a Someone should care, maybe not you....: February 2008 .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.

My Photo

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.

19 February 2008

A Weird Movie.

A really, REALLY weird movie. Not at all for the Hemophobic. Gore is splashed about liberally in this strange little Japanese film called Stacy.

The premise of the film is that early in the 21st century all over the world, 15-17 year old girls begin dying and then coming back to life as zombies. Needless to say chaos breaks out everywhere, populations begin to drop etc. This happens to all girls apparently which has pretty serious consequences for the species. (it would certainly require REAL serious cultural changes to prevent extinction but the film does not delve into that zone) These zombies are, for reasons mentioned but unexplained, called Stacies. In Japan where the movie takes place there is a special paramilitary police corps dedicated to “rekilling” Stacies, in one of the many broad references to traditional zombie culture it is called the “Romero Rekill Corps” (another such example is the infomercial for the “Bruce Campbell Right Hand 2” electric chainsaw in designer colors, specially designed for use on your daughters or girlfriends.) In addition to the RRC parents and boyfriends are encouraged to kill their daughters/girlfriends at the first sign of transformation.
The plot, such as it is, revolves around a middle aged puppeteer who is approached by a girl named Eiko (spelled with the symbol for eternity) who asks him to rekill her when she changes. In exchange for which she will “sleep beside him and comfort him” until the event happens. A sub plot involves a young man going off to a former girls school now a zombie research center to find a friend of his sisters and save her from being an object of study. (it does not end well….)
There are the requisite mad scientists, hard core military types, three girls who are illegally rekilling others for money so they can pay some superstar to rekill them when the time comes, and of course hordes of teen aged zombie girls. Zombies are very easy to spot, they twitch, stumble, gibber, periodically glow blue, and wave their tongues around in an amazingly non erotic manner.
The end of the film is very much one of those semi mystical Japanese endings that are so frustrating to Americans.

As a note, the traditional zombie cannon is pretty much ignored throughout this film. Only girls become zombies and being bitten has no effect except to be painful and bloody. Shooting in the head will not kill them. In fact, the mad scientist declares the only sure way to stop one is to cut them into 165 pieces. (or burn them to ashes) This is not in any way a Politically Correct film. Way too much blood and abuse of females for that. It is not a film for everyone. But is you enjoy cheesy zombie films it is a good one to watch. (or if you like puppets, there are some really cool ones shown briefly and a nice puppet show stuck in the middle of the film.)

Not recommended for the General Audience but enjoyable for those weirdos out there like me who enjoy camp horror.

(way too much serious political stuff lately, needed to clear the air…..)

17 February 2008

Presidential Politics

I have been watching the campaigns for president with growing amusement and amazement. On the Democratic side it is looking like a total melee. If this was a third world country you could pretty much count on open bloodshed being spilled at the convention. Thus far at least we have managed to avoid that for the most part here in the US but you can never tell. Black talking heads are already making threatening noises about Clinton “stealing” the nomination from Obama. The press is making much about Clinton pressuring “super delegates” to vote for her while for the most part ignoring the fact that Obama is doing the same thing. Some Democratic activists are threatening to abandon the party if the super delegates change the outcome from what the elected delegates choose. The real donnybrook will come when neither of the candidates ends up with a majority of the elected delegates and the Supers have to vote. This raises the big question of Michigan and Florida. Is there anyone but me who is amused that despite the Democrats constant bitching about Republican supposedly disenfranchising voters no one complains when the Democratic Nation Party disenfranchises two entire states? If it comes down to it Clinton will try to seat the delegates. Obama of course will object greatly because he didn’t campaign in Florida at all and wasn’t on the ballot in Michigan. Expect chaos. I rather expect the Democratic campaign to get pretty ugly pretty fast.

On the Republican side, I personally am hoping that Anne Coulter sticks to her guns and abandons the party. I really dislike having lunatics on my side of an argument. The rest of the talking heads are still griping about McCain but it seems to be scaling back as more people come out in support of McCain. Boortz is still pretty adamant in favor of Huckabee but that is because he supports the Fairtax. Boortz also says quite clearly that failing to vote of McCain in the general election would be an exceptionally stupid thing for Republicans to do. He is a pragmatist if nothing else.
The question still arises in my mind of who McCain will choose as VP. Romney is a bet after his endorsement but I don’t think so. McCain needs to choose someone that the religious extremist in the Republican Party will support. And frankly, deep down inside they really don’t think Romney is one of them. The anti-Mormon bigotry is still there. Newt Gingrich would be an interesting choice. His “Conservative” credentials are all there but he may drive away the independents and moderates due to his reputation.

At any rate, it will be interesting to watch.

12 February 2008

Back to Bread......

I haven't done a cooking post in awhile so I thought I'd write about my latest experiment with an Afghan bread.
This is not a type of bread that I had in Afghanistan. It was in the recipe book and I thought I'd give it a try. It is very simple and easy to make. It is described as a sweet bread that is served with tea or hot milk. they also say it is traditionally served at the ceremony held when a child is 40 days old.
The bread is called Roht.

5.25 cups flour
2 level tablespoons baking powder
1 packet quick rise yeast
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 egg beaten
1 level tablespoon yogurt
sia dona (nigela seeds) or sesame seeds

Mix the flour, baking powder, yeast and cardamom.
Warm the oil in a small pan then add to the flour mix rugging together for a few minutes. Put the sugar in the warm water then gradually add to the flour while mixing well. Now add the egg (save a bit back for glazing) and the yogurt. Mix well then knead into a soft white dough for about 5 minutes. Cover and let rise for about an hour in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 425.

Divide the dough into two balls, roll them out to a round about 1/2 inch thick. Glaze with the remaining egg. YOU may use a fork to put a pattern inthe bread and sprinkle the seeds on top if desired. Place on a slightly greased baking tray and bake for 15 minutes until risen, golden brown and baked through.

This bread is very sweet and light. It tends to get crumbly real fast. (Like as soon as it cools)
I've made it twice. Both times I used self rising flour so I didn't use the baking powder. The first time I didn't use yeast either. Surprisingly it didn't really make that much of a difference in the final product. the dough with the yeast added was a bit harder to roll out and get onto the pan as it came apart while I was transferring it to the pan. the final flavor and lightness of the product seemed to be about the same. Well, a bit lighter and fluffier with the yeast but not a lot.
I did not use the seeds on top of the bread.

The pictures are the two loves I made with the yeast.

As you can see for the first loaf I used a baking tray and for the second a pizza tray. The second loaf is also a bit malformed because it came apart more while transferring it from the rolling surface to the pan.

03 February 2008

Is it unseemly to do a happy dance when someone dies?

Probably. In fact, almost certainly. But I did one last week. I caught the headline that Abu Laith Al Libi had been killed. This made me happy. I never met Abu Laith but I knew quite a bit about him. I spent a great deal of time talking to a young Afghan who he had recruited to attack Americans in Afghanistan. We went over went over how, when, and where he met with Al Libi. We got imagery of the place. We talked about the other Arab who accompanied this young man into Afghanistan from the madrasa where he was studying in Pakistan.
I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about this because I rather strongly suspect that the details are still classified.
Suffice it to say that when I heard he had been blown up I was just a bit pleased.
One more face marked off on the big chart in our old office in Bagram.

..............................................Good Riddance.....................................