So, there have been a couple 'when should we have a husi drinks?' comments. I wanted to do one before the yearly holiday shutdown, but only ended up with a partial dinner night (which was fun). We could do it in either the peninsula or the city. But I have no idea where would be good. So I must take suggestions on place. Also, suggestions on times as well. I'm good pretty much any friday or saturday this month (nothing scheduled yet that must be on the friday or saturday). Tuesday and Thursday evenings though are right out.
Random Political Comments
I was reading an article in my copy of Foreign Affairs about global health care, mostly in the developing world. A major part of the article was taken up in a discussion of how the recent emphasis on "solving" AIDS/HIV in the developing world is screwing up general health care (by moving or reducing resources for general health) and in many cases decreases overall population health. (This is not even talking about the issue that the large infusion of foreign money for health care purposes screws up the local economy and makes it hard for native health workers or businesses to grow). The main point of the piece though was:
Instead of setting a hodgepodge of targets aimed at fighting single diseases, the world health community should focus on achieving two basic goals: increased maternal survival and increased overall life expectancy. Why? Because if these two markers rise, it means a population's other health problems are also improving. And if these two markers do not rise, improvements in disease-specific areas will ultimately mean little for a population's general health and well-being.
The article explains why these two markers are important (and strangely the whole article is online. Why do I have a subscription if the plebs can get it anyway, huh?) Very good article in my opinion -- I actually ran late getting out of the house to read it one morning.
Random Personal Comments
I'm going to be starting my community college drawing class in a week or two. I've been trying to get the materials as instructed by the instructor, but he seems to have made the list with the college bookstore's stock in mind -- and didn't always describe each thing in a way that let me find the same thing for another brand. Either that or a large art store near Berkeley doesn't carry really obvious things. In any case, it looks like fun. The first assignment is a touch lame (mostly drawing various shapes with various tools several times, presumably to give the instructor and idea of our abilities).
Also, I'm giving up on japanese for a while -- I'm not going to become fluent on my own (esp writing) and honestly, it's just not that useful to me right now (no need to read it most of the time and can puzzle out what I need to on occasion). I'm not giving it up entirely, but not going to actively study and prep things (not that I've been keeping up...) But, since I have to be learning some language at all times, I'm switching to arabic. The written language is beautiful, the phonemes are different, the grammar is different. Plus, it's an internationally important language that I almost took it in college, but regret not taking. Time to learn something new! I don't expect to become fluent in it either, but since I don't have to learn a bazillion kanji, I might actually be able to learn to read a bit quicker.
Random Cooking Comments
The other night I made a fairly tasty lentil dish (using yellow split peas) where I essentially boiled them with a bunch of garlic and anaheim peppers (plus various indian-ish spices) in chicken broth. The last part was a mistake: I used bouillon to make the stock, which is too salty when boiled down. Next time either must less stock (and more water) or just no stock at all. Also, I wish I could have found the cardamom pods in the spice cupboard, but gave up and used powdered. Not the same.
I'm going to try making aiysh just for fun (and maybe a bit of ritualistic self-flagellation). When I read Hungry Planet, I found it interesting that many peoples essentially have the same porridge several times a day -- this seems crazy to me of the plentiful variety of complex food. And in some cases, they use grains I only have the vaguest knowledge of. So, I bought some millet, will mill it (the easy way though -- in the blender), and try to make a millet porridge, seasoned only with vegetable oil (probably canola).
That is all for now.
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