Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for February 6th, 2007

Time you fixed some beans

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Here’s a good source: Rancho Gordo. Some that I recommend:

Note that shipping is done at a flat rate.

Beans are an exceptionally good food, and very easy to prepare: soak (or not), simmer, eat. Very good if drained and made into a bean salad. And, of course, there’s chili, and bean soup, and baked beans, and… (I feel like Forest Gump listening to the ways of cooking shrimp). Lots of protein, lots of fiber, and highly satisfying.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 February 2007 at 7:29 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Health

Canadian meteorite older than the sun

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Wow.

As lumps of rock go it looks much like any other, unexceptional despite the deep red of its cool, smooth surface. The pieces range in size from pea-sized lumps to larger fist-sized chunks. But today, scientists will announce this is no ordinary stone. Prised from a frozen lake in northern Canada, it has become a prime candidate for the oldest known object on Earth.

The chunk came from a meteorite that scored an arc of fire across the skies before slamming into Lake Tagish in British Columbia in 2000. It has been pored over by scientists ever since, and is today revealed to contain particles that predate the birth of our nearest star, the sun.

The Tagish Lake meteorite was already regarded as exceptional because its mineral composition linked it to the earliest days of the formation of the solar system, more than 4.5bn years ago. The fragments of meteorite that still exist are among the most pristine in the world, as they were protected from contamination when they became wedged in blocks of lake ice.

The latest research shows that peppered throughout the meteorite are grains that formed even earlier, in a frigid cloud of molecules, possibly at the edge of the swirling disc of dust that ultimately collapsed to form the sun and all the planets of the solar system.

The discovery suggests that while the first light from the sun fell on the fledgling Earth, as the dinosaurs rose and died out and humans gained dominance, the meteorite was hurtling around the heavens on a billions-of-years-long journey destined to terminate with a thud in Yukon territory.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

6 February 2007 at 7:05 pm

Posted in Daily life, Science

Greenwald has good clips

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— of oversight in action. DC hasn’t seen anything like this in years. The GOP simply doesn’t know how to do this sort of thing. When they try, they jump the shark and given in to their sex obsessions. By all means, read Greenwald’s column and look at the clips.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 February 2007 at 6:42 pm

Spicy chicken drumsticks

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From Simply Recipes. This sounded so good, I couldn’t resist. Needless to say, I will make it with an habañero pepper.

We often cook all drumsticks or all thighs when we prepare chicken. We love the more flavorful dark meat and the fact that the chicken pieces all get done around the same time. The following recipe is based on one for jerk chicken that my father found in Fine Cooking magazine. Wonderful flavor and the drumsticks cook up quickly.

10 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
3 serrano chilies, seeded and chopped*
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for additional seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
10 chicken dumsticks (3 1/2 lbs)
Olive oil or grapeseed oil

The original recipe called for the use of a single Scotch Bonnet or Habanero chile which would up the heat of this recipe considerably.

1 Purée the scallions, chilies, vinegar, thyme, garlic, allspice, salt and pepper to a thick paste in a food processor.

2 Put chicken drumsticks in a large bowl. Coat drumsticks with chile paste. Let stand 10 minutes.

3 Position oven rack in the center of the oven and heat the broiler to high. Coat the bottom of a broiler pan (remove the perforated top part of the pan) with oil. Arrange drumsticks on the pan. Sprinkle generously with salt.

4 Broil chicken in the center of the oven. Turn once after about 10 minutes. Broil until fully cooked and nicely browned, about 20 minutes total. Note that some pieces may cook faster than others. Remove the pieces that are done and continue to cook the rest until cooked through.

Transfer to a platter and serve.

Serves 5 to 6. Adapted from a recipe in Fine Cooking magazine.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 February 2007 at 4:18 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes

Bush Administration working to avoid oversight

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First: Ship people out of the country.

Top Iraq Reconstruction Official Flown To Baghdad To Avoid Oversight Hearing

For the first time since the war began, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) is holding aggressive oversight hearings into the billions in waste, fraud, and abuse of U.S. funds in Iraq.

On Jan. 10, when President Bush first made his plans for escalation public, he also announced plans to “appoint a reconstruction coordinator in Baghdad to ensure better results for economic assistance being spent in Iraq.” The next day, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice named career diplomat Timothy Carney to the position.

During this morning’s hearings, Waxman revealed that the State Department has blocked Carney from appearing at the hearing, despite the fact that Carney personally told Waxman he “was willing to come.” Moreover, the Bush administration has apparently rushed him to Baghdad despite claiming that the reason he could not appear at the hearing was because he “did not yet know what he was going to do in Iraq.”

WAXMAN: So I invited Ambassador Carney to testify today. When my staff talked to Ambassador Carney directly, he was cooperative and said he was willing to come. This the State Department refused.

Their first excuse was that he had not yet filled out his paperwork. Even though Secretary Rice publicly announced his critical new position, he apparently could not talk to Congress because he had not been officially hired.

Next, the State Department said Ambassador Carney could not come because he did not yet know what he was going to do in Iraq. This seemed odd, especially since the secretary had already announced that he was her new point person on Iraq reconstruction.

Then, just last week, we were informed that the department suddenly decided that Ambassador Carney was needed in Baghdad right away. So even though he was not officially hired and, according to the State Department, had no idea what he was going to do in Iraq, he was put on a plane to Baghdad this past Friday.

Waxman added that the State Department has “now told us that they may make him available to Congress in six months.”

Second: Delay investigations.

Cheney’s Son-In-Law Blamed for Delaying Investigations of Homeland Security Department

The Department of Homeland Security refuses to cooperate on oversight activities, according to testimony offered today by GAO Comptroller General David Walker and Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner. The investigators highlighted the role of Philip Perry — Chief Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security and Vice President Cheney’s son-in-law — as the major stumbling block in their investigations.

Walker said the DHS strategy in dealing with investigations is to “delay, delay, delay.” CongressDaily reports:

“[Homeland Security] has been one of our persistent access challenges,” GAO Comptroller General David Walker told the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. Walker said the problem is “systemic” and not the fault of any single individual. But he complained that GAO has had to go through the office of Chief Counsel Philip Perry. Perry is married to Elizabeth Cheney, a former State Department official who is one of the vice president’s two daughters. Walker said it is his understanding that Perry’s office has to review documents GAO seeks before they are released and that Perry selectively sits in on interviews with department employees.

The GAO’s Skinner “said his investigations have also been hindered”:

“We’re experiencing the same problem,” said Skinner, who added his office is “oftentimes” told who they can interview and that it sometimes takes weeks to get documents. Skinner said he prepared a document last summer to inform all department employees of the IG’s responsibilities and authorities and encouraging them to cooperate with investigations. “That letter has been sitting up in counsel’s office at DHS since I believe June or July of ‘06,” Skinner said.

The news is another in a series of black eyes for the agency. In a recent federal survey, DHS employees “scored last or almost last in job satisfaction, leadership and workplace performance.” The latest semiannual report from Inspector General Skinner highlighted “a litany of staff misconduct: immigration officials demanding sex in exchange for visas, airport screeners stealing money from tourists’ luggage, federal air marshals smuggling drugs, and employees from various DHS agencies committing sex crimes.”

Written by LeisureGuy

6 February 2007 at 4:14 pm

Sophie’s new kitty tree all set up

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This kitty tree is extremely well made and well designed. It does help to have two people assembling it, just for discussions of the assembly diagram, which holes should get dowels, etc. The 3 pair of braces are each different, because each pair must fit a particular curve of the upright piece. Excellent quality fasteners, and you can disassemble it if you’re ever so inclined. Actual wood, not particle-board (cf. Ikea, which I’m told is Swedish for “crap”).

Now Sophie can easily get on top of the hutch and, more important, can get down without doing a face-plant.

Photos will follow in time.

The Wife just called to report that Sophie, not the smartest cookie in the jar, is VERY slowly figuring out the kitty tree, and how to get up it, etc. Lots of decisions and rests for pondering.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 February 2007 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Cats, Daily life, Sophie

“Billions of dollars? It doesn’t matter.”

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The CPA hits a new low. And, BTW, the fact that he had only 4-10 people to manage all the finances shows just how slipshod and ill-planned the entire Iraq venture was. Bush is responsible, whether he likes it or not.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 February 2007 at 1:21 pm

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