Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Arizona Senate President Tim Bee has a steep hill to climb in his challenge of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in CD8, including a 5-1 fundraising disadvantage.

But he might want to pick a better slogan.

Yesterday I saw a proud Pima County Republican with a "GGG" bumper sticker. Naturally, I immediately thought of this. Turns out it stands for "Gabby's Gotta Go."

Not quite the connotation he was aiming for.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Exploding Head Necklace

Our society grows to resemble the military-dominated dystopia of The Running Man a little more each day. You know: endless war, secret torture, suspension of civil rights. True, Richard Dawson is dead, and Mick Fleetwood has yet to found his own underground armed resistance (that I know of). But Momenta, a peculiar neck-mounted camera that activates upon sudden elevations in heart rate, looks like an exploding prison collar straight off of Ben Richards' sweaty neck.

(thx Engadget)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Grammar Massacre

Check out this AP lede (from WSJ Online by way of Volokh):

A woman reported missing for several days was found stabbed to death in a minivan by family members who were called by police to pick up the vehicle because it was illegally parked near Pomona Superior Court, authorities said Monday.

Crush Object of the Day (and perhaps Week)


Looks, musical ability, and intelligence: HOT.

Clark Munger versus John Q. Public

It seems our presiding probate judge in Pima County has quite the fan following.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Adventures in Stock and Demi Glace, cont.

Okay, I reduced the stock by one half, but the resulting product is still quite liquid -- not very gelatinous, as the Pepin photos suggest it should be. Does it matter? I don't know. But I kind of liked the idea of being able to make and freeze gelatinous cubes of demi glace for my discretional use. Not sure what I'm going to do with all this stuff.

Dinner party at my house, maybe?

Monday, February 18, 2008

I'm Still Alive

In case you were wondering. Which means the stock preparation was successful.

Unfortunately, I left the lit on the stock pot throughout the night, which according to Jacques Pepin is a no no. This causes the albumin from the bones to melt back into the stock, making it thicker and "more caloric" (i.e. fattier).

Next task is to reduce the stock to demi-glace and glace de viande.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Beef Stock

I'm making stock tonight. That means I'm leaving the stove on overnight to let the bone juices simmer.

So in case you don't hear from me it's because my apartment burned down while I was sleeping.

Tucson's GOP Elite

I sat behind Jim Kolbe and Tim Bee at Starbucks today.

One expects to see them buried in some secret north Tucson bunker discussing strategy. But instead they were just a couple of average Joes as (apparently) clueless about the direction of Arizona politics as the rest of us.

If there are plans in motion for McCain to resign and present a successor to his Senate seat, these two don't appear to be in the loop.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Dark Side of World of Warcraft

It ruins people's marriages. Shocking! From Kotaku:

The sad thing is, Jocelyn herself had an unwitting hand in her marriage's downfall. A former Blizzard employee (she didn't work on Warcraft), she gave her husband the game as a Christmas gift when it first came out in 2004. Nine months later and their relationship was already beginning to crumble. According to Jocelyn, her husband's obsession caused him to not only ignore her, but he stopped taking on any household responsibilities in his quest for the next big raid.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Indy 4 Trailer


Myspace "Friend Request" Violates Protection Order

So finds a New York state court judge.

I'm starting to see cyberstalking issues more frequently in practice. Definitely a hot issue.

Mienckowski, continued

Cirroc reader Dave notes that the name was spelled Manchowsky once the family came to North America, to distinguish Polish from Russian. This distinction is partly moot because, as Dave points out, "Jews were not really Polish or Russian, they were just Jews." And I'm not a linguist. But I suspect Mienckowski might be more correct given Lomza's proximity to the then-Russian, now Belarusian border.

Of course if you use the Cyrillic spelling, all of this becomes moot once again.

I may consult my old college Russian lit professor on this matter.

Caribbean Vegetable Stew

(thanks again to Tucson CSA for inspiration)

What makes this stew "Caribbean," you may ask? I'm not sure; perhaps it has something to do with the spices. This is a versatile stew that can be made with just about any vegetables you have on hand.

1 cup beans, pre-boiled
1-2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed OR 1-2 turnips, cubed OR 1-2 rutabaga, cubed
1-2 diced carrots
2 cups greens (more or less), thoroughly washed
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Heat oil over saute pan over medium heat. At the same time, bring stock to a boil. Add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes/until fragrant. Add garlic and cook for additional 30 seconds. Add potatoes/turnips/rutabaga and cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne; toss with spatula until mixture is evenly coated. Add stock and beans; cover and simmer, reducing heat to medium-low. As stock becomes absorbed, add water to dilute mixture. After 10-15 minutes, add carrots and greens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Barbara LaWall loses Kumari Fulbright case to State AG

The Pima County Attorney's Office is forced to turn over yet another high profile case. First the Stidham murder trial, now Kumari Fulbright. From the Daily Star:

The County Attorney's Office decided to turn over the case [to the Attorney General] after learning that a part-time law clerk within the office is a close friend of Fulbright's and that she had spoken with Fulbright after her arrest, [Chief Criminal Deputy David] Berkman said.
Although the conversation took place before the case was presented to the County Attorney's Office by the Tucson Police Department, Berkman said, "We just thought it was best to let the Attorney General's Office deal with it."

When will Barbara LaWall get her Mike Nifong moment?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Guinness Ice Cream

I'd like to give a shout out to my college chum Agnes L. and her award-winning vegan ice cream blog. Today she has a rather interesting recipe for Guinness ice cream.

Sounds better than the food atrocities committed on that ice cream episode from Season 2 Top Chef. Marcel's bacon ice cream still makes me shudder.

Monday, February 11, 2008


This is Lomza, in northeastern Poland, near the Belarusian border.

My paternal great-grandfather, Isaac Manch, emigrated to Montreal from Lomza. His original last name was probably something close to the title of this post. No one really knows for certain (at least, not yet). From there he moved to Niagara Falls, New York, where he worked as a rabbi and glatt kosher butcher. Along the way he gave birth to my paternal grandfather, Joseph Manch. He grew up among the other Poles and Italians in Niagara Falls before eventually moving to Buffalo, New York. He met and married my paternal grandmother, Dorothy Strom Manch. I know very little about my grandmother's upbringing, except that she came from a very poor family, and that she had a twin sister I never met whom she harbored a lifelong grudge against.

My paternal grandfather excelled at virtually everything he attempted, from sports to literature. At the University of Buffalo (now State University of New York at Buffalo), he was a star football player and wrote his honors thesis on Jonathan Swift. Upon graduation he became a teacher, got his Ph.D., and eventually worked his way up to Superintendent of Schools for the entire city. He was an early and forceful advocate of school integration, and met with Presidents Kennedy and Nixon. He was also a gifted poet and photographer. At family functions, he would always bring his camera and write a special poem commemorating the event, which he would read in his sweet baritone. In 1987 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He died shortly after the diagnosis. My grandmother was never the same. She was never as joyful or extroverted as my grandfather, and she sank into a deep depression after his death. She had a stroke in 1998 or so, after which she finally had to move out of her house in Buffalo (which she resented). She died several years later, in 2001.

I grew up in Arizona, a place without history. This is not entirely true -- it has a strong identification with the old West and Manifest Destiny, with the Mormons, and for the mining towns and families who settled. But as a half-Jew growing up in Phoenix, I was isolated from that history. What family ties I had came from Buffalo and my father's family (and my mother's, too, which will be the subject of another post). In one of my college application essays I wrote about this lack of history and how it defined me as a person. I concluded that my lack of history left me open to new experiences, and without attachment to the past (read: stagnation). I lied; my lack of history makes me feel more alone.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

"This is so good, no wonder it's illegal!"

L.A. cracks down on the classic, delicious Sonoran (i.e. wrapped in bacon) hot dog.

I take exception to L.A. claiming ownership of the Sonoran hot dog, though. It's just as much an Arizona tradition, if not more so.