I’ve been thinking a lot about the Black Lives Matter movement and the usual rejoinder that “All Lives Matter”. My response is that all lives don’t matter unless they matter equally.
American culture has historically been one where the lives of people of color, Native Americans, and even women have been seen as mattering less than those of white men.
Much of the current mess comes from that history and the fear by some that other people’s lives mattering more will make their lives matter less. This is part of the zero sum game being played by some in our current politics, where everything that is a gain for someone else is necessarily seen as a loss for them.
If your only definition of success is having more than others, then other people having more threatens your sense of having succeeded. Unfortunately, some of this is baked into our culture.
If we want to truly solve the problems that have been made so painfully visible as of late, we need to retrain ourselves to celebrate each other’s successes instead of merely upholding our own.
I am a big fan of dried meat products. Beef Jerky is one of my favorites, though I have some alligator and wild boar jerky coming, just to try. The outlet mall in Des Moines has a whole store devoted to jerky, and I look forward to traveling there once it’s safe to do so. (Note, I don’t receive any money from any of the following links, these are strictly my personal preferences and discoveries)
The jerky I get from the Stanhope Meat Locker is the best I’ve had anywhere, but isn’t available unless you live in Central Iowa and can make a short drive. I highly recommend it.
The other dried meat I’ve tried recently is something called biltong. Biltong is different from jerky in that it is air dried rather than cooked. The variety I tried had a slight vinegar taste, which wasn’t bad. The big difference I noticed was that it wasn’t as salty as the jerky I’ve had, which isn’t a bad thing. Biltong is much more like eating dried beef rather than shoe leather, which a lot of jerky tends to be like. I will probably order more at some point.
I also receently discovered kamut, which is a toasted wheat product. It has a nutty flavor and can’t be beat for crunch. They have a sea salt and a churro flavor. The churro flavor is great for just grabbing for breakfast or sprinkling in with oatmeal or yogurt. The sea salt flavor is great as a quick snack or to add some extra crunch to a salad.
Assembling anything has been a nemesis of mine since my kids were small and even before that. There is something about following a lengthy set of instructions to the end that drives me absolutely berserk. When I was a kid, I didn’t like putting together models for the same reason. Between that and getting lightheaded from the glue, I wasn’t a big fan.
I did have a small victory this weekend though, as my son and I managed to put together a charcoal grill without either of us getting angry and walking away. I should explain that my son is 19 and still knows everything. I, on the other hand, and at 58 have become firmly convinced I know nothing. Hence the initial disagreement about whether or not it was necessary to read and follow the instructions for building the thing. I was a firm yes vote, and I will admit, I did say “Because I paid for it, that’s why!”
It really wasn’t that difficult, though there were 24 separate steps, which needed to be completed in order, accompanied by a set of diagrams that were apparently designed by someone with MC Escher’s sense of proportion.
This is roughly what I thought I saw.
We managed to only have to redo two steps, one at the beginning when we couldn’t figure out which way the main fire box went together, and at the end when we put the hinges for the lid on inside out. But we did get it put together.
It’s sitting in the garage now, waiting for it to stop raining, so I can christen it with burgers and some very good wieners I bought from our local meat locker. I am somewhat of a purist when it comes to wieners. I want them spicy and with natural casing. Yes, I know what the casing is made of, but you don’t get a good snap any other way. I really like my local meat locker as they make very good wieners and exceptional pork sticks and beef jerky. I have some of it at my desk right now, and my dog is staring at me intently in hopes I will share.
I found a neat little website while looking for pictures of art deco theaters for inspiration for a story. Messy Nessy Chic is a website that features design oriented stories, often about overlooked corners of the art world, and the world in general. Stories that I found particularly interesting: