dickens: (Default)
Fresh ginger. No, not like the stuff in the store. Fresh! 2 foot worth of leaf stalk still attached! Teeny little buds of ginger root, the skin is mostly still yellow not brown.

It was more expensive than I expected ($10 for what will probably be ~4 oz, not my most frugal decision of the week) but I couldn't resist the opportunity to try some. I just came home with fewer other vegetables than I otherwise would have.

The leaves smell of ginger too, though in a quick google search I couldn't find any evidence they're edible. Anyone with experience or better Google-foo than me?

I have many plans for ths stuff. I'll report back :)

ETA: It is closer to 8 or 9 oz, that seems slightly less outrageous.
dickens: (antennae)
...or does this picture make Saturn's rings look like an enormous LP?

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
dickens: (Default)
The best definition of moment I've ever seen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNVPalNZD_I

And a book recommendation: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. A view of the world post-zombie-apocolypse. Somewhat reminiscent of The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri Tepper.

Instead of trying to review it, I'll point you to the review at Hathor Legacy that led me to order the book from the library.
dickens: (anemone)
We were at the last Circus Juventas performance of Yulong tonight. As always, the performance was fabulous.

Unfortunately, just after the last ovation, when Dan Butler (co-founder) came out to speak, the north side bleachers collapsed (we were on the other side).

As we were leaving, I only saw one person with an injury, she was sitting near where the bleachers had been holding her elbow. However, there were many people still around, so it wasn't easy to see.

The crowd was very well behaved, after an initial gasp, everyone started filing out of the building and the performers and staff started helping to move chairs away from the collapsed area and instructing people to leave.

I noticed at least a few people on cell phones to 911, and by the time we'd gotten out of the building several emergency vehicles were on site. (I'm pretty sure at least a couple squad cars had already been there because they usually direct traffic before and after the show.)

This is all the news I've seen so far: http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_13138110?nclick_check=1
dickens: (MaryCassatt)
As you may be aware, I'm in the habit of reading practically anything that Michael Pollan writes.

But I have to admit, I bounced off his latest essay in the NY Times Magazine. On page 3, someone who studies people's eating habits says that 'scratch cooking' is so rare that they don't even ask about it in surveys, they consider 'cooking' anything that requires the assembly of ingredients (so lettuce w/ dressing or a sandwich count) and that cooking is vanishing from American life because "no one would know how to do it anymore".

I think both of them have been stuck in some sort of restaurant dominated twilight zone.

On my live journal, most weeks I read about something that one of you all is cooking, and it all sounds good.
Heck, how do kitchen stores stay in business if no one cooks?
Why were the last few cooking classes I took full?
Do the produce and meat sections of grocery stores occupy the same mental space as gym memberships (something people pay for but never use?)
How come I can still buy canning supplies if no one else uses them?
Why do I have to make sure to get fresh cranberries days before Thanksgiving if no one besides me makes their own sauce?

Or are we all just weirdos? (Okay, I suppose we are, but in this particular sense?)
dickens: (dance)
[livejournal.com profile] smferris recently asked me if there are any causes I'm passionate about, and at the top of my list is education.

So I was both amused and inspired by this TED talk by Dave Eggers. How to get kids to come to a writing tutor? Sell pirate supplies and make connections with teachers and students.

Long but worth the time:
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/dave_eggers_makes_his_ted_prize_wish_once_upon_a_school.html
dickens: (bday cat)
There was an unmoderated Job Networking panel at Convergence this year. I've been to a few events like this lately and a moderator REALLY HELPS. It occurred to me that a geek networking group with a few people who are willing to moderate/assist all these introverts could be a useful thing in the Twin Cities.

I guess that means I've volunteered :) I created a new e-mail address for people to contact if interested TCgeeknetwork@gmail.com.

I put up a handful of signs at 'con and left some smaller versions on the freebie table. They all disappeared, but no bites yet. When I get responses I'm going to create a short survey to find out what people's interests are for a networking group.

Please send messages if you're interested or pass along the address to anyone you know who is job hunting, self-employed or just in need of a professional network.

I think I need to put up signs at book, comics and games stores... At some point I'll need to start contacting various con-coms and ask if they're willing to help me get the word out. Anywhere else that would work?

I'm also going to chat with the director of MN Women in Networking to see if she has advice for someone creating a networking group.

Oh yeah, anyone interested in helping me run this thing? ;)
dickens: (dance)
I started reading The Makioka Sisters by Tanizaki Juni'chiro, (translated to English by Edwin Seidensticker in 1957) this weekend. The book is set in the late 1930s in Osaka.

It took about 50 pages to figure out what seemed wrong to me. The characters are too direct. It doesn't read like other Japanese works I've read which translate at least some of the indirect communication style. It reads like an English or American novel with character and place names switched to Japanese.

Changing conventions for Japanese to English translations perhaps? I can't seem to find any other translations of this book so I can't compare directly.
dickens: (Default)
As my wrists don't work as well as they used to, I'm trying to find ways to keep pressure off them when doing things like reading.

Has anyone tried one of these? Some other paperback holder that works great and costs (preferably) less than $20?
dickens: (lolcat)
http://tractorlizard.com/

Refresh and you get different 'business models'. Funny in a 'this sounds distressingly like reality' sort of way.
dickens: (Default)
So this month's book report (that seems to be all the more often I do these) is for From Hire to Liar - The role of deception in the workplace by David Shulman

more behind the cut )

Darn socks

Jun. 3rd, 2009 11:13 am
dickens: (MaryCassatt)
Since before Wiscon I've been looking for my summer socks. You know... the short ones that don't keep your knees warm in the winter. I'd already put away the long warm socks, and have been making due with a few pair that work summer or winter or just wearing sandals.

I began to fear that I'd accidentally given away my bag of summer clothes (socks and shorts mainly).

Monday I gave up and bought a week's worth of socks at Target.

Tuesday I found my socks. :P
dickens: (litmus)
In an after Christmas sale, I got a pressure cooker, then it sat on a shelf for a few months until I got around to using it.

So far I've made a couple stellar recipes, a couple (one this evening) that were blander than I expected, and there has been much stock making (vegetable, beef, and chicken feet*).

For reasons I'm still unclear on, Rainbow refers to them as chicken paws.
--
My new rule for kitchen stuff is, look for it used first. Doesn't always work, but it lets me get my shopping fix without spending a lot. About a week ago, I was driving along 70th and saw an estate sale sign. I find estate sales fascinating even if I don't buy anything, so I headed into the wilds of Edina. (You didn't know it had any did you?)

I sadly bypassed the collection of old medical and dental instruments, wrinkled my nose at the house-wide smell of musty old books and ignored all the hunting and fishing gear. What made it worth the trip was the $5 food mill in good condition.

This year there will be two food mills for tomato soup making. And perhaps some of my jelly/jam making will go faster too.
dickens: (antennae)
Any other time I'd be talking about the latest Order of the Stick, but Monday's Sluggy Freelance is on a different level all together.
dickens: (litmus)
Listening to MPR this evening, in relation to swine flu, there are several schools closing, including a couple in MN.

This is something that will probably happen more often over the next few decades and schools in the US really aren't prepared for any sort of long-term quarantine situation.

At a conference I attended in 2007, the speaker talked about how Singapore closes its school buildings for a week or two a year, but classes continue. Every teacher is expected to be able to continue class-as-usual online in case of emergency. The school closings are the annual drill.

There are reasons that this is less practical to achieve in the US right now. (That's probably 2 or 3 more posts sometime...) But it wouldn't be a bad thing to start striving for.

Maybe I need to write some congress critters a letter?
dickens: (dance)
Last time I saw them at Northrop was the performance of Anna Karenina. It was fabulous.

Last night they performed Onegin, based on Alexander Pushkin's novel Eugene Onegin but set in the early 90s. Again, they are superb, there is a great mix of classical and modern in both the dance and music. The number of costume changes was startling and impressive. The lighting and set were fantastic.

The unique bit of choreography that made me smile was a lift in which there was no question that what was really happening was that Onegin wanted to look up Tatanya's skirt.

Surfing around to find out more about the story and the ballet, I discovered that Minnesota is no longer in America. (The company performs next weekend at UC Berkeley, and the UCB site states that the performance is the "American Premier".)
dickens: (Default)
The raspberries that have been in my freezer for several months are now juice. Straining out all the seeds took three wire strainers, both of my big pots and two large bowls.

Tomorrow there will be jelly.
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