May 13, 2009

Why Tweet?


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All of us here at Dakota have a pathological resistance to new technology, since it generally requires reading a manual. Unlike Oprah, we have a limited technical staff to explain things to us, and have therefore not signed up for Twitter. Since our life is devoid of iphones and blackberries of any kind, we cannot imagine where a tweet would find us. We were gratified to read about twitter quitters and thus imagined that we could skip the phenomenon altogether.

However, when we read the coverage of the G-20 Summit in the New Yorker from Fox News senior Twitter correspondent, and Doonesbury regular, Roland Hedley we could see there were possibilities in the 140 like " Baghdad. Awakened by huge blast in hotel lobby. Suicide bomber blows up complimentary breakfast buffet. Off to find bagel. 7:15 A.M. Apr 8th"

Gary Trudeau pumps them out at Roland Hedley's Twitter feed - some sample tweets from Afghanistan follow:

Flying into Kabul, wondering what I used to do with the two hours a day I now spend on Twitter. Probably just wasted them.5:11 PM Apr 22nd from w

Calling Curry out. This failed narco-state not big enough story for the both of us, and I happen to own it.5:04 PM Apr 22nd from web

Returning Kabul in Army Blackhawk to reset and prepare for tweet death-match w. archrival @AnnCurry.4:57 PM Apr 22nd from web

Unzipping in poppy field, think about Dorothy, teaching generation to view opium as sleep aid. How can Hollywood sleep @ nite?12:45 PM Apr 21st from web

CPT asks me to leave. I have to pee anyway.12:39 PM Apr 21st from web

Talks stall. I suggest warlords host Poppy Parade, putting Talibs to work on floats, giving them stake in new Afghanistan.12:38 PM Apr 21st from web

# Tuff negotiations. Pashtuns offer to stop glaring at U.S. patrols, Captain offers to not bomb new school.12:36 PM Apr 21st from web

Tempers cool, confab reboots. Mongoose removed, contrite warlords send out for Chinese. CPT regains face, orders school built.12:34 PM Apr 21st from web

CPT eats Lord of Flies entree, asks if traditional dish. Elder laffs, sez got idea from "Survivor". CPT goes outside to call in air strike.8:30 AM Apr 20th from web

False alarm. Mongoose is lunch. Whew.8:31 AM Apr 19th from web

Nervous U.S. Captain makes offer. Wizened elder spits, tosses headless mongoose corpse on table. This can't be good.8:27 AM Apr 19th from web

Tense meeting between tribal types and US Army CPT in local opium storage shed. I am fly on wall, one of about 30,000.8:22 AM Apr 19th from web

Tell farmer about my Samuel L. Jackson chia pet. Fond memories of little green Afro in kitchen window. Rat on, rat on!8:07 AM Apr 18th from web

Suggest poppy farmer grow chia instead, export seeds for chia pets. Blank stare. These people don't want to be helped.8:06 AM Apr 18th from web

Suggest poppy farmer grow chia instead, export seeds for chia pets. Blank stare. These people don't want to be helped.8:06 AM Apr 18th from web

Opium so cheap Buz hands me brick as gift. Decline knowing Air India charges for extra weight. Also illegal, wrong.2:55 PM Apr 17th from web

Drug lord regular guy, does interview in kitchen near stack of laundry. Later, stack of laundry moves; it's his wife! LOL5:57 AM Apr 17th from web

Greeted at Helmand LZ by Buz Kashi, local Pushtan boss. Tells me not to call him "warlord", prefers "druglord".5:23 AM Apr 17th from web

Comical stalemate over who should eat first. Meanwhile, 30,000 flies living large.8:35 AM Apr 19th from web

And while we're on the subject of exotic cuisine, Maureen Evans, Twitter founder Blaine Cook's main squeeze, has developed the twitter recipe into an art form of sorts. From Lawrence Downes' New York Times review:

... it’s fun to decode and cook Ms. Evans’s tweets. They’re a pleasure to look at — strangely absorbing, like bonsai or Fabergé eggs. And (not to spoil the surprise) they work.

I tried a bunch of them the other day. I set a rule for myself: the tweet was sacred text; no world existed beyond it. All I knew I would have to discern from the tweet. To make it harder, I picked two international recipes whose names I did not recognize. They conjured no associations; results would be a surprise.

Lahmacun: Turkish. Knead T yeast/t sug&salt/1.5c h2o/2c flour; rise h. Roll/top3 w 2c feta&greens/egg/4T butter; 15m@450F/230C. Srv w lemon.

Making the dough was easy enough, but “Roll/top3” had me at a loss. The dough was wet and sticky and impossible to handle. I flopped it into a rimmed cookie sheet and smushed it into the best rectangle I could, roughly the shape of Iowa. I put the feta in a bowl with chopped fresh spinach as “greens.” With the egg and butter (melted, I figured), it made a nice paste that I spread over the dough like pizza topping. No way was this going to be a jellyroll, so I baked it like that.

I immediately Googled “lahmacun” — and found “Turkish pizza,” looking amazingly like what I’d just made. It was deliciously salty and rich. I still don’t get “Roll/top3,” but who cares?

Lots more of Ms. Evans' recipes can be found at her twitter cookbook if you're ready to take the challenge.

Maybe if we learned to tweet here at Dakota , our entries wouldn't be so sparce.

Photo note: Tweeter sitting on the fence - a metaphorophoto, of course

Posted by Dakota at 07:55 PM

May 06, 2009

Our Lot


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Okey dokey all of us here at Dakota will not look back. We will not dwell on the past, pay any attention to torturers, criminal activity in congress, those silly Israeli spy/ lobbyists or the Wall Street crooks enabled by our own Timmy Geitner.

Let us look to the future. The future of the Department of Transportation will be an excellent starting point Perhaps, dear reader, you are unfamiliar with Obama's nominee who is as visionary as he is competent. A fellow who will face no resistance in his confirmation hearings. Introducing Obama's choice, for Secretary of Transportation Roy La Hood as interviewed by The New York Times:

Roy LaHood, the secretary of transportation, is not one to toot his own horn over how much he knows about planes, trains and automobile bailouts. On the contrary. ....

“I don’t think they picked me because they thought I’d be that great a transportation person,” Mr. LaHood says with refreshing indifference as to how this admission might play if, say, he were ever to bungle a bridge collapse. But one of the astonishing things about Mr. LaHood, 63, is how limited his transportation résumé is, how little excitement he exudes on the subject (other than about high-speed rail) and how little he seems to care who knows it. So why exactly did President Obama pick this former seven-term Republican congressman from Illinois to oversee everything that moves?.....

Mr. LaHood posits a theory. “They picked me because of the bipartisan thing,” he explained, “and the Congressional thing, and the friendship thing.”.....

During his 14 years in the House, Mr. LaHood would alternately toe the Republican line (presiding over President Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings) and buck it (opposing former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America). In the White House, Mr. Chu describes Mr. LaHood, a former junior high school social studies teacher, as a source of “fatherly advice” for Washington newcomers like himself.....

When asked if he could foresee disagreeing with the administration on anything, Mr. LaHood shrugged, and eventually shook his head. “I’ve never been passionate about any particular issue,” he said. “I’m not going to sit around agonizing. The answer is, probably not.”

What a comfort.

Photo note: low emission transportation, the only kind you're gonna see

Posted by Dakota at 07:38 AM | TrackBack