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Beans, beans, the beautiful soup

These are the portions I use, which fill my biggest (8 Quart) pot. You may want to reduce.

Beans: I buy as many different dried beans as I can, I like the Goya brand, and mix them together to create 2 cups. You may want to just use a multi-bean soup mix. I don’t, because all the ones our store carries are dusted with some fake ham flavoring and other garbage. Goya makes a nice 16-Bean Soup Mix, but I can’t find it locally. Hence, I have to make my own. Typically I use Pintos, Rosadas, Pequiños, Navy, Blancos, Negros, Lentils, etc.

In a medium stock pot: 2 C Mixed dried beans Water to twice the depth of the beans Bring to boil, turn off heat, let stand for 3 hours, bring back to a boil and simmer 1 hour. (Alternatively, soak the beans overnight, then boil/simmer for 30 minutes) While the beans are finishing their boil, assemble the rest of the vegetables:

In your largest stock pot:

  1. 4 T Olive Oil
  2. 1 lb Carrots, diced
  3. 1 head Celery, diced
  4. 2 Bay leaves
  5. 6 Pepper corns
  6. 1/4 Tsp Mustard seeds
  7. 1 Tsp Thyme

Stir over medium high to brown carrots slightly

Add 1/2 bag each of frozen vegetables of your choice. I use:

  1. Mixed yellow/green string beans
  2. Petite peas
  3. Baby Limas (unless they were one of the dried beans you used)
  4. Corn
  5. Okra (cut, not whole)
  6. Black-eyed Peas (unless they were one of the dried beans you used)
  7. Spinach and/or Kale
  8. Edamame (fresh, shelled green soybeans)

Add 1 large can whole tomatoes. I pour the juice in the pot, then dice the tomatoes and add them.

Drain the beans and add them to the pot (I do not use the liquid the beans cooked in. Call me a nut, but I think this greatly reduces the gas-inducing power of the beans. You may include at your own risk!)

Now fill the pot with water to cover all, bring to a boil and simmer for at least 1 hour.

Add a few dashes of Bragg’s Aminos (or Soy or Tamari) and a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.

Optional: If I have some Pesto laying around (I keep it frozen in 1/4 cup chunks), I throw 1/4 cup into the pot.

Simmer until the vegetables are soft to your taste, at least 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Makes about 12 servings, so either invite friends or have lots of tupperware handy!

16:09 | Link | Reply | Track


What a pain!

The Pains

I’m reading John Sundman’s latest book “The Pains”. It’s his third book, and he continues to amuse me! I’ll be ordering a signed copy, to complete my collection. Someday these things are going to be worth something…

08:48 | Link | Reply | Track


iPhone, therefore iAm

So, I got one. (Did you think I wouldn’t?)

My justification: I wanted a new iPod, because it is too hard to find your place in an audio book on a shuffle. And I don’t want to have to carry an iPod and a cell phone.

I love it.

I love the fact that I can be driving, listening to my iPod, and ‘seamlessly’ transition to a phone call and back. I love how easy it is to manage ‘call interupting’. I thought I would never use the camera, but since I can email pix, and for free, it turns out I do. We got lost on a bike ride the other day and maps saved our butt.

My wishes:

  1. Merged inbox. Too painful to visit each of my (4) email accounts
  2. Threads. I am so used to them in Apple Mail, I get lost without them.
  3. Real IM, not this dumb-ass SMS impostor
  4. GPS. Don’t cell phones have to have GPS for 911? Why can it not tell me where I am on the map?
  5. .local addresses. Why should it not understand Bonjour?
16:47 | Link | Track



I just saw an ad for ‘wireless bras’ Are these bluetooth or wi-fi? Where can I get a pair of wireless u-trou?

12:14 | Link | Reply | Track


Goose Bumps

My friend Dan has a blog on mogul skiing.

Because mogul skiing is not well understood by the general skiing masses, it’s surrounded by myths. Here’s my first blog attempt to debunk three of these myths.

Dan DiPiro’s Mogul-Skiing Blog

I’ll never ski moguls as well as Dan does, but I think mogul skiing is less effort than carving an alpine turn. And way more fun. Can’t wait.

10:45 | Link


The Charge of the Light Sabre

Have you ever wondered how these remarkable weapons work? Where does the energy come from, and how are they able to contain that energy in a rod-like column of glowing power?

Howstuffworks “How Lightsabers Work”

07:46 | Link


Tiger burning bright

As for a general review, Tiger seems significantly zippier (once Spotlight stops grinding your disk) than Panther. I agree with most of the Ars review on the UI ‘improvements’, they are not.


  • Archive and install does not preserve custom pix you put on accounts, it graciously gives you some default pic, and then when it realizes that your Address card is now ‘out of date’, it erases your pic in your vcard.

  • iChat still doesn’t unify multiple accounts in a sane way. I have several people’s cells listed as alternate iChat addresses (at least with Verizon #’s you can IM +1<cell #> and it will send as an SMS, which they can reply to; this is really a feature of AIM). The new iChat decided to tell me that these people were now always on line. It does note that they are ‘mobile’ when that is the only active account, but that means I can’t see their real state. I ended up removing these accounts for now.

  • Mail seems to have some disagreement with my home courier imap server where it asks over and over for a message that IMAP refuses to give up. This account is stale, so I will just turn it off. It is not worth trying to figure out.

  • I use Fink emacs, since the Apple one is not X-enabled (why, I do not know, now that Apple supplies an X server, you would think that they would build their emacs X-aware, or upgrade it when you install X). I had to force-rebuild emacs in fink. The Panther version got some bizarre malloc error. Makes sense, since you have an all new gcc in Tiger.

  • Oh, and there is something funky where you cannot access any ‘legacy’ afp: servers. I think this is just a bug that will get fixed eventually… [Later: Apparently not. OS X is just not going to support afp: over AppleTalk any more!] There is a new feature where you can tell the Finder to tunnel afp: over ssh.

  • Haven’t figured out if dashboard is worthwhile. Since it is hidden, I probably will never remember to use it. AFAICT, it just means that there are a bunch of widget runtimes around, which seem to waste memory and cpu even when not displayed?

  • I think there may be some confusion about all the ways to sync. What happens if I tell my calendar to sync to .mac on two computers and both computers think they are also publishing those calendars to .mac so my family can share them? Who’s on first?

  • So far spotlight has a) made me aware of some emails that I should have deleted, b) made me realize that I need to spend a lot more time putting keywords on my photos, if iPhoto would stop crashing every time it complains that my firewall is blocking sharing, and c) made me wonder if it is at all useful to have my lps playpens indexed — or any code directories for that matter: it seems unlikely I really want to see all those .h files.

  • TextEdit can open Word files. Cool. I am one step closer to deleting MS Office from my drive. Hey. Pages can import and export Word files. Even cooler.

  • Preview understands PDF 1.5, annotations, forms. Hm. Do I need Acrobat any more? Does Apple pay Adobe a license fee?

Haven’t noticed the other 193 ‘new features’ yet…

12:23 | Link | Reply | Track


Shufflin' the Shuffle


Making the iPod’s shuffle function work better [Maximum Aardvark]

I already had the ‘Favorites’, ‘New’, and ‘Unusual’ playlists, but didn’t realize you could make playlists of playlists, or consider that you could set the mixing ratios by setting the sizes of the playlists. I now have:

  • Music: a playlist that excludes books and ‘specialty music’
  • Favorites: a playlist that selects 500 from Music by highest rating
  • New: a playlist that selects 300 from Music by most recently added
  • Unusual: a playlist that selects 200 from Music by least often played
  • WPTW: a playlist that selects 24 hours from Favorites, New, and Unusual

And I fill my shuffle using a random selection from WPTW.

Acutally, I first manually put the book I am currently reading on the shuffle, and then fill the rest from WPTW. I make sure the book is ‘song’ #1 on the shuffle, so that I can get to it by using the ‘click play 3 times to go home’ in non-shuffle mode.

09:53 | Link | Reply | Track


Skull Candy?

I find the fidelity of most hands-free cellphone headsets abysmal, plus, they only play in one ear, so they are impossible in a noisy environment. Why can’t I just plug in my stereo headphones? It turns out I can. This thing is actually meant to let you listen to music and be on the phone at the same time, which is too new a trick for this old dog, but it does let me use my headphones on my cellphone, and the fidelity is quite good.

18:01 | Link | Reply


Artists fascinate me

I heard The Valleys in the Expresso Royale by BU. I asked the barista what the album was and she told me it was Electrelane. Bought the album, but couldn’t understand the words. Found the lyrics on line; but the lyrics are really a poem by Siegfried Sassoon, rearranged and sung by a 12-person choir.

The Power Out
Robert, when I drowse to-night,
Skirting lawns of sleep to chase
Shifting dreams in mazy light,
Somewhere then I'll see your face
Turning back to bid me follow
Where I wag my arms and hollo,
Over hedges hasting after
Crooked smile and baffling laughter.
Running tireless, floating, leaping,
Down your web-hung woods and valleys,
Garden glooms and hornbeam alleys,
Where the glowworm stars are peeping,
Till I find you, quiet as stone
On a hill-top all alone,
Staring outward, gravely pondering
Jumbled leagues of hillock-wandering.

“A Letter Home” from The Old Huntsman and Other Poems, Siegfried Sassoon, 1918

How do they think this stuff up?

10:35 | Link | Reply | Track


Now What?

There’s nothing in the Red Sox Fan Manual on what to do now. heard on WBUR

00:22 | Link | Reply | Track


Nigritude Ultramarine

What the heck is Nigritude Ultramarine? A challenge to see if people can outwit Google and cause their website to be ranked the highest when someone searches for 'nigritude ultramarine' (which had no links before the contest started).

Reminds me of a game we used to play in Google, to see if we could find two words that returned no answers from Google. It’s not as easy as you might think. I have two that still work, but clearly I can't tell you them!

15:46 | Link | Track


Jellied Cats

Check out the animated short “Perpetual Motion”. It won an Academy Award.

tip o’ the pin to JO
10:14 | Link | Reply