Bread Machine

Recipes from Beth Hensperger’s The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (Harvard Common Press, 2000) had worked, for the most part, in my old bread machine. Bread machine manufacturers and recipe writers discuss  small (1 lb.), medium (1.5 lb.), large (2 lb.) and extra large (2.5 lb.) loaves.   The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook recipes have ingredient lists for 1.5 lb. and 2 lb. loaves. I had adapted some 1.5 lb. medium loaf recipes for low salt, reducing yeast by the same percentage as salt as suggested by Hensperger at p. 290 and by the Please Don’t Pass the Salt bread page.

I had unacceptable results with  recipes from The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook in my Panasonic machine with the low salt adaptation, and with full salt and yeast.  Medium loaves  filled the extra large pan, and had airy, weak crumb; some ballooned or cratered/collapsed/imploded. Most of these had great crust, and other good qualitities.

I checked a combination of changes to recipes. I peeked under the lid to see what happened in the rise phase cycle – especially the last part after the machine knocked down the dough.  The dough relaxed and flowed to fill the bottom of the pan.   A baker working one small amount of dough in a kitchen may arrest an overly active fermentation by knocking down the dough and getting it in the oven. A bread machine cycle cannot be reprogramed or altered; the parts of a cycle can’t be paused or extended.  I made manual interventions – I ran a silicon spatula between the dough and the pan 5-10 minutes before the end of the rise and the start of baking to deflate the dough. This intervention shouldn’t be a part of using a bread machine.

A recipe can be adjusted in two stages. First (Canadian) adjustments for a Hensperger recipe in a Panasonic SD-YD250:

  1. Substitution when an American recipe says “bread flour” – use Canadian AP Flour.  (Do not use Canadian “bread flour”; for another machine, if you know it works in your machine …);
  2. Use half the amount in the Hensperger recipe for SAF instant dry yeast; (Ignore the amount of “bread machine yeast” in the book ). This should get yeast to 1 tsp. +/- as the Panasonic manual specifies for corresponding loaves;
  3. (Optional) Use added gluten in proportion to whole wheat or non-wheat flour,

Then low sodium adjustments,:

  1. Reduce salt.  50% doesn’t affect a machine recipe or hurt flavour (except if your palate is tuned to ambient salt in the food supply);
  2. Reduce the yeast by the same percetange;
  3. (Optional) Add gluten.

For a Panasonic recipe, I cut yeast and salt by 50%.  For a Hensperger recipe I cut salt to 50% and yeast to 25%.

With this machine 1/2 teaspoon of yeast worked, and added gluten at about 3/4 tsp per cup (3/8 tsp per half cup) of whole wheat flour.

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Bread

Bread is high in sodium, as an effect of the baking process. Salt is not added to season or directly flavour bread.  Salt controls yeast – it affects fermentation. Fermentation affects flavour but it also affects rise, which affects the size of the loaf and the production line; it also has a chemical effect on the taste buds (Lallamand Baking Update, Volume 2, No. 6).

A few bread styles, such as Tuscan bread, are made without salt.  Salt is part of the process for most bread sold by grocery stores and bakeries large and small.

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Too Much Salt

Salt (sodium chloride) is a chemical agent used to cook or process food. Saltiness is regarded as one of 5 main tastes. (Scientists have not, as of 2018, identified a distinctive taste receptor for salt.)  Sodium is an essential nutrient – there are illnesses associated with a deficiency.  Consuming more sodium than the minimum has few health benefits. Excessive sodium is a health risk.

Public health campaigns in the 1980’s concentrated on avoiding sprinking salt on prepared food by the (with a salt shaker/salt grinder).  Then public agencies set limits and compelled food processors to put salt on product labels.  Disclosure of sodium in product labels for processed foods is required by law in North America and Europe. Campaigns moved on to changed limits, better labels, more information, labels on menus, etc.  Michael Moss looked those campaigns, and resistance from industrial food manufacturers and processors in the Salt section of his book Salt, Sugar, Fat (2013). Marion Nestle has provided commentary on the Food Politics web site.  (Search Salt in the search bar or search for posts tagged Salt).  The food industry considers labelling and public health information represents the foot of government on the throat of free enterprise, and has resisted with scepticism about the science that says excess salt is bad. Scientific American published one article in July 2011 “It’s Time to End the War on Salt” discussing the inconclusiveness of clinical trials.  A week later, Scientific American published an inteview with Marion Nestle who said:

But if you do a clinical trial where you try to put large amounts of people on a low-salt diet, you just don’t see much difference between the people who say they eat a lot of salt and the people who say they don’t eat a lot of salt. In clinical trials the relationship doesn’t show up. Two reasons: One that it’s impossible to put a population of people on a low-salt diet. Roughly 80 percent of the salt in the American food supply is in foods before people eat them—either in processed food or in restaurant food. Because so much salt is added to the food supply and because so many people eat out, it’s impossible to find a population of people who are eating a low-salt diet. They basically don’t exist.

… There’s a proportion of people in the population who are sensitive to salt—if you lower their intake of salt, then their blood pressure goes down. There’s another (probably larger) percentage of the population who doesn’t respond. They are people who can eat as much salt as they want and still their blood pressure is low.  So you have this curious anomaly where whenever you do a clinical trial you get these complicated, difficult-to-interpret results that don’t show much of an effect. But everybody who works with patients who have hypertension think they do better [on a low-salt diet].

The upper limits for sodium intake, in milligrams, per day:

These numbers are not stated in ranges for body type, or weight.  The limits are stated as a single high number and a second lower number for persons diagnosed with hypertension, or defined by age or other statistical risks.   Exceeding the upper limit is risky and harmful.

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Email 2018

I used Outlook 2010 and Outlook  2013 as my desktop email client because they were nearly free. Employees of my employer got the Office Suites for a nominal charge. (For reasons that I do not know, my employer still provides users with Outlook 2010 connected to its MS Exchange server). The programs did what I needed. I had a server account at my ISP. Outlook connected with the server using POP3, a version of Post Office Protocol.  I began to consider letting go of my ISP email account and address as part of cable cutting – (1) give up the cable box and cable TV and (2) give up the Cable ISP service, and go with a new service. Thi meant thinking about a new email address and a new email client.

Outlook was a message user agent (client) for Microsoft Exchange Server using proprietary MAPI protocols. It still is. In the enterprize enviroment a client connects to the enterprize email server which stores messages and connects to the Internet.  Outlook has the capability to manage local copies of messages in a PST file (a dedicated database), which lets it function as a standalone internet email client. Outlook 2013 did not easily support, contrary to MS Outlook 2013 Support articles and publicity about Hotmail Connector and Exchange Active Sync, connecting to an Outlook.com account. This is ironic after MS “improved” Outlook, creating a lock-in effect for its Hotmail/Outlook.com services and more of a walled garden or closed platform approach to services.

Outlook 2013 does not easily support IMAP. The capability may be there. For instance, there are resources that explain making an IMAP connection in Outlook, which may work or may have been outdated by changes in Windows and the Office Suite. Searching for ways to adapt Outlook is frustrating and time consuming. Outlook 2013 has already started  its spiral into obsolesence.  Newer versions have been web/cloud based (software as a service), which leaves MS with a stream of income as long as consumers will leave with MS as rentier. It will not be cheap, and may not be better or less locked in.

The market has evolved other desktop email clients that support IMAP, and downloading and local storage of messages.  IMAP is a robust standard, even if Microsoft deprecates it. It works with webmail, although it is a conceptual leap from POP, and requires some management. Time to move on.

 

 

 

2017 Rides

This was 2017:

DateMe + WhoBikeKm.Trip
1864.22017 Year to Date
17-12-03FX21.8Beacon Hill, Richardson, Monterey, Upper Terrace, Cordova Bay, Foul Bay, Moss, Beacon Hill, Niagars. Cloudy 5 or 6 degrees, wind.
17-11-05FX32.6Beacon Hill, Richardson, Richmond, Oak Bay, Musgrave, Upper Terrace, UVic, Finnerty, San Juan, Lochside to downtown. Sunny, 5 C, cold wind.
17-10-30FX42.9Dallas, Moss, Richmond, Oak Bay, Musgrave, Uplands, UVic, San Juan, Lochside to Cordova Bay, and back to Blue Bridge. Sunny afternoon, shorts weather until the afternoon shadows grew.
17-10-220No ride. Weather varied
17-10-15FX52.3Goose, Interurban Road & Trail, Wallace, Mt. Newton X Road, Lochside; Sunshine, 12 C. Shorts, but a jacket. Michell's farm was busy - the u-pick pumpkin event.
17-10-09MikeFX40.2Dallas, Fairfield, Richmond, McNeill/Richardsons, Newport, Monterey/St. Ann, Musgrave, Upper Terrace, Cedar Hill X Rd, Gordon, Head, San Juan, Lochside. Cool day, clear fall day.
17-09-24FX49.5Goose, Interurban Road & Trail, Wallace, Stelly's X Road, E. Saanich Road, Island View, Lochside; mainly sunny in the AM. An event at the Leg.: traffic diverted and snarled.
17-09-10No ride; on holiday
17-09-03JoeBor.9.2Portage La Prairie MB Crescent Lake trail Meighen to Kelly K.
17-08-27FX67.0Goose, Lochside, Royal Oak, Elk Lake, trail, Oldfield, E. SaanichRoad, east part of Airport trail, Beacon, Lochside. Sunny, clear, hot (but UV only 5), moderate breezes. ,
17-08-20FX65.7Goose, Interurban, Wallace. E. Saanich Road, east part of Airport trail, Beacon, Lochside. Sunny, warm, moderate breezes. The Tour de Victoria was on. I saw traffic control and some riders on Interurban Road. The Dragon Boat fesitval was on in the inner Harbour. Belleville was closed and traffic on Gov't and Superior was congested
17-08-13FX58.3The first rain in 2 months fell overnight. Windy until noon, and after 2 pm. I went out by side streets in James Bay, Cook Street Village and Oak Bay to Foul Bay and up Cadboro Bay to Cedar Hill X, Gordon Head, San Juan, Lochside. Dooley/Welch, Martindale to Michell mini-Airport on Lochside. Back into Victoria by Lochside. Many bikes stopped to pick blackberries. The Blue Bridge was closed for paving on Store and Pandora. First deke to backtrack and cross the Gorge on the Bay Street Bridge and down Gov't to Chinatown, deking down alleys to get onto Store past the paving.
17-08-07FX59.7Blue Bridge, Goose, Interurban, Wallace, E. Saanich, McTavish, Lochside. Clear day. Smoke haze at high level made it dark, almost overcast
17-07-30FX59.2Goose to crossing/ intersection Happy Valley, East Sooke & Kangaroo. Sunny day. The trail is shaded from Jenkins out. Trail was dry but not too dusty. The blackberries are ripe. Some people stopped for that.
17-07-230No ride. In Duncan, camping at Islands Folk Festival
17-07-16FX52.3Dallas , Moss, Richardson, Foul Bay, Cadboro Bay, Cedar Hill X, Gordon Head, San Juan, Lochside to Island View; back by Goose, downtown. Overcast, steady breeze, cool in the AM.
17-07-09FX69.4Blue Bridge, Goose, Interurban, Wallace, E. Saanich (new segment) Leal-Emard-Moxon Amity, Lochside, San Juan, (new segment) San Pedro, Longview, Feltham (oops: to Shelburne and back up), Gordon Head, U Vic, Cedar Hill X, Cadboro Bay Rd., Fort, Richmond, Richardson, Moss, Dallas, Niagara
17-07-02MikeFX70.7Blue Bridge, E & N, Goose, Interurban, Wallace, Mt. Newton X, Lochside, San Juan Greenway, Gordon Head, U Vic, Foul Bay, Richmond, Moss, Dallas
17-06-30MikeFX34.4Dallas, Beach, Cadboro Bay, Arbutus, San Juan, Lochside
17-06-25MikeFX56.5Lochside from Mann's Excavating to Swing Bridge, Goose to Interurban, Interurban Route to Saanichton; E. Saanich to Willingdon, around airport, Sidney, Lochside
17-06-23MikeFX31.5Blue Bridge, Lockside to junction at Don Mann, parkway to Gordon Head; UVic, Cedar Hill, Cadboro Bay, Beach, McNeill, Moss, Dallas
17-06-17MikeFX53.1Blue Bridge, Goose, Interurban route to Saanichton, Mt. Newton x Road, Lochside
17-06-11FX58.1Blue Bridge, Goose, Interurban Road, Interurban Trail, Wallace, Lochside
17-06-04MikeFX41.7Blue Bridge, E&N, Goose to Sooke Road at Firehall.
17-05-28MikeFX40.0Lochside from Monkey's Paw, Royal Oak to Elk Lake, Oldfield & Seacrest, E. Saanich, Wallace, Amity to Lochside
17-05-21MikeFX53.3Lochside from Monkey's Paw to Sidney, Flight Path around YYJ, and back. Warm and sunny.
17-05-19MikeFX29.5Blue Bridge, E & N, Goose to Wales Road, return.
15-05-14MikeFX45.1Goose from Juan de Fuca rec complex to Roche Cove
17-05-07MikeFX39.8Lochside from Monkey's Paw (McKenzie & Borden) to Royal Oak, Elk Lake trail, Oldfield, Wallace-Panorama, Lochside. Sunday AM, sunny, light breezes
17-05-06MikeFX24.5Goose to Old Island, E&N to Blue Bridge
17-04-30MikeFX48.6Lochside from Monkey's Paw (Borden & McKenzie) to McTavish, Flight Path trail around airport, back from Sidney
17-04-28MikeFX42.0Goose to Sooke Road
17-04-21MikeFX38.4Goose to Veterans Memorial. Friday PM Sunny day before a cool wet weekend.
17-04-16MikeFX35Lochside from Monkey's Paw (McKenzie & Borden). Royal Oak, Elk Lake, Oldfield, E. Saanich, Mount Newton X Road, Lochside.
17-04-14MikeFX31.5Dallas,Beach, Arbutus, Finnerty, UVic. Sunny spring day - breezes, not too brisk. Shorts
17-04-09MikeFX32.9Goose to E & N to Langford police station; back by E & N thru Esquimault
17-04-02MikeFX47.0Lochside from Monkey's Paw (McKenzie & Borden) to Tsehum Harbour in Sidney. Sunday AM, sunny, windy
17-03-30MikeFX24.4Blue Bridge, Goose to Old Island; E & N
07-03-25MikeFX42.5Lochside to Saanich Museum
17-03-19MikeFX29.5Blue Bridge, E & N, Goose to Wales Road, return. Sunny, nice - much nicer than forecast
17-03-18MikeFX29.6Dallas, Fairfield, Richmond, Cadboro Bay, U Vic. Sunny, windy.
17-03-05MikeFX29.1Dallas, Fairfield, Richmond, Cadboro Bay, U Vic. Cool, unstable weather: cloudy, showers, even snow and slush
17-02-25MikeFX42.7Lochside, Hunt Valley, Island View (Michell' Farm). Cool day, Sunny with cloud in AM, windy.
17-02-12MikeFX29.3Dallas, Fairfield, McNeill, Beach, Cordova Bay to U Vic and return
17-01-28MikeFX41.3Lochside to Island View (Michell's Farm)
17-01-21MikeFX33.2Galloping Goose to Old Island Highway at Royal Roads
17-01-14MikeFX28.9Dallas/Beach, Richmond (group ride started at Richmond at Fairfield), McNeill, East Oak Bay ramble, Cedar Hill X, U Vic Ring, Henderson/Foul Bay, Fort, Quadra, Beacon Hill Loop, Niagara. Sunny +2 C at 11 am; got to 5 C later

American Nations

I started to follow Tyler Cowen’s Marginal Revolutions blog last year in my effort to understand modern economics.  Professor Cowen mentioned American Nations as a part explanation for support for the candidacy of Donald Trump among disenfranchised American working class and middle class voters in the 2016 American elections.

I found a copy in the Oak Bay Branch of Greater Victoria Public Library.  It was catalogued as children’s nonfiction.  If it is a children’s book, the children in Oak Bay must be precocious.    Garrison Keilor said in his NPR broadcasts and books. “Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average”.

The full title is American nations : a history of the eleven rival regional cultures of North America. Colin Woodard is a journalist and writer of explanatory nonfiction. American Nations presents a condensed introduction to a body of thought about of American history: tracking regional culture back to the European settlement of different parts of North America by distinctive groups. Woodard accepts that the cultures of different parts of America evolved from the cultures of the first European settlers.  This assumption forms the basis for some narratives of American history.  For instance, consider this review and summary (Scott Alexander) of Albion’s Seed by David Fischer.

 

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2016 Rides

This was 2016:

2016

DateWhoBikeKmTrip
1355.12016 Year to date
16-09-18FX58.3Downtown, Lochside to Royal Oak, Beaver & Elk Lake trail, Oldfield/Seabrook to East Saanich Road into Saanichton, Wallace and Amity and across the Pat Bay; Lochside Trail and back from there by the Trail. Mixed Cloud, mainly sunny but a few scattered showers; Windy
16-09-11FX56.9Downtown. Goose to Interurban, Interurban Route to Lochside, Lochside back to downtown. Sunny after 10 AM, moderate breeze, 18 degrees C.
16-09-05FX53.7Downtown, Lochside to Royal Oak, Beaver & Elk Lake trail, Oldfield/Seabrook to East Saanich Road, Mount Newton X-Road to Lochside Trail and back from there by the Trail. Cloudy, cool, a few spritzes of rain.
16-08-210Camping, Salmon Arm
16-08-07FX42.9Blue Bridge, E & N to Goose, Goose to Swing Bridge, Lochside to Cordova Bay (Matticks). Overcast, a couiple of short misty showers.
16-08-07KA0Check old Cat Eye Velo 2; replace battery and reset to zero
16-07-31FX57.6Blue Bridge, Goose to Atkins, E & N to Jacklin to Jenkins to Glen Lake Road to Happy Valley Road to Metchosin Road to Old Island Highway to Juan de Fuca Rec Center; E & N & through downtown. Cloudy at first, then sunny with brisk winds.
16-07-240Camping in Duncan
16-07-17FX60.4Blue Bridge, E & N to Jacklin, Jacklin to Goose, Goose to Lombard. Sunny. some cloud. Light Wind
16-07-160Replace battery in Cat Eye. Reset
16-07-10FX79.2Estimated distance. Reset odometer after glitch during first 10 K. Johnson Street Bridge, E & N to Goose, Goose to Interurban, Interurban to Lochside Through Sidney to Resthaven Park; back by Lochside. Cloudy at first. Mixed sun and cloud. Moderate breeze - headwind and quartering adverse on return. Ouchy in my own driveway on arriving home.
16-07-03FX54.9Sunny and windy. Lochside to Lochside Park, Dooley to Martindale, Lochside to Island View (Michell's Farm); Lochside to downtown, Fort to Vancouver, Richardson & McNeill to Windsor Park; McNeill, Richardson & Cook to Dallas.
16-06-26FX72.2Goose to Interurban; Interurban Route to Lochside; Through Sidney to Resthaven Park; back by Lochside. Sunny and hot.
16-06-19FX67.2Lochside to Royal Oak; Royal Oak to Park; BeaveLake to W. Saanich, back to Park; Lakeside trail to Oldfield; Oldfield-Seabrook-E. Saanich Rd-Wallace-Pat NBay Overpass. Back to Lochside; Tulista Park (Sidney). Then home. Mixed sun and cloud, windy.
16-06-16FX26.3Lochside, across Royal Oak, past McMinn Park.
16-06-12FX71.2Lochside to Royal Oak; Royal Oak to West Saanich Road. West Saanich to Wallace. Held up at two points for cycling leg of Victoria Triathalon (See Route). Wallace to Lochside (near Cy Hampson). Sidney, back by Lochside. Held up by street festival on Harbour Road. Mainly cloudy, around 16-18 C. Windy.
16-06-07FX31.2Lochside to Cordova Bay (Mattick's).
16-06-05FX65.8Lochside to Royal Oak; Royal Oak to Park; Lakeside trail to Oldfield; Oldfield-Seabrook-E. Saanich Rd-Mt. Newton X Rd. (First time on Oldfield for years). Back to Lochside; Tulista Park (Sidney) and return by trail. Hot. Traffic hold ups where the road was closed for Russ Hayes races around the legislative grounds (See: Race Web site).
16-05-31FX32.1E & N to Admirals Way, back to Tyee. Lochside trail to Royal Oak. Clear warm day. Windy. Short sleeves day
16-05-29FX65.4E & N, Atkins to Jacklin, E & N and Goose to Swing Bridge, Lochside to Royal Oak, Royal Oak to Elk Lake. Around Lake, return by Lochside.
16-05-24FX23.1New ride. E & N to Highway 1. Sunny evening after a cloudy day.
16-05-22FX60.7Goose to Rocky Point Rd. , Lombard; Metchosin. Sunny, with clouds. Windy
16-05-17FX24.3Lochside to Royal Oak. Windy, cool. The counter was at >2,400 at 7:20 pm.
16-05-15FX41.9Lochside to Island View (Michell's). Cloudy, cool. Counter at 885 at 2:45 PM.
16-05-10FX31.1Lochside to Cordova Bay (Mattick's). Counter was 2600 + at 7:20.
16-05-08FX53.9Lochside to Cy Hampson, North Saanich. It started cloudy and changed to sunny and windy. Wind from the south - i.e. headwind on the return leg. The counter was at 650 at 1:40.
16-05-05FX24.4Lochside to Royal Oak. The counter was at 2,220 at 6:30 pm.
16-04-30FX45.8Goose to Luxton Fairground
16-04-25FX24.6Lochside to Royal Oak, at cycle commuter rush hour. The counter at the end of Harbour Road was at 1400 for the day when I was outbound, over 2000 on the return.
16-04-23FX41.7Lochside to Island View (Michell's)
16-04-20FX24.2Lochside to Royal Oak. Starting at 6 is too late - sun at low angle. Insects at eye level. I need new sunglasses that can adjust to low light.
16-04-17FX31.4Lochside to Cordova Bay (Mattick's)
16-04-10FX32.7Lochside to Lochside Park (Mattick's +)
16-04-03FXRe-calibrate Cat Eye. No ride. I had to get to the airport to fly to Abbotsford (and drive to Chilliwack) (work).

Camping 2016

Last year, I had noticed that the adhesive seam tape used by the manufacture to seal the seams of my tent’s fly was degrading and flaking off. I resealed the seams with a product that smells like plastic model cement and sticks to skin like crazy glue.

I have used a Therm-a-Rest “Original” or Classic mattress since the 1980’s. For front country camping I have also used it with a second mattress a closed cell pad – an old blue Airolite by “World Famous” sold by United Army Surplus in Winnipeg.  Like a yoga mat but thicker. This kind of mattress is still on market.  I tried a Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest (the model that MEC was carrying last year), and found it to be thin and uncomfortable – an slippery to that I was sliding downhill when my tent was pitched on uneven ground.

The inflatable air mattress is back with products including Therm-a-Rest’s BaseCampAF and NeoAir Camper and others, Eureka, Big Agnes and house brands.  An electric pump that runs off automobile current is good for front country camping (a battery powered electric is an option for backcountry but that gadget may not be worth its weight requirements). Inflating a mattress to the point that it is bouncy is not necessary.  A mattress should be firm enough to keep objects under the tent from being noticeable, but soft enough to settle in. So, a new mattress was in order.

I have a Primus Omnifuel, a pressurize burner stove that burns white gas (“coleman” fuel) and special mixed gases  in pressure cans.  It is light, but needs to be managed carefully.  The Wikipedia on portable stoves goes into the history of the gadget.  The original Primus was a burner attached to fuel source.  In the US, Coleman made stove like that too. The military version was the G.I. Pocket Stove.  It was a standard design, before MSR and others introduced pressured burner stoves with the fuel bottle separate from the burner. There are modern pressurized cartridge stoves made up of a burner that screws directly on the pressurized cannister.

The standard camp stove for front country camping was the two burner Coleman that used white gas.  There are still several white gas lanterns and stoves on the market.  The 1 pound stubby Coleman propane cylinder has become common as a power source for lanterns and stoves by Coleman and others.  The cylinders are two heavy for back packing but can be used if there is space and a way of transporting them – such as a car for front country camping.  The small cylinders are not refillable and should not thrown into garbage or left laying around. I find that they are not stable.  I had a Coleman product made up of base ring to held a propane cylinder, and a burner that screwed directly on the propane cylinder.    The gas cylinders have a dimpled metal base and plastic rings glued to the dimples.  Shoving that into the stove base does not create a safe connection.  The cylinder would not line up, or the glue bond would fail. Putting a pot or kettle on a heavy metal burner on top of the cylinder puts the center of mass high.  And the burner had no wind screen. I decided to get a two burner – flat, stable, with a lid that tips up and create a wind screen.

The Holy or the Broken

Malcolm Gladwell recorded a podcast about creativity, contrasting artists who revise and refine with artists who appear to produce their work whole.  It was Episode 7 in his Revisionist History series, published July 27, 2016. He illustrated his big idea with references to Elvis Costello’s revisions to The Deportee’s Club and the development of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah by Cohen, by John Cale, by Jeff Buckley before it became a pop standard and a secular hymn.

Gladwell mentioned the fact that the song was an obscure song from 1984 until 2001, and the variations introduced by Cale and Buckley, but passed over the uses of the Buckley cover on MTV and in television, the use of the Cale cover in the movie Shrek, the Rufus Wainright cover (for the Shrek soundtrack recording), the k.d. Lang cover and her 2010 Winter Olympic Concert, and the singing contest show television performances on The Voice and X Factor. The information is on Wikipedia in the entry Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen song).

Gladwell cites his sources on the Episode Web page, usually including books available from one of his sponsors.

One of his sources was Alan Light’s 2012 book The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah”, which is also the a principal source for the Wikipedia entry. As the title implies, Light explores the tension between the religious exclamation and the biblical allusions, and the vivid, graphic memories of love experienced in sex acts.  Light comes close to saying that Cohen followed the Quebecois pattern of using the name of sacred objects as  obscenities.

Addendum: if you can get through the paywall, David Remnick’s October 2016 biographical article in the New Yorker on Cohen at 82 is worthwhile

Islands Folk Festival, 2016

I camped at the Islands Folk Festival in Duncan BC. It was my first visit to this festival.

The festival is held at Providence Farm, a former convent of the Sisters of St. Ann, once a boarding school, now an organic farm. It accomodates a crowd of a about 2,000 (sometimes vaguely stated as a few thousand) comfortably. Site Map. There is trailer camping in the “Upper Field”, and tent camping on a treed hill – no parking spots or access roads.  There are a few wheelbarrows available for tent campers to move gear from the vehicle-accessible areas into the camp.  The tent area has shade and some shelter from the wind.

The main stage concert on Friday July 22 was opened by Matthew and Jill Barber, who performed songs from their new album.  They have a few original songs, but the album’s theme is songs that they have known and admired.  They did a cover of Ian Tyson’s Summer Wages, introduced with a story about summer jobs planting trees.  They shifted the emphasis away from the possessive angst of “… never leave your woman alone when your friends are out to steal her” to the reflective:

“… The dreams of the seasons are all spilled down on the floor”

“So I’ll work on them towboats in my slippery city shoes
Which I swore I would never do again
Through the grey fogbound straits where the cedars stand waiting
I’ll be far off and gone like summer wages”

They covered The Song of the French Partisan, citing Leonard Cohen as their main influence, joining Cohen, Buffy St. Marie and other artists.  Ironically, Joan Baez, already an apostle of non-violent resistance, covered this song of armed resistance in her 1972 album Come From the Shadows. They also cover Neil Young’s Comes a Time, referring to the time their parents lived in Winnipeg.

Oysterband played a double slot – nearly two hours.  They performed, as they do in other concert performances, songs from a vast repertoire, written and polished in a 4o year career.  I don’t miss a chance to see them when they come to BC. They have change their performing company.  John Jones, Alan Prosser and Ian Telfer are still performing.  Veterans Lee Partis and Ray Cooper (Chopper) left in 2007 and 2012 respectively.

I was impressed by the arrangements and ensemble work of Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project, at their concert in the daytime Spirit Stage venue. The busy and versatile Moira Smiley was with Jayme Stone and the project for this festival.