Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hello 2007!

in just a few hours we leave for part 2 of our NYC adventures. We're excited to leave head back to a more busy urban locale, and just wanted to say a few words in what will most likely be our last post of the year. We don't have any one grand thing to say, so we'll do this bullet-style.

- Thanks. That's for every one of our readers. You are but a few, but contrary to what we thought, we don't actually know all of you in real life. We didn't think we were doing anything here that warranted outside attention, but really, we do appreciate your readership.

- Change. For the last few days, we've been trying to think of what we want to do with this blog. We started it because there was a void in the Seattle blogosphere to help people find the "left of center" things to do. Since then, the bigger city blogs (Slog, Seattlest, Metblogs) have picked their game up significantly, and we never wanted this to be a place for merely duplicate content. So we could either go more obscure or go different. We're thinking the latter, but haven't quite figured out what that will be. We'll think on it a little longer and present something in our first State of The Blog Address.

- Happy New Year. But enough "big" stuff. You all have yourselves a great new year celebration. Stay safe, stay weird, and we'll see you in 2007.

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An "Explanation" on Those RSS Explosions

Occasionally (read: every 5th post recently), readers of spanning_time through Livejournal (via Feedburner) occasionally get an explosion of recent (or not so recent) posts, the equivalent of a vomiting blog. Turns out the limitation is with the way LJ handles RSS feeds, which seems to combine with something Google does to cause some admittedly annoying behavior. Not working for Google or LJ, there's only so much we can do here, but if any of our techie readers have ideas, we're open to them. Here's the response from LJ:
LiveJournal removes content older than 14 days from the syndicated account. If you update an entry that has been posted more than 14 days ago, LiveJournal is forced to repost the entry, because it cannot edit the entry if it no longer exists.

If any entries that you have not touched are reposted, please open a new request at that time, so that the support volunteers may investigate the problem. Thank you for the link to the discussion; we will keep it in mind when we investigate similar reports.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Gift From Google

Thanks Google, an RSS explosion was just what I wanted!


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Merry Christmas from spanning_time

spanning_time wishes you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas (if you celebrate it). Here are our Youtube gifts to you:

1) A Charlie Brown Christmas - Even Christmas is fair game for copyright infringement.

2) A Lighting Extravaganza - spanning_time longs for the day when we have a house of our own to overdecorate at least once a year. Until then, we take solace in the work of others. This vid is from a house in Monroe so we recommend a road trip for those of you in the Seattle area.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

spanning_time in Foreign Lands

We'd love to be able to tell you that spanning_time's absence from the blogosphere since our arrival in Virginia has been because of all sorts of mirth and merriment. Instead, all we can report is that 1) seeing Sportscenter for 4 hours straight can become a Zen-like experience if you let it, and 2) CSI is giving Law and Order a run for its money as the show most likely to be on at all hours of the day (we've watched half a dozen episodes today at least). But that's...ok. We run ourselves pretty ragged in Seattle (check the I Go Out A Lot List) and the rest is a welcome change. But never mind that, here's some observations from our little jaunt to NYC (trust us, this dated content is far better than a recap of how we feel about the Allen Iverson trade):

- Rainer Maria - This is still not a music blog, but this band's last two shows were the reason we went to NYC in the first place, so it's worthy of at least a mention. Great shows, and wonderful goodbyes. If you want some "secret" content, here's a link to a recording of the Saturday night show.

- Jewmobiles - In what seemed to be a Jewish analogue to Santarchy, there were at least five different sightings of RVs and trucks decorated to celebrate Hanukkah (Happy Hanukkah y'all). Not content to just have signs on the sides of their vehicles, the occupants yelled at pedestrians from windows, questioning their Jewishness or singing Hebrew songs along with their amplified stereos. We admired their enthusiasm.

- Late-night food - self-explanatory

- Late-night misadventures - We were walking back to where we were staying at 3am and came across a guy standing in the street at 11 Spring (see below), trying to knock down a pair of wooden sneakers hanging on a power line. We watched him for a half-hour as he tossed a shoe repeatedly, trying to get these shoes for his girlfriends, who's wanted a pair for years. He eventually gave up for the night once an annoyed resident found his own entertainment in throwing things at him.

- 11 Spring - The former carriage house at 11 Spring was a mecca for street artists. They'd come from all over the world to leave their mark. When it was slated to be redeveloped as condos, the owners respected the history and contacted The Wooster Collective who then spent months flying in artists who left gorgeous murals all over the space, finally opening it up for three days before the art was lost forever behind drywall. spanning_time spent four hours in line before narrowly making it in, and it was totally worth it. Just check out this flickr pool for proof.

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The Next Cookoff Dish Is...

So the winner of the Mac & Cheese cookoff, the one and only FierceFlawless, has debated at length over the next dish to be produced in the friendly cookof series we seem to have started. After much deliberation over sweet vs. savory, complicated vs. simple, she's decided that the next dish is:

Fried Rice

The date for the next competition is still TBD, but we're going to need all the practice we can get. For all of the bragging we did over our Mac & Cheese (judge's favorite!), we have zero confidence in our rice-making abilities and have never been able to make anything more complicated than the instant variety.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

On the Road Again

spanning_time is on an east coast vacation until after the new year. We would have come back anyway, but we started the trip a bit early this year in order to see the final shows for one of our favorite bands in New York City (Rainer Maria in case you're curious). From there we headed to Virginia to visit the family (where we are now), and we'll be here until we head back to NYC for New Year's. As always, we'll be posting our misadventures in order to track our dominion over the world around us. We'll be attempting to keep tabs on Seattle happenings as well.

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R.I.P. Joe Barbera (1911-2006)

Joe Barbera, half of the Hanna Barbera duo that created the cartoons that acted as babysitters to our latchkey childhood (Jetsons, Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and so very many more), died Monday of natural causes. You can read the full details here, but we here at spanning_time want to send out a blog moment of silence to show our respect for all of his contributions to our lives. Thank you for doing your part to fuel our Peter Pan complex.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Three Links Plus One

1 - Ignite Seattle - This new entrant to the Seattle unconference family held its first edition Thursday and it was fun, with interesting talks, a bridge-building competition (with popsicle sticks and glue guns naturally), and a nice cross section of the tech and art scenes. Keep an eye out for it. The next two links featured represention.

2 - Mcleod Residence - We get more and more excited about the Mcleod Residence as we hear more about it. Combining, art, tech stuff, and a bar, we can't quite wrap out head around what it's going to be, but that's sorta the point.

3 - RealityAllStarz - It's like 43things, but with points instead of personal fulfillment (which isn't meant as a dig).

Bonus - Heroes - We were hoping that Heroes would do well this season, and it's become a full-blown phenomenon. We've wanted so much to talk about this show every week, but we managed to refrain. NBC has made a smart move though and put every episode online for viewing, so there's no reason for you to not be caught up by the time this season starts up again in January. Trust us, Heroes is way better than Lost (contains spoilers).

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The Cheezening in Review

We know we've kept you in suspense for the week, but we've only now awoken from the food coma of last week's Macaroni & Cheese cookoff. Gathering just after 8pm Sunday night, the three chefs each presented their take on this American classic, complemented with some fried chicken from Ezell's to make it all a bit more healthy. Eating and judging commenced immediately, as did the viewing of A Christmas Story.

We didn't win it all. We took home the Judge's Favorite award, along with the only score of 5 on the evening, but we didn't win. The lovely FierceFlawless took home the prize, and it was well-deserved. Her entrant boasted remarkable density without feeling heavy, with the right balance of cheese to noodle, with an underlying hint of spice. J-Justice went with larger noodles, and his cheese mixture was so creamy that "silky" becomes an apt descriptor. Our own version featured four cheeses and shells, giving each bite a surprise quality as the melted cheese oozed from its housing. As clichéed as it sounds, there truly were no losers, as our mac & cheese-filled meals over the next few days could attest.

One of the best developments during this competition was the decision that this should be a regular occurence. Initially proposed as monthly, this might be moved to quarterly, but that's still TBD. The winner decides the next dish (the next is still unannounced). So expect more cooking posts in the coming months. If you're up for competing, we're taking all comers.

As promised, here are the recipes:

via Puhleez
Special Notes:
Used 1/3 the flour
Used more cheese

via Martha Stewart
Special Notes:
Added 1/2 tsp of crushed garlic
Double the cayenne
Use large macaroni
Use both pecorino and gruyere, half of recommended of each

TwoRedShoez (Us):
via My Mom
1 12 oz. package macaroni shells
1 egg, beaten
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can evaporated milk
1 small container (8oz?) sour cream
1/2 cup diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced, sliced, whatever
Cheese - 2 1/2 cups (we're guessing, we just sorta made it up), half cheddar, rest mozzarella, provolone, parmesan mix
Optional: breadcrumbs mixed with thyme

- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Prepare macaroni, drain
- Sauté onions and garlic (while macaroni cooks)
- Combine cream of mushroom/evaporated milk. Stir (clumps are ok).
- In a large bowl, coat noodles with egg. Add cream of mushroom/milk. Add onion/garlic. Add cheese. Stir 'til uniform. Add sour cream.
- Add mixture to baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top.
- OPTIONAL: Brown breadcrumbs with butter in a pan. Sprinkle on top of mac & cheese mixture.
- Bake for 25 mins, until top is browned.

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Curling Open House Today 12-5pm

You all know how much we love curling. The grace, the science, the sweeping. We've missed every open house thus far this season, but we've finally remembered an open house on the day it was happening. Sure, there are plenty of options for things to do with yourself, but these open houses have some the best fun/$ ratios you'll find. With the Olympics being done you shouldn't have to contend with large crowds either.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Today is The Showdown

In 8 hours (at 7pm), we'll be testing our Mac & Cheese mettle against some of our finest friends. We've mentioned the competition already, but what we haven't mentioned is all of the prep work that's gone into this "friendly" competition, with the Internet scoured for tips on how to ensure ourselves a win. We already know that the secret ingredient is "love," but not only have we done a test run with some tweaks, we've researched just about everything in our current recipe to see if it can be improved. We truly think this is going to be our Mac & Cheese opus. Considering we're posting about it again it's safe to say we're a little nervous. More posting likely later during the prep process, and definitely with the results (the new plan is to not only post our own recipe, but all four competitors as well).


Friday, December 01, 2006

Stuff this Weekend

Saturday & Sunday
- Urban Craft Uprising: It's gift-buying season, and this is sure to be one of the best places to find something unique for both the ones you care about and the ones you're obligated to buy gifts for.

- Curling on the CBC: So what if it's not the Olympics? This is the first big curling competition of the season, and will be getting far more of our attention come Sunday than football will. More locally, there's an open house next week, so clear your calendar.

- Winterfest: This seems to be almost as grand in scale as Seafair, with ice skating, magic shows, jugglers and who knows what else, so whether you're with family or on some sort of date (even a quasi-date), this seems like a good option for the next month or so.

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