My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

So both Kela and I have been going to a place called Pilates in Anderson and have been loving it. We are thinking about buying some equipment of our and were told to check out Pilates Apparatus ( for the best quality and price. We’ll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Kela's Perfect Rice (please don't tell her I posted this)

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 Alton, it needs to dissolve quickly) to the pot, stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling stir once, turn temperature down to medium low and put the lid on (it needs to be just low enough so that the top does not boil off) and LEAVE IT ALONE FOR 10 MINUTES – DO NOT LOOK AT IT, DO NOT THINK ABOUT IT, NOTHNG. After 10 minutes, turn the temperature off (if on an electric stove, move to a different burner and go buy a new stove) and again LEAVE IT ALONE FOR 10 MINUTES. After 10 minutes of cooking and 10 minutes or resting (for lack of a better or known term) open pot and fluff rice. Seriously. Fine, just take a fork and kind of scoop upwards in little strokes to allow the rice to mix a bit and air to get in and around the rice (this prevents the rice from clumping as it cools). Then, serve and eat.

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

In Defense of Christianity

I think that the problem a lot of people have with Christianity is that a large segment of Christians try to translate the Bible literally. This only leads to kind of a joking atmosphere when discussing certain aspects of Christianity and makes it very hard to take the good parts as, well, good parts. Since some of these people, who believe so completely that the literal translations are the correction translations, feel compelled to constantly, repeatedly and forcefully enlighten others as to their beliefs, it burns bridges for everyone who falls under the banner of Christianity. Consequently, those who see the teachings of the Bible as simple lessons of morals are not able to spread that understanding because most listeners have become cynical whenever they are preached at. It is a shame that all that people hear and see is the inherent holes yelled at them by sidewalk prophets and not the plain belief that the Bible is a list of good ideas set to a classic storied theme.

Friday, January 20, 2006

War, what is it good for

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.

War Waged
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)
Shay's Rebellion (1786-1787)
The Whiskey Rebellion (1794)
Quasi-War with France (1798-1800)
Fries's Rebelion "The Hot Water War"
Tripolitanian War (1800-1805)
Algerine War (1815)
War of 1812 (1812-1814)-The second
Anglo-American War.
Invasion of Spanish Florida
(1819)-Andrew Jackson seized Florida from Spain.
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.
Kansas Civil War "Bleeding Kansas"
(1855-1860)-Guerilla warfare between pro and anti slavery forces.
Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry
(1859)-Anti-slavery militant John Brown's attempt to jump start a slave
Civil War (1861-1865)
U.S. Intervention in Hawaiian
Revolution (1893)
Spanish-American War (1898)
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.
Philippine-American War (1899-1902)
Boxer Rebellion (1900)-Also involved
Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Italy, Austria-Hungary against
"Boxer" rebels in China as well as the Chinese government.
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
U.S. Intervention in Panamanian
Revolution (1903)-The U.S. landed troops in Panama to prevent Columbia
from crushing the separatist Panamanian government.
The Banana Wars (1909-1933)-A series of
U.S. interventions in various Central American and Caribbean countries.
U.S. Occupation of Vera Cruz (1914)-The
U.S. landed troops in Vera Cruz, Mexico.
Pershing's Raid into Mexico
(1916-1917)-After Mexican rebel Pancho Villa attacked a U.S. town,
General Pershing pursued him across the border.
World War I (1917-1918)
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
in Russia.
World War II (1941-1945)
The Cold War (1945-1991)
Korean War (1950-1953)-Also involved
Britain, France, Turkey, and others against North Korea and China.
Intervention in Lebanon (1958)
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.
Cambodian Civil War (1970-1975)
Dominican Intervention (1965-1966?)
Iranian Hostage Crisis (1979-1980)
Lebanese Intervention (1982-1984)
Grenada Invasion (1983)
First Persian Gulf War (1980-1988)-The
U.S. gave logistical and intelligence information to Iraq in its war
against Iran.
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.
Panama Invasion (1989)
Second Persian Gulf War (1991)
Somalia Intervention (1992-1993)
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.
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.
Kosovo War (1999)
The War in Afghanistan (2001-Present)
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.
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
Total number of combined years since
1776 we've been at a state of war
Percentage of combined years of war
since 1776
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

Money, it's a drag

As this is the first month of the year, it’s best to get a good idea of what it is you’ll be working for in the upcoming months. Below is a breakdown of a couple of things in which the American Citizen will be footing the bill. Each one is connected to a link, just in case you find them hard to believe. Have a nice day and remember to work hard this year. We have lots of bills to pay.

700 Million = Cost of sending probe to Pluto

56 Billion = Cost of Federal Budget for Department of Education in 2006 Budget

235 Billion = Cost of operations in Iraq up to now

298 Million = Population of the US

Individual costs per citizen:

Pluto = $2.35 per person

Public Education = $187.92 per person

Iraq = $788.59 per person

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I just got the results back and they are not good...

It seems that I am not a well man.

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

Dear Pat Robertson and Tom DeLay,

I would like to personally extend my support for both of your causes. First, Pat, we all understand where it is you are coming from and support your right to say it as much as possible. Does the president of Venezuela deserve to die? Sure. Did Ariel Sharon and Pennsylvania call for God wrath for turning their back on your version of Christianity? Sounds fair to me. Did the Almighty send hurricane Katrina into New Orleans because of the drunken debauchery of Mardi Gras? Why not? And you, Mr. DeLay, don’t let those “liberals” that are trying to frame you for all of that stuff you did get you down. You just keep on smiling and doing what you do best. Never in the history of our Congress has a sitting Senate Majority Leader been arrested on such incredible, rock-solid indictments. Bravo for doin’ it right and sticking by your guns. You are both shining examples of what someone with a little gumption and a whole lot of power can do to change the direction of this country. So please, from all of us out here in the voting block, keep up the good work and we'll see your and your other right wing conservative friends, awesome effect on the electorate this fall. And AND if you guys can muster more of that kick-ass ideology after the election, I'm sure that we would all be overjoyed to see it work its magic through the election of 2008.

Keep on keeping on,


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

This was going to be my yearly rant about how Dick Clark seems to be getting younger and how every TV personality says the exact same things on every New Years Celebration: “It’s really cold out here, but people are still enjoying themselves; These people got here hours ago and haven’t been able to go to the bathroom; You can’t really understand this unless you’ve been here; There is confetti everywhere; Thank you Popular Music Star for the mouthing the words to that song that none of us can or care to hear!”

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.