Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thoughts of the day

R.I.P., Shirley Temple Black. She was the greatest Hollywood child star. I'm a fan of her work. Throughout a life of accomplishment, she revealed clear sight, intelligence, will, discipline, and a level head.

R.I.P., Harold Ramis, aka Dr. Egon Spengler.

Checked off: I finally got around to reading Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. It's a fast read. The book was on my reading list because it's a semi-autobiographical, fictional Vietnam War memoir by an Army veteran and, before that aspect related to me, Cyd cited the book as her favorite and used O'Brien's list as the structuring device for the 1st part of her valedictory speech. I wonder why The Things They Carried was Cyd's favorite book at Stuy. On its face, a war story is an unexpected reading choice, let alone favorite book, for a high-school girl unless her dad, another relative, or a close family friend is a Vietnam War veteran. Was it O'Brien's demonstration that language, words, and stories shape and guide how we process the world around us? Was it the feminist awakening parable of Mary Anne Bell? Was it the theme of mining rare truth, the kind of truth that Oscar found in Afghanistan? Tim O'Brien's view that "story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth" is a writer's conceit, but it's also an insight. I guess I'll never know. I appreciate O'Brien's mix of perspectives about his soldiering experience; for example:
How do you generalize? War is hell, but that's not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead. The truths are contradictory.
Judging from what I know, O'Brien's reflection on soldiering is genuine; like the rest of us, his soldier identity has been seared into him.

In line with O'Brien's lesson "learned that words make a difference" from coping with death in the Vietnam War, add Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind to the reading list. (h/t)

The Army is going to be shrunk to 1940 levels. I'm reflexively upset at the news, made worse by the obfuscating sleights of hand by SecDef Hagel and media presenting it. I want to see more sober analysis on the implications.

Army PFC hides in her POV rather than get out and salute the 1700 flag lowering. This is the typical stupid stuff young privates do while they're still learning how to be, and what it means, to be a soldier. It just stands out because she broadcast her knuckleheadness on social media and it was picked up by the media. If I was her CO, I would task my 1SG to give her some extended, personal sergeant time and sit down with her NCOIC/PSG to discuss why their leadership encouraged their soldier to lose her military bearing.

Harvard columnist Sandra Korn, who came to my attention with her radical-boilerplate opposition to ROTC, stakes out another radical position with her opposition to academic freedom that allows for politically incorrect ideas. It strikes me as a shrewd career maneuver in light of the trend of provocative radical-left positions acting as effective springboards and shortcuts to political celebrity, eg, Wendy Davis and Sandra Fluke's advocacy of late-term abortion and subsidized birth control as maximal rights. As troubling as her position is for a Harvard student (though not surprising; as a campus activist, I competed with classmates like Korn at Columbia), more troubling is her position is a short and logical stretch from the view of many mainstream Harvard students: a Harvard student petition in the Jason Richwine controversy stated, “Even if such claims had merit, the Kennedy School cannot ethically stand by this dissertation whose end result can only be furthering discrimination under the guise of academic discourse.”

More reactions to Korn's column here and here.

Perceptive observation: "The [Ukraine] protests are about serious geopolitics, so the feminists probably don’t care. You gotta frame things as a sort of oppressor vs victim deal so the leftists can get their feelings on, otherwise they don’t know what’s going on." Feminists subscribe to the Marxist axis of oppressor/oppressed, despite Marx's historic error of shoehorning the multi-variate sweep of social evolution into a rigid, reductive historical theory. Marx's philosophical successors (Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, Durkheim) subscribed to Marx's basic premise of alienation, but discredited Marx's historical theory. In effect, Marx created an enduring, potent conflict model while falling short of his goal of accurately diagnosing the course of human events. Modern Marxists, unmoored even from Marx's original flawed grounding in economic classes, seek out conflicts to change the world while restricted in their understanding of the world. As a result, they're effective but often harm the greater society beyond their clients.

Insight into the operation on the ground of the Ukraine protests. Keys: guerilla tactics, logistics, coalition.

The 8 Stages All Movements Go Through, by red-pill blogger runsonmagic (Eric Crowley), summarizes a section of the late Bill Moyer's (not PBS host Bill Moyers) book, Doing Democracy. Crowley analogized the 8 stages of movements to the blue pill to red pill personal change process here.

Neo on being a liberal, with a diagnostic comment thread.

The Left uses this Hitlerian popular-political strategy: "His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it." (source) The whole report is educational.

On the political tactics of 'false but true' noble lies that advance an agenda with passion plays and disqualification that stigmatizes the holders of opposing viewpoints in place of engaging their ideas. It's related to the shut-down tactics by campus radicals I faced as a college activist.

At Patriactionary, the host opened the door whereupon I again attempted to correct the narrative of the Iraq enforcement. Update: Per usual, once I laid out my argument, the other party responded by disengaging rather than respond to my points. I like the simple declarative deductive structure of my comments.

This is depressing and discouraging on a number of fronts, including the role of lawyers in the fraud: Asylum Fraud in Chinatown: An Industry of Lies. (h/t)

The meticulously thoughtful, critical, red-pill Emma the Emo on honor.

Claire Lehmann talks about mean girls in women's nature.

TempestTcup: "women don’t get “nice” because to us “nice” is weakness." Ouch. That explains some things. Update: Stingray says, "Check ourt the etymology of nice. Don’t be nice, be civil. There is actually a huge difference. Also, know when it’s time to stop being civil. We respect that." A Northern Observer says, "“Nice” has no boundaries and is part of the liberal mindset that all you need to do is “be nicer” to cure the ills of the will, including bringing bad actors around. “Civil” has boundaries, enforces them, and doesn’t suffer from the delusion of “niceing” a bad actor away from the dark side." Stingray further explained the difference between civil and nice.

A related realization to the difference between civil and nice is that a nice guy is not the same as a good man, although a good man often has nice-guy traits and the two types are often interchanged. A good man is proud, self-controlled, strong willed, self-aware, clear sighted, and capable. He is good because he is ethical, not because he is nice. A good man is bedrock and oak. He creates order.

Sarah's Daughter (her blog): "Men can be very naive to the true motivations of women. Simply because they can not conceive of it themselves. Get to know men. You’ll find that most of them are very harsh in their judgement of their own selves. They are very introspective, very sincere, and for the most part idealistic about women – most men (sans manosphere/red pill truths) believe women think the way they do. Women do a good job pretending they do as well. The truth of the matter is often hidden deep within her psyche. Thus the devastation men experience when they learn that women think very differently than they do." Chris: "[Men] should not think women are like them and vice versa. We can still understand, we can still communicate, we can still love, we are still both moral agents, but our carnal desires are wired differently." These are seminal red-pill insights. At the tipping point, a man is disillusioned, has 1st hand evidence, and suspects the truth. He stumbles on a Manosphere post that assembles the things he knows in a way that clarifies the ugly truths. Changing how he views man-woman relational dynamics changes how he sees the world. I accept now that the Platonic ideal of love is a masculine invention. For women, love has a more rational, visceral, or sensual nature. I believe most men who believe they’re sharing Platonic love with a woman actually are only receiving satisfactory feedback. She may be in love with him, but her woman's love is not the idealistic love he feels for her. I’m enough of an idealist still to believe there are exceptional cases of men and women sharing a transcendent state of idealistic love, but they’re so rare, it’s not worth planning for it. A lottery ticket only costs a dollar; with similar odds, a man risks far more to gamble for romantic ideal love.

Regarding the value of PUAs: "I believe the universal appeal of PUAs is their praxeology of women and relational dynamics, the ‘science’ of Game more than its application and promised rewards. Men want to solve the vexing mystery. Even MGTOWs have an innate need to understand women because they’re still sexual, though they mostly use the knowledge to rationalize their choice to override their natural mate desire."

Tinder is a trending cellphone dating app that uses Facebook to facilitate hook-ups. Apparently, the psychological device that distinguishes Tinder is it requires a conclusive decision to 'match' by swiping right or reject by swiping left based on a first impression only. The Tinderfessions twitter is a dispiriting red-pill window to the rampant id of the modern sexual market. It corroborates the semi-satirical secret society. The display of women's feral sexual nature is depressing. As much as I wish it wasn't, it's true.

Recent cropping up of fatherly red-pill son-raising advice here, here, here, here, here, and here. True: "If you cannot teach your son positive masculinity, the Feminine Imperative and a fem-centric world will tech [sic] him its version of masculinity."

Tenets of Nietzschean philosophy said plainly. Brief version: Evolving to your best and strongest self provides a service to humanity by inspiring and motivating others to improve themselves. When we each improve our self, the whole level of humanity is thereby raised in aggregate. So don't play down your improvements. Shine forth with them. Be proud. Be confident. Assert them. However, be warned that when you become extraordinary, people who stay ordinary will pull you down to their level and justify their coercion as virtuous. That's Nietzsche 101.

Excerpt from Thus Spake Zarathustra (LXXII. THE SUPPER.):
"Be of good cheer," replied Zarathustra, "as I am. Abide by thy customs, thou excellent one: grind thy corn, drink thy water, praise thy cooking,—if only it make thee glad!
I am a law only for mine own; I am not a law for all. He, however, who belongeth unto me must be strong of bone and light of foot,—
—Joyous in fight and feast, no sulker, no John o' Dreams, ready for the hardest task as for the feast, healthy and hale.
The best belongeth unto mine and me; and if it be not given us, then do we take it:—the best food, the purest sky, the strongest thoughts, the fairest women!"—
Thus spake Zarathustra
; the king on the right however answered and said: "Strange! Did one ever hear such sensible things out of the mouth of a wise man?
And verily, it is the strangest thing in a wise man, if over and above, he be still sensible, and not an ass."

Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-85) summed up Friedrich Nietzsche's beliefs developed to that point of his life and was followed by his other best-known works: Beyond Good and Evil (1886), On the Genealogy of Morals (1887), and Ecce Homo (1888). Nietzsche was born on 15 October 1844 and died on 25 August 1900.

A generalization on stigma. A MGTOW strives to boost his individual consciousness by interrogating internalized social values, creating separation from his ingrained social identity and collective consciousness, selectively limiting interaction with the community, and cultivating wariness of the norms and stigmas of the cultural zeitgeist.

Arthur Chu is revolutionizing the gameplay on the television game show, Jeopardy, with innovative data-based 'Moneyball' tactics. Apparently, his personality is unlikeable and there's a racist undertone of alien menace because he's Asian American. However, my takeaway from the story is the further displacement of my MO, intuition, by statistical analysis.

In contrast to Arthur Chu using statistical analysis to 'exploit an inefficiency', Jeremy Lin suffers from the Rockets game-plan emphasizing statistical analysis. Lin's intuitive game has been restricted by the Morey-ball straitjacket. For an illustration of what Lin can be in the NBA, and was during Linsanity, read this Grantland praise, by the excellent Zach Lowe, of Goran Dragic's season and this explanation of Dragic's improvement by Grantland's Kirk Goldsberry. Dragic's success is due to the freedom he's allowed to play his game. Dragic and Lin are left-handed and right-handed versions of each other. They're even the same size, and before his rookie season, Lin cited Dragic's game as his NBA comparison.

In Fellowship of the Rings, 'mist' and 'misty' seem to be JRR Tolkien's poetic trope for the pre-scientific animist magic of Middle Earth. Earth-personification Tom Bombadil's wife, Goldberry the River-woman's daughter, seems to be Tolkien's natural feminine ideal.

Why do we over-eat? Neurobiologist Stephan Guyenet explains here. According to Guyenet, the start point is understanding the role of leptin:
Body fat produces a hormone called leptin, which signals to the brain and other organs to decrease appetite, increase the metabolic rate and increase physical activity. More fat means more leptin, which then causes the extra fat to be burned. The little glitch is that some people become resistant to leptin, so that their brain doesn't hear the fat tissue screaming that it's already full. Leptin resistance nearly always accompanies obesity, because it's a precondition of significant fat gain. If a person weren't leptin resistant, he wouldn't have the ability to gain more than a few pounds of fat without heroic overeating (which is very very unpleasant when your brain is telling you to stop). Animal models of leptin resistance develop something that resembles human metabolic syndrome (abdominal obesity, blood lipid abnormalities, insulin resistance, high blood pressure).
Based on shows about subsistence and hunter-gatherer lifestyles, I've decided eating meat and animal fat is healthy. The shows consistently characterize meat and animal fat as prized staples with the highest nutrition value in the local diet. Store-bought meat, or "government meat" as Erik Salitan calls it, likely contains additives such as hormones and antibiotics that are unhealthy, but I conclude meat and animal fat are intrinsically healthful. Update: More on the healthiness of eating meat and animal fats from a weight-lifting blog.

The value of pernil pork shoulder comes from more than the meat. Based on a 99¢/lb sale, the amount of meat yielded by a pernil is a good deal, but not a great deal. At a rough estimate, around 15% of a pernil's weight is skin and bones. However, the skin and bones add different values from the meat. The skin is baked into crackling and the bones are boiled for bone broth. (More about bone broth here.)

I boiled the bones from my latest pernil twice in the Mirro, for 2 batches of bone broth, say about 90 ounces per batch, and then discarded the bones. The 1st batch, seasoned with salt and ginger, was the most oily and savory. I haven't tried the 2nd batch yet. Then I had 2nd thoughts, removed the pernil bones from the trash, rinsed them off, and boiled them a 3rd time in the Salton pot, just to find out how much more I could get from them. According to info on-line, bone broth extracted from beef or pork bones is boiled for many hours, even a day or more. I seasoned the 3rd batch of bone broth, say about 28 ounces, with salt, ginger, and garlic. It wasn't as savory as the 1st batch, but it was good enough that I'm going to boil the pernil bones a 4th time. Update: The 4th batch, again boiled in the Salton pot and seasoned with salt, garlic, ginger, was as savory as the 3rd batch, so I'll be boiling a 5th batch. Update: In the Salton pot, I boiled the 5th batch with starchy pasta water and vinegar I had used to clean a peanut butter jar. The vinegar is supposed to help extract calcium. The bone broth was thick due to the pasta water. I'll be boiling a 6th batch. Update: The 6th batch, boiled in the Salton pot, worked; on to the 7th batch. Update: The 7th batch, boiled in the Salton pot, had noticeably less flavor, but was still adequate. One more batch, this time in the Mirro, and I'm throwing out the bones regardless of the result. The pernil bones are noticeably lighter, bleached whiter, and crumbly. Update: The 8th batch in the Mirro still has body, but I think it's the bone dissolving at this point rather than marrow oil. Most of the flavor is from vinegar, salt, garlic, and ginger. I also boiled fresh chicken bones with the last 3 batches of pernil bone broth. I then threw out all the bones.

Hot oily pernil bone broth with salt, garlic, and ginger is quite delicious.

For adding saltiness, salt works best. I've been using seasoned salt where I should have been using salt, but seasoned salt is more expensive than salt (1.99/16-oz vs .50/28-oz) and is better suited for point-targeted seasoned-salt flavor than for area-targeted saltiness.

Bachelor stew: In the Mirro, 15 oz can of Sunny Sea mackerel ($1.25), 18.5 oz can of Progresso traditional meatball & rice (Albondigas) soup ($1.25), water, and 1 cup white rice as base; then later added 15.5 oz can of Western Beef red kidney beans (50¢), 2 diced Eastern white potatoes, 1 diced carrot, chopped yellow onions and garlic, chopped and shaved ginger, angel hair pasta, elbow pasta, salt, seasoned salt, black pepper, mustard, and hot sauce. The ginger made a notable difference. Unexpectedly, the onion flavor made a difference, I believe because I added it later. The mustard and hot sauce didn't make a difference. The big difference is I waited until the rice was almost separated to add the beans, potatoes, carrot, onions, garlic, ginger, and pasta in order to retain firmer textures and distinct flavors. The sequential method of adding ingredients worked. Next time, I'll take the practice further by first cooking the rice in water only and then adding everything else, including the base components. After I ate about half the stew, I topped off the Mirro with water and added salt and angel hair pasta. For dessert, I ate an under-baked salt-and-vinegar bannock with orange marmalade and sour cream spread, 2 BC milk chocolate brownies, the 1st with sour cream and the 2nd with orange marmalade. I stuffed myself by gulping down all the stew in less than a day.

I should do a cost comparison of dry beans versus canned beans. Update: Answer. Several on-line blogs and forums have asked and answered the dry beans versus canned beans question. The general rule is 1 part dry beans turns into 3 parts cooked beans, or a 1-lb bag of dry beans yields 3 lbs or 48 ounces of cooked beans. Meanwhile, a 15-ounce can of beans contains 12 ounces of cooked beans and 3 ounces of liquid, so a 1-lb bag of dry beans equals 4 15-oz cans of cooked beans, although some home testers have posted there is less than 12 ounces of cooked beans in cans they've drained and weighed. In my 1st foray into purchasing beans, I bought 4 cans of beans on sale for 50¢ each or $2 total. The non-sale price of dry beans in my local grocery stores is 1.50-1.75 for a 1-lb bag. There you go - the choice is easy.

Good meal: White rice, broiled (15/10) fatty pernil chop made with ginger flakes, chopped garlic, seasoned salt, and soy sauce, orange marmalade for dipping sauce, broiled (10) carrots and onions, raw onions, raw tomato, and pernil bone broth with salt and ginger flakes. The fatty part wasn't as crisp as I like it, but I also didn't want to broil the pernil chop longer because the meat was the way I like it and I didn't want to dry it out. A possible solution is to broil a pernil chop fatty side down for the 1st half (15), then on the flip, fatty side up for the 2nd half (10). That way it will cook through in the 1st half and the direct exposure to the heat in the 2nd half will crisp the fat.

For this week's break-fast meal, I ate 2 plates of french fries, 6 turkey patty bannock sandwiches, 2 bannockless turkey patties, 1 mug of pernil bone broth, a handful of deep-oil fried okra, a deep-oil fried slice of fatback, an orange, and spoonfuls of peanut butter and orange marmalade, pudding style. My innovation was to use the Salton pot as a deep-oil fryer with 1+ cup of corn oil. It worked, except I ingested a lot of oil. Too much. It's good to have added the method but I won't use it often. Taking in that much oil feels bad.

There is a variety of opinions about every aspect of making french fries. There is much debate, especially, about the utility of soaking the potatoes. For the 1st batch of french fries in my break-fast meal, I soaked the potatoes in cold water for an hour, poured out the starchy water, then patted them somewhat dry with a paper towel. I then used the 2-temp method of cooking the French fries, which is fry at a lower temp, remove the french fries from the oil, then fry them at a higher temp. There's no temperature gauge on the burner, so I used medium heat, then medium-high heat. I overcooked the french fries so they were all crunch, but they were still tasty; oily, though. I ate them with ketchup and sour cream. For the 2nd batch, I fried the potatoes without soaking and turned up the temp without removing the potatoes. The shells seemed thinner on the 2nd batch, but it's tough to compare since I overcooked the 1st batch of french fries. I cooked a slice of fatback in the Salton pot to add pork flavor to the corn oil, but didn't make another batch of french fries.

The turkey patties were made from approximately 10 ounces of Shadybrook Farms ground breast of turkey (expired 06AUG13, but tastes fine), 1 egg, garlic, ginger, onions, flour, sesame oil, sour cream, salt, and seasoned salt. I deep-oil fried the turkey patties in the Salton pot. They were crispy on the outside and moist on the inside; oily, though. The toppings I used for the bannock sandwiches were various combinations of Hood sour cream, Polaner orange marmalade, Best Yet garden combination spaghetti sauce, Skippy roasted honey nut creamy peanut butter, raw onions, Roma tomato slices, and hot sauce. The ginger in the turkey patties combined well with the orange marmalade. I baked the 2 bannockless turkey patties. The deep-oil fried patties had better texture and tasted better, but the lack of oily after-feeling from the baked patties was better.

The Salton pot turned brown on the inside and outside, which only seems to happen to cookware from cooking with oil and not from water. I accidently dribbled water into the boiling oil from water on the Salton pot lid. The physical reaction was like bombs going off. I think the explosions happen because water sinks below the oil, and when the rapidly heated water changes state from liquid to steam (gas), the steam escapes the oil like buried or submerged mines blowing up. Before I dribbled water into the boiling oil, the oil bubbled in the uncovered Salton pot without a problem - not even a little spitting.

I used up the last oil in the Salton pot by making 2 deep-oiled fried bannocks. The 1st deep-oil fried bannock was made with salt and flour only. The 2nd deep-oil fried bannock was made with salt, baking soda, vinegar, onions, and garlic. The 1st one was better. It stayed flat and crisped up, crunchy and dense. The 2nd one sucked in all the remaining oil in the Salton pot and puffed up like a sponge or 油条 (yóu tiáo).

I've learned that rice cooks at a relatively low temperature. Rice cooks at high temperatures, too, but I need to use the low setting on the burner in order to avoid a hard brown layer of overcooked rice at the bottom of the Salton pot. That a hard brown layer of overcooked rice didn't routinely occur in the Salton automatic rice cooker tells me that automatic rice cookers use a relatively low temperature. This also explains why my experiment with deep-oil frying potatoes in the Salton didn't work: the temperature was too low. Water boils at 212°F. Oil for making french fries is heated to 300-400°F depending on the recipe.

I've sped my way through the Polaner orange marmalade, a third of a jar of Smuckers grape jam, 3.5 jars of peanut butter (Associated crunchy, Western Beef creamy, Skippy honey nut roasted creamy, and now Peter Pan crunchy), and 2.5 containers of Hood sour cream due to eating them straight from their containers like pudding. I should restore them to their proper roles of spreads and toppings.

Bachelor meat sauce: In the Mirro, 1 chicken thigh, 1 28-oz can of Red Pack crushed tomatoes (with basil, garlic, and oregano in thick puree), 1 15.25-oz can of Farm Fresh golden sweet whole kernel corn, 1 10-oz box of Birds Eye frozen chopped broccoli, white rice, 1 diced potato, 1 chopped carrot, ginger flakes, chopped onions, chopped garlic, starchy pasta water, elbow pasta, angel hair pasta, seasoned salt, salt, and pepper. I cooked the rice with the chicken thigh on low heat until the rice puffed up before adding the rest of the ingredients. I stuffed myself by eating up the whole batch in a day.

Good meal: 1 broiled (15/10/5) fatty pernil chop with seasoned salt, ginger flakes on one side, and garlic and onions on the other side, and Smuckers grape jam as dipping sauce; steamed carrots, onions, garlic, and okra; white rice; 1 juice orange, sliced. I re-broiled the last chunk of fat for 5 minutes. The broiled pernil chop was delicious, although the grape jam wasn't as tasty a dipping sauce as the orange marmalade. The orange was sweet, and I've taken to eating the seeds, which negates the only drawback of juice oranges, which is a lot of seeds. I cooked the rice in the Mirro using low heat. I became impatient and bumped up the burner switch to low-medium heat for a few minutes at the end, likely unnecessarily. I steamed the vegetables in the Mirro using the Nesco rack while cooking the rice. It was the 1st time I made rice outside of the Salton pot, although the rice component of my bachelor meat sauces and stews showed the method should work. I ate the meal while watching a playlist of a young Ray Mears's 1st BBC show, Tracks.

My break-fast meal dessert was a banana topped with sour cream, peanut butter, and grape jam. It wasn't bad, like a room-temperature, poor man's version of a banana split. I don't think the sour cream made a difference. The break-fast meal was okay: fried vegetarian Vietnamese spring roll with mint; small pizza bannock with ginger, garlic, and onion; egg, fatback, onion, garlic, and onion fried rice; salt-and-vinegar bannock with onion, garlic, ginger and brushed with fatback grease; and pernil bone broth with ginger. The egg fried rice, which usually rises to comfort food, was disappointing, I think because I added too much water to the leftover rice.

Bachelor cooking shortcut: I cooked rice on low-medium heat in the Mirro. At the same time, I placed 2 chicken thighs and a whole carrot with the uncooked rice and water at the start. When the rice was done, the carrot was softer than I like. The chicken thighs were cooked fine, except as expected, the skins weren't crisped. The rice was cooked in the chicken oil, which wasn't a big difference but still a small bonus. The rice didn't burn nor stick. I'll try the shortcut method with the pernil chop for form's sake, although I don't have high expectations due to prior, underwhelming experience steaming a pernil chop. Update: The shortcut method worked as expected with the pernil chop. The pernil chop was cooked adequately, but was the texture of airline food meat, kind of dry and no char.

I made a bachelor stew (can of mackerel, rice, etc) with a chicken leg for stock rather than a can of soup. It didn't produce enough grease, significantly less than a chicken thigh. So, a chicken leg is for baking, not for greasing up a bachelor stew or meat sauce. Update: Hm. I made my next bachelor stew with a chicken thigh that also seemed short on grease, though better than the chicken leg. Chicken thighs work for bachelor meat sauce. A cooking temperature issue, perhaps? A can of soup for bachelor stew is reliable, but I'd rather figure out how to use a piece of meat.

I added hot sauce, 2 ripe bananas, and ginger flakes to a batch of Pillsbury chocolate fudge brownies. I don't taste the hot sauce. I can taste the banana and ginger flakes; they're good additions. The bananas made the batter more runny and the cooked brownies more pancake-like. I considered adding flour to thicken the batter, but opted not to for the risk of diluting the flavor. I bought a 48-oz carton of Turkey Hill rum raisin ice cream on sale for $2.50 to indulge in brownie a la mode, but I gobbled up the ice cream before I mixed the brownie batter. Oh well. It would have been good. I wonder how brownies would taste with orange juice mixed into the batter? Update: I added 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) of Minute Maid low pulp orange juice in place of water to a batch of Betty Crocker milk chocolate brownie batter in which I also added sour cream, ginger flakes, and 1 banana. I can't taste any orange juice flavor in the brownies.

Lesson learned: Don't make crackling in the Salton pot, at least not without an intermediate layer (eg, the pernil skin in the 1-qt mixing bowl). The fat burned into a bitter-tasting, stubborn-clinging, black char stuck to the pot and the crackling. If the char had tasted good, I wouldn't have minded, but it was bitter. I had to clean it off the crackling with a paring knife. My original plan was to leave the oil rendered from the crackling in the Salton pot to make french fries. Instead, I poured the oil into a sour-cream container while trying to leave behind as much as the char as I could to dispose, which meant also losing a good amount of the rendered oil. Oh well; now I know. I was impressed again at how much the pernil skin shrinks when cooking crackling, at least a 1/4, maybe a 1/5 of the size. It may have shrunk more in the Salton pot than usual. A lot of white vaporous smoke was produced while cooking the crackling in the Salton pot. I don't recall whether that happened when I cooked crackling with the Nesco and Mirro.

Lesson learned: Disposable aluminum pans and pan covers mysteriously grow pin holes. While making onion rings, I experimented using a disposable aluminum pan directly on the burner. The onion rings cooked fine, except the oil leaked out through pin holes in the pan onto the burner. I needed to use a rag to control the light, low aluminum pan in order to maneuver the onion rings and a rubber elastic part touched the burner and melted. It was an easy clean up, fortunately, but breathing the fumes can't be good for me.

Based loosely on this recipe, I made onion rings with batter made from flour, oil, water, 1 egg, baking soda, and salt, which are brownie ingredients. The texture of the shells were too cake-like. Next time, I'll leave out the oil and egg and maybe the baking soda and go with bannock-like batter. The onions were soft and the raw-onion tang wasn't there, which tells me the onion rings need to be cooked faster: dip into hot oil until just brown, flip, just brown, and remove. Update: I used a flour, salt, and water to make a purposely watery batter. I baked the onion rings with corn oil. The batter crisped up fine but it slid off the onions. They tasted right, but they were cooked onions on a crispy bed rather than onion rings. Maybe thicker batter will stick better.

Lesson learned: Long-time storage of ginger in a plastic bag tied shut in the refrigerator results in moldy ginger. I cut off the moldy parts, removed the skin, rinsed, air dried, and am storing the remaining ginger chunks in the freezer except for the chunk I'm using. Update: The chunk I'm using also must be stored in the freezer, except I store it in a separate bag. Once frozen, the ginger can't be unfrozen. When thawed the chunk turns into a wet sponge.

Lesson learned: To retain sausage flavor, cook sausages whole, then slice them. Slicing first, then cooking, causes the sausage to lose flavor. I wonder if cooking a sausage whole first, refrigerating and slicing (or slicing and refrigerating), then heating will retain the sausage's flavor.

I bought 2 pernil pork shoulders on a 88¢/lb sale. To fit them in my freeze, I cut open the vacuum-sealed plastic bag, removed 1 pernil, stored it in a thin supermarket produce bag and 2 shopping bags. I now have 3 of them in my freezer, stacked side-by-side upright, not yet butchered, taking up most of the bottom shelf. I thought I might have to move something down, but rearranging the freezer did the trick. I'm set for meat for a while.

My faith in the integrity of my blog and my trust in Blogger was shaken by the discovery that my 26FEB2013 post reverted to an earlier version. There was no notice nor any warning of the change. There's no saved draft of the correct version in my account. Fortunately, the correct version of the post was cached on google. I don't know whether other posts have been replaced without my knowledge. It's scary because I don't remember all the additions and changes I routinely make to posts. Because the older versions of my posts are familiar with my ideas and writing style, a reversion may not even catch my attention as having changed. I need to back up everything I've posted onto my hard drive. Update: I tentatively believe the 26FEB2013 post reverted because, while experimenting a few days ago, I did a Revert to draft of all my 'Thoughts of the day' labeled posts from the posts list and then immediately republished them. I didn't know I risked altering the posts. However, several help requests in the Blogger troubleshooting forum say that Revert to draft caused a blog post to revert to an earlier version of the blog post - not only change the published status. Now I have to compare all of my 'Thoughts of the day' labeled posts to cached versions to find out whether other posts changed. Update: My 30AUG2012 Thoughts of the day also reverted to an earlier version, which is probative but not dispositive evidence the Revert to draft was the culprit. All the other 'Thoughts of the day' labeled posts matched their cached versions on google. I need to recall what other posts I've reverted to draft. The next time I use Revert to draft, I first have to save a back-up copy of the post on my computer. From now on, especially when I pull up an older post for which I don't recall my last change, I'll have a nagging worry that I'm reading an older version missing later additions and edits.

To remove the sticky, rubbery adhesive used to attach labels to plastic or glass jars, such as for peanut butter or pasta sauce, rub off the adhesive using cooking oil, then remove the oil with dishwashing soap. Vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and dishwashing soap do a poor job of removing the glue.

I cleaned splashed on grease stains on a cotton dress shirt by scrubbing them with a toothbrush, dishwashing liquid, and water. Backstory: I was boiling bone broth with pernil bones after butchering a 9-lb pernil pork shoulder I had just purchased. I was using a fork and spoon as improvised tongs to lift the bones out of the broth. I shook the bones before removing them to a plate. I dropped one and it splashed oily broth onto my shirt. Cleaning the shirt: I hand washed the shirt normally with other laundry items (1 ball cap, 1 pair athletic socks, 1 pair polyester shorts, 1 pair cotton boxers, 1 washcloth, and 2 pillow cases) after pouring laundry detergent directly onto the stains. When the shirt air dried, the grease stains were still visible. I then used a toothbrush to scrub the grease stains with laundry detergent and water. When the shirt dried, the grease stains were still visible. Then I scrubbed with the dishwashing liquid and water. When the shirt dried, the grease stains were gone or at least sufficiently faded.

I eat on the desk holding my computer and, over the years, splattered droplets of grease built up on my monitor screen. I applied this suggestion to use a cloth, water, and vinegar to clean the monitor screen. The grease stains cleaned off satisfactorily, but the cloth and cleaning solution left streaks, likely because I used tap water rather than distilled water. Perhaps filtered water would work, too; next time. Update: After wiping down the monitor screen with a cloth wet with vinegar and water after splattering some chicken bits on the screen, I saw a pixel burned out on the left side, middle portion of the screen. I'm perplexed because I don't recall doing anything unusual on that part of the screen while I did wipe more and harder on other parts of the screen.

I take my thumbs for granted. After I cut the tip of my left thumb and wrapped an adhesive bandage around it, I tried to avoid touching it. It was harder than I expected. I ended up gripping with the bandaged part of my thumb, which meant making the bandage wet, dirty, and useless.

Getting older physical changes: First noticed last winter, body cold and unable, as I was able when younger, to warm up with body heat alone under the covers. I've resorted to long underwear, sleeping bag, comforter, and heater on. However, I think I can skip all that by warming up with some brisk exercise. Tinnitus that comes and goes that sounds like the buzzing of a hearing test or a high-pitched machine hum.

Eric

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