Log in

Drat this working for a living all to heck.

Oct. 19th, 2015

08:56 am - Voted.

Polls close in BC at 7:00 pm BC time.

Go go go go go.

Sep. 23rd, 2015

10:55 am - Outliers.

So.  One worries that Martin Shkreli *isn't* the greediest weenie on the planet.

Tags: ,

Sep. 16th, 2015

10:18 am - Chocolate cookies - controlled carb

I was desperate for a cookie last night, but I am through the sugar withdrawal (and my knees feel soooo much better), that I did not want an actual cookie.  So here's what I made:

2 package ground almonds (each pk 100 grams)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Sweet & Low artificial sweetener packets (tea serving size)
2 eggs, large
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, generously estimated

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Sift together ground almonds, cocoa powder, and sweetener in a bowl.  Set aside.  Whip together eggs, whipping cream, and vanilla until smooth consistency achieved.  Make a well in the almond mixture and pour in the egg mixture.  Stir until well combined.  Grease cookie sheets with butter.  Place blobs on the cookie sheets.  Once oven is up to temperature, place cookie trays in oven and bake for 13 to 14 minutes.  Cool until you can touch them and then eat.  Store in fridge because these will spoil fast.

Cons - texture is between a pancake and a cooled biscuit - no crisp or crunch.  This soft texture will probably increase in fridge.

Pros - CHOCOLATE.  Also, but way less important: not too sweet; nice with black coffee or tea.

I got 19 blobs, but more careful blobbing could give you twenty-four, especially if you put a pecan half on the top of each.

Each blob = 83 calories; 3 total carbs, of which 1.5 are fiber carbs.

Sep. 5th, 2015

12:19 pm - This is our theory which is ours and which we own.

So, we like to watch TV shows like Coast and Sacred Wonders of Britain and Ancient Weather - all interesting tidbits of information without the breathless hysteria of The! Monumnent! That! Killed!!!! 10,000! Men! and similar "everything is a blow-em-up-good scene in a cheesy movie" approaches to entertainment documentaries. At least with things like Edwardian Farm the silliness is from experts being genuinely excited about the true details of their speciality.  (Gosh - I can just imagine a similar program being filmed in the states - they would probably have Ruth Goodman mud-wrestling her neighbour as they compete to get the best stall in the market - argh.)

Anyhoo.  We have seen several episodes of Sacred Wonders of Britain

And one of their theses, broadly, is that the first group of farmers were seen as visionaries which the next generation venerated, and so the next generation spent this huge amount of time building stone mounds (covered in dirt) and stone circles as a way to claim the landscape and venerate the visionary generation.

I am rather doubtful of the veneration bit, considering how the current young muscled generation thinks about its parent and grandparent generation.  Also, for the young providing building power, farming wouldn't be novel - farming would have been all they'd ever known.  Feature kids having never known a world without internet - are they busy venerating the creators?

Anyhoo again.  One thing that big piles of rocks do, though, is stake your claim to this bit of dirt. If you tell the people sweating to shove the rocks across the ground that they are doing it for their god or gods, and that outsiders can contaminate their hard work, then it is probably much easier to convince them that outsiders need a good seeing to (still works today y/n?).

So, we'd reached this point in our cogitations, when Lorne said that it was easier for wolves, since they just run around peeing on the boundaries of their territories.  And I said that probably explained all the stone circles because then groups could travel from afar so that their head pee-er (peer - hoho) could pee on the group's special rock in the circle.  Or maybe everyone peed on all the rocks.  And Lorne said that certainly explained the ditches that surround many of the stone circles.

So Stonehenge - a giant willy waving contest festival site.  :)

Man - the pong would travel for *miles*.  :)

Aug. 20th, 2015

10:19 pm - Quick grape update.

So: pickled grapes, yum.

However, it a now been mumble days, and the grapes have lost their fresh-grape crisp, and this is critical to the success of the pickled grape.

So, I would say to go ahead and make up the whole amount of brine, but only do enough grapes for the next day.  Save the unused brine for the batches you make after that.

Spicy crispy grapes - very nice.


Aug. 3rd, 2015

11:13 am - Canadian Parliament Vote List URL

All the items voted on since the 38th session in 2004 (not sure if anything earlier is there) can been seen here in detail - how each MP voted on each thing:

I was interested because there has been a rumour circulating that Trudeau the Younger has voted in lockstep with Harper the Horrible on every vote.  I suspect hyperbole - probably not on every last eensy beensy vote - but it might be interesting to see how he voted on issues other than the big fumble of Bill C-51.

My mind is made up.  Trudeau has not shown himself to be sufficiently different from Harper.  Cuter but no backbone.


Aug. 2nd, 2015

07:16 pm - Pickled Grapes

I need to put this recipe somewhere I can find it again.

P (I need to put these here because LJ just jambs all the paragraphs together without something to mark the blank line when I copy and paste from Word. Argh.)


I read about pickled grapes in a book from Lee Valley (https://www.leevalley.com/)[1], but it used tarragon, and I just can’t do tarragon.[2]


So, I went to the internet, and found more than you can shake a stick at [3] [4], not a one of which even alludes to tarragon. Very good.


So, then after shopping in the heat and forgetting many things, I checked in my cupboard and did the following:



Some red and green grapes (seedless)[7]

1+ ½ cups cheap elderly red wine vinegar

½ cup modestly priced balsamic vinegar

1 cup tap water

½ cup brown sugar, more or less packed down

1 teaspoon pickling salt

2 cinnamon sticks

½ tablespoon whole round coriander seeds[5]

½ tablespoon whole black peppercorns

½ tablespoon whole allspice berries

½ tablespoon whole yellow mustard seeds

1 teaspoon whole cloves (scant)

½ teaspoon cardamom seeds, seeds only

1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into sticks


Put everything except the grapes into a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes (or as long as you can stand in this heat). Turn off heat and while the brine cools prepare the grapes.


Wash grapes. Pull from stems and dry. Slice off just a tidbit from the stem end. Pack in clean, dry jar[6]. Pour brine into the jar, shaking to remove any air pockets, and topping up to the shoulder of the jar. Screw lid on tight and place in fridge.


These are not properly pickled pickles, so they must be kept in the fridge and used within a few weeks to a month. They need at least 8 hours for the brine to start saturating the grapes, but they will develop more flavour the longer they are kept.



Because I was impatient, I took all the little grape ends and put them in a bowl with some of the brine. Immediately they were tasty, and we polished them off on top of cream cheese covered crackers. I am now impatient for 8 hours to pass.


[1] – oooooo Lee Valley oooooo

[2] – using the “if a little is good, a lot is better” principle I overdid it in something in my 20s. Ugh ugh ugh.

[3] – I’m sure there is a good reason for shaking solitary sticks at a limited number of things.

[4] – here are all the ones I adapted from:











[5] – whole coriander comes in round and oval.

[6] – I think mine is a one litre.

[7] – I bought more than I thought would fit so that we could eat some fresh.


06:39 pm - LJ is going to give me apoplexy.

Or my computer is, or something, but the next entry is being typed on word and copy and pasted because BIG HORRIBLE REASONS!  Argh.

Jul. 18th, 2015

08:04 pm - Post-capitalism, aftershock, and slip-sliding away

You know that I have been thinking that the current state of capitalism is like that of sheep farmers who used to shear the sheep and sell the wool and shear the sheep again, but who in a fit of greed have skinned the sheep for the luxury sheepskin rug market (because the money-in-hand was so swoon-inducingly satisfying), and are now standing around the sheepfold wondering why the sheep seem so listless.

Aftershock is a more detailed look a why gutting your consumer class is stupid ( http://www.amazon.ca/Aftershock-Next-Economy-Americas-Future/dp/0307476332 - see especially review near bottom by ronbc for the gist), but with the current crop of conservative crofters in power everywhere, we know that powerful people currently would rather drink their fill from the cistern and then use it for a latrine, than share it with the people they stole it from through freshly-minted legal "laws".  (Privatization.  ptui)  So we know the stupidity will continue.

This week I read this article: The End of Capitalism Has Begun. (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/17/postcapitalism-end-of-capitalism-begun?CMP=share_btn_fb)

While I think he is mostly right, that people are starting to use new ways of living since the old ones are broken,  I don't think he is right to expect the center of the old system to help in its own demise.  Feudalism didn't gracefully get out of the way; people stepped outside of a weakened system and created new ways of living.  The people at the centre of the old system fought tooth and nail to retain their privilege, and there are old feudal laws still to be recinded (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quern-stone#Laws_against_use [1]).

What I think is going to happen is as I said before - people will start doing new things, and will simply stop even thinking about the old ways.  There is some new evidence that the Mayan centers not so much fell as simply withered from neglect as the common people moved into the forest (http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/summer-2015/article/classic-ancient-maya-collapse-not-caused-by-overpopulation-and-deforestation-say-researchers).

So, I don't expect Capitalism to fall in a big sparkly cataclysm; I expect little pieces to occasionally fall off.  Crumble crumble crumble, and people will start using the rubble for something new; and the people at the centre will believe that they always liked the new lean, streamlined operation.  Sleek, baby, oooo: so trim.

By the way. I don't expect the new ways of living to be idyllic.  People are people.

[1] - isn't that nice?  Once a landlord had a mill, he could destroy a poor person's tool for making food easier to eat.  Laws of appropriation newly minted for each occasion.

Jul. 2nd, 2015

07:38 pm - Robots part two - people as lego

I knew there was something more about that young man's death.

It's the Gig Economy.


Navigate: (Previous 10 Entries)