People Chow – Tested

This is a human food recipe that also works as dog food. If I don’t add seasonings to the batch, I can season each bowl individually for variety. Don’t season servings that are for a dog.

Get variety by changing up the meat, dry beans, broth, and vegetables. If you change to white rice, you’ll need to adjust cook time at the rice phase because it will go mushy otherwise.

CPE = Crock Pot Express

Recipe should also work with Instant Pot.

Altitude – 4400 ft.

Base dinner recipe – cooked in a large batch and reheated by the serving.

1 pack stew meat – 2 lbs is typical, but amount is not important.
1 cup dry beans – no need to soak
5 cups of broth, water, or combination
1 cup brown rice
1 package frozen vegetables
Cheese and/or sour cream – optional

  • Place stew meat into CPE. No need to use the trivet.
  • Add 1 cup dry beans.
  • Add 3 cups broth, water, or combination.
  • Cook on High pressure for 30 minutes. If you don’t have Manual, use chili or stew setting and adjust the time.
  • Let sit 10 minutes, then release pressure.
  • Add 1 cup brown rice.
  • Add 2 cups broth, water, or combination.
  • Cook on High pressure for 22 minutes. I use the rice/risotto setting and adjust the time.
  • Let sit 10 miutes, then release pressure.
  • Add 1 package frozen vegetables.
  • Cook on High pressure for 7 minutes.
  • Let sit 10 minutes, then release pressure.
  • Serve with cheese and/or sour cream on top.

To reheat:

  • Place trivet in CPE and 1 cup of water.
  • In a bowl, put some of the cold mixture and season as desired.
  • Place some cheese on top of mixture. Doesn’t have to be shredded.
  • Place bowl of cold mixture on trivet.
  • Cook on High pressure for 7 minutes.
  • You can probably do a quick release, but I don’t, out of habit.

The cheese comes out nice and melty. But it’s hard as hell to scrub off the silverware.

Working on a version that lets me set aside cooked meat for the cat early in the process.


Monday wasn’t my best birthday. I had to train for a new job, I couldn’t make it to the Capitol for Advocacy Day against gun violence, I missed lunch, there was blizzarding, and I was grossly late visiting a friend. Although a lot of things went wrong, it wasn’t my worst birthday either, so I’m okay with that.

I don’t remember all my birthdays, or even most of them, but a couple stand out vividly.

The worst birthday I remember is the one right after I was hit by a car in American Fork. 2011? I was in a wheelchair and I got off the bus and was trying to wheel myself down this devastated sidewalk to my house in the ice and snow, and I suffered a hemorrhage that I thought might kill me. I wept in the restroom at Apollo Burger.

Thank God THAT day is not TOday.

The best birthday I remember, a bunch of friends and I had planned on karaoke at our favorite place, but when we got there, it had been canceled for the Super Bowl. So we randomly chose teams and behaved like over the top fans, although most of us neither knew nor cared about football. We probably cheered at a lot of the wrong things, especially as the drinking went on, but all I remember is that I had so much fun.

The Year I Was 50

Last year, after my birthday, I started keeping a list of some of the cool things I did while being a 50-year-old. It’s now my birthday again, so here’s that list, in no particular order:

  • I achieved debt freedom a second time.
  • I joined a gym, and I liked it.
  • I found a zumba class that I actually liked.
  • I tried boxing and liked it.
  • Did not like the weights class.
  • I bought a punching bag.
  • I attended two professional soccer games. And then I bought season tickets for the next season.
  • I ate some rambutans for the first time.
  • I cooked and ate artichokes for the first time. Not sure how much I liked them.
  • I tried marmite and didn’t like it.
  • I tried vegan faux-beef jerky. It was pretty good.
  • I tried a pomelo. It was okay.
  • I had tapas and loved it.
  • I introduced my Utahn colleagues to chow-chow. They loved it.
  • I went to Thailand. Ate so many new and wonderful foods.
  • I ate mangosteen, longan, salak. Did not like the salak.
  • I attended a Thai wedding and saw my little baby married.
  • I was made welcome by a whole new family.
  • I hung out with elephants and fed a few.
  • I visited a floating market.
  • I rode commuter boats. By accident!
  • I rode a motor scooter in a foreign country.
  • I traveled through China. It was a little scary.
  • I celebrated Dia de Muertos in Mexico City, and again ate a ton of great food.
  • I took an international trip just for a weekend.
  • I failed an exam and still felt good.
  • I became VMware Certified Professional.
  • I became a Dell Certified Associate.
  • I moved out of Support and into Application Managed Services.
  • I bought firearms.
  • I registered as a Democrat. Was not happy about it, but needs must.
  • I ran a voter registration drive.
  • I got seriously involved with Moms Demand Action.
  • I learned how to lobby at the State Capitol. And I met some Senators and Representatives.
  • I took painting classes.
  • I found a utility shell for my truck and outfitted it for camping as well as tools.
  • I went to Drag Queen Bingo and loved it.
  • I bought special computer glasses and they’re great!
  • I got a fortune from Zoltar. He said I’m gonna find love – either romance or a great friendship.
  • I ended a 10-year commitment to cover my head.
  • I got my first spiral perm.
  • I finally started getting tattoos again. I got a lot! And I got a lot of my old ones fixed.
  • I got henna for the first time.
  • I commissioned art!
  • I introduced my cat to video games.

The coming year:

  • A summer scooter trip from Durango, Colorado.
  • A Labor Day Weekend scooter trip in Yellowstone.
  • At least one trip to shop for cheap desert land.
  • A trip to NM to hang out with an old friend and a new friend.


I was completely satisfied.


It was still annoying, the way the content on my monitors would switch when moving from work to home and vice versa. But beyond that, I was happy. I had E/Port docks in both places, and E/Port was compatible with both work and personal laptops. And I had purchased the same monitors for at home that I had at work. All good!

And then the case of my work laptop started having a gap in the front, and I had a bad feeling. I unscrewed the case and sure enough, the battery was bulging.

Friends, this is bad news. This is the kind of problem that can set things on fire.

So I  hauled it in to work on my day off to get the battery replaced. Only they don’t get batteries for that model anymore, so that means issuing a whole other laptop.

No worries. I’m always ready for that. And when you work in The Cloud, whatever is on your physical machine is pretty moot, right?

Except they handed me a new dock, too. Looked like a brick. I would find out that this is a Thunderbolt dock, and the new work laptop had zero compatibility with the E/Port.

Further, my personal, privately owned computer would have no compatibility with the second Thunderbolt dock they gave me for working from home.

As of this minute, at home, I have two completely separate docks plugged in. Each has its own pair of cables to the two monitors. Each is plugged into my finite power capacity. And I am manually moving the USB dongles for mouse and keyboard from one to the other.

And I have an order in for tomorrow for a universal docking station because I am not cool with this. How relieved to discover that universal docking stations even exist. I made sure this one has the connections I need for the monitors I have, because a lot don’t.

Fingers crossed.

My Astrology, If You Believe These Things

Hey, look what I found! At some point in the LiveJournal era, I had my astrological chart done and then entered it on my birthday in LJ. Or tried to. The world of computers only scales back to 1970 and I was born in 69.

Name: Stacy Dew
February 3 1969
12:26 PM Time Zone is 6 Hrs. Includes daylight time if applicable.
Yazoo City, MS

Rising Sign is in 06 Degrees Gemini

Extremely active by nature, you like to get around, meet people and do different things. Very restless, you just can’t seem to stay put. You need to be involved in several projects at once in order to keep your mind stimulated. You like to read books and to write letters and to talk — constantly. Seemingly ageless, you will always appear to be much younger than you really are. Very adaptable and inquisitive, you are always open to new ideas and experiences. A “jack-of-all-trades”, you are lively and versatile. Because of the high nervous tension that you always seem to have, athletic activity would be a good way for you to burn off energy. But be careful of a tendency to experience things only superficially — try to dig in and absorb things at a deeper level.

Sun is in 14 Degrees Aquarius.

You get bored with the status quo and are generally open to new things and ideas. An individualist and a free spirit, your friends are quite important to you as long as they do not try to tie you down by making too many emotional demands on you. Your thoughts are offbeat and you’re a bit eccentric, but not always very changeable. As a matter of fact, you can be quite stubborn at times. Very fair-minded when dealing with large groups or broad issues, you are not always emotionally sensitive to the needs of individuals. Extremely objective, with good powers of observation, you would be qualified to study technical and complicated subjects, like science, computers or maybe even astrology.

Moon is in 28 Degrees Leo.

You always want to be proud of yourself and will never do anything that will make yourself look bad. You need the respect and admiration of others and enjoy attracting attention to yourself. Everything you do tends to be self-emphasized and self-exaggerated. Very stubborn, willful and independent yourself, be sure to allow others who are close to you the similar right to “be themselves.” Your need for love, affection and reassurance, and your tendency toward vanity, allow you to have your head easily turned by flattery. The more insecure you are, the more you tend to be a showoff. You love games and sports as a matter of fact, you would usually rather play than work. Be careful of a tendency to be snobbish and uppity — it does not become you.

Mercury is in 03 Degrees Aquarius.

You tend to be very opinionated — you have strongly felt notions about things and are quite vocal about expressing and defending them. Yet you are also an original thinker — you enjoy shocking others with your offbeat, original thoughts. You appreciate and need mental and intellectual stimulation. Your judgment is usually fair and impartial — you can be a good critic because you can remain objective and unemotional about most things.

Venus is in 01 Degrees Aries.

You are a very affectionate person but you hate to be tied down. You are more than willing to be the aggressor in initiating new relationships. Indeed, once you have set your sights on someone, you tend to pursue him or her ardently and passionately. But you do demand your own way in a relationship. Try to give in to your partner’s needs and desires once in a while.

Mars is in 19 Degrees Scorpio.

Your likes and dislikes are strong and intense, never casual or superficial. You are known for your persistence and willful obsession. Once you have decided on a course of action, you are unstoppable. Your emotional actions tend to be extreme, although you try to keep them muted. You are not quick to anger, you do slow burns. And you tend to release your anger as sarcasm or irony. Beware of your tendency to hold grudges and to be vengeful. When you do fight, or release your internal tensions, you do so body and soul — you become totally passionate and your outbursts are awesome to behold.

Jupiter is in 05 Degrees Libra.

You are generally good at balancing opinions and judging issues, but you tend to be indecisive when it comes to making up your own mind. You are objective and quite concerned with fair play and justice. But, when it comes to yourself, you are so aware that whatever you do might upset the apple cart that you often choose to compromise rather than do anything that might make you lonely or vulnerable. Relationships are very important to you — you learn about yourself and grow through observing yourself interacting with others. Your aesthetic tastes are refined, but expansive and expensive.

Saturn is in 20 Degrees Aries.

You are aloof, independent and standoffish. This is mainly due to your fear that others might inhibit or restrict you and, quite frankly, you feel that you can govern your life by your own standards. Be careful not to associate with those who are overly critical of you or you will withdraw so deeply into your shell that you will become very lonely. You have the ability to stand on your own two feet and to make up your own mind — albeit very carefully and cautiously. But you are known for your circumspection and therefore are respected and admired.

Uranus is in 03 Degrees Libra.

You, as well as your entire peer group, have a very free, unstable and unconventional approach to relationships and emotional commitments. You will be attracted to experiments in marriage and shared lifestyles. Personal freedom is more important to you than entangling emotional bonds. In the realm of art and aesthetics, you are attracted to the bizarre, shocking and unusual.

Neptune is in 28 Degrees Scorpio.

You, and your entire generation, are extremely interested in anything deep and mysterious. You will explore and idealize the benefits that can accrue from the study of the occult, healing and psychology. You are willing to experiment with substances like drugs in order to push your understanding of your inner being to the extreme.

Pluto is in 24 Degrees Virgo.

For your entire generation, this will be a time when profound changes in society’s attitude toward work, duty and responsibility will be initiated. Radical changes in attitudes toward personal health and general nutrition will be promulgated and gain wide acceptance and practice.

N. Node is in 01 Degrees Aries.

You’re at your most comfortable when involved in group activities outside of your immediate family circle. You delight in getting involved with others in neighborhood civic or political activities, especially if you can be a part of the leadership of the group. Your zeal and overabundant energy bring out your real creativity when you can work toward tangible results — things that will immediately benefit those around you. You have a real gift for getting the most out of charity drives and community benefits. Take time out between projects though, because you tire out easily and your effectiveness becomes greatly diminished when your energy is depleted. Also, don’t even think of trying to get involved at a peripheral level — you need a total commitment to feel personally fulfilled. Let others bake the cookies and set up the chairs — you should be the one to tell everyone what to do and when to do it!

Report provided by Astrolabe.


Tidy Up and Fix

I’ve been feeling like a bit of a tidy up. It’s been bothering me that the website has been broken ever since I had to sideline the copywriting and get a day job. I’d hoped the under construction plugin I was using would bar visitors from all of my site, but my old HTML based journals and blogs were still quite available, so I essentially had to break my site.

Nearly two years later, I don’t remember what exactly I did, in order to undo it.

I still don’t know. I’ve removed the .htaccess and klooged the config file of the WordPress installation, gone through all the settings, removed a lot of plugins (to include the Under Construction one). I can get the site working, no problem. But something is still … here. I have the site config set to explicitly state the location of that installation instead of using the fields in the app. If I comment the lines of the config, it all breaks again. And it’s something site-wide because my NaNoWriMo WordPress installation is also affected. But not this one, this newer one that was installed after the breakage.


I’ve been consolidating blogs/journals. The ministry journal and my waggon build journal are imported from Blogger. Haven’t figured out what, if anything, I can do about the anonymous personal program blog, since it’s separated from all of my identity for a very good reason and needs to remain so.

Similar, but slightly different problem with my LiveJournal. I carefully compartmentalized my content for whoever was interested in whatever topic, with varying levels of privacy and trust. I don’t see how any of that can be maintained with content I import. I seem to remember there being a way to import content and automatically set it to readable by author only, which would be fine; nobody’s going back there to read my stuff as it is, surely.

Meanwhile, I’m also getting some long overdue backing up done. I host my in-laws’ art and jewelry sites, and they’ve needed backing up for a long time now. Those are initiated and underway now. I can stick those on the Google Drive and the portable hard drive for redundancy.

After putting off Google Backup and Sync, it seemed finally time to resume it and let it do its thing. Except it wouldn’t resume. After a reinstall, it’s merrily chugging away at my documents and photos. Those can go on the portable as well. I think the things already on the portable came from Google Drive to start with, but I’ll check.