Sunday, August 30, 2009

Greetings from Tokyo!

What do you get when you combine the following?

- all female cabin crew, all decent looking, none over 35, w/ permasmiles
- attentive service
- decent (free) food
- personal AVOD systems
- immaculate cabin

An Asian airline!

I had a great flight on ANA from San Francisco to Narita.

Here's part of the crew pre-flight:

Service w/ a smile! Is it that hard?!?
Here's the first meal from on the flight (one of two full meals served):

Braised eel, cold soba noodles, smoked duck, and Haagen-Dazs ice cream (not pictured). Choice of beverages included complimentary beer and wine. Not bad for an economy class meal!

During the flight, I watched Angels & Demons, In America, and part of State of Play.

When booking this trip, I specifically requested an Asian carrier, otherwise, I probably would have been booked on United. The service experience on Asian airlines is generally light years ahead of US airlines.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fall travel

We're headed to Vermont tomorrow morning.

For the next few months, I'll be a nomad. Here's my fall travel schedule:

Burlington, VT (for a T-Bird wedding celebration!)

Tokyo, Japan
Seoul, South Korea
Taipei, Taiwan
Beijing, China
Shanghai, China
Bangkok, Thailand

Blacksburg, VA
Harrisonburg, VA
Charlottesville, VA
Williamsburg, VA

Denver, CO
Minneapolis, MN

San Francisco, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Tucson, AZ

Vancouver, Canada
Toronto, Canada
Montreal, Canada

Whew! That's 19 cities (more if you count all of the various cities in L.A.) and 6 countries!

By the end of this fall, my teammates and I will have traveled to over 105 cities and 39 countries!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dinner tonight - sauteed spinach and eggs w/ pickled radish

Sauteed spinach w/ garlic

Scrambled eggs w/ pickled radish (chai bo) and basil

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dinner tonight - three cup chicken and veggie stir-fy

Here's what we cooked for dinner tonight:

three cup chicken...original posting and recipe here

sugar snap peas and bell pepper stir-fry

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dumplings two ways

Last week we made a bunch of pork and shrimp dumplings.

Here they are as potstickers (pan fried):

and boiled:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Home cooking

Dinner last night:
Salmon w/ cajun spice rub (one of my specialties...)

Dinner tonight:
Tonkatsu w/ hoisin & honey dipping sauce! (another one of my specialties... ;-)

Steamed corn on the cob

Sunday, August 9, 2009

2009 Top 25 Most Liveable Cities (from Monocle)

2009 Top 25 Most Liveable Cities (from the July-August 09 issue of Monocle):
25. Lisbon
24. Geneva
23. Hamburg
22. Kyoto
21. Amsterdam
20. Auckland
19. Montreal
18. Singapore
17. Oslo
16. Fukuoka
15. Barcelona
14. Vancouver
13. Sydney
12. Madrid
11. Honolulu
10. Berlin
9. Melbourne
8. Paris
7. Vienna
6. Stockholm
5. Helsinki
4. Munich
3. Tokyo
2. Copenhagen
1. Zurich

Interesting. Honolulu is the only US city on the list...and London isn't even ranked (and Monocle is headquartered there).


Monday, August 3, 2009

Dinner last night - sea bass

Made this for dinner last night:
sea bassSea bass!

We bought the fish at Super L Market for $13.99/lb - this piece ended up being ~$20. Kind of pricey...but well worth it!

The preparation is really simple. It only takes around seventeen minutes (including cooking time) and requires only six ingredients.

  • sea bass
  • ginger (julienned)
  • green onion
  • two tablespoons soy sauce
  • two tablespoons chinese rice wine
  • black pepper

  1. Put a first layer of ginger and green onion on a plate (we use an attachment that comes w/ our rice cooker).
  2. Place the fish on top of the ginger and green onions.
  3. Sprinkle a bit of black pepper over the fish.
  4. Put more ginger and green onion on the fish.
  5. Pour soy sauce and rice wine on fish.
  6. Steam for approximately twelve minutes.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Random thoughts

I arrived back home on Thursday night.

We hit the mall today - one of the few things to do in Phoenix during the scorching summer.

Here are some random thoughts I had today:
  • Do smokers that toss their used cigarette butts on the street do the same thing inside their homes? I'm assuming why do they do it outside?!? (I think about this one a lot. It's one of my pet peeves.)
  • We stopped in Gap today. After years of dull designs, the clothes seem to be improving! I wonder if this is a result of Patrick Robinson. I haven't bought anything from Gap for a very, very long time, but maybe sometime soon!
  • Clinique desperately needs to redesign the packaging for the majority of its product line. The packaging for these products looks like it's straight from the '80s. I think about this every time I pass by the Clinique counter @ a department store...I do love their M Protect lotion though.
A peek inside the mind of Andy... ;-)