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Usurpers always bring about or select troublous times to get passed, under cover of the public terror, destructive laws, which the people would never adopt in cold blood.  The moment chosen is one of the surest means of distinguishing the work of a legislator from that of the tyrant.

from The Social Contract
  • Drinking: tea
"To yield to force is an act of necessity, not of will -- at the most, an act of prudence.  In what sense can it be a duty?
Suppose for a moment that this so-called "right" [of the strongest] exists.  I maintain that the sole result is a mass of inexplicable nonsense.  For, if force creates right, the effect changes with the cause: every force that is greater than the first succeeds to its right.  As soon as it is possible to disobey with impunity, disobedience is legitimate; and, the strongest being always in the right, the only thing that matters is to act so as to become the strongest.  But what kind of right is that which perishes when force fails?  If we must obey perforce, there is no need to obey because we ought; and if we are not forced to obey, we are under no obligation to do so.  Clearly, the work "right" adds nothing to force: in this connection, it means absolutely nothing."

from The Social Contract
  • Drinking: coffee
"It is no easy matter to make him obey, who does not wish to command..."
  • Drinking: water
[regarding parental power]

To turn [the child] loose an unrestrained liberty, before he has reason to guide him, is not the allowing him the privilege of his nature to be free; but to thrust him out amongst brutes, and abandon him to a state as wretched, and as much beneath that of a man, as theirs.

-John Locke (Second Treatise of Government)
  • Drinking: coffee
It's rather interesting that the return rate for llamas is 3 out of 4.  That is, for every 4 llamas I've sent out I've gotten 3 in return.  If I have the time I might take a closer look at that to see if there's an identifiable trait that can be used to predict whether a person is likely to return llamas.  

That is, a trait aside from the fact that they got one first.  I'd estimate that less than 1% of the llamas I've received were sent before I'd given one to that person.
  • Eating: mango
This is what the experimentation with kumihimo has yielded so far:

Kumihimo by emortalcoil

The cord to the far left is square in shape and the middle one is semi-circular (flat on one side and rounded on the other).  All of them have a slight elasticity which would likely go away if they were stretched enough.
  • Drinking: tea with lemon
That's what I've been experimenting with lately.
The first experimental cord that resulted has a bit of elasticity to it.  If I pull it it gets a bit longer, but then it retracts a bit when I stop pulling.  I suppose with enough tension applied long enough it will lose this trait.

After I've made a few I'll see about making a picture of them for posting to DA.
  • Drinking: coffee
"A moral reflection cannot be placed on the right or on the left hand of a passion..."

-David Hume
  • Drinking: coffee


Journal Entry: Thu Mar 2, 2017, 5:41 PM

    Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.   And if you gaze long  enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

--Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Drinking: tea
At some point I simply decided I was going to give away 10K llamas.  Well, it's now 10000 llamas later and I've noticed a few things.
  • Yes, a person who has a track record of giving llamas is more likely to reciprocate when I give that person a llama.  Some folks aren't into the llama trading business, so if you're into giving away llamas as a way to increase your own herd then that's you're best bet.  Overall I've had a return rate of about 74% which isn't too bad, really.  It isn't necessary to join one of the trading groups, either.  Simply being on the look out when you roam the pages of DA works.
  • I've come across a number of pages where people are expressing irritation if not outrage at other folks posting "thank you" on the first person's home page when the first person gave the second person a llama.  Perhaps mores have changed, but when I was growing up I was taught that saying "thank you" when someone gives you something is an appropriate response.  I would agree that the nicest way of saying thanks is to give a llama in return, but it seems weird to get pissy about someone acknowledging your gift in a conventional way.  If you're one of the folks who feels the need to post a nasty message on your home page that's intended to discourage written "thank you"s, maybe you should consider doing something else with your time besides giving llamas.  Preferably something constructive.
  • There are an incredible number of folks out there who are into bronies.  I simply had no idea they were so popular.  Llama trading has been for me an occasion to roam in parts of DA I ordinarily wouldn't think of visiting and it's been a bit of an education in pop culture.
  • Drinking: tea
Men outlive their love, but they don't outlive the consequences of their recklessness.

-George Eliot (Middlemarch)
  • Reading: this
First the obligatory notice:  The speaker in the video below cusses a lot (nearly punctuates his sentences with it), so if that is going to bother you then consider this journal entry as marked "contains mature content" and go watch something else.

There are so many ways to say this, but Mr. Pie has nailed it down so well:

  • Reading: this
  • Drinking: tea
There's no need for me to say whose.  But it does pose some interesting questions about the current political landscape in the US.

But even more interesting were ideas presented/suggested by Adam Conover the night before the election.  A few could be summed up as follows:
  • The attitudes and behaviour of Trump in many respects echoes that of Lyndon B. Johnson
  • American politics is polarized today to a degree not seen in the past and mass social media is a major contributing factor to this polarization.
  • The high degree of polarization of political groups is hurting the US as a country and is contrary to its political traditions.
So I would like to suggest to everyone out there who thinks that Clinton conceding to Trump foretells doom and destruction that perhaps this is not the end of the world, after all, and that spending time on Facebook/Twitter commiserating about it could better be spent engaging in dialogue with The Enemy.  You might find you have more in common with them than you had previously supposed.  
  • Reading: this
  • Drinking: tea
As I recall, years and years ago, it used to be that folks who visited DA would occasionally be confronted with ads that took up the entire screen, and you had to click on them to get to the page you wanted to look at.  The remedy for this mandatory nonsense was to sign up for an account.  It was promised that if you signed up for an account you wouldn't have that happen.   Now, even if you have an account, you have these full-browser ads thrown in your face that you're expected to click on...unless you pay through the nose for the "Core" membership.

What's next, I wonder.
  • Reading: this
"Your success will astonish everyone."

A more definite statement than "You are the greatest" (message inside another cookie), I suppose.
  • Listening to: the cicada chorus outside
  • Reading: this
  • Playing: catch my own tail
  • Eating: had a waffle for breakfast...
  • Drinking: coffee
This is what an upside-down quiche looks like:


For the most part this experiment went well.  However, a few minutes into the baking of the custard I heard (and saw) the pie pan go bump, and then still liquid custard started to dribble out of one side of the pan.  Turns out that the cookie sheet I had placed under the pie pan warped.  Aluminum foil, btw, is great for leveling out a tilted pie pan; simply take a sheet, wad it up into a wedge shape, and then stick it under one side of the warped cookie sheet to even things out so that you don't lose most of your custard.  The warping of the cookie sheet meant it was pretty much useless for future use, but it made oven clean up a snap (easier to toss a cheap cookie sheet with burnt egg/milk on it then kneel in front of an oven and clean it out of there).

Since I like to make bread I'm thinking the next thing to try is making baked French toast.
  • Reading: Spinoza
  • Drinking: tea
Another to couple of photos to come later.
  • Reading: "Leviathan"
  • Drinking: homemade lemonade
My official introduction to cooking was the 7th grade Home Ec. class that all females were required to take at school.

I hated that class.

There were a few reasons for this.  The teacher basically ran it like an analytical chemistry class.  Everything must be measure out *just so*.  I'm guessing the recipes were chosen to illustrate and give practice in certain techniques and procedures.  However, I can't even remember the last time I sifted flour before measuring it outside of that class.  It comes pre-sifted, ya know?  And why would I want to pre-score a grapefuit half with a special, serrated knife and then douse it with sugar when it tastes so much better with the peel ripped off with my hands?  And frankly, I've never been a big fan of "snicker doodle" cookies.  About the most useful thing I learned in that half of the school year was that lemon juice keeps chopped apples from turning brown.  I admit that it's useful to learn the "right" way to measure dry materials such as sugar so that you can (in theory) try a new recipe and not have it turn out a total disaster.  I learned a few things about social interaction during that class, too, but that's another story.

A few years later, my senior year of high school, Mom announces  that she thinks it's important I learn practical skills of self sufficiency so that I can live on my own.  To that end she takes me to the laundry room and instructs me, in minute detail, on how to sort laundry, properly load the washing machine, use the right water temperature and amount of detergent, and how to scrub the stains out of the collars of my father's white work shirts.  With the advent of modern detergents and machines I'm not sure why this would need as much time and attention as it got, and I indicated as much, suggesting that it might be better for me to learn better how to cook.  The result was that abruptly I was responsible for almost all aspects of preparing the evening meals.  There was no instruction regarding meal planning or cooking from her.  I had minimal say as to what groceries were bought.  And during that time of floundering away in her kitchen my dread and dislike of cooking only deepened.

Fast forward though college and grad school, in which most of the meals I prepared consisted of stir-fry vegetables and tofu, with cooked rice and lentils on the side for more protein (with barely a clue as to what was needed I was trying to be vegetarian).   Cooking was strictly a utilitarian affair, a necessity to keep body and soul together because I couldn't afford to eat all (or even most) of my meals at a restaurant.

And then a few years ago, by happy chance, I discovered that cooking doesn't have to be like analytical chemistry.  You can play fast and loose with ingredients and with a bit of mindfulness it comes out okay.  Better than okay at times.  But part of that knowing when and where to be more free-form comes with practice and the willingness to at times long as the result is not distinctly unappetizing there's nothing wrong with having a dish that doesn't turn out quite as planned.

Next installment: kitchen-hack makes an almost upside down quiche Lorraine.
  • Reading: "Leviathan"
  • Eating: quiche
  • Drinking: tea
However, when I try to go through the regular channels I can't seem to find the way to get this message to many FAQs to sort through and honestly I don't have the time for that.

Don't know why, don't know how, but about 3 times in the past 10 days I've gotten someone's attempt to send me a trojan when I've been looking at DA.  I've left a screen shot in my scraps gallery so you can see what I'm writing about and can see the URL at the top.

Thought you should know.  Hopefully you can do something to prevent it.
  • Reading: "Leviathan"
Sometimes my life feels like one of those paint-by-numbers projects.  White goes in the places marked "1", ochre goes in the places marked "6", etc.  In other words, it's all pre-planned by someone else, and the promise is that if I fill in the canvas as suggested I'll end up with something that's... well....not especially original or authentic but nice enough.  Something I could show to someone else and not feel acute embarrassment.  But even with that promise in the back of my head (I rather suspect it's a lie), I find myself choosing different colors than the ones prescribed and not quite staying in the lines.  I suppose part of the reason is that the kit didn't come with enough red and teal paint.

I grieve.  I grieve for someone who died last month but whom I effectively lost long, long ago.  It's going to take a bit of time and effort to sort through all the emotions.

  • Listening to: a space heater
  • Reading: "Leviathan"
  • Drinking: tea