Friday, December 30, 2016

Say it aint' so........

Thanks for the calories: NYC's Carnegie Deli says goodbye

First time I went there was with my wife to be Cary, in '66. This hayseed from Bend Oregon, on his first trip to NYC, had never seen anything like these sandwiches. 

The last time was in 2010, with the youngest, Emily, after seeing Rent on Broadway. 

Frankly, there are better delis in the city, but Carnegie's was an institution one had to pay homage at; a pastrami on rye, chocolate egg cream, and a slice of cheesecake.  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016


Night after Christmas, not sure what the traditional meal is, but it's a ragu with meat sauce tonight, linguine, with a tomato based meat sauce, with ground pork and beef .

Had both leftover ground pork and ground beef in the freezer, out it came. Then combinations of various open packages of linguine, some of them might remember the administrations of GWB, in the very back of the cupboard. I rarely venture back there, who knows what might be hibernating here in the Rockies?

Anyway, saute onion, garlic, add the rest of the sauce,  Oh. I add a chopped frozen thai chili from the Montagnard farmers, One. Diameter of a thin pencil, maybe 3 inches'll make it's mark of this.

Drain the pasta, Mix in the pan with the sauce, Cut the baguette from the oven, pour a glass of wine, and find some trash on netflix to watch.


And what did you have tonight?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Jackson Browne Evening

It's snowing lightly, not that there was any worries about a white Christmas, what with a foot and a half on the ground and my street never seen a plow.

I think I've put this one on a few years in a row, but it's still my favorite Christmas song.

Happy Holidays all, and may you have an interesting New Year

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Bluebird Day, just before Christmas

We refer to them as 'bluebird days', I don't know why. This is the last place a bluebird would want to be at this time of year.

It's nippy, some would actually call it cold. It was minus 10 this morning, got up to near 20 above, a 30 degree delta.

It was clear all day, the blue sky here is like no other; little pollution, less sodium arc light at night. The blue comes through, sometimes late in the day almost indigo. At night, the stars...........the milky way, the way you remember it as a kid. If you are my age.

As you can see we're in a broad valley, the beginning of the Columbia River, one of a couple. The main one is in British Columbia, this is the headwaters of the East Fork of the Columbia. Silver Bow Creek. 

The last few days have been a 'regression to the mean', it went from a minus 38, kinda nippy I can tell you, to a plus 34 yesterday. that's near 80 degrees. Match that. 

Might get a bit of snow tonight, normal temps. Wish we were the norm for the nation, in terms of our collective self. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

The last few days

It's warmed up considerably, a balmy 22f outside at the moment.  that's over 50 degrees warmer than a couple days ago.

My friend L. is visiting from LA, she seems to withstand the cold just fine.

Here's a couple pictures from the last few days, around Butte and out to the river.

Hope everyone is well and prospering. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

Holiday Tradition in my little town

It's -3 as I write at near 3pm, the low tonight is forecast to be around -28. Not unusual for this time of year. As you've from recent pictures it's been snowing. Around 8" in the last day. It continues, that fine, almost powder sugar kind that skiiers love.

So what could be more natural for a community to do than carve ice sculptures?  All over the uptown area, several to the block, are these statues.

They usually last a month or so, and are displayed in front of the businesses that sponsor the sculptor. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Reminder of where I live

It's 10 on the back porch, tomorrow is scheduled to hit -28. It started snowing during the night and continues as of 1:30pm.

I've given up on the notion of shoveling. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Damn near funny

Back when he was running for president in the primaries, one of the candidates was asked what he'd do about cutting back on government. His answer:

PERRY: I will tell you, it is three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, Education, and the — What’s the third one there? Let’s see.
PAUL: Five.
PERRY: Five. Okay. Commerce, Education, and the —
PERRY: EPA. There you go.
Q: Seriously — is EPA one you are talking about?
PERRY: No, sir, no, sir. We are talking about the — agencies of government — EPA needs to be rebuilt.
Q: You can’t — you can’t name the third one?
PERRY: The third agency of government I would — I would do away with Education, the —
Q: Commerce.
PERRY: Commerce and, let’s see. I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.
About 15 minutes later in the debate, Perry said he meant to say that the Department of Energy is the third agency he wanted to eliminate.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present The Clown's new Secretary of Energy:
 Rick Perry

Sunday, December 11, 2016

If Ever There was Reason for it: This is It

And no, I'm not necessarily recommending the illlegal removal of some one from office, I'm just not clear that 'Buffoon' and 'Idiot' and 'Deliberate Asshole' fit in the catagory. Of those who can't be recommended for such a removal.

Trump Explains Why He Rejects Daily Intelligence Briefings: “I’m, Like, a Smart Person”

Well, what about: 

Trump Says “Nobody Really Knows” if Climate Change is Real

Fine, ok. But...

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that he did not believe American intelligence assessments that Russia had intervened to help his candidacy, casting blame for the reports on Democrats, who he said were embarrassed about losing to him.
“I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s just another excuse,” Mr. Trump said in the interview, on “Fox News Sunday.” “I don’t believe it.”
He also indicated that as president, he would not take the daily intelligence briefing that President Obama and his predecessors have received. Mr. Trump, who has received the briefing sparingly as president-elect, said that it was often repetitive and that he would take it “when I need it.” He said his vice president, Mike Pence, would receive the daily briefing.
(me again)
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present you with your next President of the United States.  Positions occupied by Washington, Lincoln, FDR, JFK, and now the likes of this.....
Congratulations, you 59 some millions of voters that selected him. You got what you choose. 
"Oh geez, this isn't what we thought would happen." you may well be saying in the months and years to come" Yeah, well more of that process of 'thought' should have factored, eh? Your town,neighborhood, our world, is more complex and less unified than you think, probably. 
I wish I could say I wish you the best, but I don't. You have put a racist demogogue, a man who's interest in what's best for the country probably third or fourth in his list, in charge. You got him, live with him. 
As a gauge of what he's telling you that is true, check in 6 months, see how things are. Witness the chaos that is going to happen. 
We have an actuall clown as president of our county. Lets see how we like it.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dinner, on a thursday night.....

My neighbors to the south, from Salt Lake City are here for the cold weekend, I think it might have made it up to 6 or so, are having a potluck tonight.

I'm bringing one of the main courses.....served with a baguette from Elliot's "Underground Bakery" here.

Local and delicious, brats:

Have a good weekend,

Friday, December 2, 2016

Just a picture I liked, or throwback Friday

On the left, the Rock of Gibraltar, less recognizable from this angle and if one enlarges the picture...Tangiers, Africa 18 miles away. Ah. Would I be there now.....

Thursday, December 1, 2016

My Buddy, Steve. Again.

Here is a post, a broadcast if you will, from the republican Senator from Montana. I reprint it in it's entirety.

Dear Mike,
We face a new frontier. One that disregards process, neglects the American people, and compromises the civil liberties that are fundamental to our foundation as Americans.
We enter a world where the government has expanded power to hack our personal devices and conduct surveillance.
Click on the video below to hear my statement on protecting civil liberty on the Senate floor yesterday:
Starting today, the federal government has the power to hack millions of Americans’ computers with one single search warrant. And the government isn’t even required to ensure those subject to a computer search are notified.
How did this drastic change in policy occur? Through changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. These changes were sought through an opaque process conducted by a little known judicial conference. We know that in today’s world, law enforcement need tools that reflect 21st century realities. But instead of engaging in a deliberative process that involves the American people, the Department of Justice decided to circumvent Congress and seek this rule change behind closed doors.
Over the past several months, my colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate have introduced bipartisan legislation to put a stop to this unprecedented expansion of government hacking power. Our efforts have been resisted by those who claim changes to Rule 41 are simply a venue issue, and do not implicate our civil liberties. It is frankly alarming that proponents of this rule insist the changes go into effect immediately. Why not give Congress the time it needs to deliberate this policy and conduct this debate in a way that is transparent to the American people?
This unilateral erosion of our civil liberties is unacceptable and I will continue fighting in the Senate to protect the privacy rights of all Americans.
As always, I encourage you to contact my office to express your concerns or opinions on policy issues important to you. And if we’re not already connected on social media, I invite you to follow my daily updates on Facebook and Twitter.
It’s my number one priority in Congress to represent the values and interests of the people of Montana, and your input is very helpful. I also invite you to visit my website,, so we can stay in touch.
Best Wishes,

Steve Daines
United States Senate
Washington, D.C.
320 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
p: (202) 224-2651
222 N. 32nd Street, Ste. 100
Billings, MT 59101
p: (406) 245-6822
Great Falls
104 4th Street North, Ste. 302
Great Falls, MT 59401
p: (406) 453-0148
30 West 14th Street, Ste. 206
Helena, MT 59601
p: (406) 443-3189
13 South Wilson Avenue, Ste. 8
Bozeman, MT 59715
p: (406) 587-3446
218 East Front Street, Ste. 103
Missoula, MT 59802
p: (406) 549-8198
40 2nd St East, Suite 211
(KM Building)
Kalispell, MT 59901
p: (406) 257-3765
609 S. Central Ave. Suite #4
(Central Plaza Buidling)
Sidney, MT 59270
p: (406) 482-9010
310 N Center
Hardin, MT 59034
p: (406) 665-4126

My Response:

You should have thought of this before, eh? Before you and your party put the demagogue Trump on the thone. 
Good lord, Steve. (staffer, don't take this personalty) 
You are a .22 in a .44 magnum world, to put it in Montana terms. You're a hack, and remain in office because of your campaign funding from the GOP big donors, who don't care about you except it puts a GOP person in the state. 
You might try used truck franchise, might work in MT. 

Mike Mulligan

Oh yeah, like all of my emails, this goes to my blog at:

Addendum, last post, geese:

In a release today, the paper and in an earlier memo, the EPA, existence doubtful, said all the snow geese that landed on the Berkeley Pit are dead. Some flew off, one can only imagine what happened to them. One wonders about the hunter, south of here, who went home to the family, held up the goose and said "Guess what we're having for dinner tomorrow!"  "Yay!"  the kids clapped, "We love goose!"  (this may be far-fetched now, when I was a kid I loved goose.)

One wonders about the effects.....high mercury, lead levels in the meat. The effect on the consumers, how long will that take.

How many geese got off in flight? Thousands landed, they said. They can't count the dead because of problems with getting out on the water. Maybe a few hundred, or maybe a thousand flew off after 24 plus hours drinking and exposure to the super contaminated water. Where or where did they go?

Yeah, we don't need the EPA, do we?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What our environment might be like in a couple years...

Scott Pruitt is said to be Trumps's nominee for the head of the EPA. Environmental Protection Agency.

Here is Trump's earlier this year quote on the EPA:

"DETROIT — Republican front-runner Donald Trump would eliminate the Department of Education and Environmental Protection Agency as part of his plan to balance the budget, despite Fox News moderators pointing out to him it won't be enough.
During Thursday's debate, Trump reiterated his claim that he would eliminate the Education Department and "the Department of Environment Protection," his term for the EPA.
"We're going to have little tidbits left but we're going to get most of it out," Trump said."

(My type reverts to whatever quote I've done, this is me again)
On Monday, according to the Montana Standard, the local rag, "...thousands of snow geese landed on the Berkeley Pit." 

The pit, at an elevation of around 5400 ft, goes down another near 2,000 feet. Fairly deep. 

It's contaminated with the byproduct and waste from a hundred years of mining, the first decades were open pit, open smelter refining. The waste, the heavy metals and poisons going into the water that filled the pit. The water the geese landed upon.

Oh, what geese you ask? 

Floating on the Berkeley Pit’s dangerous water for days, hundreds of snow geese are still alive.
Environmental Protection Agency project manager for the Berkeley Pit Nikia Greene said Wednesday that, so far, he has seen no bird mortalities. 
Over a thousand of the migratory birds landed on the pit’s water Monday night, said Montana Resources manager of environmental affairs Mark Thompson.
But no one knows how long the birds can stay out there before they start to die off.
Contaminated with heavy metals and high in sulfuric acid, the pit’s water proved lethal to 342 snow geese 21 years ago – almost to the day.
Thompson said it’s been 30 plus hours, and birds are still able to fly off. A “pile of birds” took flight at first light Wednesday, Thompson said. Greene confirmed that.
More birds left the pit later Wednesday morning in response to MR shooting rifles from both the north and southern sides of the pit. MR has been working since Monday night using various noise tactics to try to get the birds to leave.
But in the 21 years since MR and ARCO implemented a bird program to keep flocks off the pit’s water – in response to the 342 deaths in 1995 - no one has seen birds stay on the water this long, Thompson said.
Usually birds that land are gone within 12 hours, said Thompson.
Greene said he believes that about half of the birds have left since they first landed sometime Monday night. Thompson believes there are currently, “about 10 percent of what we first had.”
Noted Deer Lodge ornithologist Gary Swant said heavy metals accumulate in animal tissue. That means drinking metal-contaminated water is not likely to kill the birds right away.
“It would be a chemical that would affect them immediately,” Swant said.
The high acidity of the Berkeley Pit’s water is likely the cause of the 342 dead birds found in the pit in 1995. Necropsies of those birds revealed acid had burned their throats.
Helena-based Audubon Society executive director Steve Hoffman said the birds likely landed on the Berkeley Pit for a rest. A major migration of snow geese were seen as far north as Helena and as far south as Dillon Monday night, according to a number of agency officials and bird experts. If the snow geese floating on the Berkeley Pit are thirsty, they will drink the water, Hoffman said.
(Me again)
So the new head of the EPA would essentially eliminate it.  Therefore, the company responsible for the clean up of the pit, would bear no further fines if it stopped it's clean up, part of it's contract. No agency to enforce it, no reason to continue. 
The several hundred geese are just the very start.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Since we're all doomed...

Like Grgory Peck's character, the Naval Captain in command of the last US vessel in existence after WW3, facing the end of the world, I'm going to pretend it doesn't exist. The movie, I recommend highly, is the adaptation of Nevil Shute's "On the Beach". Even has the great dancer, Fred Astaire, in a fairly major role.

So here I am, looking out at what should have started over two months ago:

Having a glass of this:

Watching this:

The BBC series, the best of the lot.  BTW, the most recent "Tinker, Tailor..." was a good movie, but nobody is George Smiley except Alex Guiness. 

Escapism today, reality tomorrow. Or next week. I'll get back to you on that.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The New Reich, and a bit of a rant

Been three weeks, we've all had time to consider. 

Even to those of you that are Trump supporters, you have to have started just bit of queasiness, right? Ok, I'm not referring to the very few readers who do want all Muslims out of the country, the former slaves of a different color put back to the back of the bus. I'm talking to I guess first those who read this, and about 7% comment from the percentage that read, who voted for trump. You can comment anonymous, you should notice. The people who voted for trump going 'hell yes', let me say: fuck you. I've served this country, and paid more in taxes that your whole effing block, so get screwed. I'd like to talk to what I assume are the very few who might have voted otherwise. 

Here we have a president who, so far, refuses to answer questions. From the press, our only source of back and forth with elected officials. BTW, 'tweets', whatever the hell they  are, are not communication with your subjects. They are phlegm of misinformation, spat over the internet, to your followers. Which, you might notice mr trump, is around 2 million fewer than those that like you. You have no mandate, fool.

We have a new leader who may actually be a criminal, before attaining office. He may well be a rapist, a serial sexual assaulter, and......I was talking to someone who is knowledgeable about the pathology, and they said his wife and youngest daughter fit the behavior of abused people. So, maybe, our new president is guilty of some serious crimes. 

Thing is, even if any of this is true, the real true, true believers out there would say "I don't care." 

It's why the white supremacists are crawling out from under rocks now. Call themselves 'Alt Right'. Still means Nazi. 

It's why the KKK has reached unprecedented in 100 years, recruitment. 

His 'denounces' of these groups comes with a wink and a smirk. 

We got ourselves a whole new ball game, folks. 

And a whole bunch of assholes out there are all for it. 

Take five minutes and read this, please.

I don't often do links, something about it vaguely irritates me. But this one I'm making an exception for:

If I knew how to make that a single word link I would, but alas the internet world has largely passed me by.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Maybe skip this one, and no, it's not 'clickbait'

And I'm sincere about that. Depends on our impression of me. I'm a Liberal, capital 'L', as I've stated before.. All the usual stuff. Except....

I like to shoot guns, and I'm fairly decent at it. As is one of my daughters. I don't do it a lot anymore, my successor, Henry, my son, was a Army paratrooper, and used a long gun in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So there is this other side of me. I protest, yeah, and I'll be out with you there on the streets, with the signs, etc in the next few years. But I'm really not a non-violent guy, in terms that are classically used. A pacifist. Not that, not my nature. . I'm not violent, mind you. As my kids and friends can verify, if you're my friend or kin. Or a patient, got to put that one in. But turning the other cheek don't come naturally.

I spent two years, nearly, in a hot, humid, unfriendly land, SE Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and a venture into Burma the South Border of a country we won't mention now, but our new con man president has some ties to.

I was a medic, a corpsman. I got identified early, through circumstances not ones I want to relate, as someone who could fire a rifle. And pistol.

My kin were at fault, my dad, his brothers and cousins had me shooting before I was 5.

Geez, come to think of it, one of the girls can say she shot a rifle around that same age.

Anyway, I have this target .22, that's fun to take out and bang around with here. And by here, I mean I can go target practice less than 2 miles from my house, in the woods.

A Colt Woodsman

I don't expect many comments from this, just thought I'd tell you what I did on my  days 'off'.' I haven't trotted out this little gem in a couple years. It's old, but still seems to work. I took a magazine to shoot at various bottles and can, then set up three targets, 25 yards away. 'bout 75 feet. 

Here's my targets, around 25 yards, three in succession: 


Have to say, I'm not usually that good, referring to the last target. As the youngest will attest. That's more her average than mine. 

Anyway, I'm still the same guy who wrote the last post, a nice guy. Just don't do what someone who at the university in Seattle threatened, or demean my kid. Not much can piss off a boomer-age guy than some neo nazi harassing his daughter. Don't recommend, it, kid. 

No snow here, day after Thanksgiving, warmer than I can remember. 

Cheers to you all.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Thanksgiving Message to my Girls

This is the first Thanksgiving we haven't been together in some years.  It's always been our favorite holiday; the sharing of food with friends, the time together in the same room, laughing, eating, watching the younger ones.

I want you  to know that my thought will be with you, as will my love, which will last as long as you live.  It isn't limited to my life,

And no, I'm not planning on kicking off anytime soon, Christmas is coming and the first tree in years will be in the front yard, thanks to the visit from our LA friend.

Tough times now, kids. In their misguided wisdom, the american people have elected a buffoon for President; a racist, woman-disrespecting, possibly rapist, con man for the highest office in the land.

You'll get through it, you'll prevail. You'll be vindicated, and I'm not talking in terms of decades later. It could be months, or a year or two.

How do I know? Because your mom and I went through it.  Tanks in the streets of our capitol, the assassination of leaders, an Attorney General who proclaimed that "we're going to take this country so far to the right you won't recognise it." John Mitchell's wife.

We went through Nixon, and a war that was some days costing us a thousand lives, and the country we were wrongly in many thousands more. Thanks to us, the war stopped.  We came out of it victorious, even if for only a decade or so.

Perhaps that's the way it is; a cycle, ups and downs.

I agree, this 'down' seems different, we have a demagogue for president, perhaps the most unqualified and unsuited for the office ever.  You have a big fight ahead of you. But you have no choice. You are up to the task.

It's thanksgiving though, and let's be happy for each other.

All my love

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

5 spice Chinese duck

A couple requests from last blog prompted this. I'm happy to do it, the original is not mine, I just do a couple extra things that I think add value.

I have to say, though, that it seems so trivial to be swapping fowl recipes when our country is about to be taken over by nazi's, and nearly 48 percent of the voting populace are willing accomplices.

My daughters have been affected by this, one is a TA at a university, and has been verbally assaulted by 'alt right' students, aka nazi's, for her liberal stances.

Anyway, on with the recipe.

I assume you can't get a freshly shot wild bird. So get a frozen one. Walmart has a good selection usually.

Thaw, then put in a brine, I use only salt, about one cup per 3 gallons. In the thawed bird one will usually find a orange sauce. Throw away.  Reserve neck and giblets and especially liver. Leave brining in fridge or outside if safe, overnight.

Dry thoroughly. Paper towels, over and over. Put uncovered in fridge for a few hours.

Soy sauce
5 spice chinese powder
sesame oil
bit of salt
Chile flakes, or chopped fresh, however you like.

you'll have to experiment with volumes. I usually start with a quarter cup soy, half that honey, couple teaspoons 5 spice, etc. you won't end up with a paste, just a thick liquid. Go easy on the salt, just a pinch, the soy adds a lot. I tend to use a teaspoon or more of the red chili flakes. I like a bit of heat.

Truss legs at the bottom. I use those plastic ties that let you form a loop and tighten.

Oven at 375

Brush breast side and inside thoroughly, put in baking pan on rack breast side down.

Brush top and back of bird thoroughly, pouring any excess over the bird.

Cook around 35 minutes, turn and cook the same again. Should be golden to dark brown.

Take out and let set for 10 minutes, carve, getting your fingers messy to get all the good stuff hidden near the bone.

Serve with wild rice, good crusty bread, whatever.

Oh, on the neck, liver and giblets. 

Neck and giblets, simmer in water and make a nice broth, great for cooking rice. The wild rice is especially good after soaked and simmered in this. 

The liver.....salt and pepper, coat well with flour, and saute on high heat for 30 seconds on each side, olive oil or butter, serve on toast points. Delicious. Tender, melts in your mouth. 

cheers, with less cheerful stuff later. 

I don't know exactly what to be thankful for in this season. My kids of course, the fact I'm still alive, etc. And that the brown shirts haven't started marching in the streets, rounding up first one group after another.