Later On

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

Archive for January 8th, 2007

The Colemak keyboard

leave a comment »

I’m a sucker for rational design (Esperanto, Dvorak—things like that). And now there’s a new keyboard in town: the Colemak. Like the Dvorak, the most-used keys are on the home row. (And this has an odd effect when typing, if you’re used to the QWERTY layout: you feel as if your hands aren’t moving at all. You just type on the home row, occasionally typing a key on the row above, but that’s about it.)

Dvorak, as I recall, put the vowels on one hand the consonants on the other so that the general action would be that the hands would alternate. Colemak doesn’t do that, but they do have some interesting claims—and you can remap your keyboard with software. One nice touch: the backspace is placed where the caps lock now is, so that you don’t have to leave home row to correct mistakes.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 January 2007 at 6:16 pm

Posted in Daily life, Technology

Good point

leave a comment »

Glenn Greenwald points out an embarrassing fact about the gung-ho promoters of the “surge” (i.e., escalation) strategy:

One of the two principal architects of the “surge” strategy about to be adopted by the President is Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute. He recently appeared at an AEI event with the other surge architect, Ret. Gen. Jack Keane (along with surge advocates Sens. McCain and Lieberman), to detail and defend his plan. Kagan thereafter issued an “Executive Summary” to accompany a report detailing what the “surge” plan requires in order to succeed (h/t Chasm).

Kagan makes it absolutely clear that an increase in the number of available troops and American military volunteers is critical to the success of the surge specifically, and for “victory” in the war in Iraq generally, and he therefore emphasizes how urgent it is for more Americans to enlist in the military if we are to Win….

Fred Kagan himself (who graduated college in 1991), along with his equally pro-war brother Robert, are both young enough to enlist. It’s particularly confounding to listen to Kagan’s demand that others sacrifice by enlisting while he does not do so himself. By contrast, and to his credit, McCain’s call for more troops may very well result in his own son being deployed to Baghdad.

Really, you should read the entire column.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 January 2007 at 4:21 pm

Posted in GOP, Iraq War

Frustration at a false fact

with one comment

Did you know that 1 mile out of every 5 miles of the Interstate Highway System is straight so that it can be used as a landing strip for airplanes? You did? Well, it’s not true, as this highway historian explains with gritted teeth.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 January 2007 at 3:53 pm

Posted in Daily life

If you like lists of books,

leave a comment »

Take a look at these lists.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 January 2007 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Books

The Observer’s list of the 100 greatest novels

with one comment

Always an interesting exercise—and if nothing else, it provides some titles for the next trip to the library. First, the list and then, at the end, their comments how they made their selection.

Sunday October 12, 2003

1. Don Quixote Miguel De Cervantes
2. Pilgrim’s Progress John Bunyan
3. Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe
4. Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift
5. Tom Jones Henry Fielding
6. Clarissa Samuel Richardson
7. Tristram Shandy Laurence Sterne
8. Dangerous Liaisons Pierre Choderlos De Laclos
9. Emma Jane Austen
10. Frankenstein Mary Shelley
11. Nightmare Abbey Thomas Love Peacock
12. The Black Sheep Honore De Balzac
13. The Charterhouse of Parma Stendhal
14. The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
15. Sybil Benjamin Disraeli
16. David Copperfield Charles Dickens
17. Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte
18. Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
19. Vanity Fair William Makepeace Thackeray
20. The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
21. Moby-Dick Herman Melville
22. Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
23. The Woman in White Wilkie Collins
24. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland Lewis Carroll
25. Little Women Louisa M. Alcott
26. The Way We Live Now Anthony Trollope
27. Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

8 January 2007 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Books, Daily life

Manage your To-Do lists

leave a comment »

Lifehacker points out this list of 20 different ways to manage your To-Do lists.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 January 2007 at 1:17 pm

Oh. my. god. Look at this Mac and Cheese

with 4 comments

Here’s where it’s from, and this is it:

Wild Mushroom Macaroni and Three Cheeses with Truffle Oil

1 1/2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups sliced shitake mushrooms
2 Tbsp oil or bacon fat
1 1/2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
3 cup whole milk
4 oz herb chevre, crumbled
4 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
4 oz parmigiano reggiano, separated in two 2oz piles
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp fresh sage, minced
3 Tbsp white truffle oil (yes, this is some rich mac-n-cheese)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup panko
8 oz elbow pasta
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large pot of water over high heat and cover. Place a large sauté pan with 2 Tbsp oil or lard over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté for 7-10 minutes or until the mushrooms are fully cooked and slightly caramelized. Toss or stir occasionally. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper then deglaze the pan with sherry vinegar. Allow all of the vinegar to cook out, then remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.

Begin the cheese sauce. Add 3 Tbsp butter to a medium-sized sauce pan and place the pan on the stove over medium heat. Once all the butter is melted and hot, whisk in 3 Tbsp flour. Cook the flour, whisking, for about 30 seconds , just long enough to get rid of the raw flour taste, but not long enough for the flour to start caramelizing. Add the thyme, rosemary, sage, and red pepper flakes. Continue stirring and allow the herbs to saute for about another 30 seconds. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking continuously, so the roux and milk incorporate smoothly and there are no lumps. Allow the béchamel to come to a simmer (it won’t gain it’s full thickness until it does), stirring occasionally.

While waiting for the sauce to come to a simmer start the pasta. Liberally salt the pot of boiling water, almost to the point it tastes like sea water. This may take a few handfuls of salt . Add the pasta to the water and cook the pasta for a minute or two less than the suggested time on the box.

Once the béchamel has reached a simmer, stir in the chevre, cheddar, 2oz of parmigiano, and truffle oil until all the cheese has melted. Turn off the heat and and taste the sauce for seasoning levels. Season with salt and pepper as necessary. In small mixing bowl, mix together the panko and remaining 2oz of parmigiano reggiano.

Strain the pasta immediately once finished cooking. In a mixing bowl, toss the pasta, cheese sauce, and mushrooms together. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a deep glass or ceramic loaf pan and sprinkle the panko/parmigiano mixture evenly across the top. Bake the mac-n-cheese in the upper part of the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the topping is golden and the cheese sauce is bubbly. Serve hot. Enjoy!

*if you’re lucky enough to have a real truffle, feel free to substitute shaved truffle for the truffle oil!

Written by LeisureGuy

8 January 2007 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes

%d bloggers like this: