Archive for April, 2009

27
Apr
09

Print Lives

While some folks are passionate about reading, it is clear that the thought of a book store has been usurped by the likes of Amazon. It’s pretty tough to match the stocking depth of Internet retailers that are more aggregators of supply chain than purveyors of printed journeys. There’s a change in the story, though. It’s not elegant and it’s not sexy – it looks like a large photocopier – but the Espresso Book Machine is being billed as the biggest change for the literary world since Gutenberg invented the printing press more than 500 years ago and made the mass production of books possible. Launching today at Blackwell’s Charing Cross Road branch in London, the machine prints and binds books on demand in five minutes, while customers wait. You no longer have to deal with out of stocks or out of print titles. Order your title and a double, half caf soy latte with cinnamon… wait a bit and go home happy. “They” also predicted that automatic film processing would never become ubiquitous. Now it’s in nearly every grocery and drug store being made obsolete by digital cameras…

27
Apr
09

Of Swine & Alfalfa

Is it an emergency or not? The U.S. government declared a public health emergency to deal with the swine flu outbreak as five states reported 20 confirmed cases of the disease. An emergency sounds pretty serious and having the government declare one is even more serious, right? Or is it? President Obama said it is no cause for alarm. Okay. A government declared emergency is not serious, so why do it? “This is obviously a cause for concern… but it is not a cause for alarm.” Mixed signals, eh… But wait, there’s more cause for health concern among US citizens. The Food and Drug Administration is recommending consumers not eat raw alfalfa sprouts until further notice because the popular crunchy greens have been linked to a salmonella saintpaul outbreak in six states. And now… Europeans “should avoid traveling to Mexico or the United States of America unless it is very urgent for them.”

I don’t know if the pig/avian/human genetic spliced flu monster is a big deal or not and I cannot have my tasty kitchen sink salad and Europeans are being told not to come here. It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine… (And the fact that the song is 20+ years old and that the singer, Michael Stipe, is almost 50 makes me feel damn old.)

UPDATE:
But wait, there’s more! Apparently, there is room for silliness in this situation. We shouldn’t be calling this “swine” flu. Israeli Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the reference to pigs is offensive to both religions [Muslim and Jewish] and “we should call this Mexican flu and not swine flu,” he told a news conference at a hospital in central Israel.

26
Apr
09

Boobies For Everyone

If you are wondering what nationalized health care will mean for you… Have a look toward the UK. One of the problems with nationalizing health care is that somebody has to decide who gets what and in whay order. For instance, there may be folks waiting for life saving medicines or surgeries. What types of procedures and treatments gain precedence over others. For instance, if you are a 17 year old girl named Amanda Ryan and are little stressed because you think that other girls in school have bigger tits than you do… go talk to your guidance counselor. Girls under 18 are almost always turned down [for this procedure], but after hearing how the stress of being flat-chested was making Amanda grumpy a counselor at her health center put her forward. To the tune of £4,000 (almost $6,000 US). Yep, a free boob job for an anxious teen.

26
Apr
09

Get Your Lime On

I was looking for something a bit different than Creme Brulee’. CB is nice and always a delight to “finish” with a small blow torch, but I wanted something off the beaten path and a bit tangy for the summer. Gourmet Sleuth to the rescue…

Key Lime Pots de Creme
by Barabara Bowman

These rich, tart little treats are simply a variation on key lime pie.

Servings: 6 +

Ingredients:
4 large or extra large egg yolks
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh key lime juice (approximately 6 to 8 limes)
2 teaspoons grated lime peel, green portion only
Whipping cream for garnish (optional)

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 325F.  Use an electric mixer and beat the egg yolks until they are thick and turn to a light yellow.   Turn the mixer off and add the sweetened condensed milk.  Turn speed to low and mix in half of the lime juice. Once the juice is incorporated add the other half of the juice and continue to mix until blended (just a few seconds).  Add the grated lime peel and stir in by hand.  Pour the mixture into a large measuring cup with a pouring lip.

Put six 1/2-cup pots de creme or ramekins in a deep baking dish.
Pour the lime mixture evenly between the pots. Pour hot tap water into the baking dish so that it comes within 1/2 inch of the top of the pots. Do not get water in the pots de creme cups. Cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil.  Put the baking dish in the oven and bake, until the custards are just set in the centers, approximately 15 minutes. Do  not overbake.  Remove the dish from the oven and carefully remove pots from the water.  If you are using pots de creme cups, put the lids on the pots.  If you are using ramekins, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled and set at least 3 to 4 hours, or overnight.

Serving:
If you are using the whipping cream garnish, prepare the cream.  Use a pastry bag with a star tip and add a medium size star of whipping cream to each pot de creme and serve.

24
Apr
09

Tasty Hummus

I love the stuff… especially in summer. You can keep it plain or add in just about anything. Roasted garlic, red peppers, Kalamata olives, cucumbers… Yum.

23
Apr
09

Clemens=Pathetic

Is it possible to have screwed up a perfect life more completely than Roger Clemens did to his own? Perhaps one of the greatest pitchers, ever, in baseball (a sport that I equate to watching dry paint fade)… Rogers ridiculous behavior, including a dozen or so apartments scattered around the country to house his ladies, sex with a minor, possible lying to Congress, lying to his fans, steroids… He’s now a caricature of himself. An embarrassing footnote in the history of sport and life. Will he ever make it to the Hall of Fame? Should he?

22
Apr
09

Fried Foot Massage

If only…