Thursday, April 30, 2009

My favorite image transformation

I love messing with photos.  I have no training or talent but it sure is fun.  I used the free program Picnik.Com for the transformation of the photo below.

The coolest part was turning a black and white photo to color.  

Monday, April 13, 2009

Momofuku and the Chicken Wing Test

[This blogware stinks. Some links were added manually.]

I was writing this post at Amicci's bar, but the conversation of a couple next to me kept jabbing in like the cold nose of a beagle. They were a young man and woman whose stiff questions and forced anecdotes gave the appearance of a first date. I usually flee from that situation for my own sanity. That night I decided to stay and write down some of their words in between my own. And now ... voyeuristic noodle theater.

Chip: Gulps from a heady pint of Moretti La Rossa. "You're part Polish? Do you know where the term 'dumb pollock' comes from?"
Chip launches into a history of the Poles' resistance to Nazi mechanized cavalry (tanks) with horse cavalry.  
Ashley: "Oh" and then sips Michelob Ultra from the bottle.
Too much yap-yap junior jarhead, slow our roll.
So, delicious ramen noodles, where are you from?  
The process for turning traditional ramen into packaged noodles was pioneered by Momofuku Ando, the founder of Nissin Foods in Japan. In 1970 Nissin introduced Top Ramen to the United States. It was even named the greatest Japanese invention of the century in a poll. Ramen is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese lamian or lo mein, meaning "hand-pulled noodles".  
How am I going to weave these threads together? It's like knitting ramen with chopsticks.  
Chip: "The girl I'm gonna marry is 13 years old right now."
Ashley: Icy Michelob Ultra silence.
What? Back pedaling, Chip explains that he doesn't want to get married for at least ten years, but ewwww. He then orders a shot of Corazón tequila to add some luster to his pervy patina. If this is a date, it just circled the drain.
Quick, change the topic. I used to eat the raw ramen like snacks. I saved the unused flavor packets in a drawer for seasoning or soup later. That never happened.
Chip: Switches to Clipper City Loose Cannon. "For a first date I like to take a girl out for wings. If she can pick a chicken wing clean, then she passes about eight different tests. And I can see how she reacts [to how I eat.]"
Ashley: "That's smart."

Nooooooo. There are so many things wrong with that. Ladies? Does the chicken wing test sound like something that would work for you? I tend to avoid messy food for first dates. Actually I like to avoid first dates altogether. I wouldn't think of ramen as either a date food or a messy food, but in Japan it is both and slurping is considered good etiquette.

Ashley: Regarding her Michelob Ultra: "I do like the feel of the cold bottle".
Not boding well for you Chicken Winger Chip.
My college friend Balthazar used to make two packages of ramen at a time and eat them from the pot like an angry badger.  
Ashley: On her phone checking on her fantasy girl's volleyball league.
Chip: "You gotta really be into that to know anything. Uh, I just know those two chicks from the Olympics."
That's bikini beach volleyball Chipwich. Apparently there was a girl's volleyball convention in town, with Little Italy awash in Sporty Spicettes in ponytails and matching team warm-up suits.

Fantasy volleyball league? How about a fantasy ramen world where monkeys make the noodles? 

Ashley: On and on regarding the rules about injuries in girls' volleyball tournaments. "Because it's totally unfair to use the 1989 rule book just because no one has the current rule book. It's just not fair!"
Chip: "We like to keep the bottle caps from beer in our pockets to show much we drank last night. Sometimes I pick them up from the street to cheat."
Now they're not even trying to connect and Chip is talking directly to me ... as I'm typing his words.
The photos on ramen packages show healthy vegetables, sliced pork and chicken, but really, the usual additives were hotdogs, Tabasco and desperation.
Chip: "I heard that Mr. Rogers was a trained assassin and ex-Special Forces marine in Viet Nam who killed a lot of dudes, man. He wore cardigans to hide the sick tattoos that covered his arms."
Ashley: Not even listening; peeling the label from her beer bottle and thinking about fantasy volleyball.
I heard that Momofuku Ando was murdered by ninjas and his spirit haunts ramen makers as the bespectacled ghost Noodlehead [See photo above.]
Although a pillar of comfort and poverty food, I don't think that ramen is in the same league as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  
Chip: "You ready to roll baby?"
Ashley: Uh huh.
And off they went to ...  the Ramen Museum? 
And ... scene!

Let ramen be the finale of seem.