I sincerely hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. My family and I sure did. Go Packers!
I think even Ruben Mamoulian enjoyed the day, although he never did come inside, despite my entreaties. But I caught him rustling around outside in the bushes and he seemed hale, if not downright pink of cheek. We'll see if the small plate of cranberries and turkey gizzard we left outside is gone in the morning.
My family dedicated this Thanksgiving to Madison Ald. Brian Solomon, who seems transfixed by the "media-provided images of starvation from other countries," according to his op-ed in Isthmus. That's right, we ate hearty whilst he fasted. Barr-rupp!
The Monroe Street-area alderman writes that he has conducted a four- to seven-day fast twice yearly for the last decade. "These fasts serve as a semi-annual reminders to myself of how fortunate I am to have enjoyed a lifetime of worry-free access to unlimited food."
Solomon writes of an increase of food assistance -- "harsh realities" that weighed heavily upon him. There is some symmetry here for, at the end of the day as I write this, I can truly say that I, myself, now weigh more heavily.
Enid has faithfully recorded all the food that Blaska's Blog ate on Thanksgiving Day 2007:
To break the fast:
3 crumpets with butter and currant jelly
One-half peeled orange
Coffee with half & half
During 1st half of Packer game:
More coffee with half & half
Asparagus dressed with balsamic vinegar
1 glass of Rodney Strong sauvignon blanc
1½ cups of dressing with gravy
1 turkey wing
One-half cup cranberries
More asparagus with balsamic vinegar
Another 1½ cups of dressing with gravy
1 slice of turkey breast
Several glasses of Rodney Strong sauvignon blanc
During 2nd half of game:
More Rodney's (I amaze myself)
1 whole bunch of radishes, slated
Remainder of asparagus
Vanquished bottle of Rodney Strong and started another
Wedge of pumpkin pie smothered with Reddi-Whip
I am not going to do a rain dance on Brian Solomon's nave earnestness. If he wants to deny himself to assuage the liberal guilt he feels for his bounty, be my guest and pass the drumstick.
Brian should listen to his mother, if not his growling stomach. "I know you are doing this for yourself, but you really should think about the impact your actions have on others," he records her as saying. Brian's mother for alder!
I could, of course, counter that -- despite his uber-liberalness -- he may have earned his keep. That he studied, he worked, he saved, he prospered. That a groaning table is not a matter of fortune, but design. I could also counter that his ad hominem attacks on our military ignores that such muscle may have secured our bounty. I could argue that assiduous followers of the Marxist prescription -- say North Korea, an entire country that goes dark when the sun goes down -- have no need to heed a Beverly Hills diet regimen. Meatless Fridays are every day for those folks.
I could also suggest he take a trip outside Monroe Street. Those Wisconsin cows are, largely, eating alfalfa -- nitrogen-fixing legumes that hold and enrich the soil. Not grain. Food is not a zero sum game but a matter of industry meeting incentive. Growing food is hard work; I used to do it, growing up.
But no, I will honor his self-sacrifice, wholly unnecessary though it may be. Correct that: wholly unnecessary though it is. Listen to your mama, Brian!
The Catholic Church, with other philosophies, has a long and honorable tradition of self-abnegation. Meatless Fridays. Monks wearing hair shirts (while brewing Belgian beer and distilling Chartreuse and Benedictine). Jesus in the desert and Jesus on the cross are all about self-sacrifice.
Self-denial is an essential discipline to grow the civilization. Going without builds up the acorn store for the winter. It is why farmers do not eat their seed corn. It is the essence of capitalism. To save is to grow is to prosper.
This Blaska blogger shoveled his fair share of cowshit, ate innumerable meals of Antigo silt loam from the cockpit of a Farmall H tractor, read the books, wrote the tests, showed up for work in the morning, took No. 1 son to Cub Scouts, said yessir and no ma'am and drove the old car into the ground to put something aside for that corner room in the old folks home.
So, yeah, the squire of Chateau Blaska ate hearty this Thanksgiving and, as of this writing, thinks he'll go back for more.
Dat Peter Eisch is big trouble man
No, really, Peter, I'm with you and Henry Louis Gates Jr. on home ownership. Ownership fosters responsibility. But what kind of programs? How about we ask home lenders to be very creative and extend credit to deserving poor at subprime rates? Oops, been there, done that. That's what is giving my IRA rollover major indigestion.
How about a city program that encourages home ownership using taxpayer subsidies? Of course, we can't give city taxpayer funds completely away so when you sell your property we have to reclaim most of the equity. That's right, a home ownership program where you don't build up any equity. No wonder there are so few takers for Madison's Inclusionary Zoning program.
Here is the Blaska's Blog home ownership program: Study. Work. Save. Own. There are no shortcuts. Wish there were. Maybe encourage "developers" to build more housing, keep property taxes down and streets safe. The coming downturn in housing prices may actually help home ownership.
Calling Ms. Emily
I picture Emily Mills as Jean Hagen's Lina Lamont character in Singing in the Rain, taking voice lessons. "That Blaska! I just caa-aan't staaa-nd him." Emily wants a softer, gentler BlaskaBlog. I don't know if I can do it but I'll try. Ruben, catch me if I faint dead away.
Wait, I think I got it, Emily! Here's a big, Dinah Shore, see the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet smoochie-woochie coming your way. Mwaaah!
Memo #3 to Kyle Nabilcy, in terms he can understand
My inner child thinks you are a big old poopie face.