Wednesday, September 28, 2011

She's Just Using You For Your Name

So, I was out with friends last weekend, and one of the women fell IN LOVE with one of my friends, let's call him "Tomberto".* More accurately, she fell in LUURRRVVVEE with his name (which for blogging purposes will be "Tomberto"). Throughout the night, she would loudly exclaim, "TOMBERTO, my love!" Which was made all the funnier by her sobriety**. Everytime she or he would return from the bar/dancefloor/toilet/police station, or if there was a slight lull in the conversation, we would again hear of her intense feelings for his name. Which made it HI-larious when later in the night, she (still sober) proclaimed***, "ROBERTO, I LOVE your name!" She tried to explain how it was pretty much the same, but the damage had been done -- never cheat on a name in front of it. * In spite of his being a supporting character to the leading character that is his name, "Tomberto" wanted anonymity ** My stronger level of sobriety did not, sadly, add to the humor *** I've used both pro- and ex-claim, but I just can't get declaim in the post. Dammit.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Swiss Efficiency!

Recent results from the CERN supercollider* in Switzerland seem to imply that particles are moving faster than light. Researchers have asked the general public to come up with ideas. Being an idea man, I've already solved the problem. Anyone who knows the Swiss know that they are sticklers for efficiency and timeliness. Swiss neutrinos are no different* -- if they were to show up EXACTLY on time, rounding might make them appear late. So they're early. If you run this experiment in Germany or Austria, you get the same result. In Spain or Italy? The particles are a bit slow. In France? They show up hours or days later, after a quantum "greve"**. In the USA? The particles show up on time, but MUCH heavier than expected. * Little-known quantum physics fact -- subatomic particles take on the characteristics of the nation where they're observed. It's the Richardson Nationality Principle ** French for "strike"

Am I Being Sexist?

When I make the "whipped"* sound after a male coworker sends an email to announce he took his new wife's last name? Or is it just an acknowledgement that he's punching far, far above his weight? * Wh-chish? Do we have a standardized spelling for this?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Damn You, Neal Stephenson

You've sucked me in again. "Cryptonomicon", "The Diamond Age", and my favorite "Snow Crash" -- and now there's a new tome. So, due to "Reamde: A Novel", further posts will be delayed indefinitely. I'm not sure if it'll top "Anathem", but I'm keeping an open mind. If you're missing my snark, read old posts or, you know, get a life.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Brussels 2011 - Friday Night Lights

FBers go HERE for photos! So, year 2 of our long-standing* tradition of attending the Brussels Beer Fest**. The gang was much larger, with returnees/survivors Meg, Berti and T joined by newbies Scott, Peppi, Anita, Alex and special guest blogger, Steve. We learned our lesson*** from last year, trained it down and arrived in time for a few introductory beers (Hellloooooooo, Val Dieu!) at the Fest, then some hand-pulled noodles. A quick note about the noodles -- the guy stretches them out downstairs and they. are. awesome. The gang (I'm looking at you, Berti & Steve) were skeptical about my restaurant choice, but their skepticism was met with a slap in the face by my friend, Mr. Tastiness****. Suck it, punks. We then were taken to a cool "local" bar by local pro Maria. Unfortunately, we went to the same local bar last year, so we were underwhelmed. To be fair, it was cool, so we were just adequately whelmed. At this point, we had a split -- Meg & I took hyper-jet-lagged Steve back to the hotel (the sweet BXL Room) then had a last beer at Poechenellekelder (or, as we call it, the Classy Delirium). The rest of the gang kept going, which turned out to be a HUGE mistake for Scott (stolen smartphone + massive hangover = should've gone to Classy Delirium) and may or may not have generated stories for the rest of the gang. I've been sworn to silence by McGiver himself. * If I can consider myself to be "average height", I can consider 2 years "long-standing" ** Technically, the Belgian Beer Weekend, but I think "Brussels Beer Fest" sounds about a billion times better *** Well, some of the lessons **** No, that's not sexual. Get your mind out of the gutter, you perv.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Brussels 2011 - Walkabout

A bit of a walkabout in between beer and tasty food. As always, you pay* for the photos, you get the snarky captions for free. And before you get to the variety of racial caricatures from the Belgian Comic Center, the deal is that one of the artists had a blurb that explained that his african character, complete with oversized, bright red lips, was "not in the least racist". Which apparently referred to the character's actions (intelligent, often outwitting the various white characters**) rather than his incredibly racist appearance. However, this became a running joke between Margaret and I as we saw the rather wide variety of racist characters in the museum. Sure, they were products of their times, but still. So, as you see them, just tell yourself, "not in the least racist". * Well, "pay" in this case includes the amount "zero" ** Or, "crackers"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Worst. Duck. Ever.

Call it the Not-So-Happy-Mosel. This thing was pathetic -- bony wing, bill that looked like it'd bleached in the sun for months and a generally scraggly appearance. It was the Gary Busey of ducks.

Fortunately, the rest of the Mosel was a bit more photogenic. More to come!

Why the consecutive posts? Because one of my readers* wondered if the blog was dead or if I was just incredibly lazy. It's the latter, but I'm still blaming Steve for visiting.

* I like to call him "50% of My Readers"

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Best Pizza In The Dorf - Part 2 Da Noi

Next up in the Best Pizza in the 'dorf - Da Noi. It's been off and on my rotation over the years. There was a multi-year break due to a bad service incident (that led to several of my friends skipping on their parts of the check -- possibly unknown to the staff), but I had to give it a shot. Helped by Scott, I went back once more into the fray.

What We Ordered: After some deliberation on the menu, I passed on the house-named Da Noi (kind of forgot the ingredients -- that's how boring it was) to go for the awesomely-named Blöde Ziegen (fresh goat cheese, rucola, shaved parmesan and red onions):

Scott opted for the Inferno (salami and legitimately spicy pepperoncinis):

So, how was it? From the bottom up...

Crust: 7 - It was a middle-of-the-road, slightly chewy, slightly crispy crust. Good, but nothing amazing. On a related note, I've realized how hard it will be to discuss crusts in detail each week. Oof.

Sauce: 5 - Very tough to rate -- they opted for a just a light brushing of sauce. It gave the crust a nice whang, but it was very understated. Which is better than just bland (I'm looking at you, Su Nuraghe).

Toppings: 8 - The fresh goat cheese won the day here, with the spicy pepperoncinis getting an assist. It was creamy, but juuuust a bit goaty (in a good way)! The red onions and rucola were both fresh with enough of a bite, but the salami was the typical meh salami.

Cheese: 5 - Not great, not bad. Since I bumped the toppings for the goat cheese, I'm going solely on the "normal" cheese. And, this being the 'dorf, it's fing gouda. Why this town is obsessed with gouda on their pizza, i don't know.

Intangibles**: 7 - The outdoor seating is nice, if you can ignore the buses that stop directly in front of the tables. If you can't, then eat quickly before the next one

Final Decision: 32 - It's not toppling Di Napoli, but it was tasty. A return visit might improve the score, but til then, it's above average. Barely.

* The top crime-fighting pair in the topping universe
** Well, some of these are intangible. But using the word makes me feel like I'm rating players for a draft. Thank you, Jay Bilas!