Oct 232014
 
  • It was 30-something at my house last night.
  • We just did our broadcast and started blog discussion on Beloved over at Alabamians Can Read. I’m glad we read this one. If you’ve read it, come on over and chat with us.
  • Decided I’d drink on vacation and have been loosey-goosey on it ever since. Need to knuckle back down until I’m significantly smaller.
  • It’s Tennessee week. At Alabama, Coach Saban is 7-0 vs. Tennessee, by an average score of 36-11. It’d suit me just fine to see him retire at 70 and be 15-0.
  • When you have very young people in your house, you set the hot water temperature low enough to not severely injure or kill them should they accidentally turn it on themselves. Then, when they grow into adolescents, they use up all of the hot water. I just reset it to an unfriendly temperature for babies but a friendly temperature for everyone having a hot shower, and the gas bill for the month was only $4 higher. Sold.
  • You ever know a celebrity is dead, but can’t recall when it happened, and then when you look it up you’re shocked how long ago it was? That just happened to me with George Harrison. He died in 2001. Invited to guess, I might have missed that ten years.
  • Need a Christmas present idea for me? I’d love an Orient Star Seeker with the white dial. There’s always a 30% or so coupon code floating around out there, so be sure to use it. That’ll make it only $770. Thank you in advance. You’re very generous!
 Posted by at 7:00 am
Oct 212014
 

Raising children is a lot of work. (Thank you, Captain Obvious.)

You ever think about the nature of the work, though? Up until they’re about three, it’s mostly physical. You’re going pretty hard, but a lot of it is mindless, or nearly so. Keep ’em out of stuff, keep their tummies full, keep ’em bathed. Repeat.

Then, it gets a little squirrelier. There is still stuff you need to keep them away from, but they’ve also developed this tendency to do things on their own–and maybe when you’re not watching. So “no no” becomes “don’t drink bleach” or “don’t play in traffic.” Still pretty straightforward, but a bit more complex.

And then comes adolescence.

One of the greatest challenges I’ve faced so far as a father is trying to help Nathan with a vague but complex problem, using terms he’ll understand, so that he’ll be better equipped to handle future similar occurrences. He’s dealing with one right now.

I’m not going to get into the particulars because they’re not important and I don’t want to foster any misunderstanding. It’s just one of those life situations in which there are multiple principals, less-than-ideal channels of communication, and a little too much assumption.

All of which has resulted in an undesirable situation for Nathan, yet one in which we can’t clearly point to any single step in the progression and say “right there you zagged and you should have zigged.”

His mistake was one of systemic nonchalance; of assuming things were fine because he had not heard differently. The corrective action is nebulous, but critical: always remember that given situation X, nobody cares more than you do how you do.

It’s hard for a kid to understand that things can get screwed up for him even when no one, including himself, is acting with malice or even particular incompetence.

He certainly needs to get it, though. Shepherding one’s interests effectively is a necessary skill forever.

 Posted by at 10:30 am
Oct 192014
 

One of the vent holes in my black Alabama cap was a perfect mount for my television antenna yesterday. Also carried my little compressor, which functions as a portable power source and can run my little TV for a very long time. It was a great rig to watch the Alabama-Texas A&M game. Don’t I look cool?

antenna

It hasn’t been a horrible fall soccer season for football game conflicts, but this is the second year in a row I’ve had to watch the A&M game at the field.

 Posted by at 7:32 pm
Oct 182014
 

When the weather turns cooler, one of our favorite go-tos for dinner is Lea’s mom’s chili soup.

You need:

  • 1 lb. (or thereabouts) ground beef
  • 1.5 quarts (or thereabouts) tomato juice
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 14-17-oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni

Brown and drain the beef, chop the onion, and combine all ingredients except the macaroni in either a soup pot or a slow cooker (depending on when you need it to be ready). Simmer on low heat. When you’re 15 minutes (in a pot on the stove) or 30 minutes (in a slow cooker) out from dinner, turn the heat to medium-high and toss in the macaroni. When the pasta is done, reduce heat to serve. That’s it!

chilisoup

Tips:

  • All of the traditional chili accompaniments—sour cream, shredded cheddar, corn chips, and so forth—work well with this soup.
  • We like ground round best for the beef.
  • Use a full tablespoon of mass-market chili powder. If you’re using something nicer like a Mild Bill’s offering, start with two teaspoons and adjust as necessary.
  • This soup is mild as it sits, but it takes super-hot peppers and sauces very well. I heat mine up considerably in the bowl.

It’d be tough for this to be any easier, and our whole family really enjoys it. Give it a shot next time you need something mindless after a long day.

 Posted by at 7:47 pm
Oct 172014
 

ebolaCharles C.W. Cooke makes his 7,954th great point today: while fear of a widespread Ebola outbreak in the Unites States may be irrational, fear of government incompetence is eminently reasonable.

Can these people do anything right?

Quarantine? Yeah, probably a good idea unless you, you know, crave your favorite restaurant. We don’t need a travel ban. We’re considering a travel ban. A “violated protocol” infected that nurse. (“Mistakes were made,” anyone?) We don’t need an Ebola czar. Oh, now we do, and a partisan hack lawyer with no medical background is just the guy for the job.

I spend significant time arguing against government’s truly massive overreach into our lives, and the deplorable ongoing practice of normalizing it for younger generations. But this is exactly the sort of crisis that requires quick and authoritative action, and the Obama White House apparently can’t deliver it.

To point out such is no cheap political ploy, as much as Democrat attack dogs would like you to believe that.

I suspect the United States will once again be Ebola-free sooner rather than later. I wish I could see evidence that the ostensible leader of my country were working harder and smarter to bring that about.

 Posted by at 3:25 pm

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