Salt cured egg: cooking

So i've been letting an egg yolk sit in salt and sugar to cure it. (Consider But for some reason i thought some people didn't put it in the fridge. So i just left it on the counter to cure. This morning i looked at seven or more recipes and EVERYONE lets the salt cure happen in the fridge.

The egg's been sitting in the salt and sugar for two weeks, and it looks like the expected output. Nothing looks or smells off. Surely this was done BEFORE refrigeration. I don't see why i shouldn't continue. And, i might anyway, but i thought i'd get a sense of general opinion.....


Silver lining to the lack of snow clouds (weather)

An explanation of this incredibly mild past January also notes that the north pole has been frigid and
One bright spot in the relentless far-north chill: it’s given sea ice a chance to make at least a minor recovery, although the long-term outlook for Arctic sea ice in a warming world remains grim. The Arctic’s sea ice extent as of Sunday was well above the average for the date in the 2010s, but well below the average from the 2000s and prior decades.

and they quote this tweet:
Bering Sea #seaice extent from @NSIDC is slowly increasing, but remains below the long term average & last year. But extent isn't everything. Sustained cold weather near the Alaska coast since mid-Dec helping to thicken and stabilize nearshore ice. #akwx #Arctic @Climatologist49
— Rick Thoman (@AlaskaWx) January 26, 2020


I'm alive: data mining experiment, morning writing, garden, elephant, watching notes, cats, pe

Nephew work day was sweet and very productive. Christine was in good spirits so she lopped down some massive autumn olive and we chipped enough to mulch the north fence line of the orchard. W and i planted three trees, including the linden for my Swedish garden. When we went back to R--'s Rock (found by my Dad and brother before i'd even been to the property) to plant the linden, we saw a beech to the NE of the rock. I am delighted that there is one natively in the woods. Not surprised, exactly, but wondering where the mature beech tree is or was. This one ... i don't know how old it is but it's a good bit further along than the yearling tree i planted this year or the one planted last year.

Bad me did not call Grandmámá. Still on to do list.

Sunday C brought me breakfast in bed. Meeting went well. Achy all day. Christine's sister wants to watch all Oscar nominees so she and C watched Joker (which C thinks is brilliant and i don't think i will watch). D was blown away by it. The day was sparkling, and i tried sitting in the porch, but the breeze was a bit much.

Yesterday woke to cat piss on bed. Both C and i tired, exhausted, no spoons, moody.

We're watching the Nova planets episodes from season 36 in reverse order and watched Mars last night. Beautiful presentation, enthusiastic and diverse scientists, but much personification of everything. The language to describe how Mars' oceans evaporated - "stripped away" being the least loaded phrasing - surely it engages nonscientific viewers by creating emotional drama, but it irks me that the drama is told as if Mars was some poor victim (and Earth held up as the fortunate one). One CAN come up with emotional stories told from a satisfied Mars point of view.

It may be harder to emotionally see Different as something Satisfying for the party that is different -- but let's practice that for crying out loud.

I am thinking about data analysis using the nifty Jupyter Notebooks. Have done a tutorial and tiny work experiment. Tempted to do sentiment analysis on the corporate president's monthly emails. Thinking about data practices for my day to day life that would lead to interesting analysis. Have fired up IFTTT and Airtable to gather some digital footprint records. I imagine parsing exported journal entries and some of my health records, my rain measurements and temperature gauges. Smart power meter -- which surely saw some leap in use Thursday and yesterday as we washed and dried so much bedding.

Crazy warm weather has me frustrated i am behind in yard work and seed prep. Please let there be a little winter this month.


Catching up: cats, mom and caa, elephant, health

When i last wrote, .... OK, Tuesday Wednesday Christine was fighting dizziness and some nausea. It's passed. It left her with some worries. She was feeling a little better Wednesday night so we went over to see my parents before they took another junket to Florida, this time for Grandmámá's 103rd birthday today.

My sister and i made my Dad promise to break up the drive and not let Mom "hold it" for hours (we don't need her to have more UTIs especially when she can't advocate for her health and raise the concern of an infection in a timely manner). My sister is terrified for their driving, Christine thinks they are mad, i think they are doing what they have done for decades and ther's a certain amount of self determination i feel we ought to grant them. Admittedly, when Dad was going on his own, i was behind her in insisting he fly if she was caring for Mom. Different equation.

My physical therapy session went well. Diagnosed as possibly suffering a small meniscus tear, but more "interesting" is an observation of a longer term issue with my knee: some patellofemoral issue where my kneecap is being pulled out of the groove by stronger outside muscles, leading to a "crunchy" feeling as i flex that knee. Since a knee specialist looked at an x-ray a couple years ago and remarked that she was surprised i was not complaining of pain in that knee because she could see issues developing (but sorta a shrug about doing anything about it), i feel confident in the observation. The physical therapist, however, has some nice exercises for me to do.

I'm feeling easier with my knee. There's some discomfort but i haven't made it twinge for some days. I'm hiring my nephew to come work with me outside today. Ten bare root seedlings -- persimmon, elderberry, and sassafras for native food stuffs, willows and a beech for woodland diversity more than anything, yellow buckeye and a witch hazel for their blooms, and a linden to plant as the beginnings of a Swedish garden.

It's been a rough week for Christine with elephants. We had the second incident of some cat urinating on the bed in as many weeks: we don't know Marlowe is to blame. Luigi who is so sweet also has been in some arthritic discomfort for some time. Could he be challenged to get out of the bed at points? It's a little frustrating and distressing, but i am thankful of our nine cats we are only having this issue now, when we have our own washer and dryer.

I am wondering about chloroplasts in lichen. On rainy grey days the lichen on the pine trees almost glows, and the overwhelming color sense i have of the north sides of the trees is a pale green, not the purple-brown i usually register as the bark color of loblolly pines. Does the lichen plump up in the rain, the chloroplasts activated, and the chlorophyll get "turned on"? And then at other times, do the chemical factories that contain the chlorophyll drain it away until needed again? It's just such a remarkable shift in color. Admittedly, the diffuse light of a cloudy day could make some difference as well.

The laptop has returned but i can't remember how i restored images to it over wifi in the past (or did i? Did i just suffer without access to my archive of email on the machine? Which i couldn't do at this point in time.) I'm waiting for a USB-C to thunderbolt adapter and thunderbolt cable to arrive today so i can duplicate the image i've been using all week and the hard drive while the machine is in "target mode". This is one of the machines with one and only one port for both power and everything else and ... oh bah, i could have used the usb-c power hub i got for my work machine to both power the laptop and attach the backup drive. Oh fiddlesticks. Well, i can try that, and hopefully return the cables unopened.

OK, gotta scoot to meet sister and nephew for breakfast.


Dismal dystopian futures

In good news today, the CEO of Huawei Technologies opines that not everything is hackable: he does not think the human soul can be hacked.

Meanwhile, Yuval Noah Harari warned technology would soon enable some corporations and governments to hack human beings.


(no subject)

Okey doke. The image of my daily computer is booted up from a USB drive where i can use it. Just in time for me to realize why i have been failing to get to the administrative account at my mail server: because i am using Authy as a second factor and not a text message. Unfortunately the UI prompts all imply an SMS message, so i was very worried about getting access to the admin account so i could get access to one of my two mailboxes .... and it's all well now.

I read quite a bit the past 48 hours: Friday afternoon i had a headache and just escaped into CJ Cherryh's Foriegner, inspired by a post of [personal profile] twistedchick. That devoured, i got the latest Liaden novel and read that. I also picked up a collection of Liaden short stories. I assume that's where the morning went today.

On a scale of ankle sprains that resulted in instructions to stay off my feet for weeks and ankle sprains i've managed myself, this is nothing like the horrible sprains. It's enough to coddle, but with the coddling it hasn't particularly swollen up and the discomfort was staying at bay until i might have stretched and exercised it a bit more than i was ready for.

Bruises are fascinating color combinations.

I am thrashing about a bit pondering self help with stretches and exercise. I have an app that sort of helps one have a custom yoga practice, but it's not quite ... i dunno.
Maybe i will go to the local yoga studio. There's a restorative yoga instructor: maybe she'd be willing to help a no-yoga-for-decades person with a routine for knee recovery.


Why 354? (354, administrivia)

What is the 354 tag, you may wonder. Once upon a time i was having a particularly frustrating turn with Things Going Wrong. Only the machinations of an archnemisis could explain so much frustration -- at least, only an archnemisis would create an amusement in dealing with the frustrations. What then, would be the name of such an archnemisis? Esmerelda... except she was obviously tech savvy, so 35mereld4 she became.


The 354 tag is full of whiny entries.


Pity Posting (354, health)

I'm pity-posting to facebook this morning:

It's a beautiful morning when i would like to be running lopped autumn olive shrubs through my chipper in preparation for ten bare root trees from Country Farm & Home. Instead i sprained my knee falling down the front steps, turned on my lap top to look up first aid instructions and found the monitor screen busted. I am displeased. Fortunately we have plenty of ice packs, ace bandages, and cats. I'm hogging the sunny spot on the bed. Insert cranky emoji here.


morning writing, politics, depression, chatham

The week has slipped by. Work is intense, Christine and i are both depressed, the weather is (finally) cold. (Not cold to my Ohio colleagues, who expressed a gasp of delight at the thought of our highs in the upper 30s and low 40s.)

Just like with the Kavenaugh hearings, Christine can't look away from the impeachment, and she was more optimistic about this process than i. I'm ... thinking about Tuesday night when i went to a county open house for a "greenway" that may go by our home up at the street. I am generally positive, although after i wonder if any of the consultants have walked along the side of the street. The concerns people have were not surprising. It does underscore the fortressed lives of many. "Why there and don't tell me it was some damn study." It wasn't the questions as the tones of the questions: so much distrust, so much fear. On one hand the rural old guard can't understand why greenways are an amenity (and honestly, i'm not that excited by the distance this goes along roads and not the creek). On the other hand was mr "how are you going to keep it safe!" and i'm struggling to imagine what he's imagining. It sounded like he wanted police patrols or something (as well as lighting, which is something i would get up in arms about).

Later i was trying to find more details about plans for the road i live on. I periodically research the topic, but this time i wanted to take better notes. I continue to worry that it's going to be widened to a four lane monstrosity, excuse me, boulevard, about the time my beech tree might set nuts. I *think* the plan is to try and keep "rural character" in this general area, but plenty of property owners seem to be interested in rural character except for their parcel being subdivided into not rural-ness. I went ahead and planted the beech in the front (because the power company had cut down a dying pine and the gap didn't need to be filled with more sweetgums).

In my search google turned up near-raw survey results from the county general planning process (oops), and i skimmed some of the text responses. "What are the top 3 reasons you choose to live in the county" brought some responses in the "other" that revealed the pain of the farming families faced with all the flux. Farming is historically so tied to place, that questions and reasons that make sense to the home shopper just seem strange. For those respondents, it's not "rural character" that is meaningful. It's the piece of land that is home that is meaningful.

The NY Times has had two articles that also swirl in this space for me - one about a chef who has moved off to a cabin in the woods to forage and serve incredible land based meals to a small party of visitors and another about intentional communities primarily focused on the sustainable and rural living. The chef's wife spoke about being afraid of the white men -- the hunters who have cabins in the same forest as she and her wife. And Christine has that fear here, a fear that being different will trigger intolerance in persons with experience being violent against living things.

A post in the county mailing list alerted us all that two businesses raising funds for a cat sanctuary would now be boycotted because the poster resented that the "crazy cat lady" was why the county didn't have a gun range. ( I think of the sounds of shooting we hear off and on through the fall. Some of it is clearly hunting, but other rhythmic percussive blasts sound like target shooting. Complaints by folks in the pockets of subdivisions on NextDoor seem met with equal amounts of scorn and sympathy.

The tensions and fears and anger and distrust in the county echoes the nation. Add to that the warm warm weeks that keep one aware that the planet is changing.

And now it's time for work.


cats, garden, depression, elephant

Still feeling pitiful, full of pity, pity party, party to the pits. Pitter patter, kitten play -- at least there's that. Marlowe has a small collection of ribbons. I am now arranging them just under the closed bathroom door. The window in the bathroom ensures they are silhouetted in the bright band of light, and Marlowe loves reaching under doors. Now there's something to retrieve.

I went out last night to chip the branches i cut on Sunday evening, but it was too cold to get the chipper motor started. (On weekends i have learned to put it in the sun a bit before i try to start it.) I hadn't any other goal so i poked around a bit, cleaned up a failure to grow native plants in bags at the edge of the woods -- plastic debris that has been slowly covered by undergrowth the past couple of years -- and then retired to the garage where i sharpened tools. Concrete Blonde and the sound of the file on steel was quite rewarding. The hoe i have was sold with a completely blunt edge. This one has a combination of a straight blade plus tines on the back, and i soon bent the tines askew trying to pry a rock out of the clay. Sharpened, i think i may get some use out of before i invest a heavy duty digging hoe.

There's an invasive cousin of the dandelion, Youngia japonica (L.) (Oriental false hawksbeard), that i would like to till under. It's a biennial and my main goal is to keep it from flowering and going to seed again. Various plant writers in Florida seem inured to it (it's pretty, it's edible), but i don't think it's that common yet in NC. It's common on my bit though, and it's willingness to venture into the woods has me on a crusade against it. Dandelions don't seem as aggressive as this plant. Bending over to dig out the long tap root has been the most frustrating part of my poor crusade: hopefully the sharpened hoe will let me make some progress by letting me loosen soil in an area and then get the tap root out that way.