a Someone should care, maybe not you....: June 2007 .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

26 June 2007


A story about a skink was mentioned recently by a commenter and I promised I would tell the story. Sort of a closer to nature than some people want to be issue.....

Skinks, for those of you who don't know, are a variety of lizard. More info on them can be found here.

Just over a month ago, before tropical Storm Danny made people think there actually might be water in the sky that falls down to earth some times, I was out watering a couple of trees in my back yard. I normally don't do this ecept for the fruit trees but on of these two trees had just had half it's leaves die and fall off so I figured some agua was in order. As I stood there watching the water run out onto the ground and spread around I heard a rustling noise and saw a large skink come over and start drinking. I watched him for a few minutes then I moved. When I moved he realized there was something up in the air above him and he ran for cover. Where he ended up running though was up the back of my leg. He took up station at about my belt in the middle of my back and sat there. If I craned my head one way he would move the other way. I really thought this was quite funny and wished that there was someone around who could take a picture of this guys hiding from me on my own back. Unfortunately there wasn't and I eventually did a little hop/jump thing that got him to jump off and run into the bushes to hide again.

The picture at the top is not the skink in question but could well be a relative. He lives in the front yard and the back climber lives in the back yard. Back Climber is also substantially larger.

19 June 2007

Pizza - Edit for pictures....

Well, firstly allow me to apologize for the long silence. There has been a fair amount of disruption going on around here that has been keeping me very busy. Net access has been limited and time has been required elsewhere. In addition to those complications, it is heading up to the culmination of the fencing season and I am trying to get myself and several other folks ready to travel to Miami for the national championships. But enough excuses, I promised you a food post.
This was I admit one of my less successful efforts on the cooking stage. I made some mistakes that compromised the final result in appearance if not in taste.
I was making pizza. The recipe for the dough I got from the March issue of Bon Appetit. It was a pizza recipe from Giada de Laurentiis of current popularity on the Food network.
The dough is quite simple, you need:
¾ cup warm water
1 envelope dry yeast
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons of olive oil.

You start by stirring the yeast into the warm water and letting it dissolve.
Brush a large bowl lightly with olive oil. Mix the flour sugar and salt. (the magazine says in a processor, I just used a whisk and a bowl) Add the yeast mixture and the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, mix until you have a sticky ball. Transfer this ball to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Add a little flour if it is very sticky. Transfer dough ball to the prepared bowl, (note: this step got me because I had used the bowl they said to brush lightly with olive oil to mix the dough in so I had to prepare another bowl. Lesson learned: read the whole damn recipe before you start. Or they should say prepare a bowl and set it aside.) turn the dough to coat evenly with olive oil, cover and let rise for about 1 hour (until doubled in size) Punch down the dough, and roll it out into a circle from the center leaving the edges thicker.

Now I left the magazine behind. They had fancy yuppy pizza toppings. I went with my old favorite, ham and pineapple. I purchased a can of pizza sauce (the magazine said use marinara sauce) then I tore up some deli ham, popped open a can a pineapple and made things ready. And here is where I screwed up.

You are supposed to preheat the oven to 475 degree and cook the pizza for about 15 minutes. I failed to preheat the oven before making the pizza. So I had the pizza, with sauce, ham, and pineapple sitting on my cutting board for about 10 minutes while the oven was heating up. Needless to say when the oven was hot the sauce had soaked through the dough to the point where I couldn’t get it off the cutting board to put into the oven. I seriously malformed my pizza in the effort and eventually turned it into a calzone by folding it over and stuffing it drooping into the oven. It did not come out looking spectacular but it tasted pretty good. The dough was a bit breadier than I personally prefer but I liked it enough that I will try again without making the mistakes.

05 June 2007

The Interrogator Moment

The interrogator moment is not a new thing but it is something that I notice a lot more now. This is that moment when someone realizes that you are (or were) an ACTUAL Interrogator. The other day I was giving a few Mormon missionaries a ride home from a neighboring town. They had heard that I had been in the army and asked about deployments and then asked what I did. My usual response at this point is to say I was in Military Intelligence (which often leads to that oh so original and funny joke about oxymorons). This usually has a moment of it’s own where people ponder that then ask what I did. Then I pop out the I word and people almost universally stop whatever they are doing or saying and glance out me out of the corner of their eye, or just stare. There are often some mumbles along the lines of “oh, that’s interesting” or “Uh, wow, that must have been….. hard…..” You can see them trying to picture me as an INTERROGATOR, a torturer, someone who callously inflicts pain to get information. I guess I should be upset that people tend to look at me for a moment and then nod and file me away like that. I guess I look mean enough to do it. The missionaries did. Then one of them asked if it had been hard to do. I have had a few people just come out and ask how you decided when to start torturing people. I always explain now that I don’t torture people. That professionals who actually have a clue what they are doing don’t torture people. That torture is, as a general rule, a not terribly effective means of gaining information. I usually let it drop there. I am not at all sure that people actually believe me though. Deep down inside I suspect they are nodding their heads and saying “yeah, sure” and filing me away as someone to keep an eye on.
The Interrogator moment is not a new thing. I experienced it before the war too. But then it was more of a pause then a joke and a nudge with the elbow. And I’ll be honest; we (interrogators) played with that. We would always reply with a rote statement that “the Army officially forbids any violation of the Geneva convention.” And when people would ask “yeah, but…” we would say it gain and everyone would laugh. I don’t do that any more. People don’t laugh very often about it.

And a lot of folks have me pegged in the back of their minds as someone who may be dangerous.

Meanwhile, "Scooter" Libby has been sentenced to 30 months in prison as a result of the whole Plame investigation. Of course Richard Armitage who actually revealed her identity was never even subpoenaed and isn't being punished at all. In congress William Jefferson, caught on video tape accepting bribes and found with $90K of the bribe money hidden in his freezer sits in congress and smiles while people talk about the Republican "Culture of Corruption".