Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mabel has left the blogosphere

It was never my intention, but after over 13 months of absenteeism, I guess I should accept that I've officially left the blogosphere.


Well, to put it bluntly, I'm no longer a grad student... no longer a post doc... I have a job-type-job where blogging during the day just ain't an option no more.


To the only person who might ever still check to see if I'm coming back, I'm sorry to say that it is time for me to bow out.

Maybe I'll come back with a new persona one day soon.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mental Note

Pasta that's been in the fridge for ten days may no longer be good lunch fare.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Elvis has left the country

Here's a rather interesting/worrisome piece of hacking. Apparently, some folks went along and created a forged passport of the King, complete with RFID technology, that was accepted in a Dutch airport.

Wasn't the Canada-US border supposed to move towards RFID technology?

Friday, September 26, 2008

I am a Gentle Pig

Dessert? Oh no, I couldn't possibly.


Maybe... just a small piece, though.

No, not that small. A little more and ....... there! Yes, perfect.

I have a friend who describes someone exuding this kind of behaviour as being a gentle pig. You can be a gentle pig by resisting then accepting dessert, a second helping, more wine, or really any sort of gastronomic indulgence.

But there's more to being a gentle pig than simply accepting more when you really wouldn't/couldn't/shouldn't. Whatever it is that you put on your plate/in your glass, you have to finish it easily (and ideally with rigour) as if no effort were involved in completely consuming whatever was put in front of you in a timely manner.

For most people, their inner gentle pig is released when someone offers something like ice cream or cake after a big meal. Me? My gentle pig seems to be attracted to weirdo things like salad, or one particular dish that, when put in front of me, causes me to lose any semblance of self-control. I can be reclined on the couch, not moving because of the agony of a full belly, but if I know there's more to be had then I will find the inner strength to sit upright, walk over to the dinner table, and have another full serving.

And another.

And another.

Until there is none left.

In fact, my version of hell would probably include a bottomless source of this dish, and I'd never be able to stop eating it. (Or would that be heaven?)

Now this dish, Molokhia, is a little bit of an acquired taste. It's kind of slimy in texture and to be blunt, it's not exactly my wife's favourite. But from time-to-time we'll make it and when we do it's a big treat for me.

After several years of observation, my wife has become well-tuned to my weakness towards this dish. When we make it for dinner she plans accordingly. For example, we had molokhia for dinner last night, and she made over twice as much rice as what we would normally make for any other rice-based dish. She only had one small plate, I had four large ones.

At one point in my marathon-of-dinner, I tried to stop eating. I could feel the rice expanding in my belly and thought I'd do the adult thing and stop eating. But my wife, I think, gets a bit of a kick out of watching me eat so much food... When I announced to her that I wasn't going to eat anymore, she appealed to that teenager appetite that was hiding in there, she appealed to my gentle pig. I can only imagine the pleasure she got out of saying to me, "But there's really almost none left. Are you sure you don't want it? Should I just throw it out?"

And with that, like a good gentle pig, I went and had another plate. And then another. Until finally there was none left.

After dinner, having accomplished my mission, I was on the couch trying not to move. At the peak of my agony, my wife leaned over and said "Honey, could you please get me a glass of water?" When I began to show the slightest bit of discomfort at the idea of moving, she followed it up with, "It will be good for your digestion."

But really, how could I say no? She had indulged me in agreeing to have her less-than-favourite dish for dinner.

I was a happy gentle pig.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Reminds me of that time I played bass guitar for Jimi

Okay, I never really dreamed of playing in the NHL. In fact, I didn't play ice hockey until I was about 20. But this made me giggle while I read it...

As my old roommate, the goalie, would say: "He shoots, save no rebound!"

Monday, August 25, 2008

Even though I'm loyal to Second Cup

I'm a sucker for scones. In fact, I will at times walk past the local cafeteria where I work, past the Tim Horton's, through rain, and around construction sites, to get a good scone to go with my coffee. The problem with scones is that, like any pastry in a coffee shop, they are just too pricey to justify buying. Oh, and they're usually chalked full of sugar, but I digress.

A few years ago when my sister was visiting out east, she made these fantabulous scones for breakfast one morning. They were such a hit that, at her wedding last fall, somebody wrote "Make More Scones!" and submitted it as her advice to the newlyweds on how to nurture a long and happy marriage. I made the recipe once. They were delicious. But the ordeal broke the student-quality food processor I had at the time. I haven't ventured to make them since. But I will.

Anyway, I'm getting distracted from the whole point of this post. (No, it's not about scones. Or at least it wasn't when I first thought of writing it.) This morning, Lifehacker pointed me towards a cool little recipe book.
I thought that it might interest a few out people out there, even if the recipes aren't from Second Cup.

Monday, August 4, 2008

peanut butter running time

I like running. I like going for long runs. A lot of people go on runs to think. I go to clear my head.

My meditative method for clearing my head dates back to when I started running as a teenager. I pull some rhythmic section out of a song -- usually a couple of bars -- loop it over and over in my head while running. This repetition creates a trance-like state where I zone in only on running: my breathing, where my feet hit the ground, when my feet hit the ground. It also stops other thoughts from entering my head, because those would mess up my cadence and probably cause me to get a stitch or something.

Often I seem to get "Big Calm" by Morcheeba stuck in there, but other tunes will kick in from time to time. One of my least favorites is Hammer Time, which dates back to my high school days when an aerobics class in the centre of the track would blast MC Hammer while I did my track workouts.

On occasion, this "rhythmic meditation" can backfire because I don't have the best ability to control what the tune will be and once I get this song in my head, it doesn't leave until I'm done. This weekend, I ran to what was probably the worst song (if you can call it that) I've ever had stuck in my head. It was in there for every step of my hour-long run. And I hope it never finds its way back in there.