Lunchtime Longhouse

getcher turnip onna stick

musicians that improved my day
crocodile, general
The following jazz musicians are recommended by me. You can trust my musical judgement, because I'm always right, and I never lie.

Brad Mehldau - piano. Has a disturbing tendency to cover Radiohead songs in a free jazz idiom, but that's OK because he is so very good at it.

Brian Blade - drums. I will buy any album on which Blade plays. And he's a drummer. He's that good.


that's actually it for jazz this week. I'm also listening to more Bobby Fuller than is good for me, and have come to the conclusion that "Let Her Dance" is a better song than "I Fought The Law". Also, his version of "Not Fade Away" is the best one.

it's the 21st century, folks
crocodile, general
I just found out there are still people teaching two spaces after the end of a sentence. Your PC is not a typewriter, folks. Let the computer work out the typesetting.

Think of it this way: on a typewriter, you had to manually do a carriage return at the end of each line. When you are using Word, you hit Enter at the end of each paragraph. This way the software can be in charge of where the lines end, your hyphenation, stuff like that, even if you change your fonts and margins.

It's just the same with spaces.

The computer will do a reasonable thing with end-of-sentence space, something appropriate to the font you're using, and the exact letters involved. Ideally the whitespace between "." and "I" will be larger than between "." and "T", for example. Not all software will do it that perfectly, of course, but putting two spaces in yourself is just making things worse.

workout update
crocodile, general

I couldn’t train two weeks ago due to being sick. Short version:

6/29 – heavy shrugs, several different kinds of reverse flies, bent-over rows.

7/1 – training at Eliot’s new facility. resistance sprints x10, then supersets of high rep squats & weighted walking lunges. Significant soreness all weekend.

7/6 – timed bench press (10 sets of 5, with 10 seconds to do each set, 1 minute rest between sets). cable crossovers, decline triceps extension with DBs. Some new core stuff like lunge-twist with a resistance band to one side.

what’s up with me
crocodile, general

I’ve been fighting a sore throat for a couple of days, which sucks.

N is out of school for the summer. I’ll take her down to get her learner’s permit in the next couple weeks, and then it’s driving lessons.

It’s time to get serious about losing some weight again. I never did do an after-report on my high protein experiment. Short version: I lost some weight, but it was not easy to stay compliant with my plan, and so I didn’t lose as much as I might have. For my next push I’m going to go back to whatever I was doing in January and February.

Work has been intense lately.

I’m thinking about getting a motorcycle, probably a late 70s Yamaha 650. They seem to be plentiful and reliable and easy to maintain, not to mention cheap.

Back to work now.

testing code uploading
crocodile, general

This is only a test.

Public Class ScanModelTest

    Private testContextInstance As TestContext

    '''Gets or sets the test context which provides
    '''information about and functionality for the current test run.
    Public Property TestContext() As TestContext
            Return testContextInstance
        End Get
        Set(ByVal value As TestContext)
            testContextInstance = value
        End Set
    End Property


We now return you to your regular LJ.

work, and the rest of my life
crocodile, general
I took last Saturday off. I will be working through today, tomorrow, all of next week, and next weekend. Fortunately my boss works longer hours than I do, so I don't feel like it's all on me, and the job is not NORMALLY like this.

N is at her boyfriend's prom this weekend, and Ula is at an event. On the upside it's a gorgeous day, and I did get to go the gym this morning and ride my bike both ways.

Weight loss is pretty much stalled at 250 which I am blaming on my indifferent eating, which I am blaming on work-related stress. It's nice to know I can maintain though.

Working with a trainer at the gym has made me much, much stronger, and even though my weight is flat I'm getting better at all the lifts. If you've never seriously done it, weightlifting is a mental activity more than it is a physical one. Two guys with the same build and same weight can have very different ability to lift, just because one of them is concentrating harder on the right things. The practice effect is huge. It's more like golf than anything else, because you have a hundred things going on during what looks like a very simple motion. I've been doing it less than a year though, so maybe when I have more experience it will feel more automatic.

I haven't been cooking much lately (this ties in to workload and bad diet both). I have been making tiki drinks, which is cooking-related. Tiki is not supposed to be about overly sweet fruity drinks - it's meant to be about complex, balanced drinks with exotic flavors. In cooking, if a recipe calls for demiglace, and you don't have any, you have to take a few days to make stock, to make demiglace, so you can make the dish. In tiki drinks, the long lead time strange ingredients are usually flavored syrups that have to be made ahead. The big three are cinnamon, orgeat (almond), and falernum (lime, ginger, clove). There's also occasionally a call for 'pimento dram', which is an allspice liqueur that is easier to make than to buy.

Last night's drink was the Zombie, which I made with a simplified recipe from Jeff "Beachbum" Berry's excellent book. An original Zombie is a pretty epic concoction involving three kinds of top shelf rum, a lime, and tiny amounts of grapefruit juice, cinnamon syrup, Pernod, and bitters. The simplified one uses only two rums, and a 2:1 mix of grapefruit and cinnamon. The grapefruit/cinnamon combo is called "Don's Mix", and is available bottled at some liquor stores, and that's what I used. Recipe (as I made it) goes:

1.5 oz Don's Mix
1 oz amber Martinique rum (Neisson)
0.5 oz 151 Demerara Rum (Lemon Hart)
0.75 oz lime juice

shake with ice & serve unstrained in a large glass

the lime juice is critical; it's way too sweet without it. A dash of Peychaud's Bitters is a nice addition - I haven't tried Angostura bitters in this yet.

The Jeff Berry book has many-several recipes for the common tiki drinks, showing how they evolved over time. You get a sense after a while for the structure of a tiki recipe: strong spirits, a citrus or other tropical juice, and a splash of something strange, like "1/8 tsp each cinnamon syrup, falernum, bitters, Pernod". It's easy to see why tiki bars were popular for 40 years: you couldn't casually make this stuff at home, even if you knew the recipe, and the flavor profiles are just so unusual.
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sou vide chicken
crocodile, general
sou vide chicken

cold chicken breast, season w salt and pepper, one slice of lemon. vacuum.
immerse at 140 F for 80 minutes
saute in butter VERY quickly on both sides


it is kind of hard to imagine better chicken than this.

weekend aar
crocodile, general
friday, put some beef short ribs into the sou vide machine - 135 F for 48 hours

saturday - gym, nap, wedding in Stayton, home

sunday - breakfast out, xmas lights down in the shameful month of May, massage, eat short ribs.

sous vide short ribs
ribs in vacuum with butter, rosemary, and worcestershire
cook in water bath for two days
drained buttery goo from pouches, thinking I could make this into a pan sauce. Nope, that stuff was gross.
de-boned the meat, seasoned with salt and pepper. seared off in a very hot pan with peanut oil.
let stand 5 minutes

I made some cream gravy to get some use out of the nice fond , and served meat, gravy, and corn.

bar experiment: mint julep concentrate
crocodile, general
bar experiment: mint julep concentrate

1 C sugar
1 C water
3 sprigs mint
2 oz bourbon

stir over medium heat until all sugar is dissolved. remove from heat.

add a BUNCH of bruised mint & let stand 7 minutes.

meanwhile, muddle 3 sprigs mint with sugar sufficient to mush up the leaves real good (a technical term). cover w/ 1 oz bourbon & let stand 3 minutes.

combine your two different mint infusions / extracts, and strain into a clean jar.


one glass crushed ice, 1 T concentrate, 4 oz bourbon (? totally guessing on proportions ?) - stir until glass frosts. Drink while affecting a Kentucky accent.
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weekend aar
crocodile, general
thursday - kid left for Chicago to hang out with p1kap1ka 
friday - worked, then dinner & a movie w/ ula1066 . we saw "How To Train Your Dragon", in 3d, and enjoyed it much.
saturday - worked some, did some housework. In the evening, drove down to Albany for Kim's birthday party. Managed to get home before falling asleep, which is always good.
sunday - quiet day at home for me, but Ula went into town and got some range time in. Mostly, though, we continued to watch The Wire - we're midway through season 2.

N is coming back today, and my plan for the week is basically work, gym, food, sleep.


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