Friday, March 15, 2013

Thoughts of the day

Yeah, I know. This is 3 in a row. I'll eventually put up a topical post again rather than another accreting conglomerate thoughts of the day post. My next post likely will be my thoughts on the 10-year anniversary of the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which promises to be an infuriating spinfest in the media. I'll most likely compile links and posts not included in my Perspective on OIF post and touch on President Bush's idealistic liberal response to 9/11.

I offered my help for Uncle Jimbo's 10-year anniversary project. I hope he takes advantage of it.

I offered my perspective on OIF at RangerUp, too. They're running a fascinating series of personal accounts of Iraq battles they participated in.

Neo posts on a study about casualty numbers related to the Iraq mission. She notes that in the press on the study no clear distinction is made between casualties from American actions and casualties from terrorist actions, although the numbers are in the data. Also, Saddam's regime and the terrorists caused many more deaths in Iraq than the Americans.

In my comment on Neo's post about public polls on the Iraq mission, I emphasize the weakness of the IR realist opposition to it.

Mad Minerva plugs my OIF 10th anniversary posts. Update: Brian Dunn at The Dignified Rant mentions them in his 10th anniversary look back on OIF.

I weigh in at Small Wars journal.

I weigh in Victor David Hansen's article at National Review.

Morticia comments on INFP men. She offers a glimmer of hope with ISTJ women as a possible MBTI match for INFP men. It turns out that Isabel Myers of Myers-Briggs identifies as an INFP. No wonder INFP descriptions are uncanny.

A loving tribute to INFP icon Calvin and Hobbes.

Words are superficial. They don't convey depth of meaning. Wordsmiths with enough skill, like painters and artisans of other two-dimensional media, can create an illusion of depth, but the illusion may not be accurate.

A film critic's post on beautiful women reminds me of some of my posts.

Overheard in the supermarket checkout line: The lady in front of me was going on to the cashier about kids today having their own children too young and how she went to college and traveled before getting married at age 25 before having her son. Then she dropped a doozy. She said she got married, had a son, got divorced, then got a wife. I thought she may have misspoken due to excited speech, but she confirmed she knew she was gay when she married a man, but she wanted a child. Once she got her child, she got rid of the man. Presumably, the man she tricked is on the hook for child support and perhaps alimony. He did get a son out of it at least, although if he was lied to in the 1st place, who knows if the son is actually her ex-husband's. Scary duplicity.

I bought beef liver on sale (.99/lb) and fried it with onions. It wasn't bad, but I cooked too much of it. It cooks up fast. There's a limit of how much liver-tasting liver I can eat before it becomes gross. I'm soaking the remainder of the uncooked liver in whole milk which supposedly blunts the flavor. A liver sandwich with a generous amount of hot sauce and ketchup disguises the liver flavor. The milk marinade may have helped a little.

I made a pizza bannock with liver, mozzarella, and tomato sauce, with a generous amount of hot sauce and black pepper. I used the griddle pan covered with the fryer cover, which just happens to be a near-perfect fit for the griddle pan, for the oven effect. The liver worked okay on the pizza bannock. Basically, the more flavors I use to disguise the liver flavor the better.

Slim pickings for sale items in the meat department today. I picked up a package of country-style cut pork at regular price and chicken gizzards (.99/lb). The boneless sirloin cut pork on sale was slightly more expensive than the country-style cut pork, 1.79/lb vs 1.69/lb, but may actually be cheaper by weight of meat alone. I want my bone broth, though. Chicken gizzard recipes say to boil them first to soften before frying. Update: The chicken gizzards cooked up okay, but it made me realize just how much flour breading, salt, and spices are used in fast-food chicken like KFC. I made bannock in the leftover gizzard cooking oil, and the bannock soaked it up like a sponge.

Brownies made from Betty Crocker dark chocolate brownie mix aren't bad.

Annoying is a plastic lid under my Sunbeam electric fryer, forgotten while making dinner. When I moved the fryer after cooking my dinner, there was the unpleasant surprise: one melted, holey lid, and plastic melted into the underside of the fryer. There was no smell. That stuff is hard to scrape off, and a good amount is still there.

Sad news: The charging light under the "off" on the handle of my Sunbeam electric fryer (aka controlled heat automatic frying pan) popped, sparked, smoked, and burned out while I was cooking my latest bachelor meat sauce pasta (pork, Hunts garlic & herb pasta sauce, corn, spinach, onions, elbows). I unscrewed the dial and the panel underneath the dial. The bulb doesn't appear replaceable. I don't believe I did anything to cause it to break, although I noticed that the rubber seal for the panel on the bulb side was loose and crumbled. I don't know whether that's significant or how it will affect future performance. Given that the fryer may be 60 years old, I guess the bulb had a pretty good run. I don't believe the temperature control will be affected by the loss of the light bulb. I hope.

I don't know whether I'm being paranoid, the burned out bulb has an effect, or I put the dial on wrong (so that the actual temp is lower than the indicated temp), but the temperature of the fryer seems lower and the fryer seems to turn off more. Update: I go back and forth on whether the temp is lower, but there is something wrong with the temperature regulator. It turns off too early and stays off too long, though it does turn back on.

Funny Simpsons vocabulary: Tontine.

This is how to do effective advocacy with a TED talk: lay the foundation with limited parameters, show your work with reasonable theory and factual evidence, minimize platitudes, anticipate questions such as old prohibitions on grazing and comparison to slash and burn technique, then advocate by framing the problem and making a reasonable proposal with a reasonable inference and conclusion. Allan Savory's "holistic management" that uses a controlled grazing solution for the specific problem of desertification of grasslands seems doable. The burger companies should jump on it. Many TED activists rely on emotional appeals that elicit applause but do not offer an apparently actionable task/condition/standard problem-solution proposal.

Other TED talks: Stewart Brand on the Jurassic Park-like engineered de-extinction of recently extinct species. His talk offers a lesson on industry networking and organization. Catarina Mota advocates the open-source bazaar model to spread future 'smart material' technologies among the makers in the masses to encourage popular innovation and experimentation.

Vox: "No doubt most men will dislike the need to anticipate, misdirect, and obfuscate when they would like nothing better than to bare their souls and be accepted for whom they truly are, warts and all. But the paradox of intersexual relations is that in order to be truly accepted, loved, and desired by a woman, a man must always keep a part of himself hidden well away from her."

1.5 hr UCSF talk: How can your brain turn anxiety into calmness. I've listened to about 15 min so far. The speaker says worry and anxiety activate different parts of the brain - worry is thinking, anxiety is emotional. Anxiety also has many physical effects. TED talk Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice. Schwartz, a psychologist, says too much choice paralyzes us.

This TED talk by Rob Hopkins is about the need to transition to a life after oil. Our current civilization is based on oil, but the oil is running out. Hopkins favors resilience (recovery from shock or ability to change) over sustainability (continuation or not changing). Resilience is independent and modular with fallbacks. More than that, he promotes granular self-sufficiency. Very John Robb. Taleb would be pleased, too. Sustainability is dependent and vulnerable - fragile, in Taleb-speak. Hopkins wants to move away from the oil-based national and global economy.


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