Saturday, November 28, 2020

No, absolutely not.

I really don't need that.

 It is super cool and kitschy.  But I really don't need it.

Well, maybe. It's only $75 and it is quite cool.  If kitschy.

No seriously, how could I pass it up?  Think about how well it will go with my Spode Christmas Tree dinnerware.

And bonus of bonuses, it comes with the original box, including a separate box to put the Santa in when you pack it away after Christmas.

So now it's mine.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

"15 days to flatten the curve" they said, 243 days ago

 I saw it on a screenshot of a tweet but can't remember the source.  Seemed worth repeating.

So what's a progressive governor to do when the lockdown fails?  Double down. 

Inslee (D-Washington), Brown (D-Oregon), and Newsom (D-California) have all agreed to some coordinated course of action that involves locking us all down again.  Brown has already issued restrictions for Oregon and Inslee's are expected soon.  The high school where I teach has already sent out an email asking us to report whether we are planning on traveling out of state for Thanksgiving.  I responded in an appropriately snarky manner to wit:

Please explain what business it is of yours or the District's where we travel.

I don't know how well it will be received but it is my intent to travel where and when I please without informing the authorities or having my travel papers in order.

Meanwhile around the world:

    Sweden has fallen to 18th in the world in Coronavirus deaths per 100,000 population (I am assuming for the sake of argument that all statistics regarding cause of death are accurate other than those coming from Communist dictatorships) and they never had any lockdown of any sort.

    The United States has fallen to 14th in the world (down from 9)

    The World Health Organization had the following to say " The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”  

How much time do our state governments need?  They've had eight months to get ready while hospitals sat empty.  They've had eight months to honestly evaluate the claims of hydrocloroquine, Vitamin D, and Quercetin, as well as the various other medications that have been floated as having positive effects.  They've had eight months to analyze the deaths and to recognize that this virus targets a very specific portion of the populace and to adjust public health doctrine accordingly.  Apparently they have been so caught by surprise that their only available response is another lockdown.  Another opportunity to destroy people's lives.

And in a mildly political note, coincidence or good timing for Inslee that this announcement didn't come two weeks ago?  Of course with the universal mail-in balloting t hat we have in Washington I guess it would have to have been six weeks to make a difference in the election results.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Expensive doesn't mean good

But neither does cheap.  

The reality is that while good wine doesn't have to be expensive, expensive wine is more likely to be good than cheap wine.  

I'm drinking a bottle of $8 wine that I used to enjoy until I drank a few bottles of an $18 wine.  


Charles and Charles 

Cahors (a region, not a winery but I'll talk more about that in another post)

Moral of the story: if you don't want to spend money on good wine, don't occasionally buy a bottle of good wine.  It is too easy to develop a habit.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2020


 I rarely post about politics and when I do it is usually more of a this is my interpretation or analysis of a particular topic.  However given the hysteria surrounding the current election process I thought I'd post this tweet with a quick followup.

So a couple comments to go along with this:

  • the election is not decided by the media, but by the states.  There is no President-Elect until the states report.  One can sometimes assume, based on the vote data, who that elect will be but that person is not actually the designee.  I suspect that the media is trying to normalize the idea of President Biden

  • Al Gore kept the count going in 2000 versus George Bush for 37 days.  No one seemed to mind, an in fact I received emails from liberal family members about how GB was trying to steal the election (never mind that he led in every count). Here is CNBC explaining that Trump's actions are "controversial" without explanation as to why wanting the votes to be accurately tallied is controversial:

  • Every single mistake, error, sudden influx of ballots, suspicious number, etc that I have seen goes in one direction: to the benefit of Joe Biden.  The statistical odds of that happening are staggeringly small.  Can someone point to the battleground state where Trump received thousands of votes which turned out to actually be Biden's or when Trump received a middle-of-the-night with no observers bump in ballots which put him ahead?  I haven't seen any.

  • People who are anti-Trump (at least in the media and political punditry) seem to be going a little crazy in their denials.  There is significant statistical evidence of voter fraud or voting impropriety (Read Larry Correia's page).  This is not proof, but it is a red flag.  What do you do when you see a red flag?  You dig a little deeper just to make sure. If there is no basis to the allegation, you certify the election when the law requires you to certify it.  For the record, that is sometime around the end of this month

My blog has been pretty non-controversial, in my opinion.  I post a lot about home projects, about trips I have taken, recipes I have made (over on the other half of this blog, An Egg Without Salt.  Given the actions of Twitter and Facebook to ensure that no information negative to the Biden campaign comes out, I hope this doesn't result in deletion of my blog.  I do have a complete backup but it would be disappointing if it were to disappear.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Spending less while not changing your lifestyle

 Just drifted over to Mr. Money Mustache via a link from Weka's blog.  The discussion from Weka was about how to reduce food spending.  Interesting stuff although I am neither vegetarian nor vegan.  Did vegetarian for about five years in the 90s but didn't care for it for a variety of reasons.  I, however, spend a lot of money on food and figured that maybe it was time to start figuring out ways to reduce that in general WITHOUT significantly reducing my standard of living.  I left a comment on the thread over there but then, as occasionally happens, decided that my comment needed to be over here as well.


After reading this, however, I'm going to start keeping MUCH better track of my grocery spending and start figuring out ways to cut back.  I am single and a good cook, I generally eat well.  I spend a fair amount of money on good wine (more than food?  We shall see.)  I haven't kept track of my spending at all however.  I can go into Quicken and look, but "the grocery store" doesn't necessarily mean "groceries" these days.  Started with yesterday's trip to the store to pick up some staples for last night's dinner (steak enchiladas).  Will be keeping track using a free app I grabbed at random off Google Play and then we'll see where it goes from there.  My tips would be:

1) Costco: relatively inexpensive lamb, pork loin that you can slice into chops, bulk meat for freezing as well as large blocks of cheese at significantly less than the grocery store.  I don't drink a lot of milk and when I do (rarely) eat bread I usually make it myself.

2) Instapot: slow cooked food that you can make after work instead of at 5 am as you are getting ready to go

3) plan your meals a week at a time, something I did for a while and then stopped due to inertia

If you want good, kitchen tested recipes check out my recipe blog (kept for my own reference mainly) at  The blog is called An Egg Without Salt and I post up any new recipes I try so that I can find them when I'm not in my own kitchen (or when I can't remember where I found a particular recipe in my books).

Plan: 1) keep track of spending; 2) go back to planning a week's worth of menus at a time;  3) collect underpants;  4) ???; 5) profit 

Friday, November 6, 2020


The plan was to buy just a few here and there.  The best one or two of my favorite bands.  

Of course I never intended to have six antique waffle irons.  Maybe I'm slowly identifying a problem.

Thursday, November 5, 2020


There are friends and there are friends. I met Rick back in 92. We both rode Harleys and to be honest I don't even remember where I met him, all I know is that once we started riding together we became fast friends. 

He had leukemia when he was at the Naval Academy and had some kind of radiation treatment whixh gave him 40 years more but messed him up badly in other ways. 

He passed away (unexpectedly for me) this morning. He was the kind of friend who after 12 years of not seeing him because he was on the other coast for work, I knocked on his door and it was like we had been hanging out the previous weekend. That doesn't happen very often. 

He will be missed.