Double Seat Taker

Double Seat Taker
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

I normally hate to take pictures of strangers, and I tend not to be bold enough to take the pictures of people on the Metro doing wrong. Mainly because the Micky’D eating, crowding at the door with 2 giant suitcases standing folk do look around and I wouldn’t be able to snap a quick one.
Okay, in her defense the train wasn’t sardine crowded and there were a few seats on the end of the train. Also I’m not 100% sure that’s her bag. Possibly it is the bag of Ms. Flip Flop (see toes) or Ms. Flip Flop’s seat companion. Let’s say I’m 75% sure.
The other problem is that those are the reserved seats for folks with problems standing.
The purpose of taking this picture is to show the double seat taker.

Addition to Comment Policy

I’m going to delete comments, even legit comments if the user name has a link to some commerical thing like Florida Condos, or Online Poker or the like. I’ve noticed the comment spam has gotten better and the comment that sorta adds something to the conversation, is something I debate about deleting if the user link is an obvious ploy to sell gold on-line or other stupid stuff to game computer models in regarding the worth of a site.
Of course there is the policy of “it’s my blog and I’ll delete what I want.” I take no advertisements (not that I’m against it, it’s just not something I’ve pursued), I don’t get paid by anyone to do this, nor is the site, webspace etc is sponsored by anybody and is funded with my pocket-hobby funds (also sponsored by the hobby funds is the gardening). So this is just a courtesy post.

Thursday Misc.

I’m going to go down in order of importance-
I’m still in shock hearing this morning over the radio of the attack on the Holocaust Museum yesterday evening. My first DC job, was at the Holocaust Museum as a Visitor Services Rep. We worked with the security guards, as both teams dealt with the public. So my prayers are with the slain guard Steven Tyrone Johns’ family and co-workers.

Car Break In
There is a black car, Florida plates, on the 400 block of R St, Ward 2 side, with a busted rear passenger window. Thieves did not steal the water bottle in the front seat. That portion of road, the part nearest the AfriCare lot, I swear every other month, a car or several cars parked along that portion of street, get broken into.

Move, Get Out The Way
I’m going to guess they are interns and don’t know better…. Will the EPA interns from Howard University please move to the center of the train and not block the doors for 3 whole stops. A gaggle of 6 students with shiny new EPA stuff apparently are oblivious to the fact that near the doors, people get on and off the train. They blocked the doors for people getting off at Shaw and they continued to hover at the station side of the train for several stops until their destination at L’Enfant.

Using Duck Eggs To Make Super Rich Chocolate Ice Cream

I blogged about how the duck eggs made my chocolate ice cream so rich it was like a brownie that melted in my mouth. Here’s the recipe:
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”

Chocolate Ice Cream

2 cups of heavy cream*
3-5 Tbls of cocoa powder**
5 ounces of 100% Cocao/ bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup of milk***
3/4 cups of sugar
1/4 tsp of salt****
4 Mallard Duck egg yolks
1 chicken egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Warm 1 cup of cream in small pot with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Try to eliminate or avoid clumps. Get it too a boil then bring down heat to a simmer for 30 seconds, while whisking. Remove from stove and add chocolate. Here is where I had problems where the mix refused to get smooth, separating into solid and oil, so I added more cocoa powder and cream, watered down with milk. Stir with spoon to get smooth. Transfer to a big heatproof bowl.
In that same pot heat milk, sugar and salt. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks. Slowly add heated milk mix to eggs. Start with a few tablespoons of milk and whisk, then move up to 1/4 cup of milk and whisk. Then take milk egg mix and pour back into pot. Slowly heat while stirring to make a custard. When it coats the back of the spoon, remove from heat and keep stirring.
Place a mesh strainer over the bowl with the chocolate and pour custard into bowl through the mesh. The mesh will capture big clumps of custard. Add vanilla. Take bowl and put in ice bath, or in my case set on top of ice pak. When decently cooled, place in fridge.
After about 12 hours has past, put in ice cream maker and churn.

* The first cup I used cream, the cream used later was more like half and half.
** original recipe called for 3, I added more later.
*** original recipe called for whole milk, I used 2%.
**** original recipe called for a pinch, I add more to keep my ice creams from being too hard and solid. Booze is better at this, but salt is more child friendly.

Execu-bird & my TV

I’ve occasionally complained about the ghetto birds- the MPD helicopters that come around after a shooting or something like that. They wander high in the sky above the hood and I could tell when they were around because the digital signal on my TV would get all screwy.
Since January I’ve noticed an uptick in air traffic above the neighborhood, mainly due to an uptick in television disruption. When I go outside to angrily shake my fist at the offending helicopter, I’ve noticed that it isn’t always a MPD marked or even MPD whirlybird shaped aircraft. I’ve noticed somethings that look like they could be the President’s or some military, Big Bertha looking like copters flying low. They fly lower than the MPD copters, and are bigger and come around more often, which means I looking at a TV screen frozen on one image with little pixels out of whack. And when it comes back into whack, the sound doesn’t match the picture.
I should mention, I don’t have cable or DishTV, I get my signal from the airwaves.
Anyone else experience this problem or can tell me what are those other helicopters flying over the hood so I know where to send a letter of complaint?

Found on the Street- Gentrification Rant

I’m going to make this quick. I found an interesting flier on Bates Street yesterday. It appears someone decided to print out some of their blog posts on gentrification and leave them on the doorsteps of several Bates residents.
I may or may not talk about this more, but the thing that gets me is the tortured logic regarding race and gentrification, that would define Asian-Americans as White. And it doesn’t even go into the main elements of gentrification, just homelessness and definitions of other non-black ethnic groups as white. Gah, if you’re going to print something out and pass it out, stay on topic. That’s just my suggestion.

Duck eggs

Originally uploaded by creekside_sonia

Sadly there were no duck eggs at the Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market today when I showed up. They were available yesterday at the 14th & U market, but I didn’t buy any there.
So what’s the deal with duck eggs and how are they different from the chicken eggs?
When I first bought them all I was told was that bakers love duck eggs. Ok. When cooking with them, when I made scones, the only difference I noticed was they were bigger and seem to have more yolk. When I made straight scrambled eggs, I didn’t care for them. But when I made ice cream, and I primarily used duck eggs there was a noticeable difference.
The ice cream recipe called for 5 egg yolks. I used 1 chicken egg and 4 duck eggs. When separating the white from the yolk, the egg was thick like a hair gel and the white didn’t separate easily. I had to run my finger down the side of the broken shell to get the white to drop. After the duck eggs, I did the chicken egg, and it was like water. I followed the rest of the recipe and set the mix in the fridge overnight. When I took the mixture out and poured it into the ice cream maker it was like pudding. Really thick pudding. The finished product, chocolate ice cream, was like a frozen brownie that melted in your mouth.

Greener Than Thou

I’m taking a break running errands that got pushed back to today because of the rain, and because I don’t have a car. I haven’t had a car since 1993, and living a car less lifestyle comes with some pluses and minuses. The reason I don’t have a car has more to do with money and the hassles of maintenance and not some Green philosophy. The greenie-ness is more of an added bonus.
My posting regarding the 5 cent tax on paper and the ever hated plastic bags, did raise some ire from some readers. I’m perfectly OK with being in disagreement on this point, as I’ll let time prove me wrong. Also I’m not out to win any greener than thou awards, we all have a multitude of green sins, some known and unknown, some that are easily avoided, others too ingrained in our identity.
When I say our identity, I include the obvious, like cars and the not so obvious, like our jobs, and our recreational activities. The computer was supposed to render the office paperless, instead the volume of paper exploded, and it has become cheaper to produce meeting minutes, handouts, leaflets, menus, fliers and maps that people will look at then toss out. We are horrible water wasters, letting the tap run as we brush our teeth and lather. We shower daily, and flush away gallons of potable water to be rid of a cup of pee. Then there is the electricity we use to stay online, charge our devices, keep our food, light our homes into the night (how much energy would you save if you went to bed at 8:30?), cool in the summer and heat in the winter. Even though I don’t have a car, I’m still dependent on fossil fuels because the bus and the train use diesel. At some points these exercises in examining every single action and choice, seems like asking how many angels can dance on the pin of a needle? You can spend an infinite amount of time and energy on things that in practice may have very little impact and are quickly abandoned.
We should make the effort to be Green, but we should avoid those heavy burdens that would make us turn away, give up, and not bother.