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John Ballard
Canton, GA
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Apparently they knew the link was there but discovering the mechanism is new. http://pllqt.it/7pk7C3
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Interesting that litigation becomes part of an instant response to a medical issue. Don't you just love that mercenary spin on American health care?
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Come to think of it, STD rates might also get better. Even TB (which I once heard an army doctor label as a "venereal disease").
Toggle Commented Apr 30, 2014 on Saudi Arabia: Garlic, the MERS fighter at H5N1
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I'm on board with the slippery slope danger, but it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you. And until we were/are certain that "they" numbered only two the call erred on the side of caution and safety. I read that these two were living at a Section Eight address but it was not clear they were the ones getting housing assistance. In any case they either had financial assistance (or the actual explosives and products used) from some additional source. Had there been other perpetrators adding to the drama (and are were certain there were not?) and other lives had been lost, the criticism would have been that not enough was done to avert that outcome. The authorities were in a no-win situation. Also, because of overlapping jurisdictions (local, state, federal, military, etc.) any of them (together with family, friends and supporters) left out of the effort would complain of having been slighted. A wholesale effort of all agencies was the only politically feasible way around segment resentments. Besides, it might have been worse. Just a word or two from the right people and the entire industrial Northeast could have been paralyzed. As for everyone being involved, civilians and all, I'm not sure it was all that bad. Lots of otherwise ignorant people would have gone about their business as though nothing important was happening. There are more dull-witted and indifferent people than we want to think about. And in other news, speaking of ignorance and other social handicaps, I just came across the BuzzFeed story "27 People Who Think Alleged Bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev Is Hot" which last I checked has received over 136,000 hits. http://qote.me/kLD2Hu What we witnessed this week was the fear industrial complex flexing its muscles.
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2013 on Paranoia, The Destroyer at Tom Watson
I must have moved too quickly this morning. It looked like comments were closed here. Anyway, here is the link to my farewell. http://accidentalblogger.typepad.com/accidental_blogger/2012/12/jamaica-black-spiced-fruitcake-john-ballard.html?cid=6a00d8341c575d53ef017d3ea803f6970c#comment-6a00d8341c575d53ef017d3ea803f6970c
Toggle Commented Dec 10, 2012 on End of the line at Accidental Blogger
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Ruchira, I was unable to leave this comment at your farewell message so I'm putting it here. When I saw that title of your yet unpublished post I had a strong suspicion what was about to happen. Actually you are only following a technological sea change that has been going on for some time and I, for one, completely understand. My earlier comment reflecting on the many menu items I once served but are now forgotten turns out to have been something of a prologue to this ending. This now makes three places on the Web that I have carved into a tree or two. I sometimes fantasize that at some distant time curiosity may drive one of my heirs in future generations to make a forensic trip into the past, chasing the rabbit holes found by search engines. Heck, I can already imagine an app for that! I did that with genealogy during my high school days and it was great fun. (I even discovered to their surprise that my parents were fourth cousins who shared a common fourth great-grandmother. That's not a problem since we all have 64 great-great-great-great grandparents and very few of us even know who they all were.) But I digress... Many thanks for your kind invitation and what has turned out to be a very good visit. Thanks to Facebook and the 3Quarks community we will continue to be in touch. This is a good place for that great line at the end of Casablanca -- I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. http://youtu.be/5kiNJcDG4E0
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Jesse, your mention of food biases reminds me of a few items that (like fruitcake, maybe) have gone out of favor. When I first started in the cafeteria business we had several menu items that were on the way out. Tomato aspic is the first I recall. It was on the display when I started in the mid-Seventies but sales were slipping and by the end of the decade it was no longer taking up space. Like many other products we still had the recipe on file but those files were almost never purged of obsolete recipes. I saw recipes to make apple jelly from the peelings of apples left when apples were prepared for pies, for "cookies" which could be made on sheet pans only to be ground up to make cheesecake crusts, sausage made from scratch, Virginia spoon-bread, noodles made from scratch, etc. And we made mayonnaise and buttermilk from scratch until the late Eightes. (To make buttermilk we put five pounds of dry milk powder into five gallons of luke-warm water, whipped it together, poured in a gallon of dairy buttermilk and let it sit at room temperature overnight. Used for cornbread, biscuits and batters for the kitchen -- fried fish, chicken, cutlets, etc.) Sliced ham was obligatory for Sundays and it was always served with raisin sauce, but the sauce vanished during the early Nineties. Raisin pie was also on the dessert display but that lost favor as well. (I love raisins but apparently they had a public relations failure I never saw.) Which reminds me of mincemeat pie, another seasonal favorite that vanished. Fresh fruit salads were usually displayed with a choice of plain (pineapple juice to keep them moist) or with poppy seed dressing which was delightful but also went the way of raisin sauce for sliced ham. And finally, hot banana pudding was the most popular dessert I ever served but only because I only offered it once a week... but I never see it now because it takes too much trouble to monitor it, getting it off the display when the bananas turn brown or the meringue gets weepy. A great loss, because any that fails the public cosmetics test can still be made into delicious banana muffins... But that's become part of an old retired cafeteria manager's memory file. Meantime, to update the fruitcake, the two loaf pans came out fine after about three hours of slow cooking in a big pan of shallow water. After the cooled it would have been criminal to wrap them up for a month without a little taste, so with a very sharp slicing knife I cut about an inch and a half off one end and wrapped the rest up to be out of sight, out of mind until Christmas. The sample was cut into finger food chunks which were still very wet and to my surprise still tasted of spirits. But the flavor profile was great. Some of the fruits were still hard despite soaking and cooking. I think the almonds, figs and some of the dried mango may have been harder than I expected, but now, four days later, they seem to be softening. In the same way that I serve boiled custard in little disposable paper cups, I rather like putting the fruitcake out as finger food instead of cake-type slices. I can't stand to see people either eating more than they want out of a misplaced sense of courtesy, or worse, leaving half a piece to be tossed. I have a higher level of tolerance for ignorance than waste. Besides, any food that takes a lot of time and trouble deserves rationing, no matter how good it might be.
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I'm a day into the recipe now. It took a long time to chop and measure all that fruit, plus I couldn't find any currants. I think I may have bought the last box in Cherokee County last year so I put in an additional three cups of dates, candied pineapple and dried mango. This recipe is also expensive compared with our typical food budget. When I went to the package store to get rum the bottles didn't print clearly how many fluid ounces were in the bottle, so one of the clerks looked at a chart and told me the one I got was twenty-four and some ounces. I was delighted it happened to be exactly what the recipe called for. When I emptied the bottle into the gallon jar with the fruit it seemed to be a lot more than it needed to be, but I figured it would soak up in the dried fruit. (That's what I remember from when I did the recipe about twenty-five years ago.) Well, this morning I got suspicious. I got the empty bottle, filled it with water and measured it to be well over four cups, easily far too much. So I carefully held the fruit and recovered the excess rum, now wonderfully flavored by all those dried fruits, and funneled it into a nearly-empty brandy bottle which was down to less than an ounce. I now have a wonderful reserve of spiced rum with all those fruit flavors and a taste of brandy waiting for the next bowl of vanilla ice-cream (or, you guessed it, boiled custard!) Too much on my plate today for more and tomorrow I have an assignment, so making and cooking the cakes will likely be Tuesday. Will keep you posted.
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I have a confession to make. I am a fruitcake lover. Fruitcake jokes strike me as tired gestures of small minds which have run out of meaningful content. My love of fruitcake has roots in childhood when on special of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2012 at Accidental Blogger
Ruchira, your comment reminds me of a time we served this custard to someone who had never had it, along with a couple of other desserts. (I learned some time ago to ration it by serving it in little paper cups, the disposable kind sometimes used for taking medicine or brushing teeth. It's much better to offer refills than risk wasting when guests don't finish what they have been served.) Anyway, after a small taste one guest proceeded to pour his custard over a slice of cake. Not a bad idea. The challenge at our house is leaving it alone long enough to get cold. I realized years ago to expect part of the first batch to be served hot to those of us (yes, me as well) who can't wait for it to refrigerate. With a little practice each batch only takes about half an hour and three or four batches will furnish what we need for couple of days.
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Reblogged here from my old blog. Four years ago I posted this recipe while taking a break from Thanksgiving kitchen duties. It was noticed by the Google robots and appears among the first links when I search for "boiled custard... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2012 at Accidental Blogger
This must be it. http://youtu.be/vpbSwSlP4Yc Totally delightful. And yes, very poetic. I see the similarity. Too bad she hasn't Sandmonkey's insights. She's the Thomas Kinkade of Twitter free verse. And here is the Farewell Speech, also by Shatner. http://youtu.be/mF_t1A8LGzg This is much better and, as you say, closer to poetry. Prior to Palin I had never heard that great descriptive term "word salad."
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We seem to be a diverse bunch. I haven't a portable phone at all. A few times a year I borrow my wife's cell phone for some time-critical or safety reason, but otherwise I can be easily reached wherever I am or at my destination and it's not save to drive while talking, so.... My Twitter account is at my PC. That way I'm in no danger of becoming addicted. I don't use if for social reasons anyway. I follow journalists and reporters who send out links and comments, sometimes pictures. Twitter is my main news feed. Having said all that, I got a tablet yesterday and am learning to use it. I've resisted til now because I hate the idea of using that hunt-and-peck on-screen keyboard, but most of the new tablets are able to link with auxiliary keyboards, most of which will fit snugly in a case with the tablet when not in use. Unfortunately Twitter doesn't operate fully with the android platform (as far as I can tell) and my Google Reader looks alien. But when it's time for a search and I touch the field, at the same time that the "keyboard" pops up, so does a little microphone icon at the end of the field. Tap on that and another feature opens and you can speak your search term and the think understands and puts it into the search field without typing. I'm blown away! It's supposed to go 8 hours on one battery charge, more if it's only "working" instead of watching a movie. And the one I have doesn't communicate with a printer. Which is of little importance since I haven't figured out how to copy and paste either. No highlighting as far as I can tell. Oh, and it takes pictures. Lens in the back to use as a camera. Another in the front if you don't mind seeing yourself. That's for Skype, I think. There's a photoshop application but as in the case of documents, I guess you have to email them someplace to get printed. If you don't have one, stay away from them. Dean has the right idea. This new technology is more addictive than illegal drugs.
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The career of General David Petraeus is under the microscope. At the risk of being a scandal-monger I have to drag out the skeleton of Col. Ted Westhusing, a field-grade officer in Iraq who committed suicide in June, 2005. The... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2012 at Accidental Blogger
In my post-retirement job as senior care-giver I have seen enough dementia and Alzheimer's to conclude that the word "voluntary" sometimes loses all meaning. That is why I have become evangelistic about promoting advance directives any chance I get. A properly executed and witnessed advance directive for medical care should be part of everyone's medical records, readily available to family and medical personnel, with at least three designated agents who know who they are, all of whom have agreed to that responsibility. This is a tall order, but I am an admitted extremist in this matter. In fact, this should become obligatory for all Medicare beneficiaries and updated no less than every five years.
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Wow! This part hits like a ton of bricks: Petraeus’s Icarus flight began when he set himself above President Obama. Accustomed to being a demigod, expert at polishing his own celebrity and swaying public opinion, Petraeus did not accept the new president’s desire to head for the nearest exit ramp on Afghanistan in 2009. The general began lobbying for a surge in private sessions with reporters and undercutting the president, who was trying to make a searingly hard call. Petraeus rolled the younger commander in chief into going ahead with a bound-to-fail surge in Afghanistan, just as, half-a-century earlier, the C.I.A. had rolled Jack Kennedy into going ahead with the bound-to-fail Bay of Pigs scheme. Both missions defied logic, but the untested presidents put aside their own doubts and instincts, caving to experience.
Toggle Commented Nov 14, 2012 on A Visual Aid (Sujatha) at Accidental Blogger
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Kids learn about phones really soon. Our three-year-old grand-daughter doesn't remember a time when she didn't have full access to her mom's second Mac-book pro and iPhone. She might spill a beverage but her little index fingers are as delicate as those of a surgeon when she's around a touch screen. And in the last few months she has figured out which icon will get the phone to call our house for a conversation with her Grandma.
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The media is having a ball with this circus. I have to share this comment from one of my Facebook friends... and now ..... voluptuous twin sister enters stage left. about the only thing this scandal doesn't have that would keep it from eclipsing the profumo affair would be cristine keeler's axe-wielding jamaican drug dealer beau, "lucky" gordon.
Toggle Commented Nov 14, 2012 on A Visual Aid (Sujatha) at Accidental Blogger
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If you follow the link you can see each of the Tweets in a string which I curated by using Chirpstory, a third-party application for that purpose. It consists of about twenty messages were written extemporaneously in a stream, the first marked at 1:46PM and the last at 2:12PM. That much took about half an hour. For the rest in my comment I didn't use Chirpstory. I just went straight to his timeline, copied them all in a string, pasted them into a blank page and took it from there; cut-and-paste to reverse them to read in proper sequence, and I was done. And yes, it was all over very quickly. As I said, they are like smoke rings or decorations on a cake -- very short life expectancy. And if nobody grabs them they vanish into the quagmire of a million others, like chatter in Times Square at midnight on New Years Eve. Twitter is a public forum except for rare "protected" accounts. I think anyone can take a look even if you don't have an account but I'm not sure. Here is my timeline. You can try it and see if it's accessible. (Timelines scroll down indefinitely as long as Twitter (or your hard drive) don't get overloaded. Unfortunately there is no individual search feature so if you want to keep something you need to flage it "favorite" or keep it in a list.) https://twitter.com/Hootsbudy And here is Sandmonkey's timeline, much of which is in Arabic. https://twitter.com/Sandmonkey Twitter is really best used by phones for texting and that's how most young people use it to keep in touch with their peers. I don't have a portable phone so I access my account only through the Web, nearly always from my home PC but on occasion from elsewhere when I take my little portable netbook where there is Wifi. I follow mostly journalists and that is my principle source of keeping up with news, magazine articles and whatever events are happening.
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And he continues even after I stopped capturing the smoke rings... (Response messages are tagged "Chorus.") >---WATCH---< Watch as experiments get made in all sectors for solutions, as social consiousness gets developed, at our darkest days.. Watch as a society gets formed, for the first time, locally, then regionally, then nationally. Watch as people unify based on mutual benefit Watch as solar energy & recycling will become a staple of every community, watch as the social norms will start reflecting local population. Those who will stay, will work on their local problems, & provide the solutions to them as much as possible...watch... (Chorus:) where girls can ride bicycles, swim, run...and do whatever they want without feeling ashamed or being molested! I am doing experiments in that right now, in localized secuirty, to see if my block can become secure using technological means... Those who have the means will realzie that Cairo may not fit them anymore, & will move to the beaches, where it's less crowded & away.. Those who can actually help, the best of the best that joined the revolution to build will start building now & will listen to no one. (Chorus) what you are so wonderfully describing is not exclusive to Egypt. It is happening all over the world, mark my words ;)
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Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey spins out a poetic vision of the future via Twitter. I'm tagging this "Poetry" because Tweets (140 characters) remind me of haiku (17 sylables) or sonnet form (14 lines). I know Ruchira (and others, I'm sure) has... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2012 at Accidental Blogger
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Veterans Day is tomorrow. I have two readings to recommend. The first frustrates me so bad I can't say anything rational about it. Read it for yourself. The second is nostalgic but excellent. It appeals to my pacifist sensibilities at... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2012 at Accidental Blogger
Jonathan Chait, writing a few weeks ago (October 14), spun out a lengthy string of reflections and predictions well before Hurricane Sandy and Election Day. Not knowing what the outcome of the election might be he covered a lot of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2012 at Accidental Blogger
I recall as an undergrad at Georgia State hearing that we had a highly respected school of Business. And the elite of the business school were studying actuarial science, the numbers geeks working for insurance and financial firms who get the big bucks. It's not a stretch to think of today's election strategy geeks as an elite cohort.It seems Nate Silver comes out of this election as a rock star for polling. And the Obama team turns out to be for politics what Michael Phelps is to swimming. This commentary describes how the Obama team won using the Rove formula. http://washingtonexaminer.com/obamas-victory-is-a-victory-for-karl-rove/article/2512858#.UJsD3G_A-62 He DIDN'T BUILD THAT vehicle but he sure learned how to drive it.
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You make valid points, especially about the chewing gum. Justice Scalia drew a similar parallel with cosmetics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UgQGJjQq4uk Then there's this. http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2012/11/a-campaign-map-morphed-by-money.html The real money is not spent on advertising as much as lobbying which influences the elected representatives responsible for crafting policies and legislation. Occasionally some ad or other will have an impace, but most everyday voters are indifferent to policy matters that do not concern them directly. Campaigns are mostly competing games of bait-and-switch and bending the narrative.
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