Apr 272005

Passover is this week. I generally do not keep kosher for most of the year, but I do keep somewhat kosher for Passover. By that, I mean that I do not eat wheat, spelt, barley, oats, and rye unless they are served as matzoh. Many people are confused by the term kosher. Quite simply, kosher means is food that is prepared according to Jewish dietary laws. (Kosher is similar to Hallal in Islam; one translation for kosher is “legal”.) Kosher does not mean blessed by a rabbi, foods like bagels and corned beef, or sacred. (I have heard all of these statements in general conversation.) There are many website where you can get more information about kosher food.

Some typical rules regarding kosher food include a prohibition on eating milk with meat and not eating pork (pigs do not have cloven hooves and chew their own cud). I do not typically follow these rules. However, the rules for Passover are slightly different. Passover is meant to commemorate the freedom of the Hebrews from slavery. As they were fleeing from Egypt, there was no time to let bread rise. Matzoh is meant to remind us of this journel from Egypt. It is also known as the bread of affliction. The only ingredients in matzoh are flour and water.

There are many other rules regarding keeping kosher for Passover; I do not necessarily follow them. Rules regarding “kitniyot” seem especially unnecessary. These rules pertain to the eating of grains like corn and rice. Although other grains like quinoa are okay. As I said, some of the rules seem a bit unnecessary. I also do not get rid of all food with leavening.

I keep kosher because I think it is important to remember that to enslave another human being is wrong. Or, as it is written in most haggadahs, “Once we were slaves in Egypt.” (The haggadah is the book that accompanies the seder feast; the seder feast describes meals that begin Passover.) I don’t think it is such a silly thing to commemorate. You can read more about Passover at Wikipedia; Utah Hillel also has a great writeup about Passover.

Some foods I like but don’t eat during Passover:

  • Beer
  • Pizza
  • Bread (including Nan)
  • Pancakes
  • French Toast
  • Sandwiches
  • Pasta
  • Foods fried in batter (French fries are okay)
 Posted by at 6:02 pm
Apr 232005

I think I can officially say that my S400 has bit the bullet. It has been failing for a while now. Every other time I went to use the camera, it would display “Memory Card Error.” Now, all I get is E51 or “Memory Card Error.” It isn’t a memory card problem. I have tried a couple of different cards; all have the same result. The camera is out of warranty, and I have a couple of options. I can send the camera to Canon to have it repaired. They will evaluate the problem at no cost; the repair cost is generally $150 or $300. I can trade in my current camera for a factory refurbished S410 for $175. Or I can buy a new camera. A new S410 is around $350. A S500 is $400. And a SD500, the camera I have been lusting after, is $450-$500.

Before making a decision, I will send my current camera into Canon to see how much it will cost to fix. I am not happy that my camera is not working. My friends Sharon and Mark got married today, and I wasn’t able to take photos. Of course, many other people had cameras, but it isn’t the same.

 Posted by at 9:39 pm
Apr 162005

Trekkies engage (and rage) is a short piece from Regret the error, a web site that reports on corrections published in the media. I think they post a few too many times per day, but every now and then there are some great posts. Remember: never piss of the Star Trek fans.

Scalia Subjected to Probing Question, the Aftermath publishes a letter from Eric Berndt, a student at the NYU School of Law. Berndt asked Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, “Do you sodomize your wife?” Before you judge him too quickly, read his letter over. It is an eloquent defense of gay rights and free speech. The letter also puts his question into context, and I think it is necessary reading for anyone who thinks that gays are not discriminated against in our country. The letter was published by Wonkette, a news site with a funny, salacious editor.

I am now lusting after the Canon PowerShot SD500, a seven megapixel ultra-compact camera from Canon. There are only a couple of minor problems with this camera, but I love how tiny it is. I saw one at the Final Four, and it looks even better in real life than it does on the web site. This isn’t to say that I have lost my love for the Canon EOS 20D or the Canon EOS-1D Mark II, but they are entirely different cameras. These cameras, and many more, are reviewed at Digital Photography Review, one of the most comprehensive websites covering digital photography.

 Posted by at 11:16 am
Apr 132005

I went to Serendipity 3 with a friend of mine of the weekend. We had a really good time. We both hadn’t eaten dinner yet, and by the time we finished our meals, we were both too full for dessert. Next time, I will get the Frozen Hot Chocolate. (I had a cheese burger with a side of chili. Decent burger and decent chili.)

Serendipity 3 is decorated with stained glass and Tiffany lamps.
The ceiling of Serendipity 3

 Posted by at 8:44 pm
Apr 062005

Last night, I returned from St. Louis where Sports Illustrated was covering the Men’s Final Four, the Division I College Basketball tournament. I was pleasantly surprised by St. Louis. I didn’t think I would have a very good time, and I was delighted to say that it was quite nice. My opinion may be colored by the fact that I was in a nice hotel and that our handling of the event went really well. My favorite meal in St. Louis was at 1111 Mississippi. It had a great wine list, nice relaxed service, a casual atmosphere and delicious food.

St. Louis Arch
The arch in St. Louis was much more impressive than I thought it would be. It soars high into the sky, and the surface looks really great.

Muscovy Duck
I went to the park with Geoff on Saturday afternoon. We wanted to go to the Botanical Garden, but we received incorrect directions from the Concierge. We ended up taking the Metro to the wrong station. When we got out, no one could give us directions on the bus, and very few of the bus signs had any indication of the bus that stopped there. Apparently, in St. Louis, only poor people take the bus. We saw this duck in the park. James and I both think it is a muscovy duck. Birders, any opinions? It was around twice the side of the mallard ducks nearby.

Rich Clarkson
I met Rich Clarkson a few years ago in the Sports Illustrated offices. He is a very experienced sports and news photographer. This was his 50th time shooting the Final Four. Dave Klutho, one of the photographers at SI, threw a party for him at his house. Dave lives in a suburb of St. Louis. Rich has a ton of great stories–from stories that every photographer experiences to stories that only a few people in the world have experienced. For example, he has a couple of great stories from when he was a wire photographer at the trial in Holcomb, Kansas that Truman Capote covered in his book In Cold Blood. The party was great, and I think Rich had a great time.

 Posted by at 6:36 pm
%d bloggers like this: