This needs a picture.
The corner grocery has placed anti-theft devices around the pregnancy tests.
Has the embarrassment of purchasing a pregnancy test caused an increase in thefts?
This needs a picture.
The corner grocery has placed anti-theft devices around the pregnancy tests.
Has the embarrassment of purchasing a pregnancy test caused an increase in thefts?
Arlington Central School District budget planning for FY 2012-2013 has resulted in a fairly good budget. I particularly like the appendices that are included for the first time in this year’s budget book.
Budget creation is a bit of a balancing act. This year our district has done well in limiting the increase in costs — unlike the adjacent Wappingers Central School District which has chosen to add a potential long-term increase in costs in order to secure a one-time grant — so I will vote to approve the spending plan.
By the time the budget discussions arrive, the costs are fixed in contracts, so staff reductions are the only option. It’s during contract negotiations that the board needs to consider the effect on the budget. If the budget is capped at a 2% annual increase, then don’t agree to contracts that will result in a 4.29% increase.
I should have written
the costs the district controls are fixed in contracts. There are other costs imposed by the United States and New York State which can change the budget numbers significantly. These include, among other things, required administrative reporting changes, curriculum changes, and, most predictably, contributions to the pension funds. The U.S. and New York typically pass these costs on to the localities. It is reasonable for localities to support the cost of public education, but not when they have not been party to the decisions that have increased those costs.
But, as in previous years, Arlington has not yet confronted the need to project long-term budget impacts during contract negotiations, and will, once again, need to discover $4,000,000 in reserve funds, operating cost reductions, and a tax increase to cover an increase in labor costs. The district’s costs are primarily labor-related, so any persistent reduction in cost must consider labor. And if the district cannot reduce labor costs caused by Washington and Albany, then it must address those it can.
More information on the Arlington budget can be found at the district’s web site.
By way of my sister’s recipe box, comes this memory.
Scald all together and set aside to cool:
Add 2 cups water to above mixture.
Crumble yeast into water to soften. Sift flour into large bowl; shape a hole in the middle and gradually add milk mixture and yeast, beating constantly to keep mixture smooth. Mix until a medium stiff dough is formed. Knead on a floured board until smooth. Place in a greased bowl and brush with melted shortening.
Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). Punch down and let rise again, then shape into 3 or 4 loaves (depending on size of pans). Place in greased bread pans; let rise again until double in bulk on top of pan. Bake in hot oven (425) for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to moderately hot oven (375) and bake 25-30 minutes longer. Large loaves take a little longer. Remove from pans and brush crusts with butter. Put on a rack or cloth to cool.
* shortening, known in some circles as lard and in others as Crisco.
** fresh yeast = compressed yeast = active fresh yeast = cake yeast = baker’s compressed yeast = wet yeast Equivalents: 2-ounce cake = 3 X 0.6-ounce cakes Notes: This form of yeast usually comes in 0.6-ounce or 2-ounce foil-wrapped cakes. It works faster and longer than active dry yeast, but it’s very perishable and loses potency a few weeks after it’s packed. It’s popular among commercial bakers, who can keep ahead of the expiration dates, but home bakers usually prefer dry yeast. To use, soften the cake in a liquid that’s 70° – 80° F. Store fresh yeast in the refrigerator, well wrapped, or in the freezer, where it will keep for up to four months. If you freeze it, defrost it for a day in the refrigerator before using. Substitutes: active dry yeast (Substitute one package or 2 1/4 teaspoons for each .6-ounce cake of compressed yeast) OR instant yeast (Substitute one package or 2 1/4 teaspoons for each cake of compressed yeast) OR bread machine yeast (Substitute 2 1/4 teaspoons for each cake of compressed yeast) [I’m still deciphering this paragraph.]
I just spent $80 on ink cartridges for my printer. The lad at CVS had to get a key from a locked drawer behind the counter in order to release them for me. I’ve had an easier time purchasing cigarettes.
Theft is a risk because there is excess demand unmet at the price asked.* Counterfeit goods are a risk for the same reason, and because the cost of manufacture and distribution is so much lower than the price asked that even at cheap street prices the product is still profitable.
The same applies to Coach bags, Guggi purses, Ford auto parts, and Rihanna’s latest hit single. It might apply to the Apple iPhone, but Samsung prices the Nexus as a premium product.
* if demand exceeds supply at the price offered, then there is unmet demand, and thus lost profit. Lower the price, let the supply meet the demand, and reap the benefits.
Interactive Television has always failed, and will always fail.
A lesson from the early days of telephony is significant. Early on it was thought that telephony would provide a subscriber with a way to listen to opera in the convenience of his own living room. And while that was sold for a while, it turns out that humans are social animals, and that the profit lies in enabling communication, not in delivering content. We want to talk to each other.
The ONLY reason that television has been around so long is that the cost of communicating with video was beyond the reach of all of us.
That is no longer the case.
Television as we’ve known it is dead. But like a chicken with its head cut off, it’s still running around.
I have removed all advertising from my website. I’ve had a website online since 1996 or so, and since then I’ve made perhaps $3.00 from affiliate advertising. I have no idea how anyone makes money from this.
Because this advertising is no great benefit to me, and no great benefit to you, the reader, it serves no purpose, and must go.
But more importantly, can we make it at home?
Once one finds Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe for grenadine, one can.
- 2 c. fresh pomegranate juice or POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate
- 2 c. unbleached sugar
- 2 oz. pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp. orange blossom water
Heat juice slightly, just enough to allow other ingredients to dissolve easily. Stir in remaining ingredients, allow to cool, and bottle. Yields two cups.
But I’m missing a couple of ingredients.
Luckily, around the time I was looking for pomegranate molasses, I saw Alton Brown’s Good Eats episode on the pomegranate, and he covered the topic.
Dissolve sugar in pomegranate juice and lemon juice over medium heat. Once the sugar dissolves, simmer over medium-low heat until reduced by 3/4, or the consistency of a thick syrup. Remove from heat and cool. Yields four to six ounces.
I called a number of ethnic groceries in Dutchess County searching for orange blossom water, with no luck. Another recipe online used vanilla, so I substituted that. Thus we end up with
Dissolve the sugar in the pomegranate juice over low heat. Add molasses and vanilla; stir to combine. DO NOT BOIL. Remove from heat and bottle. Yields two cups.
Now that we’ve returned to Standard Time, let us pause for my annual rant on Daylight Saving Time (DST). Calling the boiling point of water 100 instead of 212 does not mean the water boils when it is colder.
We’re talking about a unit of measurement here, so people can agree to meet at a certain point in time, or so factory shifts can start precisely and predictably, or so polls can have a known start and end. My work hours are variable and cross all timezones, and have since I graduated college. I wake well after dawn and work well after dark, or wake well before dawn and work well after dark. I work generally apart from others; they are in Tokyo, Manila, Bangalore, Sarajevo, New York, St. Louis, Dallas, Sao Paolo, San Ramon. The people I must have real-time meetings live one to three hours west of me, and consistently schedule meetings during lunch or dinner.
What benefit does DST have? Most of the stores I visit are open all the time, because they are online or groceries. If I want to attend my daughter’s softball game, I don’t need the whole factory shift to let out earlier; I need the assholes in California to stop scheduling meetings when they’ve just returned from lunch.
The DST switch only coordinates activities with people local to me (e.g. the school district’s bus schedule), and only for people shoved into a tight schedule, and that could be just as easily done without bothering the rest of the world, or me for that matter. And the easiest way to do that would be to pick Daylight Time or Standard Time, or anything else for that matter, and stick to it.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. That’s not quite exact. Limits are.
When one is out of one’s preferred spirits, has no citrus stocked, and is looking around for a cocktail to mix, one turns to what one has to hand. In this case, what recipes are there for tequila and vermouth?
Combine in your mixing glass, stir with ice, then strain to serve in a cocktail glass.
The hot days of Summer call for a cool drink, shade, and a lazy breeze through the apple trees. If my taste memory serves, this is Grandmother’s Lemonade.
Cover the bottom of a half-gallon glass Tropicana Orange Juice bottle with sugar. Squeeze lemons until the sugar is covered and begins to melt. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add water and ice to fill the remainder, about two quarts.
I’m a little puzzled by one of the statements in David Hackett Fischer‘s conclusion to his The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History. On p. 249, he writes,
In a free market, individual responses to inflation commonly cause more inflation. Individual defenses against economic instability cause an economy to become more unstable.
This process might be called the irrationality of the market. It is so in the sense that it converts rational individual choices into collective results that are profoundly irrational. Far from being a benign or beneficent force, the market when left to itself is an unstable system that has repeatedly caused the disruption of social and economic systems in the past eight hundred years.
In a heavily footnoted text, this statement has no supporting citation, so it must be part of the common wisdom. But I must have missed that part of Econ 101.
Is this statement supportable? Is there evidence that this is the case? Or has every instance of “market instability” resulted in an over-correction by forces “outside” (or dominant players inside) the market?
For those interested in the recipe for the gallon of Margaritas which was consumed at my party yesterday, I used Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe from A Gallon of Margaritas by the Gallon. Below are the details on which tequila and triple sec were involved in this concoction.
Pour each ingredient in a gallon jug, then shake and refrigerate. To serve, wet the glass then roll in salt so that the outside rim is coated, then pour the Margarita over ice.
We’re cancelling DirecTV service.
It’s been about a year since purchasing the HDTV and the associated DirecTV package. Meanwhile, our viewing of “normal” television fare has been steadily declining. We hardly ever watch anything live: we have other things to do with our time. And more often than not, the children are selecting shows from Netflix, YouTube, or the producer themselves, instead of from the previously recorded episodes of Sesame Street, Jake and the (cute little) Never Land Pirates, Little Bear, Wizards of Waverly Place, or whatnot.
In the interest of completeness, I’ve compiled a list of what we normally watch with any regularity, and where it can be found now that we’ve cut the downlink. The challenge now will be getting some of them off the Internet and on the big screen. Apple TV, perhaps? Boxee?
Check out the headline on this article: CNN Poll: Still no front-runner in the battle for the GOP nomination.
Of course not, you stupid shit. They just started campaigning. It’s a [expletive and a half] horse race. Did you see the 137th Kentucky Derby last weekend? That was a fun two minutes. Shackleford started off well in front of the pack and led into the final stretch. But he didn’t win, did he? The favorite? He lost too. Animal Kingdom came up from 13th place to win.
Who the fuck cares who the front-runner is? It means nothing except bullshit headlines and cheap stories for the likes of you.
The Mint Julep is rumored to have led to as many arguments over the nature of the drink as the Martini, if not more since it’s a Southern invention and we’re pugnacious folk. Also like the Martini, some recipes abandon the pretense that there’s more than spirit in the drink, most notably the following by Henry Watterson.
Pluck the mint gently from its bed, just as the dew of the evening is about to form upon it. Select the choicer sprigs only, but do not rinse them. Prepare the simple syrup and measure out a half-tumbler of whiskey. Pour the whiskey into a well-frosted silver cup, throw the other ingredients away and drink the whiskey.
Eric Felten tells an amusing account of Roosevelt v. Newett which serves to highlight that a julep is more than just the Mint Julep. It’s a whole class of drinks. Whereas a cocktail in simple form is any spirit, sugar, water, and bitters, the julep is any spirit, sugar, crushed or shaved ice, and lots of garnish. And sometimes without the spirit: It started in Persia as rose water, جلاب, then slowly evolved into a medicinal concoction in Europe, and on to something worth drinking in America. The recipes compiled at Webtender offer a nice sample of juleps, as does CocktailDB. What distinguishes a julep from a smash? Quantity. Details are to be found in Jerry Thomas’s How to Mix Drinks, David Wondrich’s Imbibe!, and a couple of tomes dedicated entirely to the Mint Julep.
You’ll want to watch Chris McMillian hold forth.
Build, with the care you used in holding your first child.
Gently, ever so gently, pluck 12 or so leaves from freshly cut sprigs of mint, and place in the bottom of your glass. Add one bar spoon of fine sugar and a splash of water. Press together gently — you’re not making a mojito — enough to dissolve the sugar in the water and distribute the mint oils around the glass.
Crush some ice. No, that’s not enough. Crush some more. Now crush it again. The bourbon will be cradled in this finely crushed ice.
Place a spoon in your glass, then pile the ice on top of the mint and sugar, leaving about a half inch free. Pour the bourbon over the ice and stir gently. A frost will form on the outside of the glass. Remove the spoon and add more ice. Slap a sprig of mint between your hands and add to the glass as garnish.
Enjoy. “They are, in fact, like the American ladies, irresistible.”
Apparently you neglected to read my last letter, but with the fast approach of National Train Day and the increase in oil prices making your services slightly more competitive, I thought it might be helpful to bring up the topic again.
Your pricing skills suck. Are you intentionally trying to lose money and ridership?
Suppose that a family of four — or six — wanted to travel to Disney World from New York. This is a not uncommon occurrence, and provides the basis for over 250 flights per day by many airlines from more than five airports in the New York metropolitan area. The cost of air travel is currently going up, up, up due to some small upset over in the oil-producing regions, so where a seat on JetBlue from JFK to MCO would once have cost $50, it’s now between $100 and $150. This is an opportunity! And you’re missing it!
And you’re missing it in a big way. Look, I understand that it takes capital to improve infrastructure, and that you’re hobbled by riding on tracks owned by others, but it’s almost like you’ve intentionally set your prices to encourage folks to drive. For me to take a family of six to Disney World by plane costs almost as much as staying in one of Disney’s “moderate” resorts and going to all of the parks every day of my visit, so I, and many others, might be looking for a slightly less wallet-reducing option. And the first thing that comes to mind is driving. But who wants to drive the first 24 hours of their vacation? Or, who wants to spend three days driving, two days there, and three days driving back? No one. But the other option is too expensive. Buses? Ha! That’s worse than driving, especially with little kids. How about the train?
This is where you’re completely missing the opportunity. The cost per seat from, for example, New York Penn Station to Orlando is $106 per person for a 21 hour trip. That’s slightly cheaper than the more expensive JetBlue seat, but you forget the time differential. Time is, after all, money, which is why travelers choose to fly on JetBlue for 2 hours for $150 instead of suffer on Amtrak for 21 hours for $106. You need to take your utter inability to get anywhere fast into account when pricing your service. And when you’re more expensive, even if only by $7, than the cheapest option, you completely lose. No one wants to pay more money for the privilege of getting somewhere slower.
Yet the cost of airfare gets worse as one moves away from hub airports. This is where you have an advantage. It costs less to feed from Poughkeepsie to New York and thence to Orlando than it does for JetBlue to fly direct from Newburgh to Orlando. In terms of convenience for me, I’d much rather leave from Poughkeepsie than from JFK. If you can get your prices down to something approaching the cost of gasoline plus a hotel room, you might have a fighting chance in earning my dollar. But then you totally destroy any opportunity you had with the sleeper options. $358 for a room for two people? $658 for a slightly larger one? What? You think you’re a hotel on Times Square? I’m just looking for a contained, flat place for my kids to lie down so that they don’t spend the night in the bar car.
You have two options: lower your prices, or build faster trains. Because we’re sure as Hell not going to pay $658 for two cots or $640 for uncomfortable seats when we could pay less than that on gas and a swank room at the Holiday Inn Express.
First you should know that I am not from Bermuda. And while I once visited on a cruise, I drank only beer while I was there, so have no first-hand confirmation that the Dark and Stormy is, in fact, Bermuda‘s national drink.
Second, I now associate this drink with Spring because of Jeffrey Morganthaler’s post on the subject.
Third, I make it backwards, pouring in the rum after the ginger beer. Now it does look like storm clouds on the horizon.
Build in a highball glass, ice, ginger beer, Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with a lime wedge. Allow the recipient to stir if they so desire.
I also need to get some highball glasses.
Until Firefox gets the hang of tracking paths through the browser history, I can’t quite say exactly who started this idea in motion, but I can say what did: an article on using one’s discarded Christmas tree in various dishes, which crossed my transom around about the same time as Imbibe Magazine‘s 2010 Christmas card, which features a cocktail called Walk in the Woods containing Zirbenz, a Swiss liqueur made from the fruit of the Arolla Stone Pine. I doubted that anyone else in the house would like to have their lunch garnished with fir, so why not use it to make a drink?
After removing the Douglas Fir from the house, I dismembered it to simplify handling, then moved it to the garage. It was a fairly warm day, as far as the days this January went, but I’d rather not work in a foot or more of snow. There it sat until this past Monday. I then removed some of the more fragrant needles from the branches and washed them. Yesterday I put a handful or so in a 16 oz. Mason jar. This covered the bottom of the jar to about a 2 inch depth. I then added Tito’s Handmade Vodka up to the 12 oz. mark, put the top on, and let it sit for 24 hours. The result was strained through cheese cloth into an empty Tuthilltown whiskey bottle.
Some experimentation might be needed to determine the optimal infusion time: the result is bitter. And it smells just like the tree. It’s too bitter to drink straight, so what’s to be done? A cocktail!
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until cold, then strain into your favorite glass. Serve straight up, without garnish.
I was experimenting as I built this, so the first version was built in an old-fashioned glass, and only shaken to chill. Dissolve the sugar in the vodka infusion, then add rum and lime. Add ice to your shaker, then the liquids, and shake until cold. You might want to sweeten to taste.
(This one is much better than my first attempt at making a cocktail from scratch, so some folks should prepare to be drinking it.)
To make Irish Usquebaugh; from Lord Capell‘s Receipt, when he was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
To every Gallon of French-Brandy, put one Ounce of Liquorice sliced, one Ounce of sweet Fennel-Seeds, one Ounce of Anniseeds, one Pound of Raisins of the Sun split and stoned, a quarter of a Pound of Figs split, two Drachms of Coriander-Seeds, let these infuse about eight or nine Days, and pour the Liquor clear off, then add half an Ounce of Saffron, in a Bag, for a Day or two, and when that is out, put in a Drachm of Musk. If when this Composition is made, it seems to be too high a Cordial for the Stomach, put to it more Brandy, till you reduce it to the Temper you like. This is the same Receipt King William had when he was in Ireland.
The recipe above is from The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director in the Management of a House, and the Delights and Profits of a Farm, by Richard Bradley (1736). I was looking for usquebaugh and ran across this recipe at A Collection of Civil War Alcoholic Drink Recipes at Civil War Interactive, which kindly noted the source was The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director, as reprinted in A Sip Through Time by Cindy Renfrow. I cannot attest to the quality of the recipe, but King William can.
(It might be a bit too absurd for some to drink a recipe mentioning King William III on Lá Fhéile Pádraig, given historical tensions. But one hopes that historical tensions can be put to rest in enjoyment of a fine beverage, regardless of its provenance.)