skin in the game

Let’s start with something good tonight. Last night, we made some country-style ribs, which are not especially rib-y, but they’re cheap and super-flavorful when cooked patiently. There’s a lot of fat, and the meat isn’t especially tender, so country-style ribs are the poster children for “low and slow”. Unfortunately, the recipe we tried last night, while aces in the flavor department, was a little to low, leaving us with grey, fatty chunklets of meat that we had no desire to eat. So, we went to the pub instead.

But we did save the ribs. For lunch today, we went downstairs and finished them on a grill and…yes, this is how you want to do country-style ribs. Cooking them the previous night left them tender, or at least as tender as they get, and the grill did all kinds of good things with the fatty bits and the sauce.* Hell of a rescue of what looked like a lost cause.

Speaking of lost causes, there was some good news and some bad news regarding my ongoing skin thing. On the bad side, yet another infection had taken hold so I am back on antibiotics. Hooray, compromised immune system! This isn’t new, but it also isn’t a great deal of fun and it puts one in a foul mood when you see the first symptoms and you know that the next week or two are going to be pretty lousy.

However, the doctor thinks she may have come up with a good treatment. There’s a very, very new biological that is custom made for skin ailments but, unlike the others of its ilk, it doesn’t suppress the immune system. She has one other patient using this treatment and it completely cleared up their skin. There is some hope to be had there.

However, you can’t simply prescribe this. I had to fill out an application, as did my doctor, and we’ll have to wait and see what the drug company and my insurance company will allow. I assume that this drug is expensive, which means that my insurance company may say “no”. We’ll know when we know, I guess.

I remember when Google+ launched that the pitch was essentially “It’s like Facebook, but not Facebook.” At the time, that seemed like a reasonable thing to want from a social network. Years later, I’ve come to the conclusion that “like Facebook” isn’t what I want at all. I don’t want ads served up in a feed, or an opaque algorithm determining what it thinks I want to see. There are quite a few options out there with a variety of feature sets; surely one is a good fit.

That’s a long way of saying that I’m giving the new-ish social network Vero a shot. It’s an odd little thing, in that it runs only on mobile devices and there’s no posting just text. You post links, or images, or music, or things like that, although you can add text to the post. It’s pretty sparsely populated, at least by people I know or want to follow, which is both a feature and a bug in my reckoning. I like the idea of a non-pervasive network, which means that if they get to big, I’ll have to rethink it.

The fact that it’s mobile device-only seems weird at first, but I kind of like the fact that I won’t be obsessively checking it while I’m working on a proper computer. I feel like I’d be more in control of how I use it. So, we’ll see. It’s a pretty enough interface and they say the right things regarding privacy and data protection. I’m not not certain that this is the shape of a network that I want. I’ll keep you posted as events warrant.


* What kind of sauce should you use? Any kind you like! I have my favorites, but really, it’s about whatever flavor profile you prefer. I will say this, though: To take advantage of the high-heat grill, you really want something with a high enough sugar content to caramelize.