Our last nature highlight from Costa Rica
I saw these über dudes at Trogon Lodge in Costa Rica.
Thanks, Agniel. You’re an amazing guide!
The four images above link to their full-sized versions.
My office chair has an instructional video clearly demonstrating how to adjust it. In the middle of the video it had a few seconds dedicated to a loving caress and goose. I couldn’t resist making it a gif.
My mom makes these as cupcakes now to get more crust out of the deal. For parties—bundt! I make this 1/3-scale recipe because in the brownie pan Morgan gave me because I’m bundt broke.
4 T (1/2 stick) vegan butter, room temp (Melt or Earth Balance sticks)
1 dollop of greasing butter for greasing
2/3 C sugar
1 t vanilla
1/4 C Just Egg
2/3 C soy milk (Trader Joe’s Soy Beverage or Westsoy Organic Unsweetened Plain)
1 C all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1/8 t baking soda
Heat someone’s oven to 350º. In a medium bowl, masticate the butter, sugar, vanilla, and Just Egg in a big bowl. In a more-medium bowl, obliviate the salt and powder into the flour. Thrice mix a third of the dry ingredients and a third of the milk into the wet ingredients. In the now-empty more-medium bowl, melt the chocolate then feed it the soda. Sublimate half of the batter into the chocolate. Marble by gently stirring the staid and chocolate batters, perhaps into one of their bowls, perhaps right into the butter-greased half-sheet-of-parchment-paper-lined brownie pan.
Bake for 55 minutes. Cool. Eat.
Remembering the time at the 2007 Chicago South Side St. Patrick’s Day parade when I saw this…
…and thought, let’s go take family-portrait style pictures with those guys.
They were as liquid in their bearing up close as they were from afar and inside.
Art site neck.space is now a series of three works. Click anywhere on the page (once you’re there. here it does nothing!) to advance.
Eat food, mostly brown, not too many.
It’s might be me, but the vegan brownie recipes I’ve tried have two flaws. They aim to be gooey but just seem under-cooked. They harden when they cool.
The heavy dose of baking powder in this recipe seems to keep the butter from bricking. In my garbage kitchen, these ride the wave between cakey and gooey and stay yummy (won’t break teeth) after being in the fridge for a day.
1/4 C soy milk (Trader Joe’s Soy Beverage or Westsoy Organic Unsweetened Plain)
1 T vinegar
1/4 C (1/2 stick) vegan butter (I used organic Earth Balance)
1/2 C sugar
1 t vanilla
1/3 C dutch processed cocoa powder (Equal Exchange)
2/3 C all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
Heat a small oven to 350º. Inseminate the soy milk with the vinegar and let it sit a mo. Garble up the rest of the wet (buttah, sugah, vanilla). Whip up the dry in its bowl then barely combine the wet and the dry. By barely, I don’t mean like how Chicago barely desegregated. I mean so you stop seeing clumps of dust but still see streaks. More like the SNL cast. Plop the lot into a small brownie pan lined with a vegan-butter greased sheet of parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes (unless your oven ain’t bust like mine). Cool just a few then enjoy with a glass of Westsoy Organic Unsweetened Plain soy milk.
These two recipes informed:
21-4-14 – reduced sugar from 2/3 C; increased vinegar to 1 T;
Something about quick oats specifically makes them cousiny to Mexican wedding cookies. I dare you.
1 t ground flax seed
1 T water
1/4 C vegan butter SOFTENED
1/4 C sugar
1/8 C brown sugar
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon
1/3 C flour
2/3 C quick oats
1/4 t salt
1/8 t baking soda
1/3 C chopped toasted pecans
1/3 C raisins (maybe?)
1 lemon’s or a half-orange’s zest (possibly?)
- make the fake egg: let water and ground flax sit together for a few minutes and turn into an egg with magics
- zest the citrus
- beat butter, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon; and the zest if you’re feeling it
- add fake egg
- combine dry ingredients: flour, oats, salt, baking soda, pecans; and the raisins if you lean that way
- combine everything
- bake teaspoon drops of dough at 350º for 16-ish minutes—watch for liminal lightbrowningness.
From what I’m reading, claims that zinc is good for the immune system are holding up under empirical scrutiny, but it’s expensive in pill and liquid supplements and when bundled in a multivitamin its absorption can be thwarted by citric acid. We found you can get it in a powder for super cheap, but it’s hard to eat that way. It sinks quickly to, and then sticks to, the bottom of a glass of water—but we figured it out! sprinkle it onto your almond yogurt breakfast! I tried it today and was reborn, literally. 🐣 Bring it on, coronavirus. The Surrains are ready for you.
I haven’t missed Facebook.
Surrain Log Date Format is a short, easily human readable, sort-friendly character date format.
- 2-digit year
- 1-digit month, hex (9 is September, a is October…)
- 1 hyphen
- 2-digit day
November 5, 2019:
19b-05 - toaster not authenticated - 403
Boo! macOS sorts 19a above 199.
19-b-05 - toaster doesn't sort - 501
Winner proposes a distribution of all prizes. If either first or second runner-up assents, distribute the prizes; otherwise, first runner-up conterproposes a distribution of all prizes. If either winner or second runner-up assents, distribute the prizes according to the counterproposal; otherwise, distribute the prizes according to the winner’s original proposal.
If the gist of your sentence has surfaced, consider concluding abruptly with “Ubu” in lieu of semantically flacid grammatical conformist filler.
If the gist of your sentence has surfaced, Ubu.
What’s the best thing about baked goods? Eating twenty of them? Nope. YES. Pant. No. It’s fun to witch up the brew, good stink the house a’yum, and have a warm gooey burst of flavor and sugargrit mouthfeel. Alas, fifty cold hard cookies later and it’s sadness all the way down.
Make one “tablespooner” at a time and be saved with my nifty new recipe:
- T organic softened vegan butter (I’ve been enjoying Melt)
- T organic vegan raw sugar
- T organic light brown sugar
- T organic raw cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
- T organic whole wheat flour
- 2 T organic unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/8 t organic vanilla extract
- 1/8 t organic peppermint flavor
- pinch salt
Heat a small oven to 350º. Humiliate everything but the flours before gently under-folding those in. Do not overmix the flours. Just barely combine the flours with the rest of the muck. Make flat on a silpatted baking sheet a centimeter tall Pangea smear of the above. Bake for 15. There will be baked, but still gooey. Cool just a few then enjoy with a glass of Westsoy Organic Unsweetened Plain soy milk.
Wow, how pronounced is little Libby Biss’ lisp? She sure showed it off at baby brother Bobby Biss’ B’nai Brith Briss.
When giving directions, say only the names of the streets in the order they’ll be encountered with two exceptions: For left turns prefix the name of the street with “l'” the way the French use a definite article before words that start with a vowel. For anything more complex than a simple right or left turn, just explain it. For example, walking directions to my house from Porter Square: Head Northeast on White, l’Elm for just a sec, Hancock, l’Charnwood, Willow, l’Hawthorne.
When someone asks how you’re doing, answer with two numbers. The first reports your big-picture wellness and privilege; the second, your mood. Zero is the worst; Nine, the best. If you’ve lived the world’s picture of a charmed life and just won the big game, you might answer 9.9 pronounced “nine point nine.” Car towed? 9.3. Close friend dies? 8.0. Doctor says you’re next? 4.0, but tells you a good joke, 4.6—you’ve had a good run.
All the cities fit for airplanes.
That’s funny, it was only 50 years after discovering fire that we had peace on our planet. Let’s eat them. Their love malfunction might be contagious.
I’ve been watching a lot of opera lately. He went to Venusberg.
If you have known such pleasure…
and fed it in the flames of hell…
If you have been with Venus…
then you are forever damned!
Sarah’s idea for a font.
Most people who know me think of me as someone who doesn’t like animals. I do, but from a distance. Don’t touch me, animals.
I’ve always liked rodents and had pet hamsters I wouldn’t touch when I was a kid. I had books about animals and the rodent section was my favorite. The pika was my favorite from those books. I had never seen one and, when I realized that nature just didn’t happen in my suburb, I got a bored and started thinking about planets instead.
I was reminded of the pika when, two years ago, Sarah and I saw David Attenborough’s Life of Mammals. We were so enamored with these little guys that we called our soccer team the Fighting Pikas which I’m sure made more than a few of them laugh (thanks for reminding me, Nathan). Seeing pikas in the wild went to the top of our traveling bucket list. This weekend, at a wedding for my cousin Morgan in Colorado, we thought we had our chance.
On our way out of town after the wedding, we took a side trip up to Mt. Evans to get above the tree line but the road was closed. Lucky for us, someone on his way to kill goats offered to use his special access to the closed area to drive us in as long as we were okay walking back to our car. He dropped us 5 miles in and, with our long underwear in our pockets, we shivered our way back to our car.
We saw two pikas, did a happy dance, and got a ride back to our car from a ranger after only a mile of the hike back. What luck!
Here’s video of the second pika we saw:
And then there were these views. Oh, boy.
Our airplanes are time machines and place machines.
We’re like your mom, only with airplanes.
The Surrain Augmented Thumbs Scale (SATS or “Sats”) is a new rating scale based on the Thumbs Up or Down Scale (TUDS or “Tuds”) that is easy to use for the rater and less ambiguous to consume than the Counted Star Scale (CSS or “Cuss”) or its aggregating counterpart ubiquitous in restaurant and media reviews: the Counted Whole or Partial Star Scale (CWPSS or “Cow puss”). SATS is extensible and scalable but adds concise precision to the rater’s toolbox even in its base configuration. SATS is joy to the opinionated and ignorant alike.
SATS begins with TUDS—a binary Thumbs Up (U or “thumbs up”) or Thumbs Down (D or “thumbs down”) recommendation—then augments TUDS with positive qualifications to the recommendation (+ or “Garlands”), negative qualifications (- or “Dings”), or both. Garlands and Dings are optional (OGDs or “Oh, Gods”).
SATS in Extension
The recommended configuration (SATSRC or “Sats Rock”) further extends SATS two ways. Firstly, SATSRC encourages elaborative text “Fors” (TFs) to each Garland (“Garland For”) and Ding (“Ding For”). Secondly, SATSRC modifies TUDS by codifying the third no-thumb option (N or “meh”). SATSRC is trivial to render and autoerotic to decipher.
SATS is improvisationally extensible. Try SATSRC with RBT TF pre-OGDs.
SATS is free as in beer, speech, and a bird, e.g., eagle.
SATS in Action
To execute a SATSRC assessment (SATSA or “Satsa”), begin with the Recommendation by Thumb (RBT or “Ribbit”) to answer the essential question: would you recommend, pose aloof to, or not recommend the SATS target (T)? Following the opening thrust, step 2 qualifies or amplifies the RBT of T with OGDs. Each SATSRC OGD TF should consist of at least one word of elaboration to indicate what each OGD illuminates. SATSRC presents these together as OGDWTFs, or in short form (SATSRCS or “Sats Ruckus”) separately as OGDs and TFs. SATS is never boring (NFB).
SATS in Diagram
SATSRC = <RBT> [(“ neat”) | “ with ” [<OGDWTF> | <OGDWTF> (“, ” < OGDWTF >…) “ and ” <OGDWTF>]]
RBT = [“thumbs up” | “thumbs down” | “meh”]
OGD = [“garlands” | “dings”] (“ for ” <text elaboration>)
SATSRCS = <RBT> (<OGD> (<OGD>…) (<TF>))
RBT = [“U”|”D”|”M”]
OGD = [“+”|”-“]
TF = “ for ” [<text elaboration> | <text elaboration> (“, ” <text elaboration> …) “ and ” <text elaboration>]
SATS in Example
You can use garlands to amplify a recommendation (or qualify a recommendation against). No one makes better tibs and wats on injera than Ras Dashen Ethiopian Restaurant in Chicago: thumbs up with garlands for superior quality or U+ for superior quality.
You can use dings to qualify a recommendation (or amplify a recommendation against). Boston, Massachusetts is lucky to have FOMU vegan ice cream, but one time my wife and I dropped by their retail location before going to dinner somewhere else and asked them if they’d be open in an hour. They said they would but then closed early and wouldn’t serve us even though we came back when we said we would, before their posted and stated closing hours: thumbs up with dings for mendacity or U– for mendacity.
You can improvise on SATS and use Garlands and Dings in combination to simply explain yourself, observe tarnishing quintessence, acknowledge the strides of the striving or all of the above. Cancun Mexican restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts uses chicken broth in the items on the vegetarian section of their menu. If you find out by overhearing other vegetarians interrogating their waiter after you’ve already eaten most of your burrito, they’ll comp your meal even before you start dry heave-weeping at the table: thumbs down for chicken in the vegetarian menu and dings for explaining and asking for vegan-ness not waking up our waiter with garlands for at least letting us walk or D-+ for free dumb.
SATS in Conclusion
The SATS family of scales promises to clean up the littered landscape of hyperbole that is the legacy of CWPSS on the internet. SATS observes one person, one thumb as nature intended. SATS is true. SATS flies solo. SATS is satisfaction.
If you use a bookmark with a face pictured on it, the eyes can indicate your place on the page.
Tom and Aga share their victory pudding after a marathon final against former champion Sarah and rookie boccer Penna.
The tournament starts late with all contestants keeping to the shade.
Everyone & fun. That’s everyone, and that’s fun.
A late birth precludes a tournament berth.
Close call! Doesn’t matter… we all lose.
Consider those smug mugs a gauntlet in the sand. 353 days until the next La Copa Del Budino!
I found the perfect Halloween costume. “This guy? White face and shirt?” No. Watch this 30 second clip from the opera Sarah and I saw last night.
The somethingth anniversary of the inspiration and expression of my first original cocktail recipe graced this past December wheneverd. We toasted with and to it and our healths at our humble New Years Eve gathering to calls of “h-euch” and “if I sip it in careful quantities, it’s not quite as bad as the ingredients suggest it would be.” The former and similar I expected; the latter and lauds alike: my triumph!
Je présente …
The Christmas Dick
- 2 parts Jägermeister
- 1 part Peppermint Schnapps
Inspiration, inspiration! Among blessings we bathed in that night were extemporaneous recipes and resolutions to their realizations before the next boring of another martini.
- 2 parts Southern Comfort
- 1 part Peach Schnapps
Rather than lie, I invite the internet to remind us of the ingredients for recipes no less memorable proposed, ipso obvios facto, less memorably by other dear patrons of the party.
The Christmas Dick with Wine or something, and warm?
A Third Regional Variation featuring a relatively potent flavored liquor and a fruit Schnapps clad in a pithy name
- 2 parts Harvey…? no
- 1 part la-di-da Schnapps
If any of you heard about the Aaron shot to death in our alley, don’t worry. It was a different Aaron.
I assume I was born with Wolff-Parkison White syndrome. Mostly, that meant I’d have episodes about once a year that set my heart rate suddenly up to way above any heart rate I could get wrestling, lifting weights or anything else a high school kid does to get his heart rate up (jumping out of moving cars, skateboarding down hills into traffic…). If I didn’t get my heart rate down by holding my neck in a special way, I had heard that I could pass out. In high school, I found out that about 1% of people who have my version of WPW die suddenly from it. I didn’t sweat it much but each episode freaked me out a little.
This year, I talked to another cardiologist who told me that I had to do something about it. “If you were a pilot, I’d ground you. If you were in the NFL, I’d bench you.” I asked him a bunch of questions which he didn’t like but entertained. At one point, he told me I was getting too hung up on the terminology, but he interrupted my next question to correct my terminology. “It’s not heart surgery. It’s a procedure.”
Long story short, I went with Dr. Wes Fisher for the crotch surgery on my heart option to permanently fix my WPW. Here’s a BORING video of me talking about it five minutes after it happened.
Big Kessler Hanukkah party was fun again this year. Sammy held court for about 20 minutes with the family story. Great stuff! I recorded most of it on an iPhone and cleaned up the audio with the free program Audacity.
This reminded me about some interviews Jesse and Howard (is that right?) did with Selma and David Gans. I tried out some of my new software on trying to clean up those recordings some. Here are links to those interviews (processed with Adobe Audition CS5.5, processed with Audacity, unprocessed — I recommend the Audition processed versions but I haven’t listened to them each all the way through).
Same interviews – processed with Audition
Same interviews – processed with Audacity
Same interviews – unprocessed
The astute among you may have noticed these files are hosted on Beefcoaster.com. Don’t worry, it’s not a pot of viruses. It’s a server in my parents’ basement.
It took me 3 years to win my own bocce tournament. Congratulations, Parry and me!
Clay’s partner Karina had to bail on him minutes before the final, so he flew solo.
Second year running, second place… runner-up. You know, I started my training eleven months ago. I’ll start my training tomorrow, and, I think that extra month will help.
Now that we’re married, we’re going to start looking into officially changing our names to Surrain.
Aaron Joseph Lipke Surrain
Sarah Huckabay Surrain
The wedding was the best day of our lives, but our honeymoon had a less-than-auspicious start. Half way home from Milwaukee, acute abdominal pain prompted a change of plans. Sarah took an ambulance to Lake Forest Hospital, where we spent the next 4 hours. Lemon laws don’t apply to wives, so I was pretty nervous that I’d have no redress if my marriage only lasted a day. With those fears allayed, we turned to fretting about our honeymoon. An ultrasound saved the day and set us on our way home with just a little abating residual pain and 6 hours to pack and catch a plane. We rushed, then waited, missed flights, rushed some more, waited some more, jogged a mile along the future path of Miami Airport’s monorail, missed another flight, holed up in Miami (in style, thanks to Dan and Gretchen!), waited for the plane, waited for the rain and finally took off a day late but no worse for the wear.
In the midst of congratulating ourselves for keeping such high spirits throughout our miniature travails, we gazed out the window of our plane to catch the rather dramatic moment of our plane leaving the gray below as it ascended into the clear be-puffy-clouded sky above the rain. And that’s what our name means. After months of mostly entertaining ourselves with would-be new surnames, Surrain came to me from the thought of being above (the prefix sur-) the rain. We mulled it over during our honeymoon and, having found it satisfying aesthetically and handy as a mantra, name-like and unblemished by any corporate trademark claims, we’re going for it.
We posted pictures on Flickr and Shutterfly. The flickr pics are smaller and for easier web viewing. We uploaded larger versions to shutterfly in case you want to order prints. If you’re really interested in ordering prints and want to see more pictures that feature you or specific moments, let us know and we’ll happily post more to shutterfly. Here are links to both: