The Daily (or whenever) Eruption


Archive

Full Snack Disclosure Tuesday 10/6/2020

We all have our guilty pleasures. Drugs and drink aside, we secretly enjoy snacks and sweets that we’re told aren’t good for us. Currently mine is an ur-corn-chip, bags of which I’ve long enjoyed but until recently have eschewed. In my dotage, though, I’ve come to my senses: Popcorn, potato chips, and pork rinds are fine, but for me, nothing hits the spot like a fistful or two of Frito-Lay’s Fritos, those little crispy and salty strips of stone-ground goodness.

In the supermarket today, when I decided to replenish my supply, I had choices of BBQ, jalepeno, lime & chile (sic), and more than 20 other varieties bursting with flavor. I chose Original, as I always do, that boasts 160 calories per serving, 13% fat but only 7% of it saturated, 5% of dietary fiber, and only 7% of sodium. The label says ingredients are corn, corn oil, and salt. What’s not to like, save for but a scant 2g of protein?

(Should prefer your chips be made of potatoes, know that nutrition facts for Frito-Lay’s potato chips are almost identical, but somehow they feel a lot greasier.)

But I boycott those other dozen flavors. Lord knows what they put into them, and I am betting most of the extra ingredients are not commonly thought of as food. They also carry more fat, sodium and calories. Call me a purist, but I prefer the real, original indulgence.

Are they non-GMO? I don’t know, and at my age don’t really care what happens to my x-chromosones. You may have to think twice, but never, ever go for snack foods with more than five ingredients unless you know what they are and you’re cool wit that.

Avaaz Me Hearties! Monday 9/27/2020

I know, I know, it’s been a while (like eight months) since this page last erupted. I won’t bore you with excuses, but hope the pandemic has been kind to you and yours. Thanks for hanging in there.

As a veteran petition-signer, letter-writer, and gadfly anti-establishment commentator I’ve  been beseeched by more progressive causes, candidates, initiatives, think tanks, and grass-roots campaigns than I can shake a stick at. All of them, naturally, ask for support or I wouldn’t have heard from them. Almost all have a specific mission and focus, but one in particular that I support tackles a broad range of pressing issues across the globe, from toxic pollution and other environmental threats to the plight of refugees and indigenous peoples to racial and economic inequities. Continue reading “The Daily (or whenever) Eruption”

What Would Henry Do?

[Dug out this 2006 essay from my archives because it seems to apply as much now as a decade ago. Only the technology has moved on, not the human species.]

Dedicated to Peter Balen

If life has you feeling more overwhelmed and less able to cope all the time, it might not just be encroaching senility, the accumulation of bad chemicals in your body, or even 9-11. Consider what might connect such random areas of interest as

  • Prescription drug programs
  • Retirement planning
  • Airline deregulation
  • The blogosphere
  • School vouchers
  • Globalization

Continue reading “What Would Henry Do?”

Talking Back to my Radio

Have you ever reacted badly to a newscast on radio or TV and shouted at your set things like “Why not admit our wars in the Middle East caused all this chaos!” or “Ask him how much he was paid to mouth that b.s!” or “I’m sick and tired of hearing those stupid stump speeches!” whenever they fail to get to the bottom of things. Happens to me a lot.

Right now, one of my local NPR radio stations (WBUR, from Boston University) is surveying listeners to find out how we think they’re doing. I normally skip such polls, but given that I listen to it most days and occasionally answer phones for them I decided to pitch in and ended up at SurveyMonkey. As I had hoped, beyond the usual demographic data and how/when/where/why I listen or browse their site, they actually wanted reactions to their programming, so I belted some out. Continue reading “Talking Back to my Radio”

Punching Back

As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you can’t drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against ’em anyway, you don’t belong in office.

~ Molly Ivins

When I’m outraged by events, which seems to happen more and more often lately, I sometimes vent my spleen at the venerable and irritable  CounterPunch, the home of many diatribes. Here’s a sampling of mine. The rest are available at here.

 


.
.
.

.

WordPress: DIY or die

Getting into WordPress publishing is like cooking a Thanksgiving dinner when you subsist on fast food and frozen entree. There’s a cookbook with a table of contents an index, and a bunch of descriptions of cooking techniques, but all the recipes are blank.

For example, I wanted to create a page that duplicates an existing on, change it slightly, and post it. After 20 minutes of mousing around the dashboard I gave up and went to WordPress Forums (e.g., this one), only to lean that this isn’t a built-in feature; you need to get a plug-in for that.

But other things I need to do are built in, but how to know how and when to use them? They’re all nicely documented in the WordPress Codex, but there aren’t very many how-to’s except for the code examples (that don’t necessarily tell you where you must put them to make them work.)

When something doesn’t seem to be working, is it a bug, misconfiguration, or my ignorance of how it works? So many mysteries, like why the Categories widget doesn’t show my categories when placed under a post, but does on the sidebar. I just know if I asked a forum (but which one?) about this, some kind soul would give me code to patch it, not telling me where it should go.

The second week things got better after I concluded that plugins are my friend. Of course, no matter what you want one to do, you first need to come up with terms to describe it and then pick from umpteen search results. So you need to consider: Does its author describe the gizmo cogently? Does it do what you want the way you want it? How many users does it have? Is it compatible with the current version of WP? Is it loaded with features you’ll never need? Does it tease you with features only to tell you oh BTW, they’re only in the premium version?

So far I’ve only encountered one plugin that didn’t work. I junked it and got another I’m happy with. But now I worry I’ll  plug in one too many times and my install will run out of memory. Actually, that happened almost as soon as I unboxed WP. Eventually found a nice forum user who had posted fixing up wp-admin/includes/media.php to allocate more memory to solve this problem (obviously), which worked but then I had to up it again.

So I have a site now that more or less does what I want. All I need now are visitors to give me feedback telling me what sucks.