Stigmatizing violence

I forget which of my friends posted this, and Facebook moved too fast for me to think about it and then find it again, but someone said this weekend that we need to stigmatize the glorification, or at least normalization, of violence in our culture the way we have done quite successfully with racism and anti-gay bigotry. I think this is exactly right. How hard it will be no longer to smile politely at tales of playing “Call of Duty” or shooting an assault weapon for fun! But we have to. And also to keep the facts about our video game war in Pakistan and Afghanistan and Yemen as visible as possible. Michael Moore’s brilliant “Fahrenheit 911” keeps coming back to me these days. Smart, concerned people (Samuel Jackson, Morgan Freeman, even Michael Moore) remind us that other countries, including earlier version of ourselves, have had as many or more guns per capita as we do, yet see far fewer murders. This doesn’t mean we should look elsewhere for solutions; it means that we are presently too fucked up to handle gun ownership on a mass scale, especially police & military weapons like handguns and assault rifles.

Posted in Personal Journal, Politics | Leave a comment

A visit to the Federal Pupfish Penitentiary

a.k.a. Devil’s Hole, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. I visited here on my Thanksgiving weekend trip to Death Valley.

Posted in Hikes, Personal Journal | Leave a comment

My little boy turned seven the other day!

He had sisterly help with the celebration, especially the cupcake part.


Posted in Personal Journal | Tagged | 1 Comment

Pork Shoulder Roast

To go with my nice vegetarian soup last night, I roasted a piece of pig! :-)

I used this recipe…

Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast

…now saved on my hard drive as “boneless_pork_shoulder_roast.pdf”. It was VERY good, although a bit too pink for my taste. All the way to 155 or 160 degrees next time? It was quite spicy on the outside, probably too much for the kids. Fine inside, though.

Posted in Food | Tagged | Leave a comment

Split Pea and Parsnip Soup, great for a chilly fall evening

This is from my new Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker cookbook (thanks, dear!). Eight hours on low in the slow cooker was not quite enough to soften all the peas. Maybe a bit longer next time? Omitted the Liquid Smoke and the added salt and used half veggie stock and half chicken stock. The parsnips were so sweet!

Posted in Food | Tagged | Leave a comment

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Soup, October 2012

New Basics, p. 95. This soup is fantastic, and has sweet potato purée in it as well. It get a little thick, especially on re-heating. I substituted almond butter for the peanut butter, and it came out wonderfully.

Posted in Food | Tagged | Leave a comment

Poor kid. Five years old and already a monkey on his back.

Posted in Personal Journal | Leave a comment

The ever-prescient William Gibson predicts Fox News!

William Gibson, known for having fictionally invented the Internet and a lot else that later came to pass, nailed Fox News in Idoru in 1995, one year before FN’s founding.

The “audience”:

Which is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally, I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It’s covered with eyes and sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections.

Posted in Film and book reviews, Personal Journal | Leave a comment

Whoops! Nothing like a little 8 a.m. panic to start the day.

8:10 a.m., barage of emails, text messages, and phone calls:

Hello John M.,

This is an emergency message for The Claremont Colleges. There is an emergency situation that requires your immediate action to evacuate the campus. Immediately leave the campus using any means possible by heading South and get to a safe location at least 1 mile in distance. If you are without transportation immediately walk South and if available, emergency transportation will be used to move individuals to a safe location. If transportation does not become available continue walking away from the campus until you have reached at least 1 mile in distance.

I repeat, an emergency has been declared. Please relate this information to affected individuals within your work, classroom, or dorm area immediately and follow the instructions of emergency personnel. Additional information will be provided as soon as possible.

This is not a drill.

Campus Safety

but then…

8:12, another round with the ALL CLEAR, and then later:


This morning during one of our routine emergency exercises we inadvertently sent an evacuation notice. Please note that there was no emergency and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Campus Safety

Posted in Personal Journal | 2 Comments

A live one at the Department of Defense!

Bravo, Colonel Beebe!

Op-ed in Friday’s L.A. Times: article

Excerpt: “This new century is teaching us that traditional security tools are far from the only weapons we have to confront today’s challenges. Our nation’s efforts to safeguard the environment around the world also play a critical role in protecting our security and reducing future burdens on our military. If we are to stop future environmental problems from evolving into full-blown national security problems, we must find ways to better leverage all of our foreign policy tools.”

Posted in Politics | Leave a comment