F 1 D 0 -- 02 11 13 at 1830

Small Discoveries.

1. Put the liquid in first.

Oh, please stop laughing derisively. Yes, it's my
own fault that I didn't truly read the important
parts of my bread machine book.

For this machine, it really likes the liquid
next to the stirring blade. I use the Black and
Decker.

Tonight I'm making a bread with a lot of
Feta Cheese and Basil. I suppose I should
go have a look and see if it is rising ok.

Oh! If you are buying a bread machine, be 
certain to get one which makes Quick Bread. 
I can't get anything from mine in less 
than three hours. My first machine gave
me something in two hours, but one day
it decided to stop baking. 

People should make them more like washing
machines. It should be automatic, yes, but
it should have a rotary control so you can
start it mid-cycle when needed. It is easy
enough to stop it early, just stop it! But
to start it just to bake something? No can do.
You may as well just pour the dough into the
oven, and heat the house. 

I love how little heat these things make.

2. Instant yeast sucks.

But that is because yeast crystals look the
same when they work as when they don't. The
way you use this stuff is easy. Pour ingredients
in, and then push start. If the yeast works, then
you get this fluffy loaf of bread. If it doesn't
work, and you've been expecting trouble, you get
a dense loaf, akin to a European Rye bread.

I've had much trouble with the assorted packs
and jars of instant yeast I've had. I was going
to buy a pound of professional dry yeast but
that's about 5.00 new, and 2.50 when reduced. I
almost did, but figured it might not be any better.

There is a bakery run by an elderly couple here.
Kievela's Bakery. I went in and spoke with Hazel.
I asked her what she uses.

"Oh, we only use Fresh Yeast. We sell it you 
know! Only 70c a half pound."

Life doesn't get better. A block of real
yeast looks like halvah but it is so bubbly
when you proof it. (add it to some warm water
with sugar in it. If alive, it should bubble.
Uh, this stuff foamed to fill a 3c conainer)

3. Snowfall helps the weather.

I've been freezing here. It has NOT been
especially cold. Maybe +10C or 50F. Still
I was cold. 

The temperature dropped some more, to +5C
or 40F. Now I was exceptionally chilly.
All of the time. I'd wear something around
my neck inside, and sometimes a hat too.

Then we got some flurries yesterday. The
temperature dropped to -10C or 15F. It should
be exceptionally cold now, and I should be
dead, right?

No, something happened to me. Now it feels
like winter. It looks like winter too. Bright
sunshine, and white all over the place. It
didn't snow so much as to ruin the roads. Oh,
there is snow, but it is light and reasonable.

Ah, but what happened to me? I really don't
know the mechanics, but I'm not feeling cold
any longer, even outside.

4. Hard drives die occasionally.

Not mine. I'd come right out and tell
you. But a friend at Bluegrass Jam was
telling me how he's got a friend of his
installing Windows XP because his system
was just getting so slow and awful, it would
not even burn a CD for him. 

Something about our chat made me think
I should back up everything tonight or
tomorrow.

5. I'm not orthodox.

I saw a movie, Trembling Before G-d. This
is a documentary about the trouble certain
gays and lesbians experience. Which 'certain'?
Those who happen to be jewish. But when I
went to see the film, it is more specific,
and explains the personal troubles of lifestyle
among Orthodox Jewish Gay and Lesbian. 

I went to see the film hoping I'd find out
more about my jewish roots. I saw lots of
nice community shots of New York City that
looked almost familiar to me. Those are
roots, right?

I didn't feel much in common with the degree
of orthodoxy. But I truly understand the
problem here. The torah says "...to put
men who lie with men ... to death." Now even
if we don't go around doing the Church Police
thing, there is one thing someone of Orthodox
Judaism will know for certain: there is no place
for a gay/lesbian life. 

The movie was all about the guilt and the hiding.
It was also concerned with how family was dealing
with it. Never very well, but to get the sense
of the family problems, you had to listen carefully.

One man, he's 50 something, and his father is 90
something. So he wants to see him after 20 years.
He writes his dad. His dad writes back, and says
that he's not ready to see him, but they can talk
on the telephone. (I'm thinking that this is still
something positive, after no contact for so long).
We as listeners get to hear the phonecall (I truly
dislike speakerphones). The aged father is very busy
getting up at 430am to pray (for his son), and is
getting ready for the high holidays, and for yom
kippur, and for sukkoth, and for (this), and for 
(that) and so he cannot get together to say hi to
his son in person.

A similar call happened to one of the women, where
her dad calls, and says, "Sorry, this is just a 
quick call, I'm heading out to shuul, wishing you
a good shabbat. Bye! (click!)" The woman cries
to the camera. "He calls me like that every week.
He never talks to me, never listens to me..."

There was a lot of that in the film. These folks
miss their parents, and nobody is getting any younger.

I expect a film with this kind of agenda to be this
way. It has a message. "Us religious gay and lesbian
are lonely and we miss everyone. We're family, stop
ignoring us." I doubt their families would watch this
film. 

I realized how little I have in common with someone
who is Frumm, that is, Jewish Orthodox.

6. I liked Moon Palace.

Moon Palace is the pseudonym for Sai Woo, one of the
oldest Canadianstyle Chinese food joints in Toronto.

This was a short (25 min) film. We are introduced to
a young guy who is rotting in front of the television
set as his girlfriend moves out with everything else. 
During her lecture, he is clearly only noticing her
breasts. He reads the classified ads, and look, she
circled one for Moon Palace wanting a Writer (not a
waiter). 

"I'm in the Restaurant Business!" That is the proprietor's
theme song. He has a small room in the back where he 
can hear the private talk at each table, and our hero
has a new job: to write a fortune which is timely to
the people who come to eat.

"I think you should install a microphone in the 
bathroom! I'm missing all of the good stuff!" he
laments. "No! You listen to me, I'm in the Restaurant
Business! You worry about doing your job!"

If you should find it playing as part of a local
film festival, make sure you get to see it. It
has good magic.

(continued twelve hours later)

In the background as I write, I'm listening
to Home Alone 2. This is just as much of an
American Adventure as Arnold Schwarzenegger
movie. Same realism, same good guys win, and
I like the science. Anyone, even Macaulkay
Culkin, can play MacIvor.

Just earlier, I changed some of the bulbs around
the house. We'll see if we can stand them.

Many of them burn most of the time. I like the
idea of areas which are lit all of the time.
For such uses, I have installed Ikea's small
fluorescent bulbs. The use 10 or 11 watts.

In many ways they are brighter. If I look
straight at them, they bother my eyes. And
my friends say they notice the bad things
about them all of the time.

So we'll see. It isn't like I've thrown out
the incandescent bulbs. I've just changed
them to see if it makes a difference in the
cost of Hydro (what many of us Canadians
call electricity. We've become so used using
waterfalls for power, the Hydro rather than
the -electricity has stuck as a moniker).

I'm wondering why I don't see more wind farms.

There is lots of wind. It is nearly free. If the
unit rotates, then it doesn't matter which direction
the wind blows. I've seen one such wind thing up
here in Thunder Bay, in someone's back yard. But
it could be like a rooster on the roof- it may
be only decorative.

I'm rambling. I need to do more if I'm going
to write about it, and make it interesting for
you. 

You readers should do your share. Write to me
and let me know what you've been doing with your
lives. Tell me you're okay. Remind me your family
is keeping well, and work isn't bad. Say hello.

That's all I know.