Spurred by some events over the past week or so, I’ve finally made some modifications to the Post Kinds Plugin to allow me to make explicit acquisitions posts on my website. I can now make public posts of purchases, gifts, found things, or objects donated to me. You can find them here: http://boffosocko.com/kind/acquisition/

I still need to do some clean up work, but generally they look reasonable enough.

You can force me to make a new one by giving me something off my wishlist.

📖 Read pages 40-47 of Japanese from Zero! 1

📖 Read pages 40-47, Lesson 1–Hiragana あいうえお, of Japanese from Zero! 1: Proven Techniques to Learn Japanese for Students and Professionals (Volume 1) 6th Edition by George Trombley and Yukari Takenaka (From Zero!, , ISBN: 978-0976998129)

Spent some time working on improving my actual writing skills as well.

So far I’m really liking this book after having looked at a list of many others over the past year. It quickly covers a lot of simple stuff that was otherwise hard won by reading bits and pieces of other books. They do an exceptionally good job of laying out the beginning pieces. I appreciate some of the workbook like exercises which make this a better book for a much broader range of learners.

📖 Read pages i-29 of Japanese from Zero! 1

📖 Read pages i-29, Welcome and Pre-Lessons A-C, of Japanese from Zero! 1: Proven Techniques to Learn Japanese for Students and Professionals (Volume 1) 6th Edition by George Trombley and Yukari Takenaka (From Zero!, , ISBN: 978-0976998129)

Sped through some of the early pieces because I’ve got some reasonable experience with many of these parts

📖 Read pages 75-96 of Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary

📖 Read pages 75-96, Chapter 5: Owl Trouble, of Ramona The Brave by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow and Company, , ISBN: 0-688-22015-0)

The comment about Ramona being brave comes from this relatively lackluster chapter in which Ramona gets upset with her apparent choice of being called a tattletale or allowing Susan to be a terrible copycat. I can attest that the picture of a six year old making a growl-ly face and panther hands is true to life.

📖 Read pages 59-74 of Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary

📖 Read pages 59-74, Chapter 4: The First Day of School, of Ramona The Brave by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow and Company, , ISBN: 0-688-22015-0)

That wicked Howie and his need to stick to a hyper-strict version of the facts. If only we had more in government like him.

📖 Read pages 40-57 of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

📖 Read pages 40-57, Chapter 1. What is it About Bread: Classification of breads & beginning of 12 stages of bread, of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart (Ten Speed Press, , ISBN: 978-1-60774-865-6)

Lots of nice definitions and categorization, though I can already tell from other readings that some of the definitions, particularly for pre-ferments, aren’t always as solid as I’d like them to be. As if he were a mathematician, however, he seems to delineate a pretty tight set here that he indicates he’ll stick to throughout the book.

Four types of pre-fermented dough
Stiff/firm: pâte fermentée and biga (no salt)
Wet: poolish and sponge (or levain levure)

📖 Read pages 29-44 of Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary

📖 Read pages 29-44, Chapter 2: Mrs. Quimby’s Secret, of Ramona The Brave by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow and Company, , ISBN: 0-688-22015-0)

The girls bicker and are at each other’s throats until mom comes home to say they’re expanding the house and adding on an extra room. Ramona gets it first.

Today’s word of the day: varlet!

📖 Read pages i-39 of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

📖 Read pages i-39, Acknowledgements, Preface, Introduction, beginning of Chapter 1. What is it About Bread, of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart (Ten Speed Press, , ISBN: 978-1-60774-865-6)

The opening is perhaps overly romanticized, though still interesting. He does relatively quickly get into the good stuff though.

📖 Read pages 1-28 of Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary

📖 Read pages 1-28, Chapter 1: Trouble in the Park, of Ramona The Brave by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow and Company, , ISBN: 0-688-22015-0)

Somehow this isn’t as entertaining as prior incarnations of Ramona, perhaps because it was written a few decades later? There’s still a kernel of Ramona, but something seems off.

Jesus, Beezus!

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 1: Trouble in the Park > Page 16

📖 Read pages 168-192 of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary

📖 Read pages 168-192, Chapter 7: The Boy Who Ate Dog Food, of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow & Company, , ISBN: 978-0062652362)

Again, some unnecessary anti-girl statements that really weren’t necessary. While somewhat funny, not quite as funny a chapter as Cleary’s usual work.

📖 Read pages 195-244 of Ratio by Michael Ruhlman

📖 Read pages 195-244, Part 5: The Custard Continuum, of Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman (Scribner, , ISBN: 978-1-4165-661-3)

The Custard Continuum may have been one of my favorite parts of the book. I particularly like that he includes a recipe for butterscotch, which he’s right in saying that there are so few.

📖 Read pages 128-147 of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary

📖 Read pages 128-147, Chapter 5: Beezus Makes a Bid, of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow & Company, , ISBN: 978-0062652362)

I am really struck by the dated anti-girl rhetoric in the story. The “you can’t take a girl anywhere” business is just a bit much in a more modern reading of this. While otherwise generally entertaining, I’m not sure I could recommend this to young boys or girls anymore without a touch of a rewrite to improve the gender equality in the piece.

I don’t mind that there’s a pointed difference in boy’s and girls’ bikes so much, but the ad hominem attack on Beezus “What could you expect when you went to an auction with a girl?” is just a bridge too far.