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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Cake Day reflections

One of my previous employers had a monthly tradition of "Cake Day", a day in which some employees would bring cake (store-bought or homemade) and then everyone would eat it. I'd guess maybe 80% or more participated in the eating and maybe 15% in the providing. I fell into the eating-only group most of the time, but at least four times I can remember, I brought something.

Well, actually, I never made cake. I don't actually like making cake, and as far as eating it goes, it's nice but pie is better. I actually made dessert items instead. The ones I can remember are (not in order): Momofuku's crack pie, my 'baconated tarte tatin' (a tarte tatin with half-slices of bacon studded inside), chilled red bean soup with sago and coconut milk, and black tea ice cream.

To be honest, most people wanted cake. Or maybe pie. The majority of people didn't want weird stuff like red bean soup, and the tea ice cream wasn't a big hit either. (Even if the baconated tarte tatin was good, it was much better hot than cold. That was on me.) I mean, if I wanted to be popular via dessert, I would have bought ice cream cake, or made, say, a cheesecake.

That said, I didn't want to turn anyone off, either. I genuinely really liked everything I made for Cake Day, and I wanted people to like it too. But it made me happy to make something a little idiosyncratic and weird. I guess I wanted to make something that I liked and that at least a few people really liked. Would it have been nice if everyone liked it? Yes, but not if my heart wasn't really in it.

posted at: 18:09 Tue 12/Feb/2013 | /journal | permalink | 0 comments | trackback

Sunday, 05 September 2010

Bumbershoot 2010 day one

Good day today. I saw the Joe Mande, Chelsea Peretti, and Donald Glover stand-up, and musical acts The Budos Band, Balkan Beat Box, The Shawn Lee Ping Pong Orchestra, and the Constellations, plus the "Love and Marriage" shorts package at the Bumbershoot 1 Reel film fest.
Definitely one of my best days for music at Bumbershoot in the last few years.

posted at: 07:00 Sun 05/Sep/2010 | /journal | permalink | 0 comments | trackback

Monday, 31 May 2010

Customized cutlery

I bought a Forschner chef's knife because it's $30 and favourably reviewed by Cook's Illustrated, because I wanted to customize it and thought starting from an affordable knife with good performance would be better than an atrocious knife. The steel is the one thing I really can't fix, after all.

My intended changes:

1) File down the spine of the knife right near the handle, to facilitate more comfortable handling with the 'pinch' grip, as described here.

2) File the edge down from its standard 20 degree edge angle to a sharper 15 degree angle, probably with the 'mousepad trick' system of fine-grit sandpaper and a mousepad that produces a naturally convex edge. (another description here.)

3) (less likely) hand-hammer out the half of the blade nearer the spine to produce a "tsuchime" finish, partly just to see how it'd look and partly to produce a less sticky surface on the knife.

{Jan 2011 edit: after some online research, I have learned that hammering a hardened blade is a bad idea; it may introduce hairline fractures. So apparently the time to hammer a blade is when it's still hot. (and of course, raising a blade to that temperature would mean having to re-temper it when cooling, another hassle even if the plastic handle wasn't glued on.) Instead, I'm gonna look into applying a patina with sulfamic acid.}

posted at: 07:07 Mon 31/May/2010 | /journal | permalink | 0 comments | trackback

Thursday, 08 October 2009

another joke

{discussing how X should set up a reunion website.}

{X}: I only have contact info for like 2 or 3 of the people though

{X}: but I suppose one can start somewhere

me: Yeah, friends of friends of friends.

me: Only problem is that you're guaranteed to find jerks within 4 degrees.

me: Maybe you could make it a FB app or something. Or just a FB group.

{X}: well, jerks are people too

me: You're so tolerant.


me: ah, here's where I last said something like [what we were just talking about.]

me: Wow, I sound like a jerk.

{X}: no kidding

{X}: and only 0 degrees of seperation

posted at: 08:46 Thu 08/Oct/2009 | /journal | permalink | 0 comments | trackback

a joke

in IM. (Context: "X" is Asian.)

me: how are your parents?

{X}: they are fine

{X}: I find them very difficult

me: Well, study hard, I'm sure you'll do fine.

{X}: haha

{X}: funny

{X}: or would be if it weren't so ironic

me: Yes, it has layers.

posted at: 03:23 Thu 08/Oct/2009 | /journal | permalink | 0 comments | trackback

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Andrew Chang
aka ArC

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