Why most restaurants suck

In the search for gastronomic excitement and true culinary enjoyment, I think it is a truism that more often than not, you are going to be disappointed in many of the restaurants that are out there. At least that is what our latest foray into some new food has led me to believe.

Now, I'm not some new aged foodie or any type of a food snob, but I do enjoy good, well paired and well prepared foods. More often than not, the best foods that I get to enjoy aren't from a shi-shi-poo-poo, high priced restaurants, but instead are small, independently owned restaurants that are run and managed by one or two people (a partnership of sorts) or by a family. In actuality, I have yet to find a high-priced restaurant that makes me believe that the meal is worth the price. Some of the absolute greatest restaurant foods that I have eaten have either come from a tiny hole-in-the-wall, or even a food truck.

I think the reason behind this is because the small holes-in-the-wall are all owned and operated by people who, for lack of a better phrase, actually give a shit (not usually a word you'd prefer to see in an article about food...but there it is)! These are people that want to make and serve great food, and their passion is not only demonstrated by the food they prepare, but also the people they employ.

This entire three paragraph preamble is simply a build-up to say that we had a really lousy dining experience today. We went to a fairly new restaurant that opened up recently called Five Burroughs. As you might gather by the name, Five Burroughs is a New York style restaurant that "specialises" in types of food you'd expect to find in New York: Burgers, fries, pizza (no pizza was on the menu), etc. Plain and simple fare, that if done well, could really satisfy you. Unfortunately, it wasn't done well...at all.

When we arrived, the restaurant wasn't very busy; there were probably three parties seated when we got in. We were seated (not really greeted) by a very young, very attractive, and extremely aloof hostess who didn't seem to want to be there. She disappeared without a word and brought our menus over a minute or so later, and then disappeared again after asking if we wanted a drink to start. As it was a warm day, and we had just been on a long (2 hr) trek, we ordered a couple of milk-shakes; real New York fare!

The milk-shakes that we received were nothing like what we would expect from a place that had it's roots in New York, although it did match my expectations of a Kiwi milk-shake. In my experience, a good milk-shake, a really good milk-shake is a thick slurry of partially melted ice-cream mixed with a little bit of milk. It should give you brain freeze with every sip. Alas, Kiwis went the other way with it, and decided that it should be mostly milk, and be cool to drink, but not ice cold. Guess which one this one was? Yep, they went the Kiwi route, and while it tasted OK, it wasn't what I had in mind.

Originally, we were going to the restaurant to try their take at poutine; they offered cheesy fries and gravy. Also, because of the long walk, I was feeling pretty hungry and I was thinking of trying a burger, or Reuben or maybe a hot dog of some sort. But after the lack-lustre service, and the lacker-lustre-re milk-shake, we thought best to stick to the original idea of cheesy fries and gravy.

Ok, before I go on with the the fries, I just wanted to make a quick note a about poutine. For those who have never tried true French Canadian poutine, you are missing out on a delicacy; poutine is thick-home-cut fries drowning in gravy, and smothered in cheese curds. Now on paper, it sure doesn't sound great, and to be honest, if someone served true poutine to the uninitiated, it wouldn't look good sitting in front of them either. But true poutine, is something that everyone should experience in their lifetime. Ok, poutine preamble complete.

What we were served was prefrozen, packaged shoestring fries with a bit of Swiss cheese melted cheese on top (see image below), that were sitting in a little puddle of...I can't even call it gravy!



Think of this: When I say the word gravy to you, what comes to mind? For me, it is a thick concoction of meat juices that has been reduced down and thickened with some sort of starch so that it is viscous and sticks to whatever it comes into contact with. The stuff that was served in this dish, could best be described as watered down au jus. To be honest, until we got towards the bottom of the dish, we weren't sure they had included the gravy! The worse part of this whole thing was the little portion of "food" they served us cost twelve bucks!

As you can tell by this review, the food that we were served was absolutely horrible, and we will not ever go back. If this is indicative of the type of food they normally serve, I don't think they will last over six months.

Come on people! Have some pride in what you do. If you go into the restaurant business, do it with the idea that you can offer great food that nobody else can. Don't go into hoping to make a quick buck based on a theme.

I'm THAT Guy

Image courtesy of: Grant Williamson
(https://www.flickr.com/photos/gjw/1280191410/)
Today, I was walking back from checking out our new office space, which we're moving into on February 2nd. I stepped out the door of the main building, and started to plug into my phone so that I could listen to podcasts as I walked back to the office. So I'm standing there, in the middle of the sidewalk, stuffing my earbuds into my earholes, and punching in my code to unlock my phone, when this woman walks around me from behind, and shoots me a VERY unfavourable glance, obviously quite upset that I have decided to do this task in her way.

I noticed that she gave me an angry look, and immediately apologized...because I'm Canadian. Anyway, I said sorry, and stepped off to the side so that I wouldn't be in anyone else's way...on the virtually empty sidewalk. But what I found very rude, was the fact that after apologizing, this lady just shook her head as if she had stepped in dog poo, by some unthinking, and uncaring jerk!

But you know what really pissed me off about this whole encounter? The fact that I realized that I have been her! I've been the one casting grumpy glances at anyone who should have the audacity to get in my direct line of motion, and I've been the one shaking my head in disgust at these self-absorbed and self-centred people!

It made me see, not that I didn't implicitly know this anyway, that people aren't being rude; they aren't trying to get in my way; they aren't trying to be jerks. They are simply not thinking outside their own little worlds. I wasn't trying to get in that lady's way, but I was too wrapped up in my own thoughts, that it never even dawned on me that I might be in other people's way.

Anyway, long story short, I'm going to try to keep in mind that most people aren't out to piss me off. Most inconveniences have very little to do with me, and have nothing to do with making my day better or worse.

Bitter Sweet Fi-n-Chi

No more home-cut fries
Kristie had a haircut today at 5:00 p.m. so we planned to meet up at my work with the dogs at about 6:00 p.m. After taking the dogs for a walk in the Botanic Gardens, we thought it would be too late to go home and get something prepared for dinner, so we thought we'd get some Fi-n-Chi takeaway.

There is a little shop on the Miramar Peninsula called Huckle & Co. that we enjoy going to because they make these wonderful, home-cut fries. I've actually mentioned the place before as the fries reminded me of the kind of fries you'd get at a chip wagon in Ottawa. So we got there at about 7:00 p.m., placed our order and were told that it would be about a half hour as they were busy. No problem, their fries are worth the wait...or so we thought.

It didn't dawn on us, until we returned for our order that we didn't recognise any of the staff who were in there. Then, while still waiting, Kristie noticed, that on their menu, they had covered up the word "home" on their "home-cut" fries and replaced it with the word "thick". Which got our fri-die senses tingling. We still had a few minutes to kill before our order, so we went outside and that is when we noticed a...notice posted on the window that said Huckle & Co. was under new management, and they weren't making the home-cut fries.

How can I put this, without sounding overly dramatic....NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, sadly, they had switched to McCain superfries, or some variant thereof.

We were supremely disappointed.

On the bright side however, the fish, which was crumbed tarakihi, was better than other fish we've had there under the new owners.

Still, we don't think that we'll be going back any time soon, unless they bring back their home-cut fries.

Really? Really?

So as many of you probably know by now, the new Star Wars trailer came out a few days ago, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the internet pretty much shit themselves. Seriously, some people went into convulsions of sheer joy, while others started riots akin to the Arab Springs uprising.

I've seen the trailer, and I liked it. Now, I could talk about the fact that the internet went ape-shit over a black storm trooper, or I could talk about how there were virtual riots in the streets about the light saber broad sword, but that has been done to death. Honestly, listen to any geek podcast out there, and they've pretty much dedicated entire shows to the new trailer. But I don't want to talk about that. No, what I want to talk about is the mashups or parodies that many people have created for the trailer.

In the few days that the trailer has been out, there have already been a plethora of spoof trailers; like the JJ Abrams lens-flare trailer, or the George Lucas, director's cut trailer, in which virtually every bad George Lucas trope was thrown into the trailer along side the good stuff. But the one I haven't seen yet, and was really looking forward to, was the Lego trailer.

In this version, some  superfan of Star Wars took the audio from the original trailer and overlay it against a recreation of the original trailer, only all done in stop-motion animation using Lego.

So, I googled...Googled? (Should the verb be capitalised if the verb was derived from the proper noun?) So I did a Google search (better!) for the Lego Star Wars preview, and the first video result that popped up was on on Yahoo News. So, I click the link, and this is what I get (see image below):


It says:
This video is not available in your location due to provider license restrictions.
Ummmm...

I've got news for you Yahoo...News: The entire video should be against provider license restrictions! It is a fan made, recreation of a Disney made movie; Disney, the most litigious and tight-fisted corporation out there when it comes to managing their brand. Technically, this mashup/parody breaks all forms of copyright restrictions, but has Disney forced a take-down notice? No, because it does nothing to hurt the brand, and can easily be argued that it elevates the brand. But Yahoo News doesn't say that I can't view the video because of all the other copyright restrictions. Nope, apparently, the straw that breaks the camel's back is that they think they might get in trouble if this video is viewed in New Zealand!

I don't think I will ever understand how in the internet age, why content creators are continuing to restrict content to willing (and often paying) fans.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go scream at some kids to get off my lawn.

Nutrition is a four letter word

Today, Kristie and I did something that we haven't done in a very long time, and no it wasn't a monkey knife fight. Although it has been quite a while since we've hosted one of those too. No, instead we made a grilled cheese sandwich! However, this was no ordinary grilled cheese sandwich...actually, it was; which is why it was so great.

Although we are starting to get closer to our summer, the last few days or so has been incredibly windy, sometimes rainy, and no all together pleasant on the whole. So what better dinner to have than a bowl of home made soup, and a grilled cheese sandwich on the side!

We didn't use any type of gourmet cheese for this sandwich. No this as not made with imported bacterial cultures and the cheese wasn't made from goat, sheep, or alpaca milk. It was plain old Tasty cheese (analogous to Canadian cheddar.).

We didn't make this grilled cheese sandwich with some sort of organic, whole meal, seed encrusted, crusty artisan bread that was made by some French guy or girl. No, we went to Brumby's (a bakery here in NZ/Aus) and bought a plain loaf of white bread. The kind of bread that is devoid of any nutrient value. This was the kind of bread that would have been served with cucumbers, and the crusts cut off by a homemaker from the sixties for her Tupperware party. The kind of bread that, if purchased by a modern mother for her child, would probably land her in jail with her child in protective custody. It's the kind of bread that you'd expect a 50 year old lonely divorcee to have as his breakfast, lunch and dinner. I want to emphasize that this was closer to Styrofoam than it was to bread.

So we took our soup out of the freezer, it was leftover soup from another cold day, heated it up in the microwave, and while it was heating, we made our grilled cheese sandwich in our skillet. We didn't even use the panini maker to pretend it was fancy! We just grilled that sucker up in an electric skillet!

And do you want to know something? It was Gooooooooooooooooooooooooood! Every now and then, it feels good to go retro.

A real slug fest

So, as many of you may know, my dogs have a habit of getting me up in the middle of the night to go for a pee. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it, and it doesn't seem to make any difference if I take them out just before bed or not. Inevitably, one of my two dogs will get me up at least once a week. Very rarely, they will wake Kristie up instead of me, but for the most part, they see me as the pee guy and occasionally the poop guy...I mean I made a comic strip about it for goodness sake!

Anyway, last night Walnut woke me up at about 12:40 ish to go out for a pee. Now normally, what I will do is, put on my slip on shoes to take the guys out, as Wellington can be a cold and damp place in the winter. However, the weather has been quite mild as of late, so I thought that I could go outside with Walnut and stand on the patio while he went for a pee.

Well, he didn't go for just a pee, he also went for a poop. No big deal, he pooped in the dog run which is right beside the patio, so I'll just walk back to the house, grab a poop bag, and pick it up. So, I walk back, grab the bag, pick up the poop, and then while walking back, I felt something wet, cold and squishy under my bare foot. Ew!!! I say wet, cold and squishy, so I know that I didn't step in leftover poop, but as I lifted my foot to see what said squishiness might have been trodden upon, I see the remnants of a large slug wiggling on the ground. EWWWW! Below is an image I created as a rendering of what this was like from the slug's perspective.



So I wipe my foot off on the welcome mat, heel-walk back into the house and grab a paper towel to wipe off the large remnants of the slug. I then soaked another wet paper towel with hand sanitizer and wiped off my foot again as I didn't want to contract schistosomiasis. I don't know if you can get schisto from a garden slug, but I didn't want to take the chance.

So, what did I learn? Spring, summer, winter or fall...always wear your shoes.

Doodle on

I didn't doodle much when I was a student. I never took the time to just draw the random things that would come to my mind. Lately however, I have been taking a plain, lined notebook with me when I go for lunchtime walks, and I would simply draw whatever thought came into my head. Now, to do a good and interesting doodle isn't as easy as you might think. I use to believe that it didn't take much skill or thought to do an artistic doodle. I mean how hard could it be, you just do a line here, a circle there, and then maybe a happy face. Well, I was wrong!

I have spent the last three nights working on this doodle (see below), and unlike the people that commit their art directly to paper, I had the luxury of using the undo key on the computer. I tip my hat to you doodlers!


Seal of Disapproval

We went for a run today and the weather was absolutely fantastic, so we decided to take a new route. Usually we run the Miramar peninsula, but today we went out to Owhiro Bay so that we could run the ocean trail to Red Rock, which is a well known fur seal haul out location. We've hiked out there quite a few times in the past and taken some great photos of the seals.

So, we parked about a kilometre away from the trail starting point and ran the trail. First of all, it was a much slower run than usual as there was a lot of loose stone, soft sand and other obstacles, but the views on the run itself were picturesque and tranquil. I brought my phone along with us so that when we reached Red Rock we could take photos of the fur seals. Alas, those photos were not meant to be. When we got there, we couldn't see hide nor hair of the seals, which is too bad because the weather was hot and sunny, and it should have been the perfect time for them to have hauled themselves out to bask. I guess they were all out eating breakfast or something. Oh well, like I said, the run was still great and the scenery was awesome as well.

Below is a photo I took at the haul out area...sans seals.

No seals, but nice scenery.
Running route to Red Rock

Hulk Bash

Friday, October 03, 2014 21:22 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Hulk Bash

There was a recent shocking computer vulnerability discovered by security researches about a week ago that they're calling Shellshock. They believe that this vulnerability may have been around since the mid 90's or early naughts (I think). They call it shellshock because the vulnerability lies in a shell program called Bash.

Shell + shocking vulnerabilty = shellshock! Get it? Yeah, I laughed so hard, I almost peed my pants!

Anyway, the way the tech media is making it out, the internet will probably fall apart tomorrow as virtually all Linux systems have this bash program within its DNA, and more than 50 percent of the web servers in the world operate on Linux. Also, virtually all internet of things (smart meters, smart TVs, etc.) run on Linux. So, as you can see, this is clearly bigger than Y2K and Heartbleed put together. Except it really isn't.

Now, while not every web server will be patched in the immediate future, you can rest assured that the big players are working on fixes. Actually, many of them are already reporting that they have patched the vulnerability. But here's the cool thing: because Linux is an open source operating system, any changes to that operating system, regardless of which company/entity makes those changes, has to have that fix be implemented in the underlying Linux architecture. It's actually a bit more complicated than that, but the bottom line is, if any entity makes the operating system better, then that code is adopted into the underlying operating system.

Yes, but what about the internet of thing issue? Won't those devices be insecure? Do I need to unscrew all my smart light bulbs?

Yes. Yes, you do.

Not really. In order to keep all these things operating quickly, you need a really small operating system, and as such those versions of Linux (more than likely) used a different shell program, something that is much smaller, and wouldn't weigh down their operating systems.

Anyway, after hearing all the hype about this whole thing, I came up with the idea for this cartoon; kind of a play on words to the catch phrase of The Hulk: Hulk Smash!

So in short, this entire blog post is nothing more than an excuse to post a cartoon I drew.

Not a Social Drinker

Boring Bits

First of all, I am starting to record my Quest For Fiver blog here, rather than on the Quest For Fiver blog (I'm such a blog whore). That means, when I have virtually nothing to say, I will use this format:

  • Boring Bits
  • Food Diary
  • Exercise Diary

Dehydration
Ok, onto the boring bits. So yesterday, in keeping with our new activity guidelines (walking home with the dogs and then running afterwards), we went out for a run on an absolutely gorgeous evening. Trouble was, I hadn't had a drop of water all day to keep myself hydrated, so I had a massive dehydration headache on the run and had to stop before we hit 2.5 KM.

This is actually a frequent problem of mine; not hydrating properly that is. I hardly ever drink water throughout the day, even though I have one of those fancy water bottles sitting on my desk! You know the ones: they are made of non-leaching materials and have the spout on them that makes it look like an adult sippy cup. Yeah, those ones. Now, while the whole idea of a required 8 glasses of water per day has actually been disproved as anything other than hearsay and old wives tales (you're all a pawn of big hydro), I do know that I probably go through most days without proper hydration. So despite saying this almost every time I experience dehydration, this time I mean it:
I am going to ensure to properly hydrate each and every day!
Since working on this blog entry, I have already taken 2 large swigs of water from my adult sippy cup! This is my challenge. Only it won't be a simple 30 day challenge where I vow to stay away from water afterwards. This will be an ongoing, forever challenge!

Here's to hydration! I hope to see you in the bathroom! Hmmmm...that didn't come out like I had planned.

Food Diary

  • 2.5 cups of coffee
  • 1 bowl of banana and blueberry baked oatmeal
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 1 slice of home-made banana bread
  • Salmon Pasta
  • 1 muffin
  • 1/2 a caramel slice
  • 1/2 serving of fi-n-chi
We wanted to make fish tacos tonight, but as it turns out, Kristie had too much on the go, and we decided to take the easy way out, now that the 30 no eating out challenge is over. So we went to one of our favourite little takeout joints and shared an order of fi-n-chi.

Exercise Diary

  • 70 sit ups
  • 70 leg lifts
  • 70 crunches
Kristie and I couldn't walk home together today as she had a scheduled Skype appointment with someone in Canada looking for information on coming to NZ. Also, again because of the busy evening, we didn't get our run in, which is too bad because the weather was fantastic. At least we both got in a walk for lunch, and I got to take the boys for a walk in the Botanic Gardens while Kristie was at her library event tonight. I am using a new app that tracks walking distance, and according to it, I walked 5 KM tonight.
Autoawesome of tulips in the botanic garden.

Result of the 30 Day Blog Challenge


Ok, so the 30 day blog challenge is over, and here are my thoughts:


  1. I don't have enough interesting to say for 30 days straight. Maybe enough for 2-3  days, but only if I have interesting dreams.
  2. I got fairly lazy on a few of them, and now realise that I missed one day completely. You can see the word count got lower and lower as time went on. Blogging takes time, and I frequently found myself rushed.
  3. Could I blog more frequently? Yeah, and I plan to, but once a day isn't for me
That's it. I'm going to bed now, and I doubt that I will have a blog entry tomorrow. But then again, I may surprise you.

Time Change Equals Routine Change

So we just sprung forward this weekend, which means zombie ground-hog is resurrected for another six months, or something to that effect. At any rate, we've got an extra hour of light in the evening, as opposed to the morning. As such, we are adjusting our routines to take advantage of the extra daylight in the evening.

Before the time change, I would pick Kristie up after work, along with the dogs, and we'd drive to Miramar for a 5 KM run. After we got back from the run, we'd take the dogs for a walk on the beach (no we didn't leave the dogs in a hot car).

Now that the time change has taken effect, I take the dogs on a walk through the Ngaio Gorge to meet up with Kristie at a halfway point. Then, we all walk back home together. After we get home, we take a 20 minute break or so, and then go for an evening run while there is still light.

It will take a while to get use to the extra walk before hand, but I'm looking forward to the affects in the long term.

Here's our first run on this schedule.
5 KM run along the point
After the run.

Dream Big


A while back, I was day dreaming that I'd be able to start up a nutrition podcast with Walter Willet.

Walter Willet is a physician and nutrition researcher. He is a professor and Epidemiology and Nutrition, and he is the chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.

I had read a bit of his publications, and watched some of his videos and found him to be brilliant; if you want to know about real nutrition, and not the bullshit diet fads and dangerous nutrition ideas published by many other bozos, then follow his works.

Anyway, back to my flights of fancy. So I had it in my head that I could simply call Dr. Willet up on the phone, ask him to co-host a podcast about nutrition with me (a non-credentialed nobody). I'm pretty sure it could have worked (*cough*...bullshit!).

I did come to my senses, but not before creating a cover album for the podcast that I had envisioned. Although the podcast idea may have been a pipe dream, I thought the cover art was kind of inspired.

Compartmentalised Question

Ok, so last night I had a dream and in my dream me and this other character were talking and the other character made up this metaphor. It took me (my dream self) a couple seconds to understand the metaphor, and then my dream self started giggling about it.

Now, here's my question: Did the real me (the guy having the dream), create the metaphor specifically for that dream character, and did my real brain somehow compartmentalise the meaning, and keep it away from my dream self?

OR...

Did the real me simply write the narrative as an author would. Meaning the real me created and understood the metaphor, but I portrayed the dream as if my character didn't understand the metaphor?

Does that make sense?

So if we take the dream out entirely, can part of my brain make up a joke, and the other part of my brain has never heard the joke, even though the other part of my brain made it up?

Too Many Tweets


I came up with this idea yesterday morning as I woke up and realised that the bird song in the morning was getting more and more cacophonous. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that the bird song is getting more abundant as it means that warmer weather is coming. But I do remember a few Saturday mornings last year, when it would have been wonderful to sleep in, but the birds would have none of it.

Is it strange that even though I'm the one who came up with this cartoon, it still makes me giggle?

I'm Looking for Clarity on this Issue

A friend of mine posted an image of a woman in a burka where you could only see her eyes; other than that, she was totally covered in fabric. The caption on the photo was:
Ban the Burka
Like and share this photo
Now we can get onto how ineffective this kind of "activism" is later, but my question is: Why?

Why ban the burka? From what I understand, many sects in Islamic culture command that the burka be worn by women as part of their religion, I am also aware that some believe that the burka is not mandatory. I'll leave that to the Islamic scholars to determine. I'm sure they'll come to a decision in the next couple of days :-|

First off, I know of the plight of many Muslim women. I know that in many places they are treated as nothing more than property. I know of honour killings, and I know of issues where women have been raped, and then stoned because they were raped. Trust me, I get those issues, and I think they are horrendous. But why focus on the burka?

But again, I wonder why are these people focusing in on the burka? Is it because it is a symbol with what they believe is a problem with Islamic religions? And if that is the case, then is it too much of a stretch to think that the problem is with the religion itself?

I don't hear a huge chorus of people calling for a ban on the Jewish yamaka, or a Hasidic Jew's beard or curls. I don't hear for a ban on Sikh Turban (although I have heard about a call for a ban on their ceremonial daggers). If it has to do with protection of the person from their religions, then why not start with banning circumcision? After all, for many people that religious passage is nothing more than genital mutilation?

Look, I am an atheist, and I think the idea of any religious doctrine is ridiculous, but I really am trying to figure out why the burka is a target. I am a reasonable person, and if anyone would like to tell me why we should focus on the burka rather than some of the other religious atrocities, I'd be happy to hear them.

Wellington Street Art Story

Today I went around to a few places not far from work and took some photos of the street art that I like.

Here is the link to the Google Plus Photo Story: https://plus.google.com/110030080427773625684/stories/f01f928a-d3e0-34cd-ac2d-ddd071cfbf61148a1452931?authkey

Here are some of the photos themselves.



















A Typical Monday in Photos

05:31 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
As I only work a four day work week, Mondays are typically a day to get caught up in housework. I give the house a good cleaning, I do laundry, I make things like our lunch time snacks and home-made granola, etc. If the weather cooperates, I also do some yard work.

Here are some visuals of my typical Monday.

Folding Laundry

Walnut waits for someone to bark at

Rainy days have some laundry drying inside

Dust, dust, dust

Sweep! Hurry! Hard!

Adding coconut to the granola

I want a robotic vacuum

Heating the oil and vanilla extract for granola

Time to make granola

These are called eggs :-P

After dropping Kristie off at work, I will typically get some groceries

A Good Weekend

Angus basks in the sun, on one of his double walks today.
This has been a really good weekend. Not an amazing weekend, but a good one.

We had an enjoyable Saturday where we made some home-made maki (Thanks to our friends Sandra and Jason for introducing us to this dish). We went to a really good movie, and managed to get out for a walk on Lambton Quay for some window shopping despite the rain.

Sunday, we got to get out for a bit of a run. It wasn't the best weather, but it wasn't the worst either. After the run, we hit the farmers market where we bought an amazing cookie from one of the vendors; straight out of the oven! We got some adobo sauce and picked up our fruit for the week as well. Later we had a bit of a nap, and when we got up the weather had taken a turn for the better, and it was sunny and warm. So to take advantage of the great weather, we took the dogs to Miramar for a double walk.

Dinner had to be rearranged as the recipe we were trying stated that while a great meal, it didn't work well as leftovers. Leftovers is how we get our lunches, so that took it out of the running. So we made a lentil faux-meatloaf for dinner instead.

All in all, a pretty good weekend.

The Lunchbox


Aaargh! I've only got 43 minutes left in the day before I have to get this blog entry completed!

Ok, ummm.....think, man think! Something to blog about, something to blog about... Oh, I know, the movie we just saw! The Lunchbox.

What an amazing movie! Not amazing because of action, or special effects, or musical score. Actually, I don't remember any underlying music in this movie. No, what was great about this movie was simply the story and the acting.

So real quick, here's the premise: An Indian claims officer for an unnamed company, getting ready for early retirement, starts getting the wrong lunch box delivered to him. Apparently, in India, there is an entire economy based on delivering lunches to the Mumbai workforce.

Anyway, Saajan, played by Irrfan Khan starts getting lunches delivered to him from Ila, a lonely and neglected housewife played by Nimrat Kaur. Through the passing back and forth of the lunchbox, private notes are passed to and fro to each person, and a wonderful relationship develops between the anonymous pair. What I loved about their correspondence was the fact that because neither one knew the other, there was an honesty and forthright communication between the two. It was almost like kibitzing a therapy session, only both parties were both the patient and the therapist.

Like I said, the story and the acting made this something great to watch. There was one scene where the Ila and Saajan agreed to meet, and you could almost feel the butterflies in Saajan's stomach fluttering around at the thought of meeting Ila.

I really liked this movie, and if you're interested in a good story, I'd recommend you go and see it.

Turtle Evolution is Lazy

This will be a short blog entry, but something interesting struck me while talking to my cousin via Facebook. My Cousin Raymond is a herpetologist, which is someone who studies reptiles and amphibians.

Anyway, Raymond had posted this photo on his page of him holding a massive snapping turtle. After discussing the photo, he told me that turtles had been around since before the dinosaurs, which I found fascinating. Not because they have been around for so long, but because they have remained hardly changed by the forces of evolution, whereas humanity has basically only existed for what? Less than a million years?

Homo erectus, and homo habilis existed around one and two million years ago, respectively. In that time frame we have evolved into something that can be recognisable as our forbearers, but still vastly different. Whereas, from my point of view, a turtle still looks like a turtle, even 65 million years later. Odontochelys, which is a 220 million transitional fossil, REALLY looks like a turtle to me. 220 million years, and other than ironing out the rough bits, turtle evolution seems to have been a bit slack!

Yeah, I know that it is like comparing prehistoric apples to prehistoric oranges, and I know that just because there is not much of a visible difference, doesn't mean that changes haven't occurred, but I just thought it was interesting. 220 million years of evolution for a turtle, and we can barely see the difference, whereas with only 2 million years of evolution, humans are quite different. Damn, we're a bunch of go-getters!