Later On

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

Archive for August 9th, 2011

Quotidian miscellany

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I got my MacBook Pro back. They replaced the mother board. Hard-drive data unaffected. So I guess it wasn’t a switch. It’s a great relief to have it back, but having it gone forced me to the PC, so I made good progress on the 5th edition.

Yesterday I went to Pilates—it felt great to be back at it—and today I bicycled to downtown for a haircut. So gradually physical exercise is returning to the picture. I also got my Rebok wobble board, as advised by a commenter. It’s really quite cool—and just $16 (no shipping for Prime people). I have just stood on it (while clinging to a chair).

While I was out I looked for the stuff that Steve talked about, but I couldn’t find it, so I guess I’ll have to order some.

Written by LeisureGuy

9 August 2011 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Daily life, Fitness, Pilates

When governments fail in their mission

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The government is supposed to protect its citizens—that’s almost job 1. Japan has failed miserably, as reported in this NY Times article by Norimitsu Noishi and Martin Fackler:

The day after a giant tsunami set off the continuing disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, thousands of residents at the nearby town of Namie gathered to evacuate.

Given no guidance from Tokyo, town officials led the residents north, believing that winter winds would be blowing south and carrying away any radioactive emissions. For three nights, while hydrogen explosions at four of the reactors spewed radiation into the air, they stayed in a district called Tsushima where the children played outside and some parents used water from a mountain stream to prepare rice.

The winds, in fact, had been blowing directly toward Tsushima — and town officials would learn two months later that a government computer system designed to predict the spread of radioactive releases had been showing just that.

But the forecasts were left unpublicized by bureaucrats in Tokyo, operating in a culture that sought to avoid responsibility and, above all, criticism. Japan’s political leaders at first did not know about the system and later played down the data, apparently fearful of having to significantly enlarge the evacuation zone — and acknowledge the accident’s severity.

“From the 12th to the 15th we were in a location with one of the highest levels of radiation,” said Tamotsu Baba, the mayor of Namie, which is about five miles from the nuclear plant. He and thousands from Namie now live in temporary housing in another town, Nihonmatsu. “We are extremely worried about internal exposure to radiation.”

The withholding of information, he said, was akin to “murder.”

In interviews and public statements, some current and former government officials have admitted that Japanese authorities engaged in a pattern of withholding damaging information and denying facts of the nuclear disaster — in order, some of them said, to limit the size of costly and disruptive evacuations in land-scarce Japan and to avoid public questioning of the politically powerful nuclear industry. As the nuclear plant continues to release radiation, some of which has slipped into the nation’s food supply, public anger is growing at what many here see as an official campaign to play down the scope of the accident and the potential health risks. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

9 August 2011 at 12:33 pm

Two recipes that sound yummy

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Tomato pie. Ingredients:

  • 1 9-inch pie shell (see pie crust recipe for homemade version)
  • 1/2 yellow or red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 tomatoes, cut in half horizontally, squeezed to remove excess juice, roughly chopped, to yield approximately 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced basil (about 8 leaves)*
  • 2 cups grated cheese (combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, or Gruyere or Mozzarella)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon (or more to taste) of Frank’s Hot Sauce (or Tabasco) [or homemade, for God’s sake – LG]
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cheese biscuits. Ingredients:

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • dash cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 7 tablespoons butter, cold
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Kosher, Maldon, or Black salt for topping (optional; not table/iodized salt)

Written by LeisureGuy

9 August 2011 at 8:18 am

Posted in Food, Recipes

My skin loves Otoko

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So far as I can tell, Otoko does indeed deliver on its promise of being good for your skin: my freshly shaved face is amazing smooth and soft, though some credit must be given to the new Feather blade I slipped into the Feather razor this morning: the first stroke didn’t seem quite so smooth as one wants, so I discarded that blade (of several shaves—I don’t really keep count) and trotted out a new one.

Otoko lather has its own distinctive character, and the Mühle “artificial horsehair” shave brush did an excellent job of mixing up the Otoko style lather: thick, ample, and somewhat stiffer than regular lather. (Other Otoko users feel free to chime in.) I think this is one unusual shaving soap that’s worth adding to your soap arsenal. Trumper and Truefitt & Hill and Taylor and the like are really great soaps, but the differences among them are not that significiant. (Of the bunch, T&H is especially good, though it comes in but a single flavor: classic lavender.) But Otoko is different.

Three smooth passes, a final rinse and the alum bar, another rinse and Jade East (to complete the Far East theme: Feather and Otoko being the other representatives). Wonderful.

And, on a personal note, I finally broke the back of the Lather chapter revisions for the 5th edition. What a relief! The rest should come together fairly quickly now.

Written by LeisureGuy

9 August 2011 at 7:32 am

Posted in Shaving

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