Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thoughts of the day

There is a growing counter-cultural movement to switch the frame of The Narrative and claim the cultural zeitgeist in order to re-root American society in masculine cultural virtues. Examples: Camille Paglia, Bill Price. To compete for control of the zeitgeist, masculine cultural advocates need expert, dynamic social activists like the Germans needed Arminius to defeat Rome.

The American Heritage Girls and Trail Life USA are new alternatives to the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. They're founded by former girl scouts and boy scouts who feel the traditional organizations have deviated too far from their original mission due to politically correct changes. Neither has a troop in New York City yet.

A concise explanation of the 3 waves of feminism: voting rights, working rights, cultural representation. Throughout is making all opportunities for men in every area, such as athletics and the military, opportunities for women, too. The current, 4th wave of feminism seems to be based on all things sexual, including reproduction and family.

For Asian Americans, the controversy over Ashley Wagner being added to the US women's figure-skating Olympic team instead of Mirai Nagasu, despite Wagner finishing 4th behind 3rd-place finisher Nagasu at Nationals, brings to mind the bamboo ceiling, the same bamboo ceiling in the SHSAT controversy. Gracie Gold came in 1st at Nationals. There always seems to be unexpected results at the Olympics. 2nd-place finisher Polina Edmunds, currently an afterthought in the conversation, may perform the best of the ladies, as Nagasu did in 2010.

Jeremy Lin earned his 1st NBA triple double.

ESPN writers reflect on 30-year NBA commissioner David Stern on his last day on the job. They provide some insight on Stern's leadership methods.

DataBall by Professor Kirk Goldsberry at Grantland explains the growing sophistication of statistical analysis and comprehensive data collection (SportVU) in the NBA as it enters Asimovian science-fiction realms. It reminds me of Professor Stephen Hsu's 2007 post, Bounded Cognition, where he states, "in the US: if students learn advanced math it tends to be calculus, whereas a course on probability, statistics and thinking distributionally would be more useful." It also reminds me of Juan Rico's statement in Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers that "Math is hard work and it occupies your mind — and it doesn’t hurt to learn all you can of it, no matter what rank you are; everything of any importance is founded on mathematics." Intuition, like superstition, seems obsolete. Goldsberry's column is self-serving, or at least industry-serving, by pushing for the expansion of teams' analytic capabilities, which would employ him and his colleagues. But the advocacy is justified. The potent combination of advanced statistical analysis and data collection seems applicable in any field that involves physical interactions and prediction. The military should be sending cadets and officers to the Sloan conference.

Predictably, alt-right libertarians (example1, example2, example3) blame the setback in Iraq on neocons and the Bush administration when actually the situation has been caused by failures during the Obama administration due to Obama's withdrawal from Bush's liberal strategy.

More here on Obama's foreign policy failures (h/t).

I vented at Columbia political science professor Nacos's latest post, Bin Laden is Dead, but Bin Ladenism Is Alive and Well.

RealClearTechnology, Julia Angwin: How to Safely Browse the Web.

John Calhoun's 1960s mouse-utopia experiment, Mortality-Inhibiting Environment for Mice: a practical utopia built in the laboratory, is a scary harbinger of the future of modern humanity. The youtube video concludes humans are now in an "exploit phase" and must make sweeping civilizational decisions in order to enforce an equilibrium and avoid a "die-off phase".

The Last Trapper is a 2004 docu-drama about Yukon Canadian MGTOW Norman Winther in the same vein as NatGeo's Alaska-based reality shows. The movie places Winther in the area of Dawson City, YT Canada, which is located 111 km east of the Alaska, US border along the Top of the World Highway/YT-9 S. Supposedly, the cast members are actual, so I don't understand why Winther calls his wife "Nebraska" when her name is "May Loo" in the credits. The 2011 interview mentions Winther moved to the Yukon after serving in Vietnam. Beyond that, little is mentioned about his life before he became a trapper.

MGTOW icon Richard Proenneke's (pronounced PREH-nuh-kee) 1974-1980 journals are available free on-line, courtesy of the National Park Service. It's a big PDF file: 500 pages, 48.83 MB. His distinctive signature style of prose communicates his thoughts and experiences elegantly, like smoothly carved wood.

I've been pronouncing MGTOW "em-toe", but I've also heard it pronounced "mig-tow", which incorporates the 'g' that I've made silent. Whatever.

My rule of thumb with red-pill reading is to filter the content through personal experience. If it accords with personal experience or can be extrapolated within a close range of personal experience, then it might be applicable as a lesson rather than just an interesting item.

For an idealist, swallowing the red pill means learning to see the world through inductive, empirical, materialist, positivist, and praxeological lens. They're foreign ways of thinking, but the economic, practical, and rational frames bump up.

Stark reminder that fulfilling economic needs is paramount in a marriage with children. Provision is basic, minimum-standard, bottom-line life and survival. Her sense of security and stability in the marriage requires it. RPW relates her husband's insecure, unstable provision with his low testosterone and their sex drought, ie, the poor quality of his provision equals the poor quality of his manhood.

Ian's take on his wife's support of him as their family's provider in the midst of financial turmoil is a counter-point to RPW's post. His wife believes in him with a faith not shared by RPW for her husband.

This New York Times Magazine feature article covers a classic red-pill topic with a politically correct veneer. The author has found that the more egalitarian a marriage, the more frustrating the sex, because sexual chemistry - ie, desire - is based on gender differentiation, which is the opposite of the egalitarian character of modern peer marriage. The thesis is old news, red pill 101 stuff, and considered a truism in the complementary genders school of the Manosphere. The article cites, among other authorities, Helen Fisher and Esther Perel, whom I cited here. This excerpt touches on an ugly truth:
Helen Fisher told me that women’s expectations for sexual fulfillment are changing so much that when she conducted a survey last year asking, “Would you make a long-term commitment to someone who had everything you were looking for but to whom you did not feel sexually attracted?” the least likely group to say yes was women over 60. At any age, companionship, it seems, is no longer enough of a draw on its own.
The author says "at any age" as though women over 60 are different in kind than younger women. My take is women over 60 are formerly younger women whose life experience has dispelled the myths and exposed the truth of their nature that, in mating, the 'spark' of desire isn't merely a stick in the bundle of sticks. Desire is the measuring stick. For women, desire, and not androgynous (companionate, kindred-spirit, egalitarian, romantically ideal) love, is the resilient natural dyadic bond. While women want the reliable stability of androgynous love as well, their mate attitude is secured at the base by desire. The article concludes that marriage may evolve so that egalitarian androgynous love eventually replaces gender-differentiated desire as the basic pair-bonding element. The idea appeals to me because such a change would support my idealistic preference that dyadic love is a soulful, deeper form of friendship. As much as I favor egalitarian peer marriage and androgynous love, however, I doubt human biological nature is that elastic. Rather, I think the conclusion encourages a fatalistic acceptance of the consequences of the social pathologies caused by current trends that reduce gender differentiation by masculinizing women and feminizing men.

Here's a current, real-life cautionary story of a man who was in an egalitarian marriage that collapsed under his feet. He did everything right as a husband and father, yet his life has been blown up by his ex-wife, anyway. The Eriksons are an exceptionally well-documented case study because the ex-wife talks about their divorce on-line, a lot. Before she dumped her husband, she had profusely praised their marriage on-line. Here's her cafemom columnist profile that also links to her twitter and blog. His twitter. Their story neatly validates red-pill assertions and discredits blue-pill myths about modern peer marriage. They married young and had children. She's a church-going, politically conservative girl. Their relationship was founded on friendship, not lust. Their marriage was seated in a close-knit religious community with friends and family. He cherished her, cared for their daughters, and provided for his family. The husband did everything right, even by the numbers of the romantic idealist's playbook, in courtship, marriage, and fatherhood. Yet their stable environment and his doing everything right did not prevent him from being wrong. The bottom line is she didn't desire him, and therefore, did not love him in a resilient way. He failed to earn his wife's desire with his androgynous love, and now he's being punished by the woman he placed at the center of his world. She's not sorry about breaking up their family. She's taken a 180° turn from her married characterization of their relationship and now rationalizes he's to blame for abusing her and she's a martyr exhausted from trying to save their marriage for years.

Lindsay, a devoutly Christian young woman, uses her religion to rationalize dumping her fiance, whom I suspect was as blindsided as Leif.

The plural of anecdote is data. Here's another textbook red-pill case study. "Notice how many men thrive and come alive when they have the love of a woman they want" - Yep. The opposite is also true, thus MGTOW.

Briffault's Law, indeed: “The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place.”

A man needs to know whether his girl desires him or only values him for whatever non-desirous goods or services he provides her. Desire is naturally resilient and means he is secure in the leeway of her love. She will give him the benefit of the doubt. Provision is a fragile construct, especially when she doesn't depend on it, and means he is constantly risking a misstep. Her doubts about him will be inflated. In the latter case, even should he manage to stay on the narrowing, invisible, rocky tightrope of her judgement with abject contortions of his masculine pride, she'll eventually rationalize pushing him off. And if he should slip off and she doesn't desire him, then she'll let him fall away with no effort to catch him. That's the simple either/or version. In the complicated version, a composite of gender-differentiated desire and androgynous love seems to work best under modern conditions, however the proper sequence of construction and effective working balance are achieved. The New York Times Magazine article cites 40% of the housework by the husband and 40% of household income by the wife as a stand-in for the golden ratio of gender differentiation for marital happiness. Beyond the notion of gender differentiation, what formula produces resilient desire in women for men generally, and wives for husbands specifically, is much conjectured. It's an essential question the red-pill community is working hard to answer. The precept that desire is a dependent variable that is mechanically aroused is a foundational turn of the red pill.

In a vivid dream based on my old job, I was reminded of the palpable, anxious pressure of non-stop alien, arbitrary requirements, demands, and stressors in cubicle work. And my old job wasn't nearly as bad as cubicle work can be. It's the Matrix, which Professor Russell sounded the warning on to us in his class.

How to Drop Out by Ran Prieur. (h/t)

Mark's Daily Apple (primal living in the modern world): 16 Things You Should Have Never Stopped Doing.

12 Reasons A-Holes Win and You Don't. (h/t)

My bunion is annoying. DIY-home remedies: First, I stuck a wooden dowel as a toe spreader between the big toe and 2nd toe. It worked to push the big toe straight. But it also pushed on my other toes and I couldn't walk without removing the dowel. Second, I cut strips of egg carton Styrofoam, folded them into a block, stuck them between my toes like the dowel, and used a hair rubber band to secure the Styrofoam block on the big toe. The Styrofoam block had more give than the dowel and I could walk with it, but it did worse pushing my big toe straight and still pushed on my other toes. Third, I rigged up a bunion splint (a FAQ) using a toothbrush for the splint, 3 rubber bands and a cut-sock sleeve on the mid-foot, and 1 hair rubber band and egg carton Styrofoam pad on the big toe. I can tweak it, but so far, I'm satisfied. It's secure and relatively comfortable. It straightens the big toe by pulling it against the splint, away from the rest of my toes, so it's not pushing on them. While the splint disallows a normal bending, rolling foot step, I can at least limp with it on. The splint doesn't fit comfortably inside a shoe. Even if it did, I'd do more damage to myself by limping. The next time I go out, I'll try a version of the Styrofoam-block toe spreader. Update: The splint feels fine while I'm awake, but interestingly, it became painful while I was asleep. I took it off. I guess blood circulation increases while I'm asleep and the splint pinched the blood vessels. My recent experience with difficulty warming up in bed, piling on the covers, then waking up roasting is more evidence my circulation changes while I'm asleep. I adjusted the Styrofoam pad and hair rubber band to try reducing the pressure pinching my big toe. I won't know whether the fix will make a difference until I sleep again. Update: Same - the splint hurts while I'm asleep and feels fine while I'm awake. I've settled on using the splint while awake and the toe spreader while asleep. I have 2 toe spreaders, a larger one I use while shoeless at home and a smaller one I use when I go out. I've discovered they stay in place, gripped between the toes, without a rubber band. The splint pad and toe spreaders are made from egg carton Styrofoam wrapped in medical tape. Update: I've replaced the egg-carton Styrofoam splint pad with a roughly 2"x1" HDPE #2-plastic oval pad cut from the lid of a 16-oz sour cream container. The hair rubber band without a pad pinches the toe, while the egg-carton splint pad is comfortable at times and at other times digs into the toe along the top and/or bottom edge. The thinner, more-flexible #2-plastic lid pad works as a buffer and does not scrape the toe except the bottom edge digs in when I climb stairs. Covering the bottom edge with a pad solves that problem.

I tried out the Uniqlo heattech under Bonfire Radiant and cotton dress shirt in approximately 16°F, 5°F windchill, 15 MPH wind, and driving snow. My legs were a little cool, but that's it. My Army polypros are warmer, but the Uniqlo can hold their own and they're softer, thinner, and lighter than the polypros. It's supposed to be colder in the morning: -10°F windchill. Update: I went out in approximately 6°F, -10°F windchill with the same outfit. My legs were colder than yesterday in the wind gusts, but not to the point of discomfort. Update: There is a big difference between wet cold and dry cold. Last night, I went out in approximately 17°F, 6°F windchill, 10 MPH wind, 50% humidity, and I was chilled. Not just cold, but chilled. The Uniqlo did not handle the conditions well, and I suspect the thicker polypros would have shielded me better from the chill. Update: My bad - the Uniqlo was not at fault for the chill, at least in my upper body. I discovered the armpit vents on the Bonfire Radiant were unzipped. The feature is designed to slough off body heat from snowboarders and skiers, and it works. While a layer over the Uniqlo is needed to better retain body heat, the Uniqlo works.

Weight loss seems to work by 5-pound resets. My weight will return to X weight whether I eat less or more that day. Then one day, by some internal mystery mechanism, X will reset to X-5.

Where I shop for food, a lot of people pay for their purchases with EBT cards. It's striking that while I'm cost-conscious and shop exclusively from the weekly sales, they're buying expensive brand-name junk food and non-essentials like bottled water with EBT. Seeing that, I'm tempted to seek state benefits in order to raise my standard of living.

Bachelor meat sauce, doubling as bachelor stew: In the Mirro, 1 chicken thigh, 1 28-oz can Furmano's crushed tomatoes, 1 15.5-oz can of Western Beef pink beans, 1 10-oz box frozen Best Yet whole spinach, 2 diced Eastern white potatoes, approx 1 cup white rice (uncooked), Ronzoni medium shells, approx 1 cup leftover chicken bone broth, seasoned salt, black pepper, and hot sauce. Sour cream and chopped raw garlic and yellow onions as garnish. After I ate almost half the bachelor meat sauce, which was thick, I added water, 1 chopped carrot, Ronzoni thin spaghetti, and seasoned salt, thus refilling the Mirro and converting the bachelor meat sauce to a fair bachelor stew. 3 starches are a lot for 1 dish. The rice as thickener and pasta are normal. I wanted to experiment with diced potatoes and cut them into approx 1X.5 cm pieces. They didn't make enough difference to justify the addition; perhaps cutting the potatoes larger would have tasted better, at least texturally.

Good meal: Pernil chop, seasoned with hot sauce and seasoned salt, baked at 450° for 15 minutes, then broiled for 5 minutes with garlic and onions. Grape jelly and sour cream and hot sauce for dipping sauce. White rice cooked with collard greens, carrots, and okra. I ate the meal while watching Ray Mears's Wild Food series' Summer Harvest episode, which is about primitive Britain's hunter-gatherers. The norm is to finish the meal with an orange but I hesitate because I've discovered that eating acidy fruit or a sweet, like a brownie, makes me want to eat a full meal. Maybe later.

Bachelor stew: In the Mirro, 8 oz Perdue fresh ground chicken with natural flavorings, 15.5 oz can Western Beef black beans, 14.5 oz can Libby's cut green beans, white rice, Ronzoni angel hair, San Georgio elbow macaroni, chopped carrot, diced onions, diced garlic, seasoned salt, black pepper, and hot sauce. Sour cream and hot sauce mixed in the bowl. I wanted to try ground meat as a base for bachelor stew rather than its usual role as the base of bachelor meat sauce. The ground chicken worked satisfactorily. The key ingredient to this bachelor stew was the black beans, which in addition to the beans, added body, flavor, and color to the liquid. The bachelor stew turned into a nice soup when watered down and the flavor compensated with added seasoned salt. The angel hair pasta matched the diluted soup better than the thick stew. For dessert, a thin baking-soda bannock with chunky peanut butter, grape jelly, and sour cream on one side and sour cream, mustard, and tomato slices on the other side. As usual, eating dessert induced me to eat more-substantial food, so I ate more soup after the dessert.

I don't know how much more ground meat I'll buy after my discovery that 1 chicken thigh does an acceptable job as the base for bachelor stew and meat sauce with good oil and adequate meat at half the cost of ground meat.

Looking for another use for ground meat before I remove it from my grocery options, I made chicken patty sandwiches with a modification of this recipe. I mixed the remaining 8 ounces of Perdue ground chicken, 1 egg, sour cream (in place of the mayonnaise and cheese), flour (in place of the bread crumbs), microwaved chopped onions and garlic with sesame oil, and seasoned salt. Why the recipe calls for microwaving the onions, I don't know. I ate 2 sandwiches made from baking-soda-and-salt bannock, fried chicken patties, collard greens, tomato slices, onions, and sour cream. On 1 sandwich I added mustard. On the other sandwich I added hot sauce and seasoned salt. For a side dish, I sliced 2 potatoes and soaked, dried, floured, and fried them, then poured on seasoned salt. Other than too much seasoned salt, it was a good meal. Filling. Update: I finished the ground chicken patty mix with 3 sandwiches. The 1st sandwich was made with baking-soda-and-salt bannock, fried chicken patty, Best Yet flavored with meat spaghetti sauce, fried onions and garlic, collard greens, tomato slice, and sour cream. I ate the sandwich with the remaining potatoes. The 2nd and 3rd sandwiches were open faced and made from 1 baking soda bannock that I split roughly in half. The fried chicken patty, which I also divided into 2 parts, was thicker than the previous patties. I liked it better thicker. The 2nd sandwich was made with sour cream, mustard, collard greens, tomato slice, and fried garlic and onions. The 3rd sandwich was made with the meat pasta sauce and sour cream. They were both good. The chicken patty sandwich with meat pasta sauce was actually better than the 1st sandwich that had a thinner patty, meat pasta sauce, and more toppings.

Buying ground meat for making patties is now a viable option. 5 sandwiches in 2 meals from 8 ounces of ground chicken is pretty good.

I tried Best Yet flavored with meat spaghetti sauce on chicken patty sandwiches, angel hair pasta, bannock pizza, and mixed with rice. The sparse beef chunks are occasionally detected but don't meaningfully add flavor. The sauce doesn't taste bad; it just tastes plain. After the jar is finished, I'll try out the Best Yet mushroom pasta sauce. The bannock pizza was good: baking-soda bannock baked for 7 minutes, topped, then 5 minutes at 450 degrees. The toppings were sauce, yellow onions, garlic, collard greens, carrots, tomato slices, and sour cream with seasoned salt. Sour cream is usually difficult to spread on bannock pizza. This time, I was able to spread it on the tomato slices.

I tried the Best Yet mushroom pasta sauce with angel hair pasta, bannock pizza, and mixed with rice. It tastes even more like plain pasta sauce than the Best Yet meat pasta sauce does. The mushroom bits are as sparse as the beef chunks in the meat pasta sauce. Unlike the occasional whisper of beef flavor in the meat pasta sauce, though, the mushroom bits add no discernible flavor.

Tasty but starchy eating day: White rice mixed with egg over medium, fried mix of Premio pork breakfast sausage slices, diced carrot, yellow onions, and garlic, diced raw tomato, Best Yet meat pasta sauce, Western Beef grape jelly, Western Beef hot sauce, and Hood sour cream. Open-faced baking-soda bannock sandwich with Premio pork breakfast sausage slices, raw tomato slices, sour cream, billybee Golden Yellow mustard, and yellow onion. Snacked on white rice with meat pasta sauce and baking-soda-and-vinegar bannock biscuit, split and topped with peanut butter and jelly. Thick-crust baking-soda-and-vinegar bannock pizza, made from oiled dough, baked 10 minutes at 450 degrees, topped, then baked 10 minutes at 450 degrees. I made a bowl indentation at the 5 minute mark because the dough had been pudding-like at the start. It was still gooey under the skin at 5 minutes but thickened enough for the bowl shape to retain. Toppings in the bowl indentation were meat pasta sauce, generous amount of yellow onion slices, and sour cream. The thick crust was leavened and the skin exceptionally crunchy. That's a lot of starch with a lot of flour.

I wonder why the crust on the thick-crust baking-soda-and-vinegar bannock pizza was exceptionally crunchy. Notably, the dough was somewhat over-watered, oiled, and baked for longer (5/5/top/10 minutes) than usual at 450 degrees. I made another thick-crust baking-soda-and-vinegar bannock pizza with dough that was neither oiled nor over-watered. Baked at 450 degrees. Just for experimental consistency, instead of shaping it at the start, I took it out at the 5-minute mark to make the bowl indentation. I was reminded the amount of water in the dough matters. The oiled dough was still gooey and flowing under the skin at 5 minutes, like lava, while the non-oiled dough was solid through except for the dough in the center. I baked the non-oiled dough for 5/top/5, instead of 5/5/top/10. It was tasty, but the crust was not crunchy and it's skin was thinner than the oiled dough. I then made another batch of baking-soda-and-vinegar bannock dough, split it into 2 portions, and oiled one portion. I indented both at the start and baked them for 7/top/7. Their crusts were thicker than the 5/top/5 bannock pizza, and they looked about the same as far as leavening and hardness and thickness of skin. The oiled crust felt a bit denser than the non-oiled crust, but was not exceptionally crunchy like last night's thick-crust bannock pizza. Maybe counter-intuitively, overwatered dough makes for crunchier crust. More likely, I need to bake for the full 20 minutes to achieve that crunchiness again. Anyway, I'm too full to experiment anymore today. Update (same day): I made a batch of baking-soda-and-vinegar bannock dough, split it into 2 portions, and baked them for 5/5/top/10 minutes. I oiled 1 portion and left the other portion unoiled, though some oil flowed into the unoiled portion. With the longer baking time, both bannock pizzas were exceptionally crunchy, so that mystery is solved. Oiling didn't seem to make a difference, except perhaps, a slightly different consistency in the crunch. Maybe oiling the dough makes more difference with less cooking time, such as when I make faux scallion pancakes. I used up the last of the Best Yet barely meat-tasting pasta sauce and mitigated the extra bannock pizzas by kicking off my weekly fast.

Break-fast meal: White rice, steamed collard greens, 2 baked and broiled pernil chops with garlic, onions, and hot sauce stuffed into cuts, and seasoned salt, baked carrots and onions, and Best Yet pork and beans. For dessert, Pillsbury milk chocolate brownie with sour cream spread. I was stuffed. The pernil chops were acceptably tasty, but I should have broiled both sides to a crispy char rather than baked them and then broiled one side. I also didn't broil the one side long enough. I now add the collard greens to the cooking rice at the last stage rather than the start of cooking the rice so the collard greens are firm when eaten. I should have steamed the carrots with the rice, too.

I bought a 15 oz can of Hormel Chili turkey with beans on sale for $1. The instructions on the can say to heat the chili on a stove or in a microwave, so I heated it mixed with cooking white rice in the Salton pot on the Toastmaster burner, killing 2 birds with 1 stone. I meant to eat it as a chili with firm white rice, not as a stew with dissolved white rice. But with poor forethought, I added an extra canful of water to the Salton pot by washing out the chili can the same way I wash out cans into bachelor stews and meat sauces. So, it turned into a mini-stew rather than a chili. Oh well; the Hormel chili was still good. Nice chunks of meat and beans, and seasoning.

Bachelor stew, with a lesson learned: In the Mirro, base of 15 oz can of Sunny Sea mackerel in brine, 18.5 oz can of Progresso traditional Italian-style wedding meatballs, carrots and spinach in chicken broth, 15.5 oz can of Western Beef chick peas garbanzos, and white rice for body; chopped ginger, .75-1" potato chunks from 2 potatoes, carrot slices from 1 carrot, chopped garlic, chopped yellow onion, San Giorgio elbow macaroni, seasoned salt, and black pepper. Mixed with sour cream in the bowl.

The lesson learned is that when ingredients are added makes a difference for preserving flavors and textures. It's easiest to throw everything into the Mirro at the start, but some ingredients - especially the white rice - take a long time to cook. Other ingredients - like the ginger, garlic, and onions - taste best when barely cooked. The potatoes and carrots are best when they're cooked past raw crispiness to cooked firmness, but lose their flavor when they're cooked past firmness to overcooked softness. For example, the carrot and ginger flavors were distinct in my first taste of the stew, but after I added water and cooked it longer, the flavors thinned out and blended indistinctly. When bachelor stew is cooked, turn off the heat. I can add water later, but any further heating of the stew should be by bowl only, and not the whole stew. The bachelor stew is still good, but it would be better with the distinct flavors and textures better preserved. As expected, the ginger is a cooking combat multiplier. I was tempted to make the bachelor stew in the 6 quart (196 ounce) Nesco rather than watering down the stew as I eat in the 15 cup (120 ounce) Mirro, but finally decided against it. I'm still nervous about the discoloration and flaking inside the Nesco pot.

Polaner sweet orange marmalade makes for a flavorful dipping sauce for broiled pernil chop.

Eclectic eating on Superbowl XLVIII Eve: Day-old bachelor stew and regular Doritos, pineapple and cornbread samples at the supermarket, and 2 free slices of Papa Johns' new double cheeseburger pizza on Superbowl Boulevard. The crust on the Papa Johns slices was only a little more dense than store-bought bread and had a chalky flavor. The crust of my bannock pizza is much better. Where my bannock pizza is worse is store-made pizza is made with much more cheese.

A semi-effective way to control consumption of Doritos or ice cream is to eat from a bowl instead of directly from the Doritos bag or ice cream carton. It's a psychological trick. I'll refill the bowl, but with a bowl, I'm less likely to machine-gun the junk food into my mouth until it's gone.

The Superbowl is the most enthusiastically celebrated holiday in the Army. For Superbowl XLVIII, I ate bachelor stew with pasta sauce and sour cream, with Doritos; 2 cracklings with ketchup, sour cream and hot sauce dipping sauce, and baking-soda-and-vinegar bannock with ginger, onions, and fatback grease; 1 chicken thigh with garlic, onions, and ginger in the cut, and seasoned salt, with sour cream and hot sauce dipping sauce. I cooked the chicken thigh and cracklings with the Mirro, Hall Stax plate, and the Nesco grill. I then started my weekly fast.

Post-Superbowl break-fast meal: Appetizers - Doritos with sour cream and hot sauce dipping sauce (not bad, but not as good as cheese dip), 1 bowl 3-day-old leftover tangy fermenting bachelor stew with sour cream and Doritos. Main course - 1 chicken thigh with garlic, onions, and ginger in the cut, 1 chicken leg, both with seasoned salt, cooked on the Hall Stax plate in the Mirro over high heat, and finished by broiling in the toaster oven. 1 carrot cooked with the chicken in the grease. 1 potato baked with the chicken, off the grease, with salt and sour cream. Baking-soda-and-vinegar bannock with chicken/fatback/pernil grease spread. More Doritos with sour cream and hot sauce dipping sauce. The chicken took as long to cook as in the toaster oven (approx 35 min) and the skin didn't crisp on the Hall Stax plate, but the meat was moist.

I'm pleased with my latest potato purchase: a 5-lb bag of Jerry's Pride. I've been eating down the bag for over a month and am almost done with it. The potato skins have dried out some and grown buds, which are normal and easily flicked off with a knife. Otherwise, they're fine, good-looking inside and outside, unlike the prior bag of potatoes.

I bought 11 ounces of ginger for $1.37. Let's try it out. Update: It was okay as a bannock pizza topping. It's not the best quality ginger. The ginger flavor was more like tangy ginger candy than sharp fresh ginger.

When I buy yellow onions, I now peel the outer dry skins, cut off the ends, rinse, and store them in my refrigerator. Before, I left the onions outside, not cleaned, in the mesh bags they came in the store. But several onions had rotted after several weeks. Storing onions in the refrigerator has, so far, solved the problem. Carrots also have kept for weeks or more in the refrigerator. Kale and collard greens have wilted some, but otherwise also have kept in the refrigerator. Cucumbers have rotted inside and outside the refrigerator. Potatoes have kept fine outside the refrigerator with some easy-to-remove growth of buds and mold. Yams have grown woody and changed flavor outside the refrigerator. Oranges have kept outside but cannot be stored inside plastic bags or else may rot and grow moldy.

Garlic has kept in the refrigerator, with some sprouting, but the garlic now, after several months, is giving less flavor than the garlic gave me when first purchased.

Oranges are in season and sweet and juicy right now.

Tip: Slice oranges, onions, and tomatoes latitudinally (across), not longitudinally (top-to-bottom).

I added a few drops of hot sauce to my last Betty Crocker dark chocolate brownie. Interesting flavor.

I've taken to eating uncooked brownie batter. Positive: It's like eating MRE ranger pudding. Negatives: The eater's remorse after-feeling from uncooked brownie batter is worse than the usual eater's remorse after-feeling from baked brownies and the risk of eating the raw eggs mixed in the batter.

While baking a Pillsbury milk chocolate brownie last night, I impulsively indulged in spooning uncooked brownie batter into my mouth that amounted to at least 1 normal-sized cooked brownie. I paid for it with a sketchy after-feeling that made we wonder if I'd finally become sick from eating uncooked brownie batter. I woke up this morning with the same off feeling dragging me down. It reminds me of the hangover feeling after a night of alcohol abuse. I'm going to find out whether a real meal of white rice, broiled pernil chop and onions, steamed carrots, and orange will cure the feeling. Plus, a moratorium on brownies for at least a day. Update: Add Golden Krust honey barbecue jerk sauce as dipping sauce for the pernil chop and about a 1/3 bowl of rice mixed with Best Yet mushroom pasta sauce, sour cream, and hot sauce. It was a good meal. I can't eat much better than a crispy broiled fatty pernil chop. I do feel better.

Lesson learned: Reduce the water called for in brownie mix directions for thicker, more chocolatey brownies. The directions on the Betty Crocker milk chocolate brownie mix box calls for 3 tablespoons of water. According to the table of cooking measurements, 1 tablespoon = .5 ounce. Based on 3 tablespoons = 1.5 ounces, I added 1/4 cup, ie, 2 ounces or 4 tablespoons, of water and a splash over the directed 1/2 cup of oil in an attempt to stretch my latest brownie batter with negligible loss of flavor. My previous BC milk chocolate brownies, made with 3 spoonfuls of water from an actual spoon, were thick and chocolatey. Not my latest batch, though. Based on previous experience, I knew I didn't add enough extra corn oil to reduce the flavor that much. I then took out the spoon I had used to measure water for my previous batches of BC milk chocolate brownie and scooped water into my measuring cup. It turns out 1/4 cup = 10 spoonfuls from the actual spoon, ie, the 1/4 cup of water had increased the water from my previous BC milk chocolate brownie batches by 3.33 times the amount instead of the 1.33 times the amount I intended. I believe the spoon is a teaspoon (.166 ounces), not a tablespoon (.5 ounces). The confirmation is 10 spoonfuls of water = 50 milliliters in my measuring cup. The implication is my BC milk chocolate brownies have been thick and chocolately because I added 3 teaspoons or .5 ounces of water instead of the 3 tablespoons or 1.5 ounces of water in the directions on the box. I haven't decided yet that reducing the water to a third of the amount called for in brownie mix directions is a golden ratio, but I plan on reducing the amount of water in my future brownie batters and seeing what difference it makes.

Western Beef Berry Punch tastes as artificial as Ssips drinks except the acceptable Ssips green tea with honey and ginseng. Now I know. No more of that.

I consistently drink 4.5 gallons of water over 20 days. That's not all water consumed, just the water I drink out of a cup.

I bought a 12.60-oz bag of autumn-colored, plain M&Ms on sale for $1 and machine-gunned them into my mouth like they were Doritos until they were gone. I considered going out to buy another bag, but no, that's enough.

I've quickly wiped out nearly a whole jar of 18 oz Western Beef creamy peanut butter by spooning it directly from the jar like I'm digging a pit.

Plastic produce bags, the kind shoppers tear off rolls in supermarket produce sections, fit neatly on on my 10-5/8" diameter kitchen trash can. The produce bags are reliably hole-free, unlike plastic shopping bags.

Opportunistic scavenged pick-up of the day: an 8-bowl ice cube tray, 2 gray dinner plates, and an oven-and-microwave-safe dish. Of those items, the ice cube tray adds the most value to my kitchen. I failed to research the items with a google search. I'm disappointed but not surprised I didn't match the ice cube tray and gray plates since they have no brand names. I'm surprised I didn't find more about the oven-and-microwave-safe dish on-line since it looks distinctive, its brand is Hall Stax (tm), and says made in the USA. I only found this. Strange. Anyway, the dish fits in the toaster oven, though not in the Nesco.

The Hall Stax dish works fine for cooking meat either in the Mirro or the toaster oven. It just takes a while to heat up to cooking temperature in the Mirro and meat won't crisp on the Hall Stax in the Mirro. However, it's not good for baking bannock because the bannock sticks to it. When the Hall Stax is oiled under the bannock, the bannock sticks less, but still sticks in spots. Perhaps if I heated the dish before placing the banock dough on it, the bannock wouldn't stick. The bannock similarly stuck when I spread bannock dough without oil on a cold Mirro and Sunbeam.

Meanwhile, bannock sticks only a little when spread cold and unoiled on the (aluminum?) pan that came with the toaster oven and doesn't stick at all on the toaster-oven pan when oiled.

I caused a long crack running along nearly half the inner rim of the Hall Stax dish by pouring cold water onto the hot dry dish while I was cooking a pernil chop in the Mirro. I can still use the dish. With the scar, the dish has more character now. Update: Good-bye, Hall Stax, I hardly knew you. I used it to broil a pernil chop, which was tasty, both charred and moist, for 15/15. I added okra, 1 egg, and 2 slices of fatback to the dish after I flipped the pernil chop for the 2nd 15 minutes. I ate the dish with white rice. It was a good meal. The fatback was only half-cooked, though, so I put it back on the Hall Stax and baked it at 450 degrees for 5 minutes. While baking in the toaster oven, the dish split apart more-or-less down the middle, only partially along the crack running along the dish's inner rim. It reminds me of the bowl that split in half in the microwave.

Peter Jackson's 1992 cult classic, Dead Alive, aka Brain Dead.

Youtube has audiobooks. I've listened piecemeal to The Long Walk by Richard Bachman, aka Stephen King. It's 10 hours, 45 minutes long. The video contains many commercial breaks, a number of which play a Magical Cannabis Butter Oil info-mercial.

Audiobooks of Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, Foundation by Isaac Asimov, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy and related stories by JRR Tolkien.

I wasted a lot of time on Playmaker Football in my misspent youth. Like other games that swallowed large chunks of my formative years, the repetitive gameplay had a sedative effect.

Thought on child-prodigy opera singer Amira Willighagen moved here.


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