Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Thoughts of the day

From the New Yorker, an update on the Horace Mann sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

This NY Times story via SWJ matches my prognostication and encouragement for CU ROTC+ to prepare Columbia cadets to carry out small-scale, surgically delicate missions.

At the Foreign Policy article on OIF, a commenter recommended to me his 'Why We Fight' explanation for OIF.

The villain: The author of this piece, David Sirota, also authored the misinformation/propaganda campaign against President Bush and the Iraq mission. In the Salon piece, he equates libertarian militia with Islamic terrorists. Here is a diluted echo of the same theme by Professor Nacos.

The lectures by Professor Iván Szelényi for Yale course Foundations of Modern Social Thought (SOCY 151) are on youtube. Course page here. According to the Nietzsche lecture, Thus Spake Zarathustra sounds like the Nietzsche book I ought to read.

You know you're a Ray Mears fan when . . . I'm enjoying his Wild Britain series, despite that it's a nature show and not only occasionally a survival show.

An accounting trick to create the appearance of lowered spending in the short term is to eat into the capital reserve. If usage doesn't go down yet spending goes down, the difference has to be made up somewhere.

The classic Aristotle's appeals used in persuasive writing - pathos (emotional), logos (pragmatic, also implying scientific or statistical evidence), and ethos (ethical) - seem to match the Freudian concept of id, ego, and super-ego.

TED talks tidbits. The organizational and family success formula is core and progress. On fear of failure and dabbling.

The growth of Lebron James as a basketball player, as he's profiled in this Grantland piece, reminds me of the artist Louis Comfort Tiffany who made the most of his internal and external advantages.

The moral of the story of Kobe Bryant's failed rap career is that internal vision, talent, motivation, and dedication are necessary but not sufficient. To realize a goal, external steps from the alpha (α or Α) to omega (ω or Ω) must be achieved. On that journey into the world, outside influences, including people with supportive intentions, can misdirect and undermine the project even when the originator hits all of the marks in his plan. The outside factors that click into place in the right or wrong way are normally referred to as luck or fate. Bryant's pursuit of basketball greatness succeeded, but his pursuit of hip-hop greatness failed despite his similar passion and drive for both.

Christopher Knight, the North Pond Hermit who survived in the Maine woods alone for 27 years by foraging (stealing), was captured by an enterprising game warden who set a trap with a motion sensor camera and alarm. Knight doesn't know why he walked into the woods in April 1986. He just did. Impulse, feeling. Add: September 2014 GQ feature story. Add: April 2017 The Atlantic article.

Pro wrestling jargon for a good guy going bad is a face (to) heel turn and a bad guy becoming good is a heel (to) face turn.

Funny youtube series: Retarded Policeman.

The Four Quarters, a Canadian singing group that joined together in HS, sing Pachelbel's Canon in D acapella style. While other videos show off the girls' superior skill and harmony, this one stands out as a beautiful classic that manages to highlight each girl in contrast to their usual trade-off of feature and background roles. What stands out most in the video is the display of modest feminine grace. The unaffected placid harmony and joy in their music and demeanor is enchanting. I hope that quality endures in the girls' performances as they mature. It's special and perhaps even marketable. The light doo-wop "In Time", which was written for them, is catchy. The glimpse into their world supports the notion that outward confidence correlates with outward appearance.

Talented fun Gen Y musical collective cdza or collective cadenza (h/t) pinpoints the sudden vulgar turn of male and female "love" songs in the middle 1990s. (The gorgeous girl singer is Dylan C Moore.)

Don't sleep on Gen Y. I went to college with these kids. They'll remake the country in some ways perhaps uncomfortable for us Gen-Xers, but the Gen-Y kids are more aware and clear headed than we give them credit for being. They have fewer hang-ups than we do. And they are talented. If any American generation can figure out the changing world order, it's them. They might be the last best hope of our country.

HS senior vents in the Wall Street Journal about being rejected by colleges. I predict she will go to law school.

It takes 12 feet or 144 inches of 1/16" diameter accessory cord to make a 39-inch long 3-strand braid. Inefficient but still cool. Right now, I'm using the braid to dummy-cord my laptop's power cable.

The shooter's cliche of "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" also applies to getting out of bed. I was scissoring my legs and swung my right knee into the wood corner of my bedside table. Ouch. Fortunately, there's a little bit of give or else I might have broken something. At least, I don't believe anything is broken in my knee. It's stiff and sore, though.

My Sunbeam electric fryer works since the heating indicator bulb broke, but I'm convinced the temperature is lower, maybe by as much as 100 degrees. My proof is that anything I try to brown with it, such as onions or bacon, is browning much slower than before. The pizza bannock is taking longer to bake and the bottom isn't searing like before. Where my pizza bannock was done in 5-7 minutes before, it's now taking 20 minutes and the crust is lighter colored. Whatever mechanism regulates the temperature is wonky, too - it takes too long to turn back on and makes loud clicking noises. I'm chagrined that the Sunbeam worked for as long as 60 years and then broke while I was using it.

My latest pizza bannock in my Sunbeam failed. The whole middle of the pizza bannock crust stuck fast to the fryer, which hadn't happened before. Part of the blame may be spreading the dough using an oily spoon on a cold unoiled fryer, rather than placing the dough on the heated fryer and flipping and pressing on the crust. I've spread the dough cold before without the bannock sticking like it was glued though.

The burner has a higher temperature than the fryer and with the grill pan works well for making pizza bannock. I eventually may need to buy a cooking pan for the burner if the fryer gets worse.

Everything I cook in my Nesco is cooked in a mixing bowl because the "non-stick" Cookwell flakes.

I adopted the 1-handed 2-utensil tong technique, with one utensil locked in my pinky, ring finger, and middle finger and the other utensil held by my thumb and index finger, after my latest meat flipping fiasco. I was broiling pork in my toaster oven, which is shoulder level, and flipping the pork with a fork when the pork slid off the fork and dropped on the floor. It's the second time I've done that. During the clatter, I caused 2nd degree burns (self diagnosed by the blisters) on the inside of my right wrist and below my left index finger. From now on, I'll use the pseudo-tongs to flip the meat.

Rite Aid, Western Beef, and NSA weekly circulars are on-line. Add: Associated.

I'm tempted to buy pork (pernil shoulder) that's on sale for 88 cents a lb. The catch is that it's only sold in a bulk size. I don't know that I'm willing to apportion and freeze 10+ pounds of pork.

I'm struggling to finish the beef liver. I have no doubt it's healthy. It's filling and packed with iron and protein. I'm just not a fan of the taste. The liver ruined what should have been my best pizza bannock to date, made with onions and spinach with sauce and mozzarella. I figured I had enough flavors in the pizza bannock to cover for the liver. I was wrong. I used another slab of liver in my latest bachelor meat sauce pasta. It's still unpleasant tasting, but there's enough flavor in the pasta to cover for the liver. A benefit of adding liver to my pasta is I'm eating it slower.

Speaking of which, my second latest bachelor meat sauce pasta: mix of Barilla elbows (n.41) and farfalle (n.65) pasta, about 8 oz of frozen Perdue fresh ground chicken, about 4 oz slab of beef liver, 1 can 28 oz Marzano crushed tomatoes (works well), 1 can 15.25 oz Green Giant whole kernel sweet corn, 1 box 10 oz Best Yet frozen whole leaf spinach, 1 yellow onion.

I used the remainder of the beef liver in my latest bachelor meat sauce pasta. The notable difference is I used the Nesco and 3-quart mixing bowl to boil the sauce rather than use the Sunbeam to make a a sloppy-joe-style sauce. When boiled, the ground turkey atomized in the sauce rather than clump into chunks as ground meat does when fried. Another more-subtle difference is the lack of cooking oil, which I didn't use, and char flavor in the boiled meat sauce. I'm glad I've finished the liver. Unless I find a very reliable recipe that can overcome the liver taste, I don't anticipate buying liver again.

Cooking Western Beef frozen chopped spinach with my rice works, except I've found that frozen chopped spinach has lost its taste. Frozen whole spinach tastes better.

I've been wearing down a Cook's traditional bone-in, Hickory smoked, super trim, butt portion ham and water product, cured with water, dextrose, salt, sodium phosphate, and sodium nitrite, 4.920 lb chunk that I bought on sale at 1.49/lb. They're not kidding about "23% of weight is added ingredients." The ham shrinks when cooked. The package says "ready-to-eat" but also instructs to "heat through" before eating. I've eaten a few pieces without cooking them. The ham tastes okay but I'm not fond of the unpleasant after-feeling from eating the ham, which I don't get from eating pork that I cooked myself. I think I'll stick to buying raw pork from now on. Given that I need to heat the ham anyway, there's no advantage to it.

Pillsbury chocolate fudge brownie mix brownies are okay.

Sour cream is versatile: butter substitute on toast, pasta creamer, brownie topping, cheese substitute for pizza bannock (in a pinch). Cue the grandmotherly voice-over in the Frank's Red Hot radio spot: "I put that beep on everything."

I've eaten a pizza bannock and a bowl of spinach, onion, and egg boiled rice (using the Salton rice cooker and 1 quart mixing bowl, turned out not bad) today, and I'm still hungry. I'm boiling the remainder of the Perciatelli pasta now in the Salton rice cooker (broken into thirds to fit). Update: Pasta with sauce, hot sauce, and sour cream. Yum. That should hold me over for the night.

The Perciatelli pasta looks interesting, like exceptionally thick spaghetti, but it actually has a hollow core. I don't know the purpose of the hollow core or whether it's just a different look.

Roger Ebert (RIP) advocated for rice cooker cooking and I agree. I'm satisfied with my bachelor cookware that co-stars my rice cooker in the ensemble, though I mourn my wounded Sunbeam electric frying pan, which had been the star of the set. With my Sunbeam diminished and maybe dying, I may shift the load and broaden my range of cooking with the Salton, which I've used to cook rice, pasta, soup, and boil my bone broth.

A dumpling skin recipe.

Bachelor stew with the canned salmon and pasta sauce turns into bachelor salmon sauce. Not bad, but not really bachelor stew.

Young husband records his cute crying wife. He stopped updating their web presence in 2010. I wonder whether he stopped because she changed on him like Kate changed on Jon. Update: I don't know whether she changed on him, but the husband has continued his web presence.


Claire Abbott apparently is the new Angie Varona. Just remember, young lady, with great power comes great responsibility.

Rollo linked to an interesting collection of photos showing porn actresses before and after their stage make-up is applied. The popularity of tattoos among young women saddens me. It's not attractive and interferes with their natural beauty. I disagree with Rollo's harsh downgrade of Zarena sans make-up. Rilee's appearance changed more for the worse.

Women can transform their appearance and demeanor to a degree that's beyond most men who aren't actors or con artists. Men change like driving a manual shift, while women change like driving an automatic. The unreliability of judging girls' actual looks through the illusion of make-up reminded me of a recent post by Emma observing that, contrary to the worldview espoused by PUAs, most men assign high value to traits in women besides looks. I agree with that. Looks matter, but compatibility and good-womanly traits matter just as much or more. Victor Pride of Bold and Determined touched on the subject of a girl's appearance and demeanor in his post How to Meet Shy Girls. (More here.) If her looks are good enough, that's good enough if she brings other valuable qualities to the table. Besides, I like girls who can dress down and relaxed and dress sharp and made up as the occasion calls for it.

Emma also talks about faking normalcy for the sake of others. There's what I desire from the world and there's what I want to give to the world. As an INFP, my approach has been to harmonize both sides of the equation with my inner self. I can give or push to the world on my terms. But self-centered integrity is not a realistic way to draw or pull what I desire from the world. To pull what I want from the world, I need to be better at faking normalcy and communicating on other people's wavelengths. How does the other person sense and process me? What does the other person want? What makes the other person happy? What cues are the keys that will unlock the reactions I want? How should I present myself and what image should I portray for the other person's sake rather than my sake? One answer.

British mom who loves her husband resents having had children but was a dutiful, conscientious mom nonetheless. Just not a loving mom. I have some suspicion that she is a loving mom and her over-the-top essay is a covert attempt to comfort her daughter who has been bed-ridden with MS and under her mom's full-time care since age 23 and is now 31. In other words, it's unlikely at this point her daughter will have her own children. The essay may be mom's heavy-handed way of trying to reassure her daughter that the alternative to becoming a mom is okay, too.

Judgybitch on Husband ≠ Friend.

I like this blog. Happycrow is red pill, but not an ideologue. I believe that's the right approach. The red pill is not a religion that one joins reciting a fixed catechism. It's about the truth, less universal Truth than emotionally and critically filtered, custom-fitted personal truth.

An interesting discussion deconstructing the popular cultural concept of romantic love. I think the commenters go too far in their attempt to discredit romantic love by revealing it as a deliberately manipulative social construct. They're like radical feminists in that regard. There is some pushback within the comment thread. I believe romantic love is real, and I want it, though I agree with the cynics that the popular cultural concept of romantic love has been harmfully misleading.

Liz asks for advice from men on raising a son from middle school through high school.

The questions are who am I, love, what do I do, in that order, albeit with some shifting and combining. I don't feel that I can answer the 3rd question until I've answered the 1st two.

For some, the red pill is rational and logically reasoned. For others, the red pill is koanic and intuitive.

Mastery learning goal orientation and growth mindset.


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Blogger Emma said...

Thanks for the link :)

4/08/2013 6:51 PM  
Blogger Emma said...

As for faking normalcy, it's up to each individual how much they should do that. For me personally, I feel i get way more out of the world by doing it LESS. People respect me more that way. I'll even say it's better not just for me, but for everyone else, that I don't do it too much.

Also, judging by that link that follows mine, I'd say faking normalcy is one thing. And self-improvement another. I do a lot of the latter, but not the former. Normalcy just isn't a virtue.

4/08/2013 7:10 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Hi Emma,

You're welcome. Good work on your blog and comments elsewhere.

Faking normalcy is practical, not a virtue. It is also self-improvement in the sense that learning any useful skill is self-improvement.

4/08/2013 7:39 PM  
Blogger Emma said...

I somewhat disagree. Faking normalcy is not a self-improvement. Learning HOW TO might be a self-improvement. But once you know how, and what results it gives, you can choose not to do it (or do it, if it's practical for you), without regressing and ruining your self-improvement.

4/09/2013 9:49 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Why does learning to fake normalcy ruin and regress self-improvement?

I don't want to live a lie. But I do want and need things from people that are hindered by engaging people from an introverted, introspective, eccentric orientation.

4/09/2013 8:34 PM  
Blogger Emma said...

Oh, I didn't say faking normalcy regresses self-improvement. I just said that once you learn how to do it, you can choose not to fake normalcy without regressing in your self-improvement.

Faking normalcy can be regressive or self-improving, depending on the situation and person. I was just saying that the act of faking normalcy is not a self-improvement in itself. It CAN be, when it creates net gains.

I'm not saying no one should ever fake normalcy. Or that no one should learn it. I myself took a long time to develop that skill, and I'm proud of what I gained. I find that appearance of being normal gives me invisibility, something I sometimes want to have. I just don't think it's always a self-improvement to fake normalcy.

4/10/2013 8:17 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

I want self-improvement and the net gains from faking normalcy. I agree with you that they are not the same, but the two categories are not unrelated either. I'm not a hermit guru on a mountain top.

Invisibility is my default social state. As an introvert who finds prolonged 'normal' social interaction wearing, being unimpressive and forgettable can be a relief. That and being on a different wavelength, however, are obstacles wherever I want and need things from people.

4/10/2013 11:24 PM  

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