Thursday, October 18, 2007

Stir-Fried Tofu and Veggies

I was thinking about tofu the other day. Generally I do not like tofu very much. It feels slick when I eat it, and it has no taste. There is not much to like about tofu. To make matters worse there is a small sub-population of vegetarians who have a rather holier-than-thou attitude towards tofu. If I never see or eat it again I doubt that I will miss it.

That said, the other day I was thinking about tofu and what can be done with it, and I realized that there is one tofu meal that I quite enjoy. Here is the recipe. Adjust the quantities to suit the number of people whom you want to feed.

Heat some oil in a wok. Add several drops of sesame oil. Cut some extra-firm tofu into dice-sized cubes and stir-fry it in the oil. Add red pepper flakes. When the tofu starts to turn golden brown add some chopped kale and cook until it is nicely wilted. In a separate pan stir-fry your favourite stir-fry vegetables. I suggest carrots, onions, and broccoli. When both pans are cooked mix the two together and enjoy. Serve with soy sauce and a nice red wine (or even sake if you have any).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Giuliani and the Aliens

"If (there's) something living on another planet and it's bad and it comes over here, what would you do?"

This is the question that a boy in Exeter, New Hampshire asked Republican president candidate Rudy Giuliani at a town hall meeting. Mr Giuliani's response was interesting.

"Of all the things that can happen in this world, we'll be prepared for that, yes we will. We'll be prepared for anything that happens."

It makes one wonder just how Mr Giuliani intends to protect the Earth from alien invaders. The full story is here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Anne Enright wins the Booker Prize

The 2007 Man Booker prize was announced a couple of hours ago, and the winner was Ann Enright for her novel The Gathering. I admit that I have never heard of Anne Enright before she was put on the Booker long list a couple of months ago. Sadly, our local library does not have any of her books, which is disappointing. It says something about a library's acquisition policy when the library does not have books by the person who wins the Booker prize. Still, this is the US, where Tom Clancy's books are considered high art. So now it is time to make a trip to the book store and buy The Gathering. Since there are no bookstores near where I live (the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC are a complete wasteland in many ways) I will probably end up buying it off

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Squid Shoppe

Just a quick note today because I am in a rush. Get your giant squid stuff at the Cryptozoology Shop.

One can never have enough squid stuff.

Friday, October 12, 2007

An Iraq Vet Speaks

Here an Iraq veteran who was nearly killed in the line of duty speaks about "phony soldiers".

Read the blog of an American veteran at Inside my Broken Skull

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Indian Summer

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, or Columbus Day as they call it in the United States. I had the day off work, but I spent most of the day working from home so that I can build up some time off to go to a wedding in New York City next month. Ordinarily, when I am at home in October the windows are closed and the fans are off. Yesterday, however, the windows were open and the fans were going full blast because the temperature outside was in the low 30s (that's about 90 F in Fahrenheit). This is not normal for Maryland. These temperatures are about 10 degrees (16 degrees F) hotter than normal for October in these part.

I miss having normal seasons. I miss Autumns that are cool, crisp, and pleasant. Thirty degrees is hot even for a Summer day, but in October 30 degrees feels oppressive. Is this a harbinger of global warming? Perhaps it is, but this is a la niña year, so the US mid-Atlantic region can expect a warmer than usual Autumn and Winter this year. The climate change that is predicted by most climate models, and most of the world's scientific community, may be contributing something to this heat, but it is not the only effect. Climate change is something that should be taken seriously. I am always amazed when people claim that it is a hoax. Do they really think that such a massive conspiracy could be kept secret for decades? Do they really think that the media would not have a field day blowing the lid of such a story? In my mind the hoax theory of global warming is about as plausible as the theory that governments are covering up wide-spread contact with aliens. The evidence that something is happening with Earth's climate is overwhelming. What is less certain is the details about what is driving those changes, and how those changes will play out over the next several decades.

Fortunately for me the weather forecast for the Washington, DC area says that temperatures are going to drop to about 20 degrees (70 F) in a few days. That will make me and my cat very happy.

Monday, October 08, 2007

International Cephalopod Awareness Day

I learned today, thanks to Google Alerts, that October 8 is International Cephalopod Awareness Day. This is unofficial, but I see no reason not to treat it a a real day. It certainly makes more sense than Columbus Day does. Personally, I prefer to celebrate Octopus Day on 8 August, but I will raise a toast tonight to the wonderful class of animals called "cephalopodia". 'Twill be a glass of wine or beer though, not ink.

Monday, October 01, 2007

0.500 Hockey in the Preseason

The Washington Capitals had a decent preseason this year, but it could have been better. They won three, lost three, and lost a fourth in overtime. Due to the NHL's slightly wacky point system losing in overtime is worth a single point in the standings, so overtime losses are tracked separately from losses in regulation time. Is this a good thing? I do not know. Personally I would have a point system where a loss is worth zero points, regardless of how the loss occurred. This would encourage teams to play for a win, or at least a tie. Under the present system there is less incentive for a team to play hard in overtime because the team is guaranteed at least one point regardless of what happens. However, I do not feel so strongly about it that I am going to let it ruin my enjoyment of overtime hockey.

The Caps' record in their 2007 preseason games is:

7 3 3 1 21 21 7 0.500

0.500 hockey is not a bad thing in the preseason. The object of these games is not to win points as much as it is to see how different players perform, and to experiment with different lines. From that point of view the Caps did not do too badly. Their games were:

  • Sep 30: Ott 2 at Was 1 Loss
  • Sep 28: Phi 5 at Was 7 Win
  • Sep 26: Was 1 at Phi 2 Loss
  • Sep 25: Car 2 at Was 3 Win
  • Sep 22: Was 2 at TB 1 Win
  • Sep 20: Was 4 at Ott 5 Loss
  • Sep 16: Was 3 at Car 4 OT Loss

Bring on the regular season!