Watercooler 3/27/2017 Open Thread: Reading, Watching, Listening, Cooking...


I am burned out on politics and watching our Nation tear itself apart on TV and the internet, so I thought I would contribute some different things for folks’ casual consumption…



I am a BIG reader. I have been growing my library over the years, and my interests vary. I usually have four or five books going at once.  Currently, these titles are all reads-in-progress:

“The Pizza Connection: Lawyers, Money, Drugs, Mafia” by Shana Alexander

Probably one of the biggest Mafia trials of all time. You are a fly on the wall in the courtroom. I cannot imagine managing a courtroom and a trial like this.

“No Better Friend: One Man, One Dog, and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in WWII” by Robert Weintraub

So much is NOT well known about the brutality of the Japanese Army during World War II. An amazing story. I am a dog man, so anything dog is good.

“Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa” by COL Joseph Alexander, USMC (Ret.)

This is THE battle of the war in the Pacific during World War II that has captivated me since I was old enough to read about it.

“The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression” by Amity Shlaes

An excellent book, well written and informative. The original “forgotten man algebra” is itself often forgotten. From Wikipedia:

 The Forgotten Man Algebra

As soon as A observes something which seems to him wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X, or, in better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X… What I want to do is to look up C. I want to show you what manner of man he is. I call him the Forgotten Man. perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct. he is the man who never is thought of…. I call him the forgotten man… He works, he votes, generally he prays—but he always pays…”


I re-watched two VERY funny movies over the weekend:

“What’s Up, Doc?”

“Captain Ron”

They are both HYSTERICAL…I never tire of them and never stop laughing!


Lately, I have been going kinda retro listening to music, and love that so much good stuff is out on YouTube. I cranked it a few decibels higher on Saturday:

“Ridin’ the Storm Out” REO Speedwagon, live in Kansas City 1985

Great stuff from one of America’s best bands. Gary Richrath was certainly one of the most underrated and overlooked guitarists and songwriters ever.

“Flirtin’ With Disaster” Molly Hatchet

Another great American band…you REALLY need to turn this up loud!


Did some cooking this weekend, too…

Pasta Alla Boscaiola (Italian Beef and Noodles)

This turned out fantastic. I modded the recipe a bit, and was careful to cook the pasta al dente…monstrously good!

And that’s that! Feels good to think and write about stuff other than some new political or cultural or academic or societal meltdown. No doubt, there will be plenty of them this week. Comments are always expected and welcome, so enjoy the open thread…



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