Thursday, September 17, 2009

Food Food and more Food

One big thing I've been noticing is how easy it is becoming for me to avoid the fatty, unhealthy dishes I used to consume so greatly in the past. Yesterday I went to The Sentinel, which is Dennis Leary's sandwich place on New Montgomery St., got a corned beef reuben for a co worker and i got a shrimp salad that was excellent! It was easy to avoid the cookies and cakes and other things that you can get along with the excellent sandwiches. I just got a great salad and enjoyed it for my lunch.
Today, might be a bit more difficult, lunch meeting and then art/architecture event this evening, so often hors d'ourves are so bad....we'll see.
Everything is headed in the right direction, so far so good.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Guitar Hero, Iphones and computers

My oldest son recently gifted his xbox 360 to me for use by his younger brother and sister. When attempting to use this device as well as a new iphone I received from my office, my technological deficiencies and the ease with which my kids move in this world was really brought home.
When I received my iphone my 11 year old daughter set it up for me, connected pictures to numbers and in general whizzed around the phone while dad moved slowly. She uses the camera with ease, I tend to shake when taking pics, and in general really knows how to use it. Now she's 11 and while there many things I'm much more skilled at, the thing I really noticed is the ease with which she moves thru these computer like interfaces and how she can assimilate the principles much easier than those of us who grew up before the technological revolution hit.
It's pretty fascinating. She shows me things I can do with my phone and when we use the xbox, she's a pretty facile user quickly. My son Elliott is the same way.
To me at least, it's fascinating to see these things and how the younger generation is so much farther along in using these devices to a productive end.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hockey Season begins soon....

I saw that training camps opened today and all veterans were to report for NHL season 2009-2010. As a Sharks fan, I hope this season goes better than last. An early exit from the playoffs has haunted all the players and fans for 6 months.
Since I've been writing primarily about food on this blog, I thought I might say a few things about the food at the HP Pavilion/Shark Tank. It's probably the worst of all the venues in the Bay Area. AT and T park is the best by far, with the Oakland Coliseum/Arena being a distant 2nd and HP Pavilion bringing up the rear. I'm not sure how the concessions contract works down at the Pavilion, as I'm not sure who "owns" the Arena. I think the Sharks Manage it, but I don't know how the money is split and what rules have to followed in terms of letting contracts. Whoever handles the concessions out to hope for a quick contract expiration and an opportunity to get a new food vendor/make up. The one they have, no matter who it is, stinks.
When I take my kids to games as I did last year, we often dine away from the tank, which supports local businesses.
Here's wishing you a great week ahead!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

One Month and going strong

Well today is one month on the diet and things are still good. Since it's not an extreme diet, it does not leave me wanting.
Some realizations:
1. I can live without baked goods and sweets. Things I loved and desired almost daily, I am finding I can do without. Makes things easier.
2. I can live without pasta too! Often a choice when being lazy about cooking, if I do have it in the future, I'll make it myself, so much more silky and flavorful to do that.
3. I can live without steak. This hasn't been so hard either.
4. Desire for hamburgers is still a problem.
5. Appreciation for natural flavors in various produce has been heightened.
6. I feel so much better physically and emotionally.
7. In doing more label reading, did you know that most of your so called healthy bars or energy bars have more sugar in them than a Hershey Bar? I was looking yesterday and surprised to see this. Most of the bars have between 20 and 30g of sugar. A Hershey Bar had 19g. Think before you eat.
8. Time to celebrate tonight and I think the Open Table check I have is going to be history.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Awesome Korean Food and another week in the books

I had some awesome street food yesterday, Namu Korean Food. They make toasted seaweed tacos that have kalbi, kimchee and other yummy things inside, very creative. They also make an Okonomiyaki, which is a crepe like item with kimchee and chili sauce incorporated into the batter, some veggies on top and a fried egg. It's killer!!! I know it's not on my diet, but it was good.
Starting to get towards the end of the season for fruits. Peaches are still good and oranges, but lots of the berries are starting to disappear.
Celebrating a month on the diet and things are going well. Getting comments from people that I've obviously lost weight, which is a good thing to hear, positive comments never hurt.
My oldest son gave his xbox360 to me for his little brother and sister to use. So now I'm getting exposed to the gaming world, which I'm not sure I want to be. The quality of the technology is pretty amazing. At least to a luddite like me. He gave the kids his games too, which was nice, so we'll see what adventures await.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Food Politics

If you haven't read Omnivore's Dilemma or In Defense of Food, you might not have heard of Michael Pollan. He's a journalism professor over at UC Berkeley and his passionate and detailed writing on the food industry are highly recommended.
Today he's written and Op-Ed in the NY Times about the relationship between health care reform and food reform. Maybe there's hope yet.

Highly recommended reading,

Back at it and i phone apps

Back at work and most folks seem to be in the same condition. Vacations are done, trips are taken and now it's back to reality.
Diet wise things are going fine and I think I'm going to continue doing this as I really like how I feel and it's not that big of a hassle. Yes my kids don't eat it and sometimes I have to exercise more will power on myself, but I have much more energy and I sure feel better in all phases physically. I certainly have much more mental energy and I don't feel so "draggy" as you can when you are consuming so many starchy carbs. It's also given me a new appreciation of vegetables and fruits that I didn't have before. The flavor possibilities are endless and that leads to come interesting dishes and combinations.
The other thing I've been exposed to in doing this is the seeming desire to want to make something with raw foods that it is not, i.e. lasagna or some other kind of faux dish. I don't really subscribe to this as it never meets expectations and is always, at least to me, a pale comparison. I prefer to do things true to the ingredient, so the flavors shine and the preparations can remain fairly simple. I don't want to be dehydrating foods and soaking nuts for hours and blending 5 different things separately before I can begin a dish. Just doesn't make sense to me.
With updates to my phone software recently, I've been looking around for apps that do various things. I heard there are some 18,000 applications for the iphone. In poking around I found a few that I really think are very interesting.

1. Bloom - by Brian Eno - If you are familiar with Eno, then you know he's been doing what he calls Generative Music for some time now. For me it started with Music For Airports in 1978, but that was before everything went digital and computers became the dominant force. Eno has continued on this path and Bloom is an application for the iphone that creates very pleasing repetitive patterns and then continues to generate variations off of the original. There are multiple settings and you can adjust delay times, volume etc. You can even just shake the iphone to clear out what you did and start over, just like the old etch a sketch. I really like this app because you don't have to be a musician to use it and appreciate it. Anyone can use it and have lots of pleasant fun with it, and hopefully explore some sonic areas that might not have existed for them before. I think the app is $3.99

2. Bebot - This app is pretty amazing and I'm just getting started on using it, but it's got some endless possibilities. It's a 4 voice synthesizer that has lots of adjustable parameters. The main feature is that you can slide your finger around the screen or just touch the screen in various areas to generate sounds. It's pretty amazing so far and I can't wait to get better on it. This app is $1.99

3. Wivi Band - This one will blow your friends away, literally! It's a sound modeled collection of wind instruments, very real sounding, that you control thru a two step process. With your hands you activate keys that define pitch i.e. a piano on your screen while you are blowing over your phone mic to activate the sound. This turns your phone into a wind instrument and the results are mind blowing. Big fun, not easy to use, takes some practice, but amazing results!!
This app is bigger and deeper and cost $4.99, but still, I mean come on, this is cheap for what you are getting!!

Highly recommended!!