Friday, March 4, 2016

Shaken Not Stirred

Monday, February 29, 2016
You don't have to be Jewish to have grown up with some superstitions in your family, although I think that they are inversely proportional to wealth.  I remember hearing several versions of Eastern European/shtetl superstitions from my mother and her mother, although I was spared the physical ones described in the following article.

Several years ago, I referred to an out-of-print masterpiece on the subject, How to Avoid the Evil Eye by Brenda Z. Rosenbaum, published by St. Martin 's Press in 1985 (August 20, 2010).  I just called the fabled Strand Bookstore, 828 Broadway, which, although proclaiming itself "home to 18 miles of books," has no copies.   Fortunately, Amazon offers copies from several sources, some $6 or less including shipping.

Breakfast is probably my favorite meal as long as it includes eggs.  The New York Times offers a recipe for "the best scrambled eggs" and it really distinguishes scrambled eggs from the fried eggs that we usually pass off as scrambled.

However, the recipe calls for you to stir the simple list of ingredients for 30 minutes.  30 minutes!  I don't think that Lord Grantham would be willing to wait 30 minutes for his scrambled eggs, but maybe he had a kitchen maid stirring from the first crack of dawn so that scrambled eggs would be available on a moment's notice.  In any case, here's another interesting egg recipe that takes less time.

Still in the dairy aisle, let's look at the big cheeses in American society.  The New York Times collected "503 of the most powerful people in American culture, government, education and business."

While the focus is on color, the evident scarcity of black, brown and yellow faces among the movers and shakers, the gender disparity is clear as well.  No doubt, 50 years ago would have produced an undifferentiated mass of white, male faces.  We can choose to celebrate the progress since or to lament the delay in reaching equity.  Of course, those who would make America great again probably miss those days when the fix was in for those who benefitted from the lucky landing of sperm.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Today's quotation of the day in the New York Times is "You step in there, and it’s like you’re not even in the United States anymore."  Is that a description of Seattle's biggest homeless camp or a DT campaign rally?

Grand Sichuan is a chain of 8 local neighborhood Chinese restaurants.  The Chinatown location that I visited on October 18, 2010 was eliminated by a new building. Years earlier, I went to the spot at 229 Ninth Avenue, at 24th Street.  So, I eagerly suggested that Stony Brook Steve join me at lunch at the local branch, 307 Amsterdam Avenue, at 74th Street, because of my warm memories of their pungent tea smoked duck.  

Given the neighborhood, I suspect that there is a very big take-out, delivery business, especially because the seating areas were chopped up and the decor was still in transit.  Steve ordered one of the 49 lunch specials, all $7.95 (although on-line menus show a variety of prices), including choice of soup or soda and white or brown rice.  I chose tea smoked duck ($17.95) with mediocre results.  The flavors were muted and the duck was very fatty, always a risk, but still disappointing.  

Thursday, March 3, 2016
I just caught up with an interesting survey of 18,000 Americans, ages 15 to 29, asked to name their ideal future employers.  

While the survey population is generally diverse, it is skewed towards the respectable, composed of "college-bound high school students, currently-enrolled college students and recent college graduates."  Notably, 3/4 are still in high school and only 1/4 are male, a strange imbalance.  While the ranking of about 150 target companies/entities is probably no more than wishful thinking (Google #1), the asserted decision criteria in seeking the ideal employer are telling.  The leading factors in four categories are: treats employees fairly (72.3%); flexible work hours/schedule (69.6%); gain skills to advance career (89.7%); work/life balance (68.1%).  Good luck, kids.

Friday, March 4, 2016
Obamacare registration has reached 20 million people. Taking away their medical insurance will be a first step in making America great again.  

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