A toy from the distant past

Probably my favorite toy as a kid was my Star Trek bridge playset. I didn’t have all of the accompanying large action figures, but I certainly had Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, and a Klingon or two. The whirly transporter was particularly great. The action figures and bridge playset are now being reissued. I’m not a toy guy anymore. I can appreciate action figures, cool toy collections, etc., but almost never spend money on them. This though . . . this I think I need.

Married for 20 years

Twenty years. I won’t say it feels like our wedding was “just yesterday,” but it sure doesn’t feel like twenty years. Marrying Suri is just about the smartest thing I ever did; the fact that we’ve stuck by each other with all we’ve been through is the part of my life I’m proudest of. (Despite my facial expression in this picture, I am in fact thinking of marital bliss and NOT “Some folks call it a sling blade, hmm, little biscuit with mustard on it, mm hmm.”) I love having someone in my life who I know so well, who understands so much about me, yet we never seem to tire of each other. I love Suri more deeply now than when we first got together back in autumn of 1988 and I hope that love grows deeper roots for the rest of our lives.

Joe and Suri, 20 years on

Joe and Suri, 20 years on

Great anniversary dinner at Hen of the Wood

Suri and I are fast approaching our 20th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, we went to Hen of the Wood, one of Vermont’s most-acclaimed restaurants. Wow–this was seriously one of the best meals of my life. Suri started with kale and Swiss chard cooked with a little olive oil, lemon, and pine nuts; I had braised pork cheeks with a maple/mustard creme fraiche. The pork was the only part of the evening that was less than outstanding for me.  Suri liked them and I admit that they were tasty, but the pork was  just too salty for me.

For mains I had roasted rabbit with parsnip puree and a stock reduction; Suri had the seared duck breast with grilled ramps and a baby mustard green salad. These were . . . perfect. I kind of have a hard time finding anything more to say about them. They were the pinnacle of what those proteins are capable of achieving. Both the rabbit and the duck breast were the most flavorful, delicious things I’ve ever eaten and I cannot choose which was better.

For dessert we had the cheese platter–a selection of flavorful American cheeses (no matter what Mark Bittman says) with hazelnuts, crisp buttered toast, and rhubarb butter. I also got a scoop of vanilla buttermilk ice cream; by that point, I was unsurprised that it was the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten. All the usual things people say about this restaurant are true: beautiful location, emphasis on locally sourced food, rustic decor, knowledgeable waitstaff. If you’ve got the money for a special meal (dinner came to $110 with tip, and that was with only one glass of wine), it gets every recommendation I can offer.

Retrotech Bohemian Rhapsody

Found on a new site I’m having fun with, veryshortlist:

YouTube user bd594 has taken a bunch of old-school computer gear and put it to good use, synching the mechanical noises from the hardware’s motors into an excellent cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

An HP ScanJet 3C fills in for Freddie Mercury, and an ancient TI-99/4a plays Brian May’s lead-guitar part. (The other “band members” include an Atari 800XL and an 8-inch floppy disk.) The entire song is just a few seconds longer than Queen’s original recording — and in its own, weird way, it’s almost as satisfying. Believe it or not, it too will rock you.

YouTube – Queen Bohemian Rhapsody Old School Computer Remix

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