Later On

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

Archive for October 1st, 2020

Progress indeed can be hateful

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I am struggling with the enforced transition to the new WordPress editor, though I expect in time I will figure it out. The editor I previously used (with great satisfaction) was finally put to death today, so willy-nilly I am thrust onto the tip of the spear of progress.

I’m still unclear on how to specify categories for my post, so there may be a string of “Daily life” posts until I figure it out.

Today was flip-mattress day (and 3 months from now will be rotate-mattress day), and mattress was successfully flipped and bed remade. A big batch of vegetables was cooked (and some of it enjoyed for dinner). Progress in Esperanto continues, and the tempeh box components have been ordered.

I’m just glad to find a way to edit a post in a comfortable manner. I don’t have a clue as to how to specify categories, but I cleverly wrote this so that the default category (daily life) will work. — Aha! I found it.

Life will go on.

Written by Leisureguy

1 October 2020 at 7:54 pm

Ella Fitzgerald: “Taking a Chance on Love” — Live

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Written by Leisureguy

1 October 2020 at 6:04 pm

Posted in Jazz, Video

How Pa. state troopers seize big money from drivers, many of whom are never charged

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Joseph Darius Jaafari and Joshua Vaughn report in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Since 2017, Pennsylvania State Police has seized $608,000 in cash from drivers in the south-central region of the state, much of which was taken from people who were never charged with a crime, The Appeal and Spotlight PA have found.

Legal experts say the practice is a form of “highway robbery,” in which police take money — largely from people of color — to pad their yearly budgets and those of prosecutors.

Pennsylvania, like other states, allows law enforcement to seize property and keep it even if someone is acquitted of a crime or not charged at all. A 2017 law raised the burden of proof required to seize property in the state, but it is still below the standard in federal criminal forfeiture cases, where people who are acquitted can get their property back.

“Regardless of what you set the standard of proof at, the problem is you’ve got something that’s less than is necessary for a criminal conviction,” said Dan Alban, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice who researches forfeiture. “Judges will frequently defer to law enforcement, and sometimes it’s these pretty Mickey Mouse justifications and Mickey Mouse evidence.”

The Appeal and Spotlight PA reviewed 32 cases in Cumberland, Dauphin, and Franklin Counties where state police seized assets during traffic stops.

In about one-third of the cases reviewed, police seized cash from people who were never charged with a crime or even issued a traffic ticket. One-quarter of the cases resulted in misdemeanor convictions, and another quarter resulted in felony convictions.

State police spokesperson Ryan Tarkowski defended the practice, saying the seizures and forfeitures are “done in accordance with state and federal law and department regulation,” and that the forfeiture process is overseen by the state attorney general’s office.

But, as The Appeal and Spotlight PA uncovered in a previous investigation, the justifications that troopers use to stop vehicles and then conduct a search can be questionable or outright illegal. Roughly a third of all criminal cases in the region since 2016 that arose from traffic stops by the state police drug interdiction unit were thrown out of court because the searches were later deemed illegal, the investigation found. As a result of the inquiry, Gov. Tom Wolf requested the Office of State Inspector General conduct a review of all such traffic stops, which is underway.

Police justified the searches in some cases by saying the driver was nervous or “their carotid artery was pulsating.” In one case, troopers seized $50,282 after a traffic stop and charged the owner of the vehicle, who was not present at the time. In another, they took $525 from a passenger. Judges ultimately dismissed the charges in both cases, finding the searches were illegal. The state returned the $525, but kept $20,000 in the other case.
In several other cases, police seized money and property from people whose cases were expunged after they completed a court program for first-time offenders.
Court records show in one such case that the state took a car and money from someone accused of possessing cigarettes that weren’t properly taxed. The attorney general’s office kept $24,309, including $10,000 in money orders the man said he was planning to use to pay rent for a restaurant he was starting with his brother. The state returned his car. . .

Continue reading. There’s more. The US has become a different sort of country.

Written by Leisureguy

1 October 2020 at 4:08 pm

Tempeh temperature solution in sight

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Ideally, tempeh should be kept around 88ºF. I’ve had a string of failures because I could not maintain that temperature, and if the tempeh reaches 95ºF the mold will die. What I need is a tempeh incubation box. TYD suggested a proofing box, as used for breadmaking.

Modern ovens have a proofing setting (for letting bread dough rise), but my oven is not modern. However, I think I have a solution, and it begins with a UPS 10kg box: 16″ x 13″ x 10″ (photo at right). Note that the top has a full-width lid, a convenience. Also convenient is that the box can be folded flat when not in use and go into the back of the closet.

The cardboard might be enough insulation, but I decided to get some adhesive-back closed-cell neoprene foam (1/8″ thick) and use that to cover the top and sides of the box. The bottom is not that important: heat rises, and in any even the box will be sitting on carpet and thus insulated by that.

Then inside the box will go a seedling heat mat, and attached to it will be a digital thermostat controller, which will show me the temperature inside the box and also turn the heating mat off and on as needed.

I’ll place a rack (with 4″ legs) on the heating mat to hold the tempeh away from direct contact with the heat mat.

I’m eager to try this. When I look at some photos of my early batches of tempeh (search this blog on “tempeh” to see photos), I really miss that excellent tempeh I once made.

Update: Box built and used and improved

See this post for details.

Update 2: Version 2 of the box: cheaper, better, easier to build

See this post for details.

Written by Leisureguy

1 October 2020 at 10:59 am

Posted in Daily life

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A black-themed shave

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I had picked soap (Phoenix & Beau Specialist) and brush and noticed the black theme, so I went for The Holy Black SR-71 slant and The Holy Black’s Gunpowder Smoke (whose fragrance I am enjoying right now).

The Sabini brush has an ebony handle, and Phoenix & Beau’s Specialist is describe thus:

The Specialist is an exquisite and full-blooded scent unlike anything else in circulation. Notes of sweet, resinous vanilla intertwine with kisses of heavy, earthy vetiver. At its heart are prominent notes of fine Scottish single malt whiskey, green hops, malted barley and the distinctive green floral edge of freshly picked tobacco leaf.

TBH, this to my nose was not a strong fragrance, but it was pleasant, and the lather was quite good. THB’s slant (a Merkur 37 clone in terms of head design) left my face totally smooth, and — as noted — the aftershave is excellent.

And I think I have a solution to the tempeh temperature problem. See next post.

Written by Leisureguy

1 October 2020 at 10:41 am

Posted in Shaving

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