December 29, 2008

The Omnivore's 100

This is sort of cute. It comes from a UK website, with all that means. I only stuck off one item (roadkill) but I would not be a bit surprised if I have eaten it in China, Indonesia, South America, or maybe somewhere in Louisiana.

Here's the game:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten. (I also italicized the things I have not eaten for clarity)
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare

5. Crocodile (but I have eaten alligator)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10.Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
13. PB&Jsandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart

16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects

43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more

46. Fugu
47.Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear

52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV

59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads

63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe

74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict

83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

December 25, 2008

Christmas Dinner

We had a very nice Christmas dinner with family and friends.

See photos here.

Following is the menu:

Christmas Dinner with Doreen and Dan.

December 25, 2008

Opening Treats:

Artisanal bleu cheese and hand made olive spread.

Bleu cheese from heirloom sheep discovered on the north island of New Zealand. Aged in caves used by the Maoris after their battles with Captain Cook.

Olives harvested from 400 year old olive trees from the Perugia region of Italy. Brined in salt from salt mines originally opened by the Roman Emperor Titus.


Holiday Scalloped Potatoes

Potatoes, cream, butter, cheese, and onions. Potatoes are a recovered species from the high Andes found by Hiram Bingham while searching for Machu Picchu. Dairy products are cruelty free from free range Holsteins, but only the first 10 minutes of milk is used from the milk run as that is the most flavorful part. Onions come from European “Stone Soup” kitchens specializing in onions for baking

Sister Shubert Rolls

Baked by the Monasterios de las Descalzas Reales in Madrid. Flour is hand ground on ancient stone mill wheels, powered by the barefoot nuns themselves.

Roast Goose

Free range “Lavender Sebastopol” goose from the Holderread Waterfowl Farm in Covallis Oregon. Holderread is located in the picturesque foothills of the Pacific Coast mountains in Oregon. We have enjoyed raising and studying domestic geese and ducks continuously since 1961. We specialize in purebred waterfowl that possess a unique blend of superb production and exhibition qualities. Birds bred by us are exceptional layers, fast growing and have won top honors at the largest poultry shows in North America and Europe, including Supreme Show Champions at the American Poultry Association's annual National Shows. Our breeding program encompasses more than 20 heritage goose varieties and 40 heritage duck varieties, including some of the world's rarest and most unique breeds.

Apricot Stuffing

Windblown apricots from California’s central valley flavor this delicious and almost calorie free stuffing designed to complement the natural juiciness of the roast goose.

Horseradish Beets

Beets from the famous Beets Me farm in Coeur du Lane, ID. Natural red flavenoids add to the nutritional value of these root vegetables. The horseradish is imported from Japan and is hand ground by Buddhist Monks on their yearly sabbaticals from the Temple of the Sleeping Buddha.

Red Cabbage

An old world family recipe that combines the healthy effects of both bacon drippings and cruciferous vegetables. The cabbage is hand harvested by peasants in the foothills of the Ural mountains.

Green Beans

Blanched, blistered, and browned, these green beans have been individually selected by Haricots Verts experts in the Provence region of France. Hungarian Smoked Paprika and pine nuts from Friuli finish off the flavor explosions.


(it’s a secret)

(wine selection will include champagne, pinot noir, and a dessert sauterne)

December 16, 2008

Thought for the day

"The great thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise rather than being preceded by a period of anxiety and worry."

Warren Buffett

December 10, 2008

Washington Insiders

Some of y’all know that I am on the board of PGS, a Norwegian Geophysical Services company. What you probably don’t know is that I have to be reappointed every year. And one of the people on the nominating committee is C. Maury Devine, who is currently living in Washington DC, and counts as my one “insider” contact in our government.

Maury is very close with Hillary Clinton, and almost certainly would have been part of her administration had Hillary won.

Maury and Roger O’Neil, our other Nominating Committee member joined us for the Board Dinner. Jens Ulltveit-Moe(our chairman) asked her to talk about the mood in Washington, and how the transition was going.

She was part of the Carter administration and said that she has never seen a better transition than Obama’s. The problem that the Obama team may have had was that they were running as outsiders, and that outsiders just don’t know how Washington works. She said that the Carter and the Clinton transitions were disasters for that reason. Nobody they brought in wanted to work with the folks that were there. (She also confirmed that the Clinton to W transition was extremely ugly. Clinton staffers really did pry the “w” keys off of the computers. She also said that President Bush is being very gracious and helpful to the transition team. He will be able to take some credit for how well this is working)

She also said that the mood is the best she has ever seen it, in spite of the financial crisis and everything else. Obama’s choices, his attitude, his approach are all going to make it better. She said that there is a palpable feeling in DC that this recession can be handled, the war can be handled, everything can be handled. Jens then said “Yes, we can” That has really become a shorthand for an attitude that change is possible. (Last week we went to see Robert Wilson speak in Houston. He used the same phrase to the same effect)

The Europeans at the table were all really happy about Obama, and about what he is doing. Everyone has been very impressed with the quality and speed of his appointments, and the amount of face time he is spending explaining all his decisions.

I asked Maury if she was going to State, and she said no, that she was going to be an advisor. She also said that watching Obama work that she believes he was the absolute right choice.

She also said that this recession will end in September of 2009.

December 9, 2008

tarmac @ AMS

waiting at the gate

Yesterday morning I flew to Dallas to meet with a client.

I got back to Houston about 5:00 pm. I then had to go to my car (leaving security, obviously) to grab my luggage and my coat, and get on a flight to here - Amsterdam.

Now I am waiting to get on a plane to Oslo.

Once in Oslo I go directly to the office and meet with the people who will decide if I should keep this position.

I hope I am awake enough to convince them to say yes.

KLM flight to Oslo

Finally! a differently colored plane.

Security here in AMS had a problem with my reading glasses and Parker Sonnet rollerball pen. sort of odd.

We are supposed to be loading directly. As you can see, the plane is here. But no people.

December 4, 2008

Good and Bad customer service from Sirius Radio

I have Sirius satellite radio in my car. The first year was free, and then last November, they called me up and asked me to resubscribe. Following a good salesman's script, they first asked if I wanted to get a lifetime subscription - but I demurred. They then told me what it would cost to get one year, or two year's subscription. I asked for two year's (you save a bit of money) and charged it to my American Express card. I though that was that.

Until I got a notice today telling me that they were ready to charge my next year's subscription to my Amex card. What? So I called up, and asked what was going on. The first fellow I spoke with said: "Sorry. You only paid for one year. There is nothing I can do" I told him that I felt that they made a mistake, and they should give me the second year's subscription at the incremental price from a one year, to a two year subscription. He said that was impossible, but he would connect me to a supervisor. 20 minutes later, I hung up.

I called back, and told the same story again, a second time. The woman who answered said that they have no record of me asking for a two year subscription, and there was nothing she could. She put me on hold, assuring me that she would come back every two minutes to let me know what was going on. 10 minutes later, I hung up.

SO I called back a third time. Again, I explained to the guy (Paul) who answered what the problem is. He understood immediately, and said, "Let me see what I can do. I want to give you a credit for the delta between the two fees. But I need to put you on hold for a moment to get authorization". He put me on hold, and less that two minutes later he was back and had credited my account the amount between the two charges.


I give them credit for fixing my problem. I only wish it did not take three calls.

November 25, 2008

The Decline of the American Military

Download the book here.

The authors go into the history of the US Military, as well as what is wrong now and how to fix it.

I thought this was a great quote from chapter 1:

"By the end of the Thirty Years’ War in 1648 Europe had had enough. The Thirty Years’ War began as a Central European religious struggle between Protestants and Catholics but ended as a purely political contest. Germany in particular was devastated. Europeans wanted order, stability and security, and the Treaty of Westphalia gave it to them. It defined the nation-state as the new governing entity, and decreed that it alone would have the power to make war. All other war-making entities were illegitimate and those who fought for them would be treated not as soldiers but as outlaws. The confinement of lawful violence to states would bring the stability needed for commerce and industry to flourish, learning and science to advance, and for people to feel secure for themselves and their property."

Good article about XOM in the NYTimes

Exxon Mobil Corporation News - The New York Times

November 23, 2008

Great map showing an interesting correlation

330 - From Pickin’ Cotton to Pickin’ Presidents « Strange Maps

I enjoy this website that often has interesting map based insights on current events

That is NOT me on the right


This is Doreen and the detail inside the British Mueseum of Natural Science. It is an amazing building with plenty of details such as this one.

We went there to see an exhibit of Darwin's effermeria. Animals he actually collected, the notebooks in which he actually wrote. Amazingly moving.
Posted by Picasa

November 22, 2008

Heading home

Doreen mocks me because I like to get to the gate early. Honestly, I like to get on the plane as early as I can. It makes me think that the jouney has started and we are one step closer to our destination. She indulges me, and we have never missed a flight.

There is an odd change in Continental's preflight drinks - they are now serving those little champagne 'pops' rather than opening a whole bottle. I think they are only 6 or 8 oz, which means we barely get a sip, as they split one between the two of us. Maybe I will write a letter.

This was a good trip, and I am looking forward to getting home.

CO 05 to Houston


November 20, 2008

on the train to London

Heading back to London

meat pie detritus

meat pie

in a Canterbury pub

Doreen is lamenting the fact that she is drinking a half pint of Spitfire Ale, while I get a full pint

Canterbury Cathedral

Chalk cliffs at Rockchester

English Countryside

whan that aprile with its showres soote

On the train to Canterbury

We are (we hope) on the train to Canterbury. Two people have asked us where the train is going, AND THEY ARE ON IT!

We took a bus to Victoria Station, and the station master told us to get on the train on track #6. We jumped on, and it left.

Now it appears that we have to move to a different car, as they divide the train at Faversham, and we are on the wrong side.

November 15, 2008

on the plane

middle seats on the 777.

life is good!

boeing 777

you can barely see the plane on the left

in the airport

Review of a local restaurant

Money quote:

"Brunch at Beaver’s can be a ton of fun too. I am the worlds most pathetic drinker, but even I couldn’t refuse the Squealing Mary made with bacon infused vodka, rimmed with bacon salt and finished with… a slice of bacon."

chefy bits at Beaver’s at Tasty Bits

November 14, 2008

FastTech 50

I am remiss in not mentioning that OpenSpirit has made the Fast Tech 50 again:

click here

This is our fourth time. I may not apply next year, though. We are getting to the size where the confidentiality of the numbers may matter.

On our way to London

Doreen and I are heading to London tomorrow for a week. I will be attending (and oddly enough, hosting) the Oil & Gas Exchange London 2008.

After that, we will be taking a few days to see The Changing of the Guard and enjoy London.

We will be seeing our friend Keith, who will be moving back to the US next summer.

Then we are back next weekend, just in time for Thanksgiving.