Chili, Pasta and Character.

Friday, October 11, 1996

Spiritual Nourishment.

n the scope of all we do, making whacker chili and great fresh pasta are the nerve centers of life. They nourish, fortify and encourage quality work from me everyday. Without their sustinence, I would be a lost puppy.
Last week, I decided to try my hand at making gourmet food again, after two years away from cooking. I almost always eat at excellent restaurants these days, but my training as a chef many years ago, while I was in between advertising jobs in NYC, prompted me to get back into the world of food and sophisticated preparation.
I resurrected my old chef's uniform, or at least what I could find of it since moving here. I got out my pots and
Quite Fit
pans, utensils and special kitchen weapons for doing unusual things to food for presentation purposes. I can't remember what some of the tools were used for anymore, but it'll all come back to me. I still have a few very nice professional-grade electrical appliances left -- Cuisinart, HB Blender, Ciao Espresso, pasta and bread makers, slicers, dicers and others I can' t even begin to remember -- that make some preparations a tad faster. Most quality prep work though, is by hand; careful, tedious and frenetic.
After the General Election is over in November, I'll have some more room here to cover easy, delicious and viusually-exciting recipes for chili and pastas. Stay tuned.

The Clinton Defense.

Measuring himself for a place on Mt. Rushmore, President Clinton is publically-peeved that Americans don't share the exalted view he has of himself. Of course, the fact that voters hold him in such low regard is not his fault, he seriously believes.
To hear Clinton tell it, he's a victim. He wants you to feel his pain. It's not fair that even though he'll probably get re-elected, most people question his integrity, morals, honesty and values. What's left to worry about?
Independent counsel Kenneth Starr is out to get him and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton as part of the
No One Trusts
Whitewater investigation, Clinton suggested last week. And, he further complained, those meanies in the Republican Party have sullied his reputation, leading a majority of people to doubt his honesty and trustworthiness. Two traits that he's apparently never had in this lifetime.
Methinks Bill Clinton doth protest too much.
Clinton could be right. A Republican, Starr might be out to bring down a Democratic president and his arrogant co-president spouse. Indeed, the GOP has run what Clinton called "a very long and well-financed effort to attack me personally."
But the fact remains that Starr and the GOP are doing their jobs, and, importantly, are working with material that Clinton himself has provided.
Starr inherited the Whitewater investigation in August 1995 and has seen his mandate grow exponentially.
In addition to the infamous Arkansas land development scheme in which the Clintons invested while he was governor, the Justice Department has expanded the inquiry to include the circumstances of the firings in the White House travel office shortly after Clinton took office and the improper acquisition by his White House staff of confidential FBI files.
Wending its way, the investigation has passed through the Rose Law Firm of Little Rock, where Hillary Clinton once plied her influence, and the seamy marriage of Arkansas money and politics.
It also covered the mysterious apparent suicide of Vincent Foster, a White House attorney who was a close personal friend of the Clintons' and a former Rose Law Firm partner.
Some indelible images: the First Lady being called to testify before a grand jury; the conviction of Webster Hubbell, a top deputy at the Justice Department and another confidant of the Clintons' from the Rose Law
The Clintons' Fashion
Firm; Hillary Clinton's subpoenaed-but-"lost" records from the Rose Firm mysteriously turning up in a private White House anteroom; and the convictions of James and Susan McDougal, two erstwhile friends and the Clintons' partners in the Whitewater deal, both convicted felons serving federal time. All that for keeping for keeping silent about the Clintons' involvement in criminal activities a few years ago. Now beginning to rear it's ugly head: criminal and illegal campaign fund solicitation and donations from Asian businessmen made through illegal immigrants for future favors, directly to Bill Clinton. And yet, the news networks and newspapers haven't jumped on this story yet, because there's no American public appetite for this information anymore. Sad, but true.
Clinton recently railed about Starr's having "more FBI resources than were used in the World Trade Center bombing and an unlimited amount of time and an unlimited checkbook."
Geez, he sounds just like Richard Nixon during Watergate.
It was Nixon who showed America that it can require much in the way of time, resources and tenacity by a special counsel to investigate the most powerful office in the world and to batter down whatever stonewalls get erected.
Hillary Clinton, the administration's most adroit mason, ought to understand that, just from her experience as a
lawyer on the House Judiciary Committee that went after Nixon. So, Starr has been trying to do his job, whatever his motives, and the Clinton White House hasn't made it easy. As the Wall Street Journal opined: "If the administration thinks Mr. Starr is abusing the office, why does it keep sending him more work in the form of crimes that require investigation?"
Then there is Clinton's charge that voters don't trust him because of the unkind accusations from Republicans.
The fact of the matter is that people don't trust Clinton because he's sneaky and doesn't keep his word. The GOP, and hapless Republican nominee Bob Dole, are just reminding them.
Just as Democrats have found thousands of votes cast by Dole, a former Senate majority leader, to use against him, so has the GOP documented hundreds of contradictory statements made by Clinton during this career politician's two decades of ceaseless campaigning.
Go right down the list, from one policy issue to the next, abortion to welfare reform, and on most of them you can find the flexible Clinton having taken either side at one time or another. In a variation on hipster Bob Dylan's lyrics: It doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, just watch Bill Clinton.
So, here is a president with a long history of political expediency, an equally checkered history of personal
Slick Willie
The Wind.
peccadilloes and alibis for Whitewater and Filegate that a plurality of Americans just don't buy, and he wants the voters to think his character deficit is the product of GOP propaganda. I don't think so, Slick Willie.
Moreover, it is disingenuous of Clinton to whine about the long and expensive GOP attack against him when his re-election campaign has waged the most negative and unrelenting assault of any incumbent in recent history.
He has administered to Dole more than a taste of the GOP medicine Ronald Reagan and George Bush gave to their Democratic opponents. Clinton's little tirade against Starr and the GOP was more than just a campaign tactic intended to inoculate himself against further ethical accusations as the presidential race tightens. Nor was it merely an early start on burnishing his second-term legacy.
He is hoping that his re-election might be seen as a mandate to call off the dogs in Starr's office and in the congressional oversight panels, sparing the Clintons an enormous legal bill, to say nothing of the possible consequences with indictments and prison.
But no matter how defensive he sounds, Clinton is not going to change a lot of attitudes.
Sounds to me like Slick Willie and his arrogant co-president wife Hillarious could use a plate of fresh pasta and several bowls of hearty chili to build some character. Hey, that would be one for the books. The Clintons: people with character and morals. Naaaaaaaaah!

The Debate.

I guess you could call it a debate, of sorts. It was two people with differing opinions and a moderator, who asked questions, permitted reassal time, and then re-reassal time for each so-called candidate.
I didn't see it. I only heard and read about it on the InterNet the next day. It was embarrassing for everyone concerned. It looked and sounded like two chums amiably stating opposing viewpoints with little pointed direction against the other person. They even posed together as friends after the session ended. What shit. Dole should have sent the Clinton scum running to Arkansas with his tail between his legs. Dole missed every chance to nail that slippery bastard liberal Clinton to a stake for all his lies and character flaws. It must have been very boring. Clinton only needed to escape the 90-minute session without a major gaffe, and Dole only needed to clear the bar, which was set very, very low, without being seen drinking Geritol. Both apparently succeeded. I'm glad I missed the whole sordid mess.
I remember the lively debates from 1960 onward. Those were debates which we have not seen the likes of since, and probably won't again. Real, substantive issues were discussed and no topic was left unturned. This event was a waste of time; it contributed to Clinton's increasing lead, simply because Dole's handlers weren't smart enough to make him drive home the stake into Clinton's liberal, whiny heart.
I think anyone with a brain now knows that Dole has no chance whatsoever in November's General Election. Many of us have known it for sometime now. It's pathetic to watch this man simply go through the motions as if he did have any kind of a chance against Slick Willie.
Maybe the Vice Presidential Debates will be more interesting; the first Presidential Debate was a total waste of TV air time.

New Gardens. The Pictures.
I re-designed and and my crews built a most amazing 4,500sqft Alpine Garden Display.
We brought in 25 tons of soil from the massive stockpiles at the back of the 20-acre complex and built undulating, topographical mounds all around the area. We installed walks, both broken flagstone and fine crushed bluestone gravel throughout, so people can walk among the plants, instead of standing and viewing from afar. What a difference.
Even Pickle adopted the sitting bench right away as his own territory.
Hundreds of new perennials, ornamental grasses and dwarf and miniature shrubs were installed in the new gardens. This is the West Display Garden, which gets the brutal winds and snow. So if these plants make it through the Winter, they'll be worthy of selling here. I've tested thousands of perennials, shrubs and trees in the North and West Display Gardens; that's where the most demanding conditions exist, except for the nor'easter blizzards, when they come from the northeast and deliver devastating amounts of snow.

More Windows.

To think that I'd now add Windows 95 to a perfectly mal-functioning 586 Pentium with Windows v3.111111111111 running at home is unthinkable; hell, I enjoyed all the crashes and GPFs and such. It gave me something to do in the evenings. Didn't I just cave and install it onto the 586 Pentium at the office last week? And didn't I say that I was wrong about Windows 95 for all this time? Yessssssss...
Okay, okay. I once again called the Windows Wizard, my good friend Jeff Horn, to help me with the installation. Actually, the installation itself is a breeze; it's the afterward configuring that can be a bitch. My guess is that if it's botched initially, it will be very difficult to revise later on. Just a guess.
After five hours on Tuesday evening and another three last night of trying to install and configure things on my home 586 Pentium, there are still "glitches" that we can't yet get rid of. Oh, we will, but haven't been able to figure out just now. If Windows 95 can do for the home unit what it did for the office unit, it'll be worth the effort afterall. We'll see.
I'm still trying to sort out the monitor problems; it seems that the Duracom monitor didn't come with drivers for Windows 95 and Manchester Industries, the people I bought it from, don't have a clue either about how to fix the monitor. They said something about ripping the unit open and getting serial numbers and reconfiguring the bios and a lot of other stuff I don't even pretend to understand. Meanwhile, I'm using a monitor that has a resolution so large that Helen Keller, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles all could see perfectly well. shit. More on this as it develops.

J o h nS h e l l e y

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