Monthly Archives: August 2007

World War III

I was watching Bush at the North American unification summit (in conspiracy-talk, negotiations to collapse the Canada, Mexico, and US governments and run them as a non-democratic corporation), and was really blown away by Bush flat-out saying that the Northwest Passage is “international territory”. I hope he's talking about a passage that runs north of Greenland and north of Ellesmere Island, because traditionally the passage runs smack through long-established Canadian territory (through the heart of Nunavut — once again the original inhabitants get their land taken away by those who seek to exploit it — and the Northwest Territories).

I mean, isn't declaring another country's territory as yours to do with as you please in effect a declaration of war? Or at a minimum, a threat thereof? Not that Bush doesn't thrive on threatening everyone…

Of course, if it runs north of Canada, then it's in Russian or Danish territory. Denmark can't really do a damn thing about it, but Russia can most certainly defend against the US Navy because during the Cold War they realized that they didn't have the money to build the big iron that the US has, and focussed on anti-ship technology instead. So while the US Navy outpowers the Russian Navy, the Russian military in general can sink the entire US military in a couple hours should they choose.

And I cooked a nice shrimp stirfry in a miso vinaigrette over couscous last night (bad picture of it). It turned out fairly well but not as well as the dill and avocado shrimp meal.

Nature is a vast killing field. No bug, plant, or animal including humans can live unless other bugs, plants, or animals die. All we do is trade corporeal forms around the gaming table of existential matter.

Wild animals live with one eye over their shoulders watching for predators, and the other eye looking ahead for prey. I listen to a redwinged blackbird, warbling his sweet song from a bush above the creek. How contented the sounds. In reality, orinthologists believe that the translation of that sweet song goes something like this: “This is my territory and if I catch another redwing trying to move in here, I will peck his beady little eyes out.” And that may be as close to contentment as a songbird ever comes.

– Gene Logsdon, The Contrary Farmer

Other than that, I started doing the legwork to put a small structure on my property out east to run power and communications into. I haven't decided to do it yet (I prefer Ontario to be honest, but that property is big, on the road system, and totally paid off — and you can't go wrong with $78 a year in tax load), but I want to keep it open as an option and it's been years since I've thought about it.

Anyway, time to have a shower and go to the bookstore for a Dr. Seuss book or two and one of those “how to draw” books because Nefarious really enjoys them… I used to love them as a kid as well. Experience update later today as well. I have some other BME things to do, but I am trying to stall them until school starts because then I have more time to dedicate to them properly.

Yeast in action

I made a really good pizza last night… Not that pizza is hard in general, but the dough turned out perfectly and was spiced with sweet pepper, chives, garlic, and more. I have a small amount of the dough left over that I think I'm going to use to make a little lunch pizza later. I did forget to include Jon's secret, which is putting some BBQ sauce in with the tomato sauce, unfortunately — it really puts a pizza over the top.

I'm pretty sure that I don't have anything to worry about in terms of the tear in my leg, but getting an unexpected tear in inner tissue kind of makes me feel queasy! Which is funny for me, because I do lots of “gross” things to my body. I think Saira may be hanging out with Nefarious tonight anyway, so if she is I'll probably take advantage of that time to have it taken a look at…

Golden Mist

Watching some of the Presidential debates I'm really disgusted by the questions on gay marriage and gay rights. One of the real red herring questions in my opinion is the “do you think homosexuality is a choice?” question… While I do find the question interesting on a scientific level, I find it wholly irrelevant because it has such a nasty, nasty undercurrent — the idea that homosexuality is vile at face value, so it can only be somehow justified if “God made it so”. When it comes to making policy, who cares if someone chose it or had it “forced” on them — there's nothing wrong with it, so it's totally irrelevant.

Nefarious and I went to my doctor today, who reluctantly prescribed me Lyrica, a new drug that aggressively targets neuropathic pain (phantom limb pain basically). While I healed in a week from the knee surgery, I still have escalating Type II CRPS from when nerves were severed in my biopsy back in January — I can't wear pants, socks, or even have a blanket on my leg at night because it hurts so much… It kind of sucks.

That said, I'm a little worried about the side effects. I like one of them — “euphoria” — but there are plenty that are less fun like weight gain and worse stuff like memory impairment, lethargy, speech disorders, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, and other crappy stuff. I quit smoking pot a month and a half ago (totally), and am in really good shape right now, and really don't want to deal with any of that crap… so I might not take it for long, we'll see. I'd rather be in pain when it comes right down to it.

Hopefully I won't have any side effects and it won't come to that.

I've been eating mountains of fresh sprouts lately. Mountains. A big salad bowl or two a day! I've been eating a lot in general and have put on about five pounds this week I think, haha… For supper I made a noodle and bay scallop dish in sort of a lime-honey hosin sauce, using the strange secret ingredient of goat parmesan cheese which sounds weird, but actually worked incredibly well.

Other than that I got a MIDI controller keyboard. In between a couple hours of doing a wide variety of medical and dental procedures on every one of Nefarious's toy ponies (they're very sickly it seems), I probably annoyed everyone who could hear it with endless prog rock keyboard riffs… I love big fat analog synth sounds and random noodling away with whatever instrument is nearby… Nefarious did the same although she's more of a free jazz aficionado than prog rock fan.

I like working my wood

I did another carving experiment today after looking at Islamic art at the museum. It's a really simple experiment (with the bumpmap drawn in Photoshop by hand by the way) of some simple weaving just to get an idea of how detailed the machine can produce it, as well as giving me more ideas on how to generate the source images and how they translate into wood.

I wanted to do a “woven” design because I think my next project is going to be a simple chair — a three legged stool, with either a pillow or a rope coil pad, and then a carved rim. The legs will be out of flat board (rather than dowel) and carved as well. That said…

…I really need to make some picture frames! These types of patterns would work nicely on those as well. The funny thing is, as I've hand finished a lot of it, I find that I much prefer working with my hands than I do designing on the computer. The one good thing about the world economy being about to collapse is that hopefully working with your hands will finally become competitive again with what can be mass produced.


Back to the land! Next week I am going to go and look at some yurts… I figure it's the ideal structure for me to have. It's a portable structure that I can pay off without debt (there is no way I'm going to have a mortgage — I was talking to a friend about their beautiful farm, and while I am very jealous of the fine land, I am not jealous of their bank relationship), is portable, and can be anything from a temporary home (and then guest home) while I built a sand-bag house (or whatever), to something that I live in long term.

A few people have questioned whether it's good parenting to want to live somewhere rural and build a house from scratch and live in a glorified tent (which is what a yurt is, I suppose), but personally when I think back on my own upbringing, most of the memories I have — and thus I assume the things that shaped me — are of farm work, my parents making things and building things, and independent thinking and living. Who knows how I'd have turned out if they'd stayed in the city. Maybe better, maybe worse, but I have nothing but good things to say about my childhood.

Why should I mourn the passing of my people? Tribes are made of men, nothing more. Men come and go like the waves of the sea. Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all, we shall see.

One thing we know which the white man may one day discover. Our God is the same God. You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land. But you cannot. He is the God of man. And hit compassion is equal for the red man and the white. This earth is precious to Him. And to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator. The whites, too, shall pass – perhaps sooner than other tribes. Continue to contaminate your bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.

But in your perishing you will shine brightly, fired by the strength of the God who brought you to this land, and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man. That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires. Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone. And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

We might understand if we knew what it was that the white man dreams, what hopes he describes to his children on long winter nights, what visions he burns into their minds, so that they will wish for tomorrow. But we are savages. The white man's dreams are hidden from us. And because they are hidden, we will go our own way.

That's a quote from Chief Seattle in a letter to the US President Franklin Pierce in 1854… I was thinking of it today because it's excerpted in a book I was reading on how to build a house for $500. Seems like a good deal for a house?

Seafood Dishes

Today and yesterday were both seafood dinners. Yesterday I got a cheap tray of salmon remainders (like where it's all chopped up strips — really cheap). It was really basic — just a stir fry with mixed veggies, the fish, udon noodles, and all put together in a Thai green curry sauce (yeah, from a jar, but it was really good). Nothing too it.

That dish was fairly heavy, so tonight I decided to cook something really light, and make it totally from scratch as well — and with the condition that I use an avocado in the dish, because today was the last day it was going to be nice and solid. In the photo on the right you can see everything I used.

I started by stir-frying some red pepper and red onion in macadamia nut oil, fresh garlic, and dill, with half a lime's juice, and some seaweed and sea salt (no other spices). After I think about five minutes I tossed in the shrimp, and then a few minutes later the udon noodles (which I'd done the two minute pre-cook on while doing the stir-fry). A moment later I added the rest of the dill, some green onion, and the other half of the lime's juice. Finally, I added the chopped avocado, cooked that for about thirty seconds, and took it off the heat.

It sat for a few minutes, and was served with a very light drizzle of lime. I'm really happy with how it turned out. I wasn't sure if the avocado would fly or not (I was pretty sure about the dill and lime, but that's basic) — it totally did. Success! Yay!