.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} -->


The personal journal of technology journalist and conference speaker Randall S. Newton.

View Randall Newton's profile on LinkedIn

Friday, November 11, 2005

Another Entry From Our "People Who Have Too Much Time On Their Hands" Department

Finding odd coincidences in popular media is nothing new. Many in my generation remember all the "clues" in the Abbey Road album that had to be pointing to the secret death of Paul McCartney. A few years ago, midnight toke parties were enhanced (so I'm told) by playing Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" alongside the video of "The Wizard of Oz."

The newest form of pop culture shock and awe comes from "WeirdHat," somebody who has taken the time to reformat the six Star Wars movies and watch them simultaneously. According to this unnamed fan, there are amazing similarities and odd coincidences throughout the viewing. Follow the link to see some simultaneous stills and to download short sections of all six running side-by-side.

Some quotes:

Okay, holy crap. This is awesome. I think it justifies the whole thing, and I'm only four minutes into it. The first appearance of Palpatine in TPM and AOTC is ON THE SAME FRAME. And at the same time in ROTJ, Vader is telling Moff Jerjerrod that the Emperor is coming.
Anakin standing next to Obi-Wan in AOTC and ROTS, and in ANH as Vader standing next to... that other guy.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Anniversaries and the Kid Count

Thursday will be the 21st anniversary of my marriage to Teresa. As I was thinking about that this morning, (as in “What shall we do?”) I got to thinking about our years-to-kids ratio. For the first few years of our marriage, our anniversary number and the number of kids were pretty close. It took us seven years of marriage before the number of years were larger than the number of kids. Not many couples can make that claim (or want to, I suppose).

Here’s the progress:

1984, wedding day = 2 kids (Adam and Jessica, whom I adopted soon after)
1985, 1 year = 3 kids (Amanda, born in September)
1986, 2 years = 4 kids (Mackenzie, born 2 days before our anniversary)
1987, 3 years = 4 kids
1988, 4 years = 5 kids (Brianna, born in May)
1989, 5 years = 5 kids
1990, 6 years = 6 kids (Josh, born in August)
1991, 7 years = 6 kids
1992, 8 years = 7 kids (Meghan, born in August)
1993, 9 years = 7 kids
1994, 10 years = 8 kids (Michaela, born in September)
1995, 11 years = 8 kids
1996, 12 years = 8 kids
1997, 13 years = 9 kids (Liberty, born in May)
1998, 14 years and on = 9 kids

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Cocoa Petes Gourmet Chocolate Pairings (or, Somebody Has to Eat Fine Chocolate and Drink Fine Beers, Wines, Ports, and Sodas for a Living)

A few days ago I posted about the new gourmet-quality chocolates from Cocoa Pete’s of California. Well, the kind folks at Cocoa Pete’s noticed, and founder/owner Pete Slosberg send along his research into gourmet pairings of his chocolates with various beers, wines, ports, and flavors of Jones Soda. Those results are below.

Perhaps a bit of background is appropriate. Pete Slosberg is one of many successful micro-brewmasters who hit the jackpot by selling his product line to a larger company. You may have heard of Pete’s Wicked Ale. Slosberg was not only a good brewmaster, but a good marketer as well. When he sold his brewery, he turned to his second passion, chocolate, and started Cocoa Pete’s. Again he is relying on personal marketing, linking his persona to the brand. It worked well for Pete’s Wicked Ale, no reason why it shouldn’t work again with chocolate, especialy since he seems to be doing a good job of keeping quality high.

The list below represents Pete Slosberg’s recommendations for pairing Cocoa Pete’s chocolates (Maltimus Maximus, Nuts So Serious, Berry Berry Dangerous, and Caramel Knowledge) with various beers, wines, ports, and Jones Sodas. With the exception of the Jones Sodas (based in Seattle), the list is heavy with California products. I guess those of us with a fondness for Northwest microbrews and wines need to take up a collection and get Pete to head north and sample the wares.

I’m glad to see Duvel on the list. It is a Belgian beer I was introduced to in Leuven, Belgium several years ago. It is almost sweet on first taste, then runs true to a fine medium ale on the finish. It was an excellent compliment to lamb late one night with co-workers who were helping me move along from The Netherlands through Belgium and on to France. They really know how to enjoy beer in Belgium. They understand that different varieties of beer require their own shapes of glasses, as with wine. The restaurant/bar I ate at in Leuven had, if I remember correctly, at least nine different styles and shapes of glasses for the beer.

Anyway, enough rambling. Here’s Pete Slosberg’s list of chocolate pairings, appearing here with his permission.

Chocolate Pairings
By Pete Slosberg

In general:
Dows Trademark Finest Reserve (Port) with Cocoa Pete’s dark chocolates
Hardy's William Blake Tawny (Port) with Cocoa Pete’s milk chocolates

Maltimus Maximus

In general, any good IPA (India Pale Ale)
Pyramid IPA
Anchor Liberty
Russian River ESB
Los Gatos Pilsner
Stoddard's Pale Ale
Hoppy Amber Ale

HMB Brown & Pale Ale
Rock Bottom Pale Ale


Testarossa Bien Nacido Pinot-2001/2002
Columbia 2000 Columbia Valley Merlot
Fetzer Valley Oaks Zinfandel

1999 Hallcrest Syrah
O'Reilly's 2003 Pinot Noir
L. Martini 1999 Ghost Cabernet Sauvignon
Martinelli 2000 Chardonnay
Clos La Chance '02 Chardonnay
Charles Krug Chardonnay

Thomas Fogarty Lexington Pinot



Jones Cream

Nuts So Serious
In general, sweeter style beers
Triple Karmeliet
Petrus Winter
Unibroue La Fin Du Monde
Redstone Black Raspberry Mead

Los Gatos Dopplebock
Stoddard's Scotch Ale
Hoppy Brown Ale

Pyramid Draught Pale Ale
HMB ESB & Light Ale

Rock Bottom Tripel
Het Anker 2003 Gouden Carolus


Testarossa Rosella's Chardonnay
Bonny Doon Viognier
Bonny Doon 2001 Heart of Darkness
Bonterra Vineyards Viognier (Fetzer)
Fetzer Five Rivers Ranch Pinot
Mariah Zinfandel (Fetzer)
Hallcrest Vinotopia
Testarossa 2002 Ferrari Club Syrah
MacMurray Ranch 2001 Pinot Noir
Clos La Chance '02 Merlot
Columbia 2003 Cellarmaster's Riesling
Charles Krug Merlot
Thomas Fogarty Gewertstraminer

Warre's Optima 10 Year Tawny

Jones Chocolate Fudge

Berry Berry Dangerous
In general, amber beer/not bitter
Ommegang Abbey Style
Delerium Tremens

Rochfort 8
Chimay Blue
Los Gatos Hefeweizen
Stoddard's ESB

Hoppy Red Ale
Pyramid Nut Brown Ale

HMB Hefewiezen & ESB
Rock Bottom Brown Ale & Tripel
Bonny Doon Old Telegram
Bonny Doon Cigar Volant
Columbia 2001 Semillon
Bonny Doon Cardinal Zin
Testarossa Gary's Vineyard Pinot
Bonny Doon Franboise
Bonny Doon Muscat Vin De Glacier

Fetzer Reserve Cabernet
2001 Clos de Jeannine-Hallcrest
2001 Hallcrest Reserve Cabernet
Napa Wine Co. 2002 Zinfandel
L. Martini 2000
AlexanderVly Cab.Sauvig
Testarossa 2002 Ferrari Club Pinot

Porter Creek 2000 Timbervine Syrah
Clos La Chance '01 Cabernet

Clos La Chance '02 Pinot
Clos La chance '02 Merlot
Bonterra Carbernet
Bonterra Merlot
Korbel Natural
Charles Krug 2001 Carbernet
Thomas Fogarty Merlot
Thomas Gogarty Rapley Pinot
Beringer Port of Cabernet
Charles Krug Zinfandel Port

Jones Strawberry Lime

Caramel Knowledge
In general, stout or porter
Bison Chocolate Stout
Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout
El Toro Barrel Aged Stout
Toronado's Brother David's Dubble
Los Gatos Sherman Stout
Stoddard's Stout
Hoppy Black Ale

Pyramid Porter
HMB Stout

Rock Bottom Brown Ale
Wye Valley, Dorothy Goodbody Stout

Testarossa Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Pinot
Columbia 1999 Red Willow Syrah
Fetzer Eagle Peak Merlot

Bonny Doon Dry Reisling
Bonny Doon Viognier Doux
Bonny Doon Il Circo Uva di Troia
2002 Trinity Pinot- Hallcrest
L .Martini 2001 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon
Testarossa 2002 Costello Chardonnay
Testarossa 2002 Palazzio Pinot

Dutton-Goldfield 2002 Cherry Ridge Syrah
Clos La Chance '02 Pinot
Valley Oaks Merlot

Korbel Natural
2001 Hallcrest Reserve Cabernet
Jones Green Apple

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

In bedroom battle, man kills buck with his bare hands

From USA Today

"I was standing about like this peeking around the corner when the deer came out of the bedroom," said Goldsberry. The deer ran down the hall and into the master bedroom — "jumping back and forth across the bed."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Two New Ways I Satisfy My Dark Chocolate Cravings

Most prepared chocolate bars and candies sold in America are pap. As far as I am concerned, milk ruins good chocolate (never mind that I'm allergic to dairy products). You have to look hard and pay a lot to get good stuff.

I'm a fiend for dark chocolate, and I am glad to report there is a new source. Cocoa Pete's (link requires Flash player) is a line of four products, created by the brewmaster behind Pete's Wicked Ale (also yummy stuff). I'm hooked on Berry Berry Delicious, which brings together pieces of freeze-dried strawberries and dark chocolate. My local upscale grocery store carries the Cocoa Pete's line, so you should be able to find them in better supermarkets.

While I'm on the subject of chocolate, I should share that I don't lack for hot cocoa just because I don't drink milk. I just mix powered cocoa, Splenda or white sugar with a little boiling water until the powders are completed mixed, then I fill the cup with more boiling water. In a typical coffee mug, I will put two heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder and three packets of Spenda (equivalent to a teaspoon of white sugar). It takes a minute or so of constant stirring to mix thoroughly. Stir again after adding water to fill the cup. Experiment and adjust the portions to your liking.

I don't know why I didn't think making dairy-free hot cocoa years ago; I've just started this year.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.