Other Bton notes

2011-Oct-04, Tuesday 17:31
mindstalk: (void engineer)
The B-line trail has been extended. In the north, not far, from 9th and Rogers to 9th and Adams, or so said the map pillar; I stopped at the old endpoint. But I went south all the way down to Country Club Road. It then connects to the Rail Trail, but I wasn't going to take a borrowed road bike onto gravel. All the crossings have signs saying "STOP TRAFFIC DOES NOT STOP", but the cars see signs saying "YIELD FOR PEDS AND BIKES". Amy says Bton has been trying out Yield signs on 10th (Psychology), and I saw one on Jordan (dorms/Education?), but also says the drivers don't seem to have caught on yet. Note the callback to Thursday and the lack of such signs on 3rd.

Thurs: SFDG dinner
Friday: Gamers' Guild, which I mostly spent chatting with anima or Amy and selecting wedding music.
Saturday: wedding, which for here we'll note my going to Oliver Winery for the first time. The wine-involving salami was okay. The Seattles Chocolates Mint Dark Chocolate Truffle bar was quite good. I did not have any wine there. Post-reception I went to anime club, and saw episodes 9-10 of various series. House of Five Leaves, good. Last Exile, fun. Wolf's Rain: interesting. Giant Killing: time to go home.
Sunday: chatted with oniugnip, met Amy, read Action Philosophers
Monday: borrowed bike, met Ch, B-line, finally went to greenhouse with Amy, biked all the way over to Knightridge for music-sharing at tooth_and_claw's, got told to read K. J. Parker, watched Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, biked back.
Today: slept in, HuHot, Logicomix.

Monday evening showed a few things. One was Spectrums, a series of collections of contemporary fantastic art. I liked what I saw. Second was how fast my cat allergy can kick in. Staying at Lindsey's hasn't been too bad, with an isolated room and little contact. tooth has 4 cats and carpet and within five minutes of sitting on the carpet my nose was streaming. Moving to the smooth couch, or a high metal chair, helped a bit. Within an hour of going back to anima's and saganhawk's afterwards I was back to normal.

Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares purports to be about a chef who visits terrible restaurants and fixes them, with a lot of insults along the way. I don't know how real vs. scripted it purports to be; I'm skeptical of what smells like a reality show for food, and also that some of those places wouldn't have killed someone if they were as bad as he claims. Still, it was entertaining, and someone opening a seafood dining restaurant despite not eating seafood is sadly plausible, especially if he talks about "dining experience" and has pseudo-Pollock art on the walls. Ironically, or perhaps suspiciously, he was saved by being turned into a fish and chips shop specializing in fresh... pollock.

I don't comment much or regularly on seeing and hanging out with people, because I'm me, but that's been great, too.

Bloomington stores

2011-Oct-04, Tuesday 17:14
mindstalk: (Default)
Changes of note, for residents who haven't noticed or ex-residents who still care:

Today's lead is HuHot, replacing Cheeseburgers in Paradise in the NW corner of Eastland Plaza, aka "the Borders mall". HuHot is a mongolian grill, all you can eat, $8 for weekday lunch, maybe $12 for dinner, some price for weekend lunch ($9?). It seems good. Meat slices are mostly frozen even at 15;15. The distinctive element is 12 sauces in addition to the standard garlic chili sesame oils. My first bowl was bland, "spicy" sausage, pork, water chestnuts, garlic broth, sesame oil, sherry. Second bowl was very tasty: same sausage, beef, tomatoes, onions, some peanut sauce (their #1 sauce, allegedly), garlic oil. Third bowl was also good, and all veggie: tofu, baby corn, tomato, onion, water chestnuts, lettuce, some 4-chilis sauce, garlic oil. (There's also 3 types of noodles, plus table rice or tortillas.) Either their sauces are good or I like anything with tomatoes onions and garlic cooked together.

Where Borders was has been snapped up by one of those migratory seasonal stores, a Halloween one naturally. Huge, as Borders was. Lease sign still up of course, since no doubt it'll be gone by the end of November.

Jumping back, Friday I had one of the basil rices at Siam House; good. Leaving, I found that Casablanca the Moroccan restaurant had turned into My Thai, Bton's third Thai restaurant unless something has happened to Esan Thai. Kirkwood has a funky sandwich shop, where the menus are brown paper bags you check options on, turn in, and presumably receive your sub back in. Dunkin Donuts (next to Noodles next to Von Lee) has been replaced by *another* sandwich shop, Potbelly,with a very old-timey decor. Word is that the Dagwood's on 10th near Eigenmann has close.

There's a Darn Good Soup fast restaurant on the west side of the square, replacing Bloomington Sandwich Company, which I'm told moved next to Buskirk-Chumley. Ch and I went there Monday, and it was good; we both had pork and tomatillo soup. Bread is good though small, coming in 25 cent chunks.

My eyes kept falling off the Runcible Spoon menu Sunday, despite the rather large sans serif font. No one else has observed its unreadability. No, I'm not going blind, I can read everything else, I just got a sense of "DO NOT READ" from that menu.
mindstalk: (still life)
Got in yesterday. Currently facing the choice of (a) getting up, because it's after 2pm or (b) trying to sleep even more, because I've only had 11-12 hours today and probably need 16...

Non-public transit

For readers who don't know the town, it's a college town of ~60,000 about an hour south of Indianapolis. After Greyhound stopped coming[1] the only non-car way into town was Bloomington Shuttle, a private shuttle to the Indy airport that ran every 2 hours and charged $25. A few years ago they got competition from Star of America, running every 2 hours and charging $15 -- but that scheduled itself 20 minutes before BS, as if to poach all their customers with predatory pricing rather than trying to complement them by running an hour before.

Somewhat to my surprise, Bloomington Shuttle is still around, and at the same time, but is calling itself GO Express now, and even more surprisingly, has gone from the dinky van-like shuttled they'd had to full coach buses, with a bathroom in back. Total overkill for the 5 people it had yesterday. Very useful for me, since my plane got in about the same time Star would have left, but I'm baffled as to the business model.

After experiencing the plethora of yield signs in the Boston area, I look upon 3rd street even more critically than before, especially that deadly freeway-like stretch between High and Jordan, where I tried crossing after being dropped off near Wilkie dorm by the bus. I suppose a moat of moving metal helps insulate the homeowners in the south from the dorms to their north.

Airports

All airport gates seem almost the same: big windows, flat expanse, trees or hills in the distance. Sometimes tall enough to really dominate. Baltimore was a bit greener than Logan. Indy is distinctively for a lack of features in the distance, it's just flat.

Indy's also still distinctive for the central pre-security restaurant area, one of those "outdoors indoors" setups I love, with not just high skylight roof but plots of potted trees. It'd be a cool place to hang out if I ever had time and reason to hang out there rather than rushing between shuttle and gate.

Mr. Hibachi

The much-praised new restaurant certainly had an amazing range of buffet options, and a decent cook-as-you-watch hibachi grill. $11 for a dinner buffet I'm told, which seems decent. A while back Bloomington was seeing $11 for Indian lunch.

Misc

Got to talk with Hofstadter for a short while, in a break from his packing for France. He's translated another novel, this one from Italian. I forget the title, I'm sure it'd come up if you look.

I'd say the air mattress was comfortable but I suppose a first night and an exhausted one isn't a fair judge.

A growing number of my webcomics are getting irregular or even freezing until November. Away to RSS with them! No more frustrated checking!

Hmm, 4 hours in which to pick what music to inflict on the wedding reception before Gamer's Guild, and get some sunlit exercise. Guess I'll stay up. More sleep is soooo tempting though.
mindstalk: (Default)
My bicycle is now in storage. I'm kind of proud of myself: I biked it there despite the 109 degree heat index. 20 minutes from Swain to Winslow and Walnut, another 5 to the storage, though that's with a bit of walking and a couple of unnecessary street crossings. 316 is east side of the street in the north, but 3150 is west side in the south. Go go grid consistency! That bike leg was after first doing some shopping and errand running on bike, though those were shorter legs interrupted by A/C.

I didn't do it dry, literally: I'd soaked my head and shirt in water before setting out, and later put some wet paper towels beneath my helmet.

Have tickets to Cleveland to see a friend for a couple of days, then to London because that was $500 cheaper than flying straight to Paris and there's a train, right? Plus might be nice to get "foreign" but not "language I don't speak at all" for a bit.

* Some discussion of the recent ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.
* History behind the "Ground Zero mosque"
* Soviet [sic] Koreans of Central Asia
mindstalk: (juggleone)
What the heck is with the multiple 50+ comment posts on James's LJ today? Gah.

Drawback of 4 cats: when food falls on the floor, it doesn't seem worth the bother of washing it off -- and sure wouldn't eat it without washing it off. Also, why are three of them attacking the plastic bags and boxes beneath the microwave?

Today was a bunch of errands. Medical, then accessories. Repaired sandals, new shoes, new supports, new eyeglasses case -- free for the asking! wow, guess they're trivial compared to the cost of eyeglasses -- micro SD card for the phone (8 GB is $22, 16 GB $60, 8 seems better value but then I figured I want it to live in my phone, so get as big as possible. Also, no 32G thumb drives yet? I'm surprised), screen protector, foreign plug converters, $10 for 4 4-packs of AA batteries at Radio Shack anyone need some?

Mall food court had amusing free samples competition going, Little Tokyo vs. the Chinese place next to it. LT's chicken and shrimp teriyaki wasn't bad, though I didn't realize the tea wasn't part of the combo, and I'm not big on sweet tea. Though maybe all that liquid helped the next paragraph.

Then biking straight from Target to Ch's for mahjong. 22 minutes via Covenanter. 22 miserable and sweaty minutes -- seems another way I can tell I'm gaining unwanted weight is sweating more, i.e. retaining heat more or generating more because there's more of me -- but interesting, not horribly miserable. I was glad to stop and splash cold water on me and guzzle ice water, but I wasn't staggering in on the verge of collapse, despite the 90+ heat and humidity levels. And my blood pressure earlier at the clinic was 115/73, despite having just biked up hill. 14 minutes back from Ch to A&L's, via Lincoln and First.

Some demographic posts of note:
European TFR is a tricky statistic, it assumes constant patterns but in fact age of first birth has been rising, but births are postponed, not wiped out. This is talking about birth and development i.e. something else, but has related graphs. Sadly, "adjusted fertility rate" is not a fruitful google within my patience. (Edit: just up, Randy's post on Iran's women and family size.)

Anne Rice has left "Christianity", i.e. conservative Christianity by what she describes, but not Christ.

Little tidbits of Tron.
mindstalk: (Default)
It's weird. I moved in with M&C and their four cats (two theirs, two A&L's) Tuesday, and within a few hours I was leaking all over, blotting my nose, definitely allergic. And in the morning I was not just tired but this deep lethargy like being sick or taking allergy medication, which I'm not. This went on for a few days, but Saturday and Sunday mornings have been a lot better in how I felt. And Sunday I wasn't even blotting my nose much. I've adapted? I've been taking raw honey, like a teaspoon or so a day, but there shouldn't be any cat dander in honey! If it works, it must be by calming down the immune system, or rebooting it to consider current substances (e.g. pollen or cat stuff) to be normal, and not worth freaking out about. Strange.

The cats have been very well-behaved around me IMO, even today when I'm by myself. I leave them alone apart from food, they leave me alone apart from marking my shins and calves, everyone's happy.

Got Ch out for a bike ride today, in the one day of good weather before the week returns to hellhole. Showing her a park and path, some nice old houses, then wandering around a graveyard she likes. We found a HUGHES tombstone or plot marker right across from ARMSTRONG. There's also... Satanism? (Edit: No) next to a Masonic symbol we saw a lot of. Also, and going to be immature here, BATMAN.

Then Ch made peach cobbler, which was excellent, and I had more of her butter mochi, ditto.

On the electronics front, the N900 had no problem with the local wi-fi. The eee running Eeebuntu 4.0 doesn't work; something about eee and this Ubuntu and WAP2 with non-TKIP encryption. This has not been fixed. I exploring tethering from the phone, but that only seems to work with service provider Internet, not random internet. In exploring *that*, I installed a power user kernel which promptly bricked my phone. I discovered how to flash new kernels, which didn't fix it after repeated tries, until it did. Um. Then I downloaded Eeebuntu 2.0 (from reports, 3.0 was where the problem started.) I was sad about losing up to date software... until I realized that I can run right off the USB stick. Ha ha! I did that for a bit, but have gone back to the ethernet cable that I thoughtfully packed with me, on account of having bought it in Tokyo for use with a hotel jack. Didn't expect it to pay off so early.
mindstalk: (CrashMouse)
They were just buried under a mass of meat.
mindstalk: (CrashMouse)
Across from Meadow Park Apartments is a food mart/convenience store, Short Stop. Friends who lived there said it was good, but I never paid much attention. Until they mentioned Thursday BBQ (which isn't that common here), pocky, and fudge (which I rarely see anywhere, outside of a childhood store and a trip to Connecticut.) So I figured it'd be worth a bus ride to check it out.

BBQ chicken sandwich: $4, meh chicken, but I'm strongly biased against chicken breast. BBQ sauce seems decent, not that I'm any judge.
Corn: $1. Pretty good.
Hot dog: free! because I asked for a brat, and those wouldn't be ready for 15 minutes. Not bad. "All beef".
Ribs: Took those home. I'm not sure there's even bone involved any more. Tasted a bit, seemed pretty good. $5. (Edit: no bone, though some amount of gristle? small chunks of slippery white weirdness, unfortunately confusable with tiny chunks of my potatoes. Still, half a pound of well-cooked ribmeat.)

They've also got pulled pork, burgers, and a few other items. "10 to 6 or when the food runs out."

Inside, I saw no pocky. I did see a whole row of Asian fast food, not just standard Instant Cup O Noodles but pre-cooked rice and various other things but it was an impressive line up for not being in Tokyo. Yes, it was reminding me of Tokyo 7-11.

I also saw fudge. Smelled good, even through the plastic wrap, which I haven't opened yet.

I said "local food" half-jokingly, just that it's local. But Googling to check whether they're a gas station too found this on them being more into "local food" in general. Or at least locally provided, like roasted coffee, and now I remember that I asked where they got their meat for the BBQ: from Butcher's Block, a butcher that opened a few years ago, and tries to get its meat locally. And I'm sure the corn's very local.

A less positive experience was a bit later, going to Scholar's Bakehouse downtown for the fresh OJ they're advertising. The texture's all wrong for me, kind of like a smoothie. Tastes decently once I get past the layer of foam or whatever, but nothing heavenly. I had something like this at Taste of Bloomington, probably from them but I forgot the source. That or something horrible's happened to either oranges or orange juice culture while I wasn't looking.
mindstalk: (Default)
Nice thing about the storms is that it's been cooling off the area, so I went for a long overdue walk. 6th, Rogers, looking for some restaurant lyceum had recommended -- Green Bean, 4th and Rogers, didn't see it -- west on 3rd, or maybe 4th, then south, eventually onto 2nd, past Adams I guess, and right now I don't remember anything for a while. Not amnesia, just aimless walking. It was getting dark and I wasn't wearing my glasses so I didn't track many street signs, not that there were tons. I'm guessing I was as far as where 2nd turns into Bloomfield.

At some point I headed back, but was still in exploratory mode, so crossed 2nd? to head north on some road, which curved to the right... and maybe left again without my noticing? By shape and by the "Workforce Services" I remember, it seems to have been Landmark, but when it ran out I turned left, thinking I was going north, onto a dark and busy road with no sidewalk or even shoulder, just gravel.

It won't help that at this point Bloomfield/2nd was going NE, when I thought it was going E.

Read more... )

Going further "ENE" -- actually simple NE -- would have been a disaster. No crossstreets until the Bypass, way past 17th -- probably what would be 23rd, if they kept numbering. (I live at 8th and Washington.) Going down Vernal would actually have been great, geometrically -- nice diagonal to Adams and "8th", dip down to 7th for an actual cross street, but straight walk home from there. Just didn't look at all safe from cars. Plus, foot, hurting. And going back to Domo meant going back west quite a ways, so walking down 3rd would have been a pain, if 3rd were safe, which it isn't.

Cab got me home in 8 minutes and $9.60. All hail.

Tangentially, that map isn't so bad, but when I look up a different address, it's covered in business indicator balloons, so many as to get in the way of the actual map. And I see no way to turn them off. Way to suck, Google Maps!
mindstalk: (CrashMouse)
If you don't subscribe to lj_maintenance you probably should, but http://community.livejournal.com/lj_maintenance/128843.html might be of interest -- purging of personal accounts with no logins for 24 months, and community journals with no posts in 24 months.

Bloomington has a lot more rabbits than I've ever seen elsewhere. Little rabbits with flashy white undertails, like white-tailed deer. This isn't new. What is new is how many I'm seeing this summer, relatively fearless, even in the daytime. Could be my new location... or a bumper crop of rabbits meaning they can't afford to be prudent... or natural selection kicking in. IU has pretty fearless squirrels, too, exceeded only by the ground squirrels near the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of which started climbing up my leg in a quest for trail mix.

All hail Beanpole

2010-Jul-03, Saturday 11:16
mindstalk: (escher)
If I had a smartphone, I would have been posting live with it just now.

I don't have much community "spirit", or patience for waiting hours outside, so I have little experience with parades, but I suspect Bloomington's July 3 4 parade just now was not one of the finer specimens. For one thing, it was less of a parade, or march, than an intermittent crawl. I can see how pausing occasionally might help some troupes show off, but it felt more like a truck up ahead was having turning corners. If there were high quality floats, or any floats, I must have been too late for them; what I mostly saw were various businesses, churches, or political groups announcing their existence, with a handful of individuals, or a truck in flag and balloons. There were also a couple of Mack trucks whose main contribution was flags, very loud honking, and exhaust. A school marching band, a couple of cheerleader platoons, some gymnasts, who all were the highlights until the next paragraph showed up. A truck full of tires.

And then... Beanpole, the God of Pointless Behavior. A truck with a sign saying that, a guy with a loudspeaker announcing that, and escorts in various wacky outfits. He also wished us "a happy third, fourth, third, fourth of July" and things like that. "Follow my Twitter feed, I don't have one". For unexpected absurdism, it was easily the most entertaining part of the parade, beating the band and cheerleaders. Beanpole was immediately followed by the Spinster Pride contingent, with signs about it being okay to be single, and something about cats, made up of a bunch of cheerful women.

Well, it was an easy parade to drop in on and view, at least. Lots of sidewalk visibility, no having to jump up at the back of a thick crowd.
mindstalk: (CrashMouse)
So, at Friday Gamer's Guild, in the bathroom I was looking at an IDS (student paper) lying around, and for once actually looked at the Kroger ad insert. Not much there for me... but the Silverbrite wild-caught salmon fillets for $3.99 caught my eye. Absurd price for wild Alaskan salmon... and in fact, it actually only says "wild caught in USA", so who knows. But I didn't notice that, I just thought "cheap good salmon!" I've also been looking for more cambozola, and had been told Eastside Kroger might have it, and my downtown Kroger sure didn't and while i haven't checked its fish selection it's kind of meager in the meat department, so Monday I tried biking to Eastside. (Was also looking at flashlights and cell phones in the mall.) Kroger had the salmon, of which I bought the last two packets, and the cambozola, and also blue brie.

Then, as I was arranging my shopping bags so they'd fit in my anorexic bike baskets, lyceum and her bf M walked in, so I hailed them. Told them about my haul, including the salmon, which they expressed interest in, but alas I'd taken it all. "Maybe I could have you over," I said, inspired partly by the discovery at checkout that the last two packets had actually been the last *three* packets, so I had like 6 on-sale not-frozen fillets to eat.

After eating a package myself, I did have them over tonight. With three fillets (one package just had a single large fillet) I decided to try three different cooking methods: pan-fried, like my first two, broiled if they'd bring over-safe equipment over, and microwave because I know that sometimes works, and we could sample them all. Also rice with garlic and shallots as a starch.

End result: eh. Pan-fried was definitely the best, probably helped by pan seasoning of rosemary powder, black pepper, and the accumulated contents of a cast iron pan that's been cooking Kobe beef and burning salmon recently. I'm not sure about the broiled salmon; I gave them the good cuts, and the last thick third looked undercooked so I put it back in, and it jumped to being overcooked. The microwave fillet had a common problem of the edges cooking very quickly, while the center remains raw; eggs have had this problem too. I think the rotary table in the microwave needs epicycles, to get the center out of being the center. Final results were decent pan-fried, ok others, helped with lemon and salt.

Plus, you known, on-sale non-frozen salmon of unknown provenance a couple days after purchase. It was smelling a bit fishy to start with... not going bad fishy, just fishier than salmon usually does IME, if that makes any sense. Broiling was improvised: in a deep pyrex dish they brought, with tin foil. And a lot of the microwave recipes out there call for marinating first, which I didn't have time for.

As for the rice, it's nice if you get some of the garlic with it, but I didn't really plan ahead and really should have sauced it. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar -- yes, basic salad dressing -- works well IMO. (I discovered this long ago by using rice as a bed for salad, or pouring post-salad dressing on rice.)

If done again I'd probably just pan-fry everything, and put sauce on the rice.

Live and learn. Highlight turned out to be getting M to try the cheeses, and while I've been thinking the cambozola wasn't quite up to its predecessor and liking the blue brie, he actually liked the cambozola more (and at all), despite initial misgiving, finding it a better blend of the cheese species. The blue brie is visually very much brie with thick blue veins; the cambozola... also has deep veins, but also a lighter blue tinge in the rest of the cheese. Plus, it's camembert, hence has a stronger base.

Other highlights were showing off my new LED flashlight, which puts my old incandescent to shame. I wondered if it was new batteries vs. dying rechargables (freshy charged, but old batteries) -- nope, swapped the batteries, still an amazing difference. I'd just bought it, so had to show that off. And in trying to convince lyceum to build up her biking stamina I went to weigh my bike again... 37 pounds. 39 last time I tried, well, it's a crappy scale. Also I weigh 18 pounds more than last time, a year ago. :(

I'd been wondering where I first got cambozola, finally thought to check my log. Nothing there... despite telling both gale and LJ about it, I didn't journal it! Weird. Fortunately I did LJ it so I can say: Bloomingfood's. Just don't stock it often, I guess.

bus service is back

2010-Jun-10, Thursday 14:56
mindstalk: (Default)
Lo, as of April, the small towns of Indiana are connected to national bus networks again.
http://www.greyhound.com/HOME/en/NewsRoom/ViewRelease.aspx?PressID=383
http://www.hoosierride.com/

Departure times not necessarily convenient...
"Public-private partnership" between INDOT and Miller Trailways. I haven't searched more yet, but I'm going to guess this was government initiative at work. Trying to help people, or something.

edit: have searched more:
federal and state subsidy
http://www.kokomoperspective.com/news/state_news/article_89ff0626-4240-11df-8769-001cc4c03286.html
mentions the 2005 shutdown
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/United+States+%3A+Interstate+bus+service+available+to+Indy,+beyond.-a0224067670

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help you." "About f-cking time!"

food, Sci Am, links

2010-Jan-21, Thursday 18:52
mindstalk: (angry sky)
I tried Panda Express the other day. About the same price and probably health cost as the Spoon's burger, for about one-tenth the hedonic value. Should remember to not do that again.

4th street Ami seems to have closed. Siam House is still closed for renovations. Only on Friday and Saturday does Basil Leaf offer lunch. (Took some thought to phrase that unambiguously.) Casablanca has a lunch menu, still pricey in the $9 range; Mandalay is similar, vs. $13 entrees. Snow Lion has cheap lunches, like $6.50, but I wasn't thrilled by my beef and vegetable bean thread. Anatolia does not have lunch deals. Little Tibet does.

Was looking at my bought-for-plane Scientific American, last month's. The "life in the multiverse" article has a bit of interesting things on analyzing a universe without a weak force; on fine tuning, they make the obvious-in-retrospect argument that narrow bands for permuting one variable don't have to mean narrow bands overall: change in one parameter can be offset by change in another. The Neglected Tropical Diseases article says lots of major plagues -- which tend to slow down and stupefy more than kill -- can be cured for a year with a 10 cent pill. The carbon planets article is interesting: supposedly there's a narrow balance between C and O in a new solar system, and ours is unusual in having blown out most of its C (to first approximation, everything here that isn't the sun or gas giant H and He is an oxide), so space may be full of carbon heavy planets: carbides, diamonds, graphite...

I'm declining comment on recent US politics until it becomes clear whether or not the Democratic leadership has any spine or convictions at all. Though a few links on the Left having gotten almost nothing it wanted, and Obama's weaknesses in general
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/01/20/left/index.html
http://jblaque.livejournal.com/795542.html
http://bradhicks.livejournal.com/437252.html

* Nepal more liberal than Barack Obama; puts GBLTI rights, including marriage, into constitution
* Texas textbooks. Is our children learning? Yes, bad things...
* Diamond oceans and Centauri planets
* How much to rebuild Port au Prince as a modern city?
* Guantanamo murders
* Morphine can help prevent PTSD
* Web browsers as hot women
mindstalk: (Default)
Downtown used to have 3 ice cream places. Then they turned into Pita Pit, a calzone place, and what, Panda Express? But the calzone place, by Bloomington Bagel on Dunn, has turned back into an ice cream place.

links
* Russians immigrating to China
* FAQ on Tolkien's Rings of Power

My friend has some rants on top women underreported in CS
http://lyceum-arabica.livejournal.com/167497.html
http://lyceum-arabica.livejournal.com/167266.html
http://lyceum-arabica.livejournal.com/167161.html

* Leverage (fancy-talk for "debt") as the key damage amplifier of bubbles
* Gallup's polling of liberal vs. conservative over the decade. My first thought was that the magnitude of changes is pretty small.
* Airplane safety and big numbers

latest world earthquakes
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/
weekly volcano report
http://www.volcano.si.edu/reports/usgs/

* More on lost Amazon civilizations
* (from shiver) Poor science of physical therapy
mindstalk: (CrashMouse)
Found on a walk today, on the north side of Kirkwood west of Rogers: Rumba Cafe, open for a couple of months, specializing in Latin American dishes. I had the carnita, and all the components of that were good. There are TVs, but the waitress turned the downstairs one down for me. Then I forgot to tip her, bad me.

Bombay House has been replaced by Amol India, if I recall the name right. Cat and I went; I enjoyed my lamb Rogan Josh (spiciness 3 out of 6, bit of an afterburn) and her chicken korma was good despite being 0 out of 6. Our fruit and nut naan was good too, though I forget the name.

I've updated, re-arranged, or pruned my restaurants page.

buffet surprise

2009-Nov-24, Tuesday 15:53
mindstalk: (CrashMouse)
It's been 11 days since I posted? Oy.

I wanted to try Taste of India's buffet, but people were *waiting to be seated*. The place was full! Mandalay doesn't have a buffet any more, just $9 entrees. So I went to Siam House. I'd never been thrilled by their lunch buffet, mostly going when lyceum dragged me to it, but this was long before the post-Valentine's day reboot of their menu and kitchen, when I now really like their entrees. And I liked the buffet, too. Chicken curry was okay, pork curry was great, pad thai noodles were nice, other noodles were good though the meat with them wasn't quite to my taste, but I forget why. Tofu curry decent too. $9 including tax.

Bought the Dark Phoenix Saga collection, so I can finally read something I've known about and been intrigued since borrowing someone's Marvel RPG on the school bus in elementary school.

Yu Yu Hakushou 1 was catchy. Astro Boy 1 was ok.
mindstalk: (CrashMouse)
Dinner at Bombay House tonight; they're still good at that. I avoid their non-tandoori chicken -- giant lumps of tastesless breast meat -- for their lamb; had lamb karahi tonight and it was quite good. Some garlic ginger onion dish. But! when we asked for extra rice, we got told it'd be $3.95. We've never been told that before. They claim they've done it all along. This seems suspicious, as we've always split our bills, and no one's ever asked "who gets the charge for the extra rice." They suggested it was spread around the party before, but you know, that takes a fair bit of math on the fly.

Totally unrelatedly, Kroger doesn't have corn tortillas -- not real ones, just pre-cooked shells. Bloomingfood's West does though, possibly their cheapest starch -- $1.89 for 36 tortillas, 1800 calories. Well, raw grain is probably cheaper.

We have a Thursday Doctor Who night, watching Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sarah Jane... Red Dwarf for a while. Tonight we branched into Leverage, off DVR instead of DVD or Netflix online. We got exposed to commercials! I haven't seen commercials in years, except for ones in movies.

links:
* Facebook application scams: one, two. Maybe you shouldn't have been playing so much Mafia Wars.

* Better school lunches mean better student performance. Which implies most of us should be eating more vegetables, too.

* Divisions among American Muslims. It's almost as if they're normal people, with class, culture, and race differences!

* Health care: it's subsidies that cost, not the public option per se? Why is Lieberman nattering about blocking the public option to save the budget? Well, lots of insurers in his state...

* Krugman can't watch Fox Business.

* Europe's lessons on unemloyment, and India's job guarantee. (From Randy)

* Ten year old boy in Arkansas sits down for gay rights

* Lindsey Graham, highly conservative Senator, is censored by his state for being too compromising with liberals. One, two.

* AMA says marijuana could have medical use, should get more research

Catholic shenanigans: threatening to stop charity in DC over benefits for gay employees; fighting for anti-gay discrimination in adoption in Britain, a battle they already lost in Boston.

Irony
* The Republican National Committee has offered employees a health plan covering abortion since 1991. They say they'll stop though, now that Politico pointed this out.
mindstalk: (CrashMouse)
Yeah, I'm still a slacker. Also I had a flu? last month, and seem to have pneumonia now.

Scholar's Inn on 6th and College has a new offering, "Euro sandwiches" on baguettes, for $3.50. I tried two today: the basil tomato mozzarella, and the ham and swiss. Both were hot, with melted cheese. I'm sorry to say I wasn't thrilled by either. They weren't horrible, but the former was nothing compared to a insalata di Caprese, and the latter... well, probably wasn't helped by (a) my not being the biggest fan of Swiss cheese and (b) coming right after the mozzarella. I couldn't tell (or didn't attend) if the mozz was whole fresh or part-skim low-moisture pizza cheese.

Still, a $3.50 sandwich is something to keep in mind. There's a third variety, but I don't remember what.

Also they seem to have half-priced bread on Tuesdays.


When it comes to chicken, I prefer dark meat. When my parents made fried chicken, I went for the drumsticks. Probably originally because it was easier finger food, but also because it was juicier and tastier than dull white breast meat. When I make fried chicken, I just get a package of drumsticks. Lots of restaurants specialize in breast meat though, not to mention fast food. Happily, not all. Siam House, which to my fallible memory seems to have acquired a much more interesting menu since Valentine's Day, uses a mix of white and dark meat in its dishes. I've enjoyed pad thai, mussamum, some sort of curry, and #42 garlic stir-fry. Though the cook refused to mix the rice and curry for me when I ordered take out for anime club, where I wouldn't have plates; the hostess gave me a big extra styrofoam box so I could mix in that. I didn't like their chai but then I've never liked chai, I was just looking for a hot drink for the sickness.

Z&C, the little Japanese place on Kirkwood, has I'm pretty sure dark meat in its chicken udon; as I got sick I turned to the udon+eel roll special a lot.


Chow Bar's potstickers were enh, not that tasty and pretty thick pastry. Pork and garlic wasn't bad. Chicken satay was good; chinese pork rice was goodish but short on sauce so the rice was bland.

Catching up

2009-Sep-27, Sunday 03:09
mindstalk: (escher)
So, for some reason I fell out of posting much after my trip. Partly the move, partly... I don't know what. Time to sync back up.

The West Coast trip: we last left me in the Bay Area, having one day left. Monday was indeed spent at the California Academy of Science -- a line to get in but not too bad, then another line to get into the rainforest exhibit. That was fun: lots of plants, lots of birds and butterflies, and one you're in you're not rushed through, you can linger on the walkways. The exit is through the remodeled aquarium, starting with walking *under* the rainforest 'river', then exiting into the main multitank area. The aquaria were always one of the nicer attractions of the CAS -- sharks and coral reefs and penguins and all -- though the panoramic swim-around tank is gone. Lots of other CAS stuff is gone too -- the earthquake simulator, the minerals case, the butterflies cases. Two wings are devoted to climate change and evolution, with a higher placard to thingy ratio than I feel is proper. The stuffed African dioramas are still there, with a few live reptiles.

Shinier, and I didn't get to see the spiffy planetarium -- sold out already -- but I'm not sure it all is *better*. Cafeteria was expensive -- $3 for a pork bun -- but possibly good -- it was a *really good* pork bun.

I managed to organize a dinner at Ton Kiang, a rare dim sum for dinner place in the outer Richmond. Or not so rare, there seemed to be another one right next to it. Before that, I walked Golden Gate Park a bit, homesick (SF taking on the role of 'home'); I also met a young couple who were camping across the US or something. The road through (JFK road?) has bike lanes I don't remember, really wide ones too, like 60% of the road. Dinner was good: Dan and Blake and Jacque and Yani and Wei-Hwa and mates.

A friend I'd been out of touch with for years had been out of town for the weekend, but met my "I'm leaving at X" gambit with "I work in Berkeley at 9 tomorrow, I could meet you at 7". A lot earlier than I'm used to but I weighed sleep against old friend for a decade and friendship won, and I'm glad it did, esp. as she's not a great correspondent.

Portland

Then off north, to my host in Beaverton, some suburb to the west of Portland proper, and reminding me a lot of LA though she didn't think so. Wide busy roads, malls, long distances, tres depressing. Nice to see her again though. Wednesday I went to the Portland Zoo, then explored downtown a bit -- train seems to run north of downtown proper, e.g. of the busy skyscraper district. I crossed the river on one of the bridges, came back for dim sum with my host. Thursday I trained straight east, to explore Portland neighborhoods a bit, then doubled back for a really awesome classical Chinese garden in Chinatown (with somewhat less awesome tea shop) and a brief (hour) pilgrimage at Powell's, before meeting [livejournal.com profile] heron61 in person for the first time.

The Zoo station was wacky-cool, lots of science-type decorations, including a long core of something, and wall engravings like Pascal's triangle.

Possibly my strongest memory is of Marinepolis Sushiland, a floating sushi (kaiten-zushi, trays on a conveyor belt) chain. Silly-cheap by my standards: the most expensive tray was $3, and you could get tuna or salmon for $1.50-$2.00. In a sit-down restaurant here you'll likely pay $3 just for tamago nigiri (egg.)

Los Angeles

Just as SF let me take BART out of SFO, so I got to take public transit out of LAX, without insane bus rides. Actually, I recall Fanw's sister would take 2.5 hours to bus from Westwood to PCC, so I wonder if the train was any faster -- I took 2.5 hours, free shuttle to Green Line, to Blue Line downtown, to Red Line to Union Station, and finally the Gold Line to my stop, with a longer than guessed walk to my crappy motel. I'd been warned this was slow, vs. Flyaway shuttle straight to Union Station, but I wanted to try the pure transit experience. On the Green and Blue lines I was generally the only Anglo in sight, the others being blacks and Hispanics with a sprinkling of Asian.

The Westway Inn was weird. Claimed visitors not only needed permission but had a $10 charge per visitor. To discourage parties (across from PCC?) or prostitution? Typical crappy motel heater/AC unit, the ones with no hard temperature setting, just "hotter" and "cooler". OTOH, whee, way more spacious than Japan, and maybe even than the Motel 6 I was in here one night last winter, when desperate for a good night's sleep. Two rooms! Fridge!

As for time in LA, well, probably not too much to say in public; I got to see friends. John; John and family; John and family and friends, followed by Sarah and family (movie: "Moon", then remodeled Griffith observatory); new person off RPG.net, followed by another dinner gathering, [livejournal.com profile] aerolyndt and [livejournal.com profile] monty00 and K and others; finally a ride to LAX with aerolyndt.

I seem to be good at drawing together diverse interesting people in dinners, should do that more often.

Back

Of my housing choices I went with option #1. Laundromat is probably 6-7 minutes away; I'm been cycling clothes through the shower so have put off finding out for sure. Apartment is poorly designed in lots of ways, but the current landlord seems aggressive in fixing what they can. I'm finally off 2nd street! Been lazy about unpacking, though. Close to Bloomingfood's and the farmer's market, annoyingly far (12 minute walk) to Kroger's. I finally got lots of heirloom tomatoes here; not sure if they've gotten more popular or if I was better about getting to the market through August and September. Peach season seemed to end early, peaches were still around for a while but not as good.

Reading

(before trip) Gene Wolfe, book of the New Sun.
(after trip), 1491 (expansion of the article), Globalization and Its Discontents, Making Globalization Work, The Chinese Lake Murders (A Judge Dee fanfic by the translator.)

Links

[livejournal.com profile] tooth_and_claw assured me that my link dumps are appreciated, so I'll try to resume those. A couple of months worth will take some filtering and organizing, though, so not tonight.

Food

Someone's birthday dinner brought me to McAllister's tonight, a deli in Eastland Plaza near Border's. I had pastrami on rye with havarti, dark mustard, lettuce tomato onion and roasted red bell peppers. It was really really good -- juicy pastrami? $6.41.