Later On

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

Archive for June 15th, 2010

Fitness project report

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On the diet side, things are going swimmingly. Though I may in time tire of it, cooking up tasty dishes to fit a fixed set of daily criteria fun and I’ve had some extremely nice meals. Tonight was a beef stir fry sort of thing:

1 tsp pepper sesame oil
1/2 chopped Vidalia onion
4 crushed/minced garlic cloves
4 oz lean beef (this was the last of a piece of London broil), cut into small strips

Heat the oil in large cast-iron skillet, add onions, and sauté until onions are transparent. Add garlic and beef and continue to sauté, occasional stirring/turning, until beef is close to done. Add:

1 bunch chopped asparagus (these were thin stalks, very young)
1 c cut-up green beans, steamed
1 c cooked kale

Continue to stir and sauté for a few minutes, then add

1/2 c beef broth
dash soy sauce
dash Chinese black vinegar
1 tsp turmeric (anti-inflammatory)

Bring to boil and simmer over high heat, stirring, until liquid evaporates.

That was tasty, with loads of veggies and the occasional bite of beef. I should have added some reconstituted dried mushrooms, come to think of it. Tomorrow.

As I ate it and thought about the sharp increase in food costs expected over the next 2 years—and what they will be when oil hits $200/barrel—and about the increasingly anomalous weather, I contemplated my plate. This sort of meal will soon be the rule: the meat as a condiment. And I bet within a decade young people will be uncomfortable eating with someone having a common meal of today: a big steak, with a baked potato (cheese, sour cream, chives, and bacon, no doubt) and string beans. The enormous cut of meat, sitting out alone on the plate, will seem somewhat obscene.

At any rate, the eating according to rules and the food journaling to prove it (with an independent review: it seems important somehow that someone check up)—my God, this is infantilism: it’s a grade-school format with little write-in workbooks. But, hey! if it works, which it’s doing at a good clip, I’m all for it.

On the exercise front, I realized that I now can give my trainer some guidance: I want to learn kettlebells and the basic kettlebell exercises, and get fit enough so that I can do them. Now we have a goal, a destination, so now the sessions can take a better structure and the assignments become more targeted. But I had to get started without knowing that, figuring that things would show up along the way, as they do.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 June 2010 at 8:20 pm

Posted in Daily life, Fitness, Food

Movie notes

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I saw The Four Feathers the other night. It’s a Technicolor movie, though in my memory it was black and white—and indeed some scenes are lit rather flat. But it was the scenes of pulling the boats along the Nile that I recall being in black and white, along with the scenes in the prison. This effect—my memory of a color movie having it in black and white—has happened with other movies of this same era. Weird.

It’s actually a pretty good movie, though the tool for the big escape is silly: a file to get 50 or 60 men out of shackles and chains? Come on!

I’m now watching Cosi and enjoying it a lot. Very funny and causes some thinking to occur, not a bad thing.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 June 2010 at 5:57 pm

Posted in Daily life, Movies & TV

Johnny Cash soundtrack to a video honoring Johnny Cash

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It’s a collaborative video in which every frame is drawn by an individual person, in honor of Johnny Cash. Take a look.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 June 2010 at 5:51 pm

Posted in Daily life, Music, Video

BP rejects help in oil spill clean-up

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Amazing. Reported at ThinkProgress by Brad Johnson:

BP has rejected the help of thousands of volunteers, many with expert training and experience in handling offshore oil disasters and oil spill cleanup. Yesterday, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd interviewed Don Abrams of, who collected the names of nearly 8,000 volunteers in the first weeks after BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion, and tried repeatedly to contribute their expertise to mitigating this national disaster. Many of the volunteers Abrams had organized have certification in the federal government’s official Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER), and were ready and able to train others:

On May 13, we turned over a list of about a hundred highly qualified people to BP, including people with two to three decades of offshore oil experience, people with experience in spill clean ups, people who are HAZWOPER instructors. As of about two days ago, I contacted about half of those people, and none of them have been contacted by BP.

Watch it:

Abrams explained that he has turned over his list to state agencies and local non-profit organizations, after BP failed to respond. The Center for American Progress recommends that the government, not BP, run the volunteer hotlines and cleanup efforts. “People actually just want to be called to service,” Center for American Progress fellow Van Jones said on Sunday. “‘What are we supposed to do, Mr. President? And we will do it.’ That’s what’s missing.”

Written by LeisureGuy

15 June 2010 at 3:11 pm

Journalists, pundits, and the media in general

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Greenwald has a good column—as usual—and (also as usual) I detected no narcissism, but I did detect a quite obvious stench of stupidity issuing from David Gregory in this exchange included in the column:

. . . White House adviser David Axelrod was on Meet the Press this weekend and tried — with total futility — to explain to David Gregory the concept of holding someone accountable, which is ostensibly the crux of Gregory’s job.  Leave aside the obvious question of whether the White House is actually doing any of the things Axelrod claims they’re doing concerning BP; observe Gregory’s complete inability even to understand the concept of arms-length, verification-based accountability (h/t Stuart Zechman):

MR. GREGORY: You were quoted this week saying this isn’t a very sympathetic figure, Tony Hayward.


MR. GREGORY: Does the president trust this guy?

MR. AXELROD: Well, look, it’s not a matter of who — we, we — it’s not a matter of trust. We have to verify what they’re doing, we have to stay on them, and we have from the beginning. That’s why we want this escrow account. I’m not here to, to make judgments about any individual’s character, but we do know that they have pecuniary interests that may be in conflict with, with the interests of, of our interests, and we…

MR. GREGORY: But, but let –but…

MR. AXELROD: …need to make sure that the interests of people in the Gulf are protected. That is what our job is.

MR. GREGORY: But this is a straightforward question. If you are in partnership with somebody — and make no mistake, the government is in partnership with BP to get this problem solved — does the, does the president of the United States trust the man on the other end who is leading this operation?

MR. AXELROD: Our, our mission here is to hold them accountable in, in every appropriate way, and that is what we’re going to do. I, I’m not — I don’t consider them a, a, a partner, I don’t consider them — they’re not social friends, they’re not — I’m not looking to make judgments about their soul. I just want to make sure that they do what they’re required to do.

MR. GREGORY: Do you trust them to get the job done? Yes, no or maybe?

MR. AXELROD: We’re going to make sure they get the job done.

MR. GREGORY: But it doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of faith there at the moment.

MR. AXELROD: Well, our job is to hold them accountable, David, and that’s what we’re going to do.

Axelrod is explaining exactly what the media is supposed to do concerning political officials if they are going to fulfill the function they like to pretend they have, and Gregory is simply incapable even of understanding what’s being explained.  It’s as though it’s a completely foreign concept that he’s never encountered or thought about before.  As Zechman put it in an email to me: . . .

Doesn’t it strike you that Gregory is an amazingly stupid person? Nice hair, of course, but still…

Written by LeisureGuy

15 June 2010 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Daily life, Media

Blackwater in extremis?

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Written by LeisureGuy

15 June 2010 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Business, Military

Arab Israeli the most hated person in Israel

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Interesting story by Patrick Martin in the Globe and Mail:

Two weeks ago, she was virtually unknown. But after travelling aboard the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara, on which nine Turkish citizens were killed when Israeli commandos stormed the boat, Hanin Zoaby, a 41-year-old, first-term Knesset member, has become the most hated person in Israel.

As an Arab Israeli, she also has found herself at the centre of a new political force with which Israel will have to contend.

Accused of treason for supporting the Free-Gaza movement, forbidden by the courts to leave the country for 45 days, Ms. Zoaby was attacked, physically, when she spoke in the Knesset last week to explain her decision to join the flotilla of ships hoping to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. She said she viewed her action on behalf of 1.5 million “prisoners” in Gaza as a kind of “mitzvah,” a Hebrew term for a religious good deed. The reference only made her Jewish assailants angrier.

On Sunday, Israel proposed that a three-man internal inquiry probe its bloody attack on the flotilla two weeks ago, and that it be headed by a retired Israeli judge and two high-ranking foreign observers, including a Canadian.

Ms. Zoaby has been labelled an enemy, and a supporter of terrorists. Yet the unmarried, Western-dressed Muslim woman hails from one of Israel’s high-profile Arab families, one that has counted a high court judge, a mayor of Nazareth, a long-serving Knesset member and a deputy cabinet minister among its members.

To many in the Knesset today, Ms. Zoaby’s transgression, like that of the four other Arab Israelis who joined the flotilla, is unforgivable. A Knesset committee has recommended the removal of many of Ms. Zoaby’s parliamentary privileges, including her immunity from prosecution and her diplomatic passport. The Interior Minister, leader of Israel’s Ultra Orthodox Shas Party, has asked whether her Israeli citizenship can legally be revoked…

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 June 2010 at 1:33 pm

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