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Falafel is a good name for an elf - Tactical Ninja

May. 15th, 2012

09:57 am - Falafel is a good name for an elf

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So I've been experimenting with conscious sleeping. You see, I have 2 things that happen while I sleep that I want to change. One is scrunching up my neck into impossible positions so that I can more easily chase Dr Wheel (and his warmth) around the bed - this has led to ongoing daytime neck pain. The other is overheating and lying in a puddle of sweat. I figure that if I can make myself wake up at a given time just by thinking about it as I go to sleep, I should also be able to wake up when I scrunch my neck and straighten it out, and also when I start to get too hot. If I'm awake I can shove the covers off and save changing the sheets every 5 minutes, right?

So far it seems to be working. I've been waking up 3-4 times a night to either cool off or straighten my neck, and am feeling far more refreshed than I usually do despite this. I guess not being a soggy pretzel for half the night is a better sleep plan, eh?

You needed to know that. Anyway, have a domestic goddess post:


I've been realising lately that a food processor would probably be a good plan these days. We make enough choppy-uppy stuff that it'd be useful, and the blender I inherited from Mum is awesome for.. blending. And only blending. It's utter crap at turning a handful of basil and pine nuts into pesto, and doing it with my tiny pestle and mortar? Um, no. So I bought one. The first thing I did with it was turn some oats into Crunchy-As Oat Flour because I forgot to mention yesterday that wheat products are also out on this detox thing. So is sugar, but that's a bit easier eh? Anyway, here's the new whizzer, full of all sorts of goodies:



Based on my comprehensive falafel research, it appears that as long as you have a few basic ingredients (chick peas, cumin, onion and some sort of flour), falafel is one of those things you can bung just about anything into. This one has a can of Four Bean Mix, some lemon (juice and zest), sumac (to replace the coriander because BLEH BLEH BLEH EW CORIANDER), a handful of sunflower seeds, garlic, can't remember what else, and also, 2 tbsp of chia seeds. I used these because everything I read said that the main problem with falafels is that they fall apart, and the recipe called for an egg to hold it together, which is also out. But chia seeds exude this sticky goop when they get wet, and I figured that would work like glue. Clever, me. Here's what it looked like with the fresh parsley and mint in:



Note in the background the bowl with the spoon sticking straight up? That's our wraps-to-be, also made from oat flour, water, olive oil and a pinch of salt. It said to let it sit for 30 minutes. That spoon stayed upright the whole time. *cough*

These falafels were baked because I fear the falling-apart thing and if you're detoxing, then frying stuff seems a little arse-backwards health-wise.



Check out my shiny oven! It's shiny! Because I'm anal like that, and because it was so gross when I moved in that I swore I'd wipe it out once a fortnight so I never have to look at anything like that ever again.

Anyway, while they were doing their thing, I chopped up some vegies, the idea being that we could have wraps, and use vegies and falafels at will inside the wraps and eat them like kebabs and it'd be all very posh.



However, the wraps had other ideas. I've never managed to get wraps that are suitably flexible but usually they are at least bendy. These ones, not so much. Now, I did look up an oat-specific recipe for these, but on cooking they developed the texture of soft biscuits and while not crumbling to dust, there was no way they were wrapping anything. So instead they became the base of dinner:



Please note the non-disintegrating falafels. The wraps, on the other hand... Hmm. I persisted and tried to eat the stuff like sandwiches with them but mostly ended up spilling food down my front. The falafels, however, were Awesome. And Virtuous. And altogether worthwhile for the effort put in. I think if I were to do this again I'd use more green vegies - it would just work better aesthetically without quite so much red/orange on the plate I reckon. But overall, a worthwhile experiment. Next stop, nessaneko's stuffed pasta recipe.


Oddly, when I told Dr Wheel he now had to refer to me as Master of Falafel, he laughed. No sense of occasion, that man.

Have a thing: "A strange new epidemic has broken out. It is most prevalent among former law enforcement officials and former political decision makers. The most vulnerable are those who have previously made a significant contribution to the global war on drugs. Symptoms of the disease are remorse, turning against conventional beliefs, radical improvement of cognitive functions and a strong incentive to promote drug policy reform." Apparently the former Polish president is the latest victim.

*ahem*

And again I ask, why? Why do the authorities find it so important to prevent us from using (specific) drugs? What exactly do they stand to gain by ensuring we abstain? And how is that gain worth the life and money that the attempt to stop us has cost? I don't understand. Why?

Finally, if you didn't think the English were weird enough, have the tale of what happened to Jeremy Bentham's head, courtesy of tieke's Mum, who has apparently 'met' this thing. O.o

Comments:

From:clashfan
Date:May 15th, 2012 03:49 am (UTC)

What exactly do they stand to gain by ensuring we abstain?

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They get to look 'tough on crime' down around election time, that's what.

At least, that's how it works here in the States.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 15th, 2012 03:53 am (UTC)

Re: What exactly do they stand to gain by ensuring we abstain?

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Gosh. I get what you mean, yes - but that isn't really about drugs at all. They could pick any activity and make it criminal so that they can then visibly attempt to 'stamp it out' while appearing to be tough on crime. Why drugs?

Also, there's plenty of real crime to appear tough on. I guess it's harder to fight actual crime than to scapegoat?
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From:clashfan
Date:May 15th, 2012 04:04 am (UTC)

Re: What exactly do they stand to gain by ensuring we abstain?

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As you say, it's easier.

Round up a buncha potheads and throw 'em in jail--look! Arrest and conviction numbers go up! Never mind that most of 'em wouldn't harm a flea, unlike someone as intoxicated by a different drug such as alcohol.

Pass a law making it harder to get real antihistamine pills over the counter--look! It's harder to cook meth now! Never mind that it just means more of the stuff comes up from Mexico, increasing the price so addicts are more likely to steal AND increasing the reach and power of criminal enterprises--and those people really are nasty folks.

Prosecute some Tribes for using peyote in their religious ceremonies. Wow, nice jorb there, Oregon DA. Yeah, you really cleaned up the streets by not letting indigenous people use a natural hallucinogen that they've used relatively safely for millennia.

Woo-Hoo! U-S-A! U-S-A!
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From:tatjna
Date:May 15th, 2012 04:25 am (UTC)

Re: What exactly do they stand to gain by ensuring we abstain?

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It's not just the USA though, it's pretty much everywhere. And if it's politically positive to be seen to be tough on a manufactured crime such as drug use, one must assume tha the majority of the population thinks that drug use is bad and that trying to stop people from using (specific) drugs is good, despite the evidence of how much harm the drug war creates.

So there must be a reason why taking drugs is believed to be bad - even if it's a manufactured one or a religious one, I don't know what it is. I live in the era of harm-focused policy - we are sold 'drugs are bad because they harm people' constantly. We know this is an untruth, yet we continue to support politicians that pursue this line. Why? What do we believe that makes this ok?

(obviously i'm not trying to refute you here, just trying to get to the bottom of all the bullshit)
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From:clashfan
Date:May 15th, 2012 04:56 am (UTC)

Re: What exactly do they stand to gain by ensuring we abstain?

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Just as obviously, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know--except possibly some local stuff that hasn't crossed your radar.

There's an awful lot of 'othering' that goes on. Those black kids on crack are dangerous. Those bikers on meth will fuck you up. Those Mexicans smoking MJ are lazy. I think that's part of it. And partly it's a sell job *by* the politicians--'See what a good job I'm doing?'

Also, I think, a lot people don't *want* to know. I've argued with people that random drug testing for welfare or work is a ridiculous waste of resources, and been questioned if I smoke (I don't). If you present people with strong arguments for legalizing, or even harm reduction, you get asked if you're a user. What's your game--what benefit would you get out of a change in the status quo?

And that's what it comes down to: A change in the status quo. Any change is new, and scary. An awful lot of people don't like their ideas being challenged, and react poorly when it happens.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 15th, 2012 05:14 am (UTC)

Re: What exactly do they stand to gain by ensuring we abstain?

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This is another thing. I am a user. I do not use alcohol and I would like to be able to choose an intoxicant other than alcohol without it being an excuseto marginalise me. However, if I admit this, it will be used as a reason to ignore and invalidate my arguments for change.

Apparently wanting to become intoxicated on one thing is fine, but if it's another thing, that makes me a particular kind of person whose motives are not to be trusted, regardless of the logic of my stance. I do not understand this separation. Once upon a time it was used as a social/cultural way of othering people whom society feared - and that stigma has stuck despite evidence that the biggest users of drugs are the ones who look most like those making the laws.

Random drug testing has been demonstrated to be the least effective method in the arsenal of crime-prevention techniques related to drugs. There is evidence for this out the wazoo, yet testing is still the preferred method in the criminal justice and employment system.

All this leads me to feel very much like the whole thing's some kind of social control conspiracy related to blaming specific groups for the problems that policy inflicts on them (did you know that in NZ they are bringing in penalties for beneficiaries who refuse or fail drug tests?), and it's maintained because it's a handy scapegoat for scoring political points off, and society accepts it because we are either fucking stupid, or because we want to have that scapegoat.

Either way, it makes me feel pretty crap. But I haven't found a conclusion that doesn't lead one of those ways yet.
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