Later On

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

Archive for July 25th, 2007

Total immersion alternative to swishing

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Swishing the razor in rubbing alcohol (91%) seems to stop the rust, but I’m curious also about the total immersion method: put the razor in a container so that the entire head of the razor is under the rubbing alcohol. Since 91% rubbing alcohol will have a rapid evaporation rate, a covered container would be good—for example:

Covered cup Cup with razor

The cup contains my British Aristocrat #66, which in turn contains a Treet Blue Special blade—the Black Beauty. About an inch of rubbing alcohol will cover the head of the razor and the lid will prevent evaporation. (The lid fits comfortably on the cup, with the razor leaning to the side.) It’s easy to remove the razor from the cup, since the handle falls just below the lip.

So I’ll try this as well as the swishing (using another razor for that test).

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2007 at 5:09 pm

Posted in Shaving

For you gmail users out there

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You know who you are. The top 10 gmail tweaks.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2007 at 4:47 pm

Posted in Software

Saudis from Iran?

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Must be: Bush says that Iran is the chief foreign instigator of violence in Iraq, but about half the foreign fighters in Iraq are Saudis. So could it be that Bush is lying?

The Los Angeles Times is reporting nearly half of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops in Iraq have come from Saudi Arabia – one of Washington’s closest allies in the Middle East. U.S. officials have so far refused to publicly criticize Saudi Arabia’s role in Iraq, focusing instead on Iran. Democracy Now! spoke with an L.A. Times correspondent in Iraq, Ned Parker, and Toby Jones, a former Persian Gulf analyst with the International Crisis Group and history professor at Rutgers University.

Amy Goodman: We go now to Iraq to speak with Ned Parker, staff reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He joins us from Baghdad. Ned Parker recently wrote a widely read article on how Sunni militants from Saudi Arabia make up half the foreign fighters in Iraq. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Ned Parker. We saw over and over again on the Senate floor, as ultimately the attempt to pass the resolution that would begin withdrawal of troops from Iraq was defeated, we saw Iran raised and the idea that in Iraq US soldiers were fighting off Iranian insurgents, and that was part of what the battle in Iraq was all about, taking on Iran. You found that, in fact, there are more Saudi than Iranian foreign fighters in Iraq. How do you know this?

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Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2007 at 4:34 pm

Good idea by Arlen Specter

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Provided he follows through:

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) plans to review the Senate testimony of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel A. Alito to determine if their reversal of several long-standing opinions conflicts with promises they made to senators to win confirmation.

Specter, who championed their confirmation, said Tuesday he will personally re-examine the testimony to see if their actions in court match what they told the Senate.

“There are things he has said, and I want to see how well he has complied with it,” Specter said, singling out Roberts.

The Specter inquiry poses a potential political problem for the GOP and future nominees because Democrats are increasingly complaining that the Supreme Court moved quicker and more dramatically than advertised to overturn or chip away at prior decisions.

Specter, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, who served as chairman during the hearings, said he wants to examine whether Roberts and Alito have “lived up” to their assurances that they would respect legal precedents.

Judicial independence is “so important,” Specter said, but an examination could help with future nominations. “I have done a lot of analyzing and have come to the conclusion that these nominees answer just as many questions as they have to.”

Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), a Judiciary Committee member who voted against both nominees, said a review “could lead us to have a different approach.” He said senators need to be “more probing” with their questioning of nominees.

“Certainly Justice Roberts left a distinct impression of his service as chief justice. And his performance on the court since, I think, has been in conflict with many of the statements he has made privately, as well as to the committee,” said Durbin, who was unaware of Specter’s idea.

“They are off to a very disturbing start, these two new justices. I am afraid before long they will call into question some of the most established laws and precedents in our nation.”

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Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2007 at 4:29 pm

Posted in Congress, GOP, Government

Swishing the razor

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I’ve mentioned swishing the razor head in rubbing alcohol to prevent a carbon-steel blade from rusting. And whenever I mention swishing something, I (quite naturally) think of Mary McGoon and her famous recipe for ginger-ale salad. (The following is best read aloud in your best Mary McGoon voice.)

Another utterly delightful recipe from Mary McGoon, resident cook, author, and raconteur of the Finley Quality Network.

Hello, everyone. This is Mary McGoon. It’s so good to talk to you all again. It’s time that we all talk of food and so forth. I thought I should like to talk briefly about a favorite salad of mine. I know that salads are playing an ever-increasing role in the serving of foods in fine restaurants. That’s why I have, today, a favorite recipe of mine that I’d like to give you all now. It’s called Frozen Ginger Ale Salad, and this is how I make it.

First, you take a huge crock and fill it with the contents of a quart bottle of ginger ale. (Either pale or golden, it makes no difference.) You just pour it in. Then I take a head of lettuce, Boston or Romaine or Iceberg, and shred that and put that into the crock containing the ginger ale. Then I swish it all around until it’s thoroughly swished. I get to giggling on that. It’s so much fun. You can wear a rubber glove, if you choose.

After it’s thoroughly swished, I take a marshmallow and cube it. And that will keep you busy. After that’s been cubed, friends, you put that in, too. Then I take a chocolate bar with almonds, and I remove the almonds and break the chocolate into little bits and put that in, too.

Then I swish it all together. When it’s completely swished and settles down a little in the crock, I pour it off into a mold made in the likeness of a dear friend of mine. Then I take it up and put it into the freezing compartment of my refrigerator. After it’s hard, and you can tell when it’s hard because it will be hard when you touch it, you take it out and chip into individual servings. Serve it with Argyle Sox sauce and garnish with pimento.

Well, that’s about it. You serve that to your family and I know they will really appreciate it. It’s a dish fit for a king.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2007 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Recipes & Cooking

Outrageous veto hurting children: the GOP at work

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From ThinkProgress:

Congress is currently considering legislation to reauthorize and expand the popular State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which currently insures close to 6 million children. The new proposal would expand “current levels of spending by $35 billion over the next five years” and “reduce the number of uninsured children by 4.1 million.”

Six Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee voted for the SCHIP expansion, which is being heavily opposed by the tobacco industry. But “in an unexpected turn of events,” the conservative leadership announced that it is caving to President Bush’s demands and is objecting to the legislation.

Bush has promised to veto the SCHIP expansion. Today in an event at the Center for American Progress, Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) sharply criticized the veto threat:

Casey: [Bush] wants to give a billion dollars a year of an increase for children’s health insurance, and tens of billions — by one estimate as much as a hundred billion dollars — in tax cuts to wealthy people. … I don’t understand it and we are not going to accept that because fortunately, unlike a lot of things on Capitol Hill, there is bipartisan agreement on this.

Clinton: [I]f he wants to have part of his legacy be vetoing the child health insurance program then we’ll try to override the veto because this is absolutely an imperative. … I just think it’s outrageous and offensive that the President would threaten to veto this legislation.

Watch it.

As Ezra Klein notes, the right-wing objections to SCHIP are “explicitly ideological.” They are based in a right-wing desire to see “as few individuals on government-based insurance as possible.” Conservatives are rallying opposition to children’s health care as “spring training” practice for future battles over universal coverage.

This year, SCHIP marks its 10th anniversary as a bipartisan, federal-state collaboration to improve the nation’s health coverage. Bruce Lesley of First Focus calls SCHIP “the one major healthcare success story over the past 10 years” for providing “cost-effective health coverage to millions of children with coverage that the private market by itself has been unable to provide.” Along with Medicaid, SCHIP has “reduced the proportion and the number of low-income children who are uninsured by about one third since 1997.”


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Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2007 at 2:28 pm

Shaving Essentials, LLC

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I just learned of a new vendor of shaving equipment and supplies: Shaving Essentials, – 859-230-8563 – Col. Conk, D.R. Harris, Geo. F. Trumper, Merkur, Mitchell’s Wool Fat, Royall fragrances, Yardley.

Take a look. I’ve added them to the blogroll under “shaving.”

The rumor is that they plan to carry J.M. Fraser shaving cream, imported from Canada. If they carry it, buy it: J.M. Fraser shaving cream smells delightful (to me) and softens the beard wonderfully.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2007 at 12:49 pm

Posted in Business, Shaving

New shave toys

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Kind readers have sent me some new shave toys:

  • Boots shave stick (from the UK pharmacy chain)
  • Boots blades
  • Tesco blades
  • Nacet blades
  • Croma Diamant blades
  • Gillette Silver Blue blades

Since these are not available in the US, I’m delighted to be able to try them. In fact, I wrote to Boots some time ago, trying to get a shave stick, and did get a reply: they don’t ship to the US.

You’ll see these come up in my shave posts. Today, BTW, I shaved with an experimental shave stick and used an experimental cologne—more anon. I also started a new Treet Blue Special (aka Black Beauty) blade, using my British Aristocrat #66, and swished it in the rubbing alcohol after the shave, then placed it in the rack. We’ll see whether this will prevent rust. The aftershave was Acqua di Selva, quite pleasing.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2007 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Shaving

Greenwald on Gonzales

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Worth reading.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2007 at 12:03 pm

What the US is doing

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From the Columbia Journalism Review:

On December 15, 2001, early in the morning on the last day of Ramadan, a reporter and a cameraman from Al Jazeera arrived at the Pakistani town of Charman on the Afghanistan border, on their way to cover the American military operation. The reporter, Abdelhaq Sadah, was replacing a colleague, but the cameraman, a Sudanese national named Sami al-Haj, had been on such an assignment before, and had crossed the border without incident. This time, however, an immigration official stopped him. He seemed angry. The official told Sadah that he could go, but “your friend is a wanted man and will stay here.”

In Sadah’s recollection, the official produced a letter from Pakistani intelligence—written, curiously, in English. It said that al-Haj had Al Qaeda ties and should be apprehended. Al-Haj noticed that the passport number in the letter didn’t correspond to the one in his current passport, but instead to an old passport he had lost several years ago in Sudan and had reported missing. Despite his protests, the official insisted on detaining him overnight. The next morning, Sadah returned to the border post just in time to see a Pakistani military officer lead al-Haj to a car and drive him away.

Al-Haj is a tall, slender man whose round face and glasses give him a boyish demeanor. In photographs, he looks much younger than his thirty-eight years. People who have met him invariably describe him as polite; in conversation he is said to smile almost constantly.

After Sadah informed Al Jazeera management what had happened, the network made contact with the Pakistani authorities and was told that al-Haj’s background was being investigated. On January 4, al-Haj called his wife, Asma, who was then living in Azerbaijan. He sounded confident, almost cheerful, saying that he expected to be back in Doha, Qatar, Al Jazeera’s headquarters, in two or three days.

Instead, al-Haj was taken to an underground prison in Kabul. There, he was transferred to American custody. On January 7, he was brought by helicopter to Bagram Air Base. Al-Haj later described his disorienting arrival to his lawyer. After a fifteen-minute flight, he said, he was pitched from the helicopter into the icy night, hitting the tarmac so hard that he briefly lost consciousness. He claimed that he was then kicked and beaten by military police, who removed the black bag from his head and cut off his clothes. After performing what al-Haj called an “intimate body search,” they dressed him in a blue uniform, and said, “You record videos of Osama bin Laden for Al Jazeera.”

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Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2007 at 12:00 pm

Screwcaps for wine? or corks?

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I’ve been moving toward the screwcap idea as it becomes more tested and established—indeed, some very fine vineyards have started to use screwcaps. But The Wife points to this note:

We are back to talking about screwcap versus cork with wine closures. After I attended the Unified Grape and Wine Symposium I was pretty sure that the debate was over, screwcap was the future of the marketplace. But Decanter has some news that could change everything. According to recent tests conducted by Cairn Environment for Oeneo Bouchage in France, screwcaps produce the biggest carbon footprint. The production of screwcaps gives off far more CO2 than the production of both corks and synthetic closures.

Will this make a difference in how screwcaps are perceived by the world? With the increasing push toward green products this news could have an impact. Another thing that the article doesn’t mention but that might also be a consideration is the recycling of wine closures. In that case I would suspect that cork might also come out ahead.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2007 at 10:49 am

Movie remakes

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I really don’t like movie remakes, but Hollywood seems to have a large originality problem, and when they need a movie, they (too) often choose to simply remake another movie, often with a lot of damage (e.g., remakes of Luc Besson’s Nikita (known in the US as La Femme Nikita) and The Vanishing totally missed the point).

Now I see that No Reservations is being released. It’s a remake of Bella Martha (known to Netflix as Mostly Martha). I highly recommend that you see the original before taking a chance on Hollywood’s taste. And if you haven’t seen the original La Femme Nikita and The Vanishing, see those as well for the actual story and plot.

Maybe I’m just being cranky. But I don’t think so. (I never think so, come to think of it.)

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2007 at 10:29 am

Posted in Movies & TV


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Sophie Sophie asleep Sophie on chaise Sophie baffed Sophie bites paper Sophie ballet toes Sophie box Sophie chair Sophie tummy Sophie sleeping Sophie under hutch Sophie and BFF

Sophie passed away last night around 10:30 pm. The vet called and said that she was just too weak to continue the fight. We’re devastated. It happened so quickly: in on Monday for a teeth cleaning, died on Tuesday. Sophie was 3, still young and full of curiosity, filled with love and affection, and totally trusting. She was happy, and she greeted visitors by immediately throwing herself prone and squirming in what she hoped was a fetching manner, to get them to pet her. She would then roll over and present an amazing expanse of tummy to be rubbed. She would sit quite properly at other times, her white paws looking like little Mary Janes, neatly placed side by side or crossed demurely. Her coat was generous and required brushing and thinning, but it was glorious, with a fine ruff and made her look as though she were wearing pantaloons on her back legs. In appearance, she seemed to have much of a Norwegian Forest Cat. She will be missed so much.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2007 at 7:35 am

Posted in Cats, Sophie

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