Category Archives: Uncategorized

Argh!

I brought one motorbike with me to Albany, but sold it a year later.  I was perusing Craigslist today and I see it is being sold again!  Still looks good.  Of course I thought about buying it back, but so far so good.  Honestly, I’d rather have this in my garage, or this in my driveway, but I should be able to resist those as well.  Things I am not buying.  A heck of a post, right?  Why are you even reading this?

Go do something better with your time.

Uncool

Oh the Google.  I’ve had an account with Youtube for years.  Then, as you surely know, Youtube was acquired by Google.  Later, Google created Google+.  For some time I’d log onto Youtube to post a video and I’d be badgered to create a Google+ account and link the two accounts.  I tried to say no but at some point I was signed up.  As bright and careful as I am, Google was too sneaky and it happened.  Then I’d get invites to join friends on Google+ even though I had not once looked at Google+.  That kind of bugged me.  Did a Google+ page exist for me that people were viewing?  What was on it?  I had no idea.  I just wanted it gone.

Yesterday I read about how to deactivate my Google+ account.  To save my Youtube account, I needed to delink Youtube and Google+, which I did according to directions from Google+.  Then I deactivated Google+.  Apparently the unlinking didn’t happen and now my Youtube account is gone along with all my videos many of which were shared on this blog.

The deactivation notice said I could reactivate.  I tried.  One of the security questions was when did I create my Google+ account.  Pretty sure I didn’t create it and, if I unwittingly did, I have no idea when.  Punchline–I can’t reactivate my Youtube account.  Kind of evil of Google, don’t you think?

Time to look for other services.  I’m thinking Vimeo for videos and Duck Duck Go for a search engine.  Let me know if you know of reasons I should look elsewhere.

I spent some time deleting from my posts embedded now blank videos.  I only made it back to April, 2014.  It is an annoying process so I will probably just leave older posts alone.  Not a big deal.  All of my videos were little things that were only meant to make the world a more quiet place and what could be more quiet than no video at all?

Today is supposed to be a perfect day, weather wise.  I hope you get out there and enjoy it.  Me, too.photo

Take care.

From a Friend

Time for some politics!

My friend, Dale Getto, has asked me to reach out to you.  She’s asking for our help.  If you don’t know Dale, throughout her lifetime she has been active in causes related to social justice.  For example, she worked to ensure that human rights for the LGBT community were legitimized and protected.  Dale has also been on the ground electing people to office sympathetic to her values, often contrary to the “majority.”  On Tuesday, September 9th, she is running as a Judicial Delegate in this year’s Democratic Primary.

Judicial Delegates?  From here:

Judicial Delegates are elected during the same time as other political positions.  Unlike the other political positions, each political party elects judicial delegates.  The main responsibility of judicial delegates is to attend a convention where they elect individuals to the New York State Supreme Court.  This is an unpaid job, but requires little time, and is a great public service opportunity.  It also gives newcomers the opportunity to learn more about petitioning and the political process.  Judicial Delegates are unpaid elected officials who serve a two year term.

Did you know that delegates are typically handpicked by party leaders to vote for the party chair’s candidate of choice?  Dale is running, along with a slate of other citizens against this status quo, because she believes that voters should have a voice in choosing our next Supreme Court Judge and because she believes, as do I, that the people we elect to serve our communities should be more representative of those communities.  She is also running because of the glaring lack of diversity in our Judicial District – all of our three sitting Supreme Court trial judges are white men.

There are currently no women or persons of color serving  as Supreme Court justices in our 3rd Judicial district.  That’s because the white male leadership in our Albany County Democratic Party has only once nominated a woman for Supreme Court – one time in the history of our courts – and that was in 2001!  You and I have a chance to change that in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, September 9th.

It is 2014, and there were many opportunities for the party to make sure the bench reflects the citizenry of Albany County.  To that end, when Dale, along with the slate of delegates listed below win their seat, they will be supporting the candidacy of Judge Margaret Walsh.

Judge Walsh has the experience and qualifications to be an effective Supreme Court Judge.  She has been an Albany County Family Court Judge for almost 10 years and for more than five years has been an acting Supreme Court Justice: the court system has deemed her fit to handle Supreme Court cases.  Why shouldn’t we?

I hope you will agree that we deserve a choice in who serves us on the Supreme Court and that you will join me in supporting Dale Getto and the rest of the slate of delegates who think, as I do, that Judge Walsh is very well qualified to hold this important position.

If you live in the 109th Assembly District (represented by Patricia Fahey) please vote for Dale Getto and the other delegates appearing on the slate with her on Tuesday, September 9th.  If you live in either the 108th or the 110th Assembly Districts you’ll be voting for delegates from another slate committed to voting for Judge Walsh.  A list of delegates committed to voting for Judge Walsh is here.  Take a picture with your phone of the list of your delegates and bring it to the poll.

If you want help even further, please consider forwarding this post to your family, friends and social media contacts, along with your words of support.  Together we can make a difference!

Thank you.

Someday

This makes me feel better.

As usual, I found it on Urban Velo.

This makes me feel better too.bov

This makes me feel the best.fws

Hope you are smiling, too!

p.s.  Please buy this before I do.

Small Bite

I have tortillas on my mind and my wanderings around the corner of the web reserved for them brought me to this.

I so wish I needed a tortilla making machine.

Las Dos Cosas

Yesterday the three of us went camping at Thompson’s Lake.  A fine day!t

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It is a high density campground.  If you’re louder than your neighbors, you’ll probably have fun (provided you don’t get kicked out for being too loud, too late).  If you are quieter than your neighbors, you may notice them a little too much.  We had couples arguing (next door), parents yelling at kids nonstop (across the way) and a very loud singer (we could follow the words even though she was a dozen campsites distant).  We made the best of it until we’d had enough.  Even so, we got to make camp, enjoy a fire, cook and eat some food, drink a couple of beers, walk to the water, nap in the sun and read.  I’ll call it a win, but hope the roulette wheel lands on a different number for our next visit.

Today I made my first scratch made corn tortilla!  Just the one (but more tomorrow).  I bought cal from the Mexican grocery (also known as slaked lime, a mysterious white powder that becomes less mysterious with a little reading) and had on hand organic dried yellow field corn.  The corn was briefly cooked in the water and cal slurry and is now soaking on the counter.  n

Once soaked and washed, the corn is called nixtamal.  The dough made from adding a little water to the ground nixtamal is called masa.  Whether the masa is suitable for tortillas or tamales depends on how you cook, soak and grind the corn.  The magic, though, is in the nixtamalization.  Google it if you are unfamiliar with the process.  Amazing stuff.

Making tortillas from dried corn requires time and patience.  I generally have plenty, but not this once.  I was instructed to let the corn soak in the water and cal slurry overnight, but I washed an individual kernel after 15 minutes of soaking and ground it in my krok hin.  Not the typical tool for grinding corn for masa, but it worked.  I added one or two drops of water, hand formed the world’s smaller tortilla (smaller than a penny!) and cooked it up.  Not good.  I had last ground star anise in the krok hin and the residue darkened the dough and gave it an odd taste.

I washed my krok hin.  After 30 minutes of soaking I made the second one kernel tortilla.  Wonderful!  After 45 minutes I did it again.  Just having fun, you know.  This time I pressed the pea sized ball of dough in my new tortilla press. So cute!

Time for a bigger test.  After an hour of soaking I repeated the process with a quarter cup of kernels.  I washed, dried and ground the corn, added less than a teaspoon of water and a pinch of salt.  The dough was to rest for 30 minutes.  It got five minutes while I under heated the cast iron griddle.  No patience required for testing small batches!  I pressed the ball of dough into a tortilla and cooked it up.  I was to let the tortilla steam in a towel for 15 minutes to finish cooking and soften.  It got five.  Despite my numerous shortcuts, the tortilla impressed me (for what that is worth–my experience set is limited).  Big gains in flavors and texture.  Definitely something to be said for doing it all at home.  ft

I doubt I’ve had many fresh tortillas made with corn nixtamalized at home.  If I have, they were most likely made by my friend Michelle.  She’s very talented and modest.  She wouldn’t have said anything unless asked (and I didn’t know to ask).  I still remember, though, one magic meal she made for us.  She had been cooking for two days.  A real stunner.  Haven’t had the likes of it since.

Tortillas numbers two through infinity are bound to be even better.  I’ll let the corn soak overnight.  I’ll grind it in my mill for a smoother texture (the hand ground corn was really amazing, but it would be a pain to grind a pound or more this way).  I’ll let the dough rest for 30 minutes.  I’ll let the griddle get hot.  Looking forward to it.

Time to go.  Hope you had a great weekend!

Something Better

That last post… I don’t know.  This one?  It’s the real thing.  Plucked from eBay, Oregon State, don’t you know, a vintage ball peen hammer.bph

I didn’t until recently know for what these were made.  They’re made to, among other things, form heads on rivets.  I didn’t have any one sided rivets, but I did have a nail.  First try, one minute tops.  fr

Color me impressed (with this tool).

Have a great weekend.