A Few Quick Takes

I’M OVERWHELMED BY NEWS

dry-fly.jpgAs an anxiety killer, dry fly fishing ranks near the top. It’s fishing that requires Zen-like concentration tightly focussed upon threading a nearly invisible pin hole atop a hook deftly dressed as a fly, with a nearly transparent line and tying a minute but secure knot in it. The other portion of your time is spent a) getting into your ridiculous-looking gear b) casting as far and gently as possible to land your lure gently upon the water and then c) watching the river for an encouraging ripple signifying the presence of trout that are within your view but seemingly always out of reach.MAMACITA

polar.jpg‘I don’t want to live in permafrost no more.’Gristmill

Changes to agricultural practice and forestry management could cut greenhouse gas emissions, buying time to develop alternative technologies.Scientific American

Eye candy that’s melting fast.Gristmill

grizzly-muddler.jpg— There are a number of ungulate hairs suited to spun and clipped patterns but the best spinning hairs are coarse, spongy and soft. – Philip Rowley

Non-indigenous fish, introduced in the 18th century are taking over South African rivers and streams.Get Outdoors

palomarknot.gifThe Palomar Knot is a general-purpose fishing knot . . .Women Fishing

— By the End of the Century Half of All Species Will Be Gone. Who Will Survive? – RedOrbit

But a good barbera is the epitome of an elemental, honest red wine. It offers you fruit — lots of spicy cherry and raspberry flavors — and it doesn’t hurl w-vs-beer.jpgthem at you in some formless mass. Barbera is shaped by a bracing acidity. It’s got a bite, a burr, that makes the fruit incisive and refreshing.Eric Asimov / New York Times

. . . a Gallup poll revealed that, for the first time ever, Americans preferred wine to beer. This was an astonishing development, akin to Americans jilting baseball for bocce.Slate

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The Brucellocis/Bison/Cattle Industry/Yellowstone/Montana PROBLEM continues to make news on many fronts, (go to Yellowstone Newspaper for the stories – both the lewd and the lucid.) One element that has not been addressed is the fact that as the planet warms and Yellowstone becomes a bit more bison-friendly environment; the population of these habituated beasties will grow to the point of destruction. whine.gifIf all the bison that have been killed in the last five years had been allowed to mature and reproduce there would be no grass left in the park.

The whiners have tamed Yellowstone and provided us with wolves that peer into car windows, bears that approach humans, coyotes that beg for food, and bison that proliferate without predation. The bison situation is far larger that the slaughter of a few poor babies. It is the problem of a sentiment gone rampant. Don’t dare ask the cheerleaders what would happen to the park if bison were left to their own protected devices.

Where are the whiners at Wind Cave National Park? Did you know that bison management has worked there and that roundups and culling continue? Did you know that there are some sane managers in the NPS?

 

“The park holds a roundup annually to monitor the health of the herd and to manage herd size for available forage,” said Superintendent Linda L. Stoll.

The wolves have done wonders with some of the elk herd – where’s the “TRADITIONAL” bison predators? Where is the sane management? Ahhh, I get it: publicity, not a care for the park.

water-buffalo.jpg

Mom’s Spaghetti Sauce

SHE’S A WONDERFUL COOK

Recipes are scattered all over the web and this is just another one. I like it, the folks back home like it, my friends here like it, I hope you try it and like it too.

The Sauce: in a crock pot.

 

1 large Italian sweet sausage, (about 1#),
1 large Italian hot and spicy sausage, (about 1#),
1# pork shoulder, (small cubes),
1 yellow onion, chopped, (not too fine),
double handful of sliced mushrooms, (the earthier the better),
2-4 cloves of garlic, (peeled & mashed),
8-10 large tomatoes, (stemmed and halved),
1 small can tomato paste,
Oregano, Basil, salt, pepper, (to taste),
water & red wine,
Olive oil.

spaghet.jpg

Quickly brown the pork shoulder in olive oil in cast iron skillet, (very hot and very quick – just the outside.) Drain on paper towels and place in crock pot on high. Squeeze sausages out of casings and mix together – crumble and brown the sausage in olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Drain on paper towels and reserve.

Prepare remaining ingredients. After 2 hours, add sausage and onion and 1/2 the tomatoes to the crock pot. After one more hour add remaining ingredients, adjust consistency with water/wine, and turn to low. Cook for 1-3 more hours, adjust seasoning and consistency with water/wine and cook with top off for last 1/2 hour to thicken.

cella-lambrusco-white.jpgNothing special about cooking the pasta; spaghetti is a good excuse for this sauce, I also like it on great big shells. Cook it to your own taste and throw it on the ceiling or cut it with your tongue, or whatever – this is personal, so do it your way. Be sure to drain the pasta well and stir in some butter and olive oil while still hot. Serve immediately!

Dad’s family always drank both red and white wine with red pasta sauces. They are both fine. I like an Italian Cella Lambrusco – white. Use red if you choose, or both like Dad did.

Spinach just made it to the interior of nowhere. I jumped all over it and we have had spinach salad, steamed spinach, raw spinach, and shredded spinach pesto, (more about that another time.)

spinach-salad.jpgMy favorite, (among favorites,) spinach salad goes like this: 1 bunch of spinach, 5-6 mushrooms, 5-6 pieces of bacon, 2 cloves of garlic, 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, juice of half a lemon, 1-2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, Salt, black pepper. Cut the bacon thin, and thinly slice the garlic and mushrooms. Fry bacon and garlic in olive oil on low heat until the bacon becomes crispy, add mushrooms at the very end. Toss in the vinegar and then turn off the gas. Pour the bacon & mushrooms onto the spinach and mix well. Season it with salt and black pepper and lemon juice.

sbcake.jpgMom & I disagree about how to best enjoy strawberries. She likes them on buttermilk biscuits, I like them by the handful. If they have to be with bread, then gimme scones.

There are two recipes on the web that I’ve used. Delia’s buttermilk scones & Whole Foods’ cardamom scones. Click over there if you need a better shortcake.

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There’s a gentle drizzle outside, I’m going to run around town, have some breakfast and then go fishing. Mom’s going to clean up and pack.

Back To The Stew

I DID VERY WELL LAST WEEKEND

Mighty Mouse

The match went well, and I finished in the top five. There were 24 shooters so I’m feeling very good – especially since I was the only girl. I’ve posted a couple of targets, including the one that really messed me up. The wind and rain made shooting a challenge. There were wind shifts of at least 120 degrees and the sighter targets looked like Swiss Cheese.

I’m still waiting for ‘Hunter 2’ and I’m grateful that ‘Hunter 1’ shoots well at lower elevations. The trip was exhausting, but it got me out of the burg for a bit of time and it felt good to see some people that didn’t hate snowmobiles, didn’t want to kill all the wolves, and thought that there were bison near them too.

This was my second match shooting in hunter class. The 30’s are a bit different than the 22’s and the 6mm’s of the varmint classes. This was a full match and I also shot in the light and heavy varmint classes. The 22 PPC was right on and I finished well in light varmint. The 6 PPC just wouldn’t group and hung right in the high 4’s – scattered vertical so it wasn’t the wind.

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Last Monday night was a frenzy. I got home about noon, and the whole gang was coming over at 6:00. Happily the bison stew was done and patiently waiting in the refrigerator – melding flavors over the weekend.

The recipe is simple, old fashioned, and very tasty. It’s my third try, and this time I got it right. There are three sites on the web that I drew this recipe from, and they all say about the same thing – make it the way you like it. Visit Recipes for Natural Health and look at the Bison Stew page.

Just as Kansas City beef is superior to much of the range fed beef in Texas, Wyoming, and Montana, (I know I’ll hear about that,) so too is Midwestern bison superior to free range bison of the Dakota’s and Montana – Ted Turner’s herd included, (is it cow genes?) My bison comes from Eichten’s, and they also have a bison stew recipe. If you insist on ‘grassfed’ bison, check out Grassfed Recipes for the crock pot version of the bison stew.

Despite all the warnings about over cooking bison, 10 hours in the crock pot is not too long, and 12 hours on low can be perfect.

MY OWN BISON STEW

bison-in-crock-pot-440-x-303.jpg3# very tough bison shoulder roast – 1″ cubes,
2 stringy and dry parsnips – scrubbed and sliced thick, (use potatoes if you must,)
3 big onions coarsely chopped,
A carrot or three if they are old and tough,
4-5 tomatoes quartered,
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce,
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon,
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg,
pinch of sage,
1/2 cup of red wine that you would drink,
salt & pepper to taste.

 

drool.gifBrown the meat in a hot cast iron skillet with no oil. Do the same with the parsnips. Put the bison in the bottom of the crock pot, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with parsnips, then carrots, then 1/2 of the onions. Splash 1/2 the wine and all of the Worcestershire sauce over the ingredients: cover and turn to high and cook for about 5 hours. good-pinot.jpgStir, add the rest of the ingredients with the tomatoes on the top and cover and cook on low for another 5-6 hours. If you like you can thicken with a bit of cornstarch and buttermilk. Serve with buttermilk biscuits; Burgundy or Merlot or a Pinot  –  a hearty beer like Charlie Otto’s Moose Drool is also good. No salad, no beans, no squash, nothing else.

We ate it all: drank some of mom’s Pinot, ( 2003 Sonoma Coast Pinot – the last three bottles in the world,) and the report looked better after dinner than it did before dinner.

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Sneaky insight: Populations of Bison, Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Elk, and Mule Deer will increase during the initial stages of global warming in Yellowstone National Park. So too will populations of Wolves.

Wine & Ego

THANK YOU VINEOGRAPHY

wine_bottle.jpgCan it be true? Do women have taste buds? Is wine appreciation limited to men? How far does an insight go? ALL RHETORICAL!

Fine post today in VINOGRAPHY! Men can take note – women will understand!

” . . . over 35% of men refuse to let their partner choose wine in a restaurant because they do not trust them to make the appropriate choice.”

For more exciting snobbery visit THE WINE SNOB. OR, for a pleasant way to learn to be one visit LIFE IN ITALY. Let’s all get box wines.

Just Plain Linguisa

AS DELICIOUS AS IT GETS

Drove home late last night and crashed on the couch. Got up this morning with a crik-in-neck sort of problem. I must have looked a fright.

not me

Decided to have a sausage brunch before running. Used some Linguisa from friends in Boise. There is a large community of Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish people in Boise. The sausage is simple and very good

RECIPE:
* 2 tablespoons salt
* 1/2 tablespoon sugar
* 2 tablespoons fine chopped garlic
* 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons paprika
* 2 teaspoons ground pepper
* 2 teaspoons marjoram
* 2 teaspoons oregano
* 5 pounds pork butt
Rough cut the meat, add dry spices and grind on 3 1/6 plate. Let sit overnight in cooler. Then next day add vinegar and mix well. Stuff into casing. Roast in oven or smoke, or make patties and pan roast. Or, leave in refrigerator for a week and fry it up.

ling-ooo.JPGThe simplest traditional preparation is to just cut the sausage on the bias, lam-jj.JPGfry in cast iron skillet with chunks of green pepper and tomato. Serve over torn pieces of toast – grease and all.

Since it was 10:30 by the time I got everything organized it seemed appropriate to fotify my soul with a traditional drink. “Fratelli CELLA Lambrusco Di Modena” was available and was served over ice.

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It’s snowing (very lightly,) for a change. I’m going to the park tomorrow {the draft and model is done and pre-approved!} Then I have to organize the loading bench for the mad rush of getting enough ammunition for next season. I don’t know if I’ll ever learn to tie flies – time – time – time.

Love Is Candy In A Box

THE VALENTINE CONUNDRUM
candy-heart.jpg

Cupid & Psyche
cupid-and-psyche.jpg

Well, I suppose it takes all kinds to celebrate a commercial holiday with candy, flowers, and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. There are, some interesting takes on the event, and other news as well.

An interesting piece on “Hugs & Dry Humping” appeared in The Huffington Post. Authored by Carol Hoenig, it brings pathos to the outsider. Incomplete without her male?

Moldy Chum steps forward with a video about girls grabbing catfish for their fun. Of course, I encourage you to visit Four Eyed Bat and The Seven Deadly Sinners for some contemporary takes on the Valentine, and for vintage views try Vintage Valentines.

wolves-mating.jpgWolves are making news again. The Casper Star Tribune relates how the Feds and Wyoming have split the blanket and decided to go their separate ways on the wolf question. High Country News brings us up to date on the controversy – and gives us a brief philosophical insight into the situation. The Juneau Empire addresses the concerns of management from the perspective of wolves that have never been re-introduced. And from a readers forum at the BYU News Net comes an interesting note about the fear of wolves – written by an Idaho resident.

Oceanus has a couple of articles that address the role of the oceans in global warming: Sunspots, Sea Changes, and Climate Shifts – and – How Long Can the Oceans Slow Global Warming?

From Vinography comes a note about the good health benifits of Red Wine, and a suggestion to visit the Litmus Feature about the same. The opening quote from the Litmus piece:

If wine is so good for you, why do I feel like shit this morning?” asked a visiting college friend.

 

Because you drank a bottle and a half by yourself and then ate two chalupas,” I responded, “and I’m pretty sure that none of the studies evaluating the health benefits of red wine have ever included slamming three-buck-Chuck and Taco Bell, but I could be wrong.

valentine.jpg

And certainly it’s must reading during the valentine season, if you intend to give your sweetie a car, – try The Prius Snob Strikes Back for some insight into the real costs of being green., (thanks to GRIST.)

P.S. Happy day to Thomas.

It’s Cold Again; I’ll Post Again

THE FORMULAE ARE TOUGH BUT THE COMPUTER IS EASY

minus-42.JPG

My little sidebar widget is finding numbers that are outside of my normal experience. I enjoy the numbers but it sure is cold outside. Exercise of the lungs accompanies exercise of the muscles.

This post is in response to the queries I encountered at the gathering in my crowded little living space last Saturday night. The NPS finds me just a bit too strident, some others think that I lack political tact – both are consensus opinions of those that don’t appreciate data and the science behind it.

They ask for the data and then ignore it. They have an agenda and need justification and rationalization. They pay for & get data, facts, models and projections. Ask and ye shall recieve – No apologies.

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Here are a few of the necessary formulae for finding out just how polluted Yellowstone National Park really is. References follow. I’d rather be fishing.

formula-370-x-53.jpgThe roadway dispersion model. This is the theory: an infinite straight line with the height of the observer accounted for in the observation. The observer can move up to encounter different wind vectors. This was the elegant model developed by CalTrans in response to the EPA. It accounts for a lot of the roadway design that you see in California.

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This is the standard “Complete Equation For Gaussian Dispersion Modeling Of Continuous, Buoyant Air Pollution Plumes”:

. formula.JPG

where:
f = crosswind dispersion parameter
g = vertical dispersion parameter =
g1 = vertical dispersion with no reflections
g2 = vertical dispersion for reflection from the ground
g3 = vertical dispersion for reflection from an inversion aloft
C = concentration of emissions, in g/m³, at any receptor located:
x meters downwind from the emission source point
y meters crosswind from the emission plume centerline
z meters above ground level
Q = source pollutant emission rate, in g/s
u = horizontal wind velocity along the plume centerline, m/s
H = height of emission plume centerline above ground level, in m
σz = vertical standard deviation of the emission distribution, in m
σy = horizontal standard deviation of the emission distribution, in m
L = height from ground level to bottom of the inversion aloft, in m
exp = the exponential function

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The winter situation is modified by temperature and density factors that must be accounted for by the model. The best adjustments come from the study performed by Sonoma Technology in Petaluma, California.

Because different models are stipulated for various purposes, a suite of results is generated for the study. The easiest way to explore the models is to go to the compiled models page.

And the The Oklahoma Dispersion Model

Wikipedia does a surprisingly good job of introducing people to Atmospheric Dispersion Modeling. The page has an excellent assortment of links.

It’s necessary to appreciate that point-instant modeling is a far cry from predictive reality in the face of the rapid changes taking place in our environment. The most surprising thing about the Government is that different agencies seem to fear talking to each other. Much of what the NPS is paying for could have been extrapolated from existing data.

Try the EPA Page on climate change, and look at the box about climate change – Past, Recent, Future.

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pretz.jpgOnce we got done exploring ignorance the gathering went along swimmingly. Soft pretzels and a mild horseradish-mustard dip sharpened the taste buds for the dinner. The several white wines that we consumed before we sat down were absolutely unremarkable.

roast-lol.jpgDinner was catered by the one decent restaurant in town and consisted of: roast leg of lamb, (with red currant dressing, roasted carrots, potatoes, squash, & NO mint,) white Lima beans, fried eggplant, pineapple upside down cake – in lieu of salad, and several kinds of fresh baked rolls and bread.

chianti.jpgThere were two wines to choose from. A Chianti – Villa Antinori Toscana Tuscany, and a Chardonnay – Rodney Strong, Chalk Hill from the Russian River. The Chardonnay tasted like sour Granny Smith Apples and was way too green. Most of the guests chose it.

I liked the Chianti. It was a bit soft and lacked too much pepper, (which I normally like but this was good with the lamb.) There was a definite berry taste and a mellow finish. It asked for more and I obliged.

Desert was vanilla ice cream, Galliano, and coffee from the local coffee grinder. Everyone was gracious and left by midnight. It was only 28 below zero and they wanted to get home before it got cold.

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As if the cold temperatures in West Yellowstone weren’t enough to bring cogitation about Global Warming, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is busy showing us the other kind of alterations to expect in our weather disruptions.

” Last week I saw robins and bluebirds in upstate New York where they don’t usually arrive before April. Crocuses and daffodils were in bloom everywhere. A friend ate asparagus he harvested in the normally frozen Catskills in the first week of January. Turtles in downstate New York, like bears in Scandinavia, forgot to hibernate for the first time in human history.”

. . . Read More

 

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