Sunday, December 10, 2017

DIY -- sausage

No, I'm not going to tell you to go out and buy a grinder with a sausage casing attachment.

What I want you to do is a price comparison. If it doesn't work out for you, ignore everything else in this post.

Check how much your store charges for extra lean ground beef, for ground lamb and ground turkey. Then compare to the same weight of American breakfast sausage, chorizo, bratwurst, merguez, Italian or Polish sausage, bologna (mortadella), and salami. And can you even get Rookworst in the U.S. without going to a fancy specialty shop?

In my case, which is kosher, the figures are, an average $14.50 a pound for the fancy sausages, compared to $6/lb  for turkey, $10/lb for lamb, and  $7.29/lb for beef. Bologna (mortadella) and salami are cheaper if you buy them because they are high-volume -- but they are also higher in fat than mine because I deliberately buy extra lean ground beef.

I have found recipes online for all of these (although the mortadella and salami are generic), and you can package them in plastic wrap and consolidate them in the fridge, then bake them or run them through a hot smoker, instead of using fussy sausage casings.

I was even able to fake Lebanon bologna, a product of the Amish around Lebanon PA. Some websites tell you to ferment it, but I've talked to the product specialist at Seltzer's where they still make it the old-fashioned way, and I think what he said is that fermentation is a chemical way of doing what happens when you cold smoke it for a few weeks.  If you can't cold-smoke, you can still get close to the flavor without the chemicals.

The downside? Your mortadella and Lebanon bologna will turn out stiff like meatloaf instead of flexible like what you buy at the deli counter, but that's because you used lean ground beef. You can use "regular" or get the meat cutters to give you some of their suet (you might get it free!) but you would need a grinder so you can stir it evenly throughout your product. The last thing most of us need in our diets is fat. I'm down with flavored meatloaf. YMMV.

Now, if SHTF you won't have plastic wrap or aluminum foil that you dare use with raw meat but you will have the intestines of the animal for natural casing, you just have to wash them carefully. Sausage is only useful so that the stray scraps of butchering don't go to waste.  You could always cook the scraps down and cook cornmeal in the broth. It's another Amish product called scrapple.

So save the equipment money and DIY your sausage, and if S does not HTF you'll spend less on flavored scrap meat.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Friday, December 8, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Wellhausen's other brother

I didn’t mean to send you screaming from the room at the end of the last post, but there was an up side to that. It meant you realized that DH’s current assignments are a conjunction with something like 6,000 terms, and the probability is infinitesimal that they are all correct  because they are based on bad facts and fallacies.
If you go on from here, either you’re not convinced that DH has an insignificant probability of being correct, or you want to see how much more dirt I can dig up, or you want to find the point at which I drop the other shoe.
Edouard Reuss, teacher and colleague of Graf, stated that his role was to advance French Protestant scholarship. He waited until the 1870s, when he was about 70 years old, to publish his History of the Scriptures. Until 1870 Strasbourg, where he taught, was part of France; in the Franco-Prussian war, it changed hands. It was part of Prussia by the time his Bible was published.
Those of us who know something about history think “repression” when we think of Prussia. But it was in Prussian-led Germany of the 1870s that Wellhausen was publishing. Whatever Reuss felt about what happened to France, the political change gave him a new intellectual lease on life.
Reuss claimed that he had been asked to provide a French Protestant version of the Bible. It’s possible that the majority of French Protestants had other things on their minds. They were helping the Republicans disestablish the Catholic church, supporter of the monarchy.
He claimed that the problem was an official Bible that was not a perfect translation. You know that any translation is not going to be perfect, unless the translator knows enough about the culture of the source document to explain terms that the audience of the translation will not understand.
But Reuss did not produce the kind of translation that would improve things. When he translated Leviticus 11, he erased verse divisions so that his translation combined the verses telling what signs to watch out for in kosher animals, with the four verses naming some animals that are not kosher. This is fundamental to an issue I will discuss shortly.
For now, you have to understand that the versification of Torah is well understood despite the fact that Torah scrolls are written without punctuation. The Neuchatel, for example, does not give verse numbers but its punctuation clearly separates these verses.
It seems pretty clear that Reuss did not consult the Neuchatel French translation. If Reuss had access to it, he could not use it in his work because it did not support what he did.
Or Reuss deliberately ignored the Neuchatel because it contradicted his work. Or else Reuss relied on his readers not checking up on him. YMMV.
So fundamentally, Reuss did two things wrong: he used a translation, which means he wasn’t analyzing the Hebrew Bible. That’s a strawman argument, pretending that Torah says things it doesn’t say, and a strawman argument is a fallacy.
And he performed sampling bias, another fallacy and a rejected practice in any scientific or scholarly study. Everything Reuss wrote has to be ditched because it relies on fallacies.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, December 7, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 1:14, pop quiz on noun gender

Genesis 1:14
יד וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי מְאֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם לְהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הַיּוֹם וּבֵין הַלָּיְלָה וְהָיוּ לְאֹתֹת וּלְמוֹעֲדִים וּלְיָמִים וְשָׁנִים:
Transliteration: Va-yomer elohim y’hi m’orot birqia ha-shamaim l’havdil beyn ha-yom u-veyn ha-laylah v’hayu l’otot ul’moadim ul’yamim v’shanim.
Translation:     Gd said let there be lights in the raqia of the heaven to separate day and night and they shall be for signs and warnings and days and years.
Letters in this lesson:
Vocabulary in this lesson:
Quick quiz:  Which of these four words are masculine gender and which are feminine gender?  This is not a trick question.
Usually moadim is translated as “seasons” because of its relationship to the phrase chol ha-moed which means the days of Pesach and Sukkot which are not “holy convocations.”  That is, some work is permitted on them, though the religious do not go to their jobs on those days.  You can cook on them, you can light lights, and so on.
It is related to legal notice of a problem, something I will discuss in a later lesson.  When the celestial signs are in a given configuration, you are on notice that a holy convocation is approaching.  Every 7th sun is Shabbat; every 29th or 30th day is New Moon; every 12th or 13th New Moon is Rosh Ha-Shanah; the 10th day after that is Yom Kippur; the next full moon is Sukkot; every 6th New Moon after Rosh Ha-Shanah is Adar; if this Adar comes so early in the year that the barley will not be ripe 6 weeks later, then the New Moon after it is Adar II and the New Moon after that is Nisan; the Full Moon of Nisan is Passover; the 50th day after Passover is Shavuot.
A year has 12 or 13 New Moons in it; they alternate.  This used to be determined by visual observation, which was easy in the Holy Land and within a 12-hour ride. Then bonfires would be lit to send word.  Some of the outlying diaspora would get the word late and they would observe two days of some special days (but not Yom Kippur or Tisha B’Av) as a result.  We still do, but the State of Israel does not. 
When enemies started faking the bonfires, the rabbis decreed that we would shift to a calculation that they had known of for centuries, and it’s been like that ever since.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Knitting -- Palette and fingering weight

This is the stitch count for a pullover in fingering weight yarns like Palette.

7 stitches and 8 rows each make one inch on size 3 needles.
The body is 280 stitches around.
Work 150 rounds of body.
The underarms are 14 stitches per side.
Above the underarms, work 70 rounds.
Knit off 30 stitches at the shoulder on each side.
I made a turtleneck with 50 rounds of k1/p1 rib so that the inside and outside look the same, and bound off in rib.
Pick up the armhole stitches (see below) on size 3 circular needles with a 16 inch tether and cut the steeking.
Work a total of 182 rounds.
When you're down to 66 stitches, do your normal cuff OR do 3 rounds k1/p1 rib so you can push the sleeves up when you need to, and bind off in rib.

There are two  ways to pick up the arm stitches.
a) You can cut the steeking and use a crochet hook to pull the yarn through every stitch beside the steeking, putting these stitches on your knitting  needles. This means more stitches to decrease, and you'll probably want to decrease every third row. But you will still wind up with a poufy sleeve. Do this if you're making a top to go over something, unless it's a Fair Isle.


b) You can leave the steeking alone and use the knitting  needle to pick up the horizontal bits of yarn around the armhole, as I discussed about the middle of another post.  You'll pick up about every OTHER stitch. Then cut the steeking when you're done, knit one stabilizing round, a decrease round and continue. You'll probably decrease every 9th row, every 10th or 11th toward the end. This will fit closer to your arm. This is what you need if you're going to wear the turtleneck under an Oxford shirt or if you're knitting a Fair Isle top.

The calculation is: #stitches at armhole - #stitches at wrist = #stitches to decrease.
#stitches to decrease divided by 2  = #rows where you do a  decrease.
#rounds in arm (182) divided by #rows with decreases = #rounds BETWEEN decreases.

This is a great bottom layer on cold days when you're doing housework. For example, I have no dishwasher except my two hands and a sink. I can push up the sleeves on this while doing dishes. When I'm done, I dry my hands and put on a pullover with cuffs for warmth. I can't get there with T-shirts either long or short sleeved; the ends of the long sleeve ones get wet and my arms get cold with the short sleeve ones.

Down side: Palette is soft and will pill away with heavy wear. So I'm going to have to knit these in a lot of colors to keep ahead of the wear.
Palette comes in 150 colors.
Oh, pleeze throw me in that briar patch!

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 1, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Splitting Graf

Graf said one thing which ought to have been a warning to Wellhausen and his successors. Graf did not believe in verse by verse assignment.

He said this could never end in a satisfying and convincing delineation of the sources, and that the criteria for it were often subjective.
Nobody listened. Why should they? Graf himself split Torah up in other ways than by the Jewish aliyot, and also without regard to the chapters. Splitting one verse of a chapter from another authorizes everybody to do so and you can’t exactly influence people after you’re dead unless they let you.
What Graf thought of as subjective was meat and drink to his successors. Without relying on physical finds, without basis in logic, without facts that turned up in the 20th and 21st centuries, DH could give itself a pass as being descriptive, an issue I’ll come back to later. In fact there are no objective grounds for Graf’s conclusions. There are only the claims he feels like making.
His successors went further. And so we get things like this in the online assignment of Numbers 16:27. Note that the assignment is based on the KJV, another bad translation which copies errors made in the Septuagint. This translation implies that Qorach had his own tabernacle, which is false and a classic sign of a bad translation.
27 So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children.
The sky blue and dark blue text (from “and Dathan” to “their tents”, the dark blue picking up at “and their wives”) is from E and J respectively; notice that no name of Gd appears in this verse. No worries, since we know that the “name” axiom is based on bad facts and sampling bias. Somebody needs to dig up the other reasons for those assignments.
The red (the first occurrence of “Dathan, and Abiram”) is supposed to have been added by a redactor who is superfluous unless DH is true, and we have evidence that it isn’t.
The purported source is called “the book of generations”, first proposed by Frank Moore Cross in 1973, about the same time as other writers were realizing that DH had serious problems. The “book of generations” is also the source that the redactor used to fill in his fragmentary P. Cross dates this “book” to the Captivity, but his argument is based on the “repetitions” pillar similar to the work of Graf’s student Reuss, whom I will discuss next.
The olive green (everything else) is supposedly from P, some claims for which are based on the invalid mischsprache concept.
So despite getting his name on the concept, Graf did not affect DH for the better. Where he was right, later writers ignored him. Where he was wrong, he doomed DH to fail in an environment of active scientific inquiry.
By the way, this is the worst-case scenario I told you about some time back. The probability that the above verse has been correctly analyzed is the probability of correctness of every split, multiplied together. DH also has to justify keeping verses together since Graf allows splits between them. There are 5,888 verses (that’s the worst-case, some say 5,845) in Torah.

Do you dare go further?
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, November 30, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 1:13, "do" perfect aspect

Genesis 1:13
יג וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם שְׁלִישִׁי:
Transliteration: Va-y’hi erev va-y’hi voqer yom shlishi.
Translation:     There must have been evening and there must have been morning, a third day.
Letters in this lesson:
Vocabulary in this lesson:
There’s nothing new here, folks.  Remember that the va-y’hi is a timing expression and notice that we are halfway to the end of this narrative.
Let’s move on to the perfect aspect of asah, “make, do,” in qal. Memorize this because you will see it a lot.  
First person
Second person/masculine
Second person/feminine
Third person
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, November 26, 2017

I'm just saying -- it's not your fault

You know how you pick out a size 10 and it doesn't fit? Well, it's not your fault.

A retailer admitted to me something I suspected for decades.

Clothing manufacturers do not sew to standards.

They do not say ok we're going to label this size 10 so it has to come out to x inches in the (bust/waist/hips).

They just parcel it out and get it sewn up as fast as possible.

They don't even test random items and retrain or fire whoever did the sewing.

That's only one third of the problem.

The next third is the wholesaler who buys this crap. They have a contract with retailers to accept so many items at such a price. No standards enforcement.

The retailers are the third  part of the problem. Their buyers don't give a hoot how small a  percentage of purchases actually wind up in the customer's closet.

They are selling an image and it doesn't look anything like American demographics.

One retailer near me went out of business decades ago. They consistently had sales racks full of sizes 2-8 but almost nothing for sale either full price or less, in the actual size demographic of 12-16. At last they couldn't stand the shoddy work their buyers, wholesalers, and manufacturers were doing.

So first with brick and mortar stores, and now with Internet sales, it's a crapshoot whether that size ten will fit you.

But it's not your period, the doughnut you had for breakfast, the time you decided you were too tired to work out.

Yes, work out, yes, eat right, losing the weight this way will keep you from getting diabetes and having other deadly health problems.

But if you're doing it to fit into a given size clothing, it will never work because the clothing makers don't care if it fits.

It's not your fault.

I'm just saying....

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved