All posts by JamesIsIn

Contemplating Dreadful Experiences

We often forget that we are not the one who commits suicide but only the recipients of realizations relating to the other’s decision to leave us.  It’s easy to forget.

The media, as a general rule, does not report on suicides.  The reason for this is that when the media reports on suicide there is a corresponding uptick in the suicide rate.  We might think of this as a sort of permissions slip passed around the news rooms and living rooms of this Earth.  However, when the person who commits suicide is a celebrity there is little avoiding that reporting:  we all want to know what has happened, the consequences be damned!

Last night one of my all-time favorite bands lost a singer and friend.  Let us take a moment.

That angelic voice, you will note is silent.  This is the future echoed from the past.

Please take some time out to say hello to your old friends.  They may appreciate hearing from you.

Good-bye, Chris.

JamesIsIn

How to Backfire

Sometimes the best way to avoid something is to understand how to do it.  In the case of the backfire effect, it’s really easy to do.  Years ago I read this fantastic post from You Are Not so Smart:

The Backfire Effect

This will give you some good perspective on the phenomenon itself.

More recently, here our old friend The Oatmeal makes a plea for understanding:

You’re not going to believe what I’m about to tell you.

Both perspectives are marvelously succinct.  Each is a delightful and informative read.  Do make an effort, won’t you?

JamesIsIn

Sous Vide Lamb Taco Night

Tacos

  • lamb
  • salsa
  • vanilla-honey yogurt (also goat cheese available)
  • cabbage
  • shallots
  • chopped mint (in case the salsa is too hot)

Lamb

  • sous vide 135f for ~48 hours, shred (go longer next time as shredding was challenging)
  • cumin
  • cardamom
  • cloves
  • thyme?
  • garlic
  • lemon
  • peppers (dried ground)
  • salt

Salsa

  • onion
  • tomato
  • mint
  • chilies (serrano, jalapeño)
  • peppers (dried ground and black)
  • garlic
  • lime juice
  • salt

Black Bean Concoction

  • black beans
  • chilies (serrano, jalapeño)
  • peppers (dried ground)
  • onion
  • garlic
  • salt

Also made some garlic confit for fun.

 

JamesIsIn

Pledge of Allegiance

The Constitution
The Constitution

Since this occasionally arises in the wild and since it’s probably due for an update, here is my proposed Pledge of Allegiance.

I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, and to the principles for which it stands, one Nation out of many, with Liberty and Justice for All.

I look forward to your comments, questions, and hate-mail.

JamesIsIn

Meatloaf and Baked Mashers

mom’s recipe modified:

  • 1.22 lbs beef (“stew meat” ground)
  • 1 cup oatmeal blend
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can tom paste
  • salt, pepper (white, black, and cayenne)
  • 1 T sage (fresh)
  • 1 t Worcestershire

bake 350f 60 minutes

potatoes

  • 4 russets boiled and riced
  • butter (less than half cube)
  • cream (heavy heavy)
  • pepper
  • salt
  • spread into greased cookie sheet

bake 350f 40 minutes (share oven)

I finished the potatoes for maybe 6 or 8 minutes under the broiler because I wanted more browning.

Timing is useful.

JamesIsIn

Consilience by Edward O Wilson

A good read but probably narrowly of interest to those who read in the area of the history and philosophy of science.  Regardless it would be an important read outside of that sphere.

This quote is taken from page 241 in my copy.

On religion I lean toward deism but consider its proof largely a problem in astrophysics.  The existence of a cosmological God who created the universe (as envisioned by deism) is possible, and may eventually be settled, perhaps by forms of material evidence not yet imagined.  Or the matter may be forever beyond human reach.  In contrast, and of far greater importance to humanity, the existence of a biological God, one who directs organic evolution and intervenes in human affairs (as envisioned by theism) is increasingly contravened by biology and the brain sciences.

Here are some literary archetypes he lists out from page 223 and 224.

In the beginning, the people are crated by gods, or the mating of giants, or the clash of titans; in any case, they begin as special beings at the center of the world.

The tribe emigrates to a promised land (or Arcadia, or the Secret Valley, or the New World).

The tribe meets the forces of evil in a desperate battle for survival; it triumphs against heavy odds.

The hero descends to hell, or is exiled to wilderness, or experiences an iliad in a distant land; he returns in an odyssey against all odds past fearsome obstacles along the way, to complete his destiny.

The world ends in apocalypse, by flood, fire, alien conquerors, or avenging gods; it is restored by a band of heroic survivors.

A source of great power is found in the tree of life, the river of life, philosopher’s stone, sacred incantations, forbidden ritual, secret formula.

The nurturing woman is apotheosized as the Great Goddess, the Great Mother, Holy Woman, Divine Queen, Mother Earth, Gaia.

The seer has special knowledge and power of mind, available to those worthy to receive it; he is the wise old man or woman, the holy man, the magician, the great shaman.

The virgin has the power of purity, is the vessel of sacred strength, must be protected at all costs, and perhaps surrendered up to propitiate the gods or demonic forces.

Female sexual awakening is bestowed by the unicorn, the gentle beast, the powerful stranger, the magical kiss.

The trickster disturbs established order and liberates passion as the god of wine, king of the carnival, eternal youth, clown, jester, clever fool.

A monster threatens humanity, appearing as the serpent demon (Satan writhing at the bottom of hell), dragon, gorgon, golem, vampire.

And finally this gem from page 290.

Much of the technology required to reach that goal [“the diminishment of the total ecological footprint” of humanity] can be summarized in two concepts.  Decarbonization is the shift from the burning of coal, petroleum, and wood to essentially unlimited, environmentally light energy sources such as fuel cells, nuclear fusion, and solar and wind power.  Dematerialization, the second concept, is the reduction in bulk of hardware and the energy it consumes.  All the microchips in the world, to take the most encouraging contemporary example, can be fitted into the room that housed the Harvard Mark 1 electromagnetic computer at the dawn of the information revolution.

JamesIsIn

Beans, Hazelnuts, Sausage, and Mushrooms

  • toast hazelnuts in cast iron skillet and set aside
  • sauté shallots
  • sauté garlic
  • move shallots and garlic to perimeter and sauté mushrooms
  • move mushrooms to perimeter and sauté sausage
  • add beans on perimeter
  • add salt, pepper, white pepper, and cayenne
  • move all to perimeter and add wine and chicken stock (1:2)
  • reduce by half
  • finish with green onions and re-add hazelnuts and mix completely
  • toss with pasta (farfalle)

Meatloaf, Brussels Sprouts, and Baked Mashed Potatoes

meatloaf (meatlove)

  • sous vide beef (stew chunks) 129f 5 hrs?
  • beef jello
  • pork jello from sous vide bacon
  • sausage & beef (from above)

mom’s recipe modified:

  • ~1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • ~1/2 lb sous vide beef (sliced/chopped by hand)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can tom paste
  • salt, pepper (white, black, and cayenne)
  • 1 T sage (fresh)
  • 1 t Worcestershire
  • 2 T chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup oatmeal blend
  • beef jello & half of pork jello (from bacon)

bake 350f 60 minutes

potatoes

  • boiled russets (2)
  • mashed with salt, pepper, butter, cream, and sous vide garlic confit
  • cupcake tins and bake (40 minutes) with meatloaf

Brussel’s sprouts (17)

  • sauté (brown) stirring
  • bacon (3 strips) chopped
  • add rest of bacon jello
  • simmer to finish in white wine and pomegranate molasses (10 minutes) keep moving
JamesIsIn