zen.org Communal Weblog

October 31, 2005

Howl's Moving Castle was beautiful

Filed under: — brendan @ 19:35 GMT

Yesterday a friend and I went to see Howl’s Moving Castle, the latest work of Hayao Miyazaki (宮崎駿). I think we were the only pair of adults in the house; most of the other folks had kids with them.

We’ve seen many (but not all) of his other movies including Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki’s Delivery Service. While my favorite so far has been Kiki, I think Howl’s Moving Castle was the best yet. It was absolutely beautiful, in the writing, the animation, everything. We had fun identifying the voices of the English dubbed version, and felt Christian Bale‘s was perfect for the part of Howl.

Of course I still want to see Serenity before it leaves the theaters!

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October 29, 2005

Good ol' D.L. Roth Esq.

Filed under: — brendan @ 18:23 GMT

VH1-Classic was on the TV as background noise while P and I played in the livingroom. We’d just flown back from the US, and our body clocks were still trying to come to grips with what was being asked of them.

On came Van Halen and their 80s video for their hit “Jump”. On went Eddie & Dave leaping around. Patrick, about four years old, looked up at the screen. “Look at the girl man!”

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Pumpkins

Filed under: — elana @ 16:33 GMT

It’s a little embarassing, but I have something to admit.

I have a major aversion to squashes. All kinds. No, not the drinks…the vegetable. A serious aversion, some might even call it a prejudice.

But, really, all the pumpkin stuff that’s happening now? Not such a big deal for me. Pumpkin pie? Ugh. Pumpkin soup? Uh-uh. Roasted butternut squash? No way. I will never choose one of those off a menu, and I sure don’t choose to make ’em.

I did see the Good Eats episode about squashes. And I even got a little excited about making them. But I just can’t bring myself to buy one and prep it and do…anything with it. Last year, we got a couple extra pumpkins and I roasted them and then puree’d them. The only thing we make is pumpkin pie pancakes, which I like cause of the spices in it. But there’s still tons of puree in the freezer, and I have no urge to make something with it.

Anyone have any recipes that might sway me?

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October 27, 2005

Apple vs. IBM: The 80s Way to Say it

Filed under: — Sven @ 21:21 GMT

I’m spending two nights at Cold Spring Harbor Labs for a gmod meeting. While I left my Pentium II in my room, most people took there laptop to the meeting and it’s very interesting. Of the twenty or so laptops there about half of them where Apple, and of the half that was x86, several of those where running GNU/Linux. While presentations where all using power point, Windows is on the down and out for this crowd.

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October 26, 2005

Every stranger could know your birthday…

Filed under: — brendan @ 01:40 GMT

What’s to stop someone from creating a watch that beams a 3-foot radius looking for RFID goodies to tuck away for later?

From CNET’s news.com:

Passports to get RFID chip implants
October 25, 2005, 12:12 PM PDT

All U.S. passports will be implanted with remotely-readable computer chips starting in October 2006, the Bush administration has announced.

Sweeping new State Department regulations issued Tuesday say that passports issued after that time will have tiny radio frequency ID (RFID) chips that can transmit personal information including the name, nationality, sex, date of birth, place of birth and digitized photograph of the passport holder. Eventually, the government contemplates adding additional digitized data such as “fingerprints or iris scans.”

Over the last year, opposition to the idea of implanting RFID chips in passports has grown amidst worries that identity thieves could snatch personal information out of the air simply by aiming a high-powered antenna at a person or a vehicle carrying a passport. Out of the 2,335 comments on the plan that were received by the State Department this year, 98.5 percent were negative. The objections mostly focused on security and privacy concerns.

snipped

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October 21, 2005

Oh me achin' back…

Filed under: — brendan @ 20:17 GMT

On Tuesday morning I was playing tennis. I ran across the court to try to make a return on a pretty fast ball. ZAP, I felt something snap or twist in my lower back that hurt like mad. I tried to force myself to play through it, but the pain kept slowly increasing. By that evening I found it hard to fall asleep because no position seemed comfortable.

This continued for the next few days, leaving me stuck in bed or on the couch unable to get around much. I had to walk carefully because at nearly any random moment, I might get hit by this piercing pain. On Thursday night I took some more medicine to help ease the swelling and let me fall to sleep.

This morning, it was feeling a bit better. Elana noticed that the lower-left of my back was swollen much larger than the right. We made an appointment and went to the local G.P.

After a few tests and examinations, he said it was most likely to be a pulled muscle in my back; not a slipped disc, as I’d started to fear. Two different places on the Net described slipped disc problems, and a lot of the symptoms seemed pretty similar.

We’re going to try to stick with a regular pattern on the meds, and keep me walking around more than I’ve done since it started. Some light stretches should also contribute.

We fly from the states back to Ireland next week. I’m reaaaaaaaaaally hoping this goes away enough for the flight to be livable. 🙂

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October 18, 2005

Torpid Squirrel

Filed under: — Sven @ 13:58 GMT

Zoë was sitting in her high chair eating bananas and Zōe’s O’s, Mom was upstaris getting ready for work. It comes Marvin, up from the cellar, holding a full grown squirrel in his mouth. Like all of us, Marvin has been away from the house since July first, plus this year has been a bumper crop for acorns and walnuts. No predators, abundant food, my squirrels have become fat and torpid during our sabbatical. I pick up Marvin, still holding the squirrel, and took him down to the back door. Whent back up to close the bacement door, and back down to open the back door. Marvin was still sitting by the door, but no squirrel. I propped the door open and found the squirrel hiding under the bacement stairs. I went for a broom to sweep it out, again he was gone. Ten minutes or so later I closed the door and went to work, I hope the squirrel got out.

For the day Marvin in stuck to the bacement, where his door to the outside is. Hopefully Marvin will be the only mammal larger then a mouse in the bacement when I get home.

UPDATE: When I came home last night the squirrel was still in the bacement, now freely roaming the woods. Ok, he was pretty sick, probably infected by Marvin’s bite. Poor squirrel. Sorry PeTA, I tried to make Marvin an indoor cat, but he got mean and started biting people. I tried all of the hints you gave on that page, he hated it. Marvin is just a mean, impatient cat.

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October 17, 2005

Back in my house again

Filed under: — Sven @ 14:24 GMT

余艾蕾, Zoë, Marvin and I have moved back into our house yesterday! There is no front porch, and there is one room that isn’t really usable yet, and the kitchen is still a mess, and we have no cable or Internet access, and most of the yard is still grassless, and there are still some widow makers up in the trees, and the siding needs painting. Apart from that, er thoes, all is well.

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October 14, 2005

Grant is back!

Filed under: — Sven @ 14:11 GMT

The CBC labor dispute is over! Mr. Lawrence is once again hosting the CBC Radio 3 podcast! He ever ceremoniously chain sawed his robot replacement, Rosie was “her” name. Some how, the music sounds better now.

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October 13, 2005

Anniversary Dinner

Filed under: — elana @ 17:54 GMT

In California, we happened to go to our favorite restaurant on our anniversary. Well, maybe not happened, maybe we booked it, but still….it was a happy coincidence we were there on the day. The menu….ah, the menu.

Menu Gastronomique

CELERY ROOT SALAD
Enoki Mushrooms, Brulee Figs, Carrot Jus

PEAR AND AUTUMN SQUASH
Spiced Cappuccino, Mille-Feuille, Citrus Powder

HUDSON VALLEY FOIE GRAS
Granny Smith Apple Gastrique, Sautern Gelee, Hazelnut Crisp

_______________________

ALBACORE TUNA
Baby Artichokes, Cocoa Nibs, Yuzu Vinaigrette

ALASKAN BLACK COD
Nasturtium-Saffron Tea, Salmon Caviar, Garden Herbs

DAYBOAT SCALLOPS
Concord Grapes, Pink Peppercorn Caramel, Pickled Fennel

______________________

STEAK ONGLET
Chanterelles, Fingerling Potato, Syrah Jus

PORK TENDERLOIN
Roasted Lady Apple, Salsify, Perigeuex Sauce

MAGRET DUCK BREAST
Foie Gras, Pluots, Butter Beans

_______________________

ARTISIAN CHEESE SELETION
Marmalades, Honeys

FIG PARFAIT
Spiced Port Reduction, Roasted Fennel Seed Ice Cream

CHOCOLATE PEAR CUP
Coriander Ice Cream, Clove Ganache

PINEAPPLE RAVIOLI
Pink Peppercorn Panna Cotta, Lime Sorbet

CHILLED BERRY COMPOTE
Cinnamon Basil Ice Cream, Almond Crisp

No no no, we didn’t eat all of that. Just one thing from each section. Man I love food.

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