Potato Salad with Salsa Verde

We had a vegetarian friend coming over for dinner, so I had to quickly throw some stuff together. This is a variation of a Salsa Verde. If I was making it again (and not catering for a vegetarian), I would probably include the more traditional ingredient of a few anchovies.

* Bag of new/baby potatoes (6 potatoes per person)
* Jar of Pickled Gherkins (3 gherkins or so)
* Handful of Parsley
* Jar of capers (a small handful of capers)
* Zest & Juice of 1 Lemon
* Salt & Pepper
* Olive oil
* Red wine vinegar


1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil.
2. Cut the new potatoes into reasonably small chunks, about the thickness of your thumb, put them into the water.
3. Chop the parsley really fine
4. Chop the gherkins really fine
5. Put the parsley, gherkins and lemon into a bowl and mash them (use a pestle and mortar or even food processor if you want)
6. Pour in a good dash of red wine vinegar
7. Pour in enough olive oil to make the paste runny but still thick
8. When the potatoes are cooked, drain most of the water (leaving a little bit in there to be soaked up). Keep the potatoes in the pot with the leftover water.
9. Pour in the paste and shake the pot, making the potatoes slightly fluffy at the edges. This helps the potatoes collect and absorb the sauce.


Who Done a Fart?

Since moving apartment, I’ve had to change my route to work. Now, I walk down the road beside the Guinness Brewery – Watling Street, which takes me onto Thomas Street.

In a city full of foul-smelling streets, I would like to nominate Watling Street as the foulest. Imagine the smell of a pub at closing time. That smell of spilled beer starting to congeal and sour. Now imagine that condensed to the point where it causes you to gag. And throw in some sewage gas for good measure. That’s what Watling Street smells like.

It’s so bad that I’m considering changing my route to work – going five minutes out of the way just to avoid going down this street. I just can’t put up with the flash headaches and nausea caused by that awful smell.

Or am I wrong? Could there possibly be a worse-smelling street?



Beautiful, simple 3D images. Like a high-tech explodingdog


I wonder what Freud would say

Over the weekend, I dreamt I met Steve Jobs.

I crossed a humped bridge and came into an abandoned carnival which was being dismantled. As I wandered around checking everything out, I came across a second-hand book stall and sitting there, selling books by some guy called Eugene Stanford1 (who looked remarkably like Jerry Garcia) was Steve Jobs.

I was overwhelmed, and shook his hand enthusiastically. He was polite and chatted for a bit. I decided to press a little further, beyond the normal smalltalk of a starstruck fan.

‘”How did you do it, Steve? You were 20 when you started Apple. You were in the prime of your life, and you were devoting 18 hours a day to your dream. How did you maintain that focus? How did you maintain relationships with those around you?2 I mean.. I’m spending my times worrying about shelves and varnishing and things like that. I’m not pursuing any of my dreams. I haven’t accomplished anything. How did you do it?”

He replied simply and calmly.

“I took a lot of drugs.”

* * *

1 – which gives me a clue as to why was dreaming of Steve Jobs – I’d just read his [Commencement Address to **Stanford University**](http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html)

2 – of course, having read *The Second Coming of Steve Jobs*, I know that he **didn’t** really manage to maintain relationships with those around him during the start of Apple


The Cult of the Hipster PDA

There’s an old saying in software development that says that “*Every application expands to the point where it can read mail*” – even if the software started as a way to get away from reading mail.

When it was first introduced by [Merlin Mann](http://www.merlinmann.com/), the [Hipster PDA](http://www.43folders.com/2004/09/introducing_the.html) was a bit of an anomoly. Its analog, low-tech approach to task management and organisation was something unexpected and interesting. It ditched all of the fancy padding we put around our personal productivity and stripped it right down to the bare minimum. Perhaps that’s why it [caught on so well](http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/hipsterpda).

For the uninitiated, the Hipster PDA is simply a stack of 3″x5″ index cards held together with a binder clip which functions as a notebook, to-do list, calendar, shopping list, whatever you need. Breathtakingly simple.

Over at a million monkeys typing, Douglas Johnson has [released a “Hipster PDA edition”](http://www.douglasjohnston.net/weblog/archives/2005/06/11/diyp2_hipsterpda/) of his popular “DIY Planner” pages. In this, he includes

* GTD quick reference card
* Covey Planning quick reference card
* calendar of the next two years
* few month planner cards
* weekly planner card
* a few “day keeper” card
* “GTD all-in-one” card
* next actions/agendas/waiting for
* a shopping list
* a “finances” list

and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Now, maybe I’m completely missing the point (and let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be the first time), but this is looking more like my packed, hardback diary/planner than the Hipster PDA as Merlin originally described it. It has, in effect, returned a lot of the padding that the Hipster PDA took away. It has, in effect, expanded to be able to read mail.

I’m not trying to say that the DIY Planner isn’t a good idea, because it most certainly is. All of its blank lines and empty tickboxes made me shiver with excitement at being able to fill them in. But it lacks the beautiful simplicity of the Hipster PDA — the very thing that, for me, made the Hipster PDA unique.

Even though it is just a stack of plain paper.