Readers with a long memory may recall that, as a candidate, Obama campaigned on the complaint that the Bush Administration had focused too much on Iraq when the real war, Obama maintained was in Afghanistan. Fair enough, but when he became president, he was expected to have some sort of plan for Afghanistan. he did not. But he did appoint General McChrystal top commander in that blighted country, and asked his advice.
McChrystral recommended 60,000 additional troops, to be deployed immediately – O’Bumer demurred, and after six months of thumb-sucking, announced that, in his opinion, 30,000 troops was the right number. At that point, the war became Obama.
Now, it says here, he’s set to fire McChrystal for the general’s unwise, and possibly illegal comments about his commander-in-chief. If I were Obama, I wouldn’t do it: he appointed the guy, he overruled his advice on troop strength and if he fires him, the outcome in Afghanistan falls entirely on his shoulders – no more Bush to blame, no more Cheney. It’s all Obummer, all the time.
I don’t see a happy outcome in Afghanistan. And if it all goes to hell, our Harvard law student will be standing in the spotlight, all alone.
Albertson Memorial Church, Old Greenwich
The child pornographer minister ( or would that be the minister of child pornography?) at Albertson Memorial Church, a “spiritualist” church that believes in table knocking and Ouija boards, remains in prison while his congregation ponders what to do. Sounds like the man has found, or will soon find, a new vocation, which is probably wise, but I did like this comment from one of the Eight Ball readers:
The church will be using visiting ministers to replace Stefanidakis. and on Sunday Rev. Kathy Rotino, pastor First Spiritualist Church Of Willimantic, led services on Sunday.
She said her message wasn’t any different than her regular sermons.
“Spiritualists deal in reality.”
Which reminds me of another great joke, again undoubtedly told me by Jeremy Kaye:
A guy comes home from work and finds his girlfriend, bags packed, just exiting their apartment.
“Hey, where you going?” he asks.
“I’m leaving you”
“But why? What did I do?
“I’ve found out what you are. Who you are. You disgust me.”
“Huh? What am I? Who do you think I am?”
“You’re a, you’re a pedophile!“
Long pause, then the man speaks:
“Pedophile – that’s a big word for six-year-old.”
Can’t argue with its merits, but get a load of this girl’s paean to the stuff.
I’m still gearing up for our big camping trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
Just this morning, I wrestled my favorite cast iron pan out of the garage. Made by Lodge, this pan measures 15 inches in diameter and is indispensable when it comes to camp cookery.
Of course, cast iron cookware is essential to campground cookery, and we have acquired a wide selection of Dutch ovens, skillets, and griddles over the years. This pan, however, seems to beat them all when it comes to size and versatility. Like my 10-inch cast iron skillet that I use daily at home, this massive pan is great for frying eggs and bacon in the morning. It’s also awesome for browning breaded oysters and making grilled cheese or quesadillas. Potatoes brown beautifully in the pan, and cinnamon rolls even turn out okay.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the Rockies and never saw an oyster – a few fresh water clams, yes, but oysters? No. Unless the writer is referring to Rocky Mountain Oysters, in which case, we’re not talking seafood here.
I look like an oyster to you?
And I was struck by its recipe for pork fried rice.
Pig in a rice field
It looked simple, quick and delicious, so this afternoon I went up to Shop Rite to pick up some scallions and some pork but while I was getting those, I noticed a woman in the Spanish produce department selecting three or four odd, green little balls labelled “chayote”.
the Wily Chayote
“How do you cook those?” I asked her, and with a little bit of pantomime, she explained that she made a stew out of them with string beans, celery, tomatoes and what looked liked parsley (great) but was probably cilantro (ugh). Anyway, they were cheap enough – $1.19 for three – and cooking is all abut trying new things, so I grabbed three.
When home, I pulled up that fried pork recipe and to my surprise, on the border of the blog, the author has a soup recipe for chayotes. How fortuitous. I’ll give both his recipes a try (although I’m tempted to go with a stew version of the chayote) and report back, But it seems like a good site for cooks. Name again is “Eating Out Loud”
900 Lake Avenue is a 1790 house that was beautifully and tastefully expanded and renovated in 2006. Two acres, a great site for a pool and five bedrooms. I hate to describe it as the perfect weekend house because that implies it’s not suitable for full-time living, which in fact it is. But it’s a few minutes north of the Merritt and I could see a couple of New Yorker types zipping up the Hutch and enjoying the place. Asking $3.875 million.
11 Winding Lane is some of the finest land I’ve seen in a while, certainly in “The Golden Triangle”. 2.94 acres, most of which are meadows or beautiful formal gardens, a pool, and all far enough removed from Lake Avenue to escape traffic noise. The only fly in the ointment is its price, $7.9 million (assessment is $3.603). The owner claims she doesn’t have to sell and she’s proven that by keeping it on the market for years now, unsold. Sigh. But it is sweet land. The house is a tear-down, for most buyers.
957 Lake Avenue, that 1740′s house on four acres at corner of Lake and Lower Cross, is reported as pending. The sellers paid $1.335 for it in ’02, priced it at $2.8 in ’07 and after a series of grudging price reductions, hit $1.149,after 1,202 days on market. Assessment is $1.366.
Another antique (1770?), 66 Cat Rock Road, has been returned to the market after failing to sell in 2006 and 2007 for $2.195. Today’s new price is $1.495 which is far more reasonable – in fact, I’d buy this house if I could afford to. It’s a neat old house, nicely renovated.
22 Indian Head Road, on the other hand, has been removed from the market (again) after failing to fetch the owners’ desired price of $3.399 (again). They couldn’t get that price in ’08 and ’09, and now it seems they couldn’t get it in 2010. The market speaks, but you don’t have to listen. The owners, by the way, bought this place for $2.4 in 2004 and did nothing to it. Why they thought it should be worth a $ million more baffles me.
Update: I can’t help but think of all the other, lesser houses in this area that are still holding out for prices in the high $1s and low $2s. They’re screwed.