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Chris Black

[ Website | bodger.org ]
[ User info | bluesbodger ]
[ Archive | old posts ]
[ Photos | atgtaa at flickr ]
[ Bookmarks | bodger at del.icio.us ]

Mmm, eyeballs [Oct. 25th, 2009|06:23 pm]
Chris Black
[Tags|, , ]

The Beast reads

Being a lapsed vegetarian, I am now happy to eat things that can look back at me

The soup didn't put up much of a fight

"Hey, four-eyes!"

Laurel plays peek-a-boo

Golly gee whiz!

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Long-ignored file #12345 [Aug. 26th, 2009|12:03 pm]
Chris Black

I'm not an obsessive list-keeper, but I do like to have a safe place to put down the things I need-to-remember-to-remember. When I need brain space for the things I'm actually working on, I tend to open a fresh text file, dump my active memory into it, give it a hopefully descriptive name, and pretend I'll come back to look at it later. This is arguably a terrible idea, but I persist.

Here is the entire contents of read-when-awake.txt, which was created at 12:19 PM on 29 Oct 2007 (probably just before I took a nap?), modified the next day, and is now, inexplicably, living on my thumb drive.

BRING FOOD to Karoly seminar Nov 14th. WRITE THESIS. NOW. PHYTOESTROGENS. or maybe just GENESTEIN. For maryanne. DO PROBLEM SET. YESTERDAY. FIX CAR -Thermostat -Change Oil -Seat Belt -Rear Window

I'm fairly sure I did eventually do at least three of those things.

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Wedding Photos [Jul. 27th, 2009|01:15 am]
Chris Black

My photos from Zack and Marina's wedding are up over at the Flickr.

But really, this is all you need to know.Collapse )

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Delicious Brainstorm [Jun. 15th, 2009|12:50 am]
Chris Black

While pulling cookie ingredients out of the cupboard to make good on my recent promises, I had to shuffle aside some currying supplies on my way to grab the molasses. My hand lit on another dark-colored, viscous substance. I raised an eyebrow and got out two more bowls.

My proof-of-concept batch was promising but unbalanced. kalmialatifolia sampled them, prescribed a spicing that worked, and made batch two. The results were delightful: chewy and satisfying, with a lot of flavor but a light citrus character that keeps them from landing too heavily. For your summer baking pleasure, we give you...

Tamarind Cookies

Cream together:
1 C sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 egg
2 generous tablespoons tamarind concentrate
Juice and zest from 1 key lime (or half a regular lime)
1 tsp finely-grated fresh ginger
Mix in a separate bowl:
1 C flour
3 pinches ground black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Stir the dry and wet ingredients together to make a wet, sticky dough. Drop tablespoonfuls about 2" apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake until they're set but not crispy (8-10 minutes at 375° F). Cool them on a rack or towel and put them in an airtight container as soon as they get to room temperature; if they're left out too long on a humid June evening, they will absorb moisture and turn from chewy to floppy.

Makes about 3 dozen very thin 3" cookies.

A note about the tamarind: I used Tamicon brand concentrate, which is an extremely thick, dark, smooth-textured, very sour goop that looks a lot like molasses (hence my inspiration for this whole project). It comes in an 8-oz plastic jar with a red lid and it costs less than $2 at every Asian or Indian grocery I've checked, so don't rush to order it off the Internet unless that's how you roll anyway. I've also purchased tamarind by the whole pod and by the brick of pressed, unprocessed pulp. It's possible you'd get a slightly fresher tamarind flavor from these, but you're on your own for concentrate⇌pulp conversion factors.

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Quiz time! [May. 25th, 2009|03:29 pm]
Chris Black

Find an existing (no fair adding it yourself!) Wikipedia page that mentions Fred Rogers and Kurt Cobain in the same sentence. I know there to be at least one. Winners get cookies.

Laurel's not eligible, but she can have some cookies anyway.

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10 of 50 of ~1700 photos from 2008 [May. 12th, 2009|01:15 am]
Chris Black
[Tags|, ]

I'm chronically slow at most things I do, but especially at editing and posting photos. Yesterday I finally put up the worthiest of my photos from the second, third, and fourth quarters of last year. No promises when I'll start on this year's images.

As always, there are more on Flickr and these all link there. You, uh, may notice a theme to the second half of the year. I'm not sorry.

Nine more. A megabyte or so.Collapse )

Laurel has elevation

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I don't live in Portland anymore [Apr. 19th, 2009|01:23 am]
Chris Black

I'm heading east. Tomorrow morning I will drive out of Southeast Portland, past the old houses and the coffeeshops and the plethora of Asian markets. I will take my old route to work, but instead of taking the Fairview exit I will continue up the Columbia gorge, past the fine hiking near Multnomah Falls and the rock-climbing at Horsethief Butte, and onward into the territory I only see when I'm passing through. I know the drive between Portland and Wisconsin well enough that I don't need the map anymore; I have to follow the signs carefully for that one dodgy stretch around Pasco and Kennewick, and if I hit traffic in Minneapolis I might try to look up an alternate route, but the rest of the trip is burned into my mind. I've lost track of how many times I've done this drive. At least six times across, plus at least another six on Greyhound following the same route.

This trip is different, though, because this time I won't be returning to Portland, at least for a while. My car is loaded to the gills with all of the junk I didn't sell, give away, trash, or abandon. I shipped ahead 140 pounds of books and another 80 of clothing and kitchen gear. I own too much stuff.

From next week onward, I'll be living in Champaign-Urbana, IL. I will be studying plant biology, finally living in the same house as kalmialatifolia (well, in four months, anyway), learning to live in a place without hills, gardening and cooking a lot, and spending a lot of late nights in the lab. In five years or so, I'll finish up a badass PhD thesis and go looking for new horizons, but right now a small city in central Illinois is the place for me.

Portland has been good to me. I have six years worth of memories set here: Most of one love now over, the start of another still ongoing, hundreds of hours in coffeeshops, photo walks in St. Johns, late-night frisbee in Irving Park or on Mount Tabor, two years of being a grunt and four years of being an egghead. Portland is where I wrecked my first car, ate my first sushi, and knifed my first hobo (...or maybe that was a dream). I'm going to miss the neighborhoods full of negligently but happily tended gardens, the hot bicyclists, the hipsters and and hippies and punks and outdoors lovers, the skyline seen from the Hawthorne bridge, the walks in the rain-that's really-just-mist-trending-downward.

Portland residents, don't be strangers. I can still be reached by phone, email, AIM, Gchat, IRC, Facebook, Livejournal, that form on my website, and probably some other ways as well. Get in touch with me by whatever method you know and I'll tell you my info for the others.

I don't know my new address yet, and I will be moving at least once more in August. If you have anything to send me (or want to visit!), check with me by one of the methods listed above.

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Inbox Cleaning: Please learn to pass a Turing test. [Oct. 19th, 2008|12:50 am]
Chris Black
[music |Which Way Away - The Bills]

As you may know, I own the domain name bodger.org. I use it for both that there website and for my main email account.

As you may also know, one great thing about controlling the domain name for your email is that you make up your usernames at will. I've told many friends that they can send email to "anything you like at bodger dot org," and I will see it. Sure enough, I routinely get messages for "chris," "chrisb," "bodger," "bluesbodger", "telapathicmonkeys," "TheExpectedValue," and, yes, "anythingyoulike."

The trouble with this system is that anybody else can also make up usernames for you, which makes it very, very easy for someone to guess a valid email address, which means I get a mind-boggling amount of spamCollapse ).

To fight the torrent, I'm adopting a more aggressive mail filtering rule, and it's no longer strictly true that I'll see absolutely anything you send to bodger.org.Collapse )

I want to read messages from you, but not from spambots. Both you and the spambots know that email addresses look like user@domain, and both you and the spambots know that my domain is bodger.org. You can get a leg up on them by also knowing that my name is Chris.

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No, /you've/ got a sick mind [Jul. 15th, 2008|09:39 am]
Chris Black
[music |The Ascent Of Man, Parts I - V - Thomas Dolby]

The punchline is "Good morning, Mr. Pleathident!"

You tell me what the joke is. Extra points for illustrations.

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Happily Distracted [Jun. 12th, 2008|02:45 pm]
Chris Black
[Tags|, , ]
[music |She's An Angel - TMBG]

Nearly all of my contact info is changing before the end of the month. I'm moving across town, I got a cell phone, and my Reed email will stop working soon. I plan a mass email containing all the new info, but you should email chris at bodger dot org to make sure I remember to include you.

If you are a former resident, guest, passer-through, or fellow traveler of Winch-On-Green, consider this your last chance to ask for the return of that thing you left in our kitchen or basement that one time.

In more important news, my main distraction these past several months has been not school or moving or even Lackadaisy, but a certain cute Reedie nerd who has blinded me with her science. My housemates will attest that I haven't shut up about her since March. Yeah, she's just that awesome.

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