I got a KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer for Christmas from my World's Best Dad. He even got it in the Williams-Sonoma exclusive buttery yellow color I wanted. I cried when I opened it.
It's amazing how simple this one device makes the baking process. Mostly it's a time thing (also a little energy): I can start creaming the butter and then measure the sugar while the butter is creaming. I can gradually add the flour without stopping the mixing process and not get flour everywhere. It's just wonderful. (Note to home bakers: when using such a "set-it-and-forget-it" tool, it's important not to actually forget it. There is such a thing as too mixed, and it is bad news).
In packaging and advertising and such, simplicity also appeals to me. One recipe I'd been putting off since Christmas called for Marshmallow Fluff, which I don't really keep around the house. And since they don't sell it at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods (at least not the one near me) I was going to have to get some on a special trip to the "normal" grocery store. Ugh. Then, lo and behold, I spotted some at CVS last Friday. I think I might have purchased it even if I hadn't needed it, again because of the simplicity. It's not a fancy brand, it won't win any design awards, but it called to me: a white plastic (NOT glass! Yay!) container with a red lid and a blue label. Easy to get out the sticky stuff, nice to look at, reusable. Simple.
So, here's what I'm thinking, and not for the first time:
If Uncle Jesse is so super-Greek, and Danny Tanner has dark hair and brown eyes, why are all the Tanner girls so fair and blonde? Their mom (also, presumably super-Greek) is supposed to have been blonde with blue eyes?
I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this one, and it's not that some Greeks are fair and blonde. I know this is true, but the Katsopolis family is not from that part of Greece. (Have you seen Jesse's parents? Not blonde.) And it's not that blue eyes and blonde hair are recessive traits, which of course they are; even if somehow both Danny and his wife passed on the recessive gene for, say, blondeness, the chances that all of their daughters would be fair and blonde with blue eyes is very low.
No, in this case, the answer lies in the great sitcom tradition of "Not Giving a Shit." Some sitcoms are more concerned with this internal continuity than others, and I don't think I'm shocking anyone by observing that Full House and its writers/producers didn't mind making the impossible possible from season to season or episode to episode. For example: Joey Gladstone, comedian, was never funny. A hip, cool rocker like Uncle Jesse should probably not be obsessed with corny oldies music. And the Beach Boys don't come to your house and sing songs with you, no matter how cute a family you are.
My theory is that no one ever planned to explore Jesse's cultural heritage. As you may know, in the first season he was "Jesse Cochran." It was only in the second season that it was changed to Katsopolis, seemingly at actor/star John Stamos' request. This doesn't explain why they hired Stamos, who was always Greek with very dark hair and skin, to be the uncle of three blonde girls…but some things don't need to be explained. Some things can be chalked up to a sparkly eye and a winning smile. Maybe that's the real lesson here.
I'm not trying to suck up to my blogging service or anything, but this new TypePad microblogging thing looks pretty cool. And it's free! Very slick. Too bad I already have my own fancy website...or two (also known as three).
Here's the link: http://www.typepad.com/micro/features/
I just purchased and downloaded a new app for my iPhone, Pano. The app allows you to take several images, using the edge of the previous image as a guide for the next, and then stitches them together. It was $1.99, and I couldn't have come across it at a better time. I'm in New Mexico for post-Christmas celebrations with the family I couldn't see during actual Christmas (my parents are both from Albuquerque). It's a pretty good place for panoramas.
I tested the app several times today and came up with some pretty great stuff. I consider myself an above-average iPhone photographer, but this cracks the realm of possibilities wide open.
Tim, Erin, and Corrie at Hannah & Nate's in Corrales, NM. This one was three portrait-shots stitched together. I love the light from both windows! This shot would have been impossible without the app, because of how close we were to the west wall of the building.
Albuquerque lies at the foot of the Sandia Mountains, but the view is even more dramatic from some parts of the farther-west Corrales, where my aunt and uncle have a newish house. Trust me when I say that even these images don't do it justice.
Here's one more, from a little higher up and father back: