Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Captain Lee Joon-Seok's leadership dilemma in the sinking of the Sewol

Damned if he had done. Damned far worse because he didn't.

The Sewol ferry disaster of April 16, 2014 is subject matter for Seconds from Disaster. An unexpected chain of events caused a rapidly escalating emergency in which standard operating procedures were inadequate, capabilities were negated, decision trees collapsed, and instant decisions were forced in a chaotic situation where every alternative carried deadly risks, information was incomplete and murky, and the stakes were life or death.

The Sewol's captain, Lee Joon-Seok, wanted an orderly evacuation to save all of his passengers and crew and knew he needed outside help to accomplish that. His decision to wait for rescue craft instead of hastily abandoning ship made sense given the sea conditions and the incapacitation of the shipboard emergency response. The story of Jung Cha-Woong, a student who died after abandoning ship because he gave his life jacket to a friend, validates the captain's risk assessment of a chaotic ditching in the strong current of the cold sea. It's likely more passengers would have died in the same manner as Jung if Captain Lee had ordered his passengers and crew to ditch the Sewol at the outset.

When the listing ship rendered the life boats inaccessible, Captain Lee's choices were bad or worse: the likely death of some of his passengers if he hastily ordered an abandon ship versus the growing possibility of many deaths if rescuers did not arrive in time to conduct an orderly evacuation of the Sewol. When a single fatality is intolerable, but the option of saving everyone is growing remote, how does a leader choose between the likely death of some of his charges due to an improvised leadership action versus the possible death of many of his charges due to relying on the system's emergency response?

Captain Lee chose to rely on the system's emergency response to save everyone on his ship while that option was turning impossible.

His decision to wait for rescue craft implies he believed - or hoped - the Sewol would stay afloat and upright longer than it did. Shouldn't Captain Lee have known his listing ship was fast becoming a death trap for his passengers and crew below? Were his only choices to ditch or wait inside? While hoping for the best, shouldn't he have prepared for the worst? Rather than tell his passengers to remain inside and even return to their cabins, shouldn't Captain Lee have ordered his passengers and crew to assemble outside, in position for a fast evacuation or, if necessary, to ditch the sinking ship?

In any case, Captain Lee shouldn't have left the Sewol until it sank at the earliest - not while so many souls were still aboard his ship.

The disaster highlights the inadequacy of the emergency procedure on board. According to the surviving crewmen, the listing of the ship made deployment of the life boats impossible. Apparently, despite that listing is a common happening for sinking ships, the Sewol had no contingency for it. It reminds me of emergency procedures on airliners that only fit a narrow range of possible emergencies. Once the Sewol fell on its side on its way to turtling, escape would have become impossible for anyone trapped in cabins, corridors, and even open communal spaces like the canteen. The port side turned floor would have flooded and become clogged with debris and bodies, while the usable exits shifted high above and likely out of reach on the fore, aft, and starboard sides turned walls and ceiling.

In addition to Captain Lee's leadership dilemma, the passengers and crew faced their own survival dilemma in the quickly deteriorating situation. It's easy to say they should have made their own risk assessments and exercised their own judgement to abandon ship earlier, but it's not that simple. The current was strong and the sea was cold. Every alternative was risky and the information was poor, so the passengers and crew reasonably relied on procedure and the captain's oversight and expertise. When the captain ordered them to stay put, they likely assumed the worst was over and the Sewol would stay afloat until rescuers arrived to conduct an orderly evacuation. Some passengers and crew were lucky enough to be in position to escape once it became clear that waiting for rescue was untenable. For the rest, the reasonable decision made at the beginning to obey the captain, stay put, and wait for rescue sealed their fate. For them, as the situation worsened and the Sewol became an inescapable death trap, there was no backing up for a do-over.

The Sewol ferry disaster also reminds that system authorities can be relied upon only so much to control a complex emergency. They're only human. Captain Lee and his crew's emergency response was overwhelmed and the chain of command was broken when their movement was disallowed by the listing ship. It's been reported the Sewol's crew was untrained for emergencies. Meanwhile, the first-responding coast guard and nearby ships didn't have enough time and means to effect a rescue of everyone trapped inside the Sewol.

If Captain Lee had hastily ordered an abandon ship without life boats and with his crew unable to control the evacuation, some of his passengers likely would have died as a result, but in hindsight, many more of them would have survived. He might have been excoriated for panicking when help was on the way and punished for impatiently plunging his passengers, some fatally, into the strong current of the cold sea. Instead, Captain Lee chose to wait for outside assistance to conduct an orderly evacuation of all his passengers and crew, which resulted in the death of hundreds of his charges.

Captain Lee would have been damned if he had hastily ordered an abandon ship but is damned far worse because he didn't. Forced to choose on the spot between a likely bad outcome versus a possibly worse outcome that's combined with hope for the best outcome based on incomplete, murky information with life-or-death stakes is the classic leadership dilemma.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Thoughts of the day

Many of the people who died on Sewol were high-school students and presumably physically fit. Might the availability of climbable ropes, secured to outside railings and dropped through all available man-size openings, have saved lives on the Sewol? Or would the "maze" of bulkheads, corridors, and cabins negated the life lines? The rest of my observation regarding the Sewol ferry disaster has been moved to here.

A rough guide to spotting bad science.

Ian's shoelace site is thorough, aesthetically comfortable, and intuitive. I had a longstanding question about tying shoelaces and Ian's website answered it satisfactorily.

A fine reading of the 2nd part of JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. Here's the 3rd part of the series, The Return of the King.

An introspective blog by ex-Mets, journeyman pitcher Collin McHugh, who is currently pitching for the Houston Astros, his wife Ashley's professional website, and her take on their love story.

DIY chair leg risers: 4 16-oz sour cream containers packed with cut-up cardboard box pieces and folded newspapers, and 4 peanut-butter jar lids to hold the chair legs. They're stable. The chair itself, a fold-up fabric chair I scavenged, is tearing apart at the seams, but the weight-bearing joints are still intact.

Exercises: Australian pull-ups, elevated push-ups.

Basic principle when choosing what to eat: "Always Chose “REAL” Foods and Home-cooked meals". Makes sense. Under guidelines: "Eat rice, potatoes, or yams instead of bread for main carb source". I agree with that, too. I put on more weight with bannocks, mix-cakes, and mix-brownies yet they're less filling than rice. One night, I ate a bannock pizza, bannock sandwich, peanut-butter-and-jam bannock, and a bowl of pasta, and I still felt unsatiated. I've concluded that bannocks work as snacks, appetizers, or side dishes in a meal, but they don't work as the main course of a meal.

Rice cooks up okay in the Nesco, which means I can use the 2-quart and 3-quart mixing bowls. Bone broth mixed with rice water is savory. Rice gruel with tomato sauce, sour cream, onions, garlic, and ginger, and carrots is good. Rice mixed with peanut butter and jam isn't bad.

I bought a bag of Idaho russet burbank potatoes on sale. Idaho russet potatoes are an industry standard choice for french fries because they're a denser potato. The french fries were okay using the cold water soak, oil blanch, oil fry method. Skipping the cold water soak and oil blanch made the potato slices puff up. Skipping the oil blanch led to the potato slices not crisping up in the oil fry, although that may have been due to not enough time or degraded oil from too much use. The french fries made from Idaho russet potatoes turned out better than french fries made from Eastern potatoes, but the difference was only a little noticeable.

Break-fast meal: Leftover corn oil. I made a combo platter with a pernil slice, chicken thigh slices, a sausage chunk, a tilapia wedge, pernil skin, fatback slices, onions, and carrot slices by frying everything in the leftover corn oil from making french fries. Oil frying doesn't make the meat and vegetables taste better than baking, broiling, or frying on a skillet. The oil frying made a big difference with the onion-and-baking-soda bannock and cake, which soaked up the oil and crisped the dough and batter. The pernil skin fell short of crackling and the sausage chunk wasn't cooked through. The onions and carrots were undercooked. I thought I fried everything long enough, but maybe my guesstimated timing was off. Other possible factors are the cooking properties of the corn oil were degraded by overuse and the frozen meat had an adverse effect. The used corn oil smelled rancid, but not as bad as vegetable or canola oil. Everything dripped with oil and the bannock and cake soaked up a lot of the oil, which I ingested without blotting.

Best Yet canned pineapple slices in light syrup lose all flavor in bachelor stew, but are okay as a bannock pizza topping.



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Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Shadow


Scarcely however was the voluntary beggar gone in haste, and Zarathustra again alone, when he heard behind him a new voice which called out: "Stay! Zarathustra! Do wait! It is myself, forsooth, O Zarathustra, myself, thy shadow!" But Zarathustra did not wait; for a sudden irritation came over him on account of the crowd and the crowding in his mountains. "Whither hath my lonesomeness gone?" spake he.
"It is verily becoming too much for me; these mountains swarm; my kingdom is no longer of THIS world; I require new mountains.
My shadow calleth me? What matter about my shadow! Let it run after me! I—run away from it."
Thus spake Zarathustra to his heart and ran away. But the one behind followed after him, so that immediately there were three runners, one after the other—namely, foremost the voluntary beggar, then Zarathustra, and thirdly, and hindmost, his shadow. But not long had they run thus when Zarathustra became conscious of his folly, and shook off with one jerk all his irritation and detestation.
"What!" said he, "have not the most ludicrous things always happened to us old anchorites and saints?
Verily, my folly hath grown big in the mountains! Now do I hear six old fools' legs rattling behind one another!
But doth Zarathustra need to be frightened by his shadow? Also, methinketh that after all it hath longer legs than mine."
Thus spake Zarathustra, and, laughing with eyes and entrails, he stood still and turned round quickly—and behold, he almost thereby threw his shadow and follower to the ground, so closely had the latter followed at his heels, and so weak was he. For when Zarathustra scrutinised him with his glance he was frightened as by a sudden apparition, so slender, swarthy, hollow and worn-out did this follower appear.
"Who art thou?" asked Zarathustra vehemently, "what doest thou here? And why callest thou thyself my shadow? Thou art not pleasing unto me."
"Forgive me," answered the shadow, "that it is I; and if I please thee not—well, O Zarathustra! therein do I admire thee and thy good taste.
A wanderer am I, who have walked long at thy heels; always on the way, but without a goal, also without a home: so that verily, I lack little of being the eternally Wandering Jew, except that I am not eternal and not a Jew.
What? Must I ever be on the way? Whirled by every wind, unsettled, driven about? O earth, thou hast become too round for me!
On every surface have I already sat, like tired dust have I fallen asleep on mirrors and window-panes: everything taketh from me, nothing giveth; I become thin—I am almost equal to a shadow.
After thee, however, O Zarathustra, did I fly and hie longest; and though I hid myself from thee, I was nevertheless thy best shadow: wherever thou hast sat, there sat I also.
With thee have I wandered about in the remotest, coldest worlds, like a phantom that voluntarily haunteth winter roofs and snows.
With thee have I pushed into all the forbidden, all the worst and the furthest: and if there be anything of virtue in me, it is that I have had no fear of any prohibition.
With thee have I broken up whatever my heart revered; all boundary-stones and statues have I o'erthrown; the most dangerous wishes did I pursue,—verily, beyond every crime did I once go.
With thee did I unlearn the belief in words and worths and in great names. When the devil casteth his skin, doth not his name also fall away? It is also skin. The devil himself is perhaps—skin.
'Nothing is true, all is permitted': so said I to myself. Into the coldest water did I plunge with head and heart. Ah, how oft did I stand there naked on that account, like a red crab!
Ah, where have gone all my goodness and all my shame and all my belief in the good! Ah, where is the lying innocence which I once possessed, the innocence of the good and of their noble lies!
Too oft, verily, did I follow close to the heels of truth: then did it kick me on the face. Sometimes I meant to lie, and behold! then only did I hit—the truth.
Too much hath become clear unto me: now it doth not concern me any more. Nothing liveth any longer that I love,—how should I still love myself?
'To live as I incline, or not to live at all': so do I wish; so wisheth also the holiest. But alas! how have I still—inclination?
Have I—still a goal? A haven towards which MY sail is set?
A good wind? Ah, he only who knoweth WHITHER he saileth, knoweth what wind is good, and a fair wind for him.
What still remaineth to me? A heart weary and flippant; an unstable will; fluttering wings; a broken backbone.
This seeking for MY home: O Zarathustra, dost thou know that this seeking hath been MY home-sickening; it eateth me up.
'WHERE is—MY home?' For it do I ask and seek, and have sought, but have not found it. O eternal everywhere, O eternal nowhere, O eternal—in-vain!"

Thus spake the shadow, and Zarathustra's countenance lengthened at his words. "Thou art my shadow!" said he at last sadly.
"Thy danger is not small, thou free spirit and wanderer! Thou hast had a bad day: see that a still worse evening doth not overtake thee!
To such unsettled ones as thou, seemeth at last even a prisoner blessed. Didst thou ever see how captured criminals sleep? They sleep quietly, they enjoy their new security.
Beware lest in the end a narrow faith capture thee, a hard, rigorous delusion! For now everything that is narrow and fixed seduceth and tempteth thee.
Thou hast lost thy goal. Alas, how wilt thou forego and forget that loss? Thereby—hast thou also lost thy way!
Thou poor rover and rambler, thou tired butterfly! wilt thou have a rest and a home this evening? Then go up to my cave!
Thither leadeth the way to my cave. And now will I run quickly away from thee again. Already lieth as it were a shadow upon me.
I will run alone, so that it may again become bright around me. Therefore must I still be a long time merrily upon my legs. In the evening, however, there will be—dancing with me!"—

Thus spake Zarathustra.

-Friedrich Nietzsche



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War and Warriors


By our best enemies we do not want to be spared, nor by those either whom we love from the very heart. So let me tell you the truth!
My brethren in war! I love you from the very heart. I am, and was ever, your counterpart. And I am also your best enemy. So let me tell you the truth!
I know the hatred and envy of your hearts. Ye are not great enough not to know of hatred and envy. Then be great enough not to be ashamed of them!
And if ye cannot be saints of knowledge, then, I pray you, be at least its warriors. They are the companions and forerunners of such saintship.
I see many soldiers; could I but see many warriors! "Uniform" one calleth what they wear; may it not be uniform what they therewith hide!
Ye shall be those whose eyes ever seek for an enemy—for YOUR enemy. And with some of you there is hatred at first sight.
Your enemy shall ye seek; your war shall ye wage, and for the sake of your thoughts! And if your thoughts succumb, your uprightness shall still shout triumph thereby!
Ye shall love peace as a means to new wars—and the short peace more than the long.
You I advise not to work, but to fight. You I advise not to peace, but to victory. Let your work be a fight, let your peace be a victory!
One can only be silent and sit peacefully when one hath arrow and bow; otherwise one prateth and quarrelleth. Let your peace be a victory!
Ye say it is the good cause which halloweth even war? I say unto you: it is the good war which halloweth every cause.
War and courage have done more great things than charity. Not your sympathy, but your bravery hath hitherto saved the victims.
"What is good?" ye ask. To be brave is good. Let the little girls say: "To be good is what is pretty, and at the same time touching."
They call you heartless: but your heart is true, and I love the bashfulness of your goodwill. Ye are ashamed of your flow, and others are ashamed of their ebb.
Ye are ugly? Well then, my brethren, take the sublime about you, the mantle of the ugly!
And when your soul becometh great, then doth it become haughty, and in your sublimity there is wickedness. I know you.
In wickedness the haughty man and the weakling meet. But they misunderstand one another. I know you.
Ye shall only have enemies to be hated, but not enemies to be despised. Ye must be proud of your enemies; then, the successes of your enemies are also your successes.
Resistance—that is the distinction of the slave. Let your distinction be obedience. Let your commanding itself be obeying!
To the good warrior soundeth "thou shalt" pleasanter than "I will." And all that is dear unto you, ye shall first have it commanded unto you.
Let your love to life be love to your highest hope; and let your highest hope be the highest thought of life!
Your highest thought, however, ye shall have it commanded unto you by me—and it is this: man is something that is to be surpassed.
So live your life of obedience and of war! What matter about long life! What warrior wisheth to be spared!
I spare you not, I love you from my very heart, my brethren in war!—

Thus spake Zarathustra.

-Friedrich Nietzsche



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The Friend, Old and Young Women, Child and Marriage


"One, is always too many about me"—thinketh the anchorite. "Always once one—that maketh two in the long run!"
I and me are always too earnestly in conversation: how could it be endured, if there were not a friend?
The friend of the anchorite is always the third one: the third one is the cork which preventeth the conversation of the two sinking into the depth.
Ah! there are too many depths for all anchorites. Therefore, do they long so much for a friend, and for his elevation.
Our faith in others betrayeth wherein we would fain have faith in ourselves. Our longing for a friend is our betrayer.
And often with our love we want merely to overleap envy. And often we attack and make ourselves enemies, to conceal that we are vulnerable.
"Be at least mine enemy!"—thus speaketh the true reverence, which doth not venture to solicit friendship.
If one would have a friend, then must one also be willing to wage war for him: and in order to wage war, one must be CAPABLE of being an enemy.
One ought still to honour the enemy in one's friend. Canst thou go nigh unto thy friend, and not go over to him?
In one's friend one shall have one's best enemy. Thou shalt be closest unto him with thy heart when thou withstandest him.
Thou wouldst wear no raiment before thy friend? It is in honour of thy friend that thou showest thyself to him as thou art? But he wisheth thee to the devil on that account!
He who maketh no secret of himself shocketh: so much reason have ye to fear nakedness! Aye, if ye were Gods, ye could then be ashamed of clothing!
Thou canst not adorn thyself fine enough for thy friend; for thou shalt be unto him an arrow and a longing for the Superman.
Sawest thou ever thy friend asleep—to know how he looketh? What is usually the countenance of thy friend? It is thine own countenance, in a coarse and imperfect mirror.
Sawest thou ever thy friend asleep? Wert thou not dismayed at thy friend looking so? O my friend, man is something that hath to be surpassed.
In divining and keeping silence shall the friend be a master: not everything must thou wish to see. Thy dream shall disclose unto thee what thy friend doeth when awake.
Let thy pity be a divining: to know first if thy friend wanteth pity. Perhaps he loveth in thee the unmoved eye, and the look of eternity.
Let thy pity for thy friend be hid under a hard shell; thou shalt bite out a tooth upon it. Thus will it have delicacy and sweetness.
Art thou pure air and solitude and bread and medicine to thy friend? Many a one cannot loosen his own fetters, but is nevertheless his friend's emancipator.
Art thou a slave? Then thou canst not be a friend. Art thou a tyrant? Then thou canst not have friends.
Far too long hath there been a slave and a tyrant concealed in woman. On that account woman is not yet capable of friendship: she knoweth only love.
In woman's love there is injustice and blindness to all she doth not love. And even in woman's conscious love, there is still always surprise and lightning and night, along with the light.
As yet woman is not capable of friendship: women are still cats, and birds. Or at the best, cows.
As yet woman is not capable of friendship. But tell me, ye men, who of you are capable of friendship?
Oh! your poverty, ye men, and your sordidness of soul! As much as ye give to your friend, will I give even to my foe, and will not have become poorer thereby.
There is comradeship: may there be friendship!

Thus spake Zarathustra.


"Why stealest thou along so furtively in the twilight, Zarathustra? And what hidest thou so carefully under thy mantle?
Is it a treasure that hath been given thee? Or a child that hath been born thee? Or goest thou thyself on a thief's errand, thou friend of the evil?"—
Verily, my brother, said Zarathustra, it is a treasure that hath been given me: it is a little truth which I carry.
But it is naughty, like a young child; and if I hold not its mouth, it screameth too loudly.
As I went on my way alone to-day, at the hour when the sun declineth, there met me an old woman, and she spake thus unto my soul:
"Much hath Zarathustra spoken also to us women, but never spake he unto us concerning woman."
And I answered her: "Concerning woman, one should only talk unto men."
"Talk also unto me of woman," said she; "I am old enough to forget it presently."
And I obliged the old woman and spake thus unto her:
Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman hath one solution—it is called pregnancy.
Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child. But what is woman for man?
Two different things wanteth the true man: danger and diversion. Therefore wanteth he woman, as the most dangerous plaything.
Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the warrior: all else is folly.
Too sweet fruits—these the warrior liketh not. Therefore liketh he woman;—bitter is even the sweetest woman.
Better than man doth woman understand children, but man is more childish than woman.
In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanteth to play. Up then, ye women, and discover the child in man!
A plaything let woman be, pure and fine like the precious stone, illumined with the virtues of a world not yet come.
Let the beam of a star shine in your love! Let your hope say: "May I bear the Superman!"
In your love let there be valour! With your love shall ye assail him who inspireth you with fear!
In your love be your honour! Little doth woman understand otherwise about honour. But let this be your honour: always to love more than ye are loved, and never be the second.
Let man fear woman when she loveth: then maketh she every sacrifice, and everything else she regardeth as worthless.
Let man fear woman when she hateth: for man in his innermost soul is merely evil; woman, however, is mean.
Whom hateth woman most?—Thus spake the iron to the loadstone: "I hate thee most, because thou attractest, but art too weak to draw unto thee."
The happiness of man is, "I will." The happiness of woman is, "He will."
"Lo! now hath the world become perfect!"—thus thinketh every woman when she obeyeth with all her love.
Obey, must the woman, and find a depth for her surface. Surface, is woman's soul, a mobile, stormy film on shallow water.
Man's soul, however, is deep, its current gusheth in subterranean caverns: woman surmiseth its force, but comprehendeth it not.—
Then answered me the old woman: "Many fine things hath Zarathustra said, especially for those who are young enough for them.
Strange! Zarathustra knoweth little about woman, and yet he is right about them! Doth this happen, because with women nothing is impossible?
And now accept a little truth by way of thanks! I am old enough for it!
Swaddle it up and hold its mouth: otherwise it will scream too loudly, the little truth."
"Give me, woman, thy little truth!" said I. And thus spake the old woman:
"Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip!"—

Thus spake Zarathustra.


I have a question for thee alone, my brother: like a sounding-lead, cast I this question into thy soul, that I may know its depth.
Thou art young, and desirest child and marriage. But I ask thee: Art thou a man ENTITLED to desire a child?
Art thou the victorious one, the self-conqueror, the ruler of thy passions, the master of thy virtues? Thus do I ask thee.
Or doth the animal speak in thy wish, and necessity? Or isolation? Or discord in thee?
I would have thy victory and freedom long for a child. Living monuments shalt thou build to thy victory and emancipation.
Beyond thyself shalt thou build. But first of all must thou be built thyself, rectangular in body and soul.
Not only onward shalt thou propagate thyself, but upward! For that purpose may the garden of marriage help thee!
A higher body shalt thou create, a first movement, a spontaneously rolling wheel—a creating one shalt thou create.
Marriage: so call I the will of the twain to create the one that is more than those who created it. The reverence for one another, as those exercising such a will, call I marriage.
Let this be the significance and the truth of thy marriage. But that which the many-too-many call marriage, those superfluous ones—ah, what shall I call it?
Ah, the poverty of soul in the twain! Ah, the filth of soul in the twain! Ah, the pitiable self-complacency in the twain!
Marriage they call it all; and they say their marriages are made in heaven.
Well, I do not like it, that heaven of the superfluous! No, I do not like them, those animals tangled in the heavenly toils!
Far from me also be the God who limpeth thither to bless what he hath not matched!
Laugh not at such marriages! What child hath not had reason to weep over its parents?
Worthy did this man seem, and ripe for the meaning of the earth: but when I saw his wife, the earth seemed to me a home for madcaps.
Yea, I would that the earth shook with convulsions when a saint and a goose mate with one another.
This one went forth in quest of truth as a hero, and at last got for himself a small decked-up lie: his marriage he calleth it.
That one was reserved in intercourse and chose choicely. But one time he spoilt his company for all time: his marriage he calleth it.
Another sought a handmaid with the virtues of an angel. But all at once he became the handmaid of a woman, and now would he need also to become an angel.
Careful, have I found all buyers, and all of them have astute eyes. But even the astutest of them buyeth his wife in a sack.
Many short follies—that is called love by you. And your marriage putteth an end to many short follies, with one long stupidity.
Your love to woman, and woman's love to man—ah, would that it were sympathy for suffering and veiled deities! But generally two animals alight on one another.
But even your best love is only an enraptured simile and a painful ardour. It is a torch to light you to loftier paths.
Beyond yourselves shall ye love some day! Then LEARN first of all to love. And on that account ye had to drink the bitter cup of your love.
Bitterness is in the cup even of the best love: thus doth it cause longing for the Superman; thus doth it cause thirst in thee, the creating one!
Thirst in the creating one, arrow and longing for the Superman: tell me, my brother, is this thy will to marriage?
Holy call I such a will, and such a marriage.—

Thus spake Zarathustra.

-Friedrich Nietzsche



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The Flies in the Market-place


Flee, my friend, into thy solitude! I see thee deafened with the noise of the great men, and stung all over with the stings of the little ones.
Admirably do forest and rock know how to be silent with thee. Resemble again the tree which thou lovest, the broad-branched one—silently and attentively it o'erhangeth the sea.
Where solitude endeth, there beginneth the market-place; and where the market-place beginneth, there beginneth also the noise of the great actors, and the buzzing of the poison-flies.
In the world even the best things are worthless without those who represent them: those representers, the people call great men.
Little do the people understand what is great—that is to say, the creating agency. But they have a taste for all representers and actors of great things.
Around the devisers of new values revolveth the world:—invisibly it revolveth. But around the actors revolve the people and the glory: such is the course of things.
Spirit, hath the actor, but little conscience of the spirit. He believeth always in that wherewith he maketh believe most strongly—in HIMSELF!
Tomorrow he hath a new belief, and the day after, one still newer. Sharp perceptions hath he, like the people, and changeable humours.
To upset—that meaneth with him to prove. To drive mad—that meaneth with him to convince. And blood is counted by him as the best of all arguments.
A truth which only glideth into fine ears, he calleth falsehood and trumpery. Verily, he believeth only in Gods that make a great noise in the world!
Full of clattering buffoons is the market-place,—and the people glory in their great men! These are for them the masters of the hour.
But the hour presseth them; so they press thee. And also from thee they want Yea or Nay. Alas! thou wouldst set thy chair betwixt For and Against?
On account of those absolute and impatient ones, be not jealous, thou lover of truth! Never yet did truth cling to the arm of an absolute one.
On account of those abrupt ones, return into thy security: only in the market-place is one assailed by Yea? or Nay?
Slow is the experience of all deep fountains: long have they to wait until they know WHAT hath fallen into their depths.
Away from the market-place and from fame taketh place all that is great: away from the market-Place and from fame have ever dwelt the devisers of new values.
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude: I see thee stung all over by the poisonous flies. Flee thither, where a rough, strong breeze bloweth!
Flee into thy solitude! Thou hast lived too closely to the small and the pitiable. Flee from their invisible vengeance! Towards thee they have nothing but vengeance.
Raise no longer an arm against them! Innumerable are they, and it is not thy lot to be a fly-flap.
Innumerable are the small and pitiable ones; and of many a proud structure, rain-drops and weeds have been the ruin.
Thou art not stone; but already hast thou become hollow by the numerous drops. Thou wilt yet break and burst by the numerous drops.
Exhausted I see thee, by poisonous flies; bleeding I see thee, and torn at a hundred spots; and thy pride will not even upbraid.
Blood they would have from thee in all innocence; blood their bloodless souls crave for—and they sting, therefore, in all innocence.
But thou, profound one, thou sufferest too profoundly even from small wounds; and ere thou hadst recovered, the same poison-worm crawled over thy hand.
Too proud art thou to kill these sweet-tooths. But take care lest it be thy fate to suffer all their poisonous injustice!
They buzz around thee also with their praise: obtrusiveness, is their praise. They want to be close to thy skin and thy blood.
They flatter thee, as one flattereth a God or devil; they whimper before thee, as before a God or devil. What doth it come to! Flatterers are they, and whimperers, and nothing more.
Often, also, do they show themselves to thee as amiable ones. But that hath ever been the prudence of the cowardly. Yea! the cowardly are wise!
They think much about thee with their circumscribed souls—thou art always suspected by them! Whatever is much thought about is at last thought suspicious.
They punish thee for all thy virtues. They pardon thee in their inmost hearts only—for thine errors.
Because thou art gentle and of upright character, thou sayest: "Blameless are they for their small existence." But their circumscribed souls think: "Blamable is all great existence."
Even when thou art gentle towards them, they still feel themselves despised by thee; and they repay thy beneficence with secret maleficence.
Thy silent pride is always counter to their taste; they rejoice if once thou be humble enough to be frivolous.
What we recognise in a man, we also irritate in him. Therefore be on your guard against the small ones!
In thy presence they feel themselves small, and their baseness gleameth and gloweth against thee in invisible vengeance.
Sawest thou not how often they became dumb when thou approachedst them, and how their energy left them like the smoke of an extinguishing fire?
Yea, my friend, the bad conscience art thou of thy neighbours; for they are unworthy of thee. Therefore they hate thee, and would fain suck thy blood.
Thy neighbours will always be poisonous flies; what is great in thee—that itself must make them more poisonous, and always more fly-like.
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude—and thither, where a rough strong breeze bloweth. It is not thy lot to be a fly-flap.—

Thus spake Zarathustra.

-Friedrich Nietzsche



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Sunday, March 09, 2014

Thoughts of the day

The start of Daylight Saving Time (Sunday, March 9, 2014: 2:00 AM forward to 3:00 AM) is as good a reason as any to start a new thoughts of the day post. I've lived with the DST 1-hour switches all my life and don't understand how the time change makes "better use of the daylight in the evenings by setting the clocks forward one hour during the longer days of summer, and back again in the fall." While moving the clock forward an hour for summer and back an hour for winter moves the clock roughly in accordance with the changing evening daylight, it seems to me that we reduce the benefit of extra daylight in the summer by moving clocks ahead an hour. The time change make more sense as making better use of morning daylight by waking up later in the winter to match the later winter sunrise and waking up earlier in the summer to match the earlier summer sunrise.

The start of Spring is the March Equinox: March 20, 2014, 16:57 UTC (12:57 EDT).

Semper Fi and rest in peace, Major Lee. Thank you, Sir. New York Times coverage. Marines Major Kurt Chew-Een Lee was the subject of Smithsonian documentary, Uncommon Courage: Breakout at Chosin. Like Medal-of-Honor recipient, Army Colonel Lew Millett, Major Lee served in World War 2, Korea, and Vietnam.

Asian American political scientists offer a description and prescriptive recommendations for GOP Asian outreach. (h/t)

The Overton Window is "a political theory that describes as a narrow "window" the range of ideas the public will accept." Activists alter the Overton Window.

Activism is sociology or "behavioral economics" weaponized. (h/t)

This Malcolm X speech is like a primer for activism.

"Trashing" is a particularly vicious form of character assassination employed by feminists. It's mean girls, and I've experienced it. Know it, recognize it, prevent it, cure it. (h/t)

Textbook Russian propaganda in the US, EU, Ukraine, Crimea, Russia confrontation.

Iraq again, and why setting the record straight on the Iraq enforcement is urgently relevant today.

Prominent California state senator Leland Yee was arrested by the FBI for public corruption and conspiracy to traffic in international arms. The CBS news report is a dramatic account worthy of a B-level action film. It suggests Yee was depressed and in debt due to his failed election campaigns and had lost his bearing on top of his alleged corruption. This article provides insight on the sophisticated inner-circle, behind-the-scenes machinations of money, connections, favors, public-manipulating, and policy-making required to succeed in politics. I wonder whether the crude corruption scandals involving Asian American officials is a consequence of trying to meet the competitive bar in politics while lacking access to the privileged network of influence and funding. I knew the author of the Free Beacon piece in college; he wrote well of ROTC although he didn't participate in the return movement. Good for you, Matt.

Grantland articles on approaching high-level team competition from a professional front-office perspective and a college head coach's perspective.

This Grantland article emphasizes culture, coaching, and contextual (structural) fit in team sports, in this case NBA basketball, as non-statistical factors when analyzing individual performance.

I'm curious to find out how Phil Jackson will do as the Knicks president of operations, whether Jackson will translate his on-court success as an 11-time NBA championship coach (and 2-time NBA champion as a player) to front-office team-building success. I'm rooting for Jackson because of Henry Abbott's column deriding Jackson's intuitive, visionary method as inferior to Abbott's favored trend of quantitative analytics. I want the intuitive visionary to succeed versus analytical competitors.

ABC's Resurrection has a heart-tugging hook, dead and buried loved ones returning to life years later, but early indications are that once the hook is used up, the rest of the show will become cheap, likely derivative primetime soap opera. It reminds me in that sense of Lifetime's Army Wives: interesting premise that plateaued with generic TV drama.

Storm of the Century, a 1999 TV mini-series by Stephen King, is pretty good. The caricatured characters and speech are typical King.

Found it, finally. For months, I heard this song play on a pop music track when I shopped in my neighborhood supermarket. I also occasionally heard the song play in the background during radio broadcasts of Nets games. I liked the slippery, airy techno club beat, which reminded me nostalgically of 1990s techno club music. However, I couldn't make out the lyrics, which prevented a google search. Instead, I tried tracking down the song by listening to 2013 top-40 and top-100 compilations on youtube. That the song was in the Nets' arena music hinted it was more than a year old but, at the same time, the other songs on the supermarket track were current. The problem was I couldn't remember the tune, either, and for a while, I thought doubtfully that the song might be Ellie Goulding's 2013 hit, Burn. Tonight, I heard the song during a Nets radio broadcast, focused on catching a lyric and got "we found love in a hopeless place". I did a google search and, presto, I finally identified the song as Rihanna's 2011-2012 hit, We Found Love, which of course, wouldn't appear on 2013 pop music lists. The music video reminds that defining Rihanna and Chris Brown's passionate relationship only by its publicized DV aspect is a reductive and misleading characterization.

I'm a fan of the Backstreet Boys. One, their peak popularity coincides with my peak nostalgia so their classics are part of the soundtrack. Two, they're unexpectedly good.

Judd Apatow's This is 40 (2012) is the stand-alone sequel to Knocked Up (2007). The construction of This 40 is poorer. It seemed like a bundle of parts inspired by personal experience that weren't reformulated in a clean narrative. Knocked Up lurched, but otherwise provided a clear thematic narrative. Whereas the original was uplifting, the sequel was depressing throughout with a tacked-on happy ending. I don't understand how Pete and Debbie live such an extravagant lifestyle with their alarming money problems with no safety net. The movie tries to sell the idea that the lows of family life are richer than the highs of a carefree single life, but there are serious problems in Pete and Debbie's marriage. Knocked Up presented the alternatives and made a choice. For This is 40, we just have to take Apatow's word that Pete and Debbie's romantic love overrides the demonstrated dysfunction and their daughters are okay despite their parents' open hostility.

Terry Malick's Thin Red Line (1998) is as self-important and ignoble as I remember. It was no Saving Private Ryan.

I agree with her Japanese fans that Crimea's 33-year-old attorney general, Natalia Poklonskaya, looks like a cute anime cosplayer in her uniform. She looks younger in her press conference than she does in her personal photos. I wonder whether that was a deliberate effect. Poklonskaya sounds as nervous as I might have in her situation and demonstrates that not all lawyers are natural public speakers. She seems to be trying hard to appear grave and serious. She'll get better with more experience.

Be His Soft Place to Land. The benefits of dyad: anchor in the light, making a house a home, feminine beauty, purpose, family.

Inside Amy Schumer's Hello, M'Lady skit mocks the romantic algorithm of nice guys. (h/t) "M'lady" is a reference to pedestaling, tribute-offering, self-deprecating, romantically fallacious chivalry. According to Schumer's skit, what do girls think of doting nice guys? "Human hobbits", half-men with lower sexual value than stalkers. Ouch. Been there, done that. Wake up.

Demographic Winter, documentary. (h/t) It's confusing because I thought we were over-populated, ie, the population bomb. But I've also heard of the 'inverted pyramid' economic danger of aging baby boomers outgrowing outsizing the productive younger generations. What are the cultural incentives? What are the economic incentives?

Mount Everest climbing documentaries.

The thrill-seeking kid who trespassed at the Freedom Tower and got up to the roof antenna is going to have an interesting life. At least, he'll try. He's got the smirk. I envy him. He also punctured the often-punctured illusion of social guarantees.

Youtube video of Nassim Taleb interview regarding anti-fragility. (h/t)

Good points about internet abuse that's like turning off my mind and vegging out with television. I like the prescription of thoughtful use of the internet to add value to real life, but stepping away when passive learning crosses over into a recycling rut and I should be moving to the next, active stage of applying the internet content to real life. However, there is a balance. Unfocused, meandering internet browsing has yielded valuable nuggets that I most likely wouldn't have found with a tightly controlled reading schedule.

A thumbnail sketch of typical Manosphere advice.

I identify with this post by Martel about why he pulls his punches and avoids conflict. It points to why positive masculinity is essential. Anxious, sensitive boys need to be taught to expand their capacity for conflict – that the wounding and scarring from challenging and fighting are necessary pieces of growing to robust manhood. The scarring is how we become men. Moreover, pain, discomfort, defeat, and failure are normal, and healthy building blocks when processed constructively. Embracing hurtful results as lessons fosters our innate strengths as men. Fearfully avoiding hurtful results stunts our growth and limits what we accomplish with our lives.

M3 relates a heart-wrenching story of how his self-belittling, "happy wife, happy life" social programming led to banal decisions that caused an unredeemable mistake that jarred him into making positive masculine fundamental changes to his life algorithms and schema.

Asian Masculinity and Asian American reddits.

3 ways + 5 more ways to manage anxiety without drugs. They seem common sense and simple enough.

Popular Mechanics: 25 Skills Every Man Should Know: Your Ultimate DIY Guide; 100 Skills Every Man Should Know: The Instructions.

10 Reasons You Should Become a Survivalist.

This story touches me in several ways. The crime, what I can glean about his girlfriend's behavior leading up to the murder, and her TOP recall my old job. I went to college with Jason, although I don't remember having more than a nodding acquaintance. His crime is an extreme example of inner demons or bad wiring from early in life that persist and can't be cured with the acquisition of expensive, social-proof academic credentials. He was a struggling law grad; academic credentials were a false promise that herded us into pens even as we believed we were opening doors. (I don't think his work and money problems are the proximate cause, but the pressure, frustration, and stress likely contributed to his mental state.)

17 (Math) Equations That Changed the World. (h/t)

HTML instructions on hyperlinks (and here), superscripts, which usually work with same-page hyperlinks, and highlighting text.

I discovered another "annoying known issue" with blogger. Warning: When editing a post in the HTML editor, don't switch to the Compose editor. Just opening the HTML-edited post in Compose will corrupt some tags. Apparently, it's okay to edit in Compose first and then switch to HTML, but not vice versa. I was in the middle of installing endnotes here with <a href="#1" target="_self"><sup>1</sup></a>, and <a id="1">1</a> in the HTML editor when I switched to the Compose editor to center-align headings in the post. The <a href="#1" target="_self"><sup>1</sup></a> turned into <a href="" target="_self"><sup>1</sup></a> and the <a id="1">1</a> turned into <a href="" id="1">1</a>. That happened to a post before and I didn't know why. Now I know. < > </ >

On eating healthy by Keoni.

My usual-use spoons are teaspoon size (.166 ounce). My big spoons are tablespoon size (.5 ounce).

2-day eating binge, with a lot of junk: all of a bachelor meat sauce (24 oz can Hunts garlic & herb pasta sauce (FYI), 2 chicken legs, 1 box frozen spinach, 2 carrots, 1 potato, rice, Ronzoni gemelli pasta), 2 bags 11-oz regular Doritos (BOGO), brownies, bananas, 1 bag instant McCann oatmeal. Variety of eating does matter, though eating junk gives me a crappy after-feeling. I ought to develop variety with healthier foods. I feel sick of Doritos and the rest of the junk now, but the next time Doritos are on sale, I'm sure I'll want them again. My natural expellant follow-up to the bachelor meat sauce was an interestingly voluminous and costly experience.

Hearty meal to kick off weekly fast: crackling made in Salton pot and 1-quart mixing bowl, 2 baking soda-and-vinegar bannocks, french fries and pernil chop cooked in rendered grease in Salton pot and 1-quart mixing bowl, chicken bone broth with ginger flakes and vinegar, and banana-and-ginger brownie. The baking soda-and-vinegar bannocks were as good as I've ever made.

Contrary to some advice on-line, crackling does cook faster in grease.

Cooked-on grease is very, very difficult to clean off of cookware. Dishwashing liquid, soaking, and a nylon scrubbing pad aren't enough. After making crackling in my Salton pot, the same cooked-on grease coating the inside of my toaster oven is now coating the inside of my Salton pot. Update: I boiled a solution of water, Dawn dishwashing liquid, baking soda, and vinegar in the Salton pot. That didn't lift the burnt-on grease stains. I scrubbed the pot with a metal scouring pad, which removed some of the stains, but much more of the anodized surface layer, exposing the raw aluminum underneath. Salton pots are apparently composed of anodized aluminum. See forum discussions on the issue here, here, and here. Interestingly, my nylon scrubbing pad has been mostly degreased while trying to clean the Salton pot; it was mostly char black for a long time and now is mostly clean green again. However, despite the scrubbing that has cleaned the scrubbing pad, burnt-on grease spots and streaks remain clinging to the Salton pot like black and brown enamel.

Another lesson learned from the destructive experiment making crackling in the Salton pot using the 1-quart mixing bowl: Cooking over direct heat dry with thin-walled stainless steel mixing bowls warps their bottoms. My 1-quart mixing bowl is no longer flat-bottomed. Cooking the crackling in the 1-quart mixing bowl in the Salton pot over the burner caused the bottom of the mixing bowl to pop inward. The bottom of my 3-quart mixing bowl was popped outward when I scavenged it, and I may have caused the bottom of my 2-quart mixing bowl to pop inward. Cooking with the 1-quart mixing bowl in the Nesco, which uses indirect convection heat from the sides as opposed to the direct conduction heat from the bottom with the burner, didn't cause that to happen. I also had cooked with the 1-quart mixing bowl in the Salton pot over the burner with water in the Salton pot outside the mixing bowl without warping the mixing bowl. My toaster oven pan also warps over and under the heating rods of the toaster oven.

I was able to scrape off most but not all the burnt crud on the toaster oven pan using a disposable plastic knife without, from what I can tell, scratching the pan. Earlier, I had used a metal spoon to scrape the crud, which did leave scratches on the pan. Scraping with the plastic knife didn't work on the remaining burnt-on grease in the Salton pot, though.

Quick snack: Slices of frozen pernil chop, sauteed, flavored with seasoned salt, sour cream, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, etc..

Start-fast and break-fast meal: Bachelor stew with 1 can mackerel, 1 can sweet yellow corn, rice, rendered grease from crackling, 1 jumbo egg, carrots, okra, ginger, onions, garlic, chicken leg bones, seasoned salt, salt, pepper, hot sauce. Eaten with combinations of chunky crushed tomato sauce, sour cream, peanut butter, Worcestershire sauce. BC dark chocolate brownies made with 1 egg and much too much water. For break-fast, I also had a bannock with peanut butter and jelly and a bannock pizza with pernil slices, onions, and garlic, sour cream, and chunky crushed tomato sauce. I experimented mixing in sour cream with the watery brownie batter and the bannock, and it seemed to make them chewier.

Short-cut meal: In the Salton pot and 1-quart mixing bowl, uncooked rice, water, 2 frozen chicken legs, frozen okra, carrots, garlic, onions, seasoned salt, Worcestershire sauce. No need to thaw the chicken or cook the rice separately. I started with the Nesco. Everything cooked except the rice, so I transferred the 1-quart mixing bowl to the Salton pot and burner. The rice was done quickly. I cooked everything together and it came out fine. Sour cream and hot sauce dipping sauce. I finished off the rice with chunky crushed tomato sauce and sour cream.

I experimented adding a big dollop of plain yogurt to my over-watered, 1 egg, Betty Crocker dark chocolate brownie batter in the 1-quart mixing bowl, cooked in the Nesco. I wanted a denser brownie. I thought adding 1 egg only would make the brownie less cake-like since adding an extra egg is supposed to make brownies more cake-like. Instead, 1 egg just made the brownies flatter while still cakelike. It turns out the way to make brownies denser is adding a milk product, not by reducing the egg content. I've added evaporated milk before with the same effect. The yogurt worked just as well.

I used up a 32-oz container of La Yogurt all natural whole milk Probiotic unsweetened plain yogurt, experimenting with it as a sour cream substitute. Yogurt is thinner than sour cream and less flavorful. The yogurt worked adequately as a topping for bannock pizza and brownies and as a mayonnaise substitute in a bannock sandwich. The yogurt didn't work well as dipping sauce and was poor cream in bachelor stew. I mixed yogurt into bannock bread and bannock pizza dough. I think it made the bannock softer, but not soft enough to preclude the impression was biased imagination only. Sour cream, in contrast, made the bannock noticeably softer.

I also mixed instant oatmeal into bannock dough, but the oatmeal didn't change the flavor.

A 15-oz can of Healthy Choice zesty gumbo with chicken & sausage soup doesn't work as a base for bachelor stew like a can of Progresso soup, plus: can of mackerel, diced fatback, rice, Ronzoni small shells, Barilla thin spaghetti, 1 egg, Goya okra, carrots, garlic, ginger, onions, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper. Added for flavor: Yogurt, Hunts garlic & herb pasta sauce. The yogurt dissipated. The HC zesty gumbo didn't add any flavor I could discern. I ought to buy more beans; I've been waiting for a sale on dry beans, but there hasn't been one.

Canned mackerel has similar texture and much less flavor compared to canned salmon, but the canned mackerel costs half as much as the sale price for canned salmon.

With the bachelor stew, I ate a yogurt, baking soda, and instant-oatmeal bannock that was one of the best I've made. The lesson reinforced was the amount of liquid in the dough is key to the structure of a leavened bannock. Think of the bannock like an interlocking lattice-support structure. If the dough is too watery, it will puff up and collapse like a bubble. The lattice supports will be too spread out to expand and fill the bannock with a dense bread-like structure. Watery dough doesn't contract and reform as densely packed interlocking lattice supports when baked; instead, it just dries in place with the thinned out structure.

Ssips pina colada drink is okay, like their ginger and green tea drink. So far, Ssips drinks made from natural ingredients are acceptable. Ssips drinks made from artificial ingredients are gross.

My sweet tooth is toning down, I think. I bought a 15.25-oz box of Pillsbury german chocolate cake mix on sale for $1. I used 2 eggs, instead of 3 eggs, reduced the water, and increased the oil to roughly match brownie mix water, oil, and egg amounts. I added yogurt for density, but it puffed up like cake, anyway. In the past, boxed mix cake was unsatisfactorily low in flavor as a brownie substitute. This time, I was satisfied with the cake. There are many more artificial ingredients in the cake mix than brownie mix, though. Update: I added sour cream, which is thicker than yogurt, to the german chocolate batter; the result was cake noticeably moister and thicker though still cake-like. Update: A mom says reducing sugary products in her family's diet heightened their taste and physical reactive sensitivity to sugar and improved their energy and health.

If I can buy the ingredients on sale, I may try making mix-style brownies from scratch.

I've continued my recently developed habit of eating peanut butter, sour cream, and grape jelly/jam straight out of their containers like pudding, which has used them up quickly. I bought 6 16.3-oz jars of Skippy creamy peanut butter on sale about 2.5 weeks ago and already consumed 3 jars; it's smooth like pudding.

I tried using my 2-qt and 3-qt mixing bowls as pots on the Salton pot with steamer over burner. I boiled water in the Salton pot for steam heat. The mixing bowls were heated enough to cook pasta and heat bone broth, but not enough to cook rice.


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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Old and New Tables

Behold, here is a new table; but where are my brethren who will carry it with me to the valley and into hearts of flesh?—
Thus demandeth my great love to the remotest ones: BE NOT CONSIDERATE OF THY NEIGHBOUR! Man is something that must be surpassed.
There are many divers ways and modes of surpassing: see THOU thereto! But only a buffoon thinketh: "man can also be OVERLEAPT."
Surpass thyself even in thy neighbour: and a right which thou canst seize upon, shalt thou not allow to be given thee!
What thou doest can no one do to thee again. Lo, there is no requital.
He who cannot command himself shall obey. And many a one CAN command himself, but still sorely lacketh self-obedience!
Thus wisheth the type of noble souls: they desire to have nothing GRATUITOUSLY, least of all, life.
He who is of the populace wisheth to live gratuitously; we others, however, to whom life hath given itself—we are ever considering WHAT we can best give IN RETURN!
And verily, it is a noble dictum which saith: "What life promiseth US, that promise will WE keep—to life!"
One should not wish to enjoy where one doth not contribute to the enjoyment. And one should not WISH to enjoy!
For enjoyment and innocence are the most bashful things. Neither like to be sought for. One should HAVE them,—but one should rather SEEK for guilt and pain!—
. . .
To be true—that CAN few be! And he who can, will not! Least of all, however, can the good be true.
Oh, those good ones! GOOD MEN NEVER SPEAK THE TRUTH. For the spirit, thus to be good, is a malady.
They yield, those good ones, they submit themselves; their heart repeateth, their soul obeyeth: HE, however, who obeyeth, DOTH NOT LISTEN TO HIMSELF!
All that is called evil by the good, must come together in order that one truth may be born. O my brethren, are ye also evil enough for THIS truth?
The daring venture, the prolonged distrust, the cruel Nay, the tedium, the cutting-into-the-quick—how seldom do THESE come together! Out of such seed, however—is truth produced!
BESIDE the bad conscience hath hitherto grown all KNOWLEDGE! Break up, break up, ye discerning ones, the old tables!
. . .
O my brethren, I consecrate you and point you to a new nobility: ye shall become procreators and cultivators and sowers of the future;—
—Verily, not to a nobility which ye could purchase like traders with traders' gold; for little worth is all that hath its price.
Let it not be your honour henceforth whence ye come, but whither ye go! Your Will and your feet which seek to surpass you—let these be your new honour!
Verily, not that ye have served a prince—of what account are princes now!—nor that ye have become a bulwark to that which standeth, that it may stand more firmly.
Not that your family have become courtly at courts, and that ye have learned—gay-coloured, like the flamingo—to stand long hours in shallow pools:
(For ABILITY-to-stand is a merit in courtiers; and all courtiers believe that unto blessedness after death pertaineth—PERMISSION-to-sit!)
Nor even that a Spirit called Holy, led your forefathers into promised lands, which I do not praise: for where the worst of all trees grew—the cross,—in that land there is nothing to praise!—
—And verily, wherever this "Holy Spirit" led its knights, always in such campaigns did—goats and geese, and wryheads and guyheads run FOREMOST!—
O my brethren, not backward shall your nobility gaze, but OUTWARD! Exiles shall ye be from all fatherlands and forefather-lands!
Your CHILDREN'S LAND shall ye love: let this love be your new nobility,—the undiscovered in the remotest seas! For it do I bid your sails search and search!
Unto your children shall ye MAKE AMENDS for being the children of your fathers: all the past shall ye THUS redeem! This new table do I place over you!
. . .
"He who learneth much unlearneth all violent cravings"—that do people now whisper to one another in all the dark lanes.
"Wisdom wearieth, nothing is worth while; thou shalt not crave!"—this new table found I hanging even in the public markets.
Break up for me, O my brethren, break up also that NEW table! The weary-o'-the-world put it up, and the preachers of death and the jailer: for lo, it is also a sermon for slavery:—
Because they learned badly and not the best, and everything too early and everything too fast; because they ATE badly: from thence hath resulted their ruined stomach;—
—For a ruined stomach, is their spirit: IT persuadeth to death! For verily, my brethren, the spirit IS a stomach!
Life is a well of delight, but to him in whom the ruined stomach speaketh, the father of affliction, all fountains are poisoned.
To discern: that is DELIGHT to the lion-willed! But he who hath become weary, is himself merely "willed"; with him play all the waves.
And such is always the nature of weak men: they lose themselves on their way. And at last asketh their weariness: "Why did we ever go on the way? All is indifferent!"
TO THEM soundeth it pleasant to have preached in their ears: "Nothing is worth while! Ye shall not will!" That, however, is a sermon for slavery.
O my brethren, a fresh blustering wind cometh Zarathustra unto all way-weary ones; many noses will he yet make sneeze!
Even through walls bloweth my free breath, and in into prisons and imprisoned spirits!
Willing emancipateth: for willing is creating: so do I teach. And ONLY for creating shall ye learn!
And also the learning shall ye LEARN only from me, the learning well!—He who hath ears let him hear!
. . .
I love the brave: but it is not enough to be a swordsman,—one must also know WHEREON to use swordsmanship!
And often is it greater bravery to keep quiet and pass by, that THEREBY one may reserve oneself for a worthier foe!
Ye shall only have foes to be hated; but not foes to be despised: ye must be proud of your foes. Thus have I already taught.
For the worthier foe, O my brethren, shall ye reserve yourselves: therefore must ye pass by many a one,—
—Especially many of the rabble, who din your ears with noise about people and peoples.
Keep your eye clear of their For and Against! There is there much right, much wrong: he who looketh on becometh wroth.
Therein viewing, therein hewing—they are the same thing: therefore depart into the forests and lay your sword to sleep!
Go YOUR ways! and let the people and peoples go theirs!—gloomy ways, verily, on which not a single hope glinteth any more!
Let there the trader rule, where all that still glittereth is—traders' gold. It is the time of kings no longer: that which now calleth itself the people is unworthy of kings.
See how these peoples themselves now do just like the traders: they pick up the smallest advantage out of all kinds of rubbish!
They lay lures for one another, they lure things out of one another,—that they call "good neighbourliness." O blessed remote period when a people said to itself: "I will be—MASTER over peoples!"
For, my brethren, the best shall rule, the best also WILLETH to rule! And where the teaching is different, there—the best is LACKING.
. . .
O my brethren! With whom lieth the greatest danger to the whole human future? Is it not with the good and just?—
—As those who say and feel in their hearts: "We already know what is good and just, we possess it also; woe to those who still seek thereafter!
And whatever harm the wicked may do, the harm of the good is the harmfulest harm!
And whatever harm the world-maligners may do, the harm of the good is the harmfulest harm!
O my brethren, into the hearts of the good and just looked some one once on a time, who said: "They are the Pharisees." But people did not understand him.
The good and just themselves were not free to understand him; their spirit was imprisoned in their good conscience. The stupidity of the good is unfathomably wise.
It is the truth, however, that the good MUST be Pharisees—they have no choice!
The good MUST crucify him who deviseth his own virtue! That IS the truth!
The second one, however, who discovered their country—the country, heart and soil of the good and just,—it was he who asked: "Whom do they hate most?"
The CREATOR, hate they most, him who breaketh the tables and old values, the breaker,—him they call the law-breaker.
For the good—they CANNOT create; they are always the beginning of the end:—
—They crucify him who writeth new values on new tables, they sacrifice UNTO THEMSELVES the future—they crucify the whole human future!
The good—they have always been the beginning of the end.—
O my brethren, have ye also understood this word? And what I once said of the "last man"?—
With whom lieth the greatest danger to the whole human future? Is it not with the good and just?
BREAK UP, BREAK UP, I PRAY YOU, THE GOOD AND JUST!—O my brethren, have ye understood also this word?
Ye flee from me? Ye are frightened? Ye tremble at this word?
O my brethren, when I enjoined you to break up the good, and the tables of the good, then only did I embark man on his high seas.
And now only cometh unto him the great terror, the great outlook, the great sickness, the great nausea, the great sea-sickness.
False shores and false securities did the good teach you; in the lies of the good were ye born and bred. Everything hath been radically contorted and distorted by the good.
But he who discovered the country of "man," discovered also the country of "man's future." Now shall ye be sailors for me, brave, patient!
Keep yourselves up betimes, my brethren, learn to keep yourselves up! The sea stormeth: many seek to raise themselves again by you.
The sea stormeth: all is in the sea. Well! Cheer up! Ye old seaman-hearts!
What of fatherland! THITHER striveth our helm where our CHILDREN'S LAND is! Thitherwards, stormier than the sea, stormeth our great longing!—
"Why so hard!"—said to the diamond one day the charcoal; "are we then not near relatives?"—
Why so soft? O my brethren; thus do I ask you: are ye then not—my brethren?
Why so soft, so submissive and yielding? Why is there so much negation and abnegation in your hearts? Why is there so little fate in your looks?
And if ye will not be fates and inexorable ones, how can ye one day— conquer with me?
And if your hardness will not glance and cut and chip to pieces, how can ye one day—create with me?
For the creators are hard. And blessedness must it seem to you to press your hand upon millenniums as upon wax,—
—Blessedness to write upon the will of millenniums as upon brass,—harder than brass, nobler than brass. Entirely hard is only the noblest.
This new table, O my brethren, put I up over you: BECOME HARD!—
O thou, my Will! Thou change of every need, MY needfulness! Preserve me from all small victories!
Thou fatedness of my soul, which I call fate! Thou In-me! Over-me! Preserve and spare me for one great fate!
And thy last greatness, my Will, spare it for thy last—that thou mayest be inexorable IN thy victory! Ah, who hath not succumbed to his victory!
Ah, whose eye hath not bedimmed in this intoxicated twilight! Ah, whose foot hath not faltered and forgotten in victory—how to stand!—
—That I may one day be ready and ripe in the great noontide: ready and ripe like the glowing ore, the lightning-bearing cloud, and the swelling milk-udder:—
—Ready for myself and for my most hidden Will: a bow eager for its arrow, an arrow eager for its star:—
—A star, ready and ripe in its noontide, glowing, pierced, blessed, by annihilating sun-arrows:—
—A sun itself, and an inexorable sun-will, ready for annihilation in victory!
O Will, thou change of every need, MY needfulness! Spare me for one great victory!—-
Thus spake Zarathustra.

-Friedrich Nietzsche



. . . tell me more.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thoughts of the day

R.I.P., Shirley Temple Black. She was the greatest Hollywood child star. I'm a fan of her work. Throughout a life of accomplishment, she revealed clear sight, intelligence, will, discipline, and a level head.

R.I.P., Harold Ramis, aka Dr. Egon Spengler.

Checked off: I finally got around to reading Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. It's a fast read. The book was on my reading list because it's a semi-autobiographical, fictional Vietnam War memoir by an Army veteran and, before that aspect related to me, Cyd cited the book as her favorite and used O'Brien's list as the structuring device for the 1st part of her valedictory speech. I wonder why The Things They Carried was Cyd's favorite book at Stuy. On its face, a war story is an unexpected reading choice, let alone favorite book, for a high-school girl unless her dad, another relative, or a close family friend is a Vietnam War veteran. Was it O'Brien's demonstration that language, words, and stories shape and guide how we process the world around us? Was it the feminist awakening parable of Mary Anne Bell? Was it the theme of mining rare truth, the kind of truth that Oscar found in Afghanistan? Tim O'Brien's view that "story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth" is a writer's conceit, but it's also an insight. I guess I'll never know. I appreciate O'Brien's mix of perspectives about his soldiering experience; for example:
How do you generalize? War is hell, but that's not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead. The truths are contradictory.
Judging from what I know, O'Brien's reflection on soldiering is genuine; like the rest of us, his soldier identity has been seared into him.

In line with O'Brien's lesson "learned that words make a difference" from coping with death in the Vietnam War, add Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind to the reading list. (h/t)

The Army is going to be shrunk to 1940 levels. I'm reflexively upset at the news, made worse by the obfuscating sleights of hand by SecDef Hagel and media presenting it. I want to see more sober analysis on the implications.

Army PFC hides in her POV rather than get out and salute the 1700 flag lowering. This is the typical stupid stuff young privates do while they're still learning how to be, and what it means, to be a soldier. It just stands out because she broadcast her knuckleheadness on social media and it was picked up by the media. If I was her CO, I would task my 1SG to give her some extended, personal sergeant time and sit down with her NCOIC/PSG to discuss why their leadership encouraged their soldier to lose her military bearing.

Harvard columnist Sandra Korn, who came to my attention with her radical-boilerplate opposition to ROTC, stakes out another radical position with her opposition to academic freedom that allows for politically incorrect ideas. It strikes me as a shrewd career maneuver in light of the trend of provocative radical-left positions acting as effective springboards and shortcuts to political celebrity, eg, Wendy Davis and Sandra Fluke's advocacy of late-term abortion and subsidized birth control as maximal rights. As troubling as her position is for a Harvard student (though not surprising; as a campus activist, I competed with classmates like Korn at Columbia), more troubling is her position is a short and logical stretch from the view of many mainstream Harvard students: a Harvard student petition in the Jason Richwine controversy stated, “Even if such claims had merit, the Kennedy School cannot ethically stand by this dissertation whose end result can only be furthering discrimination under the guise of academic discourse.”

More reactions to Korn's column here and here.

Perceptive observation: "The [Ukraine] protests are about serious geopolitics, so the feminists probably don’t care. You gotta frame things as a sort of oppressor vs victim deal so the leftists can get their feelings on, otherwise they don’t know what’s going on." Feminists subscribe to the Marxist axis of oppressor/oppressed, despite Marx's historic error of shoehorning the multi-variate sweep of social evolution into a rigid, reductive historical theory. Marx's philosophical successors (Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, Durkheim) subscribed to Marx's basic premise of alienation, but discredited Marx's historical theory. In effect, Marx created an enduring, potent conflict model while falling short of his goal of accurately diagnosing the course of human events. Modern Marxists, unmoored even from Marx's original flawed grounding in economic classes, seek out conflicts to change the world while restricted in their understanding of the world. As a result, they're effective but often harm the greater society beyond their clients.

Insight into the operation on the ground of the Ukraine protests. Keys: guerilla tactics, logistics, coalition.

The 8 Stages All Movements Go Through, by red-pill blogger runsonmagic (Eric Crowley), summarizes a section of the late Bill Moyer's (not PBS host Bill Moyers) book, Doing Democracy. Crowley analogized the 8 stages of movements to the blue pill to red pill personal change process here.

Neo on being a liberal, with a diagnostic comment thread.

The Left uses this popular-political strategy: "His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it." (source) The whole report is educational.

On the political tactics of 'false but true' noble lies that advance an agenda with passion plays and disqualification that stigmatizes the holders of opposing viewpoints in place of engaging their ideas.

At Patriactionary, the host opened the door whereupon I again attempted to correct the narrative of the Iraq enforcement. Update: Per usual, once I laid out my argument, the other party responded by disengaging rather than respond to my points. I like the simple declarative deductive structure of my comments.

This is depressing and discouraging on a number of fronts, including the role of lawyers in the fraud: Asylum Fraud in Chinatown: An Industry of Lies. (h/t)

The meticulously thoughtful, critical, red-pill Emma the Emo on honor.

Claire Lehmann talks about mean girls in women's nature.

TempestTcup: "women don’t get “nice” because to us “nice” is weakness." Ouch. That explains some things. Update: Stingray says, "Check ourt the etymology of nice. Don’t be nice, be civil. There is actually a huge difference. Also, know when it’s time to stop being civil. We respect that." A Northern Observer says, "“Nice” has no boundaries and is part of the liberal mindset that all you need to do is “be nicer” to cure the ills of the will, including bringing bad actors around. “Civil” has boundaries, enforces them, and doesn’t suffer from the delusion of “niceing” a bad actor away from the dark side." Stingray further explained the difference between civil and nice.

A related realization to the difference between civil and nice is that a nice guy is not the same as a good man, although a good man often has nice-guy traits and the two types are often interchanged. A good man is proud, self-controlled, strong willed, self-aware, clear sighted, and capable. He is good because he is ethical, not because he is nice. A good man is bedrock and oak. He creates order.

Sarah's Daughter (her blog): "Men can be very naive to the true motivations of women. Simply because they can not conceive of it themselves. Get to know men. You’ll find that most of them are very harsh in their judgement of their own selves. They are very introspective, very sincere, and for the most part idealistic about women – most men (sans manosphere/red pill truths) believe women think the way they do. Women do a good job pretending they do as well. The truth of the matter is often hidden deep within her psyche. Thus the devastation men experience when they learn that women think very differently than they do." Chris: "[Men] should not think women are like them and vice versa. We can still understand, we can still communicate, we can still love, we are still both moral agents, but our carnal desires are wired differently." These are seminal red-pill insights. At the tipping point, a man is disillusioned, has 1st hand evidence, and suspects the truth. He stumbles on a Manosphere post that assembles the things he knows in a way that clarifies the ugly truths. Changing how he views man-woman relational dynamics changes how he sees the world. I accept now that the Platonic ideal of love is a masculine invention. For women, love has a more rational, visceral, or sensual nature. I believe most men who believe they’re sharing Platonic love with a woman actually are only receiving satisfactory feedback. She may be in love with him, but her woman's love is not the idealistic love he feels for her. I’m enough of an idealist still to believe there are exceptional cases of men and women sharing a transcendent state of idealistic love, but they’re so rare, it’s not worth planning for it. A lottery ticket only costs a dollar; with similar odds, a man risks far more to gamble for romantic ideal love.

Regarding the value of PUAs: "I believe the universal appeal of PUAs is their praxeology of women and relational dynamics, the ‘science’ of Game more than its application and promised rewards. Men want to solve the vexing mystery. Even MGTOWs have an innate need to understand women because they’re still sexual, though they mostly use the knowledge to rationalize their choice to override their natural mate desire."

Tinder is a trending cellphone dating app that uses Facebook to facilitate hook-ups. Apparently, the psychological device that distinguishes Tinder is it requires a conclusive decision to 'match' by swiping right or reject by swiping left based on a first impression only. The Tinderfessions twitter is a red-pill window to the rampant id of the modern sexual market. The display of women's feral sexual nature is depressing, but it's true.

Recent cropping up of red-pill son-raising advice here, here, here, here, here, and here. True: "If you cannot teach your son positive masculinity, the Feminine Imperative and a fem-centric world will tech [sic] him its version of masculinity."

Tenets of Nietzschean philosophy said plainly. Brief version: Evolving to your best and strongest self provides a service to humanity by inspiring and motivating others to improve themselves. When we each improve our self, the whole level of humanity is thereby raised in aggregate. So don't play down your improvements. Shine forth with them. Be proud. Be confident. Assert them. However, be warned that when you become extraordinary, people who stay ordinary will pull you down to their level and justify their coercion as virtuous. That's Nietzsche 101.

Excerpt from Thus Spake Zarathustra (LXXII. THE SUPPER.):
"Be of good cheer," replied Zarathustra, "as I am. Abide by thy customs, thou excellent one: grind thy corn, drink thy water, praise thy cooking,—if only it make thee glad!
I am a law only for mine own; I am not a law for all. He, however, who belongeth unto me must be strong of bone and light of foot,—
—Joyous in fight and feast, no sulker, no John o' Dreams, ready for the hardest task as for the feast, healthy and hale.
The best belongeth unto mine and me; and if it be not given us, then do we take it:—the best food, the purest sky, the strongest thoughts, the fairest women!"—
Thus spake Zarathustra
; the king on the right however answered and said: "Strange! Did one ever hear such sensible things out of the mouth of a wise man?
And verily, it is the strangest thing in a wise man, if over and above, he be still sensible, and not an ass."

Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-85) summed up Friedrich Nietzsche's beliefs developed to that point of his life and was followed by his other best-known works: Beyond Good and Evil (1886), On the Genealogy of Morals (1887), and Ecce Homo (1888). Nietzsche was born on 15 October 1844 and died on 25 August 1900.

A generalization on stigma. A MGTOW strives to boost his individual consciousness by interrogating internalized social values, creating separation from his ingrained social identity and collective consciousness, selectively limiting interaction with the community, and cultivating wariness of the norms and stigmas of the cultural zeitgeist.

Arthur Chu is revolutionizing the gameplay on the television game show, Jeopardy, with innovative data-based 'Moneyball' tactics. Apparently, his personality is unlikeable and there's a racist undertone of alien menace because he's Asian American. However, my takeaway from the story is the further displacement of my MO, intuition, by statistical analysis.

In contrast to Arthur Chu using statistical analysis to 'exploit an inefficiency', Jeremy Lin suffers from the Rockets game-plan emphasizing statistical analysis. Lin's intuitive game has been restricted by the Morey-ball straitjacket. For an illustration of what Lin can be in the NBA, and was during Linsanity, read this Grantland praise, by the excellent Zach Lowe, of Goran Dragic's season and this explanation of Dragic's improvement by Grantland's Kirk Goldsberry. Dragic's success is due to the freedom he's allowed to play his game. Dragic and Lin are left-handed and right-handed versions of each other. They're even the same size, and before his rookie season, Lin cited Dragic's game as his NBA comparison.

In Fellowship of the Rings, 'mist' and 'misty' seem to be JRR Tolkien's poetic trope for the pre-scientific animist magic of Middle Earth. Earth-personification Tom Bombadil's wife, Goldberry the River-woman's daughter, seems to be Tolkien's natural feminine ideal.

Why do we over-eat? Neurobiologist Stephan Guyenet explains here. According to Guyenet, the start point is understanding the role of leptin:
Body fat produces a hormone called leptin, which signals to the brain and other organs to decrease appetite, increase the metabolic rate and increase physical activity. More fat means more leptin, which then causes the extra fat to be burned. The little glitch is that some people become resistant to leptin, so that their brain doesn't hear the fat tissue screaming that it's already full. Leptin resistance nearly always accompanies obesity, because it's a precondition of significant fat gain. If a person weren't leptin resistant, he wouldn't have the ability to gain more than a few pounds of fat without heroic overeating (which is very very unpleasant when your brain is telling you to stop). Animal models of leptin resistance develop something that resembles human metabolic syndrome (abdominal obesity, blood lipid abnormalities, insulin resistance, high blood pressure).
Based on shows about subsistence and hunter-gatherer lifestyles, I've decided eating meat and animal fat is healthy. The shows consistently characterize meat and animal fat as prized staples with the highest nutrition value in the local diet. Store-bought meat, or "government meat" as Erik Salitan calls it, likely contains additives such as hormones and antibiotics that are unhealthy, but I conclude meat and animal fat are intrinsically healthful. Update: More on the healthiness of eating meat and animal fats from a weight-lifting blog.

The value of pernil pork shoulder comes from more than the meat. Based on a 99¢/lb sale, the amount of meat yielded by a pernil is a good deal, but not a great deal. At a rough estimate, around 15% of a pernil's weight is skin and bones. However, the skin and bones add different values from the meat. The skin is baked into crackling and the bones are boiled for bone broth. (More about bone broth here.)

I boiled the bones from my latest pernil twice in the Mirro, for 2 batches of bone broth, say about 90 ounces per batch, and then discarded the bones. The 1st batch, seasoned with salt and ginger, was the most oily and savory. I haven't tried the 2nd batch yet. Then I had 2nd thoughts, removed the pernil bones from the trash, rinsed them off, and boiled them a 3rd time in the Salton pot, just to find out how much more I could get from them. According to info on-line, bone broth extracted from beef or pork bones is boiled for many hours, even a day or more. I seasoned the 3rd batch of bone broth, say about 28 ounces, with salt, ginger, and garlic. It wasn't as savory as the 1st batch, but it was good enough that I'm going to boil the pernil bones a 4th time. Update: The 4th batch, again boiled in the Salton pot and seasoned with salt, garlic, ginger, was as savory as the 3rd batch, so I'll be boiling a 5th batch. Update: In the Salton pot, I boiled the 5th batch with starchy pasta water and vinegar I had used to clean a peanut butter jar. The vinegar is supposed to help extract calcium. The bone broth was thick due to the pasta water. I'll be boiling a 6th batch. Update: The 6th batch, boiled in the Salton pot, worked; on to the 7th batch. Update: The 7th batch, boiled in the Salton pot, had noticeably less flavor, but was still adequate. One more batch, this time in the Mirro, and I'm throwing out the bones regardless of the result. The pernil bones are noticeably lighter, bleached whiter, and crumbly. Update: The 8th batch in the Mirro still has body, but I think it's the bone dissolving at this point rather than marrow oil. Most of the flavor is from vinegar, salt, garlic, and ginger. I also boiled fresh chicken bones with the last 3 batches of pernil bone broth. I then threw out all the bones.

Hot oily pernil bone broth with salt, garlic, and ginger is quite delicious.

For adding saltiness, salt works best. I've been using seasoned salt where I should have been using salt, but seasoned salt is more expensive than salt (1.99/16-oz vs .50/28-oz) and is better suited for point-targeted seasoned-salt flavor than for area-targeted saltiness.

Bachelor stew: In the Mirro, 15 oz can of Sunny Sea mackerel ($1.25), 18.5 oz can of Progresso traditional meatball & rice (Albondigas) soup ($1.25), water, and 1 cup white rice as base; then later added 15.5 oz can of Western Beef red kidney beans (50¢), 2 diced Eastern white potatoes, 1 diced carrot, chopped yellow onions and garlic, chopped and shaved ginger, angel hair pasta, elbow pasta, salt, seasoned salt, black pepper, mustard, and hot sauce. The ginger made a notable difference. Unexpectedly, the onion flavor made a difference, I believe because I added it later. The mustard and hot sauce didn't make a difference. The big difference is I waited until the rice was almost separated to add the beans, potatoes, carrot, onions, garlic, ginger, and pasta in order to retain firmer textures and distinct flavors. The sequential method of adding ingredients worked. Next time, I'll take the practice further by first cooking the rice in water only and then adding everything else, including the base components. After I ate about half the stew, I topped off the Mirro with water and added salt and angel hair pasta. For dessert, I ate an under-baked salt-and-vinegar bannock with orange marmalade and sour cream spread, 2 BC milk chocolate brownies, the 1st with sour cream and the 2nd with orange marmalade. I stuffed myself by gulping down all the stew in less than a day.

I should do a cost comparison of dry beans versus canned beans. Update: Answer. Several on-line blogs and forums have asked and answered the dry beans versus canned beans question. The general rule is 1 part dry beans turns into 3 parts cooked beans, or a 1-lb bag of dry beans yields 3 lbs or 48 ounces of cooked beans. Meanwhile, a 15-ounce can of beans contains 12 ounces of cooked beans and 3 ounces of liquid, so a 1-lb bag of dry beans equals 4 15-oz cans of cooked beans, although some home testers have posted there is less than 12 ounces of cooked beans in cans they've drained and weighed. In my 1st foray into purchasing beans, I bought 4 cans of beans on sale for 50¢ each or $2 total. The non-sale price of dry beans in my local grocery stores is 1.50-1.75 for a 1-lb bag. There you go - the choice is easy.

Good meal: White rice, broiled (15/10) fatty pernil chop made with ginger flakes, chopped garlic, seasoned salt, and soy sauce, orange marmalade for dipping sauce, broiled (10) carrots and onions, raw onions, raw tomato, and pernil bone broth with salt and ginger flakes. The fatty part wasn't as crisp as I like it, but I also didn't want to broil the pernil chop longer because the meat was the way I like it and I didn't want to dry it out. A possible solution is to broil a pernil chop fatty side down for the 1st half (15), then on the flip, fatty side up for the 2nd half (10). That way it will cook through in the 1st half and the direct exposure to the heat in the 2nd half will crisp the fat.

For this week's break-fast meal, I ate 2 plates of french fries, 6 turkey patty bannock sandwiches, 2 bannockless turkey patties, 1 mug of pernil bone broth, a handful of deep-oil fried okra, a deep-oil fried slice of fatback, an orange, and spoonfuls of peanut butter and orange marmalade, pudding style. My innovation was to use the Salton pot as a deep-oil fryer with 1+ cup of corn oil. It worked, except I ingested a lot of oil. Too much. It's good to have added the method but I won't use it often. Taking in that much oil feels bad.

There is a variety of opinions about every aspect of making french fries. There is much debate, especially, about the utility of soaking the potatoes. For the 1st batch of french fries in my break-fast meal, I soaked the potatoes in cold water for an hour, poured out the starchy water, then patted them somewhat dry with a paper towel. I then used the 2-temp method of cooking the French fries, which is fry at a lower temp, remove the french fries from the oil, then fry them at a higher temp. There's no temperature gauge on the burner, so I used medium heat, then medium-high heat. I overcooked the french fries so they were all crunch, but they were still tasty; oily, though. I ate them with ketchup and sour cream. For the 2nd batch, I fried the potatoes without soaking and turned up the temp without removing the potatoes. The shells seemed thinner on the 2nd batch, but it's tough to compare since I overcooked the 1st batch of french fries. I cooked a slice of fatback in the Salton pot to add pork flavor to the corn oil, but didn't make another batch of french fries.

The turkey patties were made from approximately 10 ounces of Shadybrook Farms ground breast of turkey (expired 06AUG13, but tastes fine), 1 egg, garlic, ginger, onions, flour, sesame oil, sour cream, salt, and seasoned salt. I deep-oil fried the turkey patties in the Salton pot. They were crispy on the outside and moist on the inside; oily, though. The toppings I used for the bannock sandwiches were various combinations of Hood sour cream, Polaner orange marmalade, Best Yet garden combination spaghetti sauce, Skippy roasted honey nut creamy peanut butter, raw onions, Roma tomato slices, and hot sauce. The ginger in the turkey patties combined well with the orange marmalade. I baked the 2 bannockless turkey patties. The deep-oil fried patties had better texture and tasted better, but the lack of oily after-feeling from the baked patties was better.

The Salton pot turned brown on the inside and outside, which only seems to happen to cookware from cooking with oil and not from water. I accidently dribbled water into the boiling oil from water on the Salton pot lid. The physical reaction was like bombs going off. I think the explosions happen because water sinks below the oil, and when the rapidly heated water changes state from liquid to steam (gas), the steam escapes the oil like buried or submerged mines blowing up. Before I dribbled water into the boiling oil, the oil bubbled in the uncovered Salton pot without a problem - not even a little spitting.

I used up the last oil in the Salton pot by making 2 deep-oiled fried bannocks. The 1st deep-oil fried bannock was made with salt and flour only. The 2nd deep-oil fried bannock was made with salt, baking soda, vinegar, onions, and garlic. The 1st one was better. It stayed flat and crisped up, crunchy and dense. The 2nd one sucked in all the remaining oil in the Salton pot and puffed up like a sponge or 油条 (yóu tiáo).

I've learned that rice cooks at a relatively low temperature. Rice cooks at high temperatures, too, but I need to use the low setting on the burner in order to avoid a hard brown layer of overcooked rice at the bottom of the Salton pot. That a hard brown layer of overcooked rice didn't routinely occur in the Salton automatic rice cooker tells me that automatic rice cookers use a relatively low temperature. This also explains why my experiment with deep-oil frying potatoes in the Salton didn't work: the temperature was too low. Water boils at 212°F. Oil for making french fries is heated to 300-400°F depending on the recipe.

I've sped my way through the Polaner orange marmalade, a third of a jar of Smuckers grape jam, 3.5 jars of peanut butter (Associated crunchy, Western Beef creamy, Skippy honey nut roasted creamy, and now Peter Pan crunchy), and 2.5 containers of Hood sour cream due to eating them straight from their containers like pudding. I should restore them to their proper roles of spreads and toppings.

Bachelor meat sauce: In the Mirro, 1 chicken thigh, 1 28-oz can of Red Pack crushed tomatoes (with basil, garlic, and oregano in thick puree), 1 15.25-oz can of Farm Fresh golden sweet whole kernel corn, 1 10-oz box of Birds Eye frozen chopped broccoli, white rice, 1 diced potato, 1 chopped carrot, ginger flakes, chopped onions, chopped garlic, starchy pasta water, elbow pasta, angel hair pasta, seasoned salt, salt, and pepper. I cooked the rice with the chicken thigh on low heat until the rice puffed up before adding the rest of the ingredients. I stuffed myself by eating up the whole batch in a day.

Good meal: 1 broiled (15/10/5) fatty pernil chop with seasoned salt, ginger flakes on one side, and garlic and onions on the other side, and Smuckers grape jam as dipping sauce; steamed carrots, onions, garlic, and okra; white rice; 1 juice orange, sliced. I re-broiled the last chunk of fat for 5 minutes. The broiled pernil chop was delicious, although the grape jam wasn't as tasty a dipping sauce as the orange marmalade. The orange was sweet, and I've taken to eating the seeds, which negates the only drawback of juice oranges, which is a lot of seeds. I cooked the rice in the Mirro using low heat. I became impatient and bumped up the burner switch to low-medium heat for a few minutes at the end, likely unnecessarily. I steamed the vegetables in the Mirro using the Nesco rack while cooking the rice. It was the 1st time I made rice outside of the Salton pot, although the rice component of my bachelor meat sauces and stews showed the method should work. I ate the meal while watching a playlist of a young Ray Mears's 1st BBC show, Tracks.

My break-fast meal dessert was a banana topped with sour cream, peanut butter, and grape jam. It wasn't bad, like a room-temperature, poor man's version of a banana split. I don't think the sour cream made a difference. The break-fast meal was okay: fried vegetarian Vietnamese spring roll with mint; small pizza bannock with ginger, garlic, and onion; egg, fatback, onion, garlic, and onion fried rice; salt-and-vinegar bannock with onion, garlic, ginger and brushed with fatback grease; and pernil bone broth with ginger. The egg fried rice, which usually rises to comfort food, was disappointing, I think because I added too much water to the leftover rice.

Bachelor cooking shortcut: I cooked rice on low-medium heat in the Mirro. At the same time, I placed 2 chicken thighs and a whole carrot with the uncooked rice and water at the start. When the rice was done, the carrot was softer than I like. The chicken thighs were cooked fine, except as expected, the skins weren't crisped. The rice was cooked in the chicken oil, which wasn't a big difference but still a small bonus. The rice didn't burn nor stick. I'll try the shortcut method with the pernil chop for form's sake, although I don't have high expectations due to prior, underwhelming experience steaming a pernil chop. Update: The shortcut method worked as expected with the pernil chop. The pernil chop was cooked adequately, but was the texture of airline food meat, kind of dry and no char.

I made a bachelor stew (can of mackerel, rice, etc) with a chicken leg for stock rather than a can of soup. It didn't produce enough grease, significantly less than a chicken thigh. So, a chicken leg is for baking, not for greasing up a bachelor stew or meat sauce. Update: Hm. I made my next bachelor stew with a chicken thigh that also seemed short on grease, though better than the chicken leg. Chicken thighs work for bachelor meat sauce. A cooking temperature issue, perhaps? A can of soup for bachelor stew is reliable, but I'd rather figure out how to use a piece of meat.

I added hot sauce, 2 ripe bananas, and ginger flakes to a batch of Pillsbury chocolate fudge brownies. I don't taste the hot sauce. I can taste the banana and ginger flakes; they're good additions. The bananas made the batter more runny and the cooked brownies more pancake-like. I considered adding flour to thicken the batter, but opted not to for the risk of diluting the flavor. I bought a 48-oz carton of Turkey Hill rum raisin ice cream on sale for $2.50 to indulge in brownie a la mode, but I gobbled up the ice cream before I mixed the brownie batter. Oh well. It would have been good. I wonder how brownies would taste with orange juice mixed into the batter? Update: I added 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) of Minute Maid low pulp orange juice in place of water to a batch of Betty Crocker milk chocolate brownie batter in which I also added sour cream, ginger flakes, and 1 banana. I can't taste any orange juice flavor in the brownies.

Lesson learned: Don't make crackling in the Salton pot, at least not without an intermediate layer (eg, the pernil skin in the 1-qt mixing bowl). The fat burned into a bitter-tasting, stubborn-clinging, black char stuck to the pot and the crackling. If the char had tasted good, I wouldn't have minded, but it was bitter. I had to clean it off the crackling with a paring knife. My original plan was to leave the oil rendered from the crackling in the Salton pot to make french fries. Instead, I poured the oil into a sour-cream container while trying to leave behind as much as the char as I could to dispose, which meant also losing a good amount of the rendered oil. Oh well; now I know. I was impressed again at how much the pernil skin shrinks when cooking crackling, at least a 1/4, maybe a 1/5 of the size. It may have shrunk more in the Salton pot than usual. A lot of white vaporous smoke was produced while cooking the crackling in the Salton pot. I don't recall whether that happened when I cooked crackling with the Nesco and Mirro.

Lesson learned: Disposable aluminum pans and pan covers mysteriously grow pin holes. While making onion rings, I experimented using a disposable aluminum pan directly on the burner. The onion rings cooked fine, except the oil leaked out through pin holes in the pan onto the burner. I needed to use a rag to control the light, low aluminum pan in order to maneuver the onion rings and a rubber elastic part touched the burner and melted. It was an easy clean up, fortunately, but breathing the fumes can't be good for me.

Based loosely on this recipe, I made onion rings with batter made from flour, oil, water, 1 egg, baking soda, and salt, which are brownie ingredients. The texture of the shells were too cake-like. Next time, I'll leave out the oil and egg and maybe the baking soda and go with bannock-like batter. The onions were soft and the raw-onion tang wasn't there, which tells me the onion rings need to be cooked faster: dip into hot oil until just brown, flip, just brown, and remove. Update: I used a flour, salt, and water to make a purposely watery batter. I baked the onion rings with corn oil. The batter crisped up fine but it slid off the onions. They tasted right, but they were cooked onions on a crispy bed rather than onion rings. Maybe thicker batter will stick better.

Lesson learned: Long-time storage of ginger in a plastic bag tied shut in the refrigerator results in moldy ginger. I cut off the moldy parts, removed the skin, rinsed, air dried, and am storing the remaining ginger chunks in the freezer except for the chunk I'm using. Update: The chunk I'm using also must be stored in the freezer, except I store it in a separate bag. Once frozen, the ginger can't be unfrozen. When thawed the chunk turns into a wet sponge.

Lesson learned: To retain sausage flavor, cook sausages whole, then slice them. Slicing first, then cooking, causes the sausage to lose flavor. I wonder if cooking a sausage whole first, refrigerating and slicing (or slicing and refrigerating), then heating will retain the sausage's flavor.

I bought 2 pernil pork shoulders on a 88¢/lb sale. To fit them in my freeze, I cut open the vacuum-sealed plastic bag, removed 1 pernil, stored it in a thin supermarket produce bag and 2 shopping bags. I now have 3 of them in my freezer, stacked side-by-side upright, not yet butchered, taking up most of the bottom shelf. I thought I might have to move something down, but rearranging the freezer did the trick. I'm set for meat for a while.

My faith in the integrity of my blog and my trust in Blogger was shaken by the discovery that my 26FEB2013 post reverted to an earlier version. There was no notice nor any warning of the change. There's no saved draft of the correct version in my account. Fortunately, the correct version of the post was cached on google. I don't know whether other posts have been replaced without my knowledge. It's scary because I don't remember all the additions and changes I routinely make to posts. Because the older versions of my posts are familiar with my ideas and writing style, a reversion may not even catch my attention as having changed. I need to back up everything I've posted onto my hard drive. Update: I tentatively believe the 26FEB2013 post reverted because, while experimenting a few days ago, I did a Revert to draft of all my 'Thoughts of the day' labeled posts from the posts list and then immediately republished them. I didn't know I risked altering the posts. However, several help requests in the Blogger troubleshooting forum say that Revert to draft caused a blog post to revert to an earlier version of the blog post - not only change the published status. Now I have to compare all of my 'Thoughts of the day' labeled posts to cached versions to find out whether other posts changed. Update: My 30AUG2012 Thoughts of the day also reverted to an earlier version, which is probative but not dispositive evidence the Revert to draft was the culprit. All the other 'Thoughts of the day' labeled posts matched their cached versions on google. I need to recall what other posts I've reverted to draft. The next time I use Revert to draft, I first have to save a back-up copy of the post on my computer. From now on, especially when I pull up an older post for which I don't recall my last change, I'll have a nagging worry that I'm reading an older version missing later additions and edits.

To remove the sticky, rubbery adhesive used to attach labels to plastic or glass jars, such as for peanut butter or pasta sauce, rub off the adhesive using cooking oil, then remove the oil with dishwashing soap. Vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and dishwashing soap do a poor job of removing the glue.

I cleaned splashed on grease stains on a cotton dress shirt by scrubbing them with a toothbrush, dishwashing liquid, and water. Backstory: I was boiling bone broth with pernil bones after butchering a 9-lb pernil pork shoulder I had just purchased. I was using a fork and spoon as improvised tongs to lift the bones out of the broth. I shook the bones before removing them to a plate. I dropped one and it splashed oily broth onto my shirt. Cleaning the shirt: I hand washed the shirt normally with other laundry items (1 ball cap, 1 pair athletic socks, 1 pair polyester shorts, 1 pair cotton boxers, 1 washcloth, and 2 pillow cases) after pouring laundry detergent directly onto the stains. When the shirt air dried, the grease stains were still visible. I then used a toothbrush to scrub the grease stains with laundry detergent and water. When the shirt dried, the grease stains were still visible. Then I scrubbed with the dishwashing liquid and water. When the shirt dried, the grease stains were gone or at least sufficiently faded.

I eat on the desk holding my computer and, over the years, splattered droplets of grease built up on my monitor screen. I applied this suggestion to use a cloth, water, and vinegar to clean the monitor screen. The grease stains cleaned off satisfactorily, but the cloth and cleaning solution left streaks, likely because I used tap water rather than distilled water. Perhaps filtered water would work, too; next time. Update: After wiping down the monitor screen with a cloth wet with vinegar and water after splattering some chicken bits on the screen, I saw a pixel burned out on the left side, middle portion of the screen. I'm perplexed because I don't recall doing anything unusual on that part of the screen while I did wipe more and harder on other parts of the screen.

I take my thumbs for granted. After I cut the tip of my left thumb and wrapped an adhesive bandage around it, I tried to avoid touching it. It was harder than I expected. I ended up gripping with the bandaged part of my thumb, which meant making the bandage wet, dirty, and useless.

Getting older physical changes: First noticed last winter, body cold and unable, as I was able when younger, to warm up with body heat alone under the covers. I've resorted to long underwear, sleeping bag, comforter, and heater on. However, I think I can skip all that by warming up with some brisk exercise. Tinnitus that comes and goes that sounds like the buzzing of a hearing test or a high-pitched machine hum.


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