On Peoplenomics.com: How to Really End Crime

This weekend we present a practical look at the subject of crime – and propose a dramatic and innovative way to reduce crime, while at the same time lowering the cost of police work, detective bureaus, and prosecutions. Did I mention increase the conviction rate, too? I’ll explain how my latest brainchild – a simple enhancement to the cell phone/9-1-1 system – could result in major reductions in crime as part of our ongoing series “Shopping List for a SuperCountry.” After, that is, we roll some coffee out along with a side of headlines (and shoppers acting badly video) to set the mood… More for Subscribers ||| SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Black Friday Deals, Credit Card Burn (CCB)

No, I won’t often put in two Amazon ads, but this is Black Friday and already the whole fate of the nation seems to hang on how much money you spend over the next few days, or so news reports make it seem.  Hell, I’m just doing my part to help try to save the Republic, right?

To be sure, a lot of people did venture out after turkey looking for deals, but here in the East Texas Outback, most of the stores in town were closed.  Family values (like spending time together) are still important in this part of the world.  Even the local Lowes was closed.  Wal-Mart was open, though.  And wife Elaine spied plenty of workers stocking like crazy and putting up fresh end-caps (those displays at the ends of the aisles if you’ve never worked retail).

She didn’t run into any of the wristbands or Segways on patrol.

She had a delightful time of it, since there was virtually no one locally out shopping, too.  Seems that she wasn’t the only one to make that observation, either.

This morning, the whole nation gets into the swing, and as always we like to mention the fictitious injury called “credit card burn”  (CCB) which arises from using your plastic so fast that friction can cause painful “burns.” 

Some people will miss them initially since the severity of the burns are often slow to appear.  In fact, usually (and this is what makes CCB such an odd disease) the burn doesn’t show up until statements arrive in January.

As luck would have it, the only salve that works is a thick poultice of cash, applied quickly to the burn source.  If not treated promptly, credit card burns can fester into collectionitis and bankruptus.

I’m expecting holiday sales to come in a little above forecasts this year.  For one reason, the rising market gives the illusion that things aren’t all that bad.  Although, when questioned by CNN, seems people on reflection have grokked that that things maybe aren’t all that good.  You might want to read into the details over here about why almost 60% of those polled think things aren’t going so well.

And they may be going poorly, but the Obama administration is – at least in one sense – lucky because of the shutdown of government.   Here’s why:  As a result of the shutdown, government economic reports which would normally be out on “Cyber Monday” (like the employment situation for the month) have been pushed back to December 6th.  Little things like that may help peddle a few more trinkets.

Another area where the administration is lucky (so far) is that the coming January-February timeframe for a resumption of the budget talks/disaster seems momentarily missing from the public mindset.  Oh, sure, it leaks out in a few places, like this recent mention in the Op-Ed Part of US News’ site, but that was more than a week ago.  It’s almost like the mainstream media are complicit in keeping people from thinking about the hard economic realities of the day. 

Lest it screw up sales, which in turn will make retailers poor, delay ad revenue payments to media in January/February, and all the rest of that knock-on, ripple effect.  In other words, mainstream media have only money to lose from a crappy (but perhaps more reasonable) high spending period. 

Can America “Christmas its way” into financial recovery? 

No.  Not a ghost’s chance in hell, or even Christmas’ Past.

But don’t tell anyone down on Wall St.  With only “noise trading” and an historical trend to rally gong into the holidays well entrenched, the bulls are looking to put another 50-points on the Dow scoreboard and 5-more possibly on the S&P. It’ll be a shortened trading day.  Even Streeters gotta shop.

So please do your part:  Get out there are get the worst case of Credit Card Burn you can this weekend.  The fate of bankster mansion class depends on it. 

Just one word of moderation here:  You don’t want them coming after your Ho Ho Home….especially when the hangover of financial reality arrives in late January 2014. That’s just after the chickens come home to roost again in Washington.

More after this…

SuperRich: Their Own Private Idaho?”

A quick lesson in how to read this news this morning which you may learn something from.

We will start with the story writ large in the UK’s Mail Online which goes into marvelous (and dreamy) details about a proposal to build  an “…incredible mile-long floating CITY – complete with schools, a hospital, parts, and an airport for its 50,000 residents.”

I hope you see “the deal” here?

No?  (Did you swear off coffee or something?)

OK, here’s what’s up  methinks:  Scroll down to the map about half way down that page…study it for a second, then I’ll tell you what I see in this…and I think you’ll agree it’s cute!

you see the ship will be making its way in a nice leisurely way around the world every two years, right? 

And you saw the price, right?  $10-billion?  Which works out to $200K per person as a buy-in, not counting ongoing operating expenses which could be humongous.

This gets us to the first thinking point of the story: 

1.  Is this floating place/Freedom Ship idea for…

a.  Rich Folks

b.

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Coping: Prepping/Dowsing, Data and Disappearing

My late uncle Stanley was the first one to introduce me to dowsing as a boy.  I must have been 8 or 9 at the time and I was out visiting his small farm located near what is now Sea-Tac airport in Seattle.  It wasn’t a particularly big farm.  Just about 5 acres.  But that much land today would be a fortune, since a lot of property, residential and close to a major airport (off to the side where it’s quieter, however) would be a small fortune today.

Back then it was a genuine wonder:  A tractor, a stand of corn in summertime that towered over me, aunt Iris’s homemade pies (done between her American Legion volunteer work and a real working job), and a big collie which looked remarkably like Lassie.  Except, “Happy” had been taught to bark fiercely whenever the word “democrat” was mentioned in conversation.

One day when we were visiting, Stanley asked if I wanted to learn how to dowse.  I had no idea what that mean, but my dad and I followed him out to the shop out back (Stanley built all his own houses and may dad helped in on most of them, hence my grounding in tools…I was a tool helper).  After going through a few items in the sawdust covered room he announced he’d found what he was looking for:  A pair of brass dowsing rods.

After a few minutes of instruction (aided by a 6-foot piece of iron pipe tossed on the ground, I was ready for my first experiments in dowsing.

The first item I found (following directions to work the front yard east to west, eyes closed) was the waterline in from the street.

A second “find” was a sewer line.  Boy, was this ever fun.

I’ve used dowsing a few times since, and in fact that’s how we found the spot on our property to put in our back-up well.  Worked just fine.

The main tricks of it seem to be finding the right shoes.  Some people swear by bare feet, others claim leather soles work best, while another camp has the well-insulated view that rubber soles, like tennis shoes, are the real McGoslin.

The second key thing is to  hold the rods just right.  They need to be able to rotate, just so.  If they are held with the tips too close to level, they will sway uselessly.  However, if the tips are too low, then there’s not enough swing to them.

Third thing to remember is that your eyes need to be closed to “feel” things.  I don’t know why, but the feel is more apparent for many people with eyes closed.  Maybe dowsing has something to do with the brain shutting off overt optical inputs; I can’t just say.

Last point – and most important – is that you give yourself permission to dowse.  A lot of people fail at dowsing because they don’t let themselves actually do it.  They “counter-believe” in the process which understandably torpedoes the whole thing.

So there you have point #1.  If you really want to be a prepper, a pair of old brass curtain rods is a useful thing.  Or, drop by a welding store and pick up some brass 36” rod and bend some up, yourself.  The water may be down a ways, but in the hands of someone who has practiced the art (it’s not witchcraft, it’s just one of those natural forces we’ve lost track of, thanks to technology) water is often easily found.

So what on Earth could this have to do with data and our www.nostracodeus.com big data project which looks at the comings and goings of words from major media?  Well, you may recall that in Monday’s column, we added the words “harriers” and “carriers” to the dictionary and ever since then, the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning has been making headlines because it’s enroute to a training mission in the South China Sea, where China has just instituted an air defense zone, which the US has “tweaked” with a B-52 overflight, and which gearing up to project Chinese sea power into the contested (with Japan) Sendaku islands area.

One note about the Chinese picture (after you click on the first one at the link above) of the aircraft appearing to take off from the Liaoning.  It’s not.  The aircraft is too high to have done a takeoff – since the aircraft even light on fuel – would be less than half of its apparent altitude.  So this was, to my eye, an aircraft that came down, made an approach, and then did a go-round.  The angle of attack looks wrong for low airspeed, too.  Staged-looking.  Just sayin’.

Also, offers reader Roger, there’s a dandy backgrounder on air defense identification zones to be found over here.

After you go back and reread the post “Winds of Noumenon” you’ll see that events since have sure focused on carriers which could be a success for the data-sniffing technique, OR (and this is something that didn’t hit me until this morning) the Nostracodeus software could act something like a massive dowsing rod amplifier.  Or a “big data dowsing amplifier” might be another way to express the idea.

Could it be that regular people have hints (in their dreams) that tell them – against a very, very noisy background of modern high energy life – what’s to come?

Clearly, in last Sunday’s dream-state, carriers and harriers sitting on the deck came through, along with a picture of a female in charge.  Turns out that yes, there is a woman in charge of a major US naval group, and among her command (if a reader who researched the point has it right) there are smaller Marine ships with Harriers aboard.  (Mark II’s, if that matters.)

So the question is whether my dream was in any way meaningful? 

That I can’t tell you.  But, what I can tell you is that both Grady and I have now put the word “disappear” into our Indicators analyses as we’re both off doing runs now.  I haven’t looked at the size of the news sources run, in number of pages to read) but as I write this note my run (of woo-woo and fringe news sites) is 215 out of 2156.  In a couple of hours we’ll see what’s in that one.

The reason is the latest dream-state concept I woke with was “disappearing and some number of people were involved.  If, over the next week (two at the outside) we get a glob of missing/disappeared people, then will have even more research to do.

Something roll around in the back of your mind – which is where the reality we share seems to spring from…  Is future-directed software sort of like a digital data dowsing rod?

Readers Writes on China

In our Peoplenomics.com subscriber report this week, we highlighted the differences in strategic thinking about China.  Among other points:  The US is very technology-dependent in it military approach to things, while China continues to hold a strong “rural fall-back” capability which has failed in the US due to the attacks on the American farmer and small farm life overall.

As a result, I noted the large number of Chinese who in a sense are “massing” near the US border in places like Vancouver and Toronto – a point echoed by subscriber Joel who sent this:

My son the geographical analysis expert tells me that Canada encourages the immigration of mainland Chinese.

Gov expected lots of new jobs to follow.

However, the rich mainlanders established bolt-holes but leave their businesses to operate in China.  Lower costs, fewer regulations.

Maybe, if the violent rev in China really gets going, the entrepreneurs might relocate their stuff.

Meanwhile, Vancouverites and Torontonians suffer with ridiculously high housing prices.

Toronto has the second highest number of hi-rises in NA, after NYC.

Toronto has the most construction projects of any city in NA.

This is the uptown area of Toronto: mostly Chinese, Korean, Iranian. (Yes. Iranian).

Quite a contrast in another way:  The US is arguing for open immigration for poor people who will compete for the few remaining jobs in America, while the Canucks are going for high dollar people. 

Seems there’s no “right path” in this:  The Canadian approach is screwing people out of affordable housing, but because of the lower wages which higher immigration from penniless people will incur, the US will get to “unaffordable” via a different path:  Lifestyle decline.

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Happy Thanksgiving: Phone-Friendly

Being a workaholic is….well…. a lot of work.  Even today. 

Out of habit I was up at 4 AM, so I finished some website testing on the UrbanSurvival, Peoplenomics, and Nostracodeus websites, and I was pleased to find that all of them are now not only fast (with times off the server in the range of 1.10-1.46 second, about 1/3rd the response time of weather sites, for example) but they also now look dandy (with drop down menus) on most mobile phones.

I did have a number of complaints from people who didn’t appreciate the change and who continue to dislike our new “mobile-friendly” approach.  Sorry, but we need to talk.

Since today is a semi-day-off,  let’s wander away of our usual “hard economics, hard news, and the odd bit of wujo” to give you a look behind the scenes at some of the decision-making processes that led to our latest changes.

As you may be aware,  (so-called/misnamed) “SmartPhones” are now accounting for an ever-increasing portion of internet use. 

Without the change, our site was “offensive” to mobile users.  Androids top the list although some are Samsung’s, some are iPhones, others are Kindles.  Since the pages make sense on my own Kindle and GomerPhone, I can now look at them on the road.

Now, as much as I loved the older (simple) basic HTML code (and clunky browsers) which had been previously used on both UrbanSurvival and Peoplenomics, the times (and technology) have changed.  It forced me to make a difficult choice…namely to give up the old ways and make the public face of both sites much more (phone) user-friendly.

Peoplenomics readers will still be served the conventional .HTML pages, but we will (early in 2014 give the subscribers a choice of whether to use the mobile-friendly content or the “old-school” approach.

As to the difficulty of change? I hope two or three clicks to keep up has not been too much imposition on you. (Seriously?)

All you needed to do blow-out (delete) the old cached  content (meaning old pages stored locally in your computer) and then go on to any of our web sites.  The browser will load the changes correctly and life goes on.  Pages will display nearly the same – but now they can be found on most mobile phones.

A second point which stuck in the craw of a few readers (e.g. didn’t set well) was breaking the daily report into two parts which was done back in July: That when we broke the single long page into a news section and a lighter/more off-the-wall section (called the Coping section) which deals with everything from Wujo stories to personal cooking hints, prepping, and life out here in the “outback” in general.

Two things drove that decision:

First was pure economics:  The UrbanSurvival site costs are paid for by advertisers.  Please support them when you buy things by clicking from this site to their stores.

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An Insight into Futuring?

As Grady noted in the report earlier today, “Oh-Oh- CARRIERS!” this sent a small chill up my spine toward the base of brain because of a dream that I had earlier this week.

It wasn’t just any dream.  If was one of those rock ‘em – sock ‘em blow your eyes out in dreamland IMAX which comes as close to “being there” as you can imagine.

When I saw that Grady’s run had come up with “carriers” off I went on a Google search to see what was triggering it.

To be sure, going back through the data of my own run, I found a few [expected] references to things like “common carriers” and “air carriers” and things that are usually in the background.

But (remember the Monday write up of my Carrier dream over in the “Winds of Noumenon” post on the UrbanSurvival site, this quick elevation in “carriers” of the aircraft take off and landing type is more than slightly disconcerting, so I thought I would put a note up on the UrbanSurvival site, the Nostracodeus.com site and even Peoplenomics, since this arrival of ‘carriers” is troubling.

As the story is “getting legs” with reports like NBC’s “China deploys only aircraft carrier after US sends B-52s over disputed islands.” beginning to get some traction now.

The carrier involved is what the US would like to characterize as a museum piece.  The Liaoning is described by Wikipedia as:

“…the first aircraft carrier commissioned into the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).[3] Originally laid down as the Admiral Kuznetsov class multirole aircraft carrier Riga for the Soviet Navy, she was launched on December 4, 1988 and renamed Varyag in 1990. The stripped hulk was purchased in 1998 by the People’s Republic of China and towed to Dalian Shipyard in north eastern China. After being completely rebuilt and undergoing sea trials, the ship was commissioned into the PLAN as Liaoning on September 25, 2012.

Of a more pressing nature is the fact that while officially the US pictures this as a “lone ship” it has two destroyers in escort, say some reports. 

Oh, and while the “sting” of its aircraft may not be what the Big E might pack for the US Fleet, we nevertheless note that the ship is hardly a museum piece and is, according to this note, staging up towards more efficient operations:

In June 2013, a second round of flight tests began on board the Liaoning, with personnel from the fleet air arm of the Brazilian Navy providing carrier training support to the Chinese Navy.[49] Five Chinese pilots were certified the next month for carrier operations.[50]

In September 2013, SMN reported that the Liaoning was still unable to operate J-15s with a heavy weapons/fuel load because of the ship’s limited size and lack of catapults.[51] The U.S.

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Early War Clouds with China?

If you don’t think the Iran Appeasement Deal (now blowing up, figuratively anyway) was bad enough, the folks who surround Clueless Leader may have really stepped in it this time; tweaking China with a US B-52 flight into a newly declared Air Defense Zone which happens to conflict with a similar zone claimed by Japan. It’s a move which could begin to collapse the bubble in US markets in 2014… So how much do we need to target as our investment return in 2014 if a long wave economic war (think WW II) is only a couple of years? Hint: Lots.

Code-Head Notes

When we cleaned up the UrbanSurvival.com site back in July, we didn’t realize that some mobile users would not be able to find the “root” directory on small (cheap) smartphones like mine.  Which I discovered my own “GomerPhone” couldn’t read my own site, I decided to fix the site in the root directory.  The Bonus is we may be a little less arcane and not so hard to find on the net.

For long-term users, the extra click (and bookmark) of the new page should be our “final resting place” for a while, but best laid plans and all that.  That said, the www.urbansurvival.com site should be stable for a while.  At least till we get a new hair up ()#$%^Y) and try to keep up with technology….

But to move UrbanSurvival and Peoplenomics with no down time to speak of…well, a libation may be in order.  ‘nog?

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“Two Turkeys” This Week!

There’s much to taste this morning as the headlines seem to indicate a slow cooking of the world’s goose prior to the long weekend, such as it is with storms and such.

For one thing, the Israelis are seriously pissed about the US going off and making what may be a massive mistake in allowing the Iranians to become a nuclear power because that is likely to set off a regional nuclear race.

While that may be grand for some of the US firms which could land big engineering and construction jobs in the future, it also makes the world a much more dangerous place to live since the more bombs there are, the more likely they are to be misused at some point.  And even minus warheads,  are we supposed to be dumb enough not to have noticed Fukushima.  Think Iran will be better plant operators?

While the NY Times is selling this under the headline of “Obama signals shift from military might to diplomacy” the other angle to it is to look up how well Lord Chamberlain would have done with an appeasement policy toward Hitler.

If the answer “Doesn’t seem to work too well…” doesn’t come to mind right away, a refresher on the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, or the  militarization of the Rhineland may help.

Every now and then, a President has to take a stand against countries that have become fixed on expansionist or megalomaniacal objectives.  Truman on Korean, Kennedy on Cuba.

Despite the abject failure of appeasement, which runs from the school yard bully all the way to the Middle East/present-day, not everyone sees the need to draw lines and take hard action.  And some, perhaps even members of congress, I would expect would be appalled at the presidential slack-handedness on Iran sanctions.

Give ‘em an inch and they’ll take what?

Hardly much mention of this, what in the heat of the PR campaign, but you did notice the Washington Institute pointed to what looks like an imperial presidency/rule by decree in their report “Sanctions Relief for Iran without Congressional Approval…”  I know…tisk, tisk…don’t let a little thing like the frigging LAW stand in the way of an agenda, right?

While it is true that former heads of Israeli security outfits (Shin Bet and Mossad) are hesitant to call for an outright attack, the deal with Iran might have included more checks and less opportunity for under the table development.

We’re left to wonder whether media was doing its job.

Our current president is presiding over a messy set of realities.  While Iran, essentially gets to skate with 7-loopholes, our Fearless Leader is busy orchestrating the roll-out of even more Draconian police state tools here at home, such as the FBI’s facial recognition system now set to go national.

And while “locking down America” continues, the long-running battle in Afghanistan to draw a line is ending with what looks like quick capitulation is coming.  So terrorists, those bent on world domination, and heroin poppy growers are a bigger threat than Americans?  I must have misplaced my fluoride treatments and ViceGrips.

Meanwhile, the inept LameStreamMedia haven’t figured out that in a country which already doesn’t have enough jobs, the LAST thing we need is wide open immigration to bring in even more people to take the government doll, which will require more taxes, while existing residents are left to fight over an ever-smaller piece of the pie. 

Fantastically, the Obama crew is still trying to perp this hoax over on the sheep, aided and abetted by media that won’t ask hard questions.  Here’s one: “Where’s the jobs gonna come from?”

Is there an appeasement policy with Mexico and the cartels we haven’t been told about, too? Is there a “right to squander” clause I missed?

Even if ALL of these facts escape you, there’s “Almost 80-million with employer health care plans who could have their coverage cancelled” reports Fox News.  We expect the liberalistas to attack Fox for reporting it, not the ugly facts of the healthcare roll-out disaster itself.

A CNN poll out this morning notes more democrats are fading into the sunset for 2014 thanks to healthcare, which is somehow not surprising.

But the good news – such as it is – is that Americans now live in a “two turkey” nation.  One’s in the oven.  And without prompting, let’s see who can figure out where the other one is, shall we?

Still In the Wings

A fresh round of U.,S, mortgage troubles is about to show up.

And while we’re making the gravy, how about a fresh impasse on the new federal budget, too?  There’s some momentary happy talk here, but we heard that wax and wane before the last shutdown, too, if you’ll recall.

More after this…

Let’s Blame the Shut Down (again)

If you’re on the edge of your seat for my pithy (or pissy?) remarks on Housing Starts, you can keep sitting rather uncomfortably because of this from Census:

The Census Bureau’s monthly New Residential Construction indicator includes statistics on building permits, housing starts and housing completions. On November 26 at 8:30 a.m., the Census Bureau will release estimates of housing units authorized by building permits in September and October.

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Coping: With Irregular Turkey

Elaine came home from grocery shopping with about a 10-pound bird Friday afternoon (late) and didn’t have room in the fridge.  We figured that since the temps in East Texas weren’t going to get above 40, things would be fine and we would likely make it to Tuesday before having the turkey thawed completely and ready for the oven.

Wrong.

By 10:30 Monday morning it was apparent that the turkey was going to get cooked right away since we both have read enough experiences of others to know that over-warmed turkey can be dangerous.  In it went. Oven bags are a blessing.

By 3PM it was done and by 4 we sat down to a marvelous meal of turkey, fresh from our own garden veggies which continue putting our squash and zucchinis, stuffing, Yukon Gold baked potatoes, and gravy.  A perfect Thanksgiving dinner except for the calendar which seemed slightly out of phase with the cuisine, but hell, right?

When I was a kid such off-schedule holidays were not unusual.  Firefighter families, like mine, and the kids of cops, docs, nurses, military – heck, there’s a long list of people – take it as a fact of life that Thanksgiving isn’t so much a precise moment like 3:47 PM on Thursday.  The truth is, it’s more like a date range last a week before until the Monday after – and within that – I’ve had friends over the years who have done turkey as early as 7 AM and as late as 2 AM. 

I made a note to ask Oilman2 to send it some snaps of Thanksgiving on an oil rig – there are all kinds of shifty people who will miss “usual time” for your convenience.

The fun part about “irregular turkey” is that I’ve already had a bowl of leftovers and the kitchen is clean.  Well, except for the deboning part, which will come as we make it through more leftovers and then move on to the various turkey dishes that use up whatever remains.

Ode to 13 Coins:  The SST Sandwich

All of which gets me to this point of this morning’s report:  The one best way to use up whatever is left in the way of turkey, based on a “sandwich” which used to be served by 13 Coins, a 24-hour restaurant in Seattle, cattywampus from the Seattle Times building, which serves as a kind of mecca for the broadcasters, writers, and theatrical types who made Seattle a happin’ place in the 1970’s and 80’s.  Still is, come to think of it.

‘Coins is still one of the top 5 late night food joints in the country and with good reason:  If you sit at the counter, you can watch the flaming cooking of your meal on the big gas stoves (and gas fired broiler ) of the sort most people can only dream of having at home.

It was here that the SST Sandwich was developed – at about the same time Boeing was building a mock-up of what might have been an American supersonic transport to complete with the Concorde. I always wondered if the selection of turkey as its main ingredient was so much a matter of taste or an aeronautical or economic assessment…

By far, the SST is the best use of turkey I’ve ever seen – and to my palate it is almost as good as fresh roasted turkey with all the fixin’s.  Maybe better, too, since if you can find precooked turkey in a deli, there’s little kitchen mess. Anyone can make good food in an unlimited kitchen with clean up staff.  When it’s me and/or Elaine and KitchenAid, it’s a different equation.

The inventor of the SST used a Béchamel sauce (white sauce) but for those of us who scored above average in the laziness department, I find a can of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup works almost as well as is a lazy-man’s substitute.

Also, in the original SST, if memory serves, the toast points had the crust cut off, but again, this seemed like additional work that could be dispensed with.  I mention this to make sure you get the flavor of the original dish.

Buttering the toast points?  That’s up to you and your cardiologist.

Oh…and fresh Parmesan from the Pike Place Market is nice, too.  But over the years I’ve used everything from Kraft “sprinkle cheese” to hand shaved Parmesan and various mixes and I couldn’t tell much difference.

The Recipe (as I remember it)

You begin with a hot skillet.

Into this, you pour about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and fire (or electric hell) under it until just smoking a bit.

Then you add one cup (roughly) of freshly slice mushrooms. Shake, toss, and worry it a bit.

Sauté and flame a bit for show, too if you care and are cooking over gas, but not so much as to set the room afire.  If you’ve got a range hood, like Coins, a splash of whatever burns good with the oil, adds nicely to the flavor.  I suppose brandy would be a good choice, as I could never get white cooking wine can flame, at least on an electric range.

When the flames die down, (the alcohol burns off  if you use high heat on a range, too) you toss in a cup, or so, of turkey which has been sliced into 3/4-inch cubes.  This is all tossed around so the flavors get acquainted with one-another.  Flame again if using gas.

Next comes the Béchamel sauce, or – if doing this at home – about a can (11 oz) of Campbell’s cream of mushroom.

Reduce heat a simmer while you get:

* Toast points to cover a shallow baking/serving dish,

* Two or three strips (long and lean) of crispy bacon, and

*  A 1/3 cup (or so) of Parmesan (or you could use an Italian three-cheese mix with little difference) and you fire up your broiler.

With the toast points (2-2/12 slices of bread worth) on the bottom of the shallow baking dish, you pour the hot turkey/mushroom sauce (which should be reasonably thick and not runny or you’ve used too much sauce) over the toast points.

If you’re using two pieces of bacon, they are placed in an “X” or, if three pieces, as parallels with a 3/’4” inch between them.

Sprinkle with the cheese and pop it under the broiler long enough for the cheese to melt and just brown to crust-color in a few places.

Serve with 13-Coins fries and a glass of whatever suites you, but to me, this is one of those dishes that does exceptionally well with a white zin, or iced tea.  Here lately, I seem to be doing cranberry juice more, which works just fine, too and is better for the liver and the FAA.

A word bout the fries (and why a 13-Coins visit is usually on our Seattle agenda although we haven’t had time the past couple of visits):  the fries are to die for.

They use good potatoes, which is a given, but they are not those wimpy little things like the “arches” folks turn out.  Instead, a potato is whacked into coarse slices about the size of your thumb (bigger if you’re dainty).  About 3/4’s of an inch.  These are then deep-fried in the usual way (which takes longer because of their size).

But the real fun is they come with 13 of them, stacked up in Lincoln Logs-fashion and then sprinkled with salt. 

It’s a sacrilege to do so, but I do ask for ketchup and the staff doesn’t (usually) seem offended by this epicurean infringement.

No, I don’t get any spiffs or deals for my semi-annual review of the SST.  In fact, I don’t know if it’s even on the menu anymore.  It wasn’t there last time I went.  But the kitchen was able to make one but I don’t know if they still can.  (Reports welcome on this point.)

Weather at this time of the year in the Northwest is usually crappy:  Gray, cold, and rainy more often than not.  Which may have something to do with why Seattle has some really great places to eat.

Other cities do, as well, but even San Francisco (last time we were there) seems to have gone “touristy” and “institutional/commercial” even at Ghirardelli and the wharf last time through.  I keep thinking about going back to see if anything’s at good as the food at Bertolucci’s in South San Francisco.

The main thing about great restaurants is they were usually started (or perfected) by great restaurateurs.  Families who somehow got the balance between hospitality, beverage, taste, performance, and consistency.  For me, the Wards (13 Coins and el Gaucho back in the day), Rossellini’s, and Ivar Haglund (Ivars) were the names in Seattle.  Lemonsakis and Gasparetti, too…there were lots of good hangouts.

Every city has them…it just takes a little looking around to find them. Most people don’t focus on finding them…too much hurry, too little time, yada, yada.  But like investing in stocks, finding a great restaurateur’s prize is the GI tract equivalent of finding Apple or Microsoft stock before everyone else catches on..

Along the way, be sure and ask questions and steal cooking ideas you can bring home, too.  You never know when you’ll have some leftovers that can be turned into real treats.

Tuesday at the Wujo

Coincidence or wujo?  Where is that line?

George, this is not exactly wujo, but it is a kind of coincidence that has occurred often in my life.

A few days ago, for no particular reason, I bought some Neosporin cream with pain relief, and noted that it was recommended for burns.

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T’is the Season to be Rally

Trah-lah-lah-lah-lah…. lah lah lah lah….This ain’t hard to figure:  Gold is down, so the dollar is up, so the number of dollars to buy the market should be down, so the futures should be weak.

But wait!  The Dow is likely to pop up 60 and the NASDAQ and S&P also look like they’re set to gain a third of a percent, or better.  What gives?

Well, for one thing, we know the market is impacted by seasonality.  Out comes the eggnog and up go the markets.  Even more on point (for a while) is that oil prices were down almost a buck and a half a barrel on prospects for Middle East resolution of a few issues like Iran. You’re not supposed to notice the raw sewage in Gaza…which might have something to do with why people toss missiles about.  Ignore the bad!

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Coping: With the Winds of Noumenon

I’m not sure what set it off, but long-time readers will remember that I’ve had occasional dreams that have had what’s seemingly “prophetic content.” 

The last “biggie” I had was before the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, which I wrote up as having aspects of oil/petroleum industry, murder, file, and warehouse which was posted here some 18-hours before the events.  (I’d put it up, but I took down the old site…though if you’re studious, it’s likely in archives on the net somewhere.)

The dream overnight was weird because it involved Elaine and I planning to go somewhere over a holiday (which we are, so nothing special there) but it also involved an Elvis Presley type singer who was belting out…

In the Harriers

Down on the carriers

holding on the deck…

And – making this even stranger – was the presence of a female officer in charge who was making this decision and a sense that something was going very badly and it might somehow impact our flying plans (Elaine and me).  Oh, and where the carrier involved was seemed pretty warm. 

Is this strange, or what?

Needless to say, I’ve asked Grady to add the words “carrier” and “Harrier” to our www.nostracodeus.com  project that’s searching of the internet for rising and falling word use. 

Admittedly,  the odds of a female-in-charge  telling the Harriers on a carrier to remain on the flight deck leading to (some negative outcome) which ripples widely is an incredibly low probability, so ifs something comes of it, well…. 

And if not, it gets me to the other idea that came along with this little IMAX-like mental event:  The idea that as Earth goes hurtling around in space, we run into invisible clouds of thought or expression of how the Universe works.

So, for example, we could be transiting (the last 20,000 years, or so, plus or minus a weekend) through an area of space where people pick-up (sort of like tuning forks) certain kinds of behaviors.  “Resonance of humans.”

As such, you wouldn’t need to actually employ any of your (traditional) five senses.  Your other senses (there may be six, or more additional ones as science keeps finding out more capabilities feeding the mind inside the skin-bag) aren’t even needed to pick up on the Noumenon.  It just is…and we’re all “tuning forks” –like it or not – and it’s an interesting notion around holiday time.

How does this “striking of that which resonates humans work?  Wikipedia’s discussion of the Noumenon is worth a look:

The noumenon /?n?u?m?n?n/ is a posited object or event that is known (if at all) without the use of the senses.[1] The term is generally used in contrast with, or in relation to “phenomenon“, which refers to anything that appears to, or is an object of, the senses. In Ancient philosophy, the noumenal realm was equated with the world of ideas known to the philosophical mind, in contrast to the phenomenal realm, which was equated with the world of sensory reality, known to the uneducated mind.[2] Much of modern philosophy has generally been skeptical of the possibility of knowledge independent of the senses, and Immanuel Kant gave this point of view its classical version, saying that the noumenal world may exist, but it is completely unknowable to humans. In Kantian philosophy the unknowable noumenon is often linked to the unknowable “thing-in-itself” (Ding an sich, which could also be rendered as “thing-as-such” or “thing per se“), although how to characterize the nature of the relationship is a question yet open to some controversy.

Which is where, perhaps, George’s “tuning fork” was pointing this morning – to the idea that we all go through our own assemblage points (thanks, Castaneda) of whatever it is that makes up the sharp pointy of here and now which slides down the wave front of the Eternal Now.

Dreams (and thoughts throughout the day) likely have these little “tuning fork” moments and relationships are perhaps in one sense, just shared mutual tuning fork striking.

Suppose – the End of Worlders are right.  Noumenal world make it possible to simply transit to a different area of space-time where we don’t need to consciously go collectively nuts.  We’re just struck: and in an instant what will seem a mass madness arrives.  Cheery, huh?

End Times Note:  Watch February 22, 2014

A timely headline – which few but the Rune throwers may appreciate – is how we are at a time when a lot of the world’s religions are talking End Times.

While everyone has been standing-by for the return of Jesus, and Muslims are on the lookout for the arrival of the 12th  Imam. we find it a rather bothersome little nit to realize that as many of Nostradamus’ predictions would fit nicely in here too (e.g. Black King, etc) not to mention the fact that we now have yet another big marker coming 89-days from now:

Will the world end in 100 days? Sounding of ancient trumpet in York warns of Viking apocalypse on 22 February 2014

This is when the god Odin gets killed by Fenrir the wolf and things go very badly for humans.

Oh, pay particular attention to the big “noise-makers” due, as well. 

In Biblical texts, Revelations 8:6 says “Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them…”  And in this account linked above of the Norse legend, we are also told to expect some kind of big horn which will call the “sons of Odin” off to the final battle.

In Biblical accounts, Gabriel is the trumpeter but as Wikipedia notices: “In Islamic tradition, though not specified in the Qur’an, the trumpeter sounding the trump of doom[21] is not Gabriel, but Israfil.”

So one questions is whether Israfil has anything to do with the trumpet calling the sons of Odin, too?

There seem to be many points of agreement among major religions pointing to a terrible racket to come at the end of things, along with all their differences, as well.  But, when the points of agreement seem to herald similar kinds of things, it occurs to me to go shopping on the off chance that the noumenal world has given us signs and portents of what’s to come in phenomenal world.

In the interests of science, I’ve made a note this morning to call Bose and ask “Are ya’ll’s Bose® QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® Headphones End Times Certified?”

I’m not planning to depart in 2014…or many years there after, but in the meantime, when it comes to trumpet players, have you ever heard of Lee Morgan? 

Here…try some of Morgan’s “Sidewinder”  – it’s the kind of music I grew up with.  Along with tunes like Freddie Hubbard and Art Blakley (Jazz Messengers) doing Moanin’I gotta wonder if they can keep out this final trumpet stuff?

I’ll pass on the Big Trumpet for now.  Besides, anyone looking for Tribulations doesn’t need to look further than the alarm clock and calendar.  It’s Monday and pretty damn early.

That’s punishment enough.

Still, Time Flows Oddly (Wu)

I was asking last week if anyone else has noticed time flowing strangely.  Either getting incredible amounts of stuff done in “no time” or getting nothing done in large time blocks?  Reader “am” sees it:

I too have noticed a great variability in the subjective nature of time over the last few years. It has been more pronounced lately. I forget where, but I remember some philosopher opining that time was like water. Yes, it flows,( but more or less can flow down the river depending on the weather, snow melt, etc.)
Not sure what time weather is, but it has been a bit tempestuous of late.
Like regular water, you can surf it.

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Peoplenomics: A Gathering of Trends

Every year about this time, while most other people are out shopping for do-dad an thingamajigs to buy the affections of others, Ures truly starts looking at the “big picture” stuff in preparation for our Annual Forecast, which is unusually issued just after the turkey leftovers run out. This is become the accompanying tryptophan-induced mental snoozing is done by then and we can look a little more forward into the future. It’s at this time of year we decide what to do next in personal strategies. But enough foreplay…let’s have a few headlines to scrape some of the frost off the brain cells before going on “the deep end” of looking ahead.

Knock-Out Game: a Predictor or a Short?

Oh, sure, there will be plenty of sites this morning which will wax on about how a would be player of the game of “knock-out” was shot by a would-be victim who was packing a .40, but there could be something else going on here, something below the radar perhaps indicative of the potential for inter-generational warfare. Let’s back up: Kids on the east coast, who run in packs (ala wild dogs) have recently been pointing out people at random, and then knocking them out – while an assistant perp shoots vido and then posts it online at places like YouTube…and in the latest, the CBS affil in Philly points to three recent knock-out attacks. What concerns me is the inconvenient arrival of the attacks at a time of growing tension between various parts of the population.

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