The Pencil Today:

TODAY’S QUOTE

“I never make the mistake of arguing with people whose opinions I don’t respect.” — historian Edward Gibbon

A WHITE CHRISTMAS (AND I DO MEAN WHITE)

Traipsing around beautiful downtown Bloomington Saturday afternoon, I came upon some puzzling flyers pasted up on lampposts and kiosks.

Now, lampposts and kiosks in a college town are, of course, the retro social media for student PR and agit-prop. But instead of the usual conspiracies, rebellions, astonishing revelations, and concert promotions for bands like Lesbian Dopeheads on Mopeds, the flyers that caught my eye offered up a different message.

Quaint: A Typical “Post” On A Post

They wished one and all a white Christmas. And never mind the absence of snow.

Yup. The KKK, apparently, wants to get into the swing of the season along with those of us who possess the ability to form thoughts.

Here’s what was printed on the flyers:

We wish the best for you and your family throughout the New Year, Merry Christmas

The Knight’s Party

www.KKK.com

(All sic, and — need I add? — all sick.)

Like Genital Herpes, The Klan Never Seems To Go Away

I was too lazy to do it Saturday but yesterday morning I grabbed my digital camera and went out to snap a shot or two of the flyers for this post. No luck; they’d all been ripped down.

Or should I say, a lot of luck?

INDIANA AND THE KLAN

Some people around here like to repeat the tidbit that our fair state was the birthpace of the Ku Klux Klan.

Others, who might consider themselves more knowledgeable on the subject, say, “Tut tut, that is wrong. But Indiana was once the headquarters of the Klan.”

Well, they’re just as wrong.

Indiana was not the birthplace of the Klan, nor has it ever been anything remotely like that herd’s HQ. It should be noted, however, that Indiana was, in the 1920s, the state where the Klan wielded its most political power.

Yeesh.

Indiana Governor Ed Jackson, Republican & Klansman

Pardon me while I dash off to scrub myself in a scalding shower.

CHRISTMAS COOKIES

There. I feel better now, cleansed of all traces of Gov. Ed Jackson and his Klan.

And ready to bake cookies!

The Honorable Regina Moore, Clerk of the great city o’Bloomington, stopped in at the Book Corner Saturday for some last minute shopping. Somehow the conversation got around to the batch of fab cookies I’d whipped up the day before. Moore asked me to post the recipe so, obedient citizen that I am, here it is:

Big Mike’s Sicilian Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 5 cups unbleached flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp. (heaping) baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ tsp. lemon extract (optional)

Preparation

Mix flour, powder and salt together in a bowl. Put aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar together. In a third bowl, fork whip eggs and add vanilla (and lemon extract, if desired). Pour the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Add the flour/powder mixture gradually, mixing with your wooden spoon. Eventually you must knead the mixture by hand — it will be very dense. Once you’ve achieved proper consistency, place the dough aside and preheat oven to 350F.

Pull out two large, ungreased cookie sheets. Form balls of dough ¾-inch to 1″ in diameter. Place dough balls on sheet 1½ inches apart. When the sheet is filled, press down on each doughball with your thumb to form a little lens-like disc. Press a single chocolate chip in the middle of each disc, pointy side down. Bake one sheet-full at a time for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.

Let cookies cool on sheet for five minutes. Remove from sheet to large, flat plate. Be careful: even after the cookies seem cooled, the chocolate will still be soft and potentially messy for another few minutes.

Eat.

NOT A TOTAL LOSS

My foray onto Kirkwood Avenue to search for Klan flyers having proved fruitless, I pocketed my camera and headed toward campus. The Loved One and Steve the Dog were with me.

I’ve been a Bloomingtonian for two years and a couple of months now. In a lot of ways the place is still new to me.

People who’ve lived here all their lives might have forgotten this but the Indiana University campus is stunningly beautiful. And when the three of us took our stroll, the weather was perfect — 50 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. The light was perfect, bathing the Bedford limestone walls in dazzling gold and creating crisp shadows.

Christmas Shadows And Light

I whipped out my camera and began clicking away. See for yourself.

BLUE-EYED SOUL SISTER

Dusty Springfield, dedicated to The Loved One — we had a great Christmas day together.

4 thoughts on “The Pencil Today:

  1. JIM says:

    Do you always shower before baking?

  2. Ryan Dawes says:

    You have a “Steve the Dog?” That’s funny. My parents have a “Steve the Cat.” He is de-clawed and still skilled enough to catch birds and mice. Once he brought in a bat.

  3. Nice shots of campus, Mike!

    RE: KKK in IN – IIRRC, the Grand Dragon once called Martinsville home, which sourced the phrase, “N***** don’t let the sun go down on you in Morgan County.”

  4. Guess that abbreviation should be, IIRC. If I recall correctly. Apparently I didn’t just then.

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