October 2009 Archives

A Nose Hair Story

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As I get older, I've noticed more and more of my nose hairs going rogue and making a break for the outside world.

'I'm free!'

In the past I would make short work of these by yanking them out.

You're outta here!

Which would work for a while...

Much better.

...but has lately become less effective.

'Don't tread on me, man!'

It's a minor annoyance, to be sure, but an annoyance nonetheless. So I figured, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," and grew out my mustache.

Like hiding hay in a haystack.

I like to think it doesn't look bad on me. Of course I need to trim and manage it, but it's way less work than shaving.

But the nose hairs weren't about to fade quietly into the night.

Nope, they got together and worked out the best plan their hairy brains could conceive. "If he can change his image, so can we!"

'Can you see me now?'

Sigh. So now it's back to yanking them.

Kimchi Soup and Gyoza

It was spicy.

It's not just a cooking blog! Honest!

Didn't get home from work until after 10pm, so dinner was plain and simple. Half a jar of kimchi into the remaining broth from last night and some gyoza from the freezer.

Heat. Serve. Easy peasy.

Ponzu Shouyu Boiled Pork with Mustard


If I'm not careful, this will become nothing but a cooking blog.

For tonight's dinner I boiled a pound of pork loin in six cups of water with a half-cup of ponzu shouyu and sliced green onions. After thirty minutes, I removed the pork, sliced it and poured the broth over it in a shallow bowl.

For a condiment, I threw together some homemade mustard: two tablespoons of mustard seed, half a teaspoon of tumeric and some paprika, garlic powder and kosher salt all went into the blender until I had a coarse powder. Then I microwaved a half cup of equal parts water and rice vinegar for one minute. Since the blender's instruction manual says to not use boiling liquids, I let it cool for five minutes before adding it to the mixture and blending some more.

The pork turned out okay, but nothing to write home about. The broth was quite good—lightly citrusy with good pork flavor—and the mustard was a great compliment—strong overtones, but not overpowering. I think next time I'll try this in the slow cooker and see if I can't get some better texture on the pork.

Chicken Confit


Dinner tonight was a simple chicken confit.

Into a casserole dish went five chicken legs, a quartered onion, six garlic cloves, and some salt, pepper and rosemary. It was all then covered in olive oil, and with the lid on the dish, left to cook in a 250°F oven for two-and-a-half hours. It came out nice and tender, but could have used some more seasoning.

The side dish was a salad with a dressing of chopped green olives, marinated artichoke hearts and bacon mixed in sour cream with some black pepper.

It's a good thing it turned out not half bad because the leftovers are tomorrow's lunch.

Simple Chocolate Tart

A slice of simplicity.

A coworker lent me a copy of Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef, particularly recommending that I try out his recipe for "Simple Chocolate Tart." It is indeed simple, and though I made a huge mess with every ingredient I could, absolutely worth the little effort required.

If you, too, decide to try it out, something to keep in mind: you're never going to eat the whole thing by yourself in one sitting, so don't let the 1.25 pounds of butter scare you off.

Give my take on the recipe a try.

Tree Cover

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One of our favorite aspects of the second floor condo my wife and I rent has always been the ficus tree just outside our balcony. It's big, green and completely blocks the view of our room from the street.

The tree as it appeared in August.

Well, the tree is now none of those things.

The tree as it appears now.

Sadness is a bad haircut.

Language Selection

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Did you know this site comes in both English and Japanese flavors? If you usually enter from the top page, you've probably seen the separate entrances, but if you're brought here by other means, you're likely missing out on a whole other world of foreign vocabulary.

To dispel any notion that I'm hiding something from you, and to improve general site navigation, a new language selector has been added to the sidebar.

I will also take this time to thank my Japanese editor. While every English word here is my own, my Japanese translations work on a level just this side of Pandemonium. Without her assistance, the JP side would be a hot mess, so "thanks!"

Mac OS X Snow Leopard

On August 28, 2009, Apple Inc. released version 10.6 of its Macintosh operating system, dubbed "Snow Leopard." This update has been heavily promoted for its improved performance under the hood, listing features such as:

  • 50% faster installation
  • 7 GB less disk space required
  • System applications rewritten in 64-bit code
  • Better multicore usage

However, that doesn't cover some of the exciting, unlisted features, such as:

  • Pointing out during installation that your MacBook Pro's disk image has come unmounted
  • Forcing you to perform a clean reinstall from version 10.5 after your disk image has come unmounted
  • Not notifying you that your system hasn't performed a backup since April before forcing you perform a clean reinstall after your disk image has come unmounted




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