building a Lubuntu box

Lubuntu logo

This falls into the "anything else that strikes me as interesting to write about" category; most of my readers will not be interested.

It's about my experiences converting from XP to Lubuntu 12.04, which process took a circuitous route via spending a month of configuring Ubuntu 12.04 with the Unity-2D desktop. After all possible tweaks to speed up Ubunut/Unity, I gave it up as a bad job and decided to instead install Lubuntu, a lightweight version of Ubuntu.

My reason for switching to Ubuntu in the first place is that my XP netbook is dying a slow death and buying anything else with XP seemed a waste of time and energy given that support goes away next April. Much of the software I used was not supported when I went to XP, and I assume I'd lose most of the rest if I went to a Windows 7.

And then a friend donated an old laptop to me (thanks Pete!) so I figured since I was going to have to learn all new software anyway, it was time to switch.

multiple recipes with bacon with only one cleanup

multiple recipes with bacon with only one cleanup
by Jackie Patti

I like it THICK!

We like our bacon chewy rather than crispy, and the thick-cut stuff is much easier to cook that way.

I love bacon in bacon bean soup, bacon breakfast casserole and my favorite bacon quiche recipe as well as plain old eggs and bacon. But it was always a pain to cook and get grease all over everything until I inadvertently discovered this neat trick.

No, it's not baking. Baking bacon seems to me to take just as long, if not longer, and needs close watching.

Once, I accidentally froze 3 pounds of bacon without separating into smaller packages. So when I thawed it, I cooked it all and had a bacon bonanza! There's a few tricks to this though.

November 2013 links

I'm thinking of this post as a time capsule, so trying to add an introduction that reminds you what was going on in the world at the time.

In November, both Somalia and Sardinia got hit with cyclones, but their disasters were dwarfed by the typhoon that devastated the Philippines.

Hawaii passed legislation against new GMO crops and legalized gay marriage. I somehow doubt those two topics are related, presumably GMOs cannot marry.

The 50th anniversary of JFK's death occurred. Apparently, people older than me all remember where they were when they first heard of it, but I was a year old, so don't remember squat. For people my age, I think the moments seared into our memories are John Lennon's death, the Challenger disaster, 911 and the Columbia disaster. I will also never forget the day my daughter was born and the day I met my husband in person (we met online first), but likely the rest of you don't share memories of the poignancy of THOSE dates with me. ;)

In November 2013, the first day of Hanukkah occurred on Thanksgiving. Apparently, this hardly ever happens and was a big hairy deal. Some news media tried to make a meme of calling it "Thanksgivukkah," but it never really caught on. Apparently, it will not occur again for another 80,000 years; maybe they'll have a better name for it by then.

In contrast, the exact moment you are reading this has NEVER happened before and will NEVER happen again, so THIS moment is much more unique than that! And here you are in this unique moment spending it with me.

I have some very kewl stuff to share with you...

I'm a rockstar

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by Jackie Patti

One of the REALLY weird things about starting your own blog is that suddenly these people you've been looking up to for so long consider you a peer. It's as if you are a groupie suddenly invited backstage and realize they consider you a rockstar too!

My first surprise was when Amanda of Fresh Bites Daily "invited me backstage", asking me to join a blogging network where we all try to assist each other. I've followed Amanda's writing through several blogs now and was just really surprised she considered me a peer. And then when I joined, so many of my heroes were in there!

My more recent surprise was when Pat of Heal Thyself! asked if she could repost some of my Facebook posts as guest posts on her blog! Whoa! I'm honored!

You can read my guest posts here: Ignore Cholesterol Readings and Your Doctor Shouldn't Be The Authority On YOUR Health.

Now my head is all big and I'm half expecting Melissa Etheridge to ask me to join her on stage at her next concert...

dietary calories are just as real as Santa Claus

IMNSHO, is one of the most underrated paleo blogs on the net.

The "There Is No Such Thing As A Calorie" series is truly one of the best explanations of calories that I have ever seen anywhere.

If you have a vague and fuzzy understanding of calories, definitely check it out...

eating with the seasons in autumn

eating with the seasons - autumn

In autumn, there are three things I stock up on for the year: apples, pumpkins & winter squash and nuts.

You get 3, three, THREE posts in one! ;)


Apples are a dirty-dozen crop, so I only get them organic. From September onwards, I can get them in bulk from local farmers considerably cheaper than I can get them the rest of the year.

For fresh eating, we eat as much as we like all fall; the rest of the year, I'm much more frugal with my fresh apple purchases.

But much of the fall purchase of apples around here is stored for the year.


finished frittata ready to chow down!

A frittata is one of our favorite meals; I make one almost every week. It is similar to an omelet, but it doesn't brown on the outside like an omelet (which hubby dislikes). It is also similar to a quiche or breakfast casserole, though mostly cooked on the stove top and only run under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese, thus is faster and has less clean-up.

We don't do a meatless day for frugality like some do, but I tend to do a couple low-meat meals, one in which I make some sort of bean or pea soup with a quarter to a half pound of meat and the other in which I do a frittata with a similar amount of meat. Usually, we're talking bacon, ham or sausage - but it's there mostly for flavor.

Frittatas are frugal because most of the protein and healthy fat comes from pastured eggs, a much cheaper source than grass-fed meat. They also use up odds-and-ends of vegetables before they go bad.

While I give a recipe below, the method is what matters as I rarely use the same exact ingredients week to week.

Invokana for type 2 diabetes mellitus

chemical structure of canagliflozin (tradename Invokana), a new drug for type 2 diabetes mellitus

2016 update


They cause diabetic ketoacidosis

I spent 2 days in the ICU after less than a month on Jardiance, a drug similar to Invokana. I had extremely acidic blood, was passing ketones though not on a ketogenic diet, was severly dehydrated, and was low on ALL electrolytes, sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate.

Lowering your bG is not worth dying over!

Last time I was at the endocrinologist, Deb, my nurse practitioner, recommended I do a trial of the hot new drug, Invokana. Because it's new, and thus patented, it's expensive and doctors have to call insurance companies to get it approved. To encourage this process along, Johnson and Johnson is giving away coupons for a month for free.

When Deb suggested this to me, honestly, I was less than enthusiastic. I'm not fond of ANY new drug. Let it be on the market for 20 years and see how many people it kills or three-headed babies are born and THEN I'll try it. I have a bad attitude. ;)

Nevertheless, I took 100 mg Invokana this morning, as I have for a while now, and I'm sharing my thoughts here about this drug and who I think should or should not give it a try.

easy no-knead bread

no knead bread

When my daughter was growing up, bread was something that was made from scratch maybe once or twice a year. When we moved to the country, I discovered that if you're at home working anyway, making bread isn't much harder than baking cookies. I spent a couple years baking bread here, ground from whole wheat berries in a manual grinder. I utterly loved it, the fresh flour tastes yummy in everything from pancakes to breads, but Steve did not. Since I rarely ate much wheat due to being diabetic and needing to limit carbohydrate, I eventually gave up on baking good bread on a regular basis since he wasn't enjoying it.

After my CABG, homemade bread was just unthinkable as there was no way this chest was going to knead without a Percocet or a half bottle of white wine! But then I ran across the idea of no-knead bread and decided to give it a try.

I have perfected a method that takes a total of about ten minutes to make and even an old, crippled lady can do it with just a bowl and spatula and almost no cleanup.