Food


Flickr

Found this amazing Flickr user, Deborah Chen, through a random search: was looking for “bionic bunny”, stumbled on some of her photos. Great photos, excellent composition, interesting colors, beautiful models (photographer herself included, of course). Just about the only gripe I have with her work (aside from wishing I could do something similar) is that sometimes the 1970’s-coloring is overdone. Here’s an example of where I think it’s appropriate, Argonaut, and here’s one where I think the photo was fine without the effect, Castro.

PostSecret for 9/13/2009

stay_smallerI wish I was there for my cat.

mousepoop_smallerAlright! Good for you!

Get Fuzzy

The brilliance that is Get Fuzzy is sometimes hard to describe to the non-believers. Below is a comic that shouldn’t need much explanation. Sunday edition comics are large, so click for the full image.

295013.full_part

Random thought

There is no such thing as “life”. If we’re looking for anything in this universe, it should be beauty. Possibly more on this topic later.

Fin

Well, anyway, enough internet for this morning, laundry’s done, I can finally go get some dim sum and read.

Currently listening to: Gomez, “Bring It On: 10th Anniversary Collector’s Edition”.

Currently reading: “The Dreaming Void”, by Peter F. Hamilton

This week at work is a bit hectic: all of my bugs have to be fixed by Friday/Monday. (It’s technically supposed to be Friday, but if I get them in my Monday then all’s good.) So that brings us to a bit of a dilemma. For the past half a year or so I haven’t been working on weekends. At all. Yeah, a huge achievement, considering that before that, for the past two years, I’ve been at work every single weekend.

So, here’s the dilemma: this weekend I’ve got scheduled a writing session, a fair amount of Lego Batman, the new Mass Effect expansion pack, the new Batman game, programming my ray tracer (of course). A packed weekend to be sure. But then, if I don’t get my bugs finished off by Friday, that means that all the plans go right out the window. Sigh.

More on the individual things I’ve got planned for the weekend:

  • An ex-coworker is organizing a writing session. For some of us it’s about planning for the next NaNoWriMo, for me it’s about just practicing writing short stories.
  • I’ve been playing Lego Batman for the past two weeks and it’s really a lot of fun, even for a silly kid’s game. And for a silly kid’s game, there are some interesting puzzles in the game. It’s taking a while to get everything there.
    lego-batman
  • A new expansion has been released for Mass Effect. It’s only 5$, so I don’t expect to spend a lot of time on it, but it’ll still be something new to experience. Can’t wait!
    mass_effect
  • The new Batman game, Arkham Asylum, is really quite amazing. I tried out the demo just an hour ago and I’m very impressed. From the looks of it, there’s a large amount of stealth – sneaking up on unsuspecting enemies and ambushing them while hanging upside down – as well as pure kick-ass fighting.
    batman-arkham-asylum
  • I’ve been doing quite a bit of coding on my ray tracer application, and this weekend should be no different: I’m trying to optimize the application so it’s viable to add interesting effects and construct complex scenes. ATM, it takes anywhere between 4 and 35 minutes to render a single pig (3D pig-shaped object consisting of 7,000 polygons). That’s way too damn slow, even considering that the rendering is occurring on a dinky old laptop and in managed code. So I’m implementing some accelerators, like k-d trees, lazy initialization and caching some frequently-accessed data.
    computer-ray-tracing

If only I could squeeze in a few other things, like dim sum, reading (haven’t been reading for a while now), getting mildly drunk, watching a movie, watching a movie while getting mildly drunk, etc. Ah, wishful thinking. Ooh, maybe Labor Day weekend. đŸ™‚

Big Lebowski

It’s probably been about 6 weeks since the last time I’ve had dim sum. Too damn long!

It was sometime before leaving for Japan. Then in Japan I obviously didn’t have. Then the two weekends (I usually go on weekends, try to make it at least once a week) in a row I was sick and woke up too late or was feeling crappy.

Finally, this is the day. I woke up early today (went to bed too early last night), already got my blog-on, going to take a shower, pick out a set of chopsticks, remember to take “The Selfish Gene” and hit the road.

Reason I went to bed so early last night is that I had this extreme vertigo. Like, everything was spinning and my eyes seemed to be shaking in their sockets. No idea what was going on, but it might have had to do with the fact that I got fairly drunk at work yesterday. I was already well buzzed by 5, and at 5 there was of course cheese and more alcohol. Good times!

More random things arranged into those bullet-lists I love so much:

  • There’s a Facebook Application called “Make a Baby“. This horrendous waste of time (like other applications) gives you the ability to “Make babies with your friends!” Who decided that this was an Application that the world desperately needed? If there is one thing that college students know how to do better than getting completely shit-faced on a Friday night, it’s getting their fellow students pregnant.
  • Jim Norton’s “Monster Rain” is one of the funniest stand-up acts I have ever seen. I just watched the last half of it on HBO and couldn’t stop laughing. Being a professional comedy-watcher, I knew better than to be eating or drinking anything, otherwise I’d have had to repaint my apartment. Yes, Jim does a lot of cringe humor (his rape jokes certainly stand-out, and possibly not int he best way, no question there), but he does a fair bit of “boring” comedy that your average couch potato wouldn’t object to. One of my favorite bits came when he was complaining about not being able to take water onto a plane – (paraphrasing) “it would have been so much nicer if the terrorists hid a bomb in a crying baby”.
  • Favorite threat at the moment: “I will bury [the victim] alive.”
  • “Jumper” the book is going to be “Jumper” the movie. That’s not news. The news is in the fact that there’s finally a trailer.
  • Despite a multitude of varying opinions I have on the subject (the quality of the original book, the director of film, the fact that it’s a “re-imagining” and not a remake, the fact that “smaller” actors have been replaced with crappy “big” actors, the fact that there is now a secret society of Jumper-hunters, the fact that the tie-in “prequel” sucked, the fact that this film is supposed to be the first of a trilogy), I am still very hopeful that this film will not suck ass. Opening day is February 15th and I’m already planning on taking half a day off to see the movie. Oh, and if Anakin screws this up, yeah, he’s getting buried alive.
  • Bryan mentioned that he follows the Kp index (or is it the K index?), and when that value indicates that the Aurora Borealis is going to be visible further South, he drives about an hour North, toward Steven’s Pass, to watch the “show”. That sounds awesome, so I figured “what the hell” and drove North, toward what my GPS said was Steven’s Pass. I never got there because it ended up being a bit far (not an hour). I did, however, see the foggiest place I have ever been. 75% of Highway 2 was filled with fog. And not that wimpy fog. No, this stuff was as thick as molasses. So thick, from 10 feet you couldn’t see anything. Unless it had a light attached to it. I took some pictures and uploaded them to Flickr. Nothing interesting, really, just some foggy store-fronts. Keep in mind that this was around 1-2am, so (a) nothing else is open and (b) it’s pitch black. I wanted to take a look at the sky, but to see it properly meant turning off my car and throwing myself into complete darkness. Yeah, nothing like standing alone on a dark road with a windy forest around you.
  • This weekend is weird: I don’t have any work to do. So, I spent a very pleasant day in Seattle. I finally visited the Seattle Art Museum and walked around Pike Place Market as it was closing up. Photography isn’t allowed in the museum, but I did take pictures everywhere else. Those are uploaded as well.
  • The Art Museum has a very nice restaurant on its lower floor. I went there after I covered the first floor of exhibitions and was getting sleepy (not a reflection on the museum). I was pleasantly surprised to know that they actually have happy hour from 3-6pm every day, with all the food being just 5$. The Korean-style ribs I ordered were the most wonderful thing I’ve tasted all week! They alone are well worth the trip and the time spent looking for parking.
  • Since I’m writing this entry late on a Saturday night, I can include my weekly commentary on the PostSecret cards.

PostSecret stuff:

girlfight_smaller.jpg

Hahaha, that’s hilarious. Reminds me of a ‘Frasier’ episode where Martin and Daphne freak out people in an elevator by talking about committing crimes. Or the Seinfeld episode where George and Jerry pretend to be gay: “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

ring_smaller.jpg

Ha, suits you right. Personally, I feel that everyone is entitled to privacy, even from one’s Significant Other. Hell, maybe there should be rules similar to those used by the justice system: anything discovered during an “illegal” search is inadmissible. “You found the video from Steve’s bachelor party? Well, since you conducted an illegal search, that evidence is now inadmissible. Which means that you can never bring that subject up as a negative. Ooh, I like these new rules.”

pro-con.jpg

Dump the grandparents, keep the boyfriend: (a) they’re racist assholes, who cares what they think? (b) he makes you happy.

Some things have changed, both on this blog and off. Here’s a bullet-list:

  • I’ve changed the look of the site. Which is sort of hard to miss, unless you’re reading this through an RSS feed. The different look is to accomodate Flickr pictures. The previous template was about 400 pixels wide, so the default 500-wide pictures didn’t fit.
  • I got myself a camera: Nikon D80. (Amazon link, Wikipedia link) It’s beautiful! So, as I am prone to do, I have gone nuts, snapping pictures like a mad man.
  • To accomodate my new-found addiction, or maybe to fuel it, I’ve got a Flickr Pro account. It comes with unlimited uploads and storage. So far, it’s a pretty good service. They have some issues to work out, like easily setting sets to be public or private (ATM, I think you have to see all the pictures inside a set to be either public or private, sets themselves don’t seem to have a permission flag), but overall I am very satisfied. A coworker said that Flickr has a public API, so maybe I can code some sort of batch-editor for that specific purpose. We’ll see.
  • Oh, here’s the page of my photos: Flickr link. There are private sets, like pictures of my parents, my coworkers or friends. If you’d like to see them, drop me a line.
  • Yesterday, for the first time ever, I went to Belltown at night. Yikes. Finding parking at 11pm on a Saturday night is an experience I am not too anxious to repeat any time soon. But, it was worth it. I went to Umi Sake (link) and was thouroughly impressed and satisfied: the sushi was great (and there was quite a bit of it), the sake hit the spot and the steamed peas are a good starter.
  • Lately, I’ve found myself placing a bookmark every time I see a funny or really quotable passage in the book I’m reading. It’s a good thing these books and bookmarks are electronic, ’cause I use lots of them. Here’s a short list of these passages, taken from ‘American Gods’:
    • “I got a son, stupid as a man who bought his stupid at a two-for-one sale, and you remind me of him.”
    • The song on the jukebox ended, and for a moment the bar fell quiet, every conversation at a lull.
      “Someone once told me that you only get those everybody-shuts-up-at-once moments at twenty past or twenty to the hour,” said Shadow.
    • “The boundaries of our nation, sir? Why sir, on the north we are bounded by the Aurora Borealis, on the east we are bounded by the rising sun, on the south we are bounded by the procession of the Equinoxes, and on the west by the Day of Judgement.” – The American Joe Miller’s Jest Book
    • Shadow had done three years in prison. He was big enough and looked don’t-fuck-with-me enough that his biggest problem was killing time.
    • [Shadow is talking to a raven.]
      “Say ‘Nevermore,'” said Shadow.
      “Fuck you,” said the raven.
    • “CIA”, said Wood. He shook his head, ruefully. “Those bozos. Hey, Stone. I heard a new CIA joke. Okay: how can we be sure the CIA wasn’t involved in the Kennedy assassination?”
      “I don’t know,” said Stone. “How can we be sure?”
      “He’s dead, isn’t he?” said Wood.
    • “There’s never been a true war that wasn’t fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe that they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.”

That’s about it, I think. Here are some of the Flickr photos to finish up this long-overdue blog post.

Experimenting w/ a 2-second shutter, 2

Trying out the new lens, 1

Umi Sake House, 2

The smile

Today was a successful day which first started with me not waking up at 1 pm. It then got better by me resolving 2/3 of my bugs. Yay.

After much time-wasting in meetings and so on, I finally had a chance to go for a swim. Finally, because I missed going yesterday. That whole waking-up-at-1pm-thing really screws you up, you know.

Now, there are a number of swimmers at the pool. I will attempt to define those classes in a nice bullet-list.

  • Splashers – these are people who, for one reason or another, feel the need to splash water 3 lanes in each direction. Maybe it’s something about marking their territory. Or they’re trying to prove that while the rest of us are at the pool to waste time, they are the true practitioners, and as such exhibit outmost contempt for the common man, demonstrating it by unceasing water-shows.
  • Freakin’ bullets – these people traverse the length of the pool in the blink of an eye, leaving the chums in their wake, to sink or swim in the resulting tidal waves. These people are sometimes splashers, particularly at either end of the lane, switching directions by propelling their hairless bodies out of the water and splashing down not unlike a nuclear submarine from ‘The Hunt for Red October’.
  • Damn slow pokes – these people are trying out for the Olympics. The sloth Olympics, I think. I manage to swim 8 laps in the time it takes this gold-medalist to complete even one. I think they’re paddling really slow in place, only moving forward for a lack of options. And I certainly don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish.
  • The busy assholes – these people don’t stop. Ever. Not even for you to politely ask them if they will mind sharing a lane. I think they’ve been in the pool since last November, doing laps and not caring what in the hell is going on around. Yes, ignorance is bliss, but acknowledge the outside world once in a while, if only not to come crashing head-first into a fellow swimmer. These are often splashers and sometimes bullets. Be weary of the busy asshole: sharing a lane with them is an exercise in patience and self-restraint. When they’re not busy overtaking you or stirring up tidal waves at the ends of the pool, they are hogging most of the lane. Sort of hard to see where you are when your head is in the water 80% of the time.
  • The twitching idiots – these mental giants have deduced that the proper swimming form is one resembling a car-crash victim: their limbs can often be seen at impossible angles and their arms seem to be locked in at 90 degrees. The stranger the body looks during a swim, the better. These are often times splashers. Seriously, how would they not be with all those arms flying everywhere?
  • The talkers – this illusive creatures appear in pairs, normally. These are people who occupy the same lane but are rarely seen actually using it. They are found at the ends, standing around and talking. I am not sure what about, I try not to stick around, but it’s apparently very interesting and can only be discussed in the pool. They do not possess particularly annoying swimming traits, as they almost never swim. One begins to wonder if they even know how…

After the pool I went back to work to finish up the bugs I checked in earlier. Skipping past the boring parts, I then went to watch ‘Fracture’.

This was the first movie I’ve seen in quite a while. It’s a fairly curious thriller. Ryan Gosling plays a young hotshot assistant district attorney, trying to convict Anthony Hopkins’ character of attempted murder. See, Hopkins shot his wife in the head (she’s alive but in a coma) and now it’s up to Gosling to build a case from what seems to be a fairly straight-forward matter. Rosamund Pike stars as Gosling’s soon-to-be boss and lover. While her performance can be missed if you were to blink, she’s delightful and is one of the reasons I decided to see this film. That, and it fit my schedule, but moving on. A film about weak-points has quite a few of its own, but that’s probably just my perception. That and the fact that I’ve watched one too many CSI-type shows: the surprises were largely predictable and I noticed the major plot point at the first moment it appeared, close to an hour before the rest of the characters catch on. In this respect, the film is very much like ‘Manchurian Candidate’: while great on its own, there’s not much new that I didn’t see in the trailer, infer on my own before ever going to the theater or see from a mile away as a plot point.

Afterwards I made my way to McCormick & Schmick’s, a seafood restaurant in the same building as the movie theater (Lincoln Square). This place is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I have been there twice (for dinner) and was very satisfied both times, equally by the presentation, the quality of the food and the service. Of course, I do end up spending a minimum of 50$ every time I’m there, but it’s worth it. Having tried the oyster sampler last time, today I focused on the Kusshi Oysters (Deep Bay, British Columbia). These are a smaller, but sweeter, oyster variety that is pure heaven on the half-shell. For the entrĂ©e I had Wahoo (Kona Coast, Hawaii), “Oven Roasted with Penn Cove Mussels in a Red Curry Sauce”. A hard and somewhat stringy fish on rice, with breath-taking curry and mussels. Just “wow”. Can’t say anything else. For dessert, I once again went with the upside-down apple pie with ice cream. The whole thing is served on a plate decorated with fine flour and caramel dribbled liberally. Yum!

McCormick & Schmick’s is quickly becoming a favorite of mine and I am determined to celebrate every big, and little, achievement there. But no more often than once every two weeks. Not the fact that it’s semi-expensive. It’s certainly not because of their dish sizes: it’s not a lot of food, that’s why I am able to try an appetizer and a desert in addition to the entrĂ©e. The reasoning here is that this is something of a special place and I’m going to keep it that way.

This blabbering post is brought to you by the soundtrack for “Eyes Wide Shut”, a gorgeous arrangement of mostly instrumental music.


Fish at Sushiland
Originally uploaded by FuzzyGamer.

If you think that fish is big, you should have seen the fisherman!

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