Here’s a picture of a pretty lady to distract youse:
Photo caption goes here.
So upon further inspection of the WordPress default template layout, I found it to be incredibly object-oriented in design, which is a good thing. The people behind this content management system (CMS) blog are programmers but at the same time have proven their software can produce very beautiful presentation without looking too mechanical. But that’s not to say mechanical, or minimalistic, is necessarily undesirable (I don’t want to deal with the complexities of the guts).
Basically, the default components of a WordPress blog are:
And there’s a high probability that most web pages are designed like this, especially when there is navigation. A WordPress blog then becomes like a library card catalog (yikes, youngin’s won’t remember those) and visitors can easily access entries from past dates. Before CMS existed, most HTML designers were linking pages manually. I’ve found myself doing that to this day and it’s still a pain, especially when I want to post all sorts of junk simultaneously without having to worry about organization.
So far, I’ve been trying to really minimize the layout.
Reflecting on the act of photographing a subject, I find that digital cameras are more efficient. A user can point-and-shoot, and if the camera has an lcd preview screen, the user can get what we call “instant gratification,” see the shot as it was taken.
I’ve shot with a 35mm SLR and I love the precision in it’s focusing and exposure, but I’ve always detested the film development process. It’s one thing if the picture was exposed properly during shoot, but it’s another when the developer can ruin a perfectly exposed film. With a digital, the user doesn’t have to worry as long as he isn’t a complete luddite (anti-techie) or just plain incompetent with technology.
Of course, there is a big difference between how film photography and digital photography look. Just through history, photo enthusiasts have been conditioned to love the grain of film photos. But with the advent of ultra high resolution digital photos, emerging photographers are demonstrating that detail, “more power” and technology can still produce beautiful images without taking away from the artistic aspects of photography.
Therefore, not just anyone can pick up a digital camera and expect quality results. I’m not claiming to be a master photographer, but I do have some training in traditional photography. I believe that the training helps me in composition, lighting, exposure, and technique. I don’t just point and shoot, even though that’s the main selling point of most digitals.
And now the technology has caught up with itself. There’s the Nikon D3X, a 24 megapixel digital SLR. I would love to get one, but it’s a whopping $7,000! A DSLR with this much resolution can simulate a very high quality grain 35mm negative. Therefore, any interested users has to think about the payoff: invest seven grand now and start reproducing high quality 35mm photos, or continue to use the old 35mm SLR and continue to pay for rolls of film and possible third party developing? The costs add up. My personal goal would be the DSLR, if you can afford it now, it will pay for itself.
Sure, as I’ve said before, the looks of each media differ dramatically, but because of the existing digital tools, even digital images can simulate the film look via a plugin. But then again, why not embrace the high quality aspect of digital photography? Although the creation of photography was by accident (most technology is), the art always comes into play when the artist tries to recreate reality. Digital photos are looking more like reality, or more accurately, hyper reality (the human eye cannot see the hair follicle texture coming out of your nose).
My personal opinion is to embrace digital, but not to forget it’s ancestors and the practice. Anyone can take a picture, but not anyone can take a great picture.
Out of sheer boredom, I decided to make some onion “pancakes” today. Practice makes perfect. You start out with some all-purpose flour, about two handfuls. You add hot water to it and knead it until it becomes soft and elastic. I’ve found using a rolling pin helpful, but this kind of food calls for TLC. Make it right and it’ll taste right (see how I’m BS-ing?).
After letting the dough sit, roll it out like a pizza crust (tsk-tsk, Marco Polo). Rub some oil into the dough (I used sesame seed oil, but you can use what tastes best for you). Then chop up some green onions and sprinkle it on the outstretched dough. Roll that thing back up and roll it out thin (the thinner the better, but we’re not making wafers). That distributes the green onions evenly.
Heat up a frying pan with some oil in it. Put the stretched dough on there and sear it nice like a tortilla. Flip it over and sear the other side. When it’s done, it should be crispy on the outside, but chewy in the middle. This is the same dough used to make pot stickers, also known as wonton wraps.
Don’t forget to salt it unless you like it plain. Otherwise, you can make a salty sauce. I usually concoct a sauce consisting of “chicken fun zew” (you know, the red chili sauce with the rooster on it), fish sauce, and lime juice. However, today we didn’t have that so I made a similar sauce with soy sauce, sesame oil and lime juice.
The first one I messed up. It was too crispy and became a cracker. The second one I made better because I added more water. It was flakey, aromatic, and satisfying. That must have taken at least 3 hours, which was mainly kneading. As they say, gotta eat!
After exhausting the search for any mention of Mienh-style liang fen (translated from Chinese means “cold noodles”), I decided the burden was up to me to document one of my favorite home-cooked dishes.
If you do a search for “liang fen” through Google (or Yahoo, sigh), you can find a variety of ways the originators prepare it. Make sure you use the image search for a better idea of the diversity. Apparently, the Chinese don’t eat the liang fen with a soup. It seems they prepare it with a sauce, a dollop of flavor. Methinks that Marco Polo missed this treat so much on his trip to “the Orient” that when he returned home, sa-pa-ghe-tee was born.
Anyway, here’s an idea of similar dish from Southeast Asia:
I’d provide the recipe, but I have no idea how to make it. Only how to eat it. Har.
I want to avoid calling “thuppo wum” “soymilk” because if my memory serves me correctly, Ming Tsai explained the difference between soymilk and soyjuice distinctly. I can’t quote him on it, but soymilk is when the soy bean is grinded back in with the boiled juice. On the other hand, soy juice is the byproduct of boiling the soy beans in water, then discarding the beans. And having tasted Yeo’s versus the craptastic “healthy” soymilk, I would think that Yeo’s doesn’t serve me any benefit besides satisfying my sweet tooth and that is the one I prefer.
I don’t want to call Yeo’s Soy Bean Drink soymilk because, for the obvious reason, Yeo’s doesn’t call it soymilk. It might technically be processed as soymilk, but that stuff goes down smooth so I don’t think there is a high ratio of beans in there if any. Unlike that nasty Silk, which looks like baby formula and tastes like a mouthful of glue, Yeo’s is sweet and light.
And to make a reference to another Asian drink I enjoy, there’s Vitasoy’s Coconut Soya Drink, which is a blend of cocunut and soy. It’s a creamy, sweet and even blend and for the American taste buds, it’s a refreshing tropical flavor that isn’t too alienating. Is it better than Piña colada? Sometimes. I’m a sucker for either one, as long as you’re paying.