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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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WWW Pull On Superman's Cape
Superman's product of the century (so far):

March 24, 2008
There were Peep Wars...
Filed in: Art, ok maybe that's too strong a word, Current Affairs, Good eats

So there were Peep Wars at the Easter dinner. I had no idea.

I reminded the proprieter that Michael Vick was arrrested and drummed from the NFL for conduct in kind.

Acknowledging this, they began taking wagers.

I did not eat any vanquished or victors.

Pulled by Emcee on March 24, 2008 at 05:28 PM
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February 07, 2008
Pita the Great - Yep, that's right...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Good eats, Japan

I suppose that it's possible for any of us to think a certain way about a place - kind of get stuck in it. I recently realized that's what I've done relative to Tokyo and food. Because, noodle, sushi, and tempura are so ubiquitous it's easy - at least it has been for me - to think that it's all there is. Now, I love the noodle, sushi, and tempura - don't get me wrong. I just thought it'd be fun to check out some, well, really different kinds of food in Tokyo.

Here's one (and Scott, I think you'd love it):


It's a little hole-in-the-wall place near Tamaike Sanno station (Ginza Line and other subways here - central Tokyo area) - somewhat at the base of the ATT (that's not Ma-Bell) twin towers in Akasaka - I had to walk around to towers to see it - kind of up on the second level from the street.

...Continue reading "Pita the Great - Yep, that's right..."

Pulled by Emcee on February 7, 2008 at 05:02 AM
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December 06, 2005
So these should probably be illegal
Filed in: Current Affairs, Good eats


Whatever you do, please do not send me any of these. I will eat them and get arrested.

Pulled by Emcee on December 6, 2005 at 11:33 PM
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December 01, 2005
Have you ever had Fugu?
Filed in: Current Affairs, Good eats, Japan

Dear Mrs. Hapke offered thoughts on expanding at table yesterday and in the ensuing comments she asked me whether I had ever eaten fugu - the Takifugu pufferfish or blowfish - in Japanese: 鰒 - a sought after delicacy in Japan.


I told my affirmative story there - and I thought later that I might have had pictures. I found them - they were taken with my Japan cell phone so admittedly are not of very good quality, but they do offer proof of my assertions.

See, most Japanese people will say that they absolutley do not eat fugu liver because it is the organ in which most of the tetrodotoxin poison resides. But, in Oita, on Kyushu island, it is all part of the multi-course dinner...

...Continue reading "Have you ever had Fugu?"

Pulled by Emcee on December 1, 2005 at 09:35 AM
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November 06, 2005
Coprinus Comatus
Filed in: Current Affairs, Good eats, Photography

I spent a little time driving through some Washington state backroads this weekend.

Along a particular road I noticed some flora that I had never seen before...


...Continue reading "Coprinus Comatus"

Pulled by Emcee on November 6, 2005 at 11:35 PM
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November 01, 2005
What with all the seeds...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Good eats

Tried this recipe from Scott's place before I hit the road. I put two pumpkins worth of seeds in a one gallon plastic bag - added enough Tibvrtini olive oil, and premium asian sesame oil to coat, a few shakes of some strong Louisiana worchester sauce, and a good sprinkling of Scott's incredible Survival Spicetm. Shook vigorously to evenly coat. After an experimental batch, I cooked them up at 300 degrees for about 50 minutes, stirring them in the baking pan from time to time - I shook a bit more Survival Spice to taste during the process (what a great kick!). Seems like the idea is to get them to dry out and get good and crunchy before they burn up. I think it'd be fun to try balsamic vinegar as well with perhaps some marinate time just to see how much more of the bouqet of flavors could be absorbed.


These are so good that I want to buy more pumpkins - just to get the seeds. Handful after handful is the way these things go - and they gotta be healthy with lots of fiber and life germ goin' on.

What happens to all those pumpkin seeds anyway?

Pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin seeds.
Golden God-send.
Best thing since the snack chip.
Until now, mostly enjoyed,
by the wide mouth of the ever-hungry disposal.
No more!

Pulled by Emcee on November 1, 2005 at 03:23 AM
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October 28, 2005
What is the most widely eaten fruit in the world?
Filed in: Current Affairs, Good eats, Japan

If you said "apple" you'd be incorrect (I know, I know, I'm a Washington stater and I do love the apples) ...

...Continue reading "What is the most widely eaten fruit in the world?"

Pulled by Emcee on October 28, 2005 at 11:12 AM
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September 22, 2005
The Garden and Lunch at Happo-En
Filed in: Current Affairs, Good eats, Japan, Photography

Well, my first day in Japan this trip brought an unexpected surprise.

As I've continued to work with my venture partner over here, it seems that they attempt to outdo themselves each time they take me out to lunch. Today was no exception.

Today, we went from Ginza to the garden (and restaurant) at Happo-En.

As recently as 1951 (after having been known as a garden area since the Edo period), this garden measured 44 square miles! It's now just only a few acres - but it is spectacular. Most people go there these days for the exquisite food.


Many people know that there is a certain Japanese aesthetic focused on order and beauty. This place embodies that - and I could sense it from the moment that the cab drove through the entrance...

(Warning: I think it's 17 more pictures will load if you expand the post...)

...Continue reading "The Garden and Lunch at Happo-En"

Pulled by Emcee on September 22, 2005 at 09:54 AM
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September 18, 2005
There ain't no shrimp in this grilled gumbo!
Filed in: Current Affairs, Good eats, Photography

But, there's almost everything else!

My assignment for 'interpreted dish' at the current Pragmatic Chef contest is Scott's own "Gumbo with chicken, sausage, and shrimp". Wait! I'm supposed to interpret the master? Shudder the thought!

Oh well, might as well give it a try. Scott's such a great guy that he probably won't make too much fun of me. Let's get started shall we?


I made one significant substitution to the recipe at The Pragmatic Chef (TPC). I can't eat shrimp so instead I'll use one pound of cooked crawfish (Did you know that we have fresh wild crawfish as a staple fisheries crop in the Northwest? Well, now you do.), and a half-pound of fresh cooked Dungeness Crab (our indigenous crab species in the Northwest)...

...Continue reading "There ain't no shrimp in this grilled gumbo!"

Pulled by Emcee on September 18, 2005 at 11:31 PM
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September 11, 2005
Cajun Salmon and Fixin's...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Good eats

My friend Scott at the Pragmatic Chef has been hosting a recipe contest and he's decided to allow submissions through the weekend. I'll post mine here and send it to him for posting over at his blog as well.

To honor back home Louisiana cookin', I offer grilled Northwest salmon - with a twist.

...Continue reading "Cajun Salmon and Fixin's..."

Pulled by Emcee on September 11, 2005 at 01:30 PM
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