Monday, June 28, 2010

As Craig Ferguson Says
It's a great day for America everybody!

And it's a great day for coffee lovers. Here is a deal from Gevalia (really excellent coffees) for 3 boxes for 3 bucks and free shipping. I used to be a member of the Gevalia automatic coffee delivery system until I decided to spend less on coffee. But this is too good a deal to miss. Please note! This deal signs you into the regular delivery system but there's no obligation to continue. So get three cheap coffees and cancel. Or keep getting them. It is very good coffee.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The BlogDog Movie Brief
I had a credit with the 'Zon for, essentially, a free video on demand (having bought a collection of Marx Bros. divids). So I just watched "The Book of Eli." I like it. Not a perfect movie by any means but very good at what it did. I'd say it's a very good $2.00 movie, a decent $3.00 movie and just acceptable at $4.00. Your mileage may vary.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kitchen Brief
I recently ordered a quartet of sea salts each in its own grinder from Wine Woot. Tonight I wanted just a bite of dinner and whipped up a couple of eggs in a bit of bacon grease (the second best thing in which to cook eggs trailing butter only by a bit). I opened the alderwood smoked salt and let me tell you: it smells great even before I let a salty morsel pass my lips. But, as you've already figured out, I ground some onto the eggs and hoe lee cow! If you use salt, get yourself some of this. The smoky flavor is delicious and intense and it seems, as much as I can't justify this, somehow saltier than regular table salt. I'm hooked. I hope the other salts are as good.
Breaking News
Obama "drive to succeed" hampered by loss of traction due to excessive number of squishy bodies under the wheels of the Bus of State.
What're You Lookin' At?
I'm peeved and dyspeptic. Just move along, move along. Any trouble from you today and I'll go Vincent and Jules on your monkey ass. Seriously. Come back in a couple of days. This mood is bound to pass. The weather is not helping one single little bit.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Why Did Barack Obama Take Up Golf?
Because he heard it was a sport where you could improve your lie.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Am A Person Of Color
It's a delightful pink.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Comment Would Be Superfluous
Except that people are starting to notice.

(I did not do the original image. I stole it from here. My compliments to the artist on a nicely done morph.)
The Whole Gay Thing Aside
I watched some intarwebz replays of the disallowed US goal against Slovenia and it was dead solid perfect. That call should disqualify the lousy bastard who made it from ever officiating a football match again. (Is it less gay if it goes by "football" instead of "soccer?" Maybe. It's worth a try anyway.)

Friday, June 18, 2010

What Is It About Mornings
I used to like sunrises. Of late, I find them to be awful. Sourceless light begins to fill the edges of the sky and it ranges through the spectrum and intensity until there is enough light to see the world and the world is not attractive in the morning light. The world at daybreak is that hot actress who looks like hell before she puts her makeup on. The world is that bleary-eyed, greenish skinned, rumple-headed person who looks back from the morning mirror under the wrong lighting.
Awful. Sunsets are better.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Whole Polymath Thing
I know everything there is to know about one-eyed organisms. I am an encyclopsedia.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Got Nothin'
Teh Wilmington Boyz are in town and helping my like madness its own self so I don't have any fresh produce for you today. But I must direct you over to Joe Sherlock's place for a dose of worthwhile reading. But really, aren't you checking Joe out every other weekday? There's a reason he's over there on the blogroll y'know.
UPDATE: These guys are the best! My raised bed has been planted. Most of the Deck Farm™ is up and running. So much gets done when I have capable and enthusiastic folks around who enjoy getting their hands dirty on the stuff i dig. Dig. As in garden. It's a play on words.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Knew It!

Soccer Officially Announces It Is Gay

Monday, June 14, 2010

Once Again This Makes No Sense
Right now I would do serious harm to anyone who stood between me and a slice of lemon cake. I have no idea why but my tastebuds are just screaming "Lemon cake, you sunuvabitch! Lemon cake!"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ziggy Feels Tha Luuuv
Guitar Player magazine makes the PRS 305 an Editors' Pick (that would make it a guitar pick, right?) (shut up -Ed.) The article refers to the physical beauty of the burst stained model they picture while Ziggy is a painted solid alder body but here's a little on the important thing with the git-box, the tone:
Sonically, the 305 delivers much of what you expect from a guitar with a trio of single-coils: crisp highs, tight bottom, and those slightly phaseoidal textures in the neck/middle and middle/bridge combinations. The tones here are served up with an extra measure of warmth, however, which makes playing the 305 a lot of fun, as you get the airiness and ring that single-coils bring, but with plenty of meatiness behind the notes.
Phaseoidal textures? Ummm. OK. Meaty. I like meaty. Can I dry age my guitar? And tight bottoms? Everyone likes a tight bottom. Obviously, I'm too noob to understand all the axe-y terminology (though I do know what a divebomb is) so I'll just leave you with this final note from the reviewer:
KUDOS Excellent build quality. Gorgeous playability. Great blend of warmth and ringing, single-coil clarity.


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Riddle Me This
If hydrocarbons are "made of dinosaurs" (to simplify the argument), how, then could those dinosaurs have gotten stuck in the tar pits where we find all those preserved skeletons?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

On The Grill
Yes, friends, the dry aged steaks hit the grill this afternoon (early afternoon - I had a friend over to lunch which was steak, attempted coconut rice, grilled asparagus and bell pepper). Holy cow! As in actual apotheosis of a shard of bovine. I butterflied the steaks and it was interesting to see the color change of the interior versus the exterior. Here are a couple of shots of the halved steaks.

You'll note the dramatic difference of the red and the brown. One side effect of this is that the steaks are a lot easier to handle. They don't goo up your hands down as you deal with, say, cutting them in half.
The exterior is (you're not going to believe this!) dry. So it doesn't take being marked by the grill terribly well but I think that's a minor problem. It may mean that it's better not to butterfly the steak and let the melting marbling wet up the surface of the steak. I will try that and report thereon.
But the center ring of this circus of beef is the flavor. And it is incredible. It is more (please forgive the redundant nature of this) beefy, more meaty than an unaged steak. It's like the difference between a mouthful of cream and a mouthful of milk. I can't in good conscience suggest that you spend the kind of money restaurants charge for such steaks but I strongly suggest you try the home version. Strongly.

Bottom line on this, at the moment, is that I have to try a couple more permutations. Grilling a full thickness steak for example. Even absent full experimentation, I am going to do my utmost to cook only dry aged steaks from here on. They are that damn good.
The New iPhone
Helluva thing. The redesign is sleek and elegant. The feature set is decidedly improved. I'd love to have one. But I'm no where the end of my contract on the one I have. So: no. Maybe later.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Adding The Market Ticker To The Blogroll
It's become a daily read and today's post there is no exception. In fact, it's worth a RTWT. I'll be adding that momentarily but first a snip from the post linked in the first sentence:
That of course isn't the point of the complaint. The complaint rests (properly, in my opinion) on the premise that the so-called "boom" in many parts of Europe was financed with German capital, which was effectively appropriated under false pretenses.

Gee, where have we seen this before? Banksters lying and cheating (cough-liar loans-cough!) and trading in derivatives without any money behind them (cough-AIG-cough!) and when the smoke clears suddenly the national governments are told "hand over hundreds of billions right now or the puppy dies!"

Uh huh.

G20 governments are increasingly coming to the realization that "borrow and spend" doesn't - and can't - work in the intermediate and longer term. Despite the bleating of Geithner at the G20 meeting he got nowhere trying to jawbone people into more Keynesian-style games.

We blew $4 trillion in the United States over the last two years and change and got nothing for it, and as a consequence we are stuck with the debt and haven't solved the problem. $4 trillion, of course, is about 30% of GDP, and this "support" has amounted to roughly 11% of GDP over the last three years.
Denninger gets right to the heart of the matter. I was at first disinclined to blame the "banksters" because of the massive culpability of the government in pushing fraudulent mortgages but I've come to realize that the current state of affairs is the very embodiment of moral hazard: profits are retained and when the inevitable losses begin to mount, they are passed on to the taxpayers. It's the essence of what really angers me about President Obamabi. He speechifies and acts like he's going to go all hard-ass on wall Street but all he's done is pump taxpayer money into those exact institutions he pretends to be against. And this new "financial reform" legislation does nothing but institutionalize bailouts with a $50B fund for precisely that purpose. That's taxpayer money he's putting up for his faux capitalist crony "bankster" friends. And they know it.
Even more unfortunately, the mainstream media either doesn't understand it or, as is more likely, doesn't tell the truth about it. Political power for the left is more important for the MSM than eternal verities like truth telling. I've worked in both banking and journalism. Neither profession can be relied upon. One has your money. One has your flow of information. Or, more accurately now, "had" as the rise of the Internet has seriously disintermediated the left wing journalist info guards. The Market Ticker is precisely one of those reasons the web is killing print news. We get more truth from knowledgeable people who are both directly involved and providing direct information for people who seek it out.
I hope you make the site at least a frequent stop. It may have a little more technical information than the average blog reader is conversant with but by sticking to the reading it will become progressively easier to grok.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

This Is Dallas Ft. Worth Tower,
Yasmine Villasana You Are Now Cleared For Takeoff

A rare two line headline for this story:

Friday, June 04, 2010

A Step In The Process
Of dry aging that is. These are Costco choice steaks after being in the fridge for one wrapped day (a couple of days in the fridge in the poyfilm before that).

A First Comment On The Employment Numbers
To establish the numbers themselves, allow me to indulge in a bit of snippage from the Christian Science Monitor:
On Friday, in a disappointing report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy gained 431,000 jobs and the unemployment rate slipped to 9.7 percent, down from 9.9 percent in April. The unemployment rate fell because there were fewer people looking for work, not because there was a jump in employment – private sector businesses added only 41,000 jobs last month, far fewer than economists had expected.
What I've been hearing on the radio news is how these are the "best numbers in ten years." Well, according to the reports on the details of the numbers, the vast majority of those 400,000 government jobs are Census hires. So the "best numbers in ten years" would go back to the last census enumeration which would be, let's see ten years ago? D'ya see a pattern here? The vaunted mainstream media doesn't seem to.
The upcoming post on these numbers will feature a Beavis and Butthead link (I can't find it as an embed). That's a first for PoW I think.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Dry Aging Steak
I was lucky enough to catch a recent episode of Alton Brown's "Good Eats" in which he dealt with dry aging a steak at home. I just took a squint at uToob whereon I didn't find said episode. Oh bother.
Nonetheless, if you're unfamiliar with dry aged steak, let's just say that it makes whatever steak you buy at your local purveyor of cow parts into a better thing than taking said steak out of the clingwrap and plonking it on the grill. The meat is kept from getting too dry and the flavor builds as the aging performs its glutaminic magic. Short version: This is what high-end steak houses do to make their steaks better than those served at Outbacks and the like. Nothing wrong with an Outback steak to be sure, but it's not been coddled for maximum flavor.
Now those high-end steak houses have special climate controlled rooms wherein their beef ages. At home, well if you have one of those rooms at home, please send all that excess money you have lying around to me. The idea is that the process can be accomplished in the refrigerator. Alton took a disposable aluminum pie tin, poked skewers through it to create a place for the steak to sit and have air circulate underneath. I have no disposable pie tins. However, my inspiration was to use the polyfoam tray that the steaks are sold in to the same end. I poked skewers through the side of those and a day later have found them to have performed exactly as I'd hoped.
The steaks themselves get wrapped in a paper towel which is discarded the second day and replaced by a fresh paper towel. Alton says that the second towel need not be switched out. I'm only on the start of the second day so I'll hold my water on that. Then the steaks are put on the "skewer grate" and tucked into the coldest part of the fridge (lowest level as far back as possible). I've only finished the first day so I can't report on the longevity of the second towel wrap but the first wraps all came off without sticking to the steaks and all have a reasonable amount of steak juice on them - not at all soaked through.
I did take some pics but I've managed to leave my camera far enough away from the computing masheen to make posting this as a text post the logical thing to do for now. I will post the pics tomorrow and I'll probably grill a steak on Friday as a test. I have both prime and choice steaks so it'll be interesting to see what dry aging does to each. I think a final assessment should be posted early next week. Looks like a winner so far though.
UPDATE: My fridge is filled with a marvelous funk of aging beef. It's a funk all right but it's like good mushrooms - earthy, dense, almost chewy. Makes you salivate even as you're saying, "What's that funky smell?" First steak goes on the grill Sunday evening.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Finally Saw "Avatar"
Yeah, I was the last one. Friends Netflixed it and invited me over. There's almost nothing I can say to add to the general cacophony (hmm, almost like the movie: caca and phony) of reviews and the like but I still have to make a couple of observations. First, yes. Absolutely. A technical feat of movie making that is beyond a visual feast. Second, if it returns to IMAX 3D, I will go out to see it. In fact, I'd bet IMAX 3D would be the ideal way to see that. And the bad. Worst Sigourney Weaver performance ever. Just gawd-awful from an actress I usually like. And finally, someone needs to be assigned to keep James Cameron from writing another story. I thought Lucas was bad in the last "Star Wars" flick (and he was) but the "Avatar" paint-by-numbers story was as predictable as the next stop light on a city street. My only surprise was that the other guy who was running an avatar was allowed to survive. But then, he was there to provide exposition, not actually be a character.
Oh and the Na'vi are Cameron's giant war kittens: Big eyes makes us go "Awww!" and root for them when they start to kill humans.
Love It!
Just a quick note to say that the NoVa is getting drenched with a great downpour at the moment. Big rain. I love it! I'm glad I don't have to go out in it but I love it coming down.
A Couplet For The Day
And thus we say
Goodbye to May.