Later On

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

Archive for January 26th, 2011

The Obama Administration swings into action to support harsh dictator, providing military aid to be used against the people

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My dislike and distaste for Barack Obama and his administration continue to grow. Now he is bringing the US military to support an outright dictator. Of course, Obama himself has shown strong dictatorial tendencies: his civil rights actions and attitudes are despicable. Ed Brayton, for example, points out:

From President Obama’s State of the Union speech:

"We may have differences in policy, but we all believe in the rights enshrined in our Constitution."

…."For a limited time only, offer not valid for those who want access to DNA evidence to prove their innocence, victims of indefinite detention and torture who want their day in court, anyone whose 4th amendment rights are violated by the government’s warrantless wiretap data mining program and anyone who has been railroaded by a corrupt prosecutor protected by absolute immunity."

Here’s a report on how the US has aligned itself with a dictator, yet again helping to fight off a democracy:

Transcript here (scroll down).

Written by Leisureguy

26 January 2011 at 1:51 pm

The Pencil, by Henry Petroski

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I’m reading The Pencil and enjoying it, but he does have an odd style. I’ll be reading along, and then it’s as though a skateboard hits a stone that stops the wheels: awkward. Example from page 106:

Whether or not they had college degrees, influential early-nineteenth-century engineers could be a literate lot, mixing freely with the most prominent contemporary writers, artists, scientists, and politicians. And this interaction hardened rather than softened the ability of the engineers to solve tough engineering problems.


I don’t think of ability as being "hard" or "soft." Indeed, I can’t make any sense of the statement. I know what he meant, I believe: that the interactions helped rather than hindered the engineers. But so far as making their ability "harder"?

Very odd.

Written by Leisureguy

26 January 2011 at 1:37 pm

Posted in Books, Writing

Staub 2.25-qt round cocotte

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My Staub pot arrived yesterday, and I like it a lot. Metal handle, so no nonsense there. Nice design, great color, and I like the interior finish, which is not simply enamel as Le Creuset seems to be. (And, from Amazon, Staub is $40 less than Le Creuset.)

The extra 1-cup capacity (0.25 qt) is, so far as I can tell, the space above the line around the top, just under the cover. No biggie. (I did fill the pot with a measured amount of water to check.)

Yeah, I like this one. I’m cooking my dinner in it, which will involve:

Egg noodles
Pacific swordfish
Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper
Yellow and green bell peppers
Fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
Meyer lemon, chopped
If room: shredded cabbage, either regular or Napa

The usual liquid: a combination of lite coconut milk, vinaigrette, soy sauce, perhaps a splash of sherry.

UPDATE: Forgot the sherry, and anyway I’ll hold that for maintenance. I just noticed a nice little touch on the Staub: the shank of the knob on the pot lid seems to be slightly longer than normal, so that it’s quite comfortable to grip it with hands encased in oven mitts. (Maybe Le Creuset and Lodge are the same, but I noticed it definitely on the Staub.)

Written by Leisureguy

26 January 2011 at 1:03 pm

Pilates report

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I’m happy to report that my instructor is seeing signs of progress. And my cleaning lady, who hasn’t seen me to six weeks, commented that I not only had lost weight, I seemed taller. So my posture may be changing.

The soreness in my back muscles are the rhomboid muscles, currently engaged in a struggle with some other muscles that properly should be doing the job. That will get sorted out in time.

My right foot has a tendency to point outward—and that, I suspect, is the source of my knee problem in walking. We may be able to help that.

Pilates does come together so that you can definitely feel the postural changes distinctly, as I have intermittently, but it’s hard to keep that feeling. You more often can readily feel when your posture, stance, or movement is wrong, and then correct it. But that strange postural frisson doesn’t last—it’s like regular enlightenment: a great experience, but one cannot simply live in that state.

That’s what I got from what she said. Remember, you have an imperfect communications channel here.

Written by Leisureguy

26 January 2011 at 12:56 pm

Posted in Daily life, Fitness, Pilates

Hectic Wednesday

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First, I didn’t take a shave photo today. I forgot. And I especially used the Simpson Persian Jar 2 Super to show that the knot is just fine. What’s odd is when I picked the brush, there was that loose bristle, still in place. The PJ2 has a very nice knot, well-packed without being stiff. Apparently the knot is closely enough packed to keep the loose bristle in place.

I pulled it out (no resistance) and then rubbed the knot with my hand many times, in all directions to discover any other loose bristles. None found.

The problem is that this Wednesday morning, I had to:

1. Write a letter. I’ve resumed handwriting letters to some friends and family, and the first thing in the morning is a nice time to do it: enjoy a cup of tea, writing while my oat groats simmer. (They cook for 45 minutes, since I cook them over low heat: I don’t want to bother stirring.)

2. Do Nordic Track for 30 minutes. I can’t miss that, of course, especially since I’m enjoying the Edith Grossman translation of Don Quixote on audiobook.

3. Do dishes and pick up apartment to prepare it for the cleaning ladies. This includes taking out trash and recycling and getting stuff picked up and put away. They arrive around 10:00-10:30, so I had to get on it.

4. Shower, shave, and get dressed. I’m efficient, but it does take time.

5. Leave for Pilates not later than 10:50.

So that didn’t leave any time for blogging. Sorry. Tomorrow will be better, in part because The Wife will then be home in less than a week.

Written by Leisureguy

26 January 2011 at 12:49 pm

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

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