In re: What’s Putin up to these day? Tracking his Knoi his dog

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s black labrador dog, Koni, Friday was given a collar that will allow her master to track her movements by satellite.

via Putin’s dog gets a satellite collar | U.S. | Reuters

At a meeting about Russia’s new GLONASS global positioning system Putin was able to get his black lab setup with one of the new tracking systems.  I wonder if they have microchips in Russia to help return lost dogs or if you have to skip over it to this kind of crazy collar (picture of Koni w/ collar at Reuters)


In re: Gourmet Magazine has some cheap & good eats in Cleveland

Despite living 2 hours away from Cleveland where I grew up I have been fortunate to be able to stay up to date on the food scene up there and to say the least its a pretty impressive spread of choices that is growing up there despite the tough times.  This is the point of a list in Gourmet of 8 places to grab cheap and good meals in Cleveland.  While I haven’t been to all of the places on their list I can vouch for several of them and can say On the Rise in Cleveland Heights is the real deal and is on par with French bakeries something I have rarely found anywhere in the US (and as a plus its in walking distance to my parents house, one of my favorite mornings is to go grab a baguette and a sticky bun).

check it out here in Gourmet:

Eight Great Recession Busters in Cleveland:  “Our economy may be stagnant, but our stomachs are growing. Cleveland is in the midst of a decade-long foodie boom that has convinced some coastal folk to make a stop on their flyover. Our town is littered with affordable dining options; here are a few of the best.”

[Update July 2011: the link changed since the end of Gourmet, but the article is back up and actually despite being three years old and Cleveland’s suffering economy all eight are still in business and really great options – I think I have been to them all and should have mentioned that the fries at Bar Cento are amazing – tossed w/ garlic and rosemary and served with some great sauces and of course you can’t go wrong with Lolita, my favorite restaurant of Michael Symon.  Still haven’t had the scone at On the Rise but if they still have it the next time I am up there I will grab one]


In re: Make-Believe Maverick

On the grounds between the two brick colleges, the chitchat between the scion of four-star admirals and the son of a prizefighter turns to their academic travels; both colleges sponsor a trip abroad for young officers to network with military and political leaders in a distant corner of the globe.

“I’m going to the Middle East,” Dramesi says. “Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran.”

“Why are you going to the Middle East?” McCain asks, dismissively.

“It’s a place we’re probably going to have some problems,” Dramesi says.

“Why? Where are you going to, John?”

“Oh, I’m going to Rio.”

“What the hell are you going to Rio for?”

McCain, a married father of three, shrugs.

“I got a better chance of getting laid.”

Dramesi, who went on to serve as chief war planner for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of a wing of the Strategic Air Command, was not surprised. “McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man,” Dramesi says today. “But he’s still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in.”

from Make-Believe Maverick : Rolling Stone.

A very interesting article that paints a very different picture of John McCain from the so called ‘maverick’ that he is so often painted as, further the label of war hero is questioned in what I think is probably a bit of a slanted article, but still full of a lot of valuable information on McCain that I feel isn’t being talked about by a lot of folks.  Its a long article, but worth the read.  Tim Dickinson Make-Believe Maverick: A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty in Rolling Stone  Available here

In re: Chefs Are Taking On the Whole Cow

Mr. Benno butchers his own pigs throughout the year, and spring lamb and venison in season, building degustation menus that proceed through various bits of anatomy. In the Per Se kitchen, pork shanks are braised, pig tails are fried and pork trimmings turned into classic French charcuterie. The tricky part of whole-animal cooking, he pointed out, is finding an outlet for every part.

Chefs Are Taking On the Whole Cow –

Interesting article in the NY Times.  It is interesting to read that restaurants as well as individuals have gotten used to very prepared meat, some of a growing trend among restaurants are not only going back to whole animals and larger primal cuts of meat, but also getting their chefs and kitchen staff to understand where the animals come from and see and learn about the butchering process.  Coupled with this trend is the push towards local animals who were raised in a non factory environment leading to better tasting meat as well as healthier.  For beef this means grass fed, long the realm of the Argentines whose cattle grazes rather than the norm here which is penned up eating grains among other things (much worse then grain…).  Anyway, any restaurant that moves in this direction I applaud and hopefully diners will react and appreciate the return to an appreciation for a craft (butchering) that deserves to be done closer to the diner, rather than in a Colorado factory on a conveyor belt.