Donald Trump’s Potential Defense

The following blog is satire. For those of you who love Donald Trump please don’t read it, or if you do please don’t send me any comments about it because they might reveal that you 1. Don’t know what satire is, or 2. Might not have any sense of humor at all. If you don’t like that I might comment on political figures stop reading now. I don’t write this blog for you, I write it for myself.

Donald Trump’s Potential Defense
Donald Trump went on a twitter rage starting at 3:20 this morning and kept at it for two early morning hours. Questions have arisen about what he was doing up at 3:20. Since I have a husband who is often up at those crazy hours I don’t find that so strange. But the fact that Trump himself keeps tweeting about this Miss Universe story is crazy, since he is the one keeping it alive.
His team needs to come up with some answer for these rants in the middle of the night and I think that they should blame Ambien. The insomnia drug has been blamed for people doing all kind of crazy things in their sleep, like eat entire sheet cakes or drive the wrong way down the highway.  
If Trump could come out and say that something other than his own brain is to blame for the telling the American people to check out a sex tape he might win back some of the voters he lost in the debate.  
Perhaps he also could blame his own weight gain on Ambien. I notice that not one news outlet has mentioned that it is a little like the kettle calling the pot black for him to call women fat pigs. I am certainly not one to ever say someone is over weight since most of my life I have been one of those women Trump would say mean things about, but come on Trump, have you looked in the mirror lately? Perhaps you are too distracted by the orange color to notice your stomach.
Maybe Trump’s wife could put some parental controls on his Twitter account. But then what fun would we have when we woke up in the morning without the crazy rantings of a self absorbed guy? I guess we are lucky that he doesn’t drive himself round because he certainly has the potential to drive the wrong direction on the highway.

When Shape Matters

No, this is not a blog about Donald Trump and his sexist and sizest comments about beauty queens. Instead it is about my love of “riced” cauliflower. If you have never heard of “riced” anything you have probably never been to a weight watchers meeting or read a diet blog.  
Ricing is the act of cutting something, usually an innocent vegetable, into the size and shape of grains of rice. Here is the miracle of ricing cauliflower, it makes it taste like rice? Whaaat??? How can that be?  
Riced cauliflower is not processed in any other way than the shape. The ingredients in riced cauliflower are one, cauliflower. So making it taste like rice is no magic of adding hydrogenated poly something, or saturated anything. It is just a trick to your brain because it is white and looks like rice. Aha! Then it must taste like rice. And it does, more than it tastes like cauliflower.
No way, you say. Cauliflower has a fairly distinctive taste. But cutting it up into tiny little pieces somehow changes the taste. Other good news is it does not change the calories. Or in the case of weight watchers, the points. Cauliflower has 0 points and one cup of rice has six. And two cups of cauliflower has 0 points and two cups of rice as 12 points. And… you get the picture.
So I’m now running for Miss Riced Cauliflower Queen. Maybe I have to be Mrs. But I am certainly promoting riced cauliflower. Trader Joe’s has it in the freezer section and the fresh veggie coolers too.  
It couldn’t be easier to make. Pour it into a non-stick pan sprayed with vegetable oil spray and sauté it for a few minutes. You can add any spice you like because it is like a blank canvas, just like rice. I made a yummy shrimp and tomatoes dish that traditionally would be served over rice and the cauliflower was an even better bed. How do it do it? One will never know.  

Back To My Roots

In my twenties, when someone would ask me what I did for a living, my response would almost always be, “I drive and I talk.” This was the easiest explanation for my job as a mail opening and extracting machine sales engineer. Of course if the person asking was an attractive guy I might have answered that I was in “male opening and extracting.” That homophone always led to an interesting conversation.
Talking was my the skill that brought me my fortune. The acknowledgment of its power was even apparent to young children. When Carter was four or five and needed a parent to intercede on her behalf at school Russ volunteered. She rebuffed his offer with, “Daddy, I think Mommy is the better discusser.”
Somehow I got out of the talking business and got into the writing business. It was all quite by accident. But I do not write in a vacuum. My favorite part of my job is getting to interview people I feature in my column at Durham Magazine. The talking part of my job is where the real fun happens.
Last month my long time beloved editor, Andrea Griffith Cash left Durham Magazine to go work at the non-profit Chris Rosati started, Inspire Media. Andrea had been the host of the Magazine’s Podcast. Suddenly there was an opening in the talking position. As a professional discusser I am happy to announce that I am going to be taking the seat as the host of Durham Magazine’s Podcast.  
My big boss, Dan Shannon, asked me to come up with a name for the Podcast. “I want you to have your name in the title,” he told me. My immediate response was, “Dana does Durham.”  
“I can never unhear that,” Dan said, as I could practically her him hanging his head in unease over the phone. People much younger than me won’t necessarily understand why he felt that way.
So, I am still searching for a name and am open to suggestions. I am also interested in hearing what kind of guests or topics you might want to listen to. That is if you listen to podcasts.
The first three episodes are all tee’d up and ready to be recorded. The jury will be out on how well I do as a podcast host. If I have lost my talking skills I always have writing to fall back on. I still have my column at the Magazine and a few blog readers I have not offended.

Trump Is No Republican

OK, I watched every word of the debate.  There is so much to say and so many others have already started, but I am quite surprised by what has not been said. Trump began the debate talking about “keeping businesses in America.” It is a nice idea, but really that is not what government does.  
Government does not control business in America, we are a free market. Business decides for itself. Yes, trade deals and tariffs made by government affect business, but in the end each individual business makes an economic decision where to produce and sell goods. Trump himself made his shirts and ties in a China and Vietnam. It was a business decision. The workers there we cheeper than Americans.  Many businesses chose to make things here because it is good for their business to be made in America.
So how in the world does Donald Trump think he can “make” businesses make things in America? That is not what Presidents do. How is it that no one seems to bring that fact up? If he were a Democrat the Republicans would be quick to point that out. Perhaps the Democrats aren’t calling him out on it because they like the idea of government being able to tell business what they can and can not do.  
Trump is the opposite of a Republican. His “I promise I can do that,” whatever “that” is, sounds like bigger government. His call to replace the entire infrastructure of every bridge, highway, airport and hospital would make government “Huuuge.”
Here is the problem with Trump… I am not going to say the misogyny, bigotry, racism or ego. It’s that he is a builder businessman who has never had a boss. He wants to build things. He want to be in control and do exactly what he wants, like he always has. He is not used to compromising. Don’t let the title of his ghost written book, The Art of the Deal fool you. If he didn’t like a deal he walked away from it or refused to pay for it. That is not what the leader of America gets to do. You have to have finesse. Not a word I would use to describe the bull dozing Trump.
Plenty of people are sick of the way government has gone, but Trump is not the answer. It is the lack of politicians ability to compromise with each other that has gotten us in this state. Electing a President who is a bully is not going to fix the mess that the do nothing congress has gotten us into.  
Republicans tried to change the government with the Tea Party, but aren’t those the same guys who let the government shut down for two weeks with no real plan because they couldn’t or wouldn’t pass a budget? Change for change’s sake is not the answer. Have we learned nothing about electing radical newbies? They just don’t have the experience to know how to reach across the aisle and come up with solutions that work. Electing a man who has no understanding that being President means being a servant leader is too big a risk.  

The Moments Before Debate

It is just half an hour until the first Presidential debate between Hilary and Donald. I feel like this is the time of innocence. Come two hours from now something will be different in America, but what I don’t know.
The new casters are guessing the viewing audience will be bigger than the super bowl. But will it make much difference? This election is so polarizing. Trump supporters will certainly say he has won and Hilary’s will do the same. I am just so interested in who those undecided voters are and what they are looking for.
I watched an ad that was run during the Johnson/Goldwater campaign of a white man sitting In a chair talking. He started off saying he was a Republican, had been his whole life, as were his father and grandfather. He said he always voted republican, but can’t do it this time. He could not support a candidate who was supported by the Ku Klux Klan. He went on to say the party made a huge mistake during its convention when they chose Goldwater. He announced he would vote for Johnson.
You could run this exact ad and replace the names Goldwater with Trump and Johnson with Clinton and the dialogue would be true today. Don’t tell me history does not repeat itself.
I am ready to watch the history that will be made tonight. Please don’t let it me a train wreck.

Goodbye Charles Osgood

Twenty years ago when Charles Kuralt retired from CBS Sunday Morning I bawled like I was a baby. Watching CBS Sunday morning had long been my tradition. I did not care for CBS news on any other day, but somehow the long format of in depth story telling they did on Sunday morning was addictive.  CBS Sunday Morning is the reason I never could become an early church goer.  It kills me in the summer when our church goes to one ten AM service.  Thank goodness for DVR, but I still hate inturpting the viewing.
Russ quickly joined in my addiction and we would watch the show in bed every Sunday morning. Russ comforted me when Charles Kuralt left and said it all would be fine. Which it was. It took me a little while to warm up to Charles Osgood. It helped that his name was Charles.
The change in anchors did not alter my devotion to the show. I eventually came to love the new Charles as much as the old. Then today he broke my heart, just as the first did and decided at 83 it was time to retire from TV. Twenty years after I shed those tears for the Kuralt departure I found myself doing the same for Mr. Osgood.
Although he is still alive and will be broadcasting on the radio, that is not where I was used to having him. After a show all about Charles they announced that Jane Pauley would be taking over the seat. I have seen her fill in during the summer and I know she will do a good job. But I wonder if I will feel the same way about her as I have about the Charles’. Since people tend to keep this job for decades I think I have some time to grow fond of her. I wonder if I will cry when she retires too?

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

I know a lot of people say summer is a non-eating time for them because it is too hot. Summer is the opposite for me. Too hot is not a deterrent to eating. Vacations and ice cream do my summer diet in.  
Fall is a better healthy eating time. Getting into a regular regime helps, but the real bonus is I think of fall as the start of the soup half of the year. There is no better way to feel full than eating a nice bowl of hot soup. Sorry gazpacho, as much as I love you, you don’t curb my appetite.
Today I looked around the kitchen to find what foods needed to be used up and I found a small butternut squash and a half a can of lite coconut milk. Perfect for soup.
Now small is not my normal regiment when it comes to cooking anything so of course I added some other ingredients to make a pot of soup.

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into small chunks

3 shallots- peeled and chopped (you can use a yellow onion in place of shallots)

2 carrots- peeled and chopped

2 cups of chicken broth

2 T. Ground coriander 

2 T. fresh ginger- grated on the microplane

5 T. Light coconut milk

Zest and juice of half a lemon

Salt and pepper
Put the vegetables and the chicken stock in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook about fifteen minutes, until the vegetables are just soft.
Add the other ingredients and purée the mixture with a hand blender or in a blender.
Taste for salt and pepper.
This probably makes about four servings. Carter was shocked that I made such a small pot of homemade soup. She looked at it and said, “This is the right amount.” This coming from a person who does not like leftovers.