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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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  1. Avatar Michael Cain
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    says:

    Not exactly reading/watching, but… My Mac Mini has started doing a near-daily “gray screen of death” number. For those unfamiliar, an overlay goes over the screen along with a message (in four or five languages) that I need to cycle the power due to a kernel panic. All of my UNIX intuition says it’s mostly likely a memory stick in the process of failing. This is a relatively old (mid-2007) Mini maxed out at 2G of third-party memory, old enough that replacing/expanding memory is a serious hassle in terms of getting the little box open and removing enough other stuff to get at the DIMMs (Apple has fixed that problem in later models). Plus it won’t run newer versions of the OS, so I’m stuck at 10.7.

    I’ve been very happy with the machine. A reasonable set of GUI apps, UNIX underneath with a stack of xterms running, a virtual machine with an old version of Windows on it for old Windows-only apps, and until recently very reliable (reboots only for extended power outages and occasional OS updates). Still, every time I get to this point I anguish over the decision. A new or refurbished (with Apple warranty) Mini? Go the Linux route again?Report

  2. Avatar zic
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    says:

    Sweet soup for the satisfied soul. Good in any language, sibilance aside.

    I’ve decided that I ignore those cookbooks too much, and make the same handful of dishes (awesome and comforting as they might be) so often they revert to boring and ordinary bleh.

    So I have begun a one-day-a-week cookbook adventure. I must choose a recipe from my cookbooks I’ve never made and make it, or at least a close proximity (I’m not a recipe purist, and don’t mind changing out some ingredients or using techniques I know will produce better results.)

    So last week, my first, I made a tagine with prunes and apples, culled from Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco by Paula Wolfert.

    The recipe calls for lamb or beef, cubed, I used beef — a chuck steak that I cubed myself so that I could control the amount of fat. This is coated with oil (I used olive oil and butter) with the classic Moroccan combo of safron, cinnamon, dried ginger, and coriander (I used both green — cilantro tied in a bundle) and crushed seed, stirred together over heat until fragrant (not browned) and then water to nearly cover and stewed. An hour later, add thinly-sliced onion and prunes, cook 30 min. more. Reduce to thick syrup. (The original recipe called for honey or sugar; the prunes were enough sweetness; resist or use very, very lightly.)

    1.5 hours isn’t a lot of time to stew tough cuts of meat, yet this was delicious and falling-apart; I presume this may be the tannic acids in the prunes, similar to adding red wine or tomatoes. When I repeat the dish, I’ll chop a few and add them at the beginning, and add the rest at the end to just plump them.

    Served with couscous, a salad of bitter greens, and a dallop of harissa — recipe for harissa here: http://mideastfood.about.com/od/dipsandsauces/r/harissa.htm

    This week, I’ll be looking for a recipe from Syria, in the hopes that it will be a speck of thought and magic for peace there.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to zic
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      says:

      moderation. Le sigh.Report

    • Avatar Maribou in reply to zic
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      says:

      tagine! i love tagine.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Maribou
        Ignored
        says:

        @maribou

        I’m old enough to have acquired more stuff then I need, I’m pretty picky about bringing new non-perishable stuff into my house, now. But I covet a tagine for the kitchen.

        I don’t really know how to judge the differences between dishes, there’s an tremendous price difference; but I’m most interested in something that cooks well, function over appearance, and glazes that won’t leech into acidic foods.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to zic
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      says:

      One thing that I’ve discovered in the last year and wish I had discovered years ago is the magic of the soupbone in the crockpot.

      If you haven’t played with such things yet, I’d ask you to give it a shot the next time you’re throwing stuff together. It adds a real undercurrent of umami and makes the soup feel a lot more robust. (If you’re making a stew or a chili, you probably can do without… but discovering soupbones was yet another “maybe my ancestors actually did know something!” moment for me.)Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        I agree, JB.

        Those bones in the pot provide all sorts of good stuff that make food richer (gelatins come from bones) and help with joint and cartilage health. My great-grandparents ate a lot less meat then is common today; but a lot more bone-based broth and stock then is common today.Report

  3. Avatar Stillwater
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    says:

    Watching: recently watched the BBC series “Sherlock” (except for 3-3), which was quite fun. It inspired lots of long discussions about how the British do things like *this*, and the Americans do things like *that* (to steal some cool language Jaybird has made famous).

    Reading: amongst other things, just finished Thud!, just beginning Wintersmith, in the Discworld series. I’m close to the end. Too close.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Stillwater
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      says:

      Sherlock is sitting on my DVR, waiting.

      True Detective is back on tonight. So’s Walking Dead, which I am not sure if I am done with yet.

      Finished a social rewatch of Hannibal last night, in prep for the new season.Report

    • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Stillwater
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      says:

      I saw 3-2 over the weekend. Though I enjoyed it, for the first 2/3s of the episode I found myself wondering where it was going. Then it all came together, and I thought it was a darn good episode.Report

  4. Avatar Chris
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    says:

    Reading Russia House and The Mimic Men. Watching season 4 of Justified, slowly.Report

  5. Avatar NewDealer
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    says:

    I’m reading a book called Blue Prints for the Afterlife by Ryan Boudinot. It is certainly interesting but I am not sure if I like it completely. I don’t dislike it though.Report

  6. Avatar Will Truman
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    says:

    Found a stopping point for Person of Interest. Moving on to the fall half-season of Revolution.

    Once I complete that, I may go whole-hog on Breaking Bad and try to blitz through that in time for the end of the spring season.

    Listening to a Robert Ludlum audiobook (“Trevayne”), having just finished Brad Meltzer’s… something. Dead Even? Something like that.Report

  7. Avatar NewDealer
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    says:

    Here seems like a good enough place for it but the Beatles made their Ed Sullivan debut 50 years ago today.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-beatles-quotes-20140209,0,1146431.story?page=1#axzz2srLw648O

    What’s interesting is that William F. Buckley and the Nation are equally dismissive but from very different class angles. Buckley saw the Beatles as working-class animalistic culture and sex appeal. The Nation dismissed the young women in the audience as going through a safe version of rapture and then going home safe and secure to their upper-middle class suburbs to be like mommy.

    Not a high-point for either.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to NewDealer
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      says:

      This the awesome story of a husband-and-wife comedy team who, after years of anonymity, finally got their big break: an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Yes. That night.

      If you listen to it (and you should), try to forget that you know the ending, and pay attention to the clues about where things are going.Report

  8. Avatar Maribou
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    says:

    I’m rewatching season 7 of Bones ’cause I was kind of in a fugue the last time I watched it (last year during the awful semester of family awfulness) and I don’t remember anything. Then I will watch season 8. I finished with Glee. I keep almost watching Continuum. And since apparently Jaybird has decided we aren’t saving Babylon 5 to watch with each other anymore, I will quit waiting for him and go back to watching that.

    Mostly I’ve been reading cataloging texts – mmmm, RDA *sigh* – but also Sean Murphy’s Punk Rock Jesus which was so good I could put up with all the earnest, and Amanda Coughlin’s The Orchardist which was… not the healthiest thing I could’ve been reading right now, but exceptionally well-made.Report

  9. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    says:

    Rereading Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow for the first time in over a decade and a half. Thinking I should do a post on how powerful, brilliant and insightful a book it is, and how Russell’s follow up Children of God made me wonder if it wasn’t so entirely by accident.

    Jonas Jonasson’s The 100-Year-Old Man and Steven Rinella’s American Buffalo sit at the ready when I am done, and of course I am not yet done with Bloodlands.

    Have been away from screens for a week, so not really watching anything.Report

  10. Avatar Reformed Republican
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    says:

    Not a lot of watching this weekend. I got to the halfway point of American Horror Story: Asylum. That is the point where the status quo gets thoroughly upset, and things start careening toward the end. Not much else. Instead of TV I spent a bit of time listening to podcasts, trying to get caught up. A few of my regulars had extra episodes last week. Normally, I just listen while driving, but over the weekend I put some on while cooking or just sitting on the couch.

    Also, for those interested, that American Gods is going to be made into a TV Series and Anansi Boys is going to be made into a miniseries. I am looking forward to both of these.Report

  11. Avatar KatherineMW
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    says:

    Watching the Olympics. Three gold medals in three days! Our Canadian athletes are performing spectacularly.

    Ordered Season 3 DVDs of Game of Thrones today.Report

  12. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    I visited a cute Persian and she fixed lunch-all traditional. There was this lentil soup….OMG…Report

  13. Avatar youtube.com
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    says:

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