Happy Sunday, Happy 4th Of July

 

 

Mandisa – Freedom Song

 

 

Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones- Hymn To Freedom

 

 

UC Berkeley Gospel Chorus- O Freedom

 

 

 

 

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Happy Sunday, Happy Fourth Of July!

“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.”

“It is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs. They expect too much of ordinary men.”

—Thucydides

  

“Therefore, this is what the LORD says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom for your fellow countrymen. So I now proclaim ‘freedom’ for you, declares the LORD -‘freedom’ to fall by the sword, plague and famine. I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth.”

—Jeremiah 34:17 

 

 That a creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

—Romans 8:21

Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry is own weight, this is a frightening prospect.

—Eleanor Roosevelt

There is no time like the present to fall in love with our country and to honor it as the best that we will ever have. We have had so much to complain about, and we have complained loudly. Today, let us celebrate our blessings, instead, and resolve to never forget them.

—Xenonlit

 

The Allergy Chronicles

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I feel like I’ve been beat with a stick.  After going to get a flu shot at the VA (and finding that it was not the prized H1N1 vaccine), I decided to drag myself to the store for some substantial delight.

I got there so sick that all I could grab was macaroni salad, dishwasher soap (great discount) and toll house cookie dough.

The past weeks have been an insane overload of work and writing, with decent pay as a reward, but with exhaustion as a consequence.

Just when I resolved to stop that nonsense, settle down, and take time to smell the stinky shoes, the Fall allergy season moved in and started unpacking.

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The Sacramento Valley is one of the top allergy resorts in the world. We have far too many exotic plants and gorgeous landscapings.

Sacramento has more trees per capita than most places in the world.

People come here with allergies and find out that those allergies thrive well. Then people come here without allergies, then find out that new allergic type of action in going on. No one escapes.

Neither young nor old are bolstered against this mistaken set of ferocious attack processes that make our autoimmune systems want to pull a Thelma and Louise on our bodies.

My autoimmune system is completely psychotic.

It is as if the Sopranos, the Crips, the Bloods, and Scarface took over my T-cells, and are running around, having chemical romances and  yelling “say hello to our little friends!”

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So, this year, it could be the Sri Lankan Bigpussy Shrubs and the Andalusian Fart Knocker Trees are spewing forth some dusty plant carpet bombing style of long distance insemination that winds up in our sinuses and bodies.

The Chlorpheniramine pills, those delightful little yellow drowse merchants; those highly effective line officers that soldier on in their mission of rounding up histamines and receptors, are my drug of choice these days, along with the steroidal spray which burns the sinuses like a bad pool dive.

But, still, the double knockout of flu shot and allergy serve to make me relish a long morning in bed. Actually in la la land, dreaming of talking enchiladas and buttery mens who stalk me through glamorous hotels in exotic destinations and give me looks with their eyes.

When I finally wake up, it’s off the cheap matinee at the movies, with the requisite snuck- in snacks and Roger Moore whacking capitalism as the assignment for the week.

Photobucket As a word to the medically ungainly: You do NOT get the flu from the flu shots. The mild, temporary symptoms mean that the vaccine is working as it should. Your body is just making antibodies and having a party in there, building up protection against the real thing.

So, have a lovely day. I am off to snooze and to not work.

Spooky Foodie Tuesday!


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Ok, Xenonlit has been absent lately, so much must be done!  It is time for spooky Ooky Foodie Tuesday, and perhaps my hideous offering will scare some love outta you!

Today’s recipe is based on the following tale of scary woe:

I was wandering through an old Castle in Germany. The true meaning of “Gothic” was seeping from every post and stone and beam in that place. As I wandered, in my own world of culture shock, I was separated from my tour group.

The castle was amazing, with staircases and nooks that went on forever, each new chamber offering a different view of the world from  small, but beautifully encased windows. One set of chambers beckoned with more appeal than the others. These must have been the rooms of one of the more prominent residents.

To my surprise, a bounteous feast was laid out. The smells of the richly detailed food drew me in like a hooker to a dentist’s convention. One dish caught my eye:

Count Versenschaffer’s Stew

Ingredients:

Two Yams, chopped and mangled

1 Yellow Pepper, diced and stabbed

1 Red Pepper, diced and maimed

1 Onion, diced and hung on the rack

2 carrots, sliced and screaming

2 stalked celery, captured and sliced on the diagonal

2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped fine

4 large tomatoes, cut up, drained of their blood, and dead

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into cubes, seasoned with salt and pepper,  and seared mercilessly.

1 pound pork sirloin, seasoned with salt and pepper, cubed and interrogated by hot frying pan until seared into agony.

1-2 cups full bodied, slightly sweet white whine.

3 cups chicken stock that has been hung in the stocks

2 tblsp butter, mashed together with 2 tblsp flour.

A bouquet of herbs in cheesecloth: english parsley, thyme, rosemary, and green, red and white peppercorns.

Prep:

Get the crock pot out. These victims will suffer for hours!

Gather all of the tortured vegetables, except the tomatoes,  and roast them lightly in the oven, or carmelize on the stove top. Oh yes, they will give up all of their secrets…

Add the garlic and onion to the vegetables, and let them soften and sweat as they scream their way into foodie greatness!

Put all ingredients into the crock pot and laugh like a maniac for a couple of hours, or until the meat is as tender as you like!

At the very end, stir in the butter and flour mix to thicken the sauce and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or Panera Bread Sesame Semolina bread, and a chopped salad.

Oh, what happened at the castle?

Well, a tour guide showed up out of nowhere and said “Sit, my liebchen, and enjoy this bounteous repast with me! We will talk of music and culture while I gaze upon you.”

He was dressed in period clothes, but they looked brand new, so he must have been one of the staff! What a lovely surprise, to serve us a beautiful luncheon during our tour!

We ate, this beautiful man and I, and chatted with gusto.  After we had eaten with good appetite, I noticed that two hours had passed!  I made my apologies and fled from the chamber to meet up with my group.. in the very next room!

I asked them if they had eaten, babbling along about the wonderful luncheon that was hosted by one of the castle staff.

Everyone was staring at me as if they had seen a ghost.

The pale, shaking tour guide said “There are no staff in period costume here, and we are going to lunch at the Gasthaus now!  You have seen Count Versenschaffer! It is said that he roams this place, but only a few have dined with him!”

Damn. Even the food was a ghost.

I yelled, “Oh, let’s get out of here, then!”

I was starving.

The Attention Deficit Newswrap: 24 August 2009

TORTURE TACTICS: CAN IT GET ANY WORSE?

Oh boy. It’s the torture tactics that we haven’t heard about yet.  A federal judge has ordered the material to be released today as the result of an American Civil Liberties Union Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit .

We’re going to be inundated with over reporting of three things:  Threating a detainee with a power drill, mock executions,  and the right wing’s excuse making.

Newsweek broke the story on Friday.  The New York Times has an equally sketchy heads up.

What’s next? Attorney General Eric Holder will be deciding whether to pursue action.  He has recieved a Justice Department Advisement to do so.


HURRICANE BILL NOW A TROPICAL STORM BUT NOT AFTER CREATING A ROGUE WAVE. ONE KILLED IN MAINE.


WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN. IS THIS NEWS, OR REALITY SMACKING US UPSIDE THE HEAD?

The San Jose Mercury News

The New York Times

The Guardian, UK]


Miss Universe 2009: Miss Venezuela.  Why don’t we just let Donald Trump run the…what? Oh… Never mind.


RYAN JENKINS FOUND DEAD IN B.C. HOTEL ROOM

Ryan Jenkins was one of the contestants on a reality show called “Megan Wants A Millionaire”. He was vetted by the show, but had a history of abuse and other problems. He was the prime suspect in the horrific murder of his former wife, and was on the run from the law at the time of his death.

“MEGAN WANTS A MILLIONAIRE” SHOW CANCELLED BY VH1

No word on who the winner was, if there was a winner.


THE COMICS

Professor Turgeson seems timely, given the news about Afghanistan

Happy Sunday!

Hear the words of the dancing God,
the music of whose laughter stirs the winds,
whose voice calls the seasons:
I who am the Lord of the Hunt and the Power of the Light,
sun among the clouds and the secret of the flame
I call upon your bodies to arise and come unto me.
For I am the flesh of the earth and all its beings.
Through me all things must die and with me are reborn.
Let my worship be in the body that sings,
for behold all acts of willing sacrifice are my rituals.
Let there be desire and fear, anger and weakness,
joy and peace, awe and longing within you.
For these too are part of the mysteries found within yourself,
within me, all beginnings have endings,
and all endings have beginnings.

charge of the god – author unknown


In this life we cannot do great things.
We can only do small things with great love.

mother teresa

God exists.

His place is very cool.
Look at how it is where God is.

mesoamerican indian – mazatec – maria sabina

The Billionaire Boys Club Isn’t As Phat As It Used To Be!


bankrupt

WTF?

The New York Times has an incredible article titled “After a 30-Year Run, Rise Of The Super-Rich Hits A Sobering Wall”.

It would be well worth your time to give this article a read, after you read and rate my post, and click on an ad, of course.

According to a Forbes article, some 350 billionaires were thrown out of the club, worldwide.  The US tops the list with 125 drop offs, followed by Russia. India took the hugest financial hits, which is fine with me, given the number of Indian finance clowns who have infiltrated our finance infrastructure and jacked it up.

But two individuals who lost weren’t finance scam machines, but icons who actually created something that is a big part of life in America!

Jon McAfee, the anti-virus icon,  went from 100 million worth to 4 million.   His story is a major part of  the New York Times article.

I wanted to find and highlight another person who was an icon of invention, and to see how he was doing. I thought of Frederick W. Smith, Founder of Fedex. He is #559 on Forbes drop off list.

I highly encourage all to read the entire New York Times article, which is a rich summary of the rise and fall of the rich, but which provides comparisons with the flat or lost income that the rest of us suffered.

I wanted to find a couple of people who truly deserved to give it up and found these three interesting sources.

“Forbes In Pictures: Notable Drop-Offs”

Rupert Murdoch Took A Big Hit This Year

Suze Orman Had An Idea For Bush

HERES A CHALLENGE: At “Forbes In Pictures” can you find someone who really deserved to get a check-ectomy?  Or someone who has been a great philanthropist, like Bill Gates, who is giving most of his money away?

If you write a blog and tell us what the person did that was good, bad or ugly, you can add a link to the comments here!