Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just a Jew on Christmas

You've heard of the term shabbos goy? Well, this year me and the family were the Christmas Jews.

Me of Lagniappe's Lair came to town to have Christmas dinner. This is traditionally held at his Mom's condo but due to inclement interior weather conditions (her upstairs neighbor in a fine example of don't-do-it-yourself plumbing flooded her out) she couldn't host it this year.

For Me and his kin to not have a spot to celebrate was simply unacceptable so we offered to host the extravaganza, complete with as Me put it,a Hannukah Ham. Tasty, but Oy Vey.

So it was a very nice time, and after a fine dinner we watched Jeff Dunham's hilarious A Very Special Christmas Special.

Afterwards I had a longing for Chinese food and a movie, but you can't have everything.

For Christmas I got Me (him not me, he really needs a better blog name I shall now call him LLMe) (to the tune of the twelve days of Christmas): The Pacific Mini-Series, a book on World War Two Aircraft, and a Camo Mil-Surp LBE vest.

He got me a very nice knife, which I shall properly treasure. He didn't bring Murphy over after giving me the knife, probably worrying about a holiday circumcision ritual or something.

Before the dinner, we went to the Target Sports II range as he related and yes, they were as overbearing as he related. The claim that the 380 and 9x18 were steel core pistol bullets is laughable, especially as the 9x18 were hollow-points and you could look inside and see lead! The magnet was the size of a brick and was pretty clearly attracted to the steel cases, but logical arguments didn't have any effect. I agree with me that they were probably trying to get us to buy their ammo, but I also suspect they didn't want to sort out the steel cases from the brass that was littering the floor and giving them another revenue stream as the customers left their brass lying about.

On the upside, after a long time hanging about the safe I brought my S&W model 29-2 out to play and it was a accurate and perfect as ever. Simply an exquisite example of revolver craftsmanship, and my 44 Magnum reloads were dead bang on. We were very good that day and our half-fast drills (which are rather humbling as they seem so easy until you try them) were coming along. I daresay we were making the pother range attendees (there were darn few so there was really no need for them to short our time as they did - there was no lineup or wait at all). Very annoying and time to find another place to shoot.

Also as LLMe related, we went to play some laser tag with Spud. The first game I properly dominated and set the pace and came in first. I then eased off in the later games. Especially so in game three when Spud did the "let's stick to Aaron like glue trick." Gotta let the kid win some ya know to keep him coming back and not hurt their feelings and give them an inferiority complex.

So it was a very nice visit and splendid time with LLMe's family.

So a belated Merry Christmas to my Christian readers and prospective wishes to all for a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

For some good Hockey tune into the World Junior Hockey Championships

Just finish watching Team Canada demolish Norway 10-1 at the World Junior Hockey Championships being held in Buffalo, NY on the TV.

Canada has an awesome team on the ice this year and I'd say this year it is their championship to lose, and they're not likely to lose it. Absolutely great hockey and a lot of fun to watch.

Pretty awesome watching Brayden Schenn's tying of Mario Lemieux's and Simon Gagne record for the most goals scored in a game at the championship - 4. He almost got five to make a new record. He's going to be quite a player to watch as will many others on this fantastic team. On to watching them dominate Sweden tomorrow.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last minute gift and charitable giving opportunity

If you're looking for a gift for someone who has everything already why not make a donation in their honor? Or if you're looking for a worthy charity to donate to in the spirit of the season, I'd propose giving to the Special Operations Warriors Foundation.

The Special Operations Warriors Foundation is a highly rated charity that provides college scholarships for the children of Special operations troops killed in the line of duty, and also provides asistance to wounded special operations troops and their familities.

Certainly a very worthy cause to help those who have done so much and sacrificed so greatly for us and for our country, especially in our current wars.

And if you're Jewish like me, I'd suggest a donation in multiples of 18, you'll know why.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

He changed his name to what? Don't worry, its just a peaceful inner struggle, sail on.

JammieWearing Fool reports on the curious case of a Navy signalman who was busy leaking classified information on ship transit plans and movements to Islamic terrorists and was convicted for transmitting classified information to unauthorized persons.

The best part - before joining the Navy in 1997 signalman had changed his name from the prosaic Paul R. Hall to Hassan Abu-Jihaad.

He then joined the Navy after the name change and apparently no eyebrows were raised at the name change at any time in his background check or afterwards.

The court certainly takes the Navy to task over this blindness:

In 1997, defendant Paul Raphael Hall changed his name to “Hassan Abu-Jihaad,” the surname of which translates to “Father of Jihad.”1 This curious choice appears not to have raised any concern in the United States Navy when, in January 1998, Abu-Jihaad enlisted.2

The notes attached to these sentences are quite revealing:
1. Jihad has been defined as “a religious war of Muslims against unbelievers in Islam, inculcated as a duty by the Koran and traditions.” 8 Oxford English Dictionary 238 (2d ed.1989). Although jihad is also understood to denote “the struggle against one’s evil inclinations or efforts toward the moral uplift of society,” 7 Encyclopedia of Religion 4917 (Lindsay Jones ed., 2d ed. 2005), it is in the former sense that the concept has been invoked to support terrorist acts against the United States, see, e.g., United States v. Rahman, 189 F.3d 88, 104-09 (2d Cir. 1999) (detailing Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman’s support for “violent
jihad” against the United States). In this case, the jury heard testimony that jihad warriors, known as mujahideen, commonly select noms de guerre.

2 There can be no question that the United States was then aware that it was a target of jihad terrorism, as evidenced by the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center by in New York City, see United States v. Yousef, 327 F.3d 56, 78-79 (2d Cir. 2003); foiled plots in June 1993 and January 1995 to bomb United States aircraft en route from Asia and
New York City bridges, tunnels, and buildings, see id. at 79; United States v. Rahman, 189 F.3d at 109-11, 155; and the June 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers, a residential complex on a United States military base in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, see Estate of Heiser v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 659 F. Supp. 2d 20, 22 (D.D.C. 2009).

In other words, the 2nd Circuit in its opinion just legally asked the Navy "What the heck were you thinking when you signed this guy up?"

The very well written appellate opinion can be read in full at the 2nd Circuits' Website.

The opinion details many of Abu-Jihaads' communications with Islamists and paints a very clear picture that he was certainly not just supportive of jihad but was knowingly engaged in transmitting classified information to the Islamist enemy and potentially working in concert with a Marine (the case doesn't say what happended to the Marine as a result). His 10 year sentence which was affirmed, seems rather light given the lives he may have endangered by his acts.

Hopefully the Navy has since improved its background checks and security procedures for sailor recruitment.

Monday, December 20, 2010

So how does one call the Wah-mbulance en Espanol?

The AP and the Detroit News: Students look to 2012 after immigration bill fails

Again the AP, with the Detroit News failing to correct, provides a misleading headline. It should have read:

Illegal students look to 2012 after immigration amnesty bill fails.

"This is a movement," said Nancy Meza, a 23-year-old illegal immigrant and college graduate who wore a University of California, Los Angeles sweatshirt as she watched the televised vote.
. . .
In the hours after the vote, Meza and about 50 other student activists who had gathered at the UCLA Downtown Labor Center said they would remind Latinos who stood by them - and those who did not - in the next election cycle. They will push for access to financial aid and drivers' licenses in states more friendly to immigrants like California.

Few said the legislation, many called the Dream Act, had a chance in the next two years with Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives and a shrinking Democratic majority in the Senate. But they said that wouldn't derail the networks they had set up across the country to support illegal immigrant students and help them reveal their status and learn to live unafraid.
Amazing, a bunch of people here illegally are upset when they're not rewarded for well, being illegal and suppooritng illegal activity.

Apparently this loss is quite upsetting:
"This has a real demoralizing effect," Krikorian said of the student activists. "There's only so long you can keep up these hunger strikes and all this political theater they've been engaging in, especially if there's no specific target."
I guess with Bush not being around to be blamed for all that is not right in the illegal world, they're having a rough time going the full Alinsky.

But wait, their suffering gets worse:
Another challenge is students could wind up feeling excluded when they can't work after graduation, despite their political activism.
So very, very sad. Indeed, is there any wine sweeter than that of the tears of illegal hippies?

ICE's lack of enforcement is rather interesting. After all, these students have publicly identified themselves as illegals and publicly and contemptuously flout the law, and finding them and enforcing the law should not be particularly hard.

Of course, many want to reward illegal behaviour and prevent deporting these "activists" who no doubt are getting financial aid and benefits that ought to be reserved for legal immigrants and citizens. Democrats are looking for a rich new source of votes form these illegals:
Immigrant rights groups said they planned to turn up the pressure on the Obama administration to slow deportations, end local police enforcement of immigration laws and look out for the students, many of whom publicly revealed their immigration status over the last few months.

Students also said they planned to fight for immigrant benefits - though it's not legalization - locally as they've seen anti-illegal immigration activists do to pass tougher enforcement measures in states like Arizona.
It is rather amazing that students at public universities receiving state and federal funds are not required to have students show proof of legal residency to attend, or are these universitites adopting a Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy when it comes to their illegal students?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Evening Shoot

After taking the kids sledding and doing some stuff around the house, I went to the range this evening for the first time in a while to get a little practice in.

In honor of District of Columbia v Heller, I brought out my District of Columbia Police Glock 17:

It shot quite well, except for the KCI magazine it came with that caused a stovepipe with a piece of brass consistently on shot 8 or so. The KCI was obviously not issued with it originally and replacing it with another mag made the brass stovepipe issue disappear. My first Glock 17, it functioned just like any other Glock I owned and was accurate and excellent as usual, once the magazine issue was remedied. The rest of the 100 rounds fired just fine.

I also shot my S&W M&P 9mm for the first time, breaking it in with its first 100 rounds. This is one of the custom guns and I'm rather impressed with it.

I'm planning on taking ToddG's class when he offers it in Ohio next year as soon as he opens it up I'm going to sign up for it, especially after Tam's review. No, I didn't buy it for the class, I've wanted an M&P for awhile and this one came setup exactly how I wanted one to be - no mag safety, no internal lock, night sights and a nice trigger, besides, any excuse for a new pistol right?

The M&P shot right to point of aim and fit my hand like a glove. It feels a bit heavier than the Glock, and the trigger is smooth and feels better than the Glock's trigger to me. The trigger reset will take a little getting used, to especially its reset compared to the Glock trigger that I'm more used to feeling. I didn't hear/feel the Glock 'click' as the trigger reset on the M&P and it was throwing me off a bit and I missed the reset a few times.

I did some mag change drills and some half-fast drills with the M&P and they were quite smooth. Sadly, the range I went to does not allow drawing from a holster so I could not try the real FAST drill and I was stuck doing a half-fast job of it starting the pistol at the bench level and raising it to position rather than drawing from a holster. It will have to wait for another day and another range to practice the full FAST drill live. In any case, the conclusion from this range session was that I do need more practice if I want to get on to the next level of shooting.

To end the range session I ran 50 rounds of the Silver Bear 9x18 hollow points through my CZ-82, which, to no surprise, functioned well, but with great fireballs as usual with this ammo. Flamethrower-effect aside, all shots were nice and on target, with every shot hitting the Caldwell 5 1/2 circle bullseye I had put up to cover the holes from the Glock and S&W sessions.

Considering the flash of the Silver Bears, I'd recommend the Hornady 9x18 hollow points if you plan to carry it concealed. The CZ had less felt recoil than either the Glock or the M&P, and even as a smaller pistol its all-steel construction made recoil management a snap and very rapid, accurate shots were easy to make. It is an amazing pistol for the price and I'm sure Scott is going to love his, and he'll blog about it in due time.

So a good evening at the range and leaving with plenty to work on. On the upside, even after not shooting for awhile my skills haven't declined markedly, but they do need some reinforcement and more practice. Now that the lakes are iced over I can pay more attention to the art of the pistol.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Repeal of DADT passes, as a result Mig-15s can again be reported.

The MiG-15's NATO reporting code is Faggot. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Before, if they were seen troops couldn't ask or tell about them, now after the repeal bill passed in the Senate and the President's pending signature, they're free to again fly the friendly skies and get shot down.

The AP / Freep headline and story twist of the day - spinning the DREAM

The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press, ever an unbiased news outlet, had the following caption for its story about the failure of the DREAM Act to pass the  Senate today:

Republicans block youth immigration bill

Yes, a bill to grant amnesty and open the floodgates of illegal immigrants is described by the AP, and by the Freep as a "youth immigration bill" and of course, if you believe the headline, its failure to pass was solely the Republican's fault. In reality, not so much.

The Freep doesn't even have the full AP report, that as biased as it is shows it wasn't just Republicans blocking the passing of the bill (remember the Democrats have a majority in the Senate so the Republicans alone can't truly block anything - but thanks for the spin AP and Freep!).
Three Republicans — Robert Bennett of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Richard Lugar of Indiana — joined 50 Democrats and the Senate's two independents in voting for the bill (and Thank you RINOs for your efforts!).

Five Democrats — Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas — joined 36 Republicans in blocking it. Not voting were Republican Sens. Jim Bunning of Kentucky, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
It would have been far more accurate to blame the Democrats for this lousy bill's failure, but that would hurt the narrative now wouldn't it?

Oh Deer.

We had some visitors in our backyard yesterday:

You lookin' at us?

We even had the ultra-rare two-headed deer -

Ok, which way do we go?

There were a total of 5 deer visible in the woods by our house - one big buck who didn't come out for a picture, these two larger does that were about the size of small ponies and a couple others.

Impressively, once they step back into the woods they're very hard to see:

Can you see us now?
The deer seemed quite unafraid of humans, and they seem to have brushed up enough on the local ordinances to know they're in a no-hunting area of the township.

So they're nice to look at and seem to be quite healthy. Hopefully they'll learn to keep out of traffic.

Friday, December 17, 2010

California Judge OKs Festivus as a recognized religion!

California. Where even the Judges are leaving the bounds of sanity in order to appease prisoners and drive up costs.

Calif. Judge OK’d Seinfeld’s ‘Festivus’ as Legitimate Religion, Ordered Special Meals for Inmate

Locked up in a California jail, Malcolm Alarmo King wanted healthier meals. In an argument apparently made to a friendly court, he won a ruling from Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson that he should be fed double-portion kosher meals.

Battling to keep its food costs down, the sheriff's department argued that King himself admitted "healthism" was the so-called religion justifying this request. But Johnson wasn't daunted, calling a sidebar with King's lawyer, Fred Thiagarajah, and the county prosecutor and asking for suggestions about a religion he could cite in the kosher-meal order to nail the issue down once and for all, the Orange County Register reported.

“I said Festivus,” Thiagarajah tells the newspaper—and Festivus it was. The holiday (Festivus for the rest of us) was popularized by the writers of the Seinfeld television show, county counsel argued to no avail.

Seriously, Festivus a real religious holiday requiring double-size kosher meals as part of its requirements? I never saw that part of the festival on Seinfeld, and in any case Festivus is a holiday, not a religion.

The inmate should have argued he was a follower of Seinfeldlam -

"There is no god but Seinfeld, and Kramer is his prophet".

When they inevitably get laughed at they could then declare -

You insult our prophet, no soup for you!

That would have at least have been logically consistent in having a religion that has holidays rather than a holiday becoming a recognized religion, even if it is a religion about nothing based on a show about nothing. Of course, in the once great state of California, it seems that even a base layer of logical consistency on which to pile absurdity is not required.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This Day in History -The Michigan-Ohio War Ends

On this day back in 1836, the Michigan-Ohio Border War, known as the Toledo War ended with the acceptance of Federal government terms by Michigan at the Frostbitten Convention.

This practically forgotten war claimed no lives but resulted in much taunting between the rival armies, the calling out of the militia of both states and shots being fired, some assorted fisticuffs and one stabbing.

In return for giving up claims on Toledo and the disputed land in the strip above the Maumee river, Michigan was given the Upper Peninsula and was admitted as a state in the Union. This surrendering of territory was, at the time, thought to have been a decisive loss for Michigan. However, as the Upper Peninsula was later found to be rich in timber, copper and iron ore, this resulted in a real win for Michigan, especially when you visit the City of Toledo today.

A boundary adjustment and survey again took place in 1915 without any serious drama, and the final boundary adjustment between the states was only resolved after a Supreme Court case in 1973 settled the water boundary on Lake Erie, resulting in Turtle island being divided between the two states rather than remaining solely Michigan territory.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow makes the driving go slower, especially on these roads

The Detroit News: Driving remains treacherous, temperatures to plummet tonight Yes, yes it was, and it probably will be even worse.

Sure enough, driving today was hell. Having un-plowed streets by municipalities that seem to have been caught unawares that it was snowing all last night, and people who completely forgot how to drive it wasn't pretty. Hopefully these cities will figure it out and actually plow and salt after a snowfall. It is really not hard to anticipate that after snow falls on a Sunday you're going to need to salt and plow on Monday morning. Yeesh.

The streets were still quite snow and ice covered, and the kids schools were closed.

Remember what you were doing on June 3rd of this year? That far back is how far forward we're going to need to be to see spring again. Ouch.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ah, Snow

So today was our first serious snowfall with 3-5 inches and its still coming down.

We live on a hill with one heck of a high angled driveway. I headed out to clear the driveway so we could get Natasha's van up on top as even with snow tires, it couldn't make it up the hill that is our driveway.

So about midway down the driveway, shovel in hand I start sliding. And kept sliding. No traction with my boots whatsoever. Under the snow is a layer of ice that makes getting any footing impossible. So I'm sailing down the driveway on the soles of my boots, rather well balanced and then come to a crashing stop. Great fun.

I then get up and realize I still can't get up the driveway, climb up and I slide right back down. So I shovel the base of the driveway and again can't get up the driveway, nor can Tash in the van, it got halfway up and then stopped short and slid back down.

So I walk up the grass, nursing my bruises from the fall and tomorrow morning, hopefully with the snowfall ended I plan to shovel again and salt the heck out of the driveway.

Winter is here again, and I'm not enthusiastic. If the ice is that bad with the first real snowfall, this will be a long Goreified winter.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Should Government Motors really be getting into the educational / social engineering stuff now?

The Detroit Free Press: GM to pump millions into helping United Way improve metro Detroit high schools

General Motors plans to give $27.1 million over the next five years to help the United Way restructure five metro Detroit high schools, as the company continues its post-bankruptcy emphasis on turning around its home city.

The donation, which is the largest ever to come from GM’s charitable foundation, targets the 22 schools in southeast Michigan that have graduation rates of less than 60%. The schools must submit applications in January to get turnaround money and, if chosen, will follow an existing United Way model with the hope of increasing their graduation rates to at least 80%.

As GM has returned to profitability and to the stock market, the automaker has returned to charitable giving.
Now, helping Detroit area schools is indeed a noble (and herculean) task and 27 milion is ust a fraction of the government money the company has received, but should GM, still owing the US Government (read: taxpayers) billions of dollars in bail out money be putting its money into this program?

After shouldn't the Department of Education be the federal government's source of education dollars rather than GM, its new motor vehicle production department?

Is GM just another source of government funds ready to be diverted to government approved social causes?

Custer's Flag's Last Stand - Sold for $1.9 Million

Like Custer, the Flag didn't live up to expectations as to what would happen when it faced its destiny.

Instead of an estimated 2-5 Million, it was sold for $1.9 Million. Still pretty respectable for a history- (and blood-) soaked cloth.

Perhaps the lower price is an appropriate result as the DIA didn't get as much money as it hoped it would from the sale, and now may be able to buy less kitsch as a result when it could instead have made a fantastic exhibit that would have rallied around this flag.

The Detroit Free Press: Custer flag auctioned for $1.9 million

A military flag that accompanied Gen. George Armstrong Custer into the Battle of the Little Big Horn and was owned for 115 years by the Detroit Institute of Arts sold for a hammer price of $1.9 million at auction today at Sotheby’s in New York

It is stil a shame that the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum sold the flag off rather than at the very least arranging to place it in Michigan's Capitol Rotunda with the other flags that honor Michigan's past military units and their soldiers.

Yet another example of government competence in action, FAA department.

FAA loses track of 119,000 aircraft

Yes, the FAA's registry system is so messed up, they don't know with certainty who owns over 1/3 of America's aviation fleet.

The Detroit News:

The Federal Aviation Administration is missing key information on who owns one-third of the 357,000 private and commercial aircraft in the U.S. — a gap the agency fears could be exploited by terrorists and drug traffickers.

The records are in such disarray that the FAA says it is worried that criminals could buy planes without the government's knowledge, or use the registration numbers of other aircraft to evade new computer systems designed to track suspicious flights. It has ordered all aircraft owners to re-register their planes in an effort to clean up its files.

About 119,000 of the aircraft on the U.S. registry have "questionable registration" because of missing forms, invalid addresses, unreported sales or other paperwork problems, according to the FAA. In many cases, the FAA cannot say who owns a plane or even whether it is still flying or has been junked.

Already there have been cases of drug traffickers using phony U.S. registration numbers, as well as instances of mistaken identity in which police raided the wrong plane because of faulty record-keeping.
The fix will require re-registering all 357,000 civilly owned US aircraft, causing some major issues with priority on the titles of the aircraft.

The registry errors have already led to innocent aircraft owners being confronted at gunpoint by US law enforcement:
Unreliable data in the system has led to cases of mistaken identity.

Pilot Pierre Redmond said his Cirrus was searched by Customs and Border Protection agents in fatigues and bulletproof vests last year in Ramona, Calif. They told him his tail number had been confused with that of a wanted plane in Florida.

In August, police in Santa Barbara, Calif., detained flight instructors John and Martha King at gunpoint after federal authorities mistook their Cessna for a plane that was stolen in 2002. The Kings are famous in aviation because they produce and star in a popular series of test-preparation videos for pilots.

The error in the Kings' case was eventually traced to a law-enforcement database that is cross-referenced with the FAA's registry, not to the registry itself. But Brown of the FAA called it an example of the real-world consequences of bad recordkeeping.

"It's very, very scary," Martha King said. "If this keeps happening to people, somebody's going to get shot."
As the Instapundit would say, the country's in the very best of hands!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Dive 174 - Union Lake in December is getting to be a cold lake

So early this morning before work Keith and I went to dive Union Lake.

A mist was rising off the lake and a bit of ice could be seen at the waters edge on the boat ramp. We did wonder why we were doing this, but hey, a dive is a dive.

So in we went, and it was cold. On the upside the visibility was the clearest I've seen at Union lake in a long time, the boaters are gone, the particulate causing vegetation is dying or already dead and so the view is much father than normal - at least 30 feet plus.

We headed to the north boat, got there, messed around practicing some maneuvers for a bit and then both looked at each other - you cold? You cold? We both agreed that we were in fact cold. Ok, lets blow this pop stand. It was indeed cold. My temperature gauge read the water as 41 degrees at the surface and 39 degrees at depth, Keith's computer read 37 and I think his was more accurate. A good shiver-me-timbers dive was had by all.

We headed back, admired ourselves in the large mirror beside the skeleton of the Model T Ford, 'cause being numb with cold is no excuse for not looking awesome in the water, did a minimum deco ascent and got out.

The dive details:

Maximum depth: 38 feet
Bottom time: 28 minutes
Water temperature: 39 degrees
Air temperature: 37 degrees.

So will I get to dive #175 and perhaps more in 2010 or will the ice move in first? Will I be crazy enough to keep diving in sub-39 degree water? Will I get a working heated vest to hold off hypothermia? Stay tuned to find out.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

So is .40 S&W the new caliber for Deer?

On the way to work there was a bit of a traffic hold up so I managed to observe the following sequence of events:

It seems a small deer had decided to interface with a truck and it was still kicking but had clearly gotten the worst of the meeting. This was the cause of the traffic hold up.

A police officer on the scene sentenced the deer by the roadside for impeding traffic. The officer dragged it off the road into the woods that were conveniently located there (and was probably where it came from in the first place), drew his service weapon, and BANG.

One shot, one dead deer.

The officer had an excellent awareness of his backstop and didn't miss. Nicely done.

The deer are now on notice not to mess around in traffic in that jurisdiction.

The DCLU (Deer Civil Liberties Union) was unavailable for comment.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Stuff Kids Say - Restaurant Edition

On the weekend in between various errands and tasks we stopped for brunch at Big Boy.

It was the first time for the kids to be at Big Boy.

"The sign says Big Boy!" said Abby enthusiastically as we pulled up. She was also impressed by the statue of the Big Boy outside the front door.

Leah in her very concerned voice then asked: "Can little girls eat there too?"

Yes, yes they can, and quite a lot as it turns out. Big Boy was having a breakfast buffet. The French toast covered in the (real) cherry sauce was pure awesomeness for the kids, in addition to some scrambled eggs we managed to get them to eat for protein in between runs to the french toast.

Good service, good coffee, nice clean atmosphere and the kids were well behaved, so a successful and quite reasonably priced quick brunch was had by all.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hanukkah Recipe Time

Hanukkah as written above is a festival of lights, the holiday commemorating the miracle of the oil that burned in the lamp in the liberated Temple in Jerusalem for eight days when there was only enough oil for one day. It is a festival of religious freedom and an celebration of an ancient Jewish feat of arms in driving the Hellenic Syrians/Greeks out of the land of Israel and freeing the nation to be Jewish again and able to worship freely.

The second miracle of Hanukkah is that the Jewish people have been eating latkas and doughnuts fried in oil for hundreds of years, yet we survive!

Now you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy latkes and sufganiot (homemade doughnuts! - think a Jewish variety of beignets for those of you lucky enough to have gone to Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans). However not being on a low fat, low carb diet is pretty much a prerequisite for enjoyment. Consult a physician before preparing and consuming the recipes below.

So in honor of the holiday I give you Natasha'a recipe for the epitome of the Hannukah Latka, and for Sufganiot. Indeed her recipes are the perfect embodiment of everything a Latka and Sufganiot should be and they're both very easy to make, and fun to cook and then eat.

This is Natasha typing.

There really isn't a recipe for latkas, but I will try my best.
1. Peel potatoes until you get sick of peeling (I would say 6 potatoes for the family of 4)
2. Get your newly seven-year old to cut them up while begging her to keep her fingers out of the way.
3. Grate them using your indispensable food processor. Grate a large onion while you are at it [don't grate them too finely].
4. Get your four-year old to crack a couple of eggs. Make sure all the shells are out of the batter.
5. Add salt and black pepper. Start adding flour or matzah meal until the mixture comes together (I added about half a cup).
6. Make the batter into pancakes and fry in lots and lots of oil until golden brown and delicious [have your husband do this, he's not scared of using lots of oil]. Blot on paper towers and serve and sour cream and apple sauce (home-made from apples you picked yourself, of course).

Okay, now for the sufganiot/donuts.
1. Go to the store and get fresh self-rising flour. Do not substitute any other kind of flour, and do not use last years - it has lost its magic.
2. Combine the following:
-- 1 1/4 cup self-rising flour
-- 1/2 cup sugar
-- 3/4 cup sour cream
-- 1 egg
-- vanilla
3. Deep fry in lots of oil.
4. Drain on paper towels and serve with powered sugar. Some people like to inject these donuts with jam, but while I was looking for the injector, all the donuts disappeared.


Happy Hannukah from our family to you and yours.

Obama seems to be confusing biblical stories of oil and seven years

On this the first day of Hanukkah, the festival of lights, the holiday of the (olive) oil, what does he do?

Obama bans drilling for oil in the eastern Gulf for 7 years

President Barack Obama will not be allowing new drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico for at least seven years, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Wednesday.

He's mixing his festival metaphors, the Story of Joseph and the seven lean years in the bible wasn't about a ban on oil drilling, and Hanukkah is about a festival of lights, not a lack of lights due to no oil production.

But he's probably going to cause seven very lean years for oil workers and their families in the region, and lean years for the rest of us as energy prices rise due to the lack of domestic production and further reliance on foreign oil.

Happy Hanukkah.