Dispatches from the Eccentric Frontier

Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the “Max Kaehn” journal:
⇐ Previous 10 entries

October 16th, 2016

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19:21 Hold Your Nose and Vote on Tuesday, November 8, 2016: Measures Submitted to the Voters

As usual, I’ve done my research for the upcoming election and written up my notes to share with the rest of the class. I’ve given my conclusions, and invite you to come to your own. Even if we disagree on every issue, I’m happy if this saves you a headache.

San Jose Inside has A Voter’s Guide to California’s 17 Statewide Ballot Measures and Santa Clara County Voter’s Guide to All 32 Local Ballot Measures.

Measures submitted to the votersCollapse )

Current Location: Sunnyvale, CA, USA Current Mood: tired tired
(4 rants | My 2¢)
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19:20 Hold Your Nose and Vote on Tuesday, November 8, 2016: Elected Offices

As usual, I’ve done my research for the upcoming election and written up my notes to share with the rest of the class. I’ve given my conclusions, and invite you to come to your own. Even if we disagree on every issue, I’m happy if this saves you a headache. The rest of the officesCollapse )

Current Location: Sunnyvale, CA, USA Current Mood: tired tired
(2 rants | My 2¢)
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May 15th, 2016

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19:58 Hold Your Nose and Vote on Tuesday, June 7, 2016

As usual, I’ve done my research for the upcoming election and written up my notes to share with the rest of the class. I’ve given my conclusions, and invite you to come to your own. Even if we disagree on every issue, I’m happy if this saves you a headache.

Political information cut to spare your sanityCollapse )

Current Mood: perplexed
(6 rants | My 2¢)
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December 25th, 2015

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21:18 Beef tenderloin, first trial run

obsessivewoman suggested we try a beef tenderloin this year, so I reserved a couple of 7 pound roasts at Safeway and picked them up on the 23rd. We spent a while on the America’s Test Kitchen web site reviewing different recipes (which vary wildly) and eventually distilled it down to this:

The night before the party:

  1. Remove the silverskin, but not the chain; recipes also suggest that one can simply segment the silverskin to avoid it shortening during cooking and curling the meat, much like cooking calamari.
  2. Tie the roast with twine every 1½–2 inches, folding the tails over to achieve uniform thickness and trying for as cylindrical a profile as possible.
  3. Set it on foil and cover it in kosher salt (about 1½ tbsp).
  4. Close the foil and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

On the day of the party:

  1. Two hours before cooking, remove a stick of unsalted butter from the refrigerator to soften.
  2. 20 minutes before cooking, heat oven to 300°F.
  3. Remove roast from refrigerator and blot dry with paper towels, removing any remaining salt.
  4. Rub butter all over the roast (¼ stick should be enough) and then cover in low-salt Montreal steak seasoning. (Every recipe we saw for tenderloin managed to cover it in either butter or olive oil.)
  5. Place the roast diagonally on a baking rack on a cookie sheet; it’s too long to fit in a prime rib roasting rack.
  6. Insert meat thermometer and begin roasting.
  7. At 105°F, remove the roast, flip it over, and replace it in the oven.
  8. At 120°F, pour olive oil in a saucepan and begin heating on medium high.
  9. At 125°F, remove the roast from the oven and immediately bisect it. Sear each half in the olive oil, 1 minute on each side.
  10. Let the halves stand, tented in foil, for ¼ hour.
  11. When carving, remove the chain first and slice that onto a separate platter in 1–1½” segments. It requires more attention when eating to get around the gristle, but it’s very flavorful.
  12. Now that the chain is removed, slice the rest of the roast in ¼–½” medallions.

Tenderloin cooks fast compared to a prime rib; it’s ready to serve in a couple of hours. The result is very flavorful, and tender enough to cut easily with a butter knife.

Future avenues of investigation:

Current Mood: pleased pleased
(1 rant | My 2¢)
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October 29th, 2015

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22:30 Remembering Cleo

Memories and kitty pixCollapse )

Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic
(3 rants | My 2¢)

October 22nd, 2015

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19:19 Farewell to a magnificent cat

We’ve long observed that Cleo was a survivor, ready to hunt for herself in case this “human civilization” thing doesn’t pan out, while Yeti has bet everything on humans by going back for extra helpings of cute instead of picking up survival instincts. And survive she did: she beat thyroid cancer in 2012, thanks to a radioactive-iodine treatment at RadioCat. She thought diabetes was the best scam ever because it meant she got fresh wet food, twice a day, every day, for the tiny annoyance of an insulin injection in the scruff of her neck. When she came down with a spindle-cell sarcoma in her jaw, she handled radiation treatment (at SAGE) very well; her tumor stayed small and stable afterward. She was always sweet-tempered, even at the vet’s, where she charmed all the staff.

Three weeks ago, we took her in for some routine bloodwork that turned up some suspicious values from her liver, so we took her down to SAGE for further investigation, which involved an ultrasound and needle biopsy. It turned out she had also had a lymphoma on her liver and spleen, of a type that normally responds fairly well to chemotherapy. The odds were good that she would get 6–9 months of remission from a course of Saturday visits to SAGE, so we started that course last Saturday and she weathered it very well, continuing to demand treats and lap time from her humans. We were confident she would make it to January to celebrate her sixteenth birthday, and thought there was a possibility she would see seventeen.

On Tuesday afternoon, she manifested some scary symptoms of an ulcer, and her red blood cell count declined on Wednesday morning and further this morning. We took her in to SAGE for a blood transfusion and further investigation of the problem; it turned out to be a perforated intestine, which was due to very shortly turn into a fast and unpleasant decline, and we decided to spare her the suffering.

Cleo had a good Wednesday night, purring on my lap and enjoying her favorite foods; she went out peacefully this afternoon, purring and being adored by her humans. Here is a picture of her snuggled on the bed with us, just a couple of nights ago:

Current Mood: calm calm
(5 rants | My 2¢)

October 26th, 2014

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22:20 Hold Your Nose and Vote on Tuesday, November 4, 2014

As usual, I’ve done my research for the upcoming election and written up my notes to share with the rest of the class. I’ve given my conclusions, and invite you to come to your own. Even if we disagree on every issue, I’m happy if this saves you a headache. It’s a midterm election without even a senator on the ballot. That means you especially need to vote, because a lot of people won’t be bothering.

Political information cut to spare your sanityCollapse )

Current Location: Sunnyvale, CA Current Mood: tired tired
(7 rants | My 2¢)
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June 1st, 2014

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14:28 Hold Your Nose and Vote on Tuesday, June 3, 2014

As usual, I’ve done my research for the upcoming election and written up my notes to share with the rest of the class. I’ve given my conclusions, and invite you to come to your own. Even if we disagree on every issue, I’m happy if this saves you a headache.

Political information cut to spare your sanityCollapse )

Current Location: Sunnyvale, CA, USA Current Mood: busy busy
(4 rants | My 2¢)
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March 5th, 2014

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21:19 Biotech idea: animatreats

Once we can print protein circuitry, it should be possible to create semi-living mouse-shaped cat treats that have fewer ganglia than a flatworm, as their only purpose in existence would be to be taken out of hibernation, set on the floor, and turned loose for cats to chase. They would, of course, be made to be nutritionally balanced for cats, and come with a program for your future-Roomba to track down where your cat devoured the animatreat and made the inevitable mess. (Less of a mess than a mouse would be; it would be able to operate with an anaerobic metabolism on energy stored in the cells before they were printed, so no need for a circulatory system.)

Current Mood: creative creative
(My 2¢)
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October 19th, 2013

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16:39 Hold your nose and vote on Tuesday, November 5, 2013

As usual, I’ve written up my research notes for the coming election so you can all crib from my work. I’ve given my conclusions, and invite everyone to come to their own. Even if we disagree on everything, I’m still happy if this collection of links saved you a headache. No issues outside Sunnyvale this timeCollapse )

Current Location: Sunnyvale, CA Current Mood: tired tired
(3 rants | My 2¢)
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