Saturday, July 23, 2011

No Photos Today

The only thing clear about the morning is that it's clear we won't be getting any photos taken, and tomorrow's forecast isn't any better, plus there's that thing where we can't get into the military airspace on weekdays, so we fly home. About fifteen minutes before landing I put my fingers on the DG to reset it to the compass (yes, I really, really miss slaved gyros) and the knob turns but the card inside doesn't. The DG (directional gyro) consists of a vertically mounted card with the cardinal compass directions N 3 6 E 12 15 S 21 24 W 30 33 N all around the outside, and intermediate large and small hash marks every ten and five degrees in between. It is stabilized by an air-driven gyroscope, a wheel that rotates vertically around a horizontally-mounted axis. The gyroscope is connected to the card through a series of gears, such that when the airplane turns, the gyroscope remains in the same orientation and thus turns the card. This works okay, but if you turn a lot it gets out sync, and friction plus relocation over the Earth result in precession with time, as well. You address this by resetting it every fifteen minutes, or any time you are about to use it for navigation. To reset it, you press and turn a knob, which is supposed to disengage the card from the gears and allow you to turn it. Only it doesn't. I finish the flight and land with it slightly off, then write it up.

I call the camera shop about my little camera and they say they will call me back, but they don't do so before closing time. It's frustrating not to have it. I have borrowed a camera, but it's bigger, so harder to take the one-handed shots I usually take while flying, (I keep accidentally putting my fingers on the other buttons and programming it to do unknown things) and more likely not to be close at hand when I see something I want to photograph, because it doesn't fit in my little bag with my wallet.

On the bright side, I discovered a new food: Spaghetti alla Puttanesca. It has a name that makes you say, "Wait, what?" if you know the first thing about a Romance language--or at least the first thing most people seem to learn--but it's amazingly good. By leaving out some of the things I always put in spaghetti sauce and putting in some I hadn't considered I get deliciousness. My recipe is from Wikibooks, where it also explains plausibly the eyebrow-raising name. I used the Neopolitan version, because it gave me an excuse to have Neopolitan ice cream for dessert, and I'm always on the lookout for ice cream eating excuses.

Lazio's recipe

600 grams (21 ounces) of spaghetti
50 grams (1.75 ounces) of butter
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
6 unsalted anchovy fillets, crushed into a paste (omit anchovies for Neapolitan version)
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
200 grams (7 ounces) of black olives, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon of salted capers, washed well and coarsly chopped
1 to 3 small dried chili peppers, chopped (optional)
600 grams (21 ounces) plum tomatoes, peeled and puréed
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley

Put the following in a skillet: butter, olive oil, garlic and anchovy paste.
Before the garlic browns, add the olives, capers, tomato sauce and chili peppers.
Add two to three pinches of salt, mixing at high heat.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in salt water (at least 4 quarts of water per pound of spaghetti being cooked). Strain it when it's al dente. Place it in a large serving bowl and coat it with sauce. Then sprinkle it with chopped parsley.
Mix and serve hot.

I'd show you a picture but ...

If you like delicious food, you might want to grow your own, but according to this news article it is illegal to do so in Oak Park, Michigan. You can grow grass that will never even be harvested for animal fodder, but not vegetables. I'd rather see people jailed for expending resources and applying pesticides and fertilizers to raise, harvest and discard weekly crops of useless lawn grass.


nec Timide said...

Someone should buy the city with garden phobia a new dictionary. The definition of suitable quoted (common) is obsolete.

cockney steve said...

So, the lunatics have taken over the asylum in other parts of the "free" world as well....and there was I thinking that only in the UK, would petty,power-mad officials act on the letter of some outdated law,rather than use common-sense and ask the opinions of the people who pay their wage and who'se interests they are supposed to be serving.