Tuesday, February 14, 2012


All you lovers, misfits, losers, morose midnight self-medicated singers of "Downtown Train"... All you scrappers and quitters and once-more-with-feelingers... And most of all, every one of you this-is-the-last-straw-I-just-don't-know-what-to-doers. I love every one of you magnificent bastards, even when you kill yourselves because you can't endure the one impossible thing. And I forgive you for that. But mostly, I hope you didn't regret pulling the trigger, because that would suck, wouldn't it? Happy Valentine's Day. STICK AROUND, IT JUST MIGHT ACTUALLY GET BETTER.

--Michael M. Butler, aka "Nortius Maximus"

PS: Try not to eat any more of this if you've had enough, OK?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Googlewhack Minus One, Incremented.

A good friend of mine just found that Google could not find any match in the entire Intertubes for

excelsior etymology

Well! We know what to do about that, don't we? While he continues to look for the actual etymology of the word "excelsior", we might as well play a little at the SEO game. Excelsior!


PS: Been a long time. Let's see what happens with this blog, shall we?

Update: The failure to find was either pilot error or a momentary lapse on Google's part. The "good friend of mine" was me. See next post for the decloak.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cooking, health and cognitive therapy for both

For now: This is a quickie "fieldstone" for a general Quality / gumption matter. Food can be very uninspiring if you let it be. And when you eat easy-to-find prepared food products what you see when you look in the mirror can be a real gumption drain too.

A lot of people, many of them guys, grew up without really getting cooking. A lot of non-guys might have, too, I can't speak with authority about that.

There's a Zappa song called The Dangerous Kitchen [lyrics here] which sort of sums up some of the concerns (warning: lyrics are not entirely polite). Frank himself is reported to have generally limited his own cooking to jabbing a fork into a hot dog right out of the 'fridge and then cooking it over a stovetop gas burner until it blackened -- the eponymous Burnt Weenie Sandwich.

Bob Scher wrote a nifty little book (out of print, dammit) called The Fear of Cooking, which I dearly love [short review here].

Comes now further news of a website called Cooking for Engineers -- well, actually, I'd heard about it a while ago.

The point of all that is that a lot of people are developmentally limited when it comes to cooking. And by the time they're adult it can be really easy to either lose gumption entirely or lose zest and just fuel the meat machine mechanically--and either way, wind up eating fast food and high-calorie low-quality foods like peanut butter straight off a spoon.

We can do better than that. I'm living proof. Or I hope to be, soon. :)

The last time I was close to "fightin' weight", I was so broke I managed to be on a sort of caloric restriction. Well, now I've got a high-quality pedometer -- a Yamax DIGI-WALKER SW200, thank you very much, with a precision pendulum movement, not the cheapass $12 clicky-ball P.o.S. from Big 5 -- and I'm deliberately parking at the wrong end of parking lots so I can put in at least one extra mile of walking, every day. But I still have the tendency to procrastinate and loll in bed until I have to rush to work, and then I can't do some of the walking-- no time!

My personal goal is to fill my mornings with morsels: low-glycemic-index, tiny wonderful tasting treats (there is a ginger mango CHEESE out there in the world; can you IMAGINE such a thing?); and use that as leverage to (a) get my ass out of bed with a spring in my step and (b) get me more concerned with the experience of gustatory Quality and less with stuffing my maw until the mass-market container of Food Court / Franchise {x} Bad Food is empty.

There's a wonderful story I want to relate about M. F. K. Fisher (it concerns her father, too), but that will have to wait.

I bet I lose weight and have fun too. Let's see if I'm right.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

QOTD: freedom


My two dogs
tied to a tree
by a ten-foot leash
kept whining and howling for an hour
till I let them off.

Now they are lying quietly on the grass
a few feet further from the tree
and they haven't moved since I let them go.

Freedom may be
only an idea
but it's a matter of principle
even to a dog.

-- Louis Dudek

Amen, brother, amen.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Worthy of the Presidency

This Guy.

At the moment this video doesn't require registration to view. It's 26 minutes long. Make popcorn.

I'd vote for this guy over either of the major candidates in a New York nanosecond. He's got the Palin "outsider" thing and blackness and all sorts of stuff going for him.

Plus, I don't think he'd want the job. That's a winning element right there, along the Cincinnatus / Buckley "phone book" line (The number's up to 635 now, from 400, but you get the drift).

And I know he'd drop dead before appearing with a pre-Presidential seal on his podium.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bat bloodstreams blown-out by blades?

OK, this is truly sad/strange. Calgary researcher seem to have found that an inordinate seeming number of bats are being killed by wind turbines not from outright collisions but due to the pressure drop near the lifting surfaces damaging the capillaries in their little batty lungs...

Sigh. Ain't nothin' simple.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A love not offered lightly

Please go to, read and sign this petition.

If you don't know of Rick Rescorla yet, you'll feel like a better person once you do.