Regulatory Action Center Review - October 7, 2019   


Welcome to FreedomWorks Foundation’s nineteenth regulatory review of 2019! Our Regulatory Action Center proudly updates you with our favorite tidbits from the swamp. We want to smash barriers between bureaucracy and the American people by delivering regulatory news straight to FreedomWorks activists. Check back in two weeks for the next edition.

1) Video of the Week: Unsurprisingly, the United States is not the first country to experience ballooning budgets and astronomical deficits. In the mid-1990’s, Canada’s debt grew to as high as 70% of GDP, similar to our current debt situation. In this weeks video, John Stossell sits down with Canadian economist David Henderson to discuss how Canada managed to tackle their debt problem by cutting government spending and reducing waste.

2) Why Is the CDC Still Fostering Potentially Deadly Confusion About Vaping and Lung Disease?: “Media outlets, following the lead of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), continue to blame recent cases of severe respiratory illnesses among vapers on "vaping" and "e-cigarettes" in general, falsely implying a link to legal nicotine products. This misinformation is fostering public confusion that may lead to more disease and death, both from smoking and from the black-market products that have been implicated in the lung disease cases.”

3) FBI using Facebook ads to gather Russian intelligence: report: “The FBI is reportedly using Facebook ads to gather intelligence on Russia, specifically targeting those who may be or know Russian spies. The FBI is running ads in the Washington, D.C., area, CNN reported on Wednesday, that direct to the FBI field office's website that describes its counterintelligence team and encourages visitors to meet "in person."

4) Federal Court Upholds FCC Decision to Roll Back Obama-Era Net Neutrality Rules: “Today, by a 2-1 vote, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided largely with the FCC, upholding the primary regulatory rollback as a valid exercise of its authority. In the nearly 200 page opinion, which is heavy on technical detail, the court wrote that while the challengers raised "numerous objections" aiming to show that the FCC's reclassification is "unreasonable," the judges found them "unconvincing."

5) Trump to issue executive order ‘protecting’ Americans from ‘Medicare for All’ campaign proposals pushed by Democrats: “The executive order, which he is scheduled to discuss at a speech in Florida later Thursday, is intended to bolster Medicare Advantage, private Medicare insurance for seniors that currently covers 22 million people, senior administration officials said on a call with reporters. The plan would also offer more affordable plan options, increase use of telehealth services and bring payments in Medicare fee-for-service program in line with payments for Medicare Advantage, officials said.”

6) Treasury to create tool to help people redeem billions in unclaimed savings bonds: “Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) on Wednesday said that the Treasury Department will create an online tool to help people redeem billions of dollars in savings bonds. About $26 billion in matured savings bonds are in the U.S. Treasury and have yet to be redeemed. Using the department's forthcoming tool, people will be able to verify against Treasury Department records if they have any savings bonds dated after 1974 that can be redeemed, Kennedy's office said in a news release.”

7) Trump takes heat from right over vaping crackdown: “The Trump administration is under fire from conservative groups and some GOP lawmakers, who are pushing back over its planned crackdown on e-cigarette flavors. They say the administration is overreaching, and the flavor ban will harm small businesses, a violation of core Republican free market principles.”


Crop Watch: Rain puts pressure on delayed wheat drilling   


Farmers Weekly

The wet spell continues and there are fears that growers could lose their nerve on delayed drilling of wheat. Persistent wet weather is also affecting weed strategies, with many of the cereals drilled so far in the north not receiving a pre-emergence herbicide, which could lead to some disappointing blackgrass control. Flea beetle continues to […]

The post Crop Watch: Rain puts pressure on delayed wheat drilling appeared first on Farmers Weekly


Blackgrass battle hampered by wet and seed dormancy   


Farmers Weekly

The fight to control blackgrass could be tougher this autumn as wet weather is tempting winter wheat growers to drill early while seed of the grassweed shows high dormancy levels. The recent rain has seen the first flush of blackgrass in many fields and continued wet weather is pressurising some winter cereal growers to consider […]

The post Blackgrass battle hampered by wet and seed dormancy appeared first on Farmers Weekly


Step-by-step guide to identifying and treating lame cows   


Farmers Weekly

Lameness levels have increased from 38 to 40 cases per 100 cows, probably as a result of heat stress over the summer and more time spent standing to cool down. But this has not been helped by a slow uptake of recommended treatment protocols, research shows. In 2015, the results of an extensive four-year AHDB […]

The post Step-by-step guide to identifying and treating lame cows appeared first on Farmers Weekly


Ангельские покупки. Так похожи, но такие разные   


Всем привет!

Несмотря на мои хомячьи запасы, судя по всему, никогда не заканчивающиеся, я мечтаю о новых средствах в своем уходе. Год назад мои волосы пережили серьезный стресс (уже упоминала об этом), благодаря чему я потеряла всю красоту и густоту длины моих волос… Но плохой опыт — тоже опыт, поэтому я не отчаиваюсь, а упорным трудом восстанавливаю то, что было) И самое главное, что я поняла за этот период — лучшим мотиватором для меня являюсь я сама. Пересматриваю былые фотографии, пускаю слюни и жду, когда снова буду любоваться таким богатством воочию heart_eyes

Это лирическое отступление не просто так… Топчась на одном месте, я начала анализировать: а какие средства, из того многообразия, что я пробовала, давали мне классный, рабочий результат? Пересматривая фото и перечитывая свои же посты, я поняла, что одним из лучших для моих волос был уход от Angel Professional hearts Попробовав их однажды, они запали в душу, судя по всему, навсегда.

Так как ухода в обиходе много, и его нужно тоже заканчивать, я решила не скупать сразу все средства, а остановиться на «сильном». Мой выбор пал на 2 маски — питательный морской крем из классической серии и новой для меня голубой красавице Двойное восстановление. Поэтому один продукт является для меня полноценной новинкой (да и в принципе у бренда она появилась относительно недавно), а вот другая — притянутая за уши, но всё же ставшая вновь открытием для меня и моих волос. Покупки не совсем осенние, но по традиции они должны были хорошенько «вылежаться» smile Поэтому в уход активно внедряю их именно сейчас.

Писать на сайте про питательный крем Angel уже, наверное, моветон smile Но какие покупки, такой и пост прошу простить smile

Повествование начну параллельно про обе маски, так как в своем оформлении они имеют много общего.

Внешний вид

Крем -маска питательная PH 3 500г. / WATER ELEMENT NURSING CREAM

Квадратный бочонок, ставший классикой. Мягкие углы, позитивный апельсиновый оттенок, поднимающий настроение. Внушительная, пузатенькая.

Маска двойное восстановление, Angel Green Dual Repair Hair Mask 500 мл

Баночка ровно такая же, как и у классической версии 500 мл. Квадратная форма, до боли узнаваемая и родная. Откручивающаяся крышка на резьбе. Защитная пластиковая мембрана внутри. Бирюзовое цветовое решение, напоминающее отсылку к цвету Тиффани. Очень нравится, как эти баночки смотрятся на ванной полочке.

Под крышечкой каждой маски была защитная пластиковая мембрана. Особого функционального значения после вскрытия средств она не несёт (если маску/и не придётся транспортировать), поэтому от неё смело можно избавиться.


Крем -маска питательная PH 3 500г. / WATER ELEMENT NURSING CREAM

Сливочная, тающая, питательная. Это прям крем, самый настоящий. Менее плотная, чем у зелёной маски. Распределять по волосам одно удовольствие — я будто мажу крем для торта heart_eyes Расход средний. Цвет — кремовый.

Маска двойное восстановление, Angel Green Dual Repair Hair Mask 500 мл

По текстуре маска густая, плотная, сливочная, питательная, напоминающая очень густую сметану/ряженку. При нанесении она обволакивает собой каждый волосок. Я наношу её прям много, расход у меня получается совсем не экономичным за счет её густоты. Для более рационального нанесения беру маску небольшими горошинками и начинаю распределять с концов, постепенно поднимаясь выше. Промазываю тщательно, чтобы волосы струились, распутывались под пальцами после очищения шампунем.
Цвет маски также слегка бирюзовый.

Отмечу, что обе маски довольно-таки густые по текстуре. Ложка «стоит» в обеих. Но зелёная всё же чуть плотнее, насыщеннее, чем классическая оранжевая, соответственно и распределяется по длине чуть сложнее.


Крем -маска питательная PH 3 500г. / WATER ELEMENT NURSING CREAM

Когда ко мне попала в руки вновь эта оранжевая красавица, я сразу окунулась в ностальгию от её прекрасного аромата. Он такой знакомый, родной. Очень нежный, цветочный, с нотами сладости. Приятный, ненавязчивый. Абсолютно не приедается. На волосах остается непродолжительное время а жаль.

Маска двойное восстановление, Angel Green Dual Repair Hair Mask 500 мл

Отдушка, как и полагается Ангелу, также приятная. Цветочные нотки, не раздражающие и не бьющие в нос. Но аромат всё же чуть сильнее и интенсивнее, чем у классики. Описать сложно, но на мой нюх, тут больше и сладости, и цветов. Но всё же он не конфликтующий. В первый вечер после мытья ощущаю его нотки, на следующий день уходит окончательно.

Информация от производителя

Крем -маска питательная PH 3 500г. / WATER ELEMENT NURSING CREAM
Насыщен NMF (интенсивно увлажняющий экстракт) из глубоководных водорослей Deepsea-alga, питает и глубоко увлажняет волосы, позволяет переносить увлажняющие липиды и смягчающие вещества в структуру волоса. Этот уникальный процесс помогает сохранить необходимый баланс влаги, придавая волосам, эластичность и бархатистость, усиливает естественный блеск. Включает в себя различные экстракты растений, способствует восстановлению клеточных мембран и предотвращает их от окисления. Идеален для сухих и поврежденных волос.
Применение: распределить необходимое количество крема между ладонями и нанести на чистые, вымытые, влажные волосы от корней до самых концов. Для оптимального результата рекомендовано использовать вапоризатор, климазон или обернуть волосы нагретым влажным полотенцем. Время выдержки от 5 до 20 минут, зависит от степени интенсивности кондиционирования волос. По истечении времени тщательно промыть теплой водой.

Маска двойное восстановление, Angel Green Dual Repair Hair Mask 500 мл
Маска Green Dual Repair Hair подходит для всех типов волос. Эффективно ухаживая за ослабленными и поврежденными волосами. Проникая глубоко в стержень волоса она восстанавливает его поврежденные участки. Экстракт бурых водорослей Padina Pavonica насыщвет ослабленные, тонкие, зрелые и длинные волосы коллагеном, делая их очень эластичными и шелковистыми. Протеины королевского риса глубоко увлажняют и восстанавливают. Масла арганы, макадамии и виноградных косточек питают и защищают от негативного воздействия внешней среды. Кератин в составе маски придает плотность волосам и восстанавливает их после окрашивания и химических процедур.
Активные компоненты:
white_check_markЭкстракт бурых водорослей,
white_check_markпротеины риса,
white_check_markмасло арганы,
white_check_markмасло макадамии,
white_check_markмасло виноградных косточек.

Применение: На вымытые и отжатые полотенцем волосы нанесите 5-10 мл маски, выдержать 3-7 минут, можно с применением тепла для усиления эффекта. Смыть водой.


Крем -маска питательная PH 3 500г. / WATER ELEMENT NURSING CREAM

Aqua, Citrate Alcohol, Dimethicone, Grape Seed Oil, Cetyl Trimethyl Ammonium Chloride, Cyclomethicone, Amodimethicone, Nmf, Isopropil Palmate, Marine Collagen, D-Panthenol, Hydroxypropylcellulose, Citric Acid, Cl19140( Fd&C Yellow No. 5) Ci 73360 (Fd&C Red No.30)

Маска двойное восстановление, Angel Green Dual Repair Hair Mask 500 мл

Aqua(water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Ceteareth – 33, Padina pavonica extract, Iris Florentina Root Extract, Argania spinosa kernel oil, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Amodimethicone, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Cetrimonium Chloride,, Keratin, Macadamia tarnifolia seed oil, Parfum/Frangrance, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Cl 19140, Cl 42090


Обе маски, на мой взгляд, не моментальные. Они для того, чтобы устроить себе ритуал, полностью расслабиться, понаслаждаться в пенной ванне, выдерживая их на волосах минут 20.

Да, чем дольше — тем лучше. Хотя бывает наношу и на 10 минут, когда особо не располагаю временем.

Смываются маски полностью, но постоять под душем придётся чуть дольше, чем, например, с Гидрой. При смывании нет ощущения кондиционирования. Да, волосы распутаны, но гладкости, скользкости нет. Сразу возникает желание закрыть всё это дело кондиционером. Но, скажу так, это по необходимости.

У меня тонкие волосы, и без нанесения бальзама эффект также есть, он заметен. Бальзам понадобится пористым, поврежденным волосам. Я наношу по настроению, когда понимаю, что НАДО девушки такие девушки smile .


Крем -маска питательная PH 3 500г. / WATER ELEMENT NURSING CREAM

Перечитывала свои прошлые посты, где делилась впечатлениями об этой маске… И, спустя время, она всё также шикарна и любима мной hearts

heavy_check_mark Даже с первого применения я заметила, как волосики сразу ожили. Эта безумная мягкость… Волосы падали на плечи и так укутывали их, будто в уютный плед. Никаких торчащих волосков по длине, всё приглажено.

heavy_check_mark Нет «плохого» утяжеления. Волосы нереально упругие, плотные, блестящие. Обычно тандем ОЧЕНЬ мягких волос и при этом плотных для меня недоступен. Это либо мягкость и лёгкость, либо плотность и жёсткость. Но не с этой маской! Волосы мягкие, но при этом такие хлёсткие, напитанные до самых кончиков. Они очень подвижные, упругие heart_eyes

heavy_check_mark Больше всего в ней, конечно же, увлажнения и питания. Всё ощущаю примерно в равных количествах: увлажнение даёт мягкость, а питание — упругость.

heavy_check_mark Кондиционирующий эффект выражен на 4. То есть при смывании волосы распутаны после шампуня, но особой гладкости, скользкости нет. Если волосы, как у меня — тонкие, не пористые, то это в принципе и достаточно. В остальных случаях лучше не пренебрегать кондиционером/бальзамом на пару минут для запечатывания.

heavy_check_mark Отметила также то, что на второй и третий день после мытья волосы всё также радуют. Сохраняется мягкость, подвижность кончиков. На ощупь волосы приятные, гладенькие.

Несмотря на нашу долгую разлуку, пользуясь маской вновь, я понимаю — всё-таки она очень крутая! purple_heart Не может не радовать её накопительный эффект что в принципе типично для данной марки — с каждым применением эффект всё более ярко выражен, волосы выглядят всё лучше и лучше.

Маска двойное восстановление, Angel Green Dual Repair Hair Mask 500 мл

С данной маской всё не так прозаично. Во всяком случае я её пока не поняла. Не было возможности отметить результат при её систематичном использовании, а лишь от раза к разу…

heavy_check_mark Начну с того, что у кондиционирующий эффект от восстанавливающей маски еще менее выражен, чем от питательного крема. К сожалению, если использовать шампунь из разряда «чуть по жёстче», то полной распутанности я не чувствую (особенно если была долгая прогулка при сильном ветре — проверено). Тут и у меня возникает желание нанести после неё кондиционер.

heavy_check_mark Во-вторых, эффект значительно разнится с питательным кремом. Тут преобладает восстановление с меньшей примесью питания.

heavy_check_mark Соответственно, мягкости от этой маски заметно меньше. Зато появляется плотность, объём, даже пышность. Волос будто больше в объёме (спасибо входящему в состав кератину за это). Нет и азиатской гладкости. Но большая часть длины у меня поврежденная, особенно мелированные пряди — списываю на это. На здоровых волосах, думаю, будет по другому. HellerOst писала об удачном тандеме зеленой маски и увлажняющего кондиционера — я так попробовать ещё не успела, пыталась раскусить её в чистом виде/с родным кондиционером. Попробую найти ей «запечатыватель» из имеющихся у меня в арсенале (хотя об оранжевом кондиционера Ангел уже тоже давно мечтаю, но пока добиваю запасы).

heavy_check_mark Ну и тут явно заметно, что кончикам не хватило ухода. Они топорщатся, лежат в разные стороны, не приглажены. Вид среза получается не ах-ти.

heavy_check_mark Не могу не похвалить маску за офигенный блеск. Волосы после неё искрятся, красиво переливаются на солнышке, и это явно её заслуга. Если мучает нехватка блеска, то я бы посоветовала обратить на неё внимание.

Сравнивая на фото визуальный эффект от масок Ангел, отчетливо заметно, что питательный крем лучше приглаживает, в меру утяжеляет. От восстанавливающей маски по длине остаются торчуны, которые плохо поддаются даже несмывашкам.

Не спешу делать окончательные выводы о зеленой маске. Нет, она неплохая, вполне имеет место быть. Свято верю, что я просто не до конца её раскусила. Многие за Ангелом заметили склонность к накопительному эффекту. Вспоминая свои первые впечатления от оранжевой маски, понимаю, что тоже не понимала восторга. Но со временем познакомилась с ней получше и она стала любимицей. Надеюсь, приструню и зелёную неопределенность, найду к ней подход.

Что касается оранжевой, то это классная рабочая увлажняющая лошадка. Очень рада, что окунулась в некую ностальгию и снова балую ей свои волосы. Опытные хэирманьяки нашли в линейках бренда Dancoly еще более сильные продукты. До других серий Ангела и Виесо я пока не добралась, но это лишь пока.

Пост получился больше похожим на битву банок, но я не специально, так вышло smile broken_heart

Надеюсь, не утомила. Благодарю за внимание! Всем шикарных волос! heartpulse


Kentucky’s underground rock star: Mammoth Cave National Park   


Weeks before I headed to Mammoth Cave National Park for a weekend trip, and a day after I’d booked several guided cave tours, I encircled my chest with a tape measure. I was relieved to confirm I’d be an OK fit – quite literally, if just barely – for the Wild Cave Tour, the longest, most intensive cave tour offered at the Kentucky park.

The guided tour at the UNESCO World Heritage site involved more than five hours of hiking in massive caverns, shimmying up and down twisted passageways, clambering over boulders and belly crawling through exceedingly tight sections of rock that wouldn’t give an inch.

“Chest or hip measurement must not exceed 42 inches; if you are larger, you may not physically pass through the crawlspaces,” the National Park Service advised in no uncertain terms. I’d previously visited Mammoth, which features the world’s longest known cave system. Just walking into the massive cave was wowing. But I wanted to go farther – just as the cave does.

The park offers a number of cave tours for kids and adults of all ages, abilities and interests. Whether you feel at home in tight places or worry about claustrophobia, the cave is big enough (and definitely, in places, small enough) to accommodate different appetites for adventure or leisure exploration.

An accessibility tour allows visitors to use an elevator entrance to see Mammoth Cave’s grandeur without steps. The tours vary in length, duration and physical difficulty and – like the park guides who lead many of them – tell parts of the cave’s story.

Besides covering some serious ground underground, I wanted to learn more about the cave’s origins. How did its 412 miles of passageways and counting – with more discovered all the time – come to be?

That led me to the 2 1/2-hour River Styx Tour on the first morning of my August visit, which culminated in seeing the namesake underground river in the depths of the cave by lantern light.

That Saturday afternoon, I took the two-hour Gothic Avenue Tour, which shed light (in relative subterranean darkness) on the early roots of cave exploration, exploitation – including the mining of saltpeter for gunpowder during the War of 1812 – and tourism.

The Wild Cave Tour I saved for last on Sunday.

As our large group for the River Styx Tour approached Mammoth Cave’s historic entrance, I could feel the chill draft coming up. It contrasted with the summer heat as water – which has shaped so much of this hidden world – drizzled down in front of the earthbound black hole.

While many elements converged over millions of years to create this one-of-a-kind place, an intricate network of streams and rivers above and below ground is integral to the development of Mammoth Cave.

The River Styx is an example of a subterranean river that is actively creating new passages within Mammoth Cave. “Exploration is continuing – we have not found the end of the cave yet,” our guide, Chelsea Ballard, told the group.

Another highlight of the tour, Mammoth Dome – a vertical shaft rising around 200 feet up through which we took spiral stairs – showcases the continuing erosion. Pit or dome formations created by rapidly moving water are a much younger feature than the cave passageways formed by the underground river system, Ballard explained.

The River Styx Tour also passes through a narrow, short, winding passageway called Fat Man’s Misery. (Many cave features have names, some of which change over time.) As we went through, the passage looked like some unseen hand had taken a giant spoon and scooped out rock, as you might scoop bites from a cantaloupe.

I’m a latecomer to Mammoth Cave, as is everyone else who visits it these days. As I descended into the historic entrance again for the Gothic Avenue Tour, I was reminded that I was following in the footsteps of its first explorers, Native Americans who entered the cave millennia ago without the aid of concrete steps or any other infrastructure.

The mummified remains of some of these earliest explorers, estimated to be 4,000 to 5,000 years old, drew many tourists to Mammoth Cave in the early 1800s after commercial saltpeter mining ended there.

“Travelers in the area would make side trips to Mammoth Cave to see the geological wonder,” said guide Dave Spence, who led this tour. “But mostly, the fame of Mammoth Cave spread as visitors became witness to the artifacts and human remains from (the) earliest prehistoric explorers.”

We saw the names of early explorers, of cave owners – from when it was privately held, well before it became a national park in 1941 – and of tourists written in candle smoke on the ceilings. Such was the nature of early visitation, predating the leave-no-trace ethic and modern efforts to balance tourism, which still has an impact, and preservation.

In addition to the obvious underground attraction, Mammoth Cave features more than 80 miles of trails traversing 53,000 acres of hardwoods, bluffs and hills bisected by the Green River and bypassing sinkholes and cave entrances. So not only is there plenty to do, but you also get a glimpse from aboveground of the forces at work below.

The popular Cedar Sink Trail, for example, snakes through the wooded hills and passes a deep depression in an area pockmarked by sinkholes – a site where water from an underground river system ever so briefly sees the light of day.

I got a view of the geologic handiwork underground on the Wild Cave Tour. As I was worming my way through a narrow passage called Bare Hole that Sunday morning with 11 other park visitors, I took stock of the chest measurement I’d taken and found I had little wiggle room.

To call it an army crawl would be spatially generous; this section doesn’t allow one to raise up that high even. It’s a test nearly right out of the gate, and I calmed myself to take it – shimmying, my boots kicking hollow rock as I squeezed with the other visitors through the tightest section: 9 1/2 inches from floor to ceiling.

We all passed through in good spirits, and later I felt loose enough to laugh with the others through another tight squeeze, called No Name, that gets down to about eight inches. (I guess “Really Tight Squeeze” was taken.) We had to turn our helmeted heads and boots sideways to get through the most cramped segment.

Our park guides – Jenna Hammond, who was shorter and relished the tight squeezes, and the taller Jacob Bolton, who spidered his way up climbs with ease – kept the group on track. As Hammond pointed out, a highlight of the Wild Cave Tour is seeing parts of the cave that most people never get to. “You get to really experience it in such a unique way,” she said.

Between the tight spots, we came out into a corridor called Grand Avenue that cars could drive through. This, of course, isn’t an actual road, but it’s big enough to accommodate one. The area is going to be rehabbed to better accommodate future visitation.

In one space as awing as any I saw on my underground weekend, the 14 of us walked into a veritable canyon with a natural vaulted ceiling. Our wonderment seemed to match the fittingly named Cathedral Domes’ dimensions: 150 feet up and 140 feet long.

In Mammoth Cave, there are far fewer stalactites, stalagmites and other dripstone formations – in technical speak, speleothems – compared with caves such as Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, which I’d visited with my brothers in the spring.

Yet Mammoth Cave includes its flourishes, such as Frozen Niagara, where we ended the Wild Cave Tour. There the massive (everything seems bigger in Mammoth Cave) dripstone takes on the appearance of ancient falls stopped in their tracks eons ago.

But before we got to that final crescendo, it became clear even passageways that seemed barren could turn corners to wonders such as Cathedral Domes.

There, in quiet reflection, we turned off our headlamps to experience the capped chasm in total darkness and quiet – except for the sound of water, which never ceases its work in the cave, falling gently nearby. It was difficult to imagine as we sat there briefly, in silent reverence, that there could be anything like this exact place in the world.

And, in fact, with Mammoth Cave, there’s not.


Dorothy Dean presents: Tender chicken adobo is a family favorite   


Three states, six addresses, one daughter, three dogs and countless memories (and eye rolls) have brought my husband and me to our seventh year of marriage this year. The main things that have gotten us through are the basics: love, laughter, adventure – and chicken adobo.

I attribute my cooking skills, or mainly that of chicken adobo, to his fondness of me, which is probably what made him propose in the first place. Seriously, though, that whole “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is no joke.

The first time he tried chicken adobo, he was smitten, and out of the myriad meals I’ve made throughout the years, it’s still his absolute favorite. Can’t say I blame him, though. As the unofficial national dish of the Philippines, it’s a tasty one that’s hard to beat.

Braised in a flavorful mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, sugar, pepper and bay leaves, the chicken is cooked so tender that it practically falls off the bone. It’s tangy, garlicky, slightly sweet and oh-so-savory, with sauce so good you’ll want to drink it. This recipe is extra saucy, so there’s plenty to drizzle over the rice with which it’s served.

While there are many variations and ratios of the basic ingredients, it always yields delicious results. Coconut milk, onions, chilies and different types of vinegar are commonly used. The dish is frequently made with pork, too, and beef and fish also work.

While I prefer thighs (I find them to be the most tender and moist), any cut of chicken can be used, and skin is typically left on. I also like the added texture and heartiness the potatoes bring, but it can be made without them if you choose.

Chicken Adobo

2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil

2-3 pounds chicken thighs, skinless (bone-in or boneless), cut into large chunks

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 cup soy sauce

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2 bay leaves, dried

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned and slightly crisp on all sides, about 8-10 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and potatoes and continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, bay leaves and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until potatoes and chicken are tender, about 20 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Audrey Alfaro can be reached at


Dorothy Dean presents: Loaded Cheeseburger Soup is creamy and satisfying   


Hope you put on your party pants today – or, better yet, stretchy pants – because we are celebrating one of America’s most iconic foods: the cheeseburger. That’s right, Wednesday is National Cheeseburger Day! A favorite on this foodie’s calendar, although celebrated more than I’d like to admit.

There are many claims as to who created that first cheese-laden burger, which became popular in the late 1920s. It’s reputed that Lionel Sternberger, while just a teenager in 1924, introduced the cheeseburger when he experimentally put cheese on a hamburger at his father’s roadside sandwich shop, the Rite Spot in Pasadena, California.

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce even commemorated Sternberger’s tasty creation with a plaque at the site that the Rite Spot once stood, which is now a bank. I’m taking that American classic sandwich out of your hands and serving it in a bowl with cheeseburger soup. Is your face screaming, “Ewww?!” Well, I promise you that it’s anything but ewww!

Loaded with ground beef, cheese, onions, tomatoes and pickles, it’s creamy and satisfying, hitting all the delicious burger flavors and textures. And in true cheeseburger fashion, it can be finished off with a variety of toppings: additional cheese, pickles, tomatoes and onions or croutons and bacon bits.

Bacon also can be cooked and added into the soup. And while ground beef is used to mimic the taste and ingredients of a real cheeseburger, you can substitute ground turkey, chicken or sausage, and the results will be just as tasty.

For a heartier soup, try it with macaroni noodles. And, for some spice, hot sauce, red pepper flakes or pepper jack cheese can be added.

Cheeseburger Soup

Adapted from

2 pounds ground beef

2 cups diced onion

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

1/2 cup dill pickle juice

2 tablespoons yellow mustard

24 ounces beef broth

14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

1/2 cup pickles, chopped

1 cup half and half or heavy cream

8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Optional toppings:

Shredded cheese, chopped pickles, diced tomatoes, diced onions and bacon bits

Add ground beef and onions to a large stockpot and cook over medium heat, breaking apart the meat, until browned. Drain off excess oil and stir in garlic, salt and pepper and flour and continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Mixture will be dry, and flour may become slightly browned. Stir in parsley, pickle juice, mustard, beef broth and diced tomatoes. Bring to boil, then cover and reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes.

Add in pickles, half and half and shredded cheese; stir until melted. Continue cooking on low heat for another 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Serve topped with cheese, pickles, tomatoes, onions and bacon bits, if desired.

Audrey Alfaro can be reached at


The Facts About Gold   

An overview of some of the facts about Gold and its elements. The chemical representation for gold is Au , from the Portuguese aurum, its atomic number is 79, and its atomic weight is 196.967. Its ductility, malleability, and spat to waste and mold make gold a perfect metal to manipulate with. Other properties that make gold a thin metal are its electrical conductivity, and induction heat reflectivity, which allow for its use in electronics and aerospace industry.

THE FEMALE ENTREPRENEURSHIP CONFERENCE – 3d EDITION/ Simina Costan, GENERAL DIRECTOR AT BEPCO: “Efficiency of heat production can be a successful business”   


Business success can’t be attained if you are not loyal to the community you belong to, declared Simina Costan, the General director of the Brasov company Bepco SRL, which is the local private producer of heat. Mrs. Costan said that Bepco is a successful business because she firmly believed in the possibility of efficient heat […]

Articolul THE FEMALE ENTREPRENEURSHIP CONFERENCE – 3d EDITION/ Simina Costan, GENERAL DIRECTOR AT BEPCO: “Efficiency of heat production can be a successful business” publicat pe bepco.


The production of heat energy in Brasov. Guest: Simina Costan, General Director at Bepco   


What is Bepco? Why centralized heating system? Bepco sells the heating agent  with 150 RON, but the citizens buy  it with 170 RON / Gcal. Where the price difference comes from? How does the manufacturer – carrier – distributor and supplier system  work? How effective is the system with all the recorded losses? How does […]

Articolul The production of heat energy in Brasov. Guest: Simina Costan, General Director at Bepco publicat pe bepco.


Isekai Cheat Magician (English Dub) - Episode 1 - Lost Ones from Another World   


Nishimura Taichi and Azuma Rin were normal high school students before the light of a magic circle enveloped them after they dodged a speeding bicycle on the way to school. When the two next awake they find an unfamiliar land with forests and open fields of grass. While they're both confused by the sudden turn of events, things take another turn for the worse as a huge horse with a sharp horn on its head attacks them...


Poblacion Finds: Obama Noodles, Pho and Morning Glory at VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque   

Never too timid or shy with flavor, Chef Mikel Zaguirre shares his own take on Vietnamese-inspired street food in Poblacion...

The play on intense and bold flavors is a signature trademark of Mikel Zaguirre, one of the metro's creative chefs. This unabashed and seemingly unapologetic culinary style is highlighted once more in his newest dining concept showcasing the fresh flavors of Vietnamese cuisine at VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque in Makati's Poblacion. Obama Noodles, Pho, Morning Glory and so much more, read on for a tasty peek at Chef Mikel Zaguirre's VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque...

Makati's Poblacion is known for its diverse and eclectic offerings with its cool and laid-back vibe. And VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque fits right in with the Bohemian neighborhood with its fresh-grilled barbecue and other traditional Vietnamese dishes. Southeast Asian dishes, and Vietnamese cuisine in particular, plays with all five fundamental flavors with the use of fish sauce, shrimp paste, chili, soy sauce and the freshest herbs like coriander and vegetables to complete a typical meal. A typical barbeque and hot pot just pops with fresh flavors when combined with a variety of condiments, herbs and spices. Fresh and bold flavors, that's right up Chef Kel's alley too. 

I was always impressed with Chef Kel's culinary style from the days of Locavore, how can one forget the Sizzling Sinigang and Fried Oyster Sisig (more on Locavore on my posts, A Weekend Brunch at Locavore and Let's Do Lunch...Locavore Style.). Chef Kel brings that same approach with the fresh notes of Vietnamese cuisine...

Accompanying every traditional Vietnamese meal is an array of tasty condiments led by Nuoc Cham, a sweet, salty and mildly sour dipping sauce made with fish sauce, lime juice, chili and cilantro. Other tasty condiments include Muoi Ot Xanh made with cilantro, green chili, lime and condensed milk; Pickled Garlic with garlic cloves confit cooked in oil for at least an hour in low heat and soaked in a sweet pickling solution, the fiery Chili Paste with a blend of red chili and garlic, Chili Oil with with red chili steeped in oil for 2-3 hours for that soothing heat and Salt, Pepper & Lime with salt and pepper squeezed with lemon for barbecued meats. It's these traditional dips that add that perfect tartness and heat to any Vietnamese dish. Now that you have the condiments laid out for you, find a table and settle down for a Vietnamese feast.

At VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque, each table has its own set of condiments so you can customize your own dip. Cool down with VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque's refreshing beverages like Fresh Sugar Cane Juice (P 125), Banana Milk (P 125) and Guyabano Lychee (P 125).

Any meal at VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque begins with the traditional Shrimp Crackers (P 120) served with house made Nuoc Cham...

...and if you just can't get enough of the crunch, the Fried Oyster Mushrooms (P 250) should do the trick, a tasty appetizer with deep-fried oyster mushrooms served with house made peanut sauce and Nuoc Cham. Perfectly crisp, each bite delivers the bold earthy notes of mushrooms.

Start your feast with the soothing Fresh Spring Rolls (P 180), cold rolls stuffed with rice noodles, pork belly, succulent shrimps, herbs and carrots served with a thick peanut dip...

...or opt for the Fried Spring Roll (P 200), savory deep-fried ground pork spring rolls paired with spicy Nuoc Cham.

The fresh and fried spring rolls have their own distinct flavors, from the light and clean notes of the fresh spring rolls to the deep savory flavors of the fried version. The peanut dip adds an intense sweetness to the fresh spring rolls while the Nuoc Cham tempers the savory richness of the fried spring rolls.   

The tart Papaya Salad (P 220) with unripe papaya and sour green mangoes topped with housemade beef liver jerky, peanuts, shallots and herbs drizzled with a sweet chili sauce and puffed rice offers all five flavors from sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy all in one dish. The freshness of each ingredient adds that crunch and snap.

The Stir-Fried Pork (P 240) with savory ground pork, Hoisin, red chili and ginger topped with pickled grilled bell peppers and a side of crisp rice puffs delivers delicate savory notes with sweet undertones. The yolk adds a layer of richness to the dish balanced by the subtle heat from the red chili. Like most Vietnamese dishes, the play on varied and contrasting notes of this dish bring a flavorful punch with every bite.

Bun Thit Nuong (P 290) or the popular "Obama Noodles" featured in Anthony Bourdain's memorable CNN series, Parts Unknown, is recreated by Chef Mikel Zaguirre at VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque with skewers of juicy grilled pork over cold rice noodles, pickled vegetables, fresh herbs and peanuts drizzled with Nuoc Cham and served with fried spring rolls and homemade pork sausage. The smoky notes of the skewered pork pair well with the sharp Nuoc Cham drenched cold noodles for contrasting yet balanced flavors.

Once you mix all the ingredients in the bowl, the multiple layers of flavors and textures combine for earthy and vibrant notes. The pork barbecue, pork sausage and fried spring rolls adds robust flavors punctuated by the bright hints of freshness from the herbs, pickled vegetables and the Nuoc Cham. A complete meal in itself, I'll come back again and again for this dish.

The Stir-Fried Morning Glory (P 180) is a comfortingly sweet, sour and spicy vegetable dish with kang kong sprinkled with crisp fried shallots. The all too familiar water spinach or swamp cabbage is given a splash of intense flavors making it new and refreshingly different. The crunch from the fried shallots and the natural crispness of the kang kong provide the textural finish to the dish. It's a great side to your barbecue dishes at VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque.

The sweet and spicy Suon Khia is another tasty dish with tender and juicy glazed pork ribs topped with green peppers and cilantro. The sweet glaze just works well with the delicate notes of the pork ribs, and the green peppers with fresh cilantro delivers that flavorful layer of minty and smoky sweetness to complete the dish.

But it's the Vietnamese style barbecue that's the highlight of any meal at VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque...

A charcoal grill is set up on your table, along with a selection of seafood, pork, chicken and beef. There's a wide array pf tasty options to choose from, including Gindara (P 290),  Salmon Fin & Belly (P 320)... 

...the Beef Oyster Blade (P 250) and fresh Octopus (P 230)... Chicken Breast (P 160) and Angus Ribeye (P 490). VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque also offers Pork Belly, Pork Ears, Chicken Tail, Chicken Feet, Chicken Intestines, Angus Beef Belly, Shrimps, Baby Squid, Oysters, Mussels, Smoked Milkfish Belly, Blue Marlin, the VBQ Special and Pork Skewers...

...but whatever you order, you need to include the fresh Scallops (P 290). All the barbecue items are marinated with different Vietnamese sauces and fresh herbs, all you have to do is place them on the grill...

...and let it sizzle for a few minutes.

There's just nothing like grilling your own food right on your table to complete your dining experience. The fragrant aroma just triggers your appetite, and in just a few minutes, you can grab your piece straight out of the grill. From the freshly grilled Scallops (R)... the Gindara (L) and Salmon Fin and Belly (R)...

...the Beef Oyster Blade (L) and tender Angus Ribeye (R), your Vietnamese-style fresh-off-the-grill barbecue becomes a sumptuous feast at VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque.

A bowl of garden-fresh leafy herbs complete your Vietnamese feast at VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque. Simply grab some fresh greens and herbs, add some barbecue, roll it and have one big bite. The combination of savory flavors with that layer of smokiness is perfectly balanced by the fresh, crisp and clean notes of the herbs and lettuce. That's Vietnamese style barbecue.

But Chef Mikel Zaguirre isn't done yet. The fresh ingredients for VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque's Beef Pho Pot (P 500) are then prepped with fresh tofu, okra, herbs, slices of beef belly and rice noodles... 

...and added one at a time in a richly flavored beef stock gently simmering over charcoal. The rich and deep-flavored stock is prepared in advance requiring long hours in low heat. The hot pot, with its enriched soup stock, is then ready for the different ingredients.

First, add the beef belly followed by the tofu, vegetables and rice noodles. 

Then, cover the pot with the lid and just let the hot charcoal do its magic. 

After just a few more minutes, your Beef Pho Pot is ready. Grab a bowl and load it up topped with more fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon. The rich broth, the tender beef, silky smooth tofu, the vegetables and the herbs just comes together in a seamless and flavorful blend, warming both the palate and body with its comforting richness. Good food and reasonable price points, VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque is a welcome addition to Poblacion's culinary scene. Satisfied with a hearty meal, why not head on up the second floor...

...for a round of handcrafted cocktails at Bang Bang? The mood and vibe shifts the minute you enter Bang Bang, one of Poblacion's many hidden bars. The classic Old-Fashioned sets the tone for an evening of infinite possibilities at Bang Bang.

There's always something new at Poblacion, it's what keeps the neighborhood high on the list for dining and a few drinks to complete your immersion in this vibrant community. Add VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque and Bang Bang to your list on your next Poblacion crawl...

VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque is located at 4969 Guerrero Street, Poblacion, Makati City. Bang Bang is located at the Second Floor, directly above VBQ Vietnamese Barbeque.

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Lucky 13   


Dad and I first crossed the Grand Canyon together in 2004, when I was 25 and he was 51 years old. In one of those mundane yet still-jarring realizations, I acknowledged that someday, not all that long from now, I'll be the same age as he was then ... if I'm lucky. If I'm even luckier, we may still be planning a fall Grand Canyon crossing for that year. It's not outside the realm of possibility. Although he has his share of somewhat odd health setbacks and accident-related injuries — a genetic legacy I reluctantly carry — he seems as likely to become a spry 77-year-old as I am a capable 51-year-old. And I really want this tradition to continue. It doesn't get old — gazing across the Grand Canyon, or crossing its main corridor on an always-unpredictable autumn day with my dad.

It goes without saying, how much I admire my dad, but I'm not sure I've really said it here before. He raised three girls, working hard for a single-income household so my mom could stay at home. We enjoyed an idyllic childhood with lots of love and regular family vacations and important traditions. Things have never been all that difficult or contentious in our immediate family, even when I made a choice to diverge from some of those traditions. For this I am grateful. Dad was always athletic, but he picked up hiking in force when I was 13 or 14 years old, which would have made him about my age now, 40. I wasn't yet 15 when he started inviting me to join his hiking group on shorter jaunts, and about to turn 16 when he accompanied me up my first big mountain, Timpanogos. I remember having the sorest legs and terrible heel blisters, but it was a formative experience — one of a handful of truly life-changing moments I count from my youth.

Dad was able to retire a few years back, and some people close to him questioned how someone so healthy and relatively young could step away from his career. What was he going to do for the rest of his life? His reply — "What I want to do." I think I admire him most for this. He doesn't need validation or ambition to stay vibrant. He simply wants to experience life at its brightest edges, and ride the exhilarating waves through every crest and trough. I think it helps that this is all I want from life, too. He worked hard, planned well and earned his freedom to wake up whenever his sleep-challenged body has had enough rest, and set out for a day-long ramble through mountains he has lived near for most of his life.

 As with all traditions, life happens and we've missed some years in the past 15. I crunched the numbers because as usual I'd forgotten but was curious about how many crossings we've shared. Including the doubles of 2015 and 2016, this year was my 13th rim-to-rim with Dad. This was a lower-key year where we'd spend fewer than 24 hours in the park, and cross our favored route from south to north on the Kaibab trails. Because room reservations have become so difficult to obtain, our trip has skewed earlier in recent years, from mid-October to late-September. This usually means hotter weather, and I was braced for the worst, having lost any heat acclimation while in Europe.

 We were joined this year by Chad, one of Dad's original hiking buddies. We set out at first light, in pleasantly mild weather with a temperature near 40 and a light breeze. As rich morning light saturated the layered expanse of sandstone and sky, I smirked at the memory of how unsettled I used to feel while gazing across the chasm. Before our first crossing in 2004, I trained specifically all summer so I'd been in prime condition. I greatly feared the prospect of faltering during the long climb out and disappointing my dad. I barely slept the night before the hike, because I was so nervous. It was a huge undertaking. Now, I'm not even sure I'd rank the rim-to-rim in my top five toughest outings since my birthday fourteeners, six weeks earlier.

Much about this trip has become routine, but the views are still as awe-inspiring as ever. Still, as I was packing my little running vest with minimal supplies, I wavered on bringing my camera. I mean, I love photos, and I take thousands of them even on my most mundane running routes near home. But would I even have anything new to share about the Grand Canyon? This feels like a trail everyone has traveled and views everyone has seen, in locations I've already documented a dozen times now. I tend to forget how special this place is at all times, and how unique every crossing can be.

 On this morning, amid ideal temperatures, all of the confidence of 15 years, and lots of leg pep and energy, the friendly skies opened up for some stunning magic light. Everything felt as perfect as it could possibly be.

 Sadly, about two miles in, there was a bout of bad luck as Chad rolled his ankle and fell forward onto the trail. It's strange, really, that out of a dozen crossings that involve both Dad and myself, there hasn't been an injury on this trip yet. It's even stranger that the first occurrence didn't happen to one of us. Chad is a talented runner and mountaineer who rarely has such mishaps, but he got unlucky. He wrapped his swollen ankle and walked for another quarter mile before deciding his injury was untenable for a full crossing. I was lucky to find the one spot of cell phone reception in the canyon, and was able to get ahold of my mom, who was preparing to drive around to the other side and pick us up. So Chad was able to hike out and get a ride without drama, only disappointment. 

 Dad and I continued deeper into the canyon, where the shadow and light continued to inspire. We didn't do a lot of talking on this year's trip — Dad and I are a lot alike, and if you put the two of us alone together, there probably won't be an overwhelming exchange of spoken words. He seemed as content as I felt, but I did worry that he might be in more pain than he was letting on. For the past few weeks he's experienced sharp pain in his upper leg, near his hamstrings. When Dad complains about pain, I know it's bad, but he claimed he only felt it when bending over or sitting for long periods of time. While hiking, he felt much better. A few days later he would be diagnosed with a bulging disc impacting the nerve in his right leg.

 He's now trying conservative treatments, and hopefully they will work. But a bulging disc can be terribly painful; it's impressive he managed a Grand Canyon crossing with this issue. I thought back to something Dad shared with me while I was still in high school, about meeting a 68-year-old man on the knife ridge below the Pfeifferhorn in the Wasatch Mountains. He marveled at the man's strength and hoped he could still move so well at that age. At the time I could not picture my dad as a 68-year-old man. It really won't be long, now.

 Dad's nerve pain seemed to stay away, and we moved at a steady clip past Phantom Ranch and through the box canyon towering over Bright Angel Creek. Even on cool days, this spot is often an oven. But the morning cloud cover remained, and temperatures stayed stunningly mild for September. I don't think it was ever much hotter than 70 degrees.

We planned our usual lunch spot at Ribbon Falls, a mile-long diversion from the main trail. Signs at Phantom Ranch indicated the bridge was out, so we cut across the canyon early and made our way through a tangle of tamarisk and the creek crossing. My Dad and I make a humorous team when it comes to off-trail navigating, but he found a way across and did not get his feet wet. I was not so lucky, but then again I was mostly worried about falling on my bad wrist, so I was not really trying.

 The sun stayed away for most of the day, but it came out briefly at lunch time, just long enough to provide a warm spot to sit on the rocks beside the falls, and enjoy the sparkle of cascading water over brilliant green moss.

 We continued up the canyon and caught a view of the broken foot bridge. It was really broken. I couldn't fathom the kind of flash flooding that would have to occur to cause that amount of damage to a sturdy bridge that had been in place for years, well before my first trip down the Canyon. I wondered if anyone was around to see it happen.

 Then it was just up and up and up, on this perfectly cool afternoon with continuing beautiful light at a relaxed but steady clip. We speculated on our fastest crossing, so of course I went home and combed through past data. This was our second-fastest trip since I started Strava'ing (2011), with a moving time of 7:31. Our fastest was the second crossing in 2016, but that included no faffing around to cross the stream or a side trip to Ribbon Falls. I have my good years and not-so-good years, but Dad seems to only become stronger — especially now that he spends so much of his time hiking. Someday we may end up on a R2R2R "run" of this canyon, but I mostly doubt it. Dad seems to be all about the love and the enjoyment, with only the tiniest bit of pride about performance. I think his friend Chad nearly has him talked into a 50K, though.

One of my favorite aspects of traditions is the way time seems to stand still within them. Here in the Grand Canyon, surrounded by the expanse of light and shadow, cliffs carved by millennia and changing before our eyes, I still feel like that 25-year-old in her cotton tank top and New Balance road shoes, eyes wide and heart fluttering. I have no doubt I'll feel the same when I'm 50, if I make it that far. 


Sign the petition to strengthen the Made in USA standard!   


Tell the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to strengthen enforcement of "Made in USA." Although the FTC can sometimes identify the cheats, not enough is being done to enforce the rules beyond issuing polite requests to stop. Companies that cheat don't have to pay a dime or even admit wrongdoing! The Alliance for American Manufacturing is…

The post Sign the petition to strengthen the Made in USA standard! appeared first on WND.


Caught rimming a guy’s ass in broad daylight   

thumbSometimes you just need to rim, suck and fuck a guy no matter where you are! That ass was just begging for some rimming, the best way is just assault it right away, to heat things up.


Timbers Step Up, Qualify for Postseason in Style   

by Abe Asher
Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers
Heading into the decisive final day of the MLS regular season, there were plenty of bad omens for a struggling Portland Timbers team in need of a result to qualify for the playoffs.

Brian Fernandez was suspended. Diego Valeri was out with a lingering calf injury. And the San Jose Earthquakes were coming into Providence Park with everything to play for — in need of a win to keep their own season alive.

This time, though, after a month of of ugly soccer and bad breaks and disappointing results, the Timbers got the job done and did it with room to spare.

Goals from Larrys Mabiala, Dairon Asprilla, and Sebastian Blanco were more than enough to lift the Timbers to their first win in six games on a lovely fall afternoon, jump into sixth place in the Western Conference, and bring the curtain down on San Jose's remarkable season.

All of the sudden, after all they endured this fall, the Timbers can look forward to a third-straight playoff appearance that will begin with a game against Real Salt Lake — a team that they've already beaten twice this year, at a venue that they've won at in both of their previous visits under Giovani Savarese.

Things are looking up. Facing the biggest test of their season, the Timbers had the right gameplan and executed it to near-perfection.

With San Jose man-marking in the ubiquitous system installed by their Argentinian manager Matias Almeyda, Savarese — in a move reminiscent of Portland's surge last fall — set his team up to defend deep and hit the 'Quakes on the break.

The early returns were positive. The Timbers nearly took the lead after a quarter of an hour when a Blanco corner hit Chris Wondolowski and forced San Jose goalkeeper Daniel Vega into a sprawling save, and generally were contesting the game on their terms.

The Timbers were getting traction going forward, and while the Earthquakes had plenty of the ball — they'd finish with 61 percent possession and complete nearly 200 more passes than the Timbers did — they were completely unable to break down the Timbers' defensive lines.

A slaloming, one-man run aside, Jorge Villafaña held the dangerous Cristian Espinoza was held in check. Vako completed only four passes during the entirety of the half on the opposite flank, Wondolowski just two from his position at center forward.

The Timbers' attack was limited somewhat with Asprilla and Andy Polo playing on the wings, but with Ebobisse dealing up top and Blanco slashing through the middle, it had a balance that had often been missing over the last several months.

It was on a set piece, though, that the Timbers would strike first.

Just before the half hour mark, Asprilla settled a recycled corner on the edge of the penalty area and slipped a ball wide left for an onrushing Villafaña, who whipped a pass across the face of goal that Mabiala, who had stayed in the box after the initial clearance, stuck out his trailing leg and dragged in.

Just like that, San Jose was in serious trouble — in need of multiple goals, with a third of the game gone, having failed to create a single significant chance yet. But they still had Wondolowski, and, with him, the ability to conjure a goal from thin air.

With halftime closing in and the score 1-0, that's exactly with they did. Off of a pre-planned corner routine, Espinoza hit a cross to the near post and the 36-year-old record MLS goalscorer beat everyone to the ball and flicked a diving header off of the ground, off of the underside of the crossbar, and in to tie the game.

Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers
It was vintage Wondolowski — a purely instinctual, fearless finish, his record eleventh goal against Portland, a one of the most important of his season.

As the second half began, with Dallas running riot over Sporting Kansas City, everything was on the table. One of these teams was going to be playing its final 45 minutes of the season, one was going to move on.

Enter, not for the first time and not ever unremarkably, Asprilla. Handed his first start in a month ahead of Marvin Loría, the Colombian with a penchant for scoring the most timely of goals repaid Savarese's faith with another memorable contribution.

Just before the hour mark, Asprilla drifted inside to pick up a cross-field pass from Ebobisse, cut past Florien Jungwirth with an excellent first touch, and went barreling through on goal. Vega stopped his first shot, but the rebound squibbed underneath him — and Asprilla, at the second time of asking, tucked it in.

Whatever his past, for a player who has had the most abject of seasons, this was a stunning moment: a truly excellent goal, all of his own making, thanks to the kind of decisive turn of pace that you almost never see him make when he receives the ball.

At this time of the year, though, there's no rhyme or reason when it comes to Asprilla. He's just a different player.

Almeyda emptied his bench almost immediately the goal, making all three of his substitutions and trying to push his team — again in search of two goals, now with just 30 minutes left to play — into a more overtly attacking posture.

In the process, which included removing a defensive midfielder, the 'Quakes opened themselves up on the counter. The Timbers had several chance to ice the game in the following minutes, with Ebobisse and Cristhian Paredes coming closest, but it'd take a special moment from Blanco to make the result secure.

With a quarter of an hour to play, and Valeri off the field, it was the diminutive Argentine who stepped to a free kick from 25 yards away and fired it into the top corner.

No player on the field more deserved to score. The Timbers were never worse over the last month than when Blanco was out of the lineup, and on a day when they were missing their two most high profile attackers, he brought the heat in every phase of the game.

With that, San Jose was buried. They finished the season having lost six straight, a sour end to an otherwise triumphant first MLS campaign for Almeyda.

The Timbers' run-in wasn't much prettier. But Savarese, who has never missed the postseason as a manager, was understandably pleased with his team's perseverance. They didn't throw in the towel, and they made it to the finish line with their season intact.

"It has been a very difficult season in so many ways," Savarese said after the game. "So that’s why I think even in this moment that we have been able to make the playoffs, I’m more proud than ever for all the guys we have on the team.”

The slate is clean. Salt Lake away, a team the Timbers know they can beat, and then the specter of another playoff meeting with Seattle. The possibilities, just as they should at this time of the year, abound.

Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

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AEG: Top-Feature: Übergroßer Bräter oder Fischtopf? Kein Problem: Mit der Bridge-Funktion können zwei Kochzonen einfach zusammengeschaltet werden – und als eine große Maxi-Zone gemeinsam gesteuert werden. Kochfeld: Art: Glaskeramik Zweikreiszonen: 4 Ø 18,0 / 21,0 cm Kochfeldrahmen: OptiFit Frame Edelstahlrahmen Weitere Vorteile: Direct-Control Kochzonen-Ansteuerung Kochzonen mit Power-Funktion CountUp-Timer, Kurzzeitwecker OptiHeat Control - 3stufige Restwärmeanzeige Weitere Daten: Ausschnittmaße Kochfeld B/T (cm): 56,0/49,0 cm Gerätemaße Kochfeld H/B/T (cm): 4,6/57,6/51,6 cm Anschlusswerte (V / A / kW): 220-240 V / 3x16 A / 7,35 kW

Hello, world. About me.   


Hello, world. About me.

Favorite Baking Books:

Tartine Book No. 3, by Chad Robertson.

Whole Grain Breads, by Peter Reinhart.

The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by Reinhart.

Tartine Bread, by Chad Robertson.

Flour - Water - Salt - Yeast, by Ken Forkish.

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Hertzberg and Francois.

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Hertzberg and Francois.

Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, by Hertzberg and Francois.

The Tassajara Bread Book, by Edward Espe Brown.

Local Breads, by Daniel Leader.

Bread Alone, by Daniel Leader.

The Village Baker, by Joe Ortiz.

The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book, by Laurel Robertson.

The Italian Baker, by Carol Field. 

Beard on Bread, by James Beard.

Location: Indiana 

Interests:  Near 100%, and at least 70%, whole grain loaves and flat-breads, mostly sourdough.

Baking Vessels: Lodge 3.2 qt cast iron combo cooker. Glass covered caserole.  Lodge 9" cast iron griddle. 8", 9",  10" cast iron pans. 5 qt enameled oval dutch oven.  Synthetic (cordierite) baking stone, 14-5/8", $10 from Aldi.  Lodge 14" cast iron pizza pan/griddle. Crofton 1.75 qt enameled cast iron sauce pan with lid, from Aldi.  Also bake in 1 qt and 2qt Pyrex/Anchor borosilicate measuring vessels.

Other Gear: Schule grain mill, hand crank, for cracking grain (does not make flour.) Wonder Junior Deluxe (hand operated), from WonderMill. Vitamix blender (regular blade, not the one for grains) for fine milling of pre-cracked grain.  Cheap $10 electric coffee/spice grinder for spices and small batches of flax, millet, amaranth, chia.

Top Two Grains: Prairie Gold (Hard White Spring) from Wheat Montana  (purchased thru CLNF), and Kamut (also from CLNF).

Favorite grains/flours: Prairie Gold, home-milled and store-bought flour. Kamut, home-milled. High extraction durum flour ("Fiber Walla"), from Sher Brar Mills, available at Indian/Pakistani stores. Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. Spelt, home-milled and store-bought flour. Hard Red Spring Wheat, home-milled. Teff Flour, from Patel Brothers, or other Indian/Pakistani stores. Flax seeds. 

Favorite Suppliers: Country Life Natural Foods,, group orders. Patel Brothers, and other local Indo/Pak stores. E&S Sales, Shipshewana, Indiana, has 50 pound bags and repacks of dozens of grains/flours. Group order (4000 pounds, minimum) direct from Wheat Montana.



Today's Adventure in Baking...   


Today's Adventure in Baking...

It's been a long, hot summer. Well...not so long, but hot. Too hot to fire up the oven here in the house--and I hate that thought. So as the temperatures are dropping, so are the levels in my flour store since I'm making up for lost time. Add to that the fact that I'm looking for a new gig--as a bread baker and you've got the perfect recipe for....well....baking. As I was researching one of the places I was applying to today, I came across a menu item that I had not heard the name of--the Bialy. I was curious because the photo they had on their site looked tempting.

So I started digging around on the internet and found a few formulas (including Hammelman's on the BBGA website). I also discovered that legend has it that the bilay originally hailed from Bialystock, Poland before it was introduced in NYC about 100 years ago. Hey...I happen to be Polish and am a sucker for trying any food from that country. SO it was game on. Using several recipes for inspiration, I came up with the following, which borrows heavily from Hammelman and several other blog posts:

Onion filling:
1 medium red onion, minced in a food processor (it was too strong to do by hand...)
a bit of salt
1 tsp poppy seeds
olive oil

The Bread:

26 ounces KAF Sir Lancelot Flour  (100%)
16 ounces water
.5 ounces salt
.5 ounces instant yeast

For filling:
Heat oil in a pan, then add onions and salt to taste. Sautee the onions until they darken up a bit and become sweet. Remove from heat and add poppy seeds. Set aside

Confession time...
I didn't get this right out of the gate. The original formula I used had 16 ounces of flour and was...well, anyone remember attempting to eat the salted dough that you can use for making things like Christmas ornaments? was almost like that originally (oops), so I added more salt and more water to arrive at the numbers above. 

Anyway...nothing fancy here. Mix as usual, knead for...well, until it's ready (I had a smooth, sticky dough when done). Set it in a lightly oiled bowl for bulk fermentation for about 11/2 hours. Degas, divide 12 ways (roughly 5 ounces per portion), and make flattened rounds, putting each on a half sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Then, create a depression in the middle of the round (about 1/2 of the round? I eyeballed it) and fill with the filling (I used roughly 1tsp took some experimenting to get a roughly even amount between them all).  Let rise for an additional 20 minutes or so and then pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle with additional poppy seeds and bake for 12-15 minutes.  Note, I had 2 half sheets, one that I'm not too fond of so I swapped racks and rotated them about 1/2 way through the baking process too prevent burning and make sure they cooked evenly. 

Hope you enjoy! I had one as soon as it was cool enough to eat and it was FABULOUS.


Bread with an Unanticipated Crumb: 50% Einkorn SD   


Bread with an Unanticipated Crumb: 50% Einkorn SD

This is my second einkorn loaf. The first was baked roughly half a year ago when my friend kindly offered me some einkorn berries to try out. It left me with the impression that einkorn makes a slack and sticky dough that weakens with time. For some reason, the experience isn’t quite the same this time. 



50% Einkorn Sourdough



Dough flour

Final Dough


Total Dough










Flour (All Freshly Milled)









Sprouted Einkorn Flour









Einkorn Flour









Whole White Wheat Flour









White Whole Wheat Flour (Starter)









Whole Rye Flour (Starter)































































Vital Wheat Gluten









Starter (100% hydration)













































Sift out the bran from dough flour, reserve 28 g for the leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients. 

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until ready, about 4 hours (28.5°C). Roughly combine all dough ingredients. Ferment for a total of 4 hours. Construct a set of 3 minute Rubaud mixing at the 30 and 40 minute mark respectively. Do a set of lamination at the 50 minute mark. 30 minutes before shaping, do a set of coil fold. Shape the dough then put in into a banneton directly. Retard for 10 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Score and spritz the dough then bake straight from the fridge at 250°C/482°F with steam for 20 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let it cool for a minimum of 2 hours before slicing.



My hand shook while I was pouring the water into the flour… Oops... The dough was thus a bit too wet than I’d like. After the first round of mixing, it was still quite slack with little gluten development. However, it gained strength on its own as time went by. There was little, if any, stickiness too.



The oven spring wasn’t massive so my expectation wasn’t high. Miraculously, the crumb is rather open compared with my other whole grain bakes. It’s even more confounding when you consider that it’s 50% einkorn (of which more than half is sprouted!) and 50% white wheat. Both are grains that tend to produce weak dough.



Some people don't like einkorn but I personally find it quite tasty. It's got a very distinctive coconut taste that there's no way to mix it up with another grain. This bread is moderately sweet and sour.



Rolled oat & moong dal khichdi with baked capelin and caramelized carrots


Porcini mushroom, Jinhua ham & tomato rice pilaf with melted Reblochon


Tomato cream tuna rigatoni with king oyster mushrooms & shaved Gruyère


Pressure-cooked lamb shank Pho


Spicy black beans & rice with garlic ghee grouper


Squid biryani with garlicky cabbage & potatoes


Honey glazed pork chop 


Macau Portuguese chicken with egg fried rice, HK-style Bolognese with mushrooms, honey roasted sweet potatoes, and soy sauce braised veggies 


50% blue emmer SD ciabatta


30% durum scallion SD bagels



Experiment: new flour and new cooker   


Experiment: new flour and new cooker

So... one of my cloches had thru and thru cracks in the top and bottom... so had to toss it.  Got a 3.2 qt combo cooker and decided to try one loaf with  my new cooker and new sprouted wheat.  I chose an iteration of Maurizio's Sprouted wheat loaf here:

I used no AP flour, only my bread flour and also used 20% kamut.

It turned out fine and tastes delicious.

Love my new combo cooker.  Now I'll be able to compare w my cloche, of which I have one surviving.





Comment on 2019 Grinduro: Plimsoll Buckshot Hardtail – john watson by Cody Leuck    

Good eye Dustytires, everything was machined from 7005 plate. Made heat treatment much easier!

10/8/2019: RACING: Arninator knocking on the door   

GREYHOUND racing heats up this afternoon with a 12race program at Townsville Showgrounds. This afternoon’s racing includes two heats of the RQ Maiden 1000 over 380m and the final of the 4/5th Grade over 498m. Race 1 is the TAB RQ Maiden 1000 Heat 1,...

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes   

Recipes are all about sharing. Sharing the method and technique, and ultimately sharing the food across the table with family and friends. I love getting recipe recommendations, and a friend shared this one with me. Pancakes require patience at the griddle. Heat can't be too hot and if it's too low, you'll be standing at the stove for a long time waiting for those bubbles to slowly appear. If you cook them too fast, the middle is just batter. And who wants to eat batter, unless it's of the cookie dough variety. This combination of lemons, raspberries, and blueberries with some ricotta cheese for tang will have you making this batter again and again. You could even make the batter the night before, and that beats a pancake mix any day. Recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes Makes 4 to 6 pancakes (2 servings) 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1...

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