Painterly


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Exterior painting is complete. Interior painting is in progress. Gutters are up. Landscaping is in progress. Heat and AC and plumbing and electrical are all in. Cabinets are sitting in the warehouse, waiting to be installed. There’s a huge box of bathtub plumbing fixtures sitting in our apartment kitchen. We picked out countertop material, again, last weekend – four times now.

A friend of ours works at a very large flooring company and has arranged us a whopper of a discount on flooring. But, the stuff we picked is on back order until mid-June. That could push the finish date even more. Right now, our apartment lease is up end of July. We’re trying to figure out if we need to bump it another month. We started this process in January 2015, FFS.


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But, progress.

Money is getting very low. But, we’re very close to the end. Hopefully we won’t have to borrow any more from family. And best case, there will be enough left over that we can finish the driveway. We’ll see.

Roasted Sugar

Heat up some sugar on the stove, and it sure seems to melt, but if it were just a simple phase change, then melted sugar would be perfectly clear, not brown. Melted sugar would taste simple and sweet, not bitter and complex. Melted sugar would cool into crystals, not glass. None of those things are true because heat doesn’t cause sugar to change phases. Heat breaks it down into something new: caramel.

In fact, caramel is so unlike sucrose, C12H22O11, that its nature can’t be expressed by a single chemical formula. Instead, it’s a mixture of caramelan (C15H18O9), caramelane (C12H9O9), caramelen (C36H48O24), caramelene (C36H25O25), caramelin (C24H26O13), and over a thousand other compounds “whose names,” one scholar lamented in 1894, “science seems to have invented in a fit of despair.

“Realizing that caramel contained more permutations of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen than their cutesy naming scheme could accommodate, scientists gave up on trying to define it. They even gave up on nailing down a definitive melting point for sucrose. Unlike ice, or even coconut oil, sugar refused to liquefy at a single, consistent, scientifically reproducible temperature. The point of caramelization proved even trickier to isolate, in some experiments occurring at a mere 340°F and in others holding out past 360°F.

If you think that’s confusing, you’re not alone. Scientists have a better grasp of quantum mechanics than of caramel, which is still poorly understood. But in 2011, a team of researchers finally established that caramelization is a product of thermal decomposition, not melting (you can read the paper here). Not only that, they determined that it’s technologically impossible to document the melting of sucrose independent of caramelization.

How to Make Rich, Flavorful Caramel Without Melting Sugar

Counting

Today’s CBSNews Trump v Clinton front page mention count:

Trump : 26
Clinton : 1
Both Trump & Clinton: 1

There’s also a Clinton-sponsored advertisement headline that mentions both Trump & Clinton.