Saturday, July 9, 2016

Hello, beach

I am back.

I am very, very happy to be here.

That's all I got.

Friday, July 8, 2016

PT people doing good in the world

I've written multiple times about PT's sabbatical program.  I'm very proud of the good work many of our people have done during their sabbaticals.  Check out our newest sabbatical video to see what one person did with a week of his time off.

I'm proud to get to work with this great team.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The second in the Women Coding for Change video series

I wrote about the first video, "The Problem," a bit ago.  PT has now released the second video, which presents some information about the code-a-thon we co-hosted in Seattle back in March.

Check it out, think about this important problem, and consider getting involved to help.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Time to bring the World Science Fiction Convention back to New Orleans!

At this year's worldcon in Kansas City, members will get to vote for the location of the 2018 World Science Fiction Convention.  (If you want to vote for the 2018 worldcon's location and aren't a member of this year's, you can become a supporting member of this con.)  The two choices are New Orleans and San Jose.

Think about that for a moment.  New Orleans, a great town with amazing food, parties all the time, and music that never stops, or San Jose, a very nice place in Silicon Valley where you can definitely eat okay and take plenty of naps.

This should be an easy choice.

I mean no offense to the fine group of fans who are putting on the San Jose bid, but they've recently had both a worldcon and a World Fantasy Con, and they are stuck with San Jose as a location.

New Orleans is the clear choice for a great time.  I know the people running the bid, and they love SF and are completely dedicated to putting on a fantastic con for us all.  If you're worried about the heat, relax:  the con's hotel is big enough to hold everything under one roof, so you don't have to go outside if you don't want to.  Though trust me, you will want to.

How committed to New Orleans am I?  In a break from decades of con-going tradition, I aim to help campaign for them at the con.

Vote New Orleans, and let's have a giant SF party there in 2018!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Want to see some great shots of the fireworks show from yesterday's annual Fourth of July party?

Sure you do, and you should.  The show was awesome.  Fortunately, my friend, Warren, was on hand to shoot some amazing pictures, and you can now see them on his Flickr account.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Use this celebration of our independence as a reminder to vote

in the upcoming fall elections.  The right to vote is an essential part of our country's heritage, and we should all take advantage of it.

Our Declaration of Independence includes this very important clause:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, 

If we are willing to be just a tiny bit modern, I believe we should all be willing to agree that this line should read:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, 

I would like to believe that all people would agree with this clause, but I know that is not true.  Worse, I know that many of the people currently in government here in North Carolina do not agree with this statement (ref. Governor McCrory and his colleagues and their cursed HB2), and some key candidates running for national office (ref. Trump) clearly do not believe in equality for all.

We must use our votes to remove these people from office and stop such candidates from gaining office.

If we do not, we have only ourselves to blame.

This year, let's celebrate the gift of our independence with a commanding statement to all of our elected officials:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Provenance is an excellent addition to the local eating scene

Nestled into the bottom floor of an apartment building, Provenance is unimpressive from the outside, barely noticeable as a business.  If you spot the rows of planters next to its terrace, and if you then observe that many of them house herbs, herbs the restaurant uses in its dishes, you might begin to realize you're entering the realm of a chef committed to using local ingredients.  Executive chef and founder, Teddy Klopf, definitely shows that commitment, and that proves to be a very good thing.

The menu is relatively small but often intriguing.

Click an image to see a larger version.

Our group sampled all of the starters, and four of the five were delicious and intriguing, interesting takes on classics.  The weak exception was the endless sun salad, which though tasty lacked the spark of the other dishes.

My peach and potato salad, by contrast, proved to be complex and lovely in every bite, the dressing working perfectly with the bits of potato, the greens, the berries, and the peach slices.

We also shared the pork belly lettuce wraps, but I forgot to take a picture of them.  Though less functional as lettuce wraps than as a large salad, they were wonderful, even the pork belly tasting light and of the summer.

The portions were generally on the large side, particularly in the mains, where our group sampled all but the fish.  My beef from two farms featured a perfectly cooked small steak with succulent bits of short ribs.

The potatoes and maitake mushrooms were also perfect, as was the sour cream accompanying them.

The chocolate dessert, which I did not order, proved to be a plate of incredibly rich chocolate treats of all types.

The peach and cornmeal shortcake dish was not as successful.  Though tasty enough, it wasn't up to the level of the rest of the meal.  The cornmeal shortcake was dry and the peach ice cream pleasant but neither rich nor tart enough for my taste.

The only really disturbing fact about the restaurant was that I was able to get a table for a large group only a few hours ahead of time.  Chef Klopf and his team are already delivering meals that belong with those of the area's better restaurants, and with a bit more time I expect them only to improve.

Do us all a favor and add Provenance to your Raleigh restaurant rotation.  I look forward to going back when their menu next changes.


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