Friday, September 28, 2007

[homage] Hangar One Vodka

hangar one vodka
Best liquor I have ever had in my life. Ever.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

[homage] What's in a Twinkie

Great transcript on CNN


GUPTA (voice over): With more than 500 million sold every year, chances are pretty good you've tasted a Twinkie, but have you ever wondered, what's in one?

We asked Christopher Kimball, host of "America's Test Kitchen" to deconstruct the Twinkie for us.

CHRISTOPHER KIMBALL, "AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN": The Twinkie is one of the finest examples of modern engineering and here's why. It started out in 1930 as a basic sponge cake with the basic ingredients, you know, milk, butter, eggs, et cetera. And they filled it with cream and it lasted well maybe a couple days, three days in the market. Hence the problem, now how do you create something that's going to be shelf stable. It's not going to change over time.

GUPTA: To do that, Hostess replaced the egg yolks with lecithin.

KIMBALL: It's an emulsifier like egg yolk, which means it takes lots of disparate ingredients and sort of lets them blend together.

GUPTA: Cellulose gum replaces fat.

KIMBALL: It brings in moisture, holds moisture and gives you that mouth feel you get from fat.

GUPTA: Artificial colors take the place of natural ones.

KIMBALL: And those colors actually come from, oddly enough, the petrochemical industry, from benzene and aniline and other chemicals, which in quantity is actually poisonous, but the small quantities used here, the FDA has approved.

GUPTA: In response, Interstate Bakeries, makers of Hostess products, says the core ingredients have been the same for decades -- flour, sugar, water. Adding that deconstructing the Twinkie is like trying to deconstruct the universe. Some people look at the sky and think it's beautiful, others, try to count the stars.

Urban legend would have you believe a Twinkie can last for years. Hostess says just 25 days.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


[homage] Star Wars Family Guy

Star Wars Family Guy

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

[story] Big Spender

A fun twist to a classic:

For generations, my family served as the village guardians. Like my mother and her mother before her, I was born with the gift to forsee the darker side of life -- disasters, evil, weaknesses. And we used our powers to help protect the village. If a drought was coming, we'd teach everyone to save food and water. If temptations were clouding people's minds, we'd set them back on the right path. We took great pride and joy in our duties.

But one year things got really bad. Flood, fire, storm, sicknesses -- one after another. Day and night, we worked so hard to help people cope. But one day, they just snapped. They got it into their little heads, that somehow it was all our fault. So they took my family and me, and threw us into the raging river, one by one.

I was the only one who survived.

And on that day, I swore to never use my power for the "greater good" again. What good is it if I couldn't even help myself and my family? And you know what, when you can see people's weaknesses like they are written on their face, it is so easy to take what you want from them.

Take, for example, that man over there. Handsome, rich. Thinks he's smart. Ha. He has no idea. I can take everything away from him so easily ...

The minute you walked in the joint
I can see you were a man of distinction
A real big spender
Good looking, so refined
Say, wouldn't you like to know what's going on in my mind
So let me get right to the point
I don't pop my cork for every man I see
Hey big spender!
Spend a little time with me.

Wouldn't you like to have fun, fun, fun
How's about a few laungh, laugh?
I can show you a good time!
Let me show you a good time

The minute you walked in the joint
I can see you were a man of distinction
A real big spender
Good looking, so refined
Say, wouldn't you like to know what's going on in my mind
So let me get right to the point
I don't pop my cork for every man I see
Hey big spender!
Hey big spender!
Hey big spender!
Spend a little time with me.
Spend a little time with me.
Spend a little time with me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

[story] Distant Melody

Wrote for the song "Distant Melody":

Once upon a time, women in China practiced a tradition called "feet binding". Before a girl reached six years of age, her mother would break four toes in each foot, fold them underneath, and then wrap them as tightly as possible. The pain would last for years, and there was no medicine to numb it. Women were taught that bound feet represented beauty and class, and that a mother binding her daughter's feet was a great act of love.

There was a woman who had such bound feet. Her mother cried as she broke her feet, and she kept repeating that she had to do it because she loved her, because she wanted her to marry well and have a good life. The woman clung to those words as she grew up -- they were the only thing that could comfort her through the never ending pain.

But, all that changed when she gave birth to her own daughter. As soon as her little girl could walk, the woman realized that her daugher had a great talent -- a talent of dance. She knew that if she broke her little feet, she would break her mind and her spirit too.

But what could she do? The rest of the family would want to bind her feet. The woman came up with a plan -- she taught her daughter to walk like a cripple -- Always limping and hunching her body. It worked. Everyone wrote the little girl off as a cripple, and only at night, in the bedroom, when the door was closed and the shades were drawn, would the woman sing to her daughter so that she could dance freely. Oh, how beautifully she danced!

They kept it a perfect secret for years. Not even the father knew. But one hot summer night, they got careless. They left one window open, and when the father walked by, he spotted dancing shadows. He charged into the room and discovered that his daughter was never a cripple at all! He was furious. He sold his daughter to another family and kicked his wife out of the house -- They had betrayed him, and he never wanted to see them again. Ever.

The little girl never saw her mother again. Her new family took her to America, where she grew up to be a great dancer. But every night in her bedroom, when the door was closed and the shades were drawn, she would think of her mother, and the song that she sang to her ...
Once upon a time and long ago,
I heard someone singing soft and low.
Now when day is done, and night is near,
I recall the song I used to hear.

My child, my very own.
Don't be afraid, you're not alone.
Sleep until the dawn, for all is well.

Long ago this song was sung to me.
Now it's just a distant melody.
Somewhere from the past, I used to know.
Once upon a time, and long ago.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

[find] Envelop

[log] Hermosa Beach Labor Day Fair

- 2007 Labor Day Monday
- Alan, Maureen, Adam, Mike, Shelbey, Brandon, Melissa, Turner, Pierre, me

- 12" sweet Italian sausage
- Pierre + Snake + Shark + Samurai sword
- Gorgeous art

Saturday, September 01, 2007

[outing] Wicked

Where: Pantages Theater
Who: Steph, Scott, Pierre, me
When: Sunday Aug 26th

- We are going to pick up the ticket at the Frolic room? Looking for Mr King?
- Sushi at Kabuki
- Love the story!

[muse] Leonidas and Xerxes

In addition to being a fantasic film, "300" is also an interesting study of two very different management styles:

[ Leonidas ]
- Hands-on manager (got awesome sparta muscles to show off)
- Inspires results from his troops
- Lead-by-example

[ Xerxes ]
- Hands-off manager (can't ruin the battlefield bling bling)
- Demands results from his generals (by either showering them with great rewards, or chopping their heads off)
- Lead-by-aura

Which strategy is more effective in different situations?