Wednesday, March 06, 2013

This is my first story

"This is my first story" would be a good name for a blog, or something else. For now, I'll just bookmark it by using it as the title for this thoughts of the day post. It works okay and the label function ensures I can find this post later as a thoughts of the day post. It's from this, which I know about because of this. It touches my red-pill instinct, or blue-pill programming, to be a dad and 爸爸.

I bought Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies on sale. The size has shrunk to 13 ounces. When I opened the package, the amount of cookies in it just looked skimpy. I'm feeling stuffed from gorging on chocolate chip cookies and whole milk, and bachelor stew with an egg, in that order. I harbor the totally baseless belief that the eater's remorseful consequences of overindulging in junk food can be ameliorated by mixing the junk food with a reasonably nutritious meal in my stomach.

Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies isn't the only junk food that's shrinking. I bought 1 bag regular Doritos and 1 bag Cool Ranch Doritos on a BOGO sale (2/4.29 vs the usual sale price of 2/5 or 2/6). The regular Doritos bag has been redesigned. Sale + redesign indicates a shrunken product. Sure enough, the regular Doritos bag now contains 11 oz. The Cool Ranch is 11.5 oz. Wikipedia's Doritos page displays a 12 oz bag of regular Doritos with a 3.99 labeled price. This recipe blog post from October 15, 2012 displays a 11.5 oz regular Doritos bag. Perhaps not surprisingly, most results in a google image search show Doritos bags with the weight digitally removed. And, as usual, I have eater's remorse from the Doritos and followed the chips with a real meal.

I'll fill in descriptions of my latest bachelor stew and bachelor meat sauce pasta, which I gobbled up in 2 meals (or rather 1 string of eating that spanned 2 meals), later.

Bachelor meat sauce pasta: Using my Sunbeam frying pan and Salton rice cooker, about 10 oz ground pork ($1), 28 oz can Hunts petite sliced tomatoes ($1) boosted with some Ragu sauce (Hunts diced tomatoes has tomato juice, no tomato puree), 10 oz box frozen Birds Eye frozen chopped broccoli ($1), about .5 oz remainder of 5 oz jar of HeluvaGood prepared horseradish ($1.69? for the jar), about 2/3 of 16 oz box Ronzoni small shells ($1 box), 1 chopped yellow onion (.88 2 lb bag). The amount, as usual, filled the Sunbeam, which has a 9 cup or 72 oz capacity. I started eating it at breakfast and kept picking at it until it was gone by lunch. It's a reliable comfort-food dish.

Bachelor stew: Using my 3 quart mixing bowl, Nesco, and Salton rice cooker, 14.75 oz can Icy Point pink salmon ($3), 18.5 oz can Italian-style Wedding (meatballs, carrots, and spinach in chicken broth) Progresso soup ($1.50), 10 oz box Best Yet frozen whole leaf spinach ($1), about 6 oz remainder of 24 oz jar Old World Style Traditional Ragu sauce ($1), 1 chopped yellow onion (.88 2 lb bag), 1 cup cooked rice ($10 20 lb bag). I later added about 32 oz of porkbone broth, but I don't think it made a difference from water. The stew costs more than my meat sauce pasta, but it makes for decadent eating.

Boneless pork sirloin chops - yum. I bought a 2.23 lb chunk on sale for $1.59/lb, rubbed on some seasoning salt and pepper, put it in the Nesco and left it alone to cook. 45 minutes later, tender meat. Easy. Pork has emerged as my favorite of the 3 meats. Pork is savory, forgiving to cook, and filling. Pork sears well. Beef is the most expensive of the 3 meats. It's not forgiving to cook and too easy to overcook. Beef tastes good when it's right, but it's tasteless when I get it wrong. Granted, I'm buying cheap cuts of beef, which makes a difference. Chicken is the cheapest of the 3 meats. It's forgiving to cook; I've overcooked chicken with much too high a temp for much too long and it still tasted like chicken. I like thigh meat the best. The downside is chicken is the least filling of the 3 meats; it's like the Wonderbread of meat.

I bought a 12 oz bag of BacalaRico Choice Boned Salted Alaska Pollock Fillets on sale for $2.50. These instructions on pan frying fish fillets seem simple enough. I'm just going to flour and fry the fillets in the Sunbeam, not egg and bread them. Update: I followed the instructions and soaked the fillets in water, changing the water 3 times, but they were still salty - over-seasoned salty, not preserved-in-salt salty. I don't know that it's worth the higher cost and trouble preparing compared to other meats, but the fish was edible at least. The Icy Point salmon is better. The flouring became sloppy because the fillets were still wet from soaking and turned the flour into dough. The flouring also didn't stick to the fish as I fried them, and I ended up eating fish and chips.

Bachelor cooking tips. My best method of cooking pork has been to broil it in my toaster oven, then sear it on my griddle pan and burner. I chopped up an onion and cooked some pieces on the griddle pan with the pork. However, I put the onions on the griddle pan too early, so they burned black. Next time, I'll put the onions and pork on the pan at the same time. Baking in the Nesco tends to dry out the pork while making for tender chicken - go figure; I haven't tried to bake my beef yet. Cooking too much rice + leftover chopped onions = egg-and-onion fried rice tomorrow. Okay, I purposely cooked too much rice for one meal because I'm looking forward to my comfort-food fried rice. Adding vinegar to bone broth gives it a sweet-and-sour soup kick (so that's how they do it). I had been saving the chicken, pork, and beef bones I boiled for bone broth for a reboil in order to pull out any remaining nutrients. When I roughly filled about half a 32 oz container with once-boiled bones, I boiled them all together in my 3 quart mixing bowl and Nesco. The resulting broth was thick and flavorful. Reboiling bones 2-3 times for bone broth softens and breaks down the outer bone and cartilege beyond just releasing the oils from the bone marrow. I've read that some restaurants boil bones for 24 hours and some home cooks boil bones for 4 hours in a pressure cooker to make their bone broth. It's reasonable to assume that boiling bones in my Salton rice cooker won't extract everything digestible from the bones the first time.

Keoni Galt, who has compelling thoughts on industrial food, recommends bone broth to ward off colds. Coincidentally, I haven't caught a cold since I started drinking bone broth and I usually get sick at least once in the winter.

I hadn't recorded before how much I spend on food. I wanted to find out how much it costs to feed myself so I started saving my receipts. The early returns are in:

Oct 2012-Feb 2013 spending by month ($)
Oct 2012Nov 2012Dec 2012Jan 2013Feb 2013
5 month total: 657.53Monthly average: 131.51

It's a start. The data isn't reliable yet as far as projecting my spending. My October and November numbers are too low because they don't include all my eating out and I don't trust I saved all my receipts. My December number is higher because I was conscientiously saving my receipts, changing my eating routine, and paying more for same. My January and February numbers are more reliable for projection. I haven't had a budget. Before I set a budget, I want to establish a baseline by finding out how much I spend just by being moderate, buying on sale, and only minimally eating out. My diet has featured a lot of meat (beef, chicken, pork), milk, pasta, bread, bannock, and rice. I buy very little eat-in and take-out anymore, but I still regularly indulge in sweet and salty junk food. Cold whole milk and sweet cereal (eg, Post Cocoa Pebbles) is an irresistable combination. Milk good. Milk + sweet cereal bad.

The Basal Metabolic Rate, or the amount of energy or calories used by the body just being alive, is encouraging.

The History Channel Life and After People series producers obviously were big fans of Anatolian shepherd dogs. They sound like my kind of dog in their devotion to duty, steady temperament, and independent thinking. This episode features the breed, which is funny because the episode is actually about the fate of religious and other buildings if they're deprived of human maintenance. The gushing praise of the Anatolian shepherd brought to mind the LTC Dave Grossman essay On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs that's a favorite of soldiers and cops.

An aspect of soldiering that spoils men is it is intrinsically meaningful work. When I was one, I was sure everything I did, most of all what I did with other soldiers, mattered. Since a soldier is a soldier 24/7, a meaningful life is just normal. Of course, the meaning is conferred with the uniform; it isn't self-determined. It's like a CIF or weapon issue. Soldiers don't own it and don't take it with them when they leave the uniform, except for their memories and, if they want, the Army values.

Soldiering suits INFPs, at least short term, because of "Mission first, Soldiers always"; it is a humanistic, fraternally bonding, paternally caring, values based, and idealistic profession. There's a lot of love in soldiering. When I decided to join the military, I chose the Army over the Air Force and Navy because they seemed designed primarily around technology (planes and ships) while the Army seemed designed around people.

What are the connections among the Marxist Frankfurt School, Modernity, feminine imperative, feminism, and Mencius Moldbug's Cathedral?

Criticisms of Moldbug's thesis. They're enlightening but seem to also suffer from the same argument flaws they accuse of Moldbug. They're advocacy pieces more than inquiries, critically rigorous in places but switching to name-calling, selective assertions, and unexamined dismissals in other places. (h/t)

Red pill round-up: OWC tears apart nice guys (h/t Morticia), Sunshine Mary explains why she shut down her blog, Judgybitch offers wife-choosing advice to single men, Stingray opines on raising her son to be a Man, and Novaseeker helps another blogger define zeta masculinity. (Yeah, I don't know what "zeta" means, either.)

While red-pill men's blogs are more nuts-and-bolts and actionable, red-pill women's blogs, like this one, are growing on me with their insight from the woman's perspective. This red-pill woman's blog recommends this men's clothing and grooming blog. Morticia says she's an INFP, which means of course I have to pay special attention to her blog. This one has a links-heavy post on MB types and compatibilities. Emma the Emo.

Caveat: Red-pill women ≠ red-pill men ≠ red-pill me, for that matter. The red pill "sphere" has points in common, but it is not the same across demographics nor individually. With a few notable exceptions, red-pill women are not supporting men's interests exclusively but rather want social gender rules reset to support their womanly interests by nurturing healthier complementary gender roles. For example. That's fair and worthy of support, but it behooves red-pill men to know the difference. Many (not all) red-pill men want a similar rule set reset or at least define their red pill according to male-female relations, albeit from a masculine orientation. MGTOW red pill is different. MGTOWs share the masculine orientation with other red-pill men but MGTOW is introverted and eschews complementary male-female goals. The shared masculine orientation and nature, however, means MGTOW red-pill men and complementarian red-pill men can cross over.

According to The Atlantic, educated upwardly mobile girls in their 20s are finding that their instinct for coupling is clashing with their feminist indoctrination. Feminist reaction, spin, here. Blame the Cathedral. Like the Pemon matriarch explained that her traditional skills will die with her, children are being socialized in school so that politically correct values, norms, knowledge, and aspirations are displacing family and tribal heritage. Girls are being molded to be something other than traditional natural women, ie, future matriarchs.

In addition to blogging about food, Keoni Galt is an MGTOW who's a protecting and providing husband and father, so he's an FM- (Family Man) GTOW. He discusses his withdrawal from popular partisan politics. I don't agree with him that to be political for a regular guy is to be a useful idiot for a cabalistic conspiracy. I agree to the extent that regular guys, including me, are usually out of their depth with issues that are more layered and complicated than is represented in popular partisan politics. I've never identified with the Republicans nor the Democrats, but I do care about their effect on issues I care about. I agree with Galt that "The Manosphere is a clearinghouse for TRUTH, aka "The Red Pill"."

Considering the arena, I think about binary alternatives, zero sum, adversarial, zealous advocacy, tribal and competitive, false premises, false choices, false equivalencies, false narratives, strawmen, and ad hominems . . . sniper fire from the law school (C not R), having my side 'represented' by a bitter opponent, seeing them eye me gleefully from their meeting in the classroom, knowing what would happen but hoping it wouldn't, completing the task anyway, then returning in half an hour to find all the flyers I had tacked and taped up in Hamilton at the end of an exhausting day were torn down as I had feared, watching the same poisonous slander and shut-down approach spread like a virus into mainstream politics when I volunteered for GEN Clark in the Democratic primaries, reindeer games by narrow-minded teammates, being sabotaged by my own people, twice, and one of my Columbia professors disappointingly blogging like a partisan hack. The arena is a caustic, disillusioning place, yet the arena is where causes are won and lost.

My capabilities and ideals are drawn to the arena, but the arena clashes with my temperament. Do I choose my capabilities and ideals or my temperament? Can I reconcile them? How much of my achievement in college was me and how much was luck and fate? Where did Tina Bu lose her balance?

What difference if just one of them said yes? Maybe none. Maybe everything. I started writing a post with this thought, but it was too pathetic even for the parameters I've stretched on my blog in order to facilitate my current reflection. It's saved as a draft, though, so I may revisit it later.

A good metaphor for my idealized concept of relationships is the scene in Forrest Gump where battle buddies Bubba and Forrest lean back-to-back to raise each other out of the mud:
Hey Forrest, I'm going to lean up against you. You just lean right back against me. This way, we don't have to sleep with our heads in the mud. You know why we a good partnership, Forrest? Because we be watching out for one another, like brothers and stuff.
I've conceived romance as two imperfect people joining forces in a gestalt that makes both partners better and stronger. Flaws and weaknesses weren't to be hidden, but rather shared in order to foster intimate bonding, mutual dependence, and reciprocal support. The consequence has been a self-defeating schema with a negative return on investment. Reforming the ideal requires no less than removing part of my essential identity while conceiving and constructing an alien, once-offensive algorithm to replace it.

I'm working my way through Rollo's Year One and just read The Basics. Alpha Buddah, indeed - it's true in my experience that guys like Corey Worthington, who are only as sorry as much and how they need to be, have more latitude, get away with things, and get the girl.

In a case of glass half empty, sports pundits have framed the story of the American team at the World Baseball Classic according to the American stars not on the roster, such as Prince Fielder, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Justin Verlander. Just based on their criticism, I thought the US roster was filled with benchwarmers. Yet the US roster has a respectable contingent of stars, including MVP position players, Cy Young award-winning pitchers, legit candidates for either, and elite closers.


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