Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Artichoke Pizza

I'm having a lot of fun with artichokes these days. The ones I use are canned, as I have yet to find fresh ones, but it's still something different than the ingredients I have used regularly in the past. The artichoke has that slightly sour and fresh taste, a bit like asparagus, but a bit more unique. It goes extremely well with peppered steaks or chicken, and in wok with soy sauce.

The artichoke pizza is an idea I'm loaning from the pizza restaurant in New York, aptly named Artichoke Pizza. What struck me then was the absence of tomato sauce, which I had always assumed was essential for any pizza. Instead, they used a cream-based sauce with artichokes. I loved it, and I had intentions of recreating this masterpiece.

I usually make a great pizza, and I ended up trumping Artichoke Pizza's artichoke pizza. The dough played a big part in this, but also the addition of meatballs. Because, you know, meatballs.

Either way, read on for a recipe on how to make an artichoke pizza.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Off topic: Lou Reed

Poor Lou Reed. He didn't really want to be all glam, like his buddies David Bowie and Marc Bolan. Lou wanted to be a rocker, leather jacket, no make up, just playing his music. And listening to his iconic album, Transformer, it's almost hard to imagine how this could have looked any different. 

But that was the charm with glam rock. Musically, it sounded like regular hard rock (like Kiss), pop (like Bowie), or folk inspired singer/songerwriter with a mix of electric, like Lou Reed. 

He got known through his band, The Velvet Underground, and made a few records in the late 60s, but it was as a solo artist he definitely started producing. Dozens of albums throughout the seventies and eighties. One of rock's true greats. I'm not sad, because many of his contemporaries didn't last this long. Lou had a prolific and healthy career, even though he wasn't always healthy himself. But it makes me a bit melancholic, thinking that many of my favorite artists are closing in on the last leg of their tour... 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chicken Sticks

If you want to do something slightly different...

It's exactly what it looks like, so I don't feel the need to explain in details what's going on here.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

"Toys shouldn't be sexy"

New York Comic Con this weekend, Hasbro showed off some toys on the preview night. One of their 6" Marvel lines featured a Black Cat figure. Complete, with whip, skin tight body suit and exposed cleavage.

I see many are complaining. They may articulate themselves in different ways, but their opinions can usually be summed up like this:

Toys should't be sexy.

And I find that to be a weird opinion. Why should toys not be allowed to be sexy? Sex isn't dangerous. I guess part of the problem is combining sexuality and toys intended for kids. But sexuality is a vital part of being human. No kid has ever been hurt by exposion to breasts. In fact, you could argue that boobs have saved significantly more lives that guns. Yet military toys are less controversial than "sexy" toys.

If anything, a toy like this will simply cause a kid to grow up faster, and he or she will quite possibly develop certain kinks a few years later. But we all know it's not just kids that will buy the 6" Black Cat. I suspect this will be popular among collectors.

Arguments against this toy, and similar figures revolve around the fact that the sculpt is too detailed, that she has an unnatural body.
But.. Doesn't that go for any heroic toy figure? Tell me, do the Masters of the Universe Classics figures look like regular humans? Isn't Marvel Legends Nick Fury simlpy the male version of Black Cat, when it comes to costume, and visible muscles? Of course, Black Cat also has that ass and boobs thing going on. That's her thing.

Whether or not you find this toy sexy, that's a different matter. When it comes to sexuality, people are truly unique. What works for me, might not work at all for you. There are people out there being turned on by the weirdest things, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that people are turned on by a beautiful, fit woman in a costume that shows almost everything - even if she's a comic book character. Black Cat is a character that's been deliberately drawn sexy, and seing it in 3D absolutely doesn't change that.

I think this toy looks fantastic, and perfectly captures how I remember the character. Teasing, mischievous, incredibly sexy. Yes, I have fond memories of reading Spider-Man as a kid, exclusively for Black Cat. And you know I love the female action figures. I have cut seriously back on collecting 6" superheroes, but for obvious reasons, I may pick up this toy.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Real time toy hunting

I live in the dark abyss of nowhere when it comes to toys and toy stores.

Hasbro has started producing 6 inch SW figures
Seriously, our toy stores are completely useless, compared to what I've seen in bigger cities around the world. Remember that the biggest city in Norway is really just a tiny town. It's just very provincial, and the stock of our stores reflect that.  

But today, an instant message ticks in from my good friend, Runar.

"They have 6" Black series in a store here!"

And it's on. For real. My friend goes on a toy hunt all over the city, while keeping me updated in messages. And it's fun. It's toy talk, anticipation and enthusiasm. Because finding toys in stores is so much more rewarding and satisfying than buying them online. We haven't experienced this in years.

The Black Series looks good. 
I could of course just buy these toys on ebay, or through any of the other online stores.
But the feeling of finding a toy you like, holding it in your hand, skim through the rest of the toys to see if there are more. I miss that feeling. The toy hunt.

Apparently, each store got four figures - one single case of 6" Black series. It's almost hilarious, you'd think that with our economy, the position Star Wars has in our society, and the constantly growing mass of enthusiasts, that one of the biggest toy store chains in the country were smarter than this.
At the same time, this limited stock intrigues me. Am I not a collector after all? Do I not appreciate the toy hunt?

I really do, even today, when the toy hunt is done trough another person, in real time.

Well, at least they were smart enough to price them correctly - at around the same price Hasbro sold them for in their very own store. I appreciate that.

My friend picked up a Darth Maul for himself, and a Jumpsuit Luke Skywalker for me - thanks buddy. Can't wait to get this in hand!

And I suddenly have a reason to visit local toy stores again.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The 2014 modular: Lego 10243 Parisian Restaurant

I'm excited for this. They needed a place to eat, and I really like the over all design to the building. The shape of the roof, along with the details on the upper windows are fantastic. The restaurant is smaller than the other modulars, and has an outer stair case leading to the back. This building feels fluid and natural. I also like how it has several plants and flowers, as it makes the scene more alive. The color combination of dark blue roof and snot green walls will take some time to get used to, but other than that I think the 10243 is perfect.

More pictures inside!