Posts from September 2012

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A Babysitting Pickle: Kitten & Nukazuke

Over the weekend we babysat for a couple of friends who were out of town (on a sailing adventure). For one friend we babysat a kitten.

For the other friend, Marvel’s X-men’s “X-23” (the female clone of Wolverine), we babysat a crock full of pickling stuff.

To be more precise, we babysat a ceramic container full of what the Japanese call a “nukadoko.” Well, technically that’s not quite right, because “nuka” is rice bran, and this was made with wheat bran (X-23 couldn’t easily find any rice bran). I don’t know the Japanese word for wheat bran. @Tangentbot? @KowaiHitsuji? Is it “fusuma (麩)?”

Anyway, It’s this fun mix of salt and water, bran, and seaweed, and you can put garlic or ginger or beer in it. And you stir it every day. And then it starts to ferment. And then you put vegetables in it! You leave them in for however long you want, and you end up with these fascinating, salty vegetable pickles called “nukazuke.” I put in some sliced-up carrot overnight. It was really tasty!

Here are some nukazuke resources:

I am a great big stupid-head, though: I forgot to take any photos of either the nukazuke. I did take a photo or two of the kitten (who, by the way, had no interest in the nukazuke), though, so this’ll have to do:

Kittons is Cyoot

Kittons is Cyoot

I also took a video of it being cute:

Yup, kittons is cyoot. And nukazuke is goot.

Categories: Cooking, Japan, Life, Pictures, Videos.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Get Plush With Some Heart Felt Robots!

You probably know that my pal Sandy, AKA Creepy Sheep, AKA Kowai Hitsuji, makes felt robots under the moniker of Heart Felt Robots.

Strawberry Chocolate Bot

A Strawberry Robot Dipped in Chocolate!

Well, her robots are so awexome that not only was one included in a video for an extremely talented hip-hop artist, but they were also accepted into an annual exhibit/sale of hand-made plush art! It’s called “Plush You!” and it happens in downtown Seattle at a cute indie toy store called Schmancy.

Plush You!

Plush You!

Schmancy’s “Plush You!” exhibit/sale is happening this year on October 13th from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. I can’t find much information about the actual event on Schmancy’s website, but there is a Facebook event about it.

Categories: Art & Artists, Arts & Crafts, Links, Robots.

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Just Tryin’ ta Get a Rise Outta Ya…

This is a movie that feels right while you’re watching it, but doesn’t hold up well to any sort of scrutiny, and has way more problems than Nolan’s previous two movies in this trilogy. Spoilers abound! Also, for no reason other than it amuses me, I’m only ever going to refer to Batman as B’man for the remainder of this review… [Read my full reviews]

Categories: Movie Reviews.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

“Of the Month” September 2012

Link of the Month:
Redbubble is one of those sites where artists can sell their artwork on T-shirts, posters, iPhone cases, and the like. It is undeniable that Redbubble sells some cool, geeky stuff. It is also undeniable that a huge chunk of it is of dubious legality. But it also has a lot of original artwork from actual artists as well. A lot of the designs that were on sites like TeeFury and The Yetee end up on Redbubble after they’ve run their course.

Album of the Month:
Mercury Mine by Gavin Guss
I have an interesting history with Mr. Gavin Guss. You see, back in the early-mid 1990s my brother and I stumbled upon a Public Access TV show called Gavin’s Howse starring/produced/directed by/written by Gavin Guss, a local Seattle musician. Gavin’s Howse was one of the main inspirations that led to us creating Under the Mailbox Theater. Well, cut to almost 20 years later when I go to a music show in Seattle, and the opening act is Gavin Guss. It is good music. I enjoy. I buy the CD directly from Gavin.

Anyway, “Mercury Mine” is a great record, a mixture of 1960s Bubblegum (think The Monkees) and 1970s Power-Pop (think Big Star) filtered through that early 1990s Seattle music scene that produced acts like The Posies and The Presidents of the United States of America. The songs are catchy, short, hook-heavy, and emphasize pretty harmonies and bright melodies (i.e., not the dark, heavy, crunchy, angsty/angry aesthetic that produced Grunge). The lyrics are not afraid to be very funny, and are intelligent and often very clever (“Oasis” is one of the best songs I’ve heard about the well of musical inspiration running dry). Some of the songs sound just like they could have been performed by the likes of The Monkees or even The Banana Splits (especially the catchy-to-the-point-of-being-unholy “Lifeboat,” an early version of which was actually featured on Gavin’s Howse). It’s excellent stuff, and I’m glad I re-discovered Gavin’s music.

Game of the Month:
This game has a very simple premise: You’re a circle. You can absorb circles that are smaller than you, and when you do you increase your mass (circumference) by the amount that you absorb. Circles larger than you can absorb you similarly. In order to move, you have to eject tiny amounts of your mass in the direction opposite to the one you want to travel (making you shrink a tiny amount). It’s fun and intuitive. The real gems of this game, though are the ambience. There is some great ambient music and the graphics have some nice particle-effect touches. It’s very moody and cool.

Categories: Of the Month.