Tea Time With Jesse

Six of One, Half Dozen the Other

Archive for August, 2013

Quote for the Day

Posted by middlerage on August 23, 2013

From yesterday’s Diane Rehm show:

“Well, we’ve learned that for a period of at least three years the National Security Agency collected the email communications of people within the United States in violation not only of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act but apparently also the Fourth Amendment. Those were the conclusions reached by Judge John Bates who was the chief judge of the FISA court in 2011 when this opinion was issued.”

Posted in Privacy Issues | Leave a Comment »

Question Friday

Posted by middlerage on August 17, 2013

This week’s Music Fridays comes in the form  of a question, so I thought I’d tack a few more on and get all questioney up in yo ass. So before we get to the music, let’s get to the questions…

(Note, this isn’t a test, but rather sincere questions for my most awesome resource – mah reeders.)


Numba wun, a grammar question: I’m the first guy to prefer a descriptive rather than prescriptive approach to grammar, but I’m wondering… is one of the below more right? Heck, is one of them just plain wrong?

“There will be a one hour special  session for the Retiring Presidential Address.”

“There will be a one hour special session for the Retiring President’s Address.”


Le Dos: I personally like to refer to good – but doomed – fights as tilting at windmills. For example, trying to fight the onslaught against our privacy – the hoovering of all our personal data into giant corporate databases (Not to mention that whole NSA/Big Brother/Eric Snowden thing) – is nothing short of tilting at windmills. Nevertheless it’s a good fight. But really, Quixote was an asshole, right? He was fighting the wrong thing. Fighting the right fight against overwhelming odds is really more of a David and Goliath thing, init? Except without the triumphant underdog. What do you think dear reader? If I say to you, “fighting wealth inequality in America is tilting at windmills”, is that just wrong?


Here’s a question for my photog friends – what are the rules for using a model release form in public situations? For example say you want to make some arty photos at a state fair – photos for which you will claim to be an artist, for which you will display in a gallery and perhaps sell for real money. I can surmise that if you take a photo of a crowd lined up at the Ferris wheel, that there is no legal issue. It’s a public space, and you can take your photo and safely sell it as a piece of art.

But now assume you convince a few fair goers to pose in front of the Ferris wheel with their smiles and their roasted ear of corn. Now is a model release form required?


And finally – to this week’s Music Fridays. Is it Influence or Infringement?

This has been in the news this week, and thus you may already be familiar with the issue…

A pop song called Blurred Lines is burning up the charts, and it nostalgically invokes a great Marvin Gaye hit called Got to Give it Up. The Gaye Estate claims copyright infringement, while the Blurred Lines artists claim influence. What do you think? The videos are posted below, and for more info you can read this news article about the dustup here.

I posit my friends in the IT field may see infringement since “look and feel” is a recognized, patentable concept in software engineering.  Personally I fall to the “influence not infringement” side of the fence even though I am a huge Marvin Gaye fan and much prefer his song, but your opinions are welcome!

Posted in observations, Thinking 'bout music | 6 Comments »

The Ultimate Sausage?

Posted by middlerage on August 7, 2013

Middlerage is in an inventive mood, and his deep thoughts have turned to… sausage?

I was just thinking about how supposedly sausage is a peasant food, a cheap way to make use of fat and trimmings while the lords on the hill eat their spit-roasted fine cuts of meat. Send the good stuff to nobility. Add plenty of salt and spices to the leftover trash meat, and you got yourself a decent source of nutrition for the serfs. Now, economic analysis may not support that thesis – the work involved to chop and season the trimmings, to extract and prepare the casings, to stuff and smoke the result is probably so labor intensive as to make “peasant food” a debatable term. But for the moment, let’s go with it; sausage is a way to make use of cheap food that might otherwise be thrown away. So methinks, what other food has this kind of underlying philosophy?

Wings! I’m not going to go research this to prove my point, but I think I recall hearing a story along the lines of a bartender in upstate NY meets somebody trying to unload tons of super cheap chicken wings, and he has the bright idea to roast them in seasoning and salt (sound familiar?) and sell what cost him pennies a truckload for pennies a plate. Genius! It’s like the thirst-inducing bowl of free peanuts on every bar top, but you actually entice the patrons to pay for the “peanuts.”

Now I’m on a roll. Potato skins! One of the franchise restaurants has the notion to take the tastiest part of a baked potato – okay, the second tastiest part after the toppings – and after adding salt and seasonings (ahem) sell the cheap peelings as expensive appetizers. Now they even make it into a snack food you can buy in a vending machine (additional processing applies).

Finally, in my native NM, you can buy lovingly shredded bits of high quality meats wrapped in corn flour and called the tamale. Again, supposedly a peasant food, but the labor involved makes that assertion questionable. Anyway, I’ve heard (but again am not in a position to prove), that tamales started out as a way to make use of the brains, entrails and head meat of various animals. Add enough salt and seasonings and just like the sausage, you hide the nasty origins and make something palatable and nutritious.

Which leads me to my million dollar idea for sausage:

The potato-skin/tamale/chicken-wing sausage. $14.99/lb in your freezer section.

It’s either the ultimate sausage or just the wurst idea.

Posted in Recipes, wtf | 4 Comments »

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