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Friday, November 25

Cross One off the Old Bucket List

Yesterday I had to work, and everyone on my shift participated in bringing in something.

I decided to go out on a limb and cook a turkey for the very first time, ever. I brined it well, then roasted it. It turned out great, as I tested it before bringing it in to work by performing a radical unilateral mastectomy on it for dinner Tuesday night.


Two coworkers also brought meat, and we feasted! Most everyone else brought side dishes and desserts, which was fine. Nothing like a well-rounded menu.

But something was ... odd.

The two coworkers who brought meat had brought in three whacking great pans of smoked turkey, barbecued pork with a tasty mustard-based sauce, and ... Something Else.

I asked it if it was goat, and the guy said Yes. He said it with a smile, which triggered Immediate ALERT warnings on the threat board in my head.

However, I tried some.

I knew instantly it WASN'T goat.

The meat was stringy, like over-braised beef, and it was way too peppery for my taste. And the ribs were far too small and delicate for it to be goat.

So I ate it anyway, and later confronted one of the guys. No, he admitted, it wasn't goat.

It was raccoon.


Good old Procyon lotor had been on my plate, and I had eaten it.

Excellent! I can now cross another item off my culinary bucket list!

What did YOU try yesterday that you hadn't tried before?

Friday, November 18

Obama sends Sec. Clinton to Myanmar for Historic visit (it's been over 50 years)

From the Daily Mail (first Goog hit this morning)

50 Years? What took us so long?? Can you say .....Yadana and Yetagun pipelines?

PIPELINES! (I bet we're already there)

The Price of Oil -- Human Rights

A well-documented instance of corporate collusion in human rights abuses is Burma. The Yadana and Yetagun pipelines built by Unocal and Halliburton (US), Premier Oil (UK) and TotalFinaElf (France/Belgium) are the largest foreign investment projects in Burma. In response to a lawsuit initiated in 2000 by local villagers, with the support of EarthRights International and the Center for Constitutional Rights, a US federal judge found that there was:

“evidence demonstrating that before joining the Project, Unocal knew that the military had a record of committing human rights abuses; that the Project hired the military to provide security for the Project, a military that forced villagers to work and entire villages to relocate for the benefit of the Project; that the military, while forcing villagers to work and relocate, committed numerous acts of violence; and that Unocal knew or should have known that the military did commit, was committing, and would continue to commit these [abuses].”

In April 2005 Unocal agreed to compensate Burmese villagers in a landmark case.

Here's a recent (translated) opinion piece for more background
I'm really happy that the dangerous dam project collapsed

Oh MOTHER SUU PLEASE SING LOUDLY. I hope Mrs. Clinton's vision of a democratic Burma is the same as yours

'When the Music's Over', fear not, cause Jimmy Fallon is here!

Watch Jimmy Fallon as Jim Morrison perform the Reading Rainbow Theme Song

h/t to commenter at TheBigPicture.

Tuesday, November 15

MAY THE MUSICIANS OF THE WORLD SAVE US!! APEC World Leaders Dinner Gets Occupied


Honolulu - A change in the programmed entertainment at last night's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) gala left a few world leaders slack-jawed, though most seemed not to notice that anything was amiss.

During the gala dinner, renowned Hawaiian guitarist Makana, who performed at the White House in 2009, opened his suit jacket to reveal a home-made “Occupy with Aloha” T-shirt. Then, instead of playing the expected instrumental background music, he spent almost 45 minutes repeatedly singing his protest ballad released earlier that day. The ballad, called “We Are the Many,” includes lines such as “The lobbyists at Washington do gnaw.... And until they are purged, we won't withdraw,” and ends with the refrain: “We'll occupy the streets, we'll occupy the courts, we'll occupy the offices of you, till you do the bidding of the many, not the few.”

Those who could hear Makana’s message included Presidents Barack Obama of the United States of America, Hu Jintao of China, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, and over a dozen other heads of state.

“At first, I was worried about playing ‘We Are The Many,’” said Makana. “But I found it odd that I was afraid to sing a song I’d written, especially since I'd written it with these people in mind.”

The gala was the most secure event of the summit. It was held inside the Hale Koa hotel, a 72-acre facility owned and controlled by the US Defense Department; the site was fortified with an additional three miles of fencing constructed solely for the APEC summit.

Makana was surprised that no one objected to him playing the overtly critical song. “I just kept doing different versions,” he said. “I must’ve repeated ‘the bidding of the many, not the few’ at least 50 times, like a mantra. It was surreal and sobering.”

continue reading -- pictures and video also

Friday, November 11

On the Eleventh Hour, of the Eleventh Day

Today the lonely winds are loose
And crying goes the rain.
While here we walk the field they knew
The dead who died in pain.
The fields that wait the slow hours long
For sounds that shall not come.
In other fields, in other earth
The laughing hearts are dumb.

- Elsdon Best


On this day, remember.

Remember the fathers, the sons, brothers and husbands; the mothers, the sisters, daughters and wives.

Remember them all. Both the dead, and the living.

Thank them if you chance to meet one, and greet them for what they are. Care for the wounded, care for their loved ones left behind.