snousle: (cigar)
The more I look at the political world, the more I feel that the most significant division is not between "liberal" and "conservative", but rather between "analysts" and "partisans".

Nobody is 100% in either camp, but I'd say that a 25-75 split is typical.

Some generalizations:

Partisans' opinions are guided by loyalty to their peers.
Analysts' opinions are guided by data.

Partisans reflexively seek information that confirms their beliefs.
Analysts reflexively seek information that challenges their beliefs.

Partisans do not show any affinity for numbers, and rely mostly on anecdotes.
Analysts disregard information that is not carefully measured and quantified.

Partisans are mostly concerned with ideas far removed from personal decisions and action.
Analysts are mostly concerned with ideas that have immediate practical use.

Partisans care about what other people think and try to persuade others of their correctness.
Analysts don't much care what other people think, but sometimes mislead others to secure their own advantage.

Partisans believe their cause is inherently moral and just.
Analysts see morality as arbitrary, and invoke it without sincerity.

Partisan differences are entrenched and inherently unresolvable.
Analysts often have differing goals, but gain strength through finding common ground.

Partisans believe the world is full of flaws that must be corrected.
Analysts do not judge the world as good or bad, but accept it on its own terms.

Partisans are frequently outraged when their expectations are violated.
Analysts are cool and unemotional, but skilled at generating outrage among their opponents.

Partisans sometimes imitate analysts, but cannot "pass" in an analytic environment.
Analysts don the cloak of partisanship easily, and use it to their advantage.

Partisans are loud and prominent, yet remain weak and easily manipulated.
Analysts quietly rule the world.
snousle: (scruffy)
Here's the video! So much for making it all short and sweet, it seems we droned on for a whole fifteen minutes. :-P Everything snowballed a little bit but I think we did a pretty good job of avoiding excessive wedding tedium!

This is just the first, unprocessed cut. Steve will be creating a more polished version later.

http://www.smphotopia.org/SMPGE/oe/jtgm/30998448_PqPF6Z

Aug 4, 2013

Aug. 5th, 2013 08:44 am
snousle: (river)
We have gathered here today to recognize in law a marriage that has already stood for many years.

Since the beginning of time, men have fallen in love, sworn mighty oaths, and pledged their lives to each other. Love between men is a rare thing, not always understood, and for too long shrouded from history and denied recognition by the state. Yet still, this love persists. It springs up everywhere: something known, though never taught, defying every threat, growing wild in every refuge. As a tradition, it has survived without interruption ever since, sheltering itself quietly in plain sight, hardly swayed by the trials of hatred, persecution, and plagues.

God made us male, and gave us marriage. This, we know beyond all dispute, because it is written in our very hearts.

Some of you know this feeling well. For others, it is forever beyond your imagination. But we welcome all of you to be present here and share in the happiness of this moment. Today, we ask you to forgive our enemies, to not tell them the error of their ways, but to simply share with the world what you see here. We ask you to share both what is before you, and also what is among you. Nobody, looking upon your lives and your stories, could ever deny the power of your love and the goodness that flows from that bond.

It is a great honor to be here as we join two men in marriage, and a great joy to find reconciliation between our lives, our destinies, and the law. Today, we celebrate and formalize what we have always known to be true - that every kind of love is sacred, that we may make such families as we choose, and that honesty, loyalty, and good will overwhelms every other consideration.

Tony Berno, do you take John Vogel to be your legally wedded spouse from this day forward, and to share equally the joys and trials of life, as you have for so long already?

Do you promise him your loyalty, to always hold him as first among many, and to be as mindful of his needs as of your own?

Do you promise him the freedom to learn and grow however he desires?

Do you promise to be worthy of his love, and to accept and cherish it as long as you both shall live?

I do.

John Vogel, do you take Tony Berno to be your legally wedded spouse from this day forward, and to share equally the joys and trials of life, as you have for so long already?

Do you promise him your loyalty, to always hold him as first among many, and to be as mindful of his needs as of your own?

Do you promise him the freedom to learn and grow however he desires?

Do you promise to be worthy of his love, and to accept and cherish it as long as you both shall live?

I do.
snousle: (angel)
Gosh, it's been nearly ten years of writing here on LJ, and for a good while I've considered myself an LJ diehard, but the juice just isn't flowing anymore.

It's a couple of things, one being engagement, the other laziness. G+ seems to have captured me on both fronts. G+ is very action-oriented, it's got my phone buzzing all the time, it gets my fingers flying. And it's easy.

I do like being able to control the layout of photo-heavy posts using html, but posting straight from Picasa to G+ is so quick and straightforward that it's hard to muster up the energy to do anything else.

G+ has many serious annoyances but ultimately what I write and where I write it is not really a conscious decision. Either it spews forth or it doesn't. G+ is where it's spewing right now, warts and all. The annoyances are kind of a big deal, and there are definitely subjects I would write about here but not over there, but still it's not enough to turn the whole ship around again.

The thing that tears me up is that poll I did a while back indicating that nearly all of you would rather read my work here than over there. I can re-post over here but something about that process feels kind of deadening. And it's hard to catch up once I get behind on that. So I've ended up feeling kind of "virtually homeless", so that no venue feels quite right. And I am left wondering if I have put too much time into it in the first place. Am I getting anywhere or just writing the same things over and over with different details? That's how it feels sometimes.

Cranks

Jul. 2nd, 2013 04:47 pm
snousle: (castrocauda)
This video is long but highly entertaining. Hat tip to [livejournal.com profile] kevynjacobs. I thought the falsehood of the "lone genius" concept was the most significant point - just taking that into account takes care of 90% of the cranks. I'm not sure that any significant progress in science has EVER come about without the engagement of a larger community.

What's going on here is a sort of reversal of judgment; cranks start with the conclusion of "I am a genius" and construct their whole reality around that assumption, working backwards to the magnificent and triumphant "theory" that justifies it. Pretty much anything contradicting that conclusion cannot be part of that reality, so it doesn't exist for them. In other words, it's really just narcissism, with a bit of schizophrenia thrown in, corresponding to the stubborn and crazy axes. The naïve ones aren't really in the same category; they have a little fantasy in their heads, but once they learn about how science actually works, they immediately realize that they are way out of their element and cease speculating.

When I was a kid, I had similarly grandiose dreams. Which is normal. There wasn't all THAT much difference between myself and a crank at the time, except I didn't confuse fantasy with reality, and outgrew it in short order. The cranks suffer arrested development to a degree that their fantasy pushes reality off the stage.

And yeah, they are ALWAYS engineers.

Lots and lots and lots of cranks are showcased at this magnificent site: http://www.crank.net/ . Hours of entertainment to be found there.

GMO safety

Jun. 18th, 2013 08:03 am
snousle: (castrocauda)
Statement by the AAAS on the safety of genetically modified foods:

http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2012/media/AAAS_GM_statement.pdf

Unfortunately this has become the equivalent of climate change denial on the left. Not so long ago, one could say that US Republicans had a near monopoly on the misrepresentation of science, but the FUD surrounding GMOs has reached the point where that is no longer the case.

Ironically, this is a situation where the many good reasons to be skeptical of the value of GMO technology - concerning its political and economic effects - are buried under a mountain of fake debate. In the long run, GMO opponents are hurting their own cause.

ASMR

Jun. 11th, 2013 04:10 pm
snousle: (scruffy)
[cross-posted from G+]

So just so you know, my last post was not really a funny yuk-yuk post, although I have to admit the subject admits for a lot of humor.

I have a real strong reaction to these videos and they seem to me to be a new art form. Well, maybe not all that new, I am reminded of a few antecedents - Duchamp's stuff, for instance, or Tusalava, a video I encountered in New Zealand:

http://youtu.be/flJOXMln4C0

I don't think anyone has identified Tusalava as an #ASMR video but it seems like a good candidate. And it was done in, what, the 30s or something? People were so interesting back then.

It's much better on the Internet, by the way, the museum didn't have audio. Or maybe they had headphones, I don't remember. Anyway, if you want a little ten minute meditation, I recommend setting aside some quiet time and watching / listening intently. It's a definite "trip" and I think most people will experience drug-like effects.

Anyway, I absolutely groove on these videos and they generate in me a response that is comparable in intensity to any soft drug. It's kind of like that sensation you get from one of those wire scalp massagers. It's pleasurable and deeply calming.

And no scientific basis so far. Isn't life interesting? It's like we have a whole new petri dish in which these things can incubate. And this may not be all that new but the YouTube phenomenon you can't just ignore.

I remember a science fiction story a while back that involved a "pattern", any representation of which - visual, audio, even tactile - would cause death. Of course some senator exclaims "this is bullshit" and demands to see the pattern. The scientists all avert their eyes and he drops dead. I have always believed that such a thing might exist, although as with most things the observer would probably have to be trained in the genre. :-P

But we do expect new viral forms of video to emerge, and the "uncanny" nature of this makes it a good candidate for memetic propagation.

What is going on? I see parallels to sexuality, sure, but I think these are actually "grooming" videos that stimulate and play on the primate desire to groom and be groomed. The less hurried and driven the grooming is, the more exquisite it is. The infantile nature of some of the sounds - soft cooing and whispering - suggests some kind of regression or role-play circuits are being stimulated. Fuzzy textures, gentle caresses - it's the sadism of cuteness I referenced in yesterday's post.

I guess there's a certain obsessive-compulsive angle to this too, and I wonder if they are stroking the same circuits that OCDers pleasure themselves with by, you know, DETAILS.

And, in a world full of pornography, it's a new kind of porn. It stimulates an appetite in a way that is detached from its original role. Under this broad description, there is a breathtaking amount of porn in the world, what makes this interesting is that it's so unexpected and out-there. If you had asked me, would this be cool to do, I would say yes, absolutely, I've even proposed such ideas myself to incredulous listeners. What's new to me is the refinement of it into an Internet-deliverable package. Sort of like when they invented the Fleshlight. I don't know if most other people "get" it at all, if they have the sensitivity to experience the frisson of these films. But even without the brain fireworks it seems like a good meditation technique, just lose yourself in it and switch off for a while. I figure even if it's not 100% healthy it's a hell of a lot more benign than the way some people get their kicks!
snousle: (rakko)
Been thinking about filled dumplings lately. I had a few days at home alone and at such times I tend to do weird things in the kitchen. So, I started to consider why dumplings were made as they are.

I looked at the ingredients I had lying around and thought, what is it about putting them in a wrap actually makes them better? Two reasons came to mind.

One is that it lets unsatisfying scraps create the impression you're really eating something substantial. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but the building up of form and texture that is characteristic of pastry is satisfying in the way something simpler, like pasta with a sauce, is not. I can't help but feel like its addressing the primal urge to eat small animals whole. Maybe thats too vivid? Also, the dumpling withholds its scent until its bitten, making the sensory presentation more intense than is possible with a dish that can be smelled before tasting. In any case, it's a way to turn a little bit of meat or even just vegetables or potatoes into something "big and meaty".

The other consideration is preservation. Making a soup or a hash invites spoilage. Wrap it in dough and especially if it dries out a bit after cooking it will not go bad so quickly.

I had on hand some tired lamb shoulder, some veggies, and so forth, and I set out to make the most primitive possible dumpling out of the worst materials. I cooked the lamb quite a while, unfortunately scorching it a bit more than I had intended, along with onions and various veggies. For the dough, I made a very soft pasta dough and rolled out small pieces into circles with quite a lot of flour. This was easier than expected. I've seen Chinese chefs do this on TV at a rate of about twelve a minute, which looks like it takes a lot of practice, but I was able to get the basic roll and turn motion down so that I could roll out most pieces efficiently without having to touch them directly. Without aiming for accuracy or a particularly high filling to dough ratio, I made a bunch of rough looking lamb filled dumplings, boiled them only briefly, and stuck them in the fridge. I didn't want to actually test non-spoilage the hard way, just get a sense of how they aged.

Even after a couple of days, when retrieved from the fridge and pan fried, they were pretty good. Even though I made them deliberately "badly" their appearance magically improved during cooking. Don't plan to do this normally, but thinking about life without machines and refrigeration gave me a better sense of the motivation behind this technique. Next step, I am going to apply these insights to some more traditional pork potstickers, one of my favorite things in the world. This time around I think I can get improved results - rustic looking, simultaneously chewy and tender and juicy and crunchy, and intensely flavorful. And maybe not have to cook for a few days afterwards. :-P
snousle: (cigar)
I have a pretty high regard for Wikipedia, because whenever I look at an article where my own knowledge is authoritative, it gets it pretty much right. It's not perfect, and I have found a few minor but glaring errors, but when it's used for what it's meant to be used for - as a first introduction and an entry point into the secondary literature for a given subject - it does that very well.

Every now and then someone gets their knickers in a twist about how unfair the editing process is:

http://harvardnsj.org/2013/05/on-wikipedia-lawfare-blogs-and-sources/

This is usually along the lines of "But I'm an EXPERT, why won't you listen to me?" There is hardly any sincere effort to understand and work with the standards and process Wikipedia has established: the would be authors just sweep in and make changes, and wonder why those changes are reverted.

I always look into the talk page in such cases, and on reviewing what went on, I am rarely sympathetic to the frustrated author. They never seem to understand that their lack of appreciation for Wikipedia standards, their apparent self promotion, reliance on original research, and so forth are just not part of how it works. So they go on some other forum and complain about how awful it all is. Sorry, guys, no dice. Either work with it or ignore it. Wikipedia doesn't need your expertise, your credentials, or your indignant opinion of What An Online Encyclopedia Should Be. It needs your reliable secondary sources. Preferably summarized and referenced by someone else, someone who doesn't have a career to promote or an axe to grind. Thanks for sharing!!!
snousle: (badger)
I find it so interesting that my mood can change so much over time. It's kind of inconvenient, actually - the times when I'm wildly ambitious, I have lots of great-seeming ideas which I jot down for future reference. Then later, I think, WTF - you must be kidding. My task list gets weighted down with all sorts of interesting-seeming things that are NOT going to make my life better. I've come to accept that "ideas" are not really my friends, that I don't need to follow up on them, that they aren't an important part of who I am.

Here in the country there's a tendency for visitors to see all sorts of exciting possibilities that get expressed with the phrase "You should..." To which my favorite response is "Don't should on me!" I've come to really dislike this word. Especially when it applies to work that I would have to do and the speaker wouldn't.

Perhaps the most interesting variable is what I tend to think of as "mojo". The drive to be sociable, to get to know people, to be out in the world. This swings real hard and by definition most people see me in the high-mojo state and perhaps think I'm like that all the time. Not so! It's a real finite resource. I have to learn to stop thinking of low-mojo periods as having "something wrong" with them.

It's just that the high-mojo me and the low-mojo me don't quite understand each other. I wouldn't say I'm bipolar or anything, just that I have to be careful of what commitments I make, because it's easy to get the ball rolling faster than I want it to roll.
snousle: (scruffy)
OK, it turns out you CAN host an album on G+ and conveniently embed the photo here. Is this presentation disagreeable in any way? (Wrong size, clipped, annoying, etc.) If you guys like it I'll use this method in the future.



Both puppies should be entirely within the frame.
snousle: (rakko)
It's official - I'm now hosting all my new (and newly-curated) photography over at Google Poz. Just because it's so much easier - they get synced with my Picasa albums automagically, which is already the tool I've been using to manage photos for years. For a while I chafed at the lack of presentation options, the unreadable URLs, and their grabby approach to content (I haven't found a way to embed a G+ hosted photo in an LJ entry, for example) but I decided that in the long run I just don't give a damn. I'm too lazy to do all the tedious file-shuffling I did before, and this lets me get out more photos than I can otherwise.

COME TO THE DARK SIDE, WE HAVE COOKIES.

A couple recent albums of note:

Frolicking Ranch Puppies

Montgomery Woods and Rob's Garden

There are about 20 public albums under my profile that you don't have to be a member of G+ to see. On some pages you have to click on a "Show All" link to see the whole set.

Let me know if you have any trouble finding or viewing these.

Long-form writing and occasional links to G+ albums will continue appearing here for the forseeable future.
snousle: (castrocauda)
I kinda knew this, but the way it's explained here really brings it home. You can't just translate sentences in isolation. Instead, you pretty much have to know the whole story behind the sentence before you can convey it accurately in another language. It makes me wonder how those simultaneous translators at the UN can function at all.

Let me give you an example. Suppose you want to say even the simplest thing, like "Humpty Dumpty sat on a …" Well, even with a snippet of a nursery rhyme, if you try to translate it to other languages, you'd immediately run into trouble. Let's focus on the verb for a moment. Sat. To say this in English, if this was something that happened in the past, then you'd have to say "sat." You wouldn’t say, "will sit" or "sitting." You have to mark tense. In some languages like in Indonesian you couldn't change the verb. The verb would always stay the same regardless of whether this is a past or future event. In some languages, like in Russian, my native language, you would have to change the verb for tense, but you would also have to include gender. So if this was Mrs. Dumpty that sat on the wall, you'd use a different form of the verb than if it was Mr. Dumpty.

In Russian, quite inconveniently, you have to mark the verb for whether the event was completed or not. So if Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall for the entire amount of time that he was meant to sit on it, that would be one form of the verb. But if he were to say "have a great fall" that would be a different form of the verb.

In Turkish, and this is one of my favorite examples, you have to change the verb depending on how you came to know this information. If you actually witnessed this event with your own eyes, you were walking along and you saw this chubby, ovoid character sitting on a wall, that would be one form of the verb. But if this was something you just heard about, or you inferred, from say broken Humpty Dumpty pieces, then you would have to use a different form of the verb.


I like the Turkish example too, because that's one of my conscious habits - I always temper statements with "I read that..." or "He said that..." or "It could be that..." if it's not something I have first-hand knowledge of. Just because I want to avoid even the possibility of misinforming anyone. It would be very handy to have that distinction be a deeply embedded part of the language.
snousle: (goggles)


This year's "Queer Biker Trash" campout is scheduled for the weekend of May 24-27 on our property near Ukiah. This is somewhat later than previous years, and for the first time is on Memorial Day weekend.

Same deal as usual. We'll be providing hot meals and a keg, BYO if you want wine or hard alcohol. There will be a day run on Saturday, and Saturday night we'll be firing up the wood oven and making pizza. Sunday night we will have Chinese food made using the new wok range. There will be a campfire each night, IF burning is not suspended by then. (On the plus side, if it's too dry for a campfire, it will be warm enough we won't need one!)

Bring your own tent and sleeping bag. We have more indoor bed space available than in previous years, including one queen bed, one double, a single futon, indoor floor space, and floor space in the garage – let us know if you want something with a roof, preference will be given to those with special needs. There is no fixed run fee, and nobody is turned away for lack of funds. But we appreciate a donation of $20/night to help cover costs.

The road up there includes a 1.5 mile unpaved section, which has proven a bit hazardous for novice riders. It’s not as bad as the road at Badger Flat, there’s just more of it.

If you wish to come, please respond to tony@rakko.org and let me know when you plan to arrive and leave, and let me know if you're bringing a car or riding your bike. Directions and any last-minute details will be mailed out to attendees in early May.
snousle: (river)
Today was quite a day. My friend Wil, who I see only occasionally, had organized a hike on his property up at Dragon Ridge. Like everyone else in this county, he lives about an hour away, and it's hard to maintain a relationship at that distance. I had not visited his property in more than five years.

Much of this county is organized into "ranches", which are large expanses of land - typically about five thousand acres - which have been subdivided into individual parcels under a variety of legal frameworks to create a sort of community. This community will typically have a landowners association with varying levels of control, including the power to levy assessments, and the right and obligation to maintain roads, gates, and other low-level services. It's like a town or municipality, but with far fewer benefits. Some are gated, some are not. Some have electrical service, some do not. Some even have architectural codes, but that would be considered unusually controlling for this part of the state. A few of the ranches also have "commons", private wilderness areas with the right to pass but no right to change anything, and thus they afford residents the right to roam widely.

Where I was today was expansive and only lightly developed. We undertook a hike of about an hour and a half, through rolling hills that only marginally count as mountains, high above valleys of mixed meadows and forests, with trees of various types arrayed in great painterly swaths across the landscape.

At this time of year, the landscape comes in a million shades of color. Some old oaks, not yet leafed out, are still shaggy with heavy mounds of white lichen - gray and bearded, like old men. Others are bursting with brilliant green buds, while tardier species are still dusted in shades of red or yellow. The rocks underlaying it all, which consist of a crazy patchwork of diverse, loosely related sedimentary and metamorphic species, glisten in grays and blues wherever they have not already crumbled into soft brown soil.

I was able to point out to Wil something not even he had noticed before - a tiny calypso orchid, all shy and pink and frilly, so easy to overlook that we nearly crushed it with our boots. (The ancients believed that orchids sprang from the semen of mating animals, which seems so much more plausible than the crazy symbioses that science has identified.) Another hiker came up with an interesting mushroom, a false morel, similar to the gourmet's favorite but notable for its deadliness. Unlike most toxic mushrooms, it does not kill the hapless diner, but rather the errant chef, who on cooking it will likely succumb to its deadly fumes of hydrazine and die face-down in his own frying pan.

I have been in this county for five years now, but never before have I so clearly seen the hand of the Divine in laying out this landscape. In a place undisturbed by human activity, with scarcely a hint of it in sight, the order of nature was plain to see. Over here, a copse of twelve trees, not quite leafed out, all sharing the same shape and form, pirouette their limbs with the precision of a ballet troupe. These might drift into a stand of tall firs, which then yield to a patch of flaming scarlet red-buds. Everywhere, carpets of wildflowers - great sweeps of tiny white and yellow and purple things, lost in the grass, the blooms hardly large enough to see as individuals. The first few irises, the unfurling of moss as it drinks up a rainshower, the tiny white bells of the manzanita...

I am still, in my mind, staggering drunkenly through this fairy-tale landscape. It infects my very soul, and will never leave me. This time is so brief - just a couple of months, at best, when nature goes mad with abundance - and so hard to believe in once it has passed. It will be only a few weeks before the rain stops, the sun beats down, and it all returns to the crinkly browns and dusty sage of the summer.

This time around feels special. Every drop of rain is a blessing, every unfurling leaf a tiny miracle. Never have I felt the transient, fleeting springtime so keenly as I have today.

Marriage

Mar. 27th, 2013 09:19 am
snousle: (scruffy)
[Snarfed and edited from my own comment on a G+ post, recorded here for posterity]

I have long been bothered by the repeated assertion that gay marriage is "illegal", which completely defers to the state the power to decide what a marriage is, and arguably encourages a kind of helplessness. Ideally, I'd much rather see gay couples take the attitude that they ARE married, and are patiently waiting for the state to recognize that obvious fact. Along with that would be greater community-level support for pursuing the trappings of marriage - wills, joint property, POA, et cetra - which would be framed as an inadequate and annoying work-around to the government's failure to deal with reality. With that attitude, maybe there would be fewer tragic endings and government recognition would happen at a faster pace.

On a personal note, while John and I would certainly get married once it's recognized on a federal level (for various reasons state-level is not suitable for us), we still have a third member of our family that could be treated just as cruelly as any "unmarried" partner had we not secured his rights through other means. Marriage is just one kind of family relationship, and our family happens to be larger than that; state recognition of marriage would be a big improvement but not a complete solution. So it kind of burns me to hear "polygamy" raised as an argument against gay marriage and simultaneously dismissed by gay people themselves. What we REALLY need is a more general form of adoption that covers whatever kind of kinship you want to have.
snousle: (satyr)
From Men in Eden: William Drummond Stewart and Same-Sex Desire in the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade:

Free trappers were known for their "bold and adventurous spirit," and their eccentric and flamboyant modus vivendi quickly became the stuff of legend. In 1902 Hiram Chittenden wrote of them: "Their leader could not always control them and they were prone to all sorts of excesses. Vain of their appearances, extravagantly fond of ornament for both themselves and their steeds, they rivaled the proud Indian himself in the profusion of gewgaws which decked out their attire." These sartorial displays were not intended to attract the Indian women whom the men occasionally encountered. As would be noted of the gold miners in the remote California camps of the 1950s, the free trappers "dressed up in order to look 'fascinating' for one another."
snousle: (scruffy)
From Animal Farm, a collection of animal photos from South Africa.

snousle: (rakko)
Spending the weekend at Red Mountain, near Rossland, BC with my father and his wife. He is going to a medical conference tomorrow to satisfy his training requirements - although he's 74, he still practices nuclear medicine on a part time basis in Trail. And he still skis, a little bit.

Colleen, my distinctly not-evil stepmother, has turned into a remarkably good cook. I think her skills have now exceeded mine. Last night's seafood fettuccine was amazing enough, with its high lemon notes against a base of rich buttery scallops and prawns. But tonight - oh my God, I think I will just turn into a vegetarian now, since meat is never going to be the same again.

The butcher at the Huckleberry Market in Christina Lake gets Alberta beef, and he provided us with a two-rib prime rib, which we ate tonight, that has utterly ruined me. It's not so much the fine flavor and the fork-tender softness - it's the delicate, lacy texture of the flesh that makes it so exquisite. I have never seen a rare-cooked cut fall apart like that. Really, I have never had anything remotely like it, and now I understand why so many midwesterners complain about the beef on the West Coast.

I have to re-think my cooking now. It's not just the ingredients, it's also a certain hand with oils and seasonings that makes it feel like a true millionaires dinner. Eating like this every night would surely be fatal, but after a day on the slopes it's just the ticket.
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