Last Steak and Egg Ramen

Well, not the last time I’ll make it, but the last time I’ll post it. We have gotten into a sort of pandemic routine with steak on Tuesday. I pan fry it and slice it up and serve it for dinner. The leftovers go to sandwiches, salads and of course, ramen.

But the recipe is mostly the same. Soy, garlic and ginger broth, carrots, sesame oil an egg and homemade sauerkraut. This time I used the flat Vietnamese rice noodles which I now realize I have been undercooking. Much better with 6 – 7 minutes of cooking. Also these noodles are bland so extra soy is needed. A little togorashi and green onions on top and it’s lunch.

COVID-19 Stimulus

I try to keep up with the news and understand what is going on in the world. I understand these are unusual times and there are many things happening, especially here in the US. Much of this ends up being “political”, which means it is based on theory and power and desired outcomes, not actual facts. Not that any of these issues are inherently political, that is, directly having to do with political power and governance. Things with no business being discussed in a political context have been “politicized”, as they say. This is seldom good for the country, though it is often good for a group of even a few individuals.

As I watch the US Senate debate saving businesses and actual lives, I had a hard time accepting what I am seeing. This article confirms my worst suspicions. Many, many people in the US are being made to suffer so that a few politicians can keep their power and their jobs. Sadly, there isn’t any other way to look at it.

Why Mitch McConnell is trying to kill a big stimulus before the election

Salmon Poke Ramen

Made some poke salad last night with sushi grade salmon, marinated in sesame oil and soy with some fresh avocado. Used the leftovers for a simp!e salmon Poke Ramen. Stuck with my usual soy, garlic and ginger broth with some carrot, an egg and homemade sauerkraut. Almost skipped the sauerkraut but glad I didn’t. The salty, crunchy taste went well with the poke. Figured I needed to up my ramen game if I was going to get this Nissin CNO position.

Surprise Medical Billing

A look into how government, private equity, hospitals and other medical organizations have interacted on the issue of Surprise Medical Billing. Everyone should be aware of what is going on here, mostly because it is corrupt and abusive, but because personally it can cost you tens of thousands of dollars next time you need medical treatment.

Here’s How Private Equity Firms Targeted Republican Sen. John Cornyn With Dark Money To Preserve Surprise Medical Billing

Private equity waged a yearlong dark money campaign so they could continue to profit off of emergency room patients getting hit with exorbitant medical bills. It worked.

Life’s Little Mysteries

Our dog is old and set in his ways. He gets up at 7:30 am every morning, even weekends. I go downstairs, let him out and feed him then usually go back to bed. Not for long, but maybe an hour if I’m lucky.

This morning I noted two amazon boxes, one small and one slightly larger stacked in a corner of the front porch. I was going to bring them in but if anyone opens the from door, the dog barks and I didn’t want to wake my wife and daughter.

I went back to bed and was able to sleep a bit more. At about 9am I came downstairs and made coffee, toast and read news, like I do every morning. When the girls came downstairs I told them that there were two amazon boxes outside. Except there wasn’t. Did somebody steal our packages? They were tucked away our of sight. The girls informed me that they weren’t waiting for anything from Amazon, but neither was I.

Perhaps I dreamed the whole thing. Perhaps it was yesterday and I was getting confused. Maybe with the pandemic and the election and all the other craziness I was really losing it. It seemed very real to me, but maybe it wasn’t. That worried me a bit more.

My wife and daughter decided to go for a walk, after giving me a bit of a hard time about my mysterious Amazon packages. On the way out my daughter said: maybe you should check your security camera.

A few years ago a critter had gotten into my small pond in the back yard and eaten my koi. I was curious about what sort of animal this was, because the koi was pretty large, maybe a foot long. I bought a cheap video surveillance camera (from Amazon) and set it up in the back yard to see if I could ID the culprit. I bought a second camera and set it up over the driveway, which is on the far side of the house and not very visible from the front door. It was an IP camera and you could easily view it from a phone or even the TV. Convenient, but mostly a toy.

Questioning my sanity a bit I started scrolling through saved video from the morning. I was pretty sure at this point I had Alzheimer’s starting up, when at 9am on the video I saw a white van in the driveway. A fellow got out and brought two boxes toward the front door and came back a few seconds later empty-handed, and drove off.

After a brief sense of relief that my mind might not be going, I wondered who was creeping around my neighborhood on a Saturday morning, in broad daylight, stealing packages. Except we weren’t expecting any packages. I felt confused again.

Maybe the delivery man realized he had gone to the wrong address and would return and pick up the packages for delivery to the correct address. Made sense. I looked further in the video, expecting to see the white van return. Instead I saw a man walk across the driveway. Shortly he returned with the boxes. It was my next door neighbor. I texted him.

Seems they were his boxes but Amazon had left them at my house. They had sent him a photo of the boxes as proof of delivery. He recognized the porch as ours and figured he would stop by and get them. When he saw they were still on the porch he scooped them up and went home, no harm done. They hadn’t been out there long.

Long Voting Lines

I am going to try to vote today. Here in Texas there is record turnout, combined with various rules to slow the process and stop people from voting (ID requirements, closed drop off stations, removal of straight ticket voting to name a few). The BBC had a story about long voting lines (queues) in the US. I had assumed this happens everywhere. Seems not.

Another Canadian wrote: “I’ve waited longer for a bus than I have ever waited to vote.”

A British man wrote: “Dear USA, I’m 58 and not once in my life have I had to queue to vote. Sort it out!”

One man in India pointed out that his country handles more election ballots than any other democracy in the world.

In a country with a higher level of illiteracy than the US, no such long queues have been seen in previous elections.

US election 2020: World reaction to long queues of voters in US