Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Weekend Kitchening and Garagening,,,

I Sous Vide'd a top round steak on Saturday (along with grilling some chicken) for this week's protein. I do it in my Igloo cooler, using a candy thermometer to check the water temperature till it's 135 degrees for medium rare. This came out a bit rarer, maybe a thicker, heavier cut of meat than I am used to?

But damn it comes out so good! The water bath cooks it, then it goes on the grill for a minute on a side to brown it. Damn look at those grill marks :D

Christmas I made a Pulla...though I must've mis-counted the cups of flour and had to add more water as I mixed they came out pretty good. Mom said they were a little dense, which I think may have been the water as liquid instead of exclusively milk and eggs that normally provide all the liquid.

It was pretty mild out, so the house was only about 58 and I didn't feel like cranking up the wood stove since that would have made it too hot in the afternoon...but it also meant the only "warm" spot for the dough to rise was next to the stove.

We went to Pam's for Christmas Dinner. Gave them a pulla, and gave Ed the other pulla for his birthday. I brought home the left overs from the meal, including the bones from the roast to make stew:

Ok, some pulla and milk before bed while the beef stock simmers in the crock pot overnight!
After straining out the stock, I did go through and pick out the shredded meat to add to the stew.
Then I used the "ratchet rake" on the bucket, weighted down with firewood, to break up some of the ice on the driveway. The frost got into the ground, but it has mostly been rain since (I haven't used the snow blower yet) so we have quite a bit of ice forming since the water isn't percolating away.

Brought the big one over to Mom's while it was still hot out of the crockpot. Had to run out to get some diesel so I have could top off the tractor fuel tank.

The garage fleet all tucked away for the night in "Winter Configuration:"

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Do we still have journalists or do editors just wait for random gibberish to appear coherent and then publish that?

So I followed a Salon link from Google News today and found this amazing piece of writing:

The idea that liberals — especially women and people of color — are all a bunch of lazy people on the dole (which the United States doesn’t even have, in any meaningful sense) isn’t about facts or reality. It’s just a stereotype that’s widely adopted to dehumanize liberals.

That, I suspect, goes a long way towards explaining the paradox that confounds so many liberal journalists and pundits: How can lower-income white people who rely heavily on the social safety net, especially in places like Appalachia, keep on voting for candidates whose avowed aim is to take it away?

1) We don't have a dole in the U.S.;
2) It's used as a stereotype to dehumanize people;
3) Poor white people on the dole vote against their interests, therefore can not be rational humans.


Who writes that?

What editor allows that to be published?

Was it an incredible hack job by an editor of what had been a coherent point? I doubt it, but at least it would provide the author an excuse other than being completely blind to their own prejudice.

I already posted on FB today, in response to an fake news article posted by someone who is better than that, of an "Alleged CNN report" -- how the hell do you have "alleged" CNN reports; it either exists or not. Unless you're grown men gossiping like middle school girls.

The mind numbing idiocy is not limited, or even disproportionately distributed, among either political extreme. Their words may differ, not their inability to see outside of their intellectual safe space.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Presidential Vote by Congressional District

One of the Democrats structural problems is they tend to congregate in urban areas, and also to some extent they have made pacts in Southern states for "majority minority" districts that is a voluntary gerrymandering to ensure, primarily, that blacks representatives get elected to Congress in non-competitive seats.

While the overall map is very red, what it doesn't show is the Republicans fight for their seats in a lot more places that split say 55% Republican, 45% Democrat typically...while the Democrats have about three times as many seats voting 70%+ for them -- and they vote much more intensely for Democrats than any Republican district votes Republican. Seriously, 96.7% for Obama in a single district?

All 435 Districts, 2012:
Mean: 51.48
Standard Deviation: 15.75
Districts by >= 70%: 56
Biggest Victory: 96.7% (how is that even possible?)
Districts with bigger victories than Romney's largest: 26

Mean: 46.94
SD: 15.72
Districts by >= 70%: 19
Biggest Victory: 80.2%

Of the 287 Districts certified so far for 2016:
Mean (Average)
Standard deviation
Districts by >= 70%: 40
Biggest Victory: 87.4%
Districts with bigger victories than Trump's largest: 13

Mean (Average)
Standard deviation
Districts by >= 70%: 12
Biggest Victory: 79.6%

Data from: Daily Kos
Aided in my analysis by:
Standard Deviation Calculator
Columns to Commas

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Grace & Flour

Grace And Dance Frozen In Flour In Photos By Alexander Yakovlev:

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Thoughts on The Donalds win...

Promised myself I'd go to bed at 10pm, then I noticed the numbers were looking...surprising and not surprising?

Anyway what I wrote on Facebook when I got up this morning after going to bed at 2:30am having watched in a bizarre combination of feelings. Hillary Clinton managed to lose to Donald Freaking Trump...which conversely means Donald Freaking Trump is the President's like a perpetual motion machine powered by simultaneous glee and despair.

April, 2008:
"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Since then there was spent a little less than $1 Trillion on the signature "jobs" program of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act and $2.5 Trillion plus $10 Trillion in guarantees bailing out Wall Street.

Instead of fighting on jobs and wages when the Democrats had control of the White House and Congress they blew all their political capital on passing a healthcare bill not understanding modern politics in Congress would not allow it to be reformed later, that did not control costs, and let those hurt by rising expenses hang it around their necks.

For the last four years Bloomberg's been revving up a small, passionate community of upper middle class suburban moms to take away the guns -- now while gun control is to the left what abortion is to the right, when you look over those broad geographic areas of the country that are painted red on a county by county basis there are more people who have guns than uteruses.

Same with other social issues that the left was unable to coherently counter a narrative, fair or not, of attacking "religious" values, if they even cared to counter it in the first place.

Wasn't exactly a winning strategy there before the DNC became a subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation. It's not only cost the Democrats the White House and Congress, it has cost the liberals any hope of a liberal Supreme Court for a generation.

I am no fan of Trump, and I'm glad I live in a state where my vote would be swamped by Clinton supporters so I could happily vote for Johnson instead of facing a most unpleasant decision.

Seems to me another Democrat once said, "It's the economy, stupid." Didn't fix the jobs, rest of the agenda collapsed.

Now to see whether the Republicans can get out of their own way enough to shore up the working class and rural economies enough to cement in their political power for years to come.
And really good article by Glenn Greenwald that came out a couple days later:

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Mean Reds...

Never picked up on this part of Breakfast at Tiffany's before:
The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? -- Holly Golightly

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Instructor for the photo class wanted me to take more close up pics...driving around Saturday while the laundry was washing at the laundromat I found this skidder on Spaulding Road in Plainfield...went and retrieved my clothes, got gas, and went back :)

Need to develop a script so I can grab the basic setting info out of the pics and automagically populate it into these posts!

Canon EOS 50D, 0.005 (1/200), f/3.5, focal length 25, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.01 (1/100), f/4.5, focal length 47, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.000125 (17/200000), f/1.4, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.000125 (17/200000), f/1.4, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.000125 (17/200000), f/1.4, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.0004 (1/2500), f/2, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.002 (1/500), f/3.2, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.005 (1/200), f/5, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.0025 (21/10000), f/5, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.002 (1/500), f/3.5, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.00125 (17/20000), f/2.8, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.000625 (81/200000), f/2, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.0002 (1/5000), f/1.4, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.0004 (1/2500), f/2, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.0008 (), f/2.8, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D, 0.001 (), f/4, focal length 50, ISO 100

So I liked the composition of the first pic, but the exposure and focus was off.
Canon EOS 50D, 0.0008 (), f/1.4, focal length 50, ISO 100

Second photo I set the exposure with the light meter looking at the road, then swung to set the focus on the license plate. What I forgot to do was then swing back to get the composition I had wanted :/ Lots to remember with this infernal contraption!
Canon EOS 50D, 0.0004 (), f/1.4, focal length 50, ISO 100

Camera play at Weekapaug

Draken Harald & Mystic Seaport

So met Eric, Missy, & Family at Mystic Seaport since for the past two or three years all he has done is talk about the Vikings TV show like an obsessed 5 year old.

I've been once before (plus at night for a wedding) and honestly don't remember it being this big; only thing I can think of is the day I visited I was rushed or not feeling well :/

Some playing with my camera iPhone and older cameras couldn't have done this well:

It's the Draken!

They sailed the ship from Norway this spring, up the St. Lawrence, through the Great Lakes all summer, down the Erie Canal, and the crew is flying home while the ship will winter in Mystic.

Little bit of a line to get aboard, think I'll explore for a while longer...

These guys were singing a sea-shanty while hoisting the cargo aboard!

The rope walk fascinated me -- it was quite dark inside (at least the front part), loved what I could get for details with this camera!

This factory was originally twice as wide, and four times as long as it's current 250'.

Although they had switched to more modern machinery many years earlier, this rope walk was used until circa 1950 for special orders of very large diameter ropes. The employees of the company worked to disassemble it and move it to the Seaport in 1951.

Darn it...busted while I was adjusting exposure. Almost had a candid shot of Missy photographing the Draken.

Kind of like the over-exposed one better!

Wiking Wabbit Heads!

34 crew members lived on the boat, with that tent like structure for shelter

Clan Borgeson...