Saturday, August 28, 2021

Gone Red, Now 'Critical'


Here in Onondaga county schools are preparing to open for full time classes.

Last year we were seeing about 15 new cases/day of the original strain of COVID when school opened with a hybrid system in which students were split into two groups, each group attending in-person two days/week.

This year we're logging over 100 cases/day of the more infectious Delta varient and the kids are going back full-time.

Last year there was no state fair in Onondaga county. This year the fair is running longer than ever, 18 days, and will wrap up on Labor Day, one week before school starts.

Apparently we've given up and we're prepared to let the children suffer the brunt of the current wave. The virus hasn't given up of course.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Friday, August 6, 2021

Non-Sterilizing Vaccines Aren't Enough

 What doesn't kill you mutates and tries again.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Still... in an asylum run by inmates.

So many people are out and about without masks, oblivious to the fact that vaccinated people can still transmit infection and keep Covid circulating.


Monday, May 24, 2021

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Over 500,000 Dead


The World Is a Beautiful Place

 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-2021)


The world is a beautiful place

to be born into

if you don't mind happiness

not always being

so very much fun

if you don't mind a touch of hell

now and then

just when everything is fine

because even in heaven

they don't sing

all the time


The world is a beautiful place

to be born into

if you don't mind some people dying

all the time

or maybe only starving

some of the time

which isn't half bad

if it isn't you


Oh the world is a beautiful place

to be born into

if you don't much mind

a few dead minds

in the higher places

or a bomb or two

now and then

in your upturned faces

or such other improprieties

as our Name Brand society

is prey to

with its men of distinction

and its men of extinction

and its priests

and other patrolmen


and its various segregations

and congressional investigations

and other constipations

that our fool flesh

                                                                 is heir to

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Good Luck


I was first eligible to vote in a US presidential election forty-eight years ago. At that time the world faced one widely acknowledged existential threat, nuclear war, and the US was engaged in one undeclared war of aggression.

Forty-eight years later humans now face at least five existential threats by my count, one a largely unacknowledged crisis: nuclear war, climate destabilization, species extinctions, pandemics and the artificial intelligence humans increasingly rely on to keep their affairs in order. In recent years the US has been engaged in at least seven undeclared wars of aggression, several proxy wars and more if one considers economic sanctions an act of war.

We now face the most insurmountable problems in human history and in its dotage the moldering US political system offers two potential leaders, two addlepated septuagenarians, one of whom has spent his life reaping the rewards of the bloodsucking rapacious system the other one did everything he could to expand over the past forty-eight years!

This year the planet has been 1.3ºC warmer since 1890 and there is no way humans can keep it from continuing to warm far more than 1.5ºC.

This is probably my last presidential election and I think I have finally come to terms with the futility of voting. I leave it to others to do what they will. They'll be the ones to live with it.

Good luck y'all.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Waiting For Something...Anything

My gawd, the lack of imagination and learned helplessness of the American electorate.

I’ve been hit with a new sense of dread. The open display of Republicans involved in the Democrats’ convention seems like such obvious confirmation that the US is a one party state of inverted totalitarianism but – 'crickets'.

It seems the GOP convention was only marginally more saturated with religious symbolism, moral posturing and spiritual gaslighting than the Democrats'…and they didn’t even let Marianne Williamson near a camera.

’Tis the times’ plague, when madmen lead the blind...

Plague and fires, floods, locusts...

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Lost At Sea

Can a nation built on blood
Find its way out of the mud?
Will the people at the top
Lose their way enough to stop?
Can we begin again?

Every thought that I ignore
Another question's at my door
Yes, when will we begin
To believe in this again?
Can we believe?
Can we believe?

-Norah Jones

Sunday, June 21, 2015

No Going Back

The house looks like some sad, old bag lady with a purloined tiara but at least we've done something about our energy use. I'm not entirely sure when we offset the energy used to manufacture the panels, etc. but at the moment we're adding renewal energy to the electrical grid.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Winter Weary

Snowmen made by a clever parking booth attendant up at SU.

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Record Low

The airport recorded a record low of -17º early this morning while the reading from the cottage was -11º. It seems we continue to be one of the few islands on the globe with temperatures below, rather than above average.

I bundled up yesterday and ventured out. I took care of the birds and realized the conditions weren't nearly as bad as I expected.

I still wasn't sure how much exertion I should extend in the cold so I pushed some of the snow to the periphery. It also took considerably more effort to lift the snow with the extra layers of clothing I was wearing. In the end I was sweating and more worried about heat prostration than getting chilled!

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Very Own Indigo Rose

They seem to take a surprisingly long time to ripen but they are delicious and plentiful!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Garden Enemy #1

I couldn't find a photo of a munk eating an immature, green tomato, probably because no one would expect to see it. I couldn't believe it myself yesterday when I found a half-eaten tomato in the garden. I noticed two missing on the plants, one Stupice and one Rutgers, and I found the second under the lovage.

At least I think I trapped the culprit late yesterday and took it over to the owls at Green Lakes. There's no sign of predation this morning and the eggplant I set out yesterday look lovely.

The usual #1 garden enemy, the deer, have been oddly absent in recent weeks and the one groundhog we saw briefly seems to have moved on.

Still I'm keeping the possibility of a screened garden in mind.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Indigo Rose

May, 14: by far the earliest date on which I have set out tomatoes.

They're only four cherry tomato plants set out in pots but they're planted where they're meant to grow: two different red varieties (Gardener's Sweetheart, a grape, and Fox Cherry) and two Indigo Rose the fruit of which I can't wait to see for myself.

The remaining pots are cleaned and ready. Now I wait for seedlings I ordered from Lazy Ox Farm in Missouri because I just couldn't grow tomatoes without including two of my favorites, Jaune Flamme and Snow White.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I Will Have Tomatoes In 2014!

I can't believe how my mindset has swung 180º in less than a week. I can't believe I can look out back and see Stupice seedlings and a big pot of nasturtiums this morning when a week ago I'd all but given up on a garden.

I went to the farmers' market last Saturday and as I stood at the Forty Weight Coffee table talking to Andrew, I glanced at a sign in the stall next to him. It listed the varieties of tomato seedlings they were selling including Stupice!

I went back to the Thursday market and spent a good bit of time talking to Jamie (Wyllie Fox Farm) about seedlings. I came home with a flat of 18 which should be sufficient but I will be going back next week for some additional cherry tomato varieties and a striped eggplant called Listada De Gandia.

Jamie expects to have some nasturtiums in a week or so but I couldn't resist a big pot of three varieties from the only vendor who had them yesterday.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My Last Cheesecake?

In an effort to avoid doing what I usually do, I'm taking a moment to finish what I started regarding cheesecake.

I made a cheesecake this week but cut it up before I thought to take a photo. This is at least a fairly good image of the texture, light and perfectly dry the way I like it with a lovely touch of vanilla and lemon.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Ultimate Cheesecake

McCall's Cooking School, circa 1975?

I'm going through old recipe files. This one has been haunting me since I pulled it out a few weeks ago.

Many years ago I think I made it twice before I found a recipe I liked better for the filling but I continued to use the Lindy's version for the crust. I have never liked a graham cracker crust for cheesecake. Who's idea was that I'd like to know.

The recipe I use for the filling is one that the Family Circle test kitchen called "Our Finest Cheesecake" and is attributed to John Clancy, author of "John Clancy's Baking Book". I like it because the cake is lighter and drier than most.

1.5 lb. cream cheese, room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar (or less)

1/4 tsp. salt
6 eggs, separated, room temperature
1 pint sour cream
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Grated rind of 1 lemon 

Juice of 1/2 lemon

With electric mixer on low speed or with a wooden spoon, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until soft. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy. 

Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in sour cream, flour, vanilla, lemon rind, lemon juice and salt until smooth. 

Beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold whites into the cheese mixture, soufflé-fashion, until well blended. Pour into prepared pan. 

Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F) 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until top is golden; turn off oven heat and allow cake to cool in oven for 1 hour and then remove it from oven to cool on a wire rack at room temperature.

Chill to ripen overnight before serving. Dust with powdered sugar if desired just before cutting.

There's no getting around it. I'm going to make a cheesecake.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Enough Already

I love the snow but I've run out of room to pile it. "Uncle!!"

When the pile in the middle of the driveway gets this size I always wish I knew someone who could help me sculpt it into a replica of the Victor Emmanuel II Monument, Rome's 'Wedding Cake'.