Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Creation Day!

One part of Rosh Hashanah (head of the year, Jewish New Year) that not everyone remembers is that it commemorates the sixth day of Creation.  So Happy Creation day, all!

And for fun, here are some of the best the top eleven reasons to bake your own bread:

1.  Flour: 50 cents per pound.  Decent bread: $2/lb or more.

2.  The joy of seeing that flour come together under your hands to pass the windowpane test.

3.  The joy of realizing that, for about fifty cents per pound, you're beating Panera on taste.

4.  The fact that bread represents our daily need and also the body of Christ.

5.  Kneading is great exercise.

6.  The buttery smell of a pate' fermentee after it's risen, especially from sourdough/wild yeast.

7.  The whoosh of steam rising from the 12" iron skillet you put in the bottom of the oven to bake properly at 500F.

8.  The fun of trying out new grains and methods for squeezing the most out of that grain.

9.  Brioche!

10.  European friends asking you "where did you buy that?"

11.  Realizing that a key ingredient to good bread--diastatic malt--is also a key ingredient for brewing and wondering whether one ought to take up that hobby, too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Medical rule #1; you are your own best advocate

My wife was wondering (with some stress) yesterday whether her obstetrician was cluing in to the difficulties we'd had before (transverse baby C section requiring classical incision), and so she decided to give our previous obstetrician in Colorado a call. 

Data were received here, with a complete change in how they're going to treat her C section, with some alarm.  So remember; the procedures at your local clinic are only as good as the people there, so if you want the full data, you will do well to provide them.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Manly Monday; intimacy

No, not that kind of intimacy, though if you do it right, yes, it'll tend to lead there if you're married.  I'm talking about the closeness and love that is consistently displayed in Paul's epistles. 

No kidding; we tend to think that we moderns understand what Paul was getting at because, after all, Paul was born in the Greek area of Tarsus, and we have learned our logic from Aristotle, right?  OK, scotch that, because most of us never really learned our logic.  Maybe we'd better recheck our assumptions; do we really understand Paul, or are we simply using his Greekness to impose our own worldview on Paul?

My take is that most of the sermons that I've heard about the epistles concentrate....mostly on what we'd call "dry doctrine" today, and not on the incredible relationship that Paul has with the churches.  Examples?  Sure.  What about the lists of people to greet and the end of each epistle?  What about....the persistent use of "you"?

Or, more directly, look at 1 Thess. 5:12; we are told to "know" them which labor among us--"eidenai" in the Greek, also used for knowing God.  Now it's translated "recognize" in the NKJ, "respect" in the NIV, but the root word is still to "know."  And how would we properly recognize or respect those who work among us if....we did not know them?  Being from the Greek, it's of course not the word we remember from Genesis, but......yes, I have to wonder if Paul is pointing here to some very close relationships existed in these early churches.

So, dear brother, do you know your pastor?  Ever had him and his family over for dinner?  Played golf with him?  Greet him while he's running?  Gotten to understand his struggles and weaknesses?

Are you in a church where that is possible, or has the pastor allowed his flock to grow to where....the sheep do not know the shepherd's voice any more?  How are you ministering to your own flock?  Do they know their shepherd?  Do your precious ewe know her shepherd's voice? 

And now you see how listening to Paul can benefit you in more ways than spiritually.  Listen closely; there is doctrine there, but it's buried in a flood of Paul's affection for those he serves.

Mute donkey question of the day

A representative of our phone company to my wife today:

Do you have a number where I can reach you?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Here dieth the republic

Why so ?  Take a look; a guy who says he's got a formula that hasn't failed in the past 30 years is saying that his formula predicts an Obama win in 2012.  No, that's not the thing that dooms our republic in itself, but rather the reason why; the formulator is arguing that it's not the candidate's positions or perceived ethics, but rather his style.

Given that our republic desperately needs thinkers to revive it, it would follow that due to an electorate that apparently cannot get past the election for high school class president, our republic is doomed.

I hope I'm wrong, but these are the data.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Shabbos hilarity

I read this morning on Michelle Malkin's site that President Obama is under the impression that we've built an intercontinental railroad.  As a hippie, of course, this worries me, because imagine how many bombs could be delivered on an intercontinental ballistic railroad.  There is only one thing to say, all together now:

You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant (excepting Alice)

Don't forget that if you want to stop war and stuff, you've got to sing loud.  And if you want to stop Obama, you've got to remind him that we built several transcontinental, not an intercontinental, railroads, and that those railroads were sent into bankruptcy by the Great Northern, the only transcontinental railroad built without government money.

In other hilarious news, I saw a picture of a home spa featuring no fewer than twelve "low flow" shower heads.  I am guessing that not only will this give plumbers nightmares (how big of a pipe do I need now to feed this monstrosity?), but will also remind people of how nice it was to take a shower before the government required us to buy low flow shower heads.

Speaking of which, the difference between a low flow shower head and a standard shower head is, today as in 1993, a rubber gasket that obstructs the free flow of water.  So if you want an old time shower experience, but don't have thirty grand to spend on a custom spa, you can modify your shower head to work like those of old with an adjustable wrench and a swiss army knife.

Not that I would know anything about this, of course, and of course I wouldn't be encouraging people to bypass silly environmental laws or anything.  Perish the thought.  (anyone got a pair of vise grips I can borrow...?)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Proof that the Internet is not a waste of time

Or, quite possibly, yet more evidence that I'm a hippie.  Today it was foccacia (burp) and pumpernickel, and the weight loss is holding.  By the way, Country Curtains is also from Stockbridge, Massachusettts, and if I'm ever sentenced to death and get the chance to sing one final song.....I bet you could shaggy dog this one out for years!

Now to learn the guitar.....or do you think it could be done on a violin fiddle?  But really, we don't want any hangings!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Top 11 signs your host may be a hippie

Now to those who have been reading this blog for a while, or even a little bit, it might appear that the host is a fundamental Baptist with strong libertarian, Calvinistic, and conservative leadings.  Those who think so would be correct.  That said, your host was told by one of his coworkers that he is a hippie, and golly gee, I think he has a point.  Here are the top 11 signs that your blog host may be a hippie:

1.  He homeschools his children--many do not know, but homeschooling was revived in great part revived not by evangelical and fundamental Christians, but rather by hippies in the 1960s and 1970s.

2.  He drives rusty cars that are both over a decade old, one of which has a manual transmission.

3.  He often rides his bike to work, and his bicycles are well over a decade old.

4.  He bakes his own bread.

5.  He gardens.

6.  Most of his clothes are from natural fibers.

7.  He prefers acoustic instruments to electronic.

8.  He loves bluegrass music.

9.  He has personally repaired and restrung a violin fiddle.

10.  He makes a fair amount of his own furniture.

11.  He's deeply suspicious of the military-industrial complex and government.

So there you go.  Your host is not only an conservative fundamental Baptist with libertarian and Calvinistic leanings, but also a hippie.  Cue up the Arlo Guthrie!  (next post; complete text of "Alice's Restaurant")

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

All it needs is a pink curly tail

Witness the car to make Edsel Ford shriek with horror; the Citroen Tubik:

Now if it came in pink with flames around the bottom, maybe it could be used for deliveries by Big Bob Gibson's or perhaps the Whole Hog Cafe, and perhaps it would be appropriate as a limo for the President or Congressional Democrats, but other than that, I'm having trouble figuring out a good use for this one.  Like many great works by Citroen, it ranks right down there with padded bras for preteens as something that "just should not be."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

That's just not right.....

Now I don't know why I even bother posting this, because of course all of us reading this are going to be in Dear Leader's political prisons for being reported to "AttackWatch," and we'll be able to share these things in person, not online.

That said, while shopping with my daughters, I saw a bunch of things which quite frankly are almost as creepy as a President setting up ways to report one's fellow citizens to the Geheime-Obama-Polizei.  (on a side note, did you notice how many of Obama's ideas work better in the original German, thanks to Marx, Engels, and that Gefreite von Hoelle?)  The list:

1.   Padded training bras for pre-teens. 
2.  Formal dresses for little girls.
3.  Smelling perfume near the formal dresses for little girls.  (OK, don't we have enough pedophilia already without this kind of nonsense?)
4.  Jeans lines which would not fit my eldest daughter in any size.
5.  Low/mid rise jeans with a ton of white embroidery across the derriere', as if we fat Americans really ought to desire more attention to be brought to our rear ends.
6.  Shiny winter coats in garish colors that just scream "I will be out of style within three months."  (which is a course a problem in any state with six month winters like "Minnesota," where of course I live)
7.  Marketing miniskirts and tank tops for winter here.  (see #6 for why that is a bad idea here)
8.  Pre-ripped jeans.   If anyone wonders why the skating rinks are abandoned these days, you know why now!
9.  Bags from a clothing store for kids and juveniles featuring images of frontal near-nudity.  Well, I guess that says all you need to know about their clothing, doesn't it?
10.  Body-shaping undergarments for men.  As if three ounces of spandex is going to overcome a lifetime of jelly donuts and double quarter pounders.

OK, you can come up with your own list, but suffice it to say that the cultural signs from our country are almost as depressing as a President who wants to set up his own secret police and encourage people to turn their neighbors in to them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What a coincidence!

Evidently one of Ray's kids reported the exactly same thing to that my kids did.  Remarkable.  And I think one of Mitch Berg's kids reported him with exactly the same words, and one of Mr. Dilettante's kids to him, one of Terri's daughters to her, and even little W.B. Picklesworth Jr. did the same to his dad.

The words:

My dad has said that you attended a racist church for 20 years.  He doesn’t think you are a secret Muslim, but he is sure that you think more about your golf game than about what is going on in church, because otherwise you might have noticed that your pastor was a black supremacist, anti-semite, and general raving lunatic before it became a campaign issue and you dumped him like a crazy ex-girlfriend.  He also is critical of your speeches at times, and he strongly suspects Michelle wears the pants in the family. He also hopes that the voters retire you in 2012, so you can join the PGA Seniors Tour, because you spend more time on the golf course than Tiger Woods.

What a remarkable coincidence.  Or, on the other hand, maybe it's just the plain truth.  Come and get me, copper!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The President's Jobs Plan, Explained

Now of course, people like Pentadad, Mitch Berg, and Mr. Dilettante have done a great job clarifying what Comrade Obama wants to do to for the country with his joblessness plan, but really, we ought to make it simpler, so even liberals can understand.  It's part of being manly; being concise.  So here it is:

President Obama's plan for creating jobs is to take money from those whose businesses are profitable, and giving it to guys like the clowns who ran Solyndra into Chapter 7.

With friends like Barry Soetoro, our economy needs no enemies.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Yes, elections matter

Apparently, a federal appeals court, never having heard of the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution, has just ruled that the state of Virginia lacked standing to sue regarding President Blagojevich's Obama's health insurance deform law.  So the fact that the law imposes numerous unconstitutional mandates on the Commonwealth of Virginia and financial burdens in her citizens does not, in fact, give the Commonwealth the right to appeal in court.

And yes, if you were wondering, all three judges involved were Democratic appointees, two by Mr. Obama himself.  Yes, Virginia, elections matter, and while the article states that the decision is "highly technical," the more accurate description of this decision is "bizaare."  Yet another case where the proper decision is to overturn the case, then de-bench and disbar all signers of this opinion.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Manly Monday: Train them up

On my "baking kick" (yes, I am guilty of becoming a bread-head--so sue me), I'm learning that the best way to train my kids is....well, to do the tasks with them.  This morning, two kids were helping me with the ciabatta (after obliterating a challah, and yes I know it's the wrong day and we're Gentiles anyway as far as we know) while another was getting a pate fermentee ready for something else--maybe we'll do that sicilian bread that Joanna mentioned  (Gino might appreciate that, but we could be risking him taking another trip to Minnesocold).  So whether it's math, sewing, carpentry, or whatever, the best way to train them up, men, bring them alongside and, well, train them up.

Baking also brings to mind the key issues of what's wrong with our lives and our country; we're in too much of a hurry.  We can't wait to let the bread rise the way our forefathers did, but rather we insist that it be ready NOW.  There are few better ways to illustrate this than by the difference between what you'll see in most cookbooks, and what true "breadheads" do.  The cookbooks will have you start with water that's about 120F, and then let the bread rise in the warmest place you can find.  Great bread, on the other hand, starts with lukewarm or even cold water and can take half a day to rise.    Standard bread is kneaded until it gets stretchy; great bread is often kneaded until you can stretch it until it becomes translucent.  Standard bread smells yeasty; great bread has a full array of smells to entice the nose. 

Standard modern families might, if they are doing well, involve a "couch time" of fifteen minutes or so between husband and wife.  Great families linger over the dinner table for hours. 

So be a man, make great bread, and make a great family.  Just make sure you get out for a walk after dinner to work off the extra carbs!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

A gentle reminder

....about those dismal August unemployment numbers.  Zero net jobs created means not only that the economy is not recovering, but rather also that "the economy" has fallen another 150,000 jobs behind in job creation--that's about how many people enter working age each year.  These 150,000 people are of course not counted in the official 9.1% unemployment rate, since they've never been employed and therefore can not collect unemployment benefits.

Hope and change.  I'd like mine back, thank you very much, and after five trillion bucks in spendumore waste, I think it's time to admit that the Keynesian multiplier for government spending is far less than one when Dear Leader insists on throwing money down the toilet on things like Solyndra and rail transit.

Friday, September 02, 2011

A serious note on the Paleo Diet

Knowing that dear friends have used this diet, and apparently to good effect (as others have used Atkins, cabbage soup, and so on), I figure I owe my "vast readership" a couple of thoughts on the Paleo diet.

I'll start with the good; the Paleo diet overcomes a lot of the weaknesses of other diets in that it does not demonize the eating of meat; as such, it has a degree of balance that many other diets do not have.

On the flip side, is it really "Paleo"?  Biblically, I think not; the Scriptures describe men as more or less fruit-eaters prior to the Fall, and than afterwards eating what grew in the fields--I would presume that this means grains and legumes primarily.  Hence, pointing back to "cave-men" does not really point to what is the oldest, as the true "Paleo" diet would be Adam's and Noah's vegetarian diet.

That said, I could envision people after the flood going to a "Paleo" diet--the modern version, not Noah's--by killing and eating most of the nastier animals whose physical traits would help humans to "assume environmental temperature," if you catch my drift.  Moreover, as people filled the earth and subdued it, they necessarily moved to places where grains and legumes would not grow, and thus necessarily became rather carnivorous.  They were still descended, however, from vegetarians.

Going to the New Testament, my take is that I have trouble with the idea that our Lord would include panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie (Give us this day our daily bread) in His prayer if that were indeed a substance harmful to most people.  Yes, there are people with gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy and such, but the fact of the matter is that almost all people get large portions of their nutrition from grains, and it hasn't exactly made us extinct yet.

So whatever its virtues and deficiencies, I'd simply encourage believers to recognize that Biblically, the "Paleo" diet is not really the paleo-diet, and when "Paleo" advocates decry grains, they're on dangerous ground, Biblically speaking.  And since my hungry monsters (and their father) have devoured today's batch of pain ancienne, I'm thinking I'd better get up to the kitchen to knead some more, 'cause we knead need some more.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Our family's response to the Paleo diet

We are the Perry baking crew
Kneading on down, doing it for you us
We love our bread and it's getting good
Blowing our minds like we hoped it would
We're not out here looking for trouble
We're just here to do the Supre Boule Shuffle

Your host was called the Fridge, and he's the daddy
He's not so large, just an overgrown laddie
You've seen him post, he used to run
When he makes pain ancienne we'll have more fun!
He'll knead, he'll dance, and you will see
The Bubba-itas all learn from he
He's not out here looking for trouble
He's just here to do the Supre Boule Shuffle!

 Bread; Poilane-style miche (overgrown boule) from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  Scary fact; I've been losing weight since starting to bake these three and a half pound monsters, which disappear in my house in about a day or less.