Thursday, December 30, 2010

Space Battles and Muse? Yes.

Space Battles: Bliss. from brutzelpretzel on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Something to Say

Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
Ni le bien qu'on m'a fait
Ni le mal, tout ça m'est bien égal
Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
C'est payé, balayé, oublié
Je me fous du passé

Avec mes souvenirs, j'ai allumé le feu
Mes chagrins, mes plaisirs, je n'ai plus besoin d'eux
Balayées les amours, avec leurs trémolos
Balayées pour toujours, je repars à zéro

Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
Ni le bien qu'on m'a fait
Ni le mal, tout ça m'est bien égal
Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
Car ma vie car mes joies
Aujourd'hui, ça commence avec toi

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the
continent." - John Donne

Ontologically... can there be meaning in an unplanned random existence
if it should prove our reality be based fundamentally on the chance of
subatomic particles and things that can be either particles or waves
but not both?

I also like cheese.


Remember when you were five and that's all anyone had to say to make
you giggle? Are you giggling right now? Try it again.



Guess it still kindof works.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Something Old, Something New

"I think over again my small adventures, my fears, These small ones
that seemed so big. For all the vital things I had to get and to
reach. And yet there is only one great thing, The only thing. To live
to see the great day that dawns and the light that fills the world. "

Dreamless sleep passes as though a pause, a mere gasping breath. I
close my eyes, and the world blinks out, and back again, and the world
resurrects to my senses new and different though lacking meaningful
transition. The light of the sun may wink out entirely or shade from
brilliant gold to crimson to suddenly ethereal morning breaching blue.
I tremble. In a wink all moments vanish, terrifyingly, lacking a dream
to mark the passage of time.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Je Veux

Donnez-moi une suite au Ritz, je n'en veux pas

Des bijoux de chez Chanel, je n'en veux pas

Donnez-moi une limousine, j'en ferais quoi ?

Offrez-moi du personnel, j'en ferais quoi ?

Un manoir a Neufchatel, ce n'est pas pour moi

Offrez-moi la Tour Eiffel, j'en ferais quoi ?

Je veux de l'amour, de la joie, de la bonne humeur

Ce n'est pas votre argent qui fera mon bonheur

Moi je veux crever la main sur le cœur

Allons ensemble, découvrir ma liberté

Oubliez donc tous vos clichés

Bienvenue dans ma réalité

J'en ai marre de vos bonnes manières, c'est trop pour moi

Moi je mange avec les mains et je suis comme ça

Je parle fort et je suis franche, excusez moi

Finie l'hypocrisie, moi je me casse de là

J'en ai marre des langues de bois

Regardez-moi, de toute manière je vous en veux pas et je suis comme ça

Je veux de l'amour, de la joie, de la bonne humeur

Ce n'est pas votre argent qui fera mon bonheur

Moi je veux crever la main sur le cœur

Allons ensemble, découvrir ma liberté

Oubliez donc tous vos clichés

Bienvenue dans ma réalité

Sunday, December 05, 2010

All Limbs and Love Absurd

L'automne dèja, c'était l'été hier encore, le temps me surprend, semble s'accélérer, les chiffres de mon age, m'amènent vers ce moi rêver

"Smile. For the love of God, smile, no matter what. Smile while the world burns and civilization crumbles. Smile because not a damn thing can touch your soul that you don't choose to let touch your soul. It's yours and you get to decide what that means now that you know it. Smile because it all burns and crumbles for you and me."

Friday, December 03, 2010

Darling Melisande....

"If flesh can stop feeling, can't metal begin to feel? If anything feels can anything else not feel? Didn't you know that the stars love and hate, that a nova is a passion and that a dead star is just like a dead human or a dead machine? The trees have their lusts, and I have heard the drunken laughter of buildings, the urgent demands of highways..." -- Rom number 121376

Monday, November 22, 2010

You Are the Last Drink I Never Should Have...

Be sure to crank the volume up at 1 min 40 seconds. This party was meant to be played loud.

Don't bother saying you're sorry.
Why don't you come in?
Smoke all my cigarettes - againe.
Every time I get no further.
How long has it been?
Come on in now,
Wipe your feet on my dreams.

You take up my time,
Like some cheap magazine,
When I could have been learning something.
Oh well, you know what I mean.

I've done this before.
And I will do it again.
Come on and kill me baby,
while you smile like a friend.
And I'll come running,
Just to do it again.

You are the last drink I never should drunk.
You are the body hidden in the trunk.
You are the habit I can't seem to kick.
You are my secrets on the front page every week.
You are the car I never should have bought.
You are the train I never should have caught.
You are the cut that makes me hide my face.
You are the party that makes me feel my age.

Like a car crash I can see but I just can't avoid.
Like a plane I've been told I never should board.
Like a film that's so bad but I've gotta stay til the end.
Let me tell you now,
It's lucky for you that we're friends.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Johnny Guitar

Peggy Lee
(Victor Young / Peggy Lee, 1954)

Play the guitar, play it again, my Johnny
Maybe you're cold, but you're so warm inside
I was always a fool for my Johnny
For the one they call Johnny Guitar

Play it again, Johnny Guitar

Whether you go, whether you stay, I love you
What if you're cruel, you can be kind I know
There was never a man like my Johnny
Like the one they call Johnny Guitar

Poetry by Whitman

To You. by Walt Whitman

STRANGER! if you, passing, meet me, and desire to speak to me, why should you
not speak to me?
And why should I not speak to you?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Things I Like

I like words that don't quite translate into English. Words that you
have to have a feeling for. I like the idea of a word that floats
along the border of definitions and is irreplaceable. And, I don't
mean for inventions or objects that originate in another language.
Take the word caritas, for instance. It's love, and charity, and a
spirit all at once. For all intents and purposes you can simply use it
with English because it hasn't evolved. It's about something that has
always existed and still exists today and you find it in people, and
there is no other word that quite captures that feeling of charitable
love or human thoughtful compassion. This has been my idée fixe for
the morning.

Friday, November 12, 2010


""Perhaps I'm being unfair to you," he said, still not sounding like
himself." My feeling must be of the species they call passion… One
thing I know for sure: without you it's the end of me, and with you
it's also the end. It makes no difference where you are: far or near,
you're always present. I also know that I could hate you a good deal
more than I could love you. .. I'm sorry that I had to fall in love
with someone like you.""

- The Raw Youth , Fyodor Dostoevsky

Bad humor.

You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
Official messages from Omegle will not be sent with the label 'Stranger:'. Strangers claiming to represent Omegle are lying.
You: I heard a great joke!
Stranger: tell me telll me.
You: What do you call a jewish cop?
Stranger: i dunno what ?
You: Officer
Stranger: that sucked.
You: :(
You: You have better?
Stranger: why didn't two melons get married
You: Why?
Stranger: cause they cantelope ! ahahahaha.
You: That was terrible. You're terrible.
You: That reflects poorly on you as a person.
Stranger: hahaha not as terrible as your joke.
You: Yeah? Well.. why do black people eat fried chicken?
Stranger: i dunno why ?
You: Because it is delicious.
Stranger: how many nor cal kids does it take to screw in a light bulb ?
You: How many?
Stranger: hellof.
Stranger: how long does it take them ?
You: How long?
Stranger: dayyyyyyyys.
You: A man walks into a bar
You: He's there because he suffers from crippling alcoholism that is tearing his family apart
Stranger: was that a joke ?
Stranger: that was horrible.
Stranger: it wasn't funny at all it was really sad.
Your conversational partner has disconnected.


"...there is no perfect defence. There is no protection. Being alive
means being exposed; it's the nature of life to be hazardous - it's
the stuff of living." - Annette Golding


Strawberry Emotions, the poem(Author Unknown)

loving your passion
feeling the sweetness of dreaming
surrending to those summer strawberry days
of strawberry emotions

sweet strawberry seeds
planted in your soul
hope that this dark, ripe strawberry
will be the sweetest you've ever experienced
strawberry emotions

strawberry juice trailing down your lips
kisses sticky
and suddenly the words flow
another basket of strawberries
another poem to write
another of many
strawberry emotions

sweet surrender
just surrender
to those summer
those lazy summer
and strawberry emotions

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Android Phone. The Best.


"Come to think of it, my reaction at the time is very similar to the way I feel at this very moment. Interesting the way things go full circle, I certainly know that at other points in my life I would have behaved in God knows how many other ways. I’ve only just begun rambling and here it already feels too dark, too heavy. Natural, though, given the time, and the way things were, things felt dark and heavy for everyone. Myself, though, I’d lead a serious childhood and had little stomach for this burning violent hatred around me. I don’t even remember which side I was on, being that I remember in the past having felt both ways about that trial, I think a little bit of both sides was right and a great deal of most everyone was wrong about most everything. I say that now, because remembering back to the burning art, and the police lines charging, even the tear gas that I did not entirely escape despite my leaving because I’d decided I just did not have the passion to stomach what I was participating in, it just all seemed too dark to me. I’ll probably say this again, and I’m sure everyone feels this way at some point in their lives, but with the tear gas and the smoke and the isolation of escaping down alleyways and feeling I’d belonged to neither side of something quite horrible, I felt that the entire world had summed up to a terrible sort of product entirely. I felt that everything had gone amazingly wrong in the most fantastic way for everyone, and I had to get away."


Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010

I'm plan to succeed for the second time. I am getting a very late start, but I am not 100% invested in success, it is the journey and the honest attempt. On top of that, I do not feel that 8 days late is an unrecoverable start. Here goes, my opening:


I suppose that I have a story worth telling, though I am perhaps an exceptionally poor narrator for the task. Apologies must be given in advance as I am fully aware of the fact that brevity is the soul of wit and must make you aware early on that I have never been accused of being a man of any such wit to speak of.

Who gets to decide?

Words are just so.. beautiful. Language is amazing and constant and
everyone. To quote Jon Osterman, "Yes. Anybody in the world. ..But the
world is so full of people, so crowded with these miracles that they
become commonplace and we forget... I forget. We gaze continually at
the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from the
another's vantage point, as if new, it may still take our breath away.
Come... dry your eyes, for you are life, rarer than a quark and
unpredictable beyond the dreams of Heisenberg. Come, dry your eyes.
And let's go home." He is speaking about the miracle of existence,
but, when you stop and think about it, how everything is miraculous,
the quote's context is transferable. The expressive nature of
language, the transference of ideas...

People dream of psychic readings and the ability to telepathically
communicate thought, but only because they don't see how many ways we
communicate our thoughts and dreams already. When someone says the
word language, most people think specifically of words, of english,
spanish, or german, but.. it's every single way we share what is
inside of us, even when we are totally unaware that we are
broadcasting it. We even build language into music. A hand gesture, a
look from our eyes... even the negative space of what we ignore and
despise can be used to read our hearts, our secret wants, desires, and
our pain.

I propose that this is a miracle that passes continuously and is lost
because of its immersive presence in our lives. How many miracles seem
completely commonplace to me? What do I look at with disdain that
is... an impossible construct of chance and beauty? Its terrifying and
amazing. You should be so lucky to take miracles for granted.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


You know, it's difficult to really describe the relationship between music and life, because the very nature of such an emotional force begs the use of hyperbole and exaggeration. Even weirder is the way that, while listening to it at least, statements such as, "Music is essential to life," feel absolutely true. Happy music, sad music, and even angry music all satisfy some kind of deep passion in your soul that you don't even know is there when you're not thinking about it. It can float in the background for minutes and minutes and you can find suddenly that you've been tapping your foot to a tune that was playing beneath the audio level you were not paying attention to.

Perhaps it is only hyperbole to say that music is essential to life in that they are inseparable, because every soul has music in it, that escapes in tapping fingers to unheard tunes or meaningless humming. Music is like a different voice that has to be explored to be used effectively. It is important to ask, though, why should the fire die?

All I know for certain is that the whole world burns.

Hey, those books you gave us look good on the shelves at home,
And they’ll burn warm in the fireplace, Teacher, when in Rome.

"I have a special power," he said with a certain pride that made him sit up a bit taller.

"Yeah? What is it?" She hardly cared, barely paying attention to him, responding with rote conversational curiosity.

"I can bring people back to life if I focus hard enough, I can undo the event of their death."


"Yes. But..."

"But what?" Her eyes followed a sad looking old man on a bench by a hardware store. The perspective of him through the window shifted with the pace of the bus as it moved past him, leaving him behind as it continued on to the next stop. She wondered for a moment if he was really sad, or if he only looked sad to her because of her own feelings of boredom as she responded with empty mechanical conversational prompts.

"Well.. I can only bring back people who wanted to die. It's so strange, and maybe it has something to do with the relationship with wanting things and having things or the restlessness of their souls or whatever, but, the people I am most likely able to save, are suicides. Well. Half of them."

"Half of them?"

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Tonight was really amazing. Went to the Cafe Du Bois with my parents and enjoyed a really remarkable dinner and wine. My step mom told me how she and my dad were finally able to visit their granddaughter again after a long feud with her mother and father over some very important issues. I was so happy for them. My dad's guitar instructor was the musical guest for the evening, and he played the whole time we were there without a single break, and he was brilliant. Blues, classics, everything. He was wonderful, and I can see why my dad likes taking lessons from him. After that I went and played guitar over at Shepard's house. Before that I played guitar for hours and talked food at Chefs 2b.

I think I am wrestling with some serious depression, though, and I am doing my best to deal with it. It hits pretty hard and pretty unexpectedly when people are kind and generous, and it is just weird to cry at dinner in a public restaurant. Clenching my jaw only does so much, and no matter how hard I try I can't keep a few tears from leaking out. I try and suck it up, because, really.. this is life. Life is suffering. It's not like I'm a wreck and struggling to deal with day to day life. There's no one who can give me advice I don't know. Some people want to console you by telling you how hard life is, but if life was so hard it wouldn't be a tragedy. Life is BEAUTIFUL, and amazing, and wondrous. Philip K. Dick described a character who dealt with the pain of a life shifting in nature by believing that the normal life was lacking in surprise, saying that it had to end because it was boring, and that his dark and destroyed life had achieved greatness because it was full of wonder and surprise. Later, in his despair, he expresses hatred for the space he occupies, stating that his life and his home should belong to someone who has what he denied wanting. It's sort of a beautifully tragic dance with suffering, for the person who suffers it is not a matter of circumstance. I just wish I could control myself at dinner. I don't want to sit there with people I love, listening to amazing music and damn near dancing in our seats because it makes you just want to get up and move, and then the next minute be slouched over trying to hide the lines of tears down my cheeks.

Her name was Jewel Scott. She was 2 months and 1 day old. She liked strawberries, and blueberries, and she didn't like beef and she loved it when I sang to her and talked to her. She would have been born April 2011. And everyone tells me that she is in a better place, and all I can think is... a million different things. How can I let this pain make me a better person? How can I not let this be just waste. Art, poetry, storytelling. I don't know. I just wish I could control my eyes at dinner, that I could keep from breaking down in front of the whole world. No one needs to see that, it doesn't help anything to have it out there, where no one can help.

A lifetime is more than sufficiently long for people to get what there is of it wrong.
- Piet Hein

Pay no attention to what the critics say... Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic!
- Jean Sibelius

My Halloween:

Uploaded with

Friday, November 05, 2010


Something that Must be Shared

Because pinball was illegal for so long, it became a symbol of youth
and rebellion. If you watch a movie or TV show that was either
produced or takes place during this period, virtually any time pinball
makes an appearance, it is for the purpose of portraying to the
audience that a particular character is a rebel. For example, the Fonz
is regularly seen playing pinball in "Happy Days" episodes. And when
"Tommy," The Who's pinball-wizard-themed rock opera album came out in
1972, pinball was still banned in much of the country. The album's use
of pinball is largely misunderstood by today's audiences, who may view
the deaf, dumb and blind pinball wizard as quirky. In all likelihood,
The Who was using the game to portray the titular character as
anti-authoritarian. Filmmaker Richard Linklater makes use of this
symbol in a significant number of his movies, with rebellious or
outcast characters seen playing or talking about pinball in virtually
every one. And in "The Simpsons," Sideshow Bob once proclaimed,
"Television has ruined more young minds than pinball and syphilis

Thursday, November 04, 2010


"It had to end, and it did. Now in the dark world where I dwell...
ugly things and surprising things and sometimes little wondrous
things...spill out at me constantly...and I can count on nothing." -
Robert Arctor

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Dinner... Yum!

Last night I cooked dinner for Jake's family. One of the best meals I
learned to cook while I was in Korea.. ridiculously simple, the whole
meal was about 6 dollars to make, it was an amazing chicken soup with
potatoes and mushrooms and then the chicken gets picked apart and
dipped into this amazingly delicious chili sauce. I may make it again
tonight, or switch to something else. I have been working for months
on great ways to make really rich and delicious meals for cheap.

Tonight I am going to try to cook food for the Newman's and show Matt
Shadow of the Vampire. I've seen it before, and it is a humorous but
sympathetic storytelling narrative that has Willem Defoe(eVille!), and
John Malkovich in it. Don't know what I'll cook, though. I'll decide
while I am at HEB. Whatever I cook, hot tea tonight, if the weather is
any kind of indicator. Chills! Delightful!

Still on a bit of a high when I think about the sweet bottle of cab
that I won at the winery halloween party, going to save that for a
very special occasion.

Got another stilt walking job on friday, that's 3 in two weeks, plus
15 hours of overtime at work this week.


One, two, princes kneel before you
(that's what I said, now)
Princes, Princes who adore you
(Just go ahead, now)
One has diamonds in his pockets
(And that's some bread, now)
This one, said he wants to buy you rockets
(Ain't in his head, now)

This one, he got a princely racket
(That's what I said, now)
Got some big seal upon his jacket
(Ain't in his head, now)
You marry him, your father will condone you
(how bout that, now)
You marry me, your father will disown you
(he'll eat his hat, now)

Marry him or marry me,
I'm the one that loves you baby can't you see?
I ain't got no future or a family tree,
But I know what a prince and lover ought to be,
I know what a prince and lover ought to be....

Said, if you want to call me baby
(Just go ahead, now)
An' if you'd like to tell me maybe
(Just go ahead, now)
An' If you wanna buy me flowers
(Just go ahead, now)
And if you'd like to talk for hours
(Just go ahead, now)

Said, One, two, princes kneel before you
(that's what I said, now)
Princes, Princes who adore you
(Just go ahead, now)
One has diamonds in his pockets
(And that's some bread, now)
This one, he wants to buy you rockets
(Ain't in his head, now)

Marry him or marry me,
I'm the one that loves you baby can't you see?
I ain't got no future or a family tree,
But I know what a prince and lover ought to be,
I know what a prince and lover ought to be....

Said, if you want to call me baby
(Just go ahead, now)
An' if you'd like to tell me maybe
(Just go ahead, now)
If you wanna buy me flowers
(Just go ahead, now)
And if you'd like to talk for hours
(Just go ahead, now)
And if you want to call me baby
(Just go ahead, now)
An' if you'd like to tell me maybe
(Just go ahead, now)
If you'd like buy me flowers
(Just go ahead, now)
And if you'd like to talk for hours
(Just go ahead, now)

If you want to call me baby

(Just go ahead, now)

An' if you'd like to tell me maybe

(Just go ahead, now)

If you wanna buy me flowers

(Just go ahead, now)

And if you'd like to talk for hours

(Just go ahead, now)

ohh baby
(Just go ahead now)
ooh just just go ahead now
ooh your majesty,
(Just go head now)
come on forget the king and marry me
(Just go ahead now)
come on, come on, come on,
(Just go ahead now)
and go ahead now
yeah, just go ahead now
Yeah, If you want to buy me flowers
(Just go ahead now)
yeah just go ahead now baby

Fun and Games

I think there is someone out there reading this who would really enjoy

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I Have Not Been Myself

In my profound grief, I have allowed myself to be impatient.
In my impatience, I have allowed myself to be angry,
In my anger, I have failed to be at peace,
And through my weaknesses, I have not been who I want to be.

I believe the most important things in life, are integrity, though this may mean different things at different times.
It means doing what you think is important even when it is very difficult,
And part of the challenge in life, is deciding what is important when there are conflicts and mutually exclusive needs.

This is why it is hard to say that anything anyone does is wrong, as long as it was done with integrity.

At this time in my life, integrity means accepting my pain and being there for the people around me,
Continuing to grow, continuing to believe.

I have known for a very long time that my belief in God must be unconditional, either unconditional disbelief,
Or unconditional belief.

Pain and suffering visits the innocent and guilty alike, as well as good fortune and happiness.
It is a fallacy to believe that misfortune is any more a sign of God's absence than fortune a sign of presence.
Knowing this means that once decided, my faith will never waiver. I believe in God, however,
I believe in a God that visits pain and suffering on those that love God as well as those who do not.
My faith gives me no comfort in times of grief, no strength in times of abundance.
Life is suffering.

My faith gives me strength, and resolve. I believe that it is my responsibility to make this world better,
for those who come after me, as well as for myself. Art, music, love, children, charity, solace.
If every misfortune was visited with anger, revenge, the destruction of art, the silencing of music,
Then the misfortunes of the world would be magnified a hundred times. It is through, not simple forgiveness,
But a complete acceptance of life's suffering, and a magnanimous response of creativity, patience,
And understanding that healing is propagated instead of deeper wounds.

Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased.


Today, I share music:

How lucky can one guy be;
I kissed her and she kissed me
Like the fella once said,
Ain't that a kick in the head?
The room was completely black
I hugged her and she hugged back.
Like the sailor said, quote,
"Ain't that a hole in the boat?"
My head keeps spinning;
I go to sleep and keep grinning;
If this is just the beginning,
My life's gonna be beautiful.
I've sun- shine enough to spread;
It's like the fella said,
"Tell me quick
Ain't love like a kick in the head?"

Like the fella once said,
Ain't that a kick in the head?

Like the sailor said, quote,
"Ain't that a hole in the boat?"
My head keeps spinning;
I go to sleep and keep grinning;
If this is just the beginning,
My life's gonna be beautiful.
She's telling me we'll be wed;
She's picked out a king size bed.
I couldn't feel any better or I'd be sick;
Tell me quick, oh ain't love a kick?
Tell me quick, ain't love a kick in the head?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's a Sin by Don Gibson

It's a sin, my darling, how I love you
Because I know our love can never be
It's a sin to keep this memory of you
When silence proves that you've forgotten me

The dream I bult for us has tumbled
Each promise broken like my heart
It's a sin, my darling, how I love you
So much in love and yet so far apart

It's a sin to hide behind this heartache
To make believe that I've found someone new
It's a sin to say that I don't miss you
When people know I'm still in love with you

I'm sure you're happy with another
Who shares the love I could not win
Why pretend that I can't live without you
When deep inside I know that it's a sin

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Power of Music

This is a beautiful story. Music is real and powerful.


"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their
dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's good to know.

It's good to know that I can talk to my mom about things that I didn't
think I used to be able to, and to know that she feels for me and
cares for me.


[More videos from bentsea]

Feel Good Video of the Day

Sleepy Bear:

Competitive Language and Dismal Analysts

I am frequently subjected to analytical reports that PC gaming is
dying, Microsoft is dying, or is Apple, or Nintendo, or Sony losing
their dominance on the marketplace. I suppose analysts thrive on
predicting change, and I am starting to really see that this is
because without major shifting change, analysts aren't really
necessary. It is my experience that analysts are either making wildly
inaccurate claims or just as frequently, only loudly repeating
blatantly obvious trends, to the extent that they make accurate and
insightful predictions as often as a phone psychic.

Do they truly benefit from simple attention? Or do they not benefit at
all except from notice, gaining their financial benefits from
elsewhere? I think one staple of news reporting on analytical
predictions that supports these attention grabbing bids is a lack of
accountability, rarely sourcing the analysts responsible for claims,
or their credentials. Is this the consumer cultures lack of passion
for the subject? Possibly, but how can they care at all, there will
always be opinion leaders who are capable of understanding the
information. If the general public doesn't care, they'll still stop
reading after the headline, or after the first paragraph, but why
leave out the important details that promote accountability all

Is it partly because negative accountability would too adversely
affect a business model that is based on making predictions? If this
is the actual reason, then the model is fundamentally flawed at its
most basic levels. THe idea is that by analyzing real data, and paying
attention to trends, etc., analysts should be able to be more reliable
than the work of a good haruspex. But is it? If it isn't, why isn't
it? If it is, why isn't accountability being used to make the valuable
predictions of changing markets available to the public?

I think this issue gets a lot more complex when you start to ask
questions like whether or not these predictions should affect users
and consumers. In a healthy competitive marketplace, a user should
base their purchase on product specifications rather than marketshare
of the competitors. Why is it that more passionate consumers get tied
into questions of whether or not they are on the "winning" side? It's
only in instances where a consumer can make major investments, such as
HD-DVD vs Bluray, or Betamax vs VHS that consumers can stand to lose a
lot of money by being on the wrong side, but if they're worried about
the value of their investment, why invest at all until after a winner
is already clearly declared?

I think ultimately the examination of the practices of reporting on
analyst predictions to the public raises more questions than it
answers. It's hard to deny the human nature to desire to know the
future, or to side in competition, or seek publicity. I feel these
issues with the media will never be resolved. I just am disappointed
to see CNN predicting doomsday for a Microsoft, a business that has
done too much in its time and has its fingers in too many pots to
crumble, especially in a marketplace with so much flourishing
competition that a diminishing market share is not equivalent with
diminishing sales because of the continued growth. A more sound
prediction would have been changing strategies, or evolving branding,
or even just the note of the strengthening competition. Even apple
survived its down period through entrenchment, any corporate
technology solution has strong lasting power even after it has long
outlived its public usefulness, and has the power to change


I used to have a teacher like this, but she didn't do it on purpose. I
remember she would give me bad grades for doing what she told her and
afterward would say she liked the way I was doing it myself before I
listened to her. Then say I should never have listened to her. It was
an incredibly enlightening experience. This story just made me smile
and remember the best teachers I ever had.

Monday, October 25, 2010


You know what's amazing? Everything. And when you are depressed it is
so easy to forget that and feel like nothing is.


Cats are just awesome, and I love them. Enjoy this comic:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Walt Disney, Genius

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. -
Walt Disney

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Poetry and Scrolls

Peace of Mind

I don't indulge in achieving fame
Since the glory and infamy cohere

I don't crave wealth and rank so
Much, leading to a risky career

Forsaking all, I'm at great peace
With nothing else to fear

-Kim Samhyon

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bunnies at Lunch

This little guy was a friendly little bunny that kept hopping through
the restaurant in a tent at the bottom of the mountain where we ate
lunch after exploring caves.

Friday, October 15, 2010

American Tale was one of my favorite movies as a kid

Fv: Somewhere out there,
beneath the pale moonlight,
someone's thinking of me and loving me tonight.

Ty: Somewhere out there,
someone's saying a prayer,
that we'll find one another in that big somewhere out there.

(*)Ty: And even though I know how very far apart we are,
it helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star.

Fv: And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby,
it helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky.

Together: Somewhere out there,
if love can see us through,
then we'll be together, somewhere out there,
out where dreams come true.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


'Carnal apple, Woman filled, Burning moon'

Carnal apple, Woman filled, burning moon,
dark smell of seaweed, crush of mud and light,
what secret knowledge is clasped between your pillars?
What primal night does Man touch with his senses?
Ay, Love is a journey through waters and stars,
through suffocating air, sharp tempests of grain:
Love is a war of lightning,
and two bodies ruined by a single sweetness.
Kiss by kiss I cover your tiny infinity,
your margins, your rivers, your diminutive villages,
and a genital fire, transformed by delight,
slips through the narrow channels of blood
to precipitate a nocturnal carnation,
to be, and be nothing but light in the dark.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rebels With a Cause

I love people who work hard and put effort into fighting unfair
government treatment of citizens. More people like this in the world
could do a lot of good. Burn the world.


Wow, this image is incredible. I love it, it's the work of a brilliant imagination.

Melting Pot

Well, no one was willing to spend the money on dinner, but at the last
minute my mom offered to go with me to the Melting Pot and she said it
could be an early birthday dinner for her. I was happy to take her,
and then at the end, I surprised her by paying. We shared a nice wine
and we had their brand new big night out menu. The cheese fondue is
always my favorite, but the Duck a l'Orange was superb. I mean, it
just melted in my mouth and was savory with the flavor of duck from
the Coq a Vin broth that we cooked it in. It was a very nice evening
and we talked about a lot of things and it was a good time with my

A Kiss is Telling

We will flirt and whisper,
lads and ladies playing games,
dancing around questions,
surreptitiously they tease,
knowing that it's a crime,
to have their intentions known.

But all these games,
the truth of trifles and hearts,
they become transparent,
they become useless
once a kiss passes between lips,
because a kiss tells the truth.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I have been wanting quite badly to go to the discounted new menu
tonight at the Melting Pot, and have been trying to get someone to go
with me. Sadly, not many people I know are willing to spend 31$ on a
meal right now. I'm not willing to spend 62$ to go alone, though the
food looks soooooooooooooooooo good. Anywho, I've been doing a lot to
entertain, movies, spending time sitting in the hot tub at Shepard's
house. Some board games have been a lot of fun. On top of all of that,
buying a house is an adventure. I am really looking forward to this,
and trying to think of other adventures to follow that.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Finally watching Ghost.. a movie that was recommended to me a little
over 2 months ago. I had been very busy, and then very depressed. I am
loving it, the scene in the elevator near the beginning is hilarious.
I should have watched this immediately when it was originally
recommended to me.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


"There's one sad truth in life I've found - While journeying east and
west - The only folks we really wound - Are those we love the best. -
We flatter those we scarcely know, - We please the fleeting guest, -
And deal full many a thoughtless blow - To those who love us best."
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sergeant Peppers

Sergeant Peppers Amadeus Bond is such a good pet. He runs from a whole
block away when I go outside and call him. I can hear his collar
jingle the entire way.

There is no I in silent

Except that there is. Changed my guitar strings today, don't like the
new ones. They have a little too much of a ring to them, I find that I
definitely prefer the heavier strings. I am learning to play House of
the Rising Sun by the Animals... good song. Maybe I will post
recordings of me playing here in the future. I had a very long meeting
with Kevin about con business. It looks like we made a little money
and we are hyped to be set to make even more next year, with all kinds
of new opportunities, including advertising banners in the hallway.

Anyway. So, aside from that, lots of time for... books, and movies.
I've been escaping entirely into fiction and reading and playing
music. Lots and lots of playing music lately, it's good for the soul.

Venture Brothers started up again last week, and I've been loving it.

I need to write more, I have been having some good ideas lately.

Friday, August 27, 2010


I just want to know what she's feeling
I just want to know what she's doing
I just want to know why she left me here to die

There she stands
Up above
Looking down on me
I can't touch her
Her eyes are empty

I want to ask her name,
But she's already gone,
And it doesn't seem important,
With what she's left me with,
It screams

She's my sylvia
My helen,
My sweet josephine,
The empire is already wrecked,
We burned the world together

It's the silence that's killing me
The nothing where once before
Nothing but possibility stood

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I really very much want to cook a brisket on Saturday using some of
the flavoring tips from Steven, especially using coffee grounds in the
seasoning. It's definitely worth a try since it's much easier than
grinding the peppers that I normally have to in order to make my


As always, thanks to Steven Raichlen for a wonderful recipe available


Source: Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Method: Smoking/Indirect Grilling
Serves: 8 to 12
Advance Preparation: 4 hours to overnight for curing the brisket (optional),
then allow 8 to 9 hours for smoking the brisket and at least 30
minutes for it to rest.

1 beef brisket flat (6 to 8 pounds) with—very important—a cap of fat at least
1/4-inch thick
3 tablespoons dry mustard
3 tablespoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
3 tablespoons cracked or coarsely ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire powder (see Note below)

You'll also need: 6 to 8 cups oak or hickory chips or chunks, soaked for
1 hour in water to cover, then drained; a heavy-duty aluminum foil pan;
heavy-duty aluminum foil

Trim the brisket so as to leave a 1/4-inch cap of fat. (Any less and
the brisket will dry out; any more, and the fat will prevent the rub
from seasoning the meat.)

Place the mustard, salt, pepper, powdered Worcestershire sauce, if
using, in a bowl and mix them with your fingers. Sprinkle the rub on
the brisket on all sides, rubbing onto the meat. If you have time,
wrap the brisket in plastic wrap and let it cure in the refrigerator
for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight.

To grill: If you are using a smoker, set it up following the
manufacturer's instructions and preheat it to 275 degrees F. When
ready to cook, place the brisket fat side up in the smoker. Add wood
chips or chunks to the smoker every hour, following the manufacturer's

If you are using a charcoal grill, set up the grill for indirect
grilling, place a large drip pan in the center, and preheat the grill
to 275 degrees F. To maintain this low temperature, use only half as
much charcoal as usual. (A half chimney-full.) When ready to cook,
toss about 2 cups of wood chips or chunks on the coals. Place the
brisket on the hot grate over the drip pan, fat side up, and cover the
grill. You'll need to add fresh coals an more wood chips or chunks to
each side of the grill every hour for the first 4 hours.

Smoke or grill the brisket until a dark "bark" (outside crust) forms
and the internal temperature of the meat is about 150 degrees F, 4 to
5 hours; use an instant-read meat thermometer to test for doneness.
Then, tightly wrap the brisket in a couple of layers of aluminum foil,
crimping the edges to make a tight seal. Return the brisket to the
smoker or grill and continue cooking until the brisket is very tender,
but not soft or "mushy," and the internal temperature is 190 to 195
degrees F, about 4 hours longer.

Remove the wrapped brisket from the smoker or grill and place it in a
warm spot. Let the brisket rest for about 30 minutes. This resting
period is very important; during that time, the brisket will reabsorb
its juices.

To serve, unwrap the brisket and thinly slice it. Spoon any juices
over the brisket and get ready for some of the most extraordinary
smoked beef on Planet Barbecue.

Note: Worcestershire powder is available by mail order through If unavailable, add 1 tablespoon more of dry

The Wind in the Willows

I have been reading this beautiful classic for the first time. Since I
got my kindle a few months ago(and now am very much in lust with the
new model that I don't have), I have been reading classic after
classic for free. I started with some fairy tales that were written by
the author of the Wizard of Oz, then some Irish fairy tales, then I
tried some Japanese fairy tales. I enjoy fairy tales a lot, because of
their brevity. I ended up not enjoying the Irish book at all, because
it didn't feel at all like it was broken up into tales, there didn't
seem to be any kind of cohesive narrative. Anyway, after those, I
tried my hand at The World Set Free, which started out amazingly well,
but got so muddled in the middle that I have given up on it. I was
totally lost, events began to run together, every so often another
brilliant line or prophecy would arise, and then the narrative would
become muddled again. Now I am on The Wind in the Willows and reading
briskly through it.

I used to watch the animated version that they played on PBS all the
time as a child. It was one of my great childhood memories, the music
and characters. I laughed a lot. There was a claymation, that I saw
the most, and then there was also a Disney animated version. Anyway, I
am at work, and I am going to go back to reading. I will post more

Wednesday, June 30, 2010



Quesadillas are a popular crew snack on the set of Primal Grill—easy
to make, easy to adapt to ingredients you have on hand, and very
satisfying any time of day. (We even make breakfast quesadillas with
scrambled eggs, cheese, chorizo, and roasted and peeled poblano

Source: Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Method: Direct grilling
Serves: 4

4 large (8 to 10 inches across) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded smoked chicken
2 cups shredded cheese, such as a half-and-half mixture of pepper Jack
cheese and sharp cheddar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 scallions, both white and green parts, trimmed and finely chopped
2 fresh or pickled jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced crosswise (or for a milder
outcome, seed the fresh jalapenos)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
Salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, or sour cream (optional) for serving

1. Place a tortilla on a work surface. Sprinkle one half of the
tortilla with a quarter of the chicken, cheese, cilantro, scallions,
and jalapenos. Fold te other half on top to make a half-moon-shaped
quesadilla. Assemble the remaining quesadillas the same way. Lightly
brush both sides of each quesadilla with the butter, turning them
carefully. The quesadillas can be prepared to this stage up to 30
minutes ahead.

2. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat it to medium-high.

3. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate well. Arrange the
quesadillas on the hot grate and grill them until the bottoms are
golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the quesadillas
and grill the second side the same way. Keep an eye on
them—quesadillas burn easily. Serve the quesadillas at once with the
optional condiments.


Source: Adapted from Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Method: Grateless grilling or tandoor grilling
Advance preparation: 3 to 4 hours for marinating the fish.
Serves: 4

1-1/2 pounds salmon steaks

For the garlic water:

4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
A 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and rough chopped
2 cups water

To finish the marinade:

4 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
A 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and rough chopped
1 small onion, rough chopped
2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
2 teaspoons black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons ajwain (carom seeds) or caraway seeds
2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup thick (strained) plain yogurt (2 cups yogurt if omitting the egg
and chickpea flour)
1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork (optional)
1 cup chickpea flour (optional)
3 tablespoons oil or unsalted butter, melted for basting

1. Place the salmon steaks in a large bowl or nonreactive baking dish.

2. Make the garlic water. Place the garlic, ginger, and water in a
blender and blend just to mix. Strain the garlic water over the fish.
Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Drain the fish,
discarding the liquid.

3. Make the marinade. Place the garlic, ginger, onion, salt, pepper,
ajwain (or caraway seed), turmeric, and cumin in food processor and
grind to a smooth paste. Add the 1 cup yogurt and egg and chickpea
flour, if using, and process to a smooth paste, running the machine in
short bursts. If omitting the egg and chickpea flour, add the
additional 1 cup yogurt and run the processor just to mix. The mixture
should be thick but pourable: you may need to add a couple tablespoons
of water. Pour the marinade over the fish steaks, turning them to coat
evenly. Use a spatula to coat the steaks thoroughly on both sides.
Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.

4. Remove the steaks from the marinade. If you own a tandoor, thread
the steaks on a tandoor skewer (they have hooks on the end for hanging
cooked food on a rack to cool); impale a whole onion on the end to
keep the steaks from slipping off the end into the embers. Plunge the
skewer into the tandoor, resting the skewer end on the bottom of the
tandoor. The cooking time will be short, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn once as

5. Alternatively, set up your grill for grateless grilling by
arranging bricks or other fireproof supports opposite each other on
the grill grate; the idea is to suspend skewers between them. Preheat
the grill to high. Thread the fish steaks onto flat metal skewers, two
to a skewer, and suspend between the two supports. Grill for 3 to 5
minutes per side, or until cooked through and golden brown. Let rest
for a couple of minutes before carefully removing from the skewers.
Serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010



Note: Retsina is a Greek wine flavored with pine resin. (Resin was
once used to seal wine skins—the Greeks retained a taste for it.) Look
for retsina in a good liquor store or Greek market or use an aromatic
dry white wine, like Spanish verdejo.

Source: Recipe courtesy of Steven Raichlen
Method: Direct grilling
Serves: 4

2 pounds fresh shrimp with the heads on or 1-1/2 pounds peeled and
deveined shrimp
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably Greek, in a spray bottle
1/4 cup Greek retsina or other dry white wine in a spray bottle (optional)
Large crystals of sea salt for sprinkling

You'll also need: Best of Barbecue Marinade Spray Bottle, or other spray bottle

If using whole shrimp, peel the tails, using kitchen scissors to open
the shells. Leave the heads intact. Scrape out the veins with the tine
of a fork. If using shrimp tails, peel and devein.

Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium-high.
Brush and oil the grill grate.

Spray the shrimp on one side with olive oil. Arrange oil side down on
the grate. Lightly spray the tops with more olive oil and retsina.
When the bottoms of the shrimp are sizzling and browned, turn over.
Lightly spray this side with oil and retsina. The cooking time is
brief, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Transfer the grilled shrimp to a platter or plates and sprinkle
generously sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Serve at once and get ready
for some of the best shrimp of your life.


Source: Adapted from Seven Fires by Francis Mallmann (Artisan, 2009)
Method: Direct grilling
Serves: 4

Here's a dessert of such startling simplicity and bold in-your-face
flavors, just to hear about it is to want to try it. It comes from the
rock star of South American live-fire cooking, Francis Mallmann.

4 large juicy navel oranges
2 o 3 sprigs fresh rosemary (2 to 3 tablespoons leaves)
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups crème brulee ice cream or plain Greek yogurt, divided
between 4 shallow bowls

Cut off both ends of each orange. Using a sharp paring knife, remove
the peel and white pith in strips. Cut each orange in half widthwise
and remove any seeds with a fork. Arrange the oranges on a plate cut
side up.

Sprinkle the oranges with rosemary leaves, pressing the leaves into
the flesh. The recipe can be prepared up to 1 hour ahead.

Set up your grill for direct grillingand preheat to high. Ideally,
you'll be grilling over wood.

If you have a plancha, preheat it screaming hot. If working directly
on the grill, brush and oil the grill grate.

Just before serving, sprinkle the cut part of each orange with sugar.
Invert the orange halves onto the metal plate or onto the grill. Cook
until the sugar caramelizes, that is, turns dark brown, 2 to 4
minutes. Do not let burn or the sugar will taste bitter.

Using a spatula, arrange the orange halves, sugar side up, on the ice
cream. If using a pan, spoon any juices over the oranges and serve at


Source: Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Method: Caramelizing with a crème brulee iron or fire-heated cast iron skillet
Advance preparation: Make the custard at least 3 hours in advance, and
up to 24 hours; must be thoroughly chilled
Serves: 6

For the custard:

1 quart whole milk
1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1 vanilla bean, split (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
3 strips lemon zest (the oil-rich outer rind—remove it with a vegetable peeler)
12 egg yolks
1-1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons honey
About 1 cup Sugar In The Raw (known as castor sugar in England or
cassonade in French) or granulated sugar, or as needed

You'll also need: 6 crème brulee dishes (each about 4 inches across
and 3/4 inch deep—tradition calls for earthenware); a crème brulee
iron (see description above) or a kitchen blowtorch

Make the custard. Place the milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon zest in
a heavy saucepan and simmer over the lowest possible heat for 10

Meanwhile, place the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and honey in a
large heavy heatproof bowl. Whisk the mixture until smooth and creamy,
2 minutes. Very slowly (you don't want to cook the egg yolks) strain
the hot milk into the egg mixture in a thin stream, whisking
constantly. Return the pan to a medium heat, and bring the mixture to
a boil, whisking steadily. The crema will thicken. Reduce the heat to
the barest simmer and cook the mixture for 3 minutes, whisking

Spoon the mixture into the crème brulee dishes, shaking and tapping
each to smooth the top. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then
refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until serving. You can make the
Catalan creams up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerate, but if you do,
press a piece of plastic on top of each to keep it from drying out and
let warm to room temperature before serving.

Just before serving, heat the brulee iron or cast iron skillet
screaming hot—ideally in a wood-burning fireplace, or alternatively in
the embers of your charcoal grill or laid flat on the grate of your
gas grill. (You can even heat it on one of the burners of your stove.)
Evenly sprinkle the top of each Catalan cream with 3 tablespoons
sugar. Press the hot iron into the surface of the Catalan creams to
caramelize the sugar—this will take a few seconds and a puff of
fragrant smoke will rise as the sugar darkens. Note: the sugar should
be topaz-colored to a dark golden brown, not black. Burned sugar
tastes, well, like burned sugar.

Monday, May 03, 2010



Source: Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Method: Direct grilling
Advanced preparation: The sauce can be prepared a day ahead.
Serves: 4

To paraphrase Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, if you grill it, they
will come. Such is the case for a Bangkok grill mistress named
Saisuwan. Five years ago, she scraped together enough cash to set up a
pushcart on Chareunkrung Road behind the Sheraton Hotel. Her grilling
skills became so legendary, guidebooks from all over the world sing
her praises. Saisuwan serves just one dish—but what a dish—grilled
bananas slathered with coconut-caramel sauce. You can eat them for
breakfast, as a snack, or for dessert—and the moment you finish,
you'll very likely find yourself returning for seconds. And if you
happen to find yourself near the Sheraton Hotel in Bangkok, you'll
recognize Saisuwan by her trademark white cap—and by sweet scent of
bananas grilling over coconut shell charcoal.

For the coconut-caramel sauce:
1/2 cup palm sugar or light brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
8 apple bananas or 4 conventional bananas

You'll also need: flat bamboo skewers (optional)

1. Make the coconut-caramel sauce. Combine the palm sugar and coconut
milk in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking
to dissolve the sugar. Briskly simmer the mixture until thick, dark
brown, and very flavorful, about 5 minutes, whisking often. Remove the
pan from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Place
the sauce in a deep bowl. It can be prepared up to a day ahead and
refrigerated, covered. Let the coconut-caramel sauce return to room
temperature before using.

2. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat it to high.

3. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Peel the bananas
and skewer them through one end, if desired. Grill the bananas until
they are lightly browned and partially cooked, 1 to 2 minutes per
side. Dip the bananas in the coconut-caramel sauce (That's where the
skewer comes in handy) or brush the bananas on all sides, using a
basting brush, and return them to the grill. Continue grilling the
bananas until they are golden browned and sizzling, 1 to 3 minutes per
side longer. (Use a bamboo skewer to test for doneness; it should
easily pierce the banana.)
4. Transfer the bananas to a platter or bowls. Spoon the remaining
coconut-caramel sauce.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010




Source: Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2010)
Method: Indirect grilling or spit-roasting
Serves: 4
Advance Preparation: 4 to 6 hours for marinating the wings

3 pounds whole chicken wings (about 12 large whole wings)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Asian (dark) sesame oil
1/4 cup Chinese rice wine, sake, or dry sherry
3 tablespoons oyster sauce (optional)
2 slices (1/4-inch thick) peeled fresh ginger, crushed with the side
of a cleaver
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup hoisin sauce (optional)
1/4 cup Asian chile sauce, such as Thai Sriracha (optional)

You'll also need: A rotisserie with a flat basket attachment (optional)

Rinse the chicken wings under cold running water and blot them dry
with paper towels. Place the wings in a large nonreactive mixing bowl.

Make the marinade: Place the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, rice wine,
oyster sauce, if using, ginger, five-spice powder, pepper, and
cinnamon in a mixing bowl and mix well. Add the marinade to the wings
and stir to coat. Let the chicken wings marinate in the refrigerator,
covered, for 4 to 6 hours, turning them several times.

To grill: Drain the wings well, discarding the marinade before grilling.

If you are using a rotisserie, spread the wings out and place them in
the basket. Alternatively, you can skewer the wings crosswise on a
single spit rotisserie. Set up the grill for spit-roasting following
the manufacturer's instructions and preheat to high. When ready to
cook, attach the spit to the grill and turn on the motor. Spit-roast
the wings until they are crisp-skinned, darkly browned, and cooked
through, about 30 minutes. Start basting the wings with the vegetable
oil after 15 minutes, and baste them several times as they grill.

If you are using the indirect method, set up the grill for indirect
grilling, place a drip pan in the center, and preheat the grill to
medium. Arrange the chicken wings skin-side up in the center of the
grate over the drip pan and away from the heat, stretching the wings
out as far as possible. Cover the grill and grill the wings until they
are crisp-skinned, darkly browned, and cooked through, 30 to 40
Start basting the wings with the vegetable oil after 15 minutes, and
baste them several times as they grill.

To test for doneness, make a small cut in the thickest part of one of
the wings; there should be no traces of red or pink at the bone.

Transfer the wings to a platter or plates. Normally, they're so
flavorful you won't need a sauce, but sometimes they're served with
hoisin sauce and chile sauce. Place 1 tablespoon of each side by side
in each of 4 tiny bowls. Mix the two sauces together with the tip of a
chopstick and use as a dip for the wings


Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Indirect grilling
Serves: Makes about 18 wings, serving 6 to 8 as an appetizer
Advance preparation: 4 to 5 hours for curing and marinating the wings

18 whole chicken wings (about 4 pounds)
2 tablespoons lemon pepper
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) salted butter
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2/3 cup Dijon mustard
2/3 cup Tabasco sauce or your favorite hot sauce (Red Devil or Crystal
brand sauces are less hot)
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup bourbon (or substitute apple juice)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

You'll also need:
1-1/2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably hickory), soaked for 1
hour in water to cover, then drained

Rinse the chicken wings under cold running water and blot them dry
with paper towels. Place the wings in a large nonreactive bowl and
toss them with the lemon pepper, paprika, and 2 tablespoons of salt.
Let the wings cure in the refrigerator, covered, for 1 hour.

Melt the butter in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Add the
garlic and cook until it is fragrant and sizzling but not brown, about
3 minutes. Stir in the mustard, hot sauce, lemon juice, bourbon, brown
sugar, and black pepper. Season with salt to taste. Bring the bourbon
mixture to a boil and let boil for 3 minutes, then let cool to room
temperature. You'll use this for the marinade and sauce.

Pour half of the bourbon mixture over the wings and toss to mix. Let
the wings marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 3 to 4 hours. Set
the remaining sauce aside.

Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using
a gas grill, place all of the wood chips or chunks in the smoker box
or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke,
then reduce the heat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, place a
large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to medium, then toss
all of the wood chips or chunks on the coals.

When ready to cook, drain the marinade from the wings and discard the
marinade. Brush and oil the grill grate. Place the wings in the center
of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat, and cover
the grill. Cook the wings until golden brown and cooked through 30 to
40 minutes.
During the last few minutes of cooking, move the wings a few at a time
so that they are directly over the heat, and leaving the grill
uncovered, cook them until crackling crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the grilled wings to a platter or plates and serve at once
with the remaining sauce. Provide hot wet towels for sticky fingers.


Source: Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Method: Indirect grilling
Serves: 4
Advance preparation: 6 to 24 hours for marinating the wings

1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 medium onion, peeled and grated
1 cup plain Greek-style whole milk yogurt, such a Fage brand
2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
18 chicken wings (about 4 pounds)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (optional), for serving
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional), for serving
2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving

You'll also need: Flat metal skewers (optional)

Prepare the marinade and wings: Place the saffron threads and 2
tablespoon of hot water in a small bowl and let the saffron soak for
about 4 minutes. Transfer half of the saffron and water mixture to a
small bowl and set it aside for the glaze.

Grate the onion on the coarse holes of a box grater into a large
nonreactive mixing bowl. Add the yogurt, salt, pepper, and remaining
soaked saffron and stir to mix. Gradually whisk in the 1/4 cup of
lemon juice and the olive oil. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt
and/or pepper as necessary; the mixture should be highly seasoned.

Rinse the chicken wings under cold running water and blot them dry
with paper towels. Cut the chicken wings in half, cutting off and
discarding the tips. Add the wings to the marinade and stir to coat.
Let the wings marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 6
hours, or as long as overnight, stirring them every few hours.
The longer the wings marinate, the richer the flavor will be.

Make the glaze: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high het.
Add the reserved saffron and water mixture and the remaining 2
tablespoons of lemon juice and let the glaze simmer until blended and
flavorful, about 2 minutes.

To grill: Drain the wings, discarding the marinade, before grilling.
Set up the grill for indirect grilling, place a drip pan in the
center, and preheat the grill to medium. When ready to cook, brush and
oil the grill grate. Arrange the chicken wings skin-side up in the
center of the grate over the drip pan and away from the heat. Cover
the grill and grill the wings until they are crisp and golden brown
and cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Once the wings start to brown,
start basting them with the saffron glaze. Baste the wings several

To test for doneness, make a small cut in the thickest part of one of
the wings; there should be no traces of red or pink at the bone.

Transfer the grilled chicken wings to a platter and pour any remaining
saffron glaze over them. Drizzle the pomegranate molasses, if using,
over the wings and sprinkle them with parsley, if using. Serve the
wings at once with the lemon wedges.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010



No Super Bowl party is complete without a bowl of a different
sort—filled with smoky, fiery wings. Here's how they do it in South
Africa. I think you'll like how the lemon-chile-herb sauce electrifies
the flavor.

Though I like to serve the wings hot off the grill, you can make them
before game time, then reheat in a 325 degree F oven.

Source: Planet Barbecue (Workman, 2010)
Method: Indirect grilling
Serves: 4 as an appetizer
Advance preparation: 6 to 24 hours for marinating the wings

For the marinade:
1/2 cup South African peri peri sauce (see Note below), Brazilian piri
piri sauce,
Crystal, Tabasco, or other hot sauce
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
One 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds large chicken wings

For the glaze:
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) salted butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoon peri peri sauce or one of the other hot sauces mentioned above
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Make the marinade: If using a blender, add the peri peri/hot sauce,
garlic, onion, ginger, cilantro, oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper
and puree until smooth. If using a food processor, puree the solid
ingredients first, then work in the liquids. Transfer to a large
nonreactive bowl, roasting pan, or large resealable plastic bag.

2. Cut the chicken wings in half, discarding the wing tips. Stir them
into the marinade and marinate for at least 6 hours, or as long as
overnight—the longer, the richer the flavor—stirring every few hours.

3. Make the glaze: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the cilantro and
garlic and cook over medium-high heat until sizzling and aromatic,
about 2 minutes. (Do not let the garlic brown.) Stir in the peri peri
sauce (or other hot sauce) and lemon juice and simmer for 2 minutes.

4. Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium (350
degrees F). Brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the chicken wings
on the grate and indirect grill until crisp and golden brown on the
outside and cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Make a small cut in the
thickest part of one of the wings: There should be no traces of red or
pink at the bone.

5. Transfer the wings to a platter and pour the hot glaze over them.
Toss to mix and serve at once.

NOTE: Nando's Peri-Peri Sauce can be purchased online from


Currywurst is German comfort food, invented (or so the story goes)
when a resourceful street vendor dropped a box containing ketchup and
curry powder. What matters on Super Bowl Sunday is that currywurst
gives you a whole new approach to bratwurst.

Source: Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Method: Direct grilling
Serves: 4

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon for grilling the brats
1/4 cup white onion, minced as fine as sand
1 teaspoon mustard seed or mustard powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon anise seed
1 cup ketchup (preferably Heinz)
8 bratwurst

1. Make the sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan. Add the
onion and mustard seed and cook over medium heat until the onion just
begins to brown. Stir in the curry powder, pepper, nutmeg, and anise
seed and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the ketchup and
gently simmer the sauce until thick and richly flavored, 3 to 5
minutes. The sauce can be made several days ahead of time, but it
should be warmed for serving.

2. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium. Brush
and oil the grill grate.

3. Arrange the brats on the grill and grill until the casings are
crusty and brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes per side, 16 to 20
minutes in all, turning frequently with tongs and moving to dodge hot
spots or flare-ups.

4. Transfer the brats to a cutting board. Cut each brat crosswise into
1/4-inch thick slices. Mound the slices in a shallow serving bowl and
spoon the curried tomato sauce on top. Serve with toothpicks.


Despite the recent burger frenzy, the slider (or slyder, as it was
originally called) originated in the 1920s at the White Castle chain
in Wichita, Kansas, in 1921. To make upscale, off-the-charts sliders,
use wagyu beef (the cattle breed that gives the Japanese
Kobe)—available via mail order from Or use
regular ground beef, but make sure you have a fat content of at least
15 percent.

Source: Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Method: Direct grilling
Serves: 8 as an appetizer

For the caramelized shallots:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or more butter)
1 pound shallots, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

For the sliders:
1-1/2 pounds ground waygu or Kobe-style beef, or substitute ground
chuck (ideally
between 15 to 20 percent fat)
12 small brioche rolls or Parker House rolls
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Your choice of condiments, including pickles, mustard, ketchup, etc.

1. Make the caramelized shallots: Melt the butter with the oil in a
heavy saucepan. Add the shallots. Cook over medium heat until the
shallots have been reduced to a thick, sweet paste. This will take
about 15 minutes and you'll have to stir often. Lower the heat as
needed to keep the shallots from burning. (Add a tablespoon or two of
water as needed.) Add salt and pepper to taste. The shallots can be
caramelized several hours or even a day ahead.

2. Make the burgers: Divide the beef into 12 portions. Lightly wet
your hands and mold each into a square patty about 2 inches square and
1/2 inch thick. Arrange on a plate and chill, covered with plastic
wrap, until you're ready to grill the sliders.

3. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush
and oil the grill grate.

4. Generously salt and pepper the sliders and arrange on the grate.
Grill until cooked to taste, 2-1/2 to 3 minutes per side for medium,
turning with a spatula. Meanwhile, brush the cut sides of the rolls
with melted butter and grill them until golden brown. (Watch closely.)

5. To assemble the sliders, place a spoonful of caramelized shallots
on the bottom section of each bun. Top with a slider and the top bun
half, and serve at once with condiments.

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