Stirred, not Shaken

There can be few fictional characters who have had such a bad influence on the world than James Bond. He famously ordered his Martini, “Shaken, not stirred”. This is not the correct way to mix a Martini or any other cocktail whose ingredients are transparent. Shaking these drinks causes small slivers of ice to be suspended in the drink, making the drink appear cloudy and changing the mouth texture.

Shaking should be reserved for drinks that include juice, milk, or egg. Shaking helps break these up and mixes the drink more effectively.

Most bars will shake the Martini and Manhattan as well as Sidecars. I feel sure that this faux pas can be laid at the feet of Mr Bond. His command, moreover, shows that stirring was the accepted method at the time. For if barmen of the time had shown the same disregard for correctness that they do in this age, he would not have felt the need to instruct the bartender to shake.

The end result of this is that now I am the one who has to ask for my Negroni to be stirred and not shaken. Damn you Mr Bond.

Published in: on 29 March, 2014 at 7:22  Leave a Comment  

Endings and Beginnings

The English football season approaches its end. Norwich City have just seven more games left. They sit on thirty-two points, eight short of the magic number that has always been enough to stave off relegation. Seven games may seem like more than enough time to accumulate those points, but the last four games are against Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Chelsea. Form would suggest that expecting even a single point would be an exercise in unwarranted optimism.

Therefore, the next three games become the critical ones. We start on Saturday with Swansea away, followed by WBA at home, and Fulham away. Norwich need to win two of those at least to avoid those last four games turning into a slow, powerless spiral around the drain of relegation. Given Norwich’s results at Fulham, a series of humiliating hidings, the Swansea game becomes a make or break game. I am not sure if I can face starting my weekend with the nerve wracking experience of watching the Canaries struggle through another live game.

On the bright-side, Monday brings with it the optimism of a new season of baseball. I have a ticket for Oakland’s opening game. The fifth year in a row that I gone to see the A’s first home game of the season. The last four years I have seen them lose to the Seattle Mariners in that opener; that dismal sequence part of a far longer run of opening day loses for Oakland.

Given that run of loses, you might ask why I seemed upbeat about the coming season. Apart from the ever present hope that all fans, other than Cubbies, have before the season begins; there are the back to back division titles that Oakland have won. The A’s should once again be competitive, although generally not when I go to see the games.

However, even watching a losing game of baseball is still an enjoyable way to spend a few hours in the Spring and Summer.

Published in: on 28 March, 2014 at 7:20  Leave a Comment  

Saving Water

We are in the midst of an historically severe drought in California.

In unrelated news we replaced two toilets in our home with units that use less than half the water of our previous loos.

Published in: on 21 March, 2014 at 20:39  Leave a Comment  

Life in the Fast Lane

The DMV finally delivered the stickers that make Sophia, my electric Fiat, able to drive in the Carpool lane and more importantly use the half-price bridge toll. Unfortunately, I have to use all three stickers to disfigure the cars pristine bodywork.

Published in: on 8 March, 2014 at 7:00  Leave a Comment  

The Man Without the Famous Name

On Thursday Frank Jobe passed away. It is not a name that resonates with many people. He is someone who made a massive contribution to the game of baseball. He was a surgeon who invented a procedure to replace torn ligaments in pitcher’s arms. This surgery saved the career of many players. It was so important that the name of the pioneer is attached to the procedure. It is called “Tommy John Surgery”, after the first player to benefit from it;the brilliant surgeon who invented it did not get his name associated with it.

Published in: on 7 March, 2014 at 7:26  Leave a Comment