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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Protest sign from sanity rally


In which Menticia and I make delicious tv-dinner style baked chicken breasts

Menticia and I finally finished reading "The Lovely Bones" in Spanish (it's called 'Desde mi cielo') and as a reward to ourselves we made dinner, then watched the movie as we ate. Completing my nostalgia moment, we had Pepperidge Farm turnovers for dessert (a favorite from my childhood). This was the main course.

Oven-fried (oven baked) chicken tv-dinner style

1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1-2 tablespoons mustard
1/2 teaspoon of whatever spice you like: we chose blackened creole mix
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
3 minced cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds of skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and put a cake-cooling (or other kind of) rack on the aluminum foil. Spray the rack with cooking spray.

Our package of chicken had three big breasts in it. We put each in a plastic grocery bag, smashed it flat (so it was the same thickness throughout), and then cut it in half so we had six pieces.

In a smallish lasagna pan we whisked the first six ingredients together, put in the six flattened pieces of chicken breast, and went off to watch "The Lovely Bones" for an hour while the chicken marinated.

We whirred the bread crumbs in the food processor with the oil and salt and pepper and put this dry mix on a plate. We lifted the pieces of chicken out of the marinade and coated them with the dry topping (don't put on a ton - just enough to cover), then gently laid them on the rack.

Bake for about 25 minutes.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Aviva Enoch and Jane Peppler cd release and Hannukah party - concert November 21 at Temple Beth El in Durham

Jeez, I've been very busy lately and I want to write about it, but first I wanted to say, if you're around here please come to our concert. Hanukkah is very early this year. We'll have cds for sale, and also songbooks of various kinds, and a klezmer tunebook.

Freylach Time, a local klezmer band, will be joining us, and also Bob Vasile of the Pratie Heads.

Call 383-8952 for more info.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

[Hannah]: Adam Smith

"What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, who is out of debt, and who has a clear conscience?"
- Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In which Ezra, Superman, Jethro and I explore our new domain

Quite a few years ago I was unsuccessfully sued by the owner of this piece of land-locked land which abuts my property - he wanted to put a driveway from his place onto my driveway so he could develop this parcel.

He was an extremely elderly African American man who told me his grandmother had received the property after the Civil War and that she had never had road access to it - she walked in along the railroad tracks.

His son had the land logged a few years ago, and this week he called me and offered the property at a very good price, so I bought it.

Today Ez and I took Superman and Jethro on a tour. We found the foundation and hitched the equids to trees so we could explore it (Jethro immediately tied himself in knots around hist tree). We admired the chimney of the grandmother's cabin, and some rusted pots that might have been hers.

In all, we found four deer stands (one of which had many apples and handfuls of corn strewn around it, immediately gobbled by our companions). Also rusted things that have been used as target practice and a 4-wheeler trail.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Green roof housebuilding in Norway

What about bugs and mud falling in your soup? From Amusing Planet.

Friday, October 08, 2010

The death of CDs contemplated, as I complete another one. Will it be the last?

In about a week, my latest cd (see below this box) will be coming back from Oasis Disk Manufacturing. I didn't order very many because look:

Best Buy Finally Figures Out People Don't Buy CDs: Reacting to fading sales in most types of disc-based entertainment, Best Buy plans to slash shelf space for CDs and DVDs, making room for things that sell better, which encompasses just about everything else at Best Buy.
RIP, CD: Best Buy to Cut CDs, DVDs: Retail giant Best Buy (BBY) is set to slash the store space it allocates to compact discs and DVDs this holiday season, in a tacit acknowledgment that those products are going the way of the buggy whip... It's the latest blow for the beleaguered compact disc, increasingly viewed as a throwback to a former era.

CD Sales Plummet To Worst In Decades: Nielsen Soundscan data shows that CD sales have plummeted to the lowest numbers the industry has ever seen.

For years music fans would hear a song they like, and then proceed to buy the CD because that was their only option to own the song. Now, fans can log onto iTunes, Amazon, or even right on their mobile phone and download just the song that they want. Why spend $12 when you can just spend $0.99?

Is the death of the CD looming? "Show me a teenager buying a Susan Boyle album on CD and I'll show you someone buying a gift for their grandparent -- for Christmas ... There is definitely an age component to the consumption of music."

There's no sense moaning about it.
  • You can't even buy a cd player to go with your stereo system at Walmart any more - there are only dvd units which happen to also play cds (but not very well);

  • Everybody I know is downloading music. Nobody I know is buying cds.

  • Anybody who happens for some odd reason to buy a cd immediately rips the tracks onto a computer or iPod or something.

Anyway, this my new album, I made it with pianist Aviva Enoch, you can buy it if you're of a mind to: I Can't Complain but sometimes I still do - Yiddish songs - available from Skylark Productions - which is to say, I'll stick one in an envelope and put a stamp on it and mail it to you. It's a cottage industry.

There are boxes of probably never-to-be-sold cds in my attic (a.k.a. the Skylark Productions warehouse); there were boxes of cassettes up there for a decade before I got up the energy to throw them away...

I'm trying to go with the flow. You can buy most of my stuff as mp3 downloads on Amazon - Mappamundi and Pratie Heads in the mp3 section - and as of today I've succeeded in getting one of Skylark Productions albums on iTunes, more to follow. Here it is: New Hope Harmony a capella gospel on iTunes!

I can see good things about this. We could make "albums" that never existed in a physical form - just record a bunch of tracks, paint a cover, and zip them right up on to the internet!

Also, these days, they say, music is like a utility, like water that pours out of a faucet, people want a lot of it and don't really think about where it comes from - so does that mean nobody will care that the wonderful a cappella gospel group New Hope Harmony hasn't actually existed for many years? I have a lot of great old music in my attic - it would be fun if a bunch of people who maybe weren't even around when we made it might hear it again some day.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Hanukkah is early this year! Get your Mappamundi Klezmer Tunebook now!!

While I'm waiting for "I Can't Complain" to come back from the printer, I decided I was tired of having stacks of old klezmer tune charts around the house, because we never can find the right one when we need it. So I put ALL our favorite tunes, all the ones we play at weddings, festivals and concerts, into this book.

You can buy it, with a coil-binding so it opens nicely on a music stand, at The Mappamundi Klezmer Tunebook. I set the price as low as I could (12.90), coil binding is expensive. I can buy a large coke and a McDouble hamburger for what I make when you buy a book! But it would make me happy to have it out there. Great Hannukah present!