Fast Food Nation

I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I decided to finally read this book having had it sit on the shelf for a few years. I’m glad I read it, but as someone who regularly eats in the US I am not sure if I should be glad or freaked out. The book is an interesting study in how industrialization without proper quality controls can have some pretty terrible side effects. I’m glad to live in a jurisdiction where we actively test for food quality and safety.

The book is a good read, and I’d recommend it to people without weak stomaches.

Fast Food Nation Book Cover Fast Food Nation
Eric Schlosser
Business & Economics
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Explores the homogenization of American culture and the impact of the fast food industry on modern-day health, economy, politics, popular culture, entertainment, and food production.

Holy bread emergency Batman!

Despite Steven’s promises of a return of the spicy fruit buns, they are completely absent here in the US. Apparently not all Christian nations do hot cross buns, which is a new surprise for me. This is an emergency however, as I love them, so I need someone to mail me some ASAP. Send them to:

    Michael Still

Thanks. Failing that, has anyone got an idiot proof recipe they want to share? My previous one was:

  • Go to freezer
  • Get bun out
  • Nuke it for 15 seconds
  • Shove in mouth

The secret to this is to buy small buns so they fit in your mouth. I’m waiting by the mailbox now, so you better get with the mailing…

14 November 2003

Cooking salmon

Last night I cooked with fresh salmon for the first time. I did it on the barbeque. The basic method was:

  • Preheat the barbie on low
  • Lightly butter the side of the salmon you’re going to cook first
  • Chuck the salmon steaks onto the grill part of the barbie
  • Wait three minutes
  • Rotate 90 degrees
  • Wait two minutes
  • Lightly butter the side that is facing you
  • Flip
  • Wait two minutes
  • Eat

Here’s a sample of how mine turned out:

Syncing FAT filesystems of MMC cards via USB

Why does it take so long? A 64 MB change took in the order of minutes to respond to a sync command.

Siemens SL42 MP3 playlist format

Creating the playlists for the inbuilt MP3 player for my Siemens SL42 is painful at best when you try to use the phone keypad. Basically, there’s no way to say “randomly play everything” unless you use a playlist, and to create a playlist with the phone you need to select each song individually. Anyways, so I mounted the MMC on my trusty laptop, and it turns out the playlist format is trivial. Here’s what I did:

mount /mnt/mmc
cd /mnt/mmc/mp3
rm aaa.mpl
for item in `ls *.mp3`
  echo $item >> aaa.mpl
unix2dos aaa.mpl

In other words, all you need is a DOS line ending file which lists the MP3 files to play.

AUUG National Committee meeting

In Sydney…