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Chocolate, 12/1/14

4 Stars

Blood Orange Milk Chocolate. World Market. Open the foil, and you’re greeted with the unmistakable smell of a blood orange. On your tongue, the chocolate is more dominant, with the orange a background taste.

Chocolate, 11/26/14

5 Stars

Baci, by Perugina. The label reads, “Dark chocolate and hazelnut chocolate crème with whole hazelnuts.” ’nuff said.

3 Stars

Espresso Dark Chocolate, from World Market. Pretty straight-ahead bar with just a hint of espresso.

Pure 85% Dark Chocolate, from sweet riot. Sweet riot’s dark chocolate is good, but barely carries a bar by itself.


Gelato is basically high-end ice cream, and usually safe for Cranky Diabetic Boy. Unfortunately, the wave of artisan flavors means that sometimes safe-looking gelato isn’t. Experimentation at my favorite gelato place in Escondido (Escogelato):

  • Chocolate: safe.
  • Espresso: safe.
  • Ybarra Hot Cocoa: not.

Fudge from Bates’ Nut Farm

Some fudge is good for Cranky Diabetic Boy, and some fudge is not. Bates’ Nut Farm has tasty fudge, but they are not necessarily “safe” given the serving size I like. (Yeah, I know. “Serving size I like,” is real scientific.)

  • Maple Walnut: safe.
  • German Chocolate: spikes the blood sugar like crazy.
  • Pumpkin Pie: close to safe, but not really.

More Chocolate

5 star chocolate

Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & crushed organic Coffee. Salazon Chocolate Co. Taza-like texture, but wrapped in foil to keep weird odors out. Eat slowly, as the coffee flavor is muted, and shows up strongest at the end of a bite.

4 star chocolate

Dark Chocolate with Kickin’ Coconut. Sweet Riot. 4 stars because it’s being compared to Vosges’ best (their Dark Coconut Ash & Banana), not because of any real deficiency.

Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & a touch of organic Caramel. Salazon Chocolate Co. Sea salt and caramel has become passe of late, but Salazon executes the combination well.

Dark Twist Chocolate. Alter Eco. It’s dark chocolate with crystallize orange peel. Normally, orange-flavored chocolate reminds one of candy, but this one is actually orange.

3 star chocolate

Cappuccino. Perugina.

Chocolate Santander. Cordillera.

Vosges Super Dark Matcha Green Tea

3 stars. The Vosges chocolate is high enough quality that their bars will probably be three stars. In this case, the tea is as earthy as the chocolate, and disappears.

Chocolate from Cost Plus

Vosges Super Dark Coconut Ash & Banana. 5 stars.

Perugina Dark Chocolate Limoncello. 5 stars.

World Market Chili & Lime Dark Chocolate. 4 stars.

World Market Dark Chocolate, Dried Strawberry Bits, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. 4 stars.

Vosges Super Dark Guajillo & Chipotle Chili. 3 stars.


Strongbow Hard Cider

Very smooth, and tastes more like an unfermented cider. This is no surprise — the ingredients list juice from concentrate and HFCS. Sadly, it affects my blood sugar just like apple juice spiked with HFCS.

Authors and their Politics

So apparently, the whole “Demonization of Orson Scott Card” thing is bugging me more that I realized. It came up on a friend’s feed on Facebook, and I went over and wrote something horribly, amazingly disjoint on the subject. (No link, because it’s embarrassing.) I figured I’d take another shot at explaining myself, in case it came up again.

Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that Card is imperfect, and deserves to be criticized for some of his views. That’s actually important, because if you’re not willing to enforce a principle defending people you don’t like, then you don’t actually have principles — you have sophistry that you trot out in defense of principals.

(Full disclosure: I haven’t read any Card in about twenty years. At the time, he only seemed able to write the same three stories, over and over again. I have no real clue what he’s written since then, except Ender’s Shadow, which supports my critique.)

Secondly, what got me going was the idea that, “if the wrong people believe something, then what they believe must be wrong.” I can go into the example of what Card believed in detail, but that’s not very important to the discussion. It’s that Slate presented this belief as obviously wrong because Card believes it. In this manner, they actually treat Card as worse that Hitler, as nobody seriously argues that vegetarianism, animal rights, and conservation are wrong because Hitler supported them.

(In fact, it’s more a sign of how messed up Hitler and the Nazis were — they would do things to Jews that they outlawed doing to animals.)

And so, extending that thought, this means that an author (Card, in this case) is perfectly capable of doing something right, separate from his beliefs. Just because you disagree with an artist on one point, doesn’t mean you should discount his work out of hand. This would mean I, as a libertarian, would dismiss Firefly out of hand because Josh Wheedon’s politics run entirely counter to what is presented in that work. And, in this case, a leftist would miss out on Ender’s Game if they judged an author simply by his private beliefs.

All that said, Firefly and Ender’s Game play fair with the audience. The plots of both go where they need to go, and don’t get sidetracked by the authors’ politics. I’m not telling you that you should read an author who gets preachy — those that write “message” or “advocacy” fiction generally don’t do a very good job, no matter their politics. Avoiding them because they can’t write is perfectly fine in my book.

Linkpost, 12/16/13

6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person