Month: January 2018

Baking: Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

It’s in the oven right now with a few minutes to go. Uses blood oranges that have had peel and pith remove, brown sugar, butter, water for the caramel that holds the oranges to the cake.

Then the usual, flour, butter, salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla bean, eggs and buttermilk. Not necessarily in that order. We’ll see how it comes out. Not quite as I expected but it looks interesting. Maybe because I didn’t have brown sugar per se. Dunno.


That’s just the top of the cake. It’s still too warm to eat. But it should cool down at which point we can cut into it. Should be delicious.

Donald J. Trump is not fit to be President

I’m now on page 192 of 321 of the book Fire and Fury by Michael Wolffe. All I can say after reading this far is that Donald J. Trump is an idiot. He doesn’t even look at the daily briefings.

And they had no real transition team, no real cabinet membership etc. Here’s to hoping the Democrats take Congress and the Senate and remove Trump and Pence from office post haste.

For example there’s this:

You can see what I’ve highlighted. Our President is one who has no curiosity, no drive for knowledge. That in my book makes him a moron, and idiot. Some village is missing its idiot.

Movies: The Librarian

So I’ve binged all three The Librarian Movies.

First I have to say it, it’s a little Indiana Jones in its execution. But a fund romp none the less.

In fact The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice  – that had a vampire in it plus old Vlad Dracul too. Apparently in this one he was a vampire too.

But one thing got me – they mentioned a Viginere Cypher – it’s bascially a 26×26 grid of the alphabet that rotates to some degree. It wasn’t cracked until the middle of the 19th century. And for the most part today most people wouldn’t know what it was. For example this paragraph with the key Truthspew is:

Uln huw ilegx aha et – xdxp gxulxsjxu u Opyxrakv Wrwztv – em’j vtzuxehep u 26q26 njxh ky kbx hdelwuvn mosi vkmrnxz ld wkfv xxnjti. Em nulu’l rvwvbyw bfimh myy fpvspa hw nal 19lw gagkokf. Sch bhi nal edwp irlm agseu ffmm wwdthx ninsvc’x ggfq posi mp prm. Yvj tbwfgfx azxw ltiuzysel sbkb mow ziu Miomokeis bj:

And FYI – the number of possibilities in Vigenere is 6.1561195802071573107966742884002e+36 that last part – 36 places after the decimal point. It’s a pretty big number. But it was cracked because certain patterns emerge.

Baking Day Today

So I baked a couple things today.

First I did my favorite buttermilk biscuits. Pretty easy to make. As evidence:


Then of course because I was in the mood to bake and had three very ripe bananas I made Banana bread.


Not a bad looking loaf if I do say so. And I used a non-stick loaf pan and buttered and floured it so I was assured it would come out of the pan. It’s cooling off right now.

It’s just every now and then I like to bake things particularly when the temps get below 40F.

Currently Reading: Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

The book is exploding as I write. Only a few pages in and I’m fully aware of what a shit show the Trump campaign was. It was so bad even Trump and his inner circle thought they’d lose.

It is written by Michael Wolff – who in interviews I’ve seen is hawking the book. But I just had to get it and read it.
This from just a few pages in. But as I have said in this and other forums Donald J. Trump aka Cheeto in Chief, the Orange Goblin, and Drumpf – he and his administration are a walking, talking conflict of interest.

I know if from a friend’s story of time at Fidelity where Trump came in hat in hand for funds and they turned him out on the street. Yeah – so a one off that isn’t in the book. I’ll update this post with more as I read but I have a feeling this will be one I can’t put down (Or close the Kindle reader tab in my browser).


On Headphones

Gave up on wired headphones some time ago. Because as I well knew the audio jacks on computers and phones wear out quickly.

Now I had settled with Fueladture headphones. Only problem is they have two weak points, on the rotator hinge for each phone, and on the crossover band. It’s sort of a shame – the electronics are pretty good with 45 hours on a charge and audio that isn’t awful.

But someone had the same headphones and we kept going through them because they’d fail at one of the points mentioned above. So email wise I subscribe to a few lists – and one article was Best Bluetooth Headphones – so I I saw a pair with metal phone brackets, a flexible crossover, same 45 hour time and price is close to what the Fueladture’s cost.

So I ordered someone a set  – we dutifully put them on the charger until the red light winked out. Pairing them on Windows 7 went smoothly. Finally added them someones machine – and they sound pretty damned good. Plus they don’t suffer the failure modes of the Fueladtures. So I ordered myself a pair as my Fueladtures are cracked.

They’re Avantree headphones – and on Amazon of course.


Oh another thing – these all have NFC chips in them but our phones don’t do NFC for a reason.  The only possible failure point I see on these is the wire that goes up to the headband/crossover. But I don’t think that’ll arise as an issue.

The general befuddlement and chutzpah of the public

You might know – our weekly shopping takes us to between 2 and 5 places. At one of those places we just have a few items and want to scan out.

There’s two of us in line and the woman at the self checkout is befuddles as to how to scan a coupon and the woman making the  payment takes a good five minutes for the woman to figure out she has to insert her bank card.  That’s the befuddlement part. People can’t really handle having to swipe, tap, or insert their debit/credit cards.

But then the people in front of us get to to the register –  everything scans fine. But then the woman has the chutzpah to take out the store’s coupon book that we all get mailed to us, and page through to see if any coupons apply to items she and her husband have bought. Ut si! Me and someone were rolling our eyes on that one. I think it’s because the store I’m referring to – most of the coupons can be loaded or attached to your membership card and just apply to the sale. No fuss or muss with paper coupons.

Really people, it’s 2018! We’re now firmly entrenched in the 21st century. Learn how to use a POS card reader and prepare by tearing out coupons AHEAD of time or loading them to your card. I mean really – it isn’t cool to inconvenience those waiting to check out.

Life whilst blocking Microsoft Bing

So I have a Windows 10 machine and use the weather app. It works fairly well and is integrated into the Start button.

But I notice weather radar won’t come up. And then I realized why – it’s trying to reach out to Bing for the maps but since I blocked it to prevent Windows 10 from phoning home it can’t. Ha! And sure enough if I login to my firewall I see the attempt coming from my machine getting bit bucketed.

It results in the following:


Now the actual weather works.


And if you look at the forecasted temperatures for Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – for January you’ll see the temps we’re seeing for the next four days are well above average for January.


Yes indeed, temperatures that belong in April/May are happening in January. Tell me climate change or global warming isn’t real.

And I realized my Cisco RV110W is getting a bit long in the tooth. Cisco has stopped pushing firmware updates and I’d really like something that could do gigabit Ethernet. Plus I have to change out my cable modem too for something that lets me get the max speed I’m paying for. I’ve got the new modem, just inertia preventing me – as you have to read off teeny tiny print of the devices address to Cox. Replacing the RV110W is easier – I can just export the settings and if I get another Cisco just upload the exported file and all is good. Yeah, I make backup files of all my devices.