dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
It started on Facebook, where a friend posted a link about the recent outbreak of multi-drug resistant E. Coli in Europe, which in turn led me to The "Hellish" 7.2F Warmer World of Tomorrow" (that's 4C for those of you that use SI), which in turn led to a nifty video about brain fungus cryptococcus gattii came to live on Vancouver Island, BC.

ETA: Weird escapes and duplications in original post, not sure what happened there.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Nicked from a friend, as i think he put it well:

If you would like an invite code to create an account at Dreamwidth, I have some to share.

Frankly, I think Dreamwidth is an excellent fork in the LiveJournal code. While there are some limitations (e.g. ready-made themes), even drawbacks (e.g. no photo hosting), I do not think it is unfair to call it "LJ done right" for its rethinking of "Friends' List" and reimplementation as access lists (people who can read you) and subscription lists (people you can read). The ability to cross-post to LiveJournal was a godsend during the recent enormous DDoS siege.

(Replies to this post are screened, as i need an email addy to send you the code. First come, first served.)

ETA: Sent one, eleven remaining.


May. 22nd, 2011 09:39 am
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Arrived in my inbox from Dictionary.com:

Word of the Day for Sunday, May 22, 2011

slaver \SLAV-uhr; SLAY-vuhr\, intransitive verb:

1. To slobber; to drool.

1. Saliva drooling from the mouth.

The tiger was slavering. It was thirsty. Or maybe hungry.
-- Eliseo Alberto, Caracol Beach
Two ancient, lopsided wooden signs declared NO TRESPASSERS! and BEWARE OF GUARD DOGS! The latter featured a slavering Doberman frothing at the mouth.
-- Meera Syal, Anita and Me
Slaver is probably of Scandinavian origin, perhaps ultimately from Old Norse slafra.

Everyone i know says slobber or drool for this usage. Slaver means to deal in slaves. I don't doubt the etymology, but at least among the people i know in North America, i don't think any would use slaver in this sense.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)

On Urbanism, Smart Streets, and Urban Livability

Check out the 11-minute video and short post Complete streets mean more than bike lanes over at Greater Greater Washington, a blog i read regularly and very much enjoy.

Also, might images of a skeleton slow down drivers in New York City?

Greater and Lesser Washington is a Flickr pool of images from the DC area, highlighting the best and the worst. Here's a breathtaking photo of Rosslyn, a neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia:

On Politics and Social Commentary

The wealthiest 1% in the US doesn't live like you or me does.

A case against corporate tax subsidies, not least for the oil companies.

Social commentary true to both current US happenings, but to the Star Wars Galactic Empire. I found this one chilling.

Frank Kameny won a well-deserved award for his ground-breaking work in civil rights for homosexuals. If you're not familiar with Kameny, here's a link to his Wikipedia entry.

And on a Lighter Note

dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
From the Craigslist post about the research. Anyone in North America is welcome to participate.

"We are conducting a study of how computers surveys are perceived by the general public. Your opinion matters and will help the industry improve the design of spoken user-interfaces. Our study is conducted in English and is open to callers from North America. It will only take a few minutes of your time, it's for science and, who knows, you may even have fun!

Please call (347) 741-8046 and help us out by answering our survey questions. "

It was a fun interview, and i'll mention in comments what the interviewer's voice reminded me of. :D
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
What Is ‘America,’ Anyway? is an excellent piece by Wonkette. A quote:
End the wars. All of them. Every American in Afghanistan needs to be shipped home. Today. Ditto in Iraq. Every American solider and sketchy mercenary must leave. Now. The robot-bombing of Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya must also end. Every CIA rape prison must be dismantled. Gitmo must be closed forever. Same with Bagram. We also need to stop murdering Gaddafi’s infant grandchildren, if there’s any left unmurdered.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Posted by my friend KJE elseweb, verbatim:

From The Magnolia Bakery Cook Book


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups mashed bananas
1 8 oz ca of pineapple, drained (appr 1 cup crushed pineapple)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325ºF.
Grease and flour two 9" pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, soda, salt) and set aside.

In a large bowl, on medium mixer speed, beat the oil and sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until light, each about 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla, bananas, and pineapple ad mix to combine. Add dry ingredients 1/3 at a time and mix until combined. Stir in pecans.

Pour into pans and bake 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes and remove from pans to cool on wire racks completely.

Frost with Cream Cheese Icing and garnish with coarsely chopped pecans or halves.

Cream Cheese Icing

2-8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened slightly
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened softly
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
5 cups confectioners' sugar

In a medium size bowl, on the medium speed of a mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract. Gradually add the sugar and beat until well incorporated.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Dave over at Pleasant Family Shopping, a wonderfully written and researched blog about mostly US retail history, wrote a lovely piece about The Golden Age of Gas Stations. It's a bit long, organized by brand, and very, very interesting, at least to me. :-)


Mar. 30th, 2011 04:15 pm
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
You should read this CNN article. Quoting my friend Pam:
More March Madness. She was 14. She was raped. And, under Sharia, in so-called modern Bangladesh, she was charged with adultery and lashed. Her death ruled a suicide. Where Sharia, and any fundamentalist religious code, is proclaimed the rule of law, women suffer. And suffer brutally. Make no mistake, fundamentalists want women subservient, subdued, and shrouded. Where. Is. The. Outrage?
I agree completely with what she said.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I have 3 2 extra free passes to see an advance screening of WIN WIN in Bethesda at 19:30 (At least one of us must arrive by 18:15 18:45-19:10 or so) at:

Bethesda Row Cinema
7235 Woodmont Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

Anyone else wish to join [livejournal.com profile] fr_defenestrato and me?
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
A nifty video here explains and shows, step-by-step, how new NJ Transit locomotives move from the Bombardier factory in Kassel, Germany to NY Harbor.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] fr_defenestrato asked:

Who would win in a thumb-wrestling match, Bach or Shostakovich?

I have to give that to Shostakovich, as i'm guessing Bach-of-your-choice was too much of a dandy.

[livejournal.com profile] utforsker asked:

How did you meet the Chez Turtle gang?

Great question! Once, long ago, at George Mason University, i met [livejournal.com profile] chelona. We, and some others we knew, shared housing for a while. I first met [livejournal.com profile] voltbang back then too. I will now state that i'd known [livejournal.com profile] scruffycritter for some years at the point that i met [livejournal.com profile] chelona. What i did not know then was that they knew each other thanks to the CS Department.

Skip ahead many years. I was unemployed, and conducting my job search from the home of [livejournal.com profile] not_the_pope and [livejournal.com profile] scruffycritter. One Wednesday Critter suggested i come to gaming with him at B's house.

"B who?" i asked.

"B LK" he replied.

"Oh, i know a B L!"

And so, that night at [livejournal.com profile] chez_turtle -- when it was still in Sterling, i remet [livejournal.com profile] chelona in her living room when she got home. Rather trippy.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I've never done this, and figured some interesting things'll come up. Comments here are screened here, but i'll share who asked in the answer posts unless you specify you'd rather remain anonymous.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Remember that tax cuts on the wealthy caused the budget crisis in WI, and the tax cuts on the wealthy in OH contributed to the problems there too.

dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I like his take on things, and i think its a worthwhile read regardless where you may be in the political spectrum.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] fritterfae at Against All Enemies Foreign and Domestic
When I became a federal employee 9 years ago (during the Bush administration mind you), I was required to take an oath of office.  In my oath I was required to swear or affirm that I would defend the constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic.  I took that oath, and I meant it.  Lately I have been thinking long and hard about that oath, and what it means.  I still stand by it, and in so doing I want to share why I believe that the Republican Party has become a domestic enemy of the Constitution.

Over the last few weeks states in the midwest have been in turmoil as Republican led legislatures and executives have been directly attacking public employee unions.  In Wisconsin, the governor makes no bones about the fact that he's willing to just fire all the public employees and say to hell with them if they don't accept the total destruction of all collective bargaining for public sector employees. The railroading of this bill through the Wisconsin legislature has forced the democrats in there to flee the state to prevent a quorum, and thus killing the bill by default. Similar things are happening in Indiana, Ohio, and New Jersey as well.

The problem with this big picture, is not that public sector salaries are out of control.  Ask any teacher, they get paid shit.  Same with cops, firefighters, librarians too.  Salaries in the public sector are dismal.  Even our benefits are crap.  Many of us no longer have pension plans, instead we have deferred investment funds that go into money market accounts that are subject to the vagueries of Wall Street.  Public Sector union employees often times don't even have the right to strike.  In Wisconsin, the money was there until the Republican governor pushed through a bunch of tax breaks that gave to corporations the $140 million that they wound up losing.  Why the hell would they do that?

Because the reality is that the Republican party as a whole wants to dismantle the entire system of American government. 

I have felt that this was true for years.  It took me until this moment to feel confident in expressing what seems like the most heinous thing anyone could say.  But hell, they've been saying it themselves.

Yesterday and today I've seen some video clips from Rachel Maddow.  I know, she's biased, she admits it herself, but that doesn't mean that she's wrong.  Just watch this clip, if you will indulge me for a minute.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

At the 6:20 mark she nails it. The purpose of busting these unions in Wisconsin and other places is solely to destroy Democratic campaign contributors who can compete with the multi-million dollar message organizations funded by other millionaires to help preserve the wealthy elite who run corporate America.  At the 7:00 mark she shows side by side who were the top campaign contributors in the 2008 and 2010 elections.  In 2008 it was the public sector unions who dominated campaign spending and pushed Obama and a ton of other liberal democrats into office.  In 2010, they were outspent by conservative political action groups, and a ton of tea party conservatives, like Scott Walker came into power.

We can ask the question til we're blue in the face if this is fair or not.  That's immaterial given the circumstances we find ourselves in today.  Electoral politics is driven by who can spend the most money on a campaign and drown out the message of the competition.  Sadly Americans are that easily swayed. 

But dismantling unions are only a part of a much larger picture. 

Take a look at these charts that show the disastrous legacy of President Reagan

Let's look at the cost of the war on drugs.  The big legacy of Reagan era politics was his declaration of the drug war.  Now, admittedly, drugs were pretty fucking rough in the 80's.  But the cost of the war on drugs on greater society was devastating.  With the drug war came hundreds of thousands of convictions of criminal drug charges.  Before 1980 we barely cracked a total of having 500,000 people in prison.  By 2006 under Bush II we had over 2 million people in prison.  That's four times as many, and the federal government had to scale up the federal prison system accordingly.  Costing us hundreds of billions of dollars in police, corrections officers and court costs.  This was a calculated move to increase spending and to change public opinion about the justice system. 

Similarly under Bush II there were massive government expansions.  The creation of the Department of Homeland Security was the creation of the largest federal government agency in history.  It combined dozens of other agencies into one unwieldy leviathan that will cost $57 billion in 2012.  And what's the agency in DHS that most people have transactions with: The Transportation Safety Administration. Again, a calculated move to increase spending and to change public opinion about the efficacy of public safety.

But Bush II was also responsible for the No Child Left Behind Act.  The Act was touted to bring about education reform in public schools, by enforcing regular and rigorous standardized testing. Funding for the Department of Education grew from $42 billion to $57 billion, and teachers across the country were forced to teach students to meet the requirements of these regularly planned exams.  School districts around the country began failing and the credibility of public education was undermined.

Each of these moves led to a credibility gap in public institutions, and bloated spending.  But wait, where's the money coming from?

At the same time that the Republicans were increasing government programs they were also simultaneously decreasing the government's revenue stream from taxes.  The primary cuts in the federal taxes went to those in the top 1% of earners.  And these tax rates increased wildly under the Bush Era tax cuts.  Take a look at these infographics from Mother Jones.  In 1945, at the pinnacle of WWII, a person earning a million dollars a year was paying out 66% of their salary in federal taxes.  Since then it's dropped about 10% every decade, such that under the Bush tax cuts a millionaire only pays 32% toward federal income taxes.  So government loses revenue on that front.  However, if you look at the next chart on that page you see who most benefits from tax cuts, businesses.  As corporate taxes go down, payroll taxes creep up and up. 

Remember that Rachel Maddow piece I brought out?  Who funds those conservative PAC's?  Businesses and millionaires.  Businesses and millionaires consistently donate to Republican candidates, because Republicans keep giving businesses tax breaks.  With the Union busting going on in multiple states, they seek to eliminate any real Democratic donor competition in elections, and thus sweep the government entirely.  What happens then?

Now let's take a look at this handy chart about the increases in the national debt.

Increases in the national debt under different presidents from news junkie post You don't have to be a statistician to understand this chart.  Under Reagan and both Bushes the Republican Party has increased the national debt to astronomical levels.  Only in that brief period of sanity under Clinton was there any kind of exercise in restraint against deficit spending. 

Both of these deficit spending booms came during eras when tax breaks were coming left and right.  The Reagan Era tax cuts sent billions of dollars back to corporations and the wealthy.  The Bush II tax cuts were huge and deep, and as a result the government was forced to borrow to pay for itself.  


Why would the Republican party build huge convoluted government programs, increase spending, decrease tax revenue and force the government to borrow to pay for itself? 


Here's the plan as I see it laid out.  The Republican Party wants to destroy America.  This is a long term goal. So they begin by promising tax cuts, which sounds great, and the lower and middle class see a little bit, but the wealthy and corporations see massive gains.  The wealthy want to continue this so they keep funding Republican campaigns.  The Republicans then begin increasing government programs and government spending, thus creating an artificial budget shortfall.  They gut agencies they don't like (Arts and Humanities), overcomplicate others (Education), and bloat others (Defense, DHS).  In order to pay for these programs they borrow from foreign countries and rack up trillions of dollars in debt. Then they push candidates who really don't know what they're doing into office (Bush, Palin, etc.), so that they will continue to make the government look like it's worthless, useless and incompetent.  And then when the economy collapses, the entire complex of government systems will be forced to close.  In the absence of government, corporations will take control of America, dragging us back into the abusive corporate past of wage slavery, poor working conditions, company towns, and family fortunes that last for generations.

The Constitution of the United States was established to protect the people of this country.  Over time the ability of actual people to influence government has diminished so greatly that only the most wealthy lobbying groups and political action committees can even crack a dent into the political arena.  The Onion even parodied this inability of actual people to make a difference by saying that the American people need to hire our own lobbyist to do influence peddling in Congress. 

It is my sincere opinion, that the actions taken by the Republican Party are an attempt to subvert and eradicate the Constitution.  They want to enshrine in law discrimination, and have done so in the past.  They want to create discord between different economic classes by creating vast inequalities in income and tax burden.  They want to do away with any general welfare programs such as public housing, food stamps, welfare (except to corporations), social security, veterans benefits and medicare.  One could even claim that they wish to do away with common defense by overstretching the military in unnecessary global conflict.  Each of these elements are basic parts of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.  I believe that these actions combined provide a case that the Republicans are launching a direct assault against the constitution and all that it stands for.  As an aggressor against the constitution they should be considered a domestic threat.

Reading back through this article I feel as though I sound like some crazed conspiracy theorist, like Glenn Beck on his little chalkboards pointing out figures and drawing lines to where we realize that Reagan was the Anti-Christ.  I don't think that Reagan was the Anti-Christ.  I actually went to the funeral and stood in line for hours waiting to get into the rotunda to see the casket lying in state.  He was a terrible president with a terrible legacy, but you don't have to be supernatural to be evil.  Reagan, Bush, Bush II, Karl Rove, a host of conservative think tanks, corporations and millionaires want this country to be less equal, more to their advantage, and to have no one to tell them otherwise.  They want to solidify power, and destroy the last few things left in their path to creating the kind of country we were at the turn of the last century.

Though I am not in a union, I stand with the unions.  I believe in the necessity of public services, and I believe in resiliency of our country.  I don't believe that corporations will fail if they have to pay higher taxes.  I don't believe that a person who earns $27 million a year will bat an eye to lose even two thirds of that sum.  They're still fucking millionaires.  I also think that there can be government reform without destroying everything we've worked so hard to create. 

March on Wisconsin.  Give 'em hell.  They've earned it.

dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
over in my Flickr. Raw images for now, and i've not yet labeled them all, but they're there.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Following up on this post, some some good news from the Windmere. An excerpt:
Thanks to the tireless efforts of George Bengal, Barbara Paul, Rich Loos, and dedicated PSPCA humane officers, the PSPCA obtained a warrant to enter the Windermere. Inside, they found evidence of cats on every floor: wet foot prints, the strong odor of urine, and fresh feces in several areas of the building. One dark-colored cat was spotted on the second floor, but moved too quickly to be caught in a net. In all, humane officers set 12 traps on the first, second, and third floors.

Every apartment that was safe to enter was entered and thoroughly checked for signs of life – under beds and couches, in closets and open cabinets. Humane officers searched every area of the first floor, and the east and middle wings of the second floor. The west end of the second floor and the entire third floor were unsafe due to ceiling collapse and fire damage; however, humane officers set traps in adjacent hallways where cats could still reach them.

Yesterday at 7:30pm, two PSPCA officers settled in for a long night. Once the warrant was executed, they had to remain on the premises — Rich even missed his birthday party to be there.
All of this hard work paid off. At 8am this morning, after 34 days alone in an abandoned building, Sadie was found in a humane trap on the west end of the first floor.

They need help tomorrow if you can. :-)
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy at post
I'd posted a few days back about the fire at the Widmere apartment building and the pet rescue that was going on. Things have taken an ill turn. While a number of missing pets have been spotted inside the building, in the windows of their own apartments, and in the building by security guards, the city is refusing to let rescue workers into the building and is scheduled to demolish it, with these pets still trapped inside.

I know the thought of someone taking a wrecking ball to my place with Roswell and the others still inside would be worse than losing any of my material possessions.

Time: Saturday, February 12 · 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Location 4800 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Created By: City Kitties Rescue
More Info One month after the fire, cats are STILL ALIVE inside the Windermere Court Apartments! Read more here: http://citykitties.org/2011/02/windermere-fire-cats/

Despite obvious signs of life inside, no one took action--not the owners, not L&I, not the fire marshal, not the insurance investigators who all had access to the building. Just two days after this disaster, fire fighters said there was nothing more they could do and no possibility that cats could have survived.

Now the Windermere owners claim that the buildings' exterior doors are sealed and that L&I won't allow anyone inside ever again--and yet a maintenance man, security guards, and insurance company investigators have accessed the building as recently as today, Wednesday February 9th. Meanwhile, the owners are moving forward with demolition, knowing full well that there are still pets inside!

If you think this is wrong, if you care about the cats inside and the people who want so desperately to get them back, if you want to let the City of Philadelphia know that it should never happen again...

Join former Windermere tenants, neighborhood residents, City Kitties, and animal welfare advocates for a peaceful rally and protest:

Saturday, February 12 @ 2pm
4800 Walnut Street - in front of West Philly High School, across from the Windermere
Bring friends and signs
ETA: More information from City Kitties.

Add me as a friend on LiveJournal, Add me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
You, yes YOU! Go vote. :-)
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Hey, [livejournal.com profile] vvalkyri: this post made me think of you.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
This picture made me very happy:

The woman to the right's orange sweater really made it for me. For those not familiar, that was taken on Washington Metro's Orange Line. Originally found it here.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
My friend Hurshy said:

happy feels warm and quiet. merry feels laughy and enjoying wholesome pleasures. gay feels sort of like merry but with an added nuance of possible recklessness.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] voltbang made an an excellent post about, you guessed it -- today's leitmotif -- airport security in North America. Go read it. :)


Nov. 14th, 2010 11:02 pm
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)

The Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets/playwrights included) who've influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

Arthur C Clarke
Ursula K Le Guin
James Morrow
Madeleine L'Engle
Isaac Asimov
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Pablo Neruda
Gabriel García Márquez
Margaret Atwood
Neal Stephenson
Jules Verne
Edward Gorey
Stephen Sondheim
Samuel Allen (aka Paul Vesey)
Harry Tutrledove
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
by [livejournal.com profile] fr_defenestrato and me:

1 Large Butternut Squash, coarsely chopped and peeled
1 Medium Hubbard Squash, coarsely chopped and peeled
1 Large shallot, minced
1 Small ripe bell pepper,minced; we used orange because that was what was on hand
3 Cloves garlic
1 Parsnip, coarsely grated
1 Turnip, coarsely grated
3 Bay leaves
Butter -- we used cultured
Whole Wheat Flour
0.5 Litre of heavy cream
1 Litre of Vegetable stock
5 Cups Whole Milk

Chunk the squash, pile in a large bowl with water and microwave for 15 minutes, stir, microwave for 20 minutes, stir, microwave for 10 minutes, stir, continuing until cooked through and able to be mashed with a potato masher.

Meanwhile, put the turnip, pepper, shallot, and garlic, 4 ounces of butter, and a few tablespoons of salt in a pot, and stir over high heat until all is cooked through. Add 4 tablespoons dried Tarragon, 2 Tablespoons dried Marjoram, a healthy dash of Thyme, and the bay leaves. Stir until well-incorporated.

Add 4 ounces of whole wheat flour, and stir until flour is cooked.

Add the Vegetable stock about a quarter at a time, stirring after each until incorporated. Keep on a low flame, stirring occasionally until the squash is cooked.

Mash the squash, and stir it in. Once fully incorporated, add the heavy cream, stir until incorporated, and finally the milk, stirring until incorporated. A a healthy grating of Nutmeg and stir.

Serve, garnished with a grating of Nutmeg.


Normally, we would have roasted the squash, scraping it from its skins, but an oven was not available.

I think some Cardamom would be good in this at the stage you're adding the herbs.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
From USPS.com:

Service(s): Registered Mail™
Status: Foreign International Dispatch

Your item left HONG KONG AIR MAIL CENTRE, HONG KONG on November 03, 2010. Information, if available, is updated periodically throughout the day. Please check again later.

Enter Label/Receipt Number.

Detailed Results:

Foreign International Dispatch, November 03, 2010, 10:18 am, HONG KONG AIR MAIL CENTRE, HONG KONG
Origin Post is Preparing Shipment
Foreign Acceptance, November 02, 2010, 12:23 pm, HONG KONG
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Went and voted today, as i didn't get around to doing it early this year. I was offered choice of electronic or paper ballot, which pleased me a lot, I voted on paper. I was the 120th person A-K in my precinct, and the 29th paper ballot. I was surprised more did not choose paper. Ah, well.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] tomhundleyrn and i will be out of town Friday 8 Oct through Monday 11 Oct. We will have no computer access, and no cell phone access from 1400 Friday to 1800 Monday GMT-4, as we are off to the Sooper Sekrit October Gathering. :D I am thrilled that others stepped in when i flaked to make sure we could be there this year -- it's nice to be loved.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
So: onion, carrot, celery, potato, mushroom, red beans, garbanzo beans, garlic, salt, tomato and water. Should be good, no?
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I'm sure most of you have heard by now that the corn syrup industry is requesting that they be allowed to list their product as corn sugar on labels in the US.

I SO do not approve of relabelling it as corn sugar. Maple sugar and maple syrup are not the same, and they are certainly NOT using corn sugar in the sodas and what -- they're using corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] ebonypearl wrote a piece that i think each and every one of yall should read.

Hat tip to [livejournal.com profile] recalcitranttoy and [livejournal.com profile] vvalkyri.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
What is your favourite Almond Milk, and why? Is there one that is less sweet or unsweetened?
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
My mother keeps speaking of not being long for this world, or of hoping not to be long for this world, while expressing concern about the direction of the world and concern about me, my sister, and the grandkids.

Mom's 61 -- birthday in December -- in generally good health, should exercise more (would it kill her to upstairs once a day to get the mail and newspaper). Her mom died at 64, and her mom at 82. Mom's dad died at 83, and his mom at 85, his dad at 65ish.

I'm not upset by the idea of my mom dying. She has my blessing to pass as she sees fit -- it's her life after all. I like having her around, if a bit less so since Fox News and Glenn Beck, but the cycle of life dictates that she, as all of us, shall pass beyond at some point.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Cake, vanilla, moist, finely crumbed, yet dense, filled with black currants and topped with a bittersweet combo of cream cheese, heavy cream, and chocolate is delectable, especially with a nice moscato rosso.

Cake, chocolate, just the moist side of dry, finely crumbed, not dense, filled with fresh cherry compote and topped with a simple unsweetened cream with the slightest hint of vanilla. Pair this one with a Riesling or Gewurtztraminer.

Cake, chocolate, soaked through with chambord, topped with raspberry-infused barely chocolate butter creme. A light raspberry cocktail pairs well with this.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
I left my house at 9:15. Forty minutes later, i'd traveled 4 miles. There was MUCH rain this morning -- many road closures. End result, 1h45min to get from Reston to Arlington after all the reroutes and a brief stop at Rite-Aid. Weee! Hopefully going home tonight will be easier.


Aug. 9th, 2010 01:36 am
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
The earlier-mentioned blueberries became several days of snacks and some blueberry muffins.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
When i sleep, i have dreams and Dreams. The former are forgotten usually, while the latter stay with me for decades, and are often prophetic. So, Wednesday when i woke up, i recalled a d/Dream. It seems like dream rather than Dream, but input/interpretation welcome. So:

It's late morning, and i'm walking South on a street, then turn Westward down an E-W street in NW DC, somewhere E of 7th St NW, and happen to run into a Norse scholar with whom i am acquainted. She is loaded down with many a shopping bag from various stores. I greet her and we walk together, turning North up 7th St NW after crossing to the West side of the street, and we walk for some time up past where 7th St NW becomes Georgia Ave NW. As we're walking, we walk through an archway over the sidewalk, and for the next longish block we are walking through a bank lobby done up in blue, but with a sidewalk running through the street side of it. I commented on how i didn't remember the establishment. JS shrugged in reply, and then i awoke. Or at least it seems i immediately awoke at that point.
So, a person whom i know, a setting that i know if with a with a surreal element. I know that she and i were chatting along the walk, but it was presented in vignettes, so bits were implied, but remembered in the dream context. I do know our final destination was a restaurant further up Georgia somewhere, maybe up by Piney Branch Rd.

Comments, Questions, Concerns?
dcseain: (Black Currants)
I have 2 pounds/907 grams of them. What shall be made of at least some of them?
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Hypothesis: Tacos and Fudge = Toccata and Fugue.

dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."

- Cicero, 55 BCE
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

- George Santayana, ~1905 CE
Does anyone else think about what happens when the current US Government falls apart/collapses?

Also, LJ has been logging me out FREQUENTLY last few days, like every 90 minutes or less. What's with that.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Girlfriend asks the hard questions. Posted in the order i answered them, so not in numerical order.

2. If you were cast to act in a play, what part would you like to play? [In this magical question, you have your own age and whatever looks and skills you need for the part].

Enjolras in Les Misérableswould be fun, especially in the French version, as it has better lyrics. Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music would be fun too. Georges/George in Sunday in the Park with George would be nice. Many others would be great fun too, but those three immediately pop to mind.

3. What mental trick or system do you use for remembering the geographical details of (seemingly) every place that you have ever lived?

Lifelong habit, love of the land, lots of time out of doors, and a deep caring about what the roads/paths are and where they go.

4. What does your metadata contain?

I'm not at all certain how to go about answering this. I know what metadata is, but, i'm still at a loss. Anyone?

ETA: In comments, [livejournal.com profile] dpolicar said,
So, I guess I would unpack that question as "What ought one know in order to sensibly interact with you?"

Or perhaps "What cues, accurate or otherwise, do you provide about your contents?"
to which i replied:
My brain was wanting to go that way, so i'll try -- that's exactly the kind of open-ended question i'm not good at, as it's requesting data that i do not by default discuss, unless asked a specific question. I'll edit a fuller response into the entry.
So, here goes.

As i said, i do not by default, talk much about myself, unless asked directly. I have a deep-seated worry that everyone hates me, though i know quite well that's not true. I like direct communications, as i tend to completely miss subtly, though not as completely as when i was younger. It's okay to tell me to stop/shut up when i'm going on and on -- don't allow me too much sugar nor alcohol. Too much of one or the other, and, as a dear friend puts it i'll "have enough conversation for everybody". My interests are varied.

If i'm in a group, and being quiet, it is appropriate to come up and talk to me -- i'm much shier than most people perceive me. I'm loyal, and value my friendships deeply. I alway assume the best in people until they prove me wrong. I revisit opinions and reform them over time.

I sometimes don't see the trees for the forest. I like a high level of organization, and am in a better mood when i create and maintain that; the more mess around me, the worse my mood and the lower my motivation to correct that. I need help with that -- even if it's just someone present to talk with, and provide mild assistance as needed.

I'm bad at asking for help, if much better at it than in years past. Ask me if i'm floundering or if you might help if it seems to you i need it.

I will always do the best i can with the information i have available. It does not always occur to me that information is lacking if it is not really obvious.

I am truthful, and expect others to be so, too.

During the background investigation for my job at Customs and Border Protection, i got a bunch of phone calls along the lines of The investigator asked me n, and i had to say that i didn't know, because you never talk about that. I've known you for decades, why don't i know that?. Always, the answer was, You never asked. That relates to the I generally do not talk about myself. I'm good at telling people enough that they have a clue, but in the end, don't always know everything, as i don't see them as needing to know, though i'll often tell if asked, within reason and need-to-know, if that makes sense.

Relatedly, i always tell people to feel free to ask me anything, but the heavens help you, as sometimes you may get a core dump, and it surprises me what questions will trigger that.

As someone who dosen't really talk about himself, i was surprised to notice the number of deep-sharing personal essays i've posted here -- there's a Personal Essays tag for those entries.

I drive [livejournal.com profile] tomhundleyrn a bit batty sometimes. I don't try to, it just happens. Um, i think that's all.

5. What is your current favorite recipe?

This is hard. I've been leaning Chinese in my cooking, aiming successfully for high wok hai/savory/umami in flavor, for the most part. I've made a lot of Espinacas a la Catalana (Catalan Spinach) of late -- as a side dish, or as a bed for eggs or other things. I turned out a lovely gazpacho the other day. I've made a ton of savory pasta dishes of late, too. So, in summary, i'm not quite sure.

1. What would your ideal workday consist of if you had a job that used all your talents and abilities in ways that were fulfilling to you?

*Thinks back through many years of working*

Hmmm... I like jobs that require problem-solving. Customer/client interaction is a plus -- i really, really like having people thank me for explaining why they may not have something and/or for telling them no in polite, flowery language. I genuinely enjoy helping people. I like working in environments that are team-based, but allow a lot of personal leeway in accomplishing tasks, with open communications and flow of information. Not that everyone need know everything, but there should be no secrets that make people fearful/uncertain, and all should have the information they need to accomplish their task completely in a supportive, cooperative environment.

Supervising people is fun -- the team building, the mutual support, the setting up of systems to aid the flow of information in both directions, the mentoring to help people grow and advance, the putting out of fires, the balancing of the needs those under me with those above me, and inspiring those under me to achieve what is needed both for those over me and for those under me to flourish.

Data analysis is nice, too -- finding the trends, surprises, or what; breaking the data down in different ways to see what may surface.

So, specific task less important to me than environment, ability to grow, and ability to move up.
dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
Yeah, a meme. Comment with a citrus fruit, and i'll endeavor to come up with 5 for you.

1. Who is your oldest friend (as in "friend you known the longest" not "age oldest")? How did you meet?

Beverly B. We met when we were four. We lived in townhouses, and were allowed to play in front of our row +/-1 row. We met in the grassy area in front of the row of houses between our respective rows. We went to grades k-3 together, then her family moved nearby; we kept in touch, had sleepovers, went to middle school together, different high schools, colleges. We talk on occasion at this point, but each time is like we were talking just yesterday.

2. You come across as being quite the polymath. Do you believe that tendency is something one is born with or can people choose to take that path?

I like learning for the sake of learning -- always have. Fairly young, i realized that having a broad, if shallow knowledge of lots of things is useful conversationally. Of course, deep knowledge in several areas is required, else one would look foolish over time. I do think many people can choose that path; at least i know many people who are like that, and all most have chosen and/or evolved that way.

3. You have a day all to yourself--just you and no one else. What do you do? Would you do something different if you had a week of just your own company?

A day -- sometimes i'll read. sometimes i'll cook/bake. sometimes i'll head to the river or up into the hills and go for a hike; usually river if alone, though -- going to the hills, though near, is more fun with at least one other, though i've done it alone when i need a solid grounding in nature.

A week -- some laundry and cleaning. Maybe a random night or two away from home visiting someone in another place w/in about a 3 hour drive. When i have money, i've been known to fly somewhere for a few days. I tend to do a lot of hiking/running in the woods when i have the time.

4. If you could go back to school to learn anything, what would you pursue?

Computational Linguistics.

5. Where do you think your "foodie" side comes from?

Well, food is central. One must feed and water one's guests. Food is meant to taste good, and be enjoyed.

Some from family -- fresh food is important - we grew our own vegetables and caught our own fish. Plus, when we were 12 and 9, my sister and i insisted that artificial colors and flavors be eliminated from our diet. We both think that red 40 tastes disgusting, and we both dislike the taste of green colorings too. People that say artificial food color has no flavor lie; this is most of why i don't like red velvet cake, and why neither of us eats green-colored ice creams.

Some from peers. I shared housing with a friend from HS back in our college days. Each week we had a dinner party, and we worked hard to serve a cuisine that we'd never cooked before each time.

Some is just in me. I care deeply about the food i eat in terms of freshness, flavor, and quality. It's not that i never eat crap, not at all. But left to myself, i don't eat a ton of snacky things - i don't even keep them on hand.


dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)

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