I’m hiding this away in the Outer Rim of the Internet for its own protection … and mine

In under a week’s time, we’ll probably have some answers about Rey’s backstory. I think the big question many people have is answered pretty clearly in ep. 7 already, and will be highly disappointed if the powers-that-be go a different route. I’m going to list some key, but, I think, overlooked reasons very vaguely, so that they don’t get to spoiler-y, and so that I can pretend to have thought something else if I am proven wrong. In no real order:

  1. Balance
  2. Map
  3. Helmet
  4. Starkiller
  5. Map, again
  6. Look
  7. Sunset

Even if I’m wrong, I will say that I was right, because:

  1. JJ can’t be trusted not to change course between episodes in order to turn something that was maybe more obvious than he thought into something else that’s unexpected.  See “Lost”. Don’t actually see “Lost”.
  2. Even before JJ, this franchise had a reputation for changing the facts about characters’ parentage in order to provide twist endings.

And, if I am right, I’ll come back and explain the above reasons.  If not, I’ll pretend I never wrote this.


Super-duper Simple 3 Ingredient Mac & Cheese

[disclaimer: I am following internet convention by lying about the number of ingredients in this dish.  Including water and salt, it has 5 ingredients.]

I was a mac-and-cheese-addicted latchkey kid. And when we ran out of the blue box stuff, I had to find ways of making my own.  But, when I was growing up, why, we didn’t have any fancy evaporated milk or sodium citrate in the cupboard.  One thing we did seem to always have was gelatin.  I don’t rightly know why.  Etc., etc.

Anyway, if you’re looking to make a smooth stove top mac:

  1. with the only 3 things you have in the house, or
  2. that tastes purely of mac and of cheese

Try using a little bit of gelatin to stabilize the cheese and give it that smooth, noodle-coating consistency.  This one in this here video here was made with a fair amount of Gruyere in the mix, hence the slight stringiness.

Super simple 5 ingredient weeknight mac and cheese

Here’s the other conversation followup. This isn’t the recipe for my BEST mac-and-cheese, which can’t be shared except on State Department servers due to security clearances.  It’s my recipe for easy better-than-almost-any-restaurant-in-about-20-minutes mac and cheese.  [side note: Restaurant mac and cheese is universally disappointing. Most of it is downright bad.  But, I still order it all the time.  Rarely twice at the same place, though.]


condensed milk

In 140 characters or less:
Barely cover 1 lb mac + 2-3 tsp salt with water. Stir & boil. When mostly absorbed stir in can condensed milk and 1/2 to 1 lb cheese.

So easy there’s room left to add some emojis and fit into a tweet. And no frickin bechamel.

Addendum: addenda! The basis is 5 ingredients, but I usually add other stuff for kicks. Black pepper, hot sauce, bread crumbs cooked in bacon fat, so forth.



The World Series followed the script

I had to look up my wordpress password so that I could follow up on two conversations I’ve had this week.  The first was about the World Series.  I’m going to give a very condensed version of the events, as I told someone I would.

  1. Before the playoffs (including the wildcard games), I told anybody listening that the Cubs would beat the Indians in the WS.  Not because the Cubs won 100+  games (teams with 100+ wins were something like 2-for-21 going back to 1996), but because that would be the most profitable narrative for baseball, and that World Serieseses seemed to be scripted going back to, say, that bloody sock nonsense.
  2. The team I routed for in each of the 7 games of the WS won. That’s got to be incredibly rare. The big shift for me was after the Cleveland franchise went up 3-1 in the series.  At that point, I wanted them to lose in the most fan-crushing way possible. Go Dubs.
  3. In the top of the 8th inning of game 7, I mentioned point #2 to someone, and lamented that my mojo was being wasted on teams I didn’t care about. Then I added that what I REALLY would like would be for Cleveland to tie the game up and then lose in the 10th.

So, there you go. The WS didn’t just follow ANY script, it followed MY script.

How do Zagat “Best of” lists work?

Can anyone out there tell me why places like Rosso and Emilia’s, which top the Zagat ratings for best pizza in the San Francisco area…

2014-10-31 zagat pizza Best Places in San Francisco   Foodie  Nightlife   Shopping News

…get snubbed in some “Lists” such as “Best Pizza in the SF Area”, “Best Pizza in the East Bay”, and “Top Food in the East Bay”:

2014-10-31 zagat Best Pizza in the SF Area   Zagat2014-10-31 zagat Best Pizza in the East Bay   Zagat2014-10-31 zagat Top Food in the East Bay   Zagat

…but, do get included in other lists like “Best-Buy Sleeper Restaurants in the SF Area” and “Best Pizza in North of SF”:

2014-10-31 zagat Best Buy Sleeper Restaurants in the SF Area   Zagat 2014-10-31 zagat Best Pizza in North of SF   Zagat

[and while I’m here – what’s the deal with the cost they show?  UPN is more like 3x the cost of Emilia’s.]

Five Year Flashback, Saturday 9/13. Support LeConte PTA.

Today is our 5th Anniversary.  Emilia’s Pizzeria opened in 2009 – 9/9/9, to be exact (if somewhat arbitrary).  Back then, iPhones only worked with AT&T, and you could buy a slice of Emilia’s pizza for just a buck.  To celebrate and show our appreciation, we’ve decided to relive that bygone era by bringing back the $1 slice for a one-day-only event this Saturday, 9/13.  But, there’s a dramatic twist!  We figured, as long as we’re going to be losing money – let’s lose all of it!  So, the money will be donated to the PTA at our local public school, LeConte Elementary.
4pm until 9pm, or supplies run out
$1 a slice, or more if you’re feeling generous
No reservations
2 Slices per person limit
Paper plates only

All of which is subject to change without notice or reason

Emilia's Pizzeria sign, circa 2009

Emilia’s Pizzeria sign, circa 2009