Pareto Black Beans

(2019.09.04) I often make a delicious and modestly elaborate black bean dip with the Instant Pot. But yesterday, while in a hurry to have black beans in any form to accompany the mouth-watering tomato salsa Laura made the day before, I made plain black beans in the Instant Pot. I threw in a couple of beans with several cups of water, set the Pot to 30 minutes and rushed out of the apartment toward Trader Joe’s to buy some tortillas. I got back just 3-4 minutes passed the scheduled moment to do the natural release of steam.

instant pot black beans

80/20 rule in action: we got a small bucket of simple black beans (80% of the benefits of the dip) with about 20% of the work — well, ok 40% of the work.)

Return to Regular Life in Albany


I’m pleased that on the first full day back at home from vacation that I made two healthy and delicious meals, which I consumed in moderation. Only one chicken leg, a small serving of Israeli couscous, and a heap of broccoli. Alas, I magically forgot my diet when I indulged heartily on spicy pistachios that a friend supplied to us at a meeting — so watch those meeting snacks!

Going back to the classic editor on WordPress

Maybe the new Gutenberg editing experience is the present and future of editing in WordPress — but it’s been giving me a lot of headaches so far. I’ve been getting “Updating failed” and “Publishing failed” messages. Also the Preview doesn’t work. I looked at posts like the following for help — but to no avail:

I’m just punting and going back to the Classic Editor using Classic Editor |

Preparing for 2019

I Wouldn’t it be nice to write something every day in 2019? I have that hope but I’m learning to temper my expectations. Instead of setting myself that goal, I’ll just indicate my intention to write when I can. And when I forget to write for months on end but decide to come back to my blog, I’ll pat myself on my back and say: “Congratulations, Self. Carry on.”

British baking brought close to home?

I like watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix, which, I think, is a repacking of The Great British Bake Off. I’m not a baker myself and though I love to eat baked goods, I haven’t seen baking as an essential skill for me to develop. But I’m inspired to re-examine that assumption, but instead of learning the riches of British baking, I’m inclined to try a recipe for something I love from dim sum: Hong Kong Egg Tarts – The Woks of Life. But wait — aren’t egg tarts derived from some European dessert? According to Egg tart – Wikipedia:

The English custard tart and the Portuguese pastel de nata are European forerunners of the Chinese egg tart, which displays characteristics of both. Before egg tart was introduced to Hong Kong, it is reported that it was first found in 1920s Guangzhou. Taking reference from the recipes of fruit tarts, the chefs in Guangzhou turned it into egg tarts by filling egg custards in the middle instead, a similar way to make simmered eggs with milk (燉蛋). However, as butter was very costly at that time, it was difficult for the chefs to make puff pastry for the tarts. Therefore, they may have used lard instead.

The fog of drowsiness

In the morning, when I’m in a deep flow state, the rest of the world recedes to the background (save for brilliant warming sunshine), as my mind moves happily from step to step towards clear goals. Last night, with computer on my lap and Netflix in the distance, I could barely string together the steps needed to instantiate a Docker image. Unable to recognize the state that I call “Mind like quicksand”, I pushed on. I finally had the wisdom to call it quits on my computational work and devote my energies to Netflix. Fifteen minutes later, I was gently snoring — or so my Sweetie tells me.