Sunday, March 19, 2006

Another night on Haight St with the SFPD

I went to a friend's art show opening yesterday on Haight St. As we were leaving, we noticed that there were a group of police officers in the middle of the street we had to cross to get back to where I parked my car. So instead of walking straight, we turned up the street, and stopped in front of a way cool furniture store to survey the scene. At this point there were people milling about (this is a Saturday night around 8ish), taking pictures of the cops. My friend and I looked up the street and there were about 20 police officers in full riot gear walking single file down the street, headed straight for the middle of the intersection on Haight st. And this is not the busier The Haight, this is just a random neighborhood, with not even that many shops or businesses. The oddest thing is not a single person had a clue as to why the cops were there. According to one guy there "maybe was a protest (earlier) that afternoon - maybe". I searched the newspaper this morning- not a single mention. I am still baffled as to why I had to dodge amored police vehicles and motorcycle cops on the way to my car (and then out of the area) last night.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Scary thought of the Day


A Hummer H2 could be driven around the world 244 times on the excess calories Americans consume each year.

-Harper's Magazine.

And just think-they get really crappy gas mileage.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

March Nabe Madness!

Recently, Craig's best friend stayed with us for a few days. On the last night he was with us, we made Nabe, a Japanese hotpot that I grew up with, and that I dearly love (and miss). Craig fell in love with it when he had it at my family's, and has since bought a japanese nabe pot and everything. anyway, here is my bastardized version of it (the Japanese would dissaprove, but it's so yummy....):

For one gallon of water, add 5 or 6 3 inch or so long pieces of Konbu that you have wiped with a damp cloth to remove excess salt. Let sit in cold water for 30 minutes. Add leek tops, and any chicken, pork, or fish (or all three) bones you might be using (I usually just have some chicken bones). Bring to alomst a boil, remove konbu. Let boil 10 or so minutes, add a BIG handful of Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) at a rolling boil, and turn off heat. Let steep a minute or so, and strain out stuff. Take a ladlefull of broth, and pour into small bowl. Add 2-4TBs of Miso, and stir until incorporated. Pour Miso into pot. Put on heat (and on burner on table, if you're set up for it), add meat or fish, leeks, tofu, Shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, napa Cabbage, and spinach. In our family we do a few courses of this, and then at the end do a 'noodle course'. My family likes to used dried Udon, Craig and I like frozen Udon (they're fatter). We put Shichimitogarashi (Japanese seven spice pepper, or whatever. little orane capped jar), dried yuzu, grated ginger (sorry I forgot it Ziad!), and Ponzu (with yuzu) and soy sauce on the table, for whoever wants it. Fresh ground black pepper is awesome with the noodle course.

I love this stuff the next day, reheated with an egg poached in it. I aso highly recommend turning down the heat in your house when you make this, as it warms you right up. Good stuff, and goes really well with Sake, cold beer, and not to be too corny, friends and family.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Floods this year

This year the flooding in Mendocino and Sonoma counties has been pretty substantial. Or maybe it just seems that way because last year wasn't so bad. Anyway, I of course neglected to record the worst floods (around new year's), but I did have my ancient camera on me the last time I went up the coast. And managed to not lose my car to the flood (hurray for Jeeps and their high clearance!!), but did watch a guy lose his BMW to water going up the tailpipe and flooding his engine. Not so cool. Anyway- pictures are up on my Flickr account (click on the badge at left so I don't have to put a link in here...), and are kind of tough to see, as I had issues with getting out of the car every time I wanted to take a picture. Too cold and gusty. The sad news is they just dug these huge trenches on either side of the road to prevent this sort of thing, and this is the the first major rain post-digging, and it really didn't seem to help much. The cows look particularly miserable.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Cell phones and toddlers

OK- with two linguists/huge brains/academic freaks as parents, I have a tendency to watch people and the way they talk, write, emote, communicate, etc. I was watching the three year old I am currently kid sitting (today is the third and final whole day) talk to her mom on the phone, I couldn't help but notice that her speech is entirely corrupted by the cell phone. A. was talking on her house phone, but knew that her mom in Santa Barbara was on her cell. Evidently where they were, the cell coverage was a bit sketchy. Anyway- amongst her not-quite-correct sentences the phrases 'are you still there?' and 'can you hear me now?' were imbedded with perfect clarity. After hanging with this kid for as long as I have, I know these phrases to be a bit past her ability to construct english grammar. I found it to be a bit depressing, and am working on getting my land line in my house put in that much quicker.