Out of the Archives

and into the streets

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Food Jamming, Getting baked, and "personalities" who can't cook

I haven't really been watching Food TV lately. I have become disillusioned with the pap they have been serving up as of late. When Anthony Bourdain took aim at the network with a scathing and highly amusing diatribe, he pinpointed and articulated a lot of what I was feeling about the channel, in particular, "the ascent of the Ready-Made bobblehead personalities, and the not-so-subtle shunting aside of the Old School chefs". Bourdain states what he likes and what is redeemable about the shows and people populating FoodTV, but is unmerciful on those shows and 'personalities' he dislikes. I highly recommend you read his post on the Ruhlman.com (via LHB) - for just a taste here is the opening salvo from his commentary on Rachel Ray "Complain all you want. It’s like railing against the pounding surf. She only grows stronger and more powerful. Her ear-shattering tones louder and louder." I shudder at the thought of her getting any stronger/louder. And for more with the man, be sure to check out Raincoast Books for a three-part podcast with Bourdain.

Food Jammers photo by Kevin Quatman courtesy of the Torontoist.

There are a few shows I still do like, Surreal Gourmet and Barefoot Contessa among them (does anyone know how I can befriend these people and have them cook for me? I am always jealous of their guests), but if there is one show that redeems the network at the moment, it is Food Jammers, who have recently started their second season. They are funny, smart, and do really bizarre and interesting things with food. You can check out a few episodes of the show online. Who else would attempt dehydrating a turkey? Genius (even if it didn't work out).

What is really floating my boat at the moment is something I recently found on the interwubs:

Let's Get Baked with Mat and Dave. This weekly podcast/radio show which is produced in Halifax has bands come into the kitchen and bake vegan goodies with the two hosts. They put the recipes online, along with some photos, so you can bake along with them. They has some really great guests, fun food facts, tasty sounding recipes, and a really great theme song. My favourite episode that I have listened to so far has to be the one featuring Holy Fuck where they make a tofu scramble, but my favourite recipe is Christine Fellows' Coffee Kiss Cookies. Maybe if you're lucky I'll test out that recipe on you sometime.

Today I just discovered (thanks to The Most Serene Republic on Let's Get Baked) the vidcast show thingy Ctrl-Alt-Chicken which describes itself "a new form of cooking show... one in which the chefs don't know how to cook!"I have just watched their "minibite" on Artichoke dip and am currently watching their clip show. The show seems pretty good - informal and funny but with surprisingly high production values. They seem genuinely surprised with something turns out and, it seems, occasionally things do not - and we all know that spectacular failure is almost always more entertaining to watch than an easy success. I have some high hopes for it and am looking forward to watching more of their adventures in the kitchen. They like Monte Cristo sandwiches and i just heard the words "adverse chemical reaction". Awesome.

Do check out some of the stuff I've posted above and if you know of something else I might dig along those lines please leave me a comment. Happy eating.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Video has not yet killed the radio star

pic from Rob&Elliot.

Hey. I am really behind on my blogging, eh. But I've been busy, I swear. Ummm I'm not entirely sure what I've been up to for the last month or so but I am pretty sure it was wonderful and productive and life affirming and all that.

One thing that has happened is that I've signed on to be a volunteer at CFRC. I spent this past weekend in training learning the ins and outs of CRTC regulations (fun!) as well as learning how to be a radio superstar. I made a station id which was pretty rad and we nervously messed about in the control room. I am going to be shadowing a couple of programs in the coming weeks to see how the pros do it which should be cool.

I am going to be working in the music library getting things organized etc. and I am going to try to book some control room time to do some show demos. Depending how horrible they are, I might post them, so if you ever wondered what I might sound like on the radio you might very well be in luck. I can tell you are excited.

So that's it, that's all I've got to report. I've been thinking about posting something here for a while just to keep the "once in a blue moon" streak alive and that comic seemed like a pretty good jumping off point. Now, aren't you glad you stopped by....yeah...


Friday, February 23, 2007

A Glorious Day

My oh my. What a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.

I got to have fish nuggets for lunch.

Gonna see not one but two concerts tonight.

Gonna get tickets to see Final Fantasy in Kingston.

ANNNNNND I got tickets to see the amazing, the wonderful, the incomparable


Here is a little diagram I made to illustrate what the awesomeness will be like:

As you can see, the LazyLibrarian and I are going to be serenaded all night by Win and Regine who will never stray from stage left.

I am really, really stoked for this.



Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Diary of the Director of the Iraq National Library and Archives

Burnt entrance of the INLA, 2003

I officially can no longer complain about work. While I like to bitch about the silly trials in my everyday working life, reading the entries from November 2006-January 2007 from the diary of Saad Eskander, the Director of the Iraq National Library and Archives, has illustrated what real tribulations are. The diary is posted on the British Library website and can be found here (with my thanks to the posting on Arcan-L for letting me know about it). It is an amazing, and continuing, story of how the staff of the NLA are struggling to keep their collections and themselves safe in the worst imaginable conditions. Here are a few extracts, I highly recommend reading the full diary.

Entrance after restoration (ca. 2005?)

From November 13, 2006

I received bad news, as soon as I arrived to my office. In my absent, INLA was bombed twice and snipers' bullets broke several windows. Fortunately, no body was hurt. My staff withheld these information from me, when I contacted them. They claimed that they did not want me to be worried and to spoil my visit.

I spent the rest of the week trying to advise a number of my employees what to do, as they got death threats. The Sunnis, who lived in Shi'i dominated districtwere given an ultimatum to abandon their homes and the Shi'is, who lived in a Sunni dominated district, had to leave their homes. So far, two of my employees were murdered, the first worked in the Computer Department, and the second was a guard. Three of our drivers, who worked with us by contract, were murdered and three others were injured.

Impact of Sectarian Violence on the INLA's Staff (December 2006)

Number Type of impact
4 Unlawful Death (assassinations)
66 Unlawful Death of Relatives (e.g. Sons, Daughters, Brothers, Sisters, Cousins, Uncles, Aunts, Nephews)
2 Kidnapping
6 Kidnapping of relatives (e.g. Sons, Daughters, Brothers, Sisters, Cousins, Uncles, Aunts, Nephews)
58 Death Threat
51 Displacement
3 Plundering
3 Damage to Houses
3 Other Material losses

Note: Total Number of the INLA's staff is 464 (including 39 Guards).

From January 23rd, 2007:
At 11.30 a.m., intensive exchange of fire in the al-Fadhil area. Most of the roads were closed. Our guards were re-deployed. One window was smashed as a result of the explosions. I was informed on the same day that two of our technicians were kidnapped by unknown armed men in Al-Ghazaliya area. Fortunately, both were realised unharmed, thought they were verbally abused. Mr. C, the head of the Restoration Laboratory, received a death threat. He and his family left their house. I visited the Restoration Laboratory. It was hit by 5 bullets. Two windows were broken as a result. One of the restorers told me that her brother was murdered ten days a go for sectarian reasons. Another restorer told me that he cousin, who lived in Mosul, in northern Iraq, was also murdered for sectarian reasons. I did not know about these two incidents. I discovered that a number of my staff do not inform the administration about their ordeals for fear of reprisals.
I received more bad news about Miss D, an accountant. Her father and brother were both injured after the terrorists opened fire on them. The reason for it D 's father and brothers refused to leave their house, after they received a death threat


Friday, January 19, 2007


Holy Smokes! Did you know that I once had a blog here? It certainly looks like I've forgotten. Well, I make no promises to post regularly or anything, but here's to good intentions.

I ask myself - what does one do with one of these newfangled blog thingys. The answer apparently is - STOOP!!!!! So here it is. The stoop, served up kingston style:

Since it looked all pretty with the snow etc. I took a few more pics (at the lazylibrarian's behest) which are slightly better looking than our front steps:

Well, I think I filled my blogging quota for the moment. See you again...hopefully in less than two months

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Mii and my Wii

One of the many, many, many fun things about the new Nintendo Wii (I posted about our morning's adventure with pics on The Lazy Librarian) is that you get to create an avatar called a Mii. Clever, eh. Here is me with my Mii. Striking resemblence, if I do say so myself. Laura is busy builidng Miis for everyone we know - I periodically hear her chuckle from the next room. Heh.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Tasty fish

As you might know, one of the perks of my job is that I get to eat in the dining room for next to nothing. By and large, all the food is good but the best day is always the Friday where they serve the Fish Nuggets (not to be confused with the inferior fishcakes). The Lazy Librarian has never been able to experience these bite-sized fishy wonders and thinks that I may be making them up. These photos show that they are real and they are gooooood.