Cornucopia Of Ideas

We’ve entered that time of year where the word “cornucopia” reenters my vocabulary.

I’m Just Here For The Food
I’m certain that I’ve blogged about this before, and it’s somewhat ancient history these days, but many moons ago I was a recipe tester for Alton Brown’s first cookbook I’m Just Here For The Food. If you have a copy check the credits in the back if you don’t believe me. I’ll wait.

See, I told you so.

So why am I rekindling this history lesson? Well a few weeks ago Alton, not that we’re on first-name bases, did a lecture / book signing in New York and my brother (that’d be ITP-Reader “Ronnie”) and sister-in-law went to hear him speak. My brother was kind enough to get me a signed copy of the cookbook for my collection, and mailed it to me.

I received the book in great condition and want to say “Thanks, Ronnie!” (look at me using the blog for my own personal communications). Hey, I just remembered that my brother has an iPhone, I wonder if I could have iMessage’d him my thanks instead?

Please Tell Me I’ve Not Missed Pumpkin Pancakes
Things I’ve heard of but have yet to see:

  • Unicorns
  • Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch)
  • The Loch Ness Monster
  • Pumpkin Pancakes at Java Jive

Since first hearing of the pumpkin pancakes from ITP-Reader Lisa way back when she lived in Atlanta my mouth has watered at the thought of eating them. I’ve tried timing their arrival at Java Jive, but I’ve always seemed to fail. I even did a search on this site to confirm this! I won’t be able to try and get some pumpkin pancakes on Saturday morning before heading into the office, but I am considering making a Java Jive stop on Sunday prior to coming into the office (fear not TAR viewers, I will be home in ample time to cook before TAR). Wish me luck.

I Should Have Just Purchased A New Watch
A handful of months ago I purchased a new watch battery for the watch I purchased about two-and-a-half years ago and have worn nearly daily since. Originally the watch cost me about $49 to purchase (though I remember it costing more than that) and the cost of the replacement watch battery was $15. When I went to adjust the watch band yesterday I noticed that the rubber watch band has split and will soon need to be replaced, at a cost of $15-$20. A quick glance at Amazon today tells me that I can buy a brand new watch for $49. Maybe I will just buy myself a new watch and keep the old one as a “back up.”

Amazon Is On Fire
No, not this Fire (yet). I’m referring to the slew of offerings that Amazon is making to its shrewd Amazon Prime members such as yours truly. Check out today’s memo:

Dear Customers,

Today we’re announcing a new benefit for Kindle owners with an Amazon Prime membership: the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free, including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers — as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates. No other e-reader or ebook store offers such a service.

The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library features a wide array of popular titles, including Water for Elephants, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, and Fast Food Nation – plus award-winning novels such as The Finkler Question, motivational books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, biographies and memoirs including Kitchen Confidential, and Pulitzer Prize-winning books like Guns, Germs, and Steel.

We’re adding the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library to Prime membership at no extra cost — Amazon Prime remains just $79 a year, which gives you free two-day shipping on millions of products, plus unlimited instant streaming of almost 13,000 movies and TV shows.

If you’re a Kindle owner with Prime, you can start borrowing books today. If you don’t yet have a Kindle, our all-new Kindle family is available from just $79.

We’re working hard to continuously drive even more value for Kindle owners. We hope you enjoy the new library — happy borrowing.

Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO
PS — If you have not tried Amazon Prime, you can start a one-month free trial here.

That $80/year looks like a better investment each time Amazon offers something new.

RealiTV Update: Top Chef: Texas — Everything Is Too Big In Texas
Last night I was joined by ITP-Reader Betsy, who was kind enough to make a delicious ropa vieja and bring that over with the makings for a spinach salad, for the premiere of Top Chef: Texas. My contribution to the meal was wine (red) and rice (white). As an added bonus she and I both laughed our asses off watching the last last night’s Modern Family and the last half of a South Park episode.

This season Top Chef has changed things up by going all American Idol on us by having elimination rounds prior to the actual competition. While the level of talent didn’t sink to that I once saw on an early American Idol there was the standard shot of “contestant exits through door with huge smile because he/she has been granted the permission to move on to the next round.” Almost as annoying is the fact that I can’t look up the bio information for the twenty-nine people online because Bravo’s website doesn’t contain any information on the pre-Top Chef cheftestants. Specifically I was trying to find out about the two “Atlanta” cheftestants, one who made it to be a real-life Top Chef cheftestant, while the other has been put on “The Bubble” and will have to compete her way (again) onto the show — oops, SPOILER!

There is not a whole lot I can say about the twenty-nine cheftestant wannabees other than the twenty or so we saw complete last night looked pretty scary and many were replete with tattoos.

Last night we saw that Padma hasn’t aged nor put on a pound since Top Chef Masters, Gail Simmons still looks girl-nextdoor cute, and Emeril Lagasse (who has packed on a few in the past decade) and Hugh Acheson (chef at a place in Athens, GA if I remember correctly) will be joining Gail as guest judges.

More in depth recaps will occur when the fleet of cheftestants has been whittled down to a manageable size.

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – okay, but didn’t get enough exercise yesterday and I have something annoying going on the inside of my cheek.
Current Music – listening to a recent Wild Flag concert recorded in Washington DC
Website Of The Day – I’ve not played with Trends Map much, but I’m always intrigued when one business uses the data from another business as their own business model.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – stair climbing, 7 flights
Morning Weigh-In – check again tomorrow

Foot Mileage – 0.0 miles
Wheel Mileage – 0.0 miles
Pushups – 0
Situps – 40
Stairs – 25 flights

Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 0 (0)

Vegetarian Days – 0
Carnivorous Days – 2

Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 0

November Goals
– Lose three pounds
– “Completely” recover from the bike crash (though I’m beginning to this this will never happen)
– Ride my bike no fewer than 100 miles
– Exercise for an hour no fewer than twenty-five days
– Not to get sick for the entire month
– Eat vegetarian no fewer than fifteen vegetarian meals
– Not get fired from my job, nor quit my job

2011 Goals [will be a little more fluid than in past years]
– Reduce my weight by 25 pounds based on the my weight as measured on February 1st
Completely read the book Daily Negations which I received as a Christmas gift.
– Run Sharpened Stone as a real business — one which does not get penalized.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Enter no fewer than three photographic competitions / gallery showings
Ride in no fewer than five 50 mile or 50K bike rides
Run in no fewer than two one half-marathon
– Submit at least one application under the name “Sharpened Stone” to Apple’s iOS store

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem
– Eat smaller portions

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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6 Responses to Cornucopia Of Ideas

  1. Martha says:

    The ‘lending library’ sounds cool. My least favorite thing about the Kindle/Amazon is that you can’t share books. It’s a one off, so if I think it’s a book I might want to share I buy a hard copy.

    I saw a very cute, pink unicorn Monday night, along with Scooby Doo, lots of zombies, princesses (pirate, fairy and regular). Actually we had a ton of kids, probably the most in my 10 years on Knott St. Jerry bought two bags of candy, I stopped on the way home to buy two more and we ran out by 8. Of course that didn’t stop kids from knocking on the door until almost 9. We just let the dogs go crazy and they usually ran away.

    My point? Oh, pumpkin pancakes don’t seem like they would be all that hard to make at home is you were so inclined. BTW pumpkin is really good for you, I’ve been putting in my morning smoothie for the past week.

  2. Steve says:

    I’ve tried to watch “Modern Family” a couple of times and that style of humor just doesn’t do it for me.

    A nice run at Jorges last night. I think the time I’ve spent on my rollers has helped get my running fitness back on track. Being broken is no fun.


  3. bets says:

    Martha–do you use canned or fresh pumpkin for that smoothie? I love me some pumpkin.

    Paulie–you were very kind to omit the part about my arriving to your home last night in a fit of sobs because my ropa vieja that the slow cooker had slaved over for 8 hours toppled in the car and lost the nice sauce. Remember when I said there wasnt much sauce anyway? I was wrong. The opposite of right. This morning it looked like I drove home some teenagers from the homecoming dance and they’d spend the evening doing shots of old grandad and eating chili. One solid hour of cleaning and explaining to my neighbor that No–this is not what you think it is.

    How’s that image for ya? Does Cactus charge a lot for detailing a car? This new addition of gook (which at least today still smells nicely of cumin, olive oil, and tomatoes) , along with the dog hair, beach sand, and pine straw, is going to push me into a new category of car yuck-dom.

  4. Martha, I’m certain that I could make my own pumpkin pancakes, but it’s the lore of the ones I once heard about which keeps me wanting.

    Sounds like it doesn’t matter how much Cactus charges for cleaning, your car needs it.

    Where did you wind up burying the body?

  5. Stacy Fox says:

    Elimination rounds? Heh. Well at least ONE reality show actually has them then…. 😉

  6. Stacy Fox says:

    And hey Betsy! If you don’t mind going up to Roswell, this here’s a good deal:

    (I love me the Half Off Depot!)

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