Later On

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

Archive for August 23rd, 2012

Reseasoning Griswold skillet

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I have a few Griswold skillets I’ll have to sell, and one I was getting ready to photograph today (a No. 6 with lid) had some tough crusted grease on one side, very rough and scaly. I scraped enough off to verify that it was grease and not rust, so I ran it through a short cycle in the self-cleaning oven. That really cleans it up. It was covered with a fine black powder, but when I wiped that off, it was the gray cast iron. I’m reseasoning it now, but the self-clean cycle really does an amazing cleaning job.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 August 2012 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Daily life

Cute movie: Ca$h

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On Netflix Watch Instantly and probably elsewhere: a French caper movie with Jean Reno and Jean Dujardin. Really quite good, IMO. Here it is.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 August 2012 at 4:22 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

Yahoo! is totally frustrating

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I’m trying to Freecycle some of my stuff, but suddenly Yahoo cannot accept messages from me and I get their generic “999 Error” message, with suggestions that the problem is my fault (spyware on my machine or my ISP has had suspicious network activity: certainly not Yahoo’s problem). I don’t have spyware, and I checked with my ISP who said that they have had nothing unusual at all. So I clicked the link in the error message that said that if those things didn’t help, to let them know, and sent a report and request for help.

I quickly got an answer: it’s either spyware on my machine or my ISP has had suspicious network activity. No help whatsoever.

I went to Yahoo! Answers and found this is a common problem and the solution offered is to sign out from Yahoo, clear cache and cookies, exit browser, turn off computer, turn off modem, wait at least 5 minutes, then the problem is gone. I did all that, and still get the 999 error with the idiot advice.

I would say that the new Yahoo! president has her hands full.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 August 2012 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Business, Technology

Dean Baker asks, “Does Paul Ryan know what’s in his budget?”

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Interesting question, eh? Here’s the article in Yahoo! Finance:

If the news media had to work for a living, this is what they would all be asking right now. The reason is simple. The projections the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) made for Representative Ryan’s budget imply that he literally wants to shut down the federal government.

His budget implies that after three decades the federal government will have no money to spend on health research, education, highways, airports, and other infrastructure, the Food and Drug Administration and most other activities that we associate with the federal government. His budget has money for Social Security, Medicare and other health programs and the Defense Department. That’s it.

This is not a vicious anti-Ryan attack coming from hyper-partisan Democrats. This is what the analysis of his budget by the non-partisan CBO shows. It’s right there in the fifth row of Table 2.The table shows that in 2040, Representative Ryan would allot an amount equal to 4.75 percent of GDP to all these other areas of government including defense spending. By 2050, Ryan’s allocation for these areas, including defense, falls to 3.75 percent of GDP.

The defense budget is currently a bit over 4.0 percent of GDP. Ryan has indicated that he would like to maintain or even increase this level of spending. The arithmetic is then straightforward. In 2040, Ryan would leave less than 0.75 percent of GDP for areas of spending that currently require more than five times this amount. In 2050, all these areas of spending would literally have to be zeroed out as defense spending will take up every cent and more that Ryan has left in his budget.

It is important to understand that CBO tried to accurately present the implications of the budget that Representative Ryan gave them. CBO works for Congress. These are career civil servants. They cannot be easily fired, but if CBO’s staff deliberately misrepresented a budget proposal from a powerful member of Congress like Paul Ryan, that is the sort of thing that could get them put out on the street.The way CBO would typically analyze a proposal is . . .

Continue reading. Another question: Does Mitt Romney know what’s in Paul Ryan’s budget?

Written by LeisureGuy

23 August 2012 at 11:23 am

Posted in GOP, Government

Destruction of the Grameen Bank

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It’s hard to see the Grameen Bank being destroyed, but corrupt governments have enormous destructive power and don’t hesitate to use it. I have contributed to microlending, mainly through Kiva.org, and it was Grameen that created the idea. David Bornstein reports in the NY Times:

This month, the Grameen Bank, the organization that won the Nobel Peace Prize for extending small loans to impoverished village women, has come under renewed attack from the government of Bangladesh. Last year, I reported that the government was attempting to forcibly remove the bank’s founder, Muhammad Yunus, from his position as managing director on the pretense that Yunus, then 70, was beyond the official retirement age. The government prevailed.

Now it has struck again. On Aug. 2, the cabinet of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed approved a proposal to amend the 29-year-old law that governs the Grameen Bank so the government can bypass the bank’s board of directors and handpick Yunus’s successor. This is a brazen step to seize control of an institution that serves 8.4 million poor villagers across Bangladesh and provides inspiration to social entrepreneurs around the world. Sadly, it is occurring in a country where the government has been consistently ranked as highly corrupt. Just this past June, the World Bank canceled $1.2 billion in financing for the much-needed Padma Bridge because of corruption at a high-level within the government.

The government’s most recent action not only threatens the bank’s independence, which has been crucial to its success, it challenges the ownership rights of millions of poor women who control 97 percent of the shares of the Grameen Bank and whose collective savings (about $1.4 billion) finances its operations. It is a powerful blow against an institution that has flourished and helped millions of poor people largely because it is in the hands of women.

When we picture the board of a bank we envision a table surrounded by powerful men in expensive suits. Grameen’s board is different. Of the 12 voting seats, 9 are held by village women who dress not in suits but in saris; they are borrowers of the bank who are duly elected by its more than 8 million members. The government controls only three seats, including the chairman. The board was set up this way by Yunus to make sure it stayed true to its social mission.

During its early years, Grameen switched from banking primarily with men to banking primarily with women. (Today, 96 percent of its members are women.) According to Yunus, the main reason for the shift was that a woman was a “better fighter” against poverty than a man. A woman, he said, went to greater lengths to improve her children’s nutrition and health and educate her daughters. Simply put, she used the loans more effectively. In the past few years, the field of development has come to a similar conclusion, with many aid workers asserting that the best way to fight poverty is to strengthen the positions of women and girls. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 August 2012 at 7:34 am

Lemon fragrance

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I wonder why lime fragrance is used frequently in shaving, but lemon not so often. This morning I went with lemon as you see.

As an experiment, I did not soak the Omega boar+badger brush. It worked fine, but was definitely softer by the third pass, so I will resume soaking this, and I think I’ll continue soaking the Vie-Long boar from yesterday. Still, even without soaking, I got a fine lemony lather.

The Slant did its usual smooth and easy job with the newish Kai blade, and a good splash of Thayers Lemon witch hazel with aloe vera was pleasant. This one is an astringent rather than a toner and thus has a bit of alcohol—10%, “as a preservative.”

Written by LeisureGuy

23 August 2012 at 7:29 am

Posted in Shaving

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