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Last Visit 2018-05-04 21:42:20 |Start Date 2007-04-01 15:09:25 |Comments 9,860 |Entries 1,012 |Images 1,430 |Sounds 30 |SWF 1 |Videos 221 |Mobl 27 |

Category: grocery

06/02/11 02:41 - ID#54403

Guercio and Sons, Buffalo, NY

Now have a website!!! You know you want to click through:

They have most of their formerly mysterious wholesale catalogue online: I know for a fact it's not for restaurants alone. You can get fresh cases of salads and chocolate or whatever you like from them if you can consume that much. I have, in the past, eaten their mesclun salads with every meal for a whole month till I finished the case. :-)

And they carry the whole range of Ecce Panis Artisan breads: Now, if only they would take online orders and allow me to pay with credit, I don't have to trek all the way to Grant Street for my Guercio fix. :)

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Permalink: Guercio_and_Sons_Buffalo_NY.html
Words: 131
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 06/02/11 03:11

Category: eating in

06/01/11 07:14 - ID#54399

Pots and Pans: nth iteration

I have been learning a lot about stainless steel cookware these past few days. The best guide to pots and pans on the whole internet is arguably this page:

Apparently, when you are buying stainless steel pots and pans, it better to get tri-ply construction for the entire pan (bottom as well as walls) instead of an encapsulated bottom alone. Food is more likely to burn or cook non-uniformly where the encapsulation ends.

According to most cooking pan guides I read through, a complete copper tri-ply with stainless steel is the best type of cooking pan construction but is quite impractical for people on a budget. It is almost like buying a pan made fully out of one of the "precious" metals. The next best thing is aluminium tri-ply construction.

Riveted handles are better. So are pots and pans made of 18/10 (Chromium/Nickel) stainless steel.

Looks like satisfies pretty much all of those criteria... and doesn't break the budget.
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Permalink: Pots_and_Pans_nth_iteration.html
Words: 182
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 06/01/11 07:14

Category: the odes

06/01/11 04:43 - ID#54397

e:matthew, did you see this?

You would like "Young Victoria" very much. :-)
I agree with all the praise heaped on that poster. And I love that royal purple. An awesome colour, in general.
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Permalink: e_matthew_did_you_see_this_.html
Words: 34
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 06/01/11 04:43

Category: dance

06/01/11 11:35 - ID#54395

Stretching Everyday

I now think stretching is the key to being fit. Every element of ballet and yoga that make me feel awesome about myself involve stretching in some form. I think this post summarizes the value of stretching:

Also has this nifty basic stretches diagram:

What if you used every small timespan of just twiddling your thumbs to stretch a muscle instead? How many stretches could you accumulate in a day? How much fitness would you gain? What if you stretched whenever you remembered to throughout the week, throughout the month, pretty much whenever it was feasible? Would it make a difference to your body?

I am going to find out!! Mid-year resolution #1!

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Permalink: Stretching_Everyday.html
Words: 118
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 06/01/11 11:35

Category: e:strip

06/01/11 11:20 - ID#54394

Using e:strip to its potential...

If (e:strip) is not about stalking people from my 3rd grade or shouting in clipped sentences, then what is it about for me? I just came to a conclusion that I don't use it enough or rather, I have set some artificial limits for what I want to write here. I was telling (e:Paul) that (e:strip) is like the Fedora of online technology. Why not make it the Fedora of my thoughts and life as well?

I think writing for an audience tempers all of my posts here. What if I didn't write for an audience and wrote exclusively for myself? I am going to try that experiment starting today. I want to be able to write whatever I am thinking about, whenever I am thinking about it here and include links and references in context to those thoughts along with my posts.

(e:Paul) already publishes most of his life on his journal. I think that is the true meaning of (e:strip) - to be able to come online and just document what is going on in your conscious and subconscious mind and not really worry about why you are driven to put it online. The alternate meaning of (e:strip) is to be able to electronically strip the clouds, the salt scales and the tartar away from your core thoughts and just put them here for reference and sometimes, increased clarity.

Of course, I will not put work-related writing here... That is reserved for my citation manager. :)
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Permalink: Using_e_strip_to_its_potential_.html
Words: 253
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 06/01/11 11:29

Category: science

06/01/11 09:40 - ID#54393

Claritin Vs. Benedryl: Mechanism of Action

(e:Paul), (e:Terry) and I were discussing the relative merits of Claritin (Loratadine) in comparison with Benedryl (Diphenhydramine) in combating symptoms of allergy. Apart from remembering that Benedryl is a 1st generation antihistamine and that Loratadine is a 2nd generation antihistamine, I was sorry to note that I remembered nothing more about their pharmacology or specifics of how they differed from each other in their mechanism of action.

What follows is a dry account of the differences. Well... maybe not so dry because I am interested. :-)

Any allergic episode has two components: the early and late component. The early component is when the immunoglobulins (type E) recognize allergens, interact with the foot-soldier cells of the immune system. This interaction promotes the release of histamine, prostaglandins and leukotrienes from granules within not only mast cells, but also basophils, lymphocytes, and other reservoirs. Histamine then binds to receptors on nerves and blood vessels and leads to sneezing, tearing up, congestion and whatnots. Antihistamines compete with histamine for spots on the receptor and thus competitively reduce or completely block its action.

1st generation drugs such as diphenhydramine (Benedryl) also have additional anticholinergic, anti-serotonin, local anaesthetic, as well as sedative effects that might either provide a broader spectrum of relief from allergies or might just end up giving people more side effects (which explains the trippy experience I had.)

The late component of allergy is a plain inflammation reaction in the tissues mediated by immune cells called T-helper cells type-2 (Th2) and a host of cytokines (hormones/signalling molecules of the immune system). The inflammatory component feels exactly like a cold with the same reactions. In addition, the inflammatory component primes the immune response or "sensitizes" the immune system to even swifter allergy-induction in response to future allergens.

Loratadine (Claritin) not only binds to the histamine receptor, it also prevents the release of histamine as well as prostaglandins from mast cells - thus preventing "mast cell activation". Loratadine also has some effect on Th2 cells and suppresses some of the later inflammatory phase. It decreases the production of some of the late-phase cytokines. So it's not just an antihistamine. It also has none of the other wider receptor blocking effects of 1st gen antihistamines.

If you are inclined to read the nitty-gritties or how Loratadine acts on the immune system, here's a good review:
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Permalink: Claritin_Vs_Benedryl_Mechanism_of_Action.html
Words: 394
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 06/01/11 09:40

Category: eating in

05/29/11 10:09 - ID#54383

Make coffee with broken coffeemaker

My coffeemaker broke LONG ago and I didn't really want to get another coffeemaker because I drink so little coffee anyway. So usually I try one of the million ways of making coffee without a coffeemaker as documented on the net by various random people whose coffeemaker has suffered a fate similar to mine or who are between broken coffeemakers or out camping or don't drink coffee but want to make coffee for their visiting in-laws etc. etc. I think I must be up to at least the 50th way of making coffee without a coffeemaker since mine broke.

Anyway, I was walking down Elmwood when I saw a Melitta coffee-making funnel in a shop window.

I have seen the funnel before but this time as I walked home, realization finally dawned that it is just a glorified version of the average coffeemaker filter basket.

I threw away my coffeemaker framework away when it stopped working but I had re-purposed the filter basket for filtering out water from steamed chickpeas, kidney beans, navy beans, lima beans, edamame and other big beans. I just dug it out, put a paper coffee filter in it (any fine muslin cloth will work), poured in some coffee grounds, just-off-the-boil water and et voilà! I have perfect coffee!

So don't throw those filter baskets away. They make even better coffee than your formerly working coffeemaker. Best of all, the cleanup is super easy. Just wash it as you would any other dish in the sink. No pores to unclog with vinegar etc. When not making coffee, you can always use it to filter water out from steamed big beans.
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Permalink: Make_coffee_with_broken_coffeemaker.html
Words: 278
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 05/29/11 10:19

Category: linux

05/29/11 08:23 - ID#54381

Make skype audio work in Debian

I am really tired of struggling with skype on Debian (and Crunchbang) to get its audio to work properly. If the microphone works the output doesn't work, if the output works, the microphone doesn't. I think I may have found a solution and I am posting it here so other frustrated souls can find it.

Install Pulseaudio if you only have ALSA. ALSA alone does NOT work with skype regardless of whatever people on the #Debian channel might think or tell you.
  • sudo apt-get install pulseaudio

Install pulseaudio volume control
  • sudo apt-get install pavucontrol

Run Skype.

Go to the Sound devices sections. Click on the Open PulseAudio Volume Control button. pavucontrol will open.
  1. In every tab maximize ALL the volume sliders.
  2. Go to the configuration tab. Mine has two sections. One is called RV710/730. Turn this off in the dropdown menu below it.
  3. The other one is called "Internal Audio". Choose "Analog Stereo Duplex" in the dropdown menu.
  4. When you go back to the "Input Devices" tab now, you will see that there is an setting for "Internal Audio Analog Stereo". Crank this to 100%.
  5. In the "Output Devices" tab, choose the "Analog Output" port from the dropdown menu. Crank the front left as well as front right channel to the max 100%.

I think this will make your microphone as well as sound output work on skype. Test with skype test call to echo123.

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Permalink: Make_skype_audio_work_in_Debian.html
Words: 233
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 07/18/14 11:23

Category: buffalo

05/29/11 01:01 - ID#54379

Windmill Farm near Buffalo

I didn't know there was quite a big windmill farm somewhere near the Buffalo airport.
I thought the ones near the harbour were the only ones. I took these snaps before my flight was about to land at the Buffalo Niagara Airport. Does anyone know if this farm also contributes to our electricity supply or is this a private farm? How cool to be able to generate your own renewable energy...

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Permalink: Windmill_Farm_near_Buffalo.html
Words: 77
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 05/29/11 01:01

Category: eating out

05/29/11 12:43 - ID#54378

Petite Abeille: BEST Belgian waffles EVER.

Last week, my brother whisked me directly to his favourite little breakfast spot as I got off weary and sleepy from the train to NYC.

It's an artsy but cute Belgian restaurant in the Chelsea neighbourhood of NYC called Petite Abeille... run by fierce-looking Mexicans.

The sitting area is like being transported to a railway compartment in pre-war Belgium with stacked cardboard suitcases on metal-racks on the wall.

I ordered an extra crispy belgian waffle with bananas, a dollop of triple cream vanilla ice-cream topped with hand-whipped light cream with sprinkled on powdered sugar with a side of their darkest chocolate.

It was the BEST waffle I had EVER had. It was so crispy and went perfectly with the cold ice-cream and the hot chocolate syrup.

It makes me want to relocate to NYC right next to the shop even though the alleyway gets no sunlight.

Not really... but I now want a waffle iron. :-)

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Permalink: Petite_Abeille_BEST_Belgian_waffles_EVER_.html
Words: 170
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 05/29/11 01:01



New Site Wide Comments

mike said to grandma
I'm so glad you made it safely!...

mike said to grandma
I'm so glad you made it safely!...

joe said to grandma
OMG welcome!...

joe said to mike
New years resolution to top (e:strip)?...