I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
April 16, 2017 - 2:40 p.m.
Sorry, I'm off to a late start today. I slept late and then I had to do some research before I wrote this. I didn't leave the house yesterday but I have plenty to write about without dipping into politics or philosophy. I'm going to talk to important things like food, MST3K, and Richard Thompson.
When I was Aldi they were out of all the chicken parts I wanted but they did have boneless pork ribs so I bought them. I had not made them for ages. I didn't remember how I had cooked them. They were never a major part of my diet. I looked online for recipes and saw how long it takes to cook. I didn't know Bernie and Jane's dinner plans I didn't want to monopolize the stove. It hit on me that they have a crock pot and ribs are exactly the kind of thing to cook in one. I have never used one but I have wanted to for ages. The next step was doing research. I went online but all the recipes I found were for 4-5 lbs. and I only had 1.44 lbs. I didn't know how to scale the timing. I couldn't find any good info on that through google so I asked on Facebook. My friends came through. Most importantly I discovered that I shouldn't worry about it too much, slow cooking is very forgiving. My initial guess was 4 hours but after discovering that I didn't have to worry about overcooking and that one friend suggested 8 hours I went with the old standby, cook it till I got hungry. I set my timer for four hours but forgot to start it. When I guessed that I started it and decided to just add the extra time. It was closer to five hours. But then when I went down to make my potato I found Bernie in the kitchen cooking and waited till he was finished. Then I made mashed potatoes from scratch which probably took half an hour. By that time, the ribs were thoroughly cooked. It looked and smelled so good. I can never go straight by a recipe and made one major change to this one. It said to put an onion on the bottom of the pot. I don't like onions so I put in a bulb of garlic. I halved each clove so it would take up more space on the bottom and for a base for the meat. I also added MSG to the dry spices. The others were garlic powder, Cajun, chili powder, and black pepper. I learned a new cooking term, dredging. I dredged the meat through the spices.
How did it come out? Magnificent. There was no bone for the meat to fall off of but it was so tender I did not need a knife. This was literally meat you could cut with a fork. I see that I have a new staple in my diet. While researching I also discovered that boneless ribs are not ribs. The meet comes from the shoulder. It's a lot cheaper than ribs and a great substitute for it. I'm going to Trader Joe's today. I will have to put BBQ sauce on my shopping list. I did it now so I wouldn't forget.
I want to thank everyone that gave me advice on the ribs. Suzanne, Paul, Matthew, Sybil, Dave, Gavin, Jake, Christine, Debbie, and Renee. Give yourself a round of applause. Who wants to open a slow cooking restaurant with me? It's an interesting concept as you can't start cooking when the person orders. You just leave it in the crockpots till somebody orders it. Things would get more cooked as the evening wears on. Service would be fast as there is no cooking time.
Now for the big news, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is back! I knew they were working on it but I didn't know the details. It's on Netflix. I'm not going to binge watch. I'll watch one episode a day. Last night I watched the first one, Reptilicus. This is going to require some back story.
In the Elder Days when there were still High Elves walking Middle Earth I was flipping through channels and saw Robot Monster on Comedy Central. I was a bit annoyed as there were silhouettes blocking the bottom of the movie. I thought from the strange shapes that two were aliens. They were talking over the movie, making fun of it. That part I liked. I kept watching and discovered that they were not aliens but robots. I still didn't quite know what was going on. I didn't get the premise till I watched an episode from the beginning. The show was Mystery Science Theater 3000 aka MST3K. It immediately became my favorite show. I have always wanted to make a show where the hosts would sit around mocking bad horror and sci-fi movies and these guys were doing it better than I ever imagined. As I was discussing with Scott today, the characters and host segments were an integral part of the show. I loved the invention exchange. I still sing the Gamera song. The show seemed designed specifically for me. The amazing thing is that it became a hit. Comedy Central came close to airing it non-stop. I made sure to watch it every week. It kept up the quality for a long time. I missed Dr. Erhardt and never liked TV's Frank as much but the overall quality did not go down, it might have even gone up.
I loved that I had seen so many of the movies. These are what I watched on TV growing up; they were on every weekend. I watched them for the most part by myself but I'd still make fun of them. In college, I met Bad Carey and we would talk about these kinds of movies and started watching them late on Friday and Saturday nights. That's when I thought of doing a TV show about us watching bad movies.
When Joel left, and was replaced by Mike the show took a hit. I never liked it as much as I did with Joel. The decline continued to the end but it was never not great. Then it ended and my life had a void in it.
Now it's back and it's just like when Doctor Who came back. I had the same reaction pure joy. It wasn't as good as the old shows Hay Day but it was better than the show in the decline. There's a new cast. The characters aren't fleshed out yet but I like Jonah better than Mike. The new Mad scientists need some work especially Max who is a road company TV's Frank. The joke they are making is that he is a rip-off of Frank. I'm guessing that will evolve.
The biggest problem for me was getting used to the new voices for Crow and Tom Servo. I have to tell myself, they are robots and it's perfectly reasonable for their voices to change. K-9 on Doctor Who changed his voice after the first season. There doesn't seem much point to making Tom fly or changing Gypsy's personality. They might learn what to do with Tom's new ability.
The film in Episode 1 was Reptilicus. I had seen it as a kid but did not remember it. It's one of the classic Danish giant monster flicks. One of as in the only one. It had just the right level of cheesiness. I'm trying to not look ahead to see what films are coming. I want it to always be a surprise.
When we went to see Richard Thompson Mike, not the one that replaced Joel, asked me how many times I had seen Richard Thompson. I don't count these things and guessed 34 as that would be two shows a year. I now thing that's an underestimate. What is easier to count is the number of venues I've seen him in. I made a list, here they are in alphabetical order.
As I've seen RT in at least 20 venues and have seen him many times in some of them I suspect that my estimate of 34 was conservative. With the possible exception of Annie Haslam with and without Renaissance he's likely the performer I've seen the most that doesn't know my name. I have not been a good stalker.
It's 2:30 now and I am going to a 7 PM concert but I actually have to leave soon. It takes me an hour and a half to get there and I have to stop at Trader Joe's first. I'm seeing The Sea the Sea at the Mercury Lounge. They go on at 8. Come join me.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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