Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fun In Austin

Eating Austin: Uchi

Better late than never, here are the pictures of another fabulous meal at Uchi.

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Oysters, the variety of which are no longer on their daily menu.  So I can’t tell you what they are.

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sakana carpaccio sliced daily selection of raw fish with citrus and olive oil

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fresh salmon sashimi – soo buttery, soo perfect.

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machi cure maplewood-smoked baby yellowtail with yucca chips,  asian pear, marcona almonds and garlic brittl

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avo bake creamy baked tiger shrimp and krab, served in an avocad

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brie ringo tempura fried brie with apple chutney and crisp

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foie nigiri     foie gras٠quino

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wagyu short ribs -  I forgot to take the picture until we were almost done with it.  Yes, those are yolks.

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shima aji crudo white trevally٠black sesame٠flowering leek٠ginger

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bacon steakie niman ranch pork belly with watermelon radish, seasonal citrus and thai basil

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Next Big Thing In Food

On a recent trip to Austin, to be extensively blogged about as soon as I have time to sort through the literal billions of pictures, I discovered that ATX is ground zero for an exciting new food trend.  With Korean tacos being so 2009, our state capital has presented to the waiting mouths of a starving nation the ultimate in fusion cuisine -- the Donut Taco. 

Regrettably, I was unable to sample any of their goodies.  So I was left with my own imagination to come up with some of the item that must be on their menu board:

 

  • Barbacoa Bavarian Cream
  • Cabrito con chocolate jimmies.
  • Cruller al pastor.
  • Glazed lingua
  • Apple fritter con chimichurri sauce
  • Churro

Monday, February 14, 2011

How Was Your Flight?

One of the minor annoyances of life is being asked “How was your flight?” by uninterested friends/relatives whenever you take modern aviation. And since this is a blog about conflating minor annoyances into major societal scourges, let me get right to it.

First of all, it’s small talk.  Like most misanthropes, I’m not fond of small talk.  When I hear “How was your flight?”, I know I must now brace myself for a round of “How about this weather?” and “That local sports team is doing well/shittily.”  I wasn’t crammed into a slender metal tube and flung through the air to make chit-chat.  I did it so I can drink someplace new.

Secondly, unless you’re asking my charred remains inside a body bag, assume my flight was tolerable.  At least as tolerable as sitting next to a morbidly obese man wedged into the center seat wearing cutoff sweatpants with one ball hanging out. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

RIP Marvin Sease


Explicit soul singer and dispeller of myth Marvin Sease died earlier today of pneumonia. I had only recently become exposed to Mr. Sease last summer. 
You may want to put on headphones if you’re watching this at work or in front of your mom.
[Update]  Or maybe he died yesterday.  I’m not a very good journalist.
Dirty Facebookers go here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stupid Beer Commercials Explained

I’ve never really understood beer commercials.  And it’s not just that most beer commercials hawk fizzy yellow piss.  No, it seems that most beer commercial are based on the concept that beer is as hard to find as WMDs in Iraq.  (How’s that for a dated reference?  Suddenly my blog is geared to 2005 era democrats). 

With the Super Bowl, and more importantly Super Bowl commercial having just saturated the zeitgeist (there’s a good blog word), Slate magazine has a brilliant analysis on why beer commercials are the way they are.

So brilliant is this analysis that I offer it up to you as my extra special Super Bowl present.

 

Scocca : Beer Commercials Are Not Stupid

The money quote:
What are beer commercials about? The two central premises are these:

1. Beer—cheap, common, domestic beer—is a rare commodity that drives men mad with the desire to have it, at any cost.

2. Women are the great obstacle between men and the fulfillment of this desire.

Taken literally, this is baffling. Beer is cheap and easy to find. The only cost should be $6.99 for a six pack, at any convenience store. And rather than hiding from women to drink their beer, many single adult heterosexual men seek out female company when they're drinking. "Drink our beer and avoid contact with women!"—who could possibly be the target for that pitch?

But it makes perfect sense if the target audience is—and it is—16-year-olds.

The girls aren't really girls; they're Mom. And Mom is the first hurdle in the thrilling obstacle course that makes up the world of the teenage beer drinker.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Live Blogging The Super Bowl


No, not the one in Arlington, the one in Miami 32 years ago.  One of the greatest Super Bowls of all time.  The NFL Network has been replaying the Super Bowls of the Steelers and the Packers all week.  With copious amounts of free time during the recent Icepocalypse, I managed to Tivo and rewatch this great game so that I may share my snarky commentary with my reader.
If you’re reading this on Facebook and it looks like a jumbled mess, go here to see it properly formatted.
Please to enjoy.
First Quarter
15:00 Pittsburgh’s kicker has a single bar facemask.  What is this the 70’s??
14:55 I can’t explain how awesome it is to see all the pre-snap movements and the line hitch.  This all brings me back to a better time
14:55 Handoff to Dorsett to the left for 9 – That dude’s pretty fast.
14:20 Handoff to Dorsett up the middle for 13 --  That dude’s pretty fast.
13:45 Handoff to Newhouse up the middle for no gain.  Dammit Jason Garret stop trying to be so cute.
13:30 Pitch to Dorset to the right for 20+.  Just run it and run it and run it……..
13:30 I should mention that times and distances are approximate.  Apparently this kind of information was not that important in 1979.
13:00 Fumble recover by Banaszak for Pittsburgh on a WR flea flicker (?).  Tom Landry should have been fired that very moment.  He was having great success running the ball and then he has to channel yet unborn Jason Garret.
12:50 Pitch to Bleier for a loss of one.  Sorry Rocky, not against Doomsday.
12:00 Bradshaw to Stallworth for 18 yards on 3rd and 9.  What?? 
11:00 How is it every football player back then looked like they were 36?  I couldn’t believe it when it said “Randy White 4th year out of Maryland”  He’s always looked like someone’s dad to me.  And don’t get me started on Rocky Bleier.
10:45 Brandshaw to Grossman for 9 on 3rd and 8.  The Dallas D is not making the plays on theses third and longs early on.  Great throw threading the needle by Bradshaw, though.
10:00 TD PITTSBURGH – Bradshaw to Stallworth 28 yard pass.
Pitt 7  Dal 0
9:00 Gowdy & Olsen are finally giving the starting defensive lineups for Pittsburgh.  Toews, Lambert and Ham – all white guys – are the starting linebackers.  Is this the last time three white guys started as LBs on a Super Bowl winning team?  Just wondering.
8:15 Staubach to Johnson for 23 on 3rd and 4.  Great catch by Johnson and throw to the hot receiver on the blitz by Captain America. 
7:00 Staubach sack by Barnask for a huge loss.  Oddly, Merlin Olsen comments that the Steelers don’t usually blitz you that much.  That sounds weird to me.  BTW, I still have no idea how much time has gone by in the game.
6:30 Coverage sack by “Mad Dog” White.  4th and a mile.  Danny White to punt.
3:45 Bradshaw to Harris for a gain of 20 on 3rd and 4.  Come on guys.   Guys!?!?
2:46 INT by Lewis.  Dallas Ball
2:00 Back to back running plays to Newhouse.  Really??  Tommy, have you seen Dorsett run today??
1:40 Another third down incompletion by Starbuck.
1:00 Our first penalty of the game.  Holding on the Steelers.  Somewhere an infant Flozel Adams crapped his diaper in respect.
0:45 They’re finally showing the Dallas defensive lineup.  Two of three LBs are white and two of four DBs.  So, in this game we have 5 of 6 white LBs and 3 of 8 DBs. 
1:00 Fumble by Bradshaw recovered by Jones.  Kurt Gowdy finally told me there was one minute left. 
0:30 Drew Pearson is interfered with in the end zone on a great throw by Roger the Dodger.  No call.
0:00 TD Cowboys.  Staubach to Hill.
Pitt 7  Dal 7
Second Quarter
14:00 Gowdy just read the disclaimer about “… any rebroadcast or retransmission of this telecast without the expressed written permission of the NFL is prohibitied”.  Just exactly how much of that was going on in 1979 that we all have to stop down for this disclaimer?
13:00 Bradshaw pass incomplete.  Almost intercepted by Charlie Waters. 
12:25 TD Cowboys. Fumble by Bradshaw forced by Henderson, recovered and taken to the endzone by Hegeman.  How the fuck did they lose this game???
Dal 14  Pitt 7
12:00 Was Kurt Gowdy ever good?  He just call them “The Dirty Towels” and had to be corrected by Merlin Olsen, “Don’t you mean the Terrible Towels?”
11:45 Handoff to Franco for 1 yard.  Tackled by The Beautiful Harvey Martin.  It’s the first time I remember him doing anything in this game and he was by favorite player back then.  So it had to be chronicled.
10:00 TD Pittsburgh  Bradshaw to Stallworth for 75 yards.  Hughes missed the tackle and Stallworth took it to the house.
Dal 14  Pitt 14
8:45 On 3rd and 18 Stauback fumbled forced by Greene recovered by Raferty for a loss of a million.  Not a good series for Dallas.  Three plays all for a loss. 
8:20 Bradshaw to Swan for 20+.  Impotent offense followed by a sieve like defense is not good.
6:00 Merlin Olsen about Pittsburgh’s receiving corps – “When you have three great receivers doesn’t that make them all better?”  I wonder how TO Owens would answer that question.
5:30 Handoff to Bleier for no gain.  Too much Bleier and Newhouse.
5:10 Bradshaw sacked by Henderson on third and long.
5:00 Field Goal missed by some dude with a bad facemask.
4:20 Handoff to Newhouse for a loss of one.   What did I just say???
4:00 Staubach to Preston Pearson on a 9 yard pass for a first down.  Nice layout by Preston.
3:30 At this point in the game Roger has thrown only 7 passes.  Shocking.
2:45 Staubach to Dorsett on a 20 yard screen on a blitz.
2:20 INT by Blount.  Pittsburgh ball.   That ball looked like it was intended for Blount.  After the pass was released Roger took a hit that would no doubt be a roughing the passer penalty today.
1:33 WR Screen to Swan for 25ish.  Cowboys need to do a little better job tackling these receivers.
0:30 TD Pittsburgh.  Bradshaw to Bleier on a 12 yard pass.  I’m not sure I would have covered Rocky either.
Pitt 21  Dal 14
Pittsburgh 21  Dallas 14
Half Time is brought to you by:


Third Quarter
13:45 First series of the second half, Steelers are three and out and have to punt for the first time of the game.
13:30 JFC.  Another handoff to Newhouse.
12:34 After a defensive holding call on Pittsburgh we are treated once again to a Newhouse handoff.
11:55 Roger scrambles for a 9 yard gain on 2nd and 10.  A nice jook got him the last few yards.
10:45 He does it again when both of his screen receivers are covered. 
10:15` 3rd and 2.   STUFFED.  The Cowboys haven’t had much running room since the first series.
9:30 Handoff to Franco for a loss of 3.  To be fair, there hasn’t been much running room for the Steelers either.
8:30 Cowboys ball after a Pittsburgh punt.
8:20 Flea Flicker pass in the endzone to Hill – Incomplete.  Come on Tommy.  Let’s stop trying to be cute.  Only do that stuff if it’s going to work, ok?
7:20 Staubach to Preston Pearson on third down for a first down.
6:45 Handoff to Dorsett to the right for 4 tough yards and the first down.  At this point in the game, Dorsett has 11 carries for 56 yards.  It’s been rough sledding hear recently.  But that’s still a good average.  Let’s get him the ball.
5:00 Staubach to a wide open Jackie Smith in the end zone.  Dropped.  Oh dear.  One of the most famous plays from this game.  And after all these years, it’s still a kick in the nutz.
4:50 FG Cowboys  from 27 yards out.
Pittsburgh 21  Dallas 17
2:30 Bradshaw scrambles for like half an hour until he finds Bell for the first down.  And then gets hit in what would today be a roughing penalty.
0:45 Danny White is warming up.  At least it’s not Clay Rapada.
0:40 Bradshaw sacked by The Manster forcing a punt into the wind.
0:30 Yikes.  Butch Johnson returning the punt is holding the ball out there like a loaf of bread.
Pittsburgh 21  Dallas 17
Fourth Quarter
14:45 Pass to Drew Pearson – incomplete.  Drew has yet to make a reception.
14:30 A little drop pass to Dorsett for 15.
13:45 Handoff to Laidlaw for 4.  He’s been running well since replacing Newhouse.
10:30 Pass deflected by Greene to force a Danny White punt.
9:30 Bradshaw to Grossman on 3rd and 8 for a 9 yard pass.  The Cowboy D has been effective every down except third.
8:30 Pass Interference on Bennie Barnes.  Bennie, you have to look back to sell it.  Ball on the Dallas 25
7:45 Hendersen sacks Bradshaw after the whistle for delay of game, but no penalty on him.  These were different times.
7:30 TD Pittsburgh on a 23 yard Harris run.
Pitt 28  Dal 17
7:25 Fumble by Randy White on the squib kick.  Recovered by Pittsburgh’s Winston.
7:10 TD Pittsburgh on a 20 yard pass from Bradshaw to a leaping (of course) Swan.
Pitt 35  Dal 17
7:00 Pittsburgh scored two touchdowns in 17 seconds.  I’m guess that’s a Super Bowl record.  Is it still?
6:14 Staubach sacked by Banaszak.  3rd and 11
5:00 Roger has no one to throw to and scrambles for the first down.
3:30 Draw to Dorsett for 20+.  Why has he not been used more??
3:00 15 yard pass from Staubach to Dupree.  Roger just lobbed it up so as not to get sacked and Dupree came down with it.  Great catch.
2:27 TD Dallas.  Staubach to Dupree. from 8 yards out
Pitt 35  Dal 24
2:23 On sides kick recovered by Dallas’ Thurman.
2:16 Pass to Drew Pearson for 20
1:06 Staubach pass out the back of the end zone.  NFL Network skipped ahead on me.
0:52 Fourth and 19 – 30 yard pass to Drew Pearson who was carried above the ground back another 5 yards. No penalty.  That’s just how the game was played.
0:32 Ten yard dump off pass to Dorsett who scrambled for every one of those yards.  Down to the Pittsburgh three.
0:22 TD Dallas.  Three yard pass to Johnson.
Pitt 35  Dal 31
0:20 On sides kick recover by Pittsburgh’s Bleier.  Oh well.  I thought the Cowboys were going to pull it out this time.
The Final
Pittsburgh 35  Dallas 31


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Notes From The Snowbound

Random thoughts that entered my brainhead while stranded by the Icepocolypse.

 

 

 

  • How do people live where it’s cold for months?  After four days, I’ve officially had a compacted ass full of these temps.
  • How are guys with wispy mustaches still getting laid?  After watching five minutes of Maury, every woman should know not to fuck those guys.
  • We are about a half-dozen or so more deep cable channels away from us all having our own reality show.
  • I’ve become extremely spoiled with my giant monitor at work.  It is really hard to perform my code monkeying with just a 15” laptop screen.
  • How do the unemployed stay that way.  After a week of Wendy Williams I would volunteer at an pediatric AIDS hospice just to lift my spirits.

The Wire Rewind: Season 1 Disk 1

It’s been three years since The Wire came to an end.  With no Lost or 24 or any of the great shows of the aughts no longer with us, I figured this would be a good time to rewatch the greatest television show of all time.  These posts will offer little analysis or recap or review.  For stuff like that, go the The AV Club.  This will just be a nostalgic look back one DVD disc at a time.  There will be spoilers.  So don’t read this if you haven’t seen it.

The Target

“How is it you always have the whole world pissed off at you?”

--- Bunk to McNulty
 
  • D’Angelo Barksdale sure has nice turtleneck sweaters.
  • I didn’t remember Lance Reddick with hair.
  • Stringer!  Bunk!  McNulty!  Bubs!
  • Kima has a Moka Pot !

 

The Detail

“Officer Pryzbylewski shot the wall, Lieutenant”

--- Kima

 
  • As a fan also of Homicide: Life on the Streets, it’s fun to see actors that play roles on both shows.  Like one of the bad ass drug lords from H:LotS is the coroner in The Wire.
  • I had completely forgotten about the deadwood detectives Polk and Mahon.
  • Bubs and the red hat.  Fuckin’ smart!
  • I guess Bodie and D’Angelo haven’t seen the pink goop McNuggets are made out of.
  • Is Morris Levy an anti-Semitic stereotype?  Shit, just call the man Jewy Jewman and get it over with.
  • No one is fully good or evil in The Wire (well, maybe Marlo Stanfield).  Daniels gives Prez his excuse for cold-cocking the kid and blinding him in one eye.

 

The Buys

You can’t be playin no checkers on a chessboard, yo.

--- D’Angelo to Bodie and Wallace
 
  • D’Angelo’s teaching his boys how to play chess foreshadows upcoming events.
  • Omar!  One of the top five teevee characters ever.
  • McNulty bangs State’s Attorney Pearlman.  He’s soon to be Eskimo brothers with Daniels.
  • Man, McNulty is an asshole.
  • Mahon giving Polk a drag of his cigarette when Polk was down after getting punched by a perp was priceless.  Or was it Polk to Mahon?  I don’t know which is which yet.
  • Daniels is dirty?  I forgot about that.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011