October 29th, 2007


The Three Chocolatiers

Elaine, myself, and Lynette bask in a chocolate high.

Saturday (morning): Self-defense class. We practiced hammer blows and elbow strikes. One of the best tools in the class is the shoulder-mounted heavy bag. The attacker wears the bag using a backpack like harness and can chase the defender around the mat. You get a lot of the experience of a live attack, and you can strike back with full force (against the torso at least) with little danger to the attacker. We also practiced shifting weight via a hip rotation to put greater force into strikes. I have trouble remembering to turn my feet. Swinging a bat at varying speeds helped me to feel what a proper weight shift felt like. I also screwed up my right wrist during an “ape-shit” drill. An exhausting workout.

Saurday (evening): Halloween party at the Williams Way collective! I went as, well, I’ll post pictures (forthcoming).

Got to see lightling (Lisette) and browascension (Paul). Woo!

Paul and I commiserated about the amateurishness of the Paul campaign’s first TV spot. Lisette and I talked about the unique difficulties of polyamorous relationships. I don’t think that I could be involved in a polyamorous relationship–I would get too jealous. (It might work if I had multiple female partners that were exclusive to me. But that wouldn’t really be fair, though.) I also think it require more time and effort than I would be willing to devote to communicate sufficiently, and to balance my level of interaction so that no partner felt jilted.

One of our hosts at the party (name elided) showed me the interdiction letter he received from U.S. Customs, notifying him that his drugs had been siezed. Apparently, it happens rarely enough that most drug companies simply reship your drugs for free if they get seized. He also didn’t seem to be too concerned about getting in trouble for receiving scheduled drugs without a subscription. Someone asked him how he knew that he wouldn’t get ripped off. He said that he checked out a few recommendation sites, ordered from a few of them, had good experiences with them. So he’s just continued to order from them.

Had a long conversation with a former girlfriend, with whom I hadn’t spoken in 5 years. (The relationship didn’t end so well.) She seemed to be doing well on the whole, having built a successful career as a freelance writer and editor. She also has a new book coming out in December. It was great to see her again.

Sunday (morning): I stayed at the party till 2:00 a.m., didn’t get to bed til 3:00 a.m. So my sister Heather woke me up at 10:00 a.m. when she called to chat. I don’t remember much about the conversation, except that I was feeling pretty mellow, and I thought I was being pretty witty.

It’s a good thing she woke me, as I had a lunch appointment with pjammer at Moshi Moshi, in San Francisco. As it turned out, Moshi Moshi was closed, so pjammer, pjammer’s friend Shawn, and I had lunch at Chez Maman. I had a burger with fries. The fries were cut very thin, crispy, and sprinkled with salt and some green herb. The burger arrived on a soft ciabatta roll. Delicious!

Sunday (afternoon): Chocolatiering at Cafe Anasa! pjammer and his friend Lynette have organized three “Chocolate Sundays” so far. Roughly 20 people showed up at this one, with slightly more women than men. Everyone was divided up into teams, and each team was assigned to a station. I was assigned to the chocolate bar station with Elaine. We made two batches of chocolate bars: dark chocolate with orange oil and bits of candied orange rind, and dark chocolate with pecans and sour cherries.

I was surprised at how hard it was to make chocolate bars. I figured you just melted the chocolate, mixed in the nuts, and poured ‘em into molds. Voilà! And that’s basically what you do. But you have to carefully monitor the temperature and consistency of the chocolate as you do that, and that requires some artistry.

Fortunately, the instructions were clear, and we had a very helpful assistant, so our chocolate bars came out shiny, consistent, with a good snap. Thanks pjammer!! And Kudos to Lynette, who helped to organize the event, and took most of these pictures:

More photos from the chocolate class below the cut.

Collapse )

Original: craschworks - comments


Jim Rogers “…he’s gonna print money until we run out of trees…”

Jim Rogers, along with George Soros, co-founded the Quantum Fund in 1970. During the following 10 years, the fund gained 4200% while the S&P advanced about 47%. He retired in 1980, and has since written several books, including “Investment Biker” and “Adventure Capitalist”, detailing his round the world trips, first via motorcycle and later by car.

In this interview with the Financial Times, he blasts Ben Bernanke, and endorses Ron Paul.

Original: craschworks - comments