Memorial Day Weekend Open Thread

“Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.”

—Anthony Bourdain


52 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Treydot says:

    I came across a quote from Philip K Dick: 

    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.”

    • BlueCat says:

      Words to live by. Have a great weekend everyone and remember….  it's not just about sales and BBQ. Although I totally agree with Bourdain on BBQ!yes

    • Duke Cox says:

      Yeah, that is a good one. I have only a fleeting knowledge of the late Mr. Dick. Der Google tells me a bunch of very good and successful movies I have seen were based on his stories. In my youth, I consumed an enormous amount of science fiction but, I can only remember reading "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?".

      So many of the great short stories I read were in anthologies and I didn't often remember the authors. Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein…my staples..and no shortage of politics mixed in. I tell my friends that Donald Trump reminds me of "the Mule" in Asimovs' "Foundation Trilogy". If there ever was a "Black Swan" in politics, It would be Herr Drumpf, der Ubergruppenfuhrer. (sorry, no umlauts).

      Last night, Rachel Maddow appeared with Seth Meyers and quipped (paraphrasing slightly), .." All this Donald Trump stuff has been figured out and written down", turning to the audience she smirked and said, " …yeah, translated from German".. 

      Politics is fertile territory for great science fiction….government never has reacted well to change….


      • Voyageur says:

        The Great Quibbler in me wants to say the Drumpf saga was actually translated from the original Italian.  Mussolini's corporate state did not harbor the poisonous anti-Semitism of its Nazi spinoff and indeed several Jews were prominent fascists.  But after Italy switched sides and the Germans took over, the Fascist Jews suffered the same fate as their fellow Jews.  Mussolini's call to rebuild the Roman empire (Make Rome Great Again) and his arrogant, bullying persona indeed evoke an ominous memory.   But as far as I know, not even Mussolini went as far as accusing the father of one of his political rivals of plotting to assassinate Julius Ceasar!



      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Philip K. Dick:  "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" became the Arnold movie "Total Recall"   "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" became "Bladerunner." 

        For good sci-fi these days, I like David Weber, Jim Butcher; also Kevin J. Anderson (from Colorado Springs) who has written more Dune novels with Brian Herbert, Frank's son, and based on notes left by Frank.

        • Treydot says:

          In my youth I devoured Sci-Fi …er I mean 'Speculative Fiction' books including those of the authors mentioned above.  More recently, after years of not finding time to read fiction, I have drifted toward authors like the brilliant Neal Stephenson (Crytonmicon, Snow Crash), Jim Butcher (Urban Fantasy, Codex Alera), and Neal Stephenson (conclusion of Wheel of Time and Stormlight Archives) and so on. Actually, I should confess that I listen to audiobooks in my car using Audible or Overdrive Apps – which has become the replacement for the wasteland of terrestrial radio. Besides my blood pressure is probably much improved as a result.

          • Treydot says:

            I know this thread is completely irrelevant to anything but… The best titled book I recently read is "Just one Damn Thing after Another," by Jodi Taylor with a plot line of a secretive college of historians who time travel to major historical events in world history to verify what really happened. A light read to say the least but enjoyable. Of course time travel is not without its peril.

    • BlueCat says:

      Speaking of BBQ… just threw some beef ribs and lamb shanks on the smoker. Almost aborted the planned BBQ but it stopped raining, the black clouds passed, sun's out so it's a go. Just checked RealClear and Obama remains on the upside in averaged approval and is still doing particularly well in the Gallop,+8 with 52% approval today, a couple of days past the completely appropriate Hiroshima ceremonies so the false rightie "apology tour" attack line isn't touching his numbers. Another reason to be hopeful that we'll beat Trump in November. GW's approval ratings weren't ever getting out of the low 30s at this point and it's hard to imagine a majority who approve of Obama will vote for Trump even if they aren't wild about HRC. 

      Just dropped in to check e-mail, FB and such and to hope everyone's enjoying the weekend. Off to make sure the temp is staying where I want it…. low and slow.

      • Gray in Mountains says:

        Not smoking today, but bought some nice looking pork chops I will grill in moments

        • notaskinnycook says:

          Our youngest nephew graduated from high school last week. Barbeque at my brother's to celebrate. Ribs on his smoker. Yum. Burgers on the grill for us tomorrow. Someone gifted me with a lovely loaf of stale french bread yesterday. Bread pudding today, and tomorrow.  

          • Blackie101 says:

            Do you have a decent recipe for bread pudding?

            • notaskinnycook says:

              Here we go again with my recipes, folks. Hope no one minds.

              Here's the bread pudding  I made yesterday. My sister-in-law, who loves bread pudding really liked it. She said it tasted like her mom's. You can't do better than that. This recipe includes both an alcoholic and a non-alcoholic sauce. 

              Bread Pudding:

                   1 loaf French bread, at least a day old, cut into 1-inch squares (about 6-7 cups)

              1 qt. milk                                    

              3 eggs

              2 cups sugar

              2 T. vanilla extract

              1 cup raisins (soaked an hour or two in ¼ cup bourbon)

              ¼ teaspoon allspice

              ¼ to ½ teaspoon cinnamon

              3 T. unsalted butter, melted

              Bourbon Sauce:

              ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

              1 cup sugar

              1 egg

              1 cup Kentucky bourbon whiskey


                Preheat oven to 350°F. Place milk in a large mixing bowl and add the bread that has been cut into squares. Press the bread into the milk with your hands until all of the milk is absorbed.

                 In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the sugar, vanilla, allspice, and cinnamon. Pour over the bread and milk mixture. Add the bourbon soaked raisins and gently stir to combine.

                 Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan. Coat the bottom and the sides of the pan well with the butter. Pour the bread, milk and egg mixture into the baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, until the liquid has set. The pudding is done when the edges start getting a bit brown and pull away from the edge of the pan. Can also make in individual ramekins.

                While the bread pudding is baking, make the bourbon sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on low heat. Add the sugar and egg and whisk to blend well.

                Slowly cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, then remove from heat. Do not allow the mixture to simmer or the sauce will curdle. If your sauce curdles, just take it off the heat and blend it smooth in a blender.) Whisk in bourbon to taste. Whisk again before serving. The sauce should be soft, creamy, and smooth.

                Serve the bread pudding with bourbon sauce on the side; pour on to taste. Best fresh and eaten the day it is made.

              For vanilla sauce

              ½ cup light brown sugar

               1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

              1 pinch ground cinnamon

              2 T melted butter

              1 ¼ C milk

              Pinch salt

              1T Vanilla

               Over medium heat, whisk ½ cup of light brown sugar, the flour, a pinch of cinnamon, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 1 ¼ cups of whole milk, and salt together in a heavy saucepan until smooth, whisking constantly, until thickened and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour sauce over warm bread pudding, or serve on the side in a bowl.


              • mamajama55 says:

                Ralphie and some of the other old-timers on here used to post recipes when they felt that dialogue was useless – i.e.,  with a troll or someone unpersuadeable, whose only agenda was to disrupt this blog. I got quite a few good recipes that way! Perhaps we should bring back this tradition.

      • BBQing pork back ribs for a party this afternoon. Had to get a new temperature control unit for the pellet grill – the dial on my last one popped off. 🙁 It's good to be grillin' again.

  2. exlurker19 says:

    Space opera is my favorite.  Love Lois McMaster Bujold.  Poor ol' Miles, her main hero.  She said she just thinks of the next horrible thing she can do him and starts writing.  Time travel is what turned me off Heinlein, though, gotta say.  Traveling to the past to sleep with your grandmother when she still looked good–squick.


    Er–I wrote this here because there wasn’t a reply button, and of course, now there is.

    • mamajama55 says:

      I listen to audiobooks. Neal Stephenson is my new favorite sci fi author. I recommend his latest two, Seveneves and Reamde. You wouldn't think game design, international terrorism, and rednecks would be a great combination, but Reamde would prove you wrong.

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    Can anyone recommend a good attorney – for this problem:

    A family friend is in the P.A. program at RedRocks. She was suddenly notified that she is being decelerated (delayed a year). When nothing has changed and she's passing all her tests.

    I think she needs an attorney who knows how to take on a state higher ed school and get things fixed fast. Because if the school can keep her out for even a couple of weeks, then it becomes a fait-accompli. If you know anyone who is good at this, please email me.

    thanks – dave

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Has she asked for a reason? And, such stuff usually has to be done in writing.

    • mamajama55 says:

      Colorado Civil Rights Division – File a complaint of discrimination

      They helped me when my employer tried to cut my pay and hours (plus sexually harassed) when I was pregnant.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Not knowing the full circumstances of this particular matter, you're not recommending this course of action except in an instance involving actual illegal discrimination or harassment?

        • Voyageur says:

          I've seen discrimination cases filed that were a lot more far-fetched than this Dio (and this sounds like there is no discrimination involved,) and it still sent the University of Colorado into a panic with an order from their lawyers to settle.   Use the procedures outlined by Pseudo first, but if all else fails, anybody that can claim membership in a victim class can scare hell out of the bureaucracy by whispering the d word.

        • mamajama55 says:

          We don't know yet if there is discrimination, but it does sound as if proper procedure isn't being followed, (Thanks Psuedo).

          If there is a chance that there is discrimination, filing the complaint can, as V said, expedite matters considerably!

          • Diogenesdemar says:

            "We" don't "know" anything, except that David wants help locating an attorney, but I'm assuming the potential plaintiff knows one way, or the other. 

            So . . .

    • Pseudonymous says:

      So here is the manual for her program.  A couple notes, although she and/or you may have already gone over this.

      She should have received a letter from the SAC Director, as per the procedure on page 12, letting her know her progress was at risk.  Following that she should have been formally notified of the negative result only after a review by officials which must include an interview with your friend.  Once the determination is made that she is not progressing, she has five (business) days to appeal.  It's important to note that they allege there is a documented follow-on appeals process outlined in the Student Handbook, but I was unable to tease it out.  If this process hasn't been followed, she can seek out an attorney, but should also contact the college leadership (move above her program).

      The only reasons listed for deceleration (page 13-14) are failing a didactic course or an SCPE.  "Failing" apparently means that, "The student has failed to achieve the grade of 'B' or higher or a 'pass' in one or more courses or SCPE."  Depending on how the school means that, a grade of "B-" might be considered failing.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      Thank you all. As some surmised, I know very little hearing a couple of sentences 3rd hand. So I figured the less I said about the situation the better.

      Anyways, I sent on this thread and suggested filing the discrimination complaint. From some of what I heard that could be a very legit avenue.

      thank you everyone!!!

  4. BlueCat says:

    Nothing much to do but check my Q once in while at the moment. Here's more decent news, besides Obama's in the black approval numbers compared to Bush's way in the red numbers on his way out, for Dems who accept that HRC is our candidate and Trump is the alternative.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      "Look it may have not been prosecuted that well.  And, I know this caused a few issues for some folks.  But, you people have to remember, the only alternative was a President Cheney . . . er, I mean, a President Saddam"  (George W. Bush — and his most recent of umpteen justifications for the war in Iraq.)

      What HRC (… and W) fail to realize) is that once a prolonged period of multiple versions of explanations have passed, and your current mea culpa Is essentially being circumstantially coerced in a manner that's seen as required to save your bacon and your present ambitions, your non-apology isn't worth the spit you generated in its expression . . . 

      . . . the old "Drümpf deflection"' eh???   Sorry, it doesn't work as a "good answer" for me.  

      Like someone should have to even say this, but, "just try being fucking honest once in a while — it really is less work (and fewer focus groups and explanations) in the long run" . . . 

      • Duke Cox says:

        "and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free "

        John  8: 32

        Maybe she should try “and ye shall tell the truth, and the truth shall make you free…” It makes life much simpler.

        • Voyageur says:

          As Bible quotes go, I much prefer: "Thy breasts are like twin roe. which feed among the lilies.   Thou art fair, my love, thou art fair."

          • Diogenesdemar says:

            And, here's one In reflection upon your nativity celebration . . . 

            "The spirit is willing, but the flesh — ye gods — who do you think you’re kidding?"




          • BlueCat says:

            I always found that imagery pretty strange. Who wants breasts that look like grazing deer? Sounds repulsive. 

            • Voyageur says:

              Actually, I have had great results reading the song of songs to lady friends in my single days.   Consider it one of the finest erotic works in the English language.   It's also a great cite when some fundie asks for your favorite bible verse.

              • BlueCat says:

                OK but it's still a strange visual.  English language? Don't you mean translation?

                • Voyageur says:

                  No, I mean English.  I studied the Bible enough to know that while other translations may be more accurate, the King James is unmatched for poetic imagery.  I , for one, find the imagery of twin roe feeding among the lilies as one of quiet, enchanting, beauty.   Of course, the Donald Trump version is just "Your boobs are yuge!"

                  • BlueCat says:

                    Yes deer feeding on lilies is a nice image. Breasts that look like deer strike me as strange.

                    I still think it's odd to call it English literature. No matter how good an English translation of Tolstoy is you don't call it English literature. It's still called Russian literature.

                    • Voyageur says:

                      Call it translation if you like but the Bible is still a great work of English liiterature, albeit from Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek sources.  

                  • BlueCat says:

                    PS.  If it works like a charm for you I think it has more to do with your choice of audience. The idea that women in general will fall at the feet of someone spouting this sort of thing strikes me as highly unlikely. And why is such a dedicated feminist boasting about this kind of "success" with women, lines that “work” in the first place? 

          • mamajama55 says:

            I always thought roe was a fish. Makes more sense if its feeding among the lilies, right? Isn't roe also caviar? Either way, pretty repulsive imagery – I'm with the blue cat.

            You may want to retire that particular line, V.

      • BlueCat says:

        Dio, what's done is done. This new message may not cut the ice with you but it's the best message yet and much better than sticking with the old ones.  And she hits the nail on the head by reminding us that it's a binary choice: Her or Trump, a candidate who is probably the most dishonest flim flam man ever to run for the presidency.  For every example of dishonesty he can find to throw at her, Dems can find dozens to throw at him. So that isn't going to be their decisive battle ground with the remaining truly undecided low info presidential election voters, a wash at best. HRC is smart, finally, to take her licks on this one and move to higher ground.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          Agree with that.  But, I'm also reminded that past is prologue . . . sometimes over and over and over again, it seems.

          I wish HRC didn't have such a pronounced Nixonian paranoia streak leading her to act in ways that, later when discovered, require any apology. 

          We've all been, and all caught, the children with hands in the cookie jar who try denying it.  Most of us learn the lesson — some, unfortunately, never do.  It's not attractive, by which I mean, in a seemly sense.  And, it makes me worry what a kid Hillary's age might try, and try to hide, in the future that could have decidedly serious consequences.

          The smartest kid in the room isn't the one who thinks he or she is the smartest, but is probably the one who realizes that there are many just as equally smart or smarter people everywhere, and, therefore, doesn't try to shortcut.

          But, yeah, Drumpf …

          If HRC ever gets around to to saying, "Wow.  I'm really sorry.  I realize now that I've really got to stop doing stupid crap.", I could become her biggest fan.  Until then, well, I guess shit mistakes happen?!?

  5. mamajama55 says:

    Memorial Day History:

    There are conflicting accounts about who/ where/when the first Memorial Day / Decoration day started, but the theme running through them all is of reconciliation, rebuilding, remembering, and a dedication to peace.

    For example, you've seen this one if you use Facebook:

    Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May, 1, 1865, in Charleston, S.C., to honor 257 dead Union soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in an upscale race track converted into a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for two weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 3,000 Black children, where they marched, sang and celebrated.


    It appears to be a true story, but may not be the "first" Memorial / Decoration day.  Southern women may have started decorating graves of Confederate soldiers years earlier, and the re-burial of Union POWs and dedication of the old Charleston race track to be a hallowed cemetary may have been a response to the romanticizing of the Confederate boys who died for "states rights", i.e., the preservation of slavery. The burial of the "Martyrs of the Race Course" appeared in the Charleston Courier in the same edition which reported the assassination of President Lincoln.

    I'm going to attend a traditional patriotic Memorial Day parade in Commerce City today with the ex, a Vietnam vet.  I expect it will be full of lip service tributes to veterans, military flourishes and regalia, and patriotic speeches. Probably, there won't be much talk of peace or reconciliation; rather, it will be about celebrating war. heroes, and abstractions like "freedom".

    Naturally, I'll be thinking: Anything war can do, peace can do better. It's a strange tension that will always exist between honoring courage and idealism of those who at least think that they're sacrificing for a noble cause; and knowing that the big picture is that their blood may be shed so that some corporation's profits may increase. How do we keep on honoring the warriors while questioning and despising the war?

    It's not just me – We as a country have never figured that out completely.




  6. Pseudonymous says:

    Maketa makes the headlines (as much as they exist on the Internet, anyway).

    From the (current) front page of

    Former Colorado sheriff turns self in after extortion and kidnapping charges

  7. BlueCat says:

    Another day out from the Hiroshima visit, another solid Gallup for Obama… 53% approve, 44% disapprove, overall still in positive territory. Would be much better if they didn't always include the outlier Economist poll in the RCP average. Trump's constant attacks and the constant whining about Obama's "apology tours" have not only failed to bring his approval down but have coincided with the best sustained positive ratings since long before the campaign season. Maybe this time Dem candidates will be smart enough not to ignore every Obama administration accomplishment while stampeding away in terror from any connection.

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