Jul 152019

A moment ago, the bail hearing for Jeffrey Epstein resumed. Each side will have 20 minutes today, with Judge Richard Berman to issue a ruling on Thursday.

Hopefully, we may soon begin plausibly imagining that this sorry bastard will never again be free. More importantly, so may his victims.

Jeffrey Epstein is a demonstrably unrepentant and evil predator, and he preyed upon children. Presuming he is held until trial and then convicted—more evidence is rolling in daily—that all but guarantees him one of two broad remaining life narratives. He may live another decade or two all by himself. Or, he may live for a time that may even be short enough to be measured in weeks, with a violent end.

(You see, even prison populations don’t care for monsters who hurt children.)

 Posted by at 8:26 am
Jul 112019
  • All right, I’ve successfully incorporated progressive-lens eyeglasses into my life. I have an occasional odd moment, but mostly I don’t notice them now. I’ll switch between these and monovision contact lenses freely. Don’t see any need to try multifocal contact lenses anytime soon.
  • H. Ross Perot, Eagle Scout, Texas magnate, vigilante rescue mission organizer, billionaire, and the man who elected Bill Clinton in 1992, has died at 89. Now that guy was an American. RIP.
  • My affection for summer has steadily waned as I’ve gotten older, but I still love the return of real, locally grown tomatoes. It is shameful what industrial agriculture has done to them.
  • I am always looking for hot wings to review. If you know of a good place that isn’t listed on my #hsvhotwings page, then please let me know.
  • Have you seen this “Top Fan” business on Facebook? When you like a page and comment on its posts, you can be recognized as such, and it says Top Fan on your comments. Apparently you have to qualify for it weekly, however, so if you slack, you can lose it. Not sure what the point is. Seems kind of silly.
  • This has been an interesting journey indeed. I decided to drink on spring break last year, and since then have gone back and forth—a month abstaining, a week not, three weeks abstaining, and so forth. I’m considering it carefully again and leaning toward teetotalism without exception, frankly. It’s a slam-dunk simplification of the way I do things, and how often are those available?
  • Stranger Things 3 has been out there for six days, and so far nothing has been spoiled for me. (We actually binged the rest of Scott & Bailey over the long weekend, contrary to what we thought would happen.) Should probably get on the stick, however.
 Posted by at 10:00 am
Jul 092019

Convicted sex offender and human trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was arrested Saturday on a federal sex trafficking and conspiracy indictment. He is currently in jail, waiting for the resumption of his bail hearing on Thursday.

I have a few things to say about this, and I’ll just make that my first point. I will join many others in saying that Epstein should absolutely be detained until trial. Look, the guy’s ultra-rich and nailed to the wall, which means that if he’s released, we’ll never see him again. No bail for Epstein.

Secondly, I plead with you all to stop calling the alleged victims “young women.” They are girls. That is the point. The deeds outlined in this indictment are especially heinous because these are children whose innocence has been stolen by a powerful, entitled, depraved man and those in his employ.

Third, heads should roll. If there is plausible documentation that shows a person in the same place at the same time as the trafficked girls, then name that person. Bill Clinton has issued a completely convincing statement in which he says yeah, he knew him and flew on the plane and stuff, but, you know, only to do the important godly humanitarian good work, not the sexual predation of children, which is of course deplorable.

Ah, Bill. Still finding a way not to inhale in 2019.

Fourth and most importantly, don’t blow this. We’ve got another solid pass at this bastard, and though we’ve still got piles of defendant money and influence to mitigate, I think the needle has moved a bit on human trafficking perception and understanding. There’s still too much “boys will be boys” nonsense out there to navigate—the fizzling Robert Kraft case is instructive—but I hope more people get it now.

Plus, did you read that indictment? I believe there is an orgy of evidence here.

(To go with your island, Mr. Epstein. Here’s wishing you a truly miserable rest of your life.)

 Posted by at 12:37 pm
Jul 082019

This entry in my Ten-Buck Huntsville Yums post series is about the de facto national dish of Vietnam: pho! I first had pho in late 2002 and fell for it hard. For the past several years, the best pho in the area has been at Saigon, on Madison Boulevard in Madison.

Pho is a rice noodle soup of somewhat variable composition (and the Wikipedia topic contains an excellent history, if you are so inclined). The soup comes to your table with the noodles, onions, and meat. You also get a plate of Thai basil, cilantro, mung bean sprouts, sliced jalapenos, and lime to add to taste.

The first pho I had was pho dac biet—the most deluxe beef version of the soup, with flank steak, brisket, meatballs, tendon, and tripe. Today I prefer pho tai, which is similar but with only the flank steak. It’s sliced very thinly and dropped into the hot broth raw to cook.

Saigon’s pho tai. (Click for a closer look.)

I generally use most of the garnishes, and I also add a goodly dollop of sriracha. (The soup is not inherently spicy-hot.)

All garnished up and ready to mix! (Click to explore more closely.)

The spice blend is complex, including ginger, star anise, and coriander. Saigon’s seems to pop just a bit more vibrantly, and everything is always so fresh-looking and tasting.

If you already like pho, make haste! If you haven’t tried it yet, be warned: it’s gonna getcha! (And be ready to make a mess of your shirt eating your first few bowls!)

8760 Madison Boulevard, Madison (256-772-0202), open 11-9

 Posted by at 12:19 pm
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!