March 2005 Archives

As I sleep tonight, a momentous occasion begins on the other side of the world.

I am referring of course to the - rebirth of Dr Who Scheduled to start in the UK at the locally time bending hour of 4:00 AM on Sunday Morning, Just as we accustom ourselves to losing an hour we gain new Who

Unlike the previous aborted botch up attempt to bring Who back in 1996, this time the UK is doing it right, making it at home. Also the people overseeing the process have proved their worth with solid prior TV credits. In addition they are quite simply fans, and want to treat the series with the respect it deserves.

One of the reasons bread-making and cooking in general is so important to me is simply that it is a great way of clearing and focusing my mind.

Strangely, I cook well when I am angry, as I focus on the cooking to stop myself thinking about whatever it is that is upsetting me. By the time I have finished cooking usually I will have forgotten my troubles and sit down to eat a lovely meal.

Bread-making however requires a lot more patience and diligence. For example - today I did some baking. With no shops open and little to distract me, I paid a lot closer attention to the baking process.

I made three loaves - all from the same base dough - 46% atta flour, 50% '00 Italian flour, 2 % wheat germ and 2% barley flour.

The rising was carefully controlled with a short retarding in the fridge. Baking was initially hot and steamy. Whilst the cool-down was carefully controlled to ensure the crumb cooked properly without a thick crust.

The end result was a flavoursome loaf with a moderately aerated soft crumb that was nicely gelatinised and a thin but very tasty crust.

People who get to know me generally see me as a generous guy who can be quite funny at times. Wouldn't go as far as relaxed because I am innate fidgeter. However get me in a situation where I have to react to the masses out there and I change drastically, I have little patience for crowds and the inherent behaviour they exhibit.

Tonight I went to the shops, for a few things and was absolutely amazed by the mass of people. Yes tomorrow is Easter, but hey - the shops are mostly only closed for one out of the four days that comprise the Easter holiday. As with any 4 day holiday, consumers stock up like we are about to go into nuclear winter.

There was an article in last weekend's paper about consumer excess - we buy far more than we actually use. I am guilty of this at times, but am generally quite good at using up left over food - some of my most creative cooking experiences come from the "lets clean out the fridge" sessions.

Being both devoutly non Christian and not liking the general "milk chocolate" that is pushed on us as the default. I've no plans to celebrate Easter as anything special. Will just bake some nice bread and use the time to clear my head.

My friends and I already celebrated the Equinox (the pagan ancestor of Easter) last Sunday so I see little to celebrate when international chocolate appreciation day rolls around this Sunday.

With the general shutdown of anything useful that occurs with these Christian festivals I often ponder the idea of offering to work through the holiday for the chance of equivalent time off when it might be more useful to me - say a weekday so I can sort out all the stuff I never get time to do whilst I work. yes this would come across as anathema to my bosses and is really quite heathen thinking but it works for me.

Well, I was in the mood to post a lengthy entry, then I logged in and found about 100 comment spams.

Sure my blacklisting system had moderated them - so they didn't appear on the actual website but I still had to go through and delete all 100 damn comments.

Digging deeper, i discovered it was gmail's fault - it had incorrectly marked the moderation emails I should recieve as spam - a bit overzealous, yes they might look like spam but I need to recieve them, to know to do something about them.

Spammers are very intelligent and devious types, but jeez I wish they would use their skills in a more useful manner. But we have had scammers and tricksters through the ages, it's an unfortunate part of our social fabric that has just spiralled since the popularisation of the internet.

An hour later - I don't have the time or energy for a proper post, about the only real victory those distraction merchants actually manage to make.

Handmade Loaf

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On the weekend, i bought another bread book - The Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard, who also co-wrote one of my prior favourite bread books - Baking With Passion (recipes from Baker & Spice - an artisinal bakery in London). One of the best recipes in that prior book is very popular when I make it Dan's caramelised garlic bread.

The handmade loaf has some great recipes, and also some excellent photos, taken by the author.

Need to work my way through the book, but it's already given me more ideas of my own.

Just today I discovered Dan is an Aussie - although he has lived in Europe for 20 years now, which gives me some hope in my plan of taking baking more seriously.

Lyrics as per the CD Booklet:

Young hearts born with grief
shall pay the penalty of truth
a season of stolen youth
shall teach old hearts to break

It feels like I've been here before
here to where the animals lay down to die
so we stood alone on a distant store
our broken spirits in rags and tatters

Nerve and muscle, heart and brain
lost to Ireland lost in vain
pause and you can, almost hear
the sounds echo down through the ages
the creak of the burial cart
here in humiliation and sorrow
not mixed with indignation
one is driven to exclaim
oh god, that bread should be so dear
and human flesh so cheap

Young hearts are born with such grief
we have paid the penalty of truth
a season, of our stolen youth
shall teach old hearts to break

My initial interpretation:

Our young hearts are born with grief
And we have paid the penalty of truth
A season, of our stolen youth
Shall teach old hearts to break

It feels like I've been here before
Here, where the animals lay down to die
So we stand, alone on a distant store
Our broken spirits in rags and tatters

Our broken spirits and rags in tatters

With knot and muscle and heart and brain
They are lost to Ireland, they are lost in vain
So you pause, and you can, almost hear
The sounds, they echo down through the ages

The creak, of the burial cart
Hear the humiliation and sorrow
Mouth fixed with indignation
So one is driven to enslave?

Oh god that friends should be so dear
and human flesh so cheap

Our young hearts are born with such grief
and we have paid the penalty of truth
The season, of our stolen youth
Shall teach old hearts to break

It feels like I've been here before
Here, where the animals lay down to die
So we stood, alone on a distant shore
Broken spirits, in rags and tatters

Our broken spirits and rags in tatters


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Alan's words about the upcoming Doctor Who strike a strong chord with me - especially with the news of a rough cut of the first episode having leaked - I seriously contemplated downloading it.

Of course here in Oz - we are at the mercy of the ABC as to when this is screened.

Autonomy: "

I wish I could deny the little flutter that goes through my inner childhood every time I think that later this month I will be watching a new series of Doctor Who. I wish I could turn around and say I wasn't going to watch it, but I am.

As the date of transmission approaches, I am getting more excited. Again, I wish I wasn't. I wish I could approach this with the cool detachment that I view the new series of Enterprise, or the next episode of Desperate Housewives. But I can't. Because I'm one of them. I'm a fan.

(Via Oddverse.)

After being reminded of it by a mate about a week ago - I decided to try and obtain the latest release by Primordial - "The Gathering Wilderness".

I have enjoyed prior Primordial albums but always found myself reaching for Enslaved as their work was more accessible.

Primordial hail from Ireland - a location not well known for it's extreme metal scene, the only other Irish metal I own are the folky Cruachan.

Listening to this album for the first time today, I am absolutely blown away - The three primary points of reference I can give are Neurosis, My Dying Bride and Bathory.

Imagine the unique british doomy sound of MDB stripped of cold Gothic tinges mixed with a Celtic take on the epic, raw and pagan style Bathory founded. Throw in the utter disregard for conventional song structures and the heavy without being metal qualities of Neurosis. This should give you an idea of the territory we are talking about.

Production wise the raw, live sound is what Enslaved were trying for but ultimately failed to capture on Isa.

Musically I can only heap praise on the impassioned and tortured vocal performance, the haunting, guitar lines that build up Isis style like waves crashing on a beach.

However the unique production most highlights the amazingly passionate effort by drummer Simon O'Laoghaire who beats the skins with a rare honesty - forgoeing the increasing trend towards triggered kick drums. Instead Simon pounds the crap out of his toms in an extremely liberating and raw manner.

The highlight, musically though is the track "The Coffin Ships" which builds and builds for it's ten minute length constructing a true epic with it's sorrowful and passionate story of those who fled Ireland in the great exodus only to die on their way to the new world giving the ships/voyage it's ominous name.

This will likely be extremely good - hope it doesn't disappoint come late next month.

DJ Spooky vs. Dave Lombardo: Drums of Death

DJ Spooky vs. Dave Lombardo album Drums Of Death to be released April 26th on Thirsty Ear.

What a lineup:

  • DJ Spooky: Turntable/Beats
  • Dave Lombardo: Drums
  • Chuck D: Vocals
  • Vernon Reid: Guitar
  • Jack dangers: Bass & guitar
  • Additional Vocals: Dalek & Meredith Monk
  • Produced by DJ Spooky & Jack Dangers"

(Via DJ Martian's Page.)

Yet again the Norwegians show they have a clue musically

This weekend saw the winners of the prestigious Spellemannspris announced (the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammy)

Metal: Enslaved, "Isa"

Albiet 2004 was a pretty ordinary year for music overall - it's still a great credit to the perseverance of Enslaved that they won this award. To my mind they should have won best of 2003 instead with "Below The Lights" but who can complain really?

Even more confusingly, due to a split release schedule, "Isa" was released in 2004 in Europe and 2005 in the USA so it's going to be a long wait to see if Enslaved achieve any critical acclaim on the other side of the Atlantic ocean.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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