taco shop psychic
mincing is for garlic, not words...

Friday, January 17, 2003  

273. Last post.

Update your bookmarks, Taco Shop Psychic has moved to http://tacoshop.no-clue.net. Toodles!

posted by Tacoshop | 4:03 PM

Thursday, January 16, 2003  

272. Hecticity.

Been an interesting day.

Since this is rent week, I made sure that I had a fully stocked fridge full o' meat (other things too, but this is about meat) going into it from last week. Five pounds of bacon, five good steaks slowly marinating themselves, and four (huge) boneless pork ribs.

And now I'm trying to figure out what to do with it all. I've already started frying up all that bacon so it could be used as bacon bits.

Early this morning, I took girlfriend to the hospital. She has been complaining of abdominal pains for a few days and last night they were severe enough to wake her up -- as opposed to prevent her from falling asleep, which is what was going on before. So the doc says she probably has a duodenal ulcer, and her diet is now severely restricted, at least for the next couple of days.

But my meat will go bad by then, because all those packages are already open, and I have a crappy freezer. I'm not going to eat all that meat -- at least not in front of her, and I would feel bad cooking it when she could smell the juicy aromas. The pork is probably okay, I'll fry that up tonight and use it as stew meat. The beef is most likely out because I've already marinated it -- so I'm eating the remaining three steaks, it looks like. And I'm about to have five pounds of bacon bits.

On the good news front, I may have a job interview coming. I hope I didn't jinx myself saying this. I'm already feeling jinxed by jf for her Tuesday Too questions a few weeks ago where she asked about no health insurance! (Humor, jf, humor :) )

I also might be moving this blog. Or maybe I won't be. We'll all just have to wait and see on that -- but if I do move, I have some ideas for interesting changes I'd like to do, that I'm keeping under wraps. (Hint! sya is a big influence here! That'll confuse ya for sure -- you'll just have to wait to see what I mean.)

posted by Tacoshop | 9:41 PM

271. Philosophies.

From: the Ethical Philosophy Selector, thanks to sya.

1. Aquinas (100%)
2. Mill (96%)
3. Sartre (91%)
4. Bentham (80%)
5. Rand (79%)
6. Plato (77%)
7. Aristotle (70%)
8. Augustine (62%)
9. Noddings (62%)
10. Cynics (58%)
11. Ockham (58%)
12. Hume (54%)
13. Kant (51%)
14. Epicureans (43%)
15. Hobbes (43%)
16. Nietzsche (38%)
17. Prescriptivism (37%)
18. Stoics (32%)
19. Spinoza (22%)

posted by Tacoshop | 7:37 AM

Tuesday, January 14, 2003  

270. Kathryn...

It was the Salt Lick and Dan McKlusky's, I'm pretty sure.

(For those feeling left out, my recommendation the next time you're stranded in Austin is to eat at Dan McKlusky's. The Salt Lick is okay, but I didn't think it was worth the drive out of town. I certainly don't think it was better than the finer barbecue establishments that the Seattle area has, believe it or not. If neither of those are your style, then I recommend that you drive up to the Big D and eat here instead.) Never eat here.

posted by Tacoshop | 10:15 PM

269. It WAS Voodoo!

That Huffington woman is an evil voodoo witch! My van started working just fine today! No one fixed it, no one looked at it, and it ain't moved since I parked it there when it broke! Her evil spell wore off! Voooooooooooooodooooooooooooooooooo-oo! She just feels threatened because it's an ordained minister and she isn't! Hallelujah!

(If there is a Christian hell, I am so there, they've got my seat reserved. But it is freaky that the van started working like that, out of the blue. Karma, I tell ya. Or maybe Vanma. Hmmm... white van, Vanma White. I should have thought of that before...)

posted by Tacoshop | 5:45 PM

268. Bloggin' Lovefest Day.

Today is Bloggin' Lovefest Day, which is something I should really take to heart. I've been angry (not really at anyone, just in general) and somewhat irritable to one or two or three or even four people I know, mostly in an indirect fashion through bad attempts at humor. Mayhaps even five.

I should take it to heart. But I'm not going to! Sorry guys, you're stuck with grumpy ol' me!

posted by Tacoshop | 2:49 PM

267. Death penalty.

Mary has an interesting post over at her site currently regarding Illinois Governor Ryan's commutation of the death penalty for the entirety of Illinois' death row. I hated to disagree with her (as I am in the quandary of not only supporting the death penalty, but also Ryan's decision), but I felt I had to. I encourage everyone to go look at it, but please, if you feel compelled to leave a comment, don't do so purely out of spite or anger with either of our positions - I only mention that since emotions on this issue are likely to run very deep, and I don't want to give Mary any unnecessary headaches.

If you just think my position is idiotic however, feel free to try and tee off on me in my comments here.

posted by Tacoshop | 10:12 AM

266. Tuesday Too.

I haven't done the Tuesday Too in awhile. Judging by the answers I'm going to leave today, I'm continuing this trend.

1.) Scientists have predicted the earth will be swallowed up by the sun in 7.5 billion years. Will humans still be around then? Have they already gone to another planet? Did they incinerate themselves eons before the sun ever sucked on the straw? Write 2 paragraphs on the last days.

I like ice cream. I mean, I'm sorry, but...

I'm sorry, but I really don't care about what happens 7.5 billion years hence. And if I wanted to write two paragraphs about anything, I'd have to get really worked up over it. What do you know about your great-grandparents? What did they do, how did they live? What were their personal triumphs and tragedies? I had the luxury of knowing my great-grandparents, and I cannot answer those questions about them. This tells me that in little more than three generations everything we do will be forgotten, even by our direct decendants. I think that's the scope we all need to keep in focus.

2.) What does the earth's tombstone say?

Can you imagine the hella-huge graveyard that must be in?

3.) Do something nice for mother earth today. What will you do?

A half-hour ago, I received a page telling me that there's a failure somewhere along the Tolt River water pipeline. I haven't the foggiest idea what that means, but it sounds bad. At the minimum, I shall wait to see if the powers that be need my help, and if so, I will go help. And if I am not needed, I will rest secure knowing that I was here, just in case.

posted by Tacoshop | 5:32 AM

Monday, January 13, 2003  

265. Meg and Jack White...

...never looked so furry! (Thanks to Becka.)

posted by Tacoshop | 8:14 PM

264. Oh, I almost forgot...

I'm an official blowhard now.

posted by Tacoshop | 7:50 PM

Sunday, January 12, 2003  

263. Genetically modified food

Jim Miller has an excellent rebuttal to a daft opinion piece here.

posted by Tacoshop | 5:09 PM

262. Southern Wisconsin.

I have my brother in stitches over this. It all started when I was perusing the site of my much-hated (at least by me) Congressman, the Honorable (snicker, snort, ha!) James ('Baghdad Jim') McDermott. I discovered that Mr. McDermott has an article by the renowned hater of his country, Gore Vidal, on his website.

My brother casually looks over my shoulder as he's going to the fridge and says, "Who would want to line themselves up with that moron, anyway?" He meant Vidal, not McDermott. I wondered aloud about what exactly it was about Southern Wisconsin that made people go wacko like that.

Brother looked perplexed. I informed him that I believe that Mr. Vidal lives (part of the time, anyway) in Madison -- if I am incorrect, then he sure spends a lot of time there. Or, well he did up til the point where he decided that his papers were not being kept with the organization with which he would expect by the University of Wisconsin.

So my brother asks me, "What, is he your cause celebre'?"

"Well, there's always Dahmer. And Ed Gein. And the entire Clown College at Baraboo* (which I think is now defunct, but the Hall of Fame is in Milwaukee). And Orson Welles. And let's not forget the fact that our bible-thumping aunt lives in Waukesha."

So am I off the mark here, or is Southern Wisconsin the weirdest place east of say, Oregon? We're now wondering what sort of industrial spill happened that contaminated the water there.

*Baraboo is also supposedly the hometown for the five original Ringling Brothers.

posted by Tacoshop | 5:19 AM

261. part four

My girlfriend has requested that I use my bully pulpit on this topic to point out the efforts of the American Humane Association with regards to the Tennessee matter.

posted by Tacoshop | 3:36 AM

260. Meet Keith.

As with anyone that I catch leaving a comment here who has a blog of their own, Keith from Lawrenceville, Georgia, has been added to the blogroll.

Keith has a cat.

posted by Tacoshop | 3:18 AM

259. Weird news from Oregon.

Baby formula thieves?

posted by Tacoshop | 2:24 AM

Saturday, January 11, 2003  

258. Arianna Huffington is an evil witch and she voodoo'd my van!

My beloved gas-guzzling, smog-belching, earth-killing big white van broke down (oil pump, methinks) early this morning while I was on my way to a search mission. It took me most of four hours to nurse and limp the poor thing back the twenty miles back into Seattle, fetch my girlfriend's truck and turn back around for the search. I showed up, five hours late. The missing hikers showed up as well, but they were more fashionable than me, I guess. Oil's well that ends well or something.

Gotta fix my van.

If I sound grumpy in my comments, that's why. I'm not really as grumpy as I am tired or something. I'll have more in the morning, I hope.

posted by Tacoshop | 7:18 PM

Friday, January 10, 2003  

257. 82d Babykiller Division

Why, just look at this awful spectacle. (Found via IP.)

posted by Tacoshop | 9:02 PM

Thursday, January 09, 2003  

256 General Patton, pt. 3

Having finally put together that all these friendly folks are trapsing through my blog are looking for something else besides my witty and charming commentary (snicker, ha), here is a link to the pertinent article in The Tennessean where you can view the clip of the Smoak's dog's demise (either PC or Mac) without paying a fee.

And gee, I must be daft. I see a dog, happy to be out of the car, running up to meet (oh, boy!) new humans!

posted by Tacoshop | 6:58 PM

255. Another thing you don't see everyday

Is an American pundit making nice with Canada. Link from InstaPundit.

posted by Tacoshop | 4:02 PM

254. Why public higher education sucks now...

Particulary in Washington State.

From the Post-Intelligencer. Pay particular attention to the words "top-notch" and realize that the English department has lost twelve professors in the last two years -- the same two years in which tuition increased at least 16 percent. Last year, they tried to even make the students pay a surcharge, separate from their tuition, for the electricity used on campus.

Thank you, Tim Eyman (for showing us what personal greed is really all about). Thank you, California (for your crappy energy deregulation). And thank you Rick Neuheisel (for four mediocre seasons, and many more to come).

posted by Tacoshop | 9:39 AM

Wednesday, January 08, 2003  

253. Update on shot dog story...

The video from the cameras in one/some of the police cars was released today. CNN says that it pretty much backs up the story of the Smoak family.

The newspaper in Asheville, North Carolina, -- which as far as I can tell is the closest to where the Smoaks live -- is running (an edited version of) my letter on the 13th.

And the policeman that shot the dog has been reassigned, but supposedly this is not a punishment.

Update to the update: InstaPundit now has picked up the story (never thought I'd ever type that, hard to beat a guy rightly called 'Insta'-anything) and he links to a guy that excoriates the local constabulary in Cookeville so badly it makes me look like a saint in comparison.

posted by Tacoshop | 11:00 PM

252. Whoa!

Now there's a twist:

Another man cut his finger and wrote in blood "We oppose a pull-out of U.S. troops," while a group of women carried a banner proclaiming "We admire your dedication."

posted by Tacoshop | 9:25 AM

Tuesday, January 07, 2003  

251. Hate mail to Tennessee

I just sent this email to several official types in Tennessee, (in response to this thanks to Rachel Lucas):

To Whom It May Concern,

(and I think it should concern all of you)

I read with great dismay the accounts of the felony stop perpetrated against the Smoak family. I wanted to add my voice to the other voices of outrage and disgust that you must, quite rightly, be hearing from anyone else that encounters this tragic story.

To say that this was an egregious failure of Tennesseean and American justice has to be one of the grossest understatements I have ever contemplated.

Mr. Smoak should be commended for his restraint; had it been me in his position, I would have certainly been so utterly enraged I would have tried my best to -- at a minimum -- physically assault the officer that shot my dog and/or any of the other officers that placed my family in such needless danger and traumatization. It is another gross understatement to say that in this situtation, that action would have not gone over well. My hat is off to Mr. Smoak and the Smoak family for dealing with the situation with what seems to be proper reserve and tact.

Cookeville and Tennessee law enforcement as a whole should take a lesson from them.

Never have I been so happy to say that I am a "former" anything as I am today to say that I am a former resident of Tennessee. Indeed, were I a resident of Tennessee today, I would be seriously considering being a former resident of Tennessee tomorrow.

(my name)
Seattle, Washington

Here's a handy-dandy list of some email addresses in Tennessee:
email.safety@state.tn.us, [Tennessee Department of Public Safety and Highway Patrol]
mayor@cookeville-tn.org, [Mayor of Cookeville]
webmaster@cookevillepolice.com, [Cookeville Police Department]
sharon.curtis-flair@state.tn.us, [Tennessee Attorney General's office]
dsundquist@mail.state.tn.us [Governor of Tennessee]

posted by Tacoshop | 8:47 AM

Monday, January 06, 2003  

250. Standing corrected.

Just got done trading long, political emails with Jim Miller. I'm not going to post that exchange here (rude) but I will say that he defended his position well and did correct me on something.

T. Roosevelt was never a lawyer, despite what you might read on the Internet.

Sometimes I am wrong about things. Often I am right.

posted by Tacoshop | 9:54 PM

Sunday, January 05, 2003  

249. An interesting article...

...for all sorts of reasons.

"Kenneth Parnell, 71, who was sent to prison for kidnapping Steven Stayner in the 1970s, told the home-care worker last week he would pay her if she could obtain a 4-year-old boy for him, said Clint Ojala, an investigator with the Alameda County District Attorney's Office."

So this runs through my head: "Stayner. Stayner. Where have I heard that name before?"

And then I read the last line of the article. Holy mackerel, can you imagine being in the shoes of Mr. and Mrs. Stayner, even for a day? They lost both of their kids, the same one twice, even. Definitely puts the rottenness of one's own life into perspective.

posted by Tacoshop | 4:53 PM

248. Meet Dr. Duh.

If Dr. Duh is who my girlfriend says he is, he's quite an interesting character and someone I've had good arguments with in the past on other fora. If he's not, well it's a hell of a fresh young blog anyway. (You absolutely must click on each and every link in his posts, that is the best in-line tongue-in-cheek humor I've seen in awhile.)

posted by Tacoshop | 12:47 PM

Saturday, January 04, 2003  

247. A rebuttal to some of the information in The Strange Case of John Edwards.

The Strange Case of John Edwards...

...isn't terribly strange, at least in my eyes.

I think you are correct in your assertion that there is no single course of study for political executives, but the kind of training you cite doesn't hold to much scrutiny when applied to the Presidency, (that of business degrees, MBAs, or officer training in and out of the service academies). Of the forty-two Presidents this country has had (counting Cleveland only once) only one -- the current one -- has had an MBA. Only three others (Kennedy, Reagan and the elder Bush) have had degrees in Economics, which could equally apply in the public as well as private sectors, one would think. Of the forty-two various Presidents, twenty-seven of them (J. Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J.Q. Adams, Jackson, Van Buren, Tyler, Polk, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan, Lincoln, Hayes, Arthur, Harrison, Cleveland, McKinley, T. Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Coolidge, F. Roosevelt, Truman, Nixon, Ford and Clinton) had law degrees or were lawyers prior to entering politics.

While the recent trend certainly has shown an increase in degrees that one would expect to find in modern business climes, that does not hold true for military service. In the last century or so, only two Presidents have been in command of anything of real substance or size, that being Eisenhower and T. Roosevelt. A compelling argument might be made on Truman's behalf for ultimately reaching the position of Colonel in the reserves but he was just a junior officer in command of an artillery battery during the first World War. Aside from these three men, there are slim pickings, with regards to the Presidency and military command, since McKinley or maybe even Harrison.

Also, Truman might have been picked for endorsement for Vice-President by Roosevelt partly because of his stewardship of the Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program, but it's more likely that he was picked because he could get along with party officials better than Wallace. As far as that goes, Truman really seems to have been little more than a tool for Roosevelt to gain a fourth term.

Finally, regarding 'relevant education, experience or accomplishments' I must point out that this was relatively the same charge levelled at our current president during his campaign. His detractors made much of his MBA, since no president had ever had one before him. His detractors pointed out that the only real successful management experience he had was as managing partner for the group that purchased the Texas Rangers (a position he managed to secure somehow by only contributing $606,000 of the $86m price tag) and Governor of Texas. It is very debatable whether six years as a US Senator is somehow equitable to six years as the Governor of a large US State, since those backgrounds are so dissimilar. On the other hand, accruing fortune on the basis of one's own merits -- even if they are the merits of a trial lawyer -- I think would easily compete or even trump getting lucky once in business with a baseball franchise.

So far of all of the Democratic Presidential contenders, the only one that has the ability to defeat Bush is Edwards. Republicans are right to be afraid of him.


posted by Tacoshop | 6:40 PM

Friday, January 03, 2003  

246. More geek humor...

If real life was like Asheron's Call
Ever wonder, well so did Terran. He writes:
I have created a small reconstruction of what I believe it would be like if
we lived life in the style of Asheron's call. I hope you like it. =)
Life, Build 1, (3/1/6,000,000,000 BC)
Welcome to life!

Alarm Clock casts Sleep Ineptitude Other VI on you
You say, "Zojack Snoozeth"
Alarm Clock resists your spell
You say, "Zojack Snoozeth"
The sound of you smashing Alarm Clock is followed by the Deafening Silence
of Snooze!
You cast Aquafresh III on Toothbrush
Toothbrush casts Minty Breath II on you
Reading Cookbook
You cannot understand this Scroll.
Floofy Chef's Hat cast Cooking Mastery I on you
You fail to make pancakes
You fail to make pancakes
You fail to make pancakes
Your Cooking Skill is now 19!
You make Pancakes
The Pancakes satisfy 8 points of your hunger
Attempting to Clean Kitchen
You are not trained in that skill
Picking up Keys
Equiping Office Attire
Using Keys with Car
That key doesn't fit this lock
That key doesn't fit this lock
You hear a Rumbling noise
Hot Babe on Sidewalk cast Feeblemind Other VI on you
Hot Babe on Sidewalk cast Bafflement Other VI on you
Telephone Pole bashes you for 72 points of Bludgeoning Damage!
EMS Nurse heals you for 22
EMS Nurse heals you for 34
EMS Nurse fails to heal you
EMS Nurse heals you for 16
Police Officer drains $180 of your Funds with Trafic Violation VI
Downloading Work 124/645
You combine the two Referendums into a larger Statement
You combine the two Statements into a larger Report
You combine the two Reports into a larger Presentation
You fail to give the presentation. Your boss snaps as a result.
Angry Boss casts Self Esteem Ineptitude Other VI on you
Angry Boss casts Unenployment Other V on you
Blistered by Angry Boss' rage, you're Fired!
You've lost your job, your 401k, and your Cubicle!
You sear Angry Boss for 1 point of shock with Middle Finger III!
+Security Officer has Teleported you
The Door is already Open!
The Beer restores 7 points of your desire to live
The Beer restores 7 points of your desire to live
The Beer restores 7 points of your desire to live
The Beer restores 7 points of your desire to live
The Beer restores 7 points of your desire to live
You're too drunk to do that!
Lost server connection

Life, Build 1, (3/1/6,000,000,000 BC)
Welcome to life!
Your Mutual Funds have gathered interest for you. Taking into account your
skills as a broker, you gain $1.30

The Bars are Locked
The Bars are Locked
Big Ugly Dude tried and failed to assess you!
Scary Hulk tried and failed to assess you!
Dude with Scars tried and failed to assess you!
You cry.
Police officer has granted you a respite after your moment of weakness. You
are temporarily no longer a prisoner.
Your telephone call has been used up
Wife tells you, "Hello?"
You tell Wife, "You're not going to believe this..."

posted by Tacoshop | 9:09 PM

245. Tonight's dinner...

...was chicken fajitas. Did I use one of the 6,290 recipes I bought yesterday? No. I made it up.

Three chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
Half of a medium white onion
Half of a red bell pepper
Half of a yellow bell pepper
Half of a green bell pepper
Half of an orange bell pepper
1 ear of corn
1.5 cups of water
Four teaspoons of garlic, minced
6 large tortillas
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Red and black ground pepper
1 lime

In a dutch oven, heat the oil on medium. After oil smears across the bottom of the pot, place chicken in the pot and liberally smear each piece of chicken with minced garlic. Coat the chicken with red and black ground pepper, continue to cook on medium.

Meanwhile, clean and slice bell peppers, onion and kernels off of the corn. Sometime in the middle of the slicing, turn the chicken over and recoat with the red and black ground pepper. At the end of the slicing, add the sliced vegetables and water, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and let the bulk of the water steam off. Slice in half and squeeze the lime into the pot.

Serve with tortillas.

posted by Tacoshop | 9:04 PM

244. The leet version of Hamlet.

Have some Hamlet. Warning -- this is not for children or the easily offended or even the hardly offended. It's just that offensive. But some people think it's funny.

posted by Tacoshop | 7:03 PM

243. Now I got em, what do I do with 'em?

I bought a closeout piece of software yesterday. It's from 1999, and it's called MasterCooks 5.0 and it has since been discontinued by Sierra. I paid a little over six bucks for it. The box advertised that it had four complete Betty Crocker cookbooks in it, and since I only own four cookbooks, I figured it would be great to double that amount for six bucks.

I was wrong. It only featured those Betty Crocker cookbooks -- it contains a total of twenty-five cookbooks for a whopping 6,290 recipes. Unbelievable.

Now, if only I knew what to make for dinner...

posted by Tacoshop | 5:09 PM

242. Somedays I really hate my name...

When I was a kid, no one else was named Chad. I hated my name. Later on, I grew to appreciate it's uniqueness until I started running into Chads all over the place. When I enlisted and checked into my first duty station, everyone got a good guffaw when they discovered that my first name was Chad since I would be working on things like paper tape punches, which of course make chad.

Then wham! I get hit with the 2000 election, Tom Green playing a dork (what else would Tom Green play? typecasting at it's finest there) named Chad in Charlie's Angels and now Michele is getting harassed by some jackass calling himself Chad -- or rather 'Hanging with Chad'.

That fucker. It makes me nervous to comment there anymore.

posted by Tacoshop | 10:05 AM

Wednesday, January 01, 2003  

241. Nuts About Soup.

This is my new favorite soup. I invented it.

Taco Shop Psychic's Tortilla Soup

You will need...

A pot (I used the three-quart cast iron dutch oven I got for X-mas)
Three taco-sized corn tortillas
Two chicken breasts
Half of a medium-sized Mayan onion
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
2 large limes
3 oz. dry cocktail sherry
3 oz. tequila
3 oz. olive oil
2 qts. chicken broth
1 ear of corn
2 tsp. corn starch
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of oregano
Monty Jack cheese to taste

What you do with that stuff...

Into the pot go the olive oil, the sherry, the tequila, salt, pepper and oregano. Heat this mixture up a bit on medium to medium-high heat, toss in the chicken. While that's busy frying, slice your limes in half, mince your garlic (if you need to, I buy it minced by the bottle) chop your onion and somehow get the corn kernels off of the cob. Somewhere in there, you should probably turn the chicken over. After you have all that stuff prepared, toss it in the pot (except for the limes, which you should just squeeze the juice out of into the pot), put the heat to medium-high if it's not there already, cover the pot and wait ten minutes or so.

After your kitchen starts smelling really good after those ten minutes, in goes the broth (why does it appear that broth is the root word of either brother or brothel?) and drop the heat to medium. Leave it uncovered until it boils and then cover it and wait a half an hour. Use this time to slice your tortillas into strips. At the end of your half-hour drop the tortillas into the mix and add the cornstarch. Stir until the corn starch mixes well with the soup. Pull the chicken breasts out and slice them, return them to the soup and serve with cheese.

Note: I used a boullion cube in the frying stage with the oil, sherry, tequila and spices. At the stage where I say to add broth, I just added water to the mixture.

posted by Tacoshop | 9:34 PM