.
The Texas senator, who was born in Alberta, Canada, also renounced his dual citizenship on May 14, 2014, and released his birth certificate
The strict definition of the term "natural born citizen" as it was applied in the 1700's was a person who was born the child of two citizen parents, born on the soil of his native land.  There is some debate as to the status of a person, who had two citizen parents, but was born outside of the United States.  However, in the case of John McCain, the US Senate has held that two citizen parents whose child was born on a United States military station is in fact a "natural born citizen".
Ted Cruz did not have two citizen parents.  Cruz's mother was a US citizen living in Canada when he was born.  Ted Cruz's father was a Citizen of Cuba until 2005.  Ted Cruz himself held dual citizenship from 1970 until 2014.
I'm not faulting Cruz for maintaining his dual status.  In today's world having more than one passport and more than one place you can legally call home, makes good sense.  I understand doing it.  If I was to guess, Cruz might legally be permitted to  domicile in three countries, the US, Canada and Cuba.  Individually those three passports would allow him access to almost every country on the planet and allow him to pass himself off as a person friendly to his host country.  I get it.  Good for Cruz. 
Ted Cruz maintained his "right of return" to Canada as a citizen of that country until just over a year ago.  For 44 years of his life Cruz maintained Canadian citizenship.  Legally, Cruz has had one foot in each country his entire life.  This isn't hard to do because Canada, like most civilized nations, doesn't require its expatriates to pay income tax on money earned outside of the national boarders.
What happened to cause Cruz to decide to become solely a citizen of the United States?  Oh yeah!  I remember.  A little over a year ago somebody decided that a mostly conservative Hispanic looking Republican might be able to gain a plurality of the white and Hispanic vote and get himself elected president.  Somebody thought that Ted Cruz might be that guy.  More importantly Ted thought he might be that guy. 
Somebody decided (correctly) that Cruz couldn't be a "dual citizen" and a "natural born citizen" so they talked him into sacrificing his Canadian passport.  He did.  That was dumb, but he did it. 
It pains me to type this, but Ted Cruz is less constitutionally qualified to be President of the United States than Obummer, who is absolutely unqualified for the office.
Which brings us to Mr. Trump's second point that should Cruz win against Hillary there will be a major court case.  Absolutely!  That is exactly what will happen.  The mass media slander of the "birthers" against Obummer, wasn't a matter of constitutional principle.  It was the circling of leftist wagons to protect one of their own. 
The Democrats would never be so hypocritical to deny a Republican the Whitehouse over a birth certificate, you say.  Nonsense! While I'm sure its only a draft copy right now, Hilary's legal minions have, no doubt, all ready written the rough copy of a brief for an emergency injunction.  The Clinton's are nothing if not keenly prepared for political possibilities.   Should Cruz win the nomination and look like he is about to cover the spread in the electoral college, there will be war over his eligibility.
You don't have to like Trump.  He's not my favorite.  You might think Cruz would do a good job in office.  He might.  It's not about any of that.  Hilary will do what's best for Hilary.  Cruz doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.  The Lizard Queen will let him play along for now.  For Hillary, any  Republican other than Trump is something to be savored, not feared.  For now its in her best interest to set back and wait and see how the GOP will self destruct.  Which is what's going to happen.  For now.

BJW--New Years

"New Year's Day: now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual . . . New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions."

Mark Twain

New Years Eve Short Jokes
What do you tell someone you didn't see at New Year's Eve?
I haven't seen you for a year!

What happened to the Irish man who thought about the evils of drinking in the New Year?
He gave up thinking.

What's the problem with jogging on New Years Eve?
The ice falls out of your drinks!

What do you call always wanting a date for New Year's Eve?
Social Security

New Years Eve forecast:
Mostly drunk with a slight chance of passing out.

What happens every year when the Time Square Ball drops?
Justin Bieber gets jealous
New Years Eve

 On New Year's Eve, Marilyn stood up in the local pub and said that it was time to get ready.
At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living.

 Well, it was kind of embarrassing. As the clock struck, the bartender was almost crushed to death.

My new year's resolution is to be more optimistic by keeping my cup half-full with either rum, vodka, or whiskey.

If 2015 was a person, I'd sue him for pain and suffering and lost wages.

Keep the smile, Leave the tear, Hold the laugh, Leave the pain, Think of joy, Forget the fear.
Be joyous, cause its a New Year.

I have only one resolution. To rediscover the difference between wants and needs. May I have all I need and want all I have. Happy New Year!

Remember you can reset your resolutions on January 14th (Orthodox New Year) and February 8th (Chinese New Year). After that, even I can't help you.


Meet the Meat Part II

Back in Meet the Meat Part I, we started talking about cooking venison.  The way to have great wild game meat on the table is to use proper technique in the butchering, care and cooking.  The technique is more important than even the recipe.

A recipe is basically a list of ingredients that when combined will produce a specific dish.  How those ingredients are combined and the method of preparation determines how the dish is going to turn out.  Because its been a couple of weeks since I started this series of posts, I'll restate the high points on fixing game meat:

Res's Rules for Cooking Venison.
  1. Get all the blood out
  2. Meat must be room temp before cooking
  3. Marinating is helpful, although not necessary
  4. You don't have to over cook it
I've already talked about the impotence of getting the blood out last post, so I'm not going to rehash that again.  The last three points all have to do with keeping the meat from getting too tough during the cooking process.  Venison doesn't have a lot of fat mixed in with the muscle fibers.  Fat in meat provides some "wiggle room" for the cook and covers up any mistakes in the cooking process.

Lets look at beef steak for an example.  If you order a nice rib eye steak, that is fully marbled with delicious beef fat, and it is cooked well done, it will still contain moisture and be more flavored than say a sirloin cooked the same way.  The rib eye will maintain a degree of tenderness that exceeds that of the sirloin.  Part of that has to do with the cut of meat.  Rib meat doesn't work as hard as sirloin when the animal is on the hoof.  Part of it has to do with the fat being present during the cooking.

Venison as I've said has very little fat.  Therefore to keep it tender we need to make sure the muscle fibers are as relaxed as possible prior to cooking it.  If the meat is room temperature then there won't be as much tightening or constriction of the muscle fiber due to cold.   It's pretty simple but its a step that is over looked by many. 

Another technique that can be used is tenderizing.  Tenderizing is pounding the meat with a small mallet to help separate the muscle fibers prior to cooking.  Depending on the type of dish being prepared it can be a good method to use, but it isn't always practical. 

Marinating is your friend.  You don't have to do it of course, but when done correctly it adds nice flavor, and a bit of juicy goodness to your meat.  There are lots of marinating recipes you can use.  The key is in how long the meat is marinated and if it is completely covered in the liquid.

A basic recipe I use for  marinating venison steaks that I plan on grilling is:

Olive oil
Baggs apple cider vinegar
Crushed Garlic

That's it, just four ingredients.  How much I make depends on how much meat I have to grill.  If you use about a cup of olive oil you only need enough tamari to blacken the oil, about 1 table spoon, or more to taste.  Use slightly less vinegar than tamari and as much garlic as you like.  Stir it up in  a bowl and let your steaks set in it, in the fridge, over night.  I let the steaks stay in the marinade until they are ready to go on the grill.  This means that I set the meat and marinade on the counter to slowly warm up to room temperature before cooking.  Then the steaks are put on the read hot grill still dripping in their marinade sauce.

That's it for this post.  Next in the series, Hirsch Sauerbraten.


Happy New Year

I trust with this being Monday January 4th 2016 you are all back at your day jobs.  For all practical purposes that makes today the first day of the work year.  I trust that the year is finding you and yours well.  It is my wish that you prosper this next year.

I've not forgotten the posts I owe you all.  This last year I enjoyed two weekends off from work.  With the exception of taking 8 glorious days of vacation in October, I worked the rest of the year in 6 or thirteen day straight stretches.  I'm not complaining, just explaining.  By the time I got a two day weekend for Christmas and another for New Years, I had run out of steam.  So I vegged out and slacked off on the posting. Things are slow at work and I've enjoyed my downtime and relaxing a bit.

I've let the queue of scheduled posts including BJW and GFF run out as well as not getting something up daily.  I apologize and will endeavor to make progress for the new year.