Makes Me Want To Beef Binge, Just Because…


An old friend recently tossed this depressing article on her Facebook page….

Ever the churlish contrarian, I crafted an offensive, caustic response–even though I’m barely a beef eater myself, the preciousness of all this chicken little vegan nonsense hits me like wood splinters (or slivers, if you will) beneath my fingernails. I thought it was funny, of course–but in such matters I’m often alone. Still, fortunately for you I’m compelled to share.

hippy-vegetarians-329Remember when our vegetarian friends were primarily innocuous, over-sensitive earth-muffins who delighted in saying things like, “oh, man–don’t you get that you’re eating pain, man?” I miss those older, simpler days. The new thing is that steak is a civilization-ending vehicle for megalomaniacal destruction of not just our way of life, but the entire human race. And that that’s a lot to blame on a burger.

It is rare from me to eat beef twice in the same month, but I still recognize these are truly the end of days. There are no options. Soy tastes like shit and shrinks testicles, Salmon in declining and mostly factory farmed, and I can’t even think the word “vegan” without giggling. (soy/vegan = chemical/metaphorical castration–coincidence? I think not.) Sigh. I mean: jeez, it took me the better part of a decade to figure out how to pronounce “quinoa” and now we can’t even eat that because now that it’s trendy the people who grow it can’t afford to buy it and are starving. I don’t even want to know what terrible news about edamame is on the horizon.

My wife ate a burger in a restaurant the other night that was an abomination some sadistic bastard constructed of crushed black beans and, probably, Elmer’s Glue.  I thought, “cue the creepy music and lightning effects, and call Igor–this is  Frankenfood.” I opted for the shrimp, because I’m a bully and like to pick on creatures much smaller than I am.

But I digress. The obvious solution is the forced sterilization of vast hordes of third world folks (including a wide swath of the American Confederacy) in order to reset population numbers and create space for the emissions created by the chicken tacos, pepperoni, and occasional breakfast sausage necessary to lead a honest, satisfying life.

Of course, I would be on board with a “local only” meat rule in the face of drought. I mean, hell, it rains here 258 days a year. It’s the economy of scale that gets us–I can buy half a cow from Liz & Malcolm (although I don’t understand what to do with a lot of the strangely shaped cuts), who pretty much just let the beef wander around their property for a couple years before (Chuck makes slicing motion across his neck). Maybe that’s the solution? Don’t know a farmer? Eat seeds and twigs.


Old Road Apples Goes Political: Save The Bees!

Thus far, I’ve ranted a lot, poked some fun, and expressed a fair deal of pointed revulsion, but I’ve avoided specific advocacy of social and political causes.  A friend of mine says this is “tepid,” but he’s a sandal-wearing brown-bread chewing bicycle-zealot who’s always talking about his footprint.  I tell him his footprint would be more profound if he got himself a good pair of lug-soled work boots and knocked it off with the Birkies.  The thing is, I don’t want to alienate liberals or conservatives, who annoy me separately, but equally, nor do I feel the need to lecture folks too much about subjects that seem obvious to me.  Finally, were I to give full service to all the stupid crap we do, collectively speaking, this blog would be a morose, suicide-inducing testament to the ultimate failure of mankind. (Just like the nominating conventions of both major political parties, but without all the jackboots, tear gas, and billy club beat-downs.)

But I digress. (Wouldn’t THAT be a good name for a blog?!)*

The news about connections between major insect pollinators, especially bees, and bee Colony Collapse Disorder, and a group of widely used pesticides called neonicotinoids is–and should be–galvanizing.  If you like bees, or trees, or pretty flowers, or if you’re one of those humans who likes to, um, eat food, the studies released a few days ago should scare the heck, er hell, no, the freaking shit out of you.

Consider this your heads-up. I’ll be posting more pollinator news as time allows me to gather and learn a little more about what I’m talking about!  In the meantime, here’s a link to get you started:


*It IS a good name–and someone is already sitting on it on all of the major blog sites.  The WordPress variant contains one post, from 2007–abandoned blogs with cool names, from losers who are just sitting on ’em: hate those.

Commentary Funny and/or Strange

Chuck Junk Food–Another Goldurn “Themed Post”

The following was intended to be a two or three sentence introduction to some food I like to eat and cook–good, simple fare–but it was late at night, some of my faculties had already submitted to that dark goblin, sleep, and I found this in the morning (most of which I don’t remember writing at all)….

Enuff wit the themes n’at fer cry’n aht lahd.  If you understood what I just said you “might have that Picksburgheese,” and if so, please let me apologize now: we won’t be making pierogi, which leads to an interesting sidenote: my browser’s dictionary component is completely baffled by my insertion of polish dumplings into my blog. What the hell do those tech geeks eat at Christmas?  Turkey?  Aw, jeeze…..

Turkey is for Thanksgiving.  Christmas is for ham.  To quote a great, albeit fictional man, “this isn’t Viet Nam, Smokey. There are rules!”

But I digress. (As you know I do–you even knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? Don’t worry, though–it’s part of my idiom.)

So, um. Food. I like to eat, and what’s strange is that I like to cook even a little more than I like to eat.  I don’t go in for exotica–I’m not a foodie–a person who is to food what pervert is to sex (and I’m a Democrat, so you know how weird things need to get before I start throwing around the word “pervert.”  Think: things they do to each other in Finland at the height of winter, when the sun never rises.) I have a friend who is like that with beets. She eats the shit out of beets in ways you don’t even want to imagine–I’m ribbing her.  She’s actually an incredible cook.

I don’t cook Beets.  I ate Caviar once and that qualifies me lifetime refusal to eat anything I find objectionable, for any reason, ever. Like foie gras, for example–or liver of any kind. Ever wonder why pretentious people who would not under any circumstance share a toothbrush with a blood relative could enthusiastically gulp down the organ responsible for filtering out all the horrific toxins accumulated in the blood of migratory waterfowl?  Or deer, for chrissakes–have you ever seen how many ticks are stuck to a deer at any one time, every one of them happily exchanging fluids.

A truth about foie gras–more people despise it because its considered to be cruel than do because it’s definitely gross. Being practically amoral, I come down on the “gross” side–but I was disappointed when I realized that it was just method of fattening the duck that is objectionable.  When I was young, I thought that the fattened liver was stuffed back into the throat of the cooked bird, after which it’s throat was consumed, like gory flesh and muscle cannoli.



And In My Neighborhood: Man Kills Friend Over Plate of Food

This gun stuff seems to come in bursts, don’t you think?  Like rounds from an AR-15 converted to fire on full auto.  This suspected shooter clearly seems to have some mommy issues.,19943660/

You’ll also want to see the video–as the alleged shooter does a perp walk with his walker and oxygen.

Commentary Photo I Like sheer awesomeness Yinzerism/Pittsburgh Advocacy

Huffington Post: Go Check Out Pittsburgh (Yes, Really)


The more I blog, the more I want to blog.  I stumbled across two different articles raving about the complete fantastic-ness of Pittsburgh–which actually happens pretty regularly.  For the record: I live in a small university town out in the woods but still near enough to get into “The Burgh,” but I’m in love with the city. I feel fortunate that I got to live there for 3 years when I was in my 20s, –long enough to learn my way around, and to gain a clearer understanding and appreciation of the forces that were being marshaled even then, that would lead to the surge in energy and vitality of the present day.  So, from now on, when I read something great about my favorite city, I pass it along to you.  And by all means, get yourself over for a visit.

Got a Little Free Time This Spring? Maybe Go Check Out Pittsburgh (Yes, Really)

There are many ways in which Pittsburgh is not like other cities — let’s start with the grand entrance. Whether you’re coming in from the Pennsylvania Turnpike and through the Squirrel Hill Tunnel, or shooting under Mount Washington on their way in from the airport, you can’t help but notice: Here is a city with a lot going on in the looks department.

The setting, along those famous three rivers (Ohio, Allegheny, Monongahela) at the foot of those dramatic hills, is pretty great. That impressive skyline is a constant reminder of a time when Pittsburgh was one of the world’s most important industrial capitals….


Funny and/or Strange Uncategorized

Cannibalism at Jamestown

Researchers have found conclusive evidence of cannibalism at Jamestown, the earliest known site of European hubris in North America and, not coincidentally, the place where I was given my first and only tricorne hat. I’d been under the assumption that the flesh-eating Briton thing was understood. Those first colonists pretty much sucked at…um…colonizing.  Their attempts at agriculture were abysmal.  They tended to shoot at the local “savages,” who were, in turn, understandably reluctant to provide a pilgrim-style deus ex machina for the clueless white trespassers. The Virginians were, however, wildly proficient at dying.  They were aces at it, dying like mad.

Now, archeologists have determined that this cannibalism was unquestionably committed by the English settlers, because the meat was boiled down to a tasteless grey clump and served with sodden cabbage and a puddle of “pudding” on the side.

Knowing what we know about English cuisine, a good grilled slice of teenager was likely a welcome departure from all that boiled muck and internal organs.  It’s also possible that the adolescent whose gnawed bones were found, trapped in that tiny fort all winter, was just asking for it, sighing and complaining that nobody could possibly understand how she feels, not ever; leading her to be consumed in the way that grizzly bears sometimes eat people: not because they’re hungry, but…just because they can. Like saying “screw you” but with teeth and claws like pitchforks.

How could the English not be cannibals.  Just look at this guy:

Maybe this isn’t so far beyond the realm of imagination?


Christmas Hangover


I’ve been enjoying a mostly unplanned post-Christmas hiatus, after distractions, spontaneous napping, and (gods help me) post-holiday shopping got the better of me–yep, I increased my annual number of mall visits by 33% with a two hour dive back into the fray on Dec. 26th–and got a new pair of shoes for $40. (this has become a confessional blog, I guess).

I’ll resume with the usual, fitful volume of blather on January 1.  In the mean time, I’m left to look at the season in retrospect and I must admit the whole damned thing has a bit of a glimmer to it.  It was an odd year, with a late Thanksgiving that shortened the gap between the two holiday season pillars, but while the season blew by me, things went pretty well–from Thanksgiving through the storm of late-season parties–five in a span of two weeks, with New Years still to go.

We had a very nice Christmas, a little smaller than usual, but considerably less hectic.  Loved ones from North Carolina braved the wintry north to visit the weekend before Christmas, and somehow brought a breath of the south with them: it was 72 degrees on the 18th, a respite between a pair of cold, snowy snaps with temperatures in the teens.  That worked out pretty nicely, actually–we had the doors open wide for our Christmas Party on the 18th, got a lot of spirit-building white scenery before, and hey–a white Christmas after the meteorologists swore we’d see only green.  It was just like the eponymous Bing Crosby movie–White Christmas magic, pa rum pa pum pum.

And who doesn’t like a White Christmas?

My brother-in-law Bill, actually, who delivered his family to us from all the way up in Poughkeepsie (which actually is a real place; as a child I thought it was a made up town that people–like traveling ventriloquists and old school burlesque dancers, and maybe aluminum siding salesmen and Fuller Brush men–made up as an expression to show how far off the beaten track their dismal lives had taken them with a river and a bridge and…everything you ever dreamed a town called Poughkeepsie could have) with all the expected grumbling about the weather.  With Bill came two fantastic, all-grown-up nieces, Emily and Eileen, a super-cool nephew Tim, and his fiancee, Sarah.  Sarah turned out to be cool and fun–a big relief, even though the initial intelligence reports on her had been favorable.  You never know what you’re going to get, when there’s addition by marriage, (My wife’s family is still lamenting my arrival.) but it certainly appears that Sarah is a keeper.

We sat around, ate, talked, ate, drank, ate, talked some more, ate, drank, looked at pictures, and ate some more.  As holidays go, it was pretty close to perfect.  It felt too short–that’s how you know it’s a good holiday, when everyone isn’t eager to part.  Although, now that I think about it, the New Yorkers did seem to have some awfully vague explanations for the obligations that required them to leave on the 26th.

We’ve had some other activities and obligations–mostly fun stuff, but a little work here and there–so I’ve decided to reel in the blog thing for just a few days, since I’m ahead of my post-per-day forced march quota, thanks to all those cheap entries (photos, reblogs, and blurbs about Christmas records–who do I think I’m kidding?  I mean: jeez-oh-man.)

So, I’ll be back with the blinders on bright and early January 2–no damned way I’m doing a “resolutions” post, though–unless I do, which is quite possible now that I think about it.

I have been saving up some poetry (that got your pulse going, eh?) and other crap that isn’t hokey Christmas-related, and I’ve got some other new themes in store–and maybe I’ll even indulge a certain reader with a recipe here and there, though I’ll be damned if I’ll hand out the recipe for The Seventeen Pound Lasagna (which actually weighed 19 pounds, more or less)…but nice try asking.  I will give up this much: what you’re tasting is in your kitchen right now; there are no ingredients you cannot find in a typical rural low-volume grocery store.

So, that’s that.  Maybe I’ll post in the next few days, probably I won’t. Either way, have yourself a Merry New Years.  Throw one down for me.