Diary, 5/2/22: Optimum sleep; more Caitlin J; Eleanor Goldfield; a busy day; new blender; fruit and veg; whining about my kitchen; multivitamins and cell food; salmonella warning.
Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved
So I dictated four pages of the prison diary, and did the cleanup this morning at 5:00. I slept straight through the night for the first time in weeks, if not months, though it amounted to just seven hours. According to a recent Neuroscience News item, that’s the optimum amount of sleep for people “of middle age and upward.” As usual, I didn’t read the whole piece, which after all is just a summary of a published research study, so I don’t know if they said anything about additional naps. I don’t much care; if I get sleepy, I’ll sleep, whenever I please.
In the prison diary I liked my savaging of Harold Bloom; I posted it on my blog.
More on Caitlin Johnstone, a piece from Counterpunch that’s pretty damning: “A Closer Look at the Prose of Caitlin Johnstone,” by Dan Hanrahan. I have seen elsewhere that Johnstone denies “publishing on RT,” the Russia-sponsored cable channel that is now no longer carried by DirecTV, my landlord-paid TV source. Her claim could be correct: her pieces carry no copyright, and she encourages dissemination, so it may be that RT publishes them without making the relationship clear. I don’t think it matters in any case, given that the state of US censorship makes certain voices otherwise completely absent from cable TV, like Pulitzer winner Chris Hedges—the main reason I watched RT and wish it was still available.
But the thing about her work on RT is one minor factoid; the claims about her sources are more to the point, and about that, I have no opinion. The linked article does not look good for Johnstone, but I’ll keep a subscription to her free emails until I don’t.
I went through a similar evolution with Eleanor Goldfield, who I supported until she advocated not voting in 2020, or maybe it was 2016. Finally found it in my 6/13/19 diary entry, where I try to make sense of “Russiagate.” I should go back and hear what she’s saying, and resubscribe—I no longer expect “ideological purity” from those I listen to. Goldfield had been on one of my TV channels (FSTV or Link) but is not now. I think she discontinued her weekly show. Her current stuff is available at her website. She does (according to that link) a weekly podcast with Lee Camp and a bimonthly solo podcast (apparently last published in July 2021). I subscribed to her “Act Out newsletter,” so we’ll see what we will see.
In that three-year-old diary entry I find this: “The thing is, climate catastrophe makes pursuit of my ordinary interests surreal. It’s hard to read Nietzsche, or anything.” So I was in the same place then as I was this year, like, last month (see 4/16/22 and/or “Doom, Camus, and Breakfast.”)
My last point about Johnstone: read her “11 Things You Should Know About Me And Where I’m Coming From,” which is unfortunately three years old, but I found it worth a look. Here’s the link. In any case, don’t rely on me to make decisions for you! Though you could do worse (the former guy).
A very busy day ahead: I need to do my monthly report to probation, I need to return the blender and get a new one (Wal-Mart), and I need to go to the post office (though this could wait a day or two). Filling out the report and packing up the old blender will take some time, plus there’s breakfast. I can do this.
And I’ve done it, including the post office. Didn’t get to the bank, decided it could wait. Since I forgot to get carrots (failed to make a shopping list), and because I’m short of sodas (diet Squirt), I’ll be going to Food Maxx and the bank is next door almost. Taking the shopping cart would have been wise, since I wanted to get both a blender and fruit and veg, but I managed.
Here’s the blender I bought:
$49.96 at Wal-Mart, apparently the same price at Target (where they show the list price as ten bucks more). The blender I returned because it had a too-small cup was no longer in stock, but what looked like the same one, at the same price, now comes with a larger cup…?! Anyway, the Amazon reviews for this model (QB3000ss) are based on reconditioned units, but some of the negative reviews mention an “O ring” that apparently needs to be removed to clean it, and these tend to break. We’ll see…one doesn’t expect such things to last forever, especially at this price. The main difference between this model and what I returned, aside from the larger cup, is a 700 watt motor versus 250 watt, so I didn’t really mind paying a bit ($15) more.
I also bought several tons of fruit and greens—I exaggerate—mostly fruit: three pound bags of apples, tangerines, and oranges, plus a few plums, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, a cucumber, a brown onion, more spinach, and mixed greens, plus a box of brownies and a candy bar, all for about $40. Ate a brownie at the bus stop. I already have a little spinach, cilantro, and frozen avocado cubes, plus almond milk. Where “organic” was available I went for it. With this and the blender, it was about as much as I could carry, almost conveniently; I shoulda taken my shopping cart.
So now I have fruit and veg all over my kitchen because I have zero storage space except for the already quite full fridge. I have no idea how to store these things, i.e., what needs to be refrigerated? Hoping I can put some of the larger things (apples, tangerines, and oranges) in where the canned goods are now (the stand-alone cabinet):
I could whine a lot about my kitchen, but I’ll let the photo more or less speak for itself. The cabinet at the lower right takes up half my floor space, but without it I’d have no place to store dry or canned foods; the top opens and there is a tiny drawer (paper plates) and a tiny door (liquor cabinet and popcorn bowl) facing left. Shortly after moving in I bought it at a yard sale for $45, which was probably too much, but it was really ideal for my situation. I’ll have to move all the food on the stove, probably today, because I have a piece of salmon to cook for dinner. I could nuke it, I suppose. Sometimes I put extra food in my bedroom, especially soda twelve-packs or extra Cheetos, because there simply is nowhere else. I don’t even have a broom closet, hence the handles visible behind the stove. Of the three drawers on the left, the bottom one is broken. The wall shelves are my installation; the shelf in the corner has a popcorn popper that I’ve never used.
I’ll probably freeze some of the two pounds of grapes I bought. Everything else I’ll try to eat as quickly and intelligently as possible (e.g., no hurry with the apples), and I suppose a lot will go into the fridge—there’s still some room in the two bottom veg drawers. I have a small cart with shelves that I may use to store canned goods, as it’s presently under-utilized in the living room, holding library books, magazines, and manuscripts, mostly.
I had intended to buy multivitamins, but I reconsidered while I was in the store. If I’m going to be eating lots of veg, why would I need extra vitamins? Though I hear that vegans sometimes want or need extra B-vitamins. I think Nog told me that—he’s been a part-time vegan for quite a while and has done a lot of research; he always speaks knowingly regarding any food subject I mention. On the negative side, he’s partial to “cell food,” which I find preposterous. Its claim to fame is deuterium, which seems to me quite unlikely to have any health benefits (it’s hydrogen with an extra neutron), and who knows how much deuterium the $30 little bottle contains? A little knowledge of chemistry is a dangerous thing. Call me a skeptic (though deuterium is slightly less obviously preposterous than “ancient earth minerals,” also known as “dirt”). Understand, I am in no position to offer any kind of health advice—my usual disclaimer.
On unpacking the Ninja, I found that the packaging was much better, thus damage in shipping is unlikely; also, the packaging does not contain styrofoam, but it does contain several plastic bags, unnecessary crap—for those who care about such things. The recipe booklet has ten recipes, heavy on the fruit; only one has a veg ingredient (kale), and two have tofu, the rest of the ingredients being fruit and chocolate powder, plus ice and liquids. In other words, not really useful.
Having an extra cup is good: it’s possible to use the same or similar prep for two batches, thus cutting the labor down quite a bit. It occurred to me that I might just use the second cup for storing the pre-measured liquid (almond milk for now), which is only a trivial saving of labor, or maybe for just “chocolate shakes” using the protein powder discussed here on 4/30/22; I could zap them both, drink one, and see how the other looks the next day. I might just assemble all this veganism stuff into one file…
The cups have markings for 8 oz and 16 oz (maximum fill)—would be nice if they extended that to show all the ounces (at a trivial cost to the manufacturer), but better than just a “maximum fill line” like the other model I had. One difference in favor of the Bullet Mini (which is about what the other model was called): it’s possible to lock the cup in the “on” position. The Ninja doesn’t allow this. Both units operate by pressing down and holding the cup, which is regrettable because you can hardly do anything else while it’s running, but I suppose this is kind of standard for these “little blenders.” Something puzzling in the documentation: don’t use it for “grinding.” I don’t know what they’re referring to, unless it’s maybe coffee or oats. Or is this not usable for making nut butters? (Not that I ever intended it.) Seems like it should be possible, since you can use it to make “snow” out of ice cubes.
Finally, I think the Ninja packaging is misleading, saying you can process “whole fruits and vegetables,” while you really have to cut them up into “one-inch cubes.”
I’m spending all this time on this machine because I find it interesting and hope others might also; I am in no position to make recommendations!
Checking my email, I found one from StopFoodborneillness.org, a recall notice for salmonella regarding “Elite branded products,” in “primarily New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, and Florida, and online (nationwide) through Amazon.com, Fresh Direct, Passover.com and all Retailer Online Sites.” Most of the time the notices are local in places I am not; in this case, I have no “Elite” products.
I’m writing so much these days that I’m posting twice a day to my blog, and I have plenty now for another post.
Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved