Tuesday, September 21, 2021

What are the lies for?

 "So what are the lies for, if not to persuade? They are meant to give the already-convinced – the Democratic rank-and-file voter – their ready-made excuses for not paying attention to whatever objections the right may make or point out. The Democratic voter can shrug off any concerns they themselves may have, too, in a shallow and facile way. They also give the many pundits on the left their talking points, and if the talking heads on TV and the columnists hammer them home enough, the repetition makes the lies sound more like truths. After all, if all these smart people agree, who is the listener to differ?"


Saturday, September 18, 2021

Apple Day

 Got up today, had no work scheduled, decided it was a good time to process some apples.  Sauce and cider.

Apple Sauce:

Using the Instant Pot for the first time to process the apples.  It's a bit smaller than my stock pot but it takes about 25 minutes to process a batch of apples including heat up, pressure cook, pressure relief, so there's that.  Also more efficient as I don't have to stir and it beeps at me when it's done.

Step two, run the apples through my food mill.  If you peel and core them first you don't have to, you can just hit them for a few seconds with an immersion blender, but I don't spray my trees so they have to be mostly cut apart for appley goodness.

Step three, put into hot jars (first time I sterilized them in the oven. 20 minutes at 200 degrees. Important safety tip: put the jars in the oven cold before you fire it up so they don't crack). Then process 20 minutes in my new Ball Electric Water Bath Canner. Also first time using it but I like it a lot. Quicker to a boil than a pot on the stove, tidier as the big canning pot reflects a lot of heat to the stovetop, making a mess, and more convenient as it doesn't take up my stovetop. It holds up to 7 quart jars although I only had 5.

Two full Instant Pots made not quite 5 quarts (the fifth is about an inch shy)

Apple Cider:

Breville Juicer.  Chop up apples, removing ugly bits and bruising.  I was actually a bit pickier with the cider than with the sauce.  Juicer creates a lot of foam so I fiddled around til I came up with a two step process.  First was to let the full container sit a bit so that the foam would rise and harden.  Scooped it off with a perforated ladle from my wok set.  Poured it into a small carboy and let it sit again, then poured it through a sieve and into the final carboy.  I have about a gallon and will need to pick up some yeast on Monday or Tuesday.  Meanwhile I figure it will be fine as it is fairly cool outside.

A bit of data

1 Lowe's bucket of apples from my Gravenstein tree made 5 quarts applesauce and 1 gallon cider

1 gallon cider about 45 apples (cut up with bits discarded)
5 quarts applesauce about 25 apples (ditto)

Total time with Instant Pot and Ball Water Bath Canner: 3 hours.  I was planning on more but I'm feeling a bit canned out.  Had to sort of wash everything in between batches so there was plenty to do and little down time.  Maybe during the week I could bang out another batch of applesauce.  Or another gallon of cider.  I'm worried about the cider not keeping unless I put yeast in it.  Would love to be able to do a little trading, just have to find someone who has canned other things and doesn't have an apple tree. (a rare bird around here).

Update: Google Blogger apparently can't maintain a link to a photo hosted on Google Drive so I had to download these photos from my drive, then upload them from my computer. 

Complaint: Blogger doesn't want to consistently allow you to put images in line with text, that is why some of the descriptions above are inline and some are not.  Super annoying.  Not sure what happened to the editor.

Two paragraphs to explain exactly what is wrong with our COVID response

From Charlie Cooke, over at National Review.  For the record I am pretty disappointed with NR's general direction over the past few years.  I think they have gone mushy and don't do nearly as much as they could to actually promote conservative policies.  However Cooke is a shining beacon in the darkness.  I don't agree with him on everything but enough, and he writes informatively and entertainingly.

At first, the line was that Regeneron’s treatment didn’t work. Then, it was that Regeneron’s treatment worked fine, but represented a dangerous distraction from the vaccine. And, finally, it was that Regeneron’s treatment was part of a corrupt plot to enrich DeSantis’s donors.Today, we learn from the Washington Post that, actually, none of that was the problem. Instead, DeSantis’s sin is that he has been relying upon monoclonal-antibody treatment too much, and that this is unfair to other states that now need it.

The constant changes of direction based purely on politics has been bewildering and frustrating.  Given the attacks against any possibility of studying any alternative treatments other than the vaccine, one starts to wonder if the agenda is the vaccine, rather than mitigating the effects of the Wuhan flu.  Hydrocholorquine, Ivermectin, Regeneron, etc have all been attacked rather than studied and any studies are dismissed out of hand.  Sample Ivermectin headline: "2 fringe doctors created myth...", ignoring actual scientific studies that suggested otherwise.  The list seems to be endless.  The fact that they are actually admitting now that Regneron's treatment seems to work is a step in the right direction; the fact that they are now preventing Florida from getting as much as they want is one in the wrong.

Anyway, if you want to read the whole article, here you go.

CW Cooke article

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Think carefully

 You get up in the morning.

You have your coffee, tea, breakfast, whatever it is you do.

You go to work for someone else and they pay you OR

You go to work for yourself doing stuff around the house or shop.

Somewhere between 3:30 and 5:00 you wrap it up, go home (or back inside) and have a glass of wine and/or an appetizer while you think about what to have for dinner.

You cook dinner, watch some TV or read a book, go to bed.

Get up and do it again.

Thirty four years this has been what I have been doing.

Assuming I live to ninety (my family is generally long lived and I am very healthy) I have another thirty four years to go.

Good grief. I'm already bored!  Get a hobby you say.  I ride motorcycles (getting tiresome to go long distance), I fix motorcycles (fixed more motorcycles than I care to count and am running out of enthusiasm for more), I read (thousands of books.  They are starting to run together), I watch movies (see books), I tinker with clocks and sewing machines (fixing stuff is fixing stuff.  Eventually it is all the same but then you end up with multiple motorcycles, clocks everywhere, sewing machines littering the property even though I have sewn something exactly once in the past twenty years).  I play RPGs (have to find other people and fit it to their schedules).  I'm involved in veteran's organizations (the phrase herding cats comes to mind) and local freedom associations (which means listening to nutty conspiracy theories some fraction of the time).  I'm running for political office because I want to be left alone (oh god, please leave me alone so I don't have to run for office).

Thirty four more years.  Seriously?  That is a long time.  And it isn't getting easier.  I need a more comfortable bed to sleep properly.  I used to sleep wrapped up in a tarp and a wool poncho on the ground next to my Harley and, by the way, I slept great.  I am sore for about the first hour of every day and then about 5 pm things start to ache.  I go to bed at nine and sometimes I think about going to bed at six, but I know I will wake up in the middle of the night and then the next day will suck.  If I go to bed at 11 I wake up at 6, a whole extra hour, which is still an hour less than I need.  Can't sleep longer so don't suggest it.  What on earth am I going to do for the next thirty four years?  Honestly, I have no idea, I'm  not that interested, and it doesn't sound that fun.  

Maybe this whole longevity thing isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Dr Phi is back

 In case you didn't know, he used to write over at Delenda Est Carthago.  Interesting and insightful.  He stopped writing some time ago for personal reasons (outlined on the blog) but has started up again recently.  Worth a look.


Sunday, August 29, 2021

Forgotten quotes

 I have a memory like a ... what are those things you put rice in?

OK, that's not the forgotten quote, that's one from Douglas Adams'  Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.

This one came from a comment over at Wilder, Wealthy, and Wise.  A C.S. Lewis quote:

I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.

Which I love. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The wisdom of 14 year old girls

 (or "Wish I had better recall of facts so I could rebut her")

Camping with friends.

14 year old girl: I wrote a paper on "insert random math woman here" who had all her work stolen and published under her husband's name because patriarchy. Women never got credit for anything they did.

Me: What about Marie Curie

14 yog: she had privilege

Not me cause I didn't remember: Marie Curie was the Polish child of two school teachers who had their property taken by the Tzar for speaking out against him, and then her mother died when she was ten leaving her to grow up in relative poverty.

Not 14yog cause I didn't say that:  Oh, I was unaware of that.  Maybe I should rethink my hypothesis

LOL, just kidding.  Of course a 14 year old girl wouldn't acknowledge that her hypothesis about the patriarchy had holes you could drive a truck through.  Cause that's what she is being taught at her fancy middle school, and that's presumably what she will be taught at her fancy high school.

That being said, I at least pushed back in a rational manner, suggesting that judging people of the past on today's standards might not be a great first step.  But I wish I'd known more about Mme Curie before the discussion.

The night before, of course, the topic turned to transgenderism.  (I love camping with people I don't know well but it was a fun weekend anyway).  Same 14 yog tried to explain to me that two-spirited (the 2 in LGBTQWERTY) was for Native Americans only.  I asked about a category for Germans (no, because only oppressed people get categories) at which point other guy sitting at table asked about Irish.  Conversation quickly was turned to other subjects but I laughed inside for about an hour.  Now I'm doing it again.