Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3½ Time-Outs Tuesday (Vol. 10)

Just like Conversion Diary's 7 Quick Takes, except it's half as long and twice as good.
Hosted by The Snark, LarryD, at Acts of the Apostasy

1
Feeling just the tiniest bit hep that my comments on the duplicitous coverage by CBS Washington of the March For Life got picked up by bigger and better bloggers and journalists, went viral, and ended up causing CBS to "fix" their error by publishing photos of actual pro-lifers at a pro-life March. 

It's only 15 seconds of (third-hand) fame, so fleeting ...
2
 Got another positive piece of news when I learned that Komen "Race For The Cure" group has cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.  It's long overdue; how can you continue to associate with a group so controversial when you should be focusing attention on something as non-controversial as curing cancer? 
Komen said it could not continue to fund Planned Parenthood because it has adopted new guidelines that bar it from funding organizations under congressional investigation. The House oversight and investigations subcommittee announced in the fall an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s funding.
Aw. I'm practically giddy.

3
Decided that it was time to refresh the look of Wynken, Blynken, and Nod with a new template, new colors, and masthead. Still working on cleaning out old links and other cruft, and need to add in another Nodling, but it's coming along.  Whadda think?


3½
It's time to start brewing beer again. I've got a Scottish 90 Shilling Ale batch that I need to see if I can save, and I've got a St. Paul's Porter waiting to be made. One of the Homebrews bought us 3 lbs. of Sparking Amber dried malt extract to make a yeast starter. That oughta get those tired yeast cells humming!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

House of Nod Celebrates Double Time

The House of Nod rejoiced today with not one, but two, celebrations.

First my brother, Shoe, and his wife, Girl Friday, baptized their precious daughter Babs, wiping out Original Sin and bringing her into relationship with God. I love a good death and resurrection!

The priest said that all of our kids were the "loudest respondents he's had at a baptism in a long time" during the liturgy. I guess that's good, hm? (Although I fumbled the first 'And with your Spirit'. Doh!)

On the way there I was asking the kids about baptism and Nod-girl at first said it was when we were "concealed with the Holy Spirit", but then got it right. It's hard to drive and laugh at the same time!

Grandma Nod hasn't perfected the art of bi-location, so she was sadly absent. The reason: my sister K-Lo was finishing up 36 hours of labor to bring her first-born son into the wide world. Good job, sis, and congratulations! My sister, her husband, and two Grandmas are all understandably exhausted.

No pictures yet - hopefully we'll get to meet the little tyke tomorrow - so I'll provide one of my own. I dub thee: the Artful Dodger.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How The Media Covered The March For Life

Update 2: Washington Post’s own ombudsman criticizes paper’s March for Life coverage:
January 30, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After receiving letters from “antiabortion readers” complaining about his paper’s coverage of the March for Life, the Washington Post’s ombudsman has penned a column agreeing with many of their criticisms.
Ombudsman Patrick Pexton says that the Washington Post gave an “incomplete picture” of the March for Life in both its print story and online photo gallery.
Pexton writes that the Post “fell down” in its coverage of the March by failing to include any photos in the gallery that conveyed the magnitude or the “festiveness” of the pro-life crowd, instead focusing on the confrontations between a small group of pro-abortion counter protesters and passing pro-lifers on the steps of the Supreme Court.


Update: This story got picked up by Steven Greydanus at the National Catholic Register and others. The collective pressure got CBS Washington to update their photo spread to include pictures of pro-lifers. Thanks Steven!


Although criticism of CBS’s original photo gallery ranged far and wide, the earliest whistleblower I’m aware of was the blog Wynken, Blynken and Nod, which commented early Tuesday. I reported on W. B. Nod’s comments later that day, and my own comments (and Nod’s) were picked up by Matthew Balan of NewsBusters. Later that evening, Al Kresta posted on the story.
Yesterday, the story spread as Jill Stanek and LifeSiteNews picked up on it. Earlier today, the issue hit The Washington Times, the Washington Examiner and Get Religion.

 * * * * *
How the media covered the 2012 March For Life: You already know the answer, don't you? The liberal media ignored or insulted the event and the conservative media had a love-fest. Right? Right?

Not so fast.

Guess: which major news network wrote this?

Thousands will gather in the District for the annual March for Life.
It’s been deemed the largest and longest-running peaceful human rights demonstration for the unborn, with more than 100,000 expected to attend.

Among those expected to participate in the march are hundreds of Catholic University students. University president John Garvey says “The passage of time since the adoption of Roe v. Wade has not dulled people’s sensitivity to this moral calamity. On the contrary, especially among young people, it has emerged as the preeminent human rights issue of our time.”
If you said Fox News, you'd be dead wrong. It was MSNBC -- possibly the most liberal news outlet of the big four. Not what you'd expect from the "foaming-at-the-mouth lickspittle toadies of the Democratic party" as some would characterize them.

In fact, MSNBC had the most favorable article. "[L]argest and longest-running peaceful human rights demonstration": read that again.

By contrast, the "right-wing, knuckle-dragging mouth breathers" at Fox News' headline read "Anti-abortion Protesters March in Washington on Roe v. Wade Anniversary" and simply regurgitated the Associated Press' 6 desultory sentences for their article, as did ABC. They also put "March for Life" in quotes, whereas MSNBC did not.

Fox News did have a short video showing the March for Life crowd, however.

The worst of the lot had to be CBS. You couldn't find their article in any of their online sections without serious digging. I had to resort to their search engine to find any results and those were in the "Local" section. Two articles were about MFL traffic, two about Speaker of the House John Boehner's address, and one about the March in Connecticut.

The remaining link was to a photo gallery entitled "Activists Hold Annual March For Life on Roe v. Wade Anniversary".  The thing I find despicable is that the caption reads in part: "Activists on both sides of the abortion issue are rallying on the 39th anniversary of the landmark Roe vs Wade case", but ALL of the pictures are of pro-abortion sign holders (probably about 20 of them).

NONE of the pictures were of the 200,000 or more pro-life demonstrators. Hundreds of thousands vs. tens and not a single shot of the March For Life itself -- not exactly unbiased reporting.

BEFORE you spam me for being a myopic, biased, hypocritical luddite -- these results were current as of mid-afternoon on Monday. More articles may have appeared since then. My research wasn't exactly scientific, but it is fairly representative of the "average person" standard that is so esteemed in court cases.

The very best, in-depth, and positive coverage of the 2012 March for Life was provided by -- no surprise -- EWTN: live and in living color on the main page. 'Cause that's how we roll.

Monday, January 23, 2012

March, er, Lay Down For Life

I took Monday off with a view to going on the annual March For Life and maybe meeting some Catholic bloggers on the way.

Unfortunately, I threw my back out on Friday and have been somewhat laid up all weekend. So, no "marching" for me. :-(

Substitution, ref! Wynken will be going with his 7th grade class, so we will have representation. The weather historically has been cold, bitter, wet, and freezing. This year will be no different.

I'm sure the big media will continue their news blackout and/or offer their perfunctory 2-line reporting, but Life goes on, and so does the March. I want you to think -- as you see and hear of the thousands of (young!) people who went on the March For Life and stood up for what is right -- that for every one who went, there were five, ten, twenty, a hundred more who wanted to but couldn't.

So I will lie here and support you with my prayers and offer my tiny sufferings, that this scourge will pass from our nation and that [H]e shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers. (Mal 4:6)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Not sure what it is, but it tasted good ...

Had some stuff in the kitchen that needed eating before it went bad, so I whipped this up for dinner.

A chicken sandwich with melted Swiss, asparagus, dill, and Alfredo sauce on a croissant. Sounds weird, tastes goooood. Washed it all down with a Samuel Adams Double Bock.


Hey, I do all my own stunts.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

24:15 Say It (Don't Say It)


We were just commiserating  over children when she blurted it out. “You know my children were conceived by in vitro fertilization don't you?”


I was stunned into silence. What could I say?

I was caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, I knew Church teaching and I felt the obligation to set things straight. 

On the other hand, we were in a public place and I did not feel that this was the place for a showdown. 

What's a body to do? 

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rockin' the Scallops

I like to cook because I love to eat. Mostly I'm a meat and potatoes kind of guy -- okay, maybe a juicy, medium-rare, marbled ribeye and Yukon gold potatoes with parmesan and rosemary kind of guy -- but still.

Fish, on the other hand, has always left me kind of ... meh.

The first time I knew fish could be something other than Long John Silvers or fish sticks was when I went to work in a Japanese restaurant and discovered the nom! nom! deliciousness of sushi.  At the restaurant I'd see people order the scallops and I thought: looks like fish wheels. Who cares?

But THEN I discovered America's Test Kitchen on TV. They made some pan-seared sea scallops that actually looked like they might taste like something other than rubber bands. Know what? I was right.

I went to their web site and checked out the recipe (for free). The thing I love about this site is that they tell you exactly how they did it, including the little tricks that turn an OK dish into an amazing one. They've tried half a hundred recipes and techniques and found that this is the one that rocks in your kitchen.

We found that waiting to add the scallops to the skillet until the oil was beginning to smoke, cooking the scallops in two batches instead of one, and switching to a nonstick skillet (so that the browned bits formed a crust on the meat instead of sticking to the skillet) were all steps in the right direction.
But it wasn’t until we tried a common restaurant technique—butter basting—that our scallops really improved. We seared the scallops in oil on one side and added butter to the skillet after flipping them. (Butter contains milk proteins and sugars that brown rapidly when heated.) We then used a large spoon to ladle the foaming butter over the scallops. Waiting to add the butter ensured that it had just enough time to work its browning magic on the scallops, but not enough time to burn.  (America's Test Kitchen)

I've made these scallops 3 times now and each time it was spot on -- it actually looked like this picture. And the taste? Amazing. I am now a pan-seared scallop lovin' fool. 

Check it out.

ROTFL

I know Christmas is over, but this is just obnoxious enough to be funny.

When is the last time you saw someone actually rolling on the floor laughing?
video

Monday, January 9, 2012

Found It!

Found it! That's probably the most heard phrase in our newly acquired sport -- geocaching.

It's a high-tech GPS driven treasure hunt. People hide stuff in say, the woods, and then give people clues or coordinates where it can be found and you're off!

There's a cache (hidden item) and skill level for everyone. Sometimes the cache is large as a tote box or as small as a matchbox. There's everything from easy to find to insanely hard. Sometimes it's right off the sidewalk, and other times you have to slog through the woods or on top of a mountain to get to it. Some people will tell you where it's hidden within a dozen feet, other times you have to solve a riddle to get starting coordinates.

There's nothing of particular value in the caches, the idea is just to find it and sign the log book.  Occasionally there are interesting items that people leave or trade -- or not. Whatevs.

It's hide and seek writ large. Wynken and I did our maiden voyage over the Christmas break and had a grand time. We even got Grandpa Nod, Shoe, and one of the Hardy boys to try it out. Men-folk out in the woods messin' around. What's not to like?

There's a cool app for that (or twelve) on your iPhone/iPad/Android and many Web sites to help you out.  I started out with the Geocaching app from Groundspeak and www.geocaching.com, picked some easy starters and voila! It took me a couple of minutes to figure out how the whole Lat/Long/Minutes/Seconds thing worked because there are a couple of different systems, believe it or not, but mostly I relied on the visual map and the big green arrow that said: walk that way!

It's cheap, it's fun, and it gets you outdoors. I recommend.

Adoration of the Magi

Merry Christmas one more time!

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