Thursday, January 31

Back from Davos

Sorry I've been a bit absent the last few weeks. It's not you, it's me. Last week I was in Switzerland covering the World Economic Forum. It was quite a trip -- a typical day was to work from sunup to sundown, go out to a succession of cocktail parties, sleep a few hours and do it all over again.

It was pretty much a star-f**kers paradise -- and yes, I include myself in that description. Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf what? Natalie Campbell who? See photo below for one of my close encounters:


Here's my friend Siobhan talking with the fabulous Emma Thompson. I did a video interview with Ms. Thompson on my mobile phone, in which she asks if she should look at me or my "little dingy". (Click here to watch)


The food was pretty amazing -- rösti, raclette, and at one party unlimited jamon iberico. But I think my favorite moment was at a party that had the biggest and baddest cover band I've ever seen. I would happily pay good money to see these guys live. Watch the band leader give a shout-out to my employer in the video below (I was filming from the side of the stage -- he read "Reuters" off my name badge).

Friday, January 11


Hofbrauhaus Catastrophe, originally uploaded by Slake B.

Overexuberant toasters, beware

(via b3ta)

David Lynch? Not an iPhone fan

Wednesday, January 9

What the Hell happened on the Wire?

I watched the new episode last night -- No. 52 (they release new eps on Monday on HBO-on-demand). I don't want to give anything away, but can someone please tell me WHAT THE EFFING EFF happened in the last scene? I watched it three times and still don't understand.

CAUTION: Spoiler warning. Use your mouse and click and drag over the block of gray to reveal the spoiler.

McNulty on some serious Sherlock Holmes shit: "There's a serial killer in Baltimore. He preys on the weakest among us. He needs to be caught."

Leave your answers in the comments section.

Tuesday, January 8

I wish Jimmy was there to enjoy it

We all know where meat comes from -- a piece of bloody shrink-wrapped styrofoam in the grocery store, some wax paper if you have a fancy butcher, or maybe just the inside of a McDonald's wrapper.

This cherished illusion was destroyed forever last night for me and 10 friends. In the process we ate more delicious meat than is humanly possible, all courtesy of the Big Pig Gig at Daisy Mae's Barbecue.

The night was all about Jimmy, a 30 pound suckling pig, who was roasted for 9 hours and then delivered up on the proverbial platter.

To the regret of a few of our party -- convened for a joint birthday party for me and Scott -- his head was intact and he seemed to be looking us disconcertingly in the eye. No matter -- gloved up, bibs on, we dug into the steaming pile of pig.

Jimmy's skin was a dark, burnished caramel color. It was a bit too thick to eat so we peeled it back along with a silky white layer of fat to get to the meat underneath.

All of those cuts you see at the butchers were laid out in front of us, still attached -- belly, shoulder, ribs, butt, chops, ham.

The more adventurous among us went for the good, nasty bits -- ears, cheeks (which tasted like pork custard) and trotters. A few brave souls even had a few gulps of the gelatinous liquid that drained off the cutting board: "It's like pig Jello!"

In the end I'd estimate we ate about 3/4 of Jimmy over three hours. I ended the night on the wrong side of painfully full, and I won't torture you with the various stomach ailments I soldiered through last night. Nevertheless, it was a memorable feast and I have no regrets. However, it may have created a few vegetarians.

I for one don't think I'm going to be eating any pork for a while. Oh hell, who am I kidding -- I was eating leftovers for breakfast.

Thanks Jimmy!

I'll leave you with this snippet from the classic Simpsons episode: "Lisa the Vegetarian"

Homer: Wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute. Lisa honey, are you saying you're *never* going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad! Those all come from the same animal!
Homer: Yeah, right Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

More pix:

Monday, January 7

The Royal Wii

The Queen of England, like many of her fellow octogenerians, loves Wii bowling.

A Palace source told The People: "When she saw William playing a game after lunch at Sandringham she thought the Nintendo looked tremendous fun and begged to join in.

"She played a simple ten-pin bowling game and by all accounts was a natural. It was hilarious. William was in fits of laughter. He was enormously impressed at having such a cool gran."

Wednesday, January 2

Welcome back, McNutty

The Wire is back, baby! The show's 5th season doesn't officially start until Sunday, Jan. 6, but it's already available via HBO On Demand. Did you really think I could wait after hearing that??

I'll leave out any details for those who haven't seen, but it's safe to say that Jimmy McNulty, the Wire's original protagonist and spiritual center is right back up in the mix.

Good old McNutty (as Bubbles calls him) went and got himself cleaned up at the end of Season 3 -- in fact he was the only successful example of reform that year, after Bunny Colvin and Stringer Bell were thwarted in their respective efforts to clean up the game.

In Season 4 Jimmy was mostly on the sidelines, on the wagon and shacked up in domestic tranquility. At the very end, he got pulled back in by the bodies in the deserted row houses, as well as the untimely death of Bodie.

Now in Season 5, Jimmy is back up to his old tricks -- drinking too much and man-slutting his way through the dive bars of Baltimore. And he is symbolizing the sad state of Baltimore's police department, which can't seem to crack Marlo's squad or even pay its own people the money they're owed.

Michael K. Williams, who plays Omar, had this to say:
Everyone’s off the hook; no one trusts anyone. Everyone questions the way things are operating on the street level, in the police department, in the newsroom. Like McNulty, he’s way off the hook this year. He’s doing things that are totally outrageous, questioning authority, and trying to find the truth. He goes way off the deep end this year.
So glad to have the Wire back! In no particular order, to the aforementioned characters plus Kima, Snoop, Bunk, Prop Joe, Rawls, Herc, Carver, Cutty, Daniels, Cheese, Slim Charles, Clay and Prez -- I missed you guys.

Hope everyone had a good New Year's -- if you were smart you stayed close with friends and avoided the outside world filled with amateurish revelers. We had a smashing night with a few select people of distinction and some tasty hors d'oeuvres: Italian spring rolls, tortilla espanola, meatballs in tomato sauce, and two giant bags of frozen dumplings from my favorite place in Chinatown.

The dumplings were the big hit -- at one point the partygoers were chanting loudly for another batch and I was forced to comply, lest they riot. And at 30 for $5, these dumplings definitely packed the biggest impact for the cheapest price.

Check out more from JDiz over at Hometown Hangover.

Selected pictures from Scott below: