ice cream making and ranting

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Early Spring?

I was explaining Groundhog Day to someone at work. He found out about it because it was written on his USAA calendar, full of sickening pictures of servicemen and families. He’s from Mexico, and has been in America for longer than most of the people in my department. Usually he’s the only one who understands when I try to make a pop culture reference. He was the only one who understood when I compared a coworker to Zach Morris, only without the heart of gold. But for all these years, he just never paid attention to medium sized rodents, I guess.

So I tell a short story about groundhogs and shadows and 6 more weeks of winter. And I get to the end, and I realize I’m supremely embarrassed. My gosh, did that story really come out of my mouth? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Even the addition of unicorns and princesses couldn’t make it any more absurd. If someone made it up for a movie everyone would laugh the writer out of the country.

After that, he asked how people celebrated, and I had to think for a while. And I realize that besides those crazies in Gobbler’s Knob, only people associated with elementary schools celebrate. And how do they celebrate? I’m not really sure. Probably a lesson on Groundhogs, or weather. Also, probably cookies and juice.

And, would you believe that this rodent’s day has basis in religion? After about 5 seconds of internet research, I find out that Candlemas Day is the 40th day of Christmas, or something. I’m too embarrassed to do real research on this subject. I hope Google doesn’t turn my record over to the government. They’ll totally all start laughing at me.

Let’s hope for an overcast Thursday! I’m way over winter this year.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Lindsay's Tea Party Ends in Stitches

Is this even possible? Who knew tea could be so dangerous?

Lohan had reportedly just stepped out of the shower Friday afternoon, when she lost her grip on a teacup, which smashed to the ground. A shard of the broken cup connected with the actress' shin, leaving a gash that required 10 stitches to close.


Happy New Year

Sunday, January 29, 2006

File under geek

I’ve been watching this season's Beauty and the Geek, and it’s almost as good as last season. Except, they kinda know how the game works, and there’s more talk of learning and changing—not just living in a house and seeing how different their lives are. Hmmph.

I’m in love with Karl. I don’t know much about him, and the website seems to be acting funny. What I do know is he is the most adorably awkward. And he’s a dungeon master. There’ s an interview where he says a girl called him to “ask him over,” but he went to play dungeons and dragons instead. Sarah, I may need your help with the D&D if I’m going to win this boy over. He showed promise last week when he narrowly lost the furnishing a bedroom competition. I liked his the best.

It’s too bad I’ll never be beauty or geek enough to get on the show.

I seem to like the adorable awkward nerd lately. When I was at Ruby’s, I couldn’t stop watching this boy in the paper hat and bowtie. He wore it like he believed it. Why wasn’t he our waiter?!

But, even I have to draw the line somewhere. I got the latest ALA Graphics catalog last week, but waited until I went to my 2 day cataloging class. And yes, everything I imagined about catalogers was true. I could definitely see my professor proudly drinking from his tea or coffee cup with the correct Dewey Decimal number on the back (filed under beverage, not plant).

At least the tea one has a style. The coffee mug looks like some kid made it 10 years ago with his first computer. It’s really too bad food and drink aren’t allowed in the library. Just in case you don’t have eagle eyes, the words under the Coffee number are:

Collection: Non-fiction
Status: In library
Availability: 1 copy cup

And if you can’t get enough, you can label your cat and dog so they can never show their faces in public again. It’s a good thing this isn’t high school, because I can totally imagine some sitcom that involves the high school dewey class where they have to stick labels on household items.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Chocolate Reddi Wip

I I have a blog, its time I became a whistle blower for important things like this. Chocolate Reddi Wip is a delicious treat. But please note the color on the can and the color in the spoon. I took one picture with flash and one without, there has been no brightness/ contrast/ color editing by me. This looks like false labeling to me.

Parents Protest American Library Association's 'Censorship'

Oh goodness, I may never have read such a fantastic editorial. It’s long and just full of opinion. This guy thinks the ALA is "censoring" good American values, and peddling smut. They were smart and put it out just as everyone was preparing for the ALA mid-winter conference, otherwise, I’m sure the blogosphere would have many more opinions. I’m not a librarian, but I am a card carrying ALA member, I paid my dues.

Here’s a sampling:

It’s a dirty little secret that the librarians of today are far removed from the prim and proper characterization which for years was part of American lore; today, these professionals -- more precisely, the ALA -- has taken its place among the militant left and has staked out positions well beyond the mainstream

Mostly true, except for the “dirty little secret” part. There’s more than enough literature to make you gag about trying to update the librarian image. It’s not a secret at all, we’re trying to tell people, they’re just not listening. Maybe you should listen more and judge less? Eh?

Unbeknownst to most people, a new wave of literature called "authentic literature" hit our public school libraries over the last few years. The ALA claims such books portray American life and culture in a more realistic fashion. But they don't. These books feature druggies, sex addicts, pedophiles, gang members and others on the fringes of society. Increasingly, this literature is replacing the traditional literature classics, which, in general, promoted mainstream American values or at least didn't undermine them.

This is true, sort of. Except for the American values thing, have you ever read Shakespeare? If that’s not classic, I don’t know what is. No role models there. And as much as I love the Baby-Sitters Club and it’s innocence and purity, and will defend it to anyone, I just can’t accept that as real life.

The rest of the article goes to focus on how bad we are for “the children.” And, I’d just like to point out that I’m not doing all the work, and paying all the money to get my masters (and sometime in the future may have to cave and get a MBA too) so I can be a glorified baby sitter. Actually, strike that, there’s not much glory.

There are few very libraries today in which I would leave my 13-year-old son unescorted, because, unfortunately, the protection and safety of our children is simply no longer a priority for libraries or for the ALA

Ummm, safety is the concern of police and firemen, I think. Not librarians. And a 13 year old boy? You’d be lucky if the worst thing he’s done is read YA fiction at the library. Still unsatiated, and believing we are babysitters, Baldwin goes on to note:

“Indeed, the ALA web site arrogantly states, "Librarians do not serve in loco parentis."

Once again, I am not getting my masters to be a baby sitter. Arrogant? If you think that’s arrogant, then so be it. Then hire a nanny. Is it arrogant to say the grocery store clerk isn’t a baby sitter? No, it’s just not he clerk’s job.

Still not happy, he suggests the ALA should:
shift to more important issues, like helping children learn how to read, but no, the battle promptly shifted back to literature. [instead] , ALA members have intensified their efforts to purchase highly inappropriate literature.

Dude, you’ve caught me. It’s totally my goal to turn the library into a seedy sex shop. Maybe we can even get a few snuff films. Exchange your good American literature for free needles.

In conclusion:

It has become increasingly clear that the ALA is really not so much dedicated to defending the First Amendment as it is to challenging America's underlying value system. It’s time to acknowledge that libraries have changed. Those who think their children are safe in libraries today need to know that many of our libraries have been transformed from the caretakers of knowledge to key players in the militant movement to undermine America's Judeo-Christian heritage.

If anyone wants to help me challenge America’s underlying value system, you know how to reach me. And if anyone wants to focus on the adults and not the snot nosed children, I’m here for that too. Also, if anyone wants to eat marzipan babies, I’m good for that too.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Gaja Okonomiyaki

I meant to take a picture before we cut into the food, but was too distracted

I went with Kenny and Stephanie to Gaja, a Japanese restaurant mentioned by boing boing

Their specialty is apparently Okonomiyaki (aka Japanese pizza or pancake). So, that’s what we ate. Between the 3 of us there was sausage (read: hot dog), cheese, mushroom, pork, corn, green onion and teriyaki chicken. They were rather like egg foo young with ginger and cabbage mostly, as flavors. The 3 of us decided that the place was rather unscary, and the food not strange at all. I was disappointed, Kenny was relieved. It was still good though, and I think my leftovers tasted better than it did fresh, because all the flavors got to seep.

The menu was gigantic. I’d go back next time and try something else. They are set up for cooking at your table. And some family near us was doing just that, and spread the delicious meat smell through the restaurant.

According to the sign in the bathroom, next to the wicker chair, the restaurant and menu change for dinner. Whatever that means, I just don’t know.

Worst Thing Ever

I've been prone to exaggeration. But, I might just be right. Sushi cupcakes was your beforehand unicorn chaser. Here is the worst thing ever.

If anyone feels so inclined, as to link to the link above, i'd be greatful. I want to get the post way high on the search results, if possible.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Can Wikipedia Survive Its Own Success?

Here's a
great article on Wikipedia.
I've read a lot of them, and they usually are on on side of the fence of the other. They're not usually this thoughtful, (and in line with my own thoughts). It's long, but worth a read.

The answer to all those questions, according to experts at Wharton, boils down to two words: It depends. According to Eric Clemons, professor of operations and information management, it is foolish to take Wikipedia's definitions as gospel, but the site is still worth reading from time to time. Marketing professor Peter Fader notes that Wikipedia shows there is wisdom in crowds, but a better user rating system would filter out those who post bogus information. Joel Waldfogel, professor of business and public policy, agrees that much of the concern about Wikipedia is just a new spin on whether old media (printed encyclopedias, in this case) stand a chance against the new breed of instantly updatable online media.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What's in a name?

I'd like to draw attention to this link from boing boing, in case, like me, you don't pay much attention to the posts without pictures.

A BLOGGER IS JUST A WRITER WITH A COOLER NAME: Why Blogging vs. Traditional Media Has Been Oversold

And it occurred to me that there is no such thing as blogging. There is no such thing as a blogger. Blogging is just writing -- writing using a particularly efficient type of publishing technology. Even though I tend to first use Microsoft Word on the way to being published, I am not, say, a Worder or Wordder.

It’s just software, people! The underlying creative/media function remains exactly the same.

Once again, we have to be reminded it's the message, not the medium that's important. Library schools are in a tizzy, so much legit information is becoming available for free online, how does one separate the baby from the barthwater? There were a few people in my online searching class (no, not just about typing words into Google) who were of the old guard and had no interest in learning how the kids are doing it these days. And I was pretty shocked at the lack of of exposure of some of these people, but quite happy to see many of them were going to hit the ground running. So, there's hope for my profession after all. I'm pretty sure it was my message board posts on blogging (and blog searching) that made me pass the class. Because it certainly wasn't my attention to detail in the dinosaur of a database we were supposed to be learning.

Mostly I'm just writing this post so I'll have the link to the article handy, next time I feel like bringing it up for class.

In other news, I just checked my grades this week. I got an A+ in my business reference class. It must be my first A+ since high school. This is completely unacceptable. I didn't do an A+ amount of work, and my comprehension of accounting standards and annual statements and ratios is sketchy at best. But, damn, did I kick ass on my presentation geared at undergrads. Grading is retarded.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

All that Sass

There's no questioning that blogging has changed the way I think. Editorials, and columns in regular printed medium just become blog posts in my mind.

And I enjoyed the Dan Neil column in today's LA Times Magazine. I also enjoyed being able to read it on the couch, unlike what I can get from my desktop computer.

I recently received a news release announcing that the Word of the Year for 2005 was, according to editors of the Webster's New World College Dictionary, "infosnacking"—which denotes the random, through-the-day nibbling of news, e-mail and information on the Web. This surprised me on a couple of counts, the first being that I'd never heard the word, and the second being that the word was so silly and half-assed.

I'm sorry, but if you try to play "infosnacking" in a Scrabble game against me you're going to be picking up tiles for a week. When did the bar for word-ness get to be so appallingly low? And if the witless "infosnacking" is a word, why not say "newsnoshing" or "datamunching," both of which are more euphonious?

"It's a dreadful word, yes," agreed Michael Agnes, editor-in-chief of Webster's NWCD, who talked me off my ledge of indignation by noting that "infosnacking" did not actually make it into the 2005 edition. Word of the Year is an exercise in lexical currency. "The editors pick one word that tickles our funny bone or reminds us of something about the way language works, or reflects our current state of affairs," he says. "It's a word that has a story."

Secret life of... Sushi

Who knew how far fruit rolls, gummies and coconut could go. No, it's not ginger, wasabi or roe, that's marzipan.

There was also seahorse sushi, but we didn't get a great picture of it.

That Clare Crespo has nothing on me.

More pics here

Crazy Beautiful

The crazies across the street have won some kind of award. I haven't looked into it yet, but surely it's a sham. There aren't that many nice houses in Gardena, I don't know how many months this thing can go on.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Noodle Sandwich

I've been amused by the idea of a noodle sandwich ever since I saw it on Yakitate. But I finally bought one. Even my cat finds it suspicious. In addition to Yakisoba sandwiches, Nijiya also sells spaghetti sandwiches and croquette sandwiches.

Having a digital camera is everything I've ever hoped for. It's so much freedom not having to explain that you want to borrow a camera to take a picture of a noodle sandwich.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Book of Daniel

Kenny beat me to it, but I’m not going to let the 2 entire hours of my life go unblogged. This is a 1 hr show, but the premiere was 2 hours long. Really there was only about 1 hr of show though, because they kept going to commercial like ever 3 minutes. And to go to commercial they freeze the last frame of the action and poorly (or maybe just ugly-ly) turn it into digital stained glass. Ha, church show, stained glass.

The priest has a vicodin problem. His wife drinks too much. His mom has Alzheimer’s, so his dad is cheating on the mom with the woman bishop. The brother in law is now dead and the sister in law and her lesbian lover stole millions from the church. The son is gay. The adopted chinaman is not white. And the pot selling daughter is just retartedly teenaged and mood swingy. The maid steals a bit of pot from the daughter and we find her smoking it while the cheating lady bishop comes to visit. All they need is a midget or a monkey and it might as well be Passions.

Since they are a family, they have dinner together a gazillion times during this 2 hrs, or at least 3 times. And the conversation never changes. Oh, look, there’s an Asian kid. Oh boy, there’s a not quite “out” gay. The lame stereotypes never stop being mentioned in increasingly more banal ways. I found myself getting annoyed, then stopping to thing. Was this how people really were? Uninteresting, with the same things to say every hour of every day? I started to worry.

The daughter thinks she needs a $4000 graphics program so she can do her manga. Now, manga, you see, is not quite a middle american word yet, so it is treated as some strange commodity. And rather than tell her parents she wants something, or even that she draws anything at all, she sells pot because they “wouldn’t understand” –might as well be right out of an school special. It was very bizarre to watch, not natural at all. And here’s another part that makes me think. I don’t consider myself that tech savvy, sure I’m better than the unwashed masses, but so are all my friends. In fact, my friends are the ones who let me know I’m not all that savvy. Because when I want software, paying for it (especially with drug money) never crosses my mind. That’s what friends (and sisters) are for. It’s not like the girl was being totally honest and desired to buy software the old fashioned way with legitimately made money. No, she just didn’t know how else to get it.

Tangentially, is this the future? Kids don’t download what they want anymore, they sell, drugs or sex or whatever to buy their movies, music and software? Is this what the studios are hoping will happen?

As for the race issue, the seemed very forced the entire time. The Asian bashing v gay bashing good natured dinner banter was absolutely bizarre. Is this all the family has to say ever? It’s obvious they love to antagonize each other, but are definitely a family that will stick together. Their issues are all individual, and not family related. The family bond is strong. Granted, I’m not really an expert with the racism. But it seemed like the crazy mom (and I imagine we’ll find out what her deal is later) was more concerned with babies than anything else. Is that what parents of high school aged children worry about? Or does she just need to take a few of the priest's vicodin and chill?

It sounds like I don't like this show, but I'll probably keep watching it. It doesn't have much competition, and it's a bit of a loveable train wreck. I suppose you can't expect good things from a girl whose current favorite show is Grey's Anatomy.

C is for Cookie

I just ate the best cookie. Usually I have very little but disdain for store bought cookies. Mostly I don’t buy them with the exception of the occasional Circus Animals, or Oreo, or my yearly box of Samoas. And super expensive cookie botiques that charged exorbanant rates for subpar cookies always make me think I’m in the wrong business.

But David’s Cookies’ Butter Pecan Meltaways are the best mail order cookies ever! The ingredients are simple (and they’re actually made with butter, which was obvious from first sniff). It has all the ingredients of a shortbread, but it’s not as dense and much more delicious.
But, I think they left crack of the list, because, I just ate 1 and suddenly I don’t think it’s a bad idea to pay $30 plus shipping to get more. At least if I was buying cocaine, I'd get skinny.

It’s exactly what a mail order cookie should be. Not soft, so it’s obvious when it loses its 3 day freshness. And not hard like those gross Keebler pecan sandies. It’s rich and crunchy and just about melts in your mouth.

I’ve never heard of this David person before. But you can be sure that if I ever have any cookie mailing needs, he’ll have my business.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Celestron Sky Scout

Here's a magical new product I heard about on the radio this morning. And a review.

The trouble with star spotting is that, well they all pretty much look the same... Enter US company Celestron which has just unveiled a very neat little gadget called the Sky Scout... [and] enables the user to name the stars and planets they are looking at.

The camcorder sized device uses GPS to pinpoint where the user is and where they are looking at and then accesses the information on the star/planet via its database which has details on 6000 celestial objects.

As most of you know, space freaks me out. But this sounds darn cool.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ultimate Ketel One Vodka Cocktail Guide

My house was vacated for a few hours last night, so I had a glass of wine, and sat down with my Ultimate Ketel One Vodka Cocktail Guide on DVD. Apparently you can order it free from their horribly flashed website (I don’t recommend it, I got about 2 clicks and left)

I got my DVD as part of a box set also containing a bottle of Ketel One and a metal shaker. The shaker turned out to be better than I thought it would be. The DVD turned out to be much worse.

I’m no DVD connoisseur, but I’ve always been able to, and am trying to even more for my career, pick out poorly designed things and suggest ways to make them more user friendly. There are 4 chapters on the main page, with no play all button.

Ch 1. Introduction. Not too bad, given by the son of the head of Ketel One, who will eventually inherit the company. Short, almost painless. Ketel One is so named because of the original copper still in use today. Bizarrely, the K1 guy sounds and looks more like a New York Mobster than some privileged Dutch guy.

Ch 3. Probably the best chapter, some guy who has actual knowledge and a pleasant demeanor giving lessons on vodka tasting. Even though you’re supposed to drink vodka ice cold, when tasting, taste at room temperature because it gives off the most flavor. When sniffing, don’t stick your nose way in like with wine, smell from the top of the glass.

Ch. 4. Maybe the lamest, but at least the shortest. The Ketel One head guy invites us all to visit the factory next time we’re in the Netherlands.

And last, and most painful, Ch. 2. Bar setup and cocktails. There are about 10 or so segments in the menu. And no option to play all. And the cursor doesn’t automatically move to the next segment so you can just click play.

Technical problems aside, the cocktail segment is BORING. The guy may be some kind of hot shot mixologist, but he’s obviously not an actor with any kind of charisma and he’s obviously not reading cue cards, and he didn’t bother to memorize lines. He just sort of “umm”s and “cool”s and “fun”s his way through the dialogue. The one useful thing the guy does is show us how to make the citrus twist things. But even that was way more laborious and long and unfun that it should have been. And it’s not like he’s showing complicated drinks. All the drink recipes are included in the DVD booklet. And really my life would have been much better off, skipping that whole segment and spending 30 seconds looking at the booklet.

This criticizm comes from a girl who counts Food Network as one of her favorite channels. It COULD be so good, the product is quality, but the guy just fails. I love stories that connect food to emotion or memories or anything of interest. I wholeheartedly recommend Under the Tuscan Sun (the book) for being just that. Even though it makes me gag I like when Rachel Ray tells some story about her “sweetie” cooking for her, or her crazy aunt whoever. Even Emeril, who I hate, adds interest to his cocktails by telling a story about this or the other thing. Are they just more boring over in the Netherlands, and find this boringness acceptable?

I needed a much bigger glass of wine than the one I was drinking to enjoy the DVD.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Consider yourself chastised

That’s it, I’ve had it.

All of you people who think I should patron places like “bars” and “clubs” and “supermarkets” and “libraries” in search of boys, just give up. There is no reason for me to talk to complete strangers, if you all won’t talk to friends of friends.

I threw a great party, but after the beginning, I got distracted with kitchen matters and didn’t do much for introductions. Yes, I could have done better. But so could you. SHAME, SHAME on you guests. I don’t want to hear how my friends from high school wouldn’t mingle. And I don’t want to hear how my college friends wouldn’t mingle. To this I have to say, I guess I’m much more fabulous than you, because my friends talk to me.

I was a little busy with the not burning the house down, and all. Take some initiative. Most of you have at least met before. You read the blogs. You know I’m a friend in common. Mostly, you’re not strangers, you’re friends of friends. And friends of friends are perfectly acceptable conversation partners.

It’ll probably be a while before I empty enough people out of my house to have another party. And, next time I’ll probably have all disposable partyware, and onion dip from a box. Then I’ll have time and energy to force some kind of interaction, because, apparently, you need it. But remember, at my wedding to lovely boy not met while on the prowl for fresh meat, I’m not going to be nearly as understanding.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I want YOU

In my email today I got one from the official school mailing list for DHS fellowship. I didn’t know what that was, so I opened it, and it turns out it’s the Department of Homeland Security. Are they kidding? Requesting the email be forwarded to a bunch of Californian future librarians?! Are they not aware of the current feelings about the PATRIOT act and such? Or are they hoping to find a single mole who will spy on all librarians and report back who’s reading, Judy Blume, Mark Twain and D.H. Lawrence. Why doesn't Mobil start offering scholarships to people in Greenpeace, or maybe the Beef Council should partner with PETA?

All I hope is that no librarians are stupid enough to think they can make changes from the inside.

It seems to me, the academic community in general is not too happy with it all. So good luck to Uncle Sam. Only YOU can prevent forest fires, or something. Although, I suppose I shouldn’t underestimate the draw of cold hard cash.

proprietary nonsense

I use neither itunes or ipods, but for those who do, it sounds like making MP3s was a problem. But, here's how to via LIB.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year

Even though I hit the sauce a bit too hard, I think the party was successful.

Pictures here (note: you don't have to log in, the link through is under the yellow "continue" button)

If anyone wants the raw files, or the PSDs of the pink bordered pics, let me know.