Ironman Canada training update

I'm basically done with Ironman training for Ironman Canada that's coming up in August.  The rest of the month is called "taper" where we get to work out like normal people and rest up our bodies from the last 9 months of wear and tear.

Last weekend was intense but I've gotten used to it over the years, a 2 hour run and 1 hour bike ride (indoors) on Friday, a 4 hour bike ride up in the hills on Saturday, and then a 8-9 hour workout on Sunday which was 2 hours on the bike and 50 minutes of running times 3 in the heat.

I basically need to watch my weight and nutrition, stretch, stay injury free, and maintain my muscle memory.  The best part of taper and for the next couple months, I'm just a big ball of energy so *everything* else becomes so intense it's pretty sweet.  There's a reason why people keep doing Ironmans.  You can kinda guess why.

raf's peach galette

This is from Frog Hollow Farms and costs $25.  It's good, but a little pricey.  I think you can get it from Dean and Deluca too but they won't tell you that it comes from Frog Hollow Farms.  They sell a small version too.

So I made this peach galette the other day and making it again soon.  I like making strawberry sorbet too in the Summer.  I don't know why, I just do so don't bother me.

Here's the recipe:

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tbs buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter (get the Strauss European style kind)
  • a bunch of huge yellow peaches like 10 – 12 more is ok
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup peach schnapps

Make the dough with the first 6 ingredients.  Put the dry ingredients together the sugar, salt, flour, and butter in a bowl.  Mash it up until the butter gets all incorporated.  Mix up the buttermilk and water and start putting the water into the dough little by little.  Incorporate it in until it starts to look like dough, shouldn't be too sticky.  Wrap it up or put in a bowl and put saran wrap over the bowl and refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight.  This should be enough for two galettes.

Make sure the peaches are ripe, put in a brown bag if not.  Peel and slice nicely.  Put in a bowl and put in some sugar unless peaches are really, really sweet.  Put in the peach schnapps, optional.  If you're a drunk like me, put in a couple more tablespoons of peach schnapps.

Roll out the dough about 12 inches around.  Put the peaches in the center, about 1 cup, and arrange kinda nicely.  Fold the dough over the mixture and know that the crust is what makes a galette.  Sprinkle some sugar on the crust, might need to wet it a little with a pastry brush.

Put in over for 35 minutes in 350 degree oven.  Done.  Serve with whip cream or vanilla ice cream or Ginger Peach tea.  I've seen people change it up by spicing it up with cinnamon or adding raspberries, plums, nectarines or whatever.


Yet I have slept with beauty
in my own weird way
and I have made a hungry scene or two
with beauty in my bed
and so spilled out another poem or two
and so spilled out another poem or two
upon the Bosch-like world.


It was like this when
we waltz into this place
a couple of Papish cats
is doing an Aztec two-step
And I says
Dad let's cut
but then this dame
comes up behind me see
and says
You and me could really exist
Wow I says
Only the next day
she has bad teeth
and really hates

Hanging out at Caffe Trieste today and who's sitting across from me but Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

good gravy

This is a quick, basic gravy recipe I picked up from the Somerset Club (this is their poor man's demi-glace).  Great for mashed potatoes, beef, chicken, turkey, etc.  If you keep the roux light, it's good for biscuits too.

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup of beef broth or consomme (Swansons low sodium)
  • 1 cup of chicken broth (Swansons low sodium)
  • 1 tsp of tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter.  Toss in the flour and stir until brown.  The darker the roux the darker the gravy.  Toss in everything else and stir.  Done.

*Long unncessary inside story, but I had Mang Tomas (a sauce for pork) as the "gravy" for a Thanksgiving dinner once and it messed me up badly.  It just didn't work.

raf's ratatouille

Here's the recipe:

  • some cloves of garlic
  • a couple medium onions rough cut
  • 3-4 zucchini squash rough cut
  • 3-4 tomatoes rough cut
  • 2 large eggplants rough dice
  • salt/pepper to taste about 2 tsp each
  • 1 tbsp of bacon fat

Cut up the eggplant and soak in water to let the sting out. Dry. Heat some olive oil in a dutch oven medium heat. Toss in the onions. Toss in the garlic. Cook for a bit. Toss in everything else. Reduce to low. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes.

It's a nice little summer dish.

Naperville vs. Oakland

My best friend lives in Naperville, IL, which happens to consistently be one of the "Best Places to Live" according to Money magazine.

So here's Naperville.  Here's Oakland.  And a comparison tool for Oakland against San Francisco and the top 100 places to live.

In summary, we have better weather in Oakland but we're illiterate, bad at math, and we're stressed because we don't vacation enough.  However, we do have a Racial Diversity Index of 651.5 which might be the highest in the Country.  100 is National Average, San Francisco is at 267, closer to 0 is a more homogenous population.  Interesting data.

To improve Oakland, we need to understand what the metrics are so that we can actually improve them.

I'm reading Implementation and hope to finish it in the next couple of weeks.

Search Plus for Video

Sometimes the results you get from a search engine aren't that great (even from Google, these days), and you want a little extra and you want more relevant results. That's where Search Plus comes in.

So, pound on it. Search Plus for Video is in Beta and the way we created it we can make a bunch of changes to the UI/UE via the server-side, so new features and changes/fixes will be introduced much like a web page. It's our first entry into the Firefox/IE Add-on space.

What does is it do exactly? It's very simple. Search Plus is multiple searches in one. Doing your normal search on Google, Yahoo!, MSN, or Ask we'll also query video providers (starting with YouTube) and we'll present the results if there's a relevant match. We're playing around with the UI, location of the results, and other features and doing our best to make the results even more relevant.

Video results are becoming much more relevant, i.e. when you search for "irreplaceable" you probably want to see Beyonce's music video or if you're looking for "NASA voyager" why not see related videos to it versus just reading about it. Anyway, send feedback.

Hoop Dance

This is Derrick Davis. He's a champion hoop dancer and I think he did a stint with the Native American Dance Theatre. Anyhow, I hadn't seen him dance before but I heard lots of good things and was amazed that he won the Hoop Dance competition at the Heard Museum dancing with just 5 hoops. Needless to say, he's a much, much better hoop dancer than I am (especially since I've been retired for about the last 9 years). I got my hoops back from my parent's house the other day though…