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Experimentation and mixing flavor

Friday, April 17th, 2009

I was in the mood to experiment tonight so dropped by the store and picked some things up on my way home to try putting together a few combination I hadn’t used before. An hour later this was the result:

Flavor experimentation

The chicken is marinated in olive oil and sun dried tomatoes and was served over a bed of sauteed garlic, onion, and apples with crisp lemon asparagus in the background. I’m still perfecting the grill technique on the asparagus – a little bit of charred blackness is fantastic, but it’s really easy to do.

The biggest experiment for me was the garlic, onion, and apples. I reduced a little lemon juice with the mix after caramelizing the onions to help bring out the sweetness in the onion. The end result came out sweet yet savory and filling. Next time I’m going to put the cloves of garlic in a few minutes early in the hopes of further softening it to better match the cooked apples.

Dessert was reheated from last night – a pureed pear and lime syrup baked over pear and apple slices with a crisp style top served ala mode with vanilla bean ice cream. This is certainly the tastiest thing I’ve ever made and possibly one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. NOM!

Apple-pear crisp ala mode

Daylight Savings, I do

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

DST has finally caught up with me. The first few early days I my body thought it was a fling, some hot new timezone I was flirting with. Now that I’ve done it for 4 days it realizes I’m committed to this new temporal relationship and as a result my body is playing the part of the jilted boyfriend, sulking in the corner and complaining about everything.

Crown of pain

Friday, June 6th, 2008

This morning brought an early morning dental appointment to fit my latest crown. This is the first time I’ve gotten a crown over a live tooth as opposed to one that that had either died of (un)natural causes, or had been subject to a root canal.

I now see why people cringe at the thought of crowns – putting a ceramic cap on a live nerve certainly makes for a tender mouth. My dentist said it was actually due to a galvanic response which between my naturally saline saliva and the metals used in crown construction can create a weak battery and thus current to stimulate the nerve ending with. Luckily this should fade within a day or two and I’ll be left with yet another ready-for-anything ceramic chomper with which to chew for the rest of my biological days.

Also: squeeeeeeeeeeeee! Berlin in 12 hours!!!one!

Fine, it’s gone (or: An evening of shaving)

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Before After
before and after

After much heckling from my sister and Andru plus even a few people at work I’ve trimmed the beard. Are you all happy?

Update: Apparently the answer to my closing question was no. After further heckling by Andru I the next unfortunate step:

After, AFTER!
after, AFTER!

I now look 17 and homosexual. I hope you are happy Andru.

And I still don’t like Zoos

Monday, May 19th, 2008

As my parents could attest I never was much of one for zoos as a child. I had set one of my 101 goals to go shooting at the zoo to see if this was still true, and it is. Out of an overly-hot afternoon at the zoo my favorite shot was one that clearly didn’t need a trip to the zoo to take (assuming I could find Bamboo anywhere else in Seattle):

Bamboo green

I guess not everyone has to be into zoos. Personally I don’t much find animals interesting. Sure I love Skype and having him around is a blast, but I enjoy his companionship rather than a fascination with his non-humanness. From a photographic perspective zoos don’t really do it for me because of the cages and glass – I far prefer getting up close and personal with my subjects, really interacting with them to get the perfect shot.

Oh well, I had fun, learned something about myself as an adult, and avoided heatstroke for another day. All in all a positive way to spend a Saturday afternoon even if I won’t repeat the experience.


Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Something bacon this way comes

Inspired by this man and his bacon-filled Whopper I decided to try a burger with wonderfully excessive bacon myself. Having seen that even a man of such awesomeness that he could think of such a thing not be able to finish it I decided to back off on the bacon for a first time experience and go for what was described to the puzzled cashier as "as much bacon as beef please".

Clearly, I got what I asked for.

More bacon than beef

Unlike my bacon hero I was able to completely conquer my tasty bacon sandwich. This is a feat that was a complete dismay for my arteries and assault on my tract. In the best interests of my long life I regretfully doubt it is an experience I will allow myself to repeat.

Check out the bacon set on flickr for additional bacon goodness!

The news is good

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Good news – Skype’s recent injury is healing well. The vets optimism that it was a muscular problem and not something arthritic or nerve related seems well founded – after 3 days of kennel rest and anti-inflammatory drugs he’s already feeling much better. Last night he was even able to (slowly) crawl up in to bed with me again!

I spoke with the vet and she confirmed that this was a good sign but urged me to continue to keep him very calm and on the anti-inflammatory drugs for the remainder of the course to prevent re-injury. As much as he’s bored to tears and getting frustrated I’m just glad it’s something he will be over soon as opposed to a life time of pain and aggravation.

Poor Skype

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Poor Skype is on kennel rest (very low-key, no running, no playing, no stairs) for a week thanks to a sacral canal(?) injury on his back. It’s most likely a minor muscle injury at the junction of his spine and rear hips. He got diagnosed yesterday at the vet after a few days of pain when walking up stairs. It’s actually gotten so bad that he can’t get up on my bed or the couch because angling his rear legs up is too painful.

The good news is that if the vet is correct he will be much better in a week or so. The bad news is that this kind of injury can be a very early sign of canine arthritis – certainly something I hope is not true. I don’t need to see poor Skype endure pain like my grandmother did through much of her life.

Pain gap?

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Science Blog writes about a Princeton University study on how people perceive and experience pain as viewed through the filter of their economic status. The study found that pain levels for residents of households making less than $30,000 were on average twice as high as the pain levels of residents in households with incomes above $100,000.

As strange as this sounds it does make sense – insurance and health care is expensive these days, and the lower salary ranges tend to have more physically oriented jobs. Not having the money required to fix the root cause of a particular pain leaves the sufferer with two choices: dull the pain with inexpensive drugs (read: over the counter drugs), or suffer onward enduring the pain. Neither option really strikes me as an ideal long term solution, but until a national health care plan with reasonable reach and plausible economics exists do we have another option?

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