AKA Abraham Bacoln

January 25, 2007, 1:20 am
Filed under: tidbit

Yes, I’m being intentionally dramatic.

Today I allowed myself to be guilted and coerced by my boss into donning our company mascot uniform (please don’t ask) for our grand opening. Just for a while. I did it because she asked, and because I knew I could entertain.

And I did. Everyone laughed. At some point I had Mary literally lying on the floor, doubled up and almost unable to breathe.

The whole time, all I could think of was this quote:

“A man goes to the doctor. Says he’s depressed. He says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. The doctor says “The treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him, that should pick you up.” The man bursts into tears. He says “But doctor… I am Pagliacci.””

Grab the Neosporin – I think there’re gonna be some scars
January 23, 2007, 12:56 am
Filed under: tidbit

From “The Adventures of Mark Twain” (1985):

I can spell polyethylene in my sleep
January 16, 2007, 12:00 am
Filed under: tidbit

Where in the wide wide world of Cookeville can I find some decent 2 oz polyethylene bottles (like so)? I’ve looked at Kroger, several drugstores, and (ugh) Wal-Mart hoping to find something like that in the travel containers section. No luck. I don’t remember seeing them at any of the camping stores, but maybe I’m wrong.

Don’t tell me I’m gonna have to order them off of the internet. Seems silly – they’re just little bottles! Surely they are around here somewhere. I’d pick some up at REI in Nashville but I’m not going there any time soon and I’d like to have them within a reasonable time frame.

Anyway, that’s just more useless complaining by yours truly. You got any idea where they may be hiding, you let me know.

How far are you from me right now?
January 15, 2007, 1:33 pm
Filed under: tidbit

Does anyone know of a ‘degrees of separation’ tool for Flickr? Back in the day when I used to use LiveJournal regularly I was always amused by Pete Krawczyk’s LiveJournal Connect tool (random users manningkrull and toddalcott used for demonstration purposes only). I could never find anyone that was over five relationships away from my journal – even random users in Russia had some tenuous connection to me.

Anyway, I know Flickr has published a great bit of API junk, and I was wondering if anyone had done this yet. I couldn’t find an example in a few minutes of searching teh intarnets so I figured I’d ask you.

79¢ tarragon
January 13, 2007, 11:52 pm
Filed under: tidbit

I found this in my parents’ spice rack. It’s absolutely fascinating to me, though I think they were embarrassed by its age and what that implies about their culinary endeavors. I love the colors, the fonts, the styling – everything about the visuals is fantastic and just retro enough to be cool.

I also love the use of the words “Sea Food” and “Prepared Mustard” on the back label. Those really drive home the temporal disparity we got going on here.

But wait – the best part is the 79¢ stamped on the bottom. Now, this is very crude calculation here, but according to Froogle the average price of a bottle of tarragon around this size is $4.00-ish. If I dump that information into an inflation calculator and work backwards, it turns out that $4.00 in 2005 dollars is $0.79 in 1970 dollars. I can’t believe that this bottle of Tarragon is from 1970 … or is it?!

Dunh dunh dunnnnnnn-n-n-n-n-h!

and of course, you can view the larger size for better detail

January 12, 2007, 12:54 am
Filed under: tidbit

Tonight was one of those nights on the internet where I have no idea how I ended up where I ended up, but I was certainly glad to have arrived there. I originally started reading the LiveJournal of Todd Alcott (a writer of things, apparently) because of his commentary on Venture Bros episodes. Deeper in his archives I found really good words on one of my favorite topics: movies by the Coen Brothers.

I find these analyses fascinating because I am a very simple man. I don’t enjoy looking for symbolism, I am terrible at picking apart allegory, metaphor goes right over my head, and I just do an all-around poor job at understanding what point a writer is trying to get across to me. Now, I’m not so dense as to be unable to understand the underlying meaning once someone relates it to me – I just don’t take the time (or am perhaps just unable to) pick it out for myself.

That’s why reading the following is so fascinating:
The Hudsucker Proxy
The Man Who Wasn’t There
Raising Arizona
The Big Lebowski

… it really explains to me why I like these movies, or the Coen Brothers’ work in general. It also proves I am a Lazy American who would prefer someone else do my work.

Thank you, Todd Alcott.

Holidays = food
January 10, 2007, 12:56 am
Filed under: entree, recipe

Lemon-caper chicken and baked eggplant with bruschetta

Originally uploaded by Kevin O’Mara.


Okay, this is something that I didn’t cook. That’s right, I didn’t even cook this stuff. It’s someone else’s cooking and it’s SO GOOD that I have to blog about it anyway. Dad whipped this up sometime over the holidays and I just now wrested the recipe(s) away from him. I have to share! He’ll understand one day.

Oh, one last thing before I get into this – I do not, as a rule, enjoy eggplant. I mean, if someone makes it I’ll eat it, but I certainly wouldn’t cook it myself, and I can’t even imagine paying a restaurant to cook it for me. Having said that, this is an eggplant recipe that I fully intend to duplicate at some point in the near future. That’s how good it was.

But first, the chickie-bawk.

Lemon-caper chicken

1 1/2 lbs chicken breast tenderloins, each beat nice and flat
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp butter, divided
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tbsp capers
garnish: lemon wedges, parsley

1.) Cut chicken into 1/2 inch thick slices (if necessary). Place between waxed paper and flatten with meat mallet until 1/8 inch thick.
2.) Dredge chicken in combined flour, salt, and pepper.
3.) Melt 2 tbsp butter with oil in skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken in batches; about 1 1/2 mins. on each side or until golden.
4.) Remove and keep warm.
5.) Deglaze skillet with remaining butter, wine, and lemon juice. Cook 2 minutes or just until heated through.
6.) Stir in parsley, garlic and capers; heat through.

Spoon over chicken. Add garnish if desired.

And now the faboo eggplant. I’m not gonna tell you where Dad got the recipe. Think space aliens, think Italian grandmother, think creative burst of inspiration, think dusty old magazine … think whatever you want. It’s his secret, not mine.

The First Eggplant of Which I Have Intentionally And Emphatically Had Seconds

1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoon sesame seeds (I used toasted)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1.) Preheat oven to 400
2.) Combine ingredients and place in shallow bowl

1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs beaten with a splash of water
1 large firm eggplant, thinly sliced

3.) Dust the eggplant slices in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture.
4.) Press into the breadcrumb mixture.
5.) Arrange eggplant on a large nonstick cookie sheet and bake in the center of the oven until golden all over, 15 to 17 minutes. (no need to turn or broil)

While the eggplant was baking Dad sauteed some garlic in olive oil and added that to some store-bought bruschetta and heated it all up in a little saucepan. Man, was that ever awesome.


Go and create, my children, go and create. You will not be disappointed.

Madoz. Finally.
January 9, 2007, 12:13 am
Filed under: photography

How is it possible that I’ve gone 30 years without ever hearing of Chema Madoz? He’s a Spanish photographer (and more) and right now my mind is completely blown by everything on that page I just linked to. I’m no high-falutin’ art expert so I won’t go into detail, but just imagine me using words like juxtaposition of form and intense super-(sur)real imagery and so forth. Seriously. I … I’m kind of ashamed, actually. I should have been salivating over this guy’s work from the get-go. I recognize one or two of the images, but never knew there was a whole body of work of his and that they were all this good.

I dun stoled it (yo credit)
January 4, 2007, 1:54 am
Filed under: tidbit

Hey, so I totally stole this post from another … I dunno, maybe it’s a blog. Regardless, here’s the condensed version.

The gubmint allows you to check your credit report for free once per year from each of the three credit reporting agencies. That means if you space it out right you can get a report every four months. Go to annualcreditreport.com and get started.

Actually, first, go to your calendar software of choice and make a yearly recurring entry for January (TransUnion), May (experian), and September (Equifax). That way you’ll remember which one you checked last and which one is up next.

Do this. Be safe. Be good.

And now, if you want to read the whole long article I just stole this from, go ahead.

damn your eyes, too late, etc.
January 3, 2007, 1:15 am
Filed under: photography, tidbit

Okay, so here’s the new weirdness from me. Sorry it’s been so long. I’ve noticed this before during the many long and fortunate years I’ve been on this earth, but I’d never really considered it in any serious way until recently. See, we’re used to our eyes being different in terms of visual acuity, right? How many of you with glasses or contacts have the same prescription in both lenses? Probably not many. Yes, yes, I’m talking about my eyeballs again. Anyway, yes, sure, we’re used to one eye being slightly different than the other or at least we’re used to it in terms of clarity and focus and so forth.

But …

see, my eyes see two different sets of color. I swear it’s true. I also know it sounds very strange, and I also have noticed that sometimes it is more pronounced, sometimes less so. I took a very few short moments to whip up the following graphic to illustrate my point. I apologize in advance, Henry, for the terrible graphic design. I wish I had more time but I must inform the world about my gross deformity IMMEDIATELY, don’t you know.

What you see below is the image as it was taken from my camera (using a custom white balance to try and obtain maximum ‘reality’) and then two images, one portraying what I seem to see from each eye. Click on it to make it bigger.

My left eye at its worst has a slight magenta tint to it. For those of you with Photoshop skillz it’s as if someone chose to adjust color balance, selected ‘highlights’, and moved the slider ever so slightly to the left.

No, I swear I’m not making this up.

The right eye sees more blue. Again, adjust color balance, select ‘highlights’, move slider to the right. Convenient how you have to move the sliders in the direction of the appropriate eye, no? No? Oh.

Anyway, the image above is an exaggeration, of course. My color disparity is not that pronounced. Sometimes it’s almost impossible for me to tell. Other days I’ll have closed one eye for some reason and when I reopen it I’m reminded that the whole color balance of the scene has perceptibly shifted.

Now, of course, you know what’s coming. Your involvement, that’s what. A five-second Google search returned no results for “seeing different color in each eye”. Of course I put it in quotes so that I wouldn’t really get any results, making me seem important and unique. But am I? Does this happen to you?


In other news, I just wanted to share that I am constantly consumed by low-grade anxiety about photography. I spend most of my waking hours (outside of work, of course, because work is boring and I don’t want to take photographs there) looking at things and thinking that I want to capture them. Immediately follows the whole, “But … I don’t … I don’t know how to capture that correctly. I know it can be done. I’ve seen pictures like that. But … I … I don’t know … I don’t know how to capture that correctly. But I know it can be done. But I don’t know how.”

Did you ever want to know how I spend my time? There y’go.