Carrie Fisher: I had to comport myself with something approaching dignity

Had I known it was going to make that loud of a noise, I would’ve dressed better for those talk shows and definitely would have argued against that insane hair (although the hair was, in its own modest way, a big part of that noise). And I certainly wouldn’t have ever just blithely signed away any and all merchandising rights relating to my image and otherwise.

And on top of whatever else, Mark, Harrison, and I were the only people who were having this experience. So who do you talk to that might understand? Not that that is some sort of tragedy—it just puts you in an underpopulated, empathy-free zone. I mean, obviously I’d never starred in a movie, but this was completely not like starring in your average everyday movie. It might’ve been like being one of the Beatles. Sure, most of it was a fun surprise, but the days where you could really let your guard down were over because now there were cameras everywhere. I had to comport myself with something approaching dignity, at twenty.

Carrie Fisher, in The Princess Diarist,  discussing the attention surrounding the original Star Wars movie.

GE wall-mounted refrigerator background

GE wall-mounted refrigerator
This photo on Flickr shows a working unit in a kitchen in Excelsior Springs, MO.

I was talking with my mother-in-law in 2012, getting her to reminisce about some of her past homes when she mentioned a house in St. Louis in the late 1950s that had a hanging refrigerator. Stop, back up, “let’s talk some more about this refrigerator, Mom.” Yes, she says, it was as neat as it sounds but it had a worrisome habit of not working all of the time. This came with the added complication of having to be removed from the wall to be repaired. We’ll file this under the category of good in concept, bad in execution. She was most likely describing the GE wall-mounted refrigerator.

Continue reading GE wall-mounted refrigerator background

Old San Juan journal

  • The harbor at San Juan Bay is a hive of activity. There are cruise ships, sailboats, commercial ships, ferries, seaplanes and regular planes all moving about. If you have the opportunity, grab a coffee or cocktail and sit and watch.
  • The cruise terminal docks are also a hive of activity of a different kind as vendors pitch services and wares.
  • The oldest building in the United States, if not counting Native American structures, is in San Juan. The Cathedral of San Juan Bautista dates from 1521 (pictured above).
  • The narrow, European-style streets along with the historic buildings and views of the waterfront make Old San Juan a treasure to walk through. You  can turn the corner and run into something like Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Salud (Chapel of Christ the Savior) from 1753.
  • Some cities are overrun with pigeons. Old San Juan is overrun with cats and pigeons. At Capilla del Santo Cristo de la Salud you will be offered bird seed for sale, but no cat chow.
  • The men’s room in San Felipe de Morro Fortress has a great view of the sea.
  • At night the lights on surrounding hills and cruise ships make for a beautiful sight.

Chef’s love it when customers are willing to pay to eat their garbage.

So what happens when the chef finds a tough, slightly skanky end-cut of sirloin, that’s been pushed repeatedly to the back of the pile? He can throw it out, but that’s a total loss, representing a three-fold loss of what it cost him per pound. He can feed it to the family, which is the same as throwing it out. Or he can “save for well-done” — serve it to some rube who prefers to eat his meat or fish incinerated into a flavorless, leathery hunk of carbon, who won’t be able to tell if what he’s eating is food or flotsam.

— From Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential

Bad behavior can be necessary for politicians

The Dictator’s Handbook by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith sheds light on how politicians get and keep power. In a nutshell, the most important thing to a politician is not the welfare of the citizenry, but the welfare of the politician’s winning coalition. Keep the coalition happy by lavishing rewards on them and the politician will stay in power.

Continue reading Bad behavior can be necessary for politicians

It’s easy to make homemade yogurt

It’s relatively easy to make yogurt at home without any special tools. After getting a brief demonstration from my uncle, I decided to give it a shot. Although my uncle uses an Instant Pot to incubate the yogurt, I had success with a 1 gallon insulated Coleman jug. The insulated jug is definitely the cheapest way to proceed and for now I don’t see a need to buy a special appliance.
Continue reading It’s easy to make homemade yogurt

The new January 2017 cover image

The new header image was shot at the Belle Chevre Cheese Shop and Tasting Room in Elkmont, Alabama. The shop was dog friendly and offered sandwiches, goat cheese and hand made fig ice cream.

The shop sits along the Richard Martin Trail. If you start your hike south or north of town you can stop at the tasting room for lunch before heading back to your car.

Some quotes on the 2017 Bonnaroo lineup

… this year’s lineup resembles that of pop-and-rock-oriented competitors such as Lollapalooza and Coachella. But Bonnaroo’s organizers say they don’t view the festival as tethered to Jerry Garcia guitar solos, and haven’t for many years. ‘We certainly have jam-band roots from the first year, but our goal wasn’t to create a jam-band festival. The goal was always to create a great music festival,’ says Ashley Capps, founder of AC Entertainment, Bonnaroo’s founding promoter.

Why Bonnaroo Might Not Seem Very Hippie-Friendly This Year | Billboard

Just so many people in that lineup, and it’s all different types of genres, too, so you feel extra cool being included,” Cam said of being added to the [Bonnaroo] lineup. “It feels like it’s going to be an epic kind of moment, and the whole band, everyone’s kind of peeing themselves that this is what we get to do.

Cam Talks 1st Bluebird Cafe Performance, Bonnaroo Lineup – Story

I think the challenge across the board is trying to do what we tried to do with Bonnaroo from the beginning and create an experience that stands apart from other festival experiences. Part of that is having a unique lineup, and part of it is about simply the experience of being on the site — the full immersion of camping and being together, living in a community for the weekend.

Bonnaroo Co-Producer Ashley Capps Talks Booking U2, Partnering With Live Nation and More

Think again before faking your own drowning

In Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud author Elizabeth Greenwood recounts several stories of individuals attempting, with varying results, to fake their own deaths. As it turns out, it’s a hard thing to do successfully and there are many ways in which such attempts frequently fail.

(Hint: If you want to fake your death, pass on drowning. Bodies are almost always recovered and it’s suspicious when they’re not.)

There are some interesting facts in the book about death fraud but, unfortunately, not enough to fill even this short, 246 page book. The author fluffs out the narrative with too many stories about how and where she met her sources. The book would have been better presented as a series of magazine articles.