Since the weather in the Bay Area has been craptastic lately, there's an urgent need to counteract the grayness with some deliciousness. Exhibit A: Indian-Style Tomato Sauce (from Bittman's How to Cook Everything), which with a little bit of luck is going to turn into Chicken Tikka Masala for dinner. Om nom nom.
Meet Seth, during his first day back at the office after an extended stay abroad. They must not have been feeding him pretty well there, since this is what it looked like, ten minutes after he noticed three pristine cakes on the counter. In the picture, he is getting ready to move on to dessert.
(All right, I kid, I kid. In fact, today was February birthday cake day at Mozilla! What an excellent first day to come back on!)
Today, after a long time, I picked my trumpet back up and practiced a little -- woot! At the office after hours, no less, since I was in the neighborhood anyway. I am happy to report it worked well: My embouchure is hosed, but that was expected. As I found out later, there were still two of my colleagues around, and they didn't seem to have suffered bodily harm, so all is well.
Flowers for Valentine's Day. 'nuff said.
These are some Northern Californian palm trees in the sunset. Coming from Germany (which, for reference, is about as far north on this planet as southern Canada), palm trees still have an exotic feel to me. Guess I haven't gotten used to the Californian climate yet?
This is the first black-and-white picture in my Project 365. As with all effects, it's better not to overdo it. But I found B&W appropriate for this one, as the sun coming from the front essentially made the palm trees look like a stencil on the bright background.
This is our dog Lizzy sitting on a park bench, checking out the surroundings for opportunities for mischief.
After having abandoned my last coffee grinder when moving from Germany, today, I finally re-added an espresso grinder to my lineup, so I can get back to making great espresso at home. I got a Lelit PL 53, which is a grinder made in Italy. How appropriate, considering I bought both my espresso maker and the coffee beans I am currently using in Italy as well.
The first grounds I made today were incredibly fine. So fine, in fact, that I was unable to push any water through it in my espresso machine and had to restart from scratch. Wow! When I got an espresso out of it after a few tries, it was strong (a little overextracted still), but delicious. Good start!
I'll draw a few more shots during the weekend to get as close as possible to the perfect setting for the coffee I currently have, but so far, I am highly pleased.
Today, a nice colleague brought plenty of Krispy Kreme donuts to the office, to all our enjoyment. The one I had was a jelly-filled donut. Such a donut is called "Berliner" in southwest Germany, where I come from.
Which reminded me of John F. Kennedy's famous speech in Berlin in 1963, where he declared: All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner!'.
So, did Kennedy tell the citizens of Berlin: "I am a jelly donut"? Not quite. In that region of Germany, this pastry is simply known as "Pfannkuchen" -- pancakes. So while certain onlookers on television might have found it funny, this humorous interpretation of the sentence went unnoticed by his local audience.
It's been over a month now that I've started to take a photo a day (and blog about it). So far, it is going well, though I expect it to get harder as things to take photos of don't come to mind as readily anymore. So, looking back onto the first month, here are some observations I've made:
Thank you, cellphone. In order to actually take a photo a day and not have to rely on archival shots to fill in for my busy work days, I am really happy I have a decent cell phone camera that I can use. Of course, the quality is significantly worse than my real camera, and thus, I am always looking forward to the days when I won't use the phone. Still, mobility has been essential in me taking a photo every day so far.
Taking photos is no excuse not to blog anymore. I've been blogging every single one of my photos and I am planning on doing so for the remainder of the project. It did, however, make me a little concerned about my loyal readership: Am I turning this into a picture dump, as opposed to the hopefully useful and somewhat well-researched blog entries that I used to write every few weeks? That's a valid concern, and therefore, I have tried to accompany most photos with a useful blog text explaining why I found it photo-worthy, or what influence the particular subject has on my life.
Less is more. My favorite photos this month have actually been the ones that were the simplest, both when as far as the subject is concerned, as well as the lens and settings I used. It'll be interesting to improve on that theme, but also to introduce some different shots: For example, I haven't had a panorama shot in the collection so far -- though I have successfully taken such photos before. They take a lot of postprocessing, so if I want to stay true to the photo-a-day concept, I must take the panorama early in the day and have enough time later to stitch it together.
Onwards! I am still enjoying the project and have managed to morph its requirements a little bit: It has become more important to me to actually take a photo a day, even if that means that I take mostly cell phone shots. In contrast, morgamic seems to have taken the approach of getting every picture right (which is great). If I am not sick of taking photos by then, that would be a good idea for a "photo a week" project in 2012, maybe.