Monday, March 30, 2009

Good news for fans of Tully's

Via the Seattle P-I : New Tully's deal means more stores, more items on store shelves

This is great news, since it means Tully's have a reprieve from filing for bankruptcy or scaling back. {A} and I usually make it to a local Tully's once or twice a week, and I know I would go more often if there was a location on the way to/from work. (During the week I grudginly go to Starbuck's for tea or less grudginly go to Kitanda when I want coffee).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nicolas Cage is the true Wooden One

{A} is fond of referring to Clint Eastwood as "The Wooden One".
After seeing "Knowing" last night, I would have to say that Nicolas Cage deserves this title 100x more than Mr. Eastwood.

Despite some wooden acting, the movie was surprisingly fun. (It helps when you walkin with next to no expectations)

The polar opposite of NPR

This week the local NPR station KUOW was running their spring pledge drive, which meant that at various times (when the fund-raising banter got too much to bare), I switched channels or (gasp) turned off the radio.

One such time was Thursday evening's drive home. I hit the "FM/AM" button in the car accidentally, switching to some other preset FM channel. Hitting it again I hopped over to AM, which I pretty much never listen to. Preset 1 on AM for some reason was set to KTTH, and I found myself listening to Savage Nation.

Pretty amusing stuff, and a bracingly different kind of show from the usual stuff I hear on NPR ;-)
I will have to remember to tune in every now and then to ensure I maintain a balanced perspective...

Interestingly, Wikipedia says the top three radio show hosts in terms of audience are:
  1. Rush Limbaugh
  2. Sean Hannity
  3. Michael Savage

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sexist advertising then and now is quite cool (requires Silverlight) - it allows you to look through selected Playboy magazines from the 50s onwards. It's quite interesting to see how packed full of adverts the magazines were (and still are) - endless sequences of beer, whiskey, cigarette, motorbike, car, etc. adverts.

It's also interesting to see how sexist advertising was - Queen Mary whiskey is billed as "not for ladies", I guess implying that bunnies will be happy to drink it.

There also seems to be a surge in ads for malt liquor in the late 60's. Country Club makes it clear that they will get you drunk twice as fast as if you drink beer, with none of that pesky head or carbonation to get in the way.

Hours of fun! :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Asteroid Cafe is not closed, after all

A while back I mentioned here that The Asteroid, a great little restaurant in Seattle, had closed down.

Well, today I happened to go their website and noticed this message from January:
You may have heard the Asteroid is closed. Well, we were for about four days at the beginning of September. The ownership of the Asteroid has changed however that is the extent of the change. We are still proud to have Chef Matt Wolfe manning the pans and creating outstanding specials. We will be restarting wine tastings in just a few weeks, probably Wednesday evenings. More to follow... Hope to see you soon!

I will be checking them out ASAP to see if the food and service are as good as they used to be. Hopefully the very friendly barman is also still working there... :)

The Seattle Times actually covered this a while back but I must have missed it...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tunnel needs amusing

Lately I have been mis-reading a lot of the news headlines about the proposed tunnel which will replace the Alaskan Way viaduct.

For some reason the phrase "Viaduct bored tunnel" makes me think of a tunnel sitting listlessly in the mud, wondering what to do... Perhaps we should get some balloons for it?

PS: It looks like we may get our own version of the "Big Dig" if this plan goes ahead! I must say, it was quite exciting to ride through the huge tunnels in Boston - some even went under the water! Freaky!

Spring is Sprung!

Spring is sprung, the grass is ris.
I wonders where the birdies is?
They say the birds is on the wing.
Ain't that absurd?
I always thought the wing was on the bird.

I wish M+S well on their trip to Japan - hopefully the cherry blossoms will be out! (It looks like we will have to wait another couple of days in Seattle)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

10 years - 10 lbs

So, last week was my ten-year anniversary at work. (I can't believe how quickly the time has flown by...)

The tradition is that for every anniversary you bring in X pounds of chocolate. (People are often sometimes creative and bring in candy, donuts, or other treats in some quantity that represents the length of time). Perhaps unsurprisingly people also tend to send announcements in binary, e.g. "100 Years at Blah Company!"

I spent a fair amount of time trying to think of something cool to bring in today, but finally settled on loads of little chocolate eggs (lucky that we're close to Easter!) I have milk & dark chocolate, almond-filled and caramel filled. 10 pounds of eggs looks pretty cool!

Update: 3/19/09

Added a picture of the chocolate eggs.
I was a bit worried by the end of Tuesday when the eggs seemed to not be moving that fast. (I had visions of them sitting outside my door for weeks...) Luckily someone with a real craving for chocolate came around overnight, and by Wednesday morning I was down to a few dozen. By the end of Wednesday they were all gone!

So, 72 hours is all it takes for 10 pounds of candy to be consumed at work :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's on TV? Radio, actually...

{A} and I are big fans of NPR (especially shows like "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" and "This American Life"). Usually we listen in the car, since we get pretty bad reception at our house (yes, I am too lame/lazy to put up a decent FM antenna to solve that...)

I was quite pleased a few weeks ago to find a nifty Public Radio application for my iPhone which let us stream the radio over the Internet. We have a line-in on our stereo, so it's easy to plug the iPhone in and have the radio shows audible through a few rooms in the house now. But it turns out there is an even cooler way (I think) to listen to the radio... Use your TV!

To be more precise, cable TV. Our cable feed includes a lot of radio stations, and the audio quality is better than most Internet streams. {A} discovered the KUOW channel, and we've since used it to listen to a few shows. But what makes it really cool is that if you have a DVR, you can now record specific shows that you might otherwise miss... Not all shows have podcasts available, so this seems like a good way to "time-shift" radio shows.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Whoa! "Wolverine" movie is directed by a South African!

I just saw that the up-coming X-Men movie about Wolverine is directed by Gavin Hood, a South African! :) One step closer to world domination...

Gavin won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on 2005 for Tsotsi, which I previously blogged about here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

News from Riebeek West

Hello all! Firstly, you may have noticed I've been a bit absent on the blog recently. I've mainly been hanging out on Facebook, posting links to thinks there instead of here.

Anyway, I will try to break the trend and post more goodies of general interest here... Starting with this bot of news from Riebeek West in South Africa. (Just an hour's drive from Cape Town)

Their annual OliveFest is coming up soon, but a new event for this year is MedFest. The idea is simple: the various restaurants and wineries in the valley have teamed up, with each pair representing the food of a Mediterranean country. There are a lot of restaurants that have popped up here in the past few years, some of them really good if my mom is to be trusted :)

This is a cool idea, and something WA, CA or OR wineries could try doing too... (Hint, hint!)

Here's their full blurb:

A Taste of the Med in the Swartland

Friday, 27th March till Sunday, 29th March.
Riebeek Valley, gem of the Swartland launches its inaugural MedFest, a unique new culinary expedition for foodies. It is touted as a celebration of local and regional cuisine presented as tapestries of tastes and flavours of the countries and regions surrounding the Mediterranean and its immediate hinterland.

For visitors, the epicurean weekend has been made very simple: restaurants in the Riebeek Valley have teamed up with local wineries in the Swartland, each team representing the cuisine of one of eight Mediterranean countries and islands. Each restaurant will offer its own themed set menu with a small selection of starters, main courses, desserts and a salad.

The focus of each menu will be on authentic food from the country that is represented, made with the freshest local produce.

For more info see our website
For enquiries or bookings contact the Riebeek Valley Tourism Office Tel: 022 4481584