I literally don’t know what to say

Well, “Wow” for a start, I suppose. “Huh?” follows along sharply thereafter.

Microsoft is using recordings of Robert Fripp in one of their Windows Vista sound themes, “and they’ve got the video to prove it”:http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=151853.

Now, Linux-head that I am, I’m not really all that anti-Microsoft, I just don’t see why people put up with it. Maybe this is a good reason. 🙂

Oh, I lied, I *do* know what to say. Fripp uses a Mac.

I don’t even think Fafblog could make me smile over this

Under the guise of collecting signatures to change Massachusetts blue laws to allow grocery stores to carry beer and wine (the lack of which I don’t remember from when we lived there, but we came from AL, where it’s similarly not allowed), some people have been fraudulently gathering signatures for “a petition to ban same-sex marriage”:http://www.prospect.org/weblog/archives/2006/01/index.html#008790.

This is the first bit of news I’ve read in a while that has made me want to go be violently ill. All I can say is that these people have given up their souls if they’re willing to go to such lengths to forbid people to do something that, as the saying goes, neither picks their pocket nor breaks their legs. Some day I hope to be enlightened enough to be sad for them, but right now all I can manage is revulsion.

Warren Ellis takes on Casino Royale

You should “read the whole thing”:http://feeds.feedburner.com/Warrenelliscom?m=1661 (don’t worry, it’s quick), but the part that made me laugh the most was the last line:

bq. I suspect Patrick wouldn’t go as far as me. But he is essentially Small-Time, and I am Internet Jesus.

So, did you know the Kinks were banned from the US for four years?

Well, yeah, at least two people who might read this do know, but for the rest of you, “witness the lovely protectionism of mid-to-late-60’s America”:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3833078/:

bq. In 1966 the American Federation of Musicians, convinced that British bands were getting a disproportionate share of musicians income, had the Kinks banned from touring in the United States. The organization finally relented in October 1969.

Presumably the AFM pressured the government to deny them work visas. The part that seems so frigging weird to me is, well…_The Kinks_? I mean, were they worried that if they banned the Beatles or the Stones there would be riots (not that weren’t anyway :), so they picked on someone who was arguably less-popular but still better known than most of their contemporaries?

It seems likely that this ban had a significant effect on the band, “since it kept them from playing the most lucrative market during a critical time”:http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11%3Ajtkku3y5anok%7ET1.

Anyway, here’s a nice little dose of the Kinks, from ??Do You Remember Walter??:

bq. Yes people often change,
but memories of people can remain.

Strap me to the mast…

??The Denial Twist?? by the White Stripes is the siren song–it will lure you onto the rocks, yes indeed. Save yourselves, I am lost!

My God, It’s *Perfect*.

bq. If you think that a kiss is all in the lips
C’mon, you got it all wrong, man.

I had forgotten where I first read about ferret-legging

But I did some googling around as part of a conversation I was having with someone on YM, and came across “a transcription of the Harper’s article”:http://homes.cerias.purdue.edu/~spaf/Yucks/V4/msg00015.html that I’m fairly certain is where I first read about it.

It seems pertinent that the conversation was of the “Why are men so damn stupid?” variety.

Incidentally, I did not piss my pants re-reading it, but I came awful close.

And, since I’m thinking about it, another…

So, I’m actually doing this here because it’s the easiest way to make this available to the people in the yoga immersion, many of whom have asked for the recipe (some in more amusing circumstances than others).

The original recipe is from Martha Stewart. It called for heavy cream and sixteen pans (OK, maybe just three) and other things with which we (mostly Anne, who first did the recipe) did not wish to bother. Plus we wanted to make it vegan, for maximum acceptance. As with the prior entry, blame us, not her, if it ends up unsatisfying.

The amounts are kinda arbitrary here–this is how much we made to take to a party with 30-odd people; you might need less. Also, this is very amenable to having proportions changed: if you want more or less of one thing or another, use it. Anne says that doubling the brandy works well. 🙂

Sweet potatoes with apples

* 6lb sweet potatoes[1]
* Salt
* 8 Granny Smith apples[2]
* Lemon juice (to keep apples from browning)
* 6T butter or equivalent
* 3T maple syrup
* 2T brandy
* 4T orange juice

# Bake sweet potato’s in a 375 degree oven until they are cooked through.
# Peel and mash cooked potato’s with a little salt.
# Lubricate a 9×13 baking dish with butter or equivalent.
# Transfer mashed potato’s to baking dish.
# Peel and slice apples, tossing with lemon juice to keep them from browning.
# In a heavy skillet melt butter or equivalent, and when the butter starts to bubble, add apples. This will probably take three batches with 2T butter/1T syrup each time.
# Let apples caramelize. This is boring. Consider practicing pranayama.
# Layer caramelized apples on sweet potato’s in baking dish.
# When you’ve caramelized all of the apples, use the brandy and orange juice to deglaze the pan. The usual caveats about alcohol and open flame apply.
# Cook pan sauce down by half.
# Pour pan sauce over the contents of the baking dish.
# Place in a 375-degree oven for half an hour to warm through and let everything mingle.
# Serve.

fn1. Anything you find in a US supermarket is a sweet potato, even if it’s labelled a yam. Real yams are entirely different -beasts- tubers. So saith “Alton Brown”:http://altonbrown.com/, and so I believe. I think we used Beauregards, but that’s only because Anne and I find it amusing to say it with a broad southern accent.

fn2. Honestly, any firm-fleshed, tart apple, but Granny Smith’s are particularly good for this.

A recipe for the new year

So, over the last couple of years I’ve developed a taste for spiced tea, but haven’t ever found one pre-made option that I have favored unequivocally–the ones that had as much ginger as I liked were too sweet or what have you. So I decided to try making my own.

I don’t remember the original source for this recipe, but I’ve mucked about with it a bit so I don’t know that I’d be doing any favors if I credited them. 🙂

* 2-1/2C water
* 2 cardamom pods, crushed
* 3 whole black peppercorns, crushed
* 1T fresh ginger, peeled
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 2 cloves
* 1 “leaf” of star anise
* 1C soymilk
* 1-1/2T honey
* 3t loose black tea (or tea bags)

# Bash the spices lightly about in a mortar and pestle
# Put the water in a saucepan, add the spices, and bring to a low boil.
# Turn down the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
# Add soymilk and honey and bring back to a simmer.
# Add tea, turn down the heat, and let steep for 2 to 3 minutes.
# Strain into two cups and serve hot.

Authentic? Who knows? Chai seems to be like curry, in that no two people do it the same way, so who’s to say my option is less authentic. It sure is tasty, though.