Lifestyle: listening to YouTube

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor reflects on a habit he’s “rediscovered.”

Nowadays, I cook a lot, do a lot of dishes, and so on, usually alone. In my experience, reading isn’t feasible while moving around the kitchen. Listening, however, is.

My kids brought me the habit of listening to YouTube. I’ve noticed them “watching” it, sometimes with only a static image on the screen while a narrator talks. Then, they’re not “watching” YouTube; rather, they’re listening to the narrator tell a story.

In retirement, my mother’s father had the radio on often. My mother, when I was a kid, listened to it for hours a day, while she was cooking, doing dishes, etc. I heard many stories narrated over the radio. As I recall, some were weekly serials that extended over months or longer.

On a blustery winter Saturday or Sunday, I’d hear the radio story from the next room. Not meaning to, I’d get caught up in it. I might even have looked forward, sometimes, to the next installment. On Canada’s Atlantic, winters are long: many weekends might be spent indoors.

Today, YouTube has many channels that focus on storytelling, with just a static picture on the screen, or even an altogether blank screen: the radio habit lives on.

There is much more to say about the premise of story listening. I hope to continue this thread in coming posts:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Oil changes: is there a rule of thumb for how often?

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor inquires about oil change frequency.

I suddenly wondered: Is there a “rule of thumb” for mileage between oil changes?

Of course, the manufacturer’s advice for any specific model should be followed.

Moreover, newer cars often have an advisory function so that the onboard computer indicates when the oil needs changing. Obviously that advice would be important to follow.

In the absence of such advice, an oil change every 3000 to 5000 miles (5000 to 8000 km) seems to be the general recommendation. It coincides with the advice I’ve been given for the van my family drives.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle, cooking: the different types of oats

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor explains the three classifications of oats you might normally hear about.

  1. Groats: kernels from oat plants. They’ve had the outer, inedible husk removed.
  2. Steel-cut oats: groats that have been cut into two or three pieces by a steel blade.
  3. Rolled oats: oat kernels first steamed, then pressed flat under rollers.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle, baking: a chocolate cake recipe without cocoa

Lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares a recipe that’s proven popular.

Some weeks ago:

“If I bake something, what would you like?”

“Chocolate cake.”

Not too surprised, I went searching for a recipe. The first I found asks for more cocoa than I had.

I did have chocolate chips, so queried a chocolate cake recipe that uses them. I found this one, which my family loved. I’ve since made it a second time, and it came out even better.

I’m always impressed with a recipe that is done when the cook time says. This one says bake 40-45 minutes; both times I made it, it was done at 40 minutes.

Good baking:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: baking: successful substitution of bourbon for vanilla extract in a recipe

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor confirms the idea of yesterday’s post.

In yesterday’s post I brought up the idea that bourbon can perhaps be used as a substitute for vanilla extract in some baking recipes.

Last night, I made rice pudding with the substitution of bourbon for vanilla. The recipe called for two tsp vanilla extract; I used four tsp bourbon instead.

Perhaps surprisingly, the rice pudding seems to have a lighter taste. However, I wouldn’t notice the difference if I didn’t know I’d made the switch.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Baking: bourbon: a possible substitute for vanilla extract?

For me, baking leads to constant self-tutoring. The tutor shares a discovery.

I’ve read, in two places now, that in a typical baking recipe, bourbon can possibly be used instead of vanilla.

As I understand, the substitution is recommended when you don’t have enough vanilla for the recipe. It’s most effective in a recipe that doesn’t call for much vanilla, but rather, just a teaspoon or less. To make the substitution, the idea is to use at least as much bourbon, but up to twice the amount, of vanilla called for.

Interesting, eh?


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Psychology, lifestyle: what is eustress?

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares the term eustress.

eustress noun:
a good kind of stress. An example of eustress is the anxiety one might feel while trying to set a new best time for a 5K run. Another is the elevated level of concern one might feel studying for – and then writing – an important exam.

Typically, eustress surrounds a situation the person voluntarily embarks. Furthermore, it likely has a decisive ending. The person perceives a benefit, so is willing to risk effort and uncertainty to gain it. The person believes that, by applying their own wherewithal, they are able to accomplish the objective.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: grocery shopping: Is the same item in more than one place?

Shopping for groceries can mean continual self-tutoring. The tutor shares a discovery.

Grocery shopping, in my opinion, is best not done in a hurry. Being able to browse for deals beyond what brought you there is often an advantage. Furthermore, there are products yet to be discovered, meal ideas that can be triggered, etc.

I get contemplative while grocery shopping. Looking for an item, I try to classify it: What will it be with? Sometimes I imagine the item in two different categories, but find it in the first. Yet, is it also in the other? Is that item actually on two different shelves, in different aisles? I often wonder.

A few days ago I bought cocoa: I found it with the baking needs. Yesterday, however, I returned to the store for a different reason. There the cocoa was again, in a different aisle, among syrups and powders for making hot chocolate.

Promoted items are often found at various locations in the same store. However, the cocoa is the first item I’ve noticed, for certain, to have two homes at the grocery store.

I can’t help but wonder how many other items occur in two different aisles. Undoubtedly, some shoppers know Item A only in Aisle X, while others seek it only in Y. It’s an example of how distinct realities exist, even in the mundane setting of a grocery store:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Health: what is cortisol and what does it do, part 0

Researching the human body can mean continual self-tutoring. The tutor begins about the critical hormone cortisol.

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Its release is augmented when the person feels stress. It has many effects; what follows is one mechanism in which it participates. The first two points are necessary background, while the third explains a function of cortisol:

  1. The human body interprets stress as physical danger rather than a social condition.
  2. Neither brain cells nor exercising skeletal muscle cells need insulin for glucose uptake. However, as I understand, fat cells do need insulin to import glucose.
  3. Cortisol increases blood sugar but inhibits insulin secretion and possibly even insulin sensitivity. Doing so channels the glucose (blood sugar) towards use by the muscles and brain, rather than by the fat cells (which would change it to fat for storage). Therefore, under stress, the muscles and brain have access to lots of energy so they can respond.

I hope to talk more about cortisol:)


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Bird watching, lifestyle: Oregon dark-eyed junco, part II

Bird watching means constant self-tutoring. The tutor mentions another encounter with a dark-eyed junco.

March 8 last year, my post was about a couple of dark-eyed juncos. This morning, I had no idea they’d compel me to write another post about them. Apparently, the dark-eyed junco refuses to be ignored.

I didn’t see the junco at first, but heard a long trill that repeated insistently. Scanning the hedges and trees, I noticed a lone bird with a black head whence the song seemed to come.

The junco was not alone; a collection of birds dueled for attention, including a robin. I have high hopes of identifying more bird songs – and discussing them here – very soon:)


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.