Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Wheel of Time

First book in series. The Wheel of Time (WoT) is a fantasy book series by Robert Jordan that I have been enjoying for the last year.

Intended to be a 12 book saga eleven books have been publish to date. Mr. Jordan died in 2007 leaving the final chapter to be written/completed by someone else. Jordan left notes and has written the final chapters. There is so much to wrap-up that the new writer choose to make the 12th book a trilogy.

I have listened to all the books read on CD. The books are looong, any where from 21 to 40 hours each. It would be cool to edit (GarageBand) all the books into linear stories. This could be enjoyed by fans of WoT (people who know the stories, read more than once). Put all the chapters with each of the Two Rivers characters (Rand, Mat, Egwene, Perrin) in a series, collect all of Moiraine Damodred, .... Some chapters would be repeated but that is OK, we want to hear the life story of each character from various perspectives. Where I to do this, my first project would be to collect the chapters with Mat Cauthon.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Cutting Edge

The Cutting Edge - The Magic of Movie Editing (2004) is included on the "Bullitt" (1967) Blu-ray disk.

What a pleasant surprise to find this feature lenght documentary. Why it is included is a mystery to me. I recommend you rent this version of Bullitt just for this documentary if you are at all interested in the art/technology/history of film.

Why was the movie call Bullet when it featured a car chase through San Francisco? Bullitt is the name of the Steve McQueen's character, SFPD Lieutenant Frank Bullitt.

Check out the movie trailer. (Is that Phylis Grant playing at the restaurant?)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spontaneous Dance

It is said that anything is possible from random chance. For example, put an infinite number of monkeys in a room with word processors and one will almost surely write Hamlet before some infinite time. Now if you take a half dozen monkeys, put them in a large train station with Julie Andrews on the PA system and point a video camera at them then something like this might randomly occur.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tomato Sauce, Quicker

This is a new variation of my home made fresh tomato sauce. It doesn't make as many dirty dishes and is a wee bit faster. The recipe is from ATK. It makes a cup of sauce, enough for one pound of pasta.


2tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4cup grated onion
1/4teaspoon dried oregano
2medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, Tuttorosso or Muir Glen
1/4teaspoon sugar
1/4teaspoon red pepper flakes
1tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
table salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the graded onion, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar.
  5. Increase heat to high and bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced, about 10 minutes.
  6. Off heat stir in basil and olive oil; season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Nancy Holtz, Arches of Civita di Bagnoregio The AcoustiCelts performed in public for the third time last night at Court House Coffee in Auburn. We are made up of two couples from the Sunday night session. Pete Grant (banjo, dobhro), Phylis Grant (flutes, whistle), Sharon Carl (fiddle, vocals) and myself (bodhran, whistles).

I started the evening using the tipperless hand style that Chris Caswell is teaching me. Good way to warm up. I also used the tipperless technique on softer numbers, especially when only one melody instrument or vocals are being featured.

We played for three hours mostly Celtic/Irish music with some Beatles tunes thrown in for fun. Towards the end as the art crowd thinned out some people and kids started dancing a jig.

This was part of the Placer Arts Counsel Art Walk. Stores and galleries all over downtown Auburn an hosted artist for the evening (see event map). Court House Coffee, the place were Sharon has her Tuesday night knitting group, asked us during our St. Patrick's Day gig there to return in two weeks for the April Art Walk. Glad we did.

Nancy Holtz was the featured artist. I really like her work; especially the ink and water color work hung over the fire place.

We had so much fun that by the end of the evening I had a friction burn on my dampin hand. I put the Chinese burn suave on and it worked so well I hadn't though about the burn until writing this, the next day :).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Garlic Rosemary Chicken Brine

I brine all my grilled chicken for up to an hour before cooking. Before the brining process I trim the loose skin and all the fat with my kitchen scissors. Often, I air dry the chicken in the refrigerator for a while so that the skin is more crispy. Here is a new idea from ATK that I tested this weekend.
1/2 cup table salt
10 cloves garlic , unpeeled
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 quarts water

Combine salt, garlic, and rosemary in zipper-lock bag; seal, pressing out air. Pound with meat pounder or rolling pin until garlic cloves are crushed. Transfer mixture to large container or stockpot and stir in 2 cups hot tap water; let stand 10 minutes to release flavors. Add 1 1/2 quarts cold tap water and stir until salt is dissolved. Submerge chicken in brine and refrigerate 1 hour.

Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.