Later On

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

Archive for November 4th, 2007

This is Charley

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Written by Leisureguy

4 November 2007 at 4:45 pm

Posted in Cats, Education

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Beginning of the book

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I thought I might as well get feedback while I go, so here’s the beginning of the book. Still quite a bit to go, but if you have any thoughts on the work so far, I’d be interested: corrections, comments, suggestions, requests for more clarity, etc. It’s a PDF file. I use Foxit as my PDF reader: very nice, also free. (It’s a Windows program, though.)

Written by Leisureguy

4 November 2007 at 4:06 pm

What does it take for it to be “terrorism”

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Pipe bombs are not enough:

On Friday, they caught a contract worker trying to bring a pipe bomb into a nuclear power plant located 50 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona.

According to a report in USA Today, bomb squad tests determined that the capped pipe was a credible explosive device. It was the real deal.

But, for some reason, Capt. Paul Chagolla of the local sheriff’s office told the press, “At this point I don’t have any information that would indicate that you have domestic terrorism at hand.”

Wait a minute.

As the article in USA Today explains, “Two elementary schools and a high school in the area were locked down briefly when a plant employee notified the district.”

And the FBI was called in.

Of course they were! There was a pipe bomb at a nuclear plant!

But somehow it’s not terrorism.

So I’m guessing that the suspect here is not of Middle Eastern ancestry. Otherwise, the terror alert level would surely have been elevated to orange (at least), and the suspect would now be on his way to Gitmo.

Sleep well.

Written by Leisureguy

4 November 2007 at 1:42 pm

Posted in Government

Tagged with ,

Subsidies contradict recommendations

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Click the thumbnail and take a close look at the two pyramids above: the one on the left shows the subsidies the government pays for various foods, the one on the right shows the government’s recommendations on how we should eat.

Sometimes it seems that politics consists of backing bad decisions for the sake of short-term gain. Period. From Good Medicine:

The Farm Bill, a massive piece of federal legislation making its way through Congress, governs what children are fed in schools and what food assistance programs can distribute to recipients. The bill provides billions of dollars in subsidies, much of which goes to huge agribusinesses producing feed crops, such as corn and soy, which are then fed to animals. By funding these crops, the government supports the production of meat and dairy products—the same products that contribute to our growing rates of obesity and chronic disease. Fruit and vegetable farmers, on the other hand, receive less than 1 percent of government subsidies.

The government also purchases surplus foods like cheese, milk, pork, and beef for distribution to food assistance programs—including school lunches. The government is not required to purchase nutritious foods.

When the House of Representatives debated the bill in July, PCRM, along with many other health and public interest groups, supported the Fairness in Farm and Food Policy Amendment, which was offered by Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). This amendment would have limited government subsidies of unhealthy foods, cut subsidies to millionaire farmers, and provided more money for nutrition and food assistance programs for Americans and impoverished children overseas.

Unfortunately, politics doomed the reform effort. At the eleventh hour, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) feared that freshman representatives who voted to cut subsidies might risk losing their seats in farm states in the 2008 elections, endangering the Democratic majority. The reform amendment was defeated 117 to 309.

Nonetheless, Congress did make some modest changes to the Farm Bill’s subsidy programs at the very last minute.

This fall, the Senate will have its turn debating and voting on the bill. PCRM will need your help again to encourage senators to cut subsidies for unhealthy foods and increase support for fruits, vegetables, and vegetarian foods. Other groups, including the American Medical Association and the President’s Cancer Panel, are also calling on Congress for sweeping reforms (see sidebar).

Learn more about these legislative issues and stay up to date with what’s happening with the Farm Bill>

Sign up to receive periodic e-mail updates about the Farm Bill and other PCRM campaigns>

Written by Leisureguy

4 November 2007 at 1:40 pm

Posted in Congress, Food, Health

Sharpening a kitchen knife

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I’m at the part of the book where I’m talking about the knives and sharpening them, and I found a couple of good links: here and here. I do like the Chef’s Choice 110 Knife Sharpener, though their more ferocious models can quickly grind away too much of a knife.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Read this post.

Written by Leisureguy

4 November 2007 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Daily life, Recipes & Cooking

Tagged with ,

Staying organized

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Life Optimizer has some good tips on organization. Certainly in organizing—as in so many things—an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure: if you can maintain organization, you don’t face the heavy task of getting organized once more. Avoid clutter and you have no need to de-clutter. Here’s the idea:

I’m now reading an interesting book entitled Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern. [Copies for $1.00 at the link. – LG] There are a lot of useful tips there about how to declutter our life and better organize it. I especially like the fact that it takes the organizing issue from the inside out, which means that it creates a system that matches our personality rather than blindly takes one of the systems out there.

I haven’t finished the book, but a thought came to my mind: there is a way to make decluttering and organizing much easier and less complicated, and that is a step to be taken prior to decluttering. I believe it will make our life simpler and happier, and here it is:

Think twice before accepting new stuff into your life

Spend time to think and think again before accepting new stuff into your life. We may think that having more stuff is a sign of abundance, but having more stuff actually takes up more resources: money to buy it, storage space to store it, and especially mental energy to think or be distracted by it.

So you should have a filtering system not to let stuff easily comes into your life. It’s a prevention to cluttering problem. If you have this filter in place, you may eliminate the need of decluttering in the first place.

To apply it, here are some questions regarding new stuff you should ask yourself:

  1. Can I eliminate the need? What is the worst thing that could happen if I don’t get the stuff?
    Often the “worst thing” is not as bad as we first think. Once we realize that we can eliminate the need, it will be much easier not to accept the stuff.
  2. Is there any other way to meet the need?
    If you do need the functionalities, can you get them in another way, especially using your existing stuff?
  3. Will I use the stuff often?
    If you can only meet the need using the new stuff, how often will you use it? If it’s only occasionally, there are usually better means to get the functionalities without acquiring the stuff. One obvious way is borrowing.

If the stuff passes all the three questions, then there is still one more step to go:

Wait 30 days and then ask the questions again.

After 30 days, what you initially think as absolute need may eventually become unnecessary. If for some reasons the need can’t wait for 30 days, just wait as long as you can.

Eventually, if the stuff passes all these tests, then get it. You definitely need it.

Written by Leisureguy

4 November 2007 at 10:51 am

Cooking compendium coming along

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Once I got my head around how to approach the book and then made an outline, it seems as if the heavy lifting’s done. Now it’s just a matter of piling up words. Heck, maybe edition 1.00 will be up this week. I’m publishing through, as a free download (PDF), so that I’ll be able to update it as I think of things I’ve forgotten or as suggestions come in.

Written by Leisureguy

4 November 2007 at 10:46 am

Crema 3P again

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Today I replicated the shave of yesterday—same soap, brush, razor, and blade—but with the addition of Crema 3P as the pre-shave: I rubbed a thin layer over my wet beard (after washing it with MR GLO and then rinsing), and proceeded to lather.

The difference in the lather was not so marked as last time, but this time I was using a different soap, which might account for it. (More experimentation required.) Still, the shave was quite good—9.5—but it was hard to tell specifically where the Crema 3P was helping.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy the shave, and the aftershave was Booster Mosswood, a very nice aftershave. Yet another good start to the day.

Written by Leisureguy

4 November 2007 at 9:56 am

Posted in Shaving

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