Friday, September 29, 2006

Senate Wins Fight To Lower Allowable Amperage Levels On Detainees' Testicles

September 29, 2006 | Issue 42•40

Senate Wins R
WASHINGTON, DC—Led by a bipartisan group of senators critical of White House policy on suspected terrorists, the Senate passed a bill Thursday that prohibits interrogators from exceeding 100 amps per testicle when questioning detainees. "Even in times of war, it counterproductive and wrong to employ certain inhumane interrogation techniques, and using three-digit amperage levels on the testicles of captives constitutes torture," said Sen. John Warner (R-VA), who has also supported reducing the size of attack dogs and the height of nude pyramids. "Using amperages of 99 and lower, with approved surge protectors on the jumper-cable clamps, are the hallmarks of a civilized society." The legislation did not address amperage restrictions on suspected terrorists' labia.


LOL.... Thats satire from the Onion. However I would not put a discussion like this happening in our nation outside the realm of impossibility. For it was the idiotic right wing Rush Limbaugh who after all thought that some of the pictures from Abu Ghraib as being no worse than a college fraternity prank.

Pictures From The Web
Never To Early To Celebrate..



Guaranteed Artery Clogger!



*A* an avid reader of the NY Times pointed out some interesting recipes to me. I should try some out this weekend. I am looking forward to them actually.
Enjoy your weekend folks!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

What Me Read?.. Colbert On Jesus Camp..A Nation Losing It's Soul..

Update - There is another post below this one, the Friday word is "Pink". The link here if you don't want to scroll down that is. This is truly a sad day in America's history and I did not want to mix the two posts together. If you don't care for politics just scroll down or go to the link above.

Don't read much? Easy to fix...



Colbert On "Jesus Camp"

I did write about this documentary that talks about evangelizing to children. Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central offers his own funny take on you tube here.
Watch it..it is hilarious!



A Nation Losing It's Soul

The GOP led Congress is now in the process of passing a bill that allows torture.
From Sen Kerry....

We must start treating our moral authority as a precious national asset that does not limit our power but magnifies our influence. That seems obvious, but this Administration still doesn’t get it. Right now – today — they are trying to rush a bill through Congress that will fundamentally undermine our moral authority, put our troops at greater risk, and make our country less safe.

Let me be clear about something—something that it seems few people are willing to say. This bill permits torture. It gives the President the discretion to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions. No matter how much well-intended United States Senators would like to believe otherwise, it gives an Administration that lobbied for torture just what it wanted.

The only guarantee we have that these provisions really will prohibit torture is the word of the President. But we have seen in Iraq the consequences of simply accepting the word of this Administration. No, we cannot just accept the word of this Administration that they will not engage in torture given that everything they’ve already done and said on this most basic question has already put our troops at greater risk and undermined the very moral authority needed to win the war on terror.

This cartoon from Tom Toles in the Washington Post sums it up best..



Update 2: Modigli in her post points to a NYTimes editorial that says it all about the bill.
Friday Word.. It's "Pink"!

Maggie picked the Friday word. The idea is to do a post with a picture, poem story or anything that comes to mind that incorporates the word. Now before you scoot on over to her blog here you should know that you would be better off reading the post with no one looking over your shoulder and that you are like an "adult". The post is sensual and well written. I am sort of doing my bit too, but have been pretty much saddened by the this day today, given that we as a nation just threw out the writ of habeas corpus which is one of the most basic foundations of modern democracy. So I took the easy way out and here is my very modest contribution to the Friday word.

Even as I read the word "Pink", it brought to my mind the singer/songwriter who goes by the name Pink.

And some things you may or may not have known about her ..

Pink has revealed she has only seen her husband Carey Hart just three times since they married in January, because of her busy schedule.
For most couples, that would be the end of their relationship. But the feisty pop star and motocross racer keep their relationship healthy by enjoying virtual sex via webcams, she says. “I”ve seen Carey three times since the honeymoon. But our relationship”s been like that the whole time we”ve been together,” Pink revealed to British newspaper the Daily Mirror. “We”ve been going out for four or five years and we would just meet in hotel rooms. Now we do the whole webcam thing.”

Other Pink related stuff, the word not the artist..

I have not quite gotten the whole doing a new born baby girl's room in pink and dressing her up in pink? I mean why the need to demarcate this at such an early age? Growing up in India I don't recall people doing that. Wonder if that has changed now?
If here I walked up to a Mom wheeling a baby in a "pink" stroller with "pink" accessories and said "Cute baby! What is it's name?" She might likely be very offended. She might say to me Doofus! Can't ya fracking see the "pink"?
Err may be it's just me. I don't get it.

Pink Box: Inside Japan’s Sex Clubs



In Pink Box, photographer Joan Sinclair takes us on a journey inside the secret world of fuzoku (commercial sex) in Japan, a world where kawaii (cute) collides with consumerism and sex. Unrivaled in their creativity and the sheer number of choices, the clubs featured in this book offer their clientele every fantasy imaginable. Subway groping, visits to the nurse’s office, and comic book character encounters are just the beginning of the immense list of possibilities that are played out in colorful playrooms for adults where no detail is overlooked. Sinclair’s photographs capture it all, while an introduction by sociologist James Farrer provides a brief history of commercial sex in Japan and places the images in the context of contemporary Japanese culture.
Heh... The Japanese can be strange but hey whatever tickles their pickle..

An adicolor Pink Commercial...
It is kind of cool!


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Meet The World.. Fish Have Feelings Too.. Attractiveness Scale... Bob Dylan

What if you wanted to represent the flags of the world as an area graph, and used to say something about the nation in question? How would that look? The answer below and a link here.

Icaro Doria is Brazilian, 25 and has been working for the magazine Grande Reportagem, in Lisbon, Portugal, for the last 3 years. He was the author of the flags campaign "Meet the World" that has been circulating the earth in chain letters via e-mail...
2 examples below..

Brazil...


U.S.A...

Animal activists free 15,000 farmed fish to their deaths ..link

POLICE have warned fish farmers to increase their security after 15,000 halibut were released from their cages in an attack believed to have been carried out by animal rights activists. ..

Thousands of dead fish are being washed up along the west coast of Scotland after the raid at Kames Marine Fish Farm, near Oban. The perpetrators are thought to have attacked last week. Detectives believe that the attack could be linked to a spate of other farm attacks throughout the country. ....

The fish farmer, who did not wish to be identified, said: “They claim they liberated them into the sea but sadly, as we all know, farmed animals, whether they are fish or any animals, don’t survive unless they are looked after.
The fish farmer added: “We farm them in a sustainable way. The welfare of the fish is at the forefront of our minds. Isn’t it better to have farmed fish than to be pillaging the seas where stocks are declining dramatically?”

I am sort of on two minds on this issue. No I don’t mean the vandalism by the animal rights activists. That is so clearly wrong and they ought to be punished. I mean the whole eating fish caught in the wild versus fish that is farmed.
While eating fish caught in the wild is probably better, it is clear that the seas have been over-fished and it might be better to eat farmed fish instead.

However I have reservations about this as well. I read a while back how farm raised Salmon often don’t have the lovely colored meat as wild caught salmon do. To compensate they often add color to the diet of the salmon. The other thing is the fish often are raised in closed pens which means they may be eating their own shit. Plus the possible use of additives to promote growth is something that bothers me. So I am a bit mixed on this issue. I am sure my vegetarian friends would say “It’s simple just give up meat!” ;-)

Attractiveness Scale..

Rather self descriptive me thinks..link


Bob Dylan A review of his album "Modern Times " By Alex Ross from The New Yorker (Sept 18th 2006)

I absolutely love the New Yorker. Not a lot of places offer you beautifully written prose like the one below.
This is by their music critic Alex Ross. It's not online I copied it from the magazine.

“As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden / The wounded flowers were dangling from the vine”.
As usual, it is the words that seize your attention first. “Ain’t Talkin”, the last song on Bob Dylan’s deceptively mellow-sounding new album, “Modern Times”, places the listener in a landscape of sweet decay, as handsomely ruined as Dylan’s sixtysomething voice, populated by sick mules, blind horses, a missing gardner, nameless foes, some woman and the walking, weeping, brooding, ironically smiling singer. The vocal line is threadbare: it consist of just five notes, the ancient pentatonic scale. But it is the unswerving sureness of the musical choices – guitars twisting like vines around plain chord changes an intermittently keening cello, a steady pulse like dripping water – that holds you mesmerized. The protagonist seems to be searching for some sign of hope in the apocalyptic garden, and, at the last moment he finds it: after eight minutes in the mirror mode, and a sighing reference to the “world’s end” a moonbeam falls in the form of a glowing major chord. – Alex Ross.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Some Wednesday Thoughts...

  • I had an MRI on my knee. Man those machines are loud. Even with the headphones piping in sleepy elevator music. I asked the nice technician who was administering the test if I could listen to something like the National Public Radio. No go.. apparently the only radio that gets thru the lead lined walls of the MRI room was some 99. something. I had a CT scan on my brain (yes I have a bone the evidence was pretty clear) a few years back and that CT scan machine can be a claustrophobic place to be in. I had not idea how much till I was in one.
  • I had a cavity on a wisdom tooth, and as the dentist was drilling in to it in the process of cleaning it out.. guess what comes on the radio B...B...B..Badd To The Bone.. a blues-influenced rock song by George Thorogood and the Destroyers. It was released in 1981 on the album of the same name. It was an early hit thanks to its memorable video on MTV, which was in its infancy and had very few titles. Almost any video played at that time became a hit because there were so few videos to be played and the medium so new (from wikipedia here). Was funny listening to the the song while the dental drill did it's thing my feet were tapping while I was in the chair.
  • The top democrat on the House Intelligence commitee calls for the release of the second NIE on Iraq. Yes there is a second NIE which is supposedly more worse if not as worse than the one that is currently in the news. From TPM ...

    There's a second damning Iraq report floating around the intelligence community.

    At least, that's according to Rep. Jane Harman (CA), the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee. At an event this morning, Harman disclosed the existence of a classified intelligence community report that gives a grim assessment of the situation in Iraq, and called for it to be shared with the American public -- before the November elections

    Whats the chance that will happen? Oh and Bush is gonna play host to Presidents Karzai and Musharraf? I would love to be a fly on the wall for one of those. The two don't like each other and Bush and diplomacy don't exactly go together.
  • The world condensed to a mere 100 people..what would that look like? It really made me aware about how fortunate some of us really are, and makes me want to do more to make this world a better place. Did you know that....If you put your food in a refrigerator, your clothes in a closet, if you have a bed to sleep in and you have a roof over your head you are richer than 75% of the world population. The link to the video is here and you can play it below too.
  • The Ride..

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fresh Peach Ice Cream And Something Not Peachy At All

I made this last week but did not have a chance to put up a post. The peaches are from our local farm Highland orchards farms. The peaches were amazing, luscious, sweet and juicy. The ice cream turned out well. The recipe below in case anyone wants to give it a try.



  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup half and half or milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1.25 pounds ripe peaches (I used 6)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
  • Combine the cream, half and half, and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar,
  • Place the pan in the ice bath and stir occasionally until it collks to room temperature.
  • Transfer to container and refrigerate for about 3 hours.
  • About an hour before freezing the ice cream, peel, pit and slice the peaches.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the juice and mash to crush the fruit.
  • Let stand till the sugar dissolves.
  • Stir into the cream mixture with the vanilla and almond, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Grate in fresh nutmeg.
  • Freeze in an ice cream maker as per instructions.

From Attaturk's blog.. I can see why he said that the U.S. media is seriously fracked up!



See the difference in the different editions? All the editions have the story about losing Afghanistan, while the US edition has a story about Annie Leibovitz. As he said nothing against the woman, but clearly Americans can't handle the truth? Or maybe our media does not want to rock the boat with the election 6 weeks ago ;-). I mean can't have dear leader looking bad now can they?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Amritsari Fried Fish

The term Amritsari refers to as being from Amritsar ( Sanskrit Amŗta-sarovar = "Lake of Nectar") from the Indian state of Punjab. This kind of fish marinated in a spicy mix and then fried in a batter is a delicacy known to be sold on street corners in Amritsar. But I have memories of it too as a kid growing up in Bombay. We had a sizeable community of people from Punjab living close by. They had a restaurant that sold Amritsari fried fish. I remember walking over with my dad to pick up fish for dinner. I still remember this huge Sikh guy sitting in front of a big wok like thing. All he would do is pick up fish pieces that had been marinated and dip them in a batter and drop them in to a fryer. And then they would go a pile of fish that would be consumed by patrons as fast they came out.

We would get fresh fried fish and a dollop of mint-coriander chutney to go with the fish. The taste and the memories of fried pomfret/shrimp are still fresh after these years. So finally I managed to do something similar on the weekend and tried out a recipe for fried fish.



  • 1 pound of Flounder filets cut in to smaller pieces as preffered(tilapia, catfish would also work well)
  • 1 cup gram (besan or chickpea flour) flour (rice flour or bread crumbs might also work)
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 2-4 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (available at Asian grocery stores)
  • 1 teaspoon Carom seeds (ajwain) Optional.
  • 1 teaspoon Chaat Masala (Chaat masala is a masala, or spice mix, typically consisting of amchoor (dried mango powder), cumin, black salt, coriander, dried ginger, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. The ingredients are combined and served on a small metal plate or a banana leaf, dried and formed into a bowl, at chaat carts in India.) This is optional too.
  • 2 tablespoon lime/lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • oil to deep fry
  • lemon wedges to garnish
  • 1. In a bowl mix the ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder, salt and lime juice. Apply it to the fish and keep aside for 20 minutes.
  • 2. In a bowl, mix the yogurt, gram flour, egg, salt to taste and Thymol seeds. Pour it over the marinating fish. Set aside for about 20 minutes.
  • 3. Heat the oil till it is very hot in a pan. Slide in the fish pieces and fry till they are crisp and golden brown in color.
  • 4. Garnish with lemon wedges or sprinkle some chaat powder on the fish.

I have to say it turned out well. The succulent fish was marintated with the slightly intense chilli flavor and the fresh ginger and lime. The crispy coating of flour with the yogurt and the Carom seeds provided a different flavor that was a nice contrast to the fish. The chaat masala contained Mango powder,cumin and tamarind powder which provided a different kind of finish to the fish.
Serve with a coriander-mint chutney makes it even better which we did not have.

Cheers!



Ya Got Focus Like This?



Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday Musings..

I am normally very alert and awake when I drive. But this morning I felt like I was in a thick fog like being in the arms of a passionate lover and as if affirmation of our relationship could only be gained by never letting go. I had to down a huge cup of coffee to dispel it. And it’s Friday and I needed my Zzzzs but every one was more chirpier than normal and wants to talk. Yikes!

Been asked by both John our train conductor and Mr. X on the train as to where my jacket was. It’s around 49 deg F (9 deg C), so it’s rather cool in the morning but I love cool/cold weather and don’t yet need one. They can only shake their heads when I say that. Yep I am weird that way.


How do you take a photograph of the fresh peach ice cream that I made? The yellow peaches were ripe, sweet and juicy and the red pulp near the seed makes this look slightly like strawberry ice cream. Not really relevant is it, except that it looks like a strawberry ice cream until you taste it? The light dusting of nutmeg on it has also made a world of difference.

We are having a friend visit this weekend, very much looking forward to it. How does Amritsari Fish Fry sound?

Will I have time to catch Diane Lane in “Must Love Dogs” ? I know it’s not that great a movie but (sigh!) it has Diane Lane in it.

I also need to catch up on the webisodes of Battlestar Galactica. *A* does not like Sci FI so I usually watch this on my own including on the train when I don’t snooze or blog.

The tiny state of Delaware with the tinnier town of Newark (Home to the University of Delaware) was also home to the second annual Newark Film Festival. We managed to catch a couple of movies. But the one I regret missing is the documentary “Jesus Camp”. We also had a brief conversation with one of the organizers Lisa Lucas. She saw the film and mentioned how chilling it was and she is the daughter of a preacher and all together very familiar with religion. I saw a few more references to it here and here and a link to the trailer. It’s is a must see.
I know we are very concerned about the Madarassas or the religious schools that teach young boys a literal and twisted version of Islam. These are supposedly the future foot soldiers of a more militant Islam. But we have our own madarassas here but they just happen to be Christian. They are equally insidious for while they may not want a militant takeover of the government, they want to run the US like a Christian nation. Chilling?
Here is more from the raw story article.

Film Shows Youths Training to Fight for Jesus New Documentary Features Controversial Bible Camp, Evangelical Movement By DAN HARRIS Sept. 17, 2006 — - An in-your-face documentary out this weekend is raising eyebrows, raising hackles and raising questions about evangelizing to young people.

Speaking in tongues, weeping for salvation, praying for an end to abortion and worshipping a picture of President Bush -- these are some of the activities at Pastor Becky Fischer's Bible camp in North Dakota, "Kids on Fire," subject of the provocative new documentary, "Jesus Camp."
"I want to see them as radically laying down their lives for the gospel as they are in Palestine, Pakistan and all those different places," Fisher said. "Because, excuse me, we have the truth."

"A lot of people die for God," one camper said, "and they're not afraid." "We're kinda being trained to be warriors," said another, "only in a funner way." The film has caused a split among evangelicals. Some say it's designed to demonize. Others have embraced it, including Fischer, who's helping promote the film. "I never felt at any point that I was exploited," Fischer said. "I think there is a push right now in a lot of evangelical churches to definitely keep the teenagers and keep the children in the faith," said Heidi Ewing, co-director of "Jesus Camp." "And this is one version of that attempt."

A Growing Movement
This camp is, by many accounts, a small -- and perhaps extreme -- slice of what some say is a growing, intensifying evangelical youth movement. Over the past decade and a half, enrollment at Christian colleges is up 70 percent. Sales of Christian music are up 300 percent. Tens of thousands of youth pastors have been trained. Young people are targeted through Christian music festivals, skateboard competitions and rodeos. "This is an enormous youth movement," said Lauren Sandler, a secular, liberal feminist from New York City who spent months among the believers researching her new book, "Righteous."

Sandler says the evangelical youth movement will have a negative impact on the country's future, because even the most moderate young evangelicals are inflexible on issues such as abortion and gay marriage. "It's an absolute, straight-up us-against-them," Sandler said. "It's, you're either with us or you're against us. … Not only are you a sinner, but you are working for the enemy -- the enemy being Satan."

Chap Clark, an associate professor at the Fuller Theological Seminary who's trained youth pastors for decades, said people who see "Jesus Camp" should not come away with the idea that evangelizing to youth consists mainly of political indoctrination.
Clark said youth pastors focus much more on providing meaning to kids who can't find it in a materialistic culture or in their family lives -- "which is going to translate into much healthier adults who are more able to be into respectful dialogue and come alongside people who disagree with them. "I think this is a very hopeful time because of the youth ministry movement," he added.

There's disagreement about whether this movement is good for the country and whether the movie is an accurate portrayal of the movement.
But there's growing agreement that these children will have a real impact. One child in "Jesus Camp" goes so far as to say, "We're a key generation to bringing Jesus back."

Tree!



Enjoy that weekend.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Simple Pleasures
Friday Update Below..
Been tagged by Tamanna and finally getting around to it. I consider myself tag neutral. If people want to tag I will usually do it (time permitting that is). I am leaving it up to the people who read this place to decide if they want to take it up. These are in no particular order, lest you think I am weird…

#1. Being able to work out, if not every day than at least 5 days a week. The thing is after my long commute, I need a way to unwind and get rid of the stress of the day. So I hit the gym at home ( I can’t let the equipment stay like that looking unused now can I?). So while for some it’s a pain, I classify that as a simple pleasure, this and my 2-3 times a week jog as well.

#2. Cuppa Chai. Or as the folks at a number of these fancy and often times overpriced coffee places call it “Chai Tea”. Heck it’s the same thing man. Chai = Tea, so just call it Chai or Indian Chai if that is what you are serving. I make a mean cup of tea with a hint of fresh grated ginger and/or other spices, which in this cool weather makes the tea esp refreshing. This is my daily responsibility and sitting with the cup of tea and reading the newspaper is one of the simpler pleasures of life.

#3. Glass of wine (preferrably a red) whilst cooking. It just relaxes me and makes me feel like one of those gourmet cooks that I am not.

#4. Onion fritters (Bhajis or Bhajjias) or Samosas on a cold rainy day. Couple this with any of the assorted dipping sauces you get at Asian groceries like Tamarind date chutney, Green Mint Chilly Chutney or Chilli and or Tomato sauce. And you are in heaven. Curl up in that Papasan chair looking out of the windows at the rain coming down and if I get to curl up with *A*..thats even better. ;)

#5. Shopping at Highland orchards farms or another local farmer’s market for fresh and preferrably locally grown produce. 69% of the Spinach we consume comes out of CA. With an increasingly centralized and consolidated agri-business it seems easy that a single breakdown like in the recent E.coli outbreak would percolate and magnify down stream. The folks who buy from local and trusted farmers often don’t have to worry about things like this. Not to mention it’s good for local farmers like the ones who run Highland Orchards here near Wilmington. I mean what’s the excuse to not shop at a family run farm that’s so close to home?

#6. Fresh home made ice cream. I love not just eating it, but the whole process of making it at as well. I have made 3 so far.. peach (not yet posted but its almost gone), strawberry and mango. It feels good to make it and see that others enjoy eating it too. Like the folks in my aisle at work and esp *A*. She is often busy with long hours cos of the nature of her profession and anything I can do to make her smile is worth it.

#7. Power naps 20 - 30 mins. Like the ones I talked about here. As soon as the light rail reaches the next stop which is like 2 mins away from work (on the way home), I am out cold either dreaming of eating something in my sleep or kissing *A* or sometimes there is nothing.

#8. Madden NFL football. Yep love the game have bought every year’s version for the past decade. Love to watch the real game as well the simulation.

#9. The touch, feel and the smell of *A* next to me. Nothing spells normalcy like *A* next to me. No matter how good or crappy the day has been, the simple, sheer unadulterated pleasure that comes from being able to be next to the one you love, always feels special. She is my security blanket and my rock as I like to call her. And I never sleep as easily when she travels out of town.

#10. The pleasure of conversations with friends over food and drink.

#11. Sex and food. It’s a toss up for me I love both and can't pick one over the other. But both are sensual and in small and frequent helpings good for the soul and the body.

Update: The friday word is "Morning" and to quote Mona .. "please feel free to sprinkle this word liberally in your blog posts today, however it opens your oyster…poem, story, photo, audio, recipe for world domination…."
My little quick (and sorry) attempt at it, sort of derives from the poem she put up. But it's more about getting in to the spirit of things rather than my lack of originality..

In the wee small hours of the morning,
That's the time you miss her most of all.

That's when the bed next to you is cold
In the early hours of the morning.
When you would rather see it mold
itself to the contours of her lovely self
Where she would lie..
a half smile on her lips
Eyes closed but open within her own world
Her hair splayed all over the bed
dark like the pools of shadows
yet to be chased away by the first blush of dawn
It was before the first blush
that he loved to watch her the most.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Kissing Her In My Sleep…Shower Fresh Fragrance…A Blonde In Black..Cowgirl.. Medusa On The Road…

I have written in the past about my power nap on the light rail on my way back from work. I have in my sleep, opened my mouth as if to take a bite and woken up to realize I was dreaming of food and I was about to eat it. Well today it was different. I dreamt about *A* nestling her head against my shoulder. She said "kiss me honey". And I lowered my head as if to kiss her and woke up. Oops! That would been funny for other passengers I guess if they had seen this guy in his sleep.. his lips and mouth moving as if he was kissing someone who was not there.

I went back to sleep after that and after sometime my olfactory senses were very aware of a faint, shower fresh fragrance from someone sitting next to me. It was so very alive and I did not want to open my eyes, sometimes you just want to feel something and savor it. I did not want to see who it was. The fragrance seemed to fill up my senses and take me to a different place rather than the slightly metallic, mechanical smell of a train punctuated with remainders of the still sweet, yet stale smell of spilled sodas and other drinks that I encounter on my travel on a work day. It probably lasted for a few minutes cos when I got up there were the barest of all traces of it and the person next to me was gone. Her presence lingered though, thru rapidly diluting, degrading molecules of the scent that she wore.

Ever walk along those long, well lit, light colored corridors in a nameless office building that seem to stretch on and on? I was walking along one to fetch my coffee in this long empty place and then from one of the many passages that feed in to these corridors popped in this blonde woman. She was tall and clad in a black dress that ended a little above her knees. Her hair fell to the middle of her back, not a strand out of place. It moved along with her with an easy grace and elegance adhering to her contours like a well fitting dress or a glove or whatever. But what I noticed was her almost knee high boots. I am not sure if that falls under acceptable work place attire? Heck maybe she did not even work there. I watched her as she turned in to another passageway. But what popped in to my head was the zztop song.. "Legs" part of the lyrics below

She's got legs, she knows how to use them.
She never begs, she knows how to coose them.
She's holdin' leg wonderin' how to feel them.
Would you get behind them if you could only find them?
She's my baby, she's my baby,
yeah, it's alright.

I also noticed her wearing glasses as she turned. And pops in to the crazy, fast changing lanes of my mind... if she were a librarian, that would be one heck of a sexy librarian. Maybe that thought came from Mona's recent post about her getting bifocals. There .. I can blame her for putting that thought in my head via her blog ;) Just kidding...

I did not think of this again till I was sitting in the lobby in the train station when I was typing up this post and out of the corner of my eyes I noticed a pair of cowboy boots. They were a lovely brown color with black and white designs on it. My eyes moved tracking them and then up the legs that they adorned. Which is when I went with a silent "whoa!" It took me a while to get to the point where I came to the hemline of her skirt. It was way above her knees. A white frilly number that had what looked like two layers of frilly lace like stuff woven on to it.

As she walked by I noticed her wearing a brown leather jacket (I don't remember what she wore under it). She seemed to be of Asian ancestry, short and even from this amateur with no claims to understanding fashion, I thought she did not carry the costume that well.

Heh.. did I just call it costume? Maybe she was on her way to welcome someone special maybe they had a game of cowgirl and "insert your favorite role player here" planned? On the train? ;-) This could go in so many directions..she could be wearing holsters on either sides and instead of guns she could have beer bottles or something else in them. She could have some rope and lasso someone in. Ok enough already..

I am in the car now just off the highway taking a detour to avoid having to pay toll. I am on a smaller single lane road, speed limit 45 mph. I noticed this grey colored car coming up behind me with some speed. I am like ok dude I ain't going faster for ya. You will have to hold your horse. As the car got closer I noticed these strands of hair flying around in the car around the drivers head. She must have had the windows down. She kept coming and the thought "Medusa In A Car" popped in to my head. Medusa.. she of the brass hands, sharp fangs and hair of living, venomous snakes, which is what I thought when I saw her hair flying around like that as if it had a life of it's own. As the road split, I managed to get a fleeting glimpse of a lovely light coffee complexioned woman.

As she changed lanes in front of me and we stopped at a red light, I got a glimpse of three of her in her driver side mirror. Three of her.. cos the sideview mirror of the mercury tracer was cracked and as she moved while talking on her cellphone. I was able to see her in threes.. the pencil thin eyebrows, the light brown complexion, dark eyes and strands of her unruly hair falling across her face.

The light changed and so did my thoughts as they came back to the rich and full sound of Robert Siegel on NPR talking about the news of the day which was a hell lot more depressing than all of the above.

PS: I looked up wikipedia for Medusa and I came across this rather unsual interpetation of her by Camille Paglia..

"It is against the mother that men have erected their towering edifice of politics and sky-cult. She is Medusa, in whom Freud sees the castrating and castrated female pubes. But Medusa's snaky hair is also the writhing vegetable growth of nature. Her hideous grimace is men's fear of the laughter of women."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

There Are Always Pictures From Around The Web...

I have a half written post that was to go here. But the lovely Cecille, our friend from CT is visiting us, and we just got back from a lovely dinner. I am too tired to write, I had a late night yesterday(watching monday night football at home), as did the girls. *A* and C both were out late along with their friends (girls night out) to celebrate C winning an award for her achievement in her profession yesterday. Which means we all need our zzzz's tonite. So there are pictures..

Simply Red....



Gotta Get All The Crap Out And The Stench.. Oh The Stench (saw this at Watertiger's too)


Some of the comments in response to these were funny..
How can The Thinker sit perfectly still with that going up his hoohaw?

he's concentrating.
ya know if he had more fiber in his diet.....
Damn Klingons.
Bush could use that guy to follow him around in case he lets a juicy one.



Is That A Smile?



And Since Monday Was Talk Like A Pirate Day (from
Watertiger's blog)
Bush Pirate..

Monday, September 18, 2006

Conversations With John…

I have written previously about my conversations with John our train conductor. It probably can be a very boring job and he does find ways to enliven things. He usually is very quick with his answers and has witty comebacks. But not always…

The other day I saw John on the train with a band- aid around his middle finger. You know where this is going don’t ya?

I asked him if he had been sticking his finger someplace he should not have been.

For a second he did not know what to say then managed a smile and said he was showing the finger to someone and hurt himself. lol

Last week one day it was raining a lot. The coach where I normally sit had a seat across which had water droplets falling on to the seat. There were a few paper towels over the seat.

Was that supposed to keep the seat relatively dry for someone who chose to sit there? I mean was the person supposed to feel good that their butt would be relatively dry while their head /shoulders got soaked?

Another co-passenger stopped by and asked him about the leak. John started kidding with him about how it was not his job to fix the leak, all he was supposed to do was make sure the door was open, passengers got on board or got off and he closed them and punch tickets for passengers.

Then he went on about how the state did not have money to fix the trains, but did enough to just keep them running. He said even the seats had not been washed in ages and went on about how there were ages of "wind being broken in to the seats". He sure drew some chuckles.

Well did I gross ya all out already? Well here is something funny. Guess what? The source for this was also John. Monday morning he pulls out this piece of paper from his pocket and hands it to me. I ask him what is it? He says it's a love letter. LOL. What you see below is what was on the paper he gave me to read. I figured it might be some place on the web and it was.

WOMEN THINK THAT.......

Men are like.....Laxatives. They irritate the crap out of you.

Men are like.....Bananas. The older they get, the less firm they are.

Men are like.....Vacations. They never seem to be long enough.

Men are like.....Bank Machines. Once they withdraw they lose
interest.

Men are like.....Weather. Nothing can be done to change them.

Men are like.....Blenders. You need one, but you're not sure why.

Men are like.....Chocolate Bars. Sweet, smooth, and they usually head
right for your thighs.

Men are like.....Coffee. The best ones are rich, warm, and can keep you
up all night long.

Men are like.....Commercials. You can't believe a word they say.

Men are like.....Department Stores. Their clothes are always half off.

Men are like.....Government bonds. They take so long to mature.

Men are like.....Horoscopes. They always tell you what to do and are
usually wrong.

Men are like.....Mascara. They usually run at the first sign of
emotion.

Men are like.....Popcorn. They satisfy you, but only for a little while.

Men are like.....Snowstorms. You never know when they're coming, how
many inches you'll get or how long it will last.

Men are like.....Lava Lamps. Fun to look at, but not very bright.

Men are like.....Parking Spots. All the good ones are taken and the rest
are handicapped.

If We Have A Right To Dress Up For Halloween Shouldn't Man's Best Friend Have That Right Too?

Booooooooo!


Hot Diggity Dog!



Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday Thoughts…Blondes.. Muslim Women With Hijabs and Jewish Orthodox Women.

I am writing this up while sitting at the train station lobby waiting for my train. Sitting across from this blonde. She is clad in ankle high leather shoes, tight fitting blue jeans with a full sleeved floral top. Legs crossed she has sort of a vacuous far away look. Is that a blonde thing?

She of course has perfect features, straight hair falling across shoulders along her long neck and large eyes as she cranes to look towards the train arrival info. She has lovely eyes too. And no I am not gawking. I am typing away and I have to look slightly above the top of the laptop to see her. You look yet you don't look.

I can see the slightest smile as she watches a baby crying and being bottle fed. Oh waiit she actually smiled.. a perfect smile and teeth. She has a chain around her neck with a pendant around it. Err.. ring finger is occupied, rust colored nailpolish goes well with the top. She has her shades in her ring hand playing with them as she now talks to the baby’s mom. She has one of those garment bags... the color matches the floral prints on her long sleeved top. She has a clear unblemished complexion. She must be in her late 30s early 40s, takes good care of herself. Nice top I noticed the neck just low enough to hint at the swell of her breasts. Hey..I am a guy I have a built in radar for this stuff.

She has a strangely hideous (to me and am no connoisseur) golden jacket with patterns on a red background. Did our eyes meet? Yes, but it’s the kind that happens when your gaze sweeps across an area. She reminds me of someone and I can't quite place her. She just left for her train, that’s one heavy bag. I could tell she had trouble carrying it, her gait altered by the load on her right side.. to be probably never seen again. *sigh*

I love observing people, the way they dress, carry themselves, their body language, what they read, what they carry. Something I do when I am too tired or spaced out and don’t want to read. It’s just my mind working on a different plane and in a strange way the banal happenings at a train station waiting area can be soothing. I wrote the above without edits except for spell checks. Maybe her initial look was one that a lot of us wear when we are in public spaces alone? She did have a charming smile, but watching a baby would do that to a lot us no?

On the train now. ...

Also saw this woman, probably a woman of the Muslim faith, she was wearing one of those things that they wear that covers their head and hair. This one rested on her shoulders. She had a full sleeved shirt on and a skirt that went right to her ankles. I had a flash of thoughts that a lot of us have when we might see some one following a dress code dictated by religion.

But is also brought to my mind something that I heard on NPR on Thursday, when viewers wrote in their responses to NPR programs. I remember this one, it was from a Muslim woman who wears something similar, she is an American. I recall Robert Siegel say in his lovely voice “This gentleman walked up to her and said.. You are in America now, you are free, you don’t have to wear that!”.

As I walked down the stairs I thought about it, and what came to my mind was the two orthodox Jewish women that I work with. They wear a wig (they are married), are dressed in long skirts and full sleeved shirts/tops. They are very observant and conservative. They are great to work with and nice folks. Some info about Jewish customs here.

I was wondering if anyone would ever walk up to them and say that they were in America and did not need to dress that way, they could choose to do what they wanted?

I am guessing not. Do you see the juxtaposition of these two?


They may not be perfect test cases, but are nonetheless interesting. One is perceived as being oppressed and under the hegemony of conservative religion, while the other is not. But you could make the same argument for the Jewish women too right? It’s just a matter of perception or maybe of how some of us given the terrible state of our media see only stereotypes. Perhaps the gentleman who talked to the Muslim woman who wrote to NPR was well meaning, but shouldn’t he have considered at least the possibility that how the woman dresses was a matter of choice and nothing to do with oppression? And not all Muslim women dress that way either.

I asked myself this questions as well. Personally I would rather not have religion dictate how women should dress or behave and that applies to the women I referred to here. I also think most religions treat men and women with different standards which smacks of hypocrisy. But I also want to see it thru the frame of history, culture, tradition. The America I believe in and grew up knowing, is about tolerance, respect and freedom of religion and also freedom from it. I know we seem to be moving away from it under this administration and I hope for our sake and the world’s it changes for the better.

Part of being able to deal successfully with the world around us or understand it better comes from being able to have an open mind and to ask questions, not just of those around us but also of ourselves. There may not always be answers or absolutes but then it is not always about answers, maybe it is just about understanding the world and each other a little better.

I segued from a blonde to a hijab clad woman and Jewish women and customs. Oy!

Enjoy your weekend folks.. later…

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Some Friday Musings, Global Warming And A Way To Patch It

If you are seeing this, the blog is on blogger beta. There may be changes to how it looks but am not sure how it may evolve or devolve.

Just a few notes to my 5 readers….

I anticipate to be busy the next few weeks, but will try to write up whatever comes to mind as often as I can. I may not be able to visit your blogs often cos of that, but I will, whenever I get a chance.

I visit your blogs cuz I like what you have to say, it is not a quid pro quo. When this blog was new, someone advised me that it was a good way to get a initial base of readers. Not sure if it always works that way, but none of you should feel obliged to read this blog cos I read yours.
If it is interesting enough you may keep coming back. Someone even mentioned they are tired of the politics or the Bush criticism here. Sorry it's my blog I am not changing my content for you, if it bothers anyone sorry but that is how it is.

I actually know a few folks who don’t read my blog, though I regularly comment at theirs (I mean it’s possible they are lurking here.. but don’t lurk say something even if you disagree with me, for as Teri says if you lurk the terrarists have won ;)).

Update: The above is just a general statement not directed at anyone as such, maybe I was cranky when I wrote it up..lol

Global Warming



This image provided by NASA Wednesday Sept. 13, 2006 shows QuikScat interannual observations of sea ice over the Arctic enabling the detection of recent drastic reductions in the extent of perennial ice and its depletion from the eastern Arctic Ocean between 2004, left and 2005. Arctic sea ice in winter is melting far faster than before, two new NASA studies reported Wednesday, a new and alarming trend that researchers say threatens the ocean's delicate ecosystem. For more than 25 years Arctic sea ice has slowly diminished in winter by about 1.5 percent per decade. But in the past two years the melting has occurred at rates 10 to 15 times faster. (AP Photo/NASA). Story here.

As Nim said in the Eschaton comments..

Even if our War on Terror isn't going quite according to plan, at least our War on the Arctic is just gangbusters.
Nim, ham hock of liberty Homepage 09.14.06 - 8:15 am

How About A Patch For Global Warming?

I thought the idea sounded whacky. But here is the plan inject a layer of silt in the stratosphere. It would create a haze and reflect some of the sunlight back. It's not a solution just a patch as per the scientist who proposed it. The idea has been around for a while. They point to a past volcanic erruption which created a haze and brought down global temperatures by one degree.
While it may work what it won't do is slow down the greenhouse emissions, or reduce the acidity of oceans and the destruction of coral reefs.
Link here and audio at NPR here.
Interesting idea, but sad that we are doing nothing about global climate change with Mr. Incompetent as our President.

Talking about him, Steve Bell from the Guardian on US and UK calls for Nato to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Indians Are Catching Up To Us In More Ways …

and in part 2..

Some Republicans Are Up To No Good (Not a surprise is it?)


They plan on getting fat, overweight and diabetic like the rest of us Americans ;). From the NY Times


I mean look at that picture, see them donuts? One of those has like 250 calories at least, and if they have toppings or fillings may be as high as 400 calories. That’s like at least 12% of your calorie intake right there. Several good points in the piece, some excerpted below.

In its hushed but unrelenting manner, Type 2 diabetes is engulfing India, swallowing up the legs and jewels of those comfortable enough to put on weight in a country better known for famine. Here, juxtaposed alongside the stick-thin poverty, the malaria and the AIDS, the number of diabetics now totals around 35 million, and counting.
......

Throughout the world, Type 2 diabetes, once predominantly a disease of the old, has been striking younger people. But because Indians have such a pronounced genetic vulnerability to the disease, they tend to contract it 10 years earlier than people in developed countries. It is because India is so youthful — half the population is under 25 — that the future of diabetes here is so chilling.
......

In perverse fashion, obesity and diabetes stand almost as joint totems of success.
Last year, for instance, the MW fast-food and ice cream restaurant in this city proclaimed a special promotion: “Overweight? Congratulations.” The limited-time deal afforded diners savings equal to 50 percent of their weight (in kilograms). The heaviest arrival lugged in 135 kilograms (297 pounds) and ate lustily at 67.5 percent off.
....

Too much food has pernicious implications for a people with a genetic susceptibility to diabetes, possibly the byproduct of ancestral genes developed to hoard fat during cycles of feast and famine. This vulnerability was first spotted decades ago when immigrant Indians settled in Western countries and in their retrofitted lifestyles got diabetes at levels dwarfing those in India. Now Westernization has come to India and is bringing the disease home.
..
The traditional Indian diet can itself be generous with calories. But urban residents switch from ragi and fresh vegetables to fried fast food and processed goods. The pungent aromas of quick-food emporiums waft everywhere here: Sowbakiya Fast Food, Nic-Nac Fast Food, Pizza Hut. Coke and Pepsi are pervasive, but rarely their diet versions.

The country boasts a ravenous sweet tooth, hence the ubiquitous sweet shops, where customers eagerly lap up laddu and badam pista rolls. Sweets are obligatory at social occasions — birthdays, office parties, mourning observances for the dead — and during any visit to someone’s home, a signal of how welcome the visitors are and that God is present.

In the United States, an inverse correlation persists between income and diabetes. Since fattening food is cheap, the poor become heavier than the rich, and they exercise less and receive inferior health care. In India, the disease tends to directly track income.

Oh And Some Republicans Are Up To No Good (Not a surprise is it?)

Catch Immigrants, Shoot Democrats Events Anger Some

Republicans on Tuesday distanced themselves from campaign activities that encourage college students to "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" and shoot cardboard cutouts of leading Democrats with a BB gun or paintball gun.

Democratic Chairman Howard Dean said in a letter to his Republican counterpart, Ken Mehlman, on Tuesday that such activities, reportedly put together by a GOP college organizer, "can only be described as divisive, potentially dangerous and discriminatory."

The Republican National Committee said it had no connection with Morgan Wilkins, the woman accused of organizing the offbeat campaign activities at the University of Michigan. RNC spokesman Brian Jones said "the woman has no affiliation with the Republican National Committee, and we certainly condemn this kind of behavior. It's offensive and there's no place for it." He said news reports she was hired by the RNC are incorrect.

Paul Gourley, chair of the College Republican National Committee, said Wilkins is an independent contractor hired to recruit students to the GOP, but he said the reported activities were not authorized. Wilkins declined to comment Tuesday night.

The events were reported by the University of Michigan newspaper, The Michigan Daily.

The "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" event reportedly allows participants to win prizes for catching others posing as illegal immigrants and a "Fun with Guns" event allows people to shoot cardboard cutouts of top Democrats such as Sens. Hillary Clinton and John Kerry with a BB gun or paintball gun, the newspaper reported.

Dean cited several news reports that college Republicans on other campuses were involved in events like "Catch an Illegal Immigrant. "

As chairman of America's two major political parties, we have a responsibility to elevate the political discourse in America," Dean wrote to Mehlman.

Mehlman, who has been trying to recruit more minorities into the GOP, wrote back: "I wholeheartedly agree with you that the activities you cite in your letter are reprehensible."

Mehlman said Dean's call for less divisive rhetoric was ironic, citing the Democratic chairman's earlier comments that Republicans are "a white Christian Party," and "I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for."

Ken is just being dishonest here. The GOP is a party of mostly white folks, their base is dominated by Christian conservatives, which their other base (free market types) only tolerates for politically expedient reasons. And given the mess the country is under the GOP rule how can you not hate what the GOP stands for?

Cute Overload!

Care To Be Zapped? Don't criticize Preznit Or You Will be Err Microwaved ;-) ?



Saw this on CNN.com.

Air Force chief: Test weapons on testy U.S. mobs

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before being used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday.
The object is basically public relations. Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions from others about possible safety considerations, said Secretary Michael Wynne.
"If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation," said Wynne. "(Because) if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press."


Testy mobs eh? Hmm wonder who that might be?

Well think anti-war potestors? Also frankly most anti-war protests have been very peaceful.
But this Kos dairy also has other links mostly to do with are these weapons safe?

VOLUNTEERS taking part in tests of the Pentagon's "less-lethal" microwave weapon were banned from wearing glasses or contact lenses due to safety fears. The precautions raise concerns about how safe the Active Denial System (ADS) weapon would be if used in real crowd-control situations.
The ADS fires a 95-gigahertz microwave beam, which is supposed to heat skin and to cause pain but no physical damage (New Scientist, 27 October 2001, p 26).


Frankly none of these weapons serve to win hearts and minds do they? Also I wonder if the republican shills who always follow dear leader and claim to be in the war on Iraq too (while they are safe behind their keyboards here) would volunteer for this glorious cause? I mean a few moments of pain for dear leader and his policies has to be worth it right?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday Musings

It’s the fifth anniversary of that infamous day. Not sure what a lot of folks are gonna do, but I am surely not watching any of the 9/11 related events on TV or otherwise. I don’t need a reminder of that tragic day which frankly will never be forgotten and don’t need to plug in to any public ceremonies headlined by sincere sounding but cynical and opportunistic politicians in power. I said a silent prayer to the innocents lives lost on that day.

I am sure a lot has been said about this day. I thought Ameet said it well too. Also from the Independent of UK a slightly different take.


The bitter legacy of 9/11
Published: 11 September 2006
2,973 Total number of people killed (excluding the 19 hijackers) in the September 11, 2001 attacks

72,000 Estimated number of civilians killed worldwide since September 11, 2001 as a result of the war on terror

2 Number of years since US intelligence had any credible lead to Osama bin Laden's whereabouts

2,932 Total number of US servicemen and women killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since September 2001

1,248 Number of published books relating to the September 11 attacks

$119m Ticket sales for anti-Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11

$40bn Airline industry losses since September 2001

2009 Date when the official memorial will open at the World Trade Centre site

0 Hours of intelligence training provided to new FBI agents before 9/11. Now they get 24.

91 per cent Terror cases from FBI and others that US Justice Dept declined to prosecute in first eight months of 2006

11 Weeks the 9/11 commission's final report was top of New York Times' non-fiction best-seller list

117 Number of UK service personnel killed in Iraq since invasion

40 Number of UK personnel killed in Afghanistan since invasion

7 per cent People in UK who think US-led war on terror is being won, according to YouGov

1 Those charged in US with a crime in connection with 9/11

455 Number of detainees at Guantanamo Bay

77 per cent Percentage of people in the UK who believe Tony Blair's Middle East policy has made Britain a terrorist target (YouGov)

4,000 Number of UK troops left in Iraq after British-controlled provinceshanded back to Baghdad

18 The number of times that undercover investigators with fake IDs have breezed through US border checkpoints in a test by the Government Accountability Office

$8bn The amount the US will spend this year on hunting Bin Laden and other terrorists

A sobering thought for anyone tempted to believe these folks will get it right in dealing with Syria and Iran.. these are the same incompetents in charge who have brought us the Iraq fiasco and let OBL get away in Tora Bora and did not destroy the Taliban.

Some more cooking....


The bright colored chicken is the standard Tandoori chicken the lighter one is the jerk chicken.

Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meats (traditionally pork, but now including chicken, fish and even tofu) are dry-rubbed with a fiery spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. This jerk seasoning typically relies upon two items: allspice (Jamaican pepper, Jamaican Pimento) and Scotch Bonnet peppers (among the hottest peppers on the Scoville scale). Cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, garlic and other ingredients are often added. Traditionally, the meat is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in an earth covered pit over smoldering Pimento wood. A grill over an open fire will suffice for a modern rendition, and pre-made jerk seasoning mixes are available.

The term "jerk" refers interchangeably to the technique, the spice mixture, and the finished product.

It turned out really well. No skill involved here really. Just added the mix out of a bottle and some oil and rubbed it in to the meat (made slices in the meat to let the spices penetrate better). Left overnight and then slow grilled on the charcoal grill.



Extremely yummy! The spices are so different than the Indian spices, this is particularly true of the heat. I could feel the spices in a different part of the tongue more towards the back and sides. They also had a different aroma. Although my olfactory senses are completely shot I could discern the sweet aroma of cinnamon and the hint of thyme.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pomegranate Carrot Tomato Salad



We made this last weekend, but I did not have time to write it up. This is truly simple to make and very tasty and flavorful.

  • 1 Pomegranate - seeds surrounded by the brilliant red seed pulp separated out.
  • 2 Carrots grated.
  • Tomato sliced and diced in to small pieces.
  • The above ingredients are all mixed in a bowl.
  • Add a pinch of sugar and salt to taste.
  • A few drops of freshly squeezed lime/lemon juice.
  • In a pan take a couple of spoons of oil and once the oil is hot throw in a pinch of mustard seeds.
  • Also toss in a chopped chilli pepper.
  • Once the mustard seeds start popping toss the whole mix on to the pomegranate/carrot/tomato mix.
  • Add a few dried cranberries and raisins.
  • Add a few sprigs of finely chopped cilantro.
  • Mix it all together and it's ready to eat.

I loved how the different flavors came together. The tomato and the carrot intermingled very well with the tart cranberries and the sweet plump raisins. The tanginess of the pomegranate seeds as they exploded with amazing bursts with each bite, the zestiness of the mustard seeds, the zing of the chopped peppers. I felt I was in epicurean heaven!!!

While most people eat this as a side dish/salad, I ate it like my veggies with Naan. But then again I am strange.



This picture is of a tree right outside of our home, the fruit look a bit like raspberries. The picture is from last week, today the fruit looked even more ripe. They are not edible though. I asked a few folks if they knew what the tree is, but every one has been drawing a blank.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

More Pics...

Long day. Saw a bad accident on the way home, not much in a mood to write. Trying to shower and get dinner warmed up just as *A* arrives. So this is a a quick post.

Err some sign..



More signs....



It's pretty clear from the sign how to use said device right? right?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Update....

I am in training class thru Thursday at work and very busy since my time during break goes to work related issues that can't wait. That explains my lack of any thing much to say here and also why I have not been able to visit your blogs. Will be back on normal schedule by Friday. Till then there are a few pictures. Thanks for stopping by!

Yeowwww!



Aroma....Mmmmmmmm!



The Sign!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Part Deux Tuna, English Good Do Speak I And Pics From The Web

My last Tuna post in a while I promise.. ;)

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger, and Lime Recipe

courtesy Tyler Florence from Food TV. This was just very easy and took about 10 minutes start to finish for a slow poke like me.

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: 1 serving
User Rating: 5 Stars

2 big handfuls fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped (I used only a handful we were running out)
1/2 jalapeno, sliced (I used one.. if it ain't got heat it ain't got it! ;-))
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, grated
2 limes, juiced (1 would also work fine me thinks)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Pinch sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (6-ounce) block sushi-quality tuna
1 ripe avocado, halved, peeled, pitted, and sliced


In a mixing bowl, combine the cilantro, jalapeno, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir the ingredients together until well incorporated.



Place a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the tuna generously with salt and pepper. Lay the tuna in the hot oil and sear for 1 minute on each side to form a slight crust. Pour 1/2 of the cilantro mixture into the pan to coat the fish. Serve the seared tuna with the sliced avocado ( we did not have one, so I did without it) and the remaining cilantro sauce drizzled over the whole plate.



Someone Take Him To English 101 Please...

From watertiger's place...

Try making sense of the lines below..

"The problem is we get oil from some parts of the world and they simply don't like us," Bush said. "And so the more dependent we are on that type of energy, the less likely it will be that we are able to compete, and so people have good, high-paying jobs."

That is our preznit at work.. dumbing all of us down.
HUH?
Kids Do The Most Amazingly Cute Things!


Wakey Wakey Kitty!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Amuse-Bouche....

That's the title of this post, for one of the recipes that I tried was based on a recipe from the dining section of the NY Times that can be found here. As usual credit goes to the well read and sharp *A* for spotting this and suggesting that I might be interested in trying one of the recipes mentioned within.

Amuse-Bouche is defined as -
Definition: any small bite of food or appetizer-sized portion, often served before a meal; also called amuse-gueule
Etymology: 1968; French 'that which amuses the mouth'
Usage: cooking


From the NY Times article..

At stylish cocktail parties and elegant sit-down dinners, espresso cups are more likely these days to be filled with sips of seasonal soup than caffeinated beverages. After-dinner coffee is fading away. Amuse-bouches have arrived.

Once the exclusive domain of multi-starred chefs, the amuse-bouche has trickled down to the dining room of a home near you.

And just as it functions as a way of making restaurant guests feel special, it can do the same at home. With little extra effort you can purée seasonal vegetables into a quick but intensely flavored soup, arrange lovely tidbits of meat or fish on a pretty little saucer and make guests feel pampered and welcomed in a way that olives, nuts and cheese simply cannot.

That beautiful predinner bite or sip is a delightful surprise as your guests finish their cocktails — a little gift, if you will, from the chef — just before you summon them to the table or just as they arrive. As it often is in restaurants, the amuse-bouche can be one of the most memorable moments of the meal.

So given that we I had time and am always inclined to cook something different, I opted for the

Bigeye Tuna With Microherbs and Ginger-Apricot Aioli



Adapted from Shea Gallante of Cru
Time: 20 minutes

1 pound sushi-grade tuna loin
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons apricot jam
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
4 teaspoons freshly ground yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
½ garlic clove, grated
¾ cup canola oil
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
5 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ pound mixed microgreens, herbs and/or sprouts

1. Slice tuna into ½-inch cubes, and refrigerate until needed.

2. To make aioli, combine egg yolk, jam, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, lime juice, mustard seed, ginger and garlic in blender or food processor. Process until combined. Mix together canola and 4 tablespoons olive oil in a liquid-measuring cup with a spout. Dribble oil mixture slowly into blender (I found that i did fine with just 1/4th of a cup of oil), and process until a thick emulsion forms. Season with salt and pepper( I used black pepper). Chill until needed.

3. To make dressing, whisk together 2 remaining tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and the lemon juice. Place tuna in one bowl and microgreens in another; toss both lightly with dressing.

4. To serve, divide greens among large white spoons or saucers. Place 2 tuna cubes on top. Spoon a small dab of aioli on each tuna cube.

I found that for some reason the yellow mustard powder did not have the kick that it should have, if any one wants to try this I would suggest using a bit more mustard. A quick fix for us was to use some good quality stone ground mustard paste that we had. I also added a dab of wasabi (not pictured) paste on top for that little extra kick to help clear out the sinuses.

This worked really well. I thought the combination of the sweetness of the apricot jam, the ginger spice, the garlic, the freshness of the lemon juice, the slight hint of pepper and the spicy mustard came together in a creamy aioli that along with the fresh tuna provided a nice beginning to a simple yet elegant dinner. I think we will try this again when we have people over.

The rest of the fresh Tuna that we had was not going to be frozen, and that was the entree. That's another post. :)

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Even with a helmet.. that had to hurt!