Department Of Fish And Visitors Stink After Three Days,
Except When They Don’t
There are some people…when you see them it’s like you’ve seen them yesterday…even though it’s been too many yesterdays since you’ve in fact seen them.
MH and I were fortunate enough to have such people visit us this week. The lovely and talented LW and her equally lovely and talented husband, SB, were making a road trip from the Bay Area to the Puget Sound, and stayed with us Monday – Thursday. Not once did I think of stinky fish; just good time with dear friends.
LW, a buddy o’ mine since our apartment-mate days at UC Davis, has steadfastly remained one of the more intelligent, witty, creative people I’ve had the pleasure to know. Important Sidebar ® : If you are interested in social justice via political activism,  LW’s husbo is one of the more effective bloggers – as in, one whose advocacy and research has prompted real change – in that sphere (you can check him out, at Spocko’s Brain ).
It was fun cooking and eating with them, picking berries, “playing” and just hanging out/catching up. We spent a day in the Alberta Street Arts district in Portland, where we were, of course, treated to many sights and sounds that were oh-so-Portlandia. Being longtime San Francisco residents, LW & SB are on familiar terms with many if not all things hipster, and are also wise to the up and down sides of gentrification…which made the street art/op-ed we encountered all the more appreciated.
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Department Of Cliché But True
Like many creative people who are also thoughtful, decent human beings, artist Helen Honer finds non-verbal ways to express the inexpressible, most recently re the Orlando mass shooting. This painting of hers, which she described as “trying to calmly express my sorrow,” struck me as both simple and profound, calming and elegiac. One picture that is truly worth a thousand…you know.
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Department Of I Just Don’t Fucking Get It
Okay, I’m totally sincere, here: I would love to hear from an articulate, rational Republican re so many issues, mostly about their party’s presumptive nominee. But, are there any (rational Republicans) left at this point?
Was that a The Onion headline I just read, or something a Republican actually said?
Look; I have my beef  with the Dems, too. I moiself only register for any political party during primary season – depending on if I want to vote for – or against a particular party’s nominee – then change my registration back to independent/no affiliation status. I seriously loathe the whole political party identification thing, and strive not to judge someone/assume their opinions based on their political affiliation.
Still…I want to know what kind of political party, from its leaders and major players down to the rank and file members, say, over and over , that Trump’s comments are offensive and racist and just plain wrong but yes, they will still support him for POTUS?
If for whatever reasons you just can’t bring yourself to vote for the Other Guy ® , can you at least have the personal integrity to sit this one out?
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Department Of How Can I Be The Most Special Snowflake In The Room
When Every Snowflake Is Special?
The latest entry: nonbinary gender.
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Department Of Now I’m Depressing Myself So It Must Be Time For A Happy Topic ®
There Are Pancake People, And There Are Not Pancake People.
I am (or was) in the latter category, until the afore-mentioned visit of LW & SB. Tuesday eve LW and I were talking about my culinary adventures with sourdough starter.  In the past few years LW and her hubs been cooking and eating in a vegan/plant-based way,  which inspired me to concoct a vegan-friendly sourdough pancake batter to serve as yet another transport medium for our copious crop of homegrown blueberries.
There aren’t enough swear words – the kind you use when you taste something so delicious, non-profane superlatives just won’t’ do – to adequately describe the yummers factor here.
And I’m going to share it, with you, for free. 
aka Vega-licious Lemon Blueberry Sourdough Pancakes ( makes ~ 16 small)
Start this batter the night before you intend to serve it for breakfast (or in the morning, if you want pancakes later for dinner)
– 100g sourdough starter
– 200g oat & white whole wheat flour (about half; i.e. 100g, of each)
– 1 ½ c spring water, * more or less
– 2T brown rice syrup (or maple syrup or agave syrup) **
– heaping ½ t ground cinnamon; and scant ½ t sea salt
– ½ t vanilla extract
– grated zest of half of a small lemon
– 1t baking powder + ¼ t baking soda.
– blueberries ! A good handful
– REAL maple syrup, for serving
– your favorite neutral oil *** for cooking
I’ll try that again.
Whisk the sourdough starter in a ceramic or glass mixing bowl with half of the water, then add in the remaining ingredients – except for the baking powder & soda & berries – whisking as you go and adding enough of the remaining water until you get a smooth batter (you may use more or less water than indicated in the recipe, depending on what kind of flours you use and the “wetness” of your starter).
Cover the batter bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, making sure there is at least one hole or gap so the batter can “breathe.” That’s it for now. Sweet dreams; walk away and enjoy yourself for ~8 – 12 hours or overnight (do not refrigerate the batter).
When ready to cook the pancakes, heat a cast iron griddle (or several cast iron pans) over medium-high heat, for several minutes. While the griddle is heating (griddle must be verrrrry hot, or the pancakes will stick), mix the baking powder & soda in a small bowl with a small amount of water (a scant T) and whisk it into the batter, along with the blueberries
When the griddle is really hot **** , lightly grease it with the oil of your choice (lightly reoil griddle when/if necessary, between batches.). Using a ~ ¼ c scoop or ladle…well, you know how to cook pancakes, right?
* do not use tap or distilled water when working with sourdough starter.
** maple or agave syrup will give you a sweeter batter, so reduce the amount…or not, depending on the strength of your sweet tooth
*** “neutral” used here does not refer to your oil’s aversion to getting involved in geopolitics; rather, a neutral oil but as in grapeseed, peanut, canola, or safflower oil – the kind of oil you use when you don’t want the oil to add its own flavor to your dish. 
**** hot enough so that drops of water flung on its surface do the Ow wow ow ow – that’s hot! dance
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May you find a picture which evokes a thousand words of comfort;
May you have the opportunity to be gob-smacked by your own culinary creation;
May you have the courage and integrity to sit this one out when necessary;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 And if you’re not, WTF is wrong with you?
 Or its plant-based/vegan equivalent.
 And you would be too, if you were a guest in my home. It’s required as per a local ordinance.
 Although LW changed her nutritional lifestyle for health and not cosmetic reasons, she is, like, radiant, and back to her high school weight and looking Fucking Fabulous, if I may say so (and I just did).
 If you want to send me money or any other form of compensation (stocks, T bonds, your offspring’s soccer trophies….), leave a message.
 Holy Fucking Flying Spaghetti Monster These Are The Best Pancakes Ever And They’re Vegan-Safe, Who Knew It Could Be Done?
 I.E. not olive oil and definitely not sesame oil.