Friday, August 1, 2014

The theme song of Summer

May I? .... A little more Lester Lanin

Redesigned 'Kraft Dinner'....

Even when you don't feel like having mac & cheese, the ingredients, or some of them, come in handy for a little experimenting...

Open two packages of KD, remove the envelopes of cheese powder and save those for another time. In a large pot, boil salted water, and add the macaroni from the two packages of KD. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes. While that's cooking, pour a 680-ml can of Four Cheese Pasta Sauce into a 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup, and nuke it in a 1200-watt microwave for two minutes with a paper plate over the top, to catch the splashes as it nears the end of heating.

When the pasta has cooked, drain it, and then add the Four Cheese Pasta Sauce, and stir. Let stand while you use that 1-quart Pyrex cup again to heat a
small can of Hunt's Diced Tomatoes in the microwave for two minutes. Pour those into the pot with the pasta and sauce, stir well, and you're ready to try it.
Fill a cereal bowl, season to taste, and enjoy. It won't make you speak Italian,
unless you are one, but it's a nice change from plain old KD. And the next time 
you do have KD, you've now got a couple of extra envelopes of cheese for it.

Testing my new nVidia drivers: Lester Lanin Orchestra

If this doesn't "take you back" then you just can't get there from here! 

This is what I meant by 'new nVidia drivers' (one each for Win-8 and Win-7) because this version has only been available since Tuesday, July 29th.

About writing...

The other day, in an article somewhere on 'News Bento', maybe in The Atlantic - I don't recall exactly - there was a blurb titled '22 Lessons: How to be a Great Writer, by Stephen King' and my first thought was "How nice! A veritable paragon of humility, this scribbler..."

But I copied laboriously in longhand 21 of those 22 items, beginning with his first, 'Stop watching TV. Instead, read as much as possible.' And right there, I had to change my mind about the guy. He can't be all bad, if he thinks TV is a vast cultural wasteland and a complete waste of time, energy, and snacks.

I won't repeat his whole list here, but some of it is good sensible advice.  Like number three: 'Don't waste time trying to please people'. I don't. I've never bought a single one of his books. Or his number four: 'Write primarily for yourself.' I do. I already know I'll never be a writer like Hemingway, or Samuel Clemens, or Will Rogers, or anybody who spells 'bullshit' with two els and only one tee. But I enjoy it because it makes me think. I have to organize my thoughts before committing them to print. And somehow, that process gets my imagination awake and active, which isn't a bad thing.

His number five goes 'Tackle things that are hardest to write.' Like whole sentences? And number six: 'When writing, disconnect from the rest of the world.' Hey, Baby - I've been out there in space all by myself for ages....did I ever tell you about the time I was returning from a small foreign planet where I saw..... Oh, never mind - you wouldn't understand anyway!

His number 18 probably is the most important of all: 'Write every single day.' For some reason, this made me think of Robert Fulghum's 'All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten'. If Real Estate is all about Location, Location, Location, then Writing is all about Practice, Practice, Practice. So I'm going to keep trying until I get it right, and so should you.

What does 5:00 a.m. look like?

A lot like this.

NASA's next Mars Rover: a suggestion...

Dear NASA:

We've been amazed and delighted by Curiosity's wonderful pictures and discoveries, and I really hate to say anything critical about it, but let's face it, we ought to get more than three miles out of a set of tires before those get holed by the sharp rocks we knew were there, right?

So please try to put better wheels on the next one, OK? 

And while we're thinking about making oxygen from carbon dioxide, obviously with an eye on somebody needing to breathe over there, are we forgetting the whole place is on the bitter outer edge of the habitable zone around the sun?
As far as I can tell, being there would be a lot like being in our own arctic, and I've been in our arctic, and it was a great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. Not if I had a choice. And we do have a choice, don't we?

Mars was probably a lot like an early Earth, but that was then, and this is now, and there's no way we can get back its oceans and its other missing features destroyed when it was hit by that object from space which punctured its crust about three and a half billion years ago. And when that happened, both Mars and Earth were very likely in orbits closer to the sun, and therefore a little warmer. And all that is very different now, and we can't turn back the clocks.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Katy doesn't need a dude...

You go, Girl! Life's a Do It Yourself project!

The 'Question Everything' for today is:

What part of 'Thou shalt not kill' do these people not understand?

This kind of behavior goes against everything I've learned about religion. And I hasten to add that religion has started more wars than gunpowder has.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What's this?

What are they trying to prove? First, the Israelis fire tank shells into a school being used as a refuge by civilians, and then they declare a four-hour reloading 'truce'. What the hell's that?

They say they have to destroy tunnels. A tunnel has two ends, doesn't it? So go find the end that comes out on your own side of the border, and then instead of blowing something all to hell, just pump it full of seawater.

In the early 1940s, the Nazis were loading Jews onto trains and taking them away to be killed. How is this Israeli action against Palestinians any better?
That's today's Question Everything.