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Monthly Archives: March 2016

Pies in the bud

Apple and cherry bush …

What’s next in North Carolina?

North Carolina’s Republican governor, Pat McCrory, worked for Duke Energy for 28 years before he became governor. In 2014 alone, Duke Energy donated $3 million to the Republican Governor’s Association. Last year, McCrory had a fancy dinner at the governor’s mansion for the Duke Energy CEO and other Duke Energy executives. So it surprised no […]

Asparagus is born

Low-cost microscope photography

Those of you who aren’t retired must think that I have entirely too much time on my hands. So please pardon me for another nerd post. And do keep in mind the importance of always doing and learning new things for as long as we’re living. My interest in microscopy is closely related to my […]

Homemade seitan

In the 1970s, I just called it gluten globules. These days we call it by a fancier name — seitan. The fancy name makes it sound hard to make, but nothing could be easier. It’s a fantastic and versatile meat substitute. In the 1970s, I actually isolated the gluten by washing the starch out of […]

What’s blooming today

Pear blossoms. I saw lots of honey bees today, by the way. Peach blossoms. I call this a cherry bush. It’s difficult to focus close-up on blooms like this, because the wind shakes the tree. Deciduous magnolia A different deciduous magnolia, which blooms a bit less red Spring chickens in high clover

Patrick: the ruin of Ireland

Dingle harbor, County Kerry. The Dingle Peninsula is my favorite place in Ireland. Today is St. Patrick’s day. I’m not celebrating. Not everyone holds the view that Patrick was the best thing that ever happened to Ireland. A seventh-century biography of Patrick by a Christian monk, Muirchú moccu Machtheni, records a Druid prophesy about the […]


Continuing in low-carb mode, the daily question is: How do I use all these eggs that the chickens are laying and also keep carbs down. Frittatas (frittati?) quickly come up on the list. This frittata is made with artichoke hearts, Trader Joe’s fake sausage, some grated gouda cheese, and a teensy bit of potato. It’s […]


Barley, pea, and chickpea curry with raw walnuts and seared cabbage The seasons are changing. Spring is scampering in on little rabbit’s feet. Soon the snakes will be stealing eggs again. The apple trees are blooming. The chickens are laying. The birds are singing. It’s time to repent for the sins of winter comfort foods […]

Nikon Model S microscope

Click on the photos for high-resolution versions. This is a nerd post. I apologize to non-nerds, who surely will find it boring. Perhaps you’d be so kind as to come back in a day or two, after I’ve moved on to another subject? 🙂 I admit it. I have a fetish for scientific instruments. Partly […]