Sunday, July 22, 2018

Best Christmas Present EVER!!!*

Odysseus got me a PowerCooker for Christmas.  I'd been eyeballing them for a while, and just before Christmas last year, they were marked $20 off their usual price at Sam's Club for their Advantage members.** 

Fast forward seven months. 

It's hot as hell.  I don't wanna cook and heat up my kitchen.  Lots of baking's been done on the propane grill, and some skillet cooking (the lovely thing's got a side burner).  But I ran out of frozen roast slices.  Which I love for fast lunches with little bother.*** 

Even the crock pot heats the kitchen up a bit. 

Since I hadn't been cooking, I'd had some energy to do some work in the kitchen, cleaning and rearranging to free up a grounded plug in (this house doesn't have many), and only two of the plugins in the kitchen proper are grounded.  And only one of those was really accessible. 

Yeah, I got the counter cleared, got the pressure cooker pre-cleaned, and read the directions.  And then I made roast.  And then I cleaned it up again, and made another one.

And then I made my version of chicken fajitas with brown rice.  Which...didn't turn out quite as well.  Because apparently, you gotta have a heavier hand with the seasoning with the pressure cooker than you do when you make the same dish on the stovetop to get the meat to taste right.  But.  The chicken was so tender that when I tried to cut it up after I'd cooked it (from frozen), it just...fell apart.  Totally.  This thing is going to make killer pulled chicken in salsa.

And then...then Odysseus asked me, "Would that make the stew meat turn out that tender in the stew meat fajitas?"  Turns out, that was the only reason he didn't really like those as well.

The yes.  Yes, it does.  Very much.

That was delicious.

And makes four days' worth of lunch for Odysseus for next week, instead of sandwiches every day.

PowerCooker Beef Fajitas

1c brown rice
1lb-1.5lb beef stew meat
2 cans ro-tel
1/2 c water or broth (I used Sam's Choice Beef Bone Broth)

Put meat in pressure cooker (if yours has a saute-function, you can brown it with the seasoning first--I didn't bother.  Add rice, ro-tel, and liquid, stir to mix.  Fasten lid.  Use rice/risotto button, and then add time (needs about 25 minutes).  Turn around, walk out of kitchen, and wait for beep.  Go back, use the safe-release valve to release the pressure, then stir. 

If there's more liquid than you like, you can either let some of the liquid simmer out, eat it like soup (which was good, by the way), or use a slotted spoon to serve.   

*Gents.  Do not, I repeat, do NOT get your wives/girlfriends/significant others any type of appliance for a birthday or holiday unless they ASK FOR IT for that holiday.  Your safety depends on this.

**The $100/yr membership at Sam's Club has some significant advantages: frequent discounts on things you typically get anyway (like $2 off cases of ro-tel, or Nutella, or peanut butter, or other groceries), and gives you a cash reward at the end of a specific period.  We haven't paid for our Sam's Club membership out of pocket in about five years, now.  

***Fast lunch: pull out slice of leftover roast, nuke it, slap it on a Wasa cracker with some flavored mayo and cheese, and eat.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Changing the focus

Recently, I've noted some really, really, really irritating songs.  The two worst offenders are both from Papa Roach, and they are straight-up diametric opposites: "Help" and "Born to Greatness." 

The first one is naval-gazing, whining, and turns having feelings into a need for someone to help him.  Depression.  Yeah, it happens.  It happens to everyone.  It's--get this--being sad.  There are a lot of people out there who are sad.  Not as many have a genuine chemical imbalance in their brain that must be medicated for semi-normal function. 

Don't get me wrong, those people exist.  And those with chronic, clinical depression cannot function without the right medication to trick their brain into providing its own needs, or to provide the chemical needs for the brain that cannot create its own. 

However.  I'd say that the vast majority of people are simply feeling disconnected, and just need family or friends (or a talk-therapist, in a pinch, but family or friends would be better), rather than their electronic device that's creating the distance between them and others. 

The other one...yeah.  That one.  Talking about the generation of twits thinking they're entitled to anything they want, without having to work for it, just because they exist, and Mommy and Daddy think they're the best thing ever since time began.  That they, and ONLY they, can make the world better, nevermind that they're naval-gazing twits that follow already-failed theories and ideologies.  That the people that are in favor of keeping this country a republic aren't being fair, because we're arguing about what's on the menu and refusing to be eaten, while being backed up by force of law and force of arms.

Okay, then.  The most interesting thing about this is that the "Help" generation and the "Greatness" generation are the same

The scary thing is that they could be a massive force if they changed the focus.  For good or ill.  If they'd change from "what's wrong with me" to "how can I get through this to do what I need to do to get what I want," they'd have a lot more power--mostly over themselves. 

I have the distinct impression that a lot of them would look at the controls that the "feelz" types want to put on the "thinking man" and be disgusted. 

I know I was. 

When I was about fourteen, I read Orwell's 1984.  It...resonated.  This was during the period the state was using my mom as an unpaid foster parent from whom I could be removed if she so much as sneezed without permission.  I spiralled into depression, because there was literally nothing I could do--at that point--to change my situation.  I read Dune, and saw parallels between the way people worshipped the main character and the way certain types had replaced God with government, and felt worse. 

I'd seen the trap I was in.  What I didn't see was the exit.

When I was 15, I developed ulcers started having really debilitating panic attacks.  I...detatched.  I dove head-first into reading, and retreated as much as I could from reality, and the ulcers healed and didn't come back.  The panic attacks didn't.  Any time I surfaced, they were there.  So was the feeling of being trapped and overwhelmed by my reality.

Keep in mind, at this time I was still forced into weekly "supervised visits" with my abuser (and the supervisor was one of his allies).

When I was 17, I was diagnosed with depression triggered by learned helplessness.  And the counselor who figured this out?  Pointed out that I was damn near 18.  Argued to the court that I should be allowed to choose whether or not to "visit" with my abuser. 

My grades shot up.  And my panic attacks tapered off in frequency, but not severity.  But.  I learned to deal with them, and get through them.  I learned how to push them off until I had time to let it happen and get through it. 

And I got through college (with the help of my then-boyfriend for the first year of college, now-husband).  In spite of continuing panic attacks.

Without medication, since I reacted incredibly badly to it.*  Or, since I'd aged out of the system, further "professional" help. 

Because my focus had changed.  From "what's wrong with me" to "let's do this in spite of what's wrong with me."

I have the feeling that if the "mental health" industry would refocus from drugging those seeking help to teaching coping tactics (after they dope-slapped the self-absorbed out of their own egos), the far, radical Left currently throwing public tantrums would be far, far smaller. 

Although...that might be why the meds and crippling sympathy are all that's handed out.  People blinded by their self-absorption don't see the strings being tied onto them by the puppet-masters.

*Most anti-anxiety drugs made things worse.  So did anti-depressants.  And the oldest one, Prozac, removed almost all of my self-control and increased my rage to near-homicidal levels, and it took seven or eight years for me to stabilize after that.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Not sure why charges were even considered.

Last week, we had an incident in the town where I live (large town--about 75K people living in the town proper plus the bedroom communities).  A pedestrian decided to try to cross one of the busiest streets in town.  Not at a cross walk.  Against the lights. 

The inevitable happened. 

The individual driving will not be charged. 

Thing is, I don't see why that was even considered.  The street in question has a 45mph speed limit, two lanes going either direction, plus a left turn lane in the middle.  Most of the people who live here don't like crossing that road.  But for whatever reason, the pedestrian decided to not just cross that road, but jaywalk through traffic.

Yes, they died.  But it was a result of their own stupidity. 

I don't know, maybe they were on a cell phone and not paying attention...but that doesn't make it any less stupid.

I honestly can't bring myself to feel sorry for the pedestrian.  Their family, yes, but not them.  That kind of stupid really shouldn't be let out on its own.  It's one of the reasons I'm trying to brainwash my kids to call stupid what it is, and to not participate in it. 

No, the person I feel the worst for is the driver.    Because they have an accidental death on their conscience, through absolutely no fault of their own (given traffic on that road, they may have saved lives by not hitting the brakes and causing a massive pile-up--even if they had time to stop, nobody around them would have been able to avoid hitting them).

The only negligence I see is that of the pedestrian, and they've already paid for that. 

Charges for the driver shouldn't have been even a brief consideration, given the rest of the facts.