Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Five Whys of Sabbatical

At work, the five whys is a winner for operational whoopsies. I have recently discovered that it also has other uses.

I made soup yesterday.

  1. Why? - because I had fresh organic leeks in the fridge
  2. Why? - because I popped into the market at the weekend
  3. Why? - because I was taking a stroll in the sunshine
  4. Why? - because I had nothing more pressing to do on a Saturday
  5. Why? - because I'm on sabbatical

Welcome to the Five Whys of Sabbatical. Here's a photo for you too. Zoë sure has a super kitchen.

Zoë's Kitchen

Monday, November 24, 2008

Soup on sabbatical

Here's a Leek Soup for winter evenings.

5 large leeks
10 small potatoes
boiling water
three cloves garlic
a little butter
vegetable stock
salt & pepper

Top and tail the leeks, making sure to leave as much of the green area at the top as possible. Wash, chop into half-inch rounds and place aside in a colander. Peel and roughly chop the garlic, and then sauté in the butter over a medium heat in a large saucepan with the lid on.

After five minutes or so, the garlic should be bubbling lightly in the butter. Rinse the leek rounds in the colander and add, still nicely wet from the rinse, to the garlic and butter. Replace the lid on the saucepan and turn the heat down.

Stir occasionally over a low heat for fifteen minutes or so. While the leeks steam and soften, wash the potatoes and, with the skins still on, chop into quarters. When the leeks are soft (but before they're mushy), add the potatoes to the saucepan and cover the leek/garlic/potato mixture with the boiling water.

Add the vegetable stock, stir well and simmer for 20 minutes or so with the lid on.

When the potatoes are softened through, remove the pan from the heat and blend the entire mixture to a rough consistency. Add salt, add plenty of freshly ground black pepper, and simmer the rich green soup over a low heat.

Serve hot, with fresh bread and perhaps a white fish main course.

San Francisco spoils me. Here's one from the other day:


Sunday, November 23, 2008

New online resumé now actually viewable online

In some kind of publishing mishap, my new resume was somehow not as accessible as it ought to have been. It's now properly published and available at http://tinyurl.com/isaach. Honestly.

Today's photo, taken a couple of weeks ago at the Alemany Farmers' Market:


Friday, November 21, 2008

Neither desperate nor emergent

It's true, and some have noticed, that my online resume was tragically out of date. And as ever, updating one's resume is the professional equivalent of vacuuming under the bed: usually done only in fairly desperate or emergent circumstances.

My sabbatical is neither desperate nor emergent, so I guess this is the exception: I've updated my resume this evening (at @ang's prompting). In all its Google Docs glory: check it out.

And now that's done I can include a photo I took the other day. Wonderful late afternoon sunshine:

Wendy Walks

Friday, November 14, 2008

Have bike, won't read

Sabbatical is great so far---especially right now in a 77ºF San Francisco mid-November heatwave. Being last week in the UK for my grandmother's memorial was tough, and emotionally draining, but it was great to see my family and spend time with them despite fairly miserable circumstances.

Despite hours spent traveling on airplanes during the last week, my reading list pile hasn't really been dented yet (apart from the Tilghman, which I finished a couple of days ago). Instead I've been riding my bike a fair bit, including a couple of trips around a nice 20-mile local circuit which Wendy discovered.

Today I took some pictures of Mallard Lake along the way:

Mallard Lake #5

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sabbatical Reading Update

So I finished The Goal, but before I could move down my reading list I got a handful of late additions:

I'm halfway through the Tilghman. Can't decide what next.

Taken at work a couple of weeks ago:

Crittenden Sunrise

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Cheese and Lentil Savory, redux

Doing my sabbatical commute yesterday I swung by Whole Foods in SoMa on the way home to pick up a few things for dinner. While I was there I also picked up some red lentils to top up the Hepworth stockpile, last week's Cheese and Lentil Savory having depleted it.

The lady behind me in the checkout line (hi Bridget!) saw my basket and asked me what I was going to use the lentils for. She told me she'd always thought lentils would be good to eat but didn't know a good recipe for them. I explained as best I could about my grandmother's dish but ended up just giving her my business card with http://isaach.com/ written on the back. "You can find the recipe on my web site", I said.

I definitely felt a brief pang of Googler cliché. I liked Bridget, though, and I hope she likes the C&LS; she said she'd make it one day. It got me thinking about memes and genes, one's legacy and the people one meets.

I took this the other day, on a walk with Wendy:


Sabbatical Commuting

As it turns out, the commute to sabbatical is about as punishing as the commute to work. Wake up at 6.30am, half an hour later than usual. Snooze and listen to the radio for half an hour, 10 minutes longer than usual. Get up, and by 7.10am you're on your bike heading north. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge heading out of the city at 7.40am, and at 8.40am you're in Tiburon boarding the 8.45am commuter ferry to the San Francisco Ferry Building. By about 9.30am you've arrived back home ready to start the day.

The below is a photo from the ferry, not of the ferry.

Rat Race