Later On

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

Archive for November 24th, 2016

Final version of turkey-thigh recipe

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[Update: Here’s the new final version, which is simpler and quite tasty.- LG] This is based on a Mark Bittman recipe, but I’ve made quite a few changes, including deletions and additions. I would say this recipe pretty much requires getting the mise en place set up before you start.

 

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2016 at 6:35 pm

Rockwell takes the Model T to the next level of excellence

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Take a look at the video at this link. (I’ve asked if it can be made available as a YouTube video.) I’m very impressed. I was one of those writing to Rockwell to say that any product with an internal mechanism (aka internal moving parts) that is used with water that may be hard should be easily disassembled for cleaning and maintenance—for obvious reasons. It’s not an issue with three-piece razors, but if the razor (like a TTO razor, much less a TTO adjustable) has internal moving parts, it must be designed so that you can get at those parts to clean them. There are sites that rate products in terms of repairability. (See also this LA Times article.) The Model T is going to rate much higher than other TTO razors.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2016 at 3:15 pm

Posted in Shaving

The many “sides” of Thanksgiving—and the English language

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John Kelly has an interesting post at the OUP blog:

We may talk a lot of turkey during the holiday, but US Thanksgiving is really all about the sides. Yes, we pile our plates with mashed potatoes and green beans, but we also feast on the many other great sides the English language has to offer.

From all sides

During the holiday, both sides of a family may gather together out in a relative’s home in the countryside. The cook may serve up food on a sideboard, with the stuffing cooked on the inside of the bird.

At dinner, some may take sides of a political controversy, while others may just stay on the sidelines – of the American football game on TV, that is, where a ref may flag a player who is offside.

A distant aunt may pull an unsuspecting nephew aside for some colorful side comments. That’s better than her husband, who corners a cousin about the new siding on his house.

Besides the family drama, too much food will split sides, as will the convivial laughter. Celebrants can cap the meal with a postprandial snooze: How about sideways on the sofa right by the fireside? The drowsiness is surely just a side effect of all the turkey’s tryptophan – not the booze, of course!

Inside side

English really dishes up the sides. This may not be surprising, as the word has had a lot of time to develop in the language: the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) dates side back to Old English, when, much as now, it named the sides of the body.

Side has many cognates in the Germanic languages, but its ultimate origins are . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2016 at 2:53 pm

Posted in Writing

How many Oscars will “La La Land” be nominated for? How many will it get?

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I am not going to miss this movie! Here’s a review.

From the review:

Contemporary American movies could use more s’wonderful, more music and dance, and way, way more surrealism. They’re too dull, too ordinary and too straight, whether they’re mired in superhero clichés or remodeled kitchen-sink realism. One of the transformative pleasures of musicals is that even at their most choreographed, they break from conformity, the dos and don’ts of a regimented life, suggesting the possibility that everyone can move to her own beat. It’s enormously pleasurable when an evening stroll turns into a rhythmic saunter and then bursts into dance — think of Gene Kelly walking, tapping, stomping and exulting in the rain.

I have but two questions:

a. for how many Oscars will it be nominated? (extra credit: name the categories)

b. how many Oscars will it win? (extra credit: name the categories)

FWIW, I loved Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and I think the idea is that a musical movie is (or can be) an experimental movie in mainstream drag is spot-on. The review provides several examples and there are many more.

And thinking of musicals as experimental films makes them much more interesting. Like in The Band Wagon, with three levels of fiction: the backstage story of the actors, the theater they’re doing (from which we see some numbers—see below), and then the dance fantasies set in their “real” (fictional) life. (Of course, Cervantes was here long ago.)

BTW, a colleague of The Wife’s has new babies: triplets. I immediately thought of this, of course:

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2016 at 2:41 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

Gen. Michael Flynn’s Slow Descent Into Madness

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Kevin Drum at Mother Jones:

Dana Priest tells us today about Donald Trump’s new National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn:

A lot of reporters and other civilians found Mike, as everyone called him, refreshing. A plucky Irish Catholic kid from Rhode Island, he wasn’t impressed by rank. He told his junior officers to challenge him in briefings. “You’d hear them say, ‘Boss, that’s nuts,’ ” one former colleague said.

….The greatest accomplishment of Flynn’s military career was revolutionizing the way that the clandestine arm of the military, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), undertook the killing and capture of suspected terrorists and insurgents in war zones….[Stanley] McChrystal, who was appointed to run JSOC in 2003, brought Flynn in as his intelligence chief….He “boxed him in,” someone who had worked with both men told me last week, by encouraging Flynn to keep his outbursts in check and surrounding him with subordinates who would challenge the unsubstantiated theories he tended to indulge.

Sounds like a good guy who just needs a little direction. So, um, what happened?

In 2012, Flynn became director of the Defense Intelligence Agency….“He made a lot of changes,” one close observer of Flynn’s time at the D.I.A. told me. “Not in a strategic way—A to Z—but back and forth.”

Flynn also began to seek the Washington spotlight. But, without loyal junior officers at his side to vet his facts, he found even more trouble. His subordinates started a list of what they called “Flynn facts,” things he would say that weren’t true….Flynn’s temper also flared. He berated people in front of colleagues.

….Flynn had been on the job just eighteen months when James Clapper told him he had to go….Flynn began saying that he had been fired because President Obama disagreed with his views on terrorism and wanted to hide the growth of ISIS. I haven’t found anyone yet who heard him say this while he was still in the military….As Flynn’s public comments became more and more shrill, McChrystal, Mullen, and others called Flynn to urge him to “tone it down,” a person familiar with each attempt told me. But Flynn had found a new boss, Trump, who enlisted him in the fight against the Republican and Democratic Party establishments.

Well, I guess it will all work out. Donald Trump will provide a firm hand at the—wait. What’s this? . . .

Continue reading. And do read the rest. It will send chills down your spine.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2016 at 12:39 pm

Fashion in the White House

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I am fashion-ignorant and fashion-insensitive (to put it mildly), but I found this Washington Post article by Robin Givhan very helpful in understanding some of what was evident to the fashion-knowledgeable:

At the Hay-Adams this fall, members of Washington’s diplomatic community gathered inside the historic hotel’s glass-walled loft, with its postcard views of the White House, for a conversation about fashion. About clothes and their place on the world stage. The program, hosted by the State Department and Elle magazine, included a panel discussion, in which I was invited to participate, that featured designer Derek Lam. When the conversation came around to first lady Michelle Obama — because how could it not? — Lam dropped his head in a mournful manner and lamented: Her departure from the East Wing signaled the end of a singular era for American fashion.

During her tenure, Obama brought widespread attention to Seventh Avenue. She energized designers, editors and stylists with her fashion-forward wardrobe choices. She made industry insiders stand taller both at home and abroad. She’s been an exemplar of modern, fit and confident middle age. She instilled pride and kinship among countless black women.

And she has been the most high-profile cheerleader for the sleeveless sheath as the 21st-century power uniform. “It’s been accepted everywhere,” says designer Maria Pinto, who created many of Obama’s 2008 campaign dresses, including the purple sheath she wore when she fist-bumped the presumptive Democratic nominee. “You don’t have to be in a suit. There’s other ways to get that power look.”

Lam is among the many Seventh Avenue designers whose clothes have been part of the first lady’s public wardrobe and whose life story has been fundamental to her version of fashion diplomacy. Obama wore Lam’s block-printed dress for her arrival in Beijing in March 2014. The black dress, with a geometric pattern in ivory and taupe, was contemporary in its design, sophisticated and sleek. But there was more: Lam, who grew up in San Francisco, is of Chinese descent. In wearing his design, Obama quietly noted that in addition to trade agreements and intellectual property concerns, there is a very real, human connection between the United States and China.

For the Obamas’ first state dinner, in honor of India, she wore a white strapless gown by the Indian American designer Naeem Khan. In 2011, she donned an array of British brands — Preen, Roksanda — for a visit to London. But for the grand occasion of a state dinner at Buckingham Palace, Obama wore a regal white gown and long white gloves by an American designer, Tom Ford — but one with deep business roots in London, where he also maintains a home.

She wore a flowing violet gown by Japan-born designer Tadashi Shoji, whose business is based in Los Angeles, to a state dinner in honor of Japan, a dress by Korean American designer Doo-Ri Chung for the South Korea state dinner and a student-designed frock to a White House education workshop on careers in the fashion industry. Her fashion choices served as a grace note to the moment.

Her clothes were unexpected: a cardigan to meet Queen Elizabeth II. They spoke of Hollywood glamour: a Vera Wang mermaid gown at the China state dinner. They evoked Everywoman: hiking shorts at the Grand Canyon. The pictures are captivating. But are they the totality of her fashion legacy? . . .

Continue reading. There’s quite a bit more.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2016 at 10:07 am

Posted in Daily life, Obama administration

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When a new purchase brightens your life a bit

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In my living room I have used for some years a torchiere floor lamp that provides pleasant indirect lighting. The one I had used compact fluorescent bulbs: better than incandescent bulbs in terms of power consumption but a great flaming pain when they burn out because they must be specially recycled due to the mercury content. That generally requires a trip to some site (e.g., Orchard Supply Hardware) that will accept fluorescent bulbs for recycling.

The old torchiere died—the weight in the base just crumbled to rubble, and the lamp fell over, breaking the bulbs and denting the diffuser—so I went shopping for a replacement and found this LED torchiere.

It gives 3000 lumens and consumes just 43 watts. (A 3000-lumen incandescent bulb requires 200 watts.) Plus an LED bulb that is on 10 hours per day, 7 days a week (10/7) has an expected lifespan of about 14 years, which at this point is greater than my own. Plus the floor lamp is dimmable (by holding down the on/off switch).

The lamp is extremely well made—no longer are sections strung together with lamp cord: the sections are independent but have electrical connectors that join when the (clearly-marked) sections are screwed together. The base is heavy and the construction of the assembled lamp feels quite solid. It is also not unattractive, IMO. (I got the black version.) It’s very well packed, with instructions on the box.

One nice touch: the cord from the lamp is only about six inches long and ends in a jack, which plugs into the longer cord that comes from the transformer. So when you move the lamp, you don’t have six feet of cord trailing behind you.

One drawback: the transformer brick plugs directly into the outlet, and it might take up too much room to allow other plugs near it. However, these short extension cords solve that problem. (I have a few in use for other things.)

If you use the lamp in an outlet controlled by a wall switch, you can turn it off via the wall switch, but when the wall switch is turned on you still have to use the lamp’s own switch to turn it back on. A nice touch: the lamp remembers the brightness setting and will turn the lamp back on to the same brightness as when it was turned off.

Best of all, it provides terrific lighting. I haven’t felt this good since the old kitchen fluorescents were replaced with better and brighter fluorescents. Lighting turns out to be important for me. I like a clean, well-lighted place.

Highly recommended.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2016 at 9:52 am

Posted in Daily life, Technology

A repo man gives an elderly couple a Thanksgiving to remember

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Sarah Larimer has a heartwarming report in the Washington Post:

From the beginning, Jim Ford said, he was reluctant about repossessing Pat and Stanford Kipping’s car.

Even though that was, obviously, the job.

Ford is a repo man, co-owner of Illini Recovery Inc., a company in Southern Illinois. And earlier this month, he was working a job involving the Kippings’ vehicle, a 1998 Buick, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. Instead of repo’ing the Buick, though, Ford decided to do something a little different.

He found a way to pay off the car — and return it to the couple.

“It was a miracle come true; we didn’t know what we were going to do,” Pat Kipping, 70, told the News-Democrat.

According to Ford, who spoke with The Washington Post by phone, this all unfolded after he received the order to pick up the car from a credit union.

Ford said he looked at the past due amount, which was about $350, and the payment amount, which was $95 a month.

Then, he headed out to Red Bud, Ill., where the car was. When he pulled down the street, he noticed a police officer, who told him that the vehicle was owned by an elderly couple.

“I was like, aw man,” Ford said.

He drove to the couple’s home and spotted the car but decided he wasn’t going to disturb Pat and Stanford Kipping at that hour.

The next day, he called up the couple and told them to contact their bank to try to work something out. Later, though, Pat Kipping called back and told him that she didn’t have the money, and he needed to take the car.

Ford, believing that his hands were tied, again set out for the home. When he arrived, he played with the couple’s dog, he said. The Kippings invited him in. And he tried to soften the blow, telling them that they wouldn’t have to deal with extra fees from him.

“And [Stanford Kipping] is like ‘oh Jim, you’ve been so good to us, if I ever win the lottery, I’m going to split it with you, buddy,’” Ford said. “And I’m like, aw man. Really? This is getting worse rapidly. I had to get the hell out of there.”

After seizing the car, he made it about a block before he phoned a bank official.

“I said, ‘Hey, how about if I just pay this thing current right now?’” Ford said.

That didn’t exactly work out, though . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2016 at 8:37 am

Posted in Business, Daily life

Brent brush, Phoenix Artisan Honeysuckle, and the Eros slant

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SOTD 2016-11-24

A fine Thanksgiving shave. The summertime fragrances seduced me again, and I chose Honeysuckle shaving soap by Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements this morning. For whatever reason, this soap has been really excellent: the lather is thick and creamy (and smells great) and it leaves my skin feeling particularly soft and cared for.

The brush is one by Brent’s Brushes. Mine has an ebony handle and a very soft and fluffy knot that works up lather well, holds a lot, and feels like a caress on my skin.

The Eros slant is very like the iKon 102 in its approach—blade slanted and not twisted—and its feel—extremely comfortable and nick-averse—and its performance—highly efficient. Three pleasant passes and my face was left perfectly smooth and unharmed.

A splash of Floris No. 89 EDT as an aftershave, and the Day of Gratitude is launched.

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2016 at 8:33 am

Posted in Shaving

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