Total Pageviews

Saturday, January 31, 2015

HOW TO BE BECOME A SUPER BOWL PARTY STAR

If you're here because you are interested in Super Bowl XLIX, the game itself on Sunday, you might want to click on information for the casual fan, produced by the National Football League.  My purpose today is to make you the star of your SBowl party.  You will gain so much esoteric intelligence, that people will wonder about your life priorities:
  • XLIX is the roman numeral for 49, so there have been 48 super bowls thus far.
  • The weather at 6;30PM ET will be beautiful at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale Arizona:  68F with 4 MPH winds and no rain, but that doesn't matter, for there is a retracting roof if necessary.  Last year there was no roof in New Jersey, a major snowstorm had come through and game temperatures dropped into the 30's at game end.   Seattle dumped Denver 43-8.  This year, Seattle versus  New England.
  • The sun will not set until close to halftime.
  • The cheapest seat available on Thursday was $9205, and only 20 were available.
  • Of course, you can watch NBC for free beginning with the pregame at 1PM ET.
  • The two media events thus far:
    • View New England Coach Bill Belicheck giving 8 reasons why he knew nothing about deflate-gate, in 25 seconds (get to know a few things about this controversy by clicking on it).
    • The outrageous Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, here performing at one of the official Super Bowl press conferences.
  • Many watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials.  You can save yourself a few hours (or give your party-watchers a clue that you have psychic capabilities) by just clicking on The Top Super Bowl XLIX Ads.  Yes, these are what  everyone will see on Sunday!
    • Budweiser's Lost Dog
    • BMW with Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel, a whole minute to promote its electric car
    • Skittles with the indomitable Marshawn Lynch
    • Bud Light
    • Nissan with Dad
    • Snickers and the Brady Bunch
    • Dove
    • P&G Like a Girl
    • Newcastle
    • Victoria's Secret
    • Toyota
    • Carl's Jr Au Naturel
    • Coca Cola Welcome to the Internet
    • Kia's Perfect Getaway, with Pierce Brosnan
    • Mercedes Fable
    • GoDaddy Lost Puppy (whoops, was pulled, but see it anyway)
    • McDonald's Pay with Lovin'
    • Reebock Freak Show
    • and a dozen more
  • NBC sold out of ads, but only on Wednesday.  30 seconds? $4.5 million.  Want to see more?
    • Anheuser Busch?  3 minutes 30 seconds.
    • Doritos got 4900 submissions and picked ten finalists, and one will be shown.
    • Lindsay Lohan will star in an Essurance commercial.
    • Kim Kardashian West for T-Mobile surely looked provocative.
    • There will be a trailer for the fourth Jurassic Park.
  • Pepsi is sponsoring halftime, with Katy Perry, joined by Lenny Kravitz.

There will be a football game.  But first, the pre-game program, which this year will feature America the Beautiful by John Legend, then, Idina Menzel's rendition of the National Anthem.   Who is she?  She sang the Star Spangled Banner at the Major League All Star Game last year.  She also happened to sing the Academy Award Best Song last year, Let It Go, in Disney's Frozen.

Millions will be gambled, most illegal, and many idiotic propositions will be offered, like you get 18:1 odds on betting that Katy Perry wears a whipped cream bikini.  Belicheck is popular:  there are odds on him smiling or not during the entire game.  If Marshawn Lynch grabs his crotch after scoring a touchdown, a $100 bet will pay $400.  The NFL fined him $20,000 for this action two weeks ago.  They also gamble on the game itself. 

All 53 players on the winning team will get $97,000, $49,000 for losers.  In total, the winners will each receive $165,000 just for the playoff.  Only $5K is spent for each Super Bowl Championship ring, but the 2005 version won by New England seems now to be worth $65,000.  Lawrence Taylor auctioned his 1991 ring in 2012 for $231,601.  And, no, the rings are not that big.


Of course, no Super Bowl review is complete without mention of the most important part of the whole happening:  food and drinks.  We're not talking high gastronomy.  This is the day for decadent snacks.  Let me push aside the healthy ones with fruits, hummus and vegetable wraps.  This is just not that day.  And, by the way, if you do serve hummus from Sabra (which just so happen to be the official dips sponsor for the NFL), owned by PepsiCo, they use GMO's soybeans, so be prepared to be picketed.  


According to the National Chicken Council, the winner is the chicken wing.  1.25 billion will be served.  These wings weigh 6,000 times more than the combined weight of both teams.  Buffalo might complain, but Korean restaurants make the best chicken wings.  Darstardly, but there apparently aren't enough chicken wings in America, for strips of breast added to the batch is being referred to as boneless wings.  This is also the annual peak for pizza and tortilla chips, for nachos are right up there with wings.

Yes, if you are driving don't drink, but if you are a Seattle fan, then there is the Skittles Shrub.  The problem is that you will need to soak Skittles in Champagne vinegar and the drink will be sour.   Skittles Vodka is simple enough.  

There is always the Jell-O shot, where you can creatively select the color of your team and use the shot of your choice.  The potency can also be engineered.


More than 110 million will be watching this Super Bowl on Sunday, just in North America.  How significant is this?  Well:
  • In 1983, when the U.S. population was 234 million (we are now up to 316 million), the M*A*S*H farewell got 125 million viewers.
  • Elvis' Aloha from Hawaii might have reached 500 million in 1973
  • In 1969 (world population then was 3.63 billion, double that today), 530 million watched Neil Armstrong step on the Moon.
  • The World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina last year drew around a billion worldwide.
  • The 2011 Cricket World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan was watched by a billion.
  • The 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony had about 2 billion viewers.
So, nothing particularly great about the upcoming 49th Super Bowl, Deflate-gate and Marshawn Lynch will further insure for its appropriate stature in world sports.  However, have fun and stun your colleagues.

-

Friday, January 30, 2015

CAN ADVIL KILL YOUR FLU?

I have two notions that are as important as I've ever provided.  First, though, don't necessarily take them too seriously, for these are based on a sample size of one...me.   Second, my personal doctor, who I saw yesterday, shrugged off, mostly with a smile, these potentially earth-shaking pronouncements, as did two medical doctors who reside at 15 Craigside.  Yet, there is something to what happened to me that deserves a re-telling here.

If you want background, scroll down to my Tuesday posting which reports on the fact that I contracted the latest incarnation of the flu.  I felt equally terrible on Wednesday, and because of excruciating ear aches, which made sleeping difficult, I took two Advils at 6PM, 36 hours into my ailment.  Almost immediately, my fever dropped, all my pains dulled and I went to sleep.  However, I awoke after an hour in cold sweat.  I took a shower, and went through the same routine two more times.  At 10PM, my fever had totally disappeared and I had an appetite.  IS IT POSSIBLE THAT TWO ADVILS CURED ME OF THE FLU?  My doctor suggested, while I'm the only two-day flu (nurses here kind of agreed I had the flu from the test measurements they took, but is not a positive laboratory confirmation) patient he had seen this year, it was "only" because I had a healthy body, which, actually, is praise enough.

Historically, I have had a running debate with medical doctors about taking any pill to reduce fevers or stop the flow of congestion caused by a cold or flu.  My contention is that your body is trying kill the virus and, if anything, you might want to further increase your temperature to help the process.  All medical advice today is to swallow something like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce fever.  Also, you don't want to stop the products of congestion from leaving your body, and you want to eliminate them, so I avoid those pills that try to dry you up.  Here is an incredible list of pharmaceuticals making companies rich, because you buy them.

Anyway, one of the nurses here recommended ibuprofen 9 hours into this infection to lower my fever.  For the reason above I did not, but I avoid pain pills and didn't have anything.  However, at that key point 36 hours into my ordeal, because of those excruciating ear pains, I called the clinic in my basement and asked for something, anything, so I could go to sleep.  However, to my shock...mind you, this is almost a nursing home...they don't carry any any medication.  So an enterprising nurse found a way to enter the small shop (which is stocked only with what is donated by patients here) close by and found a $2.50 small tube of Advils and delivered it to me.  The staff here tends to follow the rules and are very careful about taking chances, so she went far out of her way to help me.  She should get equal credit for discovering this simple Advil solution for the flu.  Mind you the Advil container looked kind of old, and, maybe the age had something to with its potency.  But the expiration was in 2019.

My second very important "discovery" was the result of a blood test I had taken on Monday (for I had my quarterly appointment with my doctor on Thursday), the day before the flu struck.  Turns out everything was fine, with my cholesterol count extremely good (170 with the high density lipoprotein about half of that), but there was an anomalously high blood urea nitrogen (BUN) count.  Turns out that there have been medical tests showing that the nitrogen level in your blood does go up just before Influenza A (H1N1).  Also, leukocyte counts and C-reactive protein levels were other predictive indicators for H1N1.  Fully 90% of influenza this year can be traced to Type A (both H1N1 and H3N2).  The whole point is that any person has been fighting this invader for days before you find out if you won or lost, and my blood test occurred at the crucial point 24  hour before any symptoms appeared.

Someday, someone will come up with a simple and timely test, like elevated BUN levels, to warn you that the flu is on the way and you need to do something now. Unfortunately, someone else still needs to find a better antidote for the ailment.  Mind you, there already are prescriptions like Tamiflu to reduce the flu length by 30%, but there could be :

Side effects include (ing) psychiatric symptoms, increased rates of vomiting, and headaches.[3][15][16]  

Nonetheless, perhaps Tamiflu taken a day before you actually get the flu might make a huge difference.

The current flu normally lingers for a week or more.  It is reported that there are as many as 61 million flu cases/year, meaning that the average person at this rate would get it every five years.  Flu . gov says it depends on the year, and a "good" year means only as few as 15 million might be affected.  If you don't have the flu yet, the incidence nationally is now dropping:


So to help settle the matter of that title at the top, let me provide the range of what really happened:
  • According to my personal doctor, I probably had the flu, but was healthy enough to shake it in two days.
  • Suggested the two medical doctors who live at 15 Craigside:
    • I probably caught a not so common two-day virus that was not really the flu.
    • Some prayers helped the process, and I thanked him for the effort.
    • Maybe it wasn't the flu----only 20% of suspected flu cases tested positive for the flu this past week across the nation---and I had no stomach nor throat problems.
  • I don't know what it is like to be really sick as I've been healthy for a long, long time.  Save for my emergency room visits, of course, and here is just one.
  • Perhaps I'm trying to balance my life by this week presenting how much I'm suffering, for I seem to mostly blog about my hedonistic lifestyle, epitomized by that decadent Champagne and Caviar extravaganza of a week ago.
  • My contention remains that, yes, I had a Type A flu, and it could have been coincidental, but those two Advil pills catalyzed the end of my flu in 40 hours, which is a period of less than two days, when this infection was supposed to incapacitate me for a week.  I'm actually tempted to go golfing today.
To double the mathematical accuracy, I will again use Advil, or maybe Ibuprofen, or something similar, the next time the flu bug strikes me.  But, then, that could well be a quarter century from now.

-
Super Cyclone Eunice is now up to 160 MPH, with gusts to 195 MPH, but moving away from Mauritius and Le Reunion:


-

Thursday, January 29, 2015

BLOOD PRESSURE AND PULSE RATE


During the past six months I have made around 1000 measurements, mostly at home, but several hundred on some golf course.  I have been taking Irbesartan-HCTZ (Avalide) in the morning for more than a decade and recently added Amlodipine Besylate (Norvasc), which I take in the evening with Simvustatin.
  • My normal blood pressures are 145/85, with a rest pulse rate of 60. 
  • There is a significant jump to as high as 185/100 when I get very, very hungry.  After a meal, the pressures drop to normal.  Clearly, I should not get hungry.
  • On the third day of my cruise last year to Auckland, I measured my pressures, and saw 195/105, the highest I ever seen:
    • It was possible drinking too much and eating salty food, was causing this, so I cut back.
    • However, the pressures remained around 165/95 throughout the cruise.  
    • The pressures dropped when I walked the deck for an hour.
    • The pressures dropped when I took a hot bath.
    • I think my body does not like to be at sea, for after I landed in New Zealand, the pressures dropped to 150/90, and lower.
  • When I walk pushing a cart on a golf course:
    • My pressures always drop down to 115/75 by the 6th hole, and even as low as 85/55 when it is very  hot and I'm walking too fast, with a pulse rate of 120.  Then, the pressures by the 18th hole rise to 135/75.
    • I need to be careful about walking too fast, because I get dizzy sometimes when my pressures are low.
  • Conversely, when I exercise on a treadmill or Nu Step, my blood pressures rise with higher pulse rate, going up to 155/85 when I stress my body.  However, after five minutes of rest, the pressures can drop to 120/70.
So, in conclusion:
  • I must not get too hungry.
  • I need to be careful about walking too fast on a golf course when the temperature is high.
  • I will ask my doctor for a letter to allow me to  install a bathtub  in my apartment.  Yes, you need permission here.
-

Tropical Cyclone Eunice located east of Mauritius and Le Reunion in the Indian Ocean is projected to attain Category 5 status, but move away from those islands:


-

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I HAVE THE FLU

It has been at least a quarter century since I last had the flu.  This one is terrible:
  • It took into the third day to move my bowels.  My whole life I've done this daily.  I was  worried that food wasn't passing through my intestines, but it turned out the peristalsis rate just dropped by two.
  • Both ears have some serious pain, which makes sleeping difficult.
  • My fever is at 102 F.
  • The fever is probably why I have appetite, and when do try to eat, I get nauseous.
  • Hacking cough, causing sharp pain around my stomach.
  • General hurts at joints, muscles and teeth.
  • The death rate of people over 65 is a concern.  Up to 49,000 have died in a bad flu year.  It is not the flu per se, but more pneumonia, etc.  In comparison "only" 33,000+ died from traffic accidents in 2012
I was vaccinated.  Turns out that this precaution is only 75% effective.  That's all, folks!  I'm going to bed.  At least I'm at 15 Craigside, which is as good as a hospital, for they check on me and bring up food I order, for free.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

AMERICAN SNIPER AND THE WEDDING RINGER

I saw two films this weekend, about as opposite as they can be.  American Sniper is all about a Navy Seal, Chris Kyle, who  holds the record for most sniper kills, somewhere north of 250, played by Bradley Cooper.  The movie was intense and reminded me of the 2009 The Hurt Locker.  If you went to the other end of  the plot spectrum, that would be The Hangover trilogy, also starring Cooper, who this year won his third consecutive Oscar nomination, the film, six in all, same as The Hurt Locker.  The Wedding Ringer is surprisingly entertaining, and no doubt will earn a sequel.

Rotten Tomatoes gave these ratings:

Sniper and Ringer had rather surprising endings, if not shockingly so for the former.  In five weeks Sniper has earned $200 million (budget of $59 million), and Ringer in two weeks $39 million (budget of $23 million).  PUT ALL THE OTHER BEST PICTURE NOMINEES TOGETHER THIS YEAR, AND THE GRAND BOX OFFICE TOTAL IS $221 MILLION!!  These are only domestic/Canada numbers.


Last year Mathew McConaughey lost 47 pounds in Dallas Buyers Club (93% / 91%) and won an Oscar for Best Actor.  This time around Bradley Cooper gained 40 pounds.  Will he also gain an Oscar?


-

Monday, January 26, 2015

WHY YOUR BEER MIGHT BE GMO

People now and then contact me seeking a guest article in this blog.  Sometimes I agree with them, and sometimes I don't.  I happen to be mostly a pro-GMO advocate and I drink more alcohol than I should, but I like to present opposing points of view.  Too high an imbibition rate, for example, supposedly causes 79,000 deaths/year just in the USA, so my contributor certainly has a good point.  Here is a posting from Claire Harding, a travel and tech reporter.

*********************************************

The Environmental Impact of the Alcohol Industry: and Why Your Beer Might be GMO 

Most people enjoy a good tipple; the office Christmas party, a celebratory drink to wet the baby’s head, birthday anniversaries or just to be social at your local bar – drinking alcohol forms a part of the lives of many, but few consider the environmental impact of alcohol usage, either globally or individually.

The Pesticide Problem
Most beer is not organic and hops farmers use a large amount of pesticide on their crops – spraying them up to 14 times a year with multiple pesticide products. Pesticides are now known to cause lots of health problems including cognitive dysfunction, certain cancers, fertility problems and endocrine disruptions. Despite this only 0.04% of hops are organic.

The Fuel Pollution Problem
Many beers are not brewed locally and if you include the transportation of individual ingredients prior to manufacture as well as the importation of the finished product, your beer can travel thousands of miles before it even reaches you. This means more carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming and increase respiratory diseases in both adults and children. Choosing to drink locally brewed beer could reduce the mileage to just a few hundred miles and reduce the pollution.

The Energy Problem
Beer production is an energy intensive process that uses compressed air, water and electricity as well as fuel for transportation. Most breweries use five to eight barrels of water for every barrel of beer that is produced and home brewing may not be much better. US brewery companies spend around $200 million on energy.

The Raw Material Problem
Other items used in beer production, such as plastic, wood, paper and glass, may not be recycled. Of glass sent to be recycled in the USA, only 40% of it is recycled into new glass. This compares unfavorably with Scandinavian countries – for instance, Denmark – that recycle 99% of their glass bottles. Consumable product such as spent grain could also be wasted, although some companies now give their used grains to farmers for animal feed.

The Toxic Ingredients Problem
Another slightly different environmental issue is that of the ingredients of beer. Beer may contain genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). This is because beer can be made using corn, high fructose corn syrup and dextrose – all corn derivatives. Many of these are GMO because farmers don’t separate GMO seeds from non-GMO seeds. Even organic farmers can find it hard to assure that their products contain no GMO if a neighboring farm grows GMO seeds. Cross-pollination can occur in windy conditions.

To minimize the chances of inadvertently consuming GMO beer, the conscious consumer could buy German beer. This is because Germany has strict food purity laws and they impose liability for the accidental contamination with GMO’s. They have enforced controls over the release of GMO’s and have already banned GMO maize cultivation and the experimental planting of GMO crops.

Buying organic beer can also be a more health conscious choice as organic beer manufacturers aren’t allowed to put any GMO’s in their beer but due to non-existent measures to prevent cross-contamination this isn’t guaranteed. You can always check with your local organic farmer as to how close he is from a GMO plantation.

Aside from the issue of genetic modification, high fructose corn syrup is now known to contribute to heart disease and obesity.

The Social Problem
Alcohol usage also has a negative impact on health and welfare services. Alcohol can be addictive and excessive drinking cost the US $223.5 billion in 2006. 11% of total healthcare costs are caused by excessive drinking as well as 72% of costs resulting from loss of workplace productivity. 9% of the law enforcement and criminal justice system bill results from drinking too much with another 6% added to the bill for drink/drive crimes, but these figures are an under-estimate as they don’t take into consideration the victims of drink related crimes and the pain and suffering experienced by them.

High average daily alcohol consumption causes an average of 79,000 deaths every year in the US.
There are lots of advantages to giving up alcohol. Apart from the obvious freedom from addiction, forgoing the hangover and not wrecking your marriage or your career, NOT drinking means you save lots of money that you would have otherwise spent at the bar, you don’t have to keep visiting the WC during a show, you get to keep your seat instead of wandering back, pint in hand, to realize someone else has taken your place. You can also take up new hobbies and get a better social life if you have more money and time to do other things you enjoy.

Even if you don’t have an alcohol problem, cutting back is good for your health and for the planet.

What can be done about Alcohol and the Environment?
  • Buy organic beer and check that your organic producer isn’t near a GMO farm
  • Buy locally to reduce pollution from transportation
  • Find out if your local farmer will re-use beer bottles. If not, recycle them
  • Ask your brewery what measures they are taking to conserve energy and if they use solar panels to heat their premises
  • Consider brewing your own beer
  • If you brew your own beer, you could keep chickens and feed them the grains (or give them to a livestock farmer in exchange for free eggs!)
  • Always follow medical guidelines on the safe drinking limit for men and women and have some food with your drink as you can become intoxicated on an empty stomach
  • If you think you have an alcohol dependency problem, seek medical help to stop drinking. If you are addicted, having a small amount of alcohol can lead to binge drinking. To avoid becoming a statistic, you should invest in your future by joining a recovery program.
***********************************************
While perhaps a melange of contradictions, I regularly post on health matters and consider myself, too, to be an environmentalist, for the whole purpose of this blog site is to save Planet Earth and Humanity.  I've also taught Environmental Engineering at the University of Hawaii, plus another course entitled Technology and Society, where I typically had a hundred or so students from across the campus help save Planet Earth.  One of those classes actually got funding from the National Science Foundation and published a book (left) on renewable energy, which the State Department of Education used as a textbook in high schools.  In two years this publication will be 40 years old.  I just took this photo, looked through the contents, and was amused that the material remains useful today.

-

Sunday, January 25, 2015

SOME GOOD NEWS THIS SUNDAY

I've noticed that a title with good news almost always draws fewer viewers.  On the other hand, natural disasters attract the most readers.  However, a curious thing  happened exactly a week ago, for my Sunday posting on The Merry Widow drew more than 5,000 pings, the first time this has happened, ever.  Not sure why.

Anyway:

  • The town of Pahoa still exists!  In fact, businesses are beginning to return.  It was three months ago that I published:  IS THIS THE END OF PAHOA?  A finger of lava was approaching the town, and extinction was imminent.  Amazingly enough, the flow continues to remain about half a mile from Highway 130.  What has happened is that lava cools and then hardens.  Thus, the front blocks up and tributaries break through upstream.  This can go on for a long to come.  There are two channels on Oceanic-Honolulu, 1128 and 128 that show two scenes of Pahoa 24/7, with continuous New Age music.  Quoting the USGS:  KÄ«lauea Volcano continues to erupt at its summit and within its East Rift Zone. Hawaii County Civil Defense this morning notes that the north-northeast advancing lobe of the June 27th lava flow remains active but still roughly 600 m (0.4 mi) from Highway 130 the area of the Pahoa Fire and Police Stations, with little significant advancement in recent days.  
          Here are two spectacular shots by Sean King, who lives in Pahoa, 
          and he says that's a moonbow below:

  • It was also just about three months ago when I posted on:  WHY ARE PEOPLE FREAKING OUT ABOUT EBOLA?  Nearly six years ago one of my Huffington Post articles was entitled: A PANDEMIC WORSE THAN THE SWINE FLU.  Basically, I both times felt that the pandemic was not the ailment itself, but the overreaction of the media.  The latest news of Ebola from the United Nations is that new cases in the three West African countries worst affected by the outbreak are declining.  There have been 21,296 cases thus far, with 8,429 deaths.  Schools are reopening and lifestyles are returning to normal.  While the UN and all its partners can take credit for checking this dangerous virus, the fact of the matter is that during the past year of this Ebola epidemic, from 250,000 to 500,000 died from the "simple" flu.

-

Saturday, January 24, 2015

CHAMPAGNE AND CAVIAR


CHAMPAGNE AND CAVIAR was the theme of the Chaine des Rotisseurs gathering last night at the Pacific Club in Honolulu.  Bear with me with these titles, but heading this effort were  Kathryn Nicholson, Bailli and Consul Societe, and Eric Leterc, Vice Conseiller Culinaire.  Eric is also the head chef at the Pacific Club, although no doubt there is a fancier title.  To preserve a modicum of privacy, I'll henceforth only use first names, but sitting next to me were Qi and John Michael...and mom Kiana and daughter Angel, pronounced "ahn-jell":


Note the ribbons and decorations, all representing some level of accomplishment and experience.  Many women, though, are adorned with a demure necklace, which is a lot lighter.  You can get no lower than a Chevalier with purple ribbons, and that would be me if I ever remembered to wear them.  I actually walked from 15 Craigside to the Pacific Club, only taking 20 minutes. but it was all downhill.  The Bus #4, which takes me to my center, has a stop across the street from this club, but it is kind of dark and, maybe, dangerous, so Angel dropped me off at the end in her BMW, earning three of my books.

We were served six kinds of Billecart-Salmon (BS) Champagne, going up to $106/bottle for the Blanc de Blanc Cru.  The company was founded in 1818 with the marriage of Nicholas Francois Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon.  In 1999 one of their champagnes won first place in the Champagne of the Millennium of 20th century champagnes, beating out 150 other houses.  A magnum of this Cuvee Nicholas-Francois Billecart 1959 sells for nearly $5,000.

The first course with a B-S Brut Reserve was a simple scrambled eggs and smoked trout roe:


But cuisine is not "simple" here.  That scrambled hen's egg was a gastronomical marvel, maybe the best taste of the night.  Next with a B-S Extra Brut, three types of oysters from the Pacific Northwest:  Steller Bay, Kumamoto and Fanny Bay:


This was spartanic, for the only accompaniment was a wedge of some citrus, as we were supposed to savor the delicate differences.  However, I frankly just don't like that foul fishy tang, not to speak of some guts, so I normally drown the oyster in some concoction of horse radish, catsup and hot sauce (shown to the left), not made available here.

Following, the highlight of the evening, Sturia Caviar:  Classic, Grand Chef and Oscietra


Sturia caviar comes from France.  Like wines, the terroir provides a distinctive flavor, and the color is lighter (the right spoon is the Oscietra).  Keep in mind that sturgeon have been around from 250 million years and has long outlasted the dinosaurs.  One ounce (also same as 30 grams) of Sturia Classic Oscietre costs around $80, but Amazon does not carry it. 

Also spelled Ossetra, this particular caviar is said to be second to Beluga in cost and now also comes from Israel.  Caviars from Amazon.com:
 The Beluga sturgeon is above, with the smaller Ossetra below:


Caviars are like wine or champagne.  I can't really tell which one is cheaper or more expensive.  I'd probably be perfectly satisfied with lumpfish caviar and salmon roe (both are a small fraction the cost of the standard caviar) if I had the usual garnishments (as to the right):  chopped onions and hardboiled egg, sour cream, capers and some sort of blini or cracker.  The biggest problem is, then, the high sodium content, for salt is used to preserve the roe.  To my surprise, though, my blood pressure the following morning was not high at all.

So on to our dinner, which was next served with a B-S Sous Bois, to quote, "a delicious rich and creamy fish, simply prepared with champagne and orange miso-melted leeks"


This Glacier "51" Patagonian Toothfish was spectacular, sitting on a truly yummy leek masterpiece, perhaps, again, the best item tonight.  If you've never before seen one of these, here is a Patagonian toothfish, which is found in deep waters throughout much of the world, and sometimes called a Chilean seabass.

You would have thought that was the highlight, but, no, then came surf and turf, a mini sterling silver terderoloin and King Crab Meru's cut (jumbo chunk from the largest section in each leg) with Bernaise (said to be the child of Hollandaise) sauce, plus B-S cuvee Elizabeth 2002:


The dessert, with a B-S Demi-Sec, was Dragon Fruit chardonnay, Lychee basil and Chocolate mint ice creams in a bowl of an edible crispy something:


This was also a work of art.

Another truly great Chaine experience.  Thank you Kathryn and Eric and Angel.

-
Today, 15 Craigside had a beautiful Mauka rainbow: