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November 29, 2019

Friday night at the movies: "His Girl Friday" (1940) starring Cary Grant

A classic comedy directed by Howard Hawks.

[via Open Culture]

November 29, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Every known picture of Thomas Pynchon [blast from the past]

Every so often I like to feature the post below, which originally appeared on August 29, 2009 and then again on June 14, 2012, and June 8, 2014 (with updates).

Pynchon turned 82 on May 8, 2019.


The June 12, 2012 announcement that Pynchon, 75, has finally given in and will allow his books to be published in digital format was accompanied by one of the rare extant pictures of the reclusive author.

Seems like a good time to revisit the entire known photo archive of this singular artist.

This post first appeared here nearly three years ago and there have been no additions in the interim.

Not one word has been changed or omitted.


The seven above and below, gleaned from a variety of sources, appear to comprise all that exist outside of the dark world, where no doubt there are many more — perhaps even home movies, who knows? — of the elusive writer, whose latest novel, "Inherent Vice," has just been published.

If anyone has other photos you know whom to contact.

That's right — Yosemite Sam.

But I digress.

Above, a 1953 photo from Pynchon's Oyster Bay (Long Island, New York) High School yearbook (The Oysterette), captioned: "'Pynch'; P&G Yearbook; Trade Fair 2,3; Sr. Play student director; Spanish Club 3,4; Honor Society 3, 4; likes pizza; dislikes hypocrites; pet possession, a typewriter; aspires to be a physicist."



a second photo from that yearbook, where it appeared in the "Best Student" section and honored Pynchon for being the best male student of 1953.



is one lifted from a high school yearbook group staff photo.

Then there's this one,


part of a staff photo for the Purple and Gold, Pynchon's high school newspaper.

Its caption reads, "The Purple and Gold has carried on the old tradition of service to the school. It has also made its own new innovations. The principal one being a column by Thomas Pynchon that has dealt with such learned subjects as the 'Life and Times of Hamster High,' a legend about a stupid knight, and, of course, the 'Boys.'"

This undated picture


comes from Microsoft's Encarta.

The 1957 shot below


is of the 20-year-old Pynchon at the Navy's Bainbridge, Maryland Training Center.

It was first seen in David Cowart's 1980 book, "Thomas Pynchon — The Art of Allusion."

Then there's a 41-year hiatus, until correspondent James Bone of London's Sunday Times decided to try to find him in New York City, where he'd managed to place Pynchon.

Bone succeeded, publishing the results of his quest in a June 7, 1998 article accompanied by the "paparazzi-style point-and-snap" below of Pynchon and his then seven-year-old son Jackson,


"the first published photograph of Thomas Pynchon for more than 40 years."

As I dimly recall after nearly five years, it took a long time to assemble this collection.

Anyone have #8?

November 29, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Experts' Experts: How to bring eggs to room temperature


From Baking Bites

Many recipes call for room temperature or softened butter because it is easier to incorporate into a cake batter or cookie dough than is rock hard, cold butter.

The same is true of eggs, even though most recipes don't specifically call for eggs to be at room temperature.

Refrigeration keeps eggs fresher for a much longer period of time than storing them at room temperature, but they will blend into recipes much more easily if you take the time to take the chill off them before using them.

Eggs at room temperature will have more "relaxed" whites that take on more volume when beaten and break up more easily when whisked into a batter.

Cold eggs can actually cause the butter you carefully softened to firm up and give a batter a slightly curdled appearance (although it is usually just fine to keep going with a recipe when that happens).

To bring eggs to room temperature, you can take them out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you plan to use them (around the time that you might take your butter out of the fridge) and leave them on the countertop.

If the eggs sit out longer than that, it won't hurt them in terms of how they act in the recipe, but they will have "aged" compared to eggs that have been kept only in the refrigerator.

If you forget to take your eggs out of the refrigerator, you can warm them up very quickly by placing them in a bowl full of warm water.

Just 5 or 10 minutes in a bowl full of warm water — hot water may cause the egg shells to crack — will take the chill off of your eggs.

Recipes that call for egg whites alone often call for them to be at room temperature.

However, eggs are much easier to separate when they are cold.

To warm up just your egg whites or egg yolks, separate the eggs when cold and place the whites and yolks in small bowls.

Place these bowls into slightly larger bowls full of warm water and allow them to sit for 5-10 minutes (or simply let them sit, covered, at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before using).

Leftover egg whites or egg yolks can be stored for later use.

November 29, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Welcome to Loserville


Population: 1

That's you

Above, my favorite koozie. 

I must be a real simpleton because about once a week, after I do something really dumb, when I glance at it it never fails to make me smile.

Cheap pleasures are the best pleasures. 

And you can quote me.

November 29, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

What is it?

What is it

Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: both bigger and smaller than a bread box, depending.

Another: for indoor use.

A third: plastic.



November 29, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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