Wednesday, February 05, 2020

A Drop In Poverty ?

The content of this post is something that a friend of mine posted on Facebook and which I do not want to lose. Facebook posts are notoriously good at vanishing, never to be found again.
The author goes by Debby Dootson on Facebook.

I took a big ol' hour and a half step-out while a certain someone was counting how many lies and half-truths they could pack into a speech, but thanks to social media I got to see this tidbit.
"Poverty is plummeting."
The poverty level is around $11,000 for a single person under 65 years in the US. The minimum wages in several states have been going up during the last 4 years due to state regulations being passed, which would bring even a part-time minimum wage worker over $11,000. Obviously the rate is going to go down. Nobody talks about the fact that the poverty rate is set INSANELY low, to a point where no one could survive in any part of America on that amount anyways unless they had someone else supporting them.
From the Census Bureau: "The official poverty rate in 2018 was 11.8 percent, down 0.5 percentage points from 12.3 percent in 2017. This is the fourth consecutive annual decline in poverty. Since 2014, the poverty rate has fallen 3.0 percentage points, from 14.8 percent to 11.8 percent."
Whoopty-fking-doo you managed to get it so over 10% of America still can't manage to make $11,000 a year. A 3 percentage point decrease in poverty. Let's see what the percentage point increase is in the top quintile's median income in the meantime, shall we? I'll just throw a chart in. People like them better and I think they have a bit more impact. Decide on your own. You have to look holistically to get the whole story.

In case you want to see the it in adjusted dollars, see below. This is a perfect example of numbers not telling the whole story. Someone could say to you: 
"The 4th quintile is reaping the largest benefits from Trump's tax plan! See? They saw a 5% increase while the top 5% of households only saw 2.5%!" 
Then you look at the numbers, and realize how much more 2% of $400,000 is than 5% of $35,000. Hmm.

Also notice that little dip on the top quintile? This is genius. It makes the powerful people with lots of money feel like they are losing out, so they will keep voting for policies that appear to support them while mainly benefiting only the highest echelon. We need to be taking notes for our next life just in case. This is brilliant. 
The upper class feels victimized by the policies and sees gains being made by the lower classes (which are minimal and largely token) and therefore ask for even lower taxes and less restrictions because GAWD can't you see the poor people are making more money and here we are stagnating when we work just as hard! 
God!, the longer I look at it the more genius it is. Look at that slope uptick on the top 5%. Royal scam.

I would just like to say that I am immensely grateful to have friends such as Debby. They make life so much easier to live.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Chicken Rubs

This post definitely comes under the heading of food! It's a catch-up from the summer where I prepped a fair amount of chicken for people to grill and eat.

All the quantities are in teaspoons, but are ratios so that you can easily make more ... a quarter of a teaspoon of a powder is going to be a pain to measure .... multiply everything in the recipe by four, use what you need, and pput the rest in a Zip-lock baggie in the freezer for next time!

Coffee and Fennel

This turned out to be a popular mix, with a lot of positive comments about the "strange taste in the background" (the fennel !)
Brown Sugar6
Chile Powder2
Chocolate Powder6

Sweet Garlic and Onion

This one has the potential for heat - be careful of the amount of Cayenne Pepper.
Smoked Paprika16 
Brown Sugar16
Chile Powder8
Black Pepper12
Garlic Powder12
Onion Powder12
Cumin Powder1
Celery Salt4
Cayenne Pepper1

Mediterranean Garlic and Onion

This one is similar to the one above, but with a Mediterranean flavour  rather than a more New World one.
Smoked Paprika
Garlic Powder6
Brown Sugar6
Cumin Powder1
Cayenne Pepper1
Black Pepper2


  • In all cases, mix your herbs first.
  • Open your (thawed, if necessary) chicken
  • Cut chicken breasts to desired size - about 4 to 5 inch pieces (2 or 3 per breast)
  • Rub herb mixture in to the meat, applying generously
  • Pack meat into plastic food savers, add a little olive oil,  and stash in fridge
  • Keep for about three days before use
  • Every twelve hours bring meat from stash, add a little more rub mixture, and rub into the meat
  • Remove from fridge at least four hours before cooking, and allow to warm
  • Grill on medium-high heat
  • To check for completion cut into thickest part of largest piece after about 10 minutes on grill

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Winter Food - Slow Cooker Happiness

 Hot Food After Christmas
After Christmas is always a tough time for cooking. You're stuffed with so much bird that you really can't stand to see turkey for at least another 10 months. Mountains of Christmas Pudding, in lakes of whiskey, drift across your fevered dreams.

So, in the midst of this, food was required, and I was the one volunteered to shop at the local supermarket (here in Spokane, where we're staying for a few days) and make something to stop the incessant background rumbling of tummies !

Leeks 4
Celery 1 head
Chicken Broth 1 litre
Sweet Corn 2 cans
Chicken Breast 2
Andouille 1 large

Herbs and Spices
Fennel 6 tbsp
Herbes de Provence 4 tbsp
Garlic 2 tbsp
Parsley 4 tbsp
Salt and Pepper 1 tsp each

  • Chop the celery and leeks into small pieces.
  • Rinse the leek well to remove and sand or mud.
  • Add the greens and the chicken broth to the slow cooker.
  • Start the slow cooker at maximum heat.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into small (2 cm) pieces and fry them gently in oil (olive oil or even butter will do fine) with more Herbes de Provence added to flavour.
  • Slice the Andouille and fry this gently also.
  • Add the meat to the slow cooker, and then the balance of the herbs and spices. 
  • Mix well and then add the corn and blend well into the mix.
  • Leave to cook for two or three hours and then serve.

Bon Appetit!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Autumn Morning

Good Morning!

Obviously we have a small leak of warm air from our house, that our little friend here found last night.


Monday, July 15, 2019

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

This was made for an Easter lunch, and everyone seemed to like it very much, which was very gratifying!

The Meat

I took the loins (there were four in all), trimmed any excess fat off the outsides, rubbed them in onion salt and white pepper, and left them overnight in the fridge.
The next day I sliced them length-ways as far through as I could without ending up with two pieces.

Some more salt and pepper seasoning was applied to the new surfaces.

The Stuffing

The stuffing was made with:

  • young spinach leaves
  • dried cranberries (buy in bag at Target!)
  • chestnuts (buy in bag at Target!)
  • 2 or 3 fresh eggs
  • mushrooms
  • sausage meat (Jimmy Dean's)
  • olive oil

All this was chopped up and mixed up well into a paste.

Each loin was laid out, topped with a good thick layer of stuffing mix, folded over, and then gently tied by looping string around it, spiraling from one end to the other. My darling wife was engaged for this task, as I only have two hands!

The stuffed loins were then placed onto a large baking tray, covered with alu-foil, and cooked at 375F for an hour.

Bon Appetit !