In re: Imagine this season without LeBron?

I was just reading a story about how horrible financially NBA clubs are doing (talking about how empty Clippers game, except when teams that interest expats or provide novelty are in town, included in the high draw were Cleveland).  This got me thinking, imagine what the draw in Cleveland would be if we had our traditional crappy teams that I grew up with during our Shawn Kemp era?  I picture a very very depressing scene with the economy the way it is … lucky with that ping pong ball.

via The Sports Guy: Bill Simmons Welcome to the No Benjamins Association – ESPN Page 2.

In re: Safari 4 Beta

Being into all things new I installed the beta of Safari 4 on my Mac, I had know of some of the changes, including massive improvements with Safari’s Java performance, among other under the improvements.  The UI also had some tweaks, probably most notably is the addition of Top Sites, a thumbnail view of your most visited sites, kinda like the quick dial some other browsers have had.  Also Apple has added cover flow for history and bookmarks, kinda useful, but I probably won’t be using it much, but lastly and at least for me the biggest adjustment comes from moving the tabs to the top of the screen.  If your using IE 6 or under a rock you don’t use tabs, but tabs were a huge improvement over the method of multiple windows.  The top of the screen is strange at first, and seems kinda inefficient going up to the top (unless your using keyboard tab switching) but I will admit I came across a good use of the tabs when I had a second window open in front I could still see my tabs behind in the second window and jump straight to the tab I clicked on when switching back.

I’ll be curious to see if all the negative press on the new tabs continues, I’ll give it sometime to see if I like it.  Other than those I’ve run into some problems with Safari, including problems loading HTTPS pages, including most importantly Gmail.  Of course those will be fixed before a release, but if your thinking of checking it out keep that in mind.

In re: bagel update

After getting some new baking supplies from the King Arthur catalog, including some high gluten flour I made these bagels. The results? Awesome.

In re: Amish Space Heater: Is that an oxymoron?

““I think a lot of it goes back to the irony of the Amish and an electric fireplace,” he said. “How can that be? It’s like skintight baggy pants.”  

Amish Space Heater: Is That an Oxymoron? is an interesting article in the NY Times details the strange product that is apparently right here from Ohio that has been appearing in infomercials and print ads touting the miracle heater.  Although the product has gotten a bunch of criticism for false advertising and for having the strange impression that Amish designed the product, but supposedly they do make here in Ohio (the casing that is, the heater as you guessed is made in China).  But with a state crumbling, why not bank on the reputation of the Amish and scam a few folks…

In re: Passenger trains in Columbus

“State leaders are determined to connect Ohio’s three largest cities by passenger rail as early as next year, an idea that Gov. Ted Strickland endorsed in his State of the State address Wednesday.

The so-called 3-C corridor was abandoned in 1971, a consequence of falling ridership and the breakdown of the national rail network. Columbus, which lost all passenger rail service in 1979, now is the second-largest city in the country without rail service. (Phoenix is first, although light rail reaches a suburb.)

“Our goal is to link Ohio’s three largest cities by passenger rail for the first time in 40 years,” Strickland said during his State of the State speech. “This will be the first step toward a rail system that links neighborhoods within a city, and cities within our state.””

via DispatchPolitics : Passenger trains could roll next year Columbus Dispatch Politics.

 

I won’t go through my rail rant again, but I am excite about the fact Governor Strickland is pushing the 3C project and wanting to get the major cities of Ohio connected by rail, the fact that there is no rail connection for passengers is astounding, considering the distances (i.e. a few hour trip).

Now I know they aren’t talking high speed, just getting anything going is a good start, but people gotta start thinking about the possibilities of high speed rail, imagine an hour trip to Columbus from Cleveland via a high speed rail, suddenly an Ohio state game, even an evening basketball game is a no brainer, and suddenly some of Cleveland and Cincinnati’s atractions can be day or even evening trips.  

For people who think its a garbage idea I’d ask them to check out good rail service in other countries.  Riding trains that run well is a pleasure travel loses a lot of its hassle as you can jump on and read a book, walk about when needed.  I said I wouldn’t rant, so I’ll stop now, but hopefully we are seeing the beginning of rail coming back in Ohio and beyond.

In re: Flash coming to iPhone? Still no copy and paste

While there are plenty of fixible flaws with the iPhone’s software (copy & paste, mms, sideways keyboard in everything… oh we could go on) one is support for Flash, which love it or hate it is a reality of the web and when they claim that the whole internet is available in your pocket, missing Flash means that can’t be true. Well apparently now Apple (possibly from the pressure of BB Storm, Palm Pre and the G1) is working with Adobe to get Flash on the iPhone.  Now if they would just finally get to that copy & paste…  (there are theories they are waiting til June for that when they come out with a new phone and can make a big deal about it), but seriously folks its JUST copy & paste..

via Apple Insider

In re: Bagels at home

For whatever reason bagels, those delicious, chewy, simple, standard, but  yet hard to get perfect, breakfast item is something that many don’t make at home.  (Don’t know what a bagel is? or want to know more about their history see “A short history of the bagel”).   I think a lot of us think they are a bit more difficult to make than they really are due to boiling as well as occasionally requiring ingredients we don’t have on hand such as “Non-Diastatic Malt Powder“?  Really the strange ingredients aren’t too hard to find and really bagels aren’t that hard.  So I set out to make some great bagels this weekend.  The basics of bagel baking are start by making a starter with yeast, flour and water and let it sit overnight to develop some flavor, use this to make a dough with more flour, water, salt and I added some barley malt syrup as well (a sweetener, you can also use your Non-Diastatic Malt Powder (King Arthur Link)).  Its important to use a high protein bread flour, the higher the better to get that chewy bagel that is the gold standard (I used King Arthur Bread Flour, I plan to make my next batch with this).  The dough should be very stiff and difficult to work with and then let it rise.

Once risen, divide into balls, let rest again, then its time to make the hole, just pinch a hole for your finger and then expand it.  After a brief rest its time to boil for 1-2 minutes on the first 1 on the second side and onto a baking sheet for a trip to the oven for baking.  The water you boil in should be supplemented and depending on who you ask you can put in more barley malt into the water, or others using baking soda to make an alkyd bath.  Both are to develop the bagels exterior which should crisp up and brown.

Amazingly after doing all this, tossing the boiled bagels on a baking sheet with a bit of cornmeal on it, the results look like this:

 

Bagels that I made at home, pretty simple really.

The bagels that I made at home, pretty simple really.

For a simple recipe for bagels, which I didn’t follow exactly, but is a good starting point see this one and for good step by step directions with photos (why I didn’t repeat it) see here.  Now all you need is some cream cheese and your set.