Later On

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

Archive for June 14th, 2007

Ribs reconsidered

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Okay, I had the honey garlic spareribs. Okay, but not stupendous. I was sort of complaining to the Eldest, and she told me of her “cheating” rib sauce: you mix it up and put it on the ribs right at the end, and it is not only wonderful but people think you worked all day on it: 1/2 fig jam and 1/2 sriracha sauce. (There are other brands, but this is the common one. And don’t think I didn’t note the Chili Garlic sauce. I bought a jar the other day to compare with the Chile Garlic Paste I make.)

Written by Leisureguy

14 June 2007 at 5:19 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes

Is this being done?

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It seems simple enough. Create a commission and charge it with creating task forces that will focus on various areas:

  • Federal, state, and local government
  • commerce
  • communications and entertainment
  • manufacturing
  • education
  • military
  • transportation
  • food and agriculture
  • health and medicine

Each task force consists of a range of experts—economists, sociologists, jurists, manufacturers, doctors, military, and the like—and each task force is given an assumption: Oil is $800 per barrel. The job of the task forces is to estimate the effects in their particular area, develop a range of responses, list trade-offs, and submit a report.

Obviously, when oil does reach $800 per barrel, we will know the effects and we will be responding, but would it not be better—more prudent and more sensible—to look at the issues ahead of time, when options can be explored without being in a crisis already in motion?

Will something like this be done? I think not. We’re certainly not doing much on global warming.

Written by Leisureguy

14 June 2007 at 2:26 pm

“My dream has been..”

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The Wife told me about this, and then I saw it on Scott Feldstein’s blog:

Written by Leisureguy

14 June 2007 at 11:13 am

Posted in Music new and improved

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And by Chinese researchers. James Fallows:

I love Google. Everyone loves Google. But I’ve also had a long secret fondness for, nee AskJeeves.

The original AskJeeves concept of trying to figure out what questions users might eventually ask, and preparing answers for them, had some obvious limitations. (Same ones that are evident in the typical FAQ file.) But over the last year or two Ask’s search system has introduced enough features and tweaks to be worth visiting along with Google. For instance, I’ve found that its image search gets more quickly to what I’m looking for than most alternatives.

Recently Ask rolled out the new search page it has been working on for quite a while.

Early this year I saw some of the features in embryonic form, during a visit to my friend Yumin Liang and his research team in Hangzhou, China. (Subject for another time: the shift of some “real” research work by international firms, not just “localization” work for the Chinese-language audience, to sites in China.)

These features, and more, are now available on the revamped site. The crucial concept here is presenting a lot of different kinds of information on one screen. You search for, say, the Atlantic Monthly on Ask, and you get pretty quickly a central column of normal search results. But over the next few seconds the rest of the page fills in. On the right side of the page, images, blog links, encyclopedia entries. On the left, ways to narrow or expand your search — narrow it by asking about the magazine’s history, expand it by also learning about, say, the New Yorker. It’s worth giving a try.

Written by Leisureguy

14 June 2007 at 9:49 am

Posted in Software

Libby goes to the slammer. Not free on bond.

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Good news, IMHO. Libby must report to the slammer for incarceration and will not remain free pending appeal.

Written by Leisureguy

14 June 2007 at 9:37 am

California Culinary Academy: bad news

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This article (via Accidental Hedonist) explains how CCA, once a good institution, transformed itself into what amounts to a scam operation after being purchased by a for-profit company. The article begins:

 In the Polk Street admissions office of the California Culinary Academy, oversized posters display pictures of three of the school’s graduates. The three were named “Rising Star Chefs” by the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year, and the school is bursting with pride. The posters make effective recruiting tools — admissions representatives can point to them and tell prospective students that a CCA education is the key to gastronomic fame and glory.

Maybe CCA should have asked the three rising stars how they would feel about serving as photo advertisements for the school.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

14 June 2007 at 9:32 am

Posted in Education, Food

James Wolcott on US “success” in Iraq

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Iraq is a success, as Bush and his cronies have it. Tony Snow this morning said that the rise in violence was a good sign of that success, since success brings forth an increase in violence. (I suppose that means if violence had dropped significantly, it would be a bad sign, with no violence at all a sign of total failure. But no one asked him about that.)

Now Wolcott writes about the steps the US is taking:

William S. Lind read the news today, oh boy:

Looking idly at the front page of last Wednesday’s Washington Post Express as I rode the Metro to work, I received a shock. It showed a railroad station in Iraq, recently destroyed by an American air strike. So now we are bombing the railroad stations in a country we occupy? What comes next, bombing Iraq’s power plants and oil refineries? How about the Green Zone? If the Iraqi parliament doesn’t pass the legislation we want it to, we can always lay a couple of JDAMs on it.It turns out the bombed railroad station was no fluke. An AP story by Charles J. Hanley, dated June 5, reported that

“U.S. warplanes have again stepped up attacks in Iraq, dropping bombs at more than twice the rate of a year ago. … And it appears to be accomplished by a rise in Iraqi civilian casualties.

“In the first 4 1/2 months of 2007, American aircraft dropped 237 bombs and missiles in support of ground forces in Iraq, already surpassing the 229 expended in all of 2006, according to Air Force figures obtained by The Associated Press.”

Nothing could testify more powerfully to the failure of U.S. efforts on the ground in Iraq than a ramp-up in airstrikes. Calling in air is the last, desperate, and usually futile action of an army that is losing. If anyone still wonders whether the “surge” is working, the increase in air strikes offers a definitive answer: it isn’t.

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Written by Leisureguy

14 June 2007 at 9:11 am

Peak oil, global warming,… anything else we can ignore?

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Alert Reader passes along this note. You’ll recall that global warming is also moving along faster than initially predicted—apparently three times as fast as first projected. Here’s the story on peak oil:

Scientists have criticised a major review of the world’s remaining oil reserves, warning that the end of oil is coming sooner than governments and oil companies are prepared to admit.

BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy, published yesterday, appears to show that the world still has enough “proven” reserves to provide 40 years of consumption at current rates. The assessment, based on officially reported figures, has once again pushed back the estimate of when the world will run dry.

However, scientists led by the London-based Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, say that global production of oil is set to peak in the next four years before entering a steepening decline which will have massive consequences for the world economy and the way that we live our lives.

According to “peak oil” theory our consumption of oil will catch, then outstrip our discovery of new reserves and we will begin to deplete known reserves.

Colin Campbell, the head of the depletion centre, said: “It’s quite a simple theory and one that any beer drinker understands. The glass starts full and ends empty and the faster you drink it the quicker it’s gone.”

Dr Campbell, is a former chief geologist and vice-president at a string of oil majors including BP, Shell, Fina, Exxon and ChevronTexaco. He explains that the peak of regular oil – the cheap and easy to extract stuff – has already come and gone in 2005. Even when you factor in the more difficult to extract heavy oil, deep sea reserves, polar regions and liquid taken from gas, the peak will come as soon as 2011, he says.

This scenario is flatly denied by BP, whose chief economist Peter Davies has dismissed the arguments of “peak oil” theorists.

“We don’t believe there is an absolute resource constraint. When peak oil comes, it is just as likely to come from consumption peaking, perhaps because of climate change policies as from production peaking.”

In recent years the once-considerable gap between demand and supply has narrowed. Last year that gap all but disappeared. The consequences of a shortfall would be immense. If consumption begins to exceed production by even the smallest amount, the price of oil could soar above $100 a barrel. A global recession would follow.

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Written by Leisureguy

14 June 2007 at 8:05 am

Shari’s chicken marinade

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In the comments to the Honey Garlic Spareribs I listed some changes I would make. I realize that I’m moving the marinade in the direction of an old family favorite:

Shari’s Chicken Marinade

1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup bourbon
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp minced parsley
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed

Combine all ingredients for the marinade and marinate the chicken (or meat, if you like) in the mixture at least 3-4 hours before grilling. You can even marinate chicken all day. The amount above is sufficient for one chicken.

An Army wife who had lived in Tokyo after WWII and during the occupation tasted this and said that it originated as a steak marinade at the Imperial Hotel during the occupation. That would explain the combination of the American (bourbon) and Oriental ingredients. I haven’t tried it on steak—we mostly used it on chicken wings—but I would imagine that the marinating time would be shorter—on the order of a couple of hours. But experiment—always the rule.

Written by Leisureguy

14 June 2007 at 7:53 am

Posted in Food, Recipes

Collection of cheat sheets

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Via Download Squad, which got it via Lifehacker, this amazing collection of useful cheat sheets. To give you an idea:


Browser Shortcuts
Internet Slang
Microsoft Office

Operating Systems
Search Engines
Tutorials for Beginners

Written by Leisureguy

14 June 2007 at 6:50 am

Posted in Software

Waking up fast

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I have a new ending for the famous introductory phrase, “In hindsight it would have been better to…”

This morning my coffee tasted as if the coffee beans had spoiled, somehow—fermented, or gone sour. I took several sips, with shudders, until I decided I had to throw the cup out. Maybe something was in the cup?

I returned to the kitchen, heated up the water in the kettle, ground more beans, and was about to proceed, when I remembered: yesterday to clean the hard-water deposits out of the kettle I had boiled a kettleful of vinegar water. In hindsight it would have been better to immediately empty the kettle once it had boiled and rinse it out a few times. But since the kettle turns itself off, I went about the day and totally forgot about it.

The breakfast cereal this morning is going to be a treat…

Written by Leisureguy

14 June 2007 at 6:39 am

Posted in Daily life

New blade, nice shave

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Continuing my QED theme, this morning I lathered up with Tangerine & Spearmint, a great fragrance for a summer day. I used the Plisson HMW 12, and it seemed to have some problems generating the lather. Perhaps it’s better suited to triple-milled soaps. The exploration continues.

I used the HD and for the first time tried an Astra Superior Platinum blade:

High quality DE blades made in Russia. Stainless steel, coated blades with a Platinum plated edge. The Astra blades are known for their smoothness, unsurpassed sharpness and durability. Widely used by barbers in Europe.

And in fact the blade did indeed seem quite sharp and smooth. My thanks to jbc in the forum who pushed us to try more blades. Now to see whether these hold up. But certainly the first shave was pleasant.

The aftershave was D.R. Harris Marlborough.

Tomorrow will be QED Fresh Limes with Bay Rum aftershave, and Saturday QED Bay Rum with Geo. F. Trumper Extract of West Indian Limes aftershave. I’m looking forward to those.

Written by Leisureguy

14 June 2007 at 6:36 am

Posted in Shaving

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