A thought I want to get down on paper.
My father was born in 1929. He was the third of seven children, and the first male.
He worked hard his whole life to succeed. I remember when he bought his first Cadillac, and then the little Cadillac for my mom. Success!
In the town where Dad moved up, we moved to the upper burbs where doctors and lawyers and such lived. My mom is a gardener. On one occasion, Mom was out in the front yard when the wives of Doctors and Lawyers decided to convene on Mom’s front yard to discuss local stuff. Because I remember it, I’d have to say that was a defining moment in my political life. In my mom’s beautiful yard, they ignored my mom.
It was awkward, but they didn’t get it.
Commemorating Mom, who fed us Campbell’s Tomato Soup with Macaroni, and grilled cheese sandwiches so that Dad could buy Cadillacs.
Long time readers may be wondering why I haven’t been talking about the Mississippi State A&S tailgates yet. New readers may be wondering what I’m taking about.
For the past three years, Mr. Big Food and I have not only cooked for the 120 or more who attend the Arts & Sciences tailgate, we were also in charge of set up and breakdown, and I had the distinct pleasure of being in charge of the A&S U-Haul trailer that’s home to all things tailgate. We got really really good at setting up tables and chairs, decorating the site, and keeping the trailer in impeccable shape– down to an art or a science depending on your perspective. And we tired of it. So this year we are only doing the cooking.
The dean of the college is now in charge of all the rest. He’s decided that there will no longer be a television set and satellite rig– so no need to run a generator at the tailgate site. That means no electricity.
The forecast for Saturday between noon and 3pm is hovering around 90 degrees, without heat index. (It’s 93 w/ a H.I. of 99 right now on the Farm.) You crowd 120 people under and around a tent in that kind of weather and it can get sort of warm.
But no electricity means no fan. Or does it?
Of course not!
The Jackery 240 connected to a box fan running on HI, and connected to the solar panel which passes electrons to the fan, should give us nearly eight hours of air movement– more than enough. Another fan connected to the 160 with no solar input will give us about 2.5 hrs. when the crowd is there.
Done and done from the Department of Redundancy Department.
Here’s the menu, by the way:
Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Matt Molloy
Claudia has posted some of Molloy’s amazing photos. Give them a look.
I do not know.
The blog has been having some technological issues loading new content and other changes. I’ve worked with SiteGround and I hope they are fixed. If you visit the site and see the same post up for more than say half a day, please let me know in the comments. Thanks.
Mr. Big Food cut the Southwest and Hidden Pastures yesterday. Dogs had a fabulous time! Scared up a covey of quail.
There is some glitch somewhere such that new posts are not loading immediately as they should be. Until I figure it out, click the title of the latest one you see, scroll to its end, and click next post. Sorry & thanks!
In no particular order, and some repeated from Thursday’s post, here are 10 quick and easy things to do this weekend which hopefully will get your brain ready to prepare for a power outage. It’s all about thinking ahead.
1. Unplug your refrigerator
How long does your fridge stay cold and your freezer frozen when the lights go out? Recommendations for safe temperatures are all over the internet but I’m not going to link b/c you can decide for yourself who to trust. The idea, especially if you have a fridge that gives a temperature reading on the door, is to unplug the thing. Don’t open it up. Plug it back in every hour and see what the temperature is.
When the lights go out, you’ll have some general idea of how long you have before things go south. Keep in mind that things do not spoil at the same rates. Carrots last longer than milk at 50 degrees.
2. Go to your basement
If you have one, go down there and find the coolest corner. If you have a thermometer record the temperature. That corner could be home to your carrots when the power is out.
3. Shine a light on it
After dark, go into each room of your house or apartment with an LED flashlight. Point it at the ceiling. Could you navigate that room in that amount of light? Take it one step further and determine the number of lumens of that flashlight. (Use that infallible source to look up the brand and model.) Rooms that are unnavigable will need more or stronger flashlights.
4. Go on a treasure hunt
Here’s your list:
- AAA, AA, C, D batteries; 4 each
- Handheld and lantern flashlight for every member of your household
- Rubbing alcohol, gauze pads, Neosporin, bandaids, icepack
- Kitchen lighter, box of matches
- Full bottle of dish detergent
- Unopened bag or can of ground coffee (The lights are out! You cannot grind beans.)
- Manual can opener
- Canned fruit
- A book you want to read, or read again
- At least one 10,000mAh battery bank
5. AC only
Most devices and other electronics these days have multiple ways to charge, with options to plug the cord into either an AC outlet, or a USB outlet. As long time readers of this blog know well, there are any number of poorly designed modern electronic things out there. Your best efforts to keep your normal life up and running by having lots of Watt hours (Wh) stored in battery banks will be thwarted by these poorly designed things when the lights go out.
Neither my Atlas Weather Station monitor nor our AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet receiver and wifi modem run on anything but AC power. Same can be said for the entire television experience (TV, satellite receivers, BluRay players, etc.). These aren’t too important to us (and we can always connect them to our generator network). Laptops are in a fuzzy area. Walk around your house looking for electronics that you need or want to be able to run if power is out, but require AC. If you’re in the South where it’s still summer, include a box fan in this list.
6. Bank on it
If you already have a battery bank(s), when was the last time it was discharged to about 25% and then recharged? I do this around the first of the month. All the things get run down and then plugged into the banks. Somethings that never run down are plugged into and run directly from the banks. The banks then get plugged into one of the two power stations, and it in turn is recharged either with AC or a solar panel.
7-10. A threefer for coffee lovers (tea lovers, too)
This may be the most challenging. (1) List all of the ways you have to make coffee. Drip, pour over, K-cup, press pot, espresso machine– everything but cold press unless that’s your only gig. Which of those requires electricity? If “all of them” is the answer and you have a gas range, a pot to boil water in, and a pour over, you’re fine. If not… .
More to the point of making coffee is boiling water. How many ways can you boil water without electricity? If you’ve an electric hot water heater, without a way to boil water, you’ll have no way to wash dishes. (2) Spend some time this weekend thinking about boiling water and making coffee & tea when the lights go out. Dig way back in the way back and find that old Coleman propane stove. Do you have propane? Remember how the stove works?
(3) Can you make a pot of coffee without using electricity?
via Powerline’s The Week in Pictures
Have a good one!
Punctuation is perhaps one-tenth rule and nine-tenths art. In that portion that is controlled by art, writers will differ, sometimes radically. The art of punctuation is the art of rhythm, for punctuation’s second function, after its first function of helping to establish clarity, is to set the rhythm of sentences. Rhythm in prose, it turns out, is highly individual, for nearly everyone not only marches but writes to the beat of a different drummer.
Joseph Epstein @NROhttps://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2019/09/30/the-art-of-punctuation/
I have not finished the piece so will reserve judgement.
Of course, I must put down that you must know the rules first.
Update. “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.”
Overall thumbs up.
Powerline’s The Week in Pictures. More coming.
Of course it will, and then I’ll be muttering about the cold and rain.
Our potter / artist pal, The Alchemist, lives waaay up north. Though you didn’t hear too much about it, Nova Scotia got hit by Dorian. Hundreds of thousands of folks were without power for days. I’m not an expert on Nova Scotia but my assumption is this is not a frequent occurrence for Nova Scotians. The Alchemist reports that barbecued pierogies are quite good. [I’m not an expert on Nova Scotia dialect, either, but I *think* in this sense, BBQed is Nova Scotian for grilled.]
The Alchemists tells me he’s already putting together a list of what he needs to do to be better prepared. I’m writing up a post series on the subject for folks who just want to be able to make it comfortably through a few days without power. Meanwhile, I thought I’d post a few pro tips.
It is Daughter C who is the expert on lighting, and it’s she who taught me a thing or two about how to use flashlights, sometimes in conjunction with other things you have laying around, to mimic the three different kinds of lighting you have in your home when the lights go out.
Ambient lighting is that which illuminates a whole room. It’s not generally strong enough to read or do closeup work by, but it allows you to navigate the room. Flip the switch and turn on the ceiling lights. To create ambient lighting with flashlights, illuminate the ceiling by pointing the light(s) at it. There are web sites that will calculate how many lumens you need given the size of the room, but they’re assuming actual lights. In a lights out situation you can get away with far fewer. In a 15′ x 18′ x 8′ pitch black bedroom, an 80 lumen ordinary LED penlight propped up in a glass or vase– if you happen to have one laying around– near the center of the room works just fine. Add more for larger rooms. Experiment with the flashlights you have and see which work best in your rooms.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking, “Well, when the lights go out I just won’t use the guest bedroom.” Your mother-in-law may be visiting. A microburst may put out your bedroom window. Have a plan even if you don’t need to implement it.
Task lighting is just that. It focuses light on an area where you are doing something. It’s supplied by the under cupboard lights in the kitchen, the gooseneck lamp on your desk, the lights above the bathroom sink.
In the kitchen, suspend a series of flashlights from the top cupboard door knobs above the countertop. Experiment with adjustable tactical (>500 lumens) flashlights. If you have a window sill behind the sink, perch a flashlight that folds out on it. For even better lighting here, I situate a white plastic cutting board in front of the window, behind the flashlight, to reflect light back into the room.
Lanterns work well for activities such as playing cards or games. Even better are lanterns on top of mirrors such as you’d put candle holders on. The ultimate task light is a headlamp. Again, experiment with what you have to determine what you need. Keep in mind that task lighting needs more lumens and needs to be hands free.
Accent lighting highlights and draws attention to a particular space. During lights out, the spaces that need accent lighting are not home to the Alchemist’s lovely Raku Pottery but rather those of safety concern– stairs, that piece of furniture you wack your hip or stub your toe on every so often.
Tap lights are great for steps. But a word of caution is in order. Play around with the positioning, especially if you’ll be permanently mounting them. Wrongly placed, some can be glaring and more of a hindrance than a help.
Look for other locations that need highlighting based on how you live, and where things are. Most all of our emergency flashlights are in a tub on a shelf in the
laundry tornado room. On the shelf above, pointed down, is an old fashioned Eveready camping lantern. Compared to LED lights, it’s not all that great, but it does highlight the flashlight tub! Similarly, I have a neon yellow solar/AA suspended from the ceiling fan on the patio. It gets enough sun to stay charged and projects enough hands free light to see the generator’s choke and start buttons if we have to position and start it in the dark.
Next time you’re at your local big box hardware store or outdoor store, spend a few minutes looking at the flashlights. The assortment is astonishing! It’s a true testament to ingenuity and marketing.
Jeremy Glick was on an Airphone, and so was Todd Beamer. “I know I’m not going to get out of this,” the sales account manager for Oracle, who lived in Cranbury, N.J., told Lisa Jefferson, a GTE Airphone operator. He asked her to pray with him and told her that some passengers might make a run at the hijackers. At some point the father of two, whose wife– now widow– is due in January, said absently, “Lisa.”
“Yes,” said Jefferson.
“Oh, that’s my wife’s name. I would like you to call her if I don’t make it through this.”
“That’s my name, too, Todd.”
One Nation: America Remembers September 11, 2001. Time, Inc. Little Brown and Company, Boston. 2001.
Reposted from May 2014 with updated introduction.
I have not complained about the weather recently, but it is stinking hot. HI of over 100 again yesterday. Currently– at 8:40– 78. Filling up one of the dogs’ water bowls and happened to stick my finger in. The cold water coming out of the tub’s spigot (which hadn’t been on since yesterday) was 83 degrees. Granted, it’s Mississippi so the water pipes are buried about 4″ deep, but that’s how hot it’s been. Hot enough to keep the water temperature above the morning air temperature.
Today is Marica Cooks Tuesday. It’s salad time! I’m making a meatless version of Salad Nicoise as a side to the spinach crepes. As I say below, it’s the vinaigrette that holds everything together.
From five plus years ago, a classic recipe.
This recipe calls for “2 quarts torn, mixed salad greens” which we have times infinity -1. (Because it’s nonsensical to multiply infinity. We have a lot of lettuce.)
It is the vinaigrette that holds everything together. So it’s not so much a recipe for a salad as it is an inspiration. Note the carrots– nowhere to be seen in the recipe- but I pulled them and marinated them. Two weeks from now– after this evening’s rain– the canned beans will be replaced by fresh.
3/4 C salad oil
3/4 C tarragon white wine vinegar
1/4 C chopped green onion
2 T snipped fresh parsley
2 t salt
1 t dry mustard
1 t sugar
1/2 t tarragon crushed
16 oz. can cut green beans, drained
2 quarts torn, mixed salad greens
2 tomatoes, sliced
2-3 hard cooked eggs, cut into wedges
6 1/2 oz can white tune, drained
3-4 anchovy fillets, drained [OMIT]
3-4 slices salami or summer sausage, cut into strips
1/2 C ripe olives
1 C tiny whole pickled beets, drained.
Combine first nine ingredients in container with tight cover. Shake well. Pour 1/2C over beans. Marinate 1 hour, chilling thoroughly. Toss salad greens with enough dressing to coat; place on large platter; drain marinated beans, arrange on salad greens with remaining ingredients.
TIP: Select a combination of 3 salad greens from…
[That’s not a problem!]
Capers, artichoke hearts, green pepper strips or strips of boiled ham are also good in this salad.
Serve with Dilly Bread.
Mr. Big Food mentioned over the weekend that he had a paper he wanted me to edit. Needed words cut. Sent it to me today. Said it was 3500 and needed to to be 3000. For some unknown reason having to do with the fact that I am 60 years old and apparently can no longer read and comprehend, I labored to cut 100 words.
Meanwhile, I went down the Hodgkin & Huxley hole. I consulted crappy old Medical Physiology texts. I ruminated on states of affairs.
And I eventually cut 500 words.
It wasn’t easy.
But I learned a lot.
I shared my learnings with Mr. Big Food. He thinks we should write a paper. I think we need to clean the patio.
It’s Drudge Work Monday. BUT. The internet is awful. The internet can be awesome. There are some really dumb people out there in the world. There are some really smart people out there. Here’s the story.
I had picked up a couple of books from the FOL freebie table. I finally retrieved them from the floor of the truck to catalog. I skimmed the Forward of Builders of the Old World (Gertrude Hartman, D.C. Heath and Company, Boston, 1959, 1st 1946).
It is the hope of the authors [this book] … will equip its readers with a sense of their place in the long caravan of humanity, and inspire them to assume the responsibilities that will fall to them in a world that is growing more and more unified.
Lots to say about this. It’s a text of a certain sort, written at a particular time. Blah blah. I turned to the subsection, “How Printing Helped Men to Be Free,” in the chapter, “Great Awakening.” There I find that the author(s) apparently do not like to attribute direct quotes. There are no names, just “said one high Official,” “said one printer,” “said another.” I’m calling BS on this but that’s a different rant.
This caught my attention.
I have twenty-six little lead soldiers with which I shall conquer the world.Another
crappy old Bartlett’s 1891 nor 2002 turned up anything. Neither did The Harper Book of Familiar Quotations (1993). I typed the quote into a DDG search. Only the first four were relevant. After those the results were from algorithm wasteland. Franklin. Gutenberg. And a dude named Maynell. Back to the crappy old books to find an actual citation. Nothing. Note also that the results rephrased the quote to an imperative:
Give me twenty-six lead soldiers and I will [not shall] conquer the world.Who said this?
First up, Yahoo Answers. Yay.
“In Franklin’s day… .” [FYI Gutenberg ca. 1400-1468; Franklin 1706-1790]
No citations other than web sites. Keep scrolling.
Sort of makes you want to calmly walk outside and scream, doesn’t it?
Here’s the authoritative source of the first Ben Franklin claim.
Too far down the rabbit hole to stop now so what the heck? Typefoundry dot blogspot dot com from 2007.
This phrase or some variation upon it used to stick in the minds of English writers on printing like a maddening half-remembered tune. It was often attributed, confidently but without ever giving a reference, to prolific and sententious writers like Benjamin Franklin. From time to time the trade press tried to get to the bottom of the matter. It never succeeded.https://typefoundry.blogspot.com/2007/05/with-twenty-five-soldiers-of-lead-he.html
To disprove the attribution to Franklin (or Marx, or any of the even less likely candidates) would be a wearisome business, but we can be sure that if there had ever been a genuine reference to quote we should have heard all about it by now, many times over. In fact the earliest known instance of the phrase for which there is a certain date is in a small booklet, Une Visite à l’Imprimerie nationale, written by the dramatist Jules Claretie, and issued in 1904. The same text was repeated in the following year as the preface to an odd book, half type specimen, half promotional brochure, entitled Débuts de l’imprimerie en France. It was written by Arthur Christian, the Director of the Imprimerie Nationale. At the time of its publication the national printing office was preparing to move from the district known as the Marais to a new site in the 15th arrondissement of Paris. After the move, suggested Claretie, it would be possible to create a garden in the Marais and to preserve there the statue made for the Imprimerie Nationale, a copy of the original by David d’Angers in Strasbourg, representing Gutenberg,
celui dont on a dit lors de son cinquième centenaire: Avec vingt-cinq soldats de plomb il a conquis le monde!
(He of whom it was said at the time of his fifth centenary, ‘with twenty-five soldiers of lead he has conquered the world’.)
In the event the statue was moved to a garden in front of the new building. It is shown at the head of this post as it appeared after the building was sold by the Imprimerie Nationale when it left Paris in 2oo5.
The fifth centenary of the birth of Gutenberg was celebrated in 1900 in both Germany and France, and the event generated a great deal of printing. Who made the remark cited by Claretie, and on what occasion? So far the search has been unsuccessful.
The notion persists to this day that, although one cannot quite pin it down, it should be easy enough to locate the origin of the phrase if only one took the trouble to look in the right place. This idea appears in an essay by Francis Meynell which probably did more to ensure its currency than any previous use, but it did so in a slightly perverted form. Meynell’s version is ‘With twenty-five soldiers of lead I have conquered the world’. This phrase appears as the heading to an essay in the first of a series of leaflets with the title A Printer’s Miscellany that were issued by the Pelican Press in about November 1921. Meynell repeated it in Typography, a decorative octavo volume promoting the Pelican Press, issued in 1923.
4000+ words. Isn’t the internet awesome? Sometimes.
Almost Summer. Summer. Still Summer. Christmas.
We have officially entered Still Summer.
That’s without the heat index– not that that matters.
Hardest hit? Poor Tiger.
Sign the True ‘Cue Pledge here. I know I did.