Monday, August 26, 2013

Apple iPhone 5s

There are rumors that there will be an Apple event scheduled for September 10, most likely at 10:00AM to announce new products including the iPhone 5s and the 5c.  I love these things, and have often followed them by keeping track of some guy who is in the audience updating his blog with his phone.  Apple has not, as of yet, said a word.  BUT they have started training for a trade in service for old iPhones.  The new iPhones are rumored to go on sale the 20th of September. (Or waiting-half-the-day-in-line day.)

The new 5S is rumored to have a 13 or 17 MP camera with an f2 lens.  The 5 had an f2.8 lens to an 8 MP sensor.  Other improvements in the rumor mill, a silver/gray and a champagne gold color option added to the black and white.  There is supposed to be a fingerprint sensor built into the home button.  This rumor started when Apple bought a fingerprint sensor company.  Also rumored, a 128GB model.  (A-sweeeeeeet!) The phone is said to be speeded up a third with the A7 processor.  No word on battery life.  Also, no word on the features of the 5c.

With an f2 lens which is a stop faster, and 13 to 17 MP sensor, I'm going to start actively looking for fine art photographs.  It is the perfect limiting camera.  You only have one lens, slightly wide, about a 35mm lens if it were a 35mm film camera.  It should have fairly low depth of field, another thing that's limiting.  Awesome for fine art photographers.  

My contract with Sprint allows me to get a new phone September 1st.  So if you're looking for me after the 20th, I'll most likely be somewhere with my new camera, looking for images and cleaning my lens.  Call me because my camera is also my phone...If I'm not in your front yard photographing your flowers.  

I will update this article the minute things change.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Latte Art...


The first thing I do every morning is make coffee drinks for my fiancé and me, and whomever else in the house wants them.  I used to make a trip to Starbucks every day, but that became a little costly.  Not saying anything against Starbucks, I think that is a wonderful company.  When I'm taking the girls to school, I still stop there to give them a treat in the morning before class.  But...


We invested in a pretty pricey espresso machine.  The Breville  BES900XL Semi Automatic espresso machine.  I have had four or five lower cost espresso machines before, and they all produced coffee.  Really strong coffee, but this machine makes honest to goodness espresso with a heavy dose of crema.  It has two boilers also, so I can steam milk at the same time I'm pulling the shots.  

That, combined with the Lincoln Avenue Coffee Company beans that we use.  Those coffee beans are of the finest roast I've ever come across.  They are roasted by a friend of mine in Yakima, Washington.  Espresso made from his beans tastes like really stout ale.  We stock up, and buy 5 to 12 pounds of it every time we go to Yakima.  So, if you're near there, try it!

The way you can tell if you're producing really good steamed milk and espresso, when you finally mix them together, you can draw on top of what you have created.  The more control you have in your drawing, the better the drink.  For the most part, I have pretty good control.  No giraffes or anything, but I can always draw a polar bear.  I love to draw something really cute on Diane's mocha every morning, think of an equally cute one liner, and deliver them both to her when she first opens her eyes from a good night's sleep.  That always brings a smile to her face.  

My only tools, besides the espresso machine, are the little pitcher, a spoon, and the thermometer.  I pull the shots of coffee, and mix in the mocha syrup.  Then I steam the milk and pour it on top of the espresso, with the finest foam first.  I sometimes have to block the big foam with a spoon.  When all of the fine bubbled foam have been drained and mixed, I make a shape with the foam on top of the drink.  This makes the canvas.  The paint brush is the thermometer, and the pigment is the mocha.

I have several that I'm particularly proud. The mochas with Alf, Mickey Mouse, The Pink Panther, and Winny the Pooh are among my favorites.  Also the mochas I've made for Pat, my future brother in law, with the skull and Ayatollah Khomeini on them.  But the Cabo Wabo laced Mocha with Sammy Hagar on it...Well...That's the one that I just doodled at the spur of the moment. It probably is my favorite.

They take less then 3 minutes to draw, and between 3 to 10 minutes to drink.  They're my performance art. 

I'm starting to make 3D polar bears, lurking in the mocha, just waiting until someone sips them.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tequila Bottles...

For the past two years I've been collecting Cabo Wabo tequila bottles.  First for my fiancé's sister's husband who had a project that they were perfect for, and then, we'll there had to be a reason.......You know?  

We go through quite a bit of Cabo Wabo, margaritas take 2 cups a pitcher. We had about a pitcher every week or two. I collected 34 bottles.  That seems a little extreme until you realize there is 52 weeks a year, and she has three teenagers and a guy with a brain injury. And I was doing research.

It looked like they would make perfect center pieces at the wedding.  But that decor was vetoed.  

Today I recycled all 34 bottles.  I plan to save the stoppers in a vase, like wine connoisseur. So if anyone questions the stoppers, I'll pick up one, sniff it and say, "Ah yes, harvested after a storm during the summer two years after Van Halen broke up for a second time..."

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Margarita Recipes!

Blueberry Margarita

2 cups Cabo Wabo Blanco
2 cups lime/lemon juice
2 cups Blueberry juice
1 cup Cointreau or triple sec
3/4 cup Blue Agave Nectar

First, measure 3/4 cup agave nectar in a 2 cup measuring cup. Let it drizzle into a 2 quart pitcher.  Then measure the tequila and orange liqueur using the same cup, and pour them into the pitcher, rinsing all of the nectar.

Juice one lemon and enough limes to make 2 cups juice.  Add to pitcher.

Juice 2 cups of blueberry juice.  Add and stir like you're a new superhero, The Tornado or the Cyclone.

Then invite three friends over for a House party.  Watch a season of House and anytime Lupus is mentioned, take a drink.
This is a suspension, it is not a solution, it requires a stir every time it's enjoyed.


Grapefruit  Margarita

2 cups Cabo Wabo Blanco
2 cups lime/lemon juice
2 cups Grapefruit juice
1 cup Cointreau or triple sec
3/4 cup Blue Agave Nectar

First, measure 3/4 cup agave nectar in a 2 cup measuring cup. Let it drizzle into a 2 quart pitcher.  Then measure the tequila and orange liqueur using the same cup, and pour them into the pitcher, rinsing all of the nectar.

Juice one lemon and enough limes to make 2 cups juice.  Add to pitcher.

Juice 2 cups of grapefruit juice.  Add and stir like you're Jane Fonda making an exercise video.

Then you might as well watch a season of Castle from start to finish, because after two glasses, you're not gonna want to do much more.

This is a suspension, it is not a solution, it requires a stir every time it's enjoyed.


Watermelon Margarita

2 cups Cabo Wabo Blanco
1 1/2 cups lime/lemon juice
2 1/2 cups watermelon juice
1 cup Cointreau or triple sec
3/4 cup Blue Agave Nectar

First, measure 3/4 cup agave nectar in a 2 cup measuring cup. Let it drizzle into a 2 quart pitcher.  Then measure the tequila and orange liqueur using the same cup, and pour them into the pitcher, rinsing all of the nectar.

Juice one lemon and enough limes to make 2 cups juice.  Add to pitcher.


Take a small seedless watermelon, juice 2 1/2 cups of juice in a blender, or juicer, sans rind. Add it to the pitcher.  Stir like you're rowing from a shark.

While you're enjoying one, get out your Seinfeld DVDs, I think it's season 2 or 3...watch "The Contest" that one just cracks me up!
This is a suspension, it is not a solution, it requires a stir every time it's enjoyed.


Pineapple/Grapefruit  Margarita


2 cups Cabo Wabo Blanco
1 1/2 cups lime/lemon juice
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1 cup Grapefruit juice
1 cup Cointreau or triple sec
3/4 cup Blue Agave Nectar

First, measure 3/4 cup agave nectar in a 2 cup measuring cup. Let it drizzle into a 2 quart pitcher.  Then measure the tequila and orange liqueur using the same cup, and pour them into the pitcher, rinsing all of the nectar.

Juice one lemon and enough limes to make 1 1/2 cups juice.  Add to pitcher.

Juice 1 cup of grapefruit juice.  Add to pitcher.

Skin and quarter a large pineapple.  Remove the core.  Cut up into little pieces.  Blend/liquefy.  Strain out the pulp leaving 1.5 cups.  Add to pitcher.  Stir like you mean it.

You've done a lot of work, you deserve a margarita! Have one...or two...but not three.  Three will ruin your day.

This is a suspension, it is not a solution, it requires a stir every time it's enjoyed.


Blue Margarita

2 cups Cabo Wabo Blanco
2 cups lime/lemon juice
2 cups water
1 cup blue curaçao
3/4 cup Blue Agave Nectar


First, measure 3/4 cup agave nectar in a 2 cup measuring cup. Let it drizzle into a 2 quart pitcher.  Then measure the tequila and orange liqueur using the same cup, and pour them into the pitcher, rinsing all of the nectar.  Add water.


Juice one lemon and enough limes to make 2 cups juice.  


Add to pitcher.  Stir like there is no tomorrow...or at least like there is no next Tuesday!

On the 4th of July, try this, moisten the rim of your margarita glass with lime juice and dip it in decorative red sugar. 


This is a suspension, it is not a solution, it requires a stir every time it's enjoyed.


Green Margarita

2 cups Cabo Wabo Blanco or Reposata
2 cups lime/lemon juice
2 cups water
1 cup Cointreau or triple sec
3/4 cup Blue Agave Nectar
1 shot of blue curaçao


First, measure 3/4 cup agave nectar in a 2 cup measuring cup. Let it drizzle into a 2 quart pitcher.  Then measure the tequila and clear orange liqueur using the same cup, and pour them into the pitcher, rinsing all of the nectar.  Stir.  Add the shot of blue curaçao.  Stir.  GREEN!  Add water.

Juice one lemon and enough limes to make 2 cups juice.  Add to pitcher.  Stir like you are a scientist developing a new source of energy...the Margaritatron!

Now, if you've ever wondered what all the Area 51 hoopla was about, after a couple of these, you won't care.  In fact, if aliens did attack, they'd come to your door, you would probably graciously offer them one.
This is a suspension, it is not a solution, it requires a stir every time it's enjoyed.



Strawberry Margarita

2 cups Cabo Wabo Blanco
2 cups lime/lemon juice
2 cups strawberry juice
1 cup Cointreau or triple sec
3/4 cup Blue Agave Nectar


First, measure 3/4 cup agave nectar in a 2 cup measuring cup. Let it drizzle into a 2 quart pitcher.  Then measure the tequila and orange liqueur using the same cup, and pour them into the pitcher, rinsing all of the nectar.

Juice one lemon and enough limes to make 2 cups juice.  Add to pitcher.


Blend/liquefy enough strawberries, when most of the pulp and seeds are strained out, there is 2 cups of juice.  Add and stir baby, stir!

Careful, drinking too much of this doesn't just lower your inhibitions, it will plummet them through the center of the earth, and up to China, where they will probably get drunk, flirt with everybody, and end up pregnant.  And that's what everybody needs, drunk, pregnant inhibitions.
This is a suspension, it is not a solution, it requires a stir every time it's enjoyed.

Raspberry Margarita


2 cups Cabo Wabo Blanco
2 cups lime/lemon juice
2 cups raspberry juice
1 cup Cointreau or triple sec
3/4 cup Blue Agave Nectar


First, measure 3/4 cup agave nectar in a 2 cup measuring cup. Let it drizzle into a 2 quart pitcher.  Then measure the tequila and orange liqueur using the same cup, and pour them into the pitcher, rinsing all of the nectar.

Juice one lemon and enough limes to make 2 cups juice.  Add to pitcher.


Blend/liquefy enough raspberries, when most of the pulp and seeds are strained out, there is 2 cups of juice.  Add and stir.


This is a suspension, it is not a solution, it requires a stir every time it's enjoyed.

Lemon  Margarita


2 cups Cabo Wabo Blanco
2 cups lemon juice
2 cups water
1 cup Cointreau or triple sec
3/4 cup Blue Agave Nectar


First, measure 3/4 cup agave nectar in a 2 cup measuring cup. Let it drizzle into a 2 quart pitcher.  Then measure the tequila and orange liqueur using the same cup, and pour them into the pitcher, rinsing all of the nectar.  Add water.

Juice two cups of lemon juice.  Add to pitcher.  Stir.


This is a suspension, it is not a solution, it requires a stir every time it's enjoyed.

Pineapple Margarita


2 cups Cabo Wabo Blanco
1.5 cups lime/lemon juice
2.5 cups pineapple juice
1 cup Cointreau or triple sec
3/4 cup Blue Agave Nectar


First, measure 3/4 cup agave nectar in a 2 cup measuring cup. Let it drizzle into a 2 quart pitcher.  Then measure the tequila and orange liqueur using the same cup, and pour them into the pitcher, rinsing all of the nectar.

Juice one lemon and enough limes to make 2 cups juice.  Add to pitcher.


Skin and quarter a large pineapple.  Remove the core.  Cut up into little pieces.  Blend/liquefy.  Strain out the pulp leaving 2.5 cups.  Add to pitcher.  Stir.


This is a suspension, it is not a solution, it requires a stir every time it's enjoyed.


Mango  Margarita

2 cups Cabo Wabo Blanco
2 cups lime/lemon juice
2 cups Mango juice
1 cup Cointreau or triple sec
3/4 cup Blue Agave Nectar


First, measure 3/4 cup agave nectar in a 2 cup measuring cup. Let it drizzle into a 2 quart pitcher.  Then measure the tequila and orange liqueur using the same cup, and pour them into the pitcher, rinsing all of the nectar.

Juice one lemon and enough limes to make 2 cups juice.  Add to pitcher.


Blend/liquefy enough mangos, when the pulp is strained out, there is 2 cups of juice.  Add and stir.


This is a suspension, it is not a solution, it requires a stir every time it's enjoyed.


*With a juicer, Such as the Breville Juice Fountain Elite, juicing everything but the citrus is easy.