Pink slime and BLBT / insect vomit and honey

Mini-burgers in midtown, NYC

In my life I’ve helped or seen killed three things for food – two chickens and a snake. All three were with my grandmother. She wanted me to know where my food came from.

Was justa kid for all three of them but I remember that, while there was a businesslike quality to the whole affair, there was also respect. We had just taken the life of these things, after all. That respect showed through when every bit of those animals were used.

Recently read about the loss of jobs and the rising of beef prices due to the loss of boneless lean beef trimmings (BLBT) – which we’ve been eating for years without issue – cause it’s been given the catchy name “pink slime” by a celebrity cook and ABC news.

This, despite the fact that from a microbial-pathogen point of view, it’s safer than ground beef.

As I said once before, there’s a no difference between insect vomit and honey except for the name we give it. Ditto for filtered burned bean soup and coffee.

It’s edible meat that’s been cleaned and put back into the chain of food; this is while most of the world doesn’t have enough, we sniff and say what we have isn’t good enough.

On the topic of food, am surprised how many people don’t know that almost all olives are treated with lye – the same poison used to burn the guy’s hand in Fight Club.

We don’t have an issue with that because we don’t have a catchy/horrifying name for it. How about green puke?

We’re too far removed from our meat sources; we’d waste less if people had to look into the eyes of the stuff we put into our mouths.

Ditto if we had to look into the eyes of starving people.

Been working like mad but cool tunes keep me company.

Location: home
Mood: still less sick
Music: bird lands on my windowsill

The Babyklappe and why they don’t put eggs in cake mixes


Have you ever wondered why most cake mixes require you to add eggs? I mean, they put everything else in a box, why not the egg part?


Been working some pretty insane hours.

During the brief lulls – like when I print up 100 pages of pleadings, or wait while a huge file downloads – do all sortsa motley stuff.

  • Skim about a third of the Economist’s Style Guide. It’s a must read for the hardcore nerd.
  • Spend more time one Facebook than I would like to admit as a 38 year-old professional.
  • Catch up on some cooking shows, namely America’s Test Kitchen where I think about buying a replacement Crock Pot but it’s too soon. Too soon.
  • Watch random videos, like the one below where a German girl speaks pretty good Chinese. Probably only amusing if you understand Chinese/German.

Speakinga reading, the Economist, Chinese, and Germans, evidently there’s this thing called a Babyklappe where people can slip their unwanted babies into a box for pickup. The same thing exists in China and elsewhere.

It’s that parent thing I wrote about last time.

Dunno if I should be horrified something like that exists – that someone would just discard a human being; or comforted – that someone will try to take care of them.

Anyway, back to the egg thingy. This guy named Ernest Dichter postulated that women didn’t like the idea of “just adding water” to make food so to do more involve them, he suggested that they add eggs, a symbol of fertility.

Spend a lotta time wondering about cruelty, kindess, everything in between. And why we’re here at all.

Well, as much time as I have until the printer stops or the download downloads.

Then, snap outta my thoughts and get back to my slice of the world.

Which is evidently reading print so small it’s a wonder I can still read at all.

Location: in the gym yesterday; Brooklyn today
Mood: less sick
Music: This is the fear This is the dread These are the contents of my head

You are you who are because of the parents to whom you were born

Lobster tail dinner

How much do you think the US gives as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product? In other words, how much do you think we give outta the all the money the country makes in a year? 5%, 10%? Answer below.


Had an interesting online exchange with a stranger:

Him: Poverty is … well to put it as unpolitical as I can, something that occurs because parents don’t know how to teach their kids any better. That’s as nice as I can put it without being sadistic about it.
Me: How did you get your parents? You didn’t work for them, you did nothing to get the ones you did. If you were born to parents in North Korea or Somalia, your life would be vastly different if not for sheer dumb luck. Don’t pat yourself on the back for having the brilliance of sheer stupid luck.

He gave a lot more nonsense answers before finally admitting that the only real difference between him and the world he snidely judges comes down to a child’s taunt: Heads I win, Tails your lose.

We are – almost completely – the product of the parents to whom we were born, good or bad.

Said this to someone at work who immediately quipped, What if you were adopted? which I said, proves my point. If you were born to a young mother who gave you up for adoption, that changes your life dramatically.

Likewise, if you were born to a pastor (the “PK” as we used to say) you were stereotypically either on one extreme or the other in terms of behaviour patterns.

You don’t necessarily ape your parents, but you are shaped by them.

To “be counted among the world’s richest 1 percent, a single individual has to earn just $34,000 a year. Members of the planet’s true middle class, meanwhile, live on just $1,225 a year.”

That’s astounding.

If you read me – ie, have internet, have a computer – you’ve won the real lottery of life by being part of the true 1%.

If you do nothing else to pay back the aether for your dumb luck, at least tell the people that gloat over their good fortune and look down everyone else, “Shut the _____ up.”


The US gives a total of 0.19% of GDP to foreign aid; in other words out of every dollar we make, the US gives 0.19 cents to foreign aid.

(c) Gates Foundation

Location: sick in bed
Mood: sick – send soup
Music: Words as weapons sharper than knives

Pushing all that doubt

Rainy day on the UWS in New York City

Her: I’m so excited! The Museum of Math is going to be open soon; it’s right next to The Museum of Sex.
Me: Great! I’m only good at one of those things.

A big part of my eat-what-you-kill life’s writing proposals for certain gigs. Afterwards, ship them off and write more or work while I wait. Usually both.

Back in they day, used to get one outta two back. Then from 2009 to 2011, it was more like one outta four or five would come back. No fun.

In the past three months, sent out maybe 16? About seven came back, which was good but then last week, eight more came in with only one outstanding.

Up to my eyeballs in work.

This has both it’s good points and bad: the good being scratch, which is always welcome; the bad being that all of my projects have to take a backseat.

Have y’ever watched any of those nature shows where this group of impalas’re just grazing in Africa next to a buncha lions? Then all hell breaks loose when the lions go after the impalas?

Regardless of outcome, at some point, the lions are back to chilling and the impalas go back to grazing.

There’s some innate ability of animals to compartmentalize their fear of the hypothetical; at some point, think that humans lost that and I’m no different.

It’s always the same. In my line of work, there’re days when when the seconds drag and days that the hours fly by.

When it’s the former, y’wonder if you should have  taken that cushy job downtown.

It’s not easy, to push all that doubt to the side of your mouth.

Doesn’t matter, got no time to philosophize. Got deadlines.

Location: The NY City Bar
Mood: sick
Music: We brave bee stings and all

Straight-up meritocracy

The little things to make it / you better

Rainy night on the UWS in New York City

There’s a place in Brooklyn called the E-Waste Warehouse where anyone can drop off old electronics.

So, recently rented a car, cleaned out my cellar again, and hauled out boxes and boxes of old computers and junk to them.

There’s something satisfying about bringing items that you know will be put to good use – or at least not arbitrarily thrown out to the landfill.

Wrote once where this author said that It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little.

This’s good cause I can’t do much, but the little things, that I can do.

Speakinga the little things, was given a slight (really slight) promotion in my wrasslin class.

Per most martial arts classes, the more experienced guys often show the newbies the basics, which frees the coach to teach more advanced moves to the others.

Done it a few times and teaching’s the best way to learn things so I credit that to my (slight) advancement.

One newbie I helped teach is this Austrian dude who’s been killing it on the mat and he’s only been there for maybe six months. I actually showed him a few of the beginner moves way back when.

He’s been there 1/5 the time I’ve been there, but goes almost daily and seems to have a natural knack for it. He’s already better than me.

Anywho, we line up by order of skill. He often lines up lower than me and others that have been there longer than he has, partly outta respect to me, and partly cause he’s just a nice fella.

While I like that’s he’s so humble, the reason why I like my wrasslin class so much’s cause it’s an absolutely pure meritocracy. No bureaucracy, no egos, no teacher’s pet, no crap, etc.

Just straight-up meritocracy.

Honestly, how often does that happen?

So I politely tell him to line up ahead of me and he demurs for a moment before he does.

Don’t want or need to be better than him. Or anyone, for that matter.

Just wanna be better than I was the day before.


It’s been a year since the Japan disaster. They still need help.

Like I said, the little things, yeah? I wish them to be better than the day before:

  • Text JAPAN to 80888 to donate $10 to Salvation Army Aid Efforts
  • Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross Earthquake Relief
  • Text TSUNAMI to 50555 to give $10 to Convoy for Hope
  • Text JAPAN to 50555 to donate $10 to Global Giving
  • Text JAPAN or 20222 to donate to Save the Children’s Japan Fund
  • Text MED or 80888 to donate $10 to International Medical Corps

Thanks to Call-to-Action for the list.

Location: 3AM, wide awake in my bed
Mood: ever awake – I’m always #@$@# awake.
Music: those people keep a-movin’ – And that’s what tortures me

At least it was a nice day for a drive

UWS church in NYC

It’s been a really busy week and it’s barely Wednesday

The thing with what I do is I send out proposals all of time and hope that one of them sticks. Had about five things out and didn’t hear anything so I continued with all my projects and personal tasks.

Then they all came through, which is good for scratch but not good for being able to much of anything else. Think I finally was able to shut off my brain at around 3AM

Spent yesterday all over Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island. My damn lying GPS just made it worse.

At least it was a nice day for a drive.

Location: surrounded by papers
Mood: busy
Music: you don’t live downtown no more And everything must come and go

The person with the answers’ worth the wait

UWS church in NYC

Was asked to be one of the photographers for my new church opening on the UWS. It’s flattering to be asked but maybe it’s more my Syd than me.

A photographer once told me that at least half of the difficultly of taking pictures of people’s the walking up to strangers and shoving a machine into their faces.

You “take” pictures – no one “gives” them to you. It’s aggressive by its very nature.

The thing’s that I’m not an aggressive guy. Most people’s responses to my taking pictures is a why-not kinda shrug.

Dunno if this’s a good thing or bad thing but I’m leaning toward the former.

Whiskey Tavern in NYC

Went out to see the family over the weekend and the wife came with. Spent most of it building a PVR for my pop.

Time Warner has two numbers for building these things and I called the local number (718.358.0900) versus the toll-free number (866.606.5889) as it seems to be a shorter wait.

The lady on the first one – after 15 minute wait – said, “Hold on, I’m going to send a signal to your box.” I told her I had a series of numbers that I was supposed to read to her and she told me she didn’t need it.

30 minutes later, I’m back at the Time Warner repair center returning a fried box.

This time, called the second number and – after a 90 minute wait – got a guy who chuckled and said, “She fried your box, huh? Dunno why they keep putting the local numbers there. Those guys don’t know what they’re doing.”

No. No they do not.

Moral of the story? The person with the answers’ worth the wait.

Whiskey Tavern in NYC

Afterward, met up with Gio. He was having a party at Whiskey Tavern downtown to celebrate his 40th birthday as well his recent engagement. He and I had many the random meetings in the big city together.

As usual with him, the poison was on his tab and all of our people were there. My liver wasn’t speaking to me afterward. Ran into a number of old faces and it was good catching up – even ran into three people that read me here (hola!).

Anywho, there’s this saying that every pot has it’s cover. Maybe that’s true.

Met the future Mrs. Gio that night and told her I wished the two of them all of the best.

Life’s hard enough without your person.

Location: bedroom, writing
Mood: disappointed
Music: you give me no reason why you’re making me work so hard

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