Have Some Dessert Honey

“WuhOOOOW”

Totally charmed by this guy.

[via the Daily What]

February 3, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Video. 1 comment.

Douglas Coupland’s Predictions for the Coming Decade

I read this a couple of months ago, but only now, in these early days of the new decade*, does it feel right to stamp out the ubiquitous optimism with some good doubt.

Douglas Coupland, a Canadian curmudgeon, lists 45 predictions for the coming decade. Here are the ones that strike me as particularly probable:

2) The future isn’t going to feel futuristic

It’s simply going to feel weird and out-of-control-ish, the way it does now, because too many things are changing too quickly. The reason the future feels odd is because of its unpredictability. If the future didn’t feel weirdly unexpected, then something would be wrong.

5) You’ll spend a lot of your time feeling like a dog leashed to a pole outside the grocery store – separation anxiety will become your permanent state

8) Try to live near a subway entrance

In a world of crazy-expensive oil, it’s the only real estate that will hold its value, if not increase.

10) In the same way you can never go backward to a slower computer, you can never go backward to a lessened state of connectedness

24) It is going to become much easier to explain why you are the way you are

Much of what we now consider “personality” will be explained away as structural and chemical functions of the brain.

38) Knowing everything will become dull

It all started out so graciously: At a dinner for six, a question arises about, say, that Japanese movie you saw in 1997 (Tampopo), or whether or not Joey Bishop is still alive (no). And before long, you know the answer to everything.

And here are some that don’t seem likely at all:

7) Retail will start to resemble Mexican drugstores

In Mexico, if one wishes to buy a toothbrush, one goes to a drugstore where one of every item for sale is on display inside a glass display case that circles the store. One selects the toothbrush and one of an obvious surplus of staff runs to the back to fetch the toothbrush. It’s not very efficient, but it does offer otherwise unemployed people something to do during the day.

11) Old people won’t be quite so clueless

No more “the Google,” because they’ll be just that little bit younger.

13) Enjoy lettuce while you still can

And anything else that arrives in your life from a truck, for that matter. For vegetables, get used to whatever it is they served in railway hotels in the 1890s. Jams. Preserves. Pickled everything.

14) Something smarter than us is going to emerge

Thank you, algorithms and cloud computing.

20) North America can easily fragment quickly as did the Eastern Bloc in 1989

Quebec will decide to quietly and quite pleasantly leave Canada. California contemplates splitting into two states, fiscal and non-fiscal. Cuba becomes a Club Med with weapons. The Hate States will form a coalition.

32) Musical appreciation will shed all age barriers

Draw your own conclusions after reading the full list at the Globe and Mail.

[Article via the Browser. Image via Maet32’s photobucket]

* The 21st century began on January 1st, 2001. Therefore, the first decade of the 21st century ended a few days ago. We can argue about this if you want, but that exercise would be wholly redundant.

January 6, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. 2 comments.

Christopher Hitchens on How to Make a Proper Cup of Tea

[image via The Thinking Blue]

I envy Hitchens’ writing style. He takes confident chances with the language and they work.

Now that “the holidays”—at their new-style Ramadan length, with the addition of Hanukkah plus the spur and lash of commerce—are safely over, I can bear to confront the moment at their very beginning when my heart took its first dip.

It was Dec. 8, and Yoko Ono had written a tribute to mark the 30th anniversary of the murder of her husband. In her New York Times op-ed, she recalled how the two of them would sometimes make tea together. He used to correct her method of doing so, saying, “Yoko, Yoko, you’re supposed to first put the tea bags in, and then the hot water.” (This she represented as his Englishness speaking, in two senses, though I am sure he would actually have varied the word order and said “put the tea bags in first.”) This was fine, indeed excellent, and I was nodding appreciatively, but then the blow fell. One evening, he told her that an aunt had corrected him. The water should indeed precede the bags. “So all this time, we were doing it wrong?” she inquired. “Yeah,” replied our hero, becoming in that moment a turncoat to more than a century of sturdy Liverpool tradition.

Take notice Soulja Boy, because this is what swagger actually looks like.

[Christopher Hitchens @ Slate via the Browser]

January 4, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. 2 comments.

Jason Bissey’s Top 10 Things to Eat in Durham NC

While, as a former chef, I am often asked for restaurant recommendations, I find that I end up offering a selection of actual Things to Eat rather than the establishments themselves.  So, here’s a list of some of my favorite meals in the Bull City.  It was tough to limit, but I’m pretty happy with it besides the absence of one or two items I will reliably get excited about going to Raleigh or Chapel Hill for.  But whatever; OUR HOUSE!

Anyway:

10.  Phở at Saigon Grill

I’m actually pretty new to this place up on Roxboro, and haven’t had much on the menu, but the phở is proper.  You can get it with any combination of round, meatball, tripe, and tendon that suits your fancy.  Nice rich broth, a generous portion, and plenty of cilantro, limes, chilis and shit served on the side.  Awesome in the winter.

9.  Tomo’s omakase at Thai Cafe

Ok, so I was gonna keep this a secret, but the old sushi chef from Kurama on 15-501 has resurfaced.  He is Tomo.  He is the real deal, no matter what you may think of Kurama or Thai Cafe.  Like, he actually has a cadre of Japanese businessmen who will follow him WHEREVER HE GOES to eat his food.  Now, if you like sushi in general, usually sticking with rolls and maybe a couple tuna nigiri, you certainly won’t be disappointed at Thai Cafe.  You’ll probably end up going back to Sushi Love or whatever for their 2-for-1 deal, though.  The deal with Tomo is that he is a Japanese food geek, and for him raw fish and sushi rice are just the tip of the freakin’ iceberg.  So, go brush up on some etiquette (check out the great comments) like a good white person and just tell him you want the good stuff.  If you’re feeling froggy you can say you want “omakase,” but I wouldn’t blame you for feeling a little douchey for doing so.  Just let the man feed you.

8.  OnlyBurger farmer’s market special with veggie burger, egg, and bacon

I like burgers, but honestly I’ve kinda given up on them.  When OB launched, I was pretty excited because I know the owners and they have a good pedigree, chef-wise, and I thought they’d be cranking out some seriously amazing product.  Sadly, for the most part their food is pretty average.  Still, putting two fried green tomatoes, pimiento cheese, an egg, and bacon on a burger is a no-lose kind of situation.  At that point, would you really care if you’re eating beef or beans and soy?  I don’t.  See also the veggie burger with bacon at Bull McCabe’s.

7.  Kevin’s blueberry muffins at Rue Cler

This is Kev.  He is my friend and the charman of the Durham County Democratic Party.  His muffins are just WRONG!  Get there early.

6.  Rue Cler’s poulet rôti

rue.jpg

So I am a little biased, as I opened this restaurant as the chef in 2006, and the poulet rôti was one of my flagship plates.  Still, it’s the best roast chicken I know of in the Triangle for three reasons: it’s an intact half chicken with all the bones, it’s pan roasted with my special kung-fu, and it’s made from scratch to order without any pre-cooking.  It might take a half hour longer to get your food, but it’s worth it.  Perfectly simple.

5.  John’s pastrami sandwich at Bull McCabe’s

John Spicer is the chef at Bulls.  He is grumpy, intolerant, looks like a serial killer, and one of the best cooks in Durham.  He makes his own pastrami and it is delicious.  Eat your pickle or he may hurt you.

4.  Substitute goat cheese for mozzarella on a Pop’s Backdoor Pizza

(that’s Dave.  He owns Elodie Farms where delicious goats and their delicious cheese comes from)

‘Nuff said.  I don’t want to hear anything about other pizza joints; you’re delusional.  Pop’s Backdoor is the best pizza in Durham and for chrissakes they deliver beer and wine.

3.  My hummus.

I’m generally a pretty humble guy.  I was born and raised in a land where corn is plentiful and talking about oneself is a misdemeanor in most jurisdictions.  But man do I make some fucking great hummus.  It’s ridiculous.  Seriously.  Yes, you can have the recipe.

2.  Toast’s egg panino / Toast’s salad

When people ask me my favorite restaurant in the Triangle, I usually tell them it’s Toast.  Sure, it’s just a sandwich shop.  SANDWICHES FREAKIN’ RULE, OK?  And Billy and Kelly have hit the sandwich nail on its proverbial head.  Also they are possibly the cutest and nicest people ever.  OK, so the egg panino.  It’s loosely scrambled local eggs folded with taleggio cheese and chives.  It is perfect and crunchy and gooey.  Get it with Toast’s inexplicably ethereal salad and you’re in lunch heaven.  God, I’m hungry.

1.  Oysters and steak tartare at Vin Rouge

Ah, Vin Rouge.  Most of the best meals of my life have been sitting at their bar.  They have served racks of wild boar for my birthday and spit roasted whole lambs for my wedding reception.  I have likely eaten over a pound of foie gras from their kitchen.  Being good friends with Matt, the chef/owner, certainly helps with the quality of my food, but my favorite two things on the menu are freely available to all.  They are also raw.  I’m still not sure who makes a better tartare, Matt or I, but things tend to be more enjoyable when you’re not the one who prepared them.  As for the oysters, there is little to say.  Get some Champagne or a mineral-y Loire valley wine and go to town.  Heaven.  Raw heaven.

Bon appétit, y’all.

December 28, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. 1 comment.

Scott Wotring’s Top 10 Albums and Things from 2010

Top 10 Albums:

1. Surfer BloodAstro Coast
What struck me as nothing more than a simple rock record, transformed with each listen into a collection of the year’s best pop songs.  The hooks are abundant, the lyrics are genuine, and as a bonus, I saw them drink Four Loko on stage before it was cool!

2. The Tallest Man on EarthThe Wild Hunt
This album is more than King of Spain, although most songs have that element of folksy twang that make it both unique and accessible.  I play this stuff when I’m alone and mumble the lyrics all day.  It’s bold and beautiful, like the doggone TV show.

3. The DrumsThe Drums
I first heard this album while jogging.  By song four I was wondering Is This It?  I’m a sucker for that shimmering New York City garage rock sound, and this album nails it.  See them live if you get the chance.  The singer is a jazzy wonderboy.

4. Miniature TigersFortress
A smattering of happy-go-lucky pop songs, perfect for a lazy afternoon in the sun.  Guaranteed to show up on a Chevy Volt commercial next year.

5. WavvesKing of the Beach
‘Cause I’m just having fun… with you! — that pretty much sums it up.  Jess and I blasted this album on the way to the beach.  It was the right sound at the right time this summer.

6. Chihei HatakeyamaGhostly Garden
Best ambient music of the year.  Ghostly Garden is 48 minutes of nothingness, atmospheric sounds that fade into the background and becalm Scott Wotring.  Good music for reading and writing.

7. LCD SoundsystemThis is Happening
Though not as original as Sound of Silver, this album kept with the long-form, satirical, indie dancerock that makes LCD so fucking cool.  Twice this year I danced publicly to this album, once at the beach, and once in front of a camera.

8. Beach HouseTeen Dream
Beach House is sentimental without being sappy.  Their songs evoke sadness, but only tease with the deathblow.  This album would drown in sorrow if not for the band’s considerable talents as musicians.

9. Gold PandaLucky Shiner
Best electronic album of the year.  In the crowded genre of chill electronica, Gold Panda (born Derwin Panda) stands out with his eccentric beats and spiffy synth hooks.  The sound is both adventurous and agreeable.  Four Tet with a longer shelf life.

10. Titus AndronicusThe Monitor
This album makes me want to guzzle a bottle of whisky and punch someone right in the face.  It’s modern and raw, with an unrestricted view into the mind of a man contemplating the truths and evils of everyday life.  Punk rock for the middle-aged.  The walk home is gonna be a real shit show!

Top 10 Things:

1.  Hopscotch Music Festival
2.  Raleigh to London to Paris to Amsterdam to Hamburg to Raleigh
3.  Brussel sprouts with sriracha and lime
4.  Stuff You Should Know podcast
5.  Warrior Dash
6.  The Room
7.  Caribou at Cats Cradle
8.  Google Maps
9.  Linville Gorge Backpacking Trip
10.  Six-pack Challenge

December 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. Leave a comment.

Julia GP Haupt’s Top 10 Knife City Creamery Posts

So lucky to have Julia as a reader! What a lady!!

Julia: The following is not a Top Ten List of your ten best blog posts. It’s my top ten list of posts that stuck with me (some for good reason, and some for no apparent reason). But I read and loved all of your posts (all as in 90%).

1. Yoke Cake!

[image via Amyland Cake Company]

2. And I’m Proud to Be an American

[image via fieq mayhem]

3. Freddie de Boer’s Digital Book Club

[image via flixter]

4. 10 Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia

[image via xkcd]

5. Favorite Poemer Delivers Again

[image via Luke Johnson]

6. Smaced in the Privets

[image via gconnect]

7. The Cringe at the Heart of Christmas

[image via fandango]

8. Professional Packer

[image via mtbr]

9. Refurbished Bicycles Make Good Gates

[image via dude craft]

10. Incredible McDonalds Burger Experiment

[image via snack girl]

December 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. Leave a comment.

Nemo Németh’s Top 10 Things He “Thumbs Up”

Nemo has ten thumbs?  Weird.  Here are his top 10 in no particular order:

  • A hot tea and a warm helmet on a cold day.
  • Slamming the weight down after a successful heavy clean and jerk or snatch
  • Scoring goals
  • The sweet scent of lingering perfume of tall brunette women with curly hair
  • Skydiving on breezy summer days
  • Daft Punk

Daft Punk – Derezzed [via Le Touch]

  • Lake Balaton

[images via Sunshine Estates and Destination 360]
  • A big bite of a green apple that makes that crunchy noise
  • The smell of crisp air when winter turns spring
  • The feeling of full throttle acceleration on the motorcycle

Hungarian teen idol.

December 17, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. Leave a comment.

Charlie Deal’s Top 10 Great Beers of the Year

[image via Off the Broiler]

I know Charlie best as a whippersnapper snapper.  In other words, he regularly outperforms younger athletes such as myself.  His real job though, is as Chef and Owner of both Jujube in Chapel Hill and Dos Perros in Durham.  I’ll let him take it from here.

I wouldn’t go so far as call this the 10 best beers I had.  Rather, some combo of “the best” and ones that were far tastier than I expected.

1. Stone Imperial Russian Stout- This was released at the same time this year as the much more heralded Founders KBS and Rasputin Oak Aged, and it was so much more enjoyable right away.  Those other two may come around but the Stone is rich, balanced, and completely delicious.

[image via Core Brewing]

2. Unibroue Quelque Chose- Really a dessert wine barely masquerading as a beer, but who freaking cares.   The stuff is flat-out glorious.  Mind you, you’ll want at least a few friends around to share the bottle, because I can’t see drinking more than 6 oz or so of it.  Cherry deliciousness.

[image via Bob Woodshed]

3. Bruery Saison Rue- It was the belle of the ball in a tasting of American Wild Ales.  It just had such clarity and finesse.  Ripe rye flavors with a bright finish and amazing texture.

[image via Core Brewing]

4. Stone Cali-Belgique- This one gets the nod over other Belgian-style IPAs simply because it was the first I tried.  It is such a delicious style that is really catching on.  Ripe fruit with high aromatics and an assertive, bitter bite.

[image via Drunken Polack]

5. Dogfish Head Festina Peche- Certainly makes the list under the, “surprisingly tasty” category.  I could not get over how charming, clean, and fresh this beer tasted.  Great acidity and immensely refreshing.

[image via Brewed for Thought]

6. Allagash Interlude- Borrowing a touch of ripe fruit and polish from time spent in oak barrels that previously saw Syrah and Merlot, this otherwise tangy wild ale is a stunning example of how profound beer can be.

[image via Captain’s Beer Blog]

7. Lagunitas Hop Stoopid- First off, Lagunitas beers are such an amazing value.  Price wise, it’s them and everyone else.  What I liked about this beer in particular is that, unlike so many other double IPAs, it’s not crazy malty.  I really find it odd.  Guys jack up the IBUs to dizzying levels, and then cram so much malt into a beer that you can barely tell.  Not this one.

[image via Hampton Roads]

8. The whole Mikkeller Single Hop Series- My favorite was the Nelson Sauvin, and I’m not even sure I like the idea of these things existing, but sitting down and trying all 10 was illustrative to say the least.

[image via Nath’s Beer Gallery]

9. 2008 Southampton Saison- My first aged saison and one that was so amazing I made sure to put some down.  Tons of fig and caramel and a beautiful copper color.

[image via Home Brew Talk]

10. Ommegang Rare Vos- Maybe it was tasting it there.  But I think it’s because it’s what Fat Tire would taste like if Fat Tire was actually good.  There’s that rich toast, but it washes clean and refreshing behind.

[image via Benne Keith]

I know this made you thirsty so I’ll likely bump into you at Sam’s after workThey’re doing a tasting with Stone Brewing Co. (who Charlie picked twice here) this Friday from 4:30-7pm.

December 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. 2 comments.

Bread People

[Many more @ Brent Abousko and (obviously) breadpeople.tumblr.com]

December 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Comics. 2 comments.

Knife City Nightmares

[Wolfgore Show via Rats Off!]

November 29, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

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