Feed up-to-date, podcasts next

Sometime ago… to much to correctly remember it, I used to follow a lot of feeds and ear a lot of podcasts on a daily basis. That was on the time of the 3h daily commute, using a MP3 player and a netbook at the same time while waiting for the train, riding the train, changing to the metro, riding the metro – to work and back.

Now I replaced the netbook with an Android based tablet, I still use a MP3 player, but my commute is a small 15 minutes walk, which means that I need to take sometime at home to keep up-to-date with all the feeds I was following. For now I just scanned everything that was in my backlog for months. At this moment, the gReader open at my side in my tablet says that I have only two unread posts.

But I still need to catch up with the podcasts. For now I have 11GB of mp3 files to ear, that I am transferring to the player. Lets see in the coming days if I can start reducing the backlog on that front as well.

Anyway, the most important thing is that above all, I can do all that (and keep posting some new stories on my blogs) with lose the track on the most important thing around… my girl.

In the kitchen – Chicken and Pasta

I usually cook for my self. It’s something I like to do, as it helps me relax, and above all, I’m really picky with food – and I really love tasteful stuff – but my kind of tasteful.

I’m Portuguese – and I love most of the fantastic foods that are part of our traditional cuisine. But our traditional cuisine is not just stuff that could get to the some of the most complex and difficult things to do – or even work intensive. Our traditional cuisine also includes some very pratical and simple things – like the stewed foods. The portuguese country people – like my self – use mainly chicken.

Chicken is a simple to create animal, and produces a lot of food for its size – most female chicken would lay an egg almost everyday – and we love eggs and things done with eggs – a flock of chickens need only one rooster (the male) – having more than one adult male in a flock is even a bad idea – they will fight all the time.  From time to time a chicken will go broody and stay over the eggs left on the nest – you can give a kind of incentive to this by letting some eggs on the nest, or  – when this happen, you’ld put 12 to 15 eggs in the nest and let the chicken sit on the next – after three weeks the new small chicks will starting to hatch – from every fertile eggs will hatch a new chick. Three months later they will be ready to eat.

Sometime later the females will start laying eggs and the males will start growing his hen and his comb – it’s time to kill the males that are not expected to grow and replace the old roster.

And all this chicken will end grilled, stewed, boiled or something similar. The old chicken will eventually start laying less eggs, and it’s also time to make some good chicken soup with them – this will have to boil for some time – hours – but it’s worth it – no fresh chick will ever be as tasteful as an old one, specially if it lived in the yard, eating whatever she liked.

But, then again, all this got to my mind because tonight I did for dinner some chicken stewed. A chicken stewed is something that can be done while doing other stuff – like almost everything in the Portuguese cuisine.

You start by preparing the meat – in the country this my mean get to the henhouse, pick a chicken, kill it, take the feathers – a lot of work – but in the city, that mean usually open the box where the meat come from the supermarket and just wash it a bit. If that is your case, you should select legs or wings, not breast – as it would a waste of good mean that will never get as tasteful this way as it would be prepared in other ways.

Now, you just put you meat inside a pan, get some – alot of it – tomato pulp and cover the meat with it, add some minced or ground garlic over the tomato, some pepper if you are into it. After let you get olive oil and put some over the tomato, slowly, until it flows to the bottom of the pan and start covering it. Then you add wine – usually red wine until the meat is almost covered. If you want you can reduce a bit the amount of olive oil or wine and add some water instead, but it would not the exactly the same.

It’s time to start the fire and let it boil for some time. Keep an eye on it, don’t let it get too dry. After sometime boiling, you should stir the meat, and probably add some water. Add water to fully cover the meat. Let it boil some more. Food need time to get taste. So, keep and eye on it, and stir it once or twice in the following several minutes.

After sometime, add a lot more what, enough to add pasta, and let it boil. When the water starts boiling, you add the pasta, and let it boil for 5 to 10 minutes more, and then stir everything and turn the heat off. Let the pan as is for some 5 more minutes.

It’s then time to put the food in your dish and eat. If you did everything correctly you should end with something like the image bellow. Even if today I decided to improvise a bit and use beer instead of wine.

NOTE: Before you start making this kind of food, may be a good idea to see if your health insurance covers it’s ingestion 😉 .

It’s December

It’s December. The shortest day of the year is approaching at high speed. The temperature is low, but after some time you start adjusting to it. And I guess that after you’re exposed a lower temperature and then the temperature rises a bit, your body see it as a blessing, and is thankful for the small improvement.

I’ll be travelling to Portugal in New Year’s Eve (well, in truth it’s December 30th night). This wasn’t in my planes, but the truth is that I need to ask for a passport and I can do that while I’m spending a couple days in Portugal.

It’s Friday and I’m tired. There are a lot of things that I should do. There are a few things that I wanted to do. There are some things that, maybe, I’m expected to do.

I don’t really care about most of them.

I’m going to bed. Sleep!

Tomorrow is, most likely, another day.

White House – It gets better

Some time ago, one facebook I commented that the world is changing, about a video from Google employees, using the google image to tell that It gets better for gay people.

But, if I thought that the world was changing, when the President of the United States and his Vice President, each make a video saying that it gets better, it stops being just a feeling. The world is, indeed, changing. See the videos:

President Obama

His notes on the video and the subject at the White House website.

Vice President Biden

His notes on the video and the subject at the White House website.

See a lot more videos on the It Gets Better Project website.

It’s time to start treating everyone as equal, that’s what we all are!

The missing gas counter

I’m living on this apartment for three months now and the rent includes everything – it’s common here in Amsterdam.

When I rented the apartment, the real estate agent showed me the apartment, as well as the electricity counter. But no mention of a gas counter were made. Some weeks ago a guy ringed the doorbell and announced himself as being from the gas/electricity company and being here to read the electricity and the gas counter.

I told him that I did know where the gas counter was, pointed him to the electricity counter, and invited him to look around for the gas counter. Without success. Sometime later, the same happened, but this time a different guy was just looking for the gas counter. He also looked around, and didn’t found the counter.

I didn’t thought much about the subject, but yesterday I had another questions for the landlord, and send an email with the my questions, including where was the gas counter.

Today I got the answer for that:

It should be in a crawlspace behind the dishwasher in the apartment.

My first question was What’s a crawlspace? but once that was cleared, I started wondering how was it possible that a crawlspace existed somewhere around the sink dishwasher and I never noticed it.

I got back home today, and got looking for the crawlspace around the sink. There is none.

This was when I thought.. It can’t be! But the true was to painful to avoid. There was another dishwasher in the apartment. The dish washing machine. But the dish washing machine is…

Well, I wouldn’t be able to describe it precisely, so I’ll let you see for yourself…

gas counter

I think it will be very fun the next time some come to the apartment to read the gas counter.

I call this the WTF moment of the … Well, I will let you decide how long this is worth.

My oldest memory

There are a lot of stories that parents always tell about us. But which is the oldest memory you really have of your live?

My earliest memory is from my grandmothers home, when my closest family was still living the the house I already told you about in Land of Free men. My closest family moved to our own house when I was four or five – I think, so at the time this happened I was, maybe, four years old. My sister and my cousin – a girl the same age my sister – are both an year younger than me, so they should have around three years.

My grandmother house had this flat ceiling, that we could get over using the stair to the higher house. That ceiling was at the same level as the lowest side of another of the houses roof – my grandmother’s, and in the front of the house existed a pile of sand – to be used in construction, I remember that pile of sand there for years – and I know that I used to jump from the roof to the sand. I know it, but I don’t remember it.

I remember that on this day I was in the flat with my sister and my cousin. And I got to the roof, and while I was preparing to jump to the sand my sister and my cousin started yelling with me that I should not jump. I didn’t care, obviously. My cousin was the closest one, and when I jump she tried to grab me.

It didn’t work as she expected, obviously. I was heavier and stronger, and gravity was stronger than both of us. We ended both on the top of the sand pile. I was lying in the sand, with my face down – I usually would end on the sand over my feets – and my cousin was on top of me screaming!

It was not a high house, and the pile of sand made the fall not that all, and the landing pretty soft. But my grandmother, mother, her mother and god know who else come out running asking why was the girl screaming so much!

That is my first memory, I guess it was the first violent memory I had – and I always found it very amusing, as I didn’t really get hurt, and neither did my cousin. And it was when I learned that sometimes boys and girls should just play apart.

What about you, which is you oldest memory?