The Virtues of Restraint

October 19, 2010
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Shortly after we moved into our house (which She Who Must Be Obeyed bought me for my birthday fifteen years ago), we were given a bonsai juniper as a housewarming present. Since I deal with all of the Chez Belm biology projects (carnivorous plants, herb garden, outdoor landscaping, fermented food products, tropical fish, small boy), […]

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Tony and Me

July 27, 2010
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From the day I read Kitchen Confidential (KC ) right through to today, Anthony Bourdain has been a huge influence on how I cook, eat, and think about cooking and eating. He motivated me to try new things, which has led to some amazing meals at Per Se, St. John, Au Pied de Cochon, and […]

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Readercon 21

July 8, 2010
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I‘m off to Readercon 21. I wrote about the conference last year, but the big difference for me is that I am this year’s Program Chair, which means I’m in charge of the content creation and scheduling processes. It’s a job that has consumed every available moment of my life since May, which explains why […]

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Rock That Font

June 11, 2010
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A friend and reader of this blog sent me this email about a month ago: About the typography of rock album covers: I have never seen a website that seems more precisely designed for [you] — except that there are no recipes, alas. A visit to the site confirmed his description; it was as […]

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February 3, 2010
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The flutes that open “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Stairway to Heaven,” the strings in”Nights in White Satin” — these are sounds you know by heart. What you may not know is that they were played on a keyboard instrument called the Mellotron. When I was a high school prog music geek with a crappy band, […]

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Alton and Me

November 13, 2009
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When it’s time to prepare the family Thanksgiving meal this year, I’ll start by thawing the frozen bird in cold running water the morning before. I’ll let the turkey sit in a big cooler full of a spiced brine and ice overnight before roasting it unstuffed. I’ll make a cornbread pudding and cranberry-orange-ginger dipping sauce […]

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Get Better

October 15, 2009
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Merlin Mann is one of my favorite bloggers. He had me hooked years ago with 43 Folders, when I was obsessed (along with the rest of my geek circle) with Getting Things Done. Today, I found this talk  — How To Blog — on Kung Fu Grippe, his personal blog, and the slide shown above. […]

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Whip It

October 6, 2009
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Jell-O® put me through college. I wasn’t a door-to-door Jell-O® salesman, but I was the son of a General Foods (GF) employee – Dad programed IBM 370 mainframes for the warehouse inventory systems in assembly language – which made me eligible for a corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship. All I had to do in return was […]

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In Which I Confess to Being the Last Food Blogger in the U.S. to See Julie and Julia

October 1, 2009
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I feel like a traitor. I have declared here that Julia Child is the reason I can cook today, but I waited more than two months to see Julie and Julia. Part of the delay can be attributed to finding someone to watch He Who Will Not Be Ignored (difficult in the summer when all […]

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Mahlon Hoagland: 1921-2009

September 25, 2009
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He worked with James Watson and Francis Crick. He discovered transfer RNA and amino acid activation. He was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize. His name was Mahlon Hoagland, he passed away last week, and you have never heard of him. I had never heard of him until a series of unlikely circumstances brought us […]

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