November 9th, 2007


[poll] License plate bingo

dinogrl has suggested an open contest to name the vanity plate for the 1967 Volvo. I had thought SMFH, for "Swedish Meatball From Hell." I'd also been toying with finding a period license plate, which the Oregon DMV will allow. (They treat it as a vanity plate, basically.) In the mid-1960s, Oregon plates said "Pacific Wonderland."

In my continuing tradition of living way too much of my life in public, I shall throw the question open to the readership of this blog. Here's a poll about that burning issue so characteristic of our times. If I get some good suggestions, I'll run a voting poll sometime next week, with prizes.

Poll #1085635 New license plate for the Volvo

What should the Volvo's new plates be?

The normal, current Douglas Fir plates (trying to blend in)
Period license plates to match the car (pretending to blend in but secretly hoping to be noticed)
SMFH (meaningless to everyone but me, which will enhance my mysterious charisma)
CLOWNS (a desperate cry for help)
CRIT ME (reeks of writer)
Something else I'll suggest in comments

ETA: Oregon only permits six alphanumerics on a vanity plate, btw, so do please let that influence your suggestions.

[photos] Guerilla cheese party

It doesn't take a lot to get me onto cheese. After the Australian party in New York last week, a number of us went to a lovely Italian dinner under the intrepid leadership of ellen_datlow. I sat between Margo Lanagan and her highly entertaining husband, and in the course of the meal we discussed cheese — specifically sottocenere al tartuffo, which is pretty much my favorite cheese. (I believe it came up in connection with a comment on how different people taste truffles differently.) I told Margo I'd try to drum her up some truffle cheese in Saratoga Springs.

Fast forward to Thursday of that week, and me in the Putnam Street Market (which is not on Putnam Street, but I digress). I went to the cheese counter and began speaking cheese, whereupon someone appeared who spoke cheese back to me. It was sadly agreed that there was no sottocenere to be had in Saratoga Springs, but they did have this lovely Oregon chevre with a truffle infusion, truffle tremor, and would I like to have some? $150 later, I was all set.

The next problem was venue. This cheese party was not on programming, and had never been on programming. I was fine with it being open, but didn't want it to be so open it became a buffet line. We switched venues about four times before the magnificent dave_gallaher (to whom congratulations are in order, btw) got us the use of the swag room for an hour or so. Sharon Sbarsky was very kind and patient about that, as well.

With logistical leadership from lasirenadolce and a strong assist from klingonguy, Collapse )

The cheeses are, in order, Colton-Basset Stilton, Truffle Tremor, Drunken Goat, Urgela and Pierre Robert. Only the truffle tremor and the urgela were new to me. The truffle tremor has no goatiness at all, and a very nice mellow flavor with a bit of contradictory kick to it. The urgela was a strong, borderline stinky yet firm cheese — I'm used to the stinky cheeses being softer. Strongly recommend the truffle, recommend the urgela if you want to experiment just a little without going crazy.

We also had a drop-in cheese from icedrake and katfeete, who are professional cheesemakers from Meadow Creek Dairy called Whitetop. I have lost my notes on the name, but I believe it's Whitetop. Semisoft, a young cheese they're still working on, very buttery and pleasant. They want to bring it to a lighter texture, more like a triple cream, before they start marketing it. Test cheese or no, it went over very well with the cheese partiers.

To round things out, Team Oz was able to provide some very nice wine, courtesy of I'm not sure exactly whom except that Garth Nix and Trevor Stafford were involved.

Collapse )

Including Collapse )

The moral of the story? Cheese can happen any time, any where. And I always do like a well rinded convention experience.

All photos courtesy of lasirenadolce. As usual, more at the Flickr set.

[links] Link salad, to go

New Theory on Rays’ Sprint Across Space — “The age of cosmic-ray astronomy has arrived.”

Gradations in the definite determiner — Really. If you think grammar is cool, check this out.

FBI Hoped to Follow Falafel Trail to Iranian Terrorists Here — Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

In case you missed it last night, the "things you didn't know about me" post is getting some cute and funny comments.

[personal] Mah accent

Snurched from dirkcjelli...of course, I'm not actually from the West, nor did I live here until I was 36.

What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)


Western is kind of neutral, but not quite since it's still possible to tell where you're from. So you might not actually be from the West (but you probably are). If you really want to sound "neutral," learn how to say "stock" and "stalk" differently.

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