posts tagged with 'internet'

why listening to the internet is a mistake

I've had this article open in a browser tab for well over a week, so I need to write about it here to clear it off my computer and out of my mind. It's called "Why Adding Milk To Your Scrambled Eggs Is A Mistake", and in it the author states baldly that "[o]ne common mistake people make when cooking scrambled eggs is adding milk or cream. You may have been whisking your eggs with milk since you were a little kid, but we're telling you now: It's time to stop."


It may seem counterintuitive, but the addition of milk, cream or any other liquid for that matter, will actually make it more likely that your eggs will turn out dry. By thinning out the eggs, it's easier to overcook them. Most importantly, the milk dilutes the taste of the eggs. It also screws with the texture, leaving the eggs slightly rubbery — and no one wants rubbery eggs. If you're using good, farm fresh eggs, you don't need anything except maybe a little salt and pepper to make them taste delicious. A little butter never hurt anyone, either.

The author, Alison Spiegel, "is a Food Editor at the Huffington Post. She is a graduate of Middlebury College, and she currently lives in Brooklyn." I don't know part of that qualifies her to to judge egg preparation, but I'm pretty sure that her main qualification to the bosses at HuffPo is the ability to draw traffic, and she hit the jackpot with that egg post (which I got to via google news); most of her posts have maybe two comments, but that particular gem pulled in 693 at current count. I didn't read any of them.

I only hope people aren't really following her advice and leaving milk out of their eggs. I've been making eggs with milk or cream for years and they're always really good; why on earth would I change at the unreferenced suggestion of a Middlebury grad living in Brooklyn?! But I bet there are people who will: the same people who can't resist the latest weird diet trick, or believe conspiracy theories. "I hadn't thought of that before, so it must be true!"

There's nothing wrong with changing your mind about things, certainly. I've done things one way for years before realizing I was "wrong": I used shaving cream like a chump until it occurred to me that plain old soap does a better job. But when I make a change you know it's based on my own experience, a trusted friend, or a well-reasoned argument. Not some handwaving about how milk "screws with the texture".

As for milk and cream in eggs specifically, I'm going to stick with what works for me. And if I want backup justification, I'll turn to the words of Tamar Adler, also a Brooklyn resident, but one who has cooked at Prune and Chez Panisse (as well as her own restaurant):

Beat two or three eggs in a bowl, adding a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of heavy cream if you want. This is not a trick, but an expression of the fact that things taste good with cream added.

And I'll do it a lot: I forgot to check our henhouse for eggs two days ago and yesterday there were ten to bring in. Scrambled eggs with cream every morning, and never mind about that dumb bossy internet!


post em if you got em

To my dear friends on facebook who post bikini selfies from some tropical island while New England is having the biggest snowfall ever and I can't step outside my house without a shovel and snow-pants and a hat that was the unfortunate end of a rabbit:

go on with your bad selves.

I had some thoughts earlier this week, some choice words for you, but your selifes have stirred in me a moral dilema. A moral dilema that is developing into a change of heart.

I want to be jealous or judgmental or flippant. But it goes agains my blogger moral code. After all, how can we truly share our lives with others if we don't TRULY SHARE with others.

Facebook is a fantastic medium for saying, "This is where I'm at right now." For some of you, where your at is a beautiful island that took a lot of money to fly to, wearing a bikini that you effortlessly slipped into four months postpartum. Even though I'm jealous to the point of rage, I'm gonna hold it in and bless you in your joy. Go ahead and snap a photo of your huge margarita. Your friends are dying to comment the word "Yum."

For other folks like me, where we're at is up all night with a baby for the 10th night in a row, in the same stupid messy house, and I can't possibly imagine what it would feel like to wear a bikini; I'm wondering whether I can fashion warmer more protective clothing out of blankets.

If you're like me, go on. Post your baby's sleep habits to facebook. No one is bored to tears by the number of hours you were or were not unconscious. Pretend that everyone wants to commiserate. Your friends are all waiting to comment, "Aw, boo."

Let's share our lives, people. Whether they're good or bad. Whether we're so tired we want to hurt ourselves, or whether we're so blessed that other people want to hurt us. Let's share.

I too have been guilty of the perfectly-timed selfie. There is a reason why all my profile pictures show me looking down and slightly to the side with a mischievous half-smile on my face. It's not because I always lovingly gaze at my children this way. It's an attempt to achieve the perfect nose-to-cheekbone ratio. In demi profile no one can see the full length of my schnoz, and the half smile is because I want my cheeks to pull up the fat under my chin, but not enough to unleash the crows feet around my eyes. It's a delicate balancing act, the pose I take on when I hear a camera click, and under different genetic circumstances I think I could have possessed the self-awareness to be a fashion model.

kissing is also very good for slimming out the face

I think, "I don't wear makeup so my pics are progressive and helpful to the feminist conversation." But really, in the depths of my wicked heart I'm saying is, "Look at me, bitches! Look at how much my cheekbones love my baby! I am a good looking hippy mama!" This is pride and it's born of comparison which breeds jealousy. And jealousy keeps me from being happy when my friends experience good things. Instead of celebrating with them their financial and circumstantial and dieting success.

Here is my hope for facebook and this blog the "life-sharing economy." I hope that we can all get more honest about sharing, while simultaneously becoming more empathetic to the people around us. Let's rejoice with those who rejoice! Let's mourn with those who mourn! Let's write our "yums" and "boos" and really for a moment try to enter into the reality of someone else's life. It can only serve to make our lives richer and less lonely.

If I, on the other hand, follow my impulse is to close off, to judge or be jealous, or to label someone else's complaints as "first world problems," if I am more concerned with my own selfie than looking through the tiny windows into someone else's existence, then I am losing out. I want to FEEL with others people and their circumstances, just as I hope you will FEEL something when you read mine.

So bring it, vacation goers. Bring it skinny bitches. Bring it married people who go on dates, and people without kids who order really big portions at restaurants. Photograph all that shit. I want to see it and be happy for you.

And if you are sad, if you are tired of shoveling, if you are just plain tired, please share that too. I want to register my concern and my love for you, and if I just click "like" you'll know that I mean "I like you, but not your situation."

It's the weekend friends. Happy facebooking!


Elsewhere on the internet today... I wrote more words.

If you happen to be searching for the meaning of life on the internet, you are in luck this week; there's new landing site for you! Horatio is a new online magazine hoping to (in the words of its about page) "stir up broad-based conversations about the deepest things in life." Of course, they asked me to write an article for their launch week because conversations about the deepest things in life are basically my wheelhouse. (No, Just kidding. Making fun of clothes is my wheelhouse. I submitted an article for free.)

My introductory article: WHAT'S FUN TODAY? My five-year-old, annoyingly, is onto something. is about how to survive the desperation of parenthood by finding tiny moments of enjoyment and enjoying the shit out of them.

And spoiler alert: in a few weeks I will publish an article with the exact opposite premise. You know, because the meaning of life is relative and I want to cover my bases.

Please take a look at my article over at Horatio, where you'll find many articles more inspiring than mine illustrated with professional photographs. They will get you closer to meaning, I promise you.

elsewhere on the internet

I have a guest post on Composting Faith today. It's about living your values sometimes and sometimes not. And (ba da ba ba ba) loving it. Go and read if you want to see something 50% more edited than most of what you see here.

back online with a few updates

I was without the internet for a few days while Dan took my computer into work to teach some awesome iMovie summer camp. I didn't miss much in my time away from connectivity: one email from a friend, 145 spam emails, 8 blog posts in the RSS. I feel like it's a very peaceful time in my life right now, where no one relies on me to be online and I don't rely on the line so much for stimulation. Though I did freak out that Dan was taking away my calorie counter. I've been using the MyPlate app on to a degree that borders on idolatry. But after I told Dan, "It's fine; I'll just get fat," he pointed out that I could log into my account from Harvey's iPad. I don't know if that counts as recreational internet use or not. At any rate, the ice cream I inhaled today did not go unrecorded.

Speaking of and their calorie and fitness counter, I've noticed they associate a much higher number of calories burned with biking than with swimming, which is funny because biking is easy for me and makes me lose my apetite, whereas swimming is excruciating and makes me immediately want to eat 1000 calories of McDonalds.

Speaking of biking, I have a guest blog post over at Momentary Delight today. It's about sustainability and faith, and also about biking in the rain. You should check out the whole series over there, because there are more thoughtful authors to come. Though I doubt any of them can claim as high of a calorie burn from transportation. Well, if Dan writes something maybe, Mr. biking to work while carrying my computer.

Speaking of iMovie, here are some clips of my kids singing. Their third song should answer the question once and for all: Who is the king of the jungle?


sad internet news

We have mentioned the Sparkling Adventures blog here before. They are the victims of some unfortunate events this week. There was a tragedy on Saturday, the baby died. Now is appears the father is at fault.

I have some thoughts which start off with a confession. When all I knew was that the baby had died, my first instinct was to suspect they had taken lightly one of the safety precautions that all of us hippies take lightly, and we would all face condemnation as a result. God forbid the baby had suffocated while sleeping in bed with his parents, or fallen ill with a disease that might have been prevented by vaccinations. It's not that those risks are incalculable, it's just... well yesterday I was thinking if I would have to make my kids wear shoes all the time if the whole world was gonna turn against hippies, so when I found out that it was murder I kind of felt relief.

Which is to say, I felt suddenly happy to have some distance. I am a hippy but not a murderer so bad things will probably not happen to me.

It's funny how closeness and distance works on the internet.

I don't know Lauren of Sparkling Adventures, but I feel like I do because I read her blog. I love reading blogs because I appreciate the inside glimpse into someone else's heart. I think our desire to connect with people we don't know is a beautiful thing. I also have a blog, and I appreciate that other people read it, not because we serve ads (we don't) but because the people who read my blog have an accurate picture of the inside of my mind, the disgusting sin menagerie that it is, and then when these people go and talk to me in person despite what they read on the blog it's like grace in action.

If I like reading blogs because they connect me to other people, I had reading news. The point of news is to sensationalize awful events, with the result that each person feels more isolated and fearful about the world around them. Whereas blogs reflect the complexity of experience, news creates a video-game summary of it. Identify the bad guy. Fire. We all feel safer but more disconnected.

This week the Sparkling Adventure family transitioned from the bloggers to news items, and as such there doesn't seem to be a healthy way to relate to them anymore. Except this one thing:

As Christians we are called to intercede for people, which means we personally stand up in the gap between an individual and God. Ezekiel 22:30 says "I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge and stand in the gap before me for the land that I should not destroy it: but I found none." When someone does a bad thing, the gap is a very scary place to stand. And yet this is the place where we get to see God, where He connects people more powerfully than reading blogs ever can. So Lord God, I ask that you would show your face to David, Lauren, Aisha, Brioni, Calista and Delanie. I ask that Your presence would give them peace that passes all understanding, even mine. amen.


social not-working

Our small-group leader* has got us all on Google+. Or he wants to, anyways. So far it looks like it's just me. I feel like I'm at a party for really cool people and I don't know any of them; also it's really dark so I don't know where they are. Am I extending this metaphor too much? As of now, my "circles" are largely, sadly, empty.

I know we've done this before, but it feels special every time. Where else in my life do I find myself in such desperate pursuit of the "new hotness"? Actually, my pursuit is generally pretty lackadaisical, but here's an instance where I've actually managed to get on the ground floor. Sure, everybody else is already on the way up in the elevator, but close enough.

Some people are already complaining about the lack of anonymity inherent in Google+, but while I agree with them in principle, for me that's actually part of the draw. I hate being anonymous! I'm engaged in a constant effort to supplant all those other "Dan Archibald"s from the top of the Google search results, and giving Google yet more (carefully curated) personal information is a great way to forward that goal. That's also why I started signing my full name when I comment on blog posts, in case anyone was wondering. And look, it's working!! Sure, at the time of writing my best results are only numbers three and five, but we're getting there.

So yeah, Google+. Join up and friend me, or circle me, or +1 me; whatever they're calling it this time. My profile thingy is here.

*It's a Christian cult thing, if you're curious.


more on stuff

Pursuant to our earlier discussion, I just wanted to point out that someone else agrees with out position on stuff. The Path to Freedom family are the most hardcore homesteaders on the internet, and they recognize that you can't make stuff without a lot of other stuff. Of course, organization is good too, and Harvey and I spent an hour or so this evening trying to create a more usable space. The new combined office and sewing room here is pretty crowded and disorganized as well at present, but that's not stopping us from getting work done in it! Leah is on the verge of finishing her second project of the day, and I have no doubt that details and pictures will be forthcoming presently.

Did anyone know that writing stuff on the internet is technically publishing and therefore public?

I had a very sheepish email exchange today with Megan from SortaCruchy who apparently checks her inbound links and didn't appreciate me snarking all over her kitchen makeover. Which, cough cough, is totally fair. My comments were pretty bitchy. Usually on this blog Dan and I try to avoid hurting people's feelings by insulting rich people (or parents, or Americans) in general, thus heaping approbation equally on societal problems as well as on our stage-three selves. When I do point out a blog in particular, like I did with SortaCrunchy, I figure my tiny opinion wouldn't make a blip on the radar of any professional blogger. Like I've said before, we have a very small audience, about 100 readers, mostly folks who know us personally and have stopped listening to anything we have to say long long ago.

I told Megan upon receiving her thoughtful email that I, like her, am trying to work out God's calling for me and my family amidst a world that's profoundly broken. While we may appreciate different aesthetics in home decoration, we both are trying to do the same thing: live faithfully with hearts that are broken for the wider world, taking tiny actions that we hope and pray will make some kind of a difference.

When I found myself so frustrated earlier in the week, I was thinking of Jackie Pullinger who writes in her book Chasing the Dragon about some of the distractions that kept her side-tracked at the start of her missionary work in Hong Kong. Her first year there she fell in with a group of other missionaries from Britain and spent one frustrating summer agonizing over how much swim costume was too little to preserve her modesty at the beach. It's not that God didn't care about her modesty, it's just that he had bigger issues for her to attend to, like the raging drug problems in Hong Kong's walled city. And this is what I, admittedly poorly, was trying to convey in my blog post about the war on stuff: that me and everyone, all of us American Christians (but especially me) are so distracted by what books I should read and how much tv I shouldn't watch that I'm doing a shitty job of loving the people that God put right in front of my face and asked me to love, the people just around the corner who I could love without stretching myself very much, and the people elsewhere in the world who I could probably love too if I gave Jesus one friggin un-scheduled un-bounded second of my time.

I have always appreciated SortaCrunchy for a being an earnest and thoughtful commentary on mothering with faith in America. Which is why, despite getting all worked up over the stuff issue earlier in the week, I didn't remove Megan's blog from my RSS. After all, it got Dan and me started on a useful conversation about what we have and what we value in our lives, and also it's nice to have other mothers to read about, and all the same I like making fun of things when the mood strikes because I am a rather insecure petty and broken person.

On a personal note, I have been so sick today with nausea, and I'm terribly fearful that I may be so sick every day forever, which is to say for the rest of this pregnancy, which is to say forever. Please send lovely warm wishes in my direction, I need them.


Facebook: the movie

The past two evenings Leah and I watched The Social Network, the movie about Facebook's founding (we try and take in a film every year or two to, you know, stay current with modern popular culture). It was quite enjoyable and I'm sure completely accurate—judging by how annoyed I am by so many facets of facebook, it makes sense that it was conceived by people who were, without exception, complete jerks.

However, my attention was distracted from the intricacies of the plot relatively early, in the midst of a thrilling scene featuring facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg typing on his computer:

"Mozilla didn't have spellcheck on text boxes in 2003!" I exclaimed to Leah. She muttered something roughly affirmative to make me stop talking, but I couldn't let it slip. Wasn't this supposed to be a film about technology?! (Well, that and co-ed strippers and snorting coke off of half-naked sorority girls...).

In the end, though, a little research proves that I'm probably wrong, and the filmmakers right. This page suggests that Mozilla had in fact implemented spellcheck by the end of 2003, and that even if they hadn't a computer-user as savvy as Zuckerberg could have found a way to use one even if wasn't yet officially supported. Also that the Mozilla devs were pretty snarky back in the day, but that's neither here nor there.

So yeah, good movie!