Free Forum Friday December 3rd

Giant Dead Marmot, Not to Be Confused with Giant Dead Beaver

It’s Free Forum Friday. Please report any giant beavers. Or marmots.

Ed note: I finished my Pacific Crest Trail Hike at Manning Park. Marmots have a shrill, piercing warning that sounds like a whistle. I was able to do a passable enough impression so as to confuse these little rodents. I guess you had to be there. It was a humourous interaction with nature.

Canadian Border Crossing on the PCT

Border Crossing into Canada on the PCT

Here is my photo from crossing into Canada on the PCT. I’d show you a picture of me at the PCT terminus but I had been out for awhile and also up all night battling a herd of deer at my last campsite who veiwed me as an interloper. In fact, they took my hiking poles during the night; apparently for the salt content.

Mr. U

About Monotreme

Monotreme is an unabashedly liberal dog lover, writer, and former scientist who now teaches at a University in an almost-square state out West somewhere. |
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85 Responses to Free Forum Friday December 3rd

  1. Monotreme says:

    I can’t remember if I’ve posted this on the blog, but I have a friend named Michelle Page who is a Los Angeles artist.

    Her special project is to go to Nepal and have hand-painted signs made to order. In Nepal, the traditional “Beware of Dog” sign says “Danger Dog” in Nepalenglish and is a wonderful example of primitive art.

    I first heard of Michelle on the PRI radio program “The World” and we’ve since met and become close friends.

    If you check out her blog, you’ll see a lot of great dogs, some cats, a few ferrets, and scattered other animals represented.

    I’m thinking Bart or GROG would love one of these:

    Maybe we could get them labeled “DANGER OBAMA”.

  2. robert verdi says:

    Maple Syrup Pizza
    Pizza Dough
    One Pound Italian Sausage
    Maple Syrup( use a good quality!)
    pancetta pr prosciutto
    Large Onion
    12 ounces smoked mozzarella

    Make or buy a pizza dough.
    Dice up one large onion.
    Cook one package of hot and sweet Italian sausage after squeezing the meat out the casing, remove from pan when browned.
    Cut about 6 ounces of pancetta or prosciutto and cook with diced onion, grease from sausage should provide a good frying element. When onions are brown remove from pan.
    Roll out dough and coat with healthy amount of syrup, one or to little puddles should appear, but don’t go overboard.
    Layer with onions and all meat.
    Layer with shredded smoked cheese. Drizzle a little more syrup over and try and brush some on the crust.
    Cook at 375 for about 20 minutes or until crust brown and cheese melted.
    Trust me when I say you will be amazed.
    Alternate, once pizza is finished roll the dough up into a log and you will have sausage bread. (Make sure you pinch the edges when done)

  3. Mr. Universe says:

    That actually sounds really yummy.

  4. dcpetterson says:

    That sounds great, Robert. Well worth trying. Thanks for sharing that recipe!

  5. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    a herd of deer at my last campsite who veiwed me as an interloper. In fact, they took my hiking poles during the night; apparently for the salt content.

    Speaking of recipes . . . How about one for venison chili!!! In this case you may wish to slightly decrease the amount of added salt.


  6. Mainer says:

    Robert I think I may have had some of this pizza and if it is the same one I had it is really really good. Thanks for the recipe as I love to cook and try new things. I note you also included how to turn this into sausage bread which is one of the family favorites. I have one of the best sausage bread recipes ever. Simple and so so good for the holidays. I still make it for friends and all my boys make it for their families for Christmas morning. If any one is interested I will put that on as well.

    Now I would offer up my fruit cake recipe as well but I’m not sure I could take the abuse I would receive. I happen to like good fruit cake for the holidays and most of what is out there just plain sucks. The one I do 2 of each year is a recipe that my mother developed over many years and never wrote down in its completly. After she passed away my dad called the next fall and asked if I was going to do the fruit cake so the tradition didn’t die. And so began a ten year odysey to recreate my mom’s fruit cake. I have it down now and would share it with any one interested. Oh I wish I had not offered this as I know I am going to take abuse for it.

    I love the holidays. Thanksgiving through New Years are special times. We have many get togeters with family and friends as do so many and our crowd has learned how to eat really well. So many good cooks in the group and we revel in alwys trying to out do one another. I have already sent Robert’s recipe to two of my sons…….yup real men are not afraid to cook (right Robert) and some of us grow flowers too…….hey it worked for my grandfathers and my dad and me.

  7. Monotreme says:

    Home-made fruitcake good.

    Machine-made fruitcake bad.

    I use Pernod in my fruitcake. The anise flavor contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the fruit.

  8. Monotreme says:


    That recipe looks great. I must try it sometime.

  9. filistro says:

    There is something so deeply appealing about masculine men who also cook. Sigh…

    It’s probably imprinted in the DNA. After all, that would pretty much have been the cavewoman’s dream, no?… a guy who could club a mastodon, drag it home and whip up a tasty stew. Those guys probably got to pass on their genetic material to the very best babes, thus creating a hardy and intensely desirable strain of supermen who cook.

  10. filistro says:

    Manning park is a really creepy place. It’s like Tennyson’s “forest primeval.” Horrible things happen there. Unprovoked mass shootings of kids at campsites… newborn babies left in outhouse pits… deadly bear maulings… killings with crossbows…

    Canadians assume it’s all because of propinquinty to the US. 😉

  11. Mr. Universe says:


    Venison spaghetti sauce. YUMM!

  12. filistro says:

    And finally… since we have a vaguely Canadian theme going here… just wanted to show you how a polite, low-key, very reserved nation supports its football team.

    The Saskatchewan Roughriders are the western favorites. On Sunday they went to the Grey Cup for the second consecutive year (think teeny-tiny Super Bowl, with grain and beavers) and lost a squeaker. Last year they lost in the final 10 seconds. They were up by 2 when they were called for “too many men on the field,” and the 10 yard penalty moved the Montreal Alouettes into position to score a winning field goal. The mourning in the West was just terrible.

    Anyhow… here is what quiet, dull Canadian football fans look like.

    The watermelons are… well, they’re green, of course. They are used for hats and bra cups at the game. Near game day, watermelon sales are so enormous that the fruit trucks coming up from California and Mexico are bumper-to-bumper heading into Regina.

  13. Mr. Universe says:

    I make a mean mastedon stew. It’s all about the spices and those are secret.

  14. Mr. Universe says:

    Wait…Canada has a football team? I thought curling was their favourite past time.

  15. filistro says:

    The mascot is an enormous gopher in a green jersey. He nibbles on watermelons and cheerleaders.

  16. filistro says:

    @Mr. U… I make a mean mastedon stew.

    Yes, I’ll bet you do 😉

  17. Mr. Universe says:

    Manning park is a really creepy place

    Really? I didn’t get that when I was there. I mean, sure, I got the ennui from the park concessions people but everyone else seemed…well, Canadian polite. I stealth camped in someone’s backyard and managed to hitch a ride to the border the next day with a nice guy in a Dodge pick-up who was doing some maintenance for an elderly person. I enjoyed the trip through the Fraser Valley. I never got creepy.

  18. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    “Manly men doing manly things, in a manly manner!”
    The motto of the crew of The Raging Queen, SNL 70’s.

    What!?!? Did I miss something about nibbling on cheerleaders? Tell me more!

  19. Monotreme says:

    Before you can cook a stew, you need to visit me. I’m Mr. Mastodon Farm.

    Now due to a construct in my mind
    That makes their falling and their flight
    Symbolic of my entire existence,
    It becomes important for me
    To get up and see
    Their last second curves toward flight.
    It’s almost as if my life will fall
    Unless I see their ascent.

    Obviously written with a geeky music-loving neuroscientist in mind.

  20. filistro says:

    OOO Treme… I love that. Manly men reciting poetry is almost as thrilling as cooking. 🙂

    @Mr U..Wait…Canada has a football team?

    Canada’s pro league plays a unique three-down style of football. If you can’t move the ball in two plays, you have to punt. It moves along very briskly… and makes American four-down ball seem slow and boring.

  21. Since there is a Canadian theme today, I would like to ask Fili (or anyone else) about two Canadian imports that I have enjoyed.

    1. The Red Green Show. I haven’t seen it in a while, but I enjoyed it.

    2. The Trailer Park Boys. I can’t for the life of me figure out why these guys haven’t become huge in the US. Hilarity abounds.

  22. Mr. Universe says:

    I must invoke copyright law if you’re going to steal my mastedon bar-b-que recipes

  23. Fili-That’s because American Football is boring!

  24. Mr. Universe says:

    Yeah, well I’m waiting for the Vancouver Platypi to take on my Ducks (no offense Treme). Oh Canada come and get it!

  25. filistro says:

    Fopsie… Red Green (actually Steve Smith) retired several years ago and now whittles full time. (He is also the spokesperson for Scotch Tape.) He says he won’t reprise the character because the gravelly voice was too hard to maintain and caused damage to his throat. He is famous for giving Canada its national motto… “Stay warm, and keep your stick on the ice.”

    The Trailer Park Boys are touring full time. They were in my city just three weeks ago, and people camped out overnight to get tickets. I, too, have wondered why they don’t catch on in the States… but I suspect its because many Americans have an uneasy feeling the Canadians might be making fun of them. Go figure, eh? 😉

  26. Monotreme says:

    Yeah, big guy, bring it on. Do your Ducks have poison spurs?

  27. filistro says:

    Four penises and poison spurs.

    No wonder those platypi get all the cutest girls.

  28. Monotreme says:

    It’s just that they have to poison each other to get them.

  29. shiloh says:

    There is something so deeply appealing about masculine men who also cook.

    Louis L’Amour would agree, Brokeback Mountain notwithstanding …

    I’ll refrain from all my TX jokes and say Fili would have fit right in in How The West Was Won.

    Put all the wagons in a circle pilgrim!


    And speaking of football ie something really important, Ohio State beat Michigan for the (((7th))) straight year and 9 out of the last ten ~ hence, ergo, therefore 2010 was another successful year! Woody is smilin’ as all is well w/the universe …

    Do you wanna go to the moon, Alice !?!

  30. mclever says:

    Roughriders? They’ve had a few good years of late. Didn’t they win in ’07 or ’08?

    I was always more of a Ti-Cat fan myself. Gotta love the scrappy teams who play with a lot of heart. (Damn those Argos from Toronto, responsible for many a Tiger-Cat heartbreak…)

    P.S. I absolutely adore people who use words like propinquinty. 🙂

  31. mclever says:

    shiloh, are you a Buckeye?

    Fight the team across the field show them Ohio’s here.
    Set the turf reverberating with a mighty cheer!

  32. Hey, I just thought of something…did they name that park after Bradley Manning?

  33. Just Sayin' says:

    Speaking of the Red Green Show, which me and my family used to watch religiously. “If women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy” or some such truism.

    On the menue this winter is venison stew, venison spaghetti, venison steaks and backstrap. My husband is the cook and he’s damn good at it. Yay!

  34. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    I don’t think it was Peyton.

  35. I don’t think it was Peyton.

    What, they like Eli more?

  36. filistro says:

    Actually I think the park is named after Ernest Manning, a famous conservative politician from western Canada. Ernest and his son Preston were the Ron and Rand Paul of Canadian politics… a pair of right-wing firebrand reformers.

    Preston was always a skilled politician, mentor to now-PM Stephen Harper, and would have gone right to the top himself except he was cursed with a high, squeaky, annoying voice (which is a death knell for any politician… Sarah Palin take note.)

  37. drfunguy says:

    Not to change the subject with a dog bites man type of story but some of y’all may be interested in the latest FauxNews hypocrisy:
    Truthers, birthers, and cowards:
    “…Fox host and senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano appeared on “Conspiracy King” Alex Jones’ radio show last week and announced that 9-11 “couldn’t possibly have been done the way the government told us,”
    more here

  38. shiloh says:

    Coincidentally, my local hs, which I didn’t attend, Kent Roosevelt Roughriders.

    and yes, I am a die hard Buckeye, and died hard many years under Woody and John Cooper lol.

    Let the record show in 1969 when MI upset OH, that their 1st year coach was Bo Schembechler, a former Woody asst. coach from Barberton, OH and many of MI’s starting line-up were from Ohio.

    So essentially it was Ohio beating Ohio ~ solo estoy diciendo.

    Gary Moeller, Michigan ~ Lima, Ohio
    Les Myles, LSU ~ Elyria, Ohio
    Urban Myers, Florida ~ Toledo/Ashtabula, Ohio
    Bob Stoops, Oklahoma ~ Youngstown, Ohio
    Lou Holtz, ND etc. etc. ~ WV, grew up in East Liverpool, Ohio ~ Kent State Grad
    Nick Saban, Alabama etc. etc. ~ WV, Kent State Grad
    Bo Pelini, Nebraska ~ Youngstown, Ohio, played at Ohio State

    hmm, what are the odds Michigan’s next head coach will be from Ohio … ie if they want to win! 😉

    btw, both Stoops and Pelini played football at Youngstown Cardinal Mooney HS

    I digress

    Quad Script

  39. filistro says:

    Speaking of Stephen Harper… Canadians were startled (and quite tickled) this week when George W. Bush showed us another, heretofore unknown side of our boring, buttoned-down, oh-so-proper leader:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russian leader Vladimir Putin once boasted to then-President George W. Bush about the size of his dog, in the ultimate of “mine-is-bigger-than-yours” stories.

    Former President Bush writes about the episode in his memoir, “Decision Points,” which hits book stores next Tuesday. Bush says he had introduced then-Russian President Putin to his Scottish terrier, Barney, on a visit to the U.S. presidential retreat, Camp David. “He kind of dissed Barney” Bush recalls. “Called him a lap dog. I was a bit upset, because I’m nuts about Barney.”

    Putin returned the favor when Bush visited Russia and Putin was giving him a tour of the grounds of his dacha.

    “A big black Labrador came charging across the lawn. With a twinkle in his eye, Vladimir said, ‘Bigger, stronger, faster than Barney,'” Bush writes.

    Bush says he later told the story to the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, who replied: “You’re lucky he only showed you his dog.”

  40. drfunguy says:

    Another media tidbit: ”
    The Washington Post is so desperate to appeal to conservatives that they are turning over their precious real estate [Jennifer Rubin] to someone with no apparent journalistic credentials, credibility, or even concern for the niceties of evidence.”
    By my favorite media critic, Eric (What Liberal Media?) Alterman
    He observes of Rubins 3800+ word essay on why Jews Hate Palin:
    “Rubin has virtually no data and quotes almost no one in support of her views. “

  41. drfunguy says:

    Alterman also provides some insightful comments on the Wikileaks issue:
    “Much of the journalistic world is currently focused on the juicy diplomatic details of the WikiLeaks revelations. This is understandable, but the issues raised are complex. To the degree they provide evidence of policies at odds with official pronouncements, the leaks are warranted. To the degree they merely seek to embarrass those charged with the conduct of sensitive and difficult foreign policy issues, they are destructive. But let’s not allow the debate over necessary and/or unnecessary secrecy to obscure a far more elemental problem with the conduct of US foreign policy: we frequently conduct it through an intelligence apparatus that considers itself immune to the rule of law and unaccountable to the Constitution.”
    et seq.

  42. dcpetterson says:

    OOO Treme… I love that. Manly men reciting poetry is almost as thrilling as cooking. 🙂

    Real Men do any goddam thing we want to.

  43. dcpetterson says:

    … and by the way, the download of Rune Song works now ….

  44. filistro says:

    DC.. is there any way of downloading the poem without giving them my email?

    You know how protective I am of that email address…

  45. dcpetterson says:

    filistro, I can download one for you and email to you privately. You have to agree to accept it as a shameless plug for me and for the publisher, however 🙂

    Alternatively, you can set up a hotmail account, use it for the download, and then never use that hotmail account again. (I use throwaway accounts all the time. Must have dozens of them. I forget….)

  46. filistro says:

    @DC.. Alternatively, you can set up a hotmail account,

    Oh, no. noooooooo..

    NORMAL people can set up a throwaway hotmail account. When I try to do so, it takes all day and ends in tears.

    Since you are one of the half-dozen people in the world who have my actual email address, could you just send it to me? I will be properly grateful both to you and your publisher. 😉

  47. dcpetterson says:

    Done. Thanks 🙂

  48. mclever says:

    In the spirit of Free Forum, I thought I’d bring up a topic that has engendered some recent interfamilial debate. Giving kids an allowance. Bad idea? Good idea? How much? At what age to start, if ever?

    The argument goes, that allowances teach children about budgeting and other good money habits while giving them a small amount of cash to spend on things they want. But is that really true?

    The way I see it, there are a few different ways to structure allowances:

    1) Fixed amount given periodically regardless of behavior.
    2) Fixed amount given periodically contingent upon completion of chores and/or good behavior.
    3) Fixed amount given regardless of behavior, plus the option to earn bonuses for completing special tasks and/or good behavior.
    4) No allowance at all. Children must approach the parent for all monetary requests, thus potentially instigating a contentious need vs. want discussion before any cash is granted, even for something as small as a pack of gum.

    In each of these cases, there is also dispute on the appropriate amount:
    a) Give a couple of dollars to cover weekly treats and iPod downloads only. Kids must still approach the parents for lunch money, movie dates with friends, or other larger-ticket items.
    b) Give an intermediate amount that covers additional things like cafeteria lunches, schools supplies, movies, cellphone overages, etc. Kids must still approach parents for larger-ticket items, such as clothes and shoes.
    c) Give enough money to cover the little items plus a food and clothing allowance. Kids only approach the parents for unusual or unexpected requests, such as the “activity fee” for joining a club.

    So, which approach do you guys think works best?
    Do different approaches work better at different ages?
    Does it depend more on the personality of the child?
    Or, do you think parents are better off doing away with allowances altogether?

    I have long been in favor of allowances for the usual “fiscal responsibility” arguments, but I recently learned that the three people whose fiscal habits I respect the most never got an allowance as kids. Perhaps, their good fiscal habits were developed because they were confronted with that dreaded “need vs. want” conversation so much more often than their allowance-rich peers? In that case, might allowances be more about convenience for parents who don’t want to deal with difficult conversations than about teaching kids to save and spend wisely?

    I’m not certain, and I’m open to persuasion. So, persuade me!

  49. shiloh says:

    I prefer gmail throwaway accts. as hotmail/yahoo are soooo yesterday!

    ok, gmail is yesterday also ~ used ICQ chat back in the day to transfer files, whatever.

    Nowadays there are a gazillion hosting sites for misc. crap.

    so many accts. ~ so little time …

  50. dcpetterson says:

    Here’s an allowance idea, based on conservative ideology.

    Set up an eTrade account. Put $1000.00 in it. Teach the kids how to shift stocks around. Tell them they can pull any profits out as their allowance. Or they can leave the profits in and re-invest them. Once the original $1000.00 has been lost, tough. Not your problem any more. So they might want to invest wisely. Tell them also this is their retirement account, since the right thing to do is to privatize Social Security.

    After this, you don’t have to think about it any more. They’re on their own.

  51. filistro says:

    mclever… an interesting question.

    We raised four very different kids using the same method on all. Three have turned into money-savvy adults; paying mortgages, already building retirement accounts, don’t need help from anybody, etc. One is quite feckless, but young enough that there’s still hope.

    Our method of choice was your number 2… give regular fixed allowance at specified time and deduct for gross misdeeds or non-fulfillment of obligations. To be effective this requires diligent accounting… otherwise there are howls of outage over reduced amounts on allowance day.

    Our kids also got a considerably more generous allowance than most of their peers, with the understanding they were expected to save from their allowance for major purchases. They all had bank accounts and bankbooks before they were 10 years old. The best gift to give children is an understanding of how money grows and the personal power that savings give you… (plus the misery of seeing your ant siblings able to spend money on something awesome that you, the silly grasshopper, can’t have because you’ve squandered your substance on riotous living. )

    As soon as possible kids should also have jobs outside the home where they earn actual money through their own efforts… starting with babysitting, delivering flyers, shoveling the neighbor’s driveway, dogwalking, etc and progressing to McJobs. Once kids start seeing the things they want in terms of hours worked… (“10 hours of dishwashing to get those jeans”)… you’ve really turned a corner.

  52. filistro says:

    DC… I read your poem… am responding here rather than by email in hopes others will download and read as well. It’s a WONDERFUL piece. Lilting, haunting, powerful, evocative, mysterious. I love the music in the lines, and the strength that comes from a rhyme scheme that is utterly unobtrusive. (Usually the strain to carry rhyme in a long piece will interfere with flow and verisimilitude. Not here.)

    I even loved the intro… I could SEE the hearty old one-eyed bard sitting by the fire.

    I think you really should be writing sweeping historical sagas about Vikings. You have a rare gift for creating a sense of time and place.

    (Also those historical novels sell like crazy. You’ll be SO rich 🙂

  53. dcpetterson says:

    Thanks very much, Filistro. I wanted to see if I could write a really long poem, and keep it interesting and almost conversational. I wanted the flow to be natural, yet also rhythmic, and to see if I could do it without the metre or the rhyme being distractions. I wanted the fact that it was a poem to be an asset for the reader, rather than a drudgery. I want it to read like something that one would want to hear aloud.

    I”m very glad you enjoyed it, and I thank you for your kind words.

  54. mclever says:


    You pretty much described the way I was raised. I had an interest-earning checking account and checkbook at a young age. My allowance was deposited by direct deposit from my Dad’s account, and he would adjust the amount to deduct penalties for misdeeds or grant bonuses for extra work around the house, too. If I wanted the money, I had to use an ATM (the bank was ~1 mi from our house) or write a check. I also got a bank statement every month that showed the tiny interest deposits that accrued if I left my money there. Like your kids, we were expected to get jobs (paper routes, babysitting, etc.) as we got older, too. I also was given a credit card at age 14, and was expected to pay off the balance every month from my saved allowance funds. If I screwed up, Dad would rescue me to avoid a credit report fiasco, but then the card would be taken away and allowances withheld until the debt was repaid. I thought this setup was great!

    All of my siblings got the same allowance strategy, but they’re all fiscal wrecks.

    I would be too, without the positive influence of my wonderful spouse who incidentally never got an allowance. As a child, if my spouse wanted a treat or to do something with friends, Mom and Dad had to fork over the cash on the spot, almost always after a discussion about whether they could afford it. My spouse’s parents followed something closer to dcpetterson’s tongue-in-cheek suggestion and opened a small investment account in their child’s name. (On teachers’ salaries, you know they didn’t have much to spare, but they considered a small investment fund to be worth scrimping elsewhere.) At first, they made most of the investment decisions, but they shared the periodic statements with their child to show the benefits of compounding interest and reinvestment. They finally handed over management of the account after college, thus giving my spouse a “starter fund” right after school. Wisely, we never withdrew a penny, and instead have multiplied it significantly over the past few years. We figure our generation will never see a dime of Social Security, so we’d better save enough for retirement all on our own.

    In contrast, my siblings are financial wrecks. Whatever money they get seems to just disappear. To them, saving $100 seems like a lot and saving $1000 is almost unreachable. I think, for my siblings and me, rather than really understanding the benefits of saving, we often were more focused on getting enough to spend it. There was never any discussion of investing or long-term savings, because “saving” was always in reference to saving up for a specific item. I don’t think the allowances were at fault, but perhaps it was the way money was treated by my folks.

    See, I think more important was my parents’ actual attitude towards money. My parents never had a lot of money and are somewhat careless with what they do have. They were both in careers where they will receive pensions–my Dad’s will be particularly generous, so they never really worried about saving or investing for retirement. Those lackadaisical habits were what passed on to me and my siblings, rather than whatever lessons they hoped an allowance would teach.

    Like I said, I’m persuadable about the merits of giving kids an allowance. I’m not sure what the best approach is, though perhaps that’s because there isn’t necessarily a right answer.

    Perhaps, as with many aspects of child rearing, what’s most important is consistency. Consistency in how funds are given and for what reasons they might be withheld. Consistency in what the allowance (if any) will be used for and what things the parents will pay for. Consistency between siblings. Consistency between the allowance strategy and the parents’ own spending/saving habits. Consistency.


  55. mclever says:

    After reading filistro’s effusive praise, I too want to read DC’s poem. I’m always in awe of wondrous wordsmithery! 🙂

    Please, where’s the link?!

  56. robert verdi says:

    I am glad you guys like the recipe, its a favorite in my house and I make it for special occasions.
    thanks and if you are up to it, what is the fruitcake or sausage bread recipe. Cooking is what I love, I have been doing it my whole life and trying new things and recipes is a favorite hobby of mine!

  57. mclever says:

    Robert, I clipped your recipe in hopes that I can convince the cautious eaters in our home to try something new over the holidays. None of us are experienced in the kitchen, but we can’t learn if we don’t try, right?

    A question: When you make the suggestion for creating a sausage bread instead of a pizza, I’m assuming you roll it before you cook it. Does that change the cooking time? Or is it still ~20 minutes?

  58. Just sayin' says:

    We didn’t give the kids an allowance when they were small. The only money they ever had before they were sixteen was their birthday money. They had chores to do daily, all for the privilege of being in the family. As toddlers they learned that mom and dads word was good. If we said we were going to do something we did it and their was no divide and conquer, they were very secure in who were the parents and who were the children. When they turned 16 they were pretty much cut off and were encouraged to get a job to pay for gas, hair, clothes and entertainment, they were also encouraged to save for college as both their father and I weren’t paying for all of it. They also played sports and were very busy and will say today that they never got into trouble because they were so busy. When they graduated from college they both got good jobs and so far have never asked for money. They are in their mid to late twenties. I am proud of them. I hope this helps.

  59. mclever says:

    Thanks, Just sayin’. 🙂

    Sounds like the winning formula for you was your reliability and firmness as parents. The idea of “cutting them off” (I assume you mean no more free lunch money, clothes or cellphones) at 16 while they’re still at home and under your supervision is interesting, because it gives them a chance to stretch their wings while you’re still there to guide them, rather than waiting until their college years. So many kids get to college having never worked or handled money on their own, that they don’t know how to manage their freedom.

    Before they turned sixteen, how did you handle requests for things like cellphones or iPods? What about movie dates or ice cream after school? You know, those little persistent requests for smallish amounts of cash so that they can do things with their friends.

  60. dcpetterson says:


    You can download Rune Song free from this link.

    And as long as I’m hawking my wares, you can get my novel, Still Life, here. It’s not free, but being an ebook, it’s very inexpensive. (You can also find it at Amazon and all the other big ebook vendors, but they take a cut, and I like pushing my publisher.)

  61. mclever says:

    Thanks, DC. I’m not usually a fan of poetry, but I love Norse mythology, so yours sucked me right in. I loved the rhythm of it. It really needed to be read aloud, but the flow helped to create the picture of the old one-eyed bard spinning his tale by the fire.

    Thanks for sharing!

    I’ll look at Still Life later… As a HUGE sci-fi fan, especially of Asimov, I’m sure I’ll enjoy your exploration of the nature of artificial life.

  62. shiloh says:

    Almost forgot, Nebraska plays Oklahoma tomorrow, Pelini vs. Stoops, both from the same high school, surely a rare occurrence in major college football …

    carry on

  63. drfunguy says:

    Bu the only game that matters is the Civil War.
    Go Beavs!

  64. dcpetterson says:


    Thank you for the reactions 🙂 I”m honored.

  65. mostlyilurk says:

    I have an 11 year old son and we do give him a small allowance each week. He has some basic chores that he has to do and he can earn money by doing extras. He also gets money from other relatives for birthdays, holidays and other things. He seems to be fairly responsible with the money – but he’s a responsible kid overall. For the most part, he has to use his own funds when goes to arcade-type places and when he wants to buy stuff that we’re not willing to bankroll, i.e., extra video games, lego sets and the like. He really does seem to give a lot of thought to what how he wants to use and/or save his money. However he’s also our only child and does get things from us simply because we enjoy giving them to him, so maybe he doesn’t need to buy himself a lot. I don’t think he gets too much from us, as he doesn’t seem to be one of those terribly spoiled or entitled-type kids – although in my eyes he’s perfect, so what do I know 🙂 One thing that I do with him when he asks for something is to offer to split the cost with him. Sometimes, he’ll go for for it and other times he decides that he doesn’t really want it that badly. Often-times, he attempts to negotiate but I’m pretty good at holding the line. His dad, on the other hand, is not nearly as consistent as I am. In fact, he’s quite the pushover – and, of course, my smart little guy is fully aware of this, lol.

    I didn’t get an allowance as a kid and I’m fairly good with money. However, we didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up. I was raised by a single mom as my dad died when I was quite young. I never really wanted for anything, though and had no idea that we weren’t particularly well-off financially. It’s only as an adult that I’ve come to realize it. I think that my responsible nature was simply a result of my life circumstances, i.e., losing my dad at such a young age made me realize that I would need to be responsible for myself and would need to make sure that I was in a position to do that. No one ever needed to tell me that, as I saw it with my own eyes. However, my mother also reinforced it. I think she felt a bit blind-sided by what occurred in her life. She was raised to believe that a woman got married and had babies while her husband worked and supported the family. She didn’t anticipate losing her husband at 32 and having to raise two young children on her own. Luckily, she was a fantastic mom and did a great job.

  66. shortchain says:

    I would add a wrinkle on the allowance thing. Do give the allowances without a lot of direction, but I always insisted that they keep a record of what they spent the money on. Not too detailed — if they wanted to spend 5 bucks on candy, just take 5 bucks of their money and write “candy”.

    And I never criticized, but did suggest saving about half until they had something they really wanted…

    They have to be about 7 – 8 for this to work, typically.

  67. shiloh says:


    Good luck to your Beavers, but the Ducks are solid and relentless.

    Somebody last year wanted Oregon State in the Rose Bowl so it would have been OSU vs. OSU ~ Beavers/Buckeyes.

    hmm Beavers/Buckeyes, not as many double entendres as Beavers/Trojans. 😉

  68. robert verdi says:

    no, the only concern is the dough, the sausage should be cooked and the cheese will melt quick enough, if the the outside of the sausage of the dough looks brown, its done.

  69. robert verdi says:

    Tell the family never fear fear cooking. If you invest time and money in something that is no good, you picked up good lessons anyway even though the food did not appeal to anyone’s palate.
    If you get a good recipe you have something your family will cherish forever.

  70. Just Sayin' says:

    Mclever: Well we were lucky that their teen years were just barely before the cell phones for everyone and ipods weren’t on the scene yet. Before their 16th birthday their spending money might have consisted of going to the movies or money for Christmas. I bought their school clothes till their Junior year. It was never a big deal. When my youngest was fifteen she asked for $400.00 to buy presents for all her friends, and she was informed that the only way she was ever going to see that kind of money is if she got a job. She was furious that she had to get a job early at 15, and then she was furious that no one would hire her because she wasn’t 16. She eventually found a job that would hire her partime for minimum wage at a bakery where she did earn the 400.00. She spent it promptly on Christmas presents for all her friends. When she got to college she had to work for her spending money and she did learn what she could have based on what she earned. Sometimes I flinch at how they spend their money, but both of them did open up savings accounts the moment they got jobs. Its trial and error as each child is different. My oldest who was never a big spender when she was a teen or a young adult, spends freely and the youngest who had to have this and that is very careful with her money now.

  71. shiloh says:

    Rachel Maddow just played The Ohio State fight song to open her show tonight.

    My life is now complete! 😀

  72. Jean says:

    A favorite receipe using on-hand ingredients from the refrigerator and pantry. Great for last minute guests. Add chips-and-cheese or nachos and, of course, Margueritas.

    Nacho Potato Soup

    1 package (5-1/4 ounces) au gratin potatoes. Use the dried potato packet, but discard the powdered cheese packet.
    1 can (11 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained.
    1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained (Rotelle brand, for example).
    2 cups water
    2 cups milk
    2 cups cubed American cheese or Mexican cheese blend.
    Dash hot pepper sauce, optional

    In a 3-qt. saucepan, combine the contents of the potato package, corn, tomatoes and water; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add milk, cheese and hot pepper sauce; cook and stir until the cheese is melted. Yield: 6-8 servings.

  73. filistro says:

    Jayda Potatoes

    (named for the grandkid who loves, loves, LOVES them)

    2lb bag of frozen hash brown potatoes
    1 cup grated cheddar cheese
    1 cup sour cream
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1/2 cup onion, chopped
    1/4 cup parsley, chopped

    Thaw potatoes, mix all ingredients, spread in large shallow casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

    Takes 2 minutes to assemble (less if you have a kid working the can opener for you.) Serves 8-10 normal human beings… or 3 teenagers

  74. drfunguy says:

    I’m not really a sports fan and OSU was my graduate alma mater but my undergrad college did not boast a football team so I root for the Beavers by default and because they’re perennial underdogs, and because I love beaver(s).
    I mean, whats not to love about those warm, furry, … etc. Not to get too caried away.

  75. Monotreme says:

    Our regulars and visitors may or may not have noticed the information and tidbits populating the sidebar.

    One of the categories is “People We Think Are Cool” and I placed Arikia Millikan on the list. The link is to an interview with her where she describes her freelance work, including her work as a research assistant to Nate Silver.

  76. shiloh says:

    and because I love beaver(s)

    Indeed, one’s quest for the perfect beaver can be quite enjoyable …

    solo estoy diciendo

  77. dcpetterson says:

    This being Free Forum Friday, and a pretty damn good social hour, I just wnat to say Robert is a joy to have around.

  78. Mr. Universe says:

    @ mclever

    As a HUGE sci-fi fan, especially of Asimov,

    I so totally LOVE you! Browncoats rule!


    GO DUCKS! We are so totally national champions. Auburn can kiss my a$$.

  79. Mr. Universe says:

    Aunt Bettye’s Tater Salad (pronounce Aunt as ain’t)

    Cut up a bunch of taters and a Vidalia onion (Walla wallas work, too)
    Boil ’em with an egg or two. Salt with impunity.
    When you can slide a fork in a tater without resistance; drain it all and chop up the eggs
    Stir in French’s yellow mustard and Kraft Mayonaise (it’s important that you use these brands. Other stuff will just screw it up).
    If you get a wild hair, use some pickle relish.
    If it don’t taste right, add salt. Taters seem to soak that up. Pepper is good, too.

    This is best served warm but it lasts for a long time refridgerated. It’s super yummy but I confess I still can’t get it right the way Aunt Bettye does it.

  80. mclever says:

    Mr U, we’re all just Big Damn Heroes, ain’t we?


  81. shiloh says:

    Auburn can kiss my a$$.

    Auburn has to beat South Carolina first and then they can kick er kiss your @ss …

    Hopefully Oregon isn’t as overconfident as its fans!

    Oregon 15 ~ California 13 as CA missed a late field goal and a (2) pt. conversion.
    Oregon State 35 ~ California 7

    on any given Saturday er Sunday:

    Cleveland 30 ~ at Super Bowl Champs New Orleans 17
    Cleveland 34 ~ (9-2) New England 14

    That’s why they play the game …

  82. Mr. Universe says:


    Ain’t we just?

    [It took me forever to figure out what Mal said to Simon in the episode ‘Safe’ over the roar of Serenity’s engines since the DVD just says ‘unintelligible’. But he says, ” Gotta say Doctor, your penchant for alienatin’ people is near miraculous”]

    I’ll be busy tomorrow watching the Ducks hand the Beavers their ass in the Civil War. Then it’s my guess that it’ll be Auburn, nuch to my brother-in-law’s chagrin.

  83. Mr. Universe says:

    Best cheese dip ever

    One can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
    One block of Velveeta
    1/2 stick of Jimmy Dean Sausage
    Handful of sliced mushrooms

    Saute sausage and mushrooms
    Pour into crock pot with cheese and tomatoes
    Keep warm and serve with chips of choice
    Turn on football game and it magically disappears

  84. dcpetterson says:

    @Mr U and mclever

    Best. SciFi. Series. Ever.

    They can’t take the sky from me…

  85. robert verdi says:

    thanks all, I will be trying some of those recipes.

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