Month: November 2011

Received my Square reader today

If you’re not familiar with it, head to the Square web site.

It’s a neat little device, in essence a card reader. As in MasterCard, VISA, American Express and Discover. Yes, just about any card.

The card reader itself plugs into the audio jack on your iPhone or Android device. The plug has all four pins on it which means they get the power from the audio-out voltage, and the other two are for audio-in data stream.

I swiped my card for $2 and it’s interesting. You can sign right on the screen, and you can send receipts via sms or email. You also get a payment confirmation sent to the email you register on the Square web site.

They charge 2.75% per transaction so for $2 I’d get $1.95. Obviously on large amounts it take a bite but getting your money right then and there, it’s worth it. I billed one client nearly $6,000 and that would be $165 in swipe fees but that isn’t bad.

They even provide little stickers for your windows if you’re a brick and mortar business.

Thanksgiving 2011

So the holiday season has kicked off already with Thanksgiving 2011.

Overall it went well. We spent the holiday with our friends Nick and Beth.

I had attempted Butternut-Marscarpone gnocchi but I think I had too much squash. They were very light and didn’t brown properly. But they did taste really good.

I’m going to pick up another butternut squash tomorrow and try again. I’ve got the stove (gas) and gear that work well for that.

But the meal was quite good this year, and simple.

We had a nice Trader Joe’s Brined Turkey, seasons with salt and pepper on the outside and inside, then stuffed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

Side dishes were garlic mashed potatoes, carrot and sweet potato, and the stuffing, oh the stuffing.

The stuffing was a combination of celery, onion, chestnuts, sausage, and pâté along with a good heavy Tuscan bread.

For dessert I’d made a nice maple custard. That was REALLY good. And I had the serendipitous moment when I realized the recipe could be varied for custard based ice creams, and even coconut custard pie.

And just before Thanksgiving I had roasted down three sugar pumpkins. All of that netted me about a pound of processed pumpkin.

So Keyron made a pumpkin pie from the processed pumpkin I’d made.

It was interesting this year. As I learn more about the real history of Thanksgiving I get a bit upset because part of my ancestry, even if a small one is Mohawk. And some of the things I’ve learned include the fact of that the thanksgiving celebrations of the past actually celebrated the conquering of the native tribes.

But it still won’t stop me celebrating because Thanksgiving proper has become a time for family and friends. It’s just that little twinge I get from the Mohawk side.

Just 54 posts from the 2,000 mark and more

How the tempus does indeed fugit!

And in this post I’m going to touch on Newt Gingrich. He’s tacked very hard right to the lunatic fringe recently, even going so far as to suggest children clean up the schools.

Yes, child labor. More to the point, unpaid child labor. So we also have elements of slavery in there. Isn’t that lovely.

And if there is one thing people in this country seem to take seriously, from NOM to all the protective agencies, it’s children. So old Newt has just kissed any aspirations to the presidency goodbye. Have a nice trip Newtie!

And in other news, the Republican cadre is still looking like a bunch of daft buffoons. I detect a strong Norquistian element to all of them in that they all want to dismantle virtually every federal program except those that prop up corporate America.

Maple Custard thoughts

So I was making this maple custard and then it occurred to me. It’s the same thought that came to me when I was making our favorite cornbread recipe and how that extends out to cake. And I’ve got the shortbreads down too.

The custard can be the base, with slight adjustment for perhaps a coconut custard pie, or custard based ice cream by slightly varying the amount of cream in the recipe. It’s pretty versatile and one I’ll keep in my repertoire.

They maple custards are cooling on the rack right now. Can’t wait to test em’ out.

And the butternut marscarpone gnocchi is chilling out, just getting ready to be briefly boiled and than sauteed. Mmmm

And it jumps to 100 a day

So this blog has hit yet another milestone. When I first started blogging I got perhaps 30 hits a day. Then it jumped to 60 hits a day.

On average over the four years I’ve been on WordPress I get about 42 hits a day. But something has changed over the last couple of weeks where I’m seeing more than a hundred hits a day.

If that is sustained, I could add over 30,000 visitors to this blog in a year and bring the overall average for 5 years to an average of 54 a day.

So little by little it grows. I’d like to thank my readers and those who’ve stumbled here when searching for things like:

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The ones that stick out to me are “anal sex” and “balloon sex”. That makes me laugh.

Police everywhere had better check themselves

When I see videos like that below I want to put my electronics and engineering skills to use against them.

Why? Because the police serve with the consent of the policed aka we the people. When they act in a manner that violates that compact, they should be prepared to face the consequences.

I would like to invent weaponry that does the following:

1) Renders things like guns useless.

2) Renders police communications useless

3) Incapacitates officers who violate the trust, a stasis field would be nice.

Do those and the police now have to relate to us as equals. I understand why most British police go unarmed. There’s a reason for that and the British got it absolutely right.

When things like the below happen, the RT reporter says it right, if this happened elsewhere in the world it would be widely condemned. But in the U.S. it gets a pass.

I say no more pass for police. At a minimum, lets get citizen oversight boards EVERYWHERE, with real teeth to enforce decorum and policy of police.

At a minimum contact your local legislators, whether you’re with the Occupy movement or not and tell them you don’t appreciate the instruments of force being used against the OWS protesters. And lobby for citizen oversight. That is the ONLY way our police will understand that they server we the people, not the 1%!

In Preparation for Thanksgiving

So we did our annual Thanksgiving grocery run today.

Two of the dishes I’m making for this year are Butternut Marscarpone Gnocchi from Foodwishes. The other is a Maple Custard dessert.

The latter requires, or at least calls for Grade B Maple Syrup. Tried Wally World, nope, Trader Joe’s, nope. So on a lark I thought, lets hit Whole Foods.

A quart of Grade B Maple Syrup is $17.99 but let me tell you, it’s WELL worth it.

What we all know as Maple Syrup is mostly Grade A. It’s less viscous and more mild than Grade B.

But Grade B – if you’ve ever had maple sugar candy, you know what Grade B tastes like. Good stuff! I cannot wait to make those custards.

A way that RIPTA could improve the riders experience

One of the things that regularly irks me about the bus is that when disembarking in Kennedy Plaza, there’s a crush of people that you have to navigate though.

I propose that they put up partitions at the stops that can accommodate them. Picture this:

A bus is approximately 40 feet long. So along the left hand side, lengthwise picture a bus. Now draw a partition that hooks from the left side of the rear door, out a few feet then makes a 90 degree turn and runs the remaining length of the bus with a turnstyle or some such at the end.

That way people exiting from the rear have a relatively unimpeded exit. It would also make it easier for people to get onboard via the front door.

And what good would this be without a crude MS Paint drawing:

Defendant intervenors have standing in Prop 8 case???!???

Ok, I had a feeling the state courts would allow standing for the proponents Prop 8 in California.

And here’s how I see this playing out. They’re going to lose at the appellate level. In fact I predict the intervenors will get their asses thoroughly handed to them.

I also suspect they have the financial wherewithal to bring this up to the point of asking for a Writ of Certorari, in other words an acceptance by the United States Supreme Court to hear en banc the arguments of both sides.

Where I suspect they’ll more likely than not lose again.

The reason I believe this? If you read the transcripts of the Prop 8 trial in California, the defenders of Prop 8 had arguments that were not only nonsensical but laughable.

Seriously, the bigots paid for ‘experts’ who pretty much admitted under cross examination that they really had no idea if the date they presented was true or false? They got a pretty raw deal. And I suspect they’ll continue to do so since those ‘experts’ are the only tangible thing they have.

As to when this might hit the U.S. Supreme Court, a year or three. In that time a couple of well placed deaths that would allow Obama to add a couple more justices of his choosing, and we’re home free. If I had to bet money, I’d lay odds on Scalia and Thomas buying the farm sooner than later.