Waverly Street

Sunday, 15 Oct 2006 | Travel

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Toni wanted me to take some pictures of Waverly Street on our last trip to San Francisco because it was where Amy Tan, author of the Joy Luck Club, used to live when she was growing up.

Toni wanted her English students to see what that part of San Francisco's Chinatown looked like. Her students are reading a couple of Amy Tan's stories this year. She thought they would enjoy seeing Waverly Street. Hopefully, her students will get to see it in person some day as well.

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Sheba Gave Us Quite a Scare

Thursday, 12 Oct 2006 | Family, Pets

On Tuesday evening, Toni, Taffy and I were watching television in our bedroom and I turned to Toni to ask where Sheba was. She said she didn't know, but had seen her when she got home from work before me. Sheba tends to come and go in our bedroom when we're there because she's a typical cat that does what SHE wants, not what we want. Sheba had not been up to our room all evening and that was not typical.

We went downstairs and checked all around the house and Sheba was nowhere to be found. We checked in her cat condo, the litter box, her bed, the kitchen, living room, family room, in the nooks and crannies and no Sheba. I had opened the front door briefly to bring in my belongings earlier, but distinctly remember being careful not to let Taffy out. Sheba has been raised as a house only cat for her entire life and she doesn't ever go outside.

We figured the curiosity she showed when I had opened the door earlier in the week had gotten the best of her and she sneaked out when I wasn't looking. So then we looked all around the outside of the house and in the near vicinity and still no Sheba. By this time, Toni and I were getting quite worried because we didn't know how Sheba would react to being outside; if she would come when we called or cower in fear in a secluded place making it all but impossible to find her.

We have this Mag-Lite 6 D-cell flashlight that casts a powerful beam. I checked it, but the batteries were very weak. It would cast a very yellowish light for a minute or so and then fade out. I rushed to the grocery store to get a new set of batteries. With the mighty beacon in hand, we set off to search the entire neighborhood at night to find Sheba, but to no avail. We decided reluctantly to give up and wait until morning to see if she would appear on the front door step.

When we got back inside the house, Sheba was sitting there calmly under the dining table looking at us. Oh, we were so glad to see her! We thought we had checked everywhere, but Toni thinks she was sitting on one of the dining chairs obscured by the dining table and we didn't notice her. Whatever the case, we were so glad she was safe and sound. We could now go to bed and rest peacefully knowing all was well once again.

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Pirate Rubber Duckie's 14th Host

Tuesday, 10 Oct 2006 | Pirate Rubber Duckie

Host liyin
Location PJ Selangor, Malaysia
Arrival Date October 10, 2006
Previous Location Singapore, Singapore
Distance for This Leg 204 Miles
Total Distance 33,167 Miles

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Creme Brulee

Monday, 9 Oct 2006 | Recipes

Makes twelve 5-ounce/140-gram portions

1 1/2 qt/1.2 L heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean
8 oz/225 g sugar
10 oz/285 g egg yolks, beaten
sugar, for crust

Combine the cream, vanilla bean, and half of the sugar in a heavy-bottomed stainless-steel saucepan and bring to a boil.

Whisk together the remaining sugar and the egg yolks in a stainless steel bowl.

Temper the egg mixture into the milk mixture and strain through a fine sieve.

Fill 12 ramekins seven eighths full and place them in a water bath.

Bake in a 325ºF/165ºC oven until just barely set, about 45 minutes. Let cool in the water bath. Remove, wipe the bottoms of the ramekins, and refrigerate overnight.

The custards are ready to be garnished and served at this point, or they may be stored, tightly wrapped, under refrigeration for up to 2 days.

To prepare for service, set the ramekins in a hotel pan filled with ice and cover the surface lightly with sugar.

Caramelize under the broiler and serve at once.

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Aperture 1.5

Sunday, 8 Oct 2006 | Apple, Photography

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I've been using Apple Aperture 1.5 to post process my RAW images lately and I'm really loving it. It is very nice for organizing and processing photographs. Although there is a bit of a learning curve, I am liking Aperture more and more the longer I use it. Its IPTC and keyword support makes organizing and finding photos a snap.

I find that Aperture lets me concentrate on the creative process of photography and not so much on the mechanics. If you have an Apple Macintosh with enough horsepower and love photography, you owe it to yourself to give Aperture a try. You just might find you like it as much as I do.

The GretagMacbeth ColorChecker photograph above was processed from a Nikon D2x RAW NEF using Aperture 1.5

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