Later On

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

Archive for July 28th, 2006

Here’s why we like Sophie

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One reason, at least: So Sophie’s lying on the bed, looking at her reflection in the full-length mirror. Suddenly, she jumps down, trots into the bathroom to retrieve her favorite toy (a looped cable-tie) and brings it to the mirror and tries to give it to the kitty in the mirror, pushing it against the glass.

Isn’t that sweet?

OTOH, when Louise still lived with Sophie, Louise had to obey The Rules, which included, for example, the rule that Louise was not allowed to sit on the sofa. Also, whenever Louise went into the bathroom to use the litter box, The Rules required Sophie to stand outside, hidden beside the door, and jump on Louise as she emerged. Louise got more and more nervous about going to the bathroom and, since Sophie would stay hidden, she never knew whether Sophie was there or not. Finally The Wife had to accompany Louise to the bathroom and wait while she did her business, and then accompany her back.

Before you weep for Louise, recall that when Louise lived with Stella, a lovely and matronly cat, Louise would sit on the cover of the litterbox and bat at Stella’s head while Stella tried to do her potty.

Kitties are complex creatures.

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2006 at 11:51 am

Posted in Cats, Sophie

The Fascist direction of the GOP

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From Andrew Sullivan via Kevin Drum, a pointer to this article, which includes Dr. Lawrence Britt’s 14 identifiers of a Fascist regime:

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2006 at 11:24 am

The Rumford Fireplace

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The fireplace invented in 1796 by Count Rumford is a great improvement on traditional fireplaces. Rumford’s design was widely used from the time of its invention through the middle of the 19th century, and it’s still worth considering if you’re installing or renovating a traditional fireplace. I’m (re)running this piece now so you can complete the work before winter comes on.

Rumford fireplaces are tall and shallow to reflect more heat, and they have streamlined throats to eliminate turbulence and carry away the smoke with little loss of heated room air.

Rumford fireplaces were common from 1796, when Count Rumford first wrote about them, until about 1850. Jefferson had them built at Monticello, and Thoreau listed them among the modern conveniences that everyone took for granted. There are still many original Rumford fireplaces – often buried behind newer renovations-throughout the country. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2006 at 11:20 am

“I know! Let’s tell lies! That’ll work!”

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My Friend in Ohio tells me that the GOP is already starting its strongly negative campaigning, complete with lies. A rumor has been floated about the Democratic candidate, that he’s gay, and when the GOP is asked for confirmation of the accusation, they say, “Well, we really don’t know whether he’s gay or not…” Other lies come out daily. It’s going to be a long and negative campaign, but the GOP has re-discovered and brought into regular use the techniques set forth by Goebbels, in his role as propaganda minister. Mr. Goebbels:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Paul Krugman, in today’s NY Times: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2006 at 11:15 am

Chili verde con posole

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This is more a winter recipe, but with August here next week, we hit winter pretty soon. This is a transfer from the old blog:

It’s not particularly spicy, so fear not. It is truly delicious, and makes enough for more than one meal (unless you have many people or are stupendously hungry).

Posole corn is prepared by soaking hard kernels of field corn (traditionally white, although blue is sometimes used now) in powdered lime and water—a method thought to mimic the ancient preservation of corn in limestone caves. After several hours, when the corn kernels have swollen, the liquid is allowed to evaporate and the kernels to dry.

Posole is different from hominy, another kind of processed corn that tends to be softer and more bland. Compared to hominy, posole’s flavor is intense and earthy, its consistency more robust. Since posole corn can be difficult to find, hominy is often used as a substitute in posole stew—but hominy is greatly inferior in taste and texture. Use posole. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2006 at 11:01 am

Posted in Recipes & Cooking

An estimable horseradish sauce

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From Life magazine long ago—around 1962-63.

1/4 cup bottled horseradish drained & squeezed dry in cheesecloth
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp dry English mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream

In a small bowl, stir together all but cream until well blended. Whip cream until stiff (the cream, not you). Pour mixture over cream and fold together with rubber spatula lightly but thoroughly. Taste for seasoning. Use with roast beef, smoked trout or eel, grilled salmon, etc.

UPDATE: I now find this too rich for accompanying standing-rib roast, but still good with smoked or grilled fish, which is not so fatty as the standing-rib.

UPDATE 2: I just spotted this in the LA Times:

1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish

Combine the crème fraîche and horseradish in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or as long as overnight.

Sounds tasty, doesn’t it? — I later tried it. It’s great.

UPDATE 3: This year I’m trying freshly grated horseradish mixed with mascarpone cheese. (We’ll also have the crème fraîche version above.)

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2006 at 10:38 am

Posted in Beef, Recipes & Cooking

Little Megs finds a cubbyhole

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Megs in cubby

Here’s a much younger Megs, still just a kitten, who found a little nook where she could be up off the floor and still nicely enclosed. Still, she looks apprehensive—or maybe it’s excitement. This picture of the young Megs is to introduce a series that will start soon—maybe tomorrow! Check in and see. 🙂

And here’s Megs’s mum Ariel and da Raleigh (though to me, he’ll always be Rollie):

Mum Ariel Da Raeligh

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2006 at 9:38 am

Posted in Cats, Megs

First shave with the slant razor

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Merkur slant bar

The Daily Adventure was extremely nice this morning: new things to use. To begin with, a potential new lathering bowl: a heavy hemispherical bowl from a French line. Problem: too large, inside too smooth (somehow). I switched back to the large soup cup for now.

I used my Savile Row brush, but I’m becoming more and more attached to my Simpson Emperor 3 Super badger (scroll down at the link). Not too large, not too small, but just right—and not too floppy, not too stiff: just right. And holds water and lathers wonderfully well. A great shaving brush. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2006 at 9:11 am

Posted in Shaving, Toys

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