Monthly Archives: August 2012

Homemade Fudge

OnePotChef’s fudge recipe is easy, quick, and delicious. Since I’m in the US, our goods aren’t necessarily the same size as his Aussie kit, but it’s simple to keep the ratio of chocolate to condensed milk at 1:1 and to use about half a stick of butter to get the necessary 50g he specifies. It all melts nicely in the microwave, a good stir gets the liquids to mix, and just be sure you have a spot cleared in the fridge to let the stuff cool down.

A Sneak Peek at “Women Look Better with Lasers”

I’ve just started on my second book of short sci-fi stories. Here’s a little bit of it… I hope to have it ready to go by the end of next month.

Laurent Recherche shouted, “Charge them! Nobody wants to see a fashion show without live weapons!” At that command, two dozen assistants scrambled to make sure each laser gun had a fresh battery pack. The House of Recherche had its reputation on the line with this show, and every detail had to be perfect.

As the electronic music thumped through the PA system, models moved out on the catwalk, took a potshot at some target across the auditorium, and then sashayed back to change outfits and weapons systems. The audience roared with glee as each new outfit brought with it a display of marksmanship that resulted in a satisfying explosion or fire. Camera flashes mingled with zapgun lightning in a retina-deadening tour de force.

Of course there were critics. Always, there were critics! Only a handful had a true sense of fashion. The rest dressed like idiots and had their coterie of sycophants shout down anyone that dared to doubt their vision. They had connections in the industry and their critical eye had to be appeased, no matter if one wanted to design haute couture for the beautiful people or flog pret-a-porter to the proles. While Recherche longed to hear praise from the critics that knew their jobs, his line lived and died by the comments of the fashion-blind.

Flash and sizzle, therefore, were the order of the day. In some ways, Recherche had to be as false and shallow as the critics he loathed. Hence the lasers. Mere projectile guns, even with tracer rounds, were not as dramatic as the exquisite linear flashes of the laser gun. Those colored lines became extensions of the clothing, the danger in the weapon an expression of feminine power. Even the targets the models fired at had to be matched to their outfits for optimal results. Heaven forfend that Recherche should be panned by a critic for having a red laser disintegrate a magenta teddy bear! That was so three seasons ago!

The Chocolate Bomber

Yes, such a person exists. During the Berlin Airlift, Gail Halvorsen took it upon himself to drop chocolate bars and gum on kids that watched the planes land at Tempelhof. I think that’s totally cool. His action inspired others to think of the kids and to donate their rations of chocolate and gum for the kids of West Berlin.

More than that, Halvorsen’s actions showed what can be done if we think of things greater than profits: freedom and compassion. We all are capable of volunteering and donating and visiting and encouraging. When I see what is wrong in the world, it is in people that have forgotten the most important things we can do. To remind them, it is not enough to say what needs to be done. Actions will show the way to what is better.

Gail Halvorsen did a great thing. Never mind the names of dictators or other monsters in our history books: in a better world, it is the names of people like Halvorsen that we will remember – not because we have to learn them, but because we want to learn them.

So here’s a link to a wonderful documentary of Col. Halvorsen and his inspiring actions. It’s an hour well worth spending, and it sure as heck beats listening to the recent waves of hot air blasting from the left and the right. This one arrives cool and refreshing, straight down the middle. Inspiring Lives: Gail Halvorsen

That Progressive Insurance Thing…

For those that missed it, the basic story goes thusly: reckless driver kills a woman in her car. She has a $100,000 policy with Progressive for death or disability due to a vehicular accident. Progressive not only questions negligence without a court ruling against the other driver, it represents that other driver in court in that very negligence case.

To be sure, Progressive claims it was only looking out for its interests in the case and not really representing the other driver, but to represent its interests it worked to find that driver not negligent. This is not what corporations should do. Yes, they can do it, but that doesn’t mean they should. I always deal with call 1800 Truck Wreck if something happens on the road, they are rigorous at taking done in notes all the details, which can prove valuable against these corportations.

This corporation, like so many others (HSBC, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Countrywide, Enron, etc, etc…) is not acting in the best interests of the people of this nation. It should not operate in such a fashion. Yes, there’s shareholders to consider as part of a fiduciary responsibility, but that’s only due to laws that were written precisely to require that corporations behave like antisocial jerks at best and sociopathic mass murderers on other occasions – so as to increase profitability.

A corporation that puts all its emphasis on profitability is of no use to a people. We have massive problems in America and around the world because of corporations exploiting loopholes in laws that they’ve written in order to garner massive profits that would not have been otherwise possible. We will continue to have these problems if we do not change the fundamental nature of corporations.

Once upon a time, it was a felony for a person from a corporation to lobby a member of Congress. Once upon a time, owners of a corporation could be sued personally for the gross negligence of their company or its employees. With all the crap about teachers being responsible for things that are totally out of their control, how about we instead train those same cannons of responsibility on corporations and hold them responsible for the things that they actually can control, like pollution, high-frequency trading, collaboration with terrorists, funding nuclear weapons projects, and – yes – taking the side of the man that killed your sister for the sake of a few dollars’ profit.

NEW BOOK: Science, Drugs, Spirits, and Irony

It’s here! It’s happened! It’s online and ready for your ebook reader! So go buy it! Like it! Tell others about it! But above all, BUY IT! I’ve been writing in my spare time, like a madman, instead of getting a second job that actually PAYS! Support your local writer! BUY THIS BOOK!

Here’s the link to assuage your guilt and to make you feel good about dropping $2 in my hat: