Later On

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

Plan for Bush retirement

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This excellent proposal for Bush’s retirement activities appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune, by Bill Ferguson, back on 6/16/2006

Every great career eventually comes to an end, and when you’re the president of these United States, you only get eight years (at most) to accomplish everything you set out to do. Then you’re an ex-president for the rest of your life.I’ll bet that ex-presidents, like most retired people, find it to be something of a shock to have all that time on their hands when they leave the working world.

So they find things to do. They work on their memoirs. They build libraries. They give speeches. They support their favorite charitable causes.

But what about our current president? His term will be up before he knows it, and then it’s back to private life. I’m afraid the transition will be especially difficult for Dubya. He is a man of action, and I worry about how he’ll adjust to a life out of the spotlight.

I think that we, as a nation, owe Bush more than the customary parting gifts of an enormous pension and round-the-clock Secret Service protection when he leaves office. I think we can do better for him. I think we should put him to work, and I know just where he ought to go. Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

18 July 2006 at 10:44 am

Free business cards

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Via Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools, here’s a place that will print free business cards.

Written by Leisureguy

11 July 2006 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Daily life, Techie toys

The military vs. the President on Iran

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Seymour Hersh has an article on the disagreements between the military and George Bush regarding Iran.

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2006 at 5:07 pm

The Case of the Curious Congressman

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A very curious Congressman. Read this. Curiouser and curiouser.

And War and Piece has more.

The proposed WMD dig would make a terrific comedy. I suggest Fred Willard for the role of Curt Weldon.

Written by Leisureguy

28 June 2006 at 11:57 am

Posted in GOP, Iraq War

Typical GOP action: block access to liberal blogs

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DailyKos reports the story of how the corrupt GOP Kentucky state government has blocked access on state-owned computers to liberal blogs, while continuing to allow access to conservative blogs and conservative news sources (Fox and Drudge, for example).

TPMmuckraker has more on the story. And here's an update from TPMmuckraker.

This is important because it's a remarkably clear demonstration of what happens when the GOP gains control of access to information and opinion: all points of view other than the strict GOP line are blocked—no access. It reminds me of how certain communist countries operated in their heyday (and China today, of course).

UPDATE: The claim now is that access to all blogs has been blocked.

UPDATE 2: The NY Times reports this morning that the claim is false (i.e., they lied): access to Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, the RNC, etc., still available. (Of course they lied: they're Republicans.)

Written by Leisureguy

21 June 2006 at 8:29 am

Posted in GOP, Government, Media

Tony Snow delineated exactly

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Arianna Huffington exactly captures Tony Snow.

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2006 at 6:11 pm

Cats who look like Hitler

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Take a look. (Though some might also be titled "Cats who look like The Little Tramp.")

Perhaps this explains why some people are afraid of cats….

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2006 at 10:31 am

Posted in Cats

Monday cat blogging: Sophie on her fish

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Sophie on her fish

Sophie’s sitting on her sisal fish, barely visible beneath her bulk. She likes the fish okay, whereas Megs has a close, loving relationship with her sisal fish—which does not preclude her sitting on it and scratching the hell out of its nose.

Written by Leisureguy

19 June 2006 at 7:06 am

Posted in Cats, Sophie

New England spider cake

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This makes an excellent Sunday-morning breakfast.

2 cups buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs. Stir into dry ingredients and set batter aside.

Melt butter in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Pour in the batter. Using a funnel, pour cream into the center, slide skillet into the oven and bake until golden brown on top, about 45 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve warm.

I’m inclined to put the skillet into the cold oven and preheat skillet along with the oven. Then prepare the batter, and when it’s ready and oven is hot, remove skillet, melt the butter in it (which you can do just from the heat of the skillet), pour in the batter and the cream, and return to oven. I haven’t tried that, but it seems the way to do it.

The recipe claims to serve 8, but they must be on a rigorous diet.

UPDATE. I just learned the reason for the name. From the Wikipedia article on cast-iron cookware:

Bare cast-iron vessels have been used for cooking for hundreds of years. Cast iron cauldrons and cooking pots were treasured as kitchen items for their durability and their ability to retain heat, thus improving the quality of cooking meals. Before the introduction of the kitchen stove in the middle of the 19th century, meals were cooked in the hearth or fireplace, and cooking pots and pans were designed for use in the hearth. This meant that all cooking vessels had to be designed to be suspended on, or in, a fireplace. Cast iron pots were made with handles to allow them to be hung over a fire, or with legs so that they could stand up in the fireplace. In addition to dutch ovens, which were developed with the onset of the Industrial Revolution, a commonly used cast iron cooking pan called a spider had a handle and three legs used to stand up in the coals and ashes of the fire. Cooking pots and pans with legless, flat bottoms were designed when cooking stoves became popular; this period of the late 19th century saw the introduction of the flat cast iron skillet.

It’s still quite easy to find Dutch ovens with legs—indeed, my favorite little Texsport 2 qt is available with or without legs.

Written by Leisureguy

17 June 2006 at 8:32 am

Posted in Recipes & Cooking

Bean salad

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I love a good bean salad, a dish that admits of infinite variation. I’m making one this afternoon, and I thought it would be a good excuse to bring forward and consolidate the recipe from the old blog.

In a large bowl, stir together:

1 package of Trader Joe’s peeled edamame (cooked fresh soybeans)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup hulled barley, cooked in 2 c chicken stock until stock absorbed (about 1 hr)
1 cup TJ’s frozen roasted corn kernels (added directly, without cooking)
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 chopped yellow bell pepper
1 chopped sweet onion
1 chopped avocado
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (or parsley, for The Oldest)
12 oz bacon, chopped and sautéed until crisp
Good-sized handful of pitted Saracena olives (check for pits)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeños, chopped (but not seeded)
extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 2 lemons or 4 limes
salt
pepper
several dashes of Worcestershire sauce
several dashes of Tabasco sauce

Other things that are good from time to time:

Artichoke hearts (and check this out)
Crumbled Gorgonzola
Cooked wheat (kamut, spelt, etc.) or rye berries instead of barley
Chopped jalapeño, fresh or pickled
Sardines
Chopped smoked salmon (lox)
Nuts (pine nuts, chopped walnuts, pecans, peanuts–whatever)
Capers
White anchovies
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half vertically
Sliced water chestnuts
Crushed red pepper flakes
Chopped green chilis
Chopped scallions
Crumbled feta
Cottage cheese
Dried cranberries
Lemon zest
Orange zest
Juice of an orange
Shredded raw red cabbage

Toppings I’ve used:

Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
Drained yogurt
TJ’s Med style yogurt cheese
Chopped crisp bacon
Guacamole (if no avocados in salad)
Sour cream
Grated cheese
Branson pickle
TJ’s Tzatziki

I don’t always use the four beans specified above. I might substitute black-eyed peas (cooked from scratch) or baby lima beans (ditto).

Written by Leisureguy

16 June 2006 at 3:24 pm

Posted in Recipes & Cooking

Adventurous fun

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From a recent letter I wrote:

For fun, I’m more into adventure—not the white-water, hang-gliding, mountain-biking sort of adventure, but things like www.peppers.com, from whom I have gotten some wonderful hot sauces. And www.trafalgarshop.com, where I’m trying out various shaving creams. This morning I used the Italian Proraso Eucalyptus shaving cream: very tingly and nice. (I also love l’Occitane shaving cream and after-shave balm: great stuff.)

Written by Leisureguy

16 June 2006 at 11:08 am

Posted in Toys

Friday cat-blogging: Megs on bookcase

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Megs on bookcase
Here’s Megs on the bookcase in the hall. If I’m at the bathroom sink for a while—shaving, for example—she’ll get up here to look around the corner and watch me, and wait to be petted when I come out. It’s also a good location for her to look into the living room and watch me in my chair, though a little distant. She’s a very observant cat.

Written by Leisureguy

16 June 2006 at 8:09 am

Posted in Cats, Megs

More lies, more corruption

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This time it's Cheney, the Army, and the no-bid KBR contract.

Written by Leisureguy

15 June 2006 at 4:44 pm

Excellent political video

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Alert Reader sent me to this video. As he says, it’s not only good, it was made by a 15-year-old. Well worth watching.

Written by Leisureguy

15 June 2006 at 9:47 am

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