duncandahusky: (happygolucky)
I admit that some of Improv Everywhere's stunts can be hilarious ("Look Up More" and the recent "Food Court Musical" were great), but some, like "Slo Mo Home Depot", can be kind of dumb.

Their latest is the best I've seen so far, though, and it has a really nice "feel-good" theme to it: take a random Little League game and make it the Best Game Ever for the parents, players, and coaches. Be sure to read the whole entry because there's lots of details that don't appear in the video, too!
duncandahusky: (happygolucky)
If you like food and want to help raise money for an excellent charity (The UN World Food Programme) I highly recommend clicking over to Menu for Hope 4 which just started today over at Chef Pim. For $10 per virtual raffle ticket, you can buy chances for a stellar array of prizes, including some one of a kind dining experiences all over the world (many nifty things in the UK!), cookbook packages, specialty food products, homemade food, kitchen equipment, and more! (I'm being a big ol' fanboy at the prospect of lunch with Harold McGee!). It's a worthy cause and great prizes. Check it out!
duncandahusky: (Thoughtful)
In the spirit of the old National Geographic "Day in the Life of...", yesterday photographers fanned out across Chicago for A Day in the Life of the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority). You can read some of their stories here, or see their pictures collected here. Really neat stuff.
duncandahusky: (Looking Up)
Well, due to some last-minute illness and [livejournal.com profile] takaza's continuing health issues, we are going to postpone this weekend's River Trip. I won't say I'm not disappointed, but I'll survive. We'll probably try again come late April/early May of next year, and who knows? Maybe we can add to our caravan. As the time comes closer, we'll spread the word around. It's probably just as well, since Dan and I both have a lot of work to get done for Midwest FurFest, including almost 300 postcards to label, stamp, and mail out.

Meanwhile, I came across some interesting and fun links this morning. Mark over at BoingBoing TV (who has excellent taste in coffee beans) demonstrates a coffee gadget so nifty I bought one this morning (See the exhaustive discussion here as well). Also, Adam at The Amateur Gourmet gives us a nifty video tour of a cheese shop and discusses some cheese basics with the cheesemonger there. Finally, happy 40th birthday to LOGO, the first programming language I ever learned. And I'll note that I'm a lousy programmer. Correlation? Who knows?
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
I've picked up a couple of new blogs to follow that I thought I'd mention here. I started with The Stew, which picks up has commentary that doesn't appear in the Chicago Tribune as well as advance articles. That had a pointer to a post in Michael Ruhlman's blog by Anthony Bourdain (who I adore!) - I liked the blog so much I added it to my daily reading. Then recently, Ruhlman was a stop on the "virtual book tour" by Adam Roberts, The Amateur Gourmet. His amusing, occasionally profane food blog went onto my list. Then Roberts linked to fantastic and funny video about making lobster rolls over at Serious Eats which sent me investigating that blog more, and I became a fan there as well (particularly since they just added Mario Batali to their list of contributors!).

As an aside, you may wonder how I keep up with all these blogs? I use Firefox and every morning click a single button that loads 'em all in tabs, using the Morning Coffee extension. This works well with blogs that are updated daily; blogs that update less frequently I add to my Google Reader page. The latter is the case for Cheese Underground, which focuses solely on Wisconsin cheese, and Megnut, another interesting foodie blog, both of which only update a couple of times a month. Oh! And I should also mention another recent addition to my Reader, Winnipeg Eats. Sure, I don't live in Winnipeg, but it's written by a good friend and I like her writing :-)

Our calendar for the next few weekends is slowly filling up, as it is wont to do. It's looking like we may make a return visit to Brightonwood Orchard this weekend (mmm, heirloom apples!), and while we're there we'll see what's new at the adjoining winery. I expect a rigorous sampling of the winery's wares and other spirits may ensue afterwards!

I've been reading up on various farmers markets in the area, as well as other local foods (since it is, after all, Eat Local Month) and while the Grayslake Farmers Market is fun, it's a bit small. And yes, there's some interesting places in Chicago, but I was looking around and I found many references for the Dane County Farmers Market in Madison, Wisconsin. This dovetails neatly with my interest in finding out more about Wisconsin artisan cheeses (I even ordered a cool Wisconsin Cheese/Wine/Beer tour map!). Since I've been wanting to explore Madison a bit anyway, it sounds like a perfect excuse to get up that way. Some Saturday (not the coming one, but maybe the 22nd or the 29th), we're going to hit the road early and spend the day checking the place out. Should be fun!

And then we have the big trip coming up. As some of you may have seen [livejournal.com profile] takaza mention, we're going to hit the road for a weekend in late October (yeah, he couldn't keep it a secret :-) Patterned after Alton Brown's recently-completed Feasting on Asphalt 2: The River Run, we're going to tour Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin along the Mississippi River, shunning interstates and aiming for small towns to find stuff that's interesting, tasty, and different. We may fail miserably, and eat some of the worst food ever, but we may also find the most amazing and delightful places, too. We'll be renting a minivan that will hold everyone and drive out to Moline, Illinois on Friday night. Starting Saturday, we'll strike out north along the river and see what there is to see. While I have a couple of places I do want to see along the way (including Kalmes Restaurant, which AB visited - "A little bit of Luxembourg in Iowa") mostly we'll be relying on serendipity to help us find something interesting. We'll spend Saturday night somewhere along the way (Maybe, Dubuque? Maybe La Crosse, if we can actually find a hotel that isn't booked), then meander home through Wisconsin. I'm really looking forward to this trip!
duncandahusky: (happygolucky)
* All is not lost for mass transit in Chicago. On Monday, the State Senate will meet in a previously-unscheduled session to vote on Julie Hamos' transit bill that the State House failed to pass earlier this week.

* In spite of the fact that the personable owner of Hot Doug's, everyone's favorite "encased meat emporium", broke his leg a few weeks ago so badly it required surgery, he is coming back starting next Wednesday! From the website: "It appears that Doug's leg is coming along nicely (and his bank account is not), so, HOT DOUG'S WILL RE-OPEN WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12. We appreciate your patience during this solemn time of convalescence and look forward to serving you a nice sausage (that's assuming Doug can ween himself off the vicodin)." Dang, I need to find an excuse to get into the city next weekend...

* The owner of the local Krispy Kreme franchise has filed for bankruptcy and plans to close half of their 15 outlets in the Chicago area.

* The Chicago City Council approved a measure that will allow people's dogs to dine with them at outdoor cafes. One restaurant plans to celebrate by offering beer for dogs!

* And finally, even though I don't think anyone I know has a membership but a few do have T-shirts from there, the owner of Cheetah Gym is closing all three locations due to "employee theft and graft".
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
Good news! Sort of. Fox has announced when they're going to burn off the last two episodes of Drive: the least-watched night of television of the year, July 4. Thank goodness for Tivo!

Here's a huge shocker: Amazing Race All-Stars winners Eric and Danielle are no longer dating (video link). Fortunately, they each have $500,000 to soothe the pain. {grumble, grumble}

And finally, a bit of comment-whoring: I'm interested in finding some new music, and I'm seeking recommendations. My tastes run to contemporary folk and folk-rock, Celtic, and guitar-based rock. I'm fascinated with combinations of genres, like Celtic rock, or Klezmer jazz (cf. David Grisman). And vocal harmonies are always welcome. So...what do you suggest?
duncandahusky: (Oh really?)
Not too much going on this week; I'm still slogging through our MP3 library, culling out the duplicates. I'm through the J's now, and probably have another 1,500 files or so to go. I went ahead and popped for the $20 license for MediaMonkey because the library synchronization features are quite useful, though I just wish it had a free plug-in to play over Airtunes. I may look into something like Airfoil for that, though, since it'd be nice to have something that works on all applications.

That aside, I've come across some interesting links to pass along. On a side note, I've started using del.icio.us to mark stuff that interests me. Feel free to add me to your network!

The Webby Awards have been announced, which is always a neat way to find new and interesting sites.

The above list led me to Truthdig ("Digging beneath the headlines"), which led to an utterly fascinating article that provides a thumbnail history of the Shias, the Sunnis, and the Wahhabis, which provides context for the present-day struggle for Iraq. The article is written by Scott Ritter, formerly a U. N. weapons inspector in Iraq.

We've recently started watching Deadliest Catch. The show has really impressed me, not so much because Alaskan crab fishing is so fascinating, but because the producers have done an amazing job in constructing a compelling narrative. I was pretty bummed to see that Captain Sig Hansen was actually in this area for an appearance (right near the MFF hotel, actually!) and we missed it. (Though I have to admit my favorite captain is Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie. He strikes me as the kind of guy it would be a hoot to go out drinking with.)

We're looking to finally put the smoker that Dan got last year to use this weekend. In poking around on the web, I found The Virtual Weber Bullet, a great site with good information on grilling and smoking (the Weber Bullet is a nickname for a popular smoker/grill). We're thinking about smoking some pork this weekend, and they have an extremely useful article on pork selection, preparation, cooking, and serving.

Funny, now I'm hungry...
duncandahusky: (Amused)
Not a lot going on, so here...have some links!

Roger Ebert rocks! I wish I could be at the Overlooked Film Festival this week, but it's really good to hear that Mr. Ebert will be there.

Coming June 17: Robot Chicken Star Wars Special featuring the voices of George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Conan O'Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Robert Smigel, Malcolm McDowell, Hulk Hogan, James Van Der Beek, Donald Faison, Abraham Benrubi, Breckin Meyer and Joey Fatone.

If you're a fan of Heroes and aren't reading the online graphic novels...you really should!

And of course, I Can Has Cheezburger?

Quick Hits

Jan. 10th, 2007 08:34 am
duncandahusky: (HTML Husky)
Enough with all the seriousness and real estate and hand-wringing and the oy!

* Hey [livejournal.com profile] feren - it turns out that you can do something else with all that gin around your house.

* Are you a Star Trek: The Next Generation fan? If so, I highly recommend you read Wil Wheaton's recaps/review the series pilot, "Encounter at Farfetched Farpoint" (Part 1, Part 2). Besides being quite amusing (Wil feels that Wesley Crush was an annoying twit, too), the behind-the-scenes insights he adds are quite interesting and he's a pretty good writer too. Oh, and fair warning: Wil uses some Bad Words in his writing.

* Oh yeah, Apple announced some phone or something. Unfortunately, since it's Cingular-only, the iPhone is officially Dead To Me.

* Eclipsed in all the hoo-hah yesterday, Tivo TiVo announced that they're going to start testing their software on Comcast's existing DVR hardware this spring. Perhaps at some later date Comcast will not suck. Or at the very least, suck somewhat less. EDIT: Engadget scores some pics of the new TiVo software in action.

And now to get some work done...
duncandahusky: (huskypuppy)
Last night was really nice. [livejournal.com profile] siriuswolfstar had mentioned the possibility of getting together for dinner. I decided to try to come up with a place we hadn't been to before, so I turned to my favorite place for Chicago foodies, LTHforum. That led to a neat initiative that they have instituted called the Great Neighborhood Restaurant program, whereby people nominate GNR status for the little local places that they think are worthy of greater notice. eatchicago.net took the last few rounds of winners and made a fabulous Google Map mashup. After looking around, I came up with two choices: Spacca Napoli or Laschet's Inn. We opted for German over pizza, so Laschet's Inn it was.

We met up with Sirius and [livejournal.com profile] simbalion at the restaurant and I have to say it was a great choice! I had the very tasty Leberkase topped with a fried egg, German potato salad and sauerkraut, chased by a Spaten Optimator. Just delicious! [livejournal.com profile] takaza's cheeseburger was only mediocre, unfortunately, but that kind of says that you have to play to your strengths. The apple strudel was a mushy mess that couldn't hold a candle to L. Wood's wonderful homemade version, but at least the apple crisp a la mode wasn't bad at all. Following the meal we chatted a bit in the pleasant evening air then headed home.

And here we are just before the holiday weekend. Sharp-eyed readers may note that I have not said anything about going to Mephit Furmeet, which started today; with the wedding in Maine next weekend, there was just no way for us to swing MFM financially. Next year, though, I suspect we'll be there. I hope everyone there has a good time, and be sure to thank the good, hardworking staff of MFM - they've earned it!

So what are our plans for the long weekend? Um, not much of anything actually. Sleep in, do some prep for the wedding. Maybe do brunch at Tre Kronor. That's about it, really. Hey, if anyone wants to get together give us a shout - maybe a movie, or just hanging out. I expect by Sunday night or Monday I'll be going nuts for some social interaction :-)

I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend, and if you're traveling be sure to stay safe!
duncandahusky: (pukey-cute)
You might be surprised by what Nathan Fillion (aka Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly/Serenity) gets off on in this 30-second (safe for work) YouTube clip from the Weekend of Horror Conventiion right here in Chicago last month.
duncandahusky: (Default)
Just some stuff that struck as amusing today...

Here's a couple of intriguing products:The Lazy Drinker is a cooler that holds 16 bottles plus ice and automatically meters out any of 5,000 preprogrammed drinks. A steal at only $750!

A bit more attainable is the AeroPress, a device which squeezes foxes...no, that's not right. Sorry, it's a one-cup coffee maker that's purported to make an excellent (as rated by coffee snobs!) cup of coffee in less than a minute. I'm intrigued, but I'm not sure if I'd go through the hassle to make one cup at a time. Good for traveling, though.

[livejournal.com profile] ursulav amused me immensely this morning with her post comparing the Bible to Jesus fanfic. I especially liked the speculation that some of the proto-gospels were crappily written
and full of Mary Sue disciples who all had green eyes and Jesus fell madly in love with them and...wait, was that the Last Temptation of Christ?

Via the ever-useful Lifehacker, we have Tab Mix Plus, a fabulous extension for Firefox which is an excellent tab manager, plus is saves your session if Firefox crashes, so you can pick up where you left off, and a couple of other nifty things. I just installed it last night and I like it!

And finally: Happy birthday, [livejournal.com profile] siriuswolfstar!
duncandahusky: (Fruity Oaty Bars!)
Grar. I so don't want to be here today.

I got up to the Racine Marriott last night in short order, a quick 30-minute drive. I suspect the northbound Tri-State Tollway gets abominable in the afternoons (judging from the huge backups on the southbound side that occur in the mornings), but when you leave at 3:30 things are nice and smooth. I checked in without any problems and was pleasantly surprised by our room: instead of the small, somewhat spartan room we had last year, this room has a nice wet bar with refrigerator, roomy bathroom with a separate area for the vanity, and a sleeper sofa. Also, it appears that they've upgraded their beds; this one was very much on a par with Westin's OMGWTFSOFT beds, though I'm not quite on board with the whole "Let's stack twenty pillows on the bed so it looks luxurious" thing. Anyway, it's the perfect room for entertaining and it will suit us well this weekend. I'm mildly annoyed that they are going to whack us for $10 per day for wireless access, but we'll cope.

[livejournal.com profile] datahawk and [livejournal.com profile] takaza arrived at about the same time, a little after 7 PM. We went over to Culver's for a quick dinner then got back in time to meet [livejournal.com profile] wyldekyttin, [livejournal.com profile] unclevlad, and [livejournal.com profile] renniefrog unloading their van. There was brief talk about maybe hitting the hot tub, but I was just too tired. We went back to our room and I quickly collapsed into the sleep of the dead, interrupted at about 1 AM by a horrid reflux attack. Bleah.

This morning I was up at 5 AM and went out to find about an inch of snow on the car. Bleah. The drive in didn't take nearly as long as I expected, and I had time to gas up the car and hit Charbucks for a caffeine fix before work. Now I need to find a way to pass the next seven hours since all the people I need to finish my current project are in training today. After that, it's back to Racine and Congenial. Woo!

Wow, I'll bet all of that above was amazingly boring. Here, have some links to amuse you:

  • A sixteen-year old gay teen takes on Virginia Senator George Allen on the subject of gay rights. This kid has a hell of a lot more guts than I did at his age, and I am just amazed and impressed by his actions. There's a lot of nice stuff in the comments as well.

  • For those traveling to Midwest FurFest, here's a new and inexpensive way to get to Chicago: MegaBus (which apparently is already a sizable carrier in the UK). According to Chicagoist, their deal is that fares start at $1 each way, plus a 50-cent reservation fee. For each trip, three or four $1 seats are reserved, and the remaining seats can range from $9 to $27. In other words, you’ll have to book early to get the super-cheap fares. They run express service to Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Louis.

  • Wisconsin proves that they are on the verge of global domination...or just a really good three-day binge.

  • No wardriving for you! A Rockford-area man is fined $250 for leeching off of someone else's WiFi.

And now, to work!
duncandahusky: (Default)
There's a real update in the pipeline, but first here's a couple of links which amused me this morning:

This one's for [livejournal.com profile] posicat, though I'll bet he already knows: Diane Duane has posted the first chapter to her subscription-only e-book. It'll be interesting to see how the economics of this work out, and if it is actually worth her time to publish this way.

GAHHHHH! This is not what I need to see in the morning. Tell me again how creepy, bizarre pictures help sell your product? (granted, it gets people to link to your ad, evidently...)

It's not too late to vote for the worst company in America! The competition has been fierce, and many worthy contenders (Wal Mart, Sprint, Monsanto) have fallen by the wayside, but in the end it's down to two: Halliburton vs. ChoicePoint. Whose evil will reign supreme?

What's Alton Brown been up to lately? Check out this twelve-minute podcast (playable in Flash, even!) to hear an interview with him at the Housewares Show in Chicago last weekend. Find out why he adores Shun knives, what Good Eats episodes are in the pipeline (hint: cinnamon rolls is one of them!), and some very cool webcasting plans that are in the works.

It's not particularly useful, but I find the concept amusing: Wiki on a Stick (How to install MediaWiki on a thumb drive)

And finally, it's nice to know at least some of the CTA El train operators have a sense of humor.
duncandahusky: (Default)
Here's a short vignette, a chance meeting on a subway train in New York City. No real moral to this story, but a nice touch of humanity in the chaos.

Link via Metafilter
duncandahusky: (Geeky)
Not a lot to talk about today, but a couple of interesting links.

Since I got my iPod, I've been having fun with podcasting. For those unfamiliar with it, it's just recording an audio file (typically MP3) and putting it up for downloading. If you have a program like iTunes (though there are others that do it as well), it will check periodically to see if there is a new file available and download it for you and even upload it to your portable music player. Here are a couple of podcasts that I've found that I like (no music player required - you can just download the files to your computer and listen to them there).

National Public Radio has a couple of nice podcasts: Right now I'm subscribed to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me (the most recently aired episode) and Story of the Day, but just in writing this I see that there's a heck of a lot more there to check out. Woo!

There's also the audio version of the latest Ebert and Roeper At The Movies show.

If you like Celtic music, particularly contemporary Celtic music, Celtic rock, and Celtic fusion, have I got a podcast for you. Celt in a Twist airs weekly on AM 1470, CJVB in Vancouver, BC, and they make their hour-long show available in four parts. Lots of great stuff here - The Paperboys, Spirit of the West, Flook, and Enter the Haggis, among many others.

Finally, [livejournal.com profile] woodychitwn pointed me to The Bruiser Chronicles (possibly NSFW). This, to me, is the epitome of the power of podcasting: one guy, just talking about his life and what's on his mind. The thing is, he's a personable guy, has a great "radio voice", and can tell a riveting story. His lengthy story of his encounters with "Bill", a repressed and vengeful co-worker, is nothing short of astonishing; if it were fiction it would be hard to believe but the fact that he had to live through it is amazing. Along the way, he touches on topics of sexual identity, self-doubt, and self-esteem. This is a show for adults, though; Bruiser is a gay man who is frank about what he likes and doesn't like and there's plenty of Bad Words and Sexual Content. It's definitely worth a listen, though.

Can anyone recommend any other podcasts to check out? I'm always looking for new and interesting stuff.

Since I'm posting a bunch of links today, I'll also throw in a couple that interested me:
I just added Hungry Magazine to my Bloglines subscriptions. It's an interesting read anyway, but two great articles showed up today: the McDonalds McArabia (really!), and a nice profile of "The Sausage King", Doug Sohn, owner and operator of Hot Dougs "Encased Meat Emporium" (with accompanying podcast!).

It's not too late to get in on Consumerist's Worst Company in America Tournament!

Finally, if you watch Survivor or The Amazing Race, you really should be reading the hilariously snarky recaps at televisionwithoutpity.com. They cover many other (U.S.) prime-time shows as well, and even have a lengthy recap of the movie Serenity.

Right-o, then. Off to lunch I go! I hope everyone has a great weekend!
duncandahusky: (Husky - WTF?)
Man in Tiger Suit Climbs to Top of Lighthouse, Is Arrested (Bonus link: here's the guy's website. We're starting a collection to send him to web design school.)

Groundhog Day leads to groundhog movie leads to furries leads to Anthrocon. Oookay then. (This is a clip from the little-watched CurrentTV, by the way)

Here, have a Hello Kitty Belt Sander.
duncandahusky: (Geeky)
Weekend recap to come, but here's some links which caught my eye this morning.

Supervalu wins Albertsons bidding war. Supervalu (which owns Cub Foods in the Chicago area) picks up all of the Jewel/Osco stores in Chicago, plus a host of other grocery brand names, including Acme. Stand-alone Osco stores in the Midwest will be going to CVS. A separate investment group is picking up Albertsons and Super Saver stores in Dallas/Ft Worth, Northern California, Florida, the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest.

The West Wing has been cancelled. The last episode airs in May. I checked out from this show after Sorkin left, but it was good while it lasted (even "Toby" didn't think much of it at the end, though).

On the bright side, it sounds like there are four Futurama films in the works, to be released direct to DVD. (And by the way, last year I heard an extended interview with Billy West. He's a very funny, very personable guy who has some interesting opinions on the state of voice acting talent industry today.)

Do you take the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94) in Chicago? Starting in March, be prepared to AVOID it for the next two years. Hmm - time to investigate that Skyway-to-Lake Shore Drive shortcut...

Oh yeah, and have fun voting, you Canuckians!
duncandahusky: (Default)
I've come across some useful links that I wanted to share:

- Joss Whedon gives up on Firefly: "'In the end, it was what it was: a tough sell,' says Whedon, adding that it appears the Firefly saga has reached its conclusion."
(See comments for why this is incorrect. Thanks [livejournal.com profile] cyohtee!)

- Speaking of franchises being reborn due to popularity on DVD, Matt Groening thinks the prospects for more Futurama are good.

- And while we're on the topic of animation, Venture Brothers co-creator Jason Publick has a LiveJournal with notes and stills from the upcoming season (no word on the exact date for the premiere, just "Spring, 2006").

- I'm not a fan of Saturday Night Live and haven't been since the early 80's or so. Nevertheless, the "Lazy Sunday" segment from last weekend's show (aka "The Chronicles of Narnia Rap") is drop-dead hilarious. You can watch it here and read the lyrics here.

- Please excuse me if I occasionally mutter the phrase "breathtaking inanity" and giggle to myself all day today.

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