Monday, November 3, 2014

Sunday miscellany

DSC09687A quiet day in Maastricht, catching up with correspondence, bookkeeping, voting, laundry, and shopping.  An afternoon bike ride ahead of the cold front due tomorrow, some time with the weekend papers, biertje en bitterballen at the local café.

It’s a weekend; life should stay balanced.


DSC09709Many grilled foods are more appetizing if the outer skin gets crispy: it’s certainly true for steaks and salmon.  The secret turns out to be in making DSC09710sure that the meat is dry and the skillet is hot. (The Dutch say that the #1 kitchen mistake is not to  cook with hot enough pans.)  The crusty rare meat, the  crispy duck breast, the perfect fish skin,  all require searing, turning, resting. 

Hot pans.  15 minutes, and you’re golden.  Literally.


DSC09712My ‘repat pile’ is growing with things to take back to the UK, starting to rival the stack that I usually bring back from the US.  It’s interesting to see what pends up being quintessentially desirable from any given country: there’s probably a coffee table book to be made from photos of exported artifacts from around the world.


videostreamI’ve talked before about Chromecast, a simple dongle for the TV that makes broadcasting from your computer fast and easy.  I’ve brought a number of them over for friends (along with Melatonin and Desitin) on trips from the US, but it’s been difficult to link downloaded movies and TV shows into it.

Lifehacker recommended VideoStream, and it really works well.  There was a small patch needed for the firewall, but afterwards it’s been flawless.


DSC09698‘and an interesting comparison of US and Dutch systems for funding late-life care.  Outcomes and efficiency of care, links between medical and non-medical support, and the overall sense of social responsibility characteristic of the Netherlands are well profiled. 

Neither system is perfect, but it would be wonderful to see the US be willing to adopt best practices from wherever they originate, cr3eating local versions that could improve support and decrease costs for the most vulnerable, rather than just shun ‘socialized’ (actually, social) medicine.

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