Later On

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

Archive for February 18th, 2011

Frequency of food/recipe posts

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It occurs to me that my having been on a reduction diet for 9 months may account for my current frequency of posts concerning food and recipes in particular. Once I’m on maintenance, I bet my food interest wanes to a more normal level.

Written by Leisureguy

18 February 2011 at 8:06 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food

Rainy days and odd motorists

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It’s been quite rainy here this week, but as we say in this part of the country, February showers bring March flowers. Still, driving in the heavy overcast and heavy rain, with poor visibility and wet roads, is no fun.

In California we have a law that requires headlights to be on if (a) visibility is poor and/or (b) the windshield wipers are working. So out on the highway, you see all these cars and trucks driving with their lights on, except every now and then. About 10% left their lights off, in violation of the law.

What was interesting was that, with only a few exceptions, the lights-out vehicles were all pick-up trucks. It was obvious, and it certainly surprised me. The non-truck lights-out vehicles were all enormous SUVs.

The pattern was so clear, I started to wonder at it. It was not all pick-up trucks, by any means. But of those not obeying the law in this situation, virtually all did drive pick-up trucks. Of course, for any given driver one doesn’t know whether the cause is simple ignorance (the Army does have a saying that 10% never get the word) or contempt for the law or a self-perceived act of noble rebellion.

Written by Leisureguy

18 February 2011 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Daily life

Busy day

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I run into time pressure some mornings. This morning, for example, I had the pleasure of sleeping in an extra hour (until 7:00) while outside the rain poured. Then up and soon on the Nordic, getting Don Quixote back home at the end of the first part. Then I like to eat breakfast, shower, and write a letter or two, which takes some time since I write by hand (for enjoyment: I like the writing and I like the stationery I use—I have quite a collection). And it’s Friday, so I started the laundry as soon as I was dressed. I got the washing cycle complete before I left, and started the dryiing.

I’m still enrolled in my Healthy Way reduction effort until the end of February: a 9-month effort. And I have to date lost (as of this morning) 65.1 pounds, which puts me within 10 pounds of goal. And, of course, I have still 10 days to go—let’s see, if I can lose a pound a day… Still, I’ll certainly be well within 10 lbs of goal, and I can lose the last bit on my own as I make the transition to maintenance.

So: a stop at Healthy Way, a stop by Whole Foods (where I picked up some tempeh for one-pot meals). Then back home to fold clothes. And I assembled a one-pot meal, by which time it was time for Pilates.

The one-pot meal turned out to be extremely tasty. I am wondering whether the wonderful flavor might be due to the juices from all the cooking vegetables getting a chance to intermix—but of course that happens in soups and stews as well. However, this method uses much less liquid than a soup or stew, so the stunning taste of the vegetable mixture may be more intense.

At any rate, the layers, bottom layer first, top last:

1/4 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup marble-sized potatoes
4 large cloves garlic, minced
8 oz lamb — I think the cut was “inner round”: very little fat
salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, a sprinkling of salad herbs (a mix)
1/2 large red bell pepper, but into 1″ squares, more or less
1 Italian eggplant, cut into rounds (not peeled)
1 Tbsp olive oil brushed onto the eggplant
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
Red chard, stems and leaves, chopped—as much as will fit
1 large tomato, sliced

Added just a splash of brown rice vinegar and balsamic vinegar. I figured it would not need any liquid, and it didn’t. There was plenty of liquid in the bottom: delicious, but I wished I had used rice or pasta or quinoa (which would have sopped it up) instead of potatoes.

And that’s why today has been busy. Plus tonight I have a one-hour OS X session at the Apple store.

Written by Leisureguy

18 February 2011 at 3:53 pm

Special day

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I very much like Special 218, so it was an obvious choice for today. A wonderful fragrance and fine lather, worked up the the Omega brush. Then three smooth passes of the Apollo Micron with a trusty Swedish Gillette blade, a splash of Floris No. 89 aftershave (the fragrance reputedly favored by James Bond), and I was ready for what has turned out to be a busy day.

Written by Leisureguy

18 February 2011 at 2:56 pm

Posted in Shaving

Jazz blues: BB King & T-Bone Walker at the Monterey Jazz Festival

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Written by Leisureguy

18 February 2011 at 11:23 am

Posted in Jazz, Video

Problems with LASIK surgery

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I had LASIK on both eyes some years back. I still wear glasses and, because of the resulting correction, my glasses now require a “slab-off” on one lens so that the bifocals will work. That’s a problem primarily because it means I can no longer wear progressive lenses, which had solved the distance problem: by tilting one’s head, one gets a good correction for all the distances between “distant” and “reading”—specifically, for me, the computer screen. So now I have special computer glasses along with bifocals (the latter for reading and for distance).

But still: I can see pretty well even without glasses, which was definitely untrue before: my uncorrected vision before LASIK was on the order of 20/900. Still, this article should give anyone pause:

How are your eyes?

That’s all anyone ever wants to know these days: How my eyes are doing after my collision with Lasik almost three years ago. Are they still dry? Do they still hurt when exposed to sunlight? Is my vision still blurred? And what about glasses — am I still wearing them?

The answer: Yes, yes, yes and yes. Emphatically, resoundingly, blindingly yes. My eyes sting. They burn. I look at neon signs and the colors bleed into a fluorescent Rorschach test. I have difficulty deciphering black lettering on white boards; I have personally helped elevate the stock of Allergan, which manufactures Refresh Plus, the drops that allegedly help dry eye.

Clearly, this is all very annoying, but at this point, I’m used to it. It’s just one of the things I live with, like PMS and hangnails. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s not so bad. According to Market Scope, LLC, an ophthalmic industry research firm, nearly 15 million procedures have been performed in the U.S. over the last decade, with a 95.4 percent patient satisfaction rate. Lasik is also a $1.6 billion industry — which, as Michael Lewis points out in “The Big Short,” was initially created to replace the revenue stream lost to declining cataract surgery reimbursement rates.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

18 February 2011 at 6:45 am

This looks luscious: Braised Fennel

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I have been cooking more and more with fennel. It was a new vegetable to me, but is now readily available, and I like it. Doesn’t this look great?

Here’s the recipe.

Written by Leisureguy

18 February 2011 at 6:25 am

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