Later On

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

Archive for October 1st, 2006

Pot roast very tasty

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I finally did make the two-tomato three-mushroom pot roast. Since it has no potatoes, it’s a good pot roast for me (type 2 diabetic). One thing that was clear, though: it really needs a good dash of Worcestershire when you add the wine and chicken stock—a good dash. But note: since Worcestershire contains anchovies, don’t use it if you’re a vegetarian.

I think it could also use a good dash of Tobasco at the same time. But it was very tasty, nonetheless, even though I followed the original recipe.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 October 2006 at 8:18 pm

Posted in Beef, Recipes

The Foley scandal

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Inappropriate sexual advances from a middle-aged man to underage boys. Higher ups knowing about it and covering it up, fearing scandal and hoping to keep it from coming to light. The Catholic Church? or the GOP? or both?

Written by LeisureGuy

1 October 2006 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Election, GOP, Government

Ohio: the sort of thing that makes your jaw drop

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Ohio State Supreme Court judges will accept cash contributions from companies who have cases before the court. I imagine the temptation is pretty strong for the judge to look at the pile of cash on his desk and say, “Is that really all you want to contribute under the circumstances?” One would have to say the ethics bar is set pretty low in Ohio:

In the fall of 2004, Terrence O’Donnell, an affable judge with the placid good looks of a small-market news anchor, was running hard to keep his seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. He was also considering two important class-action lawsuits that had been argued many months before.

In the weeks before the election, Justice O’Donnell’s campaign accepted thousands of dollars from the political action committees of three companies that were defendants in the suits. Two of the cases dealt with defective cars, and one involved a toxic substance. Weeks after winning his race, Justice O’Donnell joined majorities that handed the three companies significant victories.

Justice O’Donnell’s conduct was unexceptional. In one of the cases, every justice in the 4-to-3 majority had taken money from affiliates of the companies. None of the dissenters had done so, but they had accepted contributions from lawyers for the plaintiffs.

Thirty-nine states elect judges, and 30 states are holding elections for seats on their highest courts this year. Spending in these races is skyrocketing, with some judges raising $2 million or more for a single campaign. As the amounts rise, questions about whether money is polluting the independence of the judiciary are being fiercely debated across the nation. And nowhere is the battle for judicial seats more ferocious than in Ohio.

An examination of the Ohio Supreme Court by The New York Times found that its justices routinely sat on cases after receiving campaign contributions from the parties involved or from groups that filed supporting briefs. On average, they voted in favor of contributors 70 percent of the time. Justice O’Donnell voted for his contributors 91 percent of the time, the highest rate of any justice on the court.

In the 12 years that were studied, the justices almost never disqualified themselves from hearing their contributors’ cases. In the 215 cases with the most direct potential conflicts of interest, justices recused themselves just 9 times. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

1 October 2006 at 2:34 pm

Nifty soaps from many lands

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Bon Savon is a good site if you like soaps. I went there because of the shaving soaps, but they actually have quite a range.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 October 2006 at 2:07 pm

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

A close look at a Wilkinson “Sticky”

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Take a look. This is why the prices in the auction are going up so high.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 October 2006 at 1:58 pm

Posted in Shaving

Excellent instructions on lathering with a shaving stick

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And QED still has the Mocha-Java shaving stick—I know, I just ordered one based on this. (It’s not listed on his Web site, but when I emailed him, he had it.)

And, as a bonus bit of info: I had closed 5 tabs when I decided I want to post something from 5 tabs ago (the link above on to lather with a shaving stick). So I used my nifty “Reopen the last closed tab” button from my Firefox extension, and clicked it 5 times: the last 5 tabs I had closed then popped up, one for each click. On the last tab, I then had to back-arrow, and that worked fine. 🙂

Written by LeisureGuy

1 October 2006 at 1:40 pm

Posted in Shaving

Teaching the young to shave

with 4 comments

This came up on one of the forums yesterday, and it’s been in my mind anyway because of the approaching hairing over of The Older Grandson. My initial thoughts:

First: Certainly get him a decent brush and teach him to make a good lather with soap and shaving cream. That part is fun, anyway, and it will spark interest.

Second: Back in the day, we all started shaving with a safety razor, willy nilly. It didn’t seem so impossible. But: if that seems like too big a step, start him on a Schick Injector: much easier, and still a real blade experience and not some pivot-headed cartridge crap—excuse me. I was overwhelmed for a moment.

Third: Teach him sensible techniques, which I learned only recently—most significantly, to lather before each pass and to reduce the stubble before trying the against-the-grain pass. (I.e., a minimum of three passes.)

Fourth (an afterthought—see comments): Have him shave in the evening. Teens can’t wake up the mornings, which in any event are a rushed time. Better to have him shave in the evening, fully awake and unhurried—as a safety measure, if nothing else. And a beginning shaver’s beard growth is not so fast that an evening shave is impractical.

Finally: Give him some nice accoutrements: an alum bar, a couple of nice aftershaves, etc.

Your thoughts?

Written by LeisureGuy

1 October 2006 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Shaving

Thoughts on the first stages of the Singularity

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Vernor Vinge popularized the idea of the technological Singularity first defined by I.J. Good, who wrote in 1965:

Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an “intelligence explosion,” and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.

Vinge pointed out that the resulting ultraintelligences, however housed, may not share humanity’s interests: “Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly thereafter, the human era will be ended.” (Note the transitive sense of “to end” in the statement.) In his great space-opera A Fire Upon the Deep he includes such malignant entities.

Charles Stross in Accelerando provides a (fictional and fascinating) up-close look at the development of the Singularity and shows why such explosions of intelligence and intellectual capabilities might collapse. In particular, he conceives self-aware legal/financial instruments as the quasi-living creation of the Singularity which lead to the instability of the development and its subsequent collapse into impotence.

We already are seeing the development of something akin to Stross’s self-aware legal/financial instruments: the modern corporation.

Originally, as I understand it, a corporation was a single-purpose, temporary association that dissolved once the purpose (e.g., building a bridge) had been achieved.

The modern “immortal person” of the corporation is usually traced to the US Supreme Court decision Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, 118 U.S. 394 (1886). However, a careful reading of the decision itself shows that the decision does not grant personhood to the corporation, though quite a few decisions since have taken that stance. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

1 October 2006 at 11:41 am

Cool independent film (and competition)

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My friend in Ohio passes along a communication from his son:

I have made a short film as a part of a unique competition I was invited to participate in. The challenge was to take a track from composer Kubilay Uner’s work and create a film using only the music as the soundtrack. No dialogue, no sound fx.

The film is called Custody and I hope you enjoy it. There is an online audience poll with a prize (Yay!) so if you do enjoy it please take a second and vote for the film. It helps to make the next one possible.

Here to view and vote.

Or for a slightly bigger screen size.

You will still need to link over to the voting site. The info is on the above page as well though.

IMPORTANT! To start it loading press play. BUT, be sure to pause it again and let it fully load before you continue playing otherwise it will play all herky-jerky. No one wants that. So: play, pause. Wait until the little bar is full. Then play and enjoy.

By all means, don’t vote for it if you don’t like it. I don’t want pity votes. Either way we had great fun running around the desert with guns.

Thanks to Jill Farley, Jimmy Scheuler, Alex Demir and Hudson Novak for their performances and to Peter Kamisnki for producing with me and wrangling that amazing location.

Thank you for watching and supporting independent film making.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 October 2006 at 10:35 am

Posted in Art, Movies & TV

Clarity Defender time

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Today is 1 October, so my little annual reminder just popped up to tell me it was time to order the Clarity Defender to apply to the Prius. That’s the commute car, so that’s the one that gets the most TLC. Clarity Defender is a product similar to RainX but lasts 6-8 times as long. YMMV. If you drive your car during rainy months, it’s worth getting, IMHO.

One thing: you have to have the windows totally clean before you apply, but do not try to clean off dirt and grime with Windex. Use water for that—or wash the whole car, windows included. (That’s a good idea, since you end up leaning against the car during application, and if the car’s not clean, neither will you be.) Once the water wash has removed dirt and grime, then use Windex for the next level of cleaning.

Really fine product.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 October 2006 at 10:24 am

Posted in Daily life, Technology

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