Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

Copyright Notice

Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mayan, Oh Mayan

Always read the fine print!

Via Buzzfeed

This Day in History

I have almost nothing to add.

Except that it is now 6.

Thursday Food Blogging

This is what happens when you let a jazz* guy loose in the kitchen.

This morning, as the Lovely Wife (henceforth the LW) set off to do Mom maintenance, I asked what she would like for dinner. "I'd be happy with macaroni and cheese," she said, as she breezed out the door, referring to the stuff that comes in a blue and white box.

Why settle for merely "happy," I thought, if there is an opportunity to go all the way to DELIGHTED.

So, with a little (but not too much) help from the "JOY OF COOKING" I improvised this concoction.

Macaroni Che Cosa l'Inferno (Macaroni what the hell)

Start by rummaging in the kitchen for whatever chunks of this and/or that, which may happen to be lying around. On this particular Thursday, I came up with sections of onion, green pepper, celery, carrots, and a few pimiento stuffed jumbo green olives. All of these got chopped into rather small pieces.** The point is, though, this will probably work just as well with whatever you have on hand. (Within reason. Haggus, for example, is probably not a good choice.) ***

The non-olive veggie-bits were**** sauted in olive oil, with a generous sprinkling of paprika.**

Meanwhile, two cups of macaroni elbows were cooked al dente, per the package instructions.

While the pasta boiled, about 4 oz.** Velveeta cheese-like substance was cut into cubes. A small amount** of milk was poured into the veggies, and the Velveeta chunks were added. This was then slowly heated to melt the quasi-cheesey stuff.

The cooked pasta was drained and placed in a buttered 2 1/2 quart baking dish. The chopped olives were added, along with generous sprinklings of nutmeg (very important!) and Italian seasoning. About 6 oz. of grated cheddar cheese** was added and mixed in.

Then, the Velveeta blend was poured onto the pasta and, again, mixed in. The mixture was topped with grated parmesian cheese. It was then baked at 350 F for about** 35 minutes.

As anticipated, the LW was, in fact, delighted with the outcome. I was rather pleased, myself.

Happy ending.
* Full disclosure: Classical, too - but that is not currently relevant.
** I once asked my grandmother how much of this and that she used in the Hungarian delights she used to make. She shrugged and said she just added things until it tasted right. I hereby pass along this excellent advice.
*** Or maybe it is. What do I know?
**** Typically, passive voice is eschewed. But this shall have been a recipe. Sort of.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Facing an Inconvenient Reality

Global Warming, Climate Change, AGW - call it what you will. There are facts, there is fiction*, and there is denial.

And there are people working hard to get the truth out.

Are you paying attention?

Via Bouphonia

Oh, by the way, the alleged global cooling hysteria of the 70's, a la Will, is more of his B.S.
* and friction, which causes more heat.

Somebody Tell Me Why Jim Cramer Is NOT In Jail

"What's important, when you're in that hedge fund mode, is to not do anything remotely truthful."
- Jim Cramer

Watch this video. It's little under 7 minutes, and should be good for 20 to 30 years.

But that would be in a perfect world, wouldn't it?

Update - It's even worse than I thought.

Update 2 - Cramer and Stewart.*

* Now a genuine American hero

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Axis of Drivel

Oh, how I wish I would have thought of it.

And there is nothing to add to this.

Except possibly this.

Facing Reality

We are living through the worst stock market decline of the last hundred years, with the exception of the Great Depression. The market is deeply oversold and due for a recovery. I fully expect it will be counter-current, not lead to a new high, and be followed by an even deeper plunge.

Corporate profits are in the sewer, and record dividend cuts will only drive stock prices down.

Michigan, along with Nevada, California Arizona, and Florida leads the nation in households in a negative equity situation. We don't seem to be anywhere near the end of this, either.

Job losses are bad and getting worse. Update: worse than 1981-82, possibly worse than the sharp, but relatively brief recession of 1957-8

Involuntary part-time employment is at a new high.

Bankruptcy is a growth industry.

Falling oil prices provide some relief. But - prices are falling because the economy is tanking, world wide. This is small comfort when international trade is drying up.

This is Great Depression II. Whether it exceeds the depth of misery brought about by Great Depression I remains to be demonstrated. Either way, this is an event of once-in-a-century, or so magnitude.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This is Really Sad

Johnathon Krohn, who has since turned 14, was a big hit at the C.P.A.C. a few days ago.

That's not the sad part. People can get geeked over a wunderkind now and then. I suppose that's OK. But the Republican Party just had to have a pup tell them his version of what conservatism means. The kid has great stage presence - he's smart, articulate, home-schooled, and clearly well trained by his mother, an experienced actress.

His message, though, is basically a trumped-up, silly version of Conservatism.* He cites four core principles: respect for the Constitution, respect for life, responsibility, and small government. The first three are wonderful concepts, but they are not principles to which conservatism has any particular or exclusive claim. In fact, Republican conservatism, in recent years, has been especially virulent in violating these principles. But this is what you can expect from people who have a NASCAR and country music definition of what it means to be a real American. The last item, small government, if it is a principle at all, is one born out of ignorance and contempt for governance. President Obama got it right when he said government should be the correct size to do the job.

That's not the sad part either. If you take the time to read the comments in the linked HOT AIR page above, you'll find gushing adulation for this kid, only slightly muffled Obama/Democrat contempt, and a rather grotesque mischaracterization of the comments connected to the YouTube display of Johnathon's speech. There is an uncomfortable level of snark there, to be sure but it is not the over-the-top vicious hate-fest that the commentors at HOT AIR make it out to be.

Even worse is what one or two of them say in anticipation of the kid getting trashed by Olberman and his "little Brother Maddow."** I've watched both of these shows the two nights since the convention ended. There's been a lot on about Rush, the other most publicized C.P.A.C. speaker, the fear he inspires in Republican elected officials, and ridicule of their capitulation. About Johnathon Krohn - not one word.

Even this is not the saddest part. The saddest part is that this country is now so divided that people of different political preferences cannot have a conversation on meaningful issues - let alone a debate.

* Before he writes another book (sorry couldn't come up with an Amazon link), he really should read this one.
** Typical right-wing gratuitous homophobic hate-mongering



Looking on the Bright Side

Does anybody else see an oncoming train?

Oh My Gawd ! Redux, Again, One More Time

It is with great schadenfreude that I report the on the latest, and most amusing episode of the emerging Republican circular firing squad.

Close in the ranks, boys, and remember to keep your powder dry, and those guns pointed in.

Barf Bag Update:

“My intent was not to go after Rush — I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Steele said in a telephone interview. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”…

“I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking,” Steele said. “It was one of those things where I thinking I was saying one thing, and it came out differently. What I was trying to say was a lot of people … want to make Rush the scapegoat, the bogeyman, and he’s not.”

Now we know for sure who's in charge.

Wow. Just. Wow.