Monday, November 30, 2009

Cheap data. But free??

We shall see, but while working on a work assignment to update our zip code database, I came across this site. It may be bunk, but they seem to offer lots of GIS data and a well defined zip code dataset.  As long as it's more up-to-date then the data I already have, it sounds like it's a good deal.

More to follow after they send the link...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hectic weekend and the new toy

Well, new toy Thursday came and went.  Spent loads of time with the new camera (Nikon D5000) and took nearly 600 photos, 300 of which were at the boy's soccer championship on Saturday.  Don't worry, I won't bore everyone with all of those shots, but here are some anyway:

The parents were in town, so we took Friday off for part of the day and headed out to an art show, then off to Roswell for lunch at Pastis.  I'd never been there, but the wife had and suggested that as being a good place to go. OMG!  What a great lunch.  We started off with a farmhouse plate that had a couple meats, cheese, brie, pate, roasted red peppers, cornichons, and some toasted bread slices.

Then my lunch of salmon on nine grain bread with some fresh chips.  Washed it all down with a nice glass of Chard.  The wife had a great penne pasta with 'shrooms, peppers in  a bleu cheese sauce - awesome!

Off to do some more shopping and playing with the camera...

The next day, we headed out to the Marietta Farmer's Market.  Now that I had a good camera and a good lens, well, I just had to shoot some food along the way.  I need to get back there next week and give some of the photos to one of the farmer's who allowed me to take some shots of their goodies.

Left the market, back to the house, off to soccer, lunch, off to basketball practice, home, finally got a shower in, off to dinner at one of the better places around town:

Yes, Leon's Full Service in Decatur.  This is the food arm of The Brickstore Pub just on the other side of the square.  Everyone loves this place, Leon's, especially the kids who love the scenery and the food and the bocci court outside which gets used while we wait on our table.  Of course, the food is the real reason we're here, so here it is.  Pommes Frites for snack, Winter Squash Soup, and Roast duck over Lentils with Squash and dried cranberries - all washed down with a Gulden Drak or two...yummy.

You just have to love a camera that has a built-in food photo setting.  These shots were handheld with no flash in a dark restaurant.  There are so many settings that it's taking a lot of time to get through the books that I got with it.  Of course there are some accessories that I should get sometime in the future, but that's a long way off.  The best part is that I can use the old lenses from my Nikon 8008 days.  The lenses don't auto focus like the new ones, but they will work as traditional focus lenses.  That really helps because I've got a 50mm f1.8 and one 28-300mm that I can use for landscapes that are out of range of the 200mm top end of the new lens. Cool.

Overall, one very busy weekend that was just jammed packed with all sorts of good food, good drinks, and great company.  More photos to show at a later date, for now sleep calls.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Separated at Birth

I don't subscribe to our local newspaper, The Atlanta Journal Constitution.  There is just not enough information contained in the paper to warrant the expense.  That, and, the Sunday comics just aren't what they used to be.  I do, however, follow the local paper online and sometimes, it just makes me laugh.

Here is the first example:

Honestly, I don't know whether someone did this on purpose, or it was just a coincidence of their random story/photo link generator.  I would hope that the original photographer and stylist of Ms. Zolciak was not planning on her head shot being placed next to a classic Reuben sandwich photo, but the similarities are just too close to not to be overlooked.  What with her hair of golden sauerkraut, the creamy cheekbone blush of Thousand Island dressing, and the lapel flower of the finest pastrami, one just has to wonder.

The second example comes today in the wake of the tragic shootings at Fort Hood, Texas.  Our beloved AJC has decided that the photo of the shooter and the drug confession of Andre Agassi should appear close together on the screen.

I added the Darth Vader unmasked.  Still, the similarities are pretty strong...I'm just sayin'

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday Dinner

Sunny days in north central GA today, so after an early morning rising due to the time change, we headed out for church, a trip to Costco (to see if it is still worth it), and then off on a walk to the park to toss the football around. Wish I had pictures, or movies, to post for that because Charlie was killing me with his throws. I keep waiting on some scout to come up to me and ask about him playing for his team. Ah someday. 

After that we headed back home and had the craving for scallops.  The wife and daughter took a quick trip to Trader Joe's and came back with lots of fun things that would become dinner.

Starting with these beauties that were salted and sauteed in a little olive oil until browned on both sides, then removed from the pan and kept warm.

Following the browning (there they are in the background), and subsequent removal, onions were sauteed, garlic was added, a little white wine was added and reduced until nearly dry.

Shortly after the previous step, white beans were added with some basil, hot flake pepper, and chicken broth. Cooked just until hot.

Ahh! Where did all the lovely pan juice and bean mixture go??? Spinach hides everything, but only for a minute as the entire package cooked down to nothingness. Actually, when it was all done, I didn't think that there'd be enough for three to eat. Oh well, it was good anyway!

This idea came from a link on What's for Meat?, who got it from Cooking Light in March 2009. Good find, but wish it had a little more depth of flavor perhaps from using chicken stock instead of broth, or adding a small pat of butter at the end to tighten up the sauce and give it all a nice shine.  Also, it would have been great with a nub of crusty bread for sopping purposes.  Served with an adequate, but not great, Malbec.

After dinner was a quick clean up and clearing of the kitchen to take some clean water and make it dirtier and dirtier.

Do you think I need a new/larger pot?? We'll return to this little fella in a week or so.

See you then.