coraa: (food love)
I'm having a writing evening, but before I head out, I'm going to chuck a salmon fillet in the sous vide machine with some seasonings. Help me decide which seasonings!

It will be served with rice, with a green vegetable on the side.

[Poll #1716277]
coraa: (food love)
I'm having a writing evening, but before I head out, I'm going to chuck a salmon fillet in the sous vide machine with some seasonings. Help me decide which seasonings!

It will be served with rice, with a green vegetable on the side.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 6


Salmon with....

View Answers

Reduction of red wine, rosemary and garlic
1 (16.7%)

Balsamic vinegar and thyme
1 (16.7%)

Lemon and leek
4 (66.7%)

Lemon and stone-ground mustard
1 (16.7%)

Ginger, sake and soy sauce
2 (33.3%)

Reduction of red onion, white wine vinegar and butter
1 (16.7%)

Ume (pickled plum) and shiso
0 (0.0%)

Miso and brown sugar
1 (16.7%)

Reduction of white wine, chives and butter
1 (16.7%)

Orange juice, lemon zest and balsamic vinegar
2 (33.3%)

Orange juice, garlic and ginger
2 (33.3%)

Court bouillon
1 (16.7%)

Thinly-sliced lemon and red onion
1 (16.7%)

Bacon and diced tomato
0 (0.0%)

Reduction of white wine vinegar, garlic, and mint
1 (16.7%)

coraa: (werewolfy)
Starting assumptions: werewolves are humans who assume wolf shape either at will or when provoked by a stimulus (such as the full moon). That nature is contagious, usually spread by bite.

(That is: if your werewolves don't really turn into wolves, or spread via some mechanism that's not contagious, this question is irrelevant.)

Has anyone read any werewolf stories where the contagion-via-bite is true even if they bite something other than a human? That is, where a werewolf who bites a horse might create a horsewolf that shifts into a wolf at the full moon, or where a werewolf that bites a deer creates a deerwolf, or etc.?

Alternately, any stories where there's an explicit explanation for why that doesn't happen (as opposed to just assuming from the start that the only species susceptible to the contagion is humans)?

EDIT: Of course, as deer and horses presumably can't carry silver weapons or whatever else one does to avoid werewolves if one is a human, this might result in there being a ton of horsewolves and deerwolves and whatever, any animal large enough to survive a werewolf bite, roaming around. Which would make an interesting story, I think: a world in which any animal might theoretically turn into a contagious wolf monster by night, in which humans survive in isolated enclaves with rigorously-protected livestock...

...sort of like in JRPGs, in fact, where dangerous beasts lurk to destroy you as soon as you leave town.
coraa: (cooking)
I'm in search of recommendations for Japanese cookbooks (or food memoirs, or other cuisine-related literature.)

I already have Washoku (a cookbook focused on traditional Japanese home cooking, and one of my favorite cookbooks of any type), Morimoto (a cookbook by the Iron Chef, focused on super-fine-cuisine from a Japanese tradition, not so much the kind of thing you'd make for an everyday dinner), The Manga Cookbook (exactly what it says on the tin), and all the current English-translated volumes of Oishinbo (not a cookbook but a food-culture manga, which I love with a tremendous passion and need to write up one of these days because it's AWESOME).

Indeed, it's Oishinbo that lead me to seek out more writing on Japanese cuisine, because it's not a cookbook. So if you (as I do) want to recreate some of the things eaten in the manga issues, you have to have outside sources to look to. Washoku has been invaluable, but I'd like more!

I don't have a strong preference as to whether the books are cookbooks per se or more general food writing/food memoirs. I'm also interested in all genres of Japanese food, so no particular preferences there. (Well, the food I'm least likely to make at home is sushi/sashimi, but even so a good sushi reference or two would be quite interesting.) Any level of technical proficiency is fine, too: very basic books would be good for teaching me the basics of Japanese cooking (I'm not a novice cook but I am a novice at Japanese food), and more difficult/ambitious books are something to strive for!

I do have a slight preference for books written by Japanese authors. (As long as there's an English translation available.) Second-choice is books written by people who have lived for some time in Japan. (Washoku's author is actually not Japanese, but she is married to a Japanese man and lived in the country for many years.) Books by people who are neither Japanese nor have lived in Japan would come third.

Anyway. Any suggestions?
coraa: (geek girl (uhura))
I have a lot of people on my friendslist who like math and appreciate the beauty of mathematics. I would like to appreciate the beauty of math too! This is a gradual change for me, because through high school I haaaaaaaaaated math, and I was positively gleeful when I got to college because my major and minor of choice required no math classes whatsoever. (I could fulfill that part of my general education requirements with either math or science GEs, and so I went with biology, mostly. Biology and paleontology.)

Anyway.

Here's my background in math, in case it helps. (I get long-winded.) The reason I haaaaaaaated math was that I was no good at arithmetic. (I can hear you all saying, as has been said to me before, 'but arithmetic isn't all there is to math!' I know. Bear with me.) This started all the way back in, like, first grade, and it started because while I have an excellent memory, I am bad at memorization. (They're not the same skill at all, in my opinion.) I remember, distinctly, being tested to find out what math group I should be in toward the beginning of first grade, and being asked 2+3, and then being penalized for counting on my fingers, because I should have had it memorized. I remember, a year later, being so bad at timed multiplication tests that they actually tested me to find out if I had a learning disability. (I didn't; I turned out to be gifted, with no learning disability in math and in fact a very good grasp of the theory behind multiplication and etc. I was just not good at memorizing multiplication tables.) That sort of set the tone for everything: I wasn't much good at memorizing multiplication tables, and I wasn't meticulous enough, and so even though I had no problem with the concepts, I struggled a lot with the arithmetic.

The problem is that if you're not so good at arithmetic, you'll have trouble in pre-algebra; if you're not so good at pre-algebra, you'll have trouble in algebra; and if you're not so good in algebra, you'll have trouble with... everything. By the time we were allowed to use calculators in Algebra II, it was too late: my association with math classes was that they were the classes in which I could totally understand the material and study for the test and still get not-so-good grades because I made arithmetical errors. And that's probably fair, because you actually do need to be able to calculate as well as understand the material, but it put me off the whole topic.

I actually got As in math in high school, partly because yay for graphic calculators, and I did trigonometry (I actually rather liked geometry and trig) and calculus, but I didn't enjoy it: because I had associations that math was the classes where I'd get poor grades without knowing why or how to fix it, they were the classes I liked the least and feared the most, even though by this point I did reliably well at them, and I was relieved to be done with the whole topic when I got to college.

However.

Reading the posts of mathy people on my flist, and having mathy friends in my discipline (being a technical writer means I spend time around lots of mathy types), makes it clear to me that I Missed Something in my desperate attempt to flee arithmetic and its descendants.

So. If you were to recommend a course of math study to an adult who still loathes arithmetic but wants to learn more about the rest of mathematics, what would you recommend? Any particular books? Where would you start?

I would love to learn more.

(Feel free to link your mathy friends to this post, if you think they might have ideas. although not if you think they will mock my lack of arithmetical prowess, because then I will a) ask how their medieval Welsh is these days, and b) bite their faces. ahem.)
coraa: (geek girl (uhura))
I'm a huge sucker for space opera, by which I mean science fiction with lots of adventures on a grand scale, usually involving some combination of space travel, space stations, and aliens. They usually focus more on story and character than on the technology, and in fact it's generally just fine to use a lot of handwavium in space opera. (I will be honest: I'd rather get handwavium than five pages of stultifying technical detail. The red matter in the Star Trek reboot didn't even bother me, so, y'know.)

I think of the Vorkosigan books as space opera, along with Cherryh's Known Space books, and the Ender's Game series. The Honor Harrington books are, too, although like the Vorkosigan books they blend over into milSF. And of course I love Star Wars, Babylon 5, Star Trek, Cowboy Bebop, and Battlestar Galactica, all of which are space opera-y.

(I also like planetary romance, which is a similar thing but largely confined to a single world: think Darkover, or Pern.)

But I've had a hard time finding written space opera recently (in movies and TV, it's all over the place). I see a lot of books about the Singularity (the Singularity bores me to tears, not gonna lie), and dystopian SF (particularly in YA), and hard SF, and milSF that is too mil to be my thing, but not a lot of space opera.

Is it not being published much right now, or am I just missing things? I would love you to recommend me good written space opera, especially if it's fairly recently-written. Short stories or novels are fine. Manga is also fine. Strong characters are really important to me, and if you rec me stuff with good female characters I will love you forever. But mostly: help me find some space opera! (Or planetary romance. That works, too.)

(Feel free to link this if you know someone else who might have a better idea.)
coraa: (bookses)
This is mostly out of curiosity, but I do have a reason for asking....

Is there a difference in the amount of money that an author gets from a sale of a Kindle ebook vs. a paperback, and if so, which pays more? (I know that authors make more money on hardcovers, but the book in question is not available in hardcover.) Or is it a case-by-case thing?

(I'm asking specifically about the Kindle because that's the ereader I have. I know that there can be a somewhat sizeable difference between ebooks bought for the Kindle via Amazon and ebooks bought from other vendors, but for the sake of this question I'm just interested in the Amazon Kindle store.)

(Also, I'm going to be buying the book from Amazon either way, so no need to explain to me why I ought to support local brick-and-mortars. :) )

ask lj

Dec. 2nd, 2009 09:13 pm
coraa: (stallion baby!)
Let's say for a moment that one loves horses and loves riding, but has not done it for years and years and years. Like, I think twelve or thirteen years at this point.

Let's say said person went to [livejournal.com profile] dancinghorse's horse farm and rode a truly magnificent great big Lipizzan mare (♥ to Pandora), and smiled so much while doing so that half the people watching said, "You should find a place to ride. Anybody who smiles that much when they're with a horse needs to find a place to ride."

Let's drop this ridiculous way of writing the post and say: I want to start riding again, and I need lessons -- ideally frequently (like, once a week), starting at a really basic level, but if it continues to make me so happy my face hurts from smiling, with the possibility of continuing.

I'm not ready to own a horse or even probably lease one, not from day one, but I would like to find a reputable stable where I could take lessons and ride occasionally. I live in Seattle, so if anyone happens to know anyplace in Seattle by some chance (I'd be willing to drive to get there, although probably not too far if it's going to be a regular thing), that would be Awesome. If not, tips on how to locate a reputable stable with that sort of thing would be much appreciated.
coraa: (Default)
I have two medium-sized zucchini (ie, big enough to stuff, not so big they're unpleasantly woody to eat) in the fridge that need eating. I need something to feed the book group people tonight. The boy doesn't care for zucchini. Therefore, obvious answer: feed zucchini to book group. Simple!

The question is: how?

Poll time!

[Poll #1484528]

(Since it's potluck, none of the options have to be the main course; hence, the variety from main-course-like to warm-salad-y. You will note that all the options are vegetarian, as food for book group is always vegetarian. You will also notice some ingredients turning up over and over. This is because I'm not going shopping for this, and those are what I have on hand. But if you have any suggestions, you can suggest them, especially if they are permutations of above and/or use fairly basic pantry staples.)
coraa: (wtf jasmine)
So my shiny new laptop is very shiny and works beautifully, except for one thing -- it gets weird about the Internet sometimes.

There are three symptoms:

1. Not infrequently -- once or twice an evening, usually -- it drops the connection for some reason. This means that everything that requires the Internet (Firefox, AIM, Final Fantasy XI, etc), plus everything that require the local network (mapped drives, remote desktop, etc) all die at once. This can be fixed pretty quickly by repairing the connection, but it's annoying.
2. Also not infrequently (at least once and sometimes many times per evening), programs that involve streaming a lot of information over the Internet/network (primarily Final Fantasy XI and remote access to my desktop) will time out. No other Internet/network services are affected. This usually fixes itself between two and five minutes, allowing me to reconnect, without input from me, but is also annoying.
3. Sometimes, usually when coming out of hibernation or suspend, or more rarely while I'm actively using the computer, the connection will switch from 'local and Internet' to 'local access only.' This means that access over the local network is fine, but the Internet at large isn't available. Nothing seems to fix this besides rebooting my laptop, at which point it's fine.

Specs: It's a Dell laptop with Windows Vista Home Premium. The boy also has a Dell laptop (slightly different specs) with Windows Vista Home Premium, and he doesn't have these issues -- once in a while his connection drops, but not as often as mine, and the lag/timeout doesn't happen for him at all.

I have already disabled auto-tuning, which helped but not enough. I did the Microsoft Network Connectivity Testing thing, and it says that everything's working fine except Universal Plug and Play, which, I don't know whether that would be causing these symptoms or how to fix it if so. Otherwise, I'm puzzled, since the boy's laptop with very similar specs works just fine. I can't find anything in Event Log about it, either, although I suppose I might be looking for the wrong thing.

Anyone have any ideas what could be causing this kind of problem? Or an idea for a diagnostic I could use to figure it out? (It happens often enough that I could easily run a diagnostic until the problem appears, if that would help; I just don't know what to run.) It's really super annoying.

(Anyone who gives a response such as "Go back to XP" or "Switch to Linux" or "Switch to Mac" or whatever -- which are designed to make you feel superior rather than to help me -- will be roundly mocked and then soundly ignored.)
coraa: (tasty science)
When I was at Uwajimaya shopping yesterday, I picked up an interesting-looking root vegetable on a whim. It's quite large -- maybe a foot long or possibly even larger and too thick around to circle with one hand although small enough to easily circle with two hands. It has tan skin with evenly but irregularly-spaced darker spots, and out of each darker spot comes a few thin fibers like hairs. The flesh is smooth and just off-white (sort of cream-colored), with no appreciable odor. The label for the vegetable called it a [Something] Potato, and there might have been another, non-Anglicized name. Unfortunately, I did not write down what it was, and I have since forgotten.

It's definitely not a lotus root (no holes), and I'm pretty confident based on size, shape and appearance that it's not a regular potato either. It's also not jicima. It doesn't look like any sweet potato I've ever met, but that doesn't mean it isn't. My best bet right now is that it's tapioca root -- does anyone have any experience with tapioca root to confirm or deny?

Any ideas?

(Uwajimaya has more Japanese food than any other food, but it's pan-Asian, so this isn't necessarily a Japanese vegetable.)

EDIT: [livejournal.com profile] paperclippy has solved the riddle -- it's a yamaimo, or mountain potato. Yay!

ask LJ

Jun. 20th, 2009 11:13 am
coraa: (jenova your mom)
The boy and I recently got a shiny new USB hard drive for purposes of backing up our fileserver computer. Hurrah! (I had already been backing up vital documents to an offsite location, but that wasn't really feasible for things like 100 GB of mp3 files.)

So I'm looking for an automated backup solution that will sync the fileserver hard drive to the backup hard drive on a regular basis -- nightly seems about right. Automated because if I have to do it manually it's going to happen less frequently than would be ideal. Nightly so that it can happen while we're in bed and not clobber the network. (The fileserver computer remains on all the time, so that's not an issue.) Does anyone have any suggestions? Is there a tool in Windows XP that I can use to set this up?

Free is great. Cheap is fine, if a little money will net me a vastly better tool. Pricey is probably more than I need.

Any ideas?

ask LJ

Jun. 20th, 2009 11:13 am
coraa: (jenova your mom)
The boy and I recently got a shiny new USB hard drive for purposes of backing up our fileserver computer. Hurrah! (I had already been backing up vital documents to an offsite location, but that wasn't really feasible for things like 100 GB of mp3 files.)

So I'm looking for an automated backup solution that will sync the fileserver hard drive to the backup hard drive on a regular basis -- nightly seems about right. Automated because if I have to do it manually it's going to happen less frequently than would be ideal. Nightly so that it can happen while we're in bed and not clobber the network. (The fileserver computer remains on all the time, so that's not an issue.) Does anyone have any suggestions? Is there a tool in Windows XP that I can use to set this up?

Free is great. Cheap is fine, if a little money will net me a vastly better tool. Pricey is probably more than I need.

Any ideas?

ask lj

Jun. 15th, 2009 08:29 pm
coraa: (bookses)
I am searching for books on India -- history, religion, mythology, culture. General overviews would be great to start, since my background is woefully inadequate, but if you have any more specific books that you really love, I will not turn them down. (I realize that India is a big country with a long history, and I'm not being very specific, and that's mostly because I, er, don't know enough yet to be specific.)

I am looking primarily for nonfiction for these purposes, though if you have any great fiction to recommend, I will, again, not say no.

Books by Indian or Indian American authors are particularly desirable, but good books by non-Indians will work too.

Feel free to pass the request on.

Thanks!
coraa: (bookses)
More posting looking for assistance! Hi, LJ, I know that's not the only thing you're here for...

I'm looking to get my mom a Mother's Day present. (Her birthday -- which is about a week later -- I already have a present for: a pair of handmade earrings. I'll try to post pics of the earrings before I give them away.) She's an avid reader, and I usually get her books, but right now I'm a little stumped. Usually I just chitchat with her about what she wants, but I forgot, and now it's embarrassingly late for that, although I will if I can't think of any surer bets.

I'd say her favorite genre is mysteries, and I know she loves Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels and the Southern Sisters mysteries by Anne George, and the Cat Who books, and Miss Marple... but I suspect she already has all of those. I'd say that her mystery preferences are for cozies, especially those with some amusement value -- the new Vicky Bliss book would be perfect but I think there's a 60% chance she already has it.

She's fairly conservative and in a (happily! this is not an insult!) sedate middle age, so, while I just had a chicklit mystery series recced to me that looks hilarious and awesome, I'm not sure that'd be her kind of thing.

She also loves Barbara Tuchman's early-20th-century stuff, but I think I've bought her all of that. And certain kinds of alternate history (she's read a fair bit of Turtledove, but not much else, I don't think) and certain kinds of semi-thrillers like Douglas Preston's oevure, and she loved the movie National Treasure.

Any ideas? I can come up with something, but if any of you have ideas (and/or are a mystery fan yourself who can help me vet my choices), it would be a great boon.

also...

May. 3rd, 2009 12:51 pm
coraa: (key faerie)
I like wearing long skirts, especially around the house. Indeed, I'm making a few skirts for summer (one black, one dark green). However, most skirts don't have pockets -- and I'm not a good enough seamstress at this point to add pockets to a pattern that doesn't include them.

Plus, many women's pants patterns also don't have pockets, or they have pockets that are so small to be unusable. And most of my shirts don't have pockets either.

This isn't really a problem most of the time; it's why I carry a purse or a bag. But often, when I'm cleaning the house, I want to listen to my iPod -- or when I'm going for a walk, I want to bring my phone and my keys but not lug a bag with me. This is a problem when one is in a pocketless state, since there's noplace to put the iPod. Indeed, sometimes when housecleaning I am forced to resort to sticking my iPod through my bra strap, which is precarious and kind of uncomfortable (and unattractive, but I don't care about that if what I'm doing is scrubbing the kitchen floor).

Does anyone have an idea for how I can carry an iPod or phone-and-keys combo without pockets? I'm not going to resort to a *cringe* fanny-pack arrangement, because I am not fond of the way they look or the way they feel. My best idea so far is to copy medieval folk and make some kind of small pouch that can be hung at my hip (medieval clothes did not have internal pockets), but I was wondering if anyone had other ideas.

Ask LJ

Apr. 20th, 2009 07:41 am
coraa: (phoenix objection)
This one is for the coffee aficionados, and in fact non-coffee-aficionados will probably find it very silly:

Does reheating coffee hurt its flavor? I'm asking because I've been experimenting with making cold-brewed coffee, and it tastes very nice and smooth, but I prefer a hot cuppa in the morning and I'd like to warm it up somehow.

The microwave is the obvious choice, but everything I've seen hollers at me to not microwave my coffee! Only every site that says that seems to be assuming that I would have made or acquired hot coffee, let it cool down, and then microwaved it, so they're really all saying "don't drink stale coffee," which is a different thing. This coffee is fresh and tastes wonderful, I just would prefer that it was hot.

Anybody know?

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