Sunday, August 31, 2008


One problem I ran into last week with the new camera was filling up the memory card faster than I was used to. With more megapixels, each photo is a larger file size at the highest resolution. I knew I had a couple more 1 GB memory cards somewhere. It was just a matter of finding the right box.

Yes, there are still boxes. But all of them are in the garage or the office closet, awaiting some day of reckoning. Probably not this week.

Meanwhile, I'll be making some cheese soon. Several big bags of goat milk had to come out of the freezer to make room for 50 pounds of marrow bones. I also ordered an 800-count bottle of glucosamine capsules on eBay. I tell Sophie she has to live at least long enough to use up all these things I buy for her.

Tomato time

Everyone's talking tomatoes in these waning days of summer. Are they green? Are they ripe? Are there any at all?

I guess I've been lucky: I've already harvested quite a few. First just a handful at a time, good for slicing and eating plain with a little Maldon salt. Now a colander-full at a time, enough to make sauce with. I had this batch picked this morning, plus a similar amount picked two days ago, and another gallon bag in the freezer from last week.

(Note that a couple more came out with "lips." None of them of Mick proportions, though. And no, my Mick-mato didn't find any buyers on eBay. I didn't expect he would.)

I wanted to make a hearty sauce to freeze. A sauce with some depth to it. So I cored and seeded these and laid them out on a cookie sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh herbs – basil, thyme, oregano and sage.
They roasted at 225 degrees for four hours. Probably could have left them longer but I was impatient to get started on the rest of the sauce.

I'm working roughly off of Alecto's recipe. The sauce is simmering on the stove, and I may leave it there overnight.

One note on freezing tomatoes. Yes, you can freeze them whole, and the skins come right off when they thaw, but if you want to seed them, you'd best take the time to do it before they're frozen. It's an extra-messy chore otherwise.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Black is the new black

Love this t-shirt.

I'd hate to be a paparazzo

On Thursday morning as I was walking down 16th Street (a mile-long pedestrian mall through downtown), I found a crowd gathered outside Earl's restaurant. "Who's in there?" "Celebrities!" "Oprah!"

It was a Creative Coalition brunch to honor Annette Bening. I would have liked to have seen her or Susan Sarandon, or even Oprah, but I had missed the grand entrance of some and didn't stick around long enough to see others leave. (I heard Oprah was a no-show.)

But I got a handful of pictures of a few minor notables up on the balcony.
That's Anne Hathaway, Spike Lee and Josh Lucas. You can click on the pictures to see them a little bigger.
The governor of New York, David Paterson, came in late and left early. A woman next to me gushed, "Gov. Richardson! We love you!" – at which he smiled. She was horrified when I said, "Um, that was Gov. Paterson. Richardson is the governor of New Mexico."

(Amusingly, the State of New York still has Paterson listed on its lieutenant governor home page. You may recall that Paterson replaced Eliot Spitzer recently after the latter was caught paying for prostitutes. When you're a crusader for fiscal propriety, it's maybe not so smart to call your bank and ask that your name be removed from certain transactions.)
The crowd got really excited when it looked like Forrest Whitaker was coming out (me, too!) but then some consternation arose. "Wait, that's not Forrest Whitaker. Who is it?" It was actor Omar Benson Miller, who was in "8 Mile," "Shall We Dance?" and other assorted minor TV and film roles. He was congenial, anyway.

It was too hot and bright and crowded to stand in the sun for very long. I don't know how the paparazzi do it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

DNC busker

Lots of talented folks appeared on the streets this week, hoping to cash in on the happy crowds. People were eager to be entertained.

I thought this photo turned out nicely. Click on it to see it larger.

Equine riot gear

Talk about niche manufacturing. I wonder who makes these things, and where?

Speaking of platforms ...

When asked about his shoes, he responded proudly but incoherently, so what you see is what you get.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

They're really Chippendales dancers

Seriously. The guy on the left was all "Let me show you my Velcro."

More sadness

I asked my neighbor today about my buddy Bruce, whom I hadn't seen for while. My buddy Bruce who always came out to me for petting when I walked by, and who wasn't afraid of Sophie (she was under strict orders not to mess with him).

Bruce who wasn't afraid of dogs was killed two weeks ago by the neighbor's dog.
I was already missing you, my little friend, and now I won't be able to stop missing you. Rest in peace.

Scenes from the DNC protest park

It was 90 degrees out. The police were all in packs. "Where are the guys with the horses?" I asked. "They're all down at the convention center. They'll be up later. Watch out for the horse from Cheyenne. He's mean."
This guy had awesome hair.
"We bleached the spots, then died them black."
Him: "This stuff weighs about 60 pounds. You wanna carry it for me? The gun shoots sponge rounds. They're like Nerf bullets."

Her: "I have bruises on my hips."
Fashions ranged from hippie to punk to news teams' suits.
I practiced my Chinese on the Taiwanese reporter and pointed him toward the Falun Gong band.
They weren't very good, but they tried hard.
In the amphitheater hung a banner from the Recreate '68 group, which hoped to stir things up.
Bands and speakers throughout the day kept everyone entertained.
Hip-hop inspired cartwheels.
Most people tried to stay in the shade, hanging out and sharing smokes.
The cops were pretty bored. "That's good. It means people are behaving."
But there were copwatchers on hand to record any malfeasance.
Souvenir-sellers were doing brisk business.
Many people brought their own signs.
A choral group performed "Goodnight Bush" (and I discovered a former co-worker was singing with them):
But despite the festive atmosphere, many were prepared for contingencies.
In one corner of the park, protesters were gathering for some action.
But I missed the beginning of all the excitement. Supposedly a group of protesters moved into the street, blocking traffic, and the police used that as an excuse to surround them and make arrests. I can't say the excessive show of force was necessary. There were three times as many cops as protesters.
There were cops on bikes, cops on horses and cops in SWAT vans.
And lots and lots of cops on foot, in full riot mode. (Click on this picture above to see it larger.)
Outside the cordon, people tried to see what was going on.
And photographers jostled to get pictures.
When the order came to "Mask up!" I had to use my flash, because it was getting pretty dark. I heard later that a couple cops did use their pepper spray, but I think the masks were mainly an intimidation tactic. A lot of the onlookers decided to leave after that. I hung around a little longer (and got that shot I posted earlier) but then my memory card was full, so I called it a night.