OMG, now I’m hungry for a drive

The “fab” Skoda advert, where you can have your cake and drive it too. OK, I admit part of the pavlovian response is the music – Julie Andrews singing the classic whiskers on kittens, which my daughter loves. But the cake car they built looks fabulous. And the commercial itself is pretty funny – along with the obvious music video editing emphasizing the dichotomy of industrial baking and a finished life-like model of an automobile – includes just one touching moment of one of the bakers taking a fingerfull of batter as they mix.

As RibaRambles points out (via many other sources) there’s a making of video as well.  Ooooh, you have to check out at 4:07 when they’re building such a complete cake replica of the engine itself that someone pours in chocolate engine oil into the top of the crankcase!
Now I need more dessert. Who cares if it’s thirds; it’s a holiday weekend.

The Good and the Bad of Human Behavior

Two diametric links about proper (or improper) human behavior I stumbled upon today I thought I would share.

Xiphias writes about fundamental rights, human behavior, and what our Constitution and Governments have to do with them – very little, in his eloquent and positively thought-provoking words. I just wish I could make trackbacks out of Livejournal.

things I think everyone should know
– Xiphias

Which reminds me of an interesting phrase I copied when writing some acceptable use guidelines for a work-hosted discussion database. Not something I enjoyed having to include, but important when your forum is actually owned by someone else (i.e. not a public street, etc.):

Correctly interpreted, the First Amendment does not prohibit all restrictions on speech. It doesn’t prohibit private restrictions at all. Our constitution is a series of constraints on government, not on individuals or even powerful corporations.
Wired, 4.03

On the other hand, we have The Prince re-imagined as The Little Prince, so to speak. A novel graphical view of Machiavelli, as wryly translated for children.

A Child’s Machiavelli
– Claudia Hart

Definitely something you don’t want your youngsters reading until they’ve found their own moral center (hopefully, one you approve of).

Put on your yamukla, it’s Radio Hanukkah!

With apologies to all 4 of my readers so far with being too late for you to sign up – free, no less, nu – to streaming XM 108, Radio Hanukkah, in time for the best hour of the day:

12/18    4-5PM ET
Continuous Klezmer
Host Annette Ezekiel of the Klezmer punkp band, Golem, traces the rise of this quintessential Jewish music form from Eastern Europe to the lower east side.

HT to Riba Rambles for the tip:  I’m going to sign up just to bump their demographics.

Tip: the password for the free XM Radio subscription (only this week, natch) is “TheChosen”.

Late for our anniversary – but well worth it

We were only a little late doing something for our anniversary, although I’m very late at blogging it.  But that’s OK; we actually did something nice this year.

At a friend’s blogged reccomendation, we tried the Craigie St. Bistrot for a nice dinner out – with the babysitter home with Roxanne!  At the risk of losing the price of a Happy Meal, I will tell the truth: it was wonderful.

The restaurant is almost tiny, hidden away in the basement of an apartment building.  As their website says, their kitchen is probably smaller than yours.  It’s intimate and very subtly but nicely decorated with touches of Frech whimsy and prints all around.  The waitstaff was amazing – not the formality, but certainly all the pleasantness and services you’d expect at any of the absolutely top places in town. I was wondering how the hierarchy of waitstaff went: what other restaurants do you have to work at first, and then where else, before you can work in a place like this.

Since it was our anniversary we got champagne cocktails from the chef to start with – a nice way to start, reminicent of Casablanca. Although the whole menu was tempting, we both went for the 3 course prix fixe, Amy for the veggie version.  Let’s see if I can remember all the wonderful things we had:

Amy had a warm green veggie soup (I forget what) – with an amazingly creamy green and fresh taste.  I had the tempura soft shell crab, perfectly done with some nice sauce and a bit of green stuff as a counter point (oh boy, I’m tired, can’t even remember what it was).

For dinner Amy had a sort of pasta primavera, so to speak: fresh veggies, with ricotta gnocci.  I had the softest, richest pork chop I’ve ever had.  I don’t know how they cooked it to such perfection: it’s not just getting it barely hot enough to cook it without drying; there was something much more – I didn’t know chops could be that – lucious.  I also went for the Vouvray for a glass of white with dinner – the waitress was just right in confirming the choice.  As IO and LR confirmed, while the wine list is only moderately sized (all French, by the way), it’s cheap for the caliber of food you get.

We got the desserts – which each came with a paired dessert wine.  They split the glasses, since we were splitting both desserts.  First a cheese plate – it was me, of course.  Goat, sheep, cow: each interesting and complex on many layers; plus good french bread, dates and sweet fruit, and a touch of bitter greens to cleanse in between.  Then a fruit crumble with a pistachio crumble topping.  Both wines were wonderful – very complex and appropriately sweet without being cloying, even a touch of dryness in one.  Heck, I’m a very dry fan, and I’d be happy drinking one of these with an appropriate dinner myself.
The funniest thing about the staff was the bathrooms.  It’s tiny: there is a front door, and the only other exit is a long twisting hallway that goes to both the kitchen and bathrooms.  Every time a patron goes to ‘go’, the staff quietly says “diner coming thru” and they all carefully get out of your way.

Menus change daily; they are printed shortly before the restaurant opens, after they’ve done their day’s shopping.  Deal that can’t be beat: Wed & Sun, at 9pm, they offer a Chef’s Whim tasting menu for only 39.95!  You’ll never know what it will be, but I can’t wait to try it.