Month: August 2021

On Wealth

People seem to assume the fact you’ve managed to amass money to be a fact that vouches for you … like you cannot be inept / senseless / bad at managing money because, look at that, you’ve got money. Doesn’t matter if you inherited (and subsequently lost much of) a bigger load of money, managed to injure yourself in some stunningly original way that requires some company to fork over millions, tripped over your untied shoelaces and discovered the lost Civil War gold. You have money, so you’re awesome at life.

It makes me think of the towel in the Hitchhiker’s Guide series — encounter someone while you’re wandering and, if they’ve managed to keep track of something so trivial as their towel, then they’ve obviously got it together.

Updating git on Windows

There’s a convenient command to update the Windows git binary

git update-git-for-windows

Which is useful since ADO likes to complain about old git clients —

remote: Storing packfile... done (51 ms)
remote: Storing index... done (46 ms)
remote: We noticed you're using an older version of Git. For the best experience, upgrade to a newer version.

Garlic Harvest

The garlic that was growing in the front bed for two years made some nice, large bulbs. The garlic that had been growing in the garden bed just this year, however, was pretty small. Each plant had a couple of cloves, but I think there was too much clay in the soil still. And growth was stunted. Or growing for two years help a lot!

I ordered more garlic for next year so we can expand the bed: 1 lb of German Extra Hardy, 1 lb of Chesnok Red, and 1 lb of Music. Also got half a pound of dutch red shallots and half a pound of French gray shallots.

The Plural of Anecdote

This article on the American failure to listen to the will of Afghanistan falls into the category “the plural of anecdote is not data” — which basically means that what you and your circle see/believe/experience is not absolutely going to be representative of a wide population. I am sure some people in Afghanistan were happy with the US occupation. Some were probably happy with the Russian occupation a few decades back too. Does that mean the majority of Afghan citizens want US troops there? No way for us to know. And, even if there were accurate public opinion surveys available … would it matter?

Since the second George Bush, I’ve thought it’s a bad idea to start saying “well, a simple majority of the population doesn’t like the government, that means it’s a-OK for us to invade and depose that government”. Because I’m pretty sure GW2’s approval ratings were well under fifty percent at many points in his presidency. That mean any other “well meaning” country could invade and liberate us from our unwanted government?

I don’t even think the intel community was seriously surprised by the post-withdrawal results. There’s a meta component to publicized intel analysis — what we say about a situation can influence the situation. Could we realistically publish a document saying “OK, we blew a trillion or two over here and spent a decade or two training their military … it’s all gonna fall apart within two weeks of us leaving”?! Of course not — that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We’ve got to communicate confidence in that government and military. A week later? We have to act surprised. I’m sure there were position papers that included the not unlikely scenario of a complete collapse.

Ten million companys’ immunization and contact tracing processes

Pushing responsibility down as far as possible (local government, companies, individuals) is nice in theory, but we keep running up against the reality that people *aren’t* responsible. And we end up with a menagerie of policies that are, best case, uncoordinated and worst case at odds with each other. Go from town to town, you’ll encounter different restrictions. Go from store to store, you’ll encounter different restrictions. I get wanting freedom — I don’t want someone telling me what colour car I am going to drive or what we’ll be doing to relax Friday night. But I don’t see a difference between “the government taking my freedom” and “the company that I work for taking my freedom”. People like to pretend that it’s my choice to work there, thus not really something being forced upon me. Sure, in theory, you can go find a different workplace (University, elementary school, etc) that doesn’t have the restriction to which you object. The practical reality, though, is different. You need money to support yourself – buy food, pay rent, make sure the heat is on – so you cannot just not work. You may not be able to move halfway across the country to work at your perfect employer. Your perfect employer may not have any openings. Or they may elect to hire someone else. Being financially coerced into ceding my freedom isn’t better than the government enacting a restriction.

And there are just some things that are ineffective without a centrally coordinated policy. And that means that, occasionally, you lose the right to chose for yourself.

Chicken Birthday Cake

Chicken Birthday cake

Recipe by LisaCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 cup coconut oil

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

  • 2 cups wet grated zucchini

  • 1/4 c sugar

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar


  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Melt coconut oil, mix in eggs.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and cream of tartar
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Mix in zucchini.
  • Add batter to muffin tins for chickens. Then mix sugar into remaining batter.
  • Mix together the topping ingredients (sugar, cinnamon, cream of tartar). Partially fill remaining muffin tins. Sprinkle n topping, then fill the rest of the way and sprinkle topping again.
  • Bake for 40-60 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from muffin tins and allow to cool.

Our first chickens turned one year old on Tuesday, so I came up with a recipe for a “chicken birthday cake” that would be healthy(ish) for chickens and tasty for us. Leaving the sugar out of the batter worked well — the chickens got whole wheat, coconut oil, cinnamon, and zucchini. We got cake — and the topping mixture gave the muffins a crispy and crunchy top. Would totally make this again.

Braised Rabbit Marinade


  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp ground mustard seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Sunny Paris seasoning
  • 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt

Don’t add all of the water — mix everything else together, then add water until you get the consistency you want. Pour into bag, add rabbit, freeze. Once solid, seal bag. It’ll marinade when it defrosts. Then cook at about 300F for 1.5 – 2 hrs.

This marinade made a wonderful dressing too — I mixed up another batch later that night. Thinly sliced cucumbers and onions coated in the yogurt dressing.

Dilly Beans

We made dilly beans tonight.


  • Fresh string beans
  • 1.25c vinegar
  • 1.25c water
  • 2T salt
  • Whole dill
  • Whatever spices — garlic cloves, peppercorns, hot pepper flakes, chipotle pepper,  cinnamon, maple syrup, mustard seeds


  • Clean beans — wash, trim stem end, remove string if there is one
  • Pack beans into wide-mouth canning jars
  • Add in a sprig or two of dill along with other spices
  • Put brine ingredients into a measuring cup & microwave until boiling, pour over beans.
  • Put on lid, allow to cool, then refrigerate

Eleven Closest Ducky Friends

Looking up pekin ducks — they grow out really quickly. We decided to pick up the rest of the ducks at the TSC — quite a bit of driving, but we now have eleven more ducks. That’s a lot of ducks shaking their little tails and dancing! Maybe next week, we can get Anya’s little inflatable pool set up so she can swim with all of the ducks.