Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mardi Gras Menu at Hot Rods.

Was enough to draw the Angie home on Friday night...

Crawfish.... (Curt had catfish.. which I love, but crawfish..)  and mac n cheese, bit spicy, with sausage and shrimp.

I had a flight with dinner - one of the more interesting beers I've had was Death by Coconut Porter.. very, very coconut.
I mixed some with Yard's Love Stout... OMG like drinking a Mounds Bar!!  Who needs dessert??


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Like Yesterday....

I can't even begin to describe what I felt 30 years ago, and when I think back to what feels like yesterday all the feels come back as well....

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew --
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee Jr.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Tempest

Didn't think you'd ever see me posting Shakespeare did you? There was a quote from the Tempest in a Physics article I read last fall, and it made me realize that I only grudgingly read Hamlet and MacBeth in school.  SO I decided to read the Tempest.  It was better than I thought (yes generations of literary people are rolling over in their collective graves). The 30 page intro to this section was extremely helpful, and I read all 30 before the play.  The side notes, were sometimes helpful in understanding terms, but at times distracting.  It was a relatively quick read, so I don't know if it is shorter than the other 2 I read, or if it was high school English teachers that made them go on forever.  I may get A Midsummer's Night Dream from the same series to try soon.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Snow Day!!

Didn't go to work today... wasn't worried about getting to work.. worried about getting home from work.  I took this picture a little over an hour is windy so part of it is wind -- but that's a six foot fence!!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ikea Knitting Hack.

I was in Ikea with Curt a few weeks ago, and we walked past "Mala" in the children's section - it is to hold a roll of drawing paper for kids to color on.

I thought it would be awesome to hold yarn, especially for multi-yarn projects!




The little grooves, that I guess are for crayons or pencils or markers are great to hold needles!!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Spooky Action at a Distance

Spooky Action at a Distance: The Phenomenon That Reimagines Space and Time--and What It Means for Black Holes, the Big Bang, and Theories of EverythingSpooky Action at a Distance: The Phenomenon That Reimagines Space and Time--and What It Means for Black Holes, the Big Bang, and Theories of Everything by George Musser

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Non-locality, galaxies on either end of our horizons who can't see each other because while their light reaches us, it hasn't had time to reach each other - yet they are eerily similar. Two subatomic particles, entangle and then later flip the same even though there is no time for them to communicate their actions. Black holes, mass goes up with area of event horizon not volume. There are clues on every level that the idea of "locality" things needing to touch to interact, doesn't stand up to the actual experimental evidence. Physicists since Einstein and Bohr have been arguing over what these clues mean, theorists and philosophers are trying to come up with new theories that can explain this phenomena. Both space and time will need to be redefined. Space may end up just an illusion.

These are complex, hard to imagine concepts, especially as we are "inside the box" trying to figure out the whole picture. People with PhD's are trying to wrestle with the topics and they often disagree.

Musser has done a great job at delving into the history of the problems as well as explaining the leading current theories on it. He introduces these thinkers as peoples not just as Dr So and SO from Wherever University. He does a remarkable job of explaining the basic ideas of these theories so that most somewhat educated people (unfortunately that isn't the whole of the general public) can understand. He doesn't overwhelm with mathematical equations or scientific jargon, so it is very approachable. If you want the equations and the math, this isn't your book. If you want a good overview understanding of space, time, really the fundamentals of physics is the fundamentals of everything, this is an awesome book.

View all my reviews

Monday, January 18, 2016

Want to join Team Fraggle?

If you've known me awhile - you know I'm involved in NerdWars and Nerdopolis on Ravelry.  I'm captain for Team Fraggle in Nerdopolis.  We're a small, friendly, laid back team, main goal is not coming in last, life happens you know?  Sometimes projects don't get done on time - but an end of month deadline sometimes helps.. Signups for the next tournament (starts Feb1 ends Apr 30) run through the 27th.  Link for signups is HERE, you do need to be on Ravelry to play.

If you more do, larger longer time projects, Nerdopolis has the Summit Seeker challenge - you gets stars (points) for progress during a given month. If you have a lot of WIPs there is the Area 51 challenge - where following the theme is optional and you can submit 2 things for stars each month.  If you tend to volunteer or donate (stuff or$) there is a different charitable focus each month to get a star (donated stuff doesn't have to be made that month) There is even a section called The Lab - which is for non Ravelry specific crafts. Beading, painting, colouring, baking,sewing there are a tons of non fiber craft options to explore.  And then there are three challenges each month, which get answered with a Rav sanctioned project.(knit, crochet, spin, dye, weave)  You can get one star or the max 5 stars (there is a badge for over 5 stars- but only 5 count for the scoring)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Nagasaki - Life After Nuclear War

First - some of you know my mom is Japanese.  She grew up in southern Japan (really the southern part explains a lot-- ask Curt) and actually saw the atomic bomb over Nagasaki from a little more than 50 miles away.

So when I saw this book on the new book list at the library, I put a request in.  

This is an extremely well written book, that follows 5 survivors (all in their teens at the time of the blast- so only just barely older than my mom) from a few days before the bombing to the present (a few did pass in the last 10 years) it intersperses their lives with historical facts surrounding different events during this timeline (many I really had no idea about) their feelings, anger, guilt (Nagano against her parents wishes brought her younger brother and sister home from their grandparent's place in the country  because she was so crushingly lonely, and her brother died within days of massive burns, her sister died months later from radiation sickness, yet she lived) and when and what prompted them to publicly come out as hibakusha - survivors - despite fears of becoming outcasts and prejudice from others (which happened after radiation sickness started happening - other Japanese were afraid of contagion) and admitting to the still scarred injuries they spent their lives hiding.  Their voices were a core influence on anti-nuclear talks - a few even spoke to the UN. The use of the 5 survivors really humanizes the effects of the bombing, much more so than just the huge numbers that is hard to wrap around. 

(I've decided that future book review posts will be titled with the name of the book - after trying to find an older post recently)


First David now Alan??

I never actually posted about the death of David Bowie on Sunday, and really I think every person in the modernized world of my generation has been shaped in some way by him.

And then this morning I hear that one of the best badguys out there passed this morning - Alan Rickman.

I'm sort of worried about the whole "comes in threes" thing now.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Was in some Card Swaps

On Ravelry, I'm usually in the monthly card swap on the Tiny Owl Knits group.  It's one card and if you want to add something as long as it still fits in a flat envelope that's a choice. (they had some issues with bubble envelopes not getting to their destinations - especially overseas, and trying to keep costs down.) But for the holidaze, I did that swap, The Cave (group for hermit and recluse wanna bees on Ravelry) had a card swap (just a card) everyone sends to everyone, if someone didn't want to mail overseas they would just get domestic partners, and if you wanted to do it by email, only partners ok with email.  So I think that was 26 cards. 

 And then I thought the Card Swap concept was such fun - that I ran one on Backstage Team Fraggle (the group for the Nerdwars/Nerdopolis Fraggle teams). 

 Then at the last minute Team Iron Throne (another Nerdopolis team) decided to do one - only it was three partners and each partner had a secret word  that you had to put in their card.  When you received your cards - your code words spelled a phrase from Iron Throne.

 My phrase was "Words are Wind"

I have a thought... I'm going to use christmas cookie cutters and cut out the images on the card. Use crochet thread to crochet (hopefully - never crocheted with thread before) a "frame"  then use  Christmas coloured fingering weight yarn to attach them all into a garland for next year.... eventually I WILL have a handmade tree! (well not tree but decorated tree)


Look quick!! It doesn't happen often and it doesn't last long, but Nick Saban smiling is almost worth the years I lost off the end of my life last night.. His 5th national title  , hard fought hard won 45-40.


pic glommed from the interwebs by Getty images 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Two Books to start the year

The first I started last fall - took awhile to read because I think the writing was very late 19th or early 20th century.  And they tried to emulate an Irish brogue by spelling things all screwy. But as some of you  know I have a thing for All Irish, so I wanted to read the stories ( many literally fairy tales) I realized after getting the book from the library - that it was basically a republish of a old book by Yeats who died in 1939 - so yes it read old. None the less, I powered through and finally finished it yesterday, because I had run out of renewals and had to return it.  If you are looking for Irish folktales, I am pretty sure there must be a book out that is an easier read.

The next book is Spellbound falls #5.  For the Love of Magic by Janet Chapman.  Can the cultists create a new god?  Why did Rana run away from Titus?  Does Maximillian want Titus's job? Will Carolina/Jane marry Alec before the baby shows up?  WHO?? is that they are giving the police job to?  And Kitatlanta the Orca at sea Wolf on Land is around a lot.

I won't answer the questions for you, but the book does.  Yup, already requested #6!

This was supposed to publish on Jan 6.  

Dinosaur BBQ

Went to Dinosaur BBQ in Newark, the Angie has wanted to go for over a year now - but we got there too late when going to Devil's games and they weren't taking anymore names :(  So we went, this time with Curt.  As always great food - but they were out of the fried green tomatoes... sigh.  I had catfish over collards, mac n cheese and red beans and rice ( sub black eyed peas for the red beans and you have my favorite new years day dinner)

Supposed to publish on Jan 5 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Went to a Devil's open practice

It was both interesting and fun!  And crowded - a lot of people were there ( they only opened up one side of the seats)  AS always NJ (the mascot) was the hardest working guy there!

This was supposed to be the Jan 4th post

I never post pictures of Curt's family

This is Erica, gramps ( my FIL) and the Angie wearing my Christmas antlers ( she  makes fun of my almost 40 Christmas hats/headgear - but every Christmas borrows something) 

This was supposed to post on Jan 3.

Friday, January 8, 2016

I made empanandas!!

I got the idea from Brunch with Bobby, he made breakfast empanadas with ham and egg, with a piquillo pepper sauce.  No I didn't follow directions.  Well the piquillo sauce is almost how he did it.  I made two kinds.  A black bean filled one - where I used an altered version of the black bean layer of Flay's breakfast chimichangas from another show, added some cojita cheese and stuff to it.  Instead of ham and eggs like his version I had ham, chorizo, fire roasted peppers and corn, baby bellas (seriously I can work these into anything) some shredded mex cheese as well as cojita etc.

I brushed them with egg wash before baking them - made  a lot, so I froze some before baking - and when the Angie came home, I baked them straight from frozen - came out just as good!

Stuffed turkey breast

I didn't get a good picture. But basically, I saw Mario Batali make a stuffed turkey thigh on the Chew, I saw Michael Symon make a stuffed rolled something and Bobby Flay did something on one of his shows.  It was the holidaze season and I didn't pay close attention to any of the recipes, but made my own version - that came out really really good.

In a skillet, with olive oil cooked down some (chopped up) spinach and (small diced) baby bella mushrooms with thyme, tarragon and sage - added some garlic near the end so it wouldn't burn.  Then I let this cool. After it cooled I stirred in a lightly beaten egg and some whole wheat panko - over working this will apparently create a rock in the center (don't remember whose advice this was)

Took a boneless/skinless turkey breast and butterfly cut it open and then pounded it until relatively even. Lined the cut side of the turkey with prosciutto. then spread a layer of softened Alouette garlic and herbed goat cheese, finishing it off with the spinach mixture.

I then rolled it into a log and tied it up, sprinkled some salt and pepper.  Seared it on 4 sides in a hot cast  iron skillet, then added turkey stock, covered it in foil and stuck it in an oven until done. The oven was about 400degrees - my oven isn't entirely accurate - need to use a thermometer for desserts- for about an hour.

Let it rest, sliced it up - thinned the stock that was left in  the pan with some fresh stock over low heat a few minutes with some more garlic, thyme and sage for an au jus kind of gravy.

This was supposed to post on jan 2.

My favorite picture from Christmas

I apologize.  I scheduled a bunch of posts for the first week of January and somehow managed to schedule them for Jan 2017.  SO I'll post a  couple a day to catch up without killing anyone's feed.

Last year there were NHL onsies around for the Rangers and some other teams but not the NJ Devils.  This totally pissed the Angie off.  This year they made them for all the teams, and it was on top highlighted and bold on her wish list.  Shortly after emailing her list, her size was sold out at most places, so she was bummed.  What she didn't know is I had already gotten them for her!

She also wanted these knit over the knee slipper socks.  I got them too - and on Christmas eve, when her stocking was hung up- I told her it was in my room and I hadn't gotten to hanging it.  I then asked her  (all innocent like) if at almost 24 she was too old for stockings on Christmas eve?  Of course the answer was MOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!! so as I had filled the slippers instead of her stocking I told her she couldn't peek and close her eyes and I would get it for her!  By brother probably heard her shrieking all the way in southern California.  No, I didn't take the picture, and I haven't gotten Curt's so here is the stock photo so you know what they look like.


Friday, January 1, 2016