Shelter-in-Place Journal, Day 361

There are times I think the universe is out to help me. I’ve stumbled across answers to problems I hadn’t yet encountered twice in the last two days.

I happened to read a conversation a couple of days ago on Twitter between two people I worked with at IBM that mentioned a “zero-width non-joiner” – an invisible character that you could add to a word to keep it from being recognized as, say, a link or a special word on Facebook. Yesterday, a friend commented on my trip to India Cash and Carry, saying she really liked garlic ginger paste, which she abbreviated to “GG”, which Facebook turned bright pink. If you clicked the “GG”, you saw an animation. I was going to reply, but I didn’t want my GG to turn pink, so I cut-and-pasted in a zero-width non-joiner, and Facebook left my typing alone. Solution, meet problem!

And today, the Los Gatos Weekly Times had an article about David Kinch’s new cookbook, in which they mentioned a few of his cooking tips, notably “how not to toast pine nuts” (bake them in the oven, don’t toast them in a pan). I was planning to make a Pasta with Mint, Basil, and Fresh Mozzarella for lunch; the recipe calls for toasting pine nuts in a pan, and I hadn’t been happy with the way they turned out. Today, I followed Kinch’s advice and the pine nuts toasted much more evenly and browned without burning. Solution, meet problem!

We saw the first ice cream truck of the year during this afternoon’s walk – he was prowling the neighborhood, but I think to no avail.

Shabbat Shalom!