Flan is Yummy and Sort of Easy

Pictured: Hassle
I mentioned that I made some treats. Aside from pumpkin pie and apple pie and samoa cookies (twice) and brownies and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I also made a flan. It turned out pretty good. I ate half of it and gave the rest to my peeps that I shared the samoas with. They live walking distance and they have small kids so they're often home and (importantly) they don't mind if I show up with desserts that I already ate a generous portion of, as with the flan. Best kind of peeps.

Getting the caramel right is the hardest part of making a flan. I made a mexican flan with the lechera sweetened condensed milk so the custard part was a breeze. Making the caramel was a bitch. Fortunately I had the advantage of having eaten hundreds and hundreds of examples of flan over the years so I had a pretty good idea what I was aiming for with the caramel.

Took a picture of the finished product but the coating was the real magic. That's the goods right there. Gaze upon it in wonder.

Football Tragedy: Brazilian Football Club Players killed In Plane Crash

Here’s a summary of what we know so far about the brazilian Football club plane crash:

Brazil’s president Michel Tamer has declared three days of national mourning after a plane carrying the Chapecoense football team crashed in Colombia, killing 75 people on board .

At least six people, including three players – Alan Ruschel, Jakson Follman and Zampier Neto – survived the crash. The goalkeeper Danilo was initially reported to have survived but died from his injuries, according to reports.

Two crew members – Ximena Suárez and Erwin Tumiri – and the journalist Rafael Valmorbida also survived, according to Colombia’s civil aviation authorities.
Those killed on the flight included 21 journalists travelling with the team for Chapecoense’s Copa Sudamerica finals match against Atléticao in Colombia’s second city, Medellín. The plane was en route from Bolivia to Medellín.

The plane, a British Aerospace 146 was given priority to land but did not reach the airport , according to Alfredo Bocanegra, the head of Colombia’s civil aviation authority. It lost contact with ground controllers at around midnight.

It is unclear why the plane crashed. The weather was stormy when the plane went down. There has been unconfirmed speculation that there may have been an electrical fault or that it ran out of fuel.

As the plane was made in Britain, a team from the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch is sending inspectors to the crash site .

Questions have been raised about why a team request to fly direct from Brazil, instead of from Bolivia, was rejected by Brazil’s civial aviation authority.

Bad weather hampered rescue efforts, which had to be briefly suspended due to heavy rain.

Daylight images from the site showed rescue workers carrying away shrouded bodies of those killed in the crash.
Football teams across the world have been expressing their condolences .

The mayor of Medellín said the crash was “a tragedy of huge proportions”. Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, offered support and sympathy to the families of those killed.

Getting Caught Up

How was your thanksgiving? Was it good? Did you give thanks? It was a Thursday again this year (weird). Mine was good in that I got to visit with some friends that I enjoy, but not so good in that I made some pies that were merely adequate; the recipe sucked for one of them and then the other one I sacrificed so that my friends pie would turn out better. We shared filling, and she needed more filling for her pie so that it was amazing and delicious. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the greater good. It was tough but I managed. Oh also shitty was my back went out on Thursday. I maybe aggravated it doing some boring and lame yoga poses (I don't do the zany shit any more). So I dunno. Just the cost of doing business I guess.

Did I mention that I made some treats the past couple weeks? I made some treats. It's not all about me but still: treats! Pictured here are the homemade 'samoa' cookies I got from a recipe off ye olde internet. They are no longer called samoa cookies btw, and the recipe got pulled for some unknown reason. Could be that the cookie name is culturally insensitive, or it could be that the recipe was not well vetted. It was obviously something that they built in individual parts and then gave you the quantities for those successful recipes; not much care was given to the amounts relative to one another.

Aside from not being well written, the recipe did not make nearly enough cookie dough relative to the enormous amount of caramel/coconut mixture, and then I needed about 2x as much chocolate as they suggested. In other words it was about what I would expect from a recipe that I got from a popular  internet site that puts shortcuts in almost everything. (Biscuit dough from a can is a regular ingredient.) Upside: The price was right and everything turned out well enough, all things considered.

Photo is from the second iteration because I had enough filling/topping to make a second batch. All I had to do was make more cookies, which was pretty easy since I didn't bother with the doughnut shape cookie called for in the traditional samoa. Rolling and cutting and baking all this was enough of a hassle. Plus it made spreading the topping on a little easier. I ended up sharing most of these with my peeps. They probably took them to work; it ended up being a lot of dense cookie by the end. I could barely eat three or four at a time like I usually do.

Happy Thanksgiving

Enjoy your day.


Good evening, and welcome to my blog, we just recieved a notice from Npower of the lists of selected candidates

To check if you were selected in the first phase of the NPower programme, please log on to
and type in the phone number you registered with.

Congratulations once again to the 200,000 applicants!



Relevant Documents Checklist
Micro CreditSME/Large Enterprise

1.Formal Letter of Application

2.Photocopy of Certificate of Registration

3.Constitution and Bye-laws of Cooperative Society (only for Cooperative Societies)

4.Business Plan

5.Four (4) passport photographs of the Promoter (business owner)

6.Photocopy of the Current Tax Clearance Certificate of the Business Enterprise and the Promoter.

7.Photocopy of International Passport or Driver’s License or National Identity Card of the Promoter.

8.Bank Statement of the Business Enterprise for a period of one (1) year (for existing business).

9.Sales record for six (6) months and operating expenses.

10.Evidence of availability of Collateral Security (e.g. landed property, Individual Guarantor, etc.).

1.Formal Letter of Application

2.Photocopies of Certificate of Incorporation and Certified True Copy of Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company.

3.Photocopies of the Certified True Copy of Forms C02 and C07.

4.Business Plan.

5.Photocopy of title documents to project site (Statutory Certificate of Occupancy or Deed of Assignment).

6.Photocopy of Title Documents (Statutory Certificate of Occupancy or Deed of Assignment) to the Collateral Security. (This must be a landed property in an urban center).

7.Approved Building Plan (If new building).

8.Bill of Quantities or Contractor’s Estimate of Cost to be incurred on Factory Building.

9.Valuation Reports on Factory Building(s) (for existing projects) and property offered as Collateral Security.

10.Quotations for items of plant and machinery (at least 3 quotations from different sources).

11.Three (3) years most recent Audited Accounts of the company (for existing company).

12.Three (3) years most recent Tax Clearance Certificate for the Company and two (2) Directors.

13.Four (4) recent passport photographs of each of the two Directors and the Company Secretary.

14.Evidence of appointment of a Company

Colin Nissan is a True Hero for Our Time: Decorative Gourd Season

It's that time of year again! That's right, it's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers. I'm ready. Are you ready? I SAID ARE YOU FUCKING READY? Get fucking ready because it's called Decorative Fucking Gourd Season for a reason, motherfuckers.

Usually this time of year is above average. I hear Fall is lovely in certain parts of the country. Recent events may have crushed dampened your spirit somewhat, but that's no reason to throw in the towel on Decorative Gourd Season. Now more than ever it is essential to fight the good fight. Do not let unrepentant asshats normalize aberrant behavior, and by that I mean fuck gluten free vegan desserts right into the goddamn trash where they belong. What did you think I meant?

Are you lonely and depressed and disappointed and disillusioned? Me either! So I'm going to give this playlist a try, make some desserts. It might be good. It might be rubbish! There's no knowing until you give it a listen. It's like a metaphor for life in that way. First track is very strong, so start there, and see where it takes you. If that's not doing anything for you then maybe try and take a nap.

See you out there.

Fundraisers: Wade's Army

Me in a t-shirt / Meredith is festive in a cape (She's rad like that)
My gym participates in a fundraiser every year for Wade's Army. It's a good cause, and the group that organizes it donates their time and resources so that all of the money they raise goes to families or groups that support the families with housing or resources. This is important, because most of the money donated to charity goes to the overhead associated with running a business, which is why most charities end up spending more money on marketing than they do on actual support.

So if you didn't already have enough commitments and were interested in supporting an organization that helps families with children that are battling neuroblastoma, then you can go here and make a contribution. If you sign up for the mailing list you can donate next year and get a free t-shirt (weights and man-tights not included*).

* It's very important to stay warm during workouts. Science.


Eight (8) things you should know before you commence your application on this platform

The bank of industry targets businesses that engage in manufacturing and processing activities. Target sub-sectors include Agro-processing, Solid Minerals, Information Technology, Oil and Gas and Creative Industry. Please click here to see list of SME product clusters that BOI supports. If your product is not listed here and you think it should, please provide information on your product here for review by our technical team.

2.Entities that BOI Finances
Bank of industry only finances enterprises or companies and not an individual person or group of persons. The company / enterprise must be duly registered and you will be required to provide the registration number for a Limited Liability Company or business name for an enterprise before you can proceed with your application.

3.Items that BOI can finance
The bank is principally set up to finance industrial equipment used in manufacturing. The Bank does not finance land and building which are expected to be financed from equity. You can also access your working capital requirements from any of the ten (10) SME friendly banks that Bank of Industry partners with at Monetary Policy Rate plus 6 percent.

4.Mode of disbursement
The bank does not disburse the loan to the borrower in cash but to the vendors and suppliers of the equipment that the loan application is for.

5.Amount that can be financed by BOI
BOI’s loan support to the SME starts from N5 million. However, loan below N5 million are provided on our matching fund platform which is operated in collaboration with various state governments and on our Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) scheme which is operated through MicroFinance Banks. Please click here to see how you can apply under the BOI matching Fund or the BOP scheme.

6.Collateral requirements
As part of the fiduciary responsibility in managing funds under its care, Bank of industry requires that you pledge some assets to secure you loan. However, the Bank also accepts other forms of security subject to adequate coverage of the loan being provided to you. Types of security the Bank accepts include:

Legal mortgage on a landed property. The property must be duly registered with - a Certificate of Occupancy
- Debenture on assets of the company
- Bank Guarantee
- External Guarantors with Notarized statement of Networth for loans below N10 million.

Please note that the Bank is willing to share assets previously pledged to other lenders provided the Bank’s loan is adequately covered in the arrangement. Also note that the Bank is willing to accept third party collateral.

7.Startup businesses
While the Bank under its general risk acceptance criteria requires a prospective borrower to have at least three years acceptable performance track record, it can also lend to start-ups at its discretion and on a case-by-case basis. A startup would need to provide proof of cognate experience in its business area and would need to have a highly qualified management and operational team with sound management structure.

8.You need to support your application with some documents
Please click here to see the list of the documents you should be prepared to upload while you apply on this platform

Remember you need to registered your company for a business loan alone.

List of Product Cluster
1. Adire (Tie and Dye)/Aso Oke
2. Animal Feeds
3. Aquaculture
4. Bakery
5. Blocks and Interlocking Stones
6. Bottled Water
7. Ceramics & Tiles
8. Chemicals and Paints
9. Cosmetics/Hair Products
10. Dairy
11. Digital Printing/Multimedia Publishing
12. Doors and Window Frames
13. E-Commerce/Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
14. Fashion/Garmenting
15. Fish Smoking/Drying
16. Food Processing (comprising processing of agricultural products)
17. Foundries/Metal Fabrication/3-D Printing
18. Fruit Juice
19. Furniture/Wood Processing
20. Gemstones
21. Greenhouses
22. Laundry and Dry Cleaning
23. Leather/Footwear
24. Liquefied Petroleum Gas/Compressed Natural Gas
25. Meat Processing
26. Mechatronics
27. Health Care (Medical Diagnostics)
28. Laboratory/Orthodontist/Ophthalmology/Physiotherapy)
29. Movie Production (Nollywood)
30. Plastics
31. Quick Service Restaurants
32. Quarries
33. Recycling
34. Roofing Sheets
35. Soaps and Detergents
36. Solar (off grid)
37. Technical/Vocational Schools (Offering City & Guild Certificate)
38. Theme Parks
39. Water Transportation Riverine
40. Light Manufacturing (Paper, Roofing Sheets, lube blending, Paints etc)
41. Grocery packaging

This is a Motorcycle

Please Build This Please Please Please
We still love fast motorcycles in this space, although tastes have changed and I now prefer bikes that won't make my back hurt just by looking at them. This bike is a concept and it looks lovely. Put a light on it and go bananas.

This motorcycle is from Honda (it's a cb1100 TR) and it has an analog from Yamaha that is already in production. Supposedly that is a pretty good bike to ride. Unfortunately it is also a bug-eyed monstrocity. (What were they thinking?)

Our Long National Nightmare Is Ov- Wait, What? Oops - Our Long National Nightmare is Just Beginning

A lot of digital ink has been spilled over the last 12 hours about Donald "Grab them by the Pussy" Trump's historic win in the presidential election. Like most sentient people that vote in elections* I have some thoughts. Let's do this!

It's hard to be too surprised that Trump won an election when you remember that this country elected George W. Bush twice. He was a historically bad leader and as a result his successor(s) lost elections to a smart, polished, charismatic senator from Illinois. Obama was 'bad' for the country in that he tried to give poor people health care and protect the environment and reduce the absurd wealth inequality that characterizes America. Along the way he encouraged / forced the country to have some difficult conversations about racism. That is to say, difficult if you are a racist, which is something that a great many people are but would rather not cop to, as they find it upsetting. ("Why do people talk about race? It wouldn't be an issue if people would just not talk about it." - something that a co-worker of mine said to me with a straight face, as though a gangrenous infection that runs through our cultural body will get better all on its own.)

The right-wing media machine has been blowing that racist dog whistle long and hard for the past 8 years. Donald Trump was on board early with his birtherism bullshit, but you couldn't throw a rock in this country without hitting a conservative talk radio host or tv host or columnist or twitter egg trying to identify Obama as the Other. That message really landed!

The next big takeaway from all this is that white people don't care what a candidate says as long as he gives them something to believe in. It might be a complete fiction (immigration is not the problem in America, wealth inequality is the problem), but that doesn't matter if it gets people off the couch.

lol you probably thought the key word in that last paragraph was 'believe'. Gotcha, sucker. The key word was the male singular pronoun HE. White America refuses to be governed by a woman. Educated white America, uneducated white America, male white America, and female white America all voted the same way: Trump. Men by a wide margin (~70% Trump / 30% Clinton), women less so (54% Trump / 43% Clinton), but you can see the numbers and results right there for yourself. These facts are hard to reconcile given all the things that Trump said during his campaign. He is not religious, he had little support from the party. If Trump were even marginally qualified for office we could point to other factors. Fortunately(?) for us he is not, and this throws the gender and racism in the system into stark relief. Welcome to America! It's exactly as dumb as it looks on TV.

Look forward to four years of dismantling Obama's legacy on health care, the environment, wealth inequality (rich people are about to get even richer!), gender inequality, gay rights, and more. This country takes one step forward, three steps back. White America is stupid far beyond science's ability to accurately predict. Fuck them, and fuck Donald Trump.

* And unlike Donald Trump , who voted for only the second time in his life in this election; he is seventy years old.

Snowflake draft #3

Here is two snowflakes, quickly processed for Snowflake draft series. Both photos was taken March 19, 2013 - quite late for serious snowflake photography, but that day was cold, and i have nice catch of interesting snow crystals without visible melting:

Snowflake macro photo: Draft_3-1 - cluster of three stellar dendrite snow crystals with long and sharp arms, glittering on dark grey textured background
Snowflake photo: Draft_3-1 (2400 x 1800)

Prints of this spiky cluster available at: Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.
Licenses for commercial use - at Shutterstock.com, 500px.com.

I like this cluster of three stellar dendrites with thin and sharp arms, resembling blades. However, it was hard to process: that cluster was captured from non-ideal angle, so it slightly out of focus at top and bottom edges. Also, it lays high over background, touching single wool fibers in one or two points - this visually separates snow crystal from surrounding background and looks nice, but this unstable construction shifts and rotates from every light blow of the wind. I've spent lots of time, until achieved good alignment of all 8 source shots for averaging process.

Here you'll find similar flat cluster with three snowflakes, captured on glass with LED back lighting:

Snowflake photo: Three-in-one - cluster of big stellar dendrite and two simple snow crystals, sparkling on bright blue-gray gradient background

This single stellar dendrite crystal have big central hexagon with beautiful inner structure, though it's six arms is not perfectly symmetrical, if we look closely at their side branches:

Snowflake macro photo: Draft_3-2 - large stellar dendrite snow crystal with big central hexagon and ornate arms, glowing on dark grey background
Snowflake photo: Draft_3-2 (2048 x 1536)

Prints available at: Artist website (mirrors at Pixels and FineArtAmerica), RedBubble.com.
Licenses for commercial use - at Shutterstock.com, 500px.com.

Here is very first pack of draft snowflakes - catch of December 18, 2015:

Snowflake macro photos: four real snow crystals of different types, glowing on dark grey wool background in diffused light - Alexey Kljatov

If you want to see more snowflakes, you can browse through all snowflake pictures.
Here you'll find snowflake photo wallpapers in numerous resolutions and screen proportions, up to Ultra HD 4K.
And here is article about snowflake macro photography.

Election 2016! PREDICTIONS!!1!ELEVEN!!!

Hilary Clinton is a not a great presidential candidate. I never in my life thought I would consider voting for a Republican president. I am not wealthy by GOP standards. I am not religious. And I am not obviously stupid enough to vote against my own interests. That the GOP promotes and enables religious fanatics and similar idiots does limit my options, but still: Hilary is not a strong candidate. If the GOP could field a decent alternative then they had a real chance at my vote.

The GOP did not field a decent alternative. The GOP trotted out a bunch of clown shoes masquerading as Serious Men of Leadership and Seriousness. The clown that won the party's nomination is historically bad.

There are alternatives to the two mainstream party candidates. These alternatives are also not good. At all. (Hat tip to Jeffy for the video recommendation.)

Is this the best America can do? It seems so, for now. 

In a few days days our long - very, very long - national nightmare will be over. I have no idea who will win, but I do know that an asshole will become president. You heard it here first.