Well, it got me again. MFO was asked to make a presentation to the local Genealogical Society on how to preserve their “stuff”, old photos, newspaper articles, letters, etc., things that relatives tend to hang on to and pass to surviving relatives. Hand me downs tend to pile up in basements and attics and then somebody takes an interest in keeping them but they are not sure how to preserve them. Enter the archivist!
So MFO put together a very nice program covering the various options for making sure these things will survive human, insects, humidity, light, and all the enemies of things historical. It was of course was in the form of a powerpoint presentation, which i was to manage while she spoke.
Which then led me to face, once again, my enemy: “technology”. Remembering my recent losing battle with the demon wires and cables, I decided that this time (By Golly) I would be ready. I got a “loaner” projector, cables and such, set it up in my office, brought in my IT support staff who walked me through the process of “this little thing plugs in here; Fn F8 will toggle between laptop display and projector; don’t be afraid when the laptop changes aspect ratio; start Powerpoint, then Slide Show” etc. In the end I had the presentation on the laptop, and as a backup also on a “stick”.
Further, I even talked to people who had been to the Higher Ed center recently and was assured that “everything works fine”. I even asked a friend to bring his projector so I would have my loaner and his; nothing can go wrong!
So after practicing a couple of times with the home lashup, we went to the Higher Ed Center a full forty five minutes early to set things up. In the meeting room were two ceiling mounted projectors aimed at two screens on either side of the podium which also contained the dangling wires. Perfect! I set up my laptop, called up the presentation, knew exactly what to do with the VGA cable, plugged it into the port on the computer, turned on the projectors, and…. By this time I’m sure you know where this is going… nothing. “NO INPUT DETECTED” was clearly and boldly projected on the screens. Unplug, plug, restart, open, Fn F8, “NO INPUT..” resolutely remained for all to see. The chair of the meeting said she would go and get the IT guy who would make it all play. Young, eager kid. Good deal. Fuss, trace wires, scratch head, go get another little terminal box, re-hook up….”NO IN….”.
After more head scratching, and “I don’t understand this”, I mentioned that I had the presentation on a stick, he allowed as how maybe we should try that. Inserted into “their” desktop, everything perked up and worked fine. She proceeded to dazzle them with the array of “things” you can get for preservation, tips on storage practices, how to handle documents, everything.. They were all very appreciative of her talk. There is equipment for preserving everything.
So, once again careful preparation may mean nothing.. (be hopeful, but always carry a stick).
After we returned home, we enjoyed a victory (content wise, not hardware) cocktail. Speaking of which (the clever writer segues into a favorite subject), there was an interesting article in the Washington Post Food section last week. It featured a picture of what turned out to be a Manhattan, a story was about “How’d We Get to The $22 Cocktail?”. Seems that the Rye Bar in the Capella Hotel in Georgetown is serving a Manhattan for that price. There is discussion on how and why one should pay that sum for that drink. Many things go into the bottom line. Ingredients, handling, and so forth. A classic Manhattan is Rye (more often now Bourbon), bitters, and sweet vermouth. (the bottom feeder substitutes Dry Vermouth, and omits the bitters). First, for this beauty, the drink is mixed six weeks before it sees a glass and spends its time in a 55 gallon charred bourbon barrel to age. It is made with Dad’s Hat rye ($42 for 750ml), Dolin Vermouth (~$15) , a dash of Byrrh ($25), homemade bitters (?), and served with an orange peel. Tasting notes include terms like “coffee, almonds, and vanilla. Why there is no cherry component, I am not sure. Is it worth it? They say yes, as do many people since they have been serving it for a couple of years. The article goes on to talk about “expensive” cocktails, with “The Cocktail Bill” served at Fiola (D.C.) for $45. It is remarkably like a Sazerac. They do mention that the “typical” cocktail goes for about $12 - $14 (at big city bars). Interesting piece..
Steinbeck was right..
It IS the Winter of our Discontent… seems like it refuses to release us from its grip. We have however, enjoyed watching the ebb and flow of the ice, more than we’ve ever seen. This morning there was only a small patch of “clear” water (the dark blue strip below), although I imagine the ice wasn’t very thick. Not many working boats out this morning..
And same thing toward the bridge:
And no, we have NOT opened the pool, it’s just the accumulated (frozen) water and ice from the recent storms on the pool cover.
We went down to the Ruddy Duck Ale and Seafood House last Sunday for their first “beer dinner”. I have pretty much sworn off “wine dinners” because mostly they tend to be an opportunity for the distributor rather than for the diners. How many times have you heard: “here’s a fun little wine”, which, oh by the way is available for purchase. So, I was kind of interested in seeing how a beer based dinner would be handled. The passionate (I don’t use that word often, but it fits here) head brewer at Ruddy Duck, Matt (Glass), spoke about each of the five beers offered, what its flavor profile was and such. A nice touch was that each beer was served with a “contrasting” as well as a “complimentary” food item. Michael Kelley talked a little about the food with each course (Chef Nelson was in the kitchen for this event). The beers kind of ran the gamut from lighter to heavier and darker. Of course, like wine, you like what you like, and you don’t like what I like kind of thing, a proper situation. But, my favorite beer was a Schwarzbier; a dark German Lager. It was served appropriately with a house made smoked bacon and duck sausage, with an imaginative little accent of a “chocolate dipped bacon straw”.
A little story accompanied the beer called “Badian Brown”, and I won’t get the details correctly, but an apprentice brewer named “Ian” made a faux pas when trying to brew something else and came up with a brown beer that was not originally intended. Hence the “bad” part… But, however, comma, regardless of the intent he came up with a pretty nice brew, on the order of a Newcastle Brown Ale. Quite tasty. It was served with a complimentary dish of Lobster Risotto and contrasting Rockfish Skewers/Malt vinegar (think fish and chips).
Anyway, keep your eyes open for another. And Matt NEVER used the phrase “fun little beer”..
And yes, we were