March 20, 2017: Cold Bike Ride; Signs of Spring; Kid Soccer; Brussels Sprouts; Androp’s Famous Sauce; Forming Society

March 20, 2017: Cold Bike Ride; Signs of Spring; Kid Soccer; Brussels Sprouts; Androp’s Famous Sauce; Forming Society

Slide3
Frost-nipped cheeks resulted from cold riding.  Henbit (top) and a cave with an Eastern Phoebe (bottom) were signs of spring.

Androp ventured on a bike ride on a bright, sunny morning with the temperature at 44 F and a 12 mph wind.  Feet went numb and cheeks felt mild frost bike.  Pedaling was slow.  Hint: bright sunshine will not very much counteract the impact of cold air temperatures.

Signs of spring: Western Chorus Frogs were singing, despite the cold, from a shallow pond along the bike trail.

Slide1
Western Chorus frogs make a big sound for a small animal.  Eastern Phoebe’s arrive early in the spring.  Henbit (a mint) is among the first annuals to bloom in abundance.

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) was abundant in last year’s soybean fields.  And an Eastern Phoebe was seen and heard defending a nesting site in the mouth of a cave.

In culinary notes, brussels sprouts and chicken quarters were cooked on the gas grill for one meal.  The sprouts were almost good. Almost.  Steak, potatoes, baked pears, corn on the cob, and steamed asparagus were made for Sunday.  Androp’s famous white sauce was made to couple with asparagus:

Slide4
These brussels sprouts were made edible by halving, buttering, and cooking on the grill.  The chicken was delicious.

-1/3rd cup each of Greek yogurt and mayonnaise,

-one tsp each of dill and paprika,

-two tsp of lemon juice,

-1/4th tsp salt

This simple white sauce goes well with fish, asparagus, and really, pretty much anything.  It is so often requested that it is called “Androp’s famous sauce” around the house.

The youngest grandchild was taken to “organized” soccer practice.  This is how that goes, with 2 and 3 year old kids:

Slide5
Young children do not much benefit from coaching.  Squashing the ball (left) and scoring (right).

Coach, “This class is adult-help.”

Adults, to selves “Oh.  Holy Crap. Buck up.  Strap in.”

Coach, “Take your little rings.  Sit in your rings.”

Team, Pick up rings, toss, use as hoola hoop, hit other kids in head.

Coach, “Where are you ears?  Touch your listening ears.”

Team, No Reaction. Continue to play with ring.

Coach, “Where are your soccer feet? Touch your soccer feet.”

Team, No Reaction.  Continue to play with ring.  Fidget.  Struggle against adults who are frantically restraining movement.

Androp, to self, “Geezus. This is senseless.  These kids do not know the coach exists on earth.  Just let them run……Please…. open revolt is possible…Just. Let. Them. Run!”

Mercifully, the Coach said,  “Okay. Run (a “toward something” was stated by Coach, but that part was inconsequential).”  This was the highlight of practice for every child.

Finally, Androp has pondered how humans, a species of small troupe primate, have been able to form societies with millions of members.  Foremost is the recognition that humans  are smart buggers: they can learn, and can pass on knowledge, so they have been able to find ways to ensure the growth of a large, essentially pan-earth population (7 billion, and counting).  Stream of thought includes:

Slide6
Among humans, in-groups and out-groups can be defined by color.  Not so much for sheep, apparently.
  1. Cooperation at some level is an advantage; the individual needs the troupe
  2. Selfishness and the attainment of high social status may have been an evolutionary advantage at times: the sultan/king has a lot of off-spring out of that harem/stable of concubines. Never mind Joseph Smith and Brigham Young: light weights.
  3. Populations of both in-groups and out-groups have increased: small troupes cannot compete in a pastoral, agricultural, or industrial age.
  4. Large in-groups have to maintain internal order or break apart, leaving themselves susceptible to attack by larger out-groups. This is manifest in the establishment of governments and institutions.
  5. He who must not be named in the USA has explicitly re-defined a limited in-group (that does not include all humans in the USA) and made them frightened of both internal (other USA citizens) and external out-groups. This will tend to destabilize and fragment the original in-group (the USA as a whole).

 

 

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