Sunday, September 07, 2008

NFL in advance

OK, I'm taking Angelos' challenge and posting my own picks. 'los can be found here.

Created opening day, mid-way through the first games.

In AFC, Colts over San Diego in title game; Dallas over Seattle in NFC title game. Colts over Dallas in the Super Bowl.


East W L
New England 11 5
NY Jets 10
Buffalo 9
Miami 3

Pittsburgh 10 6
Cleveland 10
Cincinnati 7
Baltimore 6 10

Indianapolis 12 4
Jacksonville 11 5

San Diego 10 6
Denver 9 7
Kansas City

11 5
10 6
Philadelphia 9
Washington 6 10

10 6
Green Bay
6 10

10 6
New Orleans
9 7
Tampa Bay
8 8
Atlanta 4

Seattle 12 4
Arizona 8
St. Louis 6 10
San Francisco 5

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Voter requirements

With the introduction of the palpably unqualified Gov. Palin to the national election, some discussion has been generated about requirements for public office. Personally, I wish we could have requirements for voting in this country. Now, it's clear we can't because it'd be used in discriminatory manners against historically disenfranchised groups. But ideally, anyone who cannot pass the following test with at least a 70% has no business helping select their representatives.

1. Name the three branches of the national government and briefly describe their respective functions.
2. Identify how fluctuations in supply and demand affect prices of goods and services.
3. Name three ways in which the national government can influence the actions of a foreign government.
4. Define the terms "federal budget deficit" and "national debt."
5. What are the constitutionally defined duties of the vice president?
6. State whether each of the following is a required duty of the national government, a permitted function of the national government, or an act prohibited to the national government:
a. Establish a national currency.
b. Establish and fund the armed forces.
c. Establish a national religion.
d. Tax cigarettes at $1,000.00 per pack.
e. Prohibit entry into this country by a U. S. citizen.
f. Execute an individual upon conviction of a capital crime.
g. Establish a local educational curriculum.
h. Ensure that each state has a republican form of government.
i. Regulate equipment worn by NFL players.
j. Raise the top marginal income tax rate to 100%.
7. What is the functional of the Electoral College, and how are its votes assigned to the candidates?
8. Name three current U.S. Senators and three current members of the U.S. Supreme Court.
9. Define the terms "radical," "liberal," "conservative," and "reactionary" as they apply to current U. S. politics.
10. Which political party might you be expected to vote for if you support each of the following positions? (You must choose between the Democratic, the Green, the Libertarian, and the Republican parties. There can be more than one correct answer in some cases.)
a. Strong environmental regulation, even (if necessary) at the cost of economic growth.
b. Strong economic growth, even (if necessary) at the cost of environmental degradation.
c. A single-payer health care system, sometimes called "nationalized health care."
d. The abolition of the federal Departments of HHS, Education, and Agriculture.
e. The pre-emptive use of military force to resolve disputes with foreign nations.
f. The reduction of federal income tax rates as a goal in and of itself.
g. Using the federal government to retrain workers.
h. Increasing the size of the U.S. military from its current level.
i. Legalizing marijuana.
j. Increasing criminal penalties as a solution for increases in crime.

As you can see, this isn't difficult and really isn't partisan. But we all know that there are thousands, maybe millions of our fellow citizens who will be voting in November who could not answer even 3 of those questions correctly. My well considered and researched vote is worth exactly as much as the drunken doofus who stumbles into the poll on a lark. And there are a whole lot more of them than there are of me.

Welcome to the Idiocracy.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Omnivore meme

I'll say up front there is no food I wouldn't consider eating. (Roadkill is NOT food, and could be anything. Silly to put it in the list.) There's a lot here I had to look up, though.

1. Venison --- steaks, sausage, and stew. Excellent!
2. Nettle tea (?)
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare--- I've eaten raw hamburger; raw steak is delicious.
5. Crocodile--- OK, it was actually alligator, but close enough in my book.
6. Black pudding (?)
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp (It's possible I've had this as I eat all kinds of fish, but I don't specifically remember it.)
9. Borscht (?) (I've had beets, but not in this form.)
10. Baba ghanoush (?)
11. Calamari
12. Pho (?)--- turns out I had it in Nashville, but didn't know that was the name of the dish.)
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses (?)
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes. (Muscadine wine)
19. Steamed pork buns (?)
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes (included this, but not sure. Garden tomatoes very common down here.)
22. Fresh wild berries (Used to pick blackberries as a kid.)
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper--- (eaten many raw peppers, don't recognize this one.)
27. Dulce de leche (?)
28. Oysters --- (Oh, yeah. Raw and on the half shell. LOVE them. That rumor is a lie, though.)
29. Baklava--- (every Christmas)
30. Bagna cauda (?)
31. Wasabi peas (?)
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi (?)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (Cagnac, yes. No cigar, though.)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O --- (Jell-O shots? Sure, hasn't everyone?)
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail (?)
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (Mom walked in on me and half a roach when I was a toddler.)
43. Phaal (Again, yes, but had to look it up to remember.)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (Yeah, when I when the lottery.)
46. Fugu (?)
47. Chicken tikka masala (Love love love)
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin (?)
51. Prickly pear (?)
52. Umeboshi (?)
53. Abalone.
54. Paneer (?)
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle (?)
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV (In Europe and long ago, but yes. Kronenbrau.)
59. Poutine*** (Saw this on No Reservations the other night. Looks awesome.)
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads (Why did they name meat sweetbread, I wonder.)
63. Kaolin (?)
64. Currywurst(?)
65. Durian (?)
66. Frogs’ legs --- (They really do taste like chicken. Only rubbery.)
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis (On my "bucket list" to eat.)
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette(?) (And tripe. Fried and with hot sauce, that's good eatin'.)
71. Gazpacho (cold soup is highly overrated)
72. Caviar and blini (Caviar is very bland, IMO.)
73. Louche absinthe (No, but first chance I get, I'm on it.)
74. Gjetost, or brunost (?)
75. Roadkill (OK, this is NOT food, it's a description of how something died.)
76. Baijiu (?)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail (Highly overrated, but not offensive. Just bland.)
79. Lapsang souchong (?)
80. Bellini (?)
81. Tom yum (?)
82. Eggs Benedict (?)
83. Pocky (?)
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare (down here, they're called "rabbit," and they are tasty critters.)
87. Goulash
88. Flowers (sure, as a kid)
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate (?)
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab (?)
93. Rose harissa (I loved living in The Village in college. All the internationals lived there, got to try lots of foods.)
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano (?)
96. Bagel and lox (Bagels sure; lox, no)
97. Lobster Thermidor (?)
98. Polenta (?)
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee (?)
100. Snake (Fried at that.)