Mossy Character writes: The company you keep.
For the fifth consecutive year, a Mexican city is the most violent in the world. In 2021, the most violent Mexican city in the world was Zamora, in the state of Michoacán. The rate of 196.63 homicides per 100 thousand inhabitants of this city is the second highest recorded since this ranking was made, only surpassed by the rate of Juárez of 229.06 homicides per 100 thousand inhabitants in 2010.... In 2021, the eight most violent cities in the world were all Mexican: Zamora, Ciudad Obregón, Zacatecas, Tijuana, Celaya, Juárez, Ensenada and Uruapan. Mexico is the country with the highest number of violent cities: 18 out of 50.
ugh, that is very depressing.
Mexico has been the world epicenter of urban homicidal violence for three years now. It is not a coincidence, but the result of the policy of "hugs, not bullets", practiced by the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a policy that consists of leaving criminal groups almost absolute freedom to assassinate, disappear people, extort and steal.
There are 7 US cities in the top 50, with St. Louis leading at #9.
Nathan Williams writes: Hi! I'm going to be in Pittsburgh for the first time next week, for a conference, and would be interested in meeting up with any of our locals there (ideally, Wednesday the 22nd). Thanks!
Heebie's take: Plan away!
Apparently 28% of homes in Texas were bought by investors this past year, which is way more than any other state. The national average is 13%.
It's just kind of infuriating, because they easily outcompete local buyers, and they just skim money out of a town more than local landlords do. There's already a tendency to blame renters for the sins of the landlords, and use that as justification for terrible zoning practices and protective measures for home-owners, and out-of-state landlords are way less responsive than local landlords.
I suppose it's just a symptom of having insufficient housing - they're not actually decreasing the housing supply in general, just for people who want to buy homes. And eventually they'll dump their housing stock and move on to the next investment trend?
(Sorry for the provincial post.)
I liked this article, Confessions Of A Perpetually Single Woman. (She's in her 30s.)
I wasn't raised to blame people for their problems, so it wasn't a big thing I had to unlearn. But I did have to unlearn the idea that everything will fit into some larger explanation or pattern, when it comes to why shitty things happen to people. 'Bad luck' is a super powerful force and it's really uncomfortable to sit with.
(Ok, ok, there is a partial explanation which the author might agree with - she seems unwilling to make the sort of accommodations that she might later regret. I don't think she was ever willing to fake being someone she's not in order to get into a relationship, and then go through the process of discovering that that is unsustainable. She's holding out for a great relationship, which is different than just looking for any relationship.)
Bostoniangirl writes: After moving into a house this winter, Tim and I are trying to be more organized and intentional about grocery shopping and meal planning. Our goal is to cut our grocery budget, minimize the number of car trips we take, and make weeknights less stressful. We have more storage space, and a little more room in our kitchen. In the new house, we finally opened up the 11-cup Cuisinart we got as a wedding gift. However, we have less counter space than we did, so some appliances, like the toaster, are put on shelves when not in use. We were doing meal kits and found them to be super helpful in 2020 when the stores were frequently out of stock and we really wanted to avoid the stores, but they've gotten much more expensive and the quality has gone down. We recently bought a stand-alone freezer for our basement, and I'm hoping to be able to do some batch cooking and freeze individual portions, both to make weeknights less stressful and to avoid waste. I used to make a lot of chili and get sick of eating the leftovers for 2-3 days in one week and wind up throwing some away. I also wound up throwing out half a can of tomato paste routinely or throwing out wine I bought for cooking. I'm still working from home 3-4 days a week, but I have to be out in the late afternoon a few days a week and don't get back until 7pm on those days.
I'm looking for both recipe suggestions and ideas about how to combine dishes to make a whole meal. My mind tends to go blank or in a million directions when I think about these things, so I'd appreciate some help from the collective unfogged hive mind. Here's some information on what our resources are.
Our new town's grocery stores aren't the cheapest, so we usually drive about 30 minutes away to the Wegmans (or Tim stops there on his way home), and there's a Market Basket about 15 minutes away with good prices. Some of their stuff is good, some is gross.
There's an expensive "farm stand" store (most of their stuff doesn't come from the local farm) which has *some* reasonably priced vegetables and some very expensive stuff
We have a Trader Joe's which is a 7-minute drive away
Slaughterhouse with a retail butcher (a 7th-generation family business) about 30 minutes away that I want to try. They seem to have very reasonable meat and poultry prices. I was thinking that I could make a trip there every couple of months and freeze stuff, but I would need to be a better planner than I am now. Do people who are good at this have books or apps that they use?
We have a fair amount of shade but I could probably grow some herbs on my deck if there were particular
We have a fair amount of shade but I could probably grow some herbs on my deck if there were particular ones that were low maintenance and worth keeping on hand. I bought some basil in a pot at the store and put it out after using what I needed and it seems to be growing some.
Gadgets and Equipment we've had for a while:
11-cup Cuisinart (but did not use)
Vitamix Blender w/ plastic and metal jars
Sous Vide Immersion Circulator
Gadgets/Equipment purchased within the last 6 months
Stand alone 14 cubic/ft upright freezer
Souper Cubes for freezing 2-cup, 1 cup, quarter or half-cup cup and 1-2 tablespoon servings*
*My understanding is that soups and other liquidy things can be vacuum sealed if you freeze them first. For example, I was thinking of making a large quantity of
Things I already use the Instant Pot For:
Make stock with bones from rotisserie chicken
Easy hard-boiled eggs
"Slow cooker" function to combine soak/cook beans for 7-12 hours depending on sturdiness.
Here were some of my ideas for weeknight meals
*Buy a large quantity of pork chops - vacuum seal and freeze. Sous vide on a weekend day, then finish in a hot pan or on the grill. Add some kind of pan sauce.
*Carrots - blanche and then seal in a bag with butter and brown sugar. Sous vide on the weekend and then saute quickly before serving.
* ? Sous vide potatoes then quickly roast on a weeknight?
*Make up mashed potatoes, mashed butternut squash, mashed rutabaga and freeze in 1-cup servings
*Slow cooker coq au vin (leftovers can be frozen)
*Slow cooker chicken tagine
*Slow Cooker short ribs
Asparagus steams well in wet paper towels in the microwave and takes only 5 minutes
Things I would like suggestions for
*Crock pot, fruit-based desserts and other warm weather meals
*Bean and lentil dishes. I'd like to try more beans since they are fairly inexpensive, nutritious and better for the planet.
*Lentil salads and dishes that use flavors that are not Indian or South Asian. Tim doesn't often want Indian food (other than Samosas) though he likes Mediterranean and Moroccan/North African flavors. He loves to add Zataar to tuna salad, for example.
*If anyone has ideas for Spanish-style recipes with some meat flavoring, those would be appreciated. What do you pair them with?
*Sous Vide suggestions
*Pan sauces suggestions or sauces I can make on the weekend and freeze. I like fruit-based sauces.
*Lunches - I've been buying lunch in the cafeteria or from a food truck on the 1-2 days I go to work sites, because I avoid the break rooms and eat outside or in my car, but I want to be more economical at home.
*Breakfast - I used to do smoothies with frozen bananas. Would it be worth making up frittatas in advance and freezing them?
I have mixed feelings about this Sharon Says So person. She's an Instagram person with 900K followers, mostly women, who explains politics in a way that is focused on humanizing both sides and mixes it up with sunny, upbeat memes. She's very careful not to tip her hand as to her actual political affiliation.
Here's my guess: it feels like a safe space to middle aged and older women who play the role of peace-keeper in mixed-politics families. It doesn't force them to pick sides, but helps them understand what context to put the screaming match between their husband and college kids in.
Is that good? It's obviously enormously good compared to whatever Republicans are doing. It's also allowing centrist women to continue to humor QAnon, toxic men in their life. I guess it's educational, but not activist. It reminds me a little of Heather Cox Richardson, maybe, who turned out to be more libertarian than I would have liked, IIRC.
On the other hand, wasn't there a special place in hell reserved for those who maintain neutrality when the Supreme Court is trying to impose its Fundie Christian Hellscape worldview? Centrists just seem so much more accessible than lunatics, and thus more exasperating.