Friday’s Weekend Column
The Inaugural and Up North

by James Glaser
January 21, 2005

It is so nice that in the United States we can have an election and not have riots in the street, gun fire, and killings. Even though I don't particularly like the fact that George Bush is President for another term, I respect the fact that the man got the most votes.

I listened to George's speech, which was mostly about how strong George has made our country. Listen to this quote. "My most solemn duty is to protect this Nation and its people from further attacks and emerging threats. Some have unwisely chosen to test America's resolve, and found it firm."

Yes it is true, there were "attacks" because there were two targets on 9/11. One was the World Trade Center and the other was the Pentagon. So George is still using those September 11th attacks as a crutch and a reason for what he has done, but nobody has found America firm.

We know who attacked us, it was Osama bin Laden and he is still out there doing video feeds to the world. America was attacked and we have not caught the people who planned the attack or the people who put up the money. We have been losing this war on terror for three years. Over 4,300 Americans dead in the attack and killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and about 11,000 wounded so far. America has not been firm. America got its ass kicked on 9/11 and we are not doing very well in Iraq. Afghanistan has our puppet government in Kabul, the capitol city, but the rest of the country is still run by War Lords who produce almost all of the world's opium and heroin.

No, I wasn't impressed with Bush's words.

Last week I wrote about why I live in the Northland and I got several e-mails about other reasons that it is so nice to live here in the cold winter. Like you can use your garage as a freezer, and beverages are colder while you're in the backyard hot tub. Also Cable TV and DSL feel like real bargains and it eliminates the troubling question; does this make me look fat?

We are out of the deep freeze, but last weekend it was -44 here one morning and it stayed below zero for a week. Now we are up to the teens above, almost every day. When it gets 'warm' like this you know that the snow is on its way and we have a lot on the ground right now. I shoveled here this morning and then went to town and did the same at the VFW. Tonight it is snowing again and we are supposed to get between 3 and 10 inches. Weathermen are getting less precise.

With the warmer weather and the accumulation of snow, I will soon be raking the snow off the roof, which I will have to shovel off the decks. Another advantage of staying here in the winter is all the exercise you can get.

You can now call me Fudge Boy. For the next ten weeks, I am making a batch of fudge each week and am trying to figure out what is the best tasting fudge to make. I already know that nuts only take up space that should be filled with chocolate. I have a group of people in town who have volunteered to be my tasters. I had to do that for my own protection. I knew if I made the fudge and had it here in the house, I would eat it. With the help of the tasters, I can make a batch and give almost all of it away, but I still get to eat what is left in the pan and nothing is as good as very warm fudge that you eat with the spatula.

It is also Patriotic to make and eat fudge, because Fudge was invented here in the United States. The first batch I made was an 1886 recipe from Vassar College. 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 oz. of unsweetened chocolate, chopped, and one tablespoon of butter. Cook the sugar, chocolate, and cream to the soft ball stage (238 degrees) remove from heat, add the butter, mix until fudge starts to thicken, transfer to buttered tin. Cut in diamond-shaped pieces before fudge hardens. It tastes great, but has a weird texture. I think of this as Weight Watchers Fudge, as it is a pretty small batch.

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