Friday, July 28, 2006

This used to be an art blog...

So here's some art. Mostly doodles I did while on the phone, because it's not enough for me to just focus on one thing. If I did that I wouldn't forget things or make mistakes and how interesting would things be then?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Nothing remains

Well the pillow and cardboard sign lingered for a day or two without it's owner, and now it's gone too. Not only was her intellectual property intercepted... so was her pillow.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

And in the end...

...All that remained was a pillow and cardboard sign in a plastic bag, on which was written "LET ME KNOW THE TRUE DON’T INTERCEPT MY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY".

I passed by the CBC this morning and she was gone. All except her calling card.

Monday, July 24, 2006


So reads the sign encased in a clear plastic bag and backed by an old pillow. For the past few days I have passed an older Asian woman sitting on the sidewalk in front of the CBC building. I pass her on the way to work. I pass on the way from work. It took me a few days to actually read the whole sign. She has a fresh 2 litre bottle of Sprite (but somehow I think it is water) everyday, and reads the transit papers, while she bides her time.

I don’t know what it all means, but I’m pretty sure she’s upset about something. One day on my way to the train she was screaming hysterically at the second floor of the building. But I really don’t think she’s unbalanced. I just have this feeling she’s standing up for something. It’s a concerted and dedicated effort – she’s there every day and night every day.

The morning of the evening that she was shouting at the building, I had seen a casually dressed blonde woman kneeling down and listening intently to what the Asian woman was saying, as if it was any ordinary conversation anyone would ever have. I looked at the blonde woman and wished I had the courage to do that. To just ask this woman what was going on and listen. But it’s a hard thing to do. The last thing you want is to have this women go ballistic on you in the middle of the street.

So I had a plan. I thought I’d slowly make contact with her. I stopped walking through the CBC building lest she think I was part of the machine stealing her intellectual property. Then I walked by one day and tried to make eye contact. I gave her the head nod, but she looked right through me. Or just didn’t see me. Hope nobody saw me get stiffed.

I’ll have to try again. Maybe eventually I can coax a smile out of her, and after a few days I’ll have the courage to speak to her and find out her story. It’s not that I’m nosy, I just admire her dedication and maybe I can help.

Most likely not.

I’ll let you know how it went, that is unless I chicken out.

UPDATE: I walked by the CBC building on my way to the train... all her stuff was there, but she wasn't. I guess the 2L of Sprite (or water) meant a trip to the washroom sooner or later.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Best Flank Steak Sandwich Ever

I've been promising this one to Chris for quite a while, and to thank him for graciously being my first Q and A guest, I now present, The Best Flank Steak Sandwich Ever! Or at least what I can remember of the recipe.

What you need.

1 Flank Steak
3/4 cup of Coke™
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves of minced garlic
Good pinch of red chili flakes

How to make it.

First... take everything but the flank steak and mix it together in a large freezer bag. Why a large freezer bag? I'm just trying to save you on the clean up.

Next... Take the flank steak and put it in the bag with the marinade. Try to get most of the air out of the bag, then seal it up and give it a little shake so that the meat is covered with the marinade. Toss that in the fridge for an hour or two. You can let it marinate overnight, the longer it marinates the more tender it gets...But who has that kind of time and foresight.

Once the meat is done marinating, fire up the barbecue, and let it preheat to about 350-400. If you have two burners turn one off after preheating and place the steak on the side with the burner off. If you only have a single burner you may want to turn it down to a medium heat.

Before closing the lid.. baste the top of the steak with the marinade. Discard the rest of the marinade... you don't want to put it on the cooked side, otherwise you're asking for trouble. Let it cook for roughly 8 to 10 minutes on one side. Flip it and cook the other side until the meat springs back when you push on it – another 8 minutes I guess. These times are all sort of relative to your particular barbecue. If in doubt, use a meat thermometer and aim for the rare to medium temperature.

Once the meat is done, put it on a plate and cover with foil to keep the heat in. Let it sit for 5 to 7 minutes. it will continue to cook and the meat will retain it's juice despite all the juice you see when you pull the foil off. Plenty of juice to go around.

Now, here's where you really need to pay attention. Flank steak is tough... that is, unless you know how to cut it. If you look at the meat it has a grain running the length it. What you want to do is cut across that grain on an angle. See the example below.


I like eating this on a nice whole wheat or multigrain bun. Just pile slices of this on the bun and top it with whatever you like. I would suggest some tomato, boston lettuce, maybe a slice of avocado, and a spicy mayo made with light Hellman's and Frank's Red Hot Sauce mixed together.

What so great about it?

Kids, best of all it's economical. An average sized flank steak is in the range of 12 to 14 dollars. I know... it sounds like a lot of money, but you can probably get 4-5 sandwiches and then some out of it. Flank steak used to be cheaper because it was a tough piece of meat, but once people figured out how to make it tender the price started to rise. All in all it's still a pretty good deal.

It's also a lean cut of meat with very little fat on it and eating it in thin slices piled up on a sandwich gives you the illusion of eating more than you think you are.

What about a side dish?

I would pair this up with perhaps some baked sweet potato fries, or a sweet potato salad dressed with vinaigrettete rather than a creamy dressing. Or hey... how about a nice fresh salad. Beverage wise I am looking at nice crisp reisling, or maybe honey brown ale... Hmmm maybe an iced tea.

And that's it! Stuff yourself silly... silly.

Mini Ravioli – The Interview

Welcome to a new and exciting rotating feature on my blog. Every so often I'll feature a Q and A with a guest about what ever strikes my fancy. Ooooh... Fancy.

Today's interview subject is my good buddy Chris and his oxymoronic 850 gram can of Chef BoyArDee Mini Ravioli. When he pulled this thing out, we found it hilarious that this is a humongous can – nearly two pounds – of mini ravioli.

Hilarous... and yet fascinating. I needed to know more about the can, and the man behind the can.


Q. Chris, what attracted you to this particular can of Mini Ravioli?
A. I would have to say it's gargantuan size, and the fond memories of eating it as a child – those were my main attractions to it.

Q. Can the sauce get any tastier (as it is hyped on the can) than it already is?
A. I have to admit I was skeptical about that. Why fix what isn’t broke. It was a very bold statement to make when you’re an industry leader in the world of great tasting, but convenient pasta foods. I thought "can the Chef really kick it up a notch on this already revered dish? No way. Not possible..." I didn’t think it could get any better, but I was blown away by the tastiness of it. It was scrumptilicious!

Q. Where did you find this? Is it a good value? And what was going through your mind as you took it off the shelf and put it in your shopping cart?
A. I don’t like to name drop due to sponsorship commitments, but I believe your local grocery store now carries this fine product. The value is fantastic. Try it, try it, try it. It’s amazing! You could feed lunch to an entire orphanage with the amount of mini ravioli in each can.

Q. If you weren't having 850 grams of Chef BoyArDee Mini Ravioli for lunch what would you be having.
A. Zoodles perhaps, although grudgingly.
(Editor's Note – I only saw Chris consume half the can. We can only speculate as to the whereabouts of the other 425 grams.)

Q. How much ravioli can one man eat? That’s nearly 2 pounds.
A. How far can one walk man in the desert?
(Editor's Note – The answer is a circle. Due to a lack of landmarks and the dominance of one leg over another, a man walking in a desert will actually walk in a circle without ever knowing it (I am sure the same goes for women). Thanks to "The Flight of the Phoenix" (1965) for making this editor aware of that, thus saving him from a fate of endlessly walking in circles in the desert. But I am digressing on my guest's time.)

Q. How was it?
A. Absolutely delectable.

Q. Any plans for more oxymoronic meals? Jumbo shrimp maybe?
A. You bet. I’ve been thinking about trying the Costco sized portions of other various Chef Boyardee products next. I’ll keep you informed.

Thanks Chris! I'm looking forward to hearing more about the "big little" things you eat.

Friday, July 07, 2006

What I'm Reading Now

Hey look at me, two posts in one day.

I thought I would share with you all the marvelous things I put in my head via my eyeballs, or something I like to call, "What I'm Reading Now!"

First off, I must mention that I am multi-simultaneous reader, especially novels. I think it has to do with the touch of ADD I tell myself I have. And.. on with the show.

First up, I just finished book four of Bone by Jeff Smith. This volume's proper title is "The Dragonslayer". Bone is the tale of Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone. Yes... they look just like bones. Ok not exactly, they're sort of a cross between Casper the Friendly Ghost and Walt Kelly's Pogo. It's kind of a long quest, in a sort of a Old West/Olde English town... with rat creatures, uh and dragons and talking bug named Ted. I know it sounds odd, but it is smartly written, endearing at times, and suspenseful. Did I mention this is a comic book that has been bound into small digest sized "Graphic Novels"?

I didn't?

Oh... well now you know.

Ordinarily, I would never have picked up something like this, but it had been getting good press for quite a number of years so I thought I'd give it a try, and I'm hooked. There are nine volumes in total and seem to be published once every 6 months... so I should have a full review of the entire story in oh say... two and a half years. Click here to see synopses of the first four books.

I am also reading the latest issue of Wired (July). Truth be told I am not really enjoying it that much. It seems to be one of those countdown issues. You know, "Top 50" this or "10 Best" that. Just does not have enough meat for me. I'm also a little bugged ever since they switched the cover stock to a flimsy, super-glossy sheet from the ritzier, toothy matte-finish stock. I know... it's what's inside that counts. Unfortunately the content just didn't grab me.

Guess they can't all be winners... here's hoping August makes up for July.

I read the May issue of Discover (that's all the Gas Station had... apparently time moves slower there) on the train today. Haven't picked it up in a while, and I'm really not thrilled with the design, it's kind of drab, but... There were some really interesting articles in this issue, like the one about the Drake Equation. This equation is used to give scientists a rough estimate of the number of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, with radio transmitting/receiving capability that have NOT destroyed themselves yet (here on Earth we seem to be walking the razor's edge). A conservative estimate puts that number at a 1000 intelligent civilizations in this galaxy alone.

I also liked the short piece on what causes supernovas to explode, not so much for it's explanation, but for the fact that supernovas feed the universe by dispersing the elements that create us and sustain us. Atoms can not be created or destroyed, they only change into other things. So in essence, every atom in your body was here at the beginning of time and will be here at the end of time even when "you" are long gone. Wow... I have o go lay down.

Ok.. I'm back.

What else have I got on the go? Oh yes... Showcase Presents Superman Volume 2.

These are great value and great fun. They're inch-and-a-half thick books of black and white reprints of Silver Age Superman stories. Some of the stories are downright ridiculous and others like the one entitled "The Day Supergirl Revealed Herself", just make you chuckle at the innocence of it all. Oh and did I mention value? $16.99 for more than 500 pages of comics. Ahhh heaven.

And now if you'll excuse me, I believe I have a date with Supergirl.

Hello Wisconsin. And you too South Carolina.

I’ve installed a site meter on my blog at the behest of my better half, and I’m really digging being able to see who visits my site. Don’t worry... I don’t know who you are, I just know roughly where you are from and how you got here. Wisconsin? South Carolina? Folsom?

I seem to get quite a few hits from people doing a search for the words “Starbucks shaken lemonade iced tea”. And you know... I’m thrilled, because if there’s one thing I wanted to achieve in life, it was to become a corporate shill, let alone one for a company that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I’m just waiting for the flood of people looking for “Hummer” and “micro-penis”.

I’m not quite sure if this is a quirk of the the way the site meter logs things, or just the supreme boringness of my writing, but people seem to visit and immediately exit giving them a total visit time of 0 seconds. Some come back repeatedly to spend 0 seconds not reading what I wrote. Wow... Repeat customers who get nothing of value from me. Take that, Starbucks.

So listen.. If you drop by and feel like spending and extra 2 to 3 seconds on top of the 0 seconds you normally spend here, stop and say ‘hullo’, and tell me why you came.

By the way, just an update on my previous post about doing the little things and being a hero, well I kind of dropped the ball. I thought I was doing a heroic thing the other day by hustling out of my parking spot so that a woman who was sitting and waiting could pull in quick. Unfortunately all I got was static, wild hand gesticulations and the cuteye from her. I then called her a fornicating rotund sow under my breath (not exactly, but you can figure out exactly what I called her if you’re smart).

Not good. I’ll try harder... Promise.