A Night Out – Mad Sandwiches, a food truck in Harrisburg

Out of three food trucks I’ve seen here in downtown Harrisburg, the only one that seems to have survived is Mad Sandwiches, a royal blue truck with bright green lettering.  It can be found in two locations in the city on different days, up near the Keystone Building on Forester Monday – Wednesday, and down by Strawberry Square at Walnut and Third at the end of the week.  I generally hit the one near the Square since I do try to only treat myself occasionally and a Friday for lunch works well.   

Tasty fried goodness.

Prices are about average for anything you might get downtown, except for maybe a $5/footlong at Subway.  And, well there is a reason those are only $5.  I’ve fallen into my usual bad habit at a restaurant, finding something good and then being reluctant to try anything else in case I get disappointed.  So, as of now, I’ve only had the beef empanada.  For $2.50 (as of today), I get a tasty fried pie, about 7 inches across the fold, that is filled with beef, veggies, spices and the required green olives. At least I require them, that tangy, savory hit is what makes a empanada not any ol’ meat pie.  It’s deep fried, having the clear blisters on the crust like my dearly lamented fried cherry pies that McDonald’s used to have (always with that one pit to crack my teeth on).  

It comes with either mild or spice sauce. I get the hot and it’s tasty though not much hot at all, appearing to be essentially a salsa verde. Of course, I’m the gal who happily orders vindaloo to be “Indian hot”.  The acidity of the salsa cuts the slight greasiness of the deep fried pie well. 

The soda in the photo is a good basic cream soda. A beer would really rock with this, but as it is, I’m suprised no one bothered me swigging an amber beverage outside. With both it came to $4.  Not bad for something unusual and good, at least here in central Pennsyltucky.    

An empanada and a soda are more than filling for a lunch.  Now I just have to get around to trying those pork sandwiches I’ve heard are so good.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Parade Magazine’s Romney Interview

Parade Magazine, that little insert that often comes in the Sunday paper that I’ve been reading probably since I could read, had an interview with the Romneys on August 26, 2012.  The mag has always struck me as rather conservative and simplistic which can explain the questions asked and the lack of any follow up to them.  Some of the questions caught my eye. (and incidentally, I’d be just as happy to consider any other interviews by any other candidate. Parade will have an interview with President and Mrs. Obama on Sept. 2).

So on to “Mr and Mrs. Romney, some follow up to your pat answers?”  (not all of the interview is addressed, only the parts I found interesting. Use the link above if you think I may be missing any context.)

Governor, your campaign speeches talk about the middle class, but the vast majority of the questions we received from readers asked about your ability to relate to their struggles. In essence, how do you know what it’s like to be someone without means, someone, as one reader puts it, trying to scrape by, living on food stamps?
Governor Mitt Romney: Each of us faces struggles of one kind or another. Our life was not characterized by financial stress as much as it was by health issues. I served as a pastor of a congregation and saw people with various challenges and did my best to help them. I believe my experience in the private sector, the voluntary sector, and government has helped teach me what it takes to help people with different types of challenges.

Politicians are always notorious for ignoring the question and trying only to speak in the sound bites given them by their handlers.  Note that Romney doesn’t answer the question at all.  He has no idea how people live who are poor.  He wants to turn the story back to himself, how hard *he* and Ann have had it, claiming that Ann’s MS is just as bad as being poor.  He of course can’t think about how hard it is for people who are poor *and* who have some debilitating disease.  People can have struggles of many kinds, not one *or* another.  Ann can go ride her horses for therapy.  What therapy does a working mother who has no insurance have?   Romney has no idea and from his actions, does not care. The Multiple Sclerosis Society does not support Romney’s desire to abandon the Affordable Care Act.  Continue reading

What the Boss Likes – A small collection of random things

To waste time on a Friday or a weekend…..

http://vimeo.com/deerdog/nightfall

Lovely video of Los Angeles at night and quite idealized.

 http://romneygirl.org/   parody and satire (and I love parody and satire) of Aqua’s “I’m a Barbie Girl”

Mr. Rogers remixed, In the Garden of Your Imagination

http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tag/beautiful simply beautiful photos.

http://artofmanliness.com/2012/07/16/a-man-is-punctual-the-importance-of-being-on-time/    This website should often be alled “the art of being a human being”.

 

What the Boss Likes – The Mormon Candidate

No, the boss doesn’t like Romney, but she likes the BBC documentary “The Mormon Candidate”, which I saw on Current TV last night.  Generally, I find Current about as interesting as CSPAN but occasionally it gets my interest.  It does a great job showing how odd religion is and Mormonism aka Church of Later Day Saints is certainly an odd one.  The oddest?  Hmmm, maybe Scientology with its Xenu, bombs, “thetans” and meters, but how is that much different from a god that is a very human braggart that kills people for keeping its box upright, floods with no evidence, “angels”, and prayers that don’t work?

I do wish the BBC would do the same type of work showing how odd all religions are, because none of them can point and laugh at Mormonism and not be hypocrites about their own religion.  Catholicism and evangelical Christianity would be a great two for one to see the similarities and contrasts of claims of the “true” religion.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9djYmyumHKs 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Rough Men and taking a stand

Kittens also sleep peacefully – random web picture.

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. – attributed to George Orwell, Winston Churchill etc, and likely to have some basis in Orwell’s comment about Rudyard Kipling: “He sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them.” (1942) and “PACIFIST: Those who ‘abjure’ violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.- Notes on Nationalism, Orwell, 1945 (and worth the read)

The words “Violence is never the answer” have been spewed left and right, by the left and right.  The problem is that it’s a simplistic claim and one that all evidence shows is not true.  Violence might be not the best answer, but sometimes it’s the only answer. One needs a hoe to cut out the weeds that have been allowed to grow through neglect, laziness or willful ignorance.  Often that comes in the form of a war, where some part of humanity has decided that they have some “right” to force their beliefs on others or some “right” to take what they want.  Diplomacy did not work, but physical action did, though at a horrible cost.  The prime example of this is World War II, with two entities, the Nazis and the imperial Japanese, trying to force themselves on others. Would gradualism have worked in these cases, where one hopes that slow change will come about and work?  That is a question that is hard to answer, a simpler one is would you want your descendants living in a world like that for some unknown period until someone stood up and demanded change *and* succeeded? I know which I would want and am grateful for the effort and sacrifice of those before me.  

The quote above has come to us in its current form after some mangling by time and humans, but it still states a worthy observation.  Orwell spoke of secret truths that people, even if they are adamant that they are wrong, must accept in some form; the pacifist in some way acknowledges that they can only remain a pacifist if someone else stands up for them.  If no one does, they are likely either dead by the hands of the aggressor, or are enslaved by him, and in both cases ideals die or at best, are dormant for a very long time.  If no one stands up to forces that would declare that there are only one “chosen” people, women less than human, that there is only one acceptable type of family, then this will never change and we will be dead or enslaved by those who would take advantage of our complacence.  Continue reading

What the Boss Likes – Pennsylvania Geology

Finally some geology.  I had been wanted to do a bit about the spectacular geology in Pennsylvania for a while now and finally got around to taking my camera long to take shots of a very nice road cut.  Of course, after scrambling up a embankment to get some photos, I find that Google Maps street view has better ones, in large part, than I was able to take with my cheap digital camera. Sigh.   This is along US 322 on the westbound side, just west of the Arch Rock Road exit. (photos were taken from the eastbound side) This was created a few years back when the bottle neck along the Juniata (note, not “Juanita” like the folks on the Weather Channel like to call it) River was opened up with a big road replacement project.  Thank you PennDOT, you took a 1/2 hour off my trip time when I go visit my folks.

Central PA is along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, and this particular bit is in the Ridge and Valley province of the mountains.  At one point, these mountains were as high as the Rockies, formed during various orogenies (aka mountain building events), the latest one being the Alleghenian/Applachian orogeny.  But since physics keeps on working and they were formed a very long time ago, they have eroded down, filling their valleys with sediment.  Much of this sediment is interlayered with coal and has natural gas/petroleum (including that Marcellus gas that’s often in the news) thanks to the burying of swamps from ancient river deltas. What you can see here are their roots, the evidence that plate tectonics exists, and the evidence that no ridiculous stories about a magical flood are true.  I could do a whole post on what’s wrong with the creationist claims but it’s been done better by others, especially potholer54’s videos:  Noah’s Flood Debunked Part 1 and Noah’s Flood Debunked Part 2 .  However, if anyone wants their particular questions answered by me, please ask and I’ll do my best.     

Also, if you can and haven’t already, give money to the Wikipedia Foundation to keep it going. I donate and I link to it a lot.

In the images, there are folds, syncline and anticline, as well as ductile folding (folding without breakage) and brittle folding (where it does break).  Those aren’t as clear as they could be but very striking if you are right there (or have a better camera than mine…).  

Looking westbound. US 322

A longer shot

Here’s the Google Maps street level images.  Make sure to look up and down the exposure to see it all. 

https://maps.google.com/?ll=40.609114,-77.439065&spn=0.000008,0.004801&t=m&z=18&layer=c&cbll=40.609171,-77.439165&panoid=TxbVvLok_BF2fZZ8OBA3HQ&cbp=12,30.53,,0,0 

What the Boss Likes – PA State Atheist/Humanist Conference, Harrisburg Crowne Plaza, September 28-20, 2012

Freedom for all

A bit on the side of short notice, I’ve just discovered that the local atheist and free-thought groups in Pennsylvania are having a conference here in the state’s capitol the end of September this year. They have an excellent list of speakers.

I’m not a member of any of the local groups, not being that comfortable around people (anxiety is a bitch), but I do happily support them with letters to the editor, etc. I’m also a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, who are one of the sponsors for this event.  So, I may not go myself, but I do want people to know about the conference.  It’s worth going to this in a state where we have legislators declaring a “year of the bible”, creationists trying to force their personal version of their religion on public school students, Governor “Close your eyes” Corbett, et al trying to force their religious views on women and their health care, etc.  Pennsylvania was one of the first thirteen colonies and is one of the places that freedom “rung” first. 

It’s close enough for our friends in surrounding states to come too!  And I promise, we have lots of good places to eat.