Saturday, May 4, 2013

Avoidance




This picture showed up on Facebook today, linked to an article about heavy metal cleansing foods. Well, an article about foods, clays and algaes.

I signed up for Facebook during the Occupy upsurge because I'd heard a lot of that took place on Facebook, that they communicated that way and it was spreading that way, and I wanted to follow along and keep abreast. Facebook is a vast universe with millions of subscribers worldwide and I see just a part of it, mostly people of like mind as I. People post things about politics and activism but once in awhile someone will post something like this picture, which caught my attention because of the onion. My mother always encouraged me to eat onions. She had a tub of big sweet onions under the pie safe and sometimes she'd make herself an onion sandwich. Then a couple years ago I came across something that said onions have something in them that your blood needs to do something important with.

The cilantro in the picture reminded me of a place up her near where I live on the west side called Taco Tote, a Mexican restaurant in the plaza that contains the (union) Smith's Supermarket at Coors and Central, that I ate at for the first time last weekend. It's one of those places where you order at a counter and they call you up when it's ready. There's a big 'fixins' bar with cilantro, all kinds of salsas and sauces, chopped lettuce and sour cream and so on, and chopped raw onions. I had some pretty delicious shrimp tacos, but it was almost closing time and the fixins' bar was out of cilantro.

At places like that, especially where the menu is in Spanish, I often resort to what I know, which is what I did then and later in the weekend when I ate at another pretty nice place up here on the west side, Marisco's Altimar, on Coors just south of I-40. It's a regular sit down restaurant with table service and it's a pretty nice place by my standards. A new jeans, new shirt, polish the boots and take a shower first place.

It was somewhat crowded and they sat me at a table so that I couldn't sit facing the wall and pretend like I was alone, and when the waitress came over I said I was looking for shrimp and pretended to be looking at the menu. She, being gracious, pretended to recommend the shrimp fajitas, which I had seen on the menu and passed over because it contained cooked onions. I said I'd go along with it if they could leave out the onions and she said they could and they did.

The fajitas came with a little mini fixins bar on a plate -- lettuce and onions and so forth, and guacamole. You get the little plate of tortillas wrapped in paper if you want to eat the fajita like a taco. The shrimp had been cooked in a sauce, a kind of sweet and spicy sauce, the ingredients of which I couldn't identify but which was very delicious, along with some tomatoes and some kind of sweet red peppers. Between the shrimp and the peppers and the sauce and the fixins', their flavors combined in a strange and mysterious way to impart a wonderful flavor that was not the flavor of the individual ingredients combined, but a new and different flavor. It's a phenomena you rarely encounter and it makes the eating not only very pleasurable but fun. Also, the service there, in my two visits anyway, has been very good.

Democratic Update

I often harshly criticize members of our New Mexico Democratic delegation to the federal government for not doing more to support causes that are important, to me and to, I think, the working class. Part of my motivation for this criticism is my anger, of course, and part of it is to try and influence what they do. That's how it works in a democracy or is supposed to.

I'm sure our Democratic federal elected officials are all fine human beings, even if they do go out and murder an elk once in awhile, but in my mind they need to use their offices to better advantage, and one of the most important and most obvious ways to do this is to take advantage of their access to the media to influence public debate and raise public consciousness, you know, the way Republicans do. I often repeat that I knew who Pete Domenici, our late Republican senator, was years before I moved to New Mexico because during the years conservatism, in the form of Reaganomics or Neoliberalism was taking over the country he was on TV all the time making the case for that point of view, while his counterpart, Jeff Bingaman, left Washington after 30 years an unknown and without having changed a thing.

With all the issues facing us -- declining wages, declining living standards, vast and ever widening disparities in wealth and income which means the wealth our labor is creating is going more and more to people who don't create it, with the US government spreading death and destruction all over the world in the name of US Capitalism, with a president in office who is trying to cut Social Security and Medicare -- I was enthralled this week to see that one of our New Mexico Democratic delegation has finally done something. Senator Tom Udall has gotten a bill passed that cracks down on giving drugs to race horses.


Well,

Time to get something done, which I've been avoiding by reading and posting things on the internet. I have to get an oil change and grease job on the truck and there's still a nagging problem I hope to get fixed -- the air compressor runs all the time. The air compressor on a diesel runs off the engine like the alternator does and powers various systems that vacuum powers on a car, and powers the air brakes. It's supposed to fill the air tanks to 120 pounds and then shut itself off until the air pressure goes down to around 90 -- from using the air brakes, is the main thing -- but it just keeps running all the time. There's a valve on the air dryer that lets out the extra pressure, but it's wearing out the air compressor, I'm afraid.

I have not come across what I'd consider to be a good diesel mechanic yet, even at the International dealer here. No one I've been to -- dealer, truck stop, private mechanic -- seems able to actually diagnose a problem. Rather, the modern diesel engine being a very complex thing with computers and all kinds of systems and multi stage processes going on all the time, they know that particular problems can be caused by one of a number of things, and they start replacing those things until they replace the right one, which as you can imagine can get to be very time consuming, and costly.

I need to have the truck every night, too, so I can't just drop it off and leave it. There's scheduling and negotiating, and being vigilant so that, as happened at the International dealer despite promses from the head of maintenance, they don't take it all apart on one shift and then not do anything to it on the next.






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