Sunday, August 19, 2012

Blur Box Set

So, I didn't make it to Hyde Park to catch Blur close the Olympics, nor do I have the cash to pony up for their new box set, Blur 21. (I have all their albums and a few too many box sets on my shelf already.) Blur was one of the great bands of  the 90's and 00's and one of the greatest British bands of all time. They have been one of my all time favorites since Leisure. Even if you don't get the box, enjoy a little Brit-pop on your Sunday Sunday. Below is Blur's latest single Under the Westway released to either coincide with their appearance in Hyde Park or a precursor to another album. Great stuff!

Abbey Road Crosswalk Webcam

Hey Jude, can I get a refill!
Though it's been awhile since any Beatles walked crossed the road to shoot an album cover, the crosswalk near Abbey Road studios is still there, 'Waiting to take you away!' or at least to the other side of the street. Jenni and I spent an afternoon taking the tube over to St. John's Wood to see it and the exterior of the famous studio. It was the first and only time where a cross walk was our destination. Abbey Road is actually a pretty short street and the cross walk can be dangerous, especially since most tourists stop in the middle to get their photographs taken. I think the London cabbies might only brake for Paul.

If you can't make it to London, but are curious who might be crossing the famous zebra stripes you can now see it on webcam. A friend of mine sent me a link that allows you to see Abbey Road in real time. Just, "Don't do it in the road!" Somebody will be watching you.

Green Drinks

If you watched the London Olympics you might have caught a horrified Mary Carillo pounding down a sludgy, neon green drink with Olympic runner, Oscar Pistorius. What Pistorius was drinking is part of a growing trend toward making healthy, fresh juices, and many of them green (meaning they contain spinach, kale and other green vegetables.) You don't need to be an Olympic athlete or even Jack LaLane to benefit from these magical, nutrient rich concoctions. They can be part your daily routine for maintaining good health.

According to Healthy Healing by Linda Page:

Green drinks have anti-infective properties, carry off acid wastes, neutralize body pH, and are excellent for mucous cleansing. They can help clear the skin, cleanse the kidneys, and purify and build the blood.

They also taste light and refreshing. Whether you want to cleanse your body and  'reboot your system' like Joe Cross in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead or simply get your veggies to go, consider trying a fresh juice each day and see how you feel. I have been drinking a green juice every day for the past three weeks based upon the Mean Green Juice from Joe Cross, and I have been feeling great.    

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Old Town of St. George St. George's Parish Bermuda

Bermuda's first capital and first major port, St. George's is a great place to spend the day shopping and wandering around. The Sea Venture, which brought the first Englishmen to the islands in 1609, wrecked off the coast of St. Catherine's Beach near St. George's. The town, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site has been inhabited ever since. Highlights for us were St. Peter's Church, Somer's Garden and The Bermuda Perfumery.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I don't use near the number of apps on my iPhone that I used to. But I've been using Foursquare quite a bit lately. Foursquare allows you to find restaurants, gas stations, shops, services, etc. You get badges and points every time you 'check in.' Foursquare shares where you are and what you're doing with your friends, and it can also post your activity on sites like Facebook or Gogobot.

It doesn't make a whole lot of difference to me how many points I get or whether I'm the mayor of this place or that, and badges? We don't need no stinking badges. But one thing Foursquare is starting to do more frequently is feature 'Specials' when you 'check in.' They're coupons, really. If there is one thing we can all use a little more of right now; it's cash, right? For the past several weeks my local Jewel has featured a $3 off 'Special' for spending $10. You just show the 'Special' on your phone by unlocking it when you 'check in' and display it at check-out. My local health food store, Naturally Yours, has featured 10% off 'Specials.' It's probably the best thing I've seen from one of my apps. An app that pays you back. Restaurants and many of the stores I shop at have been featuring $5 off for $10 spent if you use AmEx, even at the comic book store my sons frequent. I just used the AmEx 'Special' at our favorite Thai restaurant. So, with food prices and everything else on the rise, it might be worth your time to add Foursquare to your device. It's a free app too. It's great being social, but everybody likes a little payback now and then.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Harira Soup

Harira is a Moroccan soup that's typically served during Ramadan. It's fantastic and dead easy to make. Like a lot of equatorial cooking the flavor comes from your herbs and spices. You'll really taste the cilantro up front on this one with a nice lemony aftertaste. A nice, clean little soup.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups of diced onions
1 stalk of celery
6 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 quarts of water or vegetable broth
1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dried lentils
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons unbleached flour mixed with 1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
8 to 10 lemon slices

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, parsley and cook, until the onions are soft.

Add to that the cilantro, salt, pepper, tumeric, paprika, caraway seeds, ginger, cinnamon, and bay leaf and stir until mixed.

Add the water or broth, chickpeas, lentils, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered until the lentils are soft, about 20 minutes.

Before serving add the flour mixture and stir in the tomato paste. Heat through.

Adjust the seasonings and serve with sliced lemon in each bowl of soup.

You're off on the Road to Morocco!


When my dad used to talk about reading 'the news' more often than not he meant reading The Sporting News. If he said he was reading an article, that meant, Popular Mechanics. Don't get me started on all the Hot Rod and Car Craft magazines that added several books to our King James Bible: the books of Mustang, GTO, and Barracuda. "Today we will reading from the teachings of St. Caroll of Shelby. Let us pray." 

I can make fun of Dad all I want, but I'm no better. For a travel junky like myself I've developed my own 'news' sources. I read the travel sections of USA Today, Huffington Post, CNN and any number of blogs such as Gadling or BootsnAll on a daily basis. If I'm looking for something specific I may dive into the links I have on my own blog. I'm always pricing this and that and watching my email for price drops from Airfarewatchdog, Luxury Link or GroupOn. Even if I'm not going anywhere.

If like me, you find it's increasingly difficult to manage this endless amount of travel information, consider the recently launched Skift, founded by Jason Clampet recently of Frommer's and Rafat Ali of paidContent, aggregates travel content from across the Web. Much of it is industry based, but there is plenty for the casual consumer as well. I've been reading the 'news' on there for the past few days and it's becoming my main source for information.