after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Archive for the ‘Distractions’ Category


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t says:  I was made aware of some pretty fun youtube videos recently.  They’re kinda-sorta-old-news, but still pretty darn entertaining.  Enjoy!

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23 February 2013 at 9:47pm

“it’s almost here …”

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4 September 2012 at 5:03pm

Posted in "Lifestyle", Distractions

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Marco Pierre White

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t says: Marco Pierre White is featured in some youtube videos whipping up some rather simple dishes using Knorr packets.  More interestingly, this dish is beef braised with Guiness and prunes.  I’m not sure what I think about that.  I’ve done the Guiness turkey, and it’s ok, and I’ve done a prune braised pork, which is pretty good.  But this one just looks weird – I think it has to do with how dark it looks.  Check it out.

What strikes me as really weird is not only the knife that he is using to prep those ingredients (i.e. he’s using a yanagi, a traditional Japanese knife that’s most often used for slicing fish) but also how he’s holding the knife (a very weird grip with the thumb on top).  I’m going to have to research that maneuver a bit more …

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17 March 2011 at 8:06pm

How do you know if your knife is sharp?

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t says: If your knife can do this, it is sharp …  Sadly, mine cannot do that … yet …

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11 February 2011 at 12:43am

Posted in Distractions

Sifting Through Vogue

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t says: g enjoys the occasional Vogue magazine (i.e. it’s probably the only magazine that we’re consistently subscribed to). We’ve even seen September Issue in theaters, which got me thinking about just how much goes into a magazine that is seemingly “all advertisements”. It’s a lot! But still, I kind of wish they had one with just articles and no advertisements called “Vogue-for-losers” or something like that, because some of the articles, including the food-related ones, are quite fascinating, and it’d be nice to get to them faster. However, I do have to admit that others are … less-than-fascinating.

In any case, this year’s September issue arrived (for those who don’t know the big deal – this is the issue of the year – often the biggest and has a large impact on the fashion world – I don’t know more than that – I’m kind of ignorant when it comes to these things) and was too big for our mailbox, so our mailman put it on the floor in front of our mailbox. I wonder if he even tried to fit it or if he just looked at it, looked at our mailbox, said, “awww, hell no!”, and dropped it on the floor. It’s ok – the 726-page behemoth was poly-bagged.

g instantly noticed, on the lower right hand corner of the cover (placed suspiciously close to Halle Berry’s “features”), the title “the best restaurant in the world”. So she tried to look for the article. She never did find it. Why? Because the table of contents is 4 pages long … but not 4 consecutive pages … They are four pages scattered throughout the first 250 pages of the issue. And not every page is numbered! Hell – the page crediting the editors is on page 290! When she couldn’t find the table of contents in a timely manner, I commented that such a feature was impractical for finding stuff.  g informed me that this was the point. I had a eureka moment as she made me aware that this forces you to flip through more ads and that ad space near the table of contents costs more money. Ohhhhhhhh!  It’s like the super bowl half time commercial slots … gotcha.  I kind of wish that there was a Doritos ad in Vogue …

Well, this morning I was determined to find that article.  I wanted to know the restaurant.  Would it be an actual restaurant, or would it be a stupid article saying something like, “the best restaurant in the world is the one you like to eat at”.  So I sat down before leaving for work and I flipped from the beginning until I found the relevant table of contents page.  Just so you know, the food article is on page 672 if anyone wants to read it. It’s a Steingarten piece (i.e. by the dude who’s the super-critical judge on Iron Chef America) about Noma, which recently beat out two other consistent favorites for the San Pellegrino-sponsored distinction. Now that I finally found the frickin’ article, I can read it [later … when I have more time not wasted by having to search for a single article]. If nothing else, the first picture (think a white, unburnt Freddy Krueger with kitchen knives) is pretty cool.

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27 August 2010 at 7:43am

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A Poseur Like Me …

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t says: It’s not so wrong to like nice things, is it?  I like nice things.  I like nice food.  I like nice cars.  I like nice clothes (well, except for my everyday clothes – in which case, I apparently like the clothes that I’ve had since college … back when “Structure” was still an actual store and not some clothing line at Sears … not that there’s anything wrong with clothing from Sears …).  In the pursuit of “nice things”, I find that I often get really “in” to looking for an super-ultra-extreme version of a relatively common item.  For instance, when I went through a computer phase, back when I used to play a lot of pc games, I knew about the latest CPUs and GPUs and overclocking and liquid cooling (now I own a Mac … the complete opposite of everything I used to stand for).  I also went through a pimp-out-your-car phase, so I knew about hp/torque and turbochargers and exhausts and 46G3 and ECUs.  Of course, I never had the courage (or disposable income) to ever do anything to my 1.8T Volkswagen Jetta (and I never learned to drive stick) … but I could have added another 50-70 hp, easy!  It would have been an awesome mustang- and ricer-killer (we have a lot of those where my parents live in south Jersey).

Was there anything I actually did follow through with?  Kinda.  One of my more recent “phases” had to do with outerwear.  I think it all started during the second >20-inch snowstorms we had this past winter – I was very concerned with staying warm and staying dry and so I started looking at coats to accomplish this.  Now, there are a lot of coats out there.  And as pretty as some of them are, the vast majority are horrible at keeping you warm and dry.  Like the classic wool coat.  Why on Earth are these a good idea?  Yes, they’re chic, but as soon as they suck up all the snow, it’s as heavy as chainmail and no more protective against the cold.  I quickly came to a conclusion.  You want to know who cares about staying warm and dry?  Skiers, snowboarders, and mountain climbers.  (As a sidenote, a long time ago, I had a skiing phase … then I dislocated my kneecap twice – not while skiing – and that was the end of any sport requiring quick knee movements.)  It led me to this website (and the point of this post):

Here is a website that has a lot of outerwear (among other things).  While yes, a lot of it is expensive, a lot of it does go on sale.  And, if you sign up for the emails, 20%-off e-coupons come around a few times a year (if not caught up in your spam filter).  But, this is all pretty boring … until you read the return policy.  That’s right.  Unlimited return policy.  It doesn’t matter how long you’ve had the item.  It doesn’t matter how much you’ve used/abused it.  It doesn’t matter if you still have the receipt (all you need is the online record of the purchase in your profile).  You can return it for the full purchase price, right back to your credit card (assuming your credit card hasn’t changed).  Does it work?  YES IT DOES.  I’ve returned a jacket I’ve had for close to 5 years!  Full credit!  Of course, I then used this credit to buy a new jacket [for cheaper] so it’s kind of like they paid me for a new jacket!  And in five years (or sooner … or later … or whenever!), when I see a better one, I’ll make another exchange.  I’m not sure how they’ll make money off of me, but what do I care – it’s an eternally new jacket (just so long as they’re in business)!  Yes, most ski-worthy jackets are … ugly … but every now and then you find some that don’t look ridiculous.  g will still refuse to wear anything in which fashion is sacrificed for function, so I doubt she’ll ever wear as winter-ready a jacket as I – but even she agreed that my latest purchase wouldn’t make her ashamed to be seen with me around town (she really loves me).  The only caveat is things that are purchased from their outlet (i.e. are NOT eligible for this return policy, so buyer beware!

So – will I ever go skiing, snowboarding, or mountain climbing?  Hell no.  I have two knees and I want to keep them both.  But, thanks to backcountry, I will always be warm and dry, and isn’t that all that matters?  I totally don’t care if skiers, snowboarders, and climbers all look at me and mutter under their breath: “poseur”.

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31 July 2010 at 8:05am

An Apple Aside …

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t says: Welcome to one of our first non-food-related rants!  To ease you in to this new category, I’m going to talk about Apples.  No, not apples, but Apples.  Not fruit, but computers.  As you may know, Apple released their latest lines of Macbook Pro laptops this past Tuesday.  As someone who is going to be purchasing a computer through work (free for me!!), I’ve been reading up on the pros/cons of these new PC’s.  That’s right, PC doesn’t stand for “a computer running Windows”, it means “personal computer” – I still have no idea why “PC” means “Windows” to everyone – good marketing by Microsoft I guess (although now it’s biting them in the ass).

First off, I’m a little disappointed that the Macbook Air didn’t get updated – I was really going to jump on one of those for the portability.  Because I need to decide on a computer really really soon, and because the Air will likely see an update in the somewhat near future (i.e. before the close of 2010) and it would CRUSH me to have an outdated model within the first 6 months of ownership, I think I’m going to have to go for one of the Macbook Pros.  True, there are PCs out there which are vastly superior to Macbook Pros in terms of hardware, but over the years, I’ve found that ease of use and reliability are just far more important than speed.  Plus – have you ever made use of an Apple store?  It’s 742 times easier visiting an Apple store in person than it is trying to call up tech support, talking to someone, shipping the computer to them, waiting a while without a computer, and then finally opening it up when it gets back to you, hoping that it didn’t get damaged along the way.  I’ll do that for frying pans.  But I’m really tired of doing that for something I actually depend on (also, they’re opening up a new Apple store in Center City!).  Also, after years of using Windows XP, if I have to learn a new GUI (as Windows 7 is different enough to have a learning curve), I might as well go over to the dark side.  Lastly, g likes Macs, and as the saying goes, “Happy wife, happy life.”  (Shout out to the Real Housewives of NJ)

What will I buy?  I don’t know … but I’m really digging the high resolution, matte screens available on the 15″ model (I hate seeing my reflection in computer screens – I don’t care how good movies look on them or how good of a hair day I’m having).  I’m going to wait for the benchmarks to come out – I don’t want to spend extra money on upgraded hardware if it doesn’t result in real-world performance.

Another question.  Will I get an iPad, too?  I don’t know – I’m leaning towards “not now” – I just can’t figure out what to use it for.  But in the back of my head, I know that  in order for Steve Jobs to rule the world, each and every one of us must find an excuse to carry one of these things around wherever we go.  (Actually, it’s quite amazing how Apple’s really good at making us want to use their stuff, even if we technically don’t really need to use their stuff).

Finally … what’s the point of this post?  I don’t know.

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15 April 2010 at 2:36pm