Saturday, August 9, 2014

On the road again: London, day 1

Today was rather short, because I spent the middle of it in a long nap to make up for having gotten no real sleep on the plane.  In the late afternoon, I got up, unpacked, showered, and headed out.  Late lunch/early dinner was at a small pub next to the Trafalgar Studios theatres, where I had the privilege of seeing Martin Freeman and a wonderful cast of British actors bring Shakespeare's Richard III to stunning life. 

Intense, tightly staged, constantly busy, and perfectly performed, director Jamie Lloyd's Richard III never let up.  Freeman delivered a masterful performance as a Richard so angry and so self-focused that at no point did he ever question what he was doing; he had a plan, and God help anyone who got in his way.  The World War II-like setting fit the play perfectly, and the intimacy of the theater--I was maybe four paces from Freeman for much of the show--heightened the tension and drew the audience deeper into the action.

If you find yourself in London while it is still running, I highly recommend this play. 

For a late and light dinner, I picked up an egg mayonnaise and some Coke Zero, along with a treat--my favorite water, Vittel--at a local Tesco.

Tonight, I plan to sleep a very long time.

Friday, August 8, 2014

On the road again: London, day 0

I'm writing this from an amazing room in my favorite London hotel.  It's past five a.m. EDT Saturday morning, though I refuse to acknowledge the new day until I have slept, and I am way past ready to crash. 

I left the office in the late afternoon for the airport, but I was online and working within half an hour, thanks to TSA PRECHEK and the Admirals Club. 

The plane over the Atlantic, however, did not offer bandwidth, so I caught up after I got into my hotel room. 

Now, to sleep. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Want to hear The Monti stories that beat mine?

I mentioned in a recent blog entry that I told a story as part of one of The Monti's recent StorySlam events.  As I said in that piece, my story came in third.  I enjoyed all of the stories that evening, and now you can listen to the two that placed ahead of mine.  To do that, go to The Monti's podcast here, and play the entry dated 7/15/14.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A little something new from PT

Over at Principled Technologies, where I work, we're doing something new for us:  A periodic Web series.  In this series, we're talking about projects we've recently completed, and sometimes we're also having a little fun.

Check out the first episode.

The second is also now live.

If you'd like to catch them all, just go to them on PT's YouTube channel, and click the Subscribe button under either one.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The real flavors of summer

Summer brings an amazing bounty of fruits and vegetables, but if you don't shop locally or eat at restaurants that do, you might never know it.  Summer is the season of amazing flavors, and you owe it to yourself to sample them. 

Tomatoes of types you've never seen explode in your mouth with flavor--but only if you buy them fresh.  Onions taste new and sweet.  Cucumbers are rich and flavorful.  So many amazing vegetables and fruits are available only now, and only if you get them fresh. 

If you're eating out, try somewhere that sources its ingredients locally.  More and more restaurants do.  They typically won't be chains, and the food might cost you a little bit more than the chain fare, but the tastes are worth the fee. 

If you're shopping for vegetables, support local farmers as much as you can afford.  After you've sampled heirloom tomatoes, you will never look at the greenhouse variety the same way. 

If your budget permits, support local places, and reap a reward of amazing flavors. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

is everything a summer action blockbuster should be.  Blending action, humor, interesting characters, and enough honest emotion to keep you involved, it is a rollicking good time that you absolutely should not miss.

I'm not going to lie to you:  The movie is also dumb, irreverent, giddy with its universe and itself, not entirely self-consistent, and definitely not above using its wonderful soundtrack or easy-to-invoke feelings to tug at your heartstrings.

I don't care about any of that.  Director and co-writer James Gunn remembers that movies can be full of fun and wonder, that we can both care and laugh, and he delivers on all those fronts.

The trailers have already told you more than you need to know about the plot, so I'm not going to add any spoiler.

Get to a theater and catch Guardians of the Galaxy.  You'll be glad you did--and there's a very good chance you'll leave with at least one of its classic songs playing in your head.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Don't miss Panciuto this summer

I've written many times about what a great restaurant Panciuto is, and after a recent meal there, I have to say it again.  Chef Aaron Vandemark creates marvelous, locally sourced dinners that blend Italian and Southern cooking to amazing effect.  The wide variety of wonderful ingredients available in the summer lets him create especially scrumptious dishes.

Consider this beauty, a dish he called, "Summer plate."

Click the image to see a larger version.

Fried green tomatoes, cucumbers in a light sauce, corn salad--so many great tastes in one appetizer.

My first course was fried rabbit with cucumbers, watermelon, and more.

Wow, was it delicious.  As I've said many times, Aaron is a wizard with a fryer.

For my main, I chose a farfalle pasta with house-made pork sausage, goat cheese, tomatoes, and greens.

As pretty as it is, this dish tasted even better.

I wasn't planning to show my dessert, but no food-porn meal would be complete without it.  Check out this amazing concoction of peanut butter, chocolate, honey, and so much more.

I'm not normally a fan of desserts that involve peanut butter, but this was good enough to make me seriously reconsider that position.

Aaron is a great guy, and every person I've met on his staff has been super.  The restaurant is a local business, and it buys almost everything it uses from local suppliers.  The food is amazing.  Support Panciuto, and enjoy great meals as you do.


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