Coping: Adventures in Sourdough Land

As promised, it was another Around the Ranch adventure Saturday morning I got up to find out if my sourdough experiment had paid off and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that not only had it paid off, but it was some of the best-tasting sourdough I’ve ever eaten.  I only ate three 8-inch flapjacks, as I’m attempting to eat a bit less these days to shed an ounce or two, but they were really, really good.

Elaine thought they were light enough to make a good biscuit, too, but we’ll save that for another day.

We did have one minor problem:  There was some batter left over, so Elaine put it in a large drinking glass.  About four hours later, she opened the fridge, only to see the glass had overflowed as the sourdough kept on developing, spurred on, no doubt, by the addition of two tablespoons of sugar, teaspoon of baking soda, and two beaten eggs that went into the mixture.  Vitamins for the sponge, so to speak.

This morning, I’ve whipped up another batch, and we’ll see how this one goes.  It’s still something of a question, though, since the best-in-my-life benchmark is still aunt Isabel’s genuine pancakes, which – looking back on things – were more like a thick crepe than a high-rising pancake.

After this morning’s workout with the higher-rising variety, I’ll set to work tearing apart crepe recipes and figure up some way to build a lower-rising pancake – about 3/16th’s of an inch thick with very fine crumble-bubbles, as opposed to the 5/8ths to 3/4ths inch risers I have now. 

The good news they are so light at the moment that you have to set a fork or knife on them, or they slowly rise up to the ceiling and stick there.

Yet Another Gout Cure?

From frequent contributor Chris:

Kris K sent this

Mix 1 part food grade (aluminum free) baking soda with three parts honey.  Take one teaspoon a day.  

Turns your system to alkaline from acid. Should prevent gout, which is caused by high acid buildup.

Some say it kills cancer too. Interesting. If you try it, let me know if it works.

I’ve actually read a fair amount about how turning the body basic (versus acidic) is a very healthy thing to do, but if I remember my chemistry right, the baking soda is high in sodium, which is you have any blood pressure issues may not be a good thing.

On the other hand, locally harvested honey is said to work miracles with allergies and hay fever.  The detail level is that the honey has to be taken from hives within 50-miles (less is better) from where the allergy-suffer lives.  But there seems to be something in honey that really works.

Reader’s Writes: On Management Style

In case you missed it, I posted my three lessons on effective management yesterday and – although I didn’t expect it – there was a very good counter on point number 2 in the post (here) from reader Dave:

George, I concur with your Three(3) lessons, however I have a personal issue with the example used for Lesson #2. Thirty Seven years ago, I and several hundred Engineers, Designers, Draftsmen, and Technicians, covering a multitude of disciplines, were working 12 hour days, Seven days a week, with every other weekend off for those away from home.

These off weekends sometimes only happened once a month. We worked for over a year on that schedule to meet a Dec 31, 1976 deadline to bring a $500million dollar production facility on line. Meeting the deadline meant millions in Tax saving for the Corporation. We made the deadline with little time to spare. [Meant longer hours near the end]. Oh, No vacations or holidays during all this. About a month or so into the new year the corporate VP of Engineeing, to whom we all reported, came to the facility to speak to us all. I do not recall the length or details of his initial remarks, but when an opportunity arose an individual stood up with a question. We all worked hard to get this facility up and running, when are we going to go back to normal hours and for a large number, to return home? His answer.! “That was last year, what have you done for us this year?”. Most of us walked out of the meeting. I do not think that VP realized how close he came to being executed. A large majority of us lost all respect for him, and many of us eventually left the company. That example is NOT A MOTIVATOR. That is a prime example of bleeding your loyal employees for all you can. He burned a bridge and could not get folks fired back up for other work to be done.

Sorry for the long story, but my point was the example gets the wrong reaction. The principle is correct, but the motivation is in meaningful reward. In the situation I described, a “piece” of the financial savings the corporation received could have been shared with the employees, along with some additional “earned vacation” time, and a resumption of normal working hours and travel for the away from home folks. Both the vacation time, and “bonus money” would be based on total OT hours worked. Oh yeah, we were salary and got no OT pay yet all the contractors we worked with and supervised did! just added salt in wound.

Keep well and safe,  Dave

Good point on the “sharing the spoils” but in the story I related, there were no financial bennies…it was a manager in the classic position of having no carrots to use, style only.  Any manager can line the road to high achievement with enough financial or compensatory perks to move mountains.  The art is knowing what drives a person beyond simply money.  And, in the case of city department heads, there wasn’t much money then and there’s even less now.  But Dave’s point is well-taken.


The new Chronicle Project newsletter is out…interesting read, as always.

Over on Jeff Rense’s site, “Have you experienced weird electronic problems?”

And White House Visitor Logs will remain secret.  Seems transparency is only a word, only a slogan…

More tomorrow morning – write when you get rich…


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