New Year’s Jam!

Fresh for 2009, it’s the New! Improved! Monthly! Jam! We’ll be running regular Jams on First Saturdays, and Locked Up marathons the rest of the time.

New Year’s Jam [Flickr]

“Stonehenge” finger and Cat’s head “ornament” are a pretty good start to the jam.

i just posted the drunkest pic of me in existence.
i posted the last shot where i am still upright.
my eyes are open, but cannot see, a good thing.

that is the fugliest picture i’ve ever seen of me.
i share my worst moments with my stinquers.
may 2009 not suck.
(expectations low)

confirmation: rat just looked at the pic and remarked that it doesn’t look anything like me. i’m so relieved. i’m so insecure.

@baked: Gee, I think it’s a great pic. Of course, I had you pictured in my mind as Jimmy Buffet in a wig, which reflects more on my lack of libido and imagination than on your good charms.

you crack me up wonky.
jeez, what will you picture when i start posting from israel?
nevermind, don’t tell me. hey, i will try to get as near as possible to the reporters and the stinques will have the breaking news before see en en.
i’ll get me one of those bullet proof press jackets.
or, i’ll be under the bed.

will you get to a dr. already and have a hormone panel done?

@baked: Israel, oo please be safe.
re: hormone panel already been done 3x. Results more unintelligible than a W speech after a fifth of Jack. Doc wants to shut everything down via lupron then try to re-balance. But I am getting better, really, I think, maybe, ah sometime soon.

Apologies to the gentle dudes for the girl talk.

Not sure about pictures, but for those of you privileged enough to be my friend on teh Facebooks there is now a video of HF in an altered state on NYE.

I have a bad case of monitor envy so I’m getting a 22 incher. The Stinque jams will be so much jammier, not to mention pics of the Brazilian women’s Olympic beach volleyball team.

@Dodgerblue: Just get the biggest G5 they have – it’ll change your life.

OR the 30″ Apple Cinema display. Whoa.

@baked: To make you feel better, I just posted a picture of me hammered on, I believe, NYE 2003 at a get together in SoHo. As you can see, I look nothing like myself. NB: shot by my then GF, a professional photog. She could make my Nikon do things I could not.

Quick TJ: Have you all seen the report that Gov. Rod of the Great Hair had a call concerning the Obama seat from none other than Sen. Majority Leader Harry “Jellyfish” Reid six days before his arrest? Wonder why this little gem has taken the best part of a month to become public. Anyone else think it possible Harry could have been looking to make a deal to undercut the Unicorn in the Senate? Bury Reid in the Lieberman corner.

@blogenfreude: my kids have Apple laptops. I’m still stuck in the world o’Dell.

@Dodgerblue: Free yourself – remember that macs now run anything a PC does. Hell – at least get an Apple monitor and begin the process.

@blogenfreude: You want hammered? I’ll give you hammered.

@Dodgerblue: Stinque Geeks geek exclusively on a MacBook Pro.

@nojo: Or a G5. Mine is going on 4 years old and it’s still great after a few upgrades. Macs cost more initially, but cost less over the long run.

@blogenfreude: True dat. My MBP replaced a 7-year-old Powerbook G4. For that matter, the G4 tower still runs fine, but I have no use for it.

@nojo: Get this – the GF’s work got her a new MacBook Air but she gave it back – decided to soldier on w/ her Powerbook G4 that she likes more. I tried to get her to keep the Air (for me) … but no.

@blogenfreude: I never got the concept of the Air, but then I need all those holes in the side. And a 300-gig hard drive. That too.

@blogenfreude: I’m sorry to say this, but she doesn’t really love you. I got an Air when I was traveling for work, and you would have to pry it from my cold dead hands. BTW, Mac geeks, can you recommend a good quicken-type software for Mac? I’ve not heard good things about the actual quicken for Mac. I’m trying to get all that sort of thing off the PC desktop so mr cyn can have it for All Grateful Dead, All the Time.

@nojo: Trust me – I spent a weekend playing with it. I could get used to it. Issue for me is it’s limited to 2 gig of RAM. On the other hand, I keep a lot of my stuff on another hard drive, so maybe it’d be OK for 4 years or so – and I’d get the 1.8 processor. And it’s sturdier than it looks (unless I sat on it).

@Mistress Cynica: Nah, they’d have fired her if she didn’t turn in one of them. As it is, there’s a very small company powerbook she has off the radar – it usually lives in my apartment. I can’t complain – we are a 3 Mac family. And I’m starting to have fantasies of a 30″ monitor and the next-gen Air … it needs more RAM.

@Dodgerblue: Get a Mac. There can’t be any software that you use as an attorney that isn’t available on Mac. I’ve been a Mac user since 1993, I get so vexed by my PC at work, no problems at home with the series of Macs. I finally gave up my Powerbook after using it for 8 years. Inherited Mr. SFL’s MacBook.

@Mistress Cynica: Get Mr. Cynica an external hard drive (or three). Then he can store the Dead shows on the hard drives and when he wants to listen to or download a particular show he can hook it up to the PC.

@Mistress Cynica: If you need just the checkbook, I use a cheapie called My Checkbook, which does the basics just fine. Which is all I ever used Quicken for.

@blogenfreude: Just beefed up mine to 4 gigs (plus the hard drive). But I do a little movie editing, and I need to run Parallels to see how bad my websites look in Windows, and on and on. If I were a normal person, the Air would be very compelling.

The Stonehenge-esque Duck finger makes me laugh so hard. And want to watch Spinal Tap tonight.

@nojo: Indeed. Still, I might be better off getting a loaded MacBook (regular). Meh – I don’t have to worry about it until the fall, I suspect – my 1st gen G5 (no webcam!) soldiers on.

i have a 22′ monitor that i lerve. i also get tubes connection on my 52″ plasma. your avatars scare the shit out of me at that size.
i have no clue what the hell else you hamster people speak of.

I am switching to mac after i go through this one. last hold out.

@blogenfreude: I bought my folks a MacBook last year to replace a still-running-but-impossible-to-upgrade original iMac. (Plus it’s easier for me to do phone tech with OS X…) Nice machine, if you’re not a Port Whore like me.

@SanFranLefty: Like I told the alumni folks, the stories they’ll get out of that Finger are worth the price. Such are legends born.

Just posted a (lousy cellphone) photo of 2 of our beloved Macs. And has anyone noticed the Cardinals might have a chance? I want them to win so the Giants can thrash them. So please … some help?

@blogenfreude: Someone will have to tell me if and when the Chargers do something I need to pay attention to.

Which brings to mind the Best Fireworks I Ever Saw, the week the Super Bowl was in Sandy Eggo. We’re used to five coordinated displays along the coastline for July 4, but the Super Bowl fireworks really needed Ride of the Valkyries to do it justice.

@nojo: I will keep you informed. My pick is the Colts over the Chargers, but then I’ve got the Cardinals in this game, so I might be fucked.

I got the second cheapest Dell Inspiron laptop and I like it fine.

i loved my dell inspiron laptop. had it for years. now i’ve been going through toshibas every 6 months. they suck. i’m ready for macworld.

3 weeks i’m flying into this. cannot believe this is happening.
so far, the word is jerusalem is fine,
so far.

@redmanlaw: I had one for four years — saw me through a semester in Germany and senior thesis, among other things — and only had to replace it because I’d dropped the damn thing and broken one of the hinges keeping the monitor in place. (I’m still looking for a way to get it fixed, so that I can donate it, if anyone has suggestions.) I replaced it with another Dell Inspiron, $1k cheaper than a comparably equipped Mac (my response to anyone who urged me to buy a Mac was, “So you’ll be paying for the difference then?”), and I couldn’t be happier.

Did you get refundable tix for you an the doggies?

“statement being circulated . . .extreme concern” at the Security Council.
Meanwhile . . .

France issued a statement. Ooh. That’ll do it.

I’m keeping my ill-informed nose out of this one, but isn’t Jerusalem where Moshe did his mosque grandstanding some years back? I don’t know the city’s recent record in Incidents, but I seem to recall there are a number of Unresolved Issues there. As with everywhere else.

@blogenfreude: Did you see Bob Herberts column on the Jets? I think he feels your pain.

“Unresolved Issues” that’s adorable.

tix not refundable…but for $150. we can change the dates.
i’m sick over this.just read the article, how do you negotiate with people who say you don’t exist and they won’t stop “til israel is a cemetery”?
i am so anti violence of any sort (i don’t kill ants) i’m ill from this.

@baked: how do you negotiate with people who say you don’t exist and they won’t stop “til israel is a cemetery”?

Start by tearing down the “facts on the ground.” Maybe replant a few of those olive groves that were ripped out. Foot the bill for some social services, so Hamas doesn’t get all the credit.

Oh, and, uh, act in good faith. In my lifetime, Israel has been the bully, not the bullied.

@baked: without meaning any disrespect, it’s always amazed me that people would spend so many years fighting so bitterly over the only strip of land in the region, apparently, without massive oil reserves. If god gave them that land, I think they were gypped.
Also, does your applying for dual citizenship affect the US govt’s willingness to evacuate you in an emergency? The following travel advisory from the state dept does nothing to reassure me:

The State Department urges American citizens to remain vigilant while traveling throughout Jerusalem, especially within the commercial and downtown areas of West Jerusalem and the city center. Israeli security services report that they continue to receive information of planned terrorist attacks in and around Jerusalem.
Spontaneous or planned protests within the Old City are possible, especially after Friday prayers. Some of these protests have led to violent clashes. The Old City of Jerusalem is off-limits to U.S. Government personnel and their family members after dark during the entire week and between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm on Fridays.

@Mistress Cynica: That’s what I was thinking, without doing the research: Jerusalem is the intersection of three major religions, it has a significant Palestinian population whose movements have been progressively restricted, and as elsewhere there’s a lot of resentment over desecrations of sacred sites. If you want to make a violent statement, that’s the place to do it.

Tel Aviv, as I recall, is relatively placid. But I’ve long since given up following the blow-by-blow accounts, so anything said here is up for correction.

i’m all for it. send kisses not bullets.

guess where my house is–west jerusalem.

i have no answers, and no opinions, i don’t understand hatred like this.

cyn, right? what a moron moses turned out to be…..

egypt and jordan are thrilled the israeli’s are doing something about the hamas crazies. they sure as fuck don’t want them, and we’re on good diplomatic terms with them for it.
we can argue this conflict for another few thousand years.
meanwhile, i don’t think we’ll see peace in the region in our lifetimes or ever. remissions only.

I have no ideas about how to solve the problems there, it seems like a clusterfuck that stretches back over 2000 years or so. I always felt like maybe when they have diplomatic negotiations they need a handful of puppies to pet and defuse the situation.

But I will worry like a verklempt Jewish grandma over you being there. I expect three-to-four time a day check ins from you on the tubez to reassure us all that you’re still there raising hell and petting the kitties and pupsters.

@SanFranLefty: @baked: I second that request for check-ins. If we don’t hear from you, I swear I’ll call the Consulate General’s office in Jerusalem. I have the number from the state dept website.

if in fact it’s true that israel has been the bully, and i do not concede that, their history has made them more determined than any nation on earth to survive. very determined. and they’ve been under attack since they came into existance 60 years ago.
usually it’s retribution, and self preservation.
and if anyone has the right to bully the people who want to exterminate them, it’s them. you must trust me when i tell you the people of israel do not want this, and the politics are volitile and divided about your observation about what to do about gaza. they are under constant threat nojo, we cannot get into their heads and imagine what that must be like.

@Mistress Cynica: @SanFranLefty:

will be checking in 10 times a day because i’m not leaving the house.
thanks guys…love you.

@SanFranLefty: Yeah, take yer pick when to start the clock. I usually choose 1917 — the Balfour Declaration — since that’s about when the region left Ottoman hands and fell into the modern era. We’re still cleaning up after World War I, in no small part because of all the arbitrary lines that were drawn at its conclusion.

As far as a solution (um, dangerous word…), it’s fully within Israel’s power to promote a just and lasting peace if it wants to. We’re long past 1967 and 1973 (never mind 1948), everyone knows only a two-state solution is tenable, and everyone knows a lot of justified anger is going to have to be swallowed on both sides to make it work.

Oh, and what becomes the sovereign state of Palestine can’t be carved up like bantustans.

It has to be Israel’s move, because only Israel, backed by AIPAC the U.S., has the power to make it happen. (Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria have the power to agree to a just solution and guarantee security arrangements, but they’re not going to show good faith until Israel and its underwriter does.) I don’t know that it’ll happen on Barry’s watch, since one of his moves last summer was to swear fealty to AIPAC, but while the details are indeed complicated, the principles aren’t. We’ll see how bellicose Hillary sounds after January 20, and take it from there.

HAHA israeli ambassador actually just SAID THIS! on cnn,
“we expect much more intelligent progress fom obama than we ever did from bush. bush simplydid not have the intellectual ability”HAHA!

@baked: We’ll have to disagree, since I’ve had absolutely no faith in the Israeli government since the settlements started springing up — those “facts on the ground” fully intended to sway, if not subvert, any eventual agreement.

“Retribution” works both ways, and has for many decades — encyclopedias of outrage can be cited on both sides, going back to the establishment of Israel and beyond. Cynicism works both ways too, of course — Arab leaders have made a lot of hay about Palestinian necks under the Israeli boot, as a way to encourage five-minute hates among their own subjects. For a very long time, a real solution hasn’t been in anyone’s interest.

But again: This isn’t 1948, this isn’t 1967, this isn’t 1973. Israel’s existence is a practical and political fact, Hamas isn’t going to wish it away, and, rhetoric aside, the surrounding nations have given up trying. Peace is there to be had, but only if everyone in power seriously wants it. Until they do, roadmaps are useless.

smarter people than us can’t sort it out.
so i’m sitting this one out.
i feel terrible for the human causulties in gaza, and i feel for the israeli’s that live in a state of constant threat.
ridiculous and tragic.both sides.

TJ: Hey if anyone wants a break from the Israel debate, we can all agree that the Pope is a moron. But give the Catholic Church points for trying to reach out to the tree-huggers:

Birth Control Pills Destroying Environment, Sez Vatican. But wouldn’t causing wide-spread male infertility off-set the environmental damage since we wouldn’t have another 5 billion miracles?

I just cooked the dinner of my life, the high point of my cooking career so far. Its been since thanksgiving, since I had fish, and I was jonesing, the only good fish purveyor here closes down from Thanksgiving to sometime in March (thats the life I want). So this afternoon I drove an hour each way just to get fish of good quality. But when I got there, they had nothing that thrilled me. Fantastic yellowtail tuna, but tuna is only good raw, its really ruined when you cook it, and I wanted cooked fish, good sushi, better than I can make, I can get around the corner. There was beautiful skate wings, but Mrs. won’t eat those. There was one tiny piece of grouper, my favorite, but it was only 1/3 of a pound. I decided it would be a “mixed grill.” I bought the grouper, and 3 ounces of very nice cod, real cod, not the alaskan crap, and 3 ounces of monkfish.

On the way home inspiration took over.

First off, the best way to cook almost all fish, in my opinion, is pan-searing, sauteeing, its a matter of how hot you want to go. The standard method is the lightly dust the fish with flour, then pan sear it. But lately I have been experimenting with different coatings. One that has worked out amazingly well is using mushroom dust, I take dried mushrooms, put them in a coffee grinder, reduce it to a powder, then dredge, up till now, veal scallops, in that, instead of flour, before sauteeing.

I decided I would take each variety of fish, dredge it in a different coating, and serve it with a different sauce. I decided to dredge the Monkfish in wasabi powder, and serve with a lime-juice, soy, sesame-oil sauce. I decided to coat the grouper in grated parmesan and lemon zest, and serve with a roasted tomato-garlic-balsamic vinegar sauce. The cod, I dusted with mushroom dust, and served with a standard buerre blanc. For the accompaniment, I made a pasta salad, but it was really a thai larp, thai chicken salad, with Israeli couscous substituted for the chicken, and some edamame added for interest. Israeli cous cous, diced scallions, celery, raw mushrooms, cilantro, lime finely diced hot peppers, peanuts, and lime juice, fish sauce, and roasted sesame oil.

Everything came out better than expected, thats very very rare. I garnished the Wasabi-coated monkfish with scallion chiffonade, the mushroom-coated cod with deep-fried crispy shallot rings, and the parmesan-lemon-zest encrusted grouper with little crispy-fried lacy chips of parmesan cheese.


If the gazan’s ate like this every night, they would not spend their time playing with rockets.

Israel’s problem is that right now, its government is controlled by neocons like Bush. Neoconism is pretty much an Israeli phenomenon. Just like our neocons, they believe in force, and using any pretext as a justification for force. And they seem to be exploiting the lame-duck period as a time to be adventurous.

@nojo: Its so hard to criticize Israel without the ugly spector of anti-semitism being raised by those who disagree. I stay away from it, most of the time. But when I do want to criticize Israel’s policies, I have found a way to do so that is somewhat safe. Read Haaretz, the major Israeli paper, and read the Israeli opposition party’s criticism’s of the Israeli administration’s policies. They have better facts than I do, and they are Israelis too, so you can’t get in trouble for agreeing with them. Just quote them, and point out that in even Israel there is vigorous disagreement.

Baked, you are gonna be fine. You are. Its not dangerous. If the general Israeli populace were ever in a position where they really had to fear for their lives, so would we, because if anyone ever did threaten Israel in a serious way, we, the US, and everyone in the US, would be in just as much danger as you, because we would go balls to the wall to protect Israel from any real existential threat. Calm down, Baked, it will be fine.

Why? WHY? HOW CAN there be a God when Norv Turner, whose team was…what? 8-8. and effectively was shoved…ass-first…into the weakest NFL division’s championship, therefore effectively screwing Tony Dungy’s Colts, 12-4 but a fucking wild card third-class ragtag disrespected tagalongs
who have to play at Sandy Eggo? Then, the freak show of L.T. having his enbalming fluid removed and whole blood transfused so he can carry a quick five times for 25 yards and a TD. Gotta give the Bolts credit, tho’.They put pressure on Manning, stayed tight on receivers without interfering, and exploited the freakish Sproles, who would be invisible if he were any shorter . Oh, good! Manning caught S.D.napping, quick–snapped and hit Reggie Wayne for a 91-yard TD pass, Colts 17-14. But now, Rivers is looking Manningesque moving through Indy’s D like wet
tissue. Whoa! Wait! Sproles the Troll fumbles at the Colt’s goalline, recovered by Indy in the endzone for a touchback.

I’m not any kind of expert, but my Power Mac G4 is a trusted companion
of 8 years. I added 640 megs of RAM (easier than an oil change) and a
(gasp!) 120-gig hard drive, it’s been relatively cheap. Evenin’, awl!

@EffeteHipster: Are you my friend TJ? I have been wondering, because if there were two words to describe him it would be “effete hipster.” I know, though, that you are not, because you are knowledgeably talking football.

I hate all Mannings, hope they lose.

@Promnight: Its so hard to criticize Israel without the ugly spector of anti-semitism being raised by those who disagree.

This doesn’t apply to Baked, of course, but yes: Conflating Israeli policies with Jewish history has proven very useful to partisans. Me, I don’t have a public reputation to sustain, so anyone’s welcome to pull that move.

@EffeteHipster: Norv! Duck QB during my childhood. The one who wasn’t Dan Fouts.

@nojo: I hate Mannings, all Mannings. Go Chargers.

@Promnight: Yum! I can’t wait until the dinner you make on the 18th to celebrate the Unicorn’s regime change for your fellow Stinquers.

@Promnight: holy crap mushroom powder? as a coating? you are such a genius, good lord this is why I love your food porn, you are the most amazingly inventive and passionate cook I have ever met, all my culinary skills revolve around comfort food and lots of it.

@SanFranLefty: I am going to hold that dinner and you beter fucking be there, and hey, stinquers, come on, I want a houseful.

@drinkyclown: Since tonight’s success I am filled with ideas, any dried food product that can be reduced to a powder, and used as a coating before suateeing or searing, the possibilities are endless. I am wondering about aquiring freeze-dried stuff I can grind up. I have already put toasted pine-nuts through the process.

But you know, there is nothing new under the sun, how many comfort food recipes involve using dried onion soup? Next time you make a burger, don’t put the onion soup IN the meat, make your patty, and then dredge the hamburger patty in the soup mix, just coat it with the dried soup mix. This just came to me, imagine it, you know that soup mix powder will brown beautifully and there will be this concentrated onion-flavored crust all over the outside of the burger. Wow, I can’t wait, and I don’tt like hamburgers.

I too love making comfort food. Braised short ribs, one of my favorites, and coq au vin, in a million variations. Ragout sauces for pasta; braised lamb shanks mediteranean style, with saffron, tomato, garlic, oy.

@Promnight: Oooo yess or that soup coating on a giant roast beast, studded with garlic and cooked medium-rare..what did you put the pine nuts on? Oh jeez you could powder almonds and dried pineapple as a coating for pork medallions! Now I have to get a new coffee grinder.

@Dodgerblue: Monitor for the coupons for the Dell 30″ panel. With the right deal you can get the thing placed on your doorstep for under $1200. Everyone needs at least 3.

@Promnight: If it made any sense whatsoever for me to travel there and back that weekend, I would. Take pictures!

@Promnight: I like the “apricot chicken” recipie. Which is basically 440g of drained canned peaches, 500g of diced chicken breast, 1 pkt of french onion soup, and 500mls of apricot nectar.

Cook at 180c for about 1/2 hour and you’re back in the 70’s!! Serve with rice or noodles.


Damn. CheapBoy beat me to it.

(And yes, it looks like we all get the pleasure of logging in again…)

@nojo: aw crap I so wanted to be the one to torment SFL with the FIRST!!11! post.

Good morning, all.

Here I am at my beloved iMac with the huge-o screen that my mother insisted on buying me last year before her death and on which I work (with Pages as my word processor of choice I can have two pages open across the screen with room for palettes so that as I scroll I can be seeing four pages: great for editing). I doubled the RAM and it is fab. Though not quite as fab as the 12″Macbook I bought for the OH. That seems to be overall just about perfectly designed and a bargain for what it costs re what does. Though a second monitor would be a comfort.

@Promnight: Lovely story about fish. I had cod last night, braised with oyster mushrooms with rice and vermicelli. So now I’m hoping maybe you and RML can get together and adopt me between you. How hard could it be? Best story about fish is in the memoirs of Madame de Sévigné. She passes on the news of the suicide of the great chef la Varenne who, when the fish didn’t arrive for an important banquet, reckoned he was disgraced and stabbed himself. Of course, an hour or so after his death, the fish arrived. There is a lesson to be learned there though I’m not sure what it is. But I’ve always thought it a very interesting account of an artist being driven mad by the demands of the philistines for whom he had to work. In this case fancy-schmancy aristos: think Bush writ large.

Up and running!! Thanks, Nojo.
I’m taking daughter no. 2 to LAX in an hour or so, then laying around like a slug watching football until Mrs. DB flies in at 9 tonight.

Ho Chi Minh was a chef; he apprenticed with Escoffier.

@EffeteHipster: Tell me about it – I have no love for the Patriots, but they win ELEVEN games and don’t go? Please.

@nojo: Good job with the switcheroo – don’t notice any difference.

@Promnight: @mellbell: Mellbell, of course it makes total sense for you to travel north for the weekend for a meal, if it’s cooked by Prommie!

@Promnight: I found a podcast that teaches French cooking – I want to get the five mother sauces down, then go from there.

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