Old ingrained lessons are hard to forget.

Earlier today I was at a stop light waiting for it to change when I see somebody in a motorcycle approaching from behind. It called my attention that he is not in the middle of the lane but rather in between and not looking like he is going to stop behind me. He didn’t, he got in between cars and stopped for the light.

He never noticed that he had made at least one driver very nervous and said driver was prepared to expecting the worse. Light changed and he took off in his red Ducatti, oblivious of the old fart who was trying to get his breathing and blood pressure back to normal levels.

I understand that South Florida is known by its Cuban community, but please also realize that many people from other South American countries also live here and most of them have lived back in their countries of origin with the threat of crime on motorcycle.

For most Americans, the image of somebody in a motorcycle is either the guy or gal enjoying the road or a Hell’s Angel in the highway.  For a  lot of us, this is the image we have when we see a biker doing the line splitting.

 

What amazes me is that after two decades of living in the US, this is one lesson that has not been erased by the passing of time. You know what? I don’t mind.

PS: There is no lane Splitting in the State of Florida, so that also kinda added to the alarm bells ringing.

French Baking and English Bakers

My wife has been marathoning the Great British Baking Show on Netflix.

It’s a cooking challenge show in which home bakers try to impress professional British pastry chefs.  The contestants have to bake one of their at-home recipes, then bake some technical challenge given to them by the judges.

I find it to be borderline intolerable.

Half of what they are asked to bake is some sort of signature French pastry.

This is what I have learned about French baking, it is 99% Fuck You.

I think the center philosophy of French baking is pastry chefs trying to do something so unbelievably complicated that no-one else can do it.  It’s French one-upsmanship.

To make this Frenchy French Poof Loaf you have to massage the butter into the flour by hand while cold for two hours.  Then roll it to the thickness of a human air.  Cover it with fruit and nut compost and then fold it 900 times until it is an accurate facsimile of the Arc de Triomphe.  Then you bake it until turns the color of pure gold and can be poked with a bony English finger and not lose its shape.  But you have 90 minutes to do it.

Being British, there is no such thing as a “good.”  Every response by every judge is an inverted complement sandwich.

  1. Complaint about trivial aspect of the item – e.g., “the color is slightly off”.
  2. Mild complement – e.g., “the glaze is nice” (nice being the highest level of praise they can give).
  3. Soul crushing criticism – e.g., “other than the glaze, these are a dry and tasteless”.

I think the British conquered the world only because it was an attempt by a bunch of British young men to do something so epic that their disapproving British parents would say something positive without any qualifiers.

“Mom, I brought civilization to the dark continent, taught the savages Christian values, and opened diamond mines that have produced stones used in the Crown Jewels.”

“That’s nice… couldn’t you have founded gold and silver mines too.”

The icon of the show is food writer named Mary Berry.

This is her beaming with joy.

This is the most British woman I’ve ever seen.  Her demeanor is a cold as the butter that has to be worked into her scones.

According to the internet she is married, but she still looks like a spinster to me.  I just can’t image anybody wanting to consummate with that.  Even 44 years ago, she looked like that.

So as I recover from a hacking chest cold, I am treated to hours on end of an old, sexless British woman crushing the hopes and dreams of homemakers to death, grinding down their egos like almonds for marzipan.

Useless People exhibiting Faux Outrage.

This was in my Facebook wall from one of our local TV stations:

The usual display of indignation against those who walked by and did nothing happened in the comment, but I needed to add a dose of reality to the cauldron.

Wait, wait…. all of you condemning those who did not do squat, how many of you know how to treat that kind of injuries? I mean, other than calling 911 and going live in Facebook, what would you be good for?

Let’s face it 99.999% of you would also do nothing.

And, of course, somebody had to do the Virtue Signaling thing:

Thoughts and Prayers does not work well in Social Media so, when a life is at stake, it is fucking useless and it does not place you in a morally superior position from those who walked away who at least they did no harm.

Still somebody else had to come up with the “holding hand” shit but no one even gave a thought of saying: “You know, I am pretty fucking useless. Maybe I should learn some basic first aid, if not for somebody that will get injured, at least for me.”
No one.

But sure as hell they want to show their superiority with their outrage rather than have real superiority and be able to help somebody or themselves if something happens. But that takes time, effort and money.  It is easier to do a Facebook profile picture change showing “solidarity.”