Later On

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

Archive for October 7th, 2013

Totally wonderful sardine snack

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Via this post at Kafeneio, I found this wonderful recipe. Here it is, slightly rephrased:

• 1 can of sardines in oil
• 1/2 teaspoon of Tabasco or dry pepper dust
• juice of 1/2 lemon
• 1 minced shallot
• 3 Tbsp of cream cheese (I will allow the light kind for once)
• 1 big tablespoon of minced chives
• Salt and black pepper

Crush all the ingredients together with a fork. Then place the mixture back in the can and serve with toasts. It only takes two minutes to prepare. It’s healthy. It’s delicious… Perfection!

I just made it, and I have to agree. I used the juice of a whole (small) Meyer lemon, I used one large shallot “clove”. I used about half an 8-oz package of Neufchâtel, but I think next time I’ll use regular cream cheese. Note the difference:

In 1872, William Lawrence, a New York dairyman of the township of Chester, created the first American cream cheese as the result of an attempt to create a batch of Neufchâtel. This American Neufchâtel is softer than regular cream cheese due to its approximately 33% lower fat and higher moisture content.[2][3] Due to this reduced fat content, it is found in most grocery stores as a reduced-fat option to cream cheese. In the United States, this Neufchâtel is sometimes called farmers’ cheese.[4]

Still, it is excellent, and the Neufchâtel is easy to mix. Hmm.

Also, I had only water-packed sardines, so I drained them well and then added some EVOO. Next time I’ll buy oil packed: probably more flavor.

It goes extremely well with water crackers and an appropriate beverage (which right now for me is iced tea: it’s lunchtime—but in the evening, a Martini would accompany it well).

Written by Leisureguy

7 October 2013 at 11:38 am

Posted in Food, Recipes & Cooking

The business end of Obamacare

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James Surowiecki has an interesting article at the New Yorker:

Of the countless reasons that congressional Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act enough to shut down the government, the most politically potent is the claim that it will do untold damage to the economy and cripple small companies. Orrin Hatch has said that Obamacare will be “devastating to small business.” Ted Cruz argues that it is already “the No. 1 job killer.” And the vice-president of the National Federation of Independent Businesses called it simply “terrible.” So it comes as some surprise to learn that Obamacare may well be the best thing Washington has done for American small business in decades.

The G.O.P.’s case hinges on the employer mandate, which requires companies with fifty or more full-time employees to provide health insurance. It also regulates the kind of insurance that companies can offer: insurance has to cover at least sixty per cent of costs, and premiums can’t be more than 9.5 per cent of employees’ income. Companies that don’t offer insurance will pay a penalty. Republicans argue that this will hurt companies’ profits, forcing them to stop hiring and to cut workers’ hours, in order to stay below the fifty-employee threshold.

The story is guaranteed to feed the fears of small-business owners. But the overwhelming majority of American businesses—ninety-six per cent—have fewer than fifty employees. The employer mandate doesn’t touch them. And more than ninety per cent of the companies above that threshold already offer health insurance. Only three per cent are in the zone (between forty and seventy-five employees) where the threshold will be an issue. Even if these firms get more cautious about hiring—and there’s little evidence that they will—the impact on the economy would be small.

Meanwhile, the likely benefits of Obamacare for small businesses are enormous. To begin with, it’ll make it easier for people to start their own companies—which has always been a risky proposition in the U.S., because you couldn’t be sure of finding affordable health insurance. As John Arensmeyer, who heads the advocacy group Small Business Majority, and is himself a former small-business owner, told me, “In the U.S., we pride ourselves on our entrepreneurial spirit, but we’ve had this bizarre disincentive in the system that’s kept people from starting new businesses.” Purely for the sake of health insurance, people stay in jobs they aren’t suited to—a phenomenon that economists call “job lock.” “With the new law, job lock goes away,” Arensmeyer said. “Anyone who wants to start a business can do so independent of the health-care costs.” Studies show that people who are freed from job lock (for instance, when they start qualifying for Medicare) are more likely to undertake something entrepreneurial, and one recent study projects that Obamacare could enable 1.5 million people to become self-employed.

Even more important, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

7 October 2013 at 10:39 am

Now that solar cells are cheap, where are the solar cars?

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Juan Cole writes at Informed Comment:

On Sunday, the every-other-year great solar car race (the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge) began in Australia, as vehicles powered by sunlight competed to get from Darwin to Adelaide (3000 km/ 1800 miles) as quickly as possible. An electric car with the right range and speed is crucial to solving the problem of climate change, since exhaust from petroleum-driven vehicles is a significant part of our carbon dioxide emissions. C02 in turn is causing catastrophic climate change.

Me, I can’t understand why everyone in the market for a new car and who can afford one doesn’t buy a Chevy Volt. It is a dream car; they have dropped the price on it and there is a hefty government rebate. Especially if you put in solar panels on your roof and run it off them, the combined system (panels + EV) quickly pays for itself and quickly reaches the point where the carbon emitted in its construction is surpassed by savings.

ITN reports:

Of course, my own University of Michigan has an entrant. Here is an article on it from U-M News Service:

U-M solar car: Sleek, reliable and ready to race

ANN ARBOR—With a bold, asymmetrical vehicle that’s logged thousands of test miles on two continents, students on the University of Michigan’s top-ranked Solar Car Team say this could be their year for a world championship.

U-M’s team—currently No. 1 in the U.S.—will compete against 25 others from across the globe in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The week-long, 1,800-mile trek across the Australian outback begins Oct. 6, which is the afternoon of Oct. 5 in the U.S.

Continue reading. Photo of the Michigan entry at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

7 October 2013 at 10:16 am

Posted in Technology

Megs, fixing my trousers (which had too little grey)

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Megs greying a pair of trousers

Written by Leisureguy

7 October 2013 at 8:52 am

Posted in Cats, Megs

Perfect shave with Eros slant, Pehaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet

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SOTD 7 Oct 2013

Sorry about having the bottle backwards. You can see the label in this photo.

The lather was excellent. It’s been so long since I used this puck that it has dried out, but that seems to do no real harm. A little brushing with my Rooney Style 2 Finest produced a really fine lather. I have read in the forums that Penhaligon went through one of those profit-enhancing reformulations that ruined the soap, but that recently they have reformulated again, this time for performance, and the soap is better. My puck is old and the soap is fine.

Three passes with my Eros Slant, still with the original blade, and the result is BBS over all my face. A good splash of the aftershave, and I’m ready to take The Wife to the airport for her trip abroad. She promises to bring back a rare shaving soap from a shop in Paris.

Written by Leisureguy

7 October 2013 at 8:49 am

Posted in Shaving

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