Drawstring Solution

A friend sent a nice bit of birthday money (Thank you, Lisa!) and it was exactly the right amount to get a two-pack of inexpensive sweat pants – just what I need for around-the-house this winter.

When I was a kid, drawstrings at the waistband had two ends, and you tied them together the same way you tied your shoe laces.   Apparently that went the way of the dodo bird because virtually EVERY thing I own that has a waistband drawstring now has the closed-loop style… like this:


Now, I don’t know about you, but I find this loopy thing to be almost impossible to tie tightly enough to be worthwhile.  BUT if you don’t tighten, eventually whatever you are wearing begins to fall down.

Thankfully, last year I bought a package of squeeze-lock cord catcher things… yes, I know there’s a name for it, but I can’t think of it.   Anyway, they are already in most of my other drawstring attire, and I still have quite a few left.   I LOVE LOVE LOVE these things.  You squeeze the top and bottom together as you pull the cord through, then release the thingie and a spring-loaded catch captures the cord and holds it firmly enough that your drawers don’t fall down.

Besides being great for quickly securing my sweats and surfer shorts and other drawstring attire, these would be AWESOME for seniors who can’t easily tie bowties or can’t make a secure enough knot in these dang-burn-it closed-loop drawstring things.

I think there were originally made for quickly closing/opening totebags or camping gear, but I find them useful in other ways.


If you really REALLY want to order some, I’ll go back through my Amazon orders and see what they are called, just leave a note in the comments section below.



This is how we science

Science is important in everyday living.  Science is a method of learning or understanding the world around us.   Many of us use the scientific method so often that we don’t stop to think about it.  The first part of the scientific method is Observation — just looking at it to see what you have.   Then comes whatever testing might seem appropriate (in the case below, that would be tasting).   And then making some conclusions.  It is important to remember the difference between evidence-based objective observations and personal, subjective opinions.

Like this evening, just for example.   I discovered I had two pints of Cookies & Cream ice cream — one is Kroger’s house brand, Private Selection, and the other is from a local dairy, Blue Bunny.

Looking at the tops, we can see they are very similar; Private Selection is a little darker, richer looking ice cream, and the cookie chunks appear to be slightly larger.  The Blue Bunny is whiter, with somewhat smaller bits of cookie. icecreamtest1

But one cannot tell just by looking at the top surface.  A real scientist knows he must dig a little deeper:


Ah-HA!!! The Private Selection cookie chunks are larger throughout, 🙂
while the Blue Bunny product offers much smaller bits.   🙁

So far, these are evidence-based conclusions. We can observe the color and texture, and anyone observing would reach the same conclusions.

But there’s more!  The Private Selection product tastes better, but that’s a personal and very subjective opinion.   (What? You didn’t think I would scoop out samples and not actually eat them, did  you?)   I also prefer the Private Selection mouth-feel, which again is quite subjective.   Cheaper quality ice creams leave a fatty film in my mouth; fortunately Blue Bunny doesn’t do this but there is (to me) a slightly different mouth-feel.

Is one *better* than the other?  It’s more a matter of preference rather than *better*.  I like the Private Selection product  not only for color and texture, as well as taste and mouth-feel.   But there is also the expense of acquiring the product.

Blue Bunny is sold at the local corner market.  It is always $2.79 a pint, or 2/$5.00.

Private Selection pints are always $1.79 at Kroger, but often 3/$5.00.   Definitely the better price.   Plus, as a Kroger product I get 10% senior discount.  And yesterday when I went, I had a 40¢ coupon for 1 pint!  So, I got it for $1.79 – $0.17 – $0.40 = $1.22.    I am pretty sure $1.22 is better than $2.50.

I will not walk all the way to Kroger just for ice cream.  If I don’t need anything else, but just want ice cream, I will take my insulated lunch kit to the corner market and get two pints, which fit perfectly.  insulatedbag

Fuck Donald Trump

There.  I said it.  Fuck Donald Trump.  He doesn’t deserve to be president of the local newspaper boys union.

There’s nothing else to say about that little fucker.

Simple Supper

Tonight was a toss-up between ordering out for delivery pizza, or fixing something simple for myself.   Simple won.  So did Frugal!

Into a 3 quart sauce pan over medium heat, deposit 3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced or sliced into tiny pieces, and let them get frying themselves up, stirring frequently.  When good and crispy (or however you like your bacon), drain off about half the accumulated grease (to save for tomorrow’s fried potatoes or something).

This is a slow process on medium heat; about 8-10 minutes, so you can be preparing the rest of the ingredients, which are added one at a time, then mixed before adding the next thing. This allows flavors to start mingling AND prevents the pan from going cold from adding everything at once.

Deposit about 1/2 cup Creole style mirepoix (equal parts chopped onion, celery, bell pepper — a staple in my house) into the bacon, stir around to get the mirepoix sweating good and proper.   When the onion bits are turning clear…

take 1 medium zucchini and 1 medium yellow crookneck squash, cut off the ends (discard to the compost bin if you have one), cut lengthwise, and then cross-cut about 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices.  Add them to the pot, stir around to mix well with the  bacon and mirepoix.

Rinse 1 can of black beans (another staple here), and add these to the pot, stirring again.

Open 1 can Mexican style stewed tomatoes (or Italian style or plain or whatever you like — canned tomatoes of all sorts are another staple here), dump them and their juice into the pan.   Fill the tomato can with water (chicken stock or beer would be better, but I used water today) and add that to the pan.

Bring to a light boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer at just under a boil for 20 minutes.   The squash will be done but not smooshie-gross.   (I grew up with home-grown squash of all types, most of which were eaten raw or cooked, either way is fine for me.)

You could add a dash of ground cinnamon, or ground cumin, or any other spices.   I didn’t add ANYthing but what I’ve listed here.  Not even salt and pepper; the beans were unsalted in the can, and I figure there was enough salt on/in the bacon I didn’t need any more.   There was enough liquid to warrant serving over a shredded heel of my homemade bread.  A good distribution of vegetables (tomatoes & squash), protein (bacon and beans), and a bit of carbs (the bread).


I eat plain and simple.   I like tasting what the actual foods taste like, most of the time.  Nothing fancy.  When I make a ground beef pot of this or that, however, I always add garlic, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, a bit of Tony Chacheré’s cajun seasoning, and a splash of Worcestershire (L&P, of course — the real stuff).  Most of the time I prefer to eat for content, rather than flavor.


Debating whether to watch the Debate

Nope.    I can’t imagine there is anything that could be said tonight that would change my mind.  Trump is a mother-fucking lying son-of-a-bitch and is not qualified to be President.

And I am confident that tomorrow Facebook will be filled with links to all sorts of post-debate commentary.


How many more?

How many more unarmed black men have to be killed by out-of-control white police officers before the rest of the country understands what Kaepernick was protesting?

Have no friends who are not your equals

“Have no friends who are not your equals” – Confucius

I ran into this quote yesterday on Facebook and I’ve been mulling it over, trying to figure out what it means, or at least what it might mean to me.

On the one hand it can mean don’t be friends with people who are above you or beneath you as far as social station or other factors. Or it can also mean not to treat your friends as if you are superior or inferior to them.

As a mere mortal such as I am I find myself sometimes distinguishing among the people that I know. Some of the people that I know are acquaintances but not friends in the true sense of the word. I can be friendly with acquaintances without divulging all of my secrets.

I’m still not entire sure as to take the quote, but I’m going to let it simmer some more.