Tag: 2019 June Group Writing

Member Post

 

Everyone has a preference for spicy food. Some love it spicy, some just want it mild. I wouldn’t say I preferred spicy food ever since I was a wee child, because really, I think I mostly ate spicy food because Dad enjoyed it, and like most young boys I wanted to be like my dad. […]

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Still Cooking with Fire After All These Years

 

Happy Birthday to Ann Wilson of Heart, born 19 June 1950. She and her younger sister, Nancy, are the heart of Heart, a band that burst onto the world stage from the Pacific Northwest in the mid 1970s. They were part of the soundtrack of my youth. Wait a minute. 2019-1950= . . . 69. That just can’t be right.

Ann Wilson was the distinctive lead vocalist, while Nancy provided great harmony and kicking guitar licks. Their debut album, Dreamboat Annie, was released in America our bicentennial year, with “Magic Man” and “Crazy on You” propelling them up the radio play charts. They struck while the iron was hot, releasing Little Queen in 1977 and Dog & Butterfly in 1978. These women did their own thing, playing neither the tough girl nor the pop tart. They did not need an image manager, as they actually had musical and songwriting talent.

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My parents have gardened for many decades. While not really “granola,” they have generally moved from synthetic fertilizers to compost and manure. A perennial favorite fertilizer is composted steer manure. All three words matter: manure, from steers, that has been composted. Straight steer manure, like certain other domesticated animals’ waste, is not recommended, in part […]

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A Hot Mess: Climate of Confusion

 

Our betters had better get a grip on their narrative. We have been assured that the science is settled. Wicked men have offended Mother Earth and she is getting hot under the collar. To deny this is heresy. Heretics must be cast out, silenced, deplatformed, unpersoned. We must unite to denounce and deny the deniers…at Newsweek!

Newsweek is certainly a member in good standing of the church of correct thinking. So how could it possibly be that they would blaspheme Anthropogenic Global Warming? Yet here is the evidence that they have transgressed [emphasis added]:

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Group Writing 20190604: Désirée

 

“…Then came the Fourth of June
On that sleepless night,
Well, I tossed and I turned
While the thought of her burned
Up and down my mind…”

I almost always have a soundtrack going in my head. Anything can trigger a new song. Even a pattern of syllables can pop something into my head that has a matching rhythm. Or, songs can morph from one into the next in ways that make perfect sense to me, but nobody else.

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Hot Stuff: It’s a Little Spicy

 

People get reputations. Sometimes they work to create a certain reputation. Sometimes it just happens. When I was growing up, I was exposed to spicy food often. One of my daddy’s favorite phrases was, “It’s not hot until it makes your hair sweat.” And he meant hair, not just your scalp. Hair doesn’t have sweat pores? Then up the heat until they grow some. Looking back, this was certainly an example of his trying to create a reputation for himself of being tough and manly. He had been in the U. S. Army. Later, he was a railroad detective and then a municipal policeman. He was surrounded through most of his adult life in an atmosphere of what some now call “toxic masculinity.” Were I to try to analyze him, I would guess that having had polio as a boy might have been a driving factor for him to be tough and do manly things, to overcome physical limitations. But whatever his motivations, it meant that I grew up learning that real men do not use the mild salsa, but go for the hot sauce. I became inured to the heat. I expected the heat. Mild Mexican food? Who would bother to eat that?

As I got out on my own and was cooking for myself, I was always interested in new peppers. Back in the early 1990s, the hottest pepper known in the US was the Habanero. It had some Cod-awful level of heat that was up to 350,000 Scovilles. The Scoville scale is a measure of how hot something is as measured through dilution. They start out by diluting a bit of pureed pepper with water, such as at a million to one ratio, to see if someone can still detect the spiciness. If not, they cut back on the dilution until the spiciness is detected. In the case of the Habanero, it can be detected at a dilution of between 350,000:1 and at the mild end at about 100,000:1. To give some scale for a normal human, a Jalapeño runs between a mild 3,500:1 to a hot Jalapeño at 8,000:1. Thus a Habanero is between about twelve and a hundred times as spicy as your average Jalapeño. Cayenne pepper runs between 30,000 and 50,000 Scovilles for another comparison. Since the 1990s, more peppers have become known or developed that are over a million Scovilles, such as the Carolina Reaper at 1,569,300 Scovilles, but even up to 1999, Guinness was recording Habaneros as the hottest pepper cultivar in the world.

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Hot . . . umm . . . Stuff: Adventures in Shoveling out the Barn

 

Let’s start with the Book of Ecclesiastes. First off, that photo to the right? It has nothing to do with the subject of this post. But before I dig in (so to speak) I’d like to get something off my chest, something which I’m generally not all that moved by or all that privy to, but something which, at the grand old age of 64, seems to have unexpectedly crept up on me. And that’s what the less-charitable amongst us might call, “a bit of vanity.” You see, I’ve written so much on Ricochet over the last nine years about life down here on our little farm, and I’ve figured so prominently and so often in so many of my posts and comments as a sopping-wet figure in hip boots and overalls, up to her knees in mud trying to free the tractor from the swamp it’s axle-deep in; or as the person rolling around in the muck on the barn floor with her arm all the way up to the elbow inside some ewe’s throbbing and painfully constricted cervix, trying to disentangle a set of twins in the womb and lead them out into the world one at a time; or as the person my large-handed or fat-fingered neighbors call, so they can ask me to stick my own dainty digits up into a sow’s uterus to make sure that all the little piggies have safely made their escape; or as the non-licensed veterinarian dealing with any number of disgusting medical calamities; or as the person making and installing a 14′ set of driveway gates; or even as the person mixing her own concrete and digging out and putting in a trench drain, that you may all be excused for thinking that I am always dressed from the charity barrel, that I never clean myself up, and that I am permanently sweating like a horse, covered in filth, and smeared with blood (either my own or that belonging to some other creature).

For some reason, it’s important to me, right now, to dispel that notion. So even though I shun the camera most of the time, and very rarely include a recent, recognizable photo of myself in any of my posts (of which this is the 287th), here’s one where I’m relatively clean and reasonably well turned out. That’s all. Just a moment of vanity. All is vanity. Before I launch into yet another post about my very organic life on the farm.

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Hot Takes and Fast Breaks

 

We are in the midst, or at the end, of the National Basketball Association’s championship tournament. The Golden State Warriors are the first team to advance to five straight NBA finals since the Boston Celtics, who were in 10 straight finals between 1957 and 1966. There have been other incredibly dominant teams who went on finals streaks, then missed a year, then were back for more. Yet, this has been a very special team. They also have good reputations off the court but have joined the rest of the NBA in their open leftist contempt for American voters’ decision in 2016. Indeed, they act as if the election was illegitimate while championing every left-wing Democrat cause. Yet, they may well lose this finals series to a Canadian team, the Toronto Raptors. President Trump should have tweets drafted and ready to immediately address either eventuality.

The Raptors were up three games to one when they lost Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals by one point. They need only win one of the next two games to unseat the defending champion Warriors. Yet, Game 6 is in the Warriors’ home arena. Suppose they win, making it one game for all the marbles. It would be seasoned champions against first-time-ever contenders, with all the pressure on the Raptors for letting the series slip away.

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Member Post

 

It’s 67°F. I have the windows open with a nice cross-breeze. I’m sweating. No, it’s not from exercise. I’m barely moving. Just fingers gliding over the keyboard. I would prefer 55-60°F. It’s just the way I’m constructed. Generations of Vikings and Neanderthals living in cold climes are singing songs of ice and cold sea spray […]

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