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Generally Recognized As True: September 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Royksopp's "Forsaken Cowboy"

What a great track from Royksopp's new "Senior" album! I have been very impressed with the entire album.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pumpkin soup

Now that all but one of my pumpkins have been harvested, I turned two of them into pumpkin soup:

It's not the most eloquent presentation, but you get the point :)

The recipe was a good one, and I got it from Anne Sheasby's "The New Book of Soups", which is probably the best soup book I own. I originally borrowed this book from the library but there were so many recipes I wanted to make note of that I thought I should buy it.

I doubled the recipe given in the book and ended up with a stock pot full of soup, which left me with about 6-7 servings for the freezer!

So that leaves 3 pumpkins left.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quality crime investigation by Toronto Star investigative reporters: "The Bandido Massacre" and "Bad Seeds"

Regardless of what you think about the Toronto Star (and I think quite a lot of bad things about it), you can't ignore the fact that they're one of the few Canadian newspapers doing some consistently decent investigative journalism.

Over the past year or so, I've read two investigative books written by Toronto Star crime reporters that I thought were very good.

The first and better of the two is "The Bandido Massacre: A True Story of Bikers, Brotherhood and Betrayal" by Peter Edwards. It is a substantial and thorough account of the formation and downfall of a pitiful, amateurish offshoot of the worldwide Bandidos motorcycle gang, including a lot of necessary background information that would have been omitted by a lesser author.

The second is "Bad Seeds: The True Story of Toronto's Galloway Boys Street Gang" by Betsy Powell. It is a decent account of the circumstances surrounding the formation of Toronto's first urban street gangs in Scarborough's Malvern/Galloway neighbourhoods, the principals involved, and the details and outcome of the investigation and trial surrounding the raids that brought them down in 2004-2005. It offers an interesting look at how the presence of a handful of people in a community can make life perilous for the vast majority.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Pumpkin identity parade

Here's the latest pumpkin lineup. There are two more nearly ready to be picked and another still quite green but starting to turn orange.

These are pie pumpkins. The round ones weigh about 1.5kg each and the taller one is 1.8kg.

As you can see, the leaves are also falling.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Letters To Juliet: worst movie of the decade, but probably an accurate portrayal of single urban womanhood

The decade is still young, but I'm pretty confident I've just seen its worst movie.

And it's called "Letters To Juliet".

Is there anything this movie didn't trivialize?

Here's the summary, as I saw it: girl from New York accompanies entrepreneurial boyfriend to an unnecessarily airbrushed and colourized fairytale version of Italy as he shops around to prepare to open his new restaurant; girl does not find food or her boyfriend's restaurant interesting but discovers affinity for Post-It notes stuck on brick wall; girl finds very old Post-It note behind loose brick in wall; girl replies to Post-It note on which old woman had aspired to reconnect with old man; girl meets airbrushed Matt Damon lookalike with pokey English accent who happens to be grandson of old lady; Matt (the viewer, not Damon) falls asleep; girl returns to New York with boyfriend after Matt Damon loses the courage to ask her to stay with him; girl dumps boyfriend because he is too focused on opening his restaurant and not on Post-It notes; girl goes back to Italy for wedding of old man and old woman, providing a capstone to their 2-week relationship, and decides to stay with Matt Damon lookalike because he's got no apparent job and nothing better to do with his life than look at her adoringly in perpetuity.

The only thing it didn't trivialize is contemporary single urban womanhood, as reduction would be tricky.