Sunday, January 29, 2006
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Now a lot of you have heard stories, and a couple have even had the pleasure, but my wife really does make the world s best rice. Now a few warnings: 1) She is Puerto Rican, so no matter what, her rice will always come up a little better. 2) This is plain rice with no spices added 3) I DID NOT TELL YOU ANY OF THIS!!! Ok, now that we ve got those out of the way – This is how you make Kela s Perfect Rice:
Start with 2 cups of Basmati Rice (must be Basmati) that comes bagged or in plastic. There is bunch of brands out there that come in burlap, avoid these unless they have an internal plastic bag protecting them from the dangers of the outside world. Take your 2 cups of rice and rinse them with hot water in a strainer in which the rice cannot fall through the holes (duh). When the water runs clear, drain as much as possible and remeasure. Measure and set aside twice the amount remeasured rice volume of faucet hot water, minus about 10% (if you are at a higher altitude use the whole double volume). Heat heavy pot (preferably with rounded sides) over medium heat with 2 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil. Once heated, spread the oil around the pan as much as possible and add the rice. Sauté the rice for 3-4 minutes in the oil, stirring constantly.
Next, add the measured water and 1 tbsp of regular iodized salt (sorry
There you have it, good rice is an art form, something passed down from generation to generation and varied throughout the world in every country differently by everyone. My beautiful wife s procedure for perfect Puerto Rican rice was taught to her by her family and rudely posted on the internet by her jerk of a husband. Hope you enjoy and if you need me I ll be sleeping on the couch.
PS My wife has only hit me out of anger once in the 13 years we have been together. She slugged me so hard that I still have a knot on my shoulder to this very day to remind me of what I did. So I tell you this now, as a veteran of a extremely pissed Puerto Rican woman s wrath, do not EVER touch her rice pot during that 10 minutes.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
A new friend of mine who has just moved here from another country asked me today how often it is that the US goes to war. "I dunno" was my response, quickly followed with, "Umm, probably a lot?". He didn't know either - but we both thought it probably was a considerable amount of the US history. So tonight I went about the task of listing all of the wars and military conflicts that we as a nation have engaged in since 1776. At the bottom you will find a total number of combined years we have had military conflicts, a percentage of our life as a country that we have been at war and one percentage with the years of the Cold War removed for those of you who will argue that since no shots were fired it was not a war. Also, I rounded everything to the nearest year. Some are slightly more and some are slightly less then a whole year. But in the end, both sides balance each other out.
|7 ||American Revolution (1775-1783) - Also|
involved France, Spain and the Netherlands against Britain. The first
Anglo-American War. (Yeas of 1775 not included in count)
|1 ||Shay's Rebellion (1786-1787)|
|1 ||The Whiskey Rebellion (1794)|
|2 ||Quasi-War with France (1798-1800)|
|1 ||Fries's Rebelion "The Hot Water War"|
|5 ||Tripolitanian War (1800-1805)|
|1 ||Algerine War (1815)|
|2 ||War of 1812 (1812-1814)-The second|
|1 ||Invasion of Spanish Florida|
(1819)-Andrew Jackson seized Florida from Spain.
|1 ||U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1847)-The United|
States invaded Mexico and forced the Mexicans to cede the northern half
of the country and also to give up any claim to Texas.
|5 ||Kansas Civil War "Bleeding Kansas"|
(1855-1860)-Guerilla warfare between pro and anti slavery forces.
|1 ||Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry|
(1859)-Anti-slavery militant John Brown's attempt to jump start a slave
|4 ||Civil War (1861-1865)|
|1 ||U.S. Intervention in Hawaiian|
|1 ||Spanish-American War (1898)|
|2 ||U.S. Intervention in Samoan Civil War|
(1898-1899) with U.S. and British Naval Bombardment of Samoa --A
resumption of past civil wars in which Samoan chief Mataafa seized power
following the death of his rival, King Malietoa Laupepa, who had
defeated him in the last Samoan Civil War (1893-1894). Fighting ensued,
which was complicated by the long-standing rivalry between the U.S.,
Britain and Germany for de facto control over the Samoan Islands. On
March 15, 1899, warships of the American and British Navies bombarded
the Samoan city of Apia to intimidate the reigning Samoan king, who was
allied with the Germans. An Anglo-American landing force took control of
Apia, but were not able to pacify the interior. All sides agreed to
cease fighting on May 13, 1899. Later that year, the three Western
nations signed a treaty dividing Samoa between them. This whole conflict
was part of a wider Samoan civil war.
|3 ||Philippine-American War (1899-1902)|
|1 ||Boxer Rebellion (1900)-Also involved|
Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Italy, Austria-Hungary against
"Boxer" rebels in China as well as the Chinese government.
|12 ||The Moro Wars (1901-1913)-Guerilla|
warfare against U.S. forces by the Moro Muslims of the southern
Philippines. Can be seen as a continuation of the Philippine-American
|1 ||U.S. Intervention in Panamanian|
Revolution (1903)-The U.S. landed troops in Panama to prevent Columbia
from crushing the separatist Panamanian government.
|24 ||The Banana Wars (1909-1933)-A series of|
U.S. interventions in various Central American and Caribbean countries.
|1 ||U.S. Occupation of Vera Cruz (1914)-The|
U.S. landed troops in Vera Cruz, Mexico.
|12 ||Pershing's Raid into Mexico|
(1916-1917)-After Mexican rebel Pancho Villa attacked a U.S. town,
General Pershing pursued him across the border.
|12 ||World War I (1917-1918)|
|3 ||Allied Intervention in Russian Civil|
War (1919-1921)-Also involved Britain, France, Japan, Italy, Poland and
the Czech Legion against the new Bolshevik (Soviet Communist) government
|4 ||World War II (1941-1945)|
|46 ||The Cold War (1945-1991)|
|3 ||Korean War (1950-1953)-Also involved|
Britain, France, Turkey, and others against North Korea and China.
|1 ||Intervention in Lebanon (1958)|
|9 ||Vietnam War (1964-1973)--The "advisory"|
phase of U.S. involvement goes from 1956 to 1964, and then resumes from
1973 to 1975. The years 1964 to 1973 refer to the period of "official"
combat deployment of U.S. forces in the war.
|5 ||Cambodian Civil War (1970-1975)|
|2 ||Dominican Intervention (1965-1966?)|
|2 ||Iranian Hostage Crisis (1979-1980)|
|2 ||Lebanese Intervention (1982-1984)|
|1 ||Grenada Invasion (1983)|
|8 ||First Persian Gulf War (1980-1988)-The|
U.S. gave logistical and intelligence information to Iraq in its war
|2 ||Tanker War (1987-1988)-The U.S.|
provided naval protection for Kuwaiti oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.
This led to multiple clashes with the Iranian military.
|1 ||Panama Invasion (1989)|
|1 ||Second Persian Gulf War (1991)|
|2 ||Somalia Intervention (1992-1993)|
|1 ||Bosnian War (1995)-The U.S. and NATO|
engaged in air strikes to force the Bosnian Serb forces to negotiate a
peace agreement. Also known as Operation Deliberate Force. U.S. airpower
contributed 65.9% of the NATO air sorties.
|8 ||bin Laden's War (1998-Present)|
-Terrorist conflict between the United States and irregular forces led
by Osama bin Laden. The violence has also involved Kenya, Tanzania,
Sudan and Afghanistan.
|1 ||Kosovo War (1999)|
|5 ||The War in Afghanistan (2001-Present)|
|3 ||The Third Persian Gulf War : "Operation|
Iraqi Freedom" (2003)--The second major war between the United
States-led coalition and the Middle Eastern nation of Iraq. Military
members of the coalition also include the United Kingdom and Australia.
|1 ||Intervention in Haiti|
(2004)--Intervention to prevent civil war/anarchy in Haiti following the
Gonsalves Rebellion against the Haitian government
|230||Total number of combined years as a we|
stated as a country in 1776
|213 ||Total number of combined years since|
1776 we've been at a state of war
|92.6% ||Percentage of combined years of war|
|72.6% ||Percentage of combined years of war|
since 1776 minus the Cold War.
So, at the very least, we have been at a
state of war with someone for 72% of our complete time as a country.
1. Kohn, George C. Dictionary of Wars. New York: Facts On File Publications,
2. Marley, David F. Wars of the Americas: A Chronology of Armed Conflict in the
New World, 1492 to the Present. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 1998.
3. Langer, William L., ed. An Encyclopedia of World History. 5th ed. Boston,
Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin, 1972.
4. Banks, Arthur S., ed. Political Handbook of the World: 1994-1995. 5th ed.
Binghamton, NY: CSA Publications, 1995.
5. Internal Wars and Failures of Governance, 1954-1996--By the State Failure
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Individual costs per citizen:
Pluto = $2.35 per person
Public Education = $187.92 per person
Iraq = $788.59 per person
Thursday, January 12, 2006
From what I can deduce, I have a terminal condition of Persistent Breathing Syndrome (PBS) and a raging case of Repetitive Heart Beat Disease (RHBD) in combination with Relentless Aging Process Sickness (RAPS). All of which, according to my research on various TV commercials, can be cured with simple drugs. So thank goodness for our wonderful drug companies. No longer do they have to pretend to spend any money on research and development of any real cures, since they’ve finally found a treatment for my Inability to Cope with Life Dysfunction (ICLD).
Friday, January 06, 2006
Keep on keeping on,
Sunday, January 01, 2006
But I’m not going to do that - and it’s not because I’m turning over a new leaf or made some sort of unachievable New Year’s Resolution such as “This year I will not repeat any bad jokes, stop drinking vodka for breakfast and learn how not to fart.” Besides, I’ve already broken two of those and this is a bit more important.
No, instead, this is about the sad state of affairs of our American Royalty. Here I’m speaking of our entertainers and media personalities. Last nights shows were absolutely horrible. It’s no wonder every year we tune into Dick Clark repeating the same things about different generic performers playing to recorded music and stumbling around on a makeshift stage in a drunken stupor. We do it because Dick Clark made it somehow the best thing on. This was finally evident last night when someone had to revive Dick Clark from immanent death so that he could phone into the studio in an attempt to make at least one of the New Years Celebration’s tolerable. And that too failed, proving that our state of our current entertainment has hit an all time low.
Now I know what you are saying, “Brian, you’re just getting old. The kids dig this hip music and swing to the sounds of Maria Carrey wailing like a banshee with her hand caught in a car door or rhythmless Mary J. Blige making both Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daily look cool.” And there is where I think you are an idiot. Last night programming was absolutely terrible. Even people who had been drunk and passed out for hours suddenly found momentary consciousness to flip between all of the channels in a desperate attempt to find something, anything, that wouldn’t make them want to choke on their own vomit and die. Last night was inexcusable and I place the blame squarely on the head of Science. That’s right, Science is to blame. If Science had done its job correctly, they would have found a way to keep Dick Clark frozen in a catatonic state only to be awoken on New Years Eve in order to give the world some semblance of hope. But no. Instead Science has let Dick Clark die and doomed us all to generations more of painful, excruciating, suicide-inducing New Years crap. And because of it, I just broke my third resolution.