This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.                             the guys: philogynist jaime tony - the gals:raymi raspil


Michael considered fate at 21:23   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency. The second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity. Both bring a permanent ruin. - Ernest Hemingway

Don't be evil
Michael considered fate at 20:26   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
There is yet more interesting Google tidbits in addition to the update I just made to my post regarding Goobuntu below:
Update: An Arstechnica article claims Google denies plans to distribute OS based on Ubuntu:
Google press relations office[r], technology spokeswoman Sonya Borälv responded very quickly to my query on the topic. She said that "[w]e use Ubuntu internally but have no plans to distribute it outside of the company."
Google Removes Its Help Entry on Censorship! (follow link for screenshots)

It used to read:
Google does not censor results for any search term. The order and content of our results are completely automated; we do not manipulate our search results by hand. We believe strongly in allowing the democracy of the web to determine the inclusion and ranking of sites in our search results. To learn more about Google’s search technology, please visit ...
And now reads:
Document Not Found

Sorry, the document you requested is not available. You can visit the main page.
Nevertheless, Google's Help Center answer to the question "What can I do if a site in your search results ripped me off?" includes the paragraph:
It's our policy not to police content. Rather we hope that by including as much information as possible in our results, you'll be able to easily find warnings about rogue sites...
Even worse? Contrary to Google founder Sergey Brin's promise to inform users when their search results are censored, the company frequently filters out sites without revealing it.

Shoulda known all this was coming, though. As pointed out in a January 2003 article by Wired magazine entitled Google vs. Evil:
The world's biggest, best-loved search engine owes its success to supreme technology and a simple rule: Don't be evil. Now the geek icon is finding that moral compromise is just the cost of doing big business.

Michael considered fate at 19:56   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
This is getting posted all over the place but if you missed it: version of Google Image search for tiananmen.
Sample - first result: (chinese) version of Google Image search for tiananmen.
Sample - first result:

Michael considered fate at 18:01   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Browsing through the American Book Review's 100 Best First Lines from Novels makes me stop and think - how many of these first lines were the last lines to be written and how many truly were the first words jotted down when the novel was but an idea?
5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. —Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)

38. All this happened, more or less. —Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)

48. He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. —Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952)

88. Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I've come to learn, is women. —Charles Johnson, Middle Passage (1990)

Michael considered fate at 16:18   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

Michael considered fate at 15:16   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Update: An Arstechnica article claims Google denies plans to distribute OS based on Ubuntu
Google press relations office[r], technology spokeswoman Sonya Borälv responded very quickly to my query on the topic. She said that "[w]e use Ubuntu internally but have no plans to distribute it outside of the company."

Google has denied any claims that they plan on entering the online (or offline) music business but more rumours now suggest that Google may be working on a version of Ubuntu linux aimed at the desktop:
Google has confirmed it is working on a desktop linux project called Goobuntu, but declined to supply further details, including what the project is for.

It could be for wider deployments on the company's own desktops, as an alternative to Microsoft, but still for internal use only.

But it's possible Google plans to distribute it to the general public, as a free alternative to Windows.
For those not familiar with linux or Ubuntu specifically, it is a fairly new distribution based on one of the solid bases, Debian, which has been around for a very long time. Ubuntu has developed quite a following quite quickly and it is now on the top of the Distrowatch download chart. According to the Goobuntu article, it's installed on up to six million computers and doubling every eight months.

What does this all mean for the technology landscape? Not much. Even if Google releases Goobuntu for the masses, it isn't likely to cause a widespread dump of Microsoft Windows. Firstly, as I stated in a previous post, Google may own the online services bidness right now but they have done a relatively poor job of giving us good software. I don't think they will be able to improve upon the linux experience for the casual user enough to make Goobuntu a truly viable desktop solution - at least not right away. Secondly, and perhaps ultimately more importantly (since all software, before it is learned, is inherently difficult to use), the stronghold that Windows enjoys at the moment is not due to superior technology but superior user base. Windows is strong because it has been invested upon. When your Ferrari breaks down and needs $10,000 in repairs you pay it because you've invested half a million in it. Nobody wants to throw away that sort of cash. Dumping Windows for many is like pushing their Ferrari into the river - and I'm not talking about cash investment only. I'm talking about mindshare and training. Try switching off Windows one day and teaching 500 employees how to use linux.. see where productivity goes for the next week.

I'm a linux fan. I'd like to see it do better. I'd like to see more software for it, and more free software for it. I'm also realistic. What will truly change the face of the operating system market is the people. The users. And these users aren't going to come from the plush leather seats in the corner office. These users won't be created by a decree from an aging CEO. These users will come, slowly, with time. They will be 10 year olds and 14 year olds and 20 year olds that have used computers since the dawn of their time and are comfortable learning new software. They will be young people who have grown up interacting with a new and different interface every time they turn around - from VCRs to microwaves to cell phones to video game consoles to computers to robotic vacuum cleaners. They will be people adept not at interacting with interfaces but learning new interfaces.

The secret? We aren't heading towards a confluence of interface design, we're heading away from it. We may think we are sitting in the aged and mature technology market but we are younger than we may ever realize.. So young that we are experiencing in technology what the Cambrian explosion was to evolution.

Michael considered fate at 00:06   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment


Michael considered fate at 16:26   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
So here is my latest idea: screw an MBA.... LAW SCHOOL! I mean hey, it's law school, so it can't be hard or anything and it's pretentious and annoying! Plus, everybody hates lawyers. What better way to successfully and completely alienate myself from any and all social culture than to be a) a computer nerd and b) a lawyer?

Next up: republican political aspirations....


Michael considered fate at 16:17   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
I'm home in Maine for the weekend and I'm being amazed left and right. Amazed because the cable internet here is blazingly fast compared to my big-city livin' offerings, amazed because people just constantly surprise me and amazed because it's so goddamned warm outside. Okay, it may not be what most people call warm but it's certainly winter-as-usual here. Decemeber saw ice shacks on the river - almost a month earlier than normal - but they have all now been pulled, the river flows freely, and any ice you might see has been relegated to trees, eaves, and sidewalks. Even then it's a mush of sand and slush. More like a winter smoothie than anything else. There ain't be no ice fishin' here, dude. No sir no how. See the secret of fishing is to stay hidden from your prey. In the lighter seasons of spring and summer you keep yourself hidden in a boat or on the shore and only dangle attractive looking worms and flies and other goodies into the water. With ice fishing, on the other hand, you have yourself a big blind - like deer hunting - only the entire ice surface of the lake is your blind. Ain't no fish see through 6 plus inches of that. Ice fishing just doesn't work without the ice. The fish could see you coming.. Plus, you'd fall into the lake too.


Michael considered fate at 15:47   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Short online music industry update. Rumours abound that Google may be getting ready to release it's own iTunes Killer but personally I'm skeptical. For one, Google may own the online services bidness right now but they have done a relatively poor job of giving us good software. The only decent offerings they have were bought and acquired from others (e.g. Picasa). Secondly, Google isn't in the software bidness. They may think they are or they may want to be (see the questionably odd Google Pack offering - what the fah?) but they certainly aren't up to snuff on that front.

Side Note: Microsoft to build the next iPod Killer - next? Which one was the first? We've seen a slew of great music players with more features than the iPod and I don't think they've failed because they aren't designed as well, Apple just be the big man on the block these days. Branding, yo, branding.

Finally, Google may be brave enough to stand up to the U.S. gov'ment
Google has refused to comply with a Department of Justice subpoena requesting "a 'random sampling' of 1 million Internet addresses accessible through Google's popular search engine, and a random sampling of 1 million search queries submitted to Google over a one-week period"
but the fury of Red China still makes them quake in their boots (or, alternately, the potential market lose of China.. whatever):
Web search leader Google Inc. said on Tuesday it was introducing a new service for China that seeks to avoid a confrontation with the government by restricting access to services to which users contribute such as e-mail, chat rooms and blogs.

The new Chinese service at will offer a censored version of Google's popular search system that could restrict access to thousands of terms and Web sites.

Hot topics might include issues like independence for Taiwan or Tibet or outlawed spiritual group Falun Gong.
Microsoft's Bill Gates, in a rare case, even defended Google's decision:
"I do think information flow is happening in China ... "
Nevertheless, in a quick sample search of tibet, Google's china search returns 2.6 million results less than Google's regular search engine.

Michael considered fate at 15:39   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Some days are good, some days are bad. What can I say? No, I'm not referring to my alopecia.. I'm referring to the spotty internet connection on my lab computer. Sadly, there are days when blogger simply refuses to communicate over my pitifully sad wire.. or maybe the sad part is the network card. I don't really know. Anyhow, this is a sad excuse for lack of posting, though admission that I've actually been working - I suppose that's something, right?

It's our buddy Mozart's birthday today.


Michael considered fate at 03:32   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
The issue of loaning money to friends rarely comes up but whenever it does I do. I can't say I'm a sucker because I've never been taken - yet - but then again who is the bigger fool? The fool or the fool that follows him (that is, himself, exaggerating his foolishness more so for tempting fate for the fourth, fifth.. fifteenth time).

Quit while your ahead? There really is no such thing. Ahead, behind, you quit when your done and not one second earlier or later. Ask a gambler.. these things are just in the cards. Regardless, I ain't holding any aces. Guess I'm left with hope on this one. Keep your fingers crossed.


Michael considered fate at 19:16   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Sweden Plans on Being the First Country in the World to Be Free From Oil in 2020. Sweet.
Minister for Sustainable Development Mona Sahlin has declared that Sweden is going to become the first country in the world to break the dependence on fossil energy. Sweden will stop using oil by 2020 and eventually the energy supply of the country will be based on renewable energy only. The goal is to gradually rid the country of gasoline-run cars and oil-heated homes

Michael considered fate at 03:40   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Brilliant Mr. Bush, truly. Well done. See Thinkprogress for the rest of the story:
Bush was stumped during the Q&A session of his speech today by a sophomore at Kansas State:

[snip] Recently 12.7 billion dollars was cut from education. I was just wondering how is that supposed to help our futures?


Bush: Actually, I think what we did was reform the student loan program. We are not cutting money out of it.

The facts:

On Dec. 21, 2005, the Senate passed $12.7 billion in cuts to education programs — “the largest cut in student college loan programs in history.”
[snip] The bill also fixed the interest rate on student loans at 6.8 percent, “even if commercial rates are lower.” [snip]

Pell Grants have been frozen or cut since 2002; they are now stuck at a maximum of $4,050.

Michael considered fate at 02:53   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
The ewe belted out a painful squeal, almost half-human in it's expression of disbelief. Her first birth, so certainly a new wonderment, all this activity. He knelt down and jammed his arm far up into the sheep until he could feel out the problem. The head wasn't where it was supposed to be. Nevertheless, he quickly put things right - like an electrician working in a tight spot with no light, feeling things our with his hands, working the legs and shoulders down and finally tugging on the hooves till the proper locked and loaded position was achieved. She pulled the trigger almost before he had a chance to get clear and there it was, a little baby lamb covered in amniotic fluid and blood and mucus. It flopped, fish like, in the hay. Steam rose off it. The February night was cold. He picked a small piece of straw from the barn floor and poked at it's nostrils till it sneezed a good hearty life-giving sneeze, and it gasped it's first breaths as a graduate of the existensial purgatory of wombliving - a new member of mother earth's grand carnival. Twenty minutes later, it was on it's feet.

Later, much later and in the city, he walked slowly with his hands jammed in his pockets and his hat pulled close over his eyes - not so much from the cold but from the sheer distrust of the large buildings, the concrete, the cement. January thaw dampened the air but there was still snow on the ground. His distrust was in the snow; it was not natural snow like he knew. It wasn't brown or muddy or chewed up by the traffic of animals pounding away at it. It was more stomped out as if an office full of rubber-stamp clerks had spent a shift at it; boot and sneaker imprints layed one ontop of another, overlapping, but each perfectly the same as the one directly ahead and behind it. There were no pieces of grass or hay mixed into the stew of ice and water and slush. Just sand strewn on top where the ice patches were thick. The sidewalks beneath stared up through the ice like frozen corpses - blankly and without any emotion.

There weren't any animals around but there were people. He paused at a street light waiting for the traffic to stop, listening for the *clunk - clunk* of the changing of red to green, green to red, that strangely serene sound of simple mechanics doing it's simple thing. He saw it, but he never heard it. Right before the light changed a babbling gaggle of girls bumped into him from behind talking loudly of tv shows and bar scenes, clucking and squawking over eachother, loitering at the light. When he was across the street and walking faster now, pulling away from the flock behind him he passed through the college campus and to his right he noticed a maintenance crew worker spearing bits of paper and old cigarette boxes, bent over poking pigeon-like at the refuse of animals.

Further still, a quarter of an hour later. Through the front window of the dollar store he could see magpies by the dozens collecting small and useless shiny little knick-knacks that they would soon decorate their nests with. Hitchcock would be proud, or at least a little creeped out.

Fade to black. Enter the old mage in his black suit and white rim of hair, his balding cap and his famously-demure non-smile. A wink - a blink? What is the moral this time, old fella? What have you got for us today?

Michael considered fate at 00:26   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Well I take it all back. There is a small spot of hope on the landscape of Canadian politics. A minority gov'ment is better than a conservative one, I suppose. Party on Garth. Party on Wayne.


Michael considered fate at 17:58   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
And now for something completely different:

I'm no NBA fan, nor a particular appreciator of one Kobe Bryant, but shite.. dude scored 81 points all by his lonesome the other night against the Raptors. Maybe those TO boys just had their minds on other things, like super-happy-very-important Canadian elections. For those not up on NBA lore, our boy Wilt has the record with 100 points in a game back some 44 years ago but, then again, he was 7'1". He also scored a bit with the ladies, I hear.

Anyway, if you're curious, here is a video of all of bryant's 81 points (via tony via scott)

Michael considered fate at 17:30   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
If you know me in real life you know I lean towards apathetic when it comes to politics.. for the most part. Here on the blog, however, I tend to forget my corporal self and get a bit razzed, riled, and generally pissed off about the moronic idiocy of the human political dream. There is no dream, folks, it's a natural nightmare that will play itself out over and over and over again. Anybody who thinks we can control ourselves in any ordered or "proper" manner is fooling themselves. This is painfully clear by simply looking at the literature. 1984. A Brave New World. People cringe at these books and they will always cringe and this is why departments of homeland securities and the likes of GRU, CIA, and the KGB will always be distrusted and yes, yes, perhaps they will last for short while.. a few hundred years perhaps.. but they will never, ever, gain complete control. It's as unnatural as walking on water (whatever those christians might try and tell you).

So, with that in mind I mention that yesterday was apparently Blog For Choice Day, which I found out via this little story and without being overly dramatic about it I'll blog the fact that I believe in choice, I believe in the right to make these sorts of decisions without the government sticking their hand in the way.. I believe in the need for government policies that handle broad international and national issues. I do not believe in a national government that wastes it's time with such uselessly small issues as abortion - if you can let states govern their right to capital punishment then you can let them govern their right to abortion.

That being said, today is Canadian election day. They be electing a new gov'nah. Here they call him a Prime Minister but that's really not important. What's important is that the dear Canadians are shuffling along like good little soldiers in formation, following their general Uncle Sam, and they will elect a Conservative fool just as we south of their border have.

Really, why be different when you can be exactly the same? Super-duper A-plus wonderful, my friends.

Liam: you voting here?

BritCoal: fuck no

Liam: pfft, why not

BritCoal: voting is for dumb pussies who like conservative politics
BritCoal: nerrr

Liam: ummm

BritCoal: voting is so reagan-era bullshit
BritCoal: voting is old school propaganda

Liam: you firebombing the polling station then?

BritCoal: voting is mind-fuckville
BritCoal: hellz no - wez got a RIGHT to vote
BritCoal: power to the people, yo

Liam: I give this conversation an N for baffling.

BritCoal: I give it a big fat Z for Zoooowwwwie, conservatism rocks rocks rocks the boat till it flips over and I go...
BritCoal: gurgle-gurgle-gurgle as I drown
BritCoal: SLOWLY

BritCoal: are YOU voting, you commie-conservative-scum?

Liam: done and done

BritCoal: and who the HELL votes on Monday, anyway, you retardos
BritCoal: TUESDAY. Tuesday is the day you vote!

Liam: you could have voted in advance on tuesday

BritCoal: Dumbass eski-mopes

Liam: huckety huck

BritCoal: You guys have spent one too many days in the freezer, pops.
BritCoal: I think you've -sicled your little brain-lumps sitting in the igloo sucking on blubber for too long


Michael considered fate at 15:33   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Well, according to the trusty 'ol Associated Press (@Wired):
Worldwide sales of music over the internet and on mobile phones hit $1.1 billion last year, triple 2004 sales and accounting for 6 percent of global record company revenues, the industry said.
6% may not be much in the big scheme of things but $1.1 billion is a pretty large number. Somewhere along the line, probably back in those heady days of the industrialized revolution, discussions pertaining to large amounts of money quietly transistioned from using small teeny tiny words such as "millions" and began using the larger (though perhaps less mature) cousin "billions". Nowadays we bandy about "trillion" on occassion too. In fact, the world GDP is roughly $55 trillion as measured in international dollars. That's a lot, if you weren't sure, but nevertheless it's only $8500 per person on this earth which is sort of humbling in a way when I do the finger-counting math and notice how little time it takes me to accumulate that sort of wealth.. In fact it's sort of humbling when you realize you have to call $8500 wealth. In the United States of America we call that below the poverty line but we try our best not to think about it because the truth is that most Americans believe that between 1 and 5 million people live in poverty in the United States when the actual number is nearly 33 million.

But back to what's important.. Like the $18 billion recording industry. Like the 420 million individual songs that were legally purchased and downloaded off the internet last year. Like the three-fold increase in online music sales over a single year for the industry - the same industry that is complaining that, if left unchecked, the wilds of the internet will destroy their way of life, will erode away their life's work, will leave them destitute and in the gutter; surely no doubt, below the poverty line.


In these times of major label mergers, splits, re-shufflings, and enormous changes in the technology they must deal with and submit to -
.. you know, CDs that don't last more than a few years so you have to re-buy them, cheaper manufacturing costs, online delivery systems with practically no overhead compared to traditional channels.. it's tough being a recording company..
- these poor companies have even bigger problems to deal with: Their inability to reign in the astronomical spending in the upper tiers of management! The Financial Times has reported that Warner Music paid it's top 5 execs over $21 million in salary and bonuses after last year's $2.6 billion acquisition of the US music group by a private equity consortium. The article states that of the top management, the chairman who led the buy-out, Edgar Bronfman Jr was paid $1 million in salary and $5.25 million in bonuses. The head of Warner's international operations, Paul Rene Albertini, was given over $1 million in salary and they threw in a $3 million bonus. In fact, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the total executive payouts from last year were over three times higher than Warner Music's $7 million operating income for the 10 months up to the end of Sept.

Poverty indeed.


Michael considered fate at 00:38   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Guilty admission? I saw an old photo and I thought, "that's not what I remember at all." This odd technology of snapshot imagery, old in and of itself but brand new in the big scheme, it brings about a whole new being, a state of mind not possible before. I'd never considered these things till now. For this armchair psychologist, it explained everything.. as if I had the right to make up people's back-stories just because I saw a picture or two, a snapshot of a time when I wasn't even an inkling in their eye. OF COURSE it makes sense. OF COURSE I should have known.

I shouldn't have known. I don't even know.

Truthfully, I know enough to know I'm not THAT much of an asshole.. but I'm still an asshole. The walls were crumbling down around me then and I saw it but ignored it. Does that make me implicitly responsible for the bringing down of the house?

I (tried to) explain this and they just didn't get it. They kept harping about how I
shouldn't be so judgemental. They were trying to help me out of a hole but meanwhile I was really stuck in a tree. Fah. I never was a great climber.

Truth be told the last I knew it she was in New Hampshire or Vermont and she was pushing mochas across the counter to 30-something yuppies with their I was there once attitude that somehow made them feel as though it was all justified - their recycled wealth. In my head she is in a relationship with some idiot - the first one to come along and hit on her when first she started working there and she cries when he isn't around. He's a miserable person (no, he doesn't beat her or anything but he's a fucking go-nowhere moron) and it makes her feel miserable too, and she doesn't cry because of any of that - she cries because it feels so normal and comfortable to be miserable.

Sometimes it feels like it would be nice to cry about such simple things as recycled wealth and miserable feelings but it's too complicated on this end. Too many photos, each with it's own (made up) back story that doesn't validate or justify a single goddamned thing but confuses it nevertheless. Justifies lousy communication - "What, you don't understand?? Look at the goddamned pictures! You think I got this way by accident? Look at the goddamned pictures!" - (she shoved them in my lap like they were an unwanted baby, something to be held and cradled but quickly shuffled along to the next sucker). As if a picture, worth all of it's one thousand words, could ever really formulate it's own sentence, speak a coherent thought, regurgitate any valid reasoning about it's existence.

Words are as good as puzzle pieces mixed up on the kitchen table unless they are put together to make a picture. It takes time, sometimes, and effort, to sit down and put those pieces together - to form a real cohesive and worthwhile memory. Sometimes, the energy just isn't there and you get gobble-de-gook like this. A big pile of letters, words, paragraphs just piled up like wood from a torn down building; No real sense, just a pile.

And I think maybe it would be nice just to feel a bit miserable. Maybe it would be nice to be down in a hole. Maybe it would be nice to climb down from the trees for once and walk around and be okay - feel comfortable - within one's own skin, with one's abilities and wants and needs and feelings. Maybe it would be nice to be miserable for awhile, unhappy with one's recycled wealth. Maybe, just maybe, it would be nice to cry about it for awhile.


Michael considered fate at 16:32   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
If the whole photo-a-day thing is up your alley then you might check out this linkage of a number of sites that do the whole photo shuffle. Example: Jean-Michel Gobet takes a photo at 09:09 every day and blogs about it.. geessus. 9:09 every goddamned day.

Michael considered fate at 01:45   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment


Michael considered fate at 15:33   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
I'll admit it. I've become a little obsessed with Anne Hathaway's boobs. I blame, wholeheartedly, the likes of Jaime and Phil but what can you do? I'm an adult and can make my own decisions.. even if they are to waste time avoiding work and looking up celebrity photos on the internet.

Blame is little more than misplaced guilt. If I had a publicist and they told me to wander around without a bra on if I felt I wanted more adult roles, if I wanted to shed off some early-career baby-fat, if I wanted to be more respected.. well, then, I guess maybe I wouldn't say no either.

Regardless, if it all went sour, I'd certainly try not to blame anyone but myself for we're, ultimately, the rulers of our own destiny. Forget the consultants and advisers, dear princess, forget the jester; you are your own hilarity now.

Meanwhile, I myself am laughing as well. Whose the true jester in this giant court? Why I am, I am the jester true to this giant court. Dance, pretty boy, dance, they say and so I pick up my feet and bounce around, reacting to their every whim..

.. downloading pictures of pretty little celebrities with see-through clothing, pretty little elves and dwarfs and goblins so far away in a different land that they are paper thin at best, like gossamer floating on the wind.

Dance, pretty boy, dance!

I can't say no. I laugh back at them. Nobody likes to see the sad tears of a clown. Nobody likes a jaded jester. And so I do, I dance, I don my gay apparel, I dip and weave and whirl about; I dance.


Michael considered fate at 00:39   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
I invented what I thought would be a pretty disgusting dish on my walk home from the lab today. Searching desperately for something interesting to do with tofu I thought I'd try treating it like a slab of meat.. yah, I know, that's not exactly "original", but I thought I'd see how much I could make a plain slice of firm tofu seem like meat without, obviously, having the tofu itself taste like meat (we all know that's wishful thinking without some serious chemicals). So, texture was where I was going to win this fight, I figured.. I had to fry it. Okay, fried tofu steak. Almost almost sounds exciting, if you'd never heard of tofu. Well, after some liquid smoke, homemade aple cider vinagrette, salt, and pepper, it actually turned out not half bad. I actually thought it had a 50/50 chance, but given my luck I secretly figured it would quickly devolve into a pile of mush.

I made a sort of hodgepodge oil/vinager dressing with basil, sugar, white and black pepper, tyme, and chopped parsley. The base was canola oil and apple cider vinager with a bit of olive oil to send it over the top.

I threw in carrot and mashed potatoe side dishes to keep it interesting. Don't want anyone falling asleep in their tofu steak, now do we?

I marinated the "tenderized" tofu steaks in the vinagrette while I sauteed finely chopped onions and garlic. Then I added the tofu to the frying pan, brushing lightly with liquid smoke for an, umm, "mystery meat" type flavour, thowing in some diced green pepper and thin onion strips at the end for some crunch. Then I lightly fried some tomatoes as a topper. I garnished heavily with steamed green beans. Because I can never say "stop" when you could just as easily say "More!" I drizzled the whole of it with some of the leftover vinagrette.

It wasn't overly oily at all, which was my first worry. I think if I ever saw the amounts of oil and butter that real cooks use I'd probably keel over with a heart attack on the spot. I sliced the tofu thin enough and fried it long enough that it really sort of chunked up the texture. It still wasn't meat but it was good. The tomatoe turned out to be the perfect choice to really zap the taste buds back and forth between it's tart fruityness and the rawish goodness of the greenbeans, peppers, and onion stripes. The garlic and onion that went in the pan first was carmelizing by the time I was done and I used that as the bed for the dish, and the sweetness really complimented the tangy apple cider vinager.

The cinammon carrots were good too. Some basil, some butter, a little tiny bit of light brown sugar, and cinammon, and finally some salt and pepper to taste.

The poor mashed potatoes were just normal old mashed potatoes and so got cut from the photo shoot. They shed a tear in the changing room and quickly ran home to lose 10lbs.

Photos courtesy of my roommate Mike. (Hi, I'm Mike. This is my roommate Mike and this is my other roommate Mike.. just joking, there are only two of us)

Michael considered fate at 00:21   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Cause I finally got around to it, here is some new years photo fun.

Early in the night, while I waited for the first guests to trickle in, I couldn't resist a quiet swisher sweet by myself in the candlelight.

Far more people than we expected actually showed up in fancy duds.. And I think they had fun for it

Even the hallway got more action than it's seen in awhile

People did their thing, mingled, danced.. even the Christmas tree showed up! (though he wasn't much of a talker and he didn't dance for a single song)

Next morning the place looked.. well, a little worse for wear but nothing a little elbow grease couldn't deal with. Nevertheless, a sore sight for hungover eyes.


Michael considered fate at 13:42   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Although it probably wasn't intended as such, Jamie has a pretty good review of Brokeback Mountain, that light-in-the-chaps cowboy movie about two wranglin' lovers played by Gylennhal and Ledger. I'll admit I haven't seen it but Jamie manages to point out some interesting tidbits without giving anything away at all - like the fact that there is as much female nudity as male nudity, a fact that is wholly unsurprising given the current dark cloud hanging over our social climate. Sure, gays are making inroads into politics, media, and religion faster than you can say burning down the house these days but then again, they've said the same of feminists in earlier decades yet women are still underpaid compared to their male counterparts. It's not even 1999 anymore, folks. It's 2006. We're in a new millenium. 86 years after women received the right to vote in the U.S. (almost exactly four score and seven years ago) and 35 years (only 35 years!?) after Nixon signed the Civil Rights Act banning sex discrimination in employment and education, women are still feeling the effects of a culturally ingrained categorization some smartasses refer to as "the lesser species". These same gender-librarians (the average American) think 24% of the U.S. federal budget goes toward foreign aid.

Only 0.9% actually does.

Luckily for us Americans, since aid agencies are forced to buy from U.S. companies at inflated prices, historically America has effectively taken back 70% of the aid it donated.

Those wonderful facts from Mother Jones. If for nothing else than a good laugh I urge you to follow the link and read the rest of the lovely statistics they provide. The stuff of true entertainment. Truly, politics is more theatrics these days than Hollywood - no wonder their revenues were so horrible this year (which is probably why they are wasting their time suing grandfathers these days instead of, oh, you know.. making good movies!)

But I digress. Back to the plight of the fairer sex (also thanks to Mother Jones):
Women make 80¢ on the male dollar, even accounting for time off to raise kids. If that factor is not accounted for, women make 56¢

Models weigh 23% less than average women. In 1986 it was only 8% less.

31.5% of Iraq's parliament are women. Only 15% of the U.S. Congress are women.
Where, oh where, is this (admittedly wandering) post going? Well, specifically, we're here to talk about the titties. As Jaime pointed out, heterosexual males who might find themselves screening Brokeback Mountain may be pleasantly surprised to see Anne Hathaway's boobs flashed on the screen (How are they? Like scoops of ice cream, says one commenter). Who is this Anne Hathaway? None other than the lead in such (very recent) films as The Princess Diaries, Ella Enchated, and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. A 23 year old who has, in the past, stated that she would only ever appear topless/nude if she felt it would enhance the film... or her career? I'm not making any assumptions here, just speculating about a hypothesis. Some people might wonder, though, if one of her childhood heros might have been someone like Meg Ryan?

Although Meg Ryan managed to make it to 42 before she showed her stuff on screen (In the Cut) she does follow my previously discussed "Model movie career for young women" - she started in TV soap operas before.. drum role.. you guessed it, being cast in a horror flick (Amityville 3-D). Then, as we all know, she plodded through a few decades of fluff with movies like When Harry Met Sally and You've Got Mail.

So what signal are we as a culture sending? Well, it's clear, isn't it? We do think women should earn the same as men. We do want gender equality. We want to see fine actresses such as Ryan and Hathaway in serious and dramatic artistic roles.. that is, we want to see their boobies. Even if that means putting up with some gay cowboy manlove.


Michael considered fate at 17:10   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
I have to admit that I find karoke to be one of the most hideous of social obscenities but I truly do not blame this on any Asian anywhere, regardless of the fact that I associate the discovery of and subsequent exploitation of karoke with the far east. Is this in fact true? Did the Japanese invent this repulsive human convulsion? I suppose I could look it up but I will instead sit here quietly and appreciate the relative lack of karoke in this fine city of Montreal.

Michael considered fate at 15:48   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
This will be the post that time forgot. Firstly, because I'm using a perfectly good computer connected to the perfectly good university network but, nevertheless, I am experiencing bandwidth speeds in the range of a 14.4 modem - remember what that was like? I bet you don't. It's funny this whole technology thing - the internet, mobile phones, satellite radio - things that would have seemed downright exotic and James Bond-ish to most of the public only a mere 20 years ago are now not only normal, everyday, but also expected. Demanded, even. What would people do now without instant-on communication? Do you remember dialup? You actually had to wait for the modem to dial before you could surf the "World Wide Web". What a cute phrase, leftover from those days when websurfing was so new there was no colloquial term for it. Now they invent new words just for the fun of it; podcast, blogosphere, WiFi, and people actually listen and pick these terms up and use them on the street, in coffee shops, on the bus, as if they were talking about things that have been around for ages, roast beef for dinner and bicycles for around-town transportation.

This will be the post that time forgot because it probably won't go through, what with the painfully slow connection I'm getting, and all will be lost, forgotten, sent out over the ether to float in the nothingness, never to be seen again..

Which means I can talk about whatever I damn well please.

Like my inability to sit down and actually do any real work. Like my obsession with production and my lack thereof. I actually tell myself often that if I had the time (or, alternately, when I have the time in the future) I would (will) paint, draw, bike, play more hockey, go to the gym more, cook more, write more. We can see how well it's working out, right? I'm a lost cause; gum on the underside of the table that just won't come off, hardened with age.

Secret admission: I have a sneaking suspicion that I have mono, or at least I think it would be a great excuse for my ability to stay in bed as long as I do on such frequent a basis.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you work, you realize that it really is about you - nobody else is going to notice unless you notice. If you don't toot your own horn nobody else will know there is a horn to toot. Self-realizing fame and fortune. I just hate tooting horns. Mine or anybody else's.

Perhaps others would say differently but in my little house-of-mirrors brain, I see my little midget-self all squished down in the glass, fat and pudgy and distorted, my face wide and flat like a stretched photoshop image. I see the flaws in the image and I can't help but admit it has flaws - it's so obvious - why doesn't everyone see it?

Also, but in a different room (tiny and twisted in which I feel cramped and stifled), there are mirrors that reach to the ceiling, bent outward, stretching my image to heights I could previously not even imagine. Tall and lanky, thinner than death but standing like a giant inside this tiny cramped space - looking bigger for it.

So it's hard to toot a horn when it's alternately short and squat or long and thin - you never know what you're going to get, a blunt and bassy frog-like belch or a squeaky metallic wail. Or something inbetween as my internal representations wrestle with themselves, morphing from one to the other, arms and legs intertwined in the mud of the brain - motions slow and slick, but too fast to follow with the naked eye.

The cold sweaty fever is seeping into my brain. My exclamation that I haven't been sick in years has caught up to me and I'm paying the sore and aching price of sleeping in my own pool of sweat, shivering silently in my over-heated state. Wonderful fun which I blame wholly for this rambling and incoherent discombobulation of a post.

Here's to getting back in the saddle.


Michael considered fate at 19:05   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Via our torontonian pal phil (always a good toilet read - fast and punchy posts that are a perfect length for, well, you know) comes Chuck Norris Facts. I won't bother regurgitating, just one for the road:
Chuck Norris has counted to infinity. Twice.

Powered by Blogger

Check out heroecs, the robotics team competition website of my old supervisor's daughter. Fun stuff!
Page finished loading at: