Late Night Open Thread

I was going to go to bed right after the Wings lost, but I got sucked into the Discovery Channel’s special on North America. So visually stunning, and Magnum P.I. has a really great voice and is a natural narrator.

*** Update ***

This show is like the Muppets in that kids will love it but there is some adult humor thrown in, too. They just had a scene of a chipmunk in PA who was storing his winter wares, and his neighbor, rather than go find his own, was stealing them. Chipmunk #1 caught the thief in the act, and a big rumpus occurred with chipmunk #1 bringing the hurt, and then they went to commercial break with Tom Selleck stating, and I quote, “Never mess with a chipmunk’s nuts.”

I’m still snickering.

Open Thread

Hope you all had a good Memorial Day. I’ve been dealing with sinuses all day (love this weather flipping from 80 to 40 to 75 to 32 to 5o to 40. It is May, right?). At any rate, this has been the general theme of the day:


Big game between the Red Wings and Blackhawks coming up in a couple minutes.

*** Update ***

You want MOAR Tunch? Here is an action picture of fatboy in thebackyard from two minutes ago. It is, as always, a little fuzzy:


Another Memorial Day Open Thread

So.  A good Memorial Day to you all.  I’ve got some folks in my thoughts, as I know many here do.

It’s a grand day in the home of the bean and the cod.  Compared to what many in parts west of here have suffered recently, I’d have to admit that complaining about the weather is in poor form at least, but it is still true that this is our first really glorious spring day after about a week of cold and damp.

Which is why I took my camera along to a favorite nearby park on the pre-lunch walk with the sprout.  There I was rewarded with this sight:

Heron wide crop 3

In other useful news:  it was a significant (ending in 0) birthday for my spouse this week, and we had the party yesterday.  We hired a couple of folks to handle set up and serving, but former restaurant chef wife and myself did the cooking.  Among other things, I made this, from my new favorite cookbook, Yoram Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem.

It’s a fabulous lamb recipe, and worth grabbing the spices you may not have in your larder to achieve.  I modify the instructions a little — I use flat parsley instead of cilantro, and more significantly, I substitute a 3 lb or so boneless leg for the specified bigger bone-in haunch, and I slash it inside and out to really marry the marinade to the meat.  Also, I roast 400° (F) for about a much shorter time than the recipe calls for, as my goal isn’t actually a shwarma substitute; I want crispy on the outside, rare to medium rare at the center.  Those mods in hand, this is the best leg o’ lamb I’ve had in a month of Sundays, and me a sheep farmer’s nephew.  (I can really recommend the cookbook in general, also too.)

Tonight’s the obligatory rib-steak on the grill. (Memorial Day, remember; start of the barbecuing season and all that.)  I know John has asserted that there is one true path to perfect steaktitude (too lazy to look up the post, me) but I plan to smoke the rib for about 15 minutes on a very slow Weber, and then finish it with a quick sear on the stove.  I’d make a scallion horseradish butter to go with it if my other half permitted, but she most likely won’t, so we’ll probably go with a bit of chimichurri to sharpen up the moment.

Put your feasting plans in the comments — and I and mine wish all here a happy, safe, well-fed end to the holiday.

Open Thread – Memorial Day Q&A

Q: What kind of assholes makes their low-paid workers work on Memorial Day?

A: The “property management company” (read: “lawn mowers”) who mow my neighbor’s yard with two industrial-strength mowers at a time.

Share your first world problems, or anything else in this open thread.

Early Morning Open Thread: Memorial Day

Sebastian Junger, in the Washington Post:

The growing cultural gap between American society and our military is dangerous and unhealthy. The sense that war belongs exclusively to the soldiers and generals may be one of the most destructive expressions of this gap. Both sides are to blame. I know many soldiers who don’t want to be called heroes — a grotesquely misused word — or told that they did their duty; some don’t want to be thanked. Soldiers know all too well how much killing — mostly of civilians — goes on in war. Congratulations make them feel that people back home have no idea what happens when a human body encounters the machinery of war.

I am no pacifist. I’m glad the police in my home town of New York carry guns, and every war I have ever covered as a journalist has been ended by armed Western intervention. I approved of all of it, including our entry into Afghanistan… But the obscenity of war is not diminished when that conflict is righteous or necessary or noble. And when soldiers come home spiritually polluted by the killing that they committed, or even just witnessed, many hope that their country will share the moral responsibility of such a grave event.

Their country doesn’t…

Our enormously complex society can’t just start performing tribal rituals designed to diminish combat trauma, but there may be things we can do. The therapeutic power of storytelling, for example, could give combat veterans an emotional outlet and allow civilians to demonstrate their personal involvement. On Memorial Day or Veterans Day, in addition to traditional parades, communities could make their city or town hall available for vets to tell their stories. Each could get, say, 10 minutes to tell his or her experience at war.

Attendance could not be mandatory, but on that day “I support the troops” would mean spending hours listening to our vets. We would hear a lot of anger and pain. We would also hear a lot of pride. Some of what would be said would make you uncomfortable, whether you are liberal or conservative, military or nonmilitary, young or old. But there is no point in having a conversation about war that is not completely honest….

Seriously: Read the whole thing — it’s not long!