December 2012January 2013 February 2013

01/31 - Dungeness Spit - Let The Good Tides Roll

We're having some good tides at Dungeness Spit this winter. For example, there was a low tide below three feet around 12:30 today, and there was a lot of sand on the beach which made for easy walking. We saw a few eagles, a number of sea birds and the usual assortment of kelpies, that is, blobs of kelp that look like sea birds. There is another round of good tides coming up in mid-February, around Valentine's Day in fact, so we'll be watching our tide tables and hoping for good weather.

Keywords: birds, dungeness, dungeness spit, tides, winter, eagle

01/29 - Rover's Is Closing

One of our favorite restaurants in Seattle is closing. We've long been fans of Rover's, a restaurant serving in the classical French style, but with an emphasis on ingredients from the Northwest. We almost always had the grand tasting menu, usually paired with wine. This isn't a very popular style of dining anymore. It's too formal for some, but we have enjoyed and still enjoy it greatly. So, we are going to miss Rover's when it closes around the end of April. It had a 25 year run, and that is a good long run, but it still feels like the end of an era.

Keywords: restaurants, seattle

01/28 - Interesting Stuff on the Strait

The waves were actually a lot wilder than this, but as soon as we raised our camera the ocean stilled. We waited a good long time to catch some of the serious waves and wild water, but these pictures will have to do.

Some spray

A bit more spray - The real spray was suppressed by camera action.

A rendezvous at sea

Keywords: morse creek

01/18 - Lissajou Figures

If you ever watched any science fiction movies from back in the 1950s or 1960s, before modern computer generated special effects, you almost certainly have seen a Lissajou figure, a strangely wobbly figure traced on an oscilloscope screen. They were one of the weirdest things you could make appear on an oscilloscope screen without a great deal of trouble. All you needed were two signal generators, and there you were, in science fiction land.

There are a number of Lissajou figure generators on the internet, but most of them require Java. Right now Java is having its own special effects crisis as a security risk, so it is time for a replacement. This generator uses HTML5, so it will run in most newer browsers, though it may not run in some older ones. Click this link and go play. There are two parameters, generally small integers, you can adjust, and you can drag your cursor across the phase shift rectangle to make the figure "rotate". It's a spacey effect. Sometimes it will appear to be rotating horizontally, but if you tilt your head you will see that it is rotating vertically as well. (Try 5, 4 for that.)

Click the image to generate your own Lissjou figures.

Keywords: science, art

01/14 - A Simple Mock Choucroute

Christmas 2012 was a choucroute year, and as it turned out we had an extra jar of sauerkraut sitting around in the refrigerator. We also had a few extra german and polish sausages from Sunrise Meats in the freezer. So, we decided to throw in a bottle of dark beer and make a simple choucroute.

At its simplest, a choucroute is just a hot dog with sauerkraut, but there are refinements. For example, we boiled the sausages in beer and we boiled the sauerkraut in beer. We put the kraut and sausages in a glass oven dish, topped it with a d'Artagnan smoked duck breast and baked it for a half hour to render some of the duck fat.

It was pretty good. In retrospect, we should have added a few juniper berries, but overall, the dish was a success.

Keywords: recipe

01/12 - New Farm at the Farmers' Market

This is a sparse time at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market. A few regulars have been stalwart: Johnston Farms, the Korean Garlic Lady, and Nash Huber, offering a nice selection of winter vegetables: brussels sprouts, potatoes, squash, collards, kale and the like. Clark Farm has been there offering beef, pork and lamb - a veritable conglomerate, despite their failure to capture the geese in time for Christmas. (Wait until next year.)

However, there was one newcomer, Spring Rain Farm and Orchard was in from Chimacum offering a variety of winter squashes, preserves, eggs, and chickens. The birds are a French breed, so we bought one. It's a large roaster, so stay tuned to this site. We'll be roasting and taste testing soon.

UPDATE - 1/25/13 - We have tasted the bird, simply roasted, and it was delicious.

The new farm at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market

Keywords: farmers' market, farms, garlic lady, johnston farm, nash huber, port angeles, winter, kale, spring rain

01/10 - White Snow, Black Water

We hiked up the Lake Angeles trail to the little bridge. Most of the path was pretty easy going, but after the Big Rock, about 500 feet above the parking lot, there was snow and ice on the path. We put on our Yak Tracks and continued. Every little streamlet crossing the trail was a torrent, and there was water running down the trail itself which made for sloggy going. We pressed on and were well rewarded.

We didn't cross the bridge.

Snow covered trees

More winter contrast

Water on the trail

The curtain of drips, in full drip

White water, this time

More wild water

Keywords: lake angeles, winter

December 2012January 2013 February 2013