Xenophobia? In MY right wing? It's more likely than you think.

So, here's something I don't get.

I've seen numerous news stories about various far-right groups and politicians decrying the entrance of refugee children into our country, screaming about how they are a threat to us, and how they're not our problem and should be sent back to the horrible poverty and violence that they're fleeing. I've seen commenters on various news sites and conservative blogs even cheering and crowing about the fact that many children have been drowning trying to cross the Rio Grande. I've seen video of protestors screaming "Not our kids, not our problem!" and "Go back where you came from!"

No doubt, most of the people saying these things would define themselves as good Christians.

Yet, if these children were unborn fetuses, these self-same "good Christians" would be all for doing whatever it took to prevent the women pregnant with them from having any access to abortion, no matter how dire the woman's circumstances of health or poverty, and insist upon using the power of the state to intervene to "protect" the fetuses. Because that's "pro-life".

But, apparently, there's nothing about cheering at the deaths of refugee children that is not "pro-life".

I mean, unless it comes down to the fact that what we have here are a group of people who are motivated only by loyalty to their own in-group, and virulent mistrust and hatred of anyone who is not like them or does not conform to their narrow and primitive view of how the world "should" work and how people "should" live. It would seem a large segment of the American public is basically living, mentally and culturally, in the early Iron Age, and has no rationally-based ethical or moral framework on which to judge reality.

...Nah. Couldn't be that, right? Right?

Rolling right inuit.

Sometimes I think about Canada's newest, northernmost territory, and wonder why it's not a fully-fledged province in its own right.

But then I picture the Inuit being asked if they'd prefer to have a new province, rather than just an autonomous territory, and they had a look at provincial politics and said "No, thanks, we'll have Nunavut."

Cat dynamics

So, some of you may be wondering how Miette and Bella are getting on, particularly in the years since Yitzak died. The answer is "Well enough, I guess."

In the weeks immediately following Yitzak's death, Bella needed a LOT of comforting snuggles. She would spend a lot of time cuddling with me, and Miette, normally very jealous of her Flewtime, would give Bella all the space she needed. Also, she would sometimes snuggle Bella herself, which I had never seen her do before.

But, that did not last. Since then, they have settled into a more typical level of affection for their prior relationship, which is to say, none whatsoever. You're familiar with the "love/hate relationship"? This is more of a "tolerate/hate relationship".

Normally, Miette will growl whenever Bella gets too close to her. What defines "too close" depends on the vagaries of Miette's mood, and can vary between "a few inches" and "in the same room or even in view at all". What defines Miette's mood depends on how much sleep she's had, where she is sitting, whether or not she is eating or using the litter box, the time of day, phase of the moon, tidal forces from Jupiter, and the current air pressure inside Miette's skull.

Bella, for her part, is not intimidated by Miette, but generally gives her her space out of, well, if not respect, at least a lack of desire to deal with her growly, whiny fussing. Usually, if this means Miette chases Bella away from me so that she can take over snuggling duties, Bella just leaves; sometimes, however, Bella gets tired of it, bites Miette on the ass, and then runs away as Miette furiously chases after her, hissing and growling. I imagine Bella making the Curly Howard "whoop-whoop-whoop-whoop-whoop!" noise as she runs off.

Every so often, though, something will get into Miette's head (probably dust) that convinces her to be nice, and I will find the two of them cuddling together. Usually this happens when I wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, and find them curled up together on the couch.

While adorable, this never ends well. Inevitably, what will happen is this: Bella will decide "We snuggled, this means we are friends now, this means we can PLAAAAAAY!" She will then gleefully pounce on Miette. Miette, who does not do "play" or "roughhousing" or "movement in general", will interpret this as an attack and engage in furious howling and hissing, and then run away as fast as she can. The end result will be Bella looking very confused and slightly sad, and Miette hunching over in a corner defensively with a "DON'T YOU FUCKING TOUCH ME!" look on her face.

On the bright side, they don't try to injure each other, and they share food and space willingly enough, as long as they're separated from each other. So it's usually a kind of uneasy detente, much like the Cold War, but with less nuclear weapons and slightly more hissing.

Cooking With Flew: Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken (skillet version)

So, it's been a good while since I posted a recipe. But, don't think that means I haven't been experimenting! I've been studying and trying culinary things out quite a bit over the past couple of years, and I have more than a few things to show for it.

One of the things I've been doing is reading other people's recipe blogs. One I'm particularly fond of is Budget Bytes, which is a handy guide for making tasty, filling foods that are not terribly expensive. One of the best things about this blog is that the author, Beth, includes photographs of every step of the cooking process, and discusses why she made the choices she did along the way. This way, you can learn which parts are necessary, and which are optional.

I've made several things from that blog as-is, without modifications: the Easy Sesame Chicken, for instance, which is seriously just like the stuff from Chinese restaurants, or the Tandoori Chicken Bites, which should be familiar to anyone who's had "chicken tikka" at an Indian place. I can also recommend the Chili Cheese Beef n' Mac recipe, for a "like Hamburger Helper, but better" experience, or the Yellow Jasmine Rice if you want some amazing yellow rice. Try those out!

But that's not what today is about. Today is about a recipe that I saw on the site, thought looked good, but then decided that I wanted to change. I ended up changing...well...everything, except the core ingredients. The recipe in question is Beth's Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Thighs, which she does using bone-in chicken thighs, and preparing the pineapple-teriyaki sauce as a glaze to coat the thighs in before baking.

Well, I liked the sounds of this, but I didn't want to do the baking of the thighs thing, for two reasons: first, one of my gamers, Kali (pronounced "Kaylee"), has problems with chicken, but not with turkey, so I usually use turkey, and second, bone-in turkey thighs are damned hard to find at my local grocery stores. So, I had a thought of reworking it to be a simmer sauce, cooking the turkey with the sauce in a skillet instead.

After some experimenting, I came up with this, which has a different balance of ingredients, so I am just going to write everything out.

First, ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of chicken or turkey. Chicken thighs work great, but so do turkey breasts or thighs.

  • 3 cloves of garlic. Or 4, if you want. Garlic is always good, yes?

  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger paste, or the equivalent of grated fresh ginger. You don't want to use powdered ginger for this. Be advised that if you use fresh, it's probably more potent than the ground ginger paste.

  • 3/4 cup soy sauce.

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of rice vinegar.

  • 1 tablespoon corn starch.

  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil.

  • 2 tablespoons of regular vegetable oil. Canola works fine.

  • 2 18 oz jars of pineapple jam.

  • 2 tablespoons of sriracha sauce. This will add a bit of a kick, but not be overwhelmingly hot.

Also, you will want some kind of starch, either rice or pasta, to serve it over. I usually use egg noodles, but you can use other kinds of pasta as well. The sauce is very sticky, so it will have no trouble coating a long pasta, and it will also hold together on top of rice very well.

For equipment, you will need a cutting board, a large skillet, some measuring spoons (or just tablespoons), measuring cup, big kitchen knife, a big stirring spoon, a couple of small mixing bowls, and a bowl to serve with.

First, mince the garlic into small bits. If you're using fresh ginger, grate this finely as well. Keep this in a small bowl. Now, mix in one of the other mixing bowls the soy sauce, rice vinegar, pineapple jam, and sriracha sauce. This can sit for a bit.

Now cut up the chicken or turkey into small chunks, suitable for stir-frying or simmering.

Put the sesame oil and vegetable oil in the skillet and put it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, put in the garlic and ginger, and roast that slightly in the oil for about a minute. Then, add the meat and turn the heat up to high. Brown the chicken or turkey, and then add the mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, jam, and sriracha.

Once that's mixed in, get the corn starch and mix in just enough water to make a slurry, then pour that in to the sauce. Mix it together, and then let it simmer on medium-high for about twenty minutes. This is a good time to make your noodles or rice.

After twenty minutes, take the chicken and sauce off of the heat and pour it into a serving bowl. Let it stand for a few minutes to thicken up a bit, and then serve over the noodles or rice.

That's it! And remember our motto at Cooking With Flew: "Less time cooking means more time eating!"

*brushes away cobwebs*

*cough cough* Ahem. This thing on?

Uhh, hi. So, yeah, been away for awhile. I've been on Facebook, mostly, not blogging a lot.

I've been doing a lot of things, and much has happened! Let me, there is too much. Let me sum up.

My work has continued apace, with some nifty new developments. We did a major redesign of our code base last year, and this year we are working with some new satellite imagery providers. It's pretty challenging and interesting stuff, but the details would probably bore anyone who wasn't a GIS geek.

Let's see...oh yeah! I can has girlfriend! Yes, really! Her name is Amanda, although I call her by her online nickname (she calls me Flew, as well). She is from a town an hour away from me, but spends most of her year in Los Angeles, going to UCLA for grad school. She is a Classical scholar who can sight-read Greek and Latin and is well-versed in the works of the major Greco-Roman poets and writers, and has opinions about them (mostly about how they are "the WORST!").

Also, she is a very strong social-justice advocate and radical activist type, at least online; social anxiety makes doing in person stuff rather harder. However, she has made a lot of noise on Twitter, yelling at groups like Autism Speaks for being awful.

And, she is adorable and silly, and a lover of strangeness. I should post some quotes from her on here sometime.

Also also, she is an amateur nature photographer, especially of insects and spiders. She is the only person I know who can text me saying "WASP WASP THERE'S A WASP!" and I know she's happy and excited, not scared.

One final thing: she is, in all likelihood, Zalgo. We're almost certain she has some kind of dark and eldritch powers, at any rate.

Hmm...what else? Well, that's the main big thing. I've been doing stuff with friends around town, of course. My gaming group continues to meet, although often we end up watching television shows or YouTube videos more than actually gaming.

Oh, and I have decided that I am going to blog more about stuff here. Treat this like a real blog, you know? Expect some posts in the next few days about social issues, politics, or philosophy.

Also, recipes. Expect those.

So, muahahaha! I RETURN!

It wasn't the last question, this time...

Maja: what up G?
Flewellyn: Hmm...
Flewellyn: Up is the direction away from the center of a gravitaionally significant body…and G is the gravitational constant...
Flewellyn: So...
Flewellyn: *does some calculations*
Flewellyn: I would say 9.8 m/s^2
Flewellyn: More or less.
Flewellyn: How about you?
Maja: What! Let me finish. Of course, "G" was also used to refer to the "God" in another person and recognizing their divinty during the 60's civil rights movement
Maja: so put that in your computer and crunch it.
Flewellyn: *does so*

Special interest

So, I've been trying to get a small interest group going in my town, and I had a bunch of positive replies from various folks in the community. I had a first meeting planned tonight at our local Barnes and Noble, but, alas, nobody showed up.

It's odd. You'd think there'd be more interest in a book club for ninjas...