All posts by ricksmat

Dad, grandpa, long time geek, photographer, scout leader, teacher, writer.

Where is the “Trump national Alliance?”

Why Trump Isn’t Hitler

Many progressive voices fear that President Trump is moving America towards totalitarianism and/or fascism. Trump has brilliantly sold “America First” as a form of patriotism, while others say it’s really anti-American. Serious discussions may draw parallels between Trump and the history of Nazi Germany, even though it’s a conversation-stopper to call him the new Hitler. The hint is always there.

I don’t think Trump is a new Hitler for a fundamental reason: He doesn’t have an organized cadre of thugs to suppress dissenters. The early Nazi Party participated “hugely” in every counter-demonstration and politically-motivated street brawl it could find. That requires a giant organization Trump lacks.

Continue reading Where is the “Trump national Alliance?”

A Scout’s Required Belief in God

SunriseHere’s the bottom line: If the Scout participates in any type of religious organization, whether it speaks of God or not, there’s no problem.

If the Scout perceives some power, essence, being, or motive force in the universe that could deserve to be called ‘God,’ there should be no problem.

On the other hand, if the Scout or Scout’s family’s personal beliefs forbid referring to any entity as ‘God’ then the Scout could have trouble participating in BSA’s Scouting programs.

Here’s how it works.

Continue reading A Scout’s Required Belief in God

Does God scare kids from Scouting?

God commandsRecently, I spoke to a young adult who avoided attending a funeral. To quote, “The religious stuff creeped me out.”

This is a common reaction from people who haven’t confronted choices of faith, or haven’t resolved them.

Most religious institutions aren’t trying to creep people out. Shouldn’t we minimize or prevent such feelings?

Boy Scouts practically excludes youth brought up outside of religious groups. I don’t think the founders of Scouting wanted to exclude any boys from Boy Scouts. I think we can fix it.

Continue reading Does God scare kids from Scouting?

Dad at auction

ONR NewsletterCJ emailed me this link to a Bonham’s auction last summer. They sold a “complete set” of the Digital Computer Newsletter, a periodical Dad started in the late 1940s to share information about computers under construction or in operation. The issues range in date from 1949 through 1962.

This is one of the earliest computer technology periodicals out there. The auction brought over $4,000.

Unfortunately we didn’t keep a “complete set” like that ourselves. I have the first issue tucked away at the bank, and a few other gems. I don’t know what the other items are worth.

Continue reading Dad at auction

Torture Report

628x471I’ve downloaded the Senate’s report on the use of torture by the CIA. I’m reading through the summary. It’s about as bad as it could have been – misleading reports of effectiveness, poor oversight at all levels, and a level of abuse worse than many expected.

The terrorism guy from Clinton’s administration, Richard Clarke, as well as people from the FBI (and some I spoke to at security conferences) claimed that standard (non abusive) interrogation techniques were going to prove more effective than the torture. This report confirms.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe was once attributed to a friend Kelly who made wonderful chicken enchiladas for her catering business. We’ve always enjoyed Kelly’s recipe, and we uncovered an original version of Kelly’s recipe. We served these when Alex had his Eagle Court of Honor.

The recipe below is a lot easier than Kelly’s. It’s almost as good, but almost isn’t always what we want.

Each recipe makes one 8×13 pan.

You can, in theory, substitute hamburger and beef broth for the chicken, but we’ve never tried it.

Enchilada Filling

  • 1 cooked chicken
  • 2 packages of taco seasoning (follow instructions on package)
  • 8 oz. cottage cheese
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup salsa

Mix ingredients. Roll into flour tortillas to make 8-10. Place in 8×13 pan.

Sauce

  • Flour & butter
  • 1 can chicken bouillon
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese

Melt 6 tablespoons butter, add 6 tablespoons of flour, and make a paste.

Heat the bouillon and add to the paste.

Add sour cream and green chilies, Mix to make the sauce.

Pour the sauce over the tortillas in the pan. Sprinkle the 1 cup of cheddar cheese over the top.

Baking

Bake 1 hour at 350 F.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Garnish with lettuce, tomato, and sour cream.

Bourbon Yams

Ingredients:

5 large yams
Cointreau or Triple Sec 1/3 cup
Butter 6 T.
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. bourbon
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/ tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. clove
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tso ground white pepper

Brush yams with vegetable oil. Bake for 30 minutes at 450 degrees.

Cool, peel and cut them into 3/4 inch slices.

Heat other ingredients in a sauce pan.

Layer yams with sauce.

Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees covered.

Take the cover off. Mix gently and put 2 last T butter on top.

Bake 20 minutes more uncovered

Note: This recipe is from the Spinelli/ Moore’s favorite cajun cookbook. They brought this
for Thanksgiving one year and its become a tradition in our home ever since.