What a Strange

… and now for something completely different.

YouTube recommended this video to me.  They must know I have a taste for music crossed with unconventional but traditional sounds.

Mongolion Folk Rock fits the bill.

If I could, I would be throat-singing this all day.

In case you’re wondering about the lyrics – a commenter explains that

They are singing from spiritual ancestors view … Mongolia’s main and most historical religion is shamanism and shamanism is about respecting our nature calling the spirits of our ancestors into the shaman’s body They are questioning about why the politicians don’t keep their words. Why Mongolians are being racist to each other because of their bloodline or province.  Why the kids are not listening to their parents and elders” – Low Chaze

Universal themes, relevant to people and politics well beyond Mongolia.

Video filmed in spectacular Mongolia.  2018

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The Evolution of Zuke

The Sandy Food Chronicles

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The zucchini looked big in Cody’s box.  It looked even bigger on its own.  I weighed the monster on my Iron Man scale (so called because … isn’t it obvious?)

What do you do with a 1.675 kg Zuke and his 536g younger brother? It’s going to take many meals to find out.

King Arthur had some interesting ideas.  Roasted veggie pizza for instance.  Actually, the King suggested a galette but I had pizza dough in the fridge.  The recipe said to roast sliced zucchini and tomatoes in a 425F oven for 15-20 minutes.  It also talked about making a ricotta cheese base but I don’t like fresh cheese.

For the pizza which should have been a galette – I rolled out the dough, dressed it with olive oil and fresh basil and layered it with a scant topping of roasted tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms and onions.  To maintain it’s…

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West Coast Healthy

The Sandy Food Chronicles

I’m going whole hog with the West Coast lifestyle thing.

Well, maybe not ‘whole hog’, that’s not vegan. But I may be going ‘loco.’

I’m buying local anyways.  I joined the Tofino Ucluelet Culinary Guild (TUCG) which provides locally sourced food and vegetables to Vancouver Island’s restaurants and foodies.

Aside from ordering a la carte, I can buy a Food Lovers box featuring the best veg and fruits of the week. Sometimes it’ll include an unusual but not too weird item. Exactly what’s in the box is a mystery until pickup.

Here’s what my first box looked like.

FoodLoversBox2

Fruits included raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries and first of the season peaches.

Veggies were french beans, fresh picked bib lettuce, cauliflower and purple kale. The kale was the not too weird vegetable. And carrots – lots and lots of carrots – a whole layer of them was hidden beneath the kale. An additional…

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A Surfeit of Croissants

The Sandy Food Chronicles

I’m learning how to make breads at the George Brown culinary school.  Last week’s class was French croissants.  It was my introduction to laminated breads i.e. breads made with layers and layers of butter.

Through a series of missteps and happenstance I ended up making over six kilos of dough.

If you’re familiar with the lamination process, you will appreciate the magnitude of  that effort. Suffice to say it took twelve hours of kneading, rolling and folding to produce these three batches of dough.

I cut and baked the first batch at school. This first set I called my ‘learning batch’. They were less than perfect.  I’d cut them too big, shaped them wrong and had not left enough time for proofing. While they tasted ok, there was obvious room for improvement. I took the remaining batches home for practice.

Learning Batch of Croissants Croissants – First attempt – the Learning Batch 

Two batches (4…

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Gurushots Addiction

I may be addicted.

Lately I’ve been spending too much time huddled over my phone, checking status, entering challenges, voting and topping up my exposures. I’ve been playing Gurushots, a real-time online photo competition system.

It works by entering challenges and accumulating votes to achieve levels. The levels tip to points and the points tip to ranks. The more you vote, the more exposure your photo entries get for voting.  There is no limit to the number of challenges you can enter.  And that’s a problem.

At one point I had ten challenges going.   I was constantly checking on my exposure meter and submitting votes to bump it up.  Problem is that voting involves paging through hundreds of photos, some good, some not so good and some downright puzzling.   It all depends on the wording of the challenge. Sometimes, the guidance is too vague.

Take for instance the “Starts with a K” challenge.  The description was too vague.  It should have qualified the language.   I paged through hundreds thousands of Kittens, Keys and Kiwis.  (Question: How many interesting angles are there to a Kiwi? Answer: None. I’ve seen them all.) But then I started seeing Cakes, Coffee and Corn. Someone couldn’t spell. Wait … maybe they could spell but it was in German. Kuchen, Kaffee and Korn.

Another fun challenge was “Face in the Crowd”.   There were lots of pictures of crowds but no distinctive single face.  Other pictures were classic single person portraits; you had to imagine the crowd. One remarkable shot was taken on stage, of the back of a band performing to a crowd. No faces seen but they were facing the crowd. Ha ha!  That one got my vote.

Anyways here are a few of my photos in recent Gurushot challenges.

Toronto, Canada.  2018

via Daily Prompt: Vague

Sartorial Inequality

I suppose I should be more concerned with grander things.  Trump-o-mania. Plunging stock index. Escalating Syrian-Israeli-Iran crisis. North Korean everything.

But the thing I’d like to know is … how come Boris Pasternak ca 1920 looks like a LLBean model in 2018?

Consider the same of Virginia Woolf ca 1923.

Is there no justice in fashion evolution through the ages?  While men continue to wear the same old cable knit and trousers will women’s fashion constantly re-invent itself?

And really, will there ever be a time when floppy hats and lace curtains become stylish  again?

Oh … and if you’re keen on last week’s Lit Hub, click here.

California Jerk

The Sandy Food Chronicles

Google Jerk

This is a photo my daughter sent to me.  Here’s the chat* session we had. 


Hi Mom! This is what the cafe at work made for lunch today.

It looks like Rice & Peas ?

It’s Jamaican Rice & Peas with Jerk Chicken.

It don’t look like Jerk Chicken

The Rice & Peas was so-so and the chicken tasted

It looks like Curry Chicken

of  curry

But there’s no Curry in Jerk.
There’s no potatoes and gravy in Jerk.
All Jerk spices are black !

It didn’t taste of home at all

You should protest this

I can give them feedback

It is cultural misappropriation
of an iconic Jamaican dish.

Mom I have like
WORK to do

It’s OK dear.
You can come home and
I’ll make you real Jerk chicken

Thanks Mom!

🙂


(*) or something like it … same as much as this Californian style Jerk.

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Photo Challenge: 2017 Favorites

bagan-1614

It’s that time of year when we look back and think about the past twelve months.  Things done. Lessons learned.  It’s  good to look back and wonder.    For isn’t that what makes everything worthwhile? The wonder.

For my 2017 Favorite, I chose a photo which represented the start of doing something different. I started to capture visual stories.

Previously I’d been focused on taking one shot photos of people and scenes.  Single, opportunistic shots which captured the essence of a place or a person.  With my Bagan Monks collection, I aimed for a sequence of shots to document an important part of their  day: collecting alms.   To make the photo’s interesting, I used a combination of  angles and crops.   Individually, the photos were o.k but collectively they gave context and intimacy to the ritual.

bagan-monk-collage

Of course, I still take one-shot photos.  But sometimes I think ahead and plan out multiple frames in a story. The shoots then become more anecdotal and less opportunistic.  It’s a different way of approaching photography.

The Daily Post  Photo Challenge: 2017 Favorites

Photos taken in Myanmar, 2017