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Please tell me about memorable food you've enjoyed. ^_^ Doesn't matter why - maybe it was an excellent chef, or the company you enjoyed, or maybe someone special to you made it. (If there's any need for a Friends Only entry on the theme, I'd be fine with that - just let me know here, or by email) For my part - well, there's got to be that evening in 2001, at Jameson's in Brisbane. The place, I believe, is gone, and the chef's moved on into Asia - and deservedly. We (myself and a friend of the host) had their tasting menu - the chef's inspiration was jointly the extraordinarily fresh seafood so easily found in Australia, and the Japanese sensibility toward simplicity in cooking. As they say in MasterChef - there's nowhere to hide when the dishes are that "simple".

And then there are family favorites - Dad's Coquilles Saint Jacques, and Mum's German apple cake. I shan't be able to enjoy his work again, but I'm going to have to plead with Mum to make that up for the Christmas feast. ^_^ (And maybe I'll try my paw at the scallops! Not a complicated dish, even if I don't have the shells we used to serve it in, back at our second place. Which is apparently still open, under a new guise, of course. Wish I had the money to reopen the first - gorgeous property, but it'd need management really driven to make a success of it, as it's not in any particularly special location - you'd need to be able to draw people in. As Dad did, so ably, during what was probably the happiest time of his life)

Just a reminder: if you're in the Bay, you might enjoy turning up at the Castro Theatre at 7.20pm on Friday, Dec 12, for a Midnites for Maniacs double bill presentation of Roger Rabbit (including the Tummy Trouble and Roller Coaster Rabbit shorts!) followed by Ed Wood. ^_^ (And on Friday, Jan 2 2015, it's a pairing of Snowpiercer and Runaway Train)

If you haven't been following it, I must recommend the recent BBC Two series, following Sue Perkins up the Mekong. You'll learn, even in measly hour long segments. Well, okay.. it feels short, when there's so much to see and understand.

Early hominid history may be about to undergo another evolution, with the intriguing discovery of a zig-zag etched shell in Indonesia, dating from around 430,000 years ago.

I see Qualcomm's working on a project that's positively calling out for a thoroughly furry logo: MARE: Multicore Asynchronous Runtime Environment. Or maybe that's part of Sweetie Bot's architecture..

Fun bit of tech snark, courtesy of the Macalope: Dead again: Unshipped products kill Apple every time, this time, the Amazon Echo.

Flickr recently introduced their "Wall Art" program, permitting folks to order their own work as prints of various styles and sizes, as well as any CC-licensed ones that don't forbid commercial use. (eg BY-NC-SA would not be available as Wall Art to anybody but you, whilst BY-SA would be available to everyone) Additionally, there's the Flickr Marketplace. If your request for inclusion is approved by the curation team, then your work would be available, with you receiving 51% of net sales.

Wow, so the Yosemite beta 14C68m wasn't much fun. =:P I wound up reverting to the latest public release, as it played havoc with the rendering of several apps I use routinely, notably Aperture, Vienna (for RSS), GraphicConverter (for viewing just about any image format, and sports a good slideshow function), and Preview (for PDFs and routine images). The upside was getting to finally see Saturday's shots properly. ^_^ I'd looked at them on the iPad, but that's some way from being under full control of their RAW processing within Aperture. Even after the fact, it still brings me such pleasure to look upon their daily lives. Is it odd that even a couple years later, I can point out precisely where in a given field each of my selected shots was taken? ^_^;

And it's looking another beautifully sunny day today! So, I'm heading back down again - the combination of so much bunnitude is difficult enough to resist, but last time, I finally tried the pizza van (a classic Citroen!) outside the station - and ye gods, but that was good stuff! Not far off the Real Italian Pizza Company. And to see the cheese still bubbling away as it's lifted away out of the wood-fired oven and deposited in the box.. so by the time I ate it in the Evening Star, all of about fifty seconds' walk away, it was still quite fresh. =:9 Lively buns, great pizza, and a nigh endless selection of beer - really not a bad way to spend a Saturday. ^_^

This article collects what's been reported, outlining exactly how the NSA and GCHQ go about tapping internet cables. "Recently disclosed documents show that the NSA's fourth-largest cable tapping program, codenamed INCENSER, pulls its data from just one single source: a submarine fiber optic cable linking Asia with Europe. Until now, it was only known that INCENSER was a sub-program of WINDSTOP and that it collected some 14 billion pieces of internet data a month. The latest revelations now say that these data are collected with the help of the British company Cable & Wireless (codenamed GERONTIC, now part of Vodafone) at a location in Cornwall in the UK, codenamed NIGELLA. For the first time, this gives us a view on the whole interception chain, from the parent program all the way down to the physical interception facility. Here we will piece together what is known about these different stages and programs from recent and earlier publications."

If you're up for a particularly well produced graphical adventure on the go, how about Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath? It came out the other day quite by surprise. You'll probably want a more recent iThing for best results, though the prefs do claim to be able to adjust resolution, shadows, and suchlike.

Here's an interesting chart, showing the usage of different common emoticons, split across male and female users. Often, the rates are similar, but sometimes, wildly different!

Here's one of the spiffiest Tube maps you'll have ever seen, laid out geographically (rather than the standard stylised look), including dates of opening and closing for the various lines and stations. (PDF and PNG versions can be downloaded here)

I hadn't even realised this was available, let alone free - bunnie's Hacking the Xbox, a trove of deeply geeky exploration of hardware hacking.

Do you know of anywhere (online or otherwise) with a very broad range of films available to buy? I'd love to pick up a copy of one of my favorite terrible films, "Armageddon: the Final Challenge", but not only does it barely register on any search engine (the Corn Pone Flicks review does it justice, though =:), but I can't seem to find anywhere it's available. And it's old enough that it's very unlikely to've seen a DVD release, so even if it can be found, it's likely to be NTSC VHS - so then the problem would be how to digitise it. ^_^;

A fun animated music video, demonstrating the difficulties of being Cupid: Raji Rabbit - Take Me Away. ^_^ And, Несчастный Случай — Робот Виталий - on the benefits of drinking antifreeze, if you're a robot.

Random engineering news: a new (Chinese owned, of course) container ship's set a record for largest engine ever constructed, at 17.2m tall, with a power output of around 56.8MW (ca. 76,170 hp).

Here's one particularly striking tale from /u/TalesFromTechSupport: part 1, part 2, wherein the techie figure helps out in an acrimonious divorce. Egad.

Finally saw Interstellar the other day, which lived up to expectations entirely. It's so rare to see genuine science fiction on the big screen, not merely Evil Alien Invaders™. I admit, I twigged the twist as soon as one line referring to time was spoken, but that didn't spoil the wonder when matters became clear. (Must be something about Nolan's films.. wound up leaving by an emergency exit after Inception, and after this) Please, Hollywood, more like this! Ah, to see A Fire Upon the Deep on the big screen.. or for fantasy, how about Spellsinger? With contemporary CGI, most or all of the furs could be digital, though I admit, I'd love to see at least some use of painstakingly designed prostheses, so you'd know they actually really did exist. ^_^
As it happens, I re-read Spellsinger a month ago or so, it happened to be included in an ebook bundle that I bought. It was fun stuff, it's been a long time since I last read it and now I need to find the sequels. As it happens, Alan Dean Foster is a resident of Arizona and I saw him several times at local SF/F conventions.

The Flickr thing is quite interesting, there's several pieces of mine that I'd love to see as wall art.

Best food? Huh. Over the years I've had a lot of good meals and a lot of bad meals. When we were in Maine three summers ago my sisters in law took my wife and I out for our anniversary and I had a perfectly seared scallop dish on the waterfront. Maine is a great place for food: aside from the lobster rolls, I had THE BEST cheeseburger that I've ever had in a small restaurant in Cape Elizabeth. But I think I'd have to consider my most memorable being a Thanksgiving turkey feast that I made. Brined turkey, three-bread dressing with crimini mushrooms and pancetta, Manchego cheese potatoes, orange-scented green beans, a cranberry/orange sauce (that my wife made) and chocolate mousse pie. This afternoon I'm eating at my favorite Mexican food place, they have a fantastic shredded beef/pork taco that the seasoning couldn't be better.
Mm, ADF does know how to write a crowd-pleaser. ^_^ Myself, I'd far sooner take Spellsinger over any hobbits, but then, I'm not greatly taken by mediaeval fantasy - my natural inclination is for the future, just as with Doctor Who. But he writes with such a sense of *fun*, I can hardly mind. ^_^

ISTR ADF was a GoH at Further Confusion or suchlike a few years ago. Seemed to work out pretty well. ^_^

Most of the sequels are well worth it. About the only one which didn't really pull its weight was, I believe, the seventh book - the eighth was, so far, the finale, and managed to wrap things up well, much as Star Trek VI recoveered from the originally intended handoff with V.

Ohh, perfectly done scallops are a real delight. I just wish they were (as once!) cheaper - that beautifully sweet meat, against a contrasting crust.. -=:9

Mmmm, brining! Tried that for the first time a couple years back for Crimbo, leaving the turkey marinating away in the fridge in a salty blend of rosemary, garlic, and a few other core herbs. Not just fragrant, but so memorably juicy!

That stuffing sounds fairly epic, too. ^_^ Porcini can be so good, though they don't really seem to survive transportation well. Thankfully, shiitake are much less fussy. =:)

Manchego potatoes! Mmmm, not difficult to see those would be nomworthy. =:9 Think I'll give that a try this year - the budget's tight, and I think Mum and I will have plenty of fun making up the Christmas/Yuletide feast. ^_^

And I suppose I have to wonder - do you know who was responsible for your love of food?

Edited at 2014-12-07 02:53 am (UTC)
I think I am the one responsible for my love of food. Both sides of my family grew up poor in the Southwest during the Depression and World War 2: CCC camps, WPA, etc. So my mom never had much flair beyond good basic food. I got hooked on the original Japanese Iron Chef, then came Good Eats and America's Test Kitchen. Also got a fantastic meatloaf recipe (roasted vegetable balsamic) from Throwdown With Bobby Flay and a great meatball recipe from the same show, and a couple from Guy Fierri's show (Blaze's pepperoni studded lasagna).

Baking is something that I've done most of my life. My mom took a cake decorating class at my grade school when I was a kid, then was teaching it, then making wedding cakes that were frankly amazing. I did a lot of the cake baking for her. I have refined an oatmeal chocolate chip (with Macadamia nuts) recipe over the last 20+ years that's just excellent and also works at high altitude, can't say that I've had much success with other baking since moving to 9,000'.

I think the first thing that I made from Good Eats was a Pressure-Cooker Chili, my wife had a pressure cooker and one time when I made it we had 2' of snow outside and it was probably 20f, so I just took it outside and set it down and it melted a perfectly round hole in to the snow that endured for several weeks.

I turned my parents on to brined turkey based on Alton Brown's Good Eats recipe, and my dad loved the white meat, formerly he was strictly a dark meat fan.

The mashed potatoes are at (I'm not sure what you'd substitute for Manchego cheese in the UK):
foodnetwork dot com /recipes/rachael-ray/manchego-potatoes-recipe.html

The stuffing is (I halved this recipe, it makes a HUGE volume (also from Throwdown)):
foodnetwork dot com /recipes/ree-drummond/cornbread-dressing-with-pancetta-apples-and-mushrooms-recipe.html

Next up is making two batches of German Potato Salad, one for my wife's work party at the observatory, one for mine at my school.
foodnetwork dot com/recipes/anne-burrell/german-potato-salad-recipe.html