Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Good Salad

GOOD SALAD.

1/2 head of Iceberg lettuce
2ea Medium tomatoes
1 'ring' from a Bermuda onion
1/4lb smoked salmon
1 heaping tablespoon Mayonnaise
1 Bud of Garlic

GARLIC
Peel the bud of garlic, smash it with the flat of your knife and rub the crushed garlic bud all over the bowl in which the salad will be mixed.

LETTUCE
You want it crispy. The best way to ensure that is to punch out the stem, rinse the head with clean, cold water, then bag it and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. When you take it out of the reefer it will nice and cold. Poke your thumbs into the hole where the stem used to be, tear the head of lettuce in two then tear one of the halves into bite-sized chunks and toss them into one of those centrifugal spinner jobbies and pump it up & down for about a minute. This will fling off most of the water. Toss it into the bowl. If lettuce is not available you may use a couple of six-inch cucumbers, well chilled then peeled and diced.

TOMATOES
To me, a medium tomato is about 2-1/2 inches in diameter. Stand the tomato stem-side down and quarter it. Slide it apart so as to leave two halves and slice them three times so as to leave four chunks. Do this for both tomatoes, tossing the chunks into the salad bowl.

ONION
You may use green onions here if you wish. Indeed, depending on the season and your location, green onion may be all that is available. In either case, dice the onion so as to produce chunks no larger than the chunks of tomato and toss them into the bowl.

SMOKED SALMON
Shred the salmon with a fork. If salmon isn't available almost any other smoked fish will do: Smoked Tuna, Albacore, etc. If you are at or near a seaport you are bound to find someone selling smoked fish. Try a chunk of whatever is available. When you find something you like, use it in your salad. If you are out in the boondocks, try a can of smoked sardines or mackerel.

When available, you may substitute avocado for the fish.

Add 1 large tablespoonful of Mayonnaise then season to taste using the juice of two small limes or half of a lemon. Be wary of adding salt if you've used smoked fish, which is often already salted.

Serve with cold beer and crackers or bread. In the photo you can see a dish of wholewheat bagel that I've toasted to make it crunchy then sliced into four pieces.

The salad is meant to comprise the whole meal but it may also be served with steak, barbecued ribs, roast chicken and so forth.

-R.S.Hoover

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Traditional Sized

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I am a ham radio operator, the holder of a General License although I have retained my original Novice license. I did that so as not to intimidate the youngsters who attended my classes in Morse Code and basic electronics.

Many were drawn to ham radio because it allowed them to maintain communications with their home or office... assuming there was another licensed ham radio operator on the other end. But ham radio was also of benefit during the Voyager's around the world flight in 1987, when a group of us monitored the progress of the flight.

I still use ham radio to monitor the location of my 1965 VW bus. Should I ever go missing in the desert -- or should the bus be stolen -- its location can be determined to within 50 meters or so through a combination of ham radio and GPS.

In the delightful novels of Alexander McCall Smith, author of 'The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency' and more than thirty others, Mma Ramotswe, the Botswana detective describes herself as a lady of 'traditional' size. By comparison, the 'traditional size' of the station of the typical ham radio operator would fill six to eight feet of shelf space, which makes it rather difficult to grasp the size of the present-day 'communications station,' which fits in my ear.

Actually, the ear-piece is just the microphone and head-phones. The transciever is my cell phone, which fits in my pocket. Anyone having the number of my cell phone may contact me any time I am 'on line.' Which isn't very often.

Of course, the modern-day system of cell phones depends upon the existing system of land-lines to work. That is, our cell phones connect to a local receiver-computer which locates the station you are calling. It then uses the land-lines to send your message to a transmitter/receiver nearest to the station you are trying to contact, which then connects you to that station. The key point here is that your cell phone depends upon the existence of the traditional web of wires or cables. Should there be a disaster that damages those land-lines, your cell-phone will not work, whereas the traditional ham radio station will continue to work since it does not depend on land-lines.

Today I am measuring valve springs for four heads. I'll be working in the shop where I can't hear the ring of a telephone. So I'm wearing my cell phone in my ear. The ear-piece talks to the cell phone in my pocket. About the size of a pack of king-size cigarettes, this has become the 'traditional size' for personal communications

-R.S.Hoover
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