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curiosity

July 2014

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Jul. 25th, 2014

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Jul. 24th, 2014

Gardening

CSA Box #7

I am loving this box! It has lots of my favorite veggies.

1 bulb Fennel
1 bunch Summer Carrots
1 bag Green Beans
3 Asian Eggplants
3 2 Cucumbers
2 Yellow Summer Squash
1 Zucchini
1 bunch Rainbow Chard
1 head Lettuce
1 bag Baby Spinach
1 bunch fresh Dill

I am eating the raw fennel as I type. I made the eggplant, squash, and zucchini into ratatouille, and I gave the fresh dill to Song (because I don't like dill very much and she does).

What I have left from previous boxes:
1 quart New Red Potatoes
1 quart Green Beans
1 bunch Beets
4 Cucumbers
1 head red Lettuce
2 bags of Baby Greens
1 bunch Scallions
1 head spotted Lettuce
1 Napa Cabbage
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curiosity

Feeling Surprisingly Good

It's been a busy week.

My house guests left Tuesday morning.

Wednesday I had lunch at Spicy Asian with Anne and Marilyn. We had the Scallion Pancake with Roast Beef appetizer, Seafood Soup, the Beef with Black Bean Sauce, and the Eggplant with Garlic and Chilies Hot Pot. I found the seafood soup a bit bland, and the eggplant a bit hot, but the beef with black bean sauce was just right.

Today is CSA box day and I brought it down to Song's house so the kids could see what a real CSA box looks like. They are not impressed. *sigh* I'm not really a surprised.

Tomorrow I have lunch with B and then Marilyn is dropping off Izzy for a week while she visits family.

The surprising thing is that I'm actually feeling pretty good. I have been getting things done. I set up the computer room for Izzy, I took out the kitchen garbage (Brendan from downstairs took the bag out to the dumpster for me). I made ratatouille for dinner, and I baked the second roll of hazelnut anise cookies.

It's just that only a few weeks ago I was having so much trouble getting anything done and now I'm actually accomplishing things. I'm not running out of energy and crashing. I do feel a little tired and I think I will need to stay inside and sleep for a while, but right now I'm feeling pretty good. And the drive down from Ithaca was beautiful. The sun was shining and the trees were green. Life looks good right now. I'm just going to enjoy it while I can.

Jul. 22nd, 2014

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In the begining

The Return of The Beast!

So, this past weekend The Beast came back for a visit. She came down with her boyfriend Joe, and J came down to see her too. J got here before noon and we had a nice afternoon hanging out on the couch talking. The Beast and Joe got here closer to 6pm. Then we all went out to dinner at Spicy Asian. B met us there. J and B agreed to treat us since The Beast, Joe, and I don't have much money. Joe let me chose what we would eat. I choose Fish fillet w. Special Tofu in Hot Pot, Beef Brisket in Hot Pot, and a small West Lake Fish. I love their tofu, but I'm not as fond of the turnips they put in the hot pots. Luckily The Beast loves turnips. The Beast was delighted that there was Frog, Tripe, and Intestines on the menu. As I hoped she would be.

Spicy Asian isn't the best place for conversation. And The Beast brought her service dog, Shiva. There were two little Asian girls in the restaurant who wanted to play with the doggie.

Then we came back to the house and hung out. The Beast and Joe set up a tent in the back yard so they could have some personal space.

The next morning J left and The Beast and Joe started cleaning my apartment. They made quite an impact. The Beast scrubbed down and bleached my bathroom and Joe bagged up all the recyclables from the kitchen and scrubbed down the stove. It's quite a difference.

I had talked about The Beast helping me eat my veggies. She didn't really eat many veggies, but I finally made the kale into kale balls. The Beast was in the mood for big chunks of meat so we sent Joe out to the store and he got a huge hunk of pork, because that is really inexpensive. Joe made a wonderful stir fry, with red onion and green beans. And I made a roast, and a bag of spiedies. They didn't take any of the leftovers with them when they left. So, I have a lot of meat to go with my veggies for the rest of the month. I need to pick up some onions and garlic but other than that I'm well stocked.

They ended up staying till this morning.

It's been quite an exciting weekend. I think I need to sleep for a couple of days. But altogether I think I am better off for their having been here. I hope they come back. I will try to keep things up in their absence. The Beast is so sweet, she was ranting about how other people should have been helping me so things didn't get this bad. I know I need help, but I never really expect people to help me. I'm just very grateful when they do. That is why I'm so grateful for the Dina and her sons for helping me by taking out my garbage and carrying up my groceries. I'm grateful to everyone who makes my life better. I'm grateful to J and B for sponsoring a nice dinner at my favorite restaurant. And I'm grateful to The Beast and Joe for doing so much cleaning.

I'm really blessed to have such kind and generous friends.

Jul. 19th, 2014

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Jul. 18th, 2014

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Jul. 17th, 2014

Dr Who

New Aesthetic Render-Ghosts

I was reading From Beyond the Coming Age of Networked Matter a short story Bruce Sterling wrote for the Institute for the Future. Bruce Sterling makes me feel old. He is so bleeding edge I had to google half the terms he uses just to figure out what he is talking about: Shapeways Nervous-System lamps, fondleslab, phablet, New Aesthetic render-ghosts, Wolfram cellular computrons*.

The story is a deliberate Lovecraftian horror. But really, from my point of view that was just because the characters weren't mentally prepared for what they saw. Any mystic will tell you physical reality is just an illusion, that doesn't make it horrible.

Anyway, when I googled New Aesthetic Render-Ghosts I found this interesting video of James Bridle’s closing keynote from Web Directions South 2011 Waving at the Machines

What he means by the New Aesthetic is exactly that. He is talking about how digital media and computer rendering are changing fine art, architecture, design, and commercial art. It's a simple observation about how technology is changing how we look at the world and how we express this new vision in our creative arts. Like how photography changed painting. He give several good examples from fine art, architecture, design, and commercial art to illustrate what he is talking about. It wouldn't surprise me if the academic art critic community took to calling this new aesthetic the digital aesthetic. It is quite interesting how the digital world is changing how we see the real world and it is worth looking at, and talking about, those changes.

I also really liked what he had to say about how, while we are looking at computers, the computers are looking back at us. He also talked about people using makeup to fool facial recognition software. Tactical and Technological Defenses For Facial Recognition Technology

Render Ghosts are something else. When I first saw the term I thought it referred to the transparent and distorted people who show up in panoramic pictures that are stitched together from several pictures. Ghost Rendering can be an undesired artifact of the process or a deliberate feature of the process.

But that isn't what James Bridle is talking about. He is talking about the fake people that artists and designers put in their drawings to give scale or add realism, to give the viewer a sense of what these imagined spaces will look like when they are actually populated, architect people. They are part of the set dressing of architecture and design, and as James Bridles mentions the images are sold by the same people who sell images of bushes and lamp posts. They pre-existed the digital age so I think Mr. Brindle is making a bit much of them. Although he is correct that they are the imaginary inhabitants of imaginary alternative futures. Like the people in The Gernsback Continuum. (Making Sense of the Gernsback Continuum by Dr. Andrew Wood)

His conclusion was:
So this is the last slide. Technology wants to be like us, and we kind of want to be more like it. And we’re going through a period now of incredible uncertainty and a huge ethical negotiation of how technology and us see the world and how that changes. But the essence is that we now live in a world that we share with the render ghosts, that we share with the technology, to some extent that we’re building, but it to a huge extent is also shaping the way we behave. And the thing to bear in mind is that we want this. We want to live together with these new beings, this new form, this new culture.

And my only message is that some of this stuff is completely awesome, and you should always remember that, but also that we should go out there with this willingness and friendliness to engage with technology, to engage with all these technologies while understanding how they shape our behaviours and our feelings and our culture all the time. These things are radically transformative. We are creating a new nature in the world. It’s going to be really exciting. Please make it more exciting. Make it better. Thank you. That’s it.


Anyway, after reading several articles about how the digital world is changing us I decided to pick up "Be Love Now" by Ram Dass and finish reading it. After having my mind blown with ideas about how we look at the world and how the world looks at us, I found "Be Love Now" incredibly boring and pedantic. Bruce Sterling and James Brindle made my mind whirl and fly with possibilities and ideas about what it means to exist in this world. Ram Dass just bored me. Yeah, yeah, yeah, cosmic consciousness, love everyone. That's old news. Thousand of years old news. I want to read books that make my mind fly with new possibilities and ideas that are just out of my reach, so I have to stretch to reach them. I want books that challenge me, not books that bore me. Book Group is really boring me and the next book (about Sufism) looks just as boring. I would rather watch TV with Anne and have a pleasant conversation with her.

*I still haven't actually looked up "Wolfram cellular computrons".
Gardening

CSA Box #6 I feel much better this week.

The first five boxes were mostly leafy greens because the first parts of the plants to grow are the leaves. It takes time to develop seeds, fruits, and tubers. But I we are getting into some of my favorites now.

This week I got:
1 bulb Fennel (with all the fronds)
1 quart New Red Potatoes (some of the are quite small)
1 quart Green Beans (Yay!)
1 bunch Beets (with greens)
2 small Tomatoes (the dark kind, I thought they were plums at first)
2 Cucumbers (one really big one)
3 Summer Squash (2 yellow, one tiny green pattypan)
1 red Lettuce head
1 bunch Kale
2 1 bags of Baby Greens
1 bunch Scallions
2 Green Onions



I ate the tomatoes right out of the box. They were the size of golf balls. I was curious how "green onions" would be different from "scallions". It turns out they are just fresh yellow onions with their green stalks.

I still have:
3 Cucumbers
1 Zucchini 1 yellow Squash
1 head spotted Lettuce
2 bunch curly Kale
1 Napa Cabbage
3 bunch Scallions

I really hope The Beast comes down this weekend and helps me eat some of this.

Edit: I made ratatouille with the squash and onions. And I finally made the kale balls out of all the kale. And I ate the fennel, one of the cucumbers, and one bag of field greens. I'm very sad that most of the greens have actually gone bad because I haven't eaten them :(. I will try to do better at not letting food to go to waste like that.
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Jul. 16th, 2014

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Movies

Movies! Movies! Movies!

IDK was here from the 2nd till the 8th. When he is here I rent movies from Redbox for us to watch. it is the only time I rent movies from Redbox. I let him suggest the movies and then I choose. Although I also let him go get the movies from the box sometimes so sometimes he chose movies I would have vetoed. Like "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" which we could have watched on Netflix at no additional charge. But it was only $1.30 each for movies so it's not a big deal.

We watched:
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: I had forgotten I watched the first movie with IDK last year when he was here. I quite enjoyed it. I knew most of the plot from reading the book. And I didn't mind the romance between the wood elf and the dwarf. Marilyn watched it with us and I had to keep explaining who people were to her.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters: I have read the books so I pretty much knew what was going to happen. But they left out a lot. I have no problem with adaptation. They have to cut things for movies. IDK pointed out that Percy is older than in the books and they had to change the prophesy to say things would happen before he was 20 instead of before he was 16. So I talked to him about how people don't mind bad things happening to children in books because they can't see the children, but in movies they have to make the characters older or people get upset.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2: I had already watched it on Netflix. But the animation of the foodimals was so cool and detailed I enjoyed watching it on a bigger screen. I also loved the parody of Apple computer culture.

Monsters University: We watched this with J. It is a typical college buddy movie. Not as original as Monsters Inc. Very predictable.

Man of Steel: Also watched with J. This was surprisingly good. I thought it got mixed reviews. I liked the reboot. I had never seen Kriptonion animals before. And General Zod's backstory and motivation were clearer and less "evil". I think this move would be good for a young person who didn't have much experience with Superman. There was a lot of Christ imagery. The article I linked to about Zod talks about Superman as God among men and even though the article was written before the movie came out it got everything about the movie right.

Planes: This is part of the "Cars" franchise. It's the story of a crop duster who wants to be a racing plane. So he enters the "Wings Around the Globe" Rally. The main plot is about him trying to win and the favorite trying to sabotage him. But there was also a sub plot about the grounded old war plane who was mentoring him. All a bit cliched and predictable.

Despicable Me 2: I loved the first movie where Felonius Gru, the villain of the title, adopts three little orphan girls as part of his evil plot and learns about love. So I wasn't sure where they were going to go with this. The movie starts out with Gru being a good father to his adopted daughters, and avoiding a busybody neighbor who keeps trying to set him up on dates. And then he is kidnapped by the Anti-Villain League who want him to find out who has stolen a dangerous chemical that turns peaceful animals into monsters. The AVL pairs him with agent Lucy Wilde who is a perfect match for him. From there on it is a romantic comedy with a humorous action movie sub-plot. I thought this was just as good as the first movie. I love the character of Gru and I enjoyed the continued positive development of his life journey. He still has his minions and his evil scientist in the basement.

Lone Ranger: This move got a lot of bad reviews but I wanted to see it anyway. It was better than I thought it would be. I think people didn't like it because it wasn't what they thought it would be. I blame the advertizing, but also the plot is a bit mixed.

It was mostly a buddy Western comedy, like "Shanghai Noon". There are a lot of really funny moments, and a ten minute fight scene on two moving trains that involves a horse and a ladder.

But it had some really dark moments, like the Lone Ranger's brother being killed, and the killer cutting out his heart and eating it. Or the scene where the Comanches are massacred with Gatling guns.

I don't think Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto was bad or offensive. The character was written as a man who was deeply traumatized by the murder of his village when he was a child. He didn't act the way he did because he was an Indian, he acted the way he did because he was unhinged by survivor's guilt. Although I can understand the Native American community being annoyed that a real Native American didn't get the job. In this day and age people really should play their own race. That said I'm not sure anyone other than Johnny Depp could have played that complex of a character that well. It really was Tonto's movie. It was the story of how Tonto used the Lone Ranger to try to undo what he had done as a child that led to the death of his family. I didn't even learn the Lone ranger's name, he was just that clueless white guy Tonto was dragging through all these situations, because Tonto had a mission.

Pacific Rim: This movie was so familiar I was surprised it wasn't based on any particular franchise. Giant monsters are coming out of the ocean floor through a wormhole to another dimension (or something like that). So every country on the Pacific Rim built giant robot suits, that take at least two people to operate, to fight the giant monsters. Not really practical, but hey it's a trope of the manga and anime genre. Things are getting worse and the wormhole needs to be closed. There are lots of epic battles between giant robots and giant monsters. The A plot is a robot pilot who's brother was killed in battle so he needs a new partner, a Chinese woman, who he falls in love with. Some people would say that was the B plot, but really stories are about people. The protagonist is the pilot and what he wants is to heal from his brother's death. Saving the world from monsters is just the MacGuffin.

I was more interested in the two science geeks in the R&D department: Charlie Day as Dr. Newton "Newt" Geiszler the biologist, and Burn Gorman as Dr Hermann Gottlieb the mathematician and physicist. The scientists have to figure out how to stop the monsters. See I told you stopping the monsters was the B plot. They are a perfect comedy duo. And Newt has some good scenes with Ron Perlman as Hannibal Chau the black market monster body parts dealer. I could watch a whole movie about these three guys and skip the romantic drama. I checked out wikipedia and found out there is a Ron Perlman Easter egg after the credits. I would like to watch this again. When I am not as tired as I was the first time.

Everything this Honest Trailer says is true.
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Jul. 15th, 2014

Pentagram

It's in the Cards

Many many years ago I had an idea for a divination deck I called "It's in the Cards" The idea was to make a deck of images of people, places, and things that wasn't based on the traditional tarot deck. I even designed a card back.


I had ideas for some of the cards. The problem was that I am just not very imaginative. I'm creative, I get ideas. But I'm not good at working "outside the box" none of my ideas seem very original to me. And I just didn't do it. I made some attempts at drawing the cards but I just didn't follow through, as usually. I am very bad at finishing things.

The good news is that someone has published a deck very much like what I wanted only better than I could imagine. (Literally, the cards are much more interesting than any of the ideas I had.)

It's a game called Dixit Buddha showed it to me tonight at dinner.



It isn't being sold as a divination deck, but then it's possible that tarot decks were not originally intended for divination either. You can do divination with a regular deck of playing cards.

I'd love to get together with some tarot readers and see what they can do with one of these decks. After all it is not the pieces of paper that do the divination. These cards have a lot of images to work with a lot more than the standard tarot deck.

And there are expansion decks, you could pick and choose the kind of deck you wanted to work with.
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Jul. 14th, 2014

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Jul. 13th, 2014

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Jul. 12th, 2014

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Jul. 11th, 2014

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Jul. 10th, 2014

Gardening

CSA Box #5 - My Hovercraft is Full of Eels!

Not my hovercraft. I don't have a hovercraft, where would I put it. My refrigerator! It's my refrigerator and it's not full of eels it's full of that other stuff, green things. Leafy vegetables! Every time I open the door they come slithering out and I have to stuff them back in.

This week I got:
3 Cucumbers
1 Zucchini 1 yellow Squash
1 head spotted Lettuce
1 bunch rainbow Chard
1 bunch curly Kale
2 bags assorted Greens (field greens, arugula, baby red Russian kale, and tatsoi).
1 bulb uncured Garlic
1 bunch Scallions
1 bunch Garlic Scapes
1 bunch Basil

Left over from previous boxes:
1 Cucumber
5 Muu Radishes - A traditional Korean daikon.
1 Napa Cabbage
1 bunch Curly Kale
2 bunch Scallions
1 Bunch Basil
2 bags of Baby Greens
1 bag Spicy mix greens
1 bag Field greens
1 bag Baby Arugula

I really need to eat salad at every meal.

Anyone have recipe suggestion for fresh Basil? Scallions? and Garlic Scapes?

I'm exhausted and want to go back to bed.

Edit: I made a big bunch or Hummus with the fresh garlic and the garlic scapes. I ate one of cucumbers and I gave a bag of the field greens to the downstairs neighbors.

I may make a batch of Pesto with basil. I didn't know you could substitute almost any nut for the pine nuts. I have plenty of walnuts and a bag of slivered almonds. I can have Tri-color Rotini with Basil & Walnut Pesto

So I'm thinking of making a batch of Kale Balls (2 bunches of curly Kale), and some Cold Sesame Peanut Butter Noodles (with scallions and cucumbers).

Then I just have to do something with the Napa Cabbage. I might make stuffed cabbage leaves.

Edit 2: I had fettuccine with pesto for breakfast. So that took care of the Basil. I froze some of the pesto for later, too. Yesterday I had rainbow Chard for breakfast. I also ate all the radishes. And I gave away some of the greens.

I plan on making the Kale Balls and freezing them.
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Jul. 5th, 2014

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Jul. 4th, 2014

Gardening

CSA Box #4

This week's box contained:
2 Cucumbers
1 bunch Beets
5 Muu Radishes - A traditional Korean daikon.
2 1 Napa Cabbages
1 bunch Curly Kale
2 bags of Baby Greens
1 bunch Scallions
1 Bunch Basil

Left over from last week:
1 bunch Rainbow Chard
1 bag Spicy mix greens
1 bag Field greens
1 bag Baby Arugula
1 bunch Scallions
1 bag Baby Red Russian Kale

IDK is staying with me this week. I hope to do some cooking today.
I'm thinking of making borscht. I like the Whole Beet Borscht recipe from Laurel's Kitchen Cook Book. And borscht tastes good cold. Maybe some Kale balls, and some pasta with bacon and Rainbow Chard.

IDK made an Oreo cookie pie and root beer floats. My blood sugar went through the roof. So I need to stay away from that.

Edit: I made the Whole Beet Borscht with the beets and cabbage, and the kale balls. I may make another batch of kale balls with the curly kale.
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Sammi's Memorial Service

Sammi's memorial service was this evening (Thursday) at 6pm. It was held at the UU church in Binghamton. I used to be a member of that church so I was familiar with the building and thought I might know some of the people there. Sammi joined the church after I moved away and I knew she was active there.

The service was very nice. The minister gave a nice blessing and emphasized that we were there to grieve for Sammi's passing and express gratitude for her life. There was lots of music. Her daughter Rainbow sang. I don't think I had ever heard Rainbow sing before. She has a beautiful voice. Sammi's sister Melody looks just like her. I spotted the resemblance from across the hall.

I saw Jenny James. I had been hoping to run into her. I knew she was a member of the church and had been friends with Sammi longer than I had. Unfortunately we didn't have much of a chance to talk.

After the service there was food in the social hall and the fireside room. It was all very pleasant. I also ran into Louise Ulrich, I hadn't seen her in years. Other than Sammi's husband and children I didn't know many people who were there. But that was enough.

I would like my funeral to be like Sammi's. If the service has to be in church I hope it is UU church. I don't like it when people use funerals to preach. I prefer services that focus on remembering the dead and talking about their life.

Speaking of remembering the dead. Sammi had a friend who is a publisher and is working on publishing a book of Sammi's writing. I signed up to receive information about it when it comes out. I'm looking for ward to getting a copy as a memento of my friend.

Jul. 2nd, 2014

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Jul. 1st, 2014

fruits and vegetables

Kumquats

Have you ever tried Kumquats?



The look like little oval oranges about the size of grapes. I was never sure what to do with them. They are so small it hardly seems worth the trouble to peel them.

Luckily I have the internet. It turns out you just pop them in your mouth and eat them whole.

They are the most amazing combination of sour and bitter and sweet. I don't think I would have liked them when I was younger and hadn't developed a tolerance for bitter. Now I find them almost addictive. The juice can be almost as sour as lemon, and the rind can be bitter but as you chew them together they become sweet. I have no idea where that comes from. Sometimes there is a seed or two that you can spit out or swallow. I shared some of my kumquats with Marilyn and Anne but they were not impressed and didn't want to try them again. So they are not to everyone's taste. But I quite enjoy them.
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Jun. 30th, 2014

Cogito Ergo Nom

Snack Food Review

These are some savory snacks I purchased to see what they were like.



I got both of these at TOPS. The Baked Lentil Chips' first ingredient is lentil flour and second ingredient is potato starch. They were surprisingly delicate and I don't think would hold up to hummus. The Broccoli Chips' first ingredient is rice flour, second ingredient is potato starch, and third ingredient is corn flour. The Broccoli chips were pale green but not a significant source of broccoli.

They taste pretty much the same, like shrimp chips (which are mostly rice flour). Except that the Broccoli Chips are covered with white cheddar dust. I quite like shrimp chips and these are less oily. They were OK. But a bit high carb for me.



These are exactly what they say they they are dried fruits and vegetables, nothing else.
They were all surprisingly crunchy not like the usual leathery dried fruit. The Pineapple was the best. Probably because it is naturally a little sweet. It was crunchy not hard or sugared like most dried pineapple. The Tomatoes tasted like tomato paste. Which is not exactly what I'm looking for in a tasty snack. And the Zucchini was like eating flavorless leaves. Really. Actual leaves have more flavor. I got these on sale at TOPs and I would not buy them again.



I picked these up as a "healthy" alternative at the sub shop in Wegmans. They are basically corn chips with spinach and kale in them. I mistakenly thought they would be spinach and kale chips. I didn't notice any difference in flavor from regular corn chips.



I picked up three types of Primal Spirit Foods Primal Strips Meatless Vegan Jerky. All three had the texture of wet cardboard, not corrugated cardboard, the thick cardboard that is used on the back of legal pads. The Texas BBQ favor is made of textured soy protein and tastes like mild BBQ sauce. The Teriyaki and Thai Peanut flavors are made of vital wheat gluten (Seitan) and taste Ok. I have to point out the regular meat jerky tastes like shoe leather so wet cardboard is not any worse, just less dry.
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Candy Reviews

In the spirit of Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap I want to post some candy reviews.

In case you are worried about my blood sugar levels I did not eat these all on the same day. Actually I ate them the over the course of several months so I have to remember what I thought of them. But I took pictures so that helps.



These are Classic Candies I bought at Wegmans.

The "Chick-O-Stick" is a Butterfinger with coconut instead of milk chocolate. I like this version better because I'm always peeling the chocolate off the Butterfinger so I can eat the crunchy peanut butter separately.

The "Coconut Long Boys" and the "Black Cow" are both caramel "bars". I wasn't sure how that was going to work.

The "Coconut Long Boys" is a plain caramel with coconut mixed in and the "Black Cow" is a chocolate caramel. I was a bit worried that they would be too stretchy to break off a piece but they actually broke fairly easily. They were both very chewy but not enough to pull out my fillings.

I enjoyed them both but I can understand why people prefer bite sized individually wrapped caramels.




These are three kinds of chocolate cups I found in the "Nature's Marketplace" section of Wegmans.

Justin's Organic Dark Chocolate peanut butter cups are nice alternative to Reese's peanut butter cups. I always prefer Dark Chocolate to Milk Chocolate. Although the peanut butter center seems to be just peanut butter not the mixture of peanut butter and sugar that you get in a Reese's. It's more fluid and less sweet. But that is also better in my opinion.

Both of the Newman's Own offerings are dark chocolate and smaller than your typical peanut butter cup. The raspberry version is about the size of a mini Reese's and come six to a pack. The raspberry filling is very liquid. The peppermint cups are slightly bigger and also a bit liquid inside. But I enjoyed both of these and would buy them again.



I got these in the Asian section at Wegmans. They are actually called "15 Grain Healthy Snack". I had no idea what these would be when I bought them. From the outside package I thought they would be some kind of seed bar like a granola bar or one of the sesame candies. So I was quite surprised by what they turned out to be.

Inside the larger package were individually wrapped logs. The log has the texture of crunchy airy foam and I assume it is made from rice, with a sweet creamy center of what I assume is sesame and bean paste. There are no whole seeds in evidence.

I'm not sure how healthy they are but I enjoyed them.



I got these at TOPS. I had never seen Blueberry Cordials before. I was worried that the blueberries would be shriveled and seedy but they were quite nice. No better or worse than the usual Cherry Cordials.



I got these at TOPS

The two Scharffen Berger Dark Chocolate Bars had a strange bitter aftertaste. One contained roasted cacao nibs and the other contained roasted coffee beans, they both had little bitter crunchy bits. Not bad, but not something that knocked my socks off.

The Heidi Grand'Or Dark Chocolate with Caramelized Hazelnuts was quite nice. The whole hazelnuts did actually stick halfway out of the chocolate bar so that should give you an idea of how thin the chocolate was, about the same thickness as the Hershey's bars you use for making Smores. The caramel layer on the hazelnuts was so thin as to be almost undetectable. But I like hazelnuts and dark chocolate so it was Ok for me.

The Wild Ophelia All Natural Beef Jerky Milk Chocolate Bar was not good at all. I got it for the novelty value. When I opened it up I could smell the smoked jerky but the little jerky chips tasted like salt. And the chocolate tasted like the cheap chocolate hollow rabbits you get at Easter when they are thinning down the chocolate with sugar and wax. The flavors did not blend or compliment each other at all. Too sweet with occasional bursts of salt.




The bag is Ting Ting Jahe, Ginger Candy Chews. My favorite ginger candy that I get from Wegmans in the Asian section. They are good for settling my stomach. One bag contains about 24 individually wrapped candies, about .22 oz each.

The tins are Chimes brand Ginger Chews I got at TOPS. Each tin contains about 14 individually wrapped candies, about .14 oz each. The ginger flavor tasted the same as the Ting Ting Jahe and the mango ones tasted like mango. They were fine but not better than my usual. I'll stick with the Ting Ting Jahe. I don't need more decorative tins cluttering up my apartment anyway.
dragon

Intellectual Frustration

“Don't try to teach a pig to sing. It'll just frustrate you and annoy the pig."

It is very frustrating for me when I'm trying to have an intelligent discussion with someone and they turn out to be too stupid to understand what I'm saying. In the past I would try to explain the issue to them. But I have learned that that is futile and will frustrate me and annoy them. I have to just accept that they are not capable of understanding the issue and drop it, most people are just not as smart as I am and I need to learn to accept that. And I can come here and vent my frustration at not being understood.
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