Later On

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

Archive for October 2nd, 2006

New bunch of spices just came

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I’ve been buying from Penzey’s from when they mimeographed their catalogs and were saying that they would never, ever do a fancy four-color catalog on coated stock (like the catalog they now ship). But the spices and herbs have not varied in quality. Here’s what just came, along with their descriptions and my plans:

Old World Seasoning: Old World is a popular, lower salt, all-purpose Central European blend. In the 70’s, Old World was used for fabulous fried chicken and fish, mixed into the flour 2 TB. per Cup. Now, baking and broiling are more popular, and Old World is still a favorite, just rub on 1-2 tsp. per lb. Old World can be used on steaks, beef ribs or roasts, hamburgers or meatloaf, 1-2 tsp. per lb. Or add 2 TB. to chicken soup or beef stew. Perfect for sauteed vegetables-from zucchini to pea pods, great on baked or mashed potatoes, or sprinkled over popcorn. Hand-mixed from: paprika, salt, sugar, celery, garlic, onion, black pepper, parsley, dill, caraway, turmeric, dill, bay leaf, marjoram, thyme, savory, basil, rosemary. [Popcorn tonight! – LG]

Juniper Berries: The once humble juniper berry is enjoying a renaissance of its ancient popularity as a seasoning for game, as the country’s top restaurants list venison, squab, pheasant and rabbit on their menus. A few juniper berries will reduce the wild flavor of these meats and will add the pleasant tartness long associated with Germanic dishes, such as sauerbraten, stuffed goose and beef stews. Juniper tea is a centuries old hangover remedy. From Albania. [I’m going to braise some rabbit with sauerkraut, onion, and turnips, and use the juniper berries in that. – LG]

Apple Pie Spice: Use 1-2 tsp. for an 8-inch apple pie. Great for muffins, use 1/2 tsp. per Cup of batter, add to coffee cake or rolls. For sugar cookies, add 1-2 tsp. per batch. Sprinkle on regular or French toast, add to waffle or pancake batter, 1/4 tsp. per Cup. Hand-mixed from: China and Korintjie Cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and cloves. [For my roasted butternut squash: cut off stem, split lengthwise, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with the spice, and roast in 375 degree oven until it’s softened. I eat the seeds (like roasted pumpkin seeds), skin, and all—but not the stem. – LG]

Bicentennial Rub Seasoning: The rich flavor and golden color of Bicentennial Seasoning make this our best blend for turkey and duck. Bicentennial is great for any large cut of meat that takes an hour or longer to cook. Try on roast leg of lamb, baked or roasted whole stuffed chicken, Yankee pot roast, and thick-cut pork or veal chops. Hand-mixed from: coarse flake salt, Tellicherry black pepper, sugar, turmeric, minced orange peel and coriander. [Super good on pork spareribs: squeeze a lime over the ribs, put the rub on both sides, put in a shallow pan bone side down, and roast uncovered at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. Yummy. – LG]

As you browse through the site, you’ll find many more cooking ideas.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 6:54 pm

Posted in Daily life, Recipes

This bill, quickly passed, lets them torture you

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Take a look at this article

Buried amongst the untold affronts to the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the very spirit of America, the torture bill contains a definition of “wrongfully aiding the enemy” which labels all American citizens who breach their “allegiance” to President Bush and the actions of his government as terrorists subject to possible arrest, torture and conviction in front of a military tribunal.


After five hours of searching through the 80-plus page bill, Alex Jones, who won the 2004 Project Censored award for his analysis of Patriot Act 2, uncovered numerous other provisions and definitions that make the bill appear as almost a mirror image of Hitler’s 1933 Enabling Act. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 5:51 pm

Stories changing fast

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Not just the stories from the GOP House leadership—the stories from GOP Representatives. Josh Marshall had this good idea:

What does your member of Congress think? It’s no mystery what Dems think. But what about Republicans? Does the Republican candidate in your district believe that Denny Hastert should remain as Speaker? If they’re elected on November 7th and the Republican retain their majority, will they vote for him for Speaker?

It seems like a pretty fair and germane question.

Ring up your Rep. Let us know what you hear. We’ll share your results with the rest of our readers.

The first set of responses:

So a quick run-down on what some Republican reps are telling TPM Readers about Denny Hastert …

Rob Simmons (R-CT): Anyone involved in a cover up should resign. But no answer on the Hastert hypothetical.

Dave Reichert (R-WA): No position yet.

John Kline (R-MN): 100% with Hastert, doesn’t believe he knew.

Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA): 100% with Denny.

Ray LaHood (R-IL): Sticking with Hastert.

Eric Cantor (R-VA): Preparing a statement.

Jim Gerlach (R-PA): Too early to say.

Steve Buyer (R-IN): Staffer not at liberty to answer.

Sue Kelly (R-NY): Supports “the investigation”, will be sending a letter to constituents.

Ric Keller (R-FL): “Supports a full investigation into this matter”, staffer “could not comment” on whether Keller has lost confidence in the leadership.

Brian Bilbray (R-CA): “Bilbray’s office gave me a bunch of stuff about not all the facts being in. They said he was in a meeting right now concerning the situation. I said I’d call back in a few hours to find out how the meeting went.”

Mike Turner (R-OH): No position on Hastert.

And now this very interesting note from Josh:

On the phone calls to members of Congress to see if they still support Speaker Hastert, it’s probably important to keep calling or repeat the calls since, from what I can tell, the answers seem to be changing from moment to moment as the story progresses.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 5:22 pm

Posted in Election, GOP, Government

Woodward: still a bumbler

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Arianna Huffington makes a very good point:

Bob Woodward is getting the journalistic hero treatment for “State of Denial,” his self-revising reassessment of the Bush administration’s handling of Iraq — including a cover plug from Newsweek (which called him “the best excavator of inside stories in the nation’s capital”) and a laudatory lead story segment on “60 Minutes“.

Talk about being in a state of denial: praising Woodward for his very-late-to-the-party Iraq pile-on is like a music critic writing a rave of “Let It Be” and getting credit for discovering The Beatles. Or, more fitting, having someone be the 100th — or is 100,000th? — person to call 911 to report a car crash and then getting credit for alerting the authorities.

Yet there was Mike Wallace gushing about how Woodward had “unearthed” a “secret” classified graph revealing that — wait for it — attacks on “US, Iraqi, and allied forces… have increased dramatically over the last three years.” Wow. You don’t say! What did Woodward have to do to “unearth” that one? Pick up a newspaper? Or log onto a blog or two — or two hundred? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 4:58 pm

GOP views Foley’s behavior purely as a political problem

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Although the GOP has said that the breaking story of Rep. Foley’s sexual predation on young male pages is being played purely as politics by the Democrats, the fact is that the story actually “broke” almost a year ago, when Denny Hastert was informed of the problem. But rather than address the problem, Hastert and his Republican colleages played it purely as politics and decided to keep it quiet—in particular, not to let the Democrat on the House Page Board know of the problem—and let Foley continue on his merry way.

And even today Hastert is handling the situation merely as a political problem:

The House leadership continues to treat Foley’s predatory advances towards underage pages as a partisan issue. The Note reports that Speaker Dennis Hastert held a meeting today “to review ways to protect pages” but did not include Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI), the Democratic member of the three-person House Page Board:

The Speaker will continue his effort to rid the GOP majority of Foley’s taint by meeting with the Clerk of the House, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), and his staff today to review ways to protect pages while they are serving in the nation’s Capitol. The Speaker will also discuss how Congress can protect pages after their program concludes.

The Clerk of the House, Karen Haas, is a former aide of Hastert’s. Both Hastert and Shimkus are part of the problem. They were both told about Foley’s inappropriate behavior in late 2005 and did virtually nothing to stop it.

This meeting will not “rid the…majority of Foley’s taint.” It simply reinforces the notion that the House leadership is more interested in protecting themselves politically than protecting the children under their care.

And the Democrat on the House Page Board is still being kept out of the loop.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Election, GOP, Government

For fans of Back to the Future

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The guy who played Biff (the bully) sings a song clearly based on some life experiences.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Humor, Movies & TV, Video

Things you miss when using canned shaving mix

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I can understand that some men don’t want to go the double-edge route, or even try a Schick Injector or Gem G-bar. But (so far as I can tell) there’s no reason not to use a good shaving soap or shaving cream and a badger brush. The lather feels good, it smells good, and it does a dynamite job of preparing your face for a shave.

Just today I received some shaving soaps from Mama Bear—cast your eye over the available fragrances. In particular, the Tahitian Vanilla just blew me away. What a fantastic scent!

One tub will last around 3 months of daily shaves. You can reduce the shipping costs per tub by buying 3 or 4 at a time. And in my shaving post I explain all about how to create lather and make recommendations for a shaving brush. Give it a go.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 2:32 pm

Posted in Shaving

Fresh white truffles arriving

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White truffle

Hurry! Wonderful gourmet experience, I’m told. (I can’t afford them myself.) Must be consumed fresh, so time things so that as soon as they arrive, you are in the kitchen. Only $185 for 1 ounce.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 2:22 pm

Posted in Food

“Unlimited” = 5 gigs

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Typical big-company behavior. (If they’re big enough, they believe that they can push you around all they like—who’s going to stop them? Not this Administration.)

Verizon offers an “unlimited” wireless data download service. It is, apparently, not all that unlimited. Specifically, it’s limited to five gig per month. After that, you get fined $175 and your account is cancelled.

Writes Robert X Cringeley, clearly unhappy: “The people who cancel your account are in the security department and don’t know how to answer your questions, they just know how to accuse their customers of downloading pornography.”

Cringeley, longtime columnist for ZD and now a PBS blogger, says: “How much Internet service is ‘unlimited’ Internet service? If you are a user of Verizon Wireless’s Broadband Access wireless Internet service, unlimited means five gigabytes per month or less. The company is quite specific in its advertisements that the service is for unlimited e-mail, web surfing, and corporate intranet use, but not for downloading music or videos or running servers.”

But how does he know about the porn accusation?

“Now here’s the part of this story I find especially interesting: Verizon doesn’t look at packets or protocols to determine if you are improperly using bandwidth, they just look at total bytes transferred,” says Cringeley.

He reckons if you go over five gigs they have no way of knowing whether you were doing email or logging on to – they just press the “kill” button. The fine, he says, is an “early termination” charge, so they terminate you, and collect the dosh.

Appeal? Nope. “Verizon’s position is that using more than five gigs per month is impossible without violating their terms of service.”

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 1:00 pm

Print your own handwriting

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Via The Eldest, information on the Fontifier, which allows you to send in a sample of your handwriting and get back a font to load into your computer so your printer can produce pages that look somewhat as though you wrote them by hand…

Wish I had done this when I was fully in practice on my handwriting.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 12:45 pm

Student help: automated bibliography

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This is extremely cool: enter the ISBN and get a bibliographic citation in the format of your choice. I enter 0345312651, click the radio button for APA citation, and get:

Delacorta D.(1984). Diva. City: Ballantine Books

You can enter a batch of ISBNs at a time, too. (BTW, Diva is also a very good movie—as you probably know. If you haven’t seen it before, now’s the time.)

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 12:33 pm

Convert a photo to a pencil sketch

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You have to use Photoshop, of course. The tutorial at the link explains exactly how to do it. The Wife says that one of the designers wanting to do Project Runway submitted “pencil sketches” of designs that turned out to have been photographs of actual fashion shows that had been converted to pencil sketches. Don’t do that.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 12:24 pm

Posted in Software, Techie toys

What will they think of next? USB AA cell

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Take a look: a AA cell that you can recharge by flipping open it’s top to expose a USB plug. Plug it into your USB port, and the cell is recharged—10 minutes is enough to run a mouse for a day, according to New Scientist, though the initial charging takes substantially longer.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 12:13 pm

Denny Hastert: protector of sexual predators

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So Denny Hastert had up on his Web site a lot of PR about how he protects kids in cyberspace. Only…. he knew about Mark Foley’s approaching underage boys a year ago, and not only did nothing to stop it, did all he could to keep the whole thing covered up and secret.

But now he’s taken action. He’s taken down that stuff on his Web site about protecting kids in cyberspace. But a little too late: at the link, you can see the before and after.

UPDATE: Read this report from a guy who understands the problem from his personal experience.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 9:55 am

Posted in Election, GOP

Tony Snow: they’re just “naughty emails”

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Just when you think they can’t sink any lower. Tony Snow on CNN this morning:

“Yes, look, I hate to tell you, but it’s not always pretty up there on Capitol Hill. And there have been other scandals, as you know, that have been more than simply naughty e-mails.”

Naughty emails? Here’s one:

Maf54: “To be honest, I am a little to interested in you. So that’s why I need to back off a little.”

Teen: “Ya slow things down a little im still young…like under 18. don’t want to do anything illegal…im not 18.”

Maf547: “cool… don’t forget to measure” (referring to the boy’s penis)

And these:

Maf54: You in your boxers, too?
Teen: Nope, just got home. I had a college interview that went late.
Maf54: Well, strip down and get relaxed.

Another message:

Maf54: What ya wearing?
Teen: tshirt and shorts
Maf54: Love to slip them off of you….


Maf54: Do I make you a little horny ?
Teen: A little.
Maf54: Cool.

For an extended chat session, if you can stomach it, read this from ABC News.

And Snow thinks these are just “naughty emails”? Does Snow have a son? How would he feel about a son of his getting communications like this when his son was still a boy?

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 9:52 am

First shave with Schick Injector in 49 years

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Schick Injector
Good—no, make that excellent—shave this morning. Simpson Major brush (in honor of a reader), Charles Tyrwhitt Lemon-Cedar shaving cream, and the Schick Injector, the razor I last used in high school. It was the cartridge razor of its day—no need to touch a blade. Very good design, too: a single-edge blade without all the extra steel of the usual single-edge blade. Thicker than a double-edge blade. Here are a couple of views of a razor just like the one I used (click thumbnail for larger view):

Schick Injector Schick Injector 2

Schick blades are still readily available, perhaps even in your local drugstore. Even cheaper are injector blades from lab supply houses, like these Ted Pella Stainless PTFE-coated injector blades, 20 for $4.50—substantially less than the 7 for $5.29 for the Schick brand: 22.5 cents a blade vs. 75.6 cents a blade. OTOH, the Pella injector almost fits my Schick razor—it will work, but like a worn key in a lock, it requires a bit of patient jiggling to make it go. The Schick injector is a better fit, FWIW.

Another blade option: order the Feather Professional or Feather Professional Super blades and trim them to fit the Schick. (The blades are made for the Feather Straight Razor and are a little too long for the Schick.) One shaver suggests:

Cut the blade with an electrician’s wire-cutting scissors. Even a regular, heavy shear may do. I also insert it the way Andy does, by using the injector to spread the razor open and then inserting the blade from the other side.

Another provides more detailed instructions and links to discussions of this option.

Since you will undoubtedly be buying your Schick from eBay or the like (a garage sale, an antique store, a flea market, etc.), you will find these illustrated instructions on cleaning an injector razor to be useful. Unlike the typical safety razor, you can’t simply open the injector and leave it open. At the link you’ll see a nifty trick to prop it open.

Finally, a little caveat—but read the whole thread. The problem may be simply that he’s using 20-year-old blades. (Even with stainless blades the cutting edge can degrade over time, and a very little degradation can make a very big difference.)

Written by LeisureGuy

2 October 2006 at 7:57 am

Posted in Shaving

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