Later On

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

Archive for September 20th, 2008

Pot roast again

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Constant Reader emailed to say that he made the pot roast recipe and thoroughly enjoyed it, and just thinking about it made me hunger again for it. So I got one. Changes I’m making:

1. Only 1/4 cup red wine, not 1/3.

2. Besides the onion, also a carrot or two cut into chunks.

Other than that: why mess with perfection?

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 2:50 pm

Hook a treadmill to your computer desk

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Seriously:

Devotees say the treadmill desks increase not only their activity but also their concentration.

“I thought it was ridiculous until I tried it,” said Ms. Krivosha, 49, a partner in the law firm of Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand.

Ms. Krivosha said it is tempting to become distracted during conference calls, but when she is exercising, she listens more intently.

“Walking just takes care of the A.D.D. part,” she said.

And:

After leaving the military two years ago, Kirk Hurley, 40, a customer service representative at Mutual of Omaha, gained 75 pounds. In two months of work-walking two hours a day, he has lost 16 pounds.

“You don’t really feel the physical strain on your body because your mind’s occupied with your work,” he said.

Read the whole article.

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 11:30 am

Posted in Daily life, Health

Thinking of college?

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US Dept of Education says:

The U.S. Department of Education today unveiled College.gov, a new website that aims to motivate students with inspirational stories and information about planning, preparing and paying for college. Designed with students’ input and participation, College.gov was created by the U.S. Department of Education to be a go-to online resource for credible information about college that also provides real life experiences of peers who are already attending college. U.S. Under Secretary of Education Sara Martinez Tucker unveiled the website during a discussion with students at The David A. Stein Riverdale/ Kingsbridge Academy MS/HS 141 in Bronx, N.Y.

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings’ Action Plan for Higher Education calls for expanding the accessibility, affordability and accountability of higher education for more Americans. Students pursuing education beyond high school has a significant impact on their future—and America’s future economic prosperity. With approximately 90 percent of the fastest-growing jobs requiring some postsecondary education, students need proper information and support to realize the benefits of higher education.

“Secretary Spellings has made college accessibility, affordability and accountability a priority and a key part of the national dialogue on education and global competitiveness,” said Under Secretary Tucker. “As we have traveled around the country and talked with students and their families, we heard over and over again how helpful it would be to have a one-stop shop for reliable information from the department about planning for college and advice from fellow students who overcame challenges to attend college. We hope this site assists in filling that information gap and helps more students attend college and pursue the American Dream.”

College.gov delivers the following unique features:

  • Inspiring videos of college students sharing their stories and experiences about how they overcame obstacles to achieve their college dreams;
  • Fresh design picked by students that boasts a non-government look-and-feel;
  • An interactive tool for students to create an “I’m going” personalized roadmap that details the steps to take to get to college;
  • Content organized and presented in a way for students to easily find the answers to their higher education questions: Why Go? What to Do? and How to Pay?

To learn more about this new site, visit www.college.gov.

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 11:16 am

1 free month of Netflix

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Offer ends 31 October 2008.

Go to http://www.netflilx.com/tellafriend and enter this code: M572178594865

You’ll get one month of free Netflix DVD rentals. Free shipping both ways.

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 11:03 am

Posted in Daily life, Movies & TV

Stealing the vote in Ohio

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Interesting article by Stephen Rosenfeld, which begins:

An election whistleblower who is a Republican, a nationally known data security and computer architecture expert, and an Ohio resident has filed a sworn affidavit in federal court that describes how Republican Party consultants in 2004 built an electronic vote counting network in Ohio that could have stolen votes to re-elect the president.

The whistleblower, Stephen Spoonamore, who has run or held senior technology positions in six technology companies, and whose clients have included MasterCard, American Express, NBC-GE, and federal agencies including the State Department and the Navy, said Mike Connell, a longtime Republican Party computer networking contractor, “agrees that the electronic voting systems in the US are not secure” and told Spoonamore in 2007 “that he (Connell) is afraid some of the more ruthless partisans of the GOP may have exploited systems he in part worked on for this purpose.”

“Mr. Connell builds front end applications, user interfaces and web sites,” Spoonamore said in his September 17, 2008 affidavit. “Knowing his team and their skills I find it unlikely they would be the vote thieves directly. I believe however he knows who is doing that work, and has likely turned a blind eye to this activity. Mr. Connell is a devout Catholic. He has admitted to me that in his zeal to ‘save the unborn’ he may have helped others who have compromised elections. He was clearly uncomfortable when I asked directly about Ohio 2004.”

The affidavit, which goes onto describe how a statewide computer network and vote-counting system in part built by Connell’s firms in 2004 could have been used to steal votes to re-elect George W. Bush in 2004’s final battleground state. It was filed in a federal voting rights suit brought in 2006 that in part sought to preserve ballots from the 2004 presidential election.

After a federal judge ordered those records be preserved, …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 10:05 am

Presentation creator in Web 2.0

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Very cool review of a free Web-based presentation package. Check it out. Benefit is that you can use anyone’s computer at the presentation, provided you have a Web connection—and who doesn’t?

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 10:01 am

The meltdown in a nutshell

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James Moore writes:

… Conservative Republicans always want the government to stay out of business and avoid regulation as long as they are making lots of money. When their greed, however, gets them into a fix, they are the first to cry out for rules and laws and taxpayer money to bail out their businesses. Obviously, Republicans are socialists. The Bush administration has decided to socialize the debt of the big Wall Street Firms. Taxpayers didn’t get to enjoy any of the big money profits on the phony financial instruments like derivatives or bundled sub-prime paper, but we get the privilege of paying for their debt and failures.

Let’s just consider the money. The public bailout of insurance giant (becoming a dwarf) AIG is estimated at $85 billion. According to one report, that’s more than the Bush administration spent on Aid to Families with Dependent Children during his entire time in office. That amount of money would also pay for health care for every man, woman, and child in America for at least six months.

How did we get here?

That’s pretty easy to answer, too. His name is Phil Gramm. A few days after the Supreme Court made George W. Bush president in 2000, Gramm stuck something called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act into the budget bill. Nobody knew that the Texas senator was slipping America a 262 page poison pill. The Gramm Guts America Act was designed to keep regulators from controlling new financial tools described as credit “swaps.” These are instruments like sub-prime mortgages bundled up and sold as securities. Under the Gramm law, neither the SEC nor the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) were able to examine financial institutions like hedge funds or investment banks to guarantee they had the assets necessary to cover losses they were guaranteeing.

This isn’t small beer we are talking about here. The market for these fancy financial instruments they don’t expect us little people to understand is estimated at $60 trillion annually, which amounts to almost four times the entire US stock market.

And Senator Phil Gramm wanted it completely unregulated. So did Alan Greenspan, who supported the legislation and is now running around to the talk shows jabbering about the horror of it all. Before the highly paid lobbyists were done slinging their gold card guts about the halls of congress, every one from hedge funds to banks were playing with fire for fun and profit.

Gramm didn’t just make a fairy tale world for Wall Street, though. He included in his bill a provision that prevented the regulation of energy trading markets, which led us to the Enron collapse. There was no collapse of the house of Gramm, however, because his wife Wendy, who once headed up the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, took a job on the Enron board that provided almost $2 million to their household kitty. And why not? Wendy got a CFTC rule passed that kept the federal government from regulating energy futures contracts at Enron.

If John McCain gets elected and chooses Phil Gramm as his Treasury Secretary, which many politico types see as likely, they will be able to talk about the good old days when Gramm was in congress and McCain was in the senate and they were in the midst of the Savings and Loan crisis. …

More at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 9:41 am

Organic agriculture and soil pollution

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Good explanation—and when you get down to facts, organic agriculture is good for the soil.

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 9:37 am

Posted in Daily life, Food

McCain’s week

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "McCain’s week", posted with vodpod

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 9:32 am

Posted in Daily life

Troopergate development

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Apparently some lies are being told. Justin Rood has the story for ABC News. It begins:

An internal government document obtained by ABC News appears to contradict Sarah Palin’s most recent explanation for why she fired her public safety chief, the move which prompted the now-contested state probe into “Troopergate.”

Fighting back against allegations she may have fired her then-Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, for refusing to go along with a personal vendetta, Palin on Monday argued in a legal filing that she fired Monegan because he had a “rogue mentality” and was bucking her administration’s directives.

“The last straw,” her lawyer argued, came when he planned a trip to Washington, D.C., to seek federal funds for an aggressive anti-sexual-violence program. The project, expected to cost from $10 million to $20 million a year for five years, would have been the first of its kind in Alaska, which leads the nation in reported forcible rape.

The McCain-Palin campaign echoed the charge in a press release it distributed Monday, concurrent with Palin’s legal filing. “Mr. Monegan persisted in planning to make the unauthorized lobbying trip to D.C.,” the release stated.

But the governor’s staff authorized the trip, according to an internal travel document from the Department of Public Safety, released Friday in response to an open records request.

The document, a state travel authorization form, shows that Palin’s chief of staff, Mike Nizich, approved Monegan’s trip to Washington, D.C., “to attend meeting with Senator Murkowski.” The date next to Nizich’s signature reads June 18.

In response to inquiries about the document Friday, the McCain-Palin campaign provided a statement from Randy Ruaro, another aide to Palin.

According to Ruaro, Monegan asked for — and received — approval for the travel without telling Palin’s staff his reason for going. “As a matter of routine, the travel was approved by Mike Nizich … weeks before the actual purpose was made clear by former Commissioner Monegan,” Ruaro wrote.

“When you receive permission to travel, it does not mean that you receive blanket authorization to discuss or do whatever you would like on that trip,” he added.

Last week a legislative panel approved a subpoena for Nizich to be interviewed by Stephen Branchflower, the prosecutor hired to conduct the Alaska Legislature’s inquiry into Troopergate. The Attorney General informed the Legislature earlier this week that Nizich and other state employees subpoenaed in the matter would not submit to interviews.

Nizich did not respond to a message left Friday afternoon. …

Continue reading. Much more in the article, including a reminder that Palin herself requested the investigation.

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 9:27 am

Posted in Election, GOP

My kind of food

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Read and drool:

A few years ago Peru’s leading talk radio station, Radio Programas del Perú, twice organised a competition to find the best cebicheria in the country. They had to drop it after the jury was overwhelmed by more than 500 entries. Now, cebiche is taking off around the world. It appears on menus not just at glamorous spots such as London’s Nobu or New York’s Le Bernardin but at countless restaurants offering vaguely Latin cooking. Britain’s first cebiche bar has opened at the Club Bar & Dining in Soho, and Gaucho, the midmarket chain specialising in Argentinian beef, has gone from offering one type of cebiche to six.

But it is in Peru that you find the real thing, so my wife and I went back to Lima, her home town, in search of the perfect cebiche. The cold Humboldt current that flows north from Antarctica turns Peru’s coast into a desert and brings a sea mist, but it also contains the world’s richest fishing grounds. As well as the national dish, cebiche is the icon of a sophisticated cuisine. At its simplest and best, it is a mouth-tingling combination of raw seafood cured in lemon juice and garnished with hot pepper and onion. (Some say it arose because the fishermen, out all day, got hungry and didn’t have any other way of cooking.) It is a sensory blast of orgasmic intensity, powerful enough to blow away a hangover but light and refreshing enough to see off afternoon drowsiness.

Though there is much more to Peruvian cooking, cebiche retains pride of place. “It’s begun to become a universal dish on which everyone puts their own stamp,” says Raúl Vargas, director of Radio Programas and organiser of the oversubscribed competition. I asked him to talk me through it. “Five ingredients are the essence of cebiche,” he said. The fish doesn’t have to be expensive, just absolutely fresh and firm. Many Peruvian restaurants offer cebiches of several fish and shellfish. To this is added purple onion, finely cut in long thin curves–not more than one part to four parts of fish. Then comes the hot pepper. Peru may not have as many varieties as Mexico, but it has a fine and subtle range. For cebiche, a stubby scarlet pepper called ají limo is used, spicier than the more common ají amarillo, or yellow pepper, but not as hot as the fiery rocoto. The fourth ingredient is lemon juice, or rather that of the Peruvian limón or key lime–intensely acidic, but with a hint of sweetness. The last ingredient is a generous pinch of salt. …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 9:22 am

Helpful Cat helps

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Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 9:12 am

Posted in Cats, Daily life

Pretty much says it all

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This could not be clearer:

John McCain: “Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.”

Note that this was not an off-the-cuff remark, but a carefully prepared statement of his policy direction.

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 9:06 am

Posted in Election, GOP

Tryphon Bay Rhum and Trumper Extract of West Indian Limes

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Extremely good shave this morning. The Rooney 2 created a superb and fragrant lather from Tryphon Bay Rhum soap, and a gold English Aristocrat carrying an Iridium Super blade delivered an extremely smooth shave. The finish with Geo. F. Trumper Extract of West Indian Limes aftershave was the perfect ending.

And now, dishes freshly washed and coffee freshly made, I begin the blogging. 🙂

Written by Leisureguy

20 September 2008 at 8:57 am

Posted in Shaving

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