Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rare sighting of a lolgoat

Check out this lolcat (ok, really it's a lolgoat) that E* made!

**** EDITED: Click picture to vote for it over at the website!!! *****

funny pictures

iz funny, no? Then plz for u to cast ur vote.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I've discovered a lot of great new artists recently. But the dirty little secret is that the majority of them only became known to me through commercials. I know. Makes me feel like a sucker of the capitalist machine.

Anyway, the silver lining is that after getting those commercials stuck in my head, I ended up researching the artists and even bought some of their work. The first example of this was Ingrid Michaelson towards the end of last year - only in her case, I first heard the song on Cast-On. Followed shortly thereafter by the Old Navy commercial of course.

Then last month Erich and I heard the new Mac Air commercial...and we were instantly hooked. Both by the product and the song. And thus we have our new favorite artist.

Meet Yael Naim.....

And finally we have an artist brought to our attention by a couple of Rhapsody ads.
This is Sara Bareilles

*Ohrwurm (Earworm)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Adventures in Bread-Baking

I finally got fed up enough with the outrageous price of fresh bread in bakeries. Erich is a sucker for Firehook's bread in particular. But we consider it a luxury that we rarely indulge in.
However, over the past several weeks, I've been following the RealityTour of no-knead bread making, partially based on a recipe in the New York Times that I had actually bookmarked MONTHS ago. His successful experiments were very inspiring!
So last weekend, I picked up some yeast and got down to business. Unfortunately, after letting it rise for about 16 hours, I decided to read through the rest of the recipe and suddenly remembered why it was I had never tried the recipe before - it requires a cast-iron pot w/ lid or dutch oven. Neither of which live in my kitchen. Doh! So about 2 hours before the dough was supposed to be moved to such a vessel, I started frantically researching for alternative containers.
Results were a little inconclusive, but deep within this site I found a couple of reader comments from people who had improvised using oven-safe pots and mismatching lids (in one case, it was simply an inverted oven-safe bowl. So I plunged ahead with renewed confidence in my spaghetti pot and metal lid (Calphalon says its oven-safe up to 450).

By that afternoon, my improvisation rewarded me with an awesome boule of fresh bread. Until then, I had only ever baked bread in a loaf pan and while adequate, the loaves always reminded me of sub-par commercial sandwich bread from the grocery store. It never had the great crust that bakery-bread has (all 3 times that I actually baked bread).
However, not wanting to be left out, I had Erich pick up an inexpensive enamel-coated, cast-iron dutch oven from a big-box store during his errands later that day. A dutch oven has been on my wish list for quite a long time, but their expense was always a deterrent. But then I read some encouraging reviews of the Lodge products and I decided that I probably won't cook with it often enough to even warrant a pricey version.
I got to try her out this afternoon for a 2nd loaf of bread and the results are yummy! Besides the container, the only modification I made was to shorten the time it bakes without the lid. Makes the crust a little more manageable - last week's loaf sounded a bit like a hockey puck as I turned it out onto the cooling rack. It seems like the cast-iron pot helped the loaf puff up a little more in the middle which is plus in my book.

I'd say the biggest challenge is to not eat the whole loaf in one day. It's really a weekend activity so if we run out by Monday, we might be tempted to get our fix by raiding the bakery just to make it through the rest of the week.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

2 Patriots

This week didn't start out so well.

We were stunned Sunday night - New York fans rushed the field on TV, and our apartment became like a morgue as friends put on their coats and headed home quietly. In true Boston-fan fashion, we expressed some guilt that perhaps we had celebrated too fiercely when the Pats scored that touchdown in the 4th quarter to pull ahead. Mea Culpa. I can't believe this week of mourning is only half over.
And I wish creative sorts of pain on the next person who says, "Well, I'm not really a Giants fan, but I just couldn't support a dynasty so I'm happy."

On to more uplifting things...
Can you tell what this? No? Look closer. Now squint a little. Now let your imagination wander.

Do you see the bald eagle now? Good!
So I was chatting with a coworker in his office and spotted a large bird circling the neighboring buildings. My first thought was that it was a hawk (cuz somehow that sounded more normal than an eagle in Washington, DC in February). But when I asked him what he thought it was, he went nuts exclaiming it was a bald eagle. Apparently he's really into birds and is 100% convinced that's what we saw. Based on my very limited knowledge, I'd have to agree. We discussed whether the sight of our nation's bird flying overhead stirred feelings of patriotism.
It did not. It was awesome, but in a bird-watcher kind of way, not in a I love America way.

I can tell you it had a white head and tail feathers and a dark body. That's about all I could see though it did circle quite low right outside our window. Maybe it was looking for rats? I don't know that the south side of Dupont is exactly a rat haven, but maybe this eagle was hunting rats fed on fancy food. Oh, and apparently bald eagles really prefer fish - guess he went home hungry.