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Category: booze

01/07/07 01:12 - 40ºF - ID#37574

der grüne punkt

OK, some of you chemical-heads were probably wondering about the absinthe (e:zobar,130) so - inspired by (e:joshua) 's beer reviews - here goes. We cracked open the bottle on my birthday, and though I tried to pay attention, things started getting hazy after about half a glass.

Let's get the FAQs out of the way first: if you think thujone is going to take you Higher, you're better off picking up a loaf of sage bread at Weggies. If all you want is to get tanked, you'll get just as twisted with a mason jar of Shine On Georgia Moon.

For the rest of you who are still reading: absinthe is weird, man. It isn't like anything else I have ever drunk, and I drink some pretty weird shit (WIKIPEDIA - Balzam).

Nouvelle-Orleans
Jade Distillery, France
68% ABV (136 Proof)

Uncork The people at Jade pride themselves on historical accuracy; accordingly, their absinthe is corked and waxed. It's a nice touch, but I destroyed the cork and had to go through great pains to avoid getting wax chips in the booze.

Whiff Smells great right out of the bottle. Gentle anise aroma backed with a full complement of herbs. Life would be so much better if we could replace all the crappy scented candles and air fresheners in the world with open bottles of absinthe.

Prepare This is the fun part. [Please note: dilution is not optional, although with better absinthes, sugar is.] If you haven't got any absinthiana (WIKIPEDIA - Absinthiana), a small [4oz] wine glass and a slotted bar strainer will work ok. Pour one ounce of absinthe in the glass, put the strainer on top and put a sugar cube on the strainer. Slowly drip ice water over the sugar cube. Watch the absinthe. This is cool: as you add water, the anethole [anise oil, also present in fennel] comes out of solution and turns the drink from a transparent chlorophyll green to opaque yellowish white. After the sugar has dissolved and you've added 3-4oz water, you're ready to drink.

Sip Sip gently and enjoy the aroma all up in your head. The flavor is much milder than you might expect, and only faintly reminiscent of the bottle aroma. It's anisy and herbal, but not at all like Grandma's pizzelles. Despite the water and sugar, it's neither watery nor syrupy; rather it's a bit oily like heavy cream, and not particularly sweet.

Freak out Since you've cut the absinthe 3:1 with water it's down to about 34 proof [comparable with Irish cream] - but those four ounces are going to take you to different places. You're not high; you're not lucid - you're drunk as a skunk, and you're not even fooling yourself. Furthermore, by the time you're halfway through your glass, your tongue is numb from the alcohol and anethole. I spaced right the Hell out and only rejoined society at great length.

- Z
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Permalink: der_gr_ne_punkt.html
Words: 483
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: fun & games

01/02/07 11:56 - 33ºF - ID#37519

we make christmas competitive

Within my extended family, we do a Secret Santa gift exchange. Some time ago, someone decided it would be fun to add in a gift wrapping competition as well, with the winner receiving a small bottle of booze and bragging rights. The entries became more and more elaborate and insane and eventually we decided to make it harder by restricting entries to a theme. That also became too easy, so this year we also had to assemble the gifts in under two hours, using only items from a community chest of crafty detritus. And so:

Missing Image ;(


"Wheel of Fortune" to my mom, "the queen." Vanna White is a yellow Lego spaceman with packing krinkles glued to her head. Second place.

image
"The Latvian Gambit," a fully functional chess set with pieces made from wine corks, pom-poms, buttons, paper egg carton cups, packing peanuts, and pistachios. Third place (tie).

image
"Top O' the World," a ferris wheel with riders made from clothes pegs, champagne corks, and hair rollers with pom-poms.

image
"Whack-A-Mime," a functional whack-a-mole type game. Third place (tie).

image
"Maris In Motion," a charade game. Before the gift was open, we each had to perform Unmarislike tasks in a Marislike fashion.

image
"Very Beary," using teddy bears from around the house.

"Les's Fun Park," an entire amusement park with free-fall ride, house of mirrors, and functional ferris wheel. First place (no picture yet).

"Christmas Tree," with packing bean snow. (No picture yet.)

- Z
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Permalink: we_make_christmas_competitive.html
Words: 251
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: vignettes

12/26/06 07:16 - 36ºF - ID#37400

one too many mornings & 1000 miles...

...behind

Danielle and I went to college together, but when she graduated she moved to Los Angeles to become a movie star [to some extent - she's an animator]. We haven't seen each other in five years, so it seemed Important to make an opportunity to get together while I'm in southern California.

The thing you have to understand about Danielle is that she is awesome in an understated way [and I am not just saying this because I think she's reading]. A couple vignettes from my brief visit:

---

[Ext., balcony]
D: Hey look, it's the Hollywood sign.
Z: I can't see anything.
D: Neither can I.
[N.B.: the sign isn't lit at night.]

---

[Int., restaurant]
D: Remember how you used to try to make me snort milk out my nose at the cafeteria?
Z: You make it sound like I was doing it on purpose. I never really did it on purpose. It just kind of ...
[Some ridiculous person in the next booth over starts nattering on very loudly about something very inconsequential.]
Z: [losing train of thought, pulls a face]
D: [snorts Italian soda out her nose]

---

[Ext., stopped at traffic light. Too early to be conversational. After some silence, Danielle makes a sound like a lost sheep.]
D: Ehhh...
Z: Huh?
D: Nothing.
Z: Existential ennui at the traffic light?
D: I thought that guy was pissing on the bus.
Z: Ah.
D: ...
D: Ennui, too.

---

- Z
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Permalink: one_too_many_mornings_amp_1000_miles_.html
Words: 246
Location: Buffalo, NY


12/24/06 12:17 - 40ºF - ID#37399

sms vignette

My family has congregated in San Diego for Christmas; (e:dragonlady7) is with her kin near Troy. I received this text message last night:

From: (e:dragonlady7)
To: (e:zobar)

Argh I thought [XY] was joking about [XX] ovulating But there's an awful lot of suspicious creaking from the bedroom next door. am i an aunt?



- Z
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Permalink: sms_vignette.html
Words: 58
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: fun

12/08/06 11:40 - 25ºF - ID#37398

fridaynightbash!

How a hip computer geek spends his Friday night:

1. Will it blend? That is the question.

2. Catfish/green bean wrestling: the bean loses. Everyone else wins.

3. image

4. Yeah, it costs $80 a bottle and it has to be delivered by independent courier, but at 136 proof it makes Johnny Black taste like sun tea. You only live once.


- Z

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Permalink: fridaynightbash_.html
Words: 68
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: work

11/30/06 10:01 - ID#37397

may you code in interesting times

On Tuesday, I received an unusual message from an unusual person best known for his work on a highly regarded local website - 'due to creative differences we have decided to part ways, and I wonder if we could be of service to your company in the future.'

Naturally I was dying of curiosity as to what constitutes creative differences these days. Answer: Zack believes 'content is king' while George is enamored with bells and whistles . Whereas the visual signal-to-noise ratio of their current site is about 60:40, the SNR of their new site [due out by the end of the year] bottoms out at around 35:65 - and that is past a critical threshold. With our better content and his better site, he believes we can rule the universe. I tend to agree.

Of course, their timing couldn't be better - we've been focusing strongly on our website lately, and we have a number of huge changes planned. Thus far, my greatest concern is one of staffing. I am the web department, and thus far any requests for more staff have been met with suggestions to hire part-time unpaid interns. This is where it gets funny: while I don't think I'll ever get actual funding for the actual website, I will bet that we can get as much funding as we need to drive certain people crazy. And if the most efficient way of getting things done right is to play personalities off each other, well - I'm not above doing that.

We shall see. We code in interesting times.

- Z
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Permalink: may_you_code_in_interesting_times.html
Words: 294
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: xmas

11/24/06 04:01 - ID#37396

somewhat out of control

My family does two Christmas gift exchanges every year: one within our immediate family where everyone gives something to everyone, and one secret santa thing with my aunt's family. There is a bit of a twist to the secret santa exchange in that we also do a creative gift-wrap competition.

OK, you think, sounds (fun|lame), whatever. But you need to understand that my family is both extremely creative and extremely competitive. Entries include a 2' diameter replica of an Oreo [with the correct number of serrations], a large toucan in a cage on a stand, a foam-core laptop computer with functional cd-eject mechanism, and a replica of a meat counter at the Broadway Market -- and none of these were winners. Eventually we felt it wasn't challenging enough, so we began restricting entries to a theme - in 2004 it was "Broadway" [most entries were related to various Broadway shows, but there was also a replica of an N-R subway car as well as aforementioned meat market], and last year it was "The Pantry" [somewhat disastrous, as many people leaned on the pan-tree pun]. Dammit, (e:dragonlady7) - I thought you had photos of this stuff online.

This is the competition's ninth consecutive year running, and it was decided once again to make it more difficult. Since our festivities are being held in San Diego this year and TSA does not take kindly to unusually-disguised secrets, we will be bringing our gifts unwrapped [or having them shipped] and assembling our wrapping, Iron Chef style, in two hours on Dec 28, with only certain provided elements. The theme is "Fun & Games," but the competition will be nothing short of Intense.

And, lest you think I'm joking around, I just got finished putting the finishing touches on this year's revision of the SQL-backed gift registry web application that we use. Yes, it is strictly necessary. [We had done it by hand before, but we had to wait until everyone's list was in before we could send them out, and we ended up having to make two separate gift lists, one for each exchange.]

- Z
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Permalink: somewhat_out_of_control.html
Words: 353
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: fish

11/23/06 10:04 - ID#37395

sucker and the pescado non grata

Hope everyone had an excellent Thanksgiving. I was going to upload Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant Massacree," but even if I could get it to fit in 5MB it would sound like an AM station through a shower radio. On fire.

On Monday, my coworker said hey, does anyone have a fish tank? I said yeah, and she said do you want a couple fish? Just a goldfish and a catfish, not too big. They need to get off the dining room table before Thanksgiving. Sure, why not? We dubbed them the Pescado Non Grata.

I got them home yesterday, and the goldfish is as pretty as a koi but has the manners and more importantly, the size and appetite of a carp. Truly, honestly ... I have eaten fish smaller than this goldfish.

The plecostamus catfish, however, is awesome. He's kind of cute, and totally antisocial. He can swim pretty good, but mostly he just schlorps around the tank with his lips. I'll get a picture of him up soon, but here's one I found on the Internet of a similar pleco totally chowing on a vacation food brick. I guess they really like zucchini as well.

image

- Z
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Permalink: sucker_and_the_pescado_non_grata.html
Words: 200
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: work

11/22/06 03:52 - ID#37394

marketing

I think this should be our new marketing campaign:

image

Very succinct, and it sure beats all these pretentious 'The Art Of Thinking' and 'Welcome to the 21st Century' bumper stickers we've got slapped on every available surface around here.

- Z

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Permalink: marketing.html
Words: 44
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: geeky

11/20/06 04:37 - 32ºF - ID#37393

nobody asked

...but I wanted to see what it would look like if I put our entire bar/business/gallery/restaurant directory on one map. Answer: really crowded. [requires Google Earth]

If anybody can think of any real use for it, I'll fix it up real nice and officially put it on the site; otherwise, I'll just leave it around as a curiosity.

Also, you can get notified of our events by RSS now; there are feeds for each calendar, category, and venue in the database. I think this would be an excellent application for the wireless web, but sad to say, I've got other stuff that needs to get done first.

- Z
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Permalink: nobody_asked.html
Words: 121
Location: Buffalo, NY


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