5 Mile Leap Day

I think I'm done trying to photograph this sign when the sun is shining directly into my lens; I presume that's what causes this weird flickering. After a few dozen attempts to get a clean shot, I unwittingly threaded the needle and got a completely blank marquee. It might come in handy whenever I get around to doing whatever the hell is that I'm doing with these pictures later. I think March is going to be all about trying to get my walk in at the same time every day and see how the light changes through the seasons.


Sooner or later, the mandoline gods demand their fraction of an ounce of flesh, especially when you're too stupid to not use the protective guard when slicing potatoes.

Late night cream cheese lemon frosting

Sometimes, a man simply forgets that he left a pack of cream cheese out all day and then has to make the best of it.

Chips, before & after and then later.

Had I known how easy it was to make your own potato chips, I would have bought my own mandoline and never bought store chips again. Like my crackers,  rosemary potato chips are truly amazing. Note to self: I need to try making apple chips next.

5 mile friday

Five mile Vday

Feb 11 & 12, 2012: 10 Miles, Banana blondies/bread and a vegan bahn mi

[Good grief, Blogger's new faux-Wordpress interface is buggy as hell; I'm just going to bundle the last of my photo backlog together and move on with my life.]

I recently walked a lot, made bananies and ate a fine vegan-turkey bahn mi at that Bubble Tea place on Hawthorne after a meeting nearby. Then we shot the crap out of some exotic animals at a bar's BIG GAME HUNTER arcade cabinet -- a weird choice for a bar game until you remember that it's a shoot & scoot game, not a hunting emulator. It was so satisfying to gun down the trophy animals -- take that, you stupid giraffe!

Feb. 8, 2012: Perfect brownies, experimental frosting.

Next time, I need to either double the batch or find an 8x8 or 9x9 pan to make them in for thicker bars. These were fantastic, despite their thinness.

I've resumed trying to solve the puzzle of how to make coconut-flavored frosting with non-artificial flavoring that results in coconut flavor in the frosting. Still good, but not coconutty. Next time, I need to halve this recipe until I figure this one out.

Feb. 6, 2012: Lunch with Philip.

The chicken & steamed vegetables in peanut sauce at Rice Thai Cookery.

Feb. 5, 2012: The Return Of The Theater-going Cineaste

It's been years and years since my eye troubles forced me to stop seeing movies in theaters; I know my eyes are in far better shape than they were in the days when I would walk out of a movie with the size of the screen blown out in my field of vision for an hour or two or longer, depending on how bright they were projecting the film.

I've been toying with the idea of seeing [no pun intended] if my eyes could handle moviegoing, and an invitation to see STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN seemed like as good a movie to start with as any, especially considering how many PDX-area movie fans I respect have raved about how nice the Academy theater is to catch films in; Rip Van Cineaste was bemused, amused and pleased by this not-just-watery-soda-stale-popcorn-and-price-gouged-candy movement in theater catering that took off years after I stopped going to the movies. Holy shitballs, they have comfortable seats, cup holders and food trays and fresh pizza now? Even if I hadn't walked out of the movie with nothing more than a slight fuzz in the center of my sight and a headache, I probably would gut it out for a not-shit movie in the future.

[By the way, had KHAN blinded me for good, I had vowed to rejoin the U.S. Olympic Marco Polo team and lead it to victory in the Summer games. Alas, those kids are on their own for another four years.]

As for the movie itself: It was good, but not as great as its reputation probably requires. The ending loses all of its punch if you're not emotionally invested in seeing Kirk become more mature, and you can buy into the idea that a career Starfleet officer could rise all the way to Admiral without ever once losing someone he truly cared about.

Also, if you knew nothing about Star Trek going into this movie, I imagine it would be easy to think Khan was ST2's protagonist or at least an antihero -- he has the clearest, most sympathetic motivation and more than enough charisma and passion that you would cheer him on despite the hideous things he does. As awesome as the KHAAAAAAAANNNNNNNN moment is, it doesn't make a lick of fucking sense if you take it in its conversational context, which I suppose is why it's become so iconic on the Internet, where the roads are paved with smug, ironic appreciation for sincere but bad art. [See also: "You're the man now, dawg," "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" every third Meme that lasts longer than a weekend, etc.]

Feb. 4, 2012: Brunch, baking & brinner with J

The dreamy Tempeh Scramble from Proper Eats, our loaves of banana bread, later a clever but not awesome chocolate Coke and a fairly bland Mexican omelet at Pattie's Home Plate, where we unwittingly encountered a monthly meeting of an irony-free Sasquatch-hunting society. As soon as we couldn't take not-laughing any more, we escaped to go give the banana bread a Puerto Rican vanilla glazing and watch THE TWILIGHT ZONE.