Later On

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

Archive for September 1st, 2022

Unbridled ambition: Example

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That the person can’t spell “tambourine” is the icing on the cake.

Written by Leisureguy

1 September 2022 at 8:43 pm

Posted in Daily life, Music

Engine Trouble

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Written by Leisureguy

1 September 2022 at 7:57 pm

FutureMe and future walks

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Photo taken today by The Wife, across the street from her apartment.

Today I received my first-of-the-month FutureMe email from one year ago — 9/1/2021 — in which I commented on a FutureMe email from 9/1/2020 that I had just received back then. I am always interested to read these letters from the past, since often I’ve forgotten various aspects, but I was especially interested in this one because of three goals it mentioned.

A year ago, I set goals in three areas:

  1. Diet and weight — in 2020, I learned from the 9/1/2021 letter, I had drifted somewhat from my whole-food plant-based diet, but by 9/1/2021 I had found my footing again, and my goal was to maintain my WFPB diet and also lose some weight. 
  2. Finance — I was still working out how to handle money in retirement. I wasn’t doing bad, but it was clear there was room for improvement. My goal was to improve.
  3. Exercise — a year ago I was getting regular exercise through Nordic walking, and I was optimistic about maintaining that and set a goal to keep going.

Diet and weight

I would say that I have pretty much gotten diet completely sorted. As I have noted, I now build balanced whole-food plant-based meals without really having to think about it. I now know, as one knows a language, my diet and its foods. That is, as when I speak or write, I can focus on the thought I want to express without having to think at all about how to express it, because words, sentences, and structure are immediately available without conscious effort (very unlike when first learning a new language, when much conscious effort is required to express a thought). 

For example, I recently put together a good meal without really thinking about it, and only later added notes to show how the ingredients fit the Daily Dozen template.

Weight, on the other hand, has remained largely unchanged. I haven’t gained over the year, but also haven’t lost. On 1 September 2021, I weighed 191.3 (lbs, not kg). Today, 192.8. My goal is 180.0 — oh, hell: 179.0. And I have made some progress in things that will help — for example, I now rarely eat anything after 5:00pm. But obviously I am still eating too much. (I’m thinking about the big salad I had last night.) 

So the goal for the coming year is to continue the whole-food plant-based approach, cut back somewhat on quantity, and reach 179.0 lbs. 


I’m a man of modest means, but I finally did — at long last — figure out how to handle money. I’m not talking investments, I’m talking just ordinary daily finance, based on a paycheck (or in my case a Social Security check plus a tiny monthly pension check) — the kind of money management typical of regular employees.

In looking at my 1 September letters from 2020 and 2021, I can see that I was making progress, and that I had the good sense to view setbacks as practice — experiences from which I could learn and thus improve my performance — and not as failures.

And it worked: I did learn and improve. I feel financially confident now, and I have the pleasant sensation that I know what I’m doing, that I now understand how it works. I can see in the worksheet records I use as I plan and track my spending that I’ve steadily improved over the past two years. That’s a good feeling.

I should note that being a Canadian resident has helped. When I abruptly had to get to the hospital and have a pacemaker installed (see this post), it was disruptive (and broke my exercise habit — see next section), but it had zero effect on my finances. Moreover, I did not have to participate in a lengthy and frustrating financial struggle with the insurance company, the hospital, and the surgeon. Indeed, there was no financial struggle at all because no money was involved.

I saw my doctor, he sent me to the hospital, I stayed in the hospital for a day before and a day after the surgical team did their work, and I came home with a new pacemaker. I did not have to stop by the billing office or talk to anyone about money, nor did I have to pay a penny. (Well, strictly speaking, that’s not true: my wife had to pay $3.50 for parking the day she picked me up.)

I also don’t have to pay for the every-six-weeks checkup at the pacemaker clinic (nor for the remote monitor they gave me so the the clinic can keep an eye on my heart activity day to day). 

As I recall, it’s not like that in the US. To be fair, the US does not want it to be like that — at least not the powerful part of the US that makes a great deal of money from the way things are done in the US now.


The 9/1/2021 letter shows that I was doing very well with my exercise. And in fact I continued a good exercise regimen until a couple of days before I learned I needed a pacemaker. I had taken a walk just around the block and had had to stop twice to rest. Obviously, something was wrong, and the doctor visit two days later determined what it was, and the problem was fixed.

However, for six weeks following the surgery, I had to be very careful in using my arms, and that layoff broke my exercise habit. 

Today, however, that FutureMe letter written a year ago, when I was doing so well on exercise, made me realize (a) I had to resume the habit of regular exercise, and (b) I could do that because, as that letter showed, I had been there before.

Reading how well I had been doing was highly motivating, and so today I set out on a walk that I intend to be the first of a lengthy sequence of daily walks. Because I see this as a long-term effort, I did not push myself — no trying for 3.5mph, quite satisfied with 3.1mph. (A “brisk” pace starts at 3.0mph, and a brisk pace, with sufficient duration, provides cardio benefits. So 3.1mph is fine.)

Since my surgery, I’ve taken a couple of walks with my Nordic walking poles, but during those my heart rate stubbornly stayed within the Aerobic range, which doesn’t garner much in the way of PAI points — around 4 or 6 points for each walk. To get a good number of points, the heart rate must reach the range of VO2 Max (or at least Anaerobic).

I didn’t know whether my heart was just more efficient post-surgery, or whether the pacemaker capped my heart rate. So I decided not to worry about it and just resume walking, which in any case would be good.

But — lo! Also, behold! — the low heart rate may have been an artefact of my Amazfit Band 5. Here are screen shots for today’s walk (2906 steps):

That abrupt jump in heart rate at 9 min 36 seconds seems clearly to be something in the watch, not something in me. I just walked steadily for the entire walk and didn’t notice any particular change in breathing (though I was breathing more deeply) or heart rate. It seemed like an easy walk to me, with no real stress. But today I got 45 PAI (!). When one’s heart rate is in the VO2 Max range, PAI points accumulate rapidly.

I plan to continue this 1.5-mile route for a week or two before I try my 2-mile route. I may remain at 2 miles for a while. My prime objective is consistency. Speed and duration will emerge as a by-product pf consistency.

So overall, things are looking up. And those FutureMe letters do have an effect. Give it a try sometime.

Written by Leisureguy

1 September 2022 at 6:59 pm

The Big Red One turned out to be very good.

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I just realized I failed to post an “outcomes” post on my ferment I called The Big Red One, in tribute to the 1st Infantry Division (the original The Big Red One). I stopped the fermentation at two weeks and have been eating it for a while, generally one serving 1/2-3/4 cup with a meal or as a snack (or, sometimes, as a meal).

It’s very tasty and has a nice bit of spiciness from the four red cayenne peppers in the recipe (see the link above).

Written by Leisureguy

1 September 2022 at 2:22 pm

Pepper sauce complete and bottled

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Liquid from fermented peppers.

Two weeks ago I started fermenting a batch of cayenne peppers (with enhancements — details at the link). I figured two weeks was plenty of time to ferment (though as I recall from the movie, Sriracha pepper sauce is fermented for a year), so today I strained the fermented peppers, reserving the liquid for use in (say) fermenting raw potatoes, using it as a (spicy) fermentation starter. At the right is a photo of the 1/2 liter of liquid I saved.

The photo at the top shows the two liters of sauce that I got after using my immersion blender to pulverize peppers and then adding 1/4 cup fermentation liquid plus 1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar. The vinegar will add some zing and also help preserve the sauce (which will in any case be refrigerated — it’s not pasteurized because I want the live culture). The liquid also thins the sauce a bit. It is still quite thick (which I like), and the wide-mouth jars will make it easy to spoon out as much as I want.

After 14 days

The pepper sauce is reasonably hot — cayenne peppers, after all — but not in the least painful, just a good flavorful spicy fermented pepper sauce.

Just as when I made the giardiniera ferment, the peppers sort of collapsed, as you can see in the photo at the left, taken just before I drained the four jars and blended the solids.

I started with almost 4 liters of peppers, and ended with 2 liters of pepper sauce (a bit more, in fact: enough to fill a small Maille mustard jar) and 1/2 liter of fermentation liquid that I saved. (I discarded the rest of the fermentation liquid.)

I have to say the fermenting vegetables is quite satisfying. More people should give it a try. In combination with a whole-food plant-based diet, the result is an excellent gut microbiome.

Written by Leisureguy

1 September 2022 at 1:25 pm

Grooming Dept Peach Chypre and Gillette’s practical humility runs short

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Today I noticed that Grooming Dept’s wonderful Chypre Peach has a peach-colored puck, whose color pretty much matches the background color of the label. This soap uses his Kairos formula:

Water, Stearic Acid, Beef Tallow, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Kokum Butter, Castor Oil, Tucuma Butter, Avocado Oil, Glycerin, Coconut Milk, Goat Milk, Cupuacu Butter, Shea Butter, Safflower Oil, Collagen Peptides, Whey Protein, Betaine, Fragrance, Lauryl Laurate, Jojoba Oil, Lanolin, Colloidal Oatmeal, Rice Bran Wax, Meadowfoam Oil, Linoleic Acid, Ethylhexyl Olivate, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Isostearic Acid, Allantoin, Sodium Lactate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Gluconate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Tocopherols, Silk Peptides.

The fragrance is alluring — “Citruses, Maillette Lavender, Rose, Peach, Osmanthus, Spices, Amber, Oakmoss, Leather, Labdanum, Vetiver, and Patchouli” — and the lather is outstanding. Although his soaps are currently sold out on his site, he does make new soaps fairly frequently and often using this same Kairos formula. Various of his soaps are still available at West Coast Shaving and The Razor Company.

The lather made by my RazoRock Amici was thick, creamy, fragrant, and nourishing to my skin. I’ve noticed that some soaps (together with the use of Grooming Dept Moisturizing Pre-Shave before the lather and Grooming Dept Hydrating Gel after the shave) leave my skin remarkably soft and supple. These soaps generally are premium soap with a variety of oils and butters.

In a recent post I noted Gillette’s practical humility in their approach to the new Gillette Heritage razor. They recognized their current lack of experience and knowledge in DE safety razors and, rather than attempting to design a new head, they just copied the Mühle/Edwin Jagger head. And rather than design a new handle, they just copied the handle of their NEW razor from 90 years ago. 

Apparently there are limits to their humility. For the King C. Gillette razor I’m using today, they again copied the Mühle/EJ head design, but this time they decided to go ahead and design their own handle. “How hard can it be?” I can hear them asking. “What could go wrong?”

They came up with a handle I found unusable: long, heavy, and polished so smooth that it becomes slippery in use. No knob at the end to provide a grip for the ATG pass (a fault shared by the Heritage handle). Experience in designing the plastic handles of cartridge razors clearly does not transfer to designing good handles for DE razors. 

I replaced their loathsome original handle with RazoRock’s UFO stainless handle, as shown in the photo (which, in fairness, owes a design debt to the Gillette Tech’s Ball-End handle — but that’s the Gillette of yesteryear, whose engineers understood through experience how to design a DE razor, a body of knowledge modern-day Gillette lacks).

Mickey Lee Soapworks Italian Stallion is a very nice aftershave milk with a fine fragrance, and it ended the shave on a very positive note.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Baker Street Blend: “Lapsang Souchong, smooth Keemun, rich Ceylon, Gunpowder, and floral Jasmine.” This one is a favorite. And as I wrote this post, I enjoyed the chia-seed pudding I made last night — also a favorite.

Written by Leisureguy

1 September 2022 at 9:43 am

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