Friends Of Australia Friday T-bone Chops & Shiraz Cabernet

It’s once again an Australia Time Friday! It’s FRIDAY!!!!

Tonight we’re having T-bone lamb chops. Yeah, those little expensive ones.  Again.  Cut thick, I put them in a cast iron skillet in the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes on 350 F. Yes, I like them cooked through. Those liking red in the middle, use a lot less time :-)

The side vegetable tonight is a sweet potato baked at the same time.  Then buttered on the plate.  Also we’ll have some green beans too.

The wine tonight is the Little Penguin Shiraz Cabernet blend.  I’m slowly coming to like it more than the others.  Just a bit more “perky”.  ;-)

In Other News

Japan has now approached the other nations around the edge of the South China Sea to arrange a joint resistance to China.

It sure looks to me like China is finding itself no longer able to “divide and conquer”.  We’ve all been united by Chinese Abuse and The Chinese Wunan Covid virus.

Sweden has kicked out their last “Confucius Institute” and the USA is moving that way too.  IF your nation isn’t doing that yet, ask why…

The astounding depth and breadth of Chinese corruption of various governments around the world is starting to enter the national consciousness of many nations.  It simply must be rooted out and ended.

Pakistan, yes, “owned by China” Pakistan, is having strong resistance to letting China fish out their waters (even though 70% is supposed to go to Pakistan processing plants).  Why?  Oh, maybe the fact that massive bottom trawling destroys fishing longer term and millions of local fishermen are “not pleased” at being sold out?

I’d never realized how much of global politics would be tied up with fish.  Even the EU / UK negotiations are stuck on fish.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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30 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday T-bone Chops & Shiraz Cabernet

  1. philjourdan says:

    Did you catch the story about a young couple getting a $2k bottle of wine for $18? –

    Honest mistake, and the owner made good. So while he is hurting, his customer are writing some rave reviews!

  2. H.R. says:

    My Friends of Australia Friday on USA Friday was a nice little experiment in low carb pizza.

    Who doesn’t like pizza? The problem is in the crust, where all the carbs are, for those of us who need to limit our carbs. Most pizza joints offer a thin crust option nowadays, but it’s still a fair amount of carbs. What to do, what to do?

    Sooooo… I took an extra large white (wheat) flour tortilla and put that in my 12″ dia. x 2″ deep frying pan.

    I bought some Contadina brand pizza sauce that comes in a squeeze bottle. That’s great because you can dispense the few tablespoons needed and put the bottle in the fridge until your next pizza fix.

    The sauce gets spread out over the tortilla, a layer of mozzarella cheese is added, and then pepperoni and some Italian seasoning.

    Here comes the experimental part.; how to cook the thing.

    I have a gas range and put the pan over a large burner. Think max, medium, min flame and I put the flame at the high side of min, but much closer to min than the medium setting.

    My pan has a glass lid, which was good because I could observe how things were going. I put that over the pan so I’d have a little pizza oven going.

    I was looking to get the tortilla brown and crunchy/crispy without burning the flour and yet still melting the cheese and crisping up the peperoni a bit, just like take-out. I was eyeballing the flame, but I got it right. Keep it fairly low, as I observed through the glass lid

    5 minutes and not done. Set the timer for another 5 minute and bailed at 9 minutes total time because the tortilla was just getting ready to go “burnt toast” by the smell of it.

    Result: An unqualified YUM!

    It’s just a regular pizza except the crust is cracker thin and. The only thing I see as a negative is that the crust is too thin to support a full round of all-the-way ingredients. It’s only good for a one or two topping pizza. (Sausage and mushroom, anyone?)

    I thought of trying this in a cast iron skillet on even lower heat to brown the crust, and then put the pan under the broiler for a minute or two to crisp and brown the peperoni and cheese, but the cover on the frypan while on the stove top worked just fine to make the top side of the pizza just right.

    I’m going to make more of these ultrathin tortilla crust pizzas.

    The upshot of this little experiment is that you can have a single serve, thin crust, pizza that’s really, really good, cheap, fast, and low carb.

    Next I might try making a pepperoni, mushroom, and cheese calzone. All that’s needed is to hone in on the time needed for broader issues

    Pairs well with Thunderbird or Mad Dog 20/20 wine.

  3. MarcusZ1967 says:

    Did you hear Finland dropped China?

  4. Another Ian says:

    A late chime in.

    Thanks to E.M. for Salisbury steak. For tonight’s version I was lacking a few things so went extemporaneous and it worked.

    An observation on the difference in ground beef. The recipe says drain off excess fat after browning the patties. With ours I have to start with olive oil.

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    I’ve decided to ignore all “drain the fat” directions. It is for folks paranoid about fat vs heart disease and we now know that’s a mistake. It’s low Vit-C / low activity and high carb diet that’s the problem. Keto works.

    Yeah, for the lamburger I start with a swizzle of olive oil in the pan. Eventually the pan drippings become gravy. Made with very low Omega-6 lamb fat and olive oil ;-0

    I’ve found all sorts of “additions” work. Garlic, onions, mushrooms, cheese, and more…

    We’ve gotten really fond of the Lamburger, either as burgers or as Salisbury Steaks. Or in the Spuds dish as pseudo-shepherds pie.


    I saw Sweden kicked out their last “Confucius Institute” but didn’t hear about Finland. What did they out-kicken? A quick DuckDuckGo search didn’t raise anything in the first pages.


    Hmmm… I make “mini-pizza” in the toaster oven. Slice of bread, LIGHTLY buttered to make it more nummy and prevent sauce saturation, layer of sauce, pile of “Mexican Cheese Shreds”, then bits of meats on top. In particular, I found that Turkey Bacon works really well (less grease than regular bacon and more like a bacon flavor salami).

    Into the toaster oven for just long enough to melt the cheese and start browning – maybe 3 minutes? I just watch through the glass…

    The toaster oven also slightly toasts the bottom too.

    I’m going to make it with real salami / sausage / etc/ as soon as I have some more. For now I’m working down the SPAM / Ham / stored stuff inventory …

  6. billinoz says:

    Some interesting historical news from Australia about the Corona virus : how the virus genome was eventually published in early January – despite CCP opposition.

  7. billinoz says:

    And Melbourne in the state of Victoria has emerged from the severe Covid pandemic lockdown having almost eliminated the virus in the city and in the Victorian regional areas. Hardly anywhere else has achieved this against Covid : Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Viet Nam.
    Here the details :

  8. YMMV says:

    “having almost eliminated the virus”

    ‘Almost’ doesn’t count. As long as there is a reservoir of virus and a herd of susceptible targets there will be a potential problem. As long as there are cases in the world, the borders will be a problem, even if within the borders is virus free. And we still do not know if there are non-human carriers. Unless and until …

    The other problem is that the successful countries with severe lockdowns can be used as examples of what everybody needs to do, even if the unsuccessful countries with severe lockdowns are good counterexamples. If you only have a hammer …

  9. billinoz says:

    We;; YMMV, in July Victoria was registering over 700 new infections per day. This morning the news was 2 new infections yesterday and 2 deaths.- after 3 days of zeros.
    That’s why I used the phrase ” having almost eliminated the virus”. So I suggest the ‘reservoir’ is just about depleted…

    And while the lock down is gradually being removed, many restrictions still exist in Melbourne and so,e areas of the economy have still not resumed, to prevent another wave of infections. I emphasise that’s the city of Melbourne – 5.5 million people. Regional Victoria on the other hand has re-opened almost completely now as there have been no new infections for over 2 weeks.

    As for the rest of Australia the only new infections are of newly arrived inbound travellers on 2 weeks of quarantine. Three are now ~ 6500 Australians still returning home each week where it is safe. And a queue of about 30,000still waiting. More people keep adding their names to the queue each week….

    Some big picture thoughts :
    1: The Covid pandemic has changed the world permanently I suspect.
    2: The Cruise industry is dead.
    3: International travel in future will be far more expensive and involve a period of compulsory quarantine to prevent the spread of infections.
    4: That means a huge global contraction in the value of all travel industry companies and even airports as far fewer flights take off and land.
    5 : The international ‘student’ education industry is in the midst of a huge contraction and I doubt will recover any time soon.
    6 : I suggest regular & irregular ( refugee? ) migration will also contract as part of the response to the pandemic and preventing the spread of this disease.
    7 : The vested interests ( of all sorts ) who work or have shares in these various industries will of course attempt to try and stop this process/change in the world. But I suggest that the loud voice of those who do not want to become sick or killed by this Corona virus will prevail. Without health there is no economy.

  10. Quail says:

    @YMMV There have been hints that animal transmission could be a problem. This researcher is trying to test dogs right after the owners have tested positive. Dogs rarely show symptoms. The possibility of transmission between dogs and humans could be why there was a blanket order to close dog parks out here months ago.

    Dogs, cats, raccoons, rabbits, mink can all get it. I think I have read hamsters or possibly gerbils, but I could be wrong. There has been a torrent of info on KungFlu and I am losing track.

    I wonder if the local bat populations are infected yet? Other mammals like rats and squirrels? The possibilities are, well, annoying.

  11. E.M.Smith says:


    The problem goes away with immunity. Be that via infection of the 90% or so of the population who doesn’t get severe illness or vaccine doesn’t matter.

    What will not work is “lockdown forever”.

  12. billinoz says:

    @E M , But that ‘strategy’ relies on immunity to Covid being significant over time.
    Unfortunately it isn’t.
    Immunity fades in a couple of months and now some folk are getting it again.
    By the way, it is quarantine at borders which works long term. Lockdowns only stop local community transmission. But once a community is clean then excluding Covid via Quarantine is the the only strategy which woks.

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    Thanks for the link. I’ll get to it when the Az rally is over ;-)

    I know one or two have been reinfected. If they are just the start of a major flood or reinfections, the world is screwed.

  14. cdquarles says:

    That, though, makes little sense in the real biological world; even though antibody dependent enhancement *is* a thing in natural infections. Antibody titers virtually always fall after recovery. What remains, though and why vaccines have effectiveness, is priming memory cells. Also, there are several classes of antibodies. In a true first infection, IgM gets made first, about a week after the fact. Then, IgA for mucosal surfaces, IgG for extracellular fluid and IgE for tissues gets made. The distinctions keep getting elided in media reports.

    Also, define reinfections. There are more than one main strain of coronaviruses.

  15. billinoz says:

    Of course Covid has some other significant side effects apart from death. IQ is also impacted and the ageing accelerated:

  16. cdquarles says:

    Guess what, this isn’t the first virus to do that and won’t be the last one.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    There are also reports of mood swings and other emotional effects. It all depends on size of viral load and which tissues it hits in each person. Some folks get intestinal disruption, some males become sterile, some have lung damage, others get blood clotting damage (along with white blood cell collapse) while some have their brains bashed. The good bit is that loss of smell and taste recover so there is some hope other nerve damagd recovers over time.

  18. YMMV says:

    billinoz: “many restrictions still exist in Melbourne”

    While those restrictions existed, they raked in the cash.
    “authorities in Victoria amassed a whopping AUS $20.15 million (US $14.29 million) from roughly 13,900 fines issued during the second lockdown”

    “Most of the fines issued were for breaches of public health directives: 2,856 Melburnians were caught breaking curfew (8pm until 5am), 1,935 people were caught not wearing masks while some 1,768 drivers were caught trying to break the travel restrictions, among a myriad of other offenses. However, among the thousands of potentially infectious infractions were some truly outlandish tales.”

    Read those tales here:

    Restrictions come easy, but are very hard to get out of. Remember what they said about income tax when it was introduced. Absurdly funny now, but they believed it back then. Communism, getting out of that is like getting out of being dead. Islamic state, about as easy as getting out of hell. So be very careful. Remember when lockdowns were for two-weeks?

    Before we panic, is this second wave real? Is it just the result of increased testing and false positives? Cases are going up but not deaths. We can be pretty sure that at first there were many more cases than reported. And now we know about “cases” that don’t have any symptoms, much less serious symptoms. If it is real, does it matter? We expect seasonality because of lower Vitamin D levels and other things.

    Too much faith in lockdowns, not enough in Vitamin-D, HCQ, Ivermectin, mono/poly-clonal antibodies, and other things to take before you get it, to prevent it, and in early stages if you do get it, to avoid getting a serious case with the serious effects. We do know there are serious effects if you let it get out of control.

  19. YMMV says:

    billinoz: “Here’s a link about immunity fading :” BBC, the sky is falling.

    Drbeen Medical Lectures: “No, the sky is not falling. It is okay what we are seeing, and I’m going to explain why.”

  20. billinoz says:

    YMMV, Why should I watch some foreigner spouting forth uniformed nonsense about Melbourne ? I grew up there. I know it as a former home. i have family there now who have lived through the lock downs- both of them. I know the MSN there and the lesser known media s well. I’m the bloody expert on Melbourne here NOT you or that link you gave.

    As for your dissidents who protested to the lockdown… Melbourne is a city of 5.5 million people. The Coviots involved in the protests numbered just a couple of hundred. The overwhelming majority of Melbournians adhered to the lock down and the curfews from July till the Wednesday just gone.. That’s why now local transmission is broken and the city is moving away from lockdown.

    Finally the main rule still being asked of Melbournians is this : WEAR A FACE MASK !

  21. billinoz says:

    BTW, Your protester friends chose to demonstrate at the Shrine of Remembrance on St Kilda Rd just outside the CBD of Melbourne.

    The Shrine of Remembrance i was built in the 1920’s to remember the 300,000 Australians dead in World War 1. In our secular country the shrine is a sacred place for quiet solitude and remembering their sacrifice. For Victorians it is equivalent to Arlington cemetery on the Potomac near Washington.

    The administrators of the shrine said publicly that any demonstration was unwelcome and a breach of the Shrine’s special status. Yet these hundred or so covidiot dumbnuts chose this sacred place to stage their demonstration.

    Such people have no respect & no honour. They deserved what they got fines and arrests.

  22. E.M.Smith says:


    Part of the Socialist Doctrine and Alynsky method is to crap on your church and beliefs. Thus the tearing down of statues and riots in sacred places. They believe that first you must destroy what is, before you can build the new socialist utopia…

    Per Lockdowns & Masks:

    They DO work. IF you do them early enough and short enough to can rid a place of the virus.

    However, once it escapes into wide “Community Spread”, it’s almost impossible to contain it again. At that point you pretty much end up with needing Herd Immunity (via exposure at low levels for less severe disease or via vaccination). Then lock downs start having more harm than good.

    It isn’t a “one size fits all” answer on “lockdowns good or bad”. It depends.

    For example, I did a very early lockdown personally when this was first arriving. I was in one of the very first hot spot outbreaks and we had no clue what was going to happen, but the evidence from China was horrific. This action prevented me and mine from being in that first cohort of a couple of thousand cases all around me.

    Now, I’m out and about a few times a week doing what I’d more or less normally do. Shopping for groceries or home stuff. Getting car repairs done. Visiting local parks. The difference? I now have a nice high Vit-D / Zinc / Vit-E / etc. level and I’ve got a bottle of Ivermectin on the shelf, plus my hospital now has clue how to treat this thing instead of intubated folks to death. Times change and “lockdown” is now stupid HERE for ME.

    Per masks:

    They reduce the size of the innoculum so reduce the severity of early disease. They also reduce the distance of aerosols so reduce the rate of spread. All good things when going for herd immunity. Not very important if you have no community transmission and quarantine that works at the borders.

    However: I really like wearing mine as it lets me thumb my nose (well, sort of ;-0 ) at the facial recognition promoters. I’m planning to continue wearing it even after this thing is gone. Especially at the entrances to the Florida Turnpike where cameras snap a photo of you …

    So I guess the short form of all that is: It depends on you and your circumstances for all of it.

  23. YMMV says:

    billinoz says: “YMMV, Why should I watch some foreigner spouting forth uniformed nonsense about Melbourne ?”

    Dr. Been is an American. You say “foreigner” like it was an insult. Not me.
    Obviously you didn’t watch the video because he never even mentions Melbourne.
    And what he says is neither uniformed nor nonsense; he is just explaining the immune system in detail the BBC could not even imagine. So, yes, if you are interested in why antibodies decline with time, you should watch this video.

    I never claimed expertise on Melbourne. It’s a very nice city. I wish it well.

    But I do have opinions on lockdowns. YMMV. Countries, cities, houses, whatever, should have established red zones and green zones much earlier in the game. They didn’t try hard enough, although they didn’t really have the tools yet either. The idea was to keep it small enough to control. Once it gets too big, it’s beyond your means to handle. Easier to keep it under control than to regain control. Even now, few have learned how to have an effective lockdown without causing others severe harm.

    The biggest factor, which no longer gets much press, was stopping handshaking and other personal contact with strangers. The next biggest step was to stop spraying your breath droplets on others. Masks help. Even psuedo-masks. Although we all know that masks neither stop you breathing out virus particles nor stop you breathing them in. So the final step is figuring out how to disinfect the inside air. Still working on that.

    Remember when people smoked? On airplanes, in movie theaters, in their houses. The air was thick with smoke in all of these places. You could see it; it was everywhere. You could not avoid breathing it in. You can imagine that this is what happens with the small virus particles too.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    To disinfect indoor air, use UV lights. UVC for open areas, other UV works in enclosed air passeges like plenum space or fan boxes were people are not exposed to the light.

    Oddly, despite being higher energy, UVC doesn’t penetrate tissues enough to do damage at the needed power level / distance. I.e light on ceiling feet on floor.

    Surfaces made of copper or brass (not covered in lacquer or polish) deactivate virus in long minutes to short hours. Use brass, not stainless steel or aluminum, for things like door pulls and push plates.

    We don’t need to lock people out of spaces, we need to install air disinfecting lights.

  25. YMMV says:

    Here’s another analysis of that fading antibodies paper. It also says that the sky is not falling. Even better, it says that it looks like T-cells against this virus will last for at least 17 years. That’s because people who had SARS-1 are immune to SARS-2, 17 years later. Not only that, but it looks like those who got Beta-Corona virus from animals are also immune. But the common cold corona viruses are different, so they give no immunity. Plus, the AstraZeneca vaccine produces good T-cells. Very good news. With speculation that the covid-19 virus will be history soon (unlike the common cold viruses).

  26. billinoz says:

    EM, I agree with your remarks about this disease. I’ve been taking Vitamin D3 and Zinc for months – along with Vitamin C occasionally. And I have Ivermectin in the cupboard like you do. No argument about those personal measures which minimise infection.

    But here in South Australia life is back to normal now. That means no masks at all. It means that my gym is open 24/7 ( with some restrictions like wiping down the gear before & after use) . It means that all our cafes, restaurants, hotels and pubs are all open as normal. It means that local sports ( footy, cricket, basketball and netball being the standouts ) have all resumed. My own local Argentine tango community is meeting & dancing with minimal self policed restrictions. Our aged care homes are operating as normal with the requirement that staff wear masks – mostly because wearing masks has resulted in a huge fall in ALL infectious diseases in aged care homes; no flus or colds and lower death rates – at least here in SA. People are taking holidays again within South Australia. We have been away twice in the last 2 months for a week.

    This normal life is the GIFT of the lockdown we went through in South Australia from March to June. It is the GIFT of the strict border quarantine measures – both state border closures and international border quarantine measures. And as a result we have had far far fewer infections and deaths from Covid than almost all other countries – despite the massive cock-up that happened in Victoria.

    Put simply they work. And they can work elsewhere.

    PS Re the protests at Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne : these were NOT left wing efforts. The entire leftie mob have are very quiet about the lockdown. Why ? Well the Melbourne Cock up happened because the officials in charge of the quarantining of incoming travellers back in March- June had an ideological agenda of promoting ‘ diversity’ in employing security guards and not being strict in how the . 2 week quarantine was enforced. And so it was an Indian/Middle East strain of Covid which got loose and ravaged Melbourne. Ohhhh Dear ! How embarrasing for lefties !.
    No the protests at the Shrine were by folks taking their ‘news’ from social media like facebook & Twitter with links to extreme right wing groups in the USA.

    PPS : The Guardian occasionally ( rarely ) has interesting insights : this is one about how Taiwan beat the Corona virus. Worth a read :

  27. E.M.Smith says:


    I’d only take exception to one point you made, and even then with heavy caveats.

    “Put simply they work. And they can work elsewhere.”

    I’d only add to that the conditional: IF you didn’t let it go rampant early with lots of community spread that could not be identified.

    Which is exactly what Fauci and the CDC did. Fauci was shouting at us “No you don’t need masks, they might even be harmful” touching them and all. And “No you don’t need a travel ban” from everyone other than Trump.

    Silly Con Valley, where I live, has a large Chinese Population, many from overseas recently. We also have massive trade activities with China (See my note about Pine no longer being a Silicon Valley company but now based in China). They flooded in, bugs and all, and we became a “hot spot”.

    In about week 2 we had unexplained “Community Transmission” all over California.

    There are no borders between California and other States worth mentioning, and it was also popping up as Community Spread hot spots in places like New York City.

    In that circumstance, and with “Caravans” arriving at the Southern Border, you can’t maintain border discipline and you can’t do effective contact tracing. You are hosed until Herd Immunity…

  28. billinoz says:

    Yes EM, border closures & compulsory quarantine for 2 weeks, are the first and most effective medical intervention against this virus. But time & time again this simple fact is ignored in the interests of preserving the travel industry in whatever country.

    Even here in Oz we were late in implementing the border closures back in March and as a result all of Australia got hit with the first wave of infections. But then our PM, ‘Slomo’ learned and saw his own future being destroyed, so he closed the international borders and made quarantine compulsory for all inbound travellers.

    That along with the lockdowns in each state, killed off the infection by mid May. Except in Melbourne where our Labor state government employed poor, young, untrained, casual migrant background folk ( promoting diverse backgrounds ) as ‘security’ guards. And then did not properly train them; and then did not enforce testing for all in quarantine or the security guards. That made the Melbourne catastrophe inevitable. But now after 3 months of a second lock down Melbourne is re-opening.. But no-one from Melbourne can enter any other state or territory without a permit and 2 weeks quarantine.

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