Armen Chakmakjian

Archive for August, 2008|Monthly archive page

So are there going to be any real announcements by Apple in September?

In technology on August 30, 2008 at 5:25 am

I’m holding off buying a new laptop to replace my working well but aging powerbook. I could buy an iMac, but I read rumors that there was going to be a redesign of the macbook pro line.

Jorge Luis Borges

In Literature on August 30, 2008 at 5:24 am

OK so how did I get into the writing of Jorge Luis Borges? First off, I can’t read spanish, so everything I’ve read has been a translation to English. Nevertheless this is how it happened:

I was reading a book called Buckley: The Right Word back in the 90’s which was a collection of writing excerpts and interviews by William Buckley.   One of the interviews was a transcript of one of his favorite writers, Jorge Luis Borges, whose name I knew, but whose work I had never read.   So after reading that excerpt, I went to a bookstore and bought my first Borges collection Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings. The first story, Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, completely caught me off guard.  I was so completely blown away I had to read it twice just to make sure I really read what I had read.  I finished the book and bought several other works and collections including 7 nights and the one on imaginary beings.

Many years before, sometime in the 80’s I read The Name Of The Rose by Umberto Eco.  Sometime after starting to read Borges I was  watching the Sean Connery movie version on TV of the book was when I put 2 and 2 together and saw that Eco’s main sinister character, the blind old monk protecting humanity from the library Jorge of Burgos was Eco’s homage to Borges.   As you know, Borges was the director of the national library of Argentina and also blind.   Only Borges could live something he could have created in a story.  I remember when I came to the realization during the movie I yelled out “OH MAN”

So if you want to make your brain hurt, in short bursts, read some Borges.  If you can get your hands on the Buckley book, read the interview…no matter how you feel about Buckley, its really about Borges and it was a great interview.

Steak Armeen…

In Random on August 6, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Just so it is there for those who want to try it, here you go:

In a bowl, combine and mix well equal parts of
Garlic Powder
Paprika
Salt
Pepper
Oregano
Allspice

I don’t give amounts because it depends how many steaks you are going to make. You need to have enough stuff to cover both sides. In Armenian, we call this measurement method “achkee chap” or measured by the eye. After a couple of times doing this, you’ll get the hang of it.

Now get your steaks out. Get whatever cut you want. Don’t make it too thick, an inch is about the limit.

Cover one side of the steaks with half the powder mixture. Preheat the grill to as hot as it can handle. When heated throw the steaks on the grill powder side down. Now with a long spoon spread the other half of the powder on the steaks.

As to cooking the steaks, I tend to cook them until the grill marks are pretty well set and then I spin the steaks 90 degrees to give that crosshatch pattern. In between all checking, keep the grill cover closed. Check them once in a while to see if the crosshatch is apparent, then flip. Do the same thing on this side. Now those of you who have expensive weber platinum for the ages grills don’t have this problem, but for the char-broil crowd I’m in, as you flip the steaks make sure that the ones that are at the hottest point on the grill get moved to a cooler spot, and those from the edges of heat are brought to the hot spot. As best you can of course.

Once you have a semblance of the crosshatch, I go to the biggest/thickest piece and cut it. If it is cooked but still a little bit bloody, pull all the thinner steaks off. Cook that piece until the cut edge runs no more (maybe a minute or so).

Serve with Salad and some whole starch (I prefer sweet potatoes cooked on the grill at the same time (skin and all) as the steak, but do what you can).