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dining_dragon August 1 2014, 05:03

Small Bites #10


Dinner by Design Mac and Cheese

Your weekly serving of local foodie news!
  • Piper and Leaf's Splendid Shindig is tomorrow from 12-6pm. Did you know that they are raffling off a year's worth of tea?! That's my kind of raffle!
  • Victoria's Cafe is closing after 22 years due to the anticipated impact of construction on their traffic. They plan to open a food truck instead.
  • Are you ready for Restaurant Week? We have a BIG announcement coming up next week, but in the meantime, check out An Evening with the Chefs, on August 14th. As we mentioned last week, the participating chefs are Chef Phillip (The Eaves), Chef McDonald (The Bottle), Chef London (Humphrey’s Bar & Grill) and Chef Martin (The Jackson Center) and all proceeds benefit Deep Roots!
  • Last week, I stopped in at Dinner by Design on a whim. We were having friends over and I had a sudden craving for macaroni and cheese. Talk about a win-win! Not only did my Redstone Federal Credit card get me a surprise 10% discount but our guests adored the mac and cheese! The cooking time and serving sizes were both spot on, which meant I could pop it in the oven and not worry about it at all. Every potluck ever just got so much easier.
  • iFest is coming September 27th...complete with international food and food trucks! 
  • Nicole Castle has a series of blog posts which expand on her remarks at the Hatch and Sip last week. In the first one, she discusses the supermodels in our grocery stores.
  • Combine art and food on August 16th with the Goat Show at Belle Chevre's downtown location. Proceeds from the silent auction will go to Heifer International.
  • The Jealous Crumpet has the recipe for The Scene's Berry Basil Muddle, straight from the source!
  • The Switch House will have a pop-up market at Anthropologie on Saturday, August 9th from 12pm-4pm. This includes their local food suppliers such as High Brow Cold Brew coffee!
If you have foodie happenings you would like shared, drop me a line using the contact tab above.
ehowton August 1 2014, 05:00

Garage Time

My brother came with Dad during his visit - a first for him - and brought a dartboard with him, something which entertained the kids to no end the first night he was here. He taught them "cricket" and I even found a nice online-webpage to easily keep score. It was a truly brilliant move on his part.

And I would have never thought that the unspecified motivation for cleaning out the garage and installing a music station would have turned out so serendipitous as we we spent all weekend out there drinking beer, throwing darts, and playing track after track after track of great tunes - the latter was especially fun for my brother, who took everything to the next level and organized the ENTIRE GARAGE in a matter of hours the next day.

I was flummoxed:

kylecassidy July 31 2014, 19:01

convertible running dress

Forget the skort. Trillian Stars runs 3 miles to the bar in her tecwick running shirt that converts to a little black dress right as she gets to the door. The rest of us all look like chumps.

Clickenzee to Embiggen

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jordan179 July 31 2014, 13:08

The Absurdity of UNRWA

UNRWA -- the United Nations Relief Workers Agency -- has around 30,000 employees and a budget of almost $1.25 billion.  America pays about $250 million of this.  Almost all of the workers are Palestinian, and the only purpose of UNRWA is to aid Palestinian "refugees."

Why do I put "refugees" in quotes?  Because there are only around 30,000 Palestinians alive today who were actually displaced by the Arab invasion of Israel in 1948.  UNRWA justifies its existence by claiming as a refugee anyone DESCENDED from them -- which means, in many cases, that these "refugees" include persons who are the great-grandchildren of at least one person displaced in 1948, who have lived their whole life in other countries and who may even be citizens of other countries.  This is a definition employed only for Palestinians -- nobody else would be considered a "refugee" by such a definition.

In fact, by UNRWA's definition there are several million Palestinian "refugees."  Most of whom live in other countries, many of whom have absolutely no intention of "returning" to a land they've never seen and a life which would be far inferior to the ones they are enjoying elsewhere.  That's okay, as most of the billion and a quarter dollars that flushes down the UNRWA toilet hole never gets to any actual refugees, but rather disappears neatly into the pockets of UNRWA, various terrorist groups, and the private bank accounts of their leaders.

In contrast, UN staffing for refugee assistance to the whole rest of the world is around 6,000.  Which is to say, the UN pays five times as many people to help the Palestinian "refugees" -- of which there are only around 30,000 actual ones -- as it does to pay people to help every other refugee in the world, of which there are many millions of actual ones.

In the recent war, it has been revealed that UNRWA is directly cooperating with Hamas to attack Israel.  "Directly" in a sense that would morally justify Israeli airstrikes on the UN headquarters in New York City, though of course that would be ruled out on power-political grounds.  UNRWA is helping Hamas conceal surface-to-surface missiles and rockets, when found they gave them back to the terrorists, and just a few days ago several Israeli soldiers died because UNRWA booby-trapped one of its buildings.

Why is America helping to pay for UNRWA?  Why is anyone paying for UNRWA, for any reason other than anti-Semitism, pure and simple?

Let's stop giving money to UNRWA.  Better yet, let's classify it a terrorist organization and kick it out of the country.

We've tolerated this farce for far too long.
ehowton July 31 2014, 05:00

SPARCstation 20

Walked into a local Mac repair shop and general all around x86 junk store looking for a console DB25-to-USB adapter, but got to talking shop. And between the stacks of old Dell workstations, classic Macintosh and yes, even an Apple IIe, we dug out an old SPARCstation-20. It was surprisingly clean on the inside and the proprietor - unfamiliar but interested - wanted to teach himself Solaris, so we got started right away!

I drove home and brought back a matched pair of 36GB 10k Sun drives (to replace the 2.1GB Barracuda), and a new 40x SCSI Sun DVD-ROM. We stayed up until 2100 (and it was brain-wracking trying to remember simple commands like format to write a sun label to the hard drives) but finally got the install running. It has been something like 10 years since I had to install Solaris 8!

Made me wish I'd kept at least my SPARCstation-5.


theljstaff posted to lj_releases July 30 2014, 16:44

Release #118

Release #118 is live!

New features & changes
  • The Ratings feature now has a Promo spot available for promoting your journal, community, or entry to a wider audience. You can purchase this in the LiveJournal Shop's new Promo section. This is an auction system which uses LiveJournal Tokens to bid for this spot, and the system will display the entry from the highest bidder for up to 2 hours. If you outbid the existing promoted space, your journal/community/entry will take the promo spot and the previous holder of it will receive a refund for the percentage of the 2 hours which they did not get to use. All content promoted must still comply with the Terms of Service, and additionally should not include adult content or advertisements. Additional details on how this works are available at http://www.livejournal.com/support/faq/350.html.

  • The Manage Userpics page has had some cosmetic changes made so that it is more consistent with other redesigned pages.

  • Embedded YouTube videos can now be viewed in fullscreen mode without leaving the page you are on.

Bug fixes:
  • Following a link to a comment which is screened (typically from an email notification) will no longer return "Unhandled Error", but instead will provide a more informative error letting you know you are attempting to view a comment which is screened.

  • The Popular Interests has been fixed so that it now shows the correct number of users for each interest.
level_head July 30 2014, 15:40

Constitutional Repair

In another blog, by the estimable Citizen Tom, I engaged a pretend conservative who regularly haunts that site. The discussion post, entitled What Do We Need to Do?, raised the issue I wrote about yesterday: How do we fix the current political problems that arise from erosion of the Constitution? Citizen Tom later promoted this comment to its own blog post.

Before we get into my reply to faux conservative “scout,” let’s talk about other alternatives:Read more...Collapse )
ehowton July 30 2014, 05:03

The Last Tire I Ever Changed

I had just finished work for the day when the phone rang - the mother of one of my kids' friends just had a blowout on the Interstate coming into our little town. I hopped in my car to change her tire out for her. Only...the little compact tool they have nowadays wasn't budging the nuts, so I drove back home and got the tire tool from the back of the Mercury. I was able to loosen all but one - a hellishly tight bolt I couldn't break. I had her put her minivan in neutral and rolled it forward a bit, hoping to shift the force on the last bolt. After a back-and-forth between cranking, rolling forward, cranking, rolling forward, I finally got it. While I was working, I was trying to remember the last time I'd actually changed a tire - I couldn't remember!

I was pretty pleased with myself when I thought of this little roadside incident, but the more I thought about it, the more I remembered it was drax0r who'd jumped out and changed the tire.

Then it hit me. The last time I'd changed a tire, was the last time I'd changed a tire.

While I was sure I'd told this story before on this blog, I couldn't find it. You see, growing up in Texas, I spent untold hours on the side of the road changing tires for women and the elderly in my every day travels, it was just something we were raised to do - and was often repaid when my own wife would have a flat while I was working.

But the last time I changed a tire, there was an elderly couple in the parking lot of IGA in Boyd (the one that sold deer corn, drax0r), sitting in their car on a hot Texas day with the windows down and a flat tire. They weren't very communicative, so I reached in the car, took the keys out of the ignition, opened the trunk, and began to change the tire.

There comes a time I suppose, when every mantle must be passed. Mine apparently, had come. Because while I was working (at a very young 35-years of age I might add), a young man - probably in high school - tapped me on the shoulder and asked, "May I help you with that, sir?"

I didn't argue with him. Just handed him the tire tool and made my way home.

And that was the last time I'd changed a tire.
rowyn July 29 2014, 18:44

The Long Earth, by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

My library has a new section at the very front for "new and anticipated" titles, that you have to walk through to get to the reserves and the check-out area. This is how I found out that Pratchett is writing an sf series with Baxter. The series is on book 3 and no one told me. Apparently none of y'all are as devoted Pratchett fans as I thought.

The Long Earth is nothing like the Discworld books: it's arguably fantasy rather than sf, but it's definitely not humor. It's mostly about exploration and social/political/cultural change in the face of new technology. The premise is that mankind discovers how to travel to an apparently infinite series of parallel Earths by "stepping", one Earth at a time to the next Earth over. There are two directions of travel, arbitarily labelled "east" and "west". All of the parallel Earths (at least at first) appear to be devoid of human or other civilization: they're untamed wildernesses.

A lot of the book is about how humanity reacts to this development, which gives the reader plenty of time to consider the authors' various assumptions about human behavior and desires. In my case, this was way too much time to think about it. I could suspend disbelief and accept the parallel Earths without difficulty, but I frequently found it hard to accept the authors' portrayal of its impact. Various details, large and small, would throw me out of the narrative, over and over again.

Some things I liked about the book: the nuns who raised one of the protagonists were quirky, entertaining, and believable, though seen almost entirely through the lens of the protagonist's memories rather than directly. There were rival interests at work in the book, but few villains.  The heroism displayed by some of the characters was understated and delightful for that.

But around page 200 or so, I was mostly bored by the book. I didn't feel engaged by the characters and the central mysteries didn't seem to be getting anywhere. I considered dropping it and reading something else. I forgot to bring it with me to read at lunch. Still, I persevered and it did get better towards the end, but I'm ambivalent about reading the sequel. The sequel is The Long War, and the general lack of war in the The Long Earth was one of the things I liked about it. Lut read both and wants to read The Long Mars, but he admits that if this had been the first Pratchett novel he'd read, it might've been the last.

I'm not disappointed that the book isn't humor: I didn't expect it to be, and I tend to like Pratchett books better when he's not trying so hard to be funny. I just didn't find this particular book that engaging. I might give the sequel a shot anyhow -- like I said, it got better towards the end -- but this one comes in at 6, and I'm planning to read something different next.
level_head July 29 2014, 13:02

Constitutional Concerns

The US Constitution does not need to be replaced or scrapped, as a number of folks on the left have suggested going back to President Woodrow Wilson. It does not need to be cured of its fatal flaws, so that Obama can implement redistribution of wealth and “break free” from the negative liberties placed by the founding fathers to prevent this, as Obama said in 2001.

Nevertheless, there are major problems with our current government. Some examples after a design overview:Read more...Collapse )
kurikuribebi July 29 2014, 10:45

The New Boyfriend I met in Tokyo!!

Nori sent me another message asking me if it was possible for us to be friends and he asked in a way that made it seem as though it was my fault our friendship fell apart in the first place. I haven't responded yet but I haven't deleted the message either. It gives me slight satisfaction knowing that he is going to be waiting for this answer, simply because he knows I've read it.

I have a new boyfriend now. His name is Frank (I think! I don't understand his language well) and he's a fellow foreigner. He's all skin and bones but I love him regardless. He gives me plenty of affection even if we are in public. I met the lovely Frank at Tokyo Dome at something called TenQ, which is kind of an interactive museum about space and space travel and all that. I had been reluctant to go as I was feeling exhausted from being up all night on a horror movie marathon with Taka, but I'm glad that Ryosuke dragged me there anyway. Now I have someone to spend the rest of my life with. Now if I could just get him off the bench....

Photo (1)

Or to at least stop abducting cows. I don't eat meat any more.....

Photo (2)
dining_dragon July 29 2014, 04:05

New York's The Upper Crust [3/5]


The Upper Crust

Despite the images its name conjures up for me, New York's The Upper Crust does not serve pizza. Instead it serves sandwiches, soups, salads, and few pasta meets soup/chili dishes (Cincinnati chili and baja pasta). Curious, the hubby and I headed in for lunch one weekend.

Located in a small strip mall, the interior is softer than you would expect. Carpeted floors share space with mustard yellow walls, wood chairs, and leather like booths. A watery rendition of New York takes up one long wall in vivid shades of blue and red. Each table holds a vase of bright silk flowers, a handful of trivial pursuit cards, small bud vases with crayons, and a few sheets of construction paper. A radio played softly as we walked to the counter to place our order.

After some deliberation, I decided on the 1/2 soup, 1/2 sandwich combo with broccoli cheese soup and a chicken pecan sandwich. The hubby opted for a bread bowl with Baja soup. Two drinks and a brownie rounded out our order. As we paid, the woman at the register handed us our cups and the playing card which would serve as our table number.

We filled our cups at the fountain and selected a comfy looking booth. We chatted and took in the decor; a few minutes later our food arrived.

The Upper Crust

I was underwhelmed with the presentation of my meal. Not that there was really anything wrong with it--the charming "cup of soup", in a mug which matched the plate. It's just that when I think "New York" and "Upper Crust", I think fancy. Thing like plates with some heft, modern patterns, cloth napkins, an artistic flare to the arrangement...Instead this was comfortably homey, like eating at a friend's house.

My soup was smooth with large pieces of broccoli and a touch of spice. Running to the thinner side, it was a lovely consistency and topped with a sprinkling of shredded cheese. Flavor-wise there was something just a touch "off" about it. I debated back and forth as to whether it was canned--the aftertaste wasn't overly chemically, so it was at least a quality pre-prepared product if that's indeed what it was.

The sandwich featured thick, soft bread loaded up with chicken salad and light on the mayonaise. A single slice of cheese and a bit of iceburg lettuce rounded it out. The chicken salad was on the salty side for me, especially when paired with the cheese. I could visually see bits of pickles and pecans in the salad, but I could not taste them. The iceburg added a hint of crunch.

The Upper Crust

They hubby enjoyed his soup declaring it "really good" and full of black beans, corn, chicken, and tomatoes. I was intrigued by his bread bowl which looked like a french or white bread, instead of the traditional sourdough. Despite appearances though, my husband confirmed that it was sourdough.

The Upper Crust

The brownie was my favorite part of our meal. Thick and chewy, it was dense enough to be a brownie, not a cake, but tall enough to look like a cake. Studded with chocolate chips and frosted with a semi-stiff chocolate icing, it was delicious.

As a casual, family friendly sandwich and soup spot, New York's The Upper Crust does nicely. It creates a homey vibe, offers a mix of standard and unfamiliar fare (the Baja pasta is the Baja soup over spaghetti), and actively works to keep kids of all ages entertained. Kids eat free on Saturdays (with purchase of an adult meal) and adult diners can fill a punch card for a free meal which helps make dining there budget friendly. I was, however, confused by the concept. There was the "New York" theme, the "Upper Crust" theme, and a game theme (the playing cards and trivial pursuit cards). My food was solid enough that I wouldn't object to going back but not so good that I would drive out of my way for it. I'd give them a try if you are in the area, especially if you have little ones in tow and want to offer them something a little healthier than pizza, chicken fingers, and french fries.

Total for the meal: $18.04 (Included one combo, one bread bowl with soup, one brownie, and two fountain drinks)

New York's the Upper Crust on Urbanspoon
merig00 July 29 2014, 02:03

Соотношение гражданских и военных потерь среди населения Газы во время операции "Нерушимая Скал

kylecassidy July 28 2014, 16:20

Run for the Hill of it Race Recap

Jackie Oh was my first real assistant. This was back in 2000 or 2001. She'd found a poster of mine in a thrift store and tracked me down on the Internet and said she wanted to work with me and so for, I don't know how long, a couple of years anyway, if there was someone carrying lights or standing in for some rock star while we set up moody lights, it was Jackie.

She's also the one who operated all the complex machinery on the Repulsed by the Earth photo series, which was one of the first really successful art projects I had, and she brought amazing, weird, & wonderful people over all while I was just starting to figure out what "my" art really was.

Then Jackie moved away and everybody was sad, but she wrote a few months ago to say that she was going to be back in the city for a weekend and we should run a race, and she'd found this five mile-er through the forest out north west of Philly somewhere and I signed up. Jackie has started a running group in California that's been bringing people together and growing and it sounds wonderful.

With Denise in the middle. Clickenzee to Embiggen!

The Philly Phanatic was there when we got there which signed an auspicious day. It was a small race which got me thinking that I might actually be able to do well. The weatherman from some local TV station started the race and said we might run into some intermittent showers but everything looked like it was to the west of us and a half mile in the skies opened up like someone had blown a hole in the bottom of the ocean and I ran and somewhere along the line got passed by a guy pushing a jogging stroller and decided that even if I didn't place, I wasn't going to get beat by someone who had to push a jogging stroller up and down all these hills. A guy in a yellow shirt came past who looked like he might be my age and these were to be my personal adversaries for the last two miles. The guy with the stroller was remarkably fit and I was struggling to stay within 50 yards of him, but I held on and in the last half mile let loose with everything left and ended up passing him in the last 10 yards. The guy in the yellow shirt pulled too far ahead, I think he beat me by about 20 seconds.

After a half hour in the pouring rain, you're not getting any wetter.
Clickenzee to Embiggen!

A few minutes after I finished, someone came up to me and said he'd been trying to catch me the whole time but just couldn't do it -- this to me is one of the greatest things about this sport -- wherever you are, you're where someone would like to be, you're always better than someone and always worse than someone, you're fighting your own fight and you own every finish line as your own personal victory.

It turned out I was 2nd in my age group and there was an awards ceremony where a four year old whose name I think was Jeremy put a medal around my neck and said "congratulations on your victory" in the back of a cafe, and then I went out back into the pouring rain. Jackie & I loaded up on bananas and victory and headed back to the city.

Some call second place "first loser" but I call it CHECK OUT MY SILVER MEDAL YO!!!!

I ran faster at Broad Street but I've been not running as much lately, plus there were hills, so I'm not sure really how to judge my performance. My official pace for this was 8:29, and at Broad Street I ran 8:22 over ten miles ... but there aren't any hills at Broad Street, so who knows.

In any event, I got to see Jackie, and I miss having her around.

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newmistakes July 28 2014, 12:54

rinse, repeat

Maybe it’s the weather or the howling wind. Perhaps galactic forces are at fault or maybe my astrological stars are simply not aligning. Whatever the cause I have been generally overwhelmed and extraordinarily emotional for the last week… no, really it’s been more like two. I haven’t been getting enough sleep either – that never helps. It could just be a bout of hypersensitivity, I suppose. It feels like my skin is very thin right now and little things hurt. And so, for the past week.. no, maybe two.. I’ve reduced my life to the basics. Get up. Shower. Dry. Eat my cereal. Feed Crazy Agnes. Go to work. Get through the day. Go home. Medicate with chocolate. Read. Go to bed. Try to sleep. Fail. Try again. Read some more. Get a few hours sleep. Rinse, repeat.

That’s not to say I haven’t done some other things – I bought my mum a car. I got pooped on by a FLOCK of birds in a mass pooping attack outside a shopping centre. I went on a two day school camp at the last minute because one of the other teachers got sick. My internet wifi died and I didn’t realize for a week, then it took two and a half hours talking to people called Candy and Cherry in India before they were ready to acknowledge that it had indeed died and I needed a new one. Undoubtedly there were other things too, but I can’t remember what they were now and really nothing could surpass the horror of a mass bird pooping attack anyway.

ehowton July 28 2014, 05:01


A local copy of my entire iTunes database running in the garage on the Powermac G5; 2x2GHz PPC procs and 3GB RAM running OSX 10.5.8. And of the many circa 2005 Netgear dongles I have laying around the house, I discovered there is an OSX driver for their RealTek chipsets!

Not that I'm going to host any Anna-level events in this garage.

Not shown in the rack are two Dell PowerEdge 2950's (one is running a Win7 remote browserfarm, the other a stupidly overpowered externally-facing openSUSE Minecraft server), an HP DL360 (my kids' internal Win7 Minecraft server), and one of my Itanium boxes - I decided to reinstall HP/UX 11iv3 here at the house as a test box since we don't have any at work.

I also enjoy using the SSH client on my iPhone to send "say" command to the G5 to freak out the kids when they're outside :)

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